Show 384, August 1, 2020: Farm Direct LA with Chef / Founders Scott Chacon and Tad Weyland

Tad Weyland and Scott Chacon of Farm Direct LALocal chefs Scott Chacon and Tad Weyland (celebrity Chef Jet Tila’s Chef de Cuisine) have joined culinary forces to create a prix fixe, 5-course, fine-dining dinner meal delivery service, Farm Direct LA. Delivery on Tuesdays. The weekly changing menu is priced at $95 and serves two guests.

Last week’s 5-course menu included Wild Line Caught Grilled Halibut with Heirloom Tomato Jam, Patty Pan Squash, and Crispy Weiser Potatoes ; Creamed Sweet Corn with Tarragon, Leek and Shallot Confit ; Market Lettuces and Grilled Artichoke with Garlic Aioli, Mint Pistou and Croutons ; Charred Cabbage with Seasonal Pepper Relish and Sherry-Juniper Gastrique ; and Weiser Melon Sorbet & Early Season Grapes.

In addition to the weekly fixed price meal there are a la carte “Provisions” on the extras menu including Smoked Paprika Weiser Potato Chips with Charred Scallion Dip.

The chef-created meals are attentively prepared and safely packaged in a permitted and inspected DTLA restaurant kitchen. Delivery is complimentary within a 10-mile radius of DTLA.

We’ll meet enterprising Chefs Scott Chacon and Tad Wetland.


Show 352, December 21, 2019: Journalist Al Mancini, Staff Writer, Las Vegas Review-Journal Part One

Al Mancini of the Las Vegas Review JournalOne of our most reliable sources of restaurant news in fabulous Las Vegas is Al Mancini, who is a staff writer for The Las Vegas Review Journal covering food, restaurants and other aspects of entertainment. Al has been working the Vegas food scene since 2003. He was one of the creators of the popular, and widely referenced, Eating Las Vegas restaurant guide series.

Al joins us with an insider’s report on best of the new restaurant openings in Las Vegas. We’ll cover The Strip as well as Downtown Las Vegas.

Al updates us on the progress of the upcoming (and long in the works) Slanted Door (Charles Phan) at the Forum Shops with Lanny Chin now apparently in place as Chef de Cuisine.


Show 349, November 30, 2019: Chef Jeffrey Hayashi, Head Chef, Team USA at 2021 Bocuse d’Or Culinary Competition

Jeffrey Hayashi is the head chef for the 2021 Bocuse D'OrMent’or BKB foundation, based in New York, sponsors, guides and mentors Team USA which competes biennially (every 2 years) in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or international culinary competition held in Lyon, France. On November 11th at the Culinary Institute of America’s Copia campus in the Napa Valley three noteworthy finalist teams of a Head Chef & Commis competed to head Team USA 2021. Chef Jeffrey Hayashi (most recently the Chef de Cuisine at Honolulu’s Senia Restaurant) prevailed and we’ll meet him.

“The three finalist Team USA 2021 teams competed over a five hour and 35 – minute period, following the rigorous format of the actual Bocuse d’Or competition. The platter theme was Whole Chicken, from Palisades Ranch in California, and the plated theme was Ratatouille.”

“Chef Jeffery Hayashi and Commis William Barrera will now begin the rigorous journey to the Bocuse d’Or as Team USA 2021, relocating closer to the training facility at Copia in Napa, California and dedicating the next fourteen months to prepare for the 2021 competition. During this crucial training period, Ment’or will support Team USA, with the Foundation’s esteemed Chef Council continuing to play an invaluable role in mentoring them.”

“I feel very fortunate for this once in a lifetime opportunity,” shares Chef Hayashi, who previously competed for Team USA in 2019. “Any one of the competing chefs could have won. To now officially be on the road to Lyon for Bocuse d’Or is surreal, and I’m incredibly thankful for all the support.”

“Hayashi, originally from Oahu, moved to Arizona at age four and spent the bulk of his upbringing on the mainland, though visited his grandparents in Hawaii throughout his childhood. While culinary arts were not his passion in his formative years, he spent his time focused on building, art, and creating things with his hands, which led him to study architecture at Arizona State University. After realizing that architecture wasn’t his path, Hayashi serendipitously was introduced to French-Australian Chef Philippe Padovani, who had made a name for himself in Hawaii. Philippe, who had learned cooking by fire in the kitchen, encouraged Hayashi to come and work for him as an apprentice, as Padovani opened his namesake, Padovani Grill. Hayashi, who had never worked in a kitchen before but liked hand crafts, worked for Padovani as an apprentice for a year and a half before moving to Vintage Cave as a commis under Chef Chris Kajioka.

“Kajioka then convinced Hayashi to join him on the team for Chef Mourad Lahlou’s new restaurant in San Francisco, Mourad, in 2014. Hayashi worked as Executive Sous Chef at Mourad for four years, at which time the restaurant earned one Michelin star, among other awards and accolades for its Moroccan fine dining cuisine. In 2018, Hayashi headed back to Hawaii to work at Senia, the elevated Hawaiian restaurant opened in 2016 by both Kajioka and Chef Anthony Rush, where Hayashi served as the Chef de Cuisine.”


Show 323, May 11, 2019: Executive Chef / Proprietor Angelo Auriana and Proprietor Matteo Ferdinandi, The Factory Kitchen, Las Vegas Part One

Chef Angelo AurianaThe Factory Kitchen, recently launched at The Venetian Resort, is the outcome of a long-standing friendship between Restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi and Chef Angelo Auriana. Ferdinandi and Auriana share the vision of imparting their Italian roots and memories through food and hospitality. The original trattoria, serving traditional Italian recipes, opened its doors on Oct. 24, 2013, in The Arts District, Downtown Los Angeles.

The Factory Kitchen takes its name from the street it’s located on and the former factory building complex that hosts it, but the restaurant’s soul is purely Italian.

The approachable menu at The Factory Kitchen highlights the simplicity of traditional local recipes. These recipes have been passed down from generation to generation within Italian families.

“It’s Italian cuisine at its finest run by Italians.”

Matteo, Chef Angelo, and Las Vegas Chef de Cuisine Eduardo Perez are our guests.


Show 323, May 11, 2019: Brian Kurata, General Manager, Lagasse’s Stadium, Las Vegas

Brian Kurata at Lagasse's StadiumFor the 4rd time in the show’s history we’re happily broadcasting from Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo. It’s a sport’s fan’s and foodies’ paradise. Lagasse’s Stadium is the ultimate sports bar: a restaurant with stadium-seating featuring elevated game-time classics and gourmet options from Emeril Lagasse. Executing Chef Emeril’s culinary vision in the kitchen on a daily basis is long-time Chef de Cuisine, Scott Pajak.

Watch the most exciting games and biggest sporting events at Lagasse’s Stadium, the ultimate ages 21 and over sports bar and sports book in Las Vegas.

“Named “Best Sports Bar in Las Vegas” by Las Vegas Golf & Leisure, Lagasse’s Stadium combines Emeril Lagasse’s signature cuisine and kicked-up game day eats with more than 100 HD TVs including a 9 foot x 16 foot main TV, luxury boxes, plush stadium-style seating, billiard tables, and an outdoor patio just steps from the Strip.”

“Guests can listen to any game showing via the free hearTV app on their smartphone. Now, you’ll never have to choose between great food and the big game.”

Named “Best Sports Lounge” by Vegas Seven, “Best Sports Bar” by Las Vegas Review-Journal and one of the “Top Sports Bars in Las Vegas” by Yahoo! Sports and one of the “10 Best Sports Bars Across the USA” by USA Today.

Brian Kurata, the able General Manager since 2013, is our insightful Coach.


Show 273, May 12, 2018: Josh Crain, Chef de Cuisine, Bouchon Las Vegas

Josh CrainAs part of the first evening of Vegas Uncork’d The Chefs of Thomas Keller Present a French Soiree”. It sold out right away. The two lead chefs are Chef de Cuisine Josh Crain of Bouchon Las Vegas and Chef de Cuisine Matt Alba of Ad Hoc and Addendum in Yountville, CA. Dessert was a K+M “Almond Joy” with a K+M Nicaragua dark chocolate mousse from Bouchon’s Pastry Chef Scott Wheatfill. Chef Josh joins us.

“Tucked away in the Venezia Tower sits Bouchon by Thomas Keller, a chef whose French cuisine has won almost every award possible: Michelin Stars, James Beard Foundation, and what Anthony Bourdain called “the best restaurant, ever.” Now you don’t have to go to French Laundry in Yountville to taste his genius — a modern take on French cuisine. Sunday brunch is the standout here, set in the sunlit bustling bistro or al fresco on the patio. An oyster bar that begins at 3 p.m. is the perfect setting for an afternoon with a bottle of rosé poolside. Of all the French restaurants Las Vegas offers, Bouchon is at the top of the must-visit list.”

Having worked so long at the original Bouchon in Yountville, Chef Josh brings to Bouchon Las Vegas an understanding of the restaurant’s sensibility and the importance of making time for meals to be a special occasion.


Show 201, December 10, 2016: Chef Scott Pajak, Chef de Cuisine, Lagasse’s Stadium, The Palazzo Resort, Las Vegas

Scott PajakScott Pajak is the Chef de Cuisine at the high volume Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo. It sets the standard for Sports Bars in Sin City. He’s been with Emeril Lagasse since 2002 and was promoted to his current position in May of 2011.

Growing up in Lancaster, NY, Scott Pajak could often be found in the kitchen – cooking chicken noodle soup and sauces with his grandparents, or helping his dad tend the grill and savoring the smoky aroma of barbecue.

While studying at UNLV, he worked in numerous restaurants around Las Vegas, including Planet Hollywood, New York New York Casino and TPC Country Club, where he prepared meals for participants on the PGA Tour.

In 2002, Pajak entered the kitchen at Emeril Lagasse’s seafood eatery Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House as a line cook. Over the next 9 years, he would work in nearly every position in Lagasse’s kitchen, from saucier to butcher, eventually rising to the post of sous chef. He helped write the restaurant’s daily menus and showed off his creativity as he cooked for guests at the chef’s kitchen table.

For Monday Night Football Chef Scott adds nightly specials creatively themed to the cities of the teams playing. For “Big Game” Sunday viewing Chef Scott is featuring a Tomahawk Bone-In 32 oz. Ribeye with Mashed Potatoes. The guest can kick it up with the addition of Sauteed Mushrooms & Onions, Sauteed Lump Crabmeat, Seared Foie Gras, Sauteed Lobster Meat or Alaskan Mini Crab Legs.

Chef Scott also has appealing specials for Christmas Eve & Day 2016 as well for New Year’s Eve.

Bring on the kicked-up wings and we’ll talk hearty tailgate food (and more) with Chef Scott.


Show 180, July 16, 2016: Chef Eric Samaniego, Chef de Cuisine, Michael’s On Naples, Long Beach

Eric SamaniegoChef Eric Samaniego (Bravo TV’s “Best New Restaurant“), formerly of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana, has joined Michael’s On Naples in Long Beach as the award-winning restaurant’s chef de cuisine.

In addition to changes in the kitchen, Michael’s on Naples is experiencing an aesthetic transformation as well. The restaurant’s rooftop terrace has been under construction as it undergoes a major expansion and renovation. The Rooftop (opens July 20th) will now have its own kitchen along with a separate menu featuring more casual fare and shareable plates.

The main floor’s menu will focus on the nightly changing Chef’s Tasting Menu and the five-course Pasta Tasting. The Michael’s on Naples tradition of suggesting inspired wine and food pairings will continue.

Chef Samaniego, who began his career working for the late Charlie Trotter in Chicago, joined Michael’s On Naples in April working under the tutelage of former Corporate Executive Chef David Coleman. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Samaniego is a native of Southern California with his formative years spent in the Central Valley. His culinary credits include a seven-year stint with David Myers working at the high profile Sona and Comme Ca (both now closed) in Los Angeles.

Chef Eric Samaniego joins us.


Show 156, January 23, 2016: Executive Chef Timothy Hollingsworth, Partner, Otium, Downtown Los Angeles

Timothy HollingsworthShortly after leaving his post as Chef de Cuisine at The French Laundry in 2013, Chef Timothy Hollingsworth moved to Los Angeles and opened Barrel & Ashes in Studio City in 2014. It’s an updated take on traditional BBQ that pays homage to the food of Hollingsworth’s youth growing up in Texas.

Late last month he debuted his first solo project, Otium. Located on Grand Ave. adjacent to The Broad – L.A.’s New Contemporary Art Museum in the Historic Bunker Hill neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles, Otium strips away the formalities of fine dining while focusing on quality food and service. Chef Tim is our guest.

Chef Timothy Hollingsworth’s 13- year history in Napa Valley, blended with his present roots as an Angeleno living in downtown Los Angeles, sets the stage for an environment of sophisticated rusticity with highly eclectic, vibrant, and seasonal flavors.

While working at The French Laundry under Chef Thomas Keller in 2008, Hollingsworth competed in the Bocuse d’Or USA, where he was awarded the opportunity to represent the United States at the Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest—the biennial global cooking competition first envisioned in 1987 by revered French chef Paul Bocuse.

Hollingsworth subsequently completed a rigorous training process, during which he worked with some of the industry’s most influential figures. In early 2009, Hollingsworth traveled to Lyon, France to compete in the prestigious event, where he placed sixth out of 24 prominent chef teams from around the world.

In his current role and first solo project at Otium, he looks to be a mentor to the next generation of aspiring chefs. Hollingsworth has been awarded Rising Star Chef Award from The San Francisco Chronicle as well as the Rising Star Chef of the Year Award presented by the James Beard Foundation.


Show 151, December 19, 2015: Scott Pajack, Chef de Cuisine, Lagasse’s Stadium, The Palazzo, Las Vegas

Scott PajakThis show originated from Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo. The chef de cuisine here is Scott Pajak. We visit with Chef Scott and learn why this isn’t you average sports bar and is actually a preferred destination for discerning Las Vegas locals as well as visitors. It’s consistently rated as the Number 1 Sports Bar in Vegas.

“Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo kicks off a new breed of sports bar – this sports book, restaurant and entertainment club has enough to distract even the most committed fan.

Chef, sports enthusiast and tailgating-pro Emeril Lagasse has lowered the lights and turned up the heat with crave-worthy kicked up game-day fare. Experience a whole new take on tailgating, with freely flowing brews on tap, refreshing cocktails, hi-def action on over 100 screens, and couches that just won’t let you go.

Watch the most exciting games and biggest sporting events at Lagasse’s Stadium, the ultimate ages 21 and over sports bar and sports book in Las Vegas.”

Let’s talk about the food…Think a chicken sandwich is kind of pedestrian? Not to Chef Scott at Lagasse’s Stadium. Here it’s a Grilled Marinated Free Range Chicken Sandwich. It’s a tender chicken breast with lettuce, tomato and Applewood smoked bacon with black pepper mayo and served on griddled ciabatta bread.