Show 41, September 21, 2013: Steve Samson and Zach Pollack, Co-Executive Chefs / Partners, Sotto Restaurant

Steve Samson and Zach Pollack of SottoSteve Samson and Zach Pollack are the Executive Chefs and co-owners of Sotto near Century City in Los Angeles. They have an incredible wood-burning pizza oven that is from Sicily that was installed by Italian craftsmen. Orange County foodies remember them as the well-received opening culinary team for highly-regarded Pizzeria Ortica.

In-mid-August they were the only Los Angeles chefs to be invited by Chef Javier Plascencia (the Wolfgang Puck of Northern Baja) to join with acclaimed San Diego chefs to prepare a seven-course, wine-paired meal at Chef Javier’s ranch, Finca Altozano, located in the Guadalupe Valley, Mexico’s premier wine region. Each course was matched with an appropriate Baja wine from the local region. This was one event as part of a bigger annual, week-long vintners’ festival.

Steve’s and Zach’s dish was a beautiful, rustic spit-roasted lamb loin with Summer vegetables from the legendary Chino Farms in Rancho Santa Fe.

Restaurateur Javier Plascencia has Romesco in Bonita (right near the border) in the United States, and multiple restaurants in Tijuana including Mision 19 and Caesar’s Restaurante Bar (where the original Caesar Salad was created.)

Play

September 21: Thai Food Fest preview with Susan Feniger, Kajsa Alger, David LeFevre

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Paul Greive, Farmer & Founder, Primal Pastures, Temecula Part One
Segment Three: Paul Greive, Farmer & Founder, Primal Pastures, Temecula Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef David LeFevre of Fishing with Dynamite
Segment Five: Celebrity Chef Susan Feniger, Proprietress of Susan Feniger’s Street
Segment Six: Kajsa (Sasha) Alger, Executive Chef and Partner, Susan Feniger’s Street
Segment Seven: Steve Samson and Zach Pollack, Co-Executive Chefs / Partners, Sotto Restaurant
Segment Eight: Neal Fraser, Executive Chef / Owner of bld

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!

Primal Pastures“Farmer Paul” Greive, the co-founder with his in-laws, of Primal Pastures in Temecula is with us. Primal Pastures is a pastured, “beyond organic and sustainable” livestock farm.

They just funded an amazing Kickstarter campaign to bankroll their expansion. The goal was to raise $40,000. Instead they realized $57,810.

They have recently leased over 200 acres of pastureland to expand.

“Our vision is to establish a “permaculture” – a system that effectively models the natural ecosystem with many varieties of plants and animals acting in synergy with one another on one farm. There are beautiful things that happen when cattle and sheep are incorporated with chickens, turkeys, and ducks.”

Chef David LeFevre of M.B. Post in Manhattan BeachExecutive Chef David LeFevre (ex-Water Grill) of the acclaimed Manhattan Beach Post and Fishing with Dynamite joins us.

Fishing with Dynamite in Manhattan Beach is his latest venture. It’s only 40 seats. The oyster bar is already enormously popular. They will serve some 300 to 700 oysters on a given day.

Chef LeFevre will be participating in the upcoming Thai Food Festival. He previews his dish for September 29th.

Susan Feniger of Border Grill and Susan Feniger's StreetSusan Feniger of Susan Feniger’s Street and Border Grill fame needs no introduction to listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” She was also one of the early super stars of Food Network with her business partner Mary Sue Milliken in the long running “Too Hot Tamales” series.

Susan Feniger’s Street will be a featured restaurant in the upcoming Thai Food Festival.

There are lots of Thai items on the regular Street menu.

The dish they are showcasing at the festival is Khao Gee, a Northeastern Thai snack.

Kajsa Alger of Susan Feniger's StreetKajsa Alger is the executive chef and partner for Susan Feniger’s Street.

As a teenager she snuck into the kitchen at CITY restaurant to begin an informal apprenticeship. That was the start of her long association with Susan and Mary Sue. She eventually rose to the post of Corporate Chef for all of Mary Sue and Susan’s restaurants.

She was on the Street project since the inception. There was months of intense recipe testing before the opening in 2009.

Kajsa is particularly proud of the Saturday and Sunday brunch menu they are offering until the end of the month. It’s an “All You Can Eat” small plate brunch with breakfast items as well as sandwiches and salads. It’s a modest $25 per guest and for an additional $15 you can partake of bottomless sparkling cocktails.

Steve Samson and Zach Pollack of SottoSteve Samson and Zach Pollack are the Executive Chefs and co-owners of Sotto near Century City in Los Angeles. They have an incredible wood-burning pizza oven that is from Sicily that was installed by Italian craftsmen. Orange County foodies remember them as the opening culinary team for highly-regarded Pizzeria Ortica.

In-mid-August they were the only Los Angeles chefs to be invited by Chef Javier Plascencia (the Wolfgang Puck of Northern Baja) to join with acclaimed San Diego chefs to prepare a seven-course, wine-paired meal at Chef Javier’s ranch, Finca Altozano, located in the Guadalupe Valley, Mexico’s premier wine region. Each course was matched with an appropriate Baja wine from the local region. This was one event as part of a bigger annual vintners’ festival.

Steve’s and Zach’s dish was a beautiful spit-roasted lamb loin.

Restaurateur Javier Plascencia has Romesco in Bonita in the United States and multiple restaurants in Tijuana including Mision 19 and Caesar’s Restaurante Bar (where the original Caesar Salad was created.)

Neal Fraser of bld and RedbirdExecutive Chef Neal Fraser of bld joins us.

Chef Fraser is a contestant on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” this season. He comments on the ups and downs he experienced as a competitor. He observed that it’s a lot harder than he anticipated. That’s significant given that he previously bested an Iron Chef on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America”.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Paul Greive, Farmer & Founder, Primal Pastures, Temecula Part One
Segment Three: Paul Greive, Farmer & Founder, Primal Pastures, Temecula Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef David LeFevre of Fishing with Dynamite
Segment Five: Celebrity Chef Susan Feniger, Proprietress of Susan Feniger’s Street
Segment Six: Kajsa (Sasha) Alger, Executive Chef and Partner, Susan Feniger’s Street
Segment Seven: Steve Samson and Zach Pollack, Co-Executive Chefs / Partners, Sotto Restaurant
Segment Eight: Neal Fraser, Executive Chef / Owner of bld

On the horizon for Chef Neal is a bld at LAX in the United Terminal and a casual ice cream, donuts, and coffee café.

Show 13, January 12, 2013: Chef Javier Plascencia of Mision 19, Tijuana’s superstar celebrity chef and culinary goodwill ambassador for the food and wines of Northern Baja.

Javier PlascenciaOn Monday evening at Romesco in Bonita, CA  Chef Javier and, his colleagues, the brightest culinary stars of N. Baja are presenting a multi-course meal to benefit the San Diego Chapter of The American Institute of Wine and Food.

Two of Baja’s most acclaimed winemakers will also be there to present their wines with the meal. This includes Hugo D’Acosta who is known as the Robert Mondavi of Mexico as well as Philip Gregory (a former Angeleno) of Vena Cava in Valle de Guadalupe.

Play

January 12: Robert Wemischner, Josef Centeno, Deborah Schneider, Javier Plascencia

Podcasts

Segment One: Robert Wemischner, cookbook author, pastry chef, and culinary instructor Part One
Segment Two: Robert Wemischner, cookbook author, pastry chef, and culinary instructor Part Two
Segment Three: Josef Centeno, owner/executive chef of baco mercat and Bar Ama in Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Four: Deborah Schneider, executive chef and partner, SOL Mexican Cocina, Newport Beach
Segment Five: Chef Javier Plascencia of Mision 19, Tijuana’s superstar celebrity chef and culinary goodwill ambassador for the food and wines of Northern Baja
Segment Six: Chef Javier Plascencia of Mision 19, Tijuana’s superstar celebrity chef and culinary goodwill ambassador for the food and wines of Northern Baja (Continued…)

We’re cooking and baking with tea and then talking about a promising new Tex-Mex establishment in Downtown LA, with some flair from a young chef who does it his way. We’re then on to Newport Beach Restaurant Week and finally a taste of Northern Baja!

Robert WemischnerAcclaimed pastry chef and culinary educator Robert Wemischner has always been intrigued by the flavor potential of ingredients, from turmeric to tea and from cumin to coffee.

He is the author of four well-received cookbooks, including his most recent effort, The Dessert Architect. For the last 18 years he has headed the respected baking and pastry program for Los Angeles Trade-Tech College in Downtown Los Angeles.

Chef Bob joins us to present Tea 101 and guidance on cooking and baking with tea.

He also shares his delectable recipe for Chocolate Assam Tea Torte which he served at the “Getting Our Just Desserts” Benefit for C-CAP last November.

Josef Centeno

Josef Centeno is part of a group of risk-taking, young chefs who are going out on their own and making names for themselves. He created quite a splash when he designed the original menu and concept for Lazy Ox Canteen in Little Tokyo in Downtown LA.

After that was up and running he ventured out on his own in a more urban area of Downtown and launched baco Mercat at the corner of 4th & Main. He even makes his own soft drinks there from quality ingredients.

In December he debuted his 2nd Downtown spot, Bar Ama, which is a tribute to his Grandmother’s style of Tex-Mex food.

Newport Beach Restaurant Week is January 18th to 27th. Participating restaurants have special pricing for lunch and/or dinner. It’s a chance to experience the best in Newport Beach dining at very affordable prices.

Deborah SchneiderDeborah Schneider, the executive chef & partner of SOL Mexican Cucina joins us to tell us about what SOL is doing for Restaurant Week.

One of the most prominent and distinguished chefs cooking in Mexico today is Javier Plascencia who makes his home in Tijuana. He’s cooked for Mexico’s president, Felipe Calderon. His family also has a fine restaurant on the US side of the Border in Bonita.

Javier PlascenciaChef Javier is also an unabashed cheerleader for the foods and premium wines of Baja. The finest wines in Mexico come from the region and are just now finding their way into US distribution channels.

Last year when Anthony Bourdain of Travel Channel’s “No Reservations” visited Northern Baja, Javier was a prominent part of this at his latest venture, Mision 19.

On Monday evening, January 14th Chef Javier has recruited the best chefs and winemakers in Northern Baja to join him in preparing a 7-course, wine-paired meal at Romesco as a benefit for the San Diego Chapter of The American Institute of Wine and Food.

It’s sold out with a waiting list but this is a chef you should really know.

Podcasts

Segment One: Robert Wemischner, cookbook author, pastry chef, and culinary instructor Part One
Segment Two: Robert Wemischner, cookbook author, pastry chef, and culinary instructor Part Two
Segment Three: Josef Centeno, owner/executive chef of baco mercat and Bar Ama in Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Four: Deborah Schneider, executive chef and partner, SOL Mexican Cocina, Newport Beach
Segment Five: Chef Javier Plascencia of Mision 19, Tijuana’s superstar celebrity chef and culinary goodwill ambassador for the food and wines of Northern Baja
Segment Six: Chef Javier Plascencia of Mision 19, Tijuana’s superstar celebrity chef and culinary goodwill ambassador for the food and wines of Northern Baja (Continued…)