Show 247, November 11, 2017: Executive Chef Matthew Kirkley, COI, San Francisco & Chef Robert Sulatycky, Head Coach, Team USA 2019

Matthew KirkleyWe’ve actively followed (since 2014,) and reported on, Team USA in their long pursuit of winning a place on the medals stand for the biannual Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition. Team USA 2015 headed by Chef Philip Tessier took the Silver Medal (just missing the Gold) and Team USA 2017 headed by Chef Mathew Peters earned the Gold in 2017, an incredible first for Team USA.

Team USA 2019 was just selected in a fierce five and one-half hour competition on Thursday, Nov. 9th at The Venetian Resort’s Palazzo Ballroom in Las Vegas. The three competing chef candidates are Ben Grupe, Elaia & Olio, St. Louis, MO; Jeffrey Hayashi, Mourad, San Francisco, CA; and Matthew Kirkley, COI, San Francisco, CA.

We’ll talk to Matthew Kirkley, the winning chef to head Team USA 2019 who will now train with his Commis (Mimi Chen) for the next year, and then helm Team USA 2019 in Lyon. Also, Team USA 2019 Head Coach, Robert Sulatycky. Next stop (in April 2018) for Team USA 2019 is the Americas Selection in Mexico City.

The Ment’or Young Chef & Commis Competitions were held on November 8, 2017 in Las Vegas and featured five young chef teams and six Commis candidates who competed in the kitchen of University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The Winners from each competition will choose from a cash prize or the unique opportunity to train alongside Bocuse d’Or Team USA 2019.

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

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’ll chat with Al about the rise of Downtown Las Vegas as a dining destination and also get updated on other local foodie news of note.

One of Al’s picks for Downtown Las Vegas dining is The Carson Kitchen. It’s actually expanding. It’s something of a homage to its founding chef/owner, the late Kerry Simon.

Al is also a brunch fan. Right before his “SoCal Restaurant Show” interview he was at the newly expanded Ping Pang Pong in The Gold Coast enjoying their highly regarded dim sum. On Friday he was brunching at Sugarcane located on The Strip at The Venetian. Al points out that it’s one of the few spots in Las Vegas with a Weekday brunch option.

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Show 209, February 4, 2017: John Kunkel, 50 Eggs, Inc & Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, The Venetian, Las Vegas

John KunkelJohn Kunkel’s (50 Eggs, Inc.) lauded Yardbird Southern Table & Bar initially roosted at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas in January of 2015. The original is in Miami. The motto is “Southern from Scratch,” a modern take on Southern fare.

John revealed to us exclusively that Yardbird Southern Table & Bar will launch a new location in Beverly Hills before year’s end.

Founded by John Kunkel, 50 Eggs, Inc. is a multi-faceted, full-service culinary and hospitality firm focused on developing cutting-edge brands with unparalleled dining experiences. Named Restaurant Hospitality Magazine’s “Coolest Multi-Concept Companies in the Land”, 50 Eggs, Inc. owns and operates the James Beard-nominated and award winning Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in Miami and Las Vegas, Swine Southern Table & Bar in Miami, and Spring Chicken in South Beach, Coral Gables, Fort Lauderdale, and the Miami International Airport.

50 Eggs, Inc. will open its first international location in 2017, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands. The brand’s first Latin concept, CHICA, will debut at the Venetian Las Vegas in 2017 (in the former db Brasserie space). The menu is from acclaimed chef, Lorena Garcia.

John is here with all the details.

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Show 205, January 7, 2017: Brock Radke, Managing Editor, Las Vegas Weekly

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyLong-time Las Vegas journalist Brock Radke is the Managing Editor of Las Vegas Weekly. He’s our regular, always well-informed, Las Vegas insider. Brock is going to update us on Las Vegas happenings in the food sphere.

First up is revisting MGM Resorts International’s test of charging for both valet and self-parking for all of their Strip properties. Locals were initially excused from paying for self-parking and that’s now changing. Many of the other large Strip properties (including Caesars Entertainment Corp.) are now following suit.

Also lots of noteworthy new restaurants (and a “new cocktail standard”) at The Venetian Resort / The Palazzo Resort. Brock fills us in.

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Show 201, December 10, 2016: Mourad Lahlou, Owner / Chef, Mourad and Aziza, San Francisco

Mourad LahlouConsidered by many as the pioneer of modern Moroccan cuisine in the United States, the James Beard award-nominated Mourad Lahlou (San Francisco’s Aziza and Mourad) never envisioned becoming a world-famous chef. Chef Mourad is one of the celebrity chefs preparing a course for The Grand Banquet of Ultimo Weekend at The Venetian. He’ll lift the lid on the tagine for us.

Aziza is currently under renovation. The plan is for it to reopen in February.

The Marrakesh native immigrated to the United States when he was 20 years old to pursue a master’s degree in economics. Missing his country’s cuisine, Lahlou taught himself how to recreate versions of his favorite Moroccan dishes with local ingredients using his own inventive techniques. Most of the lessons he learned about food came from his mother, who cooked traditional Moroccan recipes, and grandfather, who took him to the markets.

Chef Mourad’s strikingly modern reinventions of traditional Moroccan dishes are all about showcasing the great flavors of his native cuisine in ways that harmonize with the fresh, local, artisanal ingredients available in Northern California. “I’m not sure I would even call it a Moroccan restaurant anymore,” he says. Like his jet-black tattoos, Lahlou’s food and restaurants reveal a very personal story, one rooted both in San Francisco and abroad, and recount the memories that have inspired his life’s work.

 

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Show 199, November 26, 2016: Show Preview with Executive Producer amp; Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend to all. No sorry leftovers here. Thanks for making us part of your Saturday. Now it’s on to festive Holiday parties, Christmas and Hanukkah celebrations…

Andrew and William GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Brea, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, most recently, The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for Rams and USC Football, is back as today’s Guest Host. San Clemente is launching next. In May in Chicago during the National Restaurant Association’s annual conclave he received Nation’s Restaurant News’ Trendsetter MenuMaster Award for Slapfish.

Now a provocatively tantalizing preview of Saturday’s fully-loaded show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a pretty good thing…

Sara Moulton was one of the first breakout stars of the then embryonic Food Network and is currently the host of Public Television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals.” Her newest cookbook is the ambitious, Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101: How to Make Everything Taste Better. We’re in the kitchen with Chef Sara.

Since 1994 Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria has been the standout Mexican restaurant in Pico Rivera. It recently underwent a major refreshening. In 2003, Chef Marco Zapien joined The Grill full-time as the Executive Chef and partnered with his father, Jess, to become co-owner. Chef Marco has elevated the cuisine and enhanced its popularity well beyond the borders of Pico Rivera. Chef Marco is our guest.

Chef Marlene Moore is the dynamic chef at the popular Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula. Earlier this year she successfully defended her title as Pechanga’s Chili Champ by, again, besting eight other talented Pechanga chefs in the 8th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Fest & Chili Cook-off. We’ll catch-up with the always on-the-move Chef Marlene and see what’s cooking for the Holidays.

They always do it B-I-G in Las Vegas. What’s accurately billed as the culinary event of the year, Ultimo – Le Grand Voyage, hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo, will take culinary extravagance to new levels, December 9th through the 11th. The highlight of the festivities will be the Grand Banquet with lead Chef Thomas Keller. Sebastien Silvestri, Vice President of Food & Beverage for The Venetian and The Palazzo is our guest with a tantalizing preview.

Chef Andrew Gruel thankfully rescued us from potential Thanksgiving kitchen disasters with reliable information from a real, working chef. Now it’s on to December Holiday entertaining and the stakes are equally high. Is the Boss and spouse perhaps coming over for a Holiday Party? Chef Andrew has more practical and inspired Holiday cooking tips aplenty…

Join us via the airwaves next week, December 3rd, as we a bit belatedly celebrate the 4th Anniversary of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” We’ll be live at SideDoor in Corona del Mar with a special brunch broadcast.

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

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Show 199, November 26, 2016: Sebastien Silvestri, Vice President, Food and Beverage, The Venetian / The Palazzo, Las Vegas

Ultimo A Weekend ExcellenceThey always do it B-I-G in Las Vegas. What’s billed as the culinary event of the year, Ultimo – Le Grand Voyage, hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo, will take culinary extravagance to new levels, December 9th through the 11th.

The highlight of the festivities will be the exclusive Grand Banquet with lead Chef Thomas Keller and a team of international culinary all-stars including Curtis Stone of Gwen (Hollywood) and Maude (Beverly Hills) fame. $2 million in Lalique crystal (flown in from France just for this dinner) will decorate the long table. Incredible premium wines will be paired with each course presented by the winemakers themselves. It’s also a benefit for the Ment’or BKB Foundation, the backers of Team USA at the upcoming biannual Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition in Lyon.

Ultimo – Le Grand Voyage is already at capacity for the 140 lucky guests. Check The Venetian’s website for the updates on Ultimo Weekend 2017.

Sebastien Silvestri, Vice President of Food & Beverage for The Venetian and The Palazzo is our guest with a tantalizing preview.

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November 26: Sara Moulton, Zapien’s Salsa Grill, Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga, Ultimo – Le Grand Voyage

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Sara Moulton of “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” and Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101
Segment Three: Chef / Proprietor Marco Zapien, Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria
Segment Four: Chef Marlene Moore, Temptations Food Walk, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Five: Sebastien Silvestri, Vice President, Food and Beverage, The Venetian / The Palazzo, Las Vegas
Segment Six: Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group – Holiday Entertaining

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend to all. No sorry leftovers here. Thanks for making us part of your Saturday.

Andrew and William GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Brea, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, most recently, The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for Rams and USC Football, is back as today’s Guest Host. San Clemente is launching next. In May in Chicago during the National Restaurant Association’s annual conclave he received Nation’s Restaurant News’ Trendsetter MenuMaster Award for Slapfish.

Now a provocatively tantalizing preview of Saturday’s fully-loaded show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a pretty good thing…

Sara Moulton was one of the first breakout stars of the then embryonic Food Network and is currently the host of Public Television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals.” Her newest cookbook is the ambitious, Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101: How to Make Everything Taste Better. We’re in the kitchen with Chef Sara.

Since 1994 Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria has been the standout Mexican restaurant in Pico Rivera. It recently underwent a major refreshening. In 2003, Chef Marco Zapien joined The Grill full-time as the Executive Chef and partnered with his father, Jess, to become co-owner. Chef Marco has elevated the cuisine and enhanced its popularity well beyond the borders of Pico Rivera. Chef Marco is our guest.

Chef Marlene Moore is the dynamic chef at the popular Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula. Earlier this year she successfully defended her title as Pechanga’s Chili Champ by, again, besting eight other talented Pechanga chefs in the 8th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Fest & Chili Cook-off. We’ll catch-up with the always on-the-move Chef Marlene and see what’s cooking.

They always do it B-I-G in Las Vegas. What’s billed as the culinary event of the year, Ultimo – Le Grand Voyage, hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo, will take culinary extravagance to new levels, December 9th through the 11th. The highlight of the festivities will be the Grand Banquet with lead Chef Thomas Keller. Sebastien Silvestri, Vice President of Food & Beverage for The Venetian and The Palazzo is our guest with a tantalizing preview.

Chef Andrew Gruel thankfully rescued us from potential Thanksgiving kitchen disasters with reliable information from a real, working chef. Now it’s on to December Holiday entertaining and the stakes are equally high. Is the Boss and spouse perhaps coming over for a Holiday Party ? Chef Andrew has more practical and inspired Holiday cooking tips aplenty…

Join us via the airwaves next week, December 3rd, as we a bit belatedly celebrate the 4th Anniversary of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” We’ll be live at SideDoor in Corona del Mar with a brunch broadcast.

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

Sara MoultonSara Moulton was one of the first breakout stars of the then embryonic Food Network and is currently the host of Public Television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals.” She is also the author of the Associated Press column “Kitchen Wise.”

Her newest cookbook is the ambitious, Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101: How to Make Everything Taste Better.

Not just a collection of wonderful recipes, HOME COOKING 101 is a teaching manual aimed at the home cook. The recipes will indeed make it easier to put dinner on the table on a weeknight, but, as Sara notes in her introduction, “more important is that each recipe specifically demonstrates a tip or method that can make you a better and more confident cook while also teaching you to make your dishes taste better.”

Accordingly, the book’s first chapter is a compact and handy rulebook entitled “The Ten Basics of Good Home Cooking.” It advises the home cook as follows:

  • Shake hands with your stove
  • Buy a good knife
  • Get organized
  • Follow the recipe exactly the first time you make it
  • Dispense with mise en place
  • Reach for the salt
  • Balance flavors
  • Build umami
  • Use all your senses
  • Don’t waste food

As for the recipes, there are 150 of them—all new and accompanied by photographs that illustrate, step-by-step, the book’s key techniques. The book also boasts guest recipes from a stellar cast of some of Sara’s favorite chefs and cookbook authors, including Rick Bayless, Amanda Cohen, Hiroko Shimbo, Jacques Torres, Marc Vetri, and Grace Young.

In sum, Sara writes, “The goal of this book is two-fold: to sharpen your sense of taste and to provide you with a raft of time-tested techniques that I hope will become second nature to you.”

We’re in the kitchen with Chef Sara.

Marco Zapien of Zapiens Salsa Grill and TaqueriaSince 1994 Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria has been the standout Mexican restaurant in Pico Rivera. It recently underwent a major refreshening.

In 2003, Chef Marco Zapien joined The Grill full-time as the Executive Chef and partnered with his father, Jess, to become co-owner. Chef Marco has elevated the cuisine and enhanced its popularity well beyond the borders of Pico Rivera.

Chef Marco has refined a unique style of cooking that incorporates two generations of his mother’s and father’s family recipes with the passionate creativity he has enhanced throughout his culinary career.

The Salsa Grill serves truly traditional Mexican food with items such as Lengua and Enchilades en Mole on the Chef’s Specialties menu, Camarones Mojo De Ajo and Tequila Fried Shrimp on its Seafood Specialty Menu, and fresh Menudo, Cocido and Pozole served daily.

They even make their own tortillas right there fresh throughout the day. This is the base of their tortilla chips, too. Can’t get any fresher than this!

Chef Marco is our guest.

Marlene Moore at the Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili CookoffChef Marlene Moore is the high-energy chef at the popular Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula. She is famous for the signature Pechanga Fried Chicken.

Earlier this year she successfully defended her title as Pechanga’s Chili Champ by, again, besting eight other talented Pechanga chefs in the 8th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Fest & Chili Cook-off which was a benefit for Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley.

Her winning chili creation is “Temptation” Hearty Southern Style Chili.

Chef Moore, originally from Trinidad and Tobago, retained her title despite stiff competition from Chef Ronnel Capacia of Kelsey’s, who serves southwestern chili in his appetizer selections for lunch and dinner every day. Now in its eighth year, 1,459 people came to enjoy craft and microbrews, chili and music at the 2016 Pechanga Microbrew Festival.

We’ll catch-up with the always on-the-move Chef Marlene.

Ultimo A Weekend ExcellenceThey always do it B-I-G in Las Vegas. What’s billed as the culinary event of the year, Ultimo – Le Grand Voyage, hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo, will take culinary extravagance to new levels, December 9th through the 11th.

The highlight of the festivities will be the exclusive Grand Banquet with lead Chef Thomas Keller and a team of international culinary all-stars including Curtis Stone of Gwen (Hollywood) and Maude (Beverly Hills) fame. $2 million in Lalique crystal (flown in from France just for this dinner) will decorate the long table. It’s also a benefit for the Ment’or BKB Foundation.

Sebastien Silvestri, Vice President of Food & Beverage for The Venetian and The Palazzo is our guest with a tantalizing preview.

Andrew and William GruelChef Andrew Gruel thankfully rescued us from potential Thanksgiving kitchen disasters with reliable information from a real, working chef.

Now it’s on to December Holiday entertaining and the stakes are equally high. Is the Boss and spouse perhaps coming over for a Holiday Party?

Chef Andrew has more practical and inspired Holiday cooking tips aplenty to share…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Sara Moulton of “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” and Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101
Segment Three: Chef / Proprietor Marco Zapien, Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria
Segment Four: Chef Marlene Moore, Temptations Food Walk, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Five: Sebastien Silvestri, Vice President, Food and Beverage, The Venetian / The Palazzo, Las Vegas
Segment Six: Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group – Holiday Entertaining

Show 151, December 19, 2015: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

The happiest of Happy Holidays to all of our listeners and we’re back live with a fresh show (that’s sure to please) on December 26th,

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

Ultimo A Weekend ExcellenceGuest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Executive Producer and Co-Host Andy Harris are in fabulous Las Vegas for the Team USA 2017 Selection for The Bocuse d’Or, the world’s most rigorous international culinary competition. This is all part of ULTIMO, a lavish weekend of culinary events at The Venetian and The Palazzo.

Team USA is guided and funded by the ment’or BKB Foundation that inspires excellence in young culinary professionals. The President is Thomas Keller (The French Laundry, Per Se, Bouchon and Bouchon Bakery.) The day-to-day operations of ment’or BKB are overseen by Young Yun, the Executive Director. Young is with us to profile the good works of ment’or BKB and explain what’s in store for the future.

Earlier in the year Chef Philip Tessier (ex-French Laundry) led Team USA to the Silver Trophy at the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon. This is the highest ranking ever for Team USA. For 2017 Chef Tessier is Head Coach for Team USA and was a judge this week for the Team USA 2017 National Selection. Chef Phil is our guest.

Meat Platter from Matthew Peters at the Team USA selection for the Bocuse d'OrIt was an intense competition to select Team USA 2017. It was a four hour and 35 minute marathon for each team. There was a separate judging panel for the fish dish and the meat platter. The Chef Jury members’ decision was for Chef Mathew Peters, Executive Sous Chef, Per Se, NYC. His commis is Harrison Turone. Chef Mathew will lead Team USA for 2017 and train intensively for the next year! Chef Mathew Peters joins us.

Chef James Kent led Team USA 2011 for the Bocuse d’Or. He’s a Competition Captain for Team USA 2017 and a member of the ment’or BKB Culinary Council. Chef Kent is the Executive Chef of the acclaimed NoMad in New York City. We’ll meet him.

Chef Andrew and Producer Andy have been doing some dining in Las Vegas. Chef Andrew shares some of his Strip favorites and Andy provides his views on two spots within The Venetian and Palazzo.

Memento Mori winery (Napa Valley) is one of the small, exclusive cult boutique producers showcased at Ultimo Weekend. Their 100 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon was poured at the Ultimo Grand Banquet. The Winery’s premium Cabernet grapes come from highly regarded vineyards in St. Helena and Oakville. Co-founder Adam Craun is our guest. As always there is an intriguing story here…

We’re broadcasting from Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo. The chef de cuisine here is Scott Pajak. We’ll visit with Chef Scott and learn why this isn’t you average sports bar and is actually a preferred destination for discerning Las Vegas locals as well as visitors.

Airing the show from Las Vegas at Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo requires the support of dozens of individuals. An extra special tip of the toque to The Venetian and The Palazzo (Sebastien Silvestri, Vice President, Food & Beverage and Claudine Grant, Public Relations Manager) and ment’or BKB Foundation (Young Yun, Executive Director and Jaimie Chew, Director of Communications & Events.)

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

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Show 151, December 19, 2015: Chef Philip Tessier, Head Coach, Team USA 2017, Hestan Culinary Director

Philip TessierAfter more than a decade in the kitchens of the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, Chef Philip Tessier led Team USA to a historic second-place finish at the Bocuse d’Or in the 2015 competition. The Bocuse d’Or is among the most demanding international cooking competitions, pitting chefs from twenty-four countries against one another in a marathon five and a half hour cooking challenge.

Chef Tessier will be the Head Coach for Team USA in 2017. Over the last several months Tessier has traveled around the country mentoring the four teams competing to represent the United States as Team USA 2017 in Lyon at the Bocuse d’Or.

Chef Tessier was also part of the distinguished judging panel of chefs on December 17th at the Venetian in Las Vegas to select Team USA 2017.

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