Show 87, September 6, 2014: Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show

Guest Host Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, CEO of Slapfish Restaurant Group and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

The 5th Annual L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade culinary cookout returns this year on Saturday, September 20th. When it comes to having the most impressive roster of nationally-known celebrity chefs cooking locally for charity this Benefit is the clear standout. It’s hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin, her business partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern) along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat.)

McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream is a 70-year old iconic brand of super premium ice cream which is still based where it was founded in Santa Barbara. Michael Palmer (winemaker) and his wife Eva Ein (chef) purchased this heritage brand in 2012. A McConnell’s scoop shop recently opened in the Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.

Food, wine & travel writer Michelle Winner is the President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA.). She will be talking to us from Hawaii. Over Labor Day Weekend she was part of the Kaanapali Fresh – A Culinary Experience on Maui and right now she is in the middle of the 4th Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival on Oahu.

Ida Rodriguez is the long-time Corporate Chef for Melissa’s / World Variety Produce. Until the end of the month it’s Hatch Chile season. Over Labor Day Weekend Chef Ida was in Hatch, New Mexico for the annual Hatch Chile Festival. It gets crazy there. Chef Ida is with us to give us the flavorful report.

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel is CEO of Slapfish Restaurant Group with locations in Huntington Beach, Laguna, Dubai, and soon – Newport Beach. Chef Andrew is a guest judge on Food Network’s upcoming “Food Truck Face-Off” series, was a participant on Sept. 5th at OC Weekly’s 11th Annual Decadence 2014 Tasting Event, and has a new video our explaining the secrets of preparing Slapfish’s Clobster Roll to the Orange County Register’s distinguished food writer, Cathy Thomas.

It’s a singular honor as a chef & restaurateur to be invited to prepare and present a meal at The James Beard Foundation in New York. Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven has that distinct honor on September 27th. On Monday, Sept. 15th Clay Oven will be previewing that same grand five-course, wine-paired menu for a small group of lucky locals. Not one to miss…

David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson have penned a new kind of cocktail book, The 12 Bottle Bar. Just twelve bottles create over 200 distinct and seasonal cocktails, including beer and wine cocktails. When we first interviewed the Solmonsons we ran out of time before we could discuss the clever “Acknowledgements” section of their book. We’ll resume the conversation…

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

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Show 87, September 6, 2014: Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven

Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven in IrvineIt’s a singular honor as a chef & restaurateur to be invited to prepare and present a meal at The James Beard Foundation in New York. Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven has that distinct honor on Saturday evening, September 27th. On Monday, Sept. 15th Clay Oven will be previewing that same grand five-course, wine-paired menu for a small group of lucky locals. Not one to miss…

At Clay Oven, chef/owner Geeta Bansal updates traditional Indian recipes with modern culinary techniques and vibrant California bounty. Incorporating the changing colors, flavors, and aromas of each season into her rotating menus, she honors Ayurvedic principles while bringing haute Indian cuisine to the forefront of Southern California’s dining landscape.

In her spare time Chef Geeta travels the globe attending important international food gatherings and interviewing prominent superstar chefs. Her writings (Gastronome Geeta) can be enjoyed at chefgeeta.wordpress.com.

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September 6: Andrew Gruel, Carolyne Styne, McConnell’s Ice Cream, Michelle Winner, Melissa’s Produce, Geeta Bansal, 12 Bottle Bar

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade
Segment Three: McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream
Segment Four: Travel Writer Michelle Winner, President, IFWTWA
Segment Five: Corporate Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s Produce
Segment Six: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Seven: Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven
Segment Eight: The 12 Bottle Bar

Guest Host Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, CEO of Slapfish Restaurant Group and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

The 5th Annual L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade culinary cookout returns this year on Saturday, September 20th. When it comes to having the most impressive roster of nationally-known celebrity chefs cooking locally for charity this Benefit is the clear standout. It’s hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin, her business partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern) along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat.)

McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream is a 70-year old iconic brand of super premium ice cream which is still based where it was founded in Santa Barbara. Michael Palmer (winemaker) and his wife Eva Ein (chef) purchased this heritage brand in 2012. A McConnell’s scoop shop recently opened in the Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.

Food, wine & travel writer Michelle Winner is the President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA.). She will be talking to us from Hawaii. Over Labor Day Weekend she was part of the Kaanapali Fresh – A Culinary Experience on Maui and right now she is in the middle of the 4th Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival on Oahu.

Ida Rodriguez is the long-time Corporate Chef for Melissa’s / World Variety Produce. Until the end of the month it’s Hatch Chile season. Over Labor Day Weekend Chef Ida was in Hatch, New Mexico for the annual Hatch Chile Festival. It gets crazy there. Chef Ida is with us to give us the flavorful report.

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel is CEO of Slapfish Restaurant Group with locations in Huntington Beach, Laguna, Dubai, and soon – Newport Beach. Chef Andrew is a guest judge on Food Network’s upcoming “Food Truck Face-Off” series, was a participant on Sept. 5th at OC Weekly’s 11th Annual Decadence 2014 Tasting Event, and has a new video our explaining the secrets of preparing Slapfish’s Clobster Roll to the Orange County Register’s distinguished food writer, Cathy Thomas.

It’s a singular honor as a chef & restaurateur to be invited to prepare and present a meal at The James Beard Foundation in New York. Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven has that distinct honor on September 27th. On Monday, Sept. 15th Clay Oven will be previewing that same grand five-course, wine-paired menu for a small group of lucky locals. Not one to miss…

David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson have penned a new kind of cocktail book, The 12 Bottle Bar. Just twelve bottles create over 200 distinct and seasonal cocktails, including beer and wine cocktails. When we first interviewed the Solmonsons we ran out of time before we could discuss the clever “Acknowledgements” section of their book. We’ll resume the conversation…

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

Caroline StyneThe 5th Annual L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade culinary cookout returns this year on Saturday, September 20th. When it comes to having the most impressive roster of nationally-known celebrity chefs cooking locally for charity this Benefit is the clear standout. It’s hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin, her business partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern) along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat.)

The new location is Wilson Plaza at UCLA in Westwood.

The 5th Annual Benefit invites food and wine lovers from all corners of the globe for an afternoon of fantastic fare, cocktails for a cause, children’s activities, silent and live auctions, and a whole lot more. The incredible chef brigade includes big name cooks ranging from Giada De Laurentiis to Tom Colicchio.

Michael PalmerMcConnell’s Fine Ice Cream is a 70-year old iconic brand of super premium ice cream which is still based where it was founded in Santa Barbara. Michael Palmer (winemaker) and his wife Eva Ein (chef) purchased this heritage brand in 2012. A McConnell’s scoop shop recently opened in the Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.

The late Jim McCoy owned McConnell’s from 1963 until he needed to sell the business due to ill health in 2012. It was very important to him that this be maintained as a family business based in Santa Barbara.That was his legacy.

75 per cent of McConnell’s ingredients come from within 60 miles of Santa Barbara.

Food, wine & travel writer Michelle Winner is the President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA.). She will be talking to us from Hawaii.

Over Labor Day Weekend Michelle was part of the Kaanapali Fresh – A Culinary Experience on Maui and right now she is in the middle of the 4th Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival on Oahu.

The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival event Michelle attended Thursday evening was the sold out “A Lucky Modern Buddha Belly” at The Modern Honolulu. The event put a spotlight on Hawaii’s unique location as a culinary hub of the Pacific where East Meets West. 14 esteemed chefs (including Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto) showcased dishes inspired by the Lucky Buddha who is known for happiness, plenitude, and wisdom of contentment.

Chef Ida Rodriquez of Melissas World Variety ProduceIda Rodriguez is the long-time Corporate Chef for Melissa’s / World Variety Produce. Until the end of the month it’s still Hatch Chile season.

Over Labor Day Weekend Chef Ida was in Hatch, New Mexico as a participant for the annual Hatch Chile Festival. It gets really crazy there. Chef Ida joins us to give us the flavorful chile report.

Weekend Hatch chile roasting continue through this month at select supermarkets. Check the Melissa’s website for the schedule, times, and locations.

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel is CEO of Slapfish Restaurant Group with locations in Huntington Beach, Laguna, Dubai, and soon – Newport Beach.

Chef Andrew is a guest judge on Food Network’s upcoming “Food Truck Face-Off” series, was a participant on Sept. 5th at OC Weekly’s 11th Annual Decadence 2014 Tasting Event, and has a new video out explaining the secrets of preparing Slapfish’s Clobster Roll to the Orange County Register’s distinguished food writer, Cathy Thomas.

Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven in IrvineIt’s a singular honor as a chef & restaurateur to be invited to prepare and present a meal at The James Beard Foundation in New York. Wolfgang Puck was the very first chef to do so.

Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven has that distinct honor on Saturday evening, September 27th. On Monday, Sept. 15th Clay Oven will be previewing that same grand five-course, wine-paired menu for a small group of lucky locals. Not one to miss…

At Clay Oven, chef/owner Geeta Bansal updates traditional Indian recipes with modern culinary techniques and vibrant California bounty. Incorporating the changing colors, flavors, and aromas of each season into her rotating menus, she honors Ayurvedic principles while bringing haute Indian cuisine to the forefront of Southern California’s dining landscape.

David and Lesley Jacobs SolmonsonDavid Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson have penned a new kind of cocktail book, The 12 Bottle Bar. Just twelve bottles create over 200 distinct and seasonal cocktails, including beer and wine cocktails. When we first interviewed the Solmonsons we ran out of time before we could discuss the clever “Acknowledgements” section of their book. We’ll resume the conversation…

On Saturday, September 13th at 10:30 a.m. the Solmonsons will present “Sin and the Silver Screen: The Age of the Hollywood Nightclub.” It’s a free program in the Mark Taper Auditorium at the Los Angeles Central Library.

To celebrate the release of The 12 Bottle Bar the Solmonsons will lead two Los Angeles-based barhops in September (Sept. 7th ) and October (Oct.5th.,) each one stopping at three bars over one evening. Each event includes one spirit-focused mini-cocktail at each location, appetizers/small plates, a copy of The 12 Bottle Bar book, and more!

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade
Segment Three: McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream
Segment Four: Travel Writer Michelle Winner, President, IFWTWA
Segment Five: Corporate Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s Produce
Segment Six: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Seven: Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven
Segment Eight: The 12 Bottle Bar

Show 73, May 24, 2014: Executive Chef and VP of Food & Beverage Operations John Suley, Celebrity Cruises

John Suley of Celebrity CruisesCelebrity Cruises ships are easily recognized with their iconic “X.”

On May 31st the 2014 Celebrity Cruises Great Wine Festival featuring more than 30 exceptional wineries, fine cuisine, a silent auction and opportunity drawing, and musical entertainment launches. This event will take place at the Orange County Great Park, the first great metropolitan park of the 21st century, located in the heart of Orange County.

It’s a benefit for Legal Aid of Orange County.

Featured restaurants include Montage Laguna Beach, Clay Oven, Slapfish, and James Republic. John Suley, Celebrity’s Executive Chef and VP of Food & Beverage Operations will be there with a tasting station, too. He is our guest.

For libations look for Cakebread, Jordan, JUSTIN, Grgich Hills, Alaskan Brewing Co., Pyramid Brewing, and many others.

Chef John notes that for Celebrity Cruises everything is made from scratch including baked goods, soups, and sauces. While the passengers sleep a crew of some 30 cooks are busily preparing food for the guests.

On Celebrity’s Solstice or Millennium Class Ships some 10 to 13,000 meals are prepared and served daily from immaculately maintained kitchens.

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May 24: Celebrity Cruises, Daniel Boulud, John Shelton, Bill Chait, Carlos Enriquez

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef and VP of Food & Beverage Operations John Suley, Celebrity Cruises
Segment Three: Chef Daniel Boulud, New York City, Las Vegas and The World Part One
Segment Four: Chef Daniel Boulud, New York City, Las Vegas and The World Part Two
Segment Five: Executive Chef John Shelton, Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, CA
Segment Six: Bill Chait, Los Angeles-based Restaurant Impresario Part One
Segment Seven: Bill Chait, Los Angeles-based Restaurant Impresario Part Two
Segment Eight: Carlos Enriquez, Corporate Pastry Chef, Patina Restaurant Group

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Celebrity Cruises is launching their first-ever land-based wine and food festival on May 31st in the Orange County Great Park. Celebrity’s executive chef is with us with the full details. It’s a benefit for charity.

Chef Daniel Boulud has returned to Las Vegas with the opening of db Brasserie at The Venetian Hotel on Las Vegas fabled Strip. His chef de cuisine there is David Middleton. Chef Boulud joins us to share what’s on the menu.

The Hotel Del Coronado is California’s premier, classic beachfront hotel dating back to 1888. It represents luxury from another age. Last week we met the chef at their casual, seafood-centric, ocean-view restaurant, Sheerwater. This week it’s a conversation with Chef John Shelton, the executive chef overseeing all of Hotel del Coronado.

Restaurant impresario Bill Chait is responsible for some of the most successful and high profile restaurant openings in L.A. His most recent effort is Republique with acclaimed Chef Walter Manzke. Next up is Redbird at the old Vibiana cathedral in Downtown and the eagerly anticipated restaurant in Eli Broad’s upcoming contemporary art museum.

The Corporate Pastry Chef for the Patina Restaurant Group, Carlos Enriquez, has an incredible story of personal achievement. He’s with us to talk about what it takes to get there.

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

Special Note…

50 Best Plants On The Planet – The most Nutrient-Dense Fruits and Vegetables, in 150 Delicious RecipesA good friend of the show’s, Cathy Thomas, the long-time food writer for the Orange County Register, is hosting a special dinner at Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach on Thursday, May 29th. It’s celebrating her third book, 50 Best Plants On The Planet – The most Nutrient-Dense Fruits and Vegetables, in 150 Delicious Recipes.

Executive Chef Paul Gstrein will prepare a special four-course meal for the occasion. Most of the dishes will be prepared from Cathy’s favorite recipes in the book.

The main course is Pistachio Crusted Free Range Chicken Breast with Farro “Risotto,” Brussels Sprouts “Two Ways,” and Bing Cherry “Agro Dolce.”

Cathy will be there for the entire evening chitchatting with the guests. She will also sign books.

You can make a reservation for anytime between 6 and 9:00 p.m. For reservations please call 949.721.1222. It’s a modest $45 per person. Specify the “Cathy Thomas Dinner” when you call.

John Suley of Celebrity CruisesCelebrity Cruises ships are easily recognized with their iconic “X.”

On May 31st the 2014 Celebrity Cruises Great Wine Festival featuring more than 30 exceptional wineries, fine cuisine, a silent auction and opportunity drawing, and musical entertainment launches. This event will take place at the Orange County Great Park, the first great metropolitan park of the 21st century, located in the heart of Orange County.

It’s a benefit for Legal Aid of Orange County.

Featured restaurants include Montage Laguna Beach, Clay Oven, Slapfish, and James Republic. John Suley, Celebrity’s Executive Chef and VP of Food & Beverage Operations will be there with a tasting station, too. He is our guest.

For libations look for Cakebread, Jordan, JUSTIN, Grgich Hills, Alaskan Brewing Co., Pyramid Brewing, and many others.

Daniel BouludAcclaimed Chef Daniel Boulud has returned to Las Vegas with the opening of db Brasserie at The Venetian. His executive chef there is David Middleton (ex-Marche Bacchus.) (Daniel previously had a restaurant (the now closed Daniel Boulud Brasserie) at Wynn Las Vegas.)

The restaurant, which Boulud calls his “ideal brasserie,” is an updated version of the French Brasserie, with contemporary twists and international appeal.

“Like me, the brasserie was born in France but has traveled the world,” says Boulud. “I wanted to create a menu with my favorite French dishes, charcuterie, shellfish – all the brasserie staples – and international flavors from my travels that are a bit exotic and transporting.”

Reservations can be made at 702.430.1235.

db brasserie in Las Vegasdb Brasserie boasts a wine list of approximately 300 international selections, curated by Boulud’s group Wine Director Daniel Johnnes and db Brasserie Sommelier Devin Zendel.

The list pays tribute to the glories of American Wine, which are presented in three categories : PIONEERS ‘the first to prove the quality of American terroir’; NEW FRONTIER ‘young wineries inspired by their old-world counterparts’; and CLASSICS ‘next generation American winemaking, classics in their own right’.

The spacious restaurant seats 280 diners, including two private dining rooms, as well as a casual bar and lounge.

Located at the start of Restaurant Row (in the former Valentino Las Vegas space,) just off the casino floor, db Brasserie is accessible from both The Venetian and Palazzo.

Later in the Summer Chef Boulud will be opening a new restaurant in Washington, DC.

Chef Boulud is The Chairman of Bocuse d’Or USA supporting Team USA in the prestigious international culinary competition which is the Bocuse d’Or held in Lyon every other year. Daniel explains why this is very important to the American culinary community. The next competition in Lyon is set for January 27 & 28th in 2015.

John Shelton of Hotel del CoronadoThe Hotel Del Coronado is California’s premier, classic beachfront hotel dating back to 1888. It represents luxury from another age.

Executive Chef John Shelton who oversees all the food and beverage operation at The Del is our guest. He also loves to fish.

Restaurants at the Del range from the fine-dining 1500 OCEAN to the award-winning Sunday Brunch spectacular buffet served in the historic and architecturally significant Crown Room.

June is Culinary Craftsman Month at Sunday Brunch. Local exceptional food products will be featured.

Bill ChaitRestaurant impresario Bill Chait is responsible for some of the most successful and high profile restaurant openings in L.A. His most recent effort is Republique with acclaimed Chef Walter Manzke.

Next up is Redbird with Chef Neal Fraser (BLD) at the old Vibiana cathedral’s rectory in Downtown.

Bestia Restaurant in the Los Angeles Arts DistrictAlso the eagerly anticipated 6,000 square foot restaurant in Eli Broad’s upcoming contemporary art museum in Downtown. Timothy Hollingsworth (ex-chef de cuisine at the French Laundry) is at the culinary helm. Rory Herrmann, formerly the opening chef de cuisine at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills is also a part of the project. Hermann is the Director of Culinary Operations for Chait’s Sprout Restaurant Group.

Bill explains how his company is evolving (a catering division is in the plans) and how he approaches projects.

Many new ventures with high profile chefs are in the pipeline. Bill’s culinary partners in Bestia (Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis) have a new concept in the works for Downtown’s Arts District.

Carlos EnriquezWhat does it take to become the Corporate Pastry Chef at the highly thought of Patina Restaurant Group? Chef Carlos Enriquez, who learned the basics of pastry in his parents Los Angeles bakery, joins us to explain. It takes more than hard work…

Chef Carlos was part of the opening team of the Paris Hotel on The Strip in Las Vegas. He then moved to Colorado to serve as Executive Pastry Chef for Sky Goble at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver. A year later, Enriquez joined Goble at the Ahwahnee Resort in Yosemite National Park. In 2006 Chef Carlos returned to Las Vegas and worked as Assistant Pastry Chef at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, and later at Alex Restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas. He was Executive Pastry Chef at Café del Rey in Marina del Rey before joining the Patina Restaurant Group as Corporate Pastry Chef in 2012.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef and VP of Food & Beverage Operations John Suley, Celebrity Cruises
Segment Three: Chef Daniel Boulud, New York City, Las Vegas and The World Part One
Segment Four: Chef Daniel Boulud, New York City, Las Vegas and The World Part Two
Segment Five: Executive Chef John Shelton, Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, CA
Segment Six: Bill Chait, Los Angeles-based Restaurant Impresario Part One
Segment Seven: Bill Chait, Los Angeles-based Restaurant Impresario Part Two
Segment Eight: Carlos Enriquez, Corporate Pastry Chef, Patina Restaurant Group

Show 52, December 14, 2013: Geeta Bansal, Executive Chef / Proprietress of Clay Oven in Irvine

Clay Oven in IrvineThe long running Clay Oven in Irvine (26 years plus…) is the OC’s classic Indian (Northern cuisine) restaurant. It’s also a true family affair.

Geeta Bansal (our guest) is the proprietress / executive chef along with her husband, Praveen, who is the gracious proprietor / sommelier. Their son, Tarun, represents the 2nd generation active at Clay Oven.

One of their holiday treats (by special order) is a Tandoor Turkey. They sell out (over 250 birds) each Thanksgiving using four tandoor ovens. They are available by special order year-round. Just give them three days notice. The birds are skinless and marinated in an herb and spice blend. The juices are seared into the meat during the cooking process. The birds are incredibly moist when they come out of the tandoor oven.

Geeta’s unusual hobby is traveling the globe and interviewing high profile chefs in their native countries. These revealing interviews have been published in the OC Weekly, Orange County Register and, more recently, in her own blog (“Gastronome Geeta.”) Accredited, professional food journalists don’t have the unusual access Geeta enjoys!
In a teaching moment Chef Geeta also educates us on the ancient Hindu treatise of Ayruveda as it relates to food.

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