Show 265, March 17, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a tantalizing preview of Saturday’s decadent show. No blarney or four-leaf clovers here…but plenty of fresh Irish Soda Bread. 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… Keep in mind we’re always here with you live every Saturday morning with a fresh show.

The 5th Annual Firkfest Cask Beer Festival is back on March 24th at the Anaheim Packing District Farmers Park. This year, again, it’s a Tiki theme. All the cask beers served are made specifically for the event. They may never be brewed again. Founder, organizer, and local beer writer Greg Nagel taps the cask for us.

Chef Zov Karamardian, founder of Zov’s Restaurants, will receive the Epicenter Award honoring her passion and commitment for creating a strong and healthy community from the Alzheimer’s Association at their Women #ENDALZ Luncheon at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach on April 13th. Chef Zov and Anne Grey, Executive Director for the Alzheimer’s Association, join us.

From the Arabian Sea to the peaks of the Himalayas, cuisine in Karachi is as diverse as its inhabitants and draws influences from across South, Central, and West Asia. Acclaimed Pakistani chef, culinary educator, humanitarian, and food stylist, Kausar Ahmed, has curated and created mouth-watering recipes in her first cookbook, The Karachi Kitchen – Classic and Contemporary Flavors of Pakistan. Chef Kausar is unusually in Santa Monica on Sunday, March 25th presenting a multi-course Pakistan feast from The Karachi Kitchen to benefit the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.) Chef Kausar is our guest.

Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines are made by Buellton Hitching Post owner / chef Frank Ostini (made famous in in the Oscar-winning feature motion picture “Sideways”) and his good friend, former fisherman Gray Hartley. Frank and Gray first made wine at home in 1979. They found their first Pinot Noir in 1981. The project moved to a winery in 1984 to make wines exclusively for the Hitching Post Restaurant. Their passioned focus has been to work with the California Central Coast’s best vineyards producing many Pinot Noirs, a couple Syrahs and a red blend of Merlot.

Figueroa Philly, arguably Los Angeles’ number one destination for the most authentic Cheese Steaks and Hoagies, is celebrating its favorite holiday, National Philly Cheese Steak Day, on Saturday, March 24, with a delicious giveaway. The first 100 fans on line next Saturday morning will receive a signature Classic Figueroa Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich absolutely free of charge ($8.85 value). Rocky would be proud. Proprietor Danny Hizami slathers on the processed Cheez Whiz.

Our always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his “Ask the Chef” series. Tilapia is one of those better-for-you fish that just doesn’t get enough deserved respect or visibility. It’s slowly changing. Tilapia can be successfully farm-raised in a healthy, pristine environment. It’s mild tasting and versatile for use in a lot of satisfying recipes. The fish is also hugely affordable. Chef Andrew reels the specifics in for us.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

March 17: FIrkFest, Zov Karamardian, Kausar Ahmed, Hitching Post Wines, Figueroa Philly

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Greg Nagel, Founder & Producer, Firkfest Castaway Tiki Cask Beer Festival
Segment Three: Chef Zov Karmardian, Zov’s & Anne Grey, Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Association
Segment Four: Chef Kausar Ahmed, The Karachi Kitchen – Classic and Contemporary Flavors of Pakistan
Segment Five: Gray Hartley, Founder & Co-Winemaker, Hitching Post Wines, Buellton Part One
Segment Six: Gray Hartley, Founder & Co-Winemaker, Hitching Post Wines, Buellton Part Two
Segment Seven: National Philly Cheese Steak Day with Figueroa Philly
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef”

Now a tantalizing preview of this Saturday’s decadent show. No blarney or four-leaf clovers here…but plenty of fresh Irish Soda Bread. 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… Keep in mind we’re always here with you live every Saturday morning with a fresh show.

The 5th Annual Firkfest Cask Beer Festival is back on March 24th at the Anaheim Packing District Farmers Park. This year, again, it’s a Tiki theme. All the cask beers served are made specifically for the event. They may never be brewed again. Founder, organizer, and local beer writer Greg Nagel taps the cask for us.

Chef Zov Karamardian, founder of Zov’s Restaurants, will receive the Epicenter Award honoring her passion and commitment for creating a strong and healthy community from the Alzheimer’s Association at their Women #ENDALZ Luncheon at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach on April 13th. Chef Zov and Anne Grey, Executive Director for the Alzheimer’s Association join us.

From the Arabian Sea to the peaks of the Himalayas, cuisine in Karachi is as diverse as its inhabitants and draws influences from across South, Central, and West Asia. Acclaimed Pakistani chef, culinary educator, humanitarian, and food stylist, Kausar Ahmed, has curated and created mouth-watering recipes in her first cookbook, The Karachi Kitchen – Classic and Contemporary Flavors of Pakistan. Chef Kausar is unusually in Santa Monica on Sunday, March 25th presenting a multi-course Pakistan feast from The Karachi Kitchen to benefit the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.) Chef Kausar is our guest.

Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines are made by Buellton Hitching Post owner/chef Frank Ostini (made famous in in the Oscar-winning feature “Sideways”) and his good friend, former fisherman Gray Hartley. Frank and Gray first made wine at home in 1979. They found their first Pinot Noir in 1981. The project moved to a winery in 1984 to make wines exclusively for the Hitching Post Restaurant. Their passioned focus has been to work with the California Central Coast’s best vineyards producing many Pinot Noirs, a couple Syrahs and a red blend of Merlot.

Figueroa Philly, arguably Los Angeles’ number one destination for the most authentic Cheese Steaks and Hoagies, is celebrating its favorite holiday, National Philly Cheese Steak Day, on Saturday, March 24, with a delicious giveaway. The first 100 fans on line next Saturday morning will receive a signature Famous Figueroa Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich absolutely free of charge ($9.85 value). Rocky would be proud. Proprietor Danny Hizami slathers on the processed Cheez Whiz.

Our always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his “Ask the Chef” series. Tilapia is one of those better-for-you fish that just doesn’t get enough deserved respect or visibility. It’s slowly changing. Tilapia can be successfully farm-raised in a healthy, pristine environment. It’s mild tasting and versatile for use in a lot of recipes. The fish is also hugely affordable. Chef Andrew reels the specifics in for us.

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

Greg NagelThe 5th Annual Firkfest Cask Beer Festival is back on March 24th at the Anaheim Packing District Farmers Park. This year, again, it’s a Tiki theme. All the cask beers served are made specifically for the event. They may never be brewed again.

“Of the hundreds of different flavors of beer, a large portion can be described as “tropical”. Whether it be IPAs bursting with mango, pineapple, or passion fruit hoppy notes; stouts with Pina Colada and Mai Tai vibes, or even Belgian-style beers with Zombie cocktail overtones…don’t be surprised to see this year’s Firkfest beers to include “aged in rum barrel” or have actual barbecued pineapple making up the event’s beers.”

New this year is the well-respected OC Bartenders Cabinet will be shaking up actual Tiki cocktails for demonstration and sampling. Several bartenders are teaming up with breweries to also collaborate on tropical/tiki-style cask beers.

“Looking at the previous Firkfest events, I saw a common denominator: tropical-style beers seemed to stand out. As a huge cocktail nerd that loves Tiki culture, it’s time for the area’s craft brewers to come together, throw on some grass skirts, and make something truly unique,” says founder, organizer, and local beer writer Greg Nagel, @OCBeerBlog.

Tickets are $50 including fees, all profits supporting the historic Anaheim Fall Festival and Halloween Parade, an event that celebrates a 95-year history. Event tickets are by-design, limited, as the producer keeps things intimate. “It’s a park-like atmosphere, where people chill on beach blankets and chairs,” says fest-man Nagel.

Founder, organizer, and local beer writer Greg Nagel taps the cask for us.

Zov Karamardian or Zov's in TustinChef Zov Karamardian, founder of the long-running and popular Zov’s Restaurants, will receive the Epicenter Award honoring her passion and commitment for creating a strong and healthy community from the Alzheimer’s Association at their Women #ENDALZ Luncheon (from 12 Noon to 2:00 p.m.) at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach on April 13th.

“WOMEN #ENDALZ celebrates the power and influence of women. By using our collective voices, we can create awareness of the impact Alzheimer’s on our health, our families and our nation. Women are disproportionally affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Almost two-thirds of Americans with the disease are women and 65 percent of caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s are women. THE RISK IS REAL FOR WOMEN A woman’s estimated lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer’s at age 65 is 1 in 6.”

“A woman’s estimated lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer’s at age 65 is 1 in 6. As real a concern as breast cancer is to women’s health, women in their 60s are about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as they are to develop breast cancer. Not only are women more likely to have Alzheimer’s, they are also more likely to be caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.”

$200 per ticket includes valet parking, champagne reception and lunch with wine.

Kausar AhmedFrom the Arabian Sea to the peaks of the Himalayas, cuisine in Karachi is as diverse as its inhabitants and draws influences from across South, Central, and West Asia. Acclaimed Pakistani chef, culinary educator, humanitarian, and food stylist, Kausar Ahmed, has curated and created mouth-watering recipes in her first cookbook, The Karachi Kitchen – Classic and Contemporary Flavors of Pakistan.

Chef Kausar is unusually in Santa Monica on Sunday, March 25th presenting a multi-course Pakistan feast from The Karachi Kitchen to benefit the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.) Think Champagne Reception with passed appetizers (Mini Shaami Kababs & Green Coconut Chutney) and dual entrees of Murgh Hara Masala (Green Chicken) Lentil and Rice Pilaf (meatless) paired with premium wines and local craft beers.

Each guest also receives a personally signed copy of Chef Kausar’s The Karachi Kitchen – Classic and Contemporary Flavors of Pakistan.

100 per cent of the $175 ticket price goes to C-CAP to support their programming with local, at-risk high school students. Limited to 18 guests.

Chef Kausar is our guest.

Gray HartleyHartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines are made by Buellton Hitching Post owner / chef Frank Ostini (made famous in in the Oscar-winning feature “Sideways”) and his good friend, former fisherman Gray HartleyFrank and Gray first made wine at home in 1979. They found their first Pinot Noir in 1981. The project moved to a winery in 1984 to make wines exclusively for the Hitching Post Restaurant.

Their passioned focus has been to work with the California Central Coast’s best vineyards producing many Pinot Noirs, a couple Syrahs and a red blend of Merlot named Gen Red. They also produce a dry barrel fermented rose named Pinks.

Hitching Post Wines strives to create handcrafted, flavorful wines that possess poise and balance so that they may complement the food at Frank Ostini’s wildly popular Hitching Post Restaurant.

Co-Winemaker & Partner, Gray Hartley pulls the cork for us.

Frank Ostini and Gray Hartley of Hitching Post Wines believe that great wines are made in the vineyard. Their winemaking philosophy is that they are caretakers who guide the wine into the bottle. As the wine matures it is simply left to gently age in the barrel. This minimalist approach allows Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines to reflect the character of the vineyard and the vintage, preserving the essence of the grape for you to enjoy when you open the bottle.

Hitching Post Wines are admired by those who appreciate Santa Barbara wines for their fresh fruit, spice, earthy complexities, and refreshing acidity. Their goal is to put a “slice of Santa Barbara County in each bottle and a piece of their soul in every glass of Hitching Post Wine.”

“Highliner is the “Best fisherman in the fleet” and our flagship Santa Barbara Pinot Noir. Each vintage is crafted from our best vineyards and best barrels.”

Highliner was featured in the 2014 Oscar-winning film, “Sideways” that brought international attention to the Hitching Post brand.

“We shaped this cuvee to include mostly Bien Nacido, Sanford & Benedict, and Fiddlestix Vineyards grapes. Delicious today with flavors of red cherry, plum, mint, white pepper sand blood orange, this Highliner (2014) is destined to give pleasure for many years.”

Danny HizamiFigueroa Philly, arguably Los Angeles’ number one destination for the most authentic Cheese Steaks and Hoagies, on Saturday, March 24, with a delicious giveaway. The first 100 fans on line next Saturday morning will receive a signature Famous Figueroa Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich absolutely free of charge ($8.95 value). Rocky would be proud.

Proprietor Danny Hizami slathers on the processed Cheez Whiz.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at the Fifth Anniversary of the SoCal Restaurant ShowOur always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his Ask the Chef series. Tilapia is one of those better-for-you fish that just doesn’t get enough deserved respect or visibility. It’s slowly changing. Tilapia can be successfully farm-raised in a healthy, pristine environment.

Tilapia is mild tasting and versatile for use in a lot of satisfying recipes. The fish is also hugely affordable. Chef Andrew reels the specifics in for us.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Greg Nagel, Founder & Producer, Firkfest Castaway Tiki Cask Beer Festival
Segment Three: Chef Zov Karmardian, Zov’s & Anne Grey, Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Association
Segment Four: Chef Kausar Ahmed, The Karachi Kitchen – Classic and Contemporary Flavors of Pakistan
Segment Five: Gray Hartley, Founder & Co-Winemaker, Hitching Post Wines, Buellton Part One
Segment Six: Gray Hartley, Founder & Co-Winemaker, Hitching Post Wines, Buellton Part Two
Segment Seven: National Philly Cheese Steak Day with Figueroa Philly
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef”

Show 264, March 10, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a captivating preview of this Saturday’s scrumptious 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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re always here with you live every Saturday morning with a fresh show.

Ever consider the delights of top quality peanut butter? The style (with no sugar) that is dense with spreadable crunch and oozing with the rich taste and aroma of freshly roasted peanuts? Kiwi Pic Picot certainly has. Since founding Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter Co. in his garage in Nelson, NZ back in 2008 he is now the best-selling (and best loved) peanut butter in New Zealand with over 40 per cent of the market! Pic’s is now conquering California. The inspirational NZ peanut butter baron, Pic Picot, is our in-studio guest with his unlikely story.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s 13th annual Simply diVine, the premier food and wine event for LGBT people and their allies, will take place on Saturday, March 24, from 6–9 p.m. Held for the first time at Hollywood Forever—one of the world’s most fascinating landmarks best known as the final resting place to more of Hollywood’s founders and stars than anywhere else on Earth—guests will sample extraordinary food and drinks from L.A.’s most popular restaurants, food trucks, wineries, distilleries, breweries, and more. All proceeds support the Center’s life-changing and life-saving programs and services. Event Co-Chair Chef Susan Feniger joins us with all the absolutely fabulous details.

For North Europeans in search of a summer trifecta of sun, sea and sand, Portugal’s southern coastline exerts an irresistible allure. Savvy International wine lovers are now following suit, on a separate voyage of discovery into the country’s hot, dry interior and the vineyards of southern Portugal’s Alentejo (ah-len-TAY-zhoo) region. As with many areas of Southern Europe, wine has been made in the Alentejo for time immemorial, most of it spent in quiet obscurity. But with a winemaking revival well underway, supported by the investment of EU funds, that is fast starting to change. Evan Goldstein, MS, an authority on the wines of Portugal, is our guide to one of the most promising wine regions in southern Europe today.

Executive Chef/Proprietor David Pratt of Brick Restaurant in San Clemente likes to challenge himself. He’s been very successful since opening 6 years ago with his gourmet pizzas from the wood-burning oven with a subspecialty in multi-meat meatballs cooked in the wood-burning oven. Chef David has newly installed an eye-popping Santa Maria-style grill and the appealing farm menu has broadened to include grilled lobster, rib-eye and hangar steaks, lamb chops and whole young kitchen. We divert Chef David from working the Santa Maria grill for a chat.

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar has opened its third Southern California location at San Diego’s Westfield UTC in La Jolla. The Winery Restaurant La Jolla provides guests with the same rich experience as its Orange County locations at The District in Tustin and overlooking the marina in Newport Beach. The Winery also operates a separate 1,300-square-foot wine bar within Westfield UTC, called The Wine Bar by The Winery, meant to provide a rich experience at a casual pace, perfect for enjoying a glass of wine or tasting flight and small bite. Managing Partner JC Clow is our guide.

Our always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his “Ask the Chef” series. The big Illumination Foundation Benefit, OC Chef’s Table, is set for Sunday, March 18th at Disney’s Grand Californian. Chef Andrew is again a participant in this high profile and worthy charity event. Each celebrity chef cooks with great fanfare for an exclusive table of ten. We’ll hear about it.

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

Play

Show 264, March 10, 2018: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef”

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his Ask the Chef series. The significant Illumination Foundation Benefit, OC Chef’s Table, is set for Sunday, March 18th at Disney’s Grand Californian. Chef Andrew is again a participant in this high profile and worthy charity event. Each celebrity chef cooks with great fanfare for an exclusive (highly decorated & visually stunning) table of ten. We’ll hear about it.

Play

March 10: Pic’s Peanut Butter, Susan Feniger, Portugal Wines, Brick Restaurant, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Pic Picot, Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter, Nelson, New Zealand Part One
Segment Three: Pic Picot, Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter, Nelson, New Zealand Part Two
Segment Four: Border Grill’s Susan Feniger, Simply DiVine
Segment Five: Evan Goldstein, MS, The Wines of Alentejo, Portugal
Segment Six: Executive Chef / Proprietor David Pratt, Brick Restaurant, San Clemente
Segment Seven: JC Clow, Founding Managing Partner, The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef”

Now a captivating preview of this Saturday’s scrumptious show. No blarney here…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… Keep in mind we’re always here with you live every Saturday morning with a fresh show.

Ever consider the delights of top quality peanut butter? The style (with no sugar) that is dense with spreadable crunch and oozing with the rich taste and aroma of freshly roasted peanuts? Kiwi Pic Picot certainly has. Since founding Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter Co. in his garage in Nelson, NZ back in 2008 he is now the best-selling (and best loved) peanut butter in New Zealand. Pic’s is now conquering California. The inspirational NZ peanut butter baron, Pic Picot, is our in-studio guest with his unlikely story.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s 13th annual Simply diVine, the premier food and wine event for LGBT people and their allies, will take place on Saturday, March 24, from 6–9 p.m. Held for the first time at Hollywood Forever—one of the world’s most fascinating landmarks best known as the final resting place to more of Hollywood’s founders and stars than anywhere else on Earth—guests will sample extraordinary food and drinks from L.A.’s most popular restaurants, food trucks, wineries, distilleries, breweries, and more. All proceeds support the Center’s life-changing and life-saving programs and services. Event Co-Chair Chef Susan Feniger joins us with all the absolutely fabulous details.

For North Europeans in search of a summer trifecta of sun, sea and sand, Portugal’s southern coastline exerts an irresistible allure. Savvy International wine lovers are now following suit, on a separate voyage of discovery into the country’s hot, dry interior and the vineyards of southern Portugal’s Alentejo (ah-len-TAY-zhoo) region. As with many areas of Southern Europe, wine has been made in the Alentejo for time immemorial, most of it spent in quiet obscurity. But with a winemaking revival well underway, supported by the investment of EU funds, that is fast starting to change. Evan Goldstein, MS, an authority on the wines of Portugal, is our guide to one of the most promising wine regions in southern Europe today.

Executive Chef/Proprietor David Pratt of Brick Restaurant in San Clemente likes to challenge himself. He’s been very successful since opening 6 years ago with his gourmet pizzas from the wood-burning oven with a subspecialty in multi-meat meatballs cooked in the wood-burning oven. Chef David has newly installed an eye-popping Santa Maria-style grill and the appealing farm menu has broadened to include grilled lobster, rib-eye and hangar steaks, lamb chops and whole young kitchen. We divert Chef David from working the Santa Maria grill for a chat.

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar has opened its third Southern California location at San Diego’s Westfield UTC in La Jolla. The Winery Restaurant La Jolla provides guests with the same rich experience as its Orange County locations at The District in Tustin and overlooking the marina in Newport Beach. In the coming weeks, The Winery will also open a separate 1,300-square-foot wine bar within Westfield UTC, called The Wine Bar by The Winery, meant to provide a rich experience at a casual pace, perfect for enjoying a glass of wine or tasting flight and small bite. Managing Partner JC Clow is our guide.

Our always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his “Ask the Chef” series. The big Illumination Foundation Benefit, OC Chef’s Table, is set for Sunday, March 18th at Disney’s Grand Californian. Chef Andrew is again a participant in this high profile and worthy charity event. Each celebrity chef cooks with great fanfare for an exclusive table of ten. We’ll hear about it.

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

Pic PicotEver consider the delights of top quality peanut butter? The style (with no sugar) that is dense with spreadable crunch and oozing with the rich taste and aroma of freshly roasted peanuts? Kiwi Pic Picot certainly has. Since founding Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter Co. in his garage in Nelson, NZ back in 2008 he is now the best-selling (and best loved) peanut butter in New Zealand. Pic’s is now conquering California with availability in Pavilions, Gelson’s and Bristol Farms.

“In 2008 I sold 48 jars to our local supermarket and took to the road. Within a year you could buy Pic’s in 50 outlets around the country. Then we were picked up by both of NZ’s supermarket chains and suddenly Pic’s was available pretty much anywhere in New Zealand.” – Pic Picot

Today, in two bursting-at-the-seams peanut butter works in Nelson, Pic’s produces some 20,000 jars a day. A new 25,000 square foot production facility is under construction designed to accommodate comprehensive factory tours.

The inspirational NZ peanut butter baron, Pic Picot, is our in-studio guest with his in unlikely story.

“My Mum and Auntie had made a bit of peanut butter when I was little. They’d both bought a new Vitamix and peanut butter was one of the cool things you could make with them. Anyway, I bought a few kilos of peanuts, roasted them in the oven and squished them up with a bit of salt, blowing up my cheap modern blender in the process.”

“But the peanut butter was beautiful. A million times nicer than the stuff I’d got used to. I filled a few jars for friends, and one of my twelve year old son’s mates liked it so much he bought a jar with his pocket money.”

“I was fifty- five, going a bit blind (macular degeneration runs in the family) and had just had to close a little Laundromat that had been earning me a couple of hundred dollars a week. I figured if I could make 30 jars of peanut butter on Friday morning I could sell it at our farmers market on Friday afternoon and get my $200 back.”

“So that’s what I did. I made a roaster out of a concrete mixer and bought a bench top grinder and a tonne of peanuts from Australia and got to work.” –Pic Picot

Susan Feniger of Mud Hen TavernThe Los Angeles LGBT Center’s 13th annual Simply diVine, the premier food and wine event for LGBT people and their allies, will take place on Saturday, March 24, from 6–9 p.m. Held for the first time at Hollywood Forever—one of the world’s most fascinating landmarks best known as the final resting place to more of Hollywood’s founders and stars than anywhere else on Earth—guests will sample extraordinary food and drinks from L.A.’s most popular restaurants, food trucks, wineries, distilleries, breweries, and more. All proceeds support the Center’s life-changing and life-saving programs and services.

“This year, with our new home at the iconic Hollywood Forever, Simply diVine is giving you more than ever before—more of L.A.’s premier food, wine, and spirits, more space, more fun,” said event co-chair Susan Feniger. “There’s never been a better time to show up and support the LGBT community. We need everyone in this fight as we keep working to build a world where all of us can thrive.”

Those looking for a more intimate experience can get a one-hour exclusive early entry to the main event at 5 p.m. with a CLUB VIP Lounge ticket offering private bartenders from The Chapel at the Abbey; tastings of rare wines and Tito’s Handmade Vodka; entertainment by Rachel Sorsa Band; magic by Bill Bailey (from Magic Castle); celebrity chef experiences with Susan Feniger (Border Grill) and Mary Sue Milliken (Border Grill Restaurants & Truck); and more. Complimentary VIP parking included.

Event Co-Chair Chef Susan Feniger joins us with all the absolutely fabulous details.

Evan GoldsteinFor North Europeans in search of a summer trifecta of sun, sea and sand, Portugal’s southern coastline exerts an irresistible allure. Savvy International wine lovers are now following suit, on a separate voyage of discovery into the country’s hot, dry interior and the vineyards of southern Portugal’s Alentejo (ah-len-TAY-zhoo) region.

As with many areas of Southern Europe, wine has been made in the Alentejo for time immemorial, most of it spent in quiet obscurity. But with a winemaking revival well underway, supported by the investment of EU funds, that is fast starting to change.

Alentejo is blessed with an astonishing array of native grapes. With over 250 indigenous grape varieties, Portugal, has the highest density of native grapes per square mile of any country in the world, including Italy. Proud local producers concentrate on those native grapes, which are often blended.

Evan Goldstein, MS, an authority on the wines of Portugal, is our guide to one of the most promising wine regions in southern Europe today.

David PrattExecutive Chef/Proprietor David Pratt of Brick Restaurant in San Clemente likes to challenge himself. He’s been very successful since opening 6 years ago with his distinctive gourmet pizzas from the wood-burning oven with a subspecialty in massive, multi-meat (beef, pork and veal) meatballs cooked in the wood-burning oven.

Chef David has newly installed an eye-popping Santa Maria-style grill and the appealing farm menu has broadened to include grilled lobster, rib-eye and hangar steals, lamb chops and whole young chicken.

“David Pratt, a visionary and true foodie at heart, is passionate about fresh, sustainable and flavorful food. He cares deeply about the food he creates, but he cares even more that people are happy with it. “I try to talk to each table that comes in,” David says. “I want to make sure everyone has a good experience.” “

“His hands are in each aspect of the business, from making pasta and shopping at farmers markets to overseeing the wine list and meeting guests.  One bite into a wood-fired Margherita pizza or the house roasted Porchetta and it all comes full circle.”

We divert Chef David from working the Santa Maria grill for a chat.

Andy Harris, Andrew Gruel and JC Clow of the Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar at the SoCal Restaurant Show 5th AnniversaryThe Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar has opened its third Southern California location at San Diego’s Westfield UTC in La Jolla. The Winery Restaurant La Jolla provides guests with the same rich experience as its Orange County locations at The District in Tustin and overlooking the marina in Newport Beach.

In the coming weeks, The Winery will also open a separate 1,300-square-foot wine bar within Westfield UTC, called The Wine Bar by The Winery, meant to provide a rich experience at a casual pace, perfect for enjoying a glass of wine or tasting flight and small bite.

“At The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, we pride ourselves on really focusing on our guest experience. Our third location now open in La Jolla provides the same level of service, with highly skilled Chefs orchestrating a warm and passionate menu created by our award-winning Chef Yvon Goetz, and a team of Certified Sommeliers to oversee an incredible wine program,” explained JC Clow, Founding Partner of The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar. “It’s exciting to join a group of retailers that are among the best in their respective fields. We anticipate endless possibilities, with something to suit every palate.”

Managing Partner JC Clow is our hospitable guide.

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his Ask the Chef series. The significant Illumination Foundation Benefit, OC Chef’s Table, is set for Sunday, March 18th at Disney’s Grand Californian. Chef Andrew is again a participant in this high profile and worthy charity event. Each celebrity chef cooks with great fanfare for an exclusive (highly decorated & visually stunning) table of ten. We’ll hear about it.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Pic Picot, Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter, Nelson, New Zealand Part One
Segment Three: Pic Picot, Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter, Nelson, New Zealand Part Two
Segment Four: Border Grill’s Susan Feniger, Simply DiVine
Segment Five: Evan Goldstein, MS, The Wines of Alentejo, Portugal
Segment Six: Executive Chef / Proprietor David Pratt, Brick Restaurant, San Clemente
Segment Seven: JC Clow, Founding Managing Partner, The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef”

Show 212, February 25, 2017: Executive Chef Andrew Sutton, Napa Rose, Preview of OC Chef’s Table 2017

Andrew Sutton of Disney's Grand Californian Resort and SpaIllumination Foundation (IF) will host the 2nd Annual OC Chef’s Table 2017 on Sunday, March 12, 2017, at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, to raise funds for the construction of a second emergency home for homeless families with children.

OC Chef’s Table is one of the county’s most exclusive charitable culinary events where OC’s top chefs come together to create a delectable five-course meal prepared tableside at tables decorated to reflect the personality and brand of each participating restaurant. Every restaurant and chef participating has been personally chosen to host a table at the gala due to their earned accolades for their impressive culinary skills or innovations.

“Nearly 1 in 6 children face homelessness in OC. There are too many families with children that struggle to secure a roof over their heads every night. It shouldn’t be like this. Children should have the right to a happy and stable childhood. We can’t thank these extraordinary chefs enough for accepting to donate their time, talent and culinary knowledge to help us build a second emergency house in Orange County. This event is going to be an amazing experience for our guests, a creative challenge for the chefs and eye-opening for everybody. With every emergency house we build we start rebuilding the lives of 100 suffering families per year. The more money we raise, the more houses and services we offer and that means less people on our county’s streets. I want to thank all the chefs, restaurants, guests and sponsors for joining us in our mission to break the cycle of homelessness,” said Paul Leon, Illumination Foundation CEO and President.

Host Chef Andrew Sutton of Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian is our guest with a preview. Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group will also be personally cooking for ten lucky guests at an OC Chef’s Table.

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Show 160, February 20, 2016: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group

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 mouthwatering preview of Saturday’s promisingly scrumptious and 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 positively a good thing…

Leave it to our local celebrity chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger to have some real fun with Leap Day on February 29th at Border Grill Downtown Los Angeles. For one night only on Leap Day, Mary Sue’s and Susan’s fondly remembered CITY will return for an encore. Mary Sue Milliken takes us back to the beginning in 1981.

Disney’s “OC Chef’s Table” culinary event will be held March 13, 2016 at the Disney Grand Californian Resort & Spa’s Grand Ballroom. The event features 30 of Orange County’s top chefs coming together to create a delectable five-course meal prepared tableside at tables decorated to reflect the personality and brand of each restaurant represented. All proceeds from the event go to Illumination Foundation. Host Chef Andrew Sutton of Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian joins us with all the details.

For the first time ever, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles (PPLA) is recognizing a Restaurateur of the Year for the upcoming 2016 PPLA Food Fare on March 3rd in Santa Monica. This inaugural honor has been proudly presented to Jenny Rush, head and founder of the Blue Plate Restaurant Group in Santa Monica and Los Angeles. Honoree Jenny Rush is our guest.

Berlin Bistro, a favorite casual dining destination in Long Beach’s eclectic East Village neighborhood, is partnering with the Art Theatre and DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week, in bringing attention to the very important issue of edible food waste and to raise vitally needed funds for local non-profit Food Finders food rescue organization. The benefit on March 6th is a special screening of the highly-praised documentary, Just Eat It. A Food Waste Story followed by a specialty multi-course “Root-to-Stem” lunch created by Berlin Bistro’s chef, Tim Balen. Chef Tim and the Producer of DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week, Terri Henry, join us with the 411.

Hundreds of premium wine varieties, sweet and savory chocolate confections, gourmet food samples from acclaimed Pechanga Resort & Casino restaurants, live music, a silent auction and helping out a good cause are all on the agenda for February 26 and 27 at Pechanga Resort & Casino. Tickets for the 8th annual Chocolate Decadence and Pechanga Wine Festival are on sale now. Proceeds from both events benefit Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley. Pechanga Resort & Casino’s Executive Banquet Chef, Colin McGinley, joins us with all the sweet and savory details.

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

Play

Show 160, February 20, 2016: Executive Chef Andrew Sutton, Napa Rose, Disney’s Grand Californian

Andrew Sutton of Disney's Grand Californian Resort and SpaDisney’s OC Chef’s Table” culinary event will be held March 13, 2016 at the Disney Grand Californian Resort & Spa’s Grand Ballroom. The event features 30 of Orange County’s top chefs coming together to create a delectable five-course meal prepared tableside at tables decorated to reflect the personality and brand of each restaurant represented.

All proceeds from the event go to Illumination Foundation, a nonprofit working to end the cycle of homelessness in Orange County. Last year over $580,000 was raised, which helped the charity with their emergency house built for the homeless families they serve.

Each table will receive personal service throughout the 5-course meal from a single chef and their staff who take great pride in creating a unique and unforgettable experience for their table’s guests. They will prepare each course tableside, exquisitely paired with fine wines and cocktails presented with impeccable service.

Our own resident celebrity, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, will also be there hosting a table.

Host Chef Andrew Sutton of Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian joins us with all the details.

Play

February 20: Mary Sue Milliken, Napa Rose, Blue Plate Restaurant Group, Berlin Bistro, Pechanga Resort & Casino

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Mary Sue Milliken, Border Grill, Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Las Vegas Part One
Segment Three: Mary Sue Milliken, Border Grill, Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Andrew Sutton, Napa Rose, Disney’s Grand Californian
Segment Five: Jenny Rush, Blue Plate Restaurant Group & 2016 PPLA Food Fare
Segment Six: Terri Henry, Producer, DINE LBC & Executive Chef Tim Balen, Berlin Bistro, Long Beach Part One
Segment Seven: Terri Henry, Producer, DINE LBC & Executive Chef Tim Balen, Berlin Bistro, Long Beach Part Two
Segment Eight: Colin McGinley, Executive Banquet Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula

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 mouthwatering preview of Saturday’s promisingly scrumptious and 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 absolutely a good thing…

Leave it to our local celebrity chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger to have some real fun with Leap Day on February 29th at Border Grill Downtown Los Angeles. For one night only on Leap Day, Mary Sue’s and Susan’s fondly remembered CITY will return for an encore. Mary Sue Milliken takes us back to the beginning in 1981.

Disney’s “OC Chef’s Table” culinary event will be held March 13, 2016 at the Disney Grand Californian Resort & Spa’s Grand Ballroom. The event features 30 of Orange County’s top chefs coming together to create a delectable five-course meal prepared tableside at tables decorated to reflect the personality and brand of each restaurant represented. All proceeds from the event go to Illumination Foundation. Host Chef Andrew Sutton of Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian joins us with all the details.

For the first time ever, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles (PPLA) is recognizing a Restaurateur of the Year for the upcoming 2016 PPLA Food Fare on March 3rd in Santa Monica. This inaugural honor has been proudly presented to Jenny Rush, head and founder of the Blue Plate Restaurant Group in Santa Monica and Los Angeles. Honoree Jenny Rush is our guest.

Berlin Bistro, a favorite casual dining destination in Long Beach’s eclectic East Village neighborhood is partnering with the Art Theatre and DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week, in bringing attention to the very important issue of edible food waste and to raise vitally needed funds for local non-profit Food Finders food rescue organization. The benefit on March 6th is a special screening of the highly-praised documentary, “Just Eat It. A Food Waste Story” followed by a specialty multi-course “Root -to-Stem” lunch created by Berlin Bistro’s chef, Tim Balen. Chef Tim and the Producer of DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week, Terri Henry, join us with the 411.

Hundreds of premium wine varieties, sweet and savory chocolate confections, gourmet food samples from acclaimed Pechanga Resort & Casino restaurants, live music, a silent auction and helping out a good cause are all on the agenda for February 26 and 27 at Pechanga Resort & Casino. Tickets for the 8th annual Chocolate Decadence and Pechanga Wine Festival are on sale now. Proceeds from both events benefit Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley. Pechanga Resort & Casino’s Executive Banquet Chef, Colin McGinley, joins us with all the sweet and savory details.

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

Mary Sue MillikenLeave it to our local celebrity chefs and Food Network favorites, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, to have some real fun with Leap Day on February 29th at Border Grill Downtown Los Angeles. For one night only on Leap Day, Mary Sue’s and Susan’s fondly remembered CITY will return for an encore.

“One giant leap for restaurateurs. The year was 1981 when two newly minted chefs named Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger opened a 39-seat restaurant off Melrose Avenue with a worldview that would catapult their careers – CITY. Now 35 years later, the “Too Hot Tamales” are throwing it back to host the return of CITY Night on Leap Day, Monday, February 29th at 6:00 p.m.”

“For one night Border Grill Downtown Los Angeles warps to the 1980’s with a prix-fixe selection from the CITY menu repertoire that introduced Los Angeles eaters to radical flavors and signature dishes from Thailand, India, Italy, France and Greece with French-inspired technique. Nostalgic new wave diners and the uninitiated curious can enjoy the limited engagement at $125 per person.”

Mary Sue Milliken takes us back to the beginning in 1981.

James Beard Award-winner Mary Sue Milliken is well-know to the audience of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” She is a pioneer in Food TV and also the co-founder and co-executive chef of the hugely successful Border Grill restaurants (and truck) in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Santa Monica. She is also an active volunteer for The James Beard Foundation in her prominent position on the Board of Trustees as a Board Member.

Andrew Sutton of Disney's Grand Californian Resort and SpaDisney’s OC Chef’s Table” culinary event will be held March 13, 2016 at the Disney Grand Californian Resort & Spa’s Grand Ballroom. The event features 30 of Orange County’s top chefs coming together to create a delectable five-course meal prepared tableside at tables decorated to reflect the personality and brand of each restaurant represented.

All proceeds from the event go to Illumination Foundation, a nonprofit working to end the cycle of homelessness in Orange County. Last year over $580,000 was raised, which helped the charity with their emergency house built for the homeless families they serve.

Each table will receive personal service throughout the 5-course meal from a single chef and their staff who take great pride in creating a unique and unforgettable experience for their table’s guests. They will prepare each course right there, tableside, exquisitely paired with fine wines and cocktails presented with impeccable service.

Host Chef Andrew Sutton of Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian joins us with all the details.

Jeniifer Morton of Blue PlateFor the first time ever, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles (PPLA) is recognizing a Restaurateur of the Year for the upcoming 2016 PPLA Food Fare on March 3rd in Santa Monica. This inaugural honor has been proudly presented to Jenny Rush, head and founder of the Blue Plate Restaurant Group in Santa Monica and Los Angeles.

Jenny Rush owns and operates Blue Plate in Santa Monica, Blue Plate Oysterette in Santa Monica and West Hollywood, and Blue Plate Taco in Santa Monica. “PPLA Food Fare is pleased to recognize Jenny for her outstanding contributions to Los Angeles’ culinary culture as well as her dedication to PPLA’s mission to support community health, education and wellness.”

PPLA Food Fare is one of Los Angeles’ most eagerly anticipated annual foodie events. On Thursday, March 3, 2016, this gastronomic affair will showcase over 100 of Southern California’s best chefs, restaurateurs, caterers, wineries, breweries, vendors and merchants, as well as entertainment, raffles and auctions.

Food Fare is PPLA’s largest fundraising event of the year. Proceeds benefit the health care and education services that PPLA offers through their 20 health centers throughout LA County. Founded in 1965, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles will be celebrating its 50th anniversary at the 2016 Food Fare.

Honoree Jenny Rush is our guest.

Tim BalenBerlin Bistro, a favorite casual dining destination in Long Beach’s eclectic East Village neighborhood is partnering with the Art Theatre and DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week, in bringing attention to the very important issue of edible food waste and to raise vitally needed funds for local non-profit Food Finders food rescue organization. The benefit on March 6th is a special screening of the highly-praised documentary, Just Eat It. A Food Waste Story followed by a specialty multi-course “Root -to-Stem” lunch created by Berlin Bistro’s chef, Tim Balen.

It’s a sad fact that 40 per cent of fresh food produced in America ends up in a landfill. This is perfectly good, edible food.

Chef Tim and the Producer of DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week, Terri Henry, join us with the 411.

“Just Eat It. A Food Waste Story” is a lively, funny and thought-provoking, 97-minute film produced in 2014 by filmmakers and food lovers Jen Rustemeyer and Grant Baldwin. The pair dive into the issue of food waste from farm, through retail and restaurants, all the way to the back of their own fridge. After catching a glimpse of the billions of dollars of good food that is tossed each year in North America, they pledge to quit grocery shopping and survive only on discarded food for six months. What they find is truly shocking.

Following the film at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, March 6th, Berlin Bistro Executive Chef Tim Balen will present a unique multi-course “Root-to-Stem” lunch made primarily from fresh vegetable and fruit scraps, along with other perfectly edible food products that are typically discarded as unusable. The menu includes:

  • Beet Skin Pickled Egg Salad
  • Brown Beech Mushroom Stock – Spring Vegetable Soup
  • Carrot Top Salsa Verde

All lunch guests will take home a mason jar of Berlin’s housemade Blood Orange Infused Vinegar.

Colin McGinleyHundreds of premium wine varieties, sweet and savory chocolate confections, gourmet food samples from acclaimed Pechanga Resort & Casino restaurants, live music, a silent auction and helping out a good cause are all on the agenda for February 26 and 27 at Pechanga Resort & Casino. Tickets for the 8th annual Chocolate Decadence and Pechanga Wine Festival are on sale now. Proceeds from both events benefit Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley. Pechanga Resort & Casino’s Executive Banquet Chef, Colin McGinley, joins us with all the sweet and savory details.

For the Pechanga Wine Festival on February 27th Chef Colin’s department will be serving Cava and Cantaloupe Lollipops with Saffron and Jamon Serrano. Also, stuffed mini sweet peppers with Longaniza, Shrimp and Potato.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Mary Sue Milliken, Border Grill, Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Las Vegas Part One
Segment Three: Mary Sue Milliken, Border Grill, Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Andrew Sutton, Napa Rose, Disney’s Grand Californian
Segment Five: Jenny Rush, Blue Plate Restaurant Group & 2016 PPLA Food Fare
Segment Six: Terri Henry, Producer, DINE LBC & Executive Chef Tim Balen, Berlin Bistro, Long Beach Part One
Segment Seven: Terri Henry, Producer, DINE LBC & Executive Chef Tim Balen, Berlin Bistro, Long Beach Part Two
Segment Eight: Colin McGinley, Executive Banquet Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula