Show 249, November 25, 2017: Deepa Thomas, Deepa’s Secrets – Slow Carb / New Indian Cuisine Continues…

Deepa ThomasIn Deepa’s Secrets Deepa shares more than seventy recipes that are as mouthwatering and seductive as they are healthy and healing. Combining Western cooking techniques, new research on gut health and weight loss, and drawing on Ayurvedic wisdom (“When diet is right, medicine is of no need; and when diet is wrong, medicine is of no use”). The recipes Deepa developed allowed her and her husband to each lose more than twenty pounds and her husband to be free from a ten-year dependence on insulin shots.

A graduate of Delhi University with degrees in journalism and political science, Deepa Thomas moved to the US and, in 1985, founded Deepa Textiles. After 21 years and 23 design awards, the company has been credited with transforming the $10 billion a year contract furniture industry.

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Show 242, September 30, 2017: Deepa Thomas, Deepa’s Secrets – Slow Carb / New Indian Cuisine

Deepa ThomasUpon learning that rice and bread were the culprits for her husband’s Type 2 diabetes, entrepreneur Deepa Thomas deconstructed and reinvented her native Indian cuisine. She slow-carbonized family recipes, used Western cooking techniques, incorporated breaking-news research on gut health and weight loss, and drew from her grandfather’s Ayurvedic wisdoms (“When diet is right, medicine is of no need; and when diet is wrong, medicine is of no use.”).

After three months, Deepa lost twenty-five pounds and freed her husband from a ten-year-long routine of insulin shots. The impressive result is fully documented in Deepa’s Secrets – Slow Carb New Indian Cuisine.

Part Indian cookbook, diet guide, kitchen companion, and memoir, Deepa’s Secrets introduces breakthrough slow carb and gut-healing recipes that are simple and healthy without sacrificing their rich South Asian flavors. To demystify an “exotic” cuisine, Thomas provides step-by-step instructions with ingredient substitutions (all ghee-free!), shortcuts, and secret techniques that will make New Indian easy, everyday fare. Beautifully photographed with menu plans, kitchen wisdom, and scientific commentary, Deepa’s Secrets includes East-to-West recipes.

A journey from old traditions to modern Indian cooking with deliciously simple and gut-healing recipes that leave you feeling fulfilled—rather than full.

Proceeds of the book sales benefit the American non-profit, FoodCorps. Their mission is to connect kids with the skills (and meals) they need to thrive.

A graduate of Delhi University with degrees in journalism and political science, Deepa Thomas moved to the US and, in 1985, founded Deepa Textiles. After 21 years and 23 design awards, the company has been credited with transforming the $10 billion a year contract furniture industry.

We’ll meet Deepa.

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Show 148, November 28, 2015: Madhur Jaffrey and Vegetarian India

Madhur JaffreyNo one knows Indian food like our guest, Madhur Jaffrey. For more than forty years, the “godmother of Indian cooking” (The Independent on Sunday) has introduced Western home cooks to the vibrant cuisines of her homeland. Now, in Vegetarian India: A Journey Through the Best of Indian Home Cooking, the seven-time James Beard Award–winning author shares the delectable, healthful, vegetable- and grain-based foods enjoyed around the Indian subcontinent.

Vegetarian cooking is a way of life for more than 300 million Indians. Jaffrey travels from north to south, and from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal, collecting recipes for the very tastiest dishes along the way. She visits the homes and businesses of shopkeepers, writers, designers, farmers, doctors, weavers, and more, gathering their stories and uncovering the secrets of their most delicious family specialties.

From a sweet, sour, hot, salty Kodava Mushroom Curry with Coconut originating in the forested regions of South Karnataka to simple, crisp Okra Fries dusted with chili powder, turmeric, and chickpea flour; and from Stir-Fried Spinach, Andhra Style (with ginger, coriander, and cumin) to the mung bean pancakes she snacks on at a roadside stand, here Jaffrey brings together the very best of vegetable-centric Indian cuisine and explains how home cooks can easily replicate these dishes—and many more for beans, grains, and breads—in their own kitchens.

With more than two hundred recipes, beautifully illustrated throughout, and including personal photographs from Jaffrey’s own travels, Vegetarian India is a kitchen essential for vegetable enthusiasts and home cooks everywhere.

Madhur Jaffrey is the author of many previous cookbooks—six of which have won the James Beard Award—and was previously named to the Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America by the James Beard Foundation. She is also an award-winning actress with numerous major motion pictures to her credit. She lives in New York City.

If you’d like to see Madhur in–person and get your Vegetarian India cookbook signed she will be in Santa Monica, CA on Thursday, December 10th at 8:00 p.m. at Live Talks L.A.! at the William Turner Gallery at Bergamot Station Arts Center. This is a ticketed event.

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Show 114, March 14, 2015: Executive Chef Shachi Mehra, ADYA, Anaheim Packing House

Shachi MehraThis month, ADYA Executive Chef/Owner, Shachi Mehra, introduces four weeks of special curries in an effort to highlight India’s regional culinary styles and provide guests with a delicious, in-depth look at India’s culinary diversity. The curries will feature ingredients and styles of cooking unique to each region, from coconut and curry leaves, to poppy seeds and mustard.

“Curry, in simplest terms, is a mix of spices – the composition of these spices varies greatly among the regional cuisines native to India,” commented Chef Shachi, whose diverse menu of fresh Indian flavors features a variety of traditional curries. “As curries become increasingly popular, diners are beginning to realize that curry isn’t just Chicken Tikka Masala. My goal is to provide my guests with a better understanding of the defining factors of the different types of curries one can find in Indian regional cooking.”

Chef Shachi is with us to explain it all.

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Show 94, October 25, 2014: Akasha Restaurant, Culver City

Akasha RichmondAKASHA, in the historic Hull Building, is one of the pioneering restaurants in the revival of Downtown Culver City. The restaurant debuted in early 2008. It’s a contemporary restaurant, bar and café with patio seating, too, featuring New American cooking representing the creative vision of Executive Chef, Caterer, & Proprietress Akasha Richmond.

Akasha knows her reputation is hard-earned, and she takes that trust very seriously. “I am very selective about the suppliers I work with for AKASHA – they must share my values to keep their ingredients on our menu.” Akaska says.

Akasha has just leased the coveted former Ford’s Filling Station location in Downtown Culver City for a new concept.

It will be her take on Indian cuisine which Akasha has an extensive background with going back to her time in the kitchen with the Golden Temple Conscious Cookery restaurant in Los Angeles.

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Show 87, September 6, 2014: Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven

Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven in IrvineIt’s a singular honor as a chef & restaurateur to be invited to prepare and present a meal at The James Beard Foundation in New York. Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven has that distinct honor on Saturday evening, September 27th. On Monday, Sept. 15th Clay Oven will be previewing that same grand five-course, wine-paired menu for a small group of lucky locals. Not one to miss…

At Clay Oven, chef/owner Geeta Bansal updates traditional Indian recipes with modern culinary techniques and vibrant California bounty. Incorporating the changing colors, flavors, and aromas of each season into her rotating menus, she honors Ayurvedic principles while bringing haute Indian cuisine to the forefront of Southern California’s dining landscape.

In her spare time Chef Geeta travels the globe attending important international food gatherings and interviewing prominent superstar chefs. Her writings (Gastronome Geeta) can be enjoyed at chefgeeta.wordpress.com.

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Show 80, July 19, 2014: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show

Jet Tila and Producer Andy preview the show.

Bestia, which launched in late 2012 in a secluded location in the former warehouse district of Downtown Los Angeles (now known as the Arts District,) has been a high-profile foodie destination since the beginning. Meet the husband and wife team of Executive Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis and you’ll understand why.

Chef Shachi Mehra is well-known to Orange County diners as the opening chef for the fine-dining Tamarind of London in Newport Coast. Now Chef Shachi has branched out on her own and launched the more accessible ADYA in the Anaheim Packing House. It’s a reflection of modern India cuisine revolving around fresh, sustainable ingredients, simply prepared, in a casual setting.

Why would anyone sell nearly everything he owns, then pack up and travel for three years – alone – on a motorcycle? Meet world traveler and adventurer, Allan Karl, the author of Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine And Connection. The standout book documents his 62,000 mile journey through 35 countries on 5 continents as well as provides authentic local recipes.

Spencer’s Restaurant at The Mountain is consistently one of the most popular and favorably reviewed restaurants in the greater  area. Since 2008 the secret has been the culinary talents of Executive Chef Eric Wadlund in the kitchen.

The Museum of the American Cocktail is hosting one of their special “Touring the Cocktail” evenings at Guelaguetza Restaurante on July 23rd. It’s a tequila appreciation evening with Oaxacan food tastes. Tomas Estes, Mexico’s official Tequila Ambassador to Europe has the details.

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

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Show 80, July 19, 2014: Chef Shachi Mehra, ADYA – Fresh Indian Flavors, Anaheim

Shachi MehraChef Shachi Mehra is well-known to Orange County diners as the opening chef for the fine-dining Tamarind of London in Newport Coast. Now Chef Shachi has branched out on her own and launched the more accessible ADYA in the Anaheim Packing House. It’s a reflection of modern India cuisine revolving around fresh, sustainable ingredients, simply prepared, in a casual setting.

Earlier in her career Chef Shachi was mentored by pioneering Indian Chef Floyd Cardoz in Manhattan. She worked at both Tabla and Bread Bar eventually rising to the position of Head Cook at Bread Bar.

“With ADYA, I present an Indian experience that will allow those who are both familiar and less experienced with Indian cuisine to embark on a delicious, unique culinary journey that emphasizes fresh ingredients and pronounced flavors,” commented Chef Shachi, who blends Western and Indian cultures to create artful dishes that successfully marry tradition with modernity. “The casual setting of ADYA makes it inviting and accommodating to a wide range of guests who seek out the rich experiences that Indian cuisine has to offer.”

Indian kebabs differ from Middle Eastern ones. They are cooked in the tandoor and also have different spicing.

ADYA has two tandoor ovens. One is for the breads (lower temperature) and the other is for the meats.

Chef Shachi is delighted that her Pani Puri with spicy tamarind water, potatoes, and mint has proven so popular. That’s the real article when you are talking about authentic Indian Street Food.

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July 19: Bestia, ADYA, Allan Karl, Spencer’s on the Mountain, Tomas Estes

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chefs Ori Menashe and Chef Genevieve Gergis of Bestia, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Three: Chefs Ori Menashe and Chef Genevieve Gergis of Bestia, Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Four: Chef Shachi Mehra, ADYA – Fresh Indian Flavors, Anaheim
Segment Five: Allan Karl – Author of Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine and Connection Part One
Segment Six: Allan Karl – Author of Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine and Connection Part Two
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Eric Wadlund, Spencer’s Restaurant at The Mountain, Palm Springs
Segment Eight: Tomas Estes, Mexico’s Tequila Ambassador to Europe

Jet Tila and Producer Andy preview the show.

Bestia, which launched in late 2012 in a secluded location in the former warehouse district of Downtown Los Angeles (now known as the Arts District,) has been a high-profile foodie destination since the beginning. Meet the husband and wife team of Executive Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis and you’ll understand why.

Chef Shachi Mehra is well-known to Orange County diners as the opening chef for the fine-dining Tamarind of London in Newport Coast. Now Chef Shachi has branched out on her own and launched the more accessible ADYA in the Anaheim Packing House. It’s a reflection of modern India cuisine revolving around fresh, sustainable ingredients, simply prepared, in a casual setting.

Why would anyone sell nearly everything he owns, then pack up and travel for three years – alone – on a motorcycle? Meet world traveler and adventurer, Allan Karl, the author of Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine And Connection. The standout book documents his 62,000 mile journey through 35 countries on 5 continents as well as provides authentic local recipes.

Spencer’s Restaurant at The Mountain is consistently one of the most popular and favorably reviewed restaurants in the greater Palm Springs area. Since 2008 the secret has been the culinary talents of Executive Chef Eric Wadlund in the kitchen.

The Museum of the American Cocktail is hosting one of their special “Touring the Cocktail” evenings at Guelaguetza Restaurante on July 23rd. It’s a tequila appreciation evening with Oaxacan food tastes. Tomas Estes, Mexico’s official Tequila Ambassador to Europe has the details.

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

Executive Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis of BestiaBestia, which launched in late 2012 in a secluded location in the former warehouse district of Downtown Los Angeles (now known as the Arts District,) has been a high-profile foodie destination since the very beginning. Meet the husband and wife team of Executive Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis and you’ll better understand why.

Restaurant impresario Bill Chait is a partner.

The food is multi-regional Italian.

“The overall industrial feel of Bestia, couplled with the passion, hard work and talent of Chef Ori and Chef Genevieve make Bestia an honest Mom and Pop restaurant (with character) built to last.”

Charcuterie and Cured Meats at Bestia“Chef Ori maintains an aggressive house-cured meats program with over 60 different forms of charcuterie for Bestia. Bestia means “Beast” in Italian. He is also responsible for raising his own yeast culture which he uses to bake Bestia’s sourdough Pain au Levain, used as toast ubiquitously on the menu, as well as for the pizza dough, which rises and falls over a 24-hour cycle prior to being composed as a Napolitana pizza. It’s then baked in the Acunto (wood burning) oven at 900 degrees.”

‘On the dolci side of the menu, Chef Genevieve is preparing a plethora of desserts from scratch using the finest raw ingredients such as acquarello rice for her al dente rice pudding served with perfectly ripened in-season fruit or her earthy, nutty, chestnut flour zeppole served with house-made coffee gelato and cream. In addition Chef Genevieve was partially responsible for the design of Bestia. She re-furbished oil drum spouts converting them into lighting fixtures.”

Shachi MehraChef Shachi Mehra is well-known to Orange County diners as the opening chef for the fine-dining Tamarind of London in Newport Coast. Now Chef Shachi has branched out on her own and launched the more accessible ADYA in the Anaheim Packing House. It’s a reflection of modern India cuisine revolving around fresh, sustainable ingredients, simply prepared, in a casual setting.

Earlier in her career Chef Shachi was mentored by pioneering Indian Chef Floyd Cardoz in Manhattan. She worked at both Tabla and Bread Bar eventually rising to the position of Head Cook at Bread Bar.

“With ADYA, I present an Indian experience that will allow those who are both familiar and less experienced with Indian cuisine to embark on a delicious, unique culinary journey that emphasizes fresh ingredients and pronounced flavors,” commented Chef Shachi, who blends Western and Indian cultures to create artful dishes that successfully marry tradition with modernity. “The casual setting of ADYA makes it inviting and accommodating to a wide range of guests who seek out the rich experiences that Indian cuisine has to offer.”

Allan KarlWhy would anyone of sound mind sell nearly everything he owns (including a premium wine collection with cult California labels,) then pack up and travel for three years – alone – on a motorcycle? Meet world traveler and adventurer, Allan Karl, the author of Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine And Connection. The standout book documents his incredible 62,000 mile journey through 35 countries on 5 continents over three years as well as provides authentic local recipes.

Getting the beautiful coffee table book published was an additional three-year odyssey of its own that became a Kickstarter case study..

From Allan: “Through the pages of this book, I share not only incredible adventures, I share the powerful gift of human connection – often made over good food and drink. Readers can experience the world as I did by traveling through each country, meeting the people and their unique cultures, and tasting their food.”

“As I traveled it occurred to me how important is the ritual of sharing food and how much we learn when we take the time to connect and share a meal with strangers or good friends alike.”

Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine And Connections by Allan KarlForks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine And Connections is an oversized, coffee-table art-book with more than 700 photos, stories of adventure and survival and global local food.”

For two years Allan struggled to find a publisher willing to take on this unusual and ambitious book project. They couldn’t pigeonhole it…Finally he turned to Kickstarter to raise the needed initial funds to self publish. He raised almost twice his initial goal for a total of $44,994

After three years on the road Allan truly believes the Irish Proverb: “There are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met.”

Eric WadlundSpencer’s Restaurant at The Mountain is consistently one of the most popular and favorably reviewed restaurants in the greater Palm Springs area. Since 2008 the secret has been the culinary talents of Executive Chef Eric Wadlund in the kitchen. Their relaxing Sunday Brunch is top of the mind with the locals.

“Featuring Four Star American Cuisine with a French – Pacific Rim Influence in a casually elegant atmosphere.”

The restaurant’s outdoor patios and the striking indoor dining area create an extremely inviting visual experience.

Chef Eric was just four when he whipped up his first culinary delight: doughnuts. His father owned a bakery and taught him the tricks of the trade, and, most of all, to love food and cooking.

By the way, he’s cooked for the President, too.

Tomas EstesThe Museum of the American Cocktail is hosting one of their special “Touring the Cocktail” evenings at Guelaguetza Restaurante on July 23rd. It’s a tequila appreciation evening with Oaxacan food tastes. Tomas Estes, Mexico’s official Tequila Ambassador to Europe has the details for us.

Tomas Estes, London resident, native Angeleno, acclaimed restaurateur, and Mexico’s “Official Tequila Ambassador to Europe,” issues participants a passport to the world of tequila and takes them on a behind-the-scenes tour of agave spirits. Josh Goldman, Co-Founder of Soigné Group, a portfolio of 12 Los Angeles-area craft cocktail bars and restaurants, executes a drink menu that demonstrates tequila’s range and versatility.

A sampling of savory specialties from the authentic Oaxacan kitchen of Koreatown’s Restaurante Guelaguetza are included in the price of admission. Come taste why Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold says “Guelaguetza is the best Oaxacan restaurant in the country.”

Tickets are $45 in advance, $40 for MOTAC/SoFAB and USBG Members, and $50 at the door.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chefs Ori Menashe and Chef Genevieve Gergis of Bestia, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Three: Chefs Ori Menashe and Chef Genevieve Gergis of Bestia, Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Four: Chef Shachi Mehra, ADYA – Fresh Indian Flavors, Anaheim
Segment Five: Allan Karl – Author of Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine and Connection Part One
Segment Six: Allan Karl – Author of Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine and Connection Part Two
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Eric Wadlund, Spencer’s Restaurant at The Mountain, Palm Springs
Segment Eight: Tomas Estes, Mexico’s Tequila Ambassador to Europe

Show 52, December 14, 2013: Geeta Bansal, Executive Chef / Proprietress of Clay Oven in Irvine

Clay Oven in IrvineThe long running Clay Oven in Irvine (26 years plus…) is the OC’s classic Indian (Northern cuisine) restaurant. It’s also a true family affair.

Geeta Bansal (our guest) is the proprietress / executive chef along with her husband, Praveen, who is the gracious proprietor / sommelier. Their son, Tarun, represents the 2nd generation active at Clay Oven.

One of their holiday treats (by special order) is a Tandoor Turkey. They sell out (over 250 birds) each Thanksgiving using four tandoor ovens. They are available by special order year-round. Just give them three days notice. The birds are skinless and marinated in an herb and spice blend. The juices are seared into the meat during the cooking process. The birds are incredibly moist when they come out of the tandoor oven.

Geeta’s unusual hobby is traveling the globe and interviewing high profile chefs in their native countries. These revealing interviews have been published in the OC Weekly, Orange County Register and, more recently, in her own blog (“Gastronome Geeta.”) Accredited, professional food journalists don’t have the unusual access Geeta enjoys!
In a teaching moment Chef Geeta also educates us on the ancient Hindu treatise of Ayruveda as it relates to food.

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