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: Ahmed Labatte, Partner, Vaca Restaurant Group

Ahmed LabatteChef 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 ambitious new project will be The Hall Global Eatery in South Coast Plaza. Early advance info is that it will be a Global Marketplace with multiple food counters and an exhibition kitchen.

There will be a grab-and-go market area with freshly prepared salads and sandwiches. Everything else will be prepared to order. Expect Mediterranean kebabs and Shawarma.  The location is the expansive former Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill space.

Ahmed joins us with a tantalizing sneak preview.

Play

January 6: Ceviche and Aguachile Festival, Lasher’s Kitchen, Brendan Collins, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Ahmed Labatte

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: 5th Ceviche and Aguachile Festival, Producer Edgar Cisneros, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
Segment Three: Chef-Partner Raquel Jubran, Lasher’s Kitchen, Long Beach
Segment Four: Executive Chef Brendan Collins, The Wilshire, Santa Monica
Segment Five: Executive Chef Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula Part One
Segment Six: Executive Chef Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula Part Two
Segment Seven: Ahmed Labatte, Partner, Vaca Restaurant Group
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Happy New Year.

Now an abundant preview of this 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!

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, shrimp, tuna, octopus and stingray. Also cocktails and local craft beers will be available to purchase.

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.

Raquel JubranRestaurateur 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 refreshed concept, Lasher’s Kitchen.

“It feels good to be in front-of-the-house again,” said Lasher.  “The original restaurant was open for 15 years, and I enjoyed every minute of it.   I continued working in the restaurant industry as a consultant.  Then this location came along and it was a game changer.”

Lasher’s Kitchen, which opened last April, is a more casual concept than the original Lasher’s.  The 45-seat restaurant offers a contemporary design with a color palette of warm hues and wood accents, original artwork, and an intimate wine bar.  The restaurant also features a pet-friendly sidewalk patio and a communal table positioned front and center.

The menu has a few dishes, such as the clam chowder, fried green tomatoes, and meatloaf, from the original restaurant, but Chef-Partner Raquel Jubran, better known as Chef Roq, is constantly creating new dishes often dictated by season.   The menu is divided into four categories:

  • Shareables
  • Journeys
  • Sidetracks
  • Sweet Destinations

Chef Roq’s signature dishes include Crispy Yuca Fries with banana ketchup and Aji Amarillo salsa, the pastry-filled Savory French Cigar with chicken and bacon ragout, Fleet Street Meat Pie made with braised short rib and root vegetables with a pastry crust, Braised Pork Belly with Cherry Cola Demi-Glace served on a crispy potato cake with tobacco onions, and Asiago and Cheddar Grilled Cheese.

Lasher’s Kitchen opens at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday for weekend brunch, which features an array of morning and mid-day favorites.  Social Hour, which takes place weekdays from 2-6pm, features a menu of shareable plates and $5 pours of selected red and white wines.  Every Wednesday Lasher’s Kitchen caters to oenophiles with its “no corkage fee” followed by Prime Rib Thursday for carnivores.  Fresh fish also plays a prominent role on the menu.

“It feels great to be back doing what I love,” said Lasher.  “And with the people I love – my wife, who is also a partner – as well as our daughters who help out at the restaurant after school and on weekends.  Having our former guests experience our new concept feels great, and we’re happy to be part of the Long Beach restaurant community once again.”

Executive Chef & Partner Raquel Jubran has returned to create the refreshed menu. She joins us.

Brendan CollinsWe 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.

“At Wilshire our menu has been developed by acclaimed Chef Brendan Collins around local, organic and seasonal ingredients taking advantage of our uniquely rich and diverse farmers’ markets. Dishes originate from a fusion of American and International influences presented in a simple and accessible style. We call this “New Urban Cuisine”, reflecting the modern sensibilities of supporting sustainable farming, enjoying sophisticated and excellent food, and gathering in a beautiful but casual atmosphere.”

“Wilshire is a neighborhood restaurant. We pride ourselves on friendly and attentive service, and look forward to welcoming you for lunch, dinner, or a cocktail sometime soon.”

Wilshire Happy Hour is in full swing from 3pm-7pm M-F and 5-8pm Saturdays. To cap off those long work weeks, the restaurant is serving $4-5 beers, $7-8 cocktails, $5-6 wine and a delicious array of bar bites starting at $6.

Duane Owen of Pechanga Casino and ResortJust 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 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.

The Lobby Bar restaurant located in the atrium is an inviting, open California bistro and bar serving breakfast, lunch and dinner bringing forth fresh, locally harvested ingredients to create seasonally changing specialties.

Chef Jose Mendoza (who returns to Pechanga from Las Vegas) melds unexpected flavors and Temecula-area components in a menu that pleases and excites. With many vegetarian dishes available, and cocktails hand crafted using local fruits and herbs, the Lobby Bar stands out among Pechanga’s 13 dining options.

We entice Pechanga’s Executive Chef Duane Owen out of his busy kitchens for the details.

Launching on Thursday nights is the all-you-can enjoy Lobster & Seafood Extravaganza.

Pechanga Buffet guests can now enjoy their fill of all you can enjoy, one-and-one-quarter pound whole Maine lobster done in an East Coast lobster bake style with roasted potatoes and corn on the cob. From 4PM to close at 10PM on Thursdays, diners receive a piping hot lobster bake bag containing the just-cooked lobster (flown in from Maine the night before) and fixings. The price is $44.99 per guest.

Guests can also fill their plates with enhanced buffet seafood selections from the upgraded sushi station, a whole-salmon carving station, fresh and baked oyster station, snow crab, fish tacos, ceviche, calamari, Dungeness crab, clam chowder, steamed shrimp and much more.

The Pechanga Buffet offers the hungry a wide-ranging and mouthwatering menu featuring over 250 fresh items and interactive action stations for custom-ordered pastas, sushi, seafood, BBQ and grilled meats, pizza and flatbreads, as well Asian food, Mexican and Latin specialties, and Italian and Mediterranean options.

Pechanga sources the lobsters from ecologically responsible purveyors in Maine. Their products are fully inspected and certified. Fisheries they work with use sustainable methods and practices. The lobsters coming to Pechanga are caught one day, refrigerated, packaged, and shipped live across the country where they land at LAX overnight. They are immediately put onto a delivery truck and brought to Pechanga in Temecula. Pechanga’s buffet chefs cook small batches at a time and remaining lobsters are put into tanks.

Ahmed LabatteChef 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 ambitious new project will be The Hall Global Eatery in South Coast Plaza. Early advance info is that it will be a Global Marketplace with multiple food counters. The location is the expansive former Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill space.

Ahmed joins us with a tantalizing sneak preview.

Andrew and William GruelOur 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 spirited conversation continued from the previous two weeks.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: 5th Ceviche and Aguachile Festival, Producer Edgar Cisneros, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
Segment Three: Chef-Partner Raquel Jubran, Lasher’s Kitchen, Long Beach
Segment Four: Executive Chef Brendan Collins, The Wilshire, Santa Monica
Segment Five: Executive Chef Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula Part One
Segment Six: Executive Chef Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula Part Two
Segment Seven: Ahmed Labatte, Partner, Vaca Restaurant Group
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Show 234, July 29, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Program Note for Saturday, July 29th. We followed the Halos, come-from-behind victory at a special time. Next Saturday, August 5th we are back at our usual time of 10:00 a.m. to 12 Noon. Please join us.

Now an enticing preview of Saturday afternoon’s fully-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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Step off the pristine, white sandy beach and into the open-airHau Tree restaurant & bar on the Big Island of Hawaii at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel for a causal dining menu which includes sandwiches, wraps, hamburgers, salads, ice cream, their famous Ovaltine Froth, or a cooling Fredrico cocktail which originated right there. We pull the newly married Chef Chris Galindo off the beach for an overview.

In her new book The Migraine Relief Plan: An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health, health coach and wellness authority Stephanie Weaver explores the connection between lifestyle, food, and wellness for people with migraines, vertigo, and related conditions like Meniere’s disease. With more than 36 million Americans dealing with migraines, and many more with chronic headaches, this is genuinely useful information.

On Thursday evening, August 10th Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa is hosting a sumptuous, 7-course wine-paired dinner with an abundance of passed hors d’oeuvre as a festive Friends of James Beard Foundation Benefit to celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary. VACA Group Partner & Executive Chef Amar Santana (just back from Ibiza, Spain) provides the salivating preview.

Journalist Al Mancini is well-known in Las Vegas hospitality circles. He’s been reviewing restaurants there for over 15 years. In 2011 he co-created the first edition of the definitive Las Vegas dining guide – Eating Las Vegas – The 50 Essential Restaurants. Late last year he joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a staff writer primarily covering the food, restaurant and libations beat. We’ll chat with Al about the rise of Downtown Las Vegas as a dining destination and also get updated on other local foodie news of note.

DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. More than 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices. Encoring in DINE LBC are Chef Arthur Gonzalez’s Panxa Cocina (modern Latin Cuisine) and Roe Seafood (the home of seafood fanatics). We’ll meet the proprietor, Chef Arthur Gonzalez.

Every year at the OC Fair is the eagerly anticipated Concessionaires Cup Challenge. The Fair’s hugely competitive food concessionaires compete to win the bragging rights in ten food categories. OC Weekly’s “On the Line” correspondent, Anne Marie Panoringan, was one of the 21 esteemed judges. Anne Marie also had the honor of being one of the three judges deciding the “Best Overall Item” honors. That’s the big one…She joins us with the lip-smacking results.

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

Play

Show 234, July 29, 2017: Executive Chef / Proprietor Amar Santana’s Vaca Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner

Amar Santana at the Top Chef FinaleOn Thursday evening, August 10th Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa is hosting a sumptuous, 7-course wine-paired dinner with an abundance of passed hors d’oeuvre as a festive Friends of James Beard Foundation Benefit to celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary.

Chef Amar is also well-known locally for Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach and as the runner-up from lucky Season 13 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” in what the judges noted was the tightest final competition of the series’ long history!

Santana and partner Ahmed Labbate, whose roots together at South Coast Plaza go back to 2008 when they opened Charlie Palmer, will welcome 100 discriminating guests with a love of food and wine to the Beard dinner. Santana is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

The festivities on August 10 will include a small silent auction during an al fresco reception. While enjoying the signature Vaca Tonic and hors d’oeuvres, guests may peruse deluxe offerings, which will include a LVMH Luxury Champagne experience for 16 guests; packages from South Coast Plaza, the Montage Laguna Beach and Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, unique dining experiences, luxury travel destinations, and high-end wines.

Seats are $350 and $300 for members of the James Beard Foundation, all inclusive. For reservations to the Friends of James Beard Dinner at Vaca, please register online her For more information, please contact VACA GM Ghali Benhima at 714.463.6060. A credit card will be requested to secure the reservation.

VACA Group Partner & Executive Chef Amar Santana (well-traveled) provides the tempting preview.

The Orange County Register’s long-time Food Business Staff Writer, Nancy Luna, had a great explanatory piece with Chef Amar on Vaca’s upcoming Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner that ran in the print edition on July 27th.

Play

July 29: Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Stephanie Weaver, Amar Santana, Al Mancini, Arthur Gonzalez, Anne Marie Panoringan

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Chris Galindo, Hau Tree restaurant & bar, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Kauna’oa Bay, The Big Island of Hawaii
Segment Three: Author Stephanie Weaver, MPH, CWHC. The Migraine Relief Plan – An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health
Segment Four: Executive Chef / Proprietor Amar Santana’s Vaca Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner
Segment Five: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal Part One
Segment Six: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal Part Two
Segment Seven: Restaurateur / Executive Chef Arthur Gonzalez, Roe Seafood & Panxa Cocina. DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week
Segment Eight: Concessionaires’ Cup 2017, OC Fair. Judge Anne Marie Panoringan, OC Weekly Contributor

Program Note for Saturday, July 29th. The Halos are playing the Blue Jays in Toronto during our normal broadcast time so we’re graciously stepping aside. All is still well because we simply shift to 2 to 4:00 p.m. the afternoon of July 29th only. Same packed show…Please join us then and don’t keep it a secret!

Now an enticing preview of this Saturday afternoon’s fully-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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Step off the pristine, white sandy beach and into the open-airHau Tree restaurant & bar on the Big Island of Hawaii at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel for a causal dining menu which includes sandwiches, wraps, hamburgers, salads, ice cream, their famous Ovaltine Froth, or a cooling Fredrico cocktail which originated right there. We pull the newly married Chef Chris Galindo off the beach for an overview.

In her new book The Migraine Relief Plan: An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health, health coach and wellness authority Stephanie Weaver explores the connection between lifestyle, food, and wellness for people with migraines, vertigo, and related conditions like Meniere’s disease. With more than 36 million Americans dealing with migraines, and many more with chronic headaches, this is genuinely useful information.

On Thursday evening, August 10th Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa is hosting a sumptuous, 7-course wine-paired dinner with an abundance of passed hors d’oeuvre as a festive Friends of James Beard Foundation Benefit to celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary. VACA Group Partner & Executive Chef Amar Santana (just back from Spain) provides the appetizing preview.

Journalist Al Mancini is well-known in Las Vegas hospitality circles. He’s been reviewing restaurants there for over 15 years. In 2011 he co-created the first edition of the definitive Las Vegas dining guide – Eating Las Vegas – The 50 Essential Restaurants. Late last year he joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a staff writer primarily covering the food, restaurant and libations beat. We’ll chat with Al about the rise of Downtown Las Vegas as a dining destination and also get updated on other local foodie news of note.

DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. More than 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices. Encoring in DINE LBC are Chef Arthur Gonzalez’s Panxa Cocina (modern Latin Cuisine) and Roe Seafood (the home of seafood fanatics). We’ll meet the proprietor, Chef Arthur Gonzalez.

Every year at the OC Fair is the eagerly anticipated Concessionaires Cup Challenge. The Fair’s hugely competitive food concessionaires compete to win the bragging rights in ten food categories. OC Weekly’s “On the Line” correspondent, Anne Marie Panoringan, was one of the 21 esteemed judges. Anne Marie also had the honor of being one of the three judges deciding the “Best Overall Item” honors. That’s the big one…She joins us with the lip-smacking results.

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

Chris GalindoStep off the pristine, white sandy beach and into the open-airHau Tree restaurant & bar on the Big Island of Hawaii at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel for a causal dining menu which includes sandwiches, wraps, hamburgers, salads, ice cream, their famous Ovaltine Froth, or a cooling Fredrico cocktail which originated right there.

This is an unparalleled spot in The Hawaiian Islands to enjoy the nightly Sunset. Truly spectacular…

Hau Tree offers a grab-n-go breakfast, sit-down lunches and relaxed dinners on the Big Island of Hawai’i. It’s complete with a gazebo-style bar perfectly situated for enjoying cocktails while anticipating the sunset’s elusive green flash.

We pull the newly married Chef Chris Galindo off the beach for an ono overview.

Stephanie WeaverIn her new book The Migraine Relief Plan: An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health, health coach and wellness authority Stephanie Weaver explores the connection between lifestyle, food, and wellness for people with migraines, vertigo, and related conditions like Meniere’s disease. With more than 36 million Americans dealing with migraines, and many more with chronic headaches, this is genuinely useful information.

One in four U.S. households includes someone with these symptoms; the traditional approach of prescriptions or injections is ineffective for many.

Stephanie took her own surprising diagnosis-at age 53!- and set out to create a different strategy to help herself and others. No other book for migraines or headaches features a comprehensive, realistic lifestyle approach, providing guidance for a full six months as readers learn how to create their own migraine-friendly lifestyle.

Stephanie brings warmth and humor to a normally clinical topic, and her lively presentation style showcases her approach to being “an incredibly healthy person who happens to get migraines.”

In the book (with 75 recipes) Stephanie explains in depth about the challenge of recipe development using a limited palette of foods, explores the concept of food substitutions, and showcases what a plant-forward migraine-friendly plate looks like.

Amar Santana at the Top Chef FinaleOn Thursday evening, August 10th Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa is hosting a sumptuous, 7-course wine-paired dinner with an abundance of passed hors d’oeuvre as a festive Friends of James Beard Foundation Benefit to celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary.

Chef Amar is also well-known locally for Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach and as the runner-up from lucky Season 13 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” in what the judges noted was the tightest final competition of the series’ long history!

Santana and partner Ahmed Labbate, whose roots together at South Coast Plaza go back to 2008 when they opened Charlie Palmer, will welcome 100 discriminating guests with a love of food and wine to the Beard dinner. Santana is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

The festivities on August 10 will include a small silent auction during an al fresco reception. While enjoying the signature Vaca Tonic and hors d’oeuvres, guests may peruse deluxe offerings, which will include a LVMH Luxury Champagne experience for 16 guests; packages from South Coast Plaza, the Montage Laguna Beach and Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, unique dining experiences, luxury travel destinations, and high-end wines.

Seats are $350 and $300 for members of the James Beard Foundation, all inclusive. For reservations to the Friends of James Beard Dinner at Vaca, please register online her For more information, please contact VACA GM Ghali Benhima at 714.463.6060. A credit card will be requested to secure the reservation.

VACA Group Partner & Executive Chef Amar Santana (well-traveled) provides the tempting preview.

Al ManciniJournalist Al Mancini is well-known in Las Vegas hospitality circles. He’s been reviewing restaurants there for over 15 years. In 2011 he co-created the first edition of the definitive Las Vegas dining guideEating Las Vegas – The 50 Essential Restaurants. Late last year he joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a staff writer primarily covering the food, restaurant and libations beat.

We’ll chat with Al about the rise of Downtown Las Vegas as a dining destination and also get updated on other local foodie news of note.

We’ll then continue our insider’s chat with Al about Vegas foodie news of note. Also we’ll hear about what Al has to say about a 2-unit restaurant group in Las Vegas testing the uncharted waters of going cashless.

Arthur GonzalezDINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. More than 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices.

Encoring in DINE LBC are Chef Arthur Gonzalez’s Panxa Cocina (modern Latin Cuisine) and Roe Seafood (the home of seafood fanatics). We’ll meet the proprietor, Chef Arthur Gonzalez.

Panxa Cocina opened in December 2014 and is located on the corner of Broadway and Termino in the Belmont Heights neighborhood of Long Beach. Since opening, Chef Gonzalez has been serving both quality interpretations of classic dishes and daring new ventures into the uncharted territories of food.

Panxa’s interior reflects the hip sensibilities of the surrounding area while also paying tribute to its Latin and New Mexican roots. This ground-floor restaurant offers the choice to observe passers-by from many tables throughout the restaurant, or enjoy the full menu at the bar.

Roe Seafood is the new home for seafood fanatics in Belmont Shore. Roe offers inspired, handcrafted, mouth- watering seafood dishes that blend both seasonal and local ingredients with bold flavors and exciting tastes.

“All ingredients are fresh and in season. If you’d like to know where we source our fish, shellfish, vegetables, or breads, please ask.

Join us for lunch or dinner 7 days a week for the freshest and most delicious seafood you’ve ever tasted. You can always call us and order take-out, because everything on the menu at Roe is always ready to go.”

Anne Marie PanoringanEvery year at the OC Fair is the eagerly anticipated Concessionaires Cup Challenge. The Fair’s hugely competitive food concessionaires vie to win the bragging rights in ten food categories. OC Weekly’s “On the Line” correspondent, Anne Marie Panoringan, was one of the 21 esteemed judges.

Anne Marie also had the honor of being one of the three senior judges deciding the “Best Overall Item” honors. That’s the big one…She joins us with the lip-smacking results.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Chris Galindo, Hau Tree restaurant & bar, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Kauna’oa Bay, The Big Island of Hawaii
Segment Three: Author Stephanie Weaver, MPH, CWHC. The Migraine Relief Plan – An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health
Segment Four: Executive Chef / Proprietor Amar Santana’s Vaca Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner
Segment Five: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal Part One
Segment Six: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal Part Two
Segment Seven: Restaurateur / Executive Chef Arthur Gonzalez, Roe Seafood & Panxa Cocina. DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week
Segment Eight: Concessionaires’ Cup 2017, OC Fair. Judge Anne Marie Panoringan, OC Weekly Contributor

Show 233, July 22, 2017: Ahmed Labbate, VACA Group, Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner at Vaca

Ahmed LabatteOn Thursday evening, August 10th Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa is hosting a sumptuous, 7-course, premium wine-paired dinner with an abundance of passed hors d’oeuvre as a festive Friends of James Beard Foundation Benefit to celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary. Chef Amar is also well-known locally for Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna beach and as the runner-up from lucky Season 13 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” in what the judges noted was the tightest final competition of the series’ long history!

Santana and partner Ahmed Labbate, whose roots together at South Coast Plaza go back to 2008 when they opened Charlie Palmer, will welcome 100 discriminating guests with a love of food and wine to the Beard dinner. Santana is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

The festivities on August 10 will include a small silent auction during an al fresco reception. While enjoying the signature Vaca Tonic and hors d’oeuvres, guests may peruse deluxe offerings, which will include a LVMH luxury Champagne experience for 16 guests; packages from South Coast Plaza, the Montage Laguna Beach and Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, unique dining experiences, luxury travel destinations, and high-end wines.

Seats are $350 and $300 for members of the James Beard Foundation, all inclusive. If you’re celebrating something very special this is the over-the-top culinary evening experience you’ll want to be a part of!

For reservations to the Friends of James Beard Dinner at Vaca, please register online here. For more information, please contact VACA GM Ghali Benhima at 714.463.6060. A credit card will be requested to secure the reservation.

VACA Group Partner & CEO Ahmed Labbate provides the tempting preview.

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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