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…

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

April 15: Crave Desserts, Moxie Cafe, Veggie Fries, Meat Street, Ca’ Del Grevino, Big Cheese ‘Wrap’

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Pastry Chef Heather Roseborough, Crave Dessert Company, Marina del Rey / Culver City
Segment Three: Caleb Granski, Catering & Events Manager, Moxie Café, Santa Maria, CA
Segment Four: Dave Peters, Founder & CEO, Veggie Fries (Farmwise)
Segment Five: FOODBEAST’s Meat Street Festival
Segment Six: Easter Cooking Tips with Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Seven: Jon Karlo Macias, Café & Tasting Room Manager, Ca’ Del Grevino Estate, Santa Maria, CA
Segment Eight: 4th Annual The Big Cheese Festival & Competition: “People’s Choice” Winner

Easter and Passover good wishes to all of our listeners.

Now an appealing preview of this Saturday’s over-stuffed Holiday Weekend 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…

What’s Easter & Passover without some special Holiday sweets? Pastry Chef extraordinaire, Heather Roseborough, is the co-proprietress of the aptly named Crave Dessert Company in Marina del Rey. A selection of incredibly rich brownies are among her specialties. We’ll meet her and hear about her collection of properly decadent treats.

Eat well…be well” is the motto of the unusual, 3-meal-a-day Moxie Café located well off the beaten path is a light industrial area of Santa Maria. Creator Jay Hardy, the founder of Hardy Diagnostics, has realized his dream of having healthy food that was also delicious. Moxie’s Catering & Events Manager, Caleb Granski, joins us to explain all.

Veggie Fries (really tasty) are frozen French fries made from a blend of all-natural, farm grown vegetables, legumes, and potatoes, chopped and blended together with herbs, spices, and just a pinch of sea salt. Veggie Fries are vegan, Non-GMO certified and free of the top 8 allergens including gluten, soy, dairy, and wheat. We’ll pull Founder & CEO Dave Peters out of the veggie patch for a chat.

Foodbeast is launching what they bill as the ultimate meat festival of Southern California. All of the meat-centric grub you can imagine is coming to the Main Place Mall on April 22, 2017. Presented by Foodbeast and The Makers of The SPAM Brand, this one-day meat fest will feature a wide variety of delicious and crazy exclusive culinary creations, as well as drinks and other fun activities. Producer Bobby Navarro of 100eats joins us with participating Chef Cody Storts of Salt and Ash with the meaty specifics.

What’s the Easter Holiday without access to a real chef’s fun tips and practical advice for that sumptuous Holiday Table? Chef Andrew Gruel to the rescue.

Ca’ Del Grevino is located in the Santa Maria Valley appellation of Santa Barbara County. The vineyard is located just 10 miles from the Pacific Coast and benefits greatly from cool, maritime influences. The vineyard is planted methodically and meticulously, with special attention paid to varietals best suited to the estate’s terroir. Taking into account the soils, the meso- and micro-climates, the coastal influences and the orientation of the sun upon the hillsides, you can find here Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Grenache, Dolcetto, Riesling and Syrah. Jon Karlo Macias, Café & Tasting Room Mannager, walks us through the lush vineyard estate.

The 4th Annual “The Big Cheese” Grilled Cheese Festival & Competition appropriately conducted on National Grilled Cheese Day (April 12th) is now history. We’ll report on the winners and their melty and gooey creations.

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

Heather RoseboroughWhat’s Easter & Passover without some special Holiday sweets? Pastry Chef extraordinaire, Heather Roseborough, is the co-proprietress of the aptly named Crave Dessert Company in Marina del Rey. A selection of incredibly rich brownies are among her specialties.

Chef Heather was the pastry chef at the original Ford’s Filling Station in Culver City. She also worked in the pastry department at Chef Tom Colicchio’s Craft, Century City

“We offer a wide range of desserts with unique flavors, customizable for a variety of private events and catering.”

“We specialize in small batch baking and offer a variety of house-made delicious desserts. We also love to tailor desserts for whatever your needs are. Stop by and see us, or call / e-mail to inquire about our custom desserts. We offer a large selection of gluten free desserts, too, which taste amazing!”

We’ll meet Pastry Chef Heather and hear about her collection of properly decadent treats.

Moxie CafeEat well…be well” is the motto of the unusual, 3-meal-a-day Moxie Café located well off the beaten path is a light industrial area of Santa Maria. Creator Jay Hardy, the founder of Hardy Diagnostics, has realized his dream of having healthy food that was also delicious.

“Since you care about your health, at the Moxie Cafe you can depend on us to offer a selection of tasty, fresh, and healthy choices. We pledge to never tempt you with excessive fat or sugar laden meals. In fact, you will not find a fryer or a soda fountain at the Moxie! We believe that healthy food should taste good. Come in and let us prove it to you!”

“Our goal was to create a selection of fresh, wholesome foods you could eat day-after-day, feel satisfied afterward (not bloated and sluggish), and not gain weight. We wanted to source our food locally and go organic whenever possible. We wanted to completely ban trans-fats, fried foods, and MSG from the premises. We wanted to create a place where our guests would not be tempted to eat things that are not good for them and their children.” Jay Hardy, Founder, Moxie Cafe

Moxie’s Catering & Events Manager, Caleb Granski, joins us to explain all.

Dave Peters of Veggie Fries“Our story is probably your story; a family searching for healthy and delicious food for our three daughters. We achieved the best of both worlds in some of America’s most iconic foods. Our whole family loves French fries and tater tots, so we made them healthier; blending in our favorite vegetables to make a tasty nutritious treat. We experimented with over 300 recipes to create perfect fries and tots –extra crispy on the outside, fluffy and tender on the inside using a delicious blend of vegetables, legumes, and potatoes. We hope your family loves them as much as we do.”

Veggie Fries are really tasty frozen French fries made from a blend of all-natural, farm grown vegetables, legumes, and potatoes, chopped and blended together with herbs, spices, and just a pinch of sea salt. Veggie Fries are vegan, Non-GMO certified and free of the top 8 allergens including gluten, soy, dairy, and wheat.

Each batch of Veggie Fries provides a crispy texture on the outside, fluffy and tender on the inside. Every variety has at least 27% of non-potato vegetables and legumes, containing 9 vegetable servings and a substantial amount of vegetable nutrition in every14 oz. bag.

We’ll pull Founder & CEO Dave Peters out of the veggie patch for a chat.

Cody StortsFoodbeast is launching what they bill as the ultimate meat festival of Southern California. All of the meat-centric grub you can imagine is coming to the Main Place Mall on April 22, 2017. Meat Street, Presented by Foodbeast and The Makers of The SPAM Brand, this one-day meat fest will feature a wide variety of delicious and crazy exclusive culinary creations, as well as drinks and other fun activities.

“MEAT STREET will showcase the best meat dishes that Southern California has to offer. Grilled, fried, on a stick… however you like your carne you can bet it’ll be there. You can expect exclusive items from eateries such as Slater’s 50/50, Bruxie, Mess Hall Canteen, Elbows Mac n Cheese, and more. With a large number of participating vendors bringing the best of their offerings, and incorporating the Foodbeast elements we all know and love (we’re talking epic eats you won’t find anywhere else), guests are guaranteed to leave full and maybe even considering vegetarianism.”

There is a Marketplace for General Admission guests and two sessions of VIP.

Producer Bobby Navarro of 100eats joins us along with participating Chef Cody Storts of Salt and Ash with the meaty specifics.

Andrew and William GruelWhat’s the family-focused Easter Holiday without access to a real chef’s helpful tips and genuinely useful advice for that sumptuous Holiday Table? Chef Andrew Gruel to the rescue.

Ca’ Del Grevino is located in the Santa Maria Valley appellation of Santa Barbara County. The vineyard is located just 10 miles from the Pacific Coast and benefits greatly from cool, maritime influences. The vineyard is planted methodically and meticulously, with special attention paid to varietals best suited to the estate’s terroir. Taking into account the soils, the meso- and micro-climates, the coastal influences and the orientation of the sun upon the hillsides, you can find here Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Grenache, Dolcetto, Riesling and Syrah.

“Our vineyard produces some of the finest wines in California. The region’s cool climate, geology and topography provide the opportunity to create uncompromised, premium wines. Ca’ Del Grevino, meaning “House of Grewal Family Wines”, produces fine wines steeped in Italian tradition with a distinctive California style.”

Jon Karlo MaciasCa’ Del Grevino is the signature wine brand of our estate representing regality, tradition and opulence. Nestled in California’s prestigious Central Coast is the lovely Santa Maria Valley. The unique micro-climate of the valley produces cool mornings and long warm afternoons. Together with us the best quality fruit produced and attention to detail produces our award -winning Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, White Riesling and Syrah wines.”

Ca’ Del Grevino wines are available to their Wine Club members and at their distinctive area Tasting Rooms. Each Tasting Room has a bit of a different character. The Orcutt Tasting Room is also a Café. The Los Olivos Tasting Room skillfully pairs their wines with cheese, charcuterie or chocolate plates. The Tasting Room in Santa Barbara is in the vibrant “Funk Zone” at the Santa Barbara Wine Collective. An attraction there is Helena’s Bakery with a menu of custom-baked sweet and savory goods.

Jon Karlo Macias, Café & Tasting Room Manager, walks us through the lush vineyard estate.

The Big Cheese Grilled Cheese CompetitionThe “SoCal Restaurant Show” was honored to be part of the Judges’ Panel for the 4th Annual “The Big Cheese” Grilled Cheese Festival & Competition on National Grilled Cheese Day at Orange’s Provisions Market.

We’ll chat with the winner of the People’s Choice recognition and recap the winning sandwich from the Judges’ Panel.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Pastry Chef Heather Roseborough, Crave Dessert Company, Marina del Rey / Culver City
Segment Three: Caleb Granski, Catering & Events Manager, Moxie Café, Santa Maria, CA
Segment Four: Dave Peters, Founder & CEO, Veggie Fries (Farmwise)
Segment Five: FOODBEAST’s Meat Street Festival
Segment Six: Easter Cooking Tips with Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Seven: Jon Karlo Macias, Café & Tasting Room Manager, Ca’ Del Grevino Estate, Santa Maria, CA
Segment Eight: 4th Annual The Big Cheese Festival & Competition: “People’s Choice” Winner

April 8: The Big Cheese, Gretchen Kurz, Angels Baseball Bites, Far Western Tavern

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: “The Big Cheese” Grilled Cheese Festival & Competition
Segment Three: Gretchen Kurz, Dining Writer, Critic, Orange Coast Magazine Part One
Segment Four: Gretchen Kurz, Dining Writer, Critic, Orange Coast Magazine Part Two
Segment Five: Executive Chef Robert Biebrich, Angel Stadium, Legends Hospitality Part One
Segment Six: Executive Chef Robert Biebrich, Angel Stadium, Legends Hospitality Part Two
Segment Seven: Susan Righetti, Far Western Tavern & Susie Q’s Brand, Santa Maria & Orcutt, CA Part One
Segment Eight: Susan Righetti, Far Western Tavern & Susie Q’s Brand, Santa Maria & Orcutt, CA Part Two

Now an enticing 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…

“The Big Cheese” Grilled Cheese Festival & Competition (4th Annual) returns to Provisions Market in Orange on the evening of Wednesday, April 12th. It’s National Grilled Cheese Day of course! Event Co-Founder Chef Greg Daniels (Haven Gastropub & Provisions Market) and Chef Max Schlutz of Sessions West Coast Deli are our melty & cheesy guests.

Ever wonder how Orange Coast magazine’s annual April Restaurant issue comes together? Orange Coast’s long-time Dining Critic Gretchen Kurz shares an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek into this year’s 30-plus favorite restaurants and the bizarrely inexplicable “Orange Coast Curse.”  Do restaurant critics have “Pet Peeves” ? You bet, and we’ll discover some of Gretchen’s most bothersome…

Innovating the outstanding gameday experience with new levels of flavor and fun, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Legends Hospitality have further expanded the menus and fan apparel and collectible retail destinations at Angel Stadium of Anaheim for the 2017 MLB Season. Officially premiering on April 7 when the Angels play the Seattle Mariners season home opener, an even more outstandingly diverse and exciting selection of food, beverage and retail destination options and items will satisfy fan appetites for big delicious flavor and premium Angels branded gear with custom and personalized detail. Halos’ Executive Chef Robert Biebrich joins us.

The Santa Maria area is known for classic Santa Maria BBQ, pinquito beans, and great California Pinot Noir, Syrah and Chardonnay. All of these tasty elements come together on the menu at Far Western Tavern in Orcutt established in 1958. Co-Proprietress, Susan Righetti (representing the founding Minetti Family) joins us. It’s quite a meaty story…

Chef Andrew Gruel is on the road today in the wilds of New Mexico. He’ll rejoin us next Saturday.

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

The Big Cheese Grilled Cheese Competition“The Big Cheese” Grilled Cheese Festival & Competition (4th Annual) returns to Provisions Market in Orange on the evening of Wednesday, April 12th.

In celebration of National Grilled Cheese Month in April, Provisions Market and OC Baking Company will once again join forces to host The Big Cheese, Orange County’s grilled cheese festival and competition. Event Co-Founder Chef Greg Daniels and his fellow OC Chefs will compete for the title of “The Big Cheese” in this 4th annual event to be held on National Grilled Cheese Day on Wednesday, April 12th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Provisions Market (143 N. Glassell Street, Orange, CA 92866).

OC Baking Company Master Baker Dean Kim will supply locally produced freshly baked bread to the competing chefs, while the farmer-owned dairy cooperative Tillamook County Creamery Association will offer a selection of its award-winning butter and cheeses for use at the festival, including new Farmstyle Cut Shredded Cheese crafted for ideal melt. Competing chefs will present their own spin on the classic grilled cheese sandwich that will be evaluated by a panel of judges who will determine The Big Cheese 2017. In addition, the festival attendees will sample and then vote on a “People’s Choice” winner from the collection of high-profile chef participants including Amar Santana of Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana.

“This is our 4th year, and I love how this event keeps bringing our local chefs together in a lighthearted competition to melt cheese and make people smile,” commented Chef Greg Daniels, who oversees the kitchens at Provisions Market and Haven Gastropub.

Event Co-Founder Chef Greg Daniels (Haven Gastropub & Provisions Market) and Chef Max Schlutz of Sessions West Coast Deli are our melty & cheesy guests.

Orange Coast Best Restaurants 2017Ever wonder how Orange Coast magazine’s annual April Restaurant issue comes together? Orange Coast’s long-time Dining Critic Gretchen Kurz shares an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek into this year’s 30-plus favorite restaurants and the bizarrely inexplicable “Orange Coast Curse.”  Do restaurant critics have “Pet Peeves?” You bet, and we’ll discover some of Gretchen’s most bothersome…

“Where should we eat? Some foodies never ask this, as they always have a hot place in mind. Other friends are open to anything, any time. When I have to decide where to go, it’s usually about the atmosphere as much as the food. A rainy day lunch with girlfriends calls for a different venue than a special-occasion date night. And what better way to please out‑of‑town guests than Sunday brunch on a waterfront patio?”

“Whatever your appetite, we’re sure to have something that suits you in our Best Restaurants feature (Page 116) as we’ve tripled the size of our list this year and broken it into categories. So you won’t just find the best new restaurants, but also the classics, most-improved spots, and delightful one-of-a-kind places, among other groupings. This issue is a fascinating chance to get into the head of our dining critic, Gretchen Kurz. She comes in for a planning meeting, we talk trends, what she likes (and doesn’t), and we leave those meetings excited and hungry—no more food meetings before lunch! One pattern we’re noticing is fewer lunch options. About half of the 30-plus restaurants we feature in this issue don’t offer weekday lunch and have added weekend brunch instead. Other places have decided to focus only on daytime dining. The scene in Orange County is shifting, and sometimes it moves fast—we had to swap or remove at least three dining listings in our last issue just before we went to print. Keeping up is a challenge we relish, most of the time. Be sure to check out Gretchen’s essay about the downsides of her job (Page 125). It will make you grateful to be able to choose where you eat after she does the preliminary work.”

Best Restaurants is the April 2017 issue of Orange Coast – The Magazine of Orange County. “For the first time, we (Orange Coast) give you an expanded list of O.C.’s standout restaurants—everything from new to classic, cozy favorites to attention-getters.”

Robert BiebrichInnovating the outstanding gameday experience with new levels of flavor and fun, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Legends Hospitality have further expanded the menus and fan apparel and collectible retail destinations at Angel Stadium of Anaheim for the 2017 MLB Season.

Officially premiering on April 7 when the Angels play the Seattle Mariners season home opener, an even more outstandingly diverse and exciting selection of food, beverage and retail destination options and items will satisfy fan appetites for big delicious flavor and premium Angels branded gear with custom and personalized detail.

From mouthwatering, on-trend recipes crafted from premium fresh ingredients, to sensational pairings with craft beers and cocktails, to fan apparel tailored to each fan’s preference, the 2017 season at Angel Stadium of Anaheim is sure to exceed fan expectations with the innovation and energy that are a Southern California tradition and standard.

Halos’ Executive Chef Robert Biebrich joins us with all the crave-worthy details. Here’s his his overview of what’s new in food and beverage at Angel Stadium for 2017.

Super Food Salad is new from Melissa’s. It’s baby and Tuscan kale blend with quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, dried cherries, golden carrots, edamame, toasted walnuts and pumpkin seeds with a zesty lime vinaigrette. Location: Melissa’s at 1st & 3rd Base Food Court on Field Level, plus The Corner Market, Section 221 Terrace Level, as well as In Seat Service.

Crafty Dawg Signature “Pastrami Dawg” – all-beef hotdog topped with shaved pastrami, sauerkraut and sweet and spicy mustard. Location: Section 127 Field Level and 420 View Level

Oke Poke – a fresh and satisfying poke bowl destination with all the classic Hawaiian dish elements, and variety. Fans will be able to custom build a bowl or burrito started with tuna or salmon with choice of brown or white rice in the following options: Crunchy Garlic – ‘Oke’ garlic sauce, ginger, sesame oil, honey; Fire Cracker – spicy mayo, ‘Oke’ garlic sauce, sesame seeds, Hawaiian sea salt; Okeechi -Korean Napa cabbage, minced garlic, kimchee sauce; Bailey – ‘Oke’ sweet chili, cucumber, carrots, cilantro, scallions, sesame seeds.   Also featuring authentic Hawaiian shaved ice. Location: 3rd base food court on Field Level, In Seat Service and The Corner Market, Section 221 on Terrace Level.

LA Rotisserie Opening later in the season, this new destination eatery delivers a new incredible dining experience of fresh and delectable fine roasted meats and poultry to our concessions concourse. Located directly behind home plate on field level this new location will feature a delicious variety of composed salads and slow roasted chicken roasted with savory spices, served as a wholesome platter or in hand-crafted sandwiches. Location: Behind Home Plate on Field Level.

Susan RighettiThe Santa Maria area is known for classic Santa Maria BBQ, pinquito beans, and great California Pinot Noir, Syrah and Chardonnay. All of these tasty elements are on the menu at Far Western TavernContemporary California Ranch Cuisine in Orcutt established in 1958.

“Welcome to the Far Western Tavern – Contemporary California Ranch Cuisine inspired by local traditions. For more than five decades, spanning three generations of Minetti family ownership, the Far Western Tavern has been driven by a timeless appreciation for regional cuisine and an inherited commitment to hospitality.”

“Our restaurant is recognized as a landmark of Santa Maria Style Barbecue, a renowned regional fare rooted in native ingredients and methods that were first popularized by 19th century rancheros. Our menu blends this local barbecue style with other dishes that reflect our family’s heritage in the Santa Maria Valley’s Swiss-Italian ranching community. Our menus are graced with fresh flavors from the nearby farms, ranches and vineyards.”

“The Far Western Tavern was established in 1958 by Clarence and Rosalie Minetti along with Rosalie’s cousin Richard Maretti and his wife Jean. Originally located in the historic Palace Hotel building in the town of Guadalupe, the Far Western Tavern quickly became a hometown favorite, attracting locals and visitors alike with its legendary fare and welcoming ambiance. Today the restaurant has its home in a beautiful building in Old Town Orcutt.”

“Since those early days, the Far Western Tavern has outlasted countless culinary trends, remaining true to its original style while keeping pace with contemporary tastes. As Clarence was fond of saying, “To last in this business, you have to like people and you have to serve great food. It’s that simple.” Today, Clarence and Rosalie’s children and grandchildren remain committed to advancing the Far Western Tavern tradition.”

Co-Proprietress, Susan Righetti (representing the founding Minetti Family) joins us. She is also the proprietress of Susie Q’s Brand, purveyors of gift packages of signature local food products. It’s all quite a meaty story…

“Welcome to the Far Western Tavern—contemporary California ranch cuisine inspired by local traditions.”

“Our restaurant is recognized as a landmark of Santa Maria Style Barbecue, a renowned regional fare rooted in native ingredients and methods that were first popularized by 19th century rancheros.”

“Our menu blends this local barbecue style with other dishes that reflect our family’s heritage in the Santa Maria Valley’s Swiss-Italian ranching community, all prepared with fresh flavors from nearby farms, ranches and vineyards.”

Buon appetito!

-The Minetti Family

“Sharing the unique flavors of the Santa Maria Valley with the world”

“As a young girl, Santa Maria style cuisine was always a central part of gatherings at our family ranch. I can still recall the aroma of my mom’s beans simmering on the stove, while ranch-raised steaks, seasoned with the perfect blend of garlic, salt and pepper, sizzled over coals of red oak.”

“This style of cooking, pioneered by Spanish vaqueros of the Santa Maria valley over a hundred years ago, is unique to the central coast of California. The cuts of meat, the flavorful seasonings and the use of local ingredients, like plump, pink pinquito beans, have been passed down for generations; including to my parents, whose love of Santa Maria barbeque led them to open the Far Western Tavern in 1958.”

“While I was working at my parent’s restaurant I enjoyed meeting diners from all over the world who traveled here to experience Santa Maria cuisine. It inspired me to find a way to share the wonderful flavors of my family’s culinary heritage beyond the restaurant. So in 1981, I created the first Susie Q Brand products and created relationships with local grocers who kindly put them on their store shelves.”

“I’m proud that Susie Q Brand is the original maker of authentic, artfully-crafted Santa Maria style food, and even as we’ve grown, we’re still a family run business. Today my children, and even grandchildren, help us share more of our family recipes, including delicious Santa Maria style salsas, locally grown pinquito beans, and red oak chips for grilling – everything you need to create an authentic Santa Maria style barbeque in your own home!” – Susan Righetti

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: “The Big Cheese” Grilled Cheese Festival & Competition
Segment Three: Gretchen Kurz, Dining Writer, Critic, Orange Coast Magazine Part One
Segment Four: Gretchen Kurz, Dining Writer, Critic, Orange Coast Magazine Part Two
Segment Five: Executive Chef Robert Biebrich, Angel Stadium, Legends Hospitality Part One
Segment Six: Executive Chef Robert Biebrich, Angel Stadium, Legends Hospitality Part Two
Segment Seven: Susan Righetti, Far Western Tavern & Susie Q’s Brand, Santa Maria & Orcutt, CA Part One
Segment Eight: Susan Righetti, Far Western Tavern & Susie Q’s Brand, Santa Maria & Orcutt, CA Part Two

Classic Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce

Classic Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauceby Tess Masters
The Blender Girl

Blend, freeze, slice, and scarf. That’s how easy this cake is! Once you have your cashews soaked (essential for a righteously creamy consistency), this decadent dessert takes less than 15 minutes to put together. It looks and tastes just like dairy-drenched cheesecake, but my family and friends tell me they crave this more than the conventional kind. Add the lemon and poppy seeds for an awesome twist and a drizzle of strawberry sauce to up the indulgence.

Makes 10 Slices

Crust

1 cup (160g) raw whole almonds
1 cup (170g) firmly packed chopped pitted dates, plus more as needed

Filling

¾ cup (180ml) coconut oil (in liquid form)
½ cup (120ml) full-fat canned coconut milk (shake, then pour)
½ cup (120ml) fresh lemon juice
½ cup (120ml) pure maple syrup
3 cups (420g) raw unsalted cashews, soaked
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
Pinch of natural salt
Coconut Cream, to serve (optional)

Optional Boosters

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus more to taste and garnish
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Sweet Strawberry Sauce, to serve

To make the crust, grease a 9- or 10-inch (23 or 25cm) springform pan with coconut oil.

Process the almonds and dates in a food processor until the mixture is well combined and clumps together. Form the mixture into a ball; if it doesn’t hold together, you may need to add a bit more chopped date and process again. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and set aside.

To make the filling, throw all of the ingredients into your blender in the order listed, including the lemon zest booster, and blend for about 1 minute, until rich and creamy. To achieve the smoothest filling, stop the machine periodically and scrape down the sides of the container. Add the poppy seed booster once the filling is completely blended, and then blast for just a few seconds to combine. Pour the filling into the crust. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and freeze the cheesecake for 6 to 8 hours, until solidified.

To serve, transfer the pan from the freezer to the fridge and defrost for about 30 minutes. Gently release and remove the sides of the springform pan, and then cut the cheesecake into 10 even slices with a very sharp knife. Keeping the slices together on the springform pan bottom, return the cheesecake to the fridge to continue defrosting for another 30 minutes before serving. Serve the slices plain or drizzle each one with 2 tablespoons of the Sweet Strawberry Sauce booster and top with a dollop of the Coconut Cream. Pass remaining strawberry sauce and coconut cream at the table.

Note: Because of the coconut oil, this filling will melt if left out at room temperature.

nutritional facts (per serving, based on 10 servings)

calories 594 kcal | fat 45.2 g | saturated fat 20.2 g | sodium 38 mg | carbs 44.8 g | fiber 5 g | sugars 28 g | protein 11.8 g | calcium 91.8 mg | iron 4 mg

Sweet Strawberry Sauce

This quick, easy sauce is like a little black dress. It complements almost any dessert without upstaging it, fits into any menu, and never goes out of style. Best of all, it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare. Enjoy it over ice cream, cakes, or pies. Try it drizzled over this Classic Cheesecake. Depending on the quality of your berries and your preference, tweak the lemon juice to taste. With well-ripened fruit, I reduce the dates to a third of a cup. But a half cup typically hits the sweet spot. For a sensational sauce, boost with the Grand Marnier, ginger, and vanilla.

Makes 2 Cups (480ML)

¼ cup (60ml) raw coconut water or filtered water
½ cup (85g) firmly packed pitted dates, soaked
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
Pinch of natural salt

Optional Boosters

1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon natural vanilla extract

Throw everything into your blender, including any of the boosters, and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until smooth. Tweak the dates, lemon juice, and ginger to taste. This sauce will keep in the fridge for about 5 days.

nutritional facts (per serving, based on 16 servings)

calories 20 kcal | fat 0.1 g | saturated fat 0 g | sodium 18.6 mg | carbs 5.5 g | fiber 0.7 g | sugars 4.5 g | protein 0.2 g | calcium 6.6 mg | iron 0.1 mg

CREDIT: Reprinted with permission from The Perfect Blend, copyright 2016 Tess Masters. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Photography Copyright 2016 by Anson Smart

Sustenance Stew

Sustenance Stewby Tess Masters
The Blender Girl

I’m a sucker for stew, and this one is seriously delicious and so quick and easy. The combination of rich, creamy almond butter, sautéed sweet potatoes, and spices will make you mmmm your delight at every bite. This hearty dish, loaded with protein (the optional greens and seeds add even more), is an alkalizing, immune-boosting, chlorophyll-rich crusader.

Serves 5 to 6

Cauliflower Eice

2 medium heads cauliflower, cut into florets
¼ cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon natural salt, plus more to taste

Stew

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
Natural salt
3 cups (720ml) vegetable broth
2 (14.5-ounce/411g) cans whole tomatoes with their juice
1½ tablespoons minced fresh ginger
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups (570g) peeled and roughly diced orange-flesh sweet potatoes
3 cups (210g) chopped broccoli florets
4 cups (120g) Swiss chard, stalks removed, leaves cut into ribbons (about 1 large bunch)
1/3 cup (43g) roasted almond butter
½ cup (14g) loosely packed finely chopped cilantro
1 medium avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced
½ cup (80g) sliced raw almonds

optional boosters

¼ cup (35g) shelled hemp seeds
1 tablespoon chia seeds (black or white)
¼ cup (10g) pea greens

To make the cauliflower rice, preheat the oven to 375°F (180°C). Line a large baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper.

Put the cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse about 5 times, until the cauliflower has the texture of couscous. You may have to process in two batches. Transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl and stir in the oil and 1 teaspoon of salt until well combined.

Transfer the “rice” to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon and continue to roast for another 15 minutes, until the “rice” begins to brown. Set aside until ready to serve.

To make the stew, in a large pot over medium heat, warm the oil and sauté the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent.

Meanwhile, add the broth, tomatoes, ginger, and red pepper flakes to your blender and pulse a few times on low until rustically chopped and combined but not blended. Stir the sweet potatoes and broth mixture into the sautéed onion. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the sweet potato is just tender. Add the broccoli and simmer for another 5 minutes. Stir in the chard and almond butter and simmer for another 5 minutes, until the chard is just wilted. The broth should be absorbed and you should have a creamy vegetable dish. Stir in the cilantro and tweak the salt to taste.

To serve, spoon equal amounts of the cauliflower rice into bowls and spoon the stew next to or over the “rice.” Top with the avocado and sliced almonds and sprinkle with the hemp seed and chia seed boosters. Finish by topping with the pea greens booster.

Nutritional Facts (per serving, based on 6 servings)

calories 126 kcal | fat 9.6 g | saturated fat 1.4 g | sodium 324.8 mg | carbs 8.8 g | fiber 2.8 g | sugars 4 g | protein 3.6 g | calcium 68.6 mg | iron 1.8 mg

CREDIT: Reprinted with permission from The Perfect Blend, copyright 2016 Tess Masters. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Photography Copyright 2016 by Anson Smart

April 1: Laura Donadoni, Beach House Winery, Abby’s Better Nut Butter, The Blender Girl, Montes Winery, Joan Nathan

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Laura Donadoni, Brand Ambassador, Franciacorta
Segment Three: Kim Murray, Proprietress, Beach House Winery, Oceanside
Segment Four: Abby Kircher, Founder, Abby’s Better Nut Butter
Segment Five: Tess Masters, The Blender Girl
Segment Six: Aurelio Montes Sr., Montes Wines, Chile
Segment Seven: Joan Nathan, King Solomon’s Table: A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking
Segment Eight: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel

Now an appetizing 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…

Franciacorta is considered by connoisseurs as the luxury Italian sparkling wine. The name identifies both the production method as well as its growing area in Italy. Brand Ambassador Laura Donadoni pops the cork for us.

Oceanside’s Beach House Winery is an award-winning winery with all wines produced onsite. The Winery offers unrivaled ocean and panoramic views of San Diego County. Proprietress Kimberly Murray is our guide through the vineyard.

One of our discoveries at the recently concluded Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim was Abby’s Better Nut Butter. Nut butters are a fast-growing category within natural foods. It’s a great product (only 5 ingredients and no peanuts) but, more unusually, it was started by a 15-year old entrepreneur out of Mooresville, NC. We’ll meet founder Abby Kircher.

Powerhouse blogger and online phenomenon Tess Masters (AKA The Blender Girl) offers up more incredible tasty vegan and gluten-free recipes that help you lead a vibrant healthy life in The Perfect Blend – 100 Blender Recipes to Energize and Revitalize. Tess is our guest to explain all that is delicious & healthy.

In 1988, four enterprising partners (including winemaker Aurelio Montes Sr.), sharing a common dream, embarked on a project to make high quality Chilean wines at a time when, strange as it may sound, such an idea was considered a high-risk venture. Starting from the ground up with modest resources Vina Montes led what became a new wave of producers making sustainable, premium-quality wines, and adhering to solid management principals. Aurelio Montes Sr., President of Montes winery, is our guest.

King Solomon’s Table – A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World is just out from Joan Nathan, the James Beard Award-winning, much-loved cookbook author and authority. It’s a fresh, around-the-world collection of recipes from the global Jewish diaspora—an essential book of cooking and culture. Joan Nathan joins us and has upcoming book tour appearances next week in Los Angeles.

Time to catch-up with our always on the run Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish. He’s been in “Silicon Flats”, Utah opening the first Slapfish located outside of California. Do the locals appreciate fresh seafood in Lehi, Utah ? Stay tuned…

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

Laura DonadoniFranciacorta is considered by connoisseurs as the luxury Italian sparkling wine. It’s a good value for the quality. The name identifies both the production method as well as its growing area in Italy. It’s also the Consorzio Del Franciacorta.

The Consortium was founded on March 5, 1990 in Corte Franca to guarantee and monitor compliance with the rules for producing Franciacorta wine. The name of the geographic region where its Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc vines are grown is used to identify this wine, which is produced exclusively by the method of secondary fermentation in the bottle. In one word, Franciacorta describes an area, a production method and a wine. 

Having moved to its present site at Erbusco in 1993, the Consorzio Franciacorta has about 200 members including wine growers, wine producers, bottlers and others involved in the production chain for the designations Franciacorta DOCG, Curtefranca DOC and Sebino IGT.

Its distinctive logo with a castellated letter F distinguishes its wines and refers back to the ancient mediaeval towers that characterize 19 municipalities in the heart of Lombardy, by the shores of Lake Iseo: Adro, Brescia (part), Capriolo, Cazzago San Martino, Cellatica, Coccaglio, Cologne, Corte Franca, Erbusco, Gussago, Iseo, Monticelli Brusati, Ome, Paderno Franciacorta, Paratico, Passirano, Provaglio, Rodengo Saiano and Rovato,

The cultivation of vines has ancient origins on the hills of Franciacorta, as evidenced by the findings of prehistoric grape seed and the writings of classical authors such as Pliny, Columella and Virgil. Rich archaeological material dating from prehistoric times, such as the remains of stilt house foundations found in the bogs of Sebino, reveal how primitive populations settled here and gradually took over from the Cenomani Gauls, the Romans and the Lombards.

Vine cultivation has been a constant in Franciacorta, where grapes were grown from Roman times to late antiquity and the Middle Ages, thanks to its favorable climatic and soil conditions. Though good and bad periods alike, viticulture in these lands never stopped.

Brand Ambassador Laura Donadoni graciously pops the cork on the Italian bubbly for us.

Kimberly MurrayOceanside’s Beach House Winery is an award-winning winery with all wines produced onsite. The Winery offers unrivaled ocean and panoramic views of San Diego County, and is the first vineyard “Vigna al Mare” (Vineyard at the Sea) and winery established in this beautiful seaside community.

Beach House Winery’s pursuits are providing fine wines with time-honored processes to be enjoyed with family and friends.

Proprietress Kimberly Murray is our guide through the vineyard.

Abby KircherOne of our discoveries at the recently concluded Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim was Abby’s Better Nut Butter. Nut butters are a fast-growing category within natural products. It’s a great product (only 5 ingredients and no peanuts) but, more unusually, it was started by a 15-year old entrepreneur out of Mooresville, NC.

At the young age of 15, Abby Kircher created a product unlike anything else on the market. Hungry for a healthier alternative to peanut butter but unwilling to forgo flavor and variety, she decided to fill an unmet need on her own. After experimenting with different ingredients, including a variety of nuts, like cashews and pecans, to sweet add-ins, like dates, strawberries and coconuts, she landed on a product that didn’t only taste good—it was good for her, too. This was the beginning of Abby’s Better Nut Butters, and today, two years since its official launch, her product has successfully hit the shelves—and the pantries—of the in-demand health food market.

“My goal from the very beginning was to just make the best product I could find. I wanted to create something that was natural and pure but tasted amazing. When I realized my nut butters were something special, I had my family try it—I was surprised to hear that they actually preferred it over regular peanut butter. At that moment, I knew I had a real chance to share these flavors with even more people,” Abby said.

Abby’s Better Nut Butter boasts six unique blends: Coconut Cashew; Honey Almond; Date Pecan; Bourbon Maple Walnut; Coffee Almond; and Strawberry Cashew. Abby first began selling her product at local farmer’s markets in her hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina in 2015. By late spring in 2016, her nut butters expanded into the retail space, including all Lowes Foods location in the Charlotte area and beyond. Now, the clean eating brand is entering 2017 with an agreement with another major retailer—Whole Foods.

We’ll meet founder Abby Kircher.

Tess MastersPowerhouse blogger and online phenomenon Tess Masters (AKA The Blender Girl) offers up more incredible vegan and gluten-free recipes that help you lead a vibrant healthy life in The Perfect Blend – 100 Blender Recipes to Energize and Revitalize.

Anchored to a master list of nutrient-dense ingredients, each of the twelve chapters addresses specific health goals, such as gaining energy, optimizing protein intake, boosting immunity, losing weight, and reducing inflammation.

“I list (Tess Masters) the foods that help me stay in optimal health, and share a few top-line takeaways for each of them—practical information on their health benefits, and how to prepare, blend, and cook them for amazing textures and tastes.”

“There are three optional boosters listed for each recipe that enhance flavor and/or nutrition. I’ve chosen them to work separately or together, so you can supplement any base recipe with one, two, or all three.”

“There are mind-blowing dishes and drinks, like Red Basil Balsamic Blast, Sexy Celeriac Slaw, Shiitake & Asparagus Lettuce Cups, Artichoke Ace, Lick-Your-Plate Lasagna, and Blueberry & Lemon Cashew Cream Crepes.

“The food is functional and geared toward flexibility, so you can tailor the recipes to your own taste and requirements to find your perfect blend.”

Tess is our guest to explain all that is delicious & healthy.

Aurelio Montes SrIn 1988, four enterprising partners (including winemaker Aurelio Montes Sr.), sharing a common dream, embarked on a project to make high quality Chilean wines at a time when, strange as it may sound, such an idea was considered a high-risk venture.

Starting from the ground up with modest resources Vina Montes led what became a new wave of producers making sustainable, premium-quality wines, and adhering to solid management principals.

“Considered one of the most able practitioners in the cellar, Winemaker Aurelio Montes has always maintained that 80 per cent of good wine comes from the vineyards and only 20 per cent from the cellar. So vineyard care is paramount, enabling us to produce world-class wines. From the vineyard rows to the cellar, we meticulously study every variable in the winemaking process. Our commitment to method and process is almost obsessive. Nothing is left to chance.”

Aurelio Montes Sr., President of Montes Winery, is our guest.

Joan NathanKing Solomon’s Table – A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World is just out from Joan Nathan, the James Beard Award-winning, much-loved cookbook author and authority. It’s a fresh, around-the-world collection of recipes from the global Jewish diaspora—an essential book of cooking and culture.

Driven by a passion for discovery, King Solomon is said to have sent ships to all corners of the ancient world, initiating a mass cross-pollination of culinary cultures that continues to bear fruit today.

With King Solomon’s appetites and explorations in mind, here celebrated author Joan Nathan gathers more than 170 recipes that span the millennia: from classics like Yemenite Chicken Soup with Dill, Cilantro, and Parsley; Spinach and Feta Bourekas; Hummus with Preserved Lemon and Cumin; and Hamantaschen with Poppy Seed or Chocolate Filling…to contemporary riffs on traditional dishes such as Smokey Shakshuka with Tomatoes, Peppers, and Eggplant; Homemade Herbed Labneh with Beets and Puy Lentils; Baghdadi Chicken with Rice, Coconut, and Cilantro; and Roman Ricotta Cheese Torte.

We travel with Joan from India to France, from Italy to Mexico, from El Salvador to Israel and, of course, all across North America, in a gorgeously illustrated culinary exploration that is filled with fascinating historical details, personal histories, and fantastic recipes that showcase the diversity of Jewish cuisine

It is the most ambitious and satisfying book of Joan Nathan’s stellar, four decades-long career.

Joan Nathan joins us and has upcoming book tour appearances next week in Los Angeles.

Andrew and William GruelTime to catch-up with our always on the run Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish.

He’s been in “Silicon Flats”, Utah opening the first Slapfish located outside of California. Do the locals appreciate fresh seafood in Lehi, Utah? Stay tuned…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Laura Donadoni, Brand Ambassador, Franciacorta
Segment Three: Kim Murray, Proprietress, Beach House Winery, Oceanside
Segment Four: Abby Kircher, Founder, Abby’s Better Nut Butter
Segment Five: Tess Masters, The Blender Girl
Segment Six: Aurelio Montes Sr., Montes Wines, Chile
Segment Seven: Joan Nathan, King Solomon’s Table: A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking
Segment Eight: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel

March 25: Little Cambodia Town, Post and Beam, The Miller’s Table, Regrained Eat Beer, Wine Exchange, Big Kahuna Chocolate Festival, Jonathan Granada

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: “Mayor” Rithy Hahn, Chef “T” Visoth Ouk, Long Beach’s Cambodia Town
Segment Three: Post & Beam, Los Angeles’ Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza
Segment Four: Chef Staci Miller’s The Miller’s Table, Oceanside, CA
Segment Five: Daniel Kurzrock, Chief Grain Officer, Regrained – Eat Beer
Segment Six: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana
Segment Seven: 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival
Segment Eight: LA’s 2017 Prince of Pork – Cochon 555

Now a tempting preview of this Saturday’s over-stuffed 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…

Long Beach has its own officially designated Little Cambodia Town. It’s known as the Cambodian capital of the United States. Where do you find “real deal” Cambodian food there? Little Cambodia Town’s Honorary Mayor, Rithy Hahn, and Chef “T” Visoth Ouk are our knowledgeable guides.

Brad Johnson’s & Chef Govind Armstrong’s Post & Beam officially opened in early 2012 on the West side of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza (across the parking lot from the Debbie Allen Dance Academy) in an extensively remodeled, free-standing building with patio which had previously been a Golden Bird Fried Chicken stand. It’s 5 successful years later and we’ll get updates from the principals themselves, Brad & Chef Govind.

One of the most distinctive and personal restaurants in the new wave of Oceanside’s chef-driven establishments is Chef Staci Miller’s The Miller’s Table. It’s very hands-on and intimate with all of 24 seats. Most of the seats are at one, large Community Table. We’ll meet the engaging Chef Staci.

A standout product noted by the “SoCal Restaurant Show” at the recently concluded Natural Products Expo West at the Anaheim Convention Center was Regrained – Eat Beer. Regrained crafts supergrain snacks featuring upcycled brewer’s grain “harvested” from urban craft breweries. CEO & Co-Founder Daniel Kurzrock explains all.

Prosecco is on a lot of restaurant by-the-glass menus these days. It’s a common misnomer that it’s Italian sparkling wine. Actually it comes from difference grapes than Champagne and is created using a different process. Also, all Prosecco is not created equal. To bring clarity to the ongoing discussion our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange in Santa Ana, joins us with the needed 411.

The 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival is set for April 28th & 29th at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. “Indulge in the alluring, rich taste of chocolate – in both its sweet and savory forms – while participating in delicious, fun and informative chocolate-themed activities.” Farsheed Bonakdar the President of the Kona Cacao Association (the event’s producer) and Executive Chef Donald Wressell (also an acclaimed chocolatier) of the Guittard Chocolate Company are with us to preview this weekend of rich chocolate indulgence.

After a decadent afternoon of feasting on March 12th on over 1,500 pounds of heritage breed pork raised on family farms, almost 500 guests gathered with glasses full of festive libations at Viceroy Santa Monica, Official Host Venue. From cooks and guests to winemakers and distillers, all were waiting for Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe to crown Los Angeles’ “Prince of Pork,” bestowing not just the title, but a place in the national finale, Grand Cochon, in October in Chicago. L.A.’s newly crowned “Prince of Pork” chef is our guest.

Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel is flying back from Utah on this Saturday morning. He rejoins us on April 1st, and that’s no joke…

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

Rithy Hahn, and Chef T Visoth OukLong Beach has its own officially designated Little Cambodia Town. It’s known as the Cambodian capital of the United States. Some 20,000 residents of Long Beach are of Cambodian descent. Long Beach is thought to have the second largest population of Cambodian immigrants outside of Southeast Asia.

The Cambodia Town Culture Festival with lots of food & fun for the whole Family is Sunday, April 2nd from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Cambodian Restaurants we visited (that the locals frequent) in Long Beach include Crystal, Monorom Cambodian Restaurant, Dara Restaurant and Sophy’s – Cambodia Town Food & Music. Some are located just outside of the “official” boundaries of Cambodia Town. All have on-site parking.

Standout dishes to look for range from deep fried whole catfish to salmon salad and lemongrass soup.

Where do you find “real deal” Cambodian food there?

Little Cambodia Town’s Honorary Mayor, Rithy Hahn, and Chef “T” Visoth Ouk are our knowledgeable guides.

Govind Armstrong and Brad JohnsonBrad Johnson’s & Chef Govind Armstrong’s Post & Beam officially opened in early 2012 on the West side of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza (across the parking lot from the Debbie Allen Dance Academy) in an extensively remodeled, free-standing building with patio which had previously been a Golden Bird Fried Chicken stand.

There is a fairly extensive on-site herb garden on the patio with raised beds. One entire wall of the patio is covered with trailing passion fruit vines. The highly perishable fruit is creatively used there seasonally in salad dressings and desserts.

“No stranger to the dining scene in Los Angeles, Brad Johnson’s and Chef Govind Armstrong’s venture, Post & Beam, is intended to bring warm hospitality, exciting, yet approachable cuisine and good times to the surrounding neighborhoods of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. Brad has created memorable places since relocating to California from NYC in 1989. Remember Georgia on Melrose Ave.? That was him, minus some of the gray hair.”

Among Chef Govind’s numerous local credits of note are the fondly remembered Chadwick (Co-Executive Chef) in Beverly Hills and Melrose’s Table 8. He started in the kitchen at Spago at the tender age of 13.

It’s 5 successful years later and we’ll get updates from the principals themselves, Brad & Chef Govind.

Staci MillerOne of the most distinctive and personal restaurants in the new wave of Oceanside’s chef-driven establishments is Chef Staci Miller’s The Miller’s Table. Her beverage goal is to compliment the vibrant Oceanside craft beer scene with her extensive knowledge of fine wine. It’s very hands-on and intimate with all of 24 seats. Most of the seats are at one, large Family Table.

The Miller’s Table is an intimate community experience, with simple, fresh fare, unique wines, craft beers and beverages all brought to a centerpiece of a family table. With all of the fresh produce available in North County, a large portion of Staci Miller’s menu is dedicated to Inspired Vegetables, balanced with Cheese & Charcuterie, and a creative cadre of Sandwiches, all fresh and made in house.

“Of note; our albacore confit tuna and house-made potato chips. With 24 seats, the service is very personal, with no waiters, but rather a culinary team that delivers the food they just prepared. Wine is presented as flights for exploration, with a wine list that changes weekly.”

We’ll meet the passionate Chef Staci.

Daniel KurzrockA standout product noted by the “SoCal Restaurant Show” at the recently concluded Natural Products Expo West at the Anaheim Convention Center was Regrained – Eat Beer. Regrained crafts supergrain snacks featuring upcycled brewer’s grain “harvested” from urban craft breweries. The end result is a whole lot tastier than it perhaps reads…

“When we started homebrewing beer as underage students at UCLA, we certainly did not predict it would lead to this.”

“Here’s what caught us by surprise: with every batch of beer made, we were left with a crazy amount of “used” grain! We understood that the sugar from the grain was somehow being turned into fresh barleypop, but what about the grain? What the heck were we supposed to do with that stuff?? And there was a lot of it!!”

“We didn’t have a compost bin, let alone any farm animals to feed out back of our frathouse homebrewery. So, week after week, vats of oatmeal were tipped into the dumpster. An idea struck. Sure, we didn’t have farm animals, but we had plenty of the next best thing: hungry party animals.”

“So, we set out to bake a sort-of whole grain bread using the leftover grain. We could become the cure for cases of the common drunchies.

After a few months of baking a dozen or so loaves of bread per week between beer making (with some studying in between), a few things became apparent:

  1. People loved our idea. We even developed a contingent of regulars.
  2. Bread was one of many possible applications for reuse of our grain.
  3. Craft beer was continuing to blow up around us. If urban craft breweries shared our sustainability challenge, our idea could be even bigger.

“So, we decided to make a go at a broader business model. ReGrained would not just be a bakery, but more of a go-between the brewing industry and local food systems. It would be both a service provider and a manufacturer. Eventually, we would upcycle all of the grain from every urban brewery in the world!”

“First, we decided, we should start with a product. We liked the bread, but baking it was time consuming, labor intensive, and the shelf-life was short. We needed something more practical.”

“We put our heads (and appetites) together. Jordan’s (Schwartz) crowded apartment kitchen Became our startup’s “garage,” and we developed an evolving recipe of small batch granola bars. Batch after batch we baked until we had something that we believed could have some legs. We believed in our idea, and that if we kept at it, we could turn it into something meaningful.”

“ReGrained has since become a full-time pursuit, and we couldn’t be more excited. We are hard at work every day earnestly growing our bar line, as well as developing other applications for ReGrained grain. We appreciate how far we have been able to take the company from ourcramped UCLA kitchen, but the best is truly yet to come.”

CEO & Co-Founder Daniel Kurzrock explains all.

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeThe delightfully effervescent Prosecco from Italy is on a lot of restaurant by-the-glass menus these days. It’s a common misnomer that it’s Italian sparkling wine. Actually it comes from difference grapes than Champagne and is created using a different, less labor intensive process. Also, all Prosecco is not created equal.

To bring clarity to the ongoing discussion our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange in Santa Ana, joins us with the needed 411.

Also, what sparkling wine and Champagne is now served in by the glass in better restaurants is starting to change. It’s not just presented in a Champagne flute anymore. What’s going on…?

Donald WressellThe 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival is set for April 28th & 29th at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. “Indulge in the alluring, rich taste of chocolate – in both its sweet and savory forms – while participating in delicious, fun and informative chocolate-themed activities.”

Farsheed Bonakdar the President of the Kona Cacao Association (the event’s producer) and Executive Chef Donald Wressell (also an acclaimed chocolatier) of the Guittard Chocolate Company are with us to preview this weekend of rich chocolate indulgence with a side of education.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds annually benefit a variety of worthy local non-profits.

“Chocolate has an amazing history and it will be fun to share it at this year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival,” says KCA President Farsheed Bonakdar.

The two-day chocolate extravaganza includes a cacao plantation tour at Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, a college culinary competition and several public foodie and agriculture-themed seminars. Activities culminate 5-9 p.m. Saturday, April 29 with the indoor-outdoor festival gala—enjoy a host of sweet and savory culinary stations presented by top isle chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners. Fun chocolate activities include a live chocolate sculpture and chocolate body painting.

Culinary participants will depict this year’s historical theme at their booths and be judged on originality.

Chocolate hails from Meso-America where cacao beans were brewed to make a drink or fermented into an alcoholic beverage. Highly valued, the bean was used as currency. The Mayans and Aztecs believed cacao was divine, including it in rituals. Once fashioned into a bar, chocolate became valued in America. During wartime it was included in soldiers’ rations and went to the moon with the Apollo astronauts.

Jonathan GranadaAfter a decadent afternoon of feasting on over 1,500 pounds of heritage breed pork raised on family farms, almost 500 guests gathered with glasses full of everything from Franciacorta and Pinot Noir to Smoked Old-Fashioneds and Angostura Rum Swizzle cocktails at Viceroy Santa Monica, Official Host Venue. From cooks and guests to winemakers and distillers, all were waiting for Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe to crown Los Angeles’ “Prince of Pork,” bestowing not just the title, but a place in the national finale, Grand Cochon, in October in Chicago.

Representing the Berkshire breed of pig raised by Peads & Barnetts, the winner was Chef Jonathan Granada of Otium.

Winning Chef Jonathan’s pig breed from Peads & Barnetts Farm was a Berkshire that yields a brighter pork than most, and features a thick, delicious fat cap. The meat is sweet and creamy with hints of nuttiness, which is a by-product of the finishing process in several areas. These aspects worked in tandem with his six winning menu items, including a Head Cheese; Pork Belly with Feuille de Brick, Stinging Nettle and Caviar; Whipped Lardo with Sea Urchin, Pistachio and Brioche; Pork Shoulder with Artichoke Barigoule and Vin Jaune; a Croquette with Mojo and Potato; and finished with a Cider – Eric Bordelet Poire Granit from France.

A culinary competition featuring 5 chefs cooking 5 whole, heritage breed pigs with innovative flavors and timeless cooking techniques, Cochon555 challenges chefs to use every bit of their accumulated knowledge and inspiration. Each chef is given a 200-220 pound heritage breed pig and tasked to create, prepare and present a “Judge’s Plate” of 6 dishes scored on utilization, global influences, cooking techniques, and overall flavor, among other categories. This year’s experts and celebrity judges included local luminaries Jonathan Gold of Los Angeles Times, Christopher Ford of Beverly Wilshire, Chef Walter Manzke of Republique, Kelly Kang of Viceroy Santa Monica and others.

“The national competition gets more intense and dynamic every year, and the performance of the LA chefs, somms, and barkeeps shows precisely why the city is at the forefront for culinary excellence in this country,” said Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe. “Chef Jonathan’s winning dishes were bold, modern, thoughtful, and full of the kind of flavors that only enhance what heritage breed pigs have to offer. We owe a big thank you to the Viceroy Santa Monica Hotel – the setting was spectacular.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: “Mayor” Rithy Hahn, Chef “T” Visoth Ouk, Long Beach’s Cambodia Town
Segment Three: Post & Beam, Los Angeles’ Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza
Segment Four: Chef Staci Miller’s The Miller’s Table, Oceanside, CA
Segment Five: Daniel Kurzrock, Chief Grain Officer, Regrained – Eat Beer
Segment Six: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana
Segment Seven: 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival
Segment Eight: LA’s 2017 Prince of Pork – Cochon 555

March 11: Brix at the Shore, Oceanside Sunset Market, Studio at Montage Laguna Beach, Vikram Vij, West Coast Prime Meats, Farm Lot 59

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Rick Reich, Proprietor, W.I.N.O, Brix at The Shore, Long Beach
Segment Three: Kim Heim, Main Street Oceanside, Sunset Market
Segment Four: Executive Chef Craig Strong, Studio, Montage Laguna Beach
Segment Five: Celebrity Chef Vikram Vij, Vij’s, Vancouver, B.C. Part One
Segment Six: Celebrity Chef Vikram Vij, Vij’s, Vancouver, B.C. Part Two
Segment Seven: “The Meatheads” (Terry and Jay) From West Coast Prime Meats
Segment Eight: Farm Lot 59 Benefit at Roe Seafood, Long Beach

Now a scrumptious preview of this Saturday’s over-stuffed 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 personable characters on the Long Beach dining scene Rick Reich of Brix at The Shore in Belmont Shore wears the befitting crown. It’s a taste of the Big Apple with its iconic, piled-high pastrami sandwiches, intimate wine bar ambiance and a standout rotating selection of craft beer. And then, there is Rick…

The expansive Thursday evening Sunset Market in Downtown Oceanside is the weekly gathering spot for up to 8,000 locals. Top quality food stands with appealing cuisine from around the globe are one of the primary attractions. Kim Heim from Main Street Oceanside is our informed tour guide.

Known for presenting extraordinary seasonal tasting menus, Executive Chef Craig Strong has introduced a new vegetarian Tasting Menu at Studio at Montage Laguna Beach. The new tasting menu, now offered at the Laguna Beach free-standing, ocean-view restaurant, highlights the restaurant’s 1,000-square-foot raised bed garden with dishes that play on classic French specialties made deliciously vegetarian. We pull Chef Strong out of his amazingly-equipped kitchen for a brief chat.

When it comes to star chefs and high-profile Food TV personalities in Canada the top of the class is surely Vancouver’s Chef Vikram Vij. He has introduced the joy of Indian flavors to tens of thousands of fortunate Canadians since he debuted the original (no-reservations) Vij’s in 1994. We’ll meet the incredible Chef Vikram.

Passover and Easter are on the immediate horizon. For serious home cooks that means a family table of ham and/or lamb for Easter, and lamb for Passover. Our resident meats experts (The heralded “Meatheads” from West Coast Prime Meats, Terry & Jay) have some practical advice and cooking tips for us.

Belmont Shore, Long Beach restaurant Roe Seafood (Owner / Chef Art Gonzalez) will host an “Electric Fundraiser” to benefit Farm Lot 59 on Wednesday, March 22nd from 4 – 7p.m. The food and cocktail-centric event is open to the public and proceeds will fund Farm Lot 59’s efforts to bring much needed electricity to the property.

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

Rick ReichWhen it comes to personable characters with their own sense of style on the Long Beach dining scene, Rick Reich of Brix at The Shore in Belmont Shore wears the befitting crown. It’s a taste of the Big Apple with its iconic, piled-high pastrami sandwiches, intimate wine bar ambiance and a standout rotating selection of craft beer. It’s all of 65-seats.

Brix at The Shore offers something the area is lacking: a place that caters to Generation X and Baby Boomers where these forty to sixtysomethings can make their own hangout with music from their era, everything from ‘80s alternative to Sinatra; a rotating wine list with an impressive and thoughtful selection of vintages; a collection of taps that pour craft beer; and an intimate environment that provokes casual conversation among its guests.

“I call Brix at The Shore an adult amusement park,” says owner Rick Reich, who also doubles as the restaurant’s sommelier. “Belmont Shore has plenty of places that appeal to college kids, but what the area was lacking was a hangout for a more established crowd who needed a place to unwind after work, enjoy a good glass of wine or beer, grab a bite to eat, and occasionally break out into song – trust me, it’s happens. We’ve had the entire restaurant singing to Dean Martin on a Saturday night. And that’s what makes Brix so appealing.”

The menu features an array of shareable plates, flatbread sandwiches, salads, deli sandwiches, artisan pizza, burgers and entrees.

We pull W.I.N.O Rick out of the kitchen to tell us all about it.

Kim HeimThe expansive Thursday evening Sunset Market in Downtown Oceanside is the weekly gathering spot for up to 8,000 locals. Eighty-eight top quality food stands featuring appealing ethnic cuisine from around the globe are one of the primary attractions. (There is little duplication of menu items between food stands.)

Think of an intriguing mix of everything from Chicago Polish pierogis to wild caught salmon that is eye-catchingly fire-roasted in front of you on oak planks.

Southern California has attracted people from all over the world and is renowned for its diversity which is reflected in the distinctive international food offerings of the Sunset Market.

Kim Heim from Main Street Oceanside is our informed tour guide.

Craig StrongKnown for presenting extraordinary seasonal tasting menus, Executive Chef Craig Strong has introduced a new Vegetarian Tasting Menu at Studio at Montage Laguna Beach. The new tasting menu, now offered at the Laguna Beach free-standing, ocean-view restaurant, highlights the restaurant’s 1,000-square-foot raised bed garden with dishes that play on classic French specialties made deliciously vegetarian. We pull Chef Strong out of his amazing kitchen for a brief chat.

“This new tasting menu highlights vegetables at the center of the plate with twists on classics, like Pot‘ato’-au-Feu, a take on the traditional Pot-au-Feu beef stew, and Crimson Beet Tartare, my take on a traditional steak tartare, with a golden beet ‘yolk’ in place of the expected raw egg yolk,” explains Chef Strong, who is known for his modern French cuisine with California influences. “I believe that we ‘eat’ with our eyes and noses long before we taste anything, and this menu allows my guests to do just that with nature’s bounty.”

“This is a great menu for vegetarians and non-vegetarians, alike,” commented Chef Strong, whose family garden of zucchini and tomatoes first inspired him to experiment in the kitchen as a child. “Diners who are looking to explore the best seasonal and local produce will find adventure in this menu.”

Studio has been recognized with Five Stars from Forbes Travel Guide, Three Stars from Los Angeles TimesRobb Report as one of “America’s Finest Dining Restaurants,” and Food & Wine Magazine’s “Top 50 Hotel Restaurants.” Studio has also earned the “Best of Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator and is rated one of Zagat’s “America’s Top Restaurants.”

VIkram VijWhen it comes to star chefs and high-profile Food TV personalities in Canada the top of the class is surely Vancouver’s Chef Vikram Vij. He has introduced the joy of Indian flavors to tens of thousands of fortunate Canadians since he debuted the original (no-reservations) 14-seat Vij’s in 1994. The incredibly popular restaurant has since relocated and expanded to 85-seats plus a bar / lounge area.

In December 1994 Vikram married Meeru, who then joined him at the restaurant. “Our cuisine has stood out from others in that we do not serve what is typically expected from an India restaurant. We prefer to stay away from the tandoor oven since it’s already being used in so many other restaurants. Our philosophy behind the food has always been to keep our spices and cooking techniques Indian – from all regions of India – while using meats, seafood and produce that are locally available. To this effect, we change our menu seasonally.”

We’ll meet the incredible Chef Vikram.

Vikram was born in 1964 in India and grew up in Amritsar and Bombay. His most vivid childhood memories revolve around food and family. He pursued this further by studying Hotel Management in Salzburg, Austria. After his studies, Vikram continued working at various fine dining restaurants in Austria and, in 1989, moved to Canada to work at the Banff Springs Hotel.

Meeru was born in India but moved to Washington, D.C. at a very young age with her parents. Prior to marrying Vikram and moving to Canada, she worked with various organizations in human rights and international development projects.

“Along with the kitchen staff’s dedication and our love of experimenting, Vij’s blossomed quickly and won its first award from Vancouver Magazine for Best Asian restaurant in March 1995. In September 1996, we moved to a larger location and Meeru took over the kitchen and the recipes for the most part. Vikram focused his efforts on the overall running of the restaurant, the presentation of the food and the wine list. In October 2001, Vikram became a certified Sommelier.”

Vikram’s biography, Vij’s: A Chef’s One-Way Ticket to Canada with Indian Spices in His Suitcase publishes on March 21st.

Premium Lamb from West Coast Prime MeatsPassover and Easter are on the immediate horizon. For serious home cooks that means a family table of ham and/or lamb for Easter, and lamb for Passover. Our resident meats experts (The heralded Meatheads from West Coast Prime Meats, Terry & Jay) have some practical advice and cooking tips for us.

What’s all the fuss about lamb from Colorado and New Zealand? We’ll find out.

Sasha KannoBelmont Shore, Long Beach restaurant Roe Seafood (Owner / Chef Art Gonzalez) will host an “Electric Fundraiser” to benefit Farm Lot 59 on Wednesday, March 22nd from 4 – 7p.m. The food and cocktail-centric event is open to the public and proceeds will fund Farm Lot 59’s efforts to bring much needed electricity to the property.

“With recent vandalism and safety and security concerns, our need for electricity is greater than ever,” Farm Lot 59 founder and farmer Sasha Kanno said. “We’re excited to partner with Roe to help raise the funds needed to install power to the property so the farm can continue its mission to service the community and provide our youth with an ‘edible education’.”

“Considering Farm Lot 59 supplies produce to Roe and other restaurants in Long Beach, as well as offers an educational Living Classroom experience on the property for our city’s children, we feel it is important to do our part to help fund its efforts to bring electricity to the farm”, said Chef Art Gonzalez, chef and owner of both Roe Seafood and Panxa Cocina. “We’d love to see all of Long Beach support this one-of-a-kind agricultural treasure nestled in the middle of our bustling city.”

100% of proceeds from Farm Lot 59 signature cocktails and appetizers will go to the farm, as well as 10% of the proceeds from Roe Seafood’s regular menu that evening. Guests are encouraged to call the restaurant in advance at (562) 546-7110 to reserve a table for dinner service.

Founded by Sasha Kanno in 2010, Farm Lot 59/Long Beach Local is an agriculture-based official 501(c)(3) non-profit, organic and biodynamic farm that promotes the direct connection between farmer and consumer and serves as an educational resource for children through its Living Classroom program.

Farm Lot 59 grows vegetables, fruit and flowers without pesticides, herbicides or chemicals. Farm Lot 59 also creates local green jobs and grows healthy fresh food on a historically significant site, with an overall goal to make a difference in the local and global community by combining resources with the city, local partners, and friends.

Farmer Sasha is our guest.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Rick Reich, Proprietor, W.I.N.O, Brix at The Shore, Long Beach
Segment Three: Kim Heim, Main Street Oceanside, Sunset Market
Segment Four: Executive Chef Craig Strong, Studio, Montage Laguna Beach
Segment Five: Celebrity Chef Vikram Vij, Vij’s, Vancouver, B.C. Part One
Segment Six: Celebrity Chef Vikram Vij, Vij’s, Vancouver, B.C. Part Two
Segment Seven: “The Meatheads” (Terry and Jay) From West Coast Prime Meats
Segment Eight: Farm Lot 59 Benefit at Roe Seafood, Long Beach

March 4: Evans Brewing, Melissa’s Produce, Urge Gastropub and Whiskey Bank, Bev Lazo, Brian Huskey

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anne Marie Panoringan, Food & Libation Journalist
Segment Three: Robert Schueller, Prince of Produce, Melissa’s World Variety Produce Part One
Segment Four: Evan Rapport, Founder & COO, Evans Brewing Co., Irvine
Segment Five: Robert Schueller, Prince of Produce, Melissa’s World Variety Produce Part Two
Segment Six: Grant Tondro, Co-Founder, Urge Gastropub & Whiskey Bar, Oceanside
Segment Seven: Chef Bev Lazo, Fiesta Adobo Catering
Segment Eight: Chef Brian Huskey, Tackle Box, South Coast Plaza’s 50th Birthday

Team USA wins Hold at the 2017 Bocuse D'orWe have been enthusiastically following the incredible “Road to Lyon” for Team USA in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition since Chef Mathew Peters (formerly with Thomas Keller’s per se) and his Commis, Harrison Turone, reigned supreme in a fierce cooking competition at The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas in December 2015 to win the honor of representing Team USA in 2017 sat the Bocuse d’Or . For the first time in the 30- year history of the biannual Bocuse d’Or, Team USA took the coveted First Place Gold Statue in late January in Lyon.

You can join in an exclusive, well-deserved salute to our proud Team USA at a reception of specialty cocktails and canapes at Chef Walter Manzke’s (member of the ment’or BKB Culinay Council) Republique in Los Angeles on Monday evening, March 13th from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Both Chefs Mathew and Harrison will be there as well as the prized Gold Statue. Tickets are available right here. See you there!

Now a tempting preview of this Saturday’s lush and 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 actually a pretty good thing…

Chef Bill Yosses was the Executive Pastry Chef at The White House (7 years) for both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He’s now back in New York with Perfect Pie. More unusually he’s the “Official Pie Maker” for the current Off-Broadway Production of Sweeney Todd. Chef Bill briefly steps away from the deck ovens and is our guest.

Evans Brewing Co. was formed in 2014 when it absorbed the assets of Bayhawk Ales, Inc., Orange County’s oldest operating microbrewery established in 1994 and now publicly traded. Last December Evans Brewing Co. launched The Public House in Fullerton, a full-service restaurant and Tasting Room. The COO and Founder of Evans Brewing Co., Evan Rapport, joins us with a cold one.

What’s the pick of the season in fresh produce right now? We’re talking the very best in fruits and veggies with Robert Schueller, the uncontested Prince of Produce from Melissa’s World Variety Produce and our resident produce authority for a juicy update. We can say for sure that the incredible, tree-ripened Ojai Pixie Tangerines have arrived early and, with any luck, will be with us through May.

Urge Gastropub and Whiskey Bank (including a production microbrewery and hidden Prohibition-era Speakeasy) is new in Oceanside. We’ll savor one of the 250 whiskey options with Co-Owner Grant Tondro of 3LocalBrothers.

Fans of Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” will recall the memorable Chef Bev Lazo from Season 12. Chef Bev’s catering company, Fiesta Adobo, cooks up delicious, traditional foods from the Philippines. Another specialty is serving traditional Mexican style street tacos. We’ll meet her.

It’s the 50th Anniversary of Costa Mesa’s celebrated South Coast Plaza. Most of the restaurants there are doing something special to celebrate during the month of March. Bravo’s “Top Chef” alum, Chef Brian Huskey of Tackle Box (on the sand in Costa Mesa), has created the Camarena Tequila chipotle-braised carnitas taco entrée for Wahoo’s Fish Taco in South Coast Plaza. It’s available exclusively at Wahoo’s SCP (2nd level of the Crate and Barrel / Macy’s Home Store Wing) for the month of March. We’ve reeled in Chef Brian to provide the details.

Bill YossesChef Bill Yosses was previously the Executive Pastry Chef at The White House (8 years) for both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He’s now back in New York with Perfect Pie. More unusually he’s the “Official Pie Maker” for the current Off-Broadway Production of Sweeney Todd.

New from Perfect Pie is Oprah’s Valentine’s Day Pie Assortment in a presentation box with ribbon, Wild Blueberry Pie, BBQ Pulled Pork Pie and Pumpkin Pie.

Chef Bill was publicly proclaimed the “Crustmaster” by former President Obama and the “Pastry Man” by former President Bush.

Chef Bill steps away from the deck ovens and is our guest.

Now the Tooting Arts Club is serving up a fresh production of this musical theater classic, Sweeney Todd. This immersive revival has transferred to New York City after a sold-out run in London, where it premiered at Harrington’s Pie and Mash Shop. The Barrow Street Theatre re-creates the pie shop atmosphere, even selling pies on-site. Rest assured, the cook is no relation of Sweeney’s. He is Bill Yosses, a former White House pastry chef whom President Obama dubbed “the Crust Master.”

In keeping with the original Tooting production and the West End transfer, “pie and mash” will be available for purchase by all audience members prior to every performance, served communally in the pie shop where the production is set. An authentic slice of Victorian London, the traditional dish consists of a meat (Chicken) pie, a generous helping of mashed potato and hot parsley sauce. Both meat and vegetarian variations are available for the show.

Evans BrewingEvans Brewing Co. was formed in 2014 when it absorbed the assets of Bayhawk Ales, Inc., Orange County’s oldest operating microbrewery established in 1994 and then became publicly traded.

The production brewery (with new, enhanced equipment) is still based in an unusual space adjacent to McCormick & Schmick’s in Irvine where Bayhawk Ales was originally founded. The brewing process can be observed through floor-to-ceiling windows from the adjacent Pilsner Room at McCormick & Schmicks’s

The new Director of Brewing, Kevin Hammons, has tweaked all the beer recipes. Year-round styles are Chocolatte (Chocolate Porter), The Krhopen (India Pale Ale), Pollen Nation (Honey Blonde), and Oaklore (Brown Ale).

Last December Evans Brewing Co’ launched The Public House in Fullerton, a full-service restaurant and Tasting Room.

The menu of elevated from-scratch pub fare was developed by executive chef, Amanda Platt and features dishes that pair well with the company’s craft ales & lagers. Brunch is served on Weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Selections include the signature Sweet Corn Skillet Hoe Cake, with peppers and onions, applewood smoked bacon and honey butter; Fennel Sausage Flatbread with shaved onions, marinara, shredded mozzarella and grated aged parmesan Reggiano; Fried Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich with arugula, manchego, charred cherry tomatoes and buttermilk ranch on a pretzel bun; and Wild Caught Salmon with a creole sauce. Even the vegetarian option is a thoughtful Grilled Portobello Banh Mi Sandwich served with pickled carrots and daikon, cucumbers, jalapenos, fresh herbs and sriracha aioli.

The COO and Founder of Evans Brewing Co., Evan Rapport, joins us with a cold one.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioWhat’s the pick of the season in fresh produce right now? We’re joined by Robert Schueller, the uncontested Prince of Produce from Melissa’s World Variety Produce and our resident produce authority for a juicy update.

We can say for sure that the incredible, tree-ripened Ojai Pixie Tangerines have arrived early and, with any luck, will be with us through May. We’ll also be highlighting (as time allows) Kiwiberries, Red and Green Muscato Grapes and Golden Nugget Tangerines.

Grant TondroUrge Gastropub and Whiskey Bank (including a production microbrewery and hidden Prohibition-era Speakeasy) is new on the scene in Oceanside.

Founded in 2015 Urge Gastropub and Whiskey Bank is one of Oceanside’s creative takes on the Modern American locals’ hangout. Satisfying comfort foods, wines and an extensive beer list (including house-brewed styles) are accompanied with an enormous and eclectic selection of the world’s finest Whisk(e)ys. Urge Oceanside is also the home of Mason Ale Works, a production craft brewery.

We’ll savor one of the 250 whiskey options available with Co-Owner Grant Tondro of 3LocalBrothers.

Bev LazoFans of Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen will recall the memorable Chef Bev Lazo from Season 12. Chef Bev’s busy catering company, Fiesta Adobo, cooks up delicious, traditional foods from the Philippines. Another specialty is serving traditional Mexican style street tacos.

Chef Bev’s Pork Adobo was one of the crowd-pleasing, featured dishes at Golden Rule Charity’s February 20th benefit for Chef Bruno Serato, the non-profit Caterina’s Club and the displaced staff members of The Anaheim White House.

We’ll meet her.

Brian HuskeyIt’s the 50th Anniversary of Costa Mesa’s celebrated South Coast Plaza. Most of the restaurants there are doing something special to celebrate during the month of March.

Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 11 alum, Chef Brian Huskey of Tackle Box (on the sand in Costa Mesa), has created the Camarena Tequila chipotle-braised carnitas taco entrée for Wahoo’s Fish Taco in South Coast Plaza.

It’s available exclusively for $5.50 at Wahoo’s SCP (2nd level of the Crate and Barrel / Macy’s Home Store Wing) for the month of March, only.

Wahoo’s 30th Anniversary will be next year in 2018!

We’ve reeled in Chef Brian to provide the details.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anne Marie Panoringan, Food & Libation Journalist
Segment Three: Robert Schueller, Prince of Produce, Melissa’s World Variety Produce Part One
Segment Four: Evan Rapport, Founder & COO, Evans Brewing Co., Irvine
Segment Five: Robert Schueller, Prince of Produce, Melissa’s World Variety Produce Part Two
Segment Six: Grant Tondro, Co-Founder, Urge Gastropub & Whiskey Bar, Oceanside
Segment Seven: Chef Bev Lazo, Fiesta Adobo Catering
Segment Eight: Chef Brian Huskey, Tackle Box, South Coast Plaza’s 50th Birthday