Show 237, August 19, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a tantalizing preview of this Saturday’s bubbling over show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Travel journalists and chefs Phyllis Hinz and Lamont Mackay have taken on a new life chapter as the well-traveled, “The Cooking Ladies.”

The pair of RV-travel companions have decades of culinary wisdom behind them and thousands of miles of blacktop in the rear-view mirror. Their entertaining new cookbook and travel journal is On The Road With The Cooking Ladies – Let’s Get Grilling. We’ll meet them.

Time to pull the cork on another installment of accessible wine wisdom from our resident (and down-to-earth) wine authority Kyle Meyer, the Managing Partner of Wine Exchange. What wines pair best with SoCal’s engagingly eclectic varieties of cuisine including Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and Mexican? Think lightly fruity wines. Also, the new Spanish and Italian whites matched with seafood. A myriad of appealing possibilities…

Hatch Chile season is upon us! Fresh Hatch Chiles, grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico, are available for just a few short weeks each year in August and September. Many connoisseurs consider them the world’s tastiest chiles. Melissa’s World Variety Produce has led the charge in popularizing the coveted Hatch Chiles and developing many great recipes using them. Their Corporate Chef, Ida Rodriguez, joins us to discuss the joys of Hatch Chile season. Chef Ida grew up with Hatch Chiles.

Santa Ana’s The Blinking Owl Distillery is the very first craft distillery in Orange County. The Blinking Owl is one of the first distilleries in the state of California to hold the Type 74 Craft Distillers License allowing them to operate their own tasting room and sell a few bottles there. The Distillery makes Vodka, Gin, several types of Whiskey, and the Scandinavian spirit, Aquavit.

Our always on-the-go show Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, has been on the road extensively since he was last in-studio. The ambitious itinerary was production for Food Network, New Jersey, New York, London, Orlando, Washington, D.C. and now a new Slapfish opening in Sandy, Utah. We’ll reel him in from the kitchen for a visit.

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

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Show 237, August 19, 2017: Phyllis Hinz & Lamont Mackay, The Cooking Ladies Part One

Phyllis Hinz and Lamont Mackay are the Cooking LadiesAccomplished travel journalists and chefs, Phyllis Hinz and Lamont Mackay. have taken on a new life chapter as the well-traveled “The Cooking Ladies.”

The pair of RV-travel companions have decades of culinary wisdom behind them and thousands of miles of blacktop in the rear-view mirror. Their entertaining new cookbook and travel journal (their 10th) is On The Road With The Cooking Ladies – Let’s Get Grilling. We’ll meet them.

In Let’s Get Grilling, The Cooking Ladies set their GPS coordinates to North America’s greatest grilling destinations, with over a hundred ready-to-grill recipes inspired by their travels. The Cooking Ladies highlight North American grilling cuisine at its finest. It’s a testament to the people and places that make this food all that it can be.

Interspersed with freewheeling tales of life on the road, Let’s Get Grilling maps out easy-to-follow directions for preparing the best smoked meats, grilled veggies, cookout staples, and much more.

 

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Show 237, August 19, 2017: Phyllis Hinz & Lamont Mackay, The Cooking Ladies Part Two

Phyllis Hinz and Lamont Mackay are the Cooking LadiesAccomplished travel journalists, cookbook authors and chefs, Phyllis Hinz and Lamont Mackay. have taken on a new life chapter as the well-traveled “The Cooking Ladies.” We continue our conversation with them.

The pair of RV-travel companions have decades of culinary wisdom behind them and thousands of miles of blacktop in the rear-view mirror. Their entertaining new cookbook and travel journal is On The Road With The Cooking Ladies – Let’s Get Grilling.

The book chronicles their latest adventure, collecting tales of culinary and cultural encounters from roadhouses to back country smoke pits, with recipes that pay tribute to the do-it-yourself spirit of the classic North American cookout.

Having surveyed a whole continent of grilling ideas, The Cooking Ladies encourage readers to expand their own horizons with regional specialties like Hot Brown and Brined Turkey Breast or Loco Moco, alongside dozens of unbeatable recipes for ribs, roasts, chicken wings, pork loin, grilled veggies, and much, much more.

We discuss some of their nine years of travel adventures in Bar Harbor, Maine, The Big Island of Hawaii, Temecula, CA and Northern Alabama and other destinations which inspired recipes in the book.

 

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Show 237, August 19, 2017: Kyle Meyer, Wine Exchange, Wine Pairing Wisdom

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeTime to pull the cork on another installment of accessible and genuinely useful wine wisdom from our resident (and down-to-earth) wine authority Kyle Meyer, the Managing Partner of Wine Exchange.

What wines pair best with SoCal’s engagingly eclectic varieties of cuisine including Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and Mexican? Think lightly fruity wines. Perhaps a bone-dry Riesling.

Also, the new Spanish and Italian whites from, perhaps, unfamiliar grape varieties matched with seafood. Think Chenin Blanc, Albarino and Vermentino…A myriad of appealing possibilities…

 

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Show 237, August 19, 2017: Melissa’s Corporate Chef, Ida Rodriguez. Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook

Chef Ida Rodriquez of Melissas World Variety ProduceHatch Chile season is upon us! Fresh Hatch Chiles, grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico, are available for just a few short weeks each year in August and September. Many connoisseurs consider them the world’s tastiest chiles.

Once roasted, Hatch Chiles are easy to peel and seed. Roasting heightens the robust earthy flavor of the chiles and the texture of the thick walls of the chile pod becomes lusciously rich. These unique qualities, and the pepper’s variable heat (unlike other chile peppers, Hatch Chiles come in varieties that cover the full spectrum of heat levels) have earned Hatch Chiles great popularity far beyond the local community of Hatch, New Mexico.

Melissa’s World Variety Produce has led the charge in popularizing the coveted Hatch Chiles and developing many great recipes using them. From now through mid-September Melissa’s will be sponsoring weekend Hatch Chile Roasting parties at area supermarkets including at select Gelson’s and Bristol Farms. Check the Melissa’s website for locations, dates and times. The roasting is conveniently included in the price of the case of chiles.

Melissa’s website has lots of good information on Hatch Chiles. Recipes are there, too, including Hatch Chile Guacamole, Hatch Chile Chili and Hatch Chile Salsa.

Melissa’s Corporate Chef, Ida Rodriguez, joins us to discuss the joys of Hatch Chile season.

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Show 237, August 19, 2017: Robin & Brian Christenson, Founders, Blinking Owl Distillery, Santa Ana

Brian and Robin ChristensonSanta Ana’s The Blinking Owl Distillery is the very first craft distillery in Orange County. The Blinking Owl is one of the first distilleries in the state of California to hold the Type 74 Craft Distillers License allowing them to operate their own tasting room and sell a few bottles there. The Distillery makes Vodka, Gin, several types of Whiskey, and the Scandinavian spirit, Aquavit.

“We are locavores, grain nerds, and control freaks so we decided to actually make our booze the long way: from grain rather than pre-made spirit. We mill it, mash it, ferment it, distill it, and, in the case of whiskey, barrel age it (which means we will not have a 9-year old Bourbon to sell until 9 years from now).”

“The Founder, Brian Christenson, had a bootlegging great-grandfather, Fred P. Armbrust. Fred had a still on his dairy farm hidden in the basement behind secret passageways. He would covertly provide his local farmers with his “good spirits”. Brian’s dream is to carry on Fred’s passion by providing “good spirits” to our very own neighborhood, legally, of course!”

Brian and Robin Christenson, longtime Santa Ana residents, had heard stories of the midcentury “Blinking Owl Bar” on the corner of Birch and Third Streets, known for an iconic owl sign that would “blink”. Inspired by the craft cocktail movement, the farm-to-table food movement, and current thriving craft distilleries, the husband and wife team saw an opportunity to bring a local distillery to the neighborhood, paying homage to the history of Santa Ana.”

Brian & Robin step out from behind the long bar in their Tasting Room to join us.

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Show 237, August 19, 2017: Robin & Brian Christenson, Founders, Blinking Owl Distillery, Santa Ana Continue…

Brian and Robin ChristensonSanta Ana’s The Blinking Owl Distillery is the very first craft distillery in Orange County. The Blinking Owl is one of the first distilleries in the state of California to hold the Type 74 Craft Distillers License allowing them to operate their own tasting room and sell a few bottles there. The Distillery makes Vodka, Gin, several types of Whiskey, and the Scandinavian spirit, Aquavit.’

The Products

BLINKING OWL VODKA
42.5% ABV (85 PROOF)
“Blinking Owl Vodka has stunning earthiness, subtle flavor and rich, full-bodied mouth feel. Distilled in house from organic wheat grown in California, and our unique twist from the organic malted barley that was added to the mash bill adding hints of sweet vanilla and caramel. Distilled in our Carl still from Germany (that includes 34 rectification plates alongside a pot still), Blinking Owl Vodka transfers the essence from the grain it was made from to the glass.”

BLINKING OWL
OC ORANGE
Flavored Vodka
42.5% ABV (85 PROOF)
“Beginning with our beautiful Vodka, we add 130 pounds of whole Valencia oranges that come from Heritage Museum of Orange County. We hand-cut the oranges and let the entire orange soak (including flesh, pith, juice and peel) in the Vodka overnight. The vodka is then re-distilled with oranges added to our vapor basket in the still. The combination of natural orange macerations and vapor distillation to an already rich, sweet vodka base creates a true orange essence to this flavored vodka that is full-bodied and delicious. Heritage Museum of Orange County.”

BLINKING OWL AQUAVIT
42.5% ABV (85 PROOF)
“We set out to make an aquavit reminiscent of the great Aquavits of Scandinavia but with a California twist. After crafting our base spirit with organic wheat and malted barley, we macerate 10 gorgeous organic botanicals (with a final steep in Caraway, leaving a natural golden hue). The primary flavors of our Aquavit are caraway, fresh dill, and hibiscus (the flower of Santa Ana), with undertones of fennel and cardamom. The result is a complex aquavit that can served chilled as a digestif or can add incredible flavors to a variety of cocktails.”

OLD TOM Barrel Vacationed GIN
48% ABV (96 PROOF)
“Our super special limited release of Old Tom Barrel Vacationed Gin is coming out soon!

We get a limited number of late harvest semillon wine barrels from a prestigious Napa producer each year. These particular barrels not only allow the Gin to age, but they also impart a hint of sweetness from the late harvest semillon they were previously holding.

This BARREL VACATIONED OLD TOM GIN basically took a vacation in the barrels for approximately 3 months, got a nice tan, and picked up a lucious hint of sweetness (thus we categorized it as an Old Tom). No sugar, flavoring, or coloring was added. The end result is pure, delicious liquid gold!”

Many have been waiting and asking to get on the presale list. The Gin is ready, it will be bottled soon at 48% ABV and released late-August. Each bottle will be numbered for this annual release and will only be sold from our tasting room.

This is owner, Robin Christenson’s, personal favorite and she having a very tough time not buying all of this gin herself. BUT she has decided to find it in her heart to share (at least some of it).”

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Show 237, August 19, 2017: Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder & CEO, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew and William GruelOur always on-the-go show Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, has been on the road extensively since he was last in-studio. The ambitious itinerary was production for Food Network, New Jersey, New York, London, Orlando, Washington, D.C. and now a new Slapfish opening in Sandy, Utah.

We’ll reel him in from the Slapfish kitchen in Sandy, Utah for a visit. (This is actually the 2nd Slapfish in Utah.)

Among other items of interest Chef Andrew revisits the very much in the news, Bluefin Tuna. His best advice is to let the beleaguered fish replenish itself in peace. Fortunately it’s an easy fish to substitute something more sustainable in place of it.

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Show 236, August 12, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a tantalizing preview of this Saturday’s abundant show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

The new The Mar Vista restaurant in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles is a chef-driven, food-first experience with locally sourced farm-to-table ingredients, unusual & rare- label wines and an eclectic lineup of live music. The culinary personalities behind it are Executive Chefs D. Brandon Walker and Jill Davie. It’s dinner nightly and Sunday Brunch. We’ll meet “Chef D.”

Out regular contributor, Anita Lau, “diary of a Mad Hungry Woman” blogger, is just back from a visit to the ever-evolving Hong Kong. She will share a pair of her memorable Hong Kong dining experiences, Haku and Ju Xing Home. It’s the last Weekend of DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week. Anita has her Top 10 picks posted on her Website but provides us with two suggestions for now or future dining.

When we last visited Victor Novak, the accomplished Brewmaster for Golden Road Brewing, he had just started brewing in Anaheim in a new facility located just across the street (E. Orangewood Ave.) from Angel Stadium. In addition to the existing Taproom a distinctive brewery restaurant and expansive outdoor beer garden are moving toward completion. Victor joins us with the effervescent update.

The Meatheads from West Coast Prime Meats, Terry Hanks and Jay Henderson, are back with us. In the smoker is advancing the great BBQ debate about which rates higher between Brisket and Tri-Tip. The Meatheads have spirited opinions. Also, some good information on the lesser known cuts of beef that are worthy of your attention, versatile and value priced.

Nutritionist & Chef Patricia Greenberg runs The Fitness Gourmet ushering in a new era of bite-size livable health, nutrition and fitness solutions. Her new cookbook, written with her teen-age daughter, Gabriella, is Scrumptious Sandwiches, Salads and Snacks – Simple, healthy recipes, for school, work and home. We’ll chat about healthy eating that also tastes good with The Fitness Gourmet.

CHAYA Downtown has established a popular tradition of hosting an annual summer festival. On now for weekdays through August 31st is the CHAYA Downtown Summer Festival 2017. It’s a Japanese beer garden, yakitori, sorbet cocktails, sake, video games, air hockey, foosball, shuffleboard and more. Second generation CHAYA proprietor Yuta Tsunoda joins us with the celebratory 411.

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

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Show 236, August 12, 2017: Chef D. Brandon Walker, The Mar Vista, Los Angeles

Derek Brandon WalkerThe new The Mar Vista restaurant in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles is a chef-driven, food-first experience with locally sourced farm-to-table ingredients, unusual & rare-label wines and an eclectic lineup of live music. The culinary personalities behind it are Executive Chefs D. Brandon Walker and Jill Davie. It’s dinner nightly and Sunday Brunch.

The Mar Vista’s menu, affectionately dubbed progressive Los Angeles cuisine, features renditions of local favorites enhanced by wide-ranging flavors from L.A.’s diverse communities. Walker, Davie, and Chef de Cuisine Jorge Rivas infuse dishes with flavors from North Africa, Central America, Asia, and the Mediterranean to represent the varied diaspora. Daily specials, a Brazilian churrasco, and Davie’s signature Cranked, a tableside device that uses vintage grinders to make “ugly” fruit into granita, complete the offerings.

Further enriching the community-driven concept, The Mar Vista presents live music performances on Friday and Saturday evenings with a late-night menu accompanying the mellow sounds from a bluegrass or jazz band, among others.

We’ll meet the always energetic “Chef D.”

 

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