Show 211, February 18, 2017: 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards – Announcement of Restaurant and Chef Semifinalists

James Beard AwardsThis past week the 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards Restaurant and Chef Semifinalists were announced. Congratulations to all the California Semifinalists. On March 15th The Foundation will announce the Final Nominations in all categories at a breakfast press conference at a.o.c restaurant in Los Angeles. This is the first time in the 27-year history of The Awards that the Final Nominations will be announced in Los Angeles.

A tip of the toque to Chef Curtis Stone on the Semifinalist Nomination for Gwen for Best New Restaurant, Caroline Styne on the Semifinalist Nomination for Outstanding Restaurateur, Marche Moderne for the Semifinalist Nomination for Outstanding Service and Studio at Montage, Laguna Beach for the Semifinalist Nomination for Outstanding Wine Program.

Best wishes to all!

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Show 191, October 1, 2016: Anita Lau, Mad Hungry Woman blogger

Anita Lau of Mad Hungry WomanThe Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, joins us with a gem of a San Diego County dining discovery in Del Mar. This is Tasting Room Del Mar with both outdoor and indoor seating.

Earlier in his career the chef there, Steven Lona, was part of the opening team at both Marche Moderne in South Coast Plaza as well as Charlie Palmer’s at Bloomingdales in South Coast Plaza. No wonder the food is first-rate.

The standout dish for Anita was the Pork Belly “because it is absolutely fantastic.” The full review is available on her blog.

Anita also shares her first impressions (especially the libations) of the long-in-the-works El Mercado Modern Cuisine in Santa Ana. This is a new concept from the chef/proprietor (Daniel Godinez) of the highly regarded Anepalco.

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Show 137, September 5, 2015: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Thanks for sharing your Labor Day Weekend with us!

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, and now, Irvine at UCI, is back as today’s special Guest Host.

Next a tantalizing preview of Saturday’s festive and appropriately loaded show and not, with apologies, for dieters. With any luck we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

Premium tea is gaining traction at better restaurants everywhere. Steve Schwartz, a Master Tea Blender, is our guest. Steve is serious about tea! He’s the incredibly knowledgeable proprietor of the locally-based, Art of Tea. For starters Art of Tea supplies Bestia, Pizzeria Mozza, Sotto, Son of a Gun, and many more fine restaurants. We’ll also learn about the the intriguing 8 Minute Digital Detox with Tea.”

We last chatted with the Midway Gourmet, Dominic Palmieri, at the beginning of the 125th Anniversary OC Fair. His standout new item at Biggy’s, located on the Midway at The Fair, was as Bacon-Wrapped Pork Belly on a stick. Now it’s on to the L.A. County Fair through Sept. 27th. We’ll find out what’s on the menu for the L.A. County Fair and get the post-Fair results for Orange County’s “One Big Party.”

If you’re a fan of bouillabaisse, the celebrated fresh seafood stew from Provence, then you need to plan your evening at Marche Moderne in South Coast Plaza. Nightly from September 10th through Sunday, September 20th is their annual Bouillabaisse 2015 festival! It’s an occasion worthy of celebration.

After 25 years in business, The Halal Guys are expanding from New York’s City’s most popular food cart to its first West Coast brick-and-mortar fast casual location in Costa Mesa. In New York the cart is famous for “The Never-Ending Line.” Well-known for its gyro sandwiches, chicken-and-rice platters and mystery white sauce, The Halal Guys menu offers a mix of various Middle Eastern dishes. The area franchisee for SoCal, Thomas Pham, joins us.

East Coasters particularly enjoy their clams of which there are two main varieties. You hear Easterners long for Ispswich Belly Clams. There is also the revered white clam pizza to consider. We’ll now get the basics of Clam 411 from our own, and highly knowledgeable, Chef Andrew Gruel. This is no shell game…

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

Play

Show 137, September 5, 2015: Chef / Proprietor Florent Marneau, Marche Moderne

Florent and Amelia Marneau of Marche Moderne at South Coast PlazaIf you’re a fan of bouillabaisse, the celebrated fresh seafood stew from Provence, then you need to head over to Marche Moderne in South Coast Plaza. Nightly from September 10th through Sunday, September 20th is their annual Bouillabaisse 2015 festival! It’s an occasion worthy of celebration.

Chef/Proprietor Florent Marneau flies in his fish from the South of France. In the bouillabaisse you’ll see Saint-Pierre, Daurade Royale or Seabream and Rouget or Rascasse. There is also a carefully selected group of Rose wines (available by the glass or bottle) to pair with the bouillabaisse.

The keys to a great bouillabaisse are the broth (made with fish bones) and the quality of the fish.

These nights at Marche Moderne are very popular. Reservations are needed.

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September 5: Andrew Gruel, Art of Tea, Midway Gourmet, Marche Moderne, Halal Guys

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Steve Schwartz, Master Tea Blender, Art of Tea Part One
Segment Three: Steve Schwartz, Master Tea Blender, Art of Tea Part Two
Segment Four: Dominic Palmieri, Midway Gourmet Part One
Segment Five: Dominic Palmieri, Midway Gourmet Part Two
Segment Six: Chef / Proprietor Florent Marneau, Marche Moderne
Segment Seven: The Halal Guys, Thomas Pham, SoCal Franchisee
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish

Thanks for sharing your Labor Day Weekend with us!

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, and now, Irvine at UCI, is back as today’s special Guest Host.

Next a tantalizing preview of Saturday’s festive and appropriately loaded show and not, with apologies, for dieters. With any luck we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

Premium tea is gaining traction at better restaurants everywhere. Steve Schwartz, a Master Tea Blender, is our guest. Steve is serious about tea! He’s the incredibly knowledgeable proprietor of the locally-based, Art of Tea. For starters Art of Tea supplies Bestia, Pizzeria Mozza, Sotto, Son of a Gun, and many more fine restaurants. We’ll also learn about the the intriguing “8 Minute Digital Detox with Tea.”

We last chatted with the Midway Gourmet, Dominic Palmieri, at the beginning of the 125th Anniversary OC Fair. His standout new item at Biggy’s, located on the Midway at The Fair, was as Bacon-Wrapped Pork Belly on a stick. Now it’s on to the L.A. County Fair through Sept. 27th. We’ll find out what’s on the menu for the L.A. County Fair and get the post-Fair results for Orange County’s “One Big Party.”

If you’re a fan of bouillabaisse, the celebrated fresh seafood stew from Provence, then you need to plan your evening at Marche Moderne in South Coast Plaza. Nightly from September 10th through Sunday, September 20th is their annual Bouillabaisse 2015 festival! It’s an occasion worthy of celebration.

After 25 years in business, The Halal Guys are expanding from New York’s City’s most popular food cart to its first West Coast brick-and-mortar fast casual location in Costa Mesa. In New York the cart is famous for “The Never-Ending Line.” Well-known for its gyro sandwiches, chicken-and-rice platters and mystery white sauce, The Halal Guys menu offers a mix of various Middle Eastern dishes. The area franchisee for SoCal, Thomas Pham, joins us.

East Coasters particularly enjoy their clams of which there are two main varieties. You hear Easterners long for Ispswich Belly Clams. There is also the revered white clam pizza to consider. We’ll now get the basics of Clam 411 from our own, and highly knowledgeable, Chef Andrew Gruel. This is no shell game…

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

Steve SchwartzPremium tea is gaining traction at the better restaurants everywhere. Steve Schwartz, a Master Tea Blender, is our guest. Steve is serious about tea! He’s the incredibly knowledgeable proprietor of the locally-based, Art of Tea. For starters Art of Tea supplies Bestia, Pizzeria Mozza, Sotto, Son of a Gun, and many more fine restaurants. We’ll also learn about the intriguing 8 Minute Digital Detox with Tea.”

Art of Tea is a tea importer and wholesaler based in Los Angeles. They hand blend and custom craft the world’s finest organic teas and botanicals. The Art of Tea’s products are carefully selected directly from growers, each one offering a unique story.

The seeds that formed the foundation of Art of Tea were first planted in 1996 when Steve Schwartz began his journey of extensive study in preventative medicine at the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico. Since then, Art of Tea has become a leading purveyor of organic and specialty teas. Each year Steve travels extensively, returning with rare and unique teas from around the world.

Steve Schwartz is recognized by many authoritative figures in the tea industry as a Master Tea Blender. He has blended award-winning teas under the Art of Tea brand and his blends have won awards offered under their private label program for tea companies around the world. His drive and passion for expanding people’s knowledge and history of tea is captivating. Steve has lectured sold out tea blending classes for World Tea Conventions and frequently travels to offer educational programs on tea and tea blending.

Through his travels in Asia, India, Africa and the Middle East, Steve and Art of Tea have developed close relationships with farmers and distributors. These personal relationships, a hallmark at Art of Tea, make possible the offering of top tier organic teas and select botanicals, while ensuring that both employees and teas are treated with great respect.

“At Art of Tea, our intensive care program combines aesthetics with passion, flavor and high quality control.”

Art of Tea offers Customized Tea Menus, Retail Teas, Pyramid Tea bag Line, Hospitality Tea Program, Customized Blends, Training and Private Label Programs.

Dominic Palmieri of Midway GourmetWe last chatted with the Midway Gourmet, Dominic Palmieri, at the beginning of the 125th Anniversary OC Fair. His standout new item at Biggy’s, located on the Midway at The OC Fair was as Bacon-Wrapped Pork Belly on a stick.

Now it’s on to the L.A. County Fair through Sept. 27th. The theme is “Mind Blowing Fun.” We’ll find out what’s on the menu for the L.A. County Fair and get the post-Fair results for Orange County’s One Big Party.”

“With my first OC Fair on the books, I fully appreciate all of the hard work that goes into creating this exciting summer tradition for 125 years. From the Deep-Fried Slim Fast Bar to a cattle drive down Harbor Boulevard to the cute piglets and beautiful competitive entries, the OC Fair is an amazing summer tradition that I am proud to have shared with more than one million guests and staff,” said OC Fair & Event Center CEO Kathy Kramer, who was appointed in January.

Biggy’s Meat Market (Dominic Palmieri) sold 2,500 pounds of Bacon-Wrapped Pork Belly skewers wrapped in 1.25 miles of thick-cut honey bacon plus 600 gluten-free burgers and 22,000 pounds of sausage.

Florent and Amelia Marneau of Marche Moderne at South Coast PlazaIf you’re a fan of bouillabaisse, the celebrated fresh seafood stew from Provence, then you need to head over to Marche Moderne in South Coast Plaza. Nightly from September 10th through Sunday, September 20th is their annual Bouillabaisse 2015 festival! It’s an occasion worthy of celebration.

Chef/Proprietor Florent Marneau flies in his fish from the South of France. In the bouillabaisse you’ll see Saint-Pierre, Daurade Royale or Seabream and Rouget or Rascasse. There is also a carefully selected group of Rose wines (available by the glass or bottle) to pair with the bouillabaisse.

Halal GuysAfter 25 years in business, The Halal Guys are expanding from New York’s City’s most popular food cart to its first West Coast brick-and-mortar fast casual location in Costa Mesa. In New York the cart is famous for “The Never-Ending Line.” Well-known for its gyro sandwiches, chicken-and-rice platters and mystery white sauce, The Halal Guys menu offers a mix of various Middle Eastern dishes.

The Halal Guys grew from its humble beginnings as a food cart on the streets of New York City to a global icon known as the largest American halal street food concept in the world. This Manhattan-based landmark was created by three like-minded men from Egypt who came to America in search of a lucrative life.

When Mohamed Abouelenein, Ahmed Elsaka and Abdelbaset Elsayed noticed many Muslim cab drivers in New York were looking for a place to buy meals in Manhattan, they created their first food cart and quickly grew into a leading tourist and native New Yorker destination for American Halal fare.

In 2013, The Halal Guys were ranked the most popular food truck reviewed on FourSquare and the third most Yelped restaurant in the United States in 2014.

The area franchisee for SoCal, Thomas Pham, joins us.

Andrew GruelEast Coasters particularly enjoy their clams of which there are two main varieties. You hear Easterners longing for Ispswich Belly Clams. There is also the revered white clam pizza to consider.

Clams are high in protein with a healthy shot of iron, too.

We’ll now get the basics of Clam 411 from our own, and highly knowledgeable, Chef Andrew Gruel.

This is no shell game…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Steve Schwartz, Master Tea Blender, Art of Tea Part One
Segment Three: Steve Schwartz, Master Tea Blender, Art of Tea Part Two
Segment Four: Dominic Palmieri, Midway Gourmet Part One
Segment Five: Dominic Palmieri, Midway Gourmet Part Two
Segment Six: Chef / Proprietor Florent Marneau, Marche Moderne
Segment Seven: The Halal Guys, Thomas Pham, SoCal Franchisee
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish

Show 116, April 4, 2015: Celebrity Chef Mary Sue Milliken, Border Grill

Mary Sue MillikenJames Beard Award-winner Mary Sue Milliken is well-know to the audience of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” She is a pioneer in Food TV and also the co-founder and co-executive chef (along with her long-time business partner, Susan Feniger) of the hugely successful Border Grill restaurants (and truck) in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Santa Monica. She also is the co-author of five popular cookbooks.

Additionally, Mary Sue is also an active volunteer for The James Beard Foundation in her prominent position on the Board of Trustees as a Board Member. Mary Sue joins us to talk about The James Beard Foundation’s 2015 Culinary Scholarship opportunities. A record $700,000 (plus) in Educational Scholarships and Professional Grants are available.

James Beard is fondly remembered by friends and colleagues as a man who offered unstinting help and encouragement to people embarking on a culinary career. Upholding Beard’s legacy of culinary education and support through their scholarship program is an essential component of the James Beard Foundation’s mission. The Friends of James Beard Foundation Scholarships and the James Beard Foundation School Scholarships have been established to assist aspiring culinary professionals who plan to further their education at a licensed or accredited culinary school. Professional grants are also available for independent work, study and travel.

Scholarship funds have been raised locally over the years at numerous Friends of James Beard Dinners. Host restaurants include AnQi in South Coast Plaza, Marche Moderne, Morgan’s in the Desert at La Quinta and Zov’s Bistro.

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Show 114, March 14, 2015: Show Preview with Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Kedric Francis and Andy HarrisKedric Francis, the always debonair Editor of Coast Magazine (an Orange County Register property) is the Guest Host today.

Now a preview of today’s abundant show…

It’s not well known outside of the local restaurant industry that the late Henry Segerstrom (the patriarch of developing South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa) was a champion of chefs and restaurateurs. He truly enjoyed dining out. There are some memorable stories over the years about rising star chefs and restaurateurs being the beneficiaries of Mr. Segerstrom’s largesse. This morning we’ll hear a few of these inspiring, and revealing, stories shared by the people who actually lived them.

In the words of Chef Gavin Kaysen: “In the past year, I’ve left New York City where I had the pleasure of cooking alongside Daniel Boulud running his Café Boulud brand; opened Spoon and Stable in my hometown of Minneapolis; served as the head coach for Team USA as we won a record-breaking Second Place in the Bocuse d’Or; and led my restaurant to become a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant from the James Beard Foundation Awards. I’m looking forward to sharing the next steps of my journey with you.” Chef Gavin Kaysen joins us.

EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week returns for its big 2nd year from March 22nd to March 28th. One of the participating restaurants is Callalloo Caribbean Kitchen which made a big impression at the inaugural event’s kick-off party last year with their cravable Jerk Chicken. Proprietor Hamid Latiff Jr. is from Trinidad and is out guest.

He likes to describe his cuisine “beach food.”

In 1977 veteran restaurateur Antonio Cagnolo (Antonello Ristorante) met Henry Segerstrom for the first time. He was the new assistant manager at the fine-dining Alfredo’s which was part of what is now the Westin South Coast Plaza. Mr. Segerstrom greatly appreciated Antonio’s gracious Italian hospitality and his innovative table-side service. A friendship blossomed. Antonio Cagnolo joins us to share the story of how Antonello Ristorante came to be at the South Coast Plaza Village in 1979 and other ventures thereafter.

The acclaimed French chef, Florent Marneau, was the opening Executive Chef for Joachim Splichal’s first restaurant in Orange County, Pinot Provence at the Westin South Coast Plaza. He attracted deserved raves from the critics. In the mid-2000’s Chef Florent and his wife, Amelia (a talented pastry chef in her own right) were contemplating a restaurant of their own. Henry and his son, Anton, were fans of Chef Florent from Pinot Provence and doing some private functions for the Segerstrom Family. Chef Florent is with us to share the story of how Marche Moderne at South Coast Plaza in the Penthouse was born in 2007. It’s unusual for an entrepreneurial husband-and-wife team to be given such an incredible opportunity. Their 8th Anniversary is in April.

In March, ADYA Executive Chef/Owner, Shachi Mehra, will introduce four weeks of special curries in an effort to highlight India’s regional culinary styles and provide guests with a delicious, in-depth look at India’s culinary diversity. The curries will feature ingredients and styles of cooking unique to each region, from coconut and curry leaves, to poppy seeds and mustard. Chef Shachi is with us to explain it all.

You never know who you may be talking to (or the future impact that casual conversation might have) as Craig Nickoloff (the Founder of Claim Jumper) found out on a breezy Fall Sunday afternoon in the late 90s at South Coast Plaza Village at the finish of a multi-day antiques’ show. The person that Craig Nickoloff inadvertently befriended was the late Henry Segerstrom’s elderly (but spry) Mother. This ultimately led to the establishment of a Claim Jumper, their flagship, at South Coast Plaza in 2003.

Blue Ribbon Cupcake ChallengeThe 3rd Annual Blue Ribbon Culinary Cupcake Challenge 2015 is March 22nd from 1 to 4:00 p.m. at the Grand Ballroom of the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula. Professional and amateur bakers will compete for cash prizes, category awards and Temecula’s “People’s Choice Award.” Admission, including tastings, is a modest $25.00 per guest. The charitable beneficiary is Rancho Damacitas Children & Family Services.

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

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Show 114, March 14, 2015: Florent Marneau, Executive Chef & Co-Owner, Marche Moderne, South Coast Plaza

Florent and Amelia Marneau of Marche Moderne at South Coast PlazaThe acclaimed French chef, Florent Marneau, was the opening Executive Chef for Joachim Splichal’s first restaurant in Orange County, Pinot Provence at the Westin South Coast Plaza. He attracted well-deserved raves from the critics. In the mid-2000’s Chef Florent and his wife, Amelia (a talented pastry chef in her own right) were contemplating a restaurant of their own.

Henry and his son, Anton, were fans of Chef Florent from Pinot Provence and doing some memorable private functions for the Segerstrom Family.

Chef Florent is with us to share the story of how Marche Moderne at South Coast Plaza in the Penthouse was born in 2007. It’s unusual for an entrepreneurial husband-and-wife team with modest resources to be given such an incredible opportunity. Their 8th Anniversary is in April.

Marche Moderne, which opened in 2007, has been described as “probably the best bistro in Southern California” in the Los Angeles Times by S. Irene Virbila; was crowned best restaurant in the OC by Orange County Register restaurant Critic Brad A. Johnson; and named in the Los Angeles Times 2014 “101 Best Restaurants” by Pulitzer Prize-winning restaurant journalist Jonathan Gold. The Marneaus combine a passion for market-inspired ingredients and classic French cooking techniques with modern touches at their enduringly popular restaurant.

Play

March 14: Kedric Francis, Henry Segerstrom tribute, Gavin Kaysen, Callalloo Caribbean Kitchen, Antonio Cagnolo, Florent Marneau, Shachi Mehra, Craig Nickoloff

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Gavin Kaysen, Spoon & Stable, Minneapolis Part One
Segment Three: Chef Gavin Kaysen, Spoon & Stable, Minneapolis Part One
Segment Four: Hamid Latiff Jr., Callalloo Caribbean Kitchen, Long Beach.
Segment Five: Antonio Cagnolo, Antonello Ristorante, South Coast Plaza Village
Segment Six: Florent Marneau, Executive Chef & Co-Owner, Marche Moderne, South Coast Plaza
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Shachi Mehra, ADYA, Anaheim Packing House
Segment Eight: Craig Nickoloff, Founder of Claim Jumper

Kedric Francis and Andy HarrisKedric Francis, the always debonair Editor of Coast is back with us as Guest Host this morning. Now a preview of today’s abundant show…

It’s not well known outside of the local restaurant industry that the late Henry Segerstrom (the patriarch of developing South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa) was a champion of chefs and restaurateurs. He truly enjoyed dining out. There are some great stories over the years about rising star chefs and restaurateurs being the beneficiaries of Mr. Segerstrom’s largesse. This morning we’ll hear a few of these inspiring, and revealing, stories shared by the people who actually lived them.

In the words of Chef Gavin Kaysen : “In the past year, I’ve left New York City where I had the pleasure of cooking alongside Daniel Boulud running his Café Boulud brand; opened Spoon and Stable in my hometown of Minneapolis; served as the head coach for Team USA as we won a record-breaking Second Place in the Bocuse d’Or; and led my restaurant to become a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant from the James Beard Foundation Awards. I’m looking forward to sharing the next steps of my journey with you.” Chef Gavin Kaysen joins us.

EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week returns for its big 2nd year from March 22nd to March 28th. One of the participating restaurants is Callalloo Caribbean Kitchen which made a big impression at the inaugural event’s kick-off party last year with their cravable Jerk Kitchen. Proprietor Hamid Latiff Jr. is from Trinidad and is out guest.

He likes to describe his cuisine “beach food.”

In 1977 veteran restaurateur Antonio Cagnolo (Antonello Ristorante) met Henry Segerstrom for the first time. He was the new assistant manager at the fine-dining Alfredo’s which was part of what is now the Westin South Coast Plaza. Mr. Segerstrom greatly appreciated Antonio’s gracious Italian hospitality and his innovative table-side service. A friendship blossomed. Antonio Cagnolo joins us to share the story of how Antonello Ristorante came to be at the South Coast Plaza Village in 1979 and other ventures thereafter.

The acclaimed French chef, Florent Marneau, was the opening Executive Chef for Joachim Splichal’s first restaurant in Orange County, Pinot Provence at the Westin South Coast Plaza. He attracted well-deserved raves from the critics. In the mid-2000’s Chef Florent and his wife, Amelia (a talented pastry chef in her own right) were contemplating a restaurant of their own. Henry and his son, Anton, were fans of Chef Florent from Pinot Provence and doing some private functions for the Segerstrom Family. Chef Florent is with us to share the story of how Marche Moderne at South Coast Plaza in the Penthouse was born in 2007. It’s unusual for an entrepreneurial husband-and-wife team to be given such an incredible opportunity. Their 8th Anniversary is in April.

In March, ADYA Executive Chef/Owner, Shachi Mehra, introduces four weeks of special curries in an effort to highlight India’s regional culinary styles and provide guests with a delicious, in-depth look at India’s culinary diversity. The curries feature ingredients and styles of cooking unique to each region, from coconut and curry leaves, to poppy seeds and mustard. Chef Shachi is with us to explain it all.

You never know who you may be talking to (or the future impact that casual conversation might have) as Craig Nickoloff (the Founder of Claim Jumper) found out on a breezy Fall Sunday afternoon in the late 90s at South Coast Plaza Village at the finish of a multi-day antiques’ show. The person that Craig Nickoloff inadvertently befriended was the late Henry Segerstrom’s elderly (but spry) Mother. This ultimately led to the establishment of a Claim Jumper, their flagship, at South Coast Plaza in 2003.

Blue Ribbon Cupcake ChallengeThe 3rd Annual Blue Ribbon Culinary Cupcake Challenge 2015 is March 22nd from 1 to 4:00 p.m. at the Grand Ballroom of the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula. Professional and amateur bakers will compete for cash prizes, category awards and Temecula’s “People’s Choice Award.” Admission, including tastings, is a modest $25.00 per guest. The charitable beneficiary is Rancho Damacitas Children & Family Services.

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

Gavin kaysenIn the words of Chef Gavin Kaysen : “In the past year, I’ve left New York City where I had the pleasure of cooking alongside Daniel Boulud running his Café Boulud brand; opened Spoon and Stable in my hometown of Minneapolis; served as the head coach for Team USA as we won a record-breaking Second Place in the Bocuse d’Or; and led my restaurant to become a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant from the James Beard Foundation Awards. I’m looking forward to sharing the next steps of my journey with you.”

First we’ll chat with Gavin about his work with Team USA and Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation which is now known as men’tor BKB Foundation. Chef Gavin represented the United States at the 2007 Bocuse d’Or, a prestigious, international culinary competition hosted biennially in Lyon, France.

He was personally selected by Chefs Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller, both men’tor BKB Foundation Directors & Founders, to serve as the Head Coach of the Bocuse d’Or USA Team in both 2013 and 2015.

In the words of Chef Gavin Kaysen: “This is the only industry where you can go out and have a great glass of Champagne and eat a great meal, and you’re learning.”

While working as Executive Chef at El Bizcocho in San Diego, he received a considerable amount of local acclaim, as well as being recognized nationally by being named one of Food + Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs in 2007. While working as Chef de Cuisine at Café Boulud in New York City, Gavin was 2008 recipient of the James Beard Foundation’s coveted Rising Star Award.

In 2014 Gavin returned to his hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota to open the highly anticipated restaurant Spoon & Stable. The restaurant has earned rave reviews from local media and patrons alike. It is described as a culinary destination for food lovers in search of casual elegant dining. Last month Spoon and Stable was announced as a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant by the James Beard Foundation Awards.

Chef Gavin Kaysen joins us.

Hamid Latiff JrEAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week returns for its big 2nd year from March 22nd to March 28th.

One of the participating restaurants is Callalloo Caribbean Kitchen which made a big impression at the inaugural event’s kick-off party last year with their cravable Jerk Kitchen. Proprietor Hamid Latiff Jr. is from Trinidad and is out guest.

He likes to describe his cuisine “beach food.”

Callaloo Caribbean Kitchen specializes in Southern Caribbean delicacies including Jerk Chicken, Stewed Oxtails, Curry Goat, and Roti. They even bake in-house their own Coconut and Banana Breads. Lunch specials daily and they also offer a good-sized function room.

On Facebook you can find then at Callaloo Caribbean Kitchen.

Antonio CagnoloIn 1977 veteran restaurateur Antonio Cagnolo (Antonello Ristorante) met Henry Segerstrom for the first time. He was the new assistant manager at the fine-dining Alfredo’s (managed by a German) which was part of what is now the Westin South Coast Plaza. Mr. Segerstrom greatly appreciated Antonio’s gracious Italian hospitality and his innovative table-side service. A friendship blossomed.

A native of Northwestern Italy, Antonio Cagnolo has emerged as a dynamic force in the field of dining having received honor after honor for his many contributions both in and out of culinary circles. Most recently Antonello has debuted its version of an enoteca room (wine library) called the Enoteca Lounge.

Cagnolo also owns several nearby South Coast Plaza establishments that have proven to be favorites of the critics and public, alike. Nello Cucina is located at the entrance of South Coast Plaza north of Bear Street. The Italian restaurant specializes in steaks, pasta and pizza from an authentic brick oven. Across the street, at the center of the bustling South Coast Plaza, sits Quattro Café, a 104-seat dining establishment featuring specialty pasta dishes and entree selections. The casual coffee destination, Antonello Expresso Bar, offers a wide variety of gourmet coffee drinks as well as baked goods and sandwiches.

Antonio Cagnolo joins us to share the story of how Antonello Ristorante came to be at the South Coast Plaza Village in 1979 and other ventures thereafter.

Florent and Amelia Marneau of Marche Moderne at South Coast PlazaThe acclaimed French chef, Florent Marneau, was the opening Executive Chef for Joachim Splichal’s first restaurant in Orange County, Pinot Provence at the Westin South Coast Plaza. He attracted well-deserved raves from the critics. In the mid-2000’s Chef Florent and his wife, Amelia (a talented pastry chef in her own right) were contemplating a restaurant of their own.

Henry and his son, Anton, were fans of Chef Florent from Pinot Provence and doing some memorable private functions for the Segerstrom Family.

Chef Florent is with us to share the story of how Marche Moderne at South Coast Plaza in the Penthouse was born in 2007. It’s unusual for an entrepreneurial husband-and-wife team with modest resources to be given such an incredible opportunity. Their 8th Anniversary is in April.

Marche Moderne, which opened in 2007, has been described as “probably the best bistro in Southern California” in the Los Angeles Times by S. Irene Virbila; was crowned best restaurant in the OC by Orange County Register restaurant Critic Brad A. Johnson; and named in the Los Angeles Times 2014 “101 Best Restaurants” by Pulitzer Prize-winning restaurant journalist Jonathan Gold. The Marneaus combine a passion for market-inspired ingredients and classic French cooking techniques with modern touches at their enduringly popular restaurant.

Shachi MehraIn March, ADYA Executive Chef/Owner, Shachi Mehra, introduces four weeks of special curries in an effort to highlight India’s regional culinary styles and provide guests with a delicious, in-depth look at India’s culinary diversity. The curries will feature ingredients and styles of cooking unique to each region, from coconut and curry leaves, to poppy seeds and mustard.

“Curry, in simplest terms, is a mix of spices – the composition of these spices varies greatly among the regional cuisines native to India,” commented Chef Shachi, whose diverse menu of fresh Indian flavors features a variety of traditional curries. “As curries become increasingly popular, diners are beginning to realize that curry isn’t just Chicken Tikka Masala. My goal is to provide my guests with a better understanding of the defining factors of the different types of curries one can find in Indian regional cooking.”

Chef Shachi is with us to explain it all.

Craig Nickoloff of Connie and Ted's as well as West Coast Prime MeatsYou never know who you may be talking to (or the future impact that casual conversation might have) as Craig Nickoloff (the Founder of Claim Jumper) found out on a breezy Fall Sunday afternoon in the late 90s at South Coast Plaza Village at the finish of a multi-day antiques’ show.

The person that Craig Nickoloff inadvertently befriended was the late Henry Segerstrom’s elderly (but spry) Mother. This ultimately led to the establishment of a Claim Jumper, their flagship (store Number 33,) at South Coast Plaza in 2003.

Nickoloff sold Claim Jumper in 2005. He didn’t stay “retired” for very long. Today he’s the Co-Founder and Co-Owner of the wildly successful Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood along with partners Chef Michael Cimarusti and Donato Poto.) He’s also the Managing Partner of West Coast Prime Meats which supplies proteins to quality restaurants in California, Nevada, and Hawaii. He’s also associated with his son, Nick, in the growing Nick’s Restaurant Group (Nick’s and South of Nick’s.)

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Gavin Kaysen, Spoon & Stable, Minneapolis Part One
Segment Three: Chef Gavin Kaysen, Spoon & Stable, Minneapolis Part One
Segment Four: Hamid Latiff Jr., Callalloo Caribbean Kitchen, Long Beach.
Segment Five: Antonio Cagnolo, Antonello Ristorante, South Coast Plaza Village
Segment Six: Florent Marneau, Executive Chef & Co-Owner, Marche Moderne, South Coast Plaza
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Shachi Mehra, ADYA, Anaheim Packing House
Segment Eight: Craig Nickoloff, Founder of Claim Jumper

Show 95, November 1, 2014: Soliste and Chef Claude Koeberle

Claude Koeberle of Soliste WinesSoliste wines are the creation of Claude Koeberle, an acclaimed French master chef with impressive local credentials. Earlier in his career he was the executive chef at both Ma Maison and L’Orangerie. Limited releases of Pinot Noirs are their signature. Soliste wines are only available at select restaurants and direct from the winery.

Claude formed Soliste in 2005. His first release was Sonatera Vineyard Pinot Noir. He uses Old World Burgundian theory to create wines with finesse and balance that truly compliment extraordinary food. In Burgundy, a winemaker often reserves a barrel for their family and friends. They call this special barrel Soliste.

On Wednesday evening, November 12th Chef Florent Marneau (one of Orange County’s very best) is working with Claude Koeberle to present a Soliste Wine Dinner (five course tasting menu) at Marche Moderne in the Penthouse at South Coast Plaza. You can be sure this will be an extraordinary evening! A limited release Soliste wine will be matched with each course.

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