December 16: Mimi Chen, Spaghettini, Pantai Inn, Michael Hung, Ted Hopson, Meathead Goldwyn

Now an enticing preview of this Saturday’s properly decadent show. Keep in mind we’re with you live every Saturday morning throughout The Holidays. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

In our continuing coverage of the biannual Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition and Team USA 2019’s pursuit of defending the Gold for America we’ll meet Team USA 2019’s newly selected Commis, Chef Mimi Chen formerly a Line Cook at Daniel Patterson’s highly regarded COI in San Francisco.

Next year Spaghettini in Seal Beach celebrates its 30th anniversary of success. It’s a big establishment. Unusually it’s part fine-dining and also a popular entertainment venue. It’s famous for its long-running, 5-hour Smooth Jazz Sunday Brunch. Serving up the tasty history along with a Spaghettini Sparkling Wine toast is Co-Founder & Managing Partner Cary Hardwick.

Set along the shore of the magnificent La Jolla coastline, offering unparalleled views of the Pacific Ocean, Pantai Inn provides the ideal setting for a luxe Southern California beachfront getaway with an emphasis on personal service. The property and room décor feature an authentic Balinese motif. Proprietress Laurnie Durisue takes us on a tour of her tropical oceanfront paradise.

Located in the heart of Los Angeles on Beverly Boulevard, close to the historic Farmer’s Market and Fairfax district, XO on Beverly delivers casual cuisine featuring a California – Asian menu and international market. Featuring dishes by acclaimed chef Michael Hung/Ardour Hospitality, XO on Beverly aims to be the center of their lively neighborhood, offering fresh seasonal cuisine in a comforting and accessible manner, with top-notch service. Chef Michael Hung is our guest.

We know Chef Ted Hopson’s cuisine from his The Bellwether in Studio City. Chef Ted can currently be seen in the 10-episode reboot of Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” now reconceived as “Iron Chef Showdown.” Chef Ted fires up the burners in the “Italian Holiday Battle.” We’re in Kitchen Stadium with Chef Ted to hear about the two-stages of the unusual experience. “Whose cuisine will reign supreme”?

Last year we got a terrific response to Meathead Goldwyn’s MEATHEAD: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling. It’s a handy reference book. Goldwyn is also the founder of AmazingRibs.com, the hugely popular grilling and barbecue website known for applying the latest scientific research to America’s favorite form of cooking. In the Holiday spirit Meathead is back with us and we’re giving away a copy of MEATHEAD: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling.

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

Mimi ChenIn our continuing coverage of the biannual Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition and Team USA 2019’s pursuit of defending the Gold for America we’ll meet Team USA 2019’s newly selected Commis, Chef Mimi Chen formerly a Line Cook at Daniel Patterson’s highly regarded COI in San Francisco.

On November 9th in The Palazzo Ballroom at The Venetian / Palazzo Resorts in Fabulous Las Vegas the spirited competition for the Team to proudly represent Team USA 2019 was held. Each finalist team had 5 hours and 35 minutes to prepare an exquisite meat recipe (Snake River Farms American Wagyu Whole Bone-In Rib Roast) presented on a platter as well as a Norwegian Seafood Steelhead Trout creation individually plated. Mimi was the Commis for the victorious team headed by Executive Chef Matthew Kirkley, ex-COI.

Both Chefs Matthew and Mimi will now train intensively for the next year in preparation for the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon.

Cary Hardwick of SpaghettiniNext year Spaghettini in Seal Beach celebrates its 30th anniversary of success. It’s a big establishment. Unusually it’s part fine-dining and also a popular entertainment venue. It’s famous for its long-running, 5-hour Smooth Jazz Sunday Brunch.

Since 1988, this visionary partnership has created a unique blend of taste and entertainment in Southern California. Leading Southern California restaurateurs Laurie Sisneros and Cary Hardwick have realized a meeting place for L..A and Orange counties in their award-winning restaurant – Spaghettini Fine Dining and Entertainment.

Located just off the 405 Freeway at Seal Beach Blvd., Spaghettini features exceptional Northern Italian cuisine and top name entertainment.

Serving up the tasty history along with a Spaghettini Sparkling Wine toast is Co-Founder & Managing Partner Cary Hardwick.

The Spaghettini vision has fueled decades of continuous growth. As a result, this has created a staff of long term, dedicated professionals. Employees have extensive food and wine training, including hosted trips to Italy and the California wine country. Spaghettini is open for lunch and dinner, and is also the home of the Legendary Sunday Brunch. In addition to outstanding food and service, Spaghettini is committed to excellence on the entertainment side of the business.

Just out for the Holidays is Spaghettini’s 2nd cookbook, From Our House To Yours by Executive Chef Victor Avila.

…“Twenty-seven years later I’m the Executive Chef at Spaghettini and I absolutely love my job. Spaghettini is more than just a place to work, it is a family that includes not only the employees, but also our customers. For this reason our new cookbook has been a true labor of love for me. I was excited to put together recipes from many of our most popular dishes, while keeping in mind that these recipes need to feed four, not 400! They have all been thought out with the home cook in mind and I love that you will be able to enjoy a taste of Spaghettini in your own home. Enjoy!”

~ Chef Victor Avila

Laurnie DurisoeSet along the shore of the magnificent La Jolla coastline, offering unparalleled views of the Pacific Ocean, Pantai Inn provides the ideal setting for a luxe Southern California beachfront getaway with an emphasis on personal service. The property and room décor feature an authentic Balinese motif.

Ranked as the top hotel in La Jolla by TripAdvisor’s readers, Pantai Inn’s distinct guest accommodations blend a unique Balinese-inspired decor with luxurious comforts and contemporary conveniences. The relaxing oceanfront retreat offers lush gardens, soothing water features and an inviting courtyard and firepit to stimulate the senses. The Pantai experience is further complemented by the warmth and authenticity of the Inn’s extraordinary guest service.

Upon entering the Pantai grounds, guests are swept away by the beauty of the lush, manicured gardens and authentic Balinese statues, offering a sense of tranquility in the heart of La Jolla. The coral stoned courtyard is lined with plumeria, hibiscus-filled greenery and soothing water features while the sun shines brightly overhead. Guest accommodations provide authentic Balinese-inspired design along with custom-made furnishings and original artwork imported directly from Bali.

There is a chef-prepared deluxe breakfast each morning with a daily changing menu. It’s served in a two-level, handsomely appointed gathering room with an ocean view. A nice touch is the complimentary on-site parking, a rarity in congested La Jolla where parking is typically at a premium.

Proprietress Laurnie Durisue takes us on a tour of her tropical oceanfront paradise.

Michael HungLocated in the heart of Los Angeles on Beverly Boulevard, close to the historic Farmer’s Market and Fairfax District, XO on Beverly delivers casual cuisine featuring a California-Asian menu and international market. Featuring dishes by acclaimed chef Michael Hung Ardour Hospitality, XO on Beverly aims to be the center of their lively neighborhood, offering fresh seasonal cuisine in a comforting and accessible manner, with top-notch service.

Chef Michael Hung began his culinary career in New York City, where he dropped out of culinary school to do extended stages at acclaimed restaurants Daniel and Aquavit. Michael then followed his heart to San Francisco in 2005 and joined Traci Des Jardins’s James Beard Award-winning team at Jardiniere.  His career continued for nearly a decade in San Francisco, culminating with his appointment as Chef de Cuisine at Roland Passot’s Michelin-starred La Folie.  In 2014, Michael moved to Los Angeles to open the multi-award-winning Faith & Flower.

Chef Michael Hung is our guest.

Ann Marie Verdi and Ted Hopson of the BellwetherWe know Chef Ted Hopson’s cuisine from his The Bellwether in Studio City. Chef Ted can currently be seen in the 10-episode reboot of Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” now reconceived as Iron Chef Showdown. Chef Ted fires up the burners in the “Italian Holiday Battle.”

In the first round for “The Chairman’s Challenge” he faces Detroit Chef Kate Williams with the “Secret Ingredient” being gingerbread. Then it’s on to the finals battling Iron Chef Alex Guarnascelli. The “Secret Ingredient” is The Feast of the 7 Fishes. The celebrity chef judges for “The Secret Ingredient Showdown” are Las Vegas’ Paul Bartolotta and Nancy Silverton (Mozza.)

The Bellwether is the debut restaurant and bar from Executive Chef/Owner Ted Hopson and Beverage Director/Owner Ann-Marie Verdi. The market-inspired menu aims to capitalize on the abundance of California produce in order to showcase one-of-a-kind food and drink menus that feature family style shareable dishes, unique infusion based cocktails, and a hand selected list of beer and wine.

We’re in “Iron Chef Showdown’s” Kitchen Stadium with Chef Ted to hear about the 2 parts of the unusual experience. Go Chef Ted!

Meathead GoldwynLast year we got a terrific response to Meathead Goldwyn’s MEATHEAD: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling. Goldwyn is also the founder of AmazingRibs.com, the hugely popular grilling and barbecue website known for applying the latest scientific research to America’s favorite form of cooking.

Goldwyn first began his food and drink career as a soda jerk in his parents’ Sarasota restaurant where is father affectionately nicknamed him Meathead. In MEATHEAD, he reveals in full but accessible detail, the science behind the interaction of fire and food, with foolproof techniques, researched results on hardware, and 118 mouthwateringly, satisfying, and thoroughly tested recipes.

After consulting with scientists, Meathead shatters many of the myths that hang around barbecue lore, oftentimes standing in the way of perfection.

“Remember, almost anything you can cook indoors can be cooked outdoors, only better,” Meathead writes. “All it takes is the four P’s : practice, patience, persistence, and a knowledge of key cooking principles.”

In the Holiday spirit Meathead is back with us, and we’re giving away a copy of MEATHEAD: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling. Be listening for your chance to win.

Show 220, April 22, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish

Be sure and join us for next week’s show on April 29th. The Halo ticket giveaway returns. We’ll be awarding a Family 4-pack of Angel tickets to one lucky listener!

Now a tempting preview of this Saturday’s ample show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Sandwiches, made from fresh, premium ingredients, have come into their own as serious eats. In Spring 2014, when Sessions West Coast Deli opened its first location in Newport Beach, its owners had one mission: to serve the “best sandwiches to ever hit the lip.” As a neighborhood-casual concept designed to serve its immediate community, Sessions embraces the area’s surf culture as it presents a menu of gourmet, culinary-focused sandwiches in a relaxed environment. Co-Founder Matt Meddock joins us.

Chia seeds are moving into the mainstream from health food stores. One of the first pioneers of producing high quality, chia-based foods and beverages is Mamma Chia based in Carlsbad. We met Mamma Chia’s founder and CEO, Janie Hoffman, at the recent Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim. Janie is our guest “planting the seed” on the healthful benefits of chia. Chia, for example, has 2 times more potassium than bananas.

The 2nd Annual Masters of Taste benefit, an outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival is being held on Sunday, May 7th, 2017 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl!

The Benefit will bring over 2,500 food and beverage enthusiasts together from all over Greater Los Angeles for one afternoon to celebrate this exhilarating festival, which will include the finest fare from over 40 Culinary Masters and restaurants, delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s top Sweet Masters, signature handcrafted cocktails and tastings from over 30 Beverage Masters, including L.A’s top bartenders and cocktail bars, local California wineries, local craft breweries, pressed juices, hand roasted coffee, live entertainment and much more. The Chairman of Masters of Taste, Robert Levy, joins us for a stellar preview along with participating Chef Michael Hung of K-Town’s Mama Lion.

If premium wine wasn’t expensive enough as it is there is also the perplexing matter of what stemware to properly serve the wine in. Some of the fine, imported wine glasses are plenty pricey. Time to separate the practical from the salesmanship. Our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange, joins us with sound advice on what you really should buy without breaking the bank.

Debuting May 1st to 31st is the ambitious L.A. Times Food Bowl (“A New Kind of Food Festival”), a monthlong festival celebrating the city’s dynamic, influential food scene and promoting awareness about food waste and hunger. The Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen Director Noelle Carter joins us with an overview.

One of the participating craft breweries in Masters of Taste is the Indie Brewing Company, based in Los Angeles. It’s the typical craft brewery start-up tale of four partners leaving safe jobs in geology, advertising and law to create limited production beer. Of course… Co-founder, Connor Forbes, is our guest to tap the keg on Indie Brewing Company.

Ever wonder what it takes to get an eagerly anticipated restaurant open? For the last year we’ve been enthusiastically following our own, Chef Andrew Gruel’s, progress in opening Two Birds and Butterleaf in the new Trade Food Hall in Irvine located near John Wayne Orange County Airport. At long last they are about ready (subject to final permitting) to begin service. We’ll hear all about it.

Next Saturday (April 29th) we’re live from the 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. Don’t miss it.

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

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Show 220, April 22, 2017: 2nd Annual Masters of Taste Benefit, Rose Bowl, Pasadena

Rob LevyThe 2nd Annual Masters of Taste benefit, an outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival is being held on Sunday, May 7th, 2017 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl!

The Benefit will bring over 2,500 food and beverage enthusiasts together from all over Greater Los Angeles for one afternoon to celebrate this exhilarating festival, which will include the finest fare from over 40 Culinary Masters and restaurants, delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s top Sweet Masters, signature handcrafted cocktails and tastings from over 30 Beverage Masters, including LA’s top bartenders and cocktail bars, local California wineries, local craft breweries, pressed juices, hand roasted coffee, live entertainment and much more.

100% of the proceeds from Masters of Taste 2017 will directly benefit Union Station Homeless Services, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping homeless men, women and children rebuild their lives. Union Station is part of a premier group of human services agencies in Los Angeles County that are leading the way to end homelessness in our community and offers an array of services including street outreach, meals, shelter, housing, case management and career development.

Michael HungLast year, Masters of Taste 2016 raised over $435,000 for Union Station Homeless Services, and this year Masters of Taste hopes to grow that number to $560,000.

Ticket Information: Masters of Taste will take place on Sunday, May 7th, 2016. A VIP Power Hour will be held from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm and General Admission will be from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Tickets to this event are only available for guests 21+ and over. For more information on Masters of Taste or to book your tickets directly, please visit right here.

The Chairman of Masters of Taste, Robert Levy, joins us for a stellar preview along with participating Chef Michael Hung of K-Town’s Mama Lion.

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April 22: Sessions West Coast Deli, Mamma Chia, Masters of Taste, Wine Exchange, LA Times Food Bowl, Indie Brewing

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish
Segment Two: Matt Meddock, Co-Founder, Sessions West Coast Deli, Newport Beach & Huntington Beach
Segment Three: Janie Hoffman, Founder & CEO, Mamma Chia, Carlsbad
Segment Four: 2nd Annual Masters of Taste Benefit, Rose Bowl, Pasadena
Segment Five: Wine Stemware Made Easy, Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, Wine Exchange
Segment Six: Los Angeles Times Food Bowl Preview, Noelle Carter, Test Kitchen Director
Segment Seven: Connor Forbes, Co-Founder, Indie Brewing Company, Los Angeles
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Opening Restaurants at Trade, Irvine, CA

Be listening for your chance to win a Family-4 Pack to an upcoming Angels Game at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. Go Halos…

Now a tempting preview of this Saturday’s ample show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Sandwiches, made from fresh, premium ingredients, have come into their own as serious eats. In Spring 2014, when Sessions West Coast Deli opened its first location in Newport Beach, its owners had one mission: to serve the best sandwiches to ever hit the lip. As a neighborhood-casual concept designed to serve its immediate community, Sessions embraces the area’s surf culture as it presents a menu of gourmet, culinary-focused sandwiches in a relaxed environment. Co-Founder Matt Meddock joins us.

Chia seeds are moving into the mainstream from health food stores. One of the first pioneers of producing high quality, chia-based foods and beverages is Mamma Chia based in Carlsbad. We met Mamma Chia’s founder and CEO, Janie Hoffman, at the recent Natural Products West Expo in Anaheim. Janie is our guest “planting the seed” on the healthful benefits of chia. Chia, for example, has 2 times more potassium than bananas.

The 2nd Annual Masters of Taste benefit, an outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival is being held on Sunday, May 7th, 2017 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl!

The Benefit will bring over 2,500 food and beverage enthusiasts together from all over Greater Los Angeles for one afternoon to celebrate this exhilarating festival, which will include the finest fare from over 40 Culinary Masters and restaurants, delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s top Sweet Masters, signature handcrafted cocktails and tastings from over 30 Beverage Masters, including L.A’s top bartenders and cocktail bars, local California wineries, local craft breweries, pressed juices, hand roasted coffee, live entertainment and much more. The Chairman of Masters of Taste, Robert Levy, joins us for a stellar preview along with participating Chef Michael Hung of K-Town’s Mama Lion.

If premium wine wasn’t expensive enough as it is there is also the perplexing matter of what stemware to properly serve the wine in. Some of the fine, imported wine glasses are plenty pricey. Time to separate the practical from the salesmanship. Our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange, joins us with sound advice on what you really should buy without breaking the bank.

Debuting May 1st to 31st is the ambitious L.A. Times Food Bowl (“A New Kind of Food Festival”), a monthlong festival celebrating the city’s dynamic, influential food scene and promoting awareness about food waste and hunger. The Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen Director Noelle Carter joins us with an overview.

One of the participating craft breweries in Masters of Taste is the Indie Brewing Company, based in Los Angeles. It’s the typical craft brewery start-up tale of four partners leaving safe jobs in geology, advertising and law to create limited production beer. Of course… Co-founder, Connor Forbes, is our guest to tap the keg on Indie Brewing Company.

Ever wonder what it takes to get an eagerly anticipated restaurant open? For the last year we’ve been enthusiastically following our own, Chef Andrew Gruel’s, progress in opening Two Birds and Butterleaf in the new Trade Food Hall in Irvine located near John Wayne Orange County Airport. At long last they are about ready (subject to final permitting) to begin service. We’ll hear all about it.

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

Matt MeddockSandwiches, made from fresh, premium ingredients, have come into their own as serious eats. In Spring 2014, when Sessions West Coast Deli opened its first location in Newport Beach, its owners had one mission: to serve the best sandwiches to ever hit the lip. As a neighborhood-casual concept designed to serve its immediate community, Sessions embraces the area’s surf culture as it presents a menu of gourmet, culinary-focused sandwiches in a relaxed environment.

In Summer 2015, Sessions opened its second Orange County location on the waterfront in Huntington Beach. The opening of this location reinforced Sessions’ dedication and commitment to its community by becoming a local hub for surfers, skaters and area beachgoers looking for great sandwiches.

“Unlike most sandwich shops in the region, Sessions proudly boasts a scratch kitchen with housemade sauces, sides, salads, and soups prepared daily. All sandwiches are made to order with fresh, locally grown produce; humanely and naturally raised meats; and locally baked bread delivered daily from local artisan, OC Baking Company. In addition, the restaurant proudly serves a selection of locally roasted coffee beverages from Kean Coffee.”

Co-Founder Matt Meddock joins us to get between the bread slices and build a proper sandwich.

Janie HoffmanChia seeds are moving into the mainstream from health food stores. One of the first pioneers of producing high quality chia-based foods and beverages is Mamma Chia based in Carlsbad. We met Mamma Chia’s founder and CEO, Janie Hoffman, at the recent Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim. Janie is our guest “planting the seed” on the healthful benefits of chia. Chia, for example, has 2 times more potassium than bananas.

“Mamma Chia is a conscious and sustainable company that honors and uplifts both the soul of humanity and the soul of the planet. Dedicated to sharing the Magic of Chia through delicious, nutrient-rich, organic foods and beverages powered by chia, Mamma Chia is continually adding innovative products to our already robust and delightful offerings.”

“Mamma Chia donates one percent of sales to support farmers, community groups and organizations that build healthy, local food systems.”

“If you’re looking for healthy snacks and beverages that are also delicious, then Mamma Chia is perfect for you!  All of our products are packed with organic chia seeds that provide a plant-based source of Omega-3s, dietary fiber, complete protein and much more.  From our lightly sweetened, refreshing beverages to our satisfying bars and granola, you will be delighted with the energy, strength and vitality you feel.  The best part is that Mamma Chia is organic, Non-GMO, kosher and gluten free.”

Rob LevyThe 2nd Annual Masters of Taste benefit, an outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival is being held on Sunday, May 7th, 2017 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl!

The Benefit will bring over 2,500 food and beverage enthusiasts together from all over Greater Los Angeles for one afternoon to celebrate this exhilarating festival, which will include the finest fare from over 40 Culinary Masters and restaurants, delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s top Sweet Masters, signature handcrafted cocktails and tastings from over 30 Beverage Masters, including LA’s top bartenders and cocktail bars, local California wineries, local craft breweries, pressed juices, hand roasted coffee, live entertainment and much more.

100% of the proceeds from Masters of Taste 2017 will directly benefit Union Station Homeless Services, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping homeless men, women and children rebuild their lives. Union Station is part of a premier group of human services agencies in Los Angeles County that are leading the way to end homelessness in our community and offers an array of services including street outreach, meals, shelter, housing, case management and career development.

Last year, Masters of Taste 2016 raised over $435,000 for Union Station Homeless Services, and this year Masters of Taste hopes to grow that number to $560,000.

Ticket Information: Masters of Taste will take place on Sunday, May 7th, 2016. A VIP Power Hour will be held from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm and General Admission will be from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Tickets to this event are only available for guests 21+ and over. For more information on Masters of Taste or to book your tickets directly, please visit right here.

The Chairman of Masters of Taste, Robert Levy, joins us for a stellar preview along with participating Chef Michael Hung of K-Town’s Mama Lion.

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeIf premium wine wasn’t expensive enough as it is there is also the perplexing matter of what stemware to properly serve the wine in. Lot of hype out there…Some of the fine, imported wine glasses are plenty pricey.

Time to separate the practical from the impressive salesmanship. Our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange, joins us with sound advice on what you really should buy when it comes to wine glasses that won’t break the bank.

Noelle CarterDebuting May 1st to 31st is the ambitious L.A. Times Food Bowl (“A New Kind of Food Festival”), a month-long festival celebrating the city’s dynamic, influential food scene and promoting awareness about food waste and hunger.

“For the entire month of May, Food Bowl will seek to engage our community in the importance and enjoyment of food. Our ambition is to produce the city’s largest and most inclusive food festival. While we celebrate the sprawling creativity and diversity of L.A.’s cuisines and the world’s best chefs, we will also confront hunger.”

The Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen Director Noelle Carter joins us with an overview.

Connor ForbesOne of the participating craft breweries in Masters of Taste is the Indie Brewing Company, based in Los Angeles. It’s the typical craft brewery start-up tale of four partners leaving safe jobs in geology, advertising and law to create limited production beer. Of course…

“We set out to give L.A. amazing local beer, and the tasting room it so deserves. We dreamt of a casual spot where people could hang out with other beer lovers and watch bands, talk about sports, and maybe even do a little trivia night. No velvet ropes, no guest lists. Our idea of “bottle service”? Having your growler refilled by the guys who brewed the beer.”

“And who are we? We’re 4 guys who met in the strangest of ways over our mutual love of brewing. This love began in 2009 with homebrews in pots on an electric stovetop. The operation grew with time, and eventually, we were using every free minute we had to make beer. We left our “normal” jobs in geology, advertising and law to spend as much time as possible creating pale ales, saisons, porters and more. We want to put L.A. on the map for something other than movie stars and one-word nightclubs. It’s our mission to take L.A.-based craft beers to new heights.”

“But enough about us – let’s talk about you. Whether you’re a USC or a UCLA fan, an electrician or an actor, you need delicious, local craft beers made by guys you can actually talk to. You need a welcoming spot to hang out with your friends and the rest of L.A.’s beer-loving community.”

Co-founder, Connor Forbes, is our guest to tap the keg on Indie Brewing Company.

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosEver wonder what it really takes to get an eagerly anticipated restaurant open?

For the last year we’ve been patiently following our own, Chef Andrew Gruel’s, progress in opening Two Birds (cluckin’ good chicken done two ways) and Butterleaf (vegetarian food for non-vegetarians) in the new Trade Food Hall in Irvine located near John Wayne Orange County Airport.

At long last they are about ready (subject to final permitting) to begin service. We’ll hear all about it.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish
Segment Two: Matt Meddock, Co-Founder, Sessions West Coast Deli, Newport Beach & Huntington Beach
Segment Three: Janie Hoffman, Founder & CEO, Mamma Chia, Carlsbad
Segment Four: 2nd Annual Masters of Taste Benefit, Rose Bowl, Pasadena
Segment Five: Wine Stemware Made Easy, Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, Wine Exchange
Segment Six: Los Angeles Times Food Bowl Preview, Noelle Carter, Test Kitchen Director
Segment Seven: Connor Forbes, Co-Founder, Indie Brewing Company, Los Angeles
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Opening Restaurants at Trade, Irvine, CA

Show 154, January 9, 2016: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, now, Brea, is back as today’s special Guest Host.

Next a tempting preview of Saturday’s hugely caloric but always healthy show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

Charcoal Venice, the new inviting, neighborhood restaurant from Michelin-starred Chef and Proprietor Josiah Citrin (our guest), opened early last month on W. Washington Blvd., a burgeoning culinary destination in Venice, CA bordering Marina del Rey. A more casual concept than Citrin’s Melisse, Charcoal Venice upholds the chef’s philosophy “In Pursuit of Excellence,” with a simpler, more approachable menu.

The 3rd Annual Travel & Adventure Show returns to the San Diego Convention Center the weekend of January 16th and 17th. “The SoCal Restaurant Show” is broadcasting live from the Show on Saturday morning, January 16th from 10:00 a.m. to 12 Noon. Planning your next vacation has never been easier. John Golicz, CEO of Unicomm, the event’s producer, joins us with a preview of what’s in store.

We’d love to see you in San Diego on Saturday, January 16th. The producers of The Travel & Adventure Show have graciously extended a exclusive discount offer for our listeners for both One Day & Two Day admissions. A One Day Adult admission is $10 (versus $16) and a Two Day Adult Admission is $18 (versus $25.) Use the Offer Code: “JOHN.” Just visit their website and click on “Buy Tickets.”

Inspired by a Chardonnay vineyard Elliott and Lynn Dolin planted behind their ocean-view Malibu home in 2006, Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards has quickly emerged as one of the leading producers in the new Malibu Coast AVA. Following the release of just five vintages of Chardonnay ($39), the Winery has plans to expand its Malibu production to include several more wines from the region. In fall 2014 Dolin Estate broadened its scope further with the release of a new line of Central Coast Pinot Noir wines. Elliott Dolin joins us to share his unusual wine story.

“Welcome to Viviane Restaurant, a collaboration between Bombet Hospitality Group and Proper Hospitality, located in the iconic Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills. Viviane features award-winning chef Michael Hung’s (Esquire Magazine’s Best New Restaurant) modern California interpretation of classic European and American cuisine. Chef Michael’s menu is paired with a curated wine list of boutique vineyards and 1950’s inspired seasonal cocktails. Join us daily for lunch and dinner, weekdays for breakfast, and weekends for brunch. Experience food, drink, and festivity indoors or poolside in our Kelly Wearstler-designed space, a mid-century modern oasis sequestered away from the hurried pace of Los Angeles.” Chef Michael Hung (ex-Faith & Flower) is our guest.

Chef Rachel Klemek will be extending the reach of her award-winning made-from-scratch baked goods when she opens a new outpost,Blackmarket Bakery on Broadway, on Saturday, January 9th, 2016 in the downtown Santa Ana’s Santora building in the Artists Village (211 N. Broadway). Chef Klemek’s inspired approach to baking has set her apart within the county’s culinary landscape. Staying true to its roots, the new Santa Ana neighborhood bakery will highlight pastries made from her token “blackmarket” ingredients – butter, flour, sugar, and eggs. Chef Rachel joins us with all the sweet details.

Belfast-born Chef & restaurateur Geraldine (Gerri) Gilliland has been a major force on the hospitality scene in Santa Monica and environs since 1984. On St. Patrick’s Day in 2002 Gerri realized her most ambitious project to date and Finn McCool’s (a reassembled Irish pub from Newry, County Down) was launched. Irish nationals are among the employees. We’ll talk to Gerri about what authentic Irish pub food really is and her long-time friendship with the Irish Julia Child, Darina Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School, Ireland’s best-known chef.

Anita Lau is better known to regular listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” as the Mad Hungry Woman blogger. She was living in Hong Kong in the 90s before the turnover to China. Anita is recently back from a 3-week visit. We’ll continue with her insider’s view of the dining scene there during the glory days of the British. It was a very different and colorful time…

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

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January 9: Josiah Citrin, Michael Hung, San Diego Travel and Adventure, Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards, Blackmarket Bakery, Gerri Gilliland, Mad Hungry Woman

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Josiah Citrin, Charcoal Venice, Venice, CA
Segment Three: 3rd Annual San Diego Travel & Adventure Show
Segment Four: Elliott Dolin, Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards”
Segment Five: Executive Chef Michael Hung, Viviane Restaurant, Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills
Segment Six: Pastry Chef Rachel Klemek, Blackmarket Bakery on Broadway, Santa Ana
Segment Seven: Chef & Restaurateur Geraldine Gilliland, Finn McCool’s Irish Pub, Santa Monica
Segment Eight: Anita Lau, Diary of a Mad Hungry Woman Blogger

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, now, Brea, is back as today’s special Guest Host.

Next a tempting preview of Saturday’s hugely caloric but always healthy show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

Charcoal Venice, the new inviting, neighborhood restaurant from Michelin-starred Chef and Proprietor Josiah Citrin (our guest), opened early last month on W. Washington Blvd., a burgeoning culinary destination in Venice, CA bordering Marina del Rey. A more casual concept than Citrin’s Melisse, Charcoal Venice upholds the chef’s philosophy “In Pursuit of Excellence,” with a simpler, more approachable menu.

The 3rd Annual Travel & Adventure Show returns to the San Diego Convention Center the weekend of January 16th and 17th. “The SoCal Restaurant Show” is broadcasting live from the Show on Saturday morning, January 16th from 10:00 a.m. to 12 Noon. Planning your next vacation has never been easier. John Golicz, CEO of Unicomm, the event’s producer, joins us with a preview of what’s in store.

Inspired by a Chardonnay vineyard Elliott and Lynn Dolin planted behind their ocean-view Malibu home in 2006, Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards has quickly emerged as one of the leading producers in the new Malibu Coast AVA. Following the release of just five vintages of Chardonnay ($39), the Winery has plans to expand its Malibu production to include several more wines from the region. In fall 2014 Dolin Estate broadened its scope further with the release of a new line of Central Coast Pinot Noir wines. Elliott Dolin joins us to share his unusual wine story.

“Welcome to Viviane Restaurant, a collaboration between Bombet Hospitality Group and Proper Hospitality, located in the iconic Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills. Viviane features award-winning chef Michael Hung’s (Esquire Magazine’s Best New Restaurant) modern California interpretation of classic European and American cuisine. Chef Michael’s menu is paired with a curated wine list of boutique vineyards and 1950’s inspired seasonal cocktails. Join us daily for lunch and dinner, weekdays for breakfast, and weekends for brunch. Experience food, drink, and festivity indoors or poolside in our Kelly Wearstler-designed space, a mid-century modern oasis sequestered away from the hurried pace of Los Angeles.” Chef Michael Hung (ex-Faith & Flower) is our guest.

Chef Rachel Klemek will be extending the reach of her award-winning made-from-scratch baked goods when she opens a new outpost, Blackmarket Bakery on Broadway, on Saturday, January 9th, 2016 in the downtown Santa Ana’s Santora building in the Artists Village (211 N. Broadway). Chef Klemek’s inspired approach to baking has set her apart within the county’s culinary landscape. Staying true to its roots, the new Santa Ana neighborhood bakery will highlight pastries made from her token “blackmarket” ingredients – butter, flour, sugar, and eggs. Chef Rachel joins us with all the sweet details.

Belfast-born Chef & restaurateur Geraldine (Gerri) Gilliland has been a major force on the hospitality scene in Santa Monica and environs since 1984. On St. Patrick’s Day in 2002 Gerri realized her most ambitious project to date and Finn McCool’s (a reassembled Irish pub from Newry, County Down) was launched. Irish nationals are among the employees. We’ll talk to Gerri about what authentic Irish pub food really is and her long-time friendship with the Irish Julia Child, Darina Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School, Ireland’s best-known chef.

Anita Lau is better known to regular listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” as the Mad Hungry Woman blogger. She was living in Hong Kong in the 90s before the turnover to China. Anita is recently back from a 3-week visit. We’ll continue with her insider’s view of the dining scene there during the glory days of the British. It was a very different and colorful time…

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

Josiah CitrinCharcoal Venice, the new inviting, neighborhood restaurant from Michelin-starred Chef and Proprietor Josiah Citrin (our guest), opened early last month on W. Washington Blvd., a burgeoning culinary destination in Venice, CA bordering Marina del Rey. A more casual concept than Citrin’s Melisse, Charcoal Venice upholds the chef’s philosophy “In Pursuit of Excellence,” with a simpler, more approachable menu.

As the name suggests, the daily menu features craveable comfort foods cooked over a live fire via a wood oven, over charcoal, in the coals, or in a Big Green Egg – imparting a smoky, backyard barbeque flavor with the use of premium oak and hickory lump coals. Adding to the communal atmosphere of the restaurant, these dishes are all large, family-style portions meant to be shared.

Citrin also offers starters, including a unique tartare selection, such as beef heart and lamb, alongside a selection of farmers’ market vegetables including a whole head of cabbage baked in the coals until it’s completely black on the outside and smoky on the inside.

“This is the type of casual concept I’ve always wanted to open. It’s the food that I prepare for my friends and family in my backyard on the weekend. Not too fancy, just delicious food that you crave,” says Citrin. “Mélisse is your special occasion restaurant, while Charcoal Venice is an every night place for a refreshing beer and a perfectly grilled entrée.”

Travel and Adventure ShowThe 3rd Annual Travel & Adventure Show returns to the San Diego Convention Center the weekend of January 16th and 17th. “The SoCal Restaurant Show” is broadcasting live from the Show in the IFWTWA booth on Saturday morning, January 16th from 10:00 a.m. to 12 Noon. Planning your next vacation has never been easier.

This year’s event features a larger expo hall, with more travel destinations and expanded content and seminars. America’s favorite Travel Show series is sure to spark your wanderlust. Consider it the trip you take before your trip!

The Travel & Adventure Show matches travel enthusiasts with the top travel providers from around the globe to craft custom experiences that turn your ordinary get-aways into extraordinary vacations creating lasting memories for years to come.

From Mammoth Lakes to Malaysia, Fiji to Florida, you will browse a huge variety of travel providers, and experience culture-rich demonstrations from your dream destinations. Interact with thousands of domestic and international destinations and travel experts that can help you plan your next vacation, customize your trip, and give you the expert, inside knowledge you need to “travel like a local”.

John Golicz, CEO of Unicomm, the event’s producer, joins us with a tempting preview of what’s in store.

Elliot DolinInspired by a Chardonnay vineyard Elliott and Lynn Dolin planted behind their ocean-view Malibu home in 2006, Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards has quickly emerged as one of the leading producers in the new Malibu Coast AVA.

Following the release of just five vintages of Chardonnay ($39), the winery has plans to expand its Malibu production to include several more wines from the region. In fall 2014 Dolin Estate broadened its scope further with the release of a new line of Central Coast Pinot Noir wines from such highly regarded vineyards as Talley Rincon, Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills. In 2015, Dolin Estate will introduce additional single-vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines from the Central Coast.

Following their first vintage of Dolin Estate Chardonnay, Elliott and Lynn Dolin looked to the Central Coast to find a winemaker whose experience exceeded what was available in Southern California. They set up a meeting with Kirby Anderson at their Malibu Coast Vineyard, and right away they knew they had found a winemaker who shared their appreciation for wines made in a seamless, silky and voluptuous style. In 2010 Kirby began making Dolin Estate’s Chardonnay, and in 2012 he helped expand the portfolio to include Central Coat Rose of Pinot Noir and Pinot Noir.

Elliott Dolin joins us to share his unusual wine story.

Michael Hung“Welcome to Viviane Restaurant, a collaboration between Bombet Hospitality Group and Proper Hospitality, located in the iconic Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills. Viviane features award-winning chef Michael Hung’s (Esquire Magazine’s Best New Restaurant) modern California interpretation of classic European and American cuisine.

Chef Michael’s menu is paired with a curated wine list of boutique vineyards and 1950’s inspired seasonal cocktails. Join us daily for lunch and dinner, weekdays for breakfast, and weekends for brunch. Experience food, drink, and festivity indoors or poolside in our Kelly Wearstler-designed space, a mid-century modern oasis sequestered away from the hurried pace of Los Angeles.”

“We love classic American and European cuisine. Dishes as simple as a properly roasted chicken or decadent as lobster cloaked in cognac and cream speak to us. At Viviane, we revive these flavors with a sense of California freshness. We present them to you with care. We hope a conversation begins with you.”

Tucked in a secluded residential neighborhood adjacent to some of Los Angeles’ most famous restaurants, shopping and cultural attractions, Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills was originally built in 1949 as the Beverly Carlton. Once a home-away-from-home for mid-century celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Mae West, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, the hotel got a second life and its current name when it was revamped by The Kor Group and Kelly Wearstler Interior Designs in 1999.

Today, the property comprises three unique structures – the Olympic Building, Beverly Tower and Cañon Building – and offers 84 guestrooms, a full-service wellness studio, an hourglass pool and patio with outdoor dining.

Chef Michael Hung (ex-Faith & Flower) is our guest.

Rachel Klemek of Blackmarket Bakery and the CampChef Rachel Klemek will be extending the reach of her award-winning made-from-scratch baked goods when she opens a new outpost, Blackmarket Bakery on Broadway, on Saturday, January 9th, 2016 in the downtown Santa Ana’s Santora building in the Artists Village (211 N. Broadway). Chef Klemek’s inspired approach to baking has set her apart within the county’s culinary landscape. Staying true to its roots, the new Santa Ana neighborhood bakery will highlight pastries made from her token “blackmarket” ingredients – butter, flour, sugar, and eggs.

Built in 1928, the Santora building houses the bakery’s 2,300-square-foot space, adding a “retro” feel with art-deco elements, reminiscent of simpler times. As the largest Blackmarket Bakery yet, the Santa Ana location remains family friendly as it sees the addition of new menu items, including craft beers and hard ciders. The menu will also feature a new lineup of savory “bar bite” offerings, sandwiches made with fresh-baked breads, seasonal salads and sweet and hearty brunch items (the latter of which will be coming this Spring).

Like its Costa Mesa counterpart, which opened in 2012, the Santa Ana restaurant focuses on its made-from-scratch daily retail offerings such as Chef Rachel’s artisanal breads and now-famous “eggywiches,” as well as delectable desserts, including the Total Eclipse Mousse Cake, Cookie Monster Bread Pudding, and her ever-popular Black Widow Tart. Guests will have the opportunity to indulge in Blackmarket signature cookies, including Walnut Mudslides, Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies, and the Classic Two Tone.

“Expanding into the Santa Ana market will allow us to serve even more of our community,” explained Chef Rachel, who opened her first Blackmarket Bakery in an industrial park in Irvine back in 2004. “The addition of craft beer and hard cider, as well as an expanded menu of family friendly favorites, gives our Santa Ana location a little something for everyone.”

Chef Rachel joins us with all the sweet details.

Geraldine GilliliandBelfast-born Chef & restaurateur Geraldine (Gerri) Gilliland has been a major force on the hospitality scene in Santa Monica and environs since 1984. On St. Patrick’s Day in 2002 Gerri realized her most ambitious project to date and Finn McCool’s (a reassembled Irish pub from Newry, County Down) was launched. Irish nationals are among the employees. The ambiance is genuine Irish charm.

“Finn McCool’s is a stunning old world Gastro-pub with a modern sensibility & heavy emphasis on quality food & drinks. Designed with rich wood, antique Gaelic stained glass and gorgeous original art that was dis-assembled, shipped over from Belfast, Northern Ireland through the Panama canal and meticulously re-assembled on Main Street in Santa Monica. Finns boasts over 18 beers on tap, 200 whiskeys and an impressive menu of quality traditional & modern offerings from the newer “Build your own Burger” and “R&D Menu” (where customers get to help choose the next menu items) to classic offerings like “Fish & Chips in a Newspaper”, “Guinness Irish Stew” and the iconic “Irish Breakfast”.

Executive Chef & Restaurateur Geraldine Gilliland, whose career spans 3 decades, 2 continents & several lauded restaurants, launched Finn McCool’s in 2002 hot on the heels of her much loved restaurant “Gilliland’s”, “Jake & Annies” and her other restaurant, “LULA Cocina Mexicana”, also in Santa Monica.”

“2015 Irish Woman of the Year” was awarded to Chef Geraldine Gilliland by The City of Los Angeles and the L.A. City Council. She was nominated for the honor by Mary McAleese, the President of Ireland from 1997 to 2011.

We’ll talk to Gerri about what authentic Irish pub food really is and her long-time friendship with the Irish Julia Child, Darina Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School, Ireland’s best-known chef.

2016 has been designated the year of food and drink in Northern Ireland, and Gerri will give us some insight on contemporary food tourism there.

Anita Lau of Mad Hungry WomanAnita Lau is better known to regular listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” as the Mad Hungry Woman blogger. She was living in Hong Kong in the 90s before the turnover to China. Anita is recently back from a 3-week visit. We’ll continue with her insider’s view of the dining scene there during the glory days of the British. It was a very different and colorful time…

British Hong Kong showcased traditional, authentic and refined cuisine. The perfect surviving example is the fine cuisine that is still available at the always elegant Peninsula Hotel. Contemporary fine dining in Hong Kong right now is more ostentatious.

“This blog (diary of a MAD HUNGRY WOMAN) is a journal of mostly my eating adventures, but also, other things I’m passionate about, including travel, the arts, and also, necessities to complete my life. Centered predominantly in and around Orange County, CA, some will extend to Los Angeles, San Diego and beyond. I am constantly searching for delicious food to eat and fun things to do, nothing is out of bounds. Sometimes it doesn’t end well, but I can definitely say, it will always be an interesting journey.” Anita Lau

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Josiah Citrin, Charcoal Venice, Venice, CA
Segment Three: 3rd Annual San Diego Travel & Adventure Show
Segment Four: Elliott Dolin, Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards”
Segment Five: Executive Chef Michael Hung, Viviane Restaurant, Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills
Segment Six: Pastry Chef Rachel Klemek, Blackmarket Bakery on Broadway, Santa Ana
Segment Seven: Chef & Restaurateur Geraldine Gilliland, Finn McCool’s Irish Pub, Santa Monica
Segment Eight: Anita Lau, Diary of a Mad Hungry Woman Blogger

Show 152, December 26, 2015: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

The happiest of Happy Holidays (Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year) to all of our listeners and we’re back live with a fresh show (that’s sure to please) on January 2, 2016. Please join us often in the New Year!

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, now, Brea, is back with us by phone in the 2nd segment.

Next a mouthwatering preview of Saturday’s high-energy and appropriately festive show and not, with apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

Christmas Day is a difficult day to dine-out. For the most part the restaurants that are open are Chinese restaurants or restaurants located in Hotels. Executive Chef Michael Hung (ex-Faith & Flower) of Viviane Restaurant at the Avalon Beverly Hills really went the extra mile for his Christmas Day Dinner Menu. Executive Producer Andy was there and talks about the upbeat experience.

Our regular Guest Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, was just quoted in a front page New York Times Food Section piece, “Casting a Wider Net – Lesser-known, more sustainable fish are landing on American menus.” The article was written by Jeff Gordinier. Chef Andrew has discussed this significant trend on the show previously and we’ll revisit it.

There is just never enough time to talk with our always informative resident produce guru, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce. We’ll pick up where we left off in his last report just before Thanksgiving. Looking ahead Robert will also share his Top 5 Produce Trends for the New Year. You will be surprised…

The Rose Bowl arguably has the richest history of college bowl games. It is affectionately known as “The Granddaddy of Them All” for good reason. Celebrating its 60th year of grand tradition as part of The Tournament of Roses and the Rose Bowl Game is the Lawry’s Beef Bowl. Our guests are the long time organizer (24 years) of the event for Lawry’s, Colleen Donatucci, and Todd Erickson, the author of Road to the Rose Bowl – 50 Years of Lawry’s Beef Bowl. Bring on the silver cart…

Bravo’s “Top Chef” has been an enormous hit for the emerging network. It’s now airing Season 13 which is, appropriately, all California – based. It’s also made a media star of Co-host Tom Colicchio. This season a couple of Southern California chefs are Cheftestants including the OC’s Amar Santana of Broadway by Amar Santana and the just opened Vaca in Costa Mesa. Food journalist Anne Marie Panoringan (who contributes the widely read “On the Line” chef profiles for OC Weekly) is writing an opinionated weekly recap of “Top Chef” with the emphasis on the OC perspective. We’ll talk to her about this.

It’s Champagne time. Our resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange in Santa Ana, is with us to discuss “Grower Champagne.” It’s a delightful passion at Wine Exchange.

There is still just never enough time to talk with our always informative resident produce guru, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce. He’s back with a helpful, fact-filled 2nd segment this morning. Robert is profiling the current options for Variety Onions and Variety Potatoes.

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

Show 152, December 26, 2015: Dining on Christmas – Executive Producer & Co-host Andy Harris

Baby Kale, Snow Pea and Winter Citrus Salad with Ginger Ranch Dressing and Puffed RiceChristmas Day is a difficult day to dine-out. For the most part the restaurants that are open are Chinese restaurants or restaurants located in Hotels.

Executive Chef Michael Hung (ex-Faith & Flower) of Viviane Restaurant at the Avalon Beverly Hills really went the extra mile for his Christmas Day Dinner Menu. Executive Producer Andy was there and talks about the upbeat experience.

In that Christmas movie classic, “A Christmas Story” (1983) the Parker Family’s Christmas meal is spoiled by the neighbor’s hounds making off with their beautiful golden brown turkey. They end up at Chop Suey Palace for neighborhood Chinese instead.

5-Spiced Scented Beignets with Black Sesame Anglaise for dessertChef Hung’s special menu on Christmas was a thoughtful tribute to the meal at Chop Suey Palace. It was four courses and two desserts served family-style. The entire staff from the host to the bartenders was energized and seemed to be fine with having to work on Christmas. That’s a sign of a well-managed restaurant…Chef Michael Hung was right there, too, in the kitchen.

The first course was a refreshing Baby Kale, Snow Pea and Winter Citrus Salad with Ginger Ranch Dressing and Puffed Wild Rice. Producer Andy’s standout of the two desserts was the 5-Spiced Scented Beignets with Black Sesame Anglaise.

For New Year’s Day Chef Hung is featuring a special Hangover Brunch menu from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Specials include Fried Egg & Porchetta Ham Hoagie with Jack Cheese, House-made Hot Sauce and served on a Puff Pastry Roll.

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Show 140, October 3, 2015: Chef Tim Hollingsworth of Otium at The Broad museum continues…

Timothy HollingsworthJames Beard Award-winner Chef Tim Hollingsworth of the soon to debut Otium in Downtown Los Angeles located across the plaza from The Broad continues…

Chef Tim is one of the high profile local chefs of distinction cooking at The Taste Los Angeles Dining Event, “A Night of Culinary Stars,” benefiting the James Beard Foundation on Friday evening, November 6th at The Ebell of Los Angeles.

The Taste America evening (“Local Flavor from Coast-to-Coast”) will begin with a reception filled with cocktails and hors d’oeuvre from local chefs and restaurateurs, including Ray Garcia (Broken Spanish), James Beard Award winner Timothy Hollingsworth (Barrel & Ashes and Otium), Michael Hung (ex-Faith & Flower), Jessica Koslow (Sqirl), Zach Pollack (Alimento), and host chef Louis Pechan (The Ebell of Los Angeles).

Guests will then be seated for an extraordinary dinner prepared by James Beard Award–winning chef and Taste America All-Star Hugh Acheson (Empire State South; Atlanta, GA), in collaboration with two Local Star chefs, James Beard Award nominees Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook (Jon & Vinny’s, Animal, and Son of a Gun; Los Angeles), who will come together to create an unforgettable one-night-only menu. Tickets are available on jbftasteamerica.org.

On Saturday, November 7, free in-store consumer events will take place at Sur La Table® located at the Original Farmers Market, 6333 W 3rd St. #10, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Activities of the day will include a cooking demo by All-Star Hugh Acheson, book signings, tastings from local producers and artisans, as well as product demos and tastings from Taste America’s national sponsors.

Reservations for the free cooking demos will begin two weeks prior to the event (October 24th.) at jbftasteamerica.org. Visit Los Angeles’s event page for the full schedule and more details.

The James Beard Foundation will be donating a portion of the evening’s proceeds to The Taste America Scholarship Fund. Local culinary students in California are invited to apply for this culinary scholarship between April 1 and May 15, 2016, through www.jamesbeard.org.

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