Show 299, November 24, 2018: Restaurateurs Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis, Bestia – Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A.

Executive Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis of BestiaThe Proprietors of the phenomenally popular Bestia and the newly opened Bavel, Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis, are no strangers to the show. Just in time for the Holidays their debut cookbook, Bestia – Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A., is now available.

This debut cookbook from L.A.’s phenomenally popular Bestia restaurant features rustic Italian food that is driven by intense flavors, including house-made charcuterie, pizza and pasta from scratch, and innovative desserts inspired by home-baked classics.

Since opening in downtown Los Angeles in 2012, Bestia has captivated diners with its bold, satisfying, and flavor-forward food served in a festive, communal atmosphere. Now, in this accessible and immersive debut cookbook, all of the incredible dishes that have made Bestia one of the most talked-about restaurants in the country are on full display.

Irresistible desserts such as apple cider donuts and a chocolate budino tart, from Co-owner and pastry chef Genevieve Gergis, end the concert of flavors on a high note.

Ori and Genevieve also share the uphill story of the saga of realizing Bestia. If you think it’s easy to open a restaurant in an unfashionable neighborhood (at the time) you might want to reconsider. Also profiled are the key team members that keep Bestia at the top of its game.

Bestia – Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A. delivers a distinctively innovative approach to Italian-inspired cooking.

Proprietors Ori and Genevieve join us.

Play

November 24: Ori Menashe, Genevieve Gergis, Tim Hollingsworth, Carla Hall, Josiah Citrin, Farmhouse LA, Bracken’s Kitchen, Geraldine Gilliland

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateurs Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis, Bestia – Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A.
Segment Three: Chef / Proprietor Tim Hollingsworth, Free Play Restaurant, Bar & Arcade
Segment Four: Chef Carla Hall – Carla Hall’s Soul Food – Everyday and Celebration
Segment Five: Restaurateur & Chef Josiah Citrin
Segment Six: Restaurateur & Executive Farmer, Nathan Peitso, FARMHOUSE Los Angeles
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel, Bracken’s Kitchen’s Deck the Halls Holiday Open House Benefit
Segment Eight: Chef & Restaurateur Geraldine Gilliland, Lula Cocina Mexicana, Finn McCool’s Irish Pub, Chiquita’s Friends Animal Rescue

Now an enticing and decadent preview of this Saturday’s absolutely scrumptious show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, and upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

The Proprietors of the phenomenally popular Bestia and the newly opened Bavel, Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis, are no strangers to the show. Just in time for the Holidays their debut cookbook, Bestia – Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A., is now available. Ori and Genevieve join us.

“Eat, Drink & Game” at Chef Tim Hollingsworth’s (Otium) new Restaurant, Bar & Arcade, Free Play, located on the 2nd level of The Fields LA Food Hall in Exposition Park adjacent to Banc of California Stadium. (“Come for the Food – Stay for the Game.”) It’s a nostalgic menu representing the different comfort foods of L.A., presented with a touch of whimsey. The buzzy central bar serves craft beer and specialty cocktails.

We’re big fans of beloved TV chef (ABC’s Emmy Award-winning The Chew and fan favorite on Bravo’s Top Chef,) Carla Hall. In her 3rd cookbook, Carla Hall’s Soul Food – Everyday and Celebration, she takes us back to her own Nashville roots to offer a fresh, lip-smackin’ look at America’s favorite comfort cuisine. We’re in the Southern kitchen with Carla.

Two-star Michelin Chef and native Angeleno, Josiah Citrin (Melisse,) has launched Openaire, a poolside oasis of green at the center of Koreatown in a glass-curtained greenhouse located on the roof of The Line Hotel on Wilshire Blvd. The ambitious menu (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) features the best of California’s ingredients from land and sea, embracing the seasons and presented in a shareable format. Simply, Openaire is a celebration of indoor/outdoor living at the center of the melting-pot that is LA.

Nathan Peitso, a second-generation farmer of Kenter Canyon Farms, is at the helm of FARMHOUSE together with Executive Chef Craig Hopson. Located on the ground floor of the refreshed Beverly Center, FARMHOUSE redefines the traditional restaurant model by placing a farmer at the forefront of the business and thus creating a new culinary movement focused on collaboration with the region’s top farmers to grow and harvest ingredients dictating the dining destination’s dishes.

Chef Bill Bracken and high profile chef friends (Bracken’s Kitchen, “Driven to combat food insecurity one tasty meal at a time”) – are gathering together for a Holiday Open House benefit on Thursday, Nov. 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Bracken’s new kitchen in Garden Grove to help raise awareness and funds for Bracken’s Kitchen’s mission to feed those in need. Bill Bracken is grateful to be in a new 9,000 sq. ft. kitchen, yet with the growth comes more need to do more that requires additional resources and funding. Our own Chef Andrew Gruel’s Slapfish, Two Birds and Butterleaf will be part of the festivities. Chef Andrew provides the details of what’s on the Deck The Halls (And The Kitchen!) menu.

When we spoke with celebrated Santa Monica restaurateur & philanthropist Geraldine Gilliland (Lula Cocina Mexicana and Finn McCool’s Irish Pub) last week her respected animal rescue (Chiquita’s Friends) was still displaced from her ranch in Malibu and her new rescue sanctuary, Cornell Sanctuary in Agoura. Gerri was currently encamped with 26 rescue dogs at a generous benefactor’s ranch in Lompoc. We’ll get updated on Gerri’s plight and how you can help.

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

Executive Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis of BestiaThe Proprietors of the phenomenally popular Bestia and the newly opened Bavel, Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis, are no strangers to the show. Just in time for the Holidays their debut cookbook, Bestia – Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A., is now available.

This debut cookbook from L.A.’s phenomenally popular Bestia restaurant features rustic Italian food that is driven by intense flavors, including house-made charcuterie, pizza and pasta from scratch, and innovative desserts inspired by home-baked classics.

Since opening in downtown Los Angeles in 2012, Bestia has captivated diners with its bold, satisfying, and flavor-forward food served in a festive, communal atmosphere. Now, in this accessible and immersive debut cookbook, all of the incredible dishes that have made Bestia one of the most talked-about restaurants in the country are on full display.

Irresistible desserts such as apple cider donuts and a chocolate budino tart, from Co-owner and pastry chef Genevieve Gergis, end the concert of flavors on a high note.

Bestia – Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A. delivers a distinctively innovative approach to Italian-inspired cooking.

Proprietors Ori and Genevieve join us.

Timothy Hollingsworth“Eat, Drink & Game” at Chef Tim Hollingsworth’s (Otium) new Restaurant, Bar & Arcade, Free Play, located on the 2nd level of The Fields LA Food Hall in Exposition Park adjacent to Banc of California Stadium. (“Come for the Food – Stay for the Game.”)

It’s a nostalgic menu representing the different comfort foods of L.A., presented with a touch of whimsey. Think Frito Pie with chili, cheese, pickled Fresnos and sour cream. The buzzy central bar serves craft beer and specialty cocktails like the Melon Dollar Baby (gin, sake, watermelon, hibiscus and lime.).

The playable restored, vintage pinball and video games are really “Free Play” during the daily Happy Hour of 5 to 7:00 p.m. (Wednesday through Sunday.)

Chef Tim is also a Cheftestant on Netflix’s ambitious “The Final Table” international chef competition series. Chef Tim will provide an overview.

Carla HallWe’re big fans of beloved TV chef (ABC’s Emmy Award-winning The Chew and fan favorite on Bravo’s Top Chef,) Carla Hall. In her 3rd cookbook, Carla Hall’s Soul Food – Everyday and Celebration, she takes us back to her own Nashville roots to offer a fresh, lip-smackin’ look at America’s favorite comfort cuisine.

In Carla Hall’s Soul Food, the big-hearted chef and television celebrity traces soul food’s history from Africa and the Caribbean to the American South. Carla shows us that soul food is more than barbecue and mac and cheese. Traditionally a plant-based cuisine, everyday soul food is full of veggie goodness that’s just as delicious as cornbread and fried chicken.

From Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Hot Sauce Vinaigrette to Tomato Pie with Garlic Bread Crust, the recipes in Carla Hall’s Soul Food deliver her distinctive Southern flavors using farm-fresh ingredients. The results are light, healthy, seasonal dishes with big, satisfying tastes—the mouthwatering soul food everyone will want a taste of.

“Featuring 145 original recipes, 120 color photographs, and a whole lotta love, Carla Hall’s Soul Food is a wonderful blend of the modern and the traditional—honoring soul food’s heritage and personalizing it with Carla’s signature fresh style. The result is an irresistible and open-hearted collection of recipes and stories that share love and joy, identity, and memory.”

We’re in the Southern kitchen with Carla.

Josiah CitrinTwo-star Michelin Chef and native Angeleno, Josiah Citrin (Melisse & Charcoal,) has launched Openaire, a poolside oasis of green at the center of the Koreatown in a glass-curtained greenhouse located on the roof of The Line Hotel on Wilshire Blvd.

The ambitious menu (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) features the best of California’s ingredients from land and sea, embracing the seasons and presented in a shareable format. Highlights at dinner include Tagliatelle Duck Ragout with Pistachio, and Pecorino and Suckling Pig with Ginger Rice & XO sauce. The lunch menu offers a fun section of “Hotel Classics” and an unusual Tuna Katsu Sandwich with Napa Cabbage Slaw and Black Garlic Katsu Sauce. A dessert highlight is an impressive Dark Chocolate Cake with Salted Coffee Ice Cream and Dulce De Leche sauce.

Simply, Openaire is a celebration of indoor/outdoor living at the center of the melting-pot that is LA. Josiah’s Executive Chef at Openaire is Richard Archuleta (ex-The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills.)

Chef Josiah joins us.

Nathan PietsoNathan Peitso, a second-generation farmer of Kenter Canyon Farms is at the helm of FARMHOUSE together with Executive Chef Craig Hopson. Located on the ground floor of the refreshed Beverly Center, FARMHOUSE redefines the traditional restaurant model by placing a farmer at the forefront of the business and thus creating a new culinary movement focused on collaboration with the region’s top farmers to grow and harvest ingredients dictating the dining destination’s dishes.

Introducing a fresh role in the restaurant industry at Beverly Center’s FARMHOUSE restaurant, Executive Farmer Nathan Peitso calls on his extensive California farming experience cultivated since youth to fill the post organically—both literally and figuratively. Peitso brings an unprecedented level of authenticity and expertise to the industry’s heightened dedication to farm-traceable culinary programs.

“The FARMHOUSE concept hinges on getting the best produce, and preparing superior food with superior ingredients,” Peitso says. Reimagining the menu design process, Peitso plans months in advance through thoughtful collaboration with farmers on anticipated produce being planted. Once farming partnerships are in place, Peitso curates the rotating seed to plate menu highlighting peak Southern California ingredients, exclusively harvested for FARMHOUSE.

Last month FARMHOUSE debuted its inaugural Autumn Harvest Chef’s Tasting Dinner Menu from Executive Chef Craig Hopson. For $52 per person (not inclusive of tax and gratuity) guests will have their choice of three-courses inspired by six selective and locally-sourced seasonal ingredients at their peak—such as honeynut squash, Cotton Candy, Concord, and Red Flame grapes, Bermuda onions, mushrooms, pears, and Japanese sweet potato—prepared by Chef Hopson and sourced by Executive Farmer Nathan Peitso (“The Farmer & The Chef” duo).

Bill BrackenChef Bill Bracken and high- profile chef friends (Bracken’s Kitchen, “Driven to combat food insecurity one tasty meal at a time”) – are gathering together for a Holiday Open House benefit on Thursday, Nov. 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Bracken’s new kitchen in Garden Grove to help raise awareness and funds for Bracken’s Kitchen’s mission to feed those in need. Bill Bracken is grateful to be in a new 9,000 sq. ft. kitchen, yet with the growth comes more need to do more that requires additional resources and funding.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoAttendees will be invited to tour the various kitchens to sample signature dishes made from top chefs such as Chef Hugo Bolanos from Wolfgang Puck at the Hotel Bel Air, Avalon Grille & The Catalina Company’s Chef Roberto Hernandez, Chef Andrew Gruel from Slapfish and Two Birds and Butterleaf and Chef John Park of Toast Kitchen + Bakery, not to mention Bracken’s Kitchen’s Executive Chef Jerry and Founder & Culinary Director, Chef Bill Bracken. Master Baker Dean Kim of OC Baking Company, Pastry Chef Michael Owens of the new Left Coast Bakery, and from The Dirty Cookie, Shahira Marel will round out our pastries and dessert tasting.

Tickets for the event start at $95 and will be going directly toward Bracken’s Kitchen food recovery efforts and feeding programs.

“We are excited to be able to make a bigger impact in the communities we serve with the additional space in our new kitchen,” says Chef Bill Bracken. “Thanks to our community donors and food business partners, we are able to host events like Deck The Halls and continue to restore food and lives.”

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel’s Slapfish, Two Birds and Butterleaf will be part of the festivities. Chef Andrew provides the details of what’s on the Deck The Halls (And The Kitchen!) menu.

Geraldine GillilandWhen we spoke with celebrated Santa Monica chef, restaurateur & philanthropist Geraldine Gilliland (Lula Cocina Mexicana and Finn McCool’s Irish Pub) last week her respected animal rescue (Chiquita’s Friends) was still displaced from her ranch in Malibu and her new rescue sanctuary, Cornell Sanctuary in Agoura.

Gerri was currently encamped with 26 rescue dogs at a generous benefactor’s ranch in Lompoc. Many of these rescue canines are special needs due to being seniors or are on prescription medications.

The newly restored guest cottage at Cornell Sanctuary was tragically lost in the Woolsey fire along with all of the caretaker’s personal belongings. Miraculously all the animals (including goats and rabbits) were saved.

We’ll get updated on Gerri’s plight and how you can help. In this time of great need a contribution of any size would be greatly appreciated.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateurs Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis, Bestia – Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A.
Segment Three: Chef / Proprietor Tim Hollingsworth, Free Play Restaurant, Bar & Arcade
Segment Four: Chef Carla Hall – Carla Hall’s Soul Food – Everyday and Celebration
Segment Five: Restaurateur & Chef Josiah Citrin
Segment Six: Restaurateur & Executive Farmer, Nathan Peitso, FARMHOUSE Los Angeles
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel, Bracken’s Kitchen’s Deck the Halls Holiday Open House Benefit
Segment Eight: Chef & Restaurateur Geraldine Gilliland, Lula Cocina Mexicana, Finn McCool’s Irish Pub, Chiquita’s Friends Animal Rescue

Show 285, August 11, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a tempting preview of Saturday’s properly decadent show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

When we last spoke with Owner/Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis they had recently opened Bestia (2012) in DTLA’s emerging Arts District. Flash forward to the recent opening of their Bavel, also in the Arts District. It’s Middle Eastern flavors with influences from Israel, Morocco, Turkey and Egypt. We pull them both from the active Bavel kitchen for a chat.

Eat your heart out Long Beach! DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week is on through August 12, 2018. Experience cuisine that delights the palate and defines the art of dining in Long Beach. Held annually, Dine LBC features value-oriented two or three course menus from dozens of Long Beach’s best restaurants in twelve unique neighborhoods throughout the city. The Federal Bar on Pine Avenue in Downtown Long Beach is one of the participating restaurants in DINE LBC. We’ll meet new Chef Tia Baker (ex-Sol Cocina) and talk about the elevated fare at The Federal Bar. New Happy Hour menu, too.

Brennan’s in Marina del Rey has been a friendly, locals’ institution in the area since 1972. It is known for their Thursday night Turtle Racing and potent libations. It was never about the food. In recent years it had become pretty divey. The Artisanal Brewers Collective came to the rescue last year and after a lengthy, top-to-bottom restoration reopened Brennan’s in time for St. Patrick’s Day 2018. The food is now something to talk about (including Vegan specialties) as well as the potent libations. Proprietor Tony Yanow (Golden Road Brewing’s Co-Founder) is our guest

Hatch Chiles, grown only in the Hatch Valley and along the Rio Grande river of New Mexico, are considered by chile aficionados to be the best peppers in the world. Hatch is the premium growing area for New Mexico chiles. Hatch, New Mexico is not only the Chile capital of the USA but also of the World. The ultimate chile, these chiles are only available from New Mexico in a short, six-week window every year (between August and September.) Our resident produce authority, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, joins us with all the spicy details.

Food journalist Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor for Eater LA He typically contributes six pieces a day, five days a week to this very widely read on-line magazine and newsletter. He’s part of a panel, PR Bootcamp for Restaurants : In Memory of Fifi Chao” that will be part of the upcoming Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo on August 19th at the L.A. Convention Center. We’ll chat about the panel and the latest news on the L.A. dining scene with Farley.

Chef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of Ask the Chef.” What’s the secret of drool-worthy Crab Cakes? What’s the tastiest crab to use? How does Maryland’s Old Bay Seasoning impact this ? We’ll find out from Chef Andrew with the promise of no added filler.

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

Play

Show 285, August 11, 2018: Owner / Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis, Bavel, DTLA’s Arts District

Executive Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis of BestiaWhen we last spoke with Owner/Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis they had recently opened Bestia (2012) in DTLA’s emerging Arts District. Flash forward to the recent opening of their long-in-the-works Bavel (buh-vel), also in the Arts District. It’s Middle Eastern flavors with influences from Israel, Morocco, Turkey and Egypt.

“Bavel, in Downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District, is a Middle Eastern restaurant from Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis. With family roots in Israel, Morocco, Turkey, and Egypt, Ori and Genevieve have always wanted to open a restaurant that showcases the cuisines of their family lineages, bringing together the flavors and dishes they grew up with.”

With a background in the field of interior design, Genevieve played a key role in the design of both Bestia and Bavel.

“Bavel – Stems from the story of Babel, from the original Old Testament. The Hebrew letters ‘b’ – bet, and ‘v’ – vet, both look the same, except that bet has a dot in the center of it. It is theorized that when the Old Testament was translated, it was not transcribed properly and Bavel turned into Babel.”

“The name is pronounced how it was originally written – Bavel (buh-vel). The story of Bavel is from a time when the Middle East was one. The people of Babylon came together to build a tower to heaven but God did not want them to succeed. In turn, he gave the people different languages so they could no longer communicate and work together.”

“When we read this story, we liked the word Bavel, because it was written during a time when everything was one – Bavel is not specific to any one region.”

We pull them both from the bustling Bavel kitchen (incredible bread is baking) for a chat.

 

Play

August 11: Bavel, The Federal Bar, Brennan’s Pub, Melissa’s Hatch Chiles, Farley Elliott of Eater LA

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Owner / Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis, Bavel, DTLA’s Arts District
Segment Three: Chef Tia Baker, The Federal Bar, Long Beach
Segment Four: Tony Yanow, Brennan’s in Marina del Rey, Artisanal Brewers Collective
Segment Five: Robert Schueller, Mellissa’s “Prince of Produce”, Hatch Chile Season
Segment Six: Farley Elliott, Senior Editor, Eater LA Part One
Segment Seven: Farley Elliott, Senior Editor, Eater LA Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Now a tempting preview of this Saturday’s properly decadent show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

When we last spoke with Owner/Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis they had recently opened Bestia (2012) in DTLA’s emerging Arts District. Flash forward to the recent opening of their Bavel, also in the Arts District. It’s Middle Eastern flavors with influences from Israel, Morocco, Turkey and Egypt. We pull then both from the active Bavel kitchen for a chat.

Eat your heart out Long Beach ! DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week is on through August 12, 2018. Experience cuisine that delights the palate and defines the art of dining in Long Beach. Held annually, Dine LBC features value-oriented two or three course menus from dozens of Long Beach’s best restaurants in twelve unique neighborhoods throughout the city. The Federal Bar on Pine Avenue in Downtown Long Beach is one of the participating restaurants in DINE LBC. We’ll meet new Chef Tia Baker (ex-Sol Cocina) and talk about the elevated fare at The Federal Bar. New Happy Hour menu, too.

Brennan’s in Marina del Rey has been a friendly, locals’ institution in the area since 1972. It is known for their Thursday night Turtle Racing and potent libations. It was never about the food. In recent years it had become pretty divey. The Artisanal Brewers Collective came to the rescue last year and after a lengthy, top-to-bottom restoration reopened Brennan’s in time for St. Patrick’s Day 2018. The food is now something to talk about (including Vegan specialties) as well as the potent libations. Proprietor Tony Yanow (ex-Golden Road Brewing) is our guest.

Hatch Chiles, grown only in the Hatch Valley and along the Rio Grande river of New Mexico, are considered by chile aficionados to be the best peppers in the world. Hatch is the premium growing area for New Mexico chiles. Hatch, New Mexico is not only the Chile capital of the US but also of the World The ultimate chile, these chiles are only available from New Mexico in a short, six-week window every year (between August and September.) Our resident produce authority, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, joins us with all the spicy details.

Food journalist Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor for Eater L.A. He contributes six pieces a day, five days a week to this very widely read on-line magazine and newsletter. He’s part of a panel, “PR Bootcamp for Restaurants: In Memory of Fifi Chao” that will be part of the upcoming Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo on August 19th at the L.A. Convention Center. We’ll chat about the panel and the latest news on the L.A. dining scene with Farley.

Chef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of “Ask the Chef.” What’s the secret of drool-worthy Crab Cakes? What’s the tastiest crab to use? How does Maryland’s Old Bay Seasoning impact this ? We’ll find out from Chef Andrew with the promise of no added filler.

Executive Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis of BestiaWhen we last spoke with Owner/Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis they had recently opened Bestia (2012) in DTLA’s emerging Arts District. Flash forward to the recent opening of their long-in-the-works Bavel (buh-vel), also in the Arts District. It’s Middle Eastern flavors with influences from Israel, Morocco, Turkey and Egypt.

“Bavel, in Downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District, is a Middle Eastern restaurant from Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis. With family roots in Israel, Morocco, Turkey, and Egypt, Ori and Genevieve have always wanted to open a restaurant that showcases the cuisines of their family lineages, bringing together the flavors and dishes they grew up with.”

With a background in the field of interior design, Genevieve played a key role in the design of both Bestia and Bavel.

“Bavel – Stems from the story of Babel, from the original Old Testament. The Hebrew letters ‘b’ – bet, and ‘v’ – vet, both look the same, except that bet has a dot in the center of it. It is theorized that when the Old Testament was translated, it was not transcribed properly and Bavel turned into Babel.”

“The name is pronounced how it was originally written – Bavel (buh-vel). The story of Bavel is from a time when the Middle East was one. The people of Babylon came together to build a tower to heaven but God did not want them to succeed. In turn, he gave the people different languages so they could no longer communicate and work together.”

“When we read this story, we liked the word Bavel, because it was written during a time when everything was one – Bavel is not specific to any one region.”

We pull then both from the bustling Bavel kitchen for a chat.

Tia BakerEat your heart out Long Beach! DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week is on through August 12, 2018. Experience cuisine that delights the palate and defines the art of dining in Long Beach. Held annually, Dine LBC features value-oriented two or three course menus from dozens of Long Beach’s best restaurants in twelve unique neighborhoods throughout the city.

The Federal Bar on Pine Avenue in Downtown Long Beach is one of the participating restaurants in DINE LBC. We’ll meet new Chef Tia Baker (ex-Sol Cocina) and talk about the elevated fare at The Federal Bar. New Happy Hour menu, too.

“Passing through the double doors into the main hall of this 1920’s Beaux-arts style building is just the beginning of the Federal experience. Your gaze will draw up into our three-story restaurant that doubles as an event space that can accommodate up 600 patrons, featuring two full-service bars, hand-painted beamed ceilings, towering columns, high windows that provide grand natural lighting, and an attached outside patio.”

The DINE LBC menu for $35 per person is three courses with choices for each course. Selections for the Mains include Pine Street Bouillabaisse, Meatloaf Sundae, Investors Pasta and Chefs Fish of the Day.

Tony YanowBrennan’s in Marina del Rey has been a friendly, locals’ institution in the area since 1972. It is particularly known for their Thursday night Turtle Racing and potent libations. It was never about the food. In recent years it had become pretty divey.

The Artisanal Brewers Collective came to the rescue last year and after a lengthy, top-to-bottom restoration reopened Brennan’s in time for St. Patrick’s Day 2018. The food is now something to talk about (including Vegan specialties) as well as the potent libations. Happily the turtle racing is back twice a month on the traditional Thursday evenings.

“Combining the traditions of the past with a few new ideas, Brennan’s strives to be the premier beach city restaurant for entertaining visitors, grabbing a drink with friends for the game or dining with your loved ones. We promote the improvement of our community and the people in it. We pride ourselves on presenting a menu and environment for locals, visitors and everything in between. Best of all, we do it with the perfect pint, one turtle race at a time!”

Proprietor Tony Yanow (ex-Golden Road Brewing) is our guest.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioHatch Chiles, grown only in the Hatch Valley and near the Rio Grande river of New Mexico, are considered by chile aficionados to be the best peppers in the world. Hatch is the premium growing area for New Mexico chiles. Hatch, New Mexico is not only the chile capital of the US but also of the World. Hatch Chiles have been growing in this region for over 135 years, developed by New Mexico State University.

The ultimate chile, these chiles are only available from New Mexico in a short, six- week window every year (between August and September.) Unusually Hatch Chiles are available in mild, medium, hot and extra hot varieties.

Aficionados generally buy the chiles in bulk by the case (typical case is 25 lbs.) and store the chiles in their freezers, assuring use of these chiles year-round. The chiles can be frozen, roasted up to 2 years. Freeze with or without roasted skin and seeds. The chiles tend to get warmer in heat when you freeze with veins and seeds before storage.

Hatch Chiles have a meaty flesh and mild-medium heat making them ideal for use in Chile Con Queso, Chile Rellenos, and Chile Verde. But it doesn’t just stop there. You can also try roasting and using them in salads, soups, stews, dips, and sandwiches. For even more great ideas on how to use this incredible chile, purchase a copy of the genuinely useful Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook

Our resident produce authority, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, joins us with all the spicy details.

Farley ElliottFood journalist Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor for Eater LA He contributes six pieces a day, five days a week to this very widely read on-line magazine and newsletter. He also graciously responds to readers’ feedback.

Farley is part of an upcoming panel, PR Bootcamp for Restaurants : In Memory of Fifi Chao” that will a program at the upcoming Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo on August 19th at the L.A. Convention Center. We’ll chat about the panel and the latest news of the L.A. dining scene with Farley.

We’ll be talking about the closing (at year’s end) of Santa Monica’s trend-setting, Italian fine-dining restaurant, Valentino, and some eagerly anticipated restaurant openings on the horizon for the balance of the year.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoChef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of Ask the Chef.”

What’s the secret of drool-worthy Crab Cakes? What’s the tastiest crab to use? How does Maryland’s Old Bay Seasoning impact this? We’ll find out from Chef Andrew with the promise of no added filler.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Owner / Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis, Bavel, DTLA’s Arts District
Segment Three: Chef Tia Baker, The Federal Bar, Long Beach
Segment Four: Tony Yanow, Brennan’s in Marina del Rey, Artisanal Brewers Collective
Segment Five: Robert Schueller, Mellissa’s “Prince of Produce”, Hatch Chile Season
Segment Six: Farley Elliott, Senior Editor, Eater LA Part One
Segment Seven: Farley Elliott, Senior Editor, Eater LA Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Show 82, August 2, 2014: Javier Plascencia’s “From Farm and Vineyard to Your Table” Dinner

Every year in Northern Baja is the Fiestas de la Vendimina (The Harvest Festival) celebrating the bounty of wine and food in the region over a two-week period. The Festival gives thanks and celebrates the beginning of a (hoped for) bountiful grape harvest.

Javier PlascenciaOne of the premier single events is Chef Javier Plascencia’s (Tijuana’s Mision 19) “From Farm and Vineyard to Your Table” dinner at his ranch, Finca Altozano, in Valle de Guadalupe. It’s a 6-course, wine paired feast.

Prominent guest chefs from Southern California and Mexico are part of the culinary team. This year Ori Menashe from Bestia and Timothy Hollingsworth (The Restaurant at The Broad & ex-French Laundry chef de cuisine) will be part of Chef Javier’s high-profile guest chefs’ team.

Chef Plascencia has been featured on Food TV with both Anthony Bourdain and “Bizarre Foods’” Andrew Zimmern.

For info please contact Chef Javier’s assistant, Diana Jimenez.

Roundtrip transportation to the event is available from Romesco (Javier’s restaurant in Bonita located just South of San Diego) by luxury motor coach. Hassle-free…

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August 2: Rich Perelman, SYNEK, Slapfish Seafood, James Republic, Fiestas del la Vendimina, OC Fair, Olympic Cuisine

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Richard (Rich) B. Perelman and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Steve Young, Founder, SYNEK
Segment Three: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish, Huntington Beach and Laguna
Segment Four: Restaurant Chef David MacLennan, James Republic, Long Beach
Segment Five: Javier Plascencia’s “From Farm and Vineyard to Your Table” Dinner
Segment Six: Rich Perelman on The Los Angeles Olympics, 1984
Segment Seven: Bakelogy and The OC Promenade at The OC Fair
Segment Eight: Food Service for the Spectators at The Games of the Twenty-Third Olympiad, Los Angeles

Guest Host Richard (Rich) B. Perelman and Producer Andy preview the show.

It’s our salute to the 30th Anniversary of the Games of the Twenty-Third Olympiad, Los Angeles, 1984. Guest Host Rich Perelman was the youngest Vice President of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee responsible for Press Operations and the Editor-in-Chief of the Official Report after the Games. Rich explains the continuing financial legacy to youth sports in Southern California as a direct result of the incredible success of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

SYNEK (a recent Kickstarter success story) is a nifty countertop draft system that serves any beer, fresh from the tap, anywhere you want it. Steve Young, based in St. Louis, MO is the Founder. His modest objective is to do for quality beer what Keurig did for single-brewed cups of coffee. With the phenomenal success of his cleverly orchestrated Kickstarter campaign he’s now well on his way…

Chef Andrew Gruel’s (of Slapfish) mission is to make quality seafood popular with everyday folks. He started with one modest food truck in 2010. It quickly expanded into four food trucks. The first Slapfish brick and mortar restaurant opened in Huntington Beach a year later. Laguna Beach recently launched and more restaurants are in the works.

James Republic in Long Beach orchestrates one of the very best, honest Farm-to-Fork dinner series around. It happens monthly on a Sunday under the name of the Dinner Bell Supper Series. The restaurant’s chef, David MacLennan, joins us with the specifics.

Every year in Northern Baja is the Fiestas del la Vendimina celebrating the bounty of wine and food in the region over a two-week period. One of the best single events is Chef Javier Plascencia’s (Tijuana’s Mision 16) “From Farm and Vineyard to Your Table” dinner at his ranch, Finca Altozano, in Valle de Guadalupe. It’s a 6-course, wine paired feast.

Time to hit the OC Fair in its final week. We’ll hear about Bakeology and all the tasty culinary events in the OC Promenade Building. Also the winning Fair Food item!

As part of our tribute to the Los Angeles Olympics we’ll also be looking back at the food served to the spectators. Surprisingly there was lots more variety to the offerings than plain boiled hot dogs and bagged chips. Innovations in food for 1984 are now part of guest expectations in 2014!

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

Synek SystemSYNEK (a recent Kickstarter success story) is a nifty countertop draft system that serves any beer, fresh from the tap, anywhere you want it. Steve Young, based in St. Louis, MO is the Founder. His modest objective is to do for quality beer what Keurig did for single-brewed cups of coffee. As a result of the inspired, oversubscribed Kickstarter campaign he’s well on his way…

“In 2013, Steve Young started to take notice of the craft beer industry as a stock market analyst. He wanted to know how the craft beer industry was making these great strides and what risk factors could cause it to become a “bubble” like the industry saw in the 1990s.”

He knew the industry was growing with thousands of amazing brands created every week. However, to his surprise, every brewer he spoke with complained about the exact same issue : “We make amazing beer, but we can’t get it into our customers’ homes and make money at the same time. If there was a way to create a growler that maintained our beer’s quality longer than two days, it would change everything.”

“Steve was so moved by the brewers’ intense frustration that he quit his job to assemble the best beer engineering team in the world and implement a solution to this beer packaging epidemic.”

Andrew GruelFood trucks have proven to be a worthwhile testing ground for innovative food concepts. A great example is the fast growing Slapfish with a limited service, fast-casual restaurant in Huntington Beach located in a strip center. A new Laguna Beach location (across Pacific Coast Highway from the beach) launched earlier in the Summer.

The partners started with one modest food truck serving the OC in 2009. By 2011 they had four trucks serving both Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Executive Chef (and co-founder) Andrew Gruel is with us to fill us in on the Slapfish tale. New locations both in the United States (airports, too) and the Middle East are on the way.

They like to characterize Slapfish as a modern seafood shack. It’s a real American seafood experience that revolves around fresh, sustainable fish, prepared simply, but delivering big flavors.

Dave MaclennanJames Republic, located in Downtown Long Beach, organizes one of the very best Farm-to-Fork dinner series around. It happens monthly on a Sunday under the name of the Dinner Bell Supper Series. The proprietor of James Republic, Chef Dean James Max, developed the original concept. The restaurant’s chef, David MacLennan, joins us with the specifics.

On the Sunday morning of The Dinner Bell Supper the culinary team gathers at the Long Beach Farmers Market to search for the ideal ingredients to serve as the basis for that evenings’ family-style supper. For the guests the evening begins with market inspired cocktails and passed canapes at 4:30 p.m. At 5:00 p.m., the dinner bell rings and the guests gather at a long, communal table to enjoy California wines and a bountiful three-course menu prepared by Chefs James Dean Max, Chef David MacLennan and their team. Area guest farmers take part in the engaging dinner conversation. The idea is for former strangers to become friends over a superb meal (with a side of good conversation) without this being forced.

The August 24th dinner is sold out. Future dates are September 14th, October 26th, and November 23rd.

Every year in Northern Baja is the Fiestas de la Vendimina (The Harvest Festival) celebrating the bounty of wine and food in the region over a two-week period. The Festival gives thanks and celebrates the beginning of a (hoped for) bountiful grape harvest.

Javier PlascenciaOne of the best single events is Chef Javier Plascencia’s (Tijuana’s Mision 19) “From Farm and Vineyard to Your Table” dinner at his ranch, Finca Altozano, in Valle de Guadalupe. It’s a 6-course, wine paired feast.

Prominent guest chefs from Southern California and Mexico are part of the culinary team. This year Ori Menashe from Bestia and Timothy Hollingsworth (The Restaurant at The Broad & ex-French Laundry chef de cuisine ) will be part of Chef Javier’s high-profile guest chefs’ team.

Chef Plascencia has been featured on Food TV with both Anthony Bourdain and “Bizarre Foods’” Andrew Zimmern.

For info please contact Chef Javier’s assistant, Diana Jimenez.

Rich PerelmanIt’s our salute to the 30th Anniversary of the Games of the Twenty-Third Olympiad, Los Angeles,1984. Our Guest Host, Rich Perelman, was the youngest Vice President of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee responsible for Press Operations and the Editor-in-Chief of the Official Report after the Games. Rich explains the continuing financial legacy to youth sports in Southern California as a direct result of the incredible success of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Every Olympic Organizing Committee is mandated by the International Olympic Committee to document their Games in the Official report. It’s two volumes. One volume is a comprehensive recipe on how the Games were produced with some analysis. The other volume is the complete results and photos.

Rich Perelman was the Editor-in-Chief of the Official Report for the Los Angeles Games. The finished, two-volume report is 1,552 pages and weighs in at 38 lbs ! A full-time staff of 25 was responsible for the effort on a budget of some $4.33 million.

Rachel Klemek of Blackmarket Bakery and the CampTime to hit the OC Fair in Costa Mesa in its final week. Food is always front row center!

We’ll hear about Bakeology and all the other tasty culinary events in the OC Promenade Building.

Rachel Klemek of the award-winning Blackmarket Bakery in Costa Mesa is programming Bakeology at the Fair. Rachel and her staff are mixing, kneading, whipping and blending at the Bakeology exhibit in the Culinary Arts Building (The OC Promenade) at the Fair.

Also with us is the Fair’s Communications Director ,Robin Wachner. Robin will fill us in on all the Culinary activities in the OC Promenade Building.

We’ll also talk about the top vendor food item at this year’s Fair. 70 entrants competed and there was one big winner! Unbelievably it’s not even deep-fried!

Vegetarian PitaWe’re back to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and now talking about the food for the spectators.

Peter Ueberroth, the architect of The Games, wanted there to be more variety and freshness in the food available for purchase by the spectators at the Los Angeles Olympics than typically found in sports facilities of the day.

While common today 30 years ago it was unusual to see some of these items. Fresh fruit cups were on the menu as well as yogurt. Among the fresh sandwiches on the menu was the choice of a Vegetarian Pita. In addition to the usual ice cream novelties there was a place for natural Frozen Fruit Bars.

Food and beverage sales for the 16 days totaled over $11 million dollars. 5.8 million guests were served!

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Richard (Rich) B. Perelman and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Steve Young, Founder, SYNEK
Segment Three: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish, Huntington Beach and Laguna
Segment Four: Restaurant Chef David MacLennan, James Republic, Long Beach
Segment Five: Javier Plascencia’s “From Farm and Vineyard to Your Table” Dinner
Segment Six: Rich Perelman on The Los Angeles Olympics, 1984
Segment Seven: Bakelogy and The OC Promenade at The OC Fair
Segment Eight: Food Service for the Spectators at The Games of the Twenty-Third Olympiad, Los Angeles

Show 80, July 19, 2014: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show

Jet Tila and Producer Andy preview the show.

Bestia, which launched in late 2012 in a secluded location in the former warehouse district of Downtown Los Angeles (now known as the Arts District,) has been a high-profile foodie destination since the beginning. Meet the husband and wife team of Executive Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis and you’ll understand why.

Chef Shachi Mehra is well-known to Orange County diners as the opening chef for the fine-dining Tamarind of London in Newport Coast. Now Chef Shachi has branched out on her own and launched the more accessible ADYA in the Anaheim Packing House. It’s a reflection of modern India cuisine revolving around fresh, sustainable ingredients, simply prepared, in a casual setting.

Why would anyone sell nearly everything he owns, then pack up and travel for three years – alone – on a motorcycle? Meet world traveler and adventurer, Allan Karl, the author of Forks: A Quest For Culture, Cuisine And Connection. The standout book documents his 62,000 mile journey through 35 countries on 5 continents as well as provides authentic local recipes.

Spencer’s Restaurant at The Mountain is consistently one of the most popular and favorably reviewed restaurants in the greater  area. Since 2008 the secret has been the culinary talents of Executive Chef Eric Wadlund in the kitchen.

The Museum of the American Cocktail is hosting one of their special “Touring the Cocktail” evenings at Guelaguetza Restaurante on July 23rd. It’s a tequila appreciation evening with Oaxacan food tastes. Tomas Estes, Mexico’s official Tequila Ambassador to Europe has the details.

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

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Show 80, July 19, 2014: Chefs Ori Menashe and Chef Genevieve Gergis of Bestia, Los Angeles

Executive Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis of BestiaBestia, which launched in late 2012 in a secluded location in the former warehouse district of Downtown Los Angeles (now known as the Arts District,) has been a high-profile foodie destination since the very beginning. Meet the husband and wife team of Executive Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis and you’ll better understand why.

Restaurant impresario Bill Chait is a partner.

The food is multi-regional Italian. Everything that can be created from scratch is. Chef Ori cures his own meats for the charcuterie plates. They bake all the breads in the wood-fired oven in the early a.m. Chef Genevieve even prepares the glazes for her tarts!

“The overall industrial feel of Bestia, couplled with the passion, hard work and talent of Chef Ori and Chef Genevieve make Bestia an honest Mom and Pop restaurant (with character) built to last.”

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Show 80, July 19, 2014: Chefs Ori Menashe and Chef Genevieve Gergis of Bestia, Los Angeles Continues…

Charcuterie and Cured Meats at Bestia“Chef Ori maintains an aggressive house-cured meats program with over 60 different forms of charcuterie for Bestia. Bestia means “Beast” in Italian. He is also responsible for raising his own yeast culture which he uses to bake Bestia’s sourdough Pain au Levain, used as toast ubiquitously on the menu, as well as for the pizza dough, which rises and falls over a 24-hour cycle prior to being composed as a Napolitana pizza. It’s then baked in the Acunto (wood burning) oven at 900 degrees.”

Chef Ori observes that his wood-burning oven is the most unforgiving oven he’s ever worked with. He loves the results but you can easily scorch things if you’re not constantly monitoring the oven.

‘On the dolci side of the menu, Chef Genevieve is preparing a plethora of desserts from scratch using the finest raw ingredients such as acquarello rice for her al dente rice pudding served with perfectly ripened in-season fruit or her earthy, nutty, chestnut flour zeppole served with house-made coffee gelato and cream. In addition Chef Genevieve was partially responsible for the design of Bestia. She re-furbished oil drum spouts converting them into lighting fixtures.”

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