Show 180, July 16, 2016: Chef Eric Samaniego, Chef de Cuisine, Michael’s On Naples, Long Beach

Eric SamaniegoChef Eric Samaniego (Bravo TV’s “Best New Restaurant“), formerly of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana, has joined Michael’s On Naples in Long Beach as the award-winning restaurant’s chef de cuisine.

In addition to changes in the kitchen, Michael’s on Naples is experiencing an aesthetic transformation as well. The restaurant’s rooftop terrace has been under construction as it undergoes a major expansion and renovation. The Rooftop (opens July 20th) will now have its own kitchen along with a separate menu featuring more casual fare and shareable plates.

The main floor’s menu will focus on the nightly changing Chef’s Tasting Menu and the five-course Pasta Tasting. The Michael’s on Naples tradition of suggesting inspired wine and food pairings will continue.

Chef Samaniego, who began his career working for the late Charlie Trotter in Chicago, joined Michael’s On Naples in April working under the tutelage of former Corporate Executive Chef David Coleman. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Samaniego is a native of Southern California with his formative years spent in the Central Valley. His culinary credits include a seven-year stint with David Myers working at the high profile Sona and Comme Ca (both now closed) in Los Angeles.

Chef Eric Samaniego joins us.

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Show 140, October 3, 2015: 100eats.com and Foodbeast’s Ooze Fest

Foodbeast OozefestWe’re celebrating American Cheese Month with the World’s Tallest Cheese Stack (hopefully) as part of the inaugural Ooze Fest on October 10th. Bobby Navarro’s 100eats Team has partnered with Foodbeast to create a stream of unique and creative events with (promised) never seen before activations and food items unique to Ooze Fest.

The debut of 20 original cheese dishes from energized area restaurants will be on the tasting menu including creations from SOCIAL Costa Mesa (Best New Restaurant at The Golden Foodies,) Chef Andrew Gruel’s Slapfish (Lobster Marscapone Beignets,) Little Sparrow, Blackmarket Bakery and Grits Fullerton. A variety of craft beers will be there on-tap to quench the thirst of all melted cheese-lovers.

“Ooze Fest. Where the cheese drools as much as the people who are anxiously waiting to eat. The national food publication, Foodbeast, is bringing record breaking, heart burn amounts of cheese at Ooze Fest, a cheese festival located in Santa Ana.”

Foodbeast.com is working toward the goal of making internet food a reality to their legion of fans, and the local community. Nguyen Tran of Starry Kitchen and the new Button Mash in LA is coming to OC to host. Tran will rally the crowd and share about the cheese love.

Standard and VIP tickets include all-you-can-eat-and-drink food and beer. Cheers! Nosh on one of a kind, never before seen fare, brought to you by local restaurants that love cheese just as much as you do. VIP tickets include early admittance to the event, along with a t-shirt and a commemorative glass.

The standard ticket is 50 dollars and VIP is 75 dollars. The event is broken up into two sessions, first session is from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. and second session is from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. (VIP’s enjoy 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. respectively). Early birds in the first session get the glory of seeing the world’s tallest grilled cheese stack first ever attempt.  The second session will feature the Famous Eaters Grilled Cheese Eating Competition and the award for best cheese item of the festival.

 

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Show 120, May 2, 2015: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and, now, Newport Beach is today’s special Guest Host. His new restaurant makeover series on FYI, “Say it to My Face,” launches Saturday evening, May 9th at 10:00 p.m. on FYI.

Now a preview of today’s satisfyingly overstuffed show.

The Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC) announces its next Los Angeles seminar, “Vive l’Aperitif! An Invitation to Preprandial Drinking,” Monday, May 11th, 2015 at one of L.A.’s happening restaurants, Scopa Italian Roots in Venice. Sampling of classic aperitifs is on the menu. It’s all in celebration of National Aperitif Day. Scopa’s Steve Livigni and MOTAC’s Philip Dobard join us to explain what an aperitif is and how it fits into a modern cocktail program.

When two highly regarded young chefs get together for a collaborative dinner that’s a recipe for true dining excitement! On Tuesday, May 12th, Chef Eric Samaniego of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana and Chef Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria at SoCo in Costa Mesa will partner up for a special chefs collaboration event, Little Maria. The five-course dinner will be hosted at Little Sparrow, featuring dishes that motivate both chefs to break out of their comfort zones. Little Sparrow’s Chef Eric Samaniego is our guest with all the tantalizing 411.

Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan oversees the high-end Leatherby’s Café Rouge at the striking Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa. It’s part of the prominent Patina Restaurant Group. Unusually it’s only available for dining on performance nights. Fortunately it’s not a stripped-down pre-theater, “get ‘em out fast” approach. It’s leisurely fine-dining that’s part of the evening’s show experience. Chef Pangilinan joins us to explain his novel “meal and a performance” approach to fine-dining.

Daniel Minjares, a senior restaurant manager at The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon in Anaheim, has recently assumed an additional role as mixologist for the restaurant. Minjares, a Southern California native, and a 33 year restaurant veteran was the beverage manager at SkyCity Restaurant at the Seattle Space Needle prior to joining The Ranch team three years ago. Currently, he is combining the unique offerings of the restaurant’s heirloom vegetable farm in creating farm-to-glass cocktails, complimenting the restaurants’ seasonally driven menu.

Pastry Chef Mariah Swan of BLD in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles is no stranger to listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

Her latest, long-in-the-works venture, is ICDC (Ice Cream, Doughnuts and Coffee) located next door to BLD on Beverly Blvd. The sweets menu changes daily. Swan created the popular Doughnut Shoppe Wednesdays at BLD. Look for her signature butterscotch doughnut.

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

 

Play

Show 120, May 2, 2015: Chef Eric Samaniego and “Little Maria” Evening

Eric SamaniegoWhen two highly regarded young chefs get together for a collaborative dinner that’s a recipe for true dining excitement! On Tuesday, May 12th, Chef Eric Samaniego of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana and Chef Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria at SoCo in Costa Mesa will partner up for a special chef collaboration event, Little Maria. The five-course dinner will be hosted at Little Sparrow, featuring dishes that motivate both chefs to break out of their comfort zones.

“Guests can expect the unexpected” Samaniego said. “This has been in the works for a long time and Carlos and I are excited it’s finally happening.”

The Little Maria dinner features two seatings, at 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., priced at $85 per person with an optional $30 wine pairing. Tickets must be purchased in advance. To maintain the element of suspense the menu will not be revealed until a few days before the dinner.

Later this Summer there will be an encore “Little Maria” evening at Taco Mario with a completely different menu.

Both Chef Samaniego and Salgado have made a huge impact on the Orange County culinary scene in the past year. Little Sparrow recently had their debut on Season One of Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant” series hosted by Chef Tom Colicchio while Chef Salgado was recognized by Food & Wine magazine as one of the “Best New Chefs of 2015.”

Little Sparrow’s Chef Eric Samaniego is our guest with all the tantalizing 411.

Play

May 2: Philip Dobard, Scopa Italian Roots, Eric Samaniego, Ross Pangilinan, The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon, Mariah Swan

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: MOTAC’s Philip Dobard and Scopa’s Steve Livigni
Segment Three: Chef Eric Samaniego and “Little Maria” Evening
Segment Four: Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan, Leatherby’s Café Rouge
Segment Five: Mixologist Dan Minjares, The Ranch Restaurant, Anaheim Part One
Segment Six: Mixologist Dan Minjares, The Ranch Restaurant, Anaheim Part Two
Segment Seven: Pastry Chef Mariah Swan, ICDC, Los Angeles’ Fairfax District Part One
Segment Eight: Pastry Chef Mariah Swan, ICDC, Los Angeles’ Fairfax District Part Two

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

Now a preview of today’s satisfyingly overstuffed show.

The Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC) announces its next Los Angeles seminar, “Vive l’Aperitif! An Invitation to Preprandial Drinking,” Monday, May 11th, 2015 at one of L.A.’s hottest restaurants, Scopa Italian Roots in Venice. Sampling of classic aperitifs is on the menu. It’s all in celebration of National Aperitif Day. Scopa’s Steve Livigni and MOTAC’s Philip Dobard join us to explain what an aperitif is and how it fits into a contemporary cocktail program.

When two highly regarded young chefs get together for a collaborative dinner that’s a recipe for true dining excitement! On Tuesday, May 12th, Chef Eric Samaniego of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana and Chef Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria at SoCo in Costa Mesa will partner up for a special chef collaboration event, Little Maria. The five-course dinner will be hosted at Little Sparrow, featuring dishes that motivate both chefs to break out of their comfort zones. Little Sparrow’s Chef Eric Samaniego is our guest with all the tantalizing 411.

Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan oversees the high-end Leatherby’s Café Rouge at the striking Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa. It’s part of the prominent Patina Restaurant Group. Unusually it’s only available for dining on performance nights. Fortunately it’s not a stripped-down pre-theater, “get ‘em out fast” approach. It’s leisurely fine-dining with flair that’s part of the show experience. Chef Pangilinan joins us to explain his novel “meal and a performance” approach to fine-dining.

Daniel Minjares, a senior restaurant manager at The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon in Anaheim, has recently assumed an additional role as mixologist for the restaurant. Minjares, a Southern California native, and a 33 year restaurant veteran was the beverage manager at SkyCity Restaurant at the Seattle Space Needle in Seattle prior to joining The Ranch team three years ago. Currently, he is combining the unique offerings of the restaurant’s heirloom vegetable farm in creating farm-to-glass cocktails, complimenting the restaurants’ seasonally driven menu.

Pastry Chef Mariah Swan of BLD in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles is no stranger to listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

Her latest, long-in-the-works venture, is ICDC (Ice Cream, Doughnuts and Coffee) located next door to BLD on Beverly Blvd. The menu changes daily. Swan created the popular Doughnut Shoppe Wednesdays at BLD. Look for her signature butterscotch doughnut.

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

Steve LivigniThe Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC) announces its next Los Angeles seminar, “Vive l’Aperitif! An Invitation to Preprandial Drinking,” Monday, May 11th, 2015 at one of L.A.’s hottest restaurants, Scopa Italian Roots in Venice. Sampling of classic aperitifs is on the menu. It’s all in celebration of National Aperitif Day.

Ever wonder what distinguishes an aperitif from a digestif ? And what their culinary function is? Well, celebrate National Aperitif Day with The Museum of the American Cocktail and wonder no more. Celebrated mixologists and restaurateurs Steve Livigni & Pablo Moix lead participants on a tasting tour of aperitifs both common and rare, neat and cocktailed. Guests will learn what they need to know to select and appreciate a fine before-dinner drink and enjoy innovative takes on Italian classics from “Top Chef” star Chef Antonia Lofaso (who is a co-owner.)

Scopa’s Steve Livigni and MOTAC’s Philip Dobard join us to explain what an aperitif is and how it fits into a contemporary cocktail program.

Eric SamaniegoWhen two highly regarded young chefs get together for a collaborative dinner that’s a recipe for true dining excitement! On Tuesday, May 12th, Chef Eric Samaniego of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana and Chef Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria at SoCo in Costa Mesa will partner up for a special chef collaboration event, Little Maria. The five-course dinner will be hosted at Little Sparrow, featuring dishes that motivate both chefs to break out of their comfort zones.

“Guests can expect the unexpected” Samaniego said. “This has been in the works for a long time and Carlos and I are excited it’s finally happening.”

The Little Maria dinner features two seatings, at 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., priced at $85 per person with an optional $30 wine pairing. Tickets must be purchased in advance. To maintain the element of suspense the menu will not be revealed until a few days before the dinner.

Both Chef Samaniego and Salgado have made a huge impact on the Orange County culinary scene in the past year. Little Sparrow recently had their debut on Season One of Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant” series hosted by Chef Tom Colicchio while Chef Salgado was recognized by Food & Wine magazine as one of the “Best New Chefs of 2015.”

Little Sparrow’s Chef Eric Samaniego is our guest with all the tantalizing 411.

Ross PangilinanFor over five years Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan has overseen the high-end Leatherby’s Café Rouge at the striking Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa. It’s part of the prominent Patina Restaurant Group. Unusually it’s only available for dining on performance nights. Fortunately it’s not a stripped-down pre-theater, “get ‘em out fast” approach. It’s leisurely fine-dining that’s part of the full show experience.

Currently the creative pre-theater menus are the continuation of their Broadway-themed menus. They take inspiration from the music and characters of the running shows. Pangilinan and team transport patrons into the world of highly acclaimed theatrical performances through carefully crafted three-course menus that pay tribute to each cherished tale.

June showcases a Broadway jukebox musical, Motown, with dishes such as Motown Sound featuring Smoked and Grilled Pork Porterhouse, Lobster Mac and Cheese, Roasted Vegetables, and Rosemary Jus.

Chef Pangilinan joins us to explain his novel “meal and a performance” approach to creative fine-dining.

Dan MinjaresDaniel Minjares, a senior restaurant manager at The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon in Anaheim, has recently assumed an additional role as mixologist for the restaurant.

Minjares, a Southern Califorenia native, and a 33 year restaurant veteran was the beverage manager at SkyCity Restaurant at the Seattle Space Needle in Seattle prior to joining The Ranch team three years ago. Currently, he is combining the unique offerings of the restaurant’s heirloom vegetable farm in creating farm-to-glass cocktails, complimenting the restaurants’ seasonally driven menu.

The Edwards Ranch Estates heirloom vegetable farm is located on Ranch Owner, Andrew Edwards’s private property and is where a portion of the produce is grown that supplies the restaurant’s menu. The farm supports Executive Chef Michael Rossi’s vision of a seasonally driven menu and provides Rossi the creative freedom and flexibility to design menus and dishes around the seasons. Initially intended for restaurant menu development, the farm will now support a seasonally driven beverage menu.

Rossi and Minjares are currently working together on plans for the upcoming season. “Having the ability to blend the flavors from fruits, herbs, peppers and heirloom vegetables grown on our own farm, creating our own unique flavors for cocktails, it just doesn’t get any better,” said Minjares. Currently Minjares is also barrel aging and crafting his own bitters and aromatics for the new Spring cocktail menu.

This Spring’s beverage menu is divided into three sections, leading with Edwards Ranch Estates farm crafted cocktails featuring the LemonThyme Cocktail with house-made Meyer Limoncello, Nolet Gin, muddled Edward Ranch Estates lemon thyme, simple syrup, fresh lemon and a splash of soda. Listed next are the Signature cocktails and includes the Chipotle Margarita – Riviera Magazine’s 2013 Cocktail Tour Winner and the Old Fashion Cowboy. Signature Martinis & Manhattans complete the new menu and includes The Ranch Cucumber Martini, The Two-Step and the California Manhattan.

Mariah SwanPastry Chef Mariah Swan of BLD in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles is no stranger to listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

Her latest, long-in-the-works venture is ICDC (Ice Cream, Doughnuts and Coffee) located next door to BLD on Beverly Blvd. Everything is created in-house. The menu of ice cream and doughnuts changes daily.

Swan created the popular Doughnut Shoppe Wednesdays at BLD which ICDC now replaces. Now you can get incredible fresh doughnuts every day ICDC is open. (Closed on Monday.) You can get doughnut holes by the half-dozen. Look for her signature butterscotch doughnut.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: MOTAC’s Philip Dobard and Scopa’s Steve Livigni
Segment Three: Chef Eric Samaniego and “Little Maria” Evening
Segment Four: Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan, Leatherby’s Café Rouge
Segment Five: Mixologist Dan Minjares, The Ranch Restaurant, Anaheim Part One
Segment Six: Mixologist Dan Minjares, The Ranch Restaurant, Anaheim Part Two
Segment Seven: Pastry Chef Mariah Swan, ICDC, Los Angeles’ Fairfax District Part One
Segment Eight: Pastry Chef Mariah Swan, ICDC, Los Angeles’ Fairfax District Part Two

Show 109, February 7, 2015: Show Preview with Chef Andrew Gruel (Guest Host) and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

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

Now a preview of today’s delightfully overflowing show

Chinese New Year is February 19th to March 5th, 2015. It’s the Year of the Sheep (often called the Year of the Goat or the Ram.) During China’s most colorful and important holiday, foods take on special symbolic meanings. Fruits and vegetables are also healthy and delicious. Our resident produce expert, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, joins us with a tasty overview of fruits and vegetables which are part of Chinese New Year. He’ll also tell us where to find some inspired Martin Yan recipes to prepare at home to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Eric Samaniego (ex- Comme Ca in West Hollywood) is the acclaimed Executive Chef of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana. The Orange County Register’s Restaurant Critic, Brad A. Johnson, awarded Little Sparrow recognition as “Best New Restaurant” in 2013. Samaniego’s Pastry Chef, Nasera Munshi, was Johnson’s choice as “Pastry Chef of the Year” in 2014. If all of that wasn’t enough recognition Little Sparrow was selected by the producers (including Tom Colicchio) of Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant” competition series as one of 16 USA restaurants from four cities to vie for the title of Best New Restaurant and a cool $100,000 cash prize. With eager anticipation we’ll see how Little Sparrow does in their initial episode airing on Wednesday evening. Feb. 25th.

When we last chatted with Team USA (Chefs Philip Tessier and Commis Skylar Stover of The French Laundry) early last month they were on their way to Lyon to compete in the bi-annual Bocuse d’Or World Culinary Competition, the Olympics of the culinary world. This was after a year of intensive preparation and dedicated training. 24 teams of the most gifted culinary minds from across the world competed and Team USA (guided by the ment’or BKB Foundation) was awarded the Silver Medal (second place) for their artful and spectacular meat platter and fish plate. Team Norway was the first-place winner. This is a giant first for Team USA. Their previous top finish was sixth. Congratulations to Team USA on a stunning achievement. Chef Tessier is our guest.

Chef Jason McClain is the executive chef of the storied Jonathan Club, a very exclusive private club in Los Angeles established in 1894 with a rich history. Their main building is located in Downtown Los Angeles with a second facility, the Jonathan Beach Club (established in 1927) located on the sands in Santa Monica. A social club at this level needs to have outstanding food and beverage as an amenity for their discerning members. Chef McClain will take us behind the scenes on what resources and imagination he uses to fulfill this promise. He likes to say he’s responsible for “the best restaurant in Downtown that no one knows about.” One small example of his commitment to quality is his urban rooftop garden located on a former handball court where seasonally they grow heirloom tomatoes, broccolini, baby carrots, blueberries, figs, snap peas and yuzu.

Julie Margolin is the Honda Center’s busy Director of Food & Beverage Services. Over 500 employees are part of the food and beverage operations there. Honda Center is one of the few facilities in the country who runs their own food and beverage operations. It’s a massive undertaking and costly. This was done strictly to improve the quality of the food and beverage program there. She works alongside Honda Center’s Executive Chef, Jo-Jo Doyle. Julie joins us to talk about what’s new for the current season including the menu in Standing “O”.

We now have a chance to catch-up with Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, today’s Guest Host. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering a set of rules for organic farmed fish. Several consumer groups, though, say the recommended rules don’t go far enough to meet the strict standards of other organic foods. Chef Andrew will weigh-in on this and also speak about sustainability.

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

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Show 109, February 7, 2015: Executive Chef Eric Samaniego, Little Sparrow Café

Eric SamaniegoEric Samaniego (ex- Comme Ca in West Hollywood) is the acclaimed Executive Chef of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana. The Orange County Register’s Restaurant Critic, Brad A. Johnson, awarded Little Sparrow recognition as “Best New Restaurant” in 2013. Samaniego’s Pastry Chef, Nasera Munshi, was Johnson’s choice as “Pastry Chef of the Year” in 2014. It’s only 42 seats.

If all of that wasn’t enough recognition Little Sparrow was selected by the producers (including Tom Colicchio) of Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant” competition series as one of 16 USA restaurants from four cities to vie for the title of Best New Restaurant and a cool $100,000 cash prize. Chef Eric credits Brad Johnson’s coverage of Little Sparrow in the “Orange County Register” in attracting the initial attention of the producers of “Best New Restaurant.”

Despite not having any formal restaurant background, married owners of Little Sparrow, Bruce Marsh and Naseem Aflakian, opened the restaurant with financial help from Kickstarter.

They are proud of their guest-friendly boutique wine program where serious effort is given to matching appropriate wines with Chef Eric’s cuisine. On Wednesday nights all full bottles of wine are priced at half-off, and there is no corkage on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights.

With eager anticipation we’ll see how Little Sparrow does in their initial episode airing on Wednesday evening. Feb. 25th. In this first round they compete against Chef Gabe Thompson and L’Apicio, located in Manhattan’s East Village.

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February 7: Andrew Gruel, Bocuse D’or USA, Melissa’s Produce, Little Sparrow, Jonathan Club, Honda Center

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Chef Andrew Gruel (Guest Host) and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s, Chinese New Year Fruits & Vegetables
Segment Three: Executive Chef Eric Samaniego, Little Sparrow Café
Segment Four: Chef Philip Tessier, Team USA & The French Laundry Part One
Segment Five: Chef Philip Tessier, Team USA & The French Laundry Part Two
Segment Six: Executive Chef Jason McClain, Jonathan Club
Segment Seven: Julie Margolin, Director of Food & Beverage Services, Honda Center
Segment Eight: Slapfish Chef/Owner Andrew Gruel

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

Now a preview of today’s delightfully overflowing show

Chinese New Year is February 19th to March 5th, 2015. It’s the Year of the Sheep (often called the Year of the Goat or the Ram.) During China’s most colorful and important holiday, foods take on special symbolic meanings. Fruits and vegetables are also healthy and delicious. Our resident produce expert, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, joins us with a tasty overview of the fruits and vegetables which are part of Chinese New Year. He’ll also tell us where to find some great Martin Yan recipes to prepare at home to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Eric Samaniego (ex- Comme Ca in West Hollywood) is the acclaimed Executive Chef of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana. The Orange County Register’s Restaurant Critic, Brad A. Johnson, awarded Little Sparrow the recognition as “Best New Restaurant” in 2013. Samaniego’s Pastry Chef, Nasera Munshi, was Johnson’s choice as “Pastry Chef of the Year” in 2014. If all of that wasn’t enough recognition Little Sparrow was selected by the producers (including Tom Colicchio) of Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant” competition series as one of 16 USA restaurants from four cities to vie for the title of Best New Restaurant and a cool $100,000 cash prize. With eager anticipation we’ll see how Little Sparrow does in their initial episode airing on Wednesday evening. Feb. 25th.

When we last chatted with Team USA (Chefs Philip Tessier and Commis Skylar Stover of The French Laundry) early last month they were on their way to Lyon to compete in the bi-annual Bocuse d’Or World Culinary Competition, the Olympics of the culinary world. This was after a year of intensive preparation and dedicated training. 24 teams of the most gifted culinary minds from across the world competed and Team USA (guided by the ment’or BKB Foundation) was awarded the Silver Medal (second place) for their artful and spectacular meat platter and fish plate. Team Norway was the first-place winner. This is a giant first for Team USA. Their previous top finish was sixth. Congratulations to Team USA on a stunning achievement. Chef Philip Tessier is our guest.

Chef Jason McClain is the executive chef of the storied Jonathan Club, a very exclusive private club in Los Angeles established in 1894 with a rich history. Their main building is located in Downtown Los Angeles with a second facility, the Jonathan Beach Club (established in 1927) located on the sand in Santa Monica. A social club at this level needs to have outstanding food and beverage as an amenity for their discerning members. Chef McClain will take us behind the scenes on what resources and imagination he uses to fulfill this promise. He likes to say he’s responsible for “the best restaurant in Downtown that no one knows about.” One small example of his commitment to quality is his urban rooftop garden located on a former handball court where seasonally they grow heirloom tomatoes, broccolini, baby carrots, blueberries, figs, snap peas and yuzu.

Julie Margolin is the Honda Center’s busy Director of Food & Beverage Services. Over 500 employees are part of the food and beverage operations there. Honda Center is one of the few facilities in the country who runs their own food and beverage operations. It’s a massive undertaking and costly. This was done strictly to improve the quality of the food and beverage program there. She works alongside Honda Center’s Executive Chef, Jo-Jo Doyle. Julie joins us to talk about what’s new for the current season including the menu in Standing “O”.

We now have a chance to catch-up with Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, today’s Guest Host. Andrew will announce the name and description of the winning dish created for the opening in Newport Beach. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering a set of rules for organic farmed fish. Several consumer groups, though, say the recommended rules don’t go far enough to meet the strict standards of other organic foods. Chef Andrew will weigh-in on this debate.

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

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceChinese New Year is February 19th to March 5th, 2015. It’s the Year of the Sheep (often called the Year of the Goat or the Ram.) During China’s most colorful and important holiday, foods take on special symbolic meanings. Fruits and vegetables are also healthy and delicious.

Our resident produce expert, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s / World Variety Produce, joins us with a tasty overview of fruits and vegetables which are part of Chinese New Year. For example symbolic citrus includes Buddha’s Hand (happiness, longevity, good fortune,) Kumquats (gold, good fortune,) Mandarins (wealth,) Oranges (wealth, good fortune, gold,) Pummelos (abundance, prosperity,) and Tangerines (luck.)

He’ll also tell us where to find some easy-to-prepare Martin Yan recipes to enjoy at home to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Eric SamaniegoEric Samaniego (ex- Comme Ca in West Hollywood) is the acclaimed Executive Chef of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana. The fare is original versions of regional and seasonal French and California cuisine. The menu changes often. Dinner nightly (except Sunday and Monday) from 5:00 p.m. and Sunday Brunch.

The Orange County Register’s Restaurant Critic, Brad A. Johnson, awarded Little Sparrow recognition as “Best New Restaurant” in 2013. Samaniego’s Pastry Chef, Nasera Munshi, was Johnson’s choice as “Pastry Chef of the Year” in 2014.

If all of that wasn’t enough recognition Little Sparrow was selected by the producers (including “Top Chef’s” Tom Colicchio) of Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant” competition series as one of 16 USA restaurants from four cities to vie for the title of Best New Restaurant and a cool $100,000 cash prize. With eager anticipation we’ll see how Little Sparrow does in their initial episode airing on Wednesday evening. Feb. 25th.

Bocuse D'Or Team USA wins SilverWhen we last chatted with Team USA (Chefs Philip Tessier and Commis Skylar Stover of The French Laundry) early last month they were on their way to Lyon to compete in the bi-annual Bocuse d’Or World Culinary Competition, the Olympics of the culinary world. This was after a year of intensive preparation and dedicated training.

24 teams of the most gifted culinary minds from across the world competed and Team USA (guided by the ment’or BKB Foundation) was awarded the Silver Medal (second place) for their artful and spectacular meat platter and fish plate. Team Norway was the first-place winner. Team USA competed on January 27th. This is a giant first for Team USA. Their previous top finish was sixth.

Congratulations to Team USA on a stunning achievement. Chef Philip Tessier, just back from Lyon, Paris and New York is our very special guest.

24 teams of the most gifted culinary minds from across the world competed in the Bocuse d’Or Culinary Competition (the culinary Olympics) in Lyon last week and Team USA (guided by the ment’or BKB Foundation) was awarded the Silver Medal (second place) for their artful and spectacular meat platter and fish plate. Team Norway was the first-place winner. Team USA competed on January 27th. This is a giant first for Team USA. Their previous top finish was sixth.

Barrel-Oak Roasted Guinea Hen from Team USA at the Bocuse D'orTheir stunning meat platter was Barrel-Oak Roasted Guinea Hen. Some of the garnishes were French Laundry garden blossoms and herbs. The gorgeous fish plate showcased Brioche-Crusted Brown Trout Pave with American caviar, tartelette of crisped skin, garden dill, celery branch “Farci,” celery root puree, compressed apples, brown butter emulsion, and smoked mushroom consomme. Both the meat platter and the fish plate were designed by the lauded Martin Kastner.

“Chef Tessier is an outstanding representation of the talent we have in the United States, and we’re incredibly proud that, for the first time in our history of competing in the Bocuse d’Or, we placed on the podium,” says Thomas Keller, president of ment’or. “From the start, we were confident that he would successfully lead Team USA, and have thoroughly enjoyed mentoring him through this incredibly rigorous training process. American cuisine has significantly progressed in recent history, and Chef Tessier’s talent is an example of the strides we are making in our field. Out hope is that America continues to support our endeavors to showcase what great chefs and cuisine we have in the United States.”

Jason McClain of the Jonathan ClubChef Jason McClain is the executive chef of the storied Jonathan Club, a very exclusive private club in Los Angeles established in 1894 with a rich history. He’s been an executive chef with The Four Seasons, the exec at Pechanga Resort & Casino, and has owned his own restaurants.

The Jonathan Club’s main building is located in Downtown Los Angeles with a second facility, the Jonathan Beach Club (established in 1927) located on the sand in Santa Monica. A prestigious social club at this level needs to have outstanding food and beverage as an amenity for their discerning members.

Chef McClain will take us behind the scenes on what resources and imagination he uses to fulfill this promise. He likes to say (with a dash of humor) he’s responsible for “the best restaurant in Downtown that no one knows about.”

One small example of his commitment to quality is his urban rooftop garden positioned on a former handball court where seasonally they grow heirloom tomatoes, broccolini, baby carrots, blueberries, figs, snap peas and yuzu. All the fruits and vegetables find their way onto the Club’s menu. This represents over $100,000 in produce annually. It helps that Chef Jason’s father is a retired landscape architect and could creatively bring the rooftop garden project in on a modest budget.

Standing O at Honda CenterJulie Margolin is the Honda Center’s busy Director of Food & Beverage Services. Before joining Honda Center Margolin was with Levy Restaurants as part of the opening team at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Over 500 employees are part of the food and beverage operations there. Honda Center is one of the few facilities in the country who runs their own food and beverage operations. It’s a massive undertaking and costly. This was done strictly to improve the quality of the food and beverage program there.

She works alongside Honda Center’s Executive Chef, Jo-Jo Doyle. Julie joins us to talk about what’s new for the current season including the menu in Standing “O”. Also there is a newly opened Wahoo’s Fish Taco at Honda Center. They are a new franchisee of Wahoo’s.

Slapfish Fish and ChipsWe now have a chance to catch-up with Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, today’s Guest Host. Andrew will announce the name and description of the winning dish created for the opening in Newport Beach. It’s soon on the menu there.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering a set of rules for organic farmed fish. Several consumer groups, though, say the recommended rules don’t go far enough to meet the strict standards of other organic foods. Chef Andrew will weigh-in on this.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Chef Andrew Gruel (Guest Host) and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s, Chinese New Year Fruits & Vegetables
Segment Three: Executive Chef Eric Samaniego, Little Sparrow Café
Segment Four: Chef Philip Tessier, Team USA & The French Laundry Part One
Segment Five: Chef Philip Tessier, Team USA & The French Laundry Part Two
Segment Six: Executive Chef Jason McClain, Jonathan Club
Segment Seven: Julie Margolin, Director of Food & Beverage Services, Honda Center
Segment Eight: Slapfish Chef/Owner Andrew Gruel

October 12: Lindy & Grundy, Duskie Estes, Kristine Kidd, Brock Radke, Greg Daniels, Hawaiian Tropical Fruit

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Erika Nakamura, master butcher, chef, and co-owner of Lindy & Grundy Meats
Segment Three: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Onw
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Two
Segment Five: Kristine Kidd, author of Williams–Sonoma Weeknight Gluten Free
Segment Six: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic for The Orange County Register Part One
Segment Seven: Chef Greg Daniels of The Haven Collective
Segment Eight: Ken Love, President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Jet discusses the highlights of the Luckyrice Festival Night Market held last Saturday at the Cosmopolitan Hotel on The Strip in Las Vegas. Jet served some 1,100 portions to the enthusiastic guests.

Andy reviews the highlights of the Patchwork Show – Edible Edition at SoCo and The OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa last Weekend. The show broadcast live from the South Coast Collection.

Erika Nakamura of Lindy and Grundy MeatsThe classic, full-service neighborhood butcher shop is alive, well, and prospering at Lindy & Grundy Meats in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles. Artisan butcher Erika Nakamura (half of the Lindy & Grundy team along with Amelia Posada) is with us to fill us in. Erika is a classically trained chef.

All of their premium meats are from humanely treated, grass fed animals and 100 per cent locally produced and sustainable. The partners only source meat from farms they have visited. They even inspect the harvesting facility where the animal is processed. They offer an alternative to commercial farming.

Lindy and Grundy hosts classes for true meat enthusiasts.

Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart of Zazu Kitchen and FarmOne of the most exciting chef teams operating in the Sonoma County wine country is Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart (wife & husband) who are the proprietors of the new zazu kitchen + farm located at The Barlow (a former apple juice processing facility) in Sebastopol. Some of the vegetables used at the restaurant are actually grown in large tubs on the restaurant’s patio. They were mentored by pioneering Seattle chef/restaurateur Tom Douglas before relocating to Sonoma County to go off on their own.

The original zazu restaurant (part of a former chicken coop) was founded in Santa Rosa in 2001. It was located in a rustic roadhouse way out of town surrounded by farms and vineyards. If a local didn’t tell you about it you’d probably never know it was there. Their regulars include some of the most distinguished winemakers in Sonoma County. The eclectic wine list includes reserve selections that you just don’t see outside of the private stash of the wineries.

Duskie and John were living farm-to-table long before that became a marketing buzzword for chefs. They raise their own chicken and ducks to provide the eggs for their fresh pasta and their praise-worthy gelati.

Duskie Estes of the new zazu kitchen + farm in Sebastopol stays with us.

John Stewart learned the art of curing meats from Mario Batali’s father who has a highly-praised salumi business in Seattle. Visitors to zazu can watch John cure his acclaimed Black Pig Meat Co.’s bacon and salumi right there.

Zazu even has an experienced organic farmer on staff. He supervises the three spots of zazu’s soil including the MacBryde Farm where John and Duskie live with their children. The Farm is home to zazu’s chickens, ducks, turkeys, heritage wattle pigs, sheep, rabbits, goats and more.

Kristine Kidd Loyal readers of Bon Appetit Magazine will remember Kristine Kidd as the long-time Food Editor.

She is now the food editor for the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch website as well as a busy cookbook author.

Her newly released seventh cookbook is Weeknight Gluten Free. This title is particularly important to Kristine as her childhood celiac disease resurfaced recently.

Kristine is a serious home cook. She prepares fresh meals at home almost every night.

On Wednesday, October 23rd Kristine Kidd will be part of a “Zov’s Lunch and Learn” program at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin. Kristine will be explaining how to prepare delicious meals that are gluten free.

Lunch will be on the menu, too. The entrée is Grilled Lemongrass Chicken with Ginger Rice, Braised Kale and Grilled Roasted Tomatoes. It’s a modest $25 per guest and seating is limited. Make your plans now because it will reach capacity quickly.

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyIn Las Vegas it’s who you know and the “SoCal Restaurant Show” is lucky to have Brock Radke as our insider on the ground in Las Vegas. Brock is the Food Editor of Las Vegas Weekly and joins us regularly to clue us in on what’s happening on the dynamic Las Vegas dining scene.

This morning Brock is giving us the 411 on Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak at The Mirage and Rick Moonen’s Rx Boiler Room at The Shops at Mandalay Bay. Brock recommends both new additions to The Strip’s dining choices.

We’re proud to be part of the hospitality industry as chefs and restaurateurs are some of the most generous folks we know. When there is a worthy cause they are there in a flash with food and support…

Greg Daniels of Haven GastropubWe know Chef Greg Daniels from the two Haven Gastropubs (Orange and Pasadena,) taco asylum and Provisions Market. From October 16th to 25th Chef Greg has assembled a group of distinguished OC chefs to raise money for children who suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) worldwide. It’s all under the playful banner of “PB&J for Good.”

Participating chefs will put their creative spin on the traditional PB&J as a special menu offering. Each will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every PB&J dish to benefit StopSAM.org, a fundraising arm for Severe Acute Malnutrition.

Besides Haven Gastropub some of the high profile restaurants participating include ARC, Broadway by Amar Santana, Little Sparrow, LUCCA, and The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar.

The State of Hawaii has some of the most fertile agricultural land in the United States yet, in recent years, this dirt hasn’t been used for agriculture. Sadly they need to import most of their fruits and vegetables from the Mainland.

Sharwil AvacadoOn the Big Island of Hawaii, for example, over 200 varieties of avocados grow. The pearl of the group is the Sharwil. It’s creamy with a rich buttery flavor, and prized by local chefs.

Surprisingly until very recently the USDA wouldn’t allow the Sharwil to be imported into the lower 48 states. This is a real shame because the seasons of the Sharwil match the seasons of availability for imported avocados from Mexico. Wouldn’t you want to enjoy a made in the USA fruit which also supports our economy ?

Ken Love, the President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, joins us from The Big Island to explain what has changed…It’s a baby step.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Erika Nakamura, master butcher, chef, and co-owner of Lindy & Grundy Meats
Segment Three: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Onw
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA Part Two
Segment Five: Kristine Kidd, author of Williams–Sonoma Weeknight Gluten Free
Segment Six: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic for The Orange County Register Part One
Segment Seven: Chef Greg Daniels of The Haven Collective
Segment Eight: Ken Love, President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers