Show 218, April 8, 2017: “The Big Cheese” Grilled Cheese Festival & Competition

The Big Cheese Grilled Cheese Competition“The Big Cheese” Grilled Cheese Festival & Competition (4th Annual) returns to Provisions Market in Orange on the evening of Wednesday, April 12th.

In celebration of National Grilled Cheese Month in April, Provisions Market and OC Baking Company will once again join forces to host The Big Cheese, Orange County’s grilled cheese festival and competition. Event Co-Founder Chef Greg Daniels and his fellow OC Chefs will compete for the title of “The Big Cheese” in this 4th annual event to be held on National Grilled Cheese Day on Wednesday, April 12th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Provisions Market (143 N. Glassell Street, Orange, CA 92866).

OC Baking Company Master Baker Dean Kim will supply locally produced freshly baked bread to the competing chefs, while the farmer-owned dairy cooperative Tillamook County Creamery Association will offer a selection of its award-winning butter and cheeses for use at the festival, including new Farmstyle Cut Shredded Cheese crafted for ideal melt.

Competing chefs will present their own spin on the classic grilled cheese sandwich that will be evaluated by a panel of judges who will determine The Big Cheese 2017. In addition, the festival attendees will sample and then vote on a “People’s Choice” winner from the collection of high-profile chef participants including Amar Santana of Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana.

“This is our 4th year, and I love how this event keeps bringing our local chefs together in a lighthearted competition to melt cheese and make people smile,” commented Chef Greg Daniels, who oversees the kitchens at Provisions Market and Haven Gastropub.

Event Co-Founder Chef Greg Daniels (Haven Gastropub & Provisions Market) and Chef Max Schlutz of Sessions West Coast Deli are our melty & cheesy guests.

Play

April 11: Andrew Gruel, National Grilled Cheese Month, Karen Page, Andrew Dornenburg, Big Island Chocolate Festival, Aarti Sequeira

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Artisan Baker Dean Kim – “The Big Cheese” Competition
Segment Three: Karen Page – The Vegetarian Flavor Bible Part One
Segment Four: Karen Page – The Vegetarian Flavor Bible Part Two
Segment Five: Big Island Chocolate Festival
Segment Six: Food Network’s Chef Aarti Sequeira Part One
Segment Seven: Food Network’s Chef Aarti Sequeira Part Two
Segment Eight: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish

Executive 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 fully-leaded and content-rich show.

In celebration of National Grilled Cheese Month in April Provisions Market (Chef Greg Daniels) and OC Baking Company (Dean Kim) will join forces to once again host The Big Cheese, Orange County’s grilled cheese festival and competition. Event Co-Founder Greg Daniels and his fellow Orange County Chefs will compete for the title of “The Big Cheese” on Monday, April 20th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Provisions Market. All proceeds from this year’s event will be donated to You Are Special, a local nonprofit that operates a food pantry to feed the hungry in the Orange community.

Two-time James Beard Award-winning author Karen Page revolutionized the way both professional chefs and home cooks think about and create new dishes – based on compatible flavors instead of recipes – with her bestseller, The Flavor Bible, which Forbes named as one of the ten best cookbooks of the past century. Now Page brings the same innovative approach to plant-based cooking with The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. Photographs are by Andrew Dornenburg (Karen’s husband.) Karen Page is our guest along with Andrew Dornenburg.

Craving chocolate ? Who doesn’t ? The fourth annual Big Island Chocolate Festival (Hawaii) delivers with an array of fun, elegant and taste-tempting activities, seminars and culinary adventures May 7th to 9th. Most of the chocolately goodness will be offered at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, but three new events take place at Kona farms. Hawaii is the only state in the United States that can grow cacao. Farsheed Bonakdar, the President of the Kona Cacao Association and acclaimed chocolatier and pastry chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Company join us with a preview.

“My first cookbook, Aarti Paarti : An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul is a love letter to both the flavors of my youth as an Indian girl growing up in the Middle East…and the flavors that embrace me in my new home here in the States” “I’ll walk you through 101 recipes, some simplified versions of Indian classics…and some that show you how to use these same Indian spices to create exciting spins on American favorites. Food Network’s Aarti Sequeira is our guest. She will be doing a cooking demo and book-signing at next weekend’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC.

Finally a chance to chat with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish. He’ll share some useful tips about selecting and preparing lobster. This is a conversation started on last week’s show. Chef Andrew will also advise us on what parts of the lobster are best for use in some familiar dishes. We’ll also talk about what is an authentic lobster roll. They are seemingly appearing on menus everywhere.

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

The Big Cheese Grilled Cheese CompetitionIn celebration of National Grilled Cheese Month in April Provisions Market (Chef Greg Daniels) and OC Baking Company (Dean Kim) will join forces to once again host The Big Cheese, Orange County’s grilled cheese festival and competition. Event Co-Founder Greg Daniels and his fellow Orange County Chefs will compete for the title of “The Big Cheese” on Monday, April 20th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Provisions Market. All proceeds from this year’s event will be donated to You Are Special, a local nonprofit that operates a food pantry to feed the hungry in the Orange community.

OC Baking Company Master Baker Dean Kim will supply locally produced, freshly baked bread to the competing chefs. The competitors will present their own spin on the classic grilled cheese sandwich that festival attendees will sample and then vote on.

This year, the professional chefs will be joined by one ProAm competitor who will be selected by event organizers in an Instagram contest. To enter, the public must create and present an original grilled cheese creation on Instagram and use the hashtag #thebigcheese2015 by Thursday, April 16th. The winning entry will be announced Friday, April 17th and the ProAm contender for “The Big Cheese” will participate in the festival on Monday, April 20th.

Artisan Baker Dean Kim of the OC Baking Company joins us with all the needed 411.

Karen Page and Andrew DornenburgTwo-time James Beard Award-winning author Karen Page revolutionized the way both professional chefs and home cooks think about and create new dishes – based on compatible flavors instead of recipes – with her bestseller, The Flavor Bible, which Forbes named as one of the ten best cookbooks of the past century. Now Page brings the same innovative approach to plant-based cooking with The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. Photographs are by Andrew Dornenburg (Karen’s husband.)

For the first time in history, per-capita consumption of meat in America has fallen for five consecutive years, with predictions of continuing declines. Vegetarianism and veganism are emerging from the margins and into the mainstream, as 54 percent of Americans now wish to decrease or eliminate meat from their diets. While people have chosen to adopt meatless diets throughout history for a variety of reasons – from ethics to economy to personal and planetary well-being – this book suggests a new reason for doing so: maximizing flavor, which is too often masked by meat-based stocks or butter and cream.

Karen Page is our guest along with Andrew Dornenburg.

After losing members of her family to cancer, the author – an established culinary professional – was shocked to learn that the number-one cause of death in America is nutritionally controllable diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. A lifelong omnivore who grew up eating meat “two and often three times a day,” Page was motivated by nutrition studies to experiment with vegetarianism. She eventually eliminated meat from her diet, losing digestive aches and pains and more than twenty pounds in the process, while gaining new vitality and even joy – and she pours here newfound passion into this book.

BIg Island Chocolate FestivalCraving chocolate? Who doesn’t? The fourth annual Big Island Chocolate Festival (Hawaii) delivers with an array of fun, elegant and taste-tempting activities, seminars and culinary adventures May 7th to 9th. Most of the chocolatey goodness will be offered at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, but three new events take place at Kona farms. Hawaii is the only state in the United States that can grow cacao.

On Saturday, May 9th the 3-days of chocolate fun at The Big Island Chocolate Festival culminates from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Fairmont’s Grand Ballroom for the festival gala. Attendees can enjoy both savory and sweet chocolate cuisine created by top Island chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners while voting for their favorite culinary station. Diners can also visit the “all you can enjoy” mole and salad bars. Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Company will be demonstrating the fine art of chocolate sculpting.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds benefit the “Equip the Kitchens” campaign for the future Hawaii Community College-Palamanui and a capital campaign to build a community kitchen at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

Farsheed Bonakdar, the President of the Kona Cacao Association and acclaimed chocolatier and pastry chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Company join us with a tempting preview.

“My first cookbook, Aarti Paarti: An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul is a love letter to both the flavors of my youth as an Indian girl growing up in the Middle East…and the flavors that embrace me in my new home here in the States”

“I’ll walk you through 101 recipes, some simplified versions of Indian classics like Chicken Tikka Masala, Raita and Naan…and some that show you how to use these same Indian spices to create exciting spins on American favorites like Kebab Sliders with Tamarind Chutney, Masala Shrimp and Grits, and Lemon Indian Donuts (Gulab Jamun) with Chamomile-Cardamom Syrup.”

“Each recipe is accompanied by swoon-worthy photos by Matt Armendariz, as well as stories (and photos) from my childhood”

Aarti SequeiraFood Network’s Aarti Sequeira is our guest. She will be doing a cooking demo and book-signing at next weekend’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC on Saturday afternoon, April 18th at 2:00 p.m.

Chef Aarti’s first cookbook is Aarti Paarti – An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul. The foreword is by Food Network’s Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman Cooks fame.

This collection of Aarti’s memories and over 100 recipes will make cooking with traditional Indian and Middle Eastern flavors easy and fun for any reader. Wonderfully evocative stories at the beginning of each chapter relate how a woman who was an outsider experienced many cultures and cuisines. But it is the food in Aarti’s life that keeps her close to her roots as she explores new culinary and cultural destinations.

Andrew GruelFinally a chance to chat with our patient Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish. He really knows seafood.

Chef Andrew will share some useful tips about selecting and preparing lobster. It’s easier to enjoy than its reputation. Chef Andrew will also advise us on what parts of the lobster are best for use in some familiar dishes. This is the continuation of a conversation Chef Andrew started last week.

Lobster Rolls are appearing on a lot of restaurant menus. Everyone, of course, has the “best.” Chef Andrew will give us some background on this delicacy. He grew up on the East Coast where this craveable sandwich originated.

Chef Andrew is the co-host of FYI’s new restaurant makeover series, “Say It To My Face!” It premiers Saturday night, May 9th.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Artisan Baker Dean Kim – “The Big Cheese” Competition
Segment Three: Karen Page – The Vegetarian Flavor Bible Part One
Segment Four: Karen Page – The Vegetarian Flavor Bible Part Two
Segment Five: Big Island Chocolate Festival
Segment Six: Food Network’s Chef Aarti Sequeira Part One
Segment Seven: Food Network’s Chef Aarti Sequeira Part Two
Segment Eight: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish

Show 68, April 5, 2014: Show 68, April 5, 2014: Master Baker Dean Kim, OC Baking Co

The Big Cheese Grilled Cheese CompetitionIn celebration of National Grilled Cheese Month in April, OC Baking Co. and Provisions Market in Orange will join forces to host The Big Cheese, Orange County’s first grilled cheese festival and competition. OC Baking Co. Master Baker Dean Kim will supply locally produced freshly baked bread to top OC chefs competing for the title of “The Big Cheese” on Monday, April 14th from 6 to 8:00 p.m. at Provisions Market in Orange.

“The Chef community in Orange County is a tight knit one with many talented individuals I’m proud to call my friends,” commented Chef Greg Daniels, who oversees the kitchens at Haven Gastropub in Orange and Pasadena, as well as taco asylum in Costa Mesa. “Grilled Cheese is something we can all relate to and, thanks to OC Baking Co.’s support, this event is a way for us to get together for a lighthearted competition.”

Play

April 5: OC Baking Co., Grist & Toll, Duskie Estes, Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, Relish Culinary Adventures, Micah Wexler

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Master Baker Dean Kim, OC Baking Co
Segment Three: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Owner, Zazu Kitchen + Farm, The Barlow
Segment Five: Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, author of Gin: A Global History
Segment Six: Donna del Rey, Relish Culinary Adventurers, Healdsburg, CA
Segment Seven: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part Two

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

The Inaugural Grilled Cheese Festival & Competition featuring the best of the OC’s chefs is coming. We’ll have the details on how you can attend.

Would you believe a stone flour mill in Pasadena? It’s a passion project for the two partners who are selling flour from grain sourced from local growers. That’s a great example of the locavore movement!

We last visited with Chef Duskie Estes of Zazu Kitchen + Farm & Black Pig Meat Co. right before they opened their spacious new restaurant at The Barlow in Sebastopol (Sonoma County) last year. We have an update…

You can’t have a classic bar without gin. We have a fascinating tutorial from the local expert affiliated with the Museum of the American Cocktail.

The gateway to the Sonoma County Wine Country for foodies is Relish Culinary Tours located right off the town square in Healdsburg. They offer cooking classes, private parties, culinary tours and creative catering. We’ll hear about what’s on their menu for Spring & Summer.

A Los Angeles fine dining chef who has cooked at Tom Colicchio’s Craft in Century City is a deliman at heart. He’s about to open a Jewish deli in Downtown Los Angeles featuring his premium, house cured meats.

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

The Big Cheese Grilled Cheese CompetitionIn celebration of National Grilled Cheese Month in April, OC Baking Co. and Provisions Market in Orange will join forces to host The Big Cheese, Orange County’s first grilled cheese festival and competition. OC Baking Co. Master Baker Dean Kim will supply locally produced freshly baked bread to top OC chefs competing for the title of “The Big Cheese” on Monday, April 14th from 6 to 8:00 p.m. at Provisions Market in Orange.

“The Chef community in Orange County is a tight knit one with many talented individuals I’m proud to call my friends,” commented Chef Greg Daniels, who oversees the kitchens at Haven Gastropub in Orange and Pasadena, as well as taco asylum in Costa Mesa. “Grilled Cheese is something we can all relate to and, thanks to OC Baking Co.’s support, this event is a way for us to get together for a lighthearted competition.”

Nan KohlerSerious home baker Nan Kohler and her business partner (Marti Noxon) have recently opened (December) Grist & Toll, an Urban flour mill in Pasadena. They are selling flour milled on the site from grain sourced from local growers.

The attractive blond wood stone mill from Austria is visible through a window and is the real star of the show.

They sell flour to home bakers as well as select restaurants including Union Restaurant in Pasadena.

Baking classes are on the way.

Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart of Zazu Kitchen and FarmWhen we first met Sonoma County-based Chef Duskie Estes last Spring when she was about to move Zazu Kitchen + Farm from Santa Rosa into an incredible space at The Barlow in Sebastopol. It’s now located on the grounds of a long-closed Gravenstein apple processing facility. Some of the tin clad warehouse buildings remain and have been artfully repurposed. The rest of the complex duplicates that rustic look.

Duskie and her husband, John Stewart, are the King & Queen of Porc from the Grand Cochon competition in 2011. They also operate the Black Pig Meat Co.

Most of the mains change nightly at Zazu. A signature starter is the “I (heart) Pigstrami. John cures the pork for this little sandwich served on artisan rye with sauerkraut and house-made Guinness mustard.

Saturday and Sunday brunch is a major attraction here. At brunch the “can’t miss” item is the “As seen on TV” maple glazed donut with bacon jimmies. Outrageous…

Also popular is the king + queen of pork bacon-in-the-batter waffle with bacon toffee and house-made espresso gelato.

Lesley Jacobs SolmonsonThe Museum of the American Cocktail (based in New Orleans) is kicking off their “Touring the Cocktail Series” in Los Angeles with Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, the author of Gin: A Global History. She also is the food and cocktail columnist at LA Weekly. The provocative program is “A History of Gin in Five Cocktails.”

Gin is the undisputed king of cocktail spirits. Built upon a neutral spirit base, great gin is a symphony of juniper, spices, botanicals, and citrus.

Five signature gin cocktails will be available for sampling that evening. It’s set for Monday, April 7th at Dominick’s Restaurant in West Hollywood.

Donna del Rey of Relish Culinary AdventuresWhen it comes to providing the welcoming gateway for discriminating foodies to the Sonoma County Wine Country no one does it better than the hard-working Donna del Rey of Relish Culinary Adventures in Healdsburg. Relish offers cooking classes, private parties, distinctive culinary tours, and creative catering.

Recently Donna and her crew provided support for the Artisan Cheese Festival.

For the ultimate experience they offer “Relish Sonoma County,” a 3-Day Culinary Adventure of Sonoma County.

Coming up on June 21st is a hands-on Culinary Birds cooking class with Chef John Ash.

Micah WexlerChef Micah Wexler was born and raised in Los Angeles and always had aspirations to be a chef. At age 15, Wexler’s first job was working with legendary Italian Chef, Gino Angelini, at Vincenti in Brentwood.

In 2011 Wexler opened Mezze Restaurant as Chef/Co-owner. Mezze was named one of the Top New Restaurants that year by Los Angeles Magazine and was one of Jonathan Gold’s Essential 99 restaurants.

Next month Wexler will open his newest concept, Wexler’s Deli, in Downtown Los Angeles’ iconic Grand Central Market. Wexler’s Deli aims to take the traditional deli back to its roots and provide a place of community, pride, familiarity, and quality.

The menu will feature traditional favorites of corned beef, pastrami, salmon, and sturgeon, all cured and smoked in-house. All condiments will be house-made.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Master Baker Dean Kim, OC Baking Co
Segment Three: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Owner, Zazu Kitchen + Farm, The Barlow
Segment Five: Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, author of Gin: A Global History
Segment Six: Donna del Rey, Relish Culinary Adventurers, Healdsburg, CA
Segment Seven: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part Two