Show 199, November 26, 2016: Chef/Proprietor Marco Zapien, Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria

Marco Zapien of Zapiens Salsa Grill and TaqueriaIt’s our salute to Small Business Saturday and the backbone of small business, the family-owned, local dining destination.

Since 1994 Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria has been the standout Mexican restaurant in Pico Rivera. It recently underwent a major refreshening.

In 2003, Chef Marco Zapien joined The Grill full-time as the Executive Chef and partnered with his father, Jess, to become co-owner. Chef Marco has elevated the cuisine and enhanced its popularity well beyond the borders of Pico Rivera. He also operates a full-service catering firm creating dishes of global cuisine beyond the Mexican pantry.

Chef Marco has refined a unique style of cooking that incorporates two generations of his mother’s and father’s family recipes with the passionate creativity he has enhanced throughout his culinary career.

The Salsa Grill serves truly traditional Mexican food with items such as Lengua and Enchilades en Mole on the Chef’s Specialties menu, Camarones Mojo De Ajo and Tequila Fried Shrimp on its Seafood Specialty Menu, and fresh Menudo, Cocido and Pozole served daily.

They even make their own tortillas right there fresh throughout the day. This is the base of their addictive tortilla chips, too. Can’t get any fresher than this! Most everything (including all sauces) is created from scratch on site. That’s a genuine commitment to quality!

Chef Marco is our guest.

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Show 12, January 5, 2013: Anita Lau of the “Diary of a Mad Hungry Woman” Blog

Anita blogs about her dining adventures in Orange County and San Diego. She is not afraid to experience something new or adventurous. All of her informative and objective postings feature food photography to illustrate her meals. Very useful blog…

Anita shared some of her recent San Diego County dining.

First up was Valley View Casino near Escondido. This is a resort hotel and casino with a number of appealing dining options. Anita enjoyed her suite which actually had an impressive “valley view.”

Rib Eye at Black and Blue at Valley View CasinoThe fine-dining restaurant there is Black & Blue with is a upscale steakhouse with lots of seafood options, too. Her favorite dish was the 10 oz. Filet Mignon which she found “tender, flavorful, and cooked a perfect medium rare.”

Valley View is well-known for their lobster buffet which Anita partook of the next day. She consumed more of the tasty lobsters than she cares to admit to.

Menuderia Don Vicente in National CityAnita has had menudo all over California but it’s a dish that has been previously lost on her. A stop at Don Vicente Menuderia in National City changed all of that.

There was a 25 minute wait for a table so she knew she was in the right place. Anita was also the only non-Latino in the joint which was a plus. No Americanized, combo plate Mexican here…She loved the aroma of the tripe soup and the reaction upon tasting was “ahhhh, so so good!”

There are other Mexican specialties on the menu and the fresh tortillas are house-prepared.

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January 5: Cathy Thomas, Linda Kissam, Anita Lau, Dean McDermott

Podcasts

Segment One: Cathy Thomas, long-time, award-winning Food Journalist for The Orange County Register and best-selling author Part One
Segment Two: Cathy Thomas, long-time, award-winning Food Journalist for The Orange County Register and best-selling author Part Two
Segment Three: Linda Kissam, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist, First Vice President of International, Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association
Segment Four: Anita Lau of the “Diary of a Mad Hungry Woman” Blog”
Segment Five: Cooking Channel star, Aarti Sequeira
Segment Six: Dean McDermott, actor. Dean is a celebrity contestant on Food Network’s “Rachael vs. Guy : Celebrity Cook-off” for Season 2

We’re starting off the New Year right with some fresh thinking on increasing our energy level and feeling good. We’ll also give some attention to contemplating travel opportunities for 2013 and how you can be better informed on the possibilities!

Cathy Thomas is the long-time, award-winning food writer for The Orange County Register. No writer is more knowledgeable or enthusiastic about the restaurant and food scene in Orange County.

Melissa's 50 Best Plants on the Planet CookbookCathy’s third book has just been released in hard cover. That’s Melissa’s 50 Best Plants On The Planet: The Most Nutrient-Dense Fruits and Vegetables, in 150 Delicious Recipes.

This carefully researched volume with beautiful, full-page color photos is not a diet book. It’s an easy to follow reference for adding more tasty fruits and vegetables to your diet. The big plus is more energy and you’ll be feeling good.

The Forward is by James Beard Award-winning chef Cheryl Forberg, RD who is the nutritionist for NBC’s The Biggest Loser series.

All of the recipes in the book really work in the home kitchen. The corporate chefs at Melissa’s tested every recipe in their modern test/research kitchen.

Did we say travel?

Linda Kissam joins the show. Linda is an accomplished (and seasoned) travel writer who was probably on the road last year more than she was home.

Linda is also the newly elected First Vice President of the International Food, Wine, & Travel Writers Association, a global group of credentialed food, wine and travel writers who endeavor to elevate the professionalism of their members.

Linda is part of a panel on Sunday afternoon, January 13th at The 8th Annual Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show at the Long Beach Convention Center. She will preview her panel and pass along some helpful travel tips.

Anita Lau of Mad Hungry WomanAnita Lau has to be one of the more fascinating food writes blogging about dining in Orange and San Diego Counties. Her entertaining blog is “Diary of a Mad Hungry Woman.” It’s always illustrated with helpful food photography of the dishes she samples.

Anita joins us to talk about one of her recent dining discoveries in San Diego County and her encounter with menudo in National City.

Jet and Producer Andy chat about some of their recent dining. Jet had a festive New Year’s Eve at Sotto (a really wonderful Italian restaurant) near Century City where there is a serious (and accomplished) chef in the kitchen.

Dean McDermottThe 2nd season of Food Network’s “Rachael vs. Guy : Celebrity Cook-off” launches on Sunday, Jan. 6th. This season was all shot in LA.

Celebrity contestant from “Team Guy,” Dean McDermott, joins the show to preview the frenetic 2nd season. He’s also known as “The Gourmet Dad.” Dean lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Tori Spelling, and their kids.

Podcasts

Segment One: Cathy Thomas, long-time, award-winning Food Journalist for The Orange County Register and best-selling author Part One
Segment Two: Cathy Thomas, long-time, award-winning Food Journalist for The Orange County Register and best-selling author Part Two
Segment Three: Linda Kissam, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist, First Vice President of International, Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association
Segment Four: Anita Lau of the “Diary of a Mad Hungry Woman” Blog”
Segment Five: Cooking Channel star, Aarti Sequeira
Segment Six: Dean McDermott, actor. Dean is a celebrity contestant on Food Network’s “Rachael vs. Guy : Celebrity Cook-off” for Season 2