Show 285, August 11, 2018: Robert Schueller, Mellissa’s “Prince of Produce”, Hatch Chile Season

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioHatch Chiles, grown only in the Hatch Valley and near the Rio Grande river of New Mexico, are considered by chile aficionados to be the best peppers in the world. Hatch is the premium growing area for New Mexico chiles. Hatch, New Mexico is not only the chile capital of the US but also of the World. Hatch Chiles have been growing in this region for over 135 years, developed by New Mexico State University.

The ultimate chile, these chiles are only available from New Mexico in a short, six- week window every year (between August and September.) Unusually Hatch Chiles are available in mild, medium, hot and extra hot varieties.

Aficionados generally buy the chiles in bulk by the case (typical case is 25 lbs.) and store the chiles in their freezers, assuring use of these chiles year-round. The chiles can be frozen, roasted up to 2 years. Freeze with or without roasted skin and seeds. The chiles tend to get warmer in heat when you freeze with veins and seeds before storage.

Hatch Chiles have a meaty flesh and mild-medium heat making them ideal for use in Chile Con Queso, Chile Rellenos, and Chile Verde. But it doesn’t just stop there. You can also try roasting and using them in salads, soups, stews, dips, and sandwiches. For even more great ideas on how to use this incredible chile, purchase a copy of the genuinely useful Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook.

Our resident produce authority, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, joins us with all the spicy details.

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Show 245, October 21, 2017: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish and Trade’s Two Birds & Butterleaf

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at the Fifth Anniversary of the SoCal Restaurant ShowCo-host, Chef Andrew Gruel, joins us from the road with an informative “Ask the Chef” segment.

Last week Anthony Bourdain of CNN’s “Parts Unknown” gave an exclusive interview to Business Insider with Chef Danny Bowien. Along the way Bourdain provided an epic rant on his dislike of Yelp! We’ll get Chef Andrew’s informed perspective from his own experience. He diligently responds to every Yelp! review.

Chef Andrew Gruel connects with us by phone this week after launching the first Slapfish in New Mexico in Albuquerque.

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Show 235, August 5, 2017: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Hatch Chile Season is on!

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioFor some seven short weeks the incredible Hatch Chiles from New Mexico are available fresh. Unusually they can be purchased in a range of heats from mild to hot.

It’s no secret why everyone is obsessed with Hatch Chiles. Named after the original growing area in Hatch, New Mexico, authentic Hatch Chiles are truly a Southwestern favorite. No other chile is prized more than this variety which grows in the Hatch Valley, just north of Las Cruces. The valley, which stretches along the Rio Grande’s southern-most bend before crossing into Texas and Mexico, is covered with row after row of these green leafy chile plants for most of the summer. Chefs say that the intense sunlight and cool nights in this valley result in a uniquely flavored chile that’s unrivaled by any other.

Hatch Chiles have a meaty flesh and mild-medium heat making them ideal for use in Chile Con Queso, Chile Rellenos, and Chile Verde. But it doesn’t just stop there. You can also try roasting and using them in salads, soups, stews, dips, and sandwiches. For even more great ideas on how to use this incredible chile, purchase a copy of Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook with over 150 unique, home-kitchen tested and classic Hatch Chile recipes.

Hatch chiles are so popular savvy folks load up each summer and freeze (in portioned freezer bags) enough roasted chiles to enjoy year-round.

Our resident produce guru, Robert Schuller of Melissa’s, steps away from the roaster to give us the piquant specifics.

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Show 224, May 20, 2017: Deborah Madison, Icon of Vegetarian Cuisine Part One

Deborah MadisonFrom perhaps the foremost authority on vegetarian cooking and one of the most trusted voices in food comes a carefully curated and updated collection of 100 favorite and most inspired recipes, reflecting how Deborah Madison loves to cook now. Her new book is In My Kitchen – A Collection of New and Favorite Vegetarian Recipes.

Deborah Madison’s newest book shares 100 beloved and innovative recipes from her vast repertoire, all pared down to the key ingredients needed to achieve delicious, nuanced flavor, with simplified preparations.

In My Kitchen is a vegetable-forward cookbook organized alphabetically and featuring recipes like Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Sunflower Sprouts; Fennel Shaved with Tarragon and Walnuts; and Olive Oil, Almond, and Blood Orange Cake. With dozens of tips for building onto, scaling back, and creating menus around, Deborah’s recipes have a modular quality that makes them particularly easy to use.

Deborah Madison, the founding chef of San Francisco’s popular Greens restaurant, is the author of nine highly regarded cookbooks. Deborah Madison’s The Savory Way, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and Local Flavors have all received James Beard Foundation Awards.

A cooking teacher for two decades, a contributor to many magazines, and long involved in the local food and farming movement, Madison is the recipient of many other awards, including the MFK Fisher Mid-Career Award.

We grab Deborah from her New Mexico garden for a chat.

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Show 184, August 13, 2016: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Hatch Chile Season

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioIt’s that most wonderful time of the year – Hatch Chile season! Grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico they are only available fresh for a few shorts weeks annually, now through mid-September.

Joining us for an informative update with all the Hatch Chile 411, including where to find sure-to-please recipes, is our resident Produce authority, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce. Let the roasting begin.

Harvested from fertile soil along the Rio Grande, Hatch Chiles thrive in the river valley’s combination of nutrient-rich soil, intense sunlight, and cool desert nights. The peppers develop thick walls and meaty, flavorful flesh unlike any other chile.

Because their growing season is short, Hatch Chiles are typically bought in bulk, roasted immediately, and frozen for use throughout the year. Nutritionally speaking, a single fresh medium-size green chile has as much Vitamin C as six oranges. Hot chile peppers are believed to burn calories by triggering a thermodynamic response in the body that speeds metabolism.

 

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Show 170, May 7, 2016: Proprietor / Executive Chef Arthur Gonzalez, Panxa Cocina, Long Beach

Arthur GonzalezPanxa Cocina in Long Beach recently celebrated its year anniversary. It’s located in the former Christy’s space on E. Broadway. Chef Arthur Gonzalez (ex-ROE Restaurant) is the Executive Chef and Co-Owner. It’s Santa Fe, New Mexico-style cuisine with rich, bold flavors and a lot of imagination. Chef Art is with us for the menu highlights.

Panxa Cocina was born out of a lifetime of love for Latin cuisine and a desire to support locally sourced foods. Growing up in Cerritos, California, Chef Arthur Gonzalez helped his German mother and his Oaxacan grandmother prepare meals growing up.

Chef Gonzalez wanted to be a firefighter and started as a paid call firefighter at age 26, but due to a back injury, he discovered his passion for cooking in the firehouse kitchen. He then went on to Seal Beach restaurant, Spaghettini, as a dishwasher. This humble beginning for Chef gave him the opportunity to train in the kitchen. Two years after starting at Spaghettini, Chef Gonzalez was the pastry/sous chef at local legend Mahé before moving to New Mexico.

After working in several restaurants in New Mexico, Chef Gonzalez was introduced to James Beard award-winning Chef Eric Distefano of Coyote Café and Geronimo, who became his mentor. While working at Señor Lucky’s in Santa Fé, Chef Gonzalez met Vanessa Auclair, his current business partner here in California.

Vanessa and Chef came back to Southern California to work at McKenna’s On The Bay in Long Beach as Manager and Head Chef, respectively, with the goal of creating delicious, clean and simple food. Their success at McKenna’s led to the opening of seafood focused Roe on Second Street in Belmont Shore.

Deciding to try something new, Vanessa and Chef opened Panxa, inspired by their Southwestern roots, together creating a menu authentic to New Mexico and influenced by his family’s cooking throughout his childhood.

At Panxa, pronounced pan-zah (the Catalan word for belly), Chef Gonzalez has created a place for flavorful unique dishes, craft cocktails, wine, and an extensive tequila menu.

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Show 134, August 8, 2015: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

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

Next a mouthwatering preview of Saturday’s fully overloaded show. With any luck we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

What’s new in ice cream ? (Sorry we just missed National Ice Cream Month…) Consider Manila Sky Ice Cream. This line of gourmet, sweet indulgences is a fusion of authentic Filipino inspired tropical ingredients combined with creamery fresh California milk. The flavors are bold. What started as a hobby for founder Anthony Reyes and his wife has grown (since 2012) into a viable business. What’s not to love about creamy ice cream? We’ll chill with Co-founder Anthony Reyes.

The raw oyster bar seems to be popping up as an attraction at a lot of restaurants these days including ones that offer very little seafood. It’s a trend…Satarist Jonathan Swift once wrote, “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.” There are three primary species of oysters that are commercially harvested domestically. Our own resident seafood expert, Chef Andrew Gruel, will provide some needed 411 on what every listener should know about these plump bivalves that now are seemingly on restaurant menus everywhere.

Hatch Chile season is upon us! Fresh Hatch Chiles, grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico, are available for just a few short weeks each year in August and September. Many connoisseurs consider them the world’s tastiest chiles.Melissa’s World Variety Produce has led the charge in popularizing the coveted Hatch Chiles and developing many great, easy-to-prepare recipes using them. Their Corporate Chef, Ida Rodriguez, joins us to discuss the joys of Hatch Chile season.

At the age of 15, Chef Brendan Collins quit secondary school to follow his dream and enroll in culinary school, where is was classically trained in French technique. By 17, the talented Nottingham native had his first job at London’s La Gavroche, a Michelin two-star restaurant. Today Collins is the Executive Chef and Proprietor of both Birch in Hollywood as well as the Executive Chef of The Corner Door in Culver City.

Sadly the 125 Anniversary run of the Orange County Fair (“One Big Party” concludes on Sunday, August 16th. The Concessionaire’s Cup Awards for OC Fair’s Finest Foods have been presented. We’ll talk with one of the Trophy Winners, Lori Southerland of Grant’s Tasti Burgers and Tasti Chips.

Our spirited friends at The Museum of The American Cocktail (MOTAC) are at it again. Their next Los Angeles presentation isSin and the Silver Screen: The Birth of Spirited Hollywood.” The date is Monday evening, August 17th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Hollywood’s preeminent English pub, The Pikey Café & Bar. Lesley Jacobs Solmonson & David Solmonson, the authors of The 12 Bottle Bar and publishers of 12bottlebar.com are the always entertaining presenters.

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

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Show 134, August 8, 2015: Corporate Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s, Hatch Chile Season

Chef Ida Rodriquez of Melissas World Variety Produce

Hatch Chile season is upon us! Fresh Hatch Chiles, grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico, are available for just a few short weeks each year in August and September. Many connoisseurs consider them the world’s tastiest chiles.

Once roasted, Hatch Chiles are easy to peel and seed. Roasting heightens the robust earthy flavor of the chiles and the texture of the thick walls of the chile pod becomes lusciously rich. These unique qualities, and the pepper’s variable heat (unlike other chile peppers, Hatch Chiles come in varieties that cover the full spectrum of heat levels) have earned Hatch Chiles great popularity far beyond the local community of Hatch, New Mexico.

Melissa’s World Variety Produce has led the charge in popularizing the coveted Hatch Chiles and developing many great recipes using them. From now through mid-September Melissa’s will be sponsoring weekend Hatch Chile Roasting parties at area supermarkets including at select Bristol Farms and Gelson’s. Check the Melissa’s website for locations, dates and times.

Hatch Chiles are an inspired addition to libations. The Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook has a recipe for Hatch Chile-Infused Tequila which is then used in a signature Spicy Margarita. Also there is a recipe for Spicy Ice Cubes and Ginger Ale. As the ice cubes melt, the drinks will become spicier.

There are also fun Hatch Chile desserts in the cookbook. Chef Andrew Gruel is a fan of the Hatch Chile S’mores. It’s a novel twist on the classic with a little punch.

Melissa’s Corporate Chef, Ida Rodriguez, joins us to highlight the joys of Hatch Chile season.

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August 8: Andrew Gruel, Manila Sky, Melissa’s Produce, Brendan Collins, Grant’s Tasti Burgers, 12 Bottle Bar

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anthony Reyes, Co-Founder, Manila Sky Ice Cream
Segment Three: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish
Segment Four: Corporate Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s, Hatch Chile Season
Segment Five: Executive Chef Brendan Collins, Birch and The Corner Door Part One
Segment Six: Executive Chef Brendan Collins, Birch and The Corner Door
Segment Seven: Grant’s Tasti Burgers and Tasti Chips, 2015 OC Fair
Segment Eight: The Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC)

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

Next a mouthwatering preview of Saturday’s overloaded show. With any luck we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

What’s new in ice cream ? (Sorry we just missed National Ice Cream Month…) Consider Manila Sky Ice Cream. This line of gourmet, sweet indulgences is a fusion of authentic Filipino inspired tropical ingredients combined with creamery fresh California milk. The flavors are bold. What started as a hobby for founder Anthony Reyes and his wife has grown (since 2012) into a prosperous business. What’s not to love about creamy ice cream? We’ll chill with Co-founder Anthony Reyes.

The raw oyster bar seems to be popping up as an attraction at a lot of better restaurants these days including ones that offer very little seafood. It’s a trend…Satarist Jonathan Swift once wrote, “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.” There are three primary species of oysters that are commercially harvested domestically. Our own resident seafood expert, Chef Andrew Gruel, will provide some needed 411 on what every listener should know about enjoying these plump bivalves that now are seemingly on restaurant menus everywhere.

Hatch Chile season is upon us! Fresh Hatch Chiles, grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico, are available for just a few short weeks each year in August and September. Many connoisseurs consider them the world’s tastiest chiles. Melissa’s World Variety Produce has led the charge in popularizing the coveted Hatch Chiles and developing many inspired recipes using them. Melissa’s Corporate Chef, Ida Rodriguez, joins us to highlight the joys of Hatch Chile season.

At the age of 15, Chef Brendan Collins quit secondary school to follow his dream and enroll in culinary school, where is was classically trained in French technique. By 17, the talented Nottingham native had his first job at London’s La Gavroche, a Michelin two-star restaurant. Today Collins is the Executive Chef and Proprietor of both Birch in Hollywood as well as the Executive Chef of The Corner Door in Culver City.

Sadly the 125th Anniversary run of the Orange County Fair (“One Big Party”) concludes on Sunday, August 16th. The Concessionaire’s Cup Awards for OC Fair’s Finest Foods have been presented. We’ll talk with one of the Trophy Winners, Lori Southerland of Grant’s Tasti Burgers and Tasti Chips.

Our spirited friends at The Museum of The American Cocktail (MOTAC) are at it again. Their next Los Angeles presentation is “Sin and the Silver Screen : The Birth of Spirited Hollywood.” The date is Monday evening, August 17th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Hollywood’s preeminent English pub, The Pikey Café & Bar. Lesley Jacobs Solmonson & David Solmonson, the authors of The 12 Bottle Bar and publishers of 12bottlebar.com are the always entertaining presenters.

Thanks to all our special in-studio guests last week from the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA.) We really appreciate the visit.

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

Manila Sky Nutty Jack ice CreamWhat’s new in ice cream ? (Sorry we just missed National Ice Cream Month…) Consider Manila Sky Ice Cream. This line of gourmet, sweet indulgences is a fusion of authentic Filipino inspired tropical ingredients combined with creamery fresh California milk. The flavors are bold.

What started as a hobby for founder Anthony Reyes and his wife has grown (since 2012) into a prosperous business. What’s not to love about creamy ice cream?

The captivating flavors are Coco Rico, Mango Dream, Mango Verde, Nutty Jack, Purple Yumm and Viva Avocado.

Nutty Jack Ice Cream is a distinct, tropical jackfruit ice cream with roasted cashews and a hint of sea salt. The star of this flavor is the Filipino jackfruit : a tropical fruit with notes of mango, pineapple and banana. Pairing jackfruit with cashews is a quintessential Filipino flavor combination that marries the depth of roasted cashews with the tropical sweetness of the jackfruit.”

We’ll chill with Co-founder Anthony Reyes.

Andrew GruelThe raw oyster bar seems to be popping up as an attraction at a lot of restaurants these days including ones that offer very little seafood. It’s a legitimate trend…

Satarist Jonathan Swift once wrote, “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.”

There are three primary species of oysters that are commercially harvested domestically. They are the Pacific, Eastern and the Olympia. They can be sold under different names depending on where they are harvested. Live oysters are best enjoyed as fresh as possible.

Oysters are high in calcium and iron. They provide a good source of protein.

Our own resident seafood expert, Chef Andrew Gruel, will provide some needed 411 on what every listener should know about enjoying these plump bivalves that now are seemingly on restaurant menus everywhere.

Chef Ida Rodriquez of Melissas World Variety ProduceHatch Chile season is upon us! Fresh Hatch Chiles, grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico, are available for just a few short weeks each year in August and September. Many connoisseurs consider them the world’s tastiest chiles.

Once roasted, Hatch Chiles are easy to peel and seed. Roasting heightens the robust earthy flavor of the chiles and the texture of the thick walls of the chile pod becomes lusciously rich. These unique qualities, and the pepper’s variable heat (unlike other chile peppers, Hatch Chiles come in varieties that cover the full spectrum of heat levels) have earned Hatch Chiles great popularity far beyond the local community of Hatch, New Mexico.

Melissa’s World Variety Produce has led the charge in popularizing the coveted Hatch Chiles and developing many great recipes using them. From now through mid-September Melissa’s will be sponsoring weekend Hatch Chile Roasting parties at area supermarkets including at select Bristol Farms and Gelson’s. Check the Melissa’s website for locations, dates and times.

Melissa’s Corporate Chef, Ida Rodriguez, joins us to highlight the joys of Hatch Chile season.

Brendan CollinsAt the age of 15, Chef Brendan Collins quit secondary school to follow his dream and enroll in culinary school, where is was classically trained in French technique. By 17, the talented Nottingham native had his first job at London’s La Gavroche, a Michelin two-star restaurant. Today Collins is the Executive Chef and Proprietor of both Birch in Hollywood as well as the Executive Chef of The Corner Door in Culver City.

Drawing on his training in butchery and belief in using the whole animal, Collins is dedicated to using only the best ingredients and cooking food that he likes to eat. He combines impeccable French technique, seasonal California ingredients, and his inimitable “British lad” attitude to create a cuisine that is at once comforting and exciting, while maintaining a relaxed, English pub atmosphere

For the past three years, The Corner Door has been known as one of the best spots for cocktails in all of Southern California, filling both the bar and dining room with guests imbibing on their always seasonal and innovative beverage program. And now, with Executive Chef Brendan Collins at the helm of the kitchen, The Corner Door has introduced a completely new Dinner Menu with eats to match.

Collins, formerly the chef at such notable spots as Melisse, Anisette and Palihouse, opened his own acclaimed restaurant Waterloo & City just next to The Corner Door until he decided to close (and sell) it late last year. Though he was also working on his newly opened Hollywood restaurant, Birch, at the same time, Collins was deeply invested in Culver City. “It is a close-knit community, and all the restaurants are friends with each other,” he says. “I lived and worked in Culver City for seven years, and wanted to keep a connection with the neighborhood.“

As Executive Chef, Collins will be cooking at The Corner Door at least one day a week, but his longtime lieutenant and Chef de Cuisine Ali Haji has taken charge of day-to-day operations. Haji has worked with Collins continually for the last eight years, beginning at Mesa, in Costa Mesa. “I am closer to Ali than anyone, maybe even my own wife,” Collins says. “He knows what I like and the standards I like to keep; he is ready to step up and run his own kitchen.”

Orange County Fair 2015Sadly the 125 Anniversary run of the Orange County Fair (“One Big Party”) concludes on Sunday, August 16th.

The annual Concessionaire’s Cup Awards for OC Fair’s Finest Foods have been presented. We’ll talk with one of the Trophy Winners, Lori Southerland of Grant’s Tasti Burgers and Tasti Chips.

Last year their winning item was the Chile Relleno Pretzel Cheeseburger. It’s a spicy chorizo patty, jalapeno jam, avocado, tomato, cheese and a whole chile relleno in a soft pretzel bun. It’s back on the menu for 2015

For 2015 their new signature item is the Cuban Fusion Burger. It’s a pork sausage burger patty with smoked ham, tomato, sliced pickles, spicy mayo, mustard and Swiss cheese on a ciabatta roll.

David and Lesley Jacobs SolmonsonOur spirited friends at The Museum of The American Cocktail (MOTAC) are at it again. Their next Los Angeles presentation is Sin and the Silver Screen: The Birth of Spirited Hollywood.”

The program tells the story of Hollywood’s transformation from a dry, well-churched town to the epicenter of nightclub culture. The presentation features the rise and Golden Age of the Hollywood nightclub, tales from its most popular establishments, and “house drinks” from several famous clubs, including the Cocoanut Grove, Embassy Club, and Café Montmarte. Admission ($40.00 General Admission) includes farm-to-table food pairings of Chef Ralph Johnson.

The event date is Monday evening, August 17th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Hollywood’s preeminent English pub, The Pikey Café & Bar. Lesley Jacobs Solmonson & David Solmonson, the authors of The 12 Bottle Bar and publishers of 12bottlebar.com are the always entertaining presenters.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anthony Reyes, Co-Founder, Manila Sky Ice Cream
Segment Three: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish
Segment Four: Corporate Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s, Hatch Chile Season
Segment Five: Executive Chef Brendan Collins, Birch and The Corner Door Part One
Segment Six: Executive Chef Brendan Collins, Birch and The Corner Door
Segment Seven: Grant’s Tasti Burgers and Tasti Chips, 2015 OC Fair
Segment Eight: The Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC)

Show 87, September 6, 2014: Corporate Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s Produce

Chef Ida Rodriquez of Melissas World Variety ProduceIda Rodriguez is the long-time Corporate Chef for Melissa’s / World Variety Produce. Until the end of the month it’s still Hatch Chile season.

Over Labor Day Weekend Chef Ida was in Hatch, New Mexico as a participant for the annual Hatch Chile Festival. Chef Ida and Sharon Hernandez (the co-founder of Melissa’s) were there to do a book-signing of Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook. It gets really crazy there during the Festival.

The most unusual Hatch Chile dish Chef Ida tasted (which she also
really enjoyed) was a Hatch Chile cornbread Whoopie pie. Chef Ida joined us to provide the chile flavored report.

Weekend Hatch chile roastings continue through this month at select supermarkets. Check the Melissa’s website for the schedule, times, and locations.

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