Show 29, May 18, 2013: Bill Esparza, the “Mexican Food Maestro” and authority on the food of Baja California

Bill EsperanzaBill Esparza was inspired to begin his extensive field research into the foods of Tijuana and Northern Baja from the writings of food journalist Barbara Hansen, the long-time Food Section staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. Currently she contributes to the “Squid Ink” Blog as part of LA Weekly.

Bill also leads escorted food tours of Tijuana and Northern Baja for journalists and the public alike. He’s given advice to Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern, among other notables.

On Sunday, June 23rd he’s hosting LA Weekly’s TacoLAndia Tacofest from Noon to 5:00 p.m. on the parking lot of the Hollywood Palladium. Celebrated taco makers from some thirty restaurants from as far away as Ensenada will be serving their tasty creations.

Regular admission is a bargain at $20 per guest. VIP which includes tastings of libations at the hosted bar is $40.00.

Play

May 18: Sherry Yard, Craig Strong, Bill Esparza, Martin Blin, Marcus Samuelsson

Podcasts

Segment One: Pastry Chef Sherry Yard
Segment Two: Craig Strong, executive chef of Studio at Montage Laguna Beach
Segment Three: Bill Esparza, the “Mexican Food Maestro” and authority on the food of Baja California
Segment Four: Marius Blin, executive chef of Sofitel Los Angeles and president of Club Culinaire of Southern California
Segment Five: Pastry Chef Sherry Yard, Celebrity Chef discusses the new Helms Bakery
Segment Six: Marcus Samuelsson, chef / proprietor of Red Rooster and Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem

Sherry YardSpecial treat for this Saturday’s show. Pastry princess Sherry Yard is guest hosting the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” She was Wolfgang Puck’s long-time pastry chef until departing after the Oscars this year to embark on a restaurant project of her own.

Sherry Yard is a multiple James Beard Award-winner for both the pastry arts as well as writing. These coveted medallions are the Oscars of the food world! Sherry was just in New York for the annual Beard Awards presented at Lincoln Center. Sherry will tell us what it’s like to be backstage and onstage in Manhattan during the Beard Awards.

Chef Craig StrongCraig Strong is the executive chef of Studio at Montage Laguna Beach. This is one of Orange County’s elite fine-dining destinations. It’s housed in its own architecturally distinctive building on the luscious grounds of Montage and the added bonus is the view of The Pacific.

On Sunday, June 3rd Chef Strong and his team are again hosting the annual Share Our Strength – Taste of the Nation benefit in Studio and the adjacent grounds. It’s a refined walk-around wine and food tasting afternoon with incredible tastes from some of the most high profile chefs in the country. Alan Wong from Alan Wong’s in Honolulu is one of the distinguished visiting chefs. Chef Alan cooks for the President at Alan Wong’s when he visits Honolulu. Also Chef Brooke Williamson of Hudson House in Redondo Beach. She was the runner- up in this season’s “Top Chef” series on Bravo!

Bill EsperanzaSaxophonist Bill Esparza has been dubbed the “Mexican Food Maestro.” As a hobby he’s developed an expertise (now a bustling 2nd career) in the foods of Baja California and the other culinary regions of Mexico. He leads escorted food tours there for journalists and food fans alike. He’s even given advice to Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern.

On Sunday, June 23rd he’s hosting LA Weekly’s Tacolandia Tacofest from Noon to 5:00 p.m. on the parking lot of the Hollywood Palladium.

33rd Annual Picnic de ChefsWhen a group of accomplished French chefs get together to cook guaranteed fun is always on the menu. The 33rd Annual Picnic des Chefs will be held on Sunday, June 2, 2013 at Vasa Park in Agoura Hills. This picnic is organized annually by the Club Culinaire of Southern California to benefit area charities.

On hand will be food tasting stations from 20 area restaurants complimented by premium wines from 20 wineries.

Chef Martin Blin the executive chef of Sofitel Los Angeles (across from the Beverly Center) and the President of the group joins us with all the appetizing details.

Back to our conversation with Sherry Yard.

Her new venture is the reimagined Helms Bakery (under construction) in partnership with Sang Yoon of Father’s Office and Lukshon. This will be on the site of the original Helms Bakery, an iconic food landmark and brand established in 1931 (with home delivery) which sadly closed in 1969.

Marcus Samuelsson and Andy Harris at a Taste of Harlem in Baldwin HillsMarcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster and Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem really needs no introduction. Among his many achievements he orchestrated the menu for President Obama’s first State Dinner at the White House during his initial term.

His excellent memoirs, Yes, Chef, is now in paperback. It just earned a James Beard Award. It’s a must read for any young person contemplating a career in the culinary arts. Chef Marcus is brutally honest in recounting his achievements and failures on the lengthy path to the major success he now is.

Podcasts

Segment One: Pastry Chef Sherry Yard
Segment Two: Craig Strong, executive chef of Studio at Montage Laguna Beach
Segment Three: Bill Esparza, the “Mexican Food Maestro” and authority on the food of Baja California
Segment Four: Marius Blin, executive chef of Sofitel Los Angeles and president of Club Culinaire of Southern California
Segment Five: Pastry Chef Sherry Yard, Celebrity Chef discusses the new Helms Bakery
Segment Six: Marcus Samuelsson, chef / proprietor of Red Rooster and Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem