Show 238, August 26, 2017: Chef Sherry Yard, Corporate Vice President of Culinary Direction, iPic Entertainment

Sherry YardThe Los Angeles Times The Taste is an annual festival celebrating the flavors of the world in Southern California style. Hosted by The Times’ editorial staff and acclaimed L.A. chefs and bartenders, The Taste will transform Hollywood’s Paramount Pictures Studios into the ultimate epicurean pop-up and block party over Labor Day weekend (Sept. 1-3). Admission to each of the five events includes unlimited tastings from the city’s best kitchens and a variety of wine, beer and seasonal cocktails. Chef highlights from the 3-day event include Sherry Yard, Jet Tila and Antonia Lofaso.

Noelle Carter and Chef Sherry Yard host the Sunday Block Party from 12 Noon to 3:00 p.m. Great food and good times are the order of the day at the block party on the backlot, where Yard will demystify pastry-baking for home cooks and David LeFevre (Manhattan Beach Post) will give a master class on making biscuits. Noelle Carter will host a talk with Chris Phelps (Salt’s Cure) about what it means to brunch at some of the most innovative spots around town, with additional panelists to be announced. Restaurants include Cheezus, Cocobella Creamery, Dog Haus, E.A.K. Ramen, Hotville Chicken & Chops, Hummus Yummy Food Truck, MessHall, Otium, Rosaliné, Slapfish The Butcher’s Daughter, Tuck Room Tavern and more.

Sherry Yard of Westwood’s Tuck Room Tavern joins us in this segment with more of the sweet and savory details. Sherry’s Tuck Room Tavern brunch is so popular that it’s now being done on both Saturday and Sunday.

She is just back from Dobbs Ferry, NY from the opening of the City Perch Kitchen & Bar in the new iPic theater complex there.

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Show 200, December 3, 2016: Chef Director Ryan Wagner, CulinaryLab Contemporary Cooking School, Tustin

Ryan Wagner of CulinaryLabCulinaryLab Contemporary Cooking School in a newly built facility in Tustin offers an immersive, hands-on education for all levels of cooks including aspiring chefs, serious home cooks and industry professionals. Class sizes are deliberately kept small.

“What’s the best way to learn about working in a professional kitchen? To work in one, of course. Students who choose our apprenticeship program will have the opportunity to work approximately 1,500 hours as a paid apprentice at one of our partner restaurants, gaining hours of practice and real world experience that is normally reserved for those who have already graduated culinary school. By reinforcing what they’re learning while simultaneously working in a real professional kitchen, our students are faster, more skilled and better prepared to excel in the foodservice industry.”

“Instead of spending countless hours reading culinary textbooks as homework or sitting through uninspired lectures, our students watch comprehensive video demonstrations and navigate online curriculum.”

“At CulinaryLab we measure our success by how our students perform in the real world.

If they fail, so do we. When they succeed, we do too. We put it all on the line for them.”

– Ryan Wagner, Chef Director

Chef Director Ryan Wagner, C.E.C. is the founder of the program. We’ll meet him.

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Show 189, September 17, 2016: Daniel Del Coro, National Director of Sales, Sea to Table

Daniel Del CoroOwned and operated by the Dimin family, Sea to Table partners with independent fishermen and commercial docks in 44 traditional fishing communities from Alaska to Maine, creating better markets for their catch. Shipping to over 1,000 chefs at restaurants and institutions in 46 states, Sea to Table only sources wild, domestic seafood that is sustainably harvested and traceable directly to the point of landing.

On vacation in 1996, the Dimin family found their way to the remote village of Charlotteville on Tobago, a small island in the West Indies. It was love at first sight with the vibrant fishing community. Fishermen there used the same traditional wooden pirogues and hand-line methods of their great-grandfathers, keeping fish populations abundant.

At the end of one extraordinary day with local fisherman ‘Double D’ on his boat ‘I Get Dream,’ the Dimins arrived back to port alongside other boats overflowing with fish, but with a problem: No external market to sell their bountiful catch. That day an idea was born: If the fishermen of Tobago could be connected with chefs in New York, both would benefit. The rest is, well, history and no fish tale.

Coming up before the end of the year is a new program where home cooks can source fresh seafood direct from Sea to Table. Keep up with the Sea to Table Website for details.

Sea to Table’s National Director of Restaurant Sales, Daniel Del Coro joins us.

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July 5: Tiffany Derry, FoodGPS Rib Fest, Oak Grill, Aqua Lounge, Tal Ronnen

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Tiffany Derry of Dallas, Texas Part One
Segment Three: Celebrity Chef Tiffany Derry of Dallas, Texas Part Two
Segment Four: Food GPS’ Josh Lurie and Chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage Co. and Escala
Segment Five: Miguel Rodriguez, General Manager and Executive Chef Marc Johnson, Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge, The Island Hotel, Newport Beach Part One
Segment Six: Miguel Rodriguez, General Manager and Executive Chef Marc Johnson, Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge, The Island Hotel, Newport Beach Part Two
Segment Seven: Tal Ronnen, founder and executive chef of Crossroads restaurant, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Eight: Tal Ronnen, founder and executive chef of Crossroads restaurant, Los Angeles Part Two

Jet Tila and Producer Andy preview the show.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chef Tiffany is a graduate of The Art Institute of Houston and now serves as a national spokesperson for the Art Institute’s Culinary Arts Program.

World Food Championships on FYI“Hosted in Las Vegas, The World Food Championships is one of the most ambitious and authentic food competitions held annually. The series (6 one-hour episodes) follows talented home cooks and professional chefs from across America as they compete to create dishes mouth-wateringly creative enough to win their food category. From BBQ, to bacon to family recipes – there is a winner for each competition, culminating in a grand finale with a shot at winning a $50,000 prize. Co-hosted by Jeffrey Saad, chef, author and LA-based restaurant owner; and Dallas-based chef, Tiffany Derry. Produced by Sharp Entertainment.”

Chef Tiffany is performing a cooking demo at the Napa Valley Festival Del Sole on July 12th as part of that day’s “Taste of Napa.”

Chef Tiffany provides an overview of the dynamic Dallas dining scene. It’s about getting out to the neighborhoods…

Joshua Lurie of Food GPS“The inaugural Food GPS Rib Festival is taking place on Sunday, July 13th, from 4 to 7:00 p.m., at Chinatown’s historic Central Plaza. This chef-driven, all-inclusive event spotlights 12 of L.A.’s best chefs preparing unique rib preparations and sides. Guests will also enjoy desserts, craft beers, cocktails and soda.”

Food GPS Founder Josh Lurie and Chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage Co., Escala, and Houston Hospitality preview the Festival.

Marc JohnsonThe Island Hotel in Newport Beach has a history of offering distinctive destination dining. As part of a major refreshening of the property The Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge have just debuted in the space that was previously the well-liked Palm Terrace. This was an over 5-month redo on a major budget…This is easily the most anticipated opening of the year in Orange County.

The Executive Chef is Marc Johnson and the seasoned General Manager is Miguel Rodriquez. Both moved over from the popular Mastro’s Ocean Club in the Crystal Cove Promenade on Newport Coast.

Chef Mark was previously with Studio’s (Montage Laguna Beach) opening executive chef, James Boyce for several years and then followed him to Huntsville, AL to help open Cotton Row, one of the most recognized restaurants in Alabama.

At Oak Grill there are over fifty wines available by the glass. Hundreds more by the bottle. Oak Grill boasts one of the most extensive wine lists in the area, all curated by Miguel.

They offer a robust program of craft beers on tap. Most are local.

Aqua Lounge Newport BeachAqua Lounge
“Afternoon cocktails. After work drinks. An evening out, or a late night rendezvous. DJ’s and pop-up performances. A casual menu of gourmet shareable bites and late night delectables and trendy street foods. That’s what we are. What we do is bring a whole new take on nightlife to Newport Beach.”

“Tableside mixology reinvents traditional bottle service and is one feature of a truly imaginative and engaging approach to craft cocktails, guided by renowned mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim. Assemble your own mule, or sit back and enjoy a delicious summer punch bowl.”

Tal Ronnen of Crossroads KitchenTal Ronnen, founder and chef of Crossroads and author of The New York Times Bestseller, The Conscious Cook, became known nationwide as the chef who prepared the meals for Oprah Winfrey’s 21-day cleanse. He made his culinary mark at a number of high-profile events, having catered Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi’s wedding, Arianna Huffington’s party at the Democratic National Convention, and a U.S. Senate Dinner.

A graduate of the National Gourmet Institute, Tal conducts master vegetarian workshops for students and staff at Le Cordon Bleu campuses nationwide. He is the collaborating chef at The Wynn and Encore hotels in Las Vegas.

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

Jet Tila Sunday Supper at Crossroads KitchenJet’s plant-based menu started with Sew Mai Dumplings and concluded with Thai Tea Ice Cream Sandwiches.

Jet adapted his signature Drunken Noodles (Giada De Laurentiss’ favorite) for the evening substituting tofu for pork. The dish earned high praise from the guests.

The Featured Cocktail was Mekhong Smoke. It’s Mekhong rum, mescal, thai basil, tamari salt and blistered shishito pepper.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Tiffany Derry of Dallas, Texas Part One
Segment Three: Celebrity Chef Tiffany Derry of Dallas, Texas Part Two
Segment Four: Food GPS’ Josh Lurie and Chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage Co. and Escala
Segment Five: Miguel Rodriguez, General Manager and Executive Chef Marc Johnson, Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge, The Island Hotel, Newport Beach Part One
Segment Six: Miguel Rodriguez, General Manager and Executive Chef Marc Johnson, Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge, The Island Hotel, Newport Beach Part Two
Segment Seven: Tal Ronnen, founder and executive chef of Crossroads restaurant, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Eight: Tal Ronnen, founder and executive chef of Crossroads restaurant, Los Angeles Part Two

April 26: Donald Wressel, Melissa’s Great Pepper Cookbook, Eric Greenspan, Choctal Ice Cream

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Guittard Chocolate Co’s Executive Chef, Donald Wressell
Segment Three: Robert Schueller, The Prince of Produce, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce, Inc.
Segment Four: Chef Jet Tila
Segment Five: Chef Eric Greenspan (ex-Foundry on Melrose,) Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese Part One
Segment Six: Chef Eric Greenspan (ex-Foundry on Melrose,) Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese Part Two
Segment Seven: Michael Leb, Chief Executive Officer, Choctal Single-Origin Ice Creams
Segment Eight: Test Kitchen Director, Chef Tom Fraker, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

It’s the City of Beverly Hills’ 100th Birthday. It takes a mega-talented pastry chef (and his skilled team) to create and bake a massive edible cake befitting this very special occasion. 15,000 slices will be served.

Peppers are a great addition to almost any dish as they add flavor (and not just heat.) We’ll dive into the just released The Great Pepper Cookbook : The Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Cooking with Peppers.

The Corporate Pastry Chef for the Patina Restaurant Group has an incredible story of personal achievement. He’s with us to talk about what it takes to get there.

Chef Eric Greenspan (ex-Foundry on Melrose) is a genuine character and an accomplished chef. He’s now also the maestro of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches!

Crave rich & decadent ice cream? There is a new super premium brand now available locally that both the chocolate and vanilla are single origin.

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

Donald WressellTwenty five years ago Donald Wressell was then the highly regarded executive pastry chef at The Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. Chef Donald was responsible for the production of everything from the fresh, buttery croissants to eye-popping wedding cakes. He created a stunning edible birthday cake for Beverly Hills’ Diamond Jubilee celebration. It was a miniature of Beverly Hills’ iconic City Hall. The rest of the cake was 100 sheet cakes. 10,000 slices were served!

It’s now the 100th Birthday of Beverly Hills. Chef Donald is now the executive chef for the Guittard Chocolate Co. How do you possibly top yourself?

For the Century Celebration festivities in addition to the 9-foot tall, 8-foot wide replica of Beverly Hills City Hall there is a miniature replica of Rodeo Dr. with edible shopping bags containing items sold on Rodeo Drive. Talk about artistry…

The cake will weigh some 4,000 pounds and serve 15,000 celebrants. It’s a dark chocolate cake with 150 layers with dark chocolate filling and a white chocolate buttercream frosting.

Look for the cake @ 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 27th in front of the Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive in the 300 N. block.

It’s all part of Taste Beverly Hills that afternoon.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceOur friends at Melissa’s have done it again. Newly published is Melissa’s “The Great Pepper Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Cooking with Peppers.”

Fresh and dried peppers are a key ingredient in many cuisines around the world and they have gained popularity here in the U.S. recently thanks to the culinary world’s embracement of the vast variety of peppers. Beyond jalapenos, home cooks are now looking to learn more about these flavorful fruits, not just for their heat level, but to cook beyond their comfort zone.

This highly visual and engaging book shows readers how simple it is to use 37 different varieties of peppers.

Robert Schueller, Melissa’s resident produce authority, is our guest.

Carlos EnriquezWhat does it take to become the Corporate Pastry Chef at the highly thought of Patina Restaurant Group? Chef Carlos Enriquez, who learned the basics of pastry in his parents Los Angeles bakery, joins us to explain. It takes more than hard work…

Chef Carlos was part of the opening team of the Paris Hotel on The Strip in Las Vegas. He then moved to Colorado to serve as Executive Pastry Chef for Sky Goble at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver. A year later, Enriquez joined Goble at the Ahwahnee Resort in Yosemite National Park. In 2006 Chef Carlos returned to Las Vegas and worked as Assistant Pastry Chef at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, and later at Alex Restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas. He was Executive Pastry Chef at Café del Rey in Marina del Rey before joining the Patina Restaurant Group as Corporate Pastry Chef in 2012.

Eric GreenspanChef Eric Greenspan’s (ex-Foundry on Melrose) long in the works grilled cheese café is now open. It’s Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese located next door to the Melrose Umbrella Co, (the former Foundry location.)

Eric won the 2008 Grilled Cheese Invitational in Los Angeles which was the inspiration for the grilled cheese café.

Chef Eric is also the Chef/Owner of The Roof on Wilshire.

Eric talks about his extensive portfolio of Food Television appearances. He is one of the very few chefs to “reign supreme” over an Iron Chef on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America.” He bested Iron Chef Bobby Flay!

He participates in national pop-ups under the catchy El Nosh Latin / Jewish brand.

Choctal Single Origin Ice CreamIt’s ice cream weather. New to SoCal is Choctal – Single-origin Ice Creams. The premium flavors are properly rich and decadent as the name suggests. Michael Leb, Chief Executive Officer, is our guest with all the sinful details.

“Indulgent treats sustainably sourced from the world’s finest indigenous sources.”

“Choctal ice cream is decidedly different because we highlight the different flavor profiles by using:

  • Single-origin chocolate or vanilla from rainforests across the globe.
  • All natural base; no artificial additives.
  • Gluten-free, egg free recipes.
  • Less air for more density.”

Tom FrakerOur friends at Melissa’s have done it again. Newly published is Melissa’s “The Great Pepper Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Cooking with Peppers.”

Keep in mind that cooking with peppers is about adding flavor to food. It’s way beyond just adding heat.

Chef and Melissa’s Test Kitchen Director Tom Fraker is our guest. He tested, and retested, each and every recipe in the book using equipment found in home kitchens.

There is a difference in preparing and using chiles in their fresh and dry forms. Chef Tom will be our informed guide in understanding the nuances.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Guittard Chocolate Co’s Executive Chef, Donald Wressell
Segment Three: Robert Schueller, The Prince of Produce, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce, Inc.
Segment Four: Chef Jet Tila
Segment Five: Chef Eric Greenspan (ex-Foundry on Melrose,) Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese Part One
Segment Six: Chef Eric Greenspan (ex-Foundry on Melrose,) Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese Part Two
Segment Seven: Michael Leb, Chief Executive Officer, Choctal Single-Origin Ice Creams
Segment Eight: Test Kitchen Director, Chef Tom Fraker, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce

Show 66, March 22, 2014: Eric Boardman, Food & Travel TV Producer, On-Camera Host & Personality, and Writer

Clearly The Food Network which celebrated it’s 20th Anniversary last year has had a major influence on American popular opinion. They had to create a 2nd channel, “The Cooking Channel,” to accommodate all the potential sponsors who wanted to be represented. It’s now actually cool to talk about food and cook. Dudes share recipes…Chefs have become huge celebrities. Wolfgang Puck is better known World Wide than a lot of film and TV celebrities.

Eric BoardmanFood Network started modestly and with tight budgets. Our guest, Eric Boardman, was there in the early days. In 1999 he was the host of the popular series “Calling All Cooks.” The concept was the host going into the guest’s home kitchen where they make (with the series host) a recipe they are famous for in their immediate social circles, family or community. A lot were shot in Southern California but some exotic locations were used, too. The guests were talented home cooks.

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September 14: Azunia Tequila, Vegas Food Trucks, Elizabeth Huettinger, Lena Kwak, Amar Santana, Eric Klein, Michael Passmore

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jim Riley, founder of Azunia Tequila
Segment Three: Brock Radke, Food and Web Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Four: Elizabeth Huettinger, Wine Director, Addison Del Mar
Segment Five: Lena Kwak, Research and Development Chef, Thomas Keller Restaurant Group
Segment Six: Amar Santana, Executive Chef / Owner, Broadway by Amar Santana
Segment Seven: Eric Klein, Executive Chef & Partner, Spago Las Vegas
Segment Eight: Michael Passmore, Passmore Ranch, Sustainable Aqua Farming

Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Thai 2013 Food FestivalMark Sunday afternoon, September 29th on your calendar. Our very own Jet Tila is hosting the Thai 2013 Food Festival at Paramount Pictures Studios in the heart of Hollywood. It starts at 3:00 p.m.

Celebrity chefs from around the country and outstanding local Thai chefs will be there presenting their signature dishes for the guests to sample and enjoy. Entertainment will include music, Thai dancers and fruit carving.

VIP and Regular Tickets are now on sale!

Azunia TequilaJim Riley, the founder of Azunia Tequila joins us. In his spare time Jim is a professional off-road racer of some note.

This is a case study of how a boutique tequila company grows a brand in an environment dominated by cash-rich giants. Riley has built his brand with clever grass-roots marketing and being seen in the right places.

Azunia Tequila is organic and 100 per cent Weber Blue Agave. It is available in the styles of Platinum Blanco (great for cocktails,) Reposado, and Anejo.

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyOur man in Las Vegas, Brock Radke, is back with us. Brock is the respected Web and Food Editor for The Las Vegas Weekly.

Last month Brock had a great piece in The Weekly entitled. “Where are they now? Checking up on the first wave of Vegas food truckers.”

Fukuburger has probably been the most successful and is still on the streets. A brick and mortar location for Las Vegas is in the plans. Sloppi Jo’s was a big success with the food critics but, ultimately, not a viable business model. Proprietress Jolene Mannina has parlayed this into other food projects for herself. In fact she’s the head of Culinary Arts for the upcoming “Life is Beautiful” Festival in Downtown Las Vegas. The originator of Slidin’ Thru has moved on but the truck still does events and catering and there is a bricks and mortar drive-through.

Brock also talked about the just launched Heritage Steak at The Mirage on The Strip. The proprietor is Tom Colicchio of Bravo’s “Top Chef” fame and a James Beard Award recipient.

Elizabeth Huettinger of the Addison in Del MarSommelier Elizabeth Huettinger is the new Wine Director at Addison restaurant and The Grand Del Mar Resort in Del Mar. She was previously part of the wine team at Spago Beverly Hills.

Elizabeth just took the incredibly difficult “Advanced” certification test from the Court of Master Sommeliers. She shares that humbling experience with us.

Earlier in the Summer the Grand hosted a special screening of the documentary, “SOMM”. It’s the first effort by filmmaker Jason Wise.
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“SOMM” tells the fascinating story of four sommeliers attempting to pass the rigorous and prestigious Master Sommelier exam. This test has one of the lowest pass rates imaginable. Elizabeth’s head sommelier at Spago (her previous post) is a Master Sommelier. She talks about hosting the screening (there was wine and abundant food stations) and her reaction to the highly acclaimed documentary.

Lena KwakChef Lena Kwak is the highly acclaimed research development chef for The French Laundry and The Thomas Keller Restaurant Group in Yountville, CA. She created the position.

With the backing of Keller she developed Cup4Cup, a healthy wheat flour-substitute which has gone national over the last two years. It’s carried in Williams-Sonoma stores and also available at the Bouchon Bakeries in Yountville, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, and New York.

Last year Kwak was named as one of Forbes Magazine’s “Top 30 Under 30” for her work with Cup4Cup.

In addition to bread mixes the proprietary line also includes a brownie mix, pizza dough, and pancake/waffle mix.

Amar SantanaChef Amar Santana is very familiar to Orange County foodies. His mentor, Chef Charlie Palmer (Aureole,) brought him out here from Manhattan in 2008 to open Charlie Palmer’s at Bloomingdales at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Talk about a plum assignment for a young chef…

With the backing of one of his very loyal guests he later departed to open a venture of his own, Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach. Since opening in 2011 it’s been a hit with both the food critics and guests. The bar has also created its own loyal following for unusual libations and a welcoming atmosphere. Their superior Moscow Mule (not listed on the bar menu) is a thoughtful homage to the original version created in the late 30s in Hollywood and now using all fresh ingredients and from scratch ginger beer.

Eric KleinIn 2007 Executive Chef Eric Klein (now a partner) was handed the keys to Spago Las Vegas by Wolfgang Puck and charged with freshening up the concept. This was quite a formidable assignment given that Spago is Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant in Las Vegas! They celebrated their 20th Anniversary last year.

The restaurant is a busy café (with exhibition pizza oven) in the front and an elegant fine-dining restaurant in the back. The front patio opens onto the busy main Forum Shops walkway.

As with the Beverly Hills original Spago Las Vegas attracts the celebrity clientele in addition to sophisticated foodies. Chef Eric is the visible personality of the establishment.

Chef Eric’s first assignment in Las Vegas (after relocating from Beverly Hills) was SW Steakhouse at Wynn Las Vegas.

Michael Passmore of Passmore RanchMichael Passmore is an elite class freshwater fish farmer in the Sacramento area. His Passmore Ranch is sustainable aqua farming and his clientele are discriminating celebrity chefs all across the country who he, unusually, supplies directly.

They started modestly by selling live fish at Northern California farmers’ markets, and their quality and service quickly established them as premium purveyors for top restaurants and Michelin-starred chefs around the country.

Passmore Ranch offers premium freshwater white sturgeon, black bass, striped bass, catfish, silver carp and trout, plus prized domestic caviar.

Today Passmore Ranch is 86 acres and they raise fish in 80 million gallons of fresh water pumped up from the pristine Cosumnes aquifer. The ranch has a variety of open lakes and massive tanks used to increase the variety of sustainable fish they grow.

In the works is a plan to begin a thoughtful rollout of limited direct sales to serious home cooks. The info will be posted on their website.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jim Riley, founder of Azunia Tequila
Segment Three: Brock Radke, Food and Web Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Four: Elizabeth Huettinger, Wine Director, Addison Del Mar
Segment Five: Lena Kwak, Research and Development Chef, Thomas Keller Restaurant Group
Segment Six: Amar Santana, Executive Chef / Owner, Broadway by Amar Santana
Segment Seven: Eric Klein, Executive Chef & Partner, Spago Las Vegas
Segment Eight: Michael Passmore, Passmore Ranch, Sustainable Aqua Farming