Show 277, June 16, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Andrew and William GruelHappy Father’s Day to all our Dads out there (including our Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel who is expecting another Family member to arrive later in the year.)

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

The iconic Test Kitchen located at the historic Los Angeles Times building in Downtown Los Angeles is truly a wonder. It was built, state-of-the-art, in 2000 when that floor was extensively remodeled after the paper’s printing presses were moved to a new production facility on Olympic Blvd. It’s an expansive space steeped in local history. With the consolidation in the media over the years very few newspapers or magazines maintain Test Kitchens. They are costly to operate. Fortunately, the Times’ Test Kitchen endures. The Test Kitchen Director, Noelle Carter, is our enthusiastic guide.

Shrub cocktails (both with alcohol and virgin) are now on the menu at better bars everywhere. Enter Solvang’s CT and Jody Williams who have long been in the beverage industry, both working in the wine industry for the last 15 years and owning their own wine bar (Wandering Dog Wine Bar) for the last eleven of those. After enjoying some shrub cocktails at a local restaurant they started thinking about how fun it would be to start making their own for home consumption. It grew dramatically from there and Broken Clock Vinegar Works Founder CT Williams has all the quaffable 411 for us.

At NZ Wine Navigator (virtual store,) you’ll find the finest selection of artisanal New Zealand wines available in the US delivered right to your door.  Personally selected by Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas (the first MS in New Zealand and the official global ambassador of New Zealand wines), these wines prove that New Zealand is much more than Sauvignon Blanc. Westwood’s Napa Valley Grille is hosting a special NZ Wine Navigator Dinner there on Thursday evening, June 28th. Napa Valley Grille’s General Manager, Brian Cousins, and Executive Chef Kenny Spost pull the cork for us with the tempting specifics.

Nicolas-Jay is a pinot noir venture located in the heart of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Celebrated Burgundian winemaker, Jean-Nicolas Meo of Domaine Meo-Camuzet, and music and media entrepreneur, Jay Boberg, lend their individual talents and shared dedication to the winery, where traditional French winemaking meets quintessential Oregon terroir. Jay Boberg is our guest.

Los Olivos’ The Bear and Star under the culinary direction of Executive Chef John Cox, serves “Refined Ranch Cuisine” with flair inspired by the Parker family at the eponymous Fess Parker Wine Country Inn. The restaurant utilizes proteins and vegetables sourced from the nearby Parker Ranch, an incredible resource. The Bear and Star serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and is both a destination and a favorite of the locals. Chef John (The Cowboy Chef) is our guest.

Chef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of “Ask the Chef.” Swordfish is on a lot of restaurant menus. It’s a big one…When harvested it typically weighs some 200 to 600 pounds but can grow much larger. It’s mild flavor and firm texture makes it a very popular fish. Chef Andrew provides more insight.

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

Play

Show 277, June 16, 2018: Executive Chef John Cox, The Bear and Star, Los Olivos, CA

John CoxLos Olivos’ The Bear and Star under the spirited culinary direction of Executive Chef John Cox, serves “Refined Ranch Cuisine” with flair inspired by the Parker family at the eponymous Fess Parker Wine Country Inn. The restaurant utilizes proteins (think Wagyu beef and lamb) and vegetables sourced from the nearby Parker Ranch, an incredible resource. The Bear and Star serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and is both a destination and a favorite of the wine-loving locals.

“The Bear and Star takes its name from the two states our founder called home – Texas and California – celebrating refined ranch cuisine paired with California’s bounty. The restaurant is intrinsically intertwined with the 714-acre Fess Parker Home Ranch seven miles away where the Wagyu cattle herd are raised and finished with the spent grains and pomace from the family brewery and winery. Also raised on the ranch are chickens, quail, rabbits, pigs and bees along with a number of heirloom fruits and organic vegetables for use at the restaurant.”

Chef John even has an eye-catching test hydroponic garden growing at The Bear & Star.

The Bear and Star’s Executive Chef/Partner John Cox (The Cowboy Chef) joins us with the enticing profile.

Play

June 16: Noelle Carter, Broken Clock Vinegar Works, Napa Valley Grille, Nicolas-Jay, The Bear and Star

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Noelle Carter, Test Kitchen Director, Los Angeles Times Part One
Segment Three: Noelle Carter, Test Kitchen Director, Los Angeles Times Part Two
Segment Four: Charles T. Williams, Master Shrubber, Broken Clock Vinegar Works, Solvang, CA
Segment Five: NZ Wine Navigator Dinner at Napa Valley Grille, Westwood
Segment Six: Jay Boberg, Co-Founder, Nicolas-Jay, Dundee, Oregon
Segment Seven: Executive Chef John Cox, The Bear and Star, Los Olivos, CA
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Oops…Sorry to have missed you last Saturday afternoon following the Angels game. The Angels were unusually in rain delay in Minnesota for four hours from 11:00 a.m. on. At 2:20 p.m. MLB finally determined that the game would start at 3:10 p.m. As we were previously set to go from 3 to 5:00 p.m. (if the Game started @ 11:00 a.m. as planned) that meant we were then preempted. The good news is that all those guests will be on the show in the coming weeks.

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

The iconic Test Kitchen located at the Los Angeles Times building in Downtown Los Angeles is truly a wonder. It was built, state-of-the-art, in 2000 when that floor was extensively remodeled after the paper’s printing presses were moved to a new production facility on Olympic Blvd. It’s an expansive space steeped in local history. With the consolidation in the media over the years very few newspapers or magazines maintain Test Kitchens. They are costly to operate. Fortunately, the Times’ Test Kitchen endures. The Test Kitchen Director, Noelle Carter, is our enthusiastic guide.

Shrub cocktails (both with alcohol and virgin) are now on the menu at better bars everywhere. Enter Solvang’s CT and Jody Williams who have long been in the beverage industry, both working in the wine industry for the last 15 years and owning their own wine bar for the last eleven of those. After enjoying some shrub cocktails at a local restaurant they started thinking about how fun it would be to start making their own for home consumption. It grew dramatically from there and Broken Clock Vinegar Works (Shrubs and Culinary Vinegars) was born. Founder CT Williams has all the quaffable 411 for us.

At NZ Wine Navigator (virtual store,) you’ll find the finest selection of artisanal New Zealand wines available in the US delivered right to your door.  Personally selected by Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas (the first MS in New Zealand and the official global ambassador of New Zealand wines), these wines prove that New Zealand is much more than Sauvignon Blanc. Westwood’s Napa Valley Grille is hosting a special NZ Wine Navigator Dinner there on Thursday evening, June 28th. Napa Valley Grille’s General Manager, Brian Cousins, and Executive Chef Kenny Spost pull the cork for us with the specifics.

Nicolas-Jay is a pinot noir venture located in the heart of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Celebrated Burgundian winemaker, Jean-Nicolas Meo of Domaine Meo-Camuzet, and music and media entrepreneur, Jay Boberg, lend their individual talents and shared dedication to the winery, where traditional French winemaking meets quintessential Oregon terroir. Jay Boberg is our guest.

Los Olivos’ The Bear and Star under the culinary direction of Executive Chef John Cox, serves “Refined Ranch Cuisine” with flair inspired by the Parker family at the eponymous Fess Parker Wine Country Inn. The restaurant utilizes proteins and vegetables sourced from the nearby Parker Ranch, an incredible resource. The Bear and Star serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and is both a destination and a favorite of the locals. Chef John (The Cowboy Chef) is our guest.

Chef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of “Ask the Chef.” Swordfish is on a lot of restaurant menus. It’s a big one…When harvested it typically weighs some 200 to 600 pounds but can grow much larger. It’s mild flavor and firm texture makes it a very popular fish. Chef Andrew provides more insight.

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

Noelle CarterThe iconic Test Kitchen located at the historic Los Angeles Times building in Downtown Los Angeles is truly a wonder. It was built, state-of-the-art, in 2000 when that floor was extensively remodeled after the paper’s printing presses were moved to a new production facility on Olympic Blvd. It’s a space steeped in local history.

With the consolidation in the media over the years very few newspapers or magazines maintain Test Kitchens. They are costly to operate. Fortunately the Times’ Test Kitchen endures.

The Test Kitchen Director, Noelle Carter, is our enthusiastic guide.

Every recipe appearing in The Los Angeles Times is thoroughly tested on home equipment in the Test Kitchen. Famous chefs ranging from Thomas Keller to Nancy Silverton have spent time in there. You’ve also seen the Test Kitchen on the KTLA 5 Morning News during the time Russ Parsons (the previous, long-serving Food Editor) did weekly segments from the facility.

Charles CT WilliamsShrub cocktails (both with alcohol and virgin) are now on the menu at better bars everywhere. Enter Solvang’s CT and Jody Williams who have long been in the beverage industry, both working in the wine industry for the last 15 years and owning their own wine bar for the last eleven of those. In that time, a love of organic gardening has quite literally taken over their backyard and with that a fascination for all things that can be produced from the plethora of fruits, veggies and roots coming out of their soil.

After enjoying some shrub cocktails at a local restaurant they started thinking how fun it would be to start making their own for home consumption. Naturally, that led to the idea to be able to share these fun flavors with other farm-minded people who love the science of infusing and fermentation.

From there Broken Clock Vinegar Works was born, as these drinking vinegars can be enjoyed anytime of day, either with a dash of your favorite spirit or with a glass of sparkling water. The Williams’ daughter, Audrey, enjoys sipping Shrub sodas when she’s feeling fancy! She’s also very helpful at the winery doing punch downs and taste testing new flavors.

The Broken Clock Vinegar Works will debut their Tasting Room on June 23rd. It’s the only certified Winery in Solvang.

Founder CT Williams (and Master Shrubber) has all the quaffable 411 for us.

Brian CousinsAt NZ Wine Navigator (virtual store,) you’ll discover the finest selection of artisanal New Zealand wines available in the US delivered right to your door.  Personally selected by Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas (the first MS in New Zealand and the official global ambassador of New Zealand wines), these wines prove that New Zealand is much more than Sauvignon Blanc.

Westwood’s Napa Valley Grille is hosting a special NZ Wine Navigator Dinner there on Thursday evening, June 28th. Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas (direct from New Zealand) will be attending to present the wines and interact with the guests.

Napa Valley Grille’s General Manager, Brian Cousins, and Executive Chef Kenny Spost pull the cork for us on the specifics.

Jay BobergNicolas-Jay is a pinot noir venture located in the heart of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Celebrated Burgundian winemaker, Jean-Nicolas Meo of Domaine Meo-Camuzet, and music and media entrepreneur, Jay Boberg, lend their individual talents and shared dedication to the winery, where traditional French winemaking meets quintessential Oregon terroir.

Fruit for the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is sourced from almost every AVA in the Willamette Valley, ensuring optimal blending potential and representation of the diversity of pinot noir in the appellation. Unique sites include vineyards located in the high-elevation Eola-Amity Hills, the foothills of the cool coastal range in the McMinnville AVA, the warm red-soiled vineyards of the Dundee Hills and our expressive Bishop Creek Vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. This wine is sourced almost exclusively from biodynamic, organic and LIVE certified vineyards.

“Pinot Noir is my desert island wine,” says Jay Boberg, “and I love the Pinots from Oregon. I’ve been drinking wines from Willamette Valley since 1983. People used to talk about their potential, but now you can taste what that potential has become—earth and elegance.”

In 2012, as Jay was winding down his fulltime role in the music industry, he approached his friend, Jean-Nicolas, with the idea of starting a winery together in Willamette Valley. “Jean-Nicolas and I have been friends since 1988. We share very similar philosophies about life, business, wine and friendship. Nicolas-Jay is about making the very best Pinot Noir we can possibly make.

It is also about building something together that one day we hope our kids will be a part of. When you look at the great domaines of the world, these two ideas go hand in hand.

Jay Boberg is our guest.

John CoxLos Olivos’ The Bear and Star under the spirited culinary direction of Executive Chef John Cox, serves “Refined Ranch Cuisine” with flair inspired by the Parker family at the eponymous Fess Parker Wine Country Inn. The restaurant utilizes proteins (think Wagyu beef and lamb) and vegetables sourced from the nearby Parker Ranch, an incredible resource. The Bear and Star serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and is both a destination and a favorite of the wine-loving locals. Chef John (The Cowboy Chef) is our guest.

“The Bear and Star takes its name from the two states our founder called home – Texas and California – celebrating refined ranch cuisine paired with California’s bounty. The restaurant is intrinsically intertwined with the 714-acre Fess Parker Home Ranch seven miles away where the Wagyu cattle herd are raised and finished with the spent grains and pomace from the family brewery and winery. Also raised on the ranch are chickens, quail, rabbits, pigs and bees along with a number of heirloom fruits and organic vegetables for use at the restaurant.”

The Bear and Star’s Chef/Partner John Cox joins us with the enticing preview.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoChef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of Ask the Chef.”

Swordfish is on a lot of restaurant menus. It’s a big one…When harvested it typically weighs some 200 to 600 pounds but can grow much larger. It’s mild flavor and firm texture makes it a very popular fish. Chef Andrew provides more insight into the possibilities with swordfish.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Noelle Carter, Test Kitchen Director, Los Angeles Times Part One
Segment Three: Noelle Carter, Test Kitchen Director, Los Angeles Times Part Two
Segment Four: Charles T. Williams, Master Shrubber, Broken Clock Vinegar Works, Solvang, CA
Segment Five: NZ Wine Navigator Dinner at Napa Valley Grille, Westwood
Segment Six: Jay Boberg, Co-Founder, Nicolas-Jay, Dundee, Oregon
Segment Seven: Executive Chef John Cox, The Bear and Star, Los Olivos, CA
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Show 261, February 17, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now an appetizing preview of this Saturday’s sinfully tempting show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re always here with you live every Saturday with a fresh show.

Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food is a culinary tour of the original Disneyland park’s six lands packaged in an impressive coffee table-volume. Every attraction has a story, and so do many of the menu items. Disneyland’s food transports us as much as it satiates us, or as Walt declared, “The food is as fabulous as the fun, too.” We’ll meet author Marcy Carriker Smothers.

Los Olivos’ The Bear and Star, serving “Refined Ranch Cuisine” inspired by the Parker family at the eponymous Fess Parker Inn, continues their collaborative Chef’s Table Dinners with Chef Neal Fraser of Los Angeles’ Redbird on Sunday, February 25, 2018. The five-course tasting dinner championing Southern California restaurant talent, staged in the state-of-the-art Chef’s Room, blends products raised on the Parker ranch with inspiration from Los Angeles County. The Bear and Star’s Chef/Partner John Cox joins us with the enticing preview.

Chef/Proprietor Neal Fraser of Redbird then joins us to discuss the intimate Chef’s Table Dinner at Los Olivos’ The Bear and Star on Sunday, February 25th. Chef/Owner Neal Fraser and Owner/Operator Amy Knoll Fraser’s flagship restaurant Redbird features Modern American cuisine that is refined yet approachable and highlights the multi-cultural influences of Fraser’s native city – Los Angeles.

Our always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his “Ask the Chef” series. The New York Times had a thought-provoking piece by food journalist Karen Stabiner on the front page of their dedicated Food Section this week on February 14th. The issue contained in What to do When Laptops & Silence Take Over Your Café” is how does a café that wants to maintain a lively atmosphere handle customers who hang out there all day on their laptops (while buying little food & beverages) and use the establishment as their office. Chef Andrew weighs in on the debate.

New 2018 “Take Amtrak to Solvang” offer nets savings and specials at Hotels, Restaurants, Wine-Tasting, Museums and activities. Known as California’s Denmark, Solvang is 125 miles north of Los Angeles and 300 miles south of San Francisco and served via Amtrak Thruway Bus service connecting to trains from Los Angeles and Santa Barbara as well as San Luis Obispo six times daily (3 northbound, 3 southbound). The Amtrak bus stop is located in the heart of the village at Solvang Park, 1630 Mission Drive—within easy strolling distance to 16 hotels, 35 restaurants, 22 wine-tasting rooms, 150 boutique shops, 5 authentic Danish bakeries, 6 museums and many more activities. Solvang’s Media Relations Director Laura Kath is our guest.

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

Play

Show 261, February 17, 2018: Executive Chef John Cox, The Bear and Star, Los Olivos

John CoxLos Olivos’ The Bear and Star, serving “Refined Ranch Cuisine” inspired by the Parker family at the eponymous Fess Parker Inn, continues their collaborative Chef’s Table Dinners with Chef Neal Fraser of Los Angeles’ Redbird on Sunday, February 25, 2018. The five-course tasting dinner championing Southern California restaurant talent, staged in the state-of-the-art Chef’s Room, blends products raised on the Parker ranch with inspiration from Los Angeles County.

“The Bear and Star takes its name from the two states our founder called home – Texas and California – celebrating refined ranch cuisine paired with California’s bounty. The restaurant is intrinsically intertwined with the 714 -acre Fess Parker Home Ranch seven miles away where the Wagyu cattle herd are raised and finished with the spent grains and pomace from the family brewery and winery. Also raised on the ranch are chickens, quail, rabbits, pigs and bees along with a number of heirloom fruits and organic vegetables for use at the restaurant.”

The Bear and Star’s Chef/Partner John Cox joins us with the enticing preview.

Play

February 17: Marcy Carriker Smothers, John Cox, Neal Fraser, Take Amtrak to Solvang

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Marcy Carriker Smothers, Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food Part One
Segment Three: Marcy Carriker Smothers, Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef John Cox, The Bear and Star, Los Olivos
Segment Five: Chef / Proprietor Neal Fraser, Redbird & Vibiana, Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Six: Chef Andrew Gruel with “Ask the Chef”
Segment Seven: Laura Kath, Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau Part One
Segment Eight: Laura Kath, Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau Part Two

Program Note : For Saturday, February 17th (only) we unusually follow Ducks Hockey at the special time of 3 to 5:00 p.m. Don’t miss us !

Now an appetizing preview of this Saturday’s sinfully tempting show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re always here with you live every Saturday with a fresh show.

Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food is a culinary tour of the original Disneyland park’s six lands packaged in an impressive coffee table-volume. Every attraction has a story, and so do many of the menu items. Disneyland’s food transports us as much as it satiates us, or as Walt declared, “The food is as fabulous as the fun, too.” We’ll meet author Marcy Carriker Smothers.

Los Olivos’ The Bear and Star, serving “Refined Ranch Cuisine” inspired by the Parker family at the eponymous Fess Parker Inn, continues their collaborative Chef’s Table Dinners with Chef Neal Fraser of Los Angeles’ Redbird on Sunday, February 25, 2018. The five-course tasting dinner championing Southern California restaurant talent, staged in the state-of-the-art Chef’s Room, blends products raised on the Parker ranch with inspiration from Los Angeles County. The Bear and Star’s Chef/Partner John Cox joins us with the enticing preview.

Chef/Proprietor Neal Fraser of Redbird then joins us to discuss the intimate Chef’s Table Dinner at Los Olivos’ The Bear and Star on Sunday, February 25th. Chef/Owner Neal Fraser and Owner/Operator Amy Knoll Fraser’s flagship restaurant Redbird features Modern American cuisine that is refined yet approachable and highlights the multi-cultural influences of Fraser’s native city – Los Angeles.

Our always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his “Ask the Chef” series. The New York Times had a thought-provoking piece by food journalist Karen Stabiner on the front page of their dedicated Food Section this week on February 14th. The issue contained in “What to do When Laptops & Silence Take Over Your Café” is how does a café that wants to maintain a lively atmosphere handle customers who hang out there all day on their laptops (while buying little food & beverages) and use the establishment as their office. Chef Andrew weighs in on the debate.

New 2018 “Take Amtrak to Solvang” offer nets savings and specials at Hotels, Restaurants, Wine-Tasting, Museums and activities. Known as California’s Denmark, Solvang is 125 miles north of Los Angeles and 300 miles south of San Francisco and served via Amtrak Thruway Bus service connecting to trains from Los Angeles and Santa Barbara as well as San Luis Obispo six times daily (3 northbound, 3 southbound). The Amtrak bus stop is located in the heart of the village at Solvang Park, 1630 Mission Drive—within easy strolling distance to 16 hotels, 35 restaurants, 22 wine-tasting rooms, 150 boutique shops, 5 authentic Danish bakeries, 6 museums and many more activities. Solvang’s Media Relations Director Laura Kath is our guest.

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

Marcy Carriker SmothersEat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food is a culinary tour of the original Disneyland park’s six lands packaged in an impressive coffee table-volume. Every attraction has a story, and so do many of the menu items. Disneyland’s food transports us as much as it satiates us, or as Walt declared, “The food is as fabulous as the fun, too.”

Two decades before the California food revolution, Walt Disney was planning a revolution of his own. Walt knew that food could be more than nourishment – it could be entertaining, too. The concept of families eating and playing at the same time was an innovation in mid-century America. Food in Disneyland wasn’t gray or humdrum. It was full of fantasy and color!

We’ll meet author Marcy Carriker Smothers.

““Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food gives you a great sense of Walt Disney’s creative journey in designing Disneyland as an immersive experience, in thinking about food as an important part of creating something enjoyable and memorable. It’s a fascinating story, connecting the personal, professional and public sides of Walt Disney’s life: from his simple tastes and down-to-earth home life, to his attention to detail and good quality in everything he touched, to his incredible understanding of storytelling and entertainment as a complete experience.”

“Marcy paints an in-depth picture of the food at the Disney Studios and Disneyland during Walt’s lifetime. Reading it you can imagine what these places were like when they first opened – what it must have been like to see Walt standing in line at the commissary for lunch, or seated at the back table at the Carnation Café. Any Disney fan knows how exciting it is to get to hear a new part of the Disney story. This one is a special treat.” – John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios & Principal Creative Advisor, Walt Disney Imagineering.

John CoxLos Olivos’ The Bear and Star, serving “Refined Ranch Cuisine” inspired by the Parker family at the eponymous Fess Parker Inn, continues their collaborative Chef’s Table Dinners with Chef Neal Fraser of Los Angeles’ Redbird on Sunday, February 25, 2018. The five-course tasting dinner championing Southern California restaurant talent, staged in the state-of-the-art Chef’s Room, blends products raised on the Parker ranch with inspiration from Los Angeles County.

“The Bear and Star takes its name from the two states our founder called home – Texas and California – celebrating refined ranch cuisine paired with California’s bounty. The restaurant is intrinsically intertwined with the 714 -acre Fess Parker Home Ranch seven miles away where the Wagyu cattle herd are raised and finished with the spent grains and pomace from the family brewery and winery. Also raised on the ranch are chickens, quail, rabbits, pigs and bees along with a number of heirloom fruits and organic vegetables for use at the restaurant.”

The Bear and Star’s Chef/Partner John Cox joins us with the enticing preview.

Neal and Amy Knoll FraserLos Olivos’ The Bear and Star, serving “Refined Ranch Cuisine” inspired by the Parker family at the eponymous Fess Parker Inn, continues their collaborative Chef’s Table Dinners with Chef Neal Fraser of Los Angeles’ Redbird on Sunday, February 25, 2018. The five-course tasting dinner championing Southern California restaurant talent, staged in the state-of-the-art Chef’s Room, blends products raised on the Parker ranch with inspiration from Los Angeles County.

Dinner begins with a First Course of Sautéed Abalone with Wild Watercress, Preserved Lemon and Sea Beans; followed by Second Course of Beets from Our Farm with Smoked Garlic and Chanterelle Mushrooms. For the Third Course, guests enjoy Sweet Shrimp and Sea Urchin Risotto with Kuri Squash. Served for the Main Course will be Grilled “Parker Ranch” Wagyu Beef with Kale, Crouton, Snails, Cheese and Red Wine Sauce. The evening is complete with the final Dessert Course – Blackberry, Hazelnuts and Goat Cheese. Wine pairings are available for the dinner by The Bear and Star’s General Manager Robert Williams.

Andrew and William GruelOur always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his Ask the Chef series. The New York Times had a thought-provoking piece by food journalist Karen Stabiner on the Front Page of their Food Section this week on February 14th.

The provocative issue discussed in What to do When Laptops & Silence Take Over Your Café” is how does a café that wants to maintain a lively atmosphere handle customers who hang out there all day on their laptops (while buying little food & beverages) and use the establishment as their office. Chef Andrew weighs in on the hospitality debate.

Interestingly enough L.A. restaurants, including Venice’s Rose Café, are featured in the piece.

Laura Kath of Mariah MarketingNew 2018 Take Amtrak to Solvang” offer nets savings and specials at Hotels, Restaurants, Wine-Tasting, Museums and activities. Known as California’s Denmark, Solvang is 125 miles north of Los Angeles and 300 miles south of San Francisco and served via Amtrak Thruway Bus service connecting to trains from Los Angeles and Santa Barbara as well as San Luis Obispo six times daily (3 northbound, 3 southbound).

The Amtrak bus stop is located in the heart of the village at Solvang Park, 1630 Mission Drive—within easy strolling distance to 16 hotels, 35 restaurants, 22 wine-tasting rooms, 150 boutique shops, 5 authentic Danish bakeries, 6 museums and many more activities.

Solvang’s long-time Media Relations Director Laura Kath is our guest.

Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Tracy Farhad reveals, “Just show your current Amtrak train/bus ticket to Solvang at participating businesses and you’ll enjoy rewards for taking a vacation from your car. It’s so easy to be car free in Solvang year-round and enjoy our warm, Scandinavian hospitality with no passport required!”

 Here are the current participating Solvang businesses in the 2018 “Take Amtrak to Solvang & Show Your Ticket for Specials” offer, valid now through December 31, 2018.

First, be sure to visit the Solvang Visitor Center, 1639 Copenhagen Drive, open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily (behind the Solvang Park bus stop) for FREE 2018 Destination Guide, maps, savings coupons and gift of audio ear buds—perfect for enjoying by downloading the new Solvang Heritage Walking Tour App.

Be sure to check back often since more are being added frequently to this list: Atterdag Inn; Grapeline Wine Tours; Hamlet Inn; Holiday Inn Express; Home Connection; Ingeborg’s Danish Chocolates; King Frederik Inn; Segway Tours of Solvang; Solvang Antiques; Solvang Restaurant; The Good Life Cellar; Wandering Dog Wine Bar; Wheel Fun Rentals and Wildling Museum of Art & Nature.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Marcy Carriker Smothers, Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food Part One
Segment Three: Marcy Carriker Smothers, Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef John Cox, The Bear and Star, Los Olivos
Segment Five: Chef / Proprietor Neal Fraser, Redbird & Vibiana, Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Six: Chef Andrew Gruel with “Ask the Chef”
Segment Seven: Laura Kath, Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau Part One
Segment Eight: Laura Kath, Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau Part Two