Show 377, June 13, 2020: Las Vegas’ Lip Smacking Foodie Tours and Finger Licking Foodie Tours Part One

Donald Contursi of Lipsmacking Foodie ToursFood lovers are now able to eat and explore their way through Downtown Las Vegas like never before with a pair of private, self-guided, e-assisted culinary tours created by Finger Licking Foodie Tours. The brand-new company represents a follow-up, companion business to the successful Lip Smacking Foodie Tours created by Las Vegas entrepreneur and hospitality-industry veteran, Donald Contursi.

The new self-guided Finger Licking Foodie Tours (Downtown Fremont East and Arts District) offers guests a fun and innovative way to support three top restaurants in the Las Vegas community, while enjoying an array of Instagramable dishes in one outing. Each tour requires a minimum of just two patrons, so guests can safely dine with their closest family and loved ones.

Don Contursi joins us with the delectable details.

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Show 377, June 13, 2020: Las Vegas’ Lip Smacking Foodie Tours and Finger Licking Foodie Tours Part Two

Donald Contursi of Lipsmacking Foodie ToursFood lovers are now able to eat and explore their way through Downtown Las Vegas like never before with a pair of private, self-guided, e-assisted culinary tours created by Finger Licking Foodie Tours. The brand-new company represents a follow-up, companion business to the successful Lip Smacking Foodie Tours created 5 years ago by Las Vegas entrepreneur and hospitality-industry veteran, Donald Contursi.

“With restaurant capacities limited due to public health restrictions and reservations at the hottest restaurants challenging, Finger Licking Foodie Tours provide immediate VIP seating with signature dishes served fresh, shortly after arrival. Tours are “led” by a virtual tour guide who provides a map of the route, interesting tidbits along the way and a guided walk through Downtown Container Park to support local small businesses.”

“This tour provides an intimate and personalized foodie experience,” explains Contursi. “Guests receive an online map, as well as a link to an innovative virtual tour guide who provides commentary for each fascinating stop along the way including a walk- through Downtown Container Park to support small businesses. On this 2.5-hour experience in the city’s exciting, revitalized downtown, guests will visit three acclaimed restaurants, enjoying superb service and three unforgettable dishes at each venue.”

Don Contursi continues to entice us with the specifics of his new, self-guided VIP foodie experiences.

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Show 368, April 11, 2020: Chef Michael Stamm, MGP Specialty Food and Cured & Whey, Las Vegas

Michael Stamm of MGP Specialty FoodIf you’re in the gourmet specialty food business Las Vegas is the land of opportunity in normal times. There are multiple high-end, fine-dining restaurants located on The Strip as well as in the affluent suburbs of Summerlin and Henderson. Downtown Las Vegas has been enjoying an independent dining revival, too. A great local success story for 21 years is Chef Michael Stamm of MGP Specialty Food. “Specialty Products for the Gourmand.”

His gourmet specialty food retail operation for the public is Cured & Whey. They offer one of the most impressive cheese and charcuterie board selections available in Las Vegas. During the health crisis all soft and hard cheeses are being sold at deep discounts. Cured & Whey also stocks the essential pantry items. Curbside pickup is available.

“It takes a lot of care and integrity to procure just the right products and deliver above and beyond what our customers need and want,” said Chef Michael. Chef Michael’s philosophy is indeed a reflection of his commitment to quality and the extraordinaire.  He shares his manufacturers’ passion for excellence and takes great pride in the products and manufactures he personally selects to represent.

Chef Michael brings out the foie gras just for us and explains how he is navigating this unheard of time where Las Vegas is essentially closed for visitors.

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Show 323, May 11, 2019: Wyndee Forrest, Co-Founder, CraftHaus Brewery, Henderson

Wyndee Forrest of CraftHaus BreweryThe CraftHaus Brewery team is not only passionate about craft beer, but also sharing it with their Las Vegas community. They were established in Henderson is 2014.

“Co-owners and married couple, Wyndee and Dave Forrest, conjured up the big idea for CraftHaus Brewery while traveling through Europe. They noticed that they were immersed in a craft beer culture where people take their time to enjoy quality beer just as much as they enjoy talking to the people around them.” Now, they have brought that effervescent culture back home and continue to build their Las Vegas community one refreshing pint at a time.

Along the way Wyndee and Dave were successful in changing city licensing to a more modern, craft friendly license. Dave’s craft beer roots started with a passion for homebrewing and bringing people together around a beer or two. Wyndee’s background is in working as a publicist on the famed Las Vegas Strip. They are both University of Nevada, Las Vegas graduates.

CraftHaus Brewery is part of Saturday night’s “A Smokin’ Good Time with Susan Feniger” at Border Grill Mandalay Bay as an event for Vegas Uncork’d. Among the thirst-quenching styles served will be one created just for the festivities, Blood Orange Pale Ale.

In other CraftHaus Brewery news they will soon be opening a 2nd tasting roomlocated right across the street from Chef James Trees’ Esther’s Kitchen in the Arts District of Downtown Las Vegas.

Wyndee taps the keg for us.

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Show 323, May 11, 2019: Donald Contursi, Founder & President, Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, Las Vegas

Donald Contursi of Lipsmacking Foodie Tours“In Vegas, you may need Lady Luck at the gambling tables, but not at the dining ones. Not when you rely on Lip Smacking Foodie Tours’ award-winning culinary walking tours that ensure a delicious payoff in the best bites this exciting city offers.”

“Our mission at LIPSMACKING foodie tours is to introduce visitors and locals alike to the best signature dishes, unique preparations and exciting tastes in Las Vegas. The mouths behind Lip Smacking Foodie Tours love food, eating, dining and experiencing. This quartet of passions originally inspired us to pursue careers in the food, beverage and hospitality industries. And ultimately, after years in the game, we created Las Vegas’ premier walking tour company exclusively geared toward those craving the ultimate taste of Las Vegas.”

“Book a tour today and you will be privy to a day or night adventure at up to four top restaurants, on the Strip or downtown, hosted by the citys culinary insiders who will entertain you with fascinating stories about Vegas. At each restaurant, you’re a VIP, whisked to the best table to enjoy 3 to 4 signature dishes at each stop. We take the gamble out of finding the most Lip Smacking tastes among the more than 330 restaurants on the Strip.”

President & Founder Donald Contursi is our guide.

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Show 251, December 9, 2017: Food Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Al ManciniThe delightfully opinionated Al Mancini took on the dream assignment for any food journalist of becoming the food reporter for The Las Vegas Review-Journal just about a year ago. He’s an unabashed fan of Fabulous Las Vegas. He also faithfully covers the happenings in the revived Downtown Las Vegas including the vibrant restaurant scene there.

Al discovered his passion for food while living in New York City, where he attended law school by day, tended bar and made pizza at the infamous punk club CBGB by night, and explored the Big Apple’s dynamic dining scene during every spare moment in between.

Previously Al has written extensively about food and dining for numerous local, Las Vegas lifestyle publications. He is the co-creator of Eating Las Vegas – The 50 Essential Restaurants guidebook which launched with the 2011 Edition.

Al is celebrating a B-I-G Birthday this weekend and we pull him away from the festivities for a chat.

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

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’ll chat with Al about the rise of Downtown Las Vegas as a dining destination and also get updated on other local foodie news of note.

One of Al’s picks for Downtown Las Vegas dining is The Carson Kitchen. It’s actually expanding. It’s something of a homage to its founding chef/owner, the late Kerry Simon.

Al is also a brunch fan. Right before his “SoCal Restaurant Show” interview he was at the newly expanded Ping Pang Pong in The Gold Coast enjoying their highly regarded dim sum. On Friday he was brunching at Sugarcane located on The Strip at The Venetian. Al points out that it’s one of the few spots in Las Vegas with a Weekday brunch option.

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Show 185, August 20, 2016: Brock Radke, Managing Editor, Las Vegas Weekly Part One

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyJournalist Brock Radke is our well-connected Las Vegas insider. He’s the Managing Editor of Las Vegas Weekly and has been reporting on the dynamic Las Vegas scene for 15 years. He’s back with his regular dining update.

We’ll get updated on Downtown Las Vegas restaurant happenings, celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Caesars Palace, and talk about the late Chef Michel Richard’s restaurant there, Central Michel Richard.

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Show 150, December 12, 2015: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, soon, Brea, is back as today’s special Guest Host.

West Coast Prime Meats CookbookWe got a tremendous response to our segment last week on the publication of the West Coast Prime Meats CooksProfessional Recipes for the Home Kitchen cookbook. It’s the ideal gift for the serious home cook and it’s also a worthy coffee table volume. All the chefs’ recipes have been tested to be duplicated in the home kitchen. It’s available through their website at www.WestCoastPrimeMeats.com

for a modest $25.00. Five Dollars of the purchase price goes to a pair of outstanding supports groups for our Veterans, The Wounded Warrior Project and The Gary Sinise Foundation – Serving Honor and Need. It’s the Holiday gift you can feel really good about giving.

Next a mouthwatering preview of Saturday’s high-energy and appropriately festive show and not, with apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

For the last seven years Chef Marlene Moore has been overseeing the busy Temptations Food Court, the Poker Room, and Bingo Parlor at Pechanga Resort & Casino. The Food Court features American, Italian, Mexican, Fried Chicken, Espresso and Pastries, Bahn Mi, Hot Dogs and Lemonade. Chef Marlene shares some tips for creative Holidays dishes with a true Southern flair. Think marination and jerk seasoning.

They always do it B-I-G in Las Vegas. What’s billed as the culinary event of the year, Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence, hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo, will take culinary extravagance to new levels, December 17th through the 20th. The highlight of the festivities will be the competition to select Team USA representing the United States in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or international cooking competition in Lyon, France in early 2017. This is the Olympics of the culinary arts.

Chef Richard Rosendale (Richard Rosendale Collective) is our guest. He is on the Chef Jury on Dec. 17th in Las Vegas and led Team USA at the Bocuse d’Or in 2013.

In 2011, beer enthusiasts Meg Gill and Tony Yanow founded Golden Road Brewing to bring fresh beer to the local market in the most sustainable way possible.  “Golden Road is committed to engaging and supporting the growing community of socially-minded beer enthusiasts.” “Brewed and canned in Los Angeles,” Golden Road’s year-round offerings include Point the Way IPA, Golden Road Hefeweizen, Get Up Offa That Brown and Wolf Among Weeds IPA. Co-founder Meg Gill is our guest

Anita Lau is better known to regular listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” as the Mad Hungry Woman blogger. She was living in Hong Kong in the 90s before the turnover to China. Anita is just back from a 3-week visit. We’ll get a insider’s view of the dining scene there during the glory days of the British and now under Chinese authority.

One of the up-and-coming wineries in the Guadalupe Valley in Northern Baja is Lechuza, founded in 2005. It’s owned by Ray Magnussen (with his wife, Patty) who is also the hands-on winemaker. They are Americans. We’ll meet Ray.

Our regular Guest Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, was just in Chicago, a great dining out city whether you’re going for high-end gourmet or great street food. Chef Andrew will discuss his finds ranging from a true Chicago hot dog experience to the best in coal-fired pizza.

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

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December 12: Andrew Gruel, Pechanga Casino and Resort, Richard Rosendale, Golden Road Brewing, Mad Hungry Woman, Lechuza VIneyard

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Marlene Moore, Temptations Food Court, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Three: Chef Richard Rosendale, Bocuse d’Or Team USA 2013
Segment Four: Meg Gill, Co-Founder & President, Golden Road Brewing Part One”
Segment Five: Meg Gill is the Co Founder and President of Golden Road Brewing Part Two
Segment Six: Anita Lau, Mad Hungry Woman Blogger
Segment Seven: Ray Magnussen, Lechuza Winery, Guadalupe Valley, Baja
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, soon, Brea, is back as today’s special Guest Host.

Next a mouthwatering preview of Saturday’s high-energy and appropriately festive show and not, with apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

For the last seven years Chef Marlene Moore has been overseeing the busy Temptations Food Court, the Poker Room, and Bingo Parlor at Pechanga Resort & Casino. The Food Court features American, Italian, Mexican, Fried Chicken, Espresso and Pastries, Bahn Mi, Hot Dogs and Lemonade. Chef Marlene shares some suggestions for creative Holidays dishes with a true Southern flair.

They always do it B-I-G in Las Vegas. What’s billed as the culinary event of the year, Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence, hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo, will take culinary extravagance to new levels, December 17th through the 20th. The highlight of the festivities will be the competition to select Team USA representing the United States in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or international cooking competition in Lyon, France in early 2017. This is the Olympics of the culinary arts. Chef Richard Rosendale (Richard Rosendale Collective) is our guest. He is on the Chef Jury on Dec. 17th in Las Vegas and led Team USA at the Bocuse d’Or in 2013.

In 2011, beer enthusiasts Meg Gill and Tony Yanow founded Golden Road Brewing to bring fresh beer to the local market in the most sustainable way possible.  “Golden Road is committed to engaging and supporting the growing community of socially-minded beer enthusiasts.” “Brewed and canned in Los Angeles,” Golden Road’s year-round offerings include Point the Way IPA, Golden Road Hefeweizen, Get Up Offa That Brown and Wolf Among Weeds IPA. Co-founder Meg Gill is our guest

Anita Lau is better known to regular listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” as the Mad Hungry Woman blogger. She was living in Hong Kong in the 90s before the turnover to China. Anita is just back from a return visit. We’ll get a insider’s view of the dining scene there during the glory days of the British and now under Chinese authority.

One of the up-and-coming wineries in the Guadalupe Valley in Northern Baja is Lechuza, founded in 2005. It’s owned by Ray Magnussen (with his wife, Patty) who is also the hands-on winemaker. They are Americans. We’ll toast the harvest with Ray.

Our regular Guest Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, was just in Chicago, a great dining out city whether you’re going for high-end gourmet fare or great street food. Chef Andrew will discuss his finds ranging from a true Chicago hot dog experience to the best in deep dish pizza.

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

Marlene MooreFor the last seven years Chef Marlene Moore has been overseeing the busy Temptations Food Court, the Poker Room, and Bingo Parlor at Pechanga Resort & Casino. The Food Court features American, Italian, Mexican, Fried Chicken, Espresso and Pastries, Bahn Mi, Hot Dogs and Lemonade.

The outlet names at Temptations are American Classics, Agave Mexican Delights, Pronto Italiano, Caffe Cocoa, Little Wok Asian Specialties, and Pechanga Fried Chicken.

This year Chef Marlene was crowned the Chili Champ at the Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili Cookoff with her winning creation of “Temptation” Hearty Southern Style Chili. She competed against seven other dedicated Pechanga chefs and even bested the incumbent champ, Chef Damien Stanley, who is the executive sous chef of Pechanga.

Chef Marlene shares some tempting tips for creative Holidays dishes with a true Southern flair.

Richard Rosendale of the Greenbrier Resort in Sulphur Springs West VirginiaThey always do it B-I-G in Las Vegas. What’s billed as the culinary event of the year, Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence, hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo, will take culinary extravagance to new levels, December 17th through the 20th. The highlight of the festivities will be the competition to select Team USA representing the United States in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or international cooking competition in Lyon, France in early 2017.

This is the Olympics of the culinary arts. Chef Richard Rosendale (Richard Rosendale Collective) is our guest. He is on the Chef Jury on Dec. 17th in Las Vegas and led Team USA at the Bocuse d’Or in 2013.

This competition event, modeled after the world famous Bocuse d’Or, concludes with an esteemed chef panel who judge each of the four candidates’ presentations. Guests will be treated to a spectacular display of culinary skill and artistry during the intense 4 hour and 35 minute competition. Each candidate prepares a stunning meat platter showcasing Kurobuta Pork provided by Snake River Farms and a fish dish featuring the Norwegian Seafood Council’s Fjord Trout.

Meg Gill of Golden Road BrewingIn 2011, beer enthusiasts Meg Gill and Tony Yanow founded Golden Road Brewing to bring fresh beer to the local market in the most sustainable way possible. “Golden Road is committed to engaging and supporting the growing community of socially-minded beer enthusiasts.”

“Brewed and canned in Los Angeles,” Golden Road’s year-round offerings include Point the Way IPA, Golden Road Hefeweizen, Get Up Offa That Brown and Wolf Among Weeds IPA. Co-founder Meg Gill is our guest.

In a stellar example of private industry supporting worthy truly causes in a meaningful way Golden Road Brewing created Heal the Bay IPA as a seasonal style (May to July) for one season. It’s now an incredible success story and is an annuity style for Golden Road. Of course water quality is of prime importance to Golden Road so there is logic to the association!

Construction has started in Anaheim (across the street from the South entrance to Angel Stadium) of a new production brewery, restaurant, and tasting room for Golden Road. The temporary tasting room is already serving thirsty guests. The greatly respected brewmaster there, Victor Novak (ex-TAPS), is well-known to Orange County craft beer enthusiasts. We’ll talk to our guest, Meg Gill, about this ambitious new project.

It’s no secret that the mega breweries have started acquiring regional craft breweries to learn more about this fast growing area of the business. Golden Road was acquired earlier this year by Anheuser-Busch InBev which already owns Chicago-based craft brewer, Goose Island. Meg Gill will continue with the company. We’ll hear about what this means for Golden Road’s future expansion.

Anita Lau of Mad Hungry WomanAnita Lau is better known to regular listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” as the Mad Hungry Woman blogger. She was living in Hong Kong in the 90s before the turnover by the British to China.

Anita was just back to Hong Kong from a visit. We’ll get a insider’s view of the dining scene there during the glory days of the British and now under Chinese authority.

Anita will fill us in on the impact of Michelin Stars in Hong Kong dining and also the best street food. We’ll get the morsel-by-morsel details of her favorite dining experience of the trip.

Born in Hong Kong and now living in Orange County, California, Anita Lau is an international author and writer who has lived in Malaysia, Australia, Nebraska, Oregon, San Francisco and also, Hawaii. Her obsession with food began at an early age but it wasn’t until her early 20s when her experimentation with cooking led her to start a small catering business which she would run in her spare time while at college in Australia.

Ray Magnussen One of the promising, up-and-coming wineries in the Guadalupe Valley in Northern Baja is Lechuza, founded in 2005. It’s owned by Ray Magnussen (with his wife, Patty) who is also the hands-on winemaker. They are Americans.

“Lechuza” is Spanish for “burrowing ground owl.” This bird frequents the Lechuza vineyard property. The modest vineyard estate is adjacent to Laja, one of the most well-reviewed restaurants in Baja, California.

Lechuza currently offers Lechuza Amantes (Blend), Lechuza Cabernet Sauvignon, Lechuza Nebbiolo, Lerchuza Merlot, Lechuza Tempranillo and Lechuza Grenache Rose.

Their wines are conveniently available on-line via their San Diego-based distributor. This is a lot easier than bringing Mexican wines back through the border. www.LMAwines.com.

We’ll meet Ray.

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur regular Guest Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, was just in Chicago, a great dining out city whether you’re going for high-end gourmet or great street food. Chef Andrew will discuss his finds ranging from a true Chicago hot dog experience to the best in deep dish pizza.

Chef Andrew was extensively quoted (representing his expertise in Social Media) in a lengthy New York Times article entitled “A Bad Review Is Forever: How to Counter Online Complaints” which appeared on December 9th.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Marlene Moore, Temptations Food Court, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Three: Chef Richard Rosendale, Bocuse d’Or Team USA 2013
Segment Four: Meg Gill, Co-Founder & President, Golden Road Brewing Part One”
Segment Five: Meg Gill is the Co Founder and President of Golden Road Brewing Part Two
Segment Six: Anita Lau, Mad Hungry Woman Blogger
Segment Seven: Ray Magnussen, Lechuza Winery, Guadalupe Valley, Baja
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel