Show 229, June 24, 2017: The Street Gourmet’s Bill Esparza

Bill EsparzaThe Street Gourmet, Senor Bill Esparza, is back with us with his first cookbook. Richly photographed and authentically local, L.A. Mexicano showcases L.A.’s sophisticated and diverse Mexican-food culture, from Oaxacan tlayudas to Nayarit ceviches, Alta California gastronomy to Boyle Heights burritos.

It’s got it all: recipes, insightful and inspirational profiles of chefs, bakers, restaurateurs, and vendors, and neighborhood guides that point readers to the best markets, taco trucks, restaurants, bars, and more. Part cookbook, part food journalism, and part love song to Los Angeles, it’s a definitive resource for home cooks, Mexican food lovers, and hungry Angelenos and visitors.

With a foreword by Taco USA‘s Gustavo Arellano, L.A. Mexicano shines a long-overdue light on the people behind one of the world’s most complex and delicious cuisines, in one of the world’s most exciting food cities.

Bill Esparza is winner of a James Beard award (with Lesley Bargar Suter) for his coverage of the LA taco scene in Los Angeles Magazine. Considered one of the country’s leading experts on Mexican food, the LA native curates the annual Tacolandia festival in Los Angeles and writes about Mexican food for Los Angeles Magazine and other notable publications.

Catch Bill in-person at Friends & Family on Hollywood Blvd. (5150) in Thai Town on Saturday, July 8th from Noon to 3:00 p.m. He’ll be there meeting the guests & signing copies of L.A. Mexicano. There is a strong rumor that Bill’s Grandmother’s recipe for Huevos Rancheros will be on the menu as a special that day!

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Show 34, July 6, 2013: Gustavo Arellano, Editor of OC Weekly and author of Taco USA: How Mexican Foods Conquered America

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

Today we talked 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?

Gustavo explained that flour tortillas are popular in the Northern states of Mexico. They arrived from Spain in the 1500s.

Gustavo also shared the history of tortilla chips which traces its origin to San Antonio in 1912.

It’s summer so it’s time to quench your thirst. Gustavo suggests a flavorful agua fresca. This translates as “fresh water.” The base for this refreshing Mexican beverage is water and sugar. Cucumber and Tamarind are particularly refreshing versions.

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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

Gustavo Arellano of Ask a MexicanTaco USA is Gustavo’s third book and he gave us the background of how the project originated. This is a thoughtful, well-researched history of Mexican food in the United States.

The book is overflowing with great stories. One of the best is how Glen Bell developed the taco for the original Taco Bell. It actually wasn’t his creation but he learned from a master in San Bernardino…

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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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April 6: Gustavo Arellano, Musso and Frank Grill, Scott Leibfried

Podcasts

Segment One: Chef Jet Tila
Segment Two: Gustavo Arellano, Editor of The OC Weekly & author of Taco USA – How Mexican Food Conquered America Part One
Segment Three: Gustavo Arellano, Editor of The OC Weekly & author of Taco USA – How Mexican Food Conquered America Part Two
Segment Four: Mark Echeverria, the General Manager & Proprietor of the Musso & Frank Grill in Hollywood
Segment Five: Chef Scott Leibfried, Gordon Ramsay’s sous chef on Fox TV’s “Hell’s Kitchen” for the past 10 years. Executive Chef of Arch Rock Fish is Santa Barbara Part One
Segment Six: Chef Scott Leibfried, Gordon Ramsay’s sous chef on Fox TV’s “Hell’s Kitchen” for the past 10 years. Executive Chef of Arch Rock Fish is Santa Barbara Part Two

Lots of tasty delights to share this week. We have an unusual take on Mexican food that will leave you thinking. From there it’s a bit of celebrity dining history in old Hollywood. We wrap it up with a prominent chef who is an accomplished expert in seafood preparation.

First it’s the “best bite of the week” with Chef Jet and Producer Andy. Thereafter it’s the cream of significant restaurant news of the week.

Gustavo Arellano of Ask a MexicanIf you think you know everything there is to know about the rich history of Mexican food in America think again. Gustavo Arellano joins us to talk about his latest book, Taco USA – How Mexican Food Conquered America. Gustavo is the accomplished and well-known editor of OC Weekly as well as one of their restaurant reviewers. He also pens the provocative, nationally syndicated column, “Ask a Mexican!

Since 1919 the venerable Musso and Frank Grill on Hollywood Blvd. has ably stood the test of time and endured. More than a handful of the career waiters there have been serving guests for 30 years or more. Every one of them is a character! There are more stories there than there is time to do them justice in the telling! That also applies to the proficient bar staff. They perfected the classic craft cocktails way before they became trendy again!

Talk about consistency. They have had three executive chefs in their entire history.

Mark Echeverria, the managing partner, and a direct descendent of one of the two founding families joins us with a salute to the ultimate in Hollywood dining history that is far from being a museum piece.

Scott Leibfried of Hells Kitchen and Arch Rock GrillYou know Chef Scott Leibfried as Gordon Ramsay’s sous chef on Fox TV’s popular “Hell’s Kitchen” series for the past 10 seasons. He’s also the Lead Chef Advisor for Fox TV’s “Kitchen Nightmares” series also starring Chef Ramsay.

He’s a real working chef. Chef Scott is Executive Chef and part owner of Arch Rock Fish in Santa Barbara.

Podcasts

Segment One: Chef Jet Tila
Segment Two: Gustavo Arellano, Editor of The OC Weekly & author of Taco USA – How Mexican Food Conquered America Part One
Segment Three: Gustavo Arellano, Editor of The OC Weekly & author of Taco USA – How Mexican Food Conquered America Part Two
Segment Four: Mark Echeverria, the General Manager & Proprietor of the Musso & Frank Grill in Hollywood
Segment Five: Chef Scott Leibfried, Gordon Ramsay’s sous chef on Fox TV’s “Hell’s Kitchen” for the past 10 years. Executive Chef of Arch Rock Fish is Santa Barbara Part One
Segment Six: Chef Scott Leibfried, Gordon Ramsay’s sous chef on Fox TV’s “Hell’s Kitchen” for the past 10 years. Executive Chef of Arch Rock Fish is Santa Barbara Part Two