Show 289, September 8, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Program Note for Saturday, Sept. 15th:
Please join us at the special time of 4 to 5:00 p.m. for Saturday afternoon, Sept. 15th only right before the Angels Game.

Now a captivating preview of this Saturday’s mouthwatering show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

San Diego area food fans who are pursuing careers in the culinary arts, enology/viticulture and beverage studies attention, please. The San Diego Chapter of The American Institute of Wine & Food is now accepting applications for Scholarships in full or part-time accredited continuing education programs. The scholarships typically range from $500 to $2,000, and the funds do not need to be repaid. Lisa Lipton, Esq., AIWF San Diego Scholarship Chair joins us with the details.

Chef/Co-Owner Art Gonzalez’s Panxa Cocina, Long Beach’s only dedicated modern Southwestern restaurant, has launched its first-ever month-long Hatch chile celebration throughout the entire month of September, with a portion of the proceeds going to New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute. The Hatch Chile menu is served lunch and dinner, seven-days. Chef Art has the flavor-packed details.

El Segundo’s R6 Distillery & Smoky Hollow Tasting & Taproom was established in 2014 by Head Distiller Rob Rubens. Rob fell in love with the mystery and art of distillation after his first (and unplanned) trip to Old New Orleans Rum Distillery. He realized it was time for a change. After scraping together savings, visiting plenty of distilleries and breweries, it was time to perhaps start another great wave. Coupling his experience with the desire to bring quality spirits to greater Los Angeles, Rob decided to open this speakeasy inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy.

Journalist and Las Vegas insider Al Mancini is a graduate of Seton Hall University and Brooklyn Law School, who began his career in journalism as a music reporter for ABC News Radio in 1996. He moved to Las Vegas to cover Southern Nevada for the network in 2001, and has covered the local dining scene for numerous publications since 2003. Al joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a Staff Writer in 2016. Al got to know the celebrated Robin Leach over all those years. Al joins us to share a side of Robin that you probably don’t know from just seeing him on television.

It’s California Wine Month and we’re celebrating in style with the General Manager, Brian Cousins, and Kenny Spost, Executive Chef of Westwood’s Napa Valley Grille. Combining local, seasonal ingredients, artisan products and an expansive selection of regional wine, Napa Valley Grille recreates the charm, bounty and palates distinctive of West Coast wine country in a sophisticated setting within Westwood Village.

Turtle Rock Vineyards is a small, family-owned winery located in Paso Robles founded by Don & Claudia Burns. “Our winemaking philosophy is simple, you can’t make great wine without great fruit. We source our fruit from some of the finest vineyards in the Templeton Gap area of Paso Robles. Through sustainable farming practices, low yields, and harvesting at optimal ripeness, we are able to make wines with both intensity and balance. We hope these wines reflect the beauty of the wonderful places these grapes are grown as well as the people who nurture them.” Claudia Burns uncorks it for us.

Chef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of “Ask the Chef.” We’re thinking totally wacky food news…

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

Play

Show 289, September 8, 2018: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas

Al ManciniJournalist and Las Vegas insider Al Mancini is a graduate of Seton Hall University and Brooklyn Law School, who began his career in journalism as a music reporter for ABC News Radio in 1996. He moved to Las Vegas to cover Southern Nevada for the network in 2001, and has covered the local dining scene for numerous publications since 2003. Al joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a Staff Writer in 2016.

Al got to know the celebrated Robin Leach (“Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous”) over all those years. First it was crossing paths with Robin frequently at the numerous, high-profile Vegas red carpet events they both covered. Robin was already a contributor to the Las-Vegas Review-Journal when Al joined the paper in 2016.

Al joins us to share a side of Robin (beyond the gruff exterior) that you probably don’t know from just seeing him on television. Robin Leach was an unrivaled champion of promoting Las Vegas as a world class destination. Also, very charitable.

Looking for more…Al did a wonderful remembering Robin Leach video feature for Facebook Live with Review-Journal colleague John Katsilometes.

 

 

Play

September 8: AIWF San Diego, Panxa Cocina, R6 Distillery, Al Mancini, Napa Valley Grille, Turtle Rock Vineyards

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Lisa Lipton, Esq., The American Institute of Wine & Food, San Diego Scholarship Chair
Segment Three: Chef/Co-Owner Art Gonzalez, Panxa Cocina, Long Beach
Segment Four: Rob Rubens, Proprietor & Head Distiller, R6 Distillery & Smoky Hollow Tasting &amp Taproom, El Segundo
Segment Five: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas
Segment Six: General Manager Brian Cousins, Executive Chef Kenny Spost, Napa Valley Grille, Westwood
Segment Seven: Claudia Burns, Owner, Turtle Rock Vineyards, Paso Robles
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Now a captivating preview of this Saturday’s mouthwatering show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

San Diego area food fans who are pursuing careers in the culinary arts, enology/viticulture and beverage studies attention, please. The San Diego Chapter of The American Institute of Wine & Food is now accepting applications for Scholarships in full or part-time accredited continuing education programs. The scholarships typically range from $500 to $2,000, and the funds do not need to be repaid. Lisa Lipton, Esq., AIWF San Diego Scholarship Chair joins us with the details.

Chef/Co-Owner Art Gonzalez’s Panxa Cocina, Long Beach’s only dedicated modern Southwestern restaurant, has launched its first-ever month-long Hatch chile celebration throughout the entire month of September, with a portion of the proceeds going to New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute. The Hatch chile menu is served lunch and dinner, seven-days. Chef Art has the flavor-packed details.

El Segundo’s R6 Distillery & Smoky Hollow Tasting & Taproom was established in 2014 by Head Distiller Rob Rubens. Rob fell in love with the mystery and art of distillation after his first (and unplanned) trip to Old New Orleans Rum Distillery.  He realized it was time for a change.  After scraping together savings, visiting plenty of distilleries and breweries, it was time to perhaps start another great wave. Coupling his experience with the desire to bring quality spirits to greater Los Angeles, Rob decided to open this speakeasy inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy.

Journalist and Las Vegas insider Al Mancini is a graduate of Seton Hall University and Brooklyn Law School, who began his career in journalism as a music reporter for ABC News Radio in 1996. He moved to Las Vegas to cover Southern Nevada for the network in 2001, and has covered the local dining scene for numerous publications since 2003. Al joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a Staff Writer in 2016. Al got to know the celebrated Robin Leach over all those years. Al joins us to share a side of Robin that you probably don’t know from just seeing him on television.

It’s California Wine Month and we’re celebrating in style with the General Manager, Brian Cousins, and Kenny Spost, Executive Chef of Westwood’s Napa Valley Grille. Combining local, seasonal ingredients, artisan products and an expansive selection of regional wine, Napa Valley Grille recreates the charm, bounty and palates distinctive of West Coast wine country in a sophisticated setting within Westwood Village.

Turtle Rock Vineyards is a small, family-owned winery located in Paso Robles founded by Don & Claudia Burns. “Our winemaking philosophy is simple, you can’t make great wine without great fruit. We source our fruit from some of the finest vineyards in the Templeton Gap area of Paso Robles. Through sustainable farming practices, low yields, and harvesting at optimal ripeness, we are able to make wines with both intensity and balance. We hope these wines reflect the beauty of the wonderful places these grapes are grown as well as the people who nurture them.” Claudia Burns uncorks it for us.

Chef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of “Ask the Chef.” We’re thinking totally wacky food news…

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

Lisa LiptonSan Diego area food fans who are pursuing careers in the culinary arts, enology / viticulture and beverage studies attention, please. The San Diego Chapter of The American Institute of Wine & Food is now accepting applications for Scholarships in full or part-time accredited continuing education programs. The scholarships typically range from $500 to $2,000, and the funds do not need to be repaid.

The American Institute of Wine & Food (AIWF) is a national non-profit educational organization established in 1981 by Robert Mondavi, Julia Child, Richard Graff, and others to promote a forum for the study and enjoyment of gastronomy. The AIWF is dedicated to advancing the understanding, appreciation, and quality of wine and food through fun educational experiences in support of its Days of Taste® and Scholarship programs.

The AIWF, San Diego Chapter awards scholarships for the pursuit of culinary arts, enology/viticulture, and beverage studies in full or part-time accredited continuing education programs. All schools must be accredited and offer continuous relevant hands-on, in-person experience (not online). Since the money for the scholarships is raised by the San Diego Chapter, scholarships are only awarded to people who are connected to San Diego by school, work, or recent involvement in food or wine/beverage in the area. The scholarship money may be used for study within or outside of San Diego County.

Applications will be accepted until October, 1 2018. Select applicants will be notified of an interview sometime in October.

Lisa Lipton, Esq., AIWF San Diego Scholarship Chair joins us with the details.

Arthur GonzalezChef/Co-Owner Art Gonzalezs Panxa Cocina, Long Beach’s only dedicated modern Southwestern restaurant, has launched its first-ever month-long Hatch Chile celebration throughout the entire month of September, with a portion of the proceeds going to New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute. The Hatch Chile menu is served lunch and dinner, seven-days.

The month-long culinary event, led and inspired by Panxa Cocina’s Executive Chef/Co-Owner Arthur Gonzalez in collaboration with the Chile Pepper Institute’s Co-Founder, Director, and world renowned chile pepper breeder Dr. Paul Bosland, will include diverse programming surrounding the distinctly New Mexican Hatch green chile. Dr. Paul Bosland will be consulting with Chef Gonzalez on the tasting menu to provide guests with the most flavorful chiles available within September’s peak harvest season.

Panxa Cocina’s Hatch Chile Month tasting menu will be available for lunch and dinner featuring authentic Southwestern favorites with highlights including Heirloom Blue Corn Quesadilla with roasted Hatch chile jam, squash blossom, and house queso fresco; and Wagyu Country Fried Steak with Hatch chile gravy.

On Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16 from 12-5 p.m., Panxa Cocina will transform a dedicated outdoor space steps from the restaurant to serve as the ultimate “chile roast-out” so guests can have the opportunity to see the roasting firsthand and take home the beloved Southwestern ingredient to enjoy in their own homes. The roasted Hatch chiles freeze well.

Chef Art has the flavor-packed details.

Rob RubensEl Segundo’s R6 Distillery & Smoky Hollow Tasting & Taproom was established in 2014 by Head Distiller Rob Rubens. Rob fell in love with the mystery and art of distillation after his first (and unplanned) trip to Old New Orleans Rum Distillery.  He realized it was time for a change.

After scraping together savings, visiting plenty of distilleries and breweries, it was time to perhaps start another great wave. Coupling his experience with the desire to bring quality spirits to greater Los Angeles, Rob decided to open this speakeasy inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy.

Product highlights include R6 Vodka, R6 Blue Corn Bourbon, R6 Bourbon, R6 Rye, R6 Single Malt Whiskey, R6 Wheat Whiskey and R6 Rum.

Al ManciniJournalist and Las Vegas insider Al Mancini is a graduate of Seton Hall University and Brooklyn Law School, who began his career in journalism as a music reporter for ABC News Radio in 1996. He moved to Las Vegas to cover Southern Nevada for the network in 2001, and has covered the local dining scene for numerous publications since 2003. Al joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a Staff Writer in 2016.

Al got to know the celebrated Robin Leach (“Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous”) over all those years. First it was crossing paths with Robin frequently at the numerous, high-profile Vegas red carpet events they both covered. Robin was already a contributor to the Las-Vegas Review-Journal when Al joined the paper in 2016.

Al joins us to share a side of Robin that you probably don’t know from just seeing him on television. Robin Leach was an unrivaled champion of promoting Las Vegas as a world class destination. Also, very charitable.

Brian CousinsIt’s California Wine Month and we’re popping the cork in style with the General Manager, Brian Cousins, and Kenny Spost, Executive Chef of Westwood’s Napa Valley Grille. Their contribution to California Wine Month is the special menu pairing of “Three Cabs & a Burger.” It’s their Glendon Burger (with Blue Cheese, Rosemary Maple Cured Bacon & Sweet Onion Relish) with 2015 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, 2014 Foley Johnson Cabernet Rutherford and 2013 Vine Cliff Cabernet Oakville.

Combining local, seasonal ingredients, artisan products and an expansive selection of regional wine, Napa Valley Grille recreates the charm, bounty and palates distinctive of West Coast wine country in a sophisticated setting within Westwood Village.

Claudia BurnsTurtle Rock Vineyards is a small, proudly family -owned winery located in Paso Robles founded by Don & Claudia Burns. “Our winemaking philosophy is simple, you can’t make great wine without great fruit. We source our fruit from some of the finest vineyards in the Templeton Gap area of Paso Robles. Through sustainable farming practices, low yields, and harvesting at optimal ripeness, we are able to make wines with both intensity and balance. We hope these wines reflect the beauty of the wonderful places these grapes are grown as well as the people who nurture them.”

“Turtle Rock Vineyards began because of Don’s love for the area where he grew up. He moved to a small property on Willow Creek Road when he was 12. The property was nestled in the Templeton Gap at 1150 feet of elevation and owned by his uncle, Tom Westberg. Realizing the potential of the property Tom planted almost 4 acres of vines, mostly Zinfandel, in the mid-eighties. Don graduated from Mission High School then moved on to Ag Business at Cal Poly. Needing a change, Don knew he wanted leave the small town of Templeton and see what else was out there.”

“In 1999 he began a two -year sailboat trip through Central America that ended in Palm Beach, FL. There, Don began working at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse where his love of wine was sparked again. With access to wine from all over the world, his fondness for the Rhone Valley began to emerge. Don would come back many harvests and work alongside of his longtime friend, Justin Smith of Saxum. He knew it was only a matter of time before he would return home.”

“It took him a little longer than he thought because he met the love of his life Claudia. Soon there was a beautiful beach wedding and the birth of their pride and joy Willow. In June 2008 it was finally time to return home. After a two- week cross country adventure with their six- month old baby girl and 15-year old dog, they arrived in Paso Robles. It was then that Tom and his wife Peggy gave Don an amazing opportunity. He was able to bring the small family vineyard back to life and reintroduce the family label, Westberg Cellars. With guidance from Tom, they opened a tasting room in a small barn on the Westberg property and poured primarily Zinfandel, Sangiovese and Chardonnay.”

“When Don was not working on the Westberg property he was next door interning with Justin Smith. That time solidified his decision on the kind of wine he wanted to make. Because the Rhone varietals were so different from the Westberg label he knew they had to come up with a new brand. Don and Claudia thought about it a lot. One day at the tasting room there was an “Aha” moment when Willow was playing with one of the farm dogs sitting on a “turtle rock”. It was a big calcareous limestone rock pulled from the Westberg vineyard years ago. Over time the rocks wear down and look like the back of a turtle shell. That was it, Turtle Rock was born…”

Claudia Burns uncorks it all for us.

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamChef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of Ask the Chef.” We’re thinking totally wacky food news…You’ll be surprised.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Lisa Lipton, Esq., The American Institute of Wine & Food, San Diego Scholarship Chair
Segment Three: Chef/Co-Owner Art Gonzalez, Panxa Cocina, Long Beach
Segment Four: Rob Rubens, Proprietor & Head Distiller, R6 Distillery & Smoky Hollow Tasting &amp Taproom, El Segundo
Segment Five: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas
Segment Six: General Manager Brian Cousins, Executive Chef Kenny Spost, Napa Valley Grille, Westwood
Segment Seven: Claudia Burns, Owner, Turtle Rock Vineyards, Paso Robles
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Show 273, May 12, 2018: Al Mancini, Staff Writer, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Al ManciniVeteran Las Vegas insider and widely-followed food journalist Al Mancini works alongside The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s long-time restaurant critic, Heidi Knapp Rinella. As a Staff Writer he covers the burgeoning food scene in Las Vegas daily both in the print and online versions of the daily newspaper. Al also occasionally posts food & libation related videos. We pull him away from the Vegas Uncork’d festivities for an update.

We run the table with Al hitting on the impact of Vegas Uncork’d, Vegas Golden Knights fever in Vegas, The Vegas Unstripped, by Locals food festival and updates on the debuting Park MGM and the extensive enhancements at The Palms under new ownership.

Play

Show 251, December 9, 2017: “Las Vegas Strong” Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a VIP high roller’s preview of this Saturday’s intriguing, all-Las Vegas show special. We’re going behind-the-scenes with some of Fabulous Las Vegas’ most fascinating food-related personalities. We’re with you live every Saturday morning throughout The Holidays. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Rick Moonen is one of the very few celebrity chefs with high profile restaurants in Las Vegas who actually lives in Fabulous Las Vegas. His two restaurants in The Shoppes at Mandalay Place are RM Seafood and Rx Boiler Room. Chef Rick is our guest.

Mike Minor is back as the Executive Chef of Mary Sue Milliken’s and Susan Feniger’s original Border Grill Las Vegas (launched in 1999) located by the lazy river adjacent to Mandalay Beach at the Mandalay Bay Resort on The Strip. Chef Mike is a long-time Las Vegas veteran and has a huge locals’ following. We’ll meet him.

Chef Brian Howard developed a loyal following during his tenure at Comme Ca located in The Cosmopolitan (“just the right amount of wrong.”) He’s now branched out on his own with Sparrow + Wolf located in Las Vegas’s bustling Chinatown just off The Strip on Spring Mountain Road. Chef Brian refers to his establishment as “Neighborhood Cookery & Libations.” Chef Brian joins us to talk about his first seven months of operations.

The delightfully opinionated Al Mancini took on the dream assignment for any food journalist of becoming the food reporter for The Las Vegas Review-Journal just about a year ago. He’s an unabashed fan of Fabulous Las Vegas. Al is celebrating a B-I-G Birthday this weekend and we pull him away from the festivities for a chat.

Stowe Shoemaker is the dean of the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV.) Prior to being named dean, Shoemaker served as a Lincy Professor at UNLV and the Donald Hubbs Distinguished Professor at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel Administration at the University of Houston. For many years he was a member of the executive education faculty at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, and for a time he maintained an appointment in the Division of Diagnostic Imagery at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. We’re in with The Dean.

As Senior Managing Partner of the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, Tom Kaplan has worked alongside Wolfgang Puck for nearly 36 years with his world-renowned restaurants. Tom started his lengthy association with Chef Wolfgang as Office Manager two months after the original Spago West Hollywood opened in 1982. His responsibilities include overall business management, strategic development, design, and construction supervision, and philanthropy for the company’s 28 domestic and international locations. Tom Kaplan is our guest.

The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, is a world-class destination in downtown Las Vegas. It presents an exciting and authentic view of the Mob’s impact on Las Vegas history and its unique imprint on America and the world. With tales so intriguing they need no embellishment, The Mob Museum reveals an insider’s look at the events and people on both sides of this continuing battle between organized crime and law enforcement. The Mob Museum’s Brenda Hengel>, Public Relations and Marketing Brand Manager, joins us.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

Play

Show 251, December 9, 2017: Food Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Al ManciniThe delightfully opinionated Al Mancini took on the dream assignment for any food journalist of becoming the food reporter for The Las Vegas Review-Journal just about a year ago. He’s an unabashed fan of Fabulous Las Vegas. He also faithfully covers the happenings in the revived Downtown Las Vegas including the vibrant restaurant scene there.

Al discovered his passion for food while living in New York City, where he attended law school by day, tended bar and made pizza at the infamous punk club CBGB by night, and explored the Big Apple’s dynamic dining scene during every spare moment in between.

Previously Al has written extensively about food and dining for numerous local, Las Vegas lifestyle publications. He is the co-creator of Eating Las Vegas – The 50 Essential Restaurants guidebook which launched with the 2011 Edition.

Al is celebrating a B-I-G Birthday this weekend and we pull him away from the festivities for a chat.

Play

December 9: #VegasStrong: A Tribute to Las Vegas Culinary Excellence

Podcasts

Segment One: “Las Vegas Strong” Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Rick Moonen, RM Seafood & Rx Boiler Room, Las Vegas
Segment Three: Chef Mike Minor, Border Grill Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas
Segment Four: Chef / Owner Brian Howard, Sparrow + Wolf, Chinatown, Las Vegas
Segment Five: Food Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal
Segment Six: Dean Stowe Shoemaker, William F. Harrah College of Hospitality, UNLV
Segment Seven: Tom Kaplan, Senior Managing Partner, Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group
Segment Eight: Brenda Hengel, Public Relations and Marketing Brand Manager, The Mob Museum, Las Vegas

Now an intriguing preview of this Saturday’s overflowing show. It’s our very special Las Vegas Strong! show. Keep in mind we’re with you live every Saturday morning throughout The Holidays. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Rick Moonen is one of the very few celebrity chefs with high profile restaurants in Las Vegas who actually lives in Fabulous Las Vegas. His two restaurants in The Shoppes at Mandalay Place are RM Seafood and RX Boiler Room. Chef Rick is our guest.

Mike Minor is the Executive Chef of Mary Sue Milliken’s and Susan Feniger’s original Border Grill Las Vegas (launched in 1999) located by the lazy river adjacent to Mandalay Beach at the Mandalay Bay Resort on The Strip. Chef Mike grew up in Las Vegas and has a huge locals’ following. We’ll meet him.

Chef Brian Howard developed a loyal following during his tenure at Comme Ca located in The Cosmopolitan. He’s now branched out on his own with Sparrow + Wolf located in Las Vegas’s bustling Chinatown just Off The Strip on Spring Mountain Road. Chef Brian refers to his establishment as “Neighborhood Cookery & Libations.” Chef Brian joins us to talk about his first seven months of operations.

The delightfully opinionated Al Mancini took on the dream assignment for any food journalist of becoming the food reporter for The Las Vegas Review-Journal just about a year ago. He’s an unabashed fan of Fabulous Las Vegas. Al is celebrating a B-I-G Birthday this weekend and we pull him away from the festivities for a chat.

Stowe Shoemaker is the dean of the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV.) Prior to being named dean, Shoemaker served as a Lincy Professor at UNLV and the Donald Hubbs Distinguished Professor at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel Administration at the University of Houston. For many years he was a member of the executive education faculty at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, and for a time he maintained an appointment in the Division of Diagnostic Imagery at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. We’re in with The Dean.

As Senior Managing Partner of the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, Tom Kaplan has worked alongside Wolfgang Puck for nearly 36 years with his world-renowned restaurants. Tom started his lengthy association with Chef Wolfgang as Office Manager two months after the original Spago West Hollywood opened in 1982. His responsibilities include overall business management, strategic development, design, and construction supervision, and philanthropy for the company’s 28 domestic and international locations. Tom Kaplan is our guest.

The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, is a world-class destination in downtown Las Vegas. It presents an exciting and authentic view of the Mob’s impact on Las Vegas history and its unique imprint on America and the world. With tales so intriguing they need no embellishment, The Mob Museum reveals an insider’s look at the events and people on both sides of this continuing battle between organized crime and law enforcement. The Mob Museum’s Brenda Hengel, Public Relations and Marketing Brand Manager, joins us.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

Rick Moonen of rm seafood in Las VegasRick Moonen is one of the very few celebrity chefs with high profile restaurants in Las Vegas who actually lives in Fabulous Las Vegas. His two restaurants in The Shoppes at Mandalay Place are RM Seafood and Rx Boiler Room.

Since opening RM Seafood at The Shoppes at Mandalay Place in 2005, Master Chef Rick Moonen brings his expertise to The Strip by offering a unique dining experience with a thoughtful selection of seafood through his delectable dishes. Renowned for his passionate views on sustainable seafood, Chef Moonen creates an experience that features a vast array of flavor combinations designed to exemplify the natural qualities of fresh ingredients. Along with abundant offerings from the sea, the menu includes Wagyu beef, lamb, salads and other unique items such as seared foie gras and chicken san daniele.

Combining the alchemy of food and drink, Chef Rick Moonen’s Rx Boiler Room showcases his spin on classic comfort food, offering guests a variety of playful creations in small and large plate portions, ideal for a shared dining experience. Paired to elevate and complement the overall experience, the drink menu features an emporium of the finest spirits and innovative libations. Rx Boiler Room offers a modern reflection of the Victorian era, celebrating the steampunk sub-genre often associated with science-fiction and inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century.

Chef Rick is our guest.

Mike Minor of Border Grill in Las VegasMike Minor is the Executive Chef of Mary Sue Milliken’s and Susan Feniger’s original Border Grill Las Vegas (launched in 1999) located by the lazy river adjacent to Mandalay Beach at the Mandalay Bay Resort on The Strip. Chef Mike grew up in Las Vegas and has a huge locals’ following. We’ll meet him.

Ironically, it was a French restaurant where Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger first tasted authentic Latin flavors. While guests were dining on escargot out front, in the back of the house Mary Sue and Susan were discovering the home cooking of Oaxaca and the Yucatan at staff meals prepared by their fellow cooks from Mexico. Unlike anything they had ever tasted in Mexican restaurants in the United States, the dishes were as varied and complex as the French fare the chefs were serving out front.

In 1985, Mary Sue and Susan packed a VW bug and took a road trip far south of the Mexican border. Never setting foot in a “fine restaurant,” they learned the recipes and techniques of market vendors and home cooks, from street corners in downtown Mexico City to back road family barbecues and taco stands along the beach. When they returned they opened Border Grill and “applied the same intelligence,” noted Los Angeles Magazine, “to green corn tamales and cactus-paddle tacos that other chefs might to a lobe of foie gras.” Border Grill quickly established a new standard for gourmet Mexican fare.

Brian Howard of Comme Ca in Las VegasChef Brian Howard developed a loyal following during his tenure at Comme Ca located in The Cosmopolitan. He’s now branched out on his own with Sparrow + Wolf located in Las Vegas’s bustling Chinatown just Off The Strip on Spring Mountain Road. Chef Brian refers to his establishment as “Neighborhood Cookery & Libations.”

Chef Brian Howard’ Sparrow + Wolf boasts cuisine from the heart using a modern hand. It features American cookery influenced by the culturally diverse neighborhoods of Chef Brian’s travels, classic training and Midwestern roots.

Throughout his 17-year culinary career in Las Vegas, star Chef Brian Howard earned his stripes working with some of the most popular restaurants on The Strip. He has gained the utmost respect from his colleagues and the city’s most prestigious food writers, including one who referred to Howard as “The Most Ambitious Chef in Las Vegas.” The culinary field is known as a profession of passion, and Howard is a bold example of that premise, having believed since he was 10 years old that cooking is in his blood.

Chef Brian attributes his varied influences to being surrounded by talented people, childhood memories, and his continuous hunger for learning new things every day. “I’ve always had a fight and desire in me to never give up, no matter how rocky the road,” says Howard.  “Perseverance has gotten me to where I am today and now I just want to create something for the people of Las Vegas, a city that has been good to me. I want to create food that I’d like to eat.”

Chef Brian joins us to talk about his first seven months of operations.

Al ManciniThe delightfully opinionated Al Mancini took on the dream assignment for any food journalist of becoming the food reporter for The Las Vegas Review-Journal just about a year ago. He’s an unabashed fan of Fabulous Las Vegas. He also faithfully covers the happenings in the revived Downtown Las Vegas including the vibrant restaurant scene there.

Al discovered his passion for food while living in New York City, where he attended law school by day, tended bar and made pizza at the infamous punk club CBGB by night, and explored the Big Apple’s dynamic dining scene during every spare moment in between.

Previously Al has written extensively about food and dining for numerous local, Las Vegas lifestyle publications. He is the co-creator of Eating Las Vegas – The 50 Essential Restaurants guidebook which launched with the 2011 Edition.

Al is celebrating a B-I-G Birthday this weekend and we pull him away from the festivities for a chat.

Stowe Shoemaker is the Dean of the William F Harrah College of Hotel Administration at University of Nevada Las VegasStowe Shoemaker is the dean of the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV.) Prior to being named dean, Shoemaker served as a Lincy Professor at UNLV and the Donald Hubbs Distinguished Professor at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel Administration at the University of Houston. For many years he was a member of the executive education faculty at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, and for a time he maintained an appointment in the Division of Diagnostic Imagery at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Located in the heart of the hotel, gaming and tourism industries, UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hospitality is uniquely positioned to offer students the real-world skills they need to succeed in the dynamic field of hospitality.

Hospitality Hall, The College’s new $59 million, 93,500 square-foot building, will welcome students next year. Hospitality Hall will provide the setting and the resources students need to learn the fast-paced, ever changing world of hospitality. With faculty guidance and industry partnerships, Hospitality Hall will help set a new standard of excellence in hospitality education.

We’re in with The Dean.

Tom KaplanAs Senior Managing Partner of the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, Tom Kaplan has worked alongside Wolfgang Puck for nearly 36 years with his world-renowned restaurants. Tom started his lengthy association with Chef Wolfgang as Office Manager two months after the original Spago West Hollywood opened in 1982. His responsibilities include overall business management, strategic development, design, and construction supervision, and philanthropy for the company’s 28 domestic and international locations.

Since 1982, Puck and Kaplan have grown the company from several individual restaurants into a collection of restaurants known as the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group. Primary brands include Spago, CUT, re/Asian Cuisine, and the Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill. Over the years Kaplan has nurtured key strategic partnerships with luxury hotel brands and major casinos such as the Four Seasons, Dorchester Collection, MGM Resorts International and Las Vegas Sands.

The big Wolfgang Puck Las Vegas news is that after 25 years Spago Las Vegas, in 2018, will move to the former Olives location at The Bellagio, regarded as one of the best restaurant locations in Las Vegas.

Tom Kaplan is our guest.

Brenda HengelThe Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, is a world-class destination in downtown Las Vegas. It presents an exciting and authentic view of the Mob’s impact on Las Vegas history and its unique imprint on America and the world. With tales so intriguing they need no embellishment, The Mob Museum reveals an insider’s look at the events and people on both sides of this continuing battle between organized crime and law enforcement.

True stories of Mob history are brought to life in a bold and contemporary style via engaging exhibits and multi-sensory experiences. The Mob Museum puts the visitor in the middle of the action through high-tech theater presentations, iconic one-of-a-kind artifacts and interactive, themed environments. The Mob Museum was ranked #20 out of 25 Top U.S. Museums in 2017 by TripAdvisor.

The Mob Museum features a variety of interactive exhibits, films and high-tech audio-visual displays that are periodically updated to reflect new information and acquisitions. Exhibits examine in great depth such topics as how organized crime persists today; how the Mob is perceived and portrayed in pop culture; how the battle against the Mob was fought with focus on important historic and law enforcement victories; an examination of Mob violence, corruption, conspiracy and murder; notable mobsters and Mob busters; an in-depth look at Las Vegas as the ultimate “open city” that attracted mobsters and how organized crime operated “the skim” inside casinos; and a historic timeline on the birth and evolution of organized crime with a look at its geographic “families” from around the globe.

The centerpiece exhibit of the Museum is the courtroom where the proceedings of the United States Senate Special Committee to Investigate Crime in Interstate Commerce occurred in Las Vegas in 1950. Led by U.S. Senator Estes Kefauver, the hearings sought to expose organized crime.

The Mob Museum’s Brenda Hengel, Public Relations and Marketing Brand Manager, joins us.

Podcasts

Segment One: “Las Vegas Strong” Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Rick Moonen, RM Seafood & Rx Boiler Room, Las Vegas
Segment Three: Chef Mike Minor, Border Grill Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas
Segment Four: Chef / Owner Brian Howard, Sparrow + Wolf, Chinatown, Las Vegas
Segment Five: Food Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal
Segment Six: Dean Stowe Shoemaker, William F. Harrah College of Hospitality, UNLV
Segment Seven: Tom Kaplan, Senior Managing Partner, Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group
Segment Eight: Brenda Hengel, Public Relations and Marketing Brand Manager, The Mob Museum, Las Vegas

Show 234, July 29, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Program Note for Saturday, July 29th. We followed the Halos, come-from-behind victory at a special time. Next Saturday, August 5th we are back at our usual time of 10:00 a.m. to 12 Noon. Please join us.

Now an enticing preview of Saturday afternoon’s fully-packed show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Step off the pristine, white sandy beach and into the open-airHau Tree restaurant & bar on the Big Island of Hawaii at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel for a causal dining menu which includes sandwiches, wraps, hamburgers, salads, ice cream, their famous Ovaltine Froth, or a cooling Fredrico cocktail which originated right there. We pull the newly married Chef Chris Galindo off the beach for an overview.

In her new book The Migraine Relief Plan: An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health, health coach and wellness authority Stephanie Weaver explores the connection between lifestyle, food, and wellness for people with migraines, vertigo, and related conditions like Meniere’s disease. With more than 36 million Americans dealing with migraines, and many more with chronic headaches, this is genuinely useful information.

On Thursday evening, August 10th Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa is hosting a sumptuous, 7-course wine-paired dinner with an abundance of passed hors d’oeuvre as a festive Friends of James Beard Foundation Benefit to celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary. VACA Group Partner & Executive Chef Amar Santana (just back from Ibiza, Spain) provides the salivating preview.

Journalist Al Mancini is well-known in Las Vegas hospitality circles. He’s been reviewing restaurants there for over 15 years. In 2011 he co-created the first edition of the definitive Las Vegas dining guide – Eating Las Vegas – The 50 Essential Restaurants. Late last year he joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a staff writer primarily covering the food, restaurant and libations beat. We’ll chat with Al about the rise of Downtown Las Vegas as a dining destination and also get updated on other local foodie news of note.

DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. More than 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices. Encoring in DINE LBC are Chef Arthur Gonzalez’s Panxa Cocina (modern Latin Cuisine) and Roe Seafood (the home of seafood fanatics). We’ll meet the proprietor, Chef Arthur Gonzalez.

Every year at the OC Fair is the eagerly anticipated Concessionaires Cup Challenge. The Fair’s hugely competitive food concessionaires compete to win the bragging rights in ten food categories. OC Weekly’s “On the Line” correspondent, Anne Marie Panoringan, was one of the 21 esteemed judges. Anne Marie also had the honor of being one of the three judges deciding the “Best Overall Item” honors. That’s the big one…She joins us with the lip-smacking results.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

Play

Show 234, July 29, 2017: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Al ManciniJournalist Al Mancini is well-known in Las Vegas hospitality circles. He’s been reviewing restaurants there for over 15 years. In 2011 he co-created the first edition of the definitive Las Vegas dining guideEating Las Vegas – The 50 Essential Restaurants. Late last year he joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a staff writer primarily covering the food, restaurant and libations beat.

We’ll chat with Al about the rise of Downtown Las Vegas as a dining destination and also get updated on other local foodie news of note.

One of Al’s picks for Downtown Las Vegas dining is The Carson Kitchen. It’s actually expanding. It’s something of a homage to its founding chef/owner, the late Kerry Simon.

Al is also a brunch fan. Right before his “SoCal Restaurant Show” interview he was at the newly expanded Ping Pang Pong in The Gold Coast enjoying their highly regarded dim sum. On Friday he was brunching at Sugarcane located on The Strip at The Venetian. Al points out that it’s one of the few spots in Las Vegas with a Weekday brunch option.

Play

Show 234, July 29, 2017: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal Continues…

Al ManciniJournalist Al Mancini is well-known in Las Vegas hospitality circles. He’s been reviewing restaurants there for over 15 years. In 2011 he co-created the first edition of the definitive Las Vegas dining guideEating Las Vegas – The 50 Essential Restaurants. Late last year he joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a staff writer primarily covering the food, restaurant and libations beat.

We resume our insider’s chat with Al about Vegas foodie news of note. We finish our Downtown update with Al’s profile of the Downtown Container Park. It has a giant Praying Mantis at the entrance that periodically shoots fire out of its mouth. Only is Las Vegas…For food (and a view) he suggests The Perch located on the top corner of the complex.

Look for Al’s new weekly column in the Review-Journal highlighting worthwhile Downtown events, including food.

Al shares his thoughts on the arrival of culinary celebrity David Chang’s Momofuku (and Milk Bar) at The Cosmopolitan. Momofuku will soon launch in Los Angeles.

 

Play