Show 206, January 14, 2017: Executive Chef Amar Santana, Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana

Amar SantanaAmar Santana is the Executive Chef/Proprietor of Vaca in Costa Mesa and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach. Vaca was Orange County Register Restaurant Critic, Brad A. Johnson’s “Best New Restaurant of 2016. For Season 13 of Bravo’s Top Chef Amar was the runner-up by the thickness of an onion skin. Chef Amar is also a distinguished alum of the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.)

Amar joins us to preview C-CAP’s Winter Harvest Benefit Dinner at James Republic in Long Beach on February 8th. The popular James Republic is one of the top destination restaurants in Long Beach. The evening is a spectacular, multi-course feast.

James Republic is co-owned by Executive Chef and Restaurateur Dean James Max (a multiple James Beard Award nominee) of DJM Restaurants. Chef Dean will be flying in from his base in southern Florida to present a course. James Republic’s executive chef, David MacLennan (opening exec chef) will also be preparing a course.

Chef Amar’s dish is under the veil of heavy secrecy but he does hint it will be a pork spectacular. The award-winning El Segundo Brewing Co. is brewing a special craft beer to pair with Chef Amar’s dish exclusively for the evening.

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Show 204, December 31, 2016: Marin & Executive Chef Noah von Blom, DirtySexyHappiness Hospitality Group, Costa Mesa

Marin Howarth and Executive Chef Noah BlomThe (greatly respected and always trendsetting) Union Square Hospitality Group (Union Square Café, the Modern, North End Grill…) in New York initiated a policy of “no tipping” earlier last year. The gratuity is included in the menu pricing. The concept is an effort to resolve the inequality in the compensation of the Front of the House Staff versus the hard-working kitchen staff who are not tipped.

The DirtytSexyHappiness Hospitality Group tried this in ARC and Restaurant Marin at SoCo in Costa Mesa. We’ll chat with proprietors Chef Noah and Marin von Blom to see how this innovation has worked out in their properties.

It’s been a great year for Restaurant Marin. Restaurant Critic Brad A. Johnson of the Orange County Register awarded Noah Blom and baker Christy Henry “Pastry Chefs of the Year” honors. Also the Marin Fries were one of Brad’s The Best Thing I Ate This Week” in 2016.

They are also about to open their 3rd concept at SoCo, The Guild Club. We’ll get a preview.

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Show 109, February 7, 2015: Executive Chef Eric Samaniego, Little Sparrow Café

Eric SamaniegoEric Samaniego (ex- Comme Ca in West Hollywood) is the acclaimed Executive Chef of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana. The Orange County Register’s Restaurant Critic, Brad A. Johnson, awarded Little Sparrow recognition as “Best New Restaurant” in 2013. Samaniego’s Pastry Chef, Nasera Munshi, was Johnson’s choice as “Pastry Chef of the Year” in 2014. It’s only 42 seats.

If all of that wasn’t enough recognition Little Sparrow was selected by the producers (including Tom Colicchio) of Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant” competition series as one of 16 USA restaurants from four cities to vie for the title of Best New Restaurant and a cool $100,000 cash prize. Chef Eric credits Brad Johnson’s coverage of Little Sparrow in the “Orange County Register” in attracting the initial attention of the producers of “Best New Restaurant.”

Despite not having any formal restaurant background, married owners of Little Sparrow, Bruce Marsh and Naseem Aflakian, opened the restaurant with financial help from Kickstarter.

They are proud of their guest-friendly boutique wine program where serious effort is given to matching appropriate wines with Chef Eric’s cuisine. On Wednesday nights all full bottles of wine are priced at half-off, and there is no corkage on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights.

With eager anticipation we’ll see how Little Sparrow does in their initial episode airing on Wednesday evening. Feb. 25th. In this first round they compete against Chef Gabe Thompson and L’Apicio, located in Manhattan’s East Village.

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Show 103, December 27, 2014: Show Preview with Kedric Francis (Guest Host) and Producer Andy Harris

Kedric Francis and Andy HarrisKedric Francis (our always dashing, debonair OC gentleman-about-town,) Editor of Coast Magazine, is today’s special Guest Host.

It’s a great time to reflect on the high points of the past year and look ahead. Kedric will share some of his thoughts on 2014 and look ahead to the anticipated edible treats of 2015. He’ll also preview the upcoming food and beverage options of the new $185 million ARTIC transit hub (67,000-square feet) adjacent to Angel Stadium and Honda Center..

We last spoke with Chef Richard Rosendale just after he returned from competing in the international Bocuse d’Or in early 2013. At the time he was the executive chef of iconic The Greenbier (White Sulfur Springs, WV.) Since then he’s gone out on his own and can be seen Saturday mornings on CBS’ “Recipe Rehab.” He’s also a coach for Team USA for the upcoming Bocuse d’Or competition in Lyon in late January. We’ll talk with Richard about Team USA’s chances for 2015 and what it takes to compete in this prestigious and rigorous international competition (24 countries competing) known as the “Olympics of Cooking.”

When Chef Charlie McKenna opened the original Lillie’s Q in 2010 in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago he brought award-winning competition BBQ and timeless Southern cooking to the City of Big Shoulders. Now Chef Charlie and partner Joe Manzella of TAPS Fish House & Brewery and The Catch have launched Lillie’s Q in Brea Downtown. The joint venture marks McKenna’s fourth location for his growing barbecue concept. Chef McKenna is our guest.

Cocktail authorities David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson are back with us providing inspired advice on New Year’s Eve libations. They are the authors of The 12 Bottle BarA Dozen Bottles. Hundreds Of Cocktails. A New Way To Drink.

It’s been an epic year for our Friends at The Winery in Tustin and Newport Beach. The Orange County Concierge Association just awarded The Winery the designation of “Restaurant of the Year.” In unprecedented fashion The Winery also won this recognition from the OC Concierge Association in 2008, 2009, and 2013. At The Golden Foodie Awards this year The Winery took home the honor for “Best Wine list” for the third year in a row. Also in the Orange County Register’s restaurant critic Brad A. Johnson’s 2014 O.C. Restaurant Awards the new Winery in Newport Beach was in Johnson’s “Top 10 New Restaurants” (in the Number Three position.) Winery Managing Partner and Sommelier William Lewis joins us to share all the good news and their celebratory plans for New Year’s Eve.

It’s our pleasure to welcome back Brad A. Johnson, the Orange County Registers award-winning restaurant critic to the show. Brad is going to share his 2014 Orange County restaurant awards with us. Additionally we’ll hear about his favorite Orange County dishes of the year.

In mid-October Johnson penned an intriguing piece for The Orange County Register about the arrival of the new Italian cuisine. He characterizes it as “nothing short of a revolution.” We’ll hear about this movement along with the restaurants in Los Angeles and Orange County who are part of this exciting new wave.

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

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Show 103, December 27, 2014: William Lewis, Managing Partner & Sommelier, The Winery Restaurant

Sir William Lewis of the Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar in TustinIt’s been an epic year for our Friends at The Winery in Tustin and Newport Beach. The Orange County Concierge Association just awarded The Winery the designation of “Restaurant of the Year.” In unprecedented fashion The Winery also won this recognition from the OC Concierge Association in 2008, 2009, and 2013.

At The Golden Foodie Awards this year The Winery took home the honor for “Best Wine List” for the third year in a row. Also in the Orange County Register’s restaurant critic Brad A. Johnson’s 2014 O.C. Restaurant Awards the new Winery in Newport Beach was in Johnson’s “Top 10 New Restaurants” (in the Number Three position.)

The Winery’s Managing Partner and Sommelier, “Sir” William Lewis, joins us to share all the good news and their celebratory plans for New Year’s Eve.

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Show 103, December 27, 2014: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County Register Part One

Photography by Brad A JohnsonIt’s our pleasure to welcome back Brad A. Johnson, the Orange County Registers award-winning restaurant critic to the show. Brad is going to share his 2014 Orange County restaurant awards with us. These include his selections for Restaurant of the Year, Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year, Outstanding Wine Service and Best New Restaurant. Additionally we’ll hear about his favorite Orange County dishes of the year.

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Show 103, December 27, 2014: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County Register Part Two

Photography by Brad A JohnsonIn mid-October Brad A. Johnson penned an intriguing piece for The Orange County Register about the arrival of the new Italian cuisine. The title of the piece is “This isn’t your father’s pasta: The future of Italian cuisine has arrived.” He characterizes it as “nothing short of a revolution.”

We’ll hear about this movement from Johnson along with the restaurants in Los Angeles and Orange County who are part of this exciting new wave.

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December 27: Kedric Francis, Richard Rosendale, Charlie McKenna, David and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, William Lewis, Brad A. Johnson

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Kedric Francis (Guest Host) and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Kedric Francis, Editor, Coast Magazine
Segment Three: Chef Richard Rosendale
Segment Four: Chef Charlie McKenna, Lillie’s Q
Segment Five: David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, The 12 Bottle Bar
Segment Six: William Lewis, Managing Partner & Sommelier, The Winery Restaurant
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County Register Part One
Segment Eight: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County Register Part Two

Kedric Francis and Andy HarrisKedric Francis (our always dashing, debonair OC gentleman-about-town,) Editor of Coast Magazine, is today’s special Guest Host.

It’s a great time to reflect on the high points of the past year and look ahead. Kedric will share some of his thoughts on 2014 and look ahead to the anticipated edible treats of 2015. He’ll also preview the upcoming food and beverage options of the new $185 million ARTIC transit hub (67,000-square feet) adjacent to Angel Stadium and Honda Center.

We last spoke with Chef Richard Rosendale just after he returned from competing in the international Bocuse d’Or in early 2013. At the time he was the executive chef of iconic The Greenbier (White Sulfur Springs, WV.) Since then he’s gone out on his own and can be seen Saturday mornings on CBS’ “Recipe Rehab.” He’s also a coach for Team USA for the upcoming Bocuse d’Or competition in Lyon in late January. We’ll talk with Richard about Team USA’s chances for 2015 and what it takes to compete in this prestigious and rigorous international competition (24 countries competing) known as the “Olympics of Cooking.”

When Chef Charlie McKenna opened the original Lillie’s Q in 2010 in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago he brought award-winning competition BBQ and timeless Southern cooking to the City of Big Shoulders. Now Chef Charlie and partner Joe Manzella of TAPS Fish House & Brewery and The Catch have launched Lillie’s Q in Brea Downtown. The joint venture marks McKenna’s fourth location for his growing barbecue concept. Chef McKenna is our guest.

Cocktail experts David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson are back with us providing inspired advice on New Year’s Eve libations. They are the authors of The 12 Bottle BarA Dozen Bottles. Hundreds Of Cocktails. A New Way To Drink.

It’s been an epic year for our Friends at The Winery in Tustin and Newport Beach. The Orange County Concierge Association just awarded The Winery the designation of “Restaurant of the Year.” In unprecedented fashion The Winery also won this recognition from the OC Concierge Association in 2008, 2009, and 2013. At The Golden Foodie Awards this year The Winery took home the honor for “Best Wine list” for the third year in a row. Also in the Orange County Register’s restaurant critic Brad A. Johnson’s 2014 O.C. Restaurant Awards the new Winery in Newport Beach was in Johnson’s “Top 10 New Restaurants” (in the Number Three position.) Winery Managing Partner and Sommelier William Lewis joins us to share all the good news and their celebratory plans for New Year’s Eve.

It’s our pleasure to welcome back Brad A. Johnson, the Orange County Register’s award-winning restaurant critic to the show. Brad is going to share his 2014 Orange County restaurant awards with us. Additionally we’ll hear about his favorite Orange County dishes of the year.

In mid-October Johnson penned an intriguing piece for The Orange County Register about the arrival of the new Italian cuisine. He characterizes it as “nothing short of a revolution.” We’ll hear about this movement along with the restaurants in Los Angeles and Orange County who are part of this exciting new wave.

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

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineKedric Francis (our always dashing, debonair gentleman-about-Orange County,) Editor of Coast Magazine, is today’s special Guest Host.

It’s a great time to reflect on the high points of the past year and look ahead. Kedric will share some of his thoughts on highlights of 2014 and look ahead to the anticipated edible treats of 2015. He’ll also preview the upcoming food and beverage options of the massive new $185 million ARTIC transit hub (67,000-square feet) adjacent to Angel Stadium and Honda Center.

Richard Rosendale of the Greenbrier Resort in Sulphur Springs West VirginiaWe last spoke with Chef Richard Rosendale just after he returned from competing in the international Bocuse d’Or culinary competition in early 2013. At the time he was the executive chef of iconic The Greenbier (White Sulfur Springs, WV.)

Since then he’s gone out on his own and can be seen Saturday mornings on CBSRecipe Rehab.” He’s also a coach for Team USA for the upcoming Bocuse d’Or competition in Lyon on January 24, 2015. We’ll talk with Richard about Team USA’s (Chef Philip Tessier and Commis Skylar Stover of The French Laundry) chances for 2015 and what it takes to compete on the world stage in this prestigious and rigorous international competition (24 countries competing) known as the “Olympics of Cooking.” It’s an intense five and a half hour cooking challenge with thousands of cheering fans watching.

Charlie MckennaWhen Chef Charlie McKenna opened the original Lillie’s Q in 2010 in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago he brought award-winning competition BBQ and timeless Southern cooking to the City of Big Shoulders. Now Chef Charlie and partner Joe Manzella of TAPS Fish House & Brewery and The Catch have launched Lillie’s Q in Brea Downtown. The joint venture marks McKenna’s fourth location for his growing barbecue concept.

Lillie’s Q specializes in slow-smoked pork shoulder, tri-tip, baby back ribs, hot links, and chicken cooked in custom-built smokers over peach wood and lump charcoal. They are also known for their incredible array of standout award-winning sauces.

“I look forward to bringing my southern BBQ roots to the West Coast,”
McKenna said. “It’s approachable, and there is something on the menu for everyone to enjoy.”

Chef McKenna is our guest.

David and Lesley Jacobs SolmonsonOpinionated cocktail authorities David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson are back with us with inspired advice on New Year’s Eve libations. They are the authors of The 12 Bottle BarA Dozen Bottles. Hundreds Of Cocktails. A New Way To Drink.

The Solmonsons are going to discuss how to get the hosts out from behind the bar on New Year’s Eve so they can enjoy their own party.

We’re perhaps thinking of a spirited punch and champagne cocktail bar.

Sir William Lewis of the Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar in TustinIt’s been an epic year for our Friends at The Winery in Tustin and Newport Beach. The Orange County Concierge Association just awarded The Winery the designation of “Restaurant of the Year.” In unprecedented fashion The Winery also won this recognition from the OC Concierge Association in 2008, 2009, and 2013.

At The Golden Foodie Awards this year at The Fairmont Newport Beach The Winery took home the honor for “Best Wine List” for the third year in a row. Also in the Orange County Register’s restaurant critic Brad A. Johnson’s 2014 O.C. Restaurant Awards the new Winery in Newport Beach was in Johnson’s “Top 10 New Restaurants” (in the Number Three position.)

The Winery’s Managing Partner and Sommelier, “Sir” William Lewis, joins us to share all the good news and their celebratory plans for New Year’s Eve.

Photography by Brad A JohnsonIt’s our pleasure to welcome back Brad A. Johnson, the Orange County Registers award-winning restaurant critic to the show. Brad is going to share his 2014 Orange County restaurant awards with us. These include his selections for Restaurant of the Year, Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year, Outstanding Wine Service and Best New Restaurant. Additionally we’ll hear about his favorite Orange County dishes of the year.

In mid-October Brad A. Johnson penned an intriguing piece for The Orange County Register about the arrival of the new Italian cuisine. The title of the piece is “This isn’t your father’s pasta: The future of Italian cuisine has arrived.” He characterizes it as “nothing short of a revolution.”

We’ll hear about this movement from Johnson along with the restaurants in Los Angeles and Orange County who are part of this exciting new wave.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Kedric Francis (Guest Host) and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Kedric Francis, Editor, Coast Magazine
Segment Three: Chef Richard Rosendale
Segment Four: Chef Charlie McKenna, Lillie’s Q
Segment Five: David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, The 12 Bottle Bar
Segment Six: William Lewis, Managing Partner & Sommelier, The Winery Restaurant
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County Register Part One
Segment Eight: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County Register Part Two

Show 97, November 15, 2014: Chef Noah Blom, ARC Restaurant Food & Libations and Shuck Oyster Bar

Noah BlomFinally a chance to chat with Chef Noah about ARC which is just under two-years old. Their provocative tagline is : “Dirty. Sexy. Happiness.”

After being open for all of six weeks, ARC was referred to as one of the “most important restaurants to open in America this decade” by respected food and travel journalist, Brad A. Johnson of The Orange County Register. He is the recipient of a prestigious James Beard Award for excellence in food writing.

Earlier in the year the OC Register Magazine (February 4th) awarded Chef Noah the accolade of “Chef of the Year”

“ARC’s culinary focus is on flame, flavor and finesse – every item is crafted over an open fire in a kitchen where there is nowhere to hide,” explained Noah Blom. “Our goal is to embrace the lost love of simplicity, while satiating the guest with classic dishes that focus on fresh, farmed and vibrant ingredients.”

“Our libations recall a simpler era when the sip replaced the slurp,” revealed Managing Partner Marin Howarth. “Our Bar Chef is focused on a classically crafted atmosphere that echoes our kitchen with a scratch bar where bitters, infusions, syrups and sodas are made in-house.”

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Show 86, August 30, 2014: Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show

Kedric Francis and Andy HarrisGuest Host Kedric Francis of The Orange County Register Magazine & Coast Orange County Magazine and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

The always debonair Kedric Francis, our dashing man about Orange County, is the Executive Editor of both publications.

You’ll remember the always opinionated Chef Shirley Chung (Las Vegas – based) as a finalist in Season 11 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” in New Orleans. She is opening a modern Chinese restaurant in Irvine at the end of September.

It’s the Orange International Street Fair in Old Towne Orange this Labor Day Weekend. In the center of the action in a restored historic bungalow on W. Chapman is Wahoo’s Fish Taco. Co-founder Wing Lam joins us to discuss what’s new at Wahoo’s.

The Palm Restaurant, known for classic steakhouse fare, has been an institution in West Hollywood since its launch in 1975. That location is closing at the end of September. In early November a new, 6,000 square foot Palm will begin welcoming guests in Beverly Hills.

Chef-comedienne Nadia G. is widely known as the creator and host of Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen,” a brand defining series for Cooking Channel and the first ever online show to successfully transition from the internet to primetime. Her new primetime Cooking Channel series is Bite This.” The always unpredictable Nadia G. is our guest.

Brad A. Johnson is the James Beard award-winning restaurant critic for both the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Register. Brad is back with us this week to talk about sushi and his favorites in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties. He’ll also preview an intriguing piece he’s writing for the Orange County Register Magazine on the new wave of Italian restaurants.

Five years ago Haven Gastropub opened on S. Glassell St. in Old Towne Orange during the annual Orange International Street Festival. That Festival attracts some 500,000 hungry and thirsty guests for the three-days. Executive Chef Greg Daniels is with us to talk about their five-year anniversary.

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

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