Show 572, April 6, 2024: Hot Tongue Pizza, Silver Lake with Proprietor Alex Koons Part One

Alex Koons of Hot Tongue Pizza

Hot Tongue Pizza in Silver Lake (the creation of pizza whisperer Alex Koons) is a contemporary pizza shop (with a Vegan flair) that takes from the energy and vibrance of the best food city in the world, Los Angeles. The open floor plan of the restaurant allows for a peek inside the magic that goes on day in and day out. The pizza is not only meant to entice your tastebuds, but also to evoke the nostalgia of that slice you remember growing up.” They also have fun with their off the wall (but informative) Social Media posts.

“Hot Tongue’s welcoming counter service and low-key casual ambience makes for an inviting dining experience. Come in a stranger and leave a friend. The alchemy comes in the form of classic pizza combinations, on top of the best organic grains, carefully sourced ingredients with an Angeleno attitude.”

“With a remarkable 17-year journey in the pizza industry, proprietor Alex Koons boasts an impressive résumé that spans every role in the business, from a humble delivery driver to a visionary owner. In February 2022, he set the local pizza world on fire by inaugurating the first Hot Tongue location, which quickly garnered rave reviews and captured the hearts of pizza enthusiasts far and wide.”

“But Alex’s story didn’t start in pizza. He draws intriguing parallels between his background in the music industry and his culinary ventures. To him, running a restaurant is akin to leading a band, where your team plays the role of the band, service becomes the electrifying live show, customers transform into devoted fans, and your food, the heart-pounding music.”

Hot Tongue Pizza will be one of the twenty artisan pizzerias participating in Pizza City Fest L.A. at L.A. Live on Saturday, April 27th. They will be serving their acclaimed Tomato Pizza (that just happens to be Vegan.) (The Festival also takes place for a 2nd day on Sunday, April 28th with a different set of participating pizzerias.)

Pizzaiolo Alex Koons joins us with a square slice of Vegan Tomato pizza in hand.

Show 572, April 6, 2024: Hot Tongue Pizza, Silver Lake with Proprietor Alex Koons Part Two

Alex Koons of Hot Tongue Pizza

Hot Tongue Pizza in Silver Lake (the creation of pizza whisperer Alex Koons) is a contemporary pizza shop (with a Vegan flair) that takes from the energy and vibrance of the best food city in the world, Los Angeles. The open floor plan of the restaurant allows for a peek inside the magic that goes on day in and day out. The pizza is not only meant to entice your tastebuds, but also to evoke the nostalgia of that slice you remember growing up.” They also have fun with their off the wall (but informative) Social Media posts.

“Hot Tongue’s welcoming counter service and low-key casual ambience makes for an inviting dining experience. Come in a stranger and leave a friend. The alchemy comes in the form of classic pizza combinations, on top of the best organic grains, carefully sourced ingredients with an Angeleno attitude.”

“With a remarkable 17-year journey in the pizza industry, proprietor Alex Koons boasts an impressive résumé that spans every role in the business, from a humble delivery driver to a visionary owner. In February 2022, he set the local pizza world on fire by inaugurating the first Hot Tongue location, which quickly garnered rave reviews and captured the hearts of pizza enthusiasts far and wide.”

“But Alex’s story didn’t start in pizza. He draws intriguing parallels between his background in the music industry and his culinary ventures. To him, running a restaurant is akin to leading a band, where your team plays the role of the band, service becomes the electrifying live show, customers transform into devoted fans, and your food, the heart-pounding music.”

Hot Tongue Pizza will be one of the twenty artisan pizzerias participating in Pizza City Fest L.A. at L.A. Live on Saturday, April 27th. They will be serving their acclaimed Tomato Pizza (that just happens to be Vegan.) (The Festival also takes place on Sunday, April 28th with a different set of participating pizzerias.)

Pizzaiolo Alex Koons continues with us with his well-used pizza peel at the ready.

Show 548, October 21, 2023: Chef Shachi Mehra of ADYA and Chef Diana Briscoe of Gracias Madre – Chefs’ Collaboration Dinner Part One

Shachi Mehra of ADYA

ADYA Executive Chef & Partner Shachi Mehra and Gracias Madre Executive Chef Diana Briscoe present a plant-based culinary journey from Mumbai to Mexico on Wednesday, November 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Gracias Madre Newport Beach. The four-course collaborative dinner on Dia de Los Muertos will showcase each chef’s individual style, as well as the magic that happens when the bold, authentic flavors of Indian and Mexican cuisine collide. Chefs Shachi and Diana join us to tempt us with all the menu specifics.”

“It’s exciting to have the opportunity to showcase the synergy between Indian and Mexican cuisines on a day that celebrates and honors lost loved ones,” explains Chef Shachi, who revealed that she enjoys collaborating with chefs to show how Indian food can come together with cuisines from other parts of the world to create unique flavors and combinations. “Gracias Madre’s plant-based focus has given me an opportunity to get creative with the menu and beverage pairings that are sure to surprise and delight guests.”

“The dinner will be held at Gracias Madre Newport Beach and seating is extremely limited. Tickets for the dinner are $95 per guest (excludes tax & ticket fees). Guests will be able to add on Mezcal pairings for $45 and non-alcoholic beverage pairings for $35.” Tickets must be purchased in advance. (Call Gracias Madre Newport Beach to be added to the Wait List.)

Show 548, October 21, 2023: Chef Shachi Mehra of ADYA and Chef Diana Briscoe of Gracias Madre – Chefs’ Collaboration Dinner Part Two

Shachi Mehra of ADYA

ADYA Executive Chef & Partner Shachi Mehra and Gracias Madre Executive Chef Diana Briscoe present a plant-based culinary journey from Mumbai to Mexico on Wednesday, November 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Gracias Madre Newport Beach. The four-course collaborative dinner on Dia de Los Muertos will showcase each chef’s individual style, as well as the magic that happens when the bold, authentic flavors of Indian and Mexican cuisine collide. Chefs Shachi and Diana join us to tempt us with all the menu specifics.” Think Coconut Chickpea Curry with green rice, basil marinated tomatoes and homestyle chapati

“It’s exciting to have the opportunity to showcase the synergy between Indian and Mexican cuisines on a day that celebrates and honors lost loved ones,” explains Chef Shachi, who revealed that she enjoys collaborating with chefs to show how Indian food can come together with cuisines from other parts of the world to create unique flavors and combinations. “Gracias Madre’s plant-based focus has given me an opportunity to get creative with the menu and beverage pairings that are sure to surprise and delight guests.”

“The dinner will be held at Gracias Madre Newport Beach and seating is extremely limited. Tickets for the dinner are $95 per guest (excludes tax & ticket fees). Guests will be able to add on Mezcal pairings for $45 and non-alcoholic beverage pairings for $35.” Tickets must be purchased in advance. (Call Gracias Madre Newport Beach to be added to the Wait List.)

“Whether you’re a foodie, a plant-based enthusiast or simply looking for an extraordinary dining experience in Orange County, Gracias Madre’s chef collaboration dinners are not to be missed. Come for the food, come for the stories, and come ready to savor the best of both worlds!”

Show 524, May 6, 2023: Laura Theodore, PBS’s Celebrity Vegan Chef and TV Personality. Jazzy Vegetarian Cookbook – 10th Anniversary Edition

Cookbook Author Laura Theodore

PBS’s celebrity vegan chef, Laura Theodore, is back with us to celebrate the 10th Anniversary Edition of Jazzy Vegetarian – Lively Vegan Cuisine That’s Easy and Delicious.

“This 10th Anniversary Edition of the cookbook features over 120 dazzling vegan recipes, including 25 new recipes from Season Ten of Laura’s popular PBS television series. With more full-color photos, modernized cooling tips, and gluten-free options, this spectacular cookbook highlights vegan recipes that are easy, nutritious, and most of all, delicious.”

“Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine That’s Easy and Delicious (10th Anniversary Edition!) delivers show-stopping guidance and recipes that make it easy to embrace healthful yet sumptuous vegan dining at home!”

Chef Laura graciously shares with our listeners her easy to prepare recipe for Lentil-Veggie Curry Soup that she demonstrated in her recent Webinar for the Melissa’s Produce food media group.

Lentil Veggie Curry Soup

Lentil Veggie Curry Soup by the Jazzy Vegetarian Laura Theodore

Recipe excerpt from:
Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine That’s Easy and Delicious, 10th Anniversary Edition

by Laura Theodore
Jazzy Vegetarian

Makes 4 servings

When you need curry in a hurry, this snazzy soup will truly satisfy. Creamy red lentils combined with butternut squash, carrots, baby potatoes, fire roasted tomatoes, cabbage, and curry powder makes a flavorful potage. Serve this delicious dish for an easy and nutritious weeknight meal.

  • 3 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 2½ cups cubed baby red potatoes and/or baby white potatoes (leave peels on)
  • 2⅓ cups sliced carrots (peeling is optional)
  • 2 cups peeled, seeded, and cubed butternut squash or sweet potatoes
  • 1⅓ cups chopped celery, with leaves
  • 1 cup red lentils, sorted and rinsed (see note)
  • 1 can (28 ounces) fire roasted diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 large vegan bouillon cube, crumbled
  • 9 cups water

Put all of the ingredients in a soup pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, decrease the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 50 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the lentils are soft. Serve hot.

NOTE: To sort the lentils, spread them out in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Remove any stones, dirt, broken lentils, or other debris. The lentils are now ready to be rinsed and used in your recipe. You may also sort split peas or dried beans in this manner.

Show 512, February 11, 2023: Tyler Malek, Head Ice Cream Innovator, Salt & Straw, Portland

Tyler Malek of Salt and Straw

“Co-founded by cousins Kim and Tyler Malek, Salt & Straw crafts award-winning ice cream that tells the story of artisans, farmers and meaningful food moments. Head Ice Cream Innovator Tyler Malek, whose recipes have been published in numerous national food magazines, creates a menu of 12 classic flavors, alongside monthly rotating menus that reflect culinary trends, seasonality of ingredients and relevant cultural moments. From their humble beginnings as a single ice cream cart, Salt & Straw now has 30 shops in Oregon, Washington, California and Florida, and ships their ice cream nationwide, while still maintaining their commitment to craft and artisanship, with all flavors being made in their kitchen headquarters in Portland, Oregon.”

“To celebrate the month of chocolate and love, Salt & Straw’s new limited-time Chocolatiers Series features flavors that are made in partnership with local chocolatiers from each of the five markets where Salt & Straw shops are located.”

The new flavors, which are available during February in Salt & Straw scoop shops and via national shipping include Compartés Coffee & Love Nuts A smooth, caramel-y medium roast coffee from Colombia is brewed and blended into the ice cream which is then studded with immaculate Love Nuts (pecans that are caramelized in tahitian vanilla, sprinkled with sea salt, and then coated in 14 layers of LA’s Compartés Chocolate).

At Salt & Straw 20 per cent of their menu features vegan flavors including Peanut Butter Brittle Caramel Fudge.

Show 494, October 8, 2022: Scott Kaylin, “The Pickle Man” of Kaylin + Kaylin Pickles, Original Farmers Market Part One

Scott Kaylin of Kaylin + Kaylin Pickles

“Every New Yorker knows the satisfaction of biting into the perfect pickle. Whether it’s a family recipe passed down from generations, or your go-to cart in the middle of Manhattan, one never has to venture too far to find their favorite, tasty treat.”

“After spending almost 30 years working in NYC, Scott Kaylin (aka “The Pickle Man”) found himself on the West Coast becoming his best self. However, one thing was missing: New York pickles. Well, honestly, even just an edible pickle. And that’s when Scott realized he had no choice but to make it easy for everyone, regardless of which coast they call home, to enjoy what he grew up knowing, loving, and suddenly wanting more than ever before. Kaylin + Kaylin Pickles was the inspired result.”

“Pickles bring people happiness. Scott witnessed this first hand in the spring of 2020, one month after opening the first pickle-tasting bar at The Original Farmer’s Market at 3rd St. & Fairfax Ave. in Los Angeles. Week after week, even through a global pandemic, customers kept calling, reaching out, and coming back for their favorite flavors of spicy, sour, and sweet –– ensuring we would not only survive, but make it out on the other side. From there, the idea of Kaylin + Kaylin was solidified.” 

“Whether looking for pickles that are fermented, brined, the perfect addition to any recipe, or a salty, standalone snack, each of Kaylin + Kaylin’s flavors are crafted to cure any craving, and keep tastebuds buzzing for more. Kaylin + Kaylin brings a modern approach to a timeless food that can be enjoyed wherever, whenever, and by whomever.”

Think you hate pickles? Scott modestly suggests you try his Honey Mustard Pickles. They are sweet, tangy and the combo makes no sense but, boy, does it work. Scott observes that 98 per cent of his guests who sample the Honey Mustard at the Kaylin + Kaylin Pickle-Tasting Bar become converts. No honey is actually used in the preparation so the pickles are Vegan.

Scott takes a pause from his busy pickle-tasting bar at the Original Farmers Market to be our guest.

Show 494, October 8, 2022: Scott Kaylin, “The Pickle Man” of Kaylin + Kaylin Pickles, Original Farmers Market Part Two

Scott Kaylin of Kaylin + Kaylin Pickles

“Every New Yorker knows the satisfaction of biting into the perfect pickle. Whether it’s a family recipe passed down from generations, or your go-to cart in the middle of Manhattan, one never has to venture too far to find their favorite, tasty treat.”

“After spending almost 30 years working in NYC, Scott Kaylin (aka “The Pickle Man”) found himself on the West Coast becoming his best self. However, one thing was missing: New York pickles. Well, honestly, even just an edible pickle. And that’s when Scott realized he had no choice but to make it easy for everyone, regardless of which coast they call home, to enjoy what he grew up knowing, loving, and suddenly wanting more than ever before. Kaylin + Kaylin Pickles was the inspired result.”

“Pickles bring people happiness. Scott witnessed this first hand in the spring of 2020, one month after opening the first pickle-tasting bar at The Original Farmer’s Market at 3rd St. & Fairfax Ave. in Los Angeles. Week after week, even through a global pandemic, customers kept calling, reaching out, and coming back for their favorite flavors of spicy, sour, and sweet –– ensuring we would not only survive, but make it out on the other side. From there, the idea of Kaylin + Kaylin was solidified.” 

“Whether looking for pickles that are fermented, brined, the perfect addition to any recipe, or a salty, standalone snack, each of Kaylin + Kaylin’s flavors are crafted to cure any craving, and keep tastebuds buzzing for more. Kaylin + Kaylin brings a modern approach to a timeless food that can be enjoyed wherever, whenever, and by whomever.”

Think you hate pickles? Scott modestly suggests that you try their Honey Mustard Pickles. They are sweet, tangy and the combo logically makes no sense but, boy, does it work. The clear majority of guests who sample the Honey Mustard at the Kaylin + Kaylin Pickle-Tasting Bar become converts. No honey is used so it’s Vegan….

Scott takes a further pause from his busy pickle-tasting bar at the Original Farmers Market to continue as our guest.

Show 436, July 31, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and Casino

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery. Genuine concerns remain…

The plant-based faux meat producers (a fast-growing consumer market) are now trying to replicate the bite and fatty mouthfeel of chicken in the form of nuggets and strips. (They seem to have meat burger substitutes perfected.) The products are being promoted as a healthier alternative to the real bird and also gentler on the environment. Chef Andrew has experience with both serving premium chicken and truly tasty plant-based menu items that are created from-scratch. He also is a steward of the environment. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”