Show 216, March 25, 2017: L.A’s 2017 Prince of Pork – Cochon 555

Jonathan GranadaAfter a decadent afternoon of feasting on over 1,500 pounds of heritage breed pork raised on family farms, almost 500 guests gathered with glasses full of everything from Franciacorta and Pinot Noir to Smoked Old-Fashioneds and Angostura Rum Swizzle cocktails at Viceroy Santa Monica, Official Host Venue. From cooks and guests to winemakers and distillers, all were waiting for Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe to crown Los Angeles’ “Prince of Pork,” bestowing not just the title, but a place in the national finale, Grand Cochon, in October in Chicago.

Representing the Berkshire breed of pig raised by Peads & Barnetts, the winner was Chef Jonathan Granada of Otium.

Winning Chef Jonathan’s pig breed from Peads & Barnetts Farm was a Berkshire that yields a brighter pork than most, and features a thick, delicious fat cap. The meat is sweet and creamy with hints of nuttiness, which is a by-product of the finishing process in several areas. These aspects worked in tandem with his six winning menu items, including a Head Cheese; Pork Belly with Feuille de Brick, Stinging Nettle and Caviar; Whipped Lardo with Sea Urchin, Pistachio and Brioche; Pork Shoulder with Artichoke Barigoule and Vin Jaune; a Croquette with Mojo and Potato; and finished with a Cider – Eric Bordelet Poire Granit from France.

A culinary competition featuring 5 chefs cooking 5 whole, heritage breed pigs with innovative flavors and timeless cooking techniques, Cochon555 challenges chefs to use every bit of their accumulated knowledge and inspiration. Each chef is given a 200-220 pound heritage breed pig and tasked to create, prepare and present a “Judge’s Plate” of 6 dishes scored on utilization, global influences, cooking techniques, and overall flavor, among other categories. This year’s experts and celebrity judges included local luminaries Jonathan Gold of Los Angeles Times, Christopher Ford of Beverly Wilshire, Chef Walter Manzke of Republique, Kelly Kang of Viceroy Santa Monica and others.

“The national competition gets more intense and dynamic every year, and the performance of the LA chefs, somms, and barkeeps shows precisely why the city is at the forefront for culinary excellence in this country,” said Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe. “Chef Jonathan’s winning dishes were bold, modern, thoughtful, and full of the kind of flavors that only enhance what heritage breed pigs have to offer. We owe a big thank you to the Viceroy Santa Monica Hotel – the setting was spectacular.”

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Show 163, March 12, 2016: Brady Lowe, Founder, Cochon555 Tour

Brady Lowe of Cochon 555COCHON555 Los Angeles is set for Sunday, March 13th at The Viceroy in Santa Monica. It’s 5 Chefs, 5 Winemakers, and 5 Pigs. Experience this must-see, annual pork-centric culinary competition as part of the L.A. stop of the extensive national tour. It’s five high-profile chefs cooking over 36 dishes prepared from whole, locally-raised heritage breed pigs.

This year’s competing chefs include Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria, Bruce Kalman of Union, Jason Neroni of Rose Cafe, Brooke Williamson of The Tripel and returning champion Walter Manzke of Republique.

The five chefs will prepare a maximum of six dishes from one whole hog and their utilization will help them win votes from a crowd of hungry gourmands and celebrated judges. In addition to the 36 dishes prepared from locally-raised pigs, guests will feast on educational experiences featuring boutique wines and culinary cocktails paired with delicious bites.

The winner of the regional event will be announced as the “Prince of Porc” and go on to compete for the national title of “King or Queen of Porc” at Grand Cochon, the tour finale, held at the Viceroy in Snowmass / Aspen on June 18th.

Cochon’s founder, Brady Lowe, joins us with all the porkalicious details.

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Show 115, March 21, 2015: Brady Lowe, Cochon 555

Brady Lowe of Cochon 555Cochon 555, the country’s most talked about culinary competition returns to Los Angeles on March 29, 2015 to celebrate family farms, heritage breed pigs and today’s emerging chef community. Attendees of this one-of-a-kind culinary competition embark on a journey to the new hyper-local culinary landscape, one whole pig at a time. The tour is aligned with the modern-day good food movement – notable chefs, barrier-breaking women, artist-like butchers, spirited bartenders, top winemakers, brewers, distillers and brazen pastry talent working together to prepare an epic feast celebrating responsible family farming.

This culinary experience features five top chefs in a one-of-a-kind culinary competition featuring over 36 dishes prepared from locally-raised whole heritage breed pigs with virtually endless wine, brews and spirits. This year’s competing chefs include Tony DiSalvo of CAST at the Viceroy Santa Monica – The Official Host & Hotel, Ricardo Zarate of Chef Zarate, Walter Manzke of Republique, Kris Morningstar of Terinne, and Steven Fretz of The Church Key. The five chefs, champions of whole hog utilization, will prepare a maximum of six dishes each with hopes to win voters from a crowd of hungry gourmands and celebrated judges.

A panel of notable judges, led by Ray Garcia, 2014 King of Porc, and chef at the soon to open Broken Spanish will help select LA’s “Prince of Pork.” The winner moves on to compete for the title of “King or Queen of Porc” at the tour finale, Grand Cochon at Snowmass/Aspen in June. The grand champion will be rewarded with a 4-day wine experience in Rioja, Spain’s most prominent wine region.

Brady Lowe, the founder of Cochon 555, joins us with all the pork-a-licious details.

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Show 73, May 24, 2014: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Celebrity Cruises is launching their first-ever land-based wine and food festival on May 31st in the Orange County Great Park. Celebrity’s executive chef is with us with the full details. It’s a benefit for charity.

Chef Daniel Boulud has returned to Las Vegas with the opening of db Brasserie at The Venetian Hotel on Las Vegas fabled Strip. His chef de cuisine there is David Middleton. Chef Boulud joins us to share what’s on the menu.

The Hotel Del Coronado is California’s premier, classic beachfront hotel dating back to 1888. It represents luxury from another age. Last week we met the chef at their casual, seafood-centric, ocean-view restaurant, Sheerwater. This week it’s a conversation with Chef John Shelton, the executive chef overseeing all of Hotel del Coronado.

Restaurant impresario Bill Chait is responsible for some of the most successful and high profile restaurant openings in L.A. His most recent effort is Republique with acclaimed Chef Walter Manzke. Next up is Redbird at the old Vibiana cathedral in Vibiana and the eagerly anticipated restaurant in Eli Broad’s upcoming contemporary art museum.

The Corporate Pastry Chef for the Patina Restaurant Group, Carlos Enriquez, has an incredible story of personal achievement. He’s with us to talk about what it takes to get there.

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

Special Note…

50 Best Plants On The Planet – The most Nutrient-Dense Fruits and Vegetables, in 150 Delicious RecipesA good friend of the show’s, Cathy Thomas, the long-time food writer for the Orange County Register, is hosting a special dinner at Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach on Thursday, May 29th. It’s celebrating her third book, 50 Best Plants On The Planet – The most Nutrient-Dense Fruits and Vegetables, in 150 Delicious Recipes.

Executive Chef Paul Gstrein will prepare a special four-course meal for the occasion. Most of the dishes will be prepared from Cathy’s favorite recipes in the book.

The main course is Pistachio Crusted Free Range Chicken Breast with Farro “Risotto,” Brussels Sprouts “Two Ways,” and Bing Cherry “Agro Dolce.”

Cathy will be there for the entire evening chitchatting with the guests. She will also sign books.

You can make a reservation for anytime between 6 and 9:00 p.m. For reservations please call 949.721.1222. It’s a modest $45 per person. Specify the “Cathy Thomas Dinner” when you call.

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Show 73, May 24, 2014: Bill Chait, Los Angeles-based Restaurant Impresario

Bill ChaitRestaurant impresario Bill Chait is responsible for some of the most successful and high profile restaurant openings in L.A. His most recent effort is Republique with acclaimed Chef Walter Manzke (ex-Bastide.)

Next up is Redbird with Chef Neal Fraser (bld) at the old Vibiana cathedral’s rectory in Downtown. Looking like a July launch…

Also in development is the eagerly anticipated 6,000 square foot restaurant in Eli Broad’s upcoming contemporary art museum in Downtown. Timothy Hollingsworth (ex-chef de cuisine at the French Laundry) is at the culinary helm. Rory Herrmann, formerly the opening chef de cuisine at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills is also a part of the project. Hermann is the Director of Culinary Operations for Chait’s Sprout Restaurant Group.

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May 24: Celebrity Cruises, Daniel Boulud, John Shelton, Bill Chait, Carlos Enriquez

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef and VP of Food & Beverage Operations John Suley, Celebrity Cruises
Segment Three: Chef Daniel Boulud, New York City, Las Vegas and The World Part One
Segment Four: Chef Daniel Boulud, New York City, Las Vegas and The World Part Two
Segment Five: Executive Chef John Shelton, Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, CA
Segment Six: Bill Chait, Los Angeles-based Restaurant Impresario Part One
Segment Seven: Bill Chait, Los Angeles-based Restaurant Impresario Part Two
Segment Eight: Carlos Enriquez, Corporate Pastry Chef, Patina Restaurant Group

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Celebrity Cruises is launching their first-ever land-based wine and food festival on May 31st in the Orange County Great Park. Celebrity’s executive chef is with us with the full details. It’s a benefit for charity.

Chef Daniel Boulud has returned to Las Vegas with the opening of db Brasserie at The Venetian Hotel on Las Vegas fabled Strip. His chef de cuisine there is David Middleton. Chef Boulud joins us to share what’s on the menu.

The Hotel Del Coronado is California’s premier, classic beachfront hotel dating back to 1888. It represents luxury from another age. Last week we met the chef at their casual, seafood-centric, ocean-view restaurant, Sheerwater. This week it’s a conversation with Chef John Shelton, the executive chef overseeing all of Hotel del Coronado.

Restaurant impresario Bill Chait is responsible for some of the most successful and high profile restaurant openings in L.A. His most recent effort is Republique with acclaimed Chef Walter Manzke. Next up is Redbird at the old Vibiana cathedral in Downtown and the eagerly anticipated restaurant in Eli Broad’s upcoming contemporary art museum.

The Corporate Pastry Chef for the Patina Restaurant Group, Carlos Enriquez, has an incredible story of personal achievement. He’s with us to talk about what it takes to get there.

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

Special Note…

50 Best Plants On The Planet – The most Nutrient-Dense Fruits and Vegetables, in 150 Delicious RecipesA good friend of the show’s, Cathy Thomas, the long-time food writer for the Orange County Register, is hosting a special dinner at Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach on Thursday, May 29th. It’s celebrating her third book, 50 Best Plants On The Planet – The most Nutrient-Dense Fruits and Vegetables, in 150 Delicious Recipes.

Executive Chef Paul Gstrein will prepare a special four-course meal for the occasion. Most of the dishes will be prepared from Cathy’s favorite recipes in the book.

The main course is Pistachio Crusted Free Range Chicken Breast with Farro “Risotto,” Brussels Sprouts “Two Ways,” and Bing Cherry “Agro Dolce.”

Cathy will be there for the entire evening chitchatting with the guests. She will also sign books.

You can make a reservation for anytime between 6 and 9:00 p.m. For reservations please call 949.721.1222. It’s a modest $45 per person. Specify the “Cathy Thomas Dinner” when you call.

John Suley of Celebrity CruisesCelebrity Cruises ships are easily recognized with their iconic “X.”

On May 31st the 2014 Celebrity Cruises Great Wine Festival featuring more than 30 exceptional wineries, fine cuisine, a silent auction and opportunity drawing, and musical entertainment launches. This event will take place at the Orange County Great Park, the first great metropolitan park of the 21st century, located in the heart of Orange County.

It’s a benefit for Legal Aid of Orange County.

Featured restaurants include Montage Laguna Beach, Clay Oven, Slapfish, and James Republic. John Suley, Celebrity’s Executive Chef and VP of Food & Beverage Operations will be there with a tasting station, too. He is our guest.

For libations look for Cakebread, Jordan, JUSTIN, Grgich Hills, Alaskan Brewing Co., Pyramid Brewing, and many others.

Daniel BouludAcclaimed Chef Daniel Boulud has returned to Las Vegas with the opening of db Brasserie at The Venetian. His executive chef there is David Middleton (ex-Marche Bacchus.) (Daniel previously had a restaurant (the now closed Daniel Boulud Brasserie) at Wynn Las Vegas.)

The restaurant, which Boulud calls his “ideal brasserie,” is an updated version of the French Brasserie, with contemporary twists and international appeal.

“Like me, the brasserie was born in France but has traveled the world,” says Boulud. “I wanted to create a menu with my favorite French dishes, charcuterie, shellfish – all the brasserie staples – and international flavors from my travels that are a bit exotic and transporting.”

Reservations can be made at 702.430.1235.

db brasserie in Las Vegasdb Brasserie boasts a wine list of approximately 300 international selections, curated by Boulud’s group Wine Director Daniel Johnnes and db Brasserie Sommelier Devin Zendel.

The list pays tribute to the glories of American Wine, which are presented in three categories : PIONEERS ‘the first to prove the quality of American terroir’; NEW FRONTIER ‘young wineries inspired by their old-world counterparts’; and CLASSICS ‘next generation American winemaking, classics in their own right’.

The spacious restaurant seats 280 diners, including two private dining rooms, as well as a casual bar and lounge.

Located at the start of Restaurant Row (in the former Valentino Las Vegas space,) just off the casino floor, db Brasserie is accessible from both The Venetian and Palazzo.

Later in the Summer Chef Boulud will be opening a new restaurant in Washington, DC.

Chef Boulud is The Chairman of Bocuse d’Or USA supporting Team USA in the prestigious international culinary competition which is the Bocuse d’Or held in Lyon every other year. Daniel explains why this is very important to the American culinary community. The next competition in Lyon is set for January 27 & 28th in 2015.

John Shelton of Hotel del CoronadoThe Hotel Del Coronado is California’s premier, classic beachfront hotel dating back to 1888. It represents luxury from another age.

Executive Chef John Shelton who oversees all the food and beverage operation at The Del is our guest. He also loves to fish.

Restaurants at the Del range from the fine-dining 1500 OCEAN to the award-winning Sunday Brunch spectacular buffet served in the historic and architecturally significant Crown Room.

June is Culinary Craftsman Month at Sunday Brunch. Local exceptional food products will be featured.

Bill ChaitRestaurant impresario Bill Chait is responsible for some of the most successful and high profile restaurant openings in L.A. His most recent effort is Republique with acclaimed Chef Walter Manzke.

Next up is Redbird with Chef Neal Fraser (BLD) at the old Vibiana cathedral’s rectory in Downtown.

Bestia Restaurant in the Los Angeles Arts DistrictAlso the eagerly anticipated 6,000 square foot restaurant in Eli Broad’s upcoming contemporary art museum in Downtown. Timothy Hollingsworth (ex-chef de cuisine at the French Laundry) is at the culinary helm. Rory Herrmann, formerly the opening chef de cuisine at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills is also a part of the project. Hermann is the Director of Culinary Operations for Chait’s Sprout Restaurant Group.

Bill explains how his company is evolving (a catering division is in the plans) and how he approaches projects.

Many new ventures with high profile chefs are in the pipeline. Bill’s culinary partners in Bestia (Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis) have a new concept in the works for Downtown’s Arts District.

Carlos EnriquezWhat does it take to become the Corporate Pastry Chef at the highly thought of Patina Restaurant Group? Chef Carlos Enriquez, who learned the basics of pastry in his parents Los Angeles bakery, joins us to explain. It takes more than hard work…

Chef Carlos was part of the opening team of the Paris Hotel on The Strip in Las Vegas. He then moved to Colorado to serve as Executive Pastry Chef for Sky Goble at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver. A year later, Enriquez joined Goble at the Ahwahnee Resort in Yosemite National Park. In 2006 Chef Carlos returned to Las Vegas and worked as Assistant Pastry Chef at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, and later at Alex Restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas. He was Executive Pastry Chef at Café del Rey in Marina del Rey before joining the Patina Restaurant Group as Corporate Pastry Chef in 2012.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef and VP of Food & Beverage Operations John Suley, Celebrity Cruises
Segment Three: Chef Daniel Boulud, New York City, Las Vegas and The World Part One
Segment Four: Chef Daniel Boulud, New York City, Las Vegas and The World Part Two
Segment Five: Executive Chef John Shelton, Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, CA
Segment Six: Bill Chait, Los Angeles-based Restaurant Impresario Part One
Segment Seven: Bill Chait, Los Angeles-based Restaurant Impresario Part Two
Segment Eight: Carlos Enriquez, Corporate Pastry Chef, Patina Restaurant Group

Show 58, January 25, 2013: Chef Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris of “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

Republique Restaurant in Los AngelesLet’s talk food…Chef Jet and Producer Andy share some of their recent dining adventures.

Jet has experienced the much talked-about Republique with Walter Manzke and Chef Margarita Manzke behind the stoves at the former Campanile space. Andy has dined at Downtown’s Orsa & Winston, the new fine-dining spot from Josef Centeno (Bar Ama & Baco Mercat.)

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January 25: South Coast Collection, Carla Hall, Roger Havot, Sanford D’Amoto, Chefs to the Max

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anais Tangie, Marketing Coordinator, SoCo and The Mix
Segment Three: Chef Carla Hall, ABC’s “The Chew,” “Bravo’s “Top Chef ,” and Carla Hall Petit Cookies
Segment Four: Roger Hayot, Executive Chef, J. Nichols Kitchen Part One
Segment Five: Roger Hayot, Executive Chef, J. Nichols Kitchen Part Two
Segment Six: Sanford D’Amato, founder and former Executive Chef of the award-winning Sanford restaurant, Milwaukee, WI
Segment Seven: Al Mancini, Las Vegas-based food journalist and co-author of Eating Las Vegas guidebook for 2011, 2012, and 2013
Segment Eight: Chef Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris of “SoCal Restaurant Show”

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

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.

On Friday morning, January 31st catch Chef Jet on NBC’s “Today Show” in the 9:00 a.m. hour PST. He’s sharing his recipe for Peking Duck Sliders for Chinese New Year and The Big Game!

ABC’s “The Chew’s,” Carla Hall, is back with us talking about the very special Culinary Concert she is doing at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin on Sunday, February 9th to benefit the scholarship fund of The James Beard Foundation. “Hootie Hoo”…You’ll meet Sandy D’Amato, a kid from Milwaukee, who grew up to become one of the most outstanding chefs in America. Chef Roger Hayot joins us. You may not know his name but you really should. In the 90s Chef Roger had one of the most acclaimed restaurants in L.A. Now he’s quietly making waves again at a hidden gem of a neighborhood place in Marina del Rey.

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

The first Saturday of last October we were live at South Coast Collection (SoCo) and The Mix in Costa Mesa for the first Patchwork Show: Edible Edition.

Anais TangieWe showcased the growing collection of outstanding boutique food businesses and restaurants there. The SoCo and Mix’s Marketing Coordinator, Anais Tangie, joins us to talk about the new additions and what’s soon on the way. Think handcrafted artisanal chocolates and also a one-of-kind cocktail education and tools-of-the-trade store owned by a master bartender…

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 lifestyle series, “The Chew.” Last month “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.

That Sunday Carla and Zov will conduct a highly entertaining, interactive 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.

Pastry Chef to the Stars and a multiple James Beard Award-winner, Sherry Yard, is the celebrity MC.

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

Carla is represented in Saveur’s 100 which is the current January/February issue. Item 13 on the list is Carla’s suggestion of Lemon Olive Oil.

Roger Hayot of J. Nichols KitchenIn 1987 the Authentic Café opened on Beverly Blvd. near CBS’s Television City in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles. It was the inspiration of Chef Roger Hayot who was mentored by his prior employer, David Overton, the creator of The Cheesecake Factory. It was initially a small place and from Day 1 they had lines of patient guests out the door…Eventually they expanded into the space next-door to accommodate the strong demand.

Roger’s always intriguing menu was inspired by the cuisines of the American Southwest, Latin America, Asia, and the Mediterranean. He used authentic global ingredients which was unusual at the time. Thai fish sauce was one of his regular ingredients. The exotic appeal of his cooking was always balanced by its hominess.

He had the honor of cooking at The James Beard Foundation in New York.

There is a new chapter to Chef Roger Hayot’s inspirational cooking story in Los Angeles so we continue.

Mezze Plate at J. Nichols KitchenIn 2012 Roger moved into the Executive Chef position at J Nichols Kitchen in Marina del Rey. This originally opened as Nichols Family Restaurant in 1974 as a friendly, neighborhood coffee shop with reasonable prices and big portions. When the founders’ son and daughter took over the operation they faced a dilemma. The retail center they were in was about to undergo a major renovation (and upscaling) and their clientele was aging and the younger crowd wasn’t patronizing them. The Nichols made the tough decision to remodel and reposition themselves as a destination neighborhood restaurant with more serious food and no snootiness. That’s a major transition…

The first 6 months of the new concept was a bit rocky. The seniors didn’t like the new menu or pricing and the Millennials thought it was still a coffee shop. A lot of guest confusion…Chef Roger joined the team in progress with the mission of improving the food and consistency. Over the last 18 months that has happened and the successful transition accomplished! A great turnaround story…

Virtually everything is now made from scratch from the pizza dough (3-day process) to the fruit preserves served at breakfast. Chef Roger takes the time to make his own biscuits (very popular) as well as flavorful premium sausages. He has his own smoker. All the desserts are house-prepared. The novel Greek Yogurt Cheesecake is perhaps Chef Roger’s tribute to The Cheesecake Factory. It’s light, has a graham cracker crust, crushed pistachios, and a honey drizzle. Yum…

Sanford D'AmotoGood Stock: Life on Low Simmer was written by Sanford “Sandy” D’Amato, one of America’s most respected chefs and restaurateurs. It is a special memoir of a life in cooking that weaves more than 80 recipes and both personal and food photos in a beautiful and engaging way.

Chef D’Amato tells his life story in brief episodes that are keyed to more than 80 of this James Beard Award-winning chef’s favorite recipes.

Sanford, the restaurant D’Amato opened in his native Milwaukee in 1989 (in the space that once housed his grandfather’s grocery store,) has long been one of the highest rated restaurants in America.

D’Amato and his wife, Angie, currently split their time between Milwaukee and their mini-farm in Hatfield, MA, where they are preparing to open a cooking school (also called Good Stock.)

If you really want to understand what it takes to be a successful, career executive chef this is the book for you. It’s also highly entertaining and a fascinating read. Chef Sandy’s encounters with the legendary Julia Child over the years are priceless.

Max JacobsonMax Jacobson is a serious food journalist who relocated to Las Vegas from Southern California in 1999 to cover the burgeoning dining scene there. Southern Californians remember his coverage of the Orange County dining scene for The Los Angeles Times. He is currently Vegas Seven’s restaurant critic. His colleagues have great respect for him.

Two days before Christmas 2013, Jacobson was struck by a hit-and-run driver while he was in a crosswalk. He sustained severe brain trauma from the accident. He remains hospitalized in serious condition and his prognosis is uncertain.

Chefs to the Max benefit for Max Jacobson at RX Boiler RoomIn true hospitality industry fashion a group of prominent, celebrity chefs have joined together to launch the Chefs to the Max fundraising series to assist with Max Jacobson’s horrendous medical expenses.

The first dinner was January 19th at Chef Rick Moonen’s Rx Boiler Room at Mandalay Place on the Las Vegas Strip. The evening raised an impressive $275,799.

Fellow Las Vegas-based food journalist, Al Mancini, joins us to talk about the Chefs to the Max benefits and working with Max. Al and Max collaborated (with a third Las Vegas-based restaurant writer) on the three editions of the very popular Las Vegas dining guidebook series, Eating Las Vegas.

Republique Restaurant in Los AngelesLet’s talk food…Chef Jet and Producer Andy share some of their recent dining adventures.

Jet has experienced the much talked-about Republique with Walter Manzke and Chef Margarita Manzke behind the stoves at the former Campanile space. Andy has dined at Downtown’s Orsa & Winston, the new fine-dining spot from Josef Centeno (Bar Ama & Baco Mercat.)

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anais Tangie, Marketing Coordinator, SoCo and The Mix
Segment Three: Chef Carla Hall, ABC’s “The Chew,” “Bravo’s “Top Chef ,” and Carla Hall Petit Cookies
Segment Four: Roger Hayot, Executive Chef, J. Nichols Kitchen Part One
Segment Five: Roger Hayot, Executive Chef, J. Nichols Kitchen Part Two
Segment Six: Sanford D’Amato, founder and former Executive Chef of the award-winning Sanford restaurant, Milwaukee, WI
Segment Seven: Al Mancini, Las Vegas-based food journalist and co-author of Eating Las Vegas guidebook for 2011, 2012, and 2013
Segment Eight: Chef Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris of “SoCal Restaurant Show”

Show 56, January 11, 2013: Walter Manzke, Executive Chef & Proprietor, Rebublique

Walter ManzkeOne of the most eagerly awaited restaurant openings of 2013 was Republique in Hollywood located on the site of the former trendsetting Campanile (Mark Peel and Nancy Silverton) which opened in 1989. The architecturally significant building goes back to 1929 when it was constructed as Charlie Chaplin’s offices.

The project is owned by the husband and wife chef team of Walter Manzke and Margarita Manzke along with restaurant impresario Bill Chait. Chef Walter is well-know to L.A. foodies from his time at Patina, Bastide and Church and State. Chef Walter joins us to talk about the first month of operation.

The cuisine is contemporary French with an oyster bar up front. Chef Walter’s particular pride is what comes out of the wood burning oven and rotisserie.

Recently opened is the bakery café for breakfast, brunch and lunch on the go.

Full-service lunch is on the horizon.

The restaurant is still not fully open. It’s expanding service in stages.

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January 11: Jimmy Shaw, Paul Bartolotta, Kedric Francis, Jessica Gelt, Walter Manzke

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jimmy Shaw, Founder and Executive Chef, Loteria! Grill Part One
Segment Three: Jimmy Shaw, Founder and Executive Chef, Loteria! Grill Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, Las Vegas Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Magazine
Segment Seven: Jessica Gelt, Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times
Segment Eight: Walter Manzke, Executive Chef & Proprietor, Rebublique

What's Cooking with Travis Rodgers and Jet TIla on AM830When you put our delightfully food obsessed morning show host, Travis Rodgers, together with Chef Jet Tila you know you’re going away entertained but really hungry. Be sure to catch their weekly feature, “What’s Cooking with Travis and Chef Jet Tila,” at 7:50 a.m. every Friday morning on AM 830 KLAA. It’s a feast for the ears…

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

If you crave authentic regional Mexican cuisine then you’ll want to hear Jimmy Shaw, the founder of Loteria! Grill. How about an award-winning celebrity chef from Chicago who was enticed by Steve Wynn to pull up stakes and move his family to Las Vegas so he could helm Mr. Wynn’s signature Italian seafood restaurant? That’s a story…You’ll also meet the executive chef and owner behind the hottest restaurant opening in Hollywood last year. It’s even located in a totally renovated historical building built by Charlie Chaplin.

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

Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill and Torta CompanyWhen it comes to authentic regional Mexican cuisine few are as knowledgeable as Jimmy Shaw, the founder and executive chef of the popular Loteria! Grill Restaurants. He was born and raised in Mexico City

He started modestly with a graphically-interesting stand in a great location at The Original Farmers Market at Third & Fairfax. The locals were wowed. Since then full-service restaurants in Hollywood, Studio City, Santa Monica and Westlake Village have been added. Any moment now Downtown Los Angeles will launch at FIGat7th.

Next to Loteria! Downtown will be a new gourmet sandwich shop Jimmy is doing with his brother, Andrew. It’s the Torta Company.

Two Loteria! Grills will be coming soon to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX.)
Chef Jimmy provides us with the rich history of the Mexican sandwich and what is correct as far as bread is concerned. The bread needs to be crunchy on the outside and pillowy soft inside.

Torta Company will offer both traditional and contemporary sandwich variations. There will definitely be appealing vegetarian options, too, including a wild mushroom tinga.

Look for pulled pork, batter-fried snapper in a Veracruz tomato sauce, and turkey in mole. Also on the menu will be Chef Jimmy’s clever spin on a tuna torta.

Paul BartolottaPaul Bartolotta is one of the rarified, distinguished James Beard Award winning chefs who has an incredible destination restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas.

His Bartollota Ristorante di Mare opened with the hotel back in 2005 and is one of the most successful fine dining restaurants at the property.

It just underwent a multimillion dollar renovation because Steve Wynn thought it was time…Chef Paul observed that the facelift alone cost more than the opening cost of many restaurants!

Paul was one of the most acclaimed chefs in Chicago (Spiaggia) when Mr. Wynn came calling. With his Bartolotta Restaurants firm he operates a number of busy restaurants in Milwaukee. Paul recounts the humorous story of Mr. Wynn’s charming pursuit of Paul to head the restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas. Understand at the time (2004) Paul was based in Chicago with his Family. One of Mr. Wynn’s requirements was that each of his celebrity chefs at Wynn Las Vegas actually reside in Las Vegas.

There is lots more to this fascinating story so Chef Paul Bartolotta of Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at Wynn Las Vegas continues with us.

The concept of the elegant restaurant is serving the very best of Mediterranean seafood flown in fresh daily from Italy and simply prepared. There is also a live program. Spiny lobsters from Sicily, in season, are in live tanks in the kitchen!

The servers expertly debone the fish at tableside. It’s not unusual to see Paul on the floor touching tables and explaining his dishes.

This is what veteran Las Vegas restaurant journalist Max Jacobson has said about Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare : “The chef is both a fanatic and masterful technician, so expect perfection.”

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineOur favorite debonair man about Orange County, Kedric Francis, is back with us for a dining report from his recent stay in Cancun. Kedric is the well-traveled Executive Editor of both Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine.

Kedric stayed at the 274 room, all-suite, Nizuc Resort & Spa in Cancun secluded a bit away from the tourist zone on a cove. It’s on the grounds of the former presidential retreat. Lots of water…

There are six tempting dining options there so Kedric opted to never leave the property during his visit.

Ni is the Peruvian restaurant. Kedric particularly enjoyed their ceviches.

Indochine is an Asian-fusion spot. Recommended is the sushi and deep-fried Grouper.

Of course they need to have a wonderful Mexican restaurant. That’s Ramona overlooking the beach. It’s modern versions of regional recipes using local produce and spices.

Los Angeles Times Travel ShowThe 16th Annual Los Angeles Times Travel show returns to the West Hall of the L.A. Convention Center on January 18 & 19. Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, Jessica Gelt, is with us to preview her activities at the show.

Gelt has written extensively about food, nightlife, entertainment and travel for The Times. She sometimes combines a few different beats within one entertaining story.

She is moderating two sessions of the same panel, “On the Road : Traveling for Music & Festivals” both days at Noon on the LA Times Stage.

Jessica also shared some insider tips about finding the best food at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. It helps to have VIP access…

Walter ManzkeOne of the most eagerly awaited restaurant openings of 2013 was Republique in Hollywood located on the site of the former trendsetting Campanile which opened in 1989. The architecturally significant building goes back to 1929 when it was constructed as Charlie Chaplin’s offices.

The project is owned by the husband and wife chef team of Walter Manzke and Margarita Manzke along with restaurant impresario Bill Chait. Chef Walter is well-know to L.A. foodies from his time at Patina, Bastide and Church and State. Chef Walter joins us to talk about the first month of operation.

The cuisine is contemporary French with an oyster bar up front. Chef Walter’s particular pride is what comes out of the wood burning oven and rotisserie.

Recently opened is the bakery café for breakfast, brunch and lunch on the go.

The restaurant is still not fully open. It’s expanding service in stages.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jimmy Shaw, Founder and Executive Chef, Loteria! Grill Part One
Segment Three: Jimmy Shaw, Founder and Executive Chef, Loteria! Grill Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, Las Vegas Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Magazine
Segment Seven: Jessica Gelt, Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times
Segment Eight: Walter Manzke, Executive Chef & Proprietor, Rebublique