Show 77, June 21, 2014: 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!

Play

Show 77, June 21, 2014: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Continues…

Linda KissamConducting a serious tasting of Italian Sparkling Wines for professional food, wine & travel writers at The International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Conference in Montgomery, AL.

It’s fun but there is a proper way of doing this. A group size of eight is ideal to retain focus.

A good judge of a quality sparkling wine is the appearance of fine, delicate bubbles.

In a typical year Linda will taste and evaluate 1,000 wines.

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.

Play

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 60, February 8, 2013: Linda Kissam, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA

Linda KissamThe very well-traveled Linda Kissam is a respected food, wine, and travel writer who is on the go most of the time. She serves as the 1st Vice President of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. She is also an author and the Global Wine & Travel Editor-at-Large for Luxe Beat Magazine.

Late last year Linda was invited to Spain to tour the Penedes wine region, the heart of cava sparkling wine production. Her mission was to taste and evaluate 50 fine cavas over an intensive five day period. Linda shares the highlights of this very special experience with us.

Play

February 8: Caroline Styne, San Antonio Winery, Andrew Gruel, Brad A. Johnson, Paul Gstrein, Linda Kissam

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Caroline Styne, Wine Director and Partner, Lucques, A.O.C., The Tavern, and The Larder
Segment Three: Allan Stark, San Antonio Winery, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Andrew Gruel, Executive Chef & Partner, Slapfish
Segment Five: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County Register
Segment Six: Paul Gstrein, Executive Chef, Bayside Restaurant
Segment Seven: Linda Kissam, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila on Manhattan Dining

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Valentine’s Day is next week so get moving and don’t panic. It falls on a Friday this year. Friday is an especially tough day for restaurants due to Valentine’s Day anxiety so if you want to be a bit more relaxed make your plans for Saturday or Sunday instead. Still the Valentine’s Day orbit but a bit less crazed for the restaurant. You’ll definitely have better service…

Chef jet Tila and Alton BrownFood Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” with host Alton Brown is back on Sunday nights for Season 2. Our own Chef Jet Tila is the most frequently appearing solo judge on this tough competition show that requires strategy as well as cooking chops. Look for Jet’s new episodes starting in February.

It’s the Winter Olympics in Sochi and a classic Newport Beach restaurant is serving a special Olympics-themed menu for the duration. We’ll go inside the menu with the creative executive chef. Caroline Styne is the partner and Wine Director (with Chef Suzanne Goin) in Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern in West Hollywood and Los Angeles. We’ll talk with her and get insight on how you keep a firmly established and growing restaurant group fresh for the dining public. We’ll also hear the story of Slapfish which started as a modest food truck and now is a growing international empire. Did you know there is an emerging wine region in Northern Baja? You’ll learn about a promising winery in the Guadalupe Valley founded by Italians. Brad A. Johnson, the restaurant critic for The Orange County Register, joins us to talk about letter grades for restaurants. We’ll also have a visit with travel journalist Linda Kissam, who was recently in Spain touring the wineries representing the 50 best Cavas produced there.

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

Caroline StyneCaroline Styne had an extensive background in specialty food products, catering, and restaurant management before partnering with Chef Suzanne Goin to open Lucques in 1988. In December of 2002, Goin & Styne opened their second restaurant, A.O.C., where the concept of small plates and fifty wines by the glass was born out of their shared passion for going out and sampling a variety of appetizers and intriguing wines. A.O.C. relocated to the face-lifted former Orso space about a mile West on 3rd Street in late 2012. Styne is the Wine Director for all the restaurants.

Tavern, in Brentwood, followed in May of 2009. It offers fine dining all day along with The Larder which has gourmet prepared foods and packaged goods. There is a new Larder at Burton Way in the luxury 8500 Burton Way Apartments on the border of L.A. and Beverly Hills as well as at LAX.

Styne contributed the helpful wine notes to Suzanne’s The A.O.C. Cookbook.

“And because wine and cheese are at the heart of A.O.C. there are two exciting additions. Caroline Styne presents a specific wine pairing for each dish. Styne explains why each varietal works well with the ingredients and which flavors she’s trying to highlight, and she gives you room to experiment as well – showing how to shape the wine to your own palate. Whether you’re just grabbing a glass to go with dinner or planning an entire menu, her expert notes are a real education in wine.”

LA Cetto WinesDid you know there is a burgeoning wine industry in Mexico? Finally some of these affordable wines are finding their way into the United States. Shouldn’t a fine Mexican restaurant also offer premium Mexican wines?

One of the premier grape growing areas of Mexico is in the Guadalupe Valley (and adjacent valleys) located in Northern Baja California. It has the rural feel of the flat areas of Sonoma County from 40 years ago.

The predecessor wine interests of L.A. Cetto were established in Baja by Italians in the late 1920s. In 1960 L.A. Cetto acquired their first vineyards in the Guadalupe Valley. Today they have some 2,500 acres in the Valley under the stewardship of the 3rd generation of the Baja-based Cetto Family. They are the largest producer of table wines in Mexico.

L.A’s own San Antonio Winery (dating to 1917) is the distributor of L.A. Cetto wines in Southern California. Allan Stark, a 25-year veteran of San Antonio Winery joins us to tell the L.A. Cetto story and discuss some of their premium reserve wines including Nebbiolo, Chardonnay, and a Brut Sparkling wine.

Andrew GruelFood trucks have proven to be a worthwhile testing ground for innovative food concepts. A great example is Slapfish with a limited service, fast-casual restaurant in Huntington Beach located in a strip center. A new Laguna Beach location will launch later this year.

The partners started with one food truck serving the OC in 2009. By 2011 they had three trucks serving both Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel is with us to fill us in on the Slapfish tale. They have just signed a franchise agreement to open 75 full service restaurants in the Middle East over the next 5 to 7 years.

They like to characterize Slapfish as a modern seafood shack. It’s a real American seafood experience that revolves around fresh, sustainable fish, prepared simply, but delivering big flavors.

Letter Grades at RestaurantsLast month The Orange County Register’s James Beard Award-winning restaurant critic, Brad A. Johnson, was looking to review a Newport Beach restaurant. Instead all of the members of his dining group came down with severe cases of food poisoning. When Brad checked the Health Department records of this restaurant he was surprised to learn that they had received a serious violation on each of their previous inspections since they opened two years ago.

Brad is with us to discuss his campaign for Orange County restaurants to receive Letter Grades as a result of their Health Department inspections as is practice in Los Angeles County and other areas of California.

The Winter Olympics in Sochi is underway. Russia is on peoples’ minds.

Paul Gstrein of Bayside RestaurantPaul Gstrein, the long-time (Austria-born) executive chef at Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach has been inspired by Russia, too. For the duration of the Games Paul will be featuring Russian dishes as appetizers, entrees, and even desserts. How about Beef Short Rib Borscht and Berkshire Pork Tenderloin Stroganoff?

Please note that not every appetizer or entrée on the special Russian menu will be available each night.

Linda KissamThe very well-traveled Linda Kissam is a respected food, wine, and travel writer who is on the go most of the time. She serves as the 1st Vice President of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. She is also an author and the Global Wine & Travel Editor-at-Large for Luxe Beat Magazine.

Late last year Linda was invited to Spain to tour the Penedes wine region, the heart of cava sparkling wine production. Her mission was to taste and evaluate 50 fine cavas over an intensive five day period. Linda shares the highlights of this very special experience with us.

Le BernardinChef Jet has been in New York twice over the last two weeks and has enjoyed some standout dining adventures along the way. Jet shares the details of his truly exquisite meal at the classic Le Bernardin. It’s expertly prepared French seafood from Chef Eric Ripert at a very high level.

Jet also visited Ippudo, a well-known Japanese ramen shop.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Caroline Styne, Wine Director and Partner, Lucques, A.O.C., The Tavern, and The Larder
Segment Three: Allan Stark, San Antonio Winery, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Andrew Gruel, Executive Chef & Partner, Slapfish
Segment Five: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County Register
Segment Six: Paul Gstrein, Executive Chef, Bayside Restaurant
Segment Seven: Linda Kissam, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila on Manhattan Dining

Show 57, January 18, 2013: Mark Boster, Senior Photojournalist, Los Angeles Times

Mark BosterThe 16th Annual Los Angeles Times Travel show returns to the West Hall of the LA Convention Center on January 18 & 19. Veteran Los Angeles Times photojournalist, Mark Boster, is with us to preview his presentation at the show.

Mark is on the LA Times Stage both Saturday & Sunday at 1:00 p.m. with his “Postcards From the West” presentation. He’s doing this with LA Times Travel Writer Christopher Reynolds.

In an exclusive for our listeners Mark Boster is sharing tips for taking great food shots!

Boster is also quite an expert on California’s great treasure, Yosemite. He is the author of the acclaimed coffee table book, Four Seasons of Yosemite: A Photographer’s Journey with a forward by Robert Redford.

Play

January 18: Antonia Lafaso, Mark Boster, Kedric Francis, Skyler Reeves

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Antonia Lofaso, Executive Chef & Partner, Scopa Italian Roots and Black Market Liquor Bar Part One
Segment Three: Antonia Lofaso, Executive Chef & Partner, Scopa Italian Roots and Black Market Liquor Bar Part Two
Segment Four: Mark Boster, Senior Photojournalist, Los Angeles Times Part One
Segment Five: Mark Boster, Senior Photojournalist, Los Angeles Times Part Two
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Magazine
Segment Seven: Skyler Reeves, master barman, co-producer of Golden State of Cocktails
Segment Eight: Chef Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris of “SoCal Restaurant Show”

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Los Angeles Times Travel ShowDon’t forget the Los Angeles Times Travel Show on January 18th & 19th at The L.A. Convention Center. There is a fun travel opportunity waiting for every budget. Save $2 per ticket with Promo Code: TRAVEL4.

You know the lovely Antonia Lafaso from Bravo’s “Top Chef” and Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen.” Chef Antonia will be talking about her new restaurant, Scopa. The ace photo journalist from The Los Angeles Times is along to preview his presentation at The Los Angeles Times Travel Show and give us some insider’s tips on better food photography with smart phones. Kedric Francis, the dashing Executive Editor about town, previews the upcoming Restaurant Issue of The Orange County Register Magazine.

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

Antonia Lofaso of Black Market Liquor Bar and Scopa Italian RootsFor a chef with as much media exposure as she has received Antonia Lofaso is refreshingly low-key. Her name is not even on the menu for the two successful restaurants in Los Angeles that she is both executive chef & partner of. The popular restaurants are Black Market Liquor Bar in Studio City and, the newest, Scopa Italian Roots in Marina del Rey, her loving homage to Italian-American red sauce cooking.

You first met Chef Antonia on Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 4 set in Chicago. Two years later she was invited back to compete on “Top Chef All-Stars” where she battled to the finals.

Antonia currently serves as one of the regular judges on Food Network’s hit series, “Cutthroat Kitchen” hosted by Alton Brown. Season 2 is now airing on Sunday nights.

Chef Antonia is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York and cooked at Spago. Her first executive chef post was at SBE’s Foxtail in West Hollywood.

Scopa, located next door to Roy Choi’s Sunny Spot, is her latest venture.

There is a huge antipasti bar where all the cheeses and salumi are cut and plated to order right in front of the guests. The Italian Hero (coppa, prosciutto, salami, provolone, olive oil, and vinegar) is very popular.

There is also an oyster bar.

The varied menu also offers salads, pasta, large plate mains, and seasonal sides including polenta. The Pappardelle with pork shank, stracciatella, and arugula is a standout. The flavorful T-Bone is a meat-lovers’ dream.

Antonia’s first cookbook, published in 2012, is still available via Amazon. It’s The Busy Mom’s Cookbook: 100 Recipes for Quick, Delicious, Home-Cooked Meals. Antonia has a teenage daughter and the recipes were developed through the eyes of a hardworking single mom.

Mark BosterThe 16th Annual Los Angeles Times Travel show returns to the West Hall of the LA Convention Center on January 18 & 19. Veteran Los Angeles Times photojournalist, Mark Boster, is with us to preview his activities at the show.

Mark is on the LA Times Stage both Saturday & Sunday at 1:00 p.m. with his “Postcards From the West” presentation. He’s doing this with LA Times Travel Writer Christopher Reynolds.

In an exclusive for our listeners Mark Boster is sharing tips for taking great food shots!

Boster is also quite an expert on California’s great treasure, Yosemite. He is the author of the acclaimed coffee table book, Four Seasons of Yosemite: A Photographer’s Journey with a forward by Robert Redford.

Mark is the co-presenter of “Postcards from the West” on the LA Times Stage at The Los Angeles Times Travel show at the Los Angeles Convention Center on January 18th & 19th.

A photojournalist for 37 years and a Times photographer since 1983, Mark has covered presidential campaigns, the war in Kosovo, the 1984 Olympics, Super Bowls, the World Series, the Northridge earthquake, and Hurricane Katrina.

In this informative segment Mark shares an expert’s tips for better food photography using a smartphone.

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineOur favorite debonair man about Orange County, Kedric Francis, is back with us with a preview of the upcoming “Restaurant Issue” of The Orange County Register Magazine which is with the newspaper on Monday, January 20th. Kedric is the restaurant-savvy Executive Editor of both Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine.

One of the most intriguing pieces is Orange County chefs who have professional ties to one of America’s great chefs, Thomas Keller. You know Chef Keller’s name from the French Laundry in Yountville, CA., Per Se in New York, Bouchon, and the Bouchon Bakeries. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at some of the OC chefs who have worked for Thomas Keller earlier in their careers.

Skyler ReevesSkyler Reeves is a master barman. Denizens of Downtown Los Angeles’ popular nightlife scene will know him from 213 Downtown. He’s one of the best…

His new project is co-producing the upcoming “Golden State of Cocktails.” It takes place January 27th through 30th primarily on the historic top floor of the Los Angeles Times Building in Downtown Los Angeles. This space was the former executive offices and the grandeur of the floor will surely impress. The educational event is designed exclusively for the trade.

“California’s long awaited large-scale cocktail event is finally here: Announcing Golden State of Cocktails! Staged in Los Angeles, the West Coast’s largest city and California’s anchor, Golden State of Cocktails celebrates all aspects of cocktail culture, both industry and consumer, from San Francisco to Los Angeles to San Diego and everywhere in between. Be a part of the inaugural event in one or more ways. From experiential interactive labs, take-away stations and brand immersion rooms, Golden State of Cocktails takes a hands-on approach to the learning experience and celebrates the best of what California cocktail culture is all about.” The event is open to restaurateurs, chefs, bartenders and people associated with the trade.

Chef Jet Tila host of the SoCal Restaurant ShowWe receive intriguing food related questions via social media…

Today Chef Jet is answering a sampling of those inquiries on the air. He’ll weigh-in on salt in food, the new regulation in California that food handlers touching raw food products must wear gloves, and the Letter Grade rating system for restaurants in effect in many California counties.

This will definitely get interesting…

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Antonia Lofaso, Executive Chef & Partner, Scopa Italian Roots and Black Market Liquor Bar Part One
Segment Three: Antonia Lofaso, Executive Chef & Partner, Scopa Italian Roots and Black Market Liquor Bar Part Two
Segment Four: Mark Boster, Senior Photojournalist, Los Angeles Times Part One
Segment Five: Mark Boster, Senior Photojournalist, Los Angeles Times Part Two
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Magazine
Segment Seven: Skyler Reeves, master barman, co-producer of Golden State of Cocktails
Segment Eight: Chef Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris of “SoCal Restaurant Show”

Show 12, January 5, 2013: Linda Kissam, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist, First Vice President of International, Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association

Linda is a well-traveled, travel writer who appreciates food and wine. In 2012 she was probably on the road more days than she was home.

Linda will be part of a travel writers’ panel on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 13th on the Culinary Stage at the 8th Annual Travel & Adventure Show at the Long Beach Convention Center. Discount tickets @ the Travel and Adventure Show Website if you use Promo Code – LAMEM1

Linda shared a great tip for understanding the food culture of a new place she visits. To get a feel for the food she books herself on a food walking tour of the area. (Some of these tours are also done by van depending on the geography and the distances involved.) These tours are typically conducted by locals who really care about representing their communities properly. The restaurants are delighted to welcome new guests and aim to impress.

In the L.A. area Linda recommends Melting Pot Food Tours. Linda has previously enjoyed their excursions into Old Pasadena and East Los Angeles.

The highlight of Linda’s travels last year was a foodie foraging outing and dinner in Bellingham, Washington. The group, working with a wilderness guide, worked in a nearby forest that morning to gather edible ingredients. The collection of edibles was delivered to Ciao Thyme restaurant in Bellingham. The owner/chefs there then created a superb multi-course repast from the raw ingredients. Pretty incredible…

Play

January 5: Cathy Thomas, Linda Kissam, Anita Lau, Dean McDermott

Podcasts

Segment One: Cathy Thomas, long-time, award-winning Food Journalist for The Orange County Register and best-selling author Part One
Segment Two: Cathy Thomas, long-time, award-winning Food Journalist for The Orange County Register and best-selling author Part Two
Segment Three: Linda Kissam, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist, First Vice President of International, Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association
Segment Four: Anita Lau of the “Diary of a Mad Hungry Woman” Blog”
Segment Five: Cooking Channel star, Aarti Sequeira
Segment Six: Dean McDermott, actor. Dean is a celebrity contestant on Food Network’s “Rachael vs. Guy : Celebrity Cook-off” for Season 2

We’re starting off the New Year right with some fresh thinking on increasing our energy level and feeling good. We’ll also give some attention to contemplating travel opportunities for 2013 and how you can be better informed on the possibilities!

Cathy Thomas is the long-time, award-winning food writer for The Orange County Register. No writer is more knowledgeable or enthusiastic about the restaurant and food scene in Orange County.

Melissa's 50 Best Plants on the Planet CookbookCathy’s third book has just been released in hard cover. That’s Melissa’s 50 Best Plants On The Planet: The Most Nutrient-Dense Fruits and Vegetables, in 150 Delicious Recipes.

This carefully researched volume with beautiful, full-page color photos is not a diet book. It’s an easy to follow reference for adding more tasty fruits and vegetables to your diet. The big plus is more energy and you’ll be feeling good.

The Forward is by James Beard Award-winning chef Cheryl Forberg, RD who is the nutritionist for NBC’s The Biggest Loser series.

All of the recipes in the book really work in the home kitchen. The corporate chefs at Melissa’s tested every recipe in their modern test/research kitchen.

Did we say travel?

Linda Kissam joins the show. Linda is an accomplished (and seasoned) travel writer who was probably on the road last year more than she was home.

Linda is also the newly elected First Vice President of the International Food, Wine, & Travel Writers Association, a global group of credentialed food, wine and travel writers who endeavor to elevate the professionalism of their members.

Linda is part of a panel on Sunday afternoon, January 13th at The 8th Annual Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show at the Long Beach Convention Center. She will preview her panel and pass along some helpful travel tips.

Anita Lau of Mad Hungry WomanAnita Lau has to be one of the more fascinating food writes blogging about dining in Orange and San Diego Counties. Her entertaining blog is “Diary of a Mad Hungry Woman.” It’s always illustrated with helpful food photography of the dishes she samples.

Anita joins us to talk about one of her recent dining discoveries in San Diego County and her encounter with menudo in National City.

Jet and Producer Andy chat about some of their recent dining. Jet had a festive New Year’s Eve at Sotto (a really wonderful Italian restaurant) near Century City where there is a serious (and accomplished) chef in the kitchen.

Dean McDermottThe 2nd season of Food Network’s “Rachael vs. Guy : Celebrity Cook-off” launches on Sunday, Jan. 6th. This season was all shot in LA.

Celebrity contestant from “Team Guy,” Dean McDermott, joins the show to preview the frenetic 2nd season. He’s also known as “The Gourmet Dad.” Dean lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Tori Spelling, and their kids.

Podcasts

Segment One: Cathy Thomas, long-time, award-winning Food Journalist for The Orange County Register and best-selling author Part One
Segment Two: Cathy Thomas, long-time, award-winning Food Journalist for The Orange County Register and best-selling author Part Two
Segment Three: Linda Kissam, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist, First Vice President of International, Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association
Segment Four: Anita Lau of the “Diary of a Mad Hungry Woman” Blog”
Segment Five: Cooking Channel star, Aarti Sequeira
Segment Six: Dean McDermott, actor. Dean is a celebrity contestant on Food Network’s “Rachael vs. Guy : Celebrity Cook-off” for Season 2