Show 418, March 27, 2021: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Los Angeles

Piero Salvaggio of Drago Centro

“For over forty years, Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio (Valentino and Valentino Restaurant Group) and Restaurateur / Chef Celestino Drago of the famed Drago Brothers have been close friends, colleagues, and competitors in the thriving Los Angeles dining scene. Now, their longstanding relationship has transcended to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles last year as new Managing Partner!”

“Originally from Sicily, both Piero and Celestino met over forty years ago in Los Angeles when Celestino first came to the states. Piero opened the renowned Valentino, the flagship restaurant in his Valentino Restaurant Group in Santa Monica in 1972. Valentino was widely regarded as one of the finest Italian restaurants in the U.S. and credited with introducing Angelenos to true Italian food, fresh ingredients and new products. Also, introducing a new wave of Italian Chefs that in time built world-wide reputations on the their own.”

“Piero went on to build a multimillion-dollar restaurant empire garnering numerous James Beard Foundation awards for its wine list and service, along with critical acclaim for its food, wine, and service by top national publications. In 2018, after forty-five plus years, he decided to retire and close Valentino to look for new challenges. After launching Louie’s by the Bay (with restaurateur Ron Salisbury) in Newport Beach, Piero met again with Celestino and started considering Drago Centro as the perfect venue for a new chapter.”

Now that Drago Centro has again reopened for inviting patio dining (along with inside seating at the allowable 25 per cent capacity) nightly (except Sunday) the always gracious Piero Selvaggio returns with the update.

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Show 388, August 29, 2020: Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Downtown Los Angeles Part One

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa Monica“For over forty years, Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio (Valentino and Valentino Restaurant Group) and Restaurateur/Chef Celestino Drago of the famed Drago Brothers have been close friends, colleagues, and competitors in the thriving Los Angeles dining scene. Now, their longstanding relationship transcends to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially has welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles as new Managing Partner!”

“Originally from Sicily, both Piero and Celestino met over forty years ago in Los Angeles when Celestino first came to the states. Piero opened the renowned Valentino, the flagship restaurant in his Valentino Restaurant Group in Santa Monica in 1972. Valentino was widely regarded as one of the finest Italian restaurants in the U.S. and credited with introducing Angelenos to true Italian food, fresh ingredients and new products. Also, introducing a new wave of Italian Chefs that in time built world-wide reputations on the their own.”

“Piero went on to build a multimillion-dollar restaurant empire garnering numerous James Beard Foundation awards for its wine list and service, along with critical acclaim for its food, wine, and service by top national publications. In 2018, after forty-five plus years, he decided to retire and close Valentino to look for new challenges. After launching Louie’s by the Bay (with Ron Salisbury) in Newport Beach, Piero met again with Celestino and started considering Drago Centro as the perfect venue for a new chapter.”

Now that Drago Centro has reopened for inviting patio dining the always gracious Piero Selvaggio returns with the update.

Play

Show 337, August 17, 2019: Greg Rowen, Managing Partner, Foundation 10 Creative, Palm Springs

Greg Rowen of Foundation 10 CreativeSeasoned hospitality veteran Greg Rowen oversees the restaurants for Foundation 10 Creative as Managing Partner. In San Francisco he was previously General Manager of Traci des Jardins’ acclaimed Jardiniere and later the opening General Manager for Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills.

Mr. Lyons is the newest addition to the F10 family, opened in 2015 as a reimagining of Lyons English Grille. We’ve taken steak and created a “New Classic” giving it a conscientious modern update, with a menu that puts local, small farms first.”

“Our grand dining room is pure old Hollywood glamour with a steak-centered menu boasting infinite sides and the kind of table side service that instantly transports you to a by gone era. Our classic cocktail hideaway, Seymour’s, offers something a little more relaxed, where you can savor a true classic cocktail or something seasonal and new. Mr. Lyons is steak done right!”

We’ll chat with Greg about the revitalization and repositioning of Mr. Lyons Steakhouse. There is more on the plate there than just another premium steakhouse.

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Show 310, February 9, 2019: Jordan Ogron, Managing Partner, Tesse, Tesse Café & Bakery, Boutellier, Sunset Strip, West Hollywood

Jordan OgronThe Tesse West Hollywood creative team has rebranded and transformed the adjacent Fred Segal Café on the Sunset Strip as the more casual Tesse Café & Bakery with weekday lunch service. Distinctive desserts from partner Sally Camacho Mueller, pastry chef extraordinaire.

“After opening Tesse Restaurant last summer, and introducing Weekend Brunch last Fall, chefs Raphael Francois and Sally Camacho Mueller are excited to introduce an all new Lunch Menu and debut Tesse Café & Bakery. (formerly Fred Segal Café) Open daily from 8am to 6pm, there will be a selection of housemade pastries, coffee, tea, wine and beer available to order at the counter. Monday through Friday, a full lunch menu will be offered from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. including salads, hot sandwiches, pastas and entrees as well as plated desserts.”

“Chef Raphael has developed a menu with lighter fare such as a Shaved Fennel Salad with Citrus, Spinach and Chickpeas and Local Seabass Ceviche with Passion Fruit, Cucumber, Mirin & Celery, to heartier dishes like Croque Monsieur Classique, or Steak Frites with Skirt Steak, Pesto, Watercress and Duck Fat Fries. Desserts include Chocolate Hazelnut Profiteroles and Lemon Meringue Tart.”

Managing Partner & wine guru Jordan Ogron (Boutellier) has all the tasty details.

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Show 71, May 3, 2014: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Multiple James Beard Award-winning Pastry Chef Sherry Yard is familiar to the listening audience of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” Her work-in-progress is the ambitious revival of the Helms Bakery in Los Angeles on the border with Culver City.

She will tell us all about her exciting new position as Corporate Vice President of the Culinary Division of iPic Theaters. Watching a movie on the big screen should be a deluxe experience with food to match!

There is a relatively new hidden gem of a very personal farm-to-table restaurant in Venice. That’s Barnyard Venice. Come hungry and prepare to be pleasantly surprised and also well-taken care of.

Nan Kohler, the Managing Partner of Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, is back for an encore. This time she’ll also be speaking about gluten-free and the milling process for flour.

Barbara Fairchild, the well-traveled Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com is back with us to share some inspired restaurant finds from her recent travels both in Europe and in The States.

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar in Tustin has a new location on the Bay in Newport Beach. It’s a “wow” of a spot!

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

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Show 71, May 3, 2014: Chef Yvon Goetz, Chef & Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, Tustin and Newport Beach

Yvon Goetz of the Winery Restaurant and BarThe Winery Restaurant & Bar at the District in Tustin has created quite a splash over the last six years. All that was missing was an ocean view.

Newly arrived on the Bay in Newport Beach is the 2nd location for The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar. Partner/ Executive Chef Yvon Goetz is overseeing the kitchen here, too. It’s dinner only at present. Lunch will be coming on the weekends. Chef Yvon is our guest.

The new Winery brings the same distinctive experience as its flagship location in The District in Tustin. This one strives to make the guest feel like they have been transported to a relaxing getaway in Napa or Sonoma. This escape features ocean views from the second-story dining room and breathtaking bar.

The menu here is a bit more seafood centric. Some of the fish (Opah, Ono, and Mahi Mahi) is flown in from Hawaii daily. There is a special emphasis on fresh oysters and other shellfish.

“The major difference with this location will be the stunning views of the waterfront and boat access. We anticipate endless possibilities, with something to suit every palate,” said JC Clow, Managing Partner of The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar. Three private docks are available for guests to arrive via the Marina.

Play

May 3: Sherry Yard, Jesse Barber, Nan Kohler, Barbara Fairchild, Yvon Goetz

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Sherry Yard of iPic Theaters and Helms Bakery Part One
Segment Three: Sherry Yard of iPic Theaters and Helms Bakery Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Jesse Barber of Barnyard Venice
Segment Five: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, Pasadena Part One
Segment Six: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, Pasadena Part Two
Segment Seven: Barbara Fairchild, Restaurant & Travel Editor, grapecollective.com, editor, writer, speaker and consultant
Segment Eight: Chef Yvon Goetz, Chef & Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, Tustin and Newport Beach

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Multiple James Beard Award-winning Pastry Chef Sherry Yard is familiar to the listening audience of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” Her work-in-progress is the ambitious revival of the Helms Bakery in Los Angeles on the border with Culver City.

She will tell us all about her exciting new position as Corporate Vice President of the Culinary Division of iPic Theaters. Watching a movie on the big screen should be a deluxe experience with food to match !

There is a relatively new hidden gem of a very personal farm-to-table restaurant in Venice. That’s Barnyard Venice. Come hungry and prepare to be pleasantly surprised and also well-taken care of.

Nan Kohler, the Managing Partner of Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, is back for an encore. This time she’ll also be speaking about gluten-free.

Barbara Fairchild, the well-traveled Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com is back with us to share some inspired restaurant finds from her recent travels both in Europe and in The States.

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar in Tustin has a new location on the Bay in Newport Beach. It’s a “wow” of a spot!

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

Sherry YardRenowned pastry chef and best-selling cookbook author Sherry Yard spent close to 20 years with Wolfgang Puck. She also has been awarded two prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards! On May 5th in New York City Sherry is being inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America. It’s an elite group…

In late 2012 she left Spago to realize a dream project with Sang Yoon. That’s the reopening (and revamping) of the fondly remembered Helms Bakery in Los Angeles on the border of Culver City.

She has just stepped into the newly created position of Corporate Vice President of Culinary Direction for iPic Theaters.

Their new state-of-the-art Westwood complex has just opened. Locally-sourced gourmet food is now on the menu for the luxury movie viewing experience.

She also somehow finds the time to actively serve on both the National and L.A. Boards of the Careers through Culinary Arts Program. (C-CAP.)

The iPic Theaters menu for Westwood even includes Helms Treats. There are premium signature cookies and even frozen novelties!

On the ground floor there is an Italian restaurant (Tanzy) open to the public for lunch and dinner.

Sherry Yard was on hand Sunday, April 25th on Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills to observe the cutting of Chef Donald Wressell’s breathtaking birthday cake for the 100th Anniversary of the City of Beverly Hills. Chef Donald is the corporate chef for Guittard Chocolate Co. Sherry has created incredible desserts for the Oscars and was truly impressed with the incredible results. 15,000 slices of deliciousness were served!

Adding a needed basement to the Helms Bakery (where there was none before) has delayed the project. Sherry is now looking at a 2015 launch.

Jesse Barber of Barnyard VeniceBarnyard Venice (opened in 2012) is a bit of a find housed in an old cottage on Pacific Avenue. It’s rustic and comfortable.

Chef Jesse Barber, an alum of the kitchen at Tasting Kitchen, is the menu-maker. Earlier in his career he worked with Thomas Keller at both The French Laundry and Bouchon. He’s put together an ever changing menu with an emphasis on local ingredients. He’s a regular at the Santa Monica Farmers Markets and that’s the basis for his menu which changes almost daily.

His grilled octopus is a standout.

Ramen Tuesday is at the bar.

Nan KohlerNan Kohler is the Managing Partner of Grist & Toll – An urban Flour Mill in Pasadena. She has extensive background in baking.

Nan discusses her take on celiac disease and the growing need for gluten-free products.

On Sunday, May 4th Chef Bruce Kalman of Pasadena’s Union is cooking a dinner in conjunction with Grist & Toll. Union uses many of their products including their polenta which is a favorite of Chef Jet’s.

Chef Kalman will incorporate Grist & Toll’s whole-grain milled fresh flours into five courses. The price is $85 per guest.

Nan explains how the flours produced by Grist & Toll differ from the commercial enriched flour that goes into plain white bread. A lot of the nutritional value is surprisingly lost with the processing of conventional enriched flour.

Nan is also starting to offer baking classes.

Barbara FairchildIt’s a pleasure to welcome food journalist Barbara Fairchild back to the show. She is an editor, writer, speaker and consultant. She was the long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine before the publication relocated to New York.

Her newest position is Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com.

Based on her recent travels Barbara has restaurant finds for us from both London and Paris.

Yvon Goetz of the Winery Restaurant and BarThe Winery Restaurant & Bar at the District in Tustin has created quite a splash over the last six years. All that was missing was an ocean view.

Newly arrived on the Bay in Newport Beach is the 2nd location for The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar. Partner/ Executive Chef Yvon Goetz is overseeing the kitchen here, too. It’s dinner only at present. Lunch will be coming on the weekends. Chef Yvon is our guest.

The new Winery brings the same distinctive experience as its flagship location in The District in Tustin. This one strives to make the guest feel like they have been transported to a relaxing getaway in Napa or Sonoma. This escape features ocean views from the second-story dining room and breathtaking bar.

The menu here is a bit more seafood centric. Some of the fish (Opah, Ono, and Mahi Mahi) +is flown in from Hawaii daily.

“The major difference with this location will be the stunning views of the waterfront and boat access. We anticipate endless possibilities, with something to suit every palate,” said JC Clow, Managing Partner of The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar. Three private docks are available for guests to arrive via the Marina.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Sherry Yard of iPic Theaters and Helms Bakery Part One
Segment Three: Sherry Yard of iPic Theaters and Helms Bakery Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Jesse Barber of Barnyard Venice
Segment Five: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, Pasadena Part One
Segment Six: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, Pasadena Part Two
Segment Seven: Barbara Fairchild, Restaurant & Travel Editor, grapecollective.com, editor, writer, speaker and consultant
Segment Eight: Chef Yvon Goetz, Chef & Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, Tustin and Newport Beach

Show 66, March 22, 2014: David Wicker, Managing Partner and Vice President of Sales & Marketing, West Coast Prime Meats

West Coast Prime MeatsWest Coast Prime Meats really knows the meat business as only an insider can. Most of their seasoned, senior executives have an extensive background in the restaurant business or are master butchers. If fact West Coast’s key master butcher has more than 30 years experience in the field.

Dave Wicker, WCPM’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing and Managing Partner, is back with us to talk beef. We’ll talk about wet and dry aging and the cuts of steak. We’ll also weigh-in on whether having the bone-in on a steak adds more flavor once it’s cooked.

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March 22: Brooke Williamson, Selanne Steak Tavern, Grand Central Market, Eat LBC, Food Network 20th Anniversary, Blue Bottle Coffee

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Brooke Williamson, Hudson House, The Tripel and soon, Playa Provisions
Segment Three: Executive Chef Josh Severson, Selanne Steak Tavern
Segment Four: Kevin West, journalist, cookbook author, home preserving expert
Segment Five: Elizabeth Borsting and Terri Henry, Co-Producers, EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week
Segment Six: Eric Boardman, Food & Travel TV Producer, On-Camera Host & Personality, and Writer
Segment Seven: David Wicker, Managing Partner and Vice President of Sales & Marketing, West Coast Prime Meats
Segment Eight: James Freeman, Founder & CEO, Blue Bottle Coffee

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Chef Brooke Williamson of Hudson House and The Tripel is back with us. Her latest venture, Playa Provisions, is about to debut. In Laguna Beach we’re checking in with Executive Chef Josh Severson at the booming Selanne Steak Tavern.

The Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles is the grandfather of food halls in the area. Exciting things are going on there with the arrival of distinctive new food businesses. We’re continuing with our preview of EAT LBC, Long Beach’s first ever restaurant week set for March 30th through April 5th.

The Food Network celebrated its 20th Anniversary last year. That’s a lot of history. We’ll be talking about the early days of FN with one of their original show hosts.

Also on the menu is another information segment with our resident meat expert. We’ll discuss wet and dry aging and other meaty matters.

The hit of the just concluded Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim was a new cold-brewed coffee from Blue Bottle Coffee. The founder of Blue Bottle Coffee is with us to explain.

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

Brooke Williamson of Hudson House and TripelChef Brooke Williamson’s entire life has always been about food. With chef-husband Nick Roberts she now owns Hudson House in Redondo Beach and The Tripel in Playa Del Rey. Both are popular neighborhood spots. Soon to launch is their latest venture, Playa Provisions.

Chef Brooke has earned a Level 1 accreditation from The Court of Master Sommeliers.

Chef Brooke gained a national following on Bravo’s “Top Chef – Season 10” were she finished as a runner up. There is a strong rumor she will be part of Celebrity Cruises’ “Top Chef at Sea,” 7-day voyage to Alaska on August 15th out of Seattle.

Josh SeversonWe’re revisiting the new Selanne Steak Tavern in Laguna Beach. It’s less than a half-year old but is already attracting loyal repeat diners from the highly discriminating neighborhood. Our guest is Executive Chef Joshua Severson.

Chef Josh previously spent time with celebrity chef Tom Colicchio at CraftSteak in Las Vegas at The MGM Grand.

There is a lot more than juicy steaks on the Selanne Steak Tavern menu.

Kevin WestKevin West is a respected writer, cookbook author and hobbyist-turned professional-canner. His first cookbook (published last year) was, Saving the Season: a cook’s guide to home canning, pickling, and preserving.

He’s also part of the team suggesting the appealing new food enterprises at the historic Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles, opened in 1917. Already there (and making an impression) are Valerie Confections, Horse Thief BBQ, G&B Coffee, Eggslut, DTLA Cheese, and Sticky Rice.

On the way are Wexler’s Deli, The Oyster Gourmet, Olio Pizzeria, and Berlin Currywurst. Also opening soon is Belcampo Meat Co., a full-service butcher shop featuring organic, grass-fed meats.

Eat LBC Long Beach Restaurant WeekOver 50 Long Beach restaurants are participating in EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week, the city’s first-ever Restaurant Week. The dates are March 30th through April 5th.

Several prominent Long Beach neighborhoods are represented including Downtown, East Village, Downtown Waterfront, Belmont Shore, Belmont Heights, the PCH Corridor and East Anaheim/Zafaria District. In addition to their regular menu, each restaurant will offer a special three-course menu during Restaurant Week which includes an appetizer, entrée and dessert for $26 at casual eateries, and $38 at fine dining establishments. Tax and gratuity are additional.

Restaurants participate in restaurant weeks to persuade first-time guests to return. You see restaurants at their very best and the menus are value priced.

Co-producers Elizabeth Borsting and Terri Henry join us to preview Restaurant Week.

Clearly The Food Network which celebrated it’s 20th Anniversary last year has had a major influence on American popular opinion. They had to create a 2nd channel, “The Cooking Channel,” to accommodate all the potential sponsors who wanted to be represented. It’s now actually cool to talk about food and cook. Dudes share recipes…Chefs have become huge celebrities. Wolfgang Puck is better known World Wide than a lot of film and TV celebrities.

Eric BoardmanFood Network started modestly and with tight budgets. Our guest, Eric Boardman, was there in the early days. In 1999 he was the host of the popular series “Calling All Cooks.” The concept was the host going into the guest’s home kitchen where they make (with the series host) a recipe they are famous for in their immediate social circles, family or community. A lot were shot in Southern California but some exotic locations were used, too. The guests were talented home cooks.

West Coast Prime MeatsWest Coast Prime Meats really knows the meat business as only an insider can. Most of their seasoned, senior executives have an extensive background in the restaurant business or are master butchers. If fact West Coast’s key master butcher has more than 30 years experience in the field.

Dave Wicker, WCPM’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing and Managing Partner, is back with us to talk beef. We’ll talk about wet and dry aging and the cuts of steak. We’ll also weigh-in on whether having the bone-in on a steak adds moré flavor once it’s cooked.

James Freeman of Blue Bottle CoffeeBlue Bottle Coffee is a sensation for coffee lovers in San Francisco and New York. They are soon to arrive locally in Venice on Abbot Kinney Blvd. and in Culver City.

Blue Bottle Coffee was a big hit at the recently concluded Natural Products Expo West @ the Anaheim Convention Center. They were there to introduce their newest product, Cold Brewed New Orleans Iced Coffee packaged in a mini milk carton. It was one of the biggest hits at the show and the talk of the floor!

Founder and CEO James Freeman is with us to provide the background. He was actually at the show pouring samples!

Blue Bottle Coffee – New Orleans Iced Coffee. Blended with chicory, cane sugar & Clover Organic Milk.

“Near the beginning of the 19th Century, the French brought chicory-infused coffee to New Orleans. Two hundred years later we crafted our own organic, cold—brewed version for our farmers market stand, adding cane sugar and whole milk. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Brooke Williamson, Hudson House, The Tripel and soon, Playa Provisions
Segment Three: Executive Chef Josh Severson, Selanne Steak Tavern
Segment Four: Kevin West, journalist, cookbook author, home preserving expert
Segment Five: Elizabeth Borsting and Terri Henry, Co-Producers, EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week
Segment Six: Eric Boardman, Food & Travel TV Producer, On-Camera Host & Personality, and Writer
Segment Seven: David Wicker, Managing Partner and Vice President of Sales & Marketing, West Coast Prime Meats
Segment Eight: James Freeman, Founder & CEO, Blue Bottle Coffee

February 22: UNLV, Coffee Bean, Five Crowns, West Coast Prime Meats, Grill ‘em All Burgers, DOMA Beverly Hills

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Stowe Shoemaker, Dean, William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Segment Three: Jay Isais, Senior Director, Coffee Roasting & Manufacturing, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Segment Four: Jim Colombo, General Manager, Five Crowns and SideDoor, Corona del Mar
Segment Five: David Wicker, Managing Partner and Vice President of Sales & Marketing, West Coast Prime Meats
Segment Six: Ryan Harkins, Executive Chef & Co-owner, Grill ‘em All Burgers
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Dustin J. Trani, DOMA Beverly Hills
Segment Eight: Jet Tila with your questions and his answers

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Jet Tila and a heritage pig at Cochon 555 in 2013Remember the L.A. tour stop of Cochon USA is Sunday, February 23rd at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica from 4 to 8:00 p.m. Ray Garcia of Fig Restaurant is the host chef. It’s a celebration of heritage pork raised on family farms. Our own Jet Tila will be there cooking an additional late-night heritage pig for the After-Party.

UNLV in Las Vegas has the most respected hospitality management program in the West. The Dean of the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration there joins us to profile the prestigious program. Unusual cuts of beef are finding their way onto fine dining restaurants menus. We’ll be speaking with a meat expert to better understand these cuts. A coffee authority is with us to talk about the current trends in roasting coffee. You’ll also hear about a relatively new contemporary Mediterranean/Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills with an energetic young chef in the kitchen and an exciting pastry chef with impressive credentials. Orange County Restaurant Week launches February 23rd. We’ll have a preview with the GM of one of the classic participating restaurants. Also on the menu is an award-winning and high profile food truck (with an edge) that graduated to opening an even more successful brick and mortar location in an unexpected location.

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

Stowe Shoemaker is the Dean of the William F Harrah College of Hotel Administration at University of Nevada Las VegasThe most distinguished hospitality and restaurant management program in the West is the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at UNLV in Las Vegas. Stowe Shoemaker (a Cornell University School of Hotel Administration alum) is the Dean. Before joining UNLV, Dean Shoemaker spent 19 years as an educator at Cornell. Food Network’s Guy Fieri is a graduate of UNLV’s program.

Las Vegas serves as one of the world’s largest hospitality and tourism laboratories. The school provides valuable internships and mentors. The hospitality-management bachelor’s-degree program provides a broad educational approach to a career in the hospitality industry.
Students can select a concentration in gaming management, meetings and conventions, professional golf management, or restaurant management.

The school is ranked #4 in the world by the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research.

Jay Isais of the Coffee Bean and Tea LeafWe had such a great response to the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s Jay Isais ( eye-zay-us) from last year that we’ve invited him back to share another steaming cup of brew. This time the discussion is on the roasting of coffee beans and how that impacts flavor. Jay is the Senior Director, Coffee Roasting & Manufacturing for the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

Jay also provides insight into the three major coffee growing areas of the world and what the flavor profile of the resulting coffee is.

Orange County Restaurant WeekThe OC’s most anticipated, and delicious, dining event, Orange County Restaurant Week, returns from February 23rd to March 1st. Diners will have the opportunity to enjoy the wide spectrum of dining options in the County at special prices for prix-fixe menus for both lunch and dinner.

Over 100 restaurants are part of Orange County Restaurant Week.

The iconic Five Crowns, a Corona del Mar landmark, is one of the participating restaurants. General Manager Jim Colombo (also a chef by background and training) joins us to preview his special menu.

West Coast Prime MeatsWest Coast Prime Meats really knows the meat business as only an insider can. Most of their seasoned, senior executives have an extensive background in the restaurant business or are master butchers. If fact West Coast’s key master butcher has more than 30 years experience in the field.

Dave Wicker, WCPM’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing and Managing Partner, is with us to talk beef. What’s prime beef? An explanation of the process of aging of beef is on the menu. We’ll discuss previously uncommon cuts which are now attracting attention including the Teres Major and the Flat Iron Steak.

Ryan Hankins of Gril Em All BurgersOne of the very first “better burger” food trucks in Los Angeles County, Grill ‘em All Burgers, rolled onto the scene in 2009. As unusual as it sounds it was a heavy metal devotee’s take on the ample burger meal. The founders are Chef Ryan Harkins (a Cleveland native) and Matt Chernus, a former professional wrestler.

The stars were in alignment for them as they were inexplicably cast for the first season of Food Network’s cross-country “Great Food Truck Race.” This was the only season where the competitors were required to have actual food truck experience.

Although the Grill ‘em All guys were on the threshold of elimination on multiple episodes (and expected by the Producers to be out in the early going) they scrappily hung in there and came out on top at the conclusion of the high octane finale in New York! Once the season aired business was such that they needed to secure a second truck.

The gameplan was always to eventually move into the right (affordable) brick and mortar location. That happened last January (2013) when they opened in the Renaissance Theater Plaza in Alhambra in a former (failed) chain 50s diner location. Chef Ryan and Matt have made an odd location work. Grill ‘em All had lines down the block for their anniversary celebration last month. Nights and Weekends are their really busy times.

Future plans include a second location. Down the road Chef Ryan’s goal is to open a burger restaurant in his hometown of Cleveland where the dining scene is now really happening.

The remaining Grill ‘em All truck will soon be back in action for private events.

Dustin TraniDoma Beverly Hills opened rather quietly at 362 N. Camden Dr. in Beverly Hills in 2012. The address is well-known as the long-standing former home of Prego.

What’s creating a lot of excitement there with foodies is the young executive chef, Dustin Trani. He’s all of 29 years-old. He has worked at a Michelin starred restaurant in Italy, cooked at the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, and was chosen by the Governor to represent California in a prestigious national seafood competition in New Orleans.

He’s a 4th generation Los Angeles area Italian chef who started working at age 11 in his family’s restaurant, J. Trani’s, in San Pedro which opened in 1925. He’s also a C-CAP alum. His food is contemporary Mediterranean/Italian with an emphasis on seafood.

His talented pastry chef is Marissa Sharon previously at Scott Conant’s Scarpetta in Beverly Hills. Her mini-cannoli are a real standout.

KnivesWe get questions…

Chef Jet responds to an assortment of inquiries from the overflowing e-mailbag. Jet talks about safety concerns with raw chicken, the selection process for proper knives in the home kitchen, and the quality of frozen fish.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Stowe Shoemaker, Dean, William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Segment Three: Jay Isais, Senior Director, Coffee Roasting & Manufacturing, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Segment Four: Jim Colombo, General Manager, Five Crowns and SideDoor, Corona del Mar
Segment Five: David Wicker, Managing Partner and Vice President of Sales & Marketing, West Coast Prime Meats
Segment Six: Ryan Harkins, Executive Chef & Co-owner, Grill ‘em All Burgers
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Dustin J. Trani, DOMA Beverly Hills
Segment Eight: Jet Tila with your questions and his answers