Show 391, September 19, 2020: Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini of Heavenly Pies and Dolce Vita Gelato, Las Vegas Part Two

Luciano Pellegrini of Heavenly Pies in Las VegasAngelenos know the name of Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini (Italian-born) from his days in Los Angeles with Piero Selvaggio as executive chef of Primi in West Los Angeles (the unofficial commissary of Twentieth Century-Fox Studios at the time) and Posto in Sherman Oaks. In 1999 Luciano relocated to Las Vegas to open the well-received Valentino Las Vegas in the Venetian Resort as Executive Chef and Partner with Piero Selvaggio. In 2004 the James Beard Foundation awarded Pellegrini a prestigious James Beard Award as Best Chef Southwest. Very few Las Vegas-based chefs have achieved this honor.

After Valentino Las Vegas closed Pellegrini remained in Las Vegas and continued to expand Dolce Vita Gelato, a premium artisan gelato producer (wholesale) serving the hospitality business. He also consults for other restaurants in Las Vegas and California.

Chef Luciano’s latest venture is the launching of Heavenly Pies in the Southern Highlands neighborhood of Las Vegas with his cousin David Ryan Brister. The style of pizza is a mash up of Roman and Neapolitan varieties with premium ingredients. The signature Heavenly Pizza features black truffle tomato, brie cheese, porcini mushrooms, roasted garlic, speck and escarole.

The Trattoria Menu is Chef Luciano’s take on classic Italian dishes with a few surprises. Think Zeppole (fried dumplings) with anchovies, mozzarella and basil served with marinara or Philly cheese steak eggrolls. Also his Grandmother’s Lasagna.

Additionally on the menu are an assortment of six Takeout Meal packages. Each is designed to serve four guests and are packaged ready to eat or reheat.

Chef Luciano continues with us, pizza peel securely in hand.

 

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Show 391, September 19, 2020: Food Journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “Hungry Hound” Part One

Steve Dolinsky and Andreew GruelFood journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s “Hungry Hound” in Chicago, is the recipient of an impressive 13 James Beard Foundation Awards for journalistic excellence.

In addition to his considerable journalistic talents Steve in an accomplished podcaster and pizza afficionado. “Every other Friday, Steve talks to some of the world’s greatest pizzaiolos, bakers and artisans about their craft (in the Pizza City, USA podcast.) Hear their backstories, discover their secrets, techniques and inspirations, while listening to their meticulous process as they describe how they make their truly sublime pizzas.”

The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala is in Chicago on Friday evening, September 25th in virtual format to be broadcast via Twitter. Steve previews the dramatically reformatted (and virtual) 2020 James Beard Foundation Awards Gala.

Restaurant and Chef awards in 23 categories have been nominated. None of these awards will be announced. Instead, the previously announced winners will be honored in the categories of America’s Classics, Lifetime Achievement, Humanitarian of the Year, Design Icon and Leadership Awards. All the previously announced Nominees (in twenty-three categories) will also be honored as a group according to the James Beard Foundation.

Steve Dolinsky joins us to untangle the convoluted specifics.

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Show 391, September 19, 2020: Food Journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “Hungry Hound” Part Two

Steve Dolinsky and Andreew GruelFood journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s “Hungry Hound” in Chicago, is the recipient of an impressive 13 James Beard Foundation Awards for journalistic excellence.

In addition to his considerable journalistic talents Steve in an accomplished podcaster and pizza afficionado. “Every other Friday, Steve talks to some of the world’s greatest pizzaiolos, bakers and artisans about their craft (in the Pizza City, USA podcast.) Hear their backstories, discover their secrets, techniques and inspirations, while listening to their meticulous process as they describe how they make their truly sublime pizzas.”

The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala is in Chicago on Friday evening, September 25th in virtual format to be broadcast via Twitter. Steve previews the dramatically reformatted (and virtual) 2020 James Beard Foundation Awards Gala and what the future holds.

Restaurant and Chef awards in 23 categories have been nominated. None of these awards will be announced. Instead, the previously announced winners will be honored in the categories of America’s Classics, Lifetime Achievement, Humanitarian of the Year, Design Icon and Leadership Awards. All the previously announced Nominees (in twenty-three categories) will also be honored as a group according to the James Beard Foundation.

Steve Dolinsky continues with us to untangle the convoluted specifics.

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Show 391, September 19, 2020: Armen Karamardian, Zov’s Bistro, Tustin (and Irvine & Newport Coast)

Armen Karamardian of ZovsFounded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, legendary Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution. Serving her unique cuisine that blends contemporary with Eastern Mediterranean influences, in an upscale chic environment. There are now also Zov’s restaurants in Newport Coast, Irvine and Anaheim (temporarily on hiatus.) The Tustin, Irvine and Newport Coast locations are currently serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. Also serving guests again for dine-in at 25 per cent capacity.

Tailgating in Tustin (in the parking lot) with live music on the Café patio returns for Happy Hour and Dinner (twice a month) on Saturday, September 19th. Guests can also dine under the stars on the Café patio. Guests can order ahead from Zov’s take-out menu along with the wine and cocktail list. Because of space limitations and safety requirements reservations are required.

New from Zov’s Catering are value-priced, individual meals that are table-ready. Sealed utensils are included.

“Family support has constantly been Zov’s foundation and inspiration throughout her culinary career. Zov, in addition to her husband, Gary, her son Armen, and her daughter Taleene, have created a rare family business recipe that has taken comforting creations of the family kitchen blended with Chef Zov’s culinary artistry.”

2nd generation Karamardian Family member, Armen, joins us with the updates and looks to the future.

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Show 391, September 19, 2020: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook of Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, Laguna Beach

Chef Jared CookOrange County Restaurant Week Uncorked is on now through Saturday, September 26th. Orange County restaurants are participating with value priced menus available for lunch and/or dinner. Some have specialty cocktails as part of their offerings. The restaurants encourage you to get the full guest experience with the return of dine-in with proper social distancing but most menus are also available To-Go.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook join us to tempt with their prix fixe dinner menus at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach, Ironwood in Laguna Hills, Olea in Newport Beach, and Vine Restaurant & Bar in San Clemente.

Their special cocktail for OC Restaurant Week Uncorked is The Woodpecker. It’s Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Aperol, Crème de Peach, Fresh Peaches and Ginger.

The prix fixe dinner menu is three courses with choices in each category and priced at $50.00. Entree possibilities are Zinfandel Braised Napa Lamb Shank, Certified Double R Ranch Bone-In Ribeye Steak and Wild Caught Alaskan Halibut.

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Show 391, September 19, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant GroupOur 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 regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

The consensus is that fine dining will look a bit different once the Covid 19 crisis finally subsides and there is a safe & proven vaccine readily available to all Americans. We all anticipate other significant changes in eating out at all levels of price and service. We get Chef Andrew’s informed and insightful thoughts on the future.

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Show 390, September 12, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

The world’s first off the grid, fully sustainable, completely green 100% solar powered freezer, “The Beast,” has been placed and activated on the campus of Anaheim High School. The need for emergency cold storage for recovered excess edible food from the food service industry to distribute to non-profit food pantries has been a priority for Mike Learakos, Executive Director of Waste Not OC, and Impact The Change’s Founder, Jonathan Stone. “The Beast” was created from a forty-foot refrigerated cargo container, designed to ship food. During a power outage, its solar technology will generate its own green power, virtually eliminating food waste, and operate completely off of the electrical grid. Waste Not OC’s Mike Learakos joins us with the details.

Just released on Virtual Cinema is A Chef’s Voyage.” The film follows Emmy (“Mind of a Chef”) and James Beard award-winning Chef David Kinch and his team from their 3 Star Michelin restaurant, Manresa, in Los Gatos, California for a one of a kind “four hands” collaboration in France with three legendary chefs at their iconic restaurants in Paris, Provence, and Marseille. The ambitious trip was a celebration of Manresa’s 15 Anniversary. Chef David Kinch sabors the celebratory Champagne and joins us.

Newly arrived last year in Downtown Los Angeles in a tastefully restored Beaux Arts building is The Hoxton hotel with sister properties in Williamsburg, Portland, Chicago and International. Their 174 rooms are spread across four different size categories from Snug to Biggy, meaning there’s something to suit everyone. Destination restaurants located at Hoxton properties are a trademark. The Hoxton DTLA has Sibling Rival, the elevated, all-day restaurant located on the ground floor (temporarily closed,) and Pilot (service from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.) on the rooftop (with eye-catching L.A. skyline views) which also includes the Pilot Bar adjacent to the pool. All the rooftop food & beverage spaces (outdoors) have reopened with all the health and safety protocols solidly in place. We’ll get the updated specifics from Executive Chef John Taube who oversees the ample culinary portfolio.

One of our most reliable sources of accurate restaurant news in fabulous Las Vegas is Al Mancini, who is a staff writer for The Las Vegas Review-Journal covering food, restaurants and other aspects of entertainment. Al has been working the Vegas food scene for 19 years. He was one of the creators of the popular, and widely referenced, Eating Las Vegas restaurant guidebook series. Al joins us with his quarterly update on the Las Vegas dining scene. Labor Day Weekend was huge for them. He’ll preview what’s of particular interest to him in some major restaurant openings on the horizon. We’ll also find out about food & beverage available at the new Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders.

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 regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Ou t/ Delivery when you can surely helps… What’s an appropriate topping for pizza that compliments the pie versus clashes with it? Chef Andrew opened the can on the subject of the Hawaiian Pizza (didn’t actually originate in Hawaii) topped with pineapple last week. We’ll continue that spirited conversation along with discussing what savory toppings (including a variety of seafood) really enhance pizza from a culinary POV. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

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Show 390, September 12, 2020: Mike Learakos, Executive Director of Waste Not OC

Mike Learakos of Katella Grill and Waste Not OCThe world’s first off the grid, fully sustainable, completely green 100% solar powered freezer, “The Beast,” has been placed and activated on the campus of Anaheim High School.

The need for emergency cold storage for recovered excess edible food from the food service industry to distribute to non-profit food pantries has been a priority for Mike Learakos, Executive Director of Waste Not OC, and Impact The Change’s Founder, Jonathan Stone.

After three years of planning and building, ‘The Beast’ was created from a forty-foot refrigerated cargo container, designed to ship food. During a power outage, its solar technology will generate its own green power, virtually eliminating food waste, and operate completely off of the electrical grid.

“Local businesses are on board developing products for the unit to help protect, maintain inventory and manage temperature for thousands of vacuum sealed, frozen ‘Ready To Heat & Eat’ meals used to feed people that can’t get out for a nutritious, hot meal. This new cold storage unit will also help feed those in need during a disaster, regardless of power interruptions, including rolling black outs.”

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Show 390, September 12, 2020: Chef / Proprietor David Kinch of Manresa in Los Gatos

David Kinch of ManresaNewly released on Virtual Cinema is A Chef’s Voyage.” The film follows Emmy (Mind of a Chef) and James Beard award-winning Chef David Kinch and his team from their 3 Star Michelin restaurant, Manresa, in Los Gatos, California for a one of a kind “four hands” collaboration in France with three legendary chefs at their iconic restaurants in Paris, Provence, and Marseille. The ambitious trip is a celebration of Manresa’s 15th Anniversary.

“As soon as the Manresa team arrives in France, the crew prepares to cook alongside chefs and teams from three of the country’s best starred restaurants, and esteemed Relais & Chateaux members: Le Taillevent, L’Oustau de Baumanière and Le Petit Nice. Even for Kinch’s highly proficient team, it’s difficult to navigate their host kitchens and represent Californian gourmet cuisine on Michelin’s home turf while jetlagged, on a tight schedule, and with a language barrier.”

“Reminiscent of a classic “Rock Doc,” A Chef’s Voyage (directed by Remi Anfosso) goes behind the scenes of their ‘voyage’ as they stage five dinner and four lunch events over the course of just 10 days in the world’s most cinematic venues, observing culinary superstars and their young and diverse supporting cast, and ultimately create something much more than food.”

“A Chef’s Voyage” officially opens on Virtual Cinema in North America on Friday September 18th. Chef Josiah Citrin of Melisse (a longtime friend of Chef David’s) is preparing a five-course, limited availability To-Go dinner package as a tribute to the release of “A Chef’s Voyage.” It includes a special dessert collaboration with celebrity pastry chef Sherry Yard, a multiple James Beard Award recipient. (Manresa’s accomplished Pastry Chef, Courtney Moisant, describes Sherry as her career inspiration in the film.) Order via Tock for availability on Sept. 17th through 20th only. The takeaway dinner package includes a virtual ticket to a home viewing of “A Chef’s Journey” via Laemmle Theaters Virtual Cinema.

Chef David Kinch sabors the celebratory Champagne and joins us.

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Show 390, September 12, 2020: Executive Chef John Taube, The Hoxton DTLA & Sunday Hospitality Part One

John Taube of Sibling Rival at the Hoxton DTLANewly arrived last year in Downtown Los Angeles in a tastefully restored Beaux Arts building is The Hoxton hotel with sister properties in Williamsburg, Portland, Chicago and International. Their 174 rooms are spread across four different size categories from Snug to Biggy, meaning there’s something to suit everyone. Destination restaurants located at Hoxton properties are a trademark. The Hoxton DTLA has Sibling Rival, the elevated, all-day restaurant located on the ground floor (temporarily closed,) and Pilot (service from 7:00 a.m.to 10:00 p.m.) on the rooftop (with eye-catching L.A. skyline views) which also includes the Pilot Bar adjacent to the pool.

All the rooftop food & beverage spaces (outdoors) at The Hoxton have reopened with the health and safety protocols securely in place. It’s Breakfast, Brunch, Happy Hour (2 to 6:00 p.m. Weekdays,) Mid-Afternoon and Dinner along with a Late Night menu. Many of the classic daytime menu items from Sibling Rival have temporarily migrated to Pilot until guests can again be served at Sibling Rival.

Chef John’s key team includes Pastry Chef Mallory Cayon and Chef de Cuisine Tyler Curtis. All of the from-scratch breakfast pastries are prepared in-house including their signature Cinnamon Rolls and Banana Bread.

Pilot is named in tribute to The Hoxton, Downtown LA rooftop’s cameo in the 1921 film “Stranger than Fiction” where it served as the launch pad from which stuntman Frank Clarke and pilot Wally Timm flew their plane.

We’ll get all the updated specifics from Executive Chef John Taube who oversees the ample culinary portfolio.

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