Show 247, November 11, 2017: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish and Trade’s Two Birds & Butterleaf

Andrew and William GruelCo-host, Chef Andrew Gruel, joins us from the road with an informative “Ask the Chef” segment.

Stressed about preparing the Thanksgiving feast for your extended family? Pause…Take a breath…Chef Andrew Gruel to the rescue. Chef Andrew offers his practical chef’s tips for a stress-free, Thanksgiving celebration.

Among Chef Andrew’s top tips are doing the casserole side dishes ahead and freezing them, calibrating the oven to verify the temperature and brining the bird for enhancing the flavor. Also consider selecting a Heritage Turkey. It’s really something special.

Play

Show 245, October 21, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a salivating preview of this Saturday’s, October 21st’s, ample 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…

Executive Producer Andy Harris was in Roswell, GA (an incorporated City of 95,000 in the greater Atlanta area with a lot of living Civil War history) earlier this month with fellow members of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA.) In this show we start our coverage of the best of Roswell with a chat with restaurateur Ryan Pernice, the founder of Table & Main restaurant, a locals’ favorite.

Soaring 950 feet above 5th Street in downtown Los Angeles, high atop the U.S. Bank Tower, 71Above celebrates the diversity of culture and landscape in the City of Angels. Proprietor Emil Eyvazoff’s (Takami Sushi & Robata Restaurant and Elevate Lounge) key team is acclaimed Chef Vartan Abgaryan (Cliff’s Edge) and General Manager Alex Hasbany. Chef Abgaryan’s menus offer a contemporary, modern American cuisine that references the ethnic makeup and cultural traditions of the sprawling metropolis. Emil Eyvazoff joins us.

Benjies New York Deli, Restaurant & Avenue K Bar in Santa Ana has been operating as a two-generation family owned New York -style deli originated by Stan Weinstein in 1967 and still operated today by Stan’s son and daughter-in-law, Lloyd & Noriko Weinstein. On October 6th they celebrated their 50th anniversary of continuous service. The Weinstein’s strive to maintain the family-oriented-style, quality restaurant created by Stan, while keeping up with modern trends in dining. Benjies offers the truly New York style deli experience in Orange County, California—large portions, fresh products and an extensive array of menu items—mouth-watering pastrami on rye, and soul-warming Matzo Ball soup to absolutely decadent desserts. 2nd generation deli-maven Lloyd Weinstein is our guest.

October is National Pasta Month and Chef Bruce Kalman and his crew are celebrating all month long at Pasadena’s Union Restaurant by raising money for American Red Cross – Disaster Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico, Texas & Florida aka #pastaforthepeople. Each week in October Chef Kalman has highlighted one of his signature pasta dishes off his menu. When the featured pasta is ordered a portion of the proceeds from that dish will go to support disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico, Texas & Florida via the American Red Cross. Chef Bruce is also part of the Grand Central Market’s 100th Birthday Celebration on Friday, October 27th. We’ll get Chef Bruce away from the pasta cooker for a chat.

Co-host, Chef Andrew Gruel, joins us from the road with an informative “Ask the Chef” segment.

Program Note for October 28th. We graciously stepping aside for Cal Golden Bears Football (UC Berkeley). Cal is playing Colorado in Boulder at Folsom Field. We’ll be back on Saturday morning, November 4th at the usual 10:00 a.m. start with our regular tasty shenanigans.

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

Play

October 21: Table & Main, 71Above, Benjie’s New York Deli, Bruce Kalman

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Ryan Pernice, Table & Main and RO Hospitality
Segment Three: Restaurateur Emil Eyvazoff, 71Above, DTLA Part One
Segment Four: Restaurateur Emil Eyvazoff, 71Above, DTLA Part Two
Segment Five: Lloyd Weinstein, Proprietor, Benjies N.Y. Deli, Restaurant & Avenue K Bar, Santa Ana
Segment Six: Chef Bruce Kalman, Union and Knead & Co Part One
Segment Seven: Chef Bruce Kalman, Union and Knead & Co Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish and Trade’s Two Birds & Butterleaf

Now a salivating preview of this Saturday’s ample 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…

Executive Producer Andy Harris was in Roswell, GA (an incorporated City of 95,000 in the greater Atlanta area with a lot of living Civil War history) earlier this month with fellow members of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA.) In this show we start our coverage of the best of Roswell with a chat with restaurateur Ryan Pernice, the founder of Table & Main restaurant, a locals’ favorite.

Soaring 950 feet above 5th Street in downtown Los Angeles, high atop the U.S. Bank Tower, 71Above celebrates the diversity of culture and landscape in the City of Angels. Proprietor Emil Eyvazoff’s key team is acclaimed Chef Vartan Abgaryan and General Manager Alex Hasbany. Chef Abgaryan’s menus offer a contemporary, modern American cuisine that references the ethnic makeup and cultural traditions of the sprawling metropolis. Emil Eyvazoff joins us.

Benjies New York Deli, Restaurant & Avenue K Bar in Santa Ana has been operating as a two-generation family owned New York style deli originated by Stan Weinstein in 1967 and still operated today by Stan’s son and daughter-in-law, Lloyd & Noriko Weinstein. On October 6th they celebrated their 50th anniversary of continuous service. The Weinstein’s strive to maintain the family-oriented-style, quality restaurant created by Stan, while keeping up with modern trends in dining. Benjies offers the truly New York style deli experience in Orange County, California—large portions, fresh products and an extensive array of menu items—mouth-watering pastrami on rye, and soul-warming Matzo Ball soup to absolutely decadent desserts. 2nd generation deli-maven Lloyd Weinstein is our guest.

October is National Pasta Month and Chef Bruce Kalman and his crew are celebrating all month long at Pasadena’s Union restaurant by raising money for American Red Cross – Disaster Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico, Texas & Florida aka #pastaforthepeople. Each week in October Chef Kalman has highlighted one of his signature pasta dishes off his menu. When the featured pasta is ordered a portion of the proceeds from that dish will go to support disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico, Texas & Florida via the American Red Cross. Chef Bruce is also part of the Grand Central Market’s 100th Birthday Celebration on Friday, October 27th. We’ll get Chef Bruce away from the pasta cooker for a chat.

Co-host, Chef Andrew Gruel, joins us from the road with an informative “Ask the Chef” segment.

Program Note for October 28th. We graciously stepping aside for Cal Golden Bears Football (UC Berkeley). Cal is playing Colorado in Boulder at Folsom Field. We’ll be back on Saturday morning, November 4th at the usual 10:00 a.m. start with our regular tasty shenanigans.

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

Ryan PerniceExecutive Producer Andy Harris was in Roswell, GA (an incorporated City of 95,000 in the greater Atlanta area with a lot of living history from the Civil War) earlier this month with fellow members of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA.) In this show we start our coverage of the best of Roswell with a chat with restaurateur Ryan Pernice, the founder of Table & Main restaurant, a true locals’ favorite.

A simple, seasonal, and Southern dining experience, Table & Main offers a place for people to come and enjoy themselves at a cozy restored homestead on lively Canton Street in Roswell, Georgia. Diners enjoy quality dishes evocative of the South and home-style cooking like Chef Woody Back’s famous fried chicken that some patrons argue rivals grandma’s recipe. Table & Main proudly promotes itself as the place to get your bourbon on Canton Street with its well-stocked bourbon bar and beautiful patio where partakers can relax, surrender their troubles, and enjoy the hospitality and attention of the restaurant.

“Founded by Ryan Pernice, RO Hospitality opened its first restaurant, Table & Main, in Roswell, GA in 2011 with a clear, confident vision of becoming the neighborhood’s adopted clubhouse. We’re proud of our progress towards achieving that goal, being tremendously fortunate to work with amazing people as we hone our community focus at two additional concepts: Osteria Mattone and Coalition Food and Beverage. Our team relies on five major characteristics to nurture the tradition of excellent hospitality our restaurants represent: Warmth, Optimism, Ownership, Conviction, and Loyalty. With those key traits uplifting our Cuisine, Service & Story, we will create such positive experiences for our guests that they will seek to make us a part of their daily lives.”

Emil EyvazoffSoaring 950 feet above 5th Street in downtown Los Angeles, high atop the U.S. Bank Tower, 71Above celebrates the diversity of culture and landscape in the City of Angels. Proprietor Emil Eyvazoff’s key team is acclaimed Chef Vartan Abgaryan and General Manager Alex Hasbany. Chef Abgaryan’s menus offer a contemporary, modern American cuisine that references the ethnic makeup and cultural traditions of the sprawling metropolis. Emil Eyvazoff joins us.

71Above diners revel in extraordinary unobstructed scenery, expanding for miles in all directions.  Tag Front partnered with SageGlass Company to create a seamless view protected from the elements by technological engineering that automatically darken and lightens the glass panes surrounding the restaurant, offering shading in the light of day, while magically lightening as dusk and nightfall arrive.

Upon entering the restaurant from the lobby of the US Bank Tower, guests arrive on the 71st floor in a centralized enclosed area that dramatically expands outward as the full restaurant and views are revealed. Tag Front references the geography of the landscape below, as well as the flight patterns above through the use of various design motifs.  The 71Above logo on the front entrance floor extends outward in every direction, landing at table tops capped by a compass, alongside artistic directionals beautifully positioned on mirrored partitions that highlight the closest local, and farthest international destinations.

The structural layout of the space affords an unusual mix of seating options, including “quieter dining” for private events or those that prefer to be outside the noise and bustle of the busy restaurant; the chef’s tables, which offer up-close views into the open kitchen; the lively main dining room and the robust atmosphere of the adjoining bar and lounge. Guest may opt to select their preferred dining atmosphere during the TOCK reservations process.

Guests will discover an extensive mixology program in the bar and lounge areas, as well as curated cocktail selections designed to pair with each course of the dining experience.

Chef Abgaryan offers a dining journey that includes a two-course lunch ($35.00 pp), three-course dinner ($75.00 pp), guided chef’s tasting menus, along with curated wine and cocktail parings ($45.00 pp).  Each menu offering concludes with an array of extraordinary dessert offerings by Executive Pastry Chef Gregory Baumgartner.

Emil Eyvazoff is a native of Los Angeles and among the pioneers in the renaissance of Downtown. Eyvazoff began in Downtown’s hospitality and nightlife scene in 2004 with the development of Takami Sushi & Robata Restaurant and Elevate Lounge.  Eyvazoff was approached by the ownership of the U.S. Bank Tower in 2013 to develop a unique restaurant concept for the 71st floor. Over the next three years, 71Above was born.  Passionate about food and wine, Eyvazoff belongs to several societies, including the Chevaliers du Tastevin and Commanderie de Bordeaux.

Lloyd WeinsteinBenjies New York Deli, Restaurant & Avenue K Bar in Santa Ana has been operating as a two-generation family owned New York-style deli originated by Stan Weinstein in 1967 and still operated today by Stan’s son and daughter-in-law, Lloyd & Noriko Weinstein. On October 6th they celebrated their 50th anniversary of continuous service.

The Weinstein’s strive to maintain the family-oriented-style, quality restaurant created by Stan, while keeping up with modern trends in dining. Benjies offers the truly New York style deli experience in Orange County, California—large portions, fresh products and an extensive array of menu items—mouth-watering pastrami on rye, and soul-warming Matzo Ball soup to absolutely decadent desserts.

Added in the last 18 months is the Avenue K Bar with a modern stylish atmosphere. On the menu are a broad selection of ice cold craft beers on tap and specialty cocktails. Also available in Avenue K is Benjies’ full menu along with a standout Happy Hour appetizer and cocktail Menu served from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. With multiple HD, wall-mounted large-screen televisions placed strategically around the room it’s a great spot to enjoy college and pro football as well as Anaheim Ducks Hockey.

2nd generation deli-maven Lloyd Weinstein is our guest.

Bruce Kalman on Union PasadenaOctober is National Pasta Month and Chef Bruce Kalman and his crew are celebrating all month long at Pasadena’s Union Restaurant by raising money for American Red Cross – Disaster Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico, Texas & Florida aka #pastaforthepeople.

Each week in October Chef Kalman has highlighted one of his signature pasta dishes off his menu. When the featured pasta is ordered a portion of the proceeds from that dish will go to support disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico, Texas & Florida via the American Red Cross.

For the concluding week of October 22nd to 31st the featured dish is Tagliatelle with pork ragu, Grana Padano and gremolata.

Chef Bruce is also part of the Grand Central Market’s 100th Birthday Celebration on Friday, October 27th. He operates Knead & Co. pasta bar + market there.

We’ll get Chef Bruce away from the pasta cooker for a chat.

Chef Bruce Kalman of Union and Knead & Co. pasta bar + market will compete on Season 15 of Bravo’s Top Chef” which launches on Thursday evening, December 7th.

The Emmy and James Beard Award-winning series will follow 15 diverse chefs from across the country as they battle it out for the coveted title amid the breathtaking landscapes and thriving culinary scenes in Denver, Boulder, Telluride and Aspen. Host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio return to the judges table alongside Gail Simmons and Graham Elliot.

For a sneak peek, visit the Bravo’s Top Chef site.

Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Bruce Kalman has spent almost his entire life working in kitchens. His culinary career began at a local pizzeria owned by a family friend, where he fell in love with fresh ingredients and the beat of the kitchen. He attended a small hands-on culinary program at Hudson County Community College in Jersey City, NJ, where he began to hone his skills and perfect his simple approach to great food.

Bruce has since traveled the United States, working in New York City with David Burke at Park Ave Cafe, and in Chicago with Paul Bartalotta at Spiaggia. His executive chef stints span the nation from Chicago (Okno, Green Dolphin Street and Coco Pazzo) to Santa Fe, NM (Il Piatto) and Phoenix, AZ (Chelsea’s Kitchen).

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at the Fifth Anniversary of the SoCal Restaurant ShowCo-host, Chef Andrew Gruel, joins us from the road with an informative “Ask the Chef” segment.

Last week Anthony Bourdain of CNN’s “Parts Unknown” gave an exclusive interview to Business Insider with Chef Danny Bowien. Along the way Bourdain provided an epic rant on his dislike of Yelp! We’ll get Chef Andrew’s informed perspective.

Chef Andrew Gruel connects with us by phone this week after launching the first Slapfish in New Mexico in Albuquerque.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Ryan Pernice, Table & Main and RO Hospitality
Segment Three: Restaurateur Emil Eyvazoff, 71Above, DTLA Part One
Segment Four: Restaurateur Emil Eyvazoff, 71Above, DTLA Part Two
Segment Five: Lloyd Weinstein, Proprietor, Benjies N.Y. Deli, Restaurant & Avenue K Bar, Santa Ana
Segment Six: Chef Bruce Kalman, Union and Knead & Co Part One
Segment Seven: Chef Bruce Kalman, Union and Knead & Co Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish and Trade’s Two Birds & Butterleaf

Show 240, September 9, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel

Now an appetizing 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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

We always look forward to sharing with you the new, creative taste sensations at the 95th LA County Fair on now through September 24th in Pomona. Already creating excitement is Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on virtually everything edible including pizza. The master of midway food himself, Chef Dominic Palmieri, The Midway Gourmet, joins us for the tempting high calorie update.

Taco Rosa, Chef Ivan Calderon’s upscale Mexican restaurant in Newport Beach, will host Battle of the Tequileros on Mexican Independence Day, Saturday, September 16th from 1-5 p.m. Bringing together 26 different tequila and mezcal brands, the celebratory event will benefit Save our Youth (SOY), a local non-profit serving the at-risk youth of the Newport-Mesa area through arts, fitness, education, and scholarship programs. Chef Ivan is our guest.

During his 35 years of professional cooking, Chef Rich Mead has cultivated relationships with the highest regarded local sustainable farms, allowing him to create the freshest menus using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and specially grown vegetables. In 2016, after years of planning, Chef Mead unveiled a unique and sustainable field-to-fork dining experience at Farmhouse, located within Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar. Nestled on over 6 acres in the garden-like setting, Farmhouse features exclusive wines, craft beers, signature cocktails, artisan refreshments and a healthy based seasonal cuisine. We pull Chef Rich out of the local farmers market for a chat.

Farhana Sahibzada is a Chef and Cooking Instructor full of incredible passion for the food she cooks. Her dishes ooze with the scrumptious authenticity of her homeland, Pakistan. Blessed with a rich cultural heritage of Indian and Arabic influences, the region offers a vibrant tapestry of exquisite tastes. Her cookbook is Flavorful Shortcuts to Indian / Pakistani Cooking. We’ll meet her.

Chef Andrew Gruel is poised to take Slapfish’s signature fish and chips to London. Since this is a traditional British dish that’s a bit unusual. Chef Andrew will present us with an informative Fish and Chips 101 as part of our continuing “Ask the Chef” series.

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

Play

Show 240, September 9, 2017: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef”

Andrew and William GruelChef Andrew Gruel is poised to take Slapfish’s signature fish and chips to London before year’s end. Since this is a traditional British dish that’s a bit unusual. Classic fish and chips are deep-fried fish fillets and French fries typically served with malt vinegar. Chef Andrew will present us with the Fish and Chips 101 tutorial.

Crispy and delicious, of course, when properly prepared…

Play

Show 240, September 9, 2017: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef” continues

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamWe continue Chef Andrew’s informative tutorial on Fish and Chips.

Any mild-flavored white fish is a good base for the fish & chips. This gives you a lot of flexibility in utilizing the best, and most sustainable, of what is seasonably available.

A great tip is to keep the batter cold and prepare it in small batches. It’s important that the coating adheres to the fish fillet once the fish is cooked.

A shot of vodka added to the batter is another good tip.

Chips are up to discussion. Some go for the thick steak fries and others prefer thin strips. Definitely the chips need to be crisp on the outside.

Play

September 9: Midway Gourmet, Battle of the Tequileros, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens, Farhana Sahibzada, Ask the Chef

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Chef Dominic Palmieri, The Midway Gourmet, L.A. County Fair
Segment Three: Chef Ivan Calderon, Taco Rosa’s “Battle of the Taquileros” Part One
Segment Four: Chef Ivan Calderon, Taco Rosa’s “Battle of the Taquileros” Part Two
Segment Five: Proprietor Chef Rich Mead, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens
Segment Six: Chef & Cooking Instructor Farhana Sahibzada, author of Flavorful Shortcuts to Indian / Pakistani Cooking
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef” Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef” Part Two

Now an appetizing 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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

We always look forward to sharing with you the new, creative taste sensations at the LA County Fair on now through September 24th in Pomona. Already creating excitement is Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on virtually everything edible including pizza. The master of midway food himself, Chef Dominic Palmieri, the Midway Gourmet, joins us for the tempting high calorie update.

Taco Rosa, Chef Ivan Calderon’s upscale Mexican restaurant in Newport Beach, will host “Battle of the Tequileros” on Mexican Independence Day, Saturday, September 16th from 1-5 p.m. Bringing together 26 different tequila and mezcal brands, the celebratory event will benefit Save our Youth (SOY), a local non-profit serving the at-risk youth of the Newport-Mesa area through arts, fitness, education, and scholarship programs. Chef Ivan is our guest.

During his 35 years of professional cooking, Chef Rich Mead has cultivated relationships with the highest regarded local sustainable farms, allowing him to create the freshest menus using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and specially grown vegetables. In 2016, after years of planning, Chef Mead unveiled a unique and sustainable field-to-fork dining experience at Farmhouse, located within Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar. Nestled on over 6 acres in the garden-like setting, Farmhouse features exclusive wines, craft beers, signature cocktails, artisan refreshments and a healthy based seasonal cuisine. We pull Chef Rich out of the local farmers market for a chat.

Farhana Sahibzada is a Chef and Cooking Instructor full of incredible passion for the food she cooks. Her dishes ooze with the scrumptious authenticity of her homeland, Pakistan. Blessed with a rich cultural heritage of Indian and Arabic influences, the region offers a vibrant tapestry of exquisite tastes. We’ll meet her.

Chef Andrew Gruel is poised to take Slapfish’s signature fish and chips to London. Since this is a traditional British dish that’s a bit unusual. Chef Andrew will present us with Fish and Chips 101.

We get e-mail…In today’s “Ask the Chef” segment Chef Andrew will respond to recent listeners’ questions. We’re starting off with why we should be concerned about the inadvertent, mistaken release of tens of thousands of farm-raised Atlantic salmon into clean Washington State waters.

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

Dominic Palmieri of Midway GourmetWe always look forward to sharing with you the new, creative taste sensations at the LA County Fair on now through September 24th in Pomona. Already creating excitement is Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on virtually everything edible including pizza. The master of midway food himself, Chef Dominic Palmieri, the Midway Gourmet, joins us for the tempting high calorie update.

This year’s theme is “Dare to Fair.”

“It’s a 1950s experience with 21st century sensibility. You can’t experience the Fair on your phone.”

“This wouldn’t be a Fair without food! Dare to indulge! Deep-fried, on-a-stick, ooey, gooey, barbequed, dipped in chocolate and just plain delicious. That’s the best way to describe the array of food at the LA County Fair. Fair food offers a unique culinary experience, and the LA County Fair has so many choices, you can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner here every day of the Fair and never eat the same thing twice! From Asian to Greek to Classic American to Mexican – the Fair’s got it.”

The Midway Gourmet is cookin’ up a batch of unbelievable treats. Among the must-tries:

  • Nutella funnel cake
  • Flamin’ Hot Cheetos roasted corn on the cob. It’s life changing!
  • Flamin’ Hot Cheetos cheese fries
    Flamin’ Hot Cheetos pizza
  • Nitro Pop, candy pop kettle corn dipped in liquid nitrogen. It’s like eating frozen popcorn ice cream
  • The Pickle Cheese, a giant dill pickle stuffed with jalapeño cheese, dipped in corn dog batter and deep fried. For the expecting, and un-expecting, set. This was featured on Season 4 of The Food Network’s “Carnival Eats” early this spring. Did you catch it?

Ivan CalderonTaco Rosa, Chef Ivan Calderon’s upscale Mexican restaurant in Newport Beach, will host Battle of the Tequileros on Mexican Independence Day, Saturday, September 16th from 1-5 p.m. Bringing together 26 different tequila and mezcal brands, the celebratory event will benefit Save our Youth (SOY), a local non-profit serving the at-risk youth of the Newport-Mesa area through arts, fitness, education, and scholarship programs. Chef Ivan is our guest.

Offering perhaps the most diverse tasting selection in all of Southern California, the event will give guests an unparalleled opportunity to experience the unique nuances between a variety of tequilas and mezcales. Guests can also enjoy tasty tray-passed tapas-style bites from the Taco Rosa kitchen, exciting giveaways, and live mariachi music. A panel of esteemed judges, as well as the participants, will vote on the winners of the following categories:

  • Best Cocktail
  • Best Blanco
  • Best Reposado
  • Best Añejo
  • Best Booth Presentation

“Now in our fifth year, Battle of the Tequileros has become more than a tequila festival. It has become a cultural experience that shines light on a hallmark of Mexican culture, while benefitting a cause that helps uplift our community’s youth,” commented Ivan Calderon, who has been an active supporter and board member of Save our Youth for the past 24 years.

Tickets for the 21-and-over event are priced at $75 and offer guests all-inclusive access to tequila and mezcal tastings. Tickets can be purchased by calling 949.720.0980 or online here:.

Taco Rosa is located at 2632 San Miguel Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660.

With locations in Newport Beach and Irvine, California, Taco Rosa is the upscale, full-service sister restaurant to Taco Mesa. Chef Ivan Calderon’s award-winning menu utilizes sustainable ingredients and artisanal spices brought to life through authentic and contemporary cooking techniques.

Presenting the very best dishes and beverages from a variety of regions throughout Mexico, Taco Rosa takes their commitment to authenticity and sustainability one step further by using GMO-free masa for their corn products and tortillas. For more information, visit the Taco Rosa website.

Ivan Rogelio Calderon is the founder of Taco Mesa, Taco Rosa, and Taco Mesa Tortillería Orgánica & Café. As a third-generation restaurateur, Calderon began his career in the restaurant industry at El Torito Grill as a bus boy and as he worked his way through college began to move upward within the company, eventually earning himself a role in management. As a manager, he made it his mission to elevate El Torito’s operating standards. He helped lead the chain in opening several locations across the United States, eventually earning a position as regional manager.

In 1992, he opened the original Taco Mesa in Costa Mesa which garnered him recognition for bringing healthy and authentic, quick-service Mexican cuisine to Orange County. The Taco Mesa brand has expanded to include four locations in Costa Mesa, Mission Viejo, Orange (which he re-opened as his new tortilleria), and Foothill Ranch.

Calderon’s newest concept, Taco Mesa Tortillería Orgánica & Café, produces GMO-free corn masa for all his locations and will soon offer GMO-free tortillas to retailers and other restaurants.

Rich MeadDuring his 35 years of professional cooking, Chef Rich Mead has cultivated relationships with the highest regarded local sustainable farms, allowing him to create the freshest menus using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and specially grown vegetables

In 2016, after years of planning, Chef Mead unveiled a unique and sustainable field-to-fork dining experience at Farmhouse, located within Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar. Nestled on over 6 acres in the garden-like setting, Farmhouse features exclusive wines, craft beers, signature cocktails, artisan refreshments and a healthy based seasonal cuisine

Think Grilled Corn and Summer Squash “Succotash” with fried shishito pepper or Roasted Weiser Farms Pee Wee Potatoes with pancetta bread crumbs.

The full Summer menu at Farmhouse is also offered in the Farmhouse bar. It features four refreshing new Summer cocktails, hand-crafted by Anthony Laborin, head of Cocktail R&D.

We pull Chef Rich out of the crowded aisles of the local farmers market for a chat.

Farhana SahibzadaFarhana Sahibzada is a Chef and Cooking Instructor full of incredible passion for the food she cooks. Her dishes ooze with the scrumptious authenticity of her homeland, Pakistan. Blessed with a rich cultural heritage of Indian and Arabic influences, the region offers a vibrant tapestry of exquisite tastes.

Born in Karachi and raised in Lahore, Pakistan, Chef Farhana has lived in Los Angeles for the past thirty years. She teaches classes at some of L.A.’s most prestigious cooking schools, turning age-old South Asian cuisine into quick, healthy and satisfying meals for every modern American household.

There is an educational component to Farhana’s work. Not only do her recipes demystify a cuisine from the Indian subcontinent, her natural charm and easy-going nature make her the perfect conduit to teach traditions from a part of the world Westerners often know little about.

Farhana’s goal is to remove the intimidation and encourage people to cook South Asian food at home. She takes regular culinary trips back to Pakistan to work with food industry professionals in Punjab, fine tuning treasured recipes so home cooks can master tastes that have driven South Asian culture for thousands of years.

Her book ‘Flavorful Shortcuts to Indian and Pakistani Cooking’ (Trafford Publishing) won the 2014 ‘Beverly Hills Book Award’ as the Best International cookbook.

We’ll meet her.

Andrew and William GruelChef Andrew Gruel is poised to take Slapfish’s signature fish and chips to London before year’s end. Since this is a traditional British dish that’s a bit unusual. Classic fish and chips are deep-fried fish fillets and French fries typically served with malt vinegar. Chef Andrew will present us with the Fish and Chips 101 tutorial.

Crispy and delicious, of course, when properly prepared…

We get e-mail…In today’s “Ask the Chef” segment Chef Andrew will respond to recent listeners’ questions. We’re starting with why we should be concerned about the inadvertent, mistaken release of tens of thousands of farm-raised Atlantic salmon into clean Washington State waters. This is the home waters of wild Pacific salmon.

Last Sunday Chef Andrew spent the full day cooking at The Los Angeles Times The Taste. He was part of both the afternoon Sunday Block Party and the concluding, evening Flavors of L.A. We’ll hear about it.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Chef Dominic Palmieri, The Midway Gourmet, L.A. County Fair
Segment Three: Chef Ivan Calderon, Taco Rosa’s “Battle of the Taquileros” Part One
Segment Four: Chef Ivan Calderon, Taco Rosa’s “Battle of the Taquileros” Part Two
Segment Five: Proprietor Chef Rich Mead, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens
Segment Six: Chef & Cooking Instructor Farhana Sahibzada, author of Flavorful Shortcuts to Indian / Pakistani Cooking
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef” Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef” Part Two