Show 159, February 13, 2016: Executive Chef, Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula

Duane Owen of Pechanga Casino and ResortHundreds of premium wine varieties, sweet and savory chocolate confections, gourmet food samples from acclaimed Pechanga Resort & Casino restaurants, live music, a silent auction and helping out a good cause are all on the agenda for February 26 and 27 at Pechanga Resort & Casino. Tickets for the 8th annual Chocolate Decadence and Pechanga Wine Festival are on sale now. Proceeds from both events benefit Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley.

Wine enthusiasts can sip and explore new selections at the 8th annual Pechanga Wine Festival from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 27. Tickets for this unforgettable event are $65 and include a souvenir wine glass, unlimited two ounce samples of wine and spirits, gourmet food and dessert samples from Pechanga’s acclaimed chefs, as well as others in the Temecula Valley, live music and silent auction.

VIP tickets are $85 and include early entry at 12:00 p.m., upgraded souvenir wine glass, as well as all inclusions of the general admission tickets.

Most of the Pechanga restaurants will be offering a duo of signature tastes from their respective outlets at The Pechanga Wine Festival. For instance, The Great Oak Steakhouse is serving Filet Mignon with mushroom and shallot confit and roasted bone marrow. Their 2nd item is a mini lump crab cake with Chipotle Aioli.

Pechanga Resort & Casino’s Executive Chef, Duane Owen, joins us with all the sweet and savory details. A 500-room expansion is now underway which will include The Pool Grill and another new restaurant.

Show 35, July 13, 2013: Chef Jet Tila with “Sushi 411.”

SushiJet has extensive experience in teaching the sushi basics to professionals so we asked him to share the fundamentals of sushi etiquette so guests will have the ability to eat better at their favorite sushi spot. With that said Jet also respectfully suggests that you follow the course in a sushi restaurant that provides you with the most pleasure.

Sushi was originally created in China as a way to preserve fish before refrigeration. It was layered, and heavily salted and vinegared.

The three basic types of sushi are sashimi, maki, and hand rolls. It takes years of rigorous training to become a master sushi chef.

One big faux pas in a sushi bar is to mix the soy sauce and wasabi together into a pool. The shaved ginger is actually a palate cleanser and not a side salad. Jet explained where each should be properly used.

If you sit at the sushi bar the chef is stealthily watching how you eat. At a sushi bar there are the seafood equivalents of filet mignon, rib eye, and chuck. All are edible of course. If the chef sees that you aren’t discriminating then the sushi you get will be the equivalent of “chuck.”

The chef knows what’s the best because he’s been prepping it all day. Omakase (literally) “trust the chef” is the way to go for a special experience. It’s a personalized tasting menu left in the hands of the chef. The sushi chef will present you one item at a time (from lighter to heavier) to savor.

If you really want to an impression with the sushi chef send over a beer or sake for them during the meal with your compliments. You’ll likely see some incredible fish as a result…

Show 12, January 5, 2013: Anita Lau of the “Diary of a Mad Hungry Woman” Blog

Anita blogs about her dining adventures in Orange County and San Diego. She is not afraid to experience something new or adventurous. All of her informative and objective postings feature food photography to illustrate her meals. Very useful blog…

Anita shared some of her recent San Diego County dining.

First up was Valley View Casino near Escondido. This is a resort hotel and casino with a number of appealing dining options. Anita enjoyed her suite which actually had an impressive “valley view.”

Rib Eye at Black and Blue at Valley View CasinoThe fine-dining restaurant there is Black & Blue with is a upscale steakhouse with lots of seafood options, too. Her favorite dish was the 10 oz. Filet Mignon which she found “tender, flavorful, and cooked a perfect medium rare.”

Valley View is well-known for their lobster buffet which Anita partook of the next day. She consumed more of the tasty lobsters than she cares to admit to.

Menuderia Don Vicente in National CityAnita has had menudo all over California but it’s a dish that has been previously lost on her. A stop at Don Vicente Menuderia in National City changed all of that.

There was a 25 minute wait for a table so she knew she was in the right place. Anita was also the only non-Latino in the joint which was a plus. No Americanized, combo plate Mexican here…She loved the aroma of the tripe soup and the reaction upon tasting was “ahhhh, so so good!”

There are other Mexican specialties on the menu and the fresh tortillas are house-prepared.