Sunday, October 22, 2006

Culinary Detective

Thanks for defending me!

I have to say a huge thanks to all the people that commented on the show and I read them all. I appreciate good and honest feedback even if it is critical.

I do take offense to people who sit behind thier computers and rip people to shreds on public forums, finding fault in everything about them. I am not one to take that lightly and will defend myself and my reputation against those who have nothing better to do than try and lift themselves up by putting others down (which never works by the way).

I answered some mean postings on a web site (not e-gullet) defending my appearence and my show. I also answered a ton of really nice posts concerning the show and gave posters some insight as to the production of the show, choices made etc..

We all my posts were deleted by Mgt of the site and I was asked not to respond to any more postings on the subject. I told them I wanted to respond to defend myself against any flat out slanderish posts from trolls and the like. They responded, that people had a right to critisize me, my apperance or anything else, to which I agree. They also informed me that I did not have a right to respond to the postings and defend anny comments made.....hhmm...

What a dissapointment at the managment of the site (CNET) and a blow to free speech....people wonder why celebs and public persona never come to post on public message forums...maybe its just, they are not allowed too!

Food for thought....and thanks again for your support and glad you like the show....we worked really hard on it!


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Wow, filming is a lot of work

Just a quick note to all of you guys out there. Filming a show for Food Network is much harder than it looks! I though, oh yea, fly someplace, eat some great food, fly problem!

Boy was I wrong, it is tough, with 13 hr days, and the crew works so hard to make sure what goes on the screen looks great (it does)! There are tons of things to think about like lighting, food placement, colors...does the dish look the sme each time.

I have found some great outta the way places like Bowens Island in Charleston SC and Canela in Miami (which we filmed during Tropical Storm Ernesto).

I cant wait till you guys get to see the show, its called the Hungry Detective and should start soon!

Oh by the way, filming the Feasting on Asphalt stuff with Alton was a fun as it looked!

Friday, March 10, 2006

New York City and Iron Chef America

New York City and Iron Chef America

Well, I just got back a few weeks ago from a great trip to what is an amazing food town, New York City. I went to be a judge on the Food Networks Iron Chef America. I can this this, wow what a great experience!

I really enjoyed eating out for 4 days, dining in NYC is really so different from L.A.. Here in L.A. its very "casual" where as in NYC dining out is an "event" and the restaurants are much more visual than in L.A. I must admit, the first place I ate was a brassarie called "Pastis" in the meat packing district. I was expecting so much more, man was I dissapointed in the entire meal from the quality of the meat to the really weak onion soup, I would not reccomend going there if you are looking to dine in NYC, it appeared to be really trendy/yuppie.

Alton Brown told me to go to the Pop Burger the first night, I should have listened to him...doh! that place was pretty cool, with good prices for NYC, but a strange thing about it is they have a "porno" booth in the back so you can eat and look at porn..strange place.

We had the "wrap party" for the crew at the Pizza Bar a few doors down, it was really cool and they had great Mojito's. I must say that Alton is such a great guy, he bought a round for the entire crew at the party (which must have cost a pretty penny), they (mojitos) were good too!

You can just cruise around on foot and run into something good to eat, like I did at Jarnac where I had a great cheese plate with a nice port!

The whole "Chelsea Market" is really neat too, its in the old Nabisco factory and tthe bottom floor is where there are some great little shops and restaurants as well as where the Food Network is located (actually they are on several floors, with the main studio upstairs).

My trip to NYC was well worth it and was a great experience for this California guy...I really think I will go back someday, hopefully to judge more Iron Chefs!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Laughlin Nevada, Vegas Light?

We took a trip to Laughlin NV a few weeks ago, just to check out the whole "river thing". I decided to stay at the Golden Nugget thinking that it would be kinda like the one in Downtown Vegas, classy and sophiticated. Lets just say, it was not! I have never seen so many of the "depends" crowd. Wow those folks can sit at a machine for hours, spending the money that should go to theyre kids!

We cruised around the riverside area and noticed that there dont seem to be many dentists in Laughlin NV. We also noticed that the "wife beater" was totally acceptable as being "dressed" for dinner, well that or a Raiders jersey. We decided to embrace our inner white trash (even though Martha is Cuban) and go bowling at the Riverside Casino. I must say it was pretty damn fun, we even got the most "white trash" of foods, Nachos with that plastic cheese and a light cheap "Riverside Resort" beer in a can.

We had to check out the river itself and went for one of those river cruises you get for 12 bucks, I miust say it was pretty fun and you could get a nice stiff drink while checking out the shorline and the dam. I was dying for a decent meal and remembered through my research that there was supposed to be a good place in the Edgewater Casino called the Hickory Pit. We went for dinner and I was once again worried if I should wear pants and a nice shirt to dinner. Well, we were seated next to a guy wearing you guessed it, a Raiders jersey. Well, much to my suprise we had a fantastic meal of BBQ Tri Tip, Chicken and goodies, plus the price was a total bargain!

We decided to check out another casino called the River Palms. I dug on this casino, it was a big tower and was pretty nice inside, with a 2 level casino. I sat down at the roulette table for about 90 mins and was rewarded with my first ever "comp" of 2 tickets to the worst breakfast buffet ever. I always join the slot clubs when I go to a casino, the great thing here is when you join the slot clu, you get a free night on a return visit....and you dont have to spend a dime!

Would we go back to Laughlin, yea....but in the summer when we can hang out along the rivers edge and drink some cheap light beer....and we will stay in the River Palms as its a sweet "Low Roller" joint that is easy with the "comps"!...Oh yea, our trip had a soundtrack which was Molly Hatchets "flirting with disaster"....Rock On!

Monday, January 02, 2006


Do you ever wonder what it looks like when the "research" is done for my Culinary Investigations for the newspaper column? Well here is some "footage" from the Tailgate column "research.

Myself and John Lee of the Gastronomic Society of Southern California grilling the Allen Brothers and Omaha Steaks. Dr Julia Chung the "Official Culinary Detective Medical Advisor" Displaying an "Olde English 40 oz" during our Beer Tasting....

Mexican Shrimp

I love shrimp and I love the way they are cooked in Mexico. The way that Mexican chefs use spices and garlic.....oh yea, and butter....I went to this really neat place called "El Marlin" just outside Nuevo Vallarta right along the highway. It was amazing, a really huge dining area with a playground for the kids. Martha and I ordered almost the entire menu, you should have seen the look on the guy face when Martha told him in spanish what we wanted for dinner!

There is a great place in Redondo Beach called El Baja Chef that reminds me of this place.....its worth checking out for the amazing Mexican style Shrimp Cocktail alone!

What it looks like from Air 55

You ever wonder what it looks like from the cockpit of a Police helicopter during an orbit? Here is a great shot of Air 55 Pilot Jim Woodaman that I snapped from my seat while we were orbiting one night. The other picture is of what I see on my side as a Tactical Flight Officer, you can see the moving map on the lower portion of the pic...pretty cool huh...see I do stuff other than food!

Now Back to the food!


One of the things I really like about living in L.A. is thet fact that you can get some really good taco's. I love a good simple taco and a nice cold cerveza, few things are better on s sunny day. These tacos were eaten by myself and my friend Alton at El Gringo in Hermosa Beach, the ones in front are chicken and the back ones are carnitas (pork)

Happy New Years!!!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Top 10 Wines in 2005

Well, we tasted about 300 wines this year and here are the top 10 wines of 2005.

Top 10 wines of 2005

Our wine-tasting panel has had a lot of fun learning about wines and sharing the information with rave! readers. Here are the top 10 picks in order of preference from Gene Kato, Lisa Weeks, John Lee and myself. (Note: We tasted hundreds of wines in '05).

1. Dover Canyon Old Vine Zin 2003. (The best wine I have ever had.)

2. Cline Los Carneros Syrah 2004.

3. Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay 2004.

4. Talus Cabernet 2004.

5. Chateau Ste. Michelle "Columbia Valley" Chardonnay. 2003.

6. Yellow Tail Shiraz 2004.

7. Row 11 Pinot Noir Santa Maria 2002.

8. Graffigna Malbec 2004.

9. 7 Deadly Zins.

10. Cold Creek Chardonnay 2003.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Dessert Wines and Bubbly Stuff

Nugan Estate Semillon: $19.00 7 of 10: Nice honey flavor and hint of a “flower”, nice dessert wine, serve it chilled and sit back and enjoy.

Trader Joes Late Harvest Moscato: $5.00 4 out of 10: its an inexpensive dessert wine, don’t go out of you way to drink it, but its not THAT bad at least its only 5 bucks.

Dover Canyon “Zin-Port” : $28.00 (750 ml) 7 out of 10: Dover Canyon took some of that amazing Zinfandel they make and blended it with some Port, how can you go wrong with that. It’s a very rich wine, enjoy the raspberry and chocolate flavor with some good cheese’s, and ring in the New Year yum.

Lorikeet Shiraz (sparkling wine): $7.99 8 out of 10: Lots of people loved this sparking wine, it had wonderful pinkish red color and great flavor, my wife is still talking about it, if there was one wine to recommend out of the 26 we tasted its this one!

Andre Pink Champagne $2.50 5 out of 10: If you like yours sweet and cheap, then this is the drink for you, I actually didn’t mind it at all, but I like sweet things, at $2.50 a good deal.

Domaine Ste Michelle, Blanc De Noris: $6.99 7.5 out of 10: Lisa Weeks loved the nose of juicy strawberries, this was very well liked by most of the panelists, a good recommendation and you can get it at Bev-Mo stores. All the Domaine Ste Michelle wines did very well in this tasting.

Barefoot Bubbly Premium Extra Dry: $4.00 6.5 out of 10: A great little champagne from Barefoot who always produce a nice affordable wine, this is no exception as it had well balanced flavor and was an all around good drink and at 4 bucks you can get a few bottles.

Cooks Brut Champagne: $3.99 3 out of 10: Spend the extra penny and get the Barefoot, your head will thank me later!