Friday, March 25, 2011

3/25 Chef Robert Hesse, Rusack Vineyards, Hidden Lakes Winery, Hugo's, Steve the Movie Guy

What's Cookin' Today Hour ONE:

Chef Robert Hesse Takes Us Down To the Very Depths of Hell's Kitchen!

Chef Robert Hesse, Executive Chef and Partner of Georgica, Catamarans Restaurants and Corporate Executive Chef and Partner of Pssghetti's Restaurant in Clearwater, FL, has appeared on the hit television show "Hell's Kitchen" on Season 5 and 6, finishing in the top 5.

Chef Robert Hesse knows a little about working with fire-and under it. No one who hasn't stepped into Chef Gordon Ramsey's "Hell's Kitchen" can accurately say what it's like to work under such a pressure cooker, no pun intended. Chef Robert Hesse not only knows the feeling, he survived it, thrived on it, and continues to help maintain three successful restaurants. Chef Hesse is now available to speak about: his experiences on "Hell's Kitchen"; the rewards one gets for hard work and vision; and his philosophy on business success.

Finishing in the Top 5 on "Hell's Kitchen" requires self-confidence, mental toughness and perseverance. Chef Robert Hesse was a success on Ramsey's show because he uses those tenets on a daily basis, running and co-running three successful eateries.

To learn more about Chef Robert Hesse's restaurants, visit them online at:,,

John Falcone Shows Us Around The Lovely Rusack Vineyards!

John, the winemaker at Rusack Vineyards, born into an Italian winemaking family, started his wine odyssey at age 19, working for his uncle at The Monterey Vineyard. Prior to joining Rusack, John worked for many years in the Napa Valley, including a position as winemaker at Atlas Peak Vineyards and Codorniu Napa, now known as Artesa Winery.

Falcone’s decision to join Rusack Vineyards was prompted in large part by his desire to "get back to hand-crafting wines" and the belief that Santa Barbara County is now one of the best places for a small-production winery to live up to its potential for producing great wines.

For more info on the winery, go to!

What's Cookin' Today Hour TWO:

Winemaker Nick Deiters Shows Us Around Hidden Lake Winery in Aviston, IL!

Hidden Lake opened in spring of 2004 and is nestled in the woods of Silent forest in Aviston, IL. Many unique features include a lake with walk-around path and beautiful onlooking patio. They also have a sculpture garden with numerous sculptures and nice landscape. They have 92 acres with wedding venues spread across and 2 acres of vineyard. They have 10 on-site cabins available for rent and 2 of wich are honeymoon suites. They have 6 event venues with anywhere from 50 to 500 capacity with wedding receptions being our specialty. They produce between 5,000 and 7,000 gallons of wine each year and have 21 varieties to choose from varying from white, red, blush, sweet, semi-sweet, and dry.

Nick is 22 years old and has been making wine as a hobby since he was 19 and have been making wine commercially for Hidden Lake Winery since he became of legal age to do do! Nick is aspiring towards degrees in each Viticulture (grape growing) and Enology (winemaking) through an online instituion known as VESTA. He is the nephew of the owners of Hidden Lake Winery (Dale and Angela Holbrook) and is starting 6 acres of his own vineyard (known as Zuckerbach Vineyards) in mid-April. Nick loves everything about wine and he's hoping to do everything he can to spread knowlege of wines and vines. Nick hopes to contribute to the developing wine industry in his state and above all to spread good cheer to as many as he can.

For more info on this winery, go to

Owner Tom Kaplan Takes Us to Hugo's, A Southern California Culinary Landmark!

A restaurant that lasts 30 years is as rare as a long lasting Hollywood marriage. But, Hugo’s Restaurants, the home of the Power Breakfast and a mainstay on the Southern California food scene, is not only celebrating 30 years in business at its original West Hollywood location, and 10 years in Sherman Oaks…but is prepping the grand opening of its third spot in Agoura Hills later this year.

The restaurant group, owned and managed by partners Tom and Emily Kaplan, Richard and Leslie Brenner and Bill Kohne, will memorialize its 30/10/0 landmark with both a historical return to its menus of 1980 and a slate of specials devoted to its evolution into a “stealthy healthy” whole food concept of gluten-free, vegan recipes.

Hugo’s defies description; it is not an ethnic restaurant or even one with one major specialty, although its Pasta Mama is almost a world famous dish. In keeping with a “whole food” philosophy, the menu is designed without the use of any white flour or table salt, the tables feature organic ketchup and mustard and there are scads of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes as well as classic burgers and pasta carbonara. A single glance at the Hugo’s menu will not suffice; a vegan, a vegetarian, a meat-lover will all be pleased by the selection; with an eye for simplicity and a heart for freshness, the Hugo’s menu has been able to capture the breadth of world cuisine and bring it to its tables.

For more info on Hugo's, go to!

Movie Guy Steve Evans Gives us the Movie Hits and Misses!
Steve Evans, the Movie Guy, is going to tell us what we need to run out and see and what we can avoid in the movie theaters, this week!

So, grab your popcorn, folks! Get your movie news and reviews right here on the What's Cookin' Today show! Steve “The Movie Guy” will take a look at what’s hot at the box office and the new films being released this weekend:

This weekend it’s the battle of the hollywood hunks! Bradley Cooper and Matthew McConaughey go head to head with competing dramatic thrillers while a prankster alien joins the party as three new releases hit theaters Friday.
  • Sucker Punch - A fantastical tale of a young girl, locked away inside a mental institution, who creates an imaginary world to plan her escape.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules - Greg Heffley is back with problems new and old, but none more prominent than the punishments of his older brother Rodrick.
  • Peep World - Four siblings come to terms with the publication of a novel that exposes the family's most intimate secrets.
  • White Irish Drinkers - Two teenage brothers, struggling to get by in 1975 working-class Brooklyn, get caught up in a life of petty crime.
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