Show 244, October 14, 2017: Tom Fraker, Melissa’s Corporate Chef & Test Kitchen Manager

Melissa's Produce Tom Fraker at the SoCal Restaurant Show 5th Anniversary BuffetTom Fraker, a Melissa’s Corporate Chef and the manager of the Melissa’s Corporate Test Kitchen, came to cooking late as a second career. He was the oldest student in his class at the California School of Culinary Arts Le Cordon Bleu and was the recipient of a lot of teasing.

As a high-profile Melissa’s representative he participates in special events, trade shows, and culinary functions throughout the country. He also creates many of the great, tested recipes on the genuinely useful Melissa’s Website that are designed to be easy-to-prepare winners in home kitchens.

We’ll chat with Chef Tom about choosing and cooking with peppers. We’ll be highlighting recipes from Melissa’s The Great Pepper Cookbook – The Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Cooking with Peppers. On the menu are items like Crab Stuffed Cucumber Cups, Devlish Deviled Eggs, Brussels and Kale Sprouts Salad, Potato and Cauliflower Bake, Pollo en Crema, Chile-Lime-Jackfruit Puffs and Apple Cinnamon-Chile Crumb Cake.

Tom created most of the recipes for Melissa’s The Great Pepper Cookbook – The Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Cooking with Peppers. These were all represented on the buffet in the Melissa’s Test Kitchen for the audience to enjoy at the 5th Anniversary celebration of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

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Show 70, April 26, 2014: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

It’s the City of Beverly Hills’ 100th Birthday. It takes a mega-talented pastry chef (and his skilled team) to create and bake a massive edible cake befitting this very special occasion. 15,000 slices will be served.

Peppers are a great addition to almost any dish as they add flavor (and not just heat.) We’ll dive into the just released The Great Pepper Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Cooking with Peppers.

Anthony Bourdain has called upon Chef Jet’s considerable expertise in Thai cuisine in the past with his prior Travel Channel’s “No Reservations.” Jet discusses his recent adventures with Mr. Bourdain for the new season of CNN’s “Parts Unknown.” Hint…It’s in Las Vegas.

Chef Eric Greenspan (ex-Foundry on Melrose) is a genuine character and an accomplished chef. He’s now also the maestro of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches!

Crave rich & decadent ice cream? There is a new super premium brand now available locally that both the chocolate and vanilla are single origin.

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

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Show 70, April 26, 2014: Robert Schueller, The Prince of Produce, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce, Inc.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceOur friends at Melissa’s have done it again. Newly published is Melissa’s “The Great Pepper Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Cooking with Peppers.”

Fresh and dried peppers are a key ingredient in many cuisines around the world and they have gained popularity here in the U.S. recently thanks to the culinary world’s embracement of the vast variety of peppers. Beyond jalapenos, home cooks are now looking to learn more about these flavorful fruits, not just for their heat level, but to cook beyond their comfort zone.

This highly visual and engaging book shows readers how simple it is to use 37 different varieties of peppers.

In the “Fun Facts” area peppers are actually a fruit because they have seeds. The hottest part of the pepper is the veins followed by the seeds.

Part of the Melissa’s team responsible for creating Melissa’s “The Great Pepper Cookbook” will be hosting a lunch and presentation at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 7th. Executive Chef Ida Rodriguez, Test Kitchen Director Chef Tom Fraker and Robert Schueller (The Prince of Produce) will provide commentary and recipe tutorials.

The three-course lunch will feature recipes from the book. It’s a modest $25 per guest and reservations are essential.

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Show 70, April 26, 2014: Test Kitchen Director, Chef Tom Fraker, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce

Tom FrakerOur friends at Melissa’s have done it again. Newly published is Melissa’s “The Great Pepper Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Cooking with Peppers.”

Keep in mind that cooking with peppers is about adding flavor to food. It’s way beyond just adding heat.

Chef and Melissa’s Test Kitchen Director Tom Fraker is our guest. He tested, and retested, each and every recipe in the book using equipment found in home kitchens. He also developed many of the recipes in the book including the wonderful version of the classic Albondigas Soup using fresh Poblano peppers.

There is a difference in preparing and using chiles in their fresh and dry forms. Chef Tom will be our well-informed guide in understanding the nuances.

Part of the Melissa’s team responsible for creating Melissa’s “The Great Pepper Cookbook” will be hosting a lunch and presentation at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 7th. Executive Chef Ida Rodriguez, Test Kitchen Director Chef Tom Fraker and Robert Schueller (The Prince of Produce) will provide commentary and recipe tutorials.

The three-course lunch will feature recipes from the book. It’s a modest $25 per guest and reservations are essential.

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Show 50, November 30, 2013: Griffin Hammond, of “Sriracha – a documentary by Griffin Hammond”

Griffin HammondGriffin Hammond, a past guest on the show, is a respected filmmaker. He’s just completed his fascinating film on Sriracha. This documentary has taken him to Southern California on multiple occasions and even to Thailand where Sriracha originated. In Thailand the people are amazed that Sriracha is a popular condiment in the United States. In Thailand it’s used on fish and eggs and doesn’t have a cult following.

Griffin financed this unusual documentary via an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign that was actually way oversubscribed.

On Wednesday, December 11th “Sriracha” will be released to the public online. If you love Sriracha or just wonder what all the fuss is about this is a must-see for you!

Just how popular is the domestic version of Sriracha? In 2012 they sold 20 million bottles with the green cap and the red rooster on the label! That’s an incredible 100 million pounds of peppers used in the sauce.

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