Show 229, June 24, 2017: Anne Marie Panoringan, OC Weekly’s “On the Line” Columnist

Anne Marie PanoringanWhat’s it like to experience a very special $310 per guest meal (and it’s a tough pre-paid reservation to even secure) at California’s celebrated The French Laundry in Yountville in the Napa Valley?  Chef’s daily nine-course tasting menu and nine-course vegetable tasting menu highlight French technique and the finest quality ingredients available.

There is also a magnificent new $10 million state-of-the-art kitchen where your repast is artfully prepared. If you ask politely you can also get a tour of it. Very few restaurant kitchens of its equal in the world. Impressive…

OC Weekly’s “On the Line” columnist, Anne Marie Panoringan was just there and provides the salivating commentary. It’s not her first meal at The French Laundry either…

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Show 211, February 18, 2017: Young Yun, Executive Director, ment’or BKB Foundation

We’ve been enthusiastically following Team USA’s progress (backed by the ment’or BKB Foundation) in the bi-annual Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition for the last five years. Late last month Team USA achieved the impossible – Gold in Lyon.

Young Yun“We knew the world was watching ever since Chef Philip Tessier made the podium for the first time in 2015, and expectations were very high for Team USA this year. Nine years ago, our Founding Chefs Boulud, Keller and Bocuse, made a promise to Monsieur Paul Bocuse that we would win Gold and we are so proud of this team for realizing his dream. They carried quite a weight on their shoulders and carried it with exemplary grace, strength, and leadership.” – Young Yun

Team USA’s primary backer and inspiration, ment’or BKB Foundation (represented by Executive Director Young Yun), joins us to savor this tremendous achievement for the culinary arts in the United States and also discuss the other programs ment’or sponsors and organizes to encourage young culinary talent and the Team USA competitors of the future.

Congratulations Team USA 2017!

Go Team USA 2019 !

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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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Show 197, November 12, 2016: Chef Vincenzo Loseto, The Nomad, Ment’or BKB Foundation’s 2016 Young Chef Competition Winner

Vincenso Loseto of Team USA at the BOcuse D'orThe Ment’or BKB Foundation (founded by Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and Jerome Bocuse) supports Team USA at the Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition and mentors up-and-coming culinary talent in the USA. Earlier this year Chef Vincenzo Loseto of The Nomad in New York won the prestigious honors as the 2016 Young Chef. He’s been on quite a ride since then. We’ll meet him.

Vincenzo’s winning presentation was Veal Tenderloin with Oyster Mushroom and Herb Mousseline. The judges included Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, Jerome Bocuse and Team USA 2015 alum, Chef Philip Tessier.

Since then Chef Vincenzo has staged at Noma in Copenhagen, one of the World’s most acclaimed restaurants. He was also just with Team USA in Lyon in advance of the 2017 Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition. Currently he’s assisting Team USA 2017 (Chef Mathew Peters and Commis Harrison Turone) in the intense training for the upcoming competition in the USA replica kitchen suite of the Bocuse d’Or in Yountville.

Chef Vincenzo will also preview the Bocuse d’Or 2017 Team USA VIP Experience. There is the extraordinary opportunity for discriminating food tourists to accompany Team USA to the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon with VIP status at every stop. Talk about the ultimate gift for a very special foodie…

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Show 186, August 27, 2016: Ron Mathews, Vice President, Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo

Western Foodservice ExpoThe largest annual gathering of foodservice executives, chefs and restaurateurs in the West is the 2016 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo on August 28th to 30th at the Los Angeles Convention Center. There will be over 8,000 attendees and 500 exhibitors. It’s for the trade, only.

It’s 3-days of menu trends, state of the art design and décor, and the best in business education.

Thomas Keller of the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group is receiving The Torch Award as part of the gathering.

Ron Mathews, Vice President of the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo joins us with a preview.

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Show 164, March 19, 2016: Chef de Cuisine David Hands & Katie Hagan-Whelchel, Executive Sous Chef, Bouchon Beverly Hills Part One

David HandsIn November 2009, Chef Thomas Keller returned to Southern California after almost 20 years to bring his renowned Bouchon Bistro cuisine from Yountville to the City of Beverly Hills. Chef Keller’s accomplished culinary team also has a sense of humor. Chef Keller’s casual restaurant in Yountville, Ad Hoc, is known for their fried chicken. By guest demand Monday nights at Bouchon Beverly Hills are now Ad Hoc Fried Chicken nights.

The restaurant, located just two blocks from the famed Rodeo Drive and situated adjacent to the beautiful Beverly Canon Gardens, offers guests both the grandeur of a soaring interior space designed by the award-winning firm of Adam D. Tihany or the tranquility of an urban oasis with its second floor terrace overlooking the gardens. Like Chef Keller’s earlier incarnations of classic French dining, Bouchon Bistro features a classic mosaic floor, a magnificent pewter bar, antique light fixtures and hand-painted murals by renowned French artist Paulin Paris throughout the restaurant.

Chef de Cuisine David Hands and Executive Sous Chef Katie Hagan-Whelchel (ex-Ad Hoc) join us for a look behind-the-scenes.

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Show 156, January 23, 2016: Executive Chef Timothy Hollingsworth, Partner, Otium, Downtown Los Angeles

Timothy HollingsworthShortly after leaving his post as Chef de Cuisine at The French Laundry in 2013, Chef Timothy Hollingsworth moved to Los Angeles and opened Barrel & Ashes in Studio City in 2014. It’s an updated take on traditional BBQ that pays homage to the food of Hollingsworth’s youth growing up in Texas.

Late last month he debuted his first solo project, Otium. Located on Grand Ave. adjacent to The Broad – L.A.’s New Contemporary Art Museum in the Historic Bunker Hill neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles, Otium strips away the formalities of fine dining while focusing on quality food and service. Chef Tim is our guest.

Chef Timothy Hollingsworth’s 13- year history in Napa Valley, blended with his present roots as an Angeleno living in downtown Los Angeles, sets the stage for an environment of sophisticated rusticity with highly eclectic, vibrant, and seasonal flavors.

While working at The French Laundry under Chef Thomas Keller in 2008, Hollingsworth competed in the Bocuse d’Or USA, where he was awarded the opportunity to represent the United States at the Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest—the biennial global cooking competition first envisioned in 1987 by revered French chef Paul Bocuse.

Hollingsworth subsequently completed a rigorous training process, during which he worked with some of the industry’s most influential figures. In early 2009, Hollingsworth traveled to Lyon, France to compete in the prestigious event, where he placed sixth out of 24 prominent chef teams from around the world.

In his current role and first solo project at Otium, he looks to be a mentor to the next generation of aspiring chefs. Hollingsworth has been awarded Rising Star Chef Award from The San Francisco Chronicle as well as the Rising Star Chef of the Year Award presented by the James Beard Foundation.

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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: Young Yun, Executive Director, ment’or BKB Foundation

Thomas Keller and Young Yun of the Ment'or BKB FoundationTeam 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.

Ment’or is a leading nonprofit organization devoted to INSPIRING CULINARY EXCELLENCE in young professionals and preserving the traditions and quality of cuisine in America.

The aim is to build a sustainable community of young American professionals that are knowledgeable and confident in their career pursuits and will be life-long ambassadors of quality and excellence in the world of gastronomy. The organization is dedicated to making the careers of serious young individuals more meaningful and successful by offering them unique educational opportunities, internships and access to a Culinary Council of established mentors.

Ment’or BKB’s programs and services are focused on:

  • Offering Grants as continuing educational opportunities for culinary professionals looking to expand their education and skill set
  • Identifying and promoting young chefs through the “Young Chef Competition Series”
  • Selecting and training the most promising young chefs to represent the Bocuse d’Or Team USA at the world’s most prestigious culinary competition

Since 2014, ment’or has awarded $400,000 in grants and $160,000 to young chef competitors. The Foundation funds these programs and services through donations, sponsorships and unique special events.

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Show 151, December 19, 2015: Chef Mathew Peters, Executive Sous Chef, Per Se, NY, Team USA 2017

Mathew PetersIt 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.

Meat Platter from Matthew Peters at the Team USA selection for the Bocuse d'OrChef Peters grew up in Meadville, Pennsylvania and began cooking as a teenager with his family. As a senior in high school, he was inspired to cook professionally after he was captivated by the “Great Chefs of the World” TV show.

After years of honing his skills at the Ritz-Carlton Naples (Florida) Chef Peters accepted his first job in New York City at Adour Alain Ducasse. He continued to work there until offered a position at Per Se in 2009.

Chef Peters worked his way up at Per Se from Commis to Chef de Partie, and eventually up to Sous Chef. Shortly after he became a Sous Chef at Per Se, Chef Keller offered him the opportunity to work as a Sous Chef at his flagship restaurant, The French Laundry. Her spent two years there, and was promoted back to Per Se as Executive Sous Chef in February 2012.

Fish Platter from Matthew Peters at the Team USA selection for the Bocuse d'OrAs Executive Sous Chef, Chef Peters oversees and manages the staff, runs service, and creates a new menu each day. His intense focus and attention to detail allows him to flourish in such a notable 3 Michelin star kitchen, inspiring younger cooks to do just the same.

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