Show 129, July 4, 2015: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Happy 4th to all and thanks for sharing your Holiday Weekend with us.

We’re here for you…We can’t promise fireworks but we’ll do our level best to entertain you.

Now a mouthwatering preview of Saturday’s red-hot show. Our fireworks are always safe & sane. Bring on the apple pie…With any luck we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case, that’s a good thing…

TAPS Fish House & Brewery (Brea and Corona) has an impressive new location in Irvine at The Market Place. All the TAPS locations differ in design so you never have the feeling you’re dining in an impersonal, corporate restaurant. The environment offers fine dining and a more casual bar-lounge area. There is a comfortable patio, too. They are famous for their Sunday brunch and serve lunch, dinner and happy hour. Chef Andrew Monterrosa joins us with all the 411 on TAPS Irvine.

Downtown Las Vegas is not an easy market for independent restaurants.

You’re competing with all the dining options available in the large Hotels and must appeal to visitors, conventioneers, and the discriminating locals. Not an easy task. Shift Hospitality has overcome the obstacles with their highly successful MTO Café serving breakfast and lunch. They have recently opened a second branch in the Las Vegas suburb of Summerlin. It’s also open for dinner. Chef-Partner Johnny Church is our guest.

Think you’re heard everything you could possibly need to know about the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet? Think again…We’re diving into The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook – Harness the Power of the World’s Healthiest Diet to Live Better, Longer written by international cooking expert Amy Riolo.

When we last chatted with Chef Ben Ford he was just about to open the relocated Ford’s Filling Station at L.A. Live in the JW Marriott Los Angeles. It’s breakfast, lunch and dinner with Sunday Brunch, too. We’ll get caught up with Chef Ben and hear about his newly initiated Whole Hog Dinner. It’s a feast for 6 to 8 people! Chef Ben suggests that you “fill up on all the good things in life.”

Our own resident Guest Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is at it again doing the seemingly impossible. He just opened a new Slapfish at LAX on a super compressed timetable that required a lot of ingenuity (and long hours) to pull-off. Chef Andrew is in Palm Springs on a menu development retreat. We’ll catch-up with him.

Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure produced by Garagiste Events, returns to Los Angeles on July 11th, with 50+ artisan ‘garagiste’ winemakers pouring over 200 wines in a new, and appropriately rock and roll, venue : the stunning art deco landmark, The Wiltern in Koreatown. A new element of the Festival is a first-time alliance with Artisanal LA that will see a mini pop-up of a sampling of their best artisan food producers offering tastes of their healthy, local, sustainable and delicious edibles.

Andrew Gruel and Anthony Dispensa of Slapfish Restaurants and FYI Say It To My FaceDon’t miss Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel’s (he’ll be joining us a bit later in the show) new restaurant makeover series, “Say It To My Face” on FYI. An original episode is aired every Thursday evening with an encore episode thereafter. Check your local listings. On-line food reviewers confront restaurateurs with the shortcomings of their establishments. It’s then up to Chef Andrew and his colleague, Chef Anthony Dispensa, to coach the chef and restaurateur to achieve a much higher level of guest satisfaction when the on-line reviews return for another look! Sometimes it’s tough-love…

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

Play

Show 129, July 4, 2015: Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station at L.A. Live

Chef Ben Ford at the KLAA StudiosWhen we last chatted with Chef Ben Ford he was just about to open the relocated Ford’s Filling Station at L.A. Live in the JW Marriott Los Angeles. It’s breakfast, lunch and dinner with Sunday Brunch, too. There is also a Ford’s Filling Station at LAX.

We’ll get caught up with Chef Ben and hear about his newly initiated Whole Hog Dinner. It’s a feast for 6 to 8 people! Chef Ben suggests that you “fill up on all the good things in life.”

Situated in the lobby of the JW Marriott Los Angeles, the new Ford’s Filling Station L.A. LIVE is an evolution of chef and restaurateur Ben Ford’s original ‘gastropub’ concept, showcasing sustainable, regional cuisine. Drawing inspiration from the abundance of fresh produce and artisanal meats available through California farms, as well as his travels through the south and southwest, Chef Ford has created a menu that is a unique blend of west coast flavors and southwest influence.

An onsite smoker fired with a blend of apple, pecan and cherry wood lends exceptional tenderness and flavor to meats; while fruits and vegetables culled from regional farms enhance a carefully curated menu.

The cocktail program from innovative mixologist Dushan Zarin of New York’s famed Employees Only bar, is food-friendly and filled with classic libations, craft beers and farm-fresh savory cocktails.

His impressive cookbook, Taming the Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking, focuses not only on bringing people together to eat good, sustainable organic food, but gathering lots, and lots, of people together to enjoy sumptuous feasts.

Play

July 4: Taps Fish House Irvine, Johnny Church, Amy Riolo, Ben Ford, Andrew Gruel, Garagiste Festival

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Andrew Monterrosa, TAPS Fish House & Brewery, Irvine
Segment Three: Chef Johnny Church, MTO Cafes, Las Vegas
Segment Four: Amy Riolo, The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook
Segment Five: Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station at L.A. Live
Segment Six: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Seven: Doug Minnick, Co-Founder & Co-Producer – Garagiste Festival Part One
Segment Eight: Doug Minnick, Co-Founder & Co-Producer – Garagiste Festival Part Two

Happy 4th to all and thanks for sharing your Holiday Weekend with us.

We’re here for you…

Now, a mouthwatering preview of Saturday’s red-hot show. Our fireworks are always safe & sane. Bring on the apple pie…With any luck we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case, that’s a good thing…

TAPS Fish House & Brewery (Brea and Corona) has an impressive new location in Irvine at The Market Place. All the TAPS locations differ in design so you never have the feeling you’re dining in an impersonal, corporate restaurant. The environment offers fine dining and a more casual bar-lounge area. There is a comfortable patio, too. They are famous for their Sunday brunch and serve lunch, dinner and happy hour. Chef Andrew Monterrosa joins us with all the 411 on TAPS Irvine.

Downtown Las Vegas is not an easy market for independent restaurants.

You’re competing with all the dining options available in the large Hotels and must appeal to visitors, conventioneers, and the discriminating locals. Not an easy task. Shift Hospitality has overcome the obstacles with their highly successful MTO Café serving breakfast and lunch. They have recently opened a second branch in the Las Vegas suburb of Summerlin. It’s also open for dinner. Chef-Partner Johnny Church is our guest.

Think you’re heard everything you could possibly need to know about the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet ? Think again…We’re diving into The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook – Harness the Power of the World’s Healthiest Diet to Live Better, Longer written by international cooking expert Amy Riolo.

When we last chatted with Chef Ben Ford he was just about to open the relocated Ford’s Filling Station at L.A. Live in the JW Marriott Los Angeles. It’s breakfast, lunch and dinner restaurant with Sunday Brunch, too. We’ll get caught up with Chef Ben and hear about his newly initiated Whole Hog Dinner. It’s a feast for 6 to 8 people! Chef Ben suggests that you “fill up on all the good things in life.”

Our own resident Guest Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is at it again doing the seemingly impossible. He just opened a new Slapfish at LAX on a super compressed timetable that required a lot of ingenuity (and long hours) to pull-off. Chef Andrew is in Palm Springs on a menu development retreat. We’ll catch-up with him.

Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure produced by Garagiste Events, returns to Los Angeles on July 11th, with 50+ artisan ‘garagiste’ winemakers pouring over 200 wines in a new, and appropriately rock and roll, venue : the stunning art deco landmark, The Wiltern in Koreatown. A new element of the Festival is a first-time alliance with Artisnal LA that will see a mini pop-up of a sampling of their best artisan food producers offering tastes of their healthy, local, sustainable and delicious edibles.

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

Andrew MonterrosaTAPS Fish House & Brewery (Brea and Corona) has an impressive new location in Irvine at The Market Place. All the TAPS locations differ in design so you never have the feeling you’re dining in an impersonal, corporate restaurant.

The stylish environment offers fine dining and a more casual bar-lounge area. There is a comfortable patio, too. They are famous for their Sunday brunch and serve lunch, dinner and happy hour.

The private dining room at the news TAPS Irvine accommodates 125 guests and features a handsome stone fireplace and large barn doors that slide open across an arched entry. A 1,800-square-foot, cigar-friendly patio with a full-service menu and cocktails seats 100.

TAPS is as well known for its quality cuisine served in generous portions as it is for award-winning, handcrafted ales and lagers. There is a critically acclaimed wine list, which includes 150 California-centric selections by the bottle and 20 wines by the glass.

The Irvine location has an impressive 24 taps – 14 of them for TAPS seasonal and signature ales and lagers. There are an additional four guest beers on draft selected by Brewmaster David Huls.

This is the first TAPS to showcase select meats and fish cooked on a J & R “Little Red Smokehouse” smoker. This Rolls Royce of smokers from Mesquite, TX is fueled by apple wood and cherry wood. It’s inspired by the smoker at sister restaurant, Lillie’s Q in Brea. A smoked prime rib is offered nightly. Rotating smoked fish offerings include trout, albacore, salmon, mussels and oysters.

Chef Andrew Monterrosa joins us with all the 411 on TAPS Irvine.

Downtown Las Vegas is not an easy market for independent restaurants.

You’re competing with all the dining options available in the large Hotels and must appeal to visitors, conventioneers, and the discriminating locals. Not an easy task.

Johnny ChurchShift Hospitality has overcome the obstacles with their highly successful MTO Café serving breakfast and lunch. They have recently opened a second branch in the Las Vegas suburb of Summerlin. It’s also open for dinner.

The MTO Cafes serve fresh comfort food in a highly personal, everyday atmosphere. The goal is to position the MTO Cafes as the locals’ neighborhood go-to.

Chef Johnny Church is the culinary talent behind MTO. Named 2014 Culinarian of the Year by the Nevada Restaurant Association, Chef Johnny is an up and coming star on the dynamic Vegas food scene.

His career path has taken him through Rick Moonen’s rm Seafood & Rx Boiler Room, Charlie Palmer’s Aureole at Mandalay Bay, Andre’s at the Monte Carlo, Alize at the Top of the Palms, Paris Las Vegas’ Eiffel Tower Restaurant and the former AJ’s Steakhouse at the Hard Rock Hotel. He was part of Bradley Ogden’s opening team at Root 246 in Solvang, CA. Earlier in his career he was chef for Gordon Ramsey’s “Kitchen Nightmares.”

MTO’s Chef-Partner Johnny Church is our guest.

Amy RioloThink you’re heard everything you could possibly need to know about the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet? Think again…

We’re diving into The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook – Harness the Power of the World’s Healthiest Diet to Live Better, Longer written by international cooking expert Amy Riolo. It’s based on the science of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid.

She gets right to the core of the Mediterranean lifestyle explaining what should be eaten, when it should be eaten, and why. Each recipe is complemented by “Mediterranean Tradition” – information on the history, culture, lore, and nutritional value of the dish and its ingredients.

Recent studies show that people who follow a Mediterranean diet were 47 percent less likely to develop heart disease – and the news gets even better. A Mediterranean diet works for all genders, all age groups, and regardless of overall condition.

Combined with the fact that the foods most common to the Mediterranean diet are easily available in the U.S. and Canada – and already number among our most popular dishes – make this diet plan perhaps one of the most effective, easiest to follow, and delicious. Rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables, and even wine, The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet allows you to enjoy appealing food and good health.

Chef Ben Ford at the KLAA StudiosWhen we last chatted with Chef Ben Ford he was just about to open the relocated Ford’s Filling Station at L.A. Live in the JW Marriott Los Angeles. It’s breakfast, lunch and dinner with Sunday Brunch, too. We’ll get caught up with Chef Ben and hear about his newly initiated Whole Hog Dinner. It’s a feast for 6 to 8 people!

Chef Ben suggests that you “fill up on all the good things in life.”

Situated in the lobby of the JW Marriott Los Angeles, the new Ford’s Filling Station L.A. LIVE is an evolution of chef and restaurateur Ben Ford’s original ‘gastropub’ concept, showcasing sustainable, regional cuisine. Drawing inspiration from the abundance of fresh produce and artisanal meats available through California farms, as well as his travels through the south and southwest, Chef Ford has created a menu that is a unique blend of west coast flavors and southwest influence.

An onsite smoker fired with a blend of apple, pecan and cherry wood lends exceptional tenderness and flavor to meats; while fruits and vegetables culled from regional farms enhance a carefully curated menu.

The cocktail program from innovative mixologist Dushan Zarin of New York’s famed Employees Only bar, is food-friendly and filled with classic libations, craft beers and farm-fresh savory cocktails.

His impressive cookbook, Taming the Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking, focuses not only on bringing people together to eat good, sustainable organic food, but gathering lots, and lots, of people together to enjoy sumptuous feasts.

Andrew GruelOur own resident Guest Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is at it again doing the seemingly impossible. He just opened a new Slapfish at LAX on a super compressed timetable that required a lot of ingenuity (and long hours) to pull-off. The Irvine Slapfish debuts mid-month.

Chef Andrew is in Palm Springs on a menu development retreat. He’s testing recipes with a crew of colleagues. We’ll catch-up with him and, yes, find out what’s cooking…

Garagiste FestivalGaragiste Festival: Urban Exposure produced by Garagiste Events, returns to Los Angeles on July 11th, from 2 to 6:00 p.m. with 50+ artisan ‘garagiste’ winemakers pouring over 200 wines in a new, and appropriately rock and roll, venue: the stunning art deco landmark, The Wiltern in Koreatown. Proceeds from the non-profit festival will benefit Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture program. Tickets are available here.

A new element of the Festival is a first-time alliance with Artisnal LA that will see a mini pop-up of a sampling of their best artisan food producers offering tastes of their healthy, local, sustainable and delicious edibles.

“We have always felt that finding undiscovered winemakers is like discovering a new band in a club before they have a hit record, so The Wiltern’s rock and roll history is a perfect fit for these renegade, under-the-radar wine makers. Plus, it is a stunning place,” said Doug Minnick Co-founder of The Garagiste Festivals. “And, as our fans know, a really cool venue is an integral part of the garagiste experience. As always, we will have one-on-one interaction with the winemakers, an unmatched tasting range of amazing hard-to-find wines, a no-snobs-allowed atmosphere, and just plain fun.”

The Garagiste Wine Festivals, which first exposed the American garagiste movement, are among the most unique and influential wine events in the world. They are the only wine events that exclusively showcase ultra-premium, cutting-edge, micro-production commercial wineries that produce fewer than 1,500 cases (and many under 800) a year.

“Garagistes” is a term originally used in the Bordeaux region of France to denigrate renegade small-lot wine makers, sometimes working in their “garages” (anything considered not a chateau), who refused to follow the “rules,” and is now a full-fledged movement responsible for making some of the best wine in the world. The Garagiste Festivals were the first to shine a light on the American garagiste winemaker in 2011.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Andrew Monterrosa, TAPS Fish House & Brewery, Irvine
Segment Three: Chef Johnny Church, MTO Cafes, Las Vegas
Segment Four: Amy Riolo, The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook
Segment Five: Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station at L.A. Live
Segment Six: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Seven: Doug Minnick, Co-Founder & Co-Producer – Garagiste Festival Part One
Segment Eight: Doug Minnick, Co-Founder & Co-Producer – Garagiste Festival Part Two

Show 95, November 1, 2014: Show Preview with Guest Host Ben Ford and Producer Andy Harris

Andy Harris at the KLAA StudiosChef Ben Ford is today’s very special guest host. Now a preview of today’s show with Chef Ben and Producer & Occasional Co-Host, Andy Harris.…

Chef Ben Ford officially earned his cooking credentials working at some of the country’s most esteemed restaurants including the iconic Chez Panisse in Berkeley. He now oversees a growing collection of Ford’s Filling Station restaurants. The original Culver City restaurant will soon relocate to L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles and there is a branch at LAX.

His impressive cookbook, Taming the Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking, focuses not only on bringing people together to eat good, sustainable organic food, but gathering lots, and lots, of people together to enjoy sumptuous feasts.

CoffeeCon LA 2014 will be held on November 8th at the classic former home of Mack Sennett Studios in Silver Lake from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Coffee Fest mixes music, food and coffee sampling from over 20 of SoCal’s finest roasters. Classes on coffee brewing and other coffee topics will run all day long. CoffeeCon is the brainchild of noted coffee expert and author, Kevin Sinnott.

Soliste wines are the creation of Claude Koeberle, an acclaimed French master chef with impressive culinary credentials. Earlier in his career he was the executive chef at both Ma Maison and L’Orangerie. Limited releases of Pinot Noirs are their signature. Soliste wines are only available at select restaurants and direct from the winery.

On November 12th Chef Florent Marneau is working with Claude Koeberle to present a Soliste Wine Dinner (five course tasting menu) at Marche Moderne in the Penthouse at South Coast Plaza. You can be sure this will be an extraordinary evening! A limited release Soliste wine will be matched with each course.

The always on the go, Jennifer Morton, is a serial restaurateur who is always overflowing with creative ideas. She was the co-founder of the highly successful Divine Pasta Co. which supplied a range of fresh pastas to discriminating restaurants. Chapter Two for Jen was buying what is now Blue Plate on Montana Avenue and repositioning it as a full-service, neighborhood restaurant. Staying in Santa Monica Jen then created the Blue Plate Oysterette, her homage to a New England seafood shack. A new Blue Plate Oysterette recently opened on W. Third St. in Los Angeles. Blue Plate Taco, also in Santa Monica, is Ms. Morton’s take on coastal Mexican fare using local ingredients with a California flair. We’ll meet her.

Chef Steve Samson of Sotto is no stranger to the show. His “Sopra at Sotto” dining series will have its second installment on November 4th. While Sotto specializes in Southern Italian cuisine, the Sopra series allows Chef Steve to explore the rich and diverse cuisine of various regions to the North. The second dinner in the series will spotlight the food of Piedmonte.

In 2011 the El Segundo Brewing Co was created out of a love for beer. Hoppy craft beers are their signature. Rob Croxall, proprietor and brewer, was a hard-working aerospace finance guy who left a cushy corporate finance job with benefits to risk it all on craft beer. Fortunately it’s all been good. Rob says all the time, “My worst day here, still beats my best day there.” By any objective measure that is success!

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

Play

Show 95, November 1, 2014: Chef Ben Ford

Chef Ben Ford at the KLAA StudiosChef Ben Ford officially earned his cooking credentials working at some of the country’s most established restaurants including the iconic Chez Panisse in Berkeley. He now oversees a growing collection of Ford’s Filling Station restaurants. The original Culver City restaurant will soon relocate to the JW Marriott at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles and there is a branch at LAX.

In 2012 he won the prestigious Cochon 555 – L.A. top award for snout-to-tail cooking with dishes like pork belly Benedict with soft poached egg, Fresno chili and bacon hollandaise.

His impressive cookbook, Taming the Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking, focuses not only on bringing people together to eat good, sustainable organic food, but gathering lots, and lots, of people together to enjoy sumptuous feasts. Tapping into his childhood outdoor feasting memories, the book features step-by-step illustrated instructions for nine original menus with meals like a box-roasted spring lamb for 40, and a Cedar-planked Wild Sturgeon for 40 to 50 hungry guests.

Play

Show 95, November 1, 2014: Chef Ben Ford Continues…

Ben Ford of Ford's Filling StationWe resume our conversation with Chef Ben Ford.

The new Ford’s Filling Station at the JW Marriott Hotel at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles debuts on Wednesday, December 3rd. It’s breakfast, lunch and dinner, and weekend brunch on Saturday and Sunday. The menu is 100 per cent Chef Ben’s design.

They also will be operating two bars there.

Ben then chats about Alan Chadwick and his influence on Ben’s cooking. Alan was the father of biodynamic and organic farming in North America and was a tremendous influence on a generation of chefs including Alice Waters of Chez Panisse fame. Chef Ben named his first restaurant “Chadwick” (located on S. Beverly Dr., in Beverly Hills) in his honor.

Play

November 1: Ben Ford, Soliste Wines, Blue Plate, Steve Samson, El Segundo Brewing

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Ben Ford and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Ben Ford Part One
Segment Three: Chef Ben Ford Part Two
Segment Four: CoffeeCon LA 2014
Segment Five: Soliste and Chef Claude Koeberle
Segment Six: Jennifer Morton
Segment Seven: Chef Steve Samson of Sotto
Segment Eight: El Segundo Brewing Co.

Chef Ben Ford is today’s very special guest host. Now a preview of today’s show with Chef Ben and Producer & Occasional Co-Host, Andy Harris.…

Chef Ben Ford officially earned his cooking credentials working at some of the country’s most esteemed restaurants including the iconic Chez Panisse in Berkeley. He now oversees a growing collection of Ford’s Filling Station restaurants. The original Culver City restaurant will soon relocate to L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles and there is a branch at LAX.

His impressive cookbook, Taming the Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking, focuses not only on bringing people together to eat good, sustainable organic food, but gathering lots, and lots, of people together to enjoy sumptuous feasts.

CoffeeCon LA 2014 will be held on November 8th at the classic former home of Mack Sennett Studios in Silver Lake from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Coffee Fest mixes music, food and coffee sampling from over 20 of SoCal’s finest roasters. Classes on coffee brewing and other coffee topics will run all day long. CoffeeCon is the brainchild of noted coffee expert and author, Kevin Sinnott.

Soliste wines are the creation of Claude Koeberle, an acclaimed French master chef with impressive culinary credentials. Earlier in his career he was the executive chef at both Ma Maison and L’Orangerie. Limited releases of Pinot Noirs are their signature. Soliste wines are only available at select restaurants and direct from the winery.

On November 12th Chef Florent Marneau is working with Claude Koeberle to present a Soliste Wine Dinner (five course tasting menu) at Marche Moderne in the Penthouse at South Coast Plaza. You can be sure this will be an extraordinary evening! A limited release Soliste wine will be matched with each course.

The always on the go, Jennifer Morton, is a serial restaurateur who is always overflowing with creative ideas. She was the co-founder of the highly successful Divine Pasta Co. which supplied a range of fresh pastas to discriminating restaurants. Chapter Two for Jen was buying what is now Blue Plate on Montana Avenue and repositioning it as a full-service, neighborhood restaurant. Staying in Santa Monica Jen then created the Blue Plate Oysterette, her homage to a New England seafood shack. A new Blue Plate Oysterette recently opened on W. Third St. in Los Angeles. Blue Plate Taco, also in Santa Monica, is Ms. Morton’s take on coastal Mexican fare using local ingredients with a California flair. We’ll meet her.

Chef Steve Samson of Sotto is no stranger to the show. His “Sopra at Sotto” dining series will have its second installment on November 4th. While Sotto specializes in Southern Italian cuisine, the Sopra series allows Chef Steve to explore the rich and diverse cuisine of various regions to the North. The second dinner in the series will spotlight the food of Piedmonte.

In 2011 the El Segundo Brewing Co was created out of a love for beer. Hoppy craft beers are their signature. Rob Croxall, proprietor and brewer, was a hard-working aerospace finance guy who left a cushy corporate finance job with benefits to risk it all on craft beer. Fortunately it’s all been good. Rob says all the time, “My worst day here, still beats my best day there.” By any objective measure that is success!

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

Ben Ford of Ford's Filling StationChef Ben Ford officially earned his cooking credentials working at some of the country’s most established restaurants including the iconic Chez Panisse in Berkeley. He now oversees a growing collection of Ford’s Filling Station restaurants. The original Culver City restaurant will soon relocate to the JW Marriott at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles and there is a branch at LAX.

In 2012 he won the prestigious Cochon 555 – L.A. top award for snout-to-tail cooking with dishes like pork belly Benedict with soft poached egg, Fresno chili and bacon hollandaise.

His impressive cookbook, Taming the Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking, focuses not only on bringing people together to eat good, sustainable organic food, but gathering lots, and lots, of people together to enjoy sumptuous feasts. Tapping into his childhood outdoor feasting memories, the book features step-by-step illustrated instructions for nine original menus with meals like a box-roasted spring lamb for 40, and a Cedar-planked Wild Sturgeon for 40 to 50 hungry guests.

Coffee Con 2014 Los AngelesCoffeeCon LA 2014 will be held on November 8th at the classic former home of Mack Sennett Studios in Silver Lake from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Coffee Fest mixes music, food and coffee sampling from over 20 of SoCal’s finest roasters. Classes on coffee brewing and other coffee topics will run all day long.

CoffeeCon is the brainchild of noted coffee expert and author, Kevin Sinnott. After publishing his second book (The Art and Craft of Coffee) he realized that consumers still lacked the skills of hands-on brewing and the awareness of how different factors such as roast, the roasting method, roast profile and brewing technique have on even a single sample of coffee. CoffeeCon was created to stage a day-long hands-on educational and fun festival to address these topics and spread skills among consumers. The first CoffeeCon was held in 2011 in the Chicago area.

Claude Koeberle of Soliste WinesSoliste wines are the creation of Claude Koeberle, an acclaimed French master chef with impressive local credentials. Earlier in his career he was the executive chef at both Ma Maison and L’Orangerie. Limited releases of Pinot Noirs are their signature. Soliste wines are only available at select restaurants and direct from the winery.

Claude formed Soliste in 2005. His first release was Sonatera Vineyard Pinot Noir. He uses Old World Burgundian theory to create wines with finesse and balance that truly compliment extraordinary food. In Burgundy, a winemaker often reserves a barrel for their family and friends. They call this special barrel Soliste.

On Wednesday evening, November 12th Chef Florent Marneau (one of Orange County’s very best) is working with Claude Koeberle to present a Soliste Wine Dinner (five course tasting menu) at Marche Moderne in the Penthouse at South Coast Plaza. You can be sure this will be an extraordinary evening! A limited release Soliste wine will be matched with each course.

Jeniifer Morton of Blue PlateThe always on the go, Jennifer Morton, is a serial restaurateur who is always overflowing with creative ideas. She was the co-founder of the highly successful Divine Pasta Co. which supplied a range of fresh pastas to discriminating restaurants. Even the typically hard-to-please Italian chefs were big fans of the pasta.

Chapter Two for Jen was buying what is now Blue Plate on Montana Avenue and repositioning it as a full-service, neighborhood restaurant. Staying in Santa Monica (where she also resides) Jen then created the Blue Plate Oysterette, her homage to a New England seafood shack. A new Blue Plate Oysterette recently opened on W. Third St. in Los Angeles.

Blue Plate Taco, also in Santa Monica, is Ms. Morton’s take on costal Mexican fare using local ingredients with a distinctive California flair. Think crab guacamole with house-made chips and chicken tinga tacos with chipotle sauce and pickled onions. We’ll meet her.

Steve Samson of SottoChef Steve Samson of Sotto is no stranger to the show. His “Sopra at Sotto” dining series will have its second installment on November 4th. While Sotto specializes in Southern Italian cuisine, the Sopra series allows Chef Steve to explore the rich and diverse cuisine of various regions to the North. The second dinner in the series will spotlight the food of Piedmonte.

Piedmonte prides itself as the home of the famous white truffle. Guests will have the unusual opportunity to try these earthy truffles as a possible addition to two of Chef Steve’s favorite Piedmontese dishes.

Piedmonte is also famous for Barbaresco, Barbera and Barolo wines. Pairings for the evening will include these grapes.

Rob Croxall of El Segundo Brewing CompanyIn 2011 the El Segundo Brewing Co was created out of a love for beer. Hoppy craft beers are their signature. Rob Croxall, proprietor and brewer, was a hard-working aerospace finance guy who left a cushy corporate finance job with great benefits to risk it all on craft beer. Fortunately it’s all been good. Rob says all the time, “My worst day here, still beats my best day there.” By any objective measure that is success!

“So…we LOVE hops. To most people that means bitter beer. To us hoppy doesn’t particularly translate bitter. Here at ESBC we prefer to showcase the aromatic and flavor compounds of those glorious flowers. Our beers have firm bitterness, but tend to be more restrained than other West Coast IPA’s. We employ a dry-hopping regimen that borders on lunacy, which results in some very aromatic beers.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Ben Ford and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Ben Ford Part One
Segment Three: Chef Ben Ford Part Two
Segment Four: CoffeeCon LA 2014
Segment Five: Soliste and Chef Claude Koeberle
Segment Six: Jennifer Morton
Segment Seven: Chef Steve Samson of Sotto
Segment Eight: El Segundo Brewing Co.

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!

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Show 76, June 14, 2014: Executive Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Culver City, CA

Ben Ford of Ford's Filling StationYou’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.

The mantra of the book is: “Cook Big. Play with Fire. Get your Hands Dirty.”

“Chef Ben Ford is known for wowing crowds with his handcrafted feasts of enormous proportions – a whole pig roast, paella for eighty, burgers for the block. Now, in Taming The Feast (Atria Books), Ford divulges his secrets for nine jaw-dropping feasts for the adventurous home cook and DIY enthusiasts in this complete guide to outdoor grilling, smoking, and roasting. It even includes creative recipes to make use of the leftovers you’re sure to have.”

“From mouthwatering Texas-style barbecue to Wood-Fired Paella, these entertaining blueprints can be used to throw a party for the whole neighborhood or an intimate dinner for four. A culinary MacGyver, Ford also provides unique complete do-it-yourself primers for making simple custom outdoor cookers that coax the ultimate flavor out of salmon, pig, rabbit, burgers, bratwurst, turkey, and lamb. Taming The Feast includes easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions, drawings, and timelines for constructing a baking barrel, cinder-block oven, smoking shed, and roasting box in your own backyard.”

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Show 76, June 14, 2014: Executive Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Culver City, CA Continues…

Ben Ford of Ford's Filling StationBen’s wife, Emily, is from Austin so it was important for him to get Hill Country Barbecue just right. It’s a key Chapter in Taming the Feast. He researched it with advice from his Family. When you’re talking Texas ‘cue it’s all about moist and tender beef brisket. Ben shares some great tips on smoking the brisket so all the flavor is there while retaining the needed moisture in the meat!

Coming in the Fall to Staples Center is a Ford’s Filling Station at the JW Marriott Los Angeles in the former LA Market space on the ground floor.

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