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

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

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

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

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

Play

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

Podcasts

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

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

$95 per guest including tax and gratuity.

Reservations & Information: 562.799.6246.

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

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

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

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

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

Jay explains this highly sought-after coffee oddity…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s located just South of South Coast Plaza.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Podcasts

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

November 3: Barbara Fairchild, Merrin-Mae Fuentebella, Jason Kessler, Anita Lau, Elizabeth Whitt, Josiah Citrin, Matt Bencivenga

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, food journalist, cookbook author, educator, and consultant
Segment Three: Chef Merrin-Mae, winning cheftestant, Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen”
Segment Four: Jason Kessler, food journalist
Segment Five: Anita Lau of the Mad Hungry Woman blog”
Segment Six: Chef Instructor Elizabeth Whitt
Segment Seven: Josiah Citrin, Chef/Proprietor of Melisse
Segment Eight: Matt Bencivenga, executive chef and partner of the Wolfgang Puck Catering Company

Jet Tila with Ben McKee of Imagine Dragons at Life is Beautiful Festival in Las VegasThanks to all of our loyal & enthusiastic listeners who were part of the audience for Jet’s Saturday afternoon cooking demo with Ben McKee of The Imagine Dragons at the Life Is Beautiful food and music festival in Downtown Las Vegas. It was standing room only for the demo in the Chefs On Stage East tent.

Jet and Andy preview the show. We have everything from a snapshot on where to dine now in New York to what it takes to prepare and serve gourmet food to the demanding VIPs at the Breeder’s Cup at Santa Anita. Also we’ll get the behind-the-scenes with a winning chef from Food Network’s new hit series “Cutthroat Kitchen” hosted by Alton Brown. Jet is one of the regular judges for the first season.

Barbara FairchildBarbara Fairchild is a respected food journalist, cookbook author, consultant, and educator. She is best known to us as the long-time former editor of Bon Appetit Magazine when they were based in Los Angeles.

This summer she taught a course in the Arthur L. Canter Journalism Institute at the prestigious New York University. Barbara tells us all about that as well as provides us with some great Manhattan dining suggestions ranging from a deli find to fine dining Italian and a comfortable celebrity chef restaurant that’s really worth going to.

Merrin Mae FuentebellaChef Merrin-Mae is a cheftestant on the first season of Food Network’s high pressure “Cutthroat Kitchen” hosted by Alton Brown. Her episode is entitled “Kiss My Grits” and was first aired on October 6th.

The level of competition was particularly intense and the sabotages were devilish. Chef Merrin-Mae made us proud in SoCal (she is a local) and she won the episode. One of the other cheftestants was a “Chopped” winner and was eliminated after the first round!

She currently works at Alma with executive chef Ari Taymor. When she did the show she was part of the culinary team at Sotto.

The latest fad diet that is getting a lot of attention is the Paleo Diet (also known as the caveman diet.)

Jason Kessler of Food RepublicFood journalist Jason Kessler of Food Republic and Bon Appetit was actually on the diet for 40 days and shares his experience with us. Jason’s observation is that because the diet is so restrictive you can drop some weight rather quickly. The severely limiting factor is that it gets monotonous rather fast.

San Diego, we haven’t forgotten you.

anita-lauAnita Lau of the Mad Hungry Woman blog is with us with a San Diego dining discovery. Anita was a nominee for a Golden Foodie award in Journalism this year.

Anita’s find is Ristorante Kaz. This is an intriguing Japanese Italian fusion cuisine spot. Anita’s favorite bite was an angel hair pasta dish with creamy sea urchin with spinach and salmon roe.

Elizabeth WhittFeeling ambitious in the kitchen…? Time to get a running start on holiday cooking and entertaining. Our superstar chef instructor, Elizabeth Whitt, of www.ChefElizabeth.com is with us again to get those holiday preparations pointed in the right direction with relative ease.

Pumpkin is in this year. Chef Elizabeth has both a savory and sweet recipe to add to your holiday collection. First up is an incredible Pumpkin Risotto with a fresh baking pumpkin or butternut squash. For dessert there is a not too sweet Pumpkin Cheesecake. Yum….!

When Chef Jet has his own culinary questions he turns Le Cordon Bleu, Paris-trained to Chef Elizabeth. She has a series of popular holiday classes coming up that always sell out early. On November 7th she has “Make-Ahead Holiday Side Dishes” from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and “Holiday Pies and Desserts” the same day from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Then on December 5th its her most popular class, “Appetizers and Hors D’oeuvres,” from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

All classes are at the Cypress Community Center in Cypress.

Josiah CitrinFifteen years ago when fine-dining restaurants located outside of the protective umbrella of luxury hotels were at a low ebb in Los Angeles Chef Josiah Citrin sold his stake in a very popular Santa Monica dinner house and went out on his own to open a ultra-luxe, destination, freestanding, fine-dining, contemporary French restaurant with California accents. That was the start of Melisse. All these years later it still impresses.

Josiah is a new member of the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation’s prestigious Culinary Council. On November 10th Josiah and five other culinary superstars will join forces to cook an extraordinary six course repast at Melisse in Santa Monica to raise funds for The Foundation. Two different levels of wine-pairings are available for a supplement.

The esteemed group of chefs includes Gavin Kaysen, the Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Operations for Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud in New York, Palm Beach, and Toronto. He has previously represented the USA in the Bocuse d’Or culinary competition. For reservations please call 310.395.0881.

The Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation, established in 2008, is a non-profit organization led by a Board of Directors of renowned chefs Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and Jerome Bocuse (Paul’s son.) The Foundation is devoted to recruiting, training, and financially supporting the promising young American chefs who compete on behalf of the United States in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or competition, held in Lyon, France every two years. Think of it as the Olympics of the culinary world…

The 2013 Breeder’s Cup, horse racing’s premier international event, returns to storied Santa Anita Park on November 1st and 2nd.

Matt BencivengaWolfgang Puck Catering (they cater the annual Governors Ball for The Oscars) has been selected to serve it’s fine-dining, seasonal cuisine to some 5,000 demanding VIP attendees. Wolfgang Puck Catering’s cuisine will be served in the Trackside Marquee, Frontrunner, Sierra Vista, Trophy Lounge and the Chandelier Room.

Founding Executive Chef and Partner (of Wolfgang Puck Catering) Matt Bencivenga joins us to talk about the challenges of maintaining Spago quality at large events. It takes a lot of skill, planning, and an army of chefs.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, food journalist, cookbook author, educator, and consultant
Segment Three: Chef Merrin-Mae, winning cheftestant, Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen”
Segment Four: Jason Kessler, food journalist
Segment Five: Anita Lau of the Mad Hungry Woman blog”
Segment Six: Chef Instructor Elizabeth Whitt
Segment Seven: Josiah Citrin, Chef/Proprietor of Melisse
Segment Eight: Matt Bencivenga, executive chef and partner of the Wolfgang Puck Catering Company