Show 281, July 14, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now an engaging preview of this Saturday’s properly decadent 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…

The OC Promenade Building at the OC Fair is the Home of all the entertaining OC Fair Culinary Arts programming including the OC Promenade Main Stage. It’s the year of “Feed Your Inner Farmer!” celebrating people who play a key role in California agriculture. We’ll meet Pamela Wnuck, the Fair’s long-time Culinary Arts Supervisor for a preview.

Once upon a time Jennifer Segal went to culinary school and worked in fancy restaurants. One marriage and two kids later she created Once Upon a Chef, the popular blog that combines her chef skills with delicious, fresh, and accessible ingredients for family-friendly meals. Today, Jenn cooks dinner for hers every night and in her first, long-in-the-works cookbook, Once Upon a Chef – The Cookbook: 100 Tested, Perfected and Family-Approved Recipes, she shares 100 recipes that will up your kitchen game and surprise you with their ease and bold flavors.

Near the foodie mecca that is Portland, OR is SakeOne located in Forest Grove, “America’s Premium Sake Company.” Why a Sake brewery in Tualatin Valley, OR ? Foremost it’s the pristine, naturally soft water quality. We’ll hear about the Sake brewing process, and a lot more, from SakeOne’s Jack Lien.

The 6th Edition of Puerto Vallarta’s celebrated Ceviche and Aguachile Festival is set for Sunday, July 29th in Old Town Puerto Vallarta from Noon to 7:00 p.m. It’s 40 chef creations of ceviches and aguachiles for the sampling plus local craft beers, specialty Raicilla cocktails and live music. Producer & Founder Edgar Cisneros reels in all the spicy details for us live from Puerto Vallarta.

Friends & Family, a new Thai Town staple and beloved dining destination, launched dinner service this last week. The well-received hybrid dining/takeaway concept created by Chefs Daniel Mattern and Roxana Jullapat transforms into full dinner service in the evenings (Wednesday through Sunday), offering a variety of shared plates and mains that incorporate sustainably-raised, hearth-roasted meats, seasonal vegetables, farmers’ market salads and their favorite heritage grains. We pull the busy Chef Daniel off the line for a chat.

We’re celebrating National Ice Cream Day (July 15th) with Zach Brooks, the Market Manager for DTLA’s Sunday Smorgasburg LA. July 15th marks the return of the ever-popular Ice Cream Alley at Smorgasaburg LA. It runs every Sunday through Labor Day weekend.

Chef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of “Ask the Chef.” Octopus (grilled) and squid / calamari are seen on a lot of restaurant menus. Why are they sustainable and what is the best way of preparing them ? We’ll find out from Chef Andrew.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 281, July 14, 2018: Edgar Cisneros, Producer, Puerto Vallarta’s 6th Annual Ceviche & Aguachile Festival

Edgar CisnerosThe 6th Edition of Puerto Vallarta’s celebrated Ceviche and Aguachile Festival is set for Sunday, July 29th in Old Town Puerto Vallarta from Noon to 7:00 p.m. No admission charge and you pay as you go for the samples.

The Festival celebrates the local seafood delicacy with participating restaurants, local microbreweries, and raicilla producers. 40, plus, varieties will be available to sample including vegetarian options. Also live music with a local flair throughout the day.

“Aguachile is a Mexican dish made of shrimp, submerged in liquid seasoned with chili peppers, lime juice, salt, cilantro, and slices of onion. Fresh vegetables such as cucumber are usually added.” It can be thought of as a kicked-up version of ceviche.

Producer & Founder Edgar Cisneros reels in all the spicy details for us live from Puerto Vallarta.

Play

July 14: OC Fair, Jennifer Segal, SakeOne, Ceviche and Aguachile Festival, Daniel Mattern, Smorgasburg LA

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: OC Fair Culinary Arts Programming – OC Promenade Building
Segment Three: “Once Upon a Chef’s” Jennifer Segal
Segment Four: Jack Lien, SakeOne, Forest Grove, Oregon
Segment Five: Edgar Cisneros, Producer, Puerto Vallarta’s 6th Annual Ceviche & Aguachile Festival
Segment Six: Executive Chef / Proprietor Daniel Mattern, Friends & Family, Thai Town Los Angeles
Segment Seven: Zach Brooks, Market Manager, Smorgasburg LA
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel

Now an engaging preview of this Saturday’s properly decadent 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…

The OC Promenade Building at the OC Fair is the Home of all the entertaining OC Fair Culinary Arts programming including the OC Promenade Main Stage. It’s the year of “Feed Your Inner Farmer!” celebrating people who play a key role in California agriculture. We’ll meet Pamela Wnuck, the Fair’s long-time Culinary Arts Supervisor for a preview.

Once upon a time Jennifer Segal went to culinary school and worked in fancy restaurants. One marriage and two kids later she created Once Upon a Chef, the popular blog that combines her chef skills with delicious, fresh, and accessible ingredients for family-friendly meals. Today, Jenn cooks dinner for hers every night and in her first, long-in-the-works cookbook, Once Upon a Chef – The Cookbook: 100 Tested, Perfected and Family-Approved Recipes, she shares 100 recipes that will up your kitchen game and surprise you with their ease and bold flavors.

Near the foodie mecca that is Portland, OR is SakeOne located in Forest Grove, “America’s Premium Sake Company.” Why a Sake brewery in Tualatin Valley, OR ? Foremost it’s the pristine, naturally soft water quality. We’ll hear about the Sake brewing process, and a lot more, from SakeOne’s Jack Lien.

The 6th Edition of Puerto Vallarta’s celebrated Ceviche and Aguachile Festival is set for Sunday, July 29th in Old Town Puerto Vallarta from Noon to 7:00 p.m. Producer & Founder Edgar Cisneros reels in all the spicy details for us live from Puerto Vallarta.

Friends & Family, a new Thai Town staple and beloved dining destination, launched dinner service this last week. The well-received hybrid dining/takeaway concept created by Chefs Daniel Mattern and Roxana Jullapat transforms into full dinner service in the evenings (Wednesday through Sunday), offering a variety of shared plates and mains that incorporate sustainably-raised, hearth-roasted meats, seasonal vegetables, farmers’ market salads and their favorite heritage grains. We pull the busy Chef Daniel off the line for a chat.

We’re celebrating National Ice Cream Day (July 15th) with Zach Brooks, the Market Manager for DTLA’s Sunday Smorgasburg LA. July 15th marks the return of Ice Cream Alley at Smorgasaburg LA. It runs every Sunday through Labor Day weekend.

Chef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of “Ask the Chef.” Octopus (grilled) and squid / calamari are seen on a lot of restaurant menus. Why are they sustainable and what is the best way of preparing them ? We’ll find out from Chef Andrew.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Pamela WnuckThe OC Promenade Building at the OC Fair is the Home of all the entertaining OC Fair Culinary Arts programming including the OC Promenade Main Stage. It’s the year of “Feed Your Inner Farmer!” celebrating people who play a key role in California agriculture.

If you love to cook or love to eat, this is the place to meet at The OC Fair!

Culinary Arts is taking center stage at the 2018 OC Fair. The Main Stage is booked every day throughout the fair and will be host to chefs, bakers, farmers, floral artists, food bloggers, mixologists, brewers, butchers and more.

Learn from the best during demos and tasting sessions stocked with kitchen secrets, war stories and more – straight from the experts. The 30-minute culinary demonstrations are always new and exciting, educational and FREE. For the inside scoop on everything culinary, stop by the information desk. The stage schedule changes daily and is subject to change without notice.

We’ll meet Pamela Wnuck, the Fair’s long-time Culinary Arts Supervisor for a tempting preview.

Jennifer SegalOnce upon a time Jennifer Segal went to culinary school and worked in fancy restaurants. One marriage and two kids later she created Once Upon a Chef, the popular blog that combines her chef skills with delicious, fresh, and accessible ingredients for family-friendly meals.

Today, Jenn cooks dinner for hers every night and in her first, long-in-the-works cookbook, Once Upon a Chef – The Cookbook: 100 Tested, Perfected and Family-Approved Recipes, she shares 100 recipes that will up your kitchen game and surprise you with their ease and bold flavors.

There is something for every meal of the day starting with breakfast favorites like Maple, Coconut & Blueberry Granola and Savory Ham & Cheese Waffles. Simple soups, salads, and sandwiches make ideal lunches (try the Fiery Roasted Tomato Soup paired with Smoked Gouda & Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches), plus entrées the whole family will love like Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders. And for those casual get-togethers it’s easy to whip up some Buttery Cajun Popcorn and bowls of Sweet, Salty & Spicy Pecans. You’ll also fall in love with go-to sweets such as Toffee Almond Sandies and a Classic Chocolate Lover’s Birthday Cake.

“With the authority of a professional chef and the practicality of a busy working mom, Jenn teaches you to improve your cooking one recipe at a time, with helpful tips on topics such as how to season correctly with salt, how to balance flavors, and how to make the most of leftovers.”

Jack LienNear the foodie mecca that is Portland, OR is SakeOne, located in Forest Grove, “America’s Premium Sake Company.” Why a Sake brewery in Tualatin Valley, OR? Foremost it’s the pristine, naturally soft water quality.

SakeOne brews three lines of premium Sake in Oregon including Momokawa, Moonstone and G Sake. At their Forest Grove brewery you can enjoy Premium Sake Flights in their Tasting Room and also partake of their educational Brewery Tour (at no charge.)

Sake is an ancient beverage dating back nearly 3,000 years, but began its refinement about 1,000 years ago. Today’s premium styles of sake (Junmai, Ginjo, Daiginjo, and others) are only about forty-five years old and still not a significant percentage of all sake produced. But, in the US, premium sake is more than half the market and growing.

“At SakéOne we tap into the idyllic waters of Oregon’s Willamette Valley to brew pure, premium saké in a variety of styles. Check out our bold and crisp G Saké, fruit-infused Moonstone and versatile Momokawa brands.”

We’ll hear about the Sake brewing process, and a lot more, from SakeOne’s expert, Jack Lien.

Edgar CisnerosThe 6th Edition of Puerto Vallarta’s celebrated Ceviche and Aguachile Festival is set for Sunday, July 29th in Old Town Puerto Vallarta from Noon to 7:00 p.m.

The Festival celebrates the local seafood delicacy with participating restaurants, local microbreweries, and raicilla producers. 30, plus, varieties will be available to sample including vegetarian options.

“Aguachile is a Mexican dish made of shrimp, submerged in liquid seasoned with chili peppers, lime juice, salt, cilantro, and slices of onion. Fresh vegetables such as cucumber are usually added.” It can be thought of as a kicked-up version of ceviche.

Producer & Founder Edgar Cisneros reels in all the spicy details for us live from Puerto Vallarta.

Daniel MatternFriends & Family, a new Thai Town staple and beloved dining destination, launched dinner service this last week. The well-received hybrid dining/takeaway concept created by Chefs Daniel Mattern and Roxana Jullapat transforms into full dinner service in the evenings (Wednesday through Sunday), offering a variety of shared plates and mains that incorporate sustainably-raised, hearth-roasted meats, seasonal vegetables, farmers’ market salads and their favorite heritage grains.

“We’re ready to add a great neighborhood dinner option to Thai Town,” said Mattern. “With a comfortable vibe and market-driven food, it’ll be a unique spot in the neighborhood, and the perfect place for an impromptu dinner or casual meet-up meal with friends before catching a show at the Greek.”

“To start, the seasonally-rotating menu will feature savory items paired with bright summer produce such as Chicken Liver Toast with Apricot and Nigella and Spiced Half Chicken with New Potatoes and Purslane Salad as well as hearty mains including Wild Salmon Grilled in Grape Leaves over Almond Wood and Hanger Steak with Kimchi Mayo and Crispy GreensGuests will also enjoy dishes that focus on the use of heritage grains including the Spelt Pretzel with Mustard Dipping Sauce or the Smoked Fish & Beer Rarebit with Housemade Rye Sourdough, both perfect for sharing over a pint (or two).”

Complementing the market-driven fare will be a selection of natural wines hand-picked by Mattern and Jullapat to pair with the menu’s robust flavors, as well as craft beer on tap from some of their favorite local breweries including Eagle Rock BreweryCraftsman Brewing and Beachwood Brewing. To finish, diners will be able to indulge in seasonal housemade desserts like Jullapat’s fan-favorite, Huckleberry Meringue with Blueberry Compote and Buttermilk-Blueberry Ice Cream or Sorghum Sticky Pudding, Dates and Roasted Apricots.

We pull the busy Chef Daniel off the line for a chat.

Zach BrooksWe’re celebrating National Ice Cream Day (July 15th) with Zach Brooks, the Market Manager for DTLA’s Sunday Smorgasburg LA. July 15th marks the return of Ice Cream Alley at Smorgasaburg LA. It runs every Sunday through Labor Day weekend.

“Prepare that sweet tooth! National Ice Cream Day happens once a year, and at Smorgasburg LA, we celebrate all summer long with the launch of Ice Cream Alley featuring over 10 popups from the best ice cream vendors that LA has to offer. Ice cream alley runs July 15 through Labor Day weekend, so don’t miss out on your chance to indulge in scoops, ice cream sandwiches, pops and more.”

Smorgasburg LA is open every Sunday on the five-acre site of the weekday Alameda Produce Market in Downtown Los Angeles, which is part of a larger, new development called ROW DTLA.

Each Sunday, find dozens of exciting food vendors at Smorgasburg LA, plus sophisticated shopping from the realms of design, craft, style, vintage, wellness, and more. Cultural events, pop-ups, and other surprises transform the vast site into a new node in Downtown LA’s burgeoning scene, and a unique destination for the region.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoChef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us from the road with another installment of “Ask the Chef.”

Octopus (grilled) and squid / calamari are seen on a lot of restaurant menus. Why are they sustainable and what is the best way of preparing them ? No rubbery & extra chewy octopus, please. We’ll find out from Chef Andrew.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: OC Fair Culinary Arts Programming – OC Promenade Building
Segment Three: “Once Upon a Chef’s” Jennifer Segal
Segment Four: Jack Lien, SakeOne, Forest Grove, Oregon
Segment Five: Edgar Cisneros, Producer, Puerto Vallarta’s 6th Annual Ceviche & Aguachile Festival
Segment Six: Executive Chef / Proprietor Daniel Mattern, Friends & Family, Thai Town Los Angeles
Segment Seven: Zach Brooks, Market Manager, Smorgasburg LA
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel

Show 255, January 6, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel

Happy New Year.

Now an abundant preview of Saturday’s salivating 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… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday morning throughout the new year.

No leftovers here.

It’s the beginning of another year of enticing food & beverage festivals in sunny Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. Upcoming is the 5th edition of the popular Ceviche and Aguachile Festival on Sunday afternoon, January 28th. Festival Producer Edgar Cisneros has the tempting preview.

Restaurateur Ray Lasher surprised the Long Beach dining community when he closed the original Lasher’s in 2012 after a 15-year run. He’s now back in Belmont Shore on E. 2nd Street with a revised concept, Lasher’s Kitchen. Executive Chef & Partner Raquel Jubran has returned to create the refreshed menu. She joins us.

We last spoke with Chef Brendan Collins when he was running the underappreciated Birch located on a side street just off Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood. He is now back on the Westside creating the rejuvenated menu at The Wilshire Restaurant in Santa Monica. Guests have already noticed the new energy there along with the refreshed commitment to service. The Roast has moved there too, from Noon to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Just before year’s end Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula opened their doors to guests for the first phase of their ambitious $285 million expansion, including 568 new hotel rooms & suites. In the new atrium is The Lobby Bar restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also launched on Thursday nights is the all-you-can enjoy Lobster & Seafood Extravaganza at the Pechanga Buffet. We entice Pechanga’s Executive Chef Duane Owen out of his busy kitchens for the details.

Chef Amar Santana and his business partner, Ahmed Labatte (Broadway by Amar Santana and Vaca in Costa Mesa) had an incredible 2017. Among other notable achievements they hosted one of the premier events celebrating the 50th Anniversary of South Coast Plaza at Vaca. It was a lavish, multi-course dinner matched with outstanding wines to benefit The James Beard Foundation. For late 2018 their new project will be The Hall Global Eatery in South Coast Plaza. Ahmed joins us with a tantalizing sneak preview.

Our always dynamic Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is back in-studio from his adventures in Park City, Utah where he has just debuted the third Slapfish in Utah. Chef Andrew will share (and explain) some important hospitality business trends he sees for 2018. Where is fine-dining headed? This is Part 3 of his conversation continued from the previous two weeks.

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

Play

January 6: Ceviche and Aguachile Festival, Lasher’s Kitchen, Brendan Collins, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Ahmed Labatte

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: 5th Ceviche and Aguachile Festival, Producer Edgar Cisneros, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
Segment Three: Chef-Partner Raquel Jubran, Lasher’s Kitchen, Long Beach
Segment Four: Executive Chef Brendan Collins, The Wilshire, Santa Monica
Segment Five: Executive Chef Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula Part One
Segment Six: Executive Chef Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula Part Two
Segment Seven: Ahmed Labatte, Partner, Vaca Restaurant Group
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Happy New Year.

Now an abundant preview of this Saturday’s salivating 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… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday morning throughout the new year.

No leftovers here.

It’s the beginning of another year of enticing food & beverage festivals in sunny Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. Upcoming is the 5th edition of the popular Ceviche and Aguachile Festival on Sunday afternoon, January 28th. Festival Producer Edgar Cisneros has the tempting preview.

Restaurateur Ray Lasher surprised the Long Beach dining community when he closed the original Lasher’s in 2012 after a 15-year run. He’s now back in Belmont Shore on E. 2nd Street with a revised concept, Lasher’s Kitchen. Executive Chef & Partner Raquel Jubran has returned to create the refreshed menu. She joins us.

We last spoke with Chef Brendan Collins when he was running the underappreciated Birch located on a side street just off Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood. He is now back on the Westside creating the rejuvenated menu at The Wilshire Restaurant in Santa Monica. Guests have already noticed the new energy there along with the refreshed commitment to service. The Roast has moved there too, from Noon to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Just before year’s end Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula opened their doors to guests for the first phase of their ambitious $285 million expansion, including 568 new hotel rooms & suites. In the new atrium is The Lobby Bar restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also launched on Thursday nights is the all-you-can enjoy Lobster & Seafood Extravaganza at the Pechanga Buffet. We entice Pechanga’s Executive Chef Duane Owen out of his busy kitchens for the details.

Chef Amar Santana and his business partner, Ahmed Labatte (Broadway by Amar Santana and Vaca in Costa Mesa) had an incredible 2017. Among other notable achievements they hosted one of the premier events celebrating the 50th Anniversary of South Coast Plaza at Vaca. It was a lavish, multi-course dinner matched with outstanding wines to benefit The James Beard Foundation. For late 2018 their new project will be The Hall Global Eatery in South Coast Plaza. Ahmed joins us with a tantalizing sneak preview.

Our always dynamic Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is back in-studio from his adventures in Park City, Utah where he has just debuted the third Slapfish in Utah. Chef Andrew will share (and explain) some important hospitality business trends he sees for 2018. Where is fine-dining headed? This is Part 3 of his conversation continued from the previous two weeks.

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

Edgar CisnerosIt’s the beginning of another year of appealing food & beverage festivals in sunny Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. Upcoming is the 5th edition of the ever-popular Ceviche and Aguachile Festival on Sunday afternoon, January 28th.

Puerto Vallarta remains a gastronomic destination with an intriguing variety of high-quality food and libation events held every year that delight both visitors and locals. 2018 starts with the flavors of the sea with the 5th edition of the Festival of Ceviche and Aguachile. Guests can sample more than 30 varieties of exquisite ceviches and aguachiles. Expect a boatload of fresh seafood including marlin, shrimp, tuna, octopus and stingray. Also cocktails and local craft beers will be available to purchase.

The date is Sunday, January 28th from 12 Noon to 7:00 p.m. in Puerto Vallarta’s Lazaro Cardenas Park. Tastes range from a reasonable 15 to 40 pesos per item.

Festival Producer Edgar Cisneros has the tempting preview.

Raquel JubranRestaurateur Ray Lasher surprised the Long Beach dining community when he closed the original Lasher’s in 2012 after a 15-year run. He’s now back in Belmont Shore on E. 2nd Street with a refreshed concept, Lasher’s Kitchen.

“It feels good to be in front-of-the-house again,” said Lasher.  “The original restaurant was open for 15 years, and I enjoyed every minute of it.   I continued working in the restaurant industry as a consultant.  Then this location came along and it was a game changer.”

Lasher’s Kitchen, which opened last April, is a more casual concept than the original Lasher’s.  The 45-seat restaurant offers a contemporary design with a color palette of warm hues and wood accents, original artwork, and an intimate wine bar.  The restaurant also features a pet-friendly sidewalk patio and a communal table positioned front and center.

The menu has a few dishes, such as the clam chowder, fried green tomatoes, and meatloaf, from the original restaurant, but Chef-Partner Raquel Jubran, better known as Chef Roq, is constantly creating new dishes often dictated by season.   The menu is divided into four categories:

  • Shareables
  • Journeys
  • Sidetracks
  • Sweet Destinations

Chef Roq’s signature dishes include Crispy Yuca Fries with banana ketchup and Aji Amarillo salsa, the pastry-filled Savory French Cigar with chicken and bacon ragout, Fleet Street Meat Pie made with braised short rib and root vegetables with a pastry crust, Braised Pork Belly with Cherry Cola Demi-Glace served on a crispy potato cake with tobacco onions, and Asiago and Cheddar Grilled Cheese.

Lasher’s Kitchen opens at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday for weekend brunch, which features an array of morning and mid-day favorites.  Social Hour, which takes place weekdays from 2-6pm, features a menu of shareable plates and $5 pours of selected red and white wines.  Every Wednesday Lasher’s Kitchen caters to oenophiles with its “no corkage fee” followed by Prime Rib Thursday for carnivores.  Fresh fish also plays a prominent role on the menu.

“It feels great to be back doing what I love,” said Lasher.  “And with the people I love – my wife, who is also a partner – as well as our daughters who help out at the restaurant after school and on weekends.  Having our former guests experience our new concept feels great, and we’re happy to be part of the Long Beach restaurant community once again.”

Executive Chef & Partner Raquel Jubran has returned to create the refreshed menu. She joins us.

Brendan CollinsWe last spoke with Chef Brendan Collins when he was running the underappreciated Birch located on a side street just off Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood. He is now back on the Westside creating the rejuvenated menu at The Wilshire Restaurant in Santa Monica. Guests have already noticed the new energy there along with the refreshed commitment to service. The Roast has moved there too, from Noon to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.

“At Wilshire our menu has been developed by acclaimed Chef Brendan Collins around local, organic and seasonal ingredients taking advantage of our uniquely rich and diverse farmers’ markets. Dishes originate from a fusion of American and International influences presented in a simple and accessible style. We call this “New Urban Cuisine”, reflecting the modern sensibilities of supporting sustainable farming, enjoying sophisticated and excellent food, and gathering in a beautiful but casual atmosphere.”

“Wilshire is a neighborhood restaurant. We pride ourselves on friendly and attentive service, and look forward to welcoming you for lunch, dinner, or a cocktail sometime soon.”

Wilshire Happy Hour is in full swing from 3pm-7pm M-F and 5-8pm Saturdays. To cap off those long work weeks, the restaurant is serving $4-5 beers, $7-8 cocktails, $5-6 wine and a delicious array of bar bites starting at $6.

Duane Owen of Pechanga Casino and ResortJust before year’s end Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula opened their doors to guests for the first phase of their ambitious $285 million expansion, including 568 new rooms & suites. In the new atrium is The Lobby Bar restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also launched on Thursday nights is the all-you-can enjoy Lobster & Seafood Extravaganza at The Pechanga Buffet.

The Lobby Bar restaurant located in the atrium is an inviting, open California bistro and bar serving breakfast, lunch and dinner bringing forth fresh, locally harvested ingredients to create seasonally changing specialties.

Chef Jose Mendoza (who returns to Pechanga from Las Vegas) melds unexpected flavors and Temecula-area components in a menu that pleases and excites. With many vegetarian dishes available, and cocktails hand crafted using local fruits and herbs, the Lobby Bar stands out among Pechanga’s 13 dining options.

We entice Pechanga’s Executive Chef Duane Owen out of his busy kitchens for the details.

Launching on Thursday nights is the all-you-can enjoy Lobster & Seafood Extravaganza.

Pechanga Buffet guests can now enjoy their fill of all you can enjoy, one-and-one-quarter pound whole Maine lobster done in an East Coast lobster bake style with roasted potatoes and corn on the cob. From 4PM to close at 10PM on Thursdays, diners receive a piping hot lobster bake bag containing the just-cooked lobster (flown in from Maine the night before) and fixings. The price is $44.99 per guest.

Guests can also fill their plates with enhanced buffet seafood selections from the upgraded sushi station, a whole-salmon carving station, fresh and baked oyster station, snow crab, fish tacos, ceviche, calamari, Dungeness crab, clam chowder, steamed shrimp and much more.

The Pechanga Buffet offers the hungry a wide-ranging and mouthwatering menu featuring over 250 fresh items and interactive action stations for custom-ordered pastas, sushi, seafood, BBQ and grilled meats, pizza and flatbreads, as well Asian food, Mexican and Latin specialties, and Italian and Mediterranean options.

Pechanga sources the lobsters from ecologically responsible purveyors in Maine. Their products are fully inspected and certified. Fisheries they work with use sustainable methods and practices. The lobsters coming to Pechanga are caught one day, refrigerated, packaged, and shipped live across the country where they land at LAX overnight. They are immediately put onto a delivery truck and brought to Pechanga in Temecula. Pechanga’s buffet chefs cook small batches at a time and remaining lobsters are put into tanks.

Ahmed LabatteChef Amar Santana and his business partner, Ahmed Labatte (Broadway by Amar Santana and Vaca in Costa Mesa) had an incredible 2017. Among other notable achievements they hosted one of the premier events celebrating the 50th Anniversary of South Coast Plaza at Vaca. It was a lavish, multi-course dinner matched with outstanding wines to benefit The James Beard Foundation.

For late 2018 their ambitious new project will be The Hall Global Eatery in South Coast Plaza. Early advance info is that it will be a Global Marketplace with multiple food counters. The location is the expansive former Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill space.

Ahmed joins us with a tantalizing sneak preview.

Andrew and William GruelOur always dynamic Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is back in-studio from his adventures in Park City, Utah where he has just debuted the third Slapfish in Utah. Chef Andrew will share (and explain) some important hospitality business trends he sees for 2018. Where is fine-dining headed?

This is Part 3 of his spirited conversation continued from the previous two weeks.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: 5th Ceviche and Aguachile Festival, Producer Edgar Cisneros, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
Segment Three: Chef-Partner Raquel Jubran, Lasher’s Kitchen, Long Beach
Segment Four: Executive Chef Brendan Collins, The Wilshire, Santa Monica
Segment Five: Executive Chef Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula Part One
Segment Six: Executive Chef Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula Part Two
Segment Seven: Ahmed Labatte, Partner, Vaca Restaurant Group
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group