Show 324, May 18, 2019: Innkeeper Richard Slosky, La Maison Palm Springs Hotel

Richard SchusterLa Maison Palm Springs Hotel is an award-winning boutique hotel property in Palm Springs. They are a member of the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels. This boutique hotel is a Mediterranean-inspired property, complete with clay tile roofs, terracotta floors, and a walled garden, offering a tranquil place for guests to unwind. The unique ambiance combines the relaxing colors and warmth of Provence with the vibrant energy of Palm Springs.

“Indulge in lavender scones and handcrafted lattes each morning. Spend the day lounging by the pool in our charming inner courtyard. At night, enjoy the most peaceful sleep on your feather bed dressed in imported luxury linens.”

“Here at La Maison Palm Springs Hotel, we know that every detail is important. All 13 guest rooms surround the pool and lush gardens. Each room is individually decorated and includes either a queen or king feather bed with luxury linens, seasonal down comforters and a small guest fridge. Our bathrooms have marble or granite accents, L’Occitane bath amenities, plush bathrobes and rain showerheads. The pièce de résistance? A complimentary lavender sachet on your pillow at night.”

Our gracious host is Proprietor Richard Slosky (who operates the property with his wife, Cornelia Schuster.)

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Show 321, April 27, 2019: Christopher Galindo, Restaurant Chef, Meridia at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

Chef Chris Galindo and Andy HarrisWe first met Chef Christopher Galindo two years ago when he was overseeing Hau Tree on the beach next door at the Resort’s sister property, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Last year he switched beaches and moved over to The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort’s new Meridia as the menu-maker.

It’s Mediterranean-inspired cuisine created with locally sourced ingredients and infused with Hawaii’s rich local bounty. Also know for creative, signature cocktails and a primo 180 degree view of the Pacific at Sunset.

“The fresh seasonal menu is complemented by expanded al fresco seating, a private dining room, a charcuterie and crudo bar, and a house- made artisanal bread nook.”

We entice Chef Chris out of his busy kitchen for a chat.

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Show 315, March 16, 2019: Oasis Mediterranean Cuisine, (Jordanian fare) Los Angeles

Ahmad and Hanny BulfeilatOasis Mediterranean Cuisine in the Pico-Robertson district of Los Angeles is full of pleasant surprises. It’s unassuming on the outside but an oasis of tranquility with stylish appointments (and tablecloths) in the welcoming dining room. It’s also one of the few restaurants in the West serving authentic Jordanian cuisine plated with sophistication. Think mansaff, the Jordanian national dish of tender lamb shoulder. A real gem of a find.

“Welcome, you’ve arrived! Oasis is a sophisticated, modern retreat amidst the frenzy of the city. Unwind, relax and enjoy all we have to offer. Sit down and sip mint tea, indulge your sweet tooth with delicate desserts. Dip pita, warm out of the oven, into a selection of meze redolent of fragrant spice markets of the Middle East. We are proud to serve the finest meats delicately spiced, grilled and slow roasted according to family recipes passed down for generations.”

“Whether you are hungry, thirsty, or seeking you enjoy the company of friends and family, Oasis is here to fulfill your needs. Celebrate your special occasions with us in our private dining room. Allow us to cater your next party or office event. We are here to serve you and ensure that your time at Oasis leaves you refreshed and recharged as you continue on with your journey!”

Proprietor / Chef Ahmad Abulfeilsat (Abu-fay-lot) and his son, Hanny, join us.

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Show 265, March 17, 2018: Chef Zov Karmardian, Zov’s & Anne Grey, Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Association

Zov Karamardian or Zov's in TustinChef Zov Karamardian, founder of the long-running and popular Zov’s Restaurants, will receive the Epicenter Award honoring her passion and commitment for creating a strong and healthy community from the Alzheimer’s Association at their Women #ENDALZ Luncheon (from 12 Noon to 2:00 p.m.) at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach on April 13th.

“WOMEN #ENDALZ celebrates the power and influence of women. By using our collective voices, we can create awareness of the impact of Alzheimer’s on our health, our families and our nation. Women are disproportionally affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Almost two-thirds of Americans with the disease are women and 65 percent of caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s are women.”

“A woman’s estimated lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer’s at age 65 is 1 in 6. As real a concern as breast cancer is to women’s health, women in their 60s are about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as they are to develop breast cancer. Not only are women more likely to have Alzheimer’s, they are also more likely to be caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.”

The $200 per ticket price includes valet parking, champagne reception and lunch with wine.

Zov is also conducting a cooking class and lunch on Saturday, March 24th @ 11:30 a.m. to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. It’s a “Love Your Brain” Mediterranean Menu. The full $75 ticket cost will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Visit the Alzheimer’s Association for more information or to purchase tickets for the April 13th Lunch at The Fashion Island Hotel.

Chef Zov and Anne Grey, Executive Director for the Alzheimer’s Association join us.

 

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Show 255, January 6, 2018: Ahmed Labatte, Partner, Vaca Restaurant Group

Ahmed LabatteChef Amar Santana and his business partner, Ahmed Labatte (Broadway by Amar Santana and Vaca in Costa Mesa) had an incredible 2017. Among other notable achievements they hosted one of the premier events celebrating the 50th Anniversary of South Coast Plaza at Vaca. It was a lavish, multi-course dinner matched with outstanding wines to benefit The James Beard Foundation.

For late 2018 their ambitious new project will be The Hall Global Eatery in South Coast Plaza. Early advance info is that it will be a Global Marketplace with multiple food counters and an exhibition kitchen.

There will be a grab-and-go market area with freshly prepared salads and sandwiches. Everything else will be prepared to order. Expect Mediterranean kebabs and Shawarma.  The location is the expansive former Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill space.

Ahmed joins us with a tantalizing sneak preview.

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Show 213, March 4, 2017: Executive Chef / Restaurateur Dino Ferraro, Capone’s Cucina, Huntington Beach

Dino FerraroChef Dino Ferraro is affectionately known to his many regulars as the “Godfather of Italian Cuisine” in Huntington Beach with three popular Italian/Mediterranean Restaurants located in this prominent beach community. Chef Dino’s flagship is Capone’s Cucina and his other establishments are Black Trumpet Bistro and Mona Lisa Cucina.

Capone’s Pasta and Pizza opened in Westminster in 1997. It was at this location that Dino expanded his repertoire and added specials to the standard menu. Customers were hooked on Dino’s ability to transform everyday ingredients into culinary works of art and became regulars.

He sold Capone’s Pasta and Pizza in 2000 and moved to Huntington Beach where he opened Capone’s Cucina with a goal of creating a more gourmet dining experience. In 2002, Dino hired friend and fellow chef, Francois Lieutaud to create a unique paring of French and Italian cuisine. The combination made for an old world European feel and customers loved the larger selection of dishes. Capone’s remodeled and expanded into the space next door late last year.

Dino and Francois rejoined again and started Mona Lisa Cucina with a large variety of gourmet pasta’s and pizza’s to serve the Huntington Beach community. From their early experiments with simple, basic foods grew an appreciation for the sensuality of texture, presentation and fragrance.

The newest addition to Chef Dino’s family of restaurants is The Black Trumpet. This establishment specializes in Mediterranean tapas, small plates that bring the guest the flavors of Italy, France, Greece and Morocco.

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Show 194, October 22, 2016: Tal Ronnen, Chef/Proprietor, Crossroads, Los Angeles

Tal Ronnen of Crossroads KitchenTal Ronnen, a classically trained chef and New York Times bestselling cookbook author, is redefining the concept of contemporary vegan cooking by concentrating on what makes food enjoyable in the first place. His new cookbook, Crossroads – Extraordinary Recipes from the Restaurant That Is Reinventing Vegan Cuisine, is inspired by his cooking at his stylish Los Angeles restaurant of the same name.

In the cookbook Chef Tal reveals his sophisticated and satisfying new approach in 100 Mediterranean-inspired recipes that are an indispensable resource for mindful eaters. “This is the first vegan cookbook with recipes you’ll want to serve at a dinner party.”

Reinventing plant-based eating is what Tal Ronnen is all about. At his Los Angeles restaurant, Crossroads, the menu is vegan, but there are no soybeans or bland seitan to be found. He and his executive chef, Scot Jones, turn seasonal vegetables, beans, nuts, and grains into sophisticated Mediterranean fare—think warm bowls of tomato-sauced pappardelle, plates of spicy carrot salad, and crunchy flatbreads piled high with roasted vegetables.

In Crossroads, an IACP Cookbook Award finalist, Ronnen teaches readers to make his recipes and proves that the flavors we crave are easily replicated in dishes made without animal products. With accessible, unfussy recipes, Crossroads takes plant-based eating firmly out of the realm of hippie health food and into a cuisine that fits perfectly with today’s modern palate.

The recipes are photographed in sumptuous detail, and with more than 100 of them for weeknight dinners, snacks and appetizers, special occasion meals, desserts, and more, this book is an indispensable resource for healthy, mindful eaters everywhere.

We’ll meet Chef Tal Ronnen.

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Show 164, March 19, 2016: Brian Cousins, General Manager, Café Del Rey

Brian CousinsHow do you keep a fine-dining establishment with an incredible Marina-view fresh after 25 years? We’ll chat with Brian Cousins, the seasoned General Manager of Café Del Rey, about how he has accomplished this impressive feat at a well-known, wine-centric destination restaurant in Marina del Rey.

Executive Chef David Vilchez is new to the kitchen at Café Del Rey. He moved South to the Marina from sister establishment, Napa Valley Grille in Westwood.

Fortunately, this contemporary, marina-view establishment defies the convention that having a great view is an excuse for serving mediocre food. Although owned by a restaurant group based in Florida their fine-dining restaurants are run autonomously. The feel is that Café Del Rey is locally owned by hands-on management.

“Cuisine inspired by the coastal towns of the Mediterranean. Intuitive service and a beautiful seaside setting. The food is about discovery: the freshest fish, fire grilled steaks, roasted free-range poultry, citrus, olives and market fresh vegetables all bursting with flavor. The luscious desserts, sophisticated cocktails and wine complete your journey.”

Their wine dinners are out of the ordinary. Coming in April is an unusual salute to the wines of Portugal.

 

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Show 116, April 4, 2015: La Dolce Vita Ristorante, Heritage Square, Oxnard

Michelle KenneyHidden away in Oxnard’s Heritage Square in a restored, three-story 1901 pre-Craftsman-style mansion is La Dolce Vita Ristorante featuring Italian and Mediterranean fusion cuisine. Family recipes and contemporary creations abound.

The owner and executive chef is Michelle Kenney, a second generation restaurateur. Michelle has over twenty-five years of experience in the restaurant and catering fields. She also is known locally for her wide variety of popular cooking classes.

Michelle took the opportunity earlier in her hospitality career to work in New England for several years to expand her expertise in the food business. She has worked every aspect of the business from large banquets at the Mystic Hilton to bartending, serving and supervising a large staff.

Along the way she even found the time to pen a cookbook, La Dolce Vita – Recipes For Living The Sweet Life.

Today, for example, La Dolce Vita serves brunch and dinner, hosts a wedding reception, and Chef Michelle performs one of her cooking classes. That’s certainly a day’s work…

We’ll meet her.

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Show 58, January 25, 2013: Roger Hayot, Executive Chef, J. Nichols Kitchen

Roger Hayot of J. Nichols KitchenIn 1987 the Authentic Café opened on Beverly Blvd. near CBS’s Television City in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles. It was the inspiration of Chef Roger Hayot who was mentored by his prior employer, David Overton, the creator of The Cheesecake Factory. It was initially a small place and from Day 1 they had lines of patient guests out the door…Eventually they expanded into the space next-door to accommodate the strong demand.

Roger’s always intriguing menu was inspired by the cuisines of the American Southwest, Latin America, Asia, and the Mediterranean. He used authentic global ingredients which was unusual at the time. Thai fish sauce was one of his regular ingredients. The exotic appeal of his cooking was always balanced by its hominess.

He had the honor of cooking at The James Beard Foundation in New York.

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