Show 85, August 23, 2014: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, Orange County Register Magazine

Din Tai Fung Dumpling HouseKedric Francis of the Orange County Register Magazine and Coast Orange County Magazine has been out and about in the OC. He was at the pre-opening preview lunch for the eagerly anticipated Din Tai Fung Dumpling House in South Coast Plaza (August 18th was Opening Day) and will share some of his observations.

Din Tai Fung is most famous for XiaoLongBao, the Shanghai-style soup dumplings which became a signature dish at the original site in Taipei.

Din Tai Fung at South Coast Plaza is over 8,000 square feet, making it one of the largest in over 100 locations worldwide.

Play

August 23: Live from Valley View Casino with Kedric Francis, Travis Rodgers, Russ Parsons, Michael Cimarusti, Michael Rossi, Freddy Vargas, Brad A. Johnson

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Preview of Los Angeles Times The Taste
Segment Three: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, Orange County Register Magazine
Segment Four: Michael Rossi, Executive Chef, The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon
Segment Five: Freddy Vargas, Executive Chef, Scarpetta, Montage Beverly Hills
Segment Six: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, The Orange County Register & The Los Angeles Register
Segment Seven: Chef Michael Knowles, Black & Blue Steakhouse, Valley View Casino
Segment Eight: Travis Rodgers, “The Travis Rodgers Show” on AM 830 KLAA

Kedric Francis and Andy HarrisGuest Host Kedric Francis of The Orange County Register Magazine & Coast Orange County Magazine and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

The always debonair Kedric Francis, our dashing man about Orange County, is the Executive Editor of both publications.

Also joining us at 11:00 a.m. is Travis Rodgers of the “Travis Rogers Show” heard weekday mornings on AM 830 KLAA from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. Travis’ loyal fans know his second most favorite subject is food! He’s serious about eats. “The Travis Rodgers Show” is SoCal’s only live and local sports morning show.

Arriving on August 29th and continuing through August 31st is The Los Angeles Times The Taste at Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood. Los Angeles Times Food Editor Russ Parsons and Chef Michael Cimarusti of Providence and Connie & Ted’s are participants and our very special guests.

Kedric Francis of the Orange County Register Magazine and Coast Orange County Magazine has been out and about exploring the latest finds in the OC. He was at the very exclusive pre-opening preview lunch for the eagerly anticipated Din Tai Fung Dumpling House in South Coast Plaza on August 15th and will share some of his observations.

Executive Chef Michael Rossi (ex-Napa Rose) has been at the helm of The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon since it’s opening day in early 2012. He was actually on the ambitious project over a year testing recipes before the first guests were greeted. The Ranch (unusually) has its own farm located on the Edwards Ranch Estates in Orange which provides a lot of the fresh fruits and vegetables used at the highly regarded and much acclaimed restaurant. It’s a chef’s dream to have these resources…

Freddy Vargas is the forward-thinking executive chef of the high profile Scarpetta located in the Montage Beverly Hills across a pocket park from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills. This is one of Celebrity Chef Scott Conants’s restaurant properties. At lunch on Weekdays he’s operating a to-go Paninoteca. Think gourmet Italian sandwiches like a Porchetta. It’s spiced pork belly, broccoli rabe pesto and a fried hen egg on house-baked bread.

Brad A. Johnson is the James Beard award-winning restaurant critic for both the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Register. Where does a restaurant critic eat when he’s not reviewing ? Those are the spots we all want to go…Brad shares with us some of his favorites in both Orange County and Los Angeles. The origin of this discussion was a recent article Brad wrote for the Orange County Register Magazine.

The show is live on Saturday morning from The Valley View Casino. The fine dining restaurant there is Black & Blue – The Place For Steak. We’ll meet Chef de Cuisine Michael Knowles .He started cooking at age 14! He has elevated Black & Blue to an award-winning California steakhouse that’s true destination dining for San Diego residents.

Travis Rodgers is the easy-going Iron Man of personalities on AM 830 KLAA. Every weekday morning he’s on AM 830 KLAA talking sports for four hours beginning at 6:00 a.m. After he’s finished at 10:00 a.m. on AM 830 he continues his national show for Yahoo Sports Radio for another hour until 11:00 a.m. That’s five hours on Weekdays as the solo host.

Travis’ second favorite subject is good food. Did we say Mexican ? We’ll talk assorted cravable eats with Travis

Russ Parsons of the Los Angeles TimesArriving on August 29th and continuing through August 31st is the Los Angeles Times The Taste at Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood. Los Angeles Times Food Editor Russ Parsons and Chef Michael Cimarusti of Providence and Connie & Ted’s are participants and our very special guests.

On Saturday morning, August 30th at 11:00 a.m. Russ Parsons and Nancy Silverton (Mozza) will be hosting “Field to Fork.” “The city’s best eats are in season.”

On Sunday, August 31st at 7:30 p.m. Chef Michael Cimarusti and Jonathan Gold will be hosting “Flavors of L.A.” “Find great eating around every corner.”

Din Tai Fung Dumpling HouseKedric Francis of the Orange County Register Magazine and Coast Orange County Magazine has been out and about in the OC. He was at the pre-opening preview lunch for the eagerly anticipated Din Tai Fung Dumpling House in South Coast Plaza (August 18th was Opening Day) and will share some of his observations.

Din Tai Fung is most famous for XiaoLongBao, the Shanghai-style soup dumplings which became a signature dish at the original site in Taipei.

Din Tai Fung at South Coast Plaza is over 8,000 square feet, making it one of the largest in over 100 locations worldwide.

Michael Rossi of the Ranch Restaurant and SaloonExecutive Chef Michael Rossi (ex-Napa Rose) has been at the helm of The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon since it’s opening day in early 2012. He was actually on the ambitious project for over a year testing recipes before the first guests were greeted.

The Ranch (unusually) has its own 2-acre farm located on the Edwards Ranch Estates in Orange which provides a lot of the fresh produce used at the highly regarded restaurant. Think of over 600 heirloom tomato vines featuring 90 different varieties. Original (and fully mature) orange and fig trees are also part of the property.

Future expansion plans for the Edwards Ranch Estates include avocado trees, olive trees, and grape vines.

It’s a chef’s fondest dream to have these incredible resources…

One of Chef Michael’s signature menu items is the much talked-about 58 oz. bone-in Cowboy Ribeye chop.

Freddy VargasFreddy Vargas is the forward-thinking executive chef of the high profile Scarpetta located in the Montage Beverly Hills across a lush pocket park from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills. This is one of Celebrity Chef Scott Conants’s restaurant properties.

At lunch on Weekdays he’s operating a to-go Paninoteca. Think gourmet Italian sandwiches like a Porchetta. It’s spiced pork belly, broccoli rabe pesto and a fried hen egg on house-baked bread.

Photography by Brad A JohnsonBrad A. Johnson is the James Beard award-winning restaurant critic for both the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Register. He’s also an accomplished photographer.

Where does a restaurant critic eat when he’s not reviewing? Those are the spots we all want to find…Brad shares with us some of his favorites in both Orange County and Los Angeles. The origins of this was discussion a recent article Brad wrote for the Orange County Register Magazine.

Michael Knowles of Black and Blue SteakhouseThe show is live on Saturday morning from The Valley View Casino. The fine dining restaurant there is Black & Blue – The Place For Steak.

We’ll meet Chef de Cuisine Michael Knowles.He started cooking at age 14! Chef Michael cooked at Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio in San Francisco in the 90s. He has elevated Black & Blue to an award-winning California steakhouse that’s true destination dining for discerning San Diego residents.

All of his pastas are made in-house along with some of the cheese.

His “Signature Indulgence” on the Black & Blue menu is “The Ultimate Surf & Turf” for $75.00. It’s also part of a betting challenge. How about Lobster Creamed Spinach as a premium side?

Travis RodgersTravis Rodgers is the easy-going Iron Man of personalities on AM 830 KLAA. Every weekday morning he’s on AM 830 KLAA talking sports for four hours beginning at 6:00 a.m. After he’s finished at 10:00 a.m. on AM 830 he continues his national show for Yahoo Sports Radio for another hour until 11:00 a.m. That’s five hours on Weekdays as the solo host.

He’s also the master of engaging with his listeners via Twitter.

Travis’ second favorite subject is good food. Did we say Mexican? We’ll talk assorted cravable eats with Travis!

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Preview of Los Angeles Times The Taste
Segment Three: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, Orange County Register Magazine
Segment Four: Michael Rossi, Executive Chef, The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon
Segment Five: Freddy Vargas, Executive Chef, Scarpetta, Montage Beverly Hills
Segment Six: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, The Orange County Register & The Los Angeles Register
Segment Seven: Chef Michael Knowles, Black & Blue Steakhouse, Valley View Casino
Segment Eight: Travis Rodgers, “The Travis Rodgers Show” on AM 830 KLAA

July 13: Mary Sue Milliken, Bill Chait, Anita Lau, Jet Tila on Sushi

Podcasts

Segment One: Dining discoveries of the week with Chef Jet and Producer Andy
Segment Two: Restaurant Impresario Bill Chait Part One
Segment Three: Restaurant Impresario Bill Chait Part Two
Segment Four: Mary Sue Milliken, Executive Chef & Partner of Border Grill
Segment Five: Anita Lau, creator of the Mad Hungry Woman Blog
Segment Six: Chef Jet Tila with “Sushi 411.”

Previews of potential dining adventures…

Khao Soi at Spicy Thai BBQChef Jet somewhat reluctantly shares his recommendation for Northern Thai food in Los Angeles. It’s a small place with 15 seats but worth seeking out. Their signature dish is khao soi.

Producer Andy highlights Marche Moderne’s (Penthouse @ South Coast Plaza) annual Bouillabaisse festival running nightly until July 18th. It’s an authentic Marseillaise-bouillabaisse with all the fish flown in from the South of France. Spoil yourself with the very best and a glass of Rose! Reservations are a must…

If you dine-out in Los Angeles you’ve no doubt heard of Rivera and Bestia in Downtown Los Angeles. You probably also know the Italian favorite Sotto and the Peruvian-flavored, Picca located just East of Century City. How about Short Order and Short Cake at the Original Farmers Market at Third & Fairfax?

Bill ChaitWhat you probably don’t know is that all of these popular, chef-driven restaurants are ventures put together by low key restaurant impresario, Bill Chait. Bill joins us to discuss how he has created a string of successful, and enduring, restaurants (done on a budget) with talented celebrity chefs in a very tough business environment.

In the pipeline for Chait are Chef Walter Manzke’s Republique in the former Campanile space on La Brea Avenue and Neal Fraser’s Redbird in the former Vibiana Cathedral space in Downtown Los Angeles.

Mary Sue Milliken of Border GrillOn Monday, July 22nd at 6:30 p.m. at Border Grill Las Vegas Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, and Border Grill Executive Chef Mike Minor are teaming up with Chef Rick Moonen of rm seafood and Chefs Collaborative to host a Trash Fish Dinner. The cocktail reception and dinner will feature tasty alternatives to the seafood we love and, unfortunately, eat too much of. Understand the fish is delicious…

Mary Sue Milliken joins us to preview the fun evening with a purpose.

Time for Fair Food!

Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe from Chicken CharliesThe OC Fair is on through August 11th! Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, is with us to discuss what extreme foods are new at the Fair for 2013. She will actually be judging some Fair food contests during the event.

Fair food vendor, Chicken Charlie’s, always is always out there with fab fried food items. Eagerly anticipated is his new Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe’s and Bacon A-Fair’s Wild Boar on a stick (an OC Fair exclusive.)

According to the Orange County Register’s Nancy Luna, Chicken Charlie sold 50,000 deep-fried Twinkies last year at the Fair!

Other Chicken Charlie highlights are a deep-fried bacon pickle and a waffle dog.

SushiDo you crave sushi but feel somewhat compromised about proper manners and ordering technique in a sushi restaurant? When do you use the ginger, soy sauce, and wasabi? Is omakase (“trust the chef”) the best way to go? If you sit at the sushi bar how do you convey respect to the sushi chefs?

Listeners to the “SoCal Restaurant Show” are in luck. When he was helming Wazuzu at Encore Las Vegas, Jet had some of the most highly regarded sushi in Las Vegas on his menu. Backing it all up was in-house master sushi chef (and his highly trained team.) He will give us the 411 on ordering, and enjoying, sushi.

Podcasts

Segment One: Dining discoveries of the week with Chef Jet and Producer Andy
Segment Two: Restaurant Impresario Bill Chait Part One
Segment Three: Restaurant Impresario Bill Chait Part Two
Segment Four: Mary Sue Milliken, Executive Chef & Partner of Border Grill
Segment Five: Anita Lau, creator of the Mad Hungry Woman Blog
Segment Six: Chef Jet Tila with “Sushi 411.”

Show 30, June 1, 2013: Celebrity Chef Sam Choy, Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai, The Big Island, Hawaii

Sam ChoyThe Big Island’s Sam Choy is known as Hawaii’s culinary ambassador to the world. He has a new hilltop restaurant on The Big Island, Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai, with a 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean. He’s also known as the “Godfather of Poke” which is his signature dish. Chef Sam is the author of 16 cookbooks and is a regular culinary celebrity chef aboard Crystal Cruises.

Poke is a specialty at Sam Choy’s. It actually means “cubed” in Hawaiian. At the restaurant you can get Shoyu Poke, or Fried Poke (Sam’s Original) either seared or cooked.

Poke from Sam Choy's Kai LanaiSam is far along with his next book. It will be his first memoir but also include recipes. A new restaurant is in the works for Maui.

Chef Sam recently battled his way to 3rd place (with a lot of heart,) on Food Network’s “Chopped – Grill Masters” before being chopped.

Chef Sam also originated the Pineapple Express Hawaiian food truck serving a touch of authentic aloha for friends who now operate it on the streets of Los Angeles. They specialize in bringing the luau to you.

Play

June 1: Hawaiian Food and Restaurant Special

Podcasts

Segment One: Hawaii Food Tours’Chef Matthew Gray
Segment Two: Jeffrey Vigilla, executive chef of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort in Honolulu
Segment Three: Celebrity Chef Alan Wong, Alan Wong’s, Honolulu
Segment Four: Chuck Furuya, Master Sommelier and partner in DK Restaurants, Honolulu
Segment Five: Celebrity Chef Sam Choy, Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai, The Big Island, Hawaii
Segment Six: Les Apoliona, Land Asset Manager, Land Assets Division of Kamehameha Schools of Hawaii

Summer is upon us and the vacation travel season is at hand. Both Jet and Producer Andy have recently been to Hawaii. Saturday will be our Hawaii special bringing you the best (and tastiest) tips for visits to Oahu and The Big Island.

Matthew Gray of Hawaii Food ToursChef and food critic Matthew Gray has been objectively observing the Oahu food scene since 1993. He was previously the food critic for the local newspaper, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Whether it’s a joint in Chinatown making their own noodles or the best in high-end cuisine Matthew knows the territory.

Some six years ago he created Hawaii Food Tours to provide visitors with highly entertaining, one-of-a-kind food adventures. His signature food tour is his Hole-in-the-Wall Food Tour where you discover the rich history of Honolulu through food. Matthew takes his guests to unusual places they would never discover on their own.

Chef Jeffrey Vigilla of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach ResortJeffrey Vigilla is the accomplished executive chef of the 2,860 room Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort in Honolulu on 22 lush tropical acres. It’s the largest hotel property on the famed Waikiki Beach with the widest stretch of beach. Chef Vigilla is going local with as much of his menu ingredients as possible. His chocolate is from Waialua Estates on Oahu and he even sources local honey.

 

Alan WongHawaii’s Alan Wong is one of the pioneers of Hawaiian Regional cuisine. Now, sourcing and serving the freshest local ingredients is in vogue. In Hawaii, Alan owns the flagship Alan Wong’s in Honolulu as well as the more casual Pineapple Room in Ala Moana Center. On Maui his most recent establishment is Amasia at the Grand Wailea.

The President dines with the First Lady at Alan Wong’s on his yearly vacations on Oahu.

On Sunday, June 2nd Chef Alan will be one of the celebrity chefs cooking at the Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation Benefit at Studio at Montage Laguna Beach.

Chuck FuruyaChuck Furuya of the D.K. Restaurant Group with hugely successful properties on Oahu, Maui, and The Big Island was only the 10th person in the United States to pass the rigorous Master Sommelier examination. He’s the recognized leader in the Islands in furthering wine education.  He loves to introduce undiscovered wines to his guests and good value is always part of his mission. No wine snobbery here…

Sam ChoyThe Big Island’s Sam Choy is known as Hawaii’s culinary ambassador to the world. He has a new restaurant on The Big Island, Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai, with a 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean. He’s also known as the “Godfather of Poke” which is his signature dish. Chef Sam is the author of 16 cookbooks and is a regular culinary celebrity chef aboard Crystal Cruises.

Kamehameha Schools is Hawaii’s largest private landowner with some 365,000 acres on The Big Island, Maui, Molokai, Oahu, and Kauai. They own the choice land in Waikiki that are the sites of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and associated upscale retail complex. One of their new initiatives is to support value added agriculture with entrepreneurial leaseholders of their land. Two out of three coffee estates in the Kona area are on Kamehameha Schools leased land.

Les Apoliona, a land asset manager for the north Kona district for the Land Assets Division of Kamehameha joins us to talk about the inventive effort to support these businesses and the move to make The Big Island more self sufficient in the production of food. Les has a background in food service and hotel management and is well-known in the restaurant community of The Big Island.

Podcasts

Segment One: Hawaii Food Tours’Chef Matthew Gray
Segment Two: Jeffrey Vigilla, executive chef of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort in Honolulu
Segment Three: Celebrity Chef Alan Wong, Alan Wong’s, Honolulu
Segment Four: Chuck Furuya, Master Sommelier and partner in DK Restaurants, Honolulu
Segment Five: Celebrity Chef Sam Choy, Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai, The Big Island, Hawaii
Segment Six: Les Apoliona, Land Asset Manager, Land Assets Division of Kamehameha Schools of Hawaii/a>