December 14: Kakawa Chocolate House, Bricia Lopez. Jalisco Tourism

Now a tantalizing preview of this Saturday’s mouthwatering show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will hopefully leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing… As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it without you.

Kakawa Chocolate House is an artisan chocolate company located in the beautiful, high elevation town of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Kakawa’s passion is promoting the history of chocolate and crafting a variety of delicious chocolate creations of the finest quality. Proprietress Bonnie Bennett shares the rich decadence with us.

Bricia Lopez is the 2nd generation, Co-owner (with her Family) of the James Beard Award-winning Guelaguetza, Oaxacan restaurant in Los Angeles’ Koreatown. Oaxaca is the culinary heart of Mexico, and since opening its doors in 1994, Guelaguetza has been the center of life for the Oaxacan community in Los Angeles. Founded by the Lopez family, Guelaguetza has been offering traditional Oaxacan food for 25 years.

Bricia’s first cookbook is Oaxaca – Home Cooking From The Heart Of Mexico (written with Javier Cabral.) We grab Bricia from her busy book tour for a chat.

The Under Secretary of Jalisco Tourism, Rocio Lancaster, joins us by phone from Guadalajara to highlight the merits of Jalisco as the destination that encompasses the best of Mexico – from cosmopolitan scenes of Guadalajara to the beach resorts of Puerto Vallarta. Food and libation (the home of Tequila) tourism are a major attraction.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group is in-studio with another informative “Ask the Chef” segment. Chef Andrew was a participant in the recent MUFSO (Multiple Unit Food Service Operators) Conference in Denver. An area of discussion was the cost of sustainability and the associated “say-do disconnect” on the part of guests. Chef Andrew will provide perspective. How do you manage the gap ?

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Bonnie Bennett of Kawada Chocolate HouseKakawa Chocolate House is an artisan chocolate company located in the beautiful, high elevation town of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Kakawa’s passion is promoting the history of chocolate and crafting a variety of delicious chocolate creations of the finest quality. Proprietress Bonnie Bennett shares the rich decadence with us.

Kakawa’s signature is a collection of historic drinking chocolate elixirs. “These specialties include traditional Pre-Columbian, Mesoamerican, Mayan and Aztec drinking chocolate elixirs; 1600’s European drinking chocolate elixirs, Colonial American and Colonial Mexican drinking chocolate elixirs. Kakawa Chocolate House drinking chocolate elixirs are representative of these historic recipes and span the time period 1000 BC to the mid-1900s AD.”

“Kakawa supports local organic farming, promotes the history and anthropology of chocolate, and, most importantly, produces a huge variety of delicious chocolate creations of the highest quality. Since its founding, Kakawa has earned a reputation as one of the most exciting and original chocolate shops in the world.”

“Kakawa’s chocolatiers are dedicated to sharing their passion for chocolate. They balance the traditional with the cutting edge, creating unique and exquisitely bold creations from fresh, seasonal ingredients. Their one-of-a-kind creations include truffles, drinking chocolate elixirs, agave caramels, solid dark chocolates and delicious homemade ice cream. Working exclusively in small batches, our staff ensures that each piece of chocolate looks as exquisite as it tastes.”

“Our mission is to re-introduce you to chocolate. We draw on chocolate’s long history, re-creating original Mesoamerican and Colonial chocolate recipes, and using them to inspire our new and exciting creations. We have a startling variety of contemporary flavors (including dairy-free and Vegan confections), such as Pomegranate, Cherry-Chili and Acai, Hibiscus flower, and Mescal. Kakawa also offers classic European-style truffles, such as Earl Grey, Espresso, Classic French Dark and many other seasonal specialties.”

Bricia Lopez of GuelaguetzaBricia Lopez is the 2nd generation, Co-owner (with her Family) of the James Beard Award-winning Guelaguetza, Oaxacan restaurant in Los Angeles’ Koreatown. Oaxaca is the culinary heart of Mexico, and since opening its doors in 1994, Guelaguetza has been the center of life for the Oaxacan community in Los Angeles. Founded by the Lopez family, Guelaguetza has been offering traditional Oaxacan food for 25 years.

Bricia’s first cookbook is Oaxaca – Home Cooking From The Heart Of Mexico (written with Javier Cabral.)

Oaxaca, the cookbook, is the first true introduction to Oaxacan cuisine by a native family, each dish articulates their story, from Oaxaca to the streets of Los Angeles and beyond.

Showcasing the “soul food” of Mexico, Oaxaca offers 140 authentic, yet accessible recipes using some of the purest pre-Hispanic and indigenous ingredients available. From their signature pink horchata to the formula for the Lopez’s award-winning mole negro, Oaxaca demystifies this essential cuisine

Bricia Lopez comes from a long lineage of Oaxaca Mezcal craftsmen and grew up in her grandmother’s kitchen. Lopez is the Co-Proprietor of Guelaguetza. Javier Cabral created the critically acclaimed food blog Teenage Gluster when he was only 16. A former West Coast staff writer for Munchies, he has written for numerous publications, including the Los Angeles TimesSaveur, and Lucky Peach. They both live in Los Angeles.

Under Secretary of Jalisco Tourism, Rocio LancasterThe Under Secretary of Jalisco Tourism, Rocio Lancaster, joins us by phone from Guadalajara to highlight the merits of Jalisco as the destination that encompasses the best of Mexico – from cosmopolitan scenes of Guadalajara to the beach resorts of Puerto Vallarta. Food and libation (the home of Tequila) tourism are a major attraction.

“Jalisco is made up of 125 municipalities, eight of which have the Pueblo Magico badge.  Today Jalisco is distinguished by the great diversity that surrounds its geography. Both in terms of weather, being able to go from the warm beach to the fresh forest in a few hours on the way, as in the possibility to visit large, cosmopolitan cities, or get lost in alleys full of crafts and tradition.”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group is in-studio with another informative “Ask the Chef” segment. Chef Andrew was a participant in the recent MUFSO (Multiple Unit Food Service Operators) Conference in Denver. An area of discussion was the cost of sustainability and the associated “say-do disconnect” on the part of guests. Chef Andrew will provide perspective. How do you manage the gap ?

What trends in foodservice were prominent in 2019? Chef Andrew provides the insight.

Show 61, February 15, 2013: Chef Rick Bayless, Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, and Red O (in West Hollywood & Newport Beach) Continues…

Mole at TopolobampoMexican cuisine master Chef Rick Bayless of Chicago’s Topolobampo and Frontera Grill continues. He created the menu for the recently opened Red O in Fashion Island, Newport Beach.

Rick details the impressive selection of artisan tequilas and mescals at Red O. He is also proud of his offerings of premium wines from the Guadalupe Valley in Northern Baja. He’s been there…

The new season of his hit PBS series takers us to Oaxaca, one of his favorite culinary regions in Mexico. He’s a fan of the famous “seven moles of Oaxaca.” We’ll visit the “Day of the Dead” celebration Oaxaca-style which is a “must see” from Rick.

Play

February 15: Rick Bayless, Top Round Roast Beef, Cochon 555, OC Restaurant Week, Grill on the Alley

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jamie Tiampo and Chef Steven Fretz, partners, Top Round Roast Beef
Segment Three: Chef Rick Bayless, Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, and Red O (in West Hollywood & Newport Beach) Part One
Segment Four: Chef Rick Bayless, Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, and Red O (in West Hollywood & Newport Beach) Part Two
Segment Five: Brady Lowe, Founder & Lord of Pork, Cochon 555
Segment Six: Executive Chef Jason Montelibano, Chapter One: The Modern Local, Santa Ana
Segment Seven: Bob Spivak, President, CEO, and Co-Founder, Grill Concepts, Inc.
Segment Eight: Jet Tila on Manhattan Dining. (Part 2)

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

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.

Thanks to all of our generous listeners who attended Chef Carla Hall’s Culinary Concert to benefit The James Beard Foundation at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin on Feb. 9th. Carla and guest MC Sherry Yard had the group thoroughly entertained with Carla’s demo of her Swamp Thing recipe which is from her new cookbook. It’s a braised pork shoulder in a smoked pork and corn broth.

America’s own master Mexican cooking authority, Rick Bayless of Topolobampo and Frontera Grill, is with us. He’s the menu-maker for the fashionable new Red O restaurant in Fashion Island in Newport Beach. It’s the 30th Anniversary of the legendary Grill on The Alley in Beverly Hills. We’ll celebrate with the founder. Cochon 555, a pork spectacular, returns to Santa Monica this month. We’ll tell you all about it. How about a fast food stand serving quality roast beef sandwiches using the very best ingredients? It’s run by fine dining chefs! Orange County Restaurant Week launches February 23rd. We’ll have a preview with one of the colorful participating executive chefs.

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

Top Round Roast BeefTop Round Roast Beef opened in the extensively remodeled space of a former donut shop at the busy corner of Olympic Blvd. and La Brea Avenue last June. The theme is top quality roast beef sandwiches where the beef is sliced to order. On the menu is a variety of quality roast beef sandwiches served on a butter-toasted bun with natural au jus. The beef is impressively sliced to order. Also on the small menu are curly French fries cooked in beef fat for maximum flavor, milkshakes and St. Louis frozen custard.

The owners have impressive culinary credentials from places including Red Medicine, 800 Degrees, and Curtis Stone’s restaurants.

Restaurant investor Jamie Tiampo (who is also the owner of See Food Media in New York) joins us along with Chef Steven Fretz (previously executive chef for Curtis Stone’s restaurant group) to explain the concept.

Rick BaylessWhen it comes to possessing a vast knowledge of the regional cooking of the various states in Mexico the recognized “el jefe” in the United States is Chicago’s Rick Bayless. Locally he’s probably best known for the PBS’s series “Mexico – One Plate at a Time” (now starting its 9th award-winning season) and from Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.” In Chicago he’s a local culinary celebrity for his highly popular restaurants including River North’s Topolobampo and Frontera Grill.

Chef Bayless has created the menu for the recently opened, and much talked about, highly designed Red O in Fashion Island, Newport Beach. It’s basically his contemporary take on Oaxacan fare and other culinary regions of Mexico.

Certain dishes are exclusive to Fashion Island and the tequila list includes 100 selections.

Chef Bayless offers tips for preparing the perfect guacamole.

The new season of his hit PBS series takers us to Oaxaca, one of his favorite culinary regions in Mexico. We’ll see the “Day of the Dead” celebration Oaxaca-style.

Brady Lowe of Cochon 555Cochon 555 (a celebration of heritage pork) returns to Los Angeles on its 2014 cross-country tour at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel on Sunday afternoon, February 23rd. Over 11 tons of heritage pork raised by family farms will be served across the country in the nose-to-tail touring culinary competition.

2014’s competing chefs include Host Chef Ray Garcia of Fig Restaurant, Christian Page of Short Order, Jason Neve of B&B Ristorante, Ray England of Craft, and Brian Howard of Comme Ca. Each chef prepares a maximum of six dishes created from one whole heritage pig.

Our own Jet Tila will be preparing an additional late-night sixth pig for the After Party.

orange-county-restaurant-weekThe OC’s most anticipated, and delicious, dining event, Orange County Restaurant Week, returns from February 23rd to March 1st. Diners will have the opportunity to enjoy the wide spectrum of dining options in the County at special prices for prix-fixe menus for both lunch and dinner.

Over 100 restaurants are part of Orange County Restaurant Week.

One of the featured restaurants is Santa Ana’s Chapter One: The Modern Local. Chef Jason Montelibano (aka Chef Chicken Wing) joins us to talk about his menu. Given his Filipino ancestry he’s incorporated a few contemporary Filipino touches into his menu.

Chef Jason won Riveria Magazine’s “To Live and Dine” chefs’ challenge event @ SoCo last year with his Lamb & Gnocchi dish.

The Grill on the Alley30 years ago dining history was made in Beverly Hills (a tough city for restaurant longevity) with the launch of The Grill on the Alley which is better known as The Grill. It soon evolved into a high profile business destination for lunch for the power brokers of Hollywood. Where your table was signified your status in the Entertainment Business. At night it became a destination for affluent locals with a very loyal following. Unusually for the time pretentiousness was never part of the gameplan. It also was the start of a significant restaurant company with three successful concepts.

Grill Concepts, Inc. continues to flourish to this day. Public School is the newest concept (with a sense of humor) with locations in Downtown Los Angeles, Culver City and Thousand Oaks. Northern California is next and more locations on the horizon. It’s a bar & restaurant gathering spot.

Founder Bob Spivak, a second generation restaurateur with a love for the hospitality business, joins us to share the fascinating story.

“We are so fortunate to have been in business for 30 years,” President, CEO, and Co-Founder Bob Spivak said. “In the ever changing restaurant industry, we are proud to say that we were vintage before it was trendy. And we will continue to maintain the tradition of exceptional service and timeless cuisine that guests have come to count on.”

Ippudo Ramen in New York CityChef 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 meal at Chef April Boomfield’s Spotted Pig (no reservations) in the West Village. This was one of the country’s first gastropubs. It’s still a scene over ten years later.

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

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jamie Tiampo and Chef Steven Fretz, partners, Top Round Roast Beef
Segment Three: Chef Rick Bayless, Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, and Red O (in West Hollywood & Newport Beach) Part One
Segment Four: Chef Rick Bayless, Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, and Red O (in West Hollywood & Newport Beach) Part Two
Segment Five: Brady Lowe, Founder & Lord of Pork, Cochon 555
Segment Six: Executive Chef Jason Montelibano, Chapter One: The Modern Local, Santa Ana
Segment Seven: Bob Spivak, President, CEO, and Co-Founder, Grill Concepts, Inc.
Segment Eight: Jet Tila on Manhattan Dining. (Part 2)

Show 37, August 3, 2013: Nancy Zaslavsky, food journalist, author, food tour guide specializing in the foods of Mexico, cooking instructor, and culinary historian

Worlds Best MargaritaIt’s prime time for Margaritas. Food journalist and Mexican cuisine-authority, Nancy Zaslavsky, joined us to share the “World’s Best Margaritas Recipe.” She picked up the intell from an accomplished bartender in Guadalajara.

She shares the four musts for creating a great margarita and the original recipe as well as her variation which a Ruby-Red Pomegranate, Cranberry, or Jamaica Margarita.

One of Nancy’s escorted food tours to Mexico is on tap for Oaxaca for October 26th to November 1st. It’s her signature “Day of the Dead” festivities tour.

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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 8: December 1, 2012: Bricia Lopez of the Guelaguetza Restaurants in K-Town and Plaza Mexico in Lynwood

Mezcal originated in Oaxaca where Bricia was born and she has developed a special expertise with Mezcal and Tequila. There is even a Mezcaleria at the K-Town location. All Tequila is a Mezcal. Bricia provided a helpful introduction to both spirits and how they are created and distilled. Both are designed to be enjoyed neat.

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December 1: Five Crowns, Guelaguetza, Food Republic

Podcasts

Segment One: Executive Chef Greg Harrison and General Manager Jim Colombo of the iconic Five Crowns & SideDoor in Corona del Mar.
Segment Two: Executive Chef Greg Harrison and General Manager Jim Colombo Part Two
Segment Three: Bricia Lopez of the Guelaguetza Restaurants in K-Town and Plaza Mexico in Lynwood
Segment Four: Jason Kessler – Los Angeles-based food writer for Food Republic and his column for the online version of Bon Appetit Magazine is the “Nitpicker.”
Segment Five: Jason Kessler Part Two
Segment Six: Jason Kessler Part Three

It’s the first Saturday in December and abundant Holiday Cheer will be with us for the month.

Joining Jet in studio will be Chef Greg Harrison, the accomplished new exec at the iconic, 48-year old  Five Crowns in Corona del Mar. The Holidays are always a special time of celebration at Five Crowns and Chef Greg will be telling us about his new touches added to the traditional festivities.

Five Crowns has always been the establishment of choice to celebrate special occasions and still is. Since Chef Greg’s arrival he’s enhanced the menu to retain the signature classics while offering an updated selection of more contemporary dishes.

Lopez Family of Guelaguetza Restaurants and Plaza MexicoWhen you’re talking about the Mexican regional cuisine of Oaxaca no one does it better than the Lopez Family behind the two very popular Guelaguetza restaurants in Los Angeles and in the Plaza Mexico in Lynwood.

Lopez Family scion, Bricia, will be joining us to provide the basic 411 on Tequila and Mezcal (which originated in Oaxaca.)

Who’s that for Holiday cheer?

Jason Kessler, blogger extraordinaire for Food Republic and also the “Nitpicker” for Bon Appetit Magazine’s blog, is with us to report on his just completed adventure at the Margaret River Gourmet Escape in Western Australia. The remote area started as a surf spot and then developed into a world class wine region.

That weekend he rubbed shoulders with some of the most accomplished chefs in the world including Rene Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen (regarded by many restaurant critics as the Number One restaurant in the world,) and New York-based David Chang of Momofuku fame. Jason also got to chat with Australian star chefs Tetsuya Wakada (Tetsuya’s,) Neil Perry (Rockpool,) and Peter Gilmore (Quay,) all Sydney-based.

Podcasts

Segment One: Executive Chef Greg Harrison and General Manager Jim Colombo of the iconic Five Crowns & SideDoor in Corona del Mar.
Segment Two: Executive Chef Greg Harrison and General Manager Jim Colombo Part Two
Segment Three: Bricia Lopez of the Guelaguetza Restaurants in K-Town and Plaza Mexico in Lynwood
Segment Four: Jason Kessler – Los Angeles-based food writer for Food Republic and his column for the online version of Bon Appetit Magazine is the “Nitpicker.”
Segment Five: Jason Kessler Part Two
Segment Six: Jason Kessler Part Three