Show 287, August 25, 2018: Jennifer Rolander, Tuxton China Inc.

Jennifer RolanderTuxton China Inc., a leading tabletop supplier to the foodservice industry, will again (for the 3rd year) partner with C-CAP, the Careers through Culinary Arts Program, to raise vitally needed funds. By purchasing Tuxton products during September, Tuxton will make a generous donation to help provide thousands of high school students across the Nation with scholarships, training, internships and much more.

“At Tuxton, giving back is an important part of our company’s core values, and our continuing partnership with the Careers through Culinary Arts Program gives us the opportunity to help disadvantaged high school students become part of our industry, says Vice President of Business Development Jennifer Rolander. Our continued support of this organization as one of our “Tuxton Cares” partners is a priority for us, and we are looking forward to providing funds for scholarships and their competition plates for years to come!

Tuxton’s Vice President of Business Development, Jennifer Rolander, along with C-CAP Los Angeles Director Lisa Fontanesi, joins us with the details.


Show 274, May 19, 2018: Steve Dickler & Mike Krepistman, TriMark Chefs’ Toys

Steve Dickler of Chefs ToysChefs’ Toys is no stranger to the listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” Starting with a passion for food, Chefs’ Toys began in 1988 (founded by Chef Steve Dickler) with a genuine desire to help other Chefs.

In 2003 foodservice equipment veteran Mike Krepistman folded his restaurant equipment supply firm into Chefs’ Toys and became a partner. From humble beginnings to a foodservice enterprise, Chefs’ Toys business philosophy has never wavered. Earlier this year TriMark acquired Chefs’ Toys.

“Chefs’ Toys is proud to offer time-tested and commercial kitchen approved products from the best manufacturers in the foodservice industry. We are constantly testing and searching for new products to serve our customers’ needs. You can feel confident that when you buy a product from Chefs’ Toys it has been vetted, tested, and will meet your expectations. Although our roots are firmly planted in Southern California, our customer base continues to expand nationally.”

“With the acquisition of a major restaurant design firm in 2015, Chefs’ Toys beefed up its talent pool for consulting and design. As a result, we offer complete design services for restaurants, commercial kitchens and bars. From front of house to the most complex kitchen design requirements, equipment installation, and foodservice supplies fulfillment, our staff provides turnkey solutions for the foodservice industry.”

We’ll get the update directly from principals Steve Dickler and Mike Krepistman.


Show 200, December 3, 2016: Chef Director Ryan Wagner, CulinaryLab Contemporary Cooking School, Tustin

Ryan Wagner of CulinaryLabCulinaryLab Contemporary Cooking School in a newly built facility in Tustin offers an immersive, hands-on education for all levels of cooks including aspiring chefs, serious home cooks and industry professionals. Class sizes are deliberately kept small.

“What’s the best way to learn about working in a professional kitchen? To work in one, of course. Students who choose our apprenticeship program will have the opportunity to work approximately 1,500 hours as a paid apprentice at one of our partner restaurants, gaining hours of practice and real world experience that is normally reserved for those who have already graduated culinary school. By reinforcing what they’re learning while simultaneously working in a real professional kitchen, our students are faster, more skilled and better prepared to excel in the foodservice industry.”

“Instead of spending countless hours reading culinary textbooks as homework or sitting through uninspired lectures, our students watch comprehensive video demonstrations and navigate online curriculum.”

“At CulinaryLab we measure our success by how our students perform in the real world.

If they fail, so do we. When they succeed, we do too. We put it all on the line for them.”

– Ryan Wagner, Chef Director

Chef Director Ryan Wagner, C.E.C. is the founder of the program. We’ll meet him.


Show 186, August 27, 2016: Ron Mathews, Vice President, Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo

Western Foodservice ExpoThe largest annual gathering of foodservice executives, chefs and restaurateurs in the West is the 2016 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo on August 28th to 30th at the Los Angeles Convention Center. There will be over 8,000 attendees and 500 exhibitors. It’s for the trade, only.

It’s 3-days of menu trends, state of the art design and décor, and the best in business education.

Thomas Keller of the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group is receiving The Torch Award as part of the gathering.

Ron Mathews, Vice President of the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo joins us with a preview.


Show 186, August 27, 2016: Jennifer Rolander, Marketing Director, Tuxton China, Inc.

Tuxton ChinaIn September Tuxton is donating a percentage of their total sales to support the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP,) an extraordinary non-profit that transforms the lives of at-risk high school students through the culinary arts. In Los Angeles alone, C-CAP was able to work with 3,200 students in 22 schools and awarded over $765,000 in scholarships in the 2015-2016 academic year. There are also programs in Arizona, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Virginia and Washington D.C.

Note to Chefs & Restaurateurs….

If you’re thinking about buying chinaware in September please support the good work of C-CAP and consider Tuxton China. Your future star employees thank you.

Tuxton China Company started business in 1999, but it has a long family history which has contributed to its success. Back in 1963 T.Y. Lam founded what came to be known as the world famous Chinese Ceramic Arts Import and Export Company. Due to his renowned reputation and the fact that the Chinese Government was privatizing factories, Mr. Lam took over a government factory in order to continue expanding his business.  So in 1989 The Lynn’s Group (which currently makes chinaware for the retail industry) was formed in conjunction with his other business. While the Lynn’s Group continued to grow, Mr. Lam recruited his children to help run the company and keep his legacy alive.  Eventually they opened offices in Hong Kong, China and the United States.  While Lynn’s kept up the retail manufacturing, the company also began to manufacture for numerous well-known companies in the U.S. foodservice industry. This move led to the founding of Tuxton China Inc.

Three generations of the Lam family continue to run Lynn’s and Tuxton China, and with the addition of William Burden (former owner of Burden China Co., Inc.) who became Tuxton’s President in 2001, Tuxton has become one of the top suppliers in the foodservice industry.

For more than a decade, Tuxton has been anchored by its core values of passionate dedication to customer service, excellence in product quality, high integrity, embracing innovation, and last but not least, a positive and humble attitude. These values, along with Tuxton’s dedication to its employees and customers, continue to drive the company to be the best in the industry.

Tuxton’s Marketing Director, Jennifer Rolander, joins us with all the needed 411.


Show 169, April 30, 2016: C-CAP Founder Richard Grausman and President Susan Robbins

Richard Grausman and Susan Robbins of C-CAPCareers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) is a national non-profit that transforms lives of at-risk students through the culinary arts and prepares them for college and careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry. On May 2nd is the C-CAP Los Angeles’ Scholarship Awards Breakfast. Our guests are Richard Grausman, Founder & Chairman Emeritus of C-CAP and Susan Robbins, President, C-CAP.

Since its inception in 1990, C-CAP has awarded over $46 million in scholarships, provided job training and internships, college and lifetime career support, teacher training and product and equipment donations to classrooms. Through C-CAP’s efforts, a large percentage of its students find rewarding careers in the foodservice and hospitality industry with many alumni, now graduates of top culinary schools working in leading restaurants and hotels throughout the country.

C-CAP was founded by Richard Grausman, renowned cookbook author and culinary educator. Its President is Susan Robbins, and its Board of Directors is led by award-winning chef, restaurateur and author Marcus Samuelsson and Mark Weiss, Chief Investment Officer of RFR Holding LLC. C-CAP works with over 16,000 students nationwide.

In 2015-2016 academic year, C-CAP Los Angeles served 3,200 students in 22 schools statewide.  In 2015, C-CAP awarded over $625,000 in scholarships to students from many school districts across the state.


Show 156, January 23, 2016: Steve Dickler, Founder & Co-Owner, Chefs’ Toys Continues…

Steve Dickler of Chefs ToysChefs’ Toys, the leading restaurant equipment and supplies company in Southern California, has recently acquired Michael Blackman & Associates. MBA, as the company is often referred to in the foodservice space, has been operating for over 30 years and is known as one of the top restaurant kitchen designers in southern California and nationally as well. With an impressive roster of customers, MBA has received numerous awards and accolades since its founding.

“Chefs’ Toys has provided commercial kitchen design services for many years. Michael Blackman & Associates has developed an exceptional reputation in the industry”, says Steve Dickler, President of Chefs’ Toys. “With their deep expertise in kitchen and bar design, restaurant interior design, tremendous knowledge and resources for restaurant fixtures, architecture, planning and construction, the MBA team will help take Chefs’ Toys to a whole new level”.

With its acquisition of Michael Blackman and Associates, Chefs’ Toys offers full professional services including design, planning, consulting, and project management services for restaurants, bars, and commercial kitchens.


Show 135, August 22, 2015: Ron Mathews, Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo

Western Foodservice ExpoThe 2015 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo will be held Sunday, August 23rd to Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The Show, the largest restaurant industry conference on the West Coast, is produced and managed by Urban Expositions, and sponsored by the California Restautrant Association.

The Expo brings together 400 plus vendors and some 8,000 restaurant and foodservice professionals. It is the most comprehensive marketplace for professionals serving the foodservice and hospitality industries on the West Coast. With hundreds of companies exhibiting the latest products, this event covers the entire spectrum of the foodservice industry. Restaurant owners and foodservice operators attend to gain the freshest, most meaningful menu of business boosting opportunities for the West Coast foodservice and hospitality markets.

Ron Mathews, Industry Vice President, Urban Expositions, producers of the annual event, joins us with all the 411. It’s for the trade, only.


Show 108, January 31, 2015: “Restaurant Coach” Phyllis Ann Marshall, FoodPower

Phyllis Ann MarshallPhyllis Ann Marshall of FoodPower is known as the go-to “growth coach for independent restaurants.” The mission and her passion is to work side-by-side with restaurateurs to help them grow every aspect of their business – from menu and décor to service and operations. As the Founder of FoodPower, Phyllis Ann Marshall offers clients more than 40 years of experience as a culinary expert, business owner, consultant and coach in the restaurant industry.

Marshall’s expertise comes from owning and running restaurants of all sizes, themes and locations coast to coast. As Phyllis Ann says : “You don’t fully understand the restaurant industry until you’ve carried the keys.”

“Independents (restaurants) are the soul of the foodservice industry. They are the source of new ideas. They are the guardians of regional cuisines. Without them, the world of restaurants would be very boring,” she says.

As a service to the hospitality business FoodPower publishes a content rich, monthly newsletter with material genuinely useful to chefs and restaurateurs. It’s available for the asking via the FoodPower Website.

When Phyllis Ann established FoodPower in 1984 her first client was Lawry’s Restaurants. Enough said…

Phyllis Ann Marshall is our guest.


December 21: Troy Johnson, Got Kosher, Aaron Fry, Susan Feniger, Brian Malarkey, Brian Malarkey,


Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Troy Johnson, Editor-at-Large & Food Critic of San Diego Magazine Part One
Segment Three: Troy Johnson, Editor-at-Large & Food Critic of San Diego Magazine Part Two
Segment Four: Alain Cohen of Got Kosher Café & Bakery, Los Angeles
Segment Five: Aaron Fry, Honeymoon Dining in Maui
Segment Six: Celebrity Chef Susan Feniger of The Border Grills and Mud Hen Tavern
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Brian Malarkey of Enlightened Hospitality Group, San Diego Part One
Segment Eight: Executive Chef Brian Malarkey of Enlightened Hospitality Group, San Diego Part Two

Update on the benefit at The Church Key on Sunday, December 8th to aid the unfortunate victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The evening raised $10,000 which will get into the proper hands to support the relief effort. This event came together very quickly so kudos to all involved!

What's Cooking with Jet Tila and Travis RodgersThanks for all the supportive words about “What’s Cooking with Travis and Chef Jet Tila” heard just after 7:50 a.m. on Friday morning on AM 830 KLAA as part of “The Travis Rodgers Show.” Travis is taking a well-earned Holiday break. The segment will return just after 7:50 a.m. on Friday, January 4th. The previous features are all available for your listening pleasure within the “Media” area of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” Website.

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show. This week we’re sending the well-deserved love to our listeners in San Diego. Troy Johnson, the Restaurant Editor of San Diego Magazine is with us to share what’s new in San Diego. We’ll also talk with “Top Chef” alum Brian Malarkey of Enlightened Hospitality. He’s bringing one of his successful San Diego restaurant concepts to the Sunset Strip.

Troy JohnsonTroy Johnson, the Food Editor of San Diego Magazine, represents the new breed of youthful restaurant journalists with a point-of-view. It’s, fortunately, not an elitist approach and Troy aims to make restaurant-going accessible for all.

You perhaps remember him on Food TV from his Cooking Channel series, “Crave.” He’s also one of the regular judges on Food Network’s new Sunday evening “Guy’s (Fieri) Grocery Games.”

There is a lot happening on the San Diego restaurant scene. The big noise is that chef and restaurateur Richard Blais is leaving his base in Atlanta to open Juniper & Ivy in the Little Italy area of San Diego. It will seat 200 when open so this is an ambitious project! Chef Blais is probably best known nationally for his multiple seasons on Bravo’s “Top Chef.”

Celebrity Chef Brian Malarkey (of Bravo’s “Top Chef” & ABC’s “The Taste”,) a multiple concept restaurant operator in San Diego, is bringing his Herringbone concept to The Mondrian Hotel on The Sunset Strip in West Hollywood in early 2014. Troy talks about Chef Brian’s history in San Diego and what his establishments are all about. The original Herringbone is in La Jolla.

The Headquarters, a new development in Downtown San Diego with destination restaurants is creating a lot of attention. Nancy Silverton’s Pizzeria Mozza from Hollywood is one on the anchor tenants there already attracting lots of buzz. It’s the former Police Department Headquarters and there is even an original cell preserved for visitors to see.

Avant Restaurant in San DiegoAfter a long run (opened in 1968) as a high-end destination restaurant of celebration El Bizcocho at the Rancho Bernardo Inn has been reborn as the more contemporary Avant. San Diego star chef Gavin Kaysen was an alum of El Bizcocho. He’s now overseeing all the Café Bouluds for Daniel Boulud in New York!

Troy notes that the Hatch Design Group worked on a $2.5 million budget to create the new space. “The mercy killing of El Bizcocho clears the way for a new era at Avant” is the title of Troy’s recent review in San Diego Magazine.

If you think Tunisian fare is the same as the foods of Morocco then you perhaps need a refresher course. No eating with the fingers or belly dancers here. It’s actually more Mediterranean and North African fare.

Alain Cohen of Got Kosher Cafe and BakeryAlain Cohen of Got Kosher Café & Bakery located in Los Angeles Borscht Belt on Pico Blvd. joins us to give a quick education. Don’t let the “Kosher” part or the name scare you. The Jews were in Tunisia before Muhammad or the rise of Islam.

The tasty Merguez sausage with harissa appetizer is house-made.

One of Got Kosher’s specialties is “Shwar-guez.” It’s their take on schwarma. It’s ground beef seasoned with their merguez sausage spices and grilled on a schwarma pit.

Tunisian Couscous is also a popular specialty. The versions are Couscous au Poulet, Couscous Masson (with braised beef and beef meatballs,) Couscous Royal ( with chicken, beef, lamb brochettes and merguez,) and Vegetarian Couscous.

They also house-bake some incredible varieties of challah

It’s Christmas / New Year’s Holiday vacation time and that means a lot of getaways to Maui. We have a mouth-watering Lahaina dining report from an informed, recent visitor.

Aaron Fry just returned from his glorious honeymoon in Maui. Aaron is a master bartender as well as a senior Board Operator right here at AM 830 KLAA. We’re turning the microphone around on him this morning.

Fleetwoods on Front StreetAaron and his new bride enjoyed a couple of visits to Fleetwood’s on Front Street in the heart of Old Lahaina. The second level of the 10,000 square foot establishment affords an incredible ocean view and there is live music nightly. The principal is Mick Fleetwood, the well-know rock drummer. When he’s not touring he spends most of his time on Maui.

Although it’s a casual setting they are equally serious about their food. The chef advisor is Scott Leibfried (who you’ll remember as one of the two sous chefs for Gordon Ramsay on Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen.”) Chef Scott continues with the project.

Look for “Today’s Local Fish” and the 10 oz. Grilled Filet with Big Island Hamakua Mushrooms as standout dishes.

Maui Brewing Company CoCoNut PorTeRAaron is a craft beer aficionado so also on his Maui menu was a stop at the celebrated brewpub of the Maui Brewing Co. This is the most successful craft brewery in The Islands and quite a story. Their only “problem” is that they can’t keep up with demand on The Mainland. They can their most popular styles and they are available in California. One of their signature brews is their award-winning CoCoNut PorTeR. The brewpub features some seasonal styles only available on Maui.

The food is seriously good, too, and a big attraction for locals. They even make their own salad dressings. You can’t go wrong with their pizzas or the Kalua Pork Sliders.

Susan Feniger of Mud Hen TavernChef Susan Feniger of Border Grill and Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales” fame is back with us to talk about the revamping of Susan Feniger’s Street in Hollywood. It’s been refurbished as the Mud Hen Tavern. The concept is more of a comfortable neighborhood bar and restaurant where regulars can come and hang out more than one time per week.

As with Street the Executive Chef and Partner is Kajsa Alger. Some of Street’s classic favorites remain on the menu including Kaya Toast. A rotating collection of sixteen craft beers is available on tap.

Susan enthusiastically recommends the Hangover Burger with a fried egg and bacon and the decadent Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding for dessert. Also there are plenty of offerings for the vegetarian-inclined.

Brian MalarkeyYou know Chef Brian Malarkey from “Top Chef: Season 3, Miami” on Bravo and Season 1 of ABC’s “The Taste.” In real life he’s also a highly successful restaurateur in San Diego (and Scottsdale and Austin) with major financial backing.

In a bold move he’s bringing an expanded Herringbone (La Jolla) to The Mondrian on the fabled Sunset Strip in January. After a major gut-rehab it’s replacing the pricey Asia de Cuba at this hip & happening boutique luxury hotel. The panoramic 180 degree view from the restaurant toward the coast, now improved, is pretty spectacular. He’s responsible for all foodservice at The Hotel including in-room dining and functions.

The food is Herringbone’s own “Fish Meats Field” cuisine. A favorite is Pork Belly with wood roasted sunchokes, manila clams, and calvados and green apple jus.

Executive Chef Brian Mararkey of Enlightened Hospitality Group encores for a second segment. His growing collection of restaurants, with a San Diego base, includes Searsucker, Herringbone (La Jolla and January opening in West Hollywood,) Gabardine, and Green Acre.

Chef Brian has cooked in Los Angeles previously. Very early in his professional career he was in the kitchen at Michel Richard’s Citrus.

Chef Brian very honestly explains how he paid his dues during his 20s and 30s before becoming the executive chef at The Oceanaire Seafood Room in San Diego. That eventually led to his casting on Bravo’s “Top Chef.” He’s surprised that so many young people graduating from culinary schools think they can just walk into being celebrities on food TV without a proper foundation.


Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Troy Johnson, Editor-at-Large & Food Critic of San Diego Magazine Part One
Segment Three: Troy Johnson, Editor-at-Large & Food Critic of San Diego Magazine Part Two
Segment Four: Alain Cohen of Got Kosher Café & Bakery, Los Angeles
Segment Five: Aaron Fry, Honeymoon Dining in Maui
Segment Six: Celebrity Chef Susan Feniger of The Border Grills and Mud Hen Tavern
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Brian Malarkey of Enlightened Hospitality Group, San Diego Part One
Segment Eight: Executive Chef Brian Malarkey of Enlightened Hospitality Group, San Diego Part Two