Show 270, April 21, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoNow a sinful 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… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday morning with a fresh show.

Over the past two years we’ve been reporting on the progress of the ambitious, on-going expansion plans for the Pechanga Resort & Casino in beautiful Temecula Wine Country. $300 million dollars later all phases are now complete (including the luxe 568 room Resort Tower addition) and welcoming the curious guests.

The Waterslide at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoThis morning we’re live from Cabana 14 at The Cove, Pechanga’s just-debuted 4.5 acre pool tropical oasis experience.

Two new restaurants are part of the substantial expansion. Pechanga’s Executive Chef Duane Owen joins us to highlight the tasty new menus. We’ll also get a progress report on Pechanga’s all you can enjoy Thursday evening Lobster & Seafood Extravaganza launched back in January. It’s one-and-one-quarter pound whole Maine lobster!

The most ambitious of the new restaurants is the Lobby Bar & Grill located in the striking Atrium between the Casino Hotel Tower and the Resort Hotel Tower. Overseeing this stylish new California bistro and bar serving breakfast, lunch, Sunday Brunch and dinner is Chef Jose Mendoza. We’ll meet him.

The water’s just fine at Pechanga’s just-opened, 4.5- acre tropical oasis, The Cove, that promises comfort, cool and the ultimate tropical chill to guests. There is even a swim-up bar. Managing all of this hospitable craziness is Jane Kim. We spirit her off the busy pool deck for a chat.

Chef Ronnel Capacia is no stranger to the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” We first met him when he assumed the culinary reins of Kelsey’s. When we last chatted with him he had just been promoted to oversee Journey’s End at Pechanga. Now he’s also taken on the added responsibilities as menu-maker for the Coveside Grill at The Cove. That includes a table service restaurant as well as a fast -casual spot. Think Potato Chip Nachos.

All of the lavish desserts and breakfast pastries are produced in-house at Pechanga. They also create magnificent custom and wedding cakes. The bake shop also crafts artisan chocolates. Pechanga’s assistant pastry chef Nicole Burgess has an artful hand in all of this. She joins us.

One of the newest craft breweries in the Inland Empire is Inland Wharf Brewing Co. in Murrieta. Their specialty is cask conditioned ales. We introduced them to our audience last year at Pechanga’s 9th Annual Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff. It’s been a year of great progress. Now their craft beer is on the beverage menu at The Cove. They are also back at Pechanga’s upcoming 10th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff on Saturday afternoon, June 9th. Owner Commander (Retired) Robert Durant is our guest.

The effervescent Chef Marlene Moore of Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga probably needs no introduction. At Temptations she even fries fresh donuts right there throughout the day & night. When it comes to Pechanga’s Annual Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff Chef Marlene (and her high energy team) are always in it to win it. Last year in a bit of an upset Chef Marlene (Pechanga’s 2-time Chili Champ) was unseated by Chef Ikeda of Umi Sushi & Oyster Ba whose sake-glazed Kobe beef chili reigned supreme.

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

Play

Show 270, April 21, 2018: Executive Chef Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino

Duane Owen of Pechanga Casino and ResortOver the past two years we’ve been reporting on the progress of the ambitious, on-going expansion plans for the Pechanga Resort & Casino in beautiful Temecula Wine Country. $300 million dollars later all phases are now complete and welcoming the curious guests.

Two new restaurants, Lobby Bar & Grill and Coveside Grill, are part of the enhancements. Pechanga’s long-time Executive Chef Duane Owen joins us to highlight the tasty new menus.

We’ll also get a progress report on Pechanga’s all you can enjoy Thursday evening Lobster & Seafood Extravaganza launched back in January. The star is one-and-one-quarter pound whole Maine lobster! On a typical Thursday night they serve some 2,000 appreciative guests!

The lobster is done in an East Coast lobster bake style with roasted potatoes and corn on the cob. From 4 p.m. to close at 10 p.m. on Thursday, diners receive a piping hot lobster bake bag containing the just-cooked lobster (flown in from Maine the night before) and fixings. Guests can also pile high the 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.

Play

April 21: Live from Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort & Casino

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Executive Chef Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Three: Chef Jose Mendoza, Lobby Bar & Grill, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Four: Jane Kim, Pool Manager, The Cove at Pechanga
Segment Five: Chef Ronnel Capacia, The Coveside Grill at The Cove & Journey’s End at Pechanga
Segment Six: Nicole Burgess, Assistant Pastry Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Seven: Robert Durant, Owner & Brewer, Inland Wharf Brewing Co.
Segment Eight: Chef Marlene Moore, Temptations Food Walk, Pechanga Resort & Casino

Now a sinful 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… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday morning with a fresh show.

Over the past two years we’ve been reporting on the progress of the ambitious, on-going expansion plans for the Pechanga Resort & Casino in beautiful Temecula Wine Country. $300 million dollars later all phases are now complete and welcoming the curious guests.

This morning we’re live from Cabana 14 at The Cove, Pechanga’s just-debuted 4.5 acre pool tropical oasis experience.

Two new restaurants are part of the substantial expansion. Pechanga’s Executive Chef Duane Owen joins us to highlight the tasty new menus. We’ll also get a progress report on Pechanga’s all you can enjoy Thursday evening Lobster & Seafood Extravaganza launched back in January. It’s one-and-one-quarter pound whole Maine lobster!

The most ambitious of the new restaurants is the Lobby Bar & Grill located in the striking Atrium between the Casino Hotel Tower and the Resort Hotel Tower. Overseeing this stylish new California bistro and bar serving breakfast, lunch, Sunday Brunch and dinner is Chef Jose Mendoza. We’ll meet him.

The water’s just fine at Pechanga’s just-opened, 4.5- acre tropical oasis, The Cove, that promises comfort, cool and the ultimate tropical chill to guests. There is even a swim-up bar. Managing all of this hospitable craziness is Jane Kim. We spirit her off the busy pool deck for a chat.

Chef Ronnel Capacia is no stranger to the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” We first met him when he assumed the culinary reins of Kelsey’s. When we last chatted with him he had just been promoted to oversee Journey’s End at Pechanga. Now he’s also taken on the added responsibilities as menu-maker for the Coveside Grill at The Cove. That includes a table service restaurant as well as a fast -casual spot. Think Potato Chip Nachos.

All of the lavish desserts and breakfast pastries are produced in-house at Pechanga. They also create magnificent custom and wedding cakes. The bake shop also crafts artisan chocolates. Pechanga’s assistant pastry chef Nicole Burgess has an artful hand in all of this. She joins us.

One of the newest craft breweries in the Inland Empire is Inland Wharf Brewing Co. in Murrieta. Their specialty is cask conditioned ales. We introduced them to our audience last year at Pechanga’s 9th Annual Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff. It’s been a year of great progress. Now their craft beer is on the beverage menu at The Cove. They are also back at Pechanga’s upcoming 10th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff on Saturday afternoon, June 9th. Owner Commander (Retired) Robert Durant is our guest.

The effervescent Chef Marlene Moore of Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga probably needs no introduction. At Temptations she even fries fresh donuts right there throughout the day & night. When it comes to Pechanga’s Annual Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff Chef Marlene (and her high energy team) are always in it to win it. Last year in a bit of an upset Chef Marlene (Pechanga’s 2-time Chili Champ) was unseated by Chef Ikeda of Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar whose sake-glazed Kobe beef chili reigned supreme.

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

Duane Owen of Pechanga Casino and ResortOver the past two years we’ve been reporting on the progress of the ambitious, on-going expansion plans for the Pechanga Resort & Casino in beautiful Temecula wine Country. $300 million dollars later all phases are now complete and welcoming the curious guests.

Two new restaurants, Lobby Bar & Grill and Coveside Grill, are part of the enhancements. Pechanga’s long-time Executive Chef Duane Owen joins us to highlight the tasty new menus.

We’ll also get a progress report on Pechanga’s all you can enjoy Thursday evening Lobster & Seafood Extravaganza launched back in January. The star is one-and-one-quarter pound whole Maine lobster!

The lobster is done in an East Coast lobster bake style with roasted potatoes and corn on the cob. From 4 p.m. to close at 10 p.m. on Thursday, diners receive a piping hot lobster bake bag containing the just-cooked lobster (flown in from Maine the night before) and fixings. Guests can also pile high the 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.

Jose MendozaThe most ambitious of the recently debuted restaurants is the Lobby Bar & Grill located in the striking Atrium between the Casino Hotel Tower and the Resort Hotel Tower.

“Fresh. Sustainable. Locally sourced ingredients. All blended together into a flavorful fusion of American, Mexican and Asian-inspired fare that pleases the palate and stimulates the senses.”

“Chef Jose Mendoza takes the California bistro concept to another level, using items grown in the rich Temecula Valley to create a menu that is both inspiring and inviting. This extends not only to the numerous vegetarian dishes available, but to the hand-crafted cocktails infused with local fruits and herbs. The Lobby Bar’s atrium location and versatile menu that includes dessert specialties from Pechanga’s in-house bakery make for a satisfying dining experience.”

“There are few more satisfying culinary indulgences than the perfect Sunday brunch, and at its newest dining establishment – the Lobby Bar & Grill — Pechanga Resort Casino has fused the Sunday brunch with the California bistro and live musical accompaniment to create the perfect mid-morning/early afternoon dining experience for every palate and taste. Plus, perhaps the perfect complement to Sunday brunch – a bottomless Bloody Mary bar and bottomless Mimosa bar.”

Overseeing this stylish new California bistro and bar serving breakfast, lunch, Sunday Brunch and dinner is Chef Jose Mendoza. We’ll meet him.

Jane KimThe water’s perfectly fine at Pechanga’s just-opened, 4.5- acre tropical oasis, The Cove, that promises comfort, cool and the ultimate tropical chill to guests. There is even a nifty swim-up bar.

“The Cove features three pools, including a zero-edge Main Pool that features a swim-up bar, a Family Pool with two waterslides and a splash pad and five spas. The Cove also features an emerald-green grassy area perfect for gatherings, parties or small weddings under the Southern California sun.”

What about the food? There is table-service dining, fast-casual dining, and a 4-sided, pool-side bar oasis. Included in the extensive libation offerings are representative Temecula craft beers and wines.

Managing all of this hospitable craziness is Jane Kim. We spirit her off the busy pool deck for a chat.

Ronnel Capacia at the Chili CookoffChef Ronnel Capacia is no stranger to the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” We first met him when he assumed the culinary reins of Kelsey’s. When we last chatted with him he had just been promoted to oversee Journey’s End at Pechanga.

Now he’s also taken on the added responsibilities as menu-maker for the Coveside Grill at The Cove. That includes a table service restaurant with a golf course or Cove view as well as a fast-casual spot.

Think Potato Chip Nachos. Also Kalua Pulled Pork Sliders with pineapple mango slaw, fried onions, BBQ sauce and served with house potato chips.

Plus creative Coveside Cocktails including The Coveside (Blended.) It’s Tito’s Vodka, Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum, Island Oasis Watermelon and Ice Cream Blend. Also, Temecula craft beers on tap and local wines by the glass and bottle.

Nicole BurgessAll of the lavish desserts and breakfast pastries are prepared in-house at Pechanga. They also create magnificent custom and wedding cakes. The bake shop also crafts artisan chocolates.

The sweets repertoire ranges from the popular Vanilla Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich with Raspberry Drizzle served at the Coveside Grill to the Crunchy & Buttery Walnut Cake with Oreo Cookie Ice Cream drizzled with caramel sauce and served with Amaretto Sabayon on the dessert menu at the Lobby Bar & Grill.

Pechanga’s assistant pastry chef Nicole Burgess has an artful hand in all of this. She joins us.

Commander Robert Durant of Inland Wharf BrewingOne of the newest craft breweries in the Inland Empire is Inland Wharf Brewing Co. in Murrieta. Their specialty is cask conditioned ales. We introduced them to our audience last year at Pechanga’s 9th Annual Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff. It’s been a year of great progress. Now their craft beer is on the beverage menu at The Cove.

They are also encoring at Pechanga’s upcoming 10th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff on Saturday afternoon, June 9th.

“The calling card for Inland Wharf Brewing Co. is the unique and labor intensive Cask Conditioned Ales served via Beer Engines.  In addition, Inland Wharf serves other beers on regular carbon dioxide and nitrogen regulated draft beer taps. Even though our Cask Conditioned Ales and Draft Beers use the same ingredients and recipes, their processing techniques vary widely.”

“The time-honored brewing and serving methods followed by Inland Wharf Brewing Co. ensures the development of exceptional appearance, aroma, and flavors in both its Cask Conditioned Ales and it’s Draft Beers.”

Owner & Brewer Commander (Retired) Robert Durant is our guest.

Chef Marlene Moore outside Cabana 14 at the CoveThe effervescent Chef Marlene Moore of Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga probably needs no introduction. At Temptations she even fries fresh donuts right there throughout the day & night.

Chef Marlene’s realm includes Caffee Cocoa – Fine Coffees and Coffee (24 hours), Pronto Italian, Agave Mexican Delights, American Classics (24 hours), Little Wok Asian Specialties, Pechanga Fried Chicken and Banh Mi (made to order) and hot dog carts.

In addition to Temptations Food Walk, Chef Marlene oversees all the food in the long-running Bingo Parlor and bustling Poker Room.

When it comes to Pechanga’s Annual Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff Chef Marlene (and her high energy team) are always in it to win it. Last year in a bit of an upset Chef Marlene (Pechanga’s 2-time Chili Champ) was unseated by Chef Ikeda of Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar whose sake-glazed Kobe beef chili reigned supreme.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Executive Chef Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Three: Chef Jose Mendoza, Lobby Bar & Grill, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Four: Jane Kim, Pool Manager, The Cove at Pechanga
Segment Five: Chef Ronnel Capacia, The Coveside Grill at The Cove & Journey’s End at Pechanga
Segment Six: Nicole Burgess, Assistant Pastry Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Seven: Robert Durant, Owner & Brewer, Inland Wharf Brewing Co.
Segment Eight: Chef Marlene Moore, Temptations Food Walk, Pechanga Resort & Casino

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

Show 255, January 6, 2018: Executive Chef Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula

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 a tour in 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.

The 2nd new restaurant to open as part of the current expansion is the Pool Bar & Grille at The Cove. Looking for a March launch.

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

Play

Show 255, January 6, 2018: Executive Chef Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula Continues…

Duane Owen of Pechanga Casino and ResortLaunching on Thursday nights is the all-you-can enjoy Lobster & Seafood Extravaganza.

Pechanga Buffet guests can now satiate 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 adult price is $44.99 per guest.

Chef Duane forecasts cooking & putting out 300 to 400 lobsters every 45 minutes on Thursday evenings starting at 4:00 p.m. He vows to never run out.

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.

 

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

Show 225, May 27, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel

Thanks for joining us for Memorial Day Weekend.

Now an alluring preview of Saturday’s packed Memorial Day Weekend 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 that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Long-time Santa Monica restaurateur Chef Geraldine Gilliland is represented there on Main Street with Lula Cocina and Finn McCool’s. The Lula Cocina Cookbook has just been released in paperback. Proceeds benefit Gerri’s 501 (c) 3 animal rescue agency. We’ll meet her.

The Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula wine country is hosting its 9th Annual Microbrew Festival & Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, June 10th from 1 to 5:00 p.m. 100s of different styles of craft beer will be conveniently available for the tasting. Pechanga’s executive chef, Duane Owen, joins us with a thirst-quenching preview.

Tarit Tanjasiri is the founder of the ever-popular Crema Café and Artisan Bakery in Seal Beach. His booming wholesale business has recently expanded into a new production facility in Irvine. Crema Artisan Bakery is now suppling their baked goods to all the Portola Coffee Roasters locations. We’ll break bread (hopefully a Kouign-Amann pastry) with Tarit.

It’s about that time to again uncork it with our resident wine authority Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. Is bag-in-a-box wine worthy of purchase? We ask Kyle for his informed opinion. Rose’ has improved in quality and gaining popularity. It’s the perfect Summer picnic wine. We’ll get Kyle’s thoughts.

It’s time for barbecue. The South’s Best Butts: Pitmaster Secrets for Southern Barbecue Perfection by Matt Moore (the quintessential Southern cook) will delight home cooks with the long kept secrets behind some of America’s greatest ‘cue. Matt joins us.

Pickled vegetables are finding their way on to better restaurant menus as intriguing side dishes and components of entrees. Our own Chef Andrew offers pickled veggies at his new Butterleaf as well as at Two Birds and Slapfish. We’ll get all the tips and hints from Chef Andrew .

All of this and generous heaping helpings of extra Memorial Day Holiday Weekend deliciousness on this week’s show!

Play

Show 225, May 27, 2017: Executive Chef Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula

Duane Owen of Pechanga Casino and ResortIf you’ve been wanting to try out the burgeoning Southern California craft brew scene, this June in Temecula is your chance. Craft beer makers throughout Southern California and beyond will all come together in Temecula Wine Country for a festival in support of Habitat for Humanity. The 9thAnnual Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili Cook-off is Saturday, June 10, from 1 – 5 p.m. inside the Pechanga Resort & Casino Grand Ballroom.

Beer enthusiasts can taste unlimited samples of craft and small production brews from San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Orange counties, as well as selections from Northern California, the Midwest and even the East Coast. Ticket holders also can enjoy limitless tastes of eight varieties of homemade chili, fired up by the award-winning chefs at Pechanga Resort & Casino. Pechanga chefs go head-to-head each year to determine the AAA Four Diamond property’s best chili maker.

In addition to sampling some of the best craft beers and chili varieties and enjoying live music, the 9th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Festival features a silent auction with prizes including getaway stays, golf outings, sports memorabilia, fine wine and beer gift baskets, and much more. Proceeds from the event support Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley programs including homebuilding, free Healthy Homes and Financial Wellness workshops, neighborhood revitalization, and home improvement on behalf of veterans.

VIP festival tickets are available and are a great choice for guests who seek a more intimate environment to taste and appreciate the more than 100 beers and chili varieties on hand. VIP tickets are $65 and allow pass holders an early entry at 12 p.m. instead of 1 p.m. for general admission.

General admission Pechanga Microbrew Festival tickets are $50. Guests receive a two-ounce souvenir glass to sample unlimited beer tastings. Designated driver tickets are available for $30. Both ticket levels allow guests to indulge in the homemade chili and other gourmet food samples, enjoy live music by San Diego’s Safety Orange and participate in the extensive silent auction.

Guests must be 21 or older to attend. For tickets or for more information, visit Pechanga’s website or call (877) 711-2946.

Pechanga’s executive chef, Duane Owen, joins us with a thirst-quenching preview.

Play

May 27: Geraldine Gilliland, Pechanga Microbrew Festival, Creme Café, Wine Exchange, Matt Moore

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur, Geraldine Gilliland, Santa Monica
Segment Three: Executive Chef Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula
Segment Four: Restaurateur & Artisan Baker Tarit Tanjasiri, Crema Café and Crema Artisan Bakery, Seal Beach and Irvine
Segment Five: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana
Segment Six: Matt Moore, “The Quintessential Southern Cook” and author of The South’s Best Butts – Pitmaster Secrets
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel’s Tutorial on Pickled Vegetables
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel on the National Restaurant Association’s Trade Show in Chicago

We have a Family 4-Pack of Halo tickets for Sunday June 4th versus the Minnesota Twins to award to one lucky listener. Be alert…

Now an alluring preview of this Saturday’s packed Memorial Day Weekend 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 that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Long-time Santa Monica restaurateur Chef Geraldine Gilliland is represented there on Main Street with Lula Cocina and Finn McCool’s. The Lula Cocina Cookbook has just been released in paperback. Proceeds benefit Gerri’s 501 (c) 3 animal rescue agency. We’ll meet her.

The Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula wine country is hosting its 9th Annual Microbrew Festival & Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, June 10th from 1 to 5:00 p.m. 100s of different styles of craft beer will be conveniently available for the tasting. Pechanga’s executive chef, Duane Owen, joins us with a thirst-quenching preview.

Tarit Tanjasiri is the founder of the ever-popular Crema Café and Artisan Bakery in Seal Beach. His booming wholesale business has recently expanded into a new production facility in Irvine. Crema Café is now suppling their baked goods to the Portola Coffee Roasters. We’ll break bread (hopefully a Kouign-Amann) with Tarit.

It’s about that time to again uncork it with our resident wine authority Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. Is bag-in-a-box wine worthy of purchase? We’ll ask Kyle. Rose has improved in quality and gaining popularity. It’s the perfect Summer picnic wine. We’ll get Kyle’s thoughts.

It’s time for barbecue. The South’s Best Butts: Pitmaster Secrets for Southern Barbecue Perfection by Matt Moore (the quintessential Southern cook) will delight home cooks with the long kept secrets behind some of America’s greatest ‘cue. Matt joins us.

Pickled vegetables are finding their way on to better restaurant menus as intriguing side dishes and components of entrees. Our own Chef Andrew offers pickled veggies at his new Butterleaf. We’ll get all the tips and hints from Chef Andrew.

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

Geraldine GilliliandLong-time Santa Monica restaurateur Chef Geraldine Gilliland is represented there on Main Street with Lula Cocina and Finn McCool’s. The Lula Cocina Cookbook has just been released in paperback. Proceeds benefit Gerri’s 501 (c) 3 animal rescue agency. We’ll meet her.

With The Lula Cocina Cookbook – My favorite Recipes, from Mexico to Malibu, chef, author and accomplished restaurateur Geraldine Gilliland takes you on a fun, easy to read tour of her favorite recipes from Mexico, all the way to her hilltop Ranch in Malibu.

Learn not only her best recipes, but how to put your own spin on them to create your own signature dishes…all while helping a great cause.

“All proceeds from this book will go to benefit the non-profit, Chiquita’s Friends,” I founded that is dedicated to helping abused, neglected and abandoned dogs in and around the Southern California area. We have rescued and successfully placed over 1,000 dogs in loving homes with the help of this network of allies in the fight against animal negligence and abuse.” Geraldine Gilliland

Duane Owen of Pechanga Casino and ResortIf you’ve been wanting to try out the burgeoning Southern California craft brew scene, this June in Temecula is your chance. Craft beer makers throughout Southern California and beyond will all come together in Temecula Wine Country for a festival in support of Habitat for Humanity. The 9thAnnual Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili Cook-off is Saturday, June 10, from 1 – 5 p.m. inside the Pechanga Resort & Casino Grand Ballroom.

Beer enthusiasts can taste unlimited samples of craft and small production brews from San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Orange counties, as well as selections from Northern California, the Midwest and even the East Coast. Ticket holders also can enjoy limitless tastes of eight varieties of homemade chili, fired up by the award-winning chefs at Pechanga Resort & Casino. Pechanga chefs go head-to-head each year to determine the AAA Four Diamond property’s best chili maker.

In addition to sampling some of the best craft beers and chili varieties and enjoying live music, the 9th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Festival features a silent auction with prizes including getaway stays, golf outings, sports memorabilia, fine wine and beer gift baskets, and much more. Proceeds from the event support Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley programs including homebuilding, free Healthy Homes and Financial Wellness workshops, neighborhood revitalization, and home improvement on behalf of veterans.

VIP festival tickets are available and are a great choice for guests who seek a more intimate environment to taste and appreciate the more than 100 beers and chili varieties on hand. VIP tickets are $65 and allow pass holders an early entry at 12 p.m. instead of 1 p.m. for general admission.

General admission Pechanga Microbrew Festival tickets are $50. Guests receive a two-ounce souvenir glass to sample unlimited beer tastings. Designated driver tickets are available for $30. Both ticket levels allow guests to indulge in the homemade chili and other gourmet food samples, enjoy live music by San Diego’s Safety Orange and participate in the extensive silent auction.

Guests must be 21 or older to attend. For tickets or for more information, visit Pechanga’s website or call (877) 711-2946.

Pechanga’s executive chef, Duane Owen, joins us with a thirst-quenching preview.

Tarit TanjasiriTarit Tanjasiri is the founder of the ever-popular Crema Café and Artisan Bakery in Seal Beach. His booming wholesale business has recently expanded into a new production facility in Irvine. Crema Café is now supplying their baked goods to the Portola Coffee Roasters.

“The Crema Cafe is a European-inspired restaurant and bakery in beautiful downtown Seal Beach, California. We serve breakfast and lunch 7 days a week. Our menu offers classic favorites and delicious new alternatives. From our famous sweet and savory crepes to our tempting pastries, hearty sandwiches and fresh salads, we offer a variety of breakfast and lunch choices.”

“Our Artisan Bakery offers a full range of fresh-baked goods. We use the finest ingredients like real butter and wholesome grains. Our assortment of handcrafted breads includes our signature 7-grain Crema Multigrain bread, sourdough and raisin pecan. You can also indulge your sweet tooth with our enticing array of cookies, muffins, scones, sweet croissants, and macarons— baked to perfection.”

We’ll break bread (hopefully a Kouign-Amann) with Tarit.

Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchanget’s about that time to again uncork it with our resident wine authority Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange.

Is bag-in-a-box wine worthy of purchase? We’ll ask Kyle.

Rose has improved in quality and is gaining popularity. It’s the perfect Summer picnic wine. We’ll get Kyle’s thoughts.

Matt MooreIt’s time for barbecue. The South’s Best Butts: Pitmaster Secrets for Southern Barbecue Perfection by Matt Moore (the quintessential Southern cook) will delight home cooks with the long kept secrets behind some of America’s greatest ‘cue.

Using the almighty pork butt – long considered to be one of the South’s most revered cuts – as his cornerstone, Matt leaves no pits, ovens, grills, or smokers unturned, as he interviews the famous and not-so-famous pitmasters of America’s Southern barbecue region for the techniques and recipes that have made their barbecue some of the most sought after from Texas to Tennessee.

While pork butt is the star here (according to Matt, “True Southern BBQ has one and only one common denominator : pig.”) , the book includes almost every rub, sauce, and grilling technique for the sought after cut. The South’s Best Butt’s also features everything from Smoked Turkey Sandwiches to Pork Belly Tonkatsu Ramen to Fried Banana Pudding and all of the starters, sides, and desserts in between within its 150 plus recipes.

The son of a cattleman and a grandson of a butcher, Matt Moore is the quintessential Southern cook.

Matt joins us.

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamPickled vegetables are finding their way on to better restaurant menus as intriguing side dishes and components of entrees.

Our own Chef Andrew offers pickled veggies at his new Butterleaf in Irvine. We’ll get all the snappy tips and hints from Chef Andrew.

Chef Andrew was just in Chicago around the National Restaurant Association’s annual gathering. He was the recipient of industry honors as well as was a guest speaker on some high-profile industry/trade panels. We’ll hear all about it.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur, Geraldine Gilliland, Santa Monica
Segment Three: Executive Chef Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula
Segment Four: Restaurateur & Artisan Baker Tarit Tanjasiri, Crema Café and Crema Artisan Bakery, Seal Beach and Irvine
Segment Five: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana
Segment Six: Matt Moore, “The Quintessential Southern Cook” and author of The South’s Best Butts – Pitmaster Secrets
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel’s Tutorial on Pickled Vegetables
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel on the National Restaurant Association’s Trade Show in Chicago