Show 525, May 13, 2023: Maka Wheatgrass Superfood Beverage with Founder Brian Hill

Brian Hill of Maka Superfoods

At the recent Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim first time Exhibitor Maka Wheatgrass Superfood Beverage was awarded the NEXTY for “Best New Beverage Product” for their Hibiscus Passion Fruit style. They have recently been authorized for shelf placement in all the Sprouts Farmers Market stores nationwide. Also available locally at Erewhon, Bristol Farms and independent health food stores.

Founder Brian Hill joins us to tell their atypical story.

“Wheatgrass is an amazing, yet underutilized, superfood that is considered nutritionally complete, is loaded with phytonutrients, chlorophyll, and anti-oxidants. Consuming wheatgrass at home is messy and expensive. To achieve the most benefit, avid wheatgrass consumers will consume multiple pressed shots daily. A typical 1-ounce shot in a juice bar averages $4 – consuming 8 shots daily would cost $32 daily!”

“For many, wheatgrass can have off-putting sensory tastes.

For some its the fresh cut grass smell, others the earthy yet sweet taste, and for a few the dark green visuals. Which is why Brian Hill created the super convenient, absolutely delicious, fruit-forward, lightly carbonated, organic certified, ready-to-drink wheatgrass beverage, Maka.”

“Each 12 FL drink is equivalent to 8-shots of wheatgrass energized with yerba mate & quayusa teas (90mg caffeine) and sweetened with fruit juice, essence, and blue agave. Available in Hibiscus Passionfruit, Mango, Lemon and Coconut Pineapple flavors.

Show 321, April 27, 2019: “Tequila John” Atanasio, Tattoo Tequila – Tequila & Chocolate Tasting

Tequila John Atanasio of Tattoo Tequila and Andy HarrisTattoo Tequila CEO, Tequila John” Atanasio (a Maui resident) set out 8 years ago with the goal of crafting a “Super Premium Tequila” that would use the highest grade of organic Blue Weber Agave available in the World and to use the best ingredients available to develop “The Champagne of Tequilas.” Tattoo Tequila today has legitimate brand positioning as a leader in the Craft Spirits sector.

Tattoo Tequila has a portfolio of 100% organic Blue Agave based tequila with expressions that include Blanco, Reposado and Anejo.

Tequila John is part of the Festival presenting the unexpected “Chocolate & Organic Tequila Pairings” seminar which he’s encoring from last year. He’ll demonstrate how different, organic tequilas and uniquely flavored chocolates can tastefully complement each other. The accompanying decadent chocolate bonbons are presented by Farsheed Bonakdar of the Cocoa Outlet. We’re all in…

We’ll meet Tequila John.

Show 248, November 18, 2017: Elsa Perez, Director of Sales & Marketing, Puerto Vallarta Marriott Resort Marriott

Elsa PerezWe’re live from the Puerto Vallarta Marriott Resort and Spa located on a wide sandy beach in sunny Puerto Vallarta. We’re the guests of the Puerto Vallarta Marriott Resort and Visit Puerto Vallarta to celebrate the 23rd Annual Festival Gourmet International.

A renovation has just been completed here tastefully remodeling the front entrance, check-in area and adding the already popular Ceviche & Tequila Bar with a full ocean view. Blue agave plants (the source of genuine Tequila) festively adorn the outside entrance walk. This is a beautiful, family-friendly resort with every amenity you can imagine.

“Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa welcomes guests with an impeccable location and relaxed luxury, delivering the perfect setting for everything from romantic getaways to family vacations. We’re ranked as one of the top 10 Pacific Riviera hotels by Condé Nast Traveler, with gorgeously appointed accommodations and a range of thoughtful amenities designed to make your stay special. Relax in your spacious room, with its private balcony and marble bathroom, or dine at one of our excellent restaurants. Pamper yourself with a visit to our tranquil hotel spa; we also offer an indoor and outdoor pool and the popular Kids Club.”

“Those planning events here in the Marina Vallarta area will be thrilled with our versatile venues, which include several one-of-a-kind outdoor spaces. And if you venture beyond the hotel, you’ll find everything from shopping and entertainment to golf and golden beaches just moments away. Create lasting memories here with us at Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa.”

Our guest is Elsa Perez, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Puerto Vallarta Marriott Resort & Spa.

September 14: Azunia Tequila, Vegas Food Trucks, Elizabeth Huettinger, Lena Kwak, Amar Santana, Eric Klein, Michael Passmore


Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jim Riley, founder of Azunia Tequila
Segment Three: Brock Radke, Food and Web Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Four: Elizabeth Huettinger, Wine Director, Addison Del Mar
Segment Five: Lena Kwak, Research and Development Chef, Thomas Keller Restaurant Group
Segment Six: Amar Santana, Executive Chef / Owner, Broadway by Amar Santana
Segment Seven: Eric Klein, Executive Chef & Partner, Spago Las Vegas
Segment Eight: Michael Passmore, Passmore Ranch, Sustainable Aqua Farming

Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Thai 2013 Food FestivalMark Sunday afternoon, September 29th on your calendar. Our very own Jet Tila is hosting the Thai 2013 Food Festival at Paramount Pictures Studios in the heart of Hollywood. It starts at 3:00 p.m.

Celebrity chefs from around the country and outstanding local Thai chefs will be there presenting their signature dishes for the guests to sample and enjoy. Entertainment will include music, Thai dancers and fruit carving.

VIP and Regular Tickets are now on sale!

Azunia TequilaJim Riley, the founder of Azunia Tequila joins us. In his spare time Jim is a professional off-road racer of some note.

This is a case study of how a boutique tequila company grows a brand in an environment dominated by cash-rich giants. Riley has built his brand with clever grass-roots marketing and being seen in the right places.

Azunia Tequila is organic and 100 per cent Weber Blue Agave. It is available in the styles of Platinum Blanco (great for cocktails,) Reposado, and Anejo.

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyOur man in Las Vegas, Brock Radke, is back with us. Brock is the respected Web and Food Editor for The Las Vegas Weekly.

Last month Brock had a great piece in The Weekly entitled. “Where are they now? Checking up on the first wave of Vegas food truckers.”

Fukuburger has probably been the most successful and is still on the streets. A brick and mortar location for Las Vegas is in the plans. Sloppi Jo’s was a big success with the food critics but, ultimately, not a viable business model. Proprietress Jolene Mannina has parlayed this into other food projects for herself. In fact she’s the head of Culinary Arts for the upcoming “Life is Beautiful” Festival in Downtown Las Vegas. The originator of Slidin’ Thru has moved on but the truck still does events and catering and there is a bricks and mortar drive-through.

Brock also talked about the just launched Heritage Steak at The Mirage on The Strip. The proprietor is Tom Colicchio of Bravo’s “Top Chef” fame and a James Beard Award recipient.

Elizabeth Huettinger of the Addison in Del MarSommelier Elizabeth Huettinger is the new Wine Director at Addison restaurant and The Grand Del Mar Resort in Del Mar. She was previously part of the wine team at Spago Beverly Hills.

Elizabeth just took the incredibly difficult “Advanced” certification test from the Court of Master Sommeliers. She shares that humbling experience with us.

Earlier in the Summer the Grand hosted a special screening of the documentary, “SOMM”. It’s the first effort by filmmaker Jason Wise.
“SOMM” tells the fascinating story of four sommeliers attempting to pass the rigorous and prestigious Master Sommelier exam. This test has one of the lowest pass rates imaginable. Elizabeth’s head sommelier at Spago (her previous post) is a Master Sommelier. She talks about hosting the screening (there was wine and abundant food stations) and her reaction to the highly acclaimed documentary.

Lena KwakChef Lena Kwak is the highly acclaimed research development chef for The French Laundry and The Thomas Keller Restaurant Group in Yountville, CA. She created the position.

With the backing of Keller she developed Cup4Cup, a healthy wheat flour-substitute which has gone national over the last two years. It’s carried in Williams-Sonoma stores and also available at the Bouchon Bakeries in Yountville, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, and New York.

Last year Kwak was named as one of Forbes Magazine’s “Top 30 Under 30” for her work with Cup4Cup.

In addition to bread mixes the proprietary line also includes a brownie mix, pizza dough, and pancake/waffle mix.

Amar SantanaChef Amar Santana is very familiar to Orange County foodies. His mentor, Chef Charlie Palmer (Aureole,) brought him out here from Manhattan in 2008 to open Charlie Palmer’s at Bloomingdales at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Talk about a plum assignment for a young chef…

With the backing of one of his very loyal guests he later departed to open a venture of his own, Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach. Since opening in 2011 it’s been a hit with both the food critics and guests. The bar has also created its own loyal following for unusual libations and a welcoming atmosphere. Their superior Moscow Mule (not listed on the bar menu) is a thoughtful homage to the original version created in the late 30s in Hollywood and now using all fresh ingredients and from scratch ginger beer.

Eric KleinIn 2007 Executive Chef Eric Klein (now a partner) was handed the keys to Spago Las Vegas by Wolfgang Puck and charged with freshening up the concept. This was quite a formidable assignment given that Spago is Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant in Las Vegas! They celebrated their 20th Anniversary last year.

The restaurant is a busy café (with exhibition pizza oven) in the front and an elegant fine-dining restaurant in the back. The front patio opens onto the busy main Forum Shops walkway.

As with the Beverly Hills original Spago Las Vegas attracts the celebrity clientele in addition to sophisticated foodies. Chef Eric is the visible personality of the establishment.

Chef Eric’s first assignment in Las Vegas (after relocating from Beverly Hills) was SW Steakhouse at Wynn Las Vegas.

Michael Passmore of Passmore RanchMichael Passmore is an elite class freshwater fish farmer in the Sacramento area. His Passmore Ranch is sustainable aqua farming and his clientele are discriminating celebrity chefs all across the country who he, unusually, supplies directly.

They started modestly by selling live fish at Northern California farmers’ markets, and their quality and service quickly established them as premium purveyors for top restaurants and Michelin-starred chefs around the country.

Passmore Ranch offers premium freshwater white sturgeon, black bass, striped bass, catfish, silver carp and trout, plus prized domestic caviar.

Today Passmore Ranch is 86 acres and they raise fish in 80 million gallons of fresh water pumped up from the pristine Cosumnes aquifer. The ranch has a variety of open lakes and massive tanks used to increase the variety of sustainable fish they grow.

In the works is a plan to begin a thoughtful rollout of limited direct sales to serious home cooks. The info will be posted on their website.


Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jim Riley, founder of Azunia Tequila
Segment Three: Brock Radke, Food and Web Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Four: Elizabeth Huettinger, Wine Director, Addison Del Mar
Segment Five: Lena Kwak, Research and Development Chef, Thomas Keller Restaurant Group
Segment Six: Amar Santana, Executive Chef / Owner, Broadway by Amar Santana
Segment Seven: Eric Klein, Executive Chef & Partner, Spago Las Vegas
Segment Eight: Michael Passmore, Passmore Ranch, Sustainable Aqua Farming