Show 301, December 8, 2018: Bob Oswaks, Proprietor / Boulanger, Bob’s Well Bread Bakery, Los Alamos

Bob Oswaks

You would not expect to find an incredible artisan bakery which also serves popular word-of-mouth breakfast and lunch (extraordinary sandwiches) in the small town of Los Alamos in the heart of Santa Ynez wine country located just off the 101 Freeway. Bob’s Well Bread Bakery and Café delightfully defies expectations.

Unusually there are two cottages (“The Cottages”) available for guests on the Bob’s Well Bread property.

“Bob’s Well Bread was started by an entertainment executive-turned-baker who was looking for some balance in his life, and found a passion and a new calling that was both delightful and unexpected.  “When you make something naturally, and with your hands, there’s a magic to it.  If you’re eating a loaf of our bread, or drinking a bottle of our local wine, and you know that someone put in the time to make it by hand, there is just this personal connection.  It may not change the way it tastes, but it changes your experience, and that is what everyone wants—the experience.”

Bob and Jane Oswaks designed Bob’s Well Bread out of an old 1920’s gas station historic Los Alamos, opening their doors on August 1,2014.  They pride themselves on the finest ingredients, sourced locally and seasonally, in all of their products, including Jane’s house made jams, marmalades, marshmallows and gluten-free specialties.”  

“Using natural fermentation for yeast and allowing the dough to rise slowly, Bob’s Well Bread makes artisan breads by hand in small batches, in a custom-built stone deck oven.”

The Café Menu (Breakfast & Lunch changes regularly. The word-of-mouth sandwiches are amply portioned and served on the fresh, house-bakedbreads. Sandwich nirvana…

Bob’s has grown over the last four years to the point that there is now both a dedicated baker and chef in-house overseen by Bob.

We’re on the rise with Proprietor/ Boulanger Bob Oswaks.

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Show 291, September 22, 2018: Robert Egger, L.A. Kitchen, Founder & CEO

Robert EggarL.A. Kitchen, a pioneering non-profit, is again rallying Angelenos to take a stand and participate in a city-wide party (October 5 to 7) to raise awareness and fight food waste, hunger and unemployment. Shared Plates is L.A Kitchen’s anti-gala, a weekend of dinner parties for good that invites thousands of Angelenos to sit around the table in their backyards, restaurants, businesses and schools across Los Angeles.

100% of the ticket sales help in feeding LA’s homeless and senior population, offering culinary job training to the formerly incarcerated or formerly homeless and towards diverting thousands of pounds of food that would have otherwise gone to waste.

Look for L.A. Kitchen branded packaged fresh food products at the food outlets at LAX. Sandwiches and salads…

Robert Egger, L.A. Kitchen Founder & CEO sets the table for us.

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Show 250, December 2, 2017: Art Sezgin, Co-Founder, Fresh & Ready Foods

Art SezginFresh & Ready Foods®, innovators i food manufacturing for over 25 years, is the smart, efficient answer to all grab & go, catering and box lunch needs. Since 1990, Fresh & Ready Foods has been manufacturing and distributing high quality sandwiches, box lunches, salads, and baked goods.

While Fresh & Ready Foods began by servicing hospitals and colleges (including patient and employee lunches) in Los Angeles; they now reach the entire state of California, Nevada and Western Arizona. Their current customer base includes medical centers, airlines, business dining services, convention centers, hotels, military bases and retail.

Fresh & Ready Foods’ state-of-the-art commercial production facilities have the capacity to manufacture their full line of sandwiches, salads, box lunches and baked goods no matter what size the affair. They source their meats direct from the packers, the produce straight from the farm and Artisan breads come from several local gourmet bakeries daily. Fresh & Ready’s highly-trained production crew is instructed to follow strict guidelines and specifications ensuring a consistent, high quality product.

Art is an accomplished chef by training and there are two additional chefs as part of the operating team there including alums from the Careers through Culinary Arts Program.

In addition to what they make, Fresh & Ready Foods is concerned with how they make it. They have a comprehensive, detailed food safety program that gives them an extra level of confidence in the foods they manufacture.

Co-Founder & President Art Sezgin joins us.

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Show 202, December 17, 2016: Executive Chef & Founder Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew and William GruelChef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group is continuing his ongoing series of personal recommendations. Today it’s the very best in sandwiches.

Next to fresh seafood, a properly prepared sandwich is one of Chef Andrew’s best friends. It’s a pleasing meal to-go artfully packaged between two slices of quality bread!

Great possibilities…

Chef Andrew reminds that a noteworthy sandwich needs to be packaged between slices of quality bread. Also the sauce/spread on the sandwich needs to be spread end-to-end on both sides of the sandwich. This helps prevent the sandwich from getting soggy.

Chef Andrew’s favorites in Orange County:

Honorable mention from Producer Andy:

 

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Show 132, July 25, 2015: Chef Andrew Gruel on Sandwiches

Andrew GruelOur regular guest host, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish fame, is a big fan of truly cravable sandwiches. He’s also a self-described sandwich junkie…Chef Andrew is personally responsible for creating some of his own winners. Think smoked salmon bagel and the ultimate breakfast sandwich for openers…

Chef Andrew will give us the profile of the regional favorite, the New Jersey Sloppy Joe and other tantalizing sandwich intell. Bread is a critical element as well as the vegetables. Some vegetables work well on cold sandwiches and others are best for the hot variety. There are tricks to prevent the sandwich from becoming soggy.

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Show 83, August 9, 2014: Tarit Tanjasiri of CremaCafe & Bakery

Tarit TanjasiriTarit Tanjasiri is the consumed baker/proprietor of the revered CremaCafe & Artisan Bakery in Seal Beach. It started eight years ago as a small breakfast and lunch spot. Tarit couldn’t source a bread for his sandwiches that satisfied him so two years ago he added an adjacent production bakery. It’s the café on one side and the bakery on the other. We’ll meet him.

Tarit’s Kouign Amann was one of the OC Weekly’s “100 Favorite Dishes of 2014.”

According to Anne Marie Panoringan of the OC Weekly : “Per Tarit, a Kouign Amann is a pastry from the Brittany region of France. It’s often considered more of a cake than a pastry, although Crema utilizes croissant dough for their version. Layers of butter, dough, sugar and a bit of sea salt are formed. Shaped to resemble a blooming rose, it is then placed in the deck oven to bake. Sweetness and density are much higher in France, and they come in many more sizes, shapes and filling flavors.”

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Sandwich Heaven

Chef Jet and Travis compare notes on their favorite sandwiches!

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Show 52, December 14, 2013: Sherry Yard, the acclaimed executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck for 20 years

Sherry YardL.A.’s acclaimed pastry princess, Sherry Yard, is with us for the last segment. Sherry was Wolfgang Puck’s (Spago) executive pastry chef for twenty years. She is a multiple James Beard Award-winner. Her first cookbook, The Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts won a Beard Award for “Best Baking Cookbook.” She serves on the national Board of Directors for the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) and also is a part of Los Angeles’ Advisory Board.

Her current project (with Lukshon’s and Father’s Office’s Sang Yoon) is the revival of the fondly remembered Helms Bakery located on the site of the former Helms Bakery, an iconic home delivery commercial bakery that left the scene years ago. It looks like Summer of 2014 for the opening. It’s an ambitious project in a large space which previously served as part of Helms’ loading dock.

The exciting all-day concept keeps evolving but it’s going to be a bakery and cafe with a lot more. All the bread will be prepared and baked right there. They will roast the beans for the coffee on site. You’ll be able to get sandwiches and full meals packaged to take home.

You can sign-up for their monthly newsletter to keep current on the opening for Helms Bakery.

Meanwhile on Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday afternoons look for the restored yellow Helms Bakery delivery truck in front of their future restaurant space across from Father’s Office. Sherry is selling her soon to be famous chocolate chip cookies and various hand-crafted ice cream novelties. Everything is deliciously scratch-made. Call it a tasty preview of coming edible attractions…

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December 14: Scott Conant, Teemu Selanne, Clay Oven, Kedric Francis, Sherry Yard

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Scott Conant oversees his highly successful empire of five Scarpetta restaurants
Segment Three: Celebrity Chef Scott Conant of the five Scarpetta restaurants coast-to-coast. Continues…
Segment Four: Leo Fenn, Director of Operations, Selanne Steak Tavern, Laguna Beach
Segment Five: Geeta Bansal, Executive Chef / Proprietress of Clay Oven in Irvine
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine Part One
Segment Seven: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine Part Two
Segment Eight: Sherry Yard, the acclaimed executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck for 20 years

Lechon Porchetta by Susan ParkYou can aid the unfortunate victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and enjoy some great Filipino food…There is a huge Filipino community right here in Los Angeles County.

Upcoming is an “all are welcome” fundraiser at Bamboo Bistro in Panorama City on Sunday, Dec. 15th from 4 to 8:00 p.m.

Pinoy food will be there in abundance expertly prepared by L.A. chefs including Chef Mayet Cristobal, the Executive Chef of the Getty Museum. She will be serving Beef Short Rib Adobo. The minimum donation is a modest $20 per adult and there will be live music.

The new season of Food Network’s newest hit series, Cutthroat Kitchen, hosted by Alton Brown launches Sunday night, December 15th. Our own Jet Tila is the most-used celebrity chef judge on the series. Tough but fair…

Be looking for his episodes for Season 2. Don’t miss the online after shows on Food Network’s Website. Alton goes over each episode with the celebrity chef judge. Always fun to better understand what the vexing sabotages were…! Jet doesn’t know any of this when he evaluating the food. On this show strategy is just as important as cooking chops. Luck helps, too…

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Scott Conant of Scarpetta and Food NetworkChef Scott Conant oversees a growing restaurant empire from his base in Manhattan. There are hugely successful Scarpetta restaurants in New York City, Miami Beach, Toronto, Beverly Hills at The Montage Hotel and Las Vegas at The Cosmopolitan. He’s known for an extraordinary spaghetti dish.

He also has the more casual, D.O.C.G. Enoteca at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

The Scarpetta Cookbook (his third) is just out for the Holidays.

Scarpetta Beverly Hills just celebrated its 3rd birthday.

Chef Scott is familiar to millions of viewers of food television as one of the original permanent judges on Food Network’s “Chopped.” It’s probably the hardest legitimate cooking competition series on the air. As Scott explains it’s all real. None of the competing chefs have a clue what’s in their mystery basket of ingredients until they open it!

The Scarpetta Cookbook came about as a result of a hands-on cooking demo Scott performed in Manhattan. There were 15 teams of two students preparing one of his signature recipes. The variations of the same dish as presented by the class members was incredible. Scott calls it a disaster.

Scott wants food fans to be able to successfully duplicate the Scarpetta recipes at home. No secrets or missing ingredient in the book’s recipes. That’s his goal for the book.

If you order the cookbook from his website you can obtain a personalized inscription. Good idea for the Holidays and saves the flight to New York.

Chef Scott talks about the needed ingredients for success with multiple restaurants. It’s all about service, food, and ambiance. Service is the key. Food is the follow-up. Scott points out that if a guest has a bad service experience they are likely never to return.

Teemu Selanne of Selanne Steak TavernIf you’re a hockey fan then you know Teemu Selanne, The Anaheim Ducks forward and ice hockey icon. Sadly for his legion of fans this is his last season as a pro.

Teemu loves fine dining and it was only a matter of time before he opened a destination restaurant (with his business partner Kevin Pratt) in Orange County where he resides. The result is the newly launched Selanne Steak Tavern on the site of the former French 75, a historic restaurant location in Laguna Beach. It’s a sophisticated steakhouse, and lots more, with a real chef, dedicated pastry chef and a top-flight wine program orchestrated by Leo Fenn, the Director of Operations.

Leo is a recognized authority on rare and cult wines but makes it all approachable for the guest. Leo is with us to provide all the tempting 411 on Selanne Steak Tavern.

When Teemu Selanne is not on the road he will be very visible at the restaurant.

Clay Oven in IrvineThe long running Clay Oven in Irvine (26 years plus… is the OC’s classic Indian (Northern cuisine) restaurant. It’s also a true family affair.

Geeta Bansal (our guest) is the proprietress / executive chef along with her husband, Praveen, who is the gracious proprietor / sommelier. Their son, Tarun, represents the 2nd generation active at Clay Oven.

One of their holiday specials (by special order) is a Tandoor Turkey. They sell out (over 250 birds) each Thanksgiving using four tandoor ovens. The birds are skinless and marinated in an herb and spice blend. The juices are seared into the meat during the cooking process. The birds are incredibly moist when they come out of the tandoor oven.

Geeta’s unusual hobby is traveling the globe and interviewing high profile chefs in their native countries. These revealing interviews have been published in the OC Weekly, Orange County Register, and, more recently, in her own blog. Accredited, professional food journalists don’t have the access Geeta enjoys!

In a teaching moment Chef Geeta also educates us on the ancient Hindu treatise of Ayruveda as it relates to food.

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineIt’s the Holidays which is a peak vacation travel period. It’s a great time to catch-up with our man about Orange County, Kedric Francis. Kedric is the always debonair, well-traveled Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine.

On Saturday morning Kedric is off to Cancun, Mexico to experience a new high-end resort there. He’s visiting the Nizuc Resort & Spa. This will be the subject of a future report.

Kedric also reported on some big deal Fashion Island restaurant openings. Red O, with a high end regional Mexican menu by noted Chicago chef Rick Bayless, is now open. Soon to launch is Fig & Olive (Mediterranean fare) which started in West Hollywood.

Kedric was recently at The Ritz Restaurant & Garden’s annual holiday party fund-raiser in Newport Center which was a bit bittersweet. Their lease is up and this is the last Holiday Party at the original location.

There was some good news. It’s not final yet but it looks like The Ritz has found a new location in the area to relocate when they need to vacate their current home early next year. Their long-time landlord has already granted them a couple of extensions. The only glitch is that The Ritz will disappear for at least a year while the new space is remodeled. Most of the long-time employees will need to find work and perhaps move on permanently. Stay tuned…

The Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs is newly opened and Kedric had a chance to see the property a few weeks ago. It’s located in the heart of Downtown Palm Springs near the Indian Casino. Kedric observed there in now lots to do for twentysomethings and thirtysomethings in Palm Springs these days, including a vibrant nightlife.

Sherry YardL.A.’s acclaimed pastry princess, Sherry Yard, is with us for the last segment. Sherry was Wolfgang Puck’s (Spago) executive pastry chef for twenty years. She is a multiple James Beard Award-winner. Her first cookbook, The Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts won a Beard Award for “Best Baking Cookbook.”

Her current project (with Lukshon’s and Father’s Office’s Sang Yoon) is the revival of Helms Bakery located on the site of the former Helms Bakery, an iconic home delivery commercial bakery that left the scene years ago. It looks like Summer of 2014 for the opening.

The exciting all-day concept keeps evolving but it’s going to be a bakery and cafe with a lot more. All the bread will be prepared and baked right there. They will roast the beans for the coffee on site. You’ll be able to get sandwiches and full meals packaged to take home.

You can sign-up for their monthly newsletter to keep current on the opening for Helms Bakery.

Meanwhile on Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday afternoons look for the restored yellow Helms Bakery delivery truck in front of their future restaurant space across from Father’s Office. Sherry is selling her soon to be famous chocolate chip cookies and various hand-crafted ice cream novelties. Everything is deliciously scratch-made. Call it a tasty preview of coming edible attractions…

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Scott Conant oversees his highly successful empire of five Scarpetta restaurants
Segment Three: Celebrity Chef Scott Conant of the five Scarpetta restaurants coast-to-coast. Continues…
Segment Four: Leo Fenn, Director of Operations, Selanne Steak Tavern, Laguna Beach
Segment Five: Geeta Bansal, Executive Chef / Proprietress of Clay Oven in Irvine
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine Part One
Segment Seven: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine Part Two
Segment Eight: Sherry Yard, the acclaimed executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck for 20 years

Show 41, September 21, 2013: Kajsa (Sasha) Alger, Executive Chef and Partner, Susan Feniger’s Street

Kansa Alger of Susan Feniger's StreetAs a teenager Alger snuck into the kitchen at CITY restaurant to begin an informal apprenticeship. That was the start of her long association with Susan and Mary Sue. She eventually rose to the post of Corporate Chef for all of Mary Sue’s and Susan’s restaurants.

Kajsa was on the Street project since the inception. There were months of intense recipe testing before the opening in 2009.

Kajsa is particularly proud of the unconventional Saturday and Sunday brunch menu they are offering until the end of the month. It’s an “All You Can Eat” small plate brunch with breakfast items as well as sandwiches and salads. It’s a modest $25 per guest and for an additional $15 you can partake of bottomless sparkling cocktails.

Kajsa pointed out that Street is vegetarian and vegan friendly. Some of their vegan specialties are that way by the simple nature of the dish. Ethnic fare tends to be less meat centric and they have built upon that.

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