Show 240, September 9, 2017: Chef & Cooking Instructor Farhana Sahibzada, author of Flavorful Shortcuts to Indian / Pakistani Cooking

Farhana SahibzadaFarhana Sahibzada is a Chef and Cooking Instructor full of incredible passion for the food she cooks. Her dishes ooze with the scrumptious authenticity of her homeland, Pakistan. Blessed with a rich cultural heritage of Indian and Arabic influences, the region offers a vibrant tapestry of exquisite tastes.

Born in Karachi and raised in Lahore, Pakistan, Chef Farhana has lived in Los Angeles for the past thirty years. She teaches classes at some of L.A.’s most prestigious cooking schools, turning age-old South Asian cuisine into quick, healthy and satisfying meals for every modern American household.

There is an educational component to Farhana’s work. Not only do her recipes demystify a cuisine from the Indian subcontinent, her natural charm and easy-going nature make her the perfect conduit to teach traditions from a part of the world Westerners often know little about.

Farhana’s goal is to remove the intimidation and encourage people to cook South Asian food at home. She takes regular culinary trips back to Pakistan to work with food industry professionals in Punjab, fine tuning treasured recipes so home cooks can master tastes that have driven South Asian culture for thousands of years.

The key difference between the cuisines of Pakistan and India is that Pakistani dishes are most meat centric. Chicken is king but you also see lamb/mutton, beef and goat.

Her book ‘Flavorful Shortcuts to Indian and Pakistani Cooking’ (Trafford Publishing) won the 2014 ‘Beverly Hills Book Award’ as the Best International cookbook.

Looking for a welcoming L.A. area restaurant that serves authentic Pakistani cuisine? Chef Farhana suggests Al-Watan Halal Tandoori Restaurant on Inglewood Avenue in Hawthorne. It’s a long-running owner/chef (Chef Mumtaz) operated establishment. Be forewarned – they can be very busy during peak dining periods…

We’ll meet Chef Farhana.

Play

Show 207, January 21, 2017: The “Meatheads” from West Coast Prime Meats, Terry Hanks and Jay Henderson on Chicken

Chicken 101 from the Meatheads at West Coast Prime MeatsChicken is a versatile protein, typically priced at a good value, and much in the news these days. In the USA we consume some 91 pounds per capita annually according to the National Chicken Council. What should you know about the antibiotics in fresh chicken that many of the fast food chains have promised to eliminate?

Also, what is Free Range Chicken anyway? Is it really worth the premium price? You see “Jidori Chicken” captioned on finer restaurant menus. What is it ?

We’re talking Chicken 101 with our resident Meatheads from West Coast Prime Meats, Terry Hanks and Jay Henderson. Between the two of them they clock in with over 50 years of experience in the business!

Play

Show 162, March 5, 2016: Chef Jason Montelibano, EATS Kitchen & Bar, Irvine

Jason MontelibanoChef Jason Montelibano at EATS Kitchen & Bar at Hotel Irvine (a locals’ favorite) in Irvine is at it again. He’s just rolled out an all-new Good EATS Sunday Brunch starting at 10:00 a.m. It runs until 2:00 p.m.

There is an epic $14 build-you-own Bloody Mary bar and Mimosa flights. The Mimosa flight arrives with four, 6 oz. Mimosas. Passion Fruit and Blood Orange was a recent selection along with Strawberry Lemon. Look for the just-debuted, over-the-top menu items including Shrimp and Grits, and Cinnamon Crunch French Toast.

A “SoCal Restaurant Show” favorite is the Chilaquiles con Pollo. With the chicken is a sunny-side up egg, fried tortillas, roasted tomato salsa, lime sour cream, avocado and cotija cheese.

There is comfortable indoor and outdoor seating available. A cozy fire pit, too. With the lush landscaping and thoughtful design you’d never know you’re a long fly ball from the 405 San Diego Freeway.

Chef Jason knew he was destined to be a chef from an early age. From starting culinary school as a teenager, to refining his skills in some of the best kitchens in Southern California, his love for chef-driven, sustainable cuisine has been honed through years of hard work and dedication. His passion for international flavors and market-fresh ingredients are on full display in every single plate that leaves his kitchen.

 

Play

Show 127, June 20, 2015: Chef-Owner David Guas, Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery

Chef David GuasChef David Guas (Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery, Arlington, Virginia) knows how to get your grill going with the publication of Grill Nation – 200 Surefire Recipes, Tips, and Techniques to Grill Like a Pro. You know him as the host of Travel Channel’s “American Grilled.”

Chef Guas knows how to get your grill going, and once that fire is roaring, he expertly demystifies the complexities of outdoor cooking by offering pit-proven tips and techniques and step-by-step instructions for every skill level. After mastering the basics, get the grill fired up and discover in Grill Nation a crowd-pleasing collection of recipes ranging from grilled mains – beef, pork, chicken, fish and game – to fired-up sides, salads, and even desserts.

In a homage to the Brown Derby’s classic Cobb Salad, Chef David has created the “Smoky Chopped Salad with Avocado.” Look for it in the “Salads and Sides” Chapter. How’s that for creatively adapting a Los Angeles classic ?

“Armed with this collection, home cooks everywhere will now have the tools, tips, and recipes to become a grill master in their very own backyard. Written with broad knowledge and a masterful eye, and illustrated throughout with more than 125 luscious color photographs, Grill Nation delivers delectable dishes that are sure to inspire grilling year-round.”

We’re going to master the flame with Chef David Guas.

Play

Show 122, May 16, 2015: Sterling Ball of Big Poppa Smokers

Sterling BallIt’s always a good time for classic regional barbecue. Last Saturday the Queen Mary hosted their 4th annual West Coast BBQ Classic (WCBC) which featured over 60 different SoCal-based champion grill masters and BBQ teams competing for the coveted title of West Coast’s Best BBQ along with cash prizes.

This BBQ competition is California-State-Certified and Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS)-sanctioned. The competition highlighted various grill styles from across the nation including slow-cooked hickory Texan and southern Memphis-style barbecue.

The Grand Champion of chicken, pork ribs, pork and brisket, Sterling Ball, of Big Poppa Smokers in Newport Beach and La Quinta joins us. He was Number One overall with a 1st Place Finish (a perfect score) in Chicken and a 3rd Place Finish in Brisket.

Big Poppa Smokers also has an on-line barbecue supply store. They are particularly known for their award-winning rubs.

Play

July 12: Open Sesame, Brock Radke, Mad Hungry Woman, Seth Makowsky, Roger Paige

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame Part One
Segment Three: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame Part Two
Segment Four: Brock Radke, Food Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Five: Anita Lau, The Mad Hungry Woman blogger
Segment Six: Seth Makowsky, Makowsky Restaurant Group
Segment Seven: Roger Paige, The Focused Traveler & Administrative Director of IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila and the “JetFuel” Channel on YouTube

Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Open Sesame, serving authentic Lebanese food since 1999, is an incredible success story. They have recently opened a new location in Los Angeles just East of CBS Television City.

Our inside “Man in Las Vegas,” Brock Radke, is back with us with a report on a handful of recent major restaurant openings on The Strip. Brock is the Food Editor for Las Vegas Weekly.

The Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, returns with a commentary on a San Diego restaurant favorite (Rakiraki.) She also shares her experience of being a guest judge on Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen.”

Seth Makowsky of the Makowsky Restaurant Group recently relocated to Los Angeles from Orlando. He specializes in restructuring, advancing and creating restaurant companies.

Food and travel journalist Roger Paige is also known as The Focused Traveler. His day job is as Administrative Director of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. Roger reports on some of his recent road adventures including a visit to the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, TN.

Our own Jet Tila has just launched his You Tube Channel, “Jet Fuel.” He has a preview of what to expect.

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

Open Sesame GrillOpen Sesame, a contemporary Lebanese restaurant serving authentic cuisine, recently opened its doors at 7458 Beverly Blvd. in the space that was the original Hatfield’s. The original Open Sesame launched in Belmont Shore in 1999 and has expanded three times in that location since then. There are still waits at lunch. It’s a true destination.

The restaurant offers an extensive menu, including Lunch Specials Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m., to 4:00 p.m. There are Weekend Specials on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The scratch kitchen features an array of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes along with beef, lamb and chicken specialties. Beverly Blvd. has a full bar.

Founder and Owner Ali Koblessi is our guest,

Ali Kobeissi of Open Sesame GrillFrom Proprietor Ali Kobeissi

“We’re fanatical about our scratch kitchen and the foods and flavors we produce. Food fills our thoughts between meals. We spend our free time studying the nutritional value of our authentic recipes handed down from our ancient forefathers. We combine spices and herbs, hone our knife skills, dissect wines and spirits, and prepare ourselves for the next time you sit at our table.

For the last 15 years our customers’ word of mouth has been our best advertising.”

The Beverly Blvd. location has a full bar.

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyOur inside “Man in Las Vegas,” Brock Radke, is back with us with a report on a handful of recent major restaurant openings on The Strip. Brock is the Food Editor for Las Vegas Weekly.

Brock weighs-in on DB Brasserie at The Venetian, Yusho at the Monte Carlo, and Giada at The Cromwell. He’s also excited about the opening of Mercadito, a popular Mexican restaurant from Chicago known for their variations of street tacos located off The Strip at the Red Rock Resort.

Anita Lau of Diary of a Mad Hungry WomanThe Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, returns with a profile of a San Diego restaurant favorite, Rakiraki. “If I had to sum this eatery up in a sentence, it would be “love at first bite.”

“There is no doubt this is my favorite ramen spot in Southern California.”

Anita also shares her experience of being a guest judge on Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen.” The episode aired June 19th. She is an unabashed Gordon Ramsay fan.

Seth Makowsky of Makowsky Restaurant GroupSeth Makowsky of the Makowsky Restaurant Group recently relocated to Los Angeles from Orlando. He specializes in restructuring, advancing and creating restaurant companies.

He is also a member of The Culinary Council for three square food bank in Las Vegas.

Along the way he’s been mentored by Robert Earl (Earl of Sandwich and Planet Hollywood) and Andrew Cherng (Panda Express with some 2,000 units.) He started his hospitality career with Coca-Cola in Atlanta and then moved on to Orlando.

Seth shares some valuable insights on what he does for multiple-unit restaurants.

Roger Paige of the Focused TravelerFood and travel journalist Roger Paige is also known as The Focused Traveler. His day job is as Administrative Director of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association.

Roger reports on some of his recent road adventures including a visit to the historic Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, TN. Be cautioned that this is anything but the expected tourist trap.

Roger also profiles the iconic Midpoint Café (previously known as the Adrian Café) in Adrian, Texas. It’s at the midpoint between Santa Monica & Chicago on the historic Route 66. It served as the inspiration for Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Radiator Springs in Pixar’s “Cars.” All the food is scratch cooking…

Jet Fuel with Chef Jet TIlaOur own Chef Jet Tila has launched his YouTube Channel, “JetFuel.” There is a new video posted each Thursday for your viewing pleasure.

It’s the intriguing world of food from the inside out.

There are recipes, food tips, and engaging celebrity chef interviews. It’s all editorial content.

This week is Jet’s recipe for an incredibly delicious potato salad with bacon and egg. It uses no mayo so it’s a bit lighter than the usual mayonnaise-laden version. The secret is the creamy baby Dutch yellow potatoes.

Go to youtube.com and search for “Jet Tila.” You can also subscribe to the JetFuel YouTube Channel.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame Part One
Segment Three: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame Part Two
Segment Four: Brock Radke, Food Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Five: Anita Lau, The Mad Hungry Woman blogger
Segment Six: Seth Makowsky, Makowsky Restaurant Group
Segment Seven: Roger Paige, The Focused Traveler & Administrative Director of IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila and the “JetFuel” Channel on YouTube

Show 53, December 21, 2013: Alain Cohen of Got Kosher Café & Bakery, Los Angeles

f you think Tunisian fare is the same as the foods of Morocco then you perhaps need a refresher course. No eating with the fingers or belly dancers here. It’s actually more Mediterranean and North African fare.

Alain Cohen of Got Kosher Cafe and BakeryAlain Cohen of Got Kosher Café & Bakery located in Los Angeles’ Borscht Belt on Pico Blvd. joins us to give a quick education. Don’t let the “Kosher” part or the name scare you. The Jews (and the Romans) were in Tunisia before Muhammad or the rise of Islam.

The tasty Merguez sausage with harissa (born in Tunisa) appetizer is house-made.

One of Got Kosher’s specialties is “Shwar-guez.” It’s their take on schwarma. It’s ground beef seasoned with their merguez sausage spices and grilled on a schwarma pit.

Tunisian Couscous is also a popular specialty. The versions are Couscous au Poulet, Couscous Masson (with braised beef and beef meatballs,) Couscous Royal ( with chicken, beef, lamb brochettes and merguez,) and Vegetarian Couscous.

They also house-bake some incredible varieties of challah.

Play

Show 43, October 12, 2013: Erika Nakamura, master butcher, chef, and co-owner of Lindy & Grundy Meats

Erika Nakamura of Lindy and Grundy MeatsThe classic, full-service neighborhood butcher shop is alive, well, and prospering at the 3-year old Lindy & Grundy Meats in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles. Artisan butcher Erika Nakamura (half of the Lindy & Grundy team along with Amelia Posada) was with us to fill us in. Erika is also a classically trained chef.

All of their premium meats are from humanely treated, grass fed animals and 100 per cent locally produced and sustainable. The partners only source meat from farms they have visited. They even inspect the harvesting facility where the animal is processed. They offer an alternative to commercial farming.

Here’s a tip for home tailgaters. On Sunday afternoon from 3 to 4:00 p.m. they feature “Smokey Sundays.” Each Sunday they offer a variety of slow smoked meats from their grill. You might see brisket, smoked ribs, chicken, buffalo chicken wings and more. Call that Sunday to see what’s on that menu.

They also offer educational classes.

Play

Show 43, October 12, 2013: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA

Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart of Zazu Kitchen and FarmOne of the most exciting chef teams operating in the Sonoma County wine country is Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart (wife & husband) who are the proprietors of the newly relocated zazu kitchen + farm located at The Barlow (a former apple juice processing facility restored and reconceived as a home for artisan food producers including boutique wineries) in Sebastopol. Some of the vegetables used at the restaurant are actually grown in large tubs on the restaurant’s inviting patio. They were mentored by pioneering Seattle chef/restaurateur Tom Douglas before relocating to Sonoma County to go off on their own.

The original zazu restaurant (part of a former chicken coop) was founded in Santa Rosa in 2001. It was located in a rustic roadhouse way out of town surrounded by rural farms and vineyards. If a local didn’t tell you about it you’d probably never know it was even there. Their regulars include some of the most distinguished winemakers in Sonoma County. The eclectic wine list includes reserve selections that you just don’t see outside of the private stash of the wineries.

Duskie and John were living farm-to-table long before that became a marketing buzzword for chefs. They raise their own chicken and ducks to provide the eggs for their fresh pasta and their praise-worthy gelati. Their daughter operates a rabbit meat business.

Play

October 12: Lindy & Grundy, Duskie Estes, Kristine Kidd, Brock Radke, Greg Daniels, Hawaiian Tropical Fruit

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Erika Nakamura, master butcher, chef, and co-owner of Lindy & Grundy Meats
Segment Three: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Onw
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Two
Segment Five: Kristine Kidd, author of Williams–Sonoma Weeknight Gluten Free
Segment Six: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic for The Orange County Register Part One
Segment Seven: Chef Greg Daniels of The Haven Collective
Segment Eight: Ken Love, President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Jet discusses the highlights of the Luckyrice Festival Night Market held last Saturday at the Cosmopolitan Hotel on The Strip in Las Vegas. Jet served some 1,100 portions to the enthusiastic guests.

Andy reviews the highlights of the Patchwork Show – Edible Edition at SoCo and The OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa last Weekend. The show broadcast live from the South Coast Collection.

Erika Nakamura of Lindy and Grundy MeatsThe classic, full-service neighborhood butcher shop is alive, well, and prospering at Lindy & Grundy Meats in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles. Artisan butcher Erika Nakamura (half of the Lindy & Grundy team along with Amelia Posada) is with us to fill us in. Erika is a classically trained chef.

All of their premium meats are from humanely treated, grass fed animals and 100 per cent locally produced and sustainable. The partners only source meat from farms they have visited. They even inspect the harvesting facility where the animal is processed. They offer an alternative to commercial farming.

Lindy and Grundy hosts classes for true meat enthusiasts.

Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart of Zazu Kitchen and FarmOne of the most exciting chef teams operating in the Sonoma County wine country is Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart (wife & husband) who are the proprietors of the new zazu kitchen + farm located at The Barlow (a former apple juice processing facility) in Sebastopol. Some of the vegetables used at the restaurant are actually grown in large tubs on the restaurant’s patio. They were mentored by pioneering Seattle chef/restaurateur Tom Douglas before relocating to Sonoma County to go off on their own.

The original zazu restaurant (part of a former chicken coop) was founded in Santa Rosa in 2001. It was located in a rustic roadhouse way out of town surrounded by farms and vineyards. If a local didn’t tell you about it you’d probably never know it was there. Their regulars include some of the most distinguished winemakers in Sonoma County. The eclectic wine list includes reserve selections that you just don’t see outside of the private stash of the wineries.

Duskie and John were living farm-to-table long before that became a marketing buzzword for chefs. They raise their own chicken and ducks to provide the eggs for their fresh pasta and their praise-worthy gelati.

Duskie Estes of the new zazu kitchen + farm in Sebastopol stays with us.

John Stewart learned the art of curing meats from Mario Batali’s father who has a highly-praised salumi business in Seattle. Visitors to zazu can watch John cure his acclaimed Black Pig Meat Co.’s bacon and salumi right there.

Zazu even has an experienced organic farmer on staff. He supervises the three spots of zazu’s soil including the MacBryde Farm where John and Duskie live with their children. The Farm is home to zazu’s chickens, ducks, turkeys, heritage wattle pigs, sheep, rabbits, goats and more.

Kristine Kidd Loyal readers of Bon Appetit Magazine will remember Kristine Kidd as the long-time Food Editor.

She is now the food editor for the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch website as well as a busy cookbook author.

Her newly released seventh cookbook is Weeknight Gluten Free. This title is particularly important to Kristine as her childhood celiac disease resurfaced recently.

Kristine is a serious home cook. She prepares fresh meals at home almost every night.

On Wednesday, October 23rd Kristine Kidd will be part of a “Zov’s Lunch and Learn” program at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin. Kristine will be explaining how to prepare delicious meals that are gluten free.

Lunch will be on the menu, too. The entrée is Grilled Lemongrass Chicken with Ginger Rice, Braised Kale and Grilled Roasted Tomatoes. It’s a modest $25 per guest and seating is limited. Make your plans now because it will reach capacity quickly.

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyIn Las Vegas it’s who you know and the “SoCal Restaurant Show” is lucky to have Brock Radke as our insider on the ground in Las Vegas. Brock is the Food Editor of Las Vegas Weekly and joins us regularly to clue us in on what’s happening on the dynamic Las Vegas dining scene.

This morning Brock is giving us the 411 on Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak at The Mirage and Rick Moonen’s Rx Boiler Room at The Shops at Mandalay Bay. Brock recommends both new additions to The Strip’s dining choices.

We’re proud to be part of the hospitality industry as chefs and restaurateurs are some of the most generous folks we know. When there is a worthy cause they are there in a flash with food and support…

Greg Daniels of Haven GastropubWe know Chef Greg Daniels from the two Haven Gastropubs (Orange and Pasadena,) taco asylum and Provisions Market. From October 16th to 25th Chef Greg has assembled a group of distinguished OC chefs to raise money for children who suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) worldwide. It’s all under the playful banner of “PB&J for Good.”

Participating chefs will put their creative spin on the traditional PB&J as a special menu offering. Each will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every PB&J dish to benefit StopSAM.org, a fundraising arm for Severe Acute Malnutrition.

Besides Haven Gastropub some of the high profile restaurants participating include ARC, Broadway by Amar Santana, Little Sparrow, LUCCA, and The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar.

The State of Hawaii has some of the most fertile agricultural land in the United States yet, in recent years, this dirt hasn’t been used for agriculture. Sadly they need to import most of their fruits and vegetables from the Mainland.

Sharwil AvacadoOn the Big Island of Hawaii, for example, over 200 varieties of avocados grow. The pearl of the group is the Sharwil. It’s creamy with a rich buttery flavor, and prized by local chefs.

Surprisingly until very recently the USDA wouldn’t allow the Sharwil to be imported into the lower 48 states. This is a real shame because the seasons of the Sharwil match the seasons of availability for imported avocados from Mexico. Wouldn’t you want to enjoy a made in the USA fruit which also supports our economy ?

Ken Love, the President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, joins us from The Big Island to explain what has changed…It’s a baby step.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Erika Nakamura, master butcher, chef, and co-owner of Lindy & Grundy Meats
Segment Three: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Onw
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Two
Segment Five: Kristine Kidd, author of Williams–Sonoma Weeknight Gluten Free
Segment Six: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic for The Orange County Register Part One
Segment Seven: Chef Greg Daniels of The Haven Collective
Segment Eight: Ken Love, President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers