Show 255, January 6, 2018: Executive Chef Brendan Collins, The Wilshire, Santa Monica

Brendan CollinsWe last spoke with Chef Brendan Collins when he was running the underappreciated Birch located on a side street just off Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood. He is now back on the Westside creating the rejuvenated menu at The Wilshire Restaurant in Santa Monica. Guests have already noticed the new energy there along with the refreshed commitment to service.

The transition is complete. The entire menu for lunch and dinner now represents Chef Brendan’s creations. The Roast has moved there too, from Noon to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.

“At Wilshire our menu has been developed by acclaimed Chef Brendan Collins around local, organic and seasonal ingredients taking advantage of our uniquely rich and diverse farmers’ markets. Dishes originate from a fusion of American and International influences presented in a simple and accessible style. We call this “New Urban Cuisine”, reflecting the modern sensibilities of supporting sustainable farming, enjoying sophisticated and excellent food, and gathering in a beautiful but casual atmosphere.”

“Wilshire is a neighborhood restaurant. We pride ourselves on friendly and attentive service, and look forward to welcoming you for lunch, dinner, or a cocktail sometime soon.”

Wilshire Happy Hour is in full swing from 3pm-7pm M-F and 5-8pm Saturdays. To cap off those long work weeks, the restaurant is serving $4-5 beers, $7-8 cocktails, $5-6 wine and a delicious array of bar bites starting at $6.

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Show 208, January 28, 2017: Executive Chef Danilo Ibarra of the Marriott Vancouver Airport Hotel

Danilo IbarraExecutive Chef Danilo Ibarra of the Marriott Vancouver Airport Hotel in Richmond. B.C. oversees The American Grille, The Lotus Land Lounge (very popular Happy Hour program) and all other food and beverage provided on-property. We’ll meet him.

The American Grille is part of the Dine Out Vancouver Festival on now through February 5th.

“Let our friendly servers make you feel at home, while our open kitchen concept gives you a behind the scenes look as food is being prepared. With every dish, we use fresh, locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible, giving you a taste of all the flavors the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Our central location on one of Richmond, BC’s busiest intersections makes the Grille a social hub for the community, so don’t be surprised if you run into a friend (or make some new ones). Parking is on us!”

Chef Danilo brought in some menu items to talk about and sample. He had a tasty and well-presented salmon cake and their standout Lobster Mac & Cheese served in a small, cast iron skillet.

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Show 134, August 8, 2015: Executive Chef Brendan Collins, Birch and The Corner Door Continued…

Brendan CollinsFor the past three years, The Corner Door has been known as one of the best spots for cocktails in all of Southern California, filling both the bar and dining room with guests imbibing on their always seasonal and innovative beverage program. And now, with Executive Chef Brendan Collins at the helm of the kitchen, The Corner Door has introduced a completely new Dinner Menu with eats to match.

Collins, formerly the chef at such notable spots as Melisse, Anisette and Palihouse, opened his own acclaimed restaurant Waterloo & City just next to The Corner Door until he decided to close (and sell) it late last year. Though he was also working on his newly opened Hollywood restaurant, Birch, at the same time, Collins was deeply invested in Culver City. “It is a close-knit community, and all the restaurants are friends with each other,” he says. “I lived and worked in Culver City for seven years, and wanted to keep a connection with the neighborhood.“

As Executive Chef, Collins will be cooking at The Corner Door at least one day a week, but his longtime lieutenant and Chef de Cuisine Ali Haji has taken charge of day-to-day operations. Haji has worked with Collins continually for the last eight years, beginning at Mesa, in Costa Mesa. “I am closer to Ali than anyone, maybe even my own wife,” Collins says. “He knows what I like and the standards I like to keep; he is ready to step up and run his own kitchen.”

The Corner Door has a popular, and agreeably affordable, Happy Hour program every day. The signature Avocado Toast with burrata, radish, arugula, olive oil and sea salt is a modest $6.00.

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Show 74, May 31, 2014: Executive Chef Scott Brandon, Fireside Tavern, Costa Mesa

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, comfortable 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.”

Breakfast is a buffet served from 6 to 9:00 a.m.

Fireside is a property of Sentinel Restaurant and Hospitality Group. Executive Chef Rainer Schwarz (ex-Patina Restaurant Group) is a partner.

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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