Show 473, May 7, 2022: The Matzo Project, Brooklyn, NY Part Two

Ashley Albert and Kevin Rodriguez of the Matzo Project

The Matzo Project, a discovery at the recent Natural Products Expo West at the Anaheim Convention Center, introduces carefully made, artfully packaged, legitimately scrumptious matzo to a stale, overlooked corner of the food marketplace.”

“Summer Camp friends Ashley Albert and Kevin Rodriguez set out to bake a new take on the culturally beloved, but traditionally flavorless box of matzo. Instead, they created a super-snappy, extra-sturdy, crazy-versatile cracker that goes with virtually every single thing they’ve tried to put on it.”

“Ashley had been tinkering with the idea of updating matzo for nearly 20 years and casually mentioned it to Kevin when they were charting about him making a change. He began experimenting in his kitchen.”

“The two would taste test Kevin’s recipes while Ashley started sketching out plans for The Matzo Project’s branding and packaging. That work led to their muse – the grandmother on their box – asking “Would it kill you to try something new?”

“After selling out their first trial batch in a single day, the two moved out of their tiny commissary kitchen and into a larger Kosher bakery in Brooklyn to take their unleavened show on the road.”

“While it currently languishes in the “Ethnic” food isle The Matzo Project’s hope is to help matzo claim its rightful spot in the cracker isle right next to Rosemary Pita Chips and the Gorgonzola Fig Toast.”

The Matzo Project’s product line includes Matzo Flats, Matzo Chips, a Matzo Ball Soup Kit and a Matzo Ball Mix. New is the Dark Chocolate Ungahpotchkees. Delicious but certainly not easy to ask for…

Locally high-profile Chef Jeff Cerciello (ex-The French Laundry) of Farmshop in Brentwood and Chef Jeremy Fox of Birdie G’s in Santa Monica are both fans and buyers.

The Matzo Project Co-founders Ashley Albert and Kevin Rodriguez continue with us.

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Show 473, May 7, 2022: Ventoux AOC, Rhone Valley, France with Jonathan Cristaldi, Wine Journalist Part One

Sommelier and Wine Journalist Jonathan Cristaldi

“The wines of AOC Ventoux in the Rhone Valley of France are made at the foot of Mont-Ventoux, which culminates at 1912 meters, offering a unique freshness and balance. It has been an AOC since 1973. It is the only appellation with vineyards spreading over two Regional Natural Parks. It is also recognized by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve. Ventoux is first and foremost defined by its cooler climate: the influence of the mountain creates a wide variation of temperatures between days and nights.”

It covers some 14,000 acres of vineyards with the resulting wines being 54 per cent Red, 38 per cent Rose and 8 per cent White. There are 150 wineries in the AOC representing private ownership, co-ops and negociants. Ventoux AOC wines are just becoming readily available in the USA and generally represent good value.

“Vines have been grown in the Ventoux area since ancient times; archaeological digs around the village of Mazan uncovered a potter’s workshop dating from the 1st century BC, where the first known wine amphorae in France were produced.”

“The vineyards flourished during the Avignon Papacy, and over the centuries Ventoux wines, alongside other leading French wines, were served to the kings of France at the Royal Court.”

Wine journalist Jonathan Cristaldi is our well-informed guide to Ventoux AOC.

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Show 473, May 7, 2022: Ventoux AOC, Rhone Valley, France with Jonathan Cristaldi, Wine Journalist Part Two

Sommelier and Wine Journalist Jonathan Cristaldi

“The wines of AOC Ventoux in the Rhone Valley of France are made at the foot of Mont-Ventoux, which culminates at 1912 meters, offering a unique freshness and balance. It has been an AOC since 1973. It is the only appellation with vineyards spreading over two Regional Natural Parks. It is also recognized by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve. Ventoux is first and foremost defined by its cooler climate: the influence of the mountain creates a wide variation of temperatures between days and nights.”

It covers some 14,000 acres of vineyards with the resulting wines being 54 per cent Red, 38 per cent Rose and 8 per cent White. There are 150 wineries in the AOC representing private ownership, co-ops and negociants. Ventoux AOC wines are just becoming readily available in the USA and generally represent good value.

“Vines have been grown in the Ventoux area since ancient times; archaeological digs around the village of Mazan uncovered a potter’s workshop dating from the 1st century BC, where the first known wine amphorae in France were produced.”

“The vineyards flourished during the Avignon Papacy, and over the centuries Ventoux wines, alongside other leading French wines, were served to the kings of France at the Royal Court.”

Wine journalist Jonathan Cristaldi continues with us pulling the cork on all that is Ventoux AOC.

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Show 473, May 7, 2022: Executive Chef Hugo Miranda and Roman Avila – Retail Operations Manager for Legends at Angel Stadium Part One

Hugo Miranda

Sampling the creative variety of foods at Angel Stadium is always part of the game experience. A real Executive Chef oversees all of this. New this year is expanded In-Seat Service in various parts of the Big A. Be reminded it’s again cashless for food, beverage and merchandise.

Also new is Brewery X in right field on the Club Level. In addition to the limited- edition craft beers the food menu includes a Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich on a Black Sesame Seed Egg Bun with Roasted Aioli, Asian Citrus Coleslaw, Gochujang Sauce, House Made Kimchi and served with House Fries, and a House-Made Jumbo Pretzel with Jalapeno White Cheddar Cheese Sauce with a Honey-Beer Mustard Sauce.

We’ll find out what’s on the menu for In-Seat Dining, at Diamond Club and in the Suites. Think BBQ Beef Brisket for openers…

Also on the menu is an introduction to the variety of collectable Halo merchandise items. There are unique (and limited edition) Shohei Ohtani items. The Main Team Store at Angel Stadium carries exclusive items that you can’t buy anywhere else. The Team Store is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (On Game Days the Team Store closes 3 hours before the gates open to prepare for the game.)

Our guides to all this deliciousness are Executive Chef Hugo Miranda and Merchandise Buyer Roman Avila.

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Show 473, May 7, 2022: Executive Chef Hugo Miranda and Roman Avila – Retail Operations Manager for Legends at Angel Stadium Part Two

Hugo Miranda

Sampling the creative variety of foods at Angel Stadium is always part of the game experience. A real Executive Chef oversees all of this. New this year is expanded In-Seat Service in various parts of the Big A. Be reminded it’s again cashless for food, beverage and merchandise.

Also new is Brewery X in right field on the Club Level. In addition to the limited- edition craft beers the food menu includes a Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich on a Black Sesame Seed Egg Bun with Roasted Aioli, Asian Citrus Coleslaw, Gochujang Sauce, House Made Kimchi and served with House Fries, and a House-Made Jumbo Pretzel with Jalapeno White Cheddar Cheese Sauce with a Honey-Beer Mustard Sauce.

We’ll find out what’s on the menu for In-Seat Dining, at Diamond Club and in the Suites. Think BBQ Beef Brisket for openers…

Also on the menu is an introduction to the variety of collectable Halo merchandise items. There are unique (and limited edition) Shohei Ohtani items. The Main Team Store at Angel Stadium carries exclusive items that you can’t buy anywhere else. The Team Store is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (On Game Days the Team Store closes 3 hours before the gates open to prepare for the game.)

Our continuing guides to all this deliciousness are Executive Chef Hugo Miranda and Merchandise Buyer Roman Avila.

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Show 473, May 7, 2022: “Ask the Chef” with Producer Andy Covering for Chef Andrew

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and Casino

Chef Andrew Gruel is on the road so Co-Host Andy Harris covers “Ask the Chef.” Andy shares last-minute ideas for inspired Mother’s Day dining (Mother’s Day Brunch at Smorgasburg LA at ROW DTLA) and previews the very special South Coast Plaza 55th Anniversary Dinner on June 5th to benefit the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.)

The headlining chefs for the “O.C. Chefs: The Next Generation” evening are Tony Esnault of the Michelin-starred Knife Pleat and Amar Santana (a C-CAP alum) of Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana.

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Show 472, April 30, 2022: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

101 Thai Dishes You Need To Try Before You Die

It’s a very special show as we’re broadcasting from Redbird at the historic Vibiana events center in Downtown Los Angeles. We’re celebrating the publication of Chef Jet Tila’s 3rd cookbook, 101 Thai Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die. Following the show today Chef Jet is conducting a ticketed book-signing and meet-and-greet (with food and beverage sampling from the cookbook) at Redbird’s garden as a benefit for the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.)

“Long co-chaired by chef Marcus Samuelsson, Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) is a workforce development nonprofit that provides underserved teens a pathway to success through jobs in the food sector. Annually, C-CAP provides culinary, job and life skills to over 15,000 middle-and-high school students in six cities/regions across the United States: New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC/Maryland and Arizona, including 7 Navajo Reservation schools.” On April 17th at the Annual Awards Breakfast at Jonathan Club, C-CAP Los Angeles awarded $607,711 in Scholarships to 34 outstanding L.A. area High School Seniors. C-CAP L.A.’s Program Director Lisa Fontanesi is our guest.

Lasheeda Perry, a distinguished C-CAP Alum, is a trained pastry chef and the owner of Queen of Flavor, LLC, a company that specializes in everything from revamping restaurant menus to helping a restaurant design and execute a dream dessert for a special event. Now based in Long Beach Chef Lasheeda has previously worked across America as an Executive Pastry Chef at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (including Beverly Hills’ The Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel) and for Bon Appetit Management Co. at LinkedIn. She also teaches fun and entertaining pastry classes on the Food Network App. Chef Lasheeda joins us rolling pin in hand.

Chef Neal Fraser and Amy Knoll Fraser’s flagship restaurant Redbird features Modern American cuisine that is refined yet approachable and highlights the multi-cultural influences of Fraser’s native city – Los Angeles. As a follow up to Grace and BLD, Fraser’s menu features seasonal plates ranging from snacks or “kickshaws” to entrees meant to be enjoyed by the whole table.

Located in downtown Los Angeles, Redbird is carved into one of the city’s most historic architectural gems, inside the former rectory building of Vibiana – the cathedral-turned-event-venue also owned and operated by the Frasers. (They also have Fritzi Coop in the Original Farmers Market at 3rd & Fairfax.) The dynamic space pays homage to the historic cathedral building next door and the existing timeless architecture by inserting simple modern forms to complement rather than overtake the feel of the rooms.” 

Tad Weyland Fukumoto (Jet Tila’s collaborator on of 101 Thai Dishes You Need To Cook Before You Die) is a nationally recognized chef, culinary producer and consultant. He was born and raised in Hawaii to a long line of great cooks surrounded by rich culinary cultures including Chinese, Japanese and Okinawan cuisines. After attending university in Northern California, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his passion for music while always having a hand in the L.A. food scene. His culinary CV includes acclaimed restaurants such as Wazuzu at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, Grace, BLD, Chinois on Main and Sqirl. Tad and Jet have been friends and collaborators for more than 20 years.”
Chef Tad is our guest with chopsticks at the ready.

“Celebrity Chef Jet Tila is a James Beard Award-nominated chef. He’s made appearances as a celebrity chef on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America,” “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” “Cutthroat Kitchen,” “Guy’s Grocery Games,” “Tournament of Champions III” and more.

Jet is Culinary Vice President for Pei-Wei Restaurant Group and co-owns Dragon Tiger Noodle Co. (multiple locations) in Las Vegas. Jet grew up at his Family’s famed Bangkok Market in Los Angeles – the first Thai market in the United States. Jet also serves as the Culinary Ambassador of Thai Cuisine for the Royal Thai government.” Chef Jet is with us Thai Fish Sauce in hand.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is part of the distinguished culinary team presenting an epic meal featuring sustainably caught fresh seafood on the iconic Huntington Beach Pier on Thursday, May 12th under the umbrella of Outstanding in the Field as part of the L.A. Times Food Bowl. This grand event was rescheduled f. This grand event was rescheduled from last year. Chef Andrew offers a tantalizing preview.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

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Show 472, April 30, 2022: Lisa Fontanesi, L.A. Director, Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP)

Lisa Fontanesi of C-CAP Los Angeles

“Long co-chaired by chef Marcus Samuelsson, Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) is a workforce development nonprofit that provides underserved teens a pathway to success through jobs in the food sector. Annually, C-CAP provides culinary, job and life skills to over 15,000 middle-and-high school students in six cities/regions across the United States: New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC/Maryland and Arizona, including 7 Navajo Reservation schools.”

“Founder & Chairman Emeritus Richard Grausman launched this nonprofit in 1991 to help further food and social justice, as well as equity and inclusion by providing tools for job success. Starting in middle schools, C-CAP provides culinary-and-wellness curriculum, and in high schools also provides an integrated approach to employment in the food sector via internships/apprenticeships, job shadows, mentorship, work opportunities, college and career advising, and higher-education scholarships, along with product and food donations.”

“The success of C-CAP’s alumni—from winery CEOs to chef-owner restaurateurs—is proof of their methodology. To date, C-CAP has worked with 350,000 students and awarded $62 million in scholarships. C-CAP has transformed thousands of lives in a meaningful way. The urgency to help these diverse communities has never been more critical.”

On April 17th at the Annual Awards Breakfast at Jonathan Club, C-CAP Los Angeles awarded $607,711 in Scholarships to 34 outstanding L.A. area High School Seniors.

On the horizon is a fundraiser for C-CAP is on Sunday, June 5th at Knife Pleat and The Penthouse at South Coast Plaza. It’s a celebration of South Coast Plaza’s 55th Anniversary to benefit C-CAP. The lead Chefs for “O.C. Chefs: The Next Generation” are Amar Santana of Vaca (a C-Cap Alum) and Tony Esnault of the Michelin Star Knife Pleat.

C-CAP L.A.’s Program Director Lisa Fontanesi is our guest.

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Show 472, April 30, 2022: Chef Lasheeda Perry of Queen of Flavor

Lasheeda Perry of Queen of Flavor

Lasheeda Perry, a C-CAP Alum, is a trained pastry chef and the owner of Queen of Flavor, LLC, a company that specializes in everything from revamping restaurant menus to helping a restaurant design and execute a dream dessert for a special event.”

“Lasheeda has always has a passion for the Culinary Arts, and luckily for the sweet tooth everywhere, this love has materialized into a successfully rewarding career. She received her culinary education from Johnson & Wales, and has studied abroad in Ireland, Australia and China to enhance her culinary skills.”

“Now based in Long Beach Chef Lasheeda has previously worked across America as an Executive Pastry Chef at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (including The Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel) and for Bon Appetit Management Co. at LinkedIn. She also teaches fun and entertaining pastry classes on the Food Network App.”

For the afternoon Chef Jet Tila book-signing to benefit C-CAP, Chef Lasheeda Perry creatively adapted the Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango dessert recipe from 101 Thai Dishes. The winning result was a Coconut Rice Pudding Cake with Thai Tea Ice Cream and Caramelized Peanuts.

Chef Lasheeda joins us with rolling pin in hand.

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Show 472, April 30, 2022: Chef Neal Fraser

Neal Fraser of Redbird

Chef Neal Fraser and Amy Knoll Fraser’s flagship restaurant Redbird features Modern American cuisine that is refined yet approachable and highlights the multi-cultural influences of Fraser’s native city – Los Angeles. As a follow up to Grace and BLD, Fraser’s menu features seasonal plates ranging from snacks or “kickshaws” to entrees meant to be enjoyed by the whole table.”

“An extensive cocktail menu by Tobin Shea features well-balanced, bespoke renditions of the classics. Wine Director Matt Fosket’s selections are well rounded with great finds from both established and emerging wine regions throughout the world and the list has received many awards including “Top 100 wine restaurants in the United States” by Wine Enthusiast and the “Best of Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator.”

“Located in downtown Los Angeles, Redbird is carved into one of the city’s most historic architectural gems, inside the former rectory building of Vibiana – the cathedral-turned-event-venue also owned and operated by the Frasers. (They also have Fritzi Coop in the Original Farmers Market at 3rd & Fairfax.) Designer Robert Weimer and Amy Knoll Fraser created a dynamic space that pays homage to the cathedral next door and the existing timeless architecture by inserting simple modern forms to complement rather than overtake the feel of the rooms. The result is a warm and comfortable considered space.”

“Redbird | Vibiana received the Los Angeles Conservancy’s 2019 Preservation Award Chair’s Award. The Chair’s Award is the LA Conservancy’s highest recognition celebrating the persistence, creativity and ultimate success of the revitalization for adaptive reuse of the cathedral, rectory building and surrounding property.”

“Upcoming at Vibiana is REVIVE, a Soaring 20’s, Circus-infused Immersive 4- Course Dinner Experience by Chef Neal Fraser in collaboration with Vau de Vire Society. The show runs June 17- July 24, 2022.”

Chef Neal takes a break from his busy kitchens and is our guest.

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