Show 252, December 16, 2017: Cary Hardwick, Co-Founder, Spaghettini Seal Beach

Cary Hardwick of SpaghettiniNext year Spaghettini in Seal Beach celebrates its 30th anniversary of success. It’s a big establishment. Unusually it’s part fine-dining and also a popular entertainment venue. It’s famous for its long-running, 5-hour Smooth Jazz Sunday Brunch.

Since 1988, this visionary partnership has created a unique blend of taste and entertainment in Southern California. Leading Southern California restaurateurs Laurie Sisneros and Cary Hardwick have realized a meeting place for L..A and Orange counties in their award-winning restaurant – Spaghettini Fine Dining and Entertainment.

Located just off the 405 Freeway at Seal Beach Blvd., Spaghettini features exceptional Northern Italian cuisine and top name entertainment.

Serving up the tasty history along with a Spaghettini Sparkling Wine toast is Co-Founder & Managing Partner Cary Hardwick.

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Show 252, December 16, 2017: Cary Hardwick, Co-Founder, Spaghettini Seal Beach Continues…

Cary Hardwick of SpaghettiniThe Spaghettini vision has fueled decades of continuous growth. As a result, this has created a staff of long term, dedicated professionals. Employees have extensive food and wine training, including hosted trips to Italy and the California wine country. Spaghettini is open for lunch and dinner, and is also the home of the Legendary Sunday Brunch. In addition to outstanding food and service, Spaghettini is committed to excellence on the entertainment side of the business.

Just out for the Holidays is Spaghettini’s 2nd cookbook, From Our House To Yours by Executive Chef Victor Avila. It’s a handsome, coffee table volume with the hit parade of Spaghettini’s menu favorites over the years. And, yes, the signature recipe for their ever-popular Pommery Shrimp appetizer is included.

…“Twenty-seven years later I’m the Executive Chef at Spaghettini and I absolutely love my job. Spaghettini is more than just a place to work, it is a family that includes not only the employees, but also our customers. For this reason our new cookbook has been a true labor of love for me. I was excited to put together recipes from many of our most popular dishes, while keeping in mind that these recipes need to feed four, not 400! They have all been thought out with the home cook in mind and I love that you will be able to enjoy a taste of Spaghettini in your own home. Enjoy!”

~ Chef Victor Avila

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Show 236, August 12, 2017: Chef D. Brandon Walker, The Mar Vista, Los Angeles

Derek Brandon WalkerThe new The Mar Vista restaurant in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles is a chef-driven, food-first experience with locally sourced farm-to-table ingredients, unusual & rare-label wines and an eclectic lineup of live music. The culinary personalities behind it are Executive Chefs D. Brandon Walker and Jill Davie. It’s dinner nightly and Sunday Brunch.

The Mar Vista’s menu, affectionately dubbed progressive Los Angeles cuisine, features renditions of local favorites enhanced by wide-ranging flavors from L.A.’s diverse communities. Walker, Davie, and Chef de Cuisine Jorge Rivas infuse dishes with flavors from North Africa, Central America, Asia, and the Mediterranean to represent the varied diaspora. Daily specials, a Brazilian churrasco, and Davie’s signature Cranked, a tableside device that uses vintage grinders to make “ugly” fruit into granita, complete the offerings.

Further enriching the community-driven concept, The Mar Vista presents live music performances on Friday and Saturday evenings with a late-night menu accompanying the mellow sounds from a bluegrass or jazz band, among others.

We’ll meet the always energetic “Chef D.”

 

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Show 218, April 8, 2017: Gretchen Kurz, Dining Writer, Critic, Orange Coast Magazine

Orange Coast Best Restaurants 2017Ever wonder how Orange Coast magazine’s annual April Restaurant issue comes together? Orange Coast’s long-time Dining Critic Gretchen Kurz shares an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek into this year’s 30-plus favorite restaurants and the bizarrely inexplicable “Orange Coast Curse.” Do restaurant critics have “Pet Peeves?” You bet, and we’ll discover some of Gretchen’s most bothersome…

“Where should we eat? Some foodies never ask this, as they always have a hot place in mind. Other friends are open to anything, any time. When I have to decide where to go, it’s usually about the atmosphere as much as the food. A rainy day lunch with girlfriends calls for a different venue than a special-occasion date night. And what better way to please out‑of‑town guests than Sunday brunch on a waterfront patio?”

“Whatever your appetite, we’re sure to have something that suits you in our Best Restaurants feature (Page 116) as we’ve tripled the size of our list this year and broken it into categories. So you won’t just find the best new restaurants, but also the classics, most-improved spots, and delightful one-of-a-kind places, among other groupings. This issue is a fascinating chance to get into the head of our dining critic, Gretchen Kurz. She comes in for a planning meeting, we talk trends, what she likes (and doesn’t), and we leave those meetings excited and hungry—no more food meetings before lunch! One pattern we’re noticing is fewer lunch options. About half of the 30-plus restaurants we feature in this issue don’t offer weekday lunch and have added weekend brunch instead. Other places have decided to focus only on daytime dining. The scene in Orange County is shifting, and sometimes it moves fast—we had to swap or remove at least three dining listings in our last issue just before we went to print. Keeping up is a challenge we relish, most of the time. Be sure to check out Gretchen’s essay about the downsides of her job (Page 125). It will make you grateful to be able to choose where you eat after she does the preliminary work.”

Alan Gibbons, Editor-In-Chief, Orange Coast

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Show 203, December 24, 2016: Dieter Hissin, Director of Food & Beverage, Hotel del Coronado

Dieter HissinThe Holidays at the historic Hotel del Coronado (built in 1888 and thoughtfully maintained) are an enchanting tradition. Distinctive, celebratory food and beverage opportunities abound including the lavish Sunday Brunch in the architecturally amazing Crown Room.

“Each year, families and friends gather at Hotel del Coronado to celebrate the Holiday season. As America’s beachfront legend, The Del is a sight to behold, bedecked in thousands of white lights and swaths of greenery. The resort transforms into a Winter Wonderland of ice and festive lights, sparkles and snowflakes. Carolers stroll about singing joyful tunes, while skaters glide across the rink at sunset or under a full moon. Trees are trimmed and glisten with pretty packages underneath.”

“This year Hotel del Coronado is celebrating all things shiny and bright with the Holiday theme – a season to sparkle. It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year.”

Don’t miss the classic s’mores experience on the sand. Roast marshmallows and make delicious s’mores with cinnamon graham crackers and Ghiradelli holiday chocolates.

We’ll chat with Dieter Hissin, the new Director of Food and Beverage at this magical property. Orange County foodies know him from his long tenure at The Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

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Show 188, September 10, 2016: Justin Miller, Executive Chef, Pizzeria Ortica, Costa Mesa

Justin MillerPizzeria Ortica, the well-respected Italian restaurant (launched in 2009) located across from South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, has added an artfully crafted Sunday Brunch to its already well-received lunch and dinner service. Steve Samson (Sotto) was the opening chef there along with pizzaiolo Zach Pollack (Alimento.)

The simple, but inspired a la carte menu is available Sundays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Pizzeria Ortica experimented with serving brunch on Father’s Day which proved popular and resulted in guests requesting that it be available weekly. Chef Justin Miller’s new menu features small plates, “eggs and such,” and pizzas, with prices ranging from $6-$16.

Innovative cocktails, crafted by award-winning beverage director Joel Caruso, include The Vegetarian—a bloody Mary with housemade mix and pickled vegetables; The Pescatarian, a tequila or gin version with house shrimp stock, and a POG (Hawaiian juice blend of passionfruit, orange and guava) spritzer.

Guests are greeted at the table with a basket of complimentary morning buns, flaky and stuffed with tomato conserva and Parmigiano, the creation of talented sous chef Colleen Flynn. Squash-blossoms filled with lemon ricotta; heirloom tomato-rubbed toast with prosciutto di Parma; and pork belly, braised and sliced with agrodolce, are among the starters.

“With brunch becoming so popular, the abundance of residential complexes within walking distance and Sunday matinees at Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Rep, it makes total sense to introduce brunch here,” said Jason Scarborough, Pizzeria Ortica’s general manager.

Be sure to take a look at our Instagram postings of select brunch items.

Executive Chef Justin Miller (who has been in the kitchen since the beginning) joins us in-studio to share the inviting details.

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Show 162, March 5, 2016: Chef Jason Montelibano, EATS Kitchen & Bar, Irvine

Jason MontelibanoChef Jason Montelibano at EATS Kitchen & Bar at Hotel Irvine (a locals’ favorite) in Irvine is at it again. He’s just rolled out an all-new Good EATS Sunday Brunch starting at 10:00 a.m. It runs until 2:00 p.m.

There is an epic $14 build-you-own Bloody Mary bar and Mimosa flights. The Mimosa flight arrives with four, 6 oz. Mimosas. Passion Fruit and Blood Orange was a recent selection along with Strawberry Lemon. Look for the just-debuted, over-the-top menu items including Shrimp and Grits, and Cinnamon Crunch French Toast.

A “SoCal Restaurant Show” favorite is the Chilaquiles con Pollo. With the chicken is a sunny-side up egg, fried tortillas, roasted tomato salsa, lime sour cream, avocado and cotija cheese.

There is comfortable indoor and outdoor seating available. A cozy fire pit, too. With the lush landscaping and thoughtful design you’d never know you’re a long fly ball from the 405 San Diego Freeway.

Chef Jason knew he was destined to be a chef from an early age. From starting culinary school as a teenager, to refining his skills in some of the best kitchens in Southern California, his love for chef-driven, sustainable cuisine has been honed through years of hard work and dedication. His passion for international flavors and market-fresh ingredients are on full display in every single plate that leaves his kitchen.

 

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Show 80, July 19, 2014: Executive Chef Eric Wadlund, Spencer’s Restaurant at The Mountain, Palm Springs

Eric WadlundSpencer’s Restaurant at The Mountain is consistently one of the most popular and favorably reviewed restaurants in the greater Palm Springs area. Since 2008 the secret has been the culinary talents of Executive Chef Eric Wadlund in the kitchen. Their relaxing Sunday Brunch is top of the mind with the locals. Their specialty is “Benedicts.”

“Featuring Four Star American Cuisine with a French – Pacific Rim Influence in a casually elegant atmosphere.” Chef Eric sources a lot of the produce he uses from two local Farmers Markets.

The restaurant’s outdoor patios and the striking indoor dining area create an extremely inviting visual experience.

Chef Eric was just four when he whipped up his first culinary delight: doughnuts. His father owned a bakery (Butterball Bakery) and taught him the tricks of the trade, and, most of all, to love food and cooking.

His banana cream pie is a locals’ favorite and all the ice creams and sorbets are house-made.

By the way, he’s cooked for the President, too, at Sunnylands (the former Walter Annenberg Estate.)

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July 19: Bestia, ADYA, Allan Karl, Spencer’s on the Mountain, Tomas Estes

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chefs Ori Menashe and Chef Genevieve Gergis of Bestia, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Three: Chefs Ori Menashe and Chef Genevieve Gergis of Bestia, Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Four: Chef Shachi Mehra, ADYA – Fresh Indian Flavors, Anaheim
Segment Five: Allan Karl – Author of Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine and Connection Part One
Segment Six: Allan Karl – Author of Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine and Connection Part Two
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Eric Wadlund, Spencer’s Restaurant at The Mountain, Palm Springs
Segment Eight: Tomas Estes, Mexico’s Tequila Ambassador to Europe

Jet Tila and Producer Andy preview the show.

Bestia, which launched in late 2012 in a secluded location in the former warehouse district of Downtown Los Angeles (now known as the Arts District,) has been a high-profile foodie destination since the beginning. Meet the husband and wife team of Executive Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis and you’ll understand why.

Chef Shachi Mehra is well-known to Orange County diners as the opening chef for the fine-dining Tamarind of London in Newport Coast. Now Chef Shachi has branched out on her own and launched the more accessible ADYA in the Anaheim Packing House. It’s a reflection of modern India cuisine revolving around fresh, sustainable ingredients, simply prepared, in a casual setting.

Why would anyone sell nearly everything he owns, then pack up and travel for three years – alone – on a motorcycle? Meet world traveler and adventurer, Allan Karl, the author of Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine And Connection. The standout book documents his 62,000 mile journey through 35 countries on 5 continents as well as provides authentic local recipes.

Spencer’s Restaurant at The Mountain is consistently one of the most popular and favorably reviewed restaurants in the greater Palm Springs area. Since 2008 the secret has been the culinary talents of Executive Chef Eric Wadlund in the kitchen.

The Museum of the American Cocktail is hosting one of their special “Touring the Cocktail” evenings at Guelaguetza Restaurante on July 23rd. It’s a tequila appreciation evening with Oaxacan food tastes. Tomas Estes, Mexico’s official Tequila Ambassador to Europe has the details.

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

Executive Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis of BestiaBestia, which launched in late 2012 in a secluded location in the former warehouse district of Downtown Los Angeles (now known as the Arts District,) has been a high-profile foodie destination since the very beginning. Meet the husband and wife team of Executive Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis and you’ll better understand why.

Restaurant impresario Bill Chait is a partner.

The food is multi-regional Italian.

“The overall industrial feel of Bestia, couplled with the passion, hard work and talent of Chef Ori and Chef Genevieve make Bestia an honest Mom and Pop restaurant (with character) built to last.”

Charcuterie and Cured Meats at Bestia“Chef Ori maintains an aggressive house-cured meats program with over 60 different forms of charcuterie for Bestia. Bestia means “Beast” in Italian. He is also responsible for raising his own yeast culture which he uses to bake Bestia’s sourdough Pain au Levain, used as toast ubiquitously on the menu, as well as for the pizza dough, which rises and falls over a 24-hour cycle prior to being composed as a Napolitana pizza. It’s then baked in the Acunto (wood burning) oven at 900 degrees.”

‘On the dolci side of the menu, Chef Genevieve is preparing a plethora of desserts from scratch using the finest raw ingredients such as acquarello rice for her al dente rice pudding served with perfectly ripened in-season fruit or her earthy, nutty, chestnut flour zeppole served with house-made coffee gelato and cream. In addition Chef Genevieve was partially responsible for the design of Bestia. She re-furbished oil drum spouts converting them into lighting fixtures.”

Shachi MehraChef Shachi Mehra is well-known to Orange County diners as the opening chef for the fine-dining Tamarind of London in Newport Coast. Now Chef Shachi has branched out on her own and launched the more accessible ADYA in the Anaheim Packing House. It’s a reflection of modern India cuisine revolving around fresh, sustainable ingredients, simply prepared, in a casual setting.

Earlier in her career Chef Shachi was mentored by pioneering Indian Chef Floyd Cardoz in Manhattan. She worked at both Tabla and Bread Bar eventually rising to the position of Head Cook at Bread Bar.

“With ADYA, I present an Indian experience that will allow those who are both familiar and less experienced with Indian cuisine to embark on a delicious, unique culinary journey that emphasizes fresh ingredients and pronounced flavors,” commented Chef Shachi, who blends Western and Indian cultures to create artful dishes that successfully marry tradition with modernity. “The casual setting of ADYA makes it inviting and accommodating to a wide range of guests who seek out the rich experiences that Indian cuisine has to offer.”

Allan KarlWhy would anyone of sound mind sell nearly everything he owns (including a premium wine collection with cult California labels,) then pack up and travel for three years – alone – on a motorcycle? Meet world traveler and adventurer, Allan Karl, the author of Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine And Connection. The standout book documents his incredible 62,000 mile journey through 35 countries on 5 continents over three years as well as provides authentic local recipes.

Getting the beautiful coffee table book published was an additional three-year odyssey of its own that became a Kickstarter case study..

From Allan: “Through the pages of this book, I share not only incredible adventures, I share the powerful gift of human connection – often made over good food and drink. Readers can experience the world as I did by traveling through each country, meeting the people and their unique cultures, and tasting their food.”

“As I traveled it occurred to me how important is the ritual of sharing food and how much we learn when we take the time to connect and share a meal with strangers or good friends alike.”

Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine And Connections by Allan KarlForks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine And Connections is an oversized, coffee-table art-book with more than 700 photos, stories of adventure and survival and global local food.”

For two years Allan struggled to find a publisher willing to take on this unusual and ambitious book project. They couldn’t pigeonhole it…Finally he turned to Kickstarter to raise the needed initial funds to self publish. He raised almost twice his initial goal for a total of $44,994

After three years on the road Allan truly believes the Irish Proverb: “There are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met.”

Eric WadlundSpencer’s Restaurant at The Mountain is consistently one of the most popular and favorably reviewed restaurants in the greater Palm Springs area. Since 2008 the secret has been the culinary talents of Executive Chef Eric Wadlund in the kitchen. Their relaxing Sunday Brunch is top of the mind with the locals.

“Featuring Four Star American Cuisine with a French – Pacific Rim Influence in a casually elegant atmosphere.”

The restaurant’s outdoor patios and the striking indoor dining area create an extremely inviting visual experience.

Chef Eric was just four when he whipped up his first culinary delight: doughnuts. His father owned a bakery and taught him the tricks of the trade, and, most of all, to love food and cooking.

By the way, he’s cooked for the President, too.

Tomas EstesThe Museum of the American Cocktail is hosting one of their special “Touring the Cocktail” evenings at Guelaguetza Restaurante on July 23rd. It’s a tequila appreciation evening with Oaxacan food tastes. Tomas Estes, Mexico’s official Tequila Ambassador to Europe has the details for us.

Tomas Estes, London resident, native Angeleno, acclaimed restaurateur, and Mexico’s “Official Tequila Ambassador to Europe,” issues participants a passport to the world of tequila and takes them on a behind-the-scenes tour of agave spirits. Josh Goldman, Co-Founder of Soigné Group, a portfolio of 12 Los Angeles-area craft cocktail bars and restaurants, executes a drink menu that demonstrates tequila’s range and versatility.

A sampling of savory specialties from the authentic Oaxacan kitchen of Koreatown’s Restaurante Guelaguetza are included in the price of admission. Come taste why Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold says “Guelaguetza is the best Oaxacan restaurant in the country.”

Tickets are $45 in advance, $40 for MOTAC/SoFAB and USBG Members, and $50 at the door.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chefs Ori Menashe and Chef Genevieve Gergis of Bestia, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Three: Chefs Ori Menashe and Chef Genevieve Gergis of Bestia, Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Four: Chef Shachi Mehra, ADYA – Fresh Indian Flavors, Anaheim
Segment Five: Allan Karl – Author of Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine and Connection Part One
Segment Six: Allan Karl – Author of Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine and Connection Part Two
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Eric Wadlund, Spencer’s Restaurant at The Mountain, Palm Springs
Segment Eight: Tomas Estes, Mexico’s Tequila Ambassador to Europe

Show 73, May 24, 2014: Executive Chef John Shelton, Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, CA

John Shelton of Hotel del CoronadoThe Hotel Del Coronado is California’s premier, classic beachfront hotel dating back to 1888. It represents luxury from another age.

Executive Chef John Shelton who oversees all the food and beverage operation at The Del is our guest. He also loves to fish.

Restaurants at the Del range from the beverage 1500 OCEAN to the award-winning Sunday Brunch spectacular buffet served in the historic and architecturally significant Crown Room. It’s the largest free-standing wood structure in the United States and was built by a team of highly-skilled, master shipwrights.

June is Culinary Craftsman Month at Sunday Brunch. Local exceptional food products will be featured.

The big Summer kick-off event at the Del is the SEA + FOOD event on Saturday afternoon, June 7th on the Windsor Lawn. It’s a one-day Pacific Coast Food Festival to remember with delicious local seafood, BBQ from the Lil’ Del BBQ (a top-of-the-line Southern Pride smoker on four wheels,) and libations including craft beers, wines, and spirits. Live retro rhythm and blues music, too.

The Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation to benefit childhood cancer research is the charitable beneficiary.

$100 admission includes tax, gratuities and parking. Adults only, please.

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