Show 467, March 26, 2022: Masters of Taste Preview with Host Chef Vanda Asapahu and C-CAP’s Gail Carney Part One

Vanda Asapahu of Ayara Thai Cuisine

“Come celebrate and be part of the 5th Anniversary Masters of Taste, L.A.’s premier outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival that will take place on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl!”

“Masters of Taste is introducing Chef Vanda Asapahu as it’s first-ever female Host Chef of Masters of Taste 2022, which also happens to mark the 5th Anniversary of this celebrated event. Culinary Master and 2022 Host Chef Vanda Asapahu is the chef and owner of Ayara Thai and she has participated in Masters of Taste since the event’s inception in April 2016. While her mother, Anna Asapahu, still helms the family kitchen, Asapahu is the vanguard, taking up the torch of her family’s culinary tradition at Ayara Thai, and under her leadership in May of 2019 Ayara Thai was named one of Michelin Guide California’s 2019 Bib Gourmands.”

“I have had the pleasure of participating in Masters of Taste since its inaugural year,” states Asapahu. “The most amazing thing about Masters of Taste is that 100% of the proceeds go directly to benefit Union Station Homeless Services and not many food festivals can say that. Union Station Homeless Services is committed to ending homelessness in Los Angeles.”

“Masters of Taste 2022 will bring over 3,000 food and beverage enthusiasts together for one afternoon to celebrate this exhilarating festival, which will include the finest fare from over 100 Culinary Masters and restaurants, delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s top Sweet Masters, top Beverage Masters who will be featuring signature handcrafted cocktail tastings from over 25 spirit brands and bars, along with select wineries, local craft breweries, cold-pressed juices, cold brew coffee, live entertainment and much, much more.”

“This year Masters of Taste 2022 will partner with Careers through Culinary Arts Program, Los Angeles (C-CAP LA), anational 501(c)(3) non-profit founded by culinary educator Richard Grausman in 1990 and Co-Chaired by Chef Marcus Samuelsson. Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) provides culinary, job, and life skills to over 20,000 middle-and-high school students in seven regions across the United States. Due to the restaurant industry labor shortage, the Los Angeles Region, C-CAP LA will be partnering with Masters of Taste by bringing high school student volunteers to assist this year’s Masters of Taste 2022 Culinary and Sweet Masters throughout the event to gain real-time event training while helping support these incredible chefs and restaurants that are participating in this year’s event.”

Joining us to preview all the delights of Masters of Taste are Host Chef Vanda Asapahu and C-CAP L.A.’s Gail Carney.

General Admission tickets (limited supply remaining) are still available @ $135.

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Show 467, March 26, 2022: Masters of Taste Preview with Host Chef Vanda Asapahu and C-CAP’s Gail Carney Part Two

Vanda Asapahu of Ayara Thai Cuisine

“Come celebrate and be part of the 5th Anniversary Masters of Taste, L.A.’s premier outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival that will take place on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl!”

“Masters of Taste is introducing Chef Vanda Asapahu as it’s first-ever female Host Chef of Masters of Taste 2022, which also happens to mark the 5th Anniversary of this celebrated event. Culinary Master and 2022 Host Chef Vanda Asapahu is the chef and owner of Ayara Thai and she has participated in Masters of Taste since the event’s inception in April 2016. While her mother, Anna Asapahu, still helms the family kitchen, Asapahu is the vanguard, taking up the torch of her family’s culinary tradition at Ayara Thai, and under her leadership in May of 2019 Ayara Thai was named one of Michelin Guide California’s 2019 Bib Gourmands.”

“I have had the pleasure of participating in Masters of Taste since its inaugural year,” states Asapahu. “The most amazing thing about Masters of Taste is that 100% of the proceeds go directly to benefit Union Station Homeless Services and not many food festivals can say that. Union Station Homeless Services is committed to ending homelessness in Los Angeles.”

“Masters of Taste 2022 will bring over 3,000 food and beverage enthusiasts together for one afternoon to celebrate this exhilarating festival, which will include the finest fare from over 100 Culinary Masters and restaurants, delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s top Sweet Masters, top Beverage Masters who will be featuring signature handcrafted cocktail tastings from over 25 spirit brands and bars, along with select wineries, local craft breweries, cold-pressed juices, cold brew coffee, live entertainment and much, much more.”

“This year Masters of Taste 2022 will partner with Careers through Culinary Arts Program, Los Angeles (C-CAP LA), anational 501(c)(3) non-profit founded by culinary educator Richard Grausman in 1990 and Co-Chaired by Chef Marcus Samuelsson. Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) provides culinary, job, and life skills to over 20,000 middle-and-high school students in seven regions across the United States. Due to the restaurant industry labor shortage, the Los Angeles Region, C-CAP LA will be partnering with Masters of Taste by bringing high school student volunteers to assist this year’s Masters of Taste 2022 Culinary and Sweet Masters throughout the event to gain real-time event training while helping support these incredible chefs and restaurants that are participating in this year’s event.”

Continuing with us to preview all the delights of Masters of Taste are Host Chef Vanda Asapahu and C-CAP L.A.’s Gail Carney.

General Admission tickets (limited supply remaining) are still available @ $135.

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Show 464, March 5, 2022: Executive Chef Richard Archuleta, Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena Part One

Richard Archuleta of Alexander's Steakhouse Pasadena

Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena offers a fine dining interpretation of a Modern American Steakhouse with hints of global influences throughout the menu. Featuring classic cuts such as Ribeye, Bone-In New York and Filet Mignon, to sustainable seafood, their signature Hamachi Shot and a large selection of Wagyu. Alexander’s also highlights dry-aged steaks and offers the finest and most luxurious products available including a Chef’s Tasting menu and an extensive and thoughtfully selected Wine List. A full bar featuring some of the most unique specialty cocktails and is a great way to begin your evening at Alexander’s Steakhouse.”

Highly credentialed Executive Chef Richard Archuleta (ex-One Pico at Shutters on the Beach and Openaire at The Line Hotel) with a background in French and Italian cuisine is the culinary maestro overseeing the substantial kitchens at Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena and is our guest.

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Show 464, March 5, 2022: Executive Chef Richard Archuleta, Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena Part Two

Richard Archuleta of Alexander's Steakhouse Pasadena

Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena offers a fine dining interpretation of a Modern American Steakhouse with hints of global influences throughout the menu. Featuring classic cuts such as Ribeye, Bone-In New York and Filet Mignon, to sustainable seafood, their signature Hamachi Shot and a large selection of Wagyu. Alexander’s also highlights dry-aged steaks and offers the finest and most luxurious products available including a Chef’s Tasting menu and an extensive and thoughtfully selected Wine List. A full bar featuring some of the most unique specialty cocktails and is a great way to begin your evening at Alexander’s Steakhouse.”

Highly credentialed Executive Chef Richard Archuleta (ex-One Pico at Shutters on the Beach and Openaire at The Line Hotel) with a background in French and Italian cuisine is the culinary maestro overseeing the substantial kitchens at Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena and continues as our guest.

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Show 444, September 25, 2021: Chef & Restaurateur Vanda Asapahu, Ayara Thai Cuisine. Preview of Masters of Taste 2022 at The Rose Bowl

Vanda Asapahu of Ayara Thai Cuisine

“Be a part of the fifth annual Masters of Taste, as L.A.’s premier outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival returns and will be taking place on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the Iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl with 100% of the proceeds going directly to benefit Union Station Homeless Services!”

“Masters of Taste is introducing Chef Vanda Asapahu as Host Chef of Masters of Taste 2022 which also happens to mark the 5th Anniversary of this celebrated event which had to be canceled in 2020 due to the Pandemic. Masters of Taste 2022 Culinary Master and Host Chef Vanda Asapahu is the chef and owner of Ayara Thai Cuisine and she has participated since its inception in April 2016.”

“Asapahu went to college at UCLA and to graduate school at Yale, then she spent four years living, traveling, and working her way through Thailand before returning home to Los Angeles. During Asapahu’s stay in her native country, she took extensive notes, which included absorbing Bangkok’s street food scene and reviving old family recipes. After cooking with relatives and eating her way through the streets and countryside, Asapahu brought back these treasured old recipes and new flavors to share at Ayara Thai. While her mother Anna Asapahu still helms the family kitchen, Asapahu is the vanguard, taking up the torch of her family’s culinary tradition at Ayara Thai Cuisine.”

“I have had the pleasure of participating in Masters of Taste since its inaugural year,” states Asapahu. “As a proud UCLA alum (Go Bruins!), I’d give anything for the opportunity to cook, eat and dance on the field of the Rose Bowl. The most amazing thing about Masters of Taste is that 100% of the proceeds go directly to benefit Union Station Homeless Services and not many food festivals can say that. Union Station Homeless Services is committed to ending homelessness in Los Angeles.”

“The fifth annual Masters of Taste 2022 is expected to bring over 3,000 food and beverage enthusiasts together for one afternoon to celebrate this exhilarating festival, which will include the finest fare from over 100 Culinary Masters and restaurants, delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s top Sweet Masters, top Beverage Masters who will be featuring signature handcrafted cocktail tastings from over 25 spirit brands and bars, a premier 50-Yard-Line Cocktail Bar featuring top Mixologists from four of L.A.’s most distinguished drinking destinations, select wineries, local craft breweries, cold-pressed juices, cold brew coffee, live entertainment and much, much more.”

Chef Vanda joins us with all the enticing details.

Ayara Thai Cuisine in Westchester is currently open for Take-Out orders and their Thai Thursday Night Street Food Series.

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Show 438, August 14, 2021: Chef & Partner Dominique Crisp, Saso, Pasadena Part One

Dominique Crisp of Saso

Saso in Pasadena, (launched earlier this year) draws inspirations from three coast regions treasured by Chef Dominique Crisp: his home in Los Angeles, his upbringing in the Pacific Northwest, and his travels within Basque Country. Throughout the menu, his dedication to the slow-food movement shines with hyper-local ingredients and French-taught cooking techniques. Previously he helmed the kitchens at the beloved seafood restaurants, L&E Oyster Bar in Silver Lake, CA and Blue Plate Oysterette in Santa Monica, CA.”

“At Saso, a passion for coastal cuisine is met with Dominique’s deep appreciation and understanding of farming. Born on his family’s vineyard in Wren, Oregon – raising livestock, fishing, and harvesting has always been an essential part of his life. A respect for the land, sea, and supporting those who are sustainably harvesting the bounty is an integral ethos that flows through Saso.”

“I want coastal cuisine from Baja to Alaska to shine by showcasing farmers, fishermen and butchers we work with,” says Dominique Crisp. “We need to reconnect with food as much as we need to reconnect with each other.”

“Dominique’s goal is to emphasize the relationships he’s built with artisanal purveyors to continually develop Saso’s narrative. Not entirely a “Basque restaurant,” Saso aims to bring the energetic nature of Basque Country dining to Los Angeles with a foundation of sustainable Pacific coastal cuisine.”

“Diners can expect rotating local whole fish options, a variety of niche oysters, dramatic bar creations, flaming Spanish coffees, and an extensive reserve wine list sourced from all over the globe.”

“A charcoal Josper oven imported from Barcelona gives life to dishes such as a Navarra-style Bone-in Wagyu Tomahawk and Alaskan Mussels with fennel, charred leek, and chistorra. The ‘Rolls Royce of charcoal ovens,’ the Josper features a unique enclosed-bbq design, which offers varied levels of heat and char for a distinct wood-fired flavor without sacrificing moisture.”

On August 24th (Tuesday) Saso will be serving Dinner nightly Tuesday through Sunday. (Closed on Monday.) Lunch is Friday, Saturday and Sunday with Happy Hour on the menu those same days.

Chef Dom takes a break from prep in his busy kitchen to join us.

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Show 438, August 14, 2021: Chef & Partner Dominique Crisp, Saso, Pasadena Part Two

Dominique Crisp of Saso

Saso in Pasadena, (launched earlier this year) draws inspirations from three coast regions treasured by Chef Dominique Crisp: his home in Los Angeles, his upbringing in the Pacific Northwest, and his travels within Basque Country. Throughout the menu, his dedication to the slow-food movement shines with hyper-local ingredients and French-taught cooking techniques.”

“At Saso, a passion for coastal cuisine is met with Dominique’s deep appreciation and understanding of farming. Born on his family’s vineyard in Wren, Oregon – raising livestock, fishing, and harvesting has always been an essential part of his life. A respect for the land, sea, and supporting those who are sustainably harvesting the bounty is an integral ethos that flows through Saso.”

“Dominique’s goal is to emphasize the relationships he’s built with artisanal purveyors to continually develop Saso’s narrative. Not entirely a “Basque restaurant,” Saso aims to bring the energetic nature of Basque Country dining to Los Angeles with a foundation of sustainable Pacific coastal cuisine.”

“Diners can expect rotating local whole fish options, a variety of niche oysters, dramatic bar creations, flaming Spanish coffees, and an extensive reserve wine list sourced from all over the globe.”

“Saso’s bar program features a wine list highlighting rare txakolinas from the Basque Country alongside natural wines from Lumos Wine Company (the vineyard where Dominique was born). Guests are in for a spectacular happy hour with top notch imported ciders, wine and beers on draught along with a blend of classic and signature cocktails drawing inspiration from Los Angeles to Portland to San Sebastián.”

“Housed in the century-old Pasadena Playhouse, Saso’s dining room and lounge area add a contemporary touch to the building’s historic architecture, including a large-scale, custom 40ft mural from renowned LA-based artist Tim Biskup.”

“On the patio diners can enjoy a breezy, socially distanced meal in a courtyard shared with the Pasadena Playhouse, adorned with string lights and an ornate water fountain.

On August 24th (Tuesday) Saso will be serving Dinner nightly Tuesday through Sunday. (Closed on Monday.) Lunch is Friday, Saturday and Sunday with Happy Hour on the menu those same days.

Chef Dom takes a break from prep in his busy kitchen and continues with us.

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Show 403, December 12, 2020: The Raymond 1886 with Chef Jonathan Quintana and General Manager Andrew Bugreyev Part One

Andrew Bugreyev and Executive Chef Jonathan Quintana of the Raymond 1886The Raymond 1886 (restaurant) is a living example of Pasadena’s colorful past and carries on the city’s great traditions of craftsman architecture and unparalleled hospitality.” Under State of California guidelines The Raymond 1886 is currently open for takeout & delivery of the food menu as well as specialty cocktails.”

“The Raymond 1886 offers an innovative and contemporary menu in a historic setting, featuring the finest quality ingredients and a dedication to superior service.”

“The dining menu showcases their curated classic American cuisine featuring global influences. Utilizing a mix of contemporary and classic cooking techniques, Executive Chef Jonathan Quintana combines familiar ingredients with an exotic flair.”

“Hidden and tucked away inside, guests can celebrate, sip and savor at The Raymond’s internationally acclaimed cocktail bar, 1886. Accompanied by 1886’s signature handcrafted cocktails, their award-winning Wine List features a special selection of domestic and international varietals from both premier and boutique wineries.”

General Manager Andrew Bugreyev and Executive Chef Jonathan Quintana join us.

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Show 403, December 12, 2020: The Raymond 1886 with Chef Jonathan Quintana and General Manager Andrew Bugreyev Part Two

Andrew Bugreyev and Executive Chef Jonathan Quintana of the Raymond 1886The Raymond 1886 (restaurant) is a living example of Pasadena’s colorful past and carries on the city’s great traditions of craftsman architecture and unparalleled hospitality.” Under State of California guidelines The Raymond 1886 is currently open for takeout & delivery.

The Raymond is offering a multi-course, Take-Out, Christmas Eve Dinner. Options are for 2 or 4 guests.

“The dining menu showcases their curated classic American cuisine featuring global influences. Utilizing a mix of contemporary and classic cooking techniques, Executive Chef Jonathan Quintana combines familiar ingredients with an exotic flair.”

“Hidden and tucked away inside, guests can celebrate, sip and savor at The Raymond’s internationally acclaimed cocktail bar, 1886. Accompanied by 1886’s signature handcrafted cocktails, their award-winning Wine List features a special selection of domestic and international varietals from both premier and boutique wineries.”

“In 1886, Walter Raymond, a Boston native, came to Pasadena and built The Raymond Hotel – a fabulous sunny destination for Easterners looking to escape harsh winter weather. On Easter Sunday in 1895, sparks from a chimney ignited the roof and the entire hotel burned to the ground in only 40 minutes.”

“Undaunted, Mr. Raymond built an even grander hotel with 300 rooms, along with a charming caretaker’s cottage. In the early years, Walter and his wife often stayed in the cottage when it wasn’t occupied by special guests. Gracious hosts, the Raymond’s entertained celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin, Tom Mix, and Buster Keaton, who visited and filmed in Pasadena in the roaring 1920s.”

“Sadly, in 1931, the Raymond Hotel was toppled by the Great Depression and the party was over. The hotel was razed to make room for residential development, and Walter and his wife moved into the cottage, where they lived until 1934.”

The caretaker’s cottage is now The Raymond 1886, and the timeless charm and spirit of this lovely Craftsman can be enjoyed by all.”

General Manager Andrew Bugreyev and Executive Chef Jonathan Quintana continue with us.

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Show 358, February 2, 2020: Melting Pot Food Tours Part One

Scalia Sisters of Melting Pot Food ToursOne of the best ways to come to know a city is through its food. When we go to a new city we’ve found our best insiders introduction is by partaking of a highly regarded, local food walking tour. One of the premier food walking tour operators locally is the long-established Melting Pot Food Tours. The principals are Lisa and Diane Scalia (sisters.) The Scalias hospitably lead the background tour for us.

“Melting Pot Food Tours offers delicious food tasting tours throughout the LA area that will indulge your taste buds and delight your senses! Whether you’re looking to explore the Original Farmers Market and the eclectic Third Street area of mid-city Los Angeles, discover the vibrant past of Old Pasadena, or enjoy a fabulous guided tour through the flavors of East Los Angeles, Melting Pot Food Tours will be your guide.”

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