Show 146, November 14, 2015: Master Barman Duggan McDonnell, San Francisco

Duggan McDonnellSan Francisco is a City devoted to drink and other causes. Our guest, Duggan McDonnell, is the author of Drinking the Devil’s Acre – A Love Letter from San Francisco and her Cocktails.

During the 1870s and ‘80s, the Devil’s Acre was a single, bar-filled block within San Francisco’s infamous Barbary Coast that boasted the wickedest, wildest saloons in America. A few blocks away, marble-floored drinking palaces poured the high art of the cocktail. From this, San Francisco’s electrifying nightlife was born and a few generations later, the city’s farm-to-glass cocktails have never tasted better.

McDonnell (part culinary anthropologist and part whimsical professor) masterfully weaves essays on prominent spirits, insights into San Francisco’s historic love affair with amaro, and recipes for his Bartender’s Secret Formulas together with 25 iconic cocktail recipes made famous by the City by the Bay. The recipes range from the legendary Pisco Punch and the ingenious Mai Tai, to the Gold Rush era Sazerac and the more modern Lemon Drop.

Put on the spot Duggan offers that The Martinez, a Bay Area original, is perhaps the most iconic libation associated with San Francisco. It’s gin based.

A really fun part of the book is Duggan McDonnell’s “Rules For Budding Barmen and Young Mixologists Everywhere.” This is actually the book’s last page.

Chef Andrew asks Duggan to share his five “must visit” bars and taverns in San Francisco. The ultimate pub crawl if you will…McDonnell’s recommendations are Buena Vista (Irish Coffee.) Smuggler’s Cove (rum,) WhiteChapel (gin,) Comstock Saloon (The Martinez,) and Cantina (Duggan McDonnell’s place dedicated to Artisanal Spirits and California Cocktails.)

 

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Show 84, August 16, 2014: Head Barman Chris Amirault of Harlowe, West Hollywood

Chris AmiraultMeet Mixologist Chris Amirault of Harlowe, a new bar that’s already attracting a lot of attention in West Hollywood. He’s the Head Barman there. This is from the 1933 Group (Oldfield’s Liquor Room and Sassafras.)

Even Chris’ standard cocktails are very special. Chris also creates unusual draft and bottled cocktails. Also of note are the carafe cocktails and the shared punch bowls.

Not easy to order a libation these days with all the tempting options!

“Give me a bottle of bourbon & half a chicken and I’ll take over the world.”

Play

August 16: Eric Greenspan, CANstruction, Jason Grilli, LA Food and Wine, PigOut, KTown Night Market, Harlowe

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Eric Greenspan and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chef Eric Greenspan of Foundation Hospitality Group
Segment Three: Long Beach CANstruction benefiting Food Finders
Segment Four: Halo Reliever Jason Grilli
Segment Five: Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival
Segment Six: Pigout 3.0
Segment Seven: KTOWN Night Market & OC Block Party
Segment Eight: Head Barman Chris Amirault of Harlowe, West Hollywood

Guest Host Celebrity Chef Eric Greenspan of Foundation Hospitality Group and Producer Andy preview the show.

Besides being all over Food TV (he bested Iron Chef Bobby Flay on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America”) Chef Eric Greenspan has made a name for himself in the rarified world of fine-dining. For almost two years he was the executive chef of Joachim Splichal’s highly-acclaimed flagship restaurant, Patina. More recently he created The Foundry on Melrose Ave. In the Fall he returns to Melrose with the eagerly anticipated fine dining, Enclave.

Although Chef Eric Greenspan has created the more casual, Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese and The Roof on Wilshire, his heart and true passion remains in fine dining. We’ll talk about the future of fine-dining in Los Angeles and get Chef Eric’s perspective. We’ll also preview Chef Eric’s new series for the National Geographic Channel debuting in November.

The first Canstruction Competition is coming to Long Beach on August 21st. The resulting collections of food benefit Food Finders food rescue / food bank. It’s going to be a wild 12 hours benefiting people in need!

The Halos have an ace relief pitcher in Jason Grilli newly arrived in a trade deal with The Pittsburgh Pirates. In Pittsburgh he’s known for The Closer, a 3-decker grilled cheese sandwich using 9 different premium cheeses. Jason is with us live from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas to talk about it.

The 2014 Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival (4th Annual) is once again upon us taking place in Downtown Los Angeles on August 21 -24. This is one of the biggest culinary festivals staged on the West Coast with culinary masters hosting power lunches, cocktail culture merging with some of the finest chefs for spirited dinners, and first –time events such as the “Ultimate Bites of L.A. Challenge” on Opening Night hosted by Graham Elliott and Fabio Viviani.

The 3rd Annual PigOut (benefiting Inspire Artistic Minds) is set for Sunday afternoon, August 24th at the California Scenario in Costa Mesa.

The main attraction will be a 250 pound Templeton Rye Duroc Pig of the Templeton Rye Heritage Pork Project.

The KTown Night Market and Block Party is coming to Angel Stadium on Friday and Saturday, August 22nd and 23rd. It’s 60 plus food trucks and vendors (including the Seoul Sausage Co.) and a large beer garden. Also there will be live music, games and rides. We’ll chat with the co-producer and one of the young founders of the participating Seoul Sausage Co.

Meet Mixologist Chris Amirault of Harlowe, a new bar that’s attracting a lot of attention in West Hollywood. Even his standard cocktails are very special. Chris also creates unusual draft and bottled cocktails.

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

Eric GreenspanBesides being all over Food TV (he bested Iron Chef Bobby Flay on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America”) Chef Eric Greenspan has made a name for himself in the rarified world of fine-dining. For almost two years he was the executive chef of Joachim Splichal’s highly-acclaimed flagship restaurant Patina. More recently he created The Foundry on Melrose Ave. In the Fall he returns to Melrose with the eagerly anticipated fine dining, Enclave.

Although Chef Eric Greenspan has created the more casual, Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese and The Roof on Wilshire, his heart and true passion remains in fine dining. We’ll talk about the future of fine-dining in Los Angeles and get Chef Eric’s perspective.

We’ll also preview Chef Eric’s new series for the National Geographic Channel debuting in November. Look for Chef Eric on the next two Tuesday evenings in prime time as a chef competitor on NBC’s “Food Fighters” hosted by Adam Richman. In October Chef Eric will part of the celebrity chef episode of Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen hosted by Alton Brown.

Canstruction Long BeachThe first CANstruction Competition is coming to Long Beach on August 21st. The resulting collections of food benefit Food Finders food rescue / food bank. It’s going to be a wild 12 hours benefiting people in need!

Four teams comprised of five prominent local architectural and engineering firms will transform thousands of cans of food into larger than life artistic masterpieces. The structures may be built up to 10’ x 10’ x 10’ and will be comprised of edible canned goods totaling over 7,000 lbs.

The completed structures will be on display to the public from August 22nd through September 2nd.

CANstruction was founded in 1992 to help promote the design community and raise food donations for hunger relief efforts. CANstruction events have been held in over 140 cities worldwide donating over 15 million pounds of canned foods to alleviate the concern of hunger and malnutrition.

Jason GrilliThe Halos have an ace relief pitcher in Jason Grilli, newly arrived in a trade deal with The Pittsburgh Pirates. In Pittsburgh he’s known for The Closer, a 3-decker grilled cheese sandwich using 9 different premium cheeses. Jason is with us live from Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas to talk about it.

Grilli, and partners, are also the Pittsburgh franchisees for the rapidly growing Tom+Chee. This is a grilled cheese and tomato soup shop for the kid at heart. The restaurants mix classic comfort food with fresh ingredients, healthy alternatives, and a flare for the unexpected. In addition to the regular menu there are lots of daily specials.

David BernahlThe 2014 Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival (4th Annual) is once again upon us taking place in Downtown Los Angeles on August 21 -24. This is one of the biggest culinary festivals staged on the West Coast with culinary masters hosting power lunches, cocktail culture merging with some of the finest chefs for spirited dinners, and first–time events such as the “Ultimate Bites of L.A. Challenge” on Opening Night hosted by Graham Elliott and Fabio Viviani.

The star-studded lineup of chefs at LAFW will also include Food & Wine Magazine Best New Chefs, James Beard Award winners, iconic personalities within the culinary arena, as well as Food TV personalities (Scott Conant, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Michelle Bernstein, Michael Chiarello, Nancy Silverton, David Kinch, Michael Cimarusti, Jonathan Waxman, and more.)

Founder David Bernahl of Coastal Luxury Management is our guest.

3rd annual PigOut in Costa MesaThe 3rd Annual PigOut (benefiting Inspire Artistic Minds) is set for Sunday afternoon, August 24th at the California Scenario (Noguchi Gardens) in Costa Mesa.

The main attraction will be a 250 pound Templeton Rye Duroc Pig of the Templeton Rye Heritage Pork Project. Only 25 of these special pigs are in existence.

Chef Mike Puglisi (ex-Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills) of the soon-to-be Electric City Butcher in Santa Ana will be performing a pig deconstruction demonstration.

Koreatown Night MarketThe KTown Night Market and Block Party is coming to Angel Stadium on Friday and Saturday, August 22nd and 23rd. It’s 60 plus food trucks and vendors (including the Seoul Sausage Co.) and a large beer garden. Also there will be live music, games and rides.

Seoul Sausage Co., the Season 3 winners of Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race,” are curating the all-star mobile culinary experience. The 20 food truck lineup includes fan favorites such as Coolhaus, Slangin Corea, and Fluff Ice.

We’ll chat with the co-producer Danny Park and Yong Kim, one of the young founders of the participating Seoul Sausage Co.

Chris AmiraultMeet Mixologist Chris Amirault of Harlowe, a new bar that’s already attracting a lot of attention in West Hollywood. He’s the Head Barman there. This is from the 1933 Group (Oldfield’s Liquor Room and Sassafras.)

Even Chris’ standard cocktails are very special. Chris also creates unusual draft and bottled cocktails. Also of note are the carafe cocktails and the shared punch bowls.

Not easy to order a libation these days with all the tempting options!

“Give me a bottle of bourbon & half a chicken and I’ll take over the world.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Eric Greenspan and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chef Eric Greenspan of Foundation Hospitality Group
Segment Three: Long Beach CANstruction benefiting Food Finders
Segment Four: Halo Reliever Jason Grilli
Segment Five: Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival
Segment Six: Pigout 3.0
Segment Seven: KTOWN Night Market & OC Block Party
Segment Eight: Head Barman Chris Amirault of Harlowe, West Hollywood

Show 49, November 23, 2013: Skyler Reeves, master barman

Skyler ReevesSkyler Reeves prefers to be known as a career bartender. He feels that “mixologist” is not particularly a guest-friendly title and his field is all about hospitality and welcoming the guest.

Denizens of Downtown Los Angeles’ popular nightlife scene will know him from 213 Downtown. He’s one of the best…

His new project is co-producing the upcoming “Golden State of Cocktails.” It takes place January 27th through 30th on the historic top floor of the Los Angeles Times Building in Downtown Los Angeles with the finale at Union Station. This space was the former executive offices and the grandeur of the floor will surely impress. The educational event is designed for the trade as well as beverage enthusiasts.

“California’s long awaited large-scale cocktail event is finally here: Announcing Golden State of Cocktails! Staged in Los Angeles, the West Coast’s largest city and California’s anchor, Golden State of Cocktails celebrates all aspects of cocktail culture, both industry and consumer, from San Francisco to Los Angeles to San Diego and everywhere in between. Be a part of the inaugural event in one or more ways. From experiential interactive labs, take-away stations and brand immersion rooms to small- and large-scale parties, Golden State of Cocktails takes a hands-on approach to the learning experience and celebrates the best of what California cocktail culture is all about.”

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November 23: Grilled Cheese Truck, Barbara Fairchild, Mad Hungry Woman, Anaheim White House, Brad A. Johnson, Skyler Reeves

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Entrepreneur Dave Danhi the founder, director, and executive chef of The Grilled Cheese Truck Part One
Segment Three: Entrepreneur Dave Danhi the founder, director, and executive chef of The Grilled Cheese Truck Part Two
Segment Four: Barbara Fairchild, past long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, food journalist, cookbook author, educator
Segment Five: Anita Lau of the “Mad Hungry Woman” Blog
Segment Six: Bruno Serato, chef/proprietor of Anaheim White House
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, restaurant critic for the Orange County Register
Segment Eight: Skyler Reeves, master barman

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

It’s a day of unusually colorful characters on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

Enjoy the unlikely saga of The Big Cheese of The Grilled Cheese Truck, Dave Danhi. We’ll also have the Mad Hungry Woman blogger with us talking about a recent dining discovery in San Diego that’s a delightful Italian-Japanese fusion.

Dave Danhi of the Grilled Cheese TruckDave Danhi is the founder, director, and executive chef of The Grilled Cheese Truck. This was the first gourmet food truck to go national and there are big plans to expand through a novel franchising program. A huge following on social media was the initial key to getting this business going. The Big Cheese himself joins us to recount this unlikely success story.

Dave is also a much sought-out executive recruiter for the Hospitality Industry. His firm is DD Factor. We’ll talk to him about this little known (but vitally important) field, also. You honestly don’t find suitable executive chefs and general managers on CraigsList!

Dave completes the fascinating story of how The Grilled Cheese Truck got to where it is today (a national phenomenon) and what the future holds. Keep in mind he’s a high level executive chef by background.

Dave also profiles his other business entity, DD Factor. This is an executive recruiting firm designed just for the hospitality business. If you need an executive chef this is the place to go.

Barbara FairchildMost Californians remember Barbara Fairchild as the long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine. She now is an accomplished cookbook author, food journalist, and educator.

Barbara was recently in the relatively unspoiled Sonoma County Wine Country. She shares some of her best dining experiences including the One-Star Michelin Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant in Forestville (housed in a real Farmhouse,) and the more casual Healdsburg Shed in Healdsburg.

Barbara will join us again in December to share her recent San Francisco dining adventures.

Anita Lau of Diary of a Mad Hungry WomanAnita Lau is best known to the listening audience of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” as the creative force behind the “Mad Hungry Woman” blog. Anita is regularly out and about in Orange County, San Diego, and sometimes even the Los Angeles area reporting on her dining out adventures. She particularly seeks out the less obvious hidden gems.

San Diego, we haven’t forgotten you.

Anita Lau of the Mad Hungry Woman blog is with us with a San Diego dining discovery. Anita was a finalist for a Golden Foodie award in Journalism this year.

Anita’s find is Ristorante Kaz. This is an intriguing Japanese Italian fusion cuisine spot. Anita’s favorite bite was an angel hair pasta dish with creamy sea urchin with spinach and salmon roe.

Bruno Serato of the Anaheim White HouseThe ever gracious Bruno Serato is the highly visible owner and culinary force behind the historic Anaheim White House. It’s housed in a stately mansion dating back to 1909. Bruno has been the keeper of the flame there since 1987. This year the menu was enhanced to offer premium steaks, too. Bruno likes to now characterize the establishment as an “Italian Steak House.”

The Holidays are Bruno’s favorite time of the year as he fund-raises to benefit the Caterina’s Club’s Motel Kids. December marks his annual toy drive to collect gifts for some 2,000 Motel Kids. Every night Bruno feeds 500 hungry kids.

It all starts with the 26th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Dinner at the Anaheim White House on Sunday, November 24th. It always sells out so make your plans accordingly. There is real snow on the ground…

Bruno has just introduced a new 3-course Sunday Brunch Menu with free-flowing Champagne at the Anaheim White House.

Photography by Brad A JohnsonBrad A. Johnson is the James Beard Award-winning restaurant critic for The Orange County Register. He’s been there about a year now.

Brad has just written his anxiously awaited, first 4-Star review. It’s quite a “wow” but, perhaps, a bit unexpected…

Brad talks about what is worthy of 4-Stars and the restaurant earning that rarified praise. This was actually three articles in The Register, including a Sunday “Travel” piece.

Skyler ReevesSkyler Reeves is a master barman. Denizens of Downtown Los Angeles’ popular nightlife scene will know him from 213 Downtown. He’s one of the best…

His new project is co-producing the upcoming “Golden State of Cocktails.” It takes place January 27th through 30th on the historic top floor of the Los Angeles Times Building in Downtown Los Angeles. This space was the former executive offices and the grandeur of the floor will surely impress. The educational event is designed for the trade as well as beverage enthusiasts.

“California’s long awaited large-scale cocktail event is finally here: Announcing Golden State of Cocktails! Staged in Los Angeles, the West Coast’s largest city and California’s anchor, Golden State of Cocktails celebrates all aspects of cocktail culture, both industry and consumer, from San Francisco to Los Angeles to San Diego and everywhere in between. Be a part of the inaugural event in one or more ways. From experiential interactive labs, take-away stations and brand immersion rooms to small- and large-scale parties, Golden State of Cocktails takes a hands-on approach to the learning experience and celebrates the best of what California cocktail culture is all about.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Entrepreneur Dave Danhi the founder, director, and executive chef of The Grilled Cheese Truck Part One
Segment Three: Entrepreneur Dave Danhi the founder, director, and executive chef of The Grilled Cheese Truck Part Two
Segment Four: Barbara Fairchild, past long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, food journalist, cookbook author, educator
Segment Five: Anita Lau of the “Mad Hungry Woman” Blog
Segment Six: Bruno Serato, chef/proprietor of Anaheim White House
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, restaurant critic for the Orange County Register
Segment Eight: Skyler Reeves, master barman

June 29: Kedric Francis, Tony Abou-Ganim, Thornton Winery

Podcasts

Segment One: On the Road with Chef Jet and Producer Andy
Segment Two: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine Part One
Segment Three: Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist Part One
Segment Four: Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist Part Two
Segment Five: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine Part Two
Segment Six: David Vergari, Winemaker at Thornton Winery in Temecula

Time to talk dining…

Providence RestaurantChef Jet celebrated Father’s Day at Providence in Los Angeles. This is celebrity chef Michael Cimarusti’s (ex-Water Grill) much-praised, fine-dining seafood restaurant. In addition to the expected great seafood non-stuffy, attentive service is part of the experience. There is also a very deep wine list and an outstanding bar. Jet talks about his meal there and why this is such a popular special occasion establishment.

We’ll also answer some e-mail inquiries.

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineMr. Suave himself, Kedric Francis, is back with us. He’s the Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and co-founding editor of the revamped OC Register Magazine.

Kedric is in-studio talking about local travel opportunities for Summer. He’s got some inspired ideas for traveling on the rails and previews the new attractions at The Disneyland Resort. It’s all child-friendly, too.

The Modern Mixologist Tony Abou-GanimWe’re delighted to welcome The Modern Mixologist, Tony Abou-Ganim, to the show. He’s a master barman and part magician. Tony is based in Las Vegas. He created the entire bar program (nothing short of spectacular) for the opening of Steve Wynn’s  original Bellagio, the trend-setting casino resort of it’s time.

Tony will share his inspirations for Summer cocktails and the importance of quality ice. It really makes the difference in a properly-prepared cocktail!

The Modern Mixologist also previews his new line of custom-designed bar tools.

Man about Orange County, Kedric Francis encores for another segment. This time he’s  chatting about the just-released June Restaurant Issue of Coast.

One feature profiles up and coming areas where there are pockets of distinctive dining places. Downtown Santa Ana is one of these spotlighted dining neighborhoods.

The most interesting piece, we think, is on the best restaurants in Orange County located in the worst spots. What a fun idea…

A truly underappreciated local wine country destination is the Temecula Valley. It’s 90 minutes, or less, from most areas of Orange County. It’s probably best known as the location of the Pechanga Casino Resort (largest Indian casino & hotel property in the West) but there is lots more out there.

Thornton Winery in TemeculaWhen you cross Butterfield Stage Road going East on Rancho California Road you hit the picturesque, and delightfully rural,  wine country. The first winery property you pass is the eye-catching Thornton Winery celebrating their 25th anniversary of proud family ownership in 2013. They are especially known for their premium California sparkling wines but also produce a  distinctive line of still wines under the stewardship of winemaker David Vergari.

Since the beginning Thornton has staged a highly regarded summer Champagne Jazz Series at the winery showcasing renowned contemporary jazz artists. Dave Koz performed two concerts there last weekend. It’s a superb environment to enjoy a concert in. You can also sip wine and enjoy a three-course seated dinner in the concert area.

Podcasts

Segment One: On the Road with Chef Jet and Producer Andy
Segment Two: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine Part One
Segment Three: Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist Part One
Segment Four: Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist Part Two
Segment Five: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine Part Two
Segment Six: David Vergari, Winemaker at Thornton Winery in Temecula