Show 285, August 11, 2018: Owner / Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis, Bavel, DTLA’s Arts District

Executive Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis of BestiaWhen we last spoke with Owner/Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis they had recently opened Bestia (2012) in DTLA’s emerging Arts District. Flash forward to the recent opening of their long-in-the-works Bavel (buh-vel), also in the Arts District. It’s Middle Eastern flavors with influences from Israel, Morocco, Turkey and Egypt.

“Bavel, in Downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District, is a Middle Eastern restaurant from Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis. With family roots in Israel, Morocco, Turkey, and Egypt, Ori and Genevieve have always wanted to open a restaurant that showcases the cuisines of their family lineages, bringing together the flavors and dishes they grew up with.”

With a background in the field of interior design, Genevieve played a key role in the design of both Bestia and Bavel.

“Bavel – Stems from the story of Babel, from the original Old Testament. The Hebrew letters ‘b’ – bet, and ‘v’ – vet, both look the same, except that bet has a dot in the center of it. It is theorized that when the Old Testament was translated, it was not transcribed properly and Bavel turned into Babel.”

“The name is pronounced how it was originally written – Bavel (buh-vel). The story of Bavel is from a time when the Middle East was one. The people of Babylon came together to build a tower to heaven but God did not want them to succeed. In turn, he gave the people different languages so they could no longer communicate and work together.”

“When we read this story, we liked the word Bavel, because it was written during a time when everything was one – Bavel is not specific to any one region.”

We pull them both from the bustling Bavel kitchen (incredible bread is baking) for a chat.



Show 285, August 11, 2018: Chef Tia Baker, The Federal Bar, Long Beach

Tia BakerEat your heart out Long Beach! DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week is on through August 12, 2018. Experience cuisine that delights the palate and defines the art of dining in Long Beach. Held annually, Dine LBC features value-oriented two or three course menus from dozens of Long Beach’s best restaurants in twelve unique neighborhoods throughout the city.

The Federal Bar on Pine Avenue in Downtown Long Beach is one of the participating restaurants in DINE LBC. We’ll meet new Chef Tia Baker (ex-Sol Cocina) and talk about the elevated fare at The Federal Bar. New Happy Hour menu, too.

“Passing through the double doors into the main hall of this 1920’s Beaux-arts style building is just the beginning of the Federal experience. Your gaze will draw up into our three-story restaurant that doubles as an event space that can accommodate up 600 patrons, featuring two full-service bars, hand-painted beamed ceilings, towering columns, high windows that provide grand natural lighting, and an attached outside patio.”

There is a new Happy Hour Menu (every day) in place at The Federal. You can get Bottomless Sangria plus one food item (like Mexican Street Corn Flat Bread) for $20.

The DINE LBC menu for $35 per person is three courses with choices for each course. Selections for the Mains include Pine Street Bouillabaisse, Meatloaf Sundae, Investors Pasta and Chefs Fish of the Day.


Show 285, August 11, 2018: Tony Yanow, Brennan’s in Marina del Rey, Artisanal Brewers Collective

Tony YanowBrennan’s in Marina del Rey has been a friendly, locals’ institution in the area since 1972. It is particularly known for their Thursday night Turtle Racing and potent libations. It was never about the food. In recent years it had become pretty divey.

The Artisanal Brewers Collective came to the rescue last year and after a lengthy, top-to-bottom restoration reopened Brennan’s in time for St. Patrick’s Day 2018. The food is now something to talk about (including Vegan specialties) as well as the potent libations. Happily the turtle racing is back twice a month on the traditional Thursday evenings.

The Bomb Brunch happens on Weekends with specialties including Almond Ricotta Toast, Breakfast Pizza and Smoked Salmon Benedict. Every Friday afternoon from 4 to 7:00 p.m. is the Free Pizza Party Power Hour. It’s free pizza and live music on the Brennan’s patio.

“Combining the traditions of the past with a few new ideas, Brennan’s strives to be the premier beach city restaurant for entertaining visitors, grabbing a drink with friends for the game or dining with your loved ones. We promote the improvement of our community and the people in it. We pride ourselves on presenting a menu and environment for locals, visitors and everything in between. Best of all, we do it with the perfect pint, one turtle race at a time!”

Proprietor Tony Yanow (ex-Golden Road Brewing) is our guest.


Show 285, August 11, 2018: Farley Elliott, Senior Editor, Eater LA Part One

Farley ElliottFood journalist Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor for Eater LA He contributes six pieces a day, five days a week to this very widely read on-line magazine and newsletter. He also graciously responds to readers’ feedback.

Farley is part of an upcoming panel, PR Bootcamp for Restaurants : In Memory of Fifi Chao” that will a program at the upcoming Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo on August 19th at the L.A. Convention Center. We’ll chat about the panel and the latest news of the L.A. dining scene with Farley.


Show 285, August 11, 2018: Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoChef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of Ask the Chef.”

What’s the secret of drool-worthy Crab Cakes? What’s the tastiest crab to use? How does Maryland’s Old Bay Seasoning impact this? We’ll find out from Chef Andrew with the promise of no added filler.

Chef Andrew suggests a little crab goes a long way. Don’t break up all the lumps in the crab meat. That adds texture. Also a light touch on the breading. Chef Andrew prefers using panko.


Show 284, August 4, 2018: Pamela Waitt, Founder and Producer, 7th Annual Golden Foodie Awards

Golden Foodie AwardsVoting for the 7th Annual Golden Foodie Awards representing the best in dining in Orange County commences on August 3rd and runs in two waves of voting. The 2nd voting period extends from August 10th through 17th. It’s the people’s choice awards as Orange County foodies make the decisions.

“The Golden Foodie Awards has evolved into a celebration of Orange County’s rich culinary scene,” said Pamela Waitt, creator and producer of the Golden Foodie Awards, and president of the OC Restaurant Association. “Now in its 7th year, the Golden Foodie Awards have grown exponentially in reach and media attention. To enable us to continue to grow as an event, we have brought on the accounting firm of Moss Adams to audit votes and continue to attract sponsors who share a vision of highlighting those stand-out chefs and restaurants in Orange County.”

The Golden Foodie Awards is a people’s choice event that recognizes the best chefs, libations and cuisine at chef-driven and independent restaurants. With its focus on involving the Orange County community to serve as judges through their voting, the Golden Foodie Awards serve as a high honor and is an indication of local culinary trends and consumer preferences.

Connoisseurs of cuisine and lovers of libations will have a chance each week to vote for their favorites among 15 categories. The voting for August 3rd to 9thth includes Bartender of the Year, Best Cocktails in Orange County, Best Wine Program, Best Beer Program, Best Bar Program, Best New Restaurant and Best Lunch Spot in Orange County.

The 2nd voting period for August 10th through 17th includes Best Brunch in Orange County, Rising Star Chef of the Year, Favorite Food Influencer in Orange County, Outstanding Community Service, Restaurateur of the Year, Best Dessert Menu in Orange County, Best Entrée in Orange County and Best Service Award.

Pamela Waitt the Creator and Producer of the Golden Foodie Awards joins us with the details of how the voting works and what the categories are.



Show 284, August 4, 2018: Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group, Co-Founder, L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade Benefit

Caroline StyneReturning for its highly-anticipated ninth year, L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade, hosted by James Beard Foundation award-winners Chef Suzanne Goin and partner Caroline Styne (The Lucques Group) along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat), is set for Saturday, September 8, 2018, from 12:30 – 4:30 pm on UCLA’s Royce Quad. Goin, Styne and Lentz have again enlisted the support and generosity of their culinary-superstar friends around the country who will donate their time and services to raise funds and awareness for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) and its mission to find better treatments and cures for all kids with cancer.

Featuring fabulous food, wine and cocktails prepared by the nation’s best chefs, winemakers and mixologists, L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade is an afternoon of fantastic fare, cocktails for a cause, children’s activities, extravagant silent and exhilarating live auctions, and much more.

The 2018 event is guaranteed to surpass the aspirations of previous years with returning chefs Chris Bianco, April Bloomfield, Evan Funke, Giada De Laurentiis, Adam Perry Lang, Donald Link, Nancy Oakes, Nancy Silverton, Steve Samson, Jon Shook, Vinny Dotolo, Rocco Whalen and Marc Vetri coming together to cook for childhood cancer cures.

Pricing for General Admission tickets is $195. It’s not an inexpensive ticket but the value is all there. The culinary cookout is family-friendly; children under the age of 12 are free with accompanying adult and do not need to register for the event.

“The fact that this is our ninth year hosting this event is pretty mind blowing! It feels really amazing to be able to have such a tangible impact on something that is just so important,” said co-founder Caroline Styne.” It’s also so gratifying to see so many others jump on board and wholeheartedly support this event and the foundation as a whole.”

Our guest with all the tantalizing details is Caroline Styne of The Lucques Group.

Congrats to Caroline on being honored with the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo’s Torch Award on August 20th at the L.A. Convention Center.



Show 284, August 4, 2018: Chef Pierre-Marie Leprince, Director of Guest Culinary Experience, Princess Cruises

Pierre-Marie LeprinceWith Princess Cruises leading the way the fondly-remembered days of distinctive dining at sea have returned. No matter what a guest might be craving, there is a delicious, freshly-prepared option available aboard each Princess Cruises ship.

Earlier this year Chef Pierre-Marie Leprince was bestowed the honor of Master Chef of France by the Association of the Master Chefs of France. Only 30 chefs from around the world will be so honored in 2018.

As Director of Guest Culinary Experience, Chef Leprince works with Princess Cruises’ executive and onboard culinary teams to ensure they are maintaining the finest standards. Princess Cruises is one of the few cruise lines whose ships were built with the delivery of fresh cuisine in mind.

The line’s culinary approach is “Designed for Fresh,” with breads baked freshly all day, sauces made from scratch using the freshest ingredients, steaks aged and hand cut onboard, and house-prepared ice cream made daily.

Chef Leprince and his team strive to ensure that guests discover the unique flavors of the places they visit while dining onboard Princess ships. He is also responsible for developing and updating the menus onboard all 17 Princess Cruises ships.

Princess also collaborates with accomplished celebrity chefs to creatively enhance the dining experience at sea. Curtis Stone has SHARE by Curtis Stone Restaurants on three Princess ships and also has special seasonal “Chef Curtis Stone” dishes available in the Main Dining Room of other Princess vessels. Chef Ernesto Uchimura (the original menu developer for Umami Burger and Chef/Partner for Plan Check Kitchen + Bar) has developed the Salty Dog Gastropub concept for Princess available on select ships.

One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is a global cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships (with 3 more under construction) renowned for their innovative design and wide array of choices in dining, entertainment, and amenities, all provided with the experience of exceptional customer service. As the world’s largest international premium cruise brand, Princess carries two million guests each year to more than 360 destinations around the globe on more than 150 itineraries ranging in length from three to 114 days.


Show 284, August 4, 2018: Rasselbock, Bixby Knolls, Long Beach – Participant in DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week

Bjoern RisseEat your heart out Long Beach! DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week returns August 4 to 12, 2018. Experience cuisine that delights the palate and defines the art of dining in Long Beach. Held annually, Dine LBC features value-oriented two or three course menus from dozens of Long Beach’s best restaurants in twelve unique neighborhoods throughout the city.

The new contemporary German restaurant in Bixby Knolls, Rasselbock, is one of the participating restaurants in DINE LBC. We’ll meet proprietor Bjoern Risse, talk about his appealing DINE LBC menu and find out what a “Rasselbock” is. It is not on the menu.

“Rasselbock is a German restaurant and pub (launched in late 2016) specializing in German food with a modern twist and pouring freshly tapped German and Belgian beers from small producers. They feature over 35 German and Belgian beers, homemade sangrias and a great selection of German and Californian Wines.”

A must on the DINE LBC menu is Rasselbock’s Mini Potato Pancakes Appetizer. The potato pancakes are topped with house-made apple sauce and Mascarpone cheese. All menu items on the DINE LBC menu include a beer pairing suggestion. A dessert option worthy of major consideration is their house-prepared Apple Strudel. It’s adapted from Bjoern’s Grandmother’s treasured family recipe.

The patio of Rasselbock is dog-friendly. On Thursday “Dogs eat on the Haus.” It’s a special canine plate of all-natural Pork Bratwurst.



Show 284, August 4, 2018: Executive Chef Mike Minor, Border Grill Las Vegas, BBQ Mexicana

Mike Minor of Truck U Barbecue in Las VegasWhen we last spoke with Chef Mike Minor last December, the Executive Chef for Mary Sue Milliken’s and Susan Feniger’s Border Grill in Las Vegas, he teased us with news that a BBQ concept was in the works. That has now launched as BBQ Mexicana, a quick service eatery located across the corridor from Border Grill at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The menu was created by Mary Sue and Susan in collaboration with Chef Mike, a passionate BBQ master.

Inspired by Mary Sue and Susan’s travels to Mexico, where they fell in love with delicious barbacoa and smoked meats, the menu at BBQ Mexicana offers a variety of burritos, bowls, and salads filled with mesquite smoked chicken, pulled pork, slow smoked Texas-style brisket, and smoked tofu in addition to aguas frescas, beers and margaritas to go. BBQ Mexicana is ideal for convention attendees and those seeking a good meal on the go before continuing on to the casino, pool, convention center, or exploring Las Vegas.

Not to be missed is the Slow Smoked Brisket Burnt Ends Burrito with chipotle coleslaw, crispy potatoes, Manchego cheese and BBQ mole sauce.

Current hours are Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with select mornings and weekends.

We pull Chef Mike away from the smoker for a meaty chat.