Show 133, August 1, 2015: Bobby Navarro, 100EATS.com

Bobby NavarroBobby Navarro left a decade of work in the hospitality industry to fully commit to his own event planning and culinary promotions company, 100eats.com. He cooked with Amar Santana at both Charlie Palmer’s in South Coast Plaza (now closed) and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach.

Bobby’s passion for branding and business keeps him visiting hundreds of restaurants across the country, stemming from his original feat of dining at 100 restaurants in 100 consecutive days.

Bobby’s affection for the hospitality community and similar industries led him to create inspireartisticminds.org, an organization that gives thousands of dollars annually to connecting passionately driven individuals to the things that inspire them.

He also contributes to Foodbeast and Locale.

Bobby provides us with a preview of Chef Amar’s eagerly anticipated new restaurant in Costa Mesa, Vaca, a Spanish Restaurant.

We’ll meet Bobby…

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Show 58, January 25, 2013: Al Mancini, Las Vegas-based food journalist and co-author of Eating Las Vegas guidebook for 2011, 2012, and 2013

Max JacobsonMax Jacobson is a serious food journalist who relocated to Las Vegas from Southern California in 1999 to cover the burgeoning dining scene there. Southern Californians remember his coverage of the Orange County dining scene for The Los Angeles Times. He is currently Vegas Seven’s restaurant critic. His colleagues have great respect for him.

Two days before Christmas 2013, Jacobson was struck by a hit-and-run driver while he was in a crosswalk. He sustained severe brain trauma from the accident. He remains hospitalized in serious condition and his prognosis is uncertain.

Chefs to the Max benefit for Max Jacobson at RX Boiler RoomIn true hospitality industry fashion a group of prominent, celebrity chefs have joined together to launch the Chefs to the Max fundraising series to assist with Max Jacobson’s horrendous medical expenses.

The first dinner was January 19th at Chef Rick Moonen’s Rx Boiler Room at Mandalay Place on the Las Vegas Strip. The evening raised an impressive $275,799.

Fellow Las Vegas-based food journalist, Al Mancini, joins us to talk about the Chefs to the Max benefits and working with Max. Al and Max collaborated (with a third Las Vegas-based restaurant writer) on the three editions of the very popular Las Vegas dining guidebook series, Eating Las Vegas.

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January 25: South Coast Collection, Carla Hall, Roger Havot, Sanford D’Amoto, Chefs to the Max

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anais Tangie, Marketing Coordinator, SoCo and The Mix
Segment Three: Chef Carla Hall, ABC’s “The Chew,” “Bravo’s “Top Chef ,” and Carla Hall Petit Cookies
Segment Four: Roger Hayot, Executive Chef, J. Nichols Kitchen Part One
Segment Five: Roger Hayot, Executive Chef, J. Nichols Kitchen Part Two
Segment Six: Sanford D’Amato, founder and former Executive Chef of the award-winning Sanford restaurant, Milwaukee, WI
Segment Seven: Al Mancini, Las Vegas-based food journalist and co-author of Eating Las Vegas guidebook for 2011, 2012, and 2013
Segment Eight: Chef Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris of “SoCal Restaurant Show”

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Chef jet Tila and Alton BrownFood Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” with host Alton Brown is back on Sunday nights for Season 2. Our own Chef Jet Tila is the most frequently appearing solo judge on this tough competition show that requires strategy as well as cooking chops. Look for Jet’s new episodes starting in February.

On Friday morning, January 31st catch Chef Jet on NBC’s “Today Show” in the 9:00 a.m. hour PST. He’s sharing his recipe for Peking Duck Sliders for Chinese New Year and The Big Game!

ABC’s “The Chew’s,” Carla Hall, is back with us talking about the very special Culinary Concert she is doing at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin on Sunday, February 9th to benefit the scholarship fund of The James Beard Foundation. “Hootie Hoo”…You’ll meet Sandy D’Amato, a kid from Milwaukee, who grew up to become one of the most outstanding chefs in America. Chef Roger Hayot joins us. You may not know his name but you really should. In the 90s Chef Roger had one of the most acclaimed restaurants in L.A. Now he’s quietly making waves again at a hidden gem of a neighborhood place in Marina del Rey.

All of that and lots more incredible deliciousness on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

The first Saturday of last October we were live at South Coast Collection (SoCo) and The Mix in Costa Mesa for the first Patchwork Show: Edible Edition.

Anais TangieWe showcased the growing collection of outstanding boutique food businesses and restaurants there. The SoCo and Mix’s Marketing Coordinator, Anais Tangie, joins us to talk about the new additions and what’s soon on the way. Think handcrafted artisanal chocolates and also a one-of-kind cocktail education and tools-of-the-trade store owned by a master bartender…

Carla HallFood fans know Chef Carla Hall as the “Hootie Hoo” lady and fan favorite from multiple seasons of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” She is now the co-host of ABC’s daytime lifestyle series, “The Chew.” Last month “The Chew” celebrated their 500th episode and the show continues to gain in popularity. Carla also is the author of Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You, newly available in paperback.

Carla is being honored by Zov Karamardian of Zov’s Bistro in Tustin at her Culinary Concert to benefit the James Beard Foundation on Sunday, February 9th.

That Sunday Carla and Zov will conduct a highly entertaining, interactive cooking class for the guests followed by a lavish lunch. Carla will be available to sign copies of her book and interact with the guests. It all starts at Noon.

Pastry Chef to the Stars and a multiple James Beard Award-winner, Sherry Yard, is the celebrity MC.

For more info and to make reservations please call 714.838.8855 ext. 21

Carla is represented in Saveur’s 100 which is the current January/February issue. Item 13 on the list is Carla’s suggestion of Lemon Olive Oil.

Roger Hayot of J. Nichols KitchenIn 1987 the Authentic Café opened on Beverly Blvd. near CBS’s Television City in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles. It was the inspiration of Chef Roger Hayot who was mentored by his prior employer, David Overton, the creator of The Cheesecake Factory. It was initially a small place and from Day 1 they had lines of patient guests out the door…Eventually they expanded into the space next-door to accommodate the strong demand.

Roger’s always intriguing menu was inspired by the cuisines of the American Southwest, Latin America, Asia, and the Mediterranean. He used authentic global ingredients which was unusual at the time. Thai fish sauce was one of his regular ingredients. The exotic appeal of his cooking was always balanced by its hominess.

He had the honor of cooking at The James Beard Foundation in New York.

There is a new chapter to Chef Roger Hayot’s inspirational cooking story in Los Angeles so we continue.

Mezze Plate at J. Nichols KitchenIn 2012 Roger moved into the Executive Chef position at J Nichols Kitchen in Marina del Rey. This originally opened as Nichols Family Restaurant in 1974 as a friendly, neighborhood coffee shop with reasonable prices and big portions. When the founders’ son and daughter took over the operation they faced a dilemma. The retail center they were in was about to undergo a major renovation (and upscaling) and their clientele was aging and the younger crowd wasn’t patronizing them. The Nichols made the tough decision to remodel and reposition themselves as a destination neighborhood restaurant with more serious food and no snootiness. That’s a major transition…

The first 6 months of the new concept was a bit rocky. The seniors didn’t like the new menu or pricing and the Millennials thought it was still a coffee shop. A lot of guest confusion…Chef Roger joined the team in progress with the mission of improving the food and consistency. Over the last 18 months that has happened and the successful transition accomplished! A great turnaround story…

Virtually everything is now made from scratch from the pizza dough (3-day process) to the fruit preserves served at breakfast. Chef Roger takes the time to make his own biscuits (very popular) as well as flavorful premium sausages. He has his own smoker. All the desserts are house-prepared. The novel Greek Yogurt Cheesecake is perhaps Chef Roger’s tribute to The Cheesecake Factory. It’s light, has a graham cracker crust, crushed pistachios, and a honey drizzle. Yum…

Sanford D'AmotoGood Stock: Life on Low Simmer was written by Sanford “Sandy” D’Amato, one of America’s most respected chefs and restaurateurs. It is a special memoir of a life in cooking that weaves more than 80 recipes and both personal and food photos in a beautiful and engaging way.

Chef D’Amato tells his life story in brief episodes that are keyed to more than 80 of this James Beard Award-winning chef’s favorite recipes.

Sanford, the restaurant D’Amato opened in his native Milwaukee in 1989 (in the space that once housed his grandfather’s grocery store,) has long been one of the highest rated restaurants in America.

D’Amato and his wife, Angie, currently split their time between Milwaukee and their mini-farm in Hatfield, MA, where they are preparing to open a cooking school (also called Good Stock.)

If you really want to understand what it takes to be a successful, career executive chef this is the book for you. It’s also highly entertaining and a fascinating read. Chef Sandy’s encounters with the legendary Julia Child over the years are priceless.

Max JacobsonMax Jacobson is a serious food journalist who relocated to Las Vegas from Southern California in 1999 to cover the burgeoning dining scene there. Southern Californians remember his coverage of the Orange County dining scene for The Los Angeles Times. He is currently Vegas Seven’s restaurant critic. His colleagues have great respect for him.

Two days before Christmas 2013, Jacobson was struck by a hit-and-run driver while he was in a crosswalk. He sustained severe brain trauma from the accident. He remains hospitalized in serious condition and his prognosis is uncertain.

Chefs to the Max benefit for Max Jacobson at RX Boiler RoomIn true hospitality industry fashion a group of prominent, celebrity chefs have joined together to launch the Chefs to the Max fundraising series to assist with Max Jacobson’s horrendous medical expenses.

The first dinner was January 19th at Chef Rick Moonen’s Rx Boiler Room at Mandalay Place on the Las Vegas Strip. The evening raised an impressive $275,799.

Fellow Las Vegas-based food journalist, Al Mancini, joins us to talk about the Chefs to the Max benefits and working with Max. Al and Max collaborated (with a third Las Vegas-based restaurant writer) on the three editions of the very popular Las Vegas dining guidebook series, Eating Las Vegas.

Republique Restaurant in Los AngelesLet’s talk food…Chef Jet and Producer Andy share some of their recent dining adventures.

Jet has experienced the much talked-about Republique with Walter Manzke and Chef Margarita Manzke behind the stoves at the former Campanile space. Andy has dined at Downtown’s Orsa & Winston, the new fine-dining spot from Josef Centeno (Bar Ama & Baco Mercat.)

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anais Tangie, Marketing Coordinator, SoCo and The Mix
Segment Three: Chef Carla Hall, ABC’s “The Chew,” “Bravo’s “Top Chef ,” and Carla Hall Petit Cookies
Segment Four: Roger Hayot, Executive Chef, J. Nichols Kitchen Part One
Segment Five: Roger Hayot, Executive Chef, J. Nichols Kitchen Part Two
Segment Six: Sanford D’Amato, founder and former Executive Chef of the award-winning Sanford restaurant, Milwaukee, WI
Segment Seven: Al Mancini, Las Vegas-based food journalist and co-author of Eating Las Vegas guidebook for 2011, 2012, and 2013
Segment Eight: Chef Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris of “SoCal Restaurant Show”

Show 49, November 23, 2013: Entrepreneur Dave Danhi the founder, director, and executive chef of The Grilled Cheese Truck

Dave Danhi of the Grilled Cheese TruckDave Danhi is the founder, director, and executive chef of The Grilled Cheese Truck. This was the first gourmet food truck to go national and there are big plans to expand through a novel franchising program. A novel program is in the works to sell franchises to returning veterans and it’s a turnkey concept that’s already been tested with great success. A huge following on social media was the initial key to getting this business going. The Big Cheese himself joins us to recount this unlikely success story.

Dave is also a much sought-out executive recruiter for the Hospitality Industry. His firm is DD Factor. We’ll talk to him about this little known (but vitally important) field, also. You honestly don’t find suitable executive chefs and general managers on CraigsList!

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Show 49, November 23, 2013: Entrepreneur Dave Danhi the founder, director, and executive chef of The Grilled Cheese Truck. Continues…

Dave Danhi of the Grilled Cheese TruckBefore some health concerns turned Dave in another direction a few years ago he was a sought-after executive chef. In a couple of different stints Dave was the Corporate Executive Chef for Kings Seafood Co. of Water Grill fame. He also was the menu-maker for the (now departed) Georgia on Melrose Avenue.

Dave is the 4th owner of DD Factor which was started by Mimi Factor back in 1959. When Dave was at King’s he used their services to recruit needed culinary talent. All of his recruiters have extensive experience in the hospitality industry.

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November 23: Grilled Cheese Truck, Barbara Fairchild, Mad Hungry Woman, Anaheim White House, Brad A. Johnson, Skyler Reeves

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Entrepreneur Dave Danhi the founder, director, and executive chef of The Grilled Cheese Truck Part One
Segment Three: Entrepreneur Dave Danhi the founder, director, and executive chef of The Grilled Cheese Truck Part Two
Segment Four: Barbara Fairchild, past long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, food journalist, cookbook author, educator
Segment Five: Anita Lau of the “Mad Hungry Woman” Blog
Segment Six: Bruno Serato, chef/proprietor of Anaheim White House
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, restaurant critic for the Orange County Register
Segment Eight: Skyler Reeves, master barman

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

It’s a day of unusually colorful characters on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

Enjoy the unlikely saga of The Big Cheese of The Grilled Cheese Truck, Dave Danhi. We’ll also have the Mad Hungry Woman blogger with us talking about a recent dining discovery in San Diego that’s a delightful Italian-Japanese fusion.

Dave Danhi of the Grilled Cheese TruckDave Danhi is the founder, director, and executive chef of The Grilled Cheese Truck. This was the first gourmet food truck to go national and there are big plans to expand through a novel franchising program. A huge following on social media was the initial key to getting this business going. The Big Cheese himself joins us to recount this unlikely success story.

Dave is also a much sought-out executive recruiter for the Hospitality Industry. His firm is DD Factor. We’ll talk to him about this little known (but vitally important) field, also. You honestly don’t find suitable executive chefs and general managers on CraigsList!

Dave completes the fascinating story of how The Grilled Cheese Truck got to where it is today (a national phenomenon) and what the future holds. Keep in mind he’s a high level executive chef by background.

Dave also profiles his other business entity, DD Factor. This is an executive recruiting firm designed just for the hospitality business. If you need an executive chef this is the place to go.

Barbara FairchildMost Californians remember Barbara Fairchild as the long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine. She now is an accomplished cookbook author, food journalist, and educator.

Barbara was recently in the relatively unspoiled Sonoma County Wine Country. She shares some of her best dining experiences including the One-Star Michelin Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant in Forestville (housed in a real Farmhouse,) and the more casual Healdsburg Shed in Healdsburg.

Barbara will join us again in December to share her recent San Francisco dining adventures.

Anita Lau of Diary of a Mad Hungry WomanAnita Lau is best known to the listening audience of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” as the creative force behind the “Mad Hungry Woman” blog. Anita is regularly out and about in Orange County, San Diego, and sometimes even the Los Angeles area reporting on her dining out adventures. She particularly seeks out the less obvious hidden gems.

San Diego, we haven’t forgotten you.

Anita Lau of the Mad Hungry Woman blog is with us with a San Diego dining discovery. Anita was a finalist for a Golden Foodie award in Journalism this year.

Anita’s find is Ristorante Kaz. This is an intriguing Japanese Italian fusion cuisine spot. Anita’s favorite bite was an angel hair pasta dish with creamy sea urchin with spinach and salmon roe.

Bruno Serato of the Anaheim White HouseThe ever gracious Bruno Serato is the highly visible owner and culinary force behind the historic Anaheim White House. It’s housed in a stately mansion dating back to 1909. Bruno has been the keeper of the flame there since 1987. This year the menu was enhanced to offer premium steaks, too. Bruno likes to now characterize the establishment as an “Italian Steak House.”

The Holidays are Bruno’s favorite time of the year as he fund-raises to benefit the Caterina’s Club’s Motel Kids. December marks his annual toy drive to collect gifts for some 2,000 Motel Kids. Every night Bruno feeds 500 hungry kids.

It all starts with the 26th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Dinner at the Anaheim White House on Sunday, November 24th. It always sells out so make your plans accordingly. There is real snow on the ground…

Bruno has just introduced a new 3-course Sunday Brunch Menu with free-flowing Champagne at the Anaheim White House.

Photography by Brad A JohnsonBrad A. Johnson is the James Beard Award-winning restaurant critic for The Orange County Register. He’s been there about a year now.

Brad has just written his anxiously awaited, first 4-Star review. It’s quite a “wow” but, perhaps, a bit unexpected…

Brad talks about what is worthy of 4-Stars and the restaurant earning that rarified praise. This was actually three articles in The Register, including a Sunday “Travel” piece.

Skyler ReevesSkyler Reeves is a master barman. Denizens of Downtown Los Angeles’ popular nightlife scene will know him from 213 Downtown. He’s one of the best…

His new project is co-producing the upcoming “Golden State of Cocktails.” It takes place January 27th through 30th on the historic top floor of the Los Angeles Times Building in Downtown Los Angeles. This space was the former executive offices and the grandeur of the floor will surely impress. The educational event is designed for the trade as well as beverage enthusiasts.

“California’s long awaited large-scale cocktail event is finally here: Announcing Golden State of Cocktails! Staged in Los Angeles, the West Coast’s largest city and California’s anchor, Golden State of Cocktails celebrates all aspects of cocktail culture, both industry and consumer, from San Francisco to Los Angeles to San Diego and everywhere in between. Be a part of the inaugural event in one or more ways. From experiential interactive labs, take-away stations and brand immersion rooms to small- and large-scale parties, Golden State of Cocktails takes a hands-on approach to the learning experience and celebrates the best of what California cocktail culture is all about.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Entrepreneur Dave Danhi the founder, director, and executive chef of The Grilled Cheese Truck Part One
Segment Three: Entrepreneur Dave Danhi the founder, director, and executive chef of The Grilled Cheese Truck Part Two
Segment Four: Barbara Fairchild, past long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, food journalist, cookbook author, educator
Segment Five: Anita Lau of the “Mad Hungry Woman” Blog
Segment Six: Bruno Serato, chef/proprietor of Anaheim White House
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, restaurant critic for the Orange County Register
Segment Eight: Skyler Reeves, master barman

Show 43, October 12, 2013: Chef Greg Daniels of The Haven Collective

We’re proud to be part of the hospitality industry as chefs and restaurateurs are some of the most generous folks we know. When there is a worthy cause they are always there in a flash with food and support…

Greg Daniels of Haven GastropubWe know Chef Greg Daniels from the two Haven Gastropubs (Orange and Pasadena,) taco asylum, and Provisions Market. From October 16th to 25th Chef Greg has assembled a group of distinguished OC chefs to raise money for children who suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) worldwide. It’s all under the playful banner of “PB&J for Good.”

Participating chefs will put their creative spin on the traditional PB&J as a special menu offering. Each will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every PB&J dish to benefit StopSAM.org, a fundraising arm for Severe Acute Malnutrition.

Besides Haven Gastropub and it’s growing family of establishments some of the high profile restaurants participating include ARC, Broadway by Amar Santana, Little Sparrow, LUCCA, and The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar. Be a part of it…

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Show 26, April 27, 2013: Wing Lam, co-founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco and Michael Cho, esq. of Palmieri, Tyler, Weiner, Wilhelm & Waldron LLP.

Michael Cho of Palmieri, Tyler, Wiener, Wilhelm & Waldron LLPWing’s colleague and long-time friend, Michael C. Cho, esq.  joined the discussion. Michael is an attorney with a busy practice in the hospitality industry in Southern California and is an expert in liquor license issues. He’s also a wine aficionado and was part of the festivities at Kosta Browne Wines. He was serving Wahoo’s fish tacos alongside Wing to the hungry and appreciative guests.

Mike shared the story of the founding of Wahoo’s by Wing and his brothers Ed and Mingo. Their father owned the iconic Shanghai Pine Garden Chinese Restaurant on Balboa Island where they worked when they were in high school. John Wayne was a regular.

When Wing rejoined the discussion he talked about the upcoming OC Wahoo’s 5K this Sunday, May 5th at the OC Fair & Events Center. It’s part of the OC Marathon and Half Marathon Day Experience. Wing will sound off the gun at the race’s start.

The first 800 finishes will get a free Wahoo’s Fish taco and everyone 21 and over gets a free beer!

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