Show 97, November 15, 2014: Rick Rodgers, cookbook author and culinary instructor

Rick RodgersRick Rodgers is an award-winning cookbook author and cooking teacher and the accomplished writer of more than forty cookbooks on subjects ranging from baking to grilling, and more. Rodgers often works behind the scenes as a recipe tester, co-author, and valued consultant on cookbooks by other authors, including Sarabeth Levine of Sarabeth’s Bakery

Rodgers has also penned corporate cookbooks for well-known clients such as Kingsford Charcoal and Sur La Table, as well as many titles for Williams-Sonoma.

Just in time for the Holidays is The Big Book of Sides – More than 450 Recipes for the Best Vegetables, Grains, Salads, Breads, Sauces and More. What’s the Thanksgiving feast without the assortment of tasty sides? Side dishes make the meal. Rick gives the humble side dish its due, elevating it to its proper, important place on the menu – front and center.

“With 32 color photos, main course pairings for every recipe and a guide to the best cooking methods, The Big Book of Sides provides answers to the age-old question of what to serve with what, with side dishes for all seasons, celebrations, occasions and even everyday weeknight meals.”

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Show 59, February 1, 2013: Chef Hans Rockenwagner, Rockenwagner Bakery and Café Rockenwagner. Continues…

Cafe RockenwagerIn addition to the growing wholesale bakery Hans Rockenwagner has a network of busy bakery cafes in Santa Monica, Venice, and Mar Vista. The most ambitious café to date just launched in Brentwood. This Café Rockenwagner is in the bw (a high-rise luxury apartment building) at the corner of Barrington Ave. and Wilshire Blvd.

Besides a full food menu with breakfast, lunch, and dinner there is an on-site pastry chef here so there is an impressive selection of fresh breakfast pastries, desserts, breads and pretzels available. All the bakery items can be secured grab-and-go, too. Hans likes to think of it as a modern day bistro.

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February 1: Curtis Stone, Cookies for a Koz, Hans Rockenwagner, Puck’s Tavern, Pacific Coast Wine Festival

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Curtis Stone, Owner/Chef of Maude, Beverly Hills Part One
Segment Three: Curtis Stone, Owner/Chef of Maude, Beverly Hills Part Two
Segment Four: Roberta Koz Wilson, Cookies for a Koz
Segment Five: Chef Hans Rockenwagner, Rockenwagner Bakery and Café Rockenwagner Part One
Segment Six: Chef Hans Rockenwagner, Rockenwagner Bakery and Café Rockenwagner Part Two
Segment Seven: Matt Bencivenga, Wolfgang Puck Catering and Puck’s Tavern at Honda Center
Segment Eight: Tristen Beamon and Kyle Meyer, BestWinesOnline.com and Pacific Coast Wine Festival

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching so plan ahead and don’t panic. It falls on a Friday this year. Friday is an especially tough day for restaurants due to Valentine’s Day anxiety so if you want to be a bit more relaxed make your plans for Saturday or Sunday instead. Still the Valentine’s Day orbit but a bit less crazed for the restaurant. You’ll definitely have better service…

Chef jet Tila and Alton BrownFood Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” with host Alton Brown is back on Sunday nights for Season 2. Our own Chef Jet Tila is the most frequently appearing solo judge on this tough competition show that requires strategy as well as cooking chops. Look for Jet’s new episodes starting in February.

Congrats to Chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage Co. in West Los Angeles. Last Sunday (Jan. 26th.) he competed against three other chefs on Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen.” He won big and took home the most cash of any winner to date!

Everyone’s favorite sexy Aussie Chef is Curtis Stone. He’s opening an intimate new restaurant on Feb. 1st and we’ll get all the 411 right from the source. Fine dining chef Hans Rockenwagner, in recent years, has become known for his line of artisan breads. He’s just opened his most ambitious bakery café to date in Brentwood and joins us to provide the details. Wolfgang Puck is back in Orange County with the newly launched Puck’s Tavern at Honda Center, home of the Anaheim Ducks. The executive chef of Wolfgang Puck Catering is with us to preview what’s on the menu.

All of that and lots more incredible deliciousness on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

Curtis StoneYou know Aussie celebrity chef, Curtis Stone, from Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” which he hosts. He’s now a resident of Los Angeles.

What you may not know is that he has a serious culinary background. He trained with the legendary English Chef, Marco Pierre White. Chef Curtis worked his way up Marco Pierre White’s tall culinary ladder and eventually became the Head Chef of Quo Vadis in London.

On February 1st Curtis Stone opens Maude in Beverly Hills. Maude is named after his grandmother. It’s an intimate 25 seats and Chef Curtis will actually be there cooking. The menu will change monthly and all of the nine tasting plates served each night will contain a featured ingredient.

His most recent cookbook, What’s for Dinner?: Delicious Recipes for a Busy Life was published last year by Ballantine Books Hardcover. The concept is getting dinner on the table without a hassle. The book features 130 effortless and inspired recipes that carry Chef Curtis’ promise of working.

Roberta Koz WilsonIt’s almost Valentine’s Day and what more thoughtful edible gift than absolutely delicious chocolate chip cookies baked in small batches! The big plus is that each sale benefits The Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Roberta Koz Wilson (jazz saxophone great Dave Koz’s sister) of Cookies for a Koz joins us to share the inspirational story. The cookies are a tribute to their late mother, Audrey, who created the original cookie recipe. The truth is that these famous cookies opened a lot of doors for Dave in his early days as a struggling musician!

The Red Velvet Cookie was originally created as a Valentine’s Day special. It became so popular that it was added to the year-round line. It’s their take on a moist and delicious Red Velvet Cupcake.

Hans RockenwagnerChef Hans Rockenwagner burst on the local Venice dining scene in 1985 when he opened the original (40 seat) Rockenwagner on Abbot Kinney Blvd. where Joe’s is now.

In 1991 Rockenwagner moved to a much larger space in the Frank Gehry-designed Edgemar Complex in Santa Monica.

White asparagus, in season, became a signature menu item.

Hans eventually discovered there was more money in artisan bread and eventually closed Rockenwagner to concentrate on his growing wholesale bread baking business. He now has 60 bakers working around the clock seven days a week! Rockenwagner Bakery is a fixture at area Farmers Markets including the Sunday Beverly Hills Farmers Market.

Cafe RockenwagnerIn addition to the growing wholesale bakery Hans Rockenwagner has a network of busy bakery cafes in Santa Monica, Venice, and Mar Vista. The most ambitious café to date just launched in Brentwood. This Café Rockenwagner is in the bw (a high-rise luxury apartment building) at the corner of Barrington Ave. and Wilshire Blvd.

Besides a full food menu there is on an on-site pastry chef here so there is an impressive selection of fresh breakfast pastries, desserts, breads and pretzels available.

Pucks Tavern at Honda CenterCelebrated chef Wolfgang Puck and Wolfgang Puck Catering have just launched two new dining destinations at Honda Center, the home of the Anaheim Ducks. They are Puck’s Tavern, an approachable fine-dining restaurant serving modern comfort food and The Window at Puck’s Tavern, a made-to-order pizza concession stand. Both operations are located on the South Side of the arena’s main level.

Open during Honda Center’s events, Puck’s Tavern (230 seats) caters to both the general public and ticketholders alike. The 7,000 square-foot, indoor-outdoor restaurant features a direct entrance to the arena allowing a seamless transition from a sit-down meal or private event to the evening’s entertainment.

Matt Bencivenga, Executive Chef and Partner of Wolfgang Puck Catering joins us to chat about the opening of Puck’s Tavern and Wolfgang’s high-profile return to Orange County.

Tristen Beamon and Kyle MeyerIf you’re a wine lover then the upcoming Pacific Coast Wine Festival evening on March 1st at The Island Hotel in Newport Beach to benefit the Pacific Symphony is definitely for you.

The evening starts off with tastings from highly touted wineries including Domaine Faively and Nickel & Nickel. The live and silent auction will feature renowned selections such as Margaux, Mouton, Paul Hobbs, and Screaming Eagle. The sumptuous dinner will be followed by a select chocolate and port tasting.

All the impressive wine selections for the benefit and auctions have been meticulously curated by Tristen Beamon and Kyle Meyer of Orange County’s Bestwinesonline.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Curtis Stone, Owner/Chef of Maude, Beverly Hills Part One
Segment Three: Curtis Stone, Owner/Chef of Maude, Beverly Hills Part Two
Segment Four: Roberta Koz Wilson, Cookies for a Koz
Segment Five: Chef Hans Rockenwagner, Rockenwagner Bakery and Café Rockenwagner Part One
Segment Six: Chef Hans Rockenwagner, Rockenwagner Bakery and Café Rockenwagner Part Two
Segment Seven: Matt Bencivenga, Wolfgang Puck Catering and Puck’s Tavern at Honda Center
Segment Eight: Tristen Beamon and Kyle Meyer, BestWinesOnline.com and Pacific Coast Wine Festival

Show 39, August 24, 2013: Chef Michael Cimarusti of Providence and Connie & Ted’s continues…

Michael Cimarusti of Providence and Connie and TedsChef Michael picked-up his lobster tutorial and then took us through the preparation of a hot lobster roll. It’s deservedly one of the most popular menu items at Connie & Ted’s.

All the breads and buns used at Connie & Ted’s are prepared in-house by the pastry department. This even includes the oyster crackers used in the clam chowders. Michael observed that they make everything in-house except the ketchup.

Chef Cimarusti previewed the “Field to Fork” event he is co-hosting on August 31st at Paramount Studios as part of the Los Angeles Times’ Taste.

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Show 31, June 15, 2013: Dining with Jet and Producer Andy

The new dining room of Spago Beverly HillsChef Jet and Producer Andy have been doing some noteworthy dining around…

Jet recently experienced the renovated Spago Beverly Hills which remains one of the bastions of fine dining in the West. The new look is more retro in the style of AMC’s “Mad Men” series. The servers are smartly attired in vests with ties.

Serving portions are by the numbers. One’s are the appetizers. Two’s are small plates and Three’s are big plates which you can share. Standouts for Jet are the grilled corn agnolotti and the veal steak tartar. Expensive but worth it…

Connie & Ted's in West HollywoodProducer Andy reported on the new Connie & Ted’s on Santa Monica Blvd. in WeHo. This is Celebrity Chef Michael Cimarusti’s (Providence) greatly anticipated East Coast / New England-style seafood “shack” with his front of the house partner from Providence, Donato Poto, one of the most welcoming in the business. It’s housed in an architecturally significant new building. The front looks like a wave and the inside has the feeling of openness with an open kitchen.

Producer Andy was particularly taken with their lobster roll. You can get it hot or cold but Andy commented on the hot variation which is poached lobster served on a house-baked, toasted hot dog –style bun slathered in drawn butter. All breads and rolls are baked in-house including the oyster crackers for the three versions of clam chowder.

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