One of our discoveries at the recently concluded Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim was Abby’s Better Nut Butter. Nut butters are a fast-growing category within natural products. It’s a great product (only 5 ingredients and no peanuts) but, more unusually, it was started by a 15-year old entrepreneur out of Mooresville, NC.
At the young age of 15, Abby Kircher created a product unlike anything else on the market. Hungry for a healthier alternative to peanut butter but unwilling to forgo flavor and variety, she decided to fill an unmet need on her own. After experimenting with different ingredients, including a variety of nuts, like cashews and pecans, to sweet add-ins, like dates, strawberries and coconuts, she landed on a product that didn’t only taste good—it was good for her, too. This was the beginning of Abby’s Better Nut Butters, and today, two years since its official launch, her product has successfully hit the shelves—and the pantries—of the in-demand health food market.
“My goal from the very beginning was to just make the best product I could find. I wanted to create something that was natural and pure but tasted amazing. When I realized my nut butters were something special, I had my family try it—I was surprised to hear that they actually preferred it over regular peanut butter. At that moment, I knew I had a real chance to share these flavors with even more people,” Abby said.
Abby’s Better Nut Butter boasts six unique blends: Coconut Cashew; Honey Almond; Date Pecan; Bourbon Maple Walnut; Coffee Almond; and Strawberry Cashew. Abby first began selling her product at local farmer’s markets in her hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina in 2015. By late spring in 2016, her nut butters expanded into the retail space, including all Lowes Foods location in the Charlotte area and beyond. Now, the clean eating brand is entering 2017 with an agreement with another major retailer—Whole Foods, for placement in their Southeast stores.
When it comes to world-class, artisan coffee roasters in Orange County the veteran bean roaster in chief is Martin Diedrich. He grew up on a coffee farm in Guatemala! Martin now oversees busy neighborhood Kean Coffee coffee shops in Tustin and Newport Beach.
“Kéan Coffee™ is the newest, most exciting coffeehouse concept by coffeehouse visionary Martin Diedrich. Our mission is to purvey fresh-roasted artisan coffee the way it is meant to be, in a beautiful, eclectic coffeehouse environment. Martin is craft roasting the finest coffees from around the globe on-site, many organic and fair-trade. This enables us to serve our coffee so fresh, most days it has been roasted within hours of the moment it reaches your cup. Our expertly trained baristas are creating the most innovative, cutting edge coffee beverages to be had.”
“Martin, local coffeehouse pioneer and founder of the Diedrich Coffee chain, left behind the world of corporate culture to return to his origins as an independent coffeehouse operator in order to stay true to his ideals of what a coffeehouse should be and what coffee culture should be.”
“Along with his wife Karen Varese Diedrich, Martin spent two years putting all of his creativity, inspiration and community and global awareness into bringing Kéan Coffee to reality. Martin and Karen Diedrich aptly named this next generation of coffeehouse after their son, Kean.”
Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is a devotee of breakfast. Last week Chef Andrew shared his favorite hole-in-the-wall OC neighborhood spots for a hearty breakfast. We got such a good response to this segment that we’ll continue…
Every popular national fast food spot that serves breakfast has a signature a.m. menu item. Chef Andrew will highlight his favorites.
For over 52 years Stan Berman has baked some of the world’s best donuts at Stan’s Corner Donut Shop in Westwood located across from UCLA. Now it had grown to the Midwest with the addition of 6 busy Stan’s Donuts & Coffee cafes in Chicago and nearby suburbs. Two new stores, including a high-profile unit on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile on N. Michigan Ave., debuted on Saturday, May 21st.
Second generation Chicago restaurateur and baker Rich Labriola is the proud architect of the expansion. We’ll meet him and talk crullers and premium coffee.
Since The Pie Hole launched in The Arts District of Downtown L.A. in 2011 it’s been a word-of-mouth and social media sensation. The Pie Hole offers fresh baked sweet pie by the slice, individual savory pies, and their own premium coffee. Soon joining the second location in Pasadena will be cafes in Old Town Orange and Hollywood. All outlets are, unusually, located in distinctive, historic buildings.
“The Pie Hole is a family run organization hatched out of the dreams of a mother and son, Becky Grasley and Matthew Heffner who long dreamed of opening a place where they can share their family secret: pie is love. They roped Sean Brennan in to be their business partner and literally tied Matty’s fiancé, Lindsay Hollister, to the cash register and set out to leverage every favor and free hand to build what is now The Pie Hole (thanks friends!)”
“Matty and Becky hold the largest pie recipe book you have ever laid eyes on, and is in a safety deposit box in Switzerland. Matty learned pie-making as a youngster and part of the family tradition but is a tradesman at heart: there is nothing he can’t build from scratch. He is a science fiction nerd, just ask to see his newest ink. Sean is lactose intolerant and likes pie partly because it isn’t a cupcake but mostly because it has an authentic story and is what he calls ‘real food’.”
“Sean has been in the service industry for over a hundred years as a bar tender, wine director, consultant, and general manager, and is passionate about food, fine wine, hip hop, and the Green Bay Packers. We all love to chat, come on in and say hi!”
“The process of opening an LA’s first authentic pie shop was a daunting one, with thousands of hours of building, testing pie, tasting coffee, and bringing together an amazing team to provide the greatest possible pie experience known to man. We are fun, don’t take ourselves too seriously (the pie and coffee is very serious), and love to have a chat with all our customers, who inevitably become regulars.”
Co-owner Sean Brennan joins us with his piping hot, out-of-the-oven recipe for sweet success.
Pastry Chef Mariah Swan of BLD in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles is no stranger to listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” Her latest, long-in-the-works venture is ICDC (Ice Cream, Doughnuts and Coffee) located next door to BLD on Beverly Blvd. Everything is created in-house. The menu of ice cream and doughnuts changes daily.
Swan created the popular Doughnut Shoppe Wednesdays at BLD which ICDC now replaces. Now you can get incredible fresh doughnuts every day ICDC is open (which is now 7-days.) You can get doughnut holes by the half-dozen. Look for her signature butterscotch doughnut or the outside-the-box rocky road. Also there are crave-worthy, gluten-free options.
Her latest, long-in-the-works venture is ICDC (Ice Cream, Doughnuts and Coffee) located next door to BLD on Beverly Blvd. Everything is created in-house. The menu of ice cream and doughnuts changes daily.
It’s a super premium ice cream but Chef Mariah’s philosophy is to not make it overly rich with butterfat. For her fruit flavors the trick is not to overload the ice cream with fruit.
CoffeeCon LA 2014 will be held on November 8th at the classic former home of Mack Sennett Studios in Silver Lake from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Coffee Fest mixes music, food and coffee sampling from over 20 of SoCal’s finest roasters. Classes on coffee brewing and other coffee topics will run all day long.
CoffeeCon is the brainchild of noted coffee expert and author, Kevin Sinnott. After publishing his second book (The Art and Craft of Coffee) he realized that consumers still lacked the skills of hands-on brewing and the awareness of how different factors such as roast, the roasting method, roast profile and brewing technique have on even a single sample of coffee.
CoffeeCon was created to stage a day-long hands-on educational and fun festival to address these topics and spread skills among consumers. The first CoffeeCon was held in 2011 in the Chicago area.
Guest Host Richard (Rich) B. Perelman and Producer Andy preview the show.
It’s our salute to the 30th Anniversary of the Games of the Twenty-Third Olympiad, Los Angeles, 1984. Guest Host Rich Perelman was the youngest Vice President of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee responsible for Press Operations and the Editor-in-Chief of the Official Report after the Games. Rich explains the continuing financial legacy to youth sports in Southern California as a direct result of the incredible success of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
SYNEK (a recent Kickstarter success story) is a nifty countertop draft system that serves any beer, fresh from the tap, anywhere you want it. Steve Young, based in St. Louis, MO is the Founder. His modest objective is to do for quality beer what Keurig did for single-brewed cups of coffee. With the phenomenal success of his cleverly orchestrated Kickstarter campaign he’s now well on his way…
Chef Andrew Gruel’s (of Slapfish) mission is to make quality seafood popular with everyday folks. He started with one modest food truck in 2010. It quickly expanded into four food trucks. The first Slapfish brick and mortar restaurant opened in Huntington Beach a year later. Laguna Beach recently launched and more restaurants are in the works.
James Republic in Long Beach orchestrates one of the very best, honest Farm-to-Fork dinner series around. It happens monthly on a Sunday under the name of the Dinner Bell Supper Series. The restaurant’s chef, David MacLennan, joins us with the specifics.
Every year in Northern Baja is the Fiestas del la Vendimina celebrating the bounty of wine and food in the region over a two-week period. One of the best single events is Chef Javier Plascencia’s (Tijuana’s Mision 16) “From Farm and Vineyard to Your Table” dinner at his ranch, Finca Altozano, in Valle de Guadalupe. It’s a 6-course, wine paired feast.
Time to hit the OC Fair in its final week. We’ll hear about Bakeology and all the tasty culinary events in the OC Promenade Building. Also the winning Fair Food item!
As part of our tribute to the Los Angeles Olympics we’ll also be looking back at the food served to the spectators. Surprisingly there was lots more variety to the offerings than plain boiled hot dogs and bagged chips. Innovations in food for 1984 are now part of guest expectations in 2014!
All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!
SYNEK (a recent Kickstarter success story) is a nifty countertop draft system that serves any beer, fresh from the tap, anywhere you want it. Steve Young, based in St. Louis, MO is the Founder. His modest objective is to do for quality beer what Keurig did for single-brewed cups of coffee. As a result of the inspired, oversubscribed Kickstarter campaign he’s well on his way…
“In 2013, Steve Young started to take notice of the craft beer industry as a stock market analyst. He wanted to know how the craft beer industry was making these great strides and what risk factors could cause it to become a “bubble” like the industry saw in the 1990s.”
He knew the industry was growing with thousands of amazing brands created every week. However, to his surprise, every brewer he spoke with complained about the exact same issue : “We make amazing beer, but we can’t get it into our customers’ homes and make money at the same time. If there was a way to create a growler that maintained our beer’s quality longer than two days, it would change everything.”
“Steve was so moved by the brewers’ intense frustration that he quit his job to assemble the best beer engineering team in the world and implement a solution to this beer packaging epidemic.”
Food trucks have proven to be a worthwhile testing ground for innovative food concepts. A great example is the fast growing Slapfish with a limited service, fast-casual restaurant in Huntington Beach located in a strip center. A new Laguna Beach location (across Pacific Coast Highway from the beach) launched earlier in the Summer.
The partners started with one modest food truck serving the OC in 2009. By 2011 they had four trucks serving both Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
Executive Chef (and co-founder) Andrew Gruel is with us to fill us in on the Slapfish tale. New locations both in the United States (airports, too) and the Middle East are on the way.
They like to characterize Slapfish as a modern seafood shack. It’s a real American seafood experience that revolves around fresh, sustainable fish, prepared simply, but delivering big flavors.
James Republic, located in Downtown Long Beach, organizes one of the very best Farm-to-Fork dinner series around. It happens monthly on a Sunday under the name of the Dinner Bell Supper Series. The proprietor of James Republic, Chef Dean James Max, developed the original concept. The restaurant’s chef, David MacLennan, joins us with the specifics.
On the Sunday morning of The Dinner Bell Supper the culinary team gathers at the Long Beach Farmers Market to search for the ideal ingredients to serve as the basis for that evenings’ family-style supper. For the guests the evening begins with market inspired cocktails and passed canapes at 4:30 p.m. At 5:00 p.m., the dinner bell rings and the guests gather at a long, communal table to enjoy California wines and a bountiful three-course menu prepared by Chefs James Dean Max, Chef David MacLennan and their team. Area guest farmers take part in the engaging dinner conversation. The idea is for former strangers to become friends over a superb meal (with a side of good conversation) without this being forced.
The August 24th dinner is sold out. Future dates are September 14th, October 26th, and November 23rd.
Every year in Northern Baja is the Fiestas de la Vendimina (The Harvest Festival) celebrating the bounty of wine and food in the region over a two-week period. The Festival gives thanks and celebrates the beginning of a (hoped for) bountiful grape harvest.
Prominent guest chefs from Southern California and Mexico are part of the culinary team. This year Ori Menashe from Bestia and Timothy Hollingsworth (The Restaurant at The Broad & ex-French Laundry chef de cuisine ) will be part of Chef Javier’s high-profile guest chefs’ team.
It’s our salute to the 30th Anniversary of the Games of the Twenty-Third Olympiad, Los Angeles,1984. Our Guest Host, Rich Perelman, was the youngest Vice President of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee responsible for Press Operations and the Editor-in-Chief of the Official Report after the Games. Rich explains the continuing financial legacy to youth sports in Southern California as a direct result of the incredible success of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
Every Olympic Organizing Committee is mandated by the International Olympic Committee to document their Games in the Official report. It’s two volumes. One volume is a comprehensive recipe on how the Games were produced with some analysis. The other volume is the complete results and photos.
Rich Perelman was the Editor-in-Chief of the Official Report for the Los Angeles Games. The finished, two-volume report is 1,552 pages and weighs in at 38 lbs ! A full-time staff of 25 was responsible for the effort on a budget of some $4.33 million.
Time to hit the OC Fair in Costa Mesa in its final week. Food is always front row center!
We’ll hear about Bakeology and all the other tasty culinary events in the OC Promenade Building.
Rachel Klemek of the award-winning Blackmarket Bakery in Costa Mesa is programming Bakeology at the Fair. Rachel and her staff are mixing, kneading, whipping and blending at the Bakeology exhibit in the Culinary Arts Building (The OC Promenade) at the Fair.
Also with us is the Fair’s Communications Director ,Robin Wachner. Robin will fill us in on all the Culinary activities in the OC Promenade Building.
We’ll also talk about the top vendor food item at this year’s Fair. 70 entrants competed and there was one big winner! Unbelievably it’s not even deep-fried!
We’re back to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and now talking about the food for the spectators.
Peter Ueberroth, the architect of The Games, wanted there to be more variety and freshness in the food available for purchase by the spectators at the Los Angeles Olympics than typically found in sports facilities of the day.
While common today 30 years ago it was unusual to see some of these items. Fresh fruit cups were on the menu as well as yogurt. Among the fresh sandwiches on the menu was the choice of a Vegetarian Pita. In addition to the usual ice cream novelties there was a place for natural Frozen Fruit Bars.
Food and beverage sales for the 16 days totaled over $11 million dollars. 5.8 million guests were served!
Blue Bottle Coffee is a sensation for coffee lovers in San Francisco and New York. They are soon to arrive locally in Venice on Abbot Kinney Blvd. and in Culver City.
Blue Bottle Coffee was a big hit at the recently concluded Natural Products Expo West @ the Anaheim Convention Center. They were there to introduce their newest product, Cold Brewed New Orleans Iced Coffee packaged in a mini milk carton. It was one of the biggest hits at the show and the talk of the floor!
Blue Bottle Coffee – New Orleans Iced Coffee. Blended with chicory, cane sugar & Clover Organic Milk.
“Near the beginning of the 19th Century, the French brought chicory-infused coffee to New Orleans. Two hundred years later we crafted our own organic, cold—brewed version for our farmers market stand, adding cane sugar and whole milk. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.”