Show 251, December 9, 2017: Chef Mike Minor, Border Grill Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas

Mike Minor of Border Grill in Las VegasMike Minor is back as the Executive Chef of Mary Sue Milliken’s and Susan Feniger’s original Border Grill Las Vegas (launched in 1999) located by the lazy river adjacent to Mandalay Beach at the Mandalay Bay Resort on The Strip. Chef Mike grew up in Las Vegas and has a huge locals’ following. We’ll meet him.

This Border Grill is known for their incredible Weekend, all-you-can-enjoy brunch with everything cooked to order. There is also bottomless sparkling wine. Talk about indulgent…It’s Vegas, baby !

Ironically, it was a French restaurant where Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger first tasted authentic Latin flavors. While guests were dining on escargot out front, in the back of the house Mary Sue and Susan were discovering the home cooking of Oaxaca and the Yucatan at staff meals prepared by their fellow cooks from Mexico. Unlike anything they had ever tasted in Mexican restaurants in the United States, the dishes were as varied and complex as the French fare the chefs were serving out front.

In 1985, Mary Sue and Susan packed a VW bug and took a road trip far south of the Mexican border. Never setting foot in a “fine restaurant,” they learned the recipes and techniques of market vendors and home cooks, from street corners in downtown Mexico City to back road family barbecues and taco stands along the beach. When they returned they opened Border Grill and “applied the same intelligence,” noted Los Angeles Magazine, “to green corn tamales and cactus-paddle tacos that other chefs might to a lobe of foie gras.” Border Grill quickly established a new standard for gourmet Mexican fare.

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March 29: Vine Restaurant & Bar, Spaghettini, Carla Hall, Truck U Barbecue, DOMA, Angels Baseball ballpark cuisine

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Managing Partner Russ Bendel, Vine Restaurant & Bar, San Clemente
Segment Three: Cary Hardwick, Co-Owner & Co-Managing Partner, Spaghettini Fine Dining & Entertainment, Seal Beach
Segment Four: Celebrity Chef Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s daytimer, “The Chew.”
Segment Five: Executive Chef Mike Minor, Truck U Barbeque Truck, Las Vegas
Segment Six: Pastry Chef Marissa Sharon, DOMA Beverly Hills
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Gretchen Beaumarchais, Angel Stadium, Anaheim, and Jaisun Ihm, Director of Premium Services, Legends
Segment Eight: Chef Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris, “SoCal Restaurant Show”

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

The effervescent Chef Carla Hall, the co-host of ABC’s “The Chew” has a new book out, Carla’s Comfort Foods – Favorite Dishes from Around the World.

Angel Stadium has a real executive chef in the kitchen and she is with us to discuss all the enhancements at The Big A for baseball season! San Clemente is becoming a popular dining destination. We’ll chat with the proprietor of one of the pioneering restaurants there featuring farm-to-table food.

You don’t expect a long-serving executive chef at a high profile restaurant located on The Strip in Las Vegas in a fancy luxury hotel to give it all up to run a food truck. We’ll talk to the credentialed chef who is doing just that.

Doma, in Beverly Hills, is still generating a lot of buzz a year after opening. Part of the credit goes to their talented pastry chef who is our guest. We’re continuing with our preview of EAT LBC, Long Beach’s first ever restaurant week set for March 30th through April 5th. The co-owner of Spaghettini in Seal Beach joins us.

Jet will be talking about his trip to Cornell University and creating a giant edible sushi roll for Cornell Dining while Producer Andy shares a dining gem of a casual neighborhood spot in Venice.

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

Russ BendelThere is an exciting restaurant resurgence going on in San Clemente right now. Some wags are even calling it the new Laguna Beach. One of the pioneering, chef-driven restaurants there, Vine Restaurant & Bar, has a new proprietor. A former chef (Jared Cook) has returned (as a partner) to oversee the farm-to-table menu. Second generation restaurateur Russ Bendel is our guest.

EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week is March 30th to April 5th. It’s your chance to enjoy a three-course meal at 52 of the best, and most diverse, restaurants in Long Beach priced at a real value. The restaurants are all aiming to wow all of their new guests during EAT LBC. All the restaurants involved and their menus are listed on their website. Make your reservations now…

Cary Hardwick of SpaghettiniOne of the participating restaurants is Spaghettini in Seal Beach, a local classic for their food and music program since 1988. Cary Hardwick, co-owner and co-managing partner, joins us to talk about his menu for EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week and their new project in Beverly Hills.

Food fans know Chef Carla Hall as the “Hootie Hoo” lady and fan favorite from multiple seasons of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” She is now the co-host of ABC’s daytime lifestyle series, “The Chew.” Recently “The Chew” celebrated their 500th episode and the show continues to gain in popularity. Carla also is the author of Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You, newly available in paperback.

Carla HallCarla’s newest cookbook is Carla’s Comfort Foods – Favorite Dishes from Around the World (on-sale April 1, 2014.) It’s a brand new collection of 130 recipes that embody the universal appeal of all kinds of comfort food.

Inspired by Carla’s love of family suppers and international flavors, this cookbook offers a mouthwatering variety of foods from around the world together with heartfelt stories of connecting with people through food. Each section of the book offers a brief description of a foundation recipe followed by some international variations.

Hall is a true believer that, “If you’re not in a good mood, the only thing you should make is a restaurant reservation.”

Carla is in Los Angeles on book tour on Sunday, April 13th. She is at Sur La Table @ The Original Farmers Market @ Noon and then @ USC for the LA Times Festival of Books @ 3:30 p.m.

Mike Minor of Truck U Barbecue in Las VegasExecutive Chef Mike Minor, a resident of Las Vegas since the age of 5, was the face of Border Grill Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay for almost 10 years.

Late last year he departed to work on a very personal project. That’s the just-about-to launch (April 5th.) Truck U Barbecue. ‘Cue, with some accents from Mexico, is his thing.

Marissa SharonPastry Chef Marissa Sharon opened Doma in Beverly Hills in 2012 with Executive Chef Dustin Trani. She previously was in the pastry department at Chef Scott Conant’s highly regarded Scarpetta at Montage Beverly Hills.

Her cannolis are truly outstanding and she also makes most of the pasta used at the restaurant.

DOMA is considered one of the finest new restaurants in L.A. – in the grand European tradition but with a sleek and modern twist.

DOMA is hosting a special “Dinner Party Series” evening to benefit C-CAP on Monday evening, April 7th @ 6:30 p.m.

Gretchen BeaumarchaisThe Angels Home opener is Monday evening, March 31st.

Executive Chef Gretchen Beaumarchais of Angel Stadium joins us to talk about all the enhancements for 2014. The food and beverage is now under the direction of Legends.

Jaisun (Jason) Ihm (Director of Premium Services) joins Chef Getchen.

There is now an in-house pastry chef (from the St. Regis, Monarch Beach) for 2014. All baked goods & sweets are now baked in-house. Bread is from OC Baking Co.

New grilled cheese sandwiches & smoked meats.

New emphasis on local craft beers.

The Diamond Club has been remodeled and the menu revamped.

Halo at Angel Stadium (above The Diamond Club) is the new premium seating sports entertainment experience with globally inspired dining.

Jet has been visiting at Cornell University’s Cornell Dining Services (a giant sushi roll) and Producer Andy has been dining in Venice. We’ll talk about it…

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Managing Partner Russ Bendel, Vine Restaurant & Bar, San Clemente
Segment Three: Cary Hardwick, Co-Owner & Co-Managing Partner, Spaghettini Fine Dining & Entertainment, Seal Beach
Segment Four: Celebrity Chef Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s daytimer, “The Chew.”
Segment Five: Executive Chef Mike Minor, Truck U Barbeque Truck, Las Vegas
Segment Six: Pastry Chef Marissa Sharon, DOMA Beverly Hills
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Gretchen Beaumarchais, Angel Stadium, Anaheim, and Jaisun Ihm, Director of Premium Services, Legends
Segment Eight: Chef Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris, “SoCal Restaurant Show”

Show 35, July 13, 2013: Mary Sue Milliken, Executive Chef & Partner of Border Grill

Mary Sue Milliken of Border GrillOn Monday, July 22nd at 6:30 p.m. at Border Grill Las Vegas, Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, and Border Grill Executive Chef Mike Minor are teaming up with Chef Rick Moonen of rm seafood and Chefs Collaborative to host a Trash Fish Dinner. The cocktail reception and dinner will feature tasty alternatives to the seafood we love and, unfortunately, eat too much of. Understand the fish is absolutely delicious…

The inspiration here is to show the discriminating guests (the proof is in the tasting) that there are incredibly tasty alternatives to the seafood we normally eat including tuna and salmon. Underutilized species include Pacific sardines, mackerel, California squid, farm-raised sturgeon, and porgy/sea bream.

Restaurants set the example as Mary Sue noted that 70 percent of the seafood we eat is enjoyed in restaurants.

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July 13: Mary Sue Milliken, Bill Chait, Anita Lau, Jet Tila on Sushi

Podcasts

Segment One: Dining discoveries of the week with Chef Jet and Producer Andy
Segment Two: Restaurant Impresario Bill Chait Part One
Segment Three: Restaurant Impresario Bill Chait Part Two
Segment Four: Mary Sue Milliken, Executive Chef & Partner of Border Grill
Segment Five: Anita Lau, creator of the Mad Hungry Woman Blog
Segment Six: Chef Jet Tila with “Sushi 411.”

Previews of potential dining adventures…

Khao Soi at Spicy Thai BBQChef Jet somewhat reluctantly shares his recommendation for Northern Thai food in Los Angeles. It’s a small place with 15 seats but worth seeking out. Their signature dish is khao soi.

Producer Andy highlights Marche Moderne’s (Penthouse @ South Coast Plaza) annual Bouillabaisse festival running nightly until July 18th. It’s an authentic Marseillaise-bouillabaisse with all the fish flown in from the South of France. Spoil yourself with the very best and a glass of Rose! Reservations are a must…

If you dine-out in Los Angeles you’ve no doubt heard of Rivera and Bestia in Downtown Los Angeles. You probably also know the Italian favorite Sotto and the Peruvian-flavored, Picca located just East of Century City. How about Short Order and Short Cake at the Original Farmers Market at Third & Fairfax?

Bill ChaitWhat you probably don’t know is that all of these popular, chef-driven restaurants are ventures put together by low key restaurant impresario, Bill Chait. Bill joins us to discuss how he has created a string of successful, and enduring, restaurants (done on a budget) with talented celebrity chefs in a very tough business environment.

In the pipeline for Chait are Chef Walter Manzke’s Republique in the former Campanile space on La Brea Avenue and Neal Fraser’s Redbird in the former Vibiana Cathedral space in Downtown Los Angeles.

Mary Sue Milliken of Border GrillOn Monday, July 22nd at 6:30 p.m. at Border Grill Las Vegas Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, and Border Grill Executive Chef Mike Minor are teaming up with Chef Rick Moonen of rm seafood and Chefs Collaborative to host a Trash Fish Dinner. The cocktail reception and dinner will feature tasty alternatives to the seafood we love and, unfortunately, eat too much of. Understand the fish is delicious…

Mary Sue Milliken joins us to preview the fun evening with a purpose.

Time for Fair Food!

Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe from Chicken CharliesThe OC Fair is on through August 11th! Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, is with us to discuss what extreme foods are new at the Fair for 2013. She will actually be judging some Fair food contests during the event.

Fair food vendor, Chicken Charlie’s, always is always out there with fab fried food items. Eagerly anticipated is his new Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe’s and Bacon A-Fair’s Wild Boar on a stick (an OC Fair exclusive.)

According to the Orange County Register’s Nancy Luna, Chicken Charlie sold 50,000 deep-fried Twinkies last year at the Fair!

Other Chicken Charlie highlights are a deep-fried bacon pickle and a waffle dog.

SushiDo you crave sushi but feel somewhat compromised about proper manners and ordering technique in a sushi restaurant? When do you use the ginger, soy sauce, and wasabi? Is omakase (“trust the chef”) the best way to go? If you sit at the sushi bar how do you convey respect to the sushi chefs?

Listeners to the “SoCal Restaurant Show” are in luck. When he was helming Wazuzu at Encore Las Vegas, Jet had some of the most highly regarded sushi in Las Vegas on his menu. Backing it all up was in-house master sushi chef (and his highly trained team.) He will give us the 411 on ordering, and enjoying, sushi.

Podcasts

Segment One: Dining discoveries of the week with Chef Jet and Producer Andy
Segment Two: Restaurant Impresario Bill Chait Part One
Segment Three: Restaurant Impresario Bill Chait Part Two
Segment Four: Mary Sue Milliken, Executive Chef & Partner of Border Grill
Segment Five: Anita Lau, creator of the Mad Hungry Woman Blog
Segment Six: Chef Jet Tila with “Sushi 411.”