Show 301, December 8, 2018: Layla Ali-Ahmad, Beach City Food Tours’ East Village Cocktail Tour

Layla Ali Ahmad

A great way to be introduced to the foods of a new area is to partake of the highest rated food walking tour of that neighborhood. Beach City Food Tours has been doing that very successfully in Long Beach for the last couple of years.

They have just added the irresistible East Village Craft Cocktail Tour highlighting five thirst-quenching stops over the three-hour guided expedition.

It’s a carefully selected mélange of farm-to-table libations, Whiskey-centric craft cocktails, cider & mead and tequila and mezcal creations. There are also tasty small bar bites on the menu to be enjoyed along the way.

“Sip your way through Downtown Long Beach’s favorite watering holes, while learning about the City’s growing craft cocktail movement.”

One of the tour highlights is a stop at Great Society Cider & Mead, a one-of-a-kind establishment in Southern California. The entertaining Proprietor or General Manager there engagingly explains the flavor profiles of the four tasters of Cider each guest samples. There is also a food tasting there, too. On our tour they were serving a tasty Sausage & Pepper Penne Pasta creation.

This is a great Holiday Gift for that special someone who appreciates a well-crafted libation.

Proprietress Layla Ali-Ahmad joins us with all the details of what’s on the menu.

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Show 299, November 24, 2018: Restaurateur & Executive Farmer, Nathan Peitso, FARMHOUSE Los Angeles

Nathan PietsoNathan Peitso, a second-generation farmer of Kenter Canyon Farms is at the helm of FARMHOUSE together with Executive Chef Craig Hopson. Located on the ground floor of the refreshed Beverly Center, FARMHOUSE redefines the traditional restaurant model by placing a farmer at the forefront of the business and thus creating a new culinary movement focused on collaboration with the region’s top farmers to grow and harvest ingredients dictating the dining destination’s dishes.

Introducing a fresh role in the restaurant industry at Beverly Center’s FARMHOUSE restaurant, Executive Farmer Nathan Peitso calls on his extensive California farming experience cultivated since youth to fill the post organically—both literally and figuratively. Peitso brings an unprecedented level of authenticity and expertise to the industry’s heightened dedication to farm-traceable culinary programs.

“The FARMHOUSE concept hinges on getting the best produce, and preparing superior food with superior ingredients,” Peitso says. Reimagining the menu design process, Peitso plans months in advance through thoughtful collaboration with farmers on anticipated produce being planted. Once farming partnerships are in place, Peitso curates the rotating seed to plate menu highlighting peak Southern California ingredients, exclusively harvested for FARMHOUSE.

Last month FARMHOUSE debuted its inaugural Autumn Harvest Chef’s Tasting Dinner Menu from Executive Chef Craig Hopson. For $52 per person (not inclusive of tax and gratuity) guests will have their choice of three-courses inspired by six selective and locally-sourced seasonal ingredients at their peak—such as honeynut squash, Cotton Candy, Concord, and Red Flame grapes, Bermuda onions, mushrooms, pears, and Japanese sweet potato—prepared by Chef Hopson and sourced by Executive Farmer Nathan Peitso (“The Farmer & The Chef” duo).

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Show 275, May 26, 2018: Chef / Proprietor Tyler Hansen, the Oystercatcher, Coupeville, Whidbey Island, WA

Tyler HansenCentrally located on Whidbey Island, WA in Coupeville, the Oystercatcher has proudly served simple, good, food for more than 18 years. Chef Tyler Hansen (3rd chef/proprietor) and his team create a harmonious and authentic farm-to-table menu to showcase all what the island, and the region has to offer. They even make the extraordinary effort to bake daily all the breads used in the restaurant. The bread is so popular that it’s sold to other Island restaurants and retail markets.

“Historically the island provided an abundance of food, with the prairie serving as a sacred place for those who lived there. We honor that tradition at the restaurant today working with the farmers who continue to keep that heritage alive on the island.”

“Creating the entire experience from scratch is what makes the restaurant tick. The first wheat fields on Whidbey were harvested in September to mill the local flour for the bread. Being involved with the growing process to the finished product on the plate is the passion that drives the kitchen.”

Chef Tyler is about to go into his lunch service so he’d breaking away to chat with us.

 

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Show 256, January 13, 2018: Chef Gabriel Garcia, Tierra Sur Restaurant at Herzog Wine Cellars, Oxnard

Gabriel GarciaSituated inside Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard, Tierra Sur Restaurant contin­ues to receive national recognition as one of the finest restaurants in Southern California. Head Chef Gabriel Garcia and his team bring bold and exciting ideas to life – while using only seasonal ingredients, sourced fresh from local farm­ers. Year over year, Tierra Sur has deservedly received the highest ZAGAT ratings in Ventura County.

Modern and inspired New American fare, and the ambiance of dining inside of the area’s largest winery delight guests of this truly one of a kind, farm-to-table concept. It’s unusually a kosher restaurant but you don’t have to be Jewish (or keep kosher) to fully appreciate the fine food or refined atmosphere.

Being located in the center of the region’s largest winery has its benefits; guests may order from a special ‘Wine Tasters Menu’ and enjoy a three -course prix fixe selection, each paired with Herzog Special Reserve award-winning wines. Whether stopping on the way to Santa Barbara, or traveling to Ventura County – Tierra Sur offers exceptional dining and a charming stop along the way.

Chef Gabe gently pulls the cork on the unusual experience for us.

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Show 243, October 7, 2017: Carolynn Carreño, Bowls of Plenty

Carolyn CarrenoBowls of Plenty – Recipes for Healthy and Delicious Whole-Grain Meals is a fresh and flexible approach to grain bowls–thoughtfully structured one-dish meals that marry health and flavor–from James Beard Award-winning journalist and acclaimed cookbook coauthor Carolynn Carreno. The Foreword is by Nancy Silverton. We’ll meet Carolynn.

Gorgeous, layered, satisfying bowls have become the next wave of healthy eating. From food blogs to Instagram, farm-to-table bistros to chain restaurants, “the bowl” has become part of our culinary vocabulary. And whole grains are not just for hippies and health nuts anymore! Hearty grains like quinoa, farro, millet, and spelt are replacing flour or corn tortillas, bread, pasta, white rice, and mashed potatoes as the base or vehicle for other, richer, more complex ingredients. What’s more, grain bowls are easy-to-make, and family-friendly, and convenient for busy home cooks and weekend chefs alike.

Carolynn joins us.

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Show 236, August 12, 2017: Chef D. Brandon Walker, The Mar Vista, Los Angeles

Derek Brandon WalkerThe new The Mar Vista restaurant in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles is a chef-driven, food-first experience with locally sourced farm-to-table ingredients, unusual & rare-label wines and an eclectic lineup of live music. The culinary personalities behind it are Executive Chefs D. Brandon Walker and Jill Davie. It’s dinner nightly and Sunday Brunch.

The Mar Vista’s menu, affectionately dubbed progressive Los Angeles cuisine, features renditions of local favorites enhanced by wide-ranging flavors from L.A.’s diverse communities. Walker, Davie, and Chef de Cuisine Jorge Rivas infuse dishes with flavors from North Africa, Central America, Asia, and the Mediterranean to represent the varied diaspora. Daily specials, a Brazilian churrasco, and Davie’s signature Cranked, a tableside device that uses vintage grinders to make “ugly” fruit into granita, complete the offerings.

Further enriching the community-driven concept, The Mar Vista presents live music performances on Friday and Saturday evenings with a late-night menu accompanying the mellow sounds from a bluegrass or jazz band, among others.

We’ll meet the always energetic “Chef D.”

 

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Show 174, June 4, 2016: Chef Greg Bernhardt, Paley Restaurant, Hollywood

Greg BernhardtPaley restaurant is located in the restored Columbia Square, the birthplace of the Golden Age of Hollywood. During its heyday, the restaurant at Columbia Square was home to the celebrities, executives and others working in the area.

Paley reimagines that creative culture for the modern age. Chef Greg Bernhardt (ex-Church & State), at the forefront of the California farm to table movement, serves a dynamic menu of seasonal and local ingredients in classic dishes with a modern twist. He joins us.

Paley is named in celebration of the artistic and innovative era shaped by Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) CEO and progressive visionary William S. Paley. Chef Greg Bernhardt serves a menu of dynamic and modern California cuisine with influences from L.A.’s multicultural heritage matched with unobtrusive service and a spirit of warmth and respect.

Owned and operated by worldwide hospitality group Plan Do See, Paley is named in celebration of the artistic and innovative era shaped by CBS visionary William S. Paley and his wife, Babe.

With the opening of Columbia Square in 1939, William S. Paley ushered in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Paley strives to reintroduce the glamour and excitement of Hollywood’s glory days.

Paley is now open for lunch, dinner and Weekend Brunch. Breakfast is coming soon…Paley features distinct dining areas. Inside, guests are greeted by the elegant bar with lounge seating, an intimate dining area at the core and a chef’s counter and table overlooking the open kitchen. An inviting shaded, landscaped outside patio located in the Courtyard of the former Columbia Square is another appealing dining area of Paley.

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Show 99, November 29, 2014: Chef Larry Forgione

Larry ForgioneChef Larry Forgione has been called “The Godfather of American Cuisine” for his role in changing the way Americans eat today. He embraced the virtues of our national cuisine and used only seasonal, local ingredients, beginning the entire “Farm-to-Table” movement in the early 80s in New York. He was mentored by the late James Beard who frequented his restaurant his Greenwich Village restaurant, An American Place.

So when the Culinary Institute of America (The CIA) was developing its American Food Studies: Farm-to-Table Cooking curriculum, it was only natural that the college teamed with Chef Forgione, who became the program’s co-founder and Culinary Director. Today he guides students through their farm-to-table studies and their hands-on experience at The Conservatory at Greystone, a student led restaurant in the Napa Valley open to the public.

Chef Forgione was one of the guest chefs at last weekend’s Friends of James Beard Weekend at Morgan’s in the desert at The La Quinta Resort hosted by Chef Jimmy Schmidt.

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Show 75, June 7, 2014: Chef Jimmy Shaw, Loteria Grill! – “600 Years of Mexican Wine.”

Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill and Torta CompanyChef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill! fame has just presented two nights celebrating “600 Years of Mexican Wine” with an 8-course seated dinner in Hollywood and then a stand-up street food and wine evening in Santa Monica.

His celebrated guest chef was Javier Plascencia of Northern Baja. His flagship restaurant in Tijuana is Mision 19. According to The New York Times, “He brings a flair for dramatic presentation, an appreciation for Tijuana’s street foods deep flavors and a binational approach to farm-to-table cooking.”

Loteria Grill! Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Studio City now feature an expanded selection of Northern Baja’s best wines. All of these Baja wines are available by the bottle at retail, too, to take home.

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June 7: Leo Maurelli III, StarChefs, Brock Kleweno, Piero Salvaggio, Jimmy Shaw, Peter Serantoni

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Leo Maurelli III of Central, Montgomery, Alabama
Segment Three: The StarChefs Rising Stars Revue, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Brock Kleweno, Executive Chef and General Manager, Yamashiro Hollywood
Segment Five: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Valentino, Santa Monica, CA
Segment Six: Chef Jimmy Shaw, Loteria Grill! – “600 Years of Mexican Wine.”
Segment Seven: Negroni Week. Chef Peter Serantoni of Brunos in Brea
Segment Eight: Host Jet Tila

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Central located in the heart of Montgomery, Alabama’s vibrant Downtown entertainment district is a true gem of an American find.

The engaging executive chef with an easy-going manner sets the tone for the place.

The StarChefs Rising Stars Revue is coming to Los Angeles on June 12th. It celebrates Los Angeles’ brightest culinary talent.

Brock Kleweno (Kla-ve-no) is both the executive chef and GM of the historic Yamshiro Hollywood. Their ever-popular Thursday Night Farmers Market has returned through September 4th.

Piero Selvaggio’s Valentino in Santa Monica is celebrating its 41st year. Piero and Executive Chef Nico Chessa have introduced a nightly changing special Italian tasting menu there at the Vin Bar.

Loteria Grill! is celebrating 6 centuries of Mexican Wine with the introduction of a broader selection of fine wines from Northern Baja on their list.

The Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail originating in Florence Italy. It’s Negroni week in the United States and charities are the beneficiaries.

Jet has been doing some top-tier dining in Las Vegas at Raku and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. Producer Andy experienced one of the top restaurants in Tijuana.

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

Leo Maurelli IIICentral, located in the heart of Montgomery, Alabama’s Downtown entertainment district, is a true American restaurant highlighting local and seasonal ingredients. The locally owned establishment offers wood-fired dishes in a restored 1890s warehouse space boasting exposed brick, flickering gas lanterns and a bustling open kitchen,

In the main dining room 16-foot ceilings, spectacular overhead lighting, a central bar comprised of reclaimed wood all overlook Montgomery’s downtown Alley.

Chef Leo Maurelli, III is the Executive Chef of Central Restaurant. He is a native of the Republic of Panama and shares his unique multicultural take on traditional Southern dishes and cuisine.

Chef Leo is the recipient of many honors including the 2011 Chef of The Year awarded by the Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Alliance.

Chef Leo is an avid supporter of local farmers, cheese makers, craft beer producers and artisans. He is an advocate for healthy sustainable food consumption and has partnered with EATSouth Farm to not only cook with fresh ingredients, directly from the local farm, but also serve as an ambassador in the community promoting healthy lifestyles through education and sustainable food production.

StarChefs Rising Stars Los AngelesThe StarChefs Rising Stars Revue is coming to Los Angeles on June 12th at Vibiana in Downtown Los Angeles. It celebrates Los Angeles’ brightest culinary talent.

The VIP Host Chef is Neal Fraser of the soon-to-be Redbird at Vibiana.

Antoinette Bruno, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of StarChefs.com joins us to preview the awards. Rising Star Award Winners David Rodriguez of Providence and Chef Atsushi Takatsuki of MB Post are also our guests.

Brock Kleweno of YamashiroBrock Kleweno (Kla-ve-no) is both the executive chef and GM of Yamashiro Hollywood. Their ever-popular Thursday Night Farmers Market has returned through September 4th. It operates from 5 to 9:00 p.m.

Yamashiro’s Pagoda Bar will be open for libations and light fare each week.

The Farmers Market also marks the seasonal return of Chef Brock’s famous tacos! They are the darlings of restaurant critics.

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa MonicaLegendary Los Angeles restaurateur and gracious host Piero Selvaggio has overseen Valentino on Santa Monica for some 41 years. His elegant Vin Bar at Valentino was one of the first wine bars in Los Angeles.

Piero, along with his Executive Chef, Nico Chessa, have developed the Il Quadrifoglio menu. It’s an Italian-style bento box of four seasonal dishes for $25.00. The quartet of dishes changes nightly and is designed for both its visual and flavor balance.

Valentino is renowned for its use of exceptional Italian products which are showcased in the menus: specially selected Colatura di Alici, 24- Months Aged Prosciutto de Parma, Cerignoli Olives and Bottarga, among others.

Selections from Pierro Selvagio’s legendary wine cellar and Valentino’s extraordinary desserts may be ordered separately. Availability for the Vin Bar at Valentino is on a first come basis and does not require reservations. Quadrifoglia at the Vin Bar is available Tuesday through Sundays from 5:00 p.m. to closing.

Selvaggio and Chessa designed the menu for casual dining at a great price. “We wanted to be able to offer a value where our guests can drop in for an informal meal,” states Selvaggio. “It’s wonderful to be able to taste all four of these dishes for under $30.”

Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill and Torta CompanyChef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill! fame (Original Farmers Market, Hollywood, Studio City, Santa Monica, Westlake Village and Fig at 7th) has just presented two nights celebrating “600 Years of Mexican Wine” with an 8-course seated dinner in Hollywood and then a stand-up street food and wine evening in Santa Monica.

His celebrated guest chef was Javier Plascencia of Northern Baja. His flagship restaurant in Tijuana is Mision 19. According to The New York Times, “He brings a flair for dramatic presentation, an appreciation for Tijuana’s street foods deep flavors and a binational approach to farm-to-table cooking.”

Loteria Grill! Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Studio City now feature an expanded selection of Northern Baja’s best wines.

More quality Mexican restaurants should offer a selection of Mexican wines.

Peter SerantoniCelebrating authentic Italian cuisine while raising a glass to a good cause has never been easier. From June 2nd to 8th, Brunos Trattoria in Brea will be participating in the nationwide Negroni Week, presented by Campari and Imbibe Magazine. A portion of the proceeds from every Negroni sold at Brunos during this time will benefit The Mobile Closet , a local organization which helps the community by distributing clothing and blankets to people in need.

Let’s root Brunos on…By the end of the week if Brunos comes out as the top fundraiser in the nation, Compari will donate an additional $10,000 to The Mobile Closet.

“The Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail, originating in Florence, Italy. Staying true to the heart and quality of Brunos’ beverage program, the Negroni at Brunos utilizes premium Italian spirits and liqueurs to create an authentic, memorable experience.”

Co-Owner and Chef Peter Serantoni is our guest. Brunos Trattoria is named after his father and mentor, Papa Bruno.

Jet Tila and Giada De LaurentiisIt’s been an unusually memorable week of dining out for Jet and Producer Andy.

Jet has been in Las Vegas taking in the opening of Giada De LaurentiisGiada restaurant at The Cromwell on The Strip, Raku, and L‘Atelier de Joel Robuchon at the MGM Grand.

Producer Andy dined at the acclaimed Mision 19 in Tijuana.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Leo Maurelli III of Central, Montgomery, Alabama
Segment Three: The StarChefs Rising Stars Revue, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Brock Kleweno, Executive Chef and General Manager, Yamashiro Hollywood
Segment Five: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Valentino, Santa Monica, CA
Segment Six: Chef Jimmy Shaw, Loteria Grill! – “600 Years of Mexican Wine.”
Segment Seven: Negroni Week. Chef Peter Serantoni of Brunos in Brea
Segment Eight: Host Jet Tila

We’ll paint the picture…