Show 233, July 22, 2017: Restaurateur Don Myers, Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen

Don Myers of Cha Cha's Latin Kitchen in Brea and IrvineBrea’s popular Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen has just opened a second location in The Market Place in Irvine.

“Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen was born out of a love and passion for Latin cuisine…”

“The Latin inspired menu adapts the culinary heritage of Mexico and Latin America to a fresh modern style. In the open kitchen guests can watch savory dishes being prepared in the wood-fired oven, while free-range Jidori chickens roast to perfection and tacos are topped with house-made fire-roasted salsa.”

Their special creation for National Tequila Day (July 24th) is the specialty margarita, the El Palomar. It’s 100 % blue agave tequila, fresh serrano chile, orange liqueur, freshly squeezed lime juice, agave nectar and a float of house-brewed Hibiscus tea.

Proprietor Don Myers (also Brunos Italian Kitchen), a veteran restaurateur, is our in-studio guest.

Play

Show 213, March 4, 2017: Katy Smith, Executive Creative Chef, Puesto, Irvine’s Los Olivos Marketplace

Katy SmithSan Diego’s thriving taco hotspot, Puesto, has expanded to Orange County with a new restaurant in Irvine’s Los Olivos Marketplace. The concept is a fresh, contemporary take on authentic Mexican fare in a relaxed environment.

Puesto’s menu encourages guests to mix and match from an offering of specialty tacos such as the Filet Mignon Taco with crispy melted cheese, avocado & spicy pistachio serrano salsaChicken Al Pastor Taco with crispy melted cheese, hibiscus & chipotle tinga, avocado & piña habanero pico, vegetarian options such as the Zucchini & Cactus Taco with crispy melted cheese, zucchini, corn, tomato, cactus, avocado & cilantro-tomatillo, and sustainable seafood options like the Tamarindo Shrimp Tacos with crispy tamarindo-chile shrimp nestled in guacamole & cilantro. All of Puesto’s salsas are made from scratch using local ingredients, with tortillas made in-house using organic, non-GMO, blue corn masa sourced from local purveyor, Kernel of Truth.

Puesto’s extensive beverage program offers nearly 50 kinds of tequila and mezcal, 12 local and Mexican beers on draft, six wines on tap and specialty cocktails made with freshly squeezed juices and house-made liqueurs and sodas. Popular libations include the Puesto Perfect Margarita with blue agave reposado tequila, lime & agave nectarEl Mezcalito with Vida mezcal, Guanabana, tamarindo, lime & charred orange and La Rosita with house-made strawberry-cilantro infused vodka, lemon & cane sugar.

Puesto’s Executive Creative Chef Katy Smith is our guest.

 

Play

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.

Play

Show 179, July 9, 2016: Amelia Ceja, Ceja Vineyards and Executive Chef Danny Godinez, Anepalco and El Mercado Modern Cuisine, Santa Ana

Danny Godinez of AnepalcoOC Meets Napa and Baja on July 16th at Mission San Juan Capistrano will feature wines from premier wineries in Baja and from Napa’s own Mexican American Vintner Association (MAVA). The event will also include imaginative food from top Latin OC restaurants, live music, an exclusive wine auction and a few entertaining surprises!

All proceeds from the wine tasting benefit AltaMed OC Pediatrics and Breast Cancer Screenings.

Owner/Executive Chef Danny Godinez of Anapalco (and the just-opened El Mercado Modern Cuisine in Santa Ana) and Amelia Ceja of Ceja Vineyards join us with the preview. They are returning participants to The Benefit.

Play

Show 169, April 30, 2016: El Chavo’s (Silver Lake) Cinco De Mayo Celebration

Matt LandesCinco de Mayo is pretty much a non-event in Mexico but it’s now a huge celebration in the United States. Might possibly have something to do with all the Mexican beer and tequila sold for the festivities.

One of the bigger Cinco de Mayo fiestas in Los Angeles will be staged at Silver Lake’s El Chavo on May 5th from 4:00 p.m. to close.

Lots of satisfying food and drink including Mezcal and Mexican cerveza. Look for the street tacos and corn.

Matt Landes from Cocktail Academy (one of the event organizers) is with us to provide all the festive details.

Play

Show 112, February 28, 2015: Chef Marlene Moore, Temptations Food Walk, Pechanga Resort

Marlene MooreFor the last seven years Chef Marlene Moore has been overseeing the busy Temptations Food Court, the Poker Room, and Bingo Parlor at Pechanga Resort & Casino. The Food Court features American, Italian, Mexican, Fried Chicken, Espresso, Pastries, Bahn Mi, Hot Dogs, finished-to-order Donuts and fresh Lemonade.

The outlet names at Temptations are American Classics, Agave Mexican Delights, Pronto Italiano, Caffe Cocoa, Little Wok Asian Specialties, and Pechanga Fried Chicken.

Chef Marlene explains why her special fried chicken (prepared to order) is well-worth waiting for!

 

Play

Show 95, November 1, 2014: Jennifer Morton

Jeniifer Morton of Blue PlateThe always on the go, Jennifer Morton, is a serial restaurateur who is always overflowing with creative ideas. She was the co-founder of the highly successful Divine Pasta Co. which supplied a range of fresh pastas to discriminating restaurants. Even the typically hard-to-please Italian chefs were big fans of the pasta.

Chapter Two for Jen was buying what is now Blue Plate on Montana Avenue and repositioning it as a full-service, neighborhood restaurant. Staying in Santa Monica (where she also resides) Jen then created the Blue Plate Oysterette, her homage to a New England seafood shack. A new Blue Plate Oysterette recently opened on W. Third St. in Los Angeles.

Blue Plate Taco, also in Santa Monica, is Ms. Morton’s take on costal Mexican fare using local ingredients with a distinctive California flair. Think crab guacamole with house-made chips and chicken tinga tacos with chipotle sauce and pickled onions.

There is also a lot of attention toward the tequila-based signature drink creations.

We’ll meet her.

Play

Show 90, September 27, 2014: Anepalco in Orange

Anepalco's CafeHidden, in plain sight, just South of Angel Stadium at the corner of State College and West Chapman Ave. in Orange is Chef Daniel Godinez’s Anepalco. Anepalco is best characterized as a modern Mexican-French restaurant with a refreshing cocktail program. It also has a shaded patio.

Anepalco takes authentic Mexican ingredients with their bold flavors and infuses them creatively with traditional French techniques. The result is a fusion of creams and chiles with the cuisine served in a gourmet manner. Chef Godinez’s kitchen only uses the freshest of ingredients.

In addition to the lunch menu available daily, Anepalco serves brunch seven days from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Play

Show 83, August 9, 2014: The Golden Foodies

Golden Foodie AwardsOrange County’s answer to the prestigious, red carpet awards shows is The Golden Foodies. Voting has started for this year in the first group of categories and the public is invited to vote for their favorite restaurants and related categories. There are two more weeks of voting cycles…

Winners are chosen by the people. It’s a People’s Choice Food Awards. The Golden Foodie Awards Gala at The Fairmont in Newport Beach is Saturday evening, September 28th. Good luck to all…

Voting concludes on August 9th for the categories of : Mexican, Vegetarian, Pizza, Beer, American Cuisine, Burger, Cocktail, and Best Food Talk Radio Show.

The Founder of The Golden Foodies, Pamela Waitt, and J.C. Clow of The Winery Newport Beach join us. It’s been announced that J.C.’s The Winery Newport Beach has been nominated (one of three nominees in the category) for Best New Restaurant. Congratulations…!

Play

August 9: Jimmy Shaw, FoodGPS, Richard Foss, AlXimia Vino Elemental Winery, CremaCafe, David and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, Golden Foodies

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Jimmy Shaw and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria! Grill and The Torta Co.
Segment Three: Food GPS Fried Chicken Festival, Chinatown
Segment Four: Food Historian & Author Richard Foss
Segment Five: Manuel Alvarez of AlXimia Vino Elemental Winery
Segment Six: Tarit Tanjasiri of CremaCafe & Bakery
Segment Seven: The 12 Bottle Bar
Segment Eight: The Golden Foodies

Guest Host Chef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria! Grill restaurants and Producer Andy preview the show.

Chef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria! Grill is with us. He brought the rich Mexican Street Food of his native Mexico City to Los Angeles. Keep in mind that Los Angeles is the 2nd largest Mexican City in the World. It all started in 2002 with a modest stand in the Original Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax in Los Angeles.

Chef Jimmy Shaw educates us on the ample Mexican sandwich, The Torta. He also talks about stocking Mexican ingredients in your home pantry.

Josh Lurie of Food GPS is at it again with delectable food and beverage events. The 3rd Annual Food GPS Fried Chicken Festival is set for Sunday afternoon, August 17th in Chinatown’s historic Central Plaza.

The Museum of the American Cocktail (based in New Orleans at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum) is presenting an evening of cocktails, food, and entertainment featuring (the always entertaining) culinary historian and author Richard Foss on August 18th at 6:30 p.m. at Roxanne’s Lounge in Long Beach. The presentation is : “Dry With a Twist: A Liquid Lesson in How Prohibition Changed America.”

One of the most important wine regions in Mexico is the Valle de Guadalupe located about an hour and one-half South of Tijuana. The best of these wines are slowly finding their way North to Southern California. Manuel Alvarez of AlXimia Vino Elemental winery joins us from the Valle de Guadalupe with his Family’s story.

Tarit Tanjasiri is the baker/proprietor of the revered CremaCafe in Seal Beach. It started as a small breakfast and lunch spot. Tarit couldn’t source a bread for his sandwiches that satisfied him so he added an adjacent production bakery. We’ll meet him.

“A new kind of cocktail book, The 12 Bottle Bar, distills the craft cocktail movement for the home bar. Irresistibly uncomplicated, just 12 bottles create over 200 distinct and seasonal cocktails, including beer and wine cocktails.” The husband-and-wife authors are with us.

Orange County’s answer to the prestigious, red carpet awards shows is The Golden Foodies. Voting has started for this year in the first group of categories and the public is invited to vote for their favorite restaurants and related categories. Good luck to all…

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

Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill and Torta CompanyChef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria! Grill is with us. He brought the rich Mexican Street Food of his native Mexico City to Los Angeles. Keep in mind that Los Angeles is the 2nd largest Mexican City in the World. It all started in 2002 with a modest stand in the Original Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax in Los Angeles.

There are now Loteria! Grill restaurants in Hollywood, Studio, City, Westlake Village, Santa Monica and Downtown at Fig at 7th.

“Lotería! Grill has grown from the open-air stall at the Farmers Market to become a nationally renowned group of restaurants that offer a casually elegant, fun and relaxed atmosphere in which to enjoy everything from a refreshing agua fresca or margarita to award-winning, delicious regional specialties and slowly cooked guisos served with handmade corn tortillas.  Favorites like the Chicharrón de Queso, and the Probaditas, a mini-taco sampler of our signature guisos, have their guests coming back frequently for more.”

Chef Jimmy Shaw educates us on the ample Mexican sandwich, the Torta. He also talks about stocking Mexican ingredients as part of your regular home pantry.

Joshua Lurie of Food GPSJosh Lurie of Food GPS is at it again with delectable food and beverage events. The 3rd Annual Food GPS Fried Chicken Festival Presented by Bolthouse Farms is set for Sunday afternoon, August 17th in Chinatown’s historic Central Plaza. Hours are 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

This all-inclusive, chef-focused event includes some of L.A.’s best chefs preparing unique fried chicken dishes and complimentary sides. Additionally, there are an array of delicious desserts (Valerie Confections) and beverages.

Participating chef Jesse Furman (Free Range LA) and Josh Lurie of Food GPS preview the Festival.

Dry with a Twist: A Liquid Lesson in How Prohibition Changed AmericaThe Exhibition Room at Roxanne’s Cocktail Lounge & Latin Grill, Long Beach’s “hidden speakeasy,” hosts the next edition of Touring the Cocktail: MOTAC Los Angeles, a liquid lesson in how Prohibition changed America. Come out for an evening of culture and cocktails, costumes and music! Dress as a flapper, bootlegger, moonshiner, or temperance crusader (no hatchets please, ladies). There will be prizes for the best costume, giveaways, and more!

Whether you were a regular tippler or never let a drop of alcohol past your lips, Prohibition affected every American’s life. Dining options, dating habits, vacation choices, and perhaps most infamously, the attitude of citizens toward law enforcement, were forever altered by the temperance movement’s short-lived crowning achievement. Even so, most Americans don’t really understand who we were before that great experiment, how Prohibition came to pass, and the ways in which the period reverberates to this day.

Historian Richard Foss, author of “Rum: A Global History,” transports participants to a world of temperance terrorists and flappers, moonshiners and smugglers, and ordinary citizens who just wanted a drink and would get it by any means necessary. Drinkmaster David Valiante executes a menu of five period cocktails, illustrating the ways in which America’s palate for drinks has changed.  (Don’t worry, bathtub gin will not appear on the menu, but some delightful and largely forgotten beverages will make a glorious reappearance.) A light dinner of savory specialties from Roxanne’s Latin Grill is included in the price of admission.

Tickets are $40 in advance, $35 for members of SoFAB/MOTAC and the USBG. Tickets at the door are $50 (subject to availability.)

Manuel Alvarez of AlXimia Vino ElementalOne of the most important (and historic) wine regions in Mexico is the Valle de Guadalupe located about an hour and one-half South of Tijuana. The best of these wines are slowly finding their way North to Southern California. Manuel Alvarez of AlXimia Vino Elemental winery joins us from the Valle de Guadalupe with his Family’s story.

Wine tasting and tours are available to visitors at this architecturally significant winery.

“AlXimia is a wine-making project born from the meeting of the senses and the world, with special attention to the earth, the plant, the fruit and its benefits. We are trying to understand, use and preserve nature.

Baja California is wine country, and wines are, in our view, the product of the transmutation of the four natural elements:

  • the earth that nourishes and gives rise to the vineyards
  • the scarce water that is vital in the Valle de Guadalupe
  • the fresh air that comes from the sea and
  • the fire in the form of the heat from the sun, providing the freshness and warmth needed to ripen the grapes and give them the adequate acidity, while at the same time generating the energy needed for the process
  • When you assemble these 4 elements, the space (or ether) becomes the fifth element that makes possible their existence.

AlXimia is a family business focused on the work of the sensible. It is a group born at home, amidst the respect for the environment, in the tradition of teaching and knowledge transfer. AlXimia travels through the wine trail manifested in a free and existential thinking against the structured and accurate scientific thought process, daring to innovate.  Started by a mathematician turned winemaker, this amazing winery was built by an innovative architect, the mathematician-winemaker and his astronomer father.”

Tarit TanjasiriTarit Tanjasiri is the consumed baker/proprietor of the revered CremaCafe & Artisan Bakery in Seal Beach. It started eight years ago as a small breakfast and lunch spot. Tarit couldn’t source a bread for his sandwiches that satisfied him so two years ago he added an adjacent production bakery. It’s the café on one side and the bakery on the other. We’ll meet him.

Tarit’s Kouign Amann was one of the OC Weekly’s “100 Favorite Dishes of 2014.”

According to Anne Marie Panoringan of the OC Weekly : “Per Tarit, a Kouign Amann is a pastry from the Brittany region of France. It’s often considered more of a cake than a pastry, although Crema utilizes croissant dough for their version. Layers of butter, dough, sugar and a bit of sea salt are formed. Shaped to resemble a blooming rose, it is then placed in the deck oven to bake. Sweetness and density are much higher in France, and they come in many more sizes, shapes and filling flavors.”

David and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson“A new kind of cocktail book, The 12 Bottle Bar, distills the craft cocktail movement for the home bar. Irresistibly uncomplicated, just 12 bottles create over 200 distinct and seasonal cocktails, including beer and wine cocktails.”

David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, the husband-and-wife authors (and noted cocktail enthusiasts) are with us.

“We’re living in the midst of a cocktail renaissance – artisanal cocktails. Celebrity mixologists, drink menus that outshine wine lists and feature ingredients as fresh and complex as the most sought after meals. Just as home cooks have looked to popular restaurants and chefs for new recipes, imbibers want to bring the magic of a local speakeasy straight to the living room.”

Golden Foodie AwardsOrange County’s answer to the prestigious, red carpet awards shows is The Golden Foodies. Voting has started for this year in the first group of categories and the public is invited to vote for their favorite restaurants and related categories. There are two more weeks of voting cycles…

Winners are chosen by the people. It’s a People’s Choice Food Awards. The Golden Foodie Awards Gala at The Fairmont in Newport Beach is Saturday evening, September 28th. Good luck to all…

Voting concludes on August 9th for the categories of : Mexican, Vegetarian, Pizza, Beer, American Cuisine, Burger, Cocktail, and Best Food Talk Radio Show.

The Founder of The Golden Foodies, Pamela Waitt, and J.C. Clow of The Winery Newport Beach join us. It’s been announced that J.C.’s The Winery Newport Beach has been nominated (one of three nominees in the category) for Best New Restaurant.

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Jimmy Shaw and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria! Grill and The Torta Co.
Segment Three: Food GPS Fried Chicken Festival, Chinatown
Segment Four: Food Historian & Author Richard Foss
Segment Five: Manuel Alvarez of AlXimia Vino Elemental Winery
Segment Six: Tarit Tanjasiri of CremaCafe & Bakery
Segment Seven: The 12 Bottle Bar
Segment Eight: The Golden Foodies