Show 56, January 11, 2013: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

What's Cooking with Travis Rodgers and Jet TIla on AM830When you put our delightfully food obsessed morning show host, Travis Rodgers, together with Chef Jet Tila you know you’re going away entertained but really hungry. Be sure to catch their weekly feature, “What’s Cooking with Travis and Chef Jet Tila,” at 7:50 a.m. every Friday morning on AM 830 KLAA. It’s a feast for the ears…

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

If you crave authentic regional Mexican cuisine then you’ll want to hear Jimmy Shaw, the founder of Loteria! Grill. How about an award-winning celebrity chef from Chicago who was enticed by Steve Wynn to pull up stakes and move his family to Las Vegas so he could helm Mr. Wynn’s signature Italian seafood restaurant? That’s a story…You’ll also meet the executive chef and owner behind the hottest restaurant opening in Hollywood last year. It’s even located in a totally renovated historical building built by Charlie Chaplin.

All of that and lots more deliciousness on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

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Show 56, January 11, 2013: Executive Chef Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, Las Vegas

Paul BartolottaPaul Bartolotta is one of the rarified, distinguished James Beard Award winning chefs who has an incredible destination restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas.

His Bartollota Ristorante di Mare opened with the hotel back in 2005 and is one of the most successful fine dining restaurants at the property. Bartolotta generates tremendous repeat business from regular hotel guests. It just underwent a multimillion dollar renovation because Steve Wynn thought it was time…Chef Paul observed that the facelift alone cost more than the opening cost of many restaurants!

Paul was one of the most acclaimed chefs in Chicago (Spiaggia) when Mr. Wynn came calling. With his Bartolotta Restaurants firm he operates a number of busy restaurants in Milwaukee. Paul recounts the humorous story of Mr. Wynn’s charming pursuit of Paul to head the restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas. Understand at the time (2004) Paul was based in Chicago with his Family. One of Mr. Wynn’s requirements was that each of his celebrity chefs at Wynn Las Vegas actually reside in Las Vegas.

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January 11: Jimmy Shaw, Paul Bartolotta, Kedric Francis, Jessica Gelt, Walter Manzke

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jimmy Shaw, Founder and Executive Chef, Loteria! Grill Part One
Segment Three: Jimmy Shaw, Founder and Executive Chef, Loteria! Grill Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, Las Vegas Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Magazine
Segment Seven: Jessica Gelt, Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times
Segment Eight: Walter Manzke, Executive Chef & Proprietor, Rebublique

What's Cooking with Travis Rodgers and Jet TIla on AM830When you put our delightfully food obsessed morning show host, Travis Rodgers, together with Chef Jet Tila you know you’re going away entertained but really hungry. Be sure to catch their weekly feature, “What’s Cooking with Travis and Chef Jet Tila,” at 7:50 a.m. every Friday morning on AM 830 KLAA. It’s a feast for the ears…

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

If you crave authentic regional Mexican cuisine then you’ll want to hear Jimmy Shaw, the founder of Loteria! Grill. How about an award-winning celebrity chef from Chicago who was enticed by Steve Wynn to pull up stakes and move his family to Las Vegas so he could helm Mr. Wynn’s signature Italian seafood restaurant? That’s a story…You’ll also meet the executive chef and owner behind the hottest restaurant opening in Hollywood last year. It’s even located in a totally renovated historical building built by Charlie Chaplin.

All of that and lots more deliciousness on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill and Torta CompanyWhen it comes to authentic regional Mexican cuisine few are as knowledgeable as Jimmy Shaw, the founder and executive chef of the popular Loteria! Grill Restaurants. He was born and raised in Mexico City

He started modestly with a graphically-interesting stand in a great location at The Original Farmers Market at Third & Fairfax. The locals were wowed. Since then full-service restaurants in Hollywood, Studio City, Santa Monica and Westlake Village have been added. Any moment now Downtown Los Angeles will launch at FIGat7th.

Next to Loteria! Downtown will be a new gourmet sandwich shop Jimmy is doing with his brother, Andrew. It’s the Torta Company.

Two Loteria! Grills will be coming soon to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX.)
Chef Jimmy provides us with the rich history of the Mexican sandwich and what is correct as far as bread is concerned. The bread needs to be crunchy on the outside and pillowy soft inside.

Torta Company will offer both traditional and contemporary sandwich variations. There will definitely be appealing vegetarian options, too, including a wild mushroom tinga.

Look for pulled pork, batter-fried snapper in a Veracruz tomato sauce, and turkey in mole. Also on the menu will be Chef Jimmy’s clever spin on a tuna torta.

Paul BartolottaPaul Bartolotta is one of the rarified, distinguished James Beard Award winning chefs who has an incredible destination restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas.

His Bartollota Ristorante di Mare opened with the hotel back in 2005 and is one of the most successful fine dining restaurants at the property.

It just underwent a multimillion dollar renovation because Steve Wynn thought it was time…Chef Paul observed that the facelift alone cost more than the opening cost of many restaurants!

Paul was one of the most acclaimed chefs in Chicago (Spiaggia) when Mr. Wynn came calling. With his Bartolotta Restaurants firm he operates a number of busy restaurants in Milwaukee. Paul recounts the humorous story of Mr. Wynn’s charming pursuit of Paul to head the restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas. Understand at the time (2004) Paul was based in Chicago with his Family. One of Mr. Wynn’s requirements was that each of his celebrity chefs at Wynn Las Vegas actually reside in Las Vegas.

There is lots more to this fascinating story so Chef Paul Bartolotta of Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at Wynn Las Vegas continues with us.

The concept of the elegant restaurant is serving the very best of Mediterranean seafood flown in fresh daily from Italy and simply prepared. There is also a live program. Spiny lobsters from Sicily, in season, are in live tanks in the kitchen!

The servers expertly debone the fish at tableside. It’s not unusual to see Paul on the floor touching tables and explaining his dishes.

This is what veteran Las Vegas restaurant journalist Max Jacobson has said about Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare : “The chef is both a fanatic and masterful technician, so expect perfection.”

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineOur favorite debonair man about Orange County, Kedric Francis, is back with us for a dining report from his recent stay in Cancun. Kedric is the well-traveled Executive Editor of both Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine.

Kedric stayed at the 274 room, all-suite, Nizuc Resort & Spa in Cancun secluded a bit away from the tourist zone on a cove. It’s on the grounds of the former presidential retreat. Lots of water…

There are six tempting dining options there so Kedric opted to never leave the property during his visit.

Ni is the Peruvian restaurant. Kedric particularly enjoyed their ceviches.

Indochine is an Asian-fusion spot. Recommended is the sushi and deep-fried Grouper.

Of course they need to have a wonderful Mexican restaurant. That’s Ramona overlooking the beach. It’s modern versions of regional recipes using local produce and spices.

Los Angeles Times Travel ShowThe 16th Annual Los Angeles Times Travel show returns to the West Hall of the L.A. Convention Center on January 18 & 19. Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, Jessica Gelt, is with us to preview her activities at the show.

Gelt has written extensively about food, nightlife, entertainment and travel for The Times. She sometimes combines a few different beats within one entertaining story.

She is moderating two sessions of the same panel, “On the Road : Traveling for Music & Festivals” both days at Noon on the LA Times Stage.

Jessica also shared some insider tips about finding the best food at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. It helps to have VIP access…

Walter ManzkeOne of the most eagerly awaited restaurant openings of 2013 was Republique in Hollywood located on the site of the former trendsetting Campanile which opened in 1989. The architecturally significant building goes back to 1929 when it was constructed as Charlie Chaplin’s offices.

The project is owned by the husband and wife chef team of Walter Manzke and Margarita Manzke along with restaurant impresario Bill Chait. Chef Walter is well-know to L.A. foodies from his time at Patina, Bastide and Church and State. Chef Walter joins us to talk about the first month of operation.

The cuisine is contemporary French with an oyster bar up front. Chef Walter’s particular pride is what comes out of the wood burning oven and rotisserie.

Recently opened is the bakery café for breakfast, brunch and lunch on the go.

The restaurant is still not fully open. It’s expanding service in stages.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jimmy Shaw, Founder and Executive Chef, Loteria! Grill Part One
Segment Three: Jimmy Shaw, Founder and Executive Chef, Loteria! Grill Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, Las Vegas Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Magazine
Segment Seven: Jessica Gelt, Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times
Segment Eight: Walter Manzke, Executive Chef & Proprietor, Rebublique

Show 45, October 26, 2013: Elizabeth Blau of Blau & Associates in Las Vegas

Elizabeth Blau of Blau and AssociatesElizabeth Blau shattered the glass ceiling with female food & beverage executives in Las Vegas some 15 years ago working with Steve Wynn at The Bellagio recruiting high profile celebrity chefs to headline the restaurants there. It created the much-copied template for the future of big deal restaurants on The Strip.

Currently she is the Founder and CEO of Blau and Associates with her husband Chef Kim Canteenwalla. They provide food service consulting at the top level for highly discriminating, and demanding, clients.

Their personal restaurant projects in Las Vegas include Society Café at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, Honey Salt in Summerlin for the locals, and the newly opened Buddy V’s Ristorante (with TLC’s “Cake Boss” Buddy Vaslastro) located in the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian with a western facing view of the famed Las Vegas Strip.

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October 26: Life is Beautiful Festival from Las Vegas

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Mary Sue Milliken, Founder and Co-Owner of Border Grill Las Vegas
Segment Three: Kent Bearden, Craft Beer & Spirits Specialist for Wirtz Beverage Nevada
Segment Four: Oscar Goodman, immediate past Mayor (three terms) of Las Vegas
Segment Five: Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller fame
Segment Six: Elizabeth Blau of Blau & Associates in Las Vegas
Segment Seven: Jonathan Waxman, owner/chef of Barbuto in New York City
Segment Eight: Rick Moonen, owner/chef of Rx Boiler Room and rm seafood at the Shoppes at Mandalay Place in Las Vegas

Life is Beautiful FestivalYou’ve been asking for it so here it is….Our first Las Vegas Special!

Jet is in Las Vegas this Weekend as a participant in the giant “Life Is Beautiful” Festival using an event area encompassing 15-blocks of Downtown Las Vegas. The storied El Cortez Hotel and several popular new restaurants are actually part of the Festival area.

Something like this on the scale that it represents has never really been tried before…Unusually the food and beverage component shares the spotlight with the music.

The biggest names in the culinary world like Tom Colicchio will all be there. Some will be performing cooking demos at the Chefs on Stage area and others serving up their signature dishes in the Culinary Village.

Saturday afternoon at 4:45 p.m. Jet is on the Chefs On Stage East with of Ben McKee of Imagine Dragons.

Jet is also in the Culinary Village with a Chef Jet tasting station. Say hello if you’re in the neighborhood…

Mary Sue Milliken of Border GrillChef, restaurateur, and food television star, Mary Sue Milliken, really needs no introduction to the show. Her “Two Hot Tamales” series for Food Network which she did with her business partner, Susan Feniger, was one of the early hit series for the network. More recently she competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.”

One of the most successful Border Grills is located in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Hotel on The Strip.

Mary Sue and Susan are on the Chef on Stage East at 1:45 p.m. on Saturday at Life is Beautiful.

Kent Bearden of Wirtz Beverage Group NevadaCraft beer, premium wines, and fine spirits are well represented at Life is Beautiful. In fact the center of the spirited action will be at the Alchemy Gardens and the related Flight Tastings area (6th St. & Ogden Ave.) at the Festival. The Gardens will showcase the beverages of 18 distinguished craft breweries, 18 quality wineries, and 18 spirits entities.

Craft Beer and Spirits Specialist Kent Bearden of Wirtz Beverage Nevada is with us to provide all the thirst-quenching details. He’s a Cicerone (certified beer specialist) and Certified Specialist of Spirits.

Oscars Goodman former mayor of Las VegasOscar Goodman is the immediate past Mayor of Las Vegas. During his three terms as Mayor he liked to refer to himself as the “Happiest Mayor in the World.” He proudly drinks at least one gin martini a day and on official business he used to travel with two gorgeous Las Vegas Showgirls with one on each arm. His wife, Carolyn, the current Mayor approves.

Oscar is with us to discuss his leadership role in reawaking Downtown Las Vegas, his new autobiography, and his upscale steakhouse at The Plaza in Downtown.

When it comes to big city Mayors in the USA Mr. Goodman is surely a colorful original. Mayor Goodman current serves as the official Goodwill Ambassador for Las Vegas.

Jet Tila and Penn JilletteIn the world of stage magicians there is no enduring act quite like Penn & Teller. Las Vegas is the ideal base for these two performing vets. Their home, since 2003, is at The Rio just off The Strip.

He’s also a musician. Penn plays the upright bass.

What the general public doesn’t know is that Penn Jillette is an accomplished home cook. Jet has been cooking with him recently and Penn will be our very special guest.

Elizabeth Blau of Blau and AssociatesElizabeth Blau shattered the glass ceiling with female food & beverage executives in Las Vegas some 15 years ago working with Steve Wynn at The Bellagio recruiting high profile celebrity chefs to headline the restaurants there. It created the much-copied template for the future of big deal restaurants on The Strip.

Currently she is the Founder and CEO of Blau and Associates with her husband Chef Kim Canteenwalla. They provide food service consulting at the top level for highly discriminating, and demanding, clients.

Their personal restaurant projects in Las Vegas include Society Café at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, Honey Salt in Summerlin for the locals, and the newly opened Buddy V’s Ristorante (with TLC’s “Cake Boss” Buddy Vaslastro) located in the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian with a western facing view of the famed Las Vegas Strip.

Jonathan WaxmanHe’s affectionately known as the Obi Wan Kanobi of chefs because of his practical, no-nonsense approach to cooking and we’re talking about the Manhattan-based Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto in the West Village. You’ve seen him competing on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” and Food Network’s “Iron Chef America.” His most recent cookbook is Italian, My Way: More Than 150 Simple and Inspired Recipes That Breathe New Life into Italian Classics by Jonathan Waxman and Tom Colicchio (Apr 5, 2011.) The roasted chicken recipe as served at Barbuto is a classic.

We have great affection for him in California for his early years with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse and as a recognized pioneer of California cuisine.

He’s in Las Vegas for “Life is Beautiful” Festival and will be honored Friday night at the kick-off dinner, “Grill and Guitars,” with a menu prepared by celebrity chefs.

Rick Moonen of rm seafood in Las VegasAn acclaimed former New York chef, know as a seafood master, has really taken to living in Las Vegas. We’re talking about Chef Rick Moonen.

His latest creation is Rx Boiler Room in the Shoppes at Mandalay Place (on the upper level.) The decor is over the top but our Las Vegas food expert, Brock Radke, Food Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, recommends the menu. Highlights include bacon-wrapped pork belly and “fish tacos” which are actually kampachi tartare presented in crunchy/crisp taro root shells. There is a serious cocktail program at Rx.

Chef Rick will also chat about what he’s doing on both Saturday and Sunday at “Life is Beautiful.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Mary Sue Milliken, Founder and Co-Owner of Border Grill Las Vegas
Segment Three: Kent Bearden, Craft Beer & Spirits Specialist for Wirtz Beverage Nevada
Segment Four: Oscar Goodman, immediate past Mayor (three terms) of Las Vegas
Segment Five: Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller fame
Segment Six: Elizabeth Blau of Blau & Associates in Las Vegas
Segment Seven: Jonathan Waxman, owner/chef of Barbuto in New York City
Segment Eight: Rick Moonen, owner/chef of Rx Boiler Room and rm seafood at the Shoppes at Mandalay Place in Las Vegas

Show 36, July 20, 2013: Celebrity Chef and Cookbook Author, Tal Ronnen

Tal Ronnen of Crossroads KitchenWe first met Chef Tal Ronnen on the show last month. He refreshingly creates tasty plant-based fare without a heavy political agenda. His newest restaurant is the fine-dining Crossroads in West Hollywood. He’s also the author of the New York Times’-bestseller, The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat.

A few years back casino mogul Steve Wynn brought Tal in to Wynn Las Vegas and Encore at Wynn Las Vegas to create vegetarian items for all his restaurants. Tal discussed that highly unusual experience and what it was like to work with incredibly demanding celebrity chefs who were responsible for overseeing those signature restaurants.

Crossroads has just added lunch service on weekdays. The specialty is European-style sandwiches built around Chef Tal’s just-introduced line of Kite Hill vegan cheese. Also available at the counter are marinara and Bolognese sauce and Ronnen’s Kite Hill cheeses.

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Show 33, June 29, 2013: Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist

The Modern Mixologist Tony Abou-GanimTony is based in the classic cocktail capital of America, b. When it comes to being the ultimate master bartender (and part magician) Tony is the recognized go-to guy on the national scene. When Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” needs a star mixologist they use Tony in the episode!

When Steve Wynn built his enduring masterpiece, the Bellagio, the ultimate destination resort of modern Las Vegas, Tony created the ambitious, trend-setting bar program for the entire project and trained the staff.

Tony is talking about summer cocktails. He takes us through the creation of a special daiquiri made with fresh bing cherry infused rum as the base.

His favorite spirit is Campari (the Italian aperitif) and his favorite cocktail is the Negroni.

Just out is Tony’s signature line of custom specialized bar tools.

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June 29: Kedric Francis, Tony Abou-Ganim, Thornton Winery

Podcasts

Segment One: On the Road with Chef Jet and Producer Andy
Segment Two: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine Part One
Segment Three: Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist Part One
Segment Four: Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist Part Two
Segment Five: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine Part Two
Segment Six: David Vergari, Winemaker at Thornton Winery in Temecula

Time to talk dining…

Providence RestaurantChef Jet celebrated Father’s Day at Providence in Los Angeles. This is celebrity chef Michael Cimarusti’s (ex-Water Grill) much-praised, fine-dining seafood restaurant. In addition to the expected great seafood non-stuffy, attentive service is part of the experience. There is also a very deep wine list and an outstanding bar. Jet talks about his meal there and why this is such a popular special occasion establishment.

We’ll also answer some e-mail inquiries.

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineMr. Suave himself, Kedric Francis, is back with us. He’s the Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and co-founding editor of the revamped OC Register Magazine.

Kedric is in-studio talking about local travel opportunities for Summer. He’s got some inspired ideas for traveling on the rails and previews the new attractions at The Disneyland Resort. It’s all child-friendly, too.

The Modern Mixologist Tony Abou-GanimWe’re delighted to welcome The Modern Mixologist, Tony Abou-Ganim, to the show. He’s a master barman and part magician. Tony is based in Las Vegas. He created the entire bar program (nothing short of spectacular) for the opening of Steve Wynn’s  original Bellagio, the trend-setting casino resort of it’s time.

Tony will share his inspirations for Summer cocktails and the importance of quality ice. It really makes the difference in a properly-prepared cocktail!

The Modern Mixologist also previews his new line of custom-designed bar tools.

Man about Orange County, Kedric Francis encores for another segment. This time he’s  chatting about the just-released June Restaurant Issue of Coast.

One feature profiles up and coming areas where there are pockets of distinctive dining places. Downtown Santa Ana is one of these spotlighted dining neighborhoods.

The most interesting piece, we think, is on the best restaurants in Orange County located in the worst spots. What a fun idea…

A truly underappreciated local wine country destination is the Temecula Valley. It’s 90 minutes, or less, from most areas of Orange County. It’s probably best known as the location of the Pechanga Casino Resort (largest Indian casino & hotel property in the West) but there is lots more out there.

Thornton Winery in TemeculaWhen you cross Butterfield Stage Road going East on Rancho California Road you hit the picturesque, and delightfully rural,  wine country. The first winery property you pass is the eye-catching Thornton Winery celebrating their 25th anniversary of proud family ownership in 2013. They are especially known for their premium California sparkling wines but also produce a  distinctive line of still wines under the stewardship of winemaker David Vergari.

Since the beginning Thornton has staged a highly regarded summer Champagne Jazz Series at the winery showcasing renowned contemporary jazz artists. Dave Koz performed two concerts there last weekend. It’s a superb environment to enjoy a concert in. You can also sip wine and enjoy a three-course seated dinner in the concert area.

Podcasts

Segment One: On the Road with Chef Jet and Producer Andy
Segment Two: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine Part One
Segment Three: Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist Part One
Segment Four: Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist Part Two
Segment Five: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine Part Two
Segment Six: David Vergari, Winemaker at Thornton Winery in Temecula

Show 32, June 22, 2013: Chef Tal Ronnen of Crossroads in West Hollywood

Tal Ronnen of Crossroads KitchenChef Tal is the soft-spoken culinary force behind the elegant, Crossroads, in West Hollywood. This is white tablecloth, plant-based fare featuring Mediterranean-influenced small plates.

Chef Tal has cooked for very discriminating celebrities including Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres.

Tal stays away from the politics. If his food is not satisfying to all then he feels he has failed. His mantra is simply to suggest trying a little plant based fare (which is properly prepared) as an addition to your present diet.

Tal Ronnen’s reputation is such that a few years ago when “difficult to please” Las Vegas casino hotel mogul Steve Wynn wanted vegetarian dishes added to all his restaurant menus at both Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Tal was engaged to accomplish this working with superstar celebrity chefs. When the project was done not only was Mr. Wynn pleased but Chef Tal became friends with all the high-profile chefs he worked with at Wynn and they continue to stay in touch.

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