Show 251, December 9, 2017: “Las Vegas Strong” Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a VIP high roller’s preview of this Saturday’s intriguing, all-Las Vegas show special. We’re going behind-the-scenes with some of Fabulous Las Vegas’ most fascinating food-related personalities. We’re with you live every Saturday morning throughout The Holidays. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Rick Moonen is one of the very few celebrity chefs with high profile restaurants in Las Vegas who actually lives in Fabulous Las Vegas. His two restaurants in The Shoppes at Mandalay Place are RM Seafood and Rx Boiler Room. Chef Rick is our guest.

Mike Minor is back as the Executive Chef of Mary Sue Milliken’s and Susan Feniger’s original Border Grill Las Vegas (launched in 1999) located by the lazy river adjacent to Mandalay Beach at the Mandalay Bay Resort on The Strip. Chef Mike is a long-time Las Vegas veteran and has a huge locals’ following. We’ll meet him.

Chef Brian Howard developed a loyal following during his tenure at Comme Ca located in The Cosmopolitan (“just the right amount of wrong.”) He’s now branched out on his own with Sparrow + Wolf located in Las Vegas’s bustling Chinatown just off The Strip on Spring Mountain Road. Chef Brian refers to his establishment as “Neighborhood Cookery & Libations.” Chef Brian joins us to talk about his first seven months of operations.

The delightfully opinionated Al Mancini took on the dream assignment for any food journalist of becoming the food reporter for The Las Vegas Review-Journal just about a year ago. He’s an unabashed fan of Fabulous Las Vegas. Al is celebrating a B-I-G Birthday this weekend and we pull him away from the festivities for a chat.

Stowe Shoemaker is the dean of the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV.) Prior to being named dean, Shoemaker served as a Lincy Professor at UNLV and the Donald Hubbs Distinguished Professor at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel Administration at the University of Houston. For many years he was a member of the executive education faculty at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, and for a time he maintained an appointment in the Division of Diagnostic Imagery at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. We’re in with The Dean.

As Senior Managing Partner of the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, Tom Kaplan has worked alongside Wolfgang Puck for nearly 36 years with his world-renowned restaurants. Tom started his lengthy association with Chef Wolfgang as Office Manager two months after the original Spago West Hollywood opened in 1982. His responsibilities include overall business management, strategic development, design, and construction supervision, and philanthropy for the company’s 28 domestic and international locations. Tom Kaplan is our guest.

The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, is a world-class destination in downtown Las Vegas. It presents an exciting and authentic view of the Mob’s impact on Las Vegas history and its unique imprint on America and the world. With tales so intriguing they need no embellishment, The Mob Museum reveals an insider’s look at the events and people on both sides of this continuing battle between organized crime and law enforcement. The Mob Museum’s Brenda Hengel>, Public Relations and Marketing Brand Manager, joins us.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

Play

Show 251, December 9, 2017: Tom Kaplan, Senior Managing Partner, Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group

Tom KaplanAs Senior Managing Partner of the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, Tom Kaplan has worked alongside Wolfgang Puck for nearly 36 years with his world-renowned restaurants. Tom started his lengthy association with Chef Wolfgang as Office Manager two months after the original Spago West Hollywood opened in 1982. His responsibilities include overall business management, strategic development, design, and construction supervision, and philanthropy for the company’s 28 domestic and international locations.

Since 1982, Puck and Kaplan have grown the company from several individual restaurants into a collection of restaurants known as the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group. Primary brands include Spago, CUT, re/Asian Cuisine, and the Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill. Over the years Kaplan has nurtured key strategic partnerships with luxury hotel brands and major casinos such as the Four Seasons, Dorchester Collection, MGM Resorts International and Las Vegas Sands.

Tom relocated to Las Vegas in 1992 to coincide with the opening of Spago Las Vegas in the Forum Shops, Wolfgang’s first (and trendsetting restaurant) restaurant there.

In Las Vegas in addition to the flagship Spago Las Vegas the dining group’s properties there include Cucina, CUT, Lupo by Wolfgang Puck, and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill at the MGM Grand and off The Strip in Downtown Summerlin.

The big Wolfgang Puck Las Vegas news is that after 25 years Spago Las Vegas, in 2018, will move to the former Olives location at The Bellagio, regarded as one of the best restaurant locations in Las Vegas.

Tom Kaplan is our guest.

Play

December 9: #VegasStrong: A Tribute to Las Vegas Culinary Excellence

Podcasts

Segment One: “Las Vegas Strong” Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Rick Moonen, RM Seafood & Rx Boiler Room, Las Vegas
Segment Three: Chef Mike Minor, Border Grill Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas
Segment Four: Chef / Owner Brian Howard, Sparrow + Wolf, Chinatown, Las Vegas
Segment Five: Food Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal
Segment Six: Dean Stowe Shoemaker, William F. Harrah College of Hospitality, UNLV
Segment Seven: Tom Kaplan, Senior Managing Partner, Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group
Segment Eight: Brenda Hengel, Public Relations and Marketing Brand Manager, The Mob Museum, Las Vegas

Now an intriguing preview of this Saturday’s overflowing show. It’s our very special Las Vegas Strong! show. Keep in mind we’re with you live every Saturday morning throughout The Holidays. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Rick Moonen is one of the very few celebrity chefs with high profile restaurants in Las Vegas who actually lives in Fabulous Las Vegas. His two restaurants in The Shoppes at Mandalay Place are RM Seafood and RX Boiler Room. Chef Rick is our guest.

Mike Minor is the Executive Chef of Mary Sue Milliken’s and Susan Feniger’s original Border Grill Las Vegas (launched in 1999) located by the lazy river adjacent to Mandalay Beach at the Mandalay Bay Resort on The Strip. Chef Mike grew up in Las Vegas and has a huge locals’ following. We’ll meet him.

Chef Brian Howard developed a loyal following during his tenure at Comme Ca located in The Cosmopolitan. He’s now branched out on his own with Sparrow + Wolf located in Las Vegas’s bustling Chinatown just Off The Strip on Spring Mountain Road. Chef Brian refers to his establishment as “Neighborhood Cookery & Libations.” Chef Brian joins us to talk about his first seven months of operations.

The delightfully opinionated Al Mancini took on the dream assignment for any food journalist of becoming the food reporter for The Las Vegas Review-Journal just about a year ago. He’s an unabashed fan of Fabulous Las Vegas. Al is celebrating a B-I-G Birthday this weekend and we pull him away from the festivities for a chat.

Stowe Shoemaker is the dean of the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV.) Prior to being named dean, Shoemaker served as a Lincy Professor at UNLV and the Donald Hubbs Distinguished Professor at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel Administration at the University of Houston. For many years he was a member of the executive education faculty at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, and for a time he maintained an appointment in the Division of Diagnostic Imagery at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. We’re in with The Dean.

As Senior Managing Partner of the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, Tom Kaplan has worked alongside Wolfgang Puck for nearly 36 years with his world-renowned restaurants. Tom started his lengthy association with Chef Wolfgang as Office Manager two months after the original Spago West Hollywood opened in 1982. His responsibilities include overall business management, strategic development, design, and construction supervision, and philanthropy for the company’s 28 domestic and international locations. Tom Kaplan is our guest.

The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, is a world-class destination in downtown Las Vegas. It presents an exciting and authentic view of the Mob’s impact on Las Vegas history and its unique imprint on America and the world. With tales so intriguing they need no embellishment, The Mob Museum reveals an insider’s look at the events and people on both sides of this continuing battle between organized crime and law enforcement. The Mob Museum’s Brenda Hengel, Public Relations and Marketing Brand Manager, joins us.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

Rick Moonen of rm seafood in Las VegasRick Moonen is one of the very few celebrity chefs with high profile restaurants in Las Vegas who actually lives in Fabulous Las Vegas. His two restaurants in The Shoppes at Mandalay Place are RM Seafood and Rx Boiler Room.

Since opening RM Seafood at The Shoppes at Mandalay Place in 2005, Master Chef Rick Moonen brings his expertise to The Strip by offering a unique dining experience with a thoughtful selection of seafood through his delectable dishes. Renowned for his passionate views on sustainable seafood, Chef Moonen creates an experience that features a vast array of flavor combinations designed to exemplify the natural qualities of fresh ingredients. Along with abundant offerings from the sea, the menu includes Wagyu beef, lamb, salads and other unique items such as seared foie gras and chicken san daniele.

Combining the alchemy of food and drink, Chef Rick Moonen’s Rx Boiler Room showcases his spin on classic comfort food, offering guests a variety of playful creations in small and large plate portions, ideal for a shared dining experience. Paired to elevate and complement the overall experience, the drink menu features an emporium of the finest spirits and innovative libations. Rx Boiler Room offers a modern reflection of the Victorian era, celebrating the steampunk sub-genre often associated with science-fiction and inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century.

Chef Rick is our guest.

Mike Minor of Border Grill in Las VegasMike Minor is the Executive Chef of Mary Sue Milliken’s and Susan Feniger’s original Border Grill Las Vegas (launched in 1999) located by the lazy river adjacent to Mandalay Beach at the Mandalay Bay Resort on The Strip. Chef Mike grew up in Las Vegas and has a huge locals’ following. We’ll meet him.

Ironically, it was a French restaurant where Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger first tasted authentic Latin flavors. While guests were dining on escargot out front, in the back of the house Mary Sue and Susan were discovering the home cooking of Oaxaca and the Yucatan at staff meals prepared by their fellow cooks from Mexico. Unlike anything they had ever tasted in Mexican restaurants in the United States, the dishes were as varied and complex as the French fare the chefs were serving out front.

In 1985, Mary Sue and Susan packed a VW bug and took a road trip far south of the Mexican border. Never setting foot in a “fine restaurant,” they learned the recipes and techniques of market vendors and home cooks, from street corners in downtown Mexico City to back road family barbecues and taco stands along the beach. When they returned they opened Border Grill and “applied the same intelligence,” noted Los Angeles Magazine, “to green corn tamales and cactus-paddle tacos that other chefs might to a lobe of foie gras.” Border Grill quickly established a new standard for gourmet Mexican fare.

Brian Howard of Comme Ca in Las VegasChef Brian Howard developed a loyal following during his tenure at Comme Ca located in The Cosmopolitan. He’s now branched out on his own with Sparrow + Wolf located in Las Vegas’s bustling Chinatown just Off The Strip on Spring Mountain Road. Chef Brian refers to his establishment as “Neighborhood Cookery & Libations.”

Chef Brian Howard’ Sparrow + Wolf boasts cuisine from the heart using a modern hand. It features American cookery influenced by the culturally diverse neighborhoods of Chef Brian’s travels, classic training and Midwestern roots.

Throughout his 17-year culinary career in Las Vegas, star Chef Brian Howard earned his stripes working with some of the most popular restaurants on The Strip. He has gained the utmost respect from his colleagues and the city’s most prestigious food writers, including one who referred to Howard as “The Most Ambitious Chef in Las Vegas.” The culinary field is known as a profession of passion, and Howard is a bold example of that premise, having believed since he was 10 years old that cooking is in his blood.

Chef Brian attributes his varied influences to being surrounded by talented people, childhood memories, and his continuous hunger for learning new things every day. “I’ve always had a fight and desire in me to never give up, no matter how rocky the road,” says Howard.  “Perseverance has gotten me to where I am today and now I just want to create something for the people of Las Vegas, a city that has been good to me. I want to create food that I’d like to eat.”

Chef Brian joins us to talk about his first seven months of operations.

Al ManciniThe delightfully opinionated Al Mancini took on the dream assignment for any food journalist of becoming the food reporter for The Las Vegas Review-Journal just about a year ago. He’s an unabashed fan of Fabulous Las Vegas. He also faithfully covers the happenings in the revived Downtown Las Vegas including the vibrant restaurant scene there.

Al discovered his passion for food while living in New York City, where he attended law school by day, tended bar and made pizza at the infamous punk club CBGB by night, and explored the Big Apple’s dynamic dining scene during every spare moment in between.

Previously Al has written extensively about food and dining for numerous local, Las Vegas lifestyle publications. He is the co-creator of Eating Las Vegas – The 50 Essential Restaurants guidebook which launched with the 2011 Edition.

Al is celebrating a B-I-G Birthday this weekend and we pull him away from the festivities for a chat.

Stowe Shoemaker is the Dean of the William F Harrah College of Hotel Administration at University of Nevada Las VegasStowe Shoemaker is the dean of the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV.) Prior to being named dean, Shoemaker served as a Lincy Professor at UNLV and the Donald Hubbs Distinguished Professor at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel Administration at the University of Houston. For many years he was a member of the executive education faculty at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, and for a time he maintained an appointment in the Division of Diagnostic Imagery at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Located in the heart of the hotel, gaming and tourism industries, UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hospitality is uniquely positioned to offer students the real-world skills they need to succeed in the dynamic field of hospitality.

Hospitality Hall, The College’s new $59 million, 93,500 square-foot building, will welcome students next year. Hospitality Hall will provide the setting and the resources students need to learn the fast-paced, ever changing world of hospitality. With faculty guidance and industry partnerships, Hospitality Hall will help set a new standard of excellence in hospitality education.

We’re in with The Dean.

Tom KaplanAs Senior Managing Partner of the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, Tom Kaplan has worked alongside Wolfgang Puck for nearly 36 years with his world-renowned restaurants. Tom started his lengthy association with Chef Wolfgang as Office Manager two months after the original Spago West Hollywood opened in 1982. His responsibilities include overall business management, strategic development, design, and construction supervision, and philanthropy for the company’s 28 domestic and international locations.

Since 1982, Puck and Kaplan have grown the company from several individual restaurants into a collection of restaurants known as the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group. Primary brands include Spago, CUT, re/Asian Cuisine, and the Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill. Over the years Kaplan has nurtured key strategic partnerships with luxury hotel brands and major casinos such as the Four Seasons, Dorchester Collection, MGM Resorts International and Las Vegas Sands.

The big Wolfgang Puck Las Vegas news is that after 25 years Spago Las Vegas, in 2018, will move to the former Olives location at The Bellagio, regarded as one of the best restaurant locations in Las Vegas.

Tom Kaplan is our guest.

Brenda HengelThe Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, is a world-class destination in downtown Las Vegas. It presents an exciting and authentic view of the Mob’s impact on Las Vegas history and its unique imprint on America and the world. With tales so intriguing they need no embellishment, The Mob Museum reveals an insider’s look at the events and people on both sides of this continuing battle between organized crime and law enforcement.

True stories of Mob history are brought to life in a bold and contemporary style via engaging exhibits and multi-sensory experiences. The Mob Museum puts the visitor in the middle of the action through high-tech theater presentations, iconic one-of-a-kind artifacts and interactive, themed environments. The Mob Museum was ranked #20 out of 25 Top U.S. Museums in 2017 by TripAdvisor.

The Mob Museum features a variety of interactive exhibits, films and high-tech audio-visual displays that are periodically updated to reflect new information and acquisitions. Exhibits examine in great depth such topics as how organized crime persists today; how the Mob is perceived and portrayed in pop culture; how the battle against the Mob was fought with focus on important historic and law enforcement victories; an examination of Mob violence, corruption, conspiracy and murder; notable mobsters and Mob busters; an in-depth look at Las Vegas as the ultimate “open city” that attracted mobsters and how organized crime operated “the skim” inside casinos; and a historic timeline on the birth and evolution of organized crime with a look at its geographic “families” from around the globe.

The centerpiece exhibit of the Museum is the courtroom where the proceedings of the United States Senate Special Committee to Investigate Crime in Interstate Commerce occurred in Las Vegas in 1950. Led by U.S. Senator Estes Kefauver, the hearings sought to expose organized crime.

The Mob Museum’s Brenda Hengel, Public Relations and Marketing Brand Manager, joins us.

Podcasts

Segment One: “Las Vegas Strong” Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Rick Moonen, RM Seafood & Rx Boiler Room, Las Vegas
Segment Three: Chef Mike Minor, Border Grill Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas
Segment Four: Chef / Owner Brian Howard, Sparrow + Wolf, Chinatown, Las Vegas
Segment Five: Food Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal
Segment Six: Dean Stowe Shoemaker, William F. Harrah College of Hospitality, UNLV
Segment Seven: Tom Kaplan, Senior Managing Partner, Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group
Segment Eight: Brenda Hengel, Public Relations and Marketing Brand Manager, The Mob Museum, Las Vegas

Show 74, May 31, 2014: Chef Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang PuckWhat is now known as California Cuisine never had a better day than when Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck opened the original Spago on The Sunset Strip in 1982. Its ambitions were modest…

Now the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group has restaurants around the world with a second stronghold in Las Vegas.

Chef Puck was the first Chef to cook a meal at New York’s famed James Beard House. He is also the recipient of multiple James Beard Foundation Awards.

Another high-profile division, Wolfgang Puck Catering, provides the food for the annual Governors Ball for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Wolfgang is better known internationally than many of the celebrities who he graciously serves!

Finally, Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc. franchises casual Wolfgang Puck restaurants, licenses consumer products, is involved in book publishing, television and internet programming, and other licensing and merchandising efforts.

Wolfgang Puck’s most recent book, Wolfgang Puck Makes It Healthy – Light, Delicious Recipes and Easy Exercises for a Better Life is a personal project for him.

In the words of Chef Wolfgang Puck :

“I never, ever expected to write this book. If you had suggested to me ten years ago, or even five, that my next book would focus on healthy recipes and fitness, I would’ve said you didn’t know me very well.

I have figured out where I can modify ingredients to make a healthier dish. And today I can eat all my favorite foods without overeating anything.

I feel good because of the combination of eating well and exercising I’ve developed. Now I want to help you achieve the same goal, to feel healthy and happy, with plenty of energy to do the things you love to do.”

Chef Wolfgang’s practical advice is to cut down on the consumption of processed foods. Work more fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet along with more fish and chicken. It’s really worked for him! He proudly keeps up with his older boys now on their skiing adventures.

Play

May 31: Wolfgang Puck, Cathy Thomas, Coffee Bean, Fireside Tavern, Joan’s on Third,

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Cathy Thomas, food journalist, Orange County Register and Los Angeles Register
Segment Three: Jay Isais, Senior Director, Coffee Roasting and Manufacturing, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
Segment Four: Chef Wolfgang Puck
Segment Five: Executive Chef Scott Brandon, Fireside Tavern, Costa Mesa
Segment Six: Chester Hastings, Cheesemonger and Chef, Joan’s on Third, Los Angeles
Segment Seven: Bill Esparza, “The Street Gourmet” & Curator for Tacolandia Part One
Segment Eight: Bill Esparza, “The Street Gourmet” & Curator for Tacolandia Part Two

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Pioneering California Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck with destination restaurants around the globe really needs no introduction. Among many accomplishments he cooks for the VIP guests at the Oscars every year. His new book, Wolfgang Puck Makes it Healthy : Light, Delicious Recipes and Easy Exercises for a Better Life is a true labor of love.

The Orange County Register’s award-winning food writer, Cathy Thomas, has just returned from a cruise on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth. She shares her travel and food adventures in India and Singapore.

What’s the most exotic coffee bean in the world ? Our resident coffee expert from the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has the unexpected answer. It’s unusual…

The 2nd Annual Tacolandia (“Where All Your Taco Dreams Come True”) is coming up June 28th. The Taco in Chief (a.k.a. “The Street Gourmet,”) Bill Esparza, serves it up.

Understanding and selecting specialty cheese can be a bit intimidating. Cheesemonger extraordinaire, Chester Hastings, to the rescue!

Fireside Tavern is an undiscovered gem of a new destination restaurant in the unlikely location of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Costa Mesa just off the 405 Freeway. The secret is Executive Chef Scott Brandon.

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Special Note:
Michael Puglisi
You’ve heard Chef Michael Puglisi (ex-Bouchon Beverly Hills) of the soon-to-be Electric City Butcher in The (upcoming) 4th Street Market in Santa Ana on the show.

On Monday, June 2nd Chef Puglisi is part of a special Chef’s Dinner at 320 Main – New American Eatery in Seal Beach.

The 6-course menu is from Chef Puglisi, Chef Jaime Carrano of 320 Main, and Chef Eddie Ruiz of Corazon y Miel. Corazon y Miel in Bell was just included in Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants 2014 as presented in the Los Angeles Times.

Chefs Michael and Eddie also work together at the recently opened PICNIK in Old Pasadena. “These three friends are pleased to bring an amazing menu and incredible dining experience for the latest in 320 Main’s Chef’s Dinner series.”

$95 per guest including tax and gratuity.

Reservations & Information: 562.799.6246.

Cathy ThomasCathy Thomas is the long-established food writer and former Food Editor at The Orange County Register. She has won numerous well-deserved awards for her journalism and is a good friend of chefs and restaurateurs.

Cathy Thomas was just on a short leg (12 days) of Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth’s World Cruise. She left the ship for four days on land in India traveling to the Taj Mahal. Cathy will enlighten us on luxury cruising, Indian street food, and dining at Ku De Ta, a hot restaurant in Singapore with an incredible view.

Look for Cathy’s piece on Indian Street Food in an upcoming Wednesday Food Section in the Orange County Register.

Jay Isais of the Coffee Bean and Tea LeafJay (“Eye-Zay-Us”) Isais is the Senior Director, Coffee Roasting and Manufacturing, for the Coffee Bean and Teal Leaf.

The rarest coffee beans in the world (from Sumatra) must be the Kopi Luwak beans. They are “harvested” in an unusual way.

Jay explains this highly sought-after coffee oddity…

Wolfgang PuckWhat is now known as California Cuisine never had a better day than when Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck opened the original Spago on The Sunset Strip in 1982. Its ambitions were modest…

Now the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group has restaurants around the world with a second stronghold in Las Vegas.

Chef Puck was the first Chef to cook a meal at New York’s famed James Beard House. He is also the recipient of multiple James Beard Foundation Awards.

Another high-profile division, Wolfgang Puck Catering, provides the food for the Annual Governors Ball for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Wolfgang is better known internationally than many of the celebrities who he graciously serves !

Another unit, Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc. franchises casual Wolfgang Puck restaurants, licenses consumer products, is involved in book publishing, television and internet programming, and other licensing and merchandising efforts.

Wolfgang Puck’s most recent book, Wolfgang Puck Makes It Healthy – Light, Delicious Recipes and Easy Exercises for a Better Life is a personal project for him.
In the words of Chef Wolfgang Puck :

“I never, ever expected to write this book. If you had suggested to me ten years ago, or even five, that my next book would focus on healthy recipes and fitness, I would’ve said you didn’t know me very well.

I have figured out where I can modify ingredients to make a healthier dish. And today I can eat all my favorite foods without overeating anything.

I feel good because of the combination of eating well and exercising I’ve developed. Now I want to help you achieve the same goal, to feel healthy and happy, with plenty of energy to do the things you love to do.”

Scott Brandon of Fireside TavernFireside Tavern is an undiscovered gem of a new destination restaurant in the unlikely location of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Costa Mesa just off the 405 Freeway. The secret is Executive Chef Scott Brandon.

Chef Scott’s credits include Oysters in Corona del Mar, Crow Bar and Kitchen in Corona del Mar, and LinX in Old Towne Orange.

It’s located just South of South Coast Plaza.

The space is inviting and there is an outside patio with lots of shade.

There is a great Happy Hour menu served daily from 3 to 6:00 p.m. and then again from 10 to midnight. Lots of fun & appealing food selections and libations priced at a good value.

“Fireside is an American gastropub, offering a contemporary menu of upscale tavern fare for lunch and dinner. Fireside features a menu of freshly sourced meat, seafood and cheese, along with a bar menu of small plates. The bar serves an array of American wines, craft draft beer, and signature cocktails.”

Chester HastingsCheesemonger (and Chef) Chester Hastings of Joan’s on Third in Los Angeles literally wrote the book on enjoying cheese. His latest title is The Cheesemonger’s Seasons – Recipes for Enjoying Cheese with Ripe Fruits and Vegetables. His first cheese book was the well-reviewed, The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen.

The Cheesemonger’s Season contains ninety amazing cheese-centric recipes, from appetizers to desserts, all of them simple, and each one showcasing the absolute best of what the season has to offer.

When Chester started at Joan’s over 12 years ago they carried seven varieties of cheese. Today they stock over 100 varieties of domestic and imported cheeses.

Bill EsparzaThe 2nd Annual Tacolandia (“Where All Your Taco Dreams Come True”) is coming up June 28th at El Pueblo De Los Angeles. The hours are 3 to 7:00 p.m.

The Taco in Chief, Bill Esparza (a.k.a. “The Street Gourmet,”) serves it up.

It’s 40 plus taco vendors, the Tequila Tasting Experience, and live Mariachi entertainment.

Bill previews the incredible taco creations of a number of the chefs participating in LA Weekly’s Tacolandia. The best tacos on food trucks, too…

The 2nd Annual Tacolandia (“Where All Your Taco Dreams Come True”) is coming up June 28th at El Pueblo De Los Angeles. The hours are 3 to 7:00 p.m.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Cathy Thomas, food journalist, Orange County Register and Los Angeles Register
Segment Three: Jay Isais, Senior Director, Coffee Roasting and Manufacturing, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
Segment Four: Chef Wolfgang Puck
Segment Five: Executive Chef Scott Brandon, Fireside Tavern, Costa Mesa
Segment Six: Chester Hastings, Cheesemonger and Chef, Joan’s on Third, Los Angeles
Segment Seven: Bill Esparza, “The Street Gourmet” & Curator for Tacolandia Part One
Segment Eight: Bill Esparza, “The Street Gourmet” & Curator for Tacolandia Part Two