Show 300, December 1, 2018: Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 20th Anniversary, Stephen Blevins, Director of Wines

Steven BlevinsTwenty years ago Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar launched at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. It’s been a huge success. As they have branched over the years to include 70 domestic restaurants a signature for them has become their carefully curated wine program. Each Fleming’s has a part of their wine list with the hand-picked selections of that location’s Operating Partner.

Two highly experienced restaurateurs had a vision of designing a steakhouse that would deliver a stylish and contemporary dining experience. Fleming’s was created from this vision by Paul Fleming, founder of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, and Bill Allen III, a leading restaurant and hospitality executive.

Our guest with the well-traveled corkscrew is Stephen Blevins, Fleming’s Director of Wines who was previously the Operating Partner at the Flagship Newport Beach Fleming’s.

Stephen’s passion project has been securing for Fleming’s celebrated winemaker Dave Phinney’s new release, 8 Years in the Desert by Orin Swift. It’s a California Red Bland of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah and small percentages of other red varietals. Of course there is a story.


Show 300, December 1, 2018: Restaurateur & Chef Sherry Yard, COO of iPic Entertainment

Chef Sherry Yard and her Silken Pumpkin Pie with 3 layersFrequent show guest Sherry Yard (Restaurateur & Chef and three-time James Beard Award-recipient for culinary excellence) is the Chief Operating Officer of iPic Entertainment where she oversees all theater and culinary operations for iPic.

Sherry is back on Food TV as the new judge for Season 4 of ABC’s The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition” popping out of the oven on Saturday evening, December 8th. It’s two, back-to-back hour shows aired each Thursday evening at 9:00 p.m. for three weeks. Produced in London.

“Based on the hit U.K. series “The Great British Bake Off,” “The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition” features bakers from across the country battling through 18 total challenges with six challenges throughout each two-hour themed episode, all in the hopes of being crowned “America’s Best Amateur Baker.” Emma Bunton and Anthony “Spice” Adams host. Best-selling cookbook author and baker Paul Hollywood and James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Sherry Yard are judges.”

We’re talking baking with Sherry.


Show 300, December 1, 2018: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group, “Ask the Chef”

Andrew and William GruelOur own Chef Andrew Gruel joins us with another informative “Ask the Chef” segment. With the Holidays upon us it’s great to have a real working chef in our corner with helpful advice!

Chef Andrew will give us some advice on what knives you really need for the home kitchen and his creative picks for the best, affordable kitchen gadgets for Holiday Gifting.


Show 299, November 24, 2018: Restaurateurs Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis, Bestia – Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A.

Executive Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis of BestiaThe Proprietors of the phenomenally popular Bestia and the newly opened Bavel, Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis, are no strangers to the show. Just in time for the Holidays their debut cookbook, Bestia – Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A., is now available.

This debut cookbook from L.A.’s phenomenally popular Bestia restaurant features rustic Italian food that is driven by intense flavors, including house-made charcuterie, pizza and pasta from scratch, and innovative desserts inspired by home-baked classics.

Since opening in downtown Los Angeles in 2012, Bestia has captivated diners with its bold, satisfying, and flavor-forward food served in a festive, communal atmosphere. Now, in this accessible and immersive debut cookbook, all of the incredible dishes that have made Bestia one of the most talked-about restaurants in the country are on full display.

Irresistible desserts such as apple cider donuts and a chocolate budino tart, from Co-owner and pastry chef Genevieve Gergis, end the concert of flavors on a high note.

Ori and Genevieve also share the uphill story of the saga of realizing Bestia. If you think it’s easy to open a restaurant in an unfashionable neighborhood (at the time) you might want to reconsider. Also profiled are the key team members that keep Bestia at the top of its game.

Bestia – Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A. delivers a distinctively innovative approach to Italian-inspired cooking.

Proprietors Ori and Genevieve join us.


Show 299, November 24, 2018: Chef / Proprietor Tim Hollingsworth, Free Play Restaurant, Bar & Arcade

Timothy Hollingsworth“Eat, Drink & Game” at Chef Tim Hollingsworth’s (Otium) new Restaurant, Bar & Arcade, Free Play, located on the 2nd level of The Fields LA Food Hall in Exposition Park adjacent to Banc of California Stadium. (“Come for the Food – Stay for the Game.”)

It’s a nostalgic menu representing the different comfort foods of L.A., presented with a touch of whimsey. Think Frito Pie with chili, cheese, pickled Fresnos and sour cream. The buzzy central bar serves craft beer and specialty cocktails like the Melon Dollar Baby (gin, sake, watermelon, hibiscus and lime.).

The playable restored, vintage pinball and video games are really “Free Play” during the daily Happy Hour of 5 to 7:00 p.m. (Wednesday through Sunday.)

Chef Tim is also a Cheftestant on Netflix’s ambitious, 10-part “The Final Table” international chef competition series. chef competition series now streaming. Chef Tim is paired with Chef Darren MacLean (Shokunin) of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The 24 acclaimed chefs from around the globe compete in pairs of 2.

Chef Tim will provide an overview.


Show 299, November 24, 2018: Chef Carla Hall – Carla Hall’s Soul Food – Everyday and Celebration

Carla HallWe’re big fans of beloved TV chef (ABC’s Emmy Award-winning The Chew and fan favorite on Bravo’s Top Chef,) Carla Hall. In her 3rd cookbook, Carla Hall’s Soul Food – Everyday and Celebration, she takes us back to her own Nashville roots to offer a fresh, lip-smackin’ look at America’s favorite comfort cuisine.

In Carla Hall’s Soul Food, the big-hearted chef and television celebrity traces soul food’s history from Africa and the Caribbean to the American South. Carla shows us that soul food is more than barbecue and mac and cheese. Traditionally a plant-based cuisine, everyday soul food is full of veggie goodness that’s just as delicious as cornbread and fried chicken.

From Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Hot Sauce Vinaigrette to Tomato Pie with Garlic Bread Crust, the recipes in Carla Hall’s Soul Food deliver her distinctive Southern flavors using farm-fresh ingredients. The results are light, healthy, seasonal dishes with big, satisfying tastes—the mouthwatering soul food everyone will want a taste of.

“Featuring 145 original recipes, 120 color photographs, and a whole lotta love, Carla Hall’s Soul Food is a wonderful blend of the modern and the traditional—honoring soul food’s heritage and personalizing it with Carla’s signature fresh style. The result is an irresistible and open-hearted collection of recipes and stories that share love and joy, identity, and memory.”

“To really return to my roots, I knew I had to go back home. I had to travel the route so many African-Americans did before me, so I took a Southern Road trip with my writer, Genevieve; and photographer, Gabriele.” – Carla Hall

“Along the way, we shared meals and stories with African-American farmers, chefs, cooks, legends. On farms, at markets, in restaurants, at home. Always breaking bread at the welcome table. And we traveled through time.” – Carla Hall

We’re cooking in the Southern kitchen with Carla.



Show 299, November 24, 2018: Restaurateur & Chef Josiah Citrin

Josiah CitrinTwo-star Michelin Chef and native Angeleno, Josiah Citrin (Melisse & Charcoal,) has launched Openaire, a poolside oasis of green at the center of the Koreatown in a glass-curtained greenhouse located on the roof of The Line Hotel on Wilshire Blvd.

The ambitious menu (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) features the best of California’s ingredients from land and sea, embracing the seasons and presented in a shareable format. Highlights at dinner include Tagliatelle Duck Ragout with Pistachio, and Pecorino and Suckling Pig with Ginger Rice & XO sauce. Chef Josiah graciously credits Chef Steve Samson (Rossoblu) with the inspiration for the Duck Ragout Tagliatelle.

The lunch menu offers a fun section of “Hotel Classics” and an unusual Tuna Katsu Sandwich with Napa Cabbage Slaw and Black Garlic Katsu Sauce. A dessert highlight is an impressive Dark Chocolate Cake with Salted Coffee Ice Cream and Dulce De Leche sauce.

Simply, Openaire is a celebration of indoor / outdoor living at the center of the melting-pot that is LA. Josiah’s Executive Chef at Openaire is Richard Archuleta (ex-The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills.)

Chef Josiah (Culinary Council Member for ment’or BKB Foundation) is hosting a special benefit dinner at Melisse on Sunday, December 2nd to support Team USA 2019 on their Road To Lyon” at the Bocuse d’Or international culinary competition. Joining him are guest chefs Tim Hollingsworth, Walter Manzke, Ari Rosenson, Nyesha Arrington and Brooke Williamson.

Chef Josiah joins us.


Show 299, November 24, 2018: Restaurateur & Executive Farmer, Nathan Peitso, FARMHOUSE Los Angeles

Nathan PietsoNathan Peitso, a second-generation farmer of Kenter Canyon Farms is at the helm of FARMHOUSE together with Executive Chef Craig Hopson. Located on the ground floor of the refreshed Beverly Center, FARMHOUSE redefines the traditional restaurant model by placing a farmer at the forefront of the business and thus creating a new culinary movement focused on collaboration with the region’s top farmers to grow and harvest ingredients dictating the dining destination’s dishes.

Introducing a fresh role in the restaurant industry at Beverly Center’s FARMHOUSE restaurant, Executive Farmer Nathan Peitso calls on his extensive California farming experience cultivated since youth to fill the post organically—both literally and figuratively. Peitso brings an unprecedented level of authenticity and expertise to the industry’s heightened dedication to farm-traceable culinary programs.

“The FARMHOUSE concept hinges on getting the best produce, and preparing superior food with superior ingredients,” Peitso says. Reimagining the menu design process, Peitso plans months in advance through thoughtful collaboration with farmers on anticipated produce being planted. Once farming partnerships are in place, Peitso curates the rotating seed to plate menu highlighting peak Southern California ingredients, exclusively harvested for FARMHOUSE.

Last month FARMHOUSE debuted its inaugural Autumn Harvest Chef’s Tasting Dinner Menu from Executive Chef Craig Hopson. For $52 per person (not inclusive of tax and gratuity) guests will have their choice of three-courses inspired by six selective and locally-sourced seasonal ingredients at their peak—such as honeynut squash, Cotton Candy, Concord, and Red Flame grapes, Bermuda onions, mushrooms, pears, and Japanese sweet potato—prepared by Chef Hopson and sourced by Executive Farmer Nathan Peitso (“The Farmer & The Chef” duo).


Show 299, November 24, 2018: Chef Andrew Gruel, Bracken’s Kitchen’s Deck the Halls Holiday Open House Benefit

Bill BrackenChef Bill Bracken and high- profile chef friends (Bracken’s Kitchen, “Driven to combat food insecurity one tasty meal at a time”) – are gathering together for a Holiday Open House benefit on Thursday, Nov. 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Bracken’s new kitchen in Garden Grove to help raise awareness and funds for Bracken’s Kitchen’s mission to feed those in need. Bill Bracken is grateful to be in a new 9,000 sq. ft. kitchen, yet with the growth comes more need to do more that requires additional resources and funding.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoAttendees will be invited to tour the various kitchens to sample signature dishes made from top chefs such as Chef Hugo Bolanos from Wolfgang Puck at the Hotel Bel Air, Avalon Grille & The Catalina Company’s Chef Roberto Hernandez, Chef Andrew Gruel from Slapfish and Two Birds and Butterleaf and Chef John Park of Toast Kitchen + Bakery, not to mention Bracken’s Kitchen’s Executive Chef Jerry and Founder & Culinary Director, Chef Bill Bracken. Master Baker Dean Kim of OC Baking Company, Pastry Chef Michael Owens of the new Left Coast Bakery, and from The Dirty Cookie, Shahira Marel will round out our pastries and dessert tasting.

Tickets for the event start at $95 and will be going directly toward Bracken’s Kitchen food recovery efforts and feeding programs.

“We are excited to be able to make a bigger impact in the communities we serve with the additional space in our new kitchen,” says Chef Bill Bracken. “Thanks to our community donors and food business partners, we are able to host events like Deck The Halls and continue to restore food and lives.”

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel’s Slapfish, Two Birds and Butterleaf will be part of the festivities. Chef Andrew provides the details of what’s on the Deck The Halls (And The Kitchen!) menu.


Show 299, November 24, 2018: Chef & Restaurateur Geraldine Gilliland, Lula Cocina Mexicana, Finn McCool’s Irish Pub, Chiquita’s Friends Animal Rescue

Geraldine GillilandGeraldine Gilliland is a well-known and long-time restaurateur and philanthropist in Santa Monica. Her proprieties on Main Street are Lula Cocina Mexicana and Finn McCool’s Irish Pub. She has a long tradition of generously giving back to the community.

Gerri is also a long-time resident of Malibu and dedicated to animal rescue with Chiquita’s Friends. All of the proceeds from the Lula Cocina Cookbook benefit Chiquita’s Friends.

The tragic Woolsey fire necessitated her hurried evacuation from her new Cornell Sanctuary in Agoura on Thursday night, November 8th with 26 of her rescue dogs. Just imagine the task of getting all these senior and challenged animals with special needs gently coaxed into travel kennels and loading them onto a van and truck in the dark for transport.

As of the broadcast Geraldine still had not been able to get back home to either her Malibu ranch or the Cornell Sanctuary. It’s been over 2 weeks now…Sadly the recently restored caretaker’s cottage at the Sanctuary was completely destroyed including all the caretaker’s belongings.

With any luck she hopes to return to her Malibu ranch and Cornell Sanctuary in the next few days.

Gerri will bring us up-to-date on two very difficult weeks and how we can help. Gerri and her dedicated volunteers even cooked fresh food for her canine charges on Thanksgiving. A contribution of any amount to Chiquita’s Friends at this challenging time would be greatly appreciated.