Show 77, June 21, 2014: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA

Linda KissamHow do you conduct a serious, educational wine tasting with a group that’s also entertaining and fun? Wine, food and travel writer Linda Kissam is with us to explain. She organizes proper tastings all the time…

She expertly demonstrated this recently for a group of professional food, wine, and travel journalists at the annual conference of the International, Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association in Montgomery, AL.

It was an organized tasting of five Italian Sparking Wines from the Franciacorta region of Lombardy in Northern Italy. A very limited supply of these sparkling wines eventually find their way to the United States.

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Show 77, June 21, 2014: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Continues…

Linda KissamConducting a serious tasting of Italian Sparkling Wines for professional food, wine & travel writers at The International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Conference in Montgomery, AL.

It’s fun but there is a proper way of doing this. A group size of eight is ideal to retain focus.

A good judge of a quality sparkling wine is the appearance of fine, delicate bubbles.

In a typical year Linda will taste and evaluate 1,000 wines.

She also explains what the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association does and what their mission is. Linda serves as their First Vice President.

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June 21: Linda Kissam, Chianina Steakhouse, Back Forty Beer Co, Irvine Greek Fest

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show
Segment Two: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part One
Segment Three: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part Two
Segment Four: Alejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part One
Segment Five: EAlejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part One
Segment Seven: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part Two
Segment Eight: Restaurateur George Kookootsedes, 36th Annual Greek Festival, St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church, Irvine

Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show.

How do you conduct a serious educational wine tasting (that’s also fun) with a group? Wine, food and travel writer Linda Kissam is with us to explain.

Quality Italian beef, pasta, and sustainable seafood are on the menu at the new Chianina Steakhouse in the Naples area of Long Beach. This is from the hospitality team known for Michael’s on Naples. Linda Kissam recently experienced a dinner there.

The craft beer movement, surprisingly, is vibrant and thriving in Alabama. Back Forty Beer Co. is the largest, and oldest, packaging brewery in the State.

The 36th Annual Greek Festival brings a “Taste of Greece” to Orange County at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church from June 27th to 29th. More than 11,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival which will feature traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, and authentic Greek dancing with lessons. It’s a family-friendly affair!

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

Linda KissamHow do you conduct a serious, educational wine tasting with a group that’s also entertaining and fun? Wine, food and travel writer Linda Kissam is with us to explain. She organizes tastings all the time…

She expertly demonstrated this recently for a group of professional food, wine, and travel journalists at the annual conference of the International, Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association in Montgomery, AL.

It was an organized tasting of five Italian Sparking Wines.

It’s fun but there is a proper way of doing this.

She also explains what the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association does and what their mission is. Linda serves as their First Vice President.

Chianina SteakhouseHigh-end steakhouses with a serious bar and deep wine lists are very much in fashion these days.

How about an elegant steakhouse that serves limited availability, high-quality Italian beef, prime steaks, and sustainable seafood? There is also a well-regarded executive chef (David Coleman) overseeing things. We’ll be meeting the General Manager of Chianina Steakhouse in the Naples neighborhood of Long Beach, part of the ever expanding Michael’s Restaurant Group. We’re joined by Alejandro Duran of Chianina.

Chianina beef will soon be on their menu.

Jason WilsonFounded in 2009 by Jason Wilson, Back Forty Beer Co. is one of the oldest Alabama breweries and the first to distribute outside of the state. Back Forty beers are available statewide in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. The brewery is located in Historic Downtown Gadsden, Alabama.

“In 2008, after several years in the corporate world and with over 150 brewery tours under his belt, founder Jason Wilson reached out to renowned Brewmaster Jamie Ray and asked for his help in developing recipes for Back Forty Beer Co.

The goal for the liquid was simple – to expose Southerners to the same craft beer culture that Wilson had been part of for the last ten years. This meant starting out with classic beer styles and evolving with customers along the way. Jamie agreed and in January of 2009 he became Back Forty’s first employee.

In June of 2009, Back Forty released its first offering, Naked Pig Pale Ale. The beer was only available in the North-Central Alabama home market, but the response was overwhelming. In March of 2010 the second Back Forty offering hit the shelves, Truck Stop Honey Brown Ale. Later that year Truck Stop Honey was awarded a Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival, and in the weeks following, distribution offers poured in that allowed Back Forty to expand its coverage throughout Alabama.

Jason revealed the great news that it looks like Back Forty Beer Co.’s styles will be available in Southern California by year’s end. We’ll keep you posted…

irvine-greek-festThe 36th Annual Greek Festival brings a “Taste of Greece” to Orange County at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church from June 27th to 29th. More than 11,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival which will feature traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, and authentic Greek dancing with lessons. It’s a family-friendly affair!

Legendary OC Restaurateur Mr. K (George Kookootsedes)
(John Dominis) is our guest…As a dedicated volunteer he puts the incredible food program together each year.

As guest host Linda Kissam notes , “It’s the next best thing to flying to Greece.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show
Segment Two: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part One
Segment Three: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part Two
Segment Four: Alejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part One
Segment Five: EAlejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part One
Segment Seven: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part Two
Segment Eight: Restaurateur George Kookootsedes, 36th Annual Greek Festival, St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church, Irvine

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!

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Show 75, June 7, 2014: Chef Leo Maurelli III of Central, Montgomery, Alabama

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.

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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…