Show 246, November 4, 2017: Executive Chef Michael Rossi, The Ranch Restaurant

Michael Rossi of the Ranch Restaurant and SaloonThe much-honored Ranch Restaurant in Anaheim was the recipient this year of The Golden Foodie Award for the Best Entrée in Orange County. (That is their 9th Golden Foodie Award.) The item is Executive Chef Michael Rossi’s signature Cowboy Ribeye. That’s a 58oz. bone-in rib chop with Grafton Farms white cheddar scalloped potatoes and Sauce Bordelaise. Oh yea…

The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon (launched in January of 2012) is an upscale fine dining and country music establishment located on the ground floor of Extron Electronics corporate headquarters in Anaheim. Chef Rossi has led the kitchen brigade there since a year and one-half before the actual opening.

It also offers a luxurious private dining and events center on the sixth floor of the same building. A personal vision and dream of Extron President and Owner Andrew Edwards, THE RANCH comprises a rustic yet elegantly styled restaurant based on regional American cuisine and fine wines.

THE RANCH delivers a notable combination of a quality culinary experience with a seasonally driven menu emphasizing the best local ingredients. Many of the fresh fruits and vegetables used on the menu (and at the bar) are grown on The Ranch’s own farm in Orange.

The Thanksgiving Dinner Menu for $85 is a standout. It’s four-courses. The Main course is a choice of Mary’s Organic Free-Range Turkey, Loch Etive Steelhead Trout, Wyoming Raised Buffalo Prime Rib or Pheasant Pot Pie. Advance Reservations are a must.

We get Chef Michael out of the busy kitchen to chat in-studio about the extraordinary project that is The Ranch Restaurant.

 

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Show 235, August 5, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a tempting preview of this Saturday’s abundant 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…

The annual Golden Foodie Awards presented in a black-tie gala on September 24th in Newport Beach celebrate the very best in dining in Orange County in 15 categories. Voting by the dining public happens in 2, one-week waves starting on Saturday, August 5th. Founder Pam Waitt joins us with the details of this year’s voting.

The OC Fair continues in Costa Mesa (Wednesdays thru Sundays) until Sunday, August 13th in Costa Mesa. The Midway Gourmet, Chef Dominic Palmieri, encores with an update on Fair food happenings. How did Chef Dominic’s Fair menu rate at the Concessionaires’ Cup ? How are all the new Flamin’ Hot Cheetos creations doing…?

For some seven short weeks the incredible Hatch Chiles from New Mexico are available fresh. They are a Southwestern favorite. Unusually they can be purchased in a range of heats from mild to hot. Our resident produce guru, Robert Schuller of Melissa’s, steps away from the roaster to give us the piquant specifics.

DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. Some 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices. First we’ll chat with DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant founder, Terri Henry, for the overview for 2017.

New to the DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week is Chef Guy’s Crazy Creole Café – “Straight From The Heart and Soul of New Orleans.” We’ll meet proprietor Chef Guy DuPlantier, a.k.a. “The Crazy Cajun.” It’s a real taste of New Orleans right there on Long Beach Blvd.

As Beverly Hills Vietnamese fusion institution Crustacean undergoes a major five-month redesign this summer, Orange County diners will be treated to signature dishes prepared by Crustacean master chef Helene “Mama” An at AnQi, a sister restaurant at South Coast Plaza. Beginning August 1 and through September 30, diners at the upscale gourmet bistro AnQi will be able to savor a sampling of signature dishes from An’s famous Secret Kitchen that previously were not available at the Costa Mesa restaurant. Joining us to explain all the delicious specifics is House of AN’s Executive Chef, Tony Nguyen.

Once a year Zapien’s Salsa Grill in Pico Rivera hosts a series of Hatch Chile-themed events to celebrate the famous New Mexican spicy and savory pepper. Along with Chef Marco Zapien’s Hatch Chile Cooking Demonstration and Dinner on August 10th the restaurant hosts a daytime Hatch Chile Roast (and brunch) on September 9th were supplies of the roasted Hatch Chiles can be picked up by the case. The guest selects the level of spicy desired ranging from mild to hot.

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

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Show 235, August 5, 2017: Pam Waitt, Founder, Orange County’s Golden Foodie Awards

Golden Foodie AwardsThe annual 6th Annual Golden Foodie Awards will be presented in a black-tie gala evening on September 24th in Newport Beach celebrating the very best in dining in Orange County in 15 categories. Voting by the dining public happens in 2, one-week waves starting on Saturday, August 5th.

The Golden Foodies are a People’s Choice Food Awards. The event was created to honor extraordinary culinary talent in Orange County. Food lovers vote during the first 2 weeks of August with the winners being announced at The Golden Foodie Awards Gala at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel. The event exclusively recognizes chef-driven and independent restaurants.

Week One voting (8 Categories including Rising Star Chef of The Year) is August 5th through August 11th and Week Two (7 Categories including Restaurateur of the Year) is August 12th through 18th. A new award for ”Lifetime Achievement” is determined by The Guild, the advisory board for The Golden Foodie Awards.

Food Network’s Simon Majumdar is the Celebrity Host of the festive affair.

Founder Pam Waitt joins us with the details of this year’s voting.

One of the categories being voted on this week is “Favorite Food Influencer in Orange County.” This includes prominent social media opinion makers, journalists and even radio food & restaurant show hosts. Imagine that…? If you enjoy listening to the “SoCal Restaurant Show” every week Chef Andrew & Andy would humbly appreciate your vote by this Friday, August 11th. We have some very formidable competition in this category who are pretty aggressive about campaigning J…Voting is super easy. Thanks.

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August 5: Golden Foodies, Midway Gourmet, Melissa’s Hatch Chiles, Dine LBC, Crazy Creole Café, House of AN, Zapien’s Salsa Grill

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Pam Waitt, Founder, Orange County’s Golden Foodie Awards
Segment Three: Dominic Palmieri, The Midway Gourmet, OC Fair
Segment Four: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Hatch Chile Season is on!
Segment Five: DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week, Terri Henry, Producer & Founder
Segment Six: Chef / Proprietor Guy DuPlantier, Crazy Creole Café, Long Beach
Segment Seven: House of An Executive Chef Tony Nguyen, Pop-up Crustacean Menu at AnQi, Costa Mesa
Segment Eight: Executive Chef Marco Zapien, Hatch Chile Festivities at Zapien’s Salsa Grill

Now a tempting preview of this Saturday’s abundant 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…

The annual Golden Foodie Awards presented in a black-tie gala on September 24th in Newport Beach celebrate the very best in dining in Orange County in 15 categories. Voting by the dining public happens in 2, one-week waves starting on Saturday, August 5th. Founder Pam Waitt joins us with the details of this year’s voting.

The OC Fair continues in Costa Mesa (Wednesdays thru Sundays) until Sunday, August 13th in Costa Mesa. The Midway Gourmet, Chef Dominic Palmieri, encores with an update on Fair food happenings. How did Chef Dominic’s Fair menu rate at the Concessionaires’ Cup ? How are all the new Flamin’ Hot Cheetos creations doing…?

For some seven short weeks the incredible Hatch Chiles from New Mexico are available fresh. They are a Southwestern favorite. Unusually they can be purchased in a range of heats from mild to hot. Our resident produce guru, Robert Schuller of Melissa’s, steps away from the roaster to give us the piquant specifics.

DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. More than 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices. First we’ll chat with DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant founder, Terri Henry, for the overview for 2017.

New to the DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week is Chef Guy’s Crazy Creole Café – “Straight From The Heart and Soul of New Orleans.” We’ll meet proprietor Chef Guy DuPlantier, a.k.a. “The Crazy Cajun.” It’s a real taste of New Orleans right there on Long Beach Blvd.

As Beverly Hills Vietnamese fusion institution Crustacean undergoes a major five-month redesign this summer, Orange County diners will be treated to signature dishes prepared by Crustacean master chef Helene “Mama” An at AnQi, a sister restaurant at South Coast Plaza. Beginning August 1 and through September 30, diners at the upscale gourmet bistro AnQi will be able to savor a sampling of signature dishes from An’s famous Secret Kitchen that previously were not available at the Costa Mesa restaurant. Joining us to explain all the delicious specifics is House of AN’s Executive Chef, Tony Nguyen.

Once a year Zapien’s Salsa Grill in Pico Rivera hosts a series of Hatch Chile-themed events to celebrate the famous New Mexican spicy and savory pepper. Along with Chef Marco Zapien’s Hatch Chile Cooking Demonstration and Dinner on August 10th the restaurant hosts a daytime Hatch Chile Roast on September 9th were supplies of the roasted Hatch Chiles can be picked up by the case. The guest selects the level of spicy desired ranging from mild to hot.

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

Golden Foodie AwardsThe annual 6th Annual Golden Foodie Awards will be presented in a black-tie gala evening on September 24th in Newport Beach celebrating the very best in dining in Orange County in 15 categories. Voting by the dining public happens in 2, one-week waves starting on Saturday, August 5th.

The Golden Foodies are a People’s Choice Food Awards. The event was created to honor extraordinary culinary talent in Orange County. Food lovers vote during the first 2 weeks of August with the winners being announced at The Golden Foodie Awards Gala at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel. The event exclusively recognizes chef-driven and independent restaurants.

Food Network’s Simon Majumdar is the Celebrity Host of the festive affair.

Founder Pam Waitt joins us with the details of this year’s voting.

Dominic Palmieri of Midway GourmetWe always look forward to sharing with you the new, creative and sometimes outrageous taste sensations at The Orange County Fair on now through August 13th. Selling big from The Midway Gourmet is Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on virtually everything edible including pizza and fresh corn. His unusual nito frozen dessert creations are also the talk of the Fair.

Last year, 50% of Fairgoers surveyed said their favorite part of the Fair is the food. We agree…Fried, sugary or savory – and sometimes all three at once – the delectable edibles are some of the big stars of the OC Fair.

Chef Dominic’s Fair edibles on the RCS Midway just swept the Concessionaires’ Cup 2017 Awards including the recognition for “Best of the Best” single fair food item. We’ll get a mouthwatering update from The Midway Gourmet as the OC Fair enters its concluding week.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioFor some seven short weeks the incredible Hatch Chiles from New Mexico are available fresh. Unusually they can be purchased in a range of heats from mild to hot.

It’s no secret why everyone is obsessed with Hatch Chiles. Named after the original growing area in Hatch, New Mexico, authentic Hatch Chiles are truly a Southwestern favorite. No other chile is prized more than this variety which grows in the Hatch Valley, just north of Las Cruces. The valley, which stretches along the Rio Grande’s southern-most bend before crossing into Texas and Mexico, is covered with row after row of these green leafy chile plants for most of the summer. Chefs say that the intense sunlight and cool nights in this valley result in a uniquely flavored chile that’s unrivaled by any other.

Hatch Chiles have a meaty flesh and mild-medium heat making them ideal for use in Chile Con Queso, Chile Rellenos, and Chile Verde. But it doesn’t just stop there. You can also try roasting and using them in salads, soups, stews, dips, and sandwiches. For even more great ideas on how to use this incredible chile, purchase a copy of Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook with over 150 unique, home-kitchen tested and classic Hatch Chile recipes.

Hatch chiles are so popular savvy folks load up each summer and freeze enough roasted chiles to enjoy year-round.

Our resident produce guru, Robert Schuller of Melissa’s, steps away from the roaster to give us the piquant specifics.

Terri HenryDINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. More than 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices

Participating restaurants and food companies will be offering multi-course, “value-oriented” meals and special deals set at one of six price points: $15, $25, $35, $45, $55 or $65.

Founder and organizer Terri Henry, who brought restaurant week to Long Beach in 2014, said that besides attracting local “foodies”, Dine LBC allows those who view dining out as a luxury to also enjoy an exceptional experience. The nine-day event that includes two full weekends gives locals the opportunity to visit multiple participating restaurants and also allows those in neighboring cities who find it difficult to travel to Long Beach during the week more options.

For the first time this year, Dine LBC will be highlighting non-restaurant, food-centric companies in Long Beach, such as Beach City Food ToursRomeo Chocolates and the anticipated RICE & SHINE pop-up brunch that takes place August 5 and 6.

“Beach City Food Tours is obviously not an individual restaurant”, said Layla Ali-Ahmad, who started the downtown Long Beach food and architectural tour last summer. “But we are still introducing our clients to the great restaurants and food scene of Long Beach, so we were thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in Dine LBC this year.”

Foodie Instagrammers can also enter the “Dine. Snap. Share. And Be Entered to Win.” Dine LBC Instagram Contest, inviting diners to post photos of their dining experience on Instagram with the hashtag #DineLBC. At the conclusion of restaurant week, one winner will be chosen at random and win $1000 in gift certificates from various Long Beach restaurants, plus a mixed case of Coquelicot Wines, the signature wine of The Sky Room. Some restrictions apply. For complete rules visit the Dine LBC website.

Participating restaurants, menus, food companies and offers can be found at the DineLBC website.

First we’ll chat with DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant founder, Terri Henry, for the overview for 2017.

Guy DuPlantierNew to the DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week is Chef Guy’s Crazy Creole Café – “Straight From The Heart and Soul of New Orleans.”

“We offer authentic Creole and Cajun food, with most of our products being shipped in weekly from New Orleans like our crawfish, Lake Pontchartrain blue crab, fresh alligator meat, farm-raised catfish, wild caught gulf shrimp. Also, the Blue Plate Mayonnaise we use on our Po’ Boys and ya’ll know it’s not a Po’ Boy unless you use bread from home. We use the famous Leidenheimers French bread. Come and try our Boudin & Boudin Balls made in house along with my wife Chef Aliza’s Asian Cajun Boudin Egg Rolls. We only use the best ingredients. Created by the fusion of African, Native American and the European ancestry, Louisiana cuisine is at the heart and soul of our unique culture.”

“You are guaranteed to enjoy the great flavors of New Orleans and we will show you what Southern hospitality is all about. In New Orleans we have a saying, Laissez les bons temps rouler, which means Let the good times roll. That is what Crazy Creole Cafe is all about, good food, good music and good times. We’ll do our best to put a big smile on your face and make you stomp your feet. So what are you waiting for? Come on and laissez les bons temps rouler with the Crazy Creole Cafe.”

We’ll meet proprietor Chef Guy DuPlantier, a.k.a. “The Crazy Cajun.” It’s a real taste of The Crescent City right there on Long Beach Blvd.

Tony NguyenAs Beverly Hills Vietnamese fusion institution Crustacean undergoes a major five-month redesign this summer, Orange County diners will be treated to signature dishes prepared by Crustacean master chef Helene “Mama” An at AnQi, a sister restaurant at South Coast Plaza. Beginning August 1 and through September 30, diners at the upscale gourmet bistro AnQi will be able to savor a sampling of signature dishes from An’s famous Secret Kitchen that previously were not available at the Costa Mesa restaurant.

The pop-up version of Crustacean’s highly acclaimed menu will be available at dinner only Monday through Friday in the Q Lounge at AnQi, which like its Beverly Hills counterpart has won acclaim for its signature style of Euro-Vietnamese cuisine and An’s creative use of Asian herbs and spices in her cooking.

Reservations are required and are limited to 60 guests a night and should be made by phone: 714.557.5679. AnQi is located at South Coast Plaza, 333 Bristol St. Costa Mesa

The pop-up Crustacean menu at AnQi will include 10 appetizers, four main courses and two desserts.

The tantalizing appetizer options include Turmeric Grilled Calamari ($15), with saffron, orange zest and peanut mustard sauce; Sweet and Spicy Chicken Meatballs ($15), made with basil, tofu, tempura flakes and Gochujang sauce; and the addictive XO Noodles ($18) with scallops, shrimp, chicken, bird’s eye chili, shallots and Hennessy cognac.

Among the choices for the main courses are Rack of Lamb ($46), made with chardonnay flambé, Steamed Seabass ($49); and An’s Famous Roasted Crab ($65), featuring An’s garlic sauce and secret spices and available in or out of the shell.

A mouthwatering dessert option is Grandma Diana’s Famous Banana Fritters ($12).

Joining us to explain all the delicious specifics is House of AN’s Executive Chef, Tony Nguyen.

Marco Zapien of Zapiens Salsa Grill and TaqueriaOnce a year Zapien’s Salsa Grill in Pico Rivera hosts a series of interactive Hatch Chile-themed events to celebrate the famous New Mexican spicy and savory pepper. Along with Chef Marco Zapien’s Hatch Chile Cooking Demonstration and Dinner on August 10th the restaurant hosts a daytime Hatch Chile Roast on September 9th were cases of the roasted Hatch Chiles can be picked up and enjoyed.

At The Roast the guest selects the level of spicy desired ranging from mild to hot. Alongside the roasting on Saturday September 9th Chef Marco will be featuring a special Hatch Chile Brunch menu at Zapien’s.

Chef Marco Zapien shares his Hatch Chile secrets with us.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Pam Waitt, Founder, Orange County’s Golden Foodie Awards
Segment Three: Dominic Palmieri, The Midway Gourmet, OC Fair
Segment Four: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Hatch Chile Season is on!
Segment Five: DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week, Terri Henry, Producer & Founder
Segment Six: Chef / Proprietor Guy DuPlantier, Crazy Creole Café, Long Beach
Segment Seven: House of An Executive Chef Tony Nguyen, Pop-up Crustacean Menu at AnQi, Costa Mesa
Segment Eight: Executive Chef Marco Zapien, Hatch Chile Festivities at Zapien’s Salsa Grill

Show 209, February 4, 2017: Betsy Thagard, Founder, B. toffee, Newport Beach

Betsy ThagardAn award-winning, handcrafted toffee, B. toffee’s “crunchy perfection of sweetness” offers the ultimate indulgence. (Think Valentine’s Day…) Combining only the finest, freshest, and most natural ingredients, Newport Beach local Betsy Thagard spent years of passionate experimenting to create the perfect toffee. At first she only shared it with friends as an anxiously anticipated Holiday Gift. Now it’s thoughtfully available to us all.

Today, B. toffee is growing nationwide with premiere placement at the country’s most noted gourmet markets and specialty stores. B. toffee is recognized as a superior quality product with its sophisticated, sleek packaging being described as a “crunchy perfection of sweetness” and has also taken a bite out of the corporate, and party favor market

Most recently B. toffee received top GOLD honors for “Top Toffee” and “Best Packaging” by the Taste Awards in San Francisco, CA. Also awarded the “Official Toffee” at The Golden Foodie Awards-the most prominent culinary fandom awards in Orange County, CA.

Demand has increased to the point where B. toffee has recently relocated to a much larger production and packaging facility. The product is still attentively made and packaged by hand in small batches.

“Sharing my B. toffee product with the world has been a dream come true, and I am so proud and honored by the partnerships developed over the past year,” said Thagard. “The move to the new facility will allow B. toffee to continue to grow, and, in turn, dedicate more resources to a project close to my heart, the B. Giving Initiative, which, in conjunction with local charities, allows for B. toffee to impact the community in a positive way.”

Betsy is our guest.

Play

Show 183, August 6, 2016: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Brea, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, most recently, The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the Rams and USC Football, is back as today’s special Guest Host. In May in Chicago during the National Restaurant Association’s annual conclave he received Nation’s Restaurant News’ Trendsetter MenuMaster Award for Slapfish.

Now a provocatively tempting preview of Saturday’s abundant show and 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…

The OC Fair in Costa Mesa continues through August 14th. What’s new in Fair Food? We’ll chat with the well-known “Chicken Charlie” Boghosian, a pioneer in fair food favorites. You just might call him the “King” of fried fair food and other treats!

Huntington Beach restaurateur Alicia Whitney is seemingly taking over the City one block at a time. Her newest full-service restaurant is SeaSalt Woodfire Grill featuring Santa Maria-style barbecue. She is also now on the sand at Bolsa Chica State Beach with two open beach food stands and a third set to open soon. We’ll detour Alica for a quick respite and get all the tasty details.

Brouwerij West is a unique Belgian-inspired craft brewery and venue located in the San Pedro neighborhood of Los Angeles. The company was founded in 2010 by talented brewer Brian Mercer and is now led by Mercer and his partner Dave Holop. Brouwerij West’s new home opened in February 2016 in a former Port Warehouse originally built by the U.S. Navy during World War II. Proprietor Brian Mercer taps the keg on Brouwerij West for us.

One of the pioneering food trucks in Orange County is the innovative Dos Chinos taco truck (Chef Hop Phan) which is a tasty fusion of Latin-Vietnamese fare. It’s also now a permanent food stall at the 4th Street Market in Santa Ana. Hop Phan’s newest concept is Sit Low Pho (Vietnamese) at the 4th Street Market. We’ll meet him.

Introducing non-native fish to United States waters can disturb the existing delicate ecological balance. Such is the case of Asian carp in the Great Lakes. To the rescue may be the prehistoric-looking, and fast growing, alligator gar. It was previously native to these same waters. Chef Andrew Gruel will explain this fish tale.

The three waves of voting for The Golden Foodie Awards, the People’s Choice Food Awards in Orange County, is on now through August 21st. Voting for the 1st categories concludes on August 7th. Hosting the Awards is Food Network’s Simon Majumdar(“Cutthroat Kitchen.”) He’s our guest.

Gold Medals won by wines at our area County Fairs used to have a tremendous impact on wine sales. Now, this is much less the case. Our resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange, has his informed perspective.

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

Play

Show 183, August 6, 2016: Simon Majumdar, Voting for the Golden Foodie Awards

Simon MajumdarThe three waves of voting for The Golden Foodie Awards, the People’s Choice Food Awards in Orange County, is on now through August 21st. Voting for the 1st categories concludes on August 7th.

This first Week includes, Best American Cuisine, Best Mexican, Food, Best Vegetarian Food, Bartender of The Year, Best Pizza, Best Italian Food and Best French Cuisine.The Golden Foodie Award’s celebrates chef driven and/or independent restaurants and allows for food lovers to decide the winners. Voting takes place from August 1 – 21, with each week offering different categories. Nominees are announced at the end of each week. The Golden Foodie Awards are comprised of 24 categories.

The Golden Foodie Awards is a democracy and recognizes the best chefs, libations and cuisine. With its focus on involving the Orange County community to vote, the GFA’s serve as a great honor allowing the people to decide who is best. Winners will be announced on September 25th in Newport Beach at the red carpet gala event at the Fairmont Newport Beach.

Hosting the Awards is Food Network’s Simon Majumdar (permanent judge on “Cutthroat Kitchen.” with Alton Brown.) He’s our guest.

Play

August 6: Chicken Charlie Boghosian, SeaSalt Woodfire Grill, Brouwerij West, Dos Chinos, Simon Majumdar, Wine Exchange

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Celebrity Fair Food Concessionaire, “Chicken” Charlie Boghosian
Segment Three: Restaurateur Alicia Whitney’s Sea Salt Wood Fired Grill, Huntington Beach
Segment Four: Brian Mercer, Founder, Brouwerij West, San Pedro
Segment Five: Chef Hop Phan, Dos Chinos & Sit Low Pho, 4th Street Market Santa Ana
Segment Six: Chef Andrew Gruel, The Alligator Gar Makes a Comeback
Segment Seven: Simon Majumdar, Voting for the Golden Foodie Awards
Segment Eight: Kyle Meyer, The Wine Exchange, Wine Competitions at County Fairs

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Brea, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, most recently, The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the Rams and USC Football, is back as today’s special Guest Host. In May in Chicago during the National Restaurant Association’s annual conclave he received Nation’s Restaurant News’ Trendsetter MenuMaster Award for Slapfish.

Now a provocatively tempting preview of Saturday’s abundant show and 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…

The OC Fair in Costa Mesa continues through August 14th. What’s new in Fair Food? We’ll chat with the well-known “Chicken Charlie” Boghosian, a pioneer in fair food favorites. You just might call him the “King” of fried fair food!

Huntington Beach restaurateur Alicia Whitney is seemingly taking over the City one block at a time. Her newest full-service restaurant is SeaSalt Woodfire Grill featuring Santa Maria-style barbecue. She is also now on the sand at Bolsa Chica State Beach with two open beach food stands and a third set to open soon. We’ll detour Alica for a quick respite and get all the tasty details.

Brouwerij West is a unique Belgian-inspired craft brewery and venue located in the San Pedro neighborhood of Los Angeles. The company was founded in 2010 by talented brewer Brian Mercer and is now led by Mercer and his partner Dave Holop. Brouwerij West’s new home opened in February 2016 in a former Port Warehouse originally built by the U.S. Navy during World War II. Proprietor Brian Mercer taps the keg on Brouwerij West for us.

One of the pioneering food trucks in Orange County is the innovative Dos Chinos taco truck (Chef Hop Phan) which is a tasty fusion of Latin-Vietnamese fare. It’s also a permanent food stall at the 4th Street Market in Santa Ana. Hop Phan’s newest concept is Sit Low Pho (Vietnamese) at the 4th Street Market. We’ll meet him.

Introducing non-native fish to United States waters can disturb the existing delicate ecological balance. Such is the case of Asian carp in the Great Lakes. To the rescue may be the prehistoric-looking, and fast growing, alligator gar. It was previously native to these same waters. Chef Andrew Gruel will explain all.

The three waves of voting for The Golden Foodie Awards, the People’s Choice Food Awards in Orange County, is on now through August 21st. Voting for the 1st categories concludes on August 7th. Hosting the Awards is Food Network’s Simon Majumdar
(“Cutthroat Kitchen.”) He’s our guest.

Gold Medals won by wines at our area County Fairs used to have a tremendous impact on wine sales. Now, this is much less the case. Our resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange, has his informed perspective.

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

Chicken Charlie BoghosianThe OC Fair in Costa Mesa continues through August 14th. What’s new in Fair Food? We’ll chat with the “Chicken Charlie” Boghosian, a pioneer in fair food favorites. You just might call him the “King” of fried fair food! He invented the deep-fried Twinkie.

In the just concluded Fair Food Competition, Charlie was awarded Gold medals for his bacon-wrapped fried chicken leg (Best Fried Food) and for his Maui Bowl (Ethnic Category.)

New for Chicken Charlie this year is the clever Chicken In a Waffle On a Stick, and Escargot and Caviar Doritos.

Away from the Fair circuit “Chicken Charlie” Boghosian has a year-round restaurant in San Diego. It’s Chicken Charlie’s FryBQ.

Alicia WhitneyHuntington Beach restaurateur Alicia Whitney is seemingly taking over the City one block at a time. Her newest full-service restaurant is SeaSalt Woodfire Grill featuring Santa Maria-style barbecue. Her pitmasters are actually from one of the well-known Santa Maria barbecue spots in the hamlet of Santa Maria! Santa Maria wines are highlighted on the list.

She is also now on the sand at Bolsa Chica State Beach with two renovated, open beach food stands and a third set to open in the near future. We’ll detour Alica for a quick respite and get all the tasty details.

Right now Alicia is bookending Bolsa Chica State Beach with the already operating SeaLegs at the Beach and Pacific Kitchen. Opening soon is SeaSalt Burger.

Brian MercerBrouwerij West is a unique Belgian-inspired craft brewery and venue located in the San Pedro neighborhood of Los Angeles. The company was founded in 2010 by talented brewer Brian Mercer and is now led by Mercer and his partner Dave Holop. Brouwerij West’s new home opened in February 2016 in a former Port Warehouse originally built by the U.S. Navy during World War II.

Brouwerij West’s operation encompasses 26,000 sq. ft. of the Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles facility, including 8,000 sq. ft. devoted to visitor use for its Tasting Room and events, as well as a 17,000 sq. ft. outdoor courtyard / beer garden.

Brouwerij West brews its beers using traditional ingredients and methods mixed with creative inspiration to produce its own take on classic Belgian-style ales. Brouwerij West’s new facility is covered with solar panels and generates more electricity than it uses, and its mash filter-based brewery uses 30% less water than traditional breweries.

Proprietor Brian Mercer taps the keg on Brouwerij West for us.

Hop PhanOne of the pioneering food trucks in Orange County is the innovative Dos Chinos taco truck (Chef Hop Phan) which is a tasty fusion of Latin-Vietnamese fare. It’s also a permanent food stall at the 4th Street Market in Santa Ana.

Hop Phan’s newest concept is Sit Low Pho (Vietnamese) at the 4th Street Market. He’s planning something fresh for the upcoming Trade market hall in Irvine arriving before year’s end.

Chef Hop is already a veteran of Food TV. Most recently he competed on FYI’s Man versus Child: Chef Showdown.

You’ve also seen him on NBC’s “Food Fighters,” Cooking Channel’s “Eat Street”, Food Network‘s “Cutthroat Kitchen” and “Chopped.”

We’ll meet him.

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA Studios“Southern California raised us on Asian and Latin food. It’s what were made of – every sinew is built on years of carne asada and Vietnamese pho…”

Introducing non-native fish to United States waters can disturb the existing delicate ecological balance. Such is the case of Asian carp moving into the Great Lakes.

To the rescue may be the prehistoric-looking, and fast growing, alligator gar. According to the AP it can grow longer than a horse and heavier than a refrigerator. It’s previously been considered a trash fish. It used to thrive in this habitat before being decimated because the thought was that it threatened sport fish.

Chef Andrew Gruel will explain all.

Simon MajumdarThe three waves of voting for The Golden Foodie Awards, the People’s Choice Food Awards in Orange County, is on now through August 21st. Voting for the 1st categories concludes on August 7th.

This first Week includes, Best American Cuisine, Best Mexican, Food, Best Vegetarian Food, Bartender of The Year, Best Pizza, Best Italian Food and Best French Cuisine.The Golden Foodie Award’s celebrates chef driven and/or independent restaurants and allows for food lovers to decide the winners. Voting takes place from August 1 – 21, with each week offering different categories. Nominees are announced at the end of each week. The Golden Foodie Awards are comprised of 24 categories.

The Golden Foodie Award’s is a democracy and recognizes the best chefs, libations and cuisine. With its focus on involving the Orange County community to vote, the GFA’s serve as a great honor allowing the people to decide who is best. Winners will be announced on September 25th in Newport Beach at the red carpet gala event at the Fairmont Newport Beach.

Hosting the Awards is Food Network’s Simon Majumdar (permanent judge on “Cutthroat Kitchen.”) He’s our guest.

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeCoveted Gold Medals won by wines at our area County Fairs used to have a tremendous impact on wine sales. Now, this is much less the case. Our resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange, has his informed perspective.

“As we were drifting through a few reflective moments about where the wine world has been, and where it was going, a question arose.  What ever happened to fairs?  You know, pig contests, funnel cakes, and wine judgings. As we think back to the early days of Wine Exchange (such as it was), we remember what a big deal fair judgings and gold medals used to be in the scheme of wine marketing.  A gold medal at a wine competition like the Orange County Fair, L.A. County Fair, Sonoma Harvest Fair, and the California State Fair were kind of a big deal.  Now, not so much.  What happened?”

“Well, history happened.  Now mind you we speak from a fair bit of experience having been involved with the local fair for nearly a decade and part of a few judging panels as well.  Over the years we have been on both sides of the do-these-competitions-matter debate, and can play both sides.  But ‘back in the day’, the results of a major competition used to resonate throughout the industry.  Now the effect is pretty short term and localized.  Why?  There are lots of reasons.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Celebrity Fair Food Concessionaire, “Chicken” Charlie Boghosian
Segment Three: Restaurateur Alicia Whitney’s Sea Salt Wood Fired Grill, Huntington Beach
Segment Four: Brian Mercer, Founder, Brouwerij West, San Pedro
Segment Five: Chef Hop Phan, Dos Chinos & Sit Low Pho, 4th Street Market Santa Ana
Segment Six: Chef Andrew Gruel, The Alligator Gar Makes a Comeback
Segment Seven: Simon Majumdar, Voting for the Golden Foodie Awards
Segment Eight: Kyle Meyer, The Wine Exchange, Wine Competitions at County Fairs

Show 144, October 31, 2015: Executive Chef Jeffrey Boullt, SOCIAL Costa Mesa

Jeffrrey BoulltSOCIAL Costa Mesa just celebrated their Year Anniversary and a lot of credit for their success can be attributed to their personable Executive Chef Jeffrey Boullt. He’s out there cooking memorable tastes at a lot of high profile special events.

At the recent inaugural OozeFest in Santa Ana his dish was an incredibly tasty Confit Duck Hot Pocket! Chef Jeffrey always shows his imagination with a side of fun.

SOCIAL is a new-American restaurant offering chef and ingredient-focused dinner, brunch, late night bites and craft cocktails.

For 2015 SOCIAL Costa Mesa is the recipient of The Golden Foodie Awards for Best New Restaurant and Best California Cuisine.

Chef Jeffrey has had quite a culinary career for someone who is all of 35. He’s a native of the OC. After working in New Orleans (Commander’s Palace) and throughout Southern California (Playground,) he is merging the two regional cuisine styles and bringing them to life through his playful and thoughtful menu at SOCIAL Costa Mesa.

On YouTube you can find Cathy Thomas’ (Cathy Thomas Cooks!) instructional video of Chef Jeffrey preparing Vibrant Roasted Vegetables with French Goat Cheese and Italian-style Salsa Verde.

We’ll meet Chef Jeffrey and perhaps pick up a few tips for success.

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Show 143, October 24, 2015: Executive Pastry Chef David Rossi, The Ranch Restaurant, Anaheim, CA

David RossiThe Ranch Restaurant’s (Anaheim) incredible pastry Chef is David Rossi. He was the recipient in 2014 of the Golden Foodie Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef. This is “Peer Selected” award which gives the honor even more weight. (He was nominated again in 2015.)

David just returned from an intensive cacao (chocolate) tour and research trip in Ecuador with 6 other accomplished pastry chefs and chocolatiers. He visited the single origin cacao plantations of Republica Del Cacao. This is a bean-to-bar, premium chocolate entirely produced in Ecuador. Chef David also toured the dairy where they source their milk from as well as the local organic sugar cane plantations where the sugar is grown.

Chef David now uses this exclusively at The Ranch. He’s even using the chocolate in two of his special Thanksgiving Dinner menu (November 26th.) desserts including the Republica Del Cacao Chocolate Pots De Crème with Espresso Chantilly.

We’ll get all the sweetly decadent details…

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