Show 229, June 24, 2017: The Street Gourmet’s Bill Esparza

Bill EsparzaThe Street Gourmet, Senor Bill Esparza, is back with us with his first cookbook. Richly photographed and authentically local, L.A. Mexicano showcases L.A.’s sophisticated and diverse Mexican-food culture, from Oaxacan tlayudas to Nayarit ceviches, Alta California gastronomy to Boyle Heights burritos.

It’s got it all: recipes, insightful and inspirational profiles of chefs, bakers, restaurateurs, and vendors, and neighborhood guides that point readers to the best markets, taco trucks, restaurants, bars, and more. Part cookbook, part food journalism, and part love song to Los Angeles, it’s a definitive resource for home cooks, Mexican food lovers, and hungry Angelenos and visitors.

With a foreword by Taco USA‘s Gustavo Arellano, L.A. Mexicano shines a long-overdue light on the people behind one of the world’s most complex and delicious cuisines, in one of the world’s most exciting food cities.

Bill Esparza is winner of a James Beard award (with Lesley Bargar Suter) for his coverage of the LA taco scene in Los Angeles Magazine. Considered one of the country’s leading experts on Mexican food, the LA native curates the annual Tacolandia festival in Los Angeles and writes about Mexican food for Los Angeles Magazine and other notable publications.

Catch Bill in-person at Friends & Family on Hollywood Blvd. (5150) in Thai Town on Saturday, July 8th from Noon to 3:00 p.m. He’ll be there meeting the guests & signing copies of L.A. Mexicano. There is a strong rumor that Bill’s Grandmother’s recipe for Huevos Rancheros will be on the menu as a special that day!

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Show 88, September 13, 2014: Taste of Mexico

Bricia LopezBricia Lopez (Guelaguetza) is the dynamic face of contemporary Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles. She is one of the organizers of the upcoming Taste of Mexico.

The 4th Annual Taste of Mexico is on tap for Saturday, September 27th with an afternoon Farmers Market Picnic and later evening Dinner, Music, Tequila and Mezcal affair. The location is the Plaza de Culturas y Artes in Downtown Los Angeles. It’s billed as LA’s most anticipated Mexican food festival of the year. It’s a chance for L.A’s diversity of fine Mexican restaurants to shine.

The always delightful Bricia Lopez of Guelaguetza is with us with a preview.

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May 17: Old Vine Café, Truck U Barbecue, Ruth Reichl, Sheerwater, Deborah Schneider, District Wine, Kedric Francis

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Owner / Chef Mark McDonald, Old Vine Café, The Camp in Costa Mesa
Segment Three: Chef Mike Minor of the Truck-U Barbeque rolling grill, Las Vegas
Segment Four: Ruth Reichl, New York Times bestselling author and long-time Editor of Gourmet Magazine
Segment Five: Charles “Chuck” Watson, Chef de Cuisine, Sheerwater, Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, CA
Segment Six: Executive Chef Deborah Schneider, Partner, SOL Cocina, solita and cookbook author
Segment Seven: Mark Dunton, Proprietor, District Wine, Long Beach
Segment Eight: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, The Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Orange County Magazine

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

The Old Vine Café, now in its 6th year, is a real crowd-pleaser at The Camp in Costa Mesa. Owner/Chef Mark McDonald gives us the background.

When we last visited Las Vegas Chef Mike Minor (ex-Executive Chef at Border Grill) he was just about to launch his TruckU Barbeque there. Now that his rolling grill is on the road and serving guests we’ll get the saucy update…

After you’ve been the esteemed and high-profile editor of Gourmet Magazine and, prior to that, the powerful & influential restaurant critic of The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times what’s next? In the case of our guest, Ruth Reichl, you pen your first novel.

The Hotel Del Coronado is California’s premier, classic beachfront hotel dating back to 1888. It represents the pinnacle of luxury from another age. One of their casual restaurants, with an incredible ocean view, is Sheerwater. We’ll meet the chef.

Executive Chef Deborah Schneider of SOL Cocina and solita Tacos & Margaritas in Huntington Beach is a well-traveled authority on the foods of Baja. Her first cookbook Baja! Cooking on the Edge is now out in a 2nd edition.

What’s special about District Wine in Downtown Long Beach? Meet the personable proprietors Mark and Angela Dunton and you’ll know.

Our debonair, roving food and travel correspondent based in the OC, Kedric Francis, checks-in. He’s the Executive Editor of both The Orange County Register Magazine and Coast Orange County Magazine. He’s updating us on the new food market halls arriving in the OC.

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

Mark McDonald of the Old Vine CafeSome six years ago owner/chef Mark McDonald opened the Old Vine Café hidden in The Camp in Costa Mesa. Unusually for a fine-dining establishment he serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Chef Mark also has a serious wine program with a fun, educational component.

It’s top quality cuisine and wine in a non-pretentious, casual atmosphere. Mark did a lot of cooking in Southern Italy and that’s reflected on the seasonally changing menu.

Chef Mark really wants his guests to enjoy, and sample, new wines. His “6 for $60” wine program encourages this.

He also leads annual escorted tours to Italy in association with The Italian Culinary Institute. His next “Splendors of South Italy” tour (Calabria and Sicily) is set for March 20 to 29, 2015.

Mike Minor of Truck U Barbecue in Las VegasWhen we last visited Las Vegas Chef Mike Minor (ex-Executive Chef at Border Grill) he was just about to launch his Truck-U Barbeque there. Now that the rolling grill is on the road and serving guests we’ll get the meaty update…

The truck itself was designed by HGTV star Luca Paganico.

Chef Mike calls it “meat candy on wheels.” It’s “urban hipster” barbecue. The food is Mexican with a Southern twist.

Look for the Short Rib Enchiladas and the Chipotle Fried Chicken. How about Maple Bacon Churros…???

Ruth ReichlAfter you’ve been the esteemed editor of Gourmet Magazine and, prior to that, the powerful & influential restaurant critic of The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times what’s next? In the case of our guest, Ruth Reichl, you pen your first novel. It’s Delicious! – A Novel.

“Ruth Reichl is a born storyteller. Through her restaurant reviews, where she celebrated the pleasures of a well-made meal, and her bestselling memoirs that address our universal feelings of love and loss, Reichl has achieved a special place in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of readers. Now, with this magical debut novel, she has created a sumptuous, wholly realized world that will enchant you.

Billie Breslin has traveled far from her home in California to take a job at Delicious!, New York’s most iconic food magazine. Away from her family, particularly her older sister, Genie, Billie feels like a fish out of water—until she is welcomed by the magazine’s colorful staff. She is also seduced by the vibrant downtown food scene, especially by Fontanari’s, the famous Italian food shop where she works on weekends. Then Delicious! is abruptly shut down, but Billie agrees to stay on in the empty office, maintaining the hotline for reader complaints in order to pay her bills.

To Billie’s surprise, the lonely job becomes the portal to a miraculous discovery. In a hidden room in the magazine’s library, Billie finds a cache of letters written during World War II by Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, to the legendary chef James Beard. Lulu’s letters provide Billie with a richer understanding of history, and a feeling of deep connection to the young writer whose courage in the face of hardship inspires Billie to comes to terms with her fears, her big sister and her ability to open her heart to love.”

Sheerwater Restaurant at the Hotel Del CoronadoThe Hotel Del Coronado is California’s premier, classic beachfront hotel dating back to 1888. It represents the pinnacle of luxury from another age.

One of their casual restaurants, with an incredible ocean view, is Sheerwater. The Chef de Cuisine there is Charles “Chuck” Watson.

They pride themselves on using fresh, local, sustainable seafood where possible. Think Mexican prawns and Baja scallops for starters.

All of the fish trimmings at this high volume establishment contribute to the house-specialty cioppino.

Chef Chuck is the culinary liaison at the Del for the SEA + FOOD event on Saturday afternoon, June 7th on the Windsor Lawn. It’s a one-day Pacific coast food festival to remember with delicious local seafood, BBQ from the Lil’ Del BBQ, and libations including craft beers, wines and spirits. Live retro rhythm and blues music, too.

The Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation to benefit childhood cancer research is the charitable beneficiary.

$100 admission includes tax, gratuities and parking. Adults only, please.

Deborah SchneiderChef Deborah Schneider brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her role as Executive Chef and Partner of Mexican restaurants SOL Cocina (Newport Beach & Scottsdale, AZ) and solita (Huntington Beach & soon Valencia) Schneider draws upon her rich culinary background and more than 25 years of professional cooking experience to bring the superb tastes and relaxing beach vibe of the Baja Peninsula.

Schneider’s passion for Baja was stoked by countless surf trips down the Peninsula. There, at small street stands and on pristine beaches, she discovered flavorful, healthy cuisine, rich with fresh seafood and inventive preparations that are at the heart of her restaurants.

Chef Deb has just released a second edition of her critically acclaimed first cookbook, Baja! Cooking on the Edge. It features a mixture of authentic recipes and Chef Deb’s own Baja-inspired dishes. This is the book that drew Chef Deb’s (now) restaurant partners to her for the SOL Cocina project.

Baja! features more than 150 easy-to-follow recipes, peppered with fantastic stories and images that are as vibrant in color as the dishes are in flavor. Chef Deb explores these different cultural influences of Baja street food – everything from the classic Fish Tacos and Seafood Cocktels, to a wide range of inspired meat-based tacos – chicken, pork, chorizo – and fresh salsas. The uniquely Baja recipes featured includes delights like Clams in Tequila Butter, One-Pan Paella, Garlic Cilantro Steak and Chocolate-Jalapeno Truffles.

Seasoned travel journalist and wine and food writer Linda Kissam knows what makes for a good wine bar…

Angela and Mark Dutton of District WineWhat makes a great wine bar? Before I put my dollars down, I like to look inside and make sure there are really plenty of interesting bottles of wine that appear to be available by the glass and small plates of food that complement the wine promising a special evening. A good wine bar isn’t just a bar with some wine. It specializes in wine. I like a place where the owner takes a real interest in making my wine time a memorable experience.”

District Wine in Downtown Long Beach is such an establishment. They just celebrated their 4th anniversary. Angela & Mark Dunton are the welcoming proprietors.

As Linda confidently observes, “These guys know their stuff.”

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineOur always debonair, roving food and travel correspondent in the OC, Kedric Francis, checks-in. He’s the Executive Editor of both The Orange County Register Magazine and Coast Orange County Magazine. He’s updating us on the new food market halls arriving in the OC.

Kedric will update us on the progress of the soon-to-be 4th Street Market in Downtown Santa Ana and The Anaheim Packing District. (That includes The Packard Showroom, Farmers Park, and Packing House.)

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Owner / Chef Mark McDonald, Old Vine Café, The Camp in Costa Mesa
Segment Three: Chef Mike Minor of the Truck-U Barbeque rolling grill, Las Vegas
Segment Four: Ruth Reichl, New York Times bestselling author and long-time Editor of Gourmet Magazine
Segment Five: Charles “Chuck” Watson, Chef de Cuisine, Sheerwater, Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, CA
Segment Six: Executive Chef Deborah Schneider, Partner, SOL Cocina, solita and cookbook author
Segment Seven: Mark Dunton, Proprietor, District Wine, Long Beach
Segment Eight: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, The Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Orange County Magazine

Show 61, February 15, 2013: Chef Rick Bayless, Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, and Red O (in West Hollywood & Newport Beach)

Rick BaylessWhen it comes to possessing a vast knowledge of the regional cooking of the various states in Mexico the recognized “el jefe” in the United States is Chicago’s Rick Bayless. Locally he’s probably best known for the PBS’s series “Mexico – One Plate at a Time” (now starting its 9th award-winning season) and from Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.” In Chicago he’s a local culinary celebrity for his highly popular restaurants including River North’s Topolobampo and Frontera Grill.

Chef Bayless has created the menu for the recently opened, and much talked about, highly designed Red O in Fashion Island, Newport Beach. It’s basically his contemporary take on Oaxacan fare and other culinary regions of Mexico.

Certain dishes are exclusive to Fashion Island (including the well-received guacamole sampler) and the tequila list includes 100 selections.

Chef Bayless offers tips for preparing the perfect guacamole. He gives a lot of credit to his executive chef in Newport Beach Keith Stich. He spent two months in Chicago learning Rick’s style of Mexican cooking.

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Show 61, February 15, 2013: Chef Rick Bayless, Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, and Red O (in West Hollywood & Newport Beach) Continues…

Mole at TopolobampoMexican cuisine master Chef Rick Bayless of Chicago’s Topolobampo and Frontera Grill continues. He created the menu for the recently opened Red O in Fashion Island, Newport Beach.

Rick details the impressive selection of artisan tequilas and mescals at Red O. He is also proud of his offerings of premium wines from the Guadalupe Valley in Northern Baja. He’s been there…

The new season of his hit PBS series takers us to Oaxaca, one of his favorite culinary regions in Mexico. He’s a fan of the famous “seven moles of Oaxaca.” We’ll visit the “Day of the Dead” celebration Oaxaca-style which is a “must see” from Rick.

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Chefs’ Favorite Foods

Chef Jet and Travis discuss their favorite cuisines with a few practical tips along the way.

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February 15: Rick Bayless, Top Round Roast Beef, Cochon 555, OC Restaurant Week, Grill on the Alley

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jamie Tiampo and Chef Steven Fretz, partners, Top Round Roast Beef
Segment Three: Chef Rick Bayless, Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, and Red O (in West Hollywood & Newport Beach) Part One
Segment Four: Chef Rick Bayless, Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, and Red O (in West Hollywood & Newport Beach) Part Two
Segment Five: Brady Lowe, Founder & Lord of Pork, Cochon 555
Segment Six: Executive Chef Jason Montelibano, Chapter One: The Modern Local, Santa Ana
Segment Seven: Bob Spivak, President, CEO, and Co-Founder, Grill Concepts, Inc.
Segment Eight: Jet Tila on Manhattan Dining. (Part 2)

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.

Thanks to all of our generous listeners who attended Chef Carla Hall’s Culinary Concert to benefit The James Beard Foundation at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin on Feb. 9th. Carla and guest MC Sherry Yard had the group thoroughly entertained with Carla’s demo of her Swamp Thing recipe which is from her new cookbook. It’s a braised pork shoulder in a smoked pork and corn broth.

America’s own master Mexican cooking authority, Rick Bayless of Topolobampo and Frontera Grill, is with us. He’s the menu-maker for the fashionable new Red O restaurant in Fashion Island in Newport Beach. It’s the 30th Anniversary of the legendary Grill on The Alley in Beverly Hills. We’ll celebrate with the founder. Cochon 555, a pork spectacular, returns to Santa Monica this month. We’ll tell you all about it. How about a fast food stand serving quality roast beef sandwiches using the very best ingredients? It’s run by fine dining chefs! Orange County Restaurant Week launches February 23rd. We’ll have a preview with one of the colorful participating executive chefs.

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

Top Round Roast BeefTop Round Roast Beef opened in the extensively remodeled space of a former donut shop at the busy corner of Olympic Blvd. and La Brea Avenue last June. The theme is top quality roast beef sandwiches where the beef is sliced to order. On the menu is a variety of quality roast beef sandwiches served on a butter-toasted bun with natural au jus. The beef is impressively sliced to order. Also on the small menu are curly French fries cooked in beef fat for maximum flavor, milkshakes and St. Louis frozen custard.

The owners have impressive culinary credentials from places including Red Medicine, 800 Degrees, and Curtis Stone’s restaurants.

Restaurant investor Jamie Tiampo (who is also the owner of See Food Media in New York) joins us along with Chef Steven Fretz (previously executive chef for Curtis Stone’s restaurant group) to explain the concept.

Rick BaylessWhen it comes to possessing a vast knowledge of the regional cooking of the various states in Mexico the recognized “el jefe” in the United States is Chicago’s Rick Bayless. Locally he’s probably best known for the PBS’s series “Mexico – One Plate at a Time” (now starting its 9th award-winning season) and from Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.” In Chicago he’s a local culinary celebrity for his highly popular restaurants including River North’s Topolobampo and Frontera Grill.

Chef Bayless has created the menu for the recently opened, and much talked about, highly designed Red O in Fashion Island, Newport Beach. It’s basically his contemporary take on Oaxacan fare and other culinary regions of Mexico.

Certain dishes are exclusive to Fashion Island and the tequila list includes 100 selections.

Chef Bayless offers tips for preparing the perfect guacamole.

The new season of his hit PBS series takers us to Oaxaca, one of his favorite culinary regions in Mexico. We’ll see the “Day of the Dead” celebration Oaxaca-style.

Brady Lowe of Cochon 555Cochon 555 (a celebration of heritage pork) returns to Los Angeles on its 2014 cross-country tour at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel on Sunday afternoon, February 23rd. Over 11 tons of heritage pork raised by family farms will be served across the country in the nose-to-tail touring culinary competition.

2014’s competing chefs include Host Chef Ray Garcia of Fig Restaurant, Christian Page of Short Order, Jason Neve of B&B Ristorante, Ray England of Craft, and Brian Howard of Comme Ca. Each chef prepares a maximum of six dishes created from one whole heritage pig.

Our own Jet Tila will be preparing an additional late-night sixth pig for the After Party.

orange-county-restaurant-weekThe OC’s most anticipated, and delicious, dining event, Orange County Restaurant Week, returns from February 23rd to March 1st. Diners will have the opportunity to enjoy the wide spectrum of dining options in the County at special prices for prix-fixe menus for both lunch and dinner.

Over 100 restaurants are part of Orange County Restaurant Week.

One of the featured restaurants is Santa Ana’s Chapter One: The Modern Local. Chef Jason Montelibano (aka Chef Chicken Wing) joins us to talk about his menu. Given his Filipino ancestry he’s incorporated a few contemporary Filipino touches into his menu.

Chef Jason won Riveria Magazine’s “To Live and Dine” chefs’ challenge event @ SoCo last year with his Lamb & Gnocchi dish.

The Grill on the Alley30 years ago dining history was made in Beverly Hills (a tough city for restaurant longevity) with the launch of The Grill on the Alley which is better known as The Grill. It soon evolved into a high profile business destination for lunch for the power brokers of Hollywood. Where your table was signified your status in the Entertainment Business. At night it became a destination for affluent locals with a very loyal following. Unusually for the time pretentiousness was never part of the gameplan. It also was the start of a significant restaurant company with three successful concepts.

Grill Concepts, Inc. continues to flourish to this day. Public School is the newest concept (with a sense of humor) with locations in Downtown Los Angeles, Culver City and Thousand Oaks. Northern California is next and more locations on the horizon. It’s a bar & restaurant gathering spot.

Founder Bob Spivak, a second generation restaurateur with a love for the hospitality business, joins us to share the fascinating story.

“We are so fortunate to have been in business for 30 years,” President, CEO, and Co-Founder Bob Spivak said. “In the ever changing restaurant industry, we are proud to say that we were vintage before it was trendy. And we will continue to maintain the tradition of exceptional service and timeless cuisine that guests have come to count on.”

Ippudo Ramen in New York CityChef Jet has been in New York twice over the last two weeks and has enjoyed some standout dining adventures along the way. Jet shares the details of his meal at Chef April Boomfield’s Spotted Pig (no reservations) in the West Village. This was one of the country’s first gastropubs. It’s still a scene over ten years later.

Jet also visited Ippudo, a well-known Japanese ramen shop and a personal favorite.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jamie Tiampo and Chef Steven Fretz, partners, Top Round Roast Beef
Segment Three: Chef Rick Bayless, Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, and Red O (in West Hollywood & Newport Beach) Part One
Segment Four: Chef Rick Bayless, Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, and Red O (in West Hollywood & Newport Beach) Part Two
Segment Five: Brady Lowe, Founder & Lord of Pork, Cochon 555
Segment Six: Executive Chef Jason Montelibano, Chapter One: The Modern Local, Santa Ana
Segment Seven: Bob Spivak, President, CEO, and Co-Founder, Grill Concepts, Inc.
Segment Eight: Jet Tila on Manhattan Dining. (Part 2)

January 11: Jimmy Shaw, Paul Bartolotta, Kedric Francis, Jessica Gelt, Walter Manzke

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jimmy Shaw, Founder and Executive Chef, Loteria! Grill Part One
Segment Three: Jimmy Shaw, Founder and Executive Chef, Loteria! Grill Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, Las Vegas Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Magazine
Segment Seven: Jessica Gelt, Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times
Segment Eight: Walter Manzke, Executive Chef & Proprietor, Rebublique

What's Cooking with Travis Rodgers and Jet TIla on AM830When you put our delightfully food obsessed morning show host, Travis Rodgers, together with Chef Jet Tila you know you’re going away entertained but really hungry. Be sure to catch their weekly feature, “What’s Cooking with Travis and Chef Jet Tila,” at 7:50 a.m. every Friday morning on AM 830 KLAA. It’s a feast for the ears…

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

If you crave authentic regional Mexican cuisine then you’ll want to hear Jimmy Shaw, the founder of Loteria! Grill. How about an award-winning celebrity chef from Chicago who was enticed by Steve Wynn to pull up stakes and move his family to Las Vegas so he could helm Mr. Wynn’s signature Italian seafood restaurant? That’s a story…You’ll also meet the executive chef and owner behind the hottest restaurant opening in Hollywood last year. It’s even located in a totally renovated historical building built by Charlie Chaplin.

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

Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill and Torta CompanyWhen it comes to authentic regional Mexican cuisine few are as knowledgeable as Jimmy Shaw, the founder and executive chef of the popular Loteria! Grill Restaurants. He was born and raised in Mexico City

He started modestly with a graphically-interesting stand in a great location at The Original Farmers Market at Third & Fairfax. The locals were wowed. Since then full-service restaurants in Hollywood, Studio City, Santa Monica and Westlake Village have been added. Any moment now Downtown Los Angeles will launch at FIGat7th.

Next to Loteria! Downtown will be a new gourmet sandwich shop Jimmy is doing with his brother, Andrew. It’s the Torta Company.

Two Loteria! Grills will be coming soon to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX.)
Chef Jimmy provides us with the rich history of the Mexican sandwich and what is correct as far as bread is concerned. The bread needs to be crunchy on the outside and pillowy soft inside.

Torta Company will offer both traditional and contemporary sandwich variations. There will definitely be appealing vegetarian options, too, including a wild mushroom tinga.

Look for pulled pork, batter-fried snapper in a Veracruz tomato sauce, and turkey in mole. Also on the menu will be Chef Jimmy’s clever spin on a tuna torta.

Paul BartolottaPaul Bartolotta is one of the rarified, distinguished James Beard Award winning chefs who has an incredible destination restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas.

His Bartollota Ristorante di Mare opened with the hotel back in 2005 and is one of the most successful fine dining restaurants at the property.

It just underwent a multimillion dollar renovation because Steve Wynn thought it was time…Chef Paul observed that the facelift alone cost more than the opening cost of many restaurants!

Paul was one of the most acclaimed chefs in Chicago (Spiaggia) when Mr. Wynn came calling. With his Bartolotta Restaurants firm he operates a number of busy restaurants in Milwaukee. Paul recounts the humorous story of Mr. Wynn’s charming pursuit of Paul to head the restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas. Understand at the time (2004) Paul was based in Chicago with his Family. One of Mr. Wynn’s requirements was that each of his celebrity chefs at Wynn Las Vegas actually reside in Las Vegas.

There is lots more to this fascinating story so Chef Paul Bartolotta of Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at Wynn Las Vegas continues with us.

The concept of the elegant restaurant is serving the very best of Mediterranean seafood flown in fresh daily from Italy and simply prepared. There is also a live program. Spiny lobsters from Sicily, in season, are in live tanks in the kitchen!

The servers expertly debone the fish at tableside. It’s not unusual to see Paul on the floor touching tables and explaining his dishes.

This is what veteran Las Vegas restaurant journalist Max Jacobson has said about Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare : “The chef is both a fanatic and masterful technician, so expect perfection.”

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineOur favorite debonair man about Orange County, Kedric Francis, is back with us for a dining report from his recent stay in Cancun. Kedric is the well-traveled Executive Editor of both Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine.

Kedric stayed at the 274 room, all-suite, Nizuc Resort & Spa in Cancun secluded a bit away from the tourist zone on a cove. It’s on the grounds of the former presidential retreat. Lots of water…

There are six tempting dining options there so Kedric opted to never leave the property during his visit.

Ni is the Peruvian restaurant. Kedric particularly enjoyed their ceviches.

Indochine is an Asian-fusion spot. Recommended is the sushi and deep-fried Grouper.

Of course they need to have a wonderful Mexican restaurant. That’s Ramona overlooking the beach. It’s modern versions of regional recipes using local produce and spices.

Los Angeles Times Travel ShowThe 16th Annual Los Angeles Times Travel show returns to the West Hall of the L.A. Convention Center on January 18 & 19. Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, Jessica Gelt, is with us to preview her activities at the show.

Gelt has written extensively about food, nightlife, entertainment and travel for The Times. She sometimes combines a few different beats within one entertaining story.

She is moderating two sessions of the same panel, “On the Road : Traveling for Music & Festivals” both days at Noon on the LA Times Stage.

Jessica also shared some insider tips about finding the best food at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. It helps to have VIP access…

Walter ManzkeOne of the most eagerly awaited restaurant openings of 2013 was Republique in Hollywood located on the site of the former trendsetting Campanile which opened in 1989. The architecturally significant building goes back to 1929 when it was constructed as Charlie Chaplin’s offices.

The project is owned by the husband and wife chef team of Walter Manzke and Margarita Manzke along with restaurant impresario Bill Chait. Chef Walter is well-know to L.A. foodies from his time at Patina, Bastide and Church and State. Chef Walter joins us to talk about the first month of operation.

The cuisine is contemporary French with an oyster bar up front. Chef Walter’s particular pride is what comes out of the wood burning oven and rotisserie.

Recently opened is the bakery café for breakfast, brunch and lunch on the go.

The restaurant is still not fully open. It’s expanding service in stages.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jimmy Shaw, Founder and Executive Chef, Loteria! Grill Part One
Segment Three: Jimmy Shaw, Founder and Executive Chef, Loteria! Grill Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, Las Vegas Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Magazine
Segment Seven: Jessica Gelt, Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times
Segment Eight: Walter Manzke, Executive Chef & Proprietor, Rebublique

Show 54, December 28, 2013: Deborah Schneider, Executive Chef & Partner, solita tacos & margaritas

Deborah SchneiderExecutive Chef Deborah Schneider is the acclaimed author of five well-received cookbooks (a sixth is on the way) and a partner in the highly regarded SOL Mexican Cocina on the Bay in Newport Beach (and in Scottsdale.) Over the years she has become the go-to authority on the cuisine and libations of Baja California and, more recently, other culinary regions of Mexico. One of her specialties is the tasty street food of Baja. Do I hear Street Tacos?

Newly opened this week is Chef Deb’s latest venture, solita tacos & margaritas, facing a pocket park and fountain in Huntington Beach’s Bella Terra Center. It’s a neighborhood-casual Mexican spot with an authentic food experience representing the most appreciated culinary aspects from the coast of Baja and other culinary regions of Mexico Chef Deb has visited and researched extensively.

“What makes solita so unique is that we incorporated a wood grill like so many we have enjoyed in Mexico, and created a menu around it that offers fresh, simple preparations made with seasonal ingredients,” explains Chef Deb.

The bar takes an equally fresh approach to traditional Mexican libations. All margaritas are made with 100 per cent blue agave tequilas and the fruit used is all fresh. The only sweetener in the beverages is agave.

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December 28: Top Food Trends for 2014, Solita Tacos and Margaritas, Yamashiro, Brock Radke, The Winery

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Deborah Schneider, Executive Chef & Partner, solita tacos & margaritas
Segment Three: Brock Kleweno, General Manager & Executive Chef, Yamashiro Hollywood Part One
Segment Four: Brock Kleweno, General Manager & Executive Chef, Yamashiro Hollywood Part Two
Segment Five: Brock Radke, Food Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Six: Food Trends for 2014 Part One
Segment Seven: Food Trends for 2014 Part Two
Segment Eight: JC Clow, Managing Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

Good news…No long lines and absolutely nothing to take back on this Saturday’s show. It’s just incredibly tasty entertainment for the ears with the usual assortment of great guests.

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show. This week we’re taking a look back and also looking forward to 2014. Hollywood, millions of redevelopment dollars later, is again a dining and entertainment hot spot and we’re chatting with the energetic Executive Chef of the historic Yamashiro about what’s new on the menu there. Our ultimate Las Vegas insider, Brock Radke, is with us talking about his favorite new restaurants of the year. What’s trending in food for 2014? Chef Jet and Producer Andy share their revealing thoughts.

Happy New Year to all and wishing our loyal listeners all the very best in dining adventures in 2014! Get out there…

Deborah SchneiderExecutive Chef Deborah Schneider is the acclaimed author of five well-received cookbooks (a sixth is on the way) and a partner in the highly regarded SOL Mexican Cocina on the Bay in Newport Beach (and in Scottsdale.) Over the years she has become the go-to authority on the cuisine and libations of Baja California and, more recently, other culinary regions of Mexico. One of her specialties is the tasty street food of Baja. Do I hear Street Tacos?

Newly opened this week is Chef Deb’s latest venture, solita tacos & margaritas, facing a pocket park and fountain in Huntington Beach’s Bella Terra Center. It’s a neighborhood-casual Mexican spot with an authentic food experience representing the most appreciated culinary aspects from the coast of Baja and other culinary regions of Mexico Chef Deb has visited and researched extensively.

“What makes solita so unique is that we incorporated a wood grill like so many we have enjoyed in Mexico, and created a menu around it that offers fresh, simple preparations made with seasonal ingredients,” explains Chef Deb.

The bar takes an equally fresh approach to traditional Mexican libations. All margaritas are made with 100 per cent blue agave tequilas and the fruit used is all fresh. The only sweetener in the beverages is agave.

A Hollywood landmark, Yamashiro, celebrates their 100th birthday in 2014. If you haven’t been there in awhile it’s time to perhaps take another look.

Brock Kleweno of YamashiroBrock Kleweno, the energetic Executive Chef and General Manager, joins us to talk about the rich history of the spot and the new commitment to fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere. There is lots more than fresh sushi to merit your attention here.

If you think Yamashiro Hollywood is the spot to just take out-of-town guests for a classic cocktail and the view you may just want to change your opinion after listening to Chef Brock.

Chef Brock personally does a lot of sourcing of his menu ingredients at the area Farmers Markets and actually operates a nighttime Farmers Market @ Yamashiro. May will mark their 5th year of hosting a Farmers Market there on Thursday evenings which has become quite a popular destination on its own drawing some 800 to 1,000 guests each Thursday night during the season.

One of Chef Brock’s signatures dishes is a Wagyu beef steak cooked at a very high temperature on a salt rock and presented with flair at the table. It finishes cooking at the table. Other standouts are the ceviche prepared with local sustainable fish and his take on Hawaiian poke.

They are also serious about the bar at Yamashiro. They prepare all the classic cocktails with style plus contemporary libations. They have some fun with the Manhattan as well as a fresh take on the Mai Tai (which was originally created in California.) They also do a standout version of the classic Moscow Mule served in the proper chilled copper mug which actually originated in Hollywood!

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyIf you’re looking for action New Year’s Eve then Las Vegas is always a festive party with real fireworks. Our insider in Las Vegas, Brock Radke, joins us to talk about the newly launched Container Park development in Downtown (with unusual shops and restaurants) along with a couple of suggestions for great New Year’s Eve dining. Brock is the Food Editor for Las Vegas Weekly.

Catch Brock’s special year-end column in Las Vegas Weekly on-line naming his 13 best new restaurants in Las Vegas for 2013. The intriguing selections are both on and off The Strip!

Chef Jet Tila host of the SoCal Restaurant ShowThinking about Food Trends for 2014 ? We have…Just for fun Chef Jet and Producer Andy have put together their lists of Top Trends in Food for the New Year.

Each developed their list without consulting the other. Also the items will not be discussed between Chef Jet and Producer Andy before air. That’s live radio…I’m sure there will be a few surprises.

 

 

 

JC Clow of the Winery Restaurant and BarJC Clow is the standout Managing Partner of The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar in the District in Tustin. 2014 will mark their 7th year of operation.

The Orange County Concierge Association has just awarded them the distinction of “Restaurant of the Year.” The news is actually more significant than that. This is the 3rd time in six years that this prestigious award has been earned by them ! That’s a wow.

If you’re looking for a non-stuffy, sophisticated and elegant New Year’s Eve celebration The Winery has two seatings that are reasonably priced and designed for the comfort of the guests. The Winery’s goal on New Year’s eve is never to pack the house!

The second seating is a four course menu from Chef Yvon, live entertainment and party favors.

JC caps 2013 off by updating us on the new Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar coming to Newport Beach by Valentine’s Day in 2014. It’s right on the Bay.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Deborah Schneider, Executive Chef & Partner, solita tacos & margaritas
Segment Three: Brock Kleweno, General Manager & Executive Chef, Yamashiro Hollywood Part One
Segment Four: Brock Kleweno, General Manager & Executive Chef, Yamashiro Hollywood Part Two
Segment Five: Brock Radke, Food Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Six: Food Trends for 2014 Part One
Segment Seven: Food Trends for 2014 Part Two
Segment Eight: JC Clow, Managing Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar