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: 5th Ceviche and Aguachile Festival, Producer Edgar Cisneros, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico

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, fresh shrimp, tuna, octopus and stingray. Also, Raicilla-based cocktails and local craft beers will be available to purchase.

Think of Aguachile as the chili-spiked version of Mexican ceviche.

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.

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 254, December 30, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a festive preview of Saturday’s properly decadent eve of New Year’s Eve 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 Holidays and beyond.

In the holiday spirit we’re journeying back to sunny Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. The area is the home of the potent, distilled Racilla from the green agave plant, a distant cousin of the better-known Tequila. Raicilla expert and festival producer Edgar Cisneros is our well-informed guide.

Year anniversaries in the turbulent, fine-dining restaurant business are an occasion to be celebrated. A salute to owner/Chef Ross Pangilinan (ex-Leatherby’s Café Rouge in the Segerstrom Center for The Arts in Costa Mesa) who just celebrated the 1st Anniversary of downtown Santa Ana’s Mix Mix Kitchen Bar. Chef Ross pops out of his open kitchen for a welcome chat.

Fruits and vegetables are delightfully moving to the center of the plate in more and more restaurants. Chefs are intrigued with the possibilities. What produce items were hot in 2017 based on actual sales? What’s now trending for 2018? Did you know Jackfruit is one of the most visible fruits on the internet? Our resident Prince of Produce, the esteemed Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce, joins us with all the delicious and farm-fresh intel.

Husband-and-wife team, Chef Noah and Marín von Blöm, have introduced ARC PIZZA HOUSE, featuring a menu of unique wood-fired pizzas, at Costa Mesa’s South Coast Collection (3321 Hyland Avenue, Suite G). This new concept is an extension of acclaimed restaurant, ARC, and is located in the space formerly occupied by Restaurant Marin, which will be relocating to a new home on the Newport Beach Peninsula in early 2018, when the von Blöms’ DirtySexyHappiness Hospitality Group will debut a new culinary concept including a bakery and butcher shop. Chef Noah and Marin are our guests.

What’s new or on the horizon in the world of wine for the New Year? What impact will the tragic fires in the Northern California wine regions of Napa and Sonoma have on the California Wine Industry? Oddly the USA has a much lower per capita consumption of wine than the European Countries. Where is that trend going? Are there still wine bargains available on premium imported wines? Our resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange, joins us with the needed insight.

Our dynamic Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, connects from 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? What impact will the increase in minimum wage have on California eateries? This is Part 2 of his conversation continued from last week.

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

Play

Show 254, December 30, 2017: Raicilla Expert & Festival Producer, Edgar Cisneros, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico

Edgar CisnerosIn the holiday spirit we’re journeying back to sunny Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. The area is the home of the potent, distilled Racilla from the green agave plant, a distant cousin of the better-known Tequila. Raicilla is the local spirit of Puerto Vallarta and is prepared nearby in the towns of San Sebastian del Oeste and El Tuito.

It’s a slow process as the nine varieties of local Agave that Raicilla can be made from take some nine to twelve years to mature. Then the distilled Raicilla needs more time to age in oak barrels.

Tequila and Raicilla tastings can be done at most restaurants and haciendas around Puerto Vallarta.

Raicilla types :

  • Blanco: when it hasn’t been kept in oak barrels
  • Joven (Young): less than one year in oak barrels.
  • Reposado: Between 1 and 2 years in oak barrels
  • Añejo: More than 2 years in oak barrels.

Raicilla expert Edgar Cisneros is our well-informed guide. He organizes regular Raicilla tasting in greater Puerto Vallarta as well as the upcoming DamaJuana Raicilla Festival in Puerto Vallarta on March 16th & 17th.

For info on Edgar’s upcoming Raicilla Tastings Google “Alma de Agave, Puerto Vallarta.”

Play

December 30: Edgar Cisneros, Ross Pangilinan, Melissa’s Winter Produce, ARC Pizza House, Wine Exchange

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Raicilla Expert & Festival Producer, Edgar Cisneros, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
Segment Three: Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan, Mix Mix Kitchen Bar, Santa Ana
Segment Four: Melissa’s Robert Schueller (a.k.a “The Prince of Produce”) Part One
Segment Five: Melissa’s Robert Schueller (a.k.a “The Prince of Produce”) Part Two
Segment Six: Chef Noah & Marin von Blöm, ARC Pizza House, South Coast Collection
Segment Seven: Kyle Meyer, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Now a festive preview of this Saturday’s properly decadent eve of New Year’s Eve 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 Holidays and beyond.

In the holiday spirit we’re journeying back to sunny Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. The area is the home of the potent, distilled Racilla from the green agave plant, a distant cousin of the better-known Tequila. Raicilla expert Edgar Cisneros is our well-informed guide.

Year anniversaries in the turbulent, fine-dining restaurant business are an occasion to be celebrated. A salute to owner/Chef Ross Pangilinan (ex-Leatherby’s Café Rouge in the Segerstrom Center for The Arts in Costa Mesa) who just celebrated the 1st Anniversary of downtown Santa Ana’s Mix Mix Kitchen Bar. Chef Ross pops out of his open kitchen for a welcome chat.

Fruits and vegetables are delightfully moving to the center of the plate in more and more restaurants. Chef are intrigued with the possibilities. What produce items were hot in 2017 ? What’s now trending for 2018? Did you know Jackfruit is one of the most visible fruits on the internet? Our resident Prince of Produce, the esteemed Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce, joins us with all the delicious and farm-fresh intel.

Husband-and-wife team, Chef Noah and Marín von Blöm, have introduced ARC PIZZA HOUSE, featuring a menu of unique wood-fired pizzas, at Costa Mesa’s South Coast Collection (3321 Hyland Avenue, Suite G). This new concept is an extension of acclaimed restaurant, ARC, and is located in the space formerly occupied by Restaurant Marin, which will be relocating to a new home on the Newport Beach Peninsula in early 2018, when the von Blöms’ DirtySexyHappiness Hospitality Group will debut a new culinary concept. Chef Noah and Marin are our guests.

What’s new or on the horizon in the world of wine for the New Year ? What impact will the tragic fires in the Northern California wine regions of Napa and Sonoma have on the California Wine Industry? Oddly the USA has a much lower per capita consumption of wine than the European Countries. Where is that trend going? Our resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange, joins us with the needed insight.

Our dynamic Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, connects from 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 2 of his conversation continued from last week.

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

Edgar CisnerosIn the holiday spirit we’re journeying back to sunny Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. The area is the home of the potent, distilled Racilla from the green agave plant, a distant cousin of the better-known Tequila.

Raicilla is the local spirit of Puerto Vallarta and is prepared nearby in the towns of San Sebastian del Oeste and El Tuito. Tequila and Raicilla tastings can be done at most restaurants and haciendas around Puerto Vallarta.

Raicilla types :

  • Blanco: when it hasn’t been kept in oak barrels
  • Joven (Young): less than one year in oak barrels.
  • Reposado: Between 1 and 2 years in oak barrels
  • Añejo: More than 2 years in oak barrels.

Raicilla expert Edgar Cisneros is our well-informed guide.

Ross PangilinanYear anniversaries in the turbulent, fine-dining restaurant business are occasions to be celebrated. A salute to owner/Chef Ross Pangilinan (ex-Leatherby’s Café Rouge in the Segerstrom Center for The Arts in Costa Mesa) who just observed the 1st Anniversary of downtown Santa Ana’s Mix Mix Kitchen Bar.

When it comes to owning a restaurant, there’s no such thing as smooth sailing. That being said, it seems as though we’ve had something to celebrate since the day we first opened our doors,” comments Chef Ross Pangilinan who received a nomination for Chef of the Year at the 2017 Golden Foodie Awards. “I am honored by the support of the Orange County community, grateful for the dedication of my team, and could not be more excited to see what new celebrations Year 2 will bring.”

An Orange County native, Ross Pangilinan discovered his passion for cuisine at a young age. Adventurous dining experiences he shared with his father and cooking shows like Frugal Gourmethave influenced his global palate and helped define his career as a chef.

After high school, Pangilinan enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena. Excelling in his courses, he went on to work at various Southern California restaurants and in France for the two-Michelin-starred Les Trois Marche.

At the age of 21, Patina Restaurant Group recognized Pangilinan’s skills and offered him his first sous chef position at Pinot Provence in 2005. After two years, he returned to France to work in the Michelin-starred Regis restaurant where he strengthened his culinary technique and back of the house operations.

His sous chef position at the flagship Patina at the Walt Disney Concert Hall helped earn the restaurant its Michelin star in 2007. A year after various successes, including opening the modern Italian restaurant Sinatra within Encore at the Wynn in Las Vegas, Pangilinan returned to Patina Restaurant Group in 2009 as Executive Chef at Leatherby’s Café Rouge, where he led the culinary team for 7 years.

Now he proudly presents, Mix Mix, his global dining concept exemplifying the techniques and traditions formed throughout his culinary journey.

Chef Ross pops out of his open kitchen for a welcome chat.

Melissa's Robert Schueller at the SoCal Restaurant Show 5th AnniversaryFruits and vegetables are delightfully moving to the center of the plate in more and more restaurants. Chef are intrigued with the possibilities. What produce items were hot in 2017? What’s now trending for 2018? Did you know Jackfruit is one of the most visible fruits on the internet?

Our resident Prince of Produce, the esteemed Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce, joins us with all the delicious and farm-fresh intel.

Kiwano Melon is one of the Top 10 specialty produce items for 2017 based on sales. Once grown only in New Zealand, Melissa’s Kiwano Melons are now grown in California as well. Consumers are drawn to these intriguing, yet versatile tropical fruits whose look easily captures attention. The spiky, orange colored shells of Kiwano Melons encase a soft, succulent bright green flesh. Melissa’s Kiwano Melons are mild in flavor and similar in taste to juicy, seed-filled cucumbers. Once peeled, Melissa’s Kiwano Melons can be tossed in fresh fruit salads or served as a garnish with roasted meats.

Melissa’s Jackfruit is the world’s largest tree fruit, averaging between 15 and 33 pounds per fruit. This large fruit grows directly out of the trunk or branches. The exterior of the Jackfruit is covered with spiny, knobby bumps and is green in color.

Jackfruit can also be enjoyed unripe, cooked in various recipes. The flesh of the Jackfruit can be used in desserts, as well. The many seeds in the Jackfruit are sensational when roasted, similar to a chestnut in flavor.

Our resident Prince of Produce, the esteemed Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce, now continues with all the delicious and farm-fresh intel.

Marin Howarth and Executive Chef Noah BlomHusband-and-wife team, Chef Noah and Marín von Blömhave introduced ARC PIZZA HOUSE, featuring a menu of unique wood-fired pizzas, at Costa Mesa’s South Coast Collection (3321 Hyland Avenue, Suite G).

This new concept is an extension of acclaimed restaurant, ARC, and is located in the space formerly occupied by Restaurant Marin, which will be relocating to a new home on the Newport Beach Peninsula in early 2018, when the von Blöms’ DirtySexyHappiness Hospitality Group will debut a new culinary concept.

Chef Noah Blöm brings his signature style to create 8 unique pizzas. Offerings range from The House Pizza Pie with housemade sausage, pepper and mushroom, and The Cheeeeseee Pizza with queso fresco, mozzarella, parmesan and goat cheeses, to the more adventurous Roasted Duck Pizza with romesco, olives and goat cheese, and the Shortrib Pizza with bleu cheese, fresno chiles, basil and parmesan.

The menu, offered from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, also features three salad offerings with a Chopped Salad with roasted chicken, Chef’s Salad with smoked salmon, and refreshing Strawberry Salad. Diners also have access to ARC’s lunch and dinner dishes.

Chef Noah and Marin are our guests.

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeWhat’s new or on the horizon of significance in the world of wine for the New Year? What impact will the tragic fires in the Northern California wine regions of Napa and Sonoma have on the California Wine Industry? Oddly the USA has a much lower per capita consumption of wine than the European Countries. Where is that trend going? Where is pricing moving on domestic wines as well as imports?

Our resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange, joins us with the needed insight.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at the Fifth Anniversary of the SoCal Restaurant ShowOur dynamic Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, connects from 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 now headed?

This is Part 2 of his intriguing conversation continued from last week.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Raicilla Expert & Festival Producer, Edgar Cisneros, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
Segment Three: Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan, Mix Mix Kitchen Bar, Santa Ana
Segment Four: Melissa’s Robert Schueller (a.k.a “The Prince of Produce”) Part One
Segment Five: Melissa’s Robert Schueller (a.k.a “The Prince of Produce”) Part Two
Segment Six: Chef Noah & Marin von Blöm, ARC Pizza House, South Coast Collection
Segment Seven: Kyle Meyer, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group