Show 224, May 29, 2017: Co-Host Andy Harris with an airline food story…

Collier Cook of Santa Catalina Island Company and Andy HarrisCo-host Andy Harris has a head-scratching airline main cabin food story to share. It’s just for laughs…Frustration and bewilderment with the lack of planning on the part of a major air carrier only goes so far! Other fresh food news of note, too, as time permits.

Late last month Producer Andy was at the Kona, Hawaii Airport about to board his Sunday midday return flight to Los Angeles. He was there for The Big Island Chocolate Festival. It’s a five and one-half hour flight. The flight is completely full. Lots of carry-on items from visitors returning to the Mainland from vacations. When the first boarding announcement is made it comes with an odd disclaimer about the limited availability of food and beverages on the aircraft and what the suggested course of action should be for the surprised passengers. Huh??? Listen to the podcast for the rest of the curious story.

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Show 223, May 13, 2017: Pam Cooper, Co-Founder, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, Hawaii

Pam CooperThe Big Island of Hawaii’s first tree-to-bar chocolate producer is The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory established in 1999. In Kailua-Kona they grow cacao on their own plantation, ferment it, dry and process the beans and then create premium, single origin chocolate of the highest quality in a multi-step process.

“Welcome to Kona on the Island of Hawaii, home of Original Hawaiian Chocolate – the only chocolate of its kind in the world!”

“Beginning in 1997 we have dedicated ourselves to creating the most delicious and unique of chocolates – 100% Hawaiian made and grown. There is something about our volcanic soil, Island showers and tropical Hawaiian sun that blesses the cacao trees with a unique flavor that is world renowned.”

“We are the first producers to grow and process 100% Hawaiian cacao chocolate anywhere on earth. We process only Big Island grown cocoa beans. Our processing factory is completely self-contained, assuring total quality control from the fields to the final chocolate bars.”

“We invite you to experience our exceptionally unique chocolate, grown, harvested, processed and packaged in Hawaii – America’s own. And remember, Chocolate is Aloha!

Plantation tours (highly recommended) are available Wednesday and Friday mornings. The on-site Chocolate Shoppe (with unique specialty items) hours are 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tuesday through Fridays. Most of their artisan, single origin chocolate products (Individual Bars, One Pound Bars, Large & Small Plumerias and Roasted Cacao Nibs) are also available via their Website and shipped FedEx.

Founder Pam Cooper joins us.

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Show 222, May 6, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now an intriguing preview of this Saturday’s tantalizing show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Tower 12, located on Hermosa Beach’s Pier Avenue, is a new hang that throws it back for the local community. The new South Bay spot incorporates vintage artifacts, furnishings and artwork that rep the laidback surf, music and beach scene. Wanting to create a welcoming, truly unique space for friends and neighbors to kick back and enjoy incredible food and drink, the Tower 12 team called on Consulting Chef Brendan Collins (Birch in Hollywood) to create California-inspired, updated spins on American classics.  Chef Brendan joins us with the edible highlights.

The Bellwether (Studio City) owners Chef Ted Hopson and Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi will come together on May 17th to host a collaborative dining experience with none other than Food Network’s Chef Jet Tila (the original Co-Host of “The SoCal Restaurant Show”) who is also the executive chef & partner of Pakpao Thai in Dallas. This is part of The Los Angeles Times Food Bowl. Guests will enjoy a tasty five-course prix fixe pan-Asian menu with an optional beverage pairing. Chef Ted and Ann-Marie join us.

Rooney’s Irish Pub and Shanty Irish Brewing Co. are the pride of Orcutt, CA. With a superb culinary team, Rooney’s is recognized as a “gastropub,” known for its excellent gourmet pub fare. Rooney’s is also a ‘brewpub,’ proudly introducing the area to freshly made craft beers. Rooney’s turns out some of the freshest ales; Ambers, Blonds, Porters, IPA’s and other seasonal specialty ales, lagers, and pilsners. Rooney’s also offers an extensive ‘cellar’ list of fine craft brews, sharing Tim’s love of some of his other favorite breweries. Proprietor Tim Rooney moves out from behind the long bar and is out guest.

We’re continuing our preview of the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl which is on now through May 31st. Joining us is Susan Feniger of Border Grill fame. Border Grill, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger are all participating in multiple events as part of the Food Bowl. Their contribution to “Things In A Bowl Menu Items is an Heirloom tomato gazpacho in a bowl topped with shrimp and crab salpicon.

The ninth annual Ka‘u Coffee Festival (Big Island of Hawaii) celebrates its award-winning brew with a host of events starting May 19 and continuing through the weekend of May 27-28 with a java-jumpin’ ho‘olaulea‘a on Saturday and the Ka‘u Coffee College educational series on Sunday. Supported by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and a bevy of sponsors and volunteers, the Ka‘u Coffee Festival is designed to celebrate Ka‘u as a premium coffee growing origin and a unique visitor destination. Many events are free, while others require a nominal fee and reservations. Organizer Chris Manfredi joins us.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is on the road this morning at Trade in Irvine. Both of his new concepts, Two Birds and Butterleaf, are now open. The festive Grand Opening of Trade is next Saturday, May 13th. With the Summer picnic season upon us Chef Andrew has some tips for preparing world class fried chicken. We’ll catch-up with him by phone.

If you perhaps missed last Saturday’s show from the 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel there is hope. The podcasts of the show segments from the Reef Lounge are available for the listening via our website or on iTunes.

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

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May 6: Brendan Colllins, Ted Hopson, Ann-Marie Verdi, Rooney’s Irish Pub, Susan Feniger, Ka’u Coffee Fest

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Consulting Chef Brendan Collins, Tower 12, Hermosa Beach
Segment Three: The Bellwether’s Executive Chef / Proprietor Ted Hopson & Proprietor / Beverage Director Anne-Marie Verdi
Segment Four: Tim Rooney, Proprietor, Rooney’s Irish Pub, Orcutt, CA
Segment Five: Susan Feniger, Border Grill, The Los Angeles Times Food Bowl
Segment Six: 9th Annual Ka’u Coffee Festival, Big Island of Hawaii
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Now an intriguing preview of this Saturday’s tantalizing show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Tower 12, located on Hermosa Beach’s Pier Avenue, is a new hang that throws it back for the local community. The new South Bay spot incorporates vintage artifacts, furnishings and artwork that rep the laidback surf, music and beach scene. Wanting to create a welcoming, truly unique space for friends and neighbors to kick back and enjoy incredible food and drink, the Tower 12 team called on Consulting Chef Brendan Collins (Birch in Hollywood) to create California-inspired, updated spins on American classics. Chef Brendan joins us with the edible highlights.

The Bellwether (Studio City) owners Chef Ted Hopson and Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi will come together on May 17th to host a collaborative dining experience with none other than Food Network’s Chef Jet Tila who is also the executive chef & partner of Pakpao Thai in Dallas. Guests will enjoy a tasty five-course prix fixe menu with an optional beverage pairing. Chef Ted and Ann-Marie join us.

Rooney’s Irish Pub and Shanty Irish Brewing Co. are the pride of Orcutt, CA. With a superb culinary team, Rooney’s is recognized as a “gastropub,” known for its excellent gourmet pub fare. Rooney’s is also a ‘brewpub,’ proudly introducing the area to freshly made craft beers. Rooney’s turns out some of the freshest ales; Ambers, Blonds, Porters, IPA’s and other seasonal specialty ales, lagers, and pilsners. Rooney’s also offers an extensive ‘cellar’ list of fine craft brews, sharing Tim’s love of some of his other favorite breweries. Proprietor Tim Rooney moves out from behind the long bar and is out guest.

We’re continuing our preview of the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl which is on now through May 31st. Joining us is Susan Feniger of Border Grill fame. Border Grill, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger are all participating in multiple events as part of the Food Bowl. Their contribution to “Things In A Bowl Menu Items” is an Heirloom tomato gazpacho in a bowl topped with shrimp and crab salpicon.

The ninth annual Ka‘u Coffee Festival (Big Island of Hawaii) celebrates its award-winning brew with a host of events starting May 19 and continuing through the weekend of May 27-28 with a java-jumpin’ ho‘olaulea‘a on Saturday and the Ka‘u Coffee College educational series on Sunday. Supported by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and a bevy of sponsors and volunteers, the Ka‘u Coffee Festival is designed to celebrate Ka‘u as a premium coffee growing origin and a unique visitor destination. Many events are free, while others require a nominal fee and reservations. Organizer Chris Manfredi joins us.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is on the road this morning. We’ll catch-up with him by phone.

If you perhaps missed last Saturday’s show from the 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel there is hope. The podcasts of the show segments from the Reef Lounge are available for the listening via our website or on iTunes.

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

Brendan CollinsTower 12, located on Hermosa Beach’s Pier Avenue, is a new hang that throws it back for the local community. The new South Bay spot incorporates vintage artifacts, furnishings and artwork that rep the laidback surf, music and beach scene. Wanting to create a welcoming, truly unique space for friends and neighbors to kick back and enjoy incredible food and drink, the Tower 12 team called on Consulting Chef Brendan Collins (Birch in Hollywood) to create California-inspired, updated spins on American classics.

Tower 12’s food program is guided by Consulting Chef Brendan Collins, one of Los Angeles’ most distinguished culinary names, alongside Executive Chef Alex Granados. The Tower 12 team created a menu full of delights for the hungry surfer.

Shareable starters include Woodfired Garlic Blue Shrimp with Whole Caledonian Shrimp, garlic butter & charred sourdough, Cheese Steak Poppers with Yorkshire popovers, ribeye, peppers, onion & cheese sauce and Chicken Lollipop Wings with green apple & bourbon chipotle hot sauce. Tower 12 also offers an assortment of chef selected charcuterie and artisan cheese boards. Signature salads include Roasted Heirloom Beets with Caña de Cabre Goat Cheese, baby greens, cherry tomato, Banyuls vinaigrette and Smoked Chicken Waldorf with house-smoked chicken, candied walnuts, green apple, bleu cheese, baby gem & cranberry balsamic vinaigrette.

Hand-tossed pizzas baked in Tower 12’s woodfired oven include the Banzai Pipeline Hawaiian Pizza with parma cotto ham, pineapple, Fresno chilis, mint & tomato sauce and Magic Mushroom Pizza with forest mushrooms, truffle gremolata, crème fraiche & arugula. Among the “between the bread” offerings are a House-Smoked Pastrami Sandwich with double-smoked, hand-cut pastrami, Emmental cheese, coleslaw & house Russian dressing on grilled marble rye and Ahi Tuna Banh Mi Burger with sushi grade tuna, cucumber, Vietnamese mint, nam sauce, roasted peanuts, cilantro, hoisin, pickled carrots & cucumbers on a sesame seed bun.

Hearty entrees include a 12-Hour Braised Short Rib with brown butter mashed potatoes & grilled broccolini and Organic Salmon on Cedar with a miso glaze, grilled broccolini & chile marmalade. Rounding out the menu are vegetable sides such as Grilled Broccolini with lemon, garlic, shallots, extra virgin olive oil & chili flakes and Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes with Yukon potato & caramelized brown butter.

Tower 12 houses two full-service bars specializing in handcrafted cocktails, wine and 30 local brews on tap. Located on a second story deck with beautiful ocean views, Tower 12 features a wraparound, wooden outdoor balcony and interconnected rooms that feel more like a kickback for friends than a public space.

Chef Brendan joins us with the highlights and the surf report.

Ann Marie Verdi and Ted Hopson of the BellwetherThe Bellwether (Studio City) owners Chef Ted Hopson and Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi will come together on May 17th to host a collaborative dining experience with none other than Food Network’s Chef Jet Tila who is also the executive chef & partner of Pakpao Thai in Dallas. Guests will enjoy a tasty five-course prix fixe menu with an optional beverage pairing.

The Bellwether is the debut restaurant and bar from Executive Chef/Owner Ted Hopson and Beverage Director/Owner Anne-Marie Verdi. The market-inspired menu aims to capitalize on the abundance of California produce in order to showcase one-of-a-kind food and drink menus that feature family style shareable dishes, unique infusion based cocktails, and a hand selected list of beer and wine.

Chef Ted and Ann-Marie join us.

Tim RooneyRooney’s Irish Pub and Shanty Irish Brewing Co. are the pride of Orcutt, CA. Also famous (Orcutt) for “Old Maud,” a gusher of an oil well discovered there in 1904. With a superb culinary team, Rooney’s is recognized as a “gastropub,” known for its excellent gourmet pub fare.

Rooney’s is also a ‘brewpub,’ proudly introducing the area to freshly made craft beers. Rooney’s turns out some of the freshest ales; Ambers, Blonds, Porters, IPA’s and other seasonal specialty ales, lagers, and pilsners. Rooney’s also offers an extensive ‘cellar’ list of fine craft brews, sharing Tim’s love of some of his other favorite breweries.

“Being of Irish heritage, I have always loved everything Irish. Much of our inspiration developed as our family traveled to Ireland where we toured much of the Emerald Isle. I’m not sure if we missed many Irish pubs along the way, but we loved the people, countryside, and “craic,” as they say. “

“Our love for craft beer began in the early 1980’s where finding anything beyond the basic lagers was difficult. Finally discovering Sierra Nevada, Anchor Brewing, and Sam Adams it opened a new world of freshly made, hoppy greatness.

“For as many Irish pubs we have visited, we have probably discovered more craft breweries, brewpubs, and micro brews throughout California and beyond. Our love for both had us filling a need in the Santa Maria Valley; an Irish Brewpub! Although the original vision was that of a small humble establishment, Rooney’s opened in July of 2010, and has been recognized as one of the most beautiful and authentic Irish pubs on the Central Coast. “

There is no better place to eat well, drink deep, and celebrate every good day than at Rooney’s Irish Pub, where

“There are no strangers, only friends we’ve never met.”

Proprietor Tim Rooney moves out from behind the long bar and is our guest.

Susan Feniger of Mud Hen TavernWe’re continuing our preview of the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl which is on now through May 31st. Joining us is Susan Feniger of Border Grill fame. Border Grill, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger are all participating in multiple events as part of the Food Bowl. Their contribution to “Things In A Bowl Menu Items is an Heirloom tomato gazpacho in a bowl topped with shrimp and crab salpicon.

Susan will also be previewing the May 19th screening at The Huntington, Pasadena of the new documentary, James Beard: America’s First Foodie. Beard is revered (and remembered) as the Dean of American Cookery.

Susan’s business partner, Mary Sue Milliken, knew Beard and will be a part of a panel with Chef Jim Dodge and the filmmakers after the screening of the documentary.

Chris ManfrediThe ninth annual Ka‘u Coffee Festival (Big Island of Hawaii) celebrates its award-winning brew with a host of events starting May 19 and continuing through the weekend of May 27-28 with a java-jumpin’ ho‘olaulea‘a on Saturday and the Ka‘u Coffee College educational series on Sunday. Supported by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and a bevy of sponsors and volunteers, the Ka‘u Coffee Festival is designed to celebrate Ka‘u as a premium coffee growing origin and a unique visitor destination.

Many events are free, while others require a nominal fee and reservations.

An unspoiled land, sunny climate and misty afternoons give Ka’u coffee it characteristic deep flavors. One esteemed coffee taster described a special Ka’u coffee as “the taste of chocolate, cherry and coconut accented with floral notes of orchid and citrus flavors.”

“Unique cultivating practices including hand-picking, sun drying, warm sunny mornings and misty afternoon rains and fertile volcanic soils combine with the passion and aloha of Ka’u farmers to produce some of the finest coffees grown anywhere.”

Organizer Chris Manfredi of Ka’u Farm and Ranch joins us.

Andrew and William GruelOur Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is on the road this morning. We’ll catch-up with him by phone.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Consulting Chef Brendan Collins, Tower 12, Hermosa Beach
Segment Three: The Bellwether’s Executive Chef / Proprietor Ted Hopson & Proprietor / Beverage Director Anne-Marie Verdi
Segment Four: Tim Rooney, Proprietor, Rooney’s Irish Pub, Orcutt, CA
Segment Five: Susan Feniger, Border Grill, The Los Angeles Times Food Bowl
Segment Six: 9th Annual Ka’u Coffee Festival, Big Island of Hawaii
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Show 221, April 29, 2017: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao Association (KCA)

Farsheed BonakdarFarsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts.

Beyond creating, implementing and promoting the Big Island Chocolate Festival, the Kona Cacao Association works with cacao growers, producers, chocolate enthusiasts and chefs to help create a recognizable brand for Hawaii Island Chocolate. KCA members work together towards creating a structure to maintain the quality of cacao grown, marketed and shipped from Hawaii for the future growth of this fledging industry.

Working with the American Culinary Federation, Kona Kohala Chefs Association, KCA encourages the advancement of culinary students at both the High School and College levels.

The 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival Gala sold out with a capacity 600 guests.

We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.

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Show 150, December 12, 2015: Anita Lau, Mad Hungry Woman Blogger

Anita Lau of Mad Hungry WomanAnita Lau is better known to regular listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” as the Mad Hungry Woman blogger. She was living in Hong Kong in the 90s before the turnover by the British to China. Anita was just back to Hong Kong for a 3-week visit. We’ll get a insider’s view of the dining scene there during the glory days of the British and now under Chinese authority.

Anita will fill us in on the impact of Michelin Stars in Hong Kong and also the best street food. Michelin in now even rating “Street Food” which seems a bit odd.

Anita notes that the big deal celebrity chefs are opening high-profile restaurants in Hong Kong. Gordon Ramsay is already there and Anita crossed paths with Chris Cosentino of “Top Chef Masters” fame there, too.

We’ll also get the morsel-by-morsel details of her favorite dining experience of the trip. It’s French and elegant…Go to her blog to read her full review of EPURE. Beautiful food photography of the meal, too.

Born in Hong Kong and now living in Orange County, California, Anita Lau is an international author and writer who has lived in Malaysia, Australia, Nebraska, Oregon, San Francisco and also, Hawaii. Her obsession with food began at an early age but it wasn’t until her early 20s when her experimentation with cooking led her to start a small catering business which she would run in her spare time while at college in Australia.

 

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Show 149, December 5, 2015: West Coast Prime Meats Cooks – Professional Recipes For The Home Kitchen

Amy and Craig Nickoloff of West Coast Prime MeatsIt was only a matter of time…! Our friends at West Coast Prime Meats have published the perfect cookbook for the Holidays: West Coast Prime Meats Cooks: Professional Recipes for the Home Kitchen.

West Coast Prime Meats is the protein purveyor of choice to some of the top restaurants in Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii.

The impressive volume includes enticing kitchen tested recipes for BIG Beef, Burgers, Pork, Lamb, Goat, Poultry and Seafood from the best chefs in Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii. It’s an inspired Holiday gift for the home cook that you can feel good about giving.

In the spirit of the Holidays the proceeds benefit two important Veteran’s charities, The Wounded Warrior Project and The Gary Sinise Foundation. Five Dollars from the sale of each book ($25.00 retail price) goes to the benefiting charities.

West Coast Prime Meats Cooks is available through their Web site and Amazon.com.

Authors Craig and Amy Nickoloff join us.

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Show 130, July 11, 2015: Chef Mark “Gooch” Noguchi, Mission Social Hall & Cafe, Honolulu

Mark NoguchiHawaii Chef Mark Noguchi is based on Oahu. He has been a previous guest on the show talking about the Hawaii Wine & Food Festival. (which he, again, will be part of in 2015.)

“I cook from an ‘aina based perspective. It’s important for us to know where our food comes from. It defines who we are. The awareness of this intimate connection keeps me grounded.” – Chef Mark Noguchi

His latest project is providing the food at the historic Hawaii Mission Houses with the Mission Social Hall & Café. It’s in Downtown Honolulu. It’s a lunch café that features healthy grab-n-go choices such as sandwiches, salads and soups along with contemporary Hawaiian food inspired by dishes of the 19th-century missionary era.

In June Chef Mark was part of the highly exclusive chefs’ group participating in the James Beard Foundation’s 7th Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change at Glynwood in Cold Spring, New York. The site was a 225-acre agricultural nonprofit’s farm.

This series of workshops provided the chefs with the policy and advocacy skills they need to be effective champions for their chosen food-system causes.

Chef Mark Noguchi joins us to bring us up-to-date on his various efforts.

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September 6: Andrew Gruel, Carolyne Styne, McConnell’s Ice Cream, Michelle Winner, Melissa’s Produce, Geeta Bansal, 12 Bottle Bar

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade
Segment Three: McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream
Segment Four: Travel Writer Michelle Winner, President, IFWTWA
Segment Five: Corporate Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s Produce
Segment Six: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Seven: Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven
Segment Eight: The 12 Bottle Bar

Guest Host Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, CEO of Slapfish Restaurant Group and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

The 5th Annual L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade culinary cookout returns this year on Saturday, September 20th. When it comes to having the most impressive roster of nationally-known celebrity chefs cooking locally for charity this Benefit is the clear standout. It’s hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin, her business partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern) along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat.)

McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream is a 70-year old iconic brand of super premium ice cream which is still based where it was founded in Santa Barbara. Michael Palmer (winemaker) and his wife Eva Ein (chef) purchased this heritage brand in 2012. A McConnell’s scoop shop recently opened in the Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.

Food, wine & travel writer Michelle Winner is the President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA.). She will be talking to us from Hawaii. Over Labor Day Weekend she was part of the Kaanapali Fresh – A Culinary Experience on Maui and right now she is in the middle of the 4th Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival on Oahu.

Ida Rodriguez is the long-time Corporate Chef for Melissa’s / World Variety Produce. Until the end of the month it’s Hatch Chile season. Over Labor Day Weekend Chef Ida was in Hatch, New Mexico for the annual Hatch Chile Festival. It gets crazy there. Chef Ida is with us to give us the flavorful report.

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel is CEO of Slapfish Restaurant Group with locations in Huntington Beach, Laguna, Dubai, and soon – Newport Beach. Chef Andrew is a guest judge on Food Network’s upcoming “Food Truck Face-Off” series, was a participant on Sept. 5th at OC Weekly’s 11th Annual Decadence 2014 Tasting Event, and has a new video our explaining the secrets of preparing Slapfish’s Clobster Roll to the Orange County Register’s distinguished food writer, Cathy Thomas.

It’s a singular honor as a chef & restaurateur to be invited to prepare and present a meal at The James Beard Foundation in New York. Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven has that distinct honor on September 27th. On Monday, Sept. 15th Clay Oven will be previewing that same grand five-course, wine-paired menu for a small group of lucky locals. Not one to miss…

David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson have penned a new kind of cocktail book, The 12 Bottle Bar. Just twelve bottles create over 200 distinct and seasonal cocktails, including beer and wine cocktails. When we first interviewed the Solmonsons we ran out of time before we could discuss the clever “Acknowledgements” section of their book. We’ll resume the conversation…

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

Caroline StyneThe 5th Annual L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade culinary cookout returns this year on Saturday, September 20th. When it comes to having the most impressive roster of nationally-known celebrity chefs cooking locally for charity this Benefit is the clear standout. It’s hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin, her business partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern) along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat.)

The new location is Wilson Plaza at UCLA in Westwood.

The 5th Annual Benefit invites food and wine lovers from all corners of the globe for an afternoon of fantastic fare, cocktails for a cause, children’s activities, silent and live auctions, and a whole lot more. The incredible chef brigade includes big name cooks ranging from Giada De Laurentiis to Tom Colicchio.

Michael PalmerMcConnell’s Fine Ice Cream is a 70-year old iconic brand of super premium ice cream which is still based where it was founded in Santa Barbara. Michael Palmer (winemaker) and his wife Eva Ein (chef) purchased this heritage brand in 2012. A McConnell’s scoop shop recently opened in the Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.

The late Jim McCoy owned McConnell’s from 1963 until he needed to sell the business due to ill health in 2012. It was very important to him that this be maintained as a family business based in Santa Barbara.That was his legacy.

75 per cent of McConnell’s ingredients come from within 60 miles of Santa Barbara.

Food, wine & travel writer Michelle Winner is the President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA.). She will be talking to us from Hawaii.

Over Labor Day Weekend Michelle was part of the Kaanapali Fresh – A Culinary Experience on Maui and right now she is in the middle of the 4th Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival on Oahu.

The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival event Michelle attended Thursday evening was the sold out “A Lucky Modern Buddha Belly” at The Modern Honolulu. The event put a spotlight on Hawaii’s unique location as a culinary hub of the Pacific where East Meets West. 14 esteemed chefs (including Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto) showcased dishes inspired by the Lucky Buddha who is known for happiness, plenitude, and wisdom of contentment.

Chef Ida Rodriquez of Melissas World Variety ProduceIda Rodriguez is the long-time Corporate Chef for Melissa’s / World Variety Produce. Until the end of the month it’s still Hatch Chile season.

Over Labor Day Weekend Chef Ida was in Hatch, New Mexico as a participant for the annual Hatch Chile Festival. It gets really crazy there. Chef Ida joins us to give us the flavorful chile report.

Weekend Hatch chile roasting continue through this month at select supermarkets. Check the Melissa’s website for the schedule, times, and locations.

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel is CEO of Slapfish Restaurant Group with locations in Huntington Beach, Laguna, Dubai, and soon – Newport Beach.

Chef Andrew is a guest judge on Food Network’s upcoming “Food Truck Face-Off” series, was a participant on Sept. 5th at OC Weekly’s 11th Annual Decadence 2014 Tasting Event, and has a new video out explaining the secrets of preparing Slapfish’s Clobster Roll to the Orange County Register’s distinguished food writer, Cathy Thomas.

Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven in IrvineIt’s a singular honor as a chef & restaurateur to be invited to prepare and present a meal at The James Beard Foundation in New York. Wolfgang Puck was the very first chef to do so.

Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven has that distinct honor on Saturday evening, September 27th. On Monday, Sept. 15th Clay Oven will be previewing that same grand five-course, wine-paired menu for a small group of lucky locals. Not one to miss…

At Clay Oven, chef/owner Geeta Bansal updates traditional Indian recipes with modern culinary techniques and vibrant California bounty. Incorporating the changing colors, flavors, and aromas of each season into her rotating menus, she honors Ayurvedic principles while bringing haute Indian cuisine to the forefront of Southern California’s dining landscape.

David and Lesley Jacobs SolmonsonDavid Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson have penned a new kind of cocktail book, The 12 Bottle Bar. Just twelve bottles create over 200 distinct and seasonal cocktails, including beer and wine cocktails. When we first interviewed the Solmonsons we ran out of time before we could discuss the clever “Acknowledgements” section of their book. We’ll resume the conversation…

On Saturday, September 13th at 10:30 a.m. the Solmonsons will present “Sin and the Silver Screen: The Age of the Hollywood Nightclub.” It’s a free program in the Mark Taper Auditorium at the Los Angeles Central Library.

To celebrate the release of The 12 Bottle Bar the Solmonsons will lead two Los Angeles-based barhops in September (Sept. 7th ) and October (Oct.5th.,) each one stopping at three bars over one evening. Each event includes one spirit-focused mini-cocktail at each location, appetizers/small plates, a copy of The 12 Bottle Bar book, and more!

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade
Segment Three: McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream
Segment Four: Travel Writer Michelle Winner, President, IFWTWA
Segment Five: Corporate Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s Produce
Segment Six: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Seven: Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven
Segment Eight: The 12 Bottle Bar

May 3: Sherry Yard, Jesse Barber, Nan Kohler, Barbara Fairchild, Yvon Goetz

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Sherry Yard of iPic Theaters and Helms Bakery Part One
Segment Three: Sherry Yard of iPic Theaters and Helms Bakery Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Jesse Barber of Barnyard Venice
Segment Five: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, Pasadena Part One
Segment Six: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, Pasadena Part Two
Segment Seven: Barbara Fairchild, Restaurant & Travel Editor, grapecollective.com, editor, writer, speaker and consultant
Segment Eight: Chef Yvon Goetz, Chef & Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, Tustin and Newport Beach

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Multiple James Beard Award-winning Pastry Chef Sherry Yard is familiar to the listening audience of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” Her work-in-progress is the ambitious revival of the Helms Bakery in Los Angeles on the border with Culver City.

She will tell us all about her exciting new position as Corporate Vice President of the Culinary Division of iPic Theaters. Watching a movie on the big screen should be a deluxe experience with food to match !

There is a relatively new hidden gem of a very personal farm-to-table restaurant in Venice. That’s Barnyard Venice. Come hungry and prepare to be pleasantly surprised and also well-taken care of.

Nan Kohler, the Managing Partner of Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, is back for an encore. This time she’ll also be speaking about gluten-free.

Barbara Fairchild, the well-traveled Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com is back with us to share some inspired restaurant finds from her recent travels both in Europe and in The States.

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar in Tustin has a new location on the Bay in Newport Beach. It’s a “wow” of a spot!

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

Sherry YardRenowned pastry chef and best-selling cookbook author Sherry Yard spent close to 20 years with Wolfgang Puck. She also has been awarded two prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards! On May 5th in New York City Sherry is being inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America. It’s an elite group…

In late 2012 she left Spago to realize a dream project with Sang Yoon. That’s the reopening (and revamping) of the fondly remembered Helms Bakery in Los Angeles on the border of Culver City.

She has just stepped into the newly created position of Corporate Vice President of Culinary Direction for iPic Theaters.

Their new state-of-the-art Westwood complex has just opened. Locally-sourced gourmet food is now on the menu for the luxury movie viewing experience.

She also somehow finds the time to actively serve on both the National and L.A. Boards of the Careers through Culinary Arts Program. (C-CAP.)

The iPic Theaters menu for Westwood even includes Helms Treats. There are premium signature cookies and even frozen novelties!

On the ground floor there is an Italian restaurant (Tanzy) open to the public for lunch and dinner.

Sherry Yard was on hand Sunday, April 25th on Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills to observe the cutting of Chef Donald Wressell’s breathtaking birthday cake for the 100th Anniversary of the City of Beverly Hills. Chef Donald is the corporate chef for Guittard Chocolate Co. Sherry has created incredible desserts for the Oscars and was truly impressed with the incredible results. 15,000 slices of deliciousness were served!

Adding a needed basement to the Helms Bakery (where there was none before) has delayed the project. Sherry is now looking at a 2015 launch.

Jesse Barber of Barnyard VeniceBarnyard Venice (opened in 2012) is a bit of a find housed in an old cottage on Pacific Avenue. It’s rustic and comfortable.

Chef Jesse Barber, an alum of the kitchen at Tasting Kitchen, is the menu-maker. Earlier in his career he worked with Thomas Keller at both The French Laundry and Bouchon. He’s put together an ever changing menu with an emphasis on local ingredients. He’s a regular at the Santa Monica Farmers Markets and that’s the basis for his menu which changes almost daily.

His grilled octopus is a standout.

Ramen Tuesday is at the bar.

Nan KohlerNan Kohler is the Managing Partner of Grist & Toll – An urban Flour Mill in Pasadena. She has extensive background in baking.

Nan discusses her take on celiac disease and the growing need for gluten-free products.

On Sunday, May 4th Chef Bruce Kalman of Pasadena’s Union is cooking a dinner in conjunction with Grist & Toll. Union uses many of their products including their polenta which is a favorite of Chef Jet’s.

Chef Kalman will incorporate Grist & Toll’s whole-grain milled fresh flours into five courses. The price is $85 per guest.

Nan explains how the flours produced by Grist & Toll differ from the commercial enriched flour that goes into plain white bread. A lot of the nutritional value is surprisingly lost with the processing of conventional enriched flour.

Nan is also starting to offer baking classes.

Barbara FairchildIt’s a pleasure to welcome food journalist Barbara Fairchild back to the show. She is an editor, writer, speaker and consultant. She was the long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine before the publication relocated to New York.

Her newest position is Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com.

Based on her recent travels Barbara has restaurant finds for us from both London and Paris.

Yvon Goetz of the Winery Restaurant and BarThe Winery Restaurant & Bar at the District in Tustin has created quite a splash over the last six years. All that was missing was an ocean view.

Newly arrived on the Bay in Newport Beach is the 2nd location for The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar. Partner/ Executive Chef Yvon Goetz is overseeing the kitchen here, too. It’s dinner only at present. Lunch will be coming on the weekends. Chef Yvon is our guest.

The new Winery brings the same distinctive experience as its flagship location in The District in Tustin. This one strives to make the guest feel like they have been transported to a relaxing getaway in Napa or Sonoma. This escape features ocean views from the second-story dining room and breathtaking bar.

The menu here is a bit more seafood centric. Some of the fish (Opah, Ono, and Mahi Mahi) +is flown in from Hawaii daily.

“The major difference with this location will be the stunning views of the waterfront and boat access. We anticipate endless possibilities, with something to suit every palate,” said JC Clow, Managing Partner of The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar. Three private docks are available for guests to arrive via the Marina.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Sherry Yard of iPic Theaters and Helms Bakery Part One
Segment Three: Sherry Yard of iPic Theaters and Helms Bakery Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Jesse Barber of Barnyard Venice
Segment Five: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, Pasadena Part One
Segment Six: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, Pasadena Part Two
Segment Seven: Barbara Fairchild, Restaurant & Travel Editor, grapecollective.com, editor, writer, speaker and consultant
Segment Eight: Chef Yvon Goetz, Chef & Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, Tustin and Newport Beach