Show 235, August 5, 2017: Dominic Palmieri, The Midway Gourmet, OC Fair

Dominic Palmieri of Midway GourmetWe always look forward to sharing with you the new, creative and sometimes outrageous taste sensations at The Orange County Fair on now through August 13th. Selling big from The Midway Gourmet is Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on virtually everything edible including pizza and fresh corn. His unusual nito frozen dessert creations are also the talk of the Fair.

Last year, 50% of Fairgoers surveyed said their favorite part of the Fair is the food. We agree…Fried, sugary or savory – and sometimes all three at once – the delectable edibles are some of the big stars of the OC Fair.

Chef Dominic’s Fair edibles on the RCS Midway just swept the Concessionaires’ Cup 2017 Awards including the recognition for “Best of the Best” single fair food item. We’ll get a mouthwatering update from The Midway Gourmet as the OC Fair enters its concluding week. Additionally Cowboy Kettle Corn’s (on the RCS Midway) Nitro Candy Caramel Popcorn garnered The Gold/Category Winner for “Most Creative.”

We’ll get a mouthwatering update from The Midway Gourmet as the OC Fair enters its concluding week.

If you perhaps missed Chef Dominic at the OC Fair you can still enjoy his pantry of incredible Fair menu creations (both “Hot” & “Cool”) at the LA County Fair in Pomona running from September 1st through 24th.

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Show 190, September 24, 2016: Darrell Corti, Chair, L.A. International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition

Darrell CortiNoted gourmand Darrell Corti of Corti Brothers gourmet grocery and spirit purveyors in Sacramento is the Chairman of the globally respected L.A. International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition. We’ll chat about the Southern Hemisphere tasting and lots more and how the public can sample some of the winning oils during the final Weekend of the L.A. County Fair. TheDailyMeal.com has dubbed him one of the coolest people in food and drink in America.

For the Southern Hemisphere competition 101 oils were evaluated from 45 producers in Australia, New Zealand and South America. The judging yielded 82 awards.

Now in its 17th year, the Los Angeles International Olive Oil Competition is the top ranking EVOO competition in the United States and fifth worldwide. The goal is to bring together the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in awarding medals to the best oils from around the globe.

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Show 183, August 6, 2016: Kyle Meyer, The Wine Exchange, Wine Competitions at County Fairs

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeCoveted Gold Medals won by wines at our area County Fairs used to have a tremendous impact on wine sales. Now, this is much less the case. Our resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange, has his informed perspective.

“As we were drifting through a few reflective moments about where the wine world has been, and where it was going, a question arose. What ever happened to fairs? You know, pig contests, funnel cakes, and wine judgings. As we think back to the early days of Wine Exchange (such as it was), we remember what a big deal fair judgings and gold medals used to be in the scheme of wine marketing. A gold medal at a wine competition like the Orange County Fair, L.A. County Fair, Sonoma Harvest Fair, and the California State Fair were kind of a big deal. Now, not so much. What happened?”

“Well, history happened. Now mind you we speak from a fair bit of experience having been involved with the local fair for nearly a decade and part of a few judging panels as well. Over the years we have been on both sides of the do-these-competitions-matter debate, and can play both sides. But ‘back in the day’, the results of a major competition used to resonate throughout the industry. Now the effect is pretty short term and localized. Why? There are lots of reasons.”

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Show 182, July 30, 2016: LA International Wine Competition

Jim PalmerFor 77 years, the Los Angeles International Wine Competition has showcased the finest domestic and international vintages through a wine-tasting event that is widely considered to be one of the most prestigious in the United States. The winning wines are available for tasting at the upcoming L.A. County Fair.

Malibu winemaker Jim Palmer Vineyards scored an impressive 98 point rating from the judges for his 2014 Pinot Noir earning a Gold Medal. Palmer’s wine bested 3000 plus entries from around the Globe. He’s our guest along with Master Sommelier Michael Jordan, the Competition Chairman.

Judged in May using a point system, the wine competition saw 3,010 international wines tasted. Many varietals and price ranges were represented, with the point system acknowledging each varietal’s special attributes and providing a level of precision in the competition’s wine ranking systems, a benefit for the competition and wine enthusiasts.

Wines were tasted by an international panel comprised of judges ranging from Master Sommeliers to chefs to wine writers. There were a total of 168 Best of Class Awards, 572 Gold Medal Awards, 1,271 Silver Medal Awards and 736 Bronze Medal Awards.

“The wonderful thing about our competition is that you’ll find something for everyone among the winners,” said competition chairman Michael Jordan, Master Sommelier, Certified Wine Educator and director of global key accounts with Jackson Family Fine Wines. “From the complex with a higher-price point for the experienced palate to wonderful lower-price point wines for the novice, our winners represent a variety of wines.”

Jim Palmer points out there is a (not well known) rich history of wine-making in Los Angeles prior to Prohibition (which then put most L.A. wineries out of business.) He recommends the book, Los Angeles Wine: A History from the Mission Era to the Present by Stuart Douglas Byles.

Jim’s current wine releases are available for tasting and purchase at Cornell Winery and Tasting Room on Mulholland Highway in Agoura. You can also find his wines on the lists at Spago Beverly Hills and Bouchon Beverly Hills.

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Show 167, April 9, 2016: Darrell Corti, Corti Brothers, Sacramento & Chair of the L.A. International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition

Darrell CortiNoted gourmand Darrell Corti of Corti Brothers gourmet grocery and spirit purveyors in Sacramento is the Chairman of the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition. We’ll chat about the Best of Show award recipients and lots more about gourmet specialty food with the revered Mr. Corti. TheDailyMeal.com has dubbed him one of the coolest people in food and drink in America.

Now in its 17th year, the Los Angeles International Olive Oil Competition is the top ranking EVOO competition in the United States and fifth worldwide. The goal is to bring together the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in awarding medals to the best oils from around the globe.

The L.A. International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition conducts two judgings a year. Just completed in March was the 2016 Northern Hemisphere Judging.

The overall winner is the Premio Mugelli / Mugelli Award recipient. For 2016 (the 2nd year in a row) it’s Olio di Dievole, Coratina, Robust, from Gaiole in Chianti, Italy. Unfortunately it’s not readily available in the United States. It will be available for tasting (along with the other notable award-winners) at the L.A. County Fair running from September 2nd to September 25th, 2016.

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Show 137, September 5, 2015: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Thanks for sharing your Labor Day Weekend with us!

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

Next a tantalizing preview of Saturday’s festive and appropriately loaded show and not, with apologies, for dieters. With any luck we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

Premium tea is gaining traction at better restaurants everywhere. Steve Schwartz, a Master Tea Blender, is our guest. Steve is serious about tea! He’s the incredibly knowledgeable proprietor of the locally-based, Art of Tea. For starters Art of Tea supplies Bestia, Pizzeria Mozza, Sotto, Son of a Gun, and many more fine restaurants. We’ll also learn about the the intriguing 8 Minute Digital Detox with Tea.”

We last chatted with the Midway Gourmet, Dominic Palmieri, at the beginning of the 125th Anniversary OC Fair. His standout new item at Biggy’s, located on the Midway at The Fair, was as Bacon-Wrapped Pork Belly on a stick. Now it’s on to the L.A. County Fair through Sept. 27th. We’ll find out what’s on the menu for the L.A. County Fair and get the post-Fair results for Orange County’s “One Big Party.”

If you’re a fan of bouillabaisse, the celebrated fresh seafood stew from Provence, then you need to plan your evening at Marche Moderne in South Coast Plaza. Nightly from September 10th through Sunday, September 20th is their annual Bouillabaisse 2015 festival! It’s an occasion worthy of celebration.

After 25 years in business, The Halal Guys are expanding from New York’s City’s most popular food cart to its first West Coast brick-and-mortar fast casual location in Costa Mesa. In New York the cart is famous for “The Never-Ending Line.” Well-known for its gyro sandwiches, chicken-and-rice platters and mystery white sauce, The Halal Guys menu offers a mix of various Middle Eastern dishes. The area franchisee for SoCal, Thomas Pham, joins us.

East Coasters particularly enjoy their clams of which there are two main varieties. You hear Easterners long for Ispswich Belly Clams. There is also the revered white clam pizza to consider. We’ll now get the basics of Clam 411 from our own, and highly knowledgeable, Chef Andrew Gruel. This is no shell game…

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

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Show 137, September 5, 2015: Dominic Palmieri, Midway Gourmet

Dominic Palmieri of Midway GourmetWe last chatted with the Midway Gourmet, Dominic Palmieri, at the beginning of the 125th Anniversary OC Fair. His standout new item at Biggy’s, located on the Midway at The OC Fair was as Bacon-Wrapped Pork Belly on a stick.

Now it’s on to the L.A. County Fair through Sept. 27th. The theme is “Mind Blowing Fun.” We’ll find out what’s on the menu for the L.A. County Fair and get the post-Fair results for Orange County’s One Big Party.”

Look for Biggy’s and Dominic’s other food booths on the RCS Midway located near the Yellow Gate at the L.A. County Fair. He even serves a popular hamburger with a tasty gluten-free bun.

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September 5: Andrew Gruel, Art of Tea, Midway Gourmet, Marche Moderne, Halal Guys

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Steve Schwartz, Master Tea Blender, Art of Tea Part One
Segment Three: Steve Schwartz, Master Tea Blender, Art of Tea Part Two
Segment Four: Dominic Palmieri, Midway Gourmet Part One
Segment Five: Dominic Palmieri, Midway Gourmet Part Two
Segment Six: Chef / Proprietor Florent Marneau, Marche Moderne
Segment Seven: The Halal Guys, Thomas Pham, SoCal Franchisee
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish

Thanks for sharing your Labor Day Weekend with us!

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

Next a tantalizing preview of Saturday’s festive and appropriately loaded show and not, with apologies, for dieters. With any luck we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

Premium tea is gaining traction at better restaurants everywhere. Steve Schwartz, a Master Tea Blender, is our guest. Steve is serious about tea! He’s the incredibly knowledgeable proprietor of the locally-based, Art of Tea. For starters Art of Tea supplies Bestia, Pizzeria Mozza, Sotto, Son of a Gun, and many more fine restaurants. We’ll also learn about the the intriguing “8 Minute Digital Detox with Tea.”

We last chatted with the Midway Gourmet, Dominic Palmieri, at the beginning of the 125th Anniversary OC Fair. His standout new item at Biggy’s, located on the Midway at The Fair, was as Bacon-Wrapped Pork Belly on a stick. Now it’s on to the L.A. County Fair through Sept. 27th. We’ll find out what’s on the menu for the L.A. County Fair and get the post-Fair results for Orange County’s “One Big Party.”

If you’re a fan of bouillabaisse, the celebrated fresh seafood stew from Provence, then you need to plan your evening at Marche Moderne in South Coast Plaza. Nightly from September 10th through Sunday, September 20th is their annual Bouillabaisse 2015 festival! It’s an occasion worthy of celebration.

After 25 years in business, The Halal Guys are expanding from New York’s City’s most popular food cart to its first West Coast brick-and-mortar fast casual location in Costa Mesa. In New York the cart is famous for “The Never-Ending Line.” Well-known for its gyro sandwiches, chicken-and-rice platters and mystery white sauce, The Halal Guys menu offers a mix of various Middle Eastern dishes. The area franchisee for SoCal, Thomas Pham, joins us.

East Coasters particularly enjoy their clams of which there are two main varieties. You hear Easterners long for Ispswich Belly Clams. There is also the revered white clam pizza to consider. We’ll now get the basics of Clam 411 from our own, and highly knowledgeable, Chef Andrew Gruel. This is no shell game…

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

Steve SchwartzPremium tea is gaining traction at the better restaurants everywhere. Steve Schwartz, a Master Tea Blender, is our guest. Steve is serious about tea! He’s the incredibly knowledgeable proprietor of the locally-based, Art of Tea. For starters Art of Tea supplies Bestia, Pizzeria Mozza, Sotto, Son of a Gun, and many more fine restaurants. We’ll also learn about the intriguing 8 Minute Digital Detox with Tea.”

Art of Tea is a tea importer and wholesaler based in Los Angeles. They hand blend and custom craft the world’s finest organic teas and botanicals. The Art of Tea’s products are carefully selected directly from growers, each one offering a unique story.

The seeds that formed the foundation of Art of Tea were first planted in 1996 when Steve Schwartz began his journey of extensive study in preventative medicine at the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico. Since then, Art of Tea has become a leading purveyor of organic and specialty teas. Each year Steve travels extensively, returning with rare and unique teas from around the world.

Steve Schwartz is recognized by many authoritative figures in the tea industry as a Master Tea Blender. He has blended award-winning teas under the Art of Tea brand and his blends have won awards offered under their private label program for tea companies around the world. His drive and passion for expanding people’s knowledge and history of tea is captivating. Steve has lectured sold out tea blending classes for World Tea Conventions and frequently travels to offer educational programs on tea and tea blending.

Through his travels in Asia, India, Africa and the Middle East, Steve and Art of Tea have developed close relationships with farmers and distributors. These personal relationships, a hallmark at Art of Tea, make possible the offering of top tier organic teas and select botanicals, while ensuring that both employees and teas are treated with great respect.

“At Art of Tea, our intensive care program combines aesthetics with passion, flavor and high quality control.”

Art of Tea offers Customized Tea Menus, Retail Teas, Pyramid Tea bag Line, Hospitality Tea Program, Customized Blends, Training and Private Label Programs.

Dominic Palmieri of Midway GourmetWe last chatted with the Midway Gourmet, Dominic Palmieri, at the beginning of the 125th Anniversary OC Fair. His standout new item at Biggy’s, located on the Midway at The OC Fair was as Bacon-Wrapped Pork Belly on a stick.

Now it’s on to the L.A. County Fair through Sept. 27th. The theme is “Mind Blowing Fun.” We’ll find out what’s on the menu for the L.A. County Fair and get the post-Fair results for Orange County’s One Big Party.”

“With my first OC Fair on the books, I fully appreciate all of the hard work that goes into creating this exciting summer tradition for 125 years. From the Deep-Fried Slim Fast Bar to a cattle drive down Harbor Boulevard to the cute piglets and beautiful competitive entries, the OC Fair is an amazing summer tradition that I am proud to have shared with more than one million guests and staff,” said OC Fair & Event Center CEO Kathy Kramer, who was appointed in January.

Biggy’s Meat Market (Dominic Palmieri) sold 2,500 pounds of Bacon-Wrapped Pork Belly skewers wrapped in 1.25 miles of thick-cut honey bacon plus 600 gluten-free burgers and 22,000 pounds of sausage.

Florent and Amelia Marneau of Marche Moderne at South Coast PlazaIf you’re a fan of bouillabaisse, the celebrated fresh seafood stew from Provence, then you need to head over to Marche Moderne in South Coast Plaza. Nightly from September 10th through Sunday, September 20th is their annual Bouillabaisse 2015 festival! It’s an occasion worthy of celebration.

Chef/Proprietor Florent Marneau flies in his fish from the South of France. In the bouillabaisse you’ll see Saint-Pierre, Daurade Royale or Seabream and Rouget or Rascasse. There is also a carefully selected group of Rose wines (available by the glass or bottle) to pair with the bouillabaisse.

Halal GuysAfter 25 years in business, The Halal Guys are expanding from New York’s City’s most popular food cart to its first West Coast brick-and-mortar fast casual location in Costa Mesa. In New York the cart is famous for “The Never-Ending Line.” Well-known for its gyro sandwiches, chicken-and-rice platters and mystery white sauce, The Halal Guys menu offers a mix of various Middle Eastern dishes.

The Halal Guys grew from its humble beginnings as a food cart on the streets of New York City to a global icon known as the largest American halal street food concept in the world. This Manhattan-based landmark was created by three like-minded men from Egypt who came to America in search of a lucrative life.

When Mohamed Abouelenein, Ahmed Elsaka and Abdelbaset Elsayed noticed many Muslim cab drivers in New York were looking for a place to buy meals in Manhattan, they created their first food cart and quickly grew into a leading tourist and native New Yorker destination for American Halal fare.

In 2013, The Halal Guys were ranked the most popular food truck reviewed on FourSquare and the third most Yelped restaurant in the United States in 2014.

The area franchisee for SoCal, Thomas Pham, joins us.

Andrew GruelEast Coasters particularly enjoy their clams of which there are two main varieties. You hear Easterners longing for Ispswich Belly Clams. There is also the revered white clam pizza to consider.

Clams are high in protein with a healthy shot of iron, too.

We’ll now get the basics of Clam 411 from our own, and highly knowledgeable, Chef Andrew Gruel.

This is no shell game…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Steve Schwartz, Master Tea Blender, Art of Tea Part One
Segment Three: Steve Schwartz, Master Tea Blender, Art of Tea Part Two
Segment Four: Dominic Palmieri, Midway Gourmet Part One
Segment Five: Dominic Palmieri, Midway Gourmet Part Two
Segment Six: Chef / Proprietor Florent Marneau, Marche Moderne
Segment Seven: The Halal Guys, Thomas Pham, SoCal Franchisee
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish

Show 136, August 29, 2015: Tara Gomez, GM & Winemaker, Kita Wines

Tara GomezTara Gomez, the Winemaker and General Manager of Kita Wines in Santa Barbara County, is no stranger to the show. Kita, a small premium winery located in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley within the Santa Barbara County AVA, is unusually owned by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. It’s one of the few Indian-owned wineries that is actually managed by the owning Tribe. Tara is a Chumash Tribe member trained in enology at Cal State Fresno.

In 2010, The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians purchased Camp 4 Vineyard and Tara’s dream of giving back to her tribe became true when she was hired as Winemaker. Tara’s understanding of the site, soils and grapes allow her to shepherd the grapes with minimal input into elegant, balanced wines with lower alcohol content.

The word “Kita” means “Our Valley Oak” in the Santa Ynez Chumash native language of Samala.

At the recent Los Angeles International Wine Competition, Kita Wines were awarded 2 Gold Medals, 3 Silver Medals, and 2 Bronze medals. Pretty impressive for a tiny boutique winery with an annual case production of 2,500.

You can taste Kita’s Gold Medal wines at the Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona through September 27th. They are the Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Ynez Valley 2012 and the White Rhone Blend, T’aya, Santa Ynez Valley 2013.

Kita is already harvesting their wine grapes.

They do have a tasting room in Lompoc. It’s a small operation so by appointment only, please.

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