Show 152, December 26, 2015: Anne Marie Panoringan, OC Weekly Food Writer

Top Chef on BravoBravo’s “Top Chef” has been an enormous hit for the emerging network. It’s now airing Season 13 which is, appropriately, all California – based. It’s also made a star of Co-host Tom Colicchio. This season a couple of Southern California chefs are Cheftestants including the OC’s Amar Santana of Broadway by Amar Santana and the just opened Vaca (December 26) in Costa Mesa.

Food journalist  and insider Anne Marie Panoringan (who contributes the widely read “On the Line” chef profiles for OC Weekly) is writing an opinionated weekly recap of “Top Chef” with the emphasis on the OC perspective.We’ll talk to her about this recapping the first of two challenging episodes using the greater Palm Springs area as the backdrop.

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Show 147, November 21, 2015: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

It’s probably our biggest show of 2015 with two celebrity culinary icons bookending the show. You don’t want to miss it…

Now, in the best Holiday spirit, a tantalizing preview of Saturday’s high-energy and appropriately loaded show and not, with apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosChef Andrew Gruel’s (our official Guest Host) helpful Thanksgiving tips from November 14th are available by Podcast.

Also our distinguished Host Emeritus of “The SoCal Restaurant Show,” Chef Jet Tila, has his Thanksgiving Recipe Folder available for the asking via his Chef Jet Tila Facebook Page. It’s proven recipes for the turkey, sides and lots more!

Wine selections for the Thanksgiving turkey can always be a source of great anxiety. To the rescue is our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer, Co-Founder of Wine Exchange. As you’ll hear he makes Thanksgiving wine pairings a snap! Also his suggestions are pleasingly affordable.

Renowned Chef Jacques Pepin has written more than two dozen cookbooks and hosted more than 13 popular public television cooking series. Chef Pepin recently completed production of his 14th cooking series for PBS, Jacques Pepin Heart & Soul for KQED in San Francisco. There is also a newly published companion cookbook of the same name. Chef Pepin has announced that this will be his last cooking series so it’s bittersweet. Chef Pepin is our very special guest.

The very best of Fall produce is now available at your favorite food store. We’re going to take a deeper look at seasonal items including Korean Pears, Christmas Crunch Grapes and Cinnamon Persimmons with our esteemed resident produce expert, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce. Robert will encore on Saturday morning, December 26th with a continuation of his report.

Chef Dean Thomas is the Executive Chef at Europa Village Winery in Temecula as well as the Innkeeper at the adjacent Inn at Europa Village. Chef Dean has just returned from a 7-night cruise through Provence starting in Barcelona and ending in Paris. We’ll share in the culinary highlights with Chef Dean himself.

An amazing weekend of Celebrity Chefs, great food and fantastic wines is coming to the La Quinta Resort and Club in La Quinta, CA on December 4th and 5th. It’s a James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour event. The host chefs are James Beard Award-winner Jimmy Schmidt and Chef Brian Recor of Morgan’s in the Desert. John Healy, the General Manager of Morgan’s in the Desert (and a long-time associate of Chef Schmidt,) joins us with all the tantalizing details.

Lidia Bastianich is one of the best-loved chefs on television, a best-selling cookbook author, restaurateur, and owner of a flourishing food and entertainment business. Lidia has married her two passions in life – her family and food, to create multiple culinary endeavors alongside her two children, Joseph and Tanya. Her newest cookbook is Lidia’s Mastering The Art of Italian Cuisine written with her daughter, Tanya.

A happy and joyous Thanksgiving celebration to all whether you’re cooking, dining out or a guest with Family.

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

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November 21: Jacques Pepin, Lidia Bastianich, Wine Exchange, Robert Schueller, Europa Village, La Quinta Resort and Club

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana
Segment Three: Chef Jacques Pepin
Segment Four: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s Produce
Segment Five: Chef Dean Thomas, Europa Village & Inn at Europa Village, Temecula, CA
Segment Six: John Healy, Morgan’s in the Desert, La Quinta Resort
Segment Seven: Lidia Bastianich, Chef, Restaurateur & TV Personality Part One
Segment Eight: Lidia Bastianich, Chef, Restaurateur & TV Personality Part Two

It’s our biggest show of 2015 with two celebrity culinary icons bookending the show. You really don’t want to miss it…

Now, in the best Holiday spirit, a tantalizing preview of Saturday’s high-energy and appropriately loaded show and not, with apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

Wine selections for the Thanksgiving turkey can always be a source of great anxiety. To the rescue is our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor of Wine Exchange. As you’ll hear he makes Thanksgiving wine pairings a simple pop of the cork! Also his suggestions are affordable.

Renowned Chef Jacques Pepin has written more than two dozen cookbooks and hosted more than 13 popular public television cooking series. Chef Pepin recently complerted production of his 14th cooking series for PBS, “Jacques Pepin Heart & Soul” for KQED in San Francisco. There is also a newly published companion cookbook of the same name. Chef Pepin (80 years-young next month) is our very special guest.

The very best of Fall produce is now available at your favorite food store. We’re going to take a deeper look at seasonal items including Korean Pears, Christmas Crunch Grapes and Cinnamon Persimmons with our esteemed resident produce expert, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce. Robert will encore on Saturday morning, December 5th with a continuation of his sprouting report.

Chef Dean Thomas is the Executive Chef at Europa Village Winery in Temecula as well as the Innkeeper at the adjacent Inn at Europa Village. Chef Dean has just returned from a 7-night river cruise through Provence starting in Barcelona and ending in Paris. We’ll share in the culinary highlights with Chef Dean himself.

An amazing weekend of Celebrity Chefs, great food and fantastic wines is coming to the La Quinta Resort and Club in La Quinta, CA. on December 4th and 5th. It’s a James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour event. The host chefs are James Beard Award-winner Jimmy Schmidt and Chef Brian Recor of Morgan’s in the Desert. John Healy, the General Manager of Morgan’s in the Desert (and a long-time associate of Chef Schmidt) joins us with all the tantalizing details.

Lidia Bastianich is one of the most-loved chefs on television, a best-selling cookbook author, restaurateur, and owner of a flourishing food and entertainment business. Lidia has married her two passions in life – her family and food, to create multiple culinary endeavors alongside her two children, Joseph and Tanya. Her newest cookbook is Lidia’s Mastering The Art of Italian Cuisine written with her daughter, Tanya. We’re in the kitchen with Lidia.

A happy and joyous Thanksgiving celebration to all whether you’re cooking, dining out or a guest with Family.

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

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeWine selections for the Thanksgiving turkey can always be a source of great anxiety. To the rescue is our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor of Wine Exchange in Santa Ana. As you’ll hear he makes Thanksgiving wine pairings a simple pull of the cork! Also his suggestions are happily affordable.

“We would shy away from big, powerful, tannic wines that would overwhelm the turkey meat and not be versatile enough to play with the variety of other things that can appear on the holiday table.  Things like big Cabs, Zins, and Syrahs are great with red meats.  Such wines would bludgeon the delicate bird and be further complicated in the wake of stuffing, yams, and other such themed delicacies.  They might play alright if you are doing more exotic preparations like smoking or deep frying your bird, but even that’s a little bit of a stretch.”

Jacques PepinRenowned Chef Jacques Pepin has written more than two dozen cookbooks and hosted more than 13 popular public television cooking series. Chef Pepin recently completed production of his 14th cooking series for PBS, Jacques Pepin Heart & Soul for KQED in San Francisco. There is also a newly published companion cookbook of the same name, Jacques Pepin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen.

Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen is an intimate look at the celebrity chef and the food he cooks at home with family and friends—200 recipes in all. There are the simple dinners Jacques prepares for his wife, like the world’s best burgers (the secret is ground brisket). There are elegant dinners for small gatherings, with tantalizing starters like Camembert cheese with a pistachio crust and desserts like little foolproof chocolate soufflés. And there are the dishes for backyard parties, including grilled chicken tenderloin in an Argentinean chimichurri sauce.

Spiced with reminiscences and stories, this book reveals the unorthodox philosophy of the man who taught millions how to cook, revealing his frank views on molecular gastronomy, the locovore movement, Julia Child and James Beard, on how to raise a child who will eat almost anything, and much, much more.  For both longtime fans of Jacques and those who are discovering him for the first time, this is a must-have cookbook.

“For this book, mindful that as I approach eighty years old I have a limited number of cookbooks in my future, I decided to gather a collection of recipes that I cook at home today.” Jacques Pepin.

Chef Pepin is our very special guest.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceThe very best and freshest of Fall produce is now available on the produce aisle at your favorite food store. We’re going to take a deeper look at seasonal items including Korean Pears, Christmas Crunch Grapes and Cinnamon Persimmons with our esteemed resident produce expert, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce.

Melissa’s Korean Pears, for instance, are crunchy, juicy and sweet. Extreme care is taken while growing these pears; the outcome is a clean, blemish-free fruit. Unlike Western pears, Korean Pears are round and large in size. The skin of the pear has a light, brownish-yellow tint while the inner flesh is white. This variety is cultivated to have an extremely thin skin, which is sweet not bitter.

Melissa’s Korean Pears have a variety of uses in cooking, sliced, diced or shredded over salads, baked, or stuffed for desserts.

Robert will encore on Saturday morning, December 5th with a continuation of his report.

Dean ThomasChef Dean Thomas is the Executive Chef at Europa Village Winery in Temecula as well as the Innkeeper at the adjacent Inn at Europa Village. His from-scratch, 2-course breakfasts with International themes for the Inn’s guests are the talk of Temecula Valley.

Chef Dean has just returned from a 7-night AmaWaterways river cruise through Provence starting in Barcelona and ending in Paris.

We’ll share in the culinary highlights with Chef Dean himself including a meal at Chef Paul Bocuse’s l’Auberge du Pont de Collonges in Lyon.

At Europa Village on Friday, November 27th is Vivi Bene.” It’s their festive antidote to “Black Friday” starting at 10:00 a.m. From 5 to 8:00 p.m. there will be Strolling Carolers and Chef Dean’s Delights including bread pudding, mulled wine, cider, butternut squash bisque and house-made preserves.

James Beard Foundation Epicurian WeekendAn amazing weekend of Celebrity Chefs, great food and fantastic wines is coming to the La Quinta Resort and Club in La Quinta, CA. on December 4th and 5th. It’s a James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour event. The host chefs are James Beard Award-winner Jimmy Schmidt and Chef Brian Recor of Morgan’s in the Desert.

Participating chefs include Richard Blais of Juniper & Ivy in San Diego, Pete Eshelman of Joseph Decuis in Roanoke, IN, James Beard Foundation Award-Winner Larry Forgione of The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, CA, James Beard Award Winner Mary Sue Milliken of Border Grill in Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Las Vegas and Suzanne Tracht of Jar in Los Angeles. Also winemakers Mike Grgich of Grgich Hill Estate Winery and Barbara and Bruce Neyers of Neyers Winery in St. Helena.

Friday December 4th is the Rustic Dinner Under the Stars and Saturday, December 5th is the Celebrity Chef Tour Gala.

John Healy, the General Manager of Morgan’s in the Desert (and a long-time associate of Chef Schmidt,) joins us with all the tantalizing details.

Lidia BastianichLidia Bastianich is one of the best-loved chefs on television, a best-selling cookbook author, restaurateur, and owner of a flourishing food and entertainment business. Lidia has married her two passions in life – her family and food, to create multiple culinary endeavors alongside her two children, Joseph and Tanya. Her newest cookbook is Lidia’s Mastering The Art of Italian Cuisine written with her daughter, Tanya.

From the Emmy-winning host of “Lidia’s Kitchen”, best-selling author, and beloved ambassador for Italian culinary traditions in America comes the ultimate master class : a beautifully produced definitive guide to Italian cooking. The volume covers everything from ingredients to techniques to tools, plus more than 400 delectable recipes.

Teaching has always been Lidia’s passion, and in this magnificent book she gives us the full benefit of that passion and her deep, comprehensive understanding of what it takes to create delicious Italian meals. The 400 recipes run the full gamut from classics like Risotto alla Milanese and Tagliatelle with Mushroom Sauce to Lidia’s always-satisfying originals like Bread and Prune Gnocchi and Best Ravioli in Poppy Sauce.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana
Segment Three: Chef Jacques Pepin
Segment Four: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s Produce
Segment Five: Chef Dean Thomas, Europa Village & Inn at Europa Village, Temecula, CA
Segment Six: John Healy, Morgan’s in the Desert, La Quinta Resort
Segment Seven: Lidia Bastianich, Chef, Restaurateur & TV Personality Part One
Segment Eight: Lidia Bastianich, Chef, Restaurateur & TV Personality Part Two

Show 129, July 4, 2015: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew GruelOur own resident Guest Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is at it again doing the seemingly impossible. He just opened a new Slapfish at LAX on a super compressed timetable that required a lot of ingenuity (and long hours) to pull-off. Kind of like walking into the Natural History Museum. Check out the photo on our Facebook (SoCal Restaurant Show) page.

The Irvine Slapfish debuts mid-month.

Chef Andrew is in Palm Springs on a menu development retreat. He’s testing recipes with a crew of colleagues. We’ll catch-up with him and, yes, find out what’s cooking.

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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: Executive Chef Eric Wadlund, Spencer’s Restaurant at The Mountain, Palm Springs

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. Their specialty is “Benedicts.”

“Featuring Four Star American Cuisine with a French – Pacific Rim Influence in a casually elegant atmosphere.” Chef Eric sources a lot of the produce he uses from two local Farmers Markets.

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 (Butterball Bakery) and taught him the tricks of the trade, and, most of all, to love food and cooking.

His banana cream pie is a locals’ favorite and all the ice creams and sorbets are house-made.

By the way, he’s cooked for the President, too, at Sunnylands (the former Walter Annenberg Estate.)

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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: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine Continues…

Ritz Restaurant and GardenKedric was recently at The Ritz Restaurant & Garden’s long-running annual holiday party fund-raiser (“Christmas at the Ritz”) in Newport Center benefiting Chapman University which was a bit bittersweet. Their lease is up and this is the last “Christmas at The Ritz” at the original location dating to 1977. The Ritz was established by the late Hans Prager, the former executive chef at both Lawry’s The Prime Rib and the fabled Scandia on The Sunset Strip in West Hollywood.

There was some good news. It’s not final yet but it looks like The Ritz has found a new location in the area to relocate when they need to vacate their current home early next year. Their long-time landlord has already granted them a couple of extensions. The only glitch is that The Ritz will disappear for at least a year while the new space is remodeled. Most of the long-time employees will need to find work and perhaps move on permanently. Stay tuned…

Hard Rock Hotel Palm SpringsThe Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs is newly opened and Kedric had a chance to see the property a few weeks ago. It’s located in the heart of Downtown Palm Springs near the Indian Casino. Kedric observed there in now lots to do for twentysomethings and thirtysomethings in Palm Springs these days, including a vibrant nightlife.

Kedric also previewed some luxury resorts opening next year in French Polynesia, Bali and the Maldives. That’s the life…

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December 14: Scott Conant, Teemu Selanne, Clay Oven, Kedric Francis, Sherry Yard

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Scott Conant oversees his highly successful empire of five Scarpetta restaurants
Segment Three: Celebrity Chef Scott Conant of the five Scarpetta restaurants coast-to-coast. Continues…
Segment Four: Leo Fenn, Director of Operations, Selanne Steak Tavern, Laguna Beach
Segment Five: Geeta Bansal, Executive Chef / Proprietress of Clay Oven in Irvine
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine Part One
Segment Seven: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine Part Two
Segment Eight: Sherry Yard, the acclaimed executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck for 20 years

Lechon Porchetta by Susan ParkYou can aid the unfortunate victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and enjoy some great Filipino food…There is a huge Filipino community right here in Los Angeles County.

Upcoming is an “all are welcome” fundraiser at Bamboo Bistro in Panorama City on Sunday, Dec. 15th from 4 to 8:00 p.m.

Pinoy food will be there in abundance expertly prepared by L.A. chefs including Chef Mayet Cristobal, the Executive Chef of the Getty Museum. She will be serving Beef Short Rib Adobo. The minimum donation is a modest $20 per adult and there will be live music.

The new season of Food Network’s newest hit series, Cutthroat Kitchen, hosted by Alton Brown launches Sunday night, December 15th. Our own Jet Tila is the most-used celebrity chef judge on the series. Tough but fair…

Be looking for his episodes for Season 2. Don’t miss the online after shows on Food Network’s Website. Alton goes over each episode with the celebrity chef judge. Always fun to better understand what the vexing sabotages were…! Jet doesn’t know any of this when he evaluating the food. On this show strategy is just as important as cooking chops. Luck helps, too…

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Scott Conant of Scarpetta and Food NetworkChef Scott Conant oversees a growing restaurant empire from his base in Manhattan. There are hugely successful Scarpetta restaurants in New York City, Miami Beach, Toronto, Beverly Hills at The Montage Hotel and Las Vegas at The Cosmopolitan. He’s known for an extraordinary spaghetti dish.

He also has the more casual, D.O.C.G. Enoteca at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

The Scarpetta Cookbook (his third) is just out for the Holidays.

Scarpetta Beverly Hills just celebrated its 3rd birthday.

Chef Scott is familiar to millions of viewers of food television as one of the original permanent judges on Food Network’s “Chopped.” It’s probably the hardest legitimate cooking competition series on the air. As Scott explains it’s all real. None of the competing chefs have a clue what’s in their mystery basket of ingredients until they open it!

The Scarpetta Cookbook came about as a result of a hands-on cooking demo Scott performed in Manhattan. There were 15 teams of two students preparing one of his signature recipes. The variations of the same dish as presented by the class members was incredible. Scott calls it a disaster.

Scott wants food fans to be able to successfully duplicate the Scarpetta recipes at home. No secrets or missing ingredient in the book’s recipes. That’s his goal for the book.

If you order the cookbook from his website you can obtain a personalized inscription. Good idea for the Holidays and saves the flight to New York.

Chef Scott talks about the needed ingredients for success with multiple restaurants. It’s all about service, food, and ambiance. Service is the key. Food is the follow-up. Scott points out that if a guest has a bad service experience they are likely never to return.

Teemu Selanne of Selanne Steak TavernIf you’re a hockey fan then you know Teemu Selanne, The Anaheim Ducks forward and ice hockey icon. Sadly for his legion of fans this is his last season as a pro.

Teemu loves fine dining and it was only a matter of time before he opened a destination restaurant (with his business partner Kevin Pratt) in Orange County where he resides. The result is the newly launched Selanne Steak Tavern on the site of the former French 75, a historic restaurant location in Laguna Beach. It’s a sophisticated steakhouse, and lots more, with a real chef, dedicated pastry chef and a top-flight wine program orchestrated by Leo Fenn, the Director of Operations.

Leo is a recognized authority on rare and cult wines but makes it all approachable for the guest. Leo is with us to provide all the tempting 411 on Selanne Steak Tavern.

When Teemu Selanne is not on the road he will be very visible at the restaurant.

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 specials (by special order) is a Tandoor Turkey. They sell out (over 250 birds) each Thanksgiving using four tandoor ovens. 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. Accredited, professional food journalists don’t have the access Geeta enjoys!

In a teaching moment Chef Geeta also educates us on the ancient Hindu treatise of Ayruveda as it relates to food.

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineIt’s the Holidays which is a peak vacation travel period. It’s a great time to catch-up with our man about Orange County, Kedric Francis. Kedric is the always debonair, well-traveled Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine.

On Saturday morning Kedric is off to Cancun, Mexico to experience a new high-end resort there. He’s visiting the Nizuc Resort & Spa. This will be the subject of a future report.

Kedric also reported on some big deal Fashion Island restaurant openings. Red O, with a high end regional Mexican menu by noted Chicago chef Rick Bayless, is now open. Soon to launch is Fig & Olive (Mediterranean fare) which started in West Hollywood.

Kedric was recently at The Ritz Restaurant & Garden’s annual holiday party fund-raiser in Newport Center which was a bit bittersweet. Their lease is up and this is the last Holiday Party at the original location.

There was some good news. It’s not final yet but it looks like The Ritz has found a new location in the area to relocate when they need to vacate their current home early next year. Their long-time landlord has already granted them a couple of extensions. The only glitch is that The Ritz will disappear for at least a year while the new space is remodeled. Most of the long-time employees will need to find work and perhaps move on permanently. Stay tuned…

The Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs is newly opened and Kedric had a chance to see the property a few weeks ago. It’s located in the heart of Downtown Palm Springs near the Indian Casino. Kedric observed there in now lots to do for twentysomethings and thirtysomethings in Palm Springs these days, including a vibrant nightlife.

Sherry YardL.A.’s acclaimed pastry princess, Sherry Yard, is with us for the last segment. Sherry was Wolfgang Puck’s (Spago) executive pastry chef for twenty years. She is a multiple James Beard Award-winner. Her first cookbook, The Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts won a Beard Award for “Best Baking Cookbook.”

Her current project (with Lukshon’s and Father’s Office’s Sang Yoon) is the revival of Helms Bakery located on the site of the former Helms Bakery, an iconic home delivery commercial bakery that left the scene years ago. It looks like Summer of 2014 for the opening.

The exciting all-day concept keeps evolving but it’s going to be a bakery and cafe with a lot more. All the bread will be prepared and baked right there. They will roast the beans for the coffee on site. You’ll be able to get sandwiches and full meals packaged to take home.

You can sign-up for their monthly newsletter to keep current on the opening for Helms Bakery.

Meanwhile on Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday afternoons look for the restored yellow Helms Bakery delivery truck in front of their future restaurant space across from Father’s Office. Sherry is selling her soon to be famous chocolate chip cookies and various hand-crafted ice cream novelties. Everything is deliciously scratch-made. Call it a tasty preview of coming edible attractions…

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Scott Conant oversees his highly successful empire of five Scarpetta restaurants
Segment Three: Celebrity Chef Scott Conant of the five Scarpetta restaurants coast-to-coast. Continues…
Segment Four: Leo Fenn, Director of Operations, Selanne Steak Tavern, Laguna Beach
Segment Five: Geeta Bansal, Executive Chef / Proprietress of Clay Oven in Irvine
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine Part One
Segment Seven: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine Part Two
Segment Eight: Sherry Yard, the acclaimed executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck for 20 years