Show 140, October 3, 2015: Moulin Bistro and Proprietor Laurent Vrignaud

Laurent VrignaudMoulin Bistro in Newport Beach, celebrating their first anniversary, is an incredible success story. It’s a busy French bistro, epicerie, boulangerie and patisserie under one roof. (“Always Fresh, Always French.”) All the appointments and fixtures are French. The ambitious proprietor (unbelievably) had no previous restaurant experience.

It’s already the darling of Orange County Food writers. Moulin was one of three nominees for “Best New Restaurant” at The 2015 Golden Foodie Awards.

The French Rotisserie Chicken is a standout.

Laurent wanted to close at 7:00 p.m. but his French guests had another opinion. By popular demand he opened on Tuesday evenings for Dinner at Moulin. It’s a weekly changing appetizer, main dish, and dessert for $25.00. It now sells out at capacity way in advance. Laurent then added Thursday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. It’s Entrecote Frites night with unlimited fries. It’s also $25.00.

The Orange County Register’s long-time food writer Cathy Thomas recently did a feature on Moulin’s Le Croque Madame. The video (demonstrating the recipe with Laurent and French-born Chef Jeoffrey Offer) is available for viewing on You Tube.

Laurent also has several entertaining video interview segments (including one with his daughter who works at Moulin) on Grub Tribe. Worth viewing…(Check-out the video about French Wi-Fi.)

Proprietor Laurent Vrignaud joins us.

Play

Show 128, June 27, 2015: Chef Laurent Brazier, Bistro Papillote, SOCO

Laurent BrazierThe newly launched Bistro Papillote at The OC Mix at SOCO is the first authentic French restaurant concept from Chef Laurent Brazier, Executive Chef Instructor of La Cuisine Culinary Arts located inside Macy’s Home Store in South Coast Plaza. On the menu is simple French Bistro cuisine.

Bistro Papillote provides full service breakfast and lunch, including Chef Laurent’s interpretation of quiches, crepes, Croque-Monsieur, and grab-and-go sandwiches and salads. There is even a formidable New Orleans-style Muffaletta Baguette (sandwich) with salami, mortadella, ham, swiss and tapenade. At the open-air crepe bar, guests are able to watch as delicious, fresh crepes are prepared right in front of them.

Bistro Papillote by La Cuisine is available for private events catered by Chef Laurent’s catering company, La Cuisine. The French wines served there are hand-selected by Chef Laurent who holds his Advanced Certificate of Wine & Spirit from the London WSET, as well as the Level One Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Somehow Chef Laurent also makes the time to teach a popular beginning wine appreciation class at LCA Wine at SOCO. He keeps it fun…

Chef Laurent is our guest.

Play

Show 51, December 7, 2013: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, educator, food journalist, and cookbook author Continues…

Rotisserie Georgette in New York CityOn to New York…

Barbara has been particularly taken by the new Rotisserie Georgette. Georgette Farkas was Chef Daniel Boulud’s highly regarded ace public relations and marketing person for many years.

Barbara had already been there for lunch and was going back for dinner!

Barbara also graciously shared her find for favorite classic French Bistro on New York which is a bit under the dining radar. It’s Le Bateau Ivre, established in 1999. She suggests them for for mussels, onion soup, and roasted chicken.

In concluding Barbara shared her memories of the very popular Judy Rodgers of San Francisco’s iconic Zuni Café. She passed away last week.

Play

Show 35, July 13, 2013: Restaurant Impresario Bill Chait Continued…

Bill ChaitWhen Bill continued the conversation turned to the story of Test Kitchen. The original Test Kitchen occupied the spot where Sotto is now. Ricardo Zarate’s Picca is in the same building right above the space.

As Bill explains it while he was deciding what was going into this space (with Picca being built above) the thought was to do an iteration of a pop-up in that space. The eventual concept was to bring big deal chefs into the space for a week to cook the menu of their dreams and perhaps test new ideas. The only publicity was an e-mail blast to folks who signed up to get it. The media did the rest by picking this up and promoting it as hidden dining! The demand for a seat at any of the Test Kitchen evenings well exceeded the available room thereby creating high interest in future programs!

Ricardo Zarate functioned as host chef and John Sedlar also helped out. Walter Manzke, Neal Fraser, Javier Plascencia, and others were part of the ambitious effort.  Steve Samson and Zach Pollack (who now occupy the space with Sotto) were also part of the series.

Bill’s newest projects are the pending Republique with Walter Manzke (ex-Bastide) and Redbird with Neal Fraser (bld.)

Republique is looking at a late August or early September launch in the former Campanile space on S. La Brea Ave. It will include a 95-seat café in the style of Joan’s on Third as well as a French bistro that will be Walter’s adaption/refinement of Church & State (where he also previously ran the kitchen.)

Redbird is Neal Fraser’s long in the works restaurant for the former rectory building at St. Vibiana Cathedral in Downtown Los Angeles. The project is in plan check with the City and depending on construction issues is aiming for a late fourth quarter opening.

Play

February 16: Marcus Samuelsson, Dean McDermott, Chick Marshall, Nyesha Arrington, Greg Daniels, Brian Howard

Podcasts

Segment One: Dean McDermott, Actor, “The Gourmet Dad, and contestant on Season 2 of Food Network’s “Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-off”
Segment Two: Chick Marshall of Mr. Stox Restaurant, Anaheim
Segment Three: Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster and Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem. Author of Yes, Chef, his biography
Segment Four: Nyesha Arrrington the Executive Chef of The Wilshire in Santa Monica
Segment Five: Greg Daniels – Executive Chef & Partner of Haven Gastropub in Orange and Old Pasadena
Segment Six: Brian Howard, Executive Chef of Comme Ca by David Myers in the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

We’re honored to have one of the food world’s most prominent celebrity chefs with us to talk about an upcoming visit to Los Angeles. We’ll also be catching up with the results of a Food Network competition series and talking with an important Orange County chef as well as a Los Angeles celebrity chef with new ventures. Another feature is saying good-bye to an OC fine dining institution.

Dean McDermottWhen we left him six weeks ago, actor, reality TV star, and “Gourmet Dad,” Dean McDermott, was competing for “Team Guy” on Food Network’s “Rachael vs. Guy (Fieri) – Celebrity Cook-Off.”

The finale of “Rachael vs. Guy” on February 10th pitted singer and TV host Carnie Wilson of Team Rachael against Dean McDermott of Team Guy. The winner is to be awarded $50,000 for their charity of choice.

Dean joins us to share the results of the finale and what’s next for him.

Chick Marshall of Mr. Stox in AnaheimChick Marshall is one of the long-time, co-owners of the highly regarded OC fine dining institution, Mr. Stox, located near Angel Stadium. His partners are his brother, Ron, and Ron’s wife, Debbie. One of their trademarks is an extensive wine cellar of some 15,000 bottles, one of the largest in Orange County.

Mr. Stox launched in 1968 and the Marshall’s acquired the restaurant in 1977. Many of their loyal employees have been with them more than 20 years.

The Marshalls have decided to retire and March 15, 2013 will be the last dinner service for Mr. Stox. It’s a bittersweet transition for the regulars. Fortunately the Marshalls own their land which has been sold for residential and commercial development (combined with adjacent parcels.)

Marcus SamuelssonMarcus Samuelsson has cooked around the world but has settled into Harlem, New York as his home base. He owns the hugely successful Red Rooster and Ginny’s Supper Club there. Marcus has prepared State Dinners for President Obama as well as is the recipient of many prestigious culinary awards. Last year his very revealing autobiography, Yes, Chef, was published which should be required reading for every aspiring culinarian.

Marcus proudly serves on the National Board of the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) which provides foodservice training and career opportunities for underserved youth. Every year hundreds of thousands of dollars in culinary scholarships are awarded to deserving high school graduates in key cities across the USA to pursue careers in the culinary arts.

On Tuesday evening, February 26th Marcus Samuelsson will be joining forces with Chef Govind Armstrong to present “A Taste of Harlem” at Govind’s restaurant, Post & Beam, located in Baldwin Hills. The menu is reimagined soul classics. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to C-CAP Los Angeles.

Tickets are $140 per guest and the evening is very close to capacity.

For reservations : atasteofharlem.brownpapertickets.com

Nyesha Arrington of WilshireIn 2011 Nyesha Arrington (mentored by Melisse’s Josiah Citrin) became the executive chef of the (already established) The Wilshire in Santa Monica. Unusually, she won the coveted position in an intense cook-off on the first season of Food Network’s “Chef Hunter”.

She was also a popular cheftestant on Bravo’sTop Chef: Texas.”

The food has never been better at The Wilshire and Chef Arrington is a big supporter of the nearby Santa Monica Farmers Market.

Greg Daniels of Haven GastropubGreg Daniels is the well respected executive chef for the busy Haven Gastropubs in Orange and Old Pasadena. It’s innovative pub-grub fare that’s elevated. They feature a great beer list and now brew their own proprietary line of seasonal craft beers.

An Orange County craft brewer of note established & operated a well-stocked gourmet specialty food shop directly across the street from the original Haven Gastropub in Orange. They recently decided they just didn’t have the time available to properly maintain (the brewery is expanding) it so it was going to close. Haven Gastropub came to the rescue and their revamped food emporium, Provisions, will now be supervised by Chef Daniels. Happy ending for all…

Comme Ca is well-known, highly successful French bistro in West Hollywood so it was no surprise when owner/chef David Myers opened a branch in the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

What is very surprising is that instead of bringing in a chef de cuisine to simply execute David’s established recipes he recruited a young executive chef with imagination who has expanded the concept with his own creations for Las Vegas. He has an unusual amount of creative freedom in the kitchen.

Brian Howard of Comme Ca in Las VegasExecutive Chef Brian Howard will join us to talk about the freedom he has been given and why this has made the spot the most highly regarded French bistro in Las Vegas.

Great specialty cocktails, too.

Podcasts

Segment One: Dean McDermott, Actor, “The Gourmet Dad, and contestant on Season 2 of Food Network’s “Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-off”
Segment Two: Chick Marshall of Mr. Stox Restaurant, Anaheim
Segment Three: Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster and Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem. Author of Yes, Chef, his biography
Segment Four: Nyesha Arrrington the Executive Chef of The Wilshire in Santa Monica
Segment Five: Greg Daniels – Executive Chef & Partner of Haven Gastropub in Orange and Old Pasadena
Segment Six: Brian Howard, Executive Chef of Comme Ca by David Myers in the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas