Show 344, October 12, 2019: David Hanna, Proprietor, Hanna’s Restaurant & Bar Part One

GOlden Foodie Award Winner David HannaHanna’s Restaurant & Bar is one of South Orange County’s premiere dining establishments. Named one of the U.S. top 100 restaurants by Yelp, Hanna’s offers modern American Steakhouse cuisine prepared with a classic, traditional flair. “Our appetite for an exceptional dining experience is rooted deep in our passion for extraordinary culinary creations and exemplified in our award-wining service and ambiance.”

“Hanna’s is an American Steakhouse, sourcing USDA prime steak, along with American & Japanese Wagyu. We believe in celebrating classic cuisine with a modern twist. Market-driven farm-to-table creations.”

“It has often been said that a true fine dining experience represents a work of art; from the skill of creativity and execution of technique, to the quality of ingredients used and precision of presentation. At Hanna’s, we have made it our philosophy and passion to master the art of perfection in every single dish we create. Every day we seek to find the newest culinary innovations to continue to establish the highest standards in fine dining distinction.”

David Hanna has been the recipient of the Golden Foodie Award for Outstanding Community Service for both 2018 and 2019.

Hands-on proprietor David Hanna, a third-generation restaurateur, is our hospitable guest.

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Show 344, October 12, 2019: David Hanna, Proprietor, Hanna’s Restaurant & Bar Part Two

GOlden Foodie Award Winner David HannaHanna’s Restaurant & Bar was established in 2005 and has quickly become one of Orange County’s premiere dining establishments. Named one of the U.S. top 100 restaurants by Yelp, Hanna’s Restaurant & Bar offers modern American Steakhouse cuisine prepared with classic, traditional flair.”

“Our appetite for an exceptional dining experience is rooted deep in our passion for extraordinary culinary creations and exemplified in our award-wining service and ambiance. From our friendly bartenders, vibrant ambiance, outgoing wait staff, and incredible menu, our guests are always embraced in a comforting fashion. And on any given night you can always find owner David Hanna mingling among guests and ensuring that every detail of their experience at Hanna’s is (hopefully) nothing short of extraordinary.​”

“Dave Hanna’s passion for food and hospitality is deeply rooted in family tradition. The Hanna family’s culinary connection began with owner David Hanna’s grandfather who served as a cook in the US Army during World War I. After his service, David’s Grandfather expanded his love for the culinary arts with the opening of his own restaurant in Western Pennsylvania called The Lone Star – the first of many restaurants opened by the Hanna family.” ​

“Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, David Hanna established the first coffee house in Rancho Santa Margarita called Haute Caffé and opened a second location quickly after. Both shops eventually sold in 1997 and, after taking several years to recharge, David decided to venture back into the hospitality scene in 2005 with the opening of Hanna’s Restaurant and Bar.”

“Hanna’s believes the essence of life is sharing meals and cherishing time with one another. Hanna’s aims to foster a connective experience with service that is based on the art of hospitality. We believe in a commitment to excellence from how we source our food to training our gold standard team.”

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Show 300, December 1, 2018: Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 20th Anniversary, Stephen Blevins, Director of Wines

Steven BlevinsTwenty years ago Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar launched at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. It’s been a huge success. As they have branched over the years to include 70 domestic restaurants a signature for them has become their carefully curated wine program. Each Fleming’s has a part of their wine list with the hand-picked selections of that location’s Operating Partner.

Two highly experienced restaurateurs had a vision of designing a steakhouse that would deliver a stylish and contemporary dining experience. Fleming’s was created from this vision by Paul Fleming, founder of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, and Bill Allen III, a leading restaurant and hospitality executive.

Our guest with the well-traveled corkscrew is Stephen Blevins, Fleming’s Director of Wines who was previously the Operating Partner at the Flagship Newport Beach Fleming’s.

Stephen’s passion project has been securing for Fleming’s celebrated winemaker Dave Phinney’s new release, 8 Years in the Desert by Orin Swift. It’s a California Red Bland of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah and small percentages of other red varietals. Of course there is a story.

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Show 177, June 25, 2016: Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7’s (Chicago) “The Hungry Hound” Part Two

Steve Dolinsky and Andreew GruelFood journalist Steve Dolinsky is ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “The Hungry Hound. He continues…

Steve provides his Chicagoland recommendations for upscale steakhouse, Italian Beef sandwich, Chicago Dog, Deep Dish Pizza and more…

“In 2014, Chicago chef/restaurateur Rick Bayless and I launched The Feed Podcast, covering the world of food from our professional perspectives. Every show is full of different segments, some from Chicago and others from far-flung places around the world we both travel to. In its first year, the show won a Beard Award for Best Podcast (that’s #13 if you’re keeping score).”

“More recently, I’ve begun curating and leading highly specialized culinary experiences, including international tours, and am also now consulting on the food and beverage program for The Hotel San Felipe in Panama City, Panama.”

“I show up as an occasional judge or contributor on “Iron Chef America” (now out of production) and “Unique Eats,” and serve as one of the 27 Regional Academy Chairs for “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.” I even do some media training outside of Chicago for chefs, sommeliers and mixologists. Best part of the job? Getting paid to eat. Toughest part? Keeping it off. See you at the gym.”

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Show 134, August 8, 2015: Chef Amar Santana, Broadway by Amar Santana, Laguna Beach Continues

Amar SantanaThe most talked-about restaurant opening of the year in Orange County is Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa. It’s possibly his take on either a Spanish tapas spot or Spanish steakhouse. Details have been securely under wraps. We’re sure Chef Amar has spent a lot of time in Spain studying the cuisine.

We’ll find out a lot more with Chef Amar Santana…

Chef Amar shares that Vaca is a hybrid concept. It will be an authentic Spanish tapas restaurant and a steakhouse with premium, dry-aged beef from around the world cooked on a wood-burning grill. A dry-aging room will be a feature of Vaca. With a bit of luck it looks like a possible late November opening if all goes well.

Chef Amar has been running paella specials (4 to 5 styles) at Broadway to get his culinary staff trained for the upcoming Vaca. Some of the team will move over there from Broadway as well as former cooks from Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdales. Large paella pans and small kitchen…

Surprisingly he was disappointed with the paella he sampled in Spain. Chef Amar was far more inspired about what he tasted in Morocco!

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Show 86, August 30, 2014: Bruce Bozzi, Jr., of the Palm

The Palm Beverly HillsThe iconic Palm Restaurant in West Hollywood will close and lock its doors for the last time on September 30th after almost 40 years. The better news is that their new 6,000 square foot restaurant seating 185 guests will debut at in Beverly Hills at 267 N. Canon Dr. in early November.

“Serving its classic steakhouse cuisine and generous “Palm-size” portions since 1975, The Palm in West Hollywood is equally famous for the caricatures of its celebrity customers and the entertainment industry power players that adorn its walls.”

“This Palm has been here for almost 40 years, and while we are sad to leave our home on Santa Monica Blvd., we are excited to be opening a new Palm just a few minutes away in Beverly Hills,” said Bruce Bozzi, Jr., great-grandson of Pio Bozzi, who, with John Ganzi, co-founded The Palm in 1926. “Through four generations, we have followed a simple recipe for success that focuses on making our guests feel that they belong at The Palm. We look forward to continuing that tradition in our new location.”

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August 30: Kedric Francis, Shirley Chung, Wing Lam, The Palm, Nadia G, Brad A. Johnson, Haven Gastropub

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Executive Chef Shirley Chung of TWENTY Eight
Segment Three: Wing Lam, Wahoo’s Fish Taco
Segment Four: Bruce Bozzi, Jr., of the Palm
Segment Five: Cooking Channel’s Chef Nadia G. Part One
Segment Six: Cooking Channel’s Chef Nadia G. Part Two
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County and Los Angeles Registers
Segment Eight: Executive Chef Greg Daniels, Haven Gastropub and Provisions, Orange

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.

You’ll remember the always opinionated Chef Shirley Chung (Las Vegas – based) as a finalist in Season 11 of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” She is opening a modern Chinese restaurant in Irvine at the end of September.

It’s the Orange International Street Fair in Old Towne Orange this Labor Day Weekend. In the center of the action in a restored bungalow on W. Chapman is Wahoo’s Fish Taco. Co-founder Wing Lam joins us to discuss what’s new at Wahoo’s.

The Palm Restaurant, known for classic steakhouse fare, has been an institution in West Hollywood since its launch in 1975. That location is closing at the end of September. In early November a new, 6,000 square foot Palm will begin welcoming guests in Beverly Hills.

Chef-comedienne Nadia G. is widely known as the creator and host of “Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen,” a brand defining series for Cooking Channel and the first ever online show to successfully transition from the internet to primetime. Her new primetime Cooking Channel series is “Bite This.” The always unpredictable Nadia G. is our guest.

Brad A. Johnson is the James Beard award-winning restaurant critic for both the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Register. Brad is back with us this week to talk about sushi and his favorites in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties. He’ll also preview an intriguing piece he’s writing for the Orange County Register Magazine on the new wave of Italian restaurants.

Five years ago Haven Gastropub opened on S. Glassell St. in Old Towne Orange during the Orange International Street Festival. That Festival attracts some 500,000 guests for the three-days. Executive Chef Greg Daniels is with us to talk about their five-year anniversary.

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

Shirley ChungYou’ll remember the always opinionated Chef Shirley Chung (Las Vegas – based) as a finalist in Season 11 of Bravo’s “Top Chef.”

Prior to her ride to fame on “Top Chef” she held the Executive Chef position at China Poblano by Jose Andres at The Cosmopolitan.

Chef Shirley is opening a modern Chinese restaurant in Irvine at the end of September. “I like my cuisine to tell a story,” commented Chef Shirley, who has developed the innovative menu of sharable plates for TWENTY EIGHT. “My inspiration for this menu is reflective of my childhood years in Beijing, my past experiences, and my travels, all of which have inspired me to push the envelope.”

“In addition to the menu of modern Chinese specialties, diners can look forward to an enticing Dim Sum and Small Plates menu, a full bar with a focus on craft cocktails, and private dining options for both large and small gatherings.”

Wing Lam of Wahoo's Fish TacosIt’s the Orange International Street Fair in Old Towne Orange this Labor Day Weekend. In the center of the action on W. Chapman is Wahoo’s Fish Taco. Co-founder Wing Lam joins us to discuss what’s new at Wahoo’s.

Raymond Martin is the new executive chef for Wahoo’s. New on the menu are Street Tacos, a Kale Kai Salad, and Wahoo’s Wings.

Opening soon is a long-in-the-works Wahoo’s location at Honda Center.

The Palm Beverly HillsThe iconic Palm Restaurant in West Hollywood will close and lock its doors for the last time on September 30th after almost 40 years. The better news is that their new 6,000 square foot restaurant seating 185 guests will debut at in Beverly Hills at 267 N. Canon Dr. in early November.

“Serving its classic steakhouse cuisine and generous “Palm-size” portions since 1975, The Palm in West Hollywood is equally famous for the caricatures of its celebrity customers and the entertainment industry power players that adorn its walls.”

“This Palm has been here for almost 40 years, and while we are sad to leave our home on Santa Monica Blvd., we are excited to be opening a new Palm just a few minutes away in Beverly Hills,” said Bruce Bozzi, Jr., great-grandson of Pio Bozzi, who, with John Ganzi, co-founded The Palm in 1926. “Through four generations, we have followed a simple recipe for success that focuses on making our guests feel that they belong at The Palm. We look forward to continuing that tradition in our new location.”

Nadia GChef-comedienne Nadia G. is widely known as the creator and host of Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen,” a brand defining series for Cooking Channel and the first ever online show to successfully transition from the internet to primetime. She also hosts an original online design series, “Sick Kitchens,” and is the author of two bestselling cookbooks.

Her new primetime Cooking Channel series is Bite This.” It’s a fusion of food, travel and comedy following Nadia as she travels the nation featuring the coolest chefs and finding hidden gems and signature flavors in each city – from Los Angeles to Harlem and the Bronx, to Louisville to Nashville, Chicago and more.

The always unpredictable Nadia G. is our guest.

“Nadia G. rocked your kitchen, now it’s time to rock your city! We’re hitting the road, G-style.” The first city visited for “Bite This” was Los Angeles.

“First up : Badmaash – An outrageous Indian-fusion Poutine with Chicken Tikka at this downright bad ass downtown gastropub.”

“Next up, the freshest and tastiest Lobster Roll you can find West of the Rockies at Blue Plate Oysterette in Santa Monica.”

“Finally, the G and the crew is off to Father’s Office where they’ll meet Chef Sang Yoon and taste the Office Burger – a burger so good that it was names “best burger in the world.” PSST. Insider info : They’ll also unveil for the first time EVER Sang Yoon’s latest tasty creation : The Patricia Melt.”

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.

Brad is back with us this week to discuss sushi and his favorites places to enjoy the preparation in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties. He’ll also preview an intriguing piece he’s writing for the Orange County Register Magazine on the new wave of Italian restaurants.

Greg Daniels of Haven GastropubFive years ago Haven Gastropub opened on S. Glassell St. in Old Towne Orange during the Orange International Street Festival. That Festival attracts some 500,000 guests for the three-days. Executive Chef Greg Daniels is with us to talk about their five-year anniversary.

Thursday, September 4th marks the actual 5-Year anniversary. Within minutes of the original opening guests were 3-deep at the long bar. It hasn’t stopped…

On Thursday, September 4th Haven Gastropub will be celebrating with one of their most impressive line-ups of craft beers on tap to date. There will be specials on signature items throughout the day. ($5 Haven Burgers, anyone ?).

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Executive Chef Shirley Chung of TWENTY Eight
Segment Three: Wing Lam, Wahoo’s Fish Taco
Segment Four: Bruce Bozzi, Jr., of the Palm
Segment Five: Cooking Channel’s Chef Nadia G. Part One
Segment Six: Cooking Channel’s Chef Nadia G. Part Two
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County and Los Angeles Registers
Segment Eight: Executive Chef Greg Daniels, Haven Gastropub and Provisions, Orange

June 21: Linda Kissam, Chianina Steakhouse, Back Forty Beer Co, Irvine Greek Fest

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show
Segment Two: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part One
Segment Three: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part Two
Segment Four: Alejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part One
Segment Five: EAlejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part One
Segment Seven: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part Two
Segment Eight: Restaurateur George Kookootsedes, 36th Annual Greek Festival, St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church, Irvine

Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show.

How do you conduct a serious educational wine tasting (that’s also fun) with a group? Wine, food and travel writer Linda Kissam is with us to explain.

Quality Italian beef, pasta, and sustainable seafood are on the menu at the new Chianina Steakhouse in the Naples area of Long Beach. This is from the hospitality team known for Michael’s on Naples. Linda Kissam recently experienced a dinner there.

The craft beer movement, surprisingly, is vibrant and thriving in Alabama. Back Forty Beer Co. is the largest, and oldest, packaging brewery in the State.

The 36th Annual Greek Festival brings a “Taste of Greece” to Orange County at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church from June 27th to 29th. More than 11,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival which will feature traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, and authentic Greek dancing with lessons. It’s a family-friendly affair!

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

Linda KissamHow do you conduct a serious, educational wine tasting with a group that’s also entertaining and fun? Wine, food and travel writer Linda Kissam is with us to explain. She organizes tastings all the time…

She expertly demonstrated this recently for a group of professional food, wine, and travel journalists at the annual conference of the International, Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association in Montgomery, AL.

It was an organized tasting of five Italian Sparking Wines.

It’s fun but there is a proper way of doing this.

She also explains what the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association does and what their mission is. Linda serves as their First Vice President.

Chianina SteakhouseHigh-end steakhouses with a serious bar and deep wine lists are very much in fashion these days.

How about an elegant steakhouse that serves limited availability, high-quality Italian beef, prime steaks, and sustainable seafood? There is also a well-regarded executive chef (David Coleman) overseeing things. We’ll be meeting the General Manager of Chianina Steakhouse in the Naples neighborhood of Long Beach, part of the ever expanding Michael’s Restaurant Group. We’re joined by Alejandro Duran of Chianina.

Chianina beef will soon be on their menu.

Jason WilsonFounded in 2009 by Jason Wilson, Back Forty Beer Co. is one of the oldest Alabama breweries and the first to distribute outside of the state. Back Forty beers are available statewide in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. The brewery is located in Historic Downtown Gadsden, Alabama.

“In 2008, after several years in the corporate world and with over 150 brewery tours under his belt, founder Jason Wilson reached out to renowned Brewmaster Jamie Ray and asked for his help in developing recipes for Back Forty Beer Co.

The goal for the liquid was simple – to expose Southerners to the same craft beer culture that Wilson had been part of for the last ten years. This meant starting out with classic beer styles and evolving with customers along the way. Jamie agreed and in January of 2009 he became Back Forty’s first employee.

In June of 2009, Back Forty released its first offering, Naked Pig Pale Ale. The beer was only available in the North-Central Alabama home market, but the response was overwhelming. In March of 2010 the second Back Forty offering hit the shelves, Truck Stop Honey Brown Ale. Later that year Truck Stop Honey was awarded a Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival, and in the weeks following, distribution offers poured in that allowed Back Forty to expand its coverage throughout Alabama.

Jason revealed the great news that it looks like Back Forty Beer Co.’s styles will be available in Southern California by year’s end. We’ll keep you posted…

irvine-greek-festThe 36th Annual Greek Festival brings a “Taste of Greece” to Orange County at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church from June 27th to 29th. More than 11,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival which will feature traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, and authentic Greek dancing with lessons. It’s a family-friendly affair!

Legendary OC Restaurateur Mr. K (George Kookootsedes)
(John Dominis) is our guest…As a dedicated volunteer he puts the incredible food program together each year.

As guest host Linda Kissam notes , “It’s the next best thing to flying to Greece.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show
Segment Two: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part One
Segment Three: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part Two
Segment Four: Alejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part One
Segment Five: EAlejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part One
Segment Seven: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part Two
Segment Eight: Restaurateur George Kookootsedes, 36th Annual Greek Festival, St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church, Irvine

Show 52, December 14, 2013: Leo Fenn, Director of Operations, Selanne Steak Tavern, Laguna Beach

Sellanne 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 (ask about the monkey bread dessert,) 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.

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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