Show 278, June 23, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a salivating preview of this Saturday’s extra rich show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday with an action-packed show typically overflowing with tasty treats.

When it comes to award-winning burgers for the true enthusiast the place to go in Las Vegas is FukuBurger. They have their original rolling grill food truck on the road as well as a bricks-and-mortar location in Chinatown. There were recently in L.A. at the Sunday Smorgasburg LA as the invited guest of noted burger authority, George Motz. We’re flipping a Tamago Burger with Co-Founder Colin Fukunaga.

We chatted with Chef Ricardo Zarate recently about his new restaurant in Las Vegas, Once, located at The Palazzo Resort. His new flagship in West Hollywood (launched last June) is the high-energy Rosaline. Here Chef Ricardo takes his guests back to his roots with a menu of classic Peruvian dishes alongside “street-food” fare updated with a California sensibility.

Journeyman’s Food & Drink (right off the 91 Freeway in Fullerton) is the most recent passion project of executive chef Zachary Geerson. It’s a real discovery and a true dining experience. The cuisine which can only be explained as Post-modern and globally-inspired, draws from chef Zach and his team’s diverse cultural background and training. Chef Zach, being of Sicilian descent, uses that and his love for Italian cuisine, as a jumping off point for some dishes and inspiration from his wife, Olivia, who is Thai and Laotian. We’ll meet the enthusiastic & passionate Chef Zach.

Lido Bottle Works is a craft beer, wine, bottle shop and public house owned by Newport Beach natives located at Newport Beach’s Lido Marina Village. Enjoy a wide array of carefully collected and selected small batch beers, wines by the bottle and glass, and a tapas style menu of small bites, tasty offerings and delicious California coastal cuisine from Chef Amy Lebrun. Lido Bottle Works is focused on offering locally sourced and sustainable ingredients in a stylish yet casual environment for locals and visitors alike. On the menu are winemaker and brewer events, an art gallery, live music, and more. Brett Karas, Operating Partner/General Manager is our guest.

The Landsby is perhaps the newest and most comfortable hotel in the Santa Ynez Valley. This stunning 50-room boutique hotel in Solvang offers warm hospitality and refined, stylish accommodations. The Landsby features a clean contemporary design, with a hint of traditional Scandinavian aesthetic. The completely remodeled, bright and open guestrooms are finished with blonde woods, brushed brass accents, and elegant but comfortable hand-crafted furnishings complete with updated bathrooms, 47-inch flat-screen HDTVs, minibars, and impressive artwork commissioned from regional artists. The Landsby’s signature restaurant is Mad & Vin showcasing wine-country inspired cuisine. General Manager Barry Prescott, a hospitality veteran, shows us around.

Chef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of “Ask the Chef.” There is still a lot of unfortunate confusion out there regarding the desirability and safety of farm-raised seafood. The myth persists that wild-caught is always best. As Chef Andrew explains most of the seafood we enjoy domestically is farm-raised. It’s all a matter of best practices for the farm-raised seafood and uniform standards. That’s the wrinkle. Chef Andrew provides more helpful insight.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 278, June 23, 2018: Chef Colin Fukunaga, FukuBurger, Las Vegas

Colin FukunagaWhen it comes to award-winning burgers for the true enthusiast the place to go in Las Vegas is FukuBurger. They have their original rolling grill food truck on the road (now mainly used for special events & catering) as well as a bricks-and-mortar location in Chinatown. They were recently in L.A. at the Sunday Smorgasburg LA as the invited guest of noted burger authority, George Motz (Hamburger America – A State-By-State Guide to 200 Great Burger Joints.)

Our emeritus Co-Host, Chef Jet Tila, is a big fan of Fukuburger’s Tamago. Chef Jet even profiled it on Food Network’s “Guilty Pleasures.” It’s an all-beef Fukupatty topped with a fried runny egg, furikake, crispy onion strings, and finished with house-prepared teriyaki sauce and wasabi mayo.

A 2nd brick-and-mortar FukuBurger will soon launch is Vegas.

We’re flipping a Tamago Burger with Co-Founder Colin Fukunaga.

Play

June 23: FukuBurger, Ricardo Zarate, Journeyman’s Food & Drink, Lido Bottle Works, The Landsby

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Colin Fukunaga, FukuBurger, Las Vegas
Segment Three: Chef Ricardo Zarate, Rosaline in West Hollywood
Segment Four: Executive Chef Zach Geerson, Journeyman’s Food + Drink, The Hotel Fullerton, Fullerton
Segment Five: Brett Karas, Operating Partner / General Manager, Lido Bottle Works, Newport Beach
Segment Six: Barry Prescott, General Manager, The Landsby and Mad & Vin, Solvang
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Now a salivating preview of this Saturday’s extra rich show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday with an action-packed show typically overflowing with tasty treats.

When it comes to award-winning burgers for the true enthusiast the place to go in Las Vegas is FukuBurger. They have their original rolling grill food truck on the road as well as a bricks-and-mortar location in Chinatown. There were recently in L.A. at the Sunday Smorgasburg as the invited guest of noted burger authority, George Motz. We’re flipping a Tamago Burger with Co-Founder Colin Fukunaga.

We chatted with Chef Ricardo Zarate recently about his new restaurant in Las Vegas, Once, located at The Palazzo Resort. His new flagship in West Hollywood (launched last June) is Rosaline. Here Chef Ricardo takes his guests back to his roots with a menu of classic Peruvian dishes alongside “street-food” fare updated with a California sensibility.

Journeyman’s Food & Drink (right off the 91 Freeway in Fullerton) is the most recent passion project of executive chef Zachary Geerson. It’s a real discovery and a true dining experience. The cuisine which can only be explained as Post-modern and globally-inspired, draws from chef Zach and his team’s diverse cultural background and training. Chef Zach, being of Sicilian descent, uses that and his love for Italian cuisine, as a jumping off point for some dishes and inspiration from his wife, Olivia, who is Thai and Laotian. We’ll meet the enthusiastic & passionate Chef Zach.

Lido Bottle Works is a craft beer, wine, bottle shop and public house owned by Newport Beach natives located at Newport Beach’s Lido Marina Village. Enjoy a wide array of carefully collected and selected small batch beers, wines by the bottle and glass, and a tapas style menu of small bites, tasty offerings and delicious California coastal cuisine from Chef Amy Lebrun. Lido Bottle Works is focused on offering locally sourced and sustainable ingredients in a stylish yet casual environment for locals and visitors alike. On the menu are winemaker and brewer events, an art gallery, live music, and more. Brett Karas, Operating Partner/General Manager is our guest.

The Landsby is perhaps the newest and most comfortable hotel in the Santa Ynez Valley. This stunning 50-room boutique hotel in Solvang offers warm hospitality and refined, stylish accommodations. The Landsby features a clean contemporary design, with a hint of traditional Scandinavian aesthetic. The completely remodeled, bright and open guestrooms are finished with blonde woods, brushed brass accents, and elegant but comfortable hand-crafted furnishings complete with updated bathrooms, 47-inch flat-screen HDTVs, minibars, and stunning artwork commissioned from regional artists. The Landsby’s signature restaurant is Mad & Vin showcasing wine-country inspired cuisine. General Manager Barry Prescott, a hospitality veteran, shows us around.

Chef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of “Ask the Chef.” There is still a lot of unfortunate confusion out there regarding the desirability and safety of farm-raised seafood. The myth persists that wild-caught is always best. As Chef Andrew explains most of the seafood we enjoy domestically is farm-raised. It’s all a matter of best practices for the farm-raised seafood and uniform standards. That’s the wrinkle. Chef Andrew provides more insight.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Colin FukunagaWhen it comes to award-winning burgers for the true enthusiast the place to go in Las Vegas is FukuBurger. They have their original rolling grill food truck on the road as well as a bricks-and-mortar location in Chinatown. They were recently in L.A. at the Sunday Smorgasburg LA as the invited guest of noted burger authority, George Motz.

Our emeritus Co-Host, Chef Jet Tila, is a big fan of Fukuburger’s Tamago. Chef Jet even profiled it on Food Network’s “Guilty Pleasures.” It’s an all-beef Fukupatty topped with a fried runny egg, furikake, crispy onion strings, and finished with house-prepared teriyaki sauce and wasabi mayo.

We’re flipping a Tamago Burger with Co-Founder Colin Fukunaga.

Ricardo Zarate of Mo-Chica and PiccaWe chatted with Chef Ricardo Zarate recently about his new restaurant in Las Vegas, Once, located at The Palazzo Resort. His new flagship in West Hollywood on Melrose Ave. (launched last June) is Rosaline. It’s dinner and Sunday Brunch.

Here Chef Ricardo takes his guests back to his roots with a menu of classic Peruvian dishes alongside “street-food” fare updated with a California sensibility. Also a ceviche bar.

The restaurant is named after Chef Ricardo’s mother, Rosaline. It’s what he calls the “next phase of Peruvian dining.”

Chef Ricardo Zarate joins us.

Zachary GeersonJourneyman’s Food & Drink (right off the 91 Freeway in Fullerton) is the most recent passion project of executive chef Zachary Geerson. It’s a real gem of a discovery and a true dining experience.

The cuisine which can only be explained as Post-modern and globally-inspired, draws from chef Zach and his team’s diverse cultural background and training. Chef Zach, being of Sicilian descent, uses that and his love for Italian cuisine, as a jumping off point for some dishes and inspiration from his wife, Olivia, who is Thai and Laotian.

“Welcome to Journeyman’s my friend. What you are about to experience, or have experienced, is a culmination of my team and I’s hard work. We’ve been open for a few months now and we are really proud of what we have accomplished thus far.”

“If you don’t already know, we offer our dining menu in a 4-course, prix-fixe format with four options in each course. This hopefully makes you feel more at ease and makes it feel a little like an a la care menu. These are the best dishes we have to offer you. Please, kick back and relax and let our wonderful team guide you through this experience. I am glad you have given us the opportunity to take care of you and your friends, family, or both.”

From Zach Geerson.
As Chef Zach says, “It’s not the destination…It’s the Journey.”

We’ll meet the energized Chef Zach.

Breet KarasLido Bottle Works is a craft beer, wine, bottle shop and public house owned by Newport Beach natives located at Newport Beach’s Lido Marina Village. Enjoy a wide array of carefully collected and selected small batch beers, wines by the bottle and glass, and a tapas style menu of small bites, tasty offerings and delicious California coastal cuisine from Chef Amy Lebrun.

Lido Bottle Works is focused on offering locally sourced and sustainable ingredients in a stylish yet casual environment for locals and visitors alike. On the menu are winemaker and brewer events, an art gallery, live music, and more.

“Join us for a revelatory culinary experience of cooking, eating, and adventure. At Lido Bottle Works we believe people, food, and drink should be ‘Genuinely Good Together.’ Our unique dishes are prepared for our friends and family using local and sustainable ingredients perfectly paired with specialty craft beer, wine, and cocktails.”

Brett Karas, Operating Partner/General Manager is our guest.

Barry PrescottThe Landsby is perhaps the newest and most comfortable hotel in the Santa Ynez Valley. This stunning 50-room boutique hotel in Solvang with a lushly appointed interior courtyard with fire pits offers warm hospitality and refined, stylish accommodations. The Landsby features a clean contemporary design, with a hint of traditional Scandinavian aesthetic.

The completely remodeled, bright and open guestrooms are finished with blonde woods, brushed brass accents, and elegant but comfortable hand-crafted furnishings. The airy accommodations are complete with updated bathrooms, 47-inch flat-screen HDTVs, minibars, and stunning artwork commissioned from regional artists.

The Landsby’s signature restaurant is Mad & Vin showcasing wine-country inspired cuisine. The executive chef is Beto Huizar. Each dish is prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients from California’s Central Coast. Seating for breakfast, lunch or dinner is in the welcoming dining room or dine alfresco on the outdoor patio overlooking the striking interior courtyard.

Happy Hour at the popular Lobby Bar (soon to expand) is seven days a week. It’s a favorite with the locals for quick, chef-driven bites and quality libations.

General Manager Barry Prescott, a hospitality veteran, shows us around.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at the Fifth Anniversary of the SoCal Restaurant ShowChef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of Ask the Chef.”

There is still a lot of unfortunate confusion out there regarding the desirability and safety of farm-raised seafood. The myth persists that wild-caught is always best. As Chef Andrew explains most of the seafood we enjoy domestically is farm-raised.

It’s all really a matter of best practices for the farm-raised seafood and developing uniform standards. That’s the wrinkle. Chef Andrew provides more insight.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Colin Fukunaga, FukuBurger, Las Vegas
Segment Three: Chef Ricardo Zarate, Rosaline in West Hollywood
Segment Four: Executive Chef Zach Geerson, Journeyman’s Food + Drink, The Hotel Fullerton, Fullerton
Segment Five: Brett Karas, Operating Partner / General Manager, Lido Bottle Works, Newport Beach
Segment Six: Barry Prescott, General Manager, The Landsby and Mad & Vin, Solvang
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

June 9: FukuBurger, Golden Road Brewing, Bourbon Steak, Wine Exchange, Journeyman’s Food & Drink, W. Scott Koenig, Pechanga Chili Cookoff Champions

For this Saturday only, June 9th, we’re from 3 to 5:00 p.m. following the Angel Game. Please find us. Go Halos!

Now a salivating preview of this Saturday afternoon’s extra rich show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday with an action-packed show overflowing with tasty treats.

Our dedicated Producer /Board Operator/Engineer Aaron Fry is on assignment at the 10th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff in Temecula this afternoon. We’ll get an on the spot report from him on the craft beers of note and favorite chilies he’s sampled thus far.

When it comes to award-winning burgers for the true enthusiast the place to go in Las Vegas is FukuBurger. They have their original rolling grill food truck on the road as well as a bricks-and-mortar location in Chinatown. There were just in L.A. at the Sunday Smorgasburg as the invited guest of noted burger authority, George Motz. We’re flipping a Tamago Burger with Co-Founder Colin Fukunaga.

Golden Road Brewing has an expanding Anaheim production Brewery located right across the street from us at Angel Stadium. Joining us is Brewmaster Victor Novak and Anaheim Head Brewer Steven Torres. It’s not always obvious that beer pairs well with food but it, indeed, does. Both Victor and Steven are experts in matching a food item with just the right style of beer. Beer Pairing 101 commences. Cheers…

Located in Glendale, BOURBON STEAK Los Angeles is Chef Michael Mina’s modern American steakhouse offering timeless dining experiences. At once classic and contemporary, the restaurant accomplishes all the traditions expected from an upscale steakhouse with a flair of excitement. Executive Chef Kyle Johnson joins us.

You don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to appreciate the high-quality of wine from Bordeaux, France. It’s one of the great wine grape growing regions of the world. Our resident wine authority, Tristen Beamon from The Wine Exchange, was recently in Bordeaux tasting wines in the barrel from the 2016 harvest. We’ll get his insider’s report on what to expect.

Journeyman’s Food & Drink (right off the 91 Freeway in Fullerton) is the most recent passion project of executive chef Zachary Geerson. It’s a real discovery and a true dining experience. The cuisine which can only be explained as Post-modern and globally-inspired, draws from chef Zach and his team’s diverse cultural background and training. Chef Zach, being of Sicilian descent, uses that and his love for Italian cuisine, as a jumping off point for some dishes and inspiration from his wife, Olivia, who is Thai and Laotian. We’ll meet the enthusiastic & passionate Chef Zach.

Culinary Historians of San Diego will present “Seven Days in the Valle de Guadalupe,” featuring Michael Gardiner and W. Scott Koenig, at 10:30 am June 16, in the Neil Morgan Auditorium of the San Diego Central Library. They will discuss the Valle scene and how it bloomed while they take their audience through a week there … all in an hour! W. Scott Koenig is the author of Seven Days In The Valle and is our guest.

The 10th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff will be concluding as we finish Saturday’s show. The big news annually is the winner, among the competitive Pechanga Chefs, of the chili cookoff. It’s bragging rights for the next year! Last year 2-time defending chili champ Chef Marlene Moore of Temptations Food Walk was unseated by Chef Kiyo Ikeda of Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar with his sake-glazed Kobe beef chili. As the suspense is building Pechanga’s Ciara Green joins us with the just-announced official results.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Colin FukunagaWhen it comes to award-winning burgers for the true enthusiast the place to go in Las Vegas is FukuBurger. They have their original rolling grill food truck on the road as well as a bricks-and-mortar location in Chinatown. There were just in L.A. at the Sunday Smorgasburg LA as the invited guest of noted burger authority, George Motz.

Our emeritus Co-Host, Chef Jet Tila, is a big fan of Fukuburger’s Tamago. Chef Jet even profiled it on Food Network’s “Guilty Pleasures.” It’s an all-beef Fukupatty topped with a fried runny egg, furikake, crispy onion strings, and finished with house-prepared teriyaki sauce and wasabi mayo.

We’re flipping a Tamago Burger with Co-Founder Colin Fukunaga.

Victor Novak and Steven TorresGolden Road Brewing has an expanding Anaheim production Brewery located right across the street from us at Angel Stadium. Joining us is Brewmaster Victor Novak and Anaheim Head Brewer Steven Torres.

It’s not always obvious that beer pairs well with food but it surely does. Both Victor and Steven are experts in matching a food item with just the right style of beer. Beer Pairing 101 commences.

For instance what works with Sours and Fruity Beers? The Brewmasters suggest matching with lighter dishes and fruity desserts. Perhaps summer salads containing fruits and mild cheeses.

Kyle JohnsonLocated in Glendale, BOURBON STEAK Los Angeles is Chef Michael Mina’s modern American steakhouse offering timeless dining experiences. At once classic and contemporary, the restaurant accomplishes all the traditions expected from a steakhouse with a flair of excitement.

“Discover the Piano Bar abuzz with newfound libations, and the glamorous dining room boasting tableside services including our signature Japanese Whisky Cart and Michael Mina’s signature Lobster Pot Pie.”

“Kyle Johnson has worked his way through some of Las Vegas’s finest restaurants and has now landed at Chef Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak Los Angeles at The Americana at Brand as their Executive Chef.  With his food philosophy focused on sourcing the highest quality ingredients prepared with a strong technique, he looks forward to cultivating a connection to the community. Through relationships with local farms and purveyors, he surprises guests with a locally influenced menu of modern steakhouse fare that’s sophisticated and approachable all at once.”

Executive Chef Kyle Johnson joins us.

Tristan BeamonYou don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to appreciate the high-quality of wine from Bordeaux, France. It’s one of the great wine grape growing regions of the world.

Our resident wine authority, Tristen Beamon from The Wine Exchange, was recently in Bordeaux tasting wines in the barrel from the 2016 harvest. We’ll get his insider’s report on what to expect.

Who says Bordeaux is expensive?

This year Tristen has journeyed to Bordeaux twice tasting some of the greatest potential wine values in the world. “So as we like to say here at Wine Exchange…Let the games begin!”

Zachary GeersonJourneyman’s Food & Drink (right off the 91 Freeway in Fullerton) is the most recent passion project of executive chef Zachary Geerson. It’s a real gem of a discovery and a true dining experience.

The cuisine which can only be explained as Post-modern and globally-inspired, draws from chef Zach and his team’s diverse cultural background and training. Chef Zach, being of Sicilian descent, uses that and his love for Italian cuisine, as a jumping off point for some dishes and inspiration from his wife, Olivia, who is Thai and Laotian.

“Welcome to Journeyman’s my friend. What you are about to experience, or have experienced, is a culmination of my team and I’s hard work. We’ve been open for a few months now and we are really proud of what we have accomplished thus far.”

“If you don’t already know, we offer our dining menu in a 4-course, prix-fixe format with four options in each course. This hopefully makes you feel more at ease and makes it feel a little like an a la care menu. These are the best dishes we have to offer you. Please, kick back and relax and let our wonderful team guide you through this experience. I am glad you have given us the opportunity to take care of you and your friends, family, or both.”

From Zach Geerson.
As Chef Zach says, “It’s not the destination…It’s the Journey.”

We’ll meet the energized Chef Zach.

W Scott KoenigCulinary Historians of San Diego will present Seven Days in the Valle de Guadalupe,” featuring Michael Gardiner and W. Scott Koenig, at 10:30 am June 16, in the Neil Morgan Auditorium of the San Diego Central Library. They will discuss the Valle scene and how it bloomed while they take their audience through a week there … all in an hour!

Scott Koenig is known for his blog and alter ego, A Gringo in Mexico, where he reports on food and culture in the state of Baja California — just across the US Mexican border. In Seven Days in The Valle, he focuses his camera lens and writing on the cuisine of the Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico’s main wine-producing region.

“Chefs in Baja California have been experimenting with recipes combining Mediterranean, Asian and Mexican influences with local ingredients for nearly two decades, creating a unique cuisine.” Koenig explains. They often grow their own vegetables and herbs, source meat from area ranches and enjoy a supply of fresh seafood from the nearby Pacific.

Koenig conceived Seven Days in The Valle while assisting the Culinary Institute of America on a seven-day trip through Baja California as they filmed a documentary. “I had hundreds of images from that experience and a backlog of past photos and interviews; I felt it was time for a book on the Valle de Guadalupe. My goal was to tell the story of this magical place through the experiences of its chefs – whose restaurants are some of my favorites anywhere.

Scott Koenig is the author of Seven Days In The Valle and is our guest.

10th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili CookoffThe 10th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff will be concluding as we finish Saturday’s show. The big news annually is the winner, among the talented and competitive Pechanga Chefs, of the chili cookoff. It’s bragging rights for the next year! Last year 2-time defending chili champ Chef Marlene Moore of Temptations Food Walk was unseated by Chef Kiyo Ikeda of Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar with his sake-glazed Kobe beef chili.

As the suspense is building Pechanga’s Ciara Green joins us with the just-announced official results. Whose chili will reign supreme ?

Show 40, September 14, 2013: Brock Radke, Food and Web Editor, Las Vegas Weekly

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyOur man on the scene in Las Vegas, Brock Radke, was back with us. Brock is the respected Web and Food Editor for The Las Vegas Weekly.

Last month Brock had a provocative piece in The Weekly entitled. “Where are they now? Checking up on the first wave of Vegas food truckers.

Fukuburger has probably been the most successful and is still on the streets. A brick and mortar location for Las Vegas is in the plans. Sloppi Jo’s was a big success with the food critics but, ultimately, not a viable business model. Proprietress Jolene Mannina has parlayed this into other major food projects for herself. In fact she’s the head of Culinary Arts for the upcoming “Life is Beautiful” Festival in Downtown Las Vegas. The originator of Slidin’ Thru has moved on but the truck still does events and catering and there is a bricks and mortar drive-through.

Brock also talked about the just launched Heritage Steak at The Mirage on The Strip. The proprietor is Tom Colicchio of Bravo’s “Top Chef” fame and a James Beard Award recipient.

Kumi Japanese Restaurant & Bar is newly opened in Mandalay Bay. The executive Chef is Akira Back (Yellowtail) who is well-known in Las Vegas.

Play

September 14: Azunia Tequila, Vegas Food Trucks, Elizabeth Huettinger, Lena Kwak, Amar Santana, Eric Klein, Michael Passmore

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jim Riley, founder of Azunia Tequila
Segment Three: Brock Radke, Food and Web Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Four: Elizabeth Huettinger, Wine Director, Addison Del Mar
Segment Five: Lena Kwak, Research and Development Chef, Thomas Keller Restaurant Group
Segment Six: Amar Santana, Executive Chef / Owner, Broadway by Amar Santana
Segment Seven: Eric Klein, Executive Chef & Partner, Spago Las Vegas
Segment Eight: Michael Passmore, Passmore Ranch, Sustainable Aqua Farming

Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Thai 2013 Food FestivalMark Sunday afternoon, September 29th on your calendar. Our very own Jet Tila is hosting the Thai 2013 Food Festival at Paramount Pictures Studios in the heart of Hollywood. It starts at 3:00 p.m.

Celebrity chefs from around the country and outstanding local Thai chefs will be there presenting their signature dishes for the guests to sample and enjoy. Entertainment will include music, Thai dancers and fruit carving.

VIP and Regular Tickets are now on sale!

Azunia TequilaJim Riley, the founder of Azunia Tequila joins us. In his spare time Jim is a professional off-road racer of some note.

This is a case study of how a boutique tequila company grows a brand in an environment dominated by cash-rich giants. Riley has built his brand with clever grass-roots marketing and being seen in the right places.

Azunia Tequila is organic and 100 per cent Weber Blue Agave. It is available in the styles of Platinum Blanco (great for cocktails,) Reposado, and Anejo.

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyOur man in Las Vegas, Brock Radke, is back with us. Brock is the respected Web and Food Editor for The Las Vegas Weekly.

Last month Brock had a great piece in The Weekly entitled. “Where are they now? Checking up on the first wave of Vegas food truckers.”

Fukuburger has probably been the most successful and is still on the streets. A brick and mortar location for Las Vegas is in the plans. Sloppi Jo’s was a big success with the food critics but, ultimately, not a viable business model. Proprietress Jolene Mannina has parlayed this into other food projects for herself. In fact she’s the head of Culinary Arts for the upcoming “Life is Beautiful” Festival in Downtown Las Vegas. The originator of Slidin’ Thru has moved on but the truck still does events and catering and there is a bricks and mortar drive-through.

Brock also talked about the just launched Heritage Steak at The Mirage on The Strip. The proprietor is Tom Colicchio of Bravo’s “Top Chef” fame and a James Beard Award recipient.

Elizabeth Huettinger of the Addison in Del MarSommelier Elizabeth Huettinger is the new Wine Director at Addison restaurant and The Grand Del Mar Resort in Del Mar. She was previously part of the wine team at Spago Beverly Hills.

Elizabeth just took the incredibly difficult “Advanced” certification test from the Court of Master Sommeliers. She shares that humbling experience with us.

Earlier in the Summer the Grand hosted a special screening of the documentary, “SOMM”. It’s the first effort by filmmaker Jason Wise.
.
“SOMM” tells the fascinating story of four sommeliers attempting to pass the rigorous and prestigious Master Sommelier exam. This test has one of the lowest pass rates imaginable. Elizabeth’s head sommelier at Spago (her previous post) is a Master Sommelier. She talks about hosting the screening (there was wine and abundant food stations) and her reaction to the highly acclaimed documentary.

Lena KwakChef Lena Kwak is the highly acclaimed research development chef for The French Laundry and The Thomas Keller Restaurant Group in Yountville, CA. She created the position.

With the backing of Keller she developed Cup4Cup, a healthy wheat flour-substitute which has gone national over the last two years. It’s carried in Williams-Sonoma stores and also available at the Bouchon Bakeries in Yountville, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, and New York.

Last year Kwak was named as one of Forbes Magazine’s “Top 30 Under 30” for her work with Cup4Cup.

In addition to bread mixes the proprietary line also includes a brownie mix, pizza dough, and pancake/waffle mix.

Amar SantanaChef Amar Santana is very familiar to Orange County foodies. His mentor, Chef Charlie Palmer (Aureole,) brought him out here from Manhattan in 2008 to open Charlie Palmer’s at Bloomingdales at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Talk about a plum assignment for a young chef…

With the backing of one of his very loyal guests he later departed to open a venture of his own, Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach. Since opening in 2011 it’s been a hit with both the food critics and guests. The bar has also created its own loyal following for unusual libations and a welcoming atmosphere. Their superior Moscow Mule (not listed on the bar menu) is a thoughtful homage to the original version created in the late 30s in Hollywood and now using all fresh ingredients and from scratch ginger beer.

Eric KleinIn 2007 Executive Chef Eric Klein (now a partner) was handed the keys to Spago Las Vegas by Wolfgang Puck and charged with freshening up the concept. This was quite a formidable assignment given that Spago is Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant in Las Vegas! They celebrated their 20th Anniversary last year.

The restaurant is a busy café (with exhibition pizza oven) in the front and an elegant fine-dining restaurant in the back. The front patio opens onto the busy main Forum Shops walkway.

As with the Beverly Hills original Spago Las Vegas attracts the celebrity clientele in addition to sophisticated foodies. Chef Eric is the visible personality of the establishment.

Chef Eric’s first assignment in Las Vegas (after relocating from Beverly Hills) was SW Steakhouse at Wynn Las Vegas.

Michael Passmore of Passmore RanchMichael Passmore is an elite class freshwater fish farmer in the Sacramento area. His Passmore Ranch is sustainable aqua farming and his clientele are discriminating celebrity chefs all across the country who he, unusually, supplies directly.

They started modestly by selling live fish at Northern California farmers’ markets, and their quality and service quickly established them as premium purveyors for top restaurants and Michelin-starred chefs around the country.

Passmore Ranch offers premium freshwater white sturgeon, black bass, striped bass, catfish, silver carp and trout, plus prized domestic caviar.

Today Passmore Ranch is 86 acres and they raise fish in 80 million gallons of fresh water pumped up from the pristine Cosumnes aquifer. The ranch has a variety of open lakes and massive tanks used to increase the variety of sustainable fish they grow.

In the works is a plan to begin a thoughtful rollout of limited direct sales to serious home cooks. The info will be posted on their website.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jim Riley, founder of Azunia Tequila
Segment Three: Brock Radke, Food and Web Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Four: Elizabeth Huettinger, Wine Director, Addison Del Mar
Segment Five: Lena Kwak, Research and Development Chef, Thomas Keller Restaurant Group
Segment Six: Amar Santana, Executive Chef / Owner, Broadway by Amar Santana
Segment Seven: Eric Klein, Executive Chef & Partner, Spago Las Vegas
Segment Eight: Michael Passmore, Passmore Ranch, Sustainable Aqua Farming