July 6: Sherry Yard, Sriracha Movie, Gustavo Arrelamo, Evan Funke, Valerie Confections

Podcasts

Segment One: On the Town with Chef Jet, Sherry Yard, and Producer Andy
Segment Two: Food Journalist Randy Clemens and “Sriracha” filmmaker Griffin Hammond Part One
Segment Three: Food Journalist Randy Clemens and “Sriracha” filmmaker Griffin Hammond Part Two
Segment Four: Gustavo Arellano, Editor of OC Weekly and author of Taco USA: How Mexican Foods Conquered America
Segment Five: Chef Evan Funke, executive chef & proprietor, Bucato Restaurant
Segment Six: Valerie Gordon, Valerie Confections

Time to talk of recent dining adventures …

Sherry YardPastry princess, Sherry Yard, the recipient of two James Beard Awards, joins us in-studio. She was celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s high-profile dessert guru for 20 years and is now out on her own with an ambitious project at The Helms Bakery complex in Los Angeles (on the border with Culver City.)

We’ll also answer some e-mail inquiries.

Sriracha MovieIt’s the Sriracha wars and the heat is on !

If you think Sriracha is simply the locally produced, fiery sauce with the red rooster on the label you need to know the real story. It’s actually Thai hot sauce named after the seaside town of Si Racha. It’s as popular as ketchup on the Southeast Asian table.

Documentary filmmaker Griffin Hammond will join us to talk about the Sriracha documentary he’s working on. It’s partially funded by an ongoing KickStarter campaign that’s already oversubscribed! He’ll be joined by local food writer Randy Clemens who is the author of two cookbooks on Sriracha. Newly released is The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook from Ten Speed Press.

Gustavo Arellano of Ask a MexicanOur favorite all-star, “Ask a Mexican,” Gustavo Arellano, returns to give us more practical insight on Mexican ingredients and their history. He’s also the editor of OC Weekly.

Today we’re talking tortillas. Why is a burrito made with flour tortillas? On the other hand why are enchiladas prepared with corn tortillas. What is right for a hard or soft-shelled taco? We’re confused…

I need a cerveza…

Evan Funke of Bucato Restaurant Chef Evan Funke generated a lot of interest at Rustic Canyon as the opening chef when it opened a few years back in Santa Monica. Now Evan is about to debut Bucato Restaurant on Washington Blvd. in Culver City in the former iconic Beacon Laundry Building which is part of the larger Helms Bakery complex. With Bucato he is Executive Chef and Proprietor.

During construction Chef Evan has been operating a food truck. The rave item is his porchetta sandwich. Bucato will be modern Italian.

Valerie Gordon of Valerie ConfectionsValerie Gordon of Valerie Confections burst on the local foodie scene with her cravable line of chocolate-dipped toffees in 2004. The response has been terrific and the line has greatly expanded over the years. Her quality products now include chocolates, a line of petis fours, handmade preserves, cakes, pastries, and even a catering division.

Valerie has developed a sub-specialty of recreating the classic desserts of fondly remembered, but long-ago departed, iconic local restaurants. The original Brown Derby’s grapefruit cake is just one memorable example.

Valerie Confections latest project is their new Coffee Shop & Bakery located at the historic Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.

Podcasts

Segment One: On the Town with Chef Jet, Sherry Yard, and Producer Andy
Segment Two: Food Journalist Randy Clemens and “Sriracha” filmmaker Griffin Hammond Part One
Segment Three: Food Journalist Randy Clemens and “Sriracha” filmmaker Griffin Hammond Part Two
Segment Four: Gustavo Arellano, Editor of OC Weekly and author of Taco USA: How Mexican Foods Conquered America
Segment Five: Chef Evan Funke, executive chef & proprietor, Bucato Restaurant
Segment Six: Valerie Gordon, Valerie Confections

Show 27, May 4, 2013: Gustavo Arellano, Editor of OC Weekly and creator of the syndicated and wildly popular, “Ask a Mexican” column

Gustavo Arellano of Ask a MexicanGustavo’s latest book, Taco USA – How Mexican Food Conquered America is now in paperback.

First Gustavo discussed the history of Cinco de Mayo and the fact that it’s a pretty minor holiday in Mexico. The large beer distribution entities in the United States have created (with great marketing) a festive holiday around the day in the States. It’s all a great excuse to increase beer sales!

Then it was on to the history of the taco. In Mexico references to “tacos” date to the 1880s. In the US the name first appeared about 1915.

In Mexico the hard shell taco originated in Central Mexico. The soft shell variation wasn’t popularized in homes until the 1960s.

Whether the shell was made of flour or corn depended on the region. In Northern Mexico, for instance, it was typically made with a flour tortilla.

Burritos were always made with flour tortillas.

The breakfast taco first became popular in Texas.

Gustavo is not a fan of the tacos served at Taco Bell but thinks the breakfast tacos at Del Taco are “not bad.”

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Show 24, April 6, 2013: Gustavo Arellano, Editor of The OC Weekly & author of Taco USA – How Mexican Food Conquered America (Continued…)

Tacos USA by Gustavo_ArellanoGustavo spoke about the “authenticity” of a hard shell taco versus a soft taco. He also observed that Mexican fare in the U.S. varies by geography. What you get in a region is greatly influenced by the state in Mexico where the immigrants from that region landed in the U.S.

Gustavo concluded by mentioning a personal favorite Mexican Restaurant in both Orange County and Los Angeles. He recommends El Borrego Sagrado on S. Main St. in Santa Ana for barbecued lamb and the original Guelaguetza on W. Olympic in Koreatown in Los Angeles for incredible mole.

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