Show 381, July 11, 2020: Restaurateur Michael Cardenas, Co-Founder of Innovative Dining Group

Miichael Cardenas of Innovative Dining GroupVeteran Restaurateur Michael Cardenas is one of the Founding Partners of Innovative Dining Group. Among their many successful concepts are the BOA Steakhouses and Katana on the Sunset Strip.

Separately Michael just launched TacosWays in Tokyo, serving authentic down-home Mexican fare with Modelo Micheladas leading the beverage side. Next up is his Mexican sushi concept in Oxnard, SUSHIWAY, set to debut next month.

We’ll talk shop and the state of the global restaurant business with Michael Cardenas.

“Innovative Dining Group operates some of the most successful and legendary restaurants in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Scottsdale. All of IDG’s venues reflect bold, modern interpretations of traditional concepts, reflective of the company’s dynamic partners. Our chefs create menus with signature items that always land on the must list in each market. IDG artfully combines exceptional cuisine with beautifully designed surroundings, resulting in restaurants just as popular today as when they first opened.”

Show 268, April 7, 2018: The Great USA Bake-Off with Pic’s Peanut Butter & C-CAP

Savannah Wilkinson and Katherine Gonzales with their winning Panna Cotta recipe from Pic's Peanut ButterPic’s Really Good Peanut Butter from New Zealand recently orchestrated a fun Dessert Recipe Contest (The Great USA Bake-Off with Pic’s Peanut Butter & C-CAP) with area C-CAP (Careers through Culinary Arts) high school students. The rule simply was to create some delicious baked goods using Pic’s Peanut Butter. The recipe could be properly decadent or delightfully healthy.This was the 3rd year for the Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter recipe competition with C-CAP.

The winning recipe for Panna Cotta with Meringue Crowns & Strawberry Coulis was created by Savannah Wilkinson and Katherine Gonzales who are Juniors at Rio Mesa High School in Oxnard. They also developed a 2nd recipe for the competition for Sweetheart Cookies.

C-CAP’s programs in the greater Los Angeles area provide underserved high school students with education and career opportunities through the culinary arts.

The winning team of Savannah and Katherine are our guests along with C-CAP L.A’s Director, Lisa Fontanesi.

Show 256, January 13, 2018: Chef Gabriel Garcia, Tierra Sur Restaurant at Herzog Wine Cellars, Oxnard

Gabriel GarciaSituated inside Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard, Tierra Sur Restaurant contin­ues to receive national recognition as one of the finest restaurants in Southern California. Head Chef Gabriel Garcia and his team bring bold and exciting ideas to life – while using only seasonal ingredients, sourced fresh from local farm­ers. Year over year, Tierra Sur has deservedly received the highest ZAGAT ratings in Ventura County.

Modern and inspired New American fare, and the ambiance of dining inside of the area’s largest winery delight guests of this truly one of a kind, farm-to-table concept. It’s unusually a kosher restaurant but you don’t have to be Jewish (or keep kosher) to fully appreciate the fine food or refined atmosphere.

Being located in the center of the region’s largest winery has its benefits; guests may order from a special ‘Wine Tasters Menu’ and enjoy a three -course prix fixe selection, each paired with Herzog Special Reserve award-winning wines. Whether stopping on the way to Santa Barbara, or traveling to Ventura County – Tierra Sur offers exceptional dining and a charming stop along the way.

Chef Gabe gently pulls the cork on the unusual experience for us.

Show 116, April 4, 2015: La Dolce Vita Ristorante, Heritage Square, Oxnard

Michelle KenneyHidden away in Oxnard’s Heritage Square in a restored, three-story 1901 pre-Craftsman-style mansion is La Dolce Vita Ristorante featuring Italian and Mediterranean fusion cuisine. Family recipes and contemporary creations abound.

The owner and executive chef is Michelle Kenney, a second generation restaurateur. Michelle has over twenty-five years of experience in the restaurant and catering fields. She also is known locally for her wide variety of popular cooking classes.

Michelle took the opportunity earlier in her hospitality career to work in New England for several years to expand her expertise in the food business. She has worked every aspect of the business from large banquets at the Mystic Hilton to bartending, serving and supervising a large staff.

Along the way she even found the time to pen a cookbook, La Dolce Vita – Recipes For Living The Sweet Life.

Today, for example, La Dolce Vita serves brunch and dinner, hosts a wedding reception, and Chef Michelle performs one of her cooking classes. That’s certainly a day’s work…

We’ll meet her.