Show 144, October 31, 2015: Executive Chef Nyesha Arrington, Leona, Venice Beach

Nyesha Arrington of LeonaVenice, CA. – based Chef Nyesha Arrington is no stranger to the show. You know her from Bravo’s “Top Chef” and Esquire Channel’s “Knife Fight.”

We’ve chatted with her in the past when she was at The Wilshire and, more recently, about her pop-ups. She is now creating the menu at the new LEONA restaurant in Venice.

At LEONA Chef Nyesha is serving seasonally driven, ethically harvested and globally inspired Progressive Californian cuisine inspired by the mosaic of the Golden State. It’s dinner and weekend brunch for the moment with lunch debuting later this month.

“We want you to feel like you were hugged from the inside,” explains Arrington. “Our food is consciously prepared. For instance we may use ingredients with health benefits, like turmeric or ginger, but we’re not afraid to use butter, cream and other classic culinary styles when it is appropriate. We’re mindful of modern dietary preferences and create thoughtful dishes accordingly. We also strive to be progressive in creating sustainable sourcing and kitchen practices with little to no food waste.”

In the early 1900s “LEONA” was the original street name for what now is Washington Boulevard.

“We’re California natives and Venice residents,” comments proprietor Kristian Vallas, “We wanted this restaurant to represent why we love Venice and its tradition of avant-garde entrepreneurship. We’re approaching things differently operationally and creatively.”

Chef Nyesha is with us to provide all the tasty morsels.

 

Play

October 31: Andrew Gruel, Jeffrey Boullt, Sue Montgomery, Nyesha Arrington, Pechanga Resort & Casino, The Kroft, Wine Exchange

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Guest Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish
Segment Two: Executive Chef Jeffrey Boullt, SOCIAL Costa Mesa
Segment Three: Susan Montgomery, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist
Segment Four: Executive Chef Nyesha Arrington, Leona, Venice Beach
Segment Five: Dennis Green, Director of Beverage, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula
Segment Six: National Sandwich Day – The Kroft’s Creation
Segment Seven: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, The Wine Exchange
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, and now, Irvine at UCI, is back as today’s special Guest Host.

Next tantalizing preview of Saturday’s high-energy and appropriately loaded show and not, with apologies, for dieters. In the Halloween spirit only the very best treats this morning! If we’re doing it right we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

SOCIAL Costa Mesa just celebrated their Year Anniversary and a lot of credit for their success can be attributed to personable Executive Chef Jeffrey Boullt. He’s out there cooking memorable tastes at a lot of high profile special events. We’ll meet him and perhaps pick up a few tips for success.

Food, wine and travel writer Sue Montgomery (also a Director and the Treasurer of IFWTWA) was just in the Valle de Guadalupe in Northern Baja on a VIP food and wine tour led and orchestrated by San Diego’s Wine Vault & Bistro. Sue joins us to profile her hugely recommendable 3-day adventure.

Venice, CA. – based Chef Nyesha Arrington is no stranger to the show. We’ve charted with her in the past when she was at The Wilshire and, more recently, about her pop-ups. She is now creating the menu at the new LEONA restaurant in Venice. Chef Nyesha is with us to provide all the tasty morsels.

How about easy to prepare cocktails that are sure to impress for your Halloween celebrations ? Dennis Green, Director of Beverage at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula scares up a few inspired creations for us.

It’s National Sandwich Day on Tuesday, November 3rd. We’re honoring the beloved “portable meal” created by the 18th century English noble, John Montagu. The Kroft, with locations at the Anaheim Packing House and Tustin Union Market, has created The Leftover Sandwich to mark the occasion. It’s more than a mouthful…We’ll hear all about it.

Wine pricing in restaurants whether it be by the glass or bottle can be a bit of a mystery. Where is the value…? Our delightfully opinionated wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange, has some definite thoughts on the matter. We’ll pull the cork on this with Kyle.…

Our regular Guest Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, has some musings for us. He’s our resident seafood authority. We’re going to be talking about encouraging the revival of the California White Seabass and what’s being done locally to assist nature. It’s a popular sports fish for local anglers.

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

Jeffrrey BoulltSOCIAL Costa Mesa just celebrated their Year Anniversary and a lot of credit for their success can be attributed to their personable Executive Chef Jeffrey Boullt. He’s out there cooking memorable tastes at a lot of high profile special events.

SOCIAL is a new-American restaurant offering chef and ingredient-focused dinner, brunch, late night bites and craft cocktails.

For 2015 SOCIAL Costa Mesa is the recipient of The Golden Foodie Awards for Best New Restaurant and Best California Cuisine.

Chef Jeffrey has had quite a culinary career for someone who is all of 35. After working in New Orleans (Commander’s Palace) and throughout Southern California (Playground,) he is merging the two regional cuisine styles and bringing them to life through his playful and thoughtful menu at SOCIAL Costa Mesa.

On YouTube you can find Cathy Thomas’ (Cathy Thomas Cooks!) instructional video of Chef Jeffrey preparing Vibrant Roasted Vegetables with French Goat Cheese and Italian-style Salsa Verde.

We’ll meet Chef Jeffrey and perhaps pick up a few tips for success.

Susan MontgomeryFood, wine and travel writer Sue Montgomery (also a Director and the Treasurer of the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association) was just in the Valle de Guadalupe in Northern Baja on a VIP food and wine tour led and orchestrated by San Diego’s Wine Vault & Bistro. WV & B’s Chris Gluck was the attentive host and tour guide.

She started with a reception at Wine Vault & Bistro with free-flowing Bloody Mediterraneans and Mexican Coffees before boarding the luxury motor coach to Mexico.

Their base in the Ensenada area for 2-nights was Hotel Coral y Marina with every guest having an ocean view.

Meals included a spectacular 4-course dinner under-the-stars at Chef Drew Deckman’s Deckman’s en El Mogor.

Sue joins us to profile her hugely recommendable 3-day adventure.

Nyesha Arrington of LeonaVenice, CA. – based Chef Nyesha Arrington is no stranger to the show. You know her from Bravo’s “Top Chef” and Esquire Channel’s “Knife Fight.”

We’ve chatted with her in the past when she was at The Wilshire and, more recently, about her pop-ups. She is now creating the menu at the new LEONA restaurant in Venice.

At LEONA, Chef Nyesha is serving seasonally driven, ethically harvested and globally inspired Progressive Californian cuisine inspired by the mosaic of the Golden State.

“We want you to feel like you were hugged from the inside,” explains Arrington. “Our food is consciously prepared. For instance we may use ingredients with health benefits, like turmeric or ginger, but we’re not afraid to use butter, cream and other classic culinary styles when it is appropriate. We’re mindful of modern dietary preferences and create thoughtful dishes accordingly. We also strive to be progressive in creating sustainable sourcing and kitchen practices with little to no food waste.”

Chef Nyesha is with us to provide all the tasty morsels.

Jack O Lantern Cocktail at Pechanga Casino and Resort in TemeculaHow about easy to prepare cocktails that are sure to impress for your Halloween celebrations? Dennis Green, Director of Beverage at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, scares up a few creations for us.

With more than 20 years of on-the-job experience leading some of the West Coast’s most notable hotel and casinos’ beverage programs, Dennis Green knows the main ingredient in any cocktail is customer satisfaction.

Throughout his bartending tenure creating cocktail and libation menus, Dennis has developed scores of appealing specialty drinks – many ahead of trends like hand-crafted cocktails, and many just for Halloween. Jack O’ Lantern Cocktails, Candy corn martinis, Dragon blood punches, Zombie, a lime-green colored Witches’ Brew, and the list keeps on going.

Green notes all of these spooky-themed sippers are very easy to make for your Halloween parties, or at friends’ homes.

Stephen LeIt’s National Sandwich Day on Tuesday, November 3rd. We’re honoring the beloved “portable meal” created by the 18th century English noble, John Montagu.

The Kroft, with popular locations at the Anaheim Packing House and, now, Tustin Union Market, has created The Leftover Sandwich to mark the occasion. It’s the full Thanksgiving feast layered between the halves of an artisan sandwich roll. It’s more than a mouthful…

We’ll hear all about it from The Kroft’s energetic co-founder, Stephen Le.

The Kroft is known for introducing (and popularizing) Poutine to the OC. For the upcoming “Best of the OC” for OC Weekly, The Kroft has been nominated for “Best Sandwich” and “Best New Restaurant.”

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeWine pricing in restaurants whether it be by the glass or bottle can be a bit of a mystery with respect to value. Shouldn’t restaurants be encouraging their guests to order a glass of wine as a prelude to their meal?

Our delightfully opinionated wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange, has some definite thoughts on the matter. If the value isn’t there in restaurant wine then Kyle’s concern is about potentially losing touch with the new wave of young wine drinkers. We’ll pull the cork on this discussion with Kyle.…

Andrew GruelOur regular Guest Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, has some musings for us. He’s our resident seafood authority.

We’re going to be talking about encouraging the revival of the California White Seabass and what’s being done locally to assist nature. It’s a popular sports fish for local anglers.

This effort with California White Seabass is all part of the State of California’s Ocean Resources Enhancement and Hatchery Program.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Guest Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish
Segment Two: Executive Chef Jeffrey Boullt, SOCIAL Costa Mesa
Segment Three: Susan Montgomery, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist
Segment Four: Executive Chef Nyesha Arrington, Leona, Venice Beach
Segment Five: Dennis Green, Director of Beverage, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula
Segment Six: National Sandwich Day – The Kroft’s Creation
Segment Seven: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, The Wine Exchange
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish

February 16: Marcus Samuelsson, Dean McDermott, Chick Marshall, Nyesha Arrington, Greg Daniels, Brian Howard

Podcasts

Segment One: Dean McDermott, Actor, “The Gourmet Dad, and contestant on Season 2 of Food Network’s “Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-off”
Segment Two: Chick Marshall of Mr. Stox Restaurant, Anaheim
Segment Three: Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster and Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem. Author of Yes, Chef, his biography
Segment Four: Nyesha Arrrington the Executive Chef of The Wilshire in Santa Monica
Segment Five: Greg Daniels – Executive Chef & Partner of Haven Gastropub in Orange and Old Pasadena
Segment Six: Brian Howard, Executive Chef of Comme Ca by David Myers in the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

We’re honored to have one of the food world’s most prominent celebrity chefs with us to talk about an upcoming visit to Los Angeles. We’ll also be catching up with the results of a Food Network competition series and talking with an important Orange County chef as well as a Los Angeles celebrity chef with new ventures. Another feature is saying good-bye to an OC fine dining institution.

Dean McDermottWhen we left him six weeks ago, actor, reality TV star, and “Gourmet Dad,” Dean McDermott, was competing for “Team Guy” on Food Network’s “Rachael vs. Guy (Fieri) – Celebrity Cook-Off.”

The finale of “Rachael vs. Guy” on February 10th pitted singer and TV host Carnie Wilson of Team Rachael against Dean McDermott of Team Guy. The winner is to be awarded $50,000 for their charity of choice.

Dean joins us to share the results of the finale and what’s next for him.

Chick Marshall of Mr. Stox in AnaheimChick Marshall is one of the long-time, co-owners of the highly regarded OC fine dining institution, Mr. Stox, located near Angel Stadium. His partners are his brother, Ron, and Ron’s wife, Debbie. One of their trademarks is an extensive wine cellar of some 15,000 bottles, one of the largest in Orange County.

Mr. Stox launched in 1968 and the Marshall’s acquired the restaurant in 1977. Many of their loyal employees have been with them more than 20 years.

The Marshalls have decided to retire and March 15, 2013 will be the last dinner service for Mr. Stox. It’s a bittersweet transition for the regulars. Fortunately the Marshalls own their land which has been sold for residential and commercial development (combined with adjacent parcels.)

Marcus SamuelssonMarcus Samuelsson has cooked around the world but has settled into Harlem, New York as his home base. He owns the hugely successful Red Rooster and Ginny’s Supper Club there. Marcus has prepared State Dinners for President Obama as well as is the recipient of many prestigious culinary awards. Last year his very revealing autobiography, Yes, Chef, was published which should be required reading for every aspiring culinarian.

Marcus proudly serves on the National Board of the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) which provides foodservice training and career opportunities for underserved youth. Every year hundreds of thousands of dollars in culinary scholarships are awarded to deserving high school graduates in key cities across the USA to pursue careers in the culinary arts.

On Tuesday evening, February 26th Marcus Samuelsson will be joining forces with Chef Govind Armstrong to present “A Taste of Harlem” at Govind’s restaurant, Post & Beam, located in Baldwin Hills. The menu is reimagined soul classics. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to C-CAP Los Angeles.

Tickets are $140 per guest and the evening is very close to capacity.

For reservations : atasteofharlem.brownpapertickets.com

Nyesha Arrington of WilshireIn 2011 Nyesha Arrington (mentored by Melisse’s Josiah Citrin) became the executive chef of the (already established) The Wilshire in Santa Monica. Unusually, she won the coveted position in an intense cook-off on the first season of Food Network’s “Chef Hunter”.

She was also a popular cheftestant on Bravo’sTop Chef: Texas.”

The food has never been better at The Wilshire and Chef Arrington is a big supporter of the nearby Santa Monica Farmers Market.

Greg Daniels of Haven GastropubGreg Daniels is the well respected executive chef for the busy Haven Gastropubs in Orange and Old Pasadena. It’s innovative pub-grub fare that’s elevated. They feature a great beer list and now brew their own proprietary line of seasonal craft beers.

An Orange County craft brewer of note established & operated a well-stocked gourmet specialty food shop directly across the street from the original Haven Gastropub in Orange. They recently decided they just didn’t have the time available to properly maintain (the brewery is expanding) it so it was going to close. Haven Gastropub came to the rescue and their revamped food emporium, Provisions, will now be supervised by Chef Daniels. Happy ending for all…

Comme Ca is well-known, highly successful French bistro in West Hollywood so it was no surprise when owner/chef David Myers opened a branch in the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

What is very surprising is that instead of bringing in a chef de cuisine to simply execute David’s established recipes he recruited a young executive chef with imagination who has expanded the concept with his own creations for Las Vegas. He has an unusual amount of creative freedom in the kitchen.

Brian Howard of Comme Ca in Las VegasExecutive Chef Brian Howard will join us to talk about the freedom he has been given and why this has made the spot the most highly regarded French bistro in Las Vegas.

Great specialty cocktails, too.

Podcasts

Segment One: Dean McDermott, Actor, “The Gourmet Dad, and contestant on Season 2 of Food Network’s “Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-off”
Segment Two: Chick Marshall of Mr. Stox Restaurant, Anaheim
Segment Three: Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster and Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem. Author of Yes, Chef, his biography
Segment Four: Nyesha Arrrington the Executive Chef of The Wilshire in Santa Monica
Segment Five: Greg Daniels – Executive Chef & Partner of Haven Gastropub in Orange and Old Pasadena
Segment Six: Brian Howard, Executive Chef of Comme Ca by David Myers in the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas