Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thu Jul 30, 2009

On Today's Show:

Eric Drath - Producer and Director - "ASSAULT IN THE RING" HBO Aug 1
HBO Sports will present ASSAULT IN THE RING, a documentary about the ill-fated bout between Billy Collins Jr. and Luis Resto and its subsequent effect on both boxers. Debuting SATURDAY, AUG. 1 on HBO, the special will explore the events that profoundly impacted the New York sports landscape and the world of boxing, and changed the lives of two athletes.
ASSAULT IN THE RING revisits a boxing scandal considered one of the sport’s darkest hours, and traces a man’s despairing journey following his alleged involvement in a criminal plot. The documentary examines new evidence about this boxing match turned 30-minute assault, and reveals much more about the pre-fight activities of Luis Resto, his trainer Panama Lewis and the athletic commission representatives. On June 16, 1983, undefeated welterweight Billy Collins Jr. set out to fulfill every boxer’s dream of fighting in the world’s most famous arena – Madison Square Garden. Collins’ opponent, Luis Resto of the Bronx, had his own dream of rising to the occasion in front of hometown fans. But what began as a match that Nashville native Collins was favored to win changed both athletes’ lives – ending Collins’ career dreams and landing Resto in prison. Resto seemingly reached a fighter’s ultimate goal by upsetting Collins, but his post-fight victory celebration was short-lived when it was discovered that the padding had been illegally removed from Resto’s gloves by his trainer, Panama Lewis, before the fight. Resto was subsequently incarcerated and banned from the sport, while the brutally beaten Collins went into a tragic downward spiral. Lewis, whose official career as a trainer came to an end that night, was also subsequently banned, and speaks for the first time in ASSAULT IN THE RING about the events of the fight and their impact. Others interviewed include: former New York State Athletic Commission chairman Jack Prenderville; members of the prosecution, defense and jury from the 1985 trial in New York; and Billy Jr.’s widow, Andrea.

Chef Rocco DiSpirito - Bravo’s “Top Chef” and NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.”
Rocco DiSpirito is the author of 5 cook books including Flavor, Rocco's Italian American, Rocco's Real Life Recipes and DiSpirito's fifth book Rocco Gets Real: Cook At Home Everyday was published October 2008. A unique cookbook that empowers the everyday home cook with easy to make recipes, step by step photos and illustrations, making his unique approach to food accessible to just about anyone. Dispirito also makes regular appearances on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.” As the summer season strolls along, and restaurant choices seem either slim or expensive, many of your viewers are likely looking for more options to dine at home. Chef Rocco DiSpirito will offer listeners several suggestions on how to elevate an ordinary night in into a restaurant quality meal. From navigating the grocery store for the best possible ingredients, to building a menu of options that are sure to please, Chef Rocco will provide viewers with tips and tricks for delicious dinners.

Chef Larry Nicola "Mexico Restaurante y Barra"
What's pink and orange and red all over? Larry Nicola's newest restaurant, Mexico Restaurante y Barra. Nicola, one of Los Angeles 's highly regarded and innovative restaurateurs, brings a unique, affordable addition to the city's quality Mexican food repertoire. The new restaurant and bar looks like a funky beach joint uprooted from coastal Mexico and plopped down in West Hollywood . It's hard to miss the huge, pink neon " Mexico " sign that Nicola bought 12 years ago at a neighborhood antiques store. That " Mexico " sign and his love for the cuisine are what inspired him to open Mexico Restaurante y Barra. Upon entering, a brass plaque announces that the building was used as a recording studio for The Doors in 1970. "L.A. Woman" was recorded in what is now the downstairs bathroom. These days the sound of a live mariachi band fills the air on weekend nights. Restaurant patron's ears and eyes squint from the pulsating fiesta atmosphere vibrating off lights strung across upstairs and downstairs open-air patios. Everything sparkles against magenta, orange and turquoise walls. Brilliant-colored plates, flower-patterned oilcloth tablecloths, red umbrellas and bright pink chairs promise a happy vibe. Patio heaters warm nippy nights, plus boldly striped Mexican serapes hang on chair backs for use by chilly fashionistas. An intensely pink barroom offers a cozy place to dine, with a half dozen dining tables below, piñatas above and view into the kitchen beyond.
In keeping with the laid-back beach concept, an outdoor staircase to the upper patio and indoor lounge/bar creaks under the steps. Once inside, guests will spot bar stools looking like conga drums covered in red shag carpeting to match the fiery room color. It's the perfect party room for special events. There's plenty of low, upholstered, trés hipster seating enticing guests to stretch out with a good drink. Mexico's cocktail list boasts top-of-the-line tequila, earthy mezcal, hand-squeezed juices, agave syrup, fresh chiles and herbs. "Silverrano" is an unforgettable potion combining Corzo silver tequila with cooling, muddled cucumber, and lime sour for a nice citrus finish until the bolt of serrano chile hits the back of your throat. Another, " Mesa 9," stirs smooth Corzo añejo tequila, pomegranate and foamy, sweet-sour pineapple juices with a guajillo-infused syrup. The name Larry Nicola is synonymous with spectcular cocktails and new bar concepts. In 1980 he opened the first martini lounge at L.A. Nicola, in Silver Lake . In 1993 he moved downtown with Nicola, and then opened Nic's Beverly Hills in 1997. He added the VODBOX to the scene in 2006-the wildly popular vodka tasting, walk-in, exhibition freezer designed for tasting flights of vodka in their purest form. Larry Nicola is passionate about Latin American food. He lived in Belize and Costa Rica while working as chef and then consultant for some of the swankiest resorts such as Palmilla Hotel, and Querencia, a private golf resort both in Los Cabos , Mexico . Nicola continues to travel to Mexico whenever possible and explore the country's regional foods. He knows the cuisine and how to achieve authentic flavors. The dishes served at Mexico are Larry's personal favorites, inspired from his travels. His pride and joy is a mesquite wood-fired oven and he takes full advantage of it. Primal fragrances fill the air whenever charred beef, roasted duck, smoky corn and blackened chiles are pulled from the embers. Enticing aromas charge out of the oven like a steam locomotive as it rounds a curve at full speed. The smell of real Mexican cooking is the result of the mesquite's mineral deposit; its smoke permeates food with a distinct Mexican high mesa flavor stamp. Years of surfing along the west coast from Jalisco south to Oaxaca is Larry's inspiration for huge garlicky grilled shrimp with a chipotle, cilantro and blistered tomato dip, a perfect appetizer. It is ideally followed with a sizzling cast iron skillet of queso fundido with smoky flavors from charred poblano chiles, a generous spoonful of crunchy chorizo sausage and luscious, gooey cheese scooped into hand made flour tortillas just off the hot grill. Taquitos are generously filled with moist, mesquite-fired duck meat for more smoky earthiness. The pair is wrapped in delicate handmade corn tortillas. A main dish of duck with guava sauce served with bay leaf, fennel and habañero rice is an ideal entree. The duck is cooked just enough to claim its intense flavor without a thought of dryness. With influence from the Gulf coastline, the huachinango (true red snapper) is quickly fried for a crisp skin, as it sits atop of Larry's rendition of a brothy, wood oven-charred tomato, potato and green olive Veracruzana sauce. Carnitas are big, succulent chunks of pork rendered in their own fat and then popped into the mesquite oven to swallow up wood flavor. Sharing the plate is a nutritious Mexican vegetable, verdolagas, over toasty tomatillo sauce, adding a bright touch of acidity to the all-around stellar dish. Chiles rellenos charge out of the mesquite oven oozing charred, melted Oaxacan quesillo cheese. The cheese and spinach-stuffed Anaheim chiles come with a richly deep, smoky salsa negra. At the last second they're sprinkled with queso fresco cheese and topped with a super crunchy squash blossom. Side dishes like smoky black beans baked in the mesquite oven with epazote, avocado leaves and anise-tinged avocado convey an authentic taste of Oaxaca . Corn also gets time in wood before it's scraped off the cob, hit with spicy chile de arbol and a dollop of cooling Mexican crema. In thanks to the genius of Larry Nicola, Mexico Restaurante y Barra offers top rate food at affordable prices. The quality and flavor values are brighter than the décor. Appetizers run $8 and up to $12 for seafood cocktails. Entrees are more than reasonable at $13 to $16. For dessert, guests can stretch out on cushy upstairs lounge sofa, and sip on a "Jump on a Horse" Herradura reposado tequila, cactus fruit and Cointreau cocktail ($12) while enjoying a flavorful Mexican classic Flan de Coco y Cacao, Mexican Chocolate Wedding Cake, Pineapple Sundae with cookies or the Paletas de Mango. Mexico Restaurante y Barra, 8512 Santa Monica Boulevard , West Hollywood , CA 90069 . 310-289-0088. Open at 5PM daily.

Philip and Michelle Wojtowicz - "Big Sur Bakery Cookbook"
Tucked behind a gas station off California's legendary Highway 1, the Big Sur Bakery is easy to miss. But don't be fooled by its unassuming location—stumbling across the Bakery, as countless visitors have done on their way up and down the Pacific Coast, will make you feel as if you've discovered a secret: a gem of a restaurant where the food, people, and atmosphere meld together in a perfect embodiment of the spirit of Big Sur. The three restaurant owners, chef Philip Wojtowicz, baker Michelle Wojtowicz, and host Michael Gilson, escaped the Los Angeles food scene to create their version of the ideal restaurant, nestled in the heart of some of the most beautiful country in the world. This is simple, wood-fired American cooking at its best, executed in a way that lets the ingredients—seasonal and often locally produced—shine. Weekend brunches feature thick, nine-grain pancakes and savory breakfast pizza topped with crisp bacon, fresh herbs, and pasture-raised eggs. At night, Phil offers classics like Grilled Prime Rib Steak with Red Wine Sauce along with twists on traditional favorites like Venison Osso Buco or Rockfish Scampi. And every meal should end with one of Michelle's great desserts, whether it's a homemade Peppermint Ice Cream Sundae or Hazelnut Flan with Roasted Cherries.