Show 240, September 9, 2017: Chef Ivan Calderon, Taco Rosa’s “Battle of the Taquileros” Part Two

Ivan CalderonWith locations in Newport Beach and Irvine, California, Taco Rosa is the upscale, full-service sister restaurant to Taco Mesa. Chef Ivan Calderon’s award-winning menu utilizes sustainable ingredients and artisanal spices brought to life through authentic and contemporary cooking techniques.

Presenting the very best dishes and beverages from a variety of regions throughout Mexico, Taco Rosa takes their commitment to authenticity and sustainability one step further by using GMO-free masa for their corn products and tortillas. For more information, visit the Taco Rosa website.

Ivan Rogelio Calderon is the founder of Taco Mesa, Taco Rosa, and Taco Mesa Tortillería Orgánica & Café. As a third-generation restaurateur, Calderon began his career in the restaurant industry at El Torito Grill as a bus boy in Marina del Rey and as he worked his way through college began to move upward within the company, eventually earning himself a role in management. As a manager, he made it his mission to elevate El Torito’s operating standards. He helped lead the chain in opening several locations across the United States, eventually earning a position as regional manager.

In 1992, he opened the original Taco Mesa in Costa Mesa which garnered him recognition for bringing healthy and authentic, quick-service Mexican cuisine to Orange County. The Taco Mesa brand has expanded to include four locations in Costa Mesa, Mission Viejo, Orange (which he re-opened as his new tortilleria), and Foothill Ranch.

Calderon’s newest concept,Taco Mesa Tortillería Orgánica & Café, produces GMO-free corn masa for all his locations and will soon offer GMO-free tortillas to retailers and other restaurants.

 

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Show 233, July 22, 2017: Restaurateur Don Myers, Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen

Don Myers of Cha Cha's Latin Kitchen in Brea and IrvineBrea’s popular Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen has just opened a second location in The Market Place in Irvine.

“Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen was born out of a love and passion for Latin cuisine…”

“The Latin inspired menu adapts the culinary heritage of Mexico and Latin America to a fresh modern style. In the open kitchen guests can watch savory dishes being prepared in the wood-fired oven, while free-range Jidori chickens roast to perfection and tacos are topped with house-made fire-roasted salsa.”

Their special creation for National Tequila Day (July 24th) is the specialty margarita, the El Palomar. It’s 100 % blue agave tequila, fresh serrano chile, orange liqueur, freshly squeezed lime juice, agave nectar and a float of house-brewed Hibiscus tea.

Proprietor Don Myers (also Brunos Italian Kitchen), a veteran restaurateur, is our in-studio guest.

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Show 225, May 27, 2017: Restaurateur & Artisan Baker Tarit Tanjasiri, Crema Café and Crema Artisan Bakery, Seal Beach and Irvine

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

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

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

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

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Show 225, May 27, 2017: Chef Andrew Gruel’s Tutorial on Pickled Vegetables

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

Our own Chef Andrew offers pickled veggies at his new Butterleaf in Irvine. Pickled veggies are also part of the menus at Two Birds and Slapfish.

We’ll get all the snappy tips and hints from Chef Andrew.

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Show 223, May 13, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a provocative preview of this Saturday’s packed 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…

Andrew and William GruelOur busy Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is on the road this morning at Trade Food Hall in Irvine near John Wayne Orange County Airport. It’s the official Grand Opening. The first 100 fortunate guests in line at the 11:00 a.m. opening got a passport good for generous free tastes at all 9 establishments including Center Hub bar. We’ll catch-up with him by phone.

Valentino, the renowned Santa Monica restaurant by noted Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio that has defined Italian fine dining since its opening in 1972, is hosting a Wine Spectacular Series in May with four dinners (2 remaining on May 19th and 26th) curated by Selvaggio and James Beard Foundation award-winning chef Luciano Pellegrini, who recently returned as the restaurant’s Executive Consulting Chef. The dinners, in partnership with the LA Times Food Bowl, celebrate citywide for the month, feature choice and rare selections from Valentino’s legendary wine cellar.

Sam Fox (Fox Restaurant Group) has been an industry leader since founding his company in 1998 in Phoenix. His uber successful restaurant group boasts nearly 60 locations and 16 unique concepts in nine states. We know him best locally for North Italia, True Food Kitchen and Las Vegas’ Culinary Dropout. Sam is our guest.

The Big Island of Hawaii’s first tree-to-bar chocolate producer is The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory. 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. Founder Pam Cooper joins us.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association has announced details of enhancements and menus from Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine for the 2017 season at the Hollywood Bowl. Building on the success of last summer’s inaugural season with James Beard Award-winning chef Suzanne Goin and business partner restaurateur Caroline Styne of The Lucques Group, and Sodexo Sports & Leisure, Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine promises exceptional dining options for visitors to the iconic venue. Caroline Styne comes backstage with us to share all the appealing updates.

Since 2002 Terry Smith has been the official play-by-play radio voice of the Angels on AM 830 KLAA, the flagship radio home of Angels Baseball. Terry is a foodie and during the season has the special opportunity to be on the road in some of the best dining cities in America. We’ll break bread with Terry Smith and, unusually, talk food and life on the road for six months of the year!

“The Better Burger” is all the buzz right now on restaurant menus but it’s not actually a new innovation. It started in Los Angeles in 1950 on The Sunset Strip with the founding of Harry & Marilyn Lewis’s Hamburger Hamlet. Marilyn passed away recently and we’ll chat about the pioneering legacy of Hamburger Hamlet – “Known for Simply Marvelous Food & Drink.”

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

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Show 223, May 13, 2017: Sam Fox, Fox Restaurant Concepts, Phoenix

Sam FoxSam Fox (Fox Restaurant Group) has been an industry leader since founding his company in 1998 in Phoenix. His uber successful restaurant group boasts nearly 60 locations and 16 unique concepts in nine states. Sam is a nine-time James Beard Foundation Award nominee for Restaurateur of the Year.

We know him best locally for North Italia, True Food Kitchen, Flower Child and Las Vegas’ Culinary Dropout at the Hard Rock Hotel.

“The things that drive Sam are delicious food, amazing design and thoughtful hospitality. A master of details, you’re likely to find Sam snacking on the turkey pastrami sandwich from Culinary Dropout while personally developing the design plan for one of the several new restaurant concepts he’s launching this year. From selecting the perfect furniture fabric on one of his restaurant’s signature patios to determining the exact ratio of spirits in a new craft cocktail, Sam’s powerful attention to detail guides the business. Today, Fox Restaurant Concepts employs more than 6,000 people with plans for significant and strategic growth in years to come.”

A Santa Monica North Italia will debut right after Memorial Day and, just announced, is the 2nd location of Phoenix’s The Henry (“The Greatest Neighborhood Restaurant”) in West Hollywood’s Robertson Plaza located just across Robertson Boulevard from The Ivy for early 2018.

Sam Fox is our guest.

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Show 222, May 6, 2017: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew and William GruelOur 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 Food Hall is next Saturday, May 13th.

The first 100 guests in line at Trade for the Grand Opening at 11:00 a.m. on May 13 get a passport good for a taste of a menu item that day from all 9 restaurants at Trade. Enjoy!

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.

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Show 220, April 22, 2017: Chef Andrew Gruel, Opening Restaurants at Trade, Irvine, CA

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosEver wonder what it really takes to get an eagerly anticipated restaurant open?

For the last year we’ve been patiently following our own, Chef Andrew Gruel’s, progress in opening Two Birds (cluckin’ good chicken done two ways) and Butterleaf (vegetarian food for non-vegetarians) in the new Trade Food Hall in Irvine located near John Wayne Orange County Airport.

At long last they are about ready (subject to final permitting) to begin service. We’ll hear all about it.

Chef Andrew was also on the front page of the Orange County Registers “LifeStyle” Section on Thursday, April 20th talking about his openings at Trade. The feature, with photos, continues on Pages 3 and 6.

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Show 214, March 11, 2017: Evan Rapport, Founder & COO, Evans Brewing Co., Irvine

Evans BrewingEvans Brewing Co. was formed in 2014 when it absorbed the assets of Bayhawk Ales, Inc., Orange County’s oldest operating microbrewery established in 1994 and then became publicly traded.

The production brewery (with new, enhanced equipment) is still based in an unusual space adjacent to McCormick & Schmick’s in Irvine where Bayhawk Ales was originally founded. The brewing process can be observed through floor-to-ceiling windows from the adjacent Pilsner Room at McCormick & Schmicks’s

The new Director of Brewing, Kevin Hammons, has tweaked all the beer recipes. Year-round styles are Chocolatte (Chocolate Porter), The Krhopen (India Pale Ale), Pollen Nation (Honey Blonde), and Oaklore (Brown Ale).

Last December Evans Brewing Co’ launched The Public House in Fullerton, a full-service restaurant and Tasting Room. A 2nd The Public House is slated for 2017 in Huntington Beach.

The menu of elevated from-scratch pub fare was developed by executive chef, Amanda Platt and features dishes that pair well with the company’s craft ales & lagers. Brunch is served on Weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Selections include the signature Sweet Corn Skillet Hoe Cake, with peppers and onions, applewood smoked bacon and honey butter; Fennel Sausage Flatbread with shaved onions, marinara, shredded mozzarella and grated aged parmesan Reggiano; Fried Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich with arugula, manchego, charred cherry tomatoes and buttermilk ranch on a pretzel bun; and Wild Caught Salmon with a creole sauce. Even the vegetarian option is a thoughtful Grilled Portobello Banh Mi Sandwich served with pickled carrots and daikon, cucumbers, jalapenos, fresh herbs and sriracha aioli.

The COO and Founder of Evans Brewing Co., Evan Rapport, joins us with a cold one.

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Show 209, February 4, 2017: Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder & Chief Seafood Officer, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosWe gladly support our active duty service-people. We got a call from an Active-Duty Marine. He requested a primer on cooking duck.

Chef Andrew Gruel to the rescue. He’s about to open Two Birds in Irvine…

Chef Andrew recommends using the Peking Duck characterized for their succulent meat. He has great tips for obtaining that craveable crisp skin. It’s easier to do at home than you think.

Another pro’s tip is cooking the duck upright in the oven so the fat drips down & off the bird.

We aim to please…

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