Show 291, September 22, 2018: Anita Lau, Diary of a Mad Hungry Woman

Anita Lau of Mad Hungry WomanOur favorite Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, has been traveling in Northern Baja. She was recently an esteemed judge at the 5th Annual Sabor de Baja, an annual food and wine pairing event staged on the lawn of the iconic Rosarita Beach Hotel overlooking the beach and blue Pacific.

Sabor de Baja is a friendly culinary competition among 27 of Baja’s top chefs, each paired with the finest Mexican wines and artisanal beer producers. It’s an all-white affair.

“The intent of the Sabor de Baja is to promote gastronomy and tourism between the U.S. and Baja. Each attendee enjoys a pairing of all the chefs creations together with the wine or beer producers. There are two main awards given that night: The first is decided by a panel of distinguished judges and the second is called the “People’s Choice” which is decided by popular voting from every attendee who submits a ballot.”

Anita also shares her discovery (and representing quite a value) in Tijuana – an omakase speakeasy, Toshi Toshi.

 

Play

Show 75, June 7, 2014: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Central located in the heart of Montgomery, Alabama’s vibrant Downtown entertainment district is a true gem of an American find.

The engaging executive chef with an easy-going manner sets the tone for the place.

The StarChefs Rising Stars Revue is coming to Los Angeles on June 12th. It celebrates Los Angeles’ brightest culinary talent.

Brock Kleweno (Kla-ve-no) is both the executive chef and GM of the historic Yamshiro Hollywood. Their ever-popular Thursday Night Farmers Market has returned through September 4th.

Piero Selvaggio’s Valentino in Santa Monica is celebrating its 41st year. Piero and Executive Chef Nico Chessa have introduced a nightly changing special Italian tasting menu there at the Vin Bar.

Loteria Grill! is celebrating 6 centuries of Mexican Wine with the introduction of a broader selection of fine wines from Northern Baja on their list.

The Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail originating in Florence Italy. It’s Negroni week in the United States and charities are the beneficiaries.

Jet has been doing some top-tier dining in Las Vegas at Raku and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. He also caught a pre-opening party at Giada at The Cromwell boutique luxury hotel.

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

Play

Show 75, June 7, 2014: Chef Jimmy Shaw, Loteria Grill! – “600 Years of Mexican Wine.”

Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill and Torta CompanyChef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill! fame has just presented two nights celebrating “600 Years of Mexican Wine” with an 8-course seated dinner in Hollywood and then a stand-up street food and wine evening in Santa Monica.

His celebrated guest chef was Javier Plascencia of Northern Baja. His flagship restaurant in Tijuana is Mision 19. According to The New York Times, “He brings a flair for dramatic presentation, an appreciation for Tijuana’s street foods deep flavors and a binational approach to farm-to-table cooking.”

Loteria Grill! Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Studio City now feature an expanded selection of Northern Baja’s best wines. All of these Baja wines are available by the bottle at retail, too, to take home.

Play

June 7: Leo Maurelli III, StarChefs, Brock Kleweno, Piero Salvaggio, Jimmy Shaw, Peter Serantoni

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Leo Maurelli III of Central, Montgomery, Alabama
Segment Three: The StarChefs Rising Stars Revue, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Brock Kleweno, Executive Chef and General Manager, Yamashiro Hollywood
Segment Five: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Valentino, Santa Monica, CA
Segment Six: Chef Jimmy Shaw, Loteria Grill! – “600 Years of Mexican Wine.”
Segment Seven: Negroni Week. Chef Peter Serantoni of Brunos in Brea
Segment Eight: Host Jet Tila

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Central located in the heart of Montgomery, Alabama’s vibrant Downtown entertainment district is a true gem of an American find.

The engaging executive chef with an easy-going manner sets the tone for the place.

The StarChefs Rising Stars Revue is coming to Los Angeles on June 12th. It celebrates Los Angeles’ brightest culinary talent.

Brock Kleweno (Kla-ve-no) is both the executive chef and GM of the historic Yamshiro Hollywood. Their ever-popular Thursday Night Farmers Market has returned through September 4th.

Piero Selvaggio’s Valentino in Santa Monica is celebrating its 41st year. Piero and Executive Chef Nico Chessa have introduced a nightly changing special Italian tasting menu there at the Vin Bar.

Loteria Grill! is celebrating 6 centuries of Mexican Wine with the introduction of a broader selection of fine wines from Northern Baja on their list.

The Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail originating in Florence Italy. It’s Negroni week in the United States and charities are the beneficiaries.

Jet has been doing some top-tier dining in Las Vegas at Raku and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. Producer Andy experienced one of the top restaurants in Tijuana.

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

Leo Maurelli IIICentral, located in the heart of Montgomery, Alabama’s Downtown entertainment district, is a true American restaurant highlighting local and seasonal ingredients. The locally owned establishment offers wood-fired dishes in a restored 1890s warehouse space boasting exposed brick, flickering gas lanterns and a bustling open kitchen,

In the main dining room 16-foot ceilings, spectacular overhead lighting, a central bar comprised of reclaimed wood all overlook Montgomery’s downtown Alley.

Chef Leo Maurelli, III is the Executive Chef of Central Restaurant. He is a native of the Republic of Panama and shares his unique multicultural take on traditional Southern dishes and cuisine.

Chef Leo is the recipient of many honors including the 2011 Chef of The Year awarded by the Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Alliance.

Chef Leo is an avid supporter of local farmers, cheese makers, craft beer producers and artisans. He is an advocate for healthy sustainable food consumption and has partnered with EATSouth Farm to not only cook with fresh ingredients, directly from the local farm, but also serve as an ambassador in the community promoting healthy lifestyles through education and sustainable food production.

StarChefs Rising Stars Los AngelesThe StarChefs Rising Stars Revue is coming to Los Angeles on June 12th at Vibiana in Downtown Los Angeles. It celebrates Los Angeles’ brightest culinary talent.

The VIP Host Chef is Neal Fraser of the soon-to-be Redbird at Vibiana.

Antoinette Bruno, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of StarChefs.com joins us to preview the awards. Rising Star Award Winners David Rodriguez of Providence and Chef Atsushi Takatsuki of MB Post are also our guests.

Brock Kleweno of YamashiroBrock Kleweno (Kla-ve-no) is both the executive chef and GM of Yamashiro Hollywood. Their ever-popular Thursday Night Farmers Market has returned through September 4th. It operates from 5 to 9:00 p.m.

Yamashiro’s Pagoda Bar will be open for libations and light fare each week.

The Farmers Market also marks the seasonal return of Chef Brock’s famous tacos! They are the darlings of restaurant critics.

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa MonicaLegendary Los Angeles restaurateur and gracious host Piero Selvaggio has overseen Valentino on Santa Monica for some 41 years. His elegant Vin Bar at Valentino was one of the first wine bars in Los Angeles.

Piero, along with his Executive Chef, Nico Chessa, have developed the Il Quadrifoglio menu. It’s an Italian-style bento box of four seasonal dishes for $25.00. The quartet of dishes changes nightly and is designed for both its visual and flavor balance.

Valentino is renowned for its use of exceptional Italian products which are showcased in the menus: specially selected Colatura di Alici, 24- Months Aged Prosciutto de Parma, Cerignoli Olives and Bottarga, among others.

Selections from Pierro Selvagio’s legendary wine cellar and Valentino’s extraordinary desserts may be ordered separately. Availability for the Vin Bar at Valentino is on a first come basis and does not require reservations. Quadrifoglia at the Vin Bar is available Tuesday through Sundays from 5:00 p.m. to closing.

Selvaggio and Chessa designed the menu for casual dining at a great price. “We wanted to be able to offer a value where our guests can drop in for an informal meal,” states Selvaggio. “It’s wonderful to be able to taste all four of these dishes for under $30.”

Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill and Torta CompanyChef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill! fame (Original Farmers Market, Hollywood, Studio City, Santa Monica, Westlake Village and Fig at 7th) has just presented two nights celebrating “600 Years of Mexican Wine” with an 8-course seated dinner in Hollywood and then a stand-up street food and wine evening in Santa Monica.

His celebrated guest chef was Javier Plascencia of Northern Baja. His flagship restaurant in Tijuana is Mision 19. According to The New York Times, “He brings a flair for dramatic presentation, an appreciation for Tijuana’s street foods deep flavors and a binational approach to farm-to-table cooking.”

Loteria Grill! Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Studio City now feature an expanded selection of Northern Baja’s best wines.

More quality Mexican restaurants should offer a selection of Mexican wines.

Peter SerantoniCelebrating authentic Italian cuisine while raising a glass to a good cause has never been easier. From June 2nd to 8th, Brunos Trattoria in Brea will be participating in the nationwide Negroni Week, presented by Campari and Imbibe Magazine. A portion of the proceeds from every Negroni sold at Brunos during this time will benefit The Mobile Closet , a local organization which helps the community by distributing clothing and blankets to people in need.

Let’s root Brunos on…By the end of the week if Brunos comes out as the top fundraiser in the nation, Compari will donate an additional $10,000 to The Mobile Closet.

“The Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail, originating in Florence, Italy. Staying true to the heart and quality of Brunos’ beverage program, the Negroni at Brunos utilizes premium Italian spirits and liqueurs to create an authentic, memorable experience.”

Co-Owner and Chef Peter Serantoni is our guest. Brunos Trattoria is named after his father and mentor, Papa Bruno.

Jet Tila and Giada De LaurentiisIt’s been an unusually memorable week of dining out for Jet and Producer Andy.

Jet has been in Las Vegas taking in the opening of Giada De LaurentiisGiada restaurant at The Cromwell on The Strip, Raku, and L‘Atelier de Joel Robuchon at the MGM Grand.

Producer Andy dined at the acclaimed Mision 19 in Tijuana.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Leo Maurelli III of Central, Montgomery, Alabama
Segment Three: The StarChefs Rising Stars Revue, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Brock Kleweno, Executive Chef and General Manager, Yamashiro Hollywood
Segment Five: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Valentino, Santa Monica, CA
Segment Six: Chef Jimmy Shaw, Loteria Grill! – “600 Years of Mexican Wine.”
Segment Seven: Negroni Week. Chef Peter Serantoni of Brunos in Brea
Segment Eight: Host Jet Tila

We’ll paint the picture…

Show 60, February 8, 2013: Allan Stark, San Antonio Winery, Los Angeles

LA Cetto WinesDid you know there is a burgeoning wine industry in Mexico? Finally some of these affordable wines are finding their way into the United States. Shouldn’t a fine Mexican restaurant also offer premium Mexican wines?

One of the premier grape growing areas of Mexico is in the Guadalupe Valley (and adjacent valleys) located in Northern Baja California. It has the rural feel of the flat areas of Sonoma County from 40 years ago.

The predecessor wine interests of L.A. Cetto were established in Baja by Italians in the late 1920s. In 1960 L.A. Cetto acquired their first vineyards in the Guadalupe Valley. Today they have some 2,500 acres in the Valley under the stewardship of the 3rd generation of the Baja-based Cetto Family. They are the largest producer of table wines in Mexico.

L.A’s own San Antonio Winery (dating to 1917) is the distributor of L.A. Cetto wines in Southern California. Allan Stark, a 25-year veteran of San Antonio Winery joins us to tell the L.A. Cetto story and discuss some of their premium reserve wines including Nebbiolo, Chardonnay, and a Brut Sparkling wine.

L.A. Cetto wines are on the wine list at Loteria! Grill in Hollywood, Mariasol Cocina, and Camacho’s Cantina at Universal CityWalk.

They are available at the San Antonio Winery retail store as well as at better beverage shops.

Play

February 8: Caroline Styne, San Antonio Winery, Andrew Gruel, Brad A. Johnson, Paul Gstrein, Linda Kissam

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Caroline Styne, Wine Director and Partner, Lucques, A.O.C., The Tavern, and The Larder
Segment Three: Allan Stark, San Antonio Winery, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Andrew Gruel, Executive Chef & Partner, Slapfish
Segment Five: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County Register
Segment Six: Paul Gstrein, Executive Chef, Bayside Restaurant
Segment Seven: Linda Kissam, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila on Manhattan Dining

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Valentine’s Day is next week so get moving and don’t panic. It falls on a Friday this year. Friday is an especially tough day for restaurants due to Valentine’s Day anxiety so if you want to be a bit more relaxed make your plans for Saturday or Sunday instead. Still the Valentine’s Day orbit but a bit less crazed for the restaurant. You’ll definitely have better service…

Chef jet Tila and Alton BrownFood Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” with host Alton Brown is back on Sunday nights for Season 2. Our own Chef Jet Tila is the most frequently appearing solo judge on this tough competition show that requires strategy as well as cooking chops. Look for Jet’s new episodes starting in February.

It’s the Winter Olympics in Sochi and a classic Newport Beach restaurant is serving a special Olympics-themed menu for the duration. We’ll go inside the menu with the creative executive chef. Caroline Styne is the partner and Wine Director (with Chef Suzanne Goin) in Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern in West Hollywood and Los Angeles. We’ll talk with her and get insight on how you keep a firmly established and growing restaurant group fresh for the dining public. We’ll also hear the story of Slapfish which started as a modest food truck and now is a growing international empire. Did you know there is an emerging wine region in Northern Baja? You’ll learn about a promising winery in the Guadalupe Valley founded by Italians. Brad A. Johnson, the restaurant critic for The Orange County Register, joins us to talk about letter grades for restaurants. We’ll also have a visit with travel journalist Linda Kissam, who was recently in Spain touring the wineries representing the 50 best Cavas produced there.

All of that and lots more incredible deliciousness on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

Caroline StyneCaroline Styne had an extensive background in specialty food products, catering, and restaurant management before partnering with Chef Suzanne Goin to open Lucques in 1988. In December of 2002, Goin & Styne opened their second restaurant, A.O.C., where the concept of small plates and fifty wines by the glass was born out of their shared passion for going out and sampling a variety of appetizers and intriguing wines. A.O.C. relocated to the face-lifted former Orso space about a mile West on 3rd Street in late 2012. Styne is the Wine Director for all the restaurants.

Tavern, in Brentwood, followed in May of 2009. It offers fine dining all day along with The Larder which has gourmet prepared foods and packaged goods. There is a new Larder at Burton Way in the luxury 8500 Burton Way Apartments on the border of L.A. and Beverly Hills as well as at LAX.

Styne contributed the helpful wine notes to Suzanne’s The A.O.C. Cookbook.

“And because wine and cheese are at the heart of A.O.C. there are two exciting additions. Caroline Styne presents a specific wine pairing for each dish. Styne explains why each varietal works well with the ingredients and which flavors she’s trying to highlight, and she gives you room to experiment as well – showing how to shape the wine to your own palate. Whether you’re just grabbing a glass to go with dinner or planning an entire menu, her expert notes are a real education in wine.”

LA Cetto WinesDid you know there is a burgeoning wine industry in Mexico? Finally some of these affordable wines are finding their way into the United States. Shouldn’t a fine Mexican restaurant also offer premium Mexican wines?

One of the premier grape growing areas of Mexico is in the Guadalupe Valley (and adjacent valleys) located in Northern Baja California. It has the rural feel of the flat areas of Sonoma County from 40 years ago.

The predecessor wine interests of L.A. Cetto were established in Baja by Italians in the late 1920s. In 1960 L.A. Cetto acquired their first vineyards in the Guadalupe Valley. Today they have some 2,500 acres in the Valley under the stewardship of the 3rd generation of the Baja-based Cetto Family. They are the largest producer of table wines in Mexico.

L.A’s own San Antonio Winery (dating to 1917) is the distributor of L.A. Cetto wines in Southern California. Allan Stark, a 25-year veteran of San Antonio Winery joins us to tell the L.A. Cetto story and discuss some of their premium reserve wines including Nebbiolo, Chardonnay, and a Brut Sparkling wine.

Andrew GruelFood trucks have proven to be a worthwhile testing ground for innovative food concepts. A great example is Slapfish with a limited service, fast-casual restaurant in Huntington Beach located in a strip center. A new Laguna Beach location will launch later this year.

The partners started with one food truck serving the OC in 2009. By 2011 they had three trucks serving both Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel is with us to fill us in on the Slapfish tale. They have just signed a franchise agreement to open 75 full service restaurants in the Middle East over the next 5 to 7 years.

They like to characterize Slapfish as a modern seafood shack. It’s a real American seafood experience that revolves around fresh, sustainable fish, prepared simply, but delivering big flavors.

Letter Grades at RestaurantsLast month The Orange County Register’s James Beard Award-winning restaurant critic, Brad A. Johnson, was looking to review a Newport Beach restaurant. Instead all of the members of his dining group came down with severe cases of food poisoning. When Brad checked the Health Department records of this restaurant he was surprised to learn that they had received a serious violation on each of their previous inspections since they opened two years ago.

Brad is with us to discuss his campaign for Orange County restaurants to receive Letter Grades as a result of their Health Department inspections as is practice in Los Angeles County and other areas of California.

The Winter Olympics in Sochi is underway. Russia is on peoples’ minds.

Paul Gstrein of Bayside RestaurantPaul Gstrein, the long-time (Austria-born) executive chef at Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach has been inspired by Russia, too. For the duration of the Games Paul will be featuring Russian dishes as appetizers, entrees, and even desserts. How about Beef Short Rib Borscht and Berkshire Pork Tenderloin Stroganoff?

Please note that not every appetizer or entrée on the special Russian menu will be available each night.

Linda KissamThe very well-traveled Linda Kissam is a respected food, wine, and travel writer who is on the go most of the time. She serves as the 1st Vice President of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. She is also an author and the Global Wine & Travel Editor-at-Large for Luxe Beat Magazine.

Late last year Linda was invited to Spain to tour the Penedes wine region, the heart of cava sparkling wine production. Her mission was to taste and evaluate 50 fine cavas over an intensive five day period. Linda shares the highlights of this very special experience with us.

Le BernardinChef Jet has been in New York twice over the last two weeks and has enjoyed some standout dining adventures along the way. Jet shares the details of his truly exquisite meal at the classic Le Bernardin. It’s expertly prepared French seafood from Chef Eric Ripert at a very high level.

Jet also visited Ippudo, a well-known Japanese ramen shop.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Caroline Styne, Wine Director and Partner, Lucques, A.O.C., The Tavern, and The Larder
Segment Three: Allan Stark, San Antonio Winery, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Andrew Gruel, Executive Chef & Partner, Slapfish
Segment Five: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County Register
Segment Six: Paul Gstrein, Executive Chef, Bayside Restaurant
Segment Seven: Linda Kissam, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila on Manhattan Dining

January 12: Robert Wemischner, Josef Centeno, Deborah Schneider, Javier Plascencia

Podcasts

Segment One: Robert Wemischner, cookbook author, pastry chef, and culinary instructor Part One
Segment Two: Robert Wemischner, cookbook author, pastry chef, and culinary instructor Part Two
Segment Three: Josef Centeno, owner/executive chef of baco mercat and Bar Ama in Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Four: Deborah Schneider, executive chef and partner, SOL Mexican Cocina, Newport Beach
Segment Five: Chef Javier Plascencia of Mision 19, Tijuana’s superstar celebrity chef and culinary goodwill ambassador for the food and wines of Northern Baja
Segment Six: Chef Javier Plascencia of Mision 19, Tijuana’s superstar celebrity chef and culinary goodwill ambassador for the food and wines of Northern Baja (Continued…)

We’re cooking and baking with tea and then talking about a promising new Tex-Mex establishment in Downtown LA, with some flair from a young chef who does it his way. We’re then on to Newport Beach Restaurant Week and finally a taste of Northern Baja!

Robert WemischnerAcclaimed pastry chef and culinary educator Robert Wemischner has always been intrigued by the flavor potential of ingredients, from turmeric to tea and from cumin to coffee.

He is the author of four well-received cookbooks, including his most recent effort, The Dessert Architect. For the last 18 years he has headed the respected baking and pastry program for Los Angeles Trade-Tech College in Downtown Los Angeles.

Chef Bob joins us to present Tea 101 and guidance on cooking and baking with tea.

He also shares his delectable recipe for Chocolate Assam Tea Torte which he served at the “Getting Our Just Desserts” Benefit for C-CAP last November.

Josef Centeno

Josef Centeno is part of a group of risk-taking, young chefs who are going out on their own and making names for themselves. He created quite a splash when he designed the original menu and concept for Lazy Ox Canteen in Little Tokyo in Downtown LA.

After that was up and running he ventured out on his own in a more urban area of Downtown and launched baco Mercat at the corner of 4th & Main. He even makes his own soft drinks there from quality ingredients.

In December he debuted his 2nd Downtown spot, Bar Ama, which is a tribute to his Grandmother’s style of Tex-Mex food.

Newport Beach Restaurant Week is January 18th to 27th. Participating restaurants have special pricing for lunch and/or dinner. It’s a chance to experience the best in Newport Beach dining at very affordable prices.

Deborah SchneiderDeborah Schneider, the executive chef & partner of SOL Mexican Cucina joins us to tell us about what SOL is doing for Restaurant Week.

One of the most prominent and distinguished chefs cooking in Mexico today is Javier Plascencia who makes his home in Tijuana. He’s cooked for Mexico’s president, Felipe Calderon. His family also has a fine restaurant on the US side of the Border in Bonita.

Javier PlascenciaChef Javier is also an unabashed cheerleader for the foods and premium wines of Baja. The finest wines in Mexico come from the region and are just now finding their way into US distribution channels.

Last year when Anthony Bourdain of Travel Channel’s “No Reservations” visited Northern Baja, Javier was a prominent part of this at his latest venture, Mision 19.

On Monday evening, January 14th Chef Javier has recruited the best chefs and winemakers in Northern Baja to join him in preparing a 7-course, wine-paired meal at Romesco as a benefit for the San Diego Chapter of The American Institute of Wine and Food.

It’s sold out with a waiting list but this is a chef you should really know.

Podcasts

Segment One: Robert Wemischner, cookbook author, pastry chef, and culinary instructor Part One
Segment Two: Robert Wemischner, cookbook author, pastry chef, and culinary instructor Part Two
Segment Three: Josef Centeno, owner/executive chef of baco mercat and Bar Ama in Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Four: Deborah Schneider, executive chef and partner, SOL Mexican Cocina, Newport Beach
Segment Five: Chef Javier Plascencia of Mision 19, Tijuana’s superstar celebrity chef and culinary goodwill ambassador for the food and wines of Northern Baja
Segment Six: Chef Javier Plascencia of Mision 19, Tijuana’s superstar celebrity chef and culinary goodwill ambassador for the food and wines of Northern Baja (Continued…)