Show 212, February 25, 2017: Adam and Chef Scott Goldberg, Fresh Brothers – Pizza, Salad and Wings. Continues…

Adam and Scott GoldbergHere’s a good one for you. There really are two brothers (Chef Scott and Adam Goldberg) at Fresh Brothers Pizza with 19 locations in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego. It’s really all about “Fresh” as even the dough is made fresh daily. Adam & Chef Scott Goldberg continue…

“For those following special diets, Fresh Brothers even offers a gluten-free pizza and other gluten-free items, as well as vegan options. Aside from their health-conscious efforts, Fresh Brothers offers a wide variety of delicious pizzas, salads and more – a little something for everyone!”

Since 2012 Fresh Brothers has offered a special Matzo Pizza for Passover. It’s become a popular, limited time tradition in the Jewish community and beyond…It’s a 7-inch square.

“Adam’s dream of owning a pizza shop has officially turned into a successful venture. Fresh Brothers has expanded over the last 8 years and continues to give back to their community. The company has given thousands in donations to support multiple local SoCal schools and non-profits. In 2016 alone, Fresh Brothers raised almost $30,000 for schools in Irvine, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa and Laguna Niguel. Aside from the delicious ingredients, hospitality and healthy choices, Fresh Brothers has proven that the most important aspect of their business is giving back to their community.”

Play

Show 143, October 24, 2015: Food Historian Richard Foss

Richard FossCulinary Historian Richard Foss is also the California Curator for both The Southern Food & Beverage Museum (home of The Museum of the American Cocktail) and Pacific Food & Beverage. His new book is Food in Air and Space: The Surprising History of Food and Drink in The Skies. There was a time when dining in the sky was actually a true gourmet experience.

Richard shares the stories of the first libations in the air as well as the first meals. He also explains why airline food morphed from extraordinary to dull. In part this was motivated by one executive’s observation about leftover olives on salads. This then became the motivation for budget cutting on food costs along with deregulation…Oops!

The always colorful Richard Foss is our guest.

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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 97, November 15, 2014: Rick Rodgers, cookbook author and culinary instructor

Rick RodgersRick Rodgers is an award-winning cookbook author and cooking teacher and the accomplished writer of more than forty cookbooks on subjects ranging from baking to grilling, and more. Rodgers often works behind the scenes as a recipe tester, co-author, and valued consultant on cookbooks by other authors, including Sarabeth Levine of Sarabeth’s Bakery

Rodgers has also penned corporate cookbooks for well-known clients such as Kingsford Charcoal and Sur La Table, as well as many titles for Williams-Sonoma.

Just in time for the Holidays is The Big Book of Sides – More than 450 Recipes for the Best Vegetables, Grains, Salads, Breads, Sauces and More. What’s the Thanksgiving feast without the assortment of tasty sides? Side dishes make the meal. Rick gives the humble side dish its due, elevating it to its proper, important place on the menu – front and center.

“With 32 color photos, main course pairings for every recipe and a guide to the best cooking methods, The Big Book of Sides provides answers to the age-old question of what to serve with what, with side dishes for all seasons, celebrations, occasions and even everyday weeknight meals.”

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Show 57, January 18, 2013: Antonia Lofaso, Executive Chef & Partner, Scopa Italian Roots and Black Market Liquor Bar. Continues…

Scopa Italian Roots in Marina del ReyChef Antonia Lofaso of the newly opened Scopa Italian Roots in Marina del Rey and Black Market Liquor Bar in Studio City picks up the conversation.

Chef Antonia is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York and cooked at Spago for many years working her way up the tall kitchen ladder there. Her first executive chef post was at SBE’s Foxtail in West Hollywood.

Scopa, located next door to Roy Choi’s Sunny Spot, is her latest venture.

There is a huge antipasti bar where all the cheeses and salumi are cut and plated to order right in front of the guests. The mini Italian Hero (coppa, prosciutto, salami, provolone, olive oil, and vinegar) is very popular.

There is also an oyster bar.

The varied menu also offers salads, pasta, large plate mains, and seasonal sides including polenta. The Pappardelle with pork shank, stracciatella, and arugula is a standout. The flavorful T-Bone is a meat-lovers’ dream.

Antonia’s first cookbook, published in 2012, is still available via Amazon. It’s The Busy Mom’s Cookbook: 100 Recipes for Quick, Delicious, Home-Cooked Meals. Antonia has a teenage daughter and the recipes were developed through the eyes of a hardworking single mom.

Play

January 18: Antonia Lafaso, Mark Boster, Kedric Francis, Skyler Reeves

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Antonia Lofaso, Executive Chef & Partner, Scopa Italian Roots and Black Market Liquor Bar Part One
Segment Three: Antonia Lofaso, Executive Chef & Partner, Scopa Italian Roots and Black Market Liquor Bar Part Two
Segment Four: Mark Boster, Senior Photojournalist, Los Angeles Times Part One
Segment Five: Mark Boster, Senior Photojournalist, Los Angeles Times Part Two
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Magazine
Segment Seven: Skyler Reeves, master barman, co-producer of Golden State of Cocktails
Segment Eight: Chef Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris of “SoCal Restaurant Show”

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Los Angeles Times Travel ShowDon’t forget the Los Angeles Times Travel Show on January 18th & 19th at The L.A. Convention Center. There is a fun travel opportunity waiting for every budget. Save $2 per ticket with Promo Code: TRAVEL4.

You know the lovely Antonia Lafaso from Bravo’s “Top Chef” and Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen.” Chef Antonia will be talking about her new restaurant, Scopa. The ace photo journalist from The Los Angeles Times is along to preview his presentation at The Los Angeles Times Travel Show and give us some insider’s tips on better food photography with smart phones. Kedric Francis, the dashing Executive Editor about town, previews the upcoming Restaurant Issue of The Orange County Register Magazine.

All of that and lots more deliciousness on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

Antonia Lofaso of Black Market Liquor Bar and Scopa Italian RootsFor a chef with as much media exposure as she has received Antonia Lofaso is refreshingly low-key. Her name is not even on the menu for the two successful restaurants in Los Angeles that she is both executive chef & partner of. The popular restaurants are Black Market Liquor Bar in Studio City and, the newest, Scopa Italian Roots in Marina del Rey, her loving homage to Italian-American red sauce cooking.

You first met Chef Antonia on Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 4 set in Chicago. Two years later she was invited back to compete on “Top Chef All-Stars” where she battled to the finals.

Antonia currently serves as one of the regular judges on Food Network’s hit series, “Cutthroat Kitchen” hosted by Alton Brown. Season 2 is now airing on Sunday nights.

Chef Antonia is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York and cooked at Spago. Her first executive chef post was at SBE’s Foxtail in West Hollywood.

Scopa, located next door to Roy Choi’s Sunny Spot, is her latest venture.

There is a huge antipasti bar where all the cheeses and salumi are cut and plated to order right in front of the guests. The Italian Hero (coppa, prosciutto, salami, provolone, olive oil, and vinegar) is very popular.

There is also an oyster bar.

The varied menu also offers salads, pasta, large plate mains, and seasonal sides including polenta. The Pappardelle with pork shank, stracciatella, and arugula is a standout. The flavorful T-Bone is a meat-lovers’ dream.

Antonia’s first cookbook, published in 2012, is still available via Amazon. It’s The Busy Mom’s Cookbook: 100 Recipes for Quick, Delicious, Home-Cooked Meals. Antonia has a teenage daughter and the recipes were developed through the eyes of a hardworking single mom.

Mark BosterThe 16th Annual Los Angeles Times Travel show returns to the West Hall of the LA Convention Center on January 18 & 19. Veteran Los Angeles Times photojournalist, Mark Boster, is with us to preview his activities at the show.

Mark is on the LA Times Stage both Saturday & Sunday at 1:00 p.m. with his “Postcards From the West” presentation. He’s doing this with LA Times Travel Writer Christopher Reynolds.

In an exclusive for our listeners Mark Boster is sharing tips for taking great food shots!

Boster is also quite an expert on California’s great treasure, Yosemite. He is the author of the acclaimed coffee table book, Four Seasons of Yosemite: A Photographer’s Journey with a forward by Robert Redford.

Mark is the co-presenter of “Postcards from the West” on the LA Times Stage at The Los Angeles Times Travel show at the Los Angeles Convention Center on January 18th & 19th.

A photojournalist for 37 years and a Times photographer since 1983, Mark has covered presidential campaigns, the war in Kosovo, the 1984 Olympics, Super Bowls, the World Series, the Northridge earthquake, and Hurricane Katrina.

In this informative segment Mark shares an expert’s tips for better food photography using a smartphone.

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineOur favorite debonair man about Orange County, Kedric Francis, is back with us with a preview of the upcoming “Restaurant Issue” of The Orange County Register Magazine which is with the newspaper on Monday, January 20th. Kedric is the restaurant-savvy Executive Editor of both Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine.

One of the most intriguing pieces is Orange County chefs who have professional ties to one of America’s great chefs, Thomas Keller. You know Chef Keller’s name from the French Laundry in Yountville, CA., Per Se in New York, Bouchon, and the Bouchon Bakeries. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at some of the OC chefs who have worked for Thomas Keller earlier in their careers.

Skyler ReevesSkyler Reeves is a master barman. Denizens of Downtown Los Angeles’ popular nightlife scene will know him from 213 Downtown. He’s one of the best…

His new project is co-producing the upcoming “Golden State of Cocktails.” It takes place January 27th through 30th primarily on the historic top floor of the Los Angeles Times Building in Downtown Los Angeles. This space was the former executive offices and the grandeur of the floor will surely impress. The educational event is designed exclusively for the trade.

“California’s long awaited large-scale cocktail event is finally here: Announcing Golden State of Cocktails! Staged in Los Angeles, the West Coast’s largest city and California’s anchor, Golden State of Cocktails celebrates all aspects of cocktail culture, both industry and consumer, from San Francisco to Los Angeles to San Diego and everywhere in between. Be a part of the inaugural event in one or more ways. From experiential interactive labs, take-away stations and brand immersion rooms, Golden State of Cocktails takes a hands-on approach to the learning experience and celebrates the best of what California cocktail culture is all about.” The event is open to restaurateurs, chefs, bartenders and people associated with the trade.

Chef Jet Tila host of the SoCal Restaurant ShowWe receive intriguing food related questions via social media…

Today Chef Jet is answering a sampling of those inquiries on the air. He’ll weigh-in on salt in food, the new regulation in California that food handlers touching raw food products must wear gloves, and the Letter Grade rating system for restaurants in effect in many California counties.

This will definitely get interesting…

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Antonia Lofaso, Executive Chef & Partner, Scopa Italian Roots and Black Market Liquor Bar Part One
Segment Three: Antonia Lofaso, Executive Chef & Partner, Scopa Italian Roots and Black Market Liquor Bar Part Two
Segment Four: Mark Boster, Senior Photojournalist, Los Angeles Times Part One
Segment Five: Mark Boster, Senior Photojournalist, Los Angeles Times Part Two
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Magazine
Segment Seven: Skyler Reeves, master barman, co-producer of Golden State of Cocktails
Segment Eight: Chef Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris of “SoCal Restaurant Show”

Show 41, September 21, 2013: Kajsa (Sasha) Alger, Executive Chef and Partner, Susan Feniger’s Street

Kansa Alger of Susan Feniger's StreetAs a teenager Alger snuck into the kitchen at CITY restaurant to begin an informal apprenticeship. That was the start of her long association with Susan and Mary Sue. She eventually rose to the post of Corporate Chef for all of Mary Sue’s and Susan’s restaurants.

Kajsa was on the Street project since the inception. There were months of intense recipe testing before the opening in 2009.

Kajsa is particularly proud of the unconventional Saturday and Sunday brunch menu they are offering until the end of the month. It’s an “All You Can Eat” small plate brunch with breakfast items as well as sandwiches and salads. It’s a modest $25 per guest and for an additional $15 you can partake of bottomless sparkling cocktails.

Kajsa pointed out that Street is vegetarian and vegan friendly. Some of their vegan specialties are that way by the simple nature of the dish. Ethnic fare tends to be less meat centric and they have built upon that.

Play

September 21: Thai Food Fest preview with Susan Feniger, Kajsa Alger, David LeFevre

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Paul Greive, Farmer & Founder, Primal Pastures, Temecula Part One
Segment Three: Paul Greive, Farmer & Founder, Primal Pastures, Temecula Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef David LeFevre of Fishing with Dynamite
Segment Five: Celebrity Chef Susan Feniger, Proprietress of Susan Feniger’s Street
Segment Six: Kajsa (Sasha) Alger, Executive Chef and Partner, Susan Feniger’s Street
Segment Seven: Steve Samson and Zach Pollack, Co-Executive Chefs / Partners, Sotto Restaurant
Segment Eight: Neal Fraser, Executive Chef / Owner of bld

Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Thai 2013 Food FestivalMark Sunday afternoon, September 29th on your calendar. Our very own Jet Tila is hosting the Thai 2013 Food Festival at Paramount Pictures Studios in the heart of Hollywood. It starts at 3:00 p.m.

Celebrity chefs from around the country and outstanding local Thai chefs will be there presenting their signature dishes for the guests to sample and enjoy. Entertainment will include music, Thai dancers and fruit carving.

VIP and Regular Tickets are now on sale!

Primal Pastures“Farmer Paul” Greive, the co-founder with his in-laws, of Primal Pastures in Temecula is with us. Primal Pastures is a pastured, “beyond organic and sustainable” livestock farm.

They just funded an amazing Kickstarter campaign to bankroll their expansion. The goal was to raise $40,000. Instead they realized $57,810.

They have recently leased over 200 acres of pastureland to expand.

“Our vision is to establish a “permaculture” – a system that effectively models the natural ecosystem with many varieties of plants and animals acting in synergy with one another on one farm. There are beautiful things that happen when cattle and sheep are incorporated with chickens, turkeys, and ducks.”

Chef David LeFevre of M.B. Post in Manhattan BeachExecutive Chef David LeFevre (ex-Water Grill) of the acclaimed Manhattan Beach Post and Fishing with Dynamite joins us.

Fishing with Dynamite in Manhattan Beach is his latest venture. It’s only 40 seats. The oyster bar is already enormously popular. They will serve some 300 to 700 oysters on a given day.

Chef LeFevre will be participating in the upcoming Thai Food Festival. He previews his dish for September 29th.

Susan Feniger of Border Grill and Susan Feniger's StreetSusan Feniger of Susan Feniger’s Street and Border Grill fame needs no introduction to listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” She was also one of the early super stars of Food Network with her business partner Mary Sue Milliken in the long running “Too Hot Tamales” series.

Susan Feniger’s Street will be a featured restaurant in the upcoming Thai Food Festival.

There are lots of Thai items on the regular Street menu.

The dish they are showcasing at the festival is Khao Gee, a Northeastern Thai snack.

Kajsa Alger of Susan Feniger's StreetKajsa Alger is the executive chef and partner for Susan Feniger’s Street.

As a teenager she snuck into the kitchen at CITY restaurant to begin an informal apprenticeship. That was the start of her long association with Susan and Mary Sue. She eventually rose to the post of Corporate Chef for all of Mary Sue and Susan’s restaurants.

She was on the Street project since the inception. There was months of intense recipe testing before the opening in 2009.

Kajsa is particularly proud of the Saturday and Sunday brunch menu they are offering until the end of the month. It’s an “All You Can Eat” small plate brunch with breakfast items as well as sandwiches and salads. It’s a modest $25 per guest and for an additional $15 you can partake of bottomless sparkling cocktails.

Steve Samson and Zach Pollack of SottoSteve Samson and Zach Pollack are the Executive Chefs and co-owners of Sotto near Century City in Los Angeles. They have an incredible wood-burning pizza oven that is from Sicily that was installed by Italian craftsmen. Orange County foodies remember them as the opening culinary team for highly-regarded Pizzeria Ortica.

In-mid-August they were the only Los Angeles chefs to be invited by Chef Javier Plascencia (the Wolfgang Puck of Northern Baja) to join with acclaimed San Diego chefs to prepare a seven-course, wine-paired meal at Chef Javier’s ranch, Finca Altozano, located in the Guadalupe Valley, Mexico’s premier wine region. Each course was matched with an appropriate Baja wine from the local region. This was one event as part of a bigger annual vintners’ festival.

Steve’s and Zach’s dish was a beautiful spit-roasted lamb loin.

Restaurateur Javier Plascencia has Romesco in Bonita in the United States and multiple restaurants in Tijuana including Mision 19 and Caesar’s Restaurante Bar (where the original Caesar Salad was created.)

Neal Fraser of bld and RedbirdExecutive Chef Neal Fraser of bld joins us.

Chef Fraser is a contestant on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” this season. He comments on the ups and downs he experienced as a competitor. He observed that it’s a lot harder than he anticipated. That’s significant given that he previously bested an Iron Chef on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America”.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Paul Greive, Farmer & Founder, Primal Pastures, Temecula Part One
Segment Three: Paul Greive, Farmer & Founder, Primal Pastures, Temecula Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef David LeFevre of Fishing with Dynamite
Segment Five: Celebrity Chef Susan Feniger, Proprietress of Susan Feniger’s Street
Segment Six: Kajsa (Sasha) Alger, Executive Chef and Partner, Susan Feniger’s Street
Segment Seven: Steve Samson and Zach Pollack, Co-Executive Chefs / Partners, Sotto Restaurant
Segment Eight: Neal Fraser, Executive Chef / Owner of bld

On the horizon for Chef Neal is a bld at LAX in the United Terminal and a casual ice cream, donuts, and coffee café.

Show 38, August 10, 2013: Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Continues…

The Hatch Chile is from the Anaheim chile family but has thicker walls and an entirely different taste profile unlike any other chile. This is attributed to the soil in Hatch as well as the temperature range (hot) during the short growing season.

Hatch Chiles come in a range of heat levels, from the mild end of the spectrum to extremely hot. Curiously when frozen they actually become hotter over time.

Melissas Hatch Chile CookbookJoining forces with the co-founder and co-owner of Melissa’s, Sharon Hernandez, Chef Ida penned the just-released Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook. It’s the definitive guide to enjoying Hatch Chiles year-round.

Every Labor Day Weekend Chef Ida and Sharon journey to Hatch, New Mexico to partake of the annual Hatch Chile Festival. Would you believe Hatch Chile Ice Cream? (The cravable recipe is included in the book…)

The useful book features 150 unique and classic Hatch Chile recipes with plenty of helpful, full color photos. All the recipes are designed for use by home cooks and have been thoroughly tested. The range of dishes is impressive. You can create Breakfast, Appetizers, Sandwiches & Wraps, Salads, Sides, Entrees, Casseroles & Soups, Condiments, Desserts, and Beverages using Hatch Chiles!

The Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook is available at melissas.com, Amazon, and at select Bristol Farms stores and other fine food merchants.

The “SoCal Restaurant Show” will be broadcasting live from 10:00 a.m. to Noon at the new Bristol Farms store at 3105 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica on Saturday, August 24th. Team Melissa’s will be there in force roasting the new crop of Hatch Chiles. Samples of recipes from the book will be available for the tasting. Bristol Farms will be sampling a variety of their proprietary Bristol Kitchens food products using Hatch Chiles. Chef Ida will be present signing copies of the Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook.

Be there…(“It’s Now Or Next Year!”)

Play

August 10: Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival Preview

Podcasts

Segment One: Dave Bernahl of LA Food & Wine Festival
Segment Two: Chef Fabio Viviani
Segment Three: Chef Edward Lee Part One
Segment Four: Chef Edward Lee Part Two
Segment Five: Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station Part One
Segment Six: Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station Part Two
Segment Seven: Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Part Two

This morning’s show is a preview of the Third Annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival taking place August 22nd to 25th. The primary location is Downtown Los Angeles with boutique events in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.

David BernahlDave Bernahl, the co-founding partner and CEO of Coastal Luxury Management, joins us to preview the Festival. Costal Luxury Management (organizers of the annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival) produces the event.

The new charity beneficiary this year is Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.

Fabio VivianiBravo’s “Top Chef” alum Chef Fabio Viviani is in the house. In the Los Angeles area he is the chef/proprietor of Café Firenze and Firenze Osteria. He also has restaurants in Chicago.

His newly released second cookbook is Fabio’s Italian Kitchen.

Chef Fabio will be part of three events at the Festival. Thursday night he’s cooking for Giada’s Festa Italiana, and on Saturday morning he’s performing a Fabio Viviani Cooking Demo followed by hosting a tasting station at the Lexus Grand Tasting in the afternoon.

Edward LeeYou know Chef Edward Lee from his victory on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and Bravo’s “Top Chef: Texas.” He’s the chef/proprietor of 610 Magnolia in Louisville.

On Friday, August 23rd he cooks for Iron Chef Morimoto’s Asian Night Market. On Saturday afternoon he then hosts “Bacon & Bourbon with Chef Edward Lee.”

Chef Lee’s first cookbook is Smoke & Pickles. It was nominated for a James Beard Award.

He’s also a new father.

Chef Ed shared his thoughts on preparing the perfect fried chicken. One of the tricks is to poach the chicken before frying. It gives the chicken a ton of extra flavor.

Ben Ford of Ford's Filling StationBen Ford, the proprietor of the innovative Ford’s Filling Station in Culver City, joins the show. Ford’s Filling Station was actually the first gastropub in the United States and Chef Ford is properly credited with originating that name.

For LA Food & Wine he’s joining forces with musician Ziggy Marley on Saturday morning for a high octane cooking demo showcasing sustainability. Chef Ben is then part of the culinary lineup for the Saturday afternoon Lexus Grand Tasting.

Ford discusses the evolution of Ford’s Filling Station and the changes over the years. He has a passion for pork and all is parts. Chef Ford is a pioneer in the revival of Downtown Culver City as a restaurant destination.

A Ford’s Filling Station is coming to LAX this year.

Chef Ford’s first cookbook, Taming the Feast, will be published in May of 2014.

Chef Ida Rodriquez of Melissas World Variety ProduceChef Ida Roriguez has an unusual position as the long-time Corporate Chef for Melissa’s / World Variety Produce, the largest specialty produce firm in the United States. She supervises a staff of dedicated chefs striving to educate the public and chefs about the benefits of enjoying all types of fruits and vegetables and creating delicious, satisfying, and nutritious recipes that the average home cook can prepare at home!

Melissa’s has a state-of-the-art research kitchen and culinary classroom at their corporate headquarters in Vernon where recipes are created and tested daily. Consumer education is Chef Ida’s favorite duty.

Chef Ida has taught popular classes for The Southern California Gas Company as well as Sur La Table. Celebrity Chef Martin Yan has been a co-instructor with her.

Chef Ida grew up in El Paso so she was exposed to the short season of availability of New Mexico Hatch Chiles (about six weeks) at a young age. She began cooking with them early on before they achieved the cult status they enjoy today!

The Hatch Chile is from the Anaheim chile family but has thicker walls and an entirely different taste profile unlike any other chile. This is attributed to the soil in Hatch as well as the temperature range (hot) during the short growing season.

Hatch Chiles come in a range of heat levels, from the mild end of the spectrum to extremely hot. Curiously when frozen they actually become hotter over time.

Melissas Hatch Chile CookbookJoining forces with the co-founder and co-owner of Melissa’s, Sharon Hernandez, Chef Ida penned the just-released Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook. It’s the definitive guide to enjoying Hatch Chiles year-round.

Every Labor Day Weekend Chef Ida and Sharon journey to Hatch, New Mexico to partake of the annual Hatch Chile Festival. Would you believe Hatch Chile Ice Cream? (The craveable recipe is included in the book…)

The useful book features 150 unique and classic Hatch Chile recipes with plenty of helpful, full color photos. All the recipes are designed for use by home cooks and have been thoroughly tested. The range of dishes is impressive. You can create Breakfast, Appetizers, Sandwiches & Wraps, Salads, Sides, Entrees, Casseroles & Soups, Condiments, Desserts and Beverages using Hatch Chiles!

The Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook is available at Melissas.com, Amazon and at select Bristol Farms stores and other fine food merchants.

The “SoCal Restaurant Show” will be broadcasting live from 10:00a.m. to Noon at the new Bristol Farms store at 3105 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica on Saturday, August 24th. Team Melissa’s will be there in force roasting the new crop of Hatch Chiles. Samples of recipes from the book will be available for the tasting. Chef Ida will be present signing copies of the Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook.

Podcasts

Segment One: Dave Bernahl of LA Food & Wine Festival
Segment Two: Chef Fabio Viviani
Segment Three: Chef Edward Lee Part One
Segment Four: Chef Edward Lee Part Two
Segment Five: Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station Part One
Segment Six: Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station Part Two
Segment Seven: Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Part Two