He was the recipient of industry honors as well as was a guest speaker on some high-profile industry/trade panels. We’ll hear all about it.
Ryan Wilson is the Vice President and Executive Chef for Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc. the parent company of SideDoor and Five Crowns. He represents the 4th generation of Frank/Van de Kamp Family ownership.
Before pursuing his culinary ambitions around the world, Ryan grew up creating dishes for his mother and sister. He officially stepped into the family business in 2002 as the prep cook at the Tam O’Shanter and later transitioned to the Five Crowns kitchen as a line cook.
After following culinary opportunities outside the Lawry’s realm, he returned as the opening chef for The Prime Rib restaurants in China and Japan. Stateside, he served as opening chef for Lawry’s Carvery at L.A. Live and in 2008 returned to the Tam O’Shanter as Executive Chef.
During his time at the Tam O’Shanter, Ryan worked closely on the concept and execution for SideDoor in Corona del Mar and later became the Executive Chef for both SideDoor and Five Crowns. In 2014, Ryan assisted in opening the SideDoor gastropub in Chicago and remains focused on providing the highest quality food service available through his corporate and operational roles.
Chef Ryan’s responsibilities have grown to include the operational oversight of the six licensed Lawry’s Prime Rib locations in Asia and the future growth of Lawry’s international and domestic portfolio.
Executive Chef Ryan Wilson is our guest.
Behind-the-scenes for every major restaurant opening is the ever-flexible and patient Project Manager. This key individual is responsible for getting the restaurant open on time (and on budget) with all the necessary inspections and approvals. This is not an easy task anywhere but especially challenging in Southern California. Each City has its own idiosyncrasies.
A seasoned pro is Brent Miller of Inspired Concepts and Two Birds Holdings, LLC. Earlier in his career he piloted a project for celebrity Chef Graham Elliott in Chicago before relocating to Southern California. He designs and manages the buildouts for Slapfish, including the current, in-the-works location for San Clemente
We’ll meet him.
Chicago’s Steve Dolinsky is a serious food journalist with impressive credentials. He’s the recipient of an unprecedented 13 James Beard Awards for his outstanding work on TV and in radio. He’s ABC7 Chicago’s TV’s “The Hungry Hound.” We’ll meet him.
“Growing up in a kosher home in St. Cloud, Minnesota isn’t exactly the ideal foundation for a professional food reporter, but it wasn’t until I was a teenager, introduced to the “Australian Women’s Home Weekly” series of illustrated Thai and Chinese cookbooks by my Tasmanian sister-in-law, that I realized how wonderful the pleasures of the table could be. In college, at the University of Wisconsin, I continued seeking out everything I couldn’t (or simply wasn’t able to) have as a kid: Turkish kebabs; Thai noodles; falafel, and yes, even pork.”
“But when I graduated in 1990, yearning to find new flavors and taste new things, there was no such thing as a TV food reporter. All of the food professionals I looked up to – Reichl, Richman, Apple – were in print. So I took my broadcast degree to towns like Escanaba, Michigan and Davenport, Iowa, and learned how to become a general assignment news reporter, always stoking that love of food by cooking out of magazines and making hour-long trips to track down a little Thai joint or Mexican taqueria.”
“The Tribune’s 24-hour newschannel – CLTV – brought me to Chicago in 1992. I logged a few more years of news reporting, then caught a break in ‘95, when our station launched “Good Eating,” a weekly, 30- minute program mirroring the Tribune’s food section. As Producer and Host, I churned out 52 shows a year for eight years, garnering six James Beard Awards along the way for Best TV Cooking Show.”
“Freelance radio work followed – first with WBEZ, our local NPR affiliate, then with Public Radio International’s “The World,” and six more Beard Awards followed. I’ve also written food features and reviews for publications like The Chicago Reader, CS Magazine and the Chicago Tribune.”
“In 2003, I moved to ABC 7, Chicago’s #1 news station, where I now file two original reports each week, under the moniker “The Hungry Hound.” I still continue to file stories for PRI’s The World and have become a part-time travel writer, filing stories for the Travel sections in both The Chicago Tribune and The Globe and Mail (Canada’s national paper).”
Steve provides his Chicagoland recommendations for upscale steakhouse, Italian Beef sandwich, Chicago Dog, Deep Dish Pizza and more…
“In 2014, Chicago chef/restaurateur Rick Bayless and I launched The Feed Podcast, covering the world of food from our professional perspectives. Every show is full of different segments, some from Chicago and others from far-flung places around the world we both travel to. In its first year, the show won a Beard Award for Best Podcast (that’s #13 if you’re keeping score).”
“More recently, I’ve begun curating and leading highly specialized culinary experiences, including international tours, and am also now consulting on the food and beverage program for The Hotel San Felipe in Panama City, Panama.”
“I show up as an occasional judge or contributor on “Iron Chef America” (now out of production) and “Unique Eats,” and serve as one of the 27 Regional Academy Chairs for “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.” I even do some media training outside of Chicago for chefs, sommeliers and mixologists. Best part of the job? Getting paid to eat. Toughest part? Keeping it off. See you at the gym.”
For over 52 years Stan Berman has baked some of the world’s best donuts at Stan’s Corner Donut Shop in Westwood located across from UCLA. Now it had grown to the Midwest with the addition of 6 busy Stan’s Donuts & Coffee cafes in Chicago and nearby suburbs. Two new stores, including a high-profile unit on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile on N. Michigan Ave., debuted on Saturday, May 21st.
Second generation Chicago restaurateur and baker Rich Labriola is the proud architect of the expansion. We’ll meet him and talk crullers and premium coffee.
Rich Labriola, president of the Labriola Baking Company, partnered with Stan Berman, founder of Stan’s Donuts, to bring the more than 52-year-old donut shop to the Midwest. Labriola, a well-known Chicago baking company, supplies high-end bread products including the company’s famed pretzel bread to grocers and restaurants.
After seeing Stan on a Food TV travel show and admiring his passion for his donut business, Rich decided to reach out to Stan. The result of the new friendship was a partnership to bring the classic California-style donuts to Chicago with a Labriola twist.
Started in 1963, Stan’s Donuts has been a mainstay of Westwood Village in Los Angeles, California. The original location has happily served everyone from Hollywood royalty such as Elizabeth Taylor, Steve McQueen, and Ali McGraw to hungry UCLA students looking to fuel all-night study benders.
“Are you up for trying a deep-dish pizza donut? Just kidding, we won’t serve that anytime soon. But, our peanut butter pockets will knock your wool socks off, Chicago!”
Program Note…Today, May 21st we’re broadcasting live from the studios of Chicago’s ESPN – WMVP-AM. We’re there to join in the celebration of Chef Andrew Gruel’s Trendsetter MenuMaster Award for Slapfish presented by Nation’s Restaurant News. The vibrant Chicago dining scene is well represented today in the show! Be sure to catch the special Chicago-focused podcasts!
Executive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, most recently, Brea, is back as today’s special Guest Host.
Now a provocative peak at Saturday’s Windy City show of excess and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a pretty good thing…
Chicago’s C Chicago in River North has been reconceptualized as Ocean Cut under the culinary leadership of Dirk Flanigan (ex-The Gage.) Guests can expect fresh fish flown in daily along with 100 percent USDA Prime, dry-aged steaks and a side of Chicago hospitality. Chicago’s Chef Dirk Flanigan is our guest.
Food & Beer is a newly published, 60-recipe book from an internationally acclaimed chef/brewer duo dedicated to elevating and pairing beer with high-end dining. The debut book by Danish gypsy brewer Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø of the bar Tørst, and Canadian chef Daniel Burns of the Michelin-starred restaurant Luksus—both in a shared space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn where they elevate beer to the level of wine in fine dining. Chef Burns is with us to tap the keg on this unusual reference book.
Chef Carrie Nahabedian is one of the quiet pillars of dining in Chicago. After departing her position as Executive Chef of the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, Carrie Nahabedian returned to her native Chicago to open NAHA in 2000, which garnered her a James Beard Award and four consecutive Michelin stars. Chef Nahabedian joins us.
In Vietnamese, “AN” means “TO EAT,” a happy coincidence, since the An family has built an award-winning restaurant empire— including the renowned celebrity favorite Crustacean Beverly Hills. Helene An, executive chef and matriarch of the House of An, is hailed as the “mother of fusion.” Now her daughter Jacqueline tells the family story and shares her mother’s delicious and previously “secret” recipes in An: To Eat – Recipes and Stories from a Vietnamese Family Kitchen. Jacqueline An is here with the incredible story.
The Berghoff is a celebrated institution in Chicago and was inaugurated as aJames Beard America’s Classic establishment in 1999. It’s also prominently featured in the new book, James Beard’s All-American Eats – Recipes and Stories From Our Best-Loved Local Restaurants. Carlyn Berghoff, representing the fourth generation of proud Berghoff Family stewardship, is our guest.
All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!
Chef Carrie Nahabedian is one of the pillars of dining in Chicago. After departing her position as Executive Chef of the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, Carrie Nahabedian returned to her native Chicago to open NAHA in 2000, which garnered her a James Beard Award and four consecutive Michelin stars. Chef Nahabedian joins us.
Carrie opened Brindille in the spring of 2013 along with partner and cousin Michael Nahabedian. While NAHA serves to highlight her Armenian roots, Brindille’s refined Parisian fare celebrates Carrie’s and Michael’s favorite spots in Paris.
The constantly changing NAHA menus are a mix of American and Mediterranean influences from Chef Carrie’s and Michael’s Armenian and Greek heritages. NAHA uses fresh, seasonal produce, meats, and cheeses from local farmers and growers. NAHA is a proud supporter of Chicago’s Greencity Market.
Nuanced food is meant to be paired harmoniously with balanced wines. The Mediterranean cuisine of NAHA provides a wonderful platform with which to pair globally influenced wines. – Wine Director-Chad Ellegood.
Chef Carrie Nahabedian is one of the pillars of dining in Chicago. After departing her position as Executive Chef of the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, Carrie Nahabedian returned to her native Chicago to open NAHA in 2000, which garnered her a James Beard Award and four consecutive Michelin stars. Chef Nahabedian continues with us.
Brindille (Chef Carrie’s latest venture), named “Best New Restaurant in 2013” by Chicago Tribune, offers a glimpse into refined Parisian cuisine and atmosphere from the team that brought you NAHA. It’s Dinner, only.
In 2015 Brindille was awarded the James Beard Award for outstanding Restaurant Design (for an establishment under 75 seats.) It’s all of 30 seats.