Show 217, April 1, 2017: Abby Kircher, Founder, Abby’s Better Nut Butter

Abby KircherOne of our discoveries at the recently concluded Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim was Abby’s Better Nut Butter. Nut butters are a fast-growing category within natural products. It’s a great product (only 5 ingredients and no peanuts) but, more unusually, it was started by a 15-year old entrepreneur out of Mooresville, NC.

At the young age of 15, Abby Kircher created a product unlike anything else on the market. Hungry for a healthier alternative to peanut butter but unwilling to forgo flavor and variety, she decided to fill an unmet need on her own. After experimenting with different ingredients, including a variety of nuts, like cashews and pecans, to sweet add-ins, like dates, strawberries and coconuts, she landed on a product that didn’t only taste good—it was good for her, too. This was the beginning of Abby’s Better Nut Butters, and today, two years since its official launch, her product has successfully hit the shelves—and the pantries—of the in-demand health food market.

“My goal from the very beginning was to just make the best product I could find. I wanted to create something that was natural and pure but tasted amazing. When I realized my nut butters were something special, I had my family try it—I was surprised to hear that they actually preferred it over regular peanut butter. At that moment, I knew I had a real chance to share these flavors with even more people,” Abby said.

Abby’s Better Nut Butter boasts six unique blends: Coconut Cashew; Honey Almond; Date Pecan; Bourbon Maple Walnut; Coffee Almond; and Strawberry Cashew. Abby first began selling her product at local farmer’s markets in her hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina in 2015. By late spring in 2016, her nut butters expanded into the retail space, including all Lowes Foods location in the Charlotte area and beyond. Now, the clean eating brand is entering 2017 with an agreement with another major retailer—Whole Foods, for placement in their Southeast stores.

We’ll meet founder Abby Kircher.

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Show 116, April 4, 2015: Perfect Bar

PJ Roustan of Perfect BarNutrition bars are all the rage these days but there surely isn’t a product out there that has the back story which compares to the origins of the Perfect Bar “handmade in sunny San Diego” by the 2nd generation of the Keith Family. 8 Keith siblings (of 13) now run the fast-growing company which was a big hit at the recent Natural Products West Expo in Anaheim.

“Everyone has a story. Ours is a little nuttier than most.”

The Perfect Bar story started with “Dr. Bud Keith.” He was a health food guy before anyone said “health food.” In the mid-1960’s he opened one of the first modern gyms – Healthouse Gym and Juice Bar in Mission Beach, San Diego. He knew what we eat has a direct effect on how we feel. He worked with fitness pioneer Jack LaLanne to help change the way people viewed health and fitness.

Once the Perfect Bar (gluten free) was perfected as a consumer product their first account was Whole Foods and it blossomed from there. Costco is now a major account, too.

PJ Roustan of Perfect Bar will explain…

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Show 76, June 14, 2014: Tasia Malakasis, Proprietress & Cheesemaker – Belle Chevre, Goat Cheese from Alabama

Tasia MalakasisAmerica’ most-awarded goat cheese, Belle Chevre, is lovingly made in small batches in the tiny hamlet of Elkmont, Alabama. For the past twenty-five it’s all been made by hand.

Meet cheesemaker and proprietress, Tasia Malakasis

There is even an award-winning Belle Chevre cheesecake!

Tasia is particularly proud of her new collection of “Goat Cheese for Breakfast.” A bagel never had it so good. Just one enticing variety is Belle and The Bees Breakfast Cheese.

Goats’ milk is the most consumed milk on the planet.

In Southern California Belle Chevre is available at Bristol Farms and Whole Foods Market. Also look for it at The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills.

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Show 44, October 19, 2013: Daniel Boulud, executive chef & global restaurateur based in New York Continued…

Daniel: My French Cuisine Cookbook by Daniel BouludDaniel touched on the part of his book focusing on what he prepares at home when he’s cooking more casually for friends. It is four seasonal menus from his personal favorite French culinary regions including his native Lyon.

Chef Boulud is making a rare appearance in Los Angeles the Week of October 21st supporting the release of the cookbook.

On October 23rd he’ll be at Hotel Bel-Air cooking a sumptuous five course dinner with Wolfgang Puck.

On Thursday, Oct. 24th at Noon, Chef Daniel will be signing copies of DANIEL: My French Cuisine at Whole Foods at 6350 W. 3rd St. in Los Angeles across the street from the Original Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax.

Finally that evening he will be in conversation with the notable Los Angeles Times restaurant critic, Jonathan Gold, at the William Turner Gallery at Bergamot Station Arts Center in Santa Monica. The talk is at 8:00 p.m. with an earlier reception running from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. There are reserved as well as General Admission seats.

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October 19: Daniel Boulud, Andy Ricker, Sriracha Festival, Honda Center Catering

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Daniel Boulud, executive chef & global restaurateur based in New York
Segment Three: Daniel Boulud, executive chef & global restaurateur based in New York Part Two
Segment Four: Chef Jo-Jo Doyle, executive chef, The Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
Segment Five: The L.A. Sriracha Festival, Sunday, October 27th
Segment Six: Andy Ricker, chef and restaurateur, Pok Pok, Portland, Oregon and Brooklyn, New York Part One
Segment Seven: Andy Ricker, chef and restaurateur, Pok Pok, Portland, Oregon and Brooklyn, New York Part Two
Segment Eight: Jet and Allison Tila (Mrs. Jet Tila)

Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Marche Moderne in South Coast Plaza Costa MesaDon’t forget Marche Moderne’s (South Coast Plaza) upcoming “The Pig Head To Toe 3.0” for one week only! The dinner showcases Executive Chef Florent Marneau’s modern interpretation of a fall classic – choucroute – (sauerkraut) and a celebration of pork in nine different ways. The seasonal menu, priced at $30 per guest, will be available at dinner only from October 22 to 29. Plan ahead…

Daniel BouludWhen it comes to true French chef royalty the revered leader in New York is everyone’s favorite Frenchman, Daniel Boulud. His Three Michelin starred flagship restaurant, Daniel, is celebrating its 20th year of culinary excellence.

His newest cookbook, DANIEL: My French Cuisine, was two years in the making and is the perfect gift book for food-lovers for the Holidays. There are 125 spectacular photos of Boulud’s food and Daniel restaurant.

The book has 75 signature recipes plus an additional 12 recipes Chef Boulud prepares for his friends, at home, on more casual occasions. He actually lives above the restaurant in the proud European tradition of owner/chefs.

Food journalist Bill Buford is also a contributor to the handsome coffee table book. He has pieces on the origin and preparation of ten iconic French dishes.

Chef Boulud is making a rare appearance in Los Angeles next week supporting the release of the cookbook.

On October 23rd he’ll be at Hotel Bel-Air cooking a sumptuous five course dinner with Wolfgang Puck.

On Thursday, Oct. 24th at Noon, Chef Daniel will be signing copies of DANIEL: My French Cuisine at Whole Foods at 6350 W. 3rd St. in Los Angeles across the street from the Original Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax.

Finally that evening he will be in conversation with the notable Los Angeles Times restaurant critic, Jonathan Gold, at the William Turner Gallery at Bergamot Station Arts Center in Santa Monica. The talk is at 8:00 p.m. with an earlier reception running from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. There are reserved as well as General Admission seats.

Our neighbor to the North, across E. Katella Ave., is the Honda Center, home of Ducks hockey. Earlier in the year they took the highly unusual step of bringing all of their food service in-house to have better quality control of all the food and beverage served there.

Jo Jo DoyleThe new executive chef supervising everything from hot dogs to the gourmet food going into the luxury boxes is Jo-Jo Doyle. You’ll meet him on Saturday’s show. He was most recently overseeing the entire operation at Churchill Downs home of the famous Kentucky Derby.

Chef Doyle is now responsible for managing all food and beverage offerings at Honda Center including the spectacular new Grand Terrace (a 15,000 square foot indoor/outdoor entertainment space,) Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Club restaurant and bar, concessions and catering.

LA Sriracha FestivalWith the growing popularity of Sriracha in Southern California as a condiment you just knew it had to happen. On Sunday, October 27th from 3 to 6:00 p.m. in Downtown Los Angeles the curtain will go up on the first annual L.A. Sriracha Festival.

The chef driven food festival is organized by Food GPS’s Josh Lurie and food journalist Randy Clemens. Randy has written two well-received books on Sriracha. His latest is The Veggie-Lovers Sriracha Cookbook.

Josh and Randy join us to take the green cap off the familiar Sriracha bottle and drizzle out all the spicy details.

Multiple stations will allow guests to savor a variety of Sriracha themed dishes, including desserts. Local craft beer, cocktails and sodas will be there to help temper the heat.

The impressive chefs’ line-up includes Neal Fraser, Eric Greenspan, and Ernesto Uchimura of Plan Check Kitchen.

Andy Ricker of Pok PokSurprisingly, Chef Andy Ricker is not from Thailand but as an accomplished restaurateur he’s found great success recreating the flavors of Northern Thailand which he really fell in love with during an extensive visit in 1992. He started with a modest restaurant in Portland, Oregon and his growing empire now extends to Brooklyn.

The original Pok Pok in Portland because a must-stop destination for visiting foodies after being profiled on Food Network’s “Diners Drive-ins and Dives.” In 2011 Andy was bestowed the honor of “Best Chef – Northwest” from The James Beard Foundation.

Just out from Ten Speed Press is Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes, and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand. Particularly helpful are the writings on what differentiates the various regions of Thai cuisine. The book also contains suggestions for complete menus using the various recipes.

“Pok Pok” is a Thai reference to the sound heard from a mortar and pestle when you are grinding food in it.

On to the recipes…

Chef Ricker shares his signature recipe for chicken wings which is more Vietnamese than Thai. He also talks about the famed papaya salad and provides tips on how to properly prepare it. In Thailand there are some hundred variations of this popular dish.

Chef Jet Tila host of the SoCal Restaurant ShowWhen Jet’s wife, Allison, is out socially the question she hears the most is, “What’s it like being married to a prominent chef ?” The expectation is that it’s either chef-prepared gourmet meals nightly or dining out at the very best restaurants. Not exactly…

Inspired by award-winning food journalist Al Mancini’s provocative piece for Las Vegas CityLife ( “Late for dinner : Being the spouse of a chef is often lonely”) Jet and Ali paint the real picture. No violins please…It’s far from glamorous but the good news is that Allison really wouldn’t trade places with anyone!

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Daniel Boulud, executive chef & global restaurateur based in New York
Segment Three: Daniel Boulud, executive chef & global restaurateur based in New York Part Two
Segment Four: Chef Jo-Jo Doyle, executive chef, The Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
Segment Five: The L.A. Sriracha Festival, Sunday, October 27th
Segment Six: Andy Ricker, chef and restaurateur, Pok Pok, Portland, Oregon and Brooklyn, New York Part One
Segment Seven: Andy Ricker, chef and restaurateur, Pok Pok, Portland, Oregon and Brooklyn, New York Part Two
Segment Eight: Jet and Allison Tila (Mrs. Jet Tila)

Show 39, September 7, 2013: Jenny Ross, Executive Chef & Proprietress, 118 Degrees Community Cafes

Jenny RossJenny Ross is the executive chef and proprietress of the 118 Degrees Community Cafes in Costa Mesa, Anaheim, and Laguna Niguel. The original location at The Camp in Costa Mesa recently celebrated its 7-Year Anniversary.

Chef Jenny characterizes her food as fresh, organic living cuisine. Her mission is simply for her guests to enjoy more plant-based foods in their regular diet.

118 degrees is the temperature at which plant-based proteins break down and start to lose some of their nutritional value.

In her restaurants she uses some unusual equipment to avoid heating her food over 118 degrees. These items include the anti-griddle (super cold) and dehydrators.

The line of Jenny Ross Living Foods can be found pre-packaged in the grocery section of select Whole Foods Markets.

Her soon to be published 3rd cookbook is Healing with Raw Living Food.

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Show 16, February 9, 2013: Sara O’Donnell of YouTube’s “Average Betty” (continued…)

Average Betty Sara O'DonnellAverage Betty’s mantra is to cook great, whole foods at home.

Average Betty is also well-known for her totally offbeat celebrity chef interviews. She will ask a celebrity chef to comment on something wild. Nothing mean-spirited here, just totally unexpected. The responses are eminently watchable…In her library are answers from Thomas Keller, Anthony Bourdain, Giada De Laurentis, and Michael Chiarello among many others.

Sara is building the Average Betty brand beyond YouTube. She blogs, represents food products, and is exploring merchandising.

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