Show 100, December 6, 2014: The Grand Central Market

Adele YellinThe historic Grand Central Market (GCM) has been an icon in Downtown Los Angeles since 1917. It celebrates the cuisines and cultures of all Angelenos. In the last two years, under the watchful eye of The Market’s proprietress, Adele Yellin, an impressive transformation has begun.

The best of the ethnic heritage food merchants (Tacos Tumbras A Tomas & Sarita’s Pupuseria) have been retained while exciting new food concepts (appealing to a younger generation of sophisticated foodies) have opened. The first wave of these spots was G&B Coffee and Sticky Rice (which has since expanded into a 2nd location there.) Mark Peel (ex-Campanile) has a seafood concept on the horizon.

The Market is now open later hours for dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Foot traffic at The Grand Central Market has increased…This year Bon Appetit Magazine named the GCM as one of the “Ten Best New Restaurants of The Year.” Adele Yellin took the chef/proprietors of Tacos Tumbras A Tomas and Wexler’s Deli to New York for the bash in New York celebrating the issue.

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Show 68, April 5, 2014: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part One

Micah WexlerChef Micah Wexler was born and raised in Los Angeles and always had aspirations to be a chef. At age 15, Wexler’s first job was working with legendary Italian Chef, Gino Angelini, at Vincenti in Brentwood.

In 2011 Wexler opened Mezze Restaurant as Chef/Co-Owner. Mezze was named one of the Top New Restaurants that year by Los Angeles Magazine and was one of Jonathan Gold’s Essential 99 restaurants.

Next month Wexler will open his newest concept, Wexler’s Deli, in Downtown Los Angeles’ iconic Grand Central Market. Wexler’s Deli aims to take the traditional deli back to its roots and provide a place of community, pride, familiarity, and quality.

The menu will feature traditional favorites of corned beef, pastrami, salmon, and sturgeon, all cured and smoked in-house. All condiments will be house-made.

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Show 68, April 5, 2014: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part Two

Micah WexlerHe’s about to open Wexler’s Deli at the Grand Central Market.

Chef Micah is a big fan of the much-praised pastrami sandwich served at Langer’s Deli. For Chef Micah an outstanding pastrami is defined by the quality of the meat, rye bread made with genuine rye flour, and the mustard.

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April 5: OC Baking Co., Grist & Toll, Duskie Estes, Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, Relish Culinary Adventures, Micah Wexler

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Master Baker Dean Kim, OC Baking Co
Segment Three: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Owner, Zazu Kitchen + Farm, The Barlow
Segment Five: Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, author of Gin: A Global History
Segment Six: Donna del Rey, Relish Culinary Adventurers, Healdsburg, CA
Segment Seven: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part Two

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

The Inaugural Grilled Cheese Festival & Competition featuring the best of the OC’s chefs is coming. We’ll have the details on how you can attend.

Would you believe a stone flour mill in Pasadena? It’s a passion project for the two partners who are selling flour from grain sourced from local growers. That’s a great example of the locavore movement!

We last visited with Chef Duskie Estes of Zazu Kitchen + Farm & Black Pig Meat Co. right before they opened their spacious new restaurant at The Barlow in Sebastopol (Sonoma County) last year. We have an update…

You can’t have a classic bar without gin. We have a fascinating tutorial from the local expert affiliated with the Museum of the American Cocktail.

The gateway to the Sonoma County Wine Country for foodies is Relish Culinary Tours located right off the town square in Healdsburg. They offer cooking classes, private parties, culinary tours and creative catering. We’ll hear about what’s on their menu for Spring & Summer.

A Los Angeles fine dining chef who has cooked at Tom Colicchio’s Craft in Century City is a deliman at heart. He’s about to open a Jewish deli in Downtown Los Angeles featuring his premium, house cured meats.

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

The Big Cheese Grilled Cheese CompetitionIn celebration of National Grilled Cheese Month in April, OC Baking Co. and Provisions Market in Orange will join forces to host The Big Cheese, Orange County’s first grilled cheese festival and competition. OC Baking Co. Master Baker Dean Kim will supply locally produced freshly baked bread to top OC chefs competing for the title of “The Big Cheese” on Monday, April 14th from 6 to 8:00 p.m. at Provisions Market in Orange.

“The Chef community in Orange County is a tight knit one with many talented individuals I’m proud to call my friends,” commented Chef Greg Daniels, who oversees the kitchens at Haven Gastropub in Orange and Pasadena, as well as taco asylum in Costa Mesa. “Grilled Cheese is something we can all relate to and, thanks to OC Baking Co.’s support, this event is a way for us to get together for a lighthearted competition.”

Nan KohlerSerious home baker Nan Kohler and her business partner (Marti Noxon) have recently opened (December) Grist & Toll, an Urban flour mill in Pasadena. They are selling flour milled on the site from grain sourced from local growers.

The attractive blond wood stone mill from Austria is visible through a window and is the real star of the show.

They sell flour to home bakers as well as select restaurants including Union Restaurant in Pasadena.

Baking classes are on the way.

Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart of Zazu Kitchen and FarmWhen we first met Sonoma County-based Chef Duskie Estes last Spring when she was about to move Zazu Kitchen + Farm from Santa Rosa into an incredible space at The Barlow in Sebastopol. It’s now located on the grounds of a long-closed Gravenstein apple processing facility. Some of the tin clad warehouse buildings remain and have been artfully repurposed. The rest of the complex duplicates that rustic look.

Duskie and her husband, John Stewart, are the King & Queen of Porc from the Grand Cochon competition in 2011. They also operate the Black Pig Meat Co.

Most of the mains change nightly at Zazu. A signature starter is the “I (heart) Pigstrami. John cures the pork for this little sandwich served on artisan rye with sauerkraut and house-made Guinness mustard.

Saturday and Sunday brunch is a major attraction here. At brunch the “can’t miss” item is the “As seen on TV” maple glazed donut with bacon jimmies. Outrageous…

Also popular is the king + queen of pork bacon-in-the-batter waffle with bacon toffee and house-made espresso gelato.

Lesley Jacobs SolmonsonThe Museum of the American Cocktail (based in New Orleans) is kicking off their “Touring the Cocktail Series” in Los Angeles with Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, the author of Gin: A Global History. She also is the food and cocktail columnist at LA Weekly. The provocative program is “A History of Gin in Five Cocktails.”

Gin is the undisputed king of cocktail spirits. Built upon a neutral spirit base, great gin is a symphony of juniper, spices, botanicals, and citrus.

Five signature gin cocktails will be available for sampling that evening. It’s set for Monday, April 7th at Dominick’s Restaurant in West Hollywood.

Donna del Rey of Relish Culinary AdventuresWhen it comes to providing the welcoming gateway for discriminating foodies to the Sonoma County Wine Country no one does it better than the hard-working Donna del Rey of Relish Culinary Adventures in Healdsburg. Relish offers cooking classes, private parties, distinctive culinary tours, and creative catering.

Recently Donna and her crew provided support for the Artisan Cheese Festival.

For the ultimate experience they offer “Relish Sonoma County,” a 3-Day Culinary Adventure of Sonoma County.

Coming up on June 21st is a hands-on Culinary Birds cooking class with Chef John Ash.

Micah WexlerChef Micah Wexler was born and raised in Los Angeles and always had aspirations to be a chef. At age 15, Wexler’s first job was working with legendary Italian Chef, Gino Angelini, at Vincenti in Brentwood.

In 2011 Wexler opened Mezze Restaurant as Chef/Co-owner. Mezze was named one of the Top New Restaurants that year by Los Angeles Magazine and was one of Jonathan Gold’s Essential 99 restaurants.

Next month Wexler will open his newest concept, Wexler’s Deli, in Downtown Los Angeles’ iconic Grand Central Market. Wexler’s Deli aims to take the traditional deli back to its roots and provide a place of community, pride, familiarity, and quality.

The menu will feature traditional favorites of corned beef, pastrami, salmon, and sturgeon, all cured and smoked in-house. All condiments will be house-made.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Master Baker Dean Kim, OC Baking Co
Segment Three: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Owner, Zazu Kitchen + Farm, The Barlow
Segment Five: Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, author of Gin: A Global History
Segment Six: Donna del Rey, Relish Culinary Adventurers, Healdsburg, CA
Segment Seven: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part Two

Show 66, March 22, 2014: Kevin West, journalist, cookbook author, home preserving expert

Kevin WestKevin West is a respected writer, cookbook author and hobbyist-turned professional-canner. His first cookbook (published last year) was, Saving the Season: a cook’s guide to home canning, pickling, and preserving.

He’s also part of the team suggesting the appealing new food enterprises at the historic Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles, opened in 1917. Already there (and making an impression) are Valerie Confections, Horse Thief BBQ, G&B Coffee, Eggslut, DTLA Cheese, and Sticky Rice.

On the way are Wexler’s Deli, The Oyster Gourmet, Olio Pizzeria, and Berlin Currywurst. Also opening soon is Belcampo Meat Co., a full-service butcher shop featuring organic, grass-fed meats.

It’s important to know that the popular ethnic food stalls that have been the backbone of the Market for years will remain.

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March 22: Brooke Williamson, Selanne Steak Tavern, Grand Central Market, Eat LBC, Food Network 20th Anniversary, Blue Bottle Coffee

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Brooke Williamson, Hudson House, The Tripel and soon, Playa Provisions
Segment Three: Executive Chef Josh Severson, Selanne Steak Tavern
Segment Four: Kevin West, journalist, cookbook author, home preserving expert
Segment Five: Elizabeth Borsting and Terri Henry, Co-Producers, EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week
Segment Six: Eric Boardman, Food & Travel TV Producer, On-Camera Host & Personality, and Writer
Segment Seven: David Wicker, Managing Partner and Vice President of Sales & Marketing, West Coast Prime Meats
Segment Eight: James Freeman, Founder & CEO, Blue Bottle Coffee

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Chef Brooke Williamson of Hudson House and The Tripel is back with us. Her latest venture, Playa Provisions, is about to debut. In Laguna Beach we’re checking in with Executive Chef Josh Severson at the booming Selanne Steak Tavern.

The Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles is the grandfather of food halls in the area. Exciting things are going on there with the arrival of distinctive new food businesses. We’re continuing with our preview of EAT LBC, Long Beach’s first ever restaurant week set for March 30th through April 5th.

The Food Network celebrated its 20th Anniversary last year. That’s a lot of history. We’ll be talking about the early days of FN with one of their original show hosts.

Also on the menu is another information segment with our resident meat expert. We’ll discuss wet and dry aging and other meaty matters.

The hit of the just concluded Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim was a new cold-brewed coffee from Blue Bottle Coffee. The founder of Blue Bottle Coffee is with us to explain.

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

Brooke Williamson of Hudson House and TripelChef Brooke Williamson’s entire life has always been about food. With chef-husband Nick Roberts she now owns Hudson House in Redondo Beach and The Tripel in Playa Del Rey. Both are popular neighborhood spots. Soon to launch is their latest venture, Playa Provisions.

Chef Brooke has earned a Level 1 accreditation from The Court of Master Sommeliers.

Chef Brooke gained a national following on Bravo’s “Top Chef – Season 10” were she finished as a runner up. There is a strong rumor she will be part of Celebrity Cruises’ “Top Chef at Sea,” 7-day voyage to Alaska on August 15th out of Seattle.

Josh SeversonWe’re revisiting the new Selanne Steak Tavern in Laguna Beach. It’s less than a half-year old but is already attracting loyal repeat diners from the highly discriminating neighborhood. Our guest is Executive Chef Joshua Severson.

Chef Josh previously spent time with celebrity chef Tom Colicchio at CraftSteak in Las Vegas at The MGM Grand.

There is a lot more than juicy steaks on the Selanne Steak Tavern menu.

Kevin WestKevin West is a respected writer, cookbook author and hobbyist-turned professional-canner. His first cookbook (published last year) was, Saving the Season: a cook’s guide to home canning, pickling, and preserving.

He’s also part of the team suggesting the appealing new food enterprises at the historic Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles, opened in 1917. Already there (and making an impression) are Valerie Confections, Horse Thief BBQ, G&B Coffee, Eggslut, DTLA Cheese, and Sticky Rice.

On the way are Wexler’s Deli, The Oyster Gourmet, Olio Pizzeria, and Berlin Currywurst. Also opening soon is Belcampo Meat Co., a full-service butcher shop featuring organic, grass-fed meats.

Eat LBC Long Beach Restaurant WeekOver 50 Long Beach restaurants are participating in EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week, the city’s first-ever Restaurant Week. The dates are March 30th through April 5th.

Several prominent Long Beach neighborhoods are represented including Downtown, East Village, Downtown Waterfront, Belmont Shore, Belmont Heights, the PCH Corridor and East Anaheim/Zafaria District. In addition to their regular menu, each restaurant will offer a special three-course menu during Restaurant Week which includes an appetizer, entrée and dessert for $26 at casual eateries, and $38 at fine dining establishments. Tax and gratuity are additional.

Restaurants participate in restaurant weeks to persuade first-time guests to return. You see restaurants at their very best and the menus are value priced.

Co-producers Elizabeth Borsting and Terri Henry join us to preview Restaurant Week.

Clearly The Food Network which celebrated it’s 20th Anniversary last year has had a major influence on American popular opinion. They had to create a 2nd channel, “The Cooking Channel,” to accommodate all the potential sponsors who wanted to be represented. It’s now actually cool to talk about food and cook. Dudes share recipes…Chefs have become huge celebrities. Wolfgang Puck is better known World Wide than a lot of film and TV celebrities.

Eric BoardmanFood Network started modestly and with tight budgets. Our guest, Eric Boardman, was there in the early days. In 1999 he was the host of the popular series “Calling All Cooks.” The concept was the host going into the guest’s home kitchen where they make (with the series host) a recipe they are famous for in their immediate social circles, family or community. A lot were shot in Southern California but some exotic locations were used, too. The guests were talented home cooks.

West Coast Prime MeatsWest Coast Prime Meats really knows the meat business as only an insider can. Most of their seasoned, senior executives have an extensive background in the restaurant business or are master butchers. If fact West Coast’s key master butcher has more than 30 years experience in the field.

Dave Wicker, WCPM’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing and Managing Partner, is back with us to talk beef. We’ll talk about wet and dry aging and the cuts of steak. We’ll also weigh-in on whether having the bone-in on a steak adds moré flavor once it’s cooked.

James Freeman of Blue Bottle CoffeeBlue Bottle Coffee is a sensation for coffee lovers in San Francisco and New York. They are soon to arrive locally in Venice on Abbot Kinney Blvd. and in Culver City.

Blue Bottle Coffee was a big hit at the recently concluded Natural Products Expo West @ the Anaheim Convention Center. They were there to introduce their newest product, Cold Brewed New Orleans Iced Coffee packaged in a mini milk carton. It was one of the biggest hits at the show and the talk of the floor!

Founder and CEO James Freeman is with us to provide the background. He was actually at the show pouring samples!

Blue Bottle Coffee – New Orleans Iced Coffee. Blended with chicory, cane sugar & Clover Organic Milk.

“Near the beginning of the 19th Century, the French brought chicory-infused coffee to New Orleans. Two hundred years later we crafted our own organic, cold—brewed version for our farmers market stand, adding cane sugar and whole milk. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Brooke Williamson, Hudson House, The Tripel and soon, Playa Provisions
Segment Three: Executive Chef Josh Severson, Selanne Steak Tavern
Segment Four: Kevin West, journalist, cookbook author, home preserving expert
Segment Five: Elizabeth Borsting and Terri Henry, Co-Producers, EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week
Segment Six: Eric Boardman, Food & Travel TV Producer, On-Camera Host & Personality, and Writer
Segment Seven: David Wicker, Managing Partner and Vice President of Sales & Marketing, West Coast Prime Meats
Segment Eight: James Freeman, Founder & CEO, Blue Bottle Coffee