Show 188, September 10, 2016: Executive Chef Eric Ernest, USC Hospitality Part 2

Eric Ernest“Today’s top-flight University chefs are likely to be as savvy and competitive as their independent restaurant peers. Eric Ernest, the accomplished fine-dining chef who has headed University of Southern California Hospitality since 2012, knows this all too well.” Chef Eric is also USC Hospitality’s Associate Director of Purchasing, Logistics & Special Projects. Chef Eric Ernest continues.

“USC really offers top-notch hospitality. That, paired with the executive team and the leadership team, makes (the department) amazing, top to bottom,” Ernest observes.

“We view roasting a carrot with the same attention as making foie gras. We apply modern technique to everything, across the board, to create the best USC experience,” he continues.

With 44 outlets and 44 different menus to fill daily, it’s essential to plan ahead, Ernest stresses. “Good enough isn’t good enough. Our department answers to every single person who walks on the campus,” he promises.

Chef Eric is also proud of USC Hospitality’s two Teaching Gardens. It’s an unusual collaboration with LA Urban Farms, LA & SF Specialty and Chefs to End Hunger.


Show 159, February 13, 2016: Executive Chef Bill Bracken, Bracken’s Kitchen Continues…

Bill Bracken“In addition to expanding our team, we are building what we call our “Trio of Services”: our Food Truck Feeding Program (which we are currently executing), a Rescued Food Program and a Culinary Internship Program that will move us forward as an organization and business. With these two new platforms, we aim to affect change in a person’s life by offering job training and work opportunities in the culinary field which will be of huge support to our restaurant and hospitality partners.”

“2015 marked the end of our first year of feeding and we are incredibly grateful for not only all of the hard work, support and contributions that were made, but also for the learning lessons, challenges and obstacles that we had to overcome to achieve our goals.”

Some of our accomplishments:

  • Moved into our fully equipped prep kitchen to support our Food Truck Feeding Program
  • Over 5,000 hot and nutritious meals were served to those experiencing food insecurity in Orange County, CA in just nine months.
  • The average cost of our high quality, freshly prepared dinner is about $0.50 – almost matching average meal cost provided by food banks across America.
  • The Illumination Foundation and Bracken’s Kitchen secured Tuesday night feedings at the Ross Street House in Santa Ana, catering to children who attend their after school program and their families.
  • Served approximately 3000 meals to our homeless military veterans at Stand Down Orange County in October
  • Launched trial runs for our Chef’s To End Hunger rescued food program

Sign-up for the informative Bracken’s Kitchen’s Newsletter via the Website. It tells the story…


Show 118, April 18, 2015: Celebrity Cruises Great Wine Festival

Chanelle DuarteTime to set sail for the 5th annual Celebrity Cruises Great Wine Festival. The festivities on Saturday afternoon, May 2nd , in honor of Drink Wine Day, will feature unlimited tastings from more than 30 exceptional wineries, breweries and spirits, fine cuisine, a silent auction and live musical entertainment. Within the benefit Celebrity Cruises will also host Celebrity’s Wine Lounge featuring Jackson Family premium wines. The event will take place at Hangar 244 in the Orange County Great Park, the first great metropolitan park of the 21st century, located in the heart of Orange County.

The event benefits the Legal Aid Society of Orange County and Community Legal Services who provide free legal services to those in the community who would otherwise be denied access to justice.

Celebrity Cruises’ Sommelier Chanelle Duarte and Executive Chef David MacLennan of James Republic in Long Beach (a participating restaurant) join us to preview the benefit.

Chef David is just back from the James Beard Foundation in New York where he presented a dinner with his colleague, Chef/Restaurateur Dean James Max. On May 6th at James Republic the same team is presenting a Dinner Bell Series evening with local farmers (and ingredients from the Long Beach Farmer’s Market) to benefit Chefs to End Hunger.”