Show 169, April 30, 2016: Proprietor / Executive Chef Steve Samson, Sotto, Los Angeles

Steve Samson of SottoChef Steve Samson’s Sotto located just East of Century City recently celebrated it’s 5th Anniversary. In recognition of the occasion there was a renovation. Chef Steve is with us with an update. He also has a new restaurant on the horizon, Rossoblu, in Downtown Los Angeles

At Sotto expect an honest, market-driven menu of regionally-inspired Southern Italian dishes, including fresh house-made pastas and Neapolitan pizza cooked in an artisan wood burning oven.

The wine program has been called “one of the most interesting lists” in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Times and “one of the best places to drink Italian wine in LA” by Los Angeles Magazine.

The food at Sotto is complemented by a fresh, seasonally relevant cocktail program with a strong background in the classics and the utilization of lesser known Italian liqueurs.

Chef Steve is very proud that as part of the renovation he was finally able to make room in the kitchen for a suitable gelato maker. Gelato is now on the dessert menu at Sotto!

Rossoblu, located in Downtown’s vibrant Fashion District, hopes to launch before year’s end. The menu with be a tribute to the foods of his Mother who is from Bologna in Northern Italy.

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Show 162, March 5, 2016: Alicia Whitney, Proprietress, SeaLegs Wine Bar, Huntington Beach

Alicia WhitneyOrange County Restaurant Week, organized by the OC Restaurant Association, will celebrate its eighth year as the region’s highest profile culinary event, with the 2016 Orange County Restaurant Week to be held from Sunday, March 6th through Saturday, March 12th. This year, 140 restaurants in 21 Orange County cities will offer a wide variety of options, from casual and family-friendly establishments, to upscale and fine dining.

During the weeklong event, the participating restaurants will offer special three-course menus, many with a cocktail or signature item included at no additional charge. Each restaurant will have the freedom and flexibility to showcase its best offerings by talented chefs who will, no doubt, personalize each menu to reflect their individual culinary style. Participating restaurants will offer prix-fixe menus within the following price categories: lunch for $10, $15 or $20, and dinner for $20, $30, $40, $50 or $80.

Restaurateur Alicia Whitney of SeaLegs Wine Bar in Huntington Beach (a participating OC Restaurant Week restaurant and Golden Foodie Award-recipient) joins us.

For OC Restaurant Week SeaLegs is offering a 3-course dinner for a modest $30. The guest has a choice of Appetizer, Entrée and Dessert. The entree possibilities are Ancho Chile Braised Short Rib, Arty’s Links and Chitarra Pasta, and Grilled Scottish Salmon.

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Show 122, May 16, 2015: Feride Buyuran, Pomegranates & Saffron – A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan

Feride BuyuranImagine a country where East and West are beautifully intertwined in the cuisine and culture and where its treasured cooking secrets are just waiting to be discovered. Welcome to Azerbaijan.

In Pomegranates & Saffron – A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan, Feride Buyuran takes the reader on a delightful culinary journey through this beautiful land in the Caucasus. Interspersed throughout the text are fascinating glimpses of local culture and traditional proverbs related to food that will make the adventure even more memorable.

Explore 200 tempting recipes for appetizers and salads, soups and stews, pasta, meat, vegetable and egg dishes, breads, saffron rice pilafs, aromatic drinks and desserts. All the recipes are adapted for preparation in a Western kitchen.

Feride Buyuran is the creator of AZcookbook.com, a popular food blog that features recipes and stories from Azerbaijan and beyond. Her passion for cooking and fond childhood memories led her to produce Pomegranates & Saffron, her first, about the cuisine of her homeland which was part of the former Soviet Union until 1991.

Author Feride Buyuran is our guest.

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Show 103, December 27, 2014: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County Register Part Two

Photography by Brad A JohnsonIn mid-October Brad A. Johnson penned an intriguing piece for The Orange County Register about the arrival of the new Italian cuisine. The title of the piece is “This isn’t your father’s pasta: The future of Italian cuisine has arrived.” He characterizes it as “nothing short of a revolution.”

We’ll hear about this movement from Johnson along with the restaurants in Los Angeles and Orange County who are part of this exciting new wave.

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Show 102, December 20, 2014: Chef Brent Omeste, CUCINA Enoteca, Newport Beach

Brent OmesteCUCINA Enoteca, a California-inspired Italian kitchen and wine shop, opened earlier in the year in 8,300 square feet in Fashion Island. It’s a venture of Tracy Borkum’s San Diego-based Urban Kitchen Group. The very popular sister restaurant is located in the Irvine Spectrum.

Leading the day-to-day kitchen operations in Newport Beach as Chef de Cuisine is Orange County native Brent Omeste, a rising culinary talent. The menu is a California spin on rustic Italian fare.

Earlier in his cooking career Omeste was mentored by the well-known Director of the Culinary Arts program at Orange Coast College, Chef Bill Barber (now retired.) He’s cooked for Alessandro Pirozzi, Charlie Palmer, and Amar Santana.

On the menu are variations of luxurious pastas, antipasti, creative pizzas and plates small and large, along with fresh crudos and Chef’s whim seasonal specials.

The diverse wine program features more than 250 familiar names, and rare, small-batch varietals for guests to purchase at a retail price, either to enjoy with their meal for a minimal corkage fee or to take home.

Chef Brent Omeste is our guest.

 

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Show 90, September 27, 2014: Executive Chef Steve Samson

Steve Samson of SottoToday’s guest host is Executive Chef Steve Samson of Sotto in Los Angeles located just East of Century City. He was previously the high profile executive chef at Piero Selvaggio’s Valentino in Santa Monica. Orange County diners remember him as the opening executive chef at the popular Pizzeria Ortica in Costa Mesa.

Chef Steve was just in Bologna, Italy for a Family celebration. This influenced him to initiate a monthly series featuring dishes of the North. He’s also brining in complimentary Italian wines from the North.

Last Saturday afternoon at UCLA Chef Steve was one of the participating celebrity chefs at L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade culinary benefit. Samson was paired with one of the young cheftestantants from Fox’s MasterChef Jr. series.

Sotto delivers an honest, market-driven menu of regionally-inspired Southern Italian dishes, including fresh housemade pastas and Neapolitan pizza cooked in an artisan wood burning oven. This wood burning oven was built onsite by Neapolitan craftsmen using traditional Old World techniques.

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Show 85, August 23, 2014: Chef Michael Knowles, Black & Blue Steakhouse, Valley View Casino

Michael Knowles of Black and Blue SteakhouseThe show was live on Saturday morning from The Valley View Casino. The fine dining restaurant there is Black & Blue – The Place For Steak.

We met Chef de Cuisine Michael Knowles.He started cooking at age 14! Chef Michael cooked at Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio in San Francisco in the 90s. He has elevated Black & Blue to an award-winning California steakhouse that’s true destination dining for discerning San Diego residents.

All of his pastas are made in-house along with some of the cheese, including the mozzarella. There is a fresh pasta selection each night.

He uses as many local suppliers as possible. His beef purveyor is San Diego’s Brandt Beef. Seafood is from family-owned Santa Monica Seafood (celebrating their 75th Anniversary this year.) Local produce comes from Crows Pass Farm in Temecula and the legendary Chino Farms in addition to other small farmers.

Chef Michael’s “Signature Indulgence” on the Black & Blue menu is “The Ultimate Surf & Turf” for a reasonable $75.00. That’s a meal…It’s also part of a betting challenge where you might get your dinner for free or at a reduced price. It’s interactive and all in good fun…

How about Lobster Creamed Spinach as a premium side with lots of tender bites of lobster?

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Show 77, June 21, 2014: Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show

How do you conduct a serious educational wine tasting (that’s also fun) with a group? Wine, food and travel writer Linda Kissam is with us to explain.

Quality Italian beef, pasta, and sustainable seafood are on the menu at the new Chianina Steakhouse in the Naples area of Long Beach. This is from the hospitality team known for Michael’s on Naples. Linda Kissam recently experienced a dinner there.

The craft beer movement, surprisingly, is vibrant and thriving in Alabama. Back Forty Beer Co. is the largest, and oldest, packaging brewery in the State.

The 36th Annual Greek Festival brings a “Taste of Greece” to Orange County at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church from June 27th to 29th. More than 11,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival which will feature traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, and authentic Greek dancing with lessons. It’s a family-friendly affair!

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

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June 21: Linda Kissam, Chianina Steakhouse, Back Forty Beer Co, Irvine Greek Fest

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show
Segment Two: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part One
Segment Three: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part Two
Segment Four: Alejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part One
Segment Five: EAlejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part One
Segment Seven: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part Two
Segment Eight: Restaurateur George Kookootsedes, 36th Annual Greek Festival, St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church, Irvine

Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show.

How do you conduct a serious educational wine tasting (that’s also fun) with a group? Wine, food and travel writer Linda Kissam is with us to explain.

Quality Italian beef, pasta, and sustainable seafood are on the menu at the new Chianina Steakhouse in the Naples area of Long Beach. This is from the hospitality team known for Michael’s on Naples. Linda Kissam recently experienced a dinner there.

The craft beer movement, surprisingly, is vibrant and thriving in Alabama. Back Forty Beer Co. is the largest, and oldest, packaging brewery in the State.

The 36th Annual Greek Festival brings a “Taste of Greece” to Orange County at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church from June 27th to 29th. More than 11,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival which will feature traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, and authentic Greek dancing with lessons. It’s a family-friendly affair!

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

Linda KissamHow do you conduct a serious, educational wine tasting with a group that’s also entertaining and fun? Wine, food and travel writer Linda Kissam is with us to explain. She organizes tastings all the time…

She expertly demonstrated this recently for a group of professional food, wine, and travel journalists at the annual conference of the International, Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association in Montgomery, AL.

It was an organized tasting of five Italian Sparking Wines.

It’s fun but there is a proper way of doing this.

She also explains what the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association does and what their mission is. Linda serves as their First Vice President.

Chianina SteakhouseHigh-end steakhouses with a serious bar and deep wine lists are very much in fashion these days.

How about an elegant steakhouse that serves limited availability, high-quality Italian beef, prime steaks, and sustainable seafood? There is also a well-regarded executive chef (David Coleman) overseeing things. We’ll be meeting the General Manager of Chianina Steakhouse in the Naples neighborhood of Long Beach, part of the ever expanding Michael’s Restaurant Group. We’re joined by Alejandro Duran of Chianina.

Chianina beef will soon be on their menu.

Jason WilsonFounded in 2009 by Jason Wilson, Back Forty Beer Co. is one of the oldest Alabama breweries and the first to distribute outside of the state. Back Forty beers are available statewide in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. The brewery is located in Historic Downtown Gadsden, Alabama.

“In 2008, after several years in the corporate world and with over 150 brewery tours under his belt, founder Jason Wilson reached out to renowned Brewmaster Jamie Ray and asked for his help in developing recipes for Back Forty Beer Co.

The goal for the liquid was simple – to expose Southerners to the same craft beer culture that Wilson had been part of for the last ten years. This meant starting out with classic beer styles and evolving with customers along the way. Jamie agreed and in January of 2009 he became Back Forty’s first employee.

In June of 2009, Back Forty released its first offering, Naked Pig Pale Ale. The beer was only available in the North-Central Alabama home market, but the response was overwhelming. In March of 2010 the second Back Forty offering hit the shelves, Truck Stop Honey Brown Ale. Later that year Truck Stop Honey was awarded a Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival, and in the weeks following, distribution offers poured in that allowed Back Forty to expand its coverage throughout Alabama.

Jason revealed the great news that it looks like Back Forty Beer Co.’s styles will be available in Southern California by year’s end. We’ll keep you posted…

irvine-greek-festThe 36th Annual Greek Festival brings a “Taste of Greece” to Orange County at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church from June 27th to 29th. More than 11,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival which will feature traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, and authentic Greek dancing with lessons. It’s a family-friendly affair!

Legendary OC Restaurateur Mr. K (George Kookootsedes)
(John Dominis) is our guest…As a dedicated volunteer he puts the incredible food program together each year.

As guest host Linda Kissam notes , “It’s the next best thing to flying to Greece.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show
Segment Two: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part One
Segment Three: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part Two
Segment Four: Alejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part One
Segment Five: EAlejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part One
Segment Seven: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part Two
Segment Eight: Restaurateur George Kookootsedes, 36th Annual Greek Festival, St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church, Irvine

April 12: Deep End Dining, K-Town Night Market, Provenance OC, Argot Wines, Bruce Kalman, The Shed, It’s It, Cool-A-Coo

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Food blogger Eddie Lin of Deep End Dining
Segment Three: Danny Park, Operations Partner, KTown Night Market, and Yong Kim, Co-Founder & Co-Owner, Seoul Sausage Company
Segment Four: Owner/Chef Cathy Pavlos, Provenance in Newport Beach
Segment Five: Justin Harmon, Winemaker, Argot Wine Company, Santa Rosa, CA
Segment Six: Executive Chef Bruce Kalman, Union Restaurant, Pasadena, CA
Segment Seven: HeadShedHead Brad Orrison, The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint and The Shed Saucery, Ocean Springs, MS
Segment Eight: Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris on the iconic premium ice cream novelty now back at Dodger Stadium, the Cool-A-Coo

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Thoughtfully written food blogs proving genuinely useful information are seemingly ubiquitous now but they weren’t ten years ago. Happy 10th Anniversary to “Deep End Dining.”

There is a new addition to the booming Asian Night Market scene locally. A warm welcome to the first K-Town Night Market.

The most ambitious restaurant opening in the OC thus far this year is the long-awaited Provenance in Newport Beach. An impressive organic garden wraps around the perimeter of the restaurant’s spacious patio.

We’ll have a visit from a passionate young wine maker in Sonoma County who is creating limited production wines crafted his way with impressive results.

A local chef with substantial cooking credentials has opened a new, more personal restaurant in Pasadena. Chef Jet will provide the specifics.

The most famous barbeque joint in Mississippi has figured out a way to go national. Their popular sauces and marinades are now available in glass bottles at better food stores across the country.

It’s ice cream season. One of the most popular premium ice cream novelty items ever is the iconic It’s It. It’s SoCal cousin is the Cool-A-Coo. We have the scoop on both…

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

Eddie Lin of Deep End DiningEddie Lin is a larger than life food blogger. Fortunately he also knows what he’s writing about.

Ten years ago he created the always provocative Deep End Dining blog to provide a forum for his views. It’s a hit…

He is also Los Angeles Magazine’s Digest blogger.

Eddie is the author of Lonely Planet’s Extreme Cuisine. You’ve seen him on Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, Cooking Channel’s Eat Street, and as a guest judge on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters.

He’s working on a provocative new documentary about the placenta as a possible vitamin-rich, food source.

Deep End Dining…”Daring. Different. Delicious. There’s high end dining. There’s low end dining. And then there’s everything else in between. We’d like to introduce you to another level – Deep End Dining. We are diners dedicated to seeking and devouring the food uncommon, cuisine exotic and entrees less ordered. Have an open appetite and get ready to plunge into…the Deep End.”

Koreatown Night MarketNight Markets are hot right now in SoCal. It was only a matter of time before a Korean Night Market was organized.

KTown Night Market (a free event) is set for Friday, April 18th (4:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.) and Saturday, April 19th (2:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.) at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in KoreaTown.

It’s a veritable buffet of great ethnic food including the best food trucks around curated by Seoul Sausage Co. (winners of Season 3 of Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race.”

For the 1st time ever the winners of “Great Food Truck Race” from Seasons 1 to 3 (Grill ‘Em All, The Lime Truck & Seoul Sausage Co.) will all be together selling the food that made them famous nationwide.

“Our vision is for people to come and experience Korean food, Korean culture and Korean Entertainment.” Everyone is welcome!

Yong Kim of Seoul Sausage Co. and Danny Park, Operations Partner for KTown Night Market are our guests.

Cathy PavlosChef Cathy Pavlos’ Provenance – The Garden at Eastbluff in Newport Beach (Eastbluff Center) is the most anticipated restaurant opening in the OC this far this year. It’s been an anxious two years in the making…

Chef Cathy’s grandfather was a commercial farmer in Huntington Beach. She grew up eating and cooking only her grandfather’s farm raised produce, fresh fish from the docks in San Pedro, fresh fruits from family orchards in Whittier, and often proteins butchered on the farm. She spent 10-years in the local 4-H club raising horses, goats, lambs and rabbits. Her lamb and rabbits were sold commercially.

Provenance’s Mission Statement – Provenance is a neighborhood restaurant – the kind of restaurant you wish you had in your neighborhood. Our menu, with most items made in house from natural and/or organic products, is of consistently high quality and tailored to a simple as well as sophisticated taste and a moderately high budget. Our concept, anchored by our organic garden, will focus on California Cuisine and outstanding service. We will continue to grow and evolve with our customers and promote a friendly, fair, and creative work environment, while profitably providing unwavering attentive and knowledgeable service.

Provenance is already serving seven days a week. No lunch on Saturday and Sunday Farm Breakfast.

Justin Harmon of Argot WinesHow does a software engineer (and ex-chemical engineer) from Chicago find his way to Sonoma County and make the transition to becoming a serious winemaker who is respected by his peers? You’ll meet the passionate Justin Harmon and find out! His first home brew was a Cabernet made from a juice concentrate kit while still in Chicago.

He’s coming to Los Angeles on April 16th to showcase his wines @ a pop-up dinner prepared by Chef David Feau (ex-The Royce at The Langham Hotel in Pasadena) in Downtown Los Angeles organized by Learn About Wine.

Bruce Kalman on Union PasadenaBruce Kalman, who was previously the chef at the Churchill and Urbano Pizza Bar, has opened the 50-seat Union in Old Town Pasadena. It’s Kalman’s version of Northern Italian cuisine.

He’s known for making his pastas from scratch.

He’s an alum from the exclusive winner’s circle of Food Network’s “Chopped.”

His much praised polenta is from Pasadena’s Grist & Toll.

On April 13th Union debuts Sunday Family Suppers (Cena di Famiglia.) It’s three courses, including an ample platter of Italian desserts, for $39.

Brand Orrinson of the Shed BBQIf you’re from the South and love barbeque then you know the familiar catchphrase, “Get Fed at the Shed.”

It refers to The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

The Shed was founded in 2002 by (brothers and sister) Brad and Brooke Orrison and their parents. The original shed was 330 square feet and was built by Brad. He was all of 24 and his sister was 19. With success it expanded to 15,000 square feet over the years. The ‘cue has garnered many serious BBQ competition awards. The Shed burned down in 2011 and was quickly rebuilt retaining the quirky charm of the original.

They have been all over Food TV. Guy Fieri “discovered” them for Food Network’s “Diners Drive-Ins & Dives” and they have also been on Travel Channel’s “Man v. Food.” Most recently they even had their own reality series on Food Network.

Their proprietary BBQ Sauces and Marinades have become so popular that they have packaged them in glass bottles for national distribution. They are preservative free, have no MSG, and no added colorings or artificial flavors. This line of their business will eventually be bigger than the BBQ restaurants.

Brad and his crew (including New Orleans Chef Rene Patout) were just here exhibiting (with great flair) at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim. You could taste any of their fine sauces on their fabulous tri-tip!

Cool a Coo Ice Cream SandwichesWe’re talking the best in premium ice cream novelties…

In a recent “What’s Cooking with Travis and Chef Jet Tila” segment (heard on Friday morning @ 7:50 a.m. on AM 830 KLAA) the guys were discussing their favorites in ballpark eats. Travis brought up the decadent subject of It’s It and Cool-As-Coo’s. Travis became a fan of the It’s It during his college years. For Jet, Cool-A-Coos bring back memories of Dodger Stadium. We’ll explore these rich vanilla ice cream sandwich treats dipped in chocolate and topped on both sides with an oatmeal cookie. Both are made right here in California.

Both have great background stories. Unfortunately only one of them is available to enjoy outside of a Ball Park!

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Food blogger Eddie Lin of Deep End Dining
Segment Three: Danny Park, Operations Partner, KTown Night Market, and Yong Kim, Co-Founder & Co-Owner, Seoul Sausage Company
Segment Four: Owner/Chef Cathy Pavlos, Provenance in Newport Beach
Segment Five: Justin Harmon, Winemaker, Argot Wine Company, Santa Rosa, CA
Segment Six: Executive Chef Bruce Kalman, Union Restaurant, Pasadena, CA
Segment Seven: HeadShedHead Brad Orrison, The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint and The Shed Saucery, Ocean Springs, MS
Segment Eight: Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris on the iconic premium ice cream novelty now back at Dodger Stadium, the Cool-A-Coo