Show 215, March 18, 2017: Celebrity Chef Vikram Vij, Vij’s, Vancouver, B.C.

VIkram VijWhen it comes to star chefs and high-profile Food TV personalities in Canada the top of the class is surely Vancouver’s Chef Vikram Vij. He has introduced the joy of Indian flavors to tens of thousands of fortunate Canadians since he debuted the original (no-reservations) 14-seat Vij’s in 1994. The incredibly popular restaurant has since relocated and expanded to 85-seats plus a bar / lounge area.

The no reservations system is designed to be fair to all. Everyone is a VIP and if you get there at the evening opening the line to be seated moves quickly. Once seated the servers offer chai and complimentary appetizers as a welcome to set the stage for the evening’s pleasures. Nice touch…

In December 1994 Vikram married Meeru, who then joined him at the restaurant. “Our cuisine has stood out from others in that we do not serve what is typically expected from an India restaurant. We prefer to stay away from the tandoor oven since it’s already being used in so many other restaurants. Our philosophy behind the food has always been to keep our spices and cooking techniques Indian – from all regions of India – while using meats, seafood and produce that are locally available. To this effect, we change our menu seasonally.”

Last December 10th in Las Vegas Chef Vikram was one of the high-profile celebrity chefs (along with Thomas Keller, Ming Tsai and Curtis Stone) presenting a standout course at The Venetian’s & Palazzo’s annual Ultimo: A Weekend of Excellence. (The “SoCal Restaurant Show” was there observing in the kitchen.) Chef Vij’s dish for Ultimo’s Grand Banquet (a super luxe extravagance) was Marinated Lamb Popsicles with Fenugreek Cream Curry. (The complex sauce slowly simmered for five hours.) The recipe was published in the December 5th issue of Parade Magazine Daily.

We’ll meet the incredible Chef Vikram

 

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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 150, December 12, 2015: Chef Richard Rosendale, Bocuse d’Or Team USA 2013

Richard Rosendale of the Greenbrier Resort in Sulphur Springs West VirginiaThey always do it B-I-G in Las Vegas. What’s billed as the culinary event of the year, Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence, hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo, will take culinary extravagance to new levels, December 17th through the 20th. The highlight of the festivities will be the competition to select Team USA representing the United States in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or international cooking competition in Lyon, France in early 2017.

This is the Olympics of the culinary arts. Chef Richard Rosendale (Richard Rosendale Collective) is our guest. He is on the Chef Jury on Dec. 17th in Las Vegas and led Team USA at the Bocuse d’Or in 2013.

The Team USA 2017 finalist chefs are Gerald Ford, Executive Sous Chef, Westchester County Country Club, NY; Brian Lockwood, Chef de Cuisine, The NoMad, NY; Angus McIntosh, Sous Chef, The Broadmoor, CO; and Mathew Peters, Executive Sous Chef, Per Se, NY.

This competition event, modeled after the world famous Bocuse d’Or, concludes with an esteemed chef panel who judge each of the four candidates’ presentations. Guests will be treated to a spectacular display of culinary skill and artistry during the intense 4 hour and 35 minute competition. Each candidate prepares a stunning meat platter showcasing Kurobuta Pork provided by Snake River Farms and a fish dish featuring the Norwegian Seafood Council’s Fjord Trout.

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Show 149, December 5, 2015: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

We’re really in the Holiday spirit on the “SoCal Restaurant Show” this week with intriguing libations and equal measures of Holiday cheer. Settle back and join us for two hours of the very best in food conversation.

Now an appetizing preview of Saturday’s high-energy and appropriately loaded show and not, with apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

It was only a matter of time…! Our friends at West Coast Prime Meats have published the perfect cookbook for the Holidays : West Coast Prime Meats Cooks – Professional Recipes for the Home Kitchen. The volume includes enticing kitchen tested recipes for BIG meat, Poultry and Seafood from the best chefs in Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii. In the spirit of the Holidays the proceeds benefit two important Veterans’ charities. Authors Craig and Amy Nickoloff join us.

The Museum of the America Cocktail is shaking it up once again with their provocative December 15th evening at Faith & Flower in Downtown Los Angeles. The program is “Oh, James! Imbibing 007.” From aphrodisiacs to villain concoctions, free-flowing alcohol abounds in the James Bond books and movies. Food historian Linda Civitello (our guest) guides us on the path to getting our Bond on.

They always do it B-I-G in Las Vegas. What’s billed as the culinary event of the year, Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence, hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo, will take culinary extravagance to new levels, December 17th through the 20th. The highlight of the festivities will be the competition to select Team USA representing the United States in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or international cooking competition in Lyon, France in early 2017. This is the Olympics of the culinary arts. Sebastien Silvestri, Vice President of Food & Beverage for The Venetian and The Palazzo is our guest.

The Five Crowns in Corona del Mar (part of the Lawry’s group of restaurants) is celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year. In the grand English tradition fine, classic cocktails have been a hallmark in their rich history. A “Mad Bar Scientist” (Amber Billiard) is now creating the cocktails. Amber joins us to share some spirited Holiday cocktails.

What’s the dining out scene like in Old Havana and Cuba? Do locals eat in restaurants? Our next guest, Tori Klein, the Director of University of Nevada Las Vegas’s (UNLV) Foundation Events was just there. We’ll get an informed perspective from someone who really knows the restaurant business. It’s, unfortunately, a lot more primitive in Cuba than you know but the long-suffering Cuban people are remarkably resilient.

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

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Show 149, December 5, 2015: Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence, 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 – A Weekend of Excellence, hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo, will take culinary extravagance to new levels, December 17th through the 20th.

The highlight of the festivities will be the competition to select Team USA representing the United States in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or international cooking competition in Lyon, France in early 2017. This is the Olympics of the culinary arts. For the first time ever Team USA (Chef Philip Tessier and Commis Skyler Stover) was awarded the Silver Medal at the Bocuse d’Or this year. Chef Tessier will be part of Ultimo Weekend.

For the third year in a row, Ultimo will celebrate the romance of Italy with lavish feasts and exceptional experiences from an A-team of award-winning chefs as it unfolds around The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas. Renowned culinary luminaries participating in the weekend will include Chefs Jérôme Bocuse, Daniel Boulud, Josiah Citrin, Shaun Hergatt, Gavin Kaysen, Thomas Keller, James Kent, Roland Passot, Philip Tessier, Ming Tsai, Richard Rosendale, and Dario Cecchini, the famed Chianti “Butcher of Panzano.”

“This will be, without a doubt, the most spectacular gathering of world-renowned chefs in Las Vegas,” said Sebastien Silvestri, vice president of food & beverage for The Venetian and The Palazzo.  “For the culinary enthusiast, this will be a weekend to remember.”

This exceptional winter weekend will feature the return of The Venetian’s Grand Banquet, a landmark collaboration between several of the world’s best culinarians including Chefs Keller, Tessier, Hergatt and Tsai.

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

 

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December 5: West Coast Prime Meats, Linda Civitello, Sebastien Silvestri, Five Crowns, Tori Klein

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: West Coast Prime Meats Cooks – Professional Recipes For The Home Kitchen Part One
Segment Three: West Coast Prime Meats Cooks – Professional Recipes For The Home Kitchen Part Two
Segment Four: MOTAC’s “Oh James! Imbibing 007”
Segment Five: Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence, Las Vegas
Segment Six: “Mad Bar Scientist Amber” at Five Crowns and SideDoor, Corona del Mar
Segment Seven: Dining in Cuba, Tori Klein, Director UNLV Foundation Events Part One
Segment Eight: Dining in Cuba, Tori Klein, Director UNLV Foundation Events Part Two

We’re really in the Holiday spirit on the “SoCal Restaurant Show” this week with intriguing libations and lots more Holiday cheer. Settle back, relax and join us for two hours of the very best in food conversation.

Now an appetizing preview of Saturday’s high-energy and appropriately loaded show and not, with apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

It was only a matter of time…! Our friends at West Coast Prime Meats have published the perfect cookbook for the Holidays : West Coast Prime Meats Cooks: Professional Recipes for the Home Kitchen. The volume includes enticing kitchen tested recipes for BIG meat, Poultry and Seafood from the best chefs in Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii. In the spirit of the Holidays the proceeds benefit two important Veterans’ charities. Authors Craig and Amy Nickoloff join us.

The Museum of the America Cocktail is uncorking it once again with their provocative December 15th evening at Faith & Flower in Downtown Los Angeles. The program is “Oh, James! Imbibing 007.” From aphrodisiacs to villain concoctions, free-flowing alcohol abounds in the James Bond books and movies. Food historian Linda Civitello (our guest) guides us on the path to getting our Bond on.

They always do it B-I-G in Las Vegas. What’s billed as the culinary event of the year, Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence, hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo, will take culinary extravagance to new levels, December 17th through the 20th. The highlight of the festivities will be the competition to select Team USA representing the United States in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or international cooking competition in Lyon, France in early 2017. This is the Olympics of the culinary arts on the world stage. Sebastien Silvestri, Vice President of Food & Beverage for The Venetian and The Palazzo, is our guest.

The Five Crowns in Corona del Mar (part of the proudly family-owned Lawry’s group of restaurants) is celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year. In the grand English tradition fine, classic cocktails have been a hallmark in their rich history. A “Mad Bar Scientist” (Amber Billiard) is now creating the highly-regarded cocktails. Amber joins us to share some creative Holiday cocktails.

What’s the dining out scene like in Old Havana and Cuba? Do locals eat in restaurants? Our next guest, Tori Klein, the Director of University of Nevada Las Vegas’ (UNLV) Foundation Events was just there. We’ll get an informed perspective from someone who really knows the restaurant business. It’s, unfortunately, a lot more primitive in Cuba than you know.

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

Amy and Craig Nickoloff of West Coast Prime MeatsIt was only a matter of time…! Our friends at West Coast Prime Meats have published the perfect cookbook for the Holidays: West Coast Prime Meats Cooks: Professional Recipes for the Home Kitchen.

West Coast Prime Meats is the protein purveyor of choice to some of the top restaurants in Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii.

West Coast Prime Meats is the protein purveyor of choice to some of the top restaurants in Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii.

The volume includes enticing kitchen tested recipes for BIG meat, Poultry and Seafood from the best chefs in Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii. In the spirit of the Holidays the proceeds benefit two important Veteran’s charities, The Wounded Warrior Project and The Gary Sinise Foundation.

Authors Craig and Amy Nickoloff join us.

Some of the top toques from prominent restaurants in Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii have graciously contributed the tested recipes including ARC, Bourbon Steak, Connie & Ted’s, il Pastaio, The Musso & Frank Grill, N9NE Steak House, Loteria! Grill, Providence, Temecula Creek Inn, Valentino and Water Grill.

The book includes chef-created recipes for Beef, Burgers, Lamb, Goat, Poultry, Veal and Seafood. There are dozens of genuinely useful tips, too, including instructions on how to de-bone a Leg of Lamb. The principals of West Coast Prime Meats know meat from years of practical experience and graciously share a lot of handy secrets with the reader.

Linda CivitelloThe Museum of the America Cocktail is uncorking it once again with their provocative December 15th evening at Faith & Flower in Downtown Los Angeles. The program is “Oh, James! Imbibing 007.”

From aphrodisiacs to villain concoctions, alcohol abounds in the James Bond books and movies. Dive into bitter, sweet, rocks, and neat with food historian Linda Civitello, author of Cuisine and Culture: A History of Food and People. Whether you like your martinis shaken, stirred, or dirty, come get your Bond on with The Museum of the American Cocktail and the evening’s Drinkmaster, Edwin Osegueda of Faith & Flower.

Admission includes gourmet appetizers and dessert.

Ms. Civitello has been on the faculty of culinary schools throughout Southern California, appeared on TV and radio, and cooks professionally. You can hear her audio tour about food and art at The Getty Museum.

Ultimo A Weekend ExcellenceThey always do it B-I-G in Las Vegas. What’s billed as the culinary event of the year, Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence, hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo, will take culinary extravagance to new levels, December 17th through the 20th.

The highlight of the festivities will be the competition to select Team USA representing the United States in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or international cooking competition in Lyon, France in early 2017. This is the Olympics of the culinary arts. For the first time ever Team USA (Philip Tessier) was awarded the Silver Medal at the Bocuse d’Or this year.

For the third year in a row, Ultimo will celebrate the romance of Italy with lavish feasts and exceptional experiences from an A-team of award-winning chefs as it unfolds around The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas.   Renowned culinary luminaries participating in the weekend will include Chefs Jérôme Bocuse, Daniel Boulud, Josiah Citrin, Shaun Hergatt, Gavin Kaysen, Thomas Keller, James Kent, Roland Passot, Philip Tessier, Ming Tsai, Richard Rosendale, and Dario Cecchini, the famed Chianti “Butcher of Panzano.”

“This will be, without a doubt, the most spectacular gathering of world-renowned chefs in Las Vegas,” said Sebastien Silvestri, vice president of food & beverage for The Venetian and The Palazzo.  “For the culinary enthusiast, this will be a weekend to remember.”

This exceptional winter weekend will feature the return of The Venetian’s Grand Banquet, a landmark collaboration between several of the world’s best culinarians including Chefs Keller, Tessier, Hergatt and Tsai.

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

Amber Billiard of the Five CrownsThe Five Crowns in Corona del Mar (part of the proudly family-owned Lawry’s group of restaurants) is celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year. In the grand English tradition fine, classic cocktails have been a hallmark in their rich history. The libations at The Five Crowns remain top-shelf.

A “Mad Bar Scientist” (Amber Billiard) is now creating the cocktails. Amber joins us to share some creative Holiday cocktails.

She will be sharing her signature recipe for the Gin-based Sugar Plum Fairy.

Tori KleinWhat’s the dining out scene like in Old Havana and Cuba? Do locals eat in restaurants? Our next guest, Tori Klein, the Director of University of Nevada Las Vegas’s (UNLV) Foundation Events was just there. We’ll get an informed perspective from someone who really knows the restaurant business. It’s, unfortunately, a lot more primitive in Cuba than you know.

Locals can’t afford to even eat in the Government-owned establishments unless they have access to tourists and their American dollars. Privately owned restaurants need to buy their supplies on the black market due to shortages.

Tori Klein is the Director of University of Nevada Las Vegas’s (UNLV) Foundation Events.

The William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at UNLV is consistently ranked as one of the top college hospitality programs in the country. Their faculty members are internationally known experts. The programs mix the right amount of classroom and work experience. UNLV students are well prepared upon graduation to enter the job market, and the alumni are distinguishing themselves in their careers.

With more than 150,000 hotel rooms, Las Vegas is the ideal living laboratory for the study of hospitality in all its facets.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: West Coast Prime Meats Cooks – Professional Recipes For The Home Kitchen Part One
Segment Three: West Coast Prime Meats Cooks – Professional Recipes For The Home Kitchen Part Two
Segment Four: MOTAC’s “Oh James! Imbibing 007”
Segment Five: Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence, Las Vegas
Segment Six: “Mad Bar Scientist Amber” at Five Crowns and SideDoor, Corona del Mar
Segment Seven: Dining in Cuba, Tori Klein, Director UNLV Foundation Events Part One
Segment Eight: Dining in Cuba, Tori Klein, Director UNLV Foundation Events Part Two