Show 222, May 6, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

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

Tower 12, located on Hermosa Beach’s Pier Avenue, is a new hang that throws it back for the local community. The new South Bay spot incorporates vintage artifacts, furnishings and artwork that rep the laidback surf, music and beach scene. Wanting to create a welcoming, truly unique space for friends and neighbors to kick back and enjoy incredible food and drink, the Tower 12 team called on Consulting Chef Brendan Collins (Birch in Hollywood) to create California-inspired, updated spins on American classics.  Chef Brendan joins us with the edible highlights.

The Bellwether (Studio City) owners Chef Ted Hopson and Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi will come together on May 17th to host a collaborative dining experience with none other than Food Network’s Chef Jet Tila (the original Co-Host of “The SoCal Restaurant Show”) who is also the executive chef & partner of Pakpao Thai in Dallas. This is part of The Los Angeles Times Food Bowl. Guests will enjoy a tasty five-course prix fixe pan-Asian menu with an optional beverage pairing. Chef Ted and Ann-Marie join us.

Rooney’s Irish Pub and Shanty Irish Brewing Co. are the pride of Orcutt, CA. With a superb culinary team, Rooney’s is recognized as a “gastropub,” known for its excellent gourmet pub fare. Rooney’s is also a ‘brewpub,’ proudly introducing the area to freshly made craft beers. Rooney’s turns out some of the freshest ales; Ambers, Blonds, Porters, IPA’s and other seasonal specialty ales, lagers, and pilsners. Rooney’s also offers an extensive ‘cellar’ list of fine craft brews, sharing Tim’s love of some of his other favorite breweries. Proprietor Tim Rooney moves out from behind the long bar and is out guest.

We’re continuing our preview of the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl which is on now through May 31st. Joining us is Susan Feniger of Border Grill fame. Border Grill, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger are all participating in multiple events as part of the Food Bowl. Their contribution to “Things In A Bowl Menu Items is an Heirloom tomato gazpacho in a bowl topped with shrimp and crab salpicon.

The ninth annual Ka‘u Coffee Festival (Big Island of Hawaii) celebrates its award-winning brew with a host of events starting May 19 and continuing through the weekend of May 27-28 with a java-jumpin’ ho‘olaulea‘a on Saturday and the Ka‘u Coffee College educational series on Sunday. Supported by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and a bevy of sponsors and volunteers, the Ka‘u Coffee Festival is designed to celebrate Ka‘u as a premium coffee growing origin and a unique visitor destination. Many events are free, while others require a nominal fee and reservations. Organizer Chris Manfredi joins us.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is on the road this morning at Trade in Irvine. Both of his new concepts, Two Birds and Butterleaf, are now open. The festive Grand Opening of Trade is next Saturday, May 13th. With the Summer picnic season upon us Chef Andrew has some tips for preparing world class fried chicken. We’ll catch-up with him by phone.

If you perhaps missed last Saturday’s show from the 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel there is hope. The podcasts of the show segments from the Reef Lounge are available for the listening via our website or on iTunes.

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

Play

May 6: Brendan Colllins, Ted Hopson, Ann-Marie Verdi, Rooney’s Irish Pub, Susan Feniger, Ka’u Coffee Fest

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Consulting Chef Brendan Collins, Tower 12, Hermosa Beach
Segment Three: The Bellwether’s Executive Chef / Proprietor Ted Hopson & Proprietor / Beverage Director Anne-Marie Verdi
Segment Four: Tim Rooney, Proprietor, Rooney’s Irish Pub, Orcutt, CA
Segment Five: Susan Feniger, Border Grill, The Los Angeles Times Food Bowl
Segment Six: 9th Annual Ka’u Coffee Festival, Big Island of Hawaii
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

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

Tower 12, located on Hermosa Beach’s Pier Avenue, is a new hang that throws it back for the local community. The new South Bay spot incorporates vintage artifacts, furnishings and artwork that rep the laidback surf, music and beach scene. Wanting to create a welcoming, truly unique space for friends and neighbors to kick back and enjoy incredible food and drink, the Tower 12 team called on Consulting Chef Brendan Collins (Birch in Hollywood) to create California-inspired, updated spins on American classics. Chef Brendan joins us with the edible highlights.

The Bellwether (Studio City) owners Chef Ted Hopson and Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi will come together on May 17th to host a collaborative dining experience with none other than Food Network’s Chef Jet Tila who is also the executive chef & partner of Pakpao Thai in Dallas. Guests will enjoy a tasty five-course prix fixe menu with an optional beverage pairing. Chef Ted and Ann-Marie join us.

Rooney’s Irish Pub and Shanty Irish Brewing Co. are the pride of Orcutt, CA. With a superb culinary team, Rooney’s is recognized as a “gastropub,” known for its excellent gourmet pub fare. Rooney’s is also a ‘brewpub,’ proudly introducing the area to freshly made craft beers. Rooney’s turns out some of the freshest ales; Ambers, Blonds, Porters, IPA’s and other seasonal specialty ales, lagers, and pilsners. Rooney’s also offers an extensive ‘cellar’ list of fine craft brews, sharing Tim’s love of some of his other favorite breweries. Proprietor Tim Rooney moves out from behind the long bar and is out guest.

We’re continuing our preview of the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl which is on now through May 31st. Joining us is Susan Feniger of Border Grill fame. Border Grill, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger are all participating in multiple events as part of the Food Bowl. Their contribution to “Things In A Bowl Menu Items” is an Heirloom tomato gazpacho in a bowl topped with shrimp and crab salpicon.

The ninth annual Ka‘u Coffee Festival (Big Island of Hawaii) celebrates its award-winning brew with a host of events starting May 19 and continuing through the weekend of May 27-28 with a java-jumpin’ ho‘olaulea‘a on Saturday and the Ka‘u Coffee College educational series on Sunday. Supported by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and a bevy of sponsors and volunteers, the Ka‘u Coffee Festival is designed to celebrate Ka‘u as a premium coffee growing origin and a unique visitor destination. Many events are free, while others require a nominal fee and reservations. Organizer Chris Manfredi joins us.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is on the road this morning. We’ll catch-up with him by phone.

If you perhaps missed last Saturday’s show from the 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel there is hope. The podcasts of the show segments from the Reef Lounge are available for the listening via our website or on iTunes.

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

Brendan CollinsTower 12, located on Hermosa Beach’s Pier Avenue, is a new hang that throws it back for the local community. The new South Bay spot incorporates vintage artifacts, furnishings and artwork that rep the laidback surf, music and beach scene. Wanting to create a welcoming, truly unique space for friends and neighbors to kick back and enjoy incredible food and drink, the Tower 12 team called on Consulting Chef Brendan Collins (Birch in Hollywood) to create California-inspired, updated spins on American classics.

Tower 12’s food program is guided by Consulting Chef Brendan Collins, one of Los Angeles’ most distinguished culinary names, alongside Executive Chef Alex Granados. The Tower 12 team created a menu full of delights for the hungry surfer.

Shareable starters include Woodfired Garlic Blue Shrimp with Whole Caledonian Shrimp, garlic butter & charred sourdough, Cheese Steak Poppers with Yorkshire popovers, ribeye, peppers, onion & cheese sauce and Chicken Lollipop Wings with green apple & bourbon chipotle hot sauce. Tower 12 also offers an assortment of chef selected charcuterie and artisan cheese boards. Signature salads include Roasted Heirloom Beets with Caña de Cabre Goat Cheese, baby greens, cherry tomato, Banyuls vinaigrette and Smoked Chicken Waldorf with house-smoked chicken, candied walnuts, green apple, bleu cheese, baby gem & cranberry balsamic vinaigrette.

Hand-tossed pizzas baked in Tower 12’s woodfired oven include the Banzai Pipeline Hawaiian Pizza with parma cotto ham, pineapple, Fresno chilis, mint & tomato sauce and Magic Mushroom Pizza with forest mushrooms, truffle gremolata, crème fraiche & arugula. Among the “between the bread” offerings are a House-Smoked Pastrami Sandwich with double-smoked, hand-cut pastrami, Emmental cheese, coleslaw & house Russian dressing on grilled marble rye and Ahi Tuna Banh Mi Burger with sushi grade tuna, cucumber, Vietnamese mint, nam sauce, roasted peanuts, cilantro, hoisin, pickled carrots & cucumbers on a sesame seed bun.

Hearty entrees include a 12-Hour Braised Short Rib with brown butter mashed potatoes & grilled broccolini and Organic Salmon on Cedar with a miso glaze, grilled broccolini & chile marmalade. Rounding out the menu are vegetable sides such as Grilled Broccolini with lemon, garlic, shallots, extra virgin olive oil & chili flakes and Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes with Yukon potato & caramelized brown butter.

Tower 12 houses two full-service bars specializing in handcrafted cocktails, wine and 30 local brews on tap. Located on a second story deck with beautiful ocean views, Tower 12 features a wraparound, wooden outdoor balcony and interconnected rooms that feel more like a kickback for friends than a public space.

Chef Brendan joins us with the highlights and the surf report.

Ann Marie Verdi and Ted Hopson of the BellwetherThe Bellwether (Studio City) owners Chef Ted Hopson and Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi will come together on May 17th to host a collaborative dining experience with none other than Food Network’s Chef Jet Tila who is also the executive chef & partner of Pakpao Thai in Dallas. Guests will enjoy a tasty five-course prix fixe menu with an optional beverage pairing.

The Bellwether is the debut restaurant and bar from Executive Chef/Owner Ted Hopson and Beverage Director/Owner Anne-Marie Verdi. The market-inspired menu aims to capitalize on the abundance of California produce in order to showcase one-of-a-kind food and drink menus that feature family style shareable dishes, unique infusion based cocktails, and a hand selected list of beer and wine.

Chef Ted and Ann-Marie join us.

Tim RooneyRooney’s Irish Pub and Shanty Irish Brewing Co. are the pride of Orcutt, CA. Also famous (Orcutt) for “Old Maud,” a gusher of an oil well discovered there in 1904. With a superb culinary team, Rooney’s is recognized as a “gastropub,” known for its excellent gourmet pub fare.

Rooney’s is also a ‘brewpub,’ proudly introducing the area to freshly made craft beers. Rooney’s turns out some of the freshest ales; Ambers, Blonds, Porters, IPA’s and other seasonal specialty ales, lagers, and pilsners. Rooney’s also offers an extensive ‘cellar’ list of fine craft brews, sharing Tim’s love of some of his other favorite breweries.

“Being of Irish heritage, I have always loved everything Irish. Much of our inspiration developed as our family traveled to Ireland where we toured much of the Emerald Isle. I’m not sure if we missed many Irish pubs along the way, but we loved the people, countryside, and “craic,” as they say. “

“Our love for craft beer began in the early 1980’s where finding anything beyond the basic lagers was difficult. Finally discovering Sierra Nevada, Anchor Brewing, and Sam Adams it opened a new world of freshly made, hoppy greatness.

“For as many Irish pubs we have visited, we have probably discovered more craft breweries, brewpubs, and micro brews throughout California and beyond. Our love for both had us filling a need in the Santa Maria Valley; an Irish Brewpub! Although the original vision was that of a small humble establishment, Rooney’s opened in July of 2010, and has been recognized as one of the most beautiful and authentic Irish pubs on the Central Coast. “

There is no better place to eat well, drink deep, and celebrate every good day than at Rooney’s Irish Pub, where

“There are no strangers, only friends we’ve never met.”

Proprietor Tim Rooney moves out from behind the long bar and is our guest.

Susan Feniger of Mud Hen TavernWe’re continuing our preview of the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl which is on now through May 31st. Joining us is Susan Feniger of Border Grill fame. Border Grill, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger are all participating in multiple events as part of the Food Bowl. Their contribution to “Things In A Bowl Menu Items is an Heirloom tomato gazpacho in a bowl topped with shrimp and crab salpicon.

Susan will also be previewing the May 19th screening at The Huntington, Pasadena of the new documentary, James Beard: America’s First Foodie. Beard is revered (and remembered) as the Dean of American Cookery.

Susan’s business partner, Mary Sue Milliken, knew Beard and will be a part of a panel with Chef Jim Dodge and the filmmakers after the screening of the documentary.

Chris ManfrediThe ninth annual Ka‘u Coffee Festival (Big Island of Hawaii) celebrates its award-winning brew with a host of events starting May 19 and continuing through the weekend of May 27-28 with a java-jumpin’ ho‘olaulea‘a on Saturday and the Ka‘u Coffee College educational series on Sunday. Supported by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and a bevy of sponsors and volunteers, the Ka‘u Coffee Festival is designed to celebrate Ka‘u as a premium coffee growing origin and a unique visitor destination.

Many events are free, while others require a nominal fee and reservations.

An unspoiled land, sunny climate and misty afternoons give Ka’u coffee it characteristic deep flavors. One esteemed coffee taster described a special Ka’u coffee as “the taste of chocolate, cherry and coconut accented with floral notes of orchid and citrus flavors.”

“Unique cultivating practices including hand-picking, sun drying, warm sunny mornings and misty afternoon rains and fertile volcanic soils combine with the passion and aloha of Ka’u farmers to produce some of the finest coffees grown anywhere.”

Organizer Chris Manfredi of Ka’u Farm and Ranch joins us.

Andrew and William GruelOur Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is on the road this morning. We’ll catch-up with him by phone.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Consulting Chef Brendan Collins, Tower 12, Hermosa Beach
Segment Three: The Bellwether’s Executive Chef / Proprietor Ted Hopson & Proprietor / Beverage Director Anne-Marie Verdi
Segment Four: Tim Rooney, Proprietor, Rooney’s Irish Pub, Orcutt, CA
Segment Five: Susan Feniger, Border Grill, The Los Angeles Times Food Bowl
Segment Six: 9th Annual Ka’u Coffee Festival, Big Island of Hawaii
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Show 184, August 13, 2016: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel

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 Co-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 (hopefully) tantalizing preview of Saturday’s overloaded 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…

Rachel Klemek’s Blackmarket Bakery is a home-grown institution in The Camp in Costa Mesa and now in Santa Ana, too, in the Santora Building. Rachel also has a pop-up at The OC Fair in the OC Promenade. It’s time for our annual visit with baker, Rachel Klemek.

The Bellwether is the debut restaurant (launched in early August of 2015) and bar from Executive Chef/Owner Ted Hopson and Beverage Director/Owner Ann-Marie Verdi. The market-inspired menu aims to capitalize on the abundance of California produce in order to showcase one-of-a-kind food and drink menus that feature family style shareable dishes, unique infusion based cocktails, and a hand-selected list of beer and wine. Chef Ted and Ann-Marie are our guests.

Newly launched in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone is Acme Hospitality’s Helena Avenue Bakery. It’s primarily a small-production, wholesale bakery operation but the proudly, from-scratch operation features a small retail counter open to the public daily from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Acme Hospitality’s Sherry Villanueva joins us.

Ascension Cellars is a premium, boutique winery specializing in barrel-select, handcrafted Rhône and Bordeaux-style wines from the central coast of California. Ascension Cellars began when friends were enjoying a glass of wine together one summer day.  “You know, this is good,” they said, “but there is something missing.”  And so, the quest for something better began.  Winemaker & Proprietor Erick Allen is our guest.

It’s that most wonderful time of the year – Hatch Chile season! Grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico they are only available fresh for a few shorts weeks annually, now through mid-September. Joining us for an informative update with all the provocative Hatch Chile 411, including where to find sure-to-please recipes, is our resident Produce authority, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce. Let the roasting begin.

Tilapia is particularly appreciated in the Asian and Hispanic communities but needs more love in the United States. It’s flavorful, easy-to-prepare and value priced. It’s been called the “aqua-chicken.” Our resident seafood authority and Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, provides the informed perspective with no fish tales.

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

Play

Show 184, August 13, 2016: Chef Ted Hopson & Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi, The Bellwether, Studio City

Ann Marie Verdi and Ted Hopson of the BellwetherThe Bellwether is the debut restaurant (launched in early August of 2015) and bar from Executive Chef/Owner Ted Hopson and Beverage Director/Owner Ann-Marie Verdi. The market-inspired menu aims to capitalize on the abundance of California produce in order to showcase one-of-a-kind food and drink menus that feature family style shareable dishes, unique infusion based cocktails, and a hand-selected list of beer and wine.

Equal attention is warranted for the thoughtful beverage program created by Ann-Marie Verdi (also formerly of Father’s Office) who has worked closely with Chef Hopson to create complementary cocktails infused with much of the same seasonal produce found in the menu.

A weekend Brunch standout cocktail is Mama Betty’s Bloody Mary. It’s house-infused Habanero Vodka, house mix, bacon salt and topped with a cute mini-BLT.

“Our years of combined industry experience have impacted every decision we have made throughout this process and seeing our ideas turn into reality has been incredibly rewarding,” says Hopson. “We focused on creating the type of experience we would want as guests, and we couldn’t be more excited to be able to share that with everyone !”

Chef Ted and Ann-Marie are our guests.

 

Play

August 13: Blackmarket Bakery, The Bellwether, Helena Avenue Bakery, Ascension Cellars, Melissa’s Hatch Chile Season

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Rachel Klemek, Blackmarket Bakery, Costa Mesa and Santa Ana
Segment Three: Chef Ted Hopson & Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi, The Bellwether, Studio City
Segment Four: Sherry Villanueva, Acme Hospitality, Helena Avenue Bakery, Santa Barbara
Segment Five: Erick Allen, Winemaker and Proprietor, Ascension Cellars, Paso Robles
Segment Six: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Hatch Chile Season Part One
Segment Seven: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Hatch Chile Season Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish – In Defense of Tilapia

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 Co-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 (hopefully) tantalizing preview of Saturday’s overloaded 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…

Rachel Klemek’s Blackmarket Bakery is a home-grown institution in The Camp in Costa Mesa and now in Santa Ana, too, in the Santora Building. Rachel also has a pop-up at The OC Fair in the OC Promenade. It’s time for our annual visit with baker, Rachel Klemek.

The Bellwether is the debut restaurant (launched in early August of 2015) and bar from Executive Chef/Owner Ted Hopson and Beverage Director/Owner Ann-Marie Verdi. The market-inspired menu aims to capitalize on the abundance of California produce in order to showcase one-of-a-kind food and drink menus that feature family style shareable dishes, unique infusion based cocktails, and a hand-selected list of beer and wine. Chef Ted and Ann-Marie are our guests.

Newly launched in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone is Acme Hospitality’s Helena Avenue Bakery. It’s primarily a small-production, wholesale bakery operation but the proudly, from-scratch operation features a small retail counter open to the public daily from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Acme Hospitality’s Sherry Villanueva joins us.

Ascension Cellars is a premium, boutique winery specializing in barrel-select, handcrafted Rhône and Bordeaux-style wines from the central coast of California. Ascension Cellars began when friends were enjoying a glass of wine together one summer day.  “You know, this is good,” they said, “but there is something missing.”  And so, the quest for something better began.  Winemaker & Proprietor Erick Allen is our guest.

It’s that most wonderful time of the year – Hatch Chile season! Grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico they are only available fresh for a few shorts weeks annually, now through mid-September. Joining us for an informative update with all the Hatch Chile 411, including where to find sure-to-please recipes, is our resident Produce authority, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce. Let the roasting begin.

Tilapia is particularly appreciated in the Asian and Hispanic communities but needs more love in the United States. It’s flavorful, easy-to-prepare and value priced. It’s been called the “aqua-chicken.” Our resident seafood authority and Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, provides the informed perspective with no fish tales.

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

Rachel Klemek of Blackmarket Bakery and the CampRachel Klemek’s Blackmarket Bakery is a home-grown institution in The Camp in Costa Mesa and now in Santa Ana, too, in the Santora Building. Rachel also has a pop-up at The OC Fair in the OC Promenade through August 14th. It’s time for our annual visit with baker, Rachel Klemek.

Chef Rachel, grew up in the South, influenced by her two sugar-loving Grandmas. Baking and eating cookies, Bojangles (biscuits), breads and other delicacies were forms of communication, a way of showing — and sharing — family love.  After experimentation and hands on experience in the industry, she attended the Culinary Institute of America, Napa Valley, in Baking & Pastry, graduating at the top of her class.

In 2004, she struck out on her own, founding Blackmarket Bakery in an inauspicious industrial space in Irvine, CA. Since then, her product line, legend and lore have grown. Her incredible cakes, cookies, brownies made from wine flour and fresh breads are just a few items that showcase Chef Rachel’s culinary playfulness.

Furthering her goal of empowering the community with quality, Blackmarket Bakery offers a selection of fresh, whole-food based items that are pleasing to the body and the mind. By using fundamentals – butter, flour, sugar, eggs (all black market goods during WWII) – Chef Rachel focuses on delivering what the community is missing.

Ann Marie Verdi and Ted Hopson of the BellwetherThe Bellwether is the debut restaurant (launched in early August of 2015) and bar from Executive Chef/Owner Ted Hopson and Beverage Director/Owner Ann-Marie Verdi. The market-inspired menu aims to capitalize on the abundance of California produce in order to showcase one-of-a-kind food and drink menus that feature family style shareable dishes, unique infusion based cocktails, and a hand-selected list of beer and wine.

Equal attention is warranted for the thoughtful beverage program created by Ann-Marie Verdi (also formerly of Father’s Office) who has worked closely with Chef Hopson to create complementary cocktails infused with much of the same seasonal produce found in the menu.

“Our years of combined industry experience have impacted every decision we have made throughout this process and seeing our ideas turn into reality has been incredibly rewarding,” says Hopson. “We focused on creating the type of experience we would want as guests, and we couldn’t be more excited to be able to share that with everyone !”

Chef Ted and Ann-Marie are our guests.

Sherry VillanuevaNewly launched in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone is Acme Hospitality’s Helena Avenue Bakery. It’s primarily a small-production, wholesale bakery operation but the proudly, from-scratch operation features a small retail counter open to the public daily from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

“It’s exciting to see the growth in high quality businesses opening up in the Funk Zone.  The need for a wholesome bakery that appeals to people of all ages became quite clear to us as the neighborhood continues to unfold,” states Sherry Villanueva. “Having a bakery was a logical

progression for us. The key ingredient was putting together the right talent, and we have a passionate and talented team. We’ve been serving the donuts, bagels, scones, muffins and cookies at Lucky Penny for several months now and they’ve been a huge hit.”

The bakery allows visitors to observe the chefs at work as they hand-shape baguettes, breads and pastries behind over-sized glass walls. The bakers’ ovens and state-of-the art equipment are exposed to the public, integrating modern machinery into the original architecture of the notable warehouse.

The entrance to the bakery is accessed through a shared door of the Santa Barbara Wine Collective. As guests enter, they are greeted by the inviting Picnic Counter which serves as the local shop for artfully displayed breads, pastries, sandwiches and salads prepared fresh daily.

Acme Hospitality’s Sherry Villanueva joins us.

Erick AllenAscension Cellars is a premium, boutique winery specializing in barrel-select, handcrafted Rhône and Bordeaux-style wines from the central coast of California.

Ascension Cellars began when friends were enjoying a glass of wine together one summer day.  “You know, this is good,” they said, “but there is something missing.”  And so, the quest for something better began.  They wanted wines with elegance, body, and grace that stimulated the senses.  They wanted wines that they would be proud to offer to their family and friends.

What followed was good fortune by the barrel. Vast support and inspiration came not only from knowledgeable mentors in Lake Arrowhead, who have been making wine together for decades, but also from Paso Robles winemakers who gave so generously of their time and expertise.

“We source our grapes and make our wine at Cass Vineyard. We are inspired by their focus on low yield, premium quality fruit as well as the impeccable care of their vineyards. Together, we share a love of the environment and promote sustainability of nature’s resources.”

“Our love of French Rhône and Bordeaux wines influence every wine we craft. We believe in a limited, light-handed approach to winemaking, allowing the true typicity of each varietal and the terroir of the vineyard to shine through as the star of each vintage, preserving the wine’s link to its place of origin. This allows us to create wines that are distinctive and hypnotic with personality, charm, balance and grace.”

“We embrace the use of stainless steel, cold core fermentation for our white wines, showcasing the floral tropical notes, fruit flavors, bright minerality and acidity of each varietal. Once our white wines are blended, we preserve these qualities by aging the wines in neutral, French oak barrels with limited contact to oxygen prior to bottling.”

“We barrel age our red wines for two years in French and American Appalachian Oak barrels where the use of new oak is done sparingly. We blend our Rhône and Bordeaux varietals to produce wines that are more complex, better balanced, and richer than single, varietal wines.”

Winemaker & Proprietor Erick Allen is our guest.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioIt’s that most wonderful time of the year – Hatch Chile season! Grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico they are only available fresh for a few shorts weeks annually, now through mid-September.

Joining us for an informative update with all the Hatch Chile 411, including where to find sure-to-please recipes, is our resident Produce authority, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce. Let the roasting begin.

Harvested from fertile soil along the Rio Grande, Hatch Chiles thrive in the river valley’s combination of nutrient-rich soil, intense sunlight, and cool desert nights. The peppers develop thick walls and meaty, flavorful flesh unlike any other chile.

Because their growing season is short, Hatch Chiles are typically bought in bulk, roasted immediately, and frozen for use throughout the year. Nutritionally speaking, a single fresh medium-size green chile has as much Vitamin C as six oranges. Hot chile peppers are believed to burn calories by triggering a thermodynamic response in the body that speeds metabolism.

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

Connoisseurs and chefs from all over the globe have adopted Hatch Chiles as a condiment of choice. Many a home cook and celebrity chef have gone further, incorporating Hatch Chiles into all kinds of superb dishes from burgers, pizzas, quiches, pancakes, milkshakes, pastries and even spiced ice cubes.

Mouth-watering Hatch Chile recipes are available on the Melissa’s Website. Perfected recipes for Hatch Chile Guacamole, Hatch Chile Chili and Hatch Chile Salsa are all right there at the ready.

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosTilapia is particularly appreciated in the Asian and Hispanic communities but needs more love in the United States. It’s flavorful, easy-to-prepare and value priced. It’s been called the “aqua-chicken.”

Our resident seafood authority and Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, provides the informed perspective with no fish tales.

According to Seafood Health Facts:

“Tilapia has progressively grown in popularity since 2002 when it first entered the top ten list of the most frequently consumed seafood products in the United States. It’s the third most popular aquaculture or farm raised seafood product behind shrimp and salmon. Since 2006, Americans have consumed over 1 pound of tilapia per person each year. Predictions suggest it will remain a popular selection due to its mild flavor and taste, versatility in preparation, and competitive prices.”

“Tilapia is a sustainable farm-raised product. Because tilapia are herbivorous fish that feed on algae, there is no need for feeds produced from wild caught fish. Raising tilapia in some ponds or other small water bodies can actually help improve the quality of waters compromised by excessive algae blooms. Some farming operations are using a technique called aquaponics to cultivate fish and vegetables or herbs together to produce two or more products in the same water based system.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Rachel Klemek, Blackmarket Bakery, Costa Mesa and Santa Ana
Segment Three: Chef Ted Hopson & Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi, The Bellwether, Studio City
Segment Four: Sherry Villanueva, Acme Hospitality, Helena Avenue Bakery, Santa Barbara
Segment Five: Erick Allen, Winemaker and Proprietor, Ascension Cellars, Paso Robles
Segment Six: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Hatch Chile Season Part One
Segment Seven: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Hatch Chile Season Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish – In Defense of Tilapia