Show 207, January 21, 2017: The Pizza Throwdown. OC Baking’s Dean Kim and Brent Omeste of Centro Collective

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.

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Show 163, March 12, 2016: Cathy Thomas, Award-Winning Food Journalist & Author

Cathy ThomasCathy Thomas is the award-winning, long-time Food Editor and food columnist for the Orange County Register. She also publishes a genuinely useful weekly newsletter on food, Cathy Thomas Cooks! On Friday afternoon, March 18th you’ll have a chance to meet her from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at The Chefs’ Toys warehouse store in Fountain Valley located right off the 405 Freeway. All are invited and this is a free event.

Cathy will be selling & signing all her must-have Melissa’s resource and reference books. Great gifts for that special foodie in your life. At 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Cathy will be making “Produce Love” presentations along with demonstrating a few of her favorite Chefs’ Toys kitchen gadgets.

Chef Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen will also be in the house along with the Melissa’s chefs cooking up nibbles from the recipes in the books.

RSVP for Friday’s event at Chefs’ Toys here –>

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Show 162, March 5, 2016: Robert Schueller, Produce Authority, Melissa’s World Variety Produce Continues…

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioWhat’s new, and fresh, in the world of fruits and vegetables? Glad you asked. Joining us for an encore segment is our resident Produce authority, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce.

Grapes from South America are now deliciously available in the non-Summer season. Highlights are the Melissa’s Muscato grapes (red and green Summer flavors.)

Green to amber-green Muscato seedless grapes arrive with a crisp, firm texture and a delicious tangy sweetness. Toss in fruit salads for texture, color, and a burst of juicy flavor. Succulently delicious— the ideal picnic or lunchbox treat.

Exclusively available from Melissa’s, Red Muscato grapes have a bright, rosy red color, firm texture with a very high sugar content. Slightly sweeter than its juicy sweet green-skinned cousin, Red Muscato grapes are a great addition to any fresh fruit ‘n cheese platter, sprinkled on yogurt or tossed in a green salad. This variety’s refreshing sweetness makes it a healthy out-of-hand snack food for kids and smart adults alike!

Cathy ThomasCathy Thomas is the award-winning, long-time Food Editor and food columnist for the Orange County Register. She also publishes a genuinely useful weekly newsletter on food, Cathy Thomas Cooks! On Friday afternoon, March 18th you’ll have a chance to meet her from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Chefs’ Toys warehouse store in Fountain Valley located right off the 405 Freeway. All are invited and this is a free event.

Cathy will be selling & signing all her must-have Melissa’s resource and reference books. Great gifts for that special foodie in your life. At 3 and 4:00 p.m. Cathy will be making presentations. Chef Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen will also be in the house cooking up nibbles of his tasty cuisine to savor.

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Show 159, Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group

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

Guys, don’t forget Valentine’s Day. Sunday brunch is always a great possible option for the celebration and can be a bit less crazed. Remember Valentine’s Day is a tough occasion for restaurants. It’s a lot of tables for two and tension can be in the air along with romance.

On to a tempting preview of Saturday’s delectable and always healthy show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s absolutely a good thing…

Chef Neal Fraser is well-known to Angelenos for BLD, Fritzi Dog at the Original Farmers Market and Redbird at Vibiana Events Center in Downtown Los Angeles. Chef Neal and the Vibiana Events Center were even part of the recent Beefsteak episode of Season 13 of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” Fritzi is now Downtown, too, sharing space in The Arts District with the Arts District Brewing Co. It’s lunch and dinner for elevated pub-grub.

Hundreds of premium wine varieties, sweet and savory chocolate confections, gourmet food samples from acclaimed Pechanga Resort & Casino restaurants, live music, a silent auction and helping out a good cause are all on the agenda for February 26 and 27 at Pechanga Resort & Casino. Tickets for the 8th annual Chocolate Decadence and Pechanga Wine Festival are on sale now. Proceeds from both events benefit Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley. Pechanga Resort & Casino’s Executive Chef, Duane Owen, joins us with all the sweet and savory details.

The proudly Family-owned Terlato Wine Group is a holding company for several independent businesses specializing in the marketing and production of exceptional wines. They are probably best known for pioneering the popularity of Pinot Grigio in the United States. Representing the 2nd generation of Family ownership is John Terlato, our guest. John will soon be in Southern California for the Santa Barbara Wine Auction.

Bill Bracken is a well-known executive chef who traded in luxury hotels (The Peninsula Beverly Hills and Island Hotel, Newport Beach) for Betsy, a well-worn food truck with a lot of miles. He’s now feeding people in need in Orange County. Chef Bill shares his new mission with us.

Our resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of The Wine Exchange in Santa Ana, is curating The Wine Village (along with partner Tristen Beamon) for LA Weekly’s The Essentials food and wine extravaganza on February 20th at The California Mart Center. Kyle uncorks his wine pairings. Also a few practical tips on storing wine once the bottle is uncorked.

Finally, we’ll get some practical thoughts about surviving Valentine’s Day dining out from our Co-host, Chef Andrew Gruel. He’s been there…

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

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Show 159, February 13, 2016: Executive Chef Bill Bracken, Bracken’s Kitchen

Bill BrackenBill Bracken is a well-known executive chef who traded in luxury hotels (The Peninsula Beverly Hills and Island Hotel, Newport Beach) for Betsy, a well-worn food truck with a lot of miles. He’s now feeding people in need in Orange County. Chef Bill shares his new mission with us. It’s quite a career change.

“I can already tell that 2016 will be a great one. More than ever, Bracken’s Kitchen is charging full speed ahead to combat food insecurity and taking the strides to be one of the most effective hunger-focused organizations in Orange County.”

“With their help and yours, we can continue to extend our reach to help more individuals and families in need and to not be just a hand out but truly be a hand up.”

There are many ways for the listener to support the good work of Bracken’s Kitchen. Cash donations are always appreciated. Also there are meaningful volunteer opportunities available.

Sign-up for the informative Bracken’s Kitchen’s Newsletter via the Website. It tells the story…

 

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Show 159, February 13, 2016: Executive Chef Bill Bracken, Bracken’s Kitchen Continues…

Bill Bracken“In addition to expanding our team, we are building what we call our “Trio of Services”: our Food Truck Feeding Program (which we are currently executing), a Rescued Food Program and a Culinary Internship Program that will move us forward as an organization and business. With these two new platforms, we aim to affect change in a person’s life by offering job training and work opportunities in the culinary field which will be of huge support to our restaurant and hospitality partners.”

“2015 marked the end of our first year of feeding and we are incredibly grateful for not only all of the hard work, support and contributions that were made, but also for the learning lessons, challenges and obstacles that we had to overcome to achieve our goals.”

Some of our accomplishments:

  • Moved into our fully equipped prep kitchen to support our Food Truck Feeding Program
  • Over 5,000 hot and nutritious meals were served to those experiencing food insecurity in Orange County, CA in just nine months.
  • The average cost of our high quality, freshly prepared dinner is about $0.50 – almost matching average meal cost provided by food banks across America.
  • The Illumination Foundation and Bracken’s Kitchen secured Tuesday night feedings at the Ross Street House in Santa Ana, catering to children who attend their after school program and their families.
  • Served approximately 3000 meals to our homeless military veterans at Stand Down Orange County in October
  • Launched trial runs for our Chef’s To End Hunger rescued food program

Sign-up for the informative Bracken’s Kitchen’s Newsletter via the Website. It tells the story…

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February 13: Neal Fraser, Pechanga Wine Festival, John Terlato, Bill Bracken, Wine Exchange, Andrew Gruel

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Executive Chef / Proprietor Neal Fraser, Fritzi at Arts District Brewing Co.
Segment Three: Executive Chef, Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula
Segment Four: John Terlato, Vice Chairman, Terlato Wine Group
Segment Five: Executive Chef Bill Bracken, Bracken’s Kitchen Part One
Segment Six: Executive Chef Bill Bracken, Bracken’s Kitchen Part Two
Segment Seven: Kyle Meyer, Co-Founder, The Wine Exchange, Santa Ana
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group

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

Guys, don’t forget Valentine’s Day. Sunday brunch is always a great option for the celebration and can be a bit less crazed. Remember Valentine’s Day is a tough occasion for restaurants. It’s a lot of tables for two and tension can be in the air along with romance.

Next a tempting preview of Saturday’s delectable and always healthy show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s absolutely a good thing…

Chef Neal Fraser is well-known to Angelenos for BLD, Fritzi Dog at the Original Farmers Market and Redbird at Vibiana Events Center in Downtown Los Angeles. Chef Neal and the Vibiana Events Center were even part of the recent Beefsteak episode of Season 13 of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” Fritzi is now Downtown, too, sharing space in The Arts District with the Arts District Brewing Co. It’s lunch and dinner for elevated pub-grub.

Hundreds of premium wine varieties, sweet and savory chocolate confections, gourmet food samples from acclaimed Pechanga Resort & Casino restaurants, live music, a silent auction and helping out a good cause are all on the agenda for February 26 and 27 at Pechanga Resort & Casino. Tickets for the 8th annual Chocolate Decadence and Pechanga Wine Festival are on sale now. Proceeds from both events benefit Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley. Pechanga Resort & Casino’s Executive Chef, Duane Owen joins us with all the sweet and savory details.

The proudly Family-owned Terlato Wine Group is a holding company for several independent businesses specializing in the marketing and production of exceptional wines. They are probably best known for pioneering the popularity of Pinot Grigio in the United States. Representing the 2nd generation of Family ownership is John Terlato, our guest. John will soon be in Southern California for the Santa Barbara Wine Auction.

Bill Bracken is a well-known executive chef who traded in luxury hotels (The Peninsula Beverly Hills and Island Hotel, Newport Beach) for Betsy, a well-worn food truck with a lot of miles. He’s now feeding people in need in Orange County. Chef Bill shares his new mission with us.

Our resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of The Wine Exchange in Santa Ana, is curating The Wine Village (along with partner Tristen Beamon) for the Los Angeles Weekly’sThe Essentials” food and wine extravaganza on February 20th at The California Mart Center. Kyle uncorks his wine pairings.

Finally we’ll get some practical thoughts about surviving Valentine’s Day dining out from our Co-host, Chef Andrew Gruel.

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

Neal FraserChef Neal Fraser is well-known to Angelenos for BLD, Fritzi Dog at the Original Farmers Market and Redbird at Vibiana Events Center in Downtown Los Angeles. Chef Neal and the Vibiana Events Center were even part of the recent Beefsteak episode of Season 13 of Bravo’s “Top Chef.”

Fritzi is now Downtown, too, sharing space in The Arts District with the Arts District Brewing Co. It’s lunch and dinner for elevated pub-grub.

The wood fired rotisserie chicken and the potato waffle are already signature menu items.

“The industrial chic restaurant serves lunch and dinner, and handcrafted cocktails from its full bar, which is stocked with bubbles, wines, brews from the Arts District Brewing Co., and Kettle One pours. With an occupancy of 60 diners, Fritzi is a seamless addition to L.A.’s historic arts district with its modern wood and metal elements and intimate atmosphere.”

“Fritzi’s menu features handcrafted epic dishes and small plates such as Charred Brussels Sprout, Forbidden Rice & Quinoa Salad, Spit Roasted Cauliflower, Crispy Shrimp Balls, Fritzi Burger, Wood Fried Rotisserie Half Chicken, Steak Frites, Santa Barbara White Fish, and more, with FriesTots, and Potato Waffle to accompany.”

Chef Neal Fraser joins us with the 411 on Fritzi.

Duane Owen of Pechanga Casino and ResortHundreds of premium wine varieties, sweet and savory chocolate confections, gourmet food samples from acclaimed Pechanga Resort & Casino restaurants, live music, a silent auction and helping out a good cause are all on the agenda for February 26 and 27 at Pechanga Resort & Casino. Tickets for the 8th annual Chocolate Decadence and Pechanga Wine Festival are on sale now. Proceeds from both events benefit Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley.

Wine enthusiasts can sip and explore new selections at the 8th annual Pechanga Wine Festival from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 27. Tickets for this unforgettable event are $65 and include a souvenir wine glass, unlimited two ounce samples of wine and spirits, gourmet food and dessert samples from Pechanga’s acclaimed chefs, as well as others in the Temecula Valley, live music and silent auction.

VIP tickets are $85 and include early entry at 12:00 p.m., upgraded souvenir wine glass, as well as all inclusions of the general admission tickets.

Pechanga Resort & Casino’s Executive Chef, Duane Owen, joins us with all the sweet and savory details.

John TerlatoThe proudly Family-owned Terlato Wine Group is a holding company for several independent businesses specializing in the marketing and production of exceptional wines. They are probably best known for pioneering the popularity of Pinot Grigio in the United States.

Representing the 2nd generation of Family ownership is John Terlato, our guest. John will soon be in Southern California for the Santa Barbara Wine Auction. Sanford Winery (a Terlato property) is represented in the festivities.

The Santa Barbara Wine Auction benefits Direct Relief. It’s held at the exclusive Bacara Resort & Spa on Saturday March 12, 2016. It’s an evening of fine wines, delectable foods, and an auction with lifestyle experiences and rare library wine lots.

John has also been working with some specialists on innovative pruning techniques that result in incredible vines producing amazing quality fruit. This pruning is already being done at Sanford, Chimney Rock and for all the Terelato family’s Napa Valley vineyards. We’ll learn about this.

Bill BrackenBill Bracken is a well-known executive chef who traded in luxury hotels (The Peninsula Beverly Hills and Island Hotel, Newport Beach) for Betsy, a well-worn food truck with a lot of miles. He’s now feeding people in need in Orange County. Chef Bill shares his new mission with us. It’s quite a career change.

“I can already tell that 2016 will be a great one. More than ever, Bracken’s Kitchen is charging full speed ahead to combat food insecurity and taking the strides to be one of the most effective hunger-focused organizations in Orange County.”

“With their help and yours, we can continue to extend our reach to help more individuals and families in need and to not be just a hand out but truly be a hand up.”

“In addition to expanding our team, we are building what we call our “Trio of Services”: our Food Truck Feeding Program (which we are currently executing), a Rescued Food Program and a Culinary Internship Program that will move us forward as an organization and business. With these two new platforms, we aim to affect change in a person’s life by offering job training and work opportunities in the culinary field which will be of huge support to our restaurant and hospitality partners.”

“2015 marked the end of our first year of feeding and we are incredibly grateful for not only all of the hard work, support and contributions that were made, but also for the learning lessons, challenges and obstacles that we had to overcome to achieve our goals.”

Some of our accomplishments:

  • Moved into our fully equipped prep kitchen to support our Food Truck Feeding Program
  • Over 5,000 hot and nutritious meals were served to those experiencing food insecurity in Orange County, CA in just nine months.
  • The average cost of our high quality, freshly prepared dinner is about $0.50 – almost matching average meal cost provided by food banks across America.
  • The Illumination Foundation and Bracken’s Kitchen secured Tuesday night feedings at the Ross Street House in Santa Ana, catering to children who attend their after school program and their families.
  • Served approximately 3000 meals to our homeless military veterans at Stand Down Orange County in October
  • Launched trial runs for our Chef’s To End Hunger rescued food program

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeOur resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of The Wine Exchange in Santa Ana, is curating The Wine Village (along with partner Tristen Beamon) for LA Weekly’s The Essentials food and wine extravaganza on February 20th at The California Mart Center. Kyle uncorks his wine pairings.

What do you do with that just uncorked premium wine bottle that you’ve poured two glasses of wine from? Kyle has some practical tips for preserving the freshness of that wine.

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamFinally a chance to catch-up with our esteemed Co-host Chef Andrew Gruel. Chef Andrew is always the source of quality information with keen insight. How do you survive dining out on Valentine’s Day and have a successful experience? It’s stressful….Not easy for the restaurant, either. We’ll get Chef Andrew’s thoughts.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Executive Chef / Proprietor Neal Fraser, Fritzi at Arts District Brewing Co.
Segment Three: Executive Chef, Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula
Segment Four: John Terlato, Vice Chairman, Terlato Wine Group
Segment Five: Executive Chef Bill Bracken, Bracken’s Kitchen Part One
Segment Six: Executive Chef Bill Bracken, Bracken’s Kitchen Part Two
Segment Seven: Kyle Meyer, Co-Founder, The Wine Exchange, Santa Ana
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Show 4: October 27, 2012: DivBar in Newport Beach

You don’t expect to find superb regional BBQ favorites with a spectacular bay view in Newport Beach but that’s exactly what’s on the menu at DivBar. It’s Kansas City inspired ‘cue with touches of Texas and The Carolinas. All the BBQ sauces are house-made.

The secret is executive chef Bill Bracken (ex-Island Hotel, Newport Beach) who grew up in the Midwest. For the last 20 years he’s been at the pinnacle of fine-dining but is now having lots more fun adding all of his creative touches to a more accessible cuisine. There is praise-worthy broasted chicken and pizza, too.

Jet particularly raved about the duck fries. Producer Andy praised the beef dip sandwich which is actually shaved thin tri tip. Jet also savored the baby back ribs and the Texas dry-rubbed smoked brisket.

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