Show 340, September 7, 2019: Taco Rosa’s Ivan Calderon Previewing the 7th Annual “Battle of the Tequileros”

Ivan Calderon of Taco RosaTaco Rosa, Chef Ivan Calderon’s upscale Mexican restaurant in Newport Beach, will host its 7th Annual Battle of the Tequileros on Sunday, September 22nd from 4-8 p.m. Bringing together 34 different tequila and mezcal brands, the celebratory event will benefit Operation of Hope Worldwide, a local non-profit providing free, life-changing surgeries and health care for children and adults in under-served areas of the world, while creating a self-sustaining program of hope through education.”

“As the most diverse tequila tasting in Southern California, the event gives guests an unparalleled opportunity to experience the unique nuances between a variety of tequilas and mezcals. Guests can also enjoy tray-passed tapas-style bites from the Taco Rosa kitchen, exciting giveaways, and live music performed by The Agave Bros. of Laguna Beach. Guests will embark on a tasting journey through which they will determine winners in four categories: Best Tequila, Best Mezcal, Best Cocktail, and Best Booth Presentation.”

“Over the past seven years, we have seen tremendous growth of Battle of the Tequileros, with more attendees and tequila houses. We’re thrilled to provide tequila enthusiasts with an exciting and educational event which also allow us to support local organizations with a global impact,” comments Chef Ivan Calderon of Taco Rosa. “We are proud to once again partner with Operation of Hope Worldwide, an organization whose global reach has impacted, and even saved the lives of thousands of people throughout the developing world.”

Tickets for the 21-and-over event are priced at $100 and offer guests all-inclusive access to tequila and mezcal cocktails and samples, live music, and tapas. Tickets can be purchased by calling 949.720.0980.

Chef Ivan graciously uncorks the premium tequila for us.

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Show 301, December 8, 2018: Layla Ali-Ahmad, Beach City Food Tours’ East Village Cocktail Tour

Layla Ali Ahmad

A great way to be introduced to the foods of a new area is to partake of the highest rated food walking tour of that neighborhood. Beach City Food Tours has been doing that very successfully in Long Beach for the last couple of years.

They have just added the irresistible East Village Craft Cocktail Tour highlighting five thirst-quenching stops over the three-hour guided expedition.

It’s a carefully selected mélange of farm-to-table libations, Whiskey-centric craft cocktails, cider & mead and tequila and mezcal creations. There are also tasty small bar bites on the menu to be enjoyed along the way.

“Sip your way through Downtown Long Beach’s favorite watering holes, while learning about the City’s growing craft cocktail movement.”

One of the tour highlights is a stop at Great Society Cider & Mead, a one-of-a-kind establishment in Southern California. The entertaining Proprietor or General Manager there engagingly explains the flavor profiles of the four tasters of Cider each guest samples. There is also a food tasting there, too. On our tour they were serving a tasty Sausage & Pepper Penne Pasta creation.

This is a great Holiday Gift for that special someone who appreciates a well-crafted libation.

Proprietress Layla Ali-Ahmad joins us with all the details of what’s on the menu.

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Show 290, September 15, 2018: Chef Ivan Calderon, Taco Rosa, 6th Annual Battle of the Tequileros

Ivan CalderonTaco Rosa, Chef Ivan Calderon’s upscale Mexican restaurant in Newport Beach, will host its 6th Annual “Battle of the Tequileros” on Sunday, September 23rd from 4-8 p.m. Bringing together 26+ different tequila and mezcal brands, the celebratory event will benefit Operation of Hope Worldwide, a local non-profit providing free, life-changing surgeries and health care for children and adults in under-served areas of the world, while creating a self-sustaining program of hope through education.

As the most diverse tequila tasting in Southern California, the event gives guests an unparalleled opportunity to experience the unique nuances between a variety of tequilas and mezcals. Guests can also enjoy tray-passed tapas-style bites from the Taco Rosa kitchen, exciting giveaways, and a silent auction. A panel of esteemed judges will determine winners in three categories: Best Añejo and Best Reposado; while guests will have the opportunity to cast votes for Best Margarita and Best Booth Presentation.

“Over the past six years, we have seen tremendous growth with Battle of the Tequileros and this year, we are proud to partner with Operation of Hope Worldwide an organization whose global reach has impacted, and even saved the lives of thousands of people throughout the developing world,” comments Chef Ivan Calderon of Taco Rosa.

Tickets for the 21-and-over event are priced at $75 and offer guests all-inclusive access to tequila and mezcal cocktails and samples. Tickets can be purchased by calling 949.720.0980 or online here.

Please imbibe responsibly.

Chef Ivan pulls the cork on the designer Tequila bottle with all the tempting details for us.

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Show 282, July 21, 2018: Javier Cuadra, Owner & Founder, Urbana Mexican Gastronomy, Anaheim Packing House

Javier CuadraHidden in plain sight on the lower level of the Anaheim Packing House is the full-service Urbana Mexican Gastronomy. Its ‘Dia de los Muertos’ every day at URBANA, the Anaheim Packing House’s most colorful restaurant.

Farm Fresh Mexican inspired plates are created by Chef Ernie Alvarado. Complementing the menu, URBANA’S sexy departure on craft cocktails featuring Tequila and Mezcal favorites as well as top shelf agave spirits.

“Restaurateur Javier Cuadra was raised between Orange County and Michoacan, “the belly” of Mexico. Michoacan boasts an abundance of culture and delectable street foods which influenced Javier into opening a restaurant shacking the region’s finest offerings.”

“I always had a passion for food, while going to college for international business I worked in the restaurant industry and this inspired me to have my own one day. Experiencing the unique cuisine that Mexico has to offer and seeing how there was nothing like that in Orange County inspired me to bring a small piece of Mexican culture here.”

Javier’s love of “street food” has heavily influenced URBANA’s eclectic menu, which features natural and fresh ingredients including handmade tortillas, gourmet tacos and Red Snapper ceviche, creatively prepared by Chef Ernie Alvarado. “My personal favorite are the Mole enchiladas, made with house made Mole sauce that reminds me of home.” says Javier.

Located in the Anaheim Packing House, the candle-lit ambience has earned Golden Foodie Award honors among other recognitions, “The fact that together with Chef Ernie Alvarado we were able to change how people see Mexican cuisine is a huge accomplishment.”

Proprietor Javier Cuadra is our in-studio guest.

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Show 240, September 9, 2017: Chef Ivan Calderon, Taco Rosa’s “Battle of the Taquileros” Part One

Ivan CalderonTaco Rosa, Chef Ivan Calderon’s upscale Mexican restaurant in Newport Beach, will host Battle of the Tequileros on Mexican Independence Day, Saturday, September 16th from 1-5 p.m. Bringing together 26 different tequila and mezcal brands, the celebratory event will benefit Save our Youth (SOY), a local non-profit serving the at-risk youth of the Newport-Mesa area through arts, fitness, education, and scholarship programs. Chef Ivan is our guest.

Offering perhaps the most diverse tasting selection in all of Southern California, the event will give guests an unparalleled opportunity to experience the unique nuances between a variety of tequilas and mezcales. Guests can also enjoy tasty tray-passed tapas-style bites from the Taco Rosa kitchen, exciting giveaways, and live mariachi music. A panel of esteemed judges, as well as the participants, will vote on the winners of the following categories:

  • Best Cocktail
  • Best Blanco
  • Best Reposado
  • Best Añejo
  • Best Booth Presentation

“Now in our fifth year, Battle of the Tequileros has become more than a tequila festival. It has become a cultural experience that shines light on a hallmark of Mexican culture, while benefitting a cause that helps uplift our community’s youth,” commented Ivan Calderon, who has been an active supporter and board member of Save our Youth for the past 24 years.

Tickets for the 21-and-over event are priced at $75 and offer guests all-inclusive access to tequila and mezcal tastings. Tickets can be purchased by calling 949.720.0980 or online here:.

Taco Rosa is located at 2632 San Miguel Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660. For more information on Battle of the Tequileros, please visit here.

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Show 88, September 13, 2014: Taste of Mexico

Bricia LopezBricia Lopez (Guelaguetza) is the dynamic face of contemporary Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles. She is one of the organizers of the upcoming Taste of Mexico.

The 4th Annual Taste of Mexico is on tap for Saturday, September 27th with an afternoon Farmers Market Picnic and later evening Dinner, Music, Tequila and Mezcal affair. The location is the Plaza de Culturas y Artes in Downtown Los Angeles. It’s billed as LA’s most anticipated Mexican food festival of the year. It’s a chance for L.A’s diversity of fine Mexican restaurants to shine.

The always delightful Bricia Lopez of Guelaguetza is with us with a preview.

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Show 42, October 5, 2013: Bill Esparza, the Mexican Food Maestro

Bill EsparzaBill Esparza, the “Mexican Food Maestro” and authority on the food of Baja California was with us.

Bill leads escorted food tours of Tijuana and Northern Baja for journalists and the public alike. He’s given advice to Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern, among other notables. He also contributes to LA Weekly and OC Weekly.

Bill moderated the provocative , “Justin Timberlake good for Tequila? Gentrification of Mexican Spirits” panel on Sunday afternoon at Patchwork Show-Edible Edition. Mezcal and Tequila were sampled as part of the discussion.

Bill explained the difference between Mezcal and Tequila.

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October 5: Live from Patchwork Show: Edible Editon

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jet Tila, host of the “SoCal Restaurant Show”
Segment Three: Carlos Salgago, Executive Chef and Proprietor of Taco Maria
Segment Four: Nicole Stevenson, co-producer of Patchwork Show – Edible Edition
Segment Five: Bill Esparza, the Mexican Food Maestro
Segment Six: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic for The Orange County Register Part One
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic for The Orange County Register Part Two
Segment Eight: Marin Howarth, co-owner and Executive Chef Noah Blom of ARC restautant at SoCo

Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Patchwork Show Edible EditionToday we’re broadcasting live from the Patchwork Show – Edible Edition at South Coast Collection in Costa Mesa from 10 to Noon.

Patchwork Edible is an annual creative food summit bringing visionary chefs, authors, bloggers, handmade craft vendors and food artisans together with attendees for a comprehensive and entertaining weekend of eating, learning, tasting and shopping.

Admission is free…

The always stylish, Kedric Francis, the Executive Editor of both Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine joins us as guest co-host.

Luckyrice Night MarketHost Jet Tila is in Las Vegas for the LUCKYRICE Night Market on the pool deck of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas tonight from 7 to 10:00 p.m. Jet will be serving his signature Khao Soi (a Northern Thailand favorite) and seasonal flavors of his refreshing Kuma Snow Cream.

VIP and General Admission tickets are available.

Carlos Salgado of Taco MariaChef Carlos Salgado has a background as a fine-dining pastry chef. He relocated back to Orange County after his tenure at Commis in San Francisco and launched, with his family, the ambitious Taco Maria food truck in Orange County in 2011. He was honored with the distinction of being named the best gourmet food truck in OC by both major newspapers.

On Saturday’s Taco Maria was the featured food truck at The Farmers Market at SoCo. Carlos developed such a loyal and vast following that he was compelled to launch a real, full-service restaurant, including an outside heated patio, at SoCo.

Right now it’s dinner only with lunch and weekend brunch to follow. They hand-make their fresh tortillas on the spot. The meats and seafood are wood grilled and sustainable. The produce comes from local Orange County Farmers Markets.

Nicole StevensonPatchwork Show: Edible Edition co-producer Nicole Stevenson join us to preview the first-ever Patchwork Show: Edible Edition at SoCo in Costa Mesa this Weekend, Oct. 5th (from 11 to 8 p.m.) and Oct. 6th (from 11 to 5 p.m.)

This free, Weekend festival will showcase the flourishing artisan food movement in SoCal through an interactive experience filled with baking programs, food trucks, restaurant pop-ups, book signings, beer and wine gardens, samples and more!

The whole family – not just foodies – will enjoy the hands-on activities from DIY workshops to educational panels hosted by award-winning chefs to handmade products for sale from more than 90 food artisans and modern handmade businesses.

Bill EsparzaBill Esparza, the “Mexican Food Maestro” and authority on the food of Baja California is with us.

Bill leads escorted food tours of Tijuana and Northern Baja for journalists and the public alike. He’s given advice to Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern, among other notables.

Bill is moderating “Justin Timberlake good for Tequila? Gentrification of Mexican Spirits” panel tomorrow afternoon (Sunday) at Patchwork Show: Edible Edition. Mezcal and Tequila will be sampled as part of the discussion.

Photography by Brad A JohnsonIt’s been about a year since Brad A. Johnson joined the Orange County Register as their high profile restaurant critic. Previously The Register’s restaurant reviews tended to accentuate the positive.

Brad is a James Beard Award-winning food and travel journalist who brings a more worldly view to his writing which includes praise and specific criticism.

Johnson will discuss how a restaurant critic approaches reviewing a restaurant and what the process is. He’ll also touch on a year’s worth of observations of the Orange County dining scene.

It’s fair to say the restaurant opening of the year in Orange County is ARC right here at SoCo in Costa Mesa. The reviews have been ethereal. Last Sunday they were the recipient of the Golden Foodie for “Best New Restaurant.”

Marin Howarth and Executive Chef Noah BlomARC owners Marin Howarth and Executive Chef Noah Blom join us to talk about their wild ride.

It’s all from-scratch cooking with locally sourced ingredients. Every menu item is unusually cooked over an open fire. It’s an open kitchen so everything is totally visible to the guest. Great care goes into the preparation of the libations, too, under the supervision of a bar chef. Bitters, infusions, syrups, and sodas are all made in-house.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jet Tila, host of the “SoCal Restaurant Show”
Segment Three: Carlos Salgago, Executive Chef and Proprietor of Taco Maria
Segment Four: Nicole Stevenson, co-producer of Patchwork Show – Edible Edition
Segment Five: Bill Esparza, the Mexican Food Maestro
Segment Six: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic for The Orange County Register Part One
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic for The Orange County Register Part Two
Segment Eight: Marin Howarth, co-owner and Executive Chef Noah Blom of ARC restautant at SoCo

Show 14, January 26, 2013: Bricia Lopez of the Guelaguetza restaurants in Koreatown and Plaza Mexico in Lynwood

Tequila Tasting with Bricia LopezThe conversation with Bricia Lopez was about Mezcal appreciation. All tequila is Mexcal, but not all mescal is Tequila.

Mezcal comes from Oaxaca, Guerrero, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, and Tamaulipas.

The agaves are cultivated (espadin,) or wild. The cultivated agaves take 6 to 8 years to ripen and the wild agaves up to 20 years.

Mezcal averages 48 per cent alcohol.

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Show 14, January 26, 2013: Bricia Lopez of the Guelaguetza restaurants in Koreatown and Plaza Mexico in Lynwood (continued…)

Guelaguetza in Koreatown features a well-stocked Mezcaleria with one of the most comprehensive collections of Mezcal available in the country.

There are regular tastings and special events.

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