Show 273, May 12, 2018: Al Mancini, Staff Writer, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Al ManciniVeteran Las Vegas insider and widely-followed food journalist Al Mancini works alongside The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s long-time restaurant critic, Heidi Knapp Rinella. As a Staff Writer he covers the burgeoning food scene in Las Vegas daily both in the print and online versions of the daily newspaper. Al also occasionally posts food & libation related videos. We pull him away from the Vegas Uncork’d festivities for an update.

We run the table with Al hitting on the impact of Vegas Uncork’d, Vegas Golden Knights fever in Vegas, The Vegas Unstripped, by Locals food festival and updates on the debuting Park MGM and the extensive enhancements at The Palms under new ownership.

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Show 251, December 9, 2017: Food Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Al ManciniThe delightfully opinionated Al Mancini took on the dream assignment for any food journalist of becoming the food reporter for The Las Vegas Review-Journal just about a year ago. He’s an unabashed fan of Fabulous Las Vegas. He also faithfully covers the happenings in the revived Downtown Las Vegas including the vibrant restaurant scene there.

Al discovered his passion for food while living in New York City, where he attended law school by day, tended bar and made pizza at the infamous punk club CBGB by night, and explored the Big Apple’s dynamic dining scene during every spare moment in between.

Previously Al has written extensively about food and dining for numerous local, Las Vegas lifestyle publications. He is the co-creator of Eating Las Vegas – The 50 Essential Restaurants guidebook which launched with the 2011 Edition.

Al is celebrating a B-I-G Birthday this weekend and we pull him away from the festivities for a chat.

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Show 247, November 11, 2017: Travel Journalist Robyn Eckhardt, Istanbul and Beyond: Exploring Turkey’s Diverse Cuisines Part One

Robyn EckhardtFood and travel journalist Robyn Eckhardt brings dishes from Istanbul and eastern Turkey to the home cook in ISTANBUL AND BEYOND: EXPLORING TURKEY’S DIVERSE CUISINES. With over 125 recipes, stories about places, people and ingredients, and lush on-location photography, ISTANBUL AND BEYOND takes readers on an unforgettable culinary journey from Turkey’s cosmopolitan cultural capital to its lesser known eastern regions.

The culmination of Eckhardt and photographer David Hagerman‘s (Robyn’s husband) two-decade-long passion for Turkey, its people and its food, and the result of over sixteen months of research in Istanbul and eastern Turkey, ISTANBUL AND BEYOND takes readers beyond kebab, doner, and baklava to introduce the dishes of Turkey’s distinct regional cuisines. From the Mediterranean province of Hatay to the Black Sea, and from north-central Anatolia to provinces bordering Georgia, Armenia, Iran and Iraq, Eckhardt has assembled a broad collection of dishes – many of which will be new even to those familiar with Turkish food – that are sure to entice readers into the kitchen.

Robyn Eckhardt is an American food and travel journalist specializing in Asia, Turkey and Europe. Her words and recipes have appeared in the New York Times, Saveur, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Food & Wine, Travel+Leisure and other publications. She is co-publisher, with photographer David Hagerman, of the award-winning food blog EatingAsia. After 20 years in Asia she recently moved to Piemonte, Italy, where she lives with her husband, photographer David Hagerman, and a small menagerie of cats and dogs.

Food and travel journalist Robyn Eckhardt is our guest.

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Show 244, October 14, 2017: Food Journalist & Author Cathy Thomas

Andy Harris, Andrew Gruel and Cathy Thomas at the SoCal Restaurant Show 5th AnniversaryFood Journalist Cathy Thomas has been the highly-regarded food columnist for the Orange County Register for over 26 years. Most of that time was as the greatly-admired  Food Editor. In addition to that she is the online columnist for Orange Coast Magazine where you can view many of her entertaining and informative cooking videos featuring area and celebrity chefs.

“My first book was published in 2006, “Melissa’s Great Book of Produce” (Wiley, $29.95, 2006 written for Melissa’s World Variety Produce, the LA-Based company that is the nation’s largest distributor of specialty and organic produce). My second book is “Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce” (Wiley, $29.95). The book has received fantastic reviews. Emeril plugged the book on Good Morning America, naming it as one of the top ten cookbooks for the season. My third book, “50 Best Plants on the Planet (Chronicle, $29.95) explores the fifty most nutrient dense fruits and vegetables that grow on earth. The recipes are easy and delicious.”

Represented on the buffet today in the Melissa’s Test Kitchen is Cathy’s recipe for Hearts of Romaine Salad with Beets, Apples and Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing. It features Melissa’s Steamed Beets and Green Dragon Apples. The recipe is from Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce.

“Because I’ve studied with chefs across America, Europe and Asia, I have a passion for ethnic cuisines. I love to embrace new flavors, new aromas and new techniques. When it comes to cooking and eating, there is always something new to experience.”

We’ll pull Cathy away from the cutting board for a chat.

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Show 196, November 5, 2016: Food Journalist & Author Simran Sethi, Bread, Wine, Chocolate – The Slow Loss of Foods We Love

Simran SethiSimran Sethi is a journalist, author and educator focused on food, sustainability and social change.

Her new book, Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love part memoir of a journey to six continents in pursuit of delicious and endangered tastes, part investigation of the loss of biodiversity from soil to plate – tells the story of what we are losing, how we are losing it, and the inspiring people and places that are bringing back the foods we love.

Join award-winning journalist Simran Sethi as she travels from wild coffee forests in Ethiopia to cocoa plantations of Ecuador, from the brewery to the bakery and the temple, to meet scientists, farmers, chefs, wine makers, beer brewers, coffee roasters and chocolate connoisseurs to discuss the reasons for this loss and learn what it means to experience food in a whole new way, tasting foods more deeply through each one of our senses in order to savor – and save – the foods we love.

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Show 104, January 3, 2015: Food and Travel Journalist, Steve Bramucci

Steve BramucciSteve Bramucci is a freelance food and travel writer based in Laguna Beach. For what was the final issue of OC Register Magazine (November 6, 2014) he researched and wrote the provocative piece, “The 20-Mile Meal,” the cover story. This was also picked up by Coast Magazine.

“With the help of The Haven Collective’s (Haven Gastropub and Provisions Market) Executive Chef Greg Daniels, writer Steve Bramucci tests the limits of the “Eat Local” concept by sourcing a multicourse dinner from within 20 miles of his Laguna Beach apartment.” With incredible resourcefulness (read the piece) Steve and Chef Greg were able to source everything locally with the exception of a bit of olive oil! (That was California olive oil used by the way so they were very close…)

With a little navigating the article can be found within the Orange County Register’s Website. On the Home Page of The Register’s Web site click on the “Magazines” tab in the top right corner. Once you’re there click on Coast.” On this subpage you’ll see the cover for the OC Register Magazine with the 20-Mile Meal cover.

Steve Bramucci takes us through that journey.

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Show 79, July 12, 2014: Show 79, July 12, 2014: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show

Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Open Sesame, serving authentic Lebanese food since 1999, is an incredible success story. They have recently opened a new location in Los Angeles just East of CBS Television City.

Our inside “Man in Las Vegas,” Brock Radke, is back with us with a report on a handful of recent major restaurant openings on The Strip. Brock is the Food Editor for Las Vegas Weekly.

The Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, returns with a commentary on a San Diego restaurant favorite (Rakiraki.) She also shares her experience of being a guest judge on Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen.”

Seth Makowsky of the Makowsky Restaurant Group recently relocated to Los Angeles from Orlando. He specializes in restructuring, advancing and creating restaurant companies.

Food and travel journalist Roger Paige is also known as The Focused Traveler. His day job is as Administrative Director of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. Roger reports on some of his recent road adventures including a visit to the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, TN.

Our own Jet Tila has just launched his YouTube Channel, “Jet Fuel.” He has a preview of what to expect.

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

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July 12: Open Sesame, Brock Radke, Mad Hungry Woman, Seth Makowsky, Roger Paige

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame Part One
Segment Three: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame Part Two
Segment Four: Brock Radke, Food Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Five: Anita Lau, The Mad Hungry Woman blogger
Segment Six: Seth Makowsky, Makowsky Restaurant Group
Segment Seven: Roger Paige, The Focused Traveler & Administrative Director of IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila and the “JetFuel” Channel on YouTube

Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Open Sesame, serving authentic Lebanese food since 1999, is an incredible success story. They have recently opened a new location in Los Angeles just East of CBS Television City.

Our inside “Man in Las Vegas,” Brock Radke, is back with us with a report on a handful of recent major restaurant openings on The Strip. Brock is the Food Editor for Las Vegas Weekly.

The Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, returns with a commentary on a San Diego restaurant favorite (Rakiraki.) She also shares her experience of being a guest judge on Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen.”

Seth Makowsky of the Makowsky Restaurant Group recently relocated to Los Angeles from Orlando. He specializes in restructuring, advancing and creating restaurant companies.

Food and travel journalist Roger Paige is also known as The Focused Traveler. His day job is as Administrative Director of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. Roger reports on some of his recent road adventures including a visit to the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, TN.

Our own Jet Tila has just launched his You Tube Channel, “Jet Fuel.” He has a preview of what to expect.

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Open Sesame GrillOpen Sesame, a contemporary Lebanese restaurant serving authentic cuisine, recently opened its doors at 7458 Beverly Blvd. in the space that was the original Hatfield’s. The original Open Sesame launched in Belmont Shore in 1999 and has expanded three times in that location since then. There are still waits at lunch. It’s a true destination.

The restaurant offers an extensive menu, including Lunch Specials Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m., to 4:00 p.m. There are Weekend Specials on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The scratch kitchen features an array of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes along with beef, lamb and chicken specialties. Beverly Blvd. has a full bar.

Founder and Owner Ali Koblessi is our guest,

Ali Kobeissi of Open Sesame GrillFrom Proprietor Ali Kobeissi

“We’re fanatical about our scratch kitchen and the foods and flavors we produce. Food fills our thoughts between meals. We spend our free time studying the nutritional value of our authentic recipes handed down from our ancient forefathers. We combine spices and herbs, hone our knife skills, dissect wines and spirits, and prepare ourselves for the next time you sit at our table.

For the last 15 years our customers’ word of mouth has been our best advertising.”

The Beverly Blvd. location has a full bar.

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyOur inside “Man in Las Vegas,” Brock Radke, is back with us with a report on a handful of recent major restaurant openings on The Strip. Brock is the Food Editor for Las Vegas Weekly.

Brock weighs-in on DB Brasserie at The Venetian, Yusho at the Monte Carlo, and Giada at The Cromwell. He’s also excited about the opening of Mercadito, a popular Mexican restaurant from Chicago known for their variations of street tacos located off The Strip at the Red Rock Resort.

Anita Lau of Diary of a Mad Hungry WomanThe Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, returns with a profile of a San Diego restaurant favorite, Rakiraki. “If I had to sum this eatery up in a sentence, it would be “love at first bite.”

“There is no doubt this is my favorite ramen spot in Southern California.”

Anita also shares her experience of being a guest judge on Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen.” The episode aired June 19th. She is an unabashed Gordon Ramsay fan.

Seth Makowsky of Makowsky Restaurant GroupSeth Makowsky of the Makowsky Restaurant Group recently relocated to Los Angeles from Orlando. He specializes in restructuring, advancing and creating restaurant companies.

He is also a member of The Culinary Council for three square food bank in Las Vegas.

Along the way he’s been mentored by Robert Earl (Earl of Sandwich and Planet Hollywood) and Andrew Cherng (Panda Express with some 2,000 units.) He started his hospitality career with Coca-Cola in Atlanta and then moved on to Orlando.

Seth shares some valuable insights on what he does for multiple-unit restaurants.

Roger Paige of the Focused TravelerFood and travel journalist Roger Paige is also known as The Focused Traveler. His day job is as Administrative Director of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association.

Roger reports on some of his recent road adventures including a visit to the historic Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, TN. Be cautioned that this is anything but the expected tourist trap.

Roger also profiles the iconic Midpoint Café (previously known as the Adrian Café) in Adrian, Texas. It’s at the midpoint between Santa Monica & Chicago on the historic Route 66. It served as the inspiration for Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Radiator Springs in Pixar’s “Cars.” All the food is scratch cooking…

Jet Fuel with Chef Jet TIlaOur own Chef Jet Tila has launched his YouTube Channel, “JetFuel.” There is a new video posted each Thursday for your viewing pleasure.

It’s the intriguing world of food from the inside out.

There are recipes, food tips, and engaging celebrity chef interviews. It’s all editorial content.

This week is Jet’s recipe for an incredibly delicious potato salad with bacon and egg. It uses no mayo so it’s a bit lighter than the usual mayonnaise-laden version. The secret is the creamy baby Dutch yellow potatoes.

Go to youtube.com and search for “Jet Tila.” You can also subscribe to the JetFuel YouTube Channel.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame Part One
Segment Three: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame Part Two
Segment Four: Brock Radke, Food Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Five: Anita Lau, The Mad Hungry Woman blogger
Segment Six: Seth Makowsky, Makowsky Restaurant Group
Segment Seven: Roger Paige, The Focused Traveler & Administrative Director of IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila and the “JetFuel” Channel on YouTube

Show 78, July 5, 2014: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show

Jet Tila and Producer Andy preview the show.

Food TV fans know upbeat, Dallas-based Chef Tiffany Derry from Season 7 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef: All–Stars.” She is back as co-host of FYI’s (formerly Bio) new series, “World Food Championships” which launches on July 10th.

Our friend food journalist Josh Lurie is at it again with the 1st Annual Food GPS Rib Festival on Sunday, July 13th in Chinatown. 12 of L.A’s best forward-thinking chefs will be there preparing unique rib preparations and tempting sides. Josh and Chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage Co., Escala, and Houston Hospitality preview the Festival.

The Island Hotel in Newport Beach has a rich history of offering highly regarded destination dining. As part of a major refreshening of the property The Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge have just debuted. This is easily the most anticipated restaurant opening of the year in Orange County. You’ll hear why…

One mission of Chef Tal Ronnen’s Crossroads Los Angeles is to bring tasty vegetarian fare to patrons who aren’t necessarily vegetarians or vegans. Our own Jet Tila just prepared a Sunday Supper at Crossroads serving plant-based versions of his signature pan Asian dishes.

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

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Show 77, June 21, 2014: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA

Linda KissamHow do you conduct a serious, educational wine tasting with a group that’s also entertaining and fun? Wine, food and travel writer Linda Kissam is with us to explain. She organizes proper tastings all the time…

She expertly demonstrated this recently for a group of professional food, wine, and travel journalists at the annual conference of the International, Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association in Montgomery, AL.

It was an organized tasting of five Italian Sparking Wines from the Franciacorta region of Lombardy in Northern Italy. A very limited supply of these sparkling wines eventually find their way to the United States.

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