Show 207, January 21, 2017: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer

The Dumpling Trail in Richmond British Columbia“The SoCal Restaurant Show” is going international. On Saturday morning, January 28th the show is live from Richmond, B.C. (“Where the Far East Meets the Canadian West Coast”) for their festive celebration of Chinese New Year.

Now am enticing preview of this Saturday’s overflowing show with Co-Host & Executive Producer Andy Harris. 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 probably a pretty good thing…

The Founder and Co-Proprietor of James Republic Restaurant in Long Beach is Chef Dean James Max of DJM Restaurants, a multiple James Beard Award nominee. His opening Executive Chef there is the talented David MacLennan. In a bit over three years they have made this relaxed vibe restaurant one of the prominent dining destinations in Long Beach. On February 8th at James Republic at Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Long Beach they are presenting a multi-course dining spectacular with Chef Amar Santana to benefit Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.) Chefs Dean & David join us to preview C-CAP’s Winter Harvest Benefit Dinner at James Republic on Wednesday, February 8th.

Our regular Contributor on the San Diego dining scene, Anita Lau, The Diary of a Mad Hungry Woman blogger, joins us. She will provide us with the highlights of her “Best Meal” of 2016. Surprisingly (because Orange County is her regular beat) it turns out to be the destination restaurant in a boutique hotel in Downtown San Diego!

The original Water Grill, one of the area’s premier fine-dining seafood restaurants, opened in Downtown Los Angeles in 1989. There are now busy locations in Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Diego, South Coast Plaza – Costa Mesa, and, just launched this month, Dallas. The new South Coast Plaza location is nearly 18,000 square feet. We’ll meet proprietor & distinguished restaurateur Sam King of King’s Seafood Company.

Chicken is a versatile protein, typically a good value, and much in the news these days. We’re talking Chicken 101 with our resident Meatheads from West Coast Prime Meats, Terry Hanks and Jay Henderson. Between the two of them they clock in with over 50 years of experience in the business!

How about some premium wine to celebrate the New Year? Our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange in Santa Ana, joins us. He’ll preview the expectations for the 2015 vintage in California and we’ll see what else he’ll uncork for us. Always highly informative & entertaining.

We love it when competitive chefs generously donate their time to support a worthy cause. Behold, the Pizza Throwdown on Sunday, January 29th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Master Baker Dean Kim’s OC Baking Co. in Orange benefiting Chef Bill Bracken’s Bracken’s Kitchen (created to help end food insecurity in Orange County and beyond.) Only 100 VIP and General Admission tickets are available.

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

Play

Show 207, January 21, 2017: Executive Chef / Restaurateur Dean James Max of DJM Restaurants & Executive Chef David MacLennan of James Republic, Long Beach

Dean James MaxThe Founder and Co-Proprietor of James Republic Restaurant in Long Beach is Chef Dean James Max of DJM Restaurants, a multiple James Beard Award nominee. His opening Executive Chef there is the talented David MacLennan. In a bit over three years they have made this relaxed vibe restaurant one of the best dining destinations in Long Beach. Their Brunch is a standout, too. Think Chorizo & Cheddar Croissant.

On February 8th at James Republic at Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Long Beach they are presenting a multi-course dining spectacular along with Chef Amar Santana (Vaca & Broadway by Amar Santana) to benefit the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.) Chef Amar is a distinguished C-CAP Alum.

The evening includes a cocktail reception with local craft beer, sparkling wine and still wine and passed hors d’oeuvres. Then it’s a sumptuous seated dinner with three waves of ample food platters served Family-style. Each wave of the three incudes separate platters from each chef. That’s three platters of delights for each wave. Dessert and gourmet chocolates conclude the festivities. If you go away hungry it’s your own fault. There is also both a live & silent auction with crave-worthy items with great appeal for any foodie.

Tickets (and there are only 150 reservations available) are $195 per guest with $150 of that being Tax Deductible.

Chefs Dean & David join us to preview C-CAP’s Winter Harvest Benefit Dinner at James Republic on Wednesday, February 8th.

Play

January 21: James Republic, Mad Hungry Woman, Sam King, West Coast Prime Meats, Wine Exchange, Pizza Throwdown

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer
Segment Two: Executive Chef / Restaurateur Dean James Max of DJM Restaurants & Executive Chef David MacLennan of James Republic, Long Beach
Segment Three: Anita Lau, “Diary of a Mag Hungry Woman” Blogger
Segment Four: Restaurateur Sam King, CEO, King’s Seafood Company Part One
Segment Five: Restaurateur Sam King, CEO, King’s Seafood Company Part Two
Segment Six: The “Meatheads” from West Coast Prime Meats, Terry Hanks and Jay Henderson on Chicken
Segment Seven: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana
Segment Eight: The Pizza Throwdown. OC Baking’s Dean Kim and Brent Omeste of Centro Collective

The Dumpling Trail in Richmond British Columbia“The SoCal Restaurant Show” is going international. On Saturday morning, January 28th the show is live from Richmond, B.C. (“Where the Far East Meets the Canadian West Coast”) for their festive celebration of Chinese New Year.

Now am enticing preview of this Saturday’s overflowing show with Co-Host & Executive Producer Andy Harris. 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 probably a pretty good thing…

The Founder and Co-Proprietor of James Republic Restaurant in Long Beach is Chef Dean James Max of DJM Restaurants, a multiple James Beard Award nominee. His opening Executive Chef there is the talented David MacLennan. In a bit over three years they have made this relaxed vibe restaurant one of the best dining destinations in Long Beach. On February 8th at James Republic at Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Long Beach they are presenting a multi-course dining spectacular with Chef Amar Santana to benefit Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.) Chefs Dean & David join us to preview C-CAP’s Winter Harvest Benefit Dinner at James Republic on Wednesday, February 8th.

Our regular Contributor on the San Diego dining scene, Anita Lau, The Mad Hungry Woman blogger, joins us. She will provide us with the highlights of her “Best Meal” of 2016. Surprisingly (because Orange County is her regular beat) it turns out to be the destination restaurant in a boutique hotel in Downtown San Diego!

The original Water Grill, one of the area’s best fine-dining seafood restaurants, opened in Downtown Los Angeles in 1989. There are now busy locations in Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Diego, South Coast Plaza – Costa Mesa, and, just launched this month, Dallas. The new South Coast Plaza location is nearly 18,000 square feet. We’ll meet proprietor & distinguished restaurateur Sam King of King’s Seafood Company.

Chicken is a versatile protein, typically a good value, and much in the news these days. We’re talking Chicken 101 with our resident Meatheads from West Coast Prime Meats, Terry Hanks and Jay Henderson. Between the two of them they clock in with over 50 years of experience in the business!

How about some premium wine to celebrate the New Year? Our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange in Santa Ana, joins us. He’ll preview the expectations for the 2016 vintage in California and we’ll see what else he’ll uncork for us. Always highly informative & entertaining.

We love it when competitive chefs generously donate their time to support a worthy cause. Behold, the Pizza Throwdown on Sunday, January 28th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Master Baker Dean Kim’s OC Baking in Orange benefiting Chef Bill Bracken’s Bracken’s Kitchen (created to help end food insecurity in Orange County and beyond.) Only 100 VIP and General Admission tickets are available.

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

Dean James MaxThe Founder and Co-Proprietor of James Republic Restaurant in Long Beach is Chef Dean James Max of DJM Restaurants, a multiple James Beard Award nominee. His opening Executive Chef there is the talented David MacLennan. In a bit over three years they have made this relaxed vibe restaurant one of the best dining destinations in Long Beach. Their Brunch is a standout, too. Think Chorizo & Cheddar Croissant.

On February 8th at James Republic at Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Long Beach they are presenting a multi-course dining spectacular along with Chef Amar Santana (Vaca & Broadway by Amar Santana) to benefit the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.) Chef Amar is a distinguished C-CAP Alum.

The evening includes a cocktail reception with local craft beer, sparkling wine and still wine and passed hors d’oeuvres. Then it’s a sumptuous seated dinner with three waves of ample food platters served Family-style. Each wave of the three incudes separate platters from each chef. That’s three platters of delights for each wave. Dessert and gourmet chocolates conclude the festivities. If you go away hungry it’s your own fault. There is also both a live & silent auction with crave-worthy items with great appeal for any foodie.

Tickets (and there are only 150 reservations available) are $195 per guest with $150 of that being Tax Deductible.

Chefs Dean & David join us to preview C-CAP’s Winter Harvest Benefit Dinner at James Republic on Wednesday, February 8th.

Anita Lau of Mad Hungry WomanOur regular Contributor on the San Diego dining scene, Anita Lau, The Mad Hungry Woman blogger, joins us. She will provide us with the tempting highlights of her Best Meal” of 2016.

Surprisingly (because Orange County is her regular beat) It turns out to be the destination restaurant in a boutique hotel in Downtown San Diego! A new executive chef is stirring the pot there with the unexpected addition of some Filipino ingredients.

Think Venison Tartare…

Sam KingThe original Water Grill, one of the area’s best fine-dining seafood restaurants, opened in Downtown Los Angeles in 1989. There are now busy locations in Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Diego, South Coast Plaza – Costa Mesa, and, just launched this month, Dallas. The new South Coast Plaza location is nearly 18,000 square feet.

Focusing on first-of-season seafood, Water Grill prides itself in offering the broadest selection of fin fish, oysters, crustaceans and shellfish to its guests.

“It’s been a dream of ours to bring Water Grill to Orange County,” says Sam King, CEO of the Orange County based King’s Seafood Company. “We hold this project near and dear to our hearts, and we’re so excited to open Water Grill right here in our own backyard. We look forward to sharing our passion for outstanding quality seafood and attentive service with our longtime friends and neighbors.”

The largest Water Grill to date, the nearly 18,000 square-foot restaurant and adjacent patio were designed in partnership with Hatch Design Group. Taking inspiration from a refurbished ship, the restaurant features reclaimed locally-sourced woods and authentic nautical components paired with rustic and iron finishes. A central, copper-top bar anchors the space, while an additional bar is located in the outdoor patio area, offering a multitude of seating options.

The 500-seat restaurant boasts several private dining options and multiple event spaces, ideal for intimate celebrations, business gatherings, large parties and charity events.

We’ll meet proprietor & distinguished restaurateur Sam King of King’s Seafood Company.

King’s Seafood Distribution, the company’s private seafood distribution operation based in Santa Ana, CA provides all the seafood for Water Grill’s menu. Streamlining the process from ocean to table, King’s Seafood Company provides the best quality and largest variety of available seafood to its 20 restaurants. Menus are crafted daily to account for freshly caught fish and seasonal culinary changes for Water Grill guest to enjoy.

“We’re lucky to have incredibly long-lasting relationships with fishermen and purveyors along both coasts, providing a vast selection of quality products for our restaurants,” said King. “We pride ourselves in having a wide variety of fresh seafood. Our continued goal is to have as many live products as possible.”

King’s Seafood Company is based in Costa Mesa, California and has evolved from more than 70 years of family restaurant and hospitality experience, opening their first restaurant in Los Angeles in 1945. Founded by cousins Sam and Jeff King, the company operates six different restaurant concepts that include the King’s Fish House concept with 11 locations throughout Southern California, Nevada, and Arizona.  King’s also operates King Signature Group, which includes Water Grill in Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica South Coast Plaza, Dallas and San Diego, 555 East in Long Beach, Lou & Mickey’s in San Diego’s Gaslamp District, Pier Burger on the Santa Monica Pier, and Fish Camp in Huntington Beach.

Chicken 101 from the Meatheads at West Coast Prime MeatsChicken is a versatile protein, typically a good value, and much in the news these days. What should you know about the antibiotics in fresh chicken that many of the fast food chains have promised to eliminate?

Also, what is Free Range Chicken anyway? Is it really worth the premium price?

We’re talking Chicken 101 with our resident Meatheads from West Coast Prime Meats, Terry Hanks and Jay Henderson. Between the two of them they clock in with over 50 years of experience in the business!

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeHow about some premium wine to celebrate the New Year? Our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange in Santa Ana, joins us.

Kyle will preview the expectations for the 2016 vintage in California and we’ll see what else he’ll uncork for us. Always highly informative & entertaining.

Pizza ThrowdownWe love it when competitive chefs generously donate their time to support a worthy cause. Behold, the Pizza Throwdown on Sunday, January 29th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Master Baker Dean Kim’s OC Baking Co. in Orange benefiting Chef Bill Bracken’s Bracken’s Kitchen (created to help end food insecurity in Orange County and beyond.) Only 100 VIP & Regular Admission tickets available.

It all began when Chefs Chad Urata and Brent Omeste of the embryonic Centro Collective challenged OC Baking Company’s Master Baker Dean Kim to a pizza throwdown. Not realizing that Dean thrives on wagers, Dean took it one step further and enlisted veteran OC pizza master Sandro Nardone to join him.

When other chefs caught wind of it via social media, The Veterans’ team is now six strong with the addition of Chef Dee Nyugen, Chef Greg Daniels, Lisa Gilmore and of course, Chef Bill Bracken.

On Sunday, January 29th, the friendly rivalry will include both teams creating their best pizza to be judged by participants at the event. Who will win the challenge? You be the judge!

All tickets (VIP @ $50 & General Admission @ $20) include pizza, non-alcoholic beverages and a token to vote for your favorite team.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer
Segment Two: Executive Chef / Restaurateur Dean James Max of DJM Restaurants & Executive Chef David MacLennan of James Republic, Long Beach
Segment Three: Anita Lau, “Diary of a Mag Hungry Woman” Blogger
Segment Four: Restaurateur Sam King, CEO, King’s Seafood Company Part One
Segment Five: Restaurateur Sam King, CEO, King’s Seafood Company Part Two
Segment Six: The “Meatheads” from West Coast Prime Meats, Terry Hanks and Jay Henderson on Chicken
Segment Seven: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana
Segment Eight: The Pizza Throwdown. OC Baking’s Dean Kim and Brent Omeste of Centro Collective

Show 206, January 14, 2017: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer and Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at the Pechanga Wine Festival for Angels Radio AM830 KLAANow 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. Terri Henry of Terri Henry Marketing joins us to highlight her client’s 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 authority on cocktails from the consumers’ point-of-view. 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 chunky 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 (available in their gift shop) 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 presented by Foodbeast and Nissin, The Original Cup Noodles 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. For openers everything “Coconut” is hot…

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

Play

Show 206, January 14, 2017: Executive Chef Amar Santana, Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana

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. The evening is a spectacular, multi-course feast.

James Republic is 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.

Chef Amar’s dish is under the veil of heavy secrecy but he does hint it will be a pork spectacular. The award-winning El Segundo Brewing Co. is brewing a special craft beer to pair with Chef Amar’s dish exclusively for the evening.

Play

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.

Show 187, September 3, 2016: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group

Happy Labor Day Weekend. Our soundest advice…? Celebrate with something great to eat along the way…

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamExecutive 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 special Guest Host. 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 abundant Holiday Weekend 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…

Local food journalist (with her well-trained ear always to the ground for exclusives) and regular contributor to OC Weekly, Anne Marie Panoringan, was just on a whirlwind dining and libation exploration in the Denver and Boulder Colorado areas. Anne Marie generously shares some of her best discoveries.

Chefs supporting a worthy cause yet again…The 1st Annual “Tastemakers of Orange County” at SOCO on September 8th benefits The Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA.) Featured Chefs Amar Santana, Greg Daniels and OCAPICA’s Executive Director Mary Anne Foo join us with the needed 411.

So you want to be a travel writer…? What are the needed prerequisites and how do you potentially make it happen? Travel Journalist and President of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA), Linda Kissam, joins us to provide the straightforward basics.

Riverside’s Wicks Brewing Company is one of the largest brewpubs in the Inland Empire with 16 taps, a great rotating guest tap and bottle list, crave-worthy food, live entertainment and one of the only Brew-On-Premise (BOP) systems in California! Tapping the keg for us are in-studio guests General Manager Ryan Wicks and Head Brewer Brian Herbertson.

CANstruction Long Beach returns on September 15th in the Landmark Square Building lobby to benefit Food Finders (food rescue / food bank.) The creative folks at Moffatt & Nichol are competing for the 3rd time. Ari Konyalian of Moffatt & Nichol joins us with all the specifics.

Our Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of The Slapfish Restaurant Group will be at the Los Angeles Times The Taste” this Sunday at Paramount Pictures Studios historic lot in Hollywood for “Flavors of L.A.” hosted by Jonathan Gold. He gives us a preview of his food station (an incredible premium surf & turf burger creation that’s quite a mouthful.) Also on the menu is some tasty and nutritious conversation about the appeal of sardines. Bait fish no more…Respect the humble sardine.

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

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Show 187, September 3, 2016: Chefs Amar Santana and Greg Daniels – “Tastemakers of Orange County”

Amar SantanaChefs supporting a worthy cause yet again…The 1st Annual “Tastemakers of Orange County” at SOCO on September 8th benefits The Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA.) The lineup of culinary talents is impressive.

This culinary event celebrates the Asian and Pacific Islander community, culture, and heritage and gives guests the opportunity to taste and indulge in Asian and Pacific Island-inspired cuisines and beverages from distinguished chefs throughout Orange County.

Greg Daniels of Haven GastropubThe Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA) was established in 1997 with the vision to build healthier, happier, and stronger communities and strives to transform Orange County through innovative programs and strategies that can be a model for other individuals, groups, and organizations to follow in efforts to change.

Featured benefit Chefs Amar Santana (Vaca & Broadway by Amar Santana) and Greg Daniels (Haven Gastropub) join us with the needed 411. Also Mary Anne Foo, the Executive Director of OCAPICA.

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September 3: Anne Marie Panoringan, Tastemakers of OC, Linda Kissam, Wicks Brewing, CANstruction Long Beach

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Food Journalist Anne Marie Panoringan, OC Weekly
Segment Three: Chefs Amar Santana and Greg Daniels – “Tastemakers of Orange County”
Segment Four: Linda Kissam, President, International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association
Segment Five: Wicks Brewing Company, Riverside Part One
Segment Six: Wicks Brewing Company, Riverside Part Two
Segment Seven: CANstruction Long Beach, Team Moffat & Nichol’s Ari Konyalian
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Chief Seafood Officer, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Happy Labor Day Weekend. Our soundest advice…? Celebrate with something great to eat along the way…

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamExecutive 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 special Guest Host. 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 abundant Holiday Weekend 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…

Local food journalist (with her well-trained ear always to the ground for exclusives) and regular contributor to OC Weekly, Anne Marie Panoringan, was just on a whirlwind dining and libation exploration in the Denver and Boulder, Colorado areas. Anne Marie generously shares some of her discoveries.

Chefs supporting a worthy cause yet again…The 1st Annual “Tastemakers of Orange County” at SOCO on September 8th benefits The Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA.) Featured Chefs Amar Santana, Greg Daniels and Dean Kim join us with the needed 411.

So you want to be a travel writer…? What are the needed prerequisites and how do you potentially make it happen? Travel Journalist and President of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA), Linda Kissam, joins us to provide the straightforward basics.

Riverside’s Wicks Brewing Company is one of the largest brewpubs in the Inland Empire with 16 taps, a great rotating guest tap and bottle list, crave-worthy food, live entertainment and one of the only Brew-On-Premise (BOP) systems in California! Tapping the keg for us are in-studio guests General Manager Ryan Wicks and Head Brewer Brian Herbertson.

CANstruction Long Beach returns on September 15th in the Landmark Square Building lobby to benefit Food Finders (food rescue / food bank.) The creative folks at Moffatt & Nichol are competing for the 3rd time. Ari Konyalian of Moffatt & Nichol joins us with all the specifics.

Our Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of The Slapfish Restaurant Group will be at the Los Angeles Times “The Taste” this weekend at Paramount Pictures Studios historic lot in Hollywood. He’ll give us a preview of his food station and, with any luck, plenty more.

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

Anne Marie PanoringanLocal food journalist (with her well-trained ear always to the ground for exclusives) and regular contributor to OC Weekly, Anne Marie Panoringan, was just on a whirlwind dining and libation exploration in the Denver and Boulder, Colorado areas. Anne Marie generously shares some of her discoveries.

Her fine-dining experience was at Boulder’s acclaimed Frasca Foods & Wine. This is owned by Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey (ex-French Laundry) and Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson. They are also the creators of the buzz-worthy Pizzeria Locale in Boulder.

Also look for Anne Marie’s informative “On the Line” piece (August 29th,) with Chef Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen.

Amar SantanaChefs supporting a worthy cause yet again…The 1st Annual “Tastemakers of Orange County” at SOCO on September 8th benefits The Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA.)

This culinary event celebrates the Asian and Pacific Islander community, culture, and heritage and gives guests the opportunity to taste and indulge in Asian and Pacific Island-inspired cuisines and beverages from distinguished chefs throughout Orange County.

Greg Daniels of Haven GastropubThe Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA) was established in 1997 with the vision to build healthier, happier, and stronger communities and strives to transform Orange County through innovative programs and strategies that can be a model for other individuals, groups, and organizations to follow in efforts to change.

Featured benefit Chefs Amar Santana (Vaca & Broadway by Amar Santana,) Greg Daniels (Haven Gastropub) and Dean Kim (OC Baking Co.) join us with the needed 411.

Linda KissamSo you want to be a travel writer…? If you can express yourself well then what are the needed prerequisites and how do you potentially make it happen?

Travel Journalist and President of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA), Linda Kissam, joins us to provide the straightforward basics.

The International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) is a global network of professional journalists who cover the hospitality and lifestyle fields, and the people who promote them.

Brian Herbertson and Ryan WicksRiverside’s Wicks Brewing Company is one of the largest brewpubs in the Inland Empire with 16 taps, a great rotating guest tap and bottle list, crave-worthy food, live entertainment and one of the only Brew-On-Premise (BOP) systems in California!

Wicks Brewing Co was founded in 2013 with the sole purpose of bringing great craft beer and food to the Inland Empire in an environment that the whole family could enjoy. The Wicks Brewing Co’s brewpub houses a beautiful 7 bbl copper brew house, which is visible from their open floor taproom and restaurant. You will often see their brewers at work creating their next batch of great craft beer!

The taproom also showcases a 6 station Brew-On-Premise (BOP) system which allows guests the opportunity to brew their own beer under the personal guidance of one of The Wicks’ brewers.

Wicks’ Paladin Hoppy Pale Ale is a liberally hopped pale ale. It brought home bronze at the World Beer Cup in 2016 and back-to-back gold at the 2015 and 2016 Los Angeles International Beer Competitions. Copious amounts of citra and cascade hops impart layers of tropical fruit notes and grapefruit aromatics.

Tapping the keg for us are in-studio guests General Manager Ryan Wicks and Head Brewer Brian Herbertson.

Ryan Wicks is also the Vice President of the Inland Empire Brewers Guild and Brian Herbertson is the Event Chairman. Their inaugural Summer Send Off Beer Festival is Saturday, September 17th at Riverside Municipal Airport.

The Inland Empire Brewers’ Guild is a 501c6 non-profit organization whose mission is to both promote and celebrate beer culture in the Inland Empire.

Canstruction Long BeachCANstruction Long Beach returns on September 15th in the Landmark Square Building lobby to benefit Food Finders (food rescue / food bank.)

What is CANstruction? CANstruction is an international design-build competition. Long Beach is one of over 100 cities that combines the fun of a design-build competition with an ingenious way to help feed hungry people. Local students mentored by these professionals, create phenomena structures built entirely out of canned food. Judging occurs in categories such as Best Use of Labels, Structural Ingenuity, Best Meal, Most Cans, People’s Choice and Jurors’ Favorite, and awards are presented following the exhibition. At the close of the exhibition all of the canned food used in these structures is donated to the Food Finders fresh food rescue / food bank.

“Food Finders is a multi-regional food bank and food rescue program headquartered in Lakewood. We pick up donated food from hundreds of local grocery stores, bakeries, restaurants and produce markets and distribute it directly to missions, shelters and social service agencies to feed the needy and impoverished. Our volunteers and staff­ drivers pick up and deliver on a same-day basis. On average, Food Finders helps provide enough food for 39,000 meals a day, reducing the amount of food insecurity and food waste prevalent throughout Southern California.”

The creative folks at Moffatt & Nichol are competing for the 3rd time. Ari Konyalian of Moffatt & Nichol joins us with all the specifics.

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, will be at the Los Angeles Times “The Taste” this weekend at Paramount Pictures Studios historic lot in Hollywood. He’ll give us a preview of his food station and probably plenty more.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Food Journalist Anne Marie Panoringan, OC Weekly
Segment Three: Chefs Amar Santana and Greg Daniels – “Tastemakers of Orange County”
Segment Four: Linda Kissam, President, International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association
Segment Five: Wicks Brewing Company, Riverside Part One
Segment Six: Wicks Brewing Company, Riverside Part Two
Segment Seven: CANstruction Long Beach, Team Moffat & Nichol’s Ari Konyalian
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Chief Seafood Officer, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Show 168, April 23, 2016: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, most recently, Brea, is back as today’s special Guest Host.

Congrats to Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel on his Nation’s Restaurant News 2016 Menu Masters Award as a Trendsetter. Presented annually by Nation’s Restaurant News, the prestigious awards honor outstanding foodservice research and development. Chef Andrew will receive his MenuMaster Award in a by-invitation-only reception at The Drake Hotel in Chicago on May 21st during the National Restaurant Association’s convention.

Now an enticing sneak peak of Saturday’s appetizing show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a good thing…

One of the newest additions to Santa Ana’s 4th Street Market is Pig Pen Delicacy. It’s a fresh take on American comfort food using an array of sophisticated and modern interpretations of bacon and pork favorites. Co-owner and Director of Operations Jason Trinh joins us with all the pork-a-licious details.

It’s time for America’s favorite pastime…Ballpark food. It’s our always anticipated annual report on what’s new on the menu at Angel Stadium with Executive Chef Robert Biebrich. It’s the 50th season at Angel Stadium so expect to be impressed.

Since The Pie Hole launched in The Arts District of Downtown L.A. in 2011 it’s been a word-of-mouth and social media sensation. The Pie Hole offers fresh baked sweet pie by the slice, individual savory pies, and their own premium coffee. Co-owner Sean Brennan joins us with his fresh-from-the-oven recipe for sweet (and savory) success.

The Four Brix Winery in Ventura grew out of three couples’ hobby of making premium wine at home for their appreciative friends. The Winery represents a throwback to the days of blended wines made in California. Winemaker and Partner Gary Stewart uncorks it for us.

One of the more unusual finds at the recent Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim was Tin Star Foods. They produce Cultured Ghee and Cultured Brown Butter in small batchers. Tin Star Foods Founder, Hima Pandya, is our guest.

The annual Dine LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week is taking place April 23 – May 1, 2016. Each participating restaurant from twelve unique neighborhoods in the city offers a three course menu priced at $20, $30, $40 or $50, either per guest with wine pairing options at fine dining locations OR dinner for two priced at $20, $30, $40 or $50, where diners share an appetizer, each enjoy their own entree, then share a dessert at more casual establishments. One of the participating restaurants in DINE LBC is Domenico’s Italian Restaurant, Long Beach’s oldest restaurant. Proprietor Mike Rhodes joins us.

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

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