Show 271, April 28, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

BIg Island Chocolate FestivalIt’s a very special day of pure indulgence on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” We’re coming to you from the 7th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Hapuna Beach ResortThis is our 2nd year of participating.

Hawaii is the only state in the USA where cacao, the primary base of chocolate, can be successfully grown commercially.

Now a properly decadent preview of Saturday’s appropriately sinful show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. Can you ever get enough of premium chocolate? If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing…

We fortunate enough to again have a local celebrity as our Remote Engineer. That’s hard-working, on-air radio personality G. Cruz (“Lunchtime Kalabash”) who is also the Program Director for KWXX-FM, “Feel Good Island Music” on The Big Island. We’ll meet him.

Farsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 7th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.
Tom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our host, the Hapuna Beach Resort, which is just completing a $50 million dollar renovation. By late June it will officially emerge as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. It’s part of the Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii.

Alicia Boada is an acclaimed pastry chef and instructor with 20 plus years of experience in the culinary industry. She is the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate (The Barry Callebaut Group) whose brands include Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa, among more. As a Corporate Pastry Chef & Chocolatier,
Chef Alicia’s role often calls on her to perform demonstrations and training worldwide keeping her on the edge of what’s happening in the contemporary pastry and chocolate world. Chef Alicia will be performing two chocolate culinary demonstration as part of the Festival in addition to judging the Gala’s delicious offerings.

Tattoo Tequila CEO, “Tequila John” Atanasio (a Maui resident) set out 7 years ago with the goal of crafting a “Super Premium Tequila” that would use the highest grade of organic Blue Weber Agave available in the World and to use the best ingredients available to develop “The Champagne of Tequilas.” Tattoo Tequila today has legitimate brand positioning as a leader in the Craft Spirits sector. We’ll meet Tequila John.

Wendle Lesher is the Director of Food and Beverage for Mauna Kea Resort, encompassing all restaurant and banquet staff and food and beverage operations at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection and Hapuna Beach Resort, (emerging in late June as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort). In his role as Mauna Kea Resort Director of Food and Beverage, Lesher is responsible operationally and fiscally for nearly a dozen food and beverage outlets. We’ll chat with Wendle about the intriguing new restaurants at Hapuna including Meridia, Naupaka Beach Grill and Ikena Landing.
Chef Stéphane Tréand debuted, The Pastry School in 2012, in San Clemente. In 2015, he moved his school to Costa Mesa along with his new pâtisserie (pastry) shop, ST Pâtisserie Chocolat, to the oCo Collection!  He wanted people to come and buy pastries, chocolates, viennoiserie (baked goods such as croissants), and gelato/sorbet at his shop. But he also wanted to show others, “you can learn and create beautiful items such as these, right-next-door with me (Chef Stéphane Tréand) as your teacher!” At The Big Island Chocolate Festival Chef Stephane is performing two chocolate culinary demonstrations.
Chef Dayne Tanabe oversees the KPC Restaurant at the Hilton Waikola Village on The Big Island. Chef Dayne was instrumental in repositioning the menu direction for KPC – Kamuela Provision Company, the signature restaurant at Hilton Waikoloa Village. KPC features local Hawaii Island produce, prime steaks and fresh island fish and seafood. As Chef of Restaurants, Dayne now has the added responsibility for overseeing the many dining restaurants at Hilton Waikoloa Village, creating and implementing concept driven menus at Big Island Breakfast, Imari Japanese Izakaya, Lagoon Grill, Orchid Marketplace, Malolo, Boat Landing Cantina and Dona & Toni’s Pizzeria.. Chef Dayne joins us with his award-winning pastry chef, Eddie Enojardo.

Play

Show 271, April 28, 2018: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao Association

Farsheed BonakdarFarsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 7th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts.

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

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

Farsheed is also the principal of Cocoa Outlet.

We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.

Next year’s dates for The Big Island Chocolate Festival are Friday, April 26th and Saturday, April 27th.

Play

April 28: Live from the 2018 Big Island Chocolate Festival

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao Association
Segment Three: Tom Cross, Hotel Manager, Hapuna Beach Resort
Segment Four: Chef Alicia Boada, West Coast Technical Advisor, Barry Callebaut Chocolate
Segment Five: “Tequila John” Atanasio, Tattoo Tequila
Segment Six: Wendle Lesher, Director of Food and Beverage, Mauna Kea Resort
Segment Seven: Robert Durant, Owner & Brewer, Inland Wharf Brewing Co.
Segment Eight: Dayne Tanabe, Chef of Restaurants & Pastry Chef Eddie Enojardo, Hilton Waikola Village

BIg Island Chocolate FestivalIt’s a very special day of pure indulgence on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” We’re coming to you from the 7th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Hapuna Beach Resort. We’re broadcasting from the “The Island Breeze” lounge.

Hawaii is the only state in the USA where cacao, the primary base of chocolate, can be successfully grown commercially.

Now a properly decadent preview of this Saturday’s appropriately sinful 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…

Farsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 7th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.

Tom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our host, the Hapuna Beach Resort, which just completed a $50 million dollar renovation. Within a few weeks it will officially emerge as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. It’s part of the Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii.

Alicia Boada is an acclaimed pastry chef and instructor with 20 plus years of experience in the culinary industry. She is the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate (The Barry Callebaut Group) whose brands include Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa, among more. As a Corporate Pastry Chef & Chocolatier, Chef Alicia’s role often calls on her to perform demonstrations and training worldwide keeping her on the edge of what’s happening in the contemporary pastry and chocolate world. Chef Alicia will be performing two chocolate culinary demonstration as part of the Festival in addition to judging the Gala’s delicious offerings.

Tattoo Tequila CEO, “Tequila John” Atanasio (a Maui resident) set out 7 years ago with the goal of crafting a “Super Premium Tequila” that would use the highest grade of organic Blue Weber Agave available in the World and to use the best ingredients available to develop “The Champagne of Tequilas.” Tattoo Tequila today has legitimate brand positioning as a leader in the Craft Spirits sector. We’ll meet Tequila John.

Wendle Lesher is the Director of Food and Beverage for Mauna Kea Resort, encompassing all restaurant and banquet staff and food and beverage operations at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection and Hapuna Beach Resort, (emerging very soon as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort). In his role as Mauna Kea Resort Director of Food and Beverage, Lesher is responsible operationally and fiscally for nearly a dozen food and beverage outlets. We’ll chat with Wendle about the intriguing new restaurants at Hapuna including Meridia, Naupaka Beach Grill and Ikena Landing.

Chef Stéphane Tréand debuted, The Pastry School in 2012, in San Clemente. In 2015, he moved his school to Costa Mesa along with his new pâtisserie (pastry) shop, ST Pâtisserie Chocolat, to the Soco Collection!  He wanted people to come and buy pastries, chocolates, viennoiserie (baked goods such as croissants), and gelato/sorbet at his shop. But he also wanted to show others, “you can learn and create beautiful items such as these, right-next-door with me (Chef Stéphane Tréand) as your teacher!” At The Big Island Chocolate Festival Chef Stephane is performing two chocolate culinary demonstrations.

Chef Dayne Tanabe oversees the KPC Restaurant at the Hilton Waikola Village on The Big Island. Chef Dayne was instrumental in repositioning the menu direction for KPC – Kamuela Provision Company, the signature restaurant at Hilton Waikoloa Village. KPC features local Hawaii Island produce, prime steaks and fresh island fish and seafood. As Chef of Restaurants, Dayne now has the added responsibility for overseeing the many dining restaurants at Hilton Waikoloa Village, creating and implementing concept driven menus at Big Island Breakfast, Imari Japanese Izakaya, Lagoon Grill, Orchid Marketplace, Malolo, Boat Landing Cantina and Dona & Toni’s Pizzeria. Chef Dayne joins us with his award-winning pastry chef, Eddie Enojardo.

Farsheed BonakdarFarsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 7th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts.

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

We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.

Tom CrossTom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our host, the Hapuna Beach Resort, which just completed a $50 million dollar renovation. Within a few weeks it will emerge as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. It’s part of the magnificent Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii.

The renovation’s highlights include new dining concepts/restaurants Meridia, Naupaka Beach Grill, ‘Ikena Landing and Piko Coffee+Bar; an adults-only pool; and wellness-inspired guest experiences, including a CrossFit studio, Westin Workout, Westin Kids’ Club and Hapuna Spa.

The resort’s indoor/outdoor lobby features a Living Wall vertical garden and interactive guest check-in pods, and its 232 guestrooms and 17 suites will be refurbished with Westin-brand signature room furnishings and fixtures.

Tom Cross joined Hapuna in 2013 and in his role as Hotel Manager, he is responsible for all operating departments within the hotel including rooms, and food and beverage and their overall financial performance.

Prior to his position at Hapuna, Cross served as Resort Manager at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore where he began as Director of Conference Services and Food and Beverage. He was promoted to Director of Operations in 2006 with expanded responsibilities and was named Resort Manager in 2009. Cross has also held management positions at Kona Village Resort, Hawaii Regent Hotel and the Hawaiian Waikiki Beach Hotel.

Alicia BoadaAlicia Boada is an acclaimed pastry chef and instructor with 20 plus years of experience in the culinary industry. She is the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate (The Barry Callebaut Group) whose brands include Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa, among more.

As a Corporate Pastry Chef & Chocolatier, Chef Alicia’s role often calls on her to perform demonstrations and training worldwide keeping her on the edge of what’s happening in the contemporary pastry and chocolate world.

Chef Alicia will be performing two chocolate culinary demonstration as part of the Festival in addition to judging the Gala’s delicious offerings.

Tequila John AtanasioTattoo Tequila CEO, “Tequila John” Atanasio (now a Maui resident) set out 7 years ago with the goal of crafting a “Super Premium Tequila” that would use the highest grade of organic Blue Weber Agave available in the World and to use the best ingredients available to develop “The Champagne of Tequilas.” Tattoo Tequila today has legitimate brand positioning as a leader in the Craft Spirits sector.

Tattoo Tequila has a portfolio of 100% organic Blue Agave based tequila with expressions that include Blanco, Reposado, Añejo and Extra Añejo.

Tequila John is part of the Festival presenting the unexpected “Chocolate & Organic Tequila Pairings” seminar. He’ll demonstrate how different, organic tequilas and uniquely flavored chocolates can tastefully complement each other. We’re all in…

We’ll meet Tequila John.

Wendle LesherWendle Lesher is the Director of Food and Beverage for Mauna Kea Resort, encompassing all restaurant and banquet staff and food and beverage operations at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection and Hapuna Beach Resort, (emerging very soon as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort).

In his role as Mauna Kea Resort Director of Food and Beverage, Lesher is responsible operationally and fiscally for nearly a dozen food and beverage outlets. We’ll chat with Wendle about the intriguing new restaurants at Hapuna including Meridia, Naupaka Beach Grill and Ikena Landing.

Lesher joined Mauna Kea Resort in 2017 having worked since 2013 at The Fairmont Orchid, first as Director of Outlets, then Director of Food and Beverage and later as Director of Operations. Lesher also worked as Restaurant General Manager at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

Stephane TreandChef Stéphane Tréand debuted, The Pastry School in 2012, in San Clemente. In 2015, he moved his school to Costa Mesa along with his new pâtisserie (pastry) shop, ST Pâtisserie Chocolat, to the SoCo Collection!  He wanted people to come and buy pastries, chocolates, viennoiserie (baked goods such as croissants), and gelato/sorbet at his shop. But he also wanted to show others, “you can learn and create beautiful items such as these, right-next-door with me (Chef Stéphane Tréand) as your teacher!”

“Come and learn from M.O.F. Chef Stéphane Tréand, students of all levels can choose from a wide array of subjects and class styles that meet their specific needs. Anyone can take the classes and learn from the master of The Pastry School.”

“Established in 2014, ST Pâtisserie Chocolat is Chef Stéphane Tréand’s premiere pastry shop! Bringing you the highest fashion in modern, Parisian pastry and confections to the wide and eclectic array of shops and wonders in the South Coast Collection (SoCo) and OC Mix shopping center.  ST Pâtisserie Chocolat is filled with delicious delights from pastries to a wide variety in chocolates, even homemade gelato and sorbets you will be sure to take a piece of France home with you.”

At The Big Island Chocolate Festival Chef Stephane is performing two chocolate culinary demonstrations.

Dayne TanabeChef Dayne Tanabe oversees the KPC Restaurant at the Hilton Waikola Village on The Big Island. Chef Dayne was instrumental in repositioning the menu direction for KPC – Kamuela Provision Company, the signature restaurant at Hilton Waikoloa Village. KPC features local Hawaii Island produce, prime steaks and fresh island fish and seafood.

As Chef of Restaurants, Dayne now also has the responsibility for overseeing the many dining restaurants at Hilton Waikoloa Village, creating and implementing concept driven menus at Big Island Breakfast, Imari Japanese Izakaya, Lagoon Grill, Orchid Marketplace, Malolo, Boat Landing Cantina and Dona & Toni’s Pizzeria.

Eddie EnojardoThis talented young chef has had extensive culinary experience previously on Oahu as a sushi chef at Moa Mua Tei, a Sous Chef at Baja Betty’s Southwest Bar & Grill, and Sous Chef at Keoni’s, located in the Outrigger Ohana Waikiki Hotel.

Chef Dayne and his Pastry Chef, Eddie Enojardo, have a long, impressive history of winning awards at the BICF Gala. Last year Chef Dayne took the honors for “Best Savory” item and Pastry Chef Eddie earned the award for “Best Bonbon.” What will this year bring?

Chef Dayne joins us with his award-winning pastry chef, Eddie Enojardo.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao Association
Segment Three: Tom Cross, Hotel Manager, Hapuna Beach Resort
Segment Four: Chef Alicia Boada, West Coast Technical Advisor, Barry Callebaut Chocolate
Segment Five: “Tequila John” Atanasio, Tattoo Tequila
Segment Six: Wendle Lesher, Director of Food and Beverage, Mauna Kea Resort
Segment Seven: Robert Durant, Owner & Brewer, Inland Wharf Brewing Co.
Segment Eight: Dayne Tanabe, Chef of Restaurants & Pastry Chef Eddie Enojardo, Hilton Waikola Village

Show 221, April 29, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Big Island Chocolate FestivalIt’s a very special day of indulgence and celebration on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” We’re live from the 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. We’re broadcasting from the Reef Lounge with an incredible ocean view.

Hawaii is the only state in the USA where cacao, the primary base of chocolate, can be successfully grown commercially.

Now a properly decadent preview of this Saturday’s full 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…

When it comes to insider’s knowledge of the vibrant Chicago food scene one of the best sources is Chicago ABC 7 Eyewitness News Food Reporter, Steve Dolinsky, “The Hungry Hound.” Steve was recently nominated for his potential 14th James Beard Foundation Award for journalistic excellence in reporting. The James Beard Awards Gala is May 1st at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. As a veteran of The James Beard Awards in both New York and Chicago, Steve joins us with a preview of what’s in store and a report on the Media Awards.

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

Hawaii Island native Peter Abarcar, Jr. was promoted in 2015 from executive chef of Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel to director of culinary and beverage operations. Chef Abarcar now oversees all culinary, food and beverage operations at the 350-room oceanfront resort including the resort’s signature restaurant, Coast Grille. He also supervises operations for extensive catering and banquets, the Ocean Terrace Restaurant and The Beach Bar. We pull him out of the busy kitchens and “Talk Story.”

Alicia Boada is an acclaimed pastry chef and instructor with 20 plus years of experience in the culinary industry. She is the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate (The Barry Callebaut Group) whose brands include Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa, among more. As a Corporate Pastry Chef & Chocolatier, Chef Alicia’s role often calls on her to perform demonstrations and training worldwide keeping her on the edge of what’s happening in the contemporary pastry and chocolate world. Chef Alicia will be performing a chocolate demonstration as part of the Festival in addition to judging the Gala’s delicious offerings.

Maui Chef Elizabeth (Betty) McDonald of B3 A Beach Bunny Bakery is a judge for the Gala as well as the College Competition. She is a veteran of The Big Island Chocolate Festival. Chef Betty has been in the culinary field since 2003, developing a love for baking at a young age from her mother and grandmothers. She has been fortunate enough to travel with her husband living and working in the four corners of the country.

Guittard’s Chocolate Company’s Executive Chef and Chocolatier, Donald Wressell, really needs no long introduction to listeners. Prior to his joining Guittard Chocolate as the in-house pastry chef, Donald Wressell spent 19 years at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills where he was named the 2005 Pastry Chef of the Year, won Silver and Gold medals in the Grand Salon Culinaire and placed second at the Les Masters du Chocolat competition. Chef Donald also represented the USA four times in Le Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie and captained the winning team at the 2011 National Pastry Team Championship.

Chef instructor Teresa “Cheech” Shurilla of University of Hawaii – Maui College oversees the college competition at The Big Island Chocolate Festival and has done it for several years. The Festival has had student participants from UH-Maui College, UH-Hilo and UH-Palamanui in Kona. It is Friday, April 28th and winners are announced at the Festival Gala. Chef Shurilla has been working and teaching in the culinary field for over thirty-four years. Prepare to be judged…

Andrew and William GruelChef Andrew Gruel is at Trade in Irvine this Saturday (busily training & cooking) in the soft opening phase of Two Birds and Butterleaf. He’ll happily fly the coop and be back with us next week.

Mahalo nui loa to The Big Island Chocolate Festival, Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel and Prince Resorts Hawaii, our gracious hosts in Hawaii.

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

Play

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

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

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

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

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

We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.

Play

April 29: Live from the Big Island Chocolate Festival

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 Eyewitness News’ (Chicago) – “The Hungry Hound”
Segment Three: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao Association (KCA)
Segment Four: Chef Peter Abarcar Jr., Director of Culinary & Beverage Operations, Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel
Segment Five: Executive Pastry Chef Alicia Boada, West Coast Technical Advisor, Barry Callebaut Chocolate North America
Segment Six: Chef Elizabeth (Betty) McDonald, B3 “A Beach Bunny Bakery”, Maui
Segment Seven: Donald Wressell, Executive Chef, Guittard Chocolate Company
Segment Eight: Chef Instructor Teresa “Cheech” Shurilla, University of Hawaii-Maui College

It’s a very special day of indulgence on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

Big Island Chocolate FestivalWe’re coming to you from the 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. We’re broadcasting from the Reef Lounge with an incredible ocean view.

Hawaii is the only state in the USA where cacao, the primary base of chocolate, can be successfully grown commercially.

Now a properly decadent preview of this Saturday’s full 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…

When it comes to insider’s knowledge of the vibrant Chicago food scene one of the best sources is Chicago ABC 7 Eyewitness News’ Food Reporter, Steve Dolinsky, “The Hungry Hound.” Steve was recently nominated for his potential 14th James Beard Foundation Award for journalistic excellence in reporting. The James Beard Awards Gala is May 1st at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. As a veteran of The James Beard Awards in both New York and Chicago, Steve joins us with a preview of what’s in store and a report on the Media Awards.

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

Hawaii Island native Peter Abarcar, Jr. was promoted in 2015 from executive chef of Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel to director of culinary and beverage operations. Chef Abarcar now oversees all culinary, food and beverage operations at the 350-room oceanfront resort including the resort’s signature restaurant, Coast Grille. He also supervises operations for extensive catering and banquets, the Ocean Terrace Restaurant and The Beach Bar. We’ll pull him out of the busy kitchens and “Talk Story.”

Alicia Boada is an acclaimed pastry chef and instructor with 20 plus years of experience in the culinary industry. She is the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate (The Barry Callebaut Group) whose brands include Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa, among more. As a Corporate Pastry Chef & Chocolatier, Chef Alicia’s role often calls on her to perform demonstrations and training worldwide keeping her on the edge of what’s happening in the contemporary pastry and chocolate world. Chef Alicia will be performing a chocolate demonstration as part of the Festival in addition to judging the Gala’s delicious offerings.

Maui Chef Elizabeth (Betty) McDonald of B3 A Beach Bunny Bakery is a judge for the Gala as well as the College Competition. She is a veteran of The Big Island Chocolate Festival. Chef Betty has been in the culinary field since 2003, developing a love for baking at a young age from her mother and grandmothers. She has been fortunate enough to travel with her husband living and working in the four corners of the country.

Guittard’s Chocolate Company’s Executive Chef and Chocolatier, Donald Wressell, really needs no long introduction to listeners. Prior to his joining Guittard Chocolate as the in-house pastry chef, Donald Wressell spent 19 years at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills where he was named the 2005 Pastry Chef of the Year, won Silver and Gold medals in the Grand Salon Culinaire and placed second at the Les Masters du Chocolat competition. Chef Donald also represented the USA four times in Le Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie and captained the winning team at the 2011 National Pastry Team Championship.

Chef instructor Teresa “Cheech” Shurilla of University of Hawaii – Maui College oversees the college competition at The Big Island Chocolate Festival and has done if for several years. The Festival has had student participants from UH-Maui College, UH-Hilo and UH-Palamanui in Kona. It is Friday, April 28th and winners are announced at the Festival Gala. Chef Shurilla has been working and teaching in the culinary field for over thirty-four years. Prepare to be judged…

Andrew and William GruelChef Andrew Gruel is at Trade in Irvine this Saturday (busily training & cooking) in the soft opening phase of Two Birds and Butterleaf. He’ll happily fly the coop and be back with us next week.

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

Steve Dolinsky and Andreew GruelWhen it comes to insider’s knowledge of the vibrant Chicago food scene one of the best and most reliable sources is Chicago ABC 7 Eyewitness News Food Reporter, Steve Dolinsky, “The Hungry Hound.”

Steve was recently nominated for his potential 14th James Beard Foundation Award for journalistic excellence in reporting. The James Beard Awards Gala is May 1st at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

As a veteran of The James Beard Awards in both New York and Chicago, Steve joins us with a preview of what’s in store and a report on the Media Awards, held on Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers, New York City.

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

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

We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.

Peter Abarcar JuniorHawaii Island native Peter Abarcar, Jr. was promoted in 2015 from executive chef of Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel to director of culinary and beverage operations. Chef Abarcar now oversees all culinary, food and beverage operations at the 350-room oceanfront resort including the resort’s signature restaurant, Coast Grille. He also supervises operations for extensive catering and banquets, the Ocean Terrace Restaurant and The Beach Bar.

Abarcar first began his Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel career as lead cook in 1997. In 2000 he left the Hapuna family to become Executive Chef at the Club at Hokuli’a. Eight years later, Abarcar returned to Mauna Kea Resort to help reopen Mauna Kea Beach Hotel as sous chef, following the hotel’s closure and extensive renovation. In 2010, he was promoted to chef de cuisine at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel’s signature restaurant, Coast Grille. The following year, he was promoted to the position of Executive Chef.

Chef Abarcar enjoys pairing varieties of ethnic flavors from his Hawaii Island upbringing. His keen sense of local produce and seafood paired with his culinary talent and passion for creative food results in exciting tastes on each of the menus at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.

We’ll pull him out of the busy kitchens and “Talk Story.”

Alicia BoadaAlicia Boada is an acclaimed pastry chef and instructor with 20 plus years of experience in the culinary industry. She is the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate, North America (The Barry Callebaut Group) whose brands include Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa, among more.

As a Corporate Pastry Chef & Chocolatier, Chef Alicia’s role often calls on her to perform demonstrations and training worldwide keeping her on the edge of what’s happening in the contemporary pastry and chocolate world.

Chef Alicia will be performing a chocolate demonstration as part of the Festival in addition to judging the Gala’s delicious offerings.

Alicia also serves as President of the Women Chefs & Restaurateurs.

Betty McDonaldMaui Chef Elizabeth (Betty) McDonald of B3 A Beach Bunny Bakery is a judge for the Gala as well as the College Competition. She is a veteran of The Big Island Chocolate Festival. Chef Betty has been in the culinary field since 2003, developing a love for baking at a young age from her mother and grandmothers.

She has been fortunate enough to travel with her husband living and working in the four corners of the country. Growing up in Rhode Island and attending culinary school in Massachusetts cemented her base knowledge and passion for traditional pastries.

Traveling the country and landing in the tropical destination of Maui has blended beautifully with Betty’s pastry skills. The tropical fruits and flavors have really made for an exciting flavor profiles in classic desserts.

Upon moving to Maui, chef Betty became the executive pastry chef for restaurateur Mark Ellman. Betty made her mark on the culinary scene at Mala an Ocean Tavern and Honu Seafood and Pizza, becoming an award-winning pastry chef. As the executive pastry chef for these restaurants Betty was awarded the Star Chef’s Rising Star Award for her desserts with vibrant and bright tropical flavors with gluten free and vegan options.

Chef Betty has continued her rise in the Maui culinary scene. In the summer of 2014 Chef Betty opened B3 “A Beach Bunny Bakery”. Specializing in cakes and cupcakes for all occasions. B3 also bakes fresh and delivers scrumptious desserts to several restaurants and coffee shops on the west side of Maui, most notably Paris Nabavi’s Sangrita Grill and Cantina.

Donald WressellGuittard’s Chocolate Company’s Executive Chef and Chocolatier, Donald Wressell, really needs no long introduction to listeners. Prior to his joining Guittard Chocolate as the in-house pastry chef, Donald Wressell spent 19 years at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills where he was named the 2005 Pastry Chef of the Year, won Silver and Gold medals in the Grand Salon Culinaire and placed second at the Les Masters du Chocolat competition.

Chef Donald also represented the USA four times in Le Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie and captained the winning team at the 2011 National Pastry Team Championship.

In his spare time Chef Donald created the spectacular “Official” Birthday Cakes for the City of Beverly Hills’ Diamond Jubilee (1988) & Centennial (2014) Anniversary celebrations. The Centennial creation yielded 15,000 ample servings and not a crumb was left!

Teresa Cheech ShurillaChef instructor Teresa “Cheech” Shurilla of University of Hawaii – Maui College oversees the college competition at The Big Island Chocolate Festival and has done if for several years. The Festival has had student participants from UH-Maui College, UH-Hilo and UH-Palamanui in Kona.

The college competition is set for Friday, April 28th at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel and winners are announced at the concluding Saturday night Festival Gala. Chef Shurilla has been working and teaching in the culinary field for over thirty-four years. Prepare to be judged…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 Eyewitness News’ (Chicago) – “The Hungry Hound”
Segment Three: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao Association (KCA)
Segment Four: Chef Peter Abarcar Jr., Director of Culinary & Beverage Operations, Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel
Segment Five: Executive Pastry Chef Alicia Boada, West Coast Technical Advisor, Barry Callebaut Chocolate North America
Segment Six: Chef Elizabeth (Betty) McDonald, B3 “A Beach Bunny Bakery”, Maui
Segment Seven: Donald Wressell, Executive Chef, Guittard Chocolate Company
Segment Eight: Chef Instructor Teresa “Cheech” Shurilla, University of Hawaii-Maui College

Show 216, March 25, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a tempting preview of this Saturday’s over-stuffed and richly decadent 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…

Long Beach has its own officially designated Little Cambodia Town. It’s known as the Cambodian capital of the United States. Where do you find “real deal” Cambodian food there? Little Cambodia Town’s Honorary Mayor, Rithy Hahn, and Chef “T” Visoth Ouk are our knowledgeable guides.
Brad Johnson’s & Chef Govind Armstrong’s Post & Beam officially opened in early 2012 on the West side of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza (across the parking lot from the Debbie Allen Dance Academy) in an extensively remodeled, free-standing building with patio which had previously been a Golden Bird Fried Chicken stand. It’s 5 successful years later and we’ll get updates from the principals themselves, Brad & Chef Govind.

One of the most distinctive and personal restaurants in the new wave of Oceanside’s chef-driven establishments is Chef Staci Miller’s The Miller’s Table. It’s very hands-on and intimate with all of 24 seats. Most of the seats are at one, large, square Community Table. We’ll meet the engaging Chef Staci.

A standout product noted by the “SoCal Restaurant Show” at the recently concluded Natural Products Expo West at the Anaheim Convention Center was Regrained – Eat Beer. Regrained crafts supergrain snacks featuring upcycled brewer’s grain “harvested” from urban craft breweries. CEO & Co-Founder Daniel Kurzrock explains all.

Prosecco is on a lot of restaurant by-the-glass menus these days. It’s a common misnomer that it’s Italian sparkling wine. Actually it comes from difference grapes than Champagne and is created using a different process. Also, all Prosecco is not created equal. To bring clarity to the ongoing discussion our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange in Santa Ana, joins us with the needed 411.

The 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival is set for April 28th & 29th at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. “Indulge in the alluring, rich taste of chocolate – in both its sweet and savory forms – while participating in delicious, fun and informative chocolate-themed activities.” Farsheed Bonakdar the President of the Kona Cacao Association (the event’s producer) and Executive Chef Donald Wressell (also an acclaimed chocolatier) of the Guittard Chocolate Company (Burlingame, CA) are with us to preview this weekend of rich chocolate indulgence.

After a decadent afternoon of feasting on March 12th on over 1,500 pounds of heritage breed pork raised on family farms, almost 500 guests gathered with glasses full of festive libations at Viceroy Santa Monica, Official Host Venue. From cooks and guests to winemakers and distillers, all were waiting for Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe to crown Los Angeles’ “Prince of Pork,” bestowing not just the title, but a place in the national finale, Grand Cochon, in October in Chicago. L.A.’s newly crowned “Prince of Pork” chef is our guest.

Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel is flying back from Utah on this Saturday morning. He rejoins us on April 1st, and that’s no April Fools’ joke…

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

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Show 216, March 25, 2017: 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival

Donald WressellThe 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival is set for April 28th & 29th at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. “Indulge in the alluring, rich taste of chocolate – in both its sweet and savory forms – while participating in delicious, fun and informative chocolate-themed activities.”

Farsheed Bonakdar the President of the Kona Cacao Association (the event’s producer) and Executive Chef Donald Wressell (also an acclaimed chocolatier) of the Guittard Chocolate Company are with us to preview this weekend of rich chocolate indulgence with a side of education.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds annually benefit a variety of worthy local non-profits.

“Chocolate has an amazing history and it will be fun to share it at this year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival,” says KCA President Farsheed Bonakdar.

The two-day chocolate extravaganza includes a cacao plantation tour at Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, a college culinary competition and several public foodie and agriculture-themed seminars. Activities culminate 5-9 p.m. Saturday, April 29 with the indoor-outdoor festival gala—enjoy a host of sweet and savory culinary stations presented by top isle chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners. Fun chocolate activities include a live chocolate sculpture and chocolate body painting. Culinary participants will depict this year’s historical theme at their booths and be judged on originality.

Chocolate hails from Meso-America where cacao beans were brewed to make a drink or fermented into an alcoholic beverage. Highly valued, the bean was used as currency. The Mayans and Aztecs believed cacao was divine, including it in rituals. Once fashioned into a bar, chocolate became valued in America. During wartime it was included in soldiers’ rations and went to the moon with the Apollo astronauts.

Play

March 25: Little Cambodia Town, Post and Beam, The Miller’s Table, Regrained Eat Beer, Wine Exchange, Big Kahuna Chocolate Festival, Jonathan Granada

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: “Mayor” Rithy Hahn, Chef “T” Visoth Ouk, Long Beach’s Cambodia Town
Segment Three: Post & Beam, Los Angeles’ Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza
Segment Four: Chef Staci Miller’s The Miller’s Table, Oceanside, CA
Segment Five: Daniel Kurzrock, Chief Grain Officer, Regrained – Eat Beer
Segment Six: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana
Segment Seven: 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival
Segment Eight: LA’s 2017 Prince of Pork – Cochon 555

Now a tempting preview of this Saturday’s over-stuffed 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…

Long Beach has its own officially designated Little Cambodia Town. It’s known as the Cambodian capital of the United States. Where do you find “real deal” Cambodian food there? Little Cambodia Town’s Honorary Mayor, Rithy Hahn, and Chef “T” Visoth Ouk are our knowledgeable guides.

Brad Johnson’s & Chef Govind Armstrong’s Post & Beam officially opened in early 2012 on the West side of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza (across the parking lot from the Debbie Allen Dance Academy) in an extensively remodeled, free-standing building with patio which had previously been a Golden Bird Fried Chicken stand. It’s 5 successful years later and we’ll get updates from the principals themselves, Brad & Chef Govind.

One of the most distinctive and personal restaurants in the new wave of Oceanside’s chef-driven establishments is Chef Staci Miller’s The Miller’s Table. It’s very hands-on and intimate with all of 24 seats. Most of the seats are at one, large Community Table. We’ll meet the engaging Chef Staci.

A standout product noted by the “SoCal Restaurant Show” at the recently concluded Natural Products Expo West at the Anaheim Convention Center was Regrained – Eat Beer. Regrained crafts supergrain snacks featuring upcycled brewer’s grain “harvested” from urban craft breweries. CEO & Co-Founder Daniel Kurzrock explains all.

Prosecco is on a lot of restaurant by-the-glass menus these days. It’s a common misnomer that it’s Italian sparkling wine. Actually it comes from difference grapes than Champagne and is created using a different process. Also, all Prosecco is not created equal. To bring clarity to the ongoing discussion our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange in Santa Ana, joins us with the needed 411.

The 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival is set for April 28th & 29th at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. “Indulge in the alluring, rich taste of chocolate – in both its sweet and savory forms – while participating in delicious, fun and informative chocolate-themed activities.” Farsheed Bonakdar the President of the Kona Cacao Association (the event’s producer) and Executive Chef Donald Wressell (also an acclaimed chocolatier) of the Guittard Chocolate Company are with us to preview this weekend of rich chocolate indulgence.

After a decadent afternoon of feasting on March 12th on over 1,500 pounds of heritage breed pork raised on family farms, almost 500 guests gathered with glasses full of festive libations at Viceroy Santa Monica, Official Host Venue. From cooks and guests to winemakers and distillers, all were waiting for Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe to crown Los Angeles’ “Prince of Pork,” bestowing not just the title, but a place in the national finale, Grand Cochon, in October in Chicago. L.A.’s newly crowned “Prince of Pork” chef is our guest.

Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel is flying back from Utah on this Saturday morning. He rejoins us on April 1st, and that’s no joke…

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

Rithy Hahn, and Chef T Visoth OukLong Beach has its own officially designated Little Cambodia Town. It’s known as the Cambodian capital of the United States. Some 20,000 residents of Long Beach are of Cambodian descent. Long Beach is thought to have the second largest population of Cambodian immigrants outside of Southeast Asia.

The Cambodia Town Culture Festival with lots of food & fun for the whole Family is Sunday, April 2nd from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Cambodian Restaurants we visited (that the locals frequent) in Long Beach include Crystal, Monorom Cambodian Restaurant, Dara Restaurant and Sophy’s – Cambodia Town Food & Music. Some are located just outside of the “official” boundaries of Cambodia Town. All have on-site parking.

Standout dishes to look for range from deep fried whole catfish to salmon salad and lemongrass soup.

Where do you find “real deal” Cambodian food there?

Little Cambodia Town’s Honorary Mayor, Rithy Hahn, and Chef “T” Visoth Ouk are our knowledgeable guides.

Govind Armstrong and Brad JohnsonBrad Johnson’s & Chef Govind Armstrong’s Post & Beam officially opened in early 2012 on the West side of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza (across the parking lot from the Debbie Allen Dance Academy) in an extensively remodeled, free-standing building with patio which had previously been a Golden Bird Fried Chicken stand.

There is a fairly extensive on-site herb garden on the patio with raised beds. One entire wall of the patio is covered with trailing passion fruit vines. The highly perishable fruit is creatively used there seasonally in salad dressings and desserts.

“No stranger to the dining scene in Los Angeles, Brad Johnson’s and Chef Govind Armstrong’s venture, Post & Beam, is intended to bring warm hospitality, exciting, yet approachable cuisine and good times to the surrounding neighborhoods of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. Brad has created memorable places since relocating to California from NYC in 1989. Remember Georgia on Melrose Ave.? That was him, minus some of the gray hair.”

Among Chef Govind’s numerous local credits of note are the fondly remembered Chadwick (Co-Executive Chef) in Beverly Hills and Melrose’s Table 8. He started in the kitchen at Spago at the tender age of 13.

It’s 5 successful years later and we’ll get updates from the principals themselves, Brad & Chef Govind.

Staci MillerOne of the most distinctive and personal restaurants in the new wave of Oceanside’s chef-driven establishments is Chef Staci Miller’s The Miller’s Table. Her beverage goal is to compliment the vibrant Oceanside craft beer scene with her extensive knowledge of fine wine. It’s very hands-on and intimate with all of 24 seats. Most of the seats are at one, large Family Table.

The Miller’s Table is an intimate community experience, with simple, fresh fare, unique wines, craft beers and beverages all brought to a centerpiece of a family table. With all of the fresh produce available in North County, a large portion of Staci Miller’s menu is dedicated to Inspired Vegetables, balanced with Cheese & Charcuterie, and a creative cadre of Sandwiches, all fresh and made in house.

“Of note; our albacore confit tuna and house-made potato chips. With 24 seats, the service is very personal, with no waiters, but rather a culinary team that delivers the food they just prepared. Wine is presented as flights for exploration, with a wine list that changes weekly.”

We’ll meet the passionate Chef Staci.

Daniel KurzrockA standout product noted by the “SoCal Restaurant Show” at the recently concluded Natural Products Expo West at the Anaheim Convention Center was Regrained – Eat Beer. Regrained crafts supergrain snacks featuring upcycled brewer’s grain “harvested” from urban craft breweries. The end result is a whole lot tastier than it perhaps reads…

“When we started homebrewing beer as underage students at UCLA, we certainly did not predict it would lead to this.”

“Here’s what caught us by surprise: with every batch of beer made, we were left with a crazy amount of “used” grain! We understood that the sugar from the grain was somehow being turned into fresh barleypop, but what about the grain? What the heck were we supposed to do with that stuff?? And there was a lot of it!!”

“We didn’t have a compost bin, let alone any farm animals to feed out back of our frathouse homebrewery. So, week after week, vats of oatmeal were tipped into the dumpster. An idea struck. Sure, we didn’t have farm animals, but we had plenty of the next best thing: hungry party animals.”

“So, we set out to bake a sort-of whole grain bread using the leftover grain. We could become the cure for cases of the common drunchies.

After a few months of baking a dozen or so loaves of bread per week between beer making (with some studying in between), a few things became apparent:

  1. People loved our idea. We even developed a contingent of regulars.
  2. Bread was one of many possible applications for reuse of our grain.
  3. Craft beer was continuing to blow up around us. If urban craft breweries shared our sustainability challenge, our idea could be even bigger.

“So, we decided to make a go at a broader business model. ReGrained would not just be a bakery, but more of a go-between the brewing industry and local food systems. It would be both a service provider and a manufacturer. Eventually, we would upcycle all of the grain from every urban brewery in the world!”

“First, we decided, we should start with a product. We liked the bread, but baking it was time consuming, labor intensive, and the shelf-life was short. We needed something more practical.”

“We put our heads (and appetites) together. Jordan’s (Schwartz) crowded apartment kitchen Became our startup’s “garage,” and we developed an evolving recipe of small batch granola bars. Batch after batch we baked until we had something that we believed could have some legs. We believed in our idea, and that if we kept at it, we could turn it into something meaningful.”

“ReGrained has since become a full-time pursuit, and we couldn’t be more excited. We are hard at work every day earnestly growing our bar line, as well as developing other applications for ReGrained grain. We appreciate how far we have been able to take the company from ourcramped UCLA kitchen, but the best is truly yet to come.”

CEO & Co-Founder Daniel Kurzrock explains all.

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeThe delightfully effervescent Prosecco from Italy is on a lot of restaurant by-the-glass menus these days. It’s a common misnomer that it’s Italian sparkling wine. Actually it comes from difference grapes than Champagne and is created using a different, less labor intensive process. Also, all Prosecco is not created equal.

To bring clarity to the ongoing discussion our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange in Santa Ana, joins us with the needed 411.

Also, what sparkling wine and Champagne is now served in by the glass in better restaurants is starting to change. It’s not just presented in a Champagne flute anymore. What’s going on…?

Donald WressellThe 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival is set for April 28th & 29th at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. “Indulge in the alluring, rich taste of chocolate – in both its sweet and savory forms – while participating in delicious, fun and informative chocolate-themed activities.”

Farsheed Bonakdar the President of the Kona Cacao Association (the event’s producer) and Executive Chef Donald Wressell (also an acclaimed chocolatier) of the Guittard Chocolate Company are with us to preview this weekend of rich chocolate indulgence with a side of education.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds annually benefit a variety of worthy local non-profits.

“Chocolate has an amazing history and it will be fun to share it at this year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival,” says KCA President Farsheed Bonakdar.

The two-day chocolate extravaganza includes a cacao plantation tour at Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, a college culinary competition and several public foodie and agriculture-themed seminars. Activities culminate 5-9 p.m. Saturday, April 29 with the indoor-outdoor festival gala—enjoy a host of sweet and savory culinary stations presented by top isle chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners. Fun chocolate activities include a live chocolate sculpture and chocolate body painting.

Culinary participants will depict this year’s historical theme at their booths and be judged on originality.

Chocolate hails from Meso-America where cacao beans were brewed to make a drink or fermented into an alcoholic beverage. Highly valued, the bean was used as currency. The Mayans and Aztecs believed cacao was divine, including it in rituals. Once fashioned into a bar, chocolate became valued in America. During wartime it was included in soldiers’ rations and went to the moon with the Apollo astronauts.

Jonathan GranadaAfter a decadent afternoon of feasting on over 1,500 pounds of heritage breed pork raised on family farms, almost 500 guests gathered with glasses full of everything from Franciacorta and Pinot Noir to Smoked Old-Fashioneds and Angostura Rum Swizzle cocktails at Viceroy Santa Monica, Official Host Venue. From cooks and guests to winemakers and distillers, all were waiting for Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe to crown Los Angeles’ “Prince of Pork,” bestowing not just the title, but a place in the national finale, Grand Cochon, in October in Chicago.

Representing the Berkshire breed of pig raised by Peads & Barnetts, the winner was Chef Jonathan Granada of Otium.

Winning Chef Jonathan’s pig breed from Peads & Barnetts Farm was a Berkshire that yields a brighter pork than most, and features a thick, delicious fat cap. The meat is sweet and creamy with hints of nuttiness, which is a by-product of the finishing process in several areas. These aspects worked in tandem with his six winning menu items, including a Head Cheese; Pork Belly with Feuille de Brick, Stinging Nettle and Caviar; Whipped Lardo with Sea Urchin, Pistachio and Brioche; Pork Shoulder with Artichoke Barigoule and Vin Jaune; a Croquette with Mojo and Potato; and finished with a Cider – Eric Bordelet Poire Granit from France.

A culinary competition featuring 5 chefs cooking 5 whole, heritage breed pigs with innovative flavors and timeless cooking techniques, Cochon555 challenges chefs to use every bit of their accumulated knowledge and inspiration. Each chef is given a 200-220 pound heritage breed pig and tasked to create, prepare and present a “Judge’s Plate” of 6 dishes scored on utilization, global influences, cooking techniques, and overall flavor, among other categories. This year’s experts and celebrity judges included local luminaries Jonathan Gold of Los Angeles Times, Christopher Ford of Beverly Wilshire, Chef Walter Manzke of Republique, Kelly Kang of Viceroy Santa Monica and others.

“The national competition gets more intense and dynamic every year, and the performance of the LA chefs, somms, and barkeeps shows precisely why the city is at the forefront for culinary excellence in this country,” said Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe. “Chef Jonathan’s winning dishes were bold, modern, thoughtful, and full of the kind of flavors that only enhance what heritage breed pigs have to offer. We owe a big thank you to the Viceroy Santa Monica Hotel – the setting was spectacular.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: “Mayor” Rithy Hahn, Chef “T” Visoth Ouk, Long Beach’s Cambodia Town
Segment Three: Post & Beam, Los Angeles’ Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza
Segment Four: Chef Staci Miller’s The Miller’s Table, Oceanside, CA
Segment Five: Daniel Kurzrock, Chief Grain Officer, Regrained – Eat Beer
Segment Six: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana
Segment Seven: 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival
Segment Eight: LA’s 2017 Prince of Pork – Cochon 555

Show 170, May 7, 2016: Guittard Chocolate Company’s Executive Chef, Donald Wressell

Donald WressellThe 5th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival gala is May 14th at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel on the Kohala Coast. Indulge in both savory and sweet temptations prepared by top chefs and chocolatiers while watching award-winning Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Company, sculpt one of the largest volcanoes ever created in fine chocolate. Chef Donald is our guest.

This year’s event theme is “Lavalicious-A Chocolate Salute to the 100th Birthday of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park” and culinary stations will be judged on their depiction of the popular park, plus a host of “best” culinary categories: savory, plated dessert, bon bon, bean-to-bar, Hawaiian cacao and People’s Choice.

More chocolatey fun includes a tasty mole and salad bar, chocolate body painting, live music and dancing, a silent auction, wines, cocktails and handcrafted beer using cacao nibs from Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds benefit the ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Assn./University of Hawai‘i endowment fund for the culinary program at Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and programs at Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

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