Show 227, June 10, 2017: Commander Robert Durant (retired) & Bill Sutton, Inland Wharf Brewing, Murrieta

Commander Robert Durant of Inland Wharf BrewingOne of the newest craft breweries in the Inland Empire, Murrieta’s Inland Wharf Brewing Co., is part of today’s Microbrew Festival for the very first time. Their specialty is cask conditioned ales which are served (in the English-style) at a higher temperature of 50 degrees than conventional beers on tap.

“The calling card for Inland Wharf Brewing Co. is the unique and labor intensive, Cask Conditioned Ales served via Beer Engines.  In addition, Inland Wharf serves other beers on regular carbon dioxide and nitrogen regulated draft beer taps. Even though our Cask Conditioned Ales and Draft Beers use the same ingredients and recipes, their processing techniques vary widely.”

“The time-honored brewing and serving methods followed by Inland Wharf Brewing Co. ensures the development of exceptional appearance, aroma, and flavors in both its Cask Conditioned Ales and its Draft Beers.”

Inland Wharf Brewing poured their Murrieta Pride English Pale Ale and their West Pac West Coast IPA at the Pechanga Microbrew Festival.

Owners Commander Robert Durant, Brewer (retired) and Bill Sutton (Director of Operations) are our guests.



Show 227, June 10, 2017: Ericka Luna, Director of Catering, Pechanga Resort & Casino

Ericka LunaEricka Luna is Pechanga’s veteran Director of Catering. She first joined Pechanga in 2004 as Manager of Catering and was promoted to her current post in 2010. Erika joins us for a status report on the in-progress, ambitious, $285 million expansion project.

The ambitious project involves adding a new, AAA Four Diamond, 568-room and suite hotel wing; a stand-alone luxury two-story spa and salon with 17 treatment rooms, a fitness center and hydrotherapy pool terrace; a resort-style pool complex with eight pool areas; two new restaurants; and an additional 67,000 square feet of event space.

The new Hotel Tower is on track to welcome guests in December. Just in time for the Holidays. The fabulous Las Vegas-style pool deck with cabanas and all the requisite luxury VIP amenities will debut in the Spring.


Show 227, June 10, 2017: Chef Damian Stanley, Assistant Executive Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino

Danian StanleyChef Damian Stanley is the Assistant Executive Chef at Pechanga. The highlight of his numerous achievements to date is the revamping of the restaurant space that has evolved into the highly successful Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar.

Umi means “sea” in Japanese. On the extensive menu are sushi, sashimi, nigiri, rolls, oysters on the half shell, seafood platters, specialty cocktails and so much more.

He’s also a two-time Pechanga Chili Champ (2014 & 2015) but has gracefully retired from competition to let the individual restaurant chefs have a clear field.

The two new restaurants at Pechanga as part of the ambitious expansion will include an outdoor poolside bar & grill and a Lobby restaurant.


Show 227, June 10, 2017: Sciabica’s California Olive Oil, Modesto

Sciabica's California Olive OilSciabica’s California Olive Oil has been cold pressed in California since 1936. The olive oil is used in the kitchens at Pechanga and Sciabica’s, now in its 4th generation of Family ownership, is part of the Microbrew Festival.

“The Sciabica family’s long tradition of olive oil production began in Sicily, in the olive oil mills of Castelvetrano in the province of Trapani – a region famous for olives and olive oil. In 1887 Nicola (Nick) Sciabica was born in Marsala, Sicily and as a young man, he learned the ancient art of producing olive oil in Trapani.”

“In 1911 Nicola immigrated to the United States, settled and started a family in Waterbury Connecticut, but longed for the warm Mediterranean climate. After many years of searching, he eventually found Modesto, California. He fell in love with Modesto. Nicola said, “This is like home.” and in 1925, with his wife and their 3 sons, he purchased a small ranch in Modesto.”

“11 years later, in 1936, with the knowledge that Nicola brought from olive oil making in Sicily, the Sciabicas began cold-pressing Marsala® Brand Olive Oil (named after his birthplace). Marsala is now the undisputed oldest continuously produced California Olive Oil. Today, the Sciabicas still reside, farm and cold-press olive oil on the same property.”

“In the late 80’s the family pioneered “single varietal” olive oils, keeping individual olive types separate (just like wine). For over 30 years we have been offering our single varietal olive oils under the Sciabica’s® label, ranging from Buttery-Sweet to Peppery & Robust, depending on the olive varietal and season of pressing. In the 90’s the family again blazed a new path with ‘Fresh Flavored’ olive oil, uniquely made fresh in the press by sending fresh fruit, herbs or peppers (such as Lemons, Basil and Jalapeños) with the olives through the presses. 2 ingredients, no artificials or heat infusion, resulting in a remarkable fresh flavor and health experience.”

Jim Livesay is our guest representing Sciabica’s California Olive Oil.



Show 227, June 10, 2017: Tammy Marine, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley

habitat-humanity-inland-valleyHabitat for Humanity Inland Valley is the long-time charitable beneficiary of the Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili Cook-off. The mission of Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley, in partnership with God, is to facilitate the dream of homeownership, as well as improve living conditions for those in the community.

Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley was founded on Christian principles in 1991, as an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, to provide low income housing for families in the Inland Valley.

“We serve the cities of Temecula, Murrieta, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Sun City, Menifee, and Perris. Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally, as well as globally, through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their housing conditions.”

“Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, decent place to live and that it should be a matter of conscience and action for all.”

We’ll meet long-time Executive Director, Tammy Marine.


Show 227, June 10, 2017: Chef Ronnel Capacia, Journey’s End at Pechanga

Ronnel Capacia at the Chili CookoffRegular listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” know Chef Ronnel Capacia as the master of the grill, smoker and pizza oven at Kelsey’s – Great Food & Drinks.

He’s just been promoted to Chef at Journey’s End at Pechanga, the stylish restaurant with incredible views located in the handsome clubhouse of the Journey golf course.

Special Father’s Day Brunch there on June 18th at $39 for Adults and $21 for Children. Everything from a Live Egg & Omelet Station to a Seafood Bar and Carved Roasted Prime Rib station. Also. a Louisiana-Style Seafood Boil.

Chef Ronnel is always a serious competitor (and one to watch) in the annual Pechanga Chili Cook-off.

We’ll get Chef Ronnel off the links for a chat.




Show 226, June 3, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now an enticing preview of this Saturday’s ample, and calorie-packed, 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 that’s probably a pretty good thing…

The madness that is LA Weekly’s 5th Annual Tacolandia presented by Tabasco returns on Saturday, June 17th at El Pueblo de Los Angeles with over 120 taco vendors. The best-of-the-best tacos represented are personally selected by Street Gourmet’s Bill Esparza, known as the Tacorazza. We’ll talk taco with Senor Bill.

The 9th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili Cook-Off taps the craft beer keg in Temecula on Saturday afternoon, June 10th. “The SoCal Restaurant Show” will be live from the Pechanga Grand Ballroom that morning from 10:00 a.m. to 12 Noon. One of the new participating craft breweries at the Microbrew Festival is Breakwater Brewing Co. in Oceanside. Founder Shannon Sager (CEO & GM) is our guest.

You’ve been hearing us talk about OC Foodie Fest’s Pub & Grub – A Culinary Crawl happening in Downtown Santa Ana on Saturday, June 10th. It’s time to get the specifics. Joining us is James Foxall, the curator of Pub & Grub and Chef Jake McPeck of the crowd-pleasing Mess Hall Canteen Food Truck.

The national challenge of The James Beard Foundation’s annual Blended Burger Project is on! Answering the call in the OC is Chef Greg Daniels of Haven Gastropub in Orange with his creation of the Haven Breakfast Burger. We’ll hear all about blended burger deliciousness with Chef Greg and how you can vote in support of Chef Greg’s creation.

Longevity for a restaurant in the highly competitive Los Angeles restaurant arena isn’t an easy thing. Wolfgang Puck’s 2nd fine-dining restaurant in the Los Angeles area after Spago was Chinois on Main in Santa Monica. It launched in 1983 and is still a landmark dining destination in Santa Monica that consistently delivers. GM & Partner Bella Lantsman has, extraordinarily, been there since the beginning. We’ll meet her.

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


Show 226, June 3, 2017: 5th Annual Tacolandia Preview with “Tacorazza” Bill Esparza (The Street Gourmet)

Bill EsparzaThe madness that is LA Weekly’s 5th Annual Tacolandia presented by Tabasco returns on Saturday, June 17th at El Pueblo de Los Angeles with over 120 taco vendors from California, Mexico and beyond. The best-of-the-best tacos represented are personally selected by Street Gourmet’s Bill Esparza, known as the Tacorazza.

Visitors get to enjoy unlimited tastes of these signature tacos. Some are from prized family recipes that have been around for generations. The taco fiesta is paired with some thirst-quenching, ice-cold beer and margaritas.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel will be there with Slapfish. Thinking a lobster taco.

It’s Los Angeles’ largest ticketed taco festival and it continues to grow each year.

VIP is, unfortunately, already sold-out!

We’ll talk taco with Senor Bill.

Bill Esparza is back on the show on June 24th talking about his new book, L.A. Mexicano with a foreward by OC Weekly’s Editor, Gustavo Arellano.


Show 226, June 3, 2017: Shannon Sager, CEO & General Manager, Breakwater Brewing Co., Oceanside

Shannon SagerIf you’ve been wanting to try out the burgeoning Southern California craft brew scene, this June in Temecula is your chance. Craft beer makers throughout Southern California and beyond will all come together in Temecula Wine Country for a festival in support of Habitat for Humanity. The 9thAnnual Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili Cook-off is Saturday, June 10, from 1 – 5 p.m. inside the Pechanga Resort & Casino Grand Ballroom.

One of the new participating craft breweries at the Microbrew Festival is Breakwater Brewing Co. in Oceanside. The restaurant started brewing on-site in early 2009. Their 6.8 per cent Rye Dawn (a Brown Ale brewed with rye, oats, wheat and barley) won a Gold Medal at the 2016 World Beer Cup.

Founder Shannon Sager (CEO & GM) is our guest.

Guests must be 21 or older to attend. For tickets or for more information, visit Pechanga’s Website or call (877) 711-2946.


Show 226, June 3, 2017: James Foxall, Pub & Grub’s Curator & Chef Jake McPeck, The Mess Hall Canteen Food Truck

Jake McPeckYou’ve been hearing us talk about the upcoming OC Foodie Fest’s Pub & Grub – A Culinary Crawl happening in Downtown Santa Ana on Saturday, June 10th. Attendees are invited to “crawl” through Downtown Santa Ana deliciously eating and drinking every step of the way.

It’s Orange County’s most mouth-watering edibles including smothered tots, addictive tacos, and piping hot churros. Multiple bars with craft beer, wine, and outrageous cocktails. Our own Chef Andrew Gruel will be represented there with Two Birds’ drool-worthy, Hot Fried Chicken Sandwiches.

The June 10th event will take place in two parts. The Artisan Bazaar, buy-as-you go area for a modest $10, will run from 12 Noon to 11:00 p.m. Tickets for the 2-sessions of the All-Access Area, all you can eat and drink section are $60. Tickets available now right here.

Joining us with all the details are James Foxall the curator of Pub & Grub and Chef Jake McPeck of the crowd-pleasing Mess Hall Canteen Food Truck. Mess Hall is famous at Festivals for their signature Drunken Sailor Tots. Just look for the long, line line…

Here’s an incredible extra discount for our listeners. Until day of the Festival on June 10th, $30-off discount tickets (half-off) are available for either of the two sessions of All-Access Area. Also, half-off the regular $10 ticket price for the Artisan Bazaar area option. Use the code, “foodiefestfamall in lower case. Jump on this…J