Friday, March 27, 2009

Mon Mar 30, 2009

On Today's Show:

Today "What's Cookin" is live from Palm, Springs and the beautiful LA QUINTA RESORT & CLUB® AND PGA WEST®THE WALDORF (ASTORIA COLLECTION)®

Davis Sezna President, La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA WEST
Davis has over 25 years in the hospitality management industry, purchasing his first distressed property and reinventing it as a local restaurant in Newark , DE in 1980. His hospitality corporation continued managing restaurants with great success and then ventured into hotels and golf courses. Most recently, Davis founded Tandem Hospitality, which consults with private clubs, hotels, and resorts. Davis serves as President for La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA WEST

Bob Buttaro - Director of Marketing & Communications

Jeffrey Lunak -Executive Chef
Born in Grand Forks, North Dakota and raised in Eau Claire, Wisconsin during his formative years, Jeffrey Lunak is a full-bread Midwestern guy. Not listening to his innate culinary skills, Lunak enrolled in the University of Montana with a major in Anthropological Linguistics. Instead of spending is time studying the relations between language and culture, Lunak was found studying the relationship between eggs and flour. Spending more time in the kitchen than the classroom, Lunak dropped out of University of Montana and enrolled himself in the Cordon Bleu Program at McIntosh College in Dover, New Hampshire where he graduated with a culinary degree. Taking his "perfected" skills with him, Lunak headed to the Chatham Bars Inn in Cape Cod where he was the sous chef for over three years studying under the well-known Japanese-born, French and Italian trained chef Hidemasa Yamamoto. Realizing that Yamamoto knew a thing or two in the kitchen, Lunak followed him to open the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, DC as the executive sous-chef. After a bit of time in DC, Lunak’s mentor Yamamoto left for Japan, so Lunak set out as the Executive Chef of the high-profile restaurant, Morimoto in Philadelphia. Working under the famed Iron-Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Lunak helped develop menu items for the NYC branch of Morimoto as well as for the Food Network show. Ready for some warm weather and a chance to "spread his wing," Lunak headed south to Florida where he was the area-executive chef for Sanibel/Captiva properties including; South Seas Island resort, Sundial Beach resort and The Dunes Golf and Tennis Club. Tired of the east coast and ready to make his mark out west, Lunak joins the Parker Palm Springs as the executive chef overseeing the properties’ two restaurants mister Parker’s and NORMA’S, room-service, banquets and pool-side service. "I joined the Parker because it is the first environment that I experienced that allows me to simply be myself, says Lunak." A hotel known for pushing the culinary envelope and offering top quality food with a unique spin, the Parker Palm Springs is thrilled to have Lunak’s experience and enthusiasm. Ready for the next challenge Jeffrey has accepted the Executive Chef position at the world famous La Quinta Resort and Club a Waldorf =Astoria Collection property effective December 18, 2008. Jeffrey Lunak currently resides in Palm Springs (it would be a bit difficult if he didn’t), with his wife Tecla who will be expecting their first child in 2009.

Joel Fisher - "Wine Guru" - lists Wine Events Nationwide
The wine columnist for the Culinary Connection of the Chefs de Cuisine Association of California. He was a Contributing Editor of Patterson's Beverage Journal. From 1999 to 2006 he was a wine instructor for the Culinary Arts Department of the Art Institute of California-Los Angeles and is a founding partner of the educational Wine Vine and Dine, which conducts programs throughout Southern California.