Show 400, November 21, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

It’s about last call on Thanksgiving so reduce your stress level and please plan ahead…Thanksgiving is going to look a bit different for most of us this year. Take it in stride, adapt as best as your circumstances allow, and, with any luck, Thanksgiving 2021 will be back to the traditional celebrations! We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

“Next week a new edible attraction takes center stage at The Paramount (the legendary eastside Los Angeles cultural institution & history-making music venue) as Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co.  opens its doors (Nov. 24th.) along Cesar E Chavez Avenue (historically known as Brooklyn Avenue in the early 1900s). Melding past, present, and future––both through the décor and menu––Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co. aims to be a neighborhood spot for locals serving pizza, wings, loaded fries, beer, wine, and cocktails at the casual and colorful all-day restaurant. The concept is the brainchild of Chef–Owner Mario Christerna—a proud Boyle Heights native, community leader, and former “MasterChef Latino” judge—alongside the team behind The Paramount.” Chef Mario Christerna joins us pizza peel in hand.

Now in its fourth year, The James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership program (WEL) is part of the Foundation’s broader Women’s Leadership Programs presented by Audi and aims to support woman-identifying hospitality industry entrepreneurs, restaurant owners, and chefs in order to grow their careers and scale their businesses. The only California Fellow selected for 2020 is Dina Samson of Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza Co. in Downtown Los Angeles. We’ll meet her and also learn what services Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza are currently providing to their guests with the new restrictions.

“For the second straight year, Chef Founder Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen is hosting his signature holiday event benefiting the less fortunate and food insecure in Southern California. This year’s edition, “DECK THE HALLS,” will be its first virtual party featuring special guests, community partners, and Bracken’s own chefs cooking up a surprise along with pumpkin carvings as you’ve never seen before. Christmas tree decorating, silent auction items, opportunity drawings, and a gourmet meal delivered to attendees’ doors are also in store for those who join Bracken’s Kitchen virtually in Garden Grove on Thursday, December 3, 2020, at 6 p.m.We’re in the busy Holiday kitchen at Bracken’s Kitchen with Chef Bill Bracken.

“For over 36 years Clay Oven’s (Irvine) cuisine directed by Executive Chef & Proprietress Geeta Bansal has been about transforming tradition and old techniques of Indian cuisine while retaining the flavor profile to make them relevant to the present times and lifestyle. Food progresses and changes, and Clay Oven consistently strives to move Indian cuisine forward into the present and attempts to modernize their dishes while keeping the Ayurvedic principles intact. The menus are tied to the seasons and what is growing locally.” Clay Oven is currently operating for takeout, curbside, and delivery only with a change in address on the way as of December 1st. Chef Geeta Bansal is our guest.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Thanksgiving is fast approaching on November 26th. In the spirit of the Holidays it’s appropriate for Chef Andrew to now share his best Thanksgiving cooking tips as he has been doing with great enthusiasm for the last three weeks. For the pre-Thanksgiving finale it’s all about suggesting some inspired sides. Stuffing (or dressing) properly prepared outside the bird gets some deserved attention, too. It seems more people will be doing Family Thanksgiving at home this year and probably with smaller groups. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 400, November 21, 2020: Chef & Proprietress Geeta Bansal, Clay Oven, Irvine

Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven in Irvine“For over 36 years Clay Oven’s cuisine directed by Executive Chef & Proprietress Geeta Bansal has been about transforming tradition and old techniques of Indian cuisine while retaining the flavor profile to make them relevant to the present times and lifestyle. Food progresses and changes, and Clay Oven consistently strives to move Indian cuisine forward into the present and attempts to modernize their dishes while keeping the Ayurvedic principles intact. The menus are tied to the seasons and what is growing locally.”

“Clay Oven serves a large selection of game including venison, wild boar, rabbit, duck, antelope, quail, and elk. Fruits and vegetables in season appear alongside organic herbs grown in their own garden. There is no fusion of cuisines, just a fun and creative Indian experience created for their guests.”

Clay Oven is currently operating for takeout, curbside, and delivery only. A yearly (limited-time) special Thanksgiving tradition at Clay Oven, Tandoori Turkey, is still available to order.

Clay Oven is on the move…As of December 1st Clay Oven is relocating to Costa Mesa on a temporary basis and will continue to serve guests via takeout, curbside and delivery exclusively. A new dine-in location is planned for the future as allowable.

Chef Geeta Bansal is our guest.

Play

November 21: Brooklyn Avenue Pizza Co., Dina Samson, Bracken’s Kitchen, Clay Oven Irvine

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Mario Christerna, Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co. and The Paramount, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Three: Chef Mario Christerna, Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co. and The Paramount, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Four: Dina Samson of Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza Co. 2020 Fellow of Women’s Entrepreneurship Leadership Program
Segment Five: Chef Founder Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen Part One
Segment Six: Chef Founder Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen Part Two
Segment Seven: Chef & Proprietress Geeta Bansal, Clay Oven, Irvine
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

It’s about last call on Thanksgiving so reduce your stress level and please plan ahead…We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

“Next week a new edible attraction takes center stage at The Paramount (the legendary eastside Los Angeles cultural institution & history-making music venue) as Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co. opens its doors along Cesar E Chavez Avenue (historically known as Brooklyn Avenue in the early 1900s). Melding past, present, and future––both through the décor and menu––Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co. aims to be a neighborhood spot for locals serving pizza, wings, loaded fries, beer, wine, and cocktails at the casual and colorful all-day restaurant. The concept is the brainchild of Chef–Owner Mario Christerna—a proud Boyle Heights native, community leader, and former “MasterChef Latino” judge—alongside the team behind The Paramount.” Chef Mario Christerna joins us pizza peel in hand.

Now in its fourth year, The James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program (WEL) is part of the Foundation’s broader Women’s Leadership Programs presented by Audi and aims to support woman-identifying hospitality industry entrepreneurs, restaurant owners, and chefs in order to grow their careers and scale their businesses. The only California Fellow selected for 2020 is Dina Samson of Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza Co. in Downtown Los Angeles. We’ll meet her and also learn what services Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza are currently providing to their guests with the new restrictions.

“For the second straight year, Chef Founder Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen is hosting its signature holiday event benefiting the less fortunate and food insecure in Southern California. This year’s edition, “DECK THE HALLS,” will be its first virtual party featuring special guests, community partners, and Bracken’s own chefs cooking up a surprise along with pumpkin carvings as you’ve never seen before. Christmas tree decorating, silent auction items, opportunity drawings, and a gourmet meal delivered to attendees’ doors are also in store for those who join Bracken’s Kitchen virtually in Garden Grove on Thursday, December 3, 2020, at 6 p.m.” We’re in the busy Holiday kitchen at Bracken’s Kitchen with Chef Bill Bracken.

“For over 36 years Clay Oven’s (Irvine) cuisine directed by Executive Chef & Proprietress Geeta Bansal has been about transforming tradition and old techniques of Indian cuisine while retaining the flavor profile to make them relevant to the present times and lifestyle. Food progresses and changes, and Clay Oven consistently strives to move Indian cuisine forward into the present and attempts to modernize their dishes while keeping the Ayurvedic principles intact. The menus are tied to the seasons and what is growing locally.” Clay Oven is currently operating for takeout, curbside, and delivery only with a change in address on the way as of December 1st. Chef Geeta Bansal is our guest.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Thanksgiving is fast approaching on November 26th. In the spirit of the Holidays it’s appropriate for Chef Andrew to now share his best Thanksgiving cooking tips as he has been doing with great enthusiasm for the last three weeks. For the pre-Thanksgiving finale it’s all about suggesting some inspired sides. It seems more people will be doing Family Thanksgiving at home this year and probably with smaller groups. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Mario Christerna of Brooklyn Avenue Pizza Company“Next week a new edible attraction takes center stage at The Paramount (the legendary eastside Los Angeles cultural institution & history-making music venue) as Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co. opens its doors along Cesar E Chavez Avenue (historically known as Brooklyn Avenue in the early 1900s). Melding past, present, and future––both through the décor and menu––Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co. aims to be a neighborhood spot for locals serving pizza, wings, loaded fries, beer, wine, and cocktails at the casual and colorful all-day restaurant. The concept is the brainchild of Chef–Owner Mario Christerna, a proud Boyle Heights native, community leader, and former “MasterChef Latino” judge, alongside the team behind The Paramount.”

Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co. serves up to 30 seats al fresco, and 75 seats indoors (once again permitted) with all Covid 19 protocols in place including physically distanced tables, heightened sanitation protocols, single-use items, contactless ordering and payments, and an enforced mask policy.”

“It’s been my life’s journey to get to this moment of opening my very own restaurant in Boyle Heights –– the place that birthed and raised me,” says Christerna. “Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co.’s vision is to provide a slice of home for neighbors and visitors. The flavors, sounds, sights that guests will enjoy at the pizzeria are meant to stir up emotions of both happiness and nostalgia; from authentic Mexican inspirations to our favorite corner store snacks (Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, anyone?), all the ingredients speak to familiarity and character. During a time when we are experiencing so much distance, we hope people can come together here and continue to uplift each other –– as they always have in Boyle Heights.”

“At Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co., Christerna, one of the city’s rising chefs, with recognition for the ‘Best Dish’ at L.A.’s Latin Food Fest and the #3 taco on Bill Esparza’s ‘Best L.A. Tacos’ list, is focusing on pizza & wings with his signature Boyle Heights twist. Inspired by his beloved Chicano heritage and love for melding cultures (Christerna opened and helmed the kitchen at The Briks in South Park, a concept that reflected his early culinary influences––from North African and Spanish to French and Mexican), the menu marries familiar and vibrant sabores (flavors), while remaining approachable for all to enjoy.”

“Built within the space originally established as the Jewish Bakers Union of Los Angeles Local 453 Headquarters during the early twentieth century, the restaurant’s name (Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co.) is inspired by its location in Boyle Heights along Cesar E Chavez Avenue –formerly known as Brooklyn Avenue as a way to attract East Coasters moving out West. The Jewish Bakers Union was deeply ingrained in their community, helping to feed people in need through the early twentieth century and into the Great Depression. Christerna and his team of locals are inspired by this history and are dedicated to continuing the space’s legacy as a community meeting point and culinary oasis.”

Chef Mario Christerna joins us pizza peel in hand.

Dina Samson of Rossoblu and Superfine PizzaNow in its fourth year, The James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership program (WEL) is part of the Foundation’s broader Women’s Leadership Programs presented by Audi and aims to support woman-identifying hospitality industry entrepreneurs, restaurant owners, and chefs in order to grow their careers and scale their businesses.

“We are thrilled to be able to continue this program this year, with the opportunity to bring together an extraordinary group of industry professionals from across the country,” said Clare Reichenbach, CEO of the James Beard Foundation. “As the devastation caused by this pandemic continues, it is more important now than ever to support our community and do all that we can to help entrepreneurs continue to succeed and thrive. We are honored to provide them with resources and to help expand their networks.”

The only California fellow selected for 2020 is Dina Samson of Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza Co. in Downtown Los Angeles. We’ll meet her and also learn what meal services Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza are currently providing to their guests with the new restrictions.

Bill Bracken of Brackens Kitchen“For the second straight year, Chef Founder Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen is hosting its signature holiday event benefiting the less fortunate and food insecure in Southern California. This year’s edition, “DECK THE HALLS,” will be its first virtual party featuring special guests, community partners, and Bracken’s own chefs cooking up a surprise along with pumpkin carvings as you’ve never seen before. Christmas tree decorating, silent auction items, opportunity drawings, and a gourmet meal delivered to attendees’ doors are also in store for those who join Bracken’s Kitchen virtually in Garden Grove on Thursday, December 3, 2020, at 6 p.m.”

“Attendees will have the opportunity to experience the kitchen, virtually, where they’ve already prepared and made over 1.3 million meals for those suffering from food insecurity in Southern California. This year’s event is even more meaningful and important due to the pandemic that has caused unexpected job loss, and even more people to suffer from food insecurity.  Everyone will have the opportunity to help Bracken’s Kitchen meet this unprecedented demand for food caused by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in a fun and festive way.”

“With all the negative things happening all around us we are excited to welcome you “our friends” into our kitchen virtually for an evening of food, fun, and caring for those in need,” says Bill Bracken.

“All are invited to “Deck The Halls” and help Bracken’s Kitchen maintain its dramatically increased meal production at a time when so many people need help. Participants can help to keep recently laid off restaurant workers employed and production at more than 30,000 meals a week. 100% of the proceeds from the event will support the work and programs of Bracken’s Kitchen.”

Bracken’s Kitchen is a 501(c)(3) organization based in Orange County California.  Founded in 2013 our mission is simple: Through food recovery, culinary training, and our community feeding program we are committed to recovering, re-purposing, and restoring both food and lives. At the core of our mission is a deep commitment to our nonprofit charity partners, business and professional supporters, volunteers, donors, and employees.  Our relationship with each and every one of these groups is as important to us as those we feed.”

Tickets are now available online

We’re in the busy Holiday kitchen at Bracken’s Kitchen with Chef Bill Bracken.

Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven in Irvine“For over 36 years Clay Oven’s cuisine directed by Executive Chef & Proprietress Geeta Bansal has been about transforming tradition and old techniques of Indian cuisine while retaining the flavor profile to make them relevant to the present times and lifestyle. Food progresses and changes, and Clay Oven consistently strives to move Indian cuisine forward into the present and attempts to modernize their dishes while keeping the Ayurvedic principles intact. The menus are tied to the seasons and what is growing locally.”

“Clay Oven serves a large selection of game including venison, wild boar, rabbit, duck, antelope, quail, and elk. Fruits and vegetables in season appear alongside organic herbs grown in their own garden. There is no fusion of cuisines, just a fun and creative Indian experience created for their guests.”

Clay Oven is currently operating for takeout, curbside, and delivery only. A yearly (limited-time) special Thanksgiving tradition at Clay Oven, Tandoori Turkey, is still available to order.

Chef Geeta Bansal is our guest.

Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. New restrictions placed on California restaurants in the last week…

Thanksgiving is fast approaching on November 26th. In the spirit of the Holidays it’s appropriate for Chef Andrew to now share his best Thanksgiving cooking tips as he has been providing for the last three weeks. For the pre-Thanksgiving finale it’s all about suggesting some inspired sides. It’s more than just the turkey…More people will be preparing Family Thanksgiving at home this year and probably with smaller groups. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Mario Christerna, Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co. and The Paramount, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Three: Chef Mario Christerna, Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co. and The Paramount, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Four: Dina Samson of Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza Co. 2020 Fellow of Women’s Entrepreneurship Leadership Program
Segment Five: Chef Founder Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen Part One
Segment Six: Chef Founder Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen Part Two
Segment Seven: Chef & Proprietress Geeta Bansal, Clay Oven, Irvine
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 87, September 6, 2014: Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show

Guest Host Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, CEO of Slapfish Restaurant Group and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

The 5th Annual L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade culinary cookout returns this year on Saturday, September 20th. When it comes to having the most impressive roster of nationally-known celebrity chefs cooking locally for charity this Benefit is the clear standout. It’s hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin, her business partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern) along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat.)

McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream is a 70-year old iconic brand of super premium ice cream which is still based where it was founded in Santa Barbara. Michael Palmer (winemaker) and his wife Eva Ein (chef) purchased this heritage brand in 2012. A McConnell’s scoop shop recently opened in the Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.

Food, wine & travel writer Michelle Winner is the President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA.). She will be talking to us from Hawaii. Over Labor Day Weekend she was part of the Kaanapali Fresh – A Culinary Experience on Maui and right now she is in the middle of the 4th Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival on Oahu.

Ida Rodriguez is the long-time Corporate Chef for Melissa’s / World Variety Produce. Until the end of the month it’s Hatch Chile season. Over Labor Day Weekend Chef Ida was in Hatch, New Mexico for the annual Hatch Chile Festival. It gets crazy there. Chef Ida is with us to give us the flavorful report.

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel is CEO of Slapfish Restaurant Group with locations in Huntington Beach, Laguna, Dubai, and soon – Newport Beach. Chef Andrew is a guest judge on Food Network’s upcoming “Food Truck Face-Off” series, was a participant on Sept. 5th at OC Weekly’s 11th Annual Decadence 2014 Tasting Event, and has a new video our explaining the secrets of preparing Slapfish’s Clobster Roll to the Orange County Register’s distinguished food writer, Cathy Thomas.

It’s a singular honor as a chef & restaurateur to be invited to prepare and present a meal at The James Beard Foundation in New York. Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven has that distinct honor on September 27th. On Monday, Sept. 15th Clay Oven will be previewing that same grand five-course, wine-paired menu for a small group of lucky locals. Not one to miss…

David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson have penned a new kind of cocktail book, The 12 Bottle Bar. Just twelve bottles create over 200 distinct and seasonal cocktails, including beer and wine cocktails. When we first interviewed the Solmonsons we ran out of time before we could discuss the clever “Acknowledgements” section of their book. We’ll resume the conversation…

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

Play

Show 87, September 6, 2014: Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven

Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven in IrvineIt’s a singular honor as a chef & restaurateur to be invited to prepare and present a meal at The James Beard Foundation in New York. Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven has that distinct honor on Saturday evening, September 27th. On Monday, Sept. 15th Clay Oven will be previewing that same grand five-course, wine-paired menu for a small group of lucky locals. Not one to miss…

At Clay Oven, chef/owner Geeta Bansal updates traditional Indian recipes with modern culinary techniques and vibrant California bounty. Incorporating the changing colors, flavors, and aromas of each season into her rotating menus, she honors Ayurvedic principles while bringing haute Indian cuisine to the forefront of Southern California’s dining landscape.

In her spare time Chef Geeta travels the globe attending important international food gatherings and interviewing prominent superstar chefs. Her writings (Gastronome Geeta) can be enjoyed at chefgeeta.wordpress.com.

Play

September 6: Andrew Gruel, Carolyne Styne, McConnell’s Ice Cream, Michelle Winner, Melissa’s Produce, Geeta Bansal, 12 Bottle Bar

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade
Segment Three: McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream
Segment Four: Travel Writer Michelle Winner, President, IFWTWA
Segment Five: Corporate Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s Produce
Segment Six: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Seven: Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven
Segment Eight: The 12 Bottle Bar

Guest Host Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, CEO of Slapfish Restaurant Group and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

The 5th Annual L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade culinary cookout returns this year on Saturday, September 20th. When it comes to having the most impressive roster of nationally-known celebrity chefs cooking locally for charity this Benefit is the clear standout. It’s hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin, her business partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern) along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat.)

McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream is a 70-year old iconic brand of super premium ice cream which is still based where it was founded in Santa Barbara. Michael Palmer (winemaker) and his wife Eva Ein (chef) purchased this heritage brand in 2012. A McConnell’s scoop shop recently opened in the Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.

Food, wine & travel writer Michelle Winner is the President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA.). She will be talking to us from Hawaii. Over Labor Day Weekend she was part of the Kaanapali Fresh – A Culinary Experience on Maui and right now she is in the middle of the 4th Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival on Oahu.

Ida Rodriguez is the long-time Corporate Chef for Melissa’s / World Variety Produce. Until the end of the month it’s Hatch Chile season. Over Labor Day Weekend Chef Ida was in Hatch, New Mexico for the annual Hatch Chile Festival. It gets crazy there. Chef Ida is with us to give us the flavorful report.

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel is CEO of Slapfish Restaurant Group with locations in Huntington Beach, Laguna, Dubai, and soon – Newport Beach. Chef Andrew is a guest judge on Food Network’s upcoming “Food Truck Face-Off” series, was a participant on Sept. 5th at OC Weekly’s 11th Annual Decadence 2014 Tasting Event, and has a new video our explaining the secrets of preparing Slapfish’s Clobster Roll to the Orange County Register’s distinguished food writer, Cathy Thomas.

It’s a singular honor as a chef & restaurateur to be invited to prepare and present a meal at The James Beard Foundation in New York. Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven has that distinct honor on September 27th. On Monday, Sept. 15th Clay Oven will be previewing that same grand five-course, wine-paired menu for a small group of lucky locals. Not one to miss…

David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson have penned a new kind of cocktail book, The 12 Bottle Bar. Just twelve bottles create over 200 distinct and seasonal cocktails, including beer and wine cocktails. When we first interviewed the Solmonsons we ran out of time before we could discuss the clever “Acknowledgements” section of their book. We’ll resume the conversation…

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

Caroline StyneThe 5th Annual L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade culinary cookout returns this year on Saturday, September 20th. When it comes to having the most impressive roster of nationally-known celebrity chefs cooking locally for charity this Benefit is the clear standout. It’s hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin, her business partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern) along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat.)

The new location is Wilson Plaza at UCLA in Westwood.

The 5th Annual Benefit invites food and wine lovers from all corners of the globe for an afternoon of fantastic fare, cocktails for a cause, children’s activities, silent and live auctions, and a whole lot more. The incredible chef brigade includes big name cooks ranging from Giada De Laurentiis to Tom Colicchio.

Michael PalmerMcConnell’s Fine Ice Cream is a 70-year old iconic brand of super premium ice cream which is still based where it was founded in Santa Barbara. Michael Palmer (winemaker) and his wife Eva Ein (chef) purchased this heritage brand in 2012. A McConnell’s scoop shop recently opened in the Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.

The late Jim McCoy owned McConnell’s from 1963 until he needed to sell the business due to ill health in 2012. It was very important to him that this be maintained as a family business based in Santa Barbara.That was his legacy.

75 per cent of McConnell’s ingredients come from within 60 miles of Santa Barbara.

Food, wine & travel writer Michelle Winner is the President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA.). She will be talking to us from Hawaii.

Over Labor Day Weekend Michelle was part of the Kaanapali Fresh – A Culinary Experience on Maui and right now she is in the middle of the 4th Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival on Oahu.

The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival event Michelle attended Thursday evening was the sold out “A Lucky Modern Buddha Belly” at The Modern Honolulu. The event put a spotlight on Hawaii’s unique location as a culinary hub of the Pacific where East Meets West. 14 esteemed chefs (including Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto) showcased dishes inspired by the Lucky Buddha who is known for happiness, plenitude, and wisdom of contentment.

Chef Ida Rodriquez of Melissas World Variety ProduceIda Rodriguez is the long-time Corporate Chef for Melissa’s / World Variety Produce. Until the end of the month it’s still Hatch Chile season.

Over Labor Day Weekend Chef Ida was in Hatch, New Mexico as a participant for the annual Hatch Chile Festival. It gets really crazy there. Chef Ida joins us to give us the flavorful chile report.

Weekend Hatch chile roasting continue through this month at select supermarkets. Check the Melissa’s website for the schedule, times, and locations.

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel is CEO of Slapfish Restaurant Group with locations in Huntington Beach, Laguna, Dubai, and soon – Newport Beach.

Chef Andrew is a guest judge on Food Network’s upcoming “Food Truck Face-Off” series, was a participant on Sept. 5th at OC Weekly’s 11th Annual Decadence 2014 Tasting Event, and has a new video out explaining the secrets of preparing Slapfish’s Clobster Roll to the Orange County Register’s distinguished food writer, Cathy Thomas.

Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven in IrvineIt’s a singular honor as a chef & restaurateur to be invited to prepare and present a meal at The James Beard Foundation in New York. Wolfgang Puck was the very first chef to do so.

Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven has that distinct honor on Saturday evening, September 27th. On Monday, Sept. 15th Clay Oven will be previewing that same grand five-course, wine-paired menu for a small group of lucky locals. Not one to miss…

At Clay Oven, chef/owner Geeta Bansal updates traditional Indian recipes with modern culinary techniques and vibrant California bounty. Incorporating the changing colors, flavors, and aromas of each season into her rotating menus, she honors Ayurvedic principles while bringing haute Indian cuisine to the forefront of Southern California’s dining landscape.

David and Lesley Jacobs SolmonsonDavid Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson have penned a new kind of cocktail book, The 12 Bottle Bar. Just twelve bottles create over 200 distinct and seasonal cocktails, including beer and wine cocktails. When we first interviewed the Solmonsons we ran out of time before we could discuss the clever “Acknowledgements” section of their book. We’ll resume the conversation…

On Saturday, September 13th at 10:30 a.m. the Solmonsons will present “Sin and the Silver Screen: The Age of the Hollywood Nightclub.” It’s a free program in the Mark Taper Auditorium at the Los Angeles Central Library.

To celebrate the release of The 12 Bottle Bar the Solmonsons will lead two Los Angeles-based barhops in September (Sept. 7th ) and October (Oct.5th.,) each one stopping at three bars over one evening. Each event includes one spirit-focused mini-cocktail at each location, appetizers/small plates, a copy of The 12 Bottle Bar book, and more!

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade
Segment Three: McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream
Segment Four: Travel Writer Michelle Winner, President, IFWTWA
Segment Five: Corporate Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s Produce
Segment Six: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Seven: Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven
Segment Eight: The 12 Bottle Bar

Show 52, December 14, 2013: Geeta Bansal, Executive Chef / Proprietress of Clay Oven in Irvine

Clay Oven in IrvineThe long running Clay Oven in Irvine (26 years plus…) is the OC’s classic Indian (Northern cuisine) restaurant. It’s also a true family affair.

Geeta Bansal (our guest) is the proprietress / executive chef along with her husband, Praveen, who is the gracious proprietor / sommelier. Their son, Tarun, represents the 2nd generation active at Clay Oven.

One of their holiday treats (by special order) is a Tandoor Turkey. They sell out (over 250 birds) each Thanksgiving using four tandoor ovens. They are available by special order year-round. Just give them three days notice. The birds are skinless and marinated in an herb and spice blend. The juices are seared into the meat during the cooking process. The birds are incredibly moist when they come out of the tandoor oven.

Geeta’s unusual hobby is traveling the globe and interviewing high profile chefs in their native countries. These revealing interviews have been published in the OC Weekly, Orange County Register and, more recently, in her own blog (“Gastronome Geeta.”) Accredited, professional food journalists don’t have the unusual access Geeta enjoys!
In a teaching moment Chef Geeta also educates us on the ancient Hindu treatise of Ayruveda as it relates to food.

Play

December 14: Scott Conant, Teemu Selanne, Clay Oven, Kedric Francis, Sherry Yard

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Scott Conant oversees his highly successful empire of five Scarpetta restaurants
Segment Three: Celebrity Chef Scott Conant of the five Scarpetta restaurants coast-to-coast. Continues…
Segment Four: Leo Fenn, Director of Operations, Selanne Steak Tavern, Laguna Beach
Segment Five: Geeta Bansal, Executive Chef / Proprietress of Clay Oven in Irvine
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine Part One
Segment Seven: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine Part Two
Segment Eight: Sherry Yard, the acclaimed executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck for 20 years

Lechon Porchetta by Susan ParkYou can aid the unfortunate victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and enjoy some great Filipino food…There is a huge Filipino community right here in Los Angeles County.

Upcoming is an “all are welcome” fundraiser at Bamboo Bistro in Panorama City on Sunday, Dec. 15th from 4 to 8:00 p.m.

Pinoy food will be there in abundance expertly prepared by L.A. chefs including Chef Mayet Cristobal, the Executive Chef of the Getty Museum. She will be serving Beef Short Rib Adobo. The minimum donation is a modest $20 per adult and there will be live music.

The new season of Food Network’s newest hit series, Cutthroat Kitchen, hosted by Alton Brown launches Sunday night, December 15th. Our own Jet Tila is the most-used celebrity chef judge on the series. Tough but fair…

Be looking for his episodes for Season 2. Don’t miss the online after shows on Food Network’s Website. Alton goes over each episode with the celebrity chef judge. Always fun to better understand what the vexing sabotages were…! Jet doesn’t know any of this when he evaluating the food. On this show strategy is just as important as cooking chops. Luck helps, too…

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Scott Conant of Scarpetta and Food NetworkChef Scott Conant oversees a growing restaurant empire from his base in Manhattan. There are hugely successful Scarpetta restaurants in New York City, Miami Beach, Toronto, Beverly Hills at The Montage Hotel and Las Vegas at The Cosmopolitan. He’s known for an extraordinary spaghetti dish.

He also has the more casual, D.O.C.G. Enoteca at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

The Scarpetta Cookbook (his third) is just out for the Holidays.

Scarpetta Beverly Hills just celebrated its 3rd birthday.

Chef Scott is familiar to millions of viewers of food television as one of the original permanent judges on Food Network’s “Chopped.” It’s probably the hardest legitimate cooking competition series on the air. As Scott explains it’s all real. None of the competing chefs have a clue what’s in their mystery basket of ingredients until they open it!

The Scarpetta Cookbook came about as a result of a hands-on cooking demo Scott performed in Manhattan. There were 15 teams of two students preparing one of his signature recipes. The variations of the same dish as presented by the class members was incredible. Scott calls it a disaster.

Scott wants food fans to be able to successfully duplicate the Scarpetta recipes at home. No secrets or missing ingredient in the book’s recipes. That’s his goal for the book.

If you order the cookbook from his website you can obtain a personalized inscription. Good idea for the Holidays and saves the flight to New York.

Chef Scott talks about the needed ingredients for success with multiple restaurants. It’s all about service, food, and ambiance. Service is the key. Food is the follow-up. Scott points out that if a guest has a bad service experience they are likely never to return.

Teemu Selanne of Selanne Steak TavernIf you’re a hockey fan then you know Teemu Selanne, The Anaheim Ducks forward and ice hockey icon. Sadly for his legion of fans this is his last season as a pro.

Teemu loves fine dining and it was only a matter of time before he opened a destination restaurant (with his business partner Kevin Pratt) in Orange County where he resides. The result is the newly launched Selanne Steak Tavern on the site of the former French 75, a historic restaurant location in Laguna Beach. It’s a sophisticated steakhouse, and lots more, with a real chef, dedicated pastry chef and a top-flight wine program orchestrated by Leo Fenn, the Director of Operations.

Leo is a recognized authority on rare and cult wines but makes it all approachable for the guest. Leo is with us to provide all the tempting 411 on Selanne Steak Tavern.

When Teemu Selanne is not on the road he will be very visible at the restaurant.

Clay Oven in IrvineThe long running Clay Oven in Irvine (26 years plus… is the OC’s classic Indian (Northern cuisine) restaurant. It’s also a true family affair.

Geeta Bansal (our guest) is the proprietress / executive chef along with her husband, Praveen, who is the gracious proprietor / sommelier. Their son, Tarun, represents the 2nd generation active at Clay Oven.

One of their holiday specials (by special order) is a Tandoor Turkey. They sell out (over 250 birds) each Thanksgiving using four tandoor ovens. The birds are skinless and marinated in an herb and spice blend. The juices are seared into the meat during the cooking process. The birds are incredibly moist when they come out of the tandoor oven.

Geeta’s unusual hobby is traveling the globe and interviewing high profile chefs in their native countries. These revealing interviews have been published in the OC Weekly, Orange County Register, and, more recently, in her own blog. Accredited, professional food journalists don’t have the access Geeta enjoys!

In a teaching moment Chef Geeta also educates us on the ancient Hindu treatise of Ayruveda as it relates to food.

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineIt’s the Holidays which is a peak vacation travel period. It’s a great time to catch-up with our man about Orange County, Kedric Francis. Kedric is the always debonair, well-traveled Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine.

On Saturday morning Kedric is off to Cancun, Mexico to experience a new high-end resort there. He’s visiting the Nizuc Resort & Spa. This will be the subject of a future report.

Kedric also reported on some big deal Fashion Island restaurant openings. Red O, with a high end regional Mexican menu by noted Chicago chef Rick Bayless, is now open. Soon to launch is Fig & Olive (Mediterranean fare) which started in West Hollywood.

Kedric was recently at The Ritz Restaurant & Garden’s annual holiday party fund-raiser in Newport Center which was a bit bittersweet. Their lease is up and this is the last Holiday Party at the original location.

There was some good news. It’s not final yet but it looks like The Ritz has found a new location in the area to relocate when they need to vacate their current home early next year. Their long-time landlord has already granted them a couple of extensions. The only glitch is that The Ritz will disappear for at least a year while the new space is remodeled. Most of the long-time employees will need to find work and perhaps move on permanently. Stay tuned…

The Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs is newly opened and Kedric had a chance to see the property a few weeks ago. It’s located in the heart of Downtown Palm Springs near the Indian Casino. Kedric observed there in now lots to do for twentysomethings and thirtysomethings in Palm Springs these days, including a vibrant nightlife.

Sherry YardL.A.’s acclaimed pastry princess, Sherry Yard, is with us for the last segment. Sherry was Wolfgang Puck’s (Spago) executive pastry chef for twenty years. She is a multiple James Beard Award-winner. Her first cookbook, The Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts won a Beard Award for “Best Baking Cookbook.”

Her current project (with Lukshon’s and Father’s Office’s Sang Yoon) is the revival of Helms Bakery located on the site of the former Helms Bakery, an iconic home delivery commercial bakery that left the scene years ago. It looks like Summer of 2014 for the opening.

The exciting all-day concept keeps evolving but it’s going to be a bakery and cafe with a lot more. All the bread will be prepared and baked right there. They will roast the beans for the coffee on site. You’ll be able to get sandwiches and full meals packaged to take home.

You can sign-up for their monthly newsletter to keep current on the opening for Helms Bakery.

Meanwhile on Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday afternoons look for the restored yellow Helms Bakery delivery truck in front of their future restaurant space across from Father’s Office. Sherry is selling her soon to be famous chocolate chip cookies and various hand-crafted ice cream novelties. Everything is deliciously scratch-made. Call it a tasty preview of coming edible attractions…

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Scott Conant oversees his highly successful empire of five Scarpetta restaurants
Segment Three: Celebrity Chef Scott Conant of the five Scarpetta restaurants coast-to-coast. Continues…
Segment Four: Leo Fenn, Director of Operations, Selanne Steak Tavern, Laguna Beach
Segment Five: Geeta Bansal, Executive Chef / Proprietress of Clay Oven in Irvine
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine Part One
Segment Seven: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine Part Two
Segment Eight: Sherry Yard, the acclaimed executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck for 20 years