Show 261, February 17, 2018: Chef Andrew Gruel with “Ask the Chef”

Andrew and William GruelOur always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his Ask the Chef series. The New York Times had a thought-provoking piece by food journalist Karen Stabiner on the Front Page of their Food Section this week on February 14th.

The provocative issue discussed in What to do When Laptops & Silence Take Over Your Café” is how does a café that wants to maintain a lively atmosphere handle customers who hang out there all day on their laptops (while buying little food & beverages) and use the establishment as their office. Chef Andrew weighs in on the hospitality debate.

Interestingly enough L.A. restaurants, including Venice’s Rose Café, are featured in the piece.

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Show 74, May 31, 2014: Cathy Thomas, food journalist, Orange County Register and Los Angeles Register

Cathy ThomasCathy Thomas is the long-established food writer and former Food Editor at The Orange County Register. She has won numerous well-deserved awards for her journalism and is a good friend of chefs and restaurateurs.

Cathy Thomas was just on a short leg (12 days) of Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth’s World Cruise. Her cruise was Singapore to Dubai. She left the ship for four days on land in India traveling to the Taj Mahal.

Cathy will enlighten us on luxury cruising, Indian street food, and dining at Ku De Ta, a hot restaurant in Singapore with an incredible view. It’s located on the 57th floor of the landmark Marina Sands Hotel.

Look for Cathy’s piece on Indian Street Food and other observations in the upcoming Wednesday, June 4th Food Section in the Los Angeles Register. The article will appear in The Orange County Register on June 11th.

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May 31: Wolfgang Puck, Cathy Thomas, Coffee Bean, Fireside Tavern, Joan’s on Third,

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Cathy Thomas, food journalist, Orange County Register and Los Angeles Register
Segment Three: Jay Isais, Senior Director, Coffee Roasting and Manufacturing, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
Segment Four: Chef Wolfgang Puck
Segment Five: Executive Chef Scott Brandon, Fireside Tavern, Costa Mesa
Segment Six: Chester Hastings, Cheesemonger and Chef, Joan’s on Third, Los Angeles
Segment Seven: Bill Esparza, “The Street Gourmet” & Curator for Tacolandia Part One
Segment Eight: Bill Esparza, “The Street Gourmet” & Curator for Tacolandia Part Two

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Pioneering California Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck with destination restaurants around the globe really needs no introduction. Among many accomplishments he cooks for the VIP guests at the Oscars every year. His new book, Wolfgang Puck Makes it Healthy : Light, Delicious Recipes and Easy Exercises for a Better Life is a true labor of love.

The Orange County Register’s award-winning food writer, Cathy Thomas, has just returned from a cruise on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth. She shares her travel and food adventures in India and Singapore.

What’s the most exotic coffee bean in the world ? Our resident coffee expert from the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has the unexpected answer. It’s unusual…

The 2nd Annual Tacolandia (“Where All Your Taco Dreams Come True”) is coming up June 28th. The Taco in Chief (a.k.a. “The Street Gourmet,”) Bill Esparza, serves it up.

Understanding and selecting specialty cheese can be a bit intimidating. Cheesemonger extraordinaire, Chester Hastings, to the rescue!

Fireside Tavern is an undiscovered gem of a new destination restaurant in the unlikely location of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Costa Mesa just off the 405 Freeway. The secret is Executive Chef Scott Brandon.

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

Special Note:
Michael Puglisi
You’ve heard Chef Michael Puglisi (ex-Bouchon Beverly Hills) of the soon-to-be Electric City Butcher in The (upcoming) 4th Street Market in Santa Ana on the show.

On Monday, June 2nd Chef Puglisi is part of a special Chef’s Dinner at 320 Main – New American Eatery in Seal Beach.

The 6-course menu is from Chef Puglisi, Chef Jaime Carrano of 320 Main, and Chef Eddie Ruiz of Corazon y Miel. Corazon y Miel in Bell was just included in Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants 2014 as presented in the Los Angeles Times.

Chefs Michael and Eddie also work together at the recently opened PICNIK in Old Pasadena. “These three friends are pleased to bring an amazing menu and incredible dining experience for the latest in 320 Main’s Chef’s Dinner series.”

$95 per guest including tax and gratuity.

Reservations & Information: 562.799.6246.

Cathy ThomasCathy Thomas is the long-established food writer and former Food Editor at The Orange County Register. She has won numerous well-deserved awards for her journalism and is a good friend of chefs and restaurateurs.

Cathy Thomas was just on a short leg (12 days) of Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth’s World Cruise. She left the ship for four days on land in India traveling to the Taj Mahal. Cathy will enlighten us on luxury cruising, Indian street food, and dining at Ku De Ta, a hot restaurant in Singapore with an incredible view.

Look for Cathy’s piece on Indian Street Food in an upcoming Wednesday Food Section in the Orange County Register.

Jay Isais of the Coffee Bean and Tea LeafJay (“Eye-Zay-Us”) Isais is the Senior Director, Coffee Roasting and Manufacturing, for the Coffee Bean and Teal Leaf.

The rarest coffee beans in the world (from Sumatra) must be the Kopi Luwak beans. They are “harvested” in an unusual way.

Jay explains this highly sought-after coffee oddity…

Wolfgang PuckWhat is now known as California Cuisine never had a better day than when Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck opened the original Spago on The Sunset Strip in 1982. Its ambitions were modest…

Now the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group has restaurants around the world with a second stronghold in Las Vegas.

Chef Puck was the first Chef to cook a meal at New York’s famed James Beard House. He is also the recipient of multiple James Beard Foundation Awards.

Another high-profile division, Wolfgang Puck Catering, provides the food for the Annual Governors Ball for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Wolfgang is better known internationally than many of the celebrities who he graciously serves !

Another unit, Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc. franchises casual Wolfgang Puck restaurants, licenses consumer products, is involved in book publishing, television and internet programming, and other licensing and merchandising efforts.

Wolfgang Puck’s most recent book, Wolfgang Puck Makes It Healthy – Light, Delicious Recipes and Easy Exercises for a Better Life is a personal project for him.
In the words of Chef Wolfgang Puck :

“I never, ever expected to write this book. If you had suggested to me ten years ago, or even five, that my next book would focus on healthy recipes and fitness, I would’ve said you didn’t know me very well.

I have figured out where I can modify ingredients to make a healthier dish. And today I can eat all my favorite foods without overeating anything.

I feel good because of the combination of eating well and exercising I’ve developed. Now I want to help you achieve the same goal, to feel healthy and happy, with plenty of energy to do the things you love to do.”

Scott Brandon of Fireside TavernFireside Tavern is an undiscovered gem of a new destination restaurant in the unlikely location of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Costa Mesa just off the 405 Freeway. The secret is Executive Chef Scott Brandon.

Chef Scott’s credits include Oysters in Corona del Mar, Crow Bar and Kitchen in Corona del Mar, and LinX in Old Towne Orange.

It’s located just South of South Coast Plaza.

The space is inviting and there is an outside patio with lots of shade.

There is a great Happy Hour menu served daily from 3 to 6:00 p.m. and then again from 10 to midnight. Lots of fun & appealing food selections and libations priced at a good value.

“Fireside is an American gastropub, offering a contemporary menu of upscale tavern fare for lunch and dinner. Fireside features a menu of freshly sourced meat, seafood and cheese, along with a bar menu of small plates. The bar serves an array of American wines, craft draft beer, and signature cocktails.”

Chester HastingsCheesemonger (and Chef) Chester Hastings of Joan’s on Third in Los Angeles literally wrote the book on enjoying cheese. His latest title is The Cheesemonger’s Seasons – Recipes for Enjoying Cheese with Ripe Fruits and Vegetables. His first cheese book was the well-reviewed, The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen.

The Cheesemonger’s Season contains ninety amazing cheese-centric recipes, from appetizers to desserts, all of them simple, and each one showcasing the absolute best of what the season has to offer.

When Chester started at Joan’s over 12 years ago they carried seven varieties of cheese. Today they stock over 100 varieties of domestic and imported cheeses.

Bill EsparzaThe 2nd Annual Tacolandia (“Where All Your Taco Dreams Come True”) is coming up June 28th at El Pueblo De Los Angeles. The hours are 3 to 7:00 p.m.

The Taco in Chief, Bill Esparza (a.k.a. “The Street Gourmet,”) serves it up.

It’s 40 plus taco vendors, the Tequila Tasting Experience, and live Mariachi entertainment.

Bill previews the incredible taco creations of a number of the chefs participating in LA Weekly’s Tacolandia. The best tacos on food trucks, too…

The 2nd Annual Tacolandia (“Where All Your Taco Dreams Come True”) is coming up June 28th at El Pueblo De Los Angeles. The hours are 3 to 7:00 p.m.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Cathy Thomas, food journalist, Orange County Register and Los Angeles Register
Segment Three: Jay Isais, Senior Director, Coffee Roasting and Manufacturing, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
Segment Four: Chef Wolfgang Puck
Segment Five: Executive Chef Scott Brandon, Fireside Tavern, Costa Mesa
Segment Six: Chester Hastings, Cheesemonger and Chef, Joan’s on Third, Los Angeles
Segment Seven: Bill Esparza, “The Street Gourmet” & Curator for Tacolandia Part One
Segment Eight: Bill Esparza, “The Street Gourmet” & Curator for Tacolandia Part Two

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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March 9: Anne Burrell, Barbara Hansen, Jason Quinn

Podcasts

Segment One: Chef Anne Burrell, Star of Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America” and “Chef Wanted”
Segment Two: Barbara Hansen, veteran food & travel journalist Part One
Segment Three: Barbara Hansen, veteran food & travel journalist Part Two
Segment Four: Jet Tila
Segment Five: Jason Quinn, Executive Chef and Owner of Playground & Playground 2.0 in Santa Ana Part One
Segment Six: Jason Quinn, Executive Chef and Owner of Playground & Playground 2.0 in Santa Ana Part Two

This week it’s a showcase of extraordinary culinary talent. Food Network’s biggest female star is with us along with a preview of a just-published Korean Restaurant Guide for Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Then it’s on to a groundbreaking young Orange County chef who started as a partner on a winning food truck and now has two unconventional (and very much in-demand) restaurants.

Anne Burrell of Food NetworkIt’s hard to miss celebrity Chef Anne Burrell on Food Network these days which is currently airing two popular Anne Burrell shows. “Worst Cooks in America” is in it’s fourth season and “Chef Wanted” is in it’s second season. Anne was also Mario Batali’s ace sous chef during his long tenure on “Iron Chef America.”

 

 

Barbara Hansen of EatMX and LA Weekly Squid InkBarbara Hansen is a greatly respected, veteran food journalist on the Los Angeles scene. She is best known for her many years as a staff writer for The Los Angeles TimesFood Section. Now Barbara is a regular contributor to the “Squid Ink” food blog at the LA Weekly. She also writes and edits, “The Table Conversation” blog on food, wine, travel, and recipes as well as EatMx.com, a Mexican food blog.

Barbara just finished a fascinating project for the Korean Food Foundation. It’s the newly published Korean Restaurant Guide – Los Angeles which includes Orange County. To complete the book on a tight deadline Barbara dined in 40 area Korean restaurants with a Korean-American translator as her guide.

Jet was in Tampa, Florida during the last week and squeezed in a dine-around. He’ll share his take on the quintessential family-owned steakhouse there (55 years and still aging) and some local bakeries of distinction.

The chef/partner of then OC based The Lime Truck, winners of Season 3 of Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race,” is the outgoing Jason Quinn.

Jason Quinn of the Lime Truck and Playground DTSAShortly after Season 3 concluded he opened the bricks-and-mortar Playground in November of 2011in the downtown Santa Ana redevelopment area. It’s a bit unconventional in concept and Chef Jason takes pride in doing things his way. It’s high energy all the time…

The menu changes daily and there is serious attention to pairing draft beer with the food. Produce is also used creatively on the menu.

Jason’s latest ambitious effort is the next door, IO, a culinary theater.

Podcasts

Segment One: Chef Anne Burrell, Star of Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America” and “Chef Wanted”
Segment Two: Barbara Hansen, veteran food & travel journalist Part One
Segment Three: Barbara Hansen, veteran food & travel journalist Part Two
Segment Four: Jet Tila
Segment Five: Jason Quinn, Executive Chef and Owner of Playground & Playground 2.0 in Santa Ana Part One
Segment Six: Jason Quinn, Executive Chef and Owner of Playground & Playground 2.0 in Santa Ana Part Two

Show 11, December 29, 2012: Russ Parsons, Food Editor of the Los Angeles Times Part One

Russ is a veteran of the Los Angeles food scene. He’s been at The Times for twenty years and has been writing about food for thirty years. He’s also the author of two well-received cookbooks.

The first topic was Russ’ observations about what was hot at the end of 2011 that is perhaps off the radar a year later. The best example is the food truck phenomenon in L.A. Perhaps the market got oversaturated with copy cats but the trucks are hardly followed as passionately as they once were.

Russ also spoke about the cooking of Dungeness crab which was the subject of his “The California Cook” column in the December 29th, 2012 “Saturday” Section.

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Show 10, December 22, 2012: Cathy Thomas, Food Writer for the Orange County Register

Cathy Thomas, the award-winning & beloved journalist at The Orange County Register has been expertly chronicling the dynamic food scene in Orange County for over 20 years. If Cathy doesn’t know about it it’s probably not worth your time.

Cathy will be back with us on January 5th to talk about her 3rd book, Melissa’s 50 Best Plants On The Planet: The Most Nutrient-Dense Fruits and Vegetables, in 150 Delicious Recipes from Chronicle Books. The just-published hard-cover edition is available exclusively at Melissa’s World Variety Produce website or at select Bristol Farms stores.

Cathy Thomas has recently returned from a week on Kauai. In addition to cooking at home with the best in local ingredients she did some dining out in the Poipu area where she was staying. She highly recommends both (the fine-dining) Red Salt in the Koa Kea Hotel and pioneering Hawaii Regional Cuisine Chef Jean-Marie Josselin’s Josselin’s Tapas Bar & Grill (more casual) on two levels in the delightful Kukui’ula Village Shopping Center.

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December 22: Holiday Party Planning Special

Podcasts

Segment One: Jet Tila, William Lewis (Sommelier and Managing Partner @ The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar in Tustin,) and Elizabeth Whitt, Chef Instructor and pastry master, deluxe.
Segment Two: American Style Maven Nathan Turner
Segment Three: Cathy Thomas, Food Writer for the Orange County Register
Segment Four: Roberta Koz Wilson of Cookies For A Koz
Segment Five: Jacqueline Canter of Canter’s Deli
Segment Six: (Chef) Jeffrey Frederick, VP of Food & Beverage for Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas

There are still ladles more of Holiday Cheer to serve on the “SoCal Restaurant Show” so please make us part of your Saturday morning.

Last Saturday we were happy to step aside early for the Angels’ big press conference to introduce slugger Josh Hamilton so on Dec. 22nd we’ll pick up our Holiday Entertaining special.

Sir William Lewis of the Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar in TustinChef Instructor Elizabeth Whitt (also an accomplished pastry chef) and sommelier and Managing Partner of The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, William Lewis, encore to discuss incredible Holiday desserts. Sir William will also give us the 411 on ice wines.

We’re pleased to welcome American style maven Nathan Turner to the show. Perhaps you saw him on the “Today Show” on December 20th. Nathan will be sharing his tips on decorating the Holiday Table. His new book is Nathan Turner’s American Style : Classic Design & Effortless Entertaining. (Abrams.)

Cathy Thomas, the award-winning food writer for The Orange County Register has enthusiastically chronicled the food scene in Orange County for over twenty years. Cathy joins us to discuss The Register’s newly enhanced Food Section and her recent travels in Kauai.

Melissa's 50 Best Plants on the Planet CookbookCathy will be back with us on January 5th to fill us in on her newly published third book, Melissa’s 50 Best Plants On The Planet – The Most Nutrient –Dense Fruits and Vegetables, in 150 Delicious Recipes. Gift editions are available exclusively at Melissa’s World Variety Produce site.

It’s Holiday Time and what more thoughtful gift than absolutely delicious chocolate chip cookies baked in small batches! The big plus is that each sale benefits The Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Roberta Koz Wilson (jazz saxophone great Dave Koz’s sister) of Cookies for a Koz joins us to share the inspirational story. The cookies are a tribute to their late mother, Audrey, who created the original cookie recipe. The truth is that these famous cookies opened a lot of doors for Dave in his early days as a struggling musician!

Canter's Delicatessen in the Fairfax District of Los AngelesSince 1931 Canter’s Delicatessen has been serving the deli obsessed and the satisfied guests keep returning. In 1948 they moved from Boyle Heights to their current location on N. Fairfax Ave. in Los Angeles. They were one of the first late-hour hangs.

Canter’s is slow to change (and proud of it) but the 4th generation of the Canter Family has listened to their guests and implemented a series of menu changes to better serve the contemporary customer.

4th generation family spokesperson, Jacqueline Canter, is our guest to explain it all. (She is also affectionately known as the Bagel Queen.)

“The SoCal Restaurant Show” was on assignment in Las Vegas earlier this week. We covered the exclusive Friends of James Beard Benefit at Gordon Ramsay Steak at The Paris Las Vegas where Chef Ramsay himself was the star attraction. It was quite a spectacular! By year’s end Chef Ramsay will be overseeing three busy restaurants on the Las Vegas Strip! Look out Wolfgang Puck.

We’ll also report on some worthwhile dining adventures off The Strip.

Podcasts

Segment One: Jet Tila, William Lewis (Sommelier and Managing Partner @ The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar in Tustin,) and Elizabeth Whitt, Chef Instructor and pastry master, deluxe.
Segment Two: American Style Maven Nathan Turner
Segment Three: Cathy Thomas, Food Writer for the Orange County Register
Segment Four: Roberta Koz Wilson of Cookies For A Koz
Segment Five: Jacqueline Canter of Canter’s Deli
Segment Six: (Chef) Jeffrey Frederick, VP of Food & Beverage for Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas