Show 300, December 1, 2018: Chef Matthew Peters, Gold Medalist, Team USA, Bocuse d’Or 2017

Mathew PetersWe last spoke with Chef Mathew Peters early last year after he won the first ever Gold Medal for Team USA at the Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition, a never-before achieved highlight for the American culinary arts! He’s now Austin, Texas based and is in the process of launching his own destination restaurant there.

Chef Peters is part of the Culinary Council of the ment’or BKB Foundation which supports and funds Team USA. On Wednesday, December 12th in Las Vegas ment’or BKB is staging their Young Chef and Commis Competition. The food-loving public can support the non-profit ment’or BKB Foundation (and the culinary arts in the USA) and attend.

“All competitors in the Young Chef and Commis Competitions are paired with mentors from the Foundation’s Culinary Council or previous Bocuse d’Or Team USA representatives, in tandem with the foundation’s goal of inspiring culinary excellence and fostering a supportive community for the next generation of great chefs in America.”

“This year’s 2018 Young Chef & Commis candidates will congregate in Las Vegas from all across the country, with competitors hailing from Washington, D.C, Chicago, IL and Boston, MA all the way to Honolulu, HI.”

Following the competition, ment’or will host a 10th anniversary celebration dinner. Chefs Paul Bartolotta, Justin Cogley, Timothy Hollingsworth, Michelle Karr-Ueoka, Mathew Peters, Rich Rosendale and Philip Tessier will come together to prepare a special menu honoring the late Chef Paul Bocuse, for whom the Bocuse d’Or, the world’s most prestigious culinary competition, is named. The festivities will begin at Bouchon Las Vegas at The Venetian Resort with a 45-minute cocktail reception at 7:15pm with passed canapés, followed by a four-course menu.

Tickets for the competition and celebration dinner are available for purchase here.

Chef Matt, who will also be a competition judge, joins us with all the mouthwatering details.

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Show 201, December 10, 2016: Young Yun, Executive Director, Mentor BKB Foundation

Young YunYoung Yun is the Executive Director of the Ment’or BKB Foundation in New York, a charitable beneficiary of Ultimo Weekend. Ment’or is a leading nonprofit organization devoted to INSPIRING CULINARY EXCELLENCE in young professionals and preserving the traditions and quality of cuisine in America.

“Our aim is to build a sustainable community of young American professionals that are knowledgeable and confident in their career pursuits and will be life-long ambassadors of quality and excellence in the world of gastronomy. The organization is dedicated to making the careers of serious young individuals more meaningful and successful by offering them unique educational opportunities, internships and access to a Culinary Council of established mentors.”

Will get an update from Young on the Foundation’s busy year supporting Team USA for the upcoming Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Challenge in Lyon and Ment’or’s Young Chef and Commis Competition.

Ment’or is a charitable beneficiary of Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence.

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Show 164, March 19, 2016: ment’or BKB Foundation’s Young Chef Competition

Philip TessierApplications are now available for the 3rd Annual ment’or BKB Foundation Young Chef Competition and the new Commis Competition. Mentor’s programs celebrate the young culinary talent that exists in the US and provides unique opportunities for them to be recognized on a national level.

The Young Chef Competitions launched in 2014 to recognize outstanding young chefs throughout the country. Selected candidates and their Commis will compete in the 2 hour and 35minute live cooking competition with judges scoring on taste, presentation and kitchen organization.

This year, ment’or will host one competition in New York City with six selected candidates. Ment’or cofounder and Chairman, Chef Daniel Boulud says, “Every year, we see the talent and pool of young chefs grow. It is gratifying to note that our Young Chef participants have not only honed their skills and craftsmanship, but stay connected to our culinary network and pass on their knowledge to the next generation of upcoming chefs.”

Young YunCandidates of both the Young Chef Competition and the Commis competition will be paired with mentors from the Foundation’s Culinary Council or previous Bocuse d’Or Team USA representatives to guide them throughout their training. Winners will have the choice of a cash prize or the coveted opportunity to work with Team USA as they train for the upcoming January 2017 Bocuse d’Or competition in Lyon, France.

Applications are now available through Thursday, April 7, 2016. Applications and additional details about the ment’or Young Chef and Commis Competitions can be found on the ment’or BKB Website.

Ment’or BKB’s Executive Director, Young Yun, and Chef Philip Tessier, Silver Medalist for Team USA at the 2015 Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition and Coach for Team USA 2017 have all the details.

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Show 138, September 12, 2015: ment’or BKB Foundation’s 2015 Young Chef Competitions

philip-tessierThe ment’or BKB Foundation debuted its 2015 Young Chef Competition Series in Los Angeles on Sept. 27th at Bouchon Beverly Hills. Other upcoming dates will be in Chicago, Houston and New York City. Four chefs between the ages of 22 to 27 compete on a Bocuse d’Or-style challenge, with the winning team in each city being awarded $10,000, which may be used to stage at the restaurant of their choice. The team placing second receives $5,000.

Culinary greats from the distinguished ment’or Culinary Council are on hand in each city to judge the competition, a ticked event with all the proceeds hoping to support the Foundation. In Los Angeles Alan Wong (Alan Wong’s) flew in all the way in from Honolulu to be a judge!

Skylar Stover, the Commis for Team USA at the 2015 Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition in Lyon, was the winner at Bouchon Beverly Hills. The next leg of the competition is Chicago on Sept. 17th.

Culinary Council member Chef Philip Tessier, formerly the Executive Sous Chef of The French Laundry in Yountville is our guest. Chef Philip is also the Team USA Head Coach for the 2017 Bocuse d’Or international culinary competition. Chef Philip was the Silver Statue Winner for Bocuse d’Or Team USA in 2015. This was a prestigious first for the United States.

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Show 93, October 18, 2014: Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, Holland America Line

Rudi SodaminThe “SoCal Restaurant Show” recently was aboard Holland America Line’s ms Zaandam on the Vancouver, BC to San Diego sailing of a longer 22-day Inca Discovery Tour ending in Valparaiso, Chile.

(Today the ship is at sea and then calling on Manta, Ecuador tomorrow.)

This morning we continue our exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the key people who oversee this 716 room floating luxury hotel with some 1,400 guests aboard. With us is HAL’s Master Chef Rudi Sodamin who also serves as Chairman of their celebrated Culinary Council. (Australian Chef Mark Best is the newest member.)

An internationally respected food authority with 30 years of hospitality and cruise industry experience, Chef Rudi is perhaps the most highly decorated chef working on the world’s oceans. He is considered one of the hospitality industries most innovative and peripatetic chefs.

Chef Rudi has authored 13 cookbooks including his most recent, Holland America Line’s Appetizer’s (Rizzoli, June 2012.) Chef Rudi’s books can be found on Amazon.com and in bookstores everywhere.

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Show 79, July 12, 2014: Seth Makowsky, Makowsky Restaurant Group

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. Catering can be a whole new profit center if managed correctly.

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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 46, November 2, 2013: Josiah Citrin, Chef/Proprietor of Melisse

Josiah CitrinFifteen years ago when fine-dining restaurants located outside of the protective umbrella of luxury hotels were at a low ebb in Los Angeles Chef Josiah Citrin sold his stake in a very popular Santa Monica dinner house and went out on his own to open a ultra-luxe, destination, freestanding, fine-dining, contemporary French restaurant with California accents. That was the start of Melisse. All these years later it still impresses.

Josiah is a new member of the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation’s prestigious Culinary Council. On November 10th Josiah and five other culinary superstars will join forces to cook an extraordinary six course repast at Melisse in Santa Monica to raise funds for The Foundation. Two different levels of wine-pairings are available for a supplement.

The esteemed group of chefs includes Gavin Kaysen, the Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Operations for Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud in New York, Palm Beach, and Toronto. He has previously represented the USA in the Bocuse d’Or culinary competition. For reservations please call 310.395.0881.

The Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation, established in 2008, is a non-profit organization led by a Board of Directors of renowned chefs Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and Jerome Bocuse (Paul’s son.) The Foundation is devoted to recruiting, training, and financially supporting the promising young American chefs who compete on behalf of the United States in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or competition, held in Lyon, France every two years. Think of it as the Olympics of the culinary world…

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November 3: Barbara Fairchild, Merrin-Mae Fuentebella, Jason Kessler, Anita Lau, Elizabeth Whitt, Josiah Citrin, Matt Bencivenga

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, food journalist, cookbook author, educator, and consultant
Segment Three: Chef Merrin-Mae, winning cheftestant, Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen”
Segment Four: Jason Kessler, food journalist
Segment Five: Anita Lau of the Mad Hungry Woman blog”
Segment Six: Chef Instructor Elizabeth Whitt
Segment Seven: Josiah Citrin, Chef/Proprietor of Melisse
Segment Eight: Matt Bencivenga, executive chef and partner of the Wolfgang Puck Catering Company

Jet Tila with Ben McKee of Imagine Dragons at Life is Beautiful Festival in Las VegasThanks to all of our loyal & enthusiastic listeners who were part of the audience for Jet’s Saturday afternoon cooking demo with Ben McKee of The Imagine Dragons at the Life Is Beautiful food and music festival in Downtown Las Vegas. It was standing room only for the demo in the Chefs On Stage East tent.

Jet and Andy preview the show. We have everything from a snapshot on where to dine now in New York to what it takes to prepare and serve gourmet food to the demanding VIPs at the Breeder’s Cup at Santa Anita. Also we’ll get the behind-the-scenes with a winning chef from Food Network’s new hit series “Cutthroat Kitchen” hosted by Alton Brown. Jet is one of the regular judges for the first season.

Barbara FairchildBarbara Fairchild is a respected food journalist, cookbook author, consultant, and educator. She is best known to us as the long-time former editor of Bon Appetit Magazine when they were based in Los Angeles.

This summer she taught a course in the Arthur L. Canter Journalism Institute at the prestigious New York University. Barbara tells us all about that as well as provides us with some great Manhattan dining suggestions ranging from a deli find to fine dining Italian and a comfortable celebrity chef restaurant that’s really worth going to.

Merrin Mae FuentebellaChef Merrin-Mae is a cheftestant on the first season of Food Network’s high pressure “Cutthroat Kitchen” hosted by Alton Brown. Her episode is entitled “Kiss My Grits” and was first aired on October 6th.

The level of competition was particularly intense and the sabotages were devilish. Chef Merrin-Mae made us proud in SoCal (she is a local) and she won the episode. One of the other cheftestants was a “Chopped” winner and was eliminated after the first round!

She currently works at Alma with executive chef Ari Taymor. When she did the show she was part of the culinary team at Sotto.

The latest fad diet that is getting a lot of attention is the Paleo Diet (also known as the caveman diet.)

Jason Kessler of Food RepublicFood journalist Jason Kessler of Food Republic and Bon Appetit was actually on the diet for 40 days and shares his experience with us. Jason’s observation is that because the diet is so restrictive you can drop some weight rather quickly. The severely limiting factor is that it gets monotonous rather fast.

San Diego, we haven’t forgotten you.

anita-lauAnita Lau of the Mad Hungry Woman blog is with us with a San Diego dining discovery. Anita was a nominee for a Golden Foodie award in Journalism this year.

Anita’s find is Ristorante Kaz. This is an intriguing Japanese Italian fusion cuisine spot. Anita’s favorite bite was an angel hair pasta dish with creamy sea urchin with spinach and salmon roe.

Elizabeth WhittFeeling ambitious in the kitchen…? Time to get a running start on holiday cooking and entertaining. Our superstar chef instructor, Elizabeth Whitt, of www.ChefElizabeth.com is with us again to get those holiday preparations pointed in the right direction with relative ease.

Pumpkin is in this year. Chef Elizabeth has both a savory and sweet recipe to add to your holiday collection. First up is an incredible Pumpkin Risotto with a fresh baking pumpkin or butternut squash. For dessert there is a not too sweet Pumpkin Cheesecake. Yum….!

When Chef Jet has his own culinary questions he turns Le Cordon Bleu, Paris-trained to Chef Elizabeth. She has a series of popular holiday classes coming up that always sell out early. On November 7th she has “Make-Ahead Holiday Side Dishes” from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and “Holiday Pies and Desserts” the same day from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Then on December 5th its her most popular class, “Appetizers and Hors D’oeuvres,” from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

All classes are at the Cypress Community Center in Cypress.

Josiah CitrinFifteen years ago when fine-dining restaurants located outside of the protective umbrella of luxury hotels were at a low ebb in Los Angeles Chef Josiah Citrin sold his stake in a very popular Santa Monica dinner house and went out on his own to open a ultra-luxe, destination, freestanding, fine-dining, contemporary French restaurant with California accents. That was the start of Melisse. All these years later it still impresses.

Josiah is a new member of the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation’s prestigious Culinary Council. On November 10th Josiah and five other culinary superstars will join forces to cook an extraordinary six course repast at Melisse in Santa Monica to raise funds for The Foundation. Two different levels of wine-pairings are available for a supplement.

The esteemed group of chefs includes Gavin Kaysen, the Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Operations for Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud in New York, Palm Beach, and Toronto. He has previously represented the USA in the Bocuse d’Or culinary competition. For reservations please call 310.395.0881.

The Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation, established in 2008, is a non-profit organization led by a Board of Directors of renowned chefs Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and Jerome Bocuse (Paul’s son.) The Foundation is devoted to recruiting, training, and financially supporting the promising young American chefs who compete on behalf of the United States in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or competition, held in Lyon, France every two years. Think of it as the Olympics of the culinary world…

The 2013 Breeder’s Cup, horse racing’s premier international event, returns to storied Santa Anita Park on November 1st and 2nd.

Matt BencivengaWolfgang Puck Catering (they cater the annual Governors Ball for The Oscars) has been selected to serve it’s fine-dining, seasonal cuisine to some 5,000 demanding VIP attendees. Wolfgang Puck Catering’s cuisine will be served in the Trackside Marquee, Frontrunner, Sierra Vista, Trophy Lounge and the Chandelier Room.

Founding Executive Chef and Partner (of Wolfgang Puck Catering) Matt Bencivenga joins us to talk about the challenges of maintaining Spago quality at large events. It takes a lot of skill, planning, and an army of chefs.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, food journalist, cookbook author, educator, and consultant
Segment Three: Chef Merrin-Mae, winning cheftestant, Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen”
Segment Four: Jason Kessler, food journalist
Segment Five: Anita Lau of the Mad Hungry Woman blog”
Segment Six: Chef Instructor Elizabeth Whitt
Segment Seven: Josiah Citrin, Chef/Proprietor of Melisse
Segment Eight: Matt Bencivenga, executive chef and partner of the Wolfgang Puck Catering Company