Show 217, April 1, 2017: Aurelio Montes Sr., Montes Wines, Chile

Aurelio Montes SrIn 1988, four enterprising partners (including winemaker Aurelio Montes Sr.), sharing a common dream, embarked on a project to make high quality Chilean wines at a time when, strange as it may sound, such an idea was considered a high-risk venture.

Starting from the ground up with modest resources Vina Montes led what became a new wave of producers making sustainable, premium-quality wines, and adhering to solid management principals.

“Considered one of the most able practitioners in the cellar, Winemaker Aurelio Montes has always maintained that 80 per cent of good wine comes from the vineyards and only 20 per cent from the cellar. So vineyard care is paramount, enabling us to produce world-class wines. From the vineyard rows to the cellar, we meticulously study every variable in the winemaking process. Our commitment to method and process is almost obsessive. Nothing is left to chance.”

Aurelio Montes Sr., President of Montes Winery, is our guest.

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Show 144, October 31, 2015: Susan Montgomery, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist

Susan MontgomeryFood, wine and travel writer Sue Montgomery (also a Director and the Treasurer of the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association) was just in the Valle de Guadalupe in Northern Baja on a VIP food and wine tour led and orchestrated by San Diego’s Wine Vault & Bistro. WV & B’s Chris Gluck was the attentive host and tour guide.

She started with a reception at Wine Vault & Bistro with free-flowing Bloody Mediterraneans and Mexican Coffees before boarding the luxury motor coach to Mexico.

Their base in the Ensenada area for 2-nights was Hotel Coral y Marina with every guest having an ocean view.

Meals included a spectacular 4-course dinner under-the-stars at Chef Drew Deckman’s Deckman’s en El Mogor.

One of the wineries visited was Ray and Patty Magnussen’s Lechuza (Spanish for burrowing ground owl which is prevalent there) Vineyard. If you can’t make it to the Guadalupe Valley, Ray is going to be at The Vine Vault & Bistro in San Diego for a 3-night series of Lechuza Winemaker Dinners. The only date available is Tuesday evening, November 17th. Consider Wild Herb Roasted Lamb paired with 2012 Lechuza Cabernet Sauvignon.

Sue joins us to profile her hugely recommendable 3-day adventure.

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Show 112, February 28, 2015: Jim & Judi Brady, Roadrunner Ridge winery

Jim and Judy Brady of Roadrunner Ridge WineryRoadrunner Ridge is a young California Winery located in North San Diego County. It is nestled on a hillside 10 minutes South of Temecula and 10 minutes East of Fallbrook. The vineyard lies on a rocky, clay hillside at 1,500 feet. Warm days with afternoon breezes ripen the grapes and the coastal influence provides cool evenings for quality grapes.

Roadrunner Ridge is owned and operated by Jim & Judi Brady, who have made wine for over 30 years. They planted their own vineyard in 2008.

“Our focus is on Rhone and other warm weather varietals which prosper in our Mediterranean climate. We produce small, handmade lots and many unique blends. Roadrunner Ridge is located on the property formally known as Rusty Acres Herb Farm, which grew beautiful Lavendar & Herbs for 8 years.”

Case production is a boutique 500 cases per year. The vines are planted over four and one-half acres.

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December 7: Carla Hall, Barbara Fairchild, Cookies for a Koz, Devon Espinosa, Donald Wressell, Brad A. Johnson, Dean Thomas

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, educator, food journalist, and cookbook author Part One
Segment Three: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, educator, food journalist, and cookbook author Part Two
Segment Four: Carla Hall of ABC’s “The Chew” and Zov Karamardian of Zov’s Bistro in Tustin
Segment Five: Devon Espinosa, Bar Director at The Church Key
Segment Six: Pastry Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Co.
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, restaurant critic for The Orange County Register
Segment Eight: Chef Dean Thomas of Europa Village Winery and The Inn at Europa Village in Temecula

Lechon Porchetta by Susan ParkYou can aid the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and enjoy some great Filipino food. There is a huge Filipino community right here in Los Angeles County.

In addition to the high profile benefit for typhoon relief at The Church Key on the Sunset Strip on Sunday (which we’ll be talking about later in the show) there is a more populist fundraiser at Bamboo Bistro in Panorama City on Sunday, Dec. 15th from 4 to 8:00 p.m.

Pinoy food will be there in abundance expertly prepared by L.A. chefs including Chef Mayet Cristobal, the Executive Chef of the Getty Museum. She will be serving Beef Short Rib Adobo. The minimum donation is a modest $20 per adult and there will be live music.

Barbara FairchildThe long-time former editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, Barbara Fairchild, is back with us reporting from New York. Barbara is also an educator, best-selling cookbook author, food and travel journalist and much-in-demand speaker.

Barbara has recently had a couple of culinary excursions to the San Francisco Bay Area and will report on dining spots she enjoyed that merit your attention. She will also speak about an unusual evening she was part of honoring San Francisco’s STARS, a long-departed celebrity chef driven restaurant that, in it’s day, was the Spago of San Francisco. The proprietor/executive chef Jeremiah Tower (now a resident of Mexico) was in attendance.

Roberta Koz WilsonIt’s Holiday Time and our thoughts turn to incredible, fresh-baked, small batch, high-quality cookies as special gifts. That can only mean a chat with Roberta Wilson (jazz saxophonist great Dave Koz’s sister) the force behind Cookies for a Koz. Ten per cent of the proceeds are donated to the Starlight Children’s Foundation. Dave Koz is a Global Goodwill Ambassador for them.

Roberta’s and Dave’s late mother, Audrey, perfected the recipe for a great chocolate chip cookie and that’s the legacy of the company. The much-appreciated cookies were a door-opener all over town for the youthful Dave as his career was just beginning.

Carla HallFood fans know Chef Carla Hall as the “Hootie Hoo” lady and fan favorite from multiple seasons of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” She is now the co-host of ABC’s daytime lifetime series, “The Chew.” Last week “The Chew” celebrated their 500th episode and the show continues to gain in popularity. Carla also is the author of Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You, newly available in paperback.

Carla is being honored by Zov Karamardian of Zov’s Bistro in Tustin at her Culinary Concert to benefit the James Beard Foundation on Sunday, February 9th. It’s a great holiday gift for that special foodie in your life.

That Sunday Carla and Zov will conduct a highly entertaining cooking class for the guests followed by a lavish lunch. Carla will be available to sign copies of her book and interact with the guests. It all starts at Noon.

For more info and to make reservations please call 714.838.8855 ext. 21

Devon EspinosaDevon Espinosa (a C-CAP graduate) is one of the rising young stars among the master bartenders in the West. He created the cocktail program at ink. and Pour Vous and he’s the bar chef for the new The Church Key on the Sunset Strip. Some of his cocktails are canned for freshness.

Devon is also one of the organizers of a high-profile benefit at The Church Key on Sunday, December 8 from 5 to 9:00 p.m. for Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts. An impressive line-up of chefs and bartenders are coming together to raise the vitally needed funds. Look for celebrity chefs Eric Greenspan, Kris Morningstar, Ray Garcia and Steve Samson among many others.

Donald WressellThere really is no finer pastry chef in America than the pleasantly low-key Donald Wressell. He was the opening executive pastry chef at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. This is the luxury property where the majority of the out-of-town Academy Award nominees stay. Every year Chef Donald would create incredible individual chocolate show-pieces celebrating each of the “Best Picture” nominees. These elaborate pieces where then featured, via photography, in the Oscar coverage beamed across the globe.

Donald has competed in the most prestigious international pastry competitions and, most recently, has coached, too. He’s judged pastry chefs for competition shows on Food Network.

He’s currently the pastry chef for the proudly American chocolate company, Guittard Chocolate Co. Guittard is based in Burlingame but Chef Donald has a test kitchen and research facility here in Los Angeles. He also teaches classes for professional pastry chefs and candy makers.

In January he’ll create the sure to be dazzling Birthday Cake for The City of Beverly Hills’ 100th Anniversary. He created another cake spectacular for Beverly Hills’ Diamond Jubilee 25 years ago while he was at The Four Seasons.

Blossom Restaurant at the Aria in Las VegasA few weeks ago Brad A. Johnson, the James Beard Award-winning restaurant critic for the Orange County Register, was with us to talk about his first 4-Star review. It’s Blossom restaurant at Aria Resort in Las Vegas.

Brad is back with us to explain his criteria for a 4-Star restaurant review and also talk about the new crop of ultra-luxe Chinese restaurants on The Strip. It’s some of the most elegant Chinese fine-dining outside of China and designed for highly discriminating (and wealthy) Chinese guests!

Dean ThomasChef Dean Thomas is the Executive Chef de Cuisine for the Europa Village Winery in Temecula and also serves as the Innkeeper for the Inn at Europa Village (along with his wife, Nicole.) His multi-course breakfasts, reserved exclusively for guests at The Inn, are unrivaled in the Valley. Many of the ingredients actually come from the vineyard property and change with the season. Chef Dean has extensive credentials as an executive chef for luxury hotel properties.

Chef Dean is the unofficial executive concierge for Wine Country Temecula. When it comes to directing guests to the wineries and restaurants best suited to the visitors’ wishes Dean’s advice is the gold standard.

Chef Dean shares with us the specifics on an independent restaurant in Temecula as well as a winery restaurant that are both on his highly recommended list. He also talks about a Slow Food event he is hosting on December 12th featuring local artisan food products and cooking demonstrations.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, educator, food journalist, and cookbook author Part One
Segment Three: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, educator, food journalist, and cookbook author Part Two
Segment Four: Carla Hall of ABC’s “The Chew” and Zov Karamardian of Zov’s Bistro in Tustin
Segment Five: Devon Espinosa, Bar Director at The Church Key
Segment Six: Pastry Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Co.
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, restaurant critic for The Orange County Register
Segment Eight: Chef Dean Thomas of Europa Village Winery and The Inn at Europa Village in Temecula