Show 222, May 6, 2017: The Bellwether’s Executive Chef / Proprietor Ted Hopson & Proprietor / Beverage Director Anne-Marie Verdi

Ann Marie Verdi and Ted Hopson of the BellwetherThe Bellwether (Studio City) owners Chef Ted Hopson and Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi will come together on May 17th to host a collaborative dining experience with none other than Food Network’s Chef Jet Tila (“Cutthroat Kitchen with Alton Brown”) who is also the executive chef & partner of Pakpao Thai in Dallas. This Pop-Up Dinner is part of the month-long programming for the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl. Guests will enjoy a tasty five-course pan-Asian prix fixe menu with an optional beverage pairing.

The tantalizing collaboration menu features unusual and harmonious tastes of China, Korea, Japan and Thailand. Chef Ted perfected his Southeast Asian cooking credentials at Sang Yoon’s Lukshon in the former Helms Bakery complex

The Bellwether is the debut restaurant and bar from Executive Chef/Owner Ted Hopson and Beverage Director/Owner Ann-Marie Verdi. The market-inspired menu aims to capitalize on the abundance of California produce in order to showcase one-of-a-kind food and drink menus that feature family style shareable dishes, unique infusion based cocktails, and a hand selected list of beer and wine.

Chef Ted and Ann-Marie join us.

 

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Show 184, August 13, 2016: Chef Ted Hopson & Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi, The Bellwether, Studio City

Ann Marie Verdi and Ted Hopson of the BellwetherThe Bellwether is the debut restaurant (launched in early August of 2015) and bar from Executive Chef/Owner Ted Hopson and Beverage Director/Owner Ann-Marie Verdi. The market-inspired menu aims to capitalize on the abundance of California produce in order to showcase one-of-a-kind food and drink menus that feature family style shareable dishes, unique infusion based cocktails, and a hand-selected list of beer and wine.

Equal attention is warranted for the thoughtful beverage program created by Ann-Marie Verdi (also formerly of Father’s Office) who has worked closely with Chef Hopson to create complementary cocktails infused with much of the same seasonal produce found in the menu.

A weekend Brunch standout cocktail is Mama Betty’s Bloody Mary. It’s house-infused Habanero Vodka, house mix, bacon salt and topped with a cute mini-BLT.

“Our years of combined industry experience have impacted every decision we have made throughout this process and seeing our ideas turn into reality has been incredibly rewarding,” says Hopson. “We focused on creating the type of experience we would want as guests, and we couldn’t be more excited to be able to share that with everyone !”

Chef Ted and Ann-Marie are our guests.

 

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December 26: Melissa’s Winter Produce, Lawry’s Beef Bowl, Anne Marie Panoringan, Wine Exchange, Andrew Gruel

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Dining on Christmas – Executive Producer & Co-host Andy Harris
Segment Three: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-host & Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Four: Robert Schueller, Resident Produce Authority, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Part One”
Segment Five: Lawry’s Beef Bowl – a 60 Year Traditionl
Segment Six: Anne Marie Panoringan, OC Weekly Food Writer
Segment Seven: Kyle Meyer, Co-Founder, The Wine Exchange, Santa Ana
Segment Eight: Robert Schueller, Resident Produce Authority, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Part Two

The Happiest of Happy Holidays and all the brightest wishes for a New Year full of promise to all of our loyal listeners. We wouldn’t be here without you.

With good tidings we’re here for you during the Holidays with fresh shows on both December 26th and January 2nd. We’d love to have you join us…

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, now, Brea, is back as today’s special Guest Host.

Next a mouthwatering preview of Saturday’s high-energy and appropriately festive show and not, with apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. With us that’s probably a good thing…

Christmas Day is a difficult day to dine-out. For the most part the restaurants that are open are Chinese restaurants or restaurants located in Hotels. Executive Chef Michael Hung (ex-Faith & Flower) of Viviane Restaurant at the Avalon Beverly Hills really went the extra mile for his Christmas Day Dinner Menu. Executive Producer Andy was there and talks about the upbeat experience.

There is just never enough time to talk with our always informative resident produce guru, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce. We’ll pick up where we left off in his last report just before Thanksgiving. Looking ahead Robert will also share his Top 5 Produce Trends for the New Year. You will be surprised…

The Rose Bowl arguably has the richest history of college bowl games. It is affectionately known as “The Granddaddy of them all” for good reason. Celebrating its 60th year as part of The Tournament of Roses and the Rose Bowl Game is the Lawry’s Beef Bowl. Our guests are the long time organizer (24 years) of the event for Lawry’s, Colleen Donatucci, and Todd Erickson, the author of Road to the Rose Bowl – 50 Years of Lawry’s Beef Bowl. Bring on the silver cart…

Bravo’s “Top Chef” has been an enormous hit for the emerging network. It’s now airing Season 13 which is, appropriately, all California – based. It’s also made a star of Co-host Tom Colicchio. This season a couple of prominent Southern California chefs are Cheftestants including the OC’s Amar Santana of Broadway by Amar Santana and the just opened Vaca in Costa Mesa. Food journalist Anne Marie Panoringam (who contributes the widely read “On the Line” chef profiles for OC Weekly) is writing an opinionated weekly recap of “Top Chef” with the emphasis on the OC perspective. We’ll talk to her about this.

It’s Champagne time. Our resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange in Santa Ana, is with us to discuss the virtues of “Grower Champagne.” It’s a delightful passion at Wine Exchange.

Our regular Guest Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, was just quoted in a front page New York Times Food Section piece, “Casting a Wider Net – Lesser-known, more sustainable fish are landing on American menus.” The article was written by Jeff Gordinier. Chef Andrew has discussed this significant trend on the show previously and we’ll revisit it. Also more on our recent dining adventures in Las Vegas.

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

Baby Kale, Snow Pea and Winter Citrus Salad with Ginger Ranch Dressing and Puffed RiceChristmas Day is a difficult day to dine-out. For the most part the restaurants that are open are Chinese restaurants or restaurants located in Hotels. Executive Chef Michael Hung (ex-Faith & Flower) of Viviane Restaurant at the Avalon Beverly Hills really went the extra mile for his Christmas Day Dinner Menu. Executive Producer Andy was there and talks about the upbeat experience.

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur regular Guest Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, was just quoted in a front page New York Times Food Section (December 23, 2015) piece, “Casting a Wider Net – Lesser-known, more sustainable fish are landing on American menus.” Other prominent chefs including Tom Colicchio, Michael Chernow (The Meatball Shop) and Michael Cimarusti (Providence, Connie & Ted’s and Cape Seafood & Provisions.) are also sources. The article was written by Jeff Gordinier.

Chef Andrew has discussed this significant trend on the show previously and we’ll revisit it. Additionally we’ll find out what Dock to Dish means.

Also more on our recent dining adventures in Las Vegas.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioThere is just never enough time to keep up with our always informative resident produce guru, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce. We’ll pick up where we left off in his last report just before Thanksgiving. Variety Onions and Variety Potatoes are on the menu.

Looking ahead Robert will also share his Top 5 Produce Trends for the New Year. Here’s a hint…Sweet Young Coconuts are Number 5. What’s Number One ? Tune-in and you’ll know. You will be surprised…’

http://www.amazon.com/Road-Rose-Bowl-Years-Lawrys/dp/1596370343The Rose Bowl arguably has the richest history of all the college bowl games. It is affectionately known as “The Granddaddy of Them All” for good reason.

Celebrating its 60th year as part of The Tournament of Roses and the Rose Bowl Game is the famous Lawry’s Beef Bowl. Our guests are the long time organizer (24 years) of the two companion events for Lawry’s, Colleen Donatucci, and Todd Erickson, the author of Road to the Rose Bowl – 50 Years of Lawry’s Beef Bowl. Bring on the silver cart…

“In 1956, a new event honoring each team was launched by the late Richard N. Frank of Lawry’s, with the approval of the Tournament of Roses. Over time, with careful attention from Frank and the Lawry’s organization and the supportive partnership of the Tournament of Roses, the Lawry’s Beef Bowl became one of the Rose Bowl’s legendary traditions.”

“Eventually it was noted (and promoted) that the teams consuming the largest amounts of prime rib seemed to be winning on the playing field as well. A tongue-in-cheek item titled “Correct Steer,’ in the January 11, 1965 issue of Sports Illustrated claimed that “roast beef is better than tea leaves, crystal balls and fortune cookies” in predicting the Rose Bowl victor.”

Top Chef on BravoBravo’s “Top Chef” has been an enormous hit for the emerging network. It’s now airing Season 13 which is, appropriately, all California – based. It’s also made a star of Co-host Tom Colicchio.

This new season a couple of Southern California chefs are Cheftestants including the OC’s Amar Santana of Broadway by Amar Santana and the just opened Vaca in Costa Mesa.

Food journalist Anne Marie Panoringan (who contributes the widely read “On the Line” chef profiles for OC Weekly) is writing an opinionated weekly recap of “Top Chef” with the emphasis on the OC perspective. We’ll talk to her about this.

On everyone’s mind is how far Chef Amar goes. Episode 4 has aired and Chef Amar is showing very well!

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeIt’s that celebratory time of year when our thoughts turn to Champagne. Our resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange in Santa Ana, is with us to pop the cork on “Grower Champagne.” It’s a delightful passion at Wine Exchange.

“This has been a passion of ours for probably a decade. We love all kinds of Champagne. But the majority of the Champagne produced comes from large, almost industrial producers who make ‘mass quantities’. The secret to the ‘big boys’ success? Marketing and consistency. The marketing part is simply awareness…the art of making people believe that one’s particular bubbly is the best and most prestigious. Usually that also involves heavy promotions, ‘boots on the ground’ out in the marketplace, ice buckets, and heavy discounts to high profile restaurants and clubs. All of these things fall on the ‘brand awareness’ side.”

“The beauty of grower Champagne is the fact that these individual artisan producers can be a lot more ‘individualistic’. They are not concerned with selling millions of cases to the public at large. The grapes for these individual cuvees come from a single village or cluster of villages that have their own unique character by virtue of their locations. This is the element of terroir, which is kind of like a ‘bonus’ or extra something that you won’t necessarily find in the large house cross regional blends.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Dining on Christmas – Executive Producer & Co-host Andy Harris
Segment Three: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-host & Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Four: Robert Schueller, Resident Produce Authority, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Part One”
Segment Five: Lawry’s Beef Bowl – a 60 Year Traditionl
Segment Six: Anne Marie Panoringan, OC Weekly Food Writer
Segment Seven: Kyle Meyer, Co-Founder, The Wine Exchange, Santa Ana
Segment Eight: Robert Schueller, Resident Produce Authority, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Part Two

Show 75, June 7, 2014: Chef Jimmy Shaw, Loteria Grill! – “600 Years of Mexican Wine.”

Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill and Torta CompanyChef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill! fame has just presented two nights celebrating “600 Years of Mexican Wine” with an 8-course seated dinner in Hollywood and then a stand-up street food and wine evening in Santa Monica.

His celebrated guest chef was Javier Plascencia of Northern Baja. His flagship restaurant in Tijuana is Mision 19. According to The New York Times, “He brings a flair for dramatic presentation, an appreciation for Tijuana’s street foods deep flavors and a binational approach to farm-to-table cooking.”

Loteria Grill! Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Studio City now feature an expanded selection of Northern Baja’s best wines. All of these Baja wines are available by the bottle at retail, too, to take home.

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June 7: Leo Maurelli III, StarChefs, Brock Kleweno, Piero Salvaggio, Jimmy Shaw, Peter Serantoni

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Leo Maurelli III of Central, Montgomery, Alabama
Segment Three: The StarChefs Rising Stars Revue, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Brock Kleweno, Executive Chef and General Manager, Yamashiro Hollywood
Segment Five: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Valentino, Santa Monica, CA
Segment Six: Chef Jimmy Shaw, Loteria Grill! – “600 Years of Mexican Wine.”
Segment Seven: Negroni Week. Chef Peter Serantoni of Brunos in Brea
Segment Eight: Host Jet Tila

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Central located in the heart of Montgomery, Alabama’s vibrant Downtown entertainment district is a true gem of an American find.

The engaging executive chef with an easy-going manner sets the tone for the place.

The StarChefs Rising Stars Revue is coming to Los Angeles on June 12th. It celebrates Los Angeles’ brightest culinary talent.

Brock Kleweno (Kla-ve-no) is both the executive chef and GM of the historic Yamshiro Hollywood. Their ever-popular Thursday Night Farmers Market has returned through September 4th.

Piero Selvaggio’s Valentino in Santa Monica is celebrating its 41st year. Piero and Executive Chef Nico Chessa have introduced a nightly changing special Italian tasting menu there at the Vin Bar.

Loteria Grill! is celebrating 6 centuries of Mexican Wine with the introduction of a broader selection of fine wines from Northern Baja on their list.

The Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail originating in Florence Italy. It’s Negroni week in the United States and charities are the beneficiaries.

Jet has been doing some top-tier dining in Las Vegas at Raku and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. Producer Andy experienced one of the top restaurants in Tijuana.

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

Leo Maurelli IIICentral, located in the heart of Montgomery, Alabama’s Downtown entertainment district, is a true American restaurant highlighting local and seasonal ingredients. The locally owned establishment offers wood-fired dishes in a restored 1890s warehouse space boasting exposed brick, flickering gas lanterns and a bustling open kitchen,

In the main dining room 16-foot ceilings, spectacular overhead lighting, a central bar comprised of reclaimed wood all overlook Montgomery’s downtown Alley.

Chef Leo Maurelli, III is the Executive Chef of Central Restaurant. He is a native of the Republic of Panama and shares his unique multicultural take on traditional Southern dishes and cuisine.

Chef Leo is the recipient of many honors including the 2011 Chef of The Year awarded by the Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Alliance.

Chef Leo is an avid supporter of local farmers, cheese makers, craft beer producers and artisans. He is an advocate for healthy sustainable food consumption and has partnered with EATSouth Farm to not only cook with fresh ingredients, directly from the local farm, but also serve as an ambassador in the community promoting healthy lifestyles through education and sustainable food production.

StarChefs Rising Stars Los AngelesThe StarChefs Rising Stars Revue is coming to Los Angeles on June 12th at Vibiana in Downtown Los Angeles. It celebrates Los Angeles’ brightest culinary talent.

The VIP Host Chef is Neal Fraser of the soon-to-be Redbird at Vibiana.

Antoinette Bruno, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of StarChefs.com joins us to preview the awards. Rising Star Award Winners David Rodriguez of Providence and Chef Atsushi Takatsuki of MB Post are also our guests.

Brock Kleweno of YamashiroBrock Kleweno (Kla-ve-no) is both the executive chef and GM of Yamashiro Hollywood. Their ever-popular Thursday Night Farmers Market has returned through September 4th. It operates from 5 to 9:00 p.m.

Yamashiro’s Pagoda Bar will be open for libations and light fare each week.

The Farmers Market also marks the seasonal return of Chef Brock’s famous tacos! They are the darlings of restaurant critics.

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa MonicaLegendary Los Angeles restaurateur and gracious host Piero Selvaggio has overseen Valentino on Santa Monica for some 41 years. His elegant Vin Bar at Valentino was one of the first wine bars in Los Angeles.

Piero, along with his Executive Chef, Nico Chessa, have developed the Il Quadrifoglio menu. It’s an Italian-style bento box of four seasonal dishes for $25.00. The quartet of dishes changes nightly and is designed for both its visual and flavor balance.

Valentino is renowned for its use of exceptional Italian products which are showcased in the menus: specially selected Colatura di Alici, 24- Months Aged Prosciutto de Parma, Cerignoli Olives and Bottarga, among others.

Selections from Pierro Selvagio’s legendary wine cellar and Valentino’s extraordinary desserts may be ordered separately. Availability for the Vin Bar at Valentino is on a first come basis and does not require reservations. Quadrifoglia at the Vin Bar is available Tuesday through Sundays from 5:00 p.m. to closing.

Selvaggio and Chessa designed the menu for casual dining at a great price. “We wanted to be able to offer a value where our guests can drop in for an informal meal,” states Selvaggio. “It’s wonderful to be able to taste all four of these dishes for under $30.”

Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill and Torta CompanyChef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill! fame (Original Farmers Market, Hollywood, Studio City, Santa Monica, Westlake Village and Fig at 7th) has just presented two nights celebrating “600 Years of Mexican Wine” with an 8-course seated dinner in Hollywood and then a stand-up street food and wine evening in Santa Monica.

His celebrated guest chef was Javier Plascencia of Northern Baja. His flagship restaurant in Tijuana is Mision 19. According to The New York Times, “He brings a flair for dramatic presentation, an appreciation for Tijuana’s street foods deep flavors and a binational approach to farm-to-table cooking.”

Loteria Grill! Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Studio City now feature an expanded selection of Northern Baja’s best wines.

More quality Mexican restaurants should offer a selection of Mexican wines.

Peter SerantoniCelebrating authentic Italian cuisine while raising a glass to a good cause has never been easier. From June 2nd to 8th, Brunos Trattoria in Brea will be participating in the nationwide Negroni Week, presented by Campari and Imbibe Magazine. A portion of the proceeds from every Negroni sold at Brunos during this time will benefit The Mobile Closet , a local organization which helps the community by distributing clothing and blankets to people in need.

Let’s root Brunos on…By the end of the week if Brunos comes out as the top fundraiser in the nation, Compari will donate an additional $10,000 to The Mobile Closet.

“The Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail, originating in Florence, Italy. Staying true to the heart and quality of Brunos’ beverage program, the Negroni at Brunos utilizes premium Italian spirits and liqueurs to create an authentic, memorable experience.”

Co-Owner and Chef Peter Serantoni is our guest. Brunos Trattoria is named after his father and mentor, Papa Bruno.

Jet Tila and Giada De LaurentiisIt’s been an unusually memorable week of dining out for Jet and Producer Andy.

Jet has been in Las Vegas taking in the opening of Giada De LaurentiisGiada restaurant at The Cromwell on The Strip, Raku, and L‘Atelier de Joel Robuchon at the MGM Grand.

Producer Andy dined at the acclaimed Mision 19 in Tijuana.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Leo Maurelli III of Central, Montgomery, Alabama
Segment Three: The StarChefs Rising Stars Revue, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Brock Kleweno, Executive Chef and General Manager, Yamashiro Hollywood
Segment Five: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Valentino, Santa Monica, CA
Segment Six: Chef Jimmy Shaw, Loteria Grill! – “600 Years of Mexican Wine.”
Segment Seven: Negroni Week. Chef Peter Serantoni of Brunos in Brea
Segment Eight: Host Jet Tila

We’ll paint the picture…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is also an oyster bar.

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

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

Play

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

Podcasts

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

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is also an oyster bar.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This will definitely get interesting…

Podcasts

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

Show 56, January 11, 2013: Jimmy Shaw, Founder and Executive Chef, Loteria! Grill

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.

Play

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