March 24: Steve Samson, King’s Fish House, Hatch Culinary Lab at OC Fair & Event Center, Jaffa, Tal Ronnen

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef & Proprietor, Steve Samson, Rossoblu
Segment Three: Heath Bumgardner, Vice President of Operations, King’s Seafood Co. (King’s Fish House)
Segment Four: Kathy Kramer, CEO, OC Fair & Event Center
Segment Five: Chef Instructor Ryan Wagner, Tustin’s CulinaryLab & Hatch Culinary Lab
Segment Six: Nancy Vrankovic, General Manager & Managing Partner, Jaffa – Modern Israeli Cuisine
Segment Seven: Chef Tal Ronnen, Crossroads Kitchen and Co-Founder, Kite Hill
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef”

Now a provocative preview of this Saturday’s tempting 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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re always here with you live every Saturday morning with a fresh show.

Downtown Los Angeles’ Rossoblu tells the story of two places Executive Chef & Proprietor Steve Samson considers home : Los Angeles and Bologna. The restaurant is a homage to Samson’s heritage, inspired by childhood memories of summers spent in Bologna and its surrounding region, Emilia Romagna. Newly added is Saturday and Sunday Brunch. Think Nutella Stuffed French Toast. We’ll check-in with Chef Steve Samson for an update.

The 20-year-old King’s Fish House (part of King’s Seafood Co.,) located at the Laguna Hills Mall, underwent a 7-week, $2 million dollar modernization of the entire space and reopened in early December of last year. The new design is inspired by the look and feel of a contemporary seafood warehouse with nautical touchpoints throughout and custom art. King’s Heath Bumgardner, Vice President of Operations, joins us.

A new cutting-edge cooking academy has launched at OC Fair & Event Center to empower underserved youth through free culinary education and mentorship. A commercial kitchen on the fairgrounds was transformed into Hatch Culinary Lab. The new education program is a partnership between OC Fair & Event Center (OCFEC), CulinaryLab Cooking School, Anaheim’s Innovative Mentorship Experience program (AIME) and Spectra, the Fair’s master concessionaire. The OC Fair’s CEO Kathy Kramer and Chef Ryan Wagner the founder of CulinaryLab are our guests.

Jaffa is the ancient neighborhood in the city of Tel Aviv, Israel. Now this old city vibe and flavors are being imported to Los Angeles’ eclectic 3rd Street neighborhood. Here, Chef Partner Anne Conness’ (Sausal) modern take on Israeli cuisine integrates spices with a deep focus on diverse, locally grown, freshest of fresh seasonal ingredients, as well as meat well-raised, and sustainable selections from the sea. We spirit General Manager & Managing Partner Nancy Vrankovic off the floor at Jaffa for a chat.

We know Chef Tal Ronen locally as the Executive Chef at the plant-based Crossroads Kitchen in West Hollywood. He is also the co-founder of Kite Hill. “Kite Hill makes the very best tasting alternative dairy products with the simplest ingredients using traditional methods.”

“We began with a vision for a plant-based food that would have all the qualities we relish in the best artisan dairy cheeses.” “We are the first and only company to create plant-based food using time honored techniques. We’ve figured out how to make buttery fresh ricotta, aged nut milk delicacies, creamy almond milk yogurt, fantastic entrées and more — all out of fresh nut milk.” Chef Tal pops out of his busy kitchen to join us.

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

Steve Samson of Sotto and RossobluDowntown Los Angeles’ Rossoblu tells the story of two places Executive Chef & Proprietor Steve Samson considers home: Los Angeles and Bologna. The restaurant is a homage to Samson’s heritage, inspired by childhood memories of summers spent in Bologna and its surrounding region, Emilia Romagna.

The menu features handmade pastas, market fresh produce, and an in-house butchery and salumi program. The wine list focuses on unique Italian and California varietals, with a sharp focus on Emilia Romagna’s famed Lambrusco. A true family owned and operated restaurant, Rossoblu is managed by Steve’s wife, Dina, and their management team whom they have worked with for the last ten plus years.

Located in Downtown’s City Market South, the site of Los Angeles’ original wholesale produce market, Rossoblu’s open kitchen, marbled serpentine bar, and starry-lit vaulted dining room create a convivial dining environment.

Newly added is Saturday and Sunday Brunch. Think Nutella Stuffed French Toast and Frittata Bolognese.

We’ll check-in with Chef Steve Samson for an update.

Heath BumgardnerThe 20-year-old King’s Fish House (part of King’s Seafood Co.,) located at the Laguna Hills Mall, underwent a 7-week, $2 million dollar modernization of the entire space and reopened in early December of last year. The new design is inspired by the look and feel of a contemporary seafood warehouse with nautical touchpoints throughout and custom art.

The update of the 7,500 square-foot restaurant includes rustic wood flooring, leather banquets, floor-to-ceiling garage doors allowing for an indoor-outdoor dining experience, and a warm color palette of dark browns, creams and deep blues. A wraparound, 30-seat rectangular bar anchors the space, while an additional lounge area was added to the patio, both ideal for enjoying afternoon happy hour and the extensive raw bar offerings.

In addition to the reimagined space, this location of King’s Fish House now offers a more elevated selection of seafood, by way of the company’s own distribution operation based in Santa Ana, such as a whole fish preparation and the Southern California delicacy, local spiny lobster.  The cocktail program also received an overhaul, now boasting 16 tap beers, more than 60 wines, and a selection of inspired specialty cocktails.

King’s Heath Bumgardner, Vice President of Operations, joins us.

Kathy KramerA new cutting-edge cooking academy has launched at OC Fair & Event Center to empower underserved youth through free culinary education and mentorship. A commercial kitchen on the fairgrounds was transformed into Hatch Culinary Lab. The new education program is a partnership between OC Fair & Event Center (OCFEC), CulinaryLab Cooking School, Anaheim’s Innovative Mentorship Experience program (AIME) and Spectra, the Fair’s master concessionaire.

“We have an opportunity to change the lives of students through Hatch Culinary Lab and it is important for us to step in to help,” said OCFEC CEO Kathy Kramer. “Here at the OC Fair we love food, so this program is close to our hearts and ties in perfectly with our community give-back mission. I look forward to growing this program to include training for both kitchen staff and front-of-the-house positions.”

The OC Fair’s CEO Kathy Kramer is our guest.

Ryan Wagner of CulinaryLabOCFEC invested an initial $54,000 in equivalent value in this community program that this year will provide up to 50 students with training in everything from knife skills, cookery basics and making healthy meals to safety and sanitation. The spring session started Feb. 28 with the first 20 students from Kennedy, Savanna and Western high schools working for eight weeks. A summer internship program and fall certification series will follow, culminating in an event to feed the local homeless community.

The team from CulinaryLab in Tustin is donating staff and time to the program and has created new curriculum tailored to provide students with the basics on how food works, healthy cooking skills and simple recipes they can practice at home with minimal cost and prep time. The goal is to excite students about cooking and food service and empower them to be confident individuals ready to secure employment.

“At CulinaryLab, we do everything we can to immerse students in the world of cooking with experimentation, tons of repetitive hands-on practice, and by involving local chef partners in the teaching process,” said Chef Ryan Wagner. “The goal of the Hatch program is to bring that same high-level culinary education to high school students who might otherwise not have access to it.”

Chef Ryan Wagner the founder of Tustin’s CulinaryLab now continues the story of Hatch Culinary Lab at OC Fair & Event Center with us.

Nancy VrankovicJaffa is the ancient neighborhood in the city of Tel Aviv, Israel. Now this old city vibe and flavors are being imported to Los Angeles’ eclectic 3rd Street neighborhood.

Jaffa, Chef Partner Anne Conness’ (Sausal) modern take on Israeli cuisine integrates spices with a deep focus on diverse, locally grown, freshest of fresh seasonal ingredients, as well as meat well-raised, and sustainable selections from the sea.

“The social atmosphere in Jaffa, Israel is eclectic and fun; groups of friends toasting “l’chaim” with a clink of their Arak shot glasses, girlfriends catching up over coffee, the hipster tech guy on his computer, his dog lying next to him, families sharing a huge spread and couples having a bite together.”

Chef Anne Conness, Executive Chef Santos Navarro, Pastry Chef Natasha MacAller, and Lead Bartender Aly Iwamoto, along with restaurant partners Nancy Vrankovic and Brad Conroy, all share a deep commitment to creating flavorful, healthful dishes for the many Angelenos who are shifting to a more plant-based diet. Each of them speaks with great excitement describing the delicious farm-to-table dishes Jaffa is creating by blending New with the Old World flavors.

We spirit General Manager & Managing Partner Nancy Vrankovic off the floor at Jaffa for a chat.

Tal Ronnen of Crossroads KitchenWe know Chef Tal Ronnen locally as the Executive Chef at the plant-based Crossroads Kitchen in West Hollywood. He is also the co-founder of Kite Hill.

“Kite Hill makes the very best tasting alternative dairy products with the simplest ingredients using traditional methods.” “We began with a vision for a plant-based food that would have all the qualities we relish in the best artisan dairy cheeses.”

“We are the first and only company to create plant-based food using time honored techniques. We’ve figured out how to make buttery fresh ricotta, aged nut milk delicacies, creamy almond milk yogurt, cream cheese-style spreads, fantastic entrées and more — all out of fresh nut milk.”

“We think carefully about everything we put in our products. Each of our products comes from artisan almond milk cultured using traditional cheese making methods. We source non-GMO almonds from the San Joaquin Valley and do not use any artificial flavors, preservatives or sweeteners in our products.”

Chef Tal pops out of his busy kitchen to join us.

Andrew and William GruelOur always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, continues with his Ask the Chef series. We all appreciate Salmon and wild caught Chinook Salmon from California is available locally during the commercial fishing season. The season is going to be reduced this year due to a disappointing fall run. There are unfortunate economic consequences for commercial fisherman.

The shortfalls even extend to Alaska, too. Last year the Pink Salmon runs there were disastrously off.

Chef Andrew reels the specifics in for us.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef & Proprietor, Steve Samson, Rossoblu
Segment Three: Heath Bumgardner, Vice President of Operations, King’s Seafood Co. (King’s Fish House)
Segment Four: Kathy Kramer, CEO, OC Fair & Event Center
Segment Five: Chef Instructor Ryan Wagner, Tustin’s CulinaryLab & Hatch Culinary Lab
Segment Six: Nancy Vrankovic, General Manager & Managing Partner, Jaffa – Modern Israeli Cuisine
Segment Seven: Chef Tal Ronnen, Crossroads Kitchen and Co-Founder, Kite Hill
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef”

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