Show 437, August 7, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

Birkholm’s Bakery & Café in Solvang was founded by Carl “Cookie” Sr. and Charlotte Birkholm in 1951.  2021 celebrates the 70th Anniversary of this local institution. The Birkholms have been baking as a family and the recipes and techniques passed from generation to generation.  In 1980, Carl Jr. and Elizabeth Birkholm stepped in to carry on the tradition of baking in Solvang.  Carl continues to use the original Danish recipes that “Cookie” brought over from Denmark. In 2012, son Carl “Thomas” returned to Birkholm’s and the Santa Ynez Valley with the desire to learn and continue the business like his Grandfather “FarFar” and Father had done before him.  Thomas is the 3rd generation of Birkholm bakers in Solvang and with the Family he is carrying forward the proud Family tradition. 3rd generation baker Thomas Birkholm joins us rolling pin in hand.

The well-traveled Hany Ali is the executive chef of Europa Village Wineries and Resort in the heart of the Temecula Valley wine country. His current primary area of responsibility (as the Resort expands with Italian and French winery estates in development) is overseeing the cuisine at Bolero Restaurante & Cantina at Bolero at Europa Village as well as all the on-site catering and special events. Bolero Restaurante serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner daily as well as Sunday Brunch. “Bolero Restaurante takes the guest on a culinary journey throughout the country of Spain—from the humble farm-to-table cuisines of Asturia, to the majesty of modern interpretations coming from San Sebastian or Barcelona. The menus celebrate the centuries-old tradition of dining and drinking together in Tapas style. Whether it is seafood, steak, roasted vegetables, olives, or the finest cheeses and charcuteries in Europe, the meal is shared by all.” We’ll meet Chef Hany Ali.

“As a celebration of the short Hatch Chile season, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar is hosting an afternoon of ‘Roasting & Toasting’ on Saturday, August 14 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at its original Tustin locationExecutive Chef Yvon Goetz and Chef de Cuisine James Chavez will be live roasting Melissa’s Hatch Chile Peppers and serving them up in a variety of unique dishes. Event attendees will be able to enjoy the Hatch Chile-focused dishes, along with beer, tequila and live music on The Winery’s recently expanded patio, situated in the heart of The District in Tustin.” Chef Yvon is our guest with Hatch Peppers in hand.

Robert Schueller of Melissa’s (our resident Prince of Produce) presented two talks on the Culinary Stage in the OC Pavilion on Opening Day at the 2021 OC Fair. On the menu were California Specialty Fruit Crops and California Specialty Vegetable Crops. When Robert was with us last month we ran out of time before he could highlight California Vegetable Specialty Crops. We’ll pick up the conversation with that. Think rhubarb, heirloom tomatoes, artichokes, and Melissa’s Steamed Line of ready to enjoy beets, chickpeas and lentils. Also, it’s now the short, but always anticipated, fresh Hatch Chile Pepper season. Robert will talk about convenient area chile roastings and the publication of Melissa’s all-new Hatch Pepper Cookbook with over 100 inspiring (and home-kitchen tested) recipes.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery. Genuine concerns remain… “Regenerative agriculture” is very much in the news these days. The practice can actually help reduce the carbon footprint and replenish depleted soil as a growing medium which is a big positive. What’s it all about? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 437, August 7, 2021: Hany Ali, Executive Chef, Europa Village Wineries and Resort Part One

Hany Ali of Europa Village

The well-traveled Hany Ali is the executive chef of Europa Village Wineries and Resort in the heart of the Temecula Valley wine country. His current primary area of responsibility (as the Resort expands with Italian and French winery estates in development) is overseeing the Spanish-accented cuisine at Bolero Restaurante & Cantina at Bolero at Europa Village as well as all the on-site catering and special events. Bolero Restaurante serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner daily as well as Sunday Brunch.

“Bolero Restaurante takes the guest on a culinary journey throughout the country of Spain—from the humble farm-to-table cuisines of Asturia, to the majesty of modern interpretations coming from San Sebastian or Barcelona. The menus celebrate the centuries-old tradition of dining and drinking together in Tapas style. Whether it is seafood, steak, roasted vegetables, olives, or the finest cheeses and charcuteries in Europe, the meal is shared by all.”

“Born and raised in Egypt, Chef Hany Ali had a passion for the culinary arts at an early age. While Chef Hany was born in Cairo, Egypt, he was raised in a coastal resort city named Hurghada. Hurghada, is best known for its beautiful white sand beaches, fresh seafood, and one of the most popular vacation spots with Europeans. It was an inspiration to a young Hany.”

“After graduation from the International Culinary Institute in Egypt, Chef Hany decided to travel through Europe and Asia exposing his palate to as many different types of cuisines as possible. This allowed him to broaden his talents as a chef and gave him the experience and knowledge needed to begin his career.”

“After over 13 years in the most highly regarded hotels and restaurants in the U.S. Hany found a home in the Temecula Valley Wine Country as the Executive Chef leading the culinary team at Ponte Winery. With a love for the valley, a deep appreciation for each ingredient, and a thirst for unique and thoughtful wine, he hoped his passion was palpable in every plate, sip and bite.”

“With all his many accomplishments, experiences, and rave reviews, Europa Village Wineries and Resort are pleased to have Chef Hany Ali as their Executive Chef and being part of a “food culture that respects local produce, farmers and ranchers.” He showcases that back-to-the-land reverence with farm-fresh valley produce — with some vegetables and herbs harvested just moments beforehand in the kitchen garden out back. But while the sourcing may be local, Chef Hany’s influences are global, resulting in flavorful, inventive border-crossing cuisine. He provides guests with the exceptional service, dedication, and immense love and passion for food that they have come to expect from Europa Village.”

We entice Chef Hany away from his busy kitchens for a chat.

Play

Show 437, August 7, 2021: Hany Ali, Executive Chef, Europa Village Wineries and Resort Part Two

Hany Ali of Europa Village

The well-traveled Hany Ali is the executive chef of Europa Village Wineries and Resort in the heart of the Temecula Valley wine country. His current primary area of responsibility (as the Resort expands with Italian and French winery estates in development) is overseeing the Spanish-accented cuisine at Bolero Restaurante & Cantina at Bolero at Europa Village as well as all the on-site catering and special events. Bolero Restaurante serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner daily as well as Sunday Brunch.

“Bolero Restaurante takes the guest on a culinary journey throughout the country of Spain—from the humble farm-to-table cuisines of Asturia, to the majesty of modern interpretations coming from San Sebastian or Barcelona. The menus celebrate the centuries-old tradition of dining and drinking together in Tapas style. Whether it is seafood, steak, roasted vegetables, olives, or the finest cheeses and charcuteries in Europe, the meal is shared by all.”

“Born and raised in Egypt, Chef Hany Ali had a passion for the culinary arts at an early age. While Chef Hany was born in Cairo, Egypt, he was raised in a coastal resort city named Hurghada. Hurghada, is best known for its beautiful white sand beaches, fresh seafood, and one of the most popular vacation spots with Europeans. It was an inspiration to a young Hany.”

“After graduation from the International Culinary Institute in Egypt, Chef Hany decided to travel through Europe and Asia exposing his palate to as many different types of cuisines as possible. This allowed him to broaden his talents as a chef and gave him the experience and knowledge needed to begin his career.”

“After over 13 years in the most highly regarded hotels and restaurants in the U.S. Hany found a home in the Temecula Valley Wine Country as the Executive Chef leading the culinary team at Ponte Winery. With a love for the valley, a deep appreciation for each ingredient, and a thirst for unique and thoughtful wine, he hoped his passion was palpable in every plate, sip and bite.”

“With all his many accomplishments, experiences, and rave reviews, Europa Village Wineries and Resort are pleased to have Chef Hany Ali as their Executive Chef and being part of a “food culture that respects local produce, farmers and ranchers.” He showcases that back-to-the-land reverence with farm-fresh valley produce — with some vegetables and herbs harvested just moments beforehand in the kitchen garden out back. But while the sourcing may be local, Chef Hany’s influences are global, resulting in flavorful, inventive border-crossing cuisine. He provides guests with the exceptional service, dedication, and immense love and passion for food that they have come to expect from Europa Village.”

Chef Hany takes a break from his busy kitchens and rejoins us.

Play

August 7: Birkholm’s Bakery & Café, Bolero Restaurante & Cantina, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, Melissa’s Hatch Chiles

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Thomas Birkholm, Baker, Birkholm’s Bakery & Cafe, Solvang Part One
Segment Three: Thomas Birkholm, Baker, Birkholm’s Bakery & Cafe, Solvang Part Two
Segment Four: Hany Ali, Executive Chef, Europa Village Wineries and Resort Part One
Segment Five: Hany Ali, Executive Chef, Europa Village Wineries and Resort Part Two
Segment Six: Yvon Goetz, Executive Chef & Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar
Segment Seven: Robert Schueller of Melissa’s / World Variety Produce – “Prince of Produce”
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

Birkholm’s Bakery & Café in Solvang was founded by Carl “Cookie” Sr. and Charlotte Birkholm in 1951. 2021 celebrates the 70th Anniversary of this local institution. The Birkholms have been baking as a family and passed from generation to generation. In 1980, Carl Jr. and Elizabeth Birkholm stepped in to carry on the tradition of baking in Solvang. Carl continues to use the original Danish recipes that “Cookie” brought over from Denmark. In 2012, son Carl “Thomas” returned to Birkholm’s and the Santa Ynez Valley with the desire to learn and continue the business like his Grandfather “FarFar” and Father had done before him. Thomas is the 3rd generation of Birkholm bakers in Solvang and with the Family he is carrying forward the proud Family tradition. 3rd generation baker Thomas Birkholm joins us rolling pin in hand.

The well-traveled Hany Ali is the executive chef of Europa Village Wineries and Resort in the heart of the Temecula Valley wine country. His current primary area of responsibility (as the Resort expands with Italian and French winery estates in development) is overseeing the cuisine at Bolero Restaurante & Cantina at Bolero at Europa Village as well as all the on-site catering and special events. Bolero Restaurante serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner daily as well as Sunday Brunch. “Bolero Restaurante takes the guest on a culinary journey throughout the country of Spain—from the humble farm-to-table cuisines of Asturia, to the majesty of modern interpretations coming from San Sebastian or Barcelona. The menus celebrate the centuries-old tradition of dining and drinking together in Tapas style. Whether it is seafood, steak, roasted vegetables, olives, or the finest cheeses and charcuteries in Europe, the meal is shared by all.” We’ll meet Chef Hany Ali.

“As a celebration of the short Hatch Chile season, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar is hosting an afternoon of ‘Roasting & Toasting’ on Saturday, August 14 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at its original Tustin location. Executive Chef Yvon Goetz and Chef de Cuisine James Chavez will be live roasting Melissa’s Hatch Chile Peppers and serving them up in a variety of unique dishes. Event attendees will be able to enjoy the hatch chile-focused dishes, along with beer, tequila and live music on The Winery’s recently expanded patio, situated in the heart of The District in Tustin.” Chef Yvon is our guest with Hatch Peppers in hand.

Robert Schueller of Melissa’s (our resident prince of Produce) presented two talks on the Culinary Stage in the OC Pavilion on Opening Day at the 2021 OC Fair. On the menu were California Specialty Fruit Crops and California Specialty Vegetable Crops. When Robert was with us last month we ran out of time before he could highlight California Vegetable Specialty Crops. We’ll pick up the conversation with that. Think heirloom tomatoes, purple Brussels sprouts, and variety cucumbers. Also it’s now the short, but always anticipated, fresh Hatch Chile Pepper season. Robert will talk about convenient area chile roastings and the publication of Melissa’s all-new Hatch Pepper Cookbook with over 100 inspiring (and home-kitchen tested) recipes.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery. Genuine concerns remain… “Regenerative agriculture” is very much in the news these days. The practice can actually help reduced the carbon footprint and replenish depleted soil as a growing medium which is a big positive. What’s it all about? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Thomas Birkholm of Birkholm's Bakery and Cafe

Birkholm’s Bakery & Café in Solvang was founded by Carl “Cookie” Sr. and Charlotte Birkholm in 1951. 2021 celebrates the 70th Anniversary of this local institution. The Birkholms have been baking as a family and passed from generation to generation. In 1980, Carl Jr. and Elizabeth Birkholm stepped in to carry on the tradition of baking in Solvang. Carl continues to use the original Danish recipes that “Cookie” brought over from Denmark.

In 2012, son Carl “Thomas” returned to Birkholm’s and the Santa Ynez Valley with the desire to learn and continue the business like his Grandfather “FarFar” and Father had done before him. Thomas is the 3rd generation of Birkholm bakers in Solvang and with the Family he is carrying forward the proud baking tradition.

All of Birkholm’s baked goods are made from-scratch using the original recipes. They are known for their Danish Butter Cookie Tubs containing nine varieties of cookies. On average they sell some 600 tubs per week.

Birkholm’s Bakery & Cafe on Alisal Road remains family-owned and operated in picturesque Solvang promising to provide the personal touch “old-school.” “Committed to helping our customers achieve their sweet dreams with only the best to eat.”

3rd generation baker Thomas Birkholm joins us rolling pin in hand.

Hany Ali of Europa Village

The well-traveled Hany Ali is the executive chef of Europa Village Wineries and Resort in the heart of the Temecula Valley wine country. His current primary area of responsibility is overseeing the cuisine at Bolero Restaurante & Cantina at Bolero at Europa Village as well as all the on-site catering and special events. Bolero Restaurante serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner daily as well as Sunday Brunch.

“Bolero Restaurante takes the guest on a culinary journey throughout the country of Spain—from the humble farm-to-table cuisines of Asturia, to the majesty of modern interpretations coming from San Sebastian or Barcelona. The menus celebrate the centuries-old tradition of dining and drinking together in Tapas style. Whether it is seafood, steak, roasted vegetables, olives, or the finest cheeses and charcuteries in Europe, the meal is shared by all.”

“Born and raised in Egypt, Chef Hany Ali had a passion for the culinary arts at an early age. While Chef Hany was born in Cairo, Egypt, he was raised in a coastal resort city named Hurghada. Hurghada, is best known for its beautiful white sand beaches, fresh seafood, and one of the most popular vacation spots with Europeans. It was an inspiration to a young Hany.”

“After graduation from the International Culinary Institute in Egypt, Chef Hany decided to travel through Europe and Asia exposing his palate to as many different types of cuisines as possible. This allowed him to broaden his talents as a chef and gave him the experience and knowledge needed to begin his career.”

“After over 13 years in the most highly regarded hotels and restaurants in the U.S. Hany found a home in the Temecula Valley Wine Country as the Executive Chef leading the culinary team at Ponte Winery. With a love for the valley, a deep appreciation for each ingredient, and a thirst for unique and thoughtful wine, he hoped his passion was palpable in every plate, sip and bite.”

“With all his many accomplishments, experiences, and rave reviews, Europa Village Wineries and Resort are pleased to have Chef Hany Ali as their Executive Chef and being part of a “food culture that respects local produce, farmers and ranchers.” He showcases that back-to-the-land reverence with farm-fresh valley produce — with some vegetables and herbs harvested just moments beforehand in the kitchen garden out back. But while the sourcing may be local, Chef Hany’s influences are global, resulting in flavorful, inventive border-crossing cuisine. He provides guests with the exceptional service, dedication, and immense love and passion for food that they have come to expect from Europa Village.”

We entice Chef Hany away from his busy kitchens for a chat.

Yvon Goetz of the Winery Restaurant and Bar

“As a celebration of Hatch Chile season, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar is hosting an afternoon of ‘Roasting & Toasting’ on Saturday, August 14 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at its original Tustin location. Executive Chef Yvon Goetz and Chef de Cuisine James Chavez will be live roasting Melissa’s Hatch Chile Peppers and serving them up in a variety of unique dishes. Event attendees will be able to enjoy the hatch chile-focused dishes, along with beer, tequila and live music on The Winery’s recently expanded patio, situated in the heart of The District in Tustin.”

“I always look forward to hatch peppers being in season – they deliver a great balance of flavor and heat, and get my creative juices flowing,” commented Goetz, who revealed that each event guest will go home with fresh Hatch Peppers from Melissa’s, as well as their all-new Hatch Pepper Cookbook to help guide them in creating dishes at home. “One of the highlights of this event is live roasting the hatch peppers – this method adds a smoky flavor to the chile as the sugars in the pepper caramelize. Delicious.”

“Space for this event is limited and tickets are $55+ per guest. Ticket price includes Hatch Chile featured dishes, select beer and tequila, a copy of Melissa’s Hatch Pepper Cookbook, and a Melissa’s tote filled with fresh hatch peppers. All tickets must be purchased in advance by calling The Winery Restaurant in Tustin at 714-258-7600.”

“The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar pairs contemporary California regional cuisine, with a hip, vibrant, sophisticated setting, to create an elevated dining experience. Located at The District in Tustin, overlooking the Marina in Newport Beach, and at Westfield UTC in La Jolla, The Winery culinary team is led by Executive Chef & Partner Yvon Goetz.”

Chef Yvon is our guest with Hatch Peppers in hand.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA Studio

Robert Schueller of Melissa’s (our resident prince of Produce) presented two informative talks on the Culinary Stage in the OC Pavilion on Opening Day at the 2021 OC Fair. On the menu were California Specialty Fruit Crops and California Specialty Vegetable Crops. When Robert was with us last month we ran out of time before he could highlight California Vegetable Specialty Crops. We’ll pick up the conversation with that. Think heirloom tomatoes, purple Brussels sprouts, and variety cucumbers.

Also it’s now the short Hatch Chile season. Robert will talk about area chile roastings and Melissa’s all-new Hatch Pepper Cookbook with over 100 inspiring (and home-kitchen tested) recipes.

Melissa’s Produce is featured in many cooking demonstrations on the Main Stage in the OC Pavilion, the site of the major culinary happenings. For the run of The Fair (through August 15th) they will be showcased in the Rare Fruit Growers exhibit located in the Centennial Farms area.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery. Genuine concerns remain…

“Regenerative agriculture” is very much in the news these days. The practice can actually help reduced the carbon footprint and replenish depleted soil which is a big positive. What’s it all about? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Thomas Birkholm, Baker, Birkholm’s Bakery & Cafe, Solvang Part One
Segment Three: Thomas Birkholm, Baker, Birkholm’s Bakery & Cafe, Solvang Part Two
Segment Four: Hany Ali, Executive Chef, Europa Village Wineries and Resort Part One
Segment Five: Hany Ali, Executive Chef, Europa Village Wineries and Resort Part Two
Segment Six: Yvon Goetz, Executive Chef & Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar
Segment Seven: Robert Schueller of Melissa’s / World Variety Produce – “Prince of Produce”
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 298, November 17, 2018: Chef / Innkeeper Dean Thomas, Inn at Europa Village, Europa Village Winery, Temecula

Dean ThomasChef Dean Thomas is the well-traveled and personable Innkeeper (along with his wife, Nicole) of the Inn at Europa Village located on a hill adjacent to Temecula’s Europa Village Winery. The panoramic views of the Temecula Valley from the property are very special. He has even cooked Spanish paella with Celebrity Chef Jose Andres at a charity benefit in the Cayman Islands.

The long-in-the-works Groundbreaking for Europa Village’s Spanish winery, restaurant and casitas (Bolero) took place earlier in the month. Chef Dean artfully prepared an abundant table of Spanish cheeses and proper accompaniments as well as two giant pans (imported from Spain) of incredibly tasty paella for the hungry VIPs. Looking at a debut date of early 2020 for Bolero.

Chef Dean will provide all the scrumptious details of what the future holds.

Play

Show 51, December 7, 2013: Chef Dean Thomas of Europa Village Winery and The Inn at Europa Village in Temecula

Dean ThomasChef Dean Thomas is the Executive Chef de Cuisine for the Europa Village Winery in Temecula and also serves as the Innkeeper for the Inn at Europa Village (along with his wife, Nicole.) His multi-course breakfasts, reserved exclusively for guests at The Inn, are unrivaled in the Valley. Many of the ingredients actually come from the vineyard property and change with the season. Chef Dean has extensive credentials as an executive chef for luxury hotel properties.

Chef Dean is the unofficial executive concierge for Wine Country Temecula. When it comes to directing guests to the wineries and restaurants best suited to the visitors’ wishes Dean’s advice is the gold standard.

Chef Dean shares with us the specifics on an independent restaurant in Temecula as well as a winery restaurant that are both on his highly recommended list. He also talks about a Slow Food event he is hosting on December 12th featuring local artisan food products and cooking demonstrations.

Play

December 7: Carla Hall, Barbara Fairchild, Cookies for a Koz, Devon Espinosa, Donald Wressell, Brad A. Johnson, Dean Thomas

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, educator, food journalist, and cookbook author Part One
Segment Three: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, educator, food journalist, and cookbook author Part Two
Segment Four: Carla Hall of ABC’s “The Chew” and Zov Karamardian of Zov’s Bistro in Tustin
Segment Five: Devon Espinosa, Bar Director at The Church Key
Segment Six: Pastry Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Co.
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, restaurant critic for The Orange County Register
Segment Eight: Chef Dean Thomas of Europa Village Winery and The Inn at Europa Village in Temecula

Lechon Porchetta by Susan ParkYou can aid the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and enjoy some great Filipino food. There is a huge Filipino community right here in Los Angeles County.

In addition to the high profile benefit for typhoon relief at The Church Key on the Sunset Strip on Sunday (which we’ll be talking about later in the show) there is a more populist fundraiser at Bamboo Bistro in Panorama City on Sunday, Dec. 15th from 4 to 8:00 p.m.

Pinoy food will be there in abundance expertly prepared by L.A. chefs including Chef Mayet Cristobal, the Executive Chef of the Getty Museum. She will be serving Beef Short Rib Adobo. The minimum donation is a modest $20 per adult and there will be live music.

Barbara FairchildThe long-time former editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, Barbara Fairchild, is back with us reporting from New York. Barbara is also an educator, best-selling cookbook author, food and travel journalist and much-in-demand speaker.

Barbara has recently had a couple of culinary excursions to the San Francisco Bay Area and will report on dining spots she enjoyed that merit your attention. She will also speak about an unusual evening she was part of honoring San Francisco’s STARS, a long-departed celebrity chef driven restaurant that, in it’s day, was the Spago of San Francisco. The proprietor/executive chef Jeremiah Tower (now a resident of Mexico) was in attendance.

Roberta Koz WilsonIt’s Holiday Time and our thoughts turn to incredible, fresh-baked, small batch, high-quality cookies as special gifts. That can only mean a chat with Roberta Wilson (jazz saxophonist great Dave Koz’s sister) the force behind Cookies for a Koz. Ten per cent of the proceeds are donated to the Starlight Children’s Foundation. Dave Koz is a Global Goodwill Ambassador for them.

Roberta’s and Dave’s late mother, Audrey, perfected the recipe for a great chocolate chip cookie and that’s the legacy of the company. The much-appreciated cookies were a door-opener all over town for the youthful Dave as his career was just beginning.

Carla HallFood fans know Chef Carla Hall as the “Hootie Hoo” lady and fan favorite from multiple seasons of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” She is now the co-host of ABC’s daytime lifetime series, “The Chew.” Last week “The Chew” celebrated their 500th episode and the show continues to gain in popularity. Carla also is the author of Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You, newly available in paperback.

Carla is being honored by Zov Karamardian of Zov’s Bistro in Tustin at her Culinary Concert to benefit the James Beard Foundation on Sunday, February 9th. It’s a great holiday gift for that special foodie in your life.

That Sunday Carla and Zov will conduct a highly entertaining cooking class for the guests followed by a lavish lunch. Carla will be available to sign copies of her book and interact with the guests. It all starts at Noon.

For more info and to make reservations please call 714.838.8855 ext. 21

Devon EspinosaDevon Espinosa (a C-CAP graduate) is one of the rising young stars among the master bartenders in the West. He created the cocktail program at ink. and Pour Vous and he’s the bar chef for the new The Church Key on the Sunset Strip. Some of his cocktails are canned for freshness.

Devon is also one of the organizers of a high-profile benefit at The Church Key on Sunday, December 8 from 5 to 9:00 p.m. for Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts. An impressive line-up of chefs and bartenders are coming together to raise the vitally needed funds. Look for celebrity chefs Eric Greenspan, Kris Morningstar, Ray Garcia and Steve Samson among many others.

Donald WressellThere really is no finer pastry chef in America than the pleasantly low-key Donald Wressell. He was the opening executive pastry chef at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. This is the luxury property where the majority of the out-of-town Academy Award nominees stay. Every year Chef Donald would create incredible individual chocolate show-pieces celebrating each of the “Best Picture” nominees. These elaborate pieces where then featured, via photography, in the Oscar coverage beamed across the globe.

Donald has competed in the most prestigious international pastry competitions and, most recently, has coached, too. He’s judged pastry chefs for competition shows on Food Network.

He’s currently the pastry chef for the proudly American chocolate company, Guittard Chocolate Co. Guittard is based in Burlingame but Chef Donald has a test kitchen and research facility here in Los Angeles. He also teaches classes for professional pastry chefs and candy makers.

In January he’ll create the sure to be dazzling Birthday Cake for The City of Beverly Hills’ 100th Anniversary. He created another cake spectacular for Beverly Hills’ Diamond Jubilee 25 years ago while he was at The Four Seasons.

Blossom Restaurant at the Aria in Las VegasA few weeks ago Brad A. Johnson, the James Beard Award-winning restaurant critic for the Orange County Register, was with us to talk about his first 4-Star review. It’s Blossom restaurant at Aria Resort in Las Vegas.

Brad is back with us to explain his criteria for a 4-Star restaurant review and also talk about the new crop of ultra-luxe Chinese restaurants on The Strip. It’s some of the most elegant Chinese fine-dining outside of China and designed for highly discriminating (and wealthy) Chinese guests!

Dean ThomasChef Dean Thomas is the Executive Chef de Cuisine for the Europa Village Winery in Temecula and also serves as the Innkeeper for the Inn at Europa Village (along with his wife, Nicole.) His multi-course breakfasts, reserved exclusively for guests at The Inn, are unrivaled in the Valley. Many of the ingredients actually come from the vineyard property and change with the season. Chef Dean has extensive credentials as an executive chef for luxury hotel properties.

Chef Dean is the unofficial executive concierge for Wine Country Temecula. When it comes to directing guests to the wineries and restaurants best suited to the visitors’ wishes Dean’s advice is the gold standard.

Chef Dean shares with us the specifics on an independent restaurant in Temecula as well as a winery restaurant that are both on his highly recommended list. He also talks about a Slow Food event he is hosting on December 12th featuring local artisan food products and cooking demonstrations.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, educator, food journalist, and cookbook author Part One
Segment Three: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, educator, food journalist, and cookbook author Part Two
Segment Four: Carla Hall of ABC’s “The Chew” and Zov Karamardian of Zov’s Bistro in Tustin
Segment Five: Devon Espinosa, Bar Director at The Church Key
Segment Six: Pastry Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Co.
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, restaurant critic for The Orange County Register
Segment Eight: Chef Dean Thomas of Europa Village Winery and The Inn at Europa Village in Temecula