Show 247, November 11, 2017: Travel Journalist Robyn Eckhardt, Istanbul and Beyond: Exploring Turkey’s Diverse Cuisines Part One

Robyn EckhardtFood and travel journalist Robyn Eckhardt brings dishes from Istanbul and eastern Turkey to the home cook in ISTANBUL AND BEYOND: EXPLORING TURKEY’S DIVERSE CUISINES. With over 125 recipes, stories about places, people and ingredients, and lush on-location photography, ISTANBUL AND BEYOND takes readers on an unforgettable culinary journey from Turkey’s cosmopolitan cultural capital to its lesser known eastern regions.

The culmination of Eckhardt and photographer David Hagerman‘s (Robyn’s husband) two-decade-long passion for Turkey, its people and its food, and the result of over sixteen months of research in Istanbul and eastern Turkey, ISTANBUL AND BEYOND takes readers beyond kebab, doner, and baklava to introduce the dishes of Turkey’s distinct regional cuisines. From the Mediterranean province of Hatay to the Black Sea, and from north-central Anatolia to provinces bordering Georgia, Armenia, Iran and Iraq, Eckhardt has assembled a broad collection of dishes – many of which will be new even to those familiar with Turkish food – that are sure to entice readers into the kitchen.

Robyn Eckhardt is an American food and travel journalist specializing in Asia, Turkey and Europe. Her words and recipes have appeared in the New York Times, Saveur, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Food & Wine, Travel+Leisure and other publications. She is co-publisher, with photographer David Hagerman, of the award-winning food blog EatingAsia. After 20 years in Asia she recently moved to Piemonte, Italy, where she lives with her husband, photographer David Hagerman, and a small menagerie of cats and dogs.

Food and travel journalist Robyn Eckhardt is our guest.

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Show 187, September 3, 2016: Linda Kissam, President, International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association

Linda KissamSo you want to be a travel writer…? If you can express yourself well then what are the needed prerequisites and how do you potentially make it happen?

Travel Journalist and President of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA), Linda Kissam, joins us to provide the straightforward basics.

The International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) is a global network of professional journalists who cover the hospitality and lifestyle fields, and the people who promote them.

The International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association’s (IFWTWA) Annual Conference is coming up October 30th through November 3rd at The Loews Coronado Bay Resort in Coronado.

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Show 104, January 3, 2015: Food and Travel Journalist, Steve Bramucci

Steve BramucciSteve Bramucci is a freelance food and travel writer based in Laguna Beach. For what was the final issue of OC Register Magazine (November 6, 2014) he researched and wrote the provocative piece, “The 20-Mile Meal,” the cover story. This was also picked up by Coast Magazine.

“With the help of The Haven Collective’s (Haven Gastropub and Provisions Market) Executive Chef Greg Daniels, writer Steve Bramucci tests the limits of the “Eat Local” concept by sourcing a multicourse dinner from within 20 miles of his Laguna Beach apartment.” With incredible resourcefulness (read the piece) Steve and Chef Greg were able to source everything locally with the exception of a bit of olive oil! (That was California olive oil used by the way so they were very close…)

With a little navigating the article can be found within the Orange County Register’s Website. On the Home Page of The Register’s Web site click on the “Magazines” tab in the top right corner. Once you’re there click on Coast.” On this subpage you’ll see the cover for the OC Register Magazine with the 20-Mile Meal cover.

Steve Bramucci takes us through that journey.

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Show 79, July 12, 2014: Show 79, July 12, 2014: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show

Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Open Sesame, serving authentic Lebanese food since 1999, is an incredible success story. They have recently opened a new location in Los Angeles just East of CBS Television City.

Our inside “Man in Las Vegas,” Brock Radke, is back with us with a report on a handful of recent major restaurant openings on The Strip. Brock is the Food Editor for Las Vegas Weekly.

The Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, returns with a commentary on a San Diego restaurant favorite (Rakiraki.) She also shares her experience of being a guest judge on Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen.”

Seth Makowsky of the Makowsky Restaurant Group recently relocated to Los Angeles from Orlando. He specializes in restructuring, advancing and creating restaurant companies.

Food and travel journalist Roger Paige is also known as The Focused Traveler. His day job is as Administrative Director of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. Roger reports on some of his recent road adventures including a visit to the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, TN.

Our own Jet Tila has just launched his YouTube Channel, “Jet Fuel.” He has a preview of what to expect.

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

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Show 79, July 12, 2014: Roger Paige, The Focused Traveler & Administrative Director of IFWTWA

Roger Paige of the Focused TravelerFood and travel journalist Roger Paige is also known as The Focused Traveler. His day job is as Administrative Director of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association.

Roger reports on some of his recent road adventures including a visit to the historic Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, TN. Jack Daniels was a real person and quite a character in his day! Be cautioned that this is anything but the expected tourist trap.

Roger also profiles the iconic Midpoint Café (previously known as the Adrian Café) in Adrian, Texas. It’s at the midpoint between Santa Monica & Chicago on the historic Route 66. It served as the inspiration for Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Radiator Springs in Pixar’s “Cars.” All the food is scratch cooking including their signature ugly crust pies…

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July 12: Open Sesame, Brock Radke, Mad Hungry Woman, Seth Makowsky, Roger Paige

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame Part One
Segment Three: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame Part Two
Segment Four: Brock Radke, Food Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Five: Anita Lau, The Mad Hungry Woman blogger
Segment Six: Seth Makowsky, Makowsky Restaurant Group
Segment Seven: Roger Paige, The Focused Traveler & Administrative Director of IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila and the “JetFuel” Channel on YouTube

Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Open Sesame, serving authentic Lebanese food since 1999, is an incredible success story. They have recently opened a new location in Los Angeles just East of CBS Television City.

Our inside “Man in Las Vegas,” Brock Radke, is back with us with a report on a handful of recent major restaurant openings on The Strip. Brock is the Food Editor for Las Vegas Weekly.

The Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, returns with a commentary on a San Diego restaurant favorite (Rakiraki.) She also shares her experience of being a guest judge on Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen.”

Seth Makowsky of the Makowsky Restaurant Group recently relocated to Los Angeles from Orlando. He specializes in restructuring, advancing and creating restaurant companies.

Food and travel journalist Roger Paige is also known as The Focused Traveler. His day job is as Administrative Director of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. Roger reports on some of his recent road adventures including a visit to the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, TN.

Our own Jet Tila has just launched his You Tube Channel, “Jet Fuel.” He has a preview of what to expect.

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

Open Sesame GrillOpen Sesame, a contemporary Lebanese restaurant serving authentic cuisine, recently opened its doors at 7458 Beverly Blvd. in the space that was the original Hatfield’s. The original Open Sesame launched in Belmont Shore in 1999 and has expanded three times in that location since then. There are still waits at lunch. It’s a true destination.

The restaurant offers an extensive menu, including Lunch Specials Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m., to 4:00 p.m. There are Weekend Specials on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The scratch kitchen features an array of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes along with beef, lamb and chicken specialties. Beverly Blvd. has a full bar.

Founder and Owner Ali Koblessi is our guest,

Ali Kobeissi of Open Sesame GrillFrom Proprietor Ali Kobeissi

“We’re fanatical about our scratch kitchen and the foods and flavors we produce. Food fills our thoughts between meals. We spend our free time studying the nutritional value of our authentic recipes handed down from our ancient forefathers. We combine spices and herbs, hone our knife skills, dissect wines and spirits, and prepare ourselves for the next time you sit at our table.

For the last 15 years our customers’ word of mouth has been our best advertising.”

The Beverly Blvd. location has a full bar.

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyOur inside “Man in Las Vegas,” Brock Radke, is back with us with a report on a handful of recent major restaurant openings on The Strip. Brock is the Food Editor for Las Vegas Weekly.

Brock weighs-in on DB Brasserie at The Venetian, Yusho at the Monte Carlo, and Giada at The Cromwell. He’s also excited about the opening of Mercadito, a popular Mexican restaurant from Chicago known for their variations of street tacos located off The Strip at the Red Rock Resort.

Anita Lau of Diary of a Mad Hungry WomanThe Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, returns with a profile of a San Diego restaurant favorite, Rakiraki. “If I had to sum this eatery up in a sentence, it would be “love at first bite.”

“There is no doubt this is my favorite ramen spot in Southern California.”

Anita also shares her experience of being a guest judge on Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen.” The episode aired June 19th. She is an unabashed Gordon Ramsay fan.

Seth Makowsky of Makowsky Restaurant GroupSeth Makowsky of the Makowsky Restaurant Group recently relocated to Los Angeles from Orlando. He specializes in restructuring, advancing and creating restaurant companies.

He is also a member of The Culinary Council for three square food bank in Las Vegas.

Along the way he’s been mentored by Robert Earl (Earl of Sandwich and Planet Hollywood) and Andrew Cherng (Panda Express with some 2,000 units.) He started his hospitality career with Coca-Cola in Atlanta and then moved on to Orlando.

Seth shares some valuable insights on what he does for multiple-unit restaurants.

Roger Paige of the Focused TravelerFood and travel journalist Roger Paige is also known as The Focused Traveler. His day job is as Administrative Director of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association.

Roger reports on some of his recent road adventures including a visit to the historic Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, TN. Be cautioned that this is anything but the expected tourist trap.

Roger also profiles the iconic Midpoint Café (previously known as the Adrian Café) in Adrian, Texas. It’s at the midpoint between Santa Monica & Chicago on the historic Route 66. It served as the inspiration for Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Radiator Springs in Pixar’s “Cars.” All the food is scratch cooking…

Jet Fuel with Chef Jet TIlaOur own Chef Jet Tila has launched his YouTube Channel, “JetFuel.” There is a new video posted each Thursday for your viewing pleasure.

It’s the intriguing world of food from the inside out.

There are recipes, food tips, and engaging celebrity chef interviews. It’s all editorial content.

This week is Jet’s recipe for an incredibly delicious potato salad with bacon and egg. It uses no mayo so it’s a bit lighter than the usual mayonnaise-laden version. The secret is the creamy baby Dutch yellow potatoes.

Go to youtube.com and search for “Jet Tila.” You can also subscribe to the JetFuel YouTube Channel.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame Part One
Segment Three: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame Part Two
Segment Four: Brock Radke, Food Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Five: Anita Lau, The Mad Hungry Woman blogger
Segment Six: Seth Makowsky, Makowsky Restaurant Group
Segment Seven: Roger Paige, The Focused Traveler & Administrative Director of IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila and the “JetFuel” Channel on YouTube

June 21: Linda Kissam, Chianina Steakhouse, Back Forty Beer Co, Irvine Greek Fest

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show
Segment Two: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part One
Segment Three: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part Two
Segment Four: Alejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part One
Segment Five: EAlejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part One
Segment Seven: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part Two
Segment Eight: Restaurateur George Kookootsedes, 36th Annual Greek Festival, St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church, Irvine

Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show.

How do you conduct a serious educational wine tasting (that’s also fun) with a group? Wine, food and travel writer Linda Kissam is with us to explain.

Quality Italian beef, pasta, and sustainable seafood are on the menu at the new Chianina Steakhouse in the Naples area of Long Beach. This is from the hospitality team known for Michael’s on Naples. Linda Kissam recently experienced a dinner there.

The craft beer movement, surprisingly, is vibrant and thriving in Alabama. Back Forty Beer Co. is the largest, and oldest, packaging brewery in the State.

The 36th Annual Greek Festival brings a “Taste of Greece” to Orange County at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church from June 27th to 29th. More than 11,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival which will feature traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, and authentic Greek dancing with lessons. It’s a family-friendly affair!

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

Linda KissamHow do you conduct a serious, educational wine tasting with a group that’s also entertaining and fun? Wine, food and travel writer Linda Kissam is with us to explain. She organizes tastings all the time…

She expertly demonstrated this recently for a group of professional food, wine, and travel journalists at the annual conference of the International, Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association in Montgomery, AL.

It was an organized tasting of five Italian Sparking Wines.

It’s fun but there is a proper way of doing this.

She also explains what the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association does and what their mission is. Linda serves as their First Vice President.

Chianina SteakhouseHigh-end steakhouses with a serious bar and deep wine lists are very much in fashion these days.

How about an elegant steakhouse that serves limited availability, high-quality Italian beef, prime steaks, and sustainable seafood? There is also a well-regarded executive chef (David Coleman) overseeing things. We’ll be meeting the General Manager of Chianina Steakhouse in the Naples neighborhood of Long Beach, part of the ever expanding Michael’s Restaurant Group. We’re joined by Alejandro Duran of Chianina.

Chianina beef will soon be on their menu.

Jason WilsonFounded in 2009 by Jason Wilson, Back Forty Beer Co. is one of the oldest Alabama breweries and the first to distribute outside of the state. Back Forty beers are available statewide in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. The brewery is located in Historic Downtown Gadsden, Alabama.

“In 2008, after several years in the corporate world and with over 150 brewery tours under his belt, founder Jason Wilson reached out to renowned Brewmaster Jamie Ray and asked for his help in developing recipes for Back Forty Beer Co.

The goal for the liquid was simple – to expose Southerners to the same craft beer culture that Wilson had been part of for the last ten years. This meant starting out with classic beer styles and evolving with customers along the way. Jamie agreed and in January of 2009 he became Back Forty’s first employee.

In June of 2009, Back Forty released its first offering, Naked Pig Pale Ale. The beer was only available in the North-Central Alabama home market, but the response was overwhelming. In March of 2010 the second Back Forty offering hit the shelves, Truck Stop Honey Brown Ale. Later that year Truck Stop Honey was awarded a Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival, and in the weeks following, distribution offers poured in that allowed Back Forty to expand its coverage throughout Alabama.

Jason revealed the great news that it looks like Back Forty Beer Co.’s styles will be available in Southern California by year’s end. We’ll keep you posted…

irvine-greek-festThe 36th Annual Greek Festival brings a “Taste of Greece” to Orange County at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church from June 27th to 29th. More than 11,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival which will feature traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, and authentic Greek dancing with lessons. It’s a family-friendly affair!

Legendary OC Restaurateur Mr. K (George Kookootsedes)
(John Dominis) is our guest…As a dedicated volunteer he puts the incredible food program together each year.

As guest host Linda Kissam notes , “It’s the next best thing to flying to Greece.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show
Segment Two: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part One
Segment Three: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part Two
Segment Four: Alejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part One
Segment Five: EAlejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part One
Segment Seven: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part Two
Segment Eight: Restaurateur George Kookootsedes, 36th Annual Greek Festival, St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church, Irvine

Show 72, May 17, 2014: Mark Dunton, Proprietor, District Wine, Long Beach

Seasoned travel journalist and wine and food writer Linda Kissam knows what makes for a good wine bar…

Angela and Mark Dutton of District WineWhat makes a great wine bar? Before I put my dollars down, I like to look inside and make sure there are really plenty of interesting bottles of wine that appear to be available by the glass and small plates of food that complement the wine promising a special evening. A good wine bar isn’t just a bar with some wine. It specializes in wine. I like a place where the owner takes a real interest in making my wine time a memorable experience.”

District Wine in Downtown Long Beach is such an establishment. They just celebrated their 4th anniversary. Angela & Mark Dunton are the welcoming proprietors.

As Linda confidently observes, “These guys know their stuff.”

Eighty per cent of their carefully chosen selections are limited production boutique wines that you won’t find at most high volume wine merchants.

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May 17: Old Vine Café, Truck U Barbecue, Ruth Reichl, Sheerwater, Deborah Schneider, District Wine, Kedric Francis

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Owner / Chef Mark McDonald, Old Vine Café, The Camp in Costa Mesa
Segment Three: Chef Mike Minor of the Truck-U Barbeque rolling grill, Las Vegas
Segment Four: Ruth Reichl, New York Times bestselling author and long-time Editor of Gourmet Magazine
Segment Five: Charles “Chuck” Watson, Chef de Cuisine, Sheerwater, Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, CA
Segment Six: Executive Chef Deborah Schneider, Partner, SOL Cocina, solita and cookbook author
Segment Seven: Mark Dunton, Proprietor, District Wine, Long Beach
Segment Eight: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, The Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Orange County Magazine

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

The Old Vine Café, now in its 6th year, is a real crowd-pleaser at The Camp in Costa Mesa. Owner/Chef Mark McDonald gives us the background.

When we last visited Las Vegas Chef Mike Minor (ex-Executive Chef at Border Grill) he was just about to launch his TruckU Barbeque there. Now that his rolling grill is on the road and serving guests we’ll get the saucy update…

After you’ve been the esteemed and high-profile editor of Gourmet Magazine and, prior to that, the powerful & influential restaurant critic of The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times what’s next? In the case of our guest, Ruth Reichl, you pen your first novel.

The Hotel Del Coronado is California’s premier, classic beachfront hotel dating back to 1888. It represents the pinnacle of luxury from another age. One of their casual restaurants, with an incredible ocean view, is Sheerwater. We’ll meet the chef.

Executive Chef Deborah Schneider of SOL Cocina and solita Tacos & Margaritas in Huntington Beach is a well-traveled authority on the foods of Baja. Her first cookbook Baja! Cooking on the Edge is now out in a 2nd edition.

What’s special about District Wine in Downtown Long Beach? Meet the personable proprietors Mark and Angela Dunton and you’ll know.

Our debonair, roving food and travel correspondent based in the OC, Kedric Francis, checks-in. He’s the Executive Editor of both The Orange County Register Magazine and Coast Orange County Magazine. He’s updating us on the new food market halls arriving in the OC.

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

Mark McDonald of the Old Vine CafeSome six years ago owner/chef Mark McDonald opened the Old Vine Café hidden in The Camp in Costa Mesa. Unusually for a fine-dining establishment he serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Chef Mark also has a serious wine program with a fun, educational component.

It’s top quality cuisine and wine in a non-pretentious, casual atmosphere. Mark did a lot of cooking in Southern Italy and that’s reflected on the seasonally changing menu.

Chef Mark really wants his guests to enjoy, and sample, new wines. His “6 for $60” wine program encourages this.

He also leads annual escorted tours to Italy in association with The Italian Culinary Institute. His next “Splendors of South Italy” tour (Calabria and Sicily) is set for March 20 to 29, 2015.

Mike Minor of Truck U Barbecue in Las VegasWhen we last visited Las Vegas Chef Mike Minor (ex-Executive Chef at Border Grill) he was just about to launch his Truck-U Barbeque there. Now that the rolling grill is on the road and serving guests we’ll get the meaty update…

The truck itself was designed by HGTV star Luca Paganico.

Chef Mike calls it “meat candy on wheels.” It’s “urban hipster” barbecue. The food is Mexican with a Southern twist.

Look for the Short Rib Enchiladas and the Chipotle Fried Chicken. How about Maple Bacon Churros…???

Ruth ReichlAfter you’ve been the esteemed editor of Gourmet Magazine and, prior to that, the powerful & influential restaurant critic of The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times what’s next? In the case of our guest, Ruth Reichl, you pen your first novel. It’s Delicious! – A Novel.

“Ruth Reichl is a born storyteller. Through her restaurant reviews, where she celebrated the pleasures of a well-made meal, and her bestselling memoirs that address our universal feelings of love and loss, Reichl has achieved a special place in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of readers. Now, with this magical debut novel, she has created a sumptuous, wholly realized world that will enchant you.

Billie Breslin has traveled far from her home in California to take a job at Delicious!, New York’s most iconic food magazine. Away from her family, particularly her older sister, Genie, Billie feels like a fish out of water—until she is welcomed by the magazine’s colorful staff. She is also seduced by the vibrant downtown food scene, especially by Fontanari’s, the famous Italian food shop where she works on weekends. Then Delicious! is abruptly shut down, but Billie agrees to stay on in the empty office, maintaining the hotline for reader complaints in order to pay her bills.

To Billie’s surprise, the lonely job becomes the portal to a miraculous discovery. In a hidden room in the magazine’s library, Billie finds a cache of letters written during World War II by Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, to the legendary chef James Beard. Lulu’s letters provide Billie with a richer understanding of history, and a feeling of deep connection to the young writer whose courage in the face of hardship inspires Billie to comes to terms with her fears, her big sister and her ability to open her heart to love.”

Sheerwater Restaurant at the Hotel Del CoronadoThe Hotel Del Coronado is California’s premier, classic beachfront hotel dating back to 1888. It represents the pinnacle of luxury from another age.

One of their casual restaurants, with an incredible ocean view, is Sheerwater. The Chef de Cuisine there is Charles “Chuck” Watson.

They pride themselves on using fresh, local, sustainable seafood where possible. Think Mexican prawns and Baja scallops for starters.

All of the fish trimmings at this high volume establishment contribute to the house-specialty cioppino.

Chef Chuck is the culinary liaison at the Del for 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, 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.

Deborah SchneiderChef Deborah Schneider brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her role as Executive Chef and Partner of Mexican restaurants SOL Cocina (Newport Beach & Scottsdale, AZ) and solita (Huntington Beach & soon Valencia) Schneider draws upon her rich culinary background and more than 25 years of professional cooking experience to bring the superb tastes and relaxing beach vibe of the Baja Peninsula.

Schneider’s passion for Baja was stoked by countless surf trips down the Peninsula. There, at small street stands and on pristine beaches, she discovered flavorful, healthy cuisine, rich with fresh seafood and inventive preparations that are at the heart of her restaurants.

Chef Deb has just released a second edition of her critically acclaimed first cookbook, Baja! Cooking on the Edge. It features a mixture of authentic recipes and Chef Deb’s own Baja-inspired dishes. This is the book that drew Chef Deb’s (now) restaurant partners to her for the SOL Cocina project.

Baja! features more than 150 easy-to-follow recipes, peppered with fantastic stories and images that are as vibrant in color as the dishes are in flavor. Chef Deb explores these different cultural influences of Baja street food – everything from the classic Fish Tacos and Seafood Cocktels, to a wide range of inspired meat-based tacos – chicken, pork, chorizo – and fresh salsas. The uniquely Baja recipes featured includes delights like Clams in Tequila Butter, One-Pan Paella, Garlic Cilantro Steak and Chocolate-Jalapeno Truffles.

Seasoned travel journalist and wine and food writer Linda Kissam knows what makes for a good wine bar…

Angela and Mark Dutton of District WineWhat makes a great wine bar? Before I put my dollars down, I like to look inside and make sure there are really plenty of interesting bottles of wine that appear to be available by the glass and small plates of food that complement the wine promising a special evening. A good wine bar isn’t just a bar with some wine. It specializes in wine. I like a place where the owner takes a real interest in making my wine time a memorable experience.”

District Wine in Downtown Long Beach is such an establishment. They just celebrated their 4th anniversary. Angela & Mark Dunton are the welcoming proprietors.

As Linda confidently observes, “These guys know their stuff.”

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineOur always debonair, roving food and travel correspondent in the OC, Kedric Francis, checks-in. He’s the Executive Editor of both The Orange County Register Magazine and Coast Orange County Magazine. He’s updating us on the new food market halls arriving in the OC.

Kedric will update us on the progress of the soon-to-be 4th Street Market in Downtown Santa Ana and The Anaheim Packing District. (That includes The Packard Showroom, Farmers Park, and Packing House.)

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Owner / Chef Mark McDonald, Old Vine Café, The Camp in Costa Mesa
Segment Three: Chef Mike Minor of the Truck-U Barbeque rolling grill, Las Vegas
Segment Four: Ruth Reichl, New York Times bestselling author and long-time Editor of Gourmet Magazine
Segment Five: Charles “Chuck” Watson, Chef de Cuisine, Sheerwater, Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, CA
Segment Six: Executive Chef Deborah Schneider, Partner, SOL Cocina, solita and cookbook author
Segment Seven: Mark Dunton, Proprietor, District Wine, Long Beach
Segment Eight: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, The Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Orange County Magazine

Show 60, February 8, 2013: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Valentine’s Day is next week so get moving and don’t panic. It falls on a Friday this year. Friday is an especially tough day for restaurants due to Valentine’s Day anxiety so if you want to be a bit more relaxed make your plans for Saturday or Sunday instead. Still the Valentine’s Day orbit but a bit less crazed for the restaurant. You’ll definitely have better service…

Chef jet Tila and Alton BrownFood Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” with host Alton Brown is back on Sunday nights for Season 2. Our own Chef Jet Tila is the most frequently appearing solo judge on this tough competition show that requires strategy as well as cooking chops. Look for Jet’s new episodes starting in February.

It’s the Winter Olympics in Sochi and a classic Newport Beach restaurant is serving a special Olympics-themed menu for the duration. We’ll go inside the menu with the creative executive chef. Caroline Styne is the partner and Wine Director (with Chef Suzanne Goin) in Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern in West Hollywood and Los Angeles. We’ll talk with her and get insight on how you keep a firmly established and growing restaurant group fresh for the dining public. We’ll also hear the story of Slapfish which started as a modest food truck and now is a growing international empire. Did you know there is an emerging wine region in Northern Baja? You’ll learn about a promising winery in the Guadalupe Valley founded by Italians. Brad A. Johnson, the restaurant critic for The Orange County Register, joins us to talk about letter grades for restaurants. We’ll also have a visit with travel journalist Linda Kissam, who was recently in Spain touring the wineries representing the 50 best Cavas produced there.

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

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