Show 228, June 17, 2017: Chef de Cuisine Amy Deaderick, Tavern, Brentwood

Amy DeaderickThe Tavern’s (Brentwood) Annual Low Country Boil is cooking on Sunday, June 25th. The night (and menu) is inspired by Chef de Cuisine Amy Deaderick’s childhood in South Carolina.

On that Sunday at TAVERN, Suzanne Goin, Caroline Styne and Chef de Cuisine Amy Deaderick reprise their Low Country Boil – a wonderful regional tradition from the Coastal areas of the Carolinas. Developed from the Gullah Islands off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, the meal was created from food that was easily accessible and a treasured way for families and neighbors to bond.

This this one-pot celebration of seafood bounty and local food culture features crawfish, Andouille sausage, potatoes and sweet corn, all served on newspaper at the center of the table, as is the local tradition.

Deaderick’s father regularly went out ‘shrimpin,’ bringing home pounds of shrimp to go with the piles of blue crabs the rest of the family dug out from the coastal marshlands. “My dad prepared the crab boil base and was painstakingly particular about the order of things. He was the only one allowed to touch the stock pot and to season the crab boil,” recalls Deaderick. “As the sky darkened, the back porch light would light up, the universal signal for all children to high tail it home. When we arrived home, we found newspapers carefully laid out on a plywood table top with sawhorse legs, and we waited, impatiently, for the boil to be done.”

“Once it was ready, the boil was poured onto the newspapers and we devoured our daily catch. It was the most satisfying feast our hungry bellies could imagine.”

We’ll meet Chef Amy.

Play

Show 111, February 21, 2015: Artisan Uprising winery, Paso Robles

David and William Vondrasek Specializing in very limited production, ultra premium wines grown in Paso Robles, California, Artisan Uprising was created by brothers David and William Vondrasek after years of making wines solely for their family.

“Originally inspired to try out what we had learned from our grandfather and our (Italian) heritage of making wine each year, we found ourselves making more than the family could drink. Now that we make enough to share, we have held true to our process and mindset of how our wine should be made.”

“This is handcrafted wine two people can make. Unfiltered and un-stripped, our wines present some sediment in the bottle that we believe enhances the overall texture and ability for the wines to develop and age for years to come. Our wines are unique, they are what we like, and while quality of this scale has a broad appeal, it cannot be mass-produced, It is a true Artisan product.”

Current releases (very limited) are a Rose of Merlot, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Sirah. The wines are on the list at the glowingly-reviewed Cliff’s Edge in Silver Lake.

Artisan Uprising wines (current releases) were sampled recently at a special luncheon event of the L.A. Wine Writers at Hotel Angeleno in Brentwood. Their hands-on, executive chef, Laura Scollan (West) created the inspired food pairings. For example the 2014 Rose of Merlot was matched with a Cider-Glazed Scallop with rainbow cauliflower and truffled parsnip puree.

Current releases (very limited) are a Rose of Merlot, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Sirah.

We are joined by the Vondrasek Brothers.

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Show 68, April 5, 2014: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part One

Micah WexlerChef Micah Wexler was born and raised in Los Angeles and always had aspirations to be a chef. At age 15, Wexler’s first job was working with legendary Italian Chef, Gino Angelini, at Vincenti in Brentwood.

In 2011 Wexler opened Mezze Restaurant as Chef/Co-Owner. Mezze was named one of the Top New Restaurants that year by Los Angeles Magazine and was one of Jonathan Gold’s Essential 99 restaurants.

Next month Wexler will open his newest concept, Wexler’s Deli, in Downtown Los Angeles’ iconic Grand Central Market. Wexler’s Deli aims to take the traditional deli back to its roots and provide a place of community, pride, familiarity, and quality.

The menu will feature traditional favorites of corned beef, pastrami, salmon, and sturgeon, all cured and smoked in-house. All condiments will be house-made.

Play

April 5: OC Baking Co., Grist & Toll, Duskie Estes, Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, Relish Culinary Adventures, Micah Wexler

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Master Baker Dean Kim, OC Baking Co
Segment Three: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Owner, Zazu Kitchen + Farm, The Barlow
Segment Five: Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, author of Gin: A Global History
Segment Six: Donna del Rey, Relish Culinary Adventurers, Healdsburg, CA
Segment Seven: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part Two

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

The Inaugural Grilled Cheese Festival & Competition featuring the best of the OC’s chefs is coming. We’ll have the details on how you can attend.

Would you believe a stone flour mill in Pasadena? It’s a passion project for the two partners who are selling flour from grain sourced from local growers. That’s a great example of the locavore movement!

We last visited with Chef Duskie Estes of Zazu Kitchen + Farm & Black Pig Meat Co. right before they opened their spacious new restaurant at The Barlow in Sebastopol (Sonoma County) last year. We have an update…

You can’t have a classic bar without gin. We have a fascinating tutorial from the local expert affiliated with the Museum of the American Cocktail.

The gateway to the Sonoma County Wine Country for foodies is Relish Culinary Tours located right off the town square in Healdsburg. They offer cooking classes, private parties, culinary tours and creative catering. We’ll hear about what’s on their menu for Spring & Summer.

A Los Angeles fine dining chef who has cooked at Tom Colicchio’s Craft in Century City is a deliman at heart. He’s about to open a Jewish deli in Downtown Los Angeles featuring his premium, house cured meats.

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

The Big Cheese Grilled Cheese CompetitionIn celebration of National Grilled Cheese Month in April, OC Baking Co. and Provisions Market in Orange will join forces to host The Big Cheese, Orange County’s first grilled cheese festival and competition. OC Baking Co. Master Baker Dean Kim will supply locally produced freshly baked bread to top OC chefs competing for the title of “The Big Cheese” on Monday, April 14th from 6 to 8:00 p.m. at Provisions Market in Orange.

“The Chef community in Orange County is a tight knit one with many talented individuals I’m proud to call my friends,” commented Chef Greg Daniels, who oversees the kitchens at Haven Gastropub in Orange and Pasadena, as well as taco asylum in Costa Mesa. “Grilled Cheese is something we can all relate to and, thanks to OC Baking Co.’s support, this event is a way for us to get together for a lighthearted competition.”

Nan KohlerSerious home baker Nan Kohler and her business partner (Marti Noxon) have recently opened (December) Grist & Toll, an Urban flour mill in Pasadena. They are selling flour milled on the site from grain sourced from local growers.

The attractive blond wood stone mill from Austria is visible through a window and is the real star of the show.

They sell flour to home bakers as well as select restaurants including Union Restaurant in Pasadena.

Baking classes are on the way.

Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart of Zazu Kitchen and FarmWhen we first met Sonoma County-based Chef Duskie Estes last Spring when she was about to move Zazu Kitchen + Farm from Santa Rosa into an incredible space at The Barlow in Sebastopol. It’s now located on the grounds of a long-closed Gravenstein apple processing facility. Some of the tin clad warehouse buildings remain and have been artfully repurposed. The rest of the complex duplicates that rustic look.

Duskie and her husband, John Stewart, are the King & Queen of Porc from the Grand Cochon competition in 2011. They also operate the Black Pig Meat Co.

Most of the mains change nightly at Zazu. A signature starter is the “I (heart) Pigstrami. John cures the pork for this little sandwich served on artisan rye with sauerkraut and house-made Guinness mustard.

Saturday and Sunday brunch is a major attraction here. At brunch the “can’t miss” item is the “As seen on TV” maple glazed donut with bacon jimmies. Outrageous…

Also popular is the king + queen of pork bacon-in-the-batter waffle with bacon toffee and house-made espresso gelato.

Lesley Jacobs SolmonsonThe Museum of the American Cocktail (based in New Orleans) is kicking off their “Touring the Cocktail Series” in Los Angeles with Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, the author of Gin: A Global History. She also is the food and cocktail columnist at LA Weekly. The provocative program is “A History of Gin in Five Cocktails.”

Gin is the undisputed king of cocktail spirits. Built upon a neutral spirit base, great gin is a symphony of juniper, spices, botanicals, and citrus.

Five signature gin cocktails will be available for sampling that evening. It’s set for Monday, April 7th at Dominick’s Restaurant in West Hollywood.

Donna del Rey of Relish Culinary AdventuresWhen it comes to providing the welcoming gateway for discriminating foodies to the Sonoma County Wine Country no one does it better than the hard-working Donna del Rey of Relish Culinary Adventures in Healdsburg. Relish offers cooking classes, private parties, distinctive culinary tours, and creative catering.

Recently Donna and her crew provided support for the Artisan Cheese Festival.

For the ultimate experience they offer “Relish Sonoma County,” a 3-Day Culinary Adventure of Sonoma County.

Coming up on June 21st is a hands-on Culinary Birds cooking class with Chef John Ash.

Micah WexlerChef Micah Wexler was born and raised in Los Angeles and always had aspirations to be a chef. At age 15, Wexler’s first job was working with legendary Italian Chef, Gino Angelini, at Vincenti in Brentwood.

In 2011 Wexler opened Mezze Restaurant as Chef/Co-owner. Mezze was named one of the Top New Restaurants that year by Los Angeles Magazine and was one of Jonathan Gold’s Essential 99 restaurants.

Next month Wexler will open his newest concept, Wexler’s Deli, in Downtown Los Angeles’ iconic Grand Central Market. Wexler’s Deli aims to take the traditional deli back to its roots and provide a place of community, pride, familiarity, and quality.

The menu will feature traditional favorites of corned beef, pastrami, salmon, and sturgeon, all cured and smoked in-house. All condiments will be house-made.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Master Baker Dean Kim, OC Baking Co
Segment Three: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Owner, Zazu Kitchen + Farm, The Barlow
Segment Five: Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, author of Gin: A Global History
Segment Six: Donna del Rey, Relish Culinary Adventurers, Healdsburg, CA
Segment Seven: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part Two

Show 63, March 1, 2013: Executive Chef James Dean Max, James Republic, Long Beach

James Republic combines modern sensibilities with old-world principles to afford a genuine gathering place for the neighborhood and a distinctive dining destination in the heart of Long Beach. Weekend brunch on the patio (Saturdays and Sundays) is a popular attraction for the locals.

James Republic is one of over 50 restaurants participating in EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week running from March 30 to April 5th.

The style of food at James Republic is what they call “modern California coastal” dining. The goal is to highlight the season’s vibrant, locally sourced bounty from both the land and sea. Look for the upcoming farmers’ dinner series where guest farmers will be in attendance on evenings where their produce is the star of the menu.

Dean James MaxThe Chef and Partner is Dean James Max whose base is in Florida. His flagship is 3030 Ocean restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale. He has been nominated for James Beard Awards, has authored two cookbooks, and has the honor of cooking at The Beard Foundation in Manhattan regularly.

He now has restaurants in Columbus, Ohio; Grand Cayman; Cleveland; and Trumbull, CT.

In Los Angeles, Chef Max is remembered as the owner/chef of Woodside in Brentwood in the late 90s. It was highly regarded and well-reviewed.

Play

March 1: Brandon Boudet, Dean James Max, Mar Yvette, Donato Poto, Carlton McCoy, Robert Schueller, Cochon 555

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Brandon Boudet, Dominick’s and Little Dom’s, Los Angeles.
Segment Three: Executive Chef James Dean Max, James Republic, Long Beach
Segment Four: Mar Yvette, Lifestyle reporter, Fox 11 News & “Good Day L.A.”
Segment Five: Donato Poto, Partner, Connie & Ted’s, West Hollywood, and Providence, Hollywood
Segment Six: Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy, Wine Director, Little Nell, Aspen, CO
Segment Seven: Jet Tila reporting on Cochon 555 Los Angeles

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Fat Tuesday and the craziness of Mardi Gras are next week We’ll tell you where you can get an authentic taste of New Orleans locally. You’ll meet the very hospitable Donato Poto, the co-owner of both Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood and one of the finest, high-end seafood restaurants in the West, Providence. The Oscars are upon us. Mar Yvette, the Lifestyle Reporter for Fox 11 News, talks to us about what’s on the menu for the 2014 Oscars Governor’s Ball at Hollywood & Highland. This is Wolfgang Puck’s (and his teams) 20th year creating the dazzling menu for the Oscars! Also where the stars dine…

Eat LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week kicks off on March 30th. Executive Chef Dean James Max of James Republic in Long Beach is with us to preview his menu. When it comes to elegant, destination resorts they don’t come more highly acclaimed than Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado. Carlton McCoy (an accredited Master Sommelier) is their 29-year old Wine Director. We’ll hear his inspiring story. Organic fruits and vegetables are top of the mind. Our resident Professor of Produce, Robert Schueller from Melissa’s, is back with an informative update on organics. Chef Jet was a Judge at last Sunday’s Cochon 555 – An Epic Heritage Pork Event at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. Jet takes us behind-the-scenes at this eagerly anticipated and highly competitive event that tours the country.

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

Brandon Boudet of Dominick’s, Little Dom’s and Tom Bergin’sChef Brandon Boudet is the co-owner and head chef for Dominick’s and Little Dom’s. He’s a proud native of New Orleans.

Each year Dominick’s and Little Dom’s celebrate Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday in true Bourbon Street Style. On their menu are special cocktails, bites and of course, Jambalaya and red beans and rice. Chef Brandon explains the mysteries of the King Cake.

Coming up in May are two Saturdays of crawfish boils.

James Republic combines modern sensibilities with old-world principles to afford a genuine gathering place for the neighborhood and a distinctive dining destination in the heart of Long Beach. Weekend brunch on the patio is a popular attraction for the locals.

James Republic is one of over 50 restaurants participating in EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week running from March 30 to April 5th.

The style of food at James Republic is what they call “modern California coastal” dining. The goal is to highlight the season’s vibrant, locally sourced bounty from both the land and sea.

Dean James MaxThe Chef and Partner is Dean James Max whose base is in Florida. His flagship is 3030 Ocean restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale. He has been nominated for James Beard Awards, has authored two cookbooks, and has the honor of cooking at The Beard Foundation in Manhattan regularly.

He now has restaurants in Columbus, Ohio; Grand Cayman; Cleveland; and Trumbull, CT.

In Los Angeles Chef Max is remembered as the owner/chef of Woodside in Brentwood in the late 90s. It was highly regarded and well-reviewed.

Mar YvetteMar Yvette is the Lifestyle Reporter for Fox 11 News right here in Los Angeles.

We’re talking about cuisine worthy of Oscar! For the 20th year Wolfgang Puck and his highly talented team of chefs and associates will prepare the exquisite menu for the 2014 Oscars Governor’s Ball held in the Ray Dolby Ballroom on the top level of the Hollywood & Highland Center. We’ll preview the menu!

Think 1,250 Stone Crab claws for the 1,500 invited guests.

Mar also highlights some of the hidden restaurants in Los Angeles where the celebrities go to simply enjoy the great food and not be noticed! Mar points out that the celebs love the restaurants in luxury hotels. Think Culina Modern Italian at The Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.

Donato PotoDonato Poto is the ever-gracious, “Mr. Hospitality,” when it comes to seasoned restaurant General Managers on the volatile Los Angeles dining scene. He speaks three languages including Italian, French, and English.

In the mid 80s he was the GM of Piero Selvaggio’s Primi in West Los Angeles. At lunch this was the unofficial commissary for the senior executives, producers, writers, and actors & actresses at the nearby Twentieth Century Fox Studios. If you were anybody this is where you lunched. Talk about pressure…

Today Donato is a partner in both Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood and Providence in Hollywood.

Connie & Ted’s was just selected as a Semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant. His business partner, Chef Michael Cimarusti was also recognized as a semifinalist for The James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: West for Providence.

Donato’s other partner in Connie and Ted’s, Craig Nickoloff, founded the hugely successful Claim Jumper Restaurants.

The Little Nell is an acclaimed five star, five diamond luxury property in Aspen, Colorado. It’s Aspen’s only ski-in/ski out luxury hotel. The destination restaurant there is element 47 restaurant.

Carlton McCoyCarlton McCoy, a Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) graduate, is the greatly admired Wine Director there. He is also a certified Master Sommelier, an incredibly elite group. He’s just 29.

Carlton will share with us his inspiring story of growing up in a rough area of Washington, D.C. (known as the “murder capital”) and finding his way (through hard-work) to the privileged affluence of Aspen.

“Growing up, there wasn’t wine on the table at my house, like in many black households,” Carlton said.” But wine is for everyone. Every time I approach a table or talk about wine, it isn’t coming from a place of snobbery or elitism. It’s about figuring out what people like, finding the right wine to appeal to our guests and ultimately having it enhance their experience at the table with friends and family.”

Organic fruits and vegetables are getting a lot of attention these days. With the fresh concern about GMOs in food, certified organic fruits and vegetables are, by definition, free of GMOs.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceOur resident Professor of Produce, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce, is back with us to discuss what’s new in organics.

Melissa’s is the largest variety supplier of fresh organic produce in the USA.

All the varieties of organic Kale are the hot item in produce right now. Organic Pixie Tangerines (easy to peel and sweet) are leading the charge in fresh citrus.

The COCHON U.S. Tour events serve as a link to preserving heritage breed pigs by promoting breed diversity in communities nationwide. The coast-to-coast tour connects ranchers raising heritage breeds with top chefs known for whole animal utilization.

Jet Tila at Cochon 555The Los Angeles stop of the Cochon 555 tour was Sunday, Feb. 23rd at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. Five Chefs worked with five heritage pigs in an intense competition. Chef Ray Garcia of Fig Restaurant was the defending champion.

Our own Chef Jet Tila was a judge. He also cooked the heritage pig for the After Party (Cochon Late Night Asian Speakeasy.) The heritage pig was a Kune Kune (they like to feed on grass) from Rainbow Ranch Farm.

Jet will report on this year’s “Epic Heritage Pork Event.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Brandon Boudet, Dominick’s and Little Dom’s, Los Angeles.
Segment Three: Executive Chef James Dean Max, James Republic, Long Beach
Segment Four: Mar Yvette, Lifestyle reporter, Fox 11 News & “Good Day L.A.”
Segment Five: Donato Poto, Partner, Connie & Ted’s, West Hollywood, and Providence, Hollywood
Segment Six: Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy, Wine Director, Little Nell, Aspen, CO
Segment Seven: Jet Tila reporting on Cochon 555 Los Angeles

Show 60, February 8, 2013: Caroline Styne, Wine Director and Partner, Lucques, A.O.C., The Tavern, and The Larder

Caroline StyneCaroline Styne had an extensive background in specialty food products, catering, and restaurant management before partnering with Chef Suzanne Goin to open Lucques in 1988. In December of 2002, Goin & Styne opened their second restaurant, A.O.C., where the concept of small plates and fifty wines by the glass was born out of their shared passion for going out and sampling a variety of appetizers and intriguing wines. A.O.C. relocated to the face-lifted former Orso space about a mile West on 3rd Street in late 2012. Styne is the Wine Director for all the restaurants.

Tavern, in Brentwood, followed in May of 2009. It offers fine dining all day along with The Larder which has gourmet prepared foods and packaged goods. There is a new Larder at Burton Way in the luxury 8500 Burton Way Apartments on the border of L.A. and Beverly Hills as well as at LAX.

Styne contributed the helpful wine notes to Suzanne’s The A.O.C. Cookbook.

“And because wine and cheese are at the heart of A.O.C. there are two exciting additions. Caroline Styne presents a specific wine pairing for each dish. Styne explains why each varietal works well with the ingredients and which flavors she’s trying to highlight, and she gives you room to experiment as well – showing how to shape the wine to your own palate. Whether you’re just grabbing a glass to go with dinner or planning an entire menu, her expert notes are a real education in wine.”

Play

February 8: Caroline Styne, San Antonio Winery, Andrew Gruel, Brad A. Johnson, Paul Gstrein, Linda Kissam

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Caroline Styne, Wine Director and Partner, Lucques, A.O.C., The Tavern, and The Larder
Segment Three: Allan Stark, San Antonio Winery, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Andrew Gruel, Executive Chef & Partner, Slapfish
Segment Five: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County Register
Segment Six: Paul Gstrein, Executive Chef, Bayside Restaurant
Segment Seven: Linda Kissam, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila on Manhattan Dining

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Valentine’s Day is next week so get moving 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.

It’s the Winter Olympics in Sochi and a classic Newport Beach restaurant is serving a special Olympics-themed menu for the duration. We’ll go inside the menu with the creative executive chef. Caroline Styne is the partner and Wine Director (with Chef Suzanne Goin) in Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern in West Hollywood and Los Angeles. We’ll talk with her and get insight on how you keep a firmly established and growing restaurant group fresh for the dining public. We’ll also hear the story of Slapfish which started as a modest food truck and now is a growing international empire. Did you know there is an emerging wine region in Northern Baja? You’ll learn about a promising winery in the Guadalupe Valley founded by Italians. Brad A. Johnson, the restaurant critic for The Orange County Register, joins us to talk about letter grades for restaurants. We’ll also have a visit with travel journalist Linda Kissam, who was recently in Spain touring the wineries representing the 50 best Cavas produced there.

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

Caroline StyneCaroline Styne had an extensive background in specialty food products, catering, and restaurant management before partnering with Chef Suzanne Goin to open Lucques in 1988. In December of 2002, Goin & Styne opened their second restaurant, A.O.C., where the concept of small plates and fifty wines by the glass was born out of their shared passion for going out and sampling a variety of appetizers and intriguing wines. A.O.C. relocated to the face-lifted former Orso space about a mile West on 3rd Street in late 2012. Styne is the Wine Director for all the restaurants.

Tavern, in Brentwood, followed in May of 2009. It offers fine dining all day along with The Larder which has gourmet prepared foods and packaged goods. There is a new Larder at Burton Way in the luxury 8500 Burton Way Apartments on the border of L.A. and Beverly Hills as well as at LAX.

Styne contributed the helpful wine notes to Suzanne’s The A.O.C. Cookbook.

“And because wine and cheese are at the heart of A.O.C. there are two exciting additions. Caroline Styne presents a specific wine pairing for each dish. Styne explains why each varietal works well with the ingredients and which flavors she’s trying to highlight, and she gives you room to experiment as well – showing how to shape the wine to your own palate. Whether you’re just grabbing a glass to go with dinner or planning an entire menu, her expert notes are a real education in wine.”

LA Cetto WinesDid you know there is a burgeoning wine industry in Mexico? Finally some of these affordable wines are finding their way into the United States. Shouldn’t a fine Mexican restaurant also offer premium Mexican wines?

One of the premier grape growing areas of Mexico is in the Guadalupe Valley (and adjacent valleys) located in Northern Baja California. It has the rural feel of the flat areas of Sonoma County from 40 years ago.

The predecessor wine interests of L.A. Cetto were established in Baja by Italians in the late 1920s. In 1960 L.A. Cetto acquired their first vineyards in the Guadalupe Valley. Today they have some 2,500 acres in the Valley under the stewardship of the 3rd generation of the Baja-based Cetto Family. They are the largest producer of table wines in Mexico.

L.A’s own San Antonio Winery (dating to 1917) is the distributor of L.A. Cetto wines in Southern California. Allan Stark, a 25-year veteran of San Antonio Winery joins us to tell the L.A. Cetto story and discuss some of their premium reserve wines including Nebbiolo, Chardonnay, and a Brut Sparkling wine.

Andrew GruelFood trucks have proven to be a worthwhile testing ground for innovative food concepts. A great example is Slapfish with a limited service, fast-casual restaurant in Huntington Beach located in a strip center. A new Laguna Beach location will launch later this year.

The partners started with one food truck serving the OC in 2009. By 2011 they had three trucks serving both Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel is with us to fill us in on the Slapfish tale. They have just signed a franchise agreement to open 75 full service restaurants in the Middle East over the next 5 to 7 years.

They like to characterize Slapfish as a modern seafood shack. It’s a real American seafood experience that revolves around fresh, sustainable fish, prepared simply, but delivering big flavors.

Letter Grades at RestaurantsLast month The Orange County Register’s James Beard Award-winning restaurant critic, Brad A. Johnson, was looking to review a Newport Beach restaurant. Instead all of the members of his dining group came down with severe cases of food poisoning. When Brad checked the Health Department records of this restaurant he was surprised to learn that they had received a serious violation on each of their previous inspections since they opened two years ago.

Brad is with us to discuss his campaign for Orange County restaurants to receive Letter Grades as a result of their Health Department inspections as is practice in Los Angeles County and other areas of California.

The Winter Olympics in Sochi is underway. Russia is on peoples’ minds.

Paul Gstrein of Bayside RestaurantPaul Gstrein, the long-time (Austria-born) executive chef at Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach has been inspired by Russia, too. For the duration of the Games Paul will be featuring Russian dishes as appetizers, entrees, and even desserts. How about Beef Short Rib Borscht and Berkshire Pork Tenderloin Stroganoff?

Please note that not every appetizer or entrée on the special Russian menu will be available each night.

Linda KissamThe very well-traveled Linda Kissam is a respected food, wine, and travel writer who is on the go most of the time. She serves as the 1st Vice President of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. She is also an author and the Global Wine & Travel Editor-at-Large for Luxe Beat Magazine.

Late last year Linda was invited to Spain to tour the Penedes wine region, the heart of cava sparkling wine production. Her mission was to taste and evaluate 50 fine cavas over an intensive five day period. Linda shares the highlights of this very special experience with us.

Le BernardinChef Jet has been in New York twice over the last two weeks and has enjoyed some standout dining adventures along the way. Jet shares the details of his truly exquisite meal at the classic Le Bernardin. It’s expertly prepared French seafood from Chef Eric Ripert at a very high level.

Jet also visited Ippudo, a well-known Japanese ramen shop.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Caroline Styne, Wine Director and Partner, Lucques, A.O.C., The Tavern, and The Larder
Segment Three: Allan Stark, San Antonio Winery, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Andrew Gruel, Executive Chef & Partner, Slapfish
Segment Five: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County Register
Segment Six: Paul Gstrein, Executive Chef, Bayside Restaurant
Segment Seven: Linda Kissam, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila on Manhattan Dining

Show 59, February 1, 2013: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

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 and less stress…

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!

Sliders from Cafe RockenwagnerEveryone’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.”

For Valentine’s Day the original Zov’s Bistro in Tustin has a choice of their classic entrees for dinner including an 18 oz. bone-in rib-eye steak.

At The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar in Tustin it’s the “Oh Baby” Valentine’s Day evening celebration. There are two fixed price options at a reasonable $69 and $89 per guest. It’s a four course spectacular from Executive Chef & Partner Yvon Goetz. Creative wine pairing are available from “Sir” William Lewis (Sommelier & Partner.)

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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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