April 29: Live from the Big Island Chocolate Festival

It’s a very special day of indulgence on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

BIg Island Chocolate FestivalWe’re coming to you from the 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. We’re broadcasting from the Reef Lounge with an incredible ocean view.

Hawaii is the only state in the USA where cacao, the primary base of chocolate, can be successfully grown commercially.

Now a properly decadent preview of this Saturday’s full show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing…

When it comes to insider’s knowledge of the vibrant Chicago food scene one of the best sources is Chicago ABC 7 Eyewitness News’ Food Reporter, Steve Dolinsky, “The Hungry Hound.” Steve was recently nominated for his potential 14th James Beard Foundation Award for journalistic excellence in reporting. The James Beard Awards Gala is May 1st at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. As a veteran of The James Beard Awards in both New York and Chicago, Steve joins us with a preview of what’s in store and a report on the Media Awards.

Farsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.

Hawaii Island native Peter Abarcar, Jr. was promoted in 2015 from executive chef of Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel to director of culinary and beverage operations. Chef Abarcar now oversees all culinary, food and beverage operations at the 350-room oceanfront resort including the resort’s signature restaurant, Coast Grille. He also supervises operations for extensive catering and banquets, the Ocean Terrace Restaurant and The Beach Bar. We’ll pull him out of the busy kitchens and “Talk Story.”

Alicia Boada is an acclaimed pastry chef and instructor with 20 plus years of experience in the culinary industry. She is the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate (The Barry Callebaut Group) whose brands include Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa, among more. As a Corporate Pastry Chef & Chocolatier, Chef Alicia’s role often calls on her to perform demonstrations and training worldwide keeping her on the edge of what’s happening in the contemporary pastry and chocolate world. Chef Alicia will be performing a chocolate demonstration as part of the Festival in addition to judging the Gala’s delicious offerings.

Maui Chef Elizabeth (Betty) McDonald of B3 A Beach Bunny Bakery is a judge for the Gala as well as the College Competition. She is a veteran of The Big Island Chocolate Festival. Chef Betty has been in the culinary field since 2003, developing a love for baking at a young age from her mother and grandmothers. She has been fortunate enough to travel with her husband living and working in the four corners of the country.

Guittard’s Chocolate Company’s Executive Chef and Chocolatier, Donald Wressell, really needs no long introduction to listeners. Prior to his joining Guittard Chocolate as the in-house pastry chef, Donald Wressell spent 19 years at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills where he was named the 2005 Pastry Chef of the Year, won Silver and Gold medals in the Grand Salon Culinaire and placed second at the Les Masters du Chocolat competition. Chef Donald also represented the USA four times in Le Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie and captained the winning team at the 2011 National Pastry Team Championship.

Chef instructor Teresa “Cheech” Shurilla of University of Hawaii – Maui College oversees the college competition at The Big Island Chocolate Festival and has done if for several years. The Festival has had student participants from UH-Maui College, UH-Hilo and UH-Palamanui in Kona. It is Friday, April 28th and winners are announced at the Festival Gala. Chef Shurilla has been working and teaching in the culinary field for over thirty-four years. Prepare to be judged…

Andrew and William GruelChef Andrew Gruel is at Trade in Irvine this Saturday (busily training & cooking) in the soft opening phase of Two Birds and Butterleaf. He’ll happily fly the coop and be back with us next week.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

 

Steve Dolinsky and Andreew GruelWhen it comes to insider’s knowledge of the vibrant Chicago food scene one of the best and most reliable sources is Chicago ABC 7 Eyewitness News Food Reporter, Steve Dolinsky, “The Hungry Hound.”

Steve was recently nominated for his potential 14th James Beard Foundation Award for journalistic excellence in reporting. The James Beard Awards Gala is May 1st at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

As a veteran of The James Beard Awards in both New York and Chicago, Steve joins us with a preview of what’s in store and a report on the Media Awards, held on Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers, New York City.

Farsheed BonakdarFarsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts.

Beyond creating, implementing and promoting the Big Island Chocolate Festival, the Kona Cacao Association works with cacao growers, producers, chocolate enthusiasts and chefs to help create a recognizable brand for Hawaii Island Chocolate. KCA members work together towards creating a structure to maintain the quality of cacao grown, marketed and shipped from Hawaii for the future growth of this fledging industry.

We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.

Peter Abarcar JuniorHawaii Island native Peter Abarcar, Jr. was promoted in 2015 from executive chef of Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel to director of culinary and beverage operations. Chef Abarcar now oversees all culinary, food and beverage operations at the 350-room oceanfront resort including the resort’s signature restaurant, Coast Grille. He also supervises operations for extensive catering and banquets, the Ocean Terrace Restaurant and The Beach Bar.

Abarcar first began his Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel career as lead cook in 1997. In 2000 he left the Hapuna family to become Executive Chef at the Club at Hokuli’a. Eight years later, Abarcar returned to Mauna Kea Resort to help reopen Mauna Kea Beach Hotel as sous chef, following the hotel’s closure and extensive renovation. In 2010, he was promoted to chef de cuisine at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel’s signature restaurant, Coast Grille. The following year, he was promoted to the position of Executive Chef.

Chef Abarcar enjoys pairing varieties of ethnic flavors from his Hawaii Island upbringing. His keen sense of local produce and seafood paired with his culinary talent and passion for creative food results in exciting tastes on each of the menus at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.

We’ll pull him out of the busy kitchens and “Talk Story.”

Alicia BoadaAlicia Boada is an acclaimed pastry chef and instructor with 20 plus years of experience in the culinary industry. She is the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate, North America (The Barry Callebaut Group) whose brands include Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa, among more.

As a Corporate Pastry Chef & Chocolatier, Chef Alicia’s role often calls on her to perform demonstrations and training worldwide keeping her on the edge of what’s happening in the contemporary pastry and chocolate world.

Chef Alicia will be performing a chocolate demonstration as part of the Festival in addition to judging the Gala’s delicious offerings.

Alicia also serves as President of the Women Chefs & Restaurateurs.

Betty McDonaldMaui Chef Elizabeth (Betty) McDonald of B3 A Beach Bunny Bakery is a judge for the Gala as well as the College Competition. She is a veteran of The Big Island Chocolate Festival. Chef Betty has been in the culinary field since 2003, developing a love for baking at a young age from her mother and grandmothers.

She has been fortunate enough to travel with her husband living and working in the four corners of the country. Growing up in Rhode Island and attending culinary school in Massachusetts cemented her base knowledge and passion for traditional pastries.

Traveling the country and landing in the tropical destination of Maui has blended beautifully with Betty’s pastry skills. The tropical fruits and flavors have really made for an exciting flavor profiles in classic desserts.

Upon moving to Maui, chef Betty became the executive pastry chef for restaurateur Mark Ellman. Betty made her mark on the culinary scene at Mala an Ocean Tavern and Honu Seafood and Pizza, becoming an award-winning pastry chef. As the executive pastry chef for these restaurants Betty was awarded the Star Chef’s Rising Star Award for her desserts with vibrant and bright tropical flavors with gluten free and vegan options.

Chef Betty has continued her rise in the Maui culinary scene. In the summer of 2014 Chef Betty opened B3 “A Beach Bunny Bakery”. Specializing in cakes and cupcakes for all occasions. B3 also bakes fresh and delivers scrumptious desserts to several restaurants and coffee shops on the west side of Maui, most notably Paris Nabavi’s Sangrita Grill and Cantina.

Donald WressellGuittard’s Chocolate Company’s Executive Chef and Chocolatier, Donald Wressell, really needs no long introduction to listeners. Prior to his joining Guittard Chocolate as the in-house pastry chef, Donald Wressell spent 19 years at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills where he was named the 2005 Pastry Chef of the Year, won Silver and Gold medals in the Grand Salon Culinaire and placed second at the Les Masters du Chocolat competition.

Chef Donald also represented the USA four times in Le Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie and captained the winning team at the 2011 National Pastry Team Championship.

In his spare time Chef Donald created the spectacular “Official” Birthday Cakes for the City of Beverly Hills’ Diamond Jubilee (1988) & Centennial (2014) Anniversary celebrations. The Centennial creation yielded 15,000 ample servings and not a crumb was left!

Teresa Cheech ShurillaChef instructor Teresa “Cheech” Shurilla of University of Hawaii – Maui College oversees the college competition at The Big Island Chocolate Festival and has done if for several years. The Festival has had student participants from UH-Maui College, UH-Hilo and UH-Palamanui in Kona.

The college competition is set for Friday, April 28th at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel and winners are announced at the concluding Saturday night Festival Gala. Chef Shurilla has been working and teaching in the culinary field for over thirty-four years. Prepare to be judged…

Show 220, April 22, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish

Be sure and join us for next week’s show on April 29th. The Halo ticket giveaway returns. We’ll be awarding a Family 4-pack of Angel tickets to one lucky listener!

Now a tempting preview of this Saturday’s ample show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Sandwiches, made from fresh, premium ingredients, have come into their own as serious eats. In Spring 2014, when Sessions West Coast Deli opened its first location in Newport Beach, its owners had one mission: to serve the “best sandwiches to ever hit the lip.” As a neighborhood-casual concept designed to serve its immediate community, Sessions embraces the area’s surf culture as it presents a menu of gourmet, culinary-focused sandwiches in a relaxed environment. Co-Founder Matt Meddock joins us.

Chia seeds are moving into the mainstream from health food stores. One of the first pioneers of producing high quality, chia-based foods and beverages is Mamma Chia based in Carlsbad. We met Mamma Chia’s founder and CEO, Janie Hoffman, at the recent Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim. Janie is our guest “planting the seed” on the healthful benefits of chia. Chia, for example, has 2 times more potassium than bananas.

The 2nd Annual Masters of Taste benefit, an outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival is being held on Sunday, May 7th, 2017 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl!

The Benefit will bring over 2,500 food and beverage enthusiasts together from all over Greater Los Angeles for one afternoon to celebrate this exhilarating festival, which will include the finest fare from over 40 Culinary Masters and restaurants, delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s top Sweet Masters, signature handcrafted cocktails and tastings from over 30 Beverage Masters, including L.A’s top bartenders and cocktail bars, local California wineries, local craft breweries, pressed juices, hand roasted coffee, live entertainment and much more. The Chairman of Masters of Taste, Robert Levy, joins us for a stellar preview along with participating Chef Michael Hung of K-Town’s Mama Lion.

If premium wine wasn’t expensive enough as it is there is also the perplexing matter of what stemware to properly serve the wine in. Some of the fine, imported wine glasses are plenty pricey. Time to separate the practical from the salesmanship. Our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange, joins us with sound advice on what you really should buy without breaking the bank.

Debuting May 1st to 31st is the ambitious L.A. Times Food Bowl (“A New Kind of Food Festival”), a monthlong festival celebrating the city’s dynamic, influential food scene and promoting awareness about food waste and hunger. The Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen Director Noelle Carter joins us with an overview.

One of the participating craft breweries in Masters of Taste is the Indie Brewing Company, based in Los Angeles. It’s the typical craft brewery start-up tale of four partners leaving safe jobs in geology, advertising and law to create limited production beer. Of course… Co-founder, Connor Forbes, is our guest to tap the keg on Indie Brewing Company.

Ever wonder what it takes to get an eagerly anticipated restaurant open? For the last year we’ve been enthusiastically following our own, Chef Andrew Gruel’s, progress in opening Two Birds and Butterleaf in the new Trade Food Hall in Irvine located near John Wayne Orange County Airport. At long last they are about ready (subject to final permitting) to begin service. We’ll hear all about it.

Next Saturday (April 29th) we’re live from the 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. Don’t miss it.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

Play

Show 220, April 22, 2017: Matt Meddock, Co-Founder, Sessions West Coast Deli, Newport Beach & Huntington Beach

Matt MeddockSandwiches, made from fresh, premium ingredients, have come into their own as serious eats. In Spring 2014, when Sessions West Coast Deli opened its first location in Newport Beach, its owners had one mission: to serve the “best sandwiches to ever hit the lip.” As a neighborhood-casual concept designed to serve its immediate community, Sessions embraces the area’s surf culture as it presents a menu of gourmet, culinary-focused sandwiches in a relaxed environment.

In Summer 2015, Sessions opened its second Orange County location on the waterfront in Huntington Beach. The opening of this location reinforced Sessions’ dedication and commitment to its community by becoming a local hub for surfers, skaters and area beachgoers looking for great sandwiches.

“Unlike most sandwich shops in the region, Sessions proudly boasts a scratch kitchen with housemade sauces, sides, salads, and soups prepared daily. All sandwiches are made to order with fresh, locally grown produce; humanely and naturally raised meats; and locally baked bread delivered daily from local artisan, OC Baking Company. In addition, the restaurant proudly serves a selection of locally roasted coffee beverages from Kean Coffee.”

The two most popular sandwiches are the Summer Zephr and The Meddock Melee. A worthy burger is rumored to be on the way in addition to new locations.

Co-Founder Matt Meddock joins us to get between the bread slices and build a proper sandwich.

Play

Show 220, April 22, 2017: Janie Hoffman, Founder & CEO, Mamma Chia, Carlsbad

Janie HoffmanChia seeds are moving into the mainstream from health food stores. One of the first pioneers of producing high quality chia-based foods and beverages is Mamma Chia based in Carlsbad. We met Mamma Chia’s founder and CEO, Janie Hoffman, at the recent Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim. Janie is our guest “planting the seed” on the healthful benefits of chia. Chia, for example, has 2 times more potassium than bananas.

“Mamma Chia is a conscious and sustainable company that honors and uplifts both the soul of humanity and the soul of the planet. Dedicated to sharing the Magic of Chia through delicious, nutrient-rich, organic foods and beverages powered by chia, Mamma Chia is continually adding innovative products to our already robust and delightful offerings.”

“Mamma Chia donates one percent of sales to support farmers, community groups and organizations that build healthy, local food systems.”

“If you’re looking for healthy snacks and beverages that are also delicious, then Mamma Chia is perfect for you! All of our products are packed with organic chia seeds that provide a plant-based source of Omega-3s, dietary fiber, complete protein and much more. From our lightly sweetened, refreshing beverages to our satisfying bars and granola, you will be delighted with the energy, strength and vitality you feel. The best part is that Mamma Chia is organic, Non-GMO, kosher and gluten free.”

Play

Show 220, April 22, 2017: 2nd Annual Masters of Taste Benefit, Rose Bowl, Pasadena

Rob LevyThe 2nd Annual Masters of Taste benefit, an outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival is being held on Sunday, May 7th, 2017 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl!

The Benefit will bring over 2,500 food and beverage enthusiasts together from all over Greater Los Angeles for one afternoon to celebrate this exhilarating festival, which will include the finest fare from over 40 Culinary Masters and restaurants, delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s top Sweet Masters, signature handcrafted cocktails and tastings from over 30 Beverage Masters, including LA’s top bartenders and cocktail bars, local California wineries, local craft breweries, pressed juices, hand roasted coffee, live entertainment and much more.

100% of the proceeds from Masters of Taste 2017 will directly benefit Union Station Homeless Services, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping homeless men, women and children rebuild their lives. Union Station is part of a premier group of human services agencies in Los Angeles County that are leading the way to end homelessness in our community and offers an array of services including street outreach, meals, shelter, housing, case management and career development.

Michael HungLast year, Masters of Taste 2016 raised over $435,000 for Union Station Homeless Services, and this year Masters of Taste hopes to grow that number to $560,000.

Ticket Information: Masters of Taste will take place on Sunday, May 7th, 2016. A VIP Power Hour will be held from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm and General Admission will be from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Tickets to this event are only available for guests 21+ and over. For more information on Masters of Taste or to book your tickets directly, please visit right here.

The Chairman of Masters of Taste, Robert Levy, joins us for a stellar preview along with participating Chef Michael Hung of K-Town’s Mama Lion.

Play

Show 220, April 22, 2017: Wine Stemware Made Easy, Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, Wine Exchange

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeIf premium wine wasn’t expensive enough as it is there is also the perplexing matter of what stemware to properly serve the wine in. Lot of hype out there…Some of the fine, imported wine glasses are plenty pricey.

Time to separate the practical from the impressive salesmanship. Our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange, joins us with sound advice on what you really should buy when it comes to wine glasses that won’t break the bank.

Thankfully Kyle keeps this simple for us. He suggests even a hard-core wine connoisseurs only needs a Champagne Flute, a White Wine glass, a Bordeaux / Cabernet glass and a wider bowl Burgundy / Pinot Noir glass. Respectable stemware can be had for $10 to $12 per glass. Kyle also suggests a cut glass rim versus a rolled rim.

Play

Show 220, April 22, 2017: Los Angeles Times Food Bowl Preview, Noelle Carter, Test Kitchen Director

Noelle CarterDebuting May 1st to 31st is the ambitious L.A. Times Food Bowl (“A New Kind of Food Festival”), a month-long festival celebrating the city’s dynamic, influential food scene and promoting awareness about food waste and hunger.

“For the entire month of May, Food Bowl will seek to engage our community in the importance and enjoyment of food. Our ambition is to produce the city’s largest and most inclusive food festival. While we celebrate the sprawling creativity and diversity of L.A.’s cuisines and the world’s best chefs, we will also confront hunger.”

The Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen Director Noelle Carter joins us with an overview.

Play

Show 220, April 22, 2017: Connor Forbes, Co-Founder, Indie Brewing Company, Los Angeles

Connor ForbesOne of the participating craft breweries in Masters of Taste is the Indie Brewing Company, based in Los Angeles. It’s the typical craft brewery start-up tale of four partners leaving safe jobs in geology, advertising and law to create limited production beer. Of course…

“We set out to give L.A. amazing local beer, and the tasting room it so deserves. We dreamt of a casual spot where people could hang out with other beer lovers and watch bands, talk about sports, and maybe even do a little trivia night. No velvet ropes, no guest lists. Our idea of “bottle service”? Having your growler refilled by the guys who brewed the beer.”

“And who are we? We’re 4 guys who met in the strangest of ways over our mutual love of brewing. This love began in 2009 with homebrews in pots on an electric stovetop. The operation grew with time, and eventually, we were using every free minute we had to make beer. We left our “normal” jobs in geology, advertising and law to spend as much time as possible creating pale ales, saisons, porters and more. We want to put L.A. on the map for something other than movie stars and one-word nightclubs. It’s our mission to take L.A.-based craft beers to new heights.”

“But enough about us – let’s talk about you. Whether you’re a USC or a UCLA fan, an electrician or an actor, you need delicious, local craft beers made by guys you can actually talk to. You need a welcoming spot to hang out with your friends and the rest of L.A.’s beer-loving community.”

Co-founder, Connor Forbes, is our guest to tap the keg on Indie Brewing Company.

Play

Show 220, April 22, 2017: Chef Andrew Gruel, Opening Restaurants at Trade, Irvine, CA

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosEver wonder what it really takes to get an eagerly anticipated restaurant open?

For the last year we’ve been patiently following our own, Chef Andrew Gruel’s, progress in opening Two Birds (cluckin’ good chicken done two ways) and Butterleaf (vegetarian food for non-vegetarians) in the new Trade Food Hall in Irvine located near John Wayne Orange County Airport.

At long last they are about ready (subject to final permitting) to begin service. We’ll hear all about it.

Chef Andrew was also on the front page of the Orange County Registers “LifeStyle” Section on Thursday, April 20th talking about his openings at Trade. The feature, with photos, continues on Pages 3 and 6.

Play

April 22: Sessions West Coast Deli, Mamma Chia, Masters of Taste, Wine Exchange, LA Times Food Bowl, Indie Brewing

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish
Segment Two: Matt Meddock, Co-Founder, Sessions West Coast Deli, Newport Beach & Huntington Beach
Segment Three: Janie Hoffman, Founder & CEO, Mamma Chia, Carlsbad
Segment Four: 2nd Annual Masters of Taste Benefit, Rose Bowl, Pasadena
Segment Five: Wine Stemware Made Easy, Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, Wine Exchange
Segment Six: Los Angeles Times Food Bowl Preview, Noelle Carter, Test Kitchen Director
Segment Seven: Connor Forbes, Co-Founder, Indie Brewing Company, Los Angeles
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Opening Restaurants at Trade, Irvine, CA

Be listening for your chance to win a Family-4 Pack to an upcoming Angels Game at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. Go Halos…

Now a tempting preview of this Saturday’s ample show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Sandwiches, made from fresh, premium ingredients, have come into their own as serious eats. In Spring 2014, when Sessions West Coast Deli opened its first location in Newport Beach, its owners had one mission: to serve the best sandwiches to ever hit the lip. As a neighborhood-casual concept designed to serve its immediate community, Sessions embraces the area’s surf culture as it presents a menu of gourmet, culinary-focused sandwiches in a relaxed environment. Co-Founder Matt Meddock joins us.

Chia seeds are moving into the mainstream from health food stores. One of the first pioneers of producing high quality, chia-based foods and beverages is Mamma Chia based in Carlsbad. We met Mamma Chia’s founder and CEO, Janie Hoffman, at the recent Natural Products West Expo in Anaheim. Janie is our guest “planting the seed” on the healthful benefits of chia. Chia, for example, has 2 times more potassium than bananas.

The 2nd Annual Masters of Taste benefit, an outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival is being held on Sunday, May 7th, 2017 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl!

The Benefit will bring over 2,500 food and beverage enthusiasts together from all over Greater Los Angeles for one afternoon to celebrate this exhilarating festival, which will include the finest fare from over 40 Culinary Masters and restaurants, delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s top Sweet Masters, signature handcrafted cocktails and tastings from over 30 Beverage Masters, including L.A’s top bartenders and cocktail bars, local California wineries, local craft breweries, pressed juices, hand roasted coffee, live entertainment and much more. The Chairman of Masters of Taste, Robert Levy, joins us for a stellar preview along with participating Chef Michael Hung of K-Town’s Mama Lion.

If premium wine wasn’t expensive enough as it is there is also the perplexing matter of what stemware to properly serve the wine in. Some of the fine, imported wine glasses are plenty pricey. Time to separate the practical from the salesmanship. Our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange, joins us with sound advice on what you really should buy without breaking the bank.

Debuting May 1st to 31st is the ambitious L.A. Times Food Bowl (“A New Kind of Food Festival”), a monthlong festival celebrating the city’s dynamic, influential food scene and promoting awareness about food waste and hunger. The Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen Director Noelle Carter joins us with an overview.

One of the participating craft breweries in Masters of Taste is the Indie Brewing Company, based in Los Angeles. It’s the typical craft brewery start-up tale of four partners leaving safe jobs in geology, advertising and law to create limited production beer. Of course… Co-founder, Connor Forbes, is our guest to tap the keg on Indie Brewing Company.

Ever wonder what it takes to get an eagerly anticipated restaurant open? For the last year we’ve been enthusiastically following our own, Chef Andrew Gruel’s, progress in opening Two Birds and Butterleaf in the new Trade Food Hall in Irvine located near John Wayne Orange County Airport. At long last they are about ready (subject to final permitting) to begin service. We’ll hear all about it.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

Matt MeddockSandwiches, made from fresh, premium ingredients, have come into their own as serious eats. In Spring 2014, when Sessions West Coast Deli opened its first location in Newport Beach, its owners had one mission: to serve the best sandwiches to ever hit the lip. As a neighborhood-casual concept designed to serve its immediate community, Sessions embraces the area’s surf culture as it presents a menu of gourmet, culinary-focused sandwiches in a relaxed environment.

In Summer 2015, Sessions opened its second Orange County location on the waterfront in Huntington Beach. The opening of this location reinforced Sessions’ dedication and commitment to its community by becoming a local hub for surfers, skaters and area beachgoers looking for great sandwiches.

“Unlike most sandwich shops in the region, Sessions proudly boasts a scratch kitchen with housemade sauces, sides, salads, and soups prepared daily. All sandwiches are made to order with fresh, locally grown produce; humanely and naturally raised meats; and locally baked bread delivered daily from local artisan, OC Baking Company. In addition, the restaurant proudly serves a selection of locally roasted coffee beverages from Kean Coffee.”

Co-Founder Matt Meddock joins us to get between the bread slices and build a proper sandwich.

Janie HoffmanChia seeds are moving into the mainstream from health food stores. One of the first pioneers of producing high quality chia-based foods and beverages is Mamma Chia based in Carlsbad. We met Mamma Chia’s founder and CEO, Janie Hoffman, at the recent Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim. Janie is our guest “planting the seed” on the healthful benefits of chia. Chia, for example, has 2 times more potassium than bananas.

“Mamma Chia is a conscious and sustainable company that honors and uplifts both the soul of humanity and the soul of the planet. Dedicated to sharing the Magic of Chia through delicious, nutrient-rich, organic foods and beverages powered by chia, Mamma Chia is continually adding innovative products to our already robust and delightful offerings.”

“Mamma Chia donates one percent of sales to support farmers, community groups and organizations that build healthy, local food systems.”

“If you’re looking for healthy snacks and beverages that are also delicious, then Mamma Chia is perfect for you!  All of our products are packed with organic chia seeds that provide a plant-based source of Omega-3s, dietary fiber, complete protein and much more.  From our lightly sweetened, refreshing beverages to our satisfying bars and granola, you will be delighted with the energy, strength and vitality you feel.  The best part is that Mamma Chia is organic, Non-GMO, kosher and gluten free.”

Rob LevyThe 2nd Annual Masters of Taste benefit, an outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival is being held on Sunday, May 7th, 2017 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl!

The Benefit will bring over 2,500 food and beverage enthusiasts together from all over Greater Los Angeles for one afternoon to celebrate this exhilarating festival, which will include the finest fare from over 40 Culinary Masters and restaurants, delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s top Sweet Masters, signature handcrafted cocktails and tastings from over 30 Beverage Masters, including LA’s top bartenders and cocktail bars, local California wineries, local craft breweries, pressed juices, hand roasted coffee, live entertainment and much more.

100% of the proceeds from Masters of Taste 2017 will directly benefit Union Station Homeless Services, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping homeless men, women and children rebuild their lives. Union Station is part of a premier group of human services agencies in Los Angeles County that are leading the way to end homelessness in our community and offers an array of services including street outreach, meals, shelter, housing, case management and career development.

Last year, Masters of Taste 2016 raised over $435,000 for Union Station Homeless Services, and this year Masters of Taste hopes to grow that number to $560,000.

Ticket Information: Masters of Taste will take place on Sunday, May 7th, 2016. A VIP Power Hour will be held from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm and General Admission will be from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Tickets to this event are only available for guests 21+ and over. For more information on Masters of Taste or to book your tickets directly, please visit right here.

The Chairman of Masters of Taste, Robert Levy, joins us for a stellar preview along with participating Chef Michael Hung of K-Town’s Mama Lion.

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeIf premium wine wasn’t expensive enough as it is there is also the perplexing matter of what stemware to properly serve the wine in. Lot of hype out there…Some of the fine, imported wine glasses are plenty pricey.

Time to separate the practical from the impressive salesmanship. Our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange, joins us with sound advice on what you really should buy when it comes to wine glasses that won’t break the bank.

Noelle CarterDebuting May 1st to 31st is the ambitious L.A. Times Food Bowl (“A New Kind of Food Festival”), a month-long festival celebrating the city’s dynamic, influential food scene and promoting awareness about food waste and hunger.

“For the entire month of May, Food Bowl will seek to engage our community in the importance and enjoyment of food. Our ambition is to produce the city’s largest and most inclusive food festival. While we celebrate the sprawling creativity and diversity of L.A.’s cuisines and the world’s best chefs, we will also confront hunger.”

The Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen Director Noelle Carter joins us with an overview.

Connor ForbesOne of the participating craft breweries in Masters of Taste is the Indie Brewing Company, based in Los Angeles. It’s the typical craft brewery start-up tale of four partners leaving safe jobs in geology, advertising and law to create limited production beer. Of course…

“We set out to give L.A. amazing local beer, and the tasting room it so deserves. We dreamt of a casual spot where people could hang out with other beer lovers and watch bands, talk about sports, and maybe even do a little trivia night. No velvet ropes, no guest lists. Our idea of “bottle service”? Having your growler refilled by the guys who brewed the beer.”

“And who are we? We’re 4 guys who met in the strangest of ways over our mutual love of brewing. This love began in 2009 with homebrews in pots on an electric stovetop. The operation grew with time, and eventually, we were using every free minute we had to make beer. We left our “normal” jobs in geology, advertising and law to spend as much time as possible creating pale ales, saisons, porters and more. We want to put L.A. on the map for something other than movie stars and one-word nightclubs. It’s our mission to take L.A.-based craft beers to new heights.”

“But enough about us – let’s talk about you. Whether you’re a USC or a UCLA fan, an electrician or an actor, you need delicious, local craft beers made by guys you can actually talk to. You need a welcoming spot to hang out with your friends and the rest of L.A.’s beer-loving community.”

Co-founder, Connor Forbes, is our guest to tap the keg on Indie Brewing Company.

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosEver wonder what it really takes to get an eagerly anticipated restaurant open?

For the last year we’ve been patiently following our own, Chef Andrew Gruel’s, progress in opening Two Birds (cluckin’ good chicken done two ways) and Butterleaf (vegetarian food for non-vegetarians) in the new Trade Food Hall in Irvine located near John Wayne Orange County Airport.

At long last they are about ready (subject to final permitting) to begin service. We’ll hear all about it.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish
Segment Two: Matt Meddock, Co-Founder, Sessions West Coast Deli, Newport Beach & Huntington Beach
Segment Three: Janie Hoffman, Founder & CEO, Mamma Chia, Carlsbad
Segment Four: 2nd Annual Masters of Taste Benefit, Rose Bowl, Pasadena
Segment Five: Wine Stemware Made Easy, Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, Wine Exchange
Segment Six: Los Angeles Times Food Bowl Preview, Noelle Carter, Test Kitchen Director
Segment Seven: Connor Forbes, Co-Founder, Indie Brewing Company, Los Angeles
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Opening Restaurants at Trade, Irvine, CA