Show 231, July 8, 2017: The 4th Annual Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure, Santa Monica

Garagiste FestivalThe 4th Annual Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure returns to a new location in Santa Monica on Saturday, July 15th. The venue is a couple of doors up from a big City of Santa Monica parking structure and a short walk from the Expo Line. Festival is known for shining a light on hard-to-find, high quality, micro-production commercial winemakers.

Celebrating its fourth anniversary in Los Angeles, the festival features 50 micro-production, craft wineries from across California – including Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez and SLO counties; Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Livermore, and Paso Robles, of course – and is the only wine event on the Los Angeles calendar to exclusively feature high quality, hand-crafted wines from commercial California ‘garagiste’ winemakers.

“The great thing about our Urban Exposure festival is that Angelenos can discover these hard-to-find wineries, taste hundreds of their wines, and meet the winemakers all under one roof — for less than the cost of gas for a trip to wine country,” said Doug Minnick, Co-Founder of The Garagiste Festival. “Besides, the majority of these under-the-radar wineries do not have tasting rooms, are not on “wine country” maps, and are very difficult to find. But we bring them all together for our guests to discover at the Garagiste Festival. There’s nothing else like it.”

Garagiste co-founder, Doug Minnick, is with us to pull the cork on this year’s festivities.

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Show 45, October 26, 2013: Kent Bearden, Craft Beer & Spirits Specialist for Wirtz Beverage Nevada

Kent Bearden of Wirtz Beverage Group NevadaCraft beer, premium wines, and fine spirits are well represented at Life is Beautiful. In fact, the center of the spirited action will be at the Alchemy Gardens and the related Flight Tastings area (6th St. & Ogden Ave.) at the Festival. The Gardens showcased the beverages of 18 distinguished craft breweries, 18 quality wineries, and 18 spirits entities.

The separate Flight Tastings of spirits, craft beer, and premium wines were for an additional ticket price and included one-on-one tastings with distinguished winemakers, distillers, and craft beer brewers.

Craft Beer and Spirits Specialist Kent Bearden of Wirtz Beverage Nevada was with us to provide all the thirst-quenching details. He’s a Cicerone (certified beer specialist) and Certified Specialist of Spirits.

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Show 43, October 12, 2013: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA

Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart of Zazu Kitchen and FarmOne of the most exciting chef teams operating in the Sonoma County wine country is Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart (wife & husband) who are the proprietors of the newly relocated zazu kitchen + farm located at The Barlow (a former apple juice processing facility restored and reconceived as a home for artisan food producers including boutique wineries) in Sebastopol. Some of the vegetables used at the restaurant are actually grown in large tubs on the restaurant’s inviting patio. They were mentored by pioneering Seattle chef/restaurateur Tom Douglas before relocating to Sonoma County to go off on their own.

The original zazu restaurant (part of a former chicken coop) was founded in Santa Rosa in 2001. It was located in a rustic roadhouse way out of town surrounded by rural farms and vineyards. If a local didn’t tell you about it you’d probably never know it was even there. Their regulars include some of the most distinguished winemakers in Sonoma County. The eclectic wine list includes reserve selections that you just don’t see outside of the private stash of the wineries.

Duskie and John were living farm-to-table long before that became a marketing buzzword for chefs. They raise their own chicken and ducks to provide the eggs for their fresh pasta and their praise-worthy gelati. Their daughter operates a rabbit meat business.

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October 12: Lindy & Grundy, Duskie Estes, Kristine Kidd, Brock Radke, Greg Daniels, Hawaiian Tropical Fruit

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Erika Nakamura, master butcher, chef, and co-owner of Lindy & Grundy Meats
Segment Three: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Onw
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Two
Segment Five: Kristine Kidd, author of Williams–Sonoma Weeknight Gluten Free
Segment Six: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic for The Orange County Register Part One
Segment Seven: Chef Greg Daniels of The Haven Collective
Segment Eight: Ken Love, President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Jet discusses the highlights of the Luckyrice Festival Night Market held last Saturday at the Cosmopolitan Hotel on The Strip in Las Vegas. Jet served some 1,100 portions to the enthusiastic guests.

Andy reviews the highlights of the Patchwork Show – Edible Edition at SoCo and The OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa last Weekend. The show broadcast live from the South Coast Collection.

Erika Nakamura of Lindy and Grundy MeatsThe classic, full-service neighborhood butcher shop is alive, well, and prospering at Lindy & Grundy Meats in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles. Artisan butcher Erika Nakamura (half of the Lindy & Grundy team along with Amelia Posada) is with us to fill us in. Erika is a classically trained chef.

All of their premium meats are from humanely treated, grass fed animals and 100 per cent locally produced and sustainable. The partners only source meat from farms they have visited. They even inspect the harvesting facility where the animal is processed. They offer an alternative to commercial farming.

Lindy and Grundy hosts classes for true meat enthusiasts.

Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart of Zazu Kitchen and FarmOne of the most exciting chef teams operating in the Sonoma County wine country is Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart (wife & husband) who are the proprietors of the new zazu kitchen + farm located at The Barlow (a former apple juice processing facility) in Sebastopol. Some of the vegetables used at the restaurant are actually grown in large tubs on the restaurant’s patio. They were mentored by pioneering Seattle chef/restaurateur Tom Douglas before relocating to Sonoma County to go off on their own.

The original zazu restaurant (part of a former chicken coop) was founded in Santa Rosa in 2001. It was located in a rustic roadhouse way out of town surrounded by farms and vineyards. If a local didn’t tell you about it you’d probably never know it was there. Their regulars include some of the most distinguished winemakers in Sonoma County. The eclectic wine list includes reserve selections that you just don’t see outside of the private stash of the wineries.

Duskie and John were living farm-to-table long before that became a marketing buzzword for chefs. They raise their own chicken and ducks to provide the eggs for their fresh pasta and their praise-worthy gelati.

Duskie Estes of the new zazu kitchen + farm in Sebastopol stays with us.

John Stewart learned the art of curing meats from Mario Batali’s father who has a highly-praised salumi business in Seattle. Visitors to zazu can watch John cure his acclaimed Black Pig Meat Co.’s bacon and salumi right there.

Zazu even has an experienced organic farmer on staff. He supervises the three spots of zazu’s soil including the MacBryde Farm where John and Duskie live with their children. The Farm is home to zazu’s chickens, ducks, turkeys, heritage wattle pigs, sheep, rabbits, goats and more.

Kristine Kidd Loyal readers of Bon Appetit Magazine will remember Kristine Kidd as the long-time Food Editor.

She is now the food editor for the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch website as well as a busy cookbook author.

Her newly released seventh cookbook is Weeknight Gluten Free. This title is particularly important to Kristine as her childhood celiac disease resurfaced recently.

Kristine is a serious home cook. She prepares fresh meals at home almost every night.

On Wednesday, October 23rd Kristine Kidd will be part of a “Zov’s Lunch and Learn” program at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin. Kristine will be explaining how to prepare delicious meals that are gluten free.

Lunch will be on the menu, too. The entrée is Grilled Lemongrass Chicken with Ginger Rice, Braised Kale and Grilled Roasted Tomatoes. It’s a modest $25 per guest and seating is limited. Make your plans now because it will reach capacity quickly.

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyIn Las Vegas it’s who you know and the “SoCal Restaurant Show” is lucky to have Brock Radke as our insider on the ground in Las Vegas. Brock is the Food Editor of Las Vegas Weekly and joins us regularly to clue us in on what’s happening on the dynamic Las Vegas dining scene.

This morning Brock is giving us the 411 on Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak at The Mirage and Rick Moonen’s Rx Boiler Room at The Shops at Mandalay Bay. Brock recommends both new additions to The Strip’s dining choices.

We’re proud to be part of the hospitality industry as chefs and restaurateurs are some of the most generous folks we know. When there is a worthy cause they are there in a flash with food and support…

Greg Daniels of Haven GastropubWe know Chef Greg Daniels from the two Haven Gastropubs (Orange and Pasadena,) taco asylum and Provisions Market. From October 16th to 25th Chef Greg has assembled a group of distinguished OC chefs to raise money for children who suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) worldwide. It’s all under the playful banner of “PB&J for Good.”

Participating chefs will put their creative spin on the traditional PB&J as a special menu offering. Each will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every PB&J dish to benefit StopSAM.org, a fundraising arm for Severe Acute Malnutrition.

Besides Haven Gastropub some of the high profile restaurants participating include ARC, Broadway by Amar Santana, Little Sparrow, LUCCA, and The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar.

The State of Hawaii has some of the most fertile agricultural land in the United States yet, in recent years, this dirt hasn’t been used for agriculture. Sadly they need to import most of their fruits and vegetables from the Mainland.

Sharwil AvacadoOn the Big Island of Hawaii, for example, over 200 varieties of avocados grow. The pearl of the group is the Sharwil. It’s creamy with a rich buttery flavor, and prized by local chefs.

Surprisingly until very recently the USDA wouldn’t allow the Sharwil to be imported into the lower 48 states. This is a real shame because the seasons of the Sharwil match the seasons of availability for imported avocados from Mexico. Wouldn’t you want to enjoy a made in the USA fruit which also supports our economy ?

Ken Love, the President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, joins us from The Big Island to explain what has changed…It’s a baby step.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Erika Nakamura, master butcher, chef, and co-owner of Lindy & Grundy Meats
Segment Three: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Onw
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Two
Segment Five: Kristine Kidd, author of Williams–Sonoma Weeknight Gluten Free
Segment Six: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic for The Orange County Register Part One
Segment Seven: Chef Greg Daniels of The Haven Collective
Segment Eight: Ken Love, President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

Show 29, May 18, 2013: Marius Blin, executive chef of Sofitel Los Angeles and president of Club Culinaire of Southern California

Marius Blin of the Sofitel Los AngelesFor the 33rd year the professional association of local French chefs, Club Culinaire of Southern California, is hosting their Picnic Des Chefs at Vasa Park in Agoura Hills to benefit the Concern Foundation and HOPE Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The theme of the picnic this year is “Taste of the Club Culinaire”. The president of Club Culinaire is Chef Marius Blin.

Some 20 chef members will prepare and serve their favorite picnic dish which will be matched with a premium wine. It’s a foodies’ dream as guests have the opportunity to meet and greet the chefs, winemakers, and purveyors of the fine gourmet specialty food products.

The picnic is family/kid-friendly. Attractions include moon bounce paradise, heated swimming pool with a giant waterslide, rock climbing wall, and other games.

Just to tempt you know Chef Josie La Balch of Josie Restaurant in Santa Monica will be there with her wild mushroom quiche and Florent Marneau of the acclaimed Marche Moderne in South Coast Plaza will be presenting Belgian endive salad with watercress, blue cheese, and pinenuts. Also chocolatier Yvan Valentin of Sweet Temptations will offer his incredible éclairs and Yvan’s Famous Truffles.

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Show 26, April 27, 2013: Wing Lam, co-founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco and Michael Browne, co-founder of Kosta Browne Wines in Sebastopol, CA

Wing Lam of Wahoo's Fish TacosWing Lam is very familiar to Southern Californians because Wahoo’s Fish Taco (which started in Costa Mesa) is currently celebrating their 25th Anniversary in 2013. Wing is also recognizable as the star of his own, long-running Ford Motor Co. van commercial.

In recent years Wing has developed a fondness for fine wines and knows many prominent winemakers.

Kosta Browne Winery (recognized for outstanding Pinot Noir) just opened a showcase winery in Sebastopol in a new commercial development called the Barlow. It’s the site of a former Gravenstein apple pressing facility well-known to the locals. Incredible boutique food businesses, including one of the most prominent farm-to-table restaurants in the area, will be a part of the appealing complex as it’s completed. It will be a destination for foodies!

The majority of the limited production of Kosta Browne Wines is sold to their highly coveted member list. There is a two to three year wait to secure a place on the list. Twice a year members on The List are invited to The Winery to pick-up their allocation of the wines they are qualified to buy.

The rest of their production (and it’s a small part) is available at fine restaurants. Their website has a restaurant locator feature where you can find the fine establishment in your area that have Kosta Browne Wines in their cellar. It’s a great way to taste these premium California vintages.

Dan Kosta and Michael Browne (self-taught winemakers) met as employees at John Ash & Co. restaurant in Santa Rosa. They saved their tips to fund the start of the winery.

As a gesture of appreciation to the winemakers Wing and his crew were at Kosta Browne on April 20th for the release festivities from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. preparing fresh fish tacos and quesadillas for the invited guests of Kosta Browne.

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Show 13, January 12, 2013: Chef Javier Plascencia of Mision 19, Tijuana’s superstar celebrity chef and culinary goodwill ambassador for the food and wines of Northern Baja.

Javier PlascenciaOn Monday evening at Romesco in Bonita, CA  Chef Javier and, his colleagues, the brightest culinary stars of N. Baja are presenting a multi-course meal to benefit the San Diego Chapter of The American Institute of Wine and Food.

Two of Baja’s most acclaimed winemakers will also be there to present their wines with the meal. This includes Hugo D’Acosta who is known as the Robert Mondavi of Mexico as well as Philip Gregory (a former Angeleno) of Vena Cava in Valle de Guadalupe.

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