February 7: Andrew Gruel, Bocuse D’or USA, Melissa’s Produce, Little Sparrow, Jonathan Club, Honda Center

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Chef Andrew Gruel (Guest Host) and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s, Chinese New Year Fruits & Vegetables
Segment Three: Executive Chef Eric Samaniego, Little Sparrow Café
Segment Four: Chef Philip Tessier, Team USA & The French Laundry Part One
Segment Five: Chef Philip Tessier, Team USA & The French Laundry Part Two
Segment Six: Executive Chef Jason McClain, Jonathan Club
Segment Seven: Julie Margolin, Director of Food & Beverage Services, Honda Center
Segment Eight: Slapfish Chef/Owner Andrew Gruel

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and now, Newport Beach is today’s special Guest Host.

Now a preview of today’s delightfully overflowing show

Chinese New Year is February 19th to March 5th, 2015. It’s the Year of the Sheep (often called the Year of the Goat or the Ram.) During China’s most colorful and important holiday, foods take on special symbolic meanings. Fruits and vegetables are also healthy and delicious. Our resident produce expert, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, joins us with a tasty overview of the fruits and vegetables which are part of Chinese New Year. He’ll also tell us where to find some great Martin Yan recipes to prepare at home to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Eric Samaniego (ex- Comme Ca in West Hollywood) is the acclaimed Executive Chef of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana. The Orange County Register’s Restaurant Critic, Brad A. Johnson, awarded Little Sparrow the recognition as “Best New Restaurant” in 2013. Samaniego’s Pastry Chef, Nasera Munshi, was Johnson’s choice as “Pastry Chef of the Year” in 2014. If all of that wasn’t enough recognition Little Sparrow was selected by the producers (including Tom Colicchio) of Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant” competition series as one of 16 USA restaurants from four cities to vie for the title of Best New Restaurant and a cool $100,000 cash prize. With eager anticipation we’ll see how Little Sparrow does in their initial episode airing on Wednesday evening. Feb. 25th.

When we last chatted with Team USA (Chefs Philip Tessier and Commis Skylar Stover of The French Laundry) early last month they were on their way to Lyon to compete in the bi-annual Bocuse d’Or World Culinary Competition, the Olympics of the culinary world. This was after a year of intensive preparation and dedicated training. 24 teams of the most gifted culinary minds from across the world competed and Team USA (guided by the ment’or BKB Foundation) was awarded the Silver Medal (second place) for their artful and spectacular meat platter and fish plate. Team Norway was the first-place winner. This is a giant first for Team USA. Their previous top finish was sixth. Congratulations to Team USA on a stunning achievement. Chef Philip Tessier is our guest.

Chef Jason McClain is the executive chef of the storied Jonathan Club, a very exclusive private club in Los Angeles established in 1894 with a rich history. Their main building is located in Downtown Los Angeles with a second facility, the Jonathan Beach Club (established in 1927) located on the sand in Santa Monica. A social club at this level needs to have outstanding food and beverage as an amenity for their discerning members. Chef McClain will take us behind the scenes on what resources and imagination he uses to fulfill this promise. He likes to say he’s responsible for “the best restaurant in Downtown that no one knows about.” One small example of his commitment to quality is his urban rooftop garden located on a former handball court where seasonally they grow heirloom tomatoes, broccolini, baby carrots, blueberries, figs, snap peas and yuzu.

Julie Margolin is the Honda Center’s busy Director of Food & Beverage Services. Over 500 employees are part of the food and beverage operations there. Honda Center is one of the few facilities in the country who runs their own food and beverage operations. It’s a massive undertaking and costly. This was done strictly to improve the quality of the food and beverage program there. She works alongside Honda Center’s Executive Chef, Jo-Jo Doyle. Julie joins us to talk about what’s new for the current season including the menu in Standing “O”.

We now have a chance to catch-up with Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, today’s Guest Host. Andrew will announce the name and description of the winning dish created for the opening in Newport Beach. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering a set of rules for organic farmed fish. Several consumer groups, though, say the recommended rules don’t go far enough to meet the strict standards of other organic foods. Chef Andrew will weigh-in on this debate.

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceChinese New Year is February 19th to March 5th, 2015. It’s the Year of the Sheep (often called the Year of the Goat or the Ram.) During China’s most colorful and important holiday, foods take on special symbolic meanings. Fruits and vegetables are also healthy and delicious.

Our resident produce expert, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s / World Variety Produce, joins us with a tasty overview of fruits and vegetables which are part of Chinese New Year. For example symbolic citrus includes Buddha’s Hand (happiness, longevity, good fortune,) Kumquats (gold, good fortune,) Mandarins (wealth,) Oranges (wealth, good fortune, gold,) Pummelos (abundance, prosperity,) and Tangerines (luck.)

He’ll also tell us where to find some easy-to-prepare Martin Yan recipes to enjoy at home to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Eric SamaniegoEric Samaniego (ex- Comme Ca in West Hollywood) is the acclaimed Executive Chef of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana. The fare is original versions of regional and seasonal French and California cuisine. The menu changes often. Dinner nightly (except Sunday and Monday) from 5:00 p.m. and Sunday Brunch.

The Orange County Register’s Restaurant Critic, Brad A. Johnson, awarded Little Sparrow recognition as “Best New Restaurant” in 2013. Samaniego’s Pastry Chef, Nasera Munshi, was Johnson’s choice as “Pastry Chef of the Year” in 2014.

If all of that wasn’t enough recognition Little Sparrow was selected by the producers (including “Top Chef’s” Tom Colicchio) of Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant” competition series as one of 16 USA restaurants from four cities to vie for the title of Best New Restaurant and a cool $100,000 cash prize. With eager anticipation we’ll see how Little Sparrow does in their initial episode airing on Wednesday evening. Feb. 25th.

Bocuse D'Or Team USA wins SilverWhen we last chatted with Team USA (Chefs Philip Tessier and Commis Skylar Stover of The French Laundry) early last month they were on their way to Lyon to compete in the bi-annual Bocuse d’Or World Culinary Competition, the Olympics of the culinary world. This was after a year of intensive preparation and dedicated training.

24 teams of the most gifted culinary minds from across the world competed and Team USA (guided by the ment’or BKB Foundation) was awarded the Silver Medal (second place) for their artful and spectacular meat platter and fish plate. Team Norway was the first-place winner. Team USA competed on January 27th. This is a giant first for Team USA. Their previous top finish was sixth.

Congratulations to Team USA on a stunning achievement. Chef Philip Tessier, just back from Lyon, Paris and New York is our very special guest.

24 teams of the most gifted culinary minds from across the world competed in the Bocuse d’Or Culinary Competition (the culinary Olympics) in Lyon last week and Team USA (guided by the ment’or BKB Foundation) was awarded the Silver Medal (second place) for their artful and spectacular meat platter and fish plate. Team Norway was the first-place winner. Team USA competed on January 27th. This is a giant first for Team USA. Their previous top finish was sixth.

Barrel-Oak Roasted Guinea Hen from Team USA at the Bocuse D'orTheir stunning meat platter was Barrel-Oak Roasted Guinea Hen. Some of the garnishes were French Laundry garden blossoms and herbs. The gorgeous fish plate showcased Brioche-Crusted Brown Trout Pave with American caviar, tartelette of crisped skin, garden dill, celery branch “Farci,” celery root puree, compressed apples, brown butter emulsion, and smoked mushroom consomme. Both the meat platter and the fish plate were designed by the lauded Martin Kastner.

“Chef Tessier is an outstanding representation of the talent we have in the United States, and we’re incredibly proud that, for the first time in our history of competing in the Bocuse d’Or, we placed on the podium,” says Thomas Keller, president of ment’or. “From the start, we were confident that he would successfully lead Team USA, and have thoroughly enjoyed mentoring him through this incredibly rigorous training process. American cuisine has significantly progressed in recent history, and Chef Tessier’s talent is an example of the strides we are making in our field. Out hope is that America continues to support our endeavors to showcase what great chefs and cuisine we have in the United States.”

Jason McClain of the Jonathan ClubChef Jason McClain is the executive chef of the storied Jonathan Club, a very exclusive private club in Los Angeles established in 1894 with a rich history. He’s been an executive chef with The Four Seasons, the exec at Pechanga Resort & Casino, and has owned his own restaurants.

The Jonathan Club’s main building is located in Downtown Los Angeles with a second facility, the Jonathan Beach Club (established in 1927) located on the sand in Santa Monica. A prestigious social club at this level needs to have outstanding food and beverage as an amenity for their discerning members.

Chef McClain will take us behind the scenes on what resources and imagination he uses to fulfill this promise. He likes to say (with a dash of humor) he’s responsible for “the best restaurant in Downtown that no one knows about.”

One small example of his commitment to quality is his urban rooftop garden positioned on a former handball court where seasonally they grow heirloom tomatoes, broccolini, baby carrots, blueberries, figs, snap peas and yuzu. All the fruits and vegetables find their way onto the Club’s menu. This represents over $100,000 in produce annually. It helps that Chef Jason’s father is a retired landscape architect and could creatively bring the rooftop garden project in on a modest budget.

Standing O at Honda CenterJulie Margolin is the Honda Center’s busy Director of Food & Beverage Services. Before joining Honda Center Margolin was with Levy Restaurants as part of the opening team at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Over 500 employees are part of the food and beverage operations there. Honda Center is one of the few facilities in the country who runs their own food and beverage operations. It’s a massive undertaking and costly. This was done strictly to improve the quality of the food and beverage program there.

She works alongside Honda Center’s Executive Chef, Jo-Jo Doyle. Julie joins us to talk about what’s new for the current season including the menu in Standing “O”. Also there is a newly opened Wahoo’s Fish Taco at Honda Center. They are a new franchisee of Wahoo’s.

Slapfish Fish and ChipsWe now have a chance to catch-up with Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, today’s Guest Host. Andrew will announce the name and description of the winning dish created for the opening in Newport Beach. It’s soon on the menu there.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering a set of rules for organic farmed fish. Several consumer groups, though, say the recommended rules don’t go far enough to meet the strict standards of other organic foods. Chef Andrew will weigh-in on this.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Chef Andrew Gruel (Guest Host) and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s, Chinese New Year Fruits & Vegetables
Segment Three: Executive Chef Eric Samaniego, Little Sparrow Café
Segment Four: Chef Philip Tessier, Team USA & The French Laundry Part One
Segment Five: Chef Philip Tessier, Team USA & The French Laundry Part Two
Segment Six: Executive Chef Jason McClain, Jonathan Club
Segment Seven: Julie Margolin, Director of Food & Beverage Services, Honda Center
Segment Eight: Slapfish Chef/Owner Andrew Gruel

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