Show 97, November 15, 2014: Susan Feniger, Border Grill and Mud Hen Tavern

Susan Feniger of Mud Hen TavernSusan Feniger is the co-executive chef and co-owner (along with long-time business partner Mary Sue Milliken) of the popular and critically acclaimed Border Grill restaurants and Truck serving modern Mexican food in Las Vegas, Santa Monica and Downtown Los Angeles. A second Border Grill location in Las Vegas (Mandalay Bay was the first) is newly opened at The Forum Shops at Caesars (also the home of the pioneering Spago Las Vegas.)

One of the already talked about attractions of the new Border Grill Las Vegas is the ceviche bar. “We’re excited to offer a variety of fresh, sustainable seafood from our new ceviche and oyster bar, inspired by the flavors from our first trip to Veracruz where we tasted the most incredible ceviche,” says Susan Feniger.

One of the great conveniences of this location (as pointed out by food journalist Brock Radke previously) at the North end of The Forum Shops (next to Joe’s Stone Crab) is valet parking right outside their entrance.

Away from the Border Grill empire Feniger is also the principal of Mud Hen Tavern in Los Angeles.

Susan and her business partner, Mary Sue Milliken, were early pioneers of Food Network with the long-running series, “Too Hot Tamales.” They have also authored five cookbooks including Cooking with Too Hot Tamales. Active members of the community, both play leading roles in Share Our Strength and the Scleroderma Research Foundation.

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

Oct. 13: Susan Feniger, Seoul Sausage. Sommelier William Lewis, Pumpkin Festival

Podcasts

Segment One: Susan Feniger
Segment Two: Seoul Sausage Part One
Segment Three: Seoul Sausage Part Two
Segment Four: Sommelier William Lewis Part One
Segment Four: Sommelier William Lewis Part Two
Segment Six: Cal Poly Pomona Pumpkin Festival
It’s a grab bag of treats on the Oct. 13th show so don’t miss a moment.

Seoul SausageIf you follow Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race” then you know they changed things up dramatically for Season 3 and the level of competition was even harder. This season the contestants had no experience operating a food truck. Each team was given the food truck of their dreams to start things off in Long Beach last Summer. Each week as a team was eliminated they needed to turn their keys over and go home. They were competing for their own custom, fully equipped food truck (representing the competitor’s chosen cuisine) and a cool $50,000 cash prize.

The dramatic finale was Los Angeles versus New Jersey. Our very own Yong Kim, Ted Kim, and Chef Chris Oh from K-Town prevailed with their Seoul Sausage Co. concept. They made friends all across the country on the way to the finale in Maine. It’s their signature fusion sausages and innovative flaming fried balls (which were developed during the show.) They didn’t have enough money in the beginning to buy a sausage machine so they had to adapt their menu.

Yong, Ted, and Chef Chris will all be with us to recount their incredible journey! They have just opened a Seoul Sausage Co. outlet in Little Osaka in West L.A. The truck will be back on the streets of L.A. in November.

Susan Feniger Street FoodNext is Chef Susan Feniger who is well-known in Los Angeles as half the founding team of Border Grill in Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Las Vegas. She was a Food Network star early in the history of Food Network. Instead of slowing down in recent years Susan has revved up. Street, Susan’s personal tribute to International Street Food, opened in 2010 to great acclaim. A Street Cookbook was recently released. Susan also more than held her own on a very tough season of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.”

How about a glass of wine with all the conversation? Sommelier William Lewis of The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar in Tustin’s The District is next in the house. William was the recipient of the “Wine List of the Year” Award at the recent Golden Foodie Awards in Newport Beach. He’ll speak about what to expect from a Sommelier and how he arrives at his suggestions for truly inspired wine and food pairings.

Finally it’s Cal Poly Pomona’s 20th Anniversary Pumpkin Festival on Oct. 20th & 21st from 8 to 5:00 p.m. hosted by their Farm Store and the College of Agriculture. Admission to this family-friendly event is free and some 50,000 pumpkins will be in the patch! Pumpkin Festival Hotline is (909) 869-2215.

Podcasts

Segment One: Susan Feniger
Segment Two: Seoul Sausage Part One
Segment Three: Seoul Sausage Part Two
Segment Four: Sommelier William Lewis Part One
Segment Four: Sommelier William Lewis Part Two
Segment Six: Cal Poly Pomona Pumpkin Festival