Show 432, July 3, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Happy 4th of July Weekend to all! Dine well and be safe!

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

“Creator of the award-winning website Nibbles and Feasts, Ericka Sanchez delivers a refreshing take on Mexican drinks and popsicles, just in time for Summer in the cookbook, Aguas Frescas & Paletas – Refreshing Mexican Beverages and Frozen Treats, Traditional and Reimagined. Aguas Frescas and Paletas highlights 40 amazing treats that use less sugar than the traditional recipes, and adds unique flavor twists into the mix alongside nostalgia-inducing classics.” “Ranging from familiar flavors like horchata and lime to more unique combinations like Hibiscus & Spiced Orange, Mint Blackberry, and Avocado Coconut the recipes in Aguas Frescas & Paletas use simple and refreshing ingredients that can be found at your local supermarket.” Ericka Sanchez joins us Mango & Chamoy Pop in hand.

“Inspired by the timeless charm of horses, riders, and traditional whitewashed stables, Paso Robles’ The Stables Inn, a celebration of the great outdoors, is a totally renovated 19-room hotel located three short blocks from Paso Robles historic Downtown City Park and town center where shops, restaurants and tasting rooms abound.” “Featuring modern, stylish and unpretentious accommodations with touches of Western chic, The Stables Inn is the perfect spot to call home as you enjoy and explore all that the Paso Robles AVA has to offer.” Hotel Manager Lindsey Sparkman is graciously at our service.

Chef Suzanne Goin and business partner Caroline Styne, owners and operators of The Lucques Group, debuted the long-in-the-works A.O.C. Brentwood early last month. Located at 11648 San Vicente Boulevard in Brentwood, the restaurant features the small plates format that A.O.C. originated with Suzanne’s regularly changing menu inspired by California’s seasons and regional farmers’ markets which helped her win the coveted Outstanding Chef Award from the James Beard Foundation in 2016.” “Caroline, who similarly won Outstanding Restaurateur in 2018, curates the wine program for which A.O.C. is known. Designed for discovery and exploration, the A.O.C. wine list highlights small-production wines from grapes that are either sustainably, organically or biodynamically grown and features a large selection available by the glass and carafe.” Caroline Styne uncorks the new Brentwood A.O.C. for us.

“The Hollywood Bowl’s signature culinary program is again brought to life by James Beard Award -Winning Chef Suzanne Goin and James Beard Award-Winning Restauranteur Caroline Styne (of celebrated local restaurants A.O.C., The Larder Baking Co. and Lucques Catering.) All of The Hollywood Bowl’s dining options have been updated to ensure the safety of all guests and employees. The employees are health screened before starting work, personal protective equipment is worn, sanitation measures have been amplified, and social distancing is required.” Chef Suzanne Goin takes a break from her busy kitchens to join us with an overview of all things culinary at The Hollywood Bowl for the 2021 season which reopens to the public tonight.

One of our most reliable sources of accurate restaurant news in fabulous Las Vegas is Al Mancini, who is the former staff writer for The Las Vegas Review-Journal covering food, restaurants and other aspects of entertainment. After four and one-half years with the Review-Journal Al has now embarked on more personal entrepreneurial ventures covering the dynamic Vegas dining and beverage scene without filters. He has just launched the weekly podcast, Food and Loathing with Jason Harris. We’ll hear about the first two episodes (including the opening of the massive Resorts World on The Strip) and how the Vegas dining scene is gradually recovering from the pandemic.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Chef Andrew now gives us his insider’s perspective on how the restaurant business is bouncing back from the pandemic and what’s of current concern. He also reports on the progress of his new, ambitious Save the Brave Burger” fundraiser to benefit Veterans with PTS.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 432, July 3, 2021: Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group, A.O.C. Brentwood

Caroline Styne of Lucques Restaurant Group

Chef Suzanne Goin and business partner Caroline Styne, owners and operators of The Lucques Group, debuted the long-in-the-works A.O.C. Brentwood early last month. Located at 11648 San Vicente Boulevard in Brentwood, the restaurant features the small plates format that A.O.C. originated with Suzanne’s regularly changing menu inspired by California’s seasons and regional farmers’ markets which helped her win the coveted Outstanding Chef Award from the James Beard Foundation in 2016.”

“Caroline, who similarly won Outstanding Restaurateur in 2018, curates the wine program for which A.O.C. is known. Designed for discovery and exploration, the A.O.C. wine list highlights small-production wines from grapes that are either sustainably, organically or biodynamically grown and features a large selection available by the glass and carafe. The beverage program features local beer producers and a seasonal selection of market-driven cocktails.

“The decor encompasses three interior dining spaces: the main bar room with cozy velvet booths and banquettes, a long rough-hewn communal table and a spectacular charcoal wood back bar with mirror detail. A second dining room in gorgeous hues of green runs along the Darlington Avenue side of the building. And with an eye to the post-Covid future, there is an intimate private dining room perfect for gatherings of up to 40 guests. The rooms are vibrant and cozy with beautifully textured fabrics, lively yet sophisticated wallpapers and charming Nickey-Kehoe-designed lighting throughout.”

“We are incredibly excited about this as we have seen such positive response to A.O.C. at our Third Street location and feel that there is definitely a need for our small plates dining format on the Westside,” states Caroline Styne. “After the devastation and tragedy of the past year, we are beyond thrilled to reopen this restaurant with a new concept and lively, forward-looking energy. We feel so fortunate to have this moment to build on the positivity of the city and country as it comes back to life. And, more than anything, we can’t wait to get our staff back to work!”

“A.O.C. in Brentwood is now serving dinner Tuesday through Sunday from 5:00 p.m., expanding to lunch, weekend brunch and breakfast in the coming weeks with takeout and delivery options as well.”

Play

July 3: Ericka Sanchez, The Stables Inn, Caroline Styne, Suzanne Goin, Al Mancini

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Ericka Sanchez with Aguas Frescas & Paletas
Segment Three: Lindsey Sparkman, Hotel Manager, Stables Inn, Paso Robles, CA
Segment Four: Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group, A.O.C. Brentwood
Segment Five: Chef Suzanne Goin, The Lucques Group, Hollywood Bowl 2021 Part One
Segment Six: Chef Suzanne Goin, The Lucques Group, Hollywood Bowl 2021 Part Two
Segment Seven: Al Mancini, Food & Entertainment Journalist, “Food and Loathing” Podcast, Las Vegas
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Happy 4th of July Weekend to all!

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

“Creator of the award-winning website Nibbles and Feasts, Ericka Sanchez delivers a refreshing take on Mexican drinks and popsicles, just in time for Summer in the cookbook, Aguas Frescas & Paletas – Refreshing Mexican Beverages and Frozen Treats, Traditional and Reimagined. Aguas Frescas and Paletas highlights 40 amazing treats that use less sugar than the traditional recipes, and adds unique flavor twists into the mix alongside nostalgia-inducing classics.” “Ranging from familiar flavors like horchata and lime to more unique combinations like Hibiscus & Spiced Orange, Mint Blackberry, and Avocado Coconut the recipes in Aguas Frescas & Paletas use simple and refreshing ingredients that can be found at your local supermarket.” Ericka Sanchez joins us Mango & Chamoy Pop in hand.

“Inspired by the timeless charm of horses, riders, and traditional whitewashed stables, Paso Robles’ The Stables Inn, a celebration of the great outdoors, is a totally renovated 19-room hotel located three short blocks from Paso Robles historic Downtown City Park and town center where shops, restaurants and tasting rooms abound.” “Featuring modern, stylish and unpretentious accommodations with touches of Western chic, The Stables Inn is the perfect spot to call home as you enjoy and explore all that the Paso Robles AVA has to offer.” Hotel Manager Lindsey Sparkman is graciously at our service.

“Chef Suzanne Goin and business partner Caroline Styne, owners and operators of The Lucques Group, debuted the long-in-the-works A.O.C. Brentwood early last month. Located at 11648 San Vicente Boulevard in Brentwood, the restaurant features the small plates format that A.O.C. originated with Suzanne’s regularly changing menu inspired by California’s seasons and regional farmers’ markets which helped her win the coveted Outstanding Chef Award from the James Beard Foundation in 2016.” “Caroline, who similarly won Outstanding Restaurateur in 2018, curates the wine program for which A.O.C. is known. Designed for discovery and exploration, the A.O.C. wine list highlights small-production wines from grapes that are either sustainably, organically or biodynamically grown and features a large selection available by the glass and carafe. Caroline Styne uncorks the new Brentwood A.O.C. for us.

The Hollywood Bowl’s signature culinary program is again brought to life by James Beard Award-Winning Chef Suzanne Goin and James Beard Award-Winning Restauranteur Caroline Styne (of celebrated local restaurants A.O.C., The Larder Baking Co. and Lucques Catering.) All of The Hollywood Bowl’s dining options have been updated to ensure the safety of all guests and employees. The employees are health screened before starting work, personal protective equipment is worn, sanitation measures have been amplified, and social distancing is required. Chef Suzanne Goin takes a break from her busy kitchens to join us with an overview of all things culinary at The Hollywood Bowl for the 2021 season.

One of our most reliable sources of accurate restaurant news in fabulous Las Vegas is Al Mancini, who is the former staff writer for The Las Vegas Review-Journal covering food, restaurants and other aspects of entertainment. After four and one-half years with the Review-Journal Al has now embarked on more personal entrepreneurial ventures covering the dynamic Vegas dining and beverage scene without filters. He has just launched the weekly podcast, “Food and Loathing” with Jason Harris. We’ll hear about the first two episodes (including the opening of the massive Resorts World on The Strip) and how the Vegas dining scene is recovering from the pandemic.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Chef Andrew gives us his insider’s perspective on how the restaurant business is bouncing back from the pandemic. He also reports on the progress of his new, ambitious “Save the Brave Burger” fundraiser to benefit Veterans with PTS.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Ericka Sanchez of Nibbles and Feasts

“Creator of the award-winning website Nibbles and Feasts, Ericka Sanchez delivers a refreshing take on Mexican drinks and popsicles, just in time for Summer in her new cookbook, Aguas Frescas & Paletas – Refreshing Mexican Beverages and Frozen Treats, Traditional and Reimagined. Aguas Frescas and Paletas highlights 40 amazing treats that use less sugar than the traditional recipes, and adds unique flavor twists into the mix alongside nostalgia-inducing classics.”

“Ranging from familiar flavors like horchata and lime to more unique combinations like Hibiscus & Spiced Orange, Mint Blackberry, and Avocado Coconut the recipes in Aguas Frescas & Paletas use refreshing, simple ingredients that can be found at your local supermarket.”

“Ericka Sanchez is a recipe developer, food stylist, and the creator of the award-winning culinary website nibblesandfeasts.com. Ericka’s cooking style is inspired by her life as a bicultural Latina living in California and her cherished memories in the kitchen with her grandmother and mother in Mexico. Ericka was born in Torreón Coahuila, Mexico, and immigrated with her family to El Paso, Texas, at eight years old.”

Ericka Sanchez joins us Mango & Chamoy Pop in hand.

Lindsay Starkman of the Stables Inn

“Inspired by the timeless charm of horses, riders, and traditional whitewashed stables, Paso Robles’ The Stables Inn, a celebration of the great outdoors, is a totally renovated 19-room hotel located three short blocks from Paso Robles historic Downtown City Park and town center where shops, restaurants and tasting rooms abound.”

“Featuring modern, stylish and unpretentious accommodations with touches of Western chic, The Stables Inn is the perfect spot to call home as you enjoy and explore all that the Paso Robles AVA has to offer.”

Hotel Manager Lindsey Sparkman is graciously at our service.

Caroline Styne of Lucques Restaurant Group

Chef Suzanne Goin and business partner Caroline Styne, owners and operators of The Lucques Group, debuted the long-in-the-works A.O.C. Brentwood early last month. Located at 11648 San Vicente Boulevard in Brentwood, the restaurant features the small plates format that A.O.C. originated with Suzanne’s regularly changing menu inspired by California’s seasons and regional farmers’ markets which helped her win the coveted Outstanding Chef Award from the James Beard Foundation in 2016.”

“Caroline, who similarly won Outstanding Restaurateur in 2018, curates the wine program for which A.O.C. is known. Designed for discovery and exploration, the A.O.C. wine list highlights small-production wines from grapes that are either sustainably, organically or biodynamically grown and features a large selection available by the glass and carafe. The beverage program features local beer producers and a seasonal selection of market-driven cocktails.

“The decor encompasses three interior dining spaces: the main bar room with cozy velvet booths and banquettes, a long rough-hewn communal table and a spectacular charcoal wood back bar with mirror detail. A second dining room in gorgeous hues of green runs along the Darlington Avenue side of the building. And with an eye to the post-Covid future, there is an intimate private dining room perfect for gatherings of up to 40 guests. The rooms are vibrant and cozy with beautifully textured fabrics, lively yet sophisticated wallpapers and charming Nickey-Kehoe-designed lighting throughout.”

“We are incredibly excited about this as we have seen such positive response to A.O.C. at our Third Street location and feel that there is definitely a need for our small plates dining format on the Westside,” states Caroline Styne. “After the devastation and tragedy of the past year, we are beyond thrilled to reopen this restaurant with a new concept and lively, forward-looking energy. We feel so fortunate to have this moment to build on the positivity of the city and country as it comes back to life. And, more than anything, we can’t wait to get our staff back to work!”

“A.O.C. in Brentwood is now serving dinner Tuesday through Sunday from 5:00 p.m., expanding to lunch, weekend brunch and breakfast in the coming weeks with takeout and delivery options as well.”

Suzanne Goin of the LLucques Group

“The Hollywood Bowl’s signature culinary program is again brought to life by James Beard Award-Winning Chef Suzanne Goin and James Beard Award-Winning Restauranteur Caroline Styne (of celebrated local restaurants A.O.C., The Larder Baking Co. and Lucques Catering.) All of The Hollywood Bowl’s dining options have been updated to ensure the safety of all guests and employees. The employees are health screened before starting work, personal protective equipment is worn, sanitation measures have been amplified, and social distancing is required.”

“Supper in Your Seats” is where Bowl guests order ahead for complete, 3-course meals from Suzanne Goin’s summer supper menus and Caroline Styne’s extensive wine list, served right at the guest’s box seats.

“Let the Hollywood Bowl pack your picnic for you! Pre-order to enjoy Chef Suzanne’s picnic-perfect menus featuring delicious options for anyone’s palette. Pick up pre-ordered Picnic Boxes in the Plaza Marketplace then enjoy at one of the Bowl’s beautiful picnic areas or at your seats.”

The Hollywood Bowl’s on-site marketplaces feature a wide selection of options to build the perfect picnic, including beer and wine. Marketplace entrances are monitored to allow for a safe experience inside.

“Inspired by Chef Suzanne’s and Caroline’s local A.O.C restaurants. Ann’s Wine Bar features a wide selection of Caroline Styne’s favorite new- and old-world wines to be explored by adventurous and less experienced wine drinkers alike, all paired with Suzanne Goin’s signature small-plates menu. Guests are encouraged to make a reservation, as walk-in space is very limited.”

Lucques at the Circle is the exclusive, fine-dining experience for subscribers of the Pool Circle, with a seasonal made-to-order menu and exceptional wine list styled from Suzanne Goin’s and Caroline Styne’s award-winning restaurant, Lucques in West Hollywood (now closed.)”

Chef Suzanne Goin takes a break from her busy kitchens to join us with an overview of all things culinary at The Hollywood Bowl for the 2021 season.

Al Mancini of the Las Vegas Review Journal

One of our most reliable sources of accurate restaurant news in fabulous Las Vegas is Al Mancini, who is the former staff writer for The Las Vegas Review-Journal covering food, restaurants and other aspects of entertainment. After four and one-half years with the Review-Journal Al has now embarked on more personal entrepreneurial ventures covering (without filters) the dynamic Vegas dining and beverage scene. He has just launched the weekly podcast, Food and Loathing with Jason Harris. We’ll hear about the first two episodes (including the opening of the massive Resorts World on The Strip) and how the Vegas dining scene is recovering from the pandemic.

Al has been working the Vegas food scene for 20 years. He was one of the creators of the popular, and widely referenced, Eating Las Vegas restaurant guidebook series. Al joins us with his insider’s Las Vegas update.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and Casino

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern.

Chef Andrew gives us his insider’s perspective on how the restaurant business is bouncing back from the pandemic. What will change?

He also reports on the progress of his new ambitious Save the Brave Burger” fundraiser to benefit Veterans with PTS.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Ericka Sanchez with Aguas Frescas & Paletas
Segment Three: Lindsey Sparkman, Hotel Manager, Stables Inn, Paso Robles, CA
Segment Four: Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group, A.O.C. Brentwood
Segment Five: Chef Suzanne Goin, The Lucques Group, Hollywood Bowl 2021 Part One
Segment Six: Chef Suzanne Goin, The Lucques Group, Hollywood Bowl 2021 Part Two
Segment Seven: Al Mancini, Food & Entertainment Journalist, “Food and Loathing” Podcast, Las Vegas
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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.

Play

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.”

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