We missed talking with Chef Andrew about pizza last Saturday to commemorate (that all-important Holiday) National Pizza Day. Having grown up in Jersey, Chef Andrew knows his way around a worthy pie. We’re grabbling the perfect slice this week, instead!
A new cutting-edge cooking academy has launched at OC Fair & Event Center to empower underserved youth through free culinary education and mentorship. A commercial kitchen on the fairgrounds was transformed into Hatch Culinary Lab. The new education program is a partnership between OC Fair & Event Center (OCFEC), CulinaryLab Cooking School, Anaheim’s Innovative Mentorship Experience program (AIME) and Spectra, the Fair’s master concessionaire.
OCFEC invested an initial $54,000 in equivalent value in this community program that this year will provide up to 50 students with training in everything from knife skills, cookery basics and making healthy meals to safety and sanitation. The spring session started Feb. 28 with the first 20 students from Kennedy, Savanna and Western high schools working for eight weeks. A summer internship program and fall certification series will follow, culminating in an event to feed the local homeless community.
The team from CulinaryLab in Tustin is donating staff and time to the program and has created new curriculum tailored to provide students with the basics on how food works, healthy cooking skills and simple recipes they can practice at home with minimal cost and prep time. The goal is to excite students about cooking and food service and empower them to be confident individuals ready to secure employment.
“At CulinaryLab, we do everything we can to immerse students in the world of cooking with experimentation, tons of repetitive hands-on practice, and by involving local chef partners in the teaching process,” said Chef Ryan Wagner. “The goal of the Hatch program is to bring that same high-level culinary education to high school students who might otherwise not have access to it.”
Chef Ryan Wagner the founder of Tustin’s CulinaryLab now continues the story of Hatch Culinary Lab at OC Fair & Event Center with us.
Over the past decade at The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, Partners JC Clow, William Lewis and Chef Yvon Goetz have created quite a stir by successfully pairing contemporary California regional cuisine, with a hip, vibrant, sophisticated setting, to create a cutting-edge dining experience. They are also noted for their deep and carefully curated wine cellars. Located at The District in Tustin and on the Bay in Newport Beach, The Winery was named “Restaurant of the Year” by the Orange County Concierge Association in its first year in business.
The 3rd location of The Winery Restaurant will launch before year’s end in La Jolla in the lavishly renovated Westfield UTC. The restaurant menu will focus on contemporary California regional cuisine at its finest, with Executive Chef & Partner Yvon Goetz directing a team that delivers a culinary experience straight from the Wine Country.
At The Winery La Jolla, Chef Goetz’s menu will feature wild game and USDA Prime Steaks, as well as Pacific Rim flavorings, such as fresh line-caught Opah, Mong Chong, Ono & Mahi Mahi flown in daily from Hawaii. Tying the expansive wine list into the menu, Chef Goetz will feature numerous wine-infused ingredients into many of his signature dishes.
“At The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, we pride ourselves on really focusing on our guest experience. Our third location to open in La Jolla will have the same level of service, with highly skilled Chefs to orchestrate a warm and passionate menu created by our award-winning Chef Yvon Goetz, and a team of Certified Sommeliers to oversee an incredible wine program,” explained JC Clow, Founding Partner of The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar. “It’s exciting to join a group of retailers that are among the best in their respective fields. We anticipate endless possibilities, with something to suit every palate.”
Restaurateur and Managing Partner JC Clow is our guest.
Thirty years ago Chef Zov Karamardian (now known for her unique Middle Eastern-fusion cuisine) opened her modest Bistro in 1,200 square feet in the Enderle Center in Tustin. Today Zov’s is the largest food tenant in the Enderle Center (12,000 square feet) with additional busy locations in Anaheim, Irvine, Newport Coast and John Wayne Orange County Airport. We celebrate with her…
Zov is celebrating by offering popular menu items at throwback prices. During the last week of each month (through November 4th.) Zov’s locations in Anaheim, Irvine, Newport Coast and Tustin will feature one dish at its original menu price.
“These flavors represent the foundation of my cooking,” Chef Zov said. “Over the years some of these dishes may have come and gone, but seemingly they have not been forgotten. We’re excited to share these special menu items in celebration with our longtime guests.”
Happy to note The Orange County Register’s long-time Food Editor, Cathy Thomas, is back (after a year’s absence) contributing to the paper. This week’s feature is “Orange County chefs talk about – and share recipes for – the dishes they just can’t ditch.” One of these highlighted recipes is Zov’s creation of Sauteed Calamari with shallots, lemon, fresh herbs and chardonnay butter sauce.
Inspired by (and later a friend to) Julia Child, Zov has authored 2 popular cookbooks while growing her restaurant group to locations in Anaheim, Irvine, Newport Coast, Tustin and John Wayne Airport. San Clemente will debut next.
Zov’s was awarded the 2015 Small Business Award by the State of California, and Zov had the honor of cooking at the James Beard Foundation in Manhattan for the third time in late 2015. She was honored as the 2016 Golden Foodies Chef of the Year by the Orange County Restaurant Association.
CulinaryLab Contemporary Cooking School in a newly built facility in Tustin offers an immersive, hands-on education for all levels of cooks including aspiring chefs, serious home cooks and industry professionals. Class sizes are deliberately kept small.
“What’s the best way to learn about working in a professional kitchen? To work in one, of course. Students who choose our apprenticeship program will have the opportunity to work approximately 1,500 hours as a paid apprentice at one of our partner restaurants, gaining hours of practice and real world experience that is normally reserved for those who have already graduated culinary school. By reinforcing what they’re learning while simultaneously working in a real professional kitchen, our students are faster, more skilled and better prepared to excel in the foodservice industry.”
“Instead of spending countless hours reading culinary textbooks as homework or sitting through uninspired lectures, our students watch comprehensive video demonstrations and navigate online curriculum.”
“At CulinaryLab we measure our success by how our students perform in the real world.
If they fail, so do we. When they succeed, we do too. We put it all on the line for them.”
Chef Director Ryan Wagner, C.E.C. is the founder of the program. We’ll meet him.
When it comes to world-class, artisan coffee roasters in Orange County the veteran bean roaster in chief is Martin Diedrich. He grew up on a coffee farm in Guatemala! Martin now oversees busy neighborhood Kean Coffee coffee shops in Tustin and Newport Beach.
“Kéan Coffee™ is the newest, most exciting coffeehouse concept by coffeehouse visionary Martin Diedrich. Our mission is to purvey fresh-roasted artisan coffee the way it is meant to be, in a beautiful, eclectic coffeehouse environment. Martin is craft roasting the finest coffees from around the globe on-site, many organic and fair-trade. This enables us to serve our coffee so fresh, most days it has been roasted within hours of the moment it reaches your cup. Our expertly trained baristas are creating the most innovative, cutting edge coffee beverages to be had.”
“Martin, local coffeehouse pioneer and founder of the Diedrich Coffee chain, left behind the world of corporate culture to return to his origins as an independent coffeehouse operator in order to stay true to his ideals of what a coffeehouse should be and what coffee culture should be.”
“Along with his wife Karen Varese Diedrich, Martin spent two years putting all of his creativity, inspiration and community and global awareness into bringing Kéan Coffee to reality. Martin and Karen Diedrich aptly named this next generation of coffeehouse after their son, Kean.”
Martin joins us.
Austin-born burger joint Hopdoddy Burger Bar, known for its thoughtfully crafted selection of high quality burgers, craft beer and handspun shakes, has recently opened their second Orange County location at The Market Place in Tustin.
Hopdoddy delivers fresh, all-natural Angus burgers alongside Kennebec hand cut fries, farm fresh salads and handcrafted milkshakes. Their buns are baked in-house from scratch every day. Craft local beer is a passion for Hopdoddy, as well as their full bar including house-made liqueurs and fresh-squeezed juices. Founded in 2010, Hopdoddy now has locations in Texas, Arizona, Colorado and California.
Hopdoddy’s Brand Manager, Erin Fohn, joins us with all the hot & juicy specifics.
After opening its first two West Coast locations to huge crowds and an almost never-ending line, The Halal Guys are entering new territory with its upcoming grand opening in Koreatown, Los Angeles.
The fast-casual New York famed concept opened its first West Coast location in Costa Mesa last October, its second location in Long Beach this past January and have plans to bring 50 units throughout Southern California.
Known for its famous white sauce, gyro sandwiches and chicken-and-rice platters, The Halal Guys menu offers a mix of different Middle Eastern dishes. The Halal Guys aim to be different and encourage patrons across America to ditch burgers for something unique.
They pride themselves on only using high-quality products like their chicken. It has never been frozen and is marinated and seasoned overnight, then cooked and chopped on the grill and served directly to the plate to ensure a crave-worthy meal that’s piping hot. The Halal Guys’ mission is to ensure that every customer leaves happy, with a smile on their face and a satisfaction that brings them back again.
Halal Guys local franchisee, Thomas Pham, is our guest.
He’ll also talk about his new, soon to launch ice cream concept, Churned. The decadent ice cream is made in front of the guests in small batches and served in a fresh croissant. The churning equipment is imported from Italy. (The Italians certainly know a few things about premium ice cream.) The first location (opening later this month) will be in the Union Market at The District, Tustin.
Proprietress Zov Karamardian and Culinary Director Chef Louie Jocson of Tustin’s Zov’s Bistro had the honor of presenting a sold–out dinner at The James Beard Foundation in Greenwich Village on October 6th. It’s a B-I-G honor to be invited to cook at James Beard’s House and Zov is an esteemed repeater! Think Lamb Shoulder Tagine with pearl couscous risotto, pan jus, roasted carrots and ufra biber paired with St. Francis Sonoma Valley Merlot 2012. We’ll hear about this very special experience shared by a handful of Orange County chefs.
If you didn’t make it to New York, Chefs Zov & Louie are presenting a festive menu on Wednesday, October 21st with a salute to California’s family-owned Cakebread Cellars in Napa. They celebrated their 40th Anniversary in 2013.
On the four-course, wine-paired menu is Julia Child’s (Zov’s mentor) Inspired Beef Bourguignon En Croute with mushroom duxelles, savory puff pastry vegetable confetti and cabernet demi-glace. The wine pairing is Cakebread Two Creeks Pinot Noir, 2013.
The event is, unfortunately, sold out but do try and get on the waiting list!
Next a mouthwatering preview of Saturday’s high octane show and not, with apologies, for dieters. With any luck we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…
We move aside for Notre Dame football a little early at 11:30 a.m.
The Bluenose is a classic hotel property located in scenic Bar Harbor, Maine at the gateway to Acadia National Park. The adjacent Looking Glass Restaurant offers superb local fare with an incredible view of the bay. Property General Manager & Co-Owner Jim Ash and Executive Chef Matt McPherson are our guests.
Ment’or BKB Foundations’ 2015 Young Chef Competitions series debuted at Bouchon Beverly Hills on August 27th. Chef Philip Tessier (formerly the Executive Sous Chef of The French Laundry and Head Coach for the Bocuse d’Or Team USA for 2017) joins us to talk about the competition.
The Long Beach run of the CANstruction Competition benefiting Food Finders is back on Sept. 17th. Five talented teams of architects and designers build incredible structures made out of 2,000 plus cans of food. After the judging all of the food is donated to Food Finders, a Long Beach–based Food Bank. Representing Environ Architects (one of the competing teams) partnered with California Resources Corporation is Vice President Willetta McCulloh. She is our guest to discuss CANstruction.
The Joy of Sake Festival comes to Las Vegas for the first time on Saturday, September 19th from 7 to 10:00 p.m. at Caesars Palace. It celebrates the world’s finest sakes. Organizer Chris Pearce gives us all the 411.
Chef Barbara Lynch, a James Beard Award-winner, is a celebrated chef in Boston. Her Barbara Lynch Gruppo enterprise owns multiple highly-regarded restaurant properties there. One of the newest is Sportello (Italian for “counter service”), a modern interpretation of the classic diner. It’s trattoria –inspired Italian dishes for lunch and dinner. Chef de Cuisine David Cavilla is our guest.
All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!