Show 209, February 4, 2017: Betsy Thagard, Founder, B. toffee, Newport Beach

Betsy ThagardAn award-winning, handcrafted toffee, B. toffee’s “crunchy perfection of sweetness” offers the ultimate indulgence. (Think Valentine’s Day…) Combining only the finest, freshest, and most natural ingredients, Newport Beach local Betsy Thagard spent years of passionate experimenting to create the perfect toffee. At first she only shared it with friends as an anxiously anticipated Holiday Gift. Now it’s thoughtfully available to us all.

Today, B. toffee is growing nationwide with premiere placement at the country’s most noted gourmet markets and specialty stores. B. toffee is recognized as a superior quality product with its sophisticated, sleek packaging being described as a “crunchy perfection of sweetness” and has also taken a bite out of the corporate, and party favor market

Most recently B. toffee received top GOLD honors for “Top Toffee” and “Best Packaging” by the Taste Awards in San Francisco, CA. Also awarded the “Official Toffee” at The Golden Foodie Awards-the most prominent culinary fandom awards in Orange County, CA.

Demand has increased to the point where B. toffee has recently relocated to a much larger production and packaging facility. The product is still attentively made and packaged by hand in small batches.

“Sharing my B. toffee product with the world has been a dream come true, and I am so proud and honored by the partnerships developed over the past year,” said Thagard. “The move to the new facility will allow B. toffee to continue to grow, and, in turn, dedicate more resources to a project close to my heart, the B. Giving Initiative, which, in conjunction with local charities, allows for B. toffee to impact the community in a positive way.”

Betsy is our guest.

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Show 159, February 13, 2016: Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamFinally a chance to catch-up with our esteemed Co-host Chef Andrew Gruel. Chef Andrew is always the source of quality information with keen insight. How do you survive dining out on Valentine’s Day and have a successful experience? It’s stressful…

Not easy for the restaurant, either. We’ll get Chef Andrew’s thoughts.

Remember with the long Weekend Brunch is a good option, too. Just have reasonable expectations, don’t stress and be patient.

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Show 108, January 31, 2015: Amy Jo Pedone, Valenza Chocolatier Continues…

Valenza ChocolatierWhat’s Valentine’s Day without some premium chocolates? Certified Master Chocolatier Amy Jo (Valenza) Pedone of Valenza Chocolatier is with us for a second segment to satisfy our chocolate craving.

It’s no surprise that Valenza Chocolatier has created an exclusive Valentine’s Day Collection with many appealing options.

“I love deeply, I cherish all the little things, and I adore many people – these are just a few of the ways I express some of my greatest passions. My Valentine’s Day Collection is an expression of how beloved my passions are, and it’s only fitting that the meaning of my name (Amy) also means beloved,” confides Amy Jo.

Valenza Chocolatier’s The Valentine’s Day Collection (including full descriptions and pricing) is available online through ValenzaChocolatier.com.

Two Valenza Chocolatier Valentine’s Day Pop-Up Shops will be available. The first will be at The Hood MRK on Wednesday, February 11th from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and the second at Local Fare (within the OC Mix in Costa Mesa) on Thursday, February 12th from 3 to 6:00 p.m. Guests can meet Amy Jo, indulge in some sampling, purchase the Valentine’s Day Collection in person, plus enter a drawing to win a 5-piece Tartaruga custom gift box.

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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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February 8: Caroline Styne, San Antonio Winery, Andrew Gruel, Brad A. Johnson, Paul Gstrein, Linda Kissam

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Caroline Styne, Wine Director and Partner, Lucques, A.O.C., The Tavern, and The Larder
Segment Three: Allan Stark, San Antonio Winery, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Andrew Gruel, Executive Chef & Partner, Slapfish
Segment Five: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County Register
Segment Six: Paul Gstrein, Executive Chef, Bayside Restaurant
Segment Seven: Linda Kissam, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila on Manhattan Dining

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.”

Caroline StyneCaroline Styne had an extensive background in specialty food products, catering, and restaurant management before partnering with Chef Suzanne Goin to open Lucques in 1988. In December of 2002, Goin & Styne opened their second restaurant, A.O.C., where the concept of small plates and fifty wines by the glass was born out of their shared passion for going out and sampling a variety of appetizers and intriguing wines. A.O.C. relocated to the face-lifted former Orso space about a mile West on 3rd Street in late 2012. Styne is the Wine Director for all the restaurants.

Tavern, in Brentwood, followed in May of 2009. It offers fine dining all day along with The Larder which has gourmet prepared foods and packaged goods. There is a new Larder at Burton Way in the luxury 8500 Burton Way Apartments on the border of L.A. and Beverly Hills as well as at LAX.

Styne contributed the helpful wine notes to Suzanne’s The A.O.C. Cookbook.

“And because wine and cheese are at the heart of A.O.C. there are two exciting additions. Caroline Styne presents a specific wine pairing for each dish. Styne explains why each varietal works well with the ingredients and which flavors she’s trying to highlight, and she gives you room to experiment as well – showing how to shape the wine to your own palate. Whether you’re just grabbing a glass to go with dinner or planning an entire menu, her expert notes are a real education in wine.”

LA Cetto WinesDid you know there is a burgeoning wine industry in Mexico? Finally some of these affordable wines are finding their way into the United States. Shouldn’t a fine Mexican restaurant also offer premium Mexican wines?

One of the premier grape growing areas of Mexico is in the Guadalupe Valley (and adjacent valleys) located in Northern Baja California. It has the rural feel of the flat areas of Sonoma County from 40 years ago.

The predecessor wine interests of L.A. Cetto were established in Baja by Italians in the late 1920s. In 1960 L.A. Cetto acquired their first vineyards in the Guadalupe Valley. Today they have some 2,500 acres in the Valley under the stewardship of the 3rd generation of the Baja-based Cetto Family. They are the largest producer of table wines in Mexico.

L.A’s own San Antonio Winery (dating to 1917) is the distributor of L.A. Cetto wines in Southern California. Allan Stark, a 25-year veteran of San Antonio Winery joins us to tell the L.A. Cetto story and discuss some of their premium reserve wines including Nebbiolo, Chardonnay, and a Brut Sparkling wine.

Andrew GruelFood trucks have proven to be a worthwhile testing ground for innovative food concepts. A great example is Slapfish with a limited service, fast-casual restaurant in Huntington Beach located in a strip center. A new Laguna Beach location will launch later this year.

The partners started with one food truck serving the OC in 2009. By 2011 they had three trucks serving both Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel is with us to fill us in on the Slapfish tale. They have just signed a franchise agreement to open 75 full service restaurants in the Middle East over the next 5 to 7 years.

They like to characterize Slapfish as a modern seafood shack. It’s a real American seafood experience that revolves around fresh, sustainable fish, prepared simply, but delivering big flavors.

Letter Grades at RestaurantsLast month The Orange County Register’s James Beard Award-winning restaurant critic, Brad A. Johnson, was looking to review a Newport Beach restaurant. Instead all of the members of his dining group came down with severe cases of food poisoning. When Brad checked the Health Department records of this restaurant he was surprised to learn that they had received a serious violation on each of their previous inspections since they opened two years ago.

Brad is with us to discuss his campaign for Orange County restaurants to receive Letter Grades as a result of their Health Department inspections as is practice in Los Angeles County and other areas of California.

The Winter Olympics in Sochi is underway. Russia is on peoples’ minds.

Paul Gstrein of Bayside RestaurantPaul Gstrein, the long-time (Austria-born) executive chef at Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach has been inspired by Russia, too. For the duration of the Games Paul will be featuring Russian dishes as appetizers, entrees, and even desserts. How about Beef Short Rib Borscht and Berkshire Pork Tenderloin Stroganoff?

Please note that not every appetizer or entrée on the special Russian menu will be available each night.

Linda KissamThe very well-traveled Linda Kissam is a respected food, wine, and travel writer who is on the go most of the time. She serves as the 1st Vice President of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. She is also an author and the Global Wine & Travel Editor-at-Large for Luxe Beat Magazine.

Late last year Linda was invited to Spain to tour the Penedes wine region, the heart of cava sparkling wine production. Her mission was to taste and evaluate 50 fine cavas over an intensive five day period. Linda shares the highlights of this very special experience with us.

Le BernardinChef Jet has been in New York twice over the last two weeks and has enjoyed some standout dining adventures along the way. Jet shares the details of his truly exquisite meal at the classic Le Bernardin. It’s expertly prepared French seafood from Chef Eric Ripert at a very high level.

Jet also visited Ippudo, a well-known Japanese ramen shop.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Caroline Styne, Wine Director and Partner, Lucques, A.O.C., The Tavern, and The Larder
Segment Three: Allan Stark, San Antonio Winery, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Andrew Gruel, Executive Chef & Partner, Slapfish
Segment Five: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County Register
Segment Six: Paul Gstrein, Executive Chef, Bayside Restaurant
Segment Seven: Linda Kissam, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila on Manhattan Dining

Show 59, February 1, 2013: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching so plan ahead 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 and less stress…

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.

Congrats to Chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage Co. in West Los Angeles. Last Sunday (Jan. 26th.) he competed against three other chefs on Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen.” He won big and took home the most cash of any winner to date!

Sliders from Cafe RockenwagnerEveryone’s favorite sexy Aussie Chef is Curtis Stone. He’s opening an intimate new restaurant on Feb. 1st and we’ll get all the 411 right from the source. Fine dining chef Hans Rockenwagner, in recent years, has become known for his line of artisan breads. He’s just opened his most ambitious bakery café to date in Brentwood and joins us to provide the details. Wolfgang Puck is back in Orange County with the newly launched Puck’s Tavern at Honda Center, home of the Anaheim Ducks. The executive chef of Wolfgang Puck Catering is with us to preview what’s on the menu.

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

For Valentine’s Day the original Zov’s Bistro in Tustin has a choice of their classic entrees for dinner including an 18 oz. bone-in rib-eye steak.

At The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar in Tustin it’s the “Oh Baby” Valentine’s Day evening celebration. There are two fixed price options at a reasonable $69 and $89 per guest. It’s a four course spectacular from Executive Chef & Partner Yvon Goetz. Creative wine pairing are available from “Sir” William Lewis (Sommelier & Partner.)

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Show 59, February 1, 2013: Roberta Koz Wilson, Cookies for a Koz

Roberta Koz WilsonIt’s almost Valentine’s Day and what more thoughtful edible gift than absolutely delicious chocolate chip cookies baked in small batches with a lot of heart & TLC! The big plus is that each sale benefits The Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Roberta Koz Wilson (jazz saxophone great Dave Koz’s sister) of Cookies for a Koz joins us to share the inspirational story. The cookies are a tribute to their late mother, Audrey, who created the original cookie recipe. The truth is that these famous cookies opened a lot of doors for Dave in his early days as a struggling musician!

The Red Velvet Cookie was originally created as a Valentine’s Day special. It became so popular that it was added to the year-round line. It’s their take on a moist and delicious Red Velvet Cupcake.

Some intriguing new varieties will be added in 2014 including peanut butter chocolate chip.

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February 1: Curtis Stone, Cookies for a Koz, Hans Rockenwagner, Puck’s Tavern, Pacific Coast Wine Festival

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Curtis Stone, Owner/Chef of Maude, Beverly Hills Part One
Segment Three: Curtis Stone, Owner/Chef of Maude, Beverly Hills Part Two
Segment Four: Roberta Koz Wilson, Cookies for a Koz
Segment Five: Chef Hans Rockenwagner, Rockenwagner Bakery and Café Rockenwagner Part One
Segment Six: Chef Hans Rockenwagner, Rockenwagner Bakery and Café Rockenwagner Part Two
Segment Seven: Matt Bencivenga, Wolfgang Puck Catering and Puck’s Tavern at Honda Center
Segment Eight: Tristen Beamon and Kyle Meyer, BestWinesOnline.com and Pacific Coast Wine Festival

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching so plan ahead 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.

Congrats to Chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage Co. in West Los Angeles. Last Sunday (Jan. 26th.) he competed against three other chefs on Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen.” He won big and took home the most cash of any winner to date!

Everyone’s favorite sexy Aussie Chef is Curtis Stone. He’s opening an intimate new restaurant on Feb. 1st and we’ll get all the 411 right from the source. Fine dining chef Hans Rockenwagner, in recent years, has become known for his line of artisan breads. He’s just opened his most ambitious bakery café to date in Brentwood and joins us to provide the details. Wolfgang Puck is back in Orange County with the newly launched Puck’s Tavern at Honda Center, home of the Anaheim Ducks. The executive chef of Wolfgang Puck Catering is with us to preview what’s on the menu.

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

Curtis StoneYou know Aussie celebrity chef, Curtis Stone, from Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” which he hosts. He’s now a resident of Los Angeles.

What you may not know is that he has a serious culinary background. He trained with the legendary English Chef, Marco Pierre White. Chef Curtis worked his way up Marco Pierre White’s tall culinary ladder and eventually became the Head Chef of Quo Vadis in London.

On February 1st Curtis Stone opens Maude in Beverly Hills. Maude is named after his grandmother. It’s an intimate 25 seats and Chef Curtis will actually be there cooking. The menu will change monthly and all of the nine tasting plates served each night will contain a featured ingredient.

His most recent cookbook, What’s for Dinner?: Delicious Recipes for a Busy Life was published last year by Ballantine Books Hardcover. The concept is getting dinner on the table without a hassle. The book features 130 effortless and inspired recipes that carry Chef Curtis’ promise of working.

Roberta Koz WilsonIt’s almost Valentine’s Day and what more thoughtful edible gift than absolutely delicious chocolate chip cookies baked in small batches! The big plus is that each sale benefits The Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Roberta Koz Wilson (jazz saxophone great Dave Koz’s sister) of Cookies for a Koz joins us to share the inspirational story. The cookies are a tribute to their late mother, Audrey, who created the original cookie recipe. The truth is that these famous cookies opened a lot of doors for Dave in his early days as a struggling musician!

The Red Velvet Cookie was originally created as a Valentine’s Day special. It became so popular that it was added to the year-round line. It’s their take on a moist and delicious Red Velvet Cupcake.

Hans RockenwagnerChef Hans Rockenwagner burst on the local Venice dining scene in 1985 when he opened the original (40 seat) Rockenwagner on Abbot Kinney Blvd. where Joe’s is now.

In 1991 Rockenwagner moved to a much larger space in the Frank Gehry-designed Edgemar Complex in Santa Monica.

White asparagus, in season, became a signature menu item.

Hans eventually discovered there was more money in artisan bread and eventually closed Rockenwagner to concentrate on his growing wholesale bread baking business. He now has 60 bakers working around the clock seven days a week! Rockenwagner Bakery is a fixture at area Farmers Markets including the Sunday Beverly Hills Farmers Market.

Cafe RockenwagnerIn addition to the growing wholesale bakery Hans Rockenwagner has a network of busy bakery cafes in Santa Monica, Venice, and Mar Vista. The most ambitious café to date just launched in Brentwood. This Café Rockenwagner is in the bw (a high-rise luxury apartment building) at the corner of Barrington Ave. and Wilshire Blvd.

Besides a full food menu there is on an on-site pastry chef here so there is an impressive selection of fresh breakfast pastries, desserts, breads and pretzels available.

Pucks Tavern at Honda CenterCelebrated chef Wolfgang Puck and Wolfgang Puck Catering have just launched two new dining destinations at Honda Center, the home of the Anaheim Ducks. They are Puck’s Tavern, an approachable fine-dining restaurant serving modern comfort food and The Window at Puck’s Tavern, a made-to-order pizza concession stand. Both operations are located on the South Side of the arena’s main level.

Open during Honda Center’s events, Puck’s Tavern (230 seats) caters to both the general public and ticketholders alike. The 7,000 square-foot, indoor-outdoor restaurant features a direct entrance to the arena allowing a seamless transition from a sit-down meal or private event to the evening’s entertainment.

Matt Bencivenga, Executive Chef and Partner of Wolfgang Puck Catering joins us to chat about the opening of Puck’s Tavern and Wolfgang’s high-profile return to Orange County.

Tristen Beamon and Kyle MeyerIf you’re a wine lover then the upcoming Pacific Coast Wine Festival evening on March 1st at The Island Hotel in Newport Beach to benefit the Pacific Symphony is definitely for you.

The evening starts off with tastings from highly touted wineries including Domaine Faively and Nickel & Nickel. The live and silent auction will feature renowned selections such as Margaux, Mouton, Paul Hobbs, and Screaming Eagle. The sumptuous dinner will be followed by a select chocolate and port tasting.

All the impressive wine selections for the benefit and auctions have been meticulously curated by Tristen Beamon and Kyle Meyer of Orange County’s Bestwinesonline.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Curtis Stone, Owner/Chef of Maude, Beverly Hills Part One
Segment Three: Curtis Stone, Owner/Chef of Maude, Beverly Hills Part Two
Segment Four: Roberta Koz Wilson, Cookies for a Koz
Segment Five: Chef Hans Rockenwagner, Rockenwagner Bakery and Café Rockenwagner Part One
Segment Six: Chef Hans Rockenwagner, Rockenwagner Bakery and Café Rockenwagner Part Two
Segment Seven: Matt Bencivenga, Wolfgang Puck Catering and Puck’s Tavern at Honda Center
Segment Eight: Tristen Beamon and Kyle Meyer, BestWinesOnline.com and Pacific Coast Wine Festival

Show 54, December 28, 2013: JC Clow, Managing Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

JC Clow of the Winery Restaurant and BarJC Clow is the standout Managing Partner of The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar in the District in Tustin. 2014 will mark their 7th year of operation.

The Orange County Concierge Association has just awarded them the distinction of “Restaurant of the Year.” The news is actually more significant than that. This is the 3rd time in six years that this prestigious award has been earned by them ! That’s a wow.

If you’re looking for a non-stuffy, sophisticated and elegant New Year’s Eve celebration The Winery has two seatings that are reasonably priced and designed for the comfort of the guests. The Winery’s goal on New Year’s Eve is never to pack the house!

The second seating is a four course menu from Chef Yvon, live entertainment and party favors.

JC caps 2013 off by updating us on the new Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar coming to Newport Beach by Valentine’s Day in 2014. It’s right on the Bay on a half-acre site. The building has basically been rebuilt from the ground up.

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December 28: Top Food Trends for 2014, Solita Tacos and Margaritas, Yamashiro, Brock Radke, The Winery

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Deborah Schneider, Executive Chef & Partner, solita tacos & margaritas
Segment Three: Brock Kleweno, General Manager & Executive Chef, Yamashiro Hollywood Part One
Segment Four: Brock Kleweno, General Manager & Executive Chef, Yamashiro Hollywood Part Two
Segment Five: Brock Radke, Food Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Six: Food Trends for 2014 Part One
Segment Seven: Food Trends for 2014 Part Two
Segment Eight: JC Clow, Managing Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

Good news…No long lines and absolutely nothing to take back on this Saturday’s show. It’s just incredibly tasty entertainment for the ears with the usual assortment of great guests.

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show. This week we’re taking a look back and also looking forward to 2014. Hollywood, millions of redevelopment dollars later, is again a dining and entertainment hot spot and we’re chatting with the energetic Executive Chef of the historic Yamashiro about what’s new on the menu there. Our ultimate Las Vegas insider, Brock Radke, is with us talking about his favorite new restaurants of the year. What’s trending in food for 2014? Chef Jet and Producer Andy share their revealing thoughts.

Happy New Year to all and wishing our loyal listeners all the very best in dining adventures in 2014! Get out there…

Deborah SchneiderExecutive Chef Deborah Schneider is the acclaimed author of five well-received cookbooks (a sixth is on the way) and a partner in the highly regarded SOL Mexican Cocina on the Bay in Newport Beach (and in Scottsdale.) Over the years she has become the go-to authority on the cuisine and libations of Baja California and, more recently, other culinary regions of Mexico. One of her specialties is the tasty street food of Baja. Do I hear Street Tacos?

Newly opened this week is Chef Deb’s latest venture, solita tacos & margaritas, facing a pocket park and fountain in Huntington Beach’s Bella Terra Center. It’s a neighborhood-casual Mexican spot with an authentic food experience representing the most appreciated culinary aspects from the coast of Baja and other culinary regions of Mexico Chef Deb has visited and researched extensively.

“What makes solita so unique is that we incorporated a wood grill like so many we have enjoyed in Mexico, and created a menu around it that offers fresh, simple preparations made with seasonal ingredients,” explains Chef Deb.

The bar takes an equally fresh approach to traditional Mexican libations. All margaritas are made with 100 per cent blue agave tequilas and the fruit used is all fresh. The only sweetener in the beverages is agave.

A Hollywood landmark, Yamashiro, celebrates their 100th birthday in 2014. If you haven’t been there in awhile it’s time to perhaps take another look.

Brock Kleweno of YamashiroBrock Kleweno, the energetic Executive Chef and General Manager, joins us to talk about the rich history of the spot and the new commitment to fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere. There is lots more than fresh sushi to merit your attention here.

If you think Yamashiro Hollywood is the spot to just take out-of-town guests for a classic cocktail and the view you may just want to change your opinion after listening to Chef Brock.

Chef Brock personally does a lot of sourcing of his menu ingredients at the area Farmers Markets and actually operates a nighttime Farmers Market @ Yamashiro. May will mark their 5th year of hosting a Farmers Market there on Thursday evenings which has become quite a popular destination on its own drawing some 800 to 1,000 guests each Thursday night during the season.

One of Chef Brock’s signatures dishes is a Wagyu beef steak cooked at a very high temperature on a salt rock and presented with flair at the table. It finishes cooking at the table. Other standouts are the ceviche prepared with local sustainable fish and his take on Hawaiian poke.

They are also serious about the bar at Yamashiro. They prepare all the classic cocktails with style plus contemporary libations. They have some fun with the Manhattan as well as a fresh take on the Mai Tai (which was originally created in California.) They also do a standout version of the classic Moscow Mule served in the proper chilled copper mug which actually originated in Hollywood!

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyIf you’re looking for action New Year’s Eve then Las Vegas is always a festive party with real fireworks. Our insider in Las Vegas, Brock Radke, joins us to talk about the newly launched Container Park development in Downtown (with unusual shops and restaurants) along with a couple of suggestions for great New Year’s Eve dining. Brock is the Food Editor for Las Vegas Weekly.

Catch Brock’s special year-end column in Las Vegas Weekly on-line naming his 13 best new restaurants in Las Vegas for 2013. The intriguing selections are both on and off The Strip!

Chef Jet Tila host of the SoCal Restaurant ShowThinking about Food Trends for 2014 ? We have…Just for fun Chef Jet and Producer Andy have put together their lists of Top Trends in Food for the New Year.

Each developed their list without consulting the other. Also the items will not be discussed between Chef Jet and Producer Andy before air. That’s live radio…I’m sure there will be a few surprises.

 

 

 

JC Clow of the Winery Restaurant and BarJC Clow is the standout Managing Partner of The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar in the District in Tustin. 2014 will mark their 7th year of operation.

The Orange County Concierge Association has just awarded them the distinction of “Restaurant of the Year.” The news is actually more significant than that. This is the 3rd time in six years that this prestigious award has been earned by them ! That’s a wow.

If you’re looking for a non-stuffy, sophisticated and elegant New Year’s Eve celebration The Winery has two seatings that are reasonably priced and designed for the comfort of the guests. The Winery’s goal on New Year’s eve is never to pack the house!

The second seating is a four course menu from Chef Yvon, live entertainment and party favors.

JC caps 2013 off by updating us on the new Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar coming to Newport Beach by Valentine’s Day in 2014. It’s right on the Bay.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Deborah Schneider, Executive Chef & Partner, solita tacos & margaritas
Segment Three: Brock Kleweno, General Manager & Executive Chef, Yamashiro Hollywood Part One
Segment Four: Brock Kleweno, General Manager & Executive Chef, Yamashiro Hollywood Part Two
Segment Five: Brock Radke, Food Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Six: Food Trends for 2014 Part One
Segment Seven: Food Trends for 2014 Part Two
Segment Eight: JC Clow, Managing Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar