Show 49, November 23, 2013: Anita Lau of the “Mad Hungry Woman” Blog

Anita Lau of Diary of a Mad Hungry WomanAnita Lau is best known to the listening audience of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” as the creative force behind the “Mad Hungry Woman” blog. Anita is regularly out and about in Orange County, San Diego, and sometimes even the Los Angeles area reporting on her dining out adventures. She particularly seeks out the less obvious hidden gems.

San Diego, we haven’t forgotten you.

Anita Lau of the Mad Hungry Woman blog is with us with a San Diego dining discovery. Anita was a finalist for a Golden Foodie award in Journalism this year.

Anita’s find is Ristorante Kaz. This is an intriguing Japanese Italian fusion cuisine spot. Anita’s favorite bite was an angel hair pasta dish with creamy sea urchin with spinach and salmon roe.

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November 23: Grilled Cheese Truck, Barbara Fairchild, Mad Hungry Woman, Anaheim White House, Brad A. Johnson, Skyler Reeves

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Entrepreneur Dave Danhi the founder, director, and executive chef of The Grilled Cheese Truck Part One
Segment Three: Entrepreneur Dave Danhi the founder, director, and executive chef of The Grilled Cheese Truck Part Two
Segment Four: Barbara Fairchild, past long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, food journalist, cookbook author, educator
Segment Five: Anita Lau of the “Mad Hungry Woman” Blog
Segment Six: Bruno Serato, chef/proprietor of Anaheim White House
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, restaurant critic for the Orange County Register
Segment Eight: Skyler Reeves, master barman

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

It’s a day of unusually colorful characters on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

Enjoy the unlikely saga of The Big Cheese of The Grilled Cheese Truck, Dave Danhi. We’ll also have the Mad Hungry Woman blogger with us talking about a recent dining discovery in San Diego that’s a delightful Italian-Japanese fusion.

Dave Danhi of the Grilled Cheese TruckDave Danhi is the founder, director, and executive chef of The Grilled Cheese Truck. This was the first gourmet food truck to go national and there are big plans to expand through a novel franchising program. A huge following on social media was the initial key to getting this business going. The Big Cheese himself joins us to recount this unlikely success story.

Dave is also a much sought-out executive recruiter for the Hospitality Industry. His firm is DD Factor. We’ll talk to him about this little known (but vitally important) field, also. You honestly don’t find suitable executive chefs and general managers on CraigsList!

Dave completes the fascinating story of how The Grilled Cheese Truck got to where it is today (a national phenomenon) and what the future holds. Keep in mind he’s a high level executive chef by background.

Dave also profiles his other business entity, DD Factor. This is an executive recruiting firm designed just for the hospitality business. If you need an executive chef this is the place to go.

Barbara FairchildMost Californians remember Barbara Fairchild as the long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine. She now is an accomplished cookbook author, food journalist, and educator.

Barbara was recently in the relatively unspoiled Sonoma County Wine Country. She shares some of her best dining experiences including the One-Star Michelin Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant in Forestville (housed in a real Farmhouse,) and the more casual Healdsburg Shed in Healdsburg.

Barbara will join us again in December to share her recent San Francisco dining adventures.

Anita Lau of Diary of a Mad Hungry WomanAnita Lau is best known to the listening audience of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” as the creative force behind the “Mad Hungry Woman” blog. Anita is regularly out and about in Orange County, San Diego, and sometimes even the Los Angeles area reporting on her dining out adventures. She particularly seeks out the less obvious hidden gems.

San Diego, we haven’t forgotten you.

Anita Lau of the Mad Hungry Woman blog is with us with a San Diego dining discovery. Anita was a finalist for a Golden Foodie award in Journalism this year.

Anita’s find is Ristorante Kaz. This is an intriguing Japanese Italian fusion cuisine spot. Anita’s favorite bite was an angel hair pasta dish with creamy sea urchin with spinach and salmon roe.

Bruno Serato of the Anaheim White HouseThe ever gracious Bruno Serato is the highly visible owner and culinary force behind the historic Anaheim White House. It’s housed in a stately mansion dating back to 1909. Bruno has been the keeper of the flame there since 1987. This year the menu was enhanced to offer premium steaks, too. Bruno likes to now characterize the establishment as an “Italian Steak House.”

The Holidays are Bruno’s favorite time of the year as he fund-raises to benefit the Caterina’s Club’s Motel Kids. December marks his annual toy drive to collect gifts for some 2,000 Motel Kids. Every night Bruno feeds 500 hungry kids.

It all starts with the 26th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Dinner at the Anaheim White House on Sunday, November 24th. It always sells out so make your plans accordingly. There is real snow on the ground…

Bruno has just introduced a new 3-course Sunday Brunch Menu with free-flowing Champagne at the Anaheim White House.

Photography by Brad A JohnsonBrad A. Johnson is the James Beard Award-winning restaurant critic for The Orange County Register. He’s been there about a year now.

Brad has just written his anxiously awaited, first 4-Star review. It’s quite a “wow” but, perhaps, a bit unexpected…

Brad talks about what is worthy of 4-Stars and the restaurant earning that rarified praise. This was actually three articles in The Register, including a Sunday “Travel” piece.

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 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 for the trade as well as beverage enthusiasts.

“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 to small- and large-scale parties, 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.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Entrepreneur Dave Danhi the founder, director, and executive chef of The Grilled Cheese Truck Part One
Segment Three: Entrepreneur Dave Danhi the founder, director, and executive chef of The Grilled Cheese Truck Part Two
Segment Four: Barbara Fairchild, past long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, food journalist, cookbook author, educator
Segment Five: Anita Lau of the “Mad Hungry Woman” Blog
Segment Six: Bruno Serato, chef/proprietor of Anaheim White House
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, restaurant critic for the Orange County Register
Segment Eight: Skyler Reeves, master barman

November 3: Barbara Fairchild, Merrin-Mae Fuentebella, Jason Kessler, Anita Lau, Elizabeth Whitt, Josiah Citrin, Matt Bencivenga

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, food journalist, cookbook author, educator, and consultant
Segment Three: Chef Merrin-Mae, winning cheftestant, Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen”
Segment Four: Jason Kessler, food journalist
Segment Five: Anita Lau of the Mad Hungry Woman blog”
Segment Six: Chef Instructor Elizabeth Whitt
Segment Seven: Josiah Citrin, Chef/Proprietor of Melisse
Segment Eight: Matt Bencivenga, executive chef and partner of the Wolfgang Puck Catering Company

Jet Tila with Ben McKee of Imagine Dragons at Life is Beautiful Festival in Las VegasThanks to all of our loyal & enthusiastic listeners who were part of the audience for Jet’s Saturday afternoon cooking demo with Ben McKee of The Imagine Dragons at the Life Is Beautiful food and music festival in Downtown Las Vegas. It was standing room only for the demo in the Chefs On Stage East tent.

Jet and Andy preview the show. We have everything from a snapshot on where to dine now in New York to what it takes to prepare and serve gourmet food to the demanding VIPs at the Breeder’s Cup at Santa Anita. Also we’ll get the behind-the-scenes with a winning chef from Food Network’s new hit series “Cutthroat Kitchen” hosted by Alton Brown. Jet is one of the regular judges for the first season.

Barbara FairchildBarbara Fairchild is a respected food journalist, cookbook author, consultant, and educator. She is best known to us as the long-time former editor of Bon Appetit Magazine when they were based in Los Angeles.

This summer she taught a course in the Arthur L. Canter Journalism Institute at the prestigious New York University. Barbara tells us all about that as well as provides us with some great Manhattan dining suggestions ranging from a deli find to fine dining Italian and a comfortable celebrity chef restaurant that’s really worth going to.

Merrin Mae FuentebellaChef Merrin-Mae is a cheftestant on the first season of Food Network’s high pressure “Cutthroat Kitchen” hosted by Alton Brown. Her episode is entitled “Kiss My Grits” and was first aired on October 6th.

The level of competition was particularly intense and the sabotages were devilish. Chef Merrin-Mae made us proud in SoCal (she is a local) and she won the episode. One of the other cheftestants was a “Chopped” winner and was eliminated after the first round!

She currently works at Alma with executive chef Ari Taymor. When she did the show she was part of the culinary team at Sotto.

The latest fad diet that is getting a lot of attention is the Paleo Diet (also known as the caveman diet.)

Jason Kessler of Food RepublicFood journalist Jason Kessler of Food Republic and Bon Appetit was actually on the diet for 40 days and shares his experience with us. Jason’s observation is that because the diet is so restrictive you can drop some weight rather quickly. The severely limiting factor is that it gets monotonous rather fast.

San Diego, we haven’t forgotten you.

anita-lauAnita Lau of the Mad Hungry Woman blog is with us with a San Diego dining discovery. Anita was a nominee for a Golden Foodie award in Journalism this year.

Anita’s find is Ristorante Kaz. This is an intriguing Japanese Italian fusion cuisine spot. Anita’s favorite bite was an angel hair pasta dish with creamy sea urchin with spinach and salmon roe.

Elizabeth WhittFeeling ambitious in the kitchen…? Time to get a running start on holiday cooking and entertaining. Our superstar chef instructor, Elizabeth Whitt, of www.ChefElizabeth.com is with us again to get those holiday preparations pointed in the right direction with relative ease.

Pumpkin is in this year. Chef Elizabeth has both a savory and sweet recipe to add to your holiday collection. First up is an incredible Pumpkin Risotto with a fresh baking pumpkin or butternut squash. For dessert there is a not too sweet Pumpkin Cheesecake. Yum….!

When Chef Jet has his own culinary questions he turns Le Cordon Bleu, Paris-trained to Chef Elizabeth. She has a series of popular holiday classes coming up that always sell out early. On November 7th she has “Make-Ahead Holiday Side Dishes” from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and “Holiday Pies and Desserts” the same day from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Then on December 5th its her most popular class, “Appetizers and Hors D’oeuvres,” from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

All classes are at the Cypress Community Center in Cypress.

Josiah CitrinFifteen years ago when fine-dining restaurants located outside of the protective umbrella of luxury hotels were at a low ebb in Los Angeles Chef Josiah Citrin sold his stake in a very popular Santa Monica dinner house and went out on his own to open a ultra-luxe, destination, freestanding, fine-dining, contemporary French restaurant with California accents. That was the start of Melisse. All these years later it still impresses.

Josiah is a new member of the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation’s prestigious Culinary Council. On November 10th Josiah and five other culinary superstars will join forces to cook an extraordinary six course repast at Melisse in Santa Monica to raise funds for The Foundation. Two different levels of wine-pairings are available for a supplement.

The esteemed group of chefs includes Gavin Kaysen, the Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Operations for Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud in New York, Palm Beach, and Toronto. He has previously represented the USA in the Bocuse d’Or culinary competition. For reservations please call 310.395.0881.

The Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation, established in 2008, is a non-profit organization led by a Board of Directors of renowned chefs Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and Jerome Bocuse (Paul’s son.) The Foundation is devoted to recruiting, training, and financially supporting the promising young American chefs who compete on behalf of the United States in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or competition, held in Lyon, France every two years. Think of it as the Olympics of the culinary world…

The 2013 Breeder’s Cup, horse racing’s premier international event, returns to storied Santa Anita Park on November 1st and 2nd.

Matt BencivengaWolfgang Puck Catering (they cater the annual Governors Ball for The Oscars) has been selected to serve it’s fine-dining, seasonal cuisine to some 5,000 demanding VIP attendees. Wolfgang Puck Catering’s cuisine will be served in the Trackside Marquee, Frontrunner, Sierra Vista, Trophy Lounge and the Chandelier Room.

Founding Executive Chef and Partner (of Wolfgang Puck Catering) Matt Bencivenga joins us to talk about the challenges of maintaining Spago quality at large events. It takes a lot of skill, planning, and an army of chefs.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, food journalist, cookbook author, educator, and consultant
Segment Three: Chef Merrin-Mae, winning cheftestant, Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen”
Segment Four: Jason Kessler, food journalist
Segment Five: Anita Lau of the Mad Hungry Woman blog”
Segment Six: Chef Instructor Elizabeth Whitt
Segment Seven: Josiah Citrin, Chef/Proprietor of Melisse
Segment Eight: Matt Bencivenga, executive chef and partner of the Wolfgang Puck Catering Company