Show 273, May 12, 2018: Al Mancini, Staff Writer, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Al ManciniVeteran Las Vegas insider and widely-followed food journalist Al Mancini works alongside The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s long-time restaurant critic, Heidi Knapp Rinella. As a Staff Writer he covers the burgeoning food scene in Las Vegas daily both in the print and online versions of the daily newspaper. Al also occasionally posts food & libation related videos. We pull him away from the Vegas Uncork’d festivities for an update.

We run the table with Al hitting on the impact of Vegas Uncork’d, Vegas Golden Knights fever in Vegas, The Vegas Unstripped, by Locals food festival and updates on the debuting Park MGM and the extensive enhancements at The Palms under new ownership.

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Show 224, May 20, 2017: Al Mancini, Staff Writer, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Al ManciniJournalist Al Mancini is well-known in Las Vegas hospitality circles and beyond. He’s been reviewing restaurants there for over 15 years. In 2011 he co-created the definitive Las Vegas dining guideEating Las Vegas – The 50 Essential Restaurants. He recently joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a staff writer primarily covering the food, restaurant and libations beat. We’ll meet him>.

Al discovered his passion for food while living in New York City, where he attended law school by day, tended bar and made pizza at the infamous punk club CBGB by night, and explored the Big Apple’s dynamic dining scene during every spare moment in between.

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Show 224, May 20, 2017: Al Mancini, Staff Writer, Las Vegas Review-Journal Continues…

Al ManciniJournalist Al Mancini is well-known in Las Vegas hospitality circles and beyond. He’s been reviewing restaurants there for over 15 years. In 2011 he co-created the definitive Las Vegas dining guideEating Las Vegas – The 50 Essential Restaurants. He recently joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a staff writer primarily covering the food, restaurant and libations beat.

We resume the conversation with the delightfully opinionated Al Mancini.

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Show 56, January 11, 2013: Jessica Gelt, Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times Travel ShowThe 16th Annual Los Angeles Times Travel show returns to the West Hall of the L.A. Convention Center on January 18 & 19. Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, Jessica Gelt, is with us to preview her activities at the show.

Gelt has written extensively about food, nightlife, entertainment and travel for The Times. She sometimes combines a few different beats within one entertaining story.

She is moderating two sessions of the same panel, “On the Road: Traveling for Music & Festivals” both days at Noon on the LA Times Stage.

Jessica also shared some insider tips about finding the best food at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. It helps to have VIP access…

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January 11: Jimmy Shaw, Paul Bartolotta, Kedric Francis, Jessica Gelt, Walter Manzke

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jimmy Shaw, Founder and Executive Chef, Loteria! Grill Part One
Segment Three: Jimmy Shaw, Founder and Executive Chef, Loteria! Grill Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, Las Vegas Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Magazine
Segment Seven: Jessica Gelt, Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times
Segment Eight: Walter Manzke, Executive Chef & Proprietor, Rebublique

What's Cooking with Travis Rodgers and Jet TIla on AM830When you put our delightfully food obsessed morning show host, Travis Rodgers, together with Chef Jet Tila you know you’re going away entertained but really hungry. Be sure to catch their weekly feature, “What’s Cooking with Travis and Chef Jet Tila,” at 7:50 a.m. every Friday morning on AM 830 KLAA. It’s a feast for the ears…

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

If you crave authentic regional Mexican cuisine then you’ll want to hear Jimmy Shaw, the founder of Loteria! Grill. How about an award-winning celebrity chef from Chicago who was enticed by Steve Wynn to pull up stakes and move his family to Las Vegas so he could helm Mr. Wynn’s signature Italian seafood restaurant? That’s a story…You’ll also meet the executive chef and owner behind the hottest restaurant opening in Hollywood last year. It’s even located in a totally renovated historical building built by Charlie Chaplin.

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

Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill and Torta CompanyWhen it comes to authentic regional Mexican cuisine few are as knowledgeable as Jimmy Shaw, the founder and executive chef of the popular Loteria! Grill Restaurants. He was born and raised in Mexico City

He started modestly with a graphically-interesting stand in a great location at The Original Farmers Market at Third & Fairfax. The locals were wowed. Since then full-service restaurants in Hollywood, Studio City, Santa Monica and Westlake Village have been added. Any moment now Downtown Los Angeles will launch at FIGat7th.

Next to Loteria! Downtown will be a new gourmet sandwich shop Jimmy is doing with his brother, Andrew. It’s the Torta Company.

Two Loteria! Grills will be coming soon to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX.)
Chef Jimmy provides us with the rich history of the Mexican sandwich and what is correct as far as bread is concerned. The bread needs to be crunchy on the outside and pillowy soft inside.

Torta Company will offer both traditional and contemporary sandwich variations. There will definitely be appealing vegetarian options, too, including a wild mushroom tinga.

Look for pulled pork, batter-fried snapper in a Veracruz tomato sauce, and turkey in mole. Also on the menu will be Chef Jimmy’s clever spin on a tuna torta.

Paul BartolottaPaul Bartolotta is one of the rarified, distinguished James Beard Award winning chefs who has an incredible destination restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas.

His Bartollota Ristorante di Mare opened with the hotel back in 2005 and is one of the most successful fine dining restaurants at the property.

It just underwent a multimillion dollar renovation because Steve Wynn thought it was time…Chef Paul observed that the facelift alone cost more than the opening cost of many restaurants!

Paul was one of the most acclaimed chefs in Chicago (Spiaggia) when Mr. Wynn came calling. With his Bartolotta Restaurants firm he operates a number of busy restaurants in Milwaukee. Paul recounts the humorous story of Mr. Wynn’s charming pursuit of Paul to head the restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas. Understand at the time (2004) Paul was based in Chicago with his Family. One of Mr. Wynn’s requirements was that each of his celebrity chefs at Wynn Las Vegas actually reside in Las Vegas.

There is lots more to this fascinating story so Chef Paul Bartolotta of Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at Wynn Las Vegas continues with us.

The concept of the elegant restaurant is serving the very best of Mediterranean seafood flown in fresh daily from Italy and simply prepared. There is also a live program. Spiny lobsters from Sicily, in season, are in live tanks in the kitchen!

The servers expertly debone the fish at tableside. It’s not unusual to see Paul on the floor touching tables and explaining his dishes.

This is what veteran Las Vegas restaurant journalist Max Jacobson has said about Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare : “The chef is both a fanatic and masterful technician, so expect perfection.”

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineOur favorite debonair man about Orange County, Kedric Francis, is back with us for a dining report from his recent stay in Cancun. Kedric is the well-traveled Executive Editor of both Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine.

Kedric stayed at the 274 room, all-suite, Nizuc Resort & Spa in Cancun secluded a bit away from the tourist zone on a cove. It’s on the grounds of the former presidential retreat. Lots of water…

There are six tempting dining options there so Kedric opted to never leave the property during his visit.

Ni is the Peruvian restaurant. Kedric particularly enjoyed their ceviches.

Indochine is an Asian-fusion spot. Recommended is the sushi and deep-fried Grouper.

Of course they need to have a wonderful Mexican restaurant. That’s Ramona overlooking the beach. It’s modern versions of regional recipes using local produce and spices.

Los Angeles Times Travel ShowThe 16th Annual Los Angeles Times Travel show returns to the West Hall of the L.A. Convention Center on January 18 & 19. Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, Jessica Gelt, is with us to preview her activities at the show.

Gelt has written extensively about food, nightlife, entertainment and travel for The Times. She sometimes combines a few different beats within one entertaining story.

She is moderating two sessions of the same panel, “On the Road : Traveling for Music & Festivals” both days at Noon on the LA Times Stage.

Jessica also shared some insider tips about finding the best food at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. It helps to have VIP access…

Walter ManzkeOne of the most eagerly awaited restaurant openings of 2013 was Republique in Hollywood located on the site of the former trendsetting Campanile which opened in 1989. The architecturally significant building goes back to 1929 when it was constructed as Charlie Chaplin’s offices.

The project is owned by the husband and wife chef team of Walter Manzke and Margarita Manzke along with restaurant impresario Bill Chait. Chef Walter is well-know to L.A. foodies from his time at Patina, Bastide and Church and State. Chef Walter joins us to talk about the first month of operation.

The cuisine is contemporary French with an oyster bar up front. Chef Walter’s particular pride is what comes out of the wood burning oven and rotisserie.

Recently opened is the bakery café for breakfast, brunch and lunch on the go.

The restaurant is still not fully open. It’s expanding service in stages.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jimmy Shaw, Founder and Executive Chef, Loteria! Grill Part One
Segment Three: Jimmy Shaw, Founder and Executive Chef, Loteria! Grill Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, Las Vegas Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Magazine
Segment Seven: Jessica Gelt, Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times
Segment Eight: Walter Manzke, Executive Chef & Proprietor, Rebublique

Show 29, May 18, 2013: Bill Esparza, the “Mexican Food Maestro” and authority on the food of Baja California

Bill EsperanzaBill Esparza was inspired to begin his extensive field research into the foods of Tijuana and Northern Baja from the writings of food journalist Barbara Hansen, the long-time Food Section staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. Currently she contributes to the “Squid Ink” Blog as part of LA Weekly.

Bill also leads escorted food tours of Tijuana and Northern Baja for journalists and the public alike. He’s given advice to Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern, among other notables.

On Sunday, June 23rd he’s hosting LA Weekly’s TacoLAndia Tacofest from Noon to 5:00 p.m. on the parking lot of the Hollywood Palladium. Celebrated taco makers from some thirty restaurants from as far away as Ensenada will be serving their tasty creations.

Regular admission is a bargain at $20 per guest. VIP which includes tastings of libations at the hosted bar is $40.00.

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March 9: Anne Burrell, Barbara Hansen, Jason Quinn

Podcasts

Segment One: Chef Anne Burrell, Star of Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America” and “Chef Wanted”
Segment Two: Barbara Hansen, veteran food & travel journalist Part One
Segment Three: Barbara Hansen, veteran food & travel journalist Part Two
Segment Four: Jet Tila
Segment Five: Jason Quinn, Executive Chef and Owner of Playground & Playground 2.0 in Santa Ana Part One
Segment Six: Jason Quinn, Executive Chef and Owner of Playground & Playground 2.0 in Santa Ana Part Two

This week it’s a showcase of extraordinary culinary talent. Food Network’s biggest female star is with us along with a preview of a just-published Korean Restaurant Guide for Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Then it’s on to a groundbreaking young Orange County chef who started as a partner on a winning food truck and now has two unconventional (and very much in-demand) restaurants.

Anne Burrell of Food NetworkIt’s hard to miss celebrity Chef Anne Burrell on Food Network these days which is currently airing two popular Anne Burrell shows. “Worst Cooks in America” is in it’s fourth season and “Chef Wanted” is in it’s second season. Anne was also Mario Batali’s ace sous chef during his long tenure on “Iron Chef America.”

 

 

Barbara Hansen of EatMX and LA Weekly Squid InkBarbara Hansen is a greatly respected, veteran food journalist on the Los Angeles scene. She is best known for her many years as a staff writer for The Los Angeles TimesFood Section. Now Barbara is a regular contributor to the “Squid Ink” food blog at the LA Weekly. She also writes and edits, “The Table Conversation” blog on food, wine, travel, and recipes as well as EatMx.com, a Mexican food blog.

Barbara just finished a fascinating project for the Korean Food Foundation. It’s the newly published Korean Restaurant Guide – Los Angeles which includes Orange County. To complete the book on a tight deadline Barbara dined in 40 area Korean restaurants with a Korean-American translator as her guide.

Jet was in Tampa, Florida during the last week and squeezed in a dine-around. He’ll share his take on the quintessential family-owned steakhouse there (55 years and still aging) and some local bakeries of distinction.

The chef/partner of then OC based The Lime Truck, winners of Season 3 of Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race,” is the outgoing Jason Quinn.

Jason Quinn of the Lime Truck and Playground DTSAShortly after Season 3 concluded he opened the bricks-and-mortar Playground in November of 2011in the downtown Santa Ana redevelopment area. It’s a bit unconventional in concept and Chef Jason takes pride in doing things his way. It’s high energy all the time…

The menu changes daily and there is serious attention to pairing draft beer with the food. Produce is also used creatively on the menu.

Jason’s latest ambitious effort is the next door, IO, a culinary theater.

Podcasts

Segment One: Chef Anne Burrell, Star of Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America” and “Chef Wanted”
Segment Two: Barbara Hansen, veteran food & travel journalist Part One
Segment Three: Barbara Hansen, veteran food & travel journalist Part Two
Segment Four: Jet Tila
Segment Five: Jason Quinn, Executive Chef and Owner of Playground & Playground 2.0 in Santa Ana Part One
Segment Six: Jason Quinn, Executive Chef and Owner of Playground & Playground 2.0 in Santa Ana Part Two