Show 101, December 13, 2014: Chef Curtis Stone’s Maude

Ben Aviram of Maude RestaurantCelebrity Chef Curtis Stone’s (Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” and Food Network’s “Kitchen Inferno”) Maude in Beverly Hills was the Best New Restaurant of the Year for both LA Weekly and Eater L.A.

Every month there is a new theme ingredient around which a totally original, 9-course tasting menu is created. December is “Winter Squash.” The monthly ingredient themes for 2015 are already posted on Maude’s Website.

Because it’s so small you politely advised to make your reservation well in advance. It’s only 7 tables and 25 seats with an open kitchen. There is a carefully considered wine pairing option available, too.

At the beginning of a new month reservations open for dining in the next month. Be aware the restaurant is closed on Sunday and Monday. Reservation hours are on open days from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Also Maude will be closed for vacation the first two weeks of January.

General Manager and Wine Director Ben Aviram joins us to take us through the extraordinary dining experience at Maude.

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Show 89, September 20, 2014: Ed Manetta, Wine Director – Cucina Enoteca

Ed ManettaCucina Enoteca, a lively California-inspired Italian Kitchen & Wine Shop, just launched a 8,300-square-foot restaurant and wine shop located at Fashion Island in Newport Beach.

Wine Director Ed Manetta created a balanced, highly edited, and ever-changing wine list. Comprising over 250 familiar names and rare, small-batch gems from the Americas and Europe, Cucina presents an emphasis on Italian varietals. Manetta promises hand-selected offerings for every taste ranging from the novice taster to the seasoned oenophile.

Wine veteran Manetta is certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers and has 15 years of industry experience.

Ed is with us to discuss their highly unusual retail wine program that’s already making waves.

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Show 73, May 24, 2014: Chef Daniel Boulud, New York City, Las Vegas and The World Continues…

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 (DBGB) in Washington, DC. It’s a return, of sorts, for him to the Nation’s Capital where he started in America.

Chef Boulud is The Chairman of Bocuse d’Or USA (Thomas Keller is the President) 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.

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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 63, March 1, 2013: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Fat Tuesday and the craziness of Mardi Gras are next week We’ll tell you where you can get an authentic taste of New Orleans locally. You’ll meet the very hospitable Donato Poto, the co-owner of both Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood and one of the finest, high-end seafood restaurants in the West, Providence. The Oscars are upon us. Mar Yvette, the Lifestyle Reporter for Fox 11 News, talks to us about what’s on the menu for the 2014 Oscars Governor’s Ball at Hollywood & Highland. This is Wolfgang Puck’s (and his teams) 20th year creating the dazzling menu for the Oscars! Also where the stars dine…

Eat LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week kicks off on March 30th. Executive Chef Dean James Max of James Republic in Long Beach is with us to preview his menu. When it comes to elegant, destination resorts they don’t come more highly acclaimed than Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado. Carlton McCoy (an accredited Master Sommelier) is their 29-year old Wine Director. We’ll hear his inspiring story. Chef Jet was a Judge at last Sunday’s Cochon 555 – An Epic Heritage Pork Event at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. Jet takes us behind-the-scenes at this eagerly anticipated and highly competitive event that tours the country. Oink…

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

Play

Show 63, March 1, 2013: Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy, Wine Director, Little Nell, Aspen, CO

The Little Nell is an acclaimed five star, five diamond luxury property in Aspen, Colorado. It’s Aspen’s only ski-in/ski out luxury hotel. The destination restaurant there is element 47 restaurant.

Carlton McCoyCarlton McCoy, a Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) graduate, is the greatly admired Wine Director there. He is also a certified Master Sommelier, an incredibly elite group. He’s just 29.

Carlton will share with us his inspiring story of growing up in a rough area of Washington, D.C. (known as the “murder capital”) and finding his way (through hard-work) to the privileged affluence of Aspen.

“Growing up, there wasn’t wine on the table at my house, like in many black households,” Carlton said.” But wine is for everyone. Every time I approach a table or talk about wine, it isn’t coming from a place of snobbery or elitism. It’s about figuring out what people like, finding the right wine to appeal to our guests and ultimately having it enhance their experience at the table with friends and family.”

Play

March 1: Brandon Boudet, Dean James Max, Mar Yvette, Donato Poto, Carlton McCoy, Robert Schueller, Cochon 555

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Brandon Boudet, Dominick’s and Little Dom’s, Los Angeles.
Segment Three: Executive Chef James Dean Max, James Republic, Long Beach
Segment Four: Mar Yvette, Lifestyle reporter, Fox 11 News & “Good Day L.A.”
Segment Five: Donato Poto, Partner, Connie & Ted’s, West Hollywood, and Providence, Hollywood
Segment Six: Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy, Wine Director, Little Nell, Aspen, CO
Segment Seven: Jet Tila reporting on Cochon 555 Los Angeles

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Fat Tuesday and the craziness of Mardi Gras are next week We’ll tell you where you can get an authentic taste of New Orleans locally. You’ll meet the very hospitable Donato Poto, the co-owner of both Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood and one of the finest, high-end seafood restaurants in the West, Providence. The Oscars are upon us. Mar Yvette, the Lifestyle Reporter for Fox 11 News, talks to us about what’s on the menu for the 2014 Oscars Governor’s Ball at Hollywood & Highland. This is Wolfgang Puck’s (and his teams) 20th year creating the dazzling menu for the Oscars! Also where the stars dine…

Eat LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week kicks off on March 30th. Executive Chef Dean James Max of James Republic in Long Beach is with us to preview his menu. When it comes to elegant, destination resorts they don’t come more highly acclaimed than Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado. Carlton McCoy (an accredited Master Sommelier) is their 29-year old Wine Director. We’ll hear his inspiring story. Organic fruits and vegetables are top of the mind. Our resident Professor of Produce, Robert Schueller from Melissa’s, is back with an informative update on organics. Chef Jet was a Judge at last Sunday’s Cochon 555 – An Epic Heritage Pork Event at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. Jet takes us behind-the-scenes at this eagerly anticipated and highly competitive event that tours the country.

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

Brandon Boudet of Dominick’s, Little Dom’s and Tom Bergin’sChef Brandon Boudet is the co-owner and head chef for Dominick’s and Little Dom’s. He’s a proud native of New Orleans.

Each year Dominick’s and Little Dom’s celebrate Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday in true Bourbon Street Style. On their menu are special cocktails, bites and of course, Jambalaya and red beans and rice. Chef Brandon explains the mysteries of the King Cake.

Coming up in May are two Saturdays of crawfish boils.

James Republic combines modern sensibilities with old-world principles to afford a genuine gathering place for the neighborhood and a distinctive dining destination in the heart of Long Beach. Weekend brunch on the patio is a popular attraction for the locals.

James Republic is one of over 50 restaurants participating in EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week running from March 30 to April 5th.

The style of food at James Republic is what they call “modern California coastal” dining. The goal is to highlight the season’s vibrant, locally sourced bounty from both the land and sea.

Dean James MaxThe Chef and Partner is Dean James Max whose base is in Florida. His flagship is 3030 Ocean restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale. He has been nominated for James Beard Awards, has authored two cookbooks, and has the honor of cooking at The Beard Foundation in Manhattan regularly.

He now has restaurants in Columbus, Ohio; Grand Cayman; Cleveland; and Trumbull, CT.

In Los Angeles Chef Max is remembered as the owner/chef of Woodside in Brentwood in the late 90s. It was highly regarded and well-reviewed.

Mar YvetteMar Yvette is the Lifestyle Reporter for Fox 11 News right here in Los Angeles.

We’re talking about cuisine worthy of Oscar! For the 20th year Wolfgang Puck and his highly talented team of chefs and associates will prepare the exquisite menu for the 2014 Oscars Governor’s Ball held in the Ray Dolby Ballroom on the top level of the Hollywood & Highland Center. We’ll preview the menu!

Think 1,250 Stone Crab claws for the 1,500 invited guests.

Mar also highlights some of the hidden restaurants in Los Angeles where the celebrities go to simply enjoy the great food and not be noticed! Mar points out that the celebs love the restaurants in luxury hotels. Think Culina Modern Italian at The Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.

Donato PotoDonato Poto is the ever-gracious, “Mr. Hospitality,” when it comes to seasoned restaurant General Managers on the volatile Los Angeles dining scene. He speaks three languages including Italian, French, and English.

In the mid 80s he was the GM of Piero Selvaggio’s Primi in West Los Angeles. At lunch this was the unofficial commissary for the senior executives, producers, writers, and actors & actresses at the nearby Twentieth Century Fox Studios. If you were anybody this is where you lunched. Talk about pressure…

Today Donato is a partner in both Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood and Providence in Hollywood.

Connie & Ted’s was just selected as a Semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant. His business partner, Chef Michael Cimarusti was also recognized as a semifinalist for The James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: West for Providence.

Donato’s other partner in Connie and Ted’s, Craig Nickoloff, founded the hugely successful Claim Jumper Restaurants.

The Little Nell is an acclaimed five star, five diamond luxury property in Aspen, Colorado. It’s Aspen’s only ski-in/ski out luxury hotel. The destination restaurant there is element 47 restaurant.

Carlton McCoyCarlton McCoy, a Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) graduate, is the greatly admired Wine Director there. He is also a certified Master Sommelier, an incredibly elite group. He’s just 29.

Carlton will share with us his inspiring story of growing up in a rough area of Washington, D.C. (known as the “murder capital”) and finding his way (through hard-work) to the privileged affluence of Aspen.

“Growing up, there wasn’t wine on the table at my house, like in many black households,” Carlton said.” But wine is for everyone. Every time I approach a table or talk about wine, it isn’t coming from a place of snobbery or elitism. It’s about figuring out what people like, finding the right wine to appeal to our guests and ultimately having it enhance their experience at the table with friends and family.”

Organic fruits and vegetables are getting a lot of attention these days. With the fresh concern about GMOs in food, certified organic fruits and vegetables are, by definition, free of GMOs.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceOur resident Professor of Produce, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce, is back with us to discuss what’s new in organics.

Melissa’s is the largest variety supplier of fresh organic produce in the USA.

All the varieties of organic Kale are the hot item in produce right now. Organic Pixie Tangerines (easy to peel and sweet) are leading the charge in fresh citrus.

The COCHON U.S. Tour events serve as a link to preserving heritage breed pigs by promoting breed diversity in communities nationwide. The coast-to-coast tour connects ranchers raising heritage breeds with top chefs known for whole animal utilization.

Jet Tila at Cochon 555The Los Angeles stop of the Cochon 555 tour was Sunday, Feb. 23rd at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. Five Chefs worked with five heritage pigs in an intense competition. Chef Ray Garcia of Fig Restaurant was the defending champion.

Our own Chef Jet Tila was a judge. He also cooked the heritage pig for the After Party (Cochon Late Night Asian Speakeasy.) The heritage pig was a Kune Kune (they like to feed on grass) from Rainbow Ranch Farm.

Jet will report on this year’s “Epic Heritage Pork Event.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Brandon Boudet, Dominick’s and Little Dom’s, Los Angeles.
Segment Three: Executive Chef James Dean Max, James Republic, Long Beach
Segment Four: Mar Yvette, Lifestyle reporter, Fox 11 News & “Good Day L.A.”
Segment Five: Donato Poto, Partner, Connie & Ted’s, West Hollywood, and Providence, Hollywood
Segment Six: Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy, Wine Director, Little Nell, Aspen, CO
Segment Seven: Jet Tila reporting on Cochon 555 Los Angeles

Show 60, February 8, 2013: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Valentine’s Day is next week so get moving and don’t panic. It falls on a Friday this year. Friday is an especially tough day for restaurants due to Valentine’s Day anxiety so if you want to be a bit more relaxed make your plans for Saturday or Sunday instead. Still the Valentine’s Day orbit but a bit less crazed for the restaurant. You’ll definitely have better service…

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.

It’s the Winter Olympics in Sochi and a classic Newport Beach restaurant is serving a special Olympics-themed menu for the duration. We’ll go inside the menu with the creative executive chef. Caroline Styne is the partner and Wine Director (with Chef Suzanne Goin) in Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern in West Hollywood and Los Angeles. We’ll talk with her and get insight on how you keep a firmly established and growing restaurant group fresh for the dining public. We’ll also hear the story of Slapfish which started as a modest food truck and now is a growing international empire. Did you know there is an emerging wine region in Northern Baja? You’ll learn about a promising winery in the Guadalupe Valley founded by Italians. Brad A. Johnson, the restaurant critic for The Orange County Register, joins us to talk about letter grades for restaurants. We’ll also have a visit with travel journalist Linda Kissam, who was recently in Spain touring the wineries representing the 50 best Cavas produced there.

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

Play

Show 60, February 8, 2013: Caroline Styne, Wine Director and Partner, Lucques, A.O.C., The Tavern, and The Larder

Caroline StyneCaroline Styne had an extensive background in specialty food products, catering, and restaurant management before partnering with Chef Suzanne Goin to open Lucques in 1988. In December of 2002, Goin & Styne opened their second restaurant, A.O.C., where the concept of small plates and fifty wines by the glass was born out of their shared passion for going out and sampling a variety of appetizers and intriguing wines. A.O.C. relocated to the face-lifted former Orso space about a mile West on 3rd Street in late 2012. Styne is the Wine Director for all the restaurants.

Tavern, in Brentwood, followed in May of 2009. It offers fine dining all day along with The Larder which has gourmet prepared foods and packaged goods. There is a new Larder at Burton Way in the luxury 8500 Burton Way Apartments on the border of L.A. and Beverly Hills as well as at LAX.

Styne contributed the helpful wine notes to Suzanne’s The A.O.C. Cookbook.

“And because wine and cheese are at the heart of A.O.C. there are two exciting additions. Caroline Styne presents a specific wine pairing for each dish. Styne explains why each varietal works well with the ingredients and which flavors she’s trying to highlight, and she gives you room to experiment as well – showing how to shape the wine to your own palate. Whether you’re just grabbing a glass to go with dinner or planning an entire menu, her expert notes are a real education in wine.”

Play

February 8: Caroline Styne, San Antonio Winery, Andrew Gruel, Brad A. Johnson, Paul Gstrein, Linda Kissam

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Caroline Styne, Wine Director and Partner, Lucques, A.O.C., The Tavern, and The Larder
Segment Three: Allan Stark, San Antonio Winery, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Andrew Gruel, Executive Chef & Partner, Slapfish
Segment Five: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County Register
Segment Six: Paul Gstrein, Executive Chef, Bayside Restaurant
Segment Seven: Linda Kissam, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila on Manhattan Dining

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Valentine’s Day is next week so get moving and don’t panic. It falls on a Friday this year. Friday is an especially tough day for restaurants due to Valentine’s Day anxiety so if you want to be a bit more relaxed make your plans for Saturday or Sunday instead. Still the Valentine’s Day orbit but a bit less crazed for the restaurant. You’ll definitely have better service…

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.

It’s the Winter Olympics in Sochi and a classic Newport Beach restaurant is serving a special Olympics-themed menu for the duration. We’ll go inside the menu with the creative executive chef. Caroline Styne is the partner and Wine Director (with Chef Suzanne Goin) in Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern in West Hollywood and Los Angeles. We’ll talk with her and get insight on how you keep a firmly established and growing restaurant group fresh for the dining public. We’ll also hear the story of Slapfish which started as a modest food truck and now is a growing international empire. Did you know there is an emerging wine region in Northern Baja? You’ll learn about a promising winery in the Guadalupe Valley founded by Italians. Brad A. Johnson, the restaurant critic for The Orange County Register, joins us to talk about letter grades for restaurants. We’ll also have a visit with travel journalist Linda Kissam, who was recently in Spain touring the wineries representing the 50 best Cavas produced there.

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

Caroline StyneCaroline Styne had an extensive background in specialty food products, catering, and restaurant management before partnering with Chef Suzanne Goin to open Lucques in 1988. In December of 2002, Goin & Styne opened their second restaurant, A.O.C., where the concept of small plates and fifty wines by the glass was born out of their shared passion for going out and sampling a variety of appetizers and intriguing wines. A.O.C. relocated to the face-lifted former Orso space about a mile West on 3rd Street in late 2012. Styne is the Wine Director for all the restaurants.

Tavern, in Brentwood, followed in May of 2009. It offers fine dining all day along with The Larder which has gourmet prepared foods and packaged goods. There is a new Larder at Burton Way in the luxury 8500 Burton Way Apartments on the border of L.A. and Beverly Hills as well as at LAX.

Styne contributed the helpful wine notes to Suzanne’s The A.O.C. Cookbook.

“And because wine and cheese are at the heart of A.O.C. there are two exciting additions. Caroline Styne presents a specific wine pairing for each dish. Styne explains why each varietal works well with the ingredients and which flavors she’s trying to highlight, and she gives you room to experiment as well – showing how to shape the wine to your own palate. Whether you’re just grabbing a glass to go with dinner or planning an entire menu, her expert notes are a real education in wine.”

LA Cetto WinesDid you know there is a burgeoning wine industry in Mexico? Finally some of these affordable wines are finding their way into the United States. Shouldn’t a fine Mexican restaurant also offer premium Mexican wines?

One of the premier grape growing areas of Mexico is in the Guadalupe Valley (and adjacent valleys) located in Northern Baja California. It has the rural feel of the flat areas of Sonoma County from 40 years ago.

The predecessor wine interests of L.A. Cetto were established in Baja by Italians in the late 1920s. In 1960 L.A. Cetto acquired their first vineyards in the Guadalupe Valley. Today they have some 2,500 acres in the Valley under the stewardship of the 3rd generation of the Baja-based Cetto Family. They are the largest producer of table wines in Mexico.

L.A’s own San Antonio Winery (dating to 1917) is the distributor of L.A. Cetto wines in Southern California. Allan Stark, a 25-year veteran of San Antonio Winery joins us to tell the L.A. Cetto story and discuss some of their premium reserve wines including Nebbiolo, Chardonnay, and a Brut Sparkling wine.

Andrew GruelFood trucks have proven to be a worthwhile testing ground for innovative food concepts. A great example is Slapfish with a limited service, fast-casual restaurant in Huntington Beach located in a strip center. A new Laguna Beach location will launch later this year.

The partners started with one food truck serving the OC in 2009. By 2011 they had three trucks serving both Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel is with us to fill us in on the Slapfish tale. They have just signed a franchise agreement to open 75 full service restaurants in the Middle East over the next 5 to 7 years.

They like to characterize Slapfish as a modern seafood shack. It’s a real American seafood experience that revolves around fresh, sustainable fish, prepared simply, but delivering big flavors.

Letter Grades at RestaurantsLast month The Orange County Register’s James Beard Award-winning restaurant critic, Brad A. Johnson, was looking to review a Newport Beach restaurant. Instead all of the members of his dining group came down with severe cases of food poisoning. When Brad checked the Health Department records of this restaurant he was surprised to learn that they had received a serious violation on each of their previous inspections since they opened two years ago.

Brad is with us to discuss his campaign for Orange County restaurants to receive Letter Grades as a result of their Health Department inspections as is practice in Los Angeles County and other areas of California.

The Winter Olympics in Sochi is underway. Russia is on peoples’ minds.

Paul Gstrein of Bayside RestaurantPaul Gstrein, the long-time (Austria-born) executive chef at Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach has been inspired by Russia, too. For the duration of the Games Paul will be featuring Russian dishes as appetizers, entrees, and even desserts. How about Beef Short Rib Borscht and Berkshire Pork Tenderloin Stroganoff?

Please note that not every appetizer or entrée on the special Russian menu will be available each night.

Linda KissamThe very well-traveled Linda Kissam is a respected food, wine, and travel writer who is on the go most of the time. She serves as the 1st Vice President of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. She is also an author and the Global Wine & Travel Editor-at-Large for Luxe Beat Magazine.

Late last year Linda was invited to Spain to tour the Penedes wine region, the heart of cava sparkling wine production. Her mission was to taste and evaluate 50 fine cavas over an intensive five day period. Linda shares the highlights of this very special experience with us.

Le BernardinChef Jet has been in New York twice over the last two weeks and has enjoyed some standout dining adventures along the way. Jet shares the details of his truly exquisite meal at the classic Le Bernardin. It’s expertly prepared French seafood from Chef Eric Ripert at a very high level.

Jet also visited Ippudo, a well-known Japanese ramen shop.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Caroline Styne, Wine Director and Partner, Lucques, A.O.C., The Tavern, and The Larder
Segment Three: Allan Stark, San Antonio Winery, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Andrew Gruel, Executive Chef & Partner, Slapfish
Segment Five: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County Register
Segment Six: Paul Gstrein, Executive Chef, Bayside Restaurant
Segment Seven: Linda Kissam, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila on Manhattan Dining