Show 349, November 30, 2019: Chef Jeffrey Hayashi, Head Chef, Team USA at 2021 Bocuse d’Or Culinary Competition

Jeffrey Hayashi is the head chef for the 2021 Bocuse D'OrMent’or BKB foundation, based in New York, sponsors, guides and mentors Team USA which competes biennially (every 2 years) in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or international culinary competition held in Lyon, France. On November 11th at the Culinary Institute of America’s Copia campus in the Napa Valley three noteworthy finalist teams of a Head Chef & Commis competed to head Team USA 2021. Chef Jeffrey Hayashi (most recently the Chef de Cuisine at Honolulu’s Senia Restaurant) prevailed and we’ll meet him.

“The three finalist Team USA 2021 teams competed over a five hour and 35 – minute period, following the rigorous format of the actual Bocuse d’Or competition. The platter theme was Whole Chicken, from Palisades Ranch in California, and the plated theme was Ratatouille.”

“Chef Jeffery Hayashi and Commis William Barrera will now begin the rigorous journey to the Bocuse d’Or as Team USA 2021, relocating closer to the training facility at Copia in Napa, California and dedicating the next fourteen months to prepare for the 2021 competition. During this crucial training period, Ment’or will support Team USA, with the Foundation’s esteemed Chef Council continuing to play an invaluable role in mentoring them.”

“I feel very fortunate for this once in a lifetime opportunity,” shares Chef Hayashi, who previously competed for Team USA in 2019. “Any one of the competing chefs could have won. To now officially be on the road to Lyon for Bocuse d’Or is surreal, and I’m incredibly thankful for all the support.”

“Hayashi, originally from Oahu, moved to Arizona at age four and spent the bulk of his upbringing on the mainland, though visited his grandparents in Hawaii throughout his childhood. While culinary arts were not his passion in his formative years, he spent his time focused on building, art, and creating things with his hands, which led him to study architecture at Arizona State University. After realizing that architecture wasn’t his path, Hayashi serendipitously was introduced to French-Australian Chef Philippe Padovani, who had made a name for himself in Hawaii. Philippe, who had learned cooking by fire in the kitchen, encouraged Hayashi to come and work for him as an apprentice, as Padovani opened his namesake, Padovani Grill. Hayashi, who had never worked in a kitchen before but liked hand crafts, worked for Padovani as an apprentice for a year and a half before moving to Vintage Cave as a commis under Chef Chris Kajioka.

“Kajioka then convinced Hayashi to join him on the team for Chef Mourad Lahlou’s new restaurant in San Francisco, Mourad, in 2014. Hayashi worked as Executive Sous Chef at Mourad for four years, at which time the restaurant earned one Michelin star, among other awards and accolades for its Moroccan fine dining cuisine. In 2018, Hayashi headed back to Hawaii to work at Senia, the elevated Hawaiian restaurant opened in 2016 by both Kajioka and Chef Anthony Rush, where Hayashi served as the Chef de Cuisine.”

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Show 201, December 10, 2016: Mourad Lahlou, Owner / Chef, Mourad and Aziza, San Francisco

Mourad LahlouConsidered by many as the pioneer of modern Moroccan cuisine in the United States, the James Beard award-nominated Mourad Lahlou (San Francisco’s Aziza and Mourad) never envisioned becoming a world-famous chef. Chef Mourad is one of the celebrity chefs preparing a course for The Grand Banquet of Ultimo Weekend at The Venetian. He’ll lift the lid on the tagine for us.

Aziza is currently under renovation. The plan is for it to reopen in February.

The Marrakesh native immigrated to the United States when he was 20 years old to pursue a master’s degree in economics. Missing his country’s cuisine, Lahlou taught himself how to recreate versions of his favorite Moroccan dishes with local ingredients using his own inventive techniques. Most of the lessons he learned about food came from his mother, who cooked traditional Moroccan recipes, and grandfather, who took him to the markets.

Chef Mourad’s strikingly modern reinventions of traditional Moroccan dishes are all about showcasing the great flavors of his native cuisine in ways that harmonize with the fresh, local, artisanal ingredients available in Northern California. “I’m not sure I would even call it a Moroccan restaurant anymore,” he says. Like his jet-black tattoos, Lahlou’s food and restaurants reveal a very personal story, one rooted both in San Francisco and abroad, and recount the memories that have inspired his life’s work.

 

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December 10: Live from Lagasse’s Stadium at the Palazzo Las Vegas

Podcasts

Segment One: Daniel and Georges Daou, DAOU Vineyards & Winery
Segment Two: Young Yun, Executive Director, Mentor BKB Foundation
Segment Three: Mourad Lahlou, Owner / Chef, Mourad and Aziza, San Francisco
Segment Four: Paul Bartolotta, Executive Chef / Proprietor, The Bartolotta Restaurants
Segment Five: Chef Ming Tsai, Blue Ginger, Blue Dragon and Public Television’s “Simply Ming”
Segment Six: Emma Bengtsson, Executive Chef, Aquavit, New York
Segment Seven: Chef Curtis Stone, Maude in Beverly Hills & Gwen in Hollywood
Segment Eight: Chef Scott Pajak, Chef de Cuisine, Lagasse’s Stadium, The Palazzo Resort, Las Vegas

Ultimo A Weekend ExcellenceWe’re in fabulous Las Vegas on Saturday coming to you from the radio studio at Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo on the fabled Strip.

We’re here for the 4th annual Ultimo: Le Grand Voyage, The Venetian’s and The Palazzo’s ultra-extravagant, dream food and wine weekend for 140 discriminating foodies. It’s so anticipated the food, wine and libation spectacular always sells out within a couple of days of being announced.

On to a tasty preview of Saturday’s show…

Ultimo: Le Grand Voyage shouts out for incredible wines. Each year The Grand Banquet is the stellar dining experience of the Weekend festivities with courses prepared by big-name celebrity chefs. Brothers Daniel and Georges Daou of DAOU Vineyards and Winery in Paso Robles will debut their Patrimony Cabernet Sauvignon at The Grand Banquet. We’ll uncork it with them.

Young Yun is the Executive Director of the Ment’or BKB Foundation in New York, a charitable beneficiary of Ultimo Weekend. Ment’or is a leading nonprofit organization devoted to INSPIRING CULINARY EXCELLENCE in young professionals and preserving the traditions and quality of cuisine in America. Will get an update from Young on the Foundation’s busy year.

Considered by many as the pioneer of modern Moroccan cuisine in the United States, the James Beard award-nominated Mourad Lahlou (San Francisco’s Aziza and Mourad) never envisioned becoming a world-famous chef. Chef Mourad is one of the celebrity chefs preparing a course for The Grand Banquet of Ultimo Weekend at The Venetian. He’ll lift the lid on the tagine for us.

Paul Bartolotta of The Bartolotta Restaurants is a two-time, James Beard Award-winner for culinary excellence. He’s best known in Las Vegas for creating the memorable Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at Wynn Las Vegas in 2005 which redefined high end Italian cuisine with seafood as its center. (Chef Paul is no longer associated with the renamed and repositioned restaurant as of the end of 2015.) Paul is our guest.

The Boston area’s Ming Tsai is one of the distinguished, high-profile, celebrity chefs preparing Ultimo Weekend’s Grand Banquet at the Venetian. You know Chef Ming from Food TV including his long-running acclaimed series for Public Television, “Simply Ming.” His popular restaurants in the greater Boston area are the long-running Blue Ginger and the more recent, Blue Dragon. We’ll meet him.

Aquavit, a landmark New York-based fine dining establishment featuring the cuisine of Sweden is a classic. In the Spring of 2014 their former Pastry Chef, Emma Bengtsson, was unusually elevated to the Executive Chef there post by proprietor Hakan Swahn. We’ll hear Emma’s incredible story.

Melbourne-born Chef Curtis Stone now resides in Los Angeles. In addition to being all over Food TV (“Kitchen Inferno” and the upcoming “My Kitchen Rules” on Fox), Chef Curtis has the intimate Maude in Beverly Hills and Gwen (also a butcher shop) in Hollywood. Chef Curtis, also a participating chef in The Grand Banquet, joins us.

Scott Pajak is the Chef de Cuisine at the high-volume Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo. He’s been with Emeril Lagasse since 2002 and was promoted to his current position in May of 2011. Bring on the kicked-up wings and we’ll talk hearty tailgate fare (and more) with Chef Scott.

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

Daniel DaouUltimo: Le Grand Voyage calls for incredible wines. Each year The Grand Banquet is the stellar dining experience of the Weekend festivities with courses prepared by huge celebrity chefs. Brothers Daniel and Georges Daou of DAOU Vineyards and Winery in Paso Robles will debut their Patrimony Cabernet Sauvignon at The Grand Banquet. We’ll chat with them.

DAOU Estate Collection wines are made from the finest vineyard blocks on Daou Mountain and aged extensively in hand-selected custom-crafted, new French oak barrels. These wines showcase the visionary talent of Winemaker Daniel Daou, and embody DAOU’s mission to produce first-growth Cabernet Sauvignon from the unrivaled terroir of DAOU Mountain.

DAOU Reserve Collection wines are made from premium fruit sourced from DAOU Mountain as well as select Paso Robles vineyards. Throughout the growing season, Daniel Daou is actively involved in the management of these vineyards to ensure the highest quality. These wines are distinguished by signature qualities of grace and structure.

Young YunYoung Yun is the Executive Director of the Ment’or BKB Foundation in New York, a charitable beneficiary of Ultimo Weekend. Ment’or is a leading nonprofit organization devoted to INSPIRING CULINARY EXCELLENCE in young professionals and preserving the traditions and quality of cuisine in America.

“Our aim is to build a sustainable community of young American professionals that are knowledgeable and confident in their career pursuits and will be life-long ambassadors of quality and excellence in the world of gastronomy. The organization is dedicated to making the careers of serious young individuals more meaningful and successful by offering them unique educational opportunities, internships and access to a Culinary Council of established mentors.”

Will get an update from Young on the Foundation’s busy year supporting Team USA for the upcoming Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Challenge in Lyon and Ment’or’s Young Chef and Commis Competition.

Mourad LahlouConsidered by many as the pioneer of modern Moroccan cuisine in the United States, the James Beard award-nominated Mourad Lahlou (San Francisco’s Aziza and Mourad) never envisioned becoming a world-famous chef. Chef Mourad is one of the celebrity chefs preparing a course for The Grand Banquet of Ultimo Weekend at The Venetian. He’ll lift the lid on the tagine for us.

The Marrakesh native immigrated to the United States when he was 20 years old to pursue a master’s degree in economics. Missing his country’s cuisine, Lahlou taught himself how to recreate versions of his favorite Moroccan dishes with local ingredients using his own inventive techniques. Most of the lessons he learned about food came from his mother, who cooked traditional Moroccan recipes, and grandfather, who took him to the markets.

Chef Mourad’s strikingly modern reinventions of traditional Moroccan dishes are all about showcasing the great flavors of his native cuisine in ways that harmonize with the fresh, local, artisanal ingredients available in Northern California. “I’m not sure I would even call it a Moroccan restaurant anymore,” he says. Like his jet-black tattoos, Lahlou’s food and restaurants reveal a very personal story, one rooted both in San Francisco and abroad, and recount the memories that have inspired his life’s work.

Paul BartolottaPaul Bartolotta of The Bartolotta Restaurants is a two-time, James Beard Award-winner for culinary excellence. He’s best known in Las Vegas for creating the memorable Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at Wynn Las Vegas in 2005 which redefined high end Italian cuisine with seafood as its center. (Chef Paul is no longer associated with the renamed and repositioned restaurant as of the end of 2015.)

Joe and Paul Bartolotta grew up in a traditional Italian family in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Along with siblings, Maria and Felicia, they enjoyed large gatherings centered around unbelievably good food and plenty of love. In 1993, Joe and Paul collaborated to realize their dream of creating signature restaurants in Milwaukee. Paying homage to the family name, Ristorante Bartolotta opened in March of 1993. Embracing the culinary concept of “cucina rustica,” the restaurant offers simple, traditional Italian dishes using the freshest ingredients available.

In 1995, the company opened a second restaurant: Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro, a spacious, brasserie-style restaurant, focusing on casual and authentic French cuisine. After Lake Park Bistro earned a four-star review, Joe became Milwaukee’s first “eight-star general,” a restaurateur with two top-rated restaurants to his name. Lake Park Bistro was recognized in 2008 when Executive Chef Adam Siegel won the coveted James Beard Award for Best Chef Midwest.

Over the next two decades, The Bartolotta Restaurants added a variety of fine dining and casual concepts to its portfolio. Joe, Paul and The Bartolotta Restaurants family will continue to grow their lineup of distinguished Southeastern Wisconsin venues and look forward to potential expansion throughout the Midwest.

Chef Paul is our guest.

Ming TsaiThe Boston area’s Ming Tsai is one of the distinguished, high-profile, celebrity chefs preparing Ultimo Weekend’s Grand Banquet at the Venetian. You know Chef Ming from Food TV including his long-running acclaimed series for Public Television, Simply Ming.” His popular restaurants in the greater Boston area are the long-running Blue Ginger and the more recent, Blue Dragon. We’ll meet him.

“Ming’s love of cooking was forged in his early years. Ming was raised in Dayton, Ohio, where he spent hours cooking alongside his mother and father at Mandarin Kitchen, the family-owned restaurant. His experience also taught him about restaurant operations and the art of making customers happy.”

“Ming headed east to attend school at Phillips Academy Andover. From there, Ming continued to Yale Universityearning his degree in Mechanical Engineering. During this time, Ming spent his summers attending Le Cordon Bleu cooking school and apprenticing at area restaurants in Paris. After graduating from Yale, Ming moved to Paris and trained under renowned Pastry Chef Pierre Herme and then on to Osaka with Sushi Master Kobayashi.”

Upon his return to the United States, Ming enrolled in graduate school at Cornell University, earning a Master’s degree in Hotel Administration and Hospitality Marketing.

Emma BengtssonAquavit, a landmark New York-based fine dining establishment featuring the cuisine of Sweden is a classic. In the Spring of 2014 their former Pastry Chef, Emma Bengtsson, was unusually elevated to the Executive Chef post there by proprietor Hakan Swahn.

Former Aquavit Executive Chef Marcus Jernmark recruited Bengtsson in 2010 to join the restaurant as Pastry Chef. Bengtsson quickly became known for her creative interpretations of classic Scandinavian desserts, as well as establishing a new bread program. Her style was reflective of the region’s penchant for local products, progressive techniques, and continuing traditions; and it was well received, as Aquavit was recognized with one star in the Michelin Guide New York City in 2013 and 2014.

Håkan Swahn, the owner of Aquavit, saw talent and fresh perspective in Chef Bengtsson’s skillset and offered her the role of Executive Chef in spring 2014. She accepted the job, and since then has injected the critically acclaimed menu with her personal style and experience.

In October of 2015, her work garnered a second Michelin Star for Aquavit, making her the second female chef in the U.S. to run a two-star kitchen and the first ever Swedish female chef to do so.

We’ll hear Emma’s incredible story.

Curtis StoneMelbourne-born Chef Curtis Stone now resides in Los Angeles. In addition to being all over Food TV (“Kitchen Inferno” and the upcoming “My Kitchen Rules” on FOX), Chef Curtis has the intimate Maude in Beverly Hills and Gwen (also a butcher shop) in Hollywood.

“My mum and granny taught me everything I know about food and cooking. My mum, Lozza, is a great cook, in particular a phenomenal baker, and I would watch her every move while she baked. I am very partial to her corn and bacon muffins so she makes these for me whenever I visit. I still call on her regularly for advice when I’m developing recipes – thanks Lozza!”

Curtis Stone is also the author of six cookbooks. The most recent title is Good Food, Good Life.

Chef Curtis, also a participating chef in The Grand Banquet, joins us.

Scott PajakScott Pajak is the Chef de Cuisine at the high volume Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo. It sets the standard for Sports Bars in Sin City. He’s been with Emeril Lagasse since 2002 and was promoted to his current position in May of 2011.

Growing up in Lancaster, NY, Scott Pajak could often be found in the kitchen – cooking chicken noodle soup and sauces with his grandparents, or helping his dad tend the grill and savoring the smoky aroma of barbecue.

While studying at UNLV, he worked in numerous restaurants around Las Vegas, including Planet Hollywood, New York New York Casino and TPC Country Club, where he prepared meals for participants on the PGA Tour.

In 2002, Pajak entered the kitchen at Emeril Lagasse’s seafood eatery Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House as a line cook. Over the next 9 years, he would work in nearly every position in Lagasse’s kitchen, from saucier to butcher, eventually rising to the post of sous chef. He helped write the restaurant’s daily menus and showed off his creativity as he cooked for guests at the chef’s kitchen table.

Bring on the kicked-up wings and we’ll talk hearty tailgate food (and more) with Chef Scott.

Podcasts

Segment One: Daniel and Georges Daou, DAOU Vineyards & Winery
Segment Two: Young Yun, Executive Director, Mentor BKB Foundation
Segment Three: Mourad Lahlou, Owner / Chef, Mourad and Aziza, San Francisco
Segment Four: Paul Bartolotta, Executive Chef / Proprietor, The Bartolotta Restaurants
Segment Five: Chef Ming Tsai, Blue Ginger, Blue Dragon and Public Television’s “Simply Ming”
Segment Six: Emma Bengtsson, Executive Chef, Aquavit, New York
Segment Seven: Chef Curtis Stone, Maude in Beverly Hills & Gwen in Hollywood
Segment Eight: Chef Scott Pajak, Chef de Cuisine, Lagasse’s Stadium, The Palazzo Resort, Las Vegas