Show 360, February 15, 2020: Executive Chef & Restaurateur James Trees – Las Vegas’ Ada’s and Esther’s Kitchen

James Trees of Ada's and Esthers Kitchen in Las VegasInspired by the spirit of legendary bar woman Ada Coleman of the Savoy Hotel, Ada’s (Las Vegas) is driven by the idea that hospitality begins with offering every guest the best ingredients, preparation, and service possible. With Italian-inspired fresh pastas, artisanal American style pizza, seafood, meat and vegan selections at lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, Ada’s offers the best quality version of “something for everyone” in an elegant but casual setting amongst the Italianate streets of Las Vegas’ Tivoli Village.

The Ada’s team is led by Chef/Owner James Trees, General Manager Sonia Stelea and Chef de Cuisine Dylan Jobsz.

Chef James original restaurant in Las Vegas is Esther’s Kitchen in the Downtown Arts District. He likes to describe it as “Seasonal Italian Soul Food.” Trees’ Great-aunt Esther (the namesake for the restaurant) was a tough, smart, no-nonsense type who cared about people and gave good advice. “She was a big support to my mom when I was growing up, and that was huge,” says Trees. “She was always there for us.”

Chef James is also one of the organizers of Vegas Unstripped, which is an energetic, locals’ food festival of impressive, off-the-Strip, chef-driven independent restaurants. It’s Saturday evening, May 2nd this year in Downtown Las Vegas.

We pull Chef James (also Esther’s Kitchen) away from his busy Ada’s kitchen Brunch line for a chat.

Play

Show 351, December 14, 2019: Bricia Lopez, L.A.’s Guelaguetza and Oaxaca – Home Cooking From The Heart Of Mexico. Part One

Bricia Lopez of GuelaguetzaBricia Lopez is the 2nd generation, Co-owner (with her Family) of the James Beard Award-winning Guelaguetza, Oaxacan restaurant in Los Angeles’ Koreatown. Oaxaca is the culinary heart of Mexico, and since opening its doors in 1994, Guelaguetza has been the center of life for the Oaxacan community in Los Angeles. Founded by the Lopez family, Guelaguetza has been offering traditional Oaxacan food for 25 years.

Bricia’s first cookbook is Oaxaca – Home Cooking From The Heart Of Mexico (written with Javier Cabral.)

“Oaxaca, the cookbook, is the first true introduction to Oaxacan cuisine by a native family, each dish articulates their story, from Oaxaca to the streets of Los Angeles and beyond.”

“Showcasing the “soul food” of Mexico, Oaxaca offers 140 authentic, yet accessible recipes using some of the purest pre-Hispanic and indigenous ingredients available. From their signature pink horchata to the formula for the Lopez’s award-winning mole negro, Oaxaca demystifies this essential cuisine.”

 

Play

Show 346, October 26, 2019: Chef / Proprietor AC Boral, Bebot Filipino Soul Food, Long Beach Part One

AC Boral of BebotRegular listeners to the show know Long Beach’s Chef AC Boral from his popular pop-up series of “Rice & Shine” brunches. His long-in-the works brick-and-mortar restaurant, Bebot (named after his late Father) is now serving Filipino Soul Food.

“I remember from a very young age, my dad dreamed of opening a restaurant. He spoke so earnestly as he’d share this Dream with me, show me the menus he’d drafted up, and even go as far as fantasizing about spaces with “FOR LEASE” signs on them.”

“He put that aspiration on the back burner for a different, more selfless Dream: for his children to graduate college. I’m so glad he was able to see my sister and I walk across that stage. And right now, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to help achieve his other Dream of opening a restaurant.”

“I wish he could be here to see this. But I’m confident Bebot – Filipino Soul Food is something that he’d be proud of that will continue his legacy.”

Chef AC joins us with the tasty details.

 

Play

Show 346, October 26, 2019: Chef / Proprietor AC Boral, Bebot Filipino Soul Food, Long Beach Part Two

AC Boral of BebotRegular listeners to the show know Long Beach’s Chef AC Boral from his popular pop-up series of “Rice & Shine” brunches. His long-in-the works (5 years) brick-and-mortar restaurant, Bebot (named after his late Father) is now serving Filipino Soul Food.

“Bebot is located on Fourth Street and Temple (2741 E. 4th St.,) on a street with a bunch of Long Beach’s favorite restaurants, shops, etc. Basically, we’re moving into a really great neighborhood.”

Bebot’s (previously known as “Rice & Shine’s) core belief is that the soul of Filipino food is at the family table. And what food means to me is the memories of my childhood, the memories where food is love.”

“The menu features food that is nutritious and supports the local food economy. You can expect to enjoy the Modern Filipino flair we’ve built our name on while offering options to accommodate gluten-free, vegan, and other dietary considerations.”

Chef AC partially funded the opening of Bebot with an ambitious Kickstarter campaign. He raised $32,842 from 284 generous backers.

Chef AC Boral continues the conversation.

Play

Show 335, August 3, 2019: Georgia’s Restaurant, Long Beach, with Founders “Nana” Shoemaker and Nika Shoemaker-Machado Part One

Gretchen Shoemaker of Georgia's RestaurantWord-of-Mouth favorite Georgia’s Restaurant has been serving up Southern “soul-delicious” cuisine for the past five years in Anaheim at The Anaheim Packing House, while reimagining and redefining the public’s perception of Southern Soul Food. Now, Georgia’s Restaurant is extending their family and celebrating their fifth anniversary with the Grand Opening last month of their second location at the new Long Beach Exchange (LBX) .

“Georgia’s Restaurant does not stem from the deep south, but instead a suburb of Philadelphia where high school sweethearts Gretchen and George Shoemaker decided to leave the Keystone State and head west, settling in Lake Forest, CA. It was in their home, where George and Gretchen raised their three daughters, that Gretchen began her successful catering business built on family recipes that delivered a true home-cooked experience. Early every morning, Gretchen would rise to get a start in the kitchen with George by her side playing sous chef, as tunes of Teddy Pendergrass wafted through the air, harmonizing with the sweet and savory aromatics of Gretchen’s Southern soul cuisine.”

“Then, after the untimely passing of George Shoemaker in the early 1990s, everything came to an abrupt halt as the Shoemaker family rallied around one another and Gretchen’s catering business was put on hold. Twenty years later, with all three daughters grown, second daughter Nika Shoemaker-Machado and her husband Marlon Machado approached Gretchen, now known to most as Nana, to all come together and fulfill her lifelong dream of sharing her food on a much grander scale than ever before and they introduced Georgia’s Restaurant, a Southern Restaurant that celebrates authentic Soul Food, while sharing Nana Gretchen and the Shoemaker family’s story of survival, community and love.

Founders “Nana” Gretchen Shoemaker and Nika Shoemaker-Machado (Gretchen’s daughter) are our hospitable guests.

Play

Show 335, August 3, 2019: Georgia’s Restaurant, Long Beach, with Founders “Nana” Shoemaker and Nika Shoemaker-Machado Part Two

Nika Shoemaker-Machado of Georgias RestaurantsWord-of-Mouth favorite Georgia’s Restaurant has been serving up Southern “soul-delicious” cuisine for the past five years in Anaheim at The Anaheim Packing House, while reimagining and redefining the public’s perception of Southern Soul Food. Now, Georgia’s Restaurant is extending their family and celebrating their fifth anniversary with the Grand Opening last month of their second location at the new Long Beach Exchange (LBX) .

“The Georgia’s Restaurant Menu is undoubtedly a family affair with recipes originating from generations past, adapted, and updated by the present. Guests can start their fabulous feast with an array of Small Bites such as the Piggy Cheese Fries, comprised of crispy fries loaded with slow roasted BBQ pork; Nana Gretchen’s Fried Green Tomatoes made of crispy coated fresh green tomatoes with a lemon aioli, or the finger-licking Chicken Wings, served with a choice of lemon pepper, spicy, mild, crispy, or Georgia’s Restaurant’s signature BBQ seasoning.”

“ For those that love their greens, there is a selection of four bountiful and beautiful Salads starting with the vegetarian friendly Georgia’s House served with spring mix, red onions, tomatoes, and candied pecans; Seafood lovers can rejoice with the Shrimp Salad served with spring mix, roasted corn, red peppers, red onions, tomatoes and a mango sauce; the Tri-Tip Salad bridges the best an omnivore can eat, made with grilled-to-order 1855 Premium Black Angus Choice tri-tip, spring mix, blue cheese, red onions, tomatoes, red peppers and Mandarin oranges, or stay healthy without sacrificing any flavor with the Georgia’s Blue featuring grilled blackened chicken, blue cheese crumbles, romaine lettuce and tomatoes.”

“Fans of Georgia’s Restaurant and newcomers alike can also order up and enjoy one of Georgia’s Specialties such as Gretchen’s Jambalaya cooked to order with shrimp, andouille sausage and chicken, served over pasta or rice, or the Louisiana Tilapia & Shrimp made of spicy grilled tilapia and shrimp, with tomato Creole sauce served over rice. For the best of both worlds, the Chicken & Waffle is sweet and savory, featuring Georgia’s Restaurant signature Fried Chicken on a Belgian Waffle, served with maple syrup and creamy honey butter.”

Founders “Nana” Gretchen Shoemaker and Nika Shoemaker-Machado (Gretchen’s daughter) continue the conversation.

Play

Show 305, January 5, 2019: Restaurateur Gretchen Shoemaker – Georgia’s Restaurant, Anaheim Packing House

Gretchen ShoemakerWe love to share inspiring Family entrepreneurial success stories along with fulfilling second careers. Georgia’s Restaurant (surprisingly not named after the State) in the Anaheim Packing House is a Southern restaurant that celebrates authentic Soul Food through family recipes that deliver a home-cooked experience. At the heart of Georgia’s is Gretchen Shoemaker, who is our guest.

Gretchen tells the story of her life through the comfort foods she learned to make with her grandma, that she raised her daughters on, that served in her successful catering business, and that she has shared with family and friends throughout the years. When Gretchen’s daughter, Nika, and son-in-law, Marlon, opened Georgia’s at the Anaheim Packing House in 2014, they were intent on spreading her story of survival, community, and tradition through her food.

Today, you can find Gretchen at the restaurant, greeting guests with her warm welcome and keeping a watchful eye on the kitchen, which serves her specialties, including Chicken & Waffles, Blackened Chicken Pasta, Jambalaya, and Louisiana Tilapia & Shrimp. Georgia’s popular Plates include her signature Herb-Seasoned, Cornmeal-Crusted Buttermilk Fried Chicken; Hand-Tossed, Pan-Fried Smothered Pork Chops; Farm-Raised, Creole Seasoned, Cornmeal-Crusted Fried Catfish; Half Rack of Slow-Roasted St. Louis BBQ Ribs; and grilled-to-order 1855 Black Angus Choice Tri-Tip.

This year Georgia’s will add a 2nd location in Long Beach at the Long Beach Exchange.

 

 

Play