Show 234, July 29, 2017: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal Continues…

Al ManciniJournalist Al Mancini is well-known in Las Vegas hospitality circles. He’s been reviewing restaurants there for over 15 years. In 2011 he co-created the first edition of the definitive Las Vegas dining guideEating Las Vegas – The 50 Essential Restaurants. Late last year he joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a staff writer primarily covering the food, restaurant and libations beat.

We resume our insider’s chat with Al about Vegas foodie news of note. We finish our Downtown update with Al’s profile of the Downtown Container Park. It has a giant Praying Mantis at the entrance that periodically shoots fire out of its mouth. Only is Las Vegas…For food (and a view) he suggests The Perch located on the top corner of the complex.

Look for Al’s new weekly column in the Review-Journal highlighting worthwhile Downtown events, including food.

Al shares his thoughts on the arrival of culinary celebrity David Chang’s Momofuku (and Milk Bar) at The Cosmopolitan. Momofuku will soon launch in Los Angeles.

 

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Show 177, June 25, 2016: Brock Radke, Managing Editor, Las Vegas Weekly

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyJournalist Brock Radke is no stranger to the SoCal Restaurant Show. He’s a genuine Las Vegas insider.

Brock is Managing Editor of Las Vegas Weekly and has been covering Las Vegas for more than 15 years. He joins us for a long overdue update on the dynamic Las Vegas dining scene. First up is an update on The Strip.

The big news is on The Strip is that David Chang’s Momofuku is coming to The Cosmopolitan. Also the former Monte Carlo is being rebranded, renovated and split into two luxury properties. One luxury property will be the trendy NoMad Hotel from Manhattan including the NoMad restaurant from Chef Daniel Humm. Also on the site will be Mario Batali’s Italian food emporium, Eataly, long-rumored to be coming to Las Vegas but in a different location.

Las Vegas is also welcoming their first major league sports franchise. NHL Hockey is coming to the new T-Mobile Arena (just off The Strip) in 2017! They already have over 14,000 deposits for season tickets so it’s obvious The City is ready!

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Show 121, May 9, 2015: Francis Garcia and Sal Basille, “Pizza Masters”

Francis Garcia and Sal Basille“Pizza Masters” Francis Garcia and Sal Basille (also cousins) opened Artichoke Basille’s on 14th Street in Manhattan in 2008 and immediately scored glowing reviews in the New York Times, New York Post and New York Magazine. They represent the 5th generation of their families in the restaurant business.

Chef David Chang, Keith Richards, Leonardo DiCaprio, Drew Barrymore and Martin Scorsese are all fans. They’ve expanded Artichoke to six locations (in New York and Berkeley, CA), launched a frozen pizza line, and are hosts of Cooking Channel’s Pizza Masters.”

Their new cookbook is Staten Italy: Nothin’ but the Best Italian – American Classics, from Our Block to Yours. “The delicious Italian-American comfort food we all remember, love and crave, from the owners of the Legendary Artichoke Pizza.”

Fran and Sal are our guests.

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Show 55, January 4, 2013: Chef Ivan Orkin, The Ramen Authority Continues…

Ivan Ramen in New York City and TokyoChef Ivan Orkin returns to continue his fascinating story.

International food authority Anthony Bourdain (CNN’s “Parts Unknown”) had this to say about Ivan Orkin :
“What Ivan Orkin does not know about noodles is not worth knowing.”

Ivan Orkin has told his story in the newly published Ivan Ramen – Love, Obsession, and Recipes from Tokyo’s Most Unlikely Noodle Joint. It’s both a memoir and a cookbook. Chef Ivan shares more than forty recipes including the complete, detailed recipe for his signature Shio Ramen.

Celebrity Chef David Chang of the Momofuku restaurant empire in New York wrote the hilarious forward.

Ivan discusses his carefully researched recipe for Shio Ramen. It’s all carefully detailed in the book with nothing missing!

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January 4: Bill Esparza, Brian Thorson, Sean E. Brown, Ivan Orkin, Jesus Sanchez, Robert Schueller

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Bill Esparza, The Mexican Food Maestro and Street Gourmet LA Blog
Segment Three: Brian Thorson, Brewmaster, Haven Gastropub + Brewery
Segment Four: Sean E. Brown, Executive Chef, ESPN Zone of Anaheim
Segment Five: Chef Ivan Orkin, The Ramen Authority Part One
Segment Six: Chef Ivan Orkin, The Ramen Authority Part Two
Segment Seven: Chef Jesus Sanchez CEC, Culinary Arts Institute, Los Angeles Mission College
Segment Eight: Robert Schueller, The Produce Guru, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce

We’re starting off 2014 with a bang. Tune-in…

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

We have the fascinating story of a middle-aged chef from New York who ventured to Japan to find himself, opened a modest ramen shop in a Tokyo suburb, and became a huge culinary celebrity in Japan! Bill Esparza is also with us, the Mexican Food Maestro and the unofficial Ambassador to the foods of Baja. Also a look at the truly affordable culinary arts program at Los Angeles Mission College, part of the Community College system.

Bill EsparzaThe 16th Annual Los Angeles Times Travel Show returns to the West Hall of the L.A. Convention Center on January 18 & 19. Our favorite Mexican Food Maestro, Bill Esparza, of the Street Gourmet LA blog is with us to preview his activities at the show.

Bill has cooking demos on the Flavors of the World Stage on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. The Sunday demo he is doing with Mariana Oviedo who represents the 2nd generation of the acclaimed Guerrerense food cart in Ensenada, Mexico started by her mother, Sabina Bandera in 1962.

Brian Thorson of Haven Gastropub and BreweryHaven Gastropub + Brewery in Old Pasadena has a new brewmaster, Brian Thorson, who has been with them for a year now gaining significant acclaim from area craft beer enthusiasts. Previously in Northern California Brian created quite a following at Drake’s and Trumer Pils.

Brian brews for both Havens as well as a few select wholesale accounts. There are typically some 12 Haven styles at any given moment but that varies by season.

A current standout is El Barista Rojo brewed with Portola Coffee Lab coffee (added during conditioning.) Also of particular note is the Hops, Inc. This IPA showcases hop flavor and aroma without bitterness.

Sean Brown of the ESPN Zone in AnaheimThe ESPN Zone in Anaheim in Downtown Disney is the last of the ESPN Zones so it’s a special place. ESPN television and radio is owned by Disney and its an enormous profit center for the parent corporation.

Besides being the primo sports viewing complex of choice in the area there is a welcome new direction in the food. The new executive chef, Sean E. Brown, is committed to serving the best in homestyle American comfort food. Let’s talk about the brined pork chop special for instance.

Chef Sean spent ten years cooking in Hawaii before returning to the mainland so fresh and local is part of his repertoire! He wants to be part of the community and especially welcomes Orange County locals to stop-by and say hello.

Look for a new lunch menu in the near future. Currently they offer an all-day menu.

Ivan Orkin of Ivan RamenIn 2007, Chef Ivan Orkin, a middle-aged Jewish guy from Long Island, did something crazy. In the food-zealous, insular megalopolis of Tokyo, Ivan opened a ramen shop. He had never launched a restaurant previously.

He was a foreigner trying to make a name for himself in a place that is fiercely opinionated about ramen. At first customers came because they were simply curious. Word then spread quickly about Ivan’s handmade noodles, clean and complex broth, and thoughtfully prepared toppings.

Soon enough Chef Ivan became a culinary celebrity in Japan. Fame in Japan begat his own best-selling brand of premium instant ramen.

Ivan Ramen in New York City and TokyoToday there are two busy Ivan Ramen locations in Tokyo and the new Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop in Manhattan. Ivan Ramen New York, a full-service Japanese restaurant, will open in the next couple of months.

International food authority Anthony Bourdain (CNN’s “Parts Unknown”) had this to say about Ivan Orkin :
“What Ivan Orkin does not know about noodles is not worth knowing.”

Ivan Orkin has told his story in the newly published Ivan Ramen – Love, Obsession, and Recipes from Tokyo’s Most Unlikely Noodle Joint. It’s both a memoir and a cookbook. Chef Ivan shares more than forty recipes including the complete, detailed recipe for his signature Shio Ramen.

Celebrity Chef David Chang of the Momofuku restaurant empire in New York wrote the hilarious forward.

Where can you go to culinary school locally, get a solid foundation, and not be in debt for the rest of your life?

Jesus Sanchez of the Culinary Arts Institute at Los Angeles Mission CollegeCertified Executive Chef Jesus Sanchez, a Culinary Instructor at the Culinary Arts Institute at Los Angeles Mission College in Sylmar for 11 years, is with us with all the key 411.

Their Culinary Arts Institute is housed in a new 85,000 sq. ft. building with 6 classrooms, a demonstration lab/classroom and 7 impressive kitchen lab classrooms.

They offer both an Associate in Arts Degree in Culinary Arts and an Associate in Arts Degree in Restaurant Management. In addition there are Certificate Programs for Achievement in Culinary Arts, Baking & Patisserie, and Restaurant Management.

With the new year what’s in season with local fruits and vegetables?

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceOur resident produce guru, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce, is back with us to highlight what’s best of the season right now.

We’ll talk Korean Pears, Cocktail Grapefruit, Meyer Lemons, Key Limes, Dutch Yellow Potatoes, Padron Peppers, Baby Brussels Sprouts and Kale Sprouts.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Bill Esparza, The Mexican Food Maestro and Street Gourmet LA Blog
Segment Three: Brian Thorson, Brewmaster, Haven Gastropub + Brewery
Segment Four: Sean E. Brown, Executive Chef, ESPN Zone of Anaheim
Segment Five: Chef Ivan Orkin, The Ramen Authority Part One
Segment Six: Chef Ivan Orkin, The Ramen Authority Part Two
Segment Seven: Chef Jesus Sanchez CEC, Culinary Arts Institute, Los Angeles Mission College
Segment Eight: Robert Schueller, The Produce Guru, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce

Show 8: December 1, 2012: Jason Kessler of Food Republic and Bon Appetit Part One

Jason spent his Thanksgiving at the inaugural Margaret River Gourmet Escape in Western Australia. Some of the biggest names in international celebrity chefdom were there including Rene Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen consistently rated as the number one restaurant in the World and David Chang of the New York-based Momofuku restaurant empire who now has a restaurant in Sydney.

The VIP Opening Night Party was held on the sand at Smith Beach with a backdrop of rolling waves.

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December 1: Five Crowns, Guelaguetza, Food Republic

Podcasts

Segment One: Executive Chef Greg Harrison and General Manager Jim Colombo of the iconic Five Crowns & SideDoor in Corona del Mar.
Segment Two: Executive Chef Greg Harrison and General Manager Jim Colombo Part Two
Segment Three: Bricia Lopez of the Guelaguetza Restaurants in K-Town and Plaza Mexico in Lynwood
Segment Four: Jason Kessler – Los Angeles-based food writer for Food Republic and his column for the online version of Bon Appetit Magazine is the “Nitpicker.”
Segment Five: Jason Kessler Part Two
Segment Six: Jason Kessler Part Three

It’s the first Saturday in December and abundant Holiday Cheer will be with us for the month.

Joining Jet in studio will be Chef Greg Harrison, the accomplished new exec at the iconic, 48-year old  Five Crowns in Corona del Mar. The Holidays are always a special time of celebration at Five Crowns and Chef Greg will be telling us about his new touches added to the traditional festivities.

Five Crowns has always been the establishment of choice to celebrate special occasions and still is. Since Chef Greg’s arrival he’s enhanced the menu to retain the signature classics while offering an updated selection of more contemporary dishes.

Lopez Family of Guelaguetza Restaurants and Plaza MexicoWhen you’re talking about the Mexican regional cuisine of Oaxaca no one does it better than the Lopez Family behind the two very popular Guelaguetza restaurants in Los Angeles and in the Plaza Mexico in Lynwood.

Lopez Family scion, Bricia, will be joining us to provide the basic 411 on Tequila and Mezcal (which originated in Oaxaca.)

Who’s that for Holiday cheer?

Jason Kessler, blogger extraordinaire for Food Republic and also the “Nitpicker” for Bon Appetit Magazine’s blog, is with us to report on his just completed adventure at the Margaret River Gourmet Escape in Western Australia. The remote area started as a surf spot and then developed into a world class wine region.

That weekend he rubbed shoulders with some of the most accomplished chefs in the world including Rene Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen (regarded by many restaurant critics as the Number One restaurant in the world,) and New York-based David Chang of Momofuku fame. Jason also got to chat with Australian star chefs Tetsuya Wakada (Tetsuya’s,) Neil Perry (Rockpool,) and Peter Gilmore (Quay,) all Sydney-based.

Podcasts

Segment One: Executive Chef Greg Harrison and General Manager Jim Colombo of the iconic Five Crowns & SideDoor in Corona del Mar.
Segment Two: Executive Chef Greg Harrison and General Manager Jim Colombo Part Two
Segment Three: Bricia Lopez of the Guelaguetza Restaurants in K-Town and Plaza Mexico in Lynwood
Segment Four: Jason Kessler – Los Angeles-based food writer for Food Republic and his column for the online version of Bon Appetit Magazine is the “Nitpicker.”
Segment Five: Jason Kessler Part Two
Segment Six: Jason Kessler Part Three