Show 78, July 5, 2014: Miguel Rodriguez, General Manager and Executive Chef Marc Johnson, Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge, The Island Hotel, Newport Beach Part One

Marc JohnsonThe Island Hotel in Newport Beach has a history of offering distinctive destination dining. As part of a major refreshening of the property The Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge have just debuted in the space that was previously the well-liked Palm Terrace. This was an over 5-month redo on a major budget…This is easily the most anticipated opening of the year in Orange County.

The Executive Chef is Marc Johnson and the seasoned General Manager is Miguel Rodriquez. Both moved over from the popular Mastro’s Ocean Club in the Crystal Cove Promenade on Newport Coast.

Chef Mark was previously with Studio’s (Montage Laguna Beach) opening executive chef, James Boyce for several years and then followed him to Huntsville, AL to help open Cotton Row (as chef de cuisine,) one of the most recognized restaurants in Alabama.

Play

July 5: Tiffany Derry, FoodGPS Rib Fest, Oak Grill, Aqua Lounge, Tal Ronnen

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Tiffany Derry of Dallas, Texas Part One
Segment Three: Celebrity Chef Tiffany Derry of Dallas, Texas Part Two
Segment Four: Food GPS’ Josh Lurie and Chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage Co. and Escala
Segment Five: Miguel Rodriguez, General Manager and Executive Chef Marc Johnson, Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge, The Island Hotel, Newport Beach Part One
Segment Six: Miguel Rodriguez, General Manager and Executive Chef Marc Johnson, Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge, The Island Hotel, Newport Beach Part Two
Segment Seven: Tal Ronnen, founder and executive chef of Crossroads restaurant, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Eight: Tal Ronnen, founder and executive chef of Crossroads restaurant, Los Angeles Part Two

Jet Tila and Producer Andy preview the show.

Food TV fans know upbeat, Dallas-based Chef Tiffany Derry from Season 7 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef: All–Stars.” She is back as co-host of FYI’s (formerly Bio) new series, “World Food Championships” which launches on July 10th.

Our friend food journalist Josh Lurie is at it again with the 1st Annual Food GPS Rib Festival on Sunday, July 13th in Chinatown. 12 of L.A’s best forward-thinking chefs will be there preparing unique rib preparations and tempting sides. Josh and Chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage Co., Escala, and Houston Hospitality preview the Festival.

The Island Hotel in Newport Beach has a rich history of offering highly regarded destination dining. As part of a major refreshening of the property The Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge have just debuted. This is easily the most anticipated restaurant opening of the year in Orange County. You’ll hear why…

One mission of Chef Tal Ronnen’s Crossroads Los Angeles is to bring tasty vegetarian fare to patrons who aren’t necessarily vegetarians or vegans. Our own Jet Tila just prepared a Sunday Supper at Crossroads serving plant-based versions of his signature pan Asian dishes.

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

Tiffany DerryFood TV fans know Dallas-based Chef Tiffany Derry from Season 7 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef: All–Stars.” She is back as co-host of FYI’s (formerly Bio) new series, “World Food Championships” which launches on July 10th.

Chef Tiffany is a graduate of The Art Institute of Houston and now serves as a national spokesperson for the Art Institute’s Culinary Arts Program.

World Food Championships on FYI“Hosted in Las Vegas, The World Food Championships is one of the most ambitious and authentic food competitions held annually. The series (6 one-hour episodes) follows talented home cooks and professional chefs from across America as they compete to create dishes mouth-wateringly creative enough to win their food category. From BBQ, to bacon to family recipes – there is a winner for each competition, culminating in a grand finale with a shot at winning a $50,000 prize. Co-hosted by Jeffrey Saad, chef, author and LA-based restaurant owner; and Dallas-based chef, Tiffany Derry. Produced by Sharp Entertainment.”

Chef Tiffany is performing a cooking demo at the Napa Valley Festival Del Sole on July 12th as part of that day’s “Taste of Napa.”

Chef Tiffany provides an overview of the dynamic Dallas dining scene. It’s about getting out to the neighborhoods…

Joshua Lurie of Food GPS“The inaugural Food GPS Rib Festival is taking place on Sunday, July 13th, from 4 to 7:00 p.m., at Chinatown’s historic Central Plaza. This chef-driven, all-inclusive event spotlights 12 of L.A.’s best chefs preparing unique rib preparations and sides. Guests will also enjoy desserts, craft beers, cocktails and soda.”

Food GPS Founder Josh Lurie and Chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage Co., Escala, and Houston Hospitality preview the Festival.

Marc JohnsonThe Island Hotel in Newport Beach has a history of offering distinctive destination dining. As part of a major refreshening of the property The Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge have just debuted in the space that was previously the well-liked Palm Terrace. This was an over 5-month redo on a major budget…This is easily the most anticipated opening of the year in Orange County.

The Executive Chef is Marc Johnson and the seasoned General Manager is Miguel Rodriquez. Both moved over from the popular Mastro’s Ocean Club in the Crystal Cove Promenade on Newport Coast.

Chef Mark was previously with Studio’s (Montage Laguna Beach) opening executive chef, James Boyce for several years and then followed him to Huntsville, AL to help open Cotton Row, one of the most recognized restaurants in Alabama.

At Oak Grill there are over fifty wines available by the glass. Hundreds more by the bottle. Oak Grill boasts one of the most extensive wine lists in the area, all curated by Miguel.

They offer a robust program of craft beers on tap. Most are local.

Aqua Lounge Newport BeachAqua Lounge
“Afternoon cocktails. After work drinks. An evening out, or a late night rendezvous. DJ’s and pop-up performances. A casual menu of gourmet shareable bites and late night delectables and trendy street foods. That’s what we are. What we do is bring a whole new take on nightlife to Newport Beach.”

“Tableside mixology reinvents traditional bottle service and is one feature of a truly imaginative and engaging approach to craft cocktails, guided by renowned mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim. Assemble your own mule, or sit back and enjoy a delicious summer punch bowl.”

Tal Ronnen of Crossroads KitchenTal Ronnen, founder and chef of Crossroads and author of The New York Times Bestseller, The Conscious Cook, became known nationwide as the chef who prepared the meals for Oprah Winfrey’s 21-day cleanse. He made his culinary mark at a number of high-profile events, having catered Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi’s wedding, Arianna Huffington’s party at the Democratic National Convention, and a U.S. Senate Dinner.

A graduate of the National Gourmet Institute, Tal conducts master vegetarian workshops for students and staff at Le Cordon Bleu campuses nationwide. He is the collaborating chef at The Wynn and Encore hotels in Las Vegas.

One mission of Chef Tal Ronnen’s Crossroads Los Angeles is to bring tasty vegetarian fare to patrons who aren’t necessarily vegetarians or vegans. Our own Jet Tila just prepared a Sunday Supper at Crossroads serving plant-based versions of his signature pan Asian dishes.

Jet Tila Sunday Supper at Crossroads KitchenJet’s plant-based menu started with Sew Mai Dumplings and concluded with Thai Tea Ice Cream Sandwiches.

Jet adapted his signature Drunken Noodles (Giada De Laurentiss’ favorite) for the evening substituting tofu for pork. The dish earned high praise from the guests.

The Featured Cocktail was Mekhong Smoke. It’s Mekhong rum, mescal, thai basil, tamari salt and blistered shishito pepper.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Tiffany Derry of Dallas, Texas Part One
Segment Three: Celebrity Chef Tiffany Derry of Dallas, Texas Part Two
Segment Four: Food GPS’ Josh Lurie and Chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage Co. and Escala
Segment Five: Miguel Rodriguez, General Manager and Executive Chef Marc Johnson, Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge, The Island Hotel, Newport Beach Part One
Segment Six: Miguel Rodriguez, General Manager and Executive Chef Marc Johnson, Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge, The Island Hotel, Newport Beach Part Two
Segment Seven: Tal Ronnen, founder and executive chef of Crossroads restaurant, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Eight: Tal Ronnen, founder and executive chef of Crossroads restaurant, Los Angeles Part Two

Show 77, June 21, 2014: Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show

How do you conduct a serious educational wine tasting (that’s also fun) with a group? Wine, food and travel writer Linda Kissam is with us to explain.

Quality Italian beef, pasta, and sustainable seafood are on the menu at the new Chianina Steakhouse in the Naples area of Long Beach. This is from the hospitality team known for Michael’s on Naples. Linda Kissam recently experienced a dinner there.

The craft beer movement, surprisingly, is vibrant and thriving in Alabama. Back Forty Beer Co. is the largest, and oldest, packaging brewery in the State.

The 36th Annual Greek Festival brings a “Taste of Greece” to Orange County at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church from June 27th to 29th. More than 11,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival which will feature traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, and authentic Greek dancing with lessons. It’s a family-friendly affair!

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

Play

Show 77, June 21, 2014: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA

Linda KissamHow do you conduct a serious, educational wine tasting with a group that’s also entertaining and fun? Wine, food and travel writer Linda Kissam is with us to explain. She organizes proper tastings all the time…

She expertly demonstrated this recently for a group of professional food, wine, and travel journalists at the annual conference of the International, Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association in Montgomery, AL.

It was an organized tasting of five Italian Sparking Wines from the Franciacorta region of Lombardy in Northern Italy. A very limited supply of these sparkling wines eventually find their way to the United States.

Play

Show 77, June 21, 2014: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Continues…

Linda KissamConducting a serious tasting of Italian Sparkling Wines for professional food, wine & travel writers at The International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Conference in Montgomery, AL.

It’s fun but there is a proper way of doing this. A group size of eight is ideal to retain focus.

A good judge of a quality sparkling wine is the appearance of fine, delicate bubbles.

In a typical year Linda will taste and evaluate 1,000 wines.

She also explains what the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association does and what their mission is. Linda serves as their First Vice President.

Play

Show 77, June 21, 2014: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL

Jason WilsonFounded in 2009 by Jason Wilson, Back Forty Beer Co. is one of the oldest Alabama breweries and the first to distribute outside of the state. Back Forty beers are available statewide in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. The brewery is located in Historic Downtown Gadsden, Alabama.

“In 2008, after several years in the corporate world and with over 150 brewery tours under his belt, founder Jason Wilson reached out to renowned Brewmaster Jamie Ray and asked for his help in developing recipes for Back Forty Beer Co.

The goal for the liquid was simple – to expose Southerners to the same craft beer culture that Wilson had been part of for the last ten years. This meant starting out with classic beer styles and evolving with customers along the way. Jamie agreed and in January of 2009 he became Back Forty’s first employee.

In June of 2009, Back Forty released its first offering, Naked Pig Pale Ale. The beer was only available in the North-Central Alabama home market, but the response was overwhelming. In March of 2010 the second Back Forty offering hit the shelves, Truck Stop Honey Brown Ale. Later that year Truck Stop Honey was awarded a Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival, and in the weeks following, distribution offers poured in that allowed Back Forty to expand its coverage throughout Alabama.

Play

Show 77, June 21, 2014: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL continues…

Jason WilsonFounded in 2009 by Jason Wilson, Back Forty Beer Co. is one of the oldest Alabama breweries and the first to distribute outside of the state. Back Forty beers are available statewide in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. The brewery is located in Historic Downtown Gadsden, Alabama.

They take food and beer pairings seriously. Back Forty Beer Co. very creatively suggests appropriate food pairings for each of their styles on the packaging.

Jason revealed the great news that it looks like Back Forty Beer Co.’s styles will be available in Southern California by year’s end. We’ll keep you posted…

Play

June 21: Linda Kissam, Chianina Steakhouse, Back Forty Beer Co, Irvine Greek Fest

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show
Segment Two: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part One
Segment Three: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part Two
Segment Four: Alejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part One
Segment Five: EAlejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part One
Segment Seven: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part Two
Segment Eight: Restaurateur George Kookootsedes, 36th Annual Greek Festival, St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church, Irvine

Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show.

How do you conduct a serious educational wine tasting (that’s also fun) with a group? Wine, food and travel writer Linda Kissam is with us to explain.

Quality Italian beef, pasta, and sustainable seafood are on the menu at the new Chianina Steakhouse in the Naples area of Long Beach. This is from the hospitality team known for Michael’s on Naples. Linda Kissam recently experienced a dinner there.

The craft beer movement, surprisingly, is vibrant and thriving in Alabama. Back Forty Beer Co. is the largest, and oldest, packaging brewery in the State.

The 36th Annual Greek Festival brings a “Taste of Greece” to Orange County at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church from June 27th to 29th. More than 11,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival which will feature traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, and authentic Greek dancing with lessons. It’s a family-friendly affair!

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

Linda KissamHow do you conduct a serious, educational wine tasting with a group that’s also entertaining and fun? Wine, food and travel writer Linda Kissam is with us to explain. She organizes tastings all the time…

She expertly demonstrated this recently for a group of professional food, wine, and travel journalists at the annual conference of the International, Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association in Montgomery, AL.

It was an organized tasting of five Italian Sparking Wines.

It’s fun but there is a proper way of doing this.

She also explains what the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association does and what their mission is. Linda serves as their First Vice President.

Chianina SteakhouseHigh-end steakhouses with a serious bar and deep wine lists are very much in fashion these days.

How about an elegant steakhouse that serves limited availability, high-quality Italian beef, prime steaks, and sustainable seafood? There is also a well-regarded executive chef (David Coleman) overseeing things. We’ll be meeting the General Manager of Chianina Steakhouse in the Naples neighborhood of Long Beach, part of the ever expanding Michael’s Restaurant Group. We’re joined by Alejandro Duran of Chianina.

Chianina beef will soon be on their menu.

Jason WilsonFounded in 2009 by Jason Wilson, Back Forty Beer Co. is one of the oldest Alabama breweries and the first to distribute outside of the state. Back Forty beers are available statewide in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. The brewery is located in Historic Downtown Gadsden, Alabama.

“In 2008, after several years in the corporate world and with over 150 brewery tours under his belt, founder Jason Wilson reached out to renowned Brewmaster Jamie Ray and asked for his help in developing recipes for Back Forty Beer Co.

The goal for the liquid was simple – to expose Southerners to the same craft beer culture that Wilson had been part of for the last ten years. This meant starting out with classic beer styles and evolving with customers along the way. Jamie agreed and in January of 2009 he became Back Forty’s first employee.

In June of 2009, Back Forty released its first offering, Naked Pig Pale Ale. The beer was only available in the North-Central Alabama home market, but the response was overwhelming. In March of 2010 the second Back Forty offering hit the shelves, Truck Stop Honey Brown Ale. Later that year Truck Stop Honey was awarded a Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival, and in the weeks following, distribution offers poured in that allowed Back Forty to expand its coverage throughout Alabama.

Jason revealed the great news that it looks like Back Forty Beer Co.’s styles will be available in Southern California by year’s end. We’ll keep you posted…

irvine-greek-festThe 36th Annual Greek Festival brings a “Taste of Greece” to Orange County at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church from June 27th to 29th. More than 11,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival which will feature traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, and authentic Greek dancing with lessons. It’s a family-friendly affair!

Legendary OC Restaurateur Mr. K (George Kookootsedes)
(John Dominis) is our guest…As a dedicated volunteer he puts the incredible food program together each year.

As guest host Linda Kissam notes , “It’s the next best thing to flying to Greece.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show
Segment Two: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part One
Segment Three: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part Two
Segment Four: Alejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part One
Segment Five: EAlejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part One
Segment Seven: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part Two
Segment Eight: Restaurateur George Kookootsedes, 36th Annual Greek Festival, St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church, Irvine

Show 76, June 14, 2014: Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer Andy preview the show

Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer Andy preview the show.

Barbara Fairchild, the well-traveled Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com, is back with us to share some inspired and practical travel tips. Also a profile of a big deal celebrity chef flagship restaurant in London.

It’s the 9th Anniversary of Chef Michael Cimarusti’s and Donato Poto’s Providence in Hollywood. The Los Angeles Times’ restaurant critic, Jonathan Gold, recently named them the Number 1 establishment in his annual listing of the “101 Best Restaurants – 2014.”

One of the foremost goat cheeses available in the United States, Belle Chevre, is made in a tiny town located in northern Alabama. It’s quite a success story!

You’ve seen Chef Ben Ford on Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods America” on Travel Channel and are probably familiar with his landmark Culver City Gastropub, Ford’s Filling Station. His new book is Taming The Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide To Adventurous Cooking.

Hinoki & The Bird, hidden in a luxury high rise condo tower in Century City, features Pan-Asian cooking. We’ll meet executive chef Kuniko Yagi.

Guest Host Kedric Francis has been doing some traveling up the Central Coast. Some inspired dining and lodging tips are on the way.

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

Play

Show 76, June 14, 2014: Tasia Malakasis, Proprietress & Cheesemaker – Belle Chevre, Goat Cheese from Alabama

Tasia MalakasisAmerica’ most-awarded goat cheese, Belle Chevre, is lovingly made in small batches in the tiny hamlet of Elkmont, Alabama. For the past twenty-five it’s all been made by hand.

Meet cheesemaker and proprietress, Tasia Malakasis

There is even an award-winning Belle Chevre cheesecake!

Tasia is particularly proud of her new collection of “Goat Cheese for Breakfast.” A bagel never had it so good. Just one enticing variety is Belle and The Bees Breakfast Cheese.

Goats’ milk is the most consumed milk on the planet.

In Southern California Belle Chevre is available at Bristol Farms and Whole Foods Market. Also look for it at The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills.

Play