Show 280, July 7, 2018: Adam Levoe, Director of Restaurant Operations, Golden Road Brewing

Adam LevoeChef Adam Levoe started with Golden Road cooking at their original Pub in the flagship Los Angeles (Atwater Village) Brewery in 2011. He’s also notably a serious home brewer.

Adam’s domain has grown right along with Golden Road Brewing and he now serves as the Director of Restaurant Operations. Golden Road Pubs exist at Atwater Village, Grand Central Market in DTLA, Anaheim, LAX and, now, Sacramento.

The appealing Pub menus also offer Vegan options. This was a tradition going back to Golden Road’s Co-Founder, Tony Yanow, an experienced restaurateur who has since returned to growing his hospitality enterprise.

We’re breaking bread with Chef Adam.

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Show 190, September 24, 2016: Darrell Corti, Chair, L.A. International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition

Darrell CortiNoted gourmand Darrell Corti of Corti Brothers gourmet grocery and spirit purveyors in Sacramento is the Chairman of the globally respected L.A. International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition. We’ll chat about the Southern Hemisphere tasting and lots more and how the public can sample some of the winning oils during the final Weekend of the L.A. County Fair. TheDailyMeal.com has dubbed him one of the coolest people in food and drink in America.

For the Southern Hemisphere competition 101 oils were evaluated from 45 producers in Australia, New Zealand and South America. The judging yielded 82 awards.

Now in its 17th year, the Los Angeles International Olive Oil Competition is the top ranking EVOO competition in the United States and fifth worldwide. The goal is to bring together the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in awarding medals to the best oils from around the globe.

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Show 167, April 9, 2016: Darrell Corti, Corti Brothers, Sacramento & Chair of the L.A. International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition

Darrell CortiNoted gourmand Darrell Corti of Corti Brothers gourmet grocery and spirit purveyors in Sacramento is the Chairman of the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition. We’ll chat about the Best of Show award recipients and lots more about gourmet specialty food with the revered Mr. Corti. TheDailyMeal.com has dubbed him one of the coolest people in food and drink in America.

Now in its 17th year, the Los Angeles International Olive Oil Competition is the top ranking EVOO competition in the United States and fifth worldwide. The goal is to bring together the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in awarding medals to the best oils from around the globe.

The L.A. International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition conducts two judgings a year. Just completed in March was the 2016 Northern Hemisphere Judging.

The overall winner is the Premio Mugelli / Mugelli Award recipient. For 2016 (the 2nd year in a row) it’s Olio di Dievole, Coratina, Robust, from Gaiole in Chianti, Italy. Unfortunately it’s not readily available in the United States. It will be available for tasting (along with the other notable award-winners) at the L.A. County Fair running from September 2nd to September 25th, 2016.

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Show 167, April 9, 2016: Darrell Corti, Corti Brothers, Sacramento & Chair of the L.A. International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition Continues…

Darrell CortiFor “Best of Show – Domestic” at the L.A. International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition there is an award-winner in Delicate, Medium and Robust category oils. Best of Show – Robust is Pacific Sun, Riverview Ranch Tuscan Blend, Yolo County, California.

Chef Andrew tasted this EVOO. He compares notes and flavor profiles with Corti who was tasting the premium oil on-air. It’s a grassy, bright, fruity, peppery olive oil.

Suggested Food Pairings: “Delicious with poultry, lamb, beans, soups, or any dish you want to add a little pepperiness to.” Darrell (a serious and accomplished home cook) advises it does wonders for kale.

From TheDailyMeal.com:
One sign of how cool this Italian-American Sacramento grocer is is the fact that he’ll think the whole idea of being considered cool is just plain silly. Running the family business in the California capital is a full-time job, and he doesn’t have spare moments for a lot of folderol. Of course, Corti is a grocer like Itzhak Perlman plays some fiddle. Corti is simply one of the most deeply knowledgeable food and drink experts in America, able to expound with equal authority on Chinese tea, Spanish vinegar, Central Asian wine, Italian pasta, and about 30,000 other gastronomic topics.

The Corti Brothers online store, where you can buy their Italian specialties even if you don’t live in Sacramento, remains charmingly low-tech and straightforward, giving away very little about the vast treasures and culinary knowledge amassed by this family. At the store itself, you can shop for everything from toilet paper and skim milk to artisanal soy sauce and sherries so rare you can’t even find them in Spain — or just stand in line for one of the California capital’s best deli sandwiches.

Corti, a member of The Daily Meal Council, knows everybody worth knowing in his chosen field, and everybody knows him. They call him “The Professor.” If you’ve never heard of him, well, that sort of makes him even cooler, you know?

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Show 126, June 13, 2015: Camron King, Executive Director, Lodi Wine Commission

Camron King of the Lodi Winegrape AssociationThe about-to-be-discovered “Lodi Wine Country” is one of California’s major winegrowing regions. It’s located 100 miles east of San Francisco near the San Joaquin/Sacramento River Delta, south of Sacramento and west of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Lodi is characterized by rural atmosphere where wineries and farms run by 4th and 5th generation families operate in tandem with a new group of vintners who have brought creative winemaking and cutting–edge technology to the region.

In Lodi, grape growing is inextricably woven into the culture : the city of Lodi’s police department prominently features a grape cluster in its logo, and high school teams are named after grape varieties.

Lodi has been a major winegrape growing region for over 150 years. Unlike many U.S. wine regions, Lodi actually prospered during Prohibition and as such has been a continuous source of wine grapes since the 1850s. In fact, when early trappers wandered into what is now Lodi, they called one stream they discovered “Wine Creek” because of the proliferation of wild vines found there. As more and more Italian and German immigrants made their homes in Lodi, vinifera varieties such as Zinfandel, Tokay, and Alicante appeared by the 1880s.

Camron King, the Executive Director of the Lodi Winegrape Commission joins us with all the exciting 411.

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Show 40, September 14, 2013: Michael Passmore, Passmore Ranch, Sustainable Aqua Farming

Michael Passmore of Passmore RanchMichael Passmore is an elite class freshwater fish farmer in the Sacramento area. His Passmore Ranch is sustainable aqua farming and his clientele are discriminating celebrity chefs all across the country who he, unusually, supplies directly.

They started modestly by selling live fish at Northern California farmers’ markets, and their quality and service quickly established them as premium purveyors for top restaurants and Michelin-starred chefs around the country.

Passmore Ranch offers premium freshwater white sturgeon, black bass, striped bass, catfish, silver carp and trout, plus prized domestic caviar.

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September 14: Azunia Tequila, Vegas Food Trucks, Elizabeth Huettinger, Lena Kwak, Amar Santana, Eric Klein, Michael Passmore

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jim Riley, founder of Azunia Tequila
Segment Three: Brock Radke, Food and Web Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Four: Elizabeth Huettinger, Wine Director, Addison Del Mar
Segment Five: Lena Kwak, Research and Development Chef, Thomas Keller Restaurant Group
Segment Six: Amar Santana, Executive Chef / Owner, Broadway by Amar Santana
Segment Seven: Eric Klein, Executive Chef & Partner, Spago Las Vegas
Segment Eight: Michael Passmore, Passmore Ranch, Sustainable Aqua Farming

Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Thai 2013 Food FestivalMark Sunday afternoon, September 29th on your calendar. Our very own Jet Tila is hosting the Thai 2013 Food Festival at Paramount Pictures Studios in the heart of Hollywood. It starts at 3:00 p.m.

Celebrity chefs from around the country and outstanding local Thai chefs will be there presenting their signature dishes for the guests to sample and enjoy. Entertainment will include music, Thai dancers and fruit carving.

VIP and Regular Tickets are now on sale!

Azunia TequilaJim Riley, the founder of Azunia Tequila joins us. In his spare time Jim is a professional off-road racer of some note.

This is a case study of how a boutique tequila company grows a brand in an environment dominated by cash-rich giants. Riley has built his brand with clever grass-roots marketing and being seen in the right places.

Azunia Tequila is organic and 100 per cent Weber Blue Agave. It is available in the styles of Platinum Blanco (great for cocktails,) Reposado, and Anejo.

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyOur man in Las Vegas, Brock Radke, is back with us. Brock is the respected Web and Food Editor for The Las Vegas Weekly.

Last month Brock had a great piece in The Weekly entitled. “Where are they now? Checking up on the first wave of Vegas food truckers.”

Fukuburger has probably been the most successful and is still on the streets. A brick and mortar location for Las Vegas is in the plans. Sloppi Jo’s was a big success with the food critics but, ultimately, not a viable business model. Proprietress Jolene Mannina has parlayed this into other food projects for herself. In fact she’s the head of Culinary Arts for the upcoming “Life is Beautiful” Festival in Downtown Las Vegas. The originator of Slidin’ Thru has moved on but the truck still does events and catering and there is a bricks and mortar drive-through.

Brock also talked about the just launched Heritage Steak at The Mirage on The Strip. The proprietor is Tom Colicchio of Bravo’s “Top Chef” fame and a James Beard Award recipient.

Elizabeth Huettinger of the Addison in Del MarSommelier Elizabeth Huettinger is the new Wine Director at Addison restaurant and The Grand Del Mar Resort in Del Mar. She was previously part of the wine team at Spago Beverly Hills.

Elizabeth just took the incredibly difficult “Advanced” certification test from the Court of Master Sommeliers. She shares that humbling experience with us.

Earlier in the Summer the Grand hosted a special screening of the documentary, “SOMM”. It’s the first effort by filmmaker Jason Wise.
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“SOMM” tells the fascinating story of four sommeliers attempting to pass the rigorous and prestigious Master Sommelier exam. This test has one of the lowest pass rates imaginable. Elizabeth’s head sommelier at Spago (her previous post) is a Master Sommelier. She talks about hosting the screening (there was wine and abundant food stations) and her reaction to the highly acclaimed documentary.

Lena KwakChef Lena Kwak is the highly acclaimed research development chef for The French Laundry and The Thomas Keller Restaurant Group in Yountville, CA. She created the position.

With the backing of Keller she developed Cup4Cup, a healthy wheat flour-substitute which has gone national over the last two years. It’s carried in Williams-Sonoma stores and also available at the Bouchon Bakeries in Yountville, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, and New York.

Last year Kwak was named as one of Forbes Magazine’s “Top 30 Under 30” for her work with Cup4Cup.

In addition to bread mixes the proprietary line also includes a brownie mix, pizza dough, and pancake/waffle mix.

Amar SantanaChef Amar Santana is very familiar to Orange County foodies. His mentor, Chef Charlie Palmer (Aureole,) brought him out here from Manhattan in 2008 to open Charlie Palmer’s at Bloomingdales at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Talk about a plum assignment for a young chef…

With the backing of one of his very loyal guests he later departed to open a venture of his own, Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach. Since opening in 2011 it’s been a hit with both the food critics and guests. The bar has also created its own loyal following for unusual libations and a welcoming atmosphere. Their superior Moscow Mule (not listed on the bar menu) is a thoughtful homage to the original version created in the late 30s in Hollywood and now using all fresh ingredients and from scratch ginger beer.

Eric KleinIn 2007 Executive Chef Eric Klein (now a partner) was handed the keys to Spago Las Vegas by Wolfgang Puck and charged with freshening up the concept. This was quite a formidable assignment given that Spago is Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant in Las Vegas! They celebrated their 20th Anniversary last year.

The restaurant is a busy café (with exhibition pizza oven) in the front and an elegant fine-dining restaurant in the back. The front patio opens onto the busy main Forum Shops walkway.

As with the Beverly Hills original Spago Las Vegas attracts the celebrity clientele in addition to sophisticated foodies. Chef Eric is the visible personality of the establishment.

Chef Eric’s first assignment in Las Vegas (after relocating from Beverly Hills) was SW Steakhouse at Wynn Las Vegas.

Michael Passmore of Passmore RanchMichael Passmore is an elite class freshwater fish farmer in the Sacramento area. His Passmore Ranch is sustainable aqua farming and his clientele are discriminating celebrity chefs all across the country who he, unusually, supplies directly.

They started modestly by selling live fish at Northern California farmers’ markets, and their quality and service quickly established them as premium purveyors for top restaurants and Michelin-starred chefs around the country.

Passmore Ranch offers premium freshwater white sturgeon, black bass, striped bass, catfish, silver carp and trout, plus prized domestic caviar.

Today Passmore Ranch is 86 acres and they raise fish in 80 million gallons of fresh water pumped up from the pristine Cosumnes aquifer. The ranch has a variety of open lakes and massive tanks used to increase the variety of sustainable fish they grow.

In the works is a plan to begin a thoughtful rollout of limited direct sales to serious home cooks. The info will be posted on their website.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jim Riley, founder of Azunia Tequila
Segment Three: Brock Radke, Food and Web Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Four: Elizabeth Huettinger, Wine Director, Addison Del Mar
Segment Five: Lena Kwak, Research and Development Chef, Thomas Keller Restaurant Group
Segment Six: Amar Santana, Executive Chef / Owner, Broadway by Amar Santana
Segment Seven: Eric Klein, Executive Chef & Partner, Spago Las Vegas
Segment Eight: Michael Passmore, Passmore Ranch, Sustainable Aqua Farming