Show 106, January 17, 2015: Troy Johnson, Food Critic, San Diego Magazine

Troy JohnsonWith live radio you really never know what’s going to happen until it does. We had Troy Johnson ready to go and then when he was on-the-air his cell phone dropped.

We tried to get him back for the balance of the segment. With a minute to go we finally did.

Troy is one of the regular judges on Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games. During the live segment Troy was in a caravan of cars in Northern California led by Guy Fieri (on the way to his ranch.) They are now in production of Season 3 of “Guy’s Grocery Games” produced in Santa Rosa.

While we were trying to connect with Troy we previewed Chef Gary Arabia’s upcoming segment on next Saturday’s show. The celebrity caterer to the stars has just launched the ambitious GC Marketplace on Cahuenga Blvd. W. near Universal Studios.

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Show 68, April 5, 2014: Show 68, April 5, 2014: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Owner, Zazu Kitchen + Farm, The Barlow

Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart of Zazu Kitchen and FarmWhen we first met Sonoma County-based Chef Duskie Estes last Spring when she was about to move Zazu Kitchen + Farm from Santa Rosa into an incredible space at The Barlow in Sebastopol. It’s now located on the grounds of a long-closed Gravenstein apple processing facility. Some of the weathered, tin clad warehouse buildings remain and have been artfully repurposed. The rest of the complex duplicates that rustic look.

Duskie and her husband, John Stewart, are the King & Queen of Porc from the Grand Cochon competition in 2011. They also operate the Black Pig Meat Co.

Most of the mains change nightly at Zazu. A signature starter is the “I (heart) Pigstram”i. John cures the pork for this little sandwich served on artisan rye with sauerkraut and house-made Guinness mustard.

Saturday and Sunday brunch is a major attraction here. At brunch the “can’t miss” item is the “As seen on TV” maple glazed donut with bacon jimmies. Outrageous…

Also popular is the king + queen of pork bacon-in-the-batter waffle with bacon toffee and house-made espresso gelato.

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April 5: OC Baking Co., Grist & Toll, Duskie Estes, Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, Relish Culinary Adventures, Micah Wexler

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Master Baker Dean Kim, OC Baking Co
Segment Three: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Owner, Zazu Kitchen + Farm, The Barlow
Segment Five: Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, author of Gin: A Global History
Segment Six: Donna del Rey, Relish Culinary Adventurers, Healdsburg, CA
Segment Seven: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part Two

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

The Inaugural Grilled Cheese Festival & Competition featuring the best of the OC’s chefs is coming. We’ll have the details on how you can attend.

Would you believe a stone flour mill in Pasadena? It’s a passion project for the two partners who are selling flour from grain sourced from local growers. That’s a great example of the locavore movement!

We last visited with Chef Duskie Estes of Zazu Kitchen + Farm & Black Pig Meat Co. right before they opened their spacious new restaurant at The Barlow in Sebastopol (Sonoma County) last year. We have an update…

You can’t have a classic bar without gin. We have a fascinating tutorial from the local expert affiliated with the Museum of the American Cocktail.

The gateway to the Sonoma County Wine Country for foodies is Relish Culinary Tours located right off the town square in Healdsburg. They offer cooking classes, private parties, culinary tours and creative catering. We’ll hear about what’s on their menu for Spring & Summer.

A Los Angeles fine dining chef who has cooked at Tom Colicchio’s Craft in Century City is a deliman at heart. He’s about to open a Jewish deli in Downtown Los Angeles featuring his premium, house cured meats.

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

The Big Cheese Grilled Cheese CompetitionIn celebration of National Grilled Cheese Month in April, OC Baking Co. and Provisions Market in Orange will join forces to host The Big Cheese, Orange County’s first grilled cheese festival and competition. OC Baking Co. Master Baker Dean Kim will supply locally produced freshly baked bread to top OC chefs competing for the title of “The Big Cheese” on Monday, April 14th from 6 to 8:00 p.m. at Provisions Market in Orange.

“The Chef community in Orange County is a tight knit one with many talented individuals I’m proud to call my friends,” commented Chef Greg Daniels, who oversees the kitchens at Haven Gastropub in Orange and Pasadena, as well as taco asylum in Costa Mesa. “Grilled Cheese is something we can all relate to and, thanks to OC Baking Co.’s support, this event is a way for us to get together for a lighthearted competition.”

Nan KohlerSerious home baker Nan Kohler and her business partner (Marti Noxon) have recently opened (December) Grist & Toll, an Urban flour mill in Pasadena. They are selling flour milled on the site from grain sourced from local growers.

The attractive blond wood stone mill from Austria is visible through a window and is the real star of the show.

They sell flour to home bakers as well as select restaurants including Union Restaurant in Pasadena.

Baking classes are on the way.

Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart of Zazu Kitchen and FarmWhen we first met Sonoma County-based Chef Duskie Estes last Spring when she was about to move Zazu Kitchen + Farm from Santa Rosa into an incredible space at The Barlow in Sebastopol. It’s now located on the grounds of a long-closed Gravenstein apple processing facility. Some of the tin clad warehouse buildings remain and have been artfully repurposed. The rest of the complex duplicates that rustic look.

Duskie and her husband, John Stewart, are the King & Queen of Porc from the Grand Cochon competition in 2011. They also operate the Black Pig Meat Co.

Most of the mains change nightly at Zazu. A signature starter is the “I (heart) Pigstrami. John cures the pork for this little sandwich served on artisan rye with sauerkraut and house-made Guinness mustard.

Saturday and Sunday brunch is a major attraction here. At brunch the “can’t miss” item is the “As seen on TV” maple glazed donut with bacon jimmies. Outrageous…

Also popular is the king + queen of pork bacon-in-the-batter waffle with bacon toffee and house-made espresso gelato.

Lesley Jacobs SolmonsonThe Museum of the American Cocktail (based in New Orleans) is kicking off their “Touring the Cocktail Series” in Los Angeles with Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, the author of Gin: A Global History. She also is the food and cocktail columnist at LA Weekly. The provocative program is “A History of Gin in Five Cocktails.”

Gin is the undisputed king of cocktail spirits. Built upon a neutral spirit base, great gin is a symphony of juniper, spices, botanicals, and citrus.

Five signature gin cocktails will be available for sampling that evening. It’s set for Monday, April 7th at Dominick’s Restaurant in West Hollywood.

Donna del Rey of Relish Culinary AdventuresWhen it comes to providing the welcoming gateway for discriminating foodies to the Sonoma County Wine Country no one does it better than the hard-working Donna del Rey of Relish Culinary Adventures in Healdsburg. Relish offers cooking classes, private parties, distinctive culinary tours, and creative catering.

Recently Donna and her crew provided support for the Artisan Cheese Festival.

For the ultimate experience they offer “Relish Sonoma County,” a 3-Day Culinary Adventure of Sonoma County.

Coming up on June 21st is a hands-on Culinary Birds cooking class with Chef John Ash.

Micah WexlerChef Micah Wexler was born and raised in Los Angeles and always had aspirations to be a chef. At age 15, Wexler’s first job was working with legendary Italian Chef, Gino Angelini, at Vincenti in Brentwood.

In 2011 Wexler opened Mezze Restaurant as Chef/Co-owner. Mezze was named one of the Top New Restaurants that year by Los Angeles Magazine and was one of Jonathan Gold’s Essential 99 restaurants.

Next month Wexler will open his newest concept, Wexler’s Deli, in Downtown Los Angeles’ iconic Grand Central Market. Wexler’s Deli aims to take the traditional deli back to its roots and provide a place of community, pride, familiarity, and quality.

The menu will feature traditional favorites of corned beef, pastrami, salmon, and sturgeon, all cured and smoked in-house. All condiments will be house-made.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Master Baker Dean Kim, OC Baking Co
Segment Three: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Owner, Zazu Kitchen + Farm, The Barlow
Segment Five: Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, author of Gin: A Global History
Segment Six: Donna del Rey, Relish Culinary Adventurers, Healdsburg, CA
Segment Seven: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part Two

Show 43, October 12, 2013: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA

Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart of Zazu Kitchen and FarmOne of the most exciting chef teams operating in the Sonoma County wine country is Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart (wife & husband) who are the proprietors of the newly relocated zazu kitchen + farm located at The Barlow (a former apple juice processing facility restored and reconceived as a home for artisan food producers including boutique wineries) in Sebastopol. Some of the vegetables used at the restaurant are actually grown in large tubs on the restaurant’s inviting patio. They were mentored by pioneering Seattle chef/restaurateur Tom Douglas before relocating to Sonoma County to go off on their own.

The original zazu restaurant (part of a former chicken coop) was founded in Santa Rosa in 2001. It was located in a rustic roadhouse way out of town surrounded by rural farms and vineyards. If a local didn’t tell you about it you’d probably never know it was even there. Their regulars include some of the most distinguished winemakers in Sonoma County. The eclectic wine list includes reserve selections that you just don’t see outside of the private stash of the wineries.

Duskie and John were living farm-to-table long before that became a marketing buzzword for chefs. They raise their own chicken and ducks to provide the eggs for their fresh pasta and their praise-worthy gelati. Their daughter operates a rabbit meat business.

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October 12: Lindy & Grundy, Duskie Estes, Kristine Kidd, Brock Radke, Greg Daniels, Hawaiian Tropical Fruit

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Erika Nakamura, master butcher, chef, and co-owner of Lindy & Grundy Meats
Segment Three: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Onw
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Two
Segment Five: Kristine Kidd, author of Williams–Sonoma Weeknight Gluten Free
Segment Six: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic for The Orange County Register Part One
Segment Seven: Chef Greg Daniels of The Haven Collective
Segment Eight: Ken Love, President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Jet discusses the highlights of the Luckyrice Festival Night Market held last Saturday at the Cosmopolitan Hotel on The Strip in Las Vegas. Jet served some 1,100 portions to the enthusiastic guests.

Andy reviews the highlights of the Patchwork Show – Edible Edition at SoCo and The OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa last Weekend. The show broadcast live from the South Coast Collection.

Erika Nakamura of Lindy and Grundy MeatsThe classic, full-service neighborhood butcher shop is alive, well, and prospering at Lindy & Grundy Meats in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles. Artisan butcher Erika Nakamura (half of the Lindy & Grundy team along with Amelia Posada) is with us to fill us in. Erika is a classically trained chef.

All of their premium meats are from humanely treated, grass fed animals and 100 per cent locally produced and sustainable. The partners only source meat from farms they have visited. They even inspect the harvesting facility where the animal is processed. They offer an alternative to commercial farming.

Lindy and Grundy hosts classes for true meat enthusiasts.

Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart of Zazu Kitchen and FarmOne of the most exciting chef teams operating in the Sonoma County wine country is Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart (wife & husband) who are the proprietors of the new zazu kitchen + farm located at The Barlow (a former apple juice processing facility) in Sebastopol. Some of the vegetables used at the restaurant are actually grown in large tubs on the restaurant’s patio. They were mentored by pioneering Seattle chef/restaurateur Tom Douglas before relocating to Sonoma County to go off on their own.

The original zazu restaurant (part of a former chicken coop) was founded in Santa Rosa in 2001. It was located in a rustic roadhouse way out of town surrounded by farms and vineyards. If a local didn’t tell you about it you’d probably never know it was there. Their regulars include some of the most distinguished winemakers in Sonoma County. The eclectic wine list includes reserve selections that you just don’t see outside of the private stash of the wineries.

Duskie and John were living farm-to-table long before that became a marketing buzzword for chefs. They raise their own chicken and ducks to provide the eggs for their fresh pasta and their praise-worthy gelati.

Duskie Estes of the new zazu kitchen + farm in Sebastopol stays with us.

John Stewart learned the art of curing meats from Mario Batali’s father who has a highly-praised salumi business in Seattle. Visitors to zazu can watch John cure his acclaimed Black Pig Meat Co.’s bacon and salumi right there.

Zazu even has an experienced organic farmer on staff. He supervises the three spots of zazu’s soil including the MacBryde Farm where John and Duskie live with their children. The Farm is home to zazu’s chickens, ducks, turkeys, heritage wattle pigs, sheep, rabbits, goats and more.

Kristine Kidd Loyal readers of Bon Appetit Magazine will remember Kristine Kidd as the long-time Food Editor.

She is now the food editor for the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch website as well as a busy cookbook author.

Her newly released seventh cookbook is Weeknight Gluten Free. This title is particularly important to Kristine as her childhood celiac disease resurfaced recently.

Kristine is a serious home cook. She prepares fresh meals at home almost every night.

On Wednesday, October 23rd Kristine Kidd will be part of a “Zov’s Lunch and Learn” program at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin. Kristine will be explaining how to prepare delicious meals that are gluten free.

Lunch will be on the menu, too. The entrée is Grilled Lemongrass Chicken with Ginger Rice, Braised Kale and Grilled Roasted Tomatoes. It’s a modest $25 per guest and seating is limited. Make your plans now because it will reach capacity quickly.

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyIn Las Vegas it’s who you know and the “SoCal Restaurant Show” is lucky to have Brock Radke as our insider on the ground in Las Vegas. Brock is the Food Editor of Las Vegas Weekly and joins us regularly to clue us in on what’s happening on the dynamic Las Vegas dining scene.

This morning Brock is giving us the 411 on Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak at The Mirage and Rick Moonen’s Rx Boiler Room at The Shops at Mandalay Bay. Brock recommends both new additions to The Strip’s dining choices.

We’re proud to be part of the hospitality industry as chefs and restaurateurs are some of the most generous folks we know. When there is a worthy cause they are there in a flash with food and support…

Greg Daniels of Haven GastropubWe know Chef Greg Daniels from the two Haven Gastropubs (Orange and Pasadena,) taco asylum and Provisions Market. From October 16th to 25th Chef Greg has assembled a group of distinguished OC chefs to raise money for children who suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) worldwide. It’s all under the playful banner of “PB&J for Good.”

Participating chefs will put their creative spin on the traditional PB&J as a special menu offering. Each will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every PB&J dish to benefit StopSAM.org, a fundraising arm for Severe Acute Malnutrition.

Besides Haven Gastropub some of the high profile restaurants participating include ARC, Broadway by Amar Santana, Little Sparrow, LUCCA, and The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar.

The State of Hawaii has some of the most fertile agricultural land in the United States yet, in recent years, this dirt hasn’t been used for agriculture. Sadly they need to import most of their fruits and vegetables from the Mainland.

Sharwil AvacadoOn the Big Island of Hawaii, for example, over 200 varieties of avocados grow. The pearl of the group is the Sharwil. It’s creamy with a rich buttery flavor, and prized by local chefs.

Surprisingly until very recently the USDA wouldn’t allow the Sharwil to be imported into the lower 48 states. This is a real shame because the seasons of the Sharwil match the seasons of availability for imported avocados from Mexico. Wouldn’t you want to enjoy a made in the USA fruit which also supports our economy ?

Ken Love, the President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, joins us from The Big Island to explain what has changed…It’s a baby step.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Erika Nakamura, master butcher, chef, and co-owner of Lindy & Grundy Meats
Segment Three: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Onw
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Two
Segment Five: Kristine Kidd, author of Williams–Sonoma Weeknight Gluten Free
Segment Six: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic for The Orange County Register Part One
Segment Seven: Chef Greg Daniels of The Haven Collective
Segment Eight: Ken Love, President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

Show 26, April 27, 2013: Wing Lam, co-founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco and Michael Browne, co-founder of Kosta Browne Wines in Sebastopol, CA

Wing Lam of Wahoo's Fish TacosWing Lam is very familiar to Southern Californians because Wahoo’s Fish Taco (which started in Costa Mesa) is currently celebrating their 25th Anniversary in 2013. Wing is also recognizable as the star of his own, long-running Ford Motor Co. van commercial.

In recent years Wing has developed a fondness for fine wines and knows many prominent winemakers.

Kosta Browne Winery (recognized for outstanding Pinot Noir) just opened a showcase winery in Sebastopol in a new commercial development called the Barlow. It’s the site of a former Gravenstein apple pressing facility well-known to the locals. Incredible boutique food businesses, including one of the most prominent farm-to-table restaurants in the area, will be a part of the appealing complex as it’s completed. It will be a destination for foodies!

The majority of the limited production of Kosta Browne Wines is sold to their highly coveted member list. There is a two to three year wait to secure a place on the list. Twice a year members on The List are invited to The Winery to pick-up their allocation of the wines they are qualified to buy.

The rest of their production (and it’s a small part) is available at fine restaurants. Their website has a restaurant locator feature where you can find the fine establishment in your area that have Kosta Browne Wines in their cellar. It’s a great way to taste these premium California vintages.

Dan Kosta and Michael Browne (self-taught winemakers) met as employees at John Ash & Co. restaurant in Santa Rosa. They saved their tips to fund the start of the winery.

As a gesture of appreciation to the winemakers Wing and his crew were at Kosta Browne on April 20th for the release festivities from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. preparing fresh fish tacos and quesadillas for the invited guests of Kosta Browne.

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