Show 210, February 11, 2017: Show Preview with Andy Harris

9th annual Pechanga Chocolate Decadence and Wine FestivalWe’re live on Saturday from the 9th Annual Pechanga Wine Festival and Chocolate Decadence. It’s a benefit for Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley. A few hundred of the finest vintages from Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Temecula, France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and beyond are available for the tasting. Also on the menu are a variety of impressive tastes from the award-winning chefs of Pechanga Resort & Casino.

Now an enticing preview of this Saturday’s totally decadent show with Co-Host Andy Harris. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a pretty good thing…

Friday, February 10th is Chocolate Decadence at Pechanga. An incredible array of sinful chocolates and pastries are featured from the bakeshops of Pechanga’s Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-Jacques Granet. Chef Jean-Jacques puts down his whisk briefly to join us.

Wilson Creek Winery is a family-owned winery in the heart of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country known for its quality wines and warm hospitality. The winery features a welcoming tasting room, full-service restaurant with vineyard view dining and expansive patio, creek side picnic area, indoor and outdoor conference and event spaces, romantic wedding venue and exclusive retreat accommodations. We’ll uncork it all with Winemaker Gus Vizgirda.

The Great Oak Steakhouse at Pechanga is one of the most highly regarded fine dining restaurants in the Inland Empire. It’s premium seafood, 100 per cent Prime Angus beef, and an exceptional wine cellar to match. The Great Oaks’ Manager, Alex Pena (who started at Pechanga 13 years ago as a server), is our guest.

Pechanga is well along with an ambitious $285 million expansion of the Hotel and all other guest amenities on the property with the exception of the Casino facilities. A new 2,400 space parking garage has just opened as the first part of the enhancements. Pechanga’s Digital Marketing Manager, Sean Macready fills us in.

Chef Marlene Moore is Pechanga’s two-time defending chili champ. She oversees all the food in the always busy Temptations Food Walk, Bingo Hall and the Poker Room. We’ll chat with Chef Marlene about what’s new on her menus.

We love inspirational entrepreneurial food success stories. For Melba Artea (and her husband Steve) of Crown City Toffee it all started with a family recipe for toffee (with chocolate & nuts) and a pressing need to provide more financial resources for her Family. Crown City Toffee is part of the Pechanga Wine Festival. We’ll get the full story on her popular toffee line that started in her home kitchen.

Temecula Valley has become a popular destination for both day visitors and longer stays, too. Temecula-based food, wine & travel journalists, Susan & Todd Montgomery, provide the local perspective. Sue is on the Board of Directors (also the Treasurer) of the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association.

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

Play

Show 210, February 11, 2017: Jean-Jacques Granet, Executive Pastry Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino

Jean Jacques GranetFriday, February 10th is the always incredible Chocolate Decadence at Pechanga. An eye-popping array of truly decadent chocolates and pastries are featured from the bakeshops of Pechanga’s Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-Jacques Granet.

New this year to the dazzling lineup of treats was edible chocolate lipstick presented in a tube!

Jean-Jacques Granet, an acclaimed pastry chef who has worked on three continents, is the Executive Pastry Chef at Pechanga Resort & Casino. After spending nearly 15 years as pastry chef at two of the most prestigious luxury resorts in Las Vegas, Granet is now happy to call Southern California home.

Chef Jean-Jacques arrived at Pechanga in March 2015 and has implemented positive changes to the 22-person in-house bakery and pastry shop. He has changed the lineup of desserts offered at Journey’s End golf course restaurant, The Great Oak Steakhouse, Paisano’s Italian restaurant and Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar.

He’s always working on improvements to the desserts and pastries offered at Blends Coffee & Wine Bar. Ongoing is efforts with each of the 11 dining outlets and banquets departments to fulfill and exceed  guests’ expectations in the sweets’ department. Two new restaurants (including a poolside bar & grill establishment) are on the way which will debut with the major hotel expansion by year’s end.

Chef Jean-Jacques puts down his whisk briefly to join us.

Play

February 11: Live from the Pechanga Chocolate Decadence and Wine Festival

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jean-Jacques Granet, Executive Pastry Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Three: Gus Vizgirda, Winemaker, Wilson Creek Winery
Segment Four: Alex Pena, Manager, Great Oak Steakhouse, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula
Segment Five: Sean Macready, Social Media / Digital Manager, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Six: Chef Marlene Moore, Temptations Food Walk, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Seven: Melba and Steve Artea, Crown City Toffee
Segment Eight: Food, Wine & Travel Journalists, Susan & Todd Montgomerys

9th annual Pechanga Chocolate Decadence and Wine FestivalWe’re live on Saturday from the 9th Annual Pechanga Wine Festival and Chocolate Decadence. It’s a benefit for Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley. A few hundred of the finest vintages from Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Temecula, France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and beyond are available for the tasting. Also on the menu are a variety of impressive tastes from the award-winning chefs of Pechanga Resort & Casino.

Now an enticing preview of this Saturday’s totally decadent show with Co-Host Andy Harris. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a pretty good thing…

Friday, February 10th is Chocolate Decadence at Pechanga. An incredible array of sinful chocolates and pastries are featured from the bakeshops of Pechanga’s Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-Jacques Granet. Chef Jean-Jacques puts down his whisk briefly to join us.

Wilson Creek Winery is a family-owned winery in the heart of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country known for its quality wines and warm hospitality. The winery features a welcoming tasting room, full-service restaurant with vineyard view dining and expansive patio, creek side picnic area, indoor and outdoor conference and event spaces, romantic wedding venue and exclusive retreat accommodations. We’ll uncork it all with Winemaker Gus Vizgirda.

The Great Oak Steakhouse at Pechanga is one of the most highly regarded fine dining restaurants in the Inland Empire. It’s premium seafood, 100 per cent Prime Angus beef, and an exceptional wine cellar to match. The Great Oaks’ Manager, Alex Pena (who started at Pechanga 13 years ago as a server), is our guest.

Pechanga is well along with an ambitious $285 million expansion of the Hotel and all other guest amenities on the property with the exception of the Casino facilities. A new 2,400 space parking garage has just opened as the first part of the enhancements. Pechanga’s Digital Marketing Manager, Sean Macready fills us in.

Chef Marlene Moore is Pechanga’s two-time defending chili champ. She oversees all the food in the always busy Temptations Food Walk, Bingo Hall and the Poker Room. We’ll chat with Chef Marlene about what’s new on her menus.

We love inspirational entrepreneurial food success stories. For Melba Artea of Crown City Toffee it all started with a family recipe for toffee (with chocolate & nuts) and a pressing need to provide more financial resources for her Family. Crown City Toffee is part of the Pechanga Wine Festival. We’ll get the full story on her popular toffee line that started in her home kitchen.

Temecula Valley has become a popular destination for both day visitors and longer stays, too. Temecula-based food, wine & travel journalists, Susan & Todd Montgomery, provide the local perspective. Sue is on the Board of Directors (also the Treasurer) of the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association.

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

Jean Jacques GranetFriday, February 10th is the always incredible Chocolate Decadence at Pechanga. An eye-popping array of truly decadent chocolates and pastries are featured from the bakeshops of Pechanga’s Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-Jacques Granet.

Jean-Jacques Granet, an acclaimed pastry chef who has worked on three continents, is the Executive Pastry Chef at Pechanga Resort & Casino. After spending nearly 15 years as pastry chef at two of the most prestigious luxury resorts in Las Vegas, Granet is now happy to call Southern California home.

Chef Jean-Jacques arrived at Pechanga in March 2015 and has implemented positive changes to the 20-person in-house bakery and pastry shop. He has changed the lineup of desserts offered at Journey’s End golf course restaurant, The Great Oak Steakhouse, Paisano’s Italian restaurant and Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar.

He’s always working on improvements to the desserts and pastries offered at Blends Coffee & Wine Bar. Ongoing is efforts with each of the 11 dining outlets and banquets departments to fulfill and exceed guests’ expectations in the sweets’ department.

Chef Jean-Jacques puts down his whisk briefly to join us.

Gus VizgirdaWilson Creek Winery is a family-owned winery in the heart of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country known for its quality wines and warm hospitality. The winery features a welcoming tasting room, full-service restaurant with vineyard view dining and expansive patio, creek side picnic area, indoor and outdoor conference and event spaces, romantic wedding venue and exclusive retreat accommodations.

“Delightfully referred to as our “extended family,” the Wilson family is proud to have built a community around the sharing of wine, the celebration of family and the passion to enhance the lives of everyone our brand touches.”

Today, Wilson Creek’s 90 acres of old growth vines grace the Temecula Valley hills and produce over 40,000 cases yearly and include several award-winning varietals.  The two large Tuscan-inspired buildings house a unique tasting room, a grand ballroom and elegant restaurant.

Just as founders Gerry and Rosie Wilson wanted a place where family could come together, the winery grounds feature several spaces designed to bring people together including gazebos, a concert stage, outdoor patio dining and, of course, the peaceful sounds of Wilson Creek.

“The dream and vision of Wilson Creek continues to thrive with three generations of Wilsons involved in day-to-day operations, from wine tasting and tours to weddings and corporate events.”

They are known for their celebratory Almond Sparking Wine (which initially put them on the map) and Gus’ White Cabernet Sauvignon.

We’ll uncork it with Winemaker Gus Vizgirda.

Alex PenaThe Great Oak Steakhouse at Pechanga is one of the most highly regarded fine dining restaurants in the Inland Empire. It’s premium seafood, 100 per cent Prime Angus beef, and an exceptional wine cellar to match. It’s a consistent AAA Four-Diamond Award establishment.

“With an outstanding menu created by award-winning head chef Martin Venegas, a visit to Great Oak promises to be memorable on every level. Martin’s philosophy is no secret: find the best product, use the right ingredients, and execute every creation in a way that brings forward the very best of the flavor profile. Taste the art of deep culinary passion at this signature dining destination.”

The Great Oaks’ accomplished Manager, Alex Pena (who started at Pechanga 13 years ago as a server), is our guest.

Sean MacReadyPechanga is well along with an ambitious $285 million expansion of the Hotel and all other guest amenities on the property with the exception of the Casino facilities. A new 2,400 space parking garage has just opened as the first part of the enhancements.

The project involves adding a new, AAA Four Diamond, 568-room and suite hotel wing; a stand-alone luxury two-story spa and salon with 17 treatment rooms, a fitness center and hydrotherapy pool terrace; a resort-style pool complex with eight pool areas; two new restaurants; and an additional 67,000 square feet of event space.

“We estimate the expansion will result in an economic output of over $550 million, generating roughly 2,944 jobs up front as a result of construction-related activities,” said Dr. Christopher Thornberg, Founding Partner of Beacon Economics. “We estimate the local economy will benefit from an additional 560 jobs per year going forward as a result of expanded operations at Pechanga Resort & Casino.”

Pechanga’s Digital Marketing Manager, Sean MacReady fills us in.

Marlene Moore at the Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili CookoffChef Marlene Moore is Pechanga’s two-time chili champ. She oversees the always busy Temptations Food Walk.

Her realm includes Caffee Cocoa – Fine Coffees and Coffee (24 hours), Pronto Italian, Agave Mexican Delights, American Classics (24 hours), Little Wok Asian Specialties, Pechanga Fried Chicken and Banh Mi (made to order) and hot dog carts.

In addition to Temptations Food Walk, Chef Marlene oversees all the food in the long-running Bingo Parlor and bustling Poker Room.

We’ll chat with Chef Marlene about what’s new on her menus.

Melba ArteaWe love inspirational entrepreneurial food success stories. For Melba Artea of Crown City Toffee it all started with a family recipe for toffee (with chocolate & nuts) and a pressing need to provide more financial resources for her Family.

“Our English toffee is made with the freshest ingredients available. It is crispy with a wonderful buttery crunch and topped with a coat of creamy chocolate (milk or dark) with fresh-roasted almonds sprinkled on top.”

“Our Peanut Butter Drizzle is a huge favorite of many of our customers. It’s roasted peanuts topped over melted Peanut Butter Morsels and drizzled with milk chocolate.”

Crown City Toffee is part of the Pechanga Wine Festival. We’ll get the full story from Melba on her popular toffee line that started in her home kitchen. Based on demand they have graduated to producing in a commercial kitchen.

Susan and Todd MontgomeryTemecula Valley has become a popular destination for both day visitors and longer stays, too. In addition to the Pechanga Resort & Casino there are championship golf courses, the magnificent Temecula wine country and the attractions of Old Town Temecula.

Temecula-based food, wine & travel journalists, Susan & Todd Montgomery, join us to provide the local perspective. Sue is on the Board of Directors (also the Treasurer) of the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association. Todd is the duo’s official photographer.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jean-Jacques Granet, Executive Pastry Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Three: Gus Vizgirda, Winemaker, Wilson Creek Winery
Segment Four: Alex Pena, Manager, Great Oak Steakhouse, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula
Segment Five: Sean Macready, Social Media / Digital Manager, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Six: Chef Marlene Moore, Temptations Food Walk, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Seven: Melba and Steve Artea, Crown City Toffee
Segment Eight: Food, Wine & Travel Journalists, Susan & Todd Montgomerys

Show 200, December 3, 2016: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew Gruel and Andy Harris celebrating the fourth anniversary of the SoCal Restaurant Show at SideDoor in Corona del MarWe’re a bit tardy but this Saturday we festively marked the 4th Anniversary of the debut of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” on AM 830 KLAA. Please join us via this podcast as we celebrate with a really big brunch show at SideDoor in Corona del Mar. Do I hear “Green Eggs” & Ham” Benedict” with hash browns and Applewood smoked bacon?

Executive 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 Rams and USC Football, is back as today’s Guest Host. San Clemente is launching next. In May in Chicago during the National Restaurant Association’s annual conclave he received Nation’s Restaurant News’ Trendsetter MenuMaster Award for Slapfish.

On to a tasty preview of this Saturday’s show…

The most eagerly anticipated restaurant opening of the year is the long-in-the-works Farmhouse Café at Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar. The executive chef/proprietor is Rich Mead. Rich is fondly remembered by local foodies for Sage and Sage on the Coast. Rich pops out of the busy Farmhouse kitchen for a bit to join us.

CulinaryLab Contemporary Cooking School in Tustin offers an immersive, hands-on education for all levels of cooks including aspiring chefs, serious home cooks and industry professionals. Chef Director Ryan Wagner, C.E.C. is the founder of the program. We’ll meet him.

Ryan Wilson> is the Vice President and Executive Chef for Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc. the parent company of SideDoor. He represents the 4th generation of Frank/Van de Kamp Family ownership. Executive Chef Ryan is our guest.

Orange County craft beer enthusiasts know Victor Novak as the long-time, acclaimed head brewer of Taps in Brea. He’s also responsible for graciously mentoring many of the prominent young brewers among the new wave of award-winning OC craft breweries. In late 2014 he joined the brewing team at the fast-growing Golden Road Brewing and is now their Brewmaster. Victor is tapping a fresh keg with us.

When it comes to world-class, artisan coffee roasters in Orange County the veteran bean roaster in chief is Martin Diedrich. He grew up on a coffee farm in Guatemala! Martin now oversees busy neighborhood Kean Coffee coffee shops in Tustin and Newport Beach. He joins us.

The innovative cocktail program at SideDoor is an important attraction. New to SideDoor is Lead Barman, Randy Thais. Randy is an adjunct professor by day and a barman by night. He’s crafting something special for us as a guest…

The Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula has a long Holiday tradition of baking and decorating eye-catching gingerbread houses for sale until Christmas to their appreciative guests. Their acclaimed Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-Jacques Granet (he has worked on three continents) joins us with all the sweet details.

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

Show 200, December 3, 2016: Jean-Jacques Granet, Executive Pastry Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula

Jean Jacques GranetThe Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula has a long Holiday tradition of baking and decorating eye-catching gingerbread houses for sale at a very reasonable price until Christmas to their appreciative guests.

“This holiday season, housing starts inside of one southern California casino/resort will more than double after last year’s sales numbers topped expectations. Pechanga Resort & Casino’s in-house bakery team is preparing, constructing and decorating hand-crafted gingerbread houses and offering them to prospective buyers at a nominal cost for home ownership. These units, which may be purchased individually or several at a time to create neighborhood continuity, come fully loaded and turnkey for gift giving, or for hanging onto for one’s own sweet tooth satisfying gratification.”

“Those looking for a brand new gingerbread home can find them in easily accessed locations at the 24-hour Caffe Cocoa inside the popular Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga or at Blends Coffee & Wine Bar just inside the Pechanga Hotel Lobby. Each home features distinct décor and amenities such as hand-drawn insulation (icing) and real curb appeal with colorful holiday sweet treats lining the outside. If buyers are careful transporting the homes, no insurance is required, property tax is waived and goodwill equity can be earned by giving one of the Pechanga gingerbread homes to someone else. These handmade gingerbread houses come in 10-inch by six-inch floor plan for $35. They will be on the market until Christmas, or until all units have been snapped up by buyers.”

The annual Chocolate Decadence Festival is coming up of Friday evening, February 10, 2016.

Pechanga’s acclaimed Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-Jacques Granet (he has worked on three continents) joins us with all the sweet details.

Play

December 3: Our 4th Anniversary Show from Sidedoor Gastropub in Corona del Mar

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Proprietor / Executive Chef Rich Mead, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens
Segment Three: Chef Director Ryan Wagner, CulinaryLab Contemporary Cooking School, Tustin
Segment Four: Ryan Wilson, Vice President and Executive Chef for Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc.
Segment Five: Brewmaster Victor Novak, Golden Road Brewing
Segment SIx: Artisan Coffee Roaster, Martin Diedrich, Kean Coffee
Segment Seven: SideDoor’s Lead Barman, Randy Thais
Segment Eight: Jean-Jacques Granet, Executive Pastry Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula

Entrance to Sidedoor Gastropub in Corona del MarWe’re a bit tardy but this Saturday we’re festively marking the 4th Anniversary of the debut of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” Please join us on the airwaves (or via our live stream) as we celebrate with a really big brunch show at SideDoor in Corona del Mar.

Executive 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 Rams and USC Football, is back as today’s Guest Host. San Clemente is launching next. In May in Chicago during the National Restaurant Association’s annual conclave he received Nation’s Restaurant News’ Trendsetter MenuMaster Award for Slapfish.

On to a tasty preview of Saturday’s show…

The most eagerly anticipated restaurant opening of the year is the long-in-the-works Farmhouse Café at Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar. The executive chef/proprietor is Rich Mead. Rich is fondly remembered by local foodies for Sage and Sage on the Coast. Rich pops out of the busy Farmhouse kitchen for a bit to join us.

CulinaryLab Contemporary Cooking School in Tustin offers an immersive, hands-on education for all levels of cooks including aspiring chefs, serious home cooks and industry professionals. Chef Director Ryan Wagner, C.E.C. is the founder of the program. We’ll meet him.

Ryan Wilson is the Vice President and Executive Chef for Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc. the parent company of SideDoor. He represents the 4th generation of Frank/Van de Kamp Family ownership. Executive Chef Ryan is our guest.

Orange County craft beer enthusiasts know Victor Novak as the long-time, acclaimed head brewer of Taps in Brea. He’s also responsible for graciously mentoring many of the prominent young brewers among the new wave of award-winning OC craft breweries. In late 2014 he joined the brewing team at the fast-growing Golden Road Brewing and is now their brewmaster. Victor is tapping a fresh keg with us.

When it comes to world-class, artisan coffee roasters in Orange County the veteran bean roaster in chief is Martin Diedrich. He grew up on a coffee farm in Guatemala! Martin now oversees busy neighborhood Kean Coffee coffee shops in Tustin and Newport Beach. He joins us.

The innovative cocktail program at SideDoor is an important attraction. New to SideDoor is Lead Barman, Randy Thais. Randy is an adjunct professor by day and a barman by night. He’s crafting something special for us as a guest…

The Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula has a long Holiday tradition of baking and decorating eye-catching gingerbread houses for sale until Christmas to their appreciative guests. Their acclaimed Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-Jacques Granet (he has worked on three continents) joins us with all the sweet details.

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

Rich MeadThe most eagerly anticipated restaurant opening of the year in Orange County is the long-in-the-works Farmhouse Café at Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar. Guests are actually dining in the Roger’s Garden’s lush gardens. Lunch reservations are “fully committed” for the balance of the year. Guests at lunch (without reservations) line-up early (11:00 a.m. or before) to nab one of the “first come, first-served” seats available at the bar.

The executive chef/proprietor is Rich Mead. Rich is fondly remembered by local foodies for Sage and Sage on the Coast. He’s been creatively shopping at the Wednesday morning Santa Monica Farmers Market for fresh, seasonal ingredients long before it was trendy.

Roger’s Gardens and Chef Rich Mead have partnered in establishing a unique and sustainable field-to-fork dining experience at Farmhouse Café located within Roger’s Garden.

Located in the heart of Newport Beach, the Café is nestled on over 6 acres in a garden-like setting. The Farmhouse offers the freshest, locally sourced, seasonal ingredients to create a healthy based cuisine.

On the libation side there is even a signature Farmers Market Cocktail of The Week. The key ingredient is something fresh from the Santa Monica Farmers Market that week.

Chef Rich pops out of the busy Farmhouse kitchen for a brief moment to join us.

Ryan Wagner of CulinaryLabCulinaryLab Contemporary Cooking School in Tustin offers an immersive, hands-on education for all levels of cooks including aspiring chefs, serious home cooks and industry professionals.

“What’s the best way to learn about working in a professional kitchen?  To work in one, of course.  Students who choose our apprenticeship program will have the opportunity to work approximately 1,500 hours as a paid apprentice at one of our partner restaurants, gaining hours of practice and real world experience that is normally reserved for those who have already graduated culinary school.  By reinforcing what they’re learning while simultaneously working in a real professional kitchen, our students are faster, more skilled and better prepared to excel in the foodservice industry.”

“Instead of spending countless hours reading culinary textbooks as homework or sitting through uninspired lectures, our students watch comprehensive video demonstrations and navigate online curriculum.”

“At CulinaryLab we measure our success by how our students perform in the real world.

If they fail, so do we. When they succeed, we do too. We put it all on the line for them.”

– Ryan Wagner, Chef Director

Chef Director Ryan Wagner, C.E.C. is the founder of the program. We’ll meet him.

Ryan WilsonRyan Wilson is the Vice President and Executive Chef for Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc. the parent company of SideDoor and Five Crowns. He represents the 4th generation of Frank/Van de Kamp Family ownership.

Before pursuing his culinary ambitions around the world, Ryan grew up creating dishes for his mother and sister. He officially stepped into the family business in 2002 as the prep cook at the Tam O’Shanter and later transitioned to the Five Crowns kitchen as a line cook. After following culinary opportunities outside the Lawry’s realm, he returned as the opening chef for The Prime Rib restaurants in China and Japan. Stateside, he served as opening chef for Lawry’s Carvery at L.A. Live and in 2008 returned to the Tam O’Shanter as Executive Chef.

During his time at the Tam O’Shanter, Ryan worked closely on the concept and execution for SideDoor in Corona del Mar and later became the Executive Chef for both SideDoor and Five Crowns. In 2014, Ryan assisted in opening the SideDoor gastropub in Chicago and remains focused on providing the highest quality food service available through his corporate and operational roles. Chef Ryan’s responsibilities have grown to include the operational oversight of the six licensed Lawry’s Prime Rib locations in Asia and the future growth of Lawry’s international portfolio.

Executive Chef Ryan Wilson is our guest.

Victor Novak of Taps Fish House and Brewery in BreaOrange County craft beer enthusiasts know Victor Novak as the long-time (15 years), acclaimed head brewer of Taps in Brea. He’s also responsible for graciously mentoring many of the prominent young brewers among the new wave of award-winning OC craft breweries.

In late 2014 he joined the brewing team at the fast-growing Golden Road Brewing and is now their brewmaster.

“In 2011, beer enthusiasts Meg Gill and Tony Yanow founded Golden Road Brewing to bring fresh beer to the local market in the most sustainable way possible.  Golden Road is committed to engaging and supporting the growing community of socially-minded beer enthusiasts.”

“Golden Road’s year-round offerings include Point the Way IPA, Golden Road Hefeweizen, Get Up Offa That Brown and Wolf Among Weeds IPA. Along with the core beers, Golden Road brewers are constantly experimenting with the freshest ingredients through a collection of rotating, seasonal and limited-edition brews including the Custom IPA Series, a line-up of diverse, hop-forward IPAs.”

A new brewery in Anaheim (across E. Orangewood Ave. from the South entrance to Angel Stadium) with a Tasting Room was added this year with a rotating selection of 20 styles on tap. Eventually the evolving facility will include a full-service restaurant.

Head Brewer Victor is tapping a fresh keg with us.

Martin DiedrichWhen it comes to world-class, artisan coffee roasters in Orange County the veteran bean roaster in chief is Martin Diedrich. He grew up on a coffee farm in Guatemala! Martin now oversees busy neighborhood Kean Coffee coffee shops in Tustin and Newport Beach.

“Kéan Coffee™ is the newest, most exciting coffeehouse concept by coffeehouse visionary Martin Diedrich. Our mission is to purvey fresh-roasted artisan coffee the way it is meant to be, in a beautiful, eclectic coffeehouse environment. Martin is craft roasting the finest coffees from around the globe on-site, many organic and fair-trade. This enables us to serve our coffee so fresh, most days it has been roasted within hours of the moment it reaches your cup. Our expertly trained baristas are creating the most innovative, cutting edge coffee beverages to be had.”

“Martin, local coffeehouse pioneer and founder of the Diedrich Coffee chain, left behind the world of corporate culture to return to his origins as an independent coffeehouse operator in order to stay true to his ideals of what a coffeehouse should be and what coffee culture should be.”

“Along with his wife Karen Varese Diedrich, Martin spent two years putting all of his creativity, inspiration and community and global awareness into bringing Kéan Coffee to reality. Martin and Karen Diedrich aptly named this next generation of coffeehouse after their son, Kean.”

Martin joins us.

Randy TheisThe innovative cocktail program at SideDoor is an important attraction. New to SideDoor is Lead Barman, Randy Thais. Randy is an adjunct professor by day and a barman by night.

Now leading the libation charge at SideDoor, Randy’s knowledge of English culture aligns perfectly with the gastropub’s British history and inspiration. His vision is to continue to make SideDoor the ultimate destination for cocktails, and believes that executing an Old Fashioned with precision will lead to a loyal clientele.

One of Randy’s newest creations on the SideDoor cocktail menu is the Ugly Gentleman, also known as “Steve.” Steve is a boozy, long and savory rye cocktail poured over hand-cute ice. The glassware covers a spot of burning maple wood while the cocktail is being prepared, and through science or magic, the smoke rests inside the glass even after the whiskey is poured.

He’s surely crafting something special for us as a guest…

Jean Jacques GranetThe Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula has a long Holiday tradition of baking and decorating eye-catching gingerbread houses for sale at a very reasonable price until Christmas to their appreciative guests.

“This holiday season, housing starts inside of one southern California casino/resort will more than double after last year’s sales numbers topped expectations. Pechanga Resort & Casino’s in-house bakery team is preparing, constructing and decorating hand-crafted gingerbread houses and offering them to prospective buyers at a nominal cost for home ownership. These units, which may be purchased individually or several at a time to create neighborhood continuity, come fully loaded and turnkey for gift giving, or for hanging onto for one’s own sweet tooth satisfying gratification.”

“Those looking for a brand new gingerbread home can find them in easily accessed locations at the 24-hour Caffe Cocoa inside the popular Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga or at Blends Coffee & Wine Bar just inside the Pechanga Hotel Lobby. Each home features distinct décor and amenities such as hand-drawn insulation (icing) and real curb appeal with colorful holiday sweet treats lining the outside. If buyers are careful transporting the homes, no insurance is required, property tax is waived and goodwill equity can be earned by giving one of the Pechanga gingerbread homes to someone else. These handmade gingerbread houses come in 10-inch by six-inch floor plan for $35. They will be on the market until Christmas, or until all units have been snapped up by buyers.”

Pechanga’s acclaimed Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-Jacques Granet (he has worked on three continents) joins us with all the sweet details.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Proprietor / Executive Chef Rich Mead, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens
Segment Three: Chef Director Ryan Wagner, CulinaryLab Contemporary Cooking School, Tustin
Segment Four: Ryan Wilson, Vice President and Executive Chef for Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc.
Segment Five: Brewmaster Victor Novak, Golden Road Brewing
Segment SIx: Artisan Coffee Roaster, Martin Diedrich, Kean Coffee
Segment Seven: SideDoor’s Lead Barman, Randy Thais
Segment Eight: Jean-Jacques Granet, Executive Pastry Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula

Show 158, February 7, 2016: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Guys, Valentine’s Weekend is coming up next Weekend and it’s also Presidents’ Weekend. Make your brunch or dinner plans now to celebrate with that special someone! Lots of tempting options. No excuses…

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, now, Brea, is back as today’s special Guest Host.

Next a tempting preview of Saturday’s crave-worthy and always healthy show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s absolutely a good thing…

Slice Deli and Cakery opened its classic American deli and gourmet bakery last November in Fountain ValleyIt’s an inspiring story of perseverance. Owners John-Michael Sanchez and fiancé Natalie Burke intended to open Slice in January of 2015. But, when Burke was diagnosed with cervical cancer that same month, they were forced to put the project on hold. In July of 2015, Burke had won her battle with cervical cancer and was eager to start working on the restaurant again. Today, Sanchez and a cancer-free Burke proudly present Slice, a single concept with dual identities. John-Michael Sanchez is our guest.

GD Bro began as a culinary passion project for co-founders, Mark Cruz and Kevin Nguyen, who had ambitious and creative ideas for a “new” way to eat burgers. Within a year’s time, as word spread via an organic social media frenzy and growing lines of hungry guests, GD Bro teamed up with Hue Nguyen, current CFO and foodie enthusiast, to expand on GD Bro’s cutting edge brand and style. Co-founder Kevin Nguyen joins us with the juicy details.

TAPS Fish House & Brewery (Brea, Corona & Irvine) has always been known as a pioneer in brewing award-winning craft beer. Recently proprietor Joe Manzella, not one to ever stand still, decided it was time to totally overhaul and elevate his bar program system-wide. Corporate Wine & Spirits Manager, Andrew Aoun has done just that. We’ll chat with him about what it takes to totally revamp a successful bar program.

Hundreds of premium wine varieties, sweet and savory chocolate confections, gourmet food samples from acclaimed Pechanga Resort & Casino restaurants, live music, a silent auction and helping out a good cause are all on the agenda for February 26 and 27 at Pechanga Resort & Casino. Tickets for the 8th annual Chocolate Decadence and Pechanga Wine Festival are on sale now. Proceeds from both events benefit Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley. Pechanga Resort & Casino’s Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-Jacques Granet joins us with all the sweetly decadent details.

Finally we’ll get some thoughts on food trucks from our Co-host, Chef Andrew Gruel.

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

Play

Show 158, February 6, 2016: Jean-Jacques Granet, Executive Pastry Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, CA

Jean Jacques GranetHundreds of premium wine varieties, sweet and savory chocolate confections, gourmet food samples from acclaimed Pechanga Resort & Casino restaurants, live music, a silent auction and helping out a good cause are all on the agenda for February 26 and 27 at Pechanga Resort & Casino. Tickets for the 8th annual Chocolate Decadence and Pechanga Wine Festival are on sale now. Proceeds from both events benefit Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley.

Chocolate Decadence on Friday, February 26 features more than 30 premium wine varietals that have been shown to masterfully partner with chocolate and other sweet desserts. The event runs from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and is $55 per person. Tickets include a souvenir wine glass, unlimited two ounce samples of wine and spirits, chocolate and confection tasting, live music and silent auction. VIP tickets are $75 and include early entry at 5:30 p.m., upgraded souvenir wine glass, fruit and cheese plates, passed hors d’oeurves, as well as all inclusions of general admission tickets.

Wine enthusiasts can sip and explore new selections at the 8th annual Pechanga Wine Festival from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 27. Tickets for this unforgettable event are $65 and include a souvenir wine glass, unlimited two ounce samples of wine and spirits, gourmet food and dessert samples from Pechanga’s acclaimed chefs, as well as others in the Temecula Valley, live music and silent auction. VIP tickets are $85 and include early entry at 12:00 p.m., upgraded souvenir wine glass, as well as all inclusions of the general admission tickets.

Pechanga Resort & Casino’s Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-Jacques Granet joins us with all the sweetly decadent details.

Play

February 6: Slice Deli and Cakery, GD Bro, TAPS Fish House & Brewery, Pechanga Chocolate Decadence

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: John-Michael Sanchez, Slice Deli & Cakery, Fountain Valley
Segment Three: Kevin Nguyen, Co-Founder/Partner, GD Bro Part One
Segment Four: Kevin Nguyen, Co-Founder/Partner, GD Bro Part Two
Segment Five: Andrew Aoun, Corporate Wine & Spirits Manager, Taps Fish House & Brewery, The Catch and Lillie’s Q Part One
Segment Six: Andrew Aoun, Corporate Wine & Spirits Manager, Taps Fish House & Brewery, The Catch and Lillie’s Q Part Two
Segment Seven: Jean-Jacques Granet, Executive Pastry Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, CA
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, now, Brea, is back as today’s special Guest Host.

Next a tempting preview of Saturday’s crave-worthy and always healthy show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s absolutely a good thing…

Slice Deli and Cakery opened its classic American deli and gourmet bakery last November in Fountain ValleyIt’s an inspiring story of perseverance. Owners John-Michael Sanchez and fiancé Natalie Burke intended to open Slice in January of 2015. But, when Burke was diagnosed with cervical cancer that same month, they were forced to put the project on hold. In July of 2015, Burke had won her battle with cervical cancer and was eager to start working on the restaurant again. Today, Sanchez and a cancer-free Burke proudly present Slice, a single concept with dual identities. John-Michael Sanchez is our guest.

GD Bro began as a culinary passion project for co-founders, Mark Cruz and Kevin Nguyen, who had ambitious and creative ideas for a “new” way to eat burgers. Within a year’s time, as word spread via an organic social media frenzy and growing lines of hungry guests, GD Bro teamed up with Hue Nguyen, current CFO and foodie enthusiast, to expand on GD Bro’s cutting edge brand and style. Co-founder Kevin Nguyen joins us with the hot & juicy details.

TAPS Fish House & Brewery (Brea, Corona & Irvine) has always been known as a pioneer in brewing award-winning craft beer. Recently proprietor Joe Manzella, not one to ever stand still, decided it was time to totally overhaul and elevate his bar program system-wide. Corporate Wine & Spirits Manager, Andrew Aoun has done just that. We’ll chat with him about what it takes to totally revamp a successful bar program.

Hundreds of premium wine varieties, sweet and savory chocolate confections, gourmet food samples from acclaimed Pechanga Resort & Casino restaurants, live music, a silent auction and helping out a good cause are all on the agenda for February 26 and 27 at Pechanga Resort & Casino. Tickets for the 8th annual Chocolate Decadence and Pechanga Wine Festival are on sale now. Proceeds from both events benefit Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley. Pechanga Resort & Casino’s Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-Jacques Granet joins us with all the sweetly decadent details.

Finally we’ll get some thoughts from our Co-host, Chef Andrew Gruel.

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

John Michael SanchezSlice Deli and Cakery opened its classic American deli and gourmet bakery last November in Fountain ValleyIt’s an inspiring story of perseverance. Owners John-Michael Sanchez and fiancé Natalie Burke intended to open Slice in January of 2015. But, when Burke was diagnosed with cervical cancer that same month, they were forced to put the project on hold. In July of 2015, Burke had won her battle with cervical cancer and was eager to start working on the restaurant again. Today, Sanchez and a cancer-free Burke proudly present Slice, a single concept with dual identities.

“Sometimes you get where you need to be by losing everything,” comments Burke, who says Slice gave her hope and something to look forward to during her battle with cancer. “I refused to lose sight of our dream. Seeing a finished Slice reminds me of what I’ve overcome and all I have to be thankful for.”

Prior to her battle with cancer, Burke owned a successful custom cake business. Much like the savory items at Slice, the cakes are prepared using traditional European methods; artfully crafted from whole ingredients. The Cakery features her signature cakes served by the slice daily. Guests are also able to order customized cakes for weddings and other celebrations. The Cakery also features classic scratch-made pastries and fresh breads baked in-house daily by seasoned pastry chef, Aldo Mendiola.

The kitchen at Slice is helmed by Executive Chef Julio de Leon who focuses on classic American cooking highlighted with superior ingredients. His dishes feature humanely raised meats, locally sourced produce, and house-made ingredients. From breads to spreads, everything at Slice is made in-house daily.

The Deli offers house-cured meats complemented with artisanal cheeses, sliced to order. Menu highlights include premium deli sandwiches like The Cuban with mojo pulled pork, stout mustard, Black Forest ham, Emmenthaler Swiss, and house pickles on house-baked bread.

In the evenings, the menu transforms to offer dishes prepared with a focus on traditional techniques. Highlights include a Porchetta Roast which features a crisped pork belly wrapped around a juicy pork loin slow-roasted for two days. Quality, house-made ingredients take center stage with dishes like the Lamb T-Bone prepared with garam masala, stout demi-glace, and mint gremolata. Slice also features a rotating selection of 20 beer taps with an emphasis on Orange County-based breweries as well as regional wines from the West Coast.

John-Michael Sanchez is our guest

Kevin Bobby NguyenSince opening in early 2013, GD Bro has been favorably mentioned among the best of the best in local, regional, national media outlets and online Food Bloggers .

GD Bro also premiered on Season 6 of the FOOD NETWORK’s Great Food Truck Race taking a nail- biting third place spot.

Now known for their inventive and light-hearted approach to cooking, GD Bro is consistently challenging the traditional concept of a “burger” by selecting new and uniquely blended ingredients that surprise and delight the foodie traditionalists and culinary thrill-seekers alike. GD Bro not only takes pride in delivering a consistent signature product but more importantly, they believe both great service and above and beyond hospitality from their caring, gracious, hip and outgoing staff distinguishes them from their competitors.

GD Bro followers have an “emotional” attachment to the brand and feel like they are part of a family backyard BBQ atmosphere.

The original brick- and- mortar location is in Santa Ana and newly opened in Signal Hill.

Andrew AnunTAPS Fish House & Brewery (Brea, Corona & Irvine) has always been known as a pioneer in brewing award-winning craft beer. Recently proprietor Joe Manzanella, not one to stand still, decided it was time to totally overhaul and elevate his bar program system-wide.

Corporate Wine & Spirits Manager, Andrew Aoun has done just that. We’ll chat with him about what it takes to totally revamp a successful bar program. The relaunch is in place at Taps Fish House & Brewery. The Catch, and Lillie’s Q.

Taps is known for their long-history of brewing award -winning craft beers but they also want to elevate the rest of their bar program. There is a new emphasis on freshness and quality ingredients.

All mixers and juices are prepared fresh. Even the Grenadine is made in-house. There is a big difference in flavor.

The everyday well spirits have been elevated, too. No low end spirits in the well. All premium labels.

A new cocktail is the Pineapple Under The Sea. It’s made with Absolut Elyx Vodka and Corruba Coconut Rum. It’s served in an eye-catching copper Pineapple. Going to be hard to hang on to those.

The show-stopper is the Lime In The Coconut with Corruba Coconut Rum and Selvarey Cocoa Rum. It’s prepared tableside in dramatic fashion. It’s frozen “Mad Scientist”-style with liquid nitrogen and served in a coconut shell.

Jean Jacques Granetundreds of premium wine varieties, sweet and savory chocolate confections, gourmet food samples from acclaimed Pechanga Resort & Casino restaurants, live music, a silent auction and helping out a good cause are all on the agenda for February 26 and 27 at Pechanga Resort & Casino. Tickets for the 8th annual Chocolate Decadence and Pechanga Wine Festival are on sale now. Proceeds from both events benefit Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley.

Chocolate Decadence on Friday, February 26 features more than 30 premium wine varietals that have been shown to masterfully partner with chocolate and other sweet desserts. The event runs from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and is $55 per person. Tickets include a souvenir wine glass, unlimited two ounce samples of wine and spirits, chocolate and confection tasting, live music and silent auction. VIP tickets are $75 and include early entry at 5:30 p.m., upgraded souvenir wine glass, fruit and cheese plates, passed hors d’oeurves, as well as all inclusions of general admission tickets.

Wine enthusiasts can sip and explore new selections at the 8th annual Pechanga Wine Festival from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 27. Tickets for this unforgettable event are $65 and include a souvenir wine glass, unlimited two ounce samples of wine and spirits, gourmet food and dessert samples from Pechanga’s acclaimed chefs, as well as others in the Temecula Valley, live music and silent auction. VIP tickets are $85 and include early entry at 12:00 p.m., upgraded souvenir wine glass, as well as all inclusions of the general admission tickets.

Pechanga Resort & Casino’s Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-Jacques Granet joins us with all the sweetly decadent details.

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamFinally a chance to catch-up with our esteemed Co-host Chef Andrew Gruel. Chef Andrew is always the source of quality information with keen insight. Are gourmet food trucks still a viable business in Southern California ? We’ll ask Chef Andrew to weigh-in.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: John-Michael Sanchez, Slice Deli & Cakery, Fountain Valley
Segment Three: Kevin Nguyen, Co-Founder/Partner, GD Bro Part One
Segment Four: Kevin Nguyen, Co-Founder/Partner, GD Bro Part Two
Segment Five: Andrew Aoun, Corporate Wine & Spirits Manager, Taps Fish House & Brewery, The Catch and Lillie’s Q Part One
Segment Six: Andrew Aoun, Corporate Wine & Spirits Manager, Taps Fish House & Brewery, The Catch and Lillie’s Q Part Two
Segment Seven: Jean-Jacques Granet, Executive Pastry Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, CA
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group