Show 573, April 13, 2024: Truly Pizza, Dana Point with Pizzaiolos Chris Decker and Sergio Balderas

Chris Decker of Truly Pizza

Truly Pizza, the only restaurant of its kind in Southern California, with outdoor garden seating aims to provide Dana Point residents and visitors with a unique and delicious pizza experience filled with world-class pizza making and generations old techniques. The menu features classic 12” square and round pizzas sold whole or by-the-slice made with award-winning five-day-fermented crispy and airy wood-fired dough along with a selection of focaccia sandwiches, salads and desserts.”

“All pizzas are made with Truly Pizza’s signature, award-winning pizza dough recipe that involves a lengthy fermentation process to ensure rich flavor and a cloudlike, yet crisp and airy texture with each bite.”

The onsite pizzaiola is Chris Decker, a renowned World Pizza Champion (Las Vegas’ Metro Pizza) with a reputation for culinary excellence, artistry and an imaginative approach to pizza making that respects long standing traditions. Rising Star World Pizza Champion Michael Vakneen is also part of the acclaimed on-site culinary team. They are assisted by award-winning Chef and Kitchen Manager Sergio Balderas.

Another culinary partner is pizza legend “John Arena (co-founder of Metro Pizza in Las Vegas) who was born into a family of pizza makers and spent his life dedicated to his craft. Known for his Food Network appearances, making pizzas for five US Presidents and serving pizzas at his beloved Las Vegas restaurants, he is one of the most accomplished and respected pizzaiolos in the world.”

Prominent Dana Point residents Donna Baldwin-Muller and developer Steve Muller are the principals of the high-profile ownership group of Truly Pizza.

Pizzaiolos Chris Decker and Sergio Balderas join us in-studio with pizza peel in hand.

Truly Pizza will be one of the acclaimed participating pizzerias at Pizza City Fest Los Angeles on Saturday, April 27th.

Show 518, March 25, 2023: John Arena, Pizzaiolo and Co-Founder, Metro Pizza Las Vegas Part One

John Arena of Metro Pizza and Truly Pizza

“In 1905 Gennaro Lombardi established the first Pizzeria in America. It was located on Spring Street in the heart of New York’s Little Italy. By good fortune, when Las Vegas’ Metro Pizza’s founders’ (cousins John Arena and Sam Facchini) grandparents came to America they settled just 50 yards away. Ever since those early days, pizza has been at the center of their family life. John’s and Sam’s parents got their first jobs feeding coal into the big bakery ovens where Sicilian pizzas were baked and carried out into the neighborhood to feed the immigrant families hungry for a taste of home. Over the years the time-honored skills of the Pizzaiolo, the pizza chef, have been handed down from their fathers, uncles, aunts, brothers and cousins – from one generation to the next.”

“As Italian immigrants settled across the country, they carried their love for combining food, family and friends with them to every corner of America. At Santarpio’s in East Boston, the Home Run Inn on Chicago’s South Side and at Tommaso’s in San Francisco’s North Beach, this tradition has continued and evolved. Every neighborhood has placed it’s own personal stamp on it’s local pizza. The debate over which city makes the best pizza will never be settled, because each of us has such warm memories of that first date or family gathering at our own neighborhood Pizzeria.”

“At Metro Pizza, John and Sam honor the great traditions of America’s landmark Pizzerias. Their dough is made fresh each day and then fermented for 5-days from the finest wheat, hand-stretched and cooked on the stone of their hearth ovens. The sauces are made from only the finest vine-ripened tomatoes and topped with select cheeses, choice meats and the freshest vegetables, herbs and spices available. Each of Metro’s pizzas is a hand-crafted labor of love, backed by three generations of experience.”

Pizzaiolo John Arena is finally finding his way to Southern California later this year with the launch of the eagerly anticipated Truly Pizza in Dana Point.

Metro Pizza’s John Arena is with us pizza peel in hand.

Show 518, March 25, 2023: John Arena, Pizzaiolo and Co-Founder, Metro Pizza Las Vegas Part Two

John Arena of Metro Pizza and Truly Pizza

“In 1905 Gennaro Lombardi established the first Pizzeria in America. It was located on Spring Street in the heart of New York’s Little Italy. By good fortune, when Las Vegas’ Metro Pizza’s founders’ (cousins John Arena and Sam Facchini) grandparents came to America they settled just 50 yards away. Ever since those early days, pizza has been at the center of their family life. John’s and Sam’s parents got their first jobs feeding coal into the big bakery ovens where Sicilian pizzas were baked and carried out into the neighborhood to feed the immigrant families hungry for a taste of home. Over the years the time-honored skills of the Pizzaiolo, the pizza chef, have been handed down from their fathers, uncles, aunts, brothers and cousins – from one generation to the next.”

“As Italian immigrants settled across the country, they carried their love for combining food, family and friends with them to every corner of America. At Santarpio’s in East Boston, the Home Run Inn on Chicago’s South Side and at Tommaso’s in San Francisco’s North Beach, this tradition has continued and evolved. Every neighborhood has placed it’s own personal stamp on it’s local pizza. The debate over which city makes the best pizza will never be settled, because each of us has such warm memories of that first date or family gathering at our own neighborhood Pizzeria.”

“At Metro Pizza, John and Sam honor the great traditions of America’s landmark Pizzerias. Their dough is made fresh each day and then fermented for 5-days from the finest wheat, hand-stretched and cooked on the stone of their hearth ovens. The sauces are made from only the finest vine-ripened tomatoes and topped with select cheeses, choice meats and the freshest vegetables, herbs and spices available. Each of Metro’s pizzas is a hand-crafted labor of love, backed by three generations of experience.”

Pizzaiolo John Arena is finally finding his way to Southern California later this year with the launch of the eagerly anticipated Truly Pizza in Dana Point.

Metro Pizza’s John Arena is with us pizza peel in hand.

Show 508, January 21, 2023: Long Beach Black Restaurant Week with Pizzaiolo Ahmad Jamal Butler of Miller Butler Part One

Ahmed Jamal Butler of MillerButler

“The city-wide 2nd annual Long Beach Black Restaurant Week will take place January 22-29, 2023. Long Beach Black Restaurant Week will be an avenue to bring everyone to the table, from all walks of life, to showcase the city’s diverse Black food scene. Organized by Long Beach Food & Beverage, a California registered 501(c)3 non-profit, Long Black Restaurant Week is an eight day, city-wide event devoted to celebrating African, African American, and Caribbean fare in and around Long Beach. The event also seeks to highlight Black-owned food businesses as well as Black chefs and bartenders.”

One of the participating restaurants (with a pop-up) is MillerButler, “a grassroots mobile fresh pasta and woodfired pizza company based out of San Pedro. Their aim is to celebrate life within their community (and beyond) through a unique set of culinary experiences. They love cultivating moments of the good life- or “Dolce Vita,” by way of connecting over food.”

“Miller Butler makes a variety of high-quality handmade pastas, wood-fired pizzas, teach cooking and pasta making classes, provide catering and private chef services.”

“Miller Butler is founded in strong family roots and driven by passion. They are a husband and wife owned brand. The company name reflects the joining of their two families.”

““Miller,” is Chef Jillana Nadine Miller aka Chef J. She was practically born in the kitchen and has come up through the ranks as a “private chef to the stars”. Building the dream of MillerButler with her husband is the next step in her mission to branch out further and wider to cultivate joy and connection through food.”

““Butler,” is Ahmad Jamal Butler, a gifted Pizzaiolo and pasta maker. A talented home cook with 15 years of experience in the Hotel Hospitality industry, Ahmad has taken on the challenge of creating delicious canvas’ for Chef J’s flavorful creations. He has been refining MillerButler’s dough recipes over the last 2 years and receiving rave reviews.” Chef Ahmad is our guest with pizza peel in hand.

During Long Beach Black Restaurant Week MillerButler will be in- residence at Trademark Brewing on Tuesday, January 24th from 4:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. (or until they run out of dough.)

Show 508, January 21, 2023: Long Beach Black Restaurant Week with Pizzaiolo Ahmad Jamal Butler of Miller Butler Part Two

Ahmed Jamal Butler of MillerButler

“The city-wide 2nd annual Long Beach Black Restaurant Week will take place January 22-29, 2023. Long Beach Black Restaurant Week will be an avenue to bring everyone to the table, from all walks of life, to showcase the city’s diverse Black food scene. Organized by Long Beach Food & Beverage, a California registered 501(c)3 non-profit, Long Black Restaurant Week is an eight day, city-wide event devoted to celebrating African, African American, and Caribbean fare in and around Long Beach. The event also seeks to highlight Black-owned food businesses as well as Black chefs and bartenders.”

“One of the participating restaurants (with a pop-up) is MillerButler, a grassroots mobile fresh pasta and woodfired pizza company based out of San Pedro. Their aim is to celebrate life within their community (and beyond) through a unique set of culinary experiences. They love cultivating moments of the good life- or “Dolce Vita,” by way of connecting over food.”

“Miller Butler makes a variety of high-quality handmade pastas, wood-fired pizzas, teach cooking and pasta making classes, provide catering and private chef services.”

“Miller Butler is founded in strong family roots and driven by passion. They are a husband and wife owned brand. The company name reflects the joining of their two families.”

““Miller,” is Chef Jillana Nadine Miller aka Chef J. She was practically born in the kitchen and has come up through the ranks as a “private chef to the stars”. Building the dream of MillerButler with her husband is the next step in her mission to branch out further and wider to cultivate joy and connection through food.”

““Butler,” is Ahmad Jamal Butler, a gifted Pizzaiolo and pasta maker. A talented home cook with 15 years of experience in the Hotel Hospitality industry, Ahmad has taken on the challenge of creating delicious canvas’ for Chef J’s flavorful creations. He has been refining MillerButler’s dough recipes over the last 2 years and receiving rave reviews.” Chef Ahmad is our guest with pizza peel in hand.

Chef Ahmad continues as our guest with pizza peel in hand.

During Long Beach Black Restaurant Week MillerButler will be in-residence at Trademark Brewing on Tuesday, January 24th from 4:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. or until the dough runs out.

Show 81, July 26, 2014: Host Jet Tila and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show

Jet Tila and Producer Andy preview the show.

After 15 successful years in Las Vegas at The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian, Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio was due for a culinary facelift and some new energy. Enter new Executive Chef Mark Andlebradt (An-dell-Brat) who has created a new market-driven menu more in the style of the original Postrio in San Francisco.

LUCKYRICE Fest comes to Hollywood for their third annual event in Los Angeles. It’s night market-style Asian cuisine and cocktails. Founder Danielle Chang joins us.

Back in 1988 fearless entrepreneur Patty Phillips was an early pioneer in the Gourmet Take & Bake pizza concept. All of that research and development led to a pizza dough that became really popular with local chefs. Patty’s Gourmet Pizza was established to serve that community and all these years later the Marina del Rey-based firm provides a range of products for commercial clients in over 30 states.

What fruits and vegetables are coming into season right now and tasting delicious? We’ll have a report from our resident produce authority, Robert Schueller, of Melissa’s World Variety Produce.

You know executive chef and revered pizzaiolo Zach Pollack from Sotto in Los Angeles. Orange County listeners remember him as the acclaimed opening pizzaiolo at Pizzaria Ortica. He’s just launched Alimento, his own 40-seat place in Silver Lake.

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

Show 81, July 26, 2014: Executive Chef / Proprietor Zach Pollack, Alimento, Silver Lake

Zach PollackYou know executive chef and pizzaiolo Zach Pollack from Sotto in Los Angeles. Orange County listeners remember him as the acclaimed opening pizzaiolo at Pizzaria Ortica. He’s just launched Alimento, his own 40-seat place in Silver Lake.

“While Sotto’s early vision was mostly Southern Italian, Pollack expands his reach here. “It’s not as regionally specific, but more loosely inspired by the different regions of Italy,” says Pollack. “It’s really my interpretation of these dishes, so it makes sense for Los Angeles, a city that doesn’t take itself too seriously.” You’ll find small and large plates, seasonal salads and handmade pastas, sometimes using grains from Pasadena’s Grist & Toll flour mill.” (Credit to Lesley Balla of Zagat).

July 26: Mark Andlebradt. LuckyRice, Patty’s Pizza, Melissa’s Produce, Zach Pollack

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chef Mark Andlebradt, Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio, Las Vegas
Segment Three: Founder Danielle Chang, LUCKYRICE Los Angeles Part One
Segment Four: Founder Danielle Chang, LUCKYRICE Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Five: Founder Patty Phillips and Bridget Baskin, Patty’s Gourmet Pizza
Segment Six: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce
Segment Seven: Executive Chef / Proprietor Zach Pollack, Alimento, Silver Lake Part One
Segment Eight: Executive Chef / Proprietor Zach Pollack, Alimento, Silver Lake Part Two

Jet Tila and Producer Andy preview the show.

After 15 successful years in Las Vegas at The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian, Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio was due for a culinary facelift and some new energy. Enter new Executive Chef Mark Andlebradt (An-dell-Brat) who has created a new market-driven menu more in the style of the original Postrio in San Francisco.

LUCKYRICE Fest comes to Hollywood for their third annual event in Los Angeles. It’s night market-style Asian cuisine and cocktails. Founder Danielle Chang joins us.

Back in 1988 fearless entrepreneur Patty Phillips was an early pioneer in the Gourmet Take & Bake pizza concept. All of that research and development led to a pizza dough that became really popular with local chefs. Patty’s Gourmet Pizza was established to serve that community and all these years later the Marina del Rey-based firm provides a range of products for commercial clients in over 30 states.

What fruits and vegetables are coming into season right now and tasting delicious ? We’ll have a report from our resident produce authority, Robert Schueller, of Melissa’s World Variety Produce.

You know executive chef and revered pizzaiolo Zach Pollack from Sotto in Los Angeles. Orange County listeners remember him as the acclaimed opening pizzaiolo at Pizzaria Ortica. He’s just launched Alimento, his own 40-seat place in Silver Lake.

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

Mark Andlebradt“After 15 successful years of serving Las Vegas, Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio is proud to announce a new, refined concept and market-driven menu led by newly appointed Executive Chef Mark Andlebradt. (An-dell-Brat) Postrio has dropped the “Bar & Grill” moniker and now focuses on seasonal, new American cuisine with global influences that can be enjoyed on the “indoor” patio overlooking the Carnivale atmosphere of St. Mark’s Square or in the intimate main dining room. Award-winning Chef Wolfgang Puck and Executive Chef Andelbradt’s diverse menu features wood-oven baked pizzas, handmade pastas, enticing entrees, outstanding steaks and fish from the mesquite grill, and much more.

This is a big space with 20,000 square feet. Banquets are an important component of their business.

Recent special: 32 ounce braised veal shank. Designed to be shared but many guests ordered it for one!

Weekend brunch is served from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. A guest favorite is the Cinnamon Pecan Roll with maple glaze.

Chef Andelbradt has held high positions through various prestigious kitchens including Brasserie T and Tru on Chicago with Rick Tramonto and Gale Gand; Daniel in New York with Daniel Boulud; Morimoto in both Philadelphia and New York with “Iron Chef” Masaharu Moritoto; and Tao in Las Vegas.

Postrio Las Vegas is located inside The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian Las Vegas.

Luckyrice Night Market“Hosted by Sang Yoon (Father’s Office, Lukshon, and Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters”), the third annual, LUCKYRICE Fest is moving to Hollywood and taking over Create Nightclub for an evening of innovative and traditional Asian-styled dishes paired with cocktails from L.A.’s brightest star chefs and mixologists. Ticket proceeds benefit CAAM, Center for Asian American Media. This unusual smorgasbord of Asian culinary treats features our picks (LUCKYRICE’s) from L.A.’s hot Asian culinary culture – Eat, Drink and Get LUCKY.”

Sang Yoon’s Lukshon is preparing Sichuan Dumplings with Kurobuta pork, spicy Ma’La vinaigrette, sesame, and peanuts.

Founder Danielle Chang is our guest.

LUCKYRICE Founder Danielle Chang is an award-winning media entrepreneur. Prior to launching LUCKYRICE in 2010, she was CEO of Vivienne Tam, a fashion company. Danielle has also worked for Goldman Sachs, The New York Times, and as a Professor of Contemporary Art History. Born in Taiwan, Danielle created LUCKYRICE to share her life-long affinity for Asian cuisine and lifestyle.

Our own Chef Jet Tila is preparing a five spice pork belly taco.

Pizza is a $30 billion dollar industry in the United States…

Patty Phillips of Pattys PizzaBack in 1988 fearless entrepreneur Patty Phillips was an early pioneer in the Gourmet Take & Bake pizza concept. All of that research and development led to a pizza dough that became really popular with local chefs. Patty’s Gourmet Pizza was established to serve that community and all these years later the Marina del Rey-based firm provides products for commercial clients in over 30 states.

Patty’s Pizza products have won industry awards for exceptional flavor and dependability. In addition, Patty’s “Take & Bake” pizza concept and innovative dough formulations have earned Patty’s critical acclaim from the toughest California restaurant critics.

Patty’s Pizza has worked rigorously to create a par (partially) baked frozen pizza formulation that does not require the heart of industrial level ovens, yet is still able to be frozen, topped, and used in a wide variety of applications. Ultimately, this has led to the development of a new line of pizza products designed to meet the diverse needs of Patty’s ever-growing client list.

The first prominent executive chef to endorse Patty’s Pizza was Roger Pigozzi (now at UCLA) who was then executive chef at The Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceWhat fruits and vegetables are coming into season right now and tasting delicious? We’ll have a report from our resident produce authority, Robert Schueller, of Melissa’s World Variety Produce.

New Mexico Hatch Chiles season starts first week of August.  First local roastings will be Aug. 2- Sept. 20th approx.

The following items are now coming into season and tasting great!:

Melissa’s Muscato (red, green, black), champagne grapes, Witch Finger, Niabells, Cotton Candy and Thomcords Grapes…

Other mention-able worthy fruits:  Figs (brown Turkey, Black Mission, Tiger), Masumoto Peaches, Lychees, Organic Plum Bites, and how about those cute Watermelon Cucumbers, too.

Getting into the peak of the Heirloom Tomatoes, or general tomato season too…

Zach PollackYou know executive chef and pizzaiolo Zach Pollack from Sotto in Los Angeles. Orange County listeners remember him as the acclaimed opening pizzaiolo at Pizzaria Ortica. He’s just launched Alimento, his own 40-seat place in Silver Lake.

“While Sotto’s early vision was mostly Southern Italian, Pollack expands his reach here. “It’s not as regionally specific, but more loosely inspired by the different regions of Italy,” says Pollack. “It’s really my interpretation of these dishes, so it makes sense for Los Angeles, a city that doesn’t take itself too seriously.” You’ll find small and large plates, seasonal salads and handmade pastas, sometimes using grains from Pasadena’s Grist & Toll flour mill.” (Credit to Lesley Balla of Zagat)

Sotto is part of Dine LA for Dinner. $35 prix fixe menu.

Concludes Sunday, July 27th.

Second Course is choice of: Lamb spezzatino (lemon, egg semolina,) Rigatoni (chicken liver ragu, maitake,) or Margarita pizza.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chef Mark Andlebradt, Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio, Las Vegas
Segment Three: Founder Danielle Chang, LUCKYRICE Los Angeles Part One
Segment Four: Founder Danielle Chang, LUCKYRICE Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Five: Founder Patty Phillips and Bridget Baskin, Patty’s Gourmet Pizza
Segment Six: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce
Segment Seven: Executive Chef / Proprietor Zach Pollack, Alimento, Silver Lake Part One
Segment Eight: Executive Chef / Proprietor Zach Pollack, Alimento, Silver Lake Part Two

Show 32, June 22, 2013: Chefs Steve Samson and Zach Pollack of Sotto in Los Angeles (Continued…)

Steve Samson and Zach Pollack of SottoIn 2009 Samson and Pollack first collaborated at the well-received Pizzeria Ortica for David Myers located near South Coast Plaza. Samson was the on-site working chef there and Pollack was the pizzaiolo. They immediately attracted the attention of the Orange County food writers and the crowds of diners soon followed.

On Tuesday evening, June 25th Sotto is hosting the Donkey & Goat Wine Dinner. Donkey & Goat is an emerging biodynamic boutique producer out of Sonoma County and is attracting quite a lot of attention.

The dinner, served family-style, will feature different preparations of Sonoma goat!

June 22: Sotto, Cochon 555, Tal Ronnen

Podcasts

Segment One: On the Road with Chef Jet and Producer Andy
Segment Two: Chefs Steve Samson and Zach Pollack of Sotto in Los Angeles Part One
Segment Three: Chefs Steve Samson and Zach Pollack of Sotto in Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Four: Brady Lowe, creator of the Cochon 555 National Tour
Segment Five: Chef Tal Ronnen of Crossroads in West Hollywood Part One
Segment Six: Chef Tal Ronnen of Crossroads in West Hollywood Part Two

Chef jet Tila and Alton BrownThis past week Chef Jet has been part of an influential food conference along with a number of standout food luminaries at UMass Amherst in Massachusetts. Jet will give us some of the highlights.

Producer Andy will preview one of the biggest ethnic food festivals happening this weekend in Orange County.

We’ll also answer some e-mail inquiries.

Steve Samson and Zach Pollack of SottoSotto on Pico Blvd. in West Los Angeles just East of Century City is the dream restaurant of American chefs Steve Samson and Zach Pollack who are both obsessed (in the best possible way) with all things Italy. Samson is the skilled executive chef and Pollack is the gifted pizzaiolo, and the food represents the fare of Southern Italy.

Steve Samson is known to Angelenos as one of the respected executive chefs in the rich history of Piero Selvaggio’s Valentino in Santa Monica. In early 2009 Samson and Pollack created the well-received Pizzeria Ortica in Costa Mesa’s performing arts district near South Coast Plaza for David Myers.

Brady Lowe of Cochon 555We’ve been following the Cochon 555 national tour since their stop in Los Angeles on Sunday, May 5th at House of Blues in West Hollywood. Our own Chef Jet Tila headed one of the five competing teams creating dishes from a whole heritage pig. Each culinary team provided tastes for the 400 attendees who were then part of the final judging.

The ten regional winners met at the Aspen Food & Wine Festival last Sunday for the final showdown, The Grand Cochon. Among the finalists was Chef Ray Garcia of Fig in Santa Monica, the supreme porker from the Los Angeles competition.

Cochon founder, Brady Lowe, based in Atlanta, joins us with the final report of this year’s results.

Tal Ronnen of Crossroads KitchenTal Ronnen is the go-to vegan chef cooking in the United States. He opened his first Los Angeles area restaurant, Crossroads, back in March. It’s at the corner of Melrose and Sweetzer Avenue in West Hollywood. The food is fine-dining vegan with Mediterranean-style small plates in a highly designed space.

“I just can’t do the throw some vegetables and a starch on a plate thing,” Ronen once said in a Los Angeles Times profile. “That’s the problem with most vegan dishes. It’s a Portobello mushroom cap, or pasta primavera, and when you’re finished with dinner you have to hit the drive-through. You have to give people something that will satisfy them”

Chef Ronnen also contributed to the original menu for LYFE Kitchen which launched earlier in the year in Culver City.

His reputation is such that in early 2011 when very particular casino resort mogul Steve Wynn wanted to add vegan dishes to all of his acclaimed restaurants at both Wynn Las Vegas and Encore the plum assignment went to Chef Ronnen.

Podcasts

Segment One: On the Road with Chef Jet and Producer Andy
Segment Two: Chefs Steve Samson and Zach Pollack of Sotto in Los Angeles Part One
Segment Three: Chefs Steve Samson and Zach Pollack of Sotto in Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Four: Brady Lowe, creator of the Cochon 555 National Tour
Segment Five: Chef Tal Ronnen of Crossroads in West Hollywood Part One
Segment Six: Chef Tal Ronnen of Crossroads in West Hollywood Part Two