Show 72, May 17, 2014: Executive Chef Deborah Schneider, Partner, SOL Cocina, solita and cookbook author

Deborah SchneiderChef Deborah Schneider brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her role as Executive Chef and Partner of Mexican restaurants SOL Cocina (Newport Beach & Scottsdale, AZ) and solita (Huntington Beach, CA) Schneider draws upon her rich culinary background and more than 25 years of professional cooking experience to bring the superb tastes and relaxing beach vibe of the Baja Peninsula.

Schneider’s passion for Baja was stoked by countless surf trips down the Peninsula. There, at small street stands and on pristine beaches, she discovered flavorful, healthy cuisine, rich with fresh seafood and inventive preparations that are at the heart of her restaurants.

Chef Deb has just released a second edition of her critically acclaimed first cookbook, Baja! Cooking on the Edge. It features a mixture of authentic recipes and Chef Deb’s own Baja-inspired dishes.

Baja! features more than 150 easy-to-follow recipes, peppered with fantastic stories and images that are as vibrant in color as the dishes are in flavor. Chef Deb explores these different cultural influences of Baja street food – everything from the classic Fish Tacos and Seafood Cocktels, to a wide range of inspired meat-based tacos – chicken, pork, chorizo – and fresh salsas. The uniquely Baja recipes featured includes delights like Clams in Tequila Butter, One-Pan Paella, Garlic Cilantro Steak and Chocolate-Jalapeno Truffles.

Chef Deb shares the two essential hints for preparing authentic Baja Fish Tacos.

Sol is soon coming to Playa Vista and solita will launch later this year in Santa Clarita.

Play

May 17: Old Vine Café, Truck U Barbecue, Ruth Reichl, Sheerwater, Deborah Schneider, District Wine, Kedric Francis

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Owner / Chef Mark McDonald, Old Vine Café, The Camp in Costa Mesa
Segment Three: Chef Mike Minor of the Truck-U Barbeque rolling grill, Las Vegas
Segment Four: Ruth Reichl, New York Times bestselling author and long-time Editor of Gourmet Magazine
Segment Five: Charles “Chuck” Watson, Chef de Cuisine, Sheerwater, Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, CA
Segment Six: Executive Chef Deborah Schneider, Partner, SOL Cocina, solita and cookbook author
Segment Seven: Mark Dunton, Proprietor, District Wine, Long Beach
Segment Eight: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, The Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Orange County Magazine

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

The Old Vine Café, now in its 6th year, is a real crowd-pleaser at The Camp in Costa Mesa. Owner/Chef Mark McDonald gives us the background.

When we last visited Las Vegas Chef Mike Minor (ex-Executive Chef at Border Grill) he was just about to launch his TruckU Barbeque there. Now that his rolling grill is on the road and serving guests we’ll get the saucy update…

After you’ve been the esteemed and high-profile editor of Gourmet Magazine and, prior to that, the powerful & influential restaurant critic of The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times what’s next? In the case of our guest, Ruth Reichl, you pen your first novel.

The Hotel Del Coronado is California’s premier, classic beachfront hotel dating back to 1888. It represents the pinnacle of luxury from another age. One of their casual restaurants, with an incredible ocean view, is Sheerwater. We’ll meet the chef.

Executive Chef Deborah Schneider of SOL Cocina and solita Tacos & Margaritas in Huntington Beach is a well-traveled authority on the foods of Baja. Her first cookbook Baja! Cooking on the Edge is now out in a 2nd edition.

What’s special about District Wine in Downtown Long Beach? Meet the personable proprietors Mark and Angela Dunton and you’ll know.

Our debonair, roving food and travel correspondent based in the OC, Kedric Francis, checks-in. He’s the Executive Editor of both The Orange County Register Magazine and Coast Orange County Magazine. He’s updating us on the new food market halls arriving in the OC.

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

Mark McDonald of the Old Vine CafeSome six years ago owner/chef Mark McDonald opened the Old Vine Café hidden in The Camp in Costa Mesa. Unusually for a fine-dining establishment he serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Chef Mark also has a serious wine program with a fun, educational component.

It’s top quality cuisine and wine in a non-pretentious, casual atmosphere. Mark did a lot of cooking in Southern Italy and that’s reflected on the seasonally changing menu.

Chef Mark really wants his guests to enjoy, and sample, new wines. His “6 for $60” wine program encourages this.

He also leads annual escorted tours to Italy in association with The Italian Culinary Institute. His next “Splendors of South Italy” tour (Calabria and Sicily) is set for March 20 to 29, 2015.

Mike Minor of Truck U Barbecue in Las VegasWhen we last visited Las Vegas Chef Mike Minor (ex-Executive Chef at Border Grill) he was just about to launch his Truck-U Barbeque there. Now that the rolling grill is on the road and serving guests we’ll get the meaty update…

The truck itself was designed by HGTV star Luca Paganico.

Chef Mike calls it “meat candy on wheels.” It’s “urban hipster” barbecue. The food is Mexican with a Southern twist.

Look for the Short Rib Enchiladas and the Chipotle Fried Chicken. How about Maple Bacon Churros…???

Ruth ReichlAfter you’ve been the esteemed editor of Gourmet Magazine and, prior to that, the powerful & influential restaurant critic of The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times what’s next? In the case of our guest, Ruth Reichl, you pen your first novel. It’s Delicious! – A Novel.

“Ruth Reichl is a born storyteller. Through her restaurant reviews, where she celebrated the pleasures of a well-made meal, and her bestselling memoirs that address our universal feelings of love and loss, Reichl has achieved a special place in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of readers. Now, with this magical debut novel, she has created a sumptuous, wholly realized world that will enchant you.

Billie Breslin has traveled far from her home in California to take a job at Delicious!, New York’s most iconic food magazine. Away from her family, particularly her older sister, Genie, Billie feels like a fish out of water—until she is welcomed by the magazine’s colorful staff. She is also seduced by the vibrant downtown food scene, especially by Fontanari’s, the famous Italian food shop where she works on weekends. Then Delicious! is abruptly shut down, but Billie agrees to stay on in the empty office, maintaining the hotline for reader complaints in order to pay her bills.

To Billie’s surprise, the lonely job becomes the portal to a miraculous discovery. In a hidden room in the magazine’s library, Billie finds a cache of letters written during World War II by Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, to the legendary chef James Beard. Lulu’s letters provide Billie with a richer understanding of history, and a feeling of deep connection to the young writer whose courage in the face of hardship inspires Billie to comes to terms with her fears, her big sister and her ability to open her heart to love.”

Sheerwater Restaurant at the Hotel Del CoronadoThe Hotel Del Coronado is California’s premier, classic beachfront hotel dating back to 1888. It represents the pinnacle of luxury from another age.

One of their casual restaurants, with an incredible ocean view, is Sheerwater. The Chef de Cuisine there is Charles “Chuck” Watson.

They pride themselves on using fresh, local, sustainable seafood where possible. Think Mexican prawns and Baja scallops for starters.

All of the fish trimmings at this high volume establishment contribute to the house-specialty cioppino.

Chef Chuck is the culinary liaison at the Del for the SEA + FOOD event on Saturday afternoon, June 7th on the Windsor Lawn. It’s a one-day Pacific coast food festival to remember with delicious local seafood, BBQ from the Lil’ Del BBQ, and libations including craft beers, wines and spirits. Live retro rhythm and blues music, too.

The Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation to benefit childhood cancer research is the charitable beneficiary.

$100 admission includes tax, gratuities and parking. Adults only, please.

Deborah SchneiderChef Deborah Schneider brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her role as Executive Chef and Partner of Mexican restaurants SOL Cocina (Newport Beach & Scottsdale, AZ) and solita (Huntington Beach & soon Valencia) Schneider draws upon her rich culinary background and more than 25 years of professional cooking experience to bring the superb tastes and relaxing beach vibe of the Baja Peninsula.

Schneider’s passion for Baja was stoked by countless surf trips down the Peninsula. There, at small street stands and on pristine beaches, she discovered flavorful, healthy cuisine, rich with fresh seafood and inventive preparations that are at the heart of her restaurants.

Chef Deb has just released a second edition of her critically acclaimed first cookbook, Baja! Cooking on the Edge. It features a mixture of authentic recipes and Chef Deb’s own Baja-inspired dishes. This is the book that drew Chef Deb’s (now) restaurant partners to her for the SOL Cocina project.

Baja! features more than 150 easy-to-follow recipes, peppered with fantastic stories and images that are as vibrant in color as the dishes are in flavor. Chef Deb explores these different cultural influences of Baja street food – everything from the classic Fish Tacos and Seafood Cocktels, to a wide range of inspired meat-based tacos – chicken, pork, chorizo – and fresh salsas. The uniquely Baja recipes featured includes delights like Clams in Tequila Butter, One-Pan Paella, Garlic Cilantro Steak and Chocolate-Jalapeno Truffles.

Seasoned travel journalist and wine and food writer Linda Kissam knows what makes for a good wine bar…

Angela and Mark Dutton of District WineWhat makes a great wine bar? Before I put my dollars down, I like to look inside and make sure there are really plenty of interesting bottles of wine that appear to be available by the glass and small plates of food that complement the wine promising a special evening. A good wine bar isn’t just a bar with some wine. It specializes in wine. I like a place where the owner takes a real interest in making my wine time a memorable experience.”

District Wine in Downtown Long Beach is such an establishment. They just celebrated their 4th anniversary. Angela & Mark Dunton are the welcoming proprietors.

As Linda confidently observes, “These guys know their stuff.”

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineOur always debonair, roving food and travel correspondent in the OC, Kedric Francis, checks-in. He’s the Executive Editor of both The Orange County Register Magazine and Coast Orange County Magazine. He’s updating us on the new food market halls arriving in the OC.

Kedric will update us on the progress of the soon-to-be 4th Street Market in Downtown Santa Ana and The Anaheim Packing District. (That includes The Packard Showroom, Farmers Park, and Packing House.)

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Owner / Chef Mark McDonald, Old Vine Café, The Camp in Costa Mesa
Segment Three: Chef Mike Minor of the Truck-U Barbeque rolling grill, Las Vegas
Segment Four: Ruth Reichl, New York Times bestselling author and long-time Editor of Gourmet Magazine
Segment Five: Charles “Chuck” Watson, Chef de Cuisine, Sheerwater, Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, CA
Segment Six: Executive Chef Deborah Schneider, Partner, SOL Cocina, solita and cookbook author
Segment Seven: Mark Dunton, Proprietor, District Wine, Long Beach
Segment Eight: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, The Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Orange County Magazine

Show 59, February 1, 2013: Curtis Stone, Owner/Chef of Maude, Beverly Hills

Curtis StoneYou know Aussie (Melbourne) celebrity chef, Curtis Stone, from Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” which he hosts. He’s now a resident of Los Angeles.

What you may not know is that he has a serious culinary background. He trained with the legendary English Chef, Marco Pierre White. Chef Curtis worked his way up Marco Pierre White’s tall culinary ladder over eight years and eventually became the Head Chef of Quo Vadis in London earning a coveted Michelin Star.

On February 1st Curtis Stone opens Maude in Beverly Hills. Maude is named after his grandmother who prepared his first memorable dish at Age 5. It’s an intimate 25 seats and Chef Curtis will actually be there cooking. The menu will change monthly and all of the ten tasting plates served each night will contain a featured ingredient. February is citrus.

Play

February 1: Curtis Stone, Cookies for a Koz, Hans Rockenwagner, Puck’s Tavern, Pacific Coast Wine Festival

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Curtis Stone, Owner/Chef of Maude, Beverly Hills Part One
Segment Three: Curtis Stone, Owner/Chef of Maude, Beverly Hills Part Two
Segment Four: Roberta Koz Wilson, Cookies for a Koz
Segment Five: Chef Hans Rockenwagner, Rockenwagner Bakery and Café Rockenwagner Part One
Segment Six: Chef Hans Rockenwagner, Rockenwagner Bakery and Café Rockenwagner Part Two
Segment Seven: Matt Bencivenga, Wolfgang Puck Catering and Puck’s Tavern at Honda Center
Segment Eight: Tristen Beamon and Kyle Meyer, BestWinesOnline.com and Pacific Coast Wine Festival

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching so plan ahead and don’t panic. It falls on a Friday this year. Friday is an especially tough day for restaurants due to Valentine’s Day anxiety so if you want to be a bit more relaxed make your plans for Saturday or Sunday instead. Still the Valentine’s Day orbit but a bit less crazed for the restaurant. You’ll definitely have better service…

Chef jet Tila and Alton BrownFood Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” with host Alton Brown is back on Sunday nights for Season 2. Our own Chef Jet Tila is the most frequently appearing solo judge on this tough competition show that requires strategy as well as cooking chops. Look for Jet’s new episodes starting in February.

Congrats to Chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage Co. in West Los Angeles. Last Sunday (Jan. 26th.) he competed against three other chefs on Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen.” He won big and took home the most cash of any winner to date!

Everyone’s favorite sexy Aussie Chef is Curtis Stone. He’s opening an intimate new restaurant on Feb. 1st and we’ll get all the 411 right from the source. Fine dining chef Hans Rockenwagner, in recent years, has become known for his line of artisan breads. He’s just opened his most ambitious bakery café to date in Brentwood and joins us to provide the details. Wolfgang Puck is back in Orange County with the newly launched Puck’s Tavern at Honda Center, home of the Anaheim Ducks. The executive chef of Wolfgang Puck Catering is with us to preview what’s on the menu.

All of that and lots more incredible deliciousness on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

Curtis StoneYou know Aussie celebrity chef, Curtis Stone, from Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” which he hosts. He’s now a resident of Los Angeles.

What you may not know is that he has a serious culinary background. He trained with the legendary English Chef, Marco Pierre White. Chef Curtis worked his way up Marco Pierre White’s tall culinary ladder and eventually became the Head Chef of Quo Vadis in London.

On February 1st Curtis Stone opens Maude in Beverly Hills. Maude is named after his grandmother. It’s an intimate 25 seats and Chef Curtis will actually be there cooking. The menu will change monthly and all of the nine tasting plates served each night will contain a featured ingredient.

His most recent cookbook, What’s for Dinner?: Delicious Recipes for a Busy Life was published last year by Ballantine Books Hardcover. The concept is getting dinner on the table without a hassle. The book features 130 effortless and inspired recipes that carry Chef Curtis’ promise of working.

Roberta Koz WilsonIt’s almost Valentine’s Day and what more thoughtful edible gift than absolutely delicious chocolate chip cookies baked in small batches! The big plus is that each sale benefits The Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Roberta Koz Wilson (jazz saxophone great Dave Koz’s sister) of Cookies for a Koz joins us to share the inspirational story. The cookies are a tribute to their late mother, Audrey, who created the original cookie recipe. The truth is that these famous cookies opened a lot of doors for Dave in his early days as a struggling musician!

The Red Velvet Cookie was originally created as a Valentine’s Day special. It became so popular that it was added to the year-round line. It’s their take on a moist and delicious Red Velvet Cupcake.

Hans RockenwagnerChef Hans Rockenwagner burst on the local Venice dining scene in 1985 when he opened the original (40 seat) Rockenwagner on Abbot Kinney Blvd. where Joe’s is now.

In 1991 Rockenwagner moved to a much larger space in the Frank Gehry-designed Edgemar Complex in Santa Monica.

White asparagus, in season, became a signature menu item.

Hans eventually discovered there was more money in artisan bread and eventually closed Rockenwagner to concentrate on his growing wholesale bread baking business. He now has 60 bakers working around the clock seven days a week! Rockenwagner Bakery is a fixture at area Farmers Markets including the Sunday Beverly Hills Farmers Market.

Cafe RockenwagnerIn addition to the growing wholesale bakery Hans Rockenwagner has a network of busy bakery cafes in Santa Monica, Venice, and Mar Vista. The most ambitious café to date just launched in Brentwood. This Café Rockenwagner is in the bw (a high-rise luxury apartment building) at the corner of Barrington Ave. and Wilshire Blvd.

Besides a full food menu there is on an on-site pastry chef here so there is an impressive selection of fresh breakfast pastries, desserts, breads and pretzels available.

Pucks Tavern at Honda CenterCelebrated 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.

Tristen Beamon and Kyle MeyerIf you’re a wine lover then the upcoming Pacific Coast Wine Festival evening on March 1st at The Island Hotel in Newport Beach to benefit the Pacific Symphony is definitely for you.

The evening starts off with tastings from highly touted wineries including Domaine Faively and Nickel & Nickel. The live and silent auction will feature renowned selections such as Margaux, Mouton, Paul Hobbs, and Screaming Eagle. The sumptuous dinner will be followed by a select chocolate and port tasting.

All the impressive wine selections for the benefit and auctions have been meticulously curated by Tristen Beamon and Kyle Meyer of Orange County’s Bestwinesonline.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Curtis Stone, Owner/Chef of Maude, Beverly Hills Part One
Segment Three: Curtis Stone, Owner/Chef of Maude, Beverly Hills Part Two
Segment Four: Roberta Koz Wilson, Cookies for a Koz
Segment Five: Chef Hans Rockenwagner, Rockenwagner Bakery and Café Rockenwagner Part One
Segment Six: Chef Hans Rockenwagner, Rockenwagner Bakery and Café Rockenwagner Part Two
Segment Seven: Matt Bencivenga, Wolfgang Puck Catering and Puck’s Tavern at Honda Center
Segment Eight: Tristen Beamon and Kyle Meyer, BestWinesOnline.com and Pacific Coast Wine Festival