Show 150, December 12, 2015: Anita Lau, Mad Hungry Woman Blogger

Anita Lau of Mad Hungry WomanAnita Lau is better known to regular listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” as the Mad Hungry Woman blogger. She was living in Hong Kong in the 90s before the turnover by the British to China. Anita was just back to Hong Kong for a 3-week visit. We’ll get a insider’s view of the dining scene there during the glory days of the British and now under Chinese authority.

Anita will fill us in on the impact of Michelin Stars in Hong Kong and also the best street food. Michelin in now even rating “Street Food” which seems a bit odd.

Anita notes that the big deal celebrity chefs are opening high-profile restaurants in Hong Kong. Gordon Ramsay is already there and Anita crossed paths with Chris Cosentino of “Top Chef Masters” fame there, too.

We’ll also get the morsel-by-morsel details of her favorite dining experience of the trip. It’s French and elegant…Go to her blog to read her full review of EPURE. Beautiful food photography of the meal, too.

Born in Hong Kong and now living in Orange County, California, Anita Lau is an international author and writer who has lived in Malaysia, Australia, Nebraska, Oregon, San Francisco and also, Hawaii. Her obsession with food began at an early age but it wasn’t until her early 20s when her experimentation with cooking led her to start a small catering business which she would run in her spare time while at college in Australia.

 

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Show 143, October 24, 2015: Celebrity Chef Graham Elliott

Graham ElliotChicago-based Celebrity Chef Graham Elliot, co-host of the popular FOX TV series, “MasterChef” and “Master Chef Junior,” and the host of the new Food Network show, “Craziest Restaurants in America,” wants everyone to cook.

He’s now written his first cookbook, Cooking Like a Master Chef: 100 Recipes to Make the Everyday Extraordinary. Chef Gordon Ramsay (Chef Graham’s colleague on “MasterChef”) wrote the thoughtful Foreward and, surprisingly, there is not an expletive included…

It’s an entertaining, accessible guide for the home cook to create delicious, beautiful food for every occasion. Chef Graham teaches great techniques and encourages everyone to have a lot of fun along the way. It’s all in line with his philosophy that there is no right or wrong when it comes to creativity in the kitchen.

Grouped by season, Chef Graham’s one hundred recipes are illustrated with gorgeous, full-color photographs and accompanied by simple, straightforward instructions – with some intriguingly tasty twists. Chef Graham believes that whether you are a top-notch chef or a talented home-cook, sometimes you want to be spontaneous and improvise, like a jazz musician.

Chef Graham is the Culinary Director (since 2010) for Chicago’ annual Lollapalooza music festival. He shares his recipes for Truffled Popcorn and the Lollapalooza Lobster Corn Dogs which are his signature creations there. In the 3-day festival he sells over 15,000 “Corn Dogs”!

Chef Elliot joins us with a preview of the book.

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Show 79, July 12, 2014: Anita Lau, The Mad Hungry Woman blogger

Anita Lau of Diary of a Mad Hungry WomanThe Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, returns with a profile of a San Diego restaurant favorite, Rakiraki. “If I had to sum this eatery up in a sentence, it would be “love at first bite.”

“There is no doubt this is my favorite ramen spot in Southern California.”

Anita also shares her experience of being a guest judge on Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen.” The episode aired June 19th. She is an unabashed Gordon Ramsay fan. She also explains why she is now affectionately known as “Human Grumpy Cat.”

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June 14: Ben Ford, Kuniko Yagi, Barbara Fairchild, Providence 9th anniversary, Belle Chevre

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer Andy preview the show
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, Restaurant & Travel Editor, grapecollective.com
Segment Three: Donato Poto, co-owner, Providence, Hollywood, CA
Segment Four: Tasia Malakasis, Proprietress & Cheesemaker – Belle Chevre, Goat Cheese from Alabama
Segment Five: Executive Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Culver City, CA Part One
Segment Six: Executive Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Culver City, CA Part Two
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Kuniko Yagi, Hinoki & The Bird, Century City
Segment Eight: Guest Host Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, The Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Orange County Magazine

Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer Andy preview the show.

Barbara Fairchild, the well-traveled Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com, is back with us to share some inspired and practical travel tips. Also a profile of a big deal celebrity chef restaurant in London.

It’s the 9th Anniversary of Chef Michael Cimarusti’s and Donato Poto’s Providence in Hollywood. The Los Angeles Times’ restaurant critic, Jonathan Gold, recently named them the Number 1 establishment in his annual listing of the “101 Best Restaurants – 2014.”

One of the foremost goat cheeses available in the United States, Belle Chevre, is made in a tiny town located in northern Alabama. It’s quite a success story!

You’ve seen Chef Ben Ford on Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods America” on Travel Channel and are probably familiar with his landmark Culver City Gastropub, Ford’s Filling Station. His new book is Taming The Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide To Adventurous Cooking.

Hinoki & The Bird, hidden in a luxury high rise condo tower in Century City, features pan-Asian cooking. We’ll meet executive chef Kuniko Yagi.

Guest Host Kedric Francis has been doing some traveling up the Central Coast. Some inspired dining and lodging tips are on the way.

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

Barbara FairchildBarbara Fairchild, the well-traveled Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com, is back with us to share some inspired and practical travel tips. Also a mini-profile of dining at Gordon Ramsay in London.

Food journalist Barbara Fairchild is an editor, writer, speaker and sought-after consultant. She was the long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine before the publication relocated to New York.

Providence RestaurantCelebrate nine years of Providence

“June marks our ninth anniversary at Providence and we are on…well…Cloud 9! We would like to take this opportunity to thank you, our loyal guests, for your enduring support. “We feel so fortunate to be part of the ever-evolving Los Angeles food scene. At times, I look back and can’t believe it’s been nearly a decade. It feels like we just opened yesterday!”, says consummate host and co-owner of Providence, Donato Poto. In honor of this auspicious occasion, Providence is providing some incentive for you to celebrate along with us. Beginning on our May 28th reopening, we are offering our four-course tasting menu for $80 a person, during the entire month of June. We look forward to celebrating with you!”

The Los Angeles Times‘ restaurant critic, Jonathan Gold, recently ranked Providence as the Number One Restaurant in the annual Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants 2014.

Providence was closed last month for about two weeks for a freshening of the dining rooms. The patio located off the main dining room was enclosed.

Tasia MalakasisAmerica’ most-awarded goat cheese, Belle Chevre, is lovingly made in small batches in the tiny hamlet of Elkmont, Alabama. It’s all hand-work.

Meet cheesemaker and proprietress, Tasia Malakasis

There is even an award-winning Belle Chevre cheesecake !

Goats’ milk is the most consumed milk on the planet.

Ben Ford of Ford's Filling StationYou’ve seen Chef Ben Ford on Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods America” on Travel Channel and are probably familiar with his landmark Culver City Gastropub, Ford’s Filling Station. His new book is Taming The Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide To Adventurous Cooking.

The mantra of the book is: “Cook Big. Play with Fire. Get your Hands Dirty.”
“Chef Ben Ford is known for wowing crowds with his handcrafted feasts of enormous proportions – a whole pig roast, paella for eighty, burgers for the block. Now, in Taming The Feast (Atria Books), Ford divulges his secrets for nine jaw-dropping feasts for the adventurous home cook and DIY enthusiasts in this complete guide to outdoor grilling, smoking, and roasting. It even includes creative recipes to make use of the leftovers you’re sure to have.”

“From mouthwatering Texas-style barbecue to Wood-Fired Paella, these entertaining blueprints can be used to throw a party for the whole neighborhood or an intimate dinner for four. A culinary MacGyver, Ford also provides unique complete do-it-yourself primers for making simple custom outdoor cookers that coax the ultimate flavor out of salmon, pig, rabbit, burgers, bratwurst, turkey, and lamb. Taming The Feast includes easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions, drawings, and timelines for constructing a baking barrel, cinder-block oven, smoking shed, and roasting box in your own backyard.”

Kuniko Yagi of Hinoki and the BirdHinoki & the Bird is an imaginative dining concept that pushes modern California cooking to vibrant new bounds. Taking cues from travels through the Silk Road, the restaurant serves as a colorful kaleidoscope where bright flavors, a healthy sensibility, and technique harmoniously collide. The Milo Garcia-designed indoor/outdoor space is housed on the ground floor of Related Companies’ luxury condominium tower, The Century.”

The Executive Chef of Hinoki & the Bird is Kuniko Yagi. Previously she was the sous chef at Sona and Executive Chef of Comme Ca in West Hollywood. She had no formal culinary training but the artistic drive was always with her.

In preparation for the opening of Hinoki & the Bird she traveled and conducted research in many of Japan’s top-rated Michelin–starred restaurants.

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineOur always debonair man about Orange County, Kedric Francis, did a little recent vacation swing down the Central Coast. Kedric spotlights the notable food and accommodations. Also some breaking OC restaurant news…

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer Andy preview the show
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, Restaurant & Travel Editor, grapecollective.com
Segment Three: Donato Poto, co-owner, Providence, Hollywood, CA
Segment Four: Tasia Malakasis, Proprietress & Cheesemaker – Belle Chevre, Goat Cheese from Alabama
Segment Five: Executive Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Culver City, CA Part One
Segment Six: Executive Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Culver City, CA Part Two
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Kuniko Yagi, Hinoki & The Bird, Century City
Segment Eight: Guest Host Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, The Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Orange County Magazine

Show 53, December 21, 2013: Aaron Fry, Honeymoon Dining in Maui

It’s Christmas / New Year’s Holiday vacation time and that means a lot of relaxing 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.

One of the standouts in all his dining in Lahaina is the use of a lot of local ingredients in the dishes where possible. This is a welcome return to the old ways in The Islands when Hawaiians were totally self-sufficient in feeding themselves.

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 quality 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.

Aaron recommends the Lemon Shrimp with a cream cheese polenta cake, wild arugula and cherry tomato salad, lemon-thyme vinaigrette and roasted tomato sauce. 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.

A local Island favorite is The Plate Lunch which Aaron sampled at all levels of dining establishments during his visit. It’s a lot of filling food designed for the hungry working guy. The best of the lot was the Pub Plate at Maui Brewing. It’s Kalua pork, white rice, mac salad, and CoCoNut PorTeR BBQ sauce.

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Show 31, June 15, 2013: Brock Radke, Food & Web Editor for Las Vegas Weekly

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyBrock was back with us to provide insight on what’s new on the always dynamic Las Vegas dining scene.

Gourmet burger spots fronted by celebrity chefs are continuing to proliferate on the Strip. It’d just been announced that both Daniel Boulud and Mario Batali are bringing gourmet burger concepts to the Venetian/Palazzo complex. Every Strip hotel has a high-end steak house so the new trend is to have a celebrity chef driven burger restaurant, too. Gordon Ramsay’s burger place arrived on The Strip late last year.

The big noise in Las Vegas right now moves to Downtown. The “Life is Beautiful Festival” has been announced for the Weekend of October 26th and 27th. In addition to big name musical acts on five stages there will be an exciting culinary program on equal footing with the music. The Culinary Advisory board is headed by Bruce and Eric Bromberg of the Blue Ribbon Restaurants in New York and Las Vegas (at the Cosmopolitan).

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April 6: Gustavo Arellano, Musso and Frank Grill, Scott Leibfried

Podcasts

Segment One: Chef Jet Tila
Segment Two: Gustavo Arellano, Editor of The OC Weekly & author of Taco USA – How Mexican Food Conquered America Part One
Segment Three: Gustavo Arellano, Editor of The OC Weekly & author of Taco USA – How Mexican Food Conquered America Part Two
Segment Four: Mark Echeverria, the General Manager & Proprietor of the Musso & Frank Grill in Hollywood
Segment Five: Chef Scott Leibfried, Gordon Ramsay’s sous chef on Fox TV’s “Hell’s Kitchen” for the past 10 years. Executive Chef of Arch Rock Fish is Santa Barbara Part One
Segment Six: Chef Scott Leibfried, Gordon Ramsay’s sous chef on Fox TV’s “Hell’s Kitchen” for the past 10 years. Executive Chef of Arch Rock Fish is Santa Barbara Part Two

Lots of tasty delights to share this week. We have an unusual take on Mexican food that will leave you thinking. From there it’s a bit of celebrity dining history in old Hollywood. We wrap it up with a prominent chef who is an accomplished expert in seafood preparation.

First it’s the “best bite of the week” with Chef Jet and Producer Andy. Thereafter it’s the cream of significant restaurant news of the week.

Gustavo Arellano of Ask a MexicanIf you think you know everything there is to know about the rich history of Mexican food in America think again. Gustavo Arellano joins us to talk about his latest book, Taco USA – How Mexican Food Conquered America. Gustavo is the accomplished and well-known editor of OC Weekly as well as one of their restaurant reviewers. He also pens the provocative, nationally syndicated column, “Ask a Mexican!

Since 1919 the venerable Musso and Frank Grill on Hollywood Blvd. has ably stood the test of time and endured. More than a handful of the career waiters there have been serving guests for 30 years or more. Every one of them is a character! There are more stories there than there is time to do them justice in the telling! That also applies to the proficient bar staff. They perfected the classic craft cocktails way before they became trendy again!

Talk about consistency. They have had three executive chefs in their entire history.

Mark Echeverria, the managing partner, and a direct descendent of one of the two founding families joins us with a salute to the ultimate in Hollywood dining history that is far from being a museum piece.

Scott Leibfried of Hells Kitchen and Arch Rock GrillYou know Chef Scott Leibfried as Gordon Ramsay’s sous chef on Fox TV’s popular “Hell’s Kitchen” series for the past 10 seasons. He’s also the Lead Chef Advisor for Fox TV’s “Kitchen Nightmares” series also starring Chef Ramsay.

He’s a real working chef. Chef Scott is Executive Chef and part owner of Arch Rock Fish in Santa Barbara.

Podcasts

Segment One: Chef Jet Tila
Segment Two: Gustavo Arellano, Editor of The OC Weekly & author of Taco USA – How Mexican Food Conquered America Part One
Segment Three: Gustavo Arellano, Editor of The OC Weekly & author of Taco USA – How Mexican Food Conquered America Part Two
Segment Four: Mark Echeverria, the General Manager & Proprietor of the Musso & Frank Grill in Hollywood
Segment Five: Chef Scott Leibfried, Gordon Ramsay’s sous chef on Fox TV’s “Hell’s Kitchen” for the past 10 years. Executive Chef of Arch Rock Fish is Santa Barbara Part One
Segment Six: Chef Scott Leibfried, Gordon Ramsay’s sous chef on Fox TV’s “Hell’s Kitchen” for the past 10 years. Executive Chef of Arch Rock Fish is Santa Barbara Part Two

Show 13, January 19, 2013: Brock Radke, Food & Web Editor, Las Vegas Weekly

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklySome big deal new restaurants opened in Las Vegas (both on and off The Strip) toward the end of last year. And our own Brock Radke from Las Vegas Weekly has the scoop.

Alex Stratta, a well-recognized fixture at Wynn Las Vegas for many years, has decamped Sin City for Beverly Hills. He’s now executive chef at Scarpetta at Montage Beverly Hills for Scott Conant.

Chef Kim Canteenwalla opened Society Café at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. His wife is respected restaurant consultant and concept developer Elizabeth Blau. Together they opened a neighborhood casual spot, Honey Salt, in Rampart Commons across the street from Boca Park. It’s a locals’ place that’s also family friendly.

Amazingly, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay opened two new spots the same week. The larger concept is Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace. It’s already doing good business but there are consistency problems due to the mobs of guests being served.

Every Strip Hotel has a gourmet burger spot these days so Gordon Ramsay is in on that action, too, with Gordon Ramsay BurGR at Planet Hollywood. Brock recommends their burgers and thinks it’s a fun lunch experience for the Family that won’t break the bank.

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Show 10, December 22, 2012: (Chef) Jeffrey Frederick, VP of Food & Beverage for Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas

Jeffrey Frederick, VP of food and beverage, Caesars Entertainment; Jeff Eichelberger, Wine Sommelier, Gordon Ramsay Steak; JP Teresi, General Manager, Gordon Ramsay Steak; Steve Yi, Pastry Chef, Gordon Ramsay Steak; Kevin Hee, Executive Chef, Gordon Ramsay Steak; Chef Gordon RamsayOn Monday evening in Las Vegas (Dec. 17th) Gordon Ramsay Steak at The Paris in Las Vegas hosted a spectacular Friends of James Beard Foundation Benefit (five courses plus passed hors d’oeuvres to start, and wine pairings for each course) to fund the new Gordon Ramsay Steak scholarship at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Las Vegas.

Mr. Frederick introduced the dinner as well as presented the closing remarks. Chef Ramsay also spoke and greeted all of the guests.

Jeffrey recounted the evening. He also detailed all of the recently opened Chef Gordon Ramsay restaurants in Las Vegas.

Gordon Ramsay Steak opened last May and has already served an astonishing 82,495 guests as of early December! Last Tuesday evening Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill opened at Caesar’s Palace in the former Bradley Ogden space, and today, Dec. 22nd Gordon Ramsay BurGR debuts at Planet Hollywood. To open two, high-profile, celebrity chef restaurants in Las Vegas in the space of a week has to be a record!

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Show 4: October 27, 2012: Brock Radke of Las Vegas Weekly

Our Las Vegas insider, Brock, was back with more great finds.

Chef Gordon Ramsay is going to have three restaurants open on The Strip before the end of the year. Looks like the Brits have landed. Already launched is Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas. Next up is Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in the former Bradley Ogden space in the center of the action at Caesar’s Palace on the way to Forum Shops.

The 3rd spot is a burger joint, GR Burger, with a youthful vibe. It’s going to be at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. All three properties are owned by Caesars Entertainment.
Brock then moved Downtown to highlight the resurgence there. There is new nightlife on E. Fremont St. Insert Coin(s) is a happening video game centric nightclub. Brock also recommends a favorite breakfast spot and his top pick for Thai.

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