Show 133, August 1, 2015: Travel Journalist and IFWTWA Board Member, Susan Montgomery

Susan MontgomeryA group of professional journalists from The International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) is visiting the show. Their Board of Directors Secretary, Susan Montgomery, joins us. IFWTWA is now a global network of journalists who cover the hospitality and lifestyle fields, and the people who promote them.

In addition to explaining the mission of the IFTWTA Sue will highlight her recent visit to Casa Mayoral, a modern and comfortable Bed & Breakfast, in the Guadalupe Valley in Northern Baja California.

Located at the heart of the Baja Wine Country in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, Casa Mayoral is a welcoming Bed and Breakfast boutique hotel. It’s also an event venue offering culinary experiences. The modern rooms offer unmatched views of the Valley and the nighttime skyline. Unusually there is an ostrich farm in the valley right below Casa Mayoral.

It’s a hearty chef prepared-breakfast in the morning. The spread includes fresh juices, fruit, cereal, eggs, chilaquiles, pastries, and premium brewed coffee.

 

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Show 55, January 4, 2013: Bill Esparza, The Mexican Food Maestro and Street Gourmet LA Blog

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.

Bill joins us from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where he is on assignment.

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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 39, September 7, 2013: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineKedric Francis the Executive Editor of both Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine was back with us with his regular travel segment.

Kedric talked about a September craft beer cruise on Celebrity Cruises to Hawaii (Ensenada to Hawaii) as well as other upcoming craft beer cruises in California and Alaska. What a clever way to introduce a younger group of travelers to the pleasures cruising.

He also previewed a new, intimate luxury Montage Hotel in Maui arriving in 2014.

From there it’s some standout travel options in Southern California.

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September 7: Sake, Soy Sauce, Sriracha, Du-Par’s, Hawaiian Eats, Ray’s & Stark,118 Degrees

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Randy Clemens, food journalist
Segment Three: Vernon Cardenas, Executive Chef of State Social House on the Sunset Strip
Segment Four: Biff Naylor, proprietor of Du-par’s Restaurants & Bakeries
Segment Five: Chef Jet’s “Cooking with Soy Sauce” Tutorial
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine
Segment Seven: Martin Riese, General Manager of Ray’s & Stark Bar at LACMA
Segment Eight: Jenny Ross, Executive Chef & Proprietress, 118 Degrees Community Cafes

Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Also an intriguing dash of restaurant and food chat.

Thai 2013 Food FestivalMark Sunday afternoon, September 29th on your calendar. Our very own Jet Tila is hosting the Thai 2013 Food Festival at Paramount Pictures Studios in the heart of Hollywood. It starts at 3:00 p.m.

Celebrity chefs and outstanding local Thai chefs will be there presenting their signature dishes for the guests to sample and enjoy. Entertainment will include music, Thai dancers, and fruit carving.

Randy ClemensRandy Clemens, noted food journalist and author of the best-selling Sriracha Cookbook and The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook, both from Ten Speed Press.

Randy was just in Thailand in Sri Racha in the Chonburi Province researching the unusual origins of Sriracha and shares this rich history with us.

Vernon Cardenas of State Social HouseExecutive Chef Vernon Cardenas oversees the kitchen at the just-opened State Social House on the fabled Sunset Strip. He has extensive experience cooking locally including his tenure as opening chef at Katana, also on the Sunset Strip.

Chef Vernon is an expert on all things Sake. He presents a overview course in Sake Appreciation 411.

Biff Naylor of Dupar'sBiff Naylor is a veteran restaurateur on the SoCal restaurant scene. He previously owned Tiny Naylor’s and Biff’s.

In 2004 Naylor came out of a brief retirement to purchase and revive the surviving Du-par’s Restaurants & Bakeries. The first location at The Original Farmers Market (opened in 1938) remains after a massive renovation and needed refurbishment. They are particularly well-known for incredible pancakes and house-baked fruit pies.

The Naylor Family represents three generations of career hospitality folks. Daughter, Jennifer, was the executive chef for many years at Wolfgang Puck’s Granita in Malibu. One of Jennifer’s key chefs is now the corporate executive chef for Du-Par’s. Most everything is made from scratch using premium ingredients.

If you sit at the counter at a Du-par’s you’ll see servers squeezing the fresh orange juice to order.

There is even a very busy Du-par’s in Downtown Las Vegas in the Golden Gate Casino & Hotel. They are famous for their ever popular “to-go” chilled shrimp cocktail which is actually a clever loss-leader designed to attract guests to the casino.

Soy SaucesJet Tila provides a useful tutorial on the types of soy sauce and their uses. There are differences in flavor and texture between Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Thai soy sauces.

Light soy sauce, for example, does not have reduced salt. It’s actually saltier than the darker version.

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineKedric Francis the Executive Editor of both Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine is back with us with his regular travel segment.

Kedric is talking about a September craft beer cruise to Hawaii (Ensenada to Hawaii) as well as other upcoming craft beer cruises.

He also previews a new luxury Montage Hotel in Maui arriving in 2014.

From there it’s some standout travel options in Southern California.

Martin Riese of Rays and Stark BarMartin Riese, the General Manager of Ray’s & Stark Bar at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art on the Miracle Mile, joins us.

Martin is Los Angeles only certified Water Sommelier. During his time managing fine-dining restaurants in Germany (before returning to Los Angeles) he researched and wrote the definitive guidebook to mineral waters around the world.

At Ray’s he has just launched their first Water Menu with some twenty selections from around the world. It’s a great alternative for guests who want a festive beverage to pair with their meal but perhaps need to stay away from alcohol.

Jenny RossJenny Ross is the executive chef and proprietress of the 118 Degrees Community Cafes in Costa Mesa, Anaheim, and Laguna Niguel. The original location at The Camp in Costa Mesa recently celebrated its 7-Year Anniversary.

Chef Jenny characterizes her food as fresh, organic living cuisine.

The line of Jenny Ross Living Foods can be found pre-packaged in the grocery section of select Whole Foods Markets.

Her soon to be published 3rd cookbook is Healing with Raw Living Food.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Randy Clemens, food journalist
Segment Three: Vernon Cardenas, Executive Chef of State Social House on the Sunset Strip
Segment Four: Biff Naylor, proprietor of Du-par’s Restaurants & Bakeries
Segment Five: Chef Jet’s “Cooking with Soy Sauce” Tutorial
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine
Segment Seven: Martin Riese, General Manager of Ray’s & Stark Bar at LACMA
Segment Eight: Jenny Ross, Executive Chef & Proprietress, 118 Degrees Community Cafes

Show 29, May 18, 2013: Bill Esparza, the “Mexican Food Maestro” and authority on the food of Baja California

Bill EsperanzaBill Esparza was inspired to begin his extensive field research into the foods of Tijuana and Northern Baja from the writings of food journalist Barbara Hansen, the long-time Food Section staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. Currently she contributes to the “Squid Ink” Blog as part of LA Weekly.

Bill also leads escorted food tours of Tijuana and Northern Baja for journalists and the public alike. He’s given advice to Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern, among other notables.

On Sunday, June 23rd he’s hosting LA Weekly’s TacoLAndia Tacofest from Noon to 5:00 p.m. on the parking lot of the Hollywood Palladium. Celebrated taco makers from some thirty restaurants from as far away as Ensenada will be serving their tasty creations.

Regular admission is a bargain at $20 per guest. VIP which includes tastings of libations at the hosted bar is $40.00.

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