Show 78, July 5, 2014: Miguel Rodriguez, General Manager and Executive Chef Marc Johnson, Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge, The Island Hotel, Newport Beach Part One

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 (as chef de cuisine,) one of the most recognized restaurants in Alabama.

Play

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

Show 73, May 24, 2014: Executive Chef and VP of Food & Beverage Operations John Suley, Celebrity Cruises

John Suley of Celebrity CruisesCelebrity Cruises ships are easily recognized with their iconic “X.”

On May 31st the 2014 Celebrity Cruises Great Wine Festival featuring more than 30 exceptional wineries, fine cuisine, a silent auction and opportunity drawing, and musical entertainment launches. This event will take place at the Orange County Great Park, the first great metropolitan park of the 21st century, located in the heart of Orange County.

It’s a benefit for Legal Aid of Orange County.

Featured restaurants include Montage Laguna Beach, Clay Oven, Slapfish, and James Republic. John Suley, Celebrity’s Executive Chef and VP of Food & Beverage Operations will be there with a tasting station, too. He is our guest.

For libations look for Cakebread, Jordan, JUSTIN, Grgich Hills, Alaskan Brewing Co., Pyramid Brewing, and many others.

Chef John notes that for Celebrity Cruises everything is made from scratch including baked goods, soups, and sauces. While the passengers sleep a crew of some 30 cooks are busily preparing food for the guests.

On Celebrity’s Solstice or Millennium Class Ships some 10 to 13,000 meals are prepared and served daily from immaculately maintained kitchens.

Play

May 24: Celebrity Cruises, Daniel Boulud, John Shelton, Bill Chait, Carlos Enriquez

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef and VP of Food & Beverage Operations John Suley, Celebrity Cruises
Segment Three: Chef Daniel Boulud, New York City, Las Vegas and The World Part One
Segment Four: Chef Daniel Boulud, New York City, Las Vegas and The World Part Two
Segment Five: Executive Chef John Shelton, Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, CA
Segment Six: Bill Chait, Los Angeles-based Restaurant Impresario Part One
Segment Seven: Bill Chait, Los Angeles-based Restaurant Impresario Part Two
Segment Eight: Carlos Enriquez, Corporate Pastry Chef, Patina Restaurant Group

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Celebrity Cruises is launching their first-ever land-based wine and food festival on May 31st in the Orange County Great Park. Celebrity’s executive chef is with us with the full details. It’s a benefit for charity.

Chef Daniel Boulud has returned to Las Vegas with the opening of db Brasserie at The Venetian Hotel on Las Vegas fabled Strip. His chef de cuisine there is David Middleton. Chef Boulud joins us to share what’s on the menu.

The Hotel Del Coronado is California’s premier, classic beachfront hotel dating back to 1888. It represents luxury from another age. Last week we met the chef at their casual, seafood-centric, ocean-view restaurant, Sheerwater. This week it’s a conversation with Chef John Shelton, the executive chef overseeing all of Hotel del Coronado.

Restaurant impresario Bill Chait is responsible for some of the most successful and high profile restaurant openings in L.A. His most recent effort is Republique with acclaimed Chef Walter Manzke. Next up is Redbird at the old Vibiana cathedral in Downtown and the eagerly anticipated restaurant in Eli Broad’s upcoming contemporary art museum.

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

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

Special Note…

50 Best Plants On The Planet – The most Nutrient-Dense Fruits and Vegetables, in 150 Delicious RecipesA good friend of the show’s, Cathy Thomas, the long-time food writer for the Orange County Register, is hosting a special dinner at Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach on Thursday, May 29th. It’s celebrating her third book, 50 Best Plants On The Planet – The most Nutrient-Dense Fruits and Vegetables, in 150 Delicious Recipes.

Executive Chef Paul Gstrein will prepare a special four-course meal for the occasion. Most of the dishes will be prepared from Cathy’s favorite recipes in the book.

The main course is Pistachio Crusted Free Range Chicken Breast with Farro “Risotto,” Brussels Sprouts “Two Ways,” and Bing Cherry “Agro Dolce.”

Cathy will be there for the entire evening chitchatting with the guests. She will also sign books.

You can make a reservation for anytime between 6 and 9:00 p.m. For reservations please call 949.721.1222. It’s a modest $45 per person. Specify the “Cathy Thomas Dinner” when you call.

John Suley of Celebrity CruisesCelebrity Cruises ships are easily recognized with their iconic “X.”

On May 31st the 2014 Celebrity Cruises Great Wine Festival featuring more than 30 exceptional wineries, fine cuisine, a silent auction and opportunity drawing, and musical entertainment launches. This event will take place at the Orange County Great Park, the first great metropolitan park of the 21st century, located in the heart of Orange County.

It’s a benefit for Legal Aid of Orange County.

Featured restaurants include Montage Laguna Beach, Clay Oven, Slapfish, and James Republic. John Suley, Celebrity’s Executive Chef and VP of Food & Beverage Operations will be there with a tasting station, too. He is our guest.

For libations look for Cakebread, Jordan, JUSTIN, Grgich Hills, Alaskan Brewing Co., Pyramid Brewing, and many others.

Daniel BouludAcclaimed Chef Daniel Boulud has returned to Las Vegas with the opening of db Brasserie at The Venetian. His executive chef there is David Middleton (ex-Marche Bacchus.) (Daniel previously had a restaurant (the now closed Daniel Boulud Brasserie) at Wynn Las Vegas.)

The restaurant, which Boulud calls his “ideal brasserie,” is an updated version of the French Brasserie, with contemporary twists and international appeal.

“Like me, the brasserie was born in France but has traveled the world,” says Boulud. “I wanted to create a menu with my favorite French dishes, charcuterie, shellfish – all the brasserie staples – and international flavors from my travels that are a bit exotic and transporting.”

Reservations can be made at 702.430.1235.

db brasserie in Las Vegasdb Brasserie boasts a wine list of approximately 300 international selections, curated by Boulud’s group Wine Director Daniel Johnnes and db Brasserie Sommelier Devin Zendel.

The list pays tribute to the glories of American Wine, which are presented in three categories : PIONEERS ‘the first to prove the quality of American terroir’; NEW FRONTIER ‘young wineries inspired by their old-world counterparts’; and CLASSICS ‘next generation American winemaking, classics in their own right’.

The spacious restaurant seats 280 diners, including two private dining rooms, as well as a casual bar and lounge.

Located at the start of Restaurant Row (in the former Valentino Las Vegas space,) just off the casino floor, db Brasserie is accessible from both The Venetian and Palazzo.

Later in the Summer Chef Boulud will be opening a new restaurant in Washington, DC.

Chef Boulud is The Chairman of Bocuse d’Or USA supporting Team USA in the prestigious international culinary competition which is the Bocuse d’Or held in Lyon every other year. Daniel explains why this is very important to the American culinary community. The next competition in Lyon is set for January 27 & 28th in 2015.

John Shelton of Hotel del CoronadoThe Hotel Del Coronado is California’s premier, classic beachfront hotel dating back to 1888. It represents luxury from another age.

Executive Chef John Shelton who oversees all the food and beverage operation at The Del is our guest. He also loves to fish.

Restaurants at the Del range from the fine-dining 1500 OCEAN to the award-winning Sunday Brunch spectacular buffet served in the historic and architecturally significant Crown Room.

June is Culinary Craftsman Month at Sunday Brunch. Local exceptional food products will be featured.

Bill ChaitRestaurant impresario Bill Chait is responsible for some of the most successful and high profile restaurant openings in L.A. His most recent effort is Republique with acclaimed Chef Walter Manzke.

Next up is Redbird with Chef Neal Fraser (BLD) at the old Vibiana cathedral’s rectory in Downtown.

Bestia Restaurant in the Los Angeles Arts DistrictAlso the eagerly anticipated 6,000 square foot restaurant in Eli Broad’s upcoming contemporary art museum in Downtown. Timothy Hollingsworth (ex-chef de cuisine at the French Laundry) is at the culinary helm. Rory Herrmann, formerly the opening chef de cuisine at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills is also a part of the project. Hermann is the Director of Culinary Operations for Chait’s Sprout Restaurant Group.

Bill explains how his company is evolving (a catering division is in the plans) and how he approaches projects.

Many new ventures with high profile chefs are in the pipeline. Bill’s culinary partners in Bestia (Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis) have a new concept in the works for Downtown’s Arts District.

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.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef and VP of Food & Beverage Operations John Suley, Celebrity Cruises
Segment Three: Chef Daniel Boulud, New York City, Las Vegas and The World Part One
Segment Four: Chef Daniel Boulud, New York City, Las Vegas and The World Part Two
Segment Five: Executive Chef John Shelton, Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, CA
Segment Six: Bill Chait, Los Angeles-based Restaurant Impresario Part One
Segment Seven: Bill Chait, Los Angeles-based Restaurant Impresario Part Two
Segment Eight: Carlos Enriquez, Corporate Pastry Chef, Patina Restaurant Group

Show 37, August 3, 2013: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register Magazine

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineFirst Kedric previewed the Savor The Central Coast food and wine festival presented by Sunset Magazine and San Luis Obispo County. This is always a great event and there is a lot new for 2013. The dates are September 26th to 29th. The main event site is the Santa Margarita Ranch.

The featured celebrity chef is Michael Voltaggio of ink. and ink.sack in Los Angeles. You’ll remember him from Bravo’s “Top Chef” where, in his season’s finale, he bested his brother to win!

Montage Laguna Beach has their 2nd Annual “Surf with a Legend” weekend coming up Sept. 13th to 15th. In addition to the spectacular surfing guests enjoy a special BBQ created by the Resort’s Executive Chef, Rob Wilson.

Thoroughbred Racing is at Del Mar in San Diego County through Sept. 4th. At nearby Grand Del Mar, their Addison fine-dining restaurant is offering a series of culinary, winemaking, and mixology classes, continuing for the next few months.

In closing Kedric reminded that The Orange County Fair continues through next Weekend. He shared some useful tips for saving money while attending the Fair. Take advantage of the many family-friendly, free activities and exhibits!

Play

May 18: Sherry Yard, Craig Strong, Bill Esparza, Martin Blin, Marcus Samuelsson

Podcasts

Segment One: Pastry Chef Sherry Yard
Segment Two: Craig Strong, executive chef of Studio at Montage Laguna Beach
Segment Three: Bill Esparza, the “Mexican Food Maestro” and authority on the food of Baja California
Segment Four: Marius Blin, executive chef of Sofitel Los Angeles and president of Club Culinaire of Southern California
Segment Five: Pastry Chef Sherry Yard, Celebrity Chef discusses the new Helms Bakery
Segment Six: Marcus Samuelsson, chef / proprietor of Red Rooster and Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem

Sherry YardSpecial treat for this Saturday’s show. Pastry princess Sherry Yard is guest hosting the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” She was Wolfgang Puck’s long-time pastry chef until departing after the Oscars this year to embark on a restaurant project of her own.

Sherry Yard is a multiple James Beard Award-winner for both the pastry arts as well as writing. These coveted medallions are the Oscars of the food world! Sherry was just in New York for the annual Beard Awards presented at Lincoln Center. Sherry will tell us what it’s like to be backstage and onstage in Manhattan during the Beard Awards.

Chef Craig StrongCraig Strong is the executive chef of Studio at Montage Laguna Beach. This is one of Orange County’s elite fine-dining destinations. It’s housed in its own architecturally distinctive building on the luscious grounds of Montage and the added bonus is the view of The Pacific.

On Sunday, June 3rd Chef Strong and his team are again hosting the annual Share Our Strength – Taste of the Nation benefit in Studio and the adjacent grounds. It’s a refined walk-around wine and food tasting afternoon with incredible tastes from some of the most high profile chefs in the country. Alan Wong from Alan Wong’s in Honolulu is one of the distinguished visiting chefs. Chef Alan cooks for the President at Alan Wong’s when he visits Honolulu. Also Chef Brooke Williamson of Hudson House in Redondo Beach. She was the runner- up in this season’s “Top Chef” series on Bravo!

Bill EsperanzaSaxophonist Bill Esparza has been dubbed the “Mexican Food Maestro.” As a hobby he’s developed an expertise (now a bustling 2nd career) in the foods of Baja California and the other culinary regions of Mexico. He leads escorted food tours there for journalists and food fans alike. He’s even given advice to Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern.

On Sunday, June 23rd he’s hosting LA Weekly’s Tacolandia Tacofest from Noon to 5:00 p.m. on the parking lot of the Hollywood Palladium.

33rd Annual Picnic de ChefsWhen a group of accomplished French chefs get together to cook guaranteed fun is always on the menu. The 33rd Annual Picnic des Chefs will be held on Sunday, June 2, 2013 at Vasa Park in Agoura Hills. This picnic is organized annually by the Club Culinaire of Southern California to benefit area charities.

On hand will be food tasting stations from 20 area restaurants complimented by premium wines from 20 wineries.

Chef Martin Blin the executive chef of Sofitel Los Angeles (across from the Beverly Center) and the President of the group joins us with all the appetizing details.

Back to our conversation with Sherry Yard.

Her new venture is the reimagined Helms Bakery (under construction) in partnership with Sang Yoon of Father’s Office and Lukshon. This will be on the site of the original Helms Bakery, an iconic food landmark and brand established in 1931 (with home delivery) which sadly closed in 1969.

Marcus Samuelsson and Andy Harris at a Taste of Harlem in Baldwin HillsMarcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster and Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem really needs no introduction. Among his many achievements he orchestrated the menu for President Obama’s first State Dinner at the White House during his initial term.

His excellent memoirs, Yes, Chef, is now in paperback. It just earned a James Beard Award. It’s a must read for any young person contemplating a career in the culinary arts. Chef Marcus is brutally honest in recounting his achievements and failures on the lengthy path to the major success he now is.

Podcasts

Segment One: Pastry Chef Sherry Yard
Segment Two: Craig Strong, executive chef of Studio at Montage Laguna Beach
Segment Three: Bill Esparza, the “Mexican Food Maestro” and authority on the food of Baja California
Segment Four: Marius Blin, executive chef of Sofitel Los Angeles and president of Club Culinaire of Southern California
Segment Five: Pastry Chef Sherry Yard, Celebrity Chef discusses the new Helms Bakery
Segment Six: Marcus Samuelsson, chef / proprietor of Red Rooster and Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem