May 25: Culinary Clash, Bill Esparza’s Taqueando, Lara Lyn Carter, WSLA Drink + Eat 2019, Ricardo Zarate

Happy Memorial Day Weekend to all and a grateful salute to all Veterans both active and retired. We truly owe you all one…

Now a mouthwatering preview of this Saturday’s abundant 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… As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience on a Holiday Weekend.

The California Restaurant Association Foundation is organizing The Culinary Clash at the STC Anaheim Garden Walk on Sunday afternoon, June 2nd. It’s a fiery competition that pits top multiple-unit restaurant groups head-to-head. The spirited event is free and open to the community. CRA Foundation’s Executive Director Alycia Harshfield has the details for us.

The grand taco fest is back! On June 15th, Bill Esparza’s Taqueando, an all-you-can-eat taco lifestyle event, will celebrate the best traditional and contemporary taqueros at Skylight ROW DTLA from 1pm–5pm (VIP 12pm–5pm). Bill Esparza was the curator of LA Weekly’s hugely popular Tacolandia from 2013-2017. Taqueando will be a gathering of the best taquerias in Los Angeles, Mexico, the state of California, and in the USA for a grand tasting of America’s favorite snack; the taco. Senor Esparza is our well-traveled guide.

Private chef and Emmy-Award winner, Lara Lyn Carter is considered Georgia’s go-to authority on Southern entertaining. Her impressive, debut cookbook is Skinny Southern : 90 Reinvented Classics Without The Guilt! The recipes in this cookbook don’t just “lighten up” Southern food-they offer gluten-free and paleo options as well. It’s the Southern cuisine you know and love, at it’s very finest. Bring on the Shrimp & Grits.

Wine & Spirits Magazine is hosting the WSLA Drink + Eat 2019 event on the afternoon of June 2nd in DTLA at The Unique Space. Some 75 plus wineries from around the world will be pouring that afternoon, with food provided by a collection of Los Angeles’ most noteworthy restaurants (including Hippo, Maude, Nomad, 71 Above, Faith and Flower and more). Wine & Spirits’ Editor/Publisher, Joshua Greene, uncorks all the quaffable event details for us.

As part of the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl embrace Latin cuisine with Latin Roots: Food & Wine With Passion showcasing a four- course meal created by chef Ricardo Zarate (Rosaline) and featuring wine pairings by Bibiana González Rave of Cattleya Winery. (This is the evening of May 26th at Los Balcones in North Hollywood.) The theme of the meal is Latin Roots, and each course will be a blend of Peruvian and Colombian cuisine, with the spirit of Los Balcones Studio City’s “mestizo style” of cooking (a blend of Spanish and other European influences). All four courses will celebrate the flavors of Colombia, Peru, Europe and California. We gently pull Chef Ricardo away from Brunch service to join us.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, the Founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us from the road where he is in the process of opening 3 new Slapfish restaurants. We’re continuing “Ask the Chef”

responding to your questions about all things culinary. To our benefit Chef Andrew is a real, working chef.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Alycia HarshfieldThe California Restaurant Association Foundation is organizing The Culinary Clash at the STC Anaheim Garden Walk on Sunday afternoon, June 2nd. It’s a fiery competition that pits top multiple-unit restaurant groups head-to-head. Restaurant execs are paired with high school sous chefs to compete in this battle royale. Culinary teams have just 30 minutes to create an entrée and appetizer using special ingredients.

Some of the competing Restaurant Teams include BJ’s Restaurants, California Fish Grill, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and Lemonade.

The spirited event from 1 to 5:00 p.m. (cooking from 3 to 5:00 p.m.) is free and open to the community. Starting at 1p.m. there will be live music, bites, and activities for the whole family. Bring out your inner “foodie” at the Culinary Clash!

Funds raised from this event will support culinary arts programs in public high schools throughout the state. Each year, the CRA Foundation empowers 13,500 teens with hands-on learning, job skills, mentors, and scholarships. The CRA Foundation leverages the power of the state’s restaurant industry to change lives.

CRA Foundation’s Executive Director Alycia Harshfield has the details for us.

Bill EsparzaThe grand taco fest is back! On June 15th, Bill Esparza’s Taqueando, an all-you-can-eat taco lifestyle event, will celebrate the best traditional and contemporary taqueros at Skylight ROW DTLA from 1pm–5pm (VIP 12pm–5pm). Bill Esparza was the curator of LA Weekly’s Tacolandia from 2013-2017.

Taqueando will be a gathering of the best taquerias in Los Angeles, Mexico, the state of California, and in the USA for a grand tasting of America’s favorite snack; the taco.

Tickets are available to purchase now and cost $45 per person for General Admission, and $75 for VIP. General Admission ticket cost includes guaranteed entry to event, all-you-can-eat samples, cash bar, and vendor village access. (Limited) VIP ticket cost includes all the same amenities as GA, and also includes early entrance at Noon, a VIP area for exclusive tastings, and a VIP gift bag w/ t-shirt. Each ticket will be $5 more at the door, if available.

Senor Esparza is our well-traveled guide.

Cookbook Author Lara Lyn CarterPrivate chef and Emmy-Award winner, Lara Lyn Carter is considered Georgia’s go-to authority on Southern entertaining. Her impressive, debut cookbook is Skinny Southern: 90 Reinvented Classics Without The Guilt!

The recipes in this cookbook don’t just “lighten up” Southern food-they offer gluten-free and paleo options as well. It’s the Southern cuisine you know and love, at it’s very finest. Bring on the Shrimp & Grits.

“With 90 reinvented Southern Classic entrées such as truffle and rosemary chicken, or grilled lamb with sweet onion sauce; dabble with the citrus vinaigrette; sample the seafood gumbo, the quinoa salad, or the spaghetti squash with pecan truffle oil and herbs. You won’t regret it!”

“Lara Lyn’s converted to healthy, clean cooking and shares her vast experience and array of healthy Southern recipes in this groundbreaking cookbook, an invaluable addition to any health-conscious kitchen. Get a taste of this satisfying lifestyle with Lara Lyn’s Olive Pecan Dip, Shrimp and Grits & Classic Southern Pound Cake.”

“Lara Lyn Carter recently won her first Emmy in the category of On Camera Talent for hosting Thyme for Sharing with Lara Lyn Carter, which she also created and produced. It was part of Georgia Public Broadcasting‘s summer cooking lineup and received excellent ratings and praise. The show was nominated for four Emmys in the categories of lighting, photography, directing, and on-camera talent. In addition, Lara Lyn created and hosted Savor the Good Life with Gray Television‘s WALB, the NBC and ABC affiliate in Southwest Georgia, for three years. This show received a Gabby (Georgia Association of Broadcasters) Award in its first year.”

Joshua Greene of Wine and Spirits MagazineWine & Spirits Magazine is hosting the WSLA Drink + Eat 2019 event on the afternoon of June 2nd in DTLA at The Unique Space. Some 75 plus wineries from around the world will be pouring that afternoon, with food provided by a collection of Los Angeles’ most noteworthy restaurants (including Hippo, Maude, NoMad, 71 Above, Faith and Flower, E.R.B. and more).

“All of the participating wineries had a wine that earned a place in the magazine’s 30th Annual Restaurant Poll. Wine Directors from some of the country’s top restaurants responded to the query with their top sellers in the by-the-glass and full bottle categories. Not surprisingly, the results showcase a compelling lineup of wines that might be considered the most popular wines in the country. These wines encompass a broad range of grape varieties, winemaking styles, and places of origin.”

The WSLA Drink + Eat afternoon will celebrate not only the 30th annual publication of this list, but also the elevation of Los Angeles to its present status as a premier food destination city. Some of the area’s hottest restaurants will be serving dishes specially selected to pair with the wines. All of the invited restaurants were included in Patrick Comiskey’s recent Essential LA wine-and-food Experience piece in the magazine.

Wine & Spirits’ Editor/Publisher, Joshua Greene, uncorks all the event details for us.

Chef Ricardo ZarateAs part of the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl embrace Latin cuisine with Latin Roots: Food & Wine With Passion showcasing a four-course meal created by chef Ricardo Zarate and featuring wine pairings by Bibiana González Rave of Cattleya Winery. (This is the evening of May 26th at Los Balcones in Studio City.)

The theme of the meal is Latin Roots, and each course will be a blend of Peruvian and Colombian cuisine, with the spirit of Los Balcones Studio City’s “mestizo style” of cooking (a blend of Spanish and other European influences). All four courses will celebrate the flavors of Colombia, Peru, Europe and California.

Chef Ricardo Zarate escapes his busy kitchens and is our guest.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at the Fifth Anniversary of the SoCal Restaurant ShowOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group joins us with another informative “Ask the Chef” segment. With the Summer grilling season on the horizon it’s great to have a real working chef in our corner always providing handy and practical advice!

Show 324, May 18, 2019: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a tempting preview of this Saturday’s salivating 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… As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, the Founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, rejoins us from the road where he is in the process of opening 3 new Slapfish restaurants. We’re resuming “Ask the Chef.” Chef Andrew discusses what it’s like to take an American restaurant concept overseas. Does everything translate well?

The James Beard America’s Classics Award is given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are cherished for quality food reflecting the character of their community. The Tran Family’s Pho 79 (Garden Grove) is a 2019 Honoree as an America’s Classics. This prestigious honor represents the first James Beard Foundation Award ever presented to an Orange County Restaurant or Chef! We’ll meet Tran Family member, John Nguyen..

One of the attractions at Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden in Corona del Mar is the Farmhouse Bar under the direction of Anthony Laborin, head of Cocktail R & D. He shops weekly for seasonal ingredients at the Wednesday morning Farmers Market in Santa Monica with Owner/Executive Chef Rich Mead. He has 13 new cocktails on the Spring Menu. Also just introduced is Laborin’s Counterfeit Cocktail menu with a tempting selection of four non-alcoholic specialty beverages.

As part of the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl embrace Latin cuisine with Latin Roots: Food & Wine With Passion showcasing a four-course meal created by chef Ricardo Zarate and featuring wine pairings by Bibiana González Rave of Cattleya Winery. (This is the evening of May 26th at Los Balcones in Studio City.) The theme of the meal is Latin Roots, and each course will be a blend of Peruvian and Colombian cuisine, with the spirit of Los Balcones Studio City’s “mestizo style” of cooking (a blend of Spanish and other European influences). All four courses will celebrate the flavors of Colombia, Peru, Europe and California.

The April issue of Orange Coast Magazine is Orange County’s Best New Restaurants of 2019. Restaurant of the Year is Chef Zachary Geerson’s Journeyman’s Food & Drink in Fullerton. Orange Coast’s long-time Restaurant Critic and Contributing Editor, Gretchen Kurz, is our guide.

La Maison Palm Springs Hotel is an award-winning boutique hotel property in Palm Springs. They are a member of the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels. This carefully-maintained boutique hotel is a Mediterranean-inspired property, complete with clay tile roofs, terracotta floors, and a walled garden, offering a tranquil place for guests to unwind. The unique ambiance combines the relaxing colors and warmth of Provence with the vibrant energy of Palm Springs. Our host is Proprietor Richard Slosky (who operates the property with his wife, Cornelia Schuster.)

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group joins us with another informative “Ask the Chef” segment. With the Summer grilling season on the horizon it’s great to have a real working chef in our corner always providing handy and practical advice! Raw oysters have been in the news of late. Chef Andrew serves up what we need to know about continuing to enjoy them free of worry.

We’re live with an overstuffed show on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. Please do join us…

Play

Show 324, May 18, 2019: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host and Founder of Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoOur Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, the Founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, rejoins us from the road where he is in the process of opening 3 new Slapfish restaurants. We’re resuming Ask the Chef.”

Chef Andrew discusses what it’s like to take an established & successful American restaurant concept overseas. Does everything typically translate well?

How does the Slapfish concept adapt to local regions across the USA? Do tastes in seafood differ on the East Coast and in Utah and New Mexico? Is it important to adapt to the local area when branching a successful concept?

Play

Show 324, May 18, 2019: John Nguyen, Garden Grove’s Pho 79, 2019 Recipient of James Beard Foundation’s America’s Classics Award

John Nguyen of Pho79The James Beard America’s Classics Award is given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are cherished for quality food reflecting the character of their community. The five 2019 honorees join the ranks of over 100 restaurants from across the country that have received the award since the category was introduced in 1998.

The Tran Family’s Pho 79 is a 2019 Honoree as an America’s Classics. This honor represents the first James Beard Foundation Award ever presented to an Orange County Restaurant or Chef!

“Orange County, California, claims one of the most vibrant Vietnamese-American communities in the country. Pho 79 was founded by Thọ Trần and Liễu Trần who opened in 1982, when it was among the area’s very first restaurants of its kind, introducing Americans to bowls of slippery rice noodles in beefy broth, topped with eye of round steak, brisket, tripe, meatballs, or the restaurant’s justifiably legendary oxtails. With chef Lieu Trần in the kitchen, Pho 79 helped pave the way for southern California’s Little Saigon to become the dynamic hub of Vietnamese cuisine it is today. The next generation of the Trần family continues to operate the restaurant, as well as others in the area including Pho 101. The family’s story is as much about intrepid entrepreneurship and excellent cooking as it is about a community that rose from war and displacement to forever change American cuisine.”

The Tran Family’s other Pho restaurant is Pho 101 in Westminster.

Do keep in mind it’s cash only.

We’ll meet Tran Family member, John Nguyen.

Play

Show 324, May 18, 2019: Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden’s Anthony Laborin, Head of Cocktail R & D

Anthony Laborin of Farmhouse at Rogers GardenOne of the special attractions at Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden in Corona del Mar is the Farmhouse Bar under the direction of Anthony Laborin, head of Cocktail R & D. He shops weekly for seasonal ingredients at the Wednesday morning Farmers Market in Santa Monica with Owner/Executive Chef Rich Mead.

He has 13 new cocktails on the Spring Menu. Among Anthony’s latest creations is Scandalous Scandinavian Panamanian Daiquiri with lime, Swedish Punsch and Panama Pacific Rum.

Also just introduced is Laborin’s Counterfeit Cocktail menu with a tempting selection of four non-alcoholic specialty beverages. Think The Green with cucumber water, pineapple, citrus, wild honey and seedlip.

“The kitchen table is where problems are solved. This is something that Anthony Laborin, head of Cocktail R&D at Farmhouse learned at an early age as he helped his mother and aunts in the kitchen. Since those early days, Anthony has loved the social aspect of the culinary experience. Inherently friendly and genuinely interested in people, he values the interaction with guests that tending bar gives him. Special moments come from listening to guests, learning what kind of drinks and flavor profiles they enjoy and then using that information to introduce them to a specially made, handcrafted cocktail that they never would have thought to order. “When I can convince a guest to try something new and they like it, it brightens my day,” shares Laborin.”

Play

Show 324, May 18, 2019: Winemaker Bibiana Gonzalez Rave of Cattleya Winery with a Preview of a Latin Roots Collaboration Dinner with Ricardo Zarate

Winemaker Bibiana Gonzalez RaveAs part of the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl embrace Latin cuisine with Latin Roots: Food & Wine With Passion showcasing a four-course meal created by chef Ricardo Zarate and featuring wine pairings by Bibiana González Rave of Cattleya Winery. (This is the evening of May 26th at Los Balcones in Studio City.)

The theme of the meal is Latin Roots, and each course will be a blend of Peruvian and Colombian cuisine, with the spirit of Los Balcones Studio City’s “mestizo style” of cooking (a blend of Spanish and other European influences). All four courses will celebrate the flavors of Colombia, Peru, Europe and California.

Bibiana joins us to share her incredible journey and preview Latin Roots: Food & Wine with Passion.” In 2015 she was named “Winemaker of the Year” by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Play

Show 324, May 18, 2019: Orange Coast Magazine’s Dining Critic Gretchen Kurz on 2019’s Best New Restaurants Issue

Orange Coast Best RestaurantsThe April issue of Orange Coast Magazine is Orange County’s Best New Restaurants of 2019. Restaurant of the Year is Chef Zachary Geerson’s Journeyman’s Food & Drink in Fullerton.

‘Eat, write, repeat’ summarizes the notable career of Gretchen Kurz, who is Contributing Editor at Orange Coast Magazine and its Dining Critic since 2004. She was also the Zagat Local Editor for Orange County for 13 years. A native of southern California, she first fell under the spell of restaurant writing as a journalism student and freelancer for San Jose Magazine. Her very first writing gig: sewing names on mouse ear hats at Disneyland.

Orange Coast’s long-time Restaurant Critic and Contributing Editor, Gretchen Kurz, is our appropriately opinionated guide.

Play

Show 324, May 18, 2019: Innkeeper Richard Slosky, La Maison Palm Springs Hotel

Richard SchusterLa Maison Palm Springs Hotel is an award-winning boutique hotel property in Palm Springs. They are a member of the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels. This boutique hotel is a Mediterranean-inspired property, complete with clay tile roofs, terracotta floors, and a walled garden, offering a tranquil place for guests to unwind. The unique ambiance combines the relaxing colors and warmth of Provence with the vibrant energy of Palm Springs.

“Indulge in lavender scones and handcrafted lattes each morning. Spend the day lounging by the pool in our charming inner courtyard. At night, enjoy the most peaceful sleep on your feather bed dressed in imported luxury linens.”

“Here at La Maison Palm Springs Hotel, we know that every detail is important. All 13 guest rooms surround the pool and lush gardens. Each room is individually decorated and includes either a queen or king feather bed with luxury linens, seasonal down comforters and a small guest fridge. Our bathrooms have marble or granite accents, L’Occitane bath amenities, plush bathrobes and rain showerheads. The pièce de résistance? A complimentary lavender sachet on your pillow at night.”

Our gracious host is Proprietor Richard Slosky (who operates the property with his wife, Cornelia Schuster.)

Play

Show 324, May 18, 2019: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host and Founder of Slapfish Restaurant Group – “Ask the Chef”

Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group joins us with another informative “Ask the Chef” segment. With the Summer grilling season on the horizon it’s great to have a real working chef in our corner always providing handy and practical advice!

Raw oysters have been in the news of late. Chef Andrew serves up what we need to know about continuing to enjoy them free of worry. Don’t hesitate to ask your server where the oysters were sourced from. They should know…

Play

May 18: Pho 79, Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden, Cattleya Winery, Orange Coast Magazine and Chef Andrew Gruel returns!

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host and Founder of Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Three: John Nguyen, Garden Grove’s Pho 79, 2019 Recipient of James Beard Foundation’s America’s Classics Award
Segment Four: Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden’s Anthony Laborin, Head of Cocktail R & D
Segment Five: Winemaker Bibiana Gonzalez Rave of Cattleya Winery with a Preview of a Latin Roots Collaboration Dinner with Ricardo Zarate
Segment Six: Orange Coast Magazine’s Dining Critic Gretchen Kurz on 2019’s Best New Restaurants Issue
Segment Seven: Innkeeper Richard Slosky, La Maison Palm Springs Hotel
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host and Founder of Slapfish Restaurant Group – “Ask the Chef”

Now a tempting preview of this Saturday’s salivating 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… As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, the Founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, rejoins us from the road where he is in the process of opening 3 new Slapfish restaurants. We’re resuming “Ask the Chef.” Chef Andrew discusses what it’s like to take an American restaurant concept overseas. Does everything translate well?

The James Beard America’s Classics Award is given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are cherished for quality food reflecting the character of their community. The Tran Family’s Pho 79 (Garden Grove) is a 2019 Honoree as an America’s Classics. This prestigious honor represents the first James Beard Foundation Award ever presented to an Orange County Restaurant or Chef! We’ll meet Tran Family member, John Nguyen.

One of the attractions at Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden in Corona del Mar is the Farmhouse Bar under the direction of Anthony Laborin, head of Cocktail R & D. He shops weekly for seasonal ingredients at the Wednesday morning Farmers Market in Santa Monica with Owner/Executive Chef Rich Mead. He has 13 new cocktails on the Spring Menu. Also just introduced is Laborin’s Counterfeit Cocktail menu with a tempting selection of four non-alcoholic specialty beverages.

As part of the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl embrace Latin cuisine with Latin Roots : Food & Wine With Passion showcasing a four-course meal created by chef Ricardo Zarate and featuring wine pairings by Bibiana González Rave of Cattleya Winery. (This is the evening of May 26th at Los Balcones in North Hollywood.) The theme of the meal is Latin Roots, and each course will be a blend of Peruvian and Colombian cuisine, with the spirit of Los Balcones Studio City’s “mestizo style” of cooking (a blend of Spanish and other European influences). All four courses will celebrate the flavors of Colombia, Peru, Europe and California.

The April issue of Orange Coast Magazine is Orange County’s Best New Restaurants of 2019. Restaurant of the Year is Chef Zachary Geerson’s Journeyman’s Food & Drink in Fullerton. Orange Coast’s long-time Restaurant Critic and Contributing Editor, Gretchen Kurz, is our guide.

La Maison Palm Springs Hotel is an award-winning boutique hotel property in Palm Springs. They are a member of the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels. This boutique hotel is a Mediterranean-inspired property, complete with clay tile roofs, terracotta floors, and a walled garden, offering a tranquil place for guests to unwind. The unique ambiance combines the relaxing colors and warmth of Provence with the vibrant energy of Palm Springs. Our host is Proprietor Richard Schuster (who operates the property with his wife, Cornelia.)

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group joins us with another informative “Ask the Chef” segment. With the Summer grilling season on the horizon it’s great to have a real working chef in our corner always providing handy and practical advice! Raw oysters have been in the news of late. Chef Andrew serves up what we need to know about continuing to enjoy them free of worry.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoOur Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, the Founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, rejoins us from the road where he is in the process of opening 3 new Slapfish restaurants. We’re resuming Ask the Chef.”

Chef Andrew discusses what it’s like to take an established & successful American restaurant concept overseas. Does everything typically translate well?

John Nguyen of Pho79The James Beard America’s Classics Award is given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are cherished for quality food reflecting the character of their community. The five 2019 honorees join the ranks of over 100 restaurants from across the country that have received the award since the category was introduced in 1998.

The Tran Family’s Pho 79 is a 2019 Honoree as an America’s Classics. This honor represents the first James Beard Foundation Award ever presented to an Orange County Restaurant or Chef!

“Orange County, California, claims one of the most vibrant Vietnamese-American communities in the country. Pho 79 was founded by Thọ Trần and Liễu Trần who opened in 1982, when it was among the area’s very first restaurants of its kind, introducing Americans to bowls of slippery rice noodles in beefy broth, topped with eye of round steak, brisket, tripe, meatballs, or the restaurant’s justifiably legendary oxtails. With chef Lieu Trần in the kitchen, Pho 79 helped pave the way for southern California’s Little Saigon to become the dynamic hub of Vietnamese cuisine it is today. The next generation of the Trần family continues to operate the restaurant, as well as others in the area including Pho 101. The family’s story is as much about intrepid entrepreneurship and excellent cooking as it is about a community that rose from war and displacement to forever change American cuisine.”

We’ll meet Tran Family member, John Nguyen.

Anthony Laborin of Farmhouse at Rogers GardenOne of the special attractions at Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden in Corona del Mar is the Farmhouse Bar under the direction of Anthony Laborin, head of Cocktail R & D. He shops weekly for seasonal ingredients at the Wednesday morning Farmers Market in Santa Monica with Owner/Executive Chef Rich Mead.

He has 13 new cocktails on the Spring Menu. Among Anthony’s latest creations is Scandalous Scandinavian Panamanian Daiquiri with lime, Swedish Punsch and Panama Pacific Rum.

Also just introduced is Laborin’s Counterfeit Cocktail menu with a tempting selection of four non-alcoholic specialty beverages. Think The Green with cucumber water, pineapple, citrus, wild honey and seedlip.

“The kitchen table is where problems are solved. This is something that Anthony Laborin, head of Cocktail R&D at Farmhouse learned at an early age as he helped his mother and aunts in the kitchen. Since those early days, Anthony has loved the social aspect of the culinary experience. Inherently friendly and genuinely interested in people, he values the interaction with guests that tending bar gives him. Special moments come from listening to guests, learning what kind of drinks and flavor profiles they enjoy and then using that information to introduce them to a specially made, handcrafted cocktail that they never would have thought to order. “When I can convince a guest to try something new and they like it, it brightens my day,” shares Laborin.”

Winemaker Bibiana Gonzalez RaveAs part of the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl embrace Latin cuisine with Latin Roots: Food & Wine With Passion showcasing a four-course meal created by chef Ricardo Zarate and featuring wine pairings by Bibiana González Rave of Cattleya Winery. (This is the evening of May 26th at Los Balcones in Studio City.)

The theme of the meal is Latin Roots, and each course will be a blend of Peruvian and Colombian cuisine, with the spirit of Los Balcones Studio City’s “mestizo style” of cooking (a blend of Spanish and other European influences). All four courses will celebrate the flavors of Colombia, Peru, Europe and California.

Bibiana joins us to share her incredible journey and preview Latin Roots: Food & Wine with Passion.” In 2015 she was named “Winemaker of the Year” by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Orange Coast Best RestaurantsThe April issue of Orange Coast Magazine is Orange County’s Best New Restaurants of 2019. Restaurant of the Year is Chef Zachary Geerson’s Journeyman’s Food & Drink in Fullerton.

‘Eat, write, repeat’ summarizes the notable career of Gretchen Kurz, who is Contributing Editor at Orange Coast Magazine and its Dining Critic since 2004. She was also the Zagat Local Editor for Orange County for 13 years. A native of southern California, she first fell under the spell of restaurant writing as a journalism student and freelancer for San Jose Magazine. Her very first writing gig: sewing names on mouse ear hats at Disneyland.

Orange Coast’s long-time Restaurant Critic and Contributing Editor, Gretchen Kurz, is our appropriately opinionated guide.

Richard SchusterLa Maison Palm Springs Hotel is an award-winning boutique hotel property in Palm Springs. They are a member of the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels. This boutique hotel is a Mediterranean-inspired property, complete with clay tile roofs, terracotta floors, and a walled garden, offering a tranquil place for guests to unwind. The unique ambiance combines the relaxing colors and warmth of Provence with the vibrant energy of Palm Springs.

“Indulge in lavender scones and handcrafted lattes each morning. Spend the day lounging by the pool in our charming inner courtyard. At night, enjoy the most peaceful sleep on your feather bed dressed in imported luxury linens.”

“Here at La Maison Palm Springs Hotel, we know that every detail is important. All 13 guest rooms surround the pool and lush gardens. Each room is individually decorated and includes either a queen or king feather bed with luxury linens, seasonal down comforters and a small guest fridge. Our bathrooms have marble or granite accents, L’Occitane bath amenities, plush bathrobes and rain showerheads. The pièce de résistance? A complimentary lavender sachet on your pillow at night.”

Our gracious host is Proprietor Richard Slosky (who operates the property with his wife, Cornelia Schuster.)

Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group joins us with another informative “Ask the Chef” segment. With the Summer grilling season on the horizon it’s great to have a real working chef in our corner always providing handy and practical advice!

Raw oysters have been in the news of late. Chef Andrew serves up what we need to know about continuing to enjoy them free of worry.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host and Founder of Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Three: John Nguyen, Garden Grove’s Pho 79, 2019 Recipient of James Beard Foundation’s America’s Classics Award
Segment Four: Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden’s Anthony Laborin, Head of Cocktail R & D
Segment Five: Winemaker Bibiana Gonzalez Rave of Cattleya Winery with a Preview of a Latin Roots Collaboration Dinner with Ricardo Zarate
Segment Six: Orange Coast Magazine’s Dining Critic Gretchen Kurz on 2019’s Best New Restaurants Issue
Segment Seven: Innkeeper Richard Slosky, La Maison Palm Springs Hotel
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host and Founder of Slapfish Restaurant Group – “Ask the Chef”