Show 223, May 13, 2017: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Valentino Santa Monica

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa MonicaValentino, the renowned Santa Monica restaurant by noted Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio that has defined Italian fine dining since its opening in 1972, is hosting a Wine Spectacular Series in May with four dinners (2 remaining on May 19th and 26th) curated by Selvaggio and James Beard Foundation award-winning chef Luciano Pellegrini, who recently returned as the restaurant’s Executive Consulting Chef.

The dinners, in partnership with the LA Times Food Bowl, celebrated citywide for the month, feature choice and rare selections from Valentino’s legendary wine cellar. Valentino presents the finest and most elegant in wine pairing dinners, showcasing Sicily on May 19 and culminating with the Cal-Italian Spectacular on May 26, 2017.

Selvaggio will speak to guests about his personal memories, deep connections to the territory, and of his many discoveries and experiences during 40 years of visits to his homeland. Each menu will be seven courses of authentic regional specialties prepared with a contemporary take on traditional recipes.

Reservations are required and can be made by calling Valentino at 310.849.4313 or email Giuseppe Mollica at giuseppe@valentinosantamonica.com.

Piero also graciously suggests that you can e-mail him directly @ welovewines@aol.com for reservations or more information.

Complete menus can be viewed here –>

Play

Show 223, May 13, 2017: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Valentino Santa Monica continues…

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa MonicaValentino, the renowned Santa Monica restaurant by noted Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio that has defined Italian fine dining since its opening in 1972, is hosting a Wine Spectacular Series in May with four dinners (2 remaining on May 19th and 26th) curated by Selvaggio and James Beard Foundation award-winning chef Luciano Pellegrini, who recently returned as the restaurant’s Executive Consulting Chef.

The upcoming wine dinner for Sicily is priced at $99 per guest, $55 for wine pairings. The Cal-Italian finale can be reserved with a ten-guest minimum and is priced at $499 per guest, all-inclusive of menus, wines, taxes and gratuity.

Reservations are required and can be made by calling Valentino at 310.849.4313 or email Giuseppe Mollica at giuseppe@valentinosantamonica.com.

Piero also graciously suggests that you can e-mail him directly @ welovewines@aol.com for reservations or more information.

Complete menus can be viewed here –>

Play

October 3: Timothy Hollingsworth, OozeFest, Quady Winery, Piero Selvaggio, Tiffany Derry, Moulin Bistro, Shachi Mehra

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Tim Hollingsworth of Otium at The Broad museum continues…
Segment Three: 100eats.com and Foodbeast’s Ooze Fest
Segment Four: Quady North (Winery) and Herb Quady
Segment Five: Piero Selvaggio, Valentino and Columbus Day Dinner Feast
Segment Six: “Top Chef’s” Chef Tiffany Derry and Celebrity Cruises “Top Chef at Sea.”
Segment Seven: Moulin Bistro and Proprietor Laurent Vrignaud
Segment Eight: ADYA – Fresh Indian Flavors and Executive Chef Shachi Mehra

Please join us on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. for a special broadcast time of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” We follow Angel Baseball (versus the Texas Rangers) as they continue to battle for the 2nd Wild Card Berth and the possible Division Title. Go Halos!

We’re back to our regular broadcast time of 10:00 a.m. to 12 Noon on October 10th.

Congrats to all the winners (and nominees) of The Golden Foodie Awards held Sunday, Sept. 28th at The Fairmont Newport Beach. We’ll be talking to some of the winners today and in the coming weeks.

It’s a B-I-G show this afternoon so we want to get right to our first guest, Executive Chef Timothy Hollingsworth, a James Beard Award recipient. Chef Tim was previously the chef de cuisine of Thomas Keller’s fabled French Laundry in Yountville. Since relocating to Southern California he has opened Barrel & Ashes in Studio City. On the immediate horizon is the debut of the eagerly anticipated Otium restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles prominently located across the plaza from The Broad.

Chef Tim is one of the high profile local chefs of distinction cooking at The Taste Los Angeles Dining Event, “A Night of Culinary Stars,” benefiting the James Beard Foundation on Friday evening, November 6th at The Ebell of Los Angeles.

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

Timothy HollingsworthJames Beard Award-winner Chef Tim Hollingsworth of the soon to debut Otium in Downtown Los Angeles located across the plaza from The Broad continues…

Chef Tim is one of the high profile local chefs of distinction cooking at The Taste Los Angeles Dining Event, “A Night of Culinary Stars,” benefiting the James Beard Foundation on Friday evening, November 6th at The Ebell of Los Angeles.

The Taste America L.A. evening (“Local Flavor from Coast-to-Coast”) will begin with a reception filled with cocktails and hors d’oeuvre from local chefs and restaurateurs, including Ray Garcia (Broken Spanish), James Beard Award winner Timothy Hollingsworth (Barrel & Ashes and Otium), Michael Hung (ex-Faith & Flower), Jessica Koslow (Sqirl), Zach Pollack (Alimento), and host chef Louis Pechan (The Ebell of Los Angeles).

Guests will then be seated for an extraordinary dinner prepared by James Beard Award–winning chef and Taste America All-Star Hugh Acheson (Empire State South; Atlanta, GA), in collaboration with two Local Star chefs, James Beard Award nominees Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook (Jon & Vinny’s, Animal, and Son of a Gun; Los Angeles), who will come together to create an unforgettable one-night-only menu. Tickets are available on jbftasteamerica.org.

On Saturday, November 7, free in-store consumer events will take place at Sur La Table® located at the Original Farmers Market, 6333 W 3rd St. #10, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Activities of the day will include a cooking demo by All-Star Hugh Acheson, book signings, tastings from local producers and artisans, as well as product demos and tastings from Taste America’s national sponsors. Reservations for the free cooking demos will begin two weeks prior to the event (October 24th.) at jbftasteamerica.org. Visit Los Angeles’s event page for the full schedule and more details.

Foodbeast OozefestWe’re celebrating American Cheese Month with the World’s Tallest Cheese Stack (hopefully) as part of the inaugural Ooze Fest on October 10th. Bobby Navarro’s 100eats Team has partnered with Foodbeast to create a stream of unique and creative events with (promised) never seen before activations and food items unique to Ooze Fest.

The debut of 20 original cheese dishes from energized area restaurants will be on the tasting menu including creations from SOCIAL Costa Mesa (Best New Restaurant at The Golden Foodies,) Little Sparrow, Blackmarket Bakery and Grits Fullerton.

“Ooze Fest. Where the cheese drools as much as the people who are anxiously waiting to eat. The national food publication, Foodbeast, is bringing record breaking, heart burn amounts of cheese at Ooze Fest, a cheese festival located in Santa Ana.”

Foodbeast.com is working toward the goal of making internet food a reality to their legion of fans, and the local community. Nguyen Tran of Starry Kitchen and the new Button Mash in LA is coming to OC to host. Tran will rally the crowd and share about the cheese love.

Standard and VIP tickets include all-you-can-eat-and-drink food and beer. Cheers! Nosh on one of a kind, never before seen fare, brought to you by local restaurants that love cheese just as much as you do. VIP tickets include early admittance to the event, along with a t-shirt and a commemorative glass.

The standard ticket is 50 dollars and VIP is 75 dollars. The event is broken up into two sessions, first session is from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. and second session is from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. (VIP’s enjoy 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. respectively). Early birds in the first session get the glory of seeing the world’s tallest grilled cheese stack first ever attempt.  The second session will feature the Famous Eaters Grilled Cheese Eating Competition and the award for best cheese item of the festival.

Andrew QuadyAndrew Quady of Quady Winery in Madera is well-known for premium dessert wines and Vermouth. Not as well known to Southern Californians is that Andrew’s son, Herb, has a growing, and respected, winery of his own in Southern Oregon.

Quady North is the name of Herb’s Applegate Valley wine venture. While the senior Quady is a producer renowned for sweet and aperitif wines, Quady North is known for big, bold Bordeaux and Rhone varietals.

After working as assistant winemaker at the California Central Coast Bonny Doon Vineyard, Quady came to Oregon to found his own brand, convinced that the truly-compelling wines were made from grapes grown in cooler areas. In 2005 the family selected 100 acres of south-facing hillside in the Applegate Valley and planted their first 15 acres of Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Viognier.

Today there are eight vineyards, with two in the Rogue Valley, and the list of varietals has expanded to include Grenache, Marsanne, Rousanne, and Merlot.

Quady North is committed to producing small lot, minimally-handled wines sourced primarily from the estate. The focus remains premium Viognier, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, what Herb Quady calls his “love triangle.”

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa MonicaIn tribute to the Columbus Day holiday, Piero Selvaggiothe long-time proprietor of Santa Monica’s Valentino, hosts celebrated Chef Peppe Barone of Fattoria delle Torri in Modica, Piero’s humble birthplace in Sicily. Barone brings his protégé and brightest new star, Chef Antonio Colombo of Locanda Gulfi, to prepare the desserts for this exceptional dinner – Una Cena Siciliana a Quattro Mani.

Barone is credited for cultivating Sicilian cuisine and has earned worldwide recognition for his regional Italian cooking in Modica, now considered the gastronomical crown of Sicily. As Sicily’s ambassador of great food for over thirty years, Chef Barone has groomed multiple talents in his kitchen, including the acclaimed chefs Ciccio Sultano of  Il Duomo and Pino Cuttaia of La Madia (both with two star Michelin restaurants), Accursio Craparo, Carmelo Chiaramonte and emerging gifted chef, Peppe Causarano.

Today, Barone oversees the kitchen at Ristorante Cenobio and runs Scuola Nosco, his cooking school – located in an old convent transformed into the hotel Antico Convento Ibla in Ragusa. Barone and Colombo, along with the Valentino kitchen team, will revisit a number of historical and classic Sicilian dishes and style them with a singular interpretation.

Highlights of the ‘grazing-style’ dinner will include Chef Barone’s signature Pasta with a Touch of Sicily – Sea Urchin, Baby Spinach, Ricotta and Candied Lemon; Rabbit Agrodolce; Cioccolate-Wrapped Hare and Chef Peppe’s Almond-Stuffed Suckling Pig.

Chef Colombo takes over the kitchen for the sweet part of the dinner with a pre-dessert of his striking desserts – Bread, Pear, Chocolate or “Il Sole” – Cream Tartlets with Saffron, Lemon, Strawberries and Capers. Concluding the dinner is a decadent indulgence of Sicilian desserts with tastings of Antonio Colombo’s impressive Egg of Colombo Dessert; Cannolo Millefoglio-Style with Citrus Sorbet; Bonajuto Bitter Chocolate Sticks and other Sicilian Surprises.

The wine program for the dinner has, naturally, been designed by Piero Selvaggio. Selvaggio will offer selected Sicilian wines, including a white, three reds and a “Passito” – a sweet wine cultivated from grapes slowly dried on straw to concentrate the juices – for the desserts. All selections will be offered at $30 a bottle, a reduction of 50% off the wine list pricing. All other Sicilian wines on the Valentino wine list will be offered at $30 bottle for the evening.

Since 1972 Piero Selvaggio and VALENTINO have made a significant contribution to the Los Angeles restaurant scene, introducing authentic Italian products, wine and regional cuisine to the public and nurturing many of our most influential chefs and restaurateurs. Selvaggio was recently profiled by PBS in their documentary The Italian Americans.

With its intimate dining rooms, unsurpassed wine cellar, and the consummate graciousness of owner Piero Selvaggio, VALENTINO remains the favored destination for some of the best dining in Los Angeles

Tiffany DerryCelebrity Cruises and Bravo Media have extended the popular “Top Chef at Sea” program through 2016, and will offer “Top Chef” fans and food lovers the opportunity to vacation with a new lineup of cheftestants on the exclusive Top Chef Signature Sailing” in 2015. Setting sail November 14 onboard Celebrity Reflection, the one-of-a-kind Eastern Caribbean cruise vacation will give guests an up-close-and-personal culinary experience with six former “Top Chef” competitors, including our guest Chef Tiffany Derry of TD Concepts in Dallas from Bravo’s “Top Chef D.C.” and “Top Chef All-Stars.”

New during this year’s Top Chef Signature Sailing, vacationers can choose from an array of local destination experiences hosted by a featured cheftestant, making these excursions a unique way to explore the Caribbean.

The signature sailing also will feature new duel-style cooking demonstrations onboard where cheftestants will battle each other while answering fans’ questions, with the winning dish chosen by the audience. Also onboard and back by popular demand, passionate foodies can enjoy exclusive and intimate experiences with the chefs by booking private cooking classes and private dinners to hone their skills and get advice on preparing sumptuous dishes at home.

In addition to the Top Chef Signature Sailing with alums, Celebrity will continue to offer interactive Quickfire Challenges and “Top Chef”-inspired menu evenings on its modern luxury vacations onboard nine ships, for all sailings departing through June 2016. Quickfire Challenges will put guests in the spotlight to get a taste of the pressure the cheftestants experience on the show. Plus, guests can indulge in a selection of the dishes the judges raved about on the series at “Top Chef Night” in the main restaurant.

Celebrity originally partnered with “Top Chef” in November 2014 to launch the exclusive Top Chef at Sea experience. The extension of Top Chef at Sea allows for guests to continually sail with Celebrity on a modern luxury vacation with endless culinary possibilities. For more details about Top Chef at Sea, visit celebritycruises.com/topchef

Bravo’s Emmy® and James Beard Award-winning “Top Chef” will return for season 13 this fall.

Laurent VrignaudMoulin Bistro in Newport Beach, celebrating their first anniversary, is an incredible success story. It’s a busy French bistro, epicerie, boulangerie and patisserie under one roof. (“Always Fresh, Always French.”) All the appointments and fixtures are French. The ambitious proprietor (unbelievably) had no previous restaurant experience.

It’s already the darling of Orange County Food writers. Moulin was one of three nominees for “Best New Restaurant” at The 2015 Golden Foodie Awards.

The French Rotisserie Chicken is a standout.

Proprietor Laurent Vrignaud wanted to close at 7:00 p.m. but his French guests had another opinion. By popular demand he opened on Tuesday evenings for Dinner at Moulin. It’s a weekly changing appetizer, main dish, and dessert for $25.00. It now sells out at capacity way in advance. Laurent then added Thursday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. It’s Entrecote Frites night with unlimited fries. It’s also $25.00.

The Orange County Register’s long-time food writer Cathy Thomas recently did a feature on Moulin’s Le Croque Madame. The video (demonstrating the recipe with Laurent and French-born Chef Jeoffrey Offer) is available for viewing on You Tube.

Proprietor Laurent Vrignaud joins us.

Shachi MehraExecutive Chef Shachi Mehra is the co-proprietor of ADYA – Fresh Indian Flavors in the Packing House in Anaheim. At the recent Golden Foodie Awards ADYA was one of three distinguished nominees for Best Indian Cuisine. We’ll find out from Chef Shachi herself what restaurant was awarded the coveted honor.

“At ADYA, we showcase the flavorful street food of India. Our inspiration comes from the multitude of bright flavors and textures representing the diversity of India itself. Working with our local farmers, growers and purveyors, we strive to use local, organic, biodynamic ingredients whenever possible. Combining these with modern creative and classic Indian styles of cooking, we present food that balances the bounty of California with the bold flavors and spices of India. The carefully curated wine list and rotating craft beer list complement our vibrant flavors and casual style. Our team’s passion for hospitality comes through with each bite, every sip and with every smiling interaction.”

Shachi grew up surrounded by good food and learned early the importance of eating seasonally during her annual summer trips to her native India. Her mother was an exceptional cook, and as a young girl, Shachi spent many a moment sitting on the counter, as the ‘official taste tester’ of the house. Growing up in New Jersey, Shachi had her share of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as well as traditional Indian foods; this crossing of two cultures from her youth carries in to her work now and allows her the ability to see things from different perspectives and bridge the gap between perception and reality of Indian food.

As a chef, Mehra believes in creating innovative and thoughtful menus that tastefully balance a variety of flavors and makes cuisines appealing to a range of tastes. She is also an ardent supporter of local farmers and sustainable practices.

Look for her interactive “Learn To Create” monthly cooking classes at ADYA. It’s the home cooks’ guide to quick, easy Indian dishes.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Tim Hollingsworth of Otium at The Broad museum continues…
Segment Three: 100eats.com and Foodbeast’s Ooze Fest
Segment Four: Quady North (Winery) and Herb Quady
Segment Five: Piero Selvaggio, Valentino and Columbus Day Dinner Feast
Segment Six: “Top Chef’s” Chef Tiffany Derry and Celebrity Cruises “Top Chef at Sea.”
Segment Seven: Moulin Bistro and Proprietor Laurent Vrignaud
Segment Eight: ADYA – Fresh Indian Flavors and Executive Chef Shachi Mehra

Show 125, June 6, 2015: Show Preview with Chef Andrew Gruel and Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and, now, Newport Beach is back as today’s special Guest Host.

Now a crave-worthy preview of Saturday’s high octane, overloaded show.

Acclaimed pastry chef Emily Luchetti is Chief Pastry Officer at Big Night Restaurant Group in San Francisco (Cavalier, Marlowe and Park Tavern), the Chairman of the James Beard Foundation, and a James Beard Award recipient. Her new mission is “#dessertworthy”, a social media movement to empower individuals to be mindful of their dessert and sugar indulgences.

Kyle Meyer, co-proprietor of the Wine Exchange in Santa Ana is one of our on-point, resident wine authorities. He’s back with us to discuss old vine wines. You see this designation on a lot of wine labels. What should the casual wine aficionado know about buying old vine wines?

Larner Vineyard & Winery is a small, family-run estate located at the heart of the best Rhone grape-growing region in Santa Barbara: the new Ballard Canyon AVA inside the Santa Ynez Valley. Founded by Stevan and Christine Larner as solely a vineyard in 1999, the property today is both a vineyard and winery, established in 2009. It’s now run by the second generation of Larners. Winemaker Michael Larner is our guest.

“The restaurant world is a blend of business and poetry” states renowned restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, who, after over 43 years in the business, has mastered the perfect balance of both. He is one of the true pioneers in bringing the foods of Italy, with style and authenticity, to Los Angeles. Piero just returned from Expo Milano (every four years) in Italy and will share his experience there.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel is an authority on the impact of Social Media and on-line reviews on restaurants. That’s actually one of the key reasons he was cast as the co-host of his new FYI series, “Say It To My Face.” Chef Andrew will discuss Social Media, the impact it has on restaurants and the obligations the restaurant-goer has in this realm.

Don’t miss Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel’s new restaurant makeover series, “Say It To My Face” on FYI. An original episode is aired every Thursday evening with an encore episode thereafter. Check your local listings. On-line food reviewers confront restaurateurs with the shortcomings of their establishments. It’s then up to Chef Andrew and his colleague, Chef Anthony Dispensa, to coach the chef and restaurateur to achieve a much higher level of guest satisfaction when the on-line reviews return for another look! Sometimes it’s tough-love…

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

Play

Show 125, June 6, 2015: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Valentino, Santa Monica

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa Monica“The restaurant world is a blend of business and poetry” states renowned restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, who, after over 40 years in the business, has mastered the perfect balance of both. He is one of the true pioneers in bringing the foods of Italy, with style and authenticity, to Los Angeles. Piero has skillfully stewarded successful restaurants in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Las Vegas, Houston and aboard luxury cruise ships.

Piero just returned from Expo Milano in Italy and will share his experience there. He has high praise for the Pavilions of Italy and Spain. The dazzling USA Pavilion, with its emphasis on food, is a star attraction.

“Our theme for the USA Pavilion is American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet. Expo Milano 2015 will enable the USA Pavilion to showcase the United States as an innovator not only in the food sector, but also in many aspects of culture, science and business. Feeding ourselves engages a massive infrastructure, advanced technologies, and dynamic systems that touch on just about every aspect of the world we live in. Each step from farm to table reflects a set of values and connections that impact our identities and shape our future.”

“The USA Pavilion is a one-of-a-kind building designed by architect James Biber of Biber Architects in New York. It is a 35,000 square foot space within Expo Milano’s 3.6 million square foot sustainable “smart city.” The building is a multi-level experience that flows with activity from top to bottom, side to side. It includes a massive vertical farm that will be harvested daily. “I’ve drawn inspiration from the straightforward, ‘honest’ agricultural buildings that are part of our nation’s history,” said Biber in a recent interview about the process of creating the USA Pavilion. “It is a very simple building, and when people look at it, they’ll instantly understand exactly how it was made.”

Play

June 6: Andrew Gruel, Emily Luchetti, Wine Exchange, Larner Vineyard & Winery, Piero Selvaggio

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Chef Andrew Gruel and Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Emily Luchetti, Chief Pastry Officer, Big Night Restaurant Group Part One
Segment Three: Emily Luchetti, Chief Pastry Officer, Big Night Restaurant Group Part Two
Segment Four: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, The Wine Exchange
Segment Five: Winemaker Michael Larner of Larner Vineyard & Winery
Segment Six: Winemaker Michael Larner of Larner Vineyard & Winery Part Two
Segment Seven: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Valentino, Santa Monica
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and, now, Newport Beach is back as today’s special Guest Host.

Now a tempting preview of Saturday’s high octane, overloaded show.

Acclaimed pastry chef Emily Luchetti is Chief Pastry Officer at Big Night Restaurant Group in San Francisco (Cavalier, Marlowe and Park Tavern), the Chairman of the James Beard Foundation, and a James Beard Award recipient. Her new mission is “#dessertworthy”, a social media movement to empower individuals to be mindful of their dessert and sugar indulgences.

Kyle Meyer, co-proprietor of the Wine Exchange in Santa Ana is one of our on-point, resident wine authorities. He’s back with us to discuss old vine wines. You see this designation on a lot of wine labels. What should the casual wine aficionado know about buying old vine wines?

Larner Vineyard & Winery is a small, family-run estate located at the heart of the best Rhone grape-growing region in Santa Barbara : the new Ballard Canyon AVA inside the Santa Ynez Valley. Founded by Stevan and Christine Larner as solely a vineyard in 1999, the property today is both a vineyard and winery, established in 2009. It’s now run by the second generation of Larners. Winemaker Michael Larner is our guest.

“The restaurant world is a blend of business and poetry” states renowned restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, who, after over 40 years in the business, has mastered the perfect balance of both. He is one of the true pioneers in bringing the foods of Italy, with style and authenticity, to Los Angeles. Piero just returned from Expo Milano in Italy and will share his experience there.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel is an authority on the impact of Social Media on restaurants. That’s actually one of the key reasons he was cast of as the co-host of his new FYI series, “Say It To My Face.” Chef Andrew will discuss Social Media, the impact it has on restaurants and the obligations the restaurant-goer has in this realm.

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

Emily LuchettiAcclaimed pastry chef Emily Luchetti is Chief Pastry Officer at Big Night Restaurant Group in San Francisco (Cavalier, Marlowe and Park Tavern), the Chairman of the James Beard Foundation, and a James Beard Award recipient. Her new mission is “#dessertworthy”, a social media movement to empower individuals to be mindful of their dessert and sugar indulgences.

“Dessert is being consumed by adults and children at an alarming rate, resulting in troubling health issues, including Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Compelled to take action, award-winning pastry chef Emily Luchetti launched #dessertworthy in July 2014 to raise awareness about sugar-laden processed foods and to encourage saving desserts for a treat, not a daily occurrence.”

#dessertworthy Manifesto

  • To return dessert to its origin, which is to be consumed as an occasional treat and not an everyday indulgence.
  • To build and consistently engage a community of digital supporters that are making active attempts to enjoy dessert in moderation.
  • To raise awareness that consumers should be picky about their dessert intake. Enjoy dessert in moderation and/or earn sweet treats by combining them with healthy eating and fitness.
  • To increase consumer knowledge of processed foods and hidden sugars.
  • To be a resource for maintaining a #dessertworthy lifestyle through tips and reinforcements on digital communities.

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeKyle Meyer, co-proprietor of the Wine Exchange in Santa Ana, is one of our on-point, resident wine authorities. He’s back with us to discuss old vine wines. You see this designation on a lot of wine labels. There is, unfortunately, no legal definition for “old.” What should the casual wine aficionado know about buying and enjoying old vine wines ?

Some grape vines in California can still produce modest clusters of fruit after 125 years. The yields are very small.

On Saturday afternoon, June 13th Wine Exchange is hosting their Grand Re-Opening Tasting Alley Party and Project Hope Alliance Community Fundraiser in Santa Ana. The festivities include the outside Tasting Alley Party as well as the in-store, door –busting deals.

For $40, guests will experience upwards of 30 wine tastings as well as a sandwich or burger from local TK Burgers. Proceeds from the Tasting Alley are donated to Share Our Wine Foundation and their direct beneficiary, Project Hope Alliance.

Michael LarnerLarner Vineyard & Winery is a small, family-run estate located at the heart of the best Rhone grape-growing region in Santa Barbara: the new Ballard Canyon AVA inside the Santa Ynez Valley. Founded by Stevan and Christine Larner as solely a vineyard in 1999, the property today is both a vineyard and winery, established in 2009. It’s now run by the second generation of Larners.

Michael Larner is an accomplished winemaker, enology professor and viticulturist. His wife, Christina Larner, is the tasting room manager (located in Los Olivos as part of the Los Olivos General Store) as well as a favorite local artist. Monica Larner, a renowned wine critic, returns regularly from her adopted home, Italy, to oversee public relations.

Winemaker Michael Larner is our guest.

The 134-acre ranch is planted to 34 acres of vine, focused on the Rhone varieties ; Syrah, Grenache, Mouvedre and Viognier. As a small tribute to Italy, the Larners also have a little block of Malvasia Bianca.

Most of the premium grapes grown on the ranch are sold to other boutique wineries including Sine Qua Non.

In early 2012, Michael and Christina opened the Los Olivos General Store in the bucolic town of Los Olivos within the historic old gas station on the corner of the flagpole. The store now houses the Larner tasting room, the perfect intimate location to try the family’s exclusive and limited estate offerings.

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa Monica“The restaurant world is a blend of business and poetry” states renowned restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, who, after over 40 years in the business, has mastered the perfect balance of both. He is one of the true pioneers in bringing the foods of Italy, with style and authenticity, to Los Angeles. Piero has skillfully stewarded successful restaurants in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Las Vegas, Houston and aboard luxury cruise ships.

Piero just returned from Expo Milano in Italy and will share his experience there. The dazzling USA Pavilion, with its emphasis on food, is a star attraction.

“Our theme for the USA Pavilion is American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet. Expo Milano 2015 will enable the USA Pavilion to showcase the United States as an innovator not only in the food sector, but also in many aspects of culture, science and business. Feeding ourselves engages a massive infrastructure, advanced technologies, and dynamic systems that touch on just about every aspect of the world we live in. Each step from farm to table reflects a set of values and connections that impact our identities and shape our future.”

“The USA Pavilion is a one-of-a-kind building designed by architect James Biber of Biber Architects in New York. It is a 35,000 square foot space within Expo Milano’s 3.6 million square foot sustainable “smart city.” The building is a multi-level experience that flows with activity from top to bottom, side to side. It includes a massive vertical farm that will be harvested daily. “I’ve drawn inspiration from the straightforward, ‘honest’ agricultural buildings that are part of our nation’s history,” said Biber in a recent interview about the process of creating the USA Pavilion. “It is a very simple building, and when people look at it, they’ll instantly understand exactly how it was made.”

Andrew GruelOne of the incendiary topics in the hospitality business right now is the impact of Social Media on restaurants. Social media, both positive and negative, can actually have a greater influence on guest counts than a conventional print review. Social Media can also have a longer shelf life than a print restaurant review.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish is an authority on the impact of Social Media on restaurants and how to best orchestrate this. That’s actually one of the key reasons he was cast as the co-host of his new FYI series, Say It To My Face.” Chef Andrew will discuss Social Media, how it affects restaurants and the obligations the restaurant-goer has in this new realm.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Chef Andrew Gruel and Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Emily Luchetti, Chief Pastry Officer, Big Night Restaurant Group Part One
Segment Three: Emily Luchetti, Chief Pastry Officer, Big Night Restaurant Group Part Two
Segment Four: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, The Wine Exchange
Segment Five: Winemaker Michael Larner of Larner Vineyard & Winery
Segment Six: Winemaker Michael Larner of Larner Vineyard & Winery Part Two
Segment Seven: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Valentino, Santa Monica
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish

Show 75, June 7, 2014: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Central located in the heart of Montgomery, Alabama’s vibrant Downtown entertainment district is a true gem of an American find.

The engaging executive chef with an easy-going manner sets the tone for the place.

The StarChefs Rising Stars Revue is coming to Los Angeles on June 12th. It celebrates Los Angeles’ brightest culinary talent.

Brock Kleweno (Kla-ve-no) is both the executive chef and GM of the historic Yamshiro Hollywood. Their ever-popular Thursday Night Farmers Market has returned through September 4th.

Piero Selvaggio’s Valentino in Santa Monica is celebrating its 41st year. Piero and Executive Chef Nico Chessa have introduced a nightly changing special Italian tasting menu there at the Vin Bar.

Loteria Grill! is celebrating 6 centuries of Mexican Wine with the introduction of a broader selection of fine wines from Northern Baja on their list.

The Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail originating in Florence Italy. It’s Negroni week in the United States and charities are the beneficiaries.

Jet has been doing some top-tier dining in Las Vegas at Raku and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. He also caught a pre-opening party at Giada at The Cromwell boutique luxury hotel.

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

Play

June 7: Leo Maurelli III, StarChefs, Brock Kleweno, Piero Salvaggio, Jimmy Shaw, Peter Serantoni

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Leo Maurelli III of Central, Montgomery, Alabama
Segment Three: The StarChefs Rising Stars Revue, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Brock Kleweno, Executive Chef and General Manager, Yamashiro Hollywood
Segment Five: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Valentino, Santa Monica, CA
Segment Six: Chef Jimmy Shaw, Loteria Grill! – “600 Years of Mexican Wine.”
Segment Seven: Negroni Week. Chef Peter Serantoni of Brunos in Brea
Segment Eight: Host Jet Tila

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Central located in the heart of Montgomery, Alabama’s vibrant Downtown entertainment district is a true gem of an American find.

The engaging executive chef with an easy-going manner sets the tone for the place.

The StarChefs Rising Stars Revue is coming to Los Angeles on June 12th. It celebrates Los Angeles’ brightest culinary talent.

Brock Kleweno (Kla-ve-no) is both the executive chef and GM of the historic Yamshiro Hollywood. Their ever-popular Thursday Night Farmers Market has returned through September 4th.

Piero Selvaggio’s Valentino in Santa Monica is celebrating its 41st year. Piero and Executive Chef Nico Chessa have introduced a nightly changing special Italian tasting menu there at the Vin Bar.

Loteria Grill! is celebrating 6 centuries of Mexican Wine with the introduction of a broader selection of fine wines from Northern Baja on their list.

The Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail originating in Florence Italy. It’s Negroni week in the United States and charities are the beneficiaries.

Jet has been doing some top-tier dining in Las Vegas at Raku and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. Producer Andy experienced one of the top restaurants in Tijuana.

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

Leo Maurelli IIICentral, located in the heart of Montgomery, Alabama’s Downtown entertainment district, is a true American restaurant highlighting local and seasonal ingredients. The locally owned establishment offers wood-fired dishes in a restored 1890s warehouse space boasting exposed brick, flickering gas lanterns and a bustling open kitchen,

In the main dining room 16-foot ceilings, spectacular overhead lighting, a central bar comprised of reclaimed wood all overlook Montgomery’s downtown Alley.

Chef Leo Maurelli, III is the Executive Chef of Central Restaurant. He is a native of the Republic of Panama and shares his unique multicultural take on traditional Southern dishes and cuisine.

Chef Leo is the recipient of many honors including the 2011 Chef of The Year awarded by the Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Alliance.

Chef Leo is an avid supporter of local farmers, cheese makers, craft beer producers and artisans. He is an advocate for healthy sustainable food consumption and has partnered with EATSouth Farm to not only cook with fresh ingredients, directly from the local farm, but also serve as an ambassador in the community promoting healthy lifestyles through education and sustainable food production.

StarChefs Rising Stars Los AngelesThe StarChefs Rising Stars Revue is coming to Los Angeles on June 12th at Vibiana in Downtown Los Angeles. It celebrates Los Angeles’ brightest culinary talent.

The VIP Host Chef is Neal Fraser of the soon-to-be Redbird at Vibiana.

Antoinette Bruno, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of StarChefs.com joins us to preview the awards. Rising Star Award Winners David Rodriguez of Providence and Chef Atsushi Takatsuki of MB Post are also our guests.

Brock Kleweno of YamashiroBrock Kleweno (Kla-ve-no) is both the executive chef and GM of Yamashiro Hollywood. Their ever-popular Thursday Night Farmers Market has returned through September 4th. It operates from 5 to 9:00 p.m.

Yamashiro’s Pagoda Bar will be open for libations and light fare each week.

The Farmers Market also marks the seasonal return of Chef Brock’s famous tacos! They are the darlings of restaurant critics.

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa MonicaLegendary Los Angeles restaurateur and gracious host Piero Selvaggio has overseen Valentino on Santa Monica for some 41 years. His elegant Vin Bar at Valentino was one of the first wine bars in Los Angeles.

Piero, along with his Executive Chef, Nico Chessa, have developed the Il Quadrifoglio menu. It’s an Italian-style bento box of four seasonal dishes for $25.00. The quartet of dishes changes nightly and is designed for both its visual and flavor balance.

Valentino is renowned for its use of exceptional Italian products which are showcased in the menus: specially selected Colatura di Alici, 24- Months Aged Prosciutto de Parma, Cerignoli Olives and Bottarga, among others.

Selections from Pierro Selvagio’s legendary wine cellar and Valentino’s extraordinary desserts may be ordered separately. Availability for the Vin Bar at Valentino is on a first come basis and does not require reservations. Quadrifoglia at the Vin Bar is available Tuesday through Sundays from 5:00 p.m. to closing.

Selvaggio and Chessa designed the menu for casual dining at a great price. “We wanted to be able to offer a value where our guests can drop in for an informal meal,” states Selvaggio. “It’s wonderful to be able to taste all four of these dishes for under $30.”

Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill and Torta CompanyChef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill! fame (Original Farmers Market, Hollywood, Studio City, Santa Monica, Westlake Village and Fig at 7th) has just presented two nights celebrating “600 Years of Mexican Wine” with an 8-course seated dinner in Hollywood and then a stand-up street food and wine evening in Santa Monica.

His celebrated guest chef was Javier Plascencia of Northern Baja. His flagship restaurant in Tijuana is Mision 19. According to The New York Times, “He brings a flair for dramatic presentation, an appreciation for Tijuana’s street foods deep flavors and a binational approach to farm-to-table cooking.”

Loteria Grill! Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Studio City now feature an expanded selection of Northern Baja’s best wines.

More quality Mexican restaurants should offer a selection of Mexican wines.

Peter SerantoniCelebrating authentic Italian cuisine while raising a glass to a good cause has never been easier. From June 2nd to 8th, Brunos Trattoria in Brea will be participating in the nationwide Negroni Week, presented by Campari and Imbibe Magazine. A portion of the proceeds from every Negroni sold at Brunos during this time will benefit The Mobile Closet , a local organization which helps the community by distributing clothing and blankets to people in need.

Let’s root Brunos on…By the end of the week if Brunos comes out as the top fundraiser in the nation, Compari will donate an additional $10,000 to The Mobile Closet.

“The Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail, originating in Florence, Italy. Staying true to the heart and quality of Brunos’ beverage program, the Negroni at Brunos utilizes premium Italian spirits and liqueurs to create an authentic, memorable experience.”

Co-Owner and Chef Peter Serantoni is our guest. Brunos Trattoria is named after his father and mentor, Papa Bruno.

Jet Tila and Giada De LaurentiisIt’s been an unusually memorable week of dining out for Jet and Producer Andy.

Jet has been in Las Vegas taking in the opening of Giada De LaurentiisGiada restaurant at The Cromwell on The Strip, Raku, and L‘Atelier de Joel Robuchon at the MGM Grand.

Producer Andy dined at the acclaimed Mision 19 in Tijuana.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Leo Maurelli III of Central, Montgomery, Alabama
Segment Three: The StarChefs Rising Stars Revue, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Brock Kleweno, Executive Chef and General Manager, Yamashiro Hollywood
Segment Five: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Valentino, Santa Monica, CA
Segment Six: Chef Jimmy Shaw, Loteria Grill! – “600 Years of Mexican Wine.”
Segment Seven: Negroni Week. Chef Peter Serantoni of Brunos in Brea
Segment Eight: Host Jet Tila

We’ll paint the picture…

Show 63, March 1, 2013: Donato Poto, Partner, Connie & Ted’s, West Hollywood, and Providence, Hollywood

Donato PotoDonato Poto is the ever-gracious, “Mr. Hospitality,” when it comes to seasoned restaurant General Managers on the volatile Los Angeles dining scene. He speaks three languages including Italian, French, and English.

In the mid 80s he was the GM of Piero Selvaggio’s Primi in West Los Angeles. At lunch this hot spot was the unofficial commissary for the senior executives, producers, writers, and actors & actresses at the nearby Twentieth Century Fox Studios. If you were anybody this is where you lunched at 1:00 p.m. Talk about pressure…

Today Donato is a partner in both Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood and Providence in Hollywood.

Connie & Ted’s was just selected as a Semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant. His business partner, Chef Michael Cimarusti was also recognized as a semifinalist for The James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: West for Providence.

Donato’s other partner in Connie and Ted’s, Craig Nickoloff, founded the hugely successful Claim Jumper Restaurants. (Nickoloff sold Claim Jumper to a venture capital group at the height of its success in 2005.) Donato credits Mr. Nickoloff with providing the Connie & Ted’s team the wisdom on how to provide exemplary service when you’re serving hundreds of sophisticated guests per day for lunch and dinner.

Play

March 1: Brandon Boudet, Dean James Max, Mar Yvette, Donato Poto, Carlton McCoy, Robert Schueller, Cochon 555

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Brandon Boudet, Dominick’s and Little Dom’s, Los Angeles.
Segment Three: Executive Chef James Dean Max, James Republic, Long Beach
Segment Four: Mar Yvette, Lifestyle reporter, Fox 11 News & “Good Day L.A.”
Segment Five: Donato Poto, Partner, Connie & Ted’s, West Hollywood, and Providence, Hollywood
Segment Six: Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy, Wine Director, Little Nell, Aspen, CO
Segment Seven: Jet Tila reporting on Cochon 555 Los Angeles

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Fat Tuesday and the craziness of Mardi Gras are next week We’ll tell you where you can get an authentic taste of New Orleans locally. You’ll meet the very hospitable Donato Poto, the co-owner of both Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood and one of the finest, high-end seafood restaurants in the West, Providence. The Oscars are upon us. Mar Yvette, the Lifestyle Reporter for Fox 11 News, talks to us about what’s on the menu for the 2014 Oscars Governor’s Ball at Hollywood & Highland. This is Wolfgang Puck’s (and his teams) 20th year creating the dazzling menu for the Oscars! Also where the stars dine…

Eat LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week kicks off on March 30th. Executive Chef Dean James Max of James Republic in Long Beach is with us to preview his menu. When it comes to elegant, destination resorts they don’t come more highly acclaimed than Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado. Carlton McCoy (an accredited Master Sommelier) is their 29-year old Wine Director. We’ll hear his inspiring story. Organic fruits and vegetables are top of the mind. Our resident Professor of Produce, Robert Schueller from Melissa’s, is back with an informative update on organics. Chef Jet was a Judge at last Sunday’s Cochon 555 – An Epic Heritage Pork Event at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. Jet takes us behind-the-scenes at this eagerly anticipated and highly competitive event that tours the country.

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

Brandon Boudet of Dominick’s, Little Dom’s and Tom Bergin’sChef Brandon Boudet is the co-owner and head chef for Dominick’s and Little Dom’s. He’s a proud native of New Orleans.

Each year Dominick’s and Little Dom’s celebrate Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday in true Bourbon Street Style. On their menu are special cocktails, bites and of course, Jambalaya and red beans and rice. Chef Brandon explains the mysteries of the King Cake.

Coming up in May are two Saturdays of crawfish boils.

James Republic combines modern sensibilities with old-world principles to afford a genuine gathering place for the neighborhood and a distinctive dining destination in the heart of Long Beach. Weekend brunch on the patio is a popular attraction for the locals.

James Republic is one of over 50 restaurants participating in EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week running from March 30 to April 5th.

The style of food at James Republic is what they call “modern California coastal” dining. The goal is to highlight the season’s vibrant, locally sourced bounty from both the land and sea.

Dean James MaxThe Chef and Partner is Dean James Max whose base is in Florida. His flagship is 3030 Ocean restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale. He has been nominated for James Beard Awards, has authored two cookbooks, and has the honor of cooking at The Beard Foundation in Manhattan regularly.

He now has restaurants in Columbus, Ohio; Grand Cayman; Cleveland; and Trumbull, CT.

In Los Angeles Chef Max is remembered as the owner/chef of Woodside in Brentwood in the late 90s. It was highly regarded and well-reviewed.

Mar YvetteMar Yvette is the Lifestyle Reporter for Fox 11 News right here in Los Angeles.

We’re talking about cuisine worthy of Oscar! For the 20th year Wolfgang Puck and his highly talented team of chefs and associates will prepare the exquisite menu for the 2014 Oscars Governor’s Ball held in the Ray Dolby Ballroom on the top level of the Hollywood & Highland Center. We’ll preview the menu!

Think 1,250 Stone Crab claws for the 1,500 invited guests.

Mar also highlights some of the hidden restaurants in Los Angeles where the celebrities go to simply enjoy the great food and not be noticed! Mar points out that the celebs love the restaurants in luxury hotels. Think Culina Modern Italian at The Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.

Donato PotoDonato Poto is the ever-gracious, “Mr. Hospitality,” when it comes to seasoned restaurant General Managers on the volatile Los Angeles dining scene. He speaks three languages including Italian, French, and English.

In the mid 80s he was the GM of Piero Selvaggio’s Primi in West Los Angeles. At lunch this was the unofficial commissary for the senior executives, producers, writers, and actors & actresses at the nearby Twentieth Century Fox Studios. If you were anybody this is where you lunched. Talk about pressure…

Today Donato is a partner in both Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood and Providence in Hollywood.

Connie & Ted’s was just selected as a Semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant. His business partner, Chef Michael Cimarusti was also recognized as a semifinalist for The James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: West for Providence.

Donato’s other partner in Connie and Ted’s, Craig Nickoloff, founded the hugely successful Claim Jumper Restaurants.

The Little Nell is an acclaimed five star, five diamond luxury property in Aspen, Colorado. It’s Aspen’s only ski-in/ski out luxury hotel. The destination restaurant there is element 47 restaurant.

Carlton McCoyCarlton McCoy, a Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) graduate, is the greatly admired Wine Director there. He is also a certified Master Sommelier, an incredibly elite group. He’s just 29.

Carlton will share with us his inspiring story of growing up in a rough area of Washington, D.C. (known as the “murder capital”) and finding his way (through hard-work) to the privileged affluence of Aspen.

“Growing up, there wasn’t wine on the table at my house, like in many black households,” Carlton said.” But wine is for everyone. Every time I approach a table or talk about wine, it isn’t coming from a place of snobbery or elitism. It’s about figuring out what people like, finding the right wine to appeal to our guests and ultimately having it enhance their experience at the table with friends and family.”

Organic fruits and vegetables are getting a lot of attention these days. With the fresh concern about GMOs in food, certified organic fruits and vegetables are, by definition, free of GMOs.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceOur resident Professor of Produce, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce, is back with us to discuss what’s new in organics.

Melissa’s is the largest variety supplier of fresh organic produce in the USA.

All the varieties of organic Kale are the hot item in produce right now. Organic Pixie Tangerines (easy to peel and sweet) are leading the charge in fresh citrus.

The COCHON U.S. Tour events serve as a link to preserving heritage breed pigs by promoting breed diversity in communities nationwide. The coast-to-coast tour connects ranchers raising heritage breeds with top chefs known for whole animal utilization.

Jet Tila at Cochon 555The Los Angeles stop of the Cochon 555 tour was Sunday, Feb. 23rd at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. Five Chefs worked with five heritage pigs in an intense competition. Chef Ray Garcia of Fig Restaurant was the defending champion.

Our own Chef Jet Tila was a judge. He also cooked the heritage pig for the After Party (Cochon Late Night Asian Speakeasy.) The heritage pig was a Kune Kune (they like to feed on grass) from Rainbow Ranch Farm.

Jet will report on this year’s “Epic Heritage Pork Event.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Brandon Boudet, Dominick’s and Little Dom’s, Los Angeles.
Segment Three: Executive Chef James Dean Max, James Republic, Long Beach
Segment Four: Mar Yvette, Lifestyle reporter, Fox 11 News & “Good Day L.A.”
Segment Five: Donato Poto, Partner, Connie & Ted’s, West Hollywood, and Providence, Hollywood
Segment Six: Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy, Wine Director, Little Nell, Aspen, CO
Segment Seven: Jet Tila reporting on Cochon 555 Los Angeles