January 14: The Bungalow, OC Weekly, Amar Santana, Marc Johnson, Vallarta Botanical Garden, Noods Noods Noods, Melissa’s Produce

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer and Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: The Bungalow Restaurant, Corona del Mar, for Newport Beach Restaurant Week
Segment Three: Food & Libation journalist, Anne Marie Panoringan, Contributor to OC Weekly
Segment Four: Executive Chef Amar Santana, Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana
Segment Five: Marc Johnson, Corporate Executive Chef, Red O Restaurants
Segment Six: Bob Price, Curator and Founder, Vallarta Botanical Garden, Jardin Botanico De Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta
Segment Seven: Bobby Navarro, Producer, Noods Noods Noods Noodle and Asian Fusion Festival
Segment Eight: Robert Schueller, Director of Public Relations (The Produce Guru), Melissa’s / World Variety Produce, Inc.

Now a hunger-evoking preview of Saturday’s fully-loaded show with Co-Hosts Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group. 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…

The 11th Annual Newport Beach Restaurant Week is upon us from January 16th to 29th, 2017. The Bungalow Restaurant, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last October, is one of the 60 plus restaurants participating. Restaurant management veteran Louie Feinstein (a co-owner) joins us to highlight their Lunch and Dinner Restaurant Week menu options.

The always “in-the-know” Anne Marie Panoringan is a contributing writer for OC Weekly. She is also a recognized expert on cocktails. Experience counts! Anne Marie joins us with a recap of her recent OC Weekly piece, “Top 5 Orange County Cocktails of 2016, Anne Marie Edition!” Cheers…

Amar Santana is the Executive Chef/Proprietor of Vaca in Costa Mesa and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach. Vaca was Orange County Register Restaurant Critic, Brad A. Johnson’s “Best New Restaurant of 2016. Chef Amar is also a distinguished alum of the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.) Amar joins us to preview C-CAP’s Winter Harvest Benefit Dinner at James Republic on Wednesday, February 8th.

We know Chef Marc Johnson as the opening chef for both the Oak Grill Restaurant and Aqua Lounge at The Island Hotel in Newport Beach. Chef Marc has now taken his spice rack and seasonings over to the Red O Restaurants (Fashion Island, Los Angeles and Santa Monica) where is the Corporate Executive Chef. We’ll get all the spicy details with Chef Marc.

Some of the best Mexican street food available in Puerto Vallarta is found at the 10 year-old Vallarta Botanical Garden. Let’s talk about those incredible fish tacos and really fresh guacamole! It’s all served with style, too, in an unequaled setting. The garden itself is an impressive attraction, too. We’re sipping local Raicilla with Curator and Founder, Bob Price.

“Noods Noods Noods” – The Noodle & Asian Themed Food Festival in on for January 14th, 2017 in historic Downtown Santa Ana. This one-day Festival will feature some of the craziest, most delicious noodle and Asian-themed creations. Our own Chef Andrew Gruel will be debuting an item from his soon-to-open Two Birds at Trade in Irvine. Festival Producer Bobby Navarro of 100 Eats is our guest.

What’s trending in fruits and vegetables for the new year? Produce Guru (aka The Prince of Produce) Robert Schueller of Melissa’s / World Variety Produce has the answers. Everything “Coconut” is hot…

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

Louie FeinsteinThe 11th Annual Newport Beach Restaurant Week is upon us from January 16th to 29th, 2017. The Bungalow Restaurant, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last October, is one of the 60 plus restaurants participating.

For Restaurant Week The Bungalow offers a $20 per guest 3-course Lunch menu with a choice of 8 entrée options including Grilled Mahi Mahi & Wild Rice Salad. For Dinner there is a $40 menu option as well as a $50 menu.

The Bungalow is a local favorite at the crossroads of Coast Highway and MacArthur Boulevard in Corona del Mar. Its shingle façade, striking black awnings, and Arts and Crafts font displaying the restaurant’s name gives the feel of dining in a charming Craftsman retreat.

The Bungalow’s menu specializes in USDA Prime Steaks, fresh seafood and handcrafted cocktails. The restaurant also boasts a 160-label wine cellar featuring premium vintages. A full bar and menu of signature cocktails adds to the restaurant’s allure.

Restaurant management veteran and co-owner Louie Feinstein (ex-Grill Concepts) joins us to highlight their Lunch and Dinner Restaurant Week menu options.

Anne Marie PanoringanThe always “in-the-know” Anne Marie Panoringan is a contributing writer for OC Weekly. She is also a recognized expert on cocktails. Anne Marie joins us with a recap of her recent OC Weekly piece, Top 5 Orange County Cocktails of 2016, Anne Marie Edition!”

“Another year, another round of drinks. It’s a great time to love me some cocktails, because more places than ever have been pouring some of the best I’ve seen and tasted. We turn back the clock 300-ish days to recap on some of my favorites for the year. Any hey – they don’t all contain whiskey.”

One hint: “Pineapple Under the Sea at TAPS Fish House & Brewery ranks #5.

Amar SantanaAmar Santana is the Executive Chef/Proprietor of Vaca in Costa Mesa and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach. Vaca was Orange County Register Restaurant Critic, Brad A. Johnson’s “Best New Restaurant of 2016. For Season 13 of Bravo’s Top Chef Amar was the runner-up by the thickness of an onion skin. Chef Amar is also a distinguished alum of the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.)

Amar joins us to preview C-CAP’s Winter Harvest Benefit Dinner at James Republic in Long Beach on February 8th. The popular James Republic is one of the top destination restaurants in Long Beach.

It’s co-owned by Executive Chef and Restaurateur Dean James Max (a multiple James Beard Award nominee) of DJM Restaurants. Chef Dean will be flying in from his base in southern Florida to present a course. James Republic’s executive chef, David MacLennan (opening exec chef) will also be preparing a course.

Marc JohnsonWe know Chef Marc Johnson as the opening chef for both the Oak Grill Restaurant and Aqua Lounge at The Island Hotel in Newport Beach. Chef Marc has now taken his spice rack and rubs over to the Red O Restaurants (Fashion Island, Los Angeles and Santa Monica) where is the Corporate Executive Chef. La Jolla launches in April.

Focusing on Red O Restaurants, Chef Johnson is shaking things up with his passionate drive. “Joining Red O Restaurants has been an amazing opportunity to push the limits of what I can do creatively in the kitchen,” says Chef Johnson.

With a focus on flavors from Central Mexico, Baja and MexiCali, Chef Johnson finds a balance with Red O mainstays that guests have come to love, while introducing new menu offerings with a seafood focal point. Hearty or light, all of Chef Johnson’s dishes feature fresh, vibrant ingredients reminiscent of the beachy lifestyle South of the Border.

From the sauces to the tortillas all made fresh daily, nearly 100% of the food prepared at Red O Restaurants is made in-house. “A lot of labor and passion goes into the process of bringing the components of these dishes to life,” says Johnson.

We’ll get all the spicy details with a side of guacamole with Chef Marc.

Bob PriceSome of the best & tastiest Mexican street food available in Puerto Vallarta is found at the Vallarta Botanical Garden (“Where Mexican plants meet the imagination!”) Let’s talk about those incredible fish tacos and fresh guacamole! It’s all served with style, too, in an unequaled setting. The garden itself is an impressive attraction, too.

“The mission of the Vallarta Botanical Gardens is to create Mexico’s foremost botanical garden for the discovery, study, propagation, conservation and display of native and exotic plants for the enjoyment of Puerto Vallarta’s residents and visitors.”

We’re sipping local Raicilla with Curator and Founder, Bob Price.

Bobby Navarro“Noods Noods Noods” – The Noodle & Asian Themed Food Festival in on for January 14th, 2017 in historic Downtown Santa Ana. This one-day Festival will feature some of the craziest, most delicious noodle and Asian-themed creations. Our own Chef Andrew Gruel will be debuting an item from his soon-to-open Two Birds at Trade in Irvine.

Asian-Inspired Comfort Foods — NOODS has brought some of the best food geniuses around to this epicenter of Asian-eats. The innovative dishes at NOODS are promised to be nothing short of newsworthy and drool-worthy. This event will host multiple vendors, each supplying exclusive Asian-inspired and/or noodle-tastic comfort-food items.

Among the lineup of participating restaurants and their creative food items:

Anchor Hitch: Deep Fried Uni pasta with swiss cheese, lightly coated in panko, drizzled in uni cream sauce, topped with Smelt Roe and Shredded Nori

Mess Hall Canteen: Award Winning White Boy Ramen with tonkatsu style pork broth, crispy pork belly, pickled jalapeños and shallots, dandelion greens, mushroom, sous vide egg

Two Birds: Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish debuts his newest concept to NOODS and will present Jidori Chicken and a Ramen Burrito

Shrimp Daddy: The OC Debut of June Quan’s AKA @stirandstyle’s Hawaiian garlic shrimp concept

Festival Producer Bobby Navarro of 100 Eats is our guest.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioWhat’s trending in fruits and vegetables for the new year? Produce Guru (aka The Prince of Produce) Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce has the answers.

Everything “Coconut,” for instance, is hot…Melissa’s is introducing Fresh Coconut. It’s fresh coconut juice (with no additives) in a genuine coconut grown in Vietnam. Also available are coconut hearts & slices, young coconuts, packaged coconut clean snaxs and lots more.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer and Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: The Bungalow Restaurant, Corona del Mar, for Newport Beach Restaurant Week
Segment Three: Food & Libation journalist, Anne Marie Panoringan, Contributor to OC Weekly
Segment Four: Executive Chef Amar Santana, Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana
Segment Five: Marc Johnson, Corporate Executive Chef, Red O Restaurants
Segment Six: Bob Price, Curator and Founder, Vallarta Botanical Garden, Jardin Botanico De Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta
Segment Seven: Bobby Navarro, Producer, Noods Noods Noods Noodle and Asian Fusion Festival
Segment Eight: Robert Schueller, Director of Public Relations (The Produce Guru), Melissa’s / World Variety Produce, Inc.

January 4: Ross Pangilinan, Brock Radke, Obica, Rick Moonen, Vera Pizza Napoletana

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer
Segment Two: Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan, Mix Mix Kitchen Bar, Santa Ana
Segment Three: Brock Radke, Managing Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Four: Raimondo Boggia, CEO & Sommelier, Obica Group
Segment Five: Executive Chef Rick Moonen, RM Seafood & Rx Boiler Room, Las Vegas
Segment Six: Peppe Miele, President & Director of Operations, VPN Americas
Segment Seven: Executive Chef & Founder Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group Part One
Segment Eight: Executive Chef & Founder Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group Part Two

The happiest of Happy New Year’s to all of our listeners and welcome to our first show of 2017! We promise you both an entertaining & informative new year. Hold us to it.

Now a tempting preview of Saturday’s overflowing show and 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…Our Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel is overseeing the official Opening Day Festivities of the new Slapfish in San Clemente. He’ll be joining us later in the show.

You know Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan from his time at Leatherby’s Café Rouge in Costa Mesa at The Segerstrom Concert Hall. He’s now launched his own ambitious venture, Mix Mix Kitchen Bar (A Globally Inspired Chef-Driven Concept) in Downtown Santa Ana. It’s an appealing, somewhat unfamiliar menu of global dishes with influences from traditional French and Italian to modern Filipino cuisines. Chef Ross is our guest.

Long-time Las Vegas journalist Brock Radke is the Managing Editor of Las Vegas Weekly. He’s our regular, always well-informed, Las Vegas insider. Brock is going to update us on Las Vegas happenings in the food sphere.

Obica, the world’s first mozzarella bar, was founded in Rome in 2004. There are now more than 16 contemporary Italian restaurants worldwide including two in Los Angeles (Sunset Strip and Century City) and one in Santa Monica. Sommelier and CEO of Obica group, Raimondo Boggia, joins us for a spirited discussion of Italian cuisine.

The epitome of a high energy and multi-disciplined executive chef, Rick Moonen, has two Las Vegas restaurants, RM Seafood (launched in 2005,) and the more recent RX Boiler Room. It’s his own version of upstairs, downstairs. He’s recognized as the Godfather of Sustainability. Chef Rick is a renown seafood chef and an early proponent of sustainable seafood practices. We’re going trash fishing with Chef Rick.

What’s authentic Neapolitan pizza? We’ll find out from Chef Peppe Miele, President and Director of Operations for VPN Americas, the American delegation of Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana. The Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana is an international organization officially established in June 1984 by a group of Neapolitan people representing some of the oldest families of pizza makers and the most famous Neapolitan pizzerias, seeking to cultivate the culinary art of making Neapolitan pizza.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group is our resident hospitality industry expert. He’s a real working chef. We’re continuing his report on possible significant Restaurant Industry Trends for 2017. We’ll add to the ongoing conversation about “Hospitality Included.” Also what’s hot (or cold) in beverages ?

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

Ross PangilinanYou know Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan from his time at Leatherby’s Café Rouge in Costa Mesa at The Segerstrom Concert Hall. He’s now launched his own ambitious venture, Mix Mix Kitchen Bar (A Globally Inspired Chef-Driven Concept) in Downtown Santa Ana.

It’s an appealing, somewhat unfamiliar menu (Dinner) of global dishes with influences from traditional French and Italian to modern Filipino cuisines. Sunday Brunch has recently been added to the menu.

“The inspiration for my menu at Mix Mix comes from both the memories I embrace from childhood and techniques I’ve learned throughout my culinary career,” commented Chef Ross Pangilinan, who has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants across France and California. “At an early age, my father instilled in me an appreciation for diversity in food; together, we explored everything from hole-in-the-wall Chinese eateries to high-end French restaurants.”

Dishes like the Filipino Ceviche and Tropical Verrine pay homage to Pangilinan’s Filipino heritage. Among his signature dishes, the Tropical Verrine is a modern interpretation of the restaurant’s namesake dish, Mix Mix, the literal translation from Halo Halo, a traditional Filipino dessert featuring a mixture of sweets.

“The dining adventures I shared with my father sparked my inspiration for cuisine at a young age,” added Pangilinan. “To this day, I draw inspiration from the meals we shared together.”

In addition to its eclectic menu of global cuisine, Mix Mix offers handcrafted libations from its craft cocktail bar. The beverage program focuses on ‘shaken & stirred’ cocktails created with house-made bitters, syrups, and infusions, as well as French wines and craft beer from around the world.

Prominent features of the new restaurant include a succulent garden wall behind the bar and in the dining room, a 6-seat ‘butcher’s block’ chef’s table that peers directly into the restaurant’s open kitchen. The reservation-only chef’s table will offer a five-course “Oui Chef” menu that evokes a dining experience for all the senses.

Chef Ross escapes from the kitchen briefly and is our in-studio guest.

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyLong-time Las Vegas journalist Brock Radke is the Managing Editor of Las Vegas Weekly. He’s our regular, always well-informed, Las Vegas insider. Brock is going to update us on Las Vegas happenings in the food sphere.

First up is revisting MGM Resorts International’s test of charging for both valet and self-parking for all of their Strip properties. Locals were initially excused from paying for self-parking and that’s now changing. Many of the other large Strip properties (including Caesars Entertainment Corp.) are now following suit.

Raimondo BoggiaObica, the world’s first mozzarella bar, was founded in Rome in 2004. There are now more than 16 contemporary Italian restaurants worldwide including two in Los Angeles (Sunset Strip and Century City) and one in Santa Monica.

Obicà is the only restaurant in Los Angeles to directly import Mozzarella di Bufala DOP (Denomination of Protected Origin) twice a week from cheese makers in Campania, southern Italy, ensuring the utmost freshness and quality. Obicà offers four kinds of mozzarella: a traditional Bufala ClassicaBufala Affumicata, which is smoked on iron nets over a hay fire, Burrata, which is sweet and creamy, and Burrata al Tartufo with black truffle.

Obicà also serves its signature pizza, prepared with a blend of stone-ground white flour and whole wheat organic flour, cooked in the restaurant’s stone pizza oven. Obicà’s pizza dough is left to rise for a minimum of 48 hours, with no chemical yeasts, resulting in an airy and lighter texture.

All the fresh pasta are homemade and the ingredients are organic. The wine list includes an extensive array of Italian indigenous grown grapes. The design is casual with a contemporary and elegant touch. Founded in 2004 by Silvio Ursini, all of Obicà’s locations and concepts follow a straightforward philosophy of serving food that is good, clean and fair.

Sommelier and CEO of Obica group, Raimondo Boggia, joins us for a spirited discussion of Italian cuisine.

Rick Moonen of rm seafood in Las VegasThe epitome of a high energy and multi-disciplined executive chef, Rick Moonen (a James Beard Award recipient) has two Las Vegas restaurants in Mandalay Place, RM Seafood (launched in 2005,) and the more recent Rx Boiler Room.

He’s recognized as the Godfather of Sustainability. Chef Rick is a renown seafood chef and an early proponent of sustainable seafood practices.

Chef Moonen also believes in supporting local farmers. Chef Rick will tell us about his association with Desert Bloom Eco Farm.

Combining the alchemy of food and drink, Celebrity Chef Rick Moonen showcases in Rx Boiler Room his spin on classic comfort food, offering guests a variety of playful creations in small and large plate portions, ideal for a shared dining experience. Paired to elevate and complement the overall experience, the drink menu features an emporium of the finest spirits and innovative libations.

Showcasing a playful interior design that defies its new age, Rx Boiler Room offers a modern reflection of the Victorian era, celebrating the steampunk sub-genre often associated with science-fiction and inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century.

We’re going trash fishing with Chef Rick.

Peppe MieleWhat’s authentic Neapolitan pizza? We’ll find out from Chef Peppe Miele, President and Director of Operations for VPN Americas, the American delegation of Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana.

The Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana is an international organization officially established in June 1984 by a group of Neapolitan people representing some of the oldest families of pizza makers and the most famous Neapolitan pizzerias, seeking to cultivate the culinary art of making Neapolitan pizza.

Later on, the association was officially established by the Italian government as a denomination of control (DOC), a designation that made AVPN a legal entity able to give special designation to pizzerias who meet strict requirements that respect the tradition of the art of Neapolitan pizza making.

The mission of AVPN is to promote and protect, in Italy and worldwide, the “true Neapolitan pizza”, as typical product made in accordance with the rules and guidelines described in the International Regulations Book in force since 1984, edited and registered by AVPN.

The Association is also involved in the promotion of equipment and ingredients approved for the production of the “true Neapolitan pizza” and the professionalization of the Neapolitan style pizza makers

We’re mixing the pizza dough in small batches with Chef Peppe.

Andrew and William GruelChef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group is our resident hospitality industry expert. He’s a real working chef. We’re continuing his report on possible significant Restaurant Industry Trends for 2017. We’ll add to the continuing conversation about “Hospitality Included.” Also, what’s hot (or cold) in beverages ?

This morning Chef Andrew is at his newest Slapfish in the Outlets at San Clemente. It’s the Official Opening Day!

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer
Segment Two: Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan, Mix Mix Kitchen Bar, Santa Ana
Segment Three: Brock Radke, Managing Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Four: Raimondo Boggia, CEO & Sommelier, Obica Group
Segment Five: Executive Chef Rick Moonen, RM Seafood & Rx Boiler Room, Las Vegas
Segment Six: Peppe Miele, President & Director of Operations, VPN Americas
Segment Seven: Executive Chef & Founder Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group Part One
Segment Eight: Executive Chef & Founder Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group Part Two

December 31: Beach City Food Tours, DirtySexyHappiness. Cathy Thomas, Wine Exchange, Ritz Prime Seafood, Sherry Yard

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer
Segment Two: Layla Ali-Ahmad, Proprietress, Beach City Food Tours, Long Beach
Segment Three: Marin & Executive Chef Noah von Blom, DirtySexyHappiness Hospitality Group, Costa Mesa
Segment Four: Food Journalist and Author, Cathy Thomas
Segment Five: Tristen Beamon, Proprietor, Wine Exchange & BW Direct, Santa Ana
Segment Six: Ben Sabouri, Partner, The Ritz Prime Seafood, Newport Beach
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Sherry Yard, The Tuck Room Tavern
Segment Eight: Executive Chef & Founder Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Happy Holidays and the happiest of Happy New Year’s to all our loyal listeners. Where did 2016 go? Thanks for making us part of your Saturday morning this festive Holiday Weekend and throughout the year. We have an over-stuffed show for you.

Now a tempting preview of Saturday’s busting-out at the seams show and 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…

Food tours are a great way of discovering the cuisine of a city. It’s even better when you can explore on foot. One of the area’s newest food walking tours is Beach City Food Tours offering a well-planned, highly informative and incredibly tasty Downtown Long Beach food and beverage tasting experience. We’ll meet proprietress Layla Ali-Ahmad.

The Union Square Hospitality Group in New York initiated a policy of “no tipping” (Hospitality Included) earlier last year. The gratuity is included in the menu pricing. The concept is an effort to resolve the inequality in the compensation of the Front of the House Staff versus the hard-working kitchen staff who are not tipped. The DirtytSexyHappiness Hospitality Group tried this in ARC and Restaurant Marin at SoCo in Costa Mesa. We’ll chat with proprietors Chef Noah and Marin Blom to see how this innovation has worked out in their properties.

We know award-winning food journalist Cathy Thomas as the former long-time Food Editor of The Orange County Register. She now has a new monthly, on-line feature in Orange Coast Magazine of a chef profile and accompanying cooking video recipe. We’ll catch up with her.

We conclude the year with one of our resident wine experts, Tristen Beamon, of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. Wine Exchange is also in the import and distribution sector with BW Direct. They specialize in finding great values in Bordeaux wines from this legendary grape growing region in Southwestern France considered the pinnacle of global wine areas.

The Ritz Prime Seafood launched late last year in Newport Beach. It was a bit of a misfire as long-time guests of the departed The Ritz in Newport Center (famous for elegant Continental dining) were expecting a reworking of that legendary establishment and this was, instead, an entirely new, contemporary concept. Now let’s meet the totally fresh, The Ritz Prime Seafood 2.0. Partner Ben Sabourui, a hospitality veteran, joins us with the details.

Chef Sherry Yard, a multiple James Beard award-winner for culinary excellence, is the culinary goddess for the luxe iPic Theaters. Her latest creation is the Tuck Room Tavern destination restaurants located in new iPic theater complexes in Westwood, New York City at The South Street Seaport, North Miami and Houston. Chef Sherry is our guest.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group is our resident hospitality industry expert. He’ll be looking ahead at possible significant Restaurant Industry Trends for 2017. Breakfast, for instance, is hot. Also, what’s up with no cook menus and beer bars?

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

Layla Ali AhmadFood tours are a great way of discovering the cuisine of a city. It’s even better when you can explore on foot. One of the area’s newest food walking tours is Beach City Food Tours offering a well-planned, highly informative and incredibly tasty Downtown Long Beach food and beverage tasting experience.

Beach City Food Tours has launched the first of its kind in Long Beach, a guided walking tour that offers residents and tourists alike the opportunity to taste and sip offerings from some of the city’s most popular eateries and food shops. Attendees experience Long Beach, a growing food lover’s city, through a unique sensory journey while learning about the city’s history, art and culture along the way. The tour is currently available for Downtown Long Beach, but will eventually expand to other parts of the city.

Founded by Long Beach resident Layla Ali-Ahmad, the idea was born from a mutual love of food and travel – and Long Beach, a city she proudly calls home.  “Our goal is to introduce the amazing food culture we have in Long Beach to both locals and travelers alike” says Ali-Ahmad. “Long Beach is becoming known for its great food shops and delicious restaurants, but many people are unsure where to venture first, or they simply want to try new things. Our tour is designed to give the food lover a unique and delicious view of the city, and we look forward to adding more of the unique neighborhoods to the tour options soon.”

We’ll meet proprietress Layla Ali-Ahmad.

Marin Howarth and Executive Chef Noah BlomThe (greatly respected and always trendsetting) Union Square Hospitality Group (Union Square Café, the Modern, North End Grill…) in New York initiated a policy of “no tipping” earlier last year. The gratuity is included in the menu pricing. The concept is an effort to resolve the inequality in the compensation of the Front of the House Staff versus the hard-working kitchen staff who are not tipped.

The DirtytSexyHappiness Hospitality Group tried this in ARC and Restaurant Marin at SoCo in Costa Mesa. We’ll chat with proprietors Chef Noah and Marin Blom to see how this innovation has worked out in their properties.

They are also about to open their 3rd concept at SoCo, The Guild Club. We’ll get a preview.

Cathy ThomasWe know award-winning food journalist Cathy Thomas as the former long-time Food Editor of The Orange County Register and the author of 3 well-received cookbooks. She now has a new monthly, on-line feature in Orange Coast Magazine of a chef profile and accompanying cooking video recipe. The feature with the video for December is “Making Scrumptious Salmon with Herb-Spiked Soffrito with Chef Michael Doctulero” (Waterman’s Harbor in Dana Point.)

She has also recently been a part of the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival in Orlando and journeyed to France.

Look for her helpful e-Newsletter, Cathy Thomas Cooks!

We’ll catch up with her.

Kyle Meyer and Tristen Beamon of Best Wines OnlineWe conclude the year with one of our resident wine experts, Tristen Beamon, of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. Wine Exchange is also in the import and distribution sector with BW Direct – Bordeaux and Beyond. They specialize in finding great values in Bordeaux wines from this legendary grape growing region in Southwestern France considered the pinnacle of global wine areas.

“Like Wine Exchange, BW Direct has the best prices, best selection, and best service. Our fantastic wines will wow your guests and increase your profits.”“Welcome to BW Direct, the wholesale arm of Wine Exchange.”

“We pride ourselves on the strong relationships Tristen, Kyle, Eddie and the entire team have formed over their collective 50+ years in the wine industry. These relationships have helped us secure some of the world’s best wines at the most competitive prices in the business. Our business model differs from other distributors:

  • We have a unique, and often exclusive, selection of wines at some of the lowest prices in the country.
  • We are proud to carry a wide selection of Chateau-direct Bordeaux inventory, as well as cutting edge selections from the Languedoc.
  • We don’t charge any broken case fees when orders are picked up from our Orange County showroom.
  • We encourage buyers to come shop our showroom, at their leisure, for a complete buying experience.
  • We have no “quota” obligations to our suppliers, allowing us to create a stress free and no pressure environment.
  • We love what we do and we’re here to help!”

Ben SabouriThe Ritz Prime Seafood launched late last year in Newport Beach. The $5 million update to the previous Chart House location was lavish.

It was a bit of a misfire as long-time guests of the departed The Ritz in Newport Center (famous for elegant Continental dining) were expecting a refreshening of that legendary and venerable establishment and this was actually an entirely new, contemporary concept. Oops…Now let’s meet the totally fresh The Ritz Prime Seafood 2.0.

“Located along Newport’s scenic Mariner’s Mile, The Ritz Prime Seafood offers a fine dining experience harbor side, with a globally influenced menu featuring sustainable fish and seafood flown in daily, as well as dry-aged steaks, chops and Jidori chicken. It’s a reconceived, all new and different incarnation of the past three-decade-old The Ritz. This chic, upscale restaurant has new culinary offerings and its own look, social buzz and vibe – already becoming a Southern California “modern legend” with its own distinctive personality.”

“Dinner is served nightly and highlighted by entrees, including from the Sea: Branzino with sunchoke, pistachio, couscous and sultana; Sea Scallop with cauliflower, pomegranate and hazelnut brown butter; and Alaskan Halibut with red bell pepper, eggplant puree and confit tomatoes. From the Land are Lamb Rack with zucchini mint puree and Israeli couscous; 16oz Tomahawk Steak with bone marrow butter, broccoli potato au gratin and marsala jus; Jidori Chicken; and other entrees.”

Partner Ben Sabourui, a hospitality veteran, joins us with the details.

Sherry YardChef Sherry Yard, a multiple James Beard award-winner for culinary excellence, is the culinary goddess for the luxe iPic Theaters. Her latest creation is the Tuck Room Tavern destination restaurants located in new iPic theater complexes in Westwood, New York City at The South Street Seaport, North Miami and Houston.

There is a cocktail countdown and DJ in Westwood for New Year’s Eve. Limited availabilities remain for the 2nd seating with a Midnight Champagne Toast.

Weekend Brunch includes the Brunch Box (with multiple entrée choices) and alcoholic beverage for $19.99.

For the last night of Hanukkah enjoy Chef Sherry’s Crispy Latke Fries with apple sauce and sour cream.

Sherry Yard is our guest.

Andrew and William GruelChef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group is our resident hospitality industry expert. He’ll be looking ahead at possible Restaurant Industry Trends for 2017. Breakfast, for instance, is hot. Also, what’s up with no cook menus and beer bars?

Chef Andrew opens the newest Slapfish in the Outlets at San Clemente in San Clemente next week. In later January look for his new concepts, Two Birds and Butterleaf, to debut in Trade in Irvine.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer
Segment Two: Layla Ali-Ahmad, Proprietress, Beach City Food Tours, Long Beach
Segment Three: Marin & Executive Chef Noah von Blom, DirtySexyHappiness Hospitality Group, Costa Mesa
Segment Four: Food Journalist and Author, Cathy Thomas
Segment Five: Tristen Beamon, Proprietor, Wine Exchange & BW Direct, Santa Ana
Segment Six: Ben Sabouri, Partner, The Ritz Prime Seafood, Newport Beach
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Sherry Yard, The Tuck Room Tavern
Segment Eight: Executive Chef & Founder Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

December 24: Eric Klein, Lawry’s Beef Bowl, Hotel del Coronado, Barbara Fairchild, Andrew Gruel

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer and Chef Andrew Gruel, Chief Seafood Officer, Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Eric Klein, Executive Chef, Vice President Culinary, Wolfgang Puck Catering Part One
Segment Three: Eric Klein, Executive Chef, Vice President Culinary, Wolfgang Puck Catering Part Two
Segment Four: Lawry’s Beef Bowl with College Football Historian Todd Erickson & Tim Tessalone, Sports Information Director, USC
Segment Five: Dieter Hissin, Director of Food & Beverage, Hotel del Coronado
Segment Six: Food Journalist Barbara Fairchild (formerly Editor, Bon Appetit Magazine) Part One
Segment Seven: Food Journalist Barbara Fairchild (formerly Editor, Bon Appetit Magazine) Part Two
Segment Eight: Executive Chef & Founder Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays and the happiest of Happy New Years to all our loyal listeners. Where did 2016 go? Thanks for making us part of your Saturday morning. We’re here for you live through Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s.

Now a hunger-evoking preview of Saturday’s fully-loaded show and 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…

For the last nine years Chef Eric Klein has been the face of Spago Las Vegas for Wolfgang Puck as Partner & Executive Chef. Chef Eric just earned a well-deserved promotion within the Wolfgang Puck organization. He’s now back in Los Angeles as Executive Chef of Wolfgang Puck Catering based at Hollywood & Highland, the home of the annual Academy Awards Ceremony at The Dolby Theater. We’ll rattle pans with Chef Eric.

There is a great tradition associated with the annual Rose Bowl Game and it’s not held in Pasadena. It’s the iconic Lawry’s Beef Bowl, now in its 61st year, hosted at Lawry’s the Prime Rib in Beverly Hills. The gridiron guests this year (on separate nights) are the USC Trojans and the Penn State Nittany Lions. Sports Historian Todd Erickson wrote the book on Lawry’s Beef Bowl (Road To The Rose Bowl : 50 Years of Lawry’s Beef Bowl) and is our guest along with long-time USC Sports Information Director Tim Tessalone.

The Holidays at the historic Hotel del Coronado (built in 1888) are an enchanting tradition. Distinctive food and beverage opportunities abound including the lavish Sunday Brunch in the architecturally amazing Crown Room. We’ll chat with Dieter Hissin, the new Director of Food and Beverage at this magical property. Orange County foodies know him from his long tenure at The Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

For adventurous travelers Cuba is definitely on their minds. The former, long-time Editor of Bon Appetit, Barbara Fairchild, was just there with a small group for 7 days on a self-organized excursion. Barbara will give us a genuine food journalist’s perspective on the food and accommodations in Havana and Trinidad. You’ll be surprised…

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group is our resident seafood expert. He’ll be looking ahead at possible Seafood Trends for 2017. For instance, is Seaweed finally become a mainstream ingredient? It is nutritionally sound.

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

Eric KleinFor the last nine years Chef Eric Klein has been the face of Spago Las Vegas for Wolfgang Puck as Partner & Executive Chef. When superstars perform at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace they specifically ask to have Chef Eric cook for them.

Chef Eric just earned a well-deserved promotion within the Wolfgang Puck organization. He’s now back in Los Angeles as Executive Chef of Wolfgang Puck Catering based at Hollywood & Highland, the home of the annual Academy Awards Ceremony at The Dolby Theater. Wolfgang Puck Catering provides all the food for The Governor’s Ball which follows the Oscar ceremony every year. You can’t find a more prestigious client than The Oscars! Every winner passes through the Governor’s Ball. Talk about pressure…

We’ll rattle pans with Chef Eric.

Road to the Rose Bowl 50 Years of Lawry's Beef BowlThere is a great tradition associated with the annual Rose Bowl Game and it’s not held in Pasadena. It’s the iconic Lawry’s Beef Bowl, now in its 61st year, hosted at Lawry’s the Prime Rib in Beverly Hills. The gridiron guests this year (on separate nights) are the USC Trojans and the Penn State Nittany Lions.

The Tournament of Roses – Lawry’s partnership was the first of its kind in college football. It claims the distinction of being the longest running sponsor partnership in bowl game history.

Football Historian Todd Erickson wrote the book on Lawry’s Beef Bowl (Road To The Rose Bowl: 50 Years of Lawry’s Beef Bowl) and is our guest along with long-time USC Sports Information Director Tim Tessalone.

Dieter HissinThe Holidays at the historic Hotel del Coronado (built in 1888 and thoughtfully maintained) are an enchanting tradition. Distinctive, celebratory food and beverage opportunities abound including the lavish Sunday Brunch in the architecturally amazing Crown Room.

“Each year, families and friends gather at Hotel del Coronado to celebrate the Holiday season. As America’s beachfront legend, The Del is a sight to behold, bedecked in thousands of white lights and swaths of greenery. The resort transforms into a Winter Wonderland of ice and festive lights, sparkles and snowflakes. Carolers stroll about singing joyful tunes, while skaters glide across the rink at sunset or under a full moon. Trees are trimmed and glisten with pretty packages underneath.”

“This year Hotel del Coronado is celebrating all things shiny and bright with the Holiday theme – a season to sparkle. It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year.”

We’ll chat with Dieter Hissin, the new Director of Food and Beverage at this magical property. Orange County foodies know him from his long tenure at The Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

Barbara FairchildFor adventurous travelers Cuba is definitely on their minds. The former, long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, Barbara Fairchild, was just there with a small group for 7 days, on a self-organized excursion. Barbara will give us a genuine food journalist’s perspective on the food and accommodations in Havana and Trinidad. You’ll be surprised…

In Havana she stayed at the Hotel Parque Central and toured the landmark Hotel Nacional. They mainly dined at the paladares which are entrepreneurial restaurants and more representative of the local fare.

Outside of Havana, Barbara’s group visited Trinidad de Cuba and Cienfuegos. The accommodations there were in well-maintained Casa Particulares. These are Cuba’s version of Bed & Breakfast establishments.

One thing to keep in mind about Cuba is that Wi-Fi and internet access is spotty at best. Service can be intermittent, even in the luxury hotels.

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamChef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group is our resident seafood expert. He’ll be looking ahead at possible Seafood Trends for 2017.

For instance, is Seaweed finally become a mainstream ingredient? It is nutritionally sound.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer and Chef Andrew Gruel, Chief Seafood Officer, Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Eric Klein, Executive Chef, Vice President Culinary, Wolfgang Puck Catering Part One
Segment Three: Eric Klein, Executive Chef, Vice President Culinary, Wolfgang Puck Catering Part Two
Segment Four: Lawry’s Beef Bowl with College Football Historian Todd Erickson & Tim Tessalone, Sports Information Director, USC
Segment Five: Dieter Hissin, Director of Food & Beverage, Hotel del Coronado
Segment Six: Food Journalist Barbara Fairchild (formerly Editor, Bon Appetit Magazine) Part One
Segment Seven: Food Journalist Barbara Fairchild (formerly Editor, Bon Appetit Magazine) Part Two
Segment Eight: Executive Chef & Founder Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

December 17: Bernard Guillas, Glorietta Bay Inn, Cara Mangini, Wine Exchange, Sura Korean Tofu House & Pub, Marriott Coronado Island

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer
Segment Two: Chef Bernard Guillas, Executive Chef. Director of Food & Beverage, La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club
Segment Three: Claudia Ludlow, General Manager, Glorietta Bay Inn, Coronado
Segment Four: Cara Mangini, The Vegetable Butcher, Little Eater, Little Eater Produce & Provisions, Columbus, Ohio
Segment Five: Kyle Meyer, Proprietor, The Wine Exchange, Santa Ana
Segment Six: Brandon Sugano, Proprietor, Sura Korean Tofu House & Pub, Long Beach
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Michael Poompan, Marriott Coronado Island Resort & Spa
Segment Eight: Executive Chef & Founder Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Happy Holidays & Seasoned Greetings to all. Thanks for making us part of your Saturday. We’re here for you live through Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s.

Now a provocatively tantalizing preview of Saturday’s fully-loaded show and 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…

The Dean of French Chefs in San Diego is Maitre Cuisiner de France Bernard Guillas the executive chef of the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, the Shores Restaurant at the La Jolla Shores Hotel, and the landmark AAA, 4-Diamoind Award Marine Room Restaurant. His new cookbook is Two Chefs, One Catch – A Culinary Exploration of Seafood. Chef Bernard is our guest.

Coronado is “a bridge apart” from San Diego and is actually an incorporated City with a rich heritage and small town charm that is a great getaway. Longtime resident Claudia Ludlow is the General Manager of the historic Glorietta Bay Inn located across the street from the iconic Hotel Del Coronado. We’ll meet her.

The skills of butchery meet the world of fresh produce in The Vegetable Butcher – How to Select, Prep, Slice, Dice, and Masterfully Cook Vegetables from Artichokes to Zucchini. This well-researched, essential, inspiring guide demystifies the world of vegetables. Author and Chef Cara Mangini encores with us from Columbus, Ohio.

It’s Holiday time and what’s a festive celebration without sparkling wine and Champagne? It’s always better with bubbles and sparkling wine and Champagne typically pairs well with food, too. Our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange, has some inspired guidance for us.

All Korean restaurants are not created equal and this is a cuisine you want to appreciate. A new discovery of ours in Long Beach is the welcoming and value-priced, Sura Korean Tofu House & Pub. We’ll get the story from proprietor Brandon Sugano.

The Marriott Coronado Island Resort & Spa has been revamped and repositioned as a destination resort with an emphasis on health. The new Executive Chef, Michael Poompan, has added excitement to the menus in Current and Tides Restaurant and Lounge. There is a new emphasis on using fresh, local ingredients. Chef Michael jumps out of the kitchen to chat with us.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group is continuing his ongoing series of personal recommendations. Today it’s the very best in quality sandwiches.

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

Bernard GxuillasThe Dean of French Chefs in San Diego is Maitre Cuisiner de France Bernard Guillas the executive chef of the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, the Shores Restaurant at the La Jolla Shores Hotel, and the landmark AAA, 4-Diamoind Award Marine Room Restaurant. His new book (with The Marine Room’s Chef de Cuisine Ron Oliver) is Two Chefs, One Catch – A Culinary Exploration of Seafood. Chef Bernard is our guest.

Following the success of their self-published, IACP award-winning Flying Pans: Two Chefs, One World, Chefs Bernard and Ron Oliver are back at it again with this stunning cookbook. This useful compendium of more than 120 delectable fish, shellfish, and crustacean recipes is organized by species and accompanied by expert tips on selection and preparation. Engaging anecdotes and stories convey the chefs’ culinary expertise and insatiable culinary curiosity.

With this impressive cookbook Chef Bernard promises seafood cookery in your home kitchen will be both easy and rewarding. The recipes are high in nutrition, low in fat, and astounding in flavor. “You can now sail the seven seas without needing a passport.”

Claudia LudlowCoronado is “a bridge apart” from San Diego and is an incorporated City with a rich heritage and small town charm that is a great getaway. Longtime resident Claudia Ludlow is the General Manager of the historic Glorietta Bay Inn located across the street from the iconic Hotel Del Coronado. We’ll meet her.

“Overlooking the bay, Glorietta Bay Inn is located in the heart of Coronado one block from the Beach, shops, restaurants and world famous Hotel Del. With 11 Mansion Rooms and 89 Contemporary Rooms and Suites, Glorietta Bay Inn takes you back to a world of historic beauty with all the modern amenities. All rooms include complimentary continental breakfast. Prices starting at $179.”

“An island vacation awaits you at Glorietta Bay Inn. This boutique hotel is a historic landmark in Coronado and famous for its grandeur architecture, built in 1908 as the home of sugar baron John D. Spreckels (an early owner of the landmark Hotel Del Coronado).

Glorietta Bay Inn sits across the street from the famous white-sandy Coronado Beach, steps away from boutique shopping and restaurants, minutes from America’s Finest City’s best attractions, and just 8-miles from the San Diego International Airport.”

Cara Mangini, the Vegetable ButcherThe skills of butchery meet the world of fresh produce in The Vegetable Butcher – How to Select, Prep, Slice, Dice, and Masterfully Cook Vegetables from Artichokes to Zucchini authored by Chef Cara Mangini. This well-researched, essential, inspiring guide demystifies the world of vegetables. Along the way Mangini shares over 150 mouthwatering recipes that put vegetables front and center.

Cara Mangini comes from a long line of butchers. Her Italian grandfather and great-grandfather gracefully cut tenderloins and butterflied chickens for a living. Mangini also wields a knife, but hers is used against the curves of butternut squash and stalks of freshly picked Brussels sprouts at Little Eater, her vegetable-inspired restaurant, produce stand, and artisanal foods boutique in Columbus, Ohio.

Mangini’s basic recipes provide foundational methods that every cook should know – how to steam or saute spinach, the art of making crispy fingerling potatoes, how to perfectly pan-roast Brussels sprouts, and much more. From there she serves up an array of creative recipes that celebrate the soul-satisfying flavor of each vegetable – Orange-Shallot Fiddlehead Ferns and Ricotta Crostini, Cardoon and Fontina Bread Pudding, Parsnip-Ginger Layer Cake with Browned Buttercream Frosting, and many other sure-to-be new favorites.

Author and Chef Cara Mangini (by popular demand) encores with us from Columbus, Ohio.

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeIt’s Holiday time and what’s a festive celebration without sparkling wine and Champagne? It’s always better with bubbles and sparkling wine and Champagne typically pairs well with food, too.

We’ll look at values in Sparkling Wine from France, Spain and California as well as a value-priced Champagne.

Our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange, has some inspired guidance for us.

Brandon SuganoAll Korean restaurants are not created equal and this is a cuisine you want to appreciate. A new discovery of ours in Long Beach is the welcoming and value-priced Sura Korean Tofu House & Pub.

“Sura Korean BBQ Tofu House Restaurant & Pub is Long Beach’s home for authentic Korean cuisine. We serve Chef Kyle Isago’s delicious Korean & fusion favorites like Galbi Beef (beef ribs) , Bulgogui, Soon Doo Boo (soft tofu soup), Bibimbap, Korean BBQ tacos, and more Mexican fusion favorites. We are vegetarian and vegan friendly. Now serving Korean Soju Wine and hand-selected craft beers.”

We’ll get the story from proprietor Brandon Sugano.

Michael PoompanThe Marriott Coronado Island Resort & Spa has been revamped and repositioned as a destination resort with an emphasis on healthy living. The new Executive Chef, Michael Poompan, has added excitement to the menus in Current and Tides Restaurant and Lounge.

There is a heightened emphasis on using fresh, local ingredients. Chef strives for his cuisine to strike a connection with the local community and to establish creativity in all his dishes. There are also, refreshingly, some Northern Baja wines (the low profile neighbor to the South) on their menu.

First joining the Marriott team as a culinary intern at The Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, Chef Poompan learned the ins and outs of the industry, quickly moving up the ranks at different hotels as his love for working with fresh foods from California’s local farmers, ranchers and food artisans grew.

Chef Poompan has been recognized as Renaissance Hotels Chef of the Year for the Americas and received Marriott’s Award of Culinary Excellence in 2011.

Chef Michael jumps out of the kitchen to chat with us.

Andrew and William GruelChef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group is continuing his ongoing series of personal recommendations. Today it’s the very best in sandwiches.

Next to fresh seafood, a properly prepared sandwich is one of Chef Andrew’s best friends. It’s a pleasing meal to-go artfully packaged between two slices of quality bread!

Great possibilities…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer
Segment Two: Chef Bernard Guillas, Executive Chef. Director of Food & Beverage, La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club
Segment Three: Claudia Ludlow, General Manager, Glorietta Bay Inn, Coronado
Segment Four: Cara Mangini, The Vegetable Butcher, Little Eater, Little Eater Produce & Provisions, Columbus, Ohio
Segment Five: Kyle Meyer, Proprietor, The Wine Exchange, Santa Ana
Segment Six: Brandon Sugano, Proprietor, Sura Korean Tofu House & Pub, Long Beach
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Michael Poompan, Marriott Coronado Island Resort & Spa
Segment Eight: Executive Chef & Founder Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

December 10: Live from Lagasse’s Stadium at the Palazzo Las Vegas

Podcasts

Segment One: Daniel and Georges Daou, DAOU Vineyards & Winery
Segment Two: Young Yun, Executive Director, Mentor BKB Foundation
Segment Three: Mourad Lahlou, Owner / Chef, Mourad and Aziza, San Francisco
Segment Four: Paul Bartolotta, Executive Chef / Proprietor, The Bartolotta Restaurants
Segment Five: Chef Ming Tsai, Blue Ginger, Blue Dragon and Public Television’s “Simply Ming”
Segment Six: Emma Bengtsson, Executive Chef, Aquavit, New York
Segment Seven: Chef Curtis Stone, Maude in Beverly Hills & Gwen in Hollywood
Segment Eight: Chef Scott Pajak, Chef de Cuisine, Lagasse’s Stadium, The Palazzo Resort, Las Vegas

Ultimo A Weekend ExcellenceWe’re in fabulous Las Vegas on Saturday coming to you from the radio studio at Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo on the fabled Strip.

We’re here for the 4th annual Ultimo: Le Grand Voyage, The Venetian’s and The Palazzo’s ultra-extravagant, dream food and wine weekend for 140 discriminating foodies. It’s so anticipated the food, wine and libation spectacular always sells out within a couple of days of being announced.

On to a tasty preview of Saturday’s show…

Ultimo: Le Grand Voyage shouts out for incredible wines. Each year The Grand Banquet is the stellar dining experience of the Weekend festivities with courses prepared by big-name celebrity chefs. Brothers Daniel and Georges Daou of DAOU Vineyards and Winery in Paso Robles will debut their Patrimony Cabernet Sauvignon at The Grand Banquet. We’ll uncork it with them.

Young Yun is the Executive Director of the Ment’or BKB Foundation in New York, a charitable beneficiary of Ultimo Weekend. Ment’or is a leading nonprofit organization devoted to INSPIRING CULINARY EXCELLENCE in young professionals and preserving the traditions and quality of cuisine in America. Will get an update from Young on the Foundation’s busy year.

Considered by many as the pioneer of modern Moroccan cuisine in the United States, the James Beard award-nominated Mourad Lahlou (San Francisco’s Aziza and Mourad) never envisioned becoming a world-famous chef. Chef Mourad is one of the celebrity chefs preparing a course for The Grand Banquet of Ultimo Weekend at The Venetian. He’ll lift the lid on the tagine for us.

Paul Bartolotta of The Bartolotta Restaurants is a two-time, James Beard Award-winner for culinary excellence. He’s best known in Las Vegas for creating the memorable Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at Wynn Las Vegas in 2005 which redefined high end Italian cuisine with seafood as its center. (Chef Paul is no longer associated with the renamed and repositioned restaurant as of the end of 2015.) Paul is our guest.

The Boston area’s Ming Tsai is one of the distinguished, high-profile, celebrity chefs preparing Ultimo Weekend’s Grand Banquet at the Venetian. You know Chef Ming from Food TV including his long-running acclaimed series for Public Television, “Simply Ming.” His popular restaurants in the greater Boston area are the long-running Blue Ginger and the more recent, Blue Dragon. We’ll meet him.

Aquavit, a landmark New York-based fine dining establishment featuring the cuisine of Sweden is a classic. In the Spring of 2014 their former Pastry Chef, Emma Bengtsson, was unusually elevated to the Executive Chef there post by proprietor Hakan Swahn. We’ll hear Emma’s incredible story.

Melbourne-born Chef Curtis Stone now resides in Los Angeles. In addition to being all over Food TV (“Kitchen Inferno” and the upcoming “My Kitchen Rules” on Fox), Chef Curtis has the intimate Maude in Beverly Hills and Gwen (also a butcher shop) in Hollywood. Chef Curtis, also a participating chef in The Grand Banquet, joins us.

Scott Pajak is the Chef de Cuisine at the high-volume Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo. He’s been with Emeril Lagasse since 2002 and was promoted to his current position in May of 2011. Bring on the kicked-up wings and we’ll talk hearty tailgate fare (and more) with Chef Scott.

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

Daniel DaouUltimo: Le Grand Voyage calls for incredible wines. Each year The Grand Banquet is the stellar dining experience of the Weekend festivities with courses prepared by huge celebrity chefs. Brothers Daniel and Georges Daou of DAOU Vineyards and Winery in Paso Robles will debut their Patrimony Cabernet Sauvignon at The Grand Banquet. We’ll chat with them.

DAOU Estate Collection wines are made from the finest vineyard blocks on Daou Mountain and aged extensively in hand-selected custom-crafted, new French oak barrels. These wines showcase the visionary talent of Winemaker Daniel Daou, and embody DAOU’s mission to produce first-growth Cabernet Sauvignon from the unrivaled terroir of DAOU Mountain.

DAOU Reserve Collection wines are made from premium fruit sourced from DAOU Mountain as well as select Paso Robles vineyards. Throughout the growing season, Daniel Daou is actively involved in the management of these vineyards to ensure the highest quality. These wines are distinguished by signature qualities of grace and structure.

Young YunYoung Yun is the Executive Director of the Ment’or BKB Foundation in New York, a charitable beneficiary of Ultimo Weekend. Ment’or is a leading nonprofit organization devoted to INSPIRING CULINARY EXCELLENCE in young professionals and preserving the traditions and quality of cuisine in America.

“Our aim is to build a sustainable community of young American professionals that are knowledgeable and confident in their career pursuits and will be life-long ambassadors of quality and excellence in the world of gastronomy. The organization is dedicated to making the careers of serious young individuals more meaningful and successful by offering them unique educational opportunities, internships and access to a Culinary Council of established mentors.”

Will get an update from Young on the Foundation’s busy year supporting Team USA for the upcoming Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Challenge in Lyon and Ment’or’s Young Chef and Commis Competition.

Mourad LahlouConsidered by many as the pioneer of modern Moroccan cuisine in the United States, the James Beard award-nominated Mourad Lahlou (San Francisco’s Aziza and Mourad) never envisioned becoming a world-famous chef. Chef Mourad is one of the celebrity chefs preparing a course for The Grand Banquet of Ultimo Weekend at The Venetian. He’ll lift the lid on the tagine for us.

The Marrakesh native immigrated to the United States when he was 20 years old to pursue a master’s degree in economics. Missing his country’s cuisine, Lahlou taught himself how to recreate versions of his favorite Moroccan dishes with local ingredients using his own inventive techniques. Most of the lessons he learned about food came from his mother, who cooked traditional Moroccan recipes, and grandfather, who took him to the markets.

Chef Mourad’s strikingly modern reinventions of traditional Moroccan dishes are all about showcasing the great flavors of his native cuisine in ways that harmonize with the fresh, local, artisanal ingredients available in Northern California. “I’m not sure I would even call it a Moroccan restaurant anymore,” he says. Like his jet-black tattoos, Lahlou’s food and restaurants reveal a very personal story, one rooted both in San Francisco and abroad, and recount the memories that have inspired his life’s work.

Paul BartolottaPaul Bartolotta of The Bartolotta Restaurants is a two-time, James Beard Award-winner for culinary excellence. He’s best known in Las Vegas for creating the memorable Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at Wynn Las Vegas in 2005 which redefined high end Italian cuisine with seafood as its center. (Chef Paul is no longer associated with the renamed and repositioned restaurant as of the end of 2015.)

Joe and Paul Bartolotta grew up in a traditional Italian family in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Along with siblings, Maria and Felicia, they enjoyed large gatherings centered around unbelievably good food and plenty of love. In 1993, Joe and Paul collaborated to realize their dream of creating signature restaurants in Milwaukee. Paying homage to the family name, Ristorante Bartolotta opened in March of 1993. Embracing the culinary concept of “cucina rustica,” the restaurant offers simple, traditional Italian dishes using the freshest ingredients available.

In 1995, the company opened a second restaurant: Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro, a spacious, brasserie-style restaurant, focusing on casual and authentic French cuisine. After Lake Park Bistro earned a four-star review, Joe became Milwaukee’s first “eight-star general,” a restaurateur with two top-rated restaurants to his name. Lake Park Bistro was recognized in 2008 when Executive Chef Adam Siegel won the coveted James Beard Award for Best Chef Midwest.

Over the next two decades, The Bartolotta Restaurants added a variety of fine dining and casual concepts to its portfolio. Joe, Paul and The Bartolotta Restaurants family will continue to grow their lineup of distinguished Southeastern Wisconsin venues and look forward to potential expansion throughout the Midwest.

Chef Paul is our guest.

Ming TsaiThe Boston area’s Ming Tsai is one of the distinguished, high-profile, celebrity chefs preparing Ultimo Weekend’s Grand Banquet at the Venetian. You know Chef Ming from Food TV including his long-running acclaimed series for Public Television, Simply Ming.” His popular restaurants in the greater Boston area are the long-running Blue Ginger and the more recent, Blue Dragon. We’ll meet him.

“Ming’s love of cooking was forged in his early years. Ming was raised in Dayton, Ohio, where he spent hours cooking alongside his mother and father at Mandarin Kitchen, the family-owned restaurant. His experience also taught him about restaurant operations and the art of making customers happy.”

“Ming headed east to attend school at Phillips Academy Andover. From there, Ming continued to Yale Universityearning his degree in Mechanical Engineering. During this time, Ming spent his summers attending Le Cordon Bleu cooking school and apprenticing at area restaurants in Paris. After graduating from Yale, Ming moved to Paris and trained under renowned Pastry Chef Pierre Herme and then on to Osaka with Sushi Master Kobayashi.”

Upon his return to the United States, Ming enrolled in graduate school at Cornell University, earning a Master’s degree in Hotel Administration and Hospitality Marketing.

Emma BengtssonAquavit, a landmark New York-based fine dining establishment featuring the cuisine of Sweden is a classic. In the Spring of 2014 their former Pastry Chef, Emma Bengtsson, was unusually elevated to the Executive Chef post there by proprietor Hakan Swahn.

Former Aquavit Executive Chef Marcus Jernmark recruited Bengtsson in 2010 to join the restaurant as Pastry Chef. Bengtsson quickly became known for her creative interpretations of classic Scandinavian desserts, as well as establishing a new bread program. Her style was reflective of the region’s penchant for local products, progressive techniques, and continuing traditions; and it was well received, as Aquavit was recognized with one star in the Michelin Guide New York City in 2013 and 2014.

Håkan Swahn, the owner of Aquavit, saw talent and fresh perspective in Chef Bengtsson’s skillset and offered her the role of Executive Chef in spring 2014. She accepted the job, and since then has injected the critically acclaimed menu with her personal style and experience.

In October of 2015, her work garnered a second Michelin Star for Aquavit, making her the second female chef in the U.S. to run a two-star kitchen and the first ever Swedish female chef to do so.

We’ll hear Emma’s incredible story.

Curtis StoneMelbourne-born Chef Curtis Stone now resides in Los Angeles. In addition to being all over Food TV (“Kitchen Inferno” and the upcoming “My Kitchen Rules” on FOX), Chef Curtis has the intimate Maude in Beverly Hills and Gwen (also a butcher shop) in Hollywood.

“My mum and granny taught me everything I know about food and cooking. My mum, Lozza, is a great cook, in particular a phenomenal baker, and I would watch her every move while she baked. I am very partial to her corn and bacon muffins so she makes these for me whenever I visit. I still call on her regularly for advice when I’m developing recipes – thanks Lozza!”

Curtis Stone is also the author of six cookbooks. The most recent title is Good Food, Good Life.

Chef Curtis, also a participating chef in The Grand Banquet, joins us.

Scott PajakScott Pajak is the Chef de Cuisine at the high volume Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo. It sets the standard for Sports Bars in Sin City. He’s been with Emeril Lagasse since 2002 and was promoted to his current position in May of 2011.

Growing up in Lancaster, NY, Scott Pajak could often be found in the kitchen – cooking chicken noodle soup and sauces with his grandparents, or helping his dad tend the grill and savoring the smoky aroma of barbecue.

While studying at UNLV, he worked in numerous restaurants around Las Vegas, including Planet Hollywood, New York New York Casino and TPC Country Club, where he prepared meals for participants on the PGA Tour.

In 2002, Pajak entered the kitchen at Emeril Lagasse’s seafood eatery Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House as a line cook. Over the next 9 years, he would work in nearly every position in Lagasse’s kitchen, from saucier to butcher, eventually rising to the post of sous chef. He helped write the restaurant’s daily menus and showed off his creativity as he cooked for guests at the chef’s kitchen table.

Bring on the kicked-up wings and we’ll talk hearty tailgate food (and more) with Chef Scott.

Podcasts

Segment One: Daniel and Georges Daou, DAOU Vineyards & Winery
Segment Two: Young Yun, Executive Director, Mentor BKB Foundation
Segment Three: Mourad Lahlou, Owner / Chef, Mourad and Aziza, San Francisco
Segment Four: Paul Bartolotta, Executive Chef / Proprietor, The Bartolotta Restaurants
Segment Five: Chef Ming Tsai, Blue Ginger, Blue Dragon and Public Television’s “Simply Ming”
Segment Six: Emma Bengtsson, Executive Chef, Aquavit, New York
Segment Seven: Chef Curtis Stone, Maude in Beverly Hills & Gwen in Hollywood
Segment Eight: Chef Scott Pajak, Chef de Cuisine, Lagasse’s Stadium, The Palazzo Resort, Las Vegas

December 3: Our 4th Anniversary Show from Sidedoor Gastropub in Corona del Mar

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Proprietor / Executive Chef Rich Mead, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens
Segment Three: Chef Director Ryan Wagner, CulinaryLab Contemporary Cooking School, Tustin
Segment Four: Ryan Wilson, Vice President and Executive Chef for Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc.
Segment Five: Brewmaster Victor Novak, Golden Road Brewing
Segment SIx: Artisan Coffee Roaster, Martin Diedrich, Kean Coffee
Segment Seven: SideDoor’s Lead Barman, Randy Thais
Segment Eight: Jean-Jacques Granet, Executive Pastry Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula

Entrance to Sidedoor Gastropub in Corona del MarWe’re a bit tardy but this Saturday we’re festively marking the 4th Anniversary of the debut of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” Please join us on the airwaves (or via our live stream) as we celebrate with a really big brunch show at SideDoor in Corona del Mar.

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Brea, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, most recently, The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for Rams and USC Football, is back as today’s Guest Host. San Clemente is launching next. In May in Chicago during the National Restaurant Association’s annual conclave he received Nation’s Restaurant News’ Trendsetter MenuMaster Award for Slapfish.

On to a tasty preview of Saturday’s show…

The most eagerly anticipated restaurant opening of the year is the long-in-the-works Farmhouse Café at Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar. The executive chef/proprietor is Rich Mead. Rich is fondly remembered by local foodies for Sage and Sage on the Coast. Rich pops out of the busy Farmhouse kitchen for a bit to join us.

CulinaryLab Contemporary Cooking School in Tustin offers an immersive, hands-on education for all levels of cooks including aspiring chefs, serious home cooks and industry professionals. Chef Director Ryan Wagner, C.E.C. is the founder of the program. We’ll meet him.

Ryan Wilson is the Vice President and Executive Chef for Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc. the parent company of SideDoor. He represents the 4th generation of Frank/Van de Kamp Family ownership. Executive Chef Ryan is our guest.

Orange County craft beer enthusiasts know Victor Novak as the long-time, acclaimed head brewer of Taps in Brea. He’s also responsible for graciously mentoring many of the prominent young brewers among the new wave of award-winning OC craft breweries. In late 2014 he joined the brewing team at the fast-growing Golden Road Brewing and is now their brewmaster. Victor is tapping a fresh keg with us.

When it comes to world-class, artisan coffee roasters in Orange County the veteran bean roaster in chief is Martin Diedrich. He grew up on a coffee farm in Guatemala! Martin now oversees busy neighborhood Kean Coffee coffee shops in Tustin and Newport Beach. He joins us.

The innovative cocktail program at SideDoor is an important attraction. New to SideDoor is Lead Barman, Randy Thais. Randy is an adjunct professor by day and a barman by night. He’s crafting something special for us as a guest…

The Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula has a long Holiday tradition of baking and decorating eye-catching gingerbread houses for sale until Christmas to their appreciative guests. Their acclaimed Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-Jacques Granet (he has worked on three continents) joins us with all the sweet details.

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

Rich MeadThe most eagerly anticipated restaurant opening of the year in Orange County is the long-in-the-works Farmhouse Café at Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar. Guests are actually dining in the Roger’s Garden’s lush gardens. Lunch reservations are “fully committed” for the balance of the year. Guests at lunch (without reservations) line-up early (11:00 a.m. or before) to nab one of the “first come, first-served” seats available at the bar.

The executive chef/proprietor is Rich Mead. Rich is fondly remembered by local foodies for Sage and Sage on the Coast. He’s been creatively shopping at the Wednesday morning Santa Monica Farmers Market for fresh, seasonal ingredients long before it was trendy.

Roger’s Gardens and Chef Rich Mead have partnered in establishing a unique and sustainable field-to-fork dining experience at Farmhouse Café located within Roger’s Garden.

Located in the heart of Newport Beach, the Café is nestled on over 6 acres in a garden-like setting. The Farmhouse offers the freshest, locally sourced, seasonal ingredients to create a healthy based cuisine.

On the libation side there is even a signature Farmers Market Cocktail of The Week. The key ingredient is something fresh from the Santa Monica Farmers Market that week.

Chef Rich pops out of the busy Farmhouse kitchen for a brief moment to join us.

Ryan Wagner of CulinaryLabCulinaryLab Contemporary Cooking School in Tustin offers an immersive, hands-on education for all levels of cooks including aspiring chefs, serious home cooks and industry professionals.

“What’s the best way to learn about working in a professional kitchen?  To work in one, of course.  Students who choose our apprenticeship program will have the opportunity to work approximately 1,500 hours as a paid apprentice at one of our partner restaurants, gaining hours of practice and real world experience that is normally reserved for those who have already graduated culinary school.  By reinforcing what they’re learning while simultaneously working in a real professional kitchen, our students are faster, more skilled and better prepared to excel in the foodservice industry.”

“Instead of spending countless hours reading culinary textbooks as homework or sitting through uninspired lectures, our students watch comprehensive video demonstrations and navigate online curriculum.”

“At CulinaryLab we measure our success by how our students perform in the real world.

If they fail, so do we. When they succeed, we do too. We put it all on the line for them.”

– Ryan Wagner, Chef Director

Chef Director Ryan Wagner, C.E.C. is the founder of the program. We’ll meet him.

Ryan WilsonRyan Wilson is the Vice President and Executive Chef for Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc. the parent company of SideDoor and Five Crowns. He represents the 4th generation of Frank/Van de Kamp Family ownership.

Before pursuing his culinary ambitions around the world, Ryan grew up creating dishes for his mother and sister. He officially stepped into the family business in 2002 as the prep cook at the Tam O’Shanter and later transitioned to the Five Crowns kitchen as a line cook. After following culinary opportunities outside the Lawry’s realm, he returned as the opening chef for The Prime Rib restaurants in China and Japan. Stateside, he served as opening chef for Lawry’s Carvery at L.A. Live and in 2008 returned to the Tam O’Shanter as Executive Chef.

During his time at the Tam O’Shanter, Ryan worked closely on the concept and execution for SideDoor in Corona del Mar and later became the Executive Chef for both SideDoor and Five Crowns. In 2014, Ryan assisted in opening the SideDoor gastropub in Chicago and remains focused on providing the highest quality food service available through his corporate and operational roles. Chef Ryan’s responsibilities have grown to include the operational oversight of the six licensed Lawry’s Prime Rib locations in Asia and the future growth of Lawry’s international portfolio.

Executive Chef Ryan Wilson is our guest.

Victor Novak of Taps Fish House and Brewery in BreaOrange County craft beer enthusiasts know Victor Novak as the long-time (15 years), acclaimed head brewer of Taps in Brea. He’s also responsible for graciously mentoring many of the prominent young brewers among the new wave of award-winning OC craft breweries.

In late 2014 he joined the brewing team at the fast-growing Golden Road Brewing and is now their brewmaster.

“In 2011, beer enthusiasts Meg Gill and Tony Yanow founded Golden Road Brewing to bring fresh beer to the local market in the most sustainable way possible.  Golden Road is committed to engaging and supporting the growing community of socially-minded beer enthusiasts.”

“Golden Road’s year-round offerings include Point the Way IPA, Golden Road Hefeweizen, Get Up Offa That Brown and Wolf Among Weeds IPA. Along with the core beers, Golden Road brewers are constantly experimenting with the freshest ingredients through a collection of rotating, seasonal and limited-edition brews including the Custom IPA Series, a line-up of diverse, hop-forward IPAs.”

A new brewery in Anaheim (across E. Orangewood Ave. from the South entrance to Angel Stadium) with a Tasting Room was added this year with a rotating selection of 20 styles on tap. Eventually the evolving facility will include a full-service restaurant.

Head Brewer Victor is tapping a fresh keg with us.

Martin DiedrichWhen it comes to world-class, artisan coffee roasters in Orange County the veteran bean roaster in chief is Martin Diedrich. He grew up on a coffee farm in Guatemala! Martin now oversees busy neighborhood Kean Coffee coffee shops in Tustin and Newport Beach.

“Kéan Coffee™ is the newest, most exciting coffeehouse concept by coffeehouse visionary Martin Diedrich. Our mission is to purvey fresh-roasted artisan coffee the way it is meant to be, in a beautiful, eclectic coffeehouse environment. Martin is craft roasting the finest coffees from around the globe on-site, many organic and fair-trade. This enables us to serve our coffee so fresh, most days it has been roasted within hours of the moment it reaches your cup. Our expertly trained baristas are creating the most innovative, cutting edge coffee beverages to be had.”

“Martin, local coffeehouse pioneer and founder of the Diedrich Coffee chain, left behind the world of corporate culture to return to his origins as an independent coffeehouse operator in order to stay true to his ideals of what a coffeehouse should be and what coffee culture should be.”

“Along with his wife Karen Varese Diedrich, Martin spent two years putting all of his creativity, inspiration and community and global awareness into bringing Kéan Coffee to reality. Martin and Karen Diedrich aptly named this next generation of coffeehouse after their son, Kean.”

Martin joins us.

Randy TheisThe innovative cocktail program at SideDoor is an important attraction. New to SideDoor is Lead Barman, Randy Thais. Randy is an adjunct professor by day and a barman by night.

Now leading the libation charge at SideDoor, Randy’s knowledge of English culture aligns perfectly with the gastropub’s British history and inspiration. His vision is to continue to make SideDoor the ultimate destination for cocktails, and believes that executing an Old Fashioned with precision will lead to a loyal clientele.

One of Randy’s newest creations on the SideDoor cocktail menu is the Ugly Gentleman, also known as “Steve.” Steve is a boozy, long and savory rye cocktail poured over hand-cute ice. The glassware covers a spot of burning maple wood while the cocktail is being prepared, and through science or magic, the smoke rests inside the glass even after the whiskey is poured.

He’s surely crafting something special for us as a guest…

Jean Jacques GranetThe Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula has a long Holiday tradition of baking and decorating eye-catching gingerbread houses for sale at a very reasonable price until Christmas to their appreciative guests.

“This holiday season, housing starts inside of one southern California casino/resort will more than double after last year’s sales numbers topped expectations. Pechanga Resort & Casino’s in-house bakery team is preparing, constructing and decorating hand-crafted gingerbread houses and offering them to prospective buyers at a nominal cost for home ownership. These units, which may be purchased individually or several at a time to create neighborhood continuity, come fully loaded and turnkey for gift giving, or for hanging onto for one’s own sweet tooth satisfying gratification.”

“Those looking for a brand new gingerbread home can find them in easily accessed locations at the 24-hour Caffe Cocoa inside the popular Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga or at Blends Coffee & Wine Bar just inside the Pechanga Hotel Lobby. Each home features distinct décor and amenities such as hand-drawn insulation (icing) and real curb appeal with colorful holiday sweet treats lining the outside. If buyers are careful transporting the homes, no insurance is required, property tax is waived and goodwill equity can be earned by giving one of the Pechanga gingerbread homes to someone else. These handmade gingerbread houses come in 10-inch by six-inch floor plan for $35. They will be on the market until Christmas, or until all units have been snapped up by buyers.”

Pechanga’s acclaimed Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-Jacques Granet (he has worked on three continents) joins us with all the sweet details.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Proprietor / Executive Chef Rich Mead, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens
Segment Three: Chef Director Ryan Wagner, CulinaryLab Contemporary Cooking School, Tustin
Segment Four: Ryan Wilson, Vice President and Executive Chef for Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc.
Segment Five: Brewmaster Victor Novak, Golden Road Brewing
Segment SIx: Artisan Coffee Roaster, Martin Diedrich, Kean Coffee
Segment Seven: SideDoor’s Lead Barman, Randy Thais
Segment Eight: Jean-Jacques Granet, Executive Pastry Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula

November 26: Sara Moulton, Zapien’s Salsa Grill, Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga, Ultimo – Le Grand Voyage

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Sara Moulton of “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” and Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101
Segment Three: Chef / Proprietor Marco Zapien, Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria
Segment Four: Chef Marlene Moore, Temptations Food Walk, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Five: Sebastien Silvestri, Vice President, Food and Beverage, The Venetian / The Palazzo, Las Vegas
Segment Six: Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group – Holiday Entertaining

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend to all. No sorry leftovers here. Thanks for making us part of your Saturday.

Andrew and William GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Brea, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, most recently, The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for Rams and USC Football, is back as today’s Guest Host. San Clemente is launching next. In May in Chicago during the National Restaurant Association’s annual conclave he received Nation’s Restaurant News’ Trendsetter MenuMaster Award for Slapfish.

Now a provocatively tantalizing preview of Saturday’s fully-loaded show and 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…

Sara Moulton was one of the first breakout stars of the then embryonic Food Network and is currently the host of Public Television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals.” Her newest cookbook is the ambitious, Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101: How to Make Everything Taste Better. We’re in the kitchen with Chef Sara.

Since 1994 Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria has been the standout Mexican restaurant in Pico Rivera. It recently underwent a major refreshening. In 2003, Chef Marco Zapien joined The Grill full-time as the Executive Chef and partnered with his father, Jess, to become co-owner. Chef Marco has elevated the cuisine and enhanced its popularity well beyond the borders of Pico Rivera. Chef Marco is our guest.

Chef Marlene Moore is the dynamic chef at the popular Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula. Earlier this year she successfully defended her title as Pechanga’s Chili Champ by, again, besting eight other talented Pechanga chefs in the 8th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Fest & Chili Cook-off. We’ll catch-up with the always on-the-move Chef Marlene and see what’s cooking.

They always do it B-I-G in Las Vegas. What’s billed as the culinary event of the year, Ultimo – Le Grand Voyage, hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo, will take culinary extravagance to new levels, December 9th through the 11th. The highlight of the festivities will be the Grand Banquet with lead Chef Thomas Keller. Sebastien Silvestri, Vice President of Food & Beverage for The Venetian and The Palazzo is our guest with a tantalizing preview.

Chef Andrew Gruel thankfully rescued us from potential Thanksgiving kitchen disasters with reliable information from a real, working chef. Now it’s on to December Holiday entertaining and the stakes are equally high. Is the Boss and spouse perhaps coming over for a Holiday Party ? Chef Andrew has more practical and inspired Holiday cooking tips aplenty…

Join us via the airwaves next week, December 3rd, as we a bit belatedly celebrate the 4th Anniversary of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” We’ll be live at SideDoor in Corona del Mar with a brunch broadcast.

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

Sara MoultonSara Moulton was one of the first breakout stars of the then embryonic Food Network and is currently the host of Public Television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals.” She is also the author of the Associated Press column “Kitchen Wise.”

Her newest cookbook is the ambitious, Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101: How to Make Everything Taste Better.

Not just a collection of wonderful recipes, HOME COOKING 101 is a teaching manual aimed at the home cook. The recipes will indeed make it easier to put dinner on the table on a weeknight, but, as Sara notes in her introduction, “more important is that each recipe specifically demonstrates a tip or method that can make you a better and more confident cook while also teaching you to make your dishes taste better.”

Accordingly, the book’s first chapter is a compact and handy rulebook entitled “The Ten Basics of Good Home Cooking.” It advises the home cook as follows:

  • Shake hands with your stove
  • Buy a good knife
  • Get organized
  • Follow the recipe exactly the first time you make it
  • Dispense with mise en place
  • Reach for the salt
  • Balance flavors
  • Build umami
  • Use all your senses
  • Don’t waste food

As for the recipes, there are 150 of them—all new and accompanied by photographs that illustrate, step-by-step, the book’s key techniques. The book also boasts guest recipes from a stellar cast of some of Sara’s favorite chefs and cookbook authors, including Rick Bayless, Amanda Cohen, Hiroko Shimbo, Jacques Torres, Marc Vetri, and Grace Young.

In sum, Sara writes, “The goal of this book is two-fold: to sharpen your sense of taste and to provide you with a raft of time-tested techniques that I hope will become second nature to you.”

We’re in the kitchen with Chef Sara.

Marco Zapien of Zapiens Salsa Grill and TaqueriaSince 1994 Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria has been the standout Mexican restaurant in Pico Rivera. It recently underwent a major refreshening.

In 2003, Chef Marco Zapien joined The Grill full-time as the Executive Chef and partnered with his father, Jess, to become co-owner. Chef Marco has elevated the cuisine and enhanced its popularity well beyond the borders of Pico Rivera.

Chef Marco has refined a unique style of cooking that incorporates two generations of his mother’s and father’s family recipes with the passionate creativity he has enhanced throughout his culinary career.

The Salsa Grill serves truly traditional Mexican food with items such as Lengua and Enchilades en Mole on the Chef’s Specialties menu, Camarones Mojo De Ajo and Tequila Fried Shrimp on its Seafood Specialty Menu, and fresh Menudo, Cocido and Pozole served daily.

They even make their own tortillas right there fresh throughout the day. This is the base of their tortilla chips, too. Can’t get any fresher than this!

Chef Marco is our guest.

Marlene Moore at the Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili CookoffChef Marlene Moore is the high-energy chef at the popular Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula. She is famous for the signature Pechanga Fried Chicken.

Earlier this year she successfully defended her title as Pechanga’s Chili Champ by, again, besting eight other talented Pechanga chefs in the 8th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Fest & Chili Cook-off which was a benefit for Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley.

Her winning chili creation is “Temptation” Hearty Southern Style Chili.

Chef Moore, originally from Trinidad and Tobago, retained her title despite stiff competition from Chef Ronnel Capacia of Kelsey’s, who serves southwestern chili in his appetizer selections for lunch and dinner every day. Now in its eighth year, 1,459 people came to enjoy craft and microbrews, chili and music at the 2016 Pechanga Microbrew Festival.

We’ll catch-up with the always on-the-move Chef Marlene.

Ultimo A Weekend ExcellenceThey always do it B-I-G in Las Vegas. What’s billed as the culinary event of the year, Ultimo – Le Grand Voyage, hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo, will take culinary extravagance to new levels, December 9th through the 11th.

The highlight of the festivities will be the exclusive Grand Banquet with lead Chef Thomas Keller and a team of international culinary all-stars including Curtis Stone of Gwen (Hollywood) and Maude (Beverly Hills) fame. $2 million in Lalique crystal (flown in from France just for this dinner) will decorate the long table. It’s also a benefit for the Ment’or BKB Foundation.

Sebastien Silvestri, Vice President of Food & Beverage for The Venetian and The Palazzo is our guest with a tantalizing preview.

Andrew and William GruelChef Andrew Gruel thankfully rescued us from potential Thanksgiving kitchen disasters with reliable information from a real, working chef.

Now it’s on to December Holiday entertaining and the stakes are equally high. Is the Boss and spouse perhaps coming over for a Holiday Party?

Chef Andrew has more practical and inspired Holiday cooking tips aplenty to share…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Sara Moulton of “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” and Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101
Segment Three: Chef / Proprietor Marco Zapien, Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria
Segment Four: Chef Marlene Moore, Temptations Food Walk, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Five: Sebastien Silvestri, Vice President, Food and Beverage, The Venetian / The Palazzo, Las Vegas
Segment Six: Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group – Holiday Entertaining

November 19: Rachel Hollis, Andrew Gruel, Dorie Greenspan, West Coast Prime Meats

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Rachel Hollis, The Chic Site, Upscale Downhome – Family Recipes All Gussied Up
Segment Three: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Four: Baker Dorie Greenspan, Dorie’s Cookies Part One
Segment Five: Baker Dorie Greenspan, Dorie’s Cookies Part Two
Segment Six: The Meatheads from West Coast Prime Meats, Terry Hanks & Jay Henderson

Be listening for your chance this Saturday morning, Nov. 19th to win our VIP Brunch for 2 package at SideDoor on December 3rd at 10:00 a.m. SideDoor is graciously throwing us a party to celebrate the show’s 4th Anniversary. We’ll be broadcasting live from SideDoor that morning.

Andrew and William GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Brea, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, most recently, The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for Rams and USC Football, is back as today’s Guest Host. San Clemente is launching next. In May in Chicago during the National Restaurant Association’s annual conclave he received Nation’s Restaurant News’ Trendsetter MenuMaster Award for Slapfish.

Now a provocatively tempting preview of Saturday’s full-measure show and 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…

Rachel Hollis, popular blogger and founder of “The Chic Site” has a new swoon-worthy cookbook out, Upscale DownHome : Family Recipes all Gussied Up. It’s the best in Guy Comfort Food that’s sure to impress at both family suppers and the fanciest dinner parties. Rachel joins us with a tasty preview.

Thanksgiving dinner is upon us. If you’re cooking the Thanksgiving feast at home it can be a stressful time. To the rescue comes our own Chef Andrew Gruel, a real working chef.

He has some useful tips for preparing the Thanksgiving meal with a minimum of aggravation.

Bring on the seasoned stuffing…

Over the course of her incredible baking career, Dorie Greenspan (a 3-time James Beard Award-winner) has created more than 300 cookie recipes. Yet she has never written a book about them—until now. To merit her “three purple stars of approval,” every cookie had to be so special that it begged to be made again and again. Just in time for the Holidays is Dorie’s Cookies.

Grass-fed beef is of the moment right now. Is it really better than the traditional corn-fed beef? What is the difference in flavor once the beef is cooked ? The Meatheads from West Cost Prime Meats (Jay Henderson and Terry Hanks) are back to enlighten us.

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

Rachel HollisRachel Hollis, popular blogger and founder of The Chic Site (reaches over 1 million users a month) has a new swoon-worthy cookbook out, Upscale DownHome: Family Recipes all Gussied Up. It’s truly the best in Guy Tailgate Comfort Food that’s sure to impress at both family suppers and the fanciest dinner parties.

Rachel puts a finger-licking gourmet twist on classic American favorites in sections that include recipes for:

  • Casseroles: balsamic bacon-wrapped meatloaf, bacon and green chili mac n’cheese
  • Potluck: loaded baked potato salad, seven-layer salad
  • Dips: grilled guacamole, corn dip, chili cheese dip, pizza dip
  • Sips: strawberry rosemary moonshine, Grandma’s sweet tea
  • Somethin’ Sweet: banana pudding parfaits, Mema’s carrot cake

Packed with big flavor and simple enough for a beginner home cook to master, Upscale Downhome focuses on great-tasting food and beautiful presentation that is guaranteed to impress. This is the kind of food that we all like to eat, served up with a chic twist.

Rachel joins us with a fully-leaded, tasty preview.

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosThanksgiving dinner is upon us. If you’re cooking the Thanksgiving feast at home it can be a stressful time. To the rescue comes our own Chef Andrew Gruel, a real working chef.

He has some useful tips for preparing the Thanksgiving meal with a minimum of aggravation.

Bring on the seasoned stuffing…

Dorie Greenspan and her cookbook Dories CookiesOver the course of her incredible baking career, Dorie Greenspan (a 3-time James Beard Award-winner) has created more than 300 cookie recipes. Yet she has never written a book about them—until now. To merit her “three purple stars of approval,” every cookie had to be so special that it begged to be made again and again. Just in time for the Holidays is Dorie’s Cookies. It’s her 12th cookbook.

Cookies for every taste and occasion are here. There are company treats like Portofignos, with chocolate dough and port-soaked figs, and lunch-box Blueberry Buttermilk Pie Bars. They Might Be Breakfast Cookies are packed with goodies—raisins, dried apples, dried cranberries, and oats— while Almond Crackle Cookies have just three ingredients.

There are dozens of choices for the Christmas cookie swaps, including Little Rascals (German jam sandwich cookies with walnuts), Italian Saucissons (chocolate log cookies studded with dried fruit), and Snowy-Topped Brownie Drops. And who but America’s favorite baker could devise a cookie as intriguing as Pink-Peppercorn Thumbprints or as popular as the World Peace Cookie, with its 59 million Internet fans?

“This is such an exciting book for me. It’s got a whole new look and a cover that’s my favorite color: Purple! Oh, and it’s got recipes, of course. Lots of them. There are cookies of every kind imaginable and some that you might not have imagined. You’ll be surprised at how many of our favorite sweets can be cookie-ized.” – Dorie Greenspan

“There are everyday cookies and cookies for weekends (recipes that take a bit more time), holidays (you’ll be everyone’s fav at this year’s cookie swaps) and celebrations. There are bars and brownies and biscotti and the kinds of cookies that make big batches for parties. And there are all the recipes for the cookies that I created for Beurre & Sel, the cookie adventure that Joshua, my son, and I launched a few years ago. In the front of this beautiful (chubby) book there’s a Cookie-Making Handbook that guarantees that every cookie you make will be perfect, even if you’re new to the craft.” – Dorie Greenspan

Inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, Dorie Greenspan is also the author of Around My French Table, a New York Times bestseller that was named Cookbook of the Year by the IACP; Baking Chez Moi; and Baking: From My Home to Yours, a James Beard Award winner. She lives in Westbrook, Connecticut, and Paris.

Bacon Blue Burger at Simmzy'sGrass-fed beef is of the moment right now. Is it really better than the traditional corn-fed beef? What is the difference in flavor once the beef is cooked ?

Our incredibly knowledgeable Meatheads from West Cost Prime Meats (Jay Henderson and Terry Hanks) are back to enlighten us.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Rachel Hollis, The Chic Site, Upscale Downhome – Family Recipes All Gussied Up
Segment Three: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Four: Baker Dorie Greenspan, Dorie’s Cookies Part One
Segment Five: Baker Dorie Greenspan, Dorie’s Cookies Part Two
Segment Six: The Meatheads from West Coast Prime Meats, Terry Hanks & Jay Henderson

November 12: Vincenso Loseto, Meathead Goldwyn, Brooke Williamson, Marriott CasaMagna

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.
Segment Two: Chef Vincenzo Loseto, The Nomad, Ment’or BKB Foundation’s 2016 Young Chef Competition Winner
Segment Three: Meathead Goldwyn, AmazingRibs.com, Meathead – The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling Part One
Segment Four: Meathead Goldwyn, AmazingRibs.com, Meathead – The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling Part Two
Segment Five: Restaurateur, Chef and “Top Chef” Alum Brooke Williamson, Da Kikokiko, Hudson House, The Tripel and Playa Provisions
Segment Six: Tequila Sommelier Audrey Formisano, Marriott Resort CasaMagna, Puerto Vallarta

Now a provocatively tempting preview of Saturday’s full-measure show and 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…

The Ment’or BKB Foundation (founded by Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and Jerome Bocuse) supports Team USA at the Bocuse d’Or International culinary competition and mentors up-and-coming culinary talent in the USA. Earlier this year Chef Vincenzo Loseto of The Nomad in New York won the prestigious honors as the 2016 Young Chef. He’s been on quite a ride since then. We’ll meet him.

One of our favorite guests of 2016 is the always-opinionated Meathead Goldwyn the founder of AmazingRibs.com, the hugely popular grilling and barbecue website. He’s also known as the barbecue whisperer. His new book is Meathead : The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling. Meathead joins us with some unexpected but hugely practical tips for preparing the Thanksgiving feast.

Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 10 alum Brooke Williamson and her husband/co-chef Nick Roberts have debuted their 4th restaurant in Playa Vista on the Runway. It’s the fast-casual, Hawaiian-themed, street-food oriented, Da Kikokiko. Chef Brooke joins us to share the inviting aloha spirit.

Tequila can only come from certain areas of Mexico and the State of Jalisco is famous for their blue agave which is the base for authentic Tequila. The Marriott Resort CasaMagna has a resident Tequila Sommelier and a fascinating Tequila program. We’ll meet her. Bring on the aged Anejo.

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

Vincenso Loseto of Team USA at the BOcuse D'orThe Ment’or BKB Foundation (founded by Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and Jerome Bocuse) supports Team USA at the Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition and mentors up-and-coming culinary talent in the USA. Earlier this year Chef Vincenzo Loseto of The Nomad in New York won the prestigious honors as the 2016 Young Chef. He’s been on quite a ride since then. We’ll meet him.

Vincenzo’s winning presentation was Veal Tenderloin with Oyster Mushroom and Herb Mousseline. The judges included Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, Jerome Bocuse and Team USA 2015 alum, Chef Philip Tessier.

Since then Chef Vincenzo has staged at Noma in Copenhagen, one of the World’s most acclaimed restaurants. He was also just with Team USA in Lyon in advance of the 2017 Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition.

Chef Vincenzo will also preview the Bocuse d’Or 2017 Team USA VIP Experience. Talk about the ultimate gift for a very special foodie…

Meathead GoldwynOne of our favorite guests of 2016 is Meathead Goldwyn, the founder of AmazingRibs.com, the hugely popular grilling and barbecue website. He’s also known as the barbecue whisperer.

His new book is Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling. Meathead joins us with some unexpected but practical tips for preparing the traditional Thanksgiving feast.

Let’s not stuff the bird in the traditional way. Instead, make mufflings (stuffing prepared and baked in muffin pans.) Also, so all parts of the turkey cook evenly on the grill butterfly or spatchcock the bird.

For accurate temperature control always use a digital thermometer. It’s much more reliable. For cooking the bird Meathead suggests smoking or grilling. This opens up critical oven space for baking pies.

“Understanding is the first step in mastery. This book (MEATHEAD) explains the science of barbecuing and grilling in lay terms. Along the way, I use science to filter the hogwash, bust the myths, and take down the old husbands’ tales and canards passed along by pit masters whose rituals that have gone largely untested since that first forest fire.” Meathead Goldwyn – From the Introduction.

Brooke Williamson of Hudson House and TripelBravo’s “Top Chef” Season 10 alum, Brooke Williamson and her husband/co-chef Nick Roberts have just debuted their 4th restaurant in Playa Vista on the Runway. It’s the fast-casual, Hawaiian-themed, street-food oriented Da Kikokiko. It’s Family-friendly, too.

“When brainstorming ideas a few years ago for our next restaurant, we knew we wanted to open a Hawaiian spot, since we love Asian flavors and felt there was a need for good, authentic Hawaiian cuisine in Los Angeles that went beyond poké,” says Brooke and Nick. “It’s why Da Kikokiko also offers musubi and shave ice, since it gives guests variety and lets us have a bit more fun in the kitchen. There’s also a casualness, yet approachability to Hawaiian food, which we strive for at all of our restaurants, and the cuisine has loads of flavor but is still fresh.”

Created by Brooke and Nick, the menu lends itself to authentic island flavors with Asian influences, and makes for an ideal lunch, dinner, or beach trip snack. Celebrating one of Hawaii’s most popular street foods, Da Kikokiko offers musubi made traditionally with grilled SPAM on top of a block of rice, and wrapped with dried nori seaweed, plus innovative twists with contemporary protein and vegetable options like teriyaki chicken, yuzu kosho salmon, and sesame miso zucchini.

Customizable poké bowls are available with a variety of base mixes, proteins, sauces, and toppings to select from. ogonori, cilantro, and sesame, plus more.

To cap off the Hawaiian experience, guests can enjoy refreshing shave ice with housemade organic syrups like hibiscus-currant, mango-jasmine, yuzu, matcha, Kona coffee, and pineapple, along with toppings such as li hing mui (salty dried plum) powder and condensed milk. Making it extra indulgent, guests can also add a scoop of housemade vanilla and coconut ice cream, or lilikoi sorbet, from Brooke and Nick’s artisanal ice cream shop Small Batch, located inside nearby Playa Provisions.

For “Top Chef” fans please know Chef Brooke returns as an encore “Cheftestant” for Season 14 starting in early December.

Chef Brooke joins us to share the aloha spirit.

Audrey FormisanoGenuine Tequila can only come from certain areas of Mexico and the State of Jalisco is famous for their blue agave which is the base for authentic Tequila. The accommodating Marriott Resort CasaMagna in Puerto Vallarta’s Marina zone has a resident Tequila Sommelier and a fascinating on-site Tequila program. We’ll meet her. Bring on the aged Anejo.

CasaMagna has their own, on-property agave garden. CasaMagna Tequila (only available there) is distilled in five styles including Blanco, Joven, Reposado, and Anejo. They also offer over 114 different varieties of Tequila from other producers at the resort for the guests’ sipping pleasure.

Audrey hosts highly-rated Weekly Tasting Classes. These include colorful commentary on the mythical origins of the drink as well as the modern state of the tequila industry.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.
Segment Two: Chef Vincenzo Loseto, The Nomad, Ment’or BKB Foundation’s 2016 Young Chef Competition Winner
Segment Three: Meathead Goldwyn, AmazingRibs.com, Meathead – The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling Part One
Segment Four: Meathead Goldwyn, AmazingRibs.com, Meathead – The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling Part Two
Segment Five: Restaurateur, Chef and “Top Chef” Alum Brooke Williamson, Da Kikokiko, Hudson House, The Tripel and Playa Provisions
Segment Six: Tequila Sommelier Audrey Formisano, Marriott Resort CasaMagna, Puerto Vallarta