Show 242, September 30, 2017: Chef Neal Fraser, Redbird, JBF’s Taste America Los Angeles Benefit

Neal FraserLos Angeles’ itinerary for The James Beard Foundation’s 5th Annual Taste America Los Angeles will kick off on Friday, October 6 at Vibiana with A Night of Culinary Stars, an exclusive dining event benefiting the James Beard Foundation. The evening will begin with a reception filled with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from local chefs and restaurateurs, including Evan Funke (Felix, Venice), Justin Hilbert (Maude, Beverly Hills), Sara Kramer (Kismet, Los Angeles), Amanda Chapman and Johnny Ray Zone (Howlin’ Ray’s, Los Angeles) and David Schlosser (Shibumi, Los Angeles) as well as host chef Neal Fraser (Redbird, Los Angeles).

Afterwards, guests will be seated for an extraordinary one-night-only dinner prepared by Taste America All-Star & James Beard Award-Winner Barbara Lynch (Barbara Lynch Gruppo, Boston) along with Local Star Michael Cimarusti (Providence and Connie and Ted’s, Los Angeles) and pastry chef Shannon Swindle (Craft Los Angeles, Los Angeles).

Host Chef Neal Fraser joins us with the delectable details.

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Show 239, September 2, 2017: Executive Chef / Proprietor Rocco Whalen, Fahrenheit, Cleveland and Charlotte, NC Part One

Rocco WhalenCleveland’s other popular celebrity chef, “Rocco Whalen, if nothing else, is wrapped up in the love of cooking: the idea and vitality of it, the doing of it, the invention and sustainability of it, the day-to-day enrichment of it, and, ultimately and significantly, the memory of learning all about it from his mother, Rosie.

All combine as convictions he affectionately shares with his regulars and first-timers who dine at his remarkable restaurant, Fahrenheit in historic Tremont, a stone’s throw from downtown Cleveland.”

“In 2001, Whalen returned to his native Cleveland from Los Angeles, landed a job as sous chef at Blue Point Grille, a seafood restaurant in downtown Cleveland. With recipe spins from Spago and variations on what he felt would work in a seafood restaurant in a city with a reputation for meat and potatoes, Rocco revised and refined the menu with items such as tuna sashimi, a whole catfish stuffed with ginger and served with coconut and citrus ponzu, and chicken spring rolls. After 18 remarkable and successful months at Blue Point it was time to move on.”

“A friend told him of a space for sale in Tremont, a trendy urban neighborhood five minutes from downtown Cleveland. Rocco bought the space, kept the purchase quiet, tossed a couple of “friends and family” tastings; but, for the most part, flew under the radar until he officially opened Fahrenheit, Oct. 2002. In less than a year, he doubled his projected top line dollars.”

Chef Rocco was just in Los Angeles for the annual Stu & The Kids Benefit at Vibiana in Downtown Los Angeles (July 30th) and will be back here on September 9th for the 8th Annual L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade Culinary Cookout at UCLA’s Royce Quad.

We’ll chat with the perpetually on-the-go Chef Rocco.

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Show 232, July 15, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a tempting preview of this Saturday’s fully-loaded show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

The faculty members at The University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism and Keck School of Medicine strive to be of service to the community. They have created Quick Help for Meals, an Android app that helps combat the national epidemic of obesity and improve the quality of family meals. The app grew out of a 25-year, award-winning project that has dramatically expanded the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables reaching low-income people through the nation’s 33,000 community food pantries. Co-creators Peter Clarke, PhD. and Susan Evans, Ph.D. are our guests.

DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. More than 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices. New to DINE LBC is Rance’s Chicago Pizza in Belmont Shore. They are already well-known for Pan, Stuffed and Tavern styles of pizza. We’ll meet the proprietors of the dough, Chef Rance Ruiz and Aaron Tofani.

Can’t get enough of those fresh fruits & veggies…Joining us with what’s new for the peak of the season hits is our resident produce expert Robert Schueller of Melissa’s. Think sweet, juicy and refreshing Muscato Grapes (Black, Red & Green) and Champagne Grapes, and more, for openers.

The annual Stu and the Kids Fundraiser returns to Vibiana on Sunday afternoon, July 30th. Stuart Skversky is the Executive Director/Founder of Stu and the Kids and the Host Chefs at Vibiana are Neal and Amy Fraser the principals of Redbird. Proceeds will fund scholarships for at-risk Hill Tribe kids in Chaing Mai. Thailand. Last year’s Benefit raised an impressive $110,000! Chef Stu hops off his trusty elephant to give us the details.

Froze’ is the rage this Summer on better bar menus all over town. SOL Mexican Cocina (Newport Beach & Playa Vista) was one of the area pioneers of popularizing this now oh-so-trendy libation. Their version uses a frozen Margarita as a base which is then infused with frozen sparkling rose and a dash of guava nectar for color. For SOL it all started as a creation to support Pink Drink Month benefiting City of Hope last year. The Froze’ creation proved so popular that it found its way on to the permanent bar menu. We’ll get the full story from SOL Mexican Cocina’s Director of Beverage, Colin Pflugradt.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

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Show 232, July 15, 2017: “Stu and the Kids” 2017 Fundraiser, Founder Stuart Skversky

Stuart SkverskyThe annual Stu and the Kids Fundraiser returns to Vibiana on Sunday afternoon, July 30th. Stuart Skversky is the Executive Director/Founder of Stu and the Kids and the Host Chefs at Vibiana are Neal and Amy Fraser the principals of Redbird.

Proceeds will fund scholarships for at-risk Hill Tribe kids in Chaing Mai. Thailand. Last year’s Benefit raised an impressive $110,000!

Participating chefs for this year’s event include Hosts Neal and Amy Fraser, Vibiana; Brooke Willamson and Nick Roberts, Playa Provisions; Walter Manzke, République; Eric Klein and Connor Shanahan, Wolfgang Puck Catering; Shirley Chung, Steamer’s Co. Raw Bar & Bowl of Hug; Gilberto Cetina, Chicken Itza; Matt Lee, Restaurant 917; Kris Yenbamroong, Night+Market; Jason Neroni from The Rose Café; Akasha Richmond, AKASHA and AR cucina; Sherry Yard, The Tuck Room; Warren and Rose Schwartz, Magpies Softserve; Jason Fullilove, Barbara Jean’s; Tetsu Yahagi, Spago Beverly Hills; Roxana Jullapat, Friends & Family; Gavin Mills, Miro; Joel Miller, The Wallace; Carlos Enriquez, Bakers Kneaded; Matt Dixon, Division 3; Food Network Celebrity Chef Jet Tila and special guest Rocco Whalen of Fahrenheit who will be flying in from Cleveland, Ohio with his team. Other chefs to be announced.

Chef Stu hops off his trusty elephant to give us the tempting details.

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Show 232, July 15, 2017: “Stu and the Kids” 2017 Fundraiser, Founder Stuart Skversky Continues…

Stuart SkverskyThe annual Stu and the Kids Fundraiser returns to Vibiana on Sunday afternoon, July 30th. Stuart Skversky is the Executive Director/Founder of Stu and the Kids and the Host Chefs at Vibiana are Neal and Amy Fraser the principals of Redbird.

Proceeds will fund scholarships for at-risk Hill Tribe kids in Chaing Mai. Thailand. Last year’s Benefit raised an impressive $110,000!

In 2009, Stuart Skversky, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a rising- star chef, made a dramatic life change by giving up a promising chef career in Los Angeles to move to Chiang Mai, becoming a full-time volunteer at the Wat Dan Chan (a local Buddhist temple), teaching local children English, cooking and baking.

Recognizing a need to help prepare these high-risk Hill Tribe kids following their graduation, he founded Stu and the Kids to better prepare them for adulthood, helping them get into a university or technical college and giving them the tools for an independent future. Proceeds from this event go directly to the children’s education, school uniforms, supplies, housing, food and tuition for higher education.

Now in their ninth year of fundraising throughout the world, Stu and the Kids has raised over $300,000 for the charity, including last year’s astounding record of $110,000 accumulated from the LA festival, fundraising on the east coast and online donations during 2016. Stu and the Kids supervise seventeen kids, including fifteen who have earned four-year scholarships to university and a seven and fourteen-year-old that is supported with rent and food due to family hardship. The charity hopes to increase the awards to twelve four-year university scholarships in the coming year.

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July 15: Quick Help for Meals, Rance’s Chicago Pizza, Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Stu and the Kids, SOL Mexican Cocina

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Quick Help for Meals: A Mobile Phone App for Pantry Clients
Segment Three: Rance’s Chicago Pizza and DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week Part One
Segment Four: Rance’s Chicago Pizza and DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week Part Two
Segment Five: Peak of the Season Produce Report with Robert Schueller of Melissa’s
Segment Six: “Stu and the Kids” 2017 Fundraiser, Founder Stuart Skversky Part One
Segment Seven: “Stu and the Kids” 2017 Fundraiser, Founder Stuart Skversky Part Two
Segment Eight: Froze at SOL Mexican Cocina, Colin Pflugradt, Director of Beverage

Now a tempting preview of this Saturday’s fully-loaded show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

The faculty members at The University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism and Keck School of Medicine strive to be of service to the community. They have created Quick Help for Meals, an Android app that helps combat the national epidemic of obesity and improve the quality of family meals. The app grew out of a 25-year, award-winning project that has dramatically expanded the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables reaching low-income people through the nation’s 33,000 community food pantries. Co-creators Peter Clarke, PhD. and Susan Evans, Ph.D. are our guests.

DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. More than 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices. New to DINE LBC is Rance’s Chicago Pizza in Belmont Shore. They are already well-known for Pan, Stuffed and Tavern styles of pizza. We’ll meet the proprietors of the dough, Chef Rance Ruiz and Aaron Tofani.

Can’t get enough of those fresh fruits & veggies…Joining us with what’s new for the peak of the season hits is our resident produce expert  of Melissa’s. Think sweet, juicy and refreshing Muscato Grapes (Black, Red & Green) and Champagne Grapes, and more, for openers.

The annual Stu and the Kids Fundraiser returns to Vibiana on Sunday afternoon, July 30th. Stuart Skversky is the Executive Director/Founder of Stu and the Kids and the Host Chefs at Vibiana are Neal and Amy Fraser the principals of Redbird. Proceeds will fund scholarships for at-risk Hill Tribe kids in Chaing Mai. Thailand. Last year’s Benefit raised an impressive $110,000! Chef Stu hops off his elephant to give us the details.

Froze is the rage this Summer on bar menus all over town. SOL Mexican Cocina (Newport Beach & Playa Vista) was one of the area pioneers of popularizing this now trendy libation. Their version uses a frozen Margarita as a base which is then infused with frozen sparkling rose and a dash of guava nectar. For SOL it all started as a creation to support Pink Drink Month benefiting City of Hope last year. The Froze creation proved so popular that it found its way on to the permanent bar menu. We’ll get the full story from SOL Mexican Cocina’s Director of Beverage, Colin Pflugradt.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

peteråPeter Clark PhD and Susan Evans PhD-clarke-susan-evansThe faculty members at The University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism and Keck School of Medicine strive to be of service to the community. They have created Quick Help for Meals, an Android app that helps combat the national epidemic of obesity and improve the quality of family meals. The app grew out of a 25-year, award-winning project that has dramatically expanded the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables reaching low-income people through the nation’s 33,000 community food pantries.

The nearly 40 million clients of this nation’s food pantries suffer elevated rates of obesity, diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, and other diet-related conditions. Numerous studies have shown how increased consumption of fresh produce helps fight obesity and promote health. Over the past twenty years, many food banks and community pantries have started distributing significant amounts of free fresh produce. Unfortunately, though, many pantry clients do not know how to prepare vegetables in nutritious, varied, and appealing ways; they also need to acquire other food management skills for healthier eating.

The phone app offers two kinds of content that each pantry client customizes to his or her needs and interests. One, VeggieBook, enables a food recipient to obtain recipes and food-use tips about fresh vegetables. A recipient decides which kinds of recipes and tips he or she wants, from among hundreds of specially-designed recipes. Users can get these printed immediately at the pantry as well as saved on the phone. All materials are in English and Spanish.

The second section of the app, Secrets to Better Eating, invites a pantry client to browse five chapters (about better breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, and food shopping). Secrets present more than 80 concrete, no-cost strategies for limiting fats and sugar in the diet, establishing a warm atmosphere at meals, curtailing overeating, involving children in meal preparations, introducing children to new food tastes, and bargain-conscious grocery shopping, among other themes. Each client’s selected ideas are printed at the pantry and saved to the phone. And, as with VeggieBook’s recipes and tips, a client can e-mail Secrets to friends or family and get extra printed copies as well.

The creators, Peter Clarke, PhD. and Susan Evans, Ph.D., are our guests.

Rance Ruiz and Aaron TofaniAuthentic Chicago-style Pizza in Long Beach (and Costa Mesa) from young proprietors who grew up in Orange County? You bet…and it’s Rance’s Chicago Pizza (Belmont Shore & Costa Mesa) a first-time participant in the upcoming DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week.

DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. More than 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices.

New to DINE LBC is Rance’s Chicago Pizza in Belmont Shore. They are already something of a local institution for Pan, Stuffed and Tavern styles of pizza. We’ll meet the proprietors of the dough, Chef Rance Ruiz and Aaron Tofani.

Just as many regions around the country hold city-wide restaurant week events, the participating Long Beach restaurants will be offering multi-course, “value-oriented” meals set at one of six price points: $15, $25, $35, $45, $55 or $65 per guest.

Founder and organizer Terri Henry, who brought restaurant week to Long Beach in 2014, said that besides attracting local “foodies”, Dine LBC allows those who view dining out as a luxury to also enjoy an exceptional experience. The nine-day event that includes two full weekends gives locals the opportunity to visit multiple participating restaurants and also allows those in neighboring cities who find it difficult to travel to Long Beach during the week more options.

“With recent minimum wage increases, overhead and cost of goods increases, an annual restaurant week drives much needed traffic into our valued restaurants”, said Henry, who said the event will span across twelve Long Beach neighborhoods and has a comprehensive marketing, advertising and PR campaign valued at over $500K to support the nine-day event.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioCan’t get enough of those fresh fruits & veggies…? Joining us with what’s new for the peak of the season hits is our resident produce expert, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s. He’s the unrivaled Watson (IBM Super Computer) of fruits & vegetables!

Think sweet, juicy and refreshing Muscato Grapes (Black, Red & Green) and Champagne Grapes, and more, for openers.

California grown Black Muscato grapes have a deep purple, almost black, coloring with a slightly softer texture than the green or red varieties. While the Black Muscatos have the same high sugar content as the other two, their sweet flavor seems stronger on the palate. Black Muscato grapes make the best sauces and sauce reductions because of this complexity in taste.

Melissa’s Muscato grapes vary in color from green to red to black and are hybrids of some very special seedless grape varieties. They make a perfect summer snack with their crisp texture and mouthwatering, juicy interior. Muscato Grapes are much sweeter than the average grape, measuring at a brix (sweetness) level of at least 22 compared to the average grape brix of about 16.

Toss Muscato Grapes into a summer fruit salad, add to your favorite sauce, or eat right out of hand. These delectable summer treats are a great addition to any dessert.

Stuart SkverskyThe annual Stu and the Kids Fundraiser returns to Vibiana on Sunday afternoon, July 30th. Stuart Skversky is the Executive Director/Founder of Stu and the Kids and the Host Chefs at Vibiana are Neal and Amy Fraser the principals of Redbird.

Proceeds will fund scholarships for at-risk Hill Tribe kids in Chaing Mai. Thailand. Last year’s Benefit raised an impressive $110,000!

Participating chefs for this year’s event include Hosts Neal and Amy Fraser, Vibiana; Brooke Willamson and Nick Roberts, Playa ProvisionsWalter ManzkeRépubliqueEric Klein and Connor Shanahan, Wolfgang Puck CateringShirley Chung, Steamer’s Co. Raw Bar & Bowl of Hug; Gilberto Cetina, Chicken ItzaMatt Lee, Restaurant 917Kris Yenbamroong, Night+MarketJason Neroni from The Rose CaféAkasha RichmondAKASHA and AR cucinaSherry YardThe Tuck Room; Warren and Rose Schwartz, Magpies Softserve; Jason Fullilove, Barbara Jean’sTetsu Yahagi, Spago Beverly HillsRoxana JullapatFriends & FamilyGavin Mills, MiroJoel Miller, The WallaceCarlos Enriquez, Bakers Kneaded; Matt Dixon, Division 3; Food Network Celebrity Chef Jet Tila and special guest Rocco Whalen of Fahrenheit who will be flying in from Cleveland, Ohio with his team. Other chefs to be announced.

Chef Stu hops off his elephant to give us the details.

In 2009, Stuart Skversky, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a rising- star chef, made a dramatic life change by giving up a promising chef career in Los Angeles to move to Chiang Mai, becoming a full-time volunteer at the Wat Dan Chan (a local Buddhist temple), teaching local children English, cooking and baking. Recognizing a need to help prepare these high-risk Hill Tribe kids following their graduation, he founded Stu and the Kids to better prepare them for adulthood, helping them get into a university or technical college and giving them the tools for an independent future. Proceeds from this event go directly to the children’s education, school uniforms, supplies, housing, food and tuition for higher education.

Now in their ninth year of fundraising throughout the world, Stu and the Kids has raised over $300,000 for the charity, including last year’s astounding record of $110,000 accumulated from the LA festival, fundraising on the east coast and online donations during 2016. Stu and the Kids supervise seventeen kids, including fifteen who have earned four-year scholarships to university and a seven and fourteen-year-old that is supported with rent and food due to family hardship. The charity hopes to increase the awards to twelve four-year university scholarships in the coming year.

Colin PflugradtFroze is all the rage this Summer on bar menus all over town. SOL Mexican Cocina (Newport Beach & Playa Vista) along with sister restaurants solita Tacos & Margaritas was one of the area pioneers of popularizing this now trendy libation. Their version uses a frozen Margarita as a base which is then infused with frozen sparkling rose and a dash of guava nectar.

For SOL it all started as a creation to support Pink Drink Month benefiting City of Hope last year. The Froze creation proved so popular that it found its way on to the permanent bar menu.

We’ll get the full (and colorful) story from SOL Mexican Cocina’s Director of Beverage, Colin Pflugradt.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Quick Help for Meals: A Mobile Phone App for Pantry Clients
Segment Three: Rance’s Chicago Pizza and DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week Part One
Segment Four: Rance’s Chicago Pizza and DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week Part Two
Segment Five: Peak of the Season Produce Report with Robert Schueller of Melissa’s
Segment Six: “Stu and the Kids” 2017 Fundraiser, Founder Stuart Skversky Part One
Segment Seven: “Stu and the Kids” 2017 Fundraiser, Founder Stuart Skversky Part Two
Segment Eight: Froze at SOL Mexican Cocina, Colin Pflugradt, Director of Beverage

Show 188, September 10, 2016: Executive Chef Bruce Kalman, Union & James Beard Foundation’s Taste America, Los Angeles

Bruce Kalman on Union PasadenaThe 4thannual James Beard Foundation’s Taste America®, is The Foundation’s national culinary tour. Taste America is bringing together world-class chefs in ten U.S. cities, including the launch in Los Angeles on September 23rd at Vibiana, where Taste America All-Star Chef and James Beard Award-winner Scott Conant (ImperoCaffè, New York) will collaborate with Local Star Curtis Stone (Gwen) and Pastry Chef Hedy Goldsmith (Sweet Hedy) to create a one-of-a-kind, four-course dining experience.

This special partnering of culinary greats will also feature a tasting reception, where Host Chef Neal Fraser (Redbird), Nyesha Arrington (Leona), Josef Centeno (Orsa & Winston), Jeremy Fox (Rustic Canyon), and Bruce Kalman (Union) will dazzle guests with their individual culinary styles.

On Saturday, September 24th is a day of free culinary events from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Sur la Table in Westwood. Highlights are a cooking demo and book signing with James Beard Foundation Award Winner Scott Conant (Impero Caffe) and a Noon cooking demo and book signing with James Beard Foundation Award Winner Suzanne Goin (Lucques, AOC, and The Tavern.)

Bruce Kalman (Union & Knead & Co.) is one of the chefs preparing the food for the dazzling tasting reception. He’s our guest.

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Show 182, July 30, 2016: Chef Stuart Skversky, “Stu and The Kids”

Stuart SkverskyIn 2009, Stuart Skversky, a Los Angeles rising star chef, gave up his life in Los Angeles and moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand to become a full time volunteer at the Wat Dan Chan (a local Buddhist temple), teaching local children English, cooking and baking.

Recognizing a need to help prepare these high risk Hill Tribe kids following their graduation, he founded Stu and the Kids to better prepare them for adulthood, helping them get into a university or technical college and giving them the tools for an independent future.

Stu and the Kids’ 2016 Los Angeles Fundraiser was at Vibiana on July 31st. Chef Stuart Skversky is our guest.

Proceeds from this event go directly to the children’s education, school uniforms, supplies, housing, food and tuition for higher education. Now in their eighth year of fundraising throughout the world, Stu and the Kids has raised over $165,000 for the charity, including last year’s record of $52,000 accumulated from the LA festival, fundraising on the east coast and online donations during 2015.

Participants for this year’s event include Hosts Neal and Amy Fraser, Redbird; Andy Ricker and Thomas Boyce, Pok Pok LA; Eric Greenspan, Mare; Brooke Williamson and Nick Roberts, Playa Provisions; Akasha Richmond, Sambar; Daniel Elkins and Erez Levy, Savore Catering; Ramon Reyes, The Ensaymada Project; Gilberto Cetina, Chicken Itza; Walter Manzke, Republique; Warren Schwartz and Rosa Schwartz, Magpie’s; Ted Hopson, The Bellwether; Gregg Wiele, Patina Restaurant Group; James Tree and Carlos Enrique, Superba Food & Bread; Gary Menes, Le Comptoir; and Jason Neroni, Rose Café.

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Show 159, February 13, 2016: Executive Chef / Proprietor Neal Fraser, Fritzi at Arts District Brewing Co.

Neal FraserChef Neal Fraser is well-known to Angelenos for BLD, Fritzi Dog at the Original Farmers Market and Redbird at Vibiana Events Center in Downtown Los Angeles. Chef Neal and the Vibiana Events Center were even part of the recent Beefsteak episode of Season 13 of Bravo’s “Top Chef.”

Fritzi is now Downtown, too, sharing space in The Arts District with the Arts District Brewing Co. It’s lunch and dinner for elevated pub-grub. It’s early in the going but the wood- fired rotisserie chicken and the potato waffle are already signature menu items. Nothing on the menu is over $19.

“The industrial chic restaurant serves lunch and dinner, and handcrafted cocktails from its full bar, which is stocked with bubbles, wines, brews from the Arts District Brewing Co., and Ketel One pours. With an occupancy of 60 diners, Fritzi is a seamless addition to L.A.’s historic arts district with its modern wood and metal elements and intimate atmosphere.”

“Fritzi’s menu features handcrafted epic dishes and small plates such as Charred Brussels Sprout, Forbidden Rice & Quinoa Salad, Spit Roasted Cauliflower, Crispy Shrimp Balls, Fritzi Burger, Wood Fried Rotisserie Half Chicken, Steak Frites, Santa Barbara White Fish, and more, with Fries, Tots, and Potato Waffle to accompany.”

Chef Neal Fraser joins us with the 411 on Fritzi.

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Show 105, January 10, 2015: Amy Knoll Fraser, Redbird at Vibiana

Neal and Amy Knoll FraserChef Neal Fraser (bld and Fritzi Dog at the Original Farmers Market) and his wife and business partner, Amy Knoll Fraser, have had their eye on Downtown Los Angeles since before they closed Grace in the Fairfax District in 2010. Their first move was to become one of the official caterers for Vibiana, the home of L.A.’s former historic Catholic Cathedral (Cathedral of Saint Vibiana) dating back to 1876 and now a busy special events and performing arts space.

Eventually they moved their catering kitchen to the site and became the official solo caterers for the facility. Redbird (a partnership with restaurateur Bill Chait) is their new, eagerly anticipated “New American” fine-dining space located on one floor of the former Rectory building (built in the early 1940’s.) The space has been artfully restored and renovated keeping as many of the distinctive historical elements intact as possible.

The main dining room is actually a cleverly designed atrium space that has been weatherized for all-season indoor dining. The appealing long bar is actually two-sided. One side faces the dining area and the other side (with a marble bar) fronts the entrance reception area and lounge. It’s dinner only for the moment with lunch and brunch to follow soon.

A standout entrée is the Aged Le Belle Farms Duck Breast with Hopping John.

The restaurant entrance (and valet) is located on the Second St. side of the building. It’s the only door/entrance on the South side of the street in the block.

The event space itself is in the former cathedral.

Amy Knoll Fraser is our guest.

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