Show 198, November 19, 2016: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosThanksgiving dinner is upon us. If you’re cooking the Thanksgiving feast at home it can be a stressful time. To the rescue comes our own Chef Andrew Gruel, a real working chef. Time to enjoy being with Family.

He has some useful tips for preparing the Thanksgiving meal with a minimum of aggravation.

Chef Andrew offers some useful hints for improving on the preparation of the mashed potatoes and preserving valuable kitchen space in the process. Also, a chef’s secret for peeling the potatoes with ease.

How about adding some excitement to the same familiar side dishes? Chef Andrew suggests grilling corn on the cob instead of creamed corn.

Also he has inspiration for improving on the stuffing. Use your favorite stale bread, season well and use flavorful cooking liquid. Adding an egg really improves the texture. Also bake outside of the turkey.

Consider adding a dish out of the norm. I’m hearing turkey tamales calling…

Bring on the properly seasoned stuffing…

 

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Show 156, January 23, 2016: Steve Dickler, Founder & Co-Owner, Chefs’ Toys

Steve Dickler of Chefs ToysWe love entrepreneurial success stories on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” You’ve probably seen Chefs’ Toys fleet of distinctive trucks navigating the freeways in Southern California. It all started in 1985 as a modest, mobile knife-sharpening business.

Today, Chefs’ Toys with 6 massive, fully-stocked warehouse stores in Southern California, is the largest full-line supplier of foodservice equipment and smallwares in the West. At any given moment millions of dollars in equipment and supplies are in stock locally and ready for delivery.

Founder Steve Dickler, a working chef by background, is our guest.

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Show 137, September 5, 2015: Chef / Proprietor Florent Marneau, Marche Moderne

Florent and Amelia Marneau of Marche Moderne at South Coast PlazaIf you’re a fan of bouillabaisse, the celebrated fresh seafood stew from Provence, then you need to head over to Marche Moderne in South Coast Plaza. Nightly from September 10th through Sunday, September 20th is their annual Bouillabaisse 2015 festival! It’s an occasion worthy of celebration.

Chef/Proprietor Florent Marneau flies in his fish from the South of France. In the bouillabaisse you’ll see Saint-Pierre, Daurade Royale or Seabream and Rouget or Rascasse. There is also a carefully selected group of Rose wines (available by the glass or bottle) to pair with the bouillabaisse.

The keys to a great bouillabaisse are the broth (made with fish bones) and the quality of the fish.

These nights at Marche Moderne are very popular. Reservations are needed.

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Show 90, September 27, 2014: Executive Chef Steve Samson

Steve Samson of SottoToday’s guest host is Executive Chef Steve Samson of Sotto in Los Angeles located just East of Century City. He was previously the high profile executive chef at Piero Selvaggio’s Valentino in Santa Monica. Orange County diners remember him as the opening executive chef at the popular Pizzeria Ortica in Costa Mesa.

Chef Steve was just in Bologna, Italy for a Family celebration. This influenced him to initiate a monthly series featuring dishes of the North. He’s also brining in complimentary Italian wines from the North.

Last Saturday afternoon at UCLA Chef Steve was one of the participating celebrity chefs at L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade culinary benefit. Samson was paired with one of the young cheftestantants from Fox’s MasterChef Jr. series.

Sotto delivers an honest, market-driven menu of regionally-inspired Southern Italian dishes, including fresh housemade pastas and Neapolitan pizza cooked in an artisan wood burning oven. This wood burning oven was built onsite by Neapolitan craftsmen using traditional Old World techniques.

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September 6: Andrew Gruel, Carolyne Styne, McConnell’s Ice Cream, Michelle Winner, Melissa’s Produce, Geeta Bansal, 12 Bottle Bar

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade
Segment Three: McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream
Segment Four: Travel Writer Michelle Winner, President, IFWTWA
Segment Five: Corporate Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s Produce
Segment Six: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Seven: Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven
Segment Eight: The 12 Bottle Bar

Guest Host Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, CEO of Slapfish Restaurant Group and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

The 5th Annual L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade culinary cookout returns this year on Saturday, September 20th. When it comes to having the most impressive roster of nationally-known celebrity chefs cooking locally for charity this Benefit is the clear standout. It’s hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin, her business partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern) along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat.)

McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream is a 70-year old iconic brand of super premium ice cream which is still based where it was founded in Santa Barbara. Michael Palmer (winemaker) and his wife Eva Ein (chef) purchased this heritage brand in 2012. A McConnell’s scoop shop recently opened in the Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.

Food, wine & travel writer Michelle Winner is the President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA.). She will be talking to us from Hawaii. Over Labor Day Weekend she was part of the Kaanapali Fresh – A Culinary Experience on Maui and right now she is in the middle of the 4th Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival on Oahu.

Ida Rodriguez is the long-time Corporate Chef for Melissa’s / World Variety Produce. Until the end of the month it’s Hatch Chile season. Over Labor Day Weekend Chef Ida was in Hatch, New Mexico for the annual Hatch Chile Festival. It gets crazy there. Chef Ida is with us to give us the flavorful report.

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel is CEO of Slapfish Restaurant Group with locations in Huntington Beach, Laguna, Dubai, and soon – Newport Beach. Chef Andrew is a guest judge on Food Network’s upcoming “Food Truck Face-Off” series, was a participant on Sept. 5th at OC Weekly’s 11th Annual Decadence 2014 Tasting Event, and has a new video our explaining the secrets of preparing Slapfish’s Clobster Roll to the Orange County Register’s distinguished food writer, Cathy Thomas.

It’s a singular honor as a chef & restaurateur to be invited to prepare and present a meal at The James Beard Foundation in New York. Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven has that distinct honor on September 27th. On Monday, Sept. 15th Clay Oven will be previewing that same grand five-course, wine-paired menu for a small group of lucky locals. Not one to miss…

David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson have penned a new kind of cocktail book, The 12 Bottle Bar. Just twelve bottles create over 200 distinct and seasonal cocktails, including beer and wine cocktails. When we first interviewed the Solmonsons we ran out of time before we could discuss the clever “Acknowledgements” section of their book. We’ll resume the conversation…

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

Caroline StyneThe 5th Annual L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade culinary cookout returns this year on Saturday, September 20th. When it comes to having the most impressive roster of nationally-known celebrity chefs cooking locally for charity this Benefit is the clear standout. It’s hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin, her business partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern) along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat.)

The new location is Wilson Plaza at UCLA in Westwood.

The 5th Annual Benefit invites food and wine lovers from all corners of the globe for an afternoon of fantastic fare, cocktails for a cause, children’s activities, silent and live auctions, and a whole lot more. The incredible chef brigade includes big name cooks ranging from Giada De Laurentiis to Tom Colicchio.

Michael PalmerMcConnell’s Fine Ice Cream is a 70-year old iconic brand of super premium ice cream which is still based where it was founded in Santa Barbara. Michael Palmer (winemaker) and his wife Eva Ein (chef) purchased this heritage brand in 2012. A McConnell’s scoop shop recently opened in the Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.

The late Jim McCoy owned McConnell’s from 1963 until he needed to sell the business due to ill health in 2012. It was very important to him that this be maintained as a family business based in Santa Barbara.That was his legacy.

75 per cent of McConnell’s ingredients come from within 60 miles of Santa Barbara.

Food, wine & travel writer Michelle Winner is the President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA.). She will be talking to us from Hawaii.

Over Labor Day Weekend Michelle was part of the Kaanapali Fresh – A Culinary Experience on Maui and right now she is in the middle of the 4th Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival on Oahu.

The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival event Michelle attended Thursday evening was the sold out “A Lucky Modern Buddha Belly” at The Modern Honolulu. The event put a spotlight on Hawaii’s unique location as a culinary hub of the Pacific where East Meets West. 14 esteemed chefs (including Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto) showcased dishes inspired by the Lucky Buddha who is known for happiness, plenitude, and wisdom of contentment.

Chef Ida Rodriquez of Melissas World Variety ProduceIda Rodriguez is the long-time Corporate Chef for Melissa’s / World Variety Produce. Until the end of the month it’s still Hatch Chile season.

Over Labor Day Weekend Chef Ida was in Hatch, New Mexico as a participant for the annual Hatch Chile Festival. It gets really crazy there. Chef Ida joins us to give us the flavorful chile report.

Weekend Hatch chile roasting continue through this month at select supermarkets. Check the Melissa’s website for the schedule, times, and locations.

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel is CEO of Slapfish Restaurant Group with locations in Huntington Beach, Laguna, Dubai, and soon – Newport Beach.

Chef Andrew is a guest judge on Food Network’s upcoming “Food Truck Face-Off” series, was a participant on Sept. 5th at OC Weekly’s 11th Annual Decadence 2014 Tasting Event, and has a new video out explaining the secrets of preparing Slapfish’s Clobster Roll to the Orange County Register’s distinguished food writer, Cathy Thomas.

Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven in IrvineIt’s a singular honor as a chef & restaurateur to be invited to prepare and present a meal at The James Beard Foundation in New York. Wolfgang Puck was the very first chef to do so.

Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven has that distinct honor on Saturday evening, September 27th. On Monday, Sept. 15th Clay Oven will be previewing that same grand five-course, wine-paired menu for a small group of lucky locals. Not one to miss…

At Clay Oven, chef/owner Geeta Bansal updates traditional Indian recipes with modern culinary techniques and vibrant California bounty. Incorporating the changing colors, flavors, and aromas of each season into her rotating menus, she honors Ayurvedic principles while bringing haute Indian cuisine to the forefront of Southern California’s dining landscape.

David and Lesley Jacobs SolmonsonDavid Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson have penned a new kind of cocktail book, The 12 Bottle Bar. Just twelve bottles create over 200 distinct and seasonal cocktails, including beer and wine cocktails. When we first interviewed the Solmonsons we ran out of time before we could discuss the clever “Acknowledgements” section of their book. We’ll resume the conversation…

On Saturday, September 13th at 10:30 a.m. the Solmonsons will present “Sin and the Silver Screen: The Age of the Hollywood Nightclub.” It’s a free program in the Mark Taper Auditorium at the Los Angeles Central Library.

To celebrate the release of The 12 Bottle Bar the Solmonsons will lead two Los Angeles-based barhops in September (Sept. 7th ) and October (Oct.5th.,) each one stopping at three bars over one evening. Each event includes one spirit-focused mini-cocktail at each location, appetizers/small plates, a copy of The 12 Bottle Bar book, and more!

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade
Segment Three: McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream
Segment Four: Travel Writer Michelle Winner, President, IFWTWA
Segment Five: Corporate Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s Produce
Segment Six: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Seven: Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven
Segment Eight: The 12 Bottle Bar

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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Show 86, August 30, 2014: Cooking Channel’s Chef Nadia G. Continues…

Nadia GiosiaCooking Channel’s breakout star Nadia G. (chef-comedienne) continues for a second segment.

“Nadia G. rocked your kitchen, now it’s time to rock your city! We’re hitting the road, G-style.” The first city visited for Bite This was Los Angeles.

“First up : Badmaash – An outrageous Indian-fusion Poutine with Chicken Tikka at this downright bad ass downtown gastropub.”

“Next up, the freshest and tastiest Lobster Roll you can find West of the Rockies at Blue Plate Oysterette in Santa Monica.”

“Finally, the G and the crew is off to Father’s Office where they’ll meet Chef Sang Yoon and taste the Office Burger – a burger so good that it was names “best burger in the world.” Just don’t make the mistake of asking Chef Sang for ketchup with your Office Burger.

PSST. Insider info : They’ll also unveil for the first time EVER Sang Yoon’s latest tasty creation : The Patricia Melt.”

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The Makings of a Successful Chef

What are the attributes of a successful chef? What is the difference between an executive chef and a chef de cuisine?

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On Becoming a Chef

Chef Jet describes what it takes to become a working chef.

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Show 71, May 3, 2014: Barbara Fairchild, Restaurant & Travel Editor, grapecollective.com, editor, writer, speaker and consultant

Barbara FairchildIt’s a pleasure to welcome food journalist Barbara Fairchild back to the show. She is an editor, writer, speaker and consultant. She was the long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine before the publication relocated to New York.

Her newest position is Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com.

Based on her recent travels Barbara has restaurant finds for us from both London and Paris.

Bistro Bellet in the 10th Arrondissement is Barbara’s pick for Paris. The Chef is Francois Chenel (ex-Chez Michel.) It’s an emerging area for better restaurants. It’s two levels of prix fixe menus with lots of choices within each category. Price is highly reasonable for the quality of the cuisine.

For London its chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi’s Nopi. It’s tasty Middle-Eastern influenced fare with great atmosphere. It’s all a la carte. It’s expensive but no worse on the wallet than the best in Los Angeles and Orange Counties…

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