Show 339, August 31, 2019: Cookie Good’s Co-Founder & Baker, Ross Canter Part One

Ross Canter of Cookie Good“You know that feeling when you take your first bite of a cookie? When you crunch through that crisp exterior and get to the chewy often chocolaty center; when the buttery, slightly salty sweetness hits your tongue? It’s just an instant but suddenly your brain is flooded, senses over-loaded and without even being aware, you find yourself smiling. That’s what we call feeling “Cookie Good”.”

“We take that feeling one step further, working hard to make cookies that not only taste amazing but also feed your soul; that make you remember something wonderful – the gooey, toasted, marshmallowy treat you ate around a campfire, that favorite childhood cereal you only got when your dad went to the market, your grandmother’s once-a-year-apple pie…Cookie Good: it’s how you wanna feel.”

“After a few years of baking thousands of cookies at home with only a 6-quart mixer and a single oven, we decided to move to a commercial kitchen. In just 5 hours a day, 4 days a week, we baked and baked and baked. As the business grew, we knew it was finally time to take the biggest leap of all – building our own bakery. We found the perfect spot in Santa Monica – a small, 1930s brick building right across the street from a park with palm trees, lawn bowling, and a duck pond.”

Cookie Good’s (Santa Monica) Co-Founder & Baker Ross Canter joins us with all the sweet details.

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Show 333, July 20, 2019: Betty Porto, Vice President, Community Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Cafe

Betty Porto in front of the Porto's Bakery Bread RackPorto’s Bakery & Café started modestly in the greater L.A. area in the 1960s and has grown steadily since then becoming a popular, local institution. Founder Rosa Porto’s life took an unexpected turn back then when she and her family made the difficult decision to leave their beloved Cuba and emigrate to the United States. Out of a job, Rosa relied on her love of baking and began selling cakes out of her house for her neighbors and friends to support her family.

Porto’s has gradually (and deliberately) grown into five existing locations in Glendale, Burbank, Downey, Buena Park, and the newly opened West Covina. Northridge is on the horizon.

“Rosa’s recipes and high standards continue to be carried on by her family, reflective of her motto “quality is the number one ingredient in everything we do”.”

Newly launched from Porto’s is “We Make It, You Bake It.” Also known as Porto’s Bake at Home.

“We now ship nationwide our best-selling pastries unbaked, frozen, and direct to you so you can bake them fresh in your own oven! It’s like having a Porto’s Bakery in your home! Congrats, you are now a Porto’s Pastry Chef. Feel free to take all the credit.”

The initial menu is Potato Balls, Guava Strudel, Chicken Empanadas, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cheese Rolls, Guava & Cheese Strudel, Meat Pies, Sprinkledoodle Cookies and Dulce de Leche Bestio Cookies.

Betty Porto, Vice President of Community and Guest Relations for Porto’s is our guest.

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Show 316, March 23, 2019: Phoenix Bakery with 2nd Generation Baker, Youlen Chan, L.A.’s Chinatown Part One

Youlen Chan at the AM830 KLAA StudiosFamous for their fresh strawberry whipped cream cake, almond and butterfly cookies and the unusual watermelon pastries, Phoenix Bakery has been artfully creating delectable cakes and pastries since 1938.

Founded by, and still operated by the Chan Family, their little Chinese bakery serves families and celebrities alike for all occasions. It’s one of the five-original business operating in L.A.’s historic Chinatown. They celebrated their 80th Anniversary last August.

Baker (and Family Member) Youlen Chan frosts the cake for us.

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Show 316, March 23, 2019: Phoenix Bakery with 2nd Generation Baker, Youlen Chan, L.A.’s Chinatown Part Two

Youlen Chan“Founded in 1938, the idea behind Chinatown’s landmark Phoenix Bakery was to create a gathering place for the community producing traditional Chinese pastries and cookies not found locally. At the time, Chinatown was truly the place where Chinese immigrants came together and the iconic architecture and plazas were opening.”

“Using generation-old recipes, the Chan family’s first bakery highlighted their almond cookies. Founders, F.C. Chan and his wife were proud to offer the treats to everyone. Soon thereafter, F.C.’s brother, Lun joined the bakery and their trademark fresh strawberry whipped cream cake became part of the offerings.”

“It wasn’t until the 1970s, however that Phoenix Bakery became famous throughout Los Angeles for being a little Chinese bakery making a “not so Chinese” cake. With business flourishing, in 1977, the Chan family moved from Chinatown’s Central Plaza to a custom-built bakery on Broadway that remains their current location today.”

“Catering both to the local population celebrating birthdays and to the thriving businesses operating downtown, Phoenix Bakery cakes started becoming traditions. Lun’s son, Youlen eventually took over production and Phoenix Bakery continued to thrive as he expanded the offerings of sweets and confections.”

Youlen Chan continues…

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Show 200, December 3, 2016: Jean-Jacques Granet, Executive Pastry Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula

Jean Jacques GranetThe Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula has a long Holiday tradition of baking and decorating eye-catching gingerbread houses for sale at a very reasonable price until Christmas to their appreciative guests.

“This holiday season, housing starts inside of one southern California casino/resort will more than double after last year’s sales numbers topped expectations. Pechanga Resort & Casino’s in-house bakery team is preparing, constructing and decorating hand-crafted gingerbread houses and offering them to prospective buyers at a nominal cost for home ownership. These units, which may be purchased individually or several at a time to create neighborhood continuity, come fully loaded and turnkey for gift giving, or for hanging onto for one’s own sweet tooth satisfying gratification.”

“Those looking for a brand new gingerbread home can find them in easily accessed locations at the 24-hour Caffe Cocoa inside the popular Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga or at Blends Coffee & Wine Bar just inside the Pechanga Hotel Lobby. Each home features distinct décor and amenities such as hand-drawn insulation (icing) and real curb appeal with colorful holiday sweet treats lining the outside. If buyers are careful transporting the homes, no insurance is required, property tax is waived and goodwill equity can be earned by giving one of the Pechanga gingerbread homes to someone else. These handmade gingerbread houses come in 10-inch by six-inch floor plan for $35. They will be on the market until Christmas, or until all units have been snapped up by buyers.”

The annual Chocolate Decadence Festival is coming up of Friday evening, February 10, 2016.

Pechanga’s acclaimed Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-Jacques Granet (he has worked on three continents) joins us with all the sweet details.

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Show 184, August 13, 2016: Sherry Villanueva, Acme Hospitality, Helena Avenue Bakery, Santa Barbara

Sherry VillanuevaNewly launched in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone is Acme Hospitality’s (The Lark, Lucky Penny, Les Marchands and Santa Barbara Wine Collective) Helena Avenue Bakery. It’s primarily a small-production, wholesale bakery operation but the proudly, from-scratch operation features a small retail counter open to the public daily from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

“It’s exciting to see the growth in high quality businesses opening up in the Funk Zone. The need for a wholesome bakery that appeals to people of all ages became quite clear to us as the neighborhood continues to unfold,” states Sherry Villanueva. “Having a bakery was a logical progression for us. The key ingredient was putting together the right talent, and we have a passionate and talented team. We’ve been serving the donuts, bagels, scones, muffins and cookies at Lucky Penny for several months now and they’ve been a huge hit.”

The bakery allows visitors to observe the chefs at work as they hand-shape baguettes, breads and pastries behind over-sized glass walls. The bakers’ ovens and state-of-the art equipment are exposed to the public, integrating modern machinery into the original architecture of the notable warehouse.

The entrance to the bakery is accessed through a shared door of the Santa Barbara Wine Collective. As guests enter, they are greeted by the inviting Picnic Counter which serves as the local shop for artfully displayed breads, pastries, sandwiches and salads prepared fresh daily.

Acme Hospitality’s Sherry Villanueva joins us.

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Show 176, June 18, 2016: Chef Maeve Rochford, Sugar and Scribe, La Jolla, CA

Mauve Rochford“Be Sweet. Be Tempted.”

Chef Maeve Rochford is the proprietress of the ever-popular Sugar & Scribe Bakery Café in La Jolla. She is also the winner of Food Network’s “Holiday Baking Championship” and the cool $50,000 cash prize. Chef Maeve is our guest.

“Born an only child in Cincinnati, Ohio to an Irish-born mother and third generation German Father, Maeve’s life was destined to be greatly influenced by food! She attended an all-girls high school, St. Ursula Academy, and rowed her way into college. After graduating from Boston University on a rowing scholarship, Maeve started her career quest!”

“After college Maeve struggled to settle on a direction. She checked out a few career paths in NYC and then spent several months in South Africa. While cooking dinner for the family she was living with in Walvis Bay, it finally became clear: “I’M A CHEF!” Looking back, Maeve realized she had been on this path since she was two. She moved to Los Angeles and landed her first job as a private chef. It was Maeve’s husband’s career that brought her to San Diego.”

“With the move, Maeve started all over again, but this time she followed her passion, threw caution to the wind, and in the middle of a major recession, opened Sugar and Scribe, a small upscale bakery in Pacific Beach on a shoestring budget. Sugar and Scribe launched in November 2010. The current Sugar and Scribe location opened in La Jolla in February of 2015.”

“Maeve’s love of food and the memories that great foods inspire drive her to create morsels of excellence every day. “I think my keen understanding of flavor combinations comes from mixing leftovers, never being afraid of food and loving the experience of cooking. When I’m happy, I eat. When I’m sad, I eat. When I’m angry, I eat. So it’s important to have great food for every emotion!””

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Show 82, August 2, 2014: Bakelogy and The OC Promenade at The OC Fair

Rachel Klemek of Blackmarket Bakery and the CampTime to hit the OC Fair in Costa Mesa in its final week. Food is always front row center!

We’ll hear about Bakeology and all the other tasty culinary events in the OC Promenade Building.

Rachel Klemek of the award-winning Blackmarket Bakery in Costa Mesa is programming Bakeology at the Fair. Rachel and her staff are mixing, kneading, whipping and blending at the Bakeology exhibit in the Culinary Arts Building (The OC Promenade) at the Fair.

Also with us is the Fair’s Communications Director ,Robin Wachner. Robin will fill us in on all the Culinary activities in the OC Promenade Building.

We’ll also talk about the top vendor food item at this year’s Fair. 70 entrants competed and there was one big winner! Unbelievably it’s not even deep-fried!

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July 19: Bestia, ADYA, Allan Karl, Spencer’s on the Mountain, Tomas Estes

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chefs Ori Menashe and Chef Genevieve Gergis of Bestia, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Three: Chefs Ori Menashe and Chef Genevieve Gergis of Bestia, Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Four: Chef Shachi Mehra, ADYA – Fresh Indian Flavors, Anaheim
Segment Five: Allan Karl – Author of Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine and Connection Part One
Segment Six: Allan Karl – Author of Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine and Connection Part Two
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Eric Wadlund, Spencer’s Restaurant at The Mountain, Palm Springs
Segment Eight: Tomas Estes, Mexico’s Tequila Ambassador to Europe

Jet Tila and Producer Andy preview the show.

Bestia, which launched in late 2012 in a secluded location in the former warehouse district of Downtown Los Angeles (now known as the Arts District,) has been a high-profile foodie destination since the beginning. Meet the husband and wife team of Executive Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis and you’ll understand why.

Chef Shachi Mehra is well-known to Orange County diners as the opening chef for the fine-dining Tamarind of London in Newport Coast. Now Chef Shachi has branched out on her own and launched the more accessible ADYA in the Anaheim Packing House. It’s a reflection of modern India cuisine revolving around fresh, sustainable ingredients, simply prepared, in a casual setting.

Why would anyone sell nearly everything he owns, then pack up and travel for three years – alone – on a motorcycle? Meet world traveler and adventurer, Allan Karl, the author of Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine And Connection. The standout book documents his 62,000 mile journey through 35 countries on 5 continents as well as provides authentic local recipes.

Spencer’s Restaurant at The Mountain is consistently one of the most popular and favorably reviewed restaurants in the greater Palm Springs area. Since 2008 the secret has been the culinary talents of Executive Chef Eric Wadlund in the kitchen.

The Museum of the American Cocktail is hosting one of their special “Touring the Cocktail” evenings at Guelaguetza Restaurante on July 23rd. It’s a tequila appreciation evening with Oaxacan food tastes. Tomas Estes, Mexico’s official Tequila Ambassador to Europe has the details.

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

Executive Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis of BestiaBestia, which launched in late 2012 in a secluded location in the former warehouse district of Downtown Los Angeles (now known as the Arts District,) has been a high-profile foodie destination since the very beginning. Meet the husband and wife team of Executive Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis and you’ll better understand why.

Restaurant impresario Bill Chait is a partner.

The food is multi-regional Italian.

“The overall industrial feel of Bestia, couplled with the passion, hard work and talent of Chef Ori and Chef Genevieve make Bestia an honest Mom and Pop restaurant (with character) built to last.”

Charcuterie and Cured Meats at Bestia“Chef Ori maintains an aggressive house-cured meats program with over 60 different forms of charcuterie for Bestia. Bestia means “Beast” in Italian. He is also responsible for raising his own yeast culture which he uses to bake Bestia’s sourdough Pain au Levain, used as toast ubiquitously on the menu, as well as for the pizza dough, which rises and falls over a 24-hour cycle prior to being composed as a Napolitana pizza. It’s then baked in the Acunto (wood burning) oven at 900 degrees.”

‘On the dolci side of the menu, Chef Genevieve is preparing a plethora of desserts from scratch using the finest raw ingredients such as acquarello rice for her al dente rice pudding served with perfectly ripened in-season fruit or her earthy, nutty, chestnut flour zeppole served with house-made coffee gelato and cream. In addition Chef Genevieve was partially responsible for the design of Bestia. She re-furbished oil drum spouts converting them into lighting fixtures.”

Shachi MehraChef Shachi Mehra is well-known to Orange County diners as the opening chef for the fine-dining Tamarind of London in Newport Coast. Now Chef Shachi has branched out on her own and launched the more accessible ADYA in the Anaheim Packing House. It’s a reflection of modern India cuisine revolving around fresh, sustainable ingredients, simply prepared, in a casual setting.

Earlier in her career Chef Shachi was mentored by pioneering Indian Chef Floyd Cardoz in Manhattan. She worked at both Tabla and Bread Bar eventually rising to the position of Head Cook at Bread Bar.

“With ADYA, I present an Indian experience that will allow those who are both familiar and less experienced with Indian cuisine to embark on a delicious, unique culinary journey that emphasizes fresh ingredients and pronounced flavors,” commented Chef Shachi, who blends Western and Indian cultures to create artful dishes that successfully marry tradition with modernity. “The casual setting of ADYA makes it inviting and accommodating to a wide range of guests who seek out the rich experiences that Indian cuisine has to offer.”

Allan KarlWhy would anyone of sound mind sell nearly everything he owns (including a premium wine collection with cult California labels,) then pack up and travel for three years – alone – on a motorcycle? Meet world traveler and adventurer, Allan Karl, the author of Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine And Connection. The standout book documents his incredible 62,000 mile journey through 35 countries on 5 continents over three years as well as provides authentic local recipes.

Getting the beautiful coffee table book published was an additional three-year odyssey of its own that became a Kickstarter case study..

From Allan: “Through the pages of this book, I share not only incredible adventures, I share the powerful gift of human connection – often made over good food and drink. Readers can experience the world as I did by traveling through each country, meeting the people and their unique cultures, and tasting their food.”

“As I traveled it occurred to me how important is the ritual of sharing food and how much we learn when we take the time to connect and share a meal with strangers or good friends alike.”

Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine And Connections by Allan KarlForks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine And Connections is an oversized, coffee-table art-book with more than 700 photos, stories of adventure and survival and global local food.”

For two years Allan struggled to find a publisher willing to take on this unusual and ambitious book project. They couldn’t pigeonhole it…Finally he turned to Kickstarter to raise the needed initial funds to self publish. He raised almost twice his initial goal for a total of $44,994

After three years on the road Allan truly believes the Irish Proverb: “There are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met.”

Eric WadlundSpencer’s Restaurant at The Mountain is consistently one of the most popular and favorably reviewed restaurants in the greater Palm Springs area. Since 2008 the secret has been the culinary talents of Executive Chef Eric Wadlund in the kitchen. Their relaxing Sunday Brunch is top of the mind with the locals.

“Featuring Four Star American Cuisine with a French – Pacific Rim Influence in a casually elegant atmosphere.”

The restaurant’s outdoor patios and the striking indoor dining area create an extremely inviting visual experience.

Chef Eric was just four when he whipped up his first culinary delight: doughnuts. His father owned a bakery and taught him the tricks of the trade, and, most of all, to love food and cooking.

By the way, he’s cooked for the President, too.

Tomas EstesThe Museum of the American Cocktail is hosting one of their special “Touring the Cocktail” evenings at Guelaguetza Restaurante on July 23rd. It’s a tequila appreciation evening with Oaxacan food tastes. Tomas Estes, Mexico’s official Tequila Ambassador to Europe has the details for us.

Tomas Estes, London resident, native Angeleno, acclaimed restaurateur, and Mexico’s “Official Tequila Ambassador to Europe,” issues participants a passport to the world of tequila and takes them on a behind-the-scenes tour of agave spirits. Josh Goldman, Co-Founder of Soigné Group, a portfolio of 12 Los Angeles-area craft cocktail bars and restaurants, executes a drink menu that demonstrates tequila’s range and versatility.

A sampling of savory specialties from the authentic Oaxacan kitchen of Koreatown’s Restaurante Guelaguetza are included in the price of admission. Come taste why Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold says “Guelaguetza is the best Oaxacan restaurant in the country.”

Tickets are $45 in advance, $40 for MOTAC/SoFAB and USBG Members, and $50 at the door.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chefs Ori Menashe and Chef Genevieve Gergis of Bestia, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Three: Chefs Ori Menashe and Chef Genevieve Gergis of Bestia, Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Four: Chef Shachi Mehra, ADYA – Fresh Indian Flavors, Anaheim
Segment Five: Allan Karl – Author of Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine and Connection Part One
Segment Six: Allan Karl – Author of Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine and Connection Part Two
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Eric Wadlund, Spencer’s Restaurant at The Mountain, Palm Springs
Segment Eight: Tomas Estes, Mexico’s Tequila Ambassador to Europe

Show 52, December 14, 2013: Sherry Yard, the acclaimed executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck for 20 years

Sherry YardL.A.’s acclaimed pastry princess, Sherry Yard, is with us for the last segment. Sherry was Wolfgang Puck’s (Spago) executive pastry chef for twenty years. She is a multiple James Beard Award-winner. Her first cookbook, The Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts won a Beard Award for “Best Baking Cookbook.” She serves on the national Board of Directors for the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) and also is a part of Los Angeles’ Advisory Board.

Her current project (with Lukshon’s and Father’s Office’s Sang Yoon) is the revival of the fondly remembered Helms Bakery located on the site of the former Helms Bakery, an iconic home delivery commercial bakery that left the scene years ago. It looks like Summer of 2014 for the opening. It’s an ambitious project in a large space which previously served as part of Helms’ loading dock.

The exciting all-day concept keeps evolving but it’s going to be a bakery and cafe with a lot more. All the bread will be prepared and baked right there. They will roast the beans for the coffee on site. You’ll be able to get sandwiches and full meals packaged to take home.

You can sign-up for their monthly newsletter to keep current on the opening for Helms Bakery.

Meanwhile on Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday afternoons look for the restored yellow Helms Bakery delivery truck in front of their future restaurant space across from Father’s Office. Sherry is selling her soon to be famous chocolate chip cookies and various hand-crafted ice cream novelties. Everything is deliciously scratch-made. Call it a tasty preview of coming edible attractions…

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