Show 183, August 6, 2016: Chef Hop Phan, Dos Chinos & Sit Low Pho, 4th Street Market Santa Ana

Hop PhanOne of the pioneering food trucks in Orange County is the innovative Dos Chinos taco truck (Chef Hop Phan) which is a tasty fusion of Latin-Vietnamese fare. It’s also a permanent food stall at the 4th Street Market in Santa Ana.

Hop Phan’s newest concept is Sit Low Pho (Vietnamese) at the 4th Street Market. He’s planning something fresh for the upcoming Trade market hall in Irvine arriving before year’s end. It will have a captivating Hawaiian flair with a few twists.

Chef Hop is already a veteran of Food TV. Most recently he competed on FYI’s Man versus Child: Chef Showdown. You’ve also seen him on NBC’s “Food Fighters,” Cooking Channel’s “Eat Street”, Food Network‘s “Cutthroat Kitchen” and “Chopped.”

We’ll meet him.

“Southern California raised us on Asian and Latin food. It’s what were made of – every sinew is built on years of carne asada and Vietnamese pho…”

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Show 116, April 4, 2015: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish

Andrew GruelFinally a chance to chat with our patient Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish. He really knows seafood.

For months Chef Andrew has been talking about the new Food TV restaurant makeover series he has been shooting without a lot of specifics. Up until now he hasn’t been able to even share the series name or network due to confidentiality agreements. The curtain is now open.

FYI’s new original series, “Say It To My Face!,” gives chefs and restaurant owners a chance to redeem themselves before their toughest online critics. Chef Andrew is the mentor chef / co-host along with Anthony Dispensa (Chef Andrew’s West Coast Director of Operations for Slapfish.) Fifteen hour-long episodes are set to premiere on Saturday, May 9th.

Chef Andrew also shares some useful tips about selecting and preparing lobster. It’s easier to enjoy than its reputation.

 

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Show 115, March 21, 2015: Executive Chef Ivan Flowers, Top of the Market, San Diego

Ivan Flowers of Top of the MarketTop of the Market, located on the Bay in San Diego just South of the USS Midway Museum offers an extensive variety of fresh fish, oysters and shellfish with a sophisticated twists. New executive chef, Ivan Flowers, has only enhanced the already proven concept. Incomparable views of San Diego Bay, Coronado and Point Loma make Top of the Market the ideal location for destination dining while in San Diego.

One of the house specialties is Oregon Dungeness Crab Cioppino. It has mussels, clams, prawns, fish, scallops and linguini in an herb wine tomato broth.

Arriving for the Spring Menu are Wild Salmon, Alaskan Halibut, White Seabass and Rockfish.

Chef Ivan is part of a new Food TV series, 3 Chefs, 1 City” that will launch in the U.S. later this year. In the San Diego episode Chef Ivan is joined by chefs Trey Foshee (George’s at the Cove) and Bernard Guillas (Marine Room & La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.)

Chef Ivan is our guest highlighting the addition of the new Spring ingredients.

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On Becoming a Chef

Chef Jet describes what it takes to become a working chef.

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August 16: Eric Greenspan, CANstruction, Jason Grilli, LA Food and Wine, PigOut, KTown Night Market, Harlowe

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Eric Greenspan and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chef Eric Greenspan of Foundation Hospitality Group
Segment Three: Long Beach CANstruction benefiting Food Finders
Segment Four: Halo Reliever Jason Grilli
Segment Five: Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival
Segment Six: Pigout 3.0
Segment Seven: KTOWN Night Market & OC Block Party
Segment Eight: Head Barman Chris Amirault of Harlowe, West Hollywood

Guest Host Celebrity Chef Eric Greenspan of Foundation Hospitality Group and Producer Andy preview the show.

Besides being all over Food TV (he bested Iron Chef Bobby Flay on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America”) Chef Eric Greenspan has made a name for himself in the rarified world of fine-dining. For almost two years he was the executive chef of Joachim Splichal’s highly-acclaimed flagship restaurant, Patina. More recently he created The Foundry on Melrose Ave. In the Fall he returns to Melrose with the eagerly anticipated fine dining, Enclave.

Although Chef Eric Greenspan has created the more casual, Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese and The Roof on Wilshire, his heart and true passion remains in fine dining. We’ll talk about the future of fine-dining in Los Angeles and get Chef Eric’s perspective. We’ll also preview Chef Eric’s new series for the National Geographic Channel debuting in November.

The first Canstruction Competition is coming to Long Beach on August 21st. The resulting collections of food benefit Food Finders food rescue / food bank. It’s going to be a wild 12 hours benefiting people in need!

The Halos have an ace relief pitcher in Jason Grilli newly arrived in a trade deal with The Pittsburgh Pirates. In Pittsburgh he’s known for The Closer, a 3-decker grilled cheese sandwich using 9 different premium cheeses. Jason is with us live from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas to talk about it.

The 2014 Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival (4th Annual) is once again upon us taking place in Downtown Los Angeles on August 21 -24. This is one of the biggest culinary festivals staged on the West Coast with culinary masters hosting power lunches, cocktail culture merging with some of the finest chefs for spirited dinners, and first –time events such as the “Ultimate Bites of L.A. Challenge” on Opening Night hosted by Graham Elliott and Fabio Viviani.

The 3rd Annual PigOut (benefiting Inspire Artistic Minds) is set for Sunday afternoon, August 24th at the California Scenario in Costa Mesa.

The main attraction will be a 250 pound Templeton Rye Duroc Pig of the Templeton Rye Heritage Pork Project.

The KTown Night Market and Block Party is coming to Angel Stadium on Friday and Saturday, August 22nd and 23rd. It’s 60 plus food trucks and vendors (including the Seoul Sausage Co.) and a large beer garden. Also there will be live music, games and rides. We’ll chat with the co-producer and one of the young founders of the participating Seoul Sausage Co.

Meet Mixologist Chris Amirault of Harlowe, a new bar that’s attracting a lot of attention in West Hollywood. Even his standard cocktails are very special. Chris also creates unusual draft and bottled cocktails.

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

Eric GreenspanBesides being all over Food TV (he bested Iron Chef Bobby Flay on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America”) Chef Eric Greenspan has made a name for himself in the rarified world of fine-dining. For almost two years he was the executive chef of Joachim Splichal’s highly-acclaimed flagship restaurant Patina. More recently he created The Foundry on Melrose Ave. In the Fall he returns to Melrose with the eagerly anticipated fine dining, Enclave.

Although Chef Eric Greenspan has created the more casual, Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese and The Roof on Wilshire, his heart and true passion remains in fine dining. We’ll talk about the future of fine-dining in Los Angeles and get Chef Eric’s perspective.

We’ll also preview Chef Eric’s new series for the National Geographic Channel debuting in November. Look for Chef Eric on the next two Tuesday evenings in prime time as a chef competitor on NBC’s “Food Fighters” hosted by Adam Richman. In October Chef Eric will part of the celebrity chef episode of Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen hosted by Alton Brown.

Canstruction Long BeachThe first CANstruction Competition is coming to Long Beach on August 21st. The resulting collections of food benefit Food Finders food rescue / food bank. It’s going to be a wild 12 hours benefiting people in need!

Four teams comprised of five prominent local architectural and engineering firms will transform thousands of cans of food into larger than life artistic masterpieces. The structures may be built up to 10’ x 10’ x 10’ and will be comprised of edible canned goods totaling over 7,000 lbs.

The completed structures will be on display to the public from August 22nd through September 2nd.

CANstruction was founded in 1992 to help promote the design community and raise food donations for hunger relief efforts. CANstruction events have been held in over 140 cities worldwide donating over 15 million pounds of canned foods to alleviate the concern of hunger and malnutrition.

Jason GrilliThe Halos have an ace relief pitcher in Jason Grilli, newly arrived in a trade deal with The Pittsburgh Pirates. In Pittsburgh he’s known for The Closer, a 3-decker grilled cheese sandwich using 9 different premium cheeses. Jason is with us live from Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas to talk about it.

Grilli, and partners, are also the Pittsburgh franchisees for the rapidly growing Tom+Chee. This is a grilled cheese and tomato soup shop for the kid at heart. The restaurants mix classic comfort food with fresh ingredients, healthy alternatives, and a flare for the unexpected. In addition to the regular menu there are lots of daily specials.

David BernahlThe 2014 Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival (4th Annual) is once again upon us taking place in Downtown Los Angeles on August 21 -24. This is one of the biggest culinary festivals staged on the West Coast with culinary masters hosting power lunches, cocktail culture merging with some of the finest chefs for spirited dinners, and first–time events such as the “Ultimate Bites of L.A. Challenge” on Opening Night hosted by Graham Elliott and Fabio Viviani.

The star-studded lineup of chefs at LAFW will also include Food & Wine Magazine Best New Chefs, James Beard Award winners, iconic personalities within the culinary arena, as well as Food TV personalities (Scott Conant, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Michelle Bernstein, Michael Chiarello, Nancy Silverton, David Kinch, Michael Cimarusti, Jonathan Waxman, and more.)

Founder David Bernahl of Coastal Luxury Management is our guest.

3rd annual PigOut in Costa MesaThe 3rd Annual PigOut (benefiting Inspire Artistic Minds) is set for Sunday afternoon, August 24th at the California Scenario (Noguchi Gardens) in Costa Mesa.

The main attraction will be a 250 pound Templeton Rye Duroc Pig of the Templeton Rye Heritage Pork Project. Only 25 of these special pigs are in existence.

Chef Mike Puglisi (ex-Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills) of the soon-to-be Electric City Butcher in Santa Ana will be performing a pig deconstruction demonstration.

Koreatown Night MarketThe KTown Night Market and Block Party is coming to Angel Stadium on Friday and Saturday, August 22nd and 23rd. It’s 60 plus food trucks and vendors (including the Seoul Sausage Co.) and a large beer garden. Also there will be live music, games and rides.

Seoul Sausage Co., the Season 3 winners of Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race,” are curating the all-star mobile culinary experience. The 20 food truck lineup includes fan favorites such as Coolhaus, Slangin Corea, and Fluff Ice.

We’ll chat with the co-producer Danny Park and Yong Kim, one of the young founders of the participating Seoul Sausage Co.

Chris AmiraultMeet Mixologist Chris Amirault of Harlowe, a new bar that’s already attracting a lot of attention in West Hollywood. He’s the Head Barman there. This is from the 1933 Group (Oldfield’s Liquor Room and Sassafras.)

Even Chris’ standard cocktails are very special. Chris also creates unusual draft and bottled cocktails. Also of note are the carafe cocktails and the shared punch bowls.

Not easy to order a libation these days with all the tempting options!

“Give me a bottle of bourbon & half a chicken and I’ll take over the world.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Eric Greenspan and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chef Eric Greenspan of Foundation Hospitality Group
Segment Three: Long Beach CANstruction benefiting Food Finders
Segment Four: Halo Reliever Jason Grilli
Segment Five: Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival
Segment Six: Pigout 3.0
Segment Seven: KTOWN Night Market & OC Block Party
Segment Eight: Head Barman Chris Amirault of Harlowe, West Hollywood

August 2: Rich Perelman, SYNEK, Slapfish Seafood, James Republic, Fiestas del la Vendimina, OC Fair, Olympic Cuisine

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Richard (Rich) B. Perelman and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Steve Young, Founder, SYNEK
Segment Three: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish, Huntington Beach and Laguna
Segment Four: Restaurant Chef David MacLennan, James Republic, Long Beach
Segment Five: Javier Plascencia’s “From Farm and Vineyard to Your Table” Dinner
Segment Six: Rich Perelman on The Los Angeles Olympics, 1984
Segment Seven: Bakelogy and The OC Promenade at The OC Fair
Segment Eight: Food Service for the Spectators at The Games of the Twenty-Third Olympiad, Los Angeles

Guest Host Richard (Rich) B. Perelman and Producer Andy preview the show.

It’s our salute to the 30th Anniversary of the Games of the Twenty-Third Olympiad, Los Angeles, 1984. Guest Host Rich Perelman was the youngest Vice President of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee responsible for Press Operations and the Editor-in-Chief of the Official Report after the Games. Rich explains the continuing financial legacy to youth sports in Southern California as a direct result of the incredible success of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

SYNEK (a recent Kickstarter success story) is a nifty countertop draft system that serves any beer, fresh from the tap, anywhere you want it. Steve Young, based in St. Louis, MO is the Founder. His modest objective is to do for quality beer what Keurig did for single-brewed cups of coffee. With the phenomenal success of his cleverly orchestrated Kickstarter campaign he’s now well on his way…

Chef Andrew Gruel’s (of Slapfish) mission is to make quality seafood popular with everyday folks. He started with one modest food truck in 2010. It quickly expanded into four food trucks. The first Slapfish brick and mortar restaurant opened in Huntington Beach a year later. Laguna Beach recently launched and more restaurants are in the works.

James Republic in Long Beach orchestrates one of the very best, honest Farm-to-Fork dinner series around. It happens monthly on a Sunday under the name of the Dinner Bell Supper Series. The restaurant’s chef, David MacLennan, joins us with the specifics.

Every year in Northern Baja is the Fiestas del la Vendimina celebrating the bounty of wine and food in the region over a two-week period. One of the best single events is Chef Javier Plascencia’s (Tijuana’s Mision 16) “From Farm and Vineyard to Your Table” dinner at his ranch, Finca Altozano, in Valle de Guadalupe. It’s a 6-course, wine paired feast.

Time to hit the OC Fair in its final week. We’ll hear about Bakeology and all the tasty culinary events in the OC Promenade Building. Also the winning Fair Food item!

As part of our tribute to the Los Angeles Olympics we’ll also be looking back at the food served to the spectators. Surprisingly there was lots more variety to the offerings than plain boiled hot dogs and bagged chips. Innovations in food for 1984 are now part of guest expectations in 2014!

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

Synek SystemSYNEK (a recent Kickstarter success story) is a nifty countertop draft system that serves any beer, fresh from the tap, anywhere you want it. Steve Young, based in St. Louis, MO is the Founder. His modest objective is to do for quality beer what Keurig did for single-brewed cups of coffee. As a result of the inspired, oversubscribed Kickstarter campaign he’s well on his way…

“In 2013, Steve Young started to take notice of the craft beer industry as a stock market analyst. He wanted to know how the craft beer industry was making these great strides and what risk factors could cause it to become a “bubble” like the industry saw in the 1990s.”

He knew the industry was growing with thousands of amazing brands created every week. However, to his surprise, every brewer he spoke with complained about the exact same issue : “We make amazing beer, but we can’t get it into our customers’ homes and make money at the same time. If there was a way to create a growler that maintained our beer’s quality longer than two days, it would change everything.”

“Steve was so moved by the brewers’ intense frustration that he quit his job to assemble the best beer engineering team in the world and implement a solution to this beer packaging epidemic.”

Andrew GruelFood trucks have proven to be a worthwhile testing ground for innovative food concepts. A great example is the fast growing Slapfish with a limited service, fast-casual restaurant in Huntington Beach located in a strip center. A new Laguna Beach location (across Pacific Coast Highway from the beach) launched earlier in the Summer.

The partners started with one modest food truck serving the OC in 2009. By 2011 they had four trucks serving both Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Executive Chef (and co-founder) Andrew Gruel is with us to fill us in on the Slapfish tale. New locations both in the United States (airports, too) and the Middle East are on the way.

They like to characterize Slapfish as a modern seafood shack. It’s a real American seafood experience that revolves around fresh, sustainable fish, prepared simply, but delivering big flavors.

Dave MaclennanJames Republic, located in Downtown Long Beach, organizes one of the very best Farm-to-Fork dinner series around. It happens monthly on a Sunday under the name of the Dinner Bell Supper Series. The proprietor of James Republic, Chef Dean James Max, developed the original concept. The restaurant’s chef, David MacLennan, joins us with the specifics.

On the Sunday morning of The Dinner Bell Supper the culinary team gathers at the Long Beach Farmers Market to search for the ideal ingredients to serve as the basis for that evenings’ family-style supper. For the guests the evening begins with market inspired cocktails and passed canapes at 4:30 p.m. At 5:00 p.m., the dinner bell rings and the guests gather at a long, communal table to enjoy California wines and a bountiful three-course menu prepared by Chefs James Dean Max, Chef David MacLennan and their team. Area guest farmers take part in the engaging dinner conversation. The idea is for former strangers to become friends over a superb meal (with a side of good conversation) without this being forced.

The August 24th dinner is sold out. Future dates are September 14th, October 26th, and November 23rd.

Every year in Northern Baja is the Fiestas de la Vendimina (The Harvest Festival) celebrating the bounty of wine and food in the region over a two-week period. The Festival gives thanks and celebrates the beginning of a (hoped for) bountiful grape harvest.

Javier PlascenciaOne of the best single events is Chef Javier Plascencia’s (Tijuana’s Mision 19) “From Farm and Vineyard to Your Table” dinner at his ranch, Finca Altozano, in Valle de Guadalupe. It’s a 6-course, wine paired feast.

Prominent guest chefs from Southern California and Mexico are part of the culinary team. This year Ori Menashe from Bestia and Timothy Hollingsworth (The Restaurant at The Broad & ex-French Laundry chef de cuisine ) will be part of Chef Javier’s high-profile guest chefs’ team.

Chef Plascencia has been featured on Food TV with both Anthony Bourdain and “Bizarre Foods’” Andrew Zimmern.

For info please contact Chef Javier’s assistant, Diana Jimenez.

Rich PerelmanIt’s our salute to the 30th Anniversary of the Games of the Twenty-Third Olympiad, Los Angeles,1984. Our Guest Host, Rich Perelman, was the youngest Vice President of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee responsible for Press Operations and the Editor-in-Chief of the Official Report after the Games. Rich explains the continuing financial legacy to youth sports in Southern California as a direct result of the incredible success of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Every Olympic Organizing Committee is mandated by the International Olympic Committee to document their Games in the Official report. It’s two volumes. One volume is a comprehensive recipe on how the Games were produced with some analysis. The other volume is the complete results and photos.

Rich Perelman was the Editor-in-Chief of the Official Report for the Los Angeles Games. The finished, two-volume report is 1,552 pages and weighs in at 38 lbs ! A full-time staff of 25 was responsible for the effort on a budget of some $4.33 million.

Rachel Klemek of Blackmarket Bakery and the CampTime to hit the OC Fair in Costa Mesa in its final week. Food is always front row center!

We’ll hear about Bakeology and all the other tasty culinary events in the OC Promenade Building.

Rachel Klemek of the award-winning Blackmarket Bakery in Costa Mesa is programming Bakeology at the Fair. Rachel and her staff are mixing, kneading, whipping and blending at the Bakeology exhibit in the Culinary Arts Building (The OC Promenade) at the Fair.

Also with us is the Fair’s Communications Director ,Robin Wachner. Robin will fill us in on all the Culinary activities in the OC Promenade Building.

We’ll also talk about the top vendor food item at this year’s Fair. 70 entrants competed and there was one big winner! Unbelievably it’s not even deep-fried!

Vegetarian PitaWe’re back to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and now talking about the food for the spectators.

Peter Ueberroth, the architect of The Games, wanted there to be more variety and freshness in the food available for purchase by the spectators at the Los Angeles Olympics than typically found in sports facilities of the day.

While common today 30 years ago it was unusual to see some of these items. Fresh fruit cups were on the menu as well as yogurt. Among the fresh sandwiches on the menu was the choice of a Vegetarian Pita. In addition to the usual ice cream novelties there was a place for natural Frozen Fruit Bars.

Food and beverage sales for the 16 days totaled over $11 million dollars. 5.8 million guests were served!

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Richard (Rich) B. Perelman and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Steve Young, Founder, SYNEK
Segment Three: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish, Huntington Beach and Laguna
Segment Four: Restaurant Chef David MacLennan, James Republic, Long Beach
Segment Five: Javier Plascencia’s “From Farm and Vineyard to Your Table” Dinner
Segment Six: Rich Perelman on The Los Angeles Olympics, 1984
Segment Seven: Bakelogy and The OC Promenade at The OC Fair
Segment Eight: Food Service for the Spectators at The Games of the Twenty-Third Olympiad, Los Angeles

Show 53, December 21, 2013: Troy Johnson, Editor-at-Large & Food Critic of San Diego Magazine

Troy JohnsonTroy Johnson, the Food Critic of San Diego Magazine, represents the enthusiastic new breed of youthful restaurant journalists with a point-of-view.

You perhaps remember him on Food TV from his Cooking Channel series, “Crave.” He’s also one of the regular judges on Food Network’s new Sunday evening “Guy’s (Fieri) Grocery Games.”

There is a lot happening on the San Diego restaurant scene. The big noise is that chef and restaurateur Richard Blais is leaving his base in Atlanta to open Juniper & Ivy in the Little Italy area of San Diego. It will seat 200 when open so this is an ambitious project! Chef Blais is probably best known nationally for his multiple seasons on Bravo’s “Top Chef.”

In addition to his reviews in San Diego Magazine, Troy also writes about restaurant comings and goings in San Diego County.

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December 21: Troy Johnson, Got Kosher, Aaron Fry, Susan Feniger, Brian Malarkey, Brian Malarkey,

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Troy Johnson, Editor-at-Large & Food Critic of San Diego Magazine Part One
Segment Three: Troy Johnson, Editor-at-Large & Food Critic of San Diego Magazine Part Two
Segment Four: Alain Cohen of Got Kosher Café & Bakery, Los Angeles
Segment Five: Aaron Fry, Honeymoon Dining in Maui
Segment Six: Celebrity Chef Susan Feniger of The Border Grills and Mud Hen Tavern
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Brian Malarkey of Enlightened Hospitality Group, San Diego Part One
Segment Eight: Executive Chef Brian Malarkey of Enlightened Hospitality Group, San Diego Part Two

Update on the benefit at The Church Key on Sunday, December 8th to aid the unfortunate victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The evening raised $10,000 which will get into the proper hands to support the relief effort. This event came together very quickly so kudos to all involved!

What's Cooking with Jet Tila and Travis RodgersThanks for all the supportive words about “What’s Cooking with Travis and Chef Jet Tila” heard just after 7:50 a.m. on Friday morning on AM 830 KLAA as part of “The Travis Rodgers Show.” Travis is taking a well-earned Holiday break. The segment will return just after 7:50 a.m. on Friday, January 4th. The previous features are all available for your listening pleasure within the “Media” area of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” Website.

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show. This week we’re sending the well-deserved love to our listeners in San Diego. Troy Johnson, the Restaurant Editor of San Diego Magazine is with us to share what’s new in San Diego. We’ll also talk with “Top Chef” alum Brian Malarkey of Enlightened Hospitality. He’s bringing one of his successful San Diego restaurant concepts to the Sunset Strip.

Troy JohnsonTroy Johnson, the Food Editor of San Diego Magazine, represents the new breed of youthful restaurant journalists with a point-of-view. It’s, fortunately, not an elitist approach and Troy aims to make restaurant-going accessible for all.

You perhaps remember him on Food TV from his Cooking Channel series, “Crave.” He’s also one of the regular judges on Food Network’s new Sunday evening “Guy’s (Fieri) Grocery Games.”

There is a lot happening on the San Diego restaurant scene. The big noise is that chef and restaurateur Richard Blais is leaving his base in Atlanta to open Juniper & Ivy in the Little Italy area of San Diego. It will seat 200 when open so this is an ambitious project! Chef Blais is probably best known nationally for his multiple seasons on Bravo’s “Top Chef.”

Celebrity Chef Brian Malarkey (of Bravo’s “Top Chef” & ABC’s “The Taste”,) a multiple concept restaurant operator in San Diego, is bringing his Herringbone concept to The Mondrian Hotel on The Sunset Strip in West Hollywood in early 2014. Troy talks about Chef Brian’s history in San Diego and what his establishments are all about. The original Herringbone is in La Jolla.

The Headquarters, a new development in Downtown San Diego with destination restaurants is creating a lot of attention. Nancy Silverton’s Pizzeria Mozza from Hollywood is one on the anchor tenants there already attracting lots of buzz. It’s the former Police Department Headquarters and there is even an original cell preserved for visitors to see.

Avant Restaurant in San DiegoAfter a long run (opened in 1968) as a high-end destination restaurant of celebration El Bizcocho at the Rancho Bernardo Inn has been reborn as the more contemporary Avant. San Diego star chef Gavin Kaysen was an alum of El Bizcocho. He’s now overseeing all the Café Bouluds for Daniel Boulud in New York!

Troy notes that the Hatch Design Group worked on a $2.5 million budget to create the new space. “The mercy killing of El Bizcocho clears the way for a new era at Avant” is the title of Troy’s recent review in San Diego Magazine.

If you think Tunisian fare is the same as the foods of Morocco then you perhaps need a refresher course. No eating with the fingers or belly dancers here. It’s actually more Mediterranean and North African fare.

Alain Cohen of Got Kosher Cafe and BakeryAlain Cohen of Got Kosher Café & Bakery located in Los Angeles Borscht Belt on Pico Blvd. joins us to give a quick education. Don’t let the “Kosher” part or the name scare you. The Jews were in Tunisia before Muhammad or the rise of Islam.

The tasty Merguez sausage with harissa appetizer is house-made.

One of Got Kosher’s specialties is “Shwar-guez.” It’s their take on schwarma. It’s ground beef seasoned with their merguez sausage spices and grilled on a schwarma pit.

Tunisian Couscous is also a popular specialty. The versions are Couscous au Poulet, Couscous Masson (with braised beef and beef meatballs,) Couscous Royal ( with chicken, beef, lamb brochettes and merguez,) and Vegetarian Couscous.

They also house-bake some incredible varieties of challah

It’s Christmas / New Year’s Holiday vacation time and that means a lot of getaways to Maui. We have a mouth-watering Lahaina dining report from an informed, recent visitor.

Aaron Fry just returned from his glorious honeymoon in Maui. Aaron is a master bartender as well as a senior Board Operator right here at AM 830 KLAA. We’re turning the microphone around on him this morning.

Fleetwoods on Front StreetAaron and his new bride enjoyed a couple of visits to Fleetwood’s on Front Street in the heart of Old Lahaina. The second level of the 10,000 square foot establishment affords an incredible ocean view and there is live music nightly. The principal is Mick Fleetwood, the well-know rock drummer. When he’s not touring he spends most of his time on Maui.

Although it’s a casual setting they are equally serious about their food. The chef advisor is Scott Leibfried (who you’ll remember as one of the two sous chefs for Gordon Ramsay on Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen.”) Chef Scott continues with the project.

Look for “Today’s Local Fish” and the 10 oz. Grilled Filet with Big Island Hamakua Mushrooms as standout dishes.

Maui Brewing Company CoCoNut PorTeRAaron is a craft beer aficionado so also on his Maui menu was a stop at the celebrated brewpub of the Maui Brewing Co. This is the most successful craft brewery in The Islands and quite a story. Their only “problem” is that they can’t keep up with demand on The Mainland. They can their most popular styles and they are available in California. One of their signature brews is their award-winning CoCoNut PorTeR. The brewpub features some seasonal styles only available on Maui.

The food is seriously good, too, and a big attraction for locals. They even make their own salad dressings. You can’t go wrong with their pizzas or the Kalua Pork Sliders.

Susan Feniger of Mud Hen TavernChef Susan Feniger of Border Grill and Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales” fame is back with us to talk about the revamping of Susan Feniger’s Street in Hollywood. It’s been refurbished as the Mud Hen Tavern. The concept is more of a comfortable neighborhood bar and restaurant where regulars can come and hang out more than one time per week.

As with Street the Executive Chef and Partner is Kajsa Alger. Some of Street’s classic favorites remain on the menu including Kaya Toast. A rotating collection of sixteen craft beers is available on tap.

Susan enthusiastically recommends the Hangover Burger with a fried egg and bacon and the decadent Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding for dessert. Also there are plenty of offerings for the vegetarian-inclined.

Brian MalarkeyYou know Chef Brian Malarkey from “Top Chef: Season 3, Miami” on Bravo and Season 1 of ABC’s “The Taste.” In real life he’s also a highly successful restaurateur in San Diego (and Scottsdale and Austin) with major financial backing.

In a bold move he’s bringing an expanded Herringbone (La Jolla) to The Mondrian on the fabled Sunset Strip in January. After a major gut-rehab it’s replacing the pricey Asia de Cuba at this hip & happening boutique luxury hotel. The panoramic 180 degree view from the restaurant toward the coast, now improved, is pretty spectacular. He’s responsible for all foodservice at The Hotel including in-room dining and functions.

The food is Herringbone’s own “Fish Meats Field” cuisine. A favorite is Pork Belly with wood roasted sunchokes, manila clams, and calvados and green apple jus.

Executive Chef Brian Mararkey of Enlightened Hospitality Group encores for a second segment. His growing collection of restaurants, with a San Diego base, includes Searsucker, Herringbone (La Jolla and January opening in West Hollywood,) Gabardine, and Green Acre.

Chef Brian has cooked in Los Angeles previously. Very early in his professional career he was in the kitchen at Michel Richard’s Citrus.

Chef Brian very honestly explains how he paid his dues during his 20s and 30s before becoming the executive chef at The Oceanaire Seafood Room in San Diego. That eventually led to his casting on Bravo’s “Top Chef.” He’s surprised that so many young people graduating from culinary schools think they can just walk into being celebrities on food TV without a proper foundation.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Troy Johnson, Editor-at-Large & Food Critic of San Diego Magazine Part One
Segment Three: Troy Johnson, Editor-at-Large & Food Critic of San Diego Magazine Part Two
Segment Four: Alain Cohen of Got Kosher Café & Bakery, Los Angeles
Segment Five: Aaron Fry, Honeymoon Dining in Maui
Segment Six: Celebrity Chef Susan Feniger of The Border Grills and Mud Hen Tavern
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Brian Malarkey of Enlightened Hospitality Group, San Diego Part One
Segment Eight: Executive Chef Brian Malarkey of Enlightened Hospitality Group, San Diego Part Two

Show 7: November 24, 2012: Eric Boardman

Food TV Producer and Culinary Personality Eric Boardman who is also an Advisory Board Member for Careers through Culinary Arts Program – Los Angeles.

Eric was the Host & Master of Ceremonies for C-CAP’s “Just Dessert Challenge” on Nov. 17th at The Art Institute of California-Los Angeles as part of the “Getting Our Just Desserts” Benefit. The competition pitted five C-CAP graduates against each other in an intense “Chopped” –like competition. There was a mystery basket of five ingredients and the alums had two hours to create a standout dish using all of those ingredients. After an intense deliberation on the part of the judges panel (including Keith Roberts, the Executive Chef at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel) Anthony Greco took the crown. Anthony currently works in the kitchen of The Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.

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