Show 40, September 14, 2013: Brock Radke, Food and Web Editor, Las Vegas Weekly

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyOur man on the scene in Las Vegas, Brock Radke, was back with us. Brock is the respected Web and Food Editor for The Las Vegas Weekly.

Last month Brock had a provocative piece in The Weekly entitled. “Where are they now? Checking up on the first wave of Vegas food truckers.

Fukuburger has probably been the most successful and is still on the streets. A brick and mortar location for Las Vegas is in the plans. Sloppi Jo’s was a big success with the food critics but, ultimately, not a viable business model. Proprietress Jolene Mannina has parlayed this into other major food projects for herself. In fact she’s the head of Culinary Arts for the upcoming “Life is Beautiful” Festival in Downtown Las Vegas. The originator of Slidin’ Thru has moved on but the truck still does events and catering and there is a bricks and mortar drive-through.

Brock also talked about the just launched Heritage Steak at The Mirage on The Strip. The proprietor is Tom Colicchio of Bravo’s “Top Chef” fame and a James Beard Award recipient.

Kumi Japanese Restaurant & Bar is newly opened in Mandalay Bay. The executive Chef is Akira Back (Yellowtail) who is well-known in Las Vegas.

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September 14: Azunia Tequila, Vegas Food Trucks, Elizabeth Huettinger, Lena Kwak, Amar Santana, Eric Klein, Michael Passmore

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jim Riley, founder of Azunia Tequila
Segment Three: Brock Radke, Food and Web Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Four: Elizabeth Huettinger, Wine Director, Addison Del Mar
Segment Five: Lena Kwak, Research and Development Chef, Thomas Keller Restaurant Group
Segment Six: Amar Santana, Executive Chef / Owner, Broadway by Amar Santana
Segment Seven: Eric Klein, Executive Chef & Partner, Spago Las Vegas
Segment Eight: Michael Passmore, Passmore Ranch, Sustainable Aqua Farming

Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Thai 2013 Food FestivalMark Sunday afternoon, September 29th on your calendar. Our very own Jet Tila is hosting the Thai 2013 Food Festival at Paramount Pictures Studios in the heart of Hollywood. It starts at 3:00 p.m.

Celebrity chefs from around the country and outstanding local Thai chefs will be there presenting their signature dishes for the guests to sample and enjoy. Entertainment will include music, Thai dancers and fruit carving.

VIP and Regular Tickets are now on sale!

Azunia TequilaJim Riley, the founder of Azunia Tequila joins us. In his spare time Jim is a professional off-road racer of some note.

This is a case study of how a boutique tequila company grows a brand in an environment dominated by cash-rich giants. Riley has built his brand with clever grass-roots marketing and being seen in the right places.

Azunia Tequila is organic and 100 per cent Weber Blue Agave. It is available in the styles of Platinum Blanco (great for cocktails,) Reposado, and Anejo.

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyOur man in Las Vegas, Brock Radke, is back with us. Brock is the respected Web and Food Editor for The Las Vegas Weekly.

Last month Brock had a great piece in The Weekly entitled. “Where are they now? Checking up on the first wave of Vegas food truckers.”

Fukuburger has probably been the most successful and is still on the streets. A brick and mortar location for Las Vegas is in the plans. Sloppi Jo’s was a big success with the food critics but, ultimately, not a viable business model. Proprietress Jolene Mannina has parlayed this into other food projects for herself. In fact she’s the head of Culinary Arts for the upcoming “Life is Beautiful” Festival in Downtown Las Vegas. The originator of Slidin’ Thru has moved on but the truck still does events and catering and there is a bricks and mortar drive-through.

Brock also talked about the just launched Heritage Steak at The Mirage on The Strip. The proprietor is Tom Colicchio of Bravo’s “Top Chef” fame and a James Beard Award recipient.

Elizabeth Huettinger of the Addison in Del MarSommelier Elizabeth Huettinger is the new Wine Director at Addison restaurant and The Grand Del Mar Resort in Del Mar. She was previously part of the wine team at Spago Beverly Hills.

Elizabeth just took the incredibly difficult “Advanced” certification test from the Court of Master Sommeliers. She shares that humbling experience with us.

Earlier in the Summer the Grand hosted a special screening of the documentary, “SOMM”. It’s the first effort by filmmaker Jason Wise.
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“SOMM” tells the fascinating story of four sommeliers attempting to pass the rigorous and prestigious Master Sommelier exam. This test has one of the lowest pass rates imaginable. Elizabeth’s head sommelier at Spago (her previous post) is a Master Sommelier. She talks about hosting the screening (there was wine and abundant food stations) and her reaction to the highly acclaimed documentary.

Lena KwakChef Lena Kwak is the highly acclaimed research development chef for The French Laundry and The Thomas Keller Restaurant Group in Yountville, CA. She created the position.

With the backing of Keller she developed Cup4Cup, a healthy wheat flour-substitute which has gone national over the last two years. It’s carried in Williams-Sonoma stores and also available at the Bouchon Bakeries in Yountville, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, and New York.

Last year Kwak was named as one of Forbes Magazine’s “Top 30 Under 30” for her work with Cup4Cup.

In addition to bread mixes the proprietary line also includes a brownie mix, pizza dough, and pancake/waffle mix.

Amar SantanaChef Amar Santana is very familiar to Orange County foodies. His mentor, Chef Charlie Palmer (Aureole,) brought him out here from Manhattan in 2008 to open Charlie Palmer’s at Bloomingdales at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Talk about a plum assignment for a young chef…

With the backing of one of his very loyal guests he later departed to open a venture of his own, Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach. Since opening in 2011 it’s been a hit with both the food critics and guests. The bar has also created its own loyal following for unusual libations and a welcoming atmosphere. Their superior Moscow Mule (not listed on the bar menu) is a thoughtful homage to the original version created in the late 30s in Hollywood and now using all fresh ingredients and from scratch ginger beer.

Eric KleinIn 2007 Executive Chef Eric Klein (now a partner) was handed the keys to Spago Las Vegas by Wolfgang Puck and charged with freshening up the concept. This was quite a formidable assignment given that Spago is Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant in Las Vegas! They celebrated their 20th Anniversary last year.

The restaurant is a busy café (with exhibition pizza oven) in the front and an elegant fine-dining restaurant in the back. The front patio opens onto the busy main Forum Shops walkway.

As with the Beverly Hills original Spago Las Vegas attracts the celebrity clientele in addition to sophisticated foodies. Chef Eric is the visible personality of the establishment.

Chef Eric’s first assignment in Las Vegas (after relocating from Beverly Hills) was SW Steakhouse at Wynn Las Vegas.

Michael Passmore of Passmore RanchMichael Passmore is an elite class freshwater fish farmer in the Sacramento area. His Passmore Ranch is sustainable aqua farming and his clientele are discriminating celebrity chefs all across the country who he, unusually, supplies directly.

They started modestly by selling live fish at Northern California farmers’ markets, and their quality and service quickly established them as premium purveyors for top restaurants and Michelin-starred chefs around the country.

Passmore Ranch offers premium freshwater white sturgeon, black bass, striped bass, catfish, silver carp and trout, plus prized domestic caviar.

Today Passmore Ranch is 86 acres and they raise fish in 80 million gallons of fresh water pumped up from the pristine Cosumnes aquifer. The ranch has a variety of open lakes and massive tanks used to increase the variety of sustainable fish they grow.

In the works is a plan to begin a thoughtful rollout of limited direct sales to serious home cooks. The info will be posted on their website.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jim Riley, founder of Azunia Tequila
Segment Three: Brock Radke, Food and Web Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Four: Elizabeth Huettinger, Wine Director, Addison Del Mar
Segment Five: Lena Kwak, Research and Development Chef, Thomas Keller Restaurant Group
Segment Six: Amar Santana, Executive Chef / Owner, Broadway by Amar Santana
Segment Seven: Eric Klein, Executive Chef & Partner, Spago Las Vegas
Segment Eight: Michael Passmore, Passmore Ranch, Sustainable Aqua Farming

Show 31, June 15, 2013: Brock Radke, Food & Web Editor for Las Vegas Weekly

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyBrock was back with us to provide insight on what’s new on the always dynamic Las Vegas dining scene.

Gourmet burger spots fronted by celebrity chefs are continuing to proliferate on the Strip. It’d just been announced that both Daniel Boulud and Mario Batali are bringing gourmet burger concepts to the Venetian/Palazzo complex. Every Strip hotel has a high-end steak house so the new trend is to have a celebrity chef driven burger restaurant, too. Gordon Ramsay’s burger place arrived on The Strip late last year.

The big noise in Las Vegas right now moves to Downtown. The “Life is Beautiful Festival” has been announced for the Weekend of October 26th and 27th. In addition to big name musical acts on five stages there will be an exciting culinary program on equal footing with the music. The Culinary Advisory board is headed by Bruce and Eric Bromberg of the Blue Ribbon Restaurants in New York and Las Vegas (at the Cosmopolitan).

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Show 22, March 23, 2013: Brock Radke, Food & Web Editor of Las Vegas Weekly

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyA few weeks ago Brock wrote a piece for Las Vegas Weekly’s Web site on the 20 most important restaurants in Las Vegas. That generated such an enormous reaction that Brock’s Editor asked him to revise the piece and rank the “Top 20” in his order of his preference. The cover story for the March 14th issue was “The 20 Most Important Restaurants in Las Vegas: Brock Radke ranks the landmarks and upstarts defining how we eat right now.” There is also a fascinating sidebar where Brock interviews the chefs and restaurateurs who made the Top 20 and gets their pick for most important restaurant.

The Top 5 in order are L’Altelier de Joel Robuchon, Raku, Picasso, Lotus of Siam and a tie between Guy Savoy and Joel Robuchon for the 5th position. It’s significant to note that two of the Top 5 choices are off Strip locations outside of luxury hotels.

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March 23: Ricardo Zarate, Cocoy Ventura, Anita Lau, Brock Radke, Portola Coffee Lab

Podcasts

Segment One: Food GPS’ Joshua Lurie
Segment Two: Chef Cocoy Ventura
Segment Three: Anita Lau, Mad Hungry Woman Blogger
Segment Four: Brock Radke, Food & Web Editor of Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Five: Jeff & Christa Duggan of Portola Coffee Lab, Theorem by Portola Coffee Lab, and Seventh Tea Bar in the OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa Part One
Segment Six: Jeff & Christa Duggan of Portola Coffee Lab, Theorem by Portola Coffee Lab, and Seventh Tea Bar in the OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa Part Two

Hungry? This week we’ll start with a dine-around of New York, Houston, and a bit of L.A. From there it’s the 411 on Filipino food presented by a distinguished Filipino Chef.

Next it’s a look at an appealing San Diego restaurant discovered by our always reliable correspondent covering San Diego. From there it’s a look at the Top 20 restaurants in Las Vegas both on and off The Strip ranked by an objective local insider. Lastly it’s all things coffee with a pair of real experts.

Jet has been in New York and Houston since he was last on the air so he’ll share some of his dining adventures.

Ricardo Zarate of Mo-Chica and PiccaChef Ricardo Zarate (Mo-Chica & Picca) is about to open his eagerly anticipated Paiche in Marina del Rey. To celebrate Chef Zarate is joining forces with FOOD GPS to present two evenings of special dinners collaborating with fellow Food & Wine magazine “Best New Chefs”. Joshua Lurie of Food GPS will be along to preview the dinners on March 26th and 27th.

Chef Cocoy VenturaHiding in plain sight is the fact that there is a large Filipino community in Los Angeles. There is even a chain of well-stocked and nicely-appointed Filipino supermarkets based in Los Angeles County.

Chef Cocoy Ventura is with us to talk about the basic components of Filipino food. Fish, vegetables, and fruit are just some of the tasty building blocks.

Anita Lau, the widely followed Mad Hungry Woman blogger, is back with us sharing another dining discovery. She tell us about an appealing find in San Diego that she happily goes back to time and again.

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyBrock Radke is the respected, no-nonsense Food and Web Editor for Las Vegas Weekly. The March 14th cover story for The Weekly was “The 20 Most Important Restaurants in Las Vegas: Brock Radke ranks the landmarks and upstarts defining how we eat right now” positioned in order of appeal to him. It features both on and off The Strip locations. Let the games begin…

Jeff and Christa Duggan of Portola Coffee Lab in Costa MesaIf you really love a superior cup of coffee then don’t miss this segment! Coffee fanatics Jeff and Christa Duggan of Portola Coffee Lab at the OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa are constantly on the hunt for brewing the ultimate cup of coffee…They call it Craft Coffee. (Don’t worry – they are passionate but harmless…)

“Since opening Portola Coffee Lab, we have focused on empowering the community with quality, traceable, fresh-roasted coffee, presented in an artful context – one cup at a time,” explains proprietor Jeff Duggan.

Last year the energetic Duggans added Theorem by Portola Coffee Lab adjacent to their original coffee haven. It’s a 6-seat bar presenting a Barista-crafted menu of one-of-a-kind Craft Coffee creations focused on delivering a rich, personal experience.

Podcasts

Segment One: Food GPS’ Joshua Lurie
Segment Two: Chef Cocoy Ventura
Segment Three: Anita Lau, Mad Hungry Woman Blogger
Segment Four: Brock Radke, Food & Web Editor of Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Five: Jeff & Christa Duggan of Portola Coffee Lab, Theorem by Portola Coffee Lab, and Seventh Tea Bar in the OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa Part One
Segment Six: Jeff & Christa Duggan of Portola Coffee Lab, Theorem by Portola Coffee Lab, and Seventh Tea Bar in the OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa Part Two

Show 19, March 2, 2013: Brock Radke, Food and Web Editor for Las Vegas Weekly

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyInspired by Bon Appetit’s newly announced 20 Most Important Restaurants in America, Brock compiled his own list for Las Vegas. He joined us to discuss his picks.

The listing was originally prepared for the online version of Las Vegas Weekly. The piece proved so popular that Brock has freshened the article and added restaurant rankings in order of 1 to 20. This will appear in a future issue and we’ll have Brock back to speak about it.

His pick for classic Las Vegas fine-dining is Picasso at The Bellagio opened with the property back in 1998. Founding chef Julian Serrano remains at the helm and the room is decorated with authentic Picassos. An only in Las Vegas experience…

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March 2: New Orleans, Las Vegas and Laguna Beach foodies

Podcasts

Segment One: Liz Williams, President and Director, Southern Food and Beverage Museum, New Orleans
Segment Two: Executive Chef Rick Moonen of rm seafood at The Shoppes at Mandalay Place in Las Vegas
Segment Three: Nancy Milby, co-founder of Laguna Beach Uncorked! An International Wine & Food Fest! and Executive Director of Laguna Culinary Arts, Inc.
Segment Four: Brock Radke, Food and Web Editor for Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Five: Jim Colombo, General Manager of Five Crowns and SideDoor in Corona del Mar
Segment Six: Dining at Urasawa in Beverly Hills and Highlights from “A Taste of Harlem in Baldwin Hills” at Post & Beam

It’s tempting food from New Orleans, Las Vegas, and Laguna Beach this week. Also a preview of an inspired Newport Beach Public Library Foundation series to teach kids about cooking.

elizabeth_m_williamsElizabeth (Liz) M. Williams is the founder and president of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans, which celebrates the food of the American South with exhibits, a library, archives, collections, and programming.

Her new book is New Orleans: A Food Biography.

Beignets, Po’ Boys, gumbo, jambalaya, Antoine’s. New Orleans’ celebrated status derives in large measure from its incredibly rich food culture, based mainly on Creole and Cajun traditions. At last, this world-class destination has its own food biography. Elizabeth M. Williams, a New Orleans native, takes readers through the history of the city, showing how the natural environment and people have shaped the cooking we all love. The narrative starts by describing the indigenous population and material resources, then reveals the contributions of the immigrant populations, delves into markets and local food companies, and finally discusses famous restaurants, drinking culture, cooking at home and cookbooks, and signature food dishes.

Rick Moonen of rm seafood in Las VegasRick Moonen of rm seafood at The Shoppes at Mandalay Place is one of those unusual celebrity chefs in Las Vegas with a namesake restaurant. Las Vegas is his home and he actually lives there.

Chef Moonen is recognized for his considerable talents in preparing seafood. He is also a pioneer in the sustainable seafood movement.

On Thursday evening, March 15th Chef Moonen will be joined by Chef Matthew Accarrino (former chef de cuisine of Restaurant RM) of SPQR in San Francisco to present a five-course, seafood lover’s meal (with wine pairings) to benefit Three Square Food Bank in Las Vegas.

Laguna Beach UncorkedThe 2nd Annual Laguna Beach Uncorked is set for Saturday, March 9th at the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts grounds from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. It’s an indulgent afternoon of tastings from 20 prominent Laguna Beach restaurants and 30 top wineries from around the world. Proceeds benefit CHOC Children’s Hospital in Orange County.

One of the founders of the festival, Nancy Milby, the Executive Director of Laguna Culinary Arts, Inc., will be with us to preview Laguna Beach Uncorked! An International Wine & Food Fest!

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyOur eyes and ears in Las Vegas, Brock Radke, is back with us. Brock is the Food and Web Editor for the Las Vegas Weekly there and a genuine insider.

Inspired by Bon Appetit’s newly announced 20 Most Important Restaurants in America, Brock put together his own list for Las Vegas. He joins us to discuss his picks.

Kids Cook is the first program in the new series, Making Memories for Children from the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation.

It’s a three-part culinary adventure under the expert direction of Jim Colombo, General Manager of Five Crowns in Corona del Mar. Jim is also an accomplished chef by training.

Making Memories for Children from the Newport Beach Library FoundationThe first session is on Sunday, March 10th in the garden at Five Crowns. It’s an introduction to a variety of fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables, followed by a hands-on lesson in preparing simple, delicious treats.

The program continues on March 17th and 24th.

Podcasts

Segment One: Liz Williams, President and Director, Southern Food and Beverage Museum, New Orleans”
Segment Two: Executive Chef Rick Moonen of rm seafood at The Shoppes at Mandalay Place in Las Vegas
Segment Three: Nancy Milby, co-founder of Laguna Beach Uncorked! An International Wine & Food Fest! and Executive Director of Laguna Culinary Arts, Inc.
Segment Four: Brock Radke, Food and Web Editor for Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Five: Jim Colombo, General Manager of Five Crowns and SideDoor in Corona del Mar
Segment Six: Dining at Urasawa in Beverly Hills and Highlights from “A Taste of Harlem in Baldwin Hills” at Post & Beam

Show 13, January 19, 2013: Brock Radke, Food & Web Editor, Las Vegas Weekly

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklySome big deal new restaurants opened in Las Vegas (both on and off The Strip) toward the end of last year. And our own Brock Radke from Las Vegas Weekly has the scoop.

Alex Stratta, a well-recognized fixture at Wynn Las Vegas for many years, has decamped Sin City for Beverly Hills. He’s now executive chef at Scarpetta at Montage Beverly Hills for Scott Conant.

Chef Kim Canteenwalla opened Society Café at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. His wife is respected restaurant consultant and concept developer Elizabeth Blau. Together they opened a neighborhood casual spot, Honey Salt, in Rampart Commons across the street from Boca Park. It’s a locals’ place that’s also family friendly.

Amazingly, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay opened two new spots the same week. The larger concept is Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace. It’s already doing good business but there are consistency problems due to the mobs of guests being served.

Every Strip Hotel has a gourmet burger spot these days so Gordon Ramsay is in on that action, too, with Gordon Ramsay BurGR at Planet Hollywood. Brock recommends their burgers and thinks it’s a fun lunch experience for the Family that won’t break the bank.

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Oct 20: Zov Karamardian, Barbara Fairchild, Daniel Nelson, Melissa’s Produce Guru

Podcasts

Segment One: Zov Karamardian Part One
Segment Two: Zov Karamardian Part Two
Segment Three: Barbara Fairchild Part One
Segment Four: Barbara Fairchild Part Two
Segment Five: Mixologist Daniel Nelson of The Writer’s Room
Segment Six: Produce Guru Robert Schueller and Food Republic’s Jason Kessler

Zov Karamardian or Zov's in TustinIf there is a dynasty in the Orange County restaurant business it has to be Zov Karamardian and her hard-working Family. They took a small space in the Enderle Center in Tustin and over the years have grown the enterprise into the largest food tenant in the center at 12,000 sq. ft.. It’s a bakery, gourmet specialty food store, cafe, restaurant, and catering space under one large roof. Zov is just back from Istanbul, Turkey and will discuss the food scene there.

Barbara Fairchild is the long-serving Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appetit Magazine. She retired when the publisher abandoned their original Los Angeles base. Barbara will be highlighting her recent culinary adventures in Kauai, Hawaii’s Garden Isle. It’s the best in joints to fine dining!

Mixologist Daniel Nelson (The Writer’s Room) then joins the party. He’s part of Fog and Smog Films latest YouTube hit, “Mixologist.” He’ll be telling us about pairing cocktails with food and how a good master bartender can really enhance the dining experience for the guest.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceDo you wonder about what “organic” fruits and vegetables are all about? Produce guru Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce is with Jet to explain what it’s all about.

Finally the L.A. based and always opinionated Jason Kessler of Food Republic blog fame has the last word on an unexpected restaurant in Buena Park that he goes way out of his way to frequent. You’ll hear why…

Podcasts

Segment One: Zov Karamardian Part One
Segment Two: Zov Karamardian Part Two
Segment Three: Barbara Fairchild Part One
Segment Four: Barbara Fairchild Part Two
Segment Five: Mixologist Daniel Nelson of The Writer’s Room
Segment Six: Produce Guru Robert Schueller and Food Republic’s Jason Kessler

Show 1: October 6, 2012: Las Vegas Restaurant Insider

It’s Las Vegas, baby. Brock Radke the Food & Web Editor for Las Vegas Weekly reveals what’s new on the always enticing Las Vegas dining scene. He talks about the new $17 million Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar’s Palace and his pick for Off-The-Strip dining, Marche Bacchus.

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