Show 265, March 17, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a tantalizing preview of Saturday’s decadent show. No blarney or four-leaf clovers here…but plenty of fresh Irish Soda Bread. 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 always here with you live every Saturday morning with a fresh show.

The 5th Annual Firkfest Cask Beer Festival is back on March 24th at the Anaheim Packing District Farmers Park. This year, again, it’s a Tiki theme. All the cask beers served are made specifically for the event. They may never be brewed again. Founder, organizer, and local beer writer Greg Nagel taps the cask for us.

Chef Zov Karamardian, founder of Zov’s Restaurants, will receive the Epicenter Award honoring her passion and commitment for creating a strong and healthy community from the Alzheimer’s Association at their Women #ENDALZ Luncheon at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach on April 13th. Chef Zov and Anne Grey, Executive Director for the Alzheimer’s Association, join us.

From the Arabian Sea to the peaks of the Himalayas, cuisine in Karachi is as diverse as its inhabitants and draws influences from across South, Central, and West Asia. Acclaimed Pakistani chef, culinary educator, humanitarian, and food stylist, Kausar Ahmed, has curated and created mouth-watering recipes in her first cookbook, The Karachi Kitchen – Classic and Contemporary Flavors of Pakistan. Chef Kausar is unusually in Santa Monica on Sunday, March 25th presenting a multi-course Pakistan feast from The Karachi Kitchen to benefit the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.) Chef Kausar is our guest.

Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines are made by Buellton Hitching Post owner / chef Frank Ostini (made famous in in the Oscar-winning feature motion picture “Sideways”) and his good friend, former fisherman Gray Hartley. Frank and Gray first made wine at home in 1979. They found their first Pinot Noir in 1981. The project moved to a winery in 1984 to make wines exclusively for the Hitching Post Restaurant. Their passioned focus has been to work with the California Central Coast’s best vineyards producing many Pinot Noirs, a couple Syrahs and a red blend of Merlot.

Figueroa Philly, arguably Los Angeles’ number one destination for the most authentic Cheese Steaks and Hoagies, is celebrating its favorite holiday, National Philly Cheese Steak Day, on Saturday, March 24, with a delicious giveaway. The first 100 fans on line next Saturday morning will receive a signature Classic Figueroa Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich absolutely free of charge ($8.85 value). Rocky would be proud. Proprietor Danny Hizami slathers on the processed Cheez Whiz.

Our always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his “Ask the Chef” series. Tilapia is one of those better-for-you fish that just doesn’t get enough deserved respect or visibility. It’s slowly changing. Tilapia can be successfully farm-raised in a healthy, pristine environment. It’s mild tasting and versatile for use in a lot of satisfying recipes. The fish is also hugely affordable. Chef Andrew reels the specifics in for us.

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

Play

Show 265, March 17, 2018: Greg Nagel, Founder & Producer, Firkfest Castaway Tiki Cask Beer Festival

Greg NagelThe 5th Annual Firkfest Cask Beer Festival is back on March 24th at the Anaheim Packing District Farmers Park. This year, again, it’s a Tiki theme. All the cask beers served are made specifically for the event. They may never be brewed again.

“Of the hundreds of different flavors of beer, a large portion can be described as “tropical”. Whether it be IPAs bursting with mango, pineapple, or passion fruit hoppy notes; stouts with Pina Colada and Mai Tai vibes, or even Belgian-style beers with Zombie cocktail overtones…don’t be surprised to see this year’s Firkfest beers to include “aged in rum barrel” or have actual barbecued pineapple making up the event’s beers.”

New this year is the well-respected OC Bartenders Cabinet will be shaking up actual Tiki cocktails for demonstration and sampling. Several bartenders are teaming up with breweries to also collaborate on tropical/tiki-style cask beers.

“Looking at the previous Firkfest events, I saw a common denominator: tropical-style beers seemed to stand out. As a huge cocktail nerd that loves Tiki culture, it’s time for the area’s craft brewers to come together, throw on some grass skirts, and make something truly unique,” says founder, organizer, and local beer writer Greg Nagel, @OCBeerBlog.

Tickets are $50 including fees, all profits supporting the historic Anaheim Fall Festival and Halloween Parade, an event that celebrates a 95-year history. Event tickets are by-design, limited, as the producer keeps things intimate. “It’s a park-like atmosphere, where people chill on beach blankets and chairs,” says fest-man Nagel.

Murrieta’s Inland Wharf Brewing Co. (previous guests on the show) will be there as well as El Segundo Brewing Co., Smog City Brewing Co. and TAPS.

Founder, organizer, and local beer writer Greg Nagel taps the cask for us.

Play

March 17: FIrkFest, Zov Karamardian, Kausar Ahmed, Hitching Post Wines, Figueroa Philly

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Greg Nagel, Founder & Producer, Firkfest Castaway Tiki Cask Beer Festival
Segment Three: Chef Zov Karmardian, Zov’s & Anne Grey, Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Association
Segment Four: Chef Kausar Ahmed, The Karachi Kitchen – Classic and Contemporary Flavors of Pakistan
Segment Five: Gray Hartley, Founder & Co-Winemaker, Hitching Post Wines, Buellton Part One
Segment Six: Gray Hartley, Founder & Co-Winemaker, Hitching Post Wines, Buellton Part Two
Segment Seven: National Philly Cheese Steak Day with Figueroa Philly
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef”

Now a tantalizing preview of this Saturday’s decadent show. No blarney or four-leaf clovers here…but plenty of fresh Irish Soda Bread. 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 always here with you live every Saturday morning with a fresh show.

The 5th Annual Firkfest Cask Beer Festival is back on March 24th at the Anaheim Packing District Farmers Park. This year, again, it’s a Tiki theme. All the cask beers served are made specifically for the event. They may never be brewed again. Founder, organizer, and local beer writer Greg Nagel taps the cask for us.

Chef Zov Karamardian, founder of Zov’s Restaurants, will receive the Epicenter Award honoring her passion and commitment for creating a strong and healthy community from the Alzheimer’s Association at their Women #ENDALZ Luncheon at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach on April 13th. Chef Zov and Anne Grey, Executive Director for the Alzheimer’s Association join us.

From the Arabian Sea to the peaks of the Himalayas, cuisine in Karachi is as diverse as its inhabitants and draws influences from across South, Central, and West Asia. Acclaimed Pakistani chef, culinary educator, humanitarian, and food stylist, Kausar Ahmed, has curated and created mouth-watering recipes in her first cookbook, The Karachi Kitchen – Classic and Contemporary Flavors of Pakistan. Chef Kausar is unusually in Santa Monica on Sunday, March 25th presenting a multi-course Pakistan feast from The Karachi Kitchen to benefit the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.) Chef Kausar is our guest.

Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines are made by Buellton Hitching Post owner/chef Frank Ostini (made famous in in the Oscar-winning feature “Sideways”) and his good friend, former fisherman Gray Hartley. Frank and Gray first made wine at home in 1979. They found their first Pinot Noir in 1981. The project moved to a winery in 1984 to make wines exclusively for the Hitching Post Restaurant. Their passioned focus has been to work with the California Central Coast’s best vineyards producing many Pinot Noirs, a couple Syrahs and a red blend of Merlot.

Figueroa Philly, arguably Los Angeles’ number one destination for the most authentic Cheese Steaks and Hoagies, is celebrating its favorite holiday, National Philly Cheese Steak Day, on Saturday, March 24, with a delicious giveaway. The first 100 fans on line next Saturday morning will receive a signature Famous Figueroa Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich absolutely free of charge ($9.85 value). Rocky would be proud. Proprietor Danny Hizami slathers on the processed Cheez Whiz.

Our always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his “Ask the Chef” series. Tilapia is one of those better-for-you fish that just doesn’t get enough deserved respect or visibility. It’s slowly changing. Tilapia can be successfully farm-raised in a healthy, pristine environment. It’s mild tasting and versatile for use in a lot of recipes. The fish is also hugely affordable. Chef Andrew reels the specifics in for us.

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

Greg NagelThe 5th Annual Firkfest Cask Beer Festival is back on March 24th at the Anaheim Packing District Farmers Park. This year, again, it’s a Tiki theme. All the cask beers served are made specifically for the event. They may never be brewed again.

“Of the hundreds of different flavors of beer, a large portion can be described as “tropical”. Whether it be IPAs bursting with mango, pineapple, or passion fruit hoppy notes; stouts with Pina Colada and Mai Tai vibes, or even Belgian-style beers with Zombie cocktail overtones…don’t be surprised to see this year’s Firkfest beers to include “aged in rum barrel” or have actual barbecued pineapple making up the event’s beers.”

New this year is the well-respected OC Bartenders Cabinet will be shaking up actual Tiki cocktails for demonstration and sampling. Several bartenders are teaming up with breweries to also collaborate on tropical/tiki-style cask beers.

“Looking at the previous Firkfest events, I saw a common denominator: tropical-style beers seemed to stand out. As a huge cocktail nerd that loves Tiki culture, it’s time for the area’s craft brewers to come together, throw on some grass skirts, and make something truly unique,” says founder, organizer, and local beer writer Greg Nagel, @OCBeerBlog.

Tickets are $50 including fees, all profits supporting the historic Anaheim Fall Festival and Halloween Parade, an event that celebrates a 95-year history. Event tickets are by-design, limited, as the producer keeps things intimate. “It’s a park-like atmosphere, where people chill on beach blankets and chairs,” says fest-man Nagel.

Founder, organizer, and local beer writer Greg Nagel taps the cask for us.

Zov Karamardian or Zov's in TustinChef Zov Karamardian, founder of the long-running and popular Zov’s Restaurants, will receive the Epicenter Award honoring her passion and commitment for creating a strong and healthy community from the Alzheimer’s Association at their Women #ENDALZ Luncheon (from 12 Noon to 2:00 p.m.) at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach on April 13th.

“WOMEN #ENDALZ celebrates the power and influence of women. By using our collective voices, we can create awareness of the impact Alzheimer’s on our health, our families and our nation. Women are disproportionally affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Almost two-thirds of Americans with the disease are women and 65 percent of caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s are women. THE RISK IS REAL FOR WOMEN A woman’s estimated lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer’s at age 65 is 1 in 6.”

“A woman’s estimated lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer’s at age 65 is 1 in 6. As real a concern as breast cancer is to women’s health, women in their 60s are about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as they are to develop breast cancer. Not only are women more likely to have Alzheimer’s, they are also more likely to be caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.”

$200 per ticket includes valet parking, champagne reception and lunch with wine.

Kausar AhmedFrom the Arabian Sea to the peaks of the Himalayas, cuisine in Karachi is as diverse as its inhabitants and draws influences from across South, Central, and West Asia. Acclaimed Pakistani chef, culinary educator, humanitarian, and food stylist, Kausar Ahmed, has curated and created mouth-watering recipes in her first cookbook, The Karachi Kitchen – Classic and Contemporary Flavors of Pakistan.

Chef Kausar is unusually in Santa Monica on Sunday, March 25th presenting a multi-course Pakistan feast from The Karachi Kitchen to benefit the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.) Think Champagne Reception with passed appetizers (Mini Shaami Kababs & Green Coconut Chutney) and dual entrees of Murgh Hara Masala (Green Chicken) Lentil and Rice Pilaf (meatless) paired with premium wines and local craft beers.

Each guest also receives a personally signed copy of Chef Kausar’s The Karachi Kitchen – Classic and Contemporary Flavors of Pakistan.

100 per cent of the $175 ticket price goes to C-CAP to support their programming with local, at-risk high school students. Limited to 18 guests.

Chef Kausar is our guest.

Gray HartleyHartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines are made by Buellton Hitching Post owner / chef Frank Ostini (made famous in in the Oscar-winning feature “Sideways”) and his good friend, former fisherman Gray HartleyFrank and Gray first made wine at home in 1979. They found their first Pinot Noir in 1981. The project moved to a winery in 1984 to make wines exclusively for the Hitching Post Restaurant.

Their passioned focus has been to work with the California Central Coast’s best vineyards producing many Pinot Noirs, a couple Syrahs and a red blend of Merlot named Gen Red. They also produce a dry barrel fermented rose named Pinks.

Hitching Post Wines strives to create handcrafted, flavorful wines that possess poise and balance so that they may complement the food at Frank Ostini’s wildly popular Hitching Post Restaurant.

Co-Winemaker & Partner, Gray Hartley pulls the cork for us.

Frank Ostini and Gray Hartley of Hitching Post Wines believe that great wines are made in the vineyard. Their winemaking philosophy is that they are caretakers who guide the wine into the bottle. As the wine matures it is simply left to gently age in the barrel. This minimalist approach allows Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines to reflect the character of the vineyard and the vintage, preserving the essence of the grape for you to enjoy when you open the bottle.

Hitching Post Wines are admired by those who appreciate Santa Barbara wines for their fresh fruit, spice, earthy complexities, and refreshing acidity. Their goal is to put a “slice of Santa Barbara County in each bottle and a piece of their soul in every glass of Hitching Post Wine.”

“Highliner is the “Best fisherman in the fleet” and our flagship Santa Barbara Pinot Noir. Each vintage is crafted from our best vineyards and best barrels.”

Highliner was featured in the 2014 Oscar-winning film, “Sideways” that brought international attention to the Hitching Post brand.

“We shaped this cuvee to include mostly Bien Nacido, Sanford & Benedict, and Fiddlestix Vineyards grapes. Delicious today with flavors of red cherry, plum, mint, white pepper sand blood orange, this Highliner (2014) is destined to give pleasure for many years.”

Danny HizamiFigueroa Philly, arguably Los Angeles’ number one destination for the most authentic Cheese Steaks and Hoagies, on Saturday, March 24, with a delicious giveaway. The first 100 fans on line next Saturday morning will receive a signature Famous Figueroa Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich absolutely free of charge ($8.95 value). Rocky would be proud.

Proprietor Danny Hizami slathers on the processed Cheez Whiz.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at the Fifth Anniversary of the SoCal Restaurant ShowOur always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his Ask the Chef series. Tilapia is one of those better-for-you fish that just doesn’t get enough deserved respect or visibility. It’s slowly changing. Tilapia can be successfully farm-raised in a healthy, pristine environment.

Tilapia is mild tasting and versatile for use in a lot of satisfying recipes. The fish is also hugely affordable. Chef Andrew reels the specifics in for us.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Greg Nagel, Founder & Producer, Firkfest Castaway Tiki Cask Beer Festival
Segment Three: Chef Zov Karmardian, Zov’s & Anne Grey, Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Association
Segment Four: Chef Kausar Ahmed, The Karachi Kitchen – Classic and Contemporary Flavors of Pakistan
Segment Five: Gray Hartley, Founder & Co-Winemaker, Hitching Post Wines, Buellton Part One
Segment Six: Gray Hartley, Founder & Co-Winemaker, Hitching Post Wines, Buellton Part Two
Segment Seven: National Philly Cheese Steak Day with Figueroa Philly
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef”

Show 213, March 4, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Team USA wins Hold at the 2017 Bocuse D'orWe have been enthusiastically following the incredible “Road to Lyon” for Team USA in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition since Chef Mathew Peters (formerly with Thomas Keller’s per se) and his Commis, Harrison Turone, reigned supreme in a fierce cooking competition at The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas in December 2015 to win the honor of representing Team USA in 2017 sat the Bocuse d’Or . For the first time in the 30- year history of the biannual Bocuse d’Or, Team USA took the coveted First Place Gold Statue in late January in Lyon.

You can join in an exclusive, well-deserved salute to our proud Team USA at a reception of specialty cocktails and canapes at Chef Walter Manzke’s (member of the ment’or BKB Culinay Council) Republique in Los Angeles on Monday evening, March 13th from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Both Chefs Mathew and Harrison will be there as well as the prized Gold Statue. Tickets are available right here. See you there!

Now an appetizing preview of this Saturday’s fully-loaded 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 actually a pretty good thing…

L.A.’s Legendary Restaurants – Celebrating the Famous Places Where Hollywood Ate, Drank, and Played is an illustrated history (with rare & unusual recipes) of dozens of landmark eateries from throughout the City of Angels. From such classics as Musso & Frank and The Brown Derby in the 1920s to the see-and-be-seen crowds at Chasen’s, Romanoffs, and Ciro’s in the mid-20th century to the dawn of California cuisine at Ma Maison and Spago Sunset in the 1970s and ‘80s, L.A.’s Legendary Restaurants celebrates the famous locations where Hollywood ate, drank, and played. Author, chef, culinary instructor and Certified Culinary Professional George Geary is our guest.

Chef Dino Ferraro is affectionately known as the “Godfather of Italian Cuisine” in Huntington Beach with three popular Italian/Mediterranean Restaurants located in this prominent beach community know as Surf City USA. Chef Dino’s flagship is the recently expanded Capone’s Cucina and his other establishments are Black Trumpet Bistro and Mona Lisa Cucina.

Laurel Tavern, an American Gastropub, is new in Hermosa Beach. The menu maker is Chef Roger Hayot who is known to local foodies for his pioneering work as Owner/Chef at Los Angeles’ (now departed) Authentic Café. GM Lee Farrell is the architect of the civilized libation program there including an ambitious selection of rotating craft beers. We’ll meet them.

Cochon 555 is a national culinary competition for a cause in support of safe, honest foodways and family farms producing heritage breed pigs. The Los Angeles edition of the event takes place on March 12, at Viceroy Santa Monica. Among the five competing chefs is Bruce Kalman of Pasadena’s Union (Farmhouse Italian Fare.) Chef Bruce is our guest along with Cochon 555’s Communications Director Robert McKeown.

The 4th Annual FirkFest is back at the Anaheim Packing District on Saturday, March 11th and this year it’s a Tiki theme. It’s unlimited tastes from 50 casks. Talk about wild & unrestrained. Founder Greg Nagel taps the keg for us on this year’s event to benefit the Orange County Brewer’s Guild.

San Diego’s thriving taco hotspot, Puesto, has expanded to Orange County with a new restaurant in Irvine’s Los Olivos Marketplace. The concept is a fresh, contemporary take on authentic Mexican fare in a relaxed environment. Executive Creative Chef Katy Smith is our guest.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is a recognized expert on seafood. Poke outlets are seemingly popping up on every corner and fresh sushi is now available at your neighborhood convenience store. How do you know your poke and sushi is really fresh ? Raw fish needs to be handled, and stored, with care. Chef Andrew to the rescue with what you should know to be better informed!

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

Play

Show 213, March 4, 2017: Greg Nagel, Founder, FirkFest Caskaway

Greg NagelThe 4th Annual FirkFest is back at the Anaheim Packing District on Saturday, March 11th and this year it’s a Tiki theme. It’s unlimited tastes from 50 casks. Talk about wild & unrestrained. It’s beers, food and all-Tiki-themed décor.

“Looking at the previous three Firkfest events, I saw a common denominator: tropical-style beers seemed to stand out. As a huge cocktail nerd that loves Tiki culture, it’s time for the area’s craft brewers to come together, throw on some grass skirts, and make something truly unique,” says founder, organizer, and local beer writer Greg Nagel, @OCBeerBlog.

Food vendors include Tiki-style slider restaurant Hatch and the Iron Press bringing pulled-pork fries and sliders, Adya: Fresh Indian Flavors is bringing tropical Kebab and nacho-like pineapple chaat, and Salt & Ash from P-town is coming up with a pork Musubi-like dish (tbd).

FirkFert is offering a generous $10 off the regular admission price of $55.00 to “SoCal Restaurant Show” listeners. The Discount Code to enter on the Ticket Buying Page is : SoCalRestaurantShow. Cheers…

Founder Greg Nagel taps the keg for us on this year’s event to benefit the Orange County Brewer’s Guild.

Play

March 4: George Geary, Dino Ferraro, Laurel Tavern, Cochon555, FirkFest, Puesto

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef George Geary, Author of L.A.’s Legendary Restaurants
Segment Three: Executive Chef / Restaurateur Dino Ferraro, Capone’s Cucina, Huntington Beach
Segment Four: Laurel Tavern, Hermosa Beach
Segment Five: Executive Chef Bruce Kalman, Union & Cochon 555 L.A. Competitor
Segment Six: Greg Nagel, Founder, FirkFest Caskaway
Segment Seven: Katy Smith, Executive Creative Chef, Puesto, Irvine’s Los Olivos Marketplace
Segment Eight: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Team USA wins Hold at the 2017 Bocuse D'orWe have been enthusiastically following the incredible “Road to Lyon” for Team USA in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition since Chef Mathew Peters (formerly with Thomas Keller’s per se) and his Commis, Harrison Turone, reigned supreme in a fierce cooking competition at The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas in December 2015 to win the honor of representing Team USA in 2017 sat the Bocuse d’Or . For the first time in the 30- year history of the biannual Bocuse d’Or, Team USA took the coveted First Place Gold Statue in late January in Lyon.

You can join in an exclusive, well-deserved salute to our proud Team USA at a reception of specialty cocktails and canapes at Chef Walter Manzke’s (member of the ment’or BKB Culinay Council) Republique in Los Angeles on Monday evening, March 13th from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Both Chefs Mathew and Harrison will be there as well as the prized Gold Statue. Tickets are available right here. See you there!

Now an appetizing preview of this Saturday’s fully-loaded 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 actually a pretty good thing…

L.A.’s Legendary Restaurants – Celebrating the Famous Places Where Hollywood Ate, Drank, and Played is an illustrated history (with coveted recipes) of dozens of landmark eateries from throughout the City of Angels. From such classics as Musso & Frank and The Brown Derby in the 1920s to the see-and-be-seen crowds at Chasen’s, Romanoffs, and Ciro’s in the mid-20th century to the dawn of California cuisine at Ma Maison and Spago Sunset in the 1970s and ‘80s, L.A.’s Legendary Restaurants celebrates the famous locations where Hollywood ate, drank, and played. Author, chef, culinary instructor and Certified Culinary Professional George Geary is our guest.

Chef Dino Ferraro is affectionately known as the “Godfather of Italian Cuisine” in Huntington Beach with three popular Italian/Mediterranean Restaurants located in this prominent beach community know as Surf City USA. Chef Dino’s flagship is Capone’s Cucina and his other establishments are Black Trumpet Bistro and Mona Lisa Cucina.

Laurel Tavern, an American Gastropub, is new in Hermosa Beach. The menu maker is Chef Roger Hayot who is known to local foodies for his pioneering work as Owner/Chef at Los Angeles’ (now departed) Authentic Café. GM Lee Farrell is the architect of the civilized libation program there including an ambitious selection of rotating craft beers. We’ll meet them.

Cochon555 is a national culinary competition for a cause in support of safe, honest foodways and family farms producing heritage breed pigs. The Los Angeles edition of the event takes place on March 12, at Viceroy Santa Monica. Among the five competing chefs is Bruce Kalman of Pasadena’s Union (Farmhouse Italian Fare.) Chef Bruce is our guest along with Cochon 555’s Communications Director Robert McKeown. 

The 4th Annual FirkFest is back at the Anaheim Packing District on Saturday, March 11th and this year it’s a Tiki theme. It’s unlimited tastes from 50 casks. Talk about wild & unrestrained. Founder Greg Nagel taps the keg for us on this year’s event to benefit the Orange County Brewer’s Guild.

San Diego’s thriving taco hotspot, Puesto, has expanded to Orange County with a new restaurant in Irvine’s Los Olivos Marketplace. The concept is a fresh, contemporary take on authentic Mexican fare in a relaxed environment. Executive Creative Chef Katy Smith is our guest.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is a recognized expert on seafood. Poke outlets are seemingly popping up on every corner and fresh sushi is now available at your neighborhood convenience store. How do you know your poke and sushi is really fresh ? Raw fish needs to be handled, and stored, with care. Chef Andrew to the rescue with what you should know to be better informed!

George GearyL.A.’s Legendary Restaurants – Celebrating the Famous Places Where Hollywood Ate, Drank, and Played is an illustrated history (with coveted recipes) of dozens of landmark eateries from throughout the City of Angels. From such classics as Musso & Frank and The Brown Derby in the 1920s to the see-and-be-seen crowds at Chasen’s, Romanoffs, and Ciro’s in the mid-20th century to the dawn of California cuisine at Ma Maison and Spago Sunset in the 1970s and ‘80s, L.A.’s Legendary Restaurants celebrates the famous locations where Hollywood ate, drank, and played.

Author George Geary leads you into the glamorous restaurants inhabited by the stars through a lively narrative filled with colorful anecdotes and illustrated with vintage photographs, historic menus, and timeless ephemera. Over 100 iconic recipes for entrees, appetizers, desserts, and vintage drinks are included, and all are updated for today’s cook and kitchen.

While many people have heard the story of Elizabeth Taylor requesting that Chasen’s famous chili be flown to her on the set of Cleopatra in Rome, L.A.’s Legendary Restaurants offers facts and trivia that aren’t as well known to the general public, such as Bob Hope’s favorite place to enjoy a hot fudge sundae after the Academy Awards, the restaurant where part of a table was sawed off to accommodate a pregnant Lana Turner, and the pharmacy where composer Harold Arlen wrote “Over the Rainbow” for The Wizard of Oz.

The glamour of the golden age of drive-ins, drugstores, nightclubs, and hotels are also honored. What book on L.A. restaurants would be complete without tales of ice cream sundaes at C.C. Brown’s, cafeteria-style meals at Clifton’s, a late-night breakfast at Ben Frank’s, or a mai tai at Don the Beachcomber?

Author, chef and Certified Culinary Professional George Geary is our guest.

Dino FerraroChef Dino Ferraro is affectionately known as the “Godfather of Italian Cuisine” in Huntington Beach with three popular Italian/Mediterranean Restaurants located in this prominent beach community. Chef Dino’s flagship is Capone’s Cucina and his other establishments are Black Trumpet Bistro and Mona Lisa Cucina.

Capone’s Pasta and Pizza opened in Westminster in 1997. It was at this location that Dino expanded his repertoire and added specials to the standard menu. Customers were hooked on Dino’s ability to transform everyday ingredients into culinary works of art and became regulars.

He sold Capone’s Pasta and Pizza in 2000 and moved to Huntington Beach where he opened Capone’s Cucina with a goal of creating a more gourmet dining experience. In 2002, Dino hired friend and fellow chef, Francois Lieutaud to create a unique paring of French and Italian cuisine. The combination made for an old world European feel and customers loved the larger selection of dishes. Capone’s remodeled and expanded into the space next door late last year.

Dino and Francois rejoined again and started Mona Lisa Cucina with a large variety of gourmet pasta’s and pizza’s to serve the Huntington Beach community. From their early experiments with simple, basic foods grew an appreciation for the sensuality of texture, presentation and fragrance.

The newest addition to Chef Dino’s family of restaurants is The Black Trumpet. This establishment specializes in Mediterranean tapas, small plates that bring the guest the flavors of Italy, France, Greece and Morocco.

Roger HayotLaurel Tavern, an American Gastropub, is new in Hermosa Beach. The menu maker is Chef Roger Hayot who is known to local foodies for his pioneering work as Owner/Chef at Los Angeles’ (now departed) Authentic Café. GM Lee Farrell is the architect of the civilized libation program there including an ambitious selection of craft beers.

It’s a youthful vibe with moderate prices. You order at The Bar and a friendly server brings you your libations and food.

Weekend Brunch includes specialties like Lemon Ricotta Stuffed French Toast and Mohawk Smoked Bacon.

Dinner specialties are the Sausage Board with bratwurst, apple & smoked gouda sausage, andouille sausage and accompaniments, and Smoked Chicken Salad with mahon cheese, marcona almonds, piquillio peppers, mushrooms, chickpeas and pickled red onion.

The ample bar program includes an international “Build Your Own Mule” option.

We’ll meet both Chef Roger and GM Lee.

Bruce Kalman on Union PasadenaCochon555 is a national culinary competition for a cause in support of safe, honest foodways and family farms producing heritage breed pigs. The Los Angeles edition of the event takes place on March 12, at Viceroy Santa Monica. Among the five competing local chefs is Bruce Kalman of Pasadena’s Union (Farmhouse Italian Fare.)

At the center of Cochon555 is a cook-off featuring five chefs cooking five whole, heritage breed pigs with innovative techniques and bold flavor profiles. One week before the event, the five competing chefs receive a 200-pound heritage breed pig from a local farmer. They are each tasked to create and present a “Judge’s Plate” of 6 dishes scored on categories such as utilization; cooking techniques; and overall flavor. The winner from each city is crowned the “Prince of Porc,” and given a place at Cochon’s national championship, Grand Cochon, to be held in Chicago during October 2017. This year, Chef Larry Monaco of Viceroy Santa Monica’s CAST Restaurant will lead the judging.

Communal feasting is an integral part of the Cochon555 culinary fabric. Beyond the 30 chef-competitor dishes – all told, some 1,500-plus pounds of heritage pork from family farms – guests can sample beef tartare with the wines of Antica Napa Valley; farmhouse cheeses; a pop-up bakery featuring La Brea; a Reserve Salami Snack Bar from Creminelli and Divina paired with wines from Nielson; a ramen noodle soup bar paired with the racy wines from Wines of Germany; organic pâté offerings from Les Trois Petit Cochons; a Luxury Butter Bar featuring Sabatino truffle butter, foie gras, and more; wines from Twomey and Silver Oak Cellars paired with bites prepared by Chef Dominic Orsini and an innovative take on classic pastry presented by Perfect Puree of Napa Valley.

Tickets for general admission start at $125; VIP tickets (early admission + exclusive sommelier and cocktail competition tastings) are $200; and BESPOKE tickets $400 (includes a multi-course charity dinner prepared by 3 celebrity chefs on Saturday night; super early admission + exclusive private tasting and tour of Somm-Selected wines and the Barkeep competition by a Cochon555 director on Sunday; and a donation to Piggy Bank charity). You can purchase tickets right here.

Chef Bruce Kalman is our guest along with Cochon 555’s Communications Director, Robert McKeown. 

Greg NagelThe 4th Annual FirkFest is back at the Anaheim Packing District on Saturday, March 11th and this year it’s a Tiki theme. It’s unlimited tastes from 50 casks. Talk about wild & unrestrained. It’s beers, food and all-Tiki-themed décor.

“Looking at the previous three Firkfest events, I saw a common denominator: tropical-style beers seemed to stand out. As a huge cocktail nerd that loves Tiki culture, it’s time for the area’s craft brewers to come together, throw on some grass skirts, and make something truly unique,” says founder, organizer, and local beer writer Greg Nagel, @OCBeerBlog.

Food vendors include Tiki-style slider restaurant Hatch and the Iron Press bringing pulled-pork fries and sliders, Adya: Fresh Indian Flavors is bringing tropical Kebab and nacho-like pineapple chaat, and Salt & Ash from P-town is coming up with a pork Musubi-like dish (tbd).

Founder Greg Nagel taps the keg for us on this year’s event to benefit the Orange County Brewer’s Guild.

Katy SmithSan Diego’s thriving taco hotspot, Puesto, has expanded to Orange County with a new restaurant in Irvine’s Los Olivos Marketplace. The concept is a fresh, contemporary take on authentic Mexican fare in a relaxed environment.

Puesto’s menu encourages guests to mix and match from an offering of specialty tacos such as the Filet Mignon Taco with crispy melted cheese, avocado & spicy pistachio serrano salsaChicken Al Pastor Taco with crispy melted cheese, hibiscus & chipotle tinga, avocado & piña habanero pico, vegetarian options such as the Zucchini & Cactus Taco with crispy melted cheese, zucchini, corn, tomato, cactus, avocado & cilantro-tomatillo, and sustainable seafood options like the Tamarindo Shrimp Tacos with crispy tamarindo-chile shrimp nestled in guacamole & cilantro. All of Puesto’s salsas are made from scratch using local ingredients, with tortillas made in-house using organic, non-GMO, blue corn masa sourced from local purveyor, Kernel of Truth.

Puesto’s extensive beverage program offers nearly 50 kinds of tequila and mezcal, 12 local and Mexican beers on draft, six wines on tap and specialty cocktails made with freshly squeezed juices and house-made liqueurs and sodas. Popular libations include the Puesto Perfect Margarita with blue agave reposado tequila, lime & agave nectarEl Mezcalito with Vida mezcal, Guanabana, tamarindo, lime & charred orange and La Rosita with house-made strawberry-cilantro infused vodka, lemon & cane sugar.

Puesto’s Executive Creative Chef Katy Smith is our guest.

Andrew and William GruelOur Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is a recognized expert on seafood. Poke outlets are seemingly popping up on every corner and fresh sushi is now available at your neighborhood convenience store.

How do you know if your poke and sushi are really fresh? Raw fish needs to be handled, and stored, with care. Chef Andrew to the rescue with what you should know to be better informed!

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef George Geary, Author of L.A.’s Legendary Restaurants
Segment Three: Executive Chef / Restaurateur Dino Ferraro, Capone’s Cucina, Huntington Beach
Segment Four: Laurel Tavern, Hermosa Beach
Segment Five: Executive Chef Bruce Kalman, Union & Cochon 555 L.A. Competitor
Segment Six: Greg Nagel, Founder, FirkFest Caskaway
Segment Seven: Katy Smith, Executive Creative Chef, Puesto, Irvine’s Los Olivos Marketplace
Segment Eight: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Show 163, March 12, 2016: Greg Nagel, Producer, FirkFest, OC Cask Beer Festival

Greg NagelIt’s 2016, which means it’s time to put on the wooden barrel pants, held up by suspenders. Firkfest 2016 is being planned for March 19, 2016, in Anaheim at Farmers Park, which is in-between the Packing House and Umami Burger.

From Event Producer Greg Nagel @OCBeerBlog:

“While standing in a 200 person line for a cask of Noble Ale Works Naughty Sauce at a beer festival this past summer, it dawned on me. Orange County needs a proper cask ale festival.”

“Expect fifty-ish casks from true craft beer makers. Brewers love the fest, the press loves the fest, and I’ve heard nothing but praise from guests. So buy your tickets early and tell a friend!”

“Why a cask ale festival? A cask is simply a vessel filled with liquid meant to be served within a day or so once tapped. Brewers fill the cask with beer for conditioning and then can treat it like a blank canvas; adding fresh hops, blending beers, adding tea/coffee or other creative ingredients. It’s a one-time shot to try something new and fun.”

This is an event that doesn’t over-sell tickets. There is a ceiling on admissions so everyone can comfortably move around. Lines are typically easy to navigate. Nice…

There are also a variety of compatible International foods available for purchase including nibbles from Adya.

Greg will tap one of the 50 plus casks for us and provide a full pour on all the thirst-quenching ingredients of Firkfest 3.0 supporting the OCBrewersGuild.

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