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Episode #4: Ask Me Anything Q&A

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ABOUT THE EPISODE

EPISODE #4 – ASK ME ANYTHING Q&A: The Holiday Episode is a funny and spirited show where Nickie answers questions from listeners on everything from making chocolate soufflés to hosting your first holiday dinner, convection vs. regular ovens, marinades for a tri-tip roast to elevating a French toast casserole, and elegant menu plans that involve kids to ideas on how to keep food hot when feeding a crowd. Witty tips you can apply year round! Enjoy!

EPISODE #4 SHOW NOTES

TOPICS COVERED & LINKS - - COMING SOON

Episode #3: Party Planning Like a Pro

ABOUT THIS EPISODE:   Party planning and holiday dinners got you stressed out? Help is on the way! Whether you’re a rookie Thanksgiving dinner host or a seasoned holiday dinner diva, this episode will help you plan like a pro. Enjoy this informative and sometimes funny episode as host Nickie Jurado chats with Dorothy Maras, lead Culinary Producer at Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival about all things party planning. Dorothy is a world-class food world insider having worked as a sous chef, certified sommelier, food column author and above all a rockstar “Chef Whisperer.” Happy entertaining!


Dorothy Maras Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dmaras1

Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival: https://www.pbfw.com/

Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival: https://www.lafw.com/


“…That's what you need to get across to the person at home who's attempting to do a big event at their home for Christmas or Thanksgiving or New Year's Eve. It is challenging but not impossible!” [10:002]


EPISODE #3 SHOW NOTES

TOPICS DISCUSSED 


BREAKING INTO THE BUSINESS: Dorothy shares how she got into the business and became a “Chef Whisperer” [4:48]


HOSPITALITY: Hospitality and the meaning of giving great hospitality. 

“Hospitality is in its cleanest form. It is just a welcoming and making people feel comfortable and feeding them and nurturing them, which is something very primal.” [11:25]


STEPS TO PLANNING A GREAT EVENT: Highlights


  •  #1 TIP – DON’T STRIVE FOR MAGAZINE PERFECTION!! Be yourself and “do you.” [15:35] “The reality is that the glossy magazines are paying a lot of money to a food stylist, to a chef, to an ingredient specialist, to a lighting specialist to create a scene that actually does not exist.” [16:37]


  • WHERE TO BEGIN: Break it down to its parts.


  • KNOW YOUR ENVIRONMENT: Take into consideration your environment, space, and table size. “Knowing your environment, I think is so empowering. And one thing that you mentioned when we were first talking was in that environment, know how your guests are going to move through the environment.” [12:58]


  • MENU PLANNING: Keep it simple to execute it well! [15:57] Consider hors d'oeuvres that are not temperature sensitive. A premade a signature cocktail that you make in a batch and is easy to pour. “Keep it very simple. You can dress it up. It's easy to outsource pieces of what you're doing, especially for a Thanksgiving meal. Outsource things that are time consuming and other people can do better than you.” [21:27]


  • KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE: Take into consideration your audience and their preferences.


  • DESIGNING YOUR LIFE MENU: Nickie introduces her concept of compiling your own life menu.I believe from the bottom of my heart…design your own life menu from the time you go to college or you take your first job, start compiling the dishes that you're good at. Like learn to be good at 20 things and call it a day!” [19:59]


  • SETTING UP FOR SUCCESS: Set your table in advance the night before. Count your cooking gear, plates, service spoons, etc. “I do it usually the night before, the night before, because I want to make sure I have all the serving pieces. All of the glassware, everything where it needs to be. And I'm not looking for that while I'm trying to engineer what's coming out kitchen.” [18:16]


  • SHOPPING LISTS, PORTIONS AND WHAT TO BUY: Draw up your menu, number of guests, then determine how much you need to cook and ingredients to buy. Develop a THOROUGH shopping list by categories.  [24:47] On calculating portions. [31:40]


  • INVOLVE YOUR GUESTS: Involve your guests in the experience and give them something to do. “My mom, who was very good at entertaining, always told us that people like to feel useful. And so to include them not say, oh, just sit down and I'll do everything, we can do that to a certain degree. However, you know, if somebody is good at something, let them chop something. Let them whip the whipped cream…” [13:21]


  • PRINT THE MENU: Printing the menu pays homage to the dishes and guest contributions. [36:26] Nickie also discusses how this can help you photograph your cooking process and capturing “notes for next year.” [38:53]


  • PLAN OUT YOUR STOVE TOP: Planning out your stove top and which pan/pot will go where and at what time will help divert disaster. Dorothy explains the details of this planning. [47:27]


  • HOLDING FOOD DANGER ZONE: Nickie and Dorothy discuss the holding food danger zone: 40 – 140 degrees Fahrenheit. [55:54]


CLOSING QUESTIONS. . . . .


WHAT DOROTHY IS DRINKING. [1:05:41]


Fresca and Rosé!I admit that I love Fresca. I know, I know. I know. But it still exists. And it's really, really good. It's tart. It's refreshing. Fresca is my go to when it comes to if I want something, you know, to quench my thirst. Rosé because it's light and goes along with a lot of different foods.”


WHAT’S MAKING DOROTHY HAPPY IN THE CULINARY WORLD. [1:06:48]


Brave and courageous women in the culinary world! “What makes me happiest is that I see a lot of young women who are brave and courageous and they are doing great things in the culinary world and they are not sitting back on their heels and letting other people run over them. This makes me happy.” 


DOROTHY’S FAVORITE GIFT(S) TO GIVE A FRIEND OR COLLEAGUE. [1:07:54]


Soup or a breakfast item. “…Two things, actually. Soup or something for breakfast, because if somebody spent a lot of time making dinner for you and so forth, the next morning, wouldn't it be nice if there was some nice little baked goods or maybe a quiche?”


RESOURCES + LINKS 

· À la minute 

· When to cook every dish for Thanksgiving (Delish.com article)

· How to Manage Limited Oven Space (Washington Post article) 

· Planning your stove top (diagram)

· Club 19 at the Lodge Restaurant

· FDA Cooking temperatures for beef, poultry, and pork 

(Source: FDA. Printable English and Spanish)

· Meat and poultry temperature guide(Source: Food Network)

· Meals on Wheels

· Chef Daniel Boulud

· Count Audoin de Dampierre, Champagne Comtes de Dampierre

· The Chateau of Dampierre-en-Yvelines  

· Chef Jacque Pepin (Facebook link)

· Holding Food Danger Zone: 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit (Source FDA. Printable in English)

· Soup tureen (selections on Amazon)

· Instant read meat thermometer(selections on Amazon)

· Turducken (image from Whole Foods) 

· Miraval Rose 


       * Dorothy Maras, Pebble Beach Food & Wine *
CLICK ON IMAGE TO LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

       * Dorothy Maras, Pebble Beach Food & Wine *

CLICK ON IMAGE TO LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

Episode #2: Japanese Knives 101

ABOUT THIS EPISODE: In this episode, Jon Broida, owner of Japanese Knife Imports in Beverly Hills, California, joins Nickie for a Japanese Knives 101 deep dive conversation that goes beyond a simple shopper’s checklist with surprising insights into the real insider questions you should be asking before investing in a Japanese knife, what distinguishes them and the rich history of this world-renown craftsmanship. Jon’s deep wealth of knowledge, training in Japan and cooking experience at highly regarded and some Michelin-starred restaurants in Los Angeles, Italy and Japan make him a cut above the rest! Please enjoy.

 

JKI Website: https://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/ 

JKI Instagram: www.instagram/jknifeimports

JKI Facebook: www.facebook.com/JapaneseKnifeImports/


EPISODE #2 SHOW NOTES

TOPICS & TERMS DISCUSSED   

  • Jon’s journey from Asian studies to cooking and eventually Japanese Knife Imports. [00:04:22]
  • On creating community at the shop. [00:07:43]
  • What makes Japanese knives unique. [00:11:48]


MAJOR KNIFE-MAKING REGIONS OF JAPAN & RELATED TERMS [00:13:27]

  

REGION: SEKI (SEKI, GIFU) [00:13:38]

Seki has a history in sword making but in a much more commercial sense. So, what they are able to do in Seki is produce in larger quantities and a little bit more effectively. In Seki they have a separation of work, where there's high specialization in certain areas. [00:13:45]

  • Affordable knives because of economies of scale.
  • Shun, Miyabi, and MAC brands are popular from this region.


REGION: SAKAI (Sakai, Osaka) [00:15:22]

In Sakai things are produced predominantly by hand in painstaking labor-intensive processes. [00:15:36]

  • Bungyo system is the separation and specialization of craftsmen (mostly in Sakai, but also kind of in Seki).  This means that blacksmiths forge, but don't sharpen.  Sharpeners sharpen, but don't forge, etc. [00:15:45]
  • Hatsuke is the technical name for the sharpeners/grinders/polishers.  For example, you can say something like hide-san was the hatsuke we used.  He runs a hatsuke-ya(sharpening shop).  Sharpening in this case is more about making knives than just sharpening and polishing. [00:16:06]
  • Tonya system are the wholesalers, who, in Sakai, arrange which blacksmith, sharpener, handle maker, etc. to use when creating knives.  They also wholesale and retail their knives, and are often responsible for the creation of the brands we know. [00:16:33]
  • Ashi Hamono is the company who makes the store’s Gesshin Gingaseries.  They are unique in that they do the entire making process in house, despite being in Sakai. [00:17:20]
  • Ginga Series (Gesshin Ginga series) are the knives made by Ashi Hamono. [00:17:22]
  • Kataba knives or Kataba Bocho are single bevel knives. [00:17:36]
  • Kaiseki is the term for Japanese multi-course fine dining. [00:17:52]
  • Deba is a single-bevel, fish butchery knife. [00:18:22]
  • Gyuto is the Japanese equivalent of a chef’s knife (wa-gyutohas a Japanese style handle… yo-gyuto has a western handle). [00:18:57]


REGION: Sanjo (Tsubame/Sanjo, Niigata) [00:19:23]

In Sanjo, they do a lot more handmade goods. And unlike Sakai, where there's a separation of a blacksmith and a sharpener, people do everything all in-house in one place in Sanjo. [00:19:42]

  • Tojiro is a brand of knives that is well known as a great workhorse series. [00:20:26]
  • Tojiro DP is the series of knives from the Tojiro brand that Jon thinks make great first Japanese knives (not something Japanese Knife Imports sells though). [00:20:44]


REGION: Echizen/Takefu (Takefu, Niigata) [00:22:43]

Echizen region fits kind of smack dab in the middle where they're producing things in higher quantities and they automate certain parts of the process. [00:22:56]

  • Rikizai means relaminated steel. [00:23:04]

 

REGION: Tosa-Yamada (Tosa, Kochi) [00:23:28]

Tosa-Yamada is an old knife-making region where they produced swords previously but have a predominant history in forestry tools, axes, hatchets, and outdoor knives. They produce things that are easy to use and relatively affordable. [00:23:44]

  • Kochi is the name of the prefecture (State) and the main city in the area.  The Tosa-Yamada area is in Kochi prefecture, just outside of Kochi city.
  • My love of that region is all about food, by the way, because they have the most delicious stuff down there.” [00:24:09]  
  • What Jon Loves to Eat in this regionThere are many things I love down there to eat, but I’d probably say Katsuo no Shio Tataki (seared bonito).  Its fucking great.  They also have utsubo no tataki (seared moray eel).


ON WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING YOUR JAPANESE KNIFE [00:24:24]


  • Shopping tips and top questions to ask before you buy your knife. [00:24:41]
  • Gyuto knife is the Japanese version of a chef’s knife. [00:29:31]


STAINLESS STEEL VS. CARBON STEEL [00:29:59]


  • Stainless steel versus carbon steel and what distinguishes each style. [00:30:07]
  • Deciding factors when choosing between carbon steel vs. stainless steel. [00:30:50]
  • Why carbon steel knives are soo popular. [00:31:30]
  • Importance of considering your environment when deciding on a knife. [00:32:50]
  • Patina or discoloration. [00:30:59]
  • Bruniose knife cut "is a dice cut of 1/8th inch cubes. For brunoise cut, items are first cut in julienne, then cut crosswise. For fine brunoise, a 1/16th inch cube, cut items first I fine julienne.” (credit: The Culinary Institute of America, The Professional Chef, Wiley 2011).


WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN THE $100 - $250 PRICE RANGE [00:35:22]


  • Keep it simple…people in reality, they use two knives more than anything else. Big knife, small knife…. You don't need a bunch of stuff. You always add other stuff later on. But the reality is that most people will use in their kitchen a big knife and a small knife and the big knife gets used the most. [00:36:54]
  • Gyuto or Wa Gyuto if it has a Japanese style handle, is the most versatile shape that you can get. [00:37:25]
  • Sengiri is a thin julienne knife cut and one base technique for cutting in Japan. [00:38:57]
  • On choosing a big knife[00:37:58]
  • On choosing a small knife [00:41:31]
  • On the importance of lightness and balance [00:43:23]
  • Cross-sectional geometry of a knife, or how it tapers towards the tip and its impact on sharpness. [00:45:20]
  • Mortise and Tenon construction relates to how Japanese handles are made.  The wood piece runs the entire length of the handle, but near the top, the wood becomes narrow and there is a ring of water buffalo horn around it. [00:48:03] 
  • See here for more on mortise and tenon:      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortise_and_tenon  


ON SHARPENING KNIVES, CUTTING BOARDS AND DAMAGES TO KNIVES [00:50:20]


As you get into more sophisticated, higher end knives, sharpening gets more and more important! [00:50:16]

  • Cutting boards and Jon’s top 4 choices.
  • Hi-Soft boards are polyvinyl acetate cutting boards that are wonderful and extremely soft, but temperature sensitive. [00:50:34] 
  • End-grain boards [00:51:11]
  • Rubber gum boards [00:52:08]
  • Cross-grain boards [00:52:30]
  • Sharpening stones – the essentials of whetstones (or waterstones) for sharpening knives. [00:52:41]
  • Top 5 things in a sharpening set up. [00:53:15]
  • Coarse stone [00:53:16]
  • Medium stone [00:53:42]
  • Finishing stone [00:54:15] 
  • Stone holder [00:56:01]
  • Stone flattener [00:54:59]
  • Diamond flattening plates  are used to flatten sharpening stones, as flat stones are easier to maintain a consistent angle on when sharpening. [00:55:45] Check out this video link from Japanese Knife Imports website -  https://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/collections/sharpening-accessories/products/diamond-flattening-plate
  • Knife sharpening “how to” videos [00:58:19]
  • 3 Things that damage Japanese knives the most [00:59:52]
  • Stages of damage – elastic deformation, plastic deformation, permanent damage. [1:00:26]
  • Yanagiba - is a type of single bevel knife used to slice boneless protein, most often raw fish, for things like sushi and sashimi.  They are also used for skinning fish among other similar tasks.  They are thin and long. The name translates to willow leaf blade, as the shape resembles a willow leaf. [1:01:16]


WHAT JON IS DRINKING [1:03:22]


Moroccan mint tea from Urth caffe.  About 10-15g of tea leaves per liter of water and 4-6 hours of time in the fridge.


WHAT’S MAKING JON HAPPY IN THE CULINARY WORLD [1:03:56]


I think the thing that's most interesting to me that I'm most excited to see as we move forward are these ways that the culinary world is starting to bridge this pay gap between front and back and the ways that people are managing that.[1:04:14]


JON’S FAVORITE GIFT TO GIVE A FRIEND OR COLLEAGUE [1:07:00]


PART I: My move now…is that I show up with like ice cream, not like a bucket of ice cream, but, you know, like ice cream truck ice cream, like the multicolored lollipops and like ice cream sandwiches and shit. Like who hates that? No one hates that. [1:07:22]


PART II: In terms of my friends, I'm more about experiences than I am about things. I would rather take someone out for a dinner or take them to a bar or do something with them than to buy them something…I love introducing people to new restaurants that are opening and the chefs and especially the cooks so that they understand more about this world that I love so much. [1:09:45]


RESOURCES + LINKS

· JKI Website: https://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/ 

· JKI Instagram: www.instagram/jknifeimports

· JKI Facebook: www.facebook.com/JapaneseKnifeImports/

· JKI Knife skills development videos 

· Now Serving Book Store

  INSTAGRAM:  https://www.instagram.com/nowservingla/

  ADDRESS: Far East Plaza, 727 N. Broadway, Unit 133, Los Angeles, CA 90012

· Chef Alex Atala

· El Bulli Cookbook

· Somni Restaurant 

· Prefectures of Japan are governmental administrative units similar to mini-states and form the first level of jurisdiction and administrative division.

· Grand Chef Takayuki 180mm knife (Nickie’s Japanese chef’s knife)


Jon Broida, Japanese Knife Imports, Beverly Hills
* * CLICK ON IMAGE TO LISTEN TO EPISODE * *

Jon Broida, Japanese Knife Imports, Beverly Hills

* * CLICK ON IMAGE TO LISTEN TO EPISODE * *

LISTEN: Episode #1 - Fussy French Menu Terms

ABOUT: Episode #1 & Dr. Ariane Helou, French Professor

  

ABOUT THIS EPISODE:  In this episode, Nickie and Dr. Ariane Helou, PhD and French professor at UCLA, breakdown fussy French terms popping up on menus all around America so you can approach menus with more confidence. It's an informative and humorous exploration of the French terms gracing 5-star restaurants to local eateries. Nickie and Ariane tackle amuse bouche, charcuterie, confit, foi gras, crème anglaise, escargot and soo much more. So, saddle up to this informative and at times comedic conversation. Please enjoy and happy ordering :-)


ABOUT DR. ARIANE HELOU, PHD:   Dr. Ariane Helou currently teaches in the Department of French & Francophone Studies at UCLA. Her research focuses on drama, music, and poetry in early modern Italy, England, and France; her secondary research field is culinary history. Dr. Helou previously taught at UC Santa Cruz, where she earned her PhD in Literature and subsequently taught in Theater Arts, Classical Studies, and French.

  

She is also a translator; a dramaturg; and a performing artist whose background spans early music, theater, and opera, currently singing with Artes Vocales. Dr. Helou has been a company member of the Santa Cruz Shakespeare festival since 2012, and is also a member of the Los Angeles-based theater company Collaborative Artists Bloc.


CONTACT INFO:

WEBSITE:  https://arianehelou.com/

INSTAGRAM: https://instagram.com/dramatourgia

 



Episode #1 GUEST:  Ariane Helou, PhD, French expert, culinary historian and performing artist.

Episode #1 GUEST:  Ariane Helou, PhD, French expert, culinary historian and performing artist.