Show 262, February 24, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now an enticing preview of this Saturday’s crave-worthy show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re always here with you live every Saturday with a fresh show.

For the 24th consecutive year the celebrity chef to the stars, Wolfgang Puck, will set the stage for the Oscars’ Governors Ball menu pairing classic Hollywood glamour with culinary whimsy. Working alongside Chef Puck is Wolfgang Puck Catering’s Executive Chef and Vice President, Culinary, Eric Klein (formerly Executive Chef & Partner of Spago Las Vegas.) We’ll have an exclusive kitchen chat with Chef Eric.

Recognized as a warm and welcoming neighborhood eatery for creative modern New Mexican cuisine, lively happy hours, and communal gatherings, Long Beach’s Panxa Cocina solidifies its standing as a go-to staple for food and fun with the launch of “Mimosas & Mutts,” which started on February 17, 2018. Chef Proprietor Art Gonzalez puts on the just dog for us. (He has three canine charges in his own household.)

“In October 2011, Smog City Brewing Co. began brewing beer at the Tustin Brewing Co. (TBC) brewpub. By utilizing TBC’s excess fermentation capacity, Smog City was able to brew well-crafted beers, and personally distribute to restaurants and bars throughout Los Angeles County. We worked to create a presence in the craft brewing community and brewed and distributed 240 barrels in the first year.” In May of 2013 Smog City debuted their own brewery taproom in Torrance. Since then the Taproom has become an amazing home for locals and visitors alike.

Co-founder Laurie Porter taps the keg for us. She is also the President of the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild.

Cochon555, one of the nation’s most talked about premium food, wine and spirit celebration and live-event series, is back on the road in 2018, returning to the Los Angeles area on Sunday, March 11, 2018. Viceroy Santa Monica will play host to a hundred-plus prominent chefs, farmers, sommeliers, distillers, brewers and barkeeps all working in concert to create luxurious moments at this stand-up, all-inclusive bacchanal celebration of tasty heritage breed pork. Founder Brady Lowe is our “hog wild” guest.

Ever think much about the seemingly innocuous plastic straw ? Ultimately plastic doesn’t belong in the ocean yet that’s where millions of straws end up poisoning the ocean with a non-biodegradable item and actually harming sea creatures. Long Beach’s Berlin Bistro’s proprietress, Kerstin Kansteiner, is now taking the lead on making plastic straws “request only’ in a concerted effort to reduce straw pollution and “auto strawing.” Kerstin joins us with the 411 how you can help.

Our always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his “Ask the Chef” series. Ceviche and Poke are on a lot of restaurant menus these days. There is also a flood of Poke shops opening all over. How do they maintain consistent quality? The fish used needs to be super fresh. It’s the 411 on both Poke and Ceviche. Chef Andrew weighs in.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

Play

Show 262, February 24, 2018: Executive Chef Eric Klein, Vice President, Culinary, Wolfgang Puck Catering

Eric Klein of Wolfgang Puck CateringFor the 24th consecutive year the celebrity chef to the stars Wolfgang Puck will set the stage for the Oscars’ Governors Ball menu pairing classic Hollywood glamour with culinary whimsy. It’s for 1,500 VIP guests including Oscar winners and Nominees in the Ray Dolby Ballroom on the top level of the Hollywood & Highland Center. It starts immediately following the Oscar telecast on ABC.

Working alongside Chef Puck is Wolfgang Puck Catering’s Executive Chef and Vice President, Culinary, Eric Klein (formerly Executive Chef & Partner of Spago Las Vegas)

The culinary team creates more than 60 imaginative dishes from one-bite hors d’oeuvres to small-plate entrees that will be passed throughout the evening.

Some 32,000 plates of food will be enjoyed by the guests served by a team of 10 maitre d’ staff, 850 service and support staff and 300 culinary staff.

On the order list for the Governors Ball is 350 pounds of Atlantic Bigeye tuna, 15 kilos of American, farm-raised caviar, 250 Maine lobsters, 300 pounds of Miyazaki Wagyu beef, and 800 stone crab claws.

For the first time Ruby Chocolate, a 100 per cent sustainable varietal of limited production premium chocolate from Callebaut is on the menu.

The guests will toast with 1,400 bottles of Piper-Heidsieck (more than 12,000 glasses) and 2,400 bottles of fine wine from Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s Director’s Cut wine collection.

We’ll have an exclusive kitchen chat with Chef Eric.

Play

February 24: The Oscars and Governors Ball, Panxa Cocina, Smog City Brewing, Cochon555, Berlin Bistro

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Eric Klein, Vice President, Culinary, Wolfgang Puck Catering
Segment Three: Art Gonzalez, Chef / Proprietor, Panxa Cocina, Long Beach
Segment Four: Laurie Porter, Smog City Brewing Co. & President, L.A. County Brewers Guild Part One
Segment Five: Laurie Porter, Smog City Brewing Co. & President, L.A. County Brewers Guild Part Two
Segment Six: Brady Lowe, Founder, Cochon555
Segment Seven: Kerstin Kansteiner, Proprietress, Berlin Bistro, Long Beach
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef”

Now an enticing preview of this Saturday’s crave-worthy show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re always here with you live every Saturday with a fresh show.

For the 24th consecutive year the celebrity chef to the stars, Wolfgang Puck, will set the stage for the Oscars’ Governors Ball menu pairing classic Hollywood glamour with culinary whimsy. Working alongside Chef Puck is Wolfgang Puck Catering’s Executive Chef and Vice President, Culinary, Eric Klein (formerly Executive Chef & Partner of Spago Las Vegas. We’ll have an exclusive kitchen chat with Chef Eric.

Recognized as a warm and welcoming neighborhood eatery for creative modern New Mexican cuisine, lively happy hours, and communal gatherings, Long Beach’s Panxa Cocina solidifies its standing as a go-to staple for food and fun with the launch of “Mimosas & Mutts,” which started on February 17, 2018. Chef Proprietor Art Gonzalez puts on the just dog for us. (He has two canine charges in his own household.)

“In October 2011, Smog City Brewing Co. began brewing beer at the Tustin Brewing Co. (TBC) brewpub. By utilizing TBC’s excess fermentation capacity, Smog City was able to brew well-crafted beers, and personally distribute to restaurants and bars throughout Los Angeles County. We worked to create a presence in the craft brewing community and brewed and distributed 240 barrels in the first year.” In May of 2013 Smog City debuted their own brewery taproom in Torrance. Since then the Taproom has become an amazing home for locals and visitors alike.

Co-founder Laurie Porter taps the keg for us. She is also the President of the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild.

Cochon555, one of the nation’s most talked about premium food, wine and spirit celebration and live-event series, is back on the road in 2018, returning to the Los Angeles area on Sunday, March 11, 2018. Viceroy Santa Monica will play host to a hundred-plus prominent chefs, farmers, sommeliers, distillers, brewers and barkeeps all working in concert to create luxurious moments at this stand-up, all-inclusive bacchanal celebration of tasty heritage breed pork. Founder Brady Lowe is our “hog wild” guest.

Ever think much about the seemingly innocuous plastic straw ? Ultimately plastic doesn’t belong in the ocean yet that’s where millions of straws end up poisoning the ocean with a non-biodegradable item and actually harming sea creatures. Long Beach’s Berlin Bistro’s proprietress, Kerstin Kansteiner, is now taking the lead on making plastic straws “request only’ in a concerted effort to reduce straw pollution and “auto strawing.” Kerstin joins us.

Our always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his “Ask the Chef” series. Ceviche and Poke are on a lot of restaurant menus these days. There is also a flood of Poke shops opening all over. How do they maintain consistent quality? The fish used needs to be super fresh. It’s the 411 on both Poke and Ceviche. Chef Andrew weighs in.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

Eric Klein of Wolfgang Puck CateringFor the 24th consecutive year the celebrity chef to the stars Wolfgang Puck will set the stage for the Oscars’ Governors Ball menu pairing classic Hollywood glamour with culinary whimsy. It’s for 1,500 VIP guests including Oscar winners and Nominees in the Ray Dolby Ballroom on the top level of the Hollywood & Highland Center. It starts immediately following the Oscar telecast on ABC.

Working alongside Chef Puck is Wolfgang Puck Catering’s Executive Chef and Vice President, Culinary, Eric Klein (formerly Executive Chef & Partner of Spago Las Vegas.)

The culinary team creates more than 50 imaginative dishes from one-bite hors d’oeuvres to small-plate entrees that will be passed throughout the evening.

Some 32,000 plates of food will be enjoyed by the guests served by a team of 10 maitre d’ staff, 850 service and support staff and 300 culinary staff.

On the order list for the Governors Ball is 350 pounds of Atlantic Bigeye tuna, 15 kilos of American, farm-raised caviar, 250 Maine lobsters, 300 pounds of Miyazaki Wagyu beef, and 800 stone crab claws.

The guests will toast with 1,400 bottles of Piper-Heidsieck (more than 12,000 glasses) and 2,400 bottles of fine wine from Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s Director’s Cut wine collection.

We’ll have an exclusive kitchen chat with Chef Eric.

Arthur GonzalezRecognized as a warm and welcoming neighborhood eatery for creative modern New Mexican cuisine, lively happy hours, and communal gatherings, Long Beach’s Panxa Cocina solidifies its standing as a go-to staple for food and fun with the launch of “Mimosas & Mutts,” which started on February 17, 2018.

This monthly brunch gathering features a special invite to our four-legged friends as Executive Chef and Owner Arthur Gonzalez welcomes brunch-goers to bring their canine companions to the sunny patio at Panxa Cocina located in the buzzing Belmont Heights neighborhood on the third Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The convivial brunch event launched on the first weekend of the Year of the Dog in the Chinese Lunar calendar, with much fanfare and Instagram-worthy local dogs. The monthly gathering provides a dog-friendly menu of Southwestern staples like rice and beans for the slobbery set, as well as a free juice flight to accompany bottles of champagne for thirsty dog moms and dads.

“Panxa Cocina encourages all dog-owners to enjoy favorites from the New Mexican-inspired brunch menu, including Blue Corn Piñon Pancakes, Chilaquilas Roja, Smothered Breakfast Burrito, and Stacked Enchiladas, as well as classic and new-fangled brunch libations from accomplished Bar Manager Greg Goins. Guests are also encouraged to use the hashtag: #pupsatpanxa to share their experiences on social media.”

Chef Proprietor Art Gonzalez puts on the just dog for us. (He has two canine charges in his own household.)

Laurie Porter“In October 2011, Smog City Brewing Co. began brewing beer at the Tustin Brewing Co. (TBC) brewpub. By utilizing TBC’s excess fermentation capacity, Smog City was able to brew well-crafted beers, and personally distribute to restaurants and bars throughout Los Angeles County. We worked to create a presence in the craft brewing community and brewed and distributed 240 barrels in the first year.”

“By 2012, we’d grown faster than ever expected. After the purchase of our own full-scale brewing equipment, we formalized plans for our new brewery and taproom in Torrance, CA. In 2013, we received final building and license approvals and began brewing and opened our brewery taproom in May of 2013. Our Taproom in Torrance has become an amazing home for locals and visitors alike.”

“In January of 2017, we had an opportunity to join a unique and progressive project called SteelCraft in Long Beach. SteelCraft is a re-purposed outdoor food hall made entirely out of recycled shipping containers. This gorgeous outdoor beer garden has plenty of flavorful food options to choose from while you drink a delicious Smog City Beer.”

“Stop in and see us for a taste of our proven and experimental beers in Long Beach or a tour of our brewery & taproom in Torrance.”

Co-founder Laurie Porter taps the keg for us. She is also the President of the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild.

Laurie Porter is also The President of the L.A. County Brewers Guild with over 50-member breweries in Los Angeles County.

The mission of the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild is to promote and protect local independently-owned craft breweries and advocate for the strengthening of the craft beer industry. The LABG strives to encourage the growth of world-class beer culture within L.A. county through various educational efforts and aims to stimulate growth through community engagement. Formally founded in 2013, the LABG is a federally recognized 501(c)6 non-profit organization.

Brady Lowe of Cochon 555Cochon555, one of the nation’s most talked about premium food, wine and spirit celebration and live-event series, is back on the road in 2018, returning to the Los Angeles area on Sunday, March 11, 2018. Viceroy Santa Monica will play host to a hundred-plus prominent chefs, farmers, sommeliers, distillers, brewers and barkeeps all working in concert to create luxurious moments at this stand-up, all-inclusive bacchanal celebration of tasty heritage breed pork.

Cochon555’s 2018 group of cutting-edge chefs from across the city has each participant cooking one whole heritage breed pig raised by a family farm. The competing chefs include Sammy Monsour of Preux & Proper, Brian Redzikowski of Kettner Exchange, Thomas Bille of Otium, Lord Maynard Llera of Mason and Hugo Bolanos of Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air.

One week before the event, each chef receives a 200-pound heritage breed pig sustainably sourced from Cook Pigs Ranch, Rancho Llano Seco, Winfield Farm, Sowbelly Sustainable Farm, and Peads & Barnetts to create a maximum of 6 dishes for competition. With dozens of bites from iconic local chefs, boutique distillers, and artisan winemakers, the event is akin to an epic tasting menu of heritage breed pork with endless beverage pairings taken standing up.

To win the friendly competition for a cause, a chef’s menu must woo twenty celebrity judges with their “Judge’s Plate” scored on utilization; technique; and overall flavor and be voted “best bite of the day” by guests. The winning “Prince or Princess of Pork” in Los Angeles will advance to the national finale, Grand Cochon, a head-to-tail, winner-takes-all showdown for the crown in Chicago on September 30th.

Founder Brady Lowe is our “hog wild” guest.

Kerstin KansteinerEver think much about the seemingly innocuous plastic straw? Ultimately plastic doesn’t belong in the ocean yet that’s where millions of straws end up poisoning the ocean with a non-biodegradable item and harmful to sea creatures.

Long Beach’s Berlin Bistro’s community-minded proprietress, Kerstin Kansteiner, is now taking the lead on making plastic straws “request only’ in a concerted effort to reduce straw pollution and “auto strawing.”

  • Americans go through 500 million plastic straws a day!
  • The USA can fill up 127 school buses with the straws we use every single day in this country

Kerstin joins us.

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamOur always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his Ask the Chef series. Ceviche and Poke are on a lot of restaurant menus these days. There is also a flood of Poke shops opening all over. How do they maintain consistent quality? The fish used needs to be super fresh. It’s the 411 on both Poke and Ceviche.

Chef Andrew weighs in.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Eric Klein, Vice President, Culinary, Wolfgang Puck Catering
Segment Three: Art Gonzalez, Chef / Proprietor, Panxa Cocina, Long Beach
Segment Four: Laurie Porter, Smog City Brewing Co. & President, L.A. County Brewers Guild Part One
Segment Five: Laurie Porter, Smog City Brewing Co. & President, L.A. County Brewers Guild Part Two
Segment Six: Brady Lowe, Founder, Cochon555
Segment Seven: Kerstin Kansteiner, Proprietress, Berlin Bistro, Long Beach
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef”

Show 212, February 25, 2017: Executive Chef Eric Klein, Vice President, Culinary, Wolfgang Puck Catering

Eric Klein of Wolfgang Puck CateringFor the 23rd consecutive year the celebrity chef to the stars Wolfgang Puck will set the stage for the Oscars’ Governors Ball menu pairing classic Hollywood glamour with culinary whimsy. It’s for 1,500 VIP guests including Oscar winners and Nominees in the Ray Dolby Ballroom on the top level of the Hollywood & Highland Center. It starts immediately followiing the Oscar telecast. Talk about a hungry crowd…

Working alongside Chef Puck is Wolfgang Puck Catering’s Executive Chef and Vice President, Culinary, Eric Klein (formerly Executive Chef & Partner of Spago Las Vegas, Wolfgang’s first restaurant in Las Vegas.)

The culinary team creates more than 50 imaginative dishes from one-bite hors d’oeuvres to small-plate entrees that will be passed throughout the evening.

Some 32,000 plates of food will be enjoyed by the guests served by a team of 10 maitre d’ staff, 950 service and support staff and 300 culinary staff.

On the order list for the Governors Ball is 350 pounds of Atlantic Bigeye tuna, 10 kilos of American, farm-raised caviar, 250 Maine lobsters, and 800 stone crab claws.

The guests will toast with 1,400 bottles of Piper-Heidsieck (more than 12,000 glasses) and 2,200 bottles of fine wine from Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

Favorite guest comfort foods are Smoked Salmon Oscar Matzo, Chicken Pot Pie with Black Truffle, and Baked Potato with Caviar. New for this year is Vegan Gnocchetti (fresh) with Braised Mushrooms and Cashew Cream.

We’ll have an exclusive kitchen chat with Chef Eric.

Play

Show 203, December 24, 2016: Eric Klein, Executive Chef, Vice President Culinary, Wolfgang Puck Catering

Eric KleinFor the last nine years Chef Eric Klein has been the face of Spago Las Vegas for Wolfgang Puck as Partner & Executive Chef. When superstars perform at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace they specifically ask to have Chef Eric cook for them.

Chef Eric just earned a well-deserved promotion within the Wolfgang Puck organization. He’s now back in Los Angeles as Executive Chef of Wolfgang Puck Catering based at Hollywood & Highland, the home of the annual Academy Awards Ceremony at The Dolby Theater.

Wolfgang Puck Catering provides all the food for The Governor’s Ball which follows the Oscar ceremony every year. You can’t find a more prestigious (or demanding) client than The Oscars! Every winner passes through the Governor’s Ball. Talk about pressure to dazzle…

We’ll rattle pans with Chef Eric.

Play

Show 111, February 21, 2015: Executive Chef Eric Klein, Spago Las Vegas

Eric KleinExecutive Chef & Partner Eric Klein of Spago Las Vegas was a sous chef under Lee Hefter at the original Spago. He had his share of working pressure-packed Oscar nights there and at The Governors’ Ball. Eric has been the highly visible executive chef & partner on Spago Las Vegas in the Forum Shops since April of 2007.

Wolfgang Puck has been associated with serving food at the Oscars for 21 years. On Sunday, February 22nd Chef Eric hosted an Awards Night Party at Spago Las Vegas. The 7-course tasting menu is inspired by the cuisine (some 50 dishes) Chef Puck will be serving the same night at The Governors’ Ball at Hollywood & Highland.

One of the official desserts, an Apple Millefeuille with brown butter sauce and apple cider jelly, was on Chef Eric’s menu, too. Every lucky guest will leave with a special chocolate Oscar painted with edible gold (originally created by Chef Wolfgang’s former executive pastry chef, Sherry Yard.) The guests at the official Governors Ball in Hollywood receive the same coveted keepsake!

Chef Eric Klein is our guest.

Play

Show 74, May 31, 2014: Chef Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang PuckWhat is now known as California Cuisine never had a better day than when Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck opened the original Spago on The Sunset Strip in 1982. Its ambitions were modest…

Now the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group has restaurants around the world with a second stronghold in Las Vegas.

Chef Puck was the first Chef to cook a meal at New York’s famed James Beard House. He is also the recipient of multiple James Beard Foundation Awards.

Another high-profile division, Wolfgang Puck Catering, provides the food for the annual Governors Ball for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Wolfgang is better known internationally than many of the celebrities who he graciously serves!

Finally, Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc. franchises casual Wolfgang Puck restaurants, licenses consumer products, is involved in book publishing, television and internet programming, and other licensing and merchandising efforts.

Wolfgang Puck’s most recent book, Wolfgang Puck Makes It Healthy – Light, Delicious Recipes and Easy Exercises for a Better Life is a personal project for him.

In the words of Chef Wolfgang Puck :

“I never, ever expected to write this book. If you had suggested to me ten years ago, or even five, that my next book would focus on healthy recipes and fitness, I would’ve said you didn’t know me very well.

I have figured out where I can modify ingredients to make a healthier dish. And today I can eat all my favorite foods without overeating anything.

I feel good because of the combination of eating well and exercising I’ve developed. Now I want to help you achieve the same goal, to feel healthy and happy, with plenty of energy to do the things you love to do.”

Chef Wolfgang’s practical advice is to cut down on the consumption of processed foods. Work more fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet along with more fish and chicken. It’s really worked for him! He proudly keeps up with his older boys now on their skiing adventures.

Play

May 31: Wolfgang Puck, Cathy Thomas, Coffee Bean, Fireside Tavern, Joan’s on Third,

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Cathy Thomas, food journalist, Orange County Register and Los Angeles Register
Segment Three: Jay Isais, Senior Director, Coffee Roasting and Manufacturing, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
Segment Four: Chef Wolfgang Puck
Segment Five: Executive Chef Scott Brandon, Fireside Tavern, Costa Mesa
Segment Six: Chester Hastings, Cheesemonger and Chef, Joan’s on Third, Los Angeles
Segment Seven: Bill Esparza, “The Street Gourmet” & Curator for Tacolandia Part One
Segment Eight: Bill Esparza, “The Street Gourmet” & Curator for Tacolandia Part Two

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Pioneering California Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck with destination restaurants around the globe really needs no introduction. Among many accomplishments he cooks for the VIP guests at the Oscars every year. His new book, Wolfgang Puck Makes it Healthy : Light, Delicious Recipes and Easy Exercises for a Better Life is a true labor of love.

The Orange County Register’s award-winning food writer, Cathy Thomas, has just returned from a cruise on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth. She shares her travel and food adventures in India and Singapore.

What’s the most exotic coffee bean in the world ? Our resident coffee expert from the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has the unexpected answer. It’s unusual…

The 2nd Annual Tacolandia (“Where All Your Taco Dreams Come True”) is coming up June 28th. The Taco in Chief (a.k.a. “The Street Gourmet,”) Bill Esparza, serves it up.

Understanding and selecting specialty cheese can be a bit intimidating. Cheesemonger extraordinaire, Chester Hastings, to the rescue!

Fireside Tavern is an undiscovered gem of a new destination restaurant in the unlikely location of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Costa Mesa just off the 405 Freeway. The secret is Executive Chef Scott Brandon.

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

Special Note:
Michael Puglisi
You’ve heard Chef Michael Puglisi (ex-Bouchon Beverly Hills) of the soon-to-be Electric City Butcher in The (upcoming) 4th Street Market in Santa Ana on the show.

On Monday, June 2nd Chef Puglisi is part of a special Chef’s Dinner at 320 Main – New American Eatery in Seal Beach.

The 6-course menu is from Chef Puglisi, Chef Jaime Carrano of 320 Main, and Chef Eddie Ruiz of Corazon y Miel. Corazon y Miel in Bell was just included in Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants 2014 as presented in the Los Angeles Times.

Chefs Michael and Eddie also work together at the recently opened PICNIK in Old Pasadena. “These three friends are pleased to bring an amazing menu and incredible dining experience for the latest in 320 Main’s Chef’s Dinner series.”

$95 per guest including tax and gratuity.

Reservations & Information: 562.799.6246.

Cathy ThomasCathy Thomas is the long-established food writer and former Food Editor at The Orange County Register. She has won numerous well-deserved awards for her journalism and is a good friend of chefs and restaurateurs.

Cathy Thomas was just on a short leg (12 days) of Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth’s World Cruise. She left the ship for four days on land in India traveling to the Taj Mahal. Cathy will enlighten us on luxury cruising, Indian street food, and dining at Ku De Ta, a hot restaurant in Singapore with an incredible view.

Look for Cathy’s piece on Indian Street Food in an upcoming Wednesday Food Section in the Orange County Register.

Jay Isais of the Coffee Bean and Tea LeafJay (“Eye-Zay-Us”) Isais is the Senior Director, Coffee Roasting and Manufacturing, for the Coffee Bean and Teal Leaf.

The rarest coffee beans in the world (from Sumatra) must be the Kopi Luwak beans. They are “harvested” in an unusual way.

Jay explains this highly sought-after coffee oddity…

Wolfgang PuckWhat is now known as California Cuisine never had a better day than when Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck opened the original Spago on The Sunset Strip in 1982. Its ambitions were modest…

Now the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group has restaurants around the world with a second stronghold in Las Vegas.

Chef Puck was the first Chef to cook a meal at New York’s famed James Beard House. He is also the recipient of multiple James Beard Foundation Awards.

Another high-profile division, Wolfgang Puck Catering, provides the food for the Annual Governors Ball for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Wolfgang is better known internationally than many of the celebrities who he graciously serves !

Another unit, Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc. franchises casual Wolfgang Puck restaurants, licenses consumer products, is involved in book publishing, television and internet programming, and other licensing and merchandising efforts.

Wolfgang Puck’s most recent book, Wolfgang Puck Makes It Healthy – Light, Delicious Recipes and Easy Exercises for a Better Life is a personal project for him.
In the words of Chef Wolfgang Puck :

“I never, ever expected to write this book. If you had suggested to me ten years ago, or even five, that my next book would focus on healthy recipes and fitness, I would’ve said you didn’t know me very well.

I have figured out where I can modify ingredients to make a healthier dish. And today I can eat all my favorite foods without overeating anything.

I feel good because of the combination of eating well and exercising I’ve developed. Now I want to help you achieve the same goal, to feel healthy and happy, with plenty of energy to do the things you love to do.”

Scott Brandon of Fireside TavernFireside Tavern is an undiscovered gem of a new destination restaurant in the unlikely location of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Costa Mesa just off the 405 Freeway. The secret is Executive Chef Scott Brandon.

Chef Scott’s credits include Oysters in Corona del Mar, Crow Bar and Kitchen in Corona del Mar, and LinX in Old Towne Orange.

It’s located just South of South Coast Plaza.

The space is inviting and there is an outside patio with lots of shade.

There is a great Happy Hour menu served daily from 3 to 6:00 p.m. and then again from 10 to midnight. Lots of fun & appealing food selections and libations priced at a good value.

“Fireside is an American gastropub, offering a contemporary menu of upscale tavern fare for lunch and dinner. Fireside features a menu of freshly sourced meat, seafood and cheese, along with a bar menu of small plates. The bar serves an array of American wines, craft draft beer, and signature cocktails.”

Chester HastingsCheesemonger (and Chef) Chester Hastings of Joan’s on Third in Los Angeles literally wrote the book on enjoying cheese. His latest title is The Cheesemonger’s Seasons – Recipes for Enjoying Cheese with Ripe Fruits and Vegetables. His first cheese book was the well-reviewed, The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen.

The Cheesemonger’s Season contains ninety amazing cheese-centric recipes, from appetizers to desserts, all of them simple, and each one showcasing the absolute best of what the season has to offer.

When Chester started at Joan’s over 12 years ago they carried seven varieties of cheese. Today they stock over 100 varieties of domestic and imported cheeses.

Bill EsparzaThe 2nd Annual Tacolandia (“Where All Your Taco Dreams Come True”) is coming up June 28th at El Pueblo De Los Angeles. The hours are 3 to 7:00 p.m.

The Taco in Chief, Bill Esparza (a.k.a. “The Street Gourmet,”) serves it up.

It’s 40 plus taco vendors, the Tequila Tasting Experience, and live Mariachi entertainment.

Bill previews the incredible taco creations of a number of the chefs participating in LA Weekly’s Tacolandia. The best tacos on food trucks, too…

The 2nd Annual Tacolandia (“Where All Your Taco Dreams Come True”) is coming up June 28th at El Pueblo De Los Angeles. The hours are 3 to 7:00 p.m.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Cathy Thomas, food journalist, Orange County Register and Los Angeles Register
Segment Three: Jay Isais, Senior Director, Coffee Roasting and Manufacturing, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
Segment Four: Chef Wolfgang Puck
Segment Five: Executive Chef Scott Brandon, Fireside Tavern, Costa Mesa
Segment Six: Chester Hastings, Cheesemonger and Chef, Joan’s on Third, Los Angeles
Segment Seven: Bill Esparza, “The Street Gourmet” & Curator for Tacolandia Part One
Segment Eight: Bill Esparza, “The Street Gourmet” & Curator for Tacolandia Part Two

Show 63, March 1, 2013: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Fat Tuesday and the craziness of Mardi Gras are next week We’ll tell you where you can get an authentic taste of New Orleans locally. You’ll meet the very hospitable Donato Poto, the co-owner of both Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood and one of the finest, high-end seafood restaurants in the West, Providence. The Oscars are upon us. Mar Yvette, the Lifestyle Reporter for Fox 11 News, talks to us about what’s on the menu for the 2014 Oscars Governor’s Ball at Hollywood & Highland. This is Wolfgang Puck’s (and his teams) 20th year creating the dazzling menu for the Oscars! Also where the stars dine…

Eat LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week kicks off on March 30th. Executive Chef Dean James Max of James Republic in Long Beach is with us to preview his menu. When it comes to elegant, destination resorts they don’t come more highly acclaimed than Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado. Carlton McCoy (an accredited Master Sommelier) is their 29-year old Wine Director. We’ll hear his inspiring story. Chef Jet was a Judge at last Sunday’s Cochon 555 – An Epic Heritage Pork Event at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. Jet takes us behind-the-scenes at this eagerly anticipated and highly competitive event that tours the country. Oink…

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

Play

March 1: Brandon Boudet, Dean James Max, Mar Yvette, Donato Poto, Carlton McCoy, Robert Schueller, Cochon 555

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Brandon Boudet, Dominick’s and Little Dom’s, Los Angeles.
Segment Three: Executive Chef James Dean Max, James Republic, Long Beach
Segment Four: Mar Yvette, Lifestyle reporter, Fox 11 News & “Good Day L.A.”
Segment Five: Donato Poto, Partner, Connie & Ted’s, West Hollywood, and Providence, Hollywood
Segment Six: Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy, Wine Director, Little Nell, Aspen, CO
Segment Seven: Jet Tila reporting on Cochon 555 Los Angeles

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Fat Tuesday and the craziness of Mardi Gras are next week We’ll tell you where you can get an authentic taste of New Orleans locally. You’ll meet the very hospitable Donato Poto, the co-owner of both Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood and one of the finest, high-end seafood restaurants in the West, Providence. The Oscars are upon us. Mar Yvette, the Lifestyle Reporter for Fox 11 News, talks to us about what’s on the menu for the 2014 Oscars Governor’s Ball at Hollywood & Highland. This is Wolfgang Puck’s (and his teams) 20th year creating the dazzling menu for the Oscars! Also where the stars dine…

Eat LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week kicks off on March 30th. Executive Chef Dean James Max of James Republic in Long Beach is with us to preview his menu. When it comes to elegant, destination resorts they don’t come more highly acclaimed than Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado. Carlton McCoy (an accredited Master Sommelier) is their 29-year old Wine Director. We’ll hear his inspiring story. Organic fruits and vegetables are top of the mind. Our resident Professor of Produce, Robert Schueller from Melissa’s, is back with an informative update on organics. Chef Jet was a Judge at last Sunday’s Cochon 555 – An Epic Heritage Pork Event at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. Jet takes us behind-the-scenes at this eagerly anticipated and highly competitive event that tours the country.

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

Brandon Boudet of Dominick’s, Little Dom’s and Tom Bergin’sChef Brandon Boudet is the co-owner and head chef for Dominick’s and Little Dom’s. He’s a proud native of New Orleans.

Each year Dominick’s and Little Dom’s celebrate Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday in true Bourbon Street Style. On their menu are special cocktails, bites and of course, Jambalaya and red beans and rice. Chef Brandon explains the mysteries of the King Cake.

Coming up in May are two Saturdays of crawfish boils.

James Republic combines modern sensibilities with old-world principles to afford a genuine gathering place for the neighborhood and a distinctive dining destination in the heart of Long Beach. Weekend brunch on the patio is a popular attraction for the locals.

James Republic is one of over 50 restaurants participating in EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week running from March 30 to April 5th.

The style of food at James Republic is what they call “modern California coastal” dining. The goal is to highlight the season’s vibrant, locally sourced bounty from both the land and sea.

Dean James MaxThe Chef and Partner is Dean James Max whose base is in Florida. His flagship is 3030 Ocean restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale. He has been nominated for James Beard Awards, has authored two cookbooks, and has the honor of cooking at The Beard Foundation in Manhattan regularly.

He now has restaurants in Columbus, Ohio; Grand Cayman; Cleveland; and Trumbull, CT.

In Los Angeles Chef Max is remembered as the owner/chef of Woodside in Brentwood in the late 90s. It was highly regarded and well-reviewed.

Mar YvetteMar Yvette is the Lifestyle Reporter for Fox 11 News right here in Los Angeles.

We’re talking about cuisine worthy of Oscar! For the 20th year Wolfgang Puck and his highly talented team of chefs and associates will prepare the exquisite menu for the 2014 Oscars Governor’s Ball held in the Ray Dolby Ballroom on the top level of the Hollywood & Highland Center. We’ll preview the menu!

Think 1,250 Stone Crab claws for the 1,500 invited guests.

Mar also highlights some of the hidden restaurants in Los Angeles where the celebrities go to simply enjoy the great food and not be noticed! Mar points out that the celebs love the restaurants in luxury hotels. Think Culina Modern Italian at The Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.

Donato PotoDonato Poto is the ever-gracious, “Mr. Hospitality,” when it comes to seasoned restaurant General Managers on the volatile Los Angeles dining scene. He speaks three languages including Italian, French, and English.

In the mid 80s he was the GM of Piero Selvaggio’s Primi in West Los Angeles. At lunch this was the unofficial commissary for the senior executives, producers, writers, and actors & actresses at the nearby Twentieth Century Fox Studios. If you were anybody this is where you lunched. Talk about pressure…

Today Donato is a partner in both Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood and Providence in Hollywood.

Connie & Ted’s was just selected as a Semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant. His business partner, Chef Michael Cimarusti was also recognized as a semifinalist for The James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: West for Providence.

Donato’s other partner in Connie and Ted’s, Craig Nickoloff, founded the hugely successful Claim Jumper Restaurants.

The Little Nell is an acclaimed five star, five diamond luxury property in Aspen, Colorado. It’s Aspen’s only ski-in/ski out luxury hotel. The destination restaurant there is element 47 restaurant.

Carlton McCoyCarlton McCoy, a Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) graduate, is the greatly admired Wine Director there. He is also a certified Master Sommelier, an incredibly elite group. He’s just 29.

Carlton will share with us his inspiring story of growing up in a rough area of Washington, D.C. (known as the “murder capital”) and finding his way (through hard-work) to the privileged affluence of Aspen.

“Growing up, there wasn’t wine on the table at my house, like in many black households,” Carlton said.” But wine is for everyone. Every time I approach a table or talk about wine, it isn’t coming from a place of snobbery or elitism. It’s about figuring out what people like, finding the right wine to appeal to our guests and ultimately having it enhance their experience at the table with friends and family.”

Organic fruits and vegetables are getting a lot of attention these days. With the fresh concern about GMOs in food, certified organic fruits and vegetables are, by definition, free of GMOs.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceOur resident Professor of Produce, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce, is back with us to discuss what’s new in organics.

Melissa’s is the largest variety supplier of fresh organic produce in the USA.

All the varieties of organic Kale are the hot item in produce right now. Organic Pixie Tangerines (easy to peel and sweet) are leading the charge in fresh citrus.

The COCHON U.S. Tour events serve as a link to preserving heritage breed pigs by promoting breed diversity in communities nationwide. The coast-to-coast tour connects ranchers raising heritage breeds with top chefs known for whole animal utilization.

Jet Tila at Cochon 555The Los Angeles stop of the Cochon 555 tour was Sunday, Feb. 23rd at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. Five Chefs worked with five heritage pigs in an intense competition. Chef Ray Garcia of Fig Restaurant was the defending champion.

Our own Chef Jet Tila was a judge. He also cooked the heritage pig for the After Party (Cochon Late Night Asian Speakeasy.) The heritage pig was a Kune Kune (they like to feed on grass) from Rainbow Ranch Farm.

Jet will report on this year’s “Epic Heritage Pork Event.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Brandon Boudet, Dominick’s and Little Dom’s, Los Angeles.
Segment Three: Executive Chef James Dean Max, James Republic, Long Beach
Segment Four: Mar Yvette, Lifestyle reporter, Fox 11 News & “Good Day L.A.”
Segment Five: Donato Poto, Partner, Connie & Ted’s, West Hollywood, and Providence, Hollywood
Segment Six: Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy, Wine Director, Little Nell, Aspen, CO
Segment Seven: Jet Tila reporting on Cochon 555 Los Angeles