Show 108, January 31, 2015: Amy Jo Pedone, Valenza Chocolatier Continues…

Valenza ChocolatierWhat’s Valentine’s Day without some premium chocolates? Certified Master Chocolatier Amy Jo (Valenza) Pedone of Valenza Chocolatier is with us for a second segment to satisfy our chocolate craving.

It’s no surprise that Valenza Chocolatier has created an exclusive Valentine’s Day Collection with many appealing options.

“I love deeply, I cherish all the little things, and I adore many people – these are just a few of the ways I express some of my greatest passions. My Valentine’s Day Collection is an expression of how beloved my passions are, and it’s only fitting that the meaning of my name (Amy) also means beloved,” confides Amy Jo.

Valenza Chocolatier’s The Valentine’s Day Collection (including full descriptions and pricing) is available online through ValenzaChocolatier.com.

Two Valenza Chocolatier Valentine’s Day Pop-Up Shops will be available. The first will be at The Hood MRK on Wednesday, February 11th from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and the second at Local Fare (within the OC Mix in Costa Mesa) on Thursday, February 12th from 3 to 6:00 p.m. Guests can meet Amy Jo, indulge in some sampling, purchase the Valentine’s Day Collection in person, plus enter a drawing to win a 5-piece Tartaruga custom gift box.

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Show 96, November 8, 2014: The Mixing Glass

Gabrielle Dion of the Mixing GlassOrange County has been a hotbed of support for the craft cocktail movement for a few years now. Only recently has it offered its community and bartenders a place to find the highest quality bar tools found nowhere else in the OC, bitters, vintage glassware and classes taught by leaders in the craft cocktail movement. With the opening last year of Gabrielle Dion’s (Broadway by Amar Santana) The Mixing Glass at the OC Mix at SoCo that pressing need has been answered, all under one roof.

Gabrielle is the mastermind behind some of the most innovative and buzzed about cocktails in Orange County. The Mixing Glass offers the needed tools and education to make superb craft cocktails at home and for the trade.

The Mixing Glass also hosts regular classes ranging from how to make homemade ingredients for cocktails, as well as bar mechanics, and Mixology 101. Look for Holiday Cocktails 101 on Thursday, November 20th from 7 to 9:00 p.m. There is also a class in early December.

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Show 72, May 17, 2014: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, The Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Orange County Magazine

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineOur always debonair, roving food and travel correspondent in the OC, Kedric Francis, checks-in. He’s the Executive Editor of both The Orange County Register Magazine and Coast Orange County Magazine. He’s updating us on the new food market halls arriving in the OC.

Kedric profiles the soon-to-open Packing House at The Anaheim Packing District and the 4th Street Market in Downtown Santa Ana. Leonard Chan will open a branch of his Iron Press waffle concept (the original is at SoCo in Costa Mesa) at the Packing House in addition to two other concepts. Eagerly anticipated at 4th Street Market is Chef Michael Puglisi’s (ex-Bouchon Beverly Hills) Electric City Butcher shop.

One of the principals in the founding of The Mart Mix at SoCo has announced plans to develop and open market halls at the Kaleidoscope in Mission Viejo and The District in Tustin. The Mart Mix and SoCo is the flagship market hall development in Orange County to date. It contains award-winning restaurants and popular gourmet specialty food firms.

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October 12: Lindy & Grundy, Duskie Estes, Kristine Kidd, Brock Radke, Greg Daniels, Hawaiian Tropical Fruit

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Erika Nakamura, master butcher, chef, and co-owner of Lindy & Grundy Meats
Segment Three: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Onw
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Two
Segment Five: Kristine Kidd, author of Williams–Sonoma Weeknight Gluten Free
Segment Six: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic for The Orange County Register Part One
Segment Seven: Chef Greg Daniels of The Haven Collective
Segment Eight: Ken Love, President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Jet discusses the highlights of the Luckyrice Festival Night Market held last Saturday at the Cosmopolitan Hotel on The Strip in Las Vegas. Jet served some 1,100 portions to the enthusiastic guests.

Andy reviews the highlights of the Patchwork Show – Edible Edition at SoCo and The OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa last Weekend. The show broadcast live from the South Coast Collection.

Erika Nakamura of Lindy and Grundy MeatsThe classic, full-service neighborhood butcher shop is alive, well, and prospering at Lindy & Grundy Meats in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles. Artisan butcher Erika Nakamura (half of the Lindy & Grundy team along with Amelia Posada) is with us to fill us in. Erika is a classically trained chef.

All of their premium meats are from humanely treated, grass fed animals and 100 per cent locally produced and sustainable. The partners only source meat from farms they have visited. They even inspect the harvesting facility where the animal is processed. They offer an alternative to commercial farming.

Lindy and Grundy hosts classes for true meat enthusiasts.

Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart of Zazu Kitchen and FarmOne of the most exciting chef teams operating in the Sonoma County wine country is Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart (wife & husband) who are the proprietors of the new zazu kitchen + farm located at The Barlow (a former apple juice processing facility) in Sebastopol. Some of the vegetables used at the restaurant are actually grown in large tubs on the restaurant’s patio. They were mentored by pioneering Seattle chef/restaurateur Tom Douglas before relocating to Sonoma County to go off on their own.

The original zazu restaurant (part of a former chicken coop) was founded in Santa Rosa in 2001. It was located in a rustic roadhouse way out of town surrounded by farms and vineyards. If a local didn’t tell you about it you’d probably never know it was there. Their regulars include some of the most distinguished winemakers in Sonoma County. The eclectic wine list includes reserve selections that you just don’t see outside of the private stash of the wineries.

Duskie and John were living farm-to-table long before that became a marketing buzzword for chefs. They raise their own chicken and ducks to provide the eggs for their fresh pasta and their praise-worthy gelati.

Duskie Estes of the new zazu kitchen + farm in Sebastopol stays with us.

John Stewart learned the art of curing meats from Mario Batali’s father who has a highly-praised salumi business in Seattle. Visitors to zazu can watch John cure his acclaimed Black Pig Meat Co.’s bacon and salumi right there.

Zazu even has an experienced organic farmer on staff. He supervises the three spots of zazu’s soil including the MacBryde Farm where John and Duskie live with their children. The Farm is home to zazu’s chickens, ducks, turkeys, heritage wattle pigs, sheep, rabbits, goats and more.

Kristine Kidd Loyal readers of Bon Appetit Magazine will remember Kristine Kidd as the long-time Food Editor.

She is now the food editor for the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch website as well as a busy cookbook author.

Her newly released seventh cookbook is Weeknight Gluten Free. This title is particularly important to Kristine as her childhood celiac disease resurfaced recently.

Kristine is a serious home cook. She prepares fresh meals at home almost every night.

On Wednesday, October 23rd Kristine Kidd will be part of a “Zov’s Lunch and Learn” program at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin. Kristine will be explaining how to prepare delicious meals that are gluten free.

Lunch will be on the menu, too. The entrée is Grilled Lemongrass Chicken with Ginger Rice, Braised Kale and Grilled Roasted Tomatoes. It’s a modest $25 per guest and seating is limited. Make your plans now because it will reach capacity quickly.

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyIn Las Vegas it’s who you know and the “SoCal Restaurant Show” is lucky to have Brock Radke as our insider on the ground in Las Vegas. Brock is the Food Editor of Las Vegas Weekly and joins us regularly to clue us in on what’s happening on the dynamic Las Vegas dining scene.

This morning Brock is giving us the 411 on Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak at The Mirage and Rick Moonen’s Rx Boiler Room at The Shops at Mandalay Bay. Brock recommends both new additions to The Strip’s dining choices.

We’re proud to be part of the hospitality industry as chefs and restaurateurs are some of the most generous folks we know. When there is a worthy cause they are there in a flash with food and support…

Greg Daniels of Haven GastropubWe know Chef Greg Daniels from the two Haven Gastropubs (Orange and Pasadena,) taco asylum and Provisions Market. From October 16th to 25th Chef Greg has assembled a group of distinguished OC chefs to raise money for children who suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) worldwide. It’s all under the playful banner of “PB&J for Good.”

Participating chefs will put their creative spin on the traditional PB&J as a special menu offering. Each will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every PB&J dish to benefit StopSAM.org, a fundraising arm for Severe Acute Malnutrition.

Besides Haven Gastropub some of the high profile restaurants participating include ARC, Broadway by Amar Santana, Little Sparrow, LUCCA, and The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar.

The State of Hawaii has some of the most fertile agricultural land in the United States yet, in recent years, this dirt hasn’t been used for agriculture. Sadly they need to import most of their fruits and vegetables from the Mainland.

Sharwil AvacadoOn the Big Island of Hawaii, for example, over 200 varieties of avocados grow. The pearl of the group is the Sharwil. It’s creamy with a rich buttery flavor, and prized by local chefs.

Surprisingly until very recently the USDA wouldn’t allow the Sharwil to be imported into the lower 48 states. This is a real shame because the seasons of the Sharwil match the seasons of availability for imported avocados from Mexico. Wouldn’t you want to enjoy a made in the USA fruit which also supports our economy ?

Ken Love, the President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, joins us from The Big Island to explain what has changed…It’s a baby step.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Erika Nakamura, master butcher, chef, and co-owner of Lindy & Grundy Meats
Segment Three: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Onw
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Two
Segment Five: Kristine Kidd, author of Williams–Sonoma Weeknight Gluten Free
Segment Six: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic for The Orange County Register Part One
Segment Seven: Chef Greg Daniels of The Haven Collective
Segment Eight: Ken Love, President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

Show 42, October 5, 2013: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris previewed the show.

Jet was speaking from Las Vegas at the Luckyrice Night Market at the Cosmopolitan on the famed Las Vegas Strip.

Patchwork Show Edible EditionToday’s show was broadcast live from the Patchwork Show – Edible Edition at the South Coast Collection and OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa which took place both Saturday and Sunday.

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 was free…

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

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Show 42, October 5, 2013: Carlos Salgago, Executive Chef and Proprietor of Taco Maria

Carlos Salgado of Taco MariaTaco Maria, newly opened at SoCo, represents a wonderful success story for the Salgado Family.

Carlos is a trained pastry chef with extensive experience in fine-dining establishments in the Bay Area. Carlos returned to Orange County and with his sister, Silvia, launched a gourmet food truck, Taco Maria, in 2011.

In it’s first year Taco Maria was awarded the distinction of being named one of OC’s best new restaurants by both The Orange County Register and OC Weekly.

Taco Maria earned great acclaim as the featured gourmet food truck at the Saturday morning Farmers Market at SoCo. The lines were long (everything was created fresh to order) and the devoted following huge!

Last year Carlos sold the food truck to create a real destination restaurant at SoCo. Taco Maria opened in September for dinner only and just recently added lunch. Weekend brunch is planned for the near future. A beautiful patio overlooks the garden courtyard adjacent to The OC Mart Mix.

It’s an open kitchen so you can see the craft and care which goes into the preparation of each dish. Even the tortillas are hand-made and prepared throughout the day.

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Show 22, March 23, 2013: Jeff & Christa Duggan of Portola Coffee Lab, Theorem by Portola Coffee Lab, and Seventh Tea Bar in the OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa

Jeff and Christa Duggan of Portola Coffee Lab in Costa MesaJeff and Christa are coffee obsessed but they are fun, too.

The goal of Portola since opening in the OC Mart Mix in 2011 is to create a 100 percent single-cup brew coffeehouse designed and constructed as a nod to craft, quality, and freshness. They brew every cup a single portion at a time using three meticulously researched and perfected brewing methods.

They blazed the trail for other artisan food businesses to open at The OC Mart Mix and the long lines of repeat customers illustrates the story of their success.

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Show 22, March 23, 2013: Jeff & Christa Duggan of Portola Coffee Lab, Theorem by Portola Coffee Lab, and Seventh Tea Bar in the OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa (Continued…)

Jeff and Christa Duggan of Portola Coffee Lab in Costa MesaAs Jeff was talking he ground the freshly-roasted beans and then began the brewing process for the ideal cup using a simple glass, pour-over brewer. He weighted the beans and water and put the ground beans in the top glass funnel (lined with filter paper.) The water was heated to the right temperature and then gently poured into the brewer over the beans. The fresh coffee then slowly dripped into the glass holding vessel. The aroma in the studio was incredible!

Last year Theorem by Portola Coffee Lab was added around the corner from Portola. You might call it their performance space. It’s a 6-seat bar presenting a Barista-crafted menu of one-of-a-kind Craft Coffee creations focused on delivering a rich, personal experience. At times Theorem is by appointment only for private tastings and is also open to the public without reservations at other times when the sliding glass doors are open. Call first…

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March 23: Ricardo Zarate, Cocoy Ventura, Anita Lau, Brock Radke, Portola Coffee Lab

Podcasts

Segment One: Food GPS’ Joshua Lurie
Segment Two: Chef Cocoy Ventura
Segment Three: Anita Lau, Mad Hungry Woman Blogger
Segment Four: Brock Radke, Food & Web Editor of Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Five: Jeff & Christa Duggan of Portola Coffee Lab, Theorem by Portola Coffee Lab, and Seventh Tea Bar in the OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa Part One
Segment Six: Jeff & Christa Duggan of Portola Coffee Lab, Theorem by Portola Coffee Lab, and Seventh Tea Bar in the OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa Part Two

Hungry? This week we’ll start with a dine-around of New York, Houston, and a bit of L.A. From there it’s the 411 on Filipino food presented by a distinguished Filipino Chef.

Next it’s a look at an appealing San Diego restaurant discovered by our always reliable correspondent covering San Diego. From there it’s a look at the Top 20 restaurants in Las Vegas both on and off The Strip ranked by an objective local insider. Lastly it’s all things coffee with a pair of real experts.

Jet has been in New York and Houston since he was last on the air so he’ll share some of his dining adventures.

Ricardo Zarate of Mo-Chica and PiccaChef Ricardo Zarate (Mo-Chica & Picca) is about to open his eagerly anticipated Paiche in Marina del Rey. To celebrate Chef Zarate is joining forces with FOOD GPS to present two evenings of special dinners collaborating with fellow Food & Wine magazine “Best New Chefs”. Joshua Lurie of Food GPS will be along to preview the dinners on March 26th and 27th.

Chef Cocoy VenturaHiding in plain sight is the fact that there is a large Filipino community in Los Angeles. There is even a chain of well-stocked and nicely-appointed Filipino supermarkets based in Los Angeles County.

Chef Cocoy Ventura is with us to talk about the basic components of Filipino food. Fish, vegetables, and fruit are just some of the tasty building blocks.

Anita Lau, the widely followed Mad Hungry Woman blogger, is back with us sharing another dining discovery. She tell us about an appealing find in San Diego that she happily goes back to time and again.

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyBrock Radke is the respected, no-nonsense Food and Web Editor for Las Vegas Weekly. The March 14th cover story for The Weekly was “The 20 Most Important Restaurants in Las Vegas: Brock Radke ranks the landmarks and upstarts defining how we eat right now” positioned in order of appeal to him. It features both on and off The Strip locations. Let the games begin…

Jeff and Christa Duggan of Portola Coffee Lab in Costa MesaIf you really love a superior cup of coffee then don’t miss this segment! Coffee fanatics Jeff and Christa Duggan of Portola Coffee Lab at the OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa are constantly on the hunt for brewing the ultimate cup of coffee…They call it Craft Coffee. (Don’t worry – they are passionate but harmless…)

“Since opening Portola Coffee Lab, we have focused on empowering the community with quality, traceable, fresh-roasted coffee, presented in an artful context – one cup at a time,” explains proprietor Jeff Duggan.

Last year the energetic Duggans added Theorem by Portola Coffee Lab adjacent to their original coffee haven. It’s a 6-seat bar presenting a Barista-crafted menu of one-of-a-kind Craft Coffee creations focused on delivering a rich, personal experience.

Podcasts

Segment One: Food GPS’ Joshua Lurie
Segment Two: Chef Cocoy Ventura
Segment Three: Anita Lau, Mad Hungry Woman Blogger
Segment Four: Brock Radke, Food & Web Editor of Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Five: Jeff & Christa Duggan of Portola Coffee Lab, Theorem by Portola Coffee Lab, and Seventh Tea Bar in the OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa Part One
Segment Six: Jeff & Christa Duggan of Portola Coffee Lab, Theorem by Portola Coffee Lab, and Seventh Tea Bar in the OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa Part Two