Show 291, September 22, 2018: Chef/Proprietor Dee Nguyen, Break of Dawn, Laguna Hills

Dee NguyenBack in 2006 rising-star, fine-dining chef Dee Nguyen (ex-Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel) was looking to simplify his life and spend more time with his growing family. He bravely branched out on his own to launch the modest, 50-seat Break of Dawn in Laguna Hills.

Fortunately he quickly developed a loyal following of inspired guests. It’s a very personal statement for Chef Dee who serves breakfast, lunch and brunch Wednesday through Sunday only. It’s creative, fine-dining comfort foods with a Vietnamese twist.

“Guests can select from a variety of dishes, including bison sausage, French toast crème brulee, flax seed and quinoa oatmeal and mac and cheese. All foods are prepared with fresh ingredients and are designed to meld flavors and textures together. A children’s menu and beverage list with cocktails is also available.”

Think the unexpected including Goat Chili with morita, goat cheese, Mexican chocolate and chickpeas.

Chef Dee also stages infrequent dinner pop-ups that have a fanatical following. Check his Facebook regularly to stay informed.

Chef Dee puts down his well-worn spatula and joins us.

 

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Show 251, December 9, 2017: Celebrity Chef Rick Moonen, RM Seafood & Rx Boiler Room, Las Vegas

Rick Moonen of rm seafood in Las VegasRick Moonen is one of the very few celebrity chefs with high profile restaurants in Las Vegas who actually lives in Fabulous Las Vegas. His two restaurants in The Shoppes at Mandalay Place are RM Seafood and Rx Boiler Room.

Since opening RM Seafood at The Shoppes at Mandalay Place in 2005, Master Chef Rick Moonen brings his expertise to The Strip by offering a unique dining experience with a thoughtful selection of seafood through his delectable dishes. Renowned for his passionate views on sustainable seafood, Chef Moonen creates an experience that features a vast array of flavor combinations designed to exemplify the natural qualities of fresh ingredients. Along with abundant offerings from the sea, the menu includes Wagyu beef, lamb, salads and other unique items such as seared foie gras and chicken san daniele.

Combining the alchemy of food and drink, Chef Rick Moonen’s Rx Boiler Room showcases his spin on classic comfort food, offering guests a variety of playful creations in small and large plate portions, ideal for a shared dining experience. Paired to elevate and complement the overall experience, the drink menu features an emporium of the finest spirits and innovative libations. Rx Boiler Room offers a modern reflection of the Victorian era, celebrating the steampunk sub-genre often associated with science-fiction and inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century.

Chef Rick is our guest.

 

 

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Show 168, April 23, 2016: Pig Pen Delicacy, 4th Street Market, Santa Ana

Jason TrinhOne of the newest additions (debuted in March) to Santa Ana’s 4th Street Market is Pig Pen Delicacy. It’s a fresh take on American comfort food using an array of sophisticated and modern interpretations of bacon and pork favorites.

The founders of GD Bro Burger (Santa Ana & Signal Hill) were involved in Pig Pen Delicacy’s creation.

Menu highlights include Candied Bacon, Pulled Pork Sandwich and Pork Belly Slider (crispy pork belly, pickled daikon, hoisin sauce and creamy cilantro.)

If you’re doing breakfast you need to have a standout Breakfast Sandwich. Pig Pen’s offering comes with Candied Bacon, Soft Scrambled Eggs, Cheddar Cheese and Banana Ketchup.

Co-owner and Director of Operations Jason Trinh joins us with all the pork-a-licious details.

 

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Show 154, January 9, 2016: Executive Chef Josiah Citrin, Charcoal Venice, Venice, CA

Josiah CitrinCharcoal Venice, the new inviting, neighborhood restaurant from Michelin-starred Chef and Proprietor Josiah Citrin (our guest), opened early last month on W. Washington Blvd., a burgeoning culinary destination in Venice, CA bordering Marina del Rey. A more casual concept than Citrin’s Melisse, Charcoal Venice upholds the chef’s philosophy “In Pursuit of Excellence,” with a simpler, more approachable menu.

As the name suggests, the daily menu features craveable comfort foods cooked over a live fire via a wood oven, over charcoal, in the coals, or in a Big Green Egg – imparting a smoky, backyard barbeque flavor with the use of premium oak and hickory lump coals. Adding to the communal atmosphere of the restaurant, these dishes are all large, family-style portions meant to be shared.

Citrin also offers starters, including a unique tartare selection, such as beef heart and lamb, alongside a selection of farmers’ market vegetables including a whole head of cabbage baked in the coals until it’s completely black on the outside and smoky on the inside. The Cabbage Baked in Embers (a nice variation on the standard grilled artichoke) is becoming a signature of the restaurant.

“This is the type of casual concept I’ve always wanted to open. It’s the food that I prepare for my friends and family in my backyard on the weekend. Not too fancy, just delicious food that you crave,” says Citrin. “Mélisse is your special occasion restaurant, while Charcoal Venice is an every night place for a refreshing beer and a perfectly grilled entrée.”

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Show 84, August 16, 2014: Halo Reliever Jason Grilli

Jason GrilliThe Halos have an ace relief pitcher in Jason Grilli, newly arrived in a trade deal with The Pittsburgh Pirates. In Pittsburgh he’s known for The Closer, a 3-decker grilled cheese sandwich using 9 different premium cheeses. Jason is with us live on the road from Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas to talk about it.

Early in his professional career Jason earned the appropriate nickname, “Grilled Cheese.” This is explained in his newly published book, Just My Game with a foreword by Clint Hurdle.

Grilli, and partners, are also the Pittsburgh franchisees for the rapidly growing Tom+Chee. This is a grilled cheese and tomato soup shop for the kid at heart. The restaurants mix classic comfort food with fresh ingredients, healthy alternatives, and a flare for the unexpected. In addition to the regular menu there are lots of daily specials.

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August 16: Eric Greenspan, CANstruction, Jason Grilli, LA Food and Wine, PigOut, KTown Night Market, Harlowe

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Eric Greenspan and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chef Eric Greenspan of Foundation Hospitality Group
Segment Three: Long Beach CANstruction benefiting Food Finders
Segment Four: Halo Reliever Jason Grilli
Segment Five: Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival
Segment Six: Pigout 3.0
Segment Seven: KTOWN Night Market & OC Block Party
Segment Eight: Head Barman Chris Amirault of Harlowe, West Hollywood

Guest Host Celebrity Chef Eric Greenspan of Foundation Hospitality Group and Producer Andy preview the show.

Besides being all over Food TV (he bested Iron Chef Bobby Flay on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America”) Chef Eric Greenspan has made a name for himself in the rarified world of fine-dining. For almost two years he was the executive chef of Joachim Splichal’s highly-acclaimed flagship restaurant, Patina. More recently he created The Foundry on Melrose Ave. In the Fall he returns to Melrose with the eagerly anticipated fine dining, Enclave.

Although Chef Eric Greenspan has created the more casual, Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese and The Roof on Wilshire, his heart and true passion remains in fine dining. We’ll talk about the future of fine-dining in Los Angeles and get Chef Eric’s perspective. We’ll also preview Chef Eric’s new series for the National Geographic Channel debuting in November.

The first Canstruction Competition is coming to Long Beach on August 21st. The resulting collections of food benefit Food Finders food rescue / food bank. It’s going to be a wild 12 hours benefiting people in need!

The Halos have an ace relief pitcher in Jason Grilli newly arrived in a trade deal with The Pittsburgh Pirates. In Pittsburgh he’s known for The Closer, a 3-decker grilled cheese sandwich using 9 different premium cheeses. Jason is with us live from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas to talk about it.

The 2014 Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival (4th Annual) is once again upon us taking place in Downtown Los Angeles on August 21 -24. This is one of the biggest culinary festivals staged on the West Coast with culinary masters hosting power lunches, cocktail culture merging with some of the finest chefs for spirited dinners, and first –time events such as the “Ultimate Bites of L.A. Challenge” on Opening Night hosted by Graham Elliott and Fabio Viviani.

The 3rd Annual PigOut (benefiting Inspire Artistic Minds) is set for Sunday afternoon, August 24th at the California Scenario in Costa Mesa.

The main attraction will be a 250 pound Templeton Rye Duroc Pig of the Templeton Rye Heritage Pork Project.

The KTown Night Market and Block Party is coming to Angel Stadium on Friday and Saturday, August 22nd and 23rd. It’s 60 plus food trucks and vendors (including the Seoul Sausage Co.) and a large beer garden. Also there will be live music, games and rides. We’ll chat with the co-producer and one of the young founders of the participating Seoul Sausage Co.

Meet Mixologist Chris Amirault of Harlowe, a new bar that’s attracting a lot of attention in West Hollywood. Even his standard cocktails are very special. Chris also creates unusual draft and bottled cocktails.

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

Eric GreenspanBesides being all over Food TV (he bested Iron Chef Bobby Flay on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America”) Chef Eric Greenspan has made a name for himself in the rarified world of fine-dining. For almost two years he was the executive chef of Joachim Splichal’s highly-acclaimed flagship restaurant Patina. More recently he created The Foundry on Melrose Ave. In the Fall he returns to Melrose with the eagerly anticipated fine dining, Enclave.

Although Chef Eric Greenspan has created the more casual, Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese and The Roof on Wilshire, his heart and true passion remains in fine dining. We’ll talk about the future of fine-dining in Los Angeles and get Chef Eric’s perspective.

We’ll also preview Chef Eric’s new series for the National Geographic Channel debuting in November. Look for Chef Eric on the next two Tuesday evenings in prime time as a chef competitor on NBC’s “Food Fighters” hosted by Adam Richman. In October Chef Eric will part of the celebrity chef episode of Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen hosted by Alton Brown.

Canstruction Long BeachThe first CANstruction Competition is coming to Long Beach on August 21st. The resulting collections of food benefit Food Finders food rescue / food bank. It’s going to be a wild 12 hours benefiting people in need!

Four teams comprised of five prominent local architectural and engineering firms will transform thousands of cans of food into larger than life artistic masterpieces. The structures may be built up to 10’ x 10’ x 10’ and will be comprised of edible canned goods totaling over 7,000 lbs.

The completed structures will be on display to the public from August 22nd through September 2nd.

CANstruction was founded in 1992 to help promote the design community and raise food donations for hunger relief efforts. CANstruction events have been held in over 140 cities worldwide donating over 15 million pounds of canned foods to alleviate the concern of hunger and malnutrition.

Jason GrilliThe Halos have an ace relief pitcher in Jason Grilli, newly arrived in a trade deal with The Pittsburgh Pirates. In Pittsburgh he’s known for The Closer, a 3-decker grilled cheese sandwich using 9 different premium cheeses. Jason is with us live from Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas to talk about it.

Grilli, and partners, are also the Pittsburgh franchisees for the rapidly growing Tom+Chee. This is a grilled cheese and tomato soup shop for the kid at heart. The restaurants mix classic comfort food with fresh ingredients, healthy alternatives, and a flare for the unexpected. In addition to the regular menu there are lots of daily specials.

David BernahlThe 2014 Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival (4th Annual) is once again upon us taking place in Downtown Los Angeles on August 21 -24. This is one of the biggest culinary festivals staged on the West Coast with culinary masters hosting power lunches, cocktail culture merging with some of the finest chefs for spirited dinners, and first–time events such as the “Ultimate Bites of L.A. Challenge” on Opening Night hosted by Graham Elliott and Fabio Viviani.

The star-studded lineup of chefs at LAFW will also include Food & Wine Magazine Best New Chefs, James Beard Award winners, iconic personalities within the culinary arena, as well as Food TV personalities (Scott Conant, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Michelle Bernstein, Michael Chiarello, Nancy Silverton, David Kinch, Michael Cimarusti, Jonathan Waxman, and more.)

Founder David Bernahl of Coastal Luxury Management is our guest.

3rd annual PigOut in Costa MesaThe 3rd Annual PigOut (benefiting Inspire Artistic Minds) is set for Sunday afternoon, August 24th at the California Scenario (Noguchi Gardens) in Costa Mesa.

The main attraction will be a 250 pound Templeton Rye Duroc Pig of the Templeton Rye Heritage Pork Project. Only 25 of these special pigs are in existence.

Chef Mike Puglisi (ex-Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills) of the soon-to-be Electric City Butcher in Santa Ana will be performing a pig deconstruction demonstration.

Koreatown Night MarketThe KTown Night Market and Block Party is coming to Angel Stadium on Friday and Saturday, August 22nd and 23rd. It’s 60 plus food trucks and vendors (including the Seoul Sausage Co.) and a large beer garden. Also there will be live music, games and rides.

Seoul Sausage Co., the Season 3 winners of Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race,” are curating the all-star mobile culinary experience. The 20 food truck lineup includes fan favorites such as Coolhaus, Slangin Corea, and Fluff Ice.

We’ll chat with the co-producer Danny Park and Yong Kim, one of the young founders of the participating Seoul Sausage Co.

Chris AmiraultMeet Mixologist Chris Amirault of Harlowe, a new bar that’s already attracting a lot of attention in West Hollywood. He’s the Head Barman there. This is from the 1933 Group (Oldfield’s Liquor Room and Sassafras.)

Even Chris’ standard cocktails are very special. Chris also creates unusual draft and bottled cocktails. Also of note are the carafe cocktails and the shared punch bowls.

Not easy to order a libation these days with all the tempting options!

“Give me a bottle of bourbon & half a chicken and I’ll take over the world.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Eric Greenspan and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chef Eric Greenspan of Foundation Hospitality Group
Segment Three: Long Beach CANstruction benefiting Food Finders
Segment Four: Halo Reliever Jason Grilli
Segment Five: Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival
Segment Six: Pigout 3.0
Segment Seven: KTOWN Night Market & OC Block Party
Segment Eight: Head Barman Chris Amirault of Harlowe, West Hollywood

Show 78, July 5, 2014: Miguel Rodriguez, General Manager and Executive Chef Marc Johnson, Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge, The Island Hotel, Newport Beach Part Two

At Oak Grill there are over fifty wines available by the glass. Hundreds more by the bottle. Oak Grill boasts one of the most extensive wine lists in the area, all curated by Miguel.

They offer a robust program of craft beers on tap. Most are local.

Aqua Lounge Newport BeachAqua Lounge
“Afternoon cocktails. After work drinks. An evening out, or a late night rendezvous. DJ’s and pop-up performances. A casual menu of gourmet shareable bites and late night delectables and trendy street foods. That’s what we are. What we do is bring a whole new take on nightlife to Newport Beach.”

“Tableside mixology reinvents traditional bottle service and is one feature of a truly imaginative and engaging approach to craft cocktails, guided by renowned mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim. Assemble your own mule, or sit back and enjoy a delicious summer punch bowl.”

On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights Chef Marc offers a special late night street food menu in Aqua Lounge. It’s satisfying comfort foods ranging from street tacos to poutine. It even includes his signature Moki Breakfast Burrito. It starts at 11:00 p.m. and goes until 1:30 a.m.

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Show 67, March 29, 2014: Celebrity Chef Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s daytimer, “The Chew.”

Food fans know Chef Carla Hall as the “Hootie Hoo” lady and fan favorite from multiple seasons of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” She is now the co-host of ABC’s daytime lifestyle series, “The Chew.” Recently “The Chew” celebrated their 500th episode and the show continues to gain in popularity. Carla also is the author of Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You, newly available in paperback.

Carla Hall Carla’s newest cookbook is Carla’s Comfort Foods – Favorite Dishes from Around the World (on-sale April 1, 2014.) It’s a brand new collection of 130 recipes that embody the universal appeal of all kinds of comfort food.

Inspired by Carla’s love of family suppers and international flavors, this cookbook offers a mouthwatering variety of foods from around the world together with heartfelt stories of connecting with people through food. Each section of the book offers a brief description of a foundation recipe followed by some international variations.

Hall is a true believer that, “If you’re not in a good mood, the only thing you should make is a restaurant reservation.”

Carla is in Los Angeles on book tour on Sunday, April 13th. She is at Sur La Table @ The Original Farmers Market @ Noon and then @ USC for the LA Times Festival of Books @ 3:30 p.m.

Chef Carla promises our listeners that she will pose for every picture and sign every book at both Los Angeles stops. Hootie Hoo…

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Food Indulgences

Chef Jet and Travis discuss their favorite “guilty pleasures” junk food indulgences.

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Show 59, February 1, 2013: Matt Bencivenga, Wolfgang Puck Catering and Puck’s Tavern at Honda Center

Matt BencivengaCelebrated chef Wolfgang Puck and Wolfgang Puck Catering have just launched two new dining destinations at Honda Center, the home of the Anaheim Ducks. They are Puck’s Tavern, an approachable fine-dining restaurant serving modern comfort food and The Window at Puck’s Tavern, a made-to-order pizza concession stand. Both operations are located on the South Side of the arena’s main level.

Open during Honda Center’s events, Puck’s Tavern (230 seats) caters to both the general public and ticketholders alike. The 7,000 square-foot, indoor-outdoor restaurant features a direct entrance to the arena allowing a seamless transition from a sit-down meal or private event to the evening’s entertainment.

Matt Bencivenga, Executive Chef and Partner of Wolfgang Puck Catering joins us to chat about the opening of Puck’s Tavern and Wolfgang’s high-profile return to Orange County. Bencivenga co-founded Wolfgang Puck Catering with Wolfgang Puck in 1998.

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