Show 202, December 17, 2016: Executive Chef & Founder Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew and William GruelChef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group is continuing his ongoing series of personal recommendations. Today it’s the very best in sandwiches.

Next to fresh seafood, a properly prepared sandwich is one of Chef Andrew’s best friends. It’s a pleasing meal to-go artfully packaged between two slices of quality bread!

Great possibilities…

Chef Andrew reminds that a noteworthy sandwich needs to be packaged between slices of quality bread. Also the sauce/spread on the sandwich needs to be spread end-to-end on both sides of the sandwich. This helps prevent the sandwich from getting soggy.

Chef Andrew’s favorites in Orange County:

Honorable mention from Producer Andy:

 

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Show 132, July 25, 2015: Chef Andrew Gruel on Sandwiches

Andrew GruelOur regular guest host, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish fame, is a big fan of truly cravable sandwiches. He’s also a self-described sandwich junkie…Chef Andrew is personally responsible for creating some of his own winners. Think smoked salmon bagel and the ultimate breakfast sandwich for openers…

Chef Andrew will give us the profile of the regional favorite, the New Jersey Sloppy Joe and other tantalizing sandwich intell. Bread is a critical element as well as the vegetables. Some vegetables work well on cold sandwiches and others are best for the hot variety. There are tricks to prevent the sandwich from becoming soggy.

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Show 83, August 9, 2014: Tarit Tanjasiri of CremaCafe & Bakery

Tarit TanjasiriTarit Tanjasiri is the consumed baker/proprietor of the revered CremaCafe & Artisan Bakery in Seal Beach. It started eight years ago as a small breakfast and lunch spot. Tarit couldn’t source a bread for his sandwiches that satisfied him so two years ago he added an adjacent production bakery. It’s the café on one side and the bakery on the other. We’ll meet him.

Tarit’s Kouign Amann was one of the OC Weekly’s “100 Favorite Dishes of 2014.”

According to Anne Marie Panoringan of the OC Weekly : “Per Tarit, a Kouign Amann is a pastry from the Brittany region of France. It’s often considered more of a cake than a pastry, although Crema utilizes croissant dough for their version. Layers of butter, dough, sugar and a bit of sea salt are formed. Shaped to resemble a blooming rose, it is then placed in the deck oven to bake. Sweetness and density are much higher in France, and they come in many more sizes, shapes and filling flavors.”

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Sandwich Heaven

Chef Jet and Travis compare notes on their favorite sandwiches!

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Show 52, December 14, 2013: Sherry Yard, the acclaimed executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck for 20 years

Sherry YardL.A.’s acclaimed pastry princess, Sherry Yard, is with us for the last segment. Sherry was Wolfgang Puck’s (Spago) executive pastry chef for twenty years. She is a multiple James Beard Award-winner. Her first cookbook, The Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts won a Beard Award for “Best Baking Cookbook.” She serves on the national Board of Directors for the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) and also is a part of Los Angeles’ Advisory Board.

Her current project (with Lukshon’s and Father’s Office’s Sang Yoon) is the revival of the fondly remembered Helms Bakery located on the site of the former Helms Bakery, an iconic home delivery commercial bakery that left the scene years ago. It looks like Summer of 2014 for the opening. It’s an ambitious project in a large space which previously served as part of Helms’ loading dock.

The exciting all-day concept keeps evolving but it’s going to be a bakery and cafe with a lot more. All the bread will be prepared and baked right there. They will roast the beans for the coffee on site. You’ll be able to get sandwiches and full meals packaged to take home.

You can sign-up for their monthly newsletter to keep current on the opening for Helms Bakery.

Meanwhile on Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday afternoons look for the restored yellow Helms Bakery delivery truck in front of their future restaurant space across from Father’s Office. Sherry is selling her soon to be famous chocolate chip cookies and various hand-crafted ice cream novelties. Everything is deliciously scratch-made. Call it a tasty preview of coming edible attractions…

Play

December 14: Scott Conant, Teemu Selanne, Clay Oven, Kedric Francis, Sherry Yard

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Scott Conant oversees his highly successful empire of five Scarpetta restaurants
Segment Three: Celebrity Chef Scott Conant of the five Scarpetta restaurants coast-to-coast. Continues…
Segment Four: Leo Fenn, Director of Operations, Selanne Steak Tavern, Laguna Beach
Segment Five: Geeta Bansal, Executive Chef / Proprietress of Clay Oven in Irvine
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine Part One
Segment Seven: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine Part Two
Segment Eight: Sherry Yard, the acclaimed executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck for 20 years

Lechon Porchetta by Susan ParkYou can aid the unfortunate victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and enjoy some great Filipino food…There is a huge Filipino community right here in Los Angeles County.

Upcoming is an “all are welcome” fundraiser at Bamboo Bistro in Panorama City on Sunday, Dec. 15th from 4 to 8:00 p.m.

Pinoy food will be there in abundance expertly prepared by L.A. chefs including Chef Mayet Cristobal, the Executive Chef of the Getty Museum. She will be serving Beef Short Rib Adobo. The minimum donation is a modest $20 per adult and there will be live music.

The new season of Food Network’s newest hit series, Cutthroat Kitchen, hosted by Alton Brown launches Sunday night, December 15th. Our own Jet Tila is the most-used celebrity chef judge on the series. Tough but fair…

Be looking for his episodes for Season 2. Don’t miss the online after shows on Food Network’s Website. Alton goes over each episode with the celebrity chef judge. Always fun to better understand what the vexing sabotages were…! Jet doesn’t know any of this when he evaluating the food. On this show strategy is just as important as cooking chops. Luck helps, too…

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Scott Conant of Scarpetta and Food NetworkChef Scott Conant oversees a growing restaurant empire from his base in Manhattan. There are hugely successful Scarpetta restaurants in New York City, Miami Beach, Toronto, Beverly Hills at The Montage Hotel and Las Vegas at The Cosmopolitan. He’s known for an extraordinary spaghetti dish.

He also has the more casual, D.O.C.G. Enoteca at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

The Scarpetta Cookbook (his third) is just out for the Holidays.

Scarpetta Beverly Hills just celebrated its 3rd birthday.

Chef Scott is familiar to millions of viewers of food television as one of the original permanent judges on Food Network’s “Chopped.” It’s probably the hardest legitimate cooking competition series on the air. As Scott explains it’s all real. None of the competing chefs have a clue what’s in their mystery basket of ingredients until they open it!

The Scarpetta Cookbook came about as a result of a hands-on cooking demo Scott performed in Manhattan. There were 15 teams of two students preparing one of his signature recipes. The variations of the same dish as presented by the class members was incredible. Scott calls it a disaster.

Scott wants food fans to be able to successfully duplicate the Scarpetta recipes at home. No secrets or missing ingredient in the book’s recipes. That’s his goal for the book.

If you order the cookbook from his website you can obtain a personalized inscription. Good idea for the Holidays and saves the flight to New York.

Chef Scott talks about the needed ingredients for success with multiple restaurants. It’s all about service, food, and ambiance. Service is the key. Food is the follow-up. Scott points out that if a guest has a bad service experience they are likely never to return.

Teemu Selanne of Selanne Steak TavernIf you’re a hockey fan then you know Teemu Selanne, The Anaheim Ducks forward and ice hockey icon. Sadly for his legion of fans this is his last season as a pro.

Teemu loves fine dining and it was only a matter of time before he opened a destination restaurant (with his business partner Kevin Pratt) in Orange County where he resides. The result is the newly launched Selanne Steak Tavern on the site of the former French 75, a historic restaurant location in Laguna Beach. It’s a sophisticated steakhouse, and lots more, with a real chef, dedicated pastry chef and a top-flight wine program orchestrated by Leo Fenn, the Director of Operations.

Leo is a recognized authority on rare and cult wines but makes it all approachable for the guest. Leo is with us to provide all the tempting 411 on Selanne Steak Tavern.

When Teemu Selanne is not on the road he will be very visible at the restaurant.

Clay Oven in IrvineThe long running Clay Oven in Irvine (26 years plus… is the OC’s classic Indian (Northern cuisine) restaurant. It’s also a true family affair.

Geeta Bansal (our guest) is the proprietress / executive chef along with her husband, Praveen, who is the gracious proprietor / sommelier. Their son, Tarun, represents the 2nd generation active at Clay Oven.

One of their holiday specials (by special order) is a Tandoor Turkey. They sell out (over 250 birds) each Thanksgiving using four tandoor ovens. The birds are skinless and marinated in an herb and spice blend. The juices are seared into the meat during the cooking process. The birds are incredibly moist when they come out of the tandoor oven.

Geeta’s unusual hobby is traveling the globe and interviewing high profile chefs in their native countries. These revealing interviews have been published in the OC Weekly, Orange County Register, and, more recently, in her own blog. Accredited, professional food journalists don’t have the access Geeta enjoys!

In a teaching moment Chef Geeta also educates us on the ancient Hindu treatise of Ayruveda as it relates to food.

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineIt’s the Holidays which is a peak vacation travel period. It’s a great time to catch-up with our man about Orange County, Kedric Francis. Kedric is the always debonair, well-traveled Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine.

On Saturday morning Kedric is off to Cancun, Mexico to experience a new high-end resort there. He’s visiting the Nizuc Resort & Spa. This will be the subject of a future report.

Kedric also reported on some big deal Fashion Island restaurant openings. Red O, with a high end regional Mexican menu by noted Chicago chef Rick Bayless, is now open. Soon to launch is Fig & Olive (Mediterranean fare) which started in West Hollywood.

Kedric was recently at The Ritz Restaurant & Garden’s annual holiday party fund-raiser in Newport Center which was a bit bittersweet. Their lease is up and this is the last Holiday Party at the original location.

There was some good news. It’s not final yet but it looks like The Ritz has found a new location in the area to relocate when they need to vacate their current home early next year. Their long-time landlord has already granted them a couple of extensions. The only glitch is that The Ritz will disappear for at least a year while the new space is remodeled. Most of the long-time employees will need to find work and perhaps move on permanently. Stay tuned…

The Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs is newly opened and Kedric had a chance to see the property a few weeks ago. It’s located in the heart of Downtown Palm Springs near the Indian Casino. Kedric observed there in now lots to do for twentysomethings and thirtysomethings in Palm Springs these days, including a vibrant nightlife.

Sherry YardL.A.’s acclaimed pastry princess, Sherry Yard, is with us for the last segment. Sherry was Wolfgang Puck’s (Spago) executive pastry chef for twenty years. She is a multiple James Beard Award-winner. Her first cookbook, The Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts won a Beard Award for “Best Baking Cookbook.”

Her current project (with Lukshon’s and Father’s Office’s Sang Yoon) is the revival of Helms Bakery located on the site of the former Helms Bakery, an iconic home delivery commercial bakery that left the scene years ago. It looks like Summer of 2014 for the opening.

The exciting all-day concept keeps evolving but it’s going to be a bakery and cafe with a lot more. All the bread will be prepared and baked right there. They will roast the beans for the coffee on site. You’ll be able to get sandwiches and full meals packaged to take home.

You can sign-up for their monthly newsletter to keep current on the opening for Helms Bakery.

Meanwhile on Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday afternoons look for the restored yellow Helms Bakery delivery truck in front of their future restaurant space across from Father’s Office. Sherry is selling her soon to be famous chocolate chip cookies and various hand-crafted ice cream novelties. Everything is deliciously scratch-made. Call it a tasty preview of coming edible attractions…

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Scott Conant oversees his highly successful empire of five Scarpetta restaurants
Segment Three: Celebrity Chef Scott Conant of the five Scarpetta restaurants coast-to-coast. Continues…
Segment Four: Leo Fenn, Director of Operations, Selanne Steak Tavern, Laguna Beach
Segment Five: Geeta Bansal, Executive Chef / Proprietress of Clay Oven in Irvine
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine Part One
Segment Seven: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine Part Two
Segment Eight: Sherry Yard, the acclaimed executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck for 20 years

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