Show 293, October 6, 2018: Marianna Gatto, Executive Director, Italian American Museum of Los Angeles, Taste of Italy Benefit

Marianna GattoOn Saturday, Oct. 13th from 5 to 10:00 p.m. in Downtown Los Angeles the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles is presenting the 10th Annual Taste of Italy showcasing fine restaurants, world-class wines, live entertainment and celebrated chefs. Proceeds from Taste of Italy support educational programming and other initiatives related to the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles’ mission.

General Admission ($60) and Premier tickets ($125) are still available but the event does sell out before October 13th. Capacity is thoughtfully limited to ensure the comfort of all guests. Listen to the segment to learn how to get $5 off General Admission or $20 off Premier tickets.

Executive Director of IAMLA, Marianna Gatto, joins us with all the tempting details. Mangia, mangia…

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Show 292, September 29, 2018: Food Finders’ “Chefs to the Rescue Benefit” featuring “Edible Extras,” Long Beach

Philip PrettyFood Finders, an established food recovery nonprofit, is hosting the 3rd annual Chefs to the Rescue”, a fundraising event on Tuesday, October 9th from 6 – 9pm in Long Beach.

For this unique event, Food Finders is challenging prominent local chefs to create “Edible Extras”; tasting samples and small plates made from perfectly tasty and safe rescued, recovered or repurposed food that otherwise would end up being tossed away.

“We are making inroads on reducing hunger and food waste, but we have a ways to go, so this event is designed to remind people that food and water are precious commodities,” said Patti Larson, executive director of Food Finders. “We’re continuing this theme not only because it remains timely, but aligns perfectly with our mission—and everyone loves the food created but these popular local chefs!”

Participating Chef Philip Pretty of Long Beach’s Restauration and Food Finders’ Patti Larson (Executive Director) join us.

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Show 260, February 10, 2018: Young Yun, Executive Director, ment’or BKB Foundation

Young YunThe late Chef Paul Bocuse (Lyon, France) had a profound impact on creating and inspiring the ment’or BKB Foundation. Always a friend of the USA, he fortunately lived long enough to see his dream of Team USA winning the Gold at the 2017 Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition. He even flies the American Flag at his flagship restaurant in Lyon. Young remembers the celebrated “Chef Paul.”

The ment’or BKB Foundation oversees, and funds, the USA’s participation in the biannual Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition. Inspired by Team USA’s unprecedented Gold Statue at the Bocuse last year ment’or is now funding, and building, a dedicated training kitchen for Bocuse d’Or Team USA located at the Culinary Institute of America at Copia’s campus in Napa. Scheduled to open in Spring 2018 ment’or’s hope is that this kitchen will become a permanent home for the Team.

The targeted fundraising goal is to raise $250,000.

The new space will replicate the kitchen at the Bocuse d’Or, so that Team USA can practice to compete as they would on the actual competition day. Most importantly, the kitchen will be outfitted with the necessary equipment to ensure that Team USA can continue to succeed on this international culinary stage. In addition, guests will be able to visit the training space to see the physical platters, tools. Photos, and memorabilia encompassing Team USA’s storied history and growing legacy.

Ment’or BKB’s Executive Director Young Yun provides the details.

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Show 151, December 19, 2015: Young Yun, Executive Director, ment’or BKB Foundation

Thomas Keller and Young Yun of the Ment'or BKB FoundationTeam USA is guided and funded by the ment’or BKB Foundation that inspires excellence in young culinary professionals. The President is Thomas Keller (The French Laundry, Per Se, Bouchon and Bouchon Bakery.) The day-to-day operations of ment’or BKB are overseen by Young Yun, the Executive Director. Young is with us to profile the good works of ment’or BKB and explain what’s in store for the future.

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.

The 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.

Ment’or BKB’s programs and services are focused on:

  • Offering Grants as continuing educational opportunities for culinary professionals looking to expand their education and skill set
  • Identifying and promoting young chefs through the “Young Chef Competition Series”
  • Selecting and training the most promising young chefs to represent the Bocuse d’Or Team USA at the world’s most prestigious culinary competition

Since 2014, ment’or has awarded $400,000 in grants and $160,000 to young chef competitors. The Foundation funds these programs and services through donations, sponsorships and unique special events.

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Show 65, March 15, 2014: Lucy Lean, Co-Producer / Executive Director, All-Star Chef Classic at L.A. Live

All Star Chef ClassicThe Inaugural All-Star Chef Classic at L.A. LIVE, a never-before-seen modern food event bringing together over 25 highly acclaimed chefs from around the country for unique and interactive dining experiences, is set to launch March 21st to 23rd at L.A. Live’s Event Deck. The event is organized by culinary industry veterans and founders of Alice in Events, LLC., Lucy Lean and Krissy Lefebvre. They have partnered with AEG, owners and operators of the downtown Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment District.

The three-day event will feature master chefs cooking and collaborating in venues designed to provide guests with up-close, unique and interactive culinary experiences.

The grand finale on Sunday, March 23rd from Noon to 2:30 p.m. is “Savor the Season Presented by Melissa’s Produce.” This event will wrap up the enticing weekend with a Farmer’s Market celebration of what LA has in abundance – seasonal , fresh, local ingredients cooked up and elevated to great heights by All-Star Chefs including Wylie Dufresne, Graham Elliot, Nancy Silverton, David Myers, Vinny Dotolo, David LeFevre, Josiah Citrin, and Waylynn Lucas. The chefs will create seasonal dishes using produce from a local purveyor/farmer providing the 600 guests with a variety of tastes as well as recipe cards to prepare each dish at home.

Co-Producer/Executive Director Lucy Lean is our guest.

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March 15: Ivan Flowers, Bruxie Bold Blend Coffee, Michael Puglisi, All Star Chef Classic, Cook Pigs Ranch

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Ivan Flowers, Top of the Market, San Diego
Segment Three: Chef Kelly Mullarney, Co-Owner, Bruxie
Segment Four: Chef Michael Puglisi, Proprietor, Electric City Butcher Shop
Segment Five: Lucy Lean, Co-Producer / Executive Director, All-Star Chef Classic at L.A. Live
Segment Six: Krys and Mike Cook, Co-Presidents, Cook Pigs Ranch, Julian Part One
Segment Seven: Krys and Mike Cook, Co-Presidents, Cook Pigs Ranch, Julian Part Two
Segment Eight: Jet Tila and Andy Harris on “The 14 Most Expensive Tasting Menus in America”

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Heritage breed pigs are the talk of in-the-know chefs these days. We’ll meet the enterprising husband & wife couple behind Cook Pigs Ranch, a noted local producer of “farm to table heritage pigs.” You’ll also learn the intriguing story of a former Bouchon Beverly Hills chef who is soon to open an ambitious artisan butcher shop utilizing Old-World techniques in Santa Ana.

We’re journeying to San Diego where an energetic new executive chef is taking a San Diego seafood classic to a higher level with nightly changing tasting menus that are paired with boutique premium wines. The meals are, surprisingly, served with an incredible view of the bay.

We’re nuts about coffee on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” So are our friends at the chef-driven Bruxie, the Belgian waffle sandwich guys. After a lot of research they have recently introduced their own “Bold Blend” custom crafted coffee. It’s a proprietary four-bean blend.

Los Angeles has a new food event with celebrity master chefs. It’s the All-Star Chef Classic at L.A. Live. We’ll have a preview.

High-end Tasting Menus at rarified fine-dining establishments are getting a lot of attention. Chef Jet and Producer Andy will be talking about Eater’s “14 Most Expensive Tasting Menus in America.”

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

Ivan Flowers of Top of the MarketTop of the Market, harbor-side in Downtown San Diego, is one of those classic destination restaurants where the food is actually on par with the magnificent bay view. Quite a feat…

Executive Chef Ivan Flowers in newly arrived and his worthy mission is to add to the achievements of this popular restaurant. His concept is “boat-to-table.” New to the dinner menu options is a very special seven-course tasting menu. Chef Ivan then works with their inspired and talented Sommelier, Anne Estrada, to offer carefully selected boutique wines to compliment each dish. No mass market wines in this cellar…As a package it’s an evening of memorable dining. We’ll be visiting with Chef Flowers to get all the specifics.

Bruxie Bold Blend CoffeeWe’re fans of Bruxie. These are the premium sandwich folks who use a creative version of an authentic Belgian Waffle (they developed the proprietary recipe) as the bread. The waffle is light, airy, crispy and not sweet. Since they opened their first location in a classic former burger stand in Old Towne Orange within walking distance of Chapman University they have quickly grown to a total of six company-owned restaurants! No short cuts with quality ingredients here.

Bruxie partner and noted chef, Kelly Mullarney, is truly coffee obsessed. As a side project he set out to create a chef-driven coffee experience that would be bold and complex enough to stand up to, and complement, the flavors on the Bruxie menu.

The result is The Bold Blend, a proprietary, four-bean blend of 100 percent fair trade imported coffee beans. It’s now the house blend served at all Bruxies.

Michael PuglisiMembers of Chef Michael Puglisi’s immediate family in Sicily are well-known Old World artisan butchers. Starting this summer Chef Puglisi will be using those skills at his own Electric City Butcher Shop which is a major component of Santa Ana’s much –anticipated (and talked about) 4th Street Market Food & Culinary emporium. Puglisi was previously the sous chef of Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills.

While the build-out of 4th Street Market is going on Chef Puglisi will be honing his hand-made sausage making skills at the just opened Picnik in Old Town Pasadena in partnership with Chef Eduardo Ruiz of Corazon y Miel in Bell. Old World sausage-making traditions will be used. Every gourmet sausage served will be twisted and cased by hand.

All Star Chef ClassicThe Inaugural All-Star Chef Classic at L.A. LIVE, a never-before-seen modern food event bringing together over 25 highly acclaimed chefs from around the country for unique and interactive dining experiences, is set to launch March 21st to 23rd at L.A. Live’s Event Deck. The event is organized by culinary industry veterans and founders of Alice in Events, LLC., Lucy Lean and Krissy Lefebvre. They have partnered with AEG, owners and operators of the downtown Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment District.

The three-day event will feature master chefs cooking and collaborating in venues designed to provide guests with up-close, unique and interactive culinary experiences.

The grand finale on Sunday, March 23rd from Noon to 2:30 p.m. is “Savor the Season Presented by Melissa’s Produce.” This event will wrap up the enticing weekend with a Farmer’s Market celebration of what LA has in abundance – seasonal , fresh, local ingredients cooked up and elevated to great heights by All-Star Chefs including Wylie Dufresne, Graham Elliot, Nancy Silverton, David Myers, Vinny Dotolo, David LeFevre, Josiah Citrin, and Waylynn Lucas. The chefs will create seasonal dishes using produce from a local purveyor/farmer providing the 600 guests with a variety of tastes as well as recipe cards to prepare each dish at home.

Co-Producer/Executive Director Lucy Lean is our guest.

Cook Pigs Ranch is a proudly family-owned, farm-to-table operation with a focus on Heritage pigs. The varieties include Red Wattles, GOS, Large Blacks, Berkshires, Durocs, Tamworth, Mulefoot, and crosses of these magnificent breeds. Cooks also raises KuneKune pigs. The ranch is located in Julian, CA, in the Cleveland National Forest, about one hour East of San Diego.

Cook Pigs Ranch is not a large commercial farming / ranching business. Instead their goal is to maintain a small and boutique ranching operation which allows their pigs to free-range and grow slowly in a humane and stress-free environment.

Kryz and Mike Cook of Cook Pigs RanchKrys and Mike Cook are the co-Presidents of Cook Pigs, and they run the day-to-day operations of the ranch.

At Cook Pigs Ranch they experience all four seasons. The ranch is situated at approximately 4,200 feet in elevation. The combination of the local environment and Cook’s feed program produces a high quality product very similar to the renown Iberian Pork from Spain & Portugal.

Cook Pigs RanchAt the recent Cochon 555 stop in Los Angeles defending champion Chef Ray Garcia of FIG Restaurant at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica successfully defended his title once again. He prepared & cooked a Large Black from Cooks Pig Ranch.

The Pop-Up Butcher Shop (Lindy & Grundy) @ Cochon 555 used a Berkshire from Cook Pigs Ranch.

Cook Pigs Ranch will soon have a retail facility in San Diego ( Kearny Mesa) to serve the public.

The Farm Shop at Primal Pastures in Temecula all sells Cook Pigs Ranch meats.

The Fourteen Most Expensive Tasting Menus in America by Eater NationalEater National posted an intriguing piece entitled “The 14 Most Expensive Tasting Menus In America” back on January 28th. The feature was authored by Gabe Ulla.

Number 14 is Daniel in New York with a price tag of $567 for two guests. It gets progressively more expensive on the way up to Number 1 which carries a lofty $1,160 tab for two. Ouch…

Chef Jet and Producer Andy have been fortunate enough to experience a handful of these incredible dining spectaculars. We’ll paint the rarified picture…It’s not for everyone. Forgive us.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Ivan Flowers, Top of the Market, San Diego
Segment Three: Chef Kelly Mullarney, Co-Owner, Bruxie
Segment Four: Chef Michael Puglisi, Proprietor, Electric City Butcher Shop
Segment Five: Lucy Lean, Co-Producer / Executive Director, All-Star Chef Classic at L.A. Live
Segment Six: Krys and Mike Cook, Co-Presidents, Cook Pigs Ranch, Julian Part One
Segment Seven: Krys and Mike Cook, Co-Presidents, Cook Pigs Ranch, Julian Part Two
Segment Eight: Jet Tila and Andy Harris on “The 14 Most Expensive Tasting Menus in America”

March 2: New Orleans, Las Vegas and Laguna Beach foodies

Podcasts

Segment One: Liz Williams, President and Director, Southern Food and Beverage Museum, New Orleans
Segment Two: Executive Chef Rick Moonen of rm seafood at The Shoppes at Mandalay Place in Las Vegas
Segment Three: Nancy Milby, co-founder of Laguna Beach Uncorked! An International Wine & Food Fest! and Executive Director of Laguna Culinary Arts, Inc.
Segment Four: Brock Radke, Food and Web Editor for Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Five: Jim Colombo, General Manager of Five Crowns and SideDoor in Corona del Mar
Segment Six: Dining at Urasawa in Beverly Hills and Highlights from “A Taste of Harlem in Baldwin Hills” at Post & Beam

It’s tempting food from New Orleans, Las Vegas, and Laguna Beach this week. Also a preview of an inspired Newport Beach Public Library Foundation series to teach kids about cooking.

elizabeth_m_williamsElizabeth (Liz) M. Williams is the founder and president of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans, which celebrates the food of the American South with exhibits, a library, archives, collections, and programming.

Her new book is New Orleans: A Food Biography.

Beignets, Po’ Boys, gumbo, jambalaya, Antoine’s. New Orleans’ celebrated status derives in large measure from its incredibly rich food culture, based mainly on Creole and Cajun traditions. At last, this world-class destination has its own food biography. Elizabeth M. Williams, a New Orleans native, takes readers through the history of the city, showing how the natural environment and people have shaped the cooking we all love. The narrative starts by describing the indigenous population and material resources, then reveals the contributions of the immigrant populations, delves into markets and local food companies, and finally discusses famous restaurants, drinking culture, cooking at home and cookbooks, and signature food dishes.

Rick Moonen of rm seafood in Las VegasRick Moonen of rm seafood at The Shoppes at Mandalay Place is one of those unusual celebrity chefs in Las Vegas with a namesake restaurant. Las Vegas is his home and he actually lives there.

Chef Moonen is recognized for his considerable talents in preparing seafood. He is also a pioneer in the sustainable seafood movement.

On Thursday evening, March 15th Chef Moonen will be joined by Chef Matthew Accarrino (former chef de cuisine of Restaurant RM) of SPQR in San Francisco to present a five-course, seafood lover’s meal (with wine pairings) to benefit Three Square Food Bank in Las Vegas.

Laguna Beach UncorkedThe 2nd Annual Laguna Beach Uncorked is set for Saturday, March 9th at the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts grounds from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. It’s an indulgent afternoon of tastings from 20 prominent Laguna Beach restaurants and 30 top wineries from around the world. Proceeds benefit CHOC Children’s Hospital in Orange County.

One of the founders of the festival, Nancy Milby, the Executive Director of Laguna Culinary Arts, Inc., will be with us to preview Laguna Beach Uncorked! An International Wine & Food Fest!

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyOur eyes and ears in Las Vegas, Brock Radke, is back with us. Brock is the Food and Web Editor for the Las Vegas Weekly there and a genuine insider.

Inspired by Bon Appetit’s newly announced 20 Most Important Restaurants in America, Brock put together his own list for Las Vegas. He joins us to discuss his picks.

Kids Cook is the first program in the new series, Making Memories for Children from the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation.

It’s a three-part culinary adventure under the expert direction of Jim Colombo, General Manager of Five Crowns in Corona del Mar. Jim is also an accomplished chef by training.

Making Memories for Children from the Newport Beach Library FoundationThe first session is on Sunday, March 10th in the garden at Five Crowns. It’s an introduction to a variety of fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables, followed by a hands-on lesson in preparing simple, delicious treats.

The program continues on March 17th and 24th.

Podcasts

Segment One: Liz Williams, President and Director, Southern Food and Beverage Museum, New Orleans”
Segment Two: Executive Chef Rick Moonen of rm seafood at The Shoppes at Mandalay Place in Las Vegas
Segment Three: Nancy Milby, co-founder of Laguna Beach Uncorked! An International Wine & Food Fest! and Executive Director of Laguna Culinary Arts, Inc.
Segment Four: Brock Radke, Food and Web Editor for Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Five: Jim Colombo, General Manager of Five Crowns and SideDoor in Corona del Mar
Segment Six: Dining at Urasawa in Beverly Hills and Highlights from “A Taste of Harlem in Baldwin Hills” at Post & Beam