Show 256, January 13, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel

Now an enticing 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… Keep in mind we’re always here with you live every Saturday morning throughout the new year.

Surprisingly craft beer is still a bit of a novelty in Mexico due to some odd distribution regulations. Fortunately (due to very hard work among dedicated & patient beer aficionados) these archaic regulations have been relaxed in the last few years and craft beers can now reach thirsty restaurants and bars. In Sunny Puerto Vallarta the first craft brewery to gain traction is the growing Los Muertos Brewery. We’ll enjoy a cold one with founder, Conner Watts.

January 27th marks the return of Orange County’s all-noodle-everything food festival, NOODS NOODS NOODS, presented by Foodbeast. This wild and unrestrained food festival will feature some of the craziest, most delicious, and inspired noodle creations. Foodbeast Founder Elie Ayrouth joins us with the slurp-worthy details.

Chef Neal Fraser of Redbird in Downtown Los Angeles is the Host Chef for the upcoming C-CAP Los Angeles Full Circle Winter Dinner Benefit on February 9th. Chef Neal has assembled an impressive group of celebrity chefs to join him for the stellar evening. We’ll pull Chef Neal out of the busy Redbird and Vibiana kitchens to provide a tempting preview.

All sports fans anticipate putting their brackets together for the college basketball championships. Why not a craft beer bracket competition with great prizes and samples of unique craft beers from 14 small producers along the way? For the 3rd year the ever-creative Jon Sanchez, the proprietor of the popular Native Son Alehouse in Downtown Santa Ana, has done just that. Every Thursday night, with the finals on March 29th, craft brewers are competing head-to-head in pairs. Jon taps the keg on the spirited competition just for us.

On the horizon is the culmination of SideDoor’s current cheese series. On January 17th it’s the Ultimate Cheese & Charcuterie Backyard Party at Corona del Mar’s SideDoor. Their own resident certified expert cheese monger, Tracy Nelsen is our guest.

Situated inside Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard, Tierra Sur Restaurant contin­ues to receive national recognition as one of the finest restaurants in Southern California. Head Chef Gabriel Garcia and his team bring bold and exciting ideas to life – while using only seasonal ingredients, sourced fresh from local farm­ers. Year over year, Tierra Sur has deservedly received the highest ZAGAT ratings in Ventura County. Chef Gabe uncorks the unusual experience for us.

Our always dynamic Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is back in-studio from his recent adventures in Park City, Utah where he has just debuted the third Slapfish in Utah. Chef Andrew will share (and explain) some important hospitality business trends he sees for 2018. Is delivery a growing trend for better restaurants? Is ticketing (and paying in advance) for fine dining a viable business model? Is a cashless restaurant good hospitality? This is another chapter of his conversation continued from the previous weeks.

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

Play

Show 256, January 13, 2018: Conner Watts, Founder, Los Muertos Brewery, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Conner WattsSurprisingly craft beer is still a bit of a novelty in Mexico due to some odd distribution regulations. Fortunately (due to very hard work among dedicated & patient beer aficionados) these archaic regulations have been relaxed in the last few years and local craft beers can now reach restaurants and bars. In Sunny Puerto Vallarta the first craft brewery and brewpub to gain traction is the growing Los Muertos Brewery.

“For years during the proliferation of tourism in Mexican beach destinations like Puerto Vallarta the beer scene was completely dominated by smooth drinking Mexican lagers. As demonstrated by every Corona commercial ever this is great for sitting on a beach. To this day many tourists think of a “local” Mexican beers as Corona, Pacifico, or Dos Equis XX. But as a growing number of beer drinkers are pushing craft tastes into the mainstream these standard macro beers definitely leave many connoisseurs wanting more. Upon relocating full time to Puerto Vallarta, the founders of Los Muertos could not have agreed more. Driven by the thirst for flavorful varieties of beer, bringing Vallarta its first craft brewery became their dream.”

Los Muertos Brewery has become a popular destination for locals, visitors from other parts of Mexico, South America and the US, as well as American ex-pats now living in Vallarta.

Expansion is on the way. A new building a few doors away from the existing brewery restaurant has been secured. It will be expanded brewing capacity alongside a different food concept. Stay tuned…

We’ll enjoy a cold one with founder & restaurateur Conner Watts.

Play

Show 256, January 13, 2018: Elie Ayrouth, Founder of Foodbeast, Noods Noods Noods

Elie AyrouthJanuary 27th marks the return of Orange County’s all-noodle-everything food festival, NOODS NOODS NOODS, presented by Foodbeast. This wild and unrestrained food festival will feature some of the craziest, most delicious, and inspired noodle creations.

Event Date: January 27th, 2018
Event Location: Downtown Santa Ana, outside of Esports Arena at 120 W 5th st, Santa Ana CA 92701

Standard Ticket Price: $10 Marketplace | $60 VIP

Tickets for NOODS NOODS NOODS can be purchased right here.

Listen to the podcast to obtain a special discount offer for VIP admission exclusively for our listeners. It does sell out!

Foodbeast Founder Elie Ayrouth joins us with the slurp-worthy details.

Play

Show 256, January 13, 2018: Executive Chef Neal Fraser, Redbird & Vibiana, Downtown L.A.

Neal FraserChef Neal Fraser of Redbird in Downtown Los Angeles is the Host Chef for the upcoming C-CAP Los Angeles Full Circle Winter Dinner Benefit on February 9th. Chef Neal has assembled an impressive group of celebrity chefs to join him for the stellar evening.

It’s 6:30 p.m. for the Cocktail Reception featuring a specialty libation created by mixologist Devon Espinosa of Sunset & Vinyl and also a C-CAP alum. The grand, five-course premium wine & craft beer-paired Dinner (and the Live Auction) is set for 7:30 p.m.

The A-List chef brigade stars Host Chef Neal Fraser, Josiah Citrin (Melisse), Ben Ford (Ford’s Filling Station), Ray Garcia & Ivan Marquez (Broken Spanish), David LeFevre (Manhattan Beach Post), Jason Neroni (Rose Cafe), Amar Santana (Vaca & Broadway by Amar Santana), Michael Voltaggio (ink.well) and Sherry Yard (iPic Entertainment).

We also caught Chef Neal on national TV in colorful chef’s attire riding on the front of the Kaiser Permanente 2018 Rose Parade float. The float was named “Inspiring Healthy Communities.” We’ll ask Chef Neal about this unusual New Year’s Day honor.

We’ll pull Chef Neal out of the busy Redbird and Vibiana kitchens to provide a tempting preview.

Play

Show 256, January 13, 2018: Jon Sanchez, Proprietor, Native Son Alehouse, Santa Ana

Jon SanchezAll sports fans eagerly anticipate putting their brackets together for the college basketball championships also known as March Madness. Why not a craft beer bracket competition with great prizes and samples of unique craft beers from 14 small producers?

For the 3rd year the ever- creative Jon Sanchez, the proprietor of the popular Native Son Alehouse in Downtown Santa Ana, has done just that. Every Thursday night, with the finals on March 29th, craft brewers are competing head-to-head in pairs. All participants were invited by the staff at Native Son Alehouse.

Already decided are the matchups between Artifex and Cellador Ales, and Mikkeller and Homage Brewing.

At any given time Native Son rotates a carefully hand-picked selection of 27 craft beer styles for their discriminating guests to enjoy. A new addition is the Ember BBQ kitchen serving Kansas City-style barbecue. We’ll be visiting with the dedicated culinary team of Embers BBQ on January 27th.

Jon taps the keg on the spirited competition just for us.

Play

Show 256, January 13, 2018: Tracy Nelsen, Cheese Monger, SideDoor, Corona del Mar

Tracy NelsenIt’s the culmination of SideDoor’s current cheese series. On January 17th it’s the Ultimate Cheese & Charcuterie Backyard Party at Corona del Mar’s SideDoor.

SideDoor is known for its award-winning cheese and charcuterie offerings, and in 2017 began presenting a new series dedicating one evening a month to boutique creameries and specialty cheeses. A different creamery is featured at each event, and twice a year the series culminates in the ultimate celebration of fromage with the Cheese & Charcuterie Backyard Party – the next taking place on Wednesday, January 17, 2018.

The evening will showcase the previous four creameries of the series including Jasper Hill (September 2017), Rogue (October 2017), French Theme (November 2017), and Andante (December 2017), and offer cheese, charcuterie, passed appetizers and beverage pairings. SideDoor’s own certified expert and cheese monger, Tracy Nelsen, will be on hand to educate guests on the various cheeses presented and to recommend the perfect pairings.

SideDoor is Corona del Mar’s first and only English gastropub. A red key hangs over the entryway on Poppy Street as an unspoken invitation to indulge in world-class spirits, craft beer and wine flights.

SideDoor’s resident certified expert cheese monger, Tracy Nelsen is our guest.

Play

Show 256, January 13, 2018: Chef Gabriel Garcia, Tierra Sur Restaurant at Herzog Wine Cellars, Oxnard

Gabriel GarciaSituated inside Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard, Tierra Sur Restaurant contin­ues to receive national recognition as one of the finest restaurants in Southern California. Head Chef Gabriel Garcia and his team bring bold and exciting ideas to life – while using only seasonal ingredients, sourced fresh from local farm­ers. Year over year, Tierra Sur has deservedly received the highest ZAGAT ratings in Ventura County.

Modern and inspired New American fare, and the ambiance of dining inside of the area’s largest winery delight guests of this truly one of a kind, farm-to-table concept. It’s unusually a kosher restaurant but you don’t have to be Jewish (or keep kosher) to fully appreciate the fine food or refined atmosphere.

Being located in the center of the region’s largest winery has its benefits; guests may order from a special ‘Wine Tasters Menu’ and enjoy a three -course prix fixe selection, each paired with Herzog Special Reserve award-winning wines. Whether stopping on the way to Santa Barbara, or traveling to Ventura County – Tierra Sur offers exceptional dining and a charming stop along the way.

Chef Gabe gently pulls the cork on the unusual experience for us.

Play

Show 256, January 13, 2018: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur always dynamic Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is back in-studio from his recent adventures in Park City, Utah where he has just debuted the third Slapfish in Utah. Chef Andrew will share (and explain) some important hospitality business trends he sees for 2018.

Is delivery a growing trend for better restaurants? Is ticketing (and paying in advance) for fine dining a viable business model? This is another chapter of his conversation continued from the previous weeks.

Next week is a discussion of the “cashless” restaurant. Is this good for promoting welcoming hospitality?

Play

Show 255, January 6, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel

Happy New Year.

Now an abundant preview of Saturday’s salivating show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday morning throughout the new year.

No leftovers here.

It’s the beginning of another year of enticing food & beverage festivals in sunny Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. Upcoming is the 5th edition of the popular Ceviche and Aguachile Festival on Sunday afternoon, January 28th. Festival Producer Edgar Cisneros has the tempting preview.

Restaurateur Ray Lasher surprised the Long Beach dining community when he closed the original Lasher’s in 2012 after a 15-year run. He’s now back in Belmont Shore on E. 2nd Street with a revised concept, Lasher’s Kitchen. Executive Chef & Partner Raquel Jubran has returned to create the refreshed menu. She joins us.

We last spoke with Chef Brendan Collins when he was running the underappreciated Birch located on a side street just off Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood. He is now back on the Westside creating the rejuvenated menu at The Wilshire Restaurant in Santa Monica. Guests have already noticed the new energy there along with the refreshed commitment to service. The Roast has moved there too, from Noon to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Just before year’s end Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula opened their doors to guests for the first phase of their ambitious $285 million expansion, including 568 new hotel rooms & suites. In the new atrium is The Lobby Bar restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also launched on Thursday nights is the all-you-can enjoy Lobster & Seafood Extravaganza at the Pechanga Buffet. We entice Pechanga’s Executive Chef Duane Owen out of his busy kitchens for the details.

Chef Amar Santana and his business partner, Ahmed Labatte (Broadway by Amar Santana and Vaca in Costa Mesa) had an incredible 2017. Among other notable achievements they hosted one of the premier events celebrating the 50th Anniversary of South Coast Plaza at Vaca. It was a lavish, multi-course dinner matched with outstanding wines to benefit The James Beard Foundation. For late 2018 their new project will be The Hall Global Eatery in South Coast Plaza. Ahmed joins us with a tantalizing sneak preview.

Our always dynamic Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is back in-studio from his adventures in Park City, Utah where he has just debuted the third Slapfish in Utah. Chef Andrew will share (and explain) some important hospitality business trends he sees for 2018. Where is fine-dining headed? This is Part 3 of his conversation continued from the previous two weeks.

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

Play

Show 255, January 6, 2018: 5th Ceviche and Aguachile Festival, Producer Edgar Cisneros, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico

Edgar CisnerosIt’s the beginning of another year of appealing food & beverage festivals in sunny Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. Upcoming is the 5th edition of the ever-popular Ceviche and Aguachile Festival on Sunday afternoon, January 28th.

Puerto Vallarta remains a gastronomic destination with an intriguing variety of high-quality food and libation events held every year that delight both visitors and locals. 2018 starts with the flavors of the sea with the 5th edition of the Festival of Ceviche and Aguachile. Guests can sample more than 30 varieties of exquisite ceviches and aguachiles. Expect a boatload of fresh seafood including marlin, fresh shrimp, tuna, octopus and stingray. Also, Raicilla-based cocktails and local craft beers will be available to purchase.

Think of Aguachile as the chili-spiked version of Mexican ceviche.

The date is Sunday, January 28th from 12 Noon to 7:00 p.m. in Puerto Vallarta’s Lazaro Cardenas Park. Tastes range from a reasonable 15 to 40 pesos per item.

Festival Producer Edgar Cisneros has the tempting preview.

Play