Show 266, March 24, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a provocative preview of this Saturday’s tempting show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re always here with you live every Saturday morning with a fresh show.

Downtown Los Angeles’ Rossoblu (going on a year old) tells the story of two places Executive Chef & Proprietor Steve Samson considers home: Los Angeles and Bologna. The restaurant is a homage to Samson’s heritage, inspired by childhood memories of summers spent in Bologna and its surrounding region, Emilia Romagna. Newly added is Saturday and Sunday Brunch. Think Nutella Stuffed French Toast. We’ll check-in with Chef Steve Samson for an update.

The 20-year-old King’s Fish House (part of King’s Seafood Co.,) located at the Laguna Hills Mall, underwent a 7-week, $2 million dollar modernization of the entire space and reopened in early December of last year. The new design is inspired by the look and feel of a contemporary seafood warehouse with nautical touchpoints throughout and custom art. King’s Heath Bumgardner, Vice President of Operations, joins us.

A new cutting-edge cooking academy has launched at OC Fair & Event Center to empower underserved youth through free culinary education and mentorship. A commercial kitchen on the fairgrounds was transformed into Hatch Culinary Lab. The new education program is a partnership between OC Fair & Event Center (OCFEC), CulinaryLab Cooking School, Anaheim’s Innovative Mentorship Experience program (AIME) and Spectra, the Fair’s master concessionaire. The OC Fair’s CEO Kathy Kramer and Chef Ryan Wagner the founder of CulinaryLab are our guests.

Jaffa is the ancient neighborhood in the city of Tel Aviv, Israel. Now this old city vibe and flavors are being imported to Los Angeles’ eclectic 3rd Street neighborhood. Here, Chef Partner Anne Conness’ (Sausal) modern take on Israeli cuisine integrates spices with a deep focus on diverse, locally grown, freshest of fresh seasonal ingredients, as well as meat well-raised, and sustainable selections from the sea. We spirit General Manager & Managing Partner Nancy Vrankovic off the floor at Jaffa for a chat.

We know Chef Tal Ronnen locally as the Executive Chef at the plant-based Crossroads Kitchen in West Hollywood. He is also the co-founder of Kite Hill. “Kite Hill makes the very best tasting alternative dairy products with the simplest ingredients using traditional methods.”

“We began with a vision for a plant-based food that would have all the qualities we relish in the best artisan dairy cheeses.” “We are the first and only company to create plant-based food using time honored techniques. We’ve figured out how to make buttery fresh ricotta, aged nut milk delicacies, creamy almond milk yogurt, fantastic entrées and more — all out of fresh nut milk.” Chef Tal pops out of his busy kitchen to join us.

Our always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, continues with his “Ask the Chef” series. We all appreciate Salmon, and wild caught Chinook Salmon from California is available locally during the commercial fishing season. The season is going to be reduced this year due to a disappointing fall run. There are unfortunate economic consequences for commercial fisherman. The shortfalls even extend to Alaska, too. Last year the Pink Salmon runs there were disastrously off.

Chef Andrew reels the alarming specifics in for us.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

March 24: Steve Samson, King’s Fish House, Hatch Culinary Lab at OC Fair & Event Center, Jaffa, Tal Ronnen

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef & Proprietor, Steve Samson, Rossoblu
Segment Three: Heath Bumgardner, Vice President of Operations, King’s Seafood Co. (King’s Fish House)
Segment Four: Kathy Kramer, CEO, OC Fair & Event Center
Segment Five: Chef Instructor Ryan Wagner, Tustin’s CulinaryLab & Hatch Culinary Lab
Segment Six: Nancy Vrankovic, General Manager & Managing Partner, Jaffa – Modern Israeli Cuisine
Segment Seven: Chef Tal Ronnen, Crossroads Kitchen and Co-Founder, Kite Hill
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef”

Now a provocative preview of this Saturday’s tempting show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re always here with you live every Saturday morning with a fresh show.

Downtown Los Angeles’ Rossoblu tells the story of two places Executive Chef & Proprietor Steve Samson considers home : Los Angeles and Bologna. The restaurant is a homage to Samson’s heritage, inspired by childhood memories of summers spent in Bologna and its surrounding region, Emilia Romagna. Newly added is Saturday and Sunday Brunch. Think Nutella Stuffed French Toast. We’ll check-in with Chef Steve Samson for an update.

The 20-year-old King’s Fish House (part of King’s Seafood Co.,) located at the Laguna Hills Mall, underwent a 7-week, $2 million dollar modernization of the entire space and reopened in early December of last year. The new design is inspired by the look and feel of a contemporary seafood warehouse with nautical touchpoints throughout and custom art. King’s Heath Bumgardner, Vice President of Operations, joins us.

A new cutting-edge cooking academy has launched at OC Fair & Event Center to empower underserved youth through free culinary education and mentorship. A commercial kitchen on the fairgrounds was transformed into Hatch Culinary Lab. The new education program is a partnership between OC Fair & Event Center (OCFEC), CulinaryLab Cooking School, Anaheim’s Innovative Mentorship Experience program (AIME) and Spectra, the Fair’s master concessionaire. The OC Fair’s CEO Kathy Kramer and Chef Ryan Wagner the founder of CulinaryLab are our guests.

Jaffa is the ancient neighborhood in the city of Tel Aviv, Israel. Now this old city vibe and flavors are being imported to Los Angeles’ eclectic 3rd Street neighborhood. Here, Chef Partner Anne Conness’ (Sausal) modern take on Israeli cuisine integrates spices with a deep focus on diverse, locally grown, freshest of fresh seasonal ingredients, as well as meat well-raised, and sustainable selections from the sea. We spirit General Manager & Managing Partner Nancy Vrankovic off the floor at Jaffa for a chat.

We know Chef Tal Ronen locally as the Executive Chef at the plant-based Crossroads Kitchen in West Hollywood. He is also the co-founder of Kite Hill. “Kite Hill makes the very best tasting alternative dairy products with the simplest ingredients using traditional methods.”

“We began with a vision for a plant-based food that would have all the qualities we relish in the best artisan dairy cheeses.” “We are the first and only company to create plant-based food using time honored techniques. We’ve figured out how to make buttery fresh ricotta, aged nut milk delicacies, creamy almond milk yogurt, fantastic entrées and more — all out of fresh nut milk.” Chef Tal pops out of his busy kitchen to join us.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Steve Samson of Sotto and RossobluDowntown Los Angeles’ Rossoblu tells the story of two places Executive Chef & Proprietor Steve Samson considers home: Los Angeles and Bologna. The restaurant is a homage to Samson’s heritage, inspired by childhood memories of summers spent in Bologna and its surrounding region, Emilia Romagna.

The menu features handmade pastas, market fresh produce, and an in-house butchery and salumi program. The wine list focuses on unique Italian and California varietals, with a sharp focus on Emilia Romagna’s famed Lambrusco. A true family owned and operated restaurant, Rossoblu is managed by Steve’s wife, Dina, and their management team whom they have worked with for the last ten plus years.

Located in Downtown’s City Market South, the site of Los Angeles’ original wholesale produce market, Rossoblu’s open kitchen, marbled serpentine bar, and starry-lit vaulted dining room create a convivial dining environment.

Newly added is Saturday and Sunday Brunch. Think Nutella Stuffed French Toast and Frittata Bolognese.

We’ll check-in with Chef Steve Samson for an update.

Heath BumgardnerThe 20-year-old King’s Fish House (part of King’s Seafood Co.,) located at the Laguna Hills Mall, underwent a 7-week, $2 million dollar modernization of the entire space and reopened in early December of last year. The new design is inspired by the look and feel of a contemporary seafood warehouse with nautical touchpoints throughout and custom art.

The update of the 7,500 square-foot restaurant includes rustic wood flooring, leather banquets, floor-to-ceiling garage doors allowing for an indoor-outdoor dining experience, and a warm color palette of dark browns, creams and deep blues. A wraparound, 30-seat rectangular bar anchors the space, while an additional lounge area was added to the patio, both ideal for enjoying afternoon happy hour and the extensive raw bar offerings.

In addition to the reimagined space, this location of King’s Fish House now offers a more elevated selection of seafood, by way of the company’s own distribution operation based in Santa Ana, such as a whole fish preparation and the Southern California delicacy, local spiny lobster.  The cocktail program also received an overhaul, now boasting 16 tap beers, more than 60 wines, and a selection of inspired specialty cocktails.

King’s Heath Bumgardner, Vice President of Operations, joins us.

Kathy KramerA new cutting-edge cooking academy has launched at OC Fair & Event Center to empower underserved youth through free culinary education and mentorship. A commercial kitchen on the fairgrounds was transformed into Hatch Culinary Lab. The new education program is a partnership between OC Fair & Event Center (OCFEC), CulinaryLab Cooking School, Anaheim’s Innovative Mentorship Experience program (AIME) and Spectra, the Fair’s master concessionaire.

“We have an opportunity to change the lives of students through Hatch Culinary Lab and it is important for us to step in to help,” said OCFEC CEO Kathy Kramer. “Here at the OC Fair we love food, so this program is close to our hearts and ties in perfectly with our community give-back mission. I look forward to growing this program to include training for both kitchen staff and front-of-the-house positions.”

The OC Fair’s CEO Kathy Kramer is our guest.

Ryan Wagner of CulinaryLabOCFEC invested an initial $54,000 in equivalent value in this community program that this year will provide up to 50 students with training in everything from knife skills, cookery basics and making healthy meals to safety and sanitation. The spring session started Feb. 28 with the first 20 students from Kennedy, Savanna and Western high schools working for eight weeks. A summer internship program and fall certification series will follow, culminating in an event to feed the local homeless community.

The team from CulinaryLab in Tustin is donating staff and time to the program and has created new curriculum tailored to provide students with the basics on how food works, healthy cooking skills and simple recipes they can practice at home with minimal cost and prep time. The goal is to excite students about cooking and food service and empower them to be confident individuals ready to secure employment.

“At CulinaryLab, we do everything we can to immerse students in the world of cooking with experimentation, tons of repetitive hands-on practice, and by involving local chef partners in the teaching process,” said Chef Ryan Wagner. “The goal of the Hatch program is to bring that same high-level culinary education to high school students who might otherwise not have access to it.”

Chef Ryan Wagner the founder of Tustin’s CulinaryLab now continues the story of Hatch Culinary Lab at OC Fair & Event Center with us.

Nancy VrankovicJaffa is the ancient neighborhood in the city of Tel Aviv, Israel. Now this old city vibe and flavors are being imported to Los Angeles’ eclectic 3rd Street neighborhood.

Jaffa, Chef Partner Anne Conness’ (Sausal) modern take on Israeli cuisine integrates spices with a deep focus on diverse, locally grown, freshest of fresh seasonal ingredients, as well as meat well-raised, and sustainable selections from the sea.

“The social atmosphere in Jaffa, Israel is eclectic and fun; groups of friends toasting “l’chaim” with a clink of their Arak shot glasses, girlfriends catching up over coffee, the hipster tech guy on his computer, his dog lying next to him, families sharing a huge spread and couples having a bite together.”

Chef Anne Conness, Executive Chef Santos Navarro, Pastry Chef Natasha MacAller, and Lead Bartender Aly Iwamoto, along with restaurant partners Nancy Vrankovic and Brad Conroy, all share a deep commitment to creating flavorful, healthful dishes for the many Angelenos who are shifting to a more plant-based diet. Each of them speaks with great excitement describing the delicious farm-to-table dishes Jaffa is creating by blending New with the Old World flavors.

We spirit General Manager & Managing Partner Nancy Vrankovic off the floor at Jaffa for a chat.

Tal Ronnen of Crossroads KitchenWe know Chef Tal Ronnen locally as the Executive Chef at the plant-based Crossroads Kitchen in West Hollywood. He is also the co-founder of Kite Hill.

“Kite Hill makes the very best tasting alternative dairy products with the simplest ingredients using traditional methods.” “We began with a vision for a plant-based food that would have all the qualities we relish in the best artisan dairy cheeses.”

“We are the first and only company to create plant-based food using time honored techniques. We’ve figured out how to make buttery fresh ricotta, aged nut milk delicacies, creamy almond milk yogurt, cream cheese-style spreads, fantastic entrées and more — all out of fresh nut milk.”

“We think carefully about everything we put in our products. Each of our products comes from artisan almond milk cultured using traditional cheese making methods. We source non-GMO almonds from the San Joaquin Valley and do not use any artificial flavors, preservatives or sweeteners in our products.”

Chef Tal pops out of his busy kitchen to join us.

Andrew and William GruelOur always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, continues with his Ask the Chef series. We all appreciate Salmon and wild caught Chinook Salmon from California is available locally during the commercial fishing season. The season is going to be reduced this year due to a disappointing fall run. There are unfortunate economic consequences for commercial fisherman.

The shortfalls even extend to Alaska, too. Last year the Pink Salmon runs there were disastrously off.

Chef Andrew reels the specifics in for us.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef & Proprietor, Steve Samson, Rossoblu
Segment Three: Heath Bumgardner, Vice President of Operations, King’s Seafood Co. (King’s Fish House)
Segment Four: Kathy Kramer, CEO, OC Fair & Event Center
Segment Five: Chef Instructor Ryan Wagner, Tustin’s CulinaryLab & Hatch Culinary Lab
Segment Six: Nancy Vrankovic, General Manager & Managing Partner, Jaffa – Modern Israeli Cuisine
Segment Seven: Chef Tal Ronnen, Crossroads Kitchen and Co-Founder, Kite Hill
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef”

Show 212, February 25, 2017: Chef Louie Jocson, Vice President, Food & Beverage, California Fish Grill

Louie JocsonWe all know the experts suggest we get more heart-healthy seafood into our regular diet. How do you dine out and find quality seafood at affordable prices? Answering that need has been the Ambitious goal of California Fish Grill since the first location opened in 1998.

“Since 1998, California Fish Grill has been serving quality seafood at affordable prices to our loyal customers and their families. The vision for our restaurant came more from a simple question than the thought of a successful business enterprise. It is widely known that seafood is rich in nutrients and healthy omega-3 oils. The Surgeon General recommends that Americans eat 2-3 servings of seafood per week to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

“Why is it so hard to find a place that serves great seafood at prices someone could afford to eat 2-3 times per week?” That is where the concept of California Fish Grill was born.”

“Our menu consists of grilled and fried seafood to satisfy anyone’s palate. We also offer wonderful crisp, fresh salads topped with your choice of grilled fish or seafood. One of our most popular offerings is fish tacos. We offer the widest variety of fish tacos served anywhere. From grilled Mahi-Mahi, Tuna, Salmon and Shrimp to our fried selections of Arctic White Fish and Shrimp.”

It’s a fast casual concept. You order and pay up front and then your food is delivered to your table by a runner when it’s ready. There is a separate order counter for takeout.

Veteran Chef Louie Jocson, Vice President, Food & Beverage for California Fish Grill joins us with all the details.

Play

Show 162, March 5, 2016: Alicia Whitney, Proprietress, SeaLegs Wine Bar, Huntington Beach

Alicia WhitneyOrange County Restaurant Week, organized by the OC Restaurant Association, will celebrate its eighth year as the region’s highest profile culinary event, with the 2016 Orange County Restaurant Week to be held from Sunday, March 6th through Saturday, March 12th. This year, 140 restaurants in 21 Orange County cities will offer a wide variety of options, from casual and family-friendly establishments, to upscale and fine dining.

During the weeklong event, the participating restaurants will offer special three-course menus, many with a cocktail or signature item included at no additional charge. Each restaurant will have the freedom and flexibility to showcase its best offerings by talented chefs who will, no doubt, personalize each menu to reflect their individual culinary style. Participating restaurants will offer prix-fixe menus within the following price categories: lunch for $10, $15 or $20, and dinner for $20, $30, $40, $50 or $80.

Restaurateur Alicia Whitney of SeaLegs Wine Bar in Huntington Beach (a participating OC Restaurant Week restaurant and Golden Foodie Award-recipient) joins us.

For OC Restaurant Week SeaLegs is offering a 3-course dinner for a modest $30. The guest has a choice of Appetizer, Entrée and Dessert. The entree possibilities are Ancho Chile Braised Short Rib, Arty’s Links and Chitarra Pasta, and Grilled Scottish Salmon.

Play

Show 132, July 25, 2015: Chef Andrew Gruel on “Trash Fish”

Andrew GruelEarlier in his West Coast career Chef Gruel’s love of the ocean drove him to direct a non-profit project at The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA called Seafood for the Future”. Here he worked with hundreds of chefs, fisherman and like-minded organizations establishing a national culinary awareness for the sustainable seafood movement.

Lesser-known fish species are just as tasty as the seafood stars and typically priced at a better value. (Nothing wrong with salmon but it can be kind of boring…) Unfortunately they are known as “trash fish.” Don’t let that regrettable name fool you. Smelt, sardines, and mackerel can be delicious. Also in the mix is Arctic char and US trout.

Chef Andrew politely suggests rebranding California sardines as “Petit Bass.” Certainly more attention-getting…

Chef Andrew is a big fan of sable fish and black cod, too.

Play

Show 76, June 14, 2014: Executive Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Culver City, CA

Ben Ford of Ford's Filling StationYou’ve seen Chef Ben Ford on Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods America” on Travel Channel and are probably familiar with his landmark Culver City Gastropub, Ford’s Filling Station. His new book is Taming The Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide To Adventurous Cooking.

The mantra of the book is: “Cook Big. Play with Fire. Get your Hands Dirty.”

“Chef Ben Ford is known for wowing crowds with his handcrafted feasts of enormous proportions – a whole pig roast, paella for eighty, burgers for the block. Now, in Taming The Feast (Atria Books), Ford divulges his secrets for nine jaw-dropping feasts for the adventurous home cook and DIY enthusiasts in this complete guide to outdoor grilling, smoking, and roasting. It even includes creative recipes to make use of the leftovers you’re sure to have.”

“From mouthwatering Texas-style barbecue to Wood-Fired Paella, these entertaining blueprints can be used to throw a party for the whole neighborhood or an intimate dinner for four. A culinary MacGyver, Ford also provides unique complete do-it-yourself primers for making simple custom outdoor cookers that coax the ultimate flavor out of salmon, pig, rabbit, burgers, bratwurst, turkey, and lamb. Taming The Feast includes easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions, drawings, and timelines for constructing a baking barrel, cinder-block oven, smoking shed, and roasting box in your own backyard.”

Play

June 14: Ben Ford, Kuniko Yagi, Barbara Fairchild, Providence 9th anniversary, Belle Chevre

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer Andy preview the show
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, Restaurant & Travel Editor, grapecollective.com
Segment Three: Donato Poto, co-owner, Providence, Hollywood, CA
Segment Four: Tasia Malakasis, Proprietress & Cheesemaker – Belle Chevre, Goat Cheese from Alabama
Segment Five: Executive Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Culver City, CA Part One
Segment Six: Executive Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Culver City, CA Part Two
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Kuniko Yagi, Hinoki & The Bird, Century City
Segment Eight: Guest Host Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, The Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Orange County Magazine

Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer Andy preview the show.

Barbara Fairchild, the well-traveled Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com, is back with us to share some inspired and practical travel tips. Also a profile of a big deal celebrity chef restaurant in London.

It’s the 9th Anniversary of Chef Michael Cimarusti’s and Donato Poto’s Providence in Hollywood. The Los Angeles Times’ restaurant critic, Jonathan Gold, recently named them the Number 1 establishment in his annual listing of the “101 Best Restaurants – 2014.”

One of the foremost goat cheeses available in the United States, Belle Chevre, is made in a tiny town located in northern Alabama. It’s quite a success story!

You’ve seen Chef Ben Ford on Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods America” on Travel Channel and are probably familiar with his landmark Culver City Gastropub, Ford’s Filling Station. His new book is Taming The Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide To Adventurous Cooking.

Hinoki & The Bird, hidden in a luxury high rise condo tower in Century City, features pan-Asian cooking. We’ll meet executive chef Kuniko Yagi.

Guest Host Kedric Francis has been doing some traveling up the Central Coast. Some inspired dining and lodging tips are on the way.

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

Barbara FairchildBarbara Fairchild, the well-traveled Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com, is back with us to share some inspired and practical travel tips. Also a mini-profile of dining at Gordon Ramsay in London.

Food journalist Barbara Fairchild is an editor, writer, speaker and sought-after consultant. She was the long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine before the publication relocated to New York.

Providence RestaurantCelebrate nine years of Providence

“June marks our ninth anniversary at Providence and we are on…well…Cloud 9! We would like to take this opportunity to thank you, our loyal guests, for your enduring support. “We feel so fortunate to be part of the ever-evolving Los Angeles food scene. At times, I look back and can’t believe it’s been nearly a decade. It feels like we just opened yesterday!”, says consummate host and co-owner of Providence, Donato Poto. In honor of this auspicious occasion, Providence is providing some incentive for you to celebrate along with us. Beginning on our May 28th reopening, we are offering our four-course tasting menu for $80 a person, during the entire month of June. We look forward to celebrating with you!”

The Los Angeles Times‘ restaurant critic, Jonathan Gold, recently ranked Providence as the Number One Restaurant in the annual Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants 2014.

Providence was closed last month for about two weeks for a freshening of the dining rooms. The patio located off the main dining room was enclosed.

Tasia MalakasisAmerica’ most-awarded goat cheese, Belle Chevre, is lovingly made in small batches in the tiny hamlet of Elkmont, Alabama. It’s all hand-work.

Meet cheesemaker and proprietress, Tasia Malakasis

There is even an award-winning Belle Chevre cheesecake !

Goats’ milk is the most consumed milk on the planet.

Ben Ford of Ford's Filling StationYou’ve seen Chef Ben Ford on Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods America” on Travel Channel and are probably familiar with his landmark Culver City Gastropub, Ford’s Filling Station. His new book is Taming The Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide To Adventurous Cooking.

The mantra of the book is: “Cook Big. Play with Fire. Get your Hands Dirty.”
“Chef Ben Ford is known for wowing crowds with his handcrafted feasts of enormous proportions – a whole pig roast, paella for eighty, burgers for the block. Now, in Taming The Feast (Atria Books), Ford divulges his secrets for nine jaw-dropping feasts for the adventurous home cook and DIY enthusiasts in this complete guide to outdoor grilling, smoking, and roasting. It even includes creative recipes to make use of the leftovers you’re sure to have.”

“From mouthwatering Texas-style barbecue to Wood-Fired Paella, these entertaining blueprints can be used to throw a party for the whole neighborhood or an intimate dinner for four. A culinary MacGyver, Ford also provides unique complete do-it-yourself primers for making simple custom outdoor cookers that coax the ultimate flavor out of salmon, pig, rabbit, burgers, bratwurst, turkey, and lamb. Taming The Feast includes easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions, drawings, and timelines for constructing a baking barrel, cinder-block oven, smoking shed, and roasting box in your own backyard.”

Kuniko Yagi of Hinoki and the BirdHinoki & the Bird is an imaginative dining concept that pushes modern California cooking to vibrant new bounds. Taking cues from travels through the Silk Road, the restaurant serves as a colorful kaleidoscope where bright flavors, a healthy sensibility, and technique harmoniously collide. The Milo Garcia-designed indoor/outdoor space is housed on the ground floor of Related Companies’ luxury condominium tower, The Century.”

The Executive Chef of Hinoki & the Bird is Kuniko Yagi. Previously she was the sous chef at Sona and Executive Chef of Comme Ca in West Hollywood. She had no formal culinary training but the artistic drive was always with her.

In preparation for the opening of Hinoki & the Bird she traveled and conducted research in many of Japan’s top-rated Michelin–starred restaurants.

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineOur always debonair man about Orange County, Kedric Francis, did a little recent vacation swing down the Central Coast. Kedric spotlights the notable food and accommodations. Also some breaking OC restaurant news…

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer Andy preview the show
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, Restaurant & Travel Editor, grapecollective.com
Segment Three: Donato Poto, co-owner, Providence, Hollywood, CA
Segment Four: Tasia Malakasis, Proprietress & Cheesemaker – Belle Chevre, Goat Cheese from Alabama
Segment Five: Executive Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Culver City, CA Part One
Segment Six: Executive Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Culver City, CA Part Two
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Kuniko Yagi, Hinoki & The Bird, Century City
Segment Eight: Guest Host Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, The Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Orange County Magazine

Show 68, April 5, 2014: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part One

Micah WexlerChef Micah Wexler was born and raised in Los Angeles and always had aspirations to be a chef. At age 15, Wexler’s first job was working with legendary Italian Chef, Gino Angelini, at Vincenti in Brentwood.

In 2011 Wexler opened Mezze Restaurant as Chef/Co-Owner. Mezze was named one of the Top New Restaurants that year by Los Angeles Magazine and was one of Jonathan Gold’s Essential 99 restaurants.

Next month Wexler will open his newest concept, Wexler’s Deli, in Downtown Los Angeles’ iconic Grand Central Market. Wexler’s Deli aims to take the traditional deli back to its roots and provide a place of community, pride, familiarity, and quality.

The menu will feature traditional favorites of corned beef, pastrami, salmon, and sturgeon, all cured and smoked in-house. All condiments will be house-made.

Play

April 5: OC Baking Co., Grist & Toll, Duskie Estes, Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, Relish Culinary Adventures, Micah Wexler

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Master Baker Dean Kim, OC Baking Co
Segment Three: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Owner, Zazu Kitchen + Farm, The Barlow
Segment Five: Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, author of Gin: A Global History
Segment Six: Donna del Rey, Relish Culinary Adventurers, Healdsburg, CA
Segment Seven: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part Two

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

The Inaugural Grilled Cheese Festival & Competition featuring the best of the OC’s chefs is coming. We’ll have the details on how you can attend.

Would you believe a stone flour mill in Pasadena? It’s a passion project for the two partners who are selling flour from grain sourced from local growers. That’s a great example of the locavore movement!

We last visited with Chef Duskie Estes of Zazu Kitchen + Farm & Black Pig Meat Co. right before they opened their spacious new restaurant at The Barlow in Sebastopol (Sonoma County) last year. We have an update…

You can’t have a classic bar without gin. We have a fascinating tutorial from the local expert affiliated with the Museum of the American Cocktail.

The gateway to the Sonoma County Wine Country for foodies is Relish Culinary Tours located right off the town square in Healdsburg. They offer cooking classes, private parties, culinary tours and creative catering. We’ll hear about what’s on their menu for Spring & Summer.

A Los Angeles fine dining chef who has cooked at Tom Colicchio’s Craft in Century City is a deliman at heart. He’s about to open a Jewish deli in Downtown Los Angeles featuring his premium, house cured meats.

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

The Big Cheese Grilled Cheese CompetitionIn celebration of National Grilled Cheese Month in April, OC Baking Co. and Provisions Market in Orange will join forces to host The Big Cheese, Orange County’s first grilled cheese festival and competition. OC Baking Co. Master Baker Dean Kim will supply locally produced freshly baked bread to top OC chefs competing for the title of “The Big Cheese” on Monday, April 14th from 6 to 8:00 p.m. at Provisions Market in Orange.

“The Chef community in Orange County is a tight knit one with many talented individuals I’m proud to call my friends,” commented Chef Greg Daniels, who oversees the kitchens at Haven Gastropub in Orange and Pasadena, as well as taco asylum in Costa Mesa. “Grilled Cheese is something we can all relate to and, thanks to OC Baking Co.’s support, this event is a way for us to get together for a lighthearted competition.”

Nan KohlerSerious home baker Nan Kohler and her business partner (Marti Noxon) have recently opened (December) Grist & Toll, an Urban flour mill in Pasadena. They are selling flour milled on the site from grain sourced from local growers.

The attractive blond wood stone mill from Austria is visible through a window and is the real star of the show.

They sell flour to home bakers as well as select restaurants including Union Restaurant in Pasadena.

Baking classes are on the way.

Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart of Zazu Kitchen and FarmWhen we first met Sonoma County-based Chef Duskie Estes last Spring when she was about to move Zazu Kitchen + Farm from Santa Rosa into an incredible space at The Barlow in Sebastopol. It’s now located on the grounds of a long-closed Gravenstein apple processing facility. Some of the tin clad warehouse buildings remain and have been artfully repurposed. The rest of the complex duplicates that rustic look.

Duskie and her husband, John Stewart, are the King & Queen of Porc from the Grand Cochon competition in 2011. They also operate the Black Pig Meat Co.

Most of the mains change nightly at Zazu. A signature starter is the “I (heart) Pigstrami. John cures the pork for this little sandwich served on artisan rye with sauerkraut and house-made Guinness mustard.

Saturday and Sunday brunch is a major attraction here. At brunch the “can’t miss” item is the “As seen on TV” maple glazed donut with bacon jimmies. Outrageous…

Also popular is the king + queen of pork bacon-in-the-batter waffle with bacon toffee and house-made espresso gelato.

Lesley Jacobs SolmonsonThe Museum of the American Cocktail (based in New Orleans) is kicking off their “Touring the Cocktail Series” in Los Angeles with Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, the author of Gin: A Global History. She also is the food and cocktail columnist at LA Weekly. The provocative program is “A History of Gin in Five Cocktails.”

Gin is the undisputed king of cocktail spirits. Built upon a neutral spirit base, great gin is a symphony of juniper, spices, botanicals, and citrus.

Five signature gin cocktails will be available for sampling that evening. It’s set for Monday, April 7th at Dominick’s Restaurant in West Hollywood.

Donna del Rey of Relish Culinary AdventuresWhen it comes to providing the welcoming gateway for discriminating foodies to the Sonoma County Wine Country no one does it better than the hard-working Donna del Rey of Relish Culinary Adventures in Healdsburg. Relish offers cooking classes, private parties, distinctive culinary tours, and creative catering.

Recently Donna and her crew provided support for the Artisan Cheese Festival.

For the ultimate experience they offer “Relish Sonoma County,” a 3-Day Culinary Adventure of Sonoma County.

Coming up on June 21st is a hands-on Culinary Birds cooking class with Chef John Ash.

Micah WexlerChef Micah Wexler was born and raised in Los Angeles and always had aspirations to be a chef. At age 15, Wexler’s first job was working with legendary Italian Chef, Gino Angelini, at Vincenti in Brentwood.

In 2011 Wexler opened Mezze Restaurant as Chef/Co-owner. Mezze was named one of the Top New Restaurants that year by Los Angeles Magazine and was one of Jonathan Gold’s Essential 99 restaurants.

Next month Wexler will open his newest concept, Wexler’s Deli, in Downtown Los Angeles’ iconic Grand Central Market. Wexler’s Deli aims to take the traditional deli back to its roots and provide a place of community, pride, familiarity, and quality.

The menu will feature traditional favorites of corned beef, pastrami, salmon, and sturgeon, all cured and smoked in-house. All condiments will be house-made.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Master Baker Dean Kim, OC Baking Co
Segment Three: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Owner, Zazu Kitchen + Farm, The Barlow
Segment Five: Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, author of Gin: A Global History
Segment Six: Donna del Rey, Relish Culinary Adventurers, Healdsburg, CA
Segment Seven: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part Two

Show 35, July 13, 2013: Mary Sue Milliken, Executive Chef & Partner of Border Grill

Mary Sue Milliken of Border GrillOn Monday, July 22nd at 6:30 p.m. at Border Grill Las Vegas, Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, and Border Grill Executive Chef Mike Minor are teaming up with Chef Rick Moonen of rm seafood and Chefs Collaborative to host a Trash Fish Dinner. The cocktail reception and dinner will feature tasty alternatives to the seafood we love and, unfortunately, eat too much of. Understand the fish is absolutely delicious…

The inspiration here is to show the discriminating guests (the proof is in the tasting) that there are incredibly tasty alternatives to the seafood we normally eat including tuna and salmon. Underutilized species include Pacific sardines, mackerel, California squid, farm-raised sturgeon, and porgy/sea bream.

Restaurants set the example as Mary Sue noted that 70 percent of the seafood we eat is enjoyed in restaurants.

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