Show 251, December 9, 2017: Chef / Owner Brian Howard, Sparrow + Wolf, Chinatown, Las Vegas

Brian Howard of Comme Ca in Las VegasChef Brian Howard developed a loyal following during his tenure at Comme Ca located in The Cosmopolitan. He’s now branched out on his own with Sparrow + Wolf located in Las Vegas’s bustling Chinatown just Off The Strip on Spring Mountain Road. Chef Brian refers to his establishment as “Neighborhood Cookery & Libations.”

Chef Brian Howard’ Sparrow + Wolf boasts cuisine from the heart using a modern hand. It features American cookery influenced by the culturally diverse neighborhoods of Chef Brian’s travels, classic training and Midwestern roots. The centerpiece of the open kitchen is a wood-burning grill. It’s also already a hospitality industry hangout. Chefs and restaurateurs frequent the place.

Throughout his 17-year culinary career in Las Vegas, star Chef Brian Howard earned his stripes working with some of the most popular restaurants on The Strip. He has gained the utmost respect from his colleagues and the city’s most prestigious food writers, including one who referred to Howard as “The Most Ambitious Chef in Las Vegas.” The culinary field is known as a profession of passion, and Howard is a bold example of that premise, having believed since he was 10 years old that cooking is in his blood.

Chef Brian attributes his varied influences to being surrounded by talented people, childhood memories, and his continuous hunger for learning new things every day. “I’ve always had a fight and desire in me to never give up, no matter how rocky the road,” says Howard.  “Perseverance has gotten me to where I am today and now I just want to create something for the people of Las Vegas, a city that has been good to me. I want to create food that I’d like to eat.”

Chef Brian joins us to talk about his first seven months of operations.

 

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Show 234, July 29, 2017: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal Continues…

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

We resume our insider’s chat with Al about Vegas foodie news of note. We finish our Downtown update with Al’s profile of the Downtown Container Park. It has a giant Praying Mantis at the entrance that periodically shoots fire out of its mouth. Only is Las Vegas…For food (and a view) he suggests The Perch located on the top corner of the complex.

Look for Al’s new weekly column in the Review-Journal highlighting worthwhile Downtown events, including food.

Al shares his thoughts on the arrival of culinary celebrity David Chang’s Momofuku (and Milk Bar) at The Cosmopolitan. Momofuku will soon launch in Los Angeles.

 

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Show 177, June 25, 2016: Brock Radke, Managing Editor, Las Vegas Weekly

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyJournalist Brock Radke is no stranger to the SoCal Restaurant Show. He’s a genuine Las Vegas insider.

Brock is Managing Editor of Las Vegas Weekly and has been covering Las Vegas for more than 15 years. He joins us for a long overdue update on the dynamic Las Vegas dining scene. First up is an update on The Strip.

The big news is on The Strip is that David Chang’s Momofuku is coming to The Cosmopolitan. Also the former Monte Carlo is being rebranded, renovated and split into two luxury properties. One luxury property will be the trendy NoMad Hotel from Manhattan including the NoMad restaurant from Chef Daniel Humm. Also on the site will be Mario Batali’s Italian food emporium, Eataly, long-rumored to be coming to Las Vegas but in a different location.

Las Vegas is also welcoming their first major league sports franchise. NHL Hockey is coming to the new T-Mobile Arena (just off The Strip) in 2017! They already have over 14,000 deposits for season tickets so it’s obvious The City is ready!

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Show 151, December 19, 2015: Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer Andy Harris on Las Vegas Dining

Deviled Eggs at db Brasserie in Las vegasChef Andrew always enjoys Chef Jose Andres’ first restaurant in Las Vegas at the Cosmopolitan, Jaleo. As he says it never disappoints. His go-to dish is the chicken croquettes artfully served in a shoe.

db Brasserie (Daniel Boulud) at The Venetian just celebrated their first anniversary in May so Producer Andy wanted to revisit them. The food is always consistently good but what really impressed him was the level of attentive service and welcoming environment when the restaurant was not terribly busy. (It’s a slow Weekend in Las Vegas with Christmas coming up.) That’s the sign of a well-managed establishment. The executive chef, Vincent Pouessel was out in the dining room touching tables. His pastry chef was doing the same thing.

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Show 86, August 30, 2014: Executive Chef Shirley Chung of TWENTY Eight

Shirley ChungYou’ll remember the always opinionated Chef Shirley Chung (Las Vegas – based) as a finalist in Season 11 of Bravo’s “Top Chef.”

Prior to her ride to fame on “Top Chef” she held the Executive Chef position at China Poblano by Jose Andres at The Cosmopolitan.

Chef Shirley is opening a modern Chinese restaurant in Irvine at the end of September. “I like my cuisine to tell a story,” commented Chef Shirley, who has developed the innovative menu of sharable plates for TWENTY EIGHT. “My inspiration for this menu is reflective of my childhood years in Beijing, my past experiences, and my travels, all of which have inspired me to push the envelope.”

“In addition to the menu of modern Chinese specialties, diners can look forward to an enticing Dim Sum and Small Plates menu, a full bar with a focus on craft cocktails, and private dining options for both large and small gatherings.”

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August 30: Kedric Francis, Shirley Chung, Wing Lam, The Palm, Nadia G, Brad A. Johnson, Haven Gastropub

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Executive Chef Shirley Chung of TWENTY Eight
Segment Three: Wing Lam, Wahoo’s Fish Taco
Segment Four: Bruce Bozzi, Jr., of the Palm
Segment Five: Cooking Channel’s Chef Nadia G. Part One
Segment Six: Cooking Channel’s Chef Nadia G. Part Two
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County and Los Angeles Registers
Segment Eight: Executive Chef Greg Daniels, Haven Gastropub and Provisions, Orange

Kedric Francis and Andy HarrisGuest Host Kedric Francis of The Orange County Register Magazine & Coast Orange County Magazine and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

The always debonair Kedric Francis, our dashing man about Orange County, is the Executive Editor of both publications.

You’ll remember the always opinionated Chef Shirley Chung (Las Vegas – based) as a finalist in Season 11 of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” She is opening a modern Chinese restaurant in Irvine at the end of September.

It’s the Orange International Street Fair in Old Towne Orange this Labor Day Weekend. In the center of the action in a restored bungalow on W. Chapman is Wahoo’s Fish Taco. Co-founder Wing Lam joins us to discuss what’s new at Wahoo’s.

The Palm Restaurant, known for classic steakhouse fare, has been an institution in West Hollywood since its launch in 1975. That location is closing at the end of September. In early November a new, 6,000 square foot Palm will begin welcoming guests in Beverly Hills.

Chef-comedienne Nadia G. is widely known as the creator and host of “Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen,” a brand defining series for Cooking Channel and the first ever online show to successfully transition from the internet to primetime. Her new primetime Cooking Channel series is “Bite This.” The always unpredictable Nadia G. is our guest.

Brad A. Johnson is the James Beard award-winning restaurant critic for both the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Register. Brad is back with us this week to talk about sushi and his favorites in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties. He’ll also preview an intriguing piece he’s writing for the Orange County Register Magazine on the new wave of Italian restaurants.

Five years ago Haven Gastropub opened on S. Glassell St. in Old Towne Orange during the Orange International Street Festival. That Festival attracts some 500,000 guests for the three-days. Executive Chef Greg Daniels is with us to talk about their five-year anniversary.

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

Shirley ChungYou’ll remember the always opinionated Chef Shirley Chung (Las Vegas – based) as a finalist in Season 11 of Bravo’s “Top Chef.”

Prior to her ride to fame on “Top Chef” she held the Executive Chef position at China Poblano by Jose Andres at The Cosmopolitan.

Chef Shirley is opening a modern Chinese restaurant in Irvine at the end of September. “I like my cuisine to tell a story,” commented Chef Shirley, who has developed the innovative menu of sharable plates for TWENTY EIGHT. “My inspiration for this menu is reflective of my childhood years in Beijing, my past experiences, and my travels, all of which have inspired me to push the envelope.”

“In addition to the menu of modern Chinese specialties, diners can look forward to an enticing Dim Sum and Small Plates menu, a full bar with a focus on craft cocktails, and private dining options for both large and small gatherings.”

Wing Lam of Wahoo's Fish TacosIt’s the Orange International Street Fair in Old Towne Orange this Labor Day Weekend. In the center of the action on W. Chapman is Wahoo’s Fish Taco. Co-founder Wing Lam joins us to discuss what’s new at Wahoo’s.

Raymond Martin is the new executive chef for Wahoo’s. New on the menu are Street Tacos, a Kale Kai Salad, and Wahoo’s Wings.

Opening soon is a long-in-the-works Wahoo’s location at Honda Center.

The Palm Beverly HillsThe iconic Palm Restaurant in West Hollywood will close and lock its doors for the last time on September 30th after almost 40 years. The better news is that their new 6,000 square foot restaurant seating 185 guests will debut at in Beverly Hills at 267 N. Canon Dr. in early November.

“Serving its classic steakhouse cuisine and generous “Palm-size” portions since 1975, The Palm in West Hollywood is equally famous for the caricatures of its celebrity customers and the entertainment industry power players that adorn its walls.”

“This Palm has been here for almost 40 years, and while we are sad to leave our home on Santa Monica Blvd., we are excited to be opening a new Palm just a few minutes away in Beverly Hills,” said Bruce Bozzi, Jr., great-grandson of Pio Bozzi, who, with John Ganzi, co-founded The Palm in 1926. “Through four generations, we have followed a simple recipe for success that focuses on making our guests feel that they belong at The Palm. We look forward to continuing that tradition in our new location.”

Nadia GChef-comedienne Nadia G. is widely known as the creator and host of Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen,” a brand defining series for Cooking Channel and the first ever online show to successfully transition from the internet to primetime. She also hosts an original online design series, “Sick Kitchens,” and is the author of two bestselling cookbooks.

Her new primetime Cooking Channel series is Bite This.” It’s a fusion of food, travel and comedy following Nadia as she travels the nation featuring the coolest chefs and finding hidden gems and signature flavors in each city – from Los Angeles to Harlem and the Bronx, to Louisville to Nashville, Chicago and more.

The always unpredictable Nadia G. is our guest.

“Nadia G. rocked your kitchen, now it’s time to rock your city! We’re hitting the road, G-style.” The first city visited for “Bite This” was Los Angeles.

“First up : Badmaash – An outrageous Indian-fusion Poutine with Chicken Tikka at this downright bad ass downtown gastropub.”

“Next up, the freshest and tastiest Lobster Roll you can find West of the Rockies at Blue Plate Oysterette in Santa Monica.”

“Finally, the G and the crew is off to Father’s Office where they’ll meet Chef Sang Yoon and taste the Office Burger – a burger so good that it was names “best burger in the world.” PSST. Insider info : They’ll also unveil for the first time EVER Sang Yoon’s latest tasty creation : The Patricia Melt.”

Photography by Brad A JohnsonBrad A. Johnson is the James Beard award-winning restaurant critic for both the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Register.

Brad is back with us this week to discuss sushi and his favorites places to enjoy the preparation in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties. He’ll also preview an intriguing piece he’s writing for the Orange County Register Magazine on the new wave of Italian restaurants.

Greg Daniels of Haven GastropubFive years ago Haven Gastropub opened on S. Glassell St. in Old Towne Orange during the Orange International Street Festival. That Festival attracts some 500,000 guests for the three-days. Executive Chef Greg Daniels is with us to talk about their five-year anniversary.

Thursday, September 4th marks the actual 5-Year anniversary. Within minutes of the original opening guests were 3-deep at the long bar. It hasn’t stopped…

On Thursday, September 4th Haven Gastropub will be celebrating with one of their most impressive line-ups of craft beers on tap to date. There will be specials on signature items throughout the day. ($5 Haven Burgers, anyone ?).

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Executive Chef Shirley Chung of TWENTY Eight
Segment Three: Wing Lam, Wahoo’s Fish Taco
Segment Four: Bruce Bozzi, Jr., of the Palm
Segment Five: Cooking Channel’s Chef Nadia G. Part One
Segment Six: Cooking Channel’s Chef Nadia G. Part Two
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County and Los Angeles Registers
Segment Eight: Executive Chef Greg Daniels, Haven Gastropub and Provisions, Orange

Show 52, December 14, 2013: Celebrity Chef Scott Conant oversees his highly successful empire of five Scarpetta restaurants

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. His goal is that the reader will really be able to recreate his restaurant dishes by following the recipes.

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.” His well-established judging style is to be honest but not hurtful.

“Chopped” is 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 as to what’s in their mystery basket of ingredients until they open it! Chef Scott reveals that “Chopped” has just been renewed for three more seasons.

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Show 43, October 12, 2013: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris previewed the show.

Luckyrice Night MarketJet discussed the highlights of the Luckyrice Festival Night Market held last Saturday at the Cosmopolitan Hotel (on the pool deck) located on The Strip in Las Vegas. Jet served some 1,100 portions to the enthusiastic guests. In his “pick your flavor” poll to decide which Kuma Snow Cream flavor to serve at Chef Jet’s station at LuckyRice, Nutella won over Pumpkin.

Andy reviewed the goings-on at the Patchwork Show – Edible Edition at SoCo and The OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa last Weekend. The show broadcast live from the South Coast Collection.

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October 12: Lindy & Grundy, Duskie Estes, Kristine Kidd, Brock Radke, Greg Daniels, Hawaiian Tropical Fruit

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Erika Nakamura, master butcher, chef, and co-owner of Lindy & Grundy Meats
Segment Three: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Onw
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Two
Segment Five: Kristine Kidd, author of Williams–Sonoma Weeknight Gluten Free
Segment Six: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic for The Orange County Register Part One
Segment Seven: Chef Greg Daniels of The Haven Collective
Segment Eight: Ken Love, President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Jet discusses the highlights of the Luckyrice Festival Night Market held last Saturday at the Cosmopolitan Hotel on The Strip in Las Vegas. Jet served some 1,100 portions to the enthusiastic guests.

Andy reviews the highlights of the Patchwork Show – Edible Edition at SoCo and The OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa last Weekend. The show broadcast live from the South Coast Collection.

Erika Nakamura of Lindy and Grundy MeatsThe classic, full-service neighborhood butcher shop is alive, well, and prospering at Lindy & Grundy Meats in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles. Artisan butcher Erika Nakamura (half of the Lindy & Grundy team along with Amelia Posada) is with us to fill us in. Erika is a classically trained chef.

All of their premium meats are from humanely treated, grass fed animals and 100 per cent locally produced and sustainable. The partners only source meat from farms they have visited. They even inspect the harvesting facility where the animal is processed. They offer an alternative to commercial farming.

Lindy and Grundy hosts classes for true meat enthusiasts.

Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart of Zazu Kitchen and FarmOne of the most exciting chef teams operating in the Sonoma County wine country is Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart (wife & husband) who are the proprietors of the new zazu kitchen + farm located at The Barlow (a former apple juice processing facility) in Sebastopol. Some of the vegetables used at the restaurant are actually grown in large tubs on the restaurant’s patio. They were mentored by pioneering Seattle chef/restaurateur Tom Douglas before relocating to Sonoma County to go off on their own.

The original zazu restaurant (part of a former chicken coop) was founded in Santa Rosa in 2001. It was located in a rustic roadhouse way out of town surrounded by farms and vineyards. If a local didn’t tell you about it you’d probably never know it was there. Their regulars include some of the most distinguished winemakers in Sonoma County. The eclectic wine list includes reserve selections that you just don’t see outside of the private stash of the wineries.

Duskie and John were living farm-to-table long before that became a marketing buzzword for chefs. They raise their own chicken and ducks to provide the eggs for their fresh pasta and their praise-worthy gelati.

Duskie Estes of the new zazu kitchen + farm in Sebastopol stays with us.

John Stewart learned the art of curing meats from Mario Batali’s father who has a highly-praised salumi business in Seattle. Visitors to zazu can watch John cure his acclaimed Black Pig Meat Co.’s bacon and salumi right there.

Zazu even has an experienced organic farmer on staff. He supervises the three spots of zazu’s soil including the MacBryde Farm where John and Duskie live with their children. The Farm is home to zazu’s chickens, ducks, turkeys, heritage wattle pigs, sheep, rabbits, goats and more.

Kristine Kidd Loyal readers of Bon Appetit Magazine will remember Kristine Kidd as the long-time Food Editor.

She is now the food editor for the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch website as well as a busy cookbook author.

Her newly released seventh cookbook is Weeknight Gluten Free. This title is particularly important to Kristine as her childhood celiac disease resurfaced recently.

Kristine is a serious home cook. She prepares fresh meals at home almost every night.

On Wednesday, October 23rd Kristine Kidd will be part of a “Zov’s Lunch and Learn” program at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin. Kristine will be explaining how to prepare delicious meals that are gluten free.

Lunch will be on the menu, too. The entrée is Grilled Lemongrass Chicken with Ginger Rice, Braised Kale and Grilled Roasted Tomatoes. It’s a modest $25 per guest and seating is limited. Make your plans now because it will reach capacity quickly.

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyIn Las Vegas it’s who you know and the “SoCal Restaurant Show” is lucky to have Brock Radke as our insider on the ground in Las Vegas. Brock is the Food Editor of Las Vegas Weekly and joins us regularly to clue us in on what’s happening on the dynamic Las Vegas dining scene.

This morning Brock is giving us the 411 on Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak at The Mirage and Rick Moonen’s Rx Boiler Room at The Shops at Mandalay Bay. Brock recommends both new additions to The Strip’s dining choices.

We’re proud to be part of the hospitality industry as chefs and restaurateurs are some of the most generous folks we know. When there is a worthy cause they are there in a flash with food and support…

Greg Daniels of Haven GastropubWe know Chef Greg Daniels from the two Haven Gastropubs (Orange and Pasadena,) taco asylum and Provisions Market. From October 16th to 25th Chef Greg has assembled a group of distinguished OC chefs to raise money for children who suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) worldwide. It’s all under the playful banner of “PB&J for Good.”

Participating chefs will put their creative spin on the traditional PB&J as a special menu offering. Each will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every PB&J dish to benefit StopSAM.org, a fundraising arm for Severe Acute Malnutrition.

Besides Haven Gastropub some of the high profile restaurants participating include ARC, Broadway by Amar Santana, Little Sparrow, LUCCA, and The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar.

The State of Hawaii has some of the most fertile agricultural land in the United States yet, in recent years, this dirt hasn’t been used for agriculture. Sadly they need to import most of their fruits and vegetables from the Mainland.

Sharwil AvacadoOn the Big Island of Hawaii, for example, over 200 varieties of avocados grow. The pearl of the group is the Sharwil. It’s creamy with a rich buttery flavor, and prized by local chefs.

Surprisingly until very recently the USDA wouldn’t allow the Sharwil to be imported into the lower 48 states. This is a real shame because the seasons of the Sharwil match the seasons of availability for imported avocados from Mexico. Wouldn’t you want to enjoy a made in the USA fruit which also supports our economy ?

Ken Love, the President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, joins us from The Big Island to explain what has changed…It’s a baby step.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Erika Nakamura, master butcher, chef, and co-owner of Lindy & Grundy Meats
Segment Three: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Onw
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Two
Segment Five: Kristine Kidd, author of Williams–Sonoma Weeknight Gluten Free
Segment Six: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic for The Orange County Register Part One
Segment Seven: Chef Greg Daniels of The Haven Collective
Segment Eight: Ken Love, President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

Show 42, October 5, 2013: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris previewed the show.

Jet was speaking from Las Vegas at the Luckyrice Night Market at the Cosmopolitan on the famed Las Vegas Strip.

Patchwork Show Edible EditionToday’s show was broadcast live from the Patchwork Show – Edible Edition at the South Coast Collection and OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa which took place both Saturday and Sunday.

Patchwork Edible is an annual creative food summit bringing visionary chefs, authors, bloggers, handmade craft vendors and food artisans together with attendees for a comprehensive and entertaining weekend of eating, learning, tasting and shopping.

Admission was free…

The always stylish, Kedric Francis, the Executive Editor of both Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine joined us as guest co-host.

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