Show 294, October 20, 2018: Food Entrepreneur Lawrence Longo, Judge for “Battle of the Burgers”

Lawrence Longo at Battle of the BurgersOne of the esteemed members of the judging panel for Battle of the Burgers is food entrepreneur Lawrence Longo. He’s on the enviable mission to eat a burger each and every day in 2018.

He’s also the architect of the Off The Menu app. Off The Menu discovers and curates secret menu items from restaurants, bars and cafes across North America. Their worthy mandate is to: “Make Every Meal More Exciting.”

Lawrence or “Bigshot” as people refer to him around the food world, created the Secret Burger Showdown for the LA Times Food Bowl this year and currently has a cookbook and television show in the works. He can be seen as the host of the “Bigshot Burger Review Show” on Instagram Television (@BIGSHOT) where he has eaten and reviewed over 230 burgers this year.

Lawrence keeps in shape thanks to celebrity fitness trainer (and wife) Astrid Swan.

We’ll meet burger devotee and “Battle of the Burgers” judge Lawrence Longo.

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Show 293, October 6, 2018: 2nd Annual “Battle of the Burgers,” Annette Brown, Director of Public Relations, Visit Temecula Valley

Battle of the BurgersVisit Temecula Valley will hold its 2nd Annual Battle of the Burgers on Saturday, October 20, 2018 in conjunction with Pechanga Resort Casino and Temecula Valley Unified School District. Some 20 restaurants are expected to compete for the championship title at Pechanga Resort Casino. New to the event, is a “Loaded Fries” competition that will include thirteen Pechanga Resort Casino executive chefs partnering with third year Career Technical Education (CTE) students at Temecula Valley High School. The students will team up with the chefs to create their Loaded Fries recipes and will be the executive chefs for the day, while Pechanga chefs will be their sous chefs.

Temecula Valley Unified School District CTE students will volunteer for the event, with the third-year students competing in the cooking challenge. The school is selling tickets to the event for $10 each as a fundraiser. All the proceeds will go directly to purchase food handler cards for their culinary students.

Attendees will be able to try several burgers from participating restaurants, as well as loaded fries from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The winners will be announced after 3:00 p.m. at the event, and posted online right here.

Visit Temecula Valley’s Director of Public Relations, Annette Brown, serves up all the juicy details.

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Show 272, May 5, 2018: Chef Joe Isidori, Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer, Las Vegas

Joe IsidoriA new quality burger concept (originating in New York in 2015) Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer is on its way to an eagerly anticipated West Coast launch at Downtown Disney. Meanwhile you can experience Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer at The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas. Think perfectly outrageous shakes, too.

They are also part of Vegas Uncork’d festivities on Saturday evening, May 12th with Burgers & Beats at Black Tap with Chef / Owner Joe Isidori.

“Kick it late night at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer for a night of burgers, beats, and of course, shakes on Saturday evening, May 12th., Join Chef/Owner Joe Isidori and chow down on Black Tap’s award-winning craft burgers, and for one-time-only, create your very own CrazyShake™ milkshake. With a curated list of specialty “Vegas Uncork’d” ingredients, guests can let their imagination and taste buds go wild with a custom shake. For those ready to show their talents, there’ll be a lip-sync battle to wow the crowds with your favorite 80s pop and 90s hip hop, including special prizes! Attendees will sample mouthwatering snacks, burgers, and signature cocktails with a live DJ spinning tunes to keep the vibes pumping.”

We’ll meet Founder & Chef Joe Isidori, a 3rd generation chef.

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Hamburgers

What makes for a great burger?

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Show 76, June 14, 2014: Executive Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Culver City, CA

Ben Ford of Ford's Filling StationYou’ve seen Chef Ben Ford on Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods America” on Travel Channel and are probably familiar with his landmark Culver City Gastropub, Ford’s Filling Station. His new book is Taming The Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide To Adventurous Cooking.

The mantra of the book is: “Cook Big. Play with Fire. Get your Hands Dirty.”

“Chef Ben Ford is known for wowing crowds with his handcrafted feasts of enormous proportions – a whole pig roast, paella for eighty, burgers for the block. Now, in Taming The Feast (Atria Books), Ford divulges his secrets for nine jaw-dropping feasts for the adventurous home cook and DIY enthusiasts in this complete guide to outdoor grilling, smoking, and roasting. It even includes creative recipes to make use of the leftovers you’re sure to have.”

“From mouthwatering Texas-style barbecue to Wood-Fired Paella, these entertaining blueprints can be used to throw a party for the whole neighborhood or an intimate dinner for four. A culinary MacGyver, Ford also provides unique complete do-it-yourself primers for making simple custom outdoor cookers that coax the ultimate flavor out of salmon, pig, rabbit, burgers, bratwurst, turkey, and lamb. Taming The Feast includes easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions, drawings, and timelines for constructing a baking barrel, cinder-block oven, smoking shed, and roasting box in your own backyard.”

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June 14: Ben Ford, Kuniko Yagi, Barbara Fairchild, Providence 9th anniversary, Belle Chevre

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer Andy preview the show
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, Restaurant & Travel Editor, grapecollective.com
Segment Three: Donato Poto, co-owner, Providence, Hollywood, CA
Segment Four: Tasia Malakasis, Proprietress & Cheesemaker – Belle Chevre, Goat Cheese from Alabama
Segment Five: Executive Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Culver City, CA Part One
Segment Six: Executive Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Culver City, CA Part Two
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Kuniko Yagi, Hinoki & The Bird, Century City
Segment Eight: Guest Host Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, The Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Orange County Magazine

Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer Andy preview the show.

Barbara Fairchild, the well-traveled Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com, is back with us to share some inspired and practical travel tips. Also a profile of a big deal celebrity chef restaurant in London.

It’s the 9th Anniversary of Chef Michael Cimarusti’s and Donato Poto’s Providence in Hollywood. The Los Angeles Times’ restaurant critic, Jonathan Gold, recently named them the Number 1 establishment in his annual listing of the “101 Best Restaurants – 2014.”

One of the foremost goat cheeses available in the United States, Belle Chevre, is made in a tiny town located in northern Alabama. It’s quite a success story!

You’ve seen Chef Ben Ford on Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods America” on Travel Channel and are probably familiar with his landmark Culver City Gastropub, Ford’s Filling Station. His new book is Taming The Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide To Adventurous Cooking.

Hinoki & The Bird, hidden in a luxury high rise condo tower in Century City, features pan-Asian cooking. We’ll meet executive chef Kuniko Yagi.

Guest Host Kedric Francis has been doing some traveling up the Central Coast. Some inspired dining and lodging tips are on the way.

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

Barbara FairchildBarbara Fairchild, the well-traveled Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com, is back with us to share some inspired and practical travel tips. Also a mini-profile of dining at Gordon Ramsay in London.

Food journalist Barbara Fairchild is an editor, writer, speaker and sought-after consultant. She was the long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine before the publication relocated to New York.

Providence RestaurantCelebrate nine years of Providence

“June marks our ninth anniversary at Providence and we are on…well…Cloud 9! We would like to take this opportunity to thank you, our loyal guests, for your enduring support. “We feel so fortunate to be part of the ever-evolving Los Angeles food scene. At times, I look back and can’t believe it’s been nearly a decade. It feels like we just opened yesterday!”, says consummate host and co-owner of Providence, Donato Poto. In honor of this auspicious occasion, Providence is providing some incentive for you to celebrate along with us. Beginning on our May 28th reopening, we are offering our four-course tasting menu for $80 a person, during the entire month of June. We look forward to celebrating with you!”

The Los Angeles Times‘ restaurant critic, Jonathan Gold, recently ranked Providence as the Number One Restaurant in the annual Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants 2014.

Providence was closed last month for about two weeks for a freshening of the dining rooms. The patio located off the main dining room was enclosed.

Tasia MalakasisAmerica’ most-awarded goat cheese, Belle Chevre, is lovingly made in small batches in the tiny hamlet of Elkmont, Alabama. It’s all hand-work.

Meet cheesemaker and proprietress, Tasia Malakasis

There is even an award-winning Belle Chevre cheesecake !

Goats’ milk is the most consumed milk on the planet.

Ben Ford of Ford's Filling StationYou’ve seen Chef Ben Ford on Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods America” on Travel Channel and are probably familiar with his landmark Culver City Gastropub, Ford’s Filling Station. His new book is Taming The Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide To Adventurous Cooking.

The mantra of the book is: “Cook Big. Play with Fire. Get your Hands Dirty.”
“Chef Ben Ford is known for wowing crowds with his handcrafted feasts of enormous proportions – a whole pig roast, paella for eighty, burgers for the block. Now, in Taming The Feast (Atria Books), Ford divulges his secrets for nine jaw-dropping feasts for the adventurous home cook and DIY enthusiasts in this complete guide to outdoor grilling, smoking, and roasting. It even includes creative recipes to make use of the leftovers you’re sure to have.”

“From mouthwatering Texas-style barbecue to Wood-Fired Paella, these entertaining blueprints can be used to throw a party for the whole neighborhood or an intimate dinner for four. A culinary MacGyver, Ford also provides unique complete do-it-yourself primers for making simple custom outdoor cookers that coax the ultimate flavor out of salmon, pig, rabbit, burgers, bratwurst, turkey, and lamb. Taming The Feast includes easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions, drawings, and timelines for constructing a baking barrel, cinder-block oven, smoking shed, and roasting box in your own backyard.”

Kuniko Yagi of Hinoki and the BirdHinoki & the Bird is an imaginative dining concept that pushes modern California cooking to vibrant new bounds. Taking cues from travels through the Silk Road, the restaurant serves as a colorful kaleidoscope where bright flavors, a healthy sensibility, and technique harmoniously collide. The Milo Garcia-designed indoor/outdoor space is housed on the ground floor of Related Companies’ luxury condominium tower, The Century.”

The Executive Chef of Hinoki & the Bird is Kuniko Yagi. Previously she was the sous chef at Sona and Executive Chef of Comme Ca in West Hollywood. She had no formal culinary training but the artistic drive was always with her.

In preparation for the opening of Hinoki & the Bird she traveled and conducted research in many of Japan’s top-rated Michelin–starred restaurants.

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineOur always debonair man about Orange County, Kedric Francis, did a little recent vacation swing down the Central Coast. Kedric spotlights the notable food and accommodations. Also some breaking OC restaurant news…

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer Andy preview the show
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, Restaurant & Travel Editor, grapecollective.com
Segment Three: Donato Poto, co-owner, Providence, Hollywood, CA
Segment Four: Tasia Malakasis, Proprietress & Cheesemaker – Belle Chevre, Goat Cheese from Alabama
Segment Five: Executive Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Culver City, CA Part One
Segment Six: Executive Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Culver City, CA Part Two
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Kuniko Yagi, Hinoki & The Bird, Century City
Segment Eight: Guest Host Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, The Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Orange County Magazine

Show 32, June 22, 2013: On the Road with Chef Jet and Producer Andy

Chef Jet has really rolled up the airline miles this works. Looks like 3,000 plus.

Chef jet Tila and Alton BrownHe was a key part of the annual college and university dining conference at UMass in Amherst, Massachusetts this week. This brings together the management teams and chefs from prominent universities across the country to discuss trends. Harvard and Cornell University were there for starters. Jet has been a conference participant for a long time.

University students are the restaurant diners of tomorrow and are increasing in sophistication about food and cooking. Colleges and Universities serve from 1,000 to 20,000 or more meals a day when school is in session. Pizza and burgers on the menu don’t cut it anymore!

Jet brought Food Network’s Chef Robert Irvine to the gathering. He was part of a “Chopped”-style competition there that Jet was the host for. It was 16 prominent chefs in four rounds of competition.

When Jet got back to Los Angeles he was a solo celebrity chef judge for an episode of a smart, new Food Network competition series hosted by Alton Brown that is currently in production. More to come on this…

A Taste of Greece in IrvineProducer Andy reported on “A Taste of Greece” which is this weekend. It’s the 35th Annual Greek Festival produced by St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church on Alton Parkway in Irvine. It’s Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday. Over 11,000 guests are expected this year. Info phone is : 949.733.3102

Chef Cathy Palvos of the popular Lucca (Italian-fare) in Irvine is very involved in the Festival.

It’s three days of delicious Greek food, Greek wine and beer, cooking demonstrations, Greek folk dancing lesions, games, and carnival rides. You’ll have a hard time finding a better variety of exquisite Greek pastries baked by the church’s capable philanthropic group. Adult admission is a modest $3.

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Show 25, April 13, 2013: George Motz, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, author, journalist and burger expert

George MotzGeorge’s (a Brooklyn resident) burger epiphany started in Los Angeles some ten years ago at The Apple Pan so he’s tops in our book right from the start. He obviously has good taste.

His new series for Travel Channel, “Burger Land” debuts on Monday evening, April 15th. Appropriately enough the first city profiled is Los Angeles. What’s great about the series is that it’s as much about the stories of the owners of these iconic restaurants as it is about the incredible burgers. If we take Los Angeles as an example you’re going to hear fun stories that have previously been pretty much been untold.

Hamburger America” was George’s second documentary film which was completed in Spring of 2005. The success of that led to the publication of the state-by-state guidebook, Hamburger America. A revised edition of Hamburger America is now in print. It belongs in every burger lovers’ library.

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Show 14, January 26, 2013: Al Mancini, restaurant critic for CityLife (Las Vegas)

Eating Las Vegas the 50 Essential RestaurantsAl is part of an unlikely group of three local restaurant critics who dominate the Las Vegas restaurant review scene. The other two members of this exclusive trio are the scholarly Max Jacobson who reviews for Vegas Seven and John Curtas, esq., a practicing attorney.

Over three years ago Al Mancini came up with the idea of penning the definitive guidebook to the 50 essential restaurants in Las Vegas. The thought was that it would be updated annually. Al brought in fellow critics Max and John to add diversity to the selection process and sold the idea to Huntington Press in Las Vegas.

For a restaurant to make it into the “50 essential” all three critics must agree. This is where the fun starts because the three seldom agree on anything! One of the highlights of the book is the list in the back of restaurants that didn’t make it because of a veto. You have the explanation from the nominator about why it was included and then the thumbs down from the critic who disagreed.

Also in the book is a useful section on where to get specific food items. For instance there are helpful listings for beer, buffets, burgers, pizza, steakhouses, Sunday Brunch, and sushi.

Eating Las Vegas : The 50 Essential Restaurants is now in its 3rd Edition.  It’s a value @ $12.95.

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