Show 289, September 8, 2018: Chef/Co-Owner Art Gonzalez, Panxa Cocina, Long Beach

Arthur GonzalezChef/Co-Owner Art Gonzalezs Panxa Cocina, Long Beach’s only dedicated modern Southwestern restaurant, has launched its first-ever month-long Hatch Chile celebration throughout the entire month of September, with a portion of the proceeds going to New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute. The Hatch Chile menu is served lunch and dinner, seven-days.

The month-long culinary event, led and inspired by Panxa Cocina’s Executive Chef/Co-Owner Arthur Gonzalez in collaboration with the Chile Pepper Institute’s Co-Founder, Director, and world renowned chile pepper breeder Dr. Paul Bosland, will include diverse programming surrounding the distinctly New Mexican Hatch green chile. Dr. Paul Bosland will be consulting with Chef Gonzalez on the tasting menu to provide guests with the most flavorful chiles available within September’s peak harvest season.

Panxa Cocina’s Hatch Chile Month tasting menu will be available for lunch and dinner featuring authentic Southwestern favorites with highlights including Heirloom Blue Corn Quesadilla with roasted Hatch chile jam, squash blossom, and house queso fresco; and Wagyu Country Fried Steak with Hatch chile gravy.

There is even a Hatch chile libation. The Down the Hatch is made with Union Mezcal, lime, agave, raw green Hatch chile and Aperol. Cheers…

On Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16 from 12-5 p.m., Panxa Cocina will transform a dedicated outdoor space steps from the restaurant to serve as the ultimate “chile roast-out” so guests can have the opportunity to see the roasting firsthand and take home the beloved Southwestern ingredient to enjoy in their own homes. The roasted Hatch chiles freeze well.

Chef Art has the flavor-packed details.


Show 289, September 8, 2018: Rob Rubens, Proprietor & Head Distiller, R6 Distillery & Smoky Hollow Tasting & Taproom, El Segundo

Rob RubensEl Segundo’s R6 Distillery & Smoky Hollow Tasting & Taproom was established in 2014 by Head Distiller Rob Rubens. Rob fell in love with the mystery and art of distillation after his first (and unplanned) trip to Old New Orleans Rum Distillery. He realized it was time for a change.

After scraping together savings, visiting plenty of distilleries and breweries, it was time to perhaps start another great wave. Coupling his experience with the desire to bring quality spirits to greater Los Angeles, Rob decided to open this speakeasy inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy.

Product highlights include R6 Vodka, R6 Blue Corn Bourbon, R6 Bourbon, R6 Rye, R6 Single Malt Whiskey, R6 Wheat Whiskey and R6 Rum.

There is a real Mixologist creating the signature cocktails in the Tasting Room. Think Smoked Old Fashioned with R6 Smoked Bourbon, sugar, and Ango Orange.


Show 289, September 8, 2018: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas

Al ManciniJournalist and Las Vegas insider Al Mancini is a graduate of Seton Hall University and Brooklyn Law School, who began his career in journalism as a music reporter for ABC News Radio in 1996. He moved to Las Vegas to cover Southern Nevada for the network in 2001, and has covered the local dining scene for numerous publications since 2003. Al joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a Staff Writer in 2016.

Al got to know the celebrated Robin Leach (“Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous”) over all those years. First it was crossing paths with Robin frequently at the numerous, high-profile Vegas red carpet events they both covered. Robin was already a contributor to the Las-Vegas Review-Journal when Al joined the paper in 2016.

Al joins us to share a side of Robin (beyond the gruff exterior) that you probably don’t know from just seeing him on television. Robin Leach was an unrivaled champion of promoting Las Vegas as a world class destination. Also, very charitable.

Looking for more…Al did a wonderful remembering Robin Leach video feature for Facebook Live with Review-Journal colleague John Katsilometes.




Show 289, September 8, 2018: General Manager Brian Cousins, Executive Chef Kenny Spost, Napa Valley Grille, Westwood

Brian CousinsIt’s California Wine Month and we’re popping the cork in style with the General Manager, Brian Cousins, and Kenny Spost, Executive Chef of Westwood’s Napa Valley Grille. Their contribution to California Wine Month is the special menu pairing of “Three Cabs & a Burger.”

It’s Chef Kenny’s Glendon Burger (with Blue Cheese, Rosemary Maple Cured Bacon & Sweet Onion Relish) with 2015 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, 2014 Foley Johnson Cabernet Rutherford and 2013 Vine Cliff Cabernet Oakville.

Combining local, seasonal ingredients, artisan products and an expansive selection of regional wine, Napa Valley Grille recreates the charm, bounty and palates distinctive of West Coast wine country in a sophisticated setting within Westwood Village.


Show 289, September 8, 2018: Claudia Burns, Owner, Turtle Rock Vineyards, Paso Robles

Claudia BurnsTurtle Rock Vineyards is a small, proudly family -owned winery located in Paso Robles founded by Don & Claudia Burns. “Our winemaking philosophy is simple, you can’t make great wine without great fruit. We source our fruit from some of the finest vineyards in the Templeton Gap area of Paso Robles. Through sustainable farming practices, low yields, and harvesting at optimal ripeness, we are able to make wines with both intensity and balance. We hope these wines reflect the beauty of the wonderful places these grapes are grown as well as the people who nurture them.”

“Turtle Rock Vineyards began because of Don’s love for the area where he grew up. He moved to a small property on Willow Creek Road when he was 12. The property was nestled in the Templeton Gap at 1150 feet of elevation and owned by his uncle, Tom Westberg. Realizing the potential of the property Tom planted almost 4 acres of vines, mostly Zinfandel, in the mid-eighties. Don graduated from Mission High School then moved on to Ag Business at Cal Poly. Needing a change, Don knew he wanted leave the small town of Templeton and see what else was out there.”

“In 1999 he began a two -year sailboat trip through Central America that ended in Palm Beach, FL. There, Don began working at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse where his love of wine was sparked again. With access to wine from all over the world, his fondness for the Rhone Valley began to emerge. Don would come back many harvests and work alongside of his longtime friend, Justin Smith of Saxum. He knew it was only a matter of time before he would return home.”

“It took him a little longer than he thought because he met the love of his life Claudia. Soon there was a beautiful beach wedding and the birth of their pride and joy Willow. In June 2008 it was finally time to return home. After a two- week cross country adventure with their six- month old baby girl and 15-year old dog, they arrived in Paso Robles. It was then that Tom and his wife Peggy gave Don an amazing opportunity. He was able to bring the small family vineyard back to life and reintroduce the family label, Westberg Cellars. With guidance from Tom, they opened a tasting room in a small barn on the Westberg property and poured primarily Zinfandel, Sangiovese and Chardonnay.”

“When Don was not working on the Westberg property he was next door interning with Justin Smith. That time solidified his decision on the kind of wine he wanted to make. Because the Rhone varietals were so different from the Westberg label he knew they had to come up with a new brand. Don and Claudia thought about it a lot. One day at the tasting room there was an “Aha” moment when Willow was playing with one of the farm dogs sitting on a “turtle rock”. It was a big calcareous limestone rock pulled from the Westberg vineyard years ago. Over time the rocks wear down and look like the back of a turtle shell. That was it, Turtle Rock was born…”

Claudia Burns uncorks it all for us.


Show 289, September 8, 2018: Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamChef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of Ask the Chef.”

We’re thinking totally wacky food news…You’ll be surprised. Have you heard about Hellmann’s Mayonnaise Ice Cream created by an artisanal scoop shop in Scotland? Would you be willing to even try it ?


Show 288, September 1, 2018: Linda Gassenheimer, The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook

Linda GassenheimerTV and radio personality, syndicated journalist, best-selling author, and food consultant Linda Gassenheimer is always looking to save time and still create flavor-packed, family-friendly meals. Her latest work has been for the American Diabetes Association. Solving the global epidemic of diabetes is a vital subject for our nation’s health. What should we be eating?

Linda Gassenheimer, author of 7 cookbooks published by the American Diabetes Association, has some flavorful answers for you and your loved ones in The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook – Your Super Simple Plan for Organizing, Budgeting, and Cooking Amazing Dinners. We’ll meet her.

“Looking to save time and money and still create flavor-packed family-friendly meals? I created this book for all of us who want to serve great meals without breaking our time or budget bank. You can shop for the entire week one day and buy all of the ingredients to make dinners for the week. The book is a no-brainer blueprint, including weekly shopping lists, for serving your family delicious, diabetes-friendly dinners.”


Show 288, September 1, 2018: Chef Marco Zapien, Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria

Marco Zapien of Zapiens Salsa Grill and TaqueriaOnce a year Chef Marco Zapien of Zapien’s Salsa Grill in Pico Rivera hosts a series of Hatch Chile-themed events to celebrate the famous New Mexican spicy and savory pepper. Zapien’s will orchestrate a daytime Hatch Chile Roast on September 8th where supplies of the roasted Hatch Chiles can be picked up by the case. The guest selects the level of spicy desired ranging from mild to hot. A good tip is to reserve your case in advance.

Also on Saturday, September 8th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. join Chef Marco and Zapien’s Salsa Grill for their special Hatch Chile Brunch featuring over ten Hatch Chile inspired dishes. Enjoy all-you-can-eat, and hand-made Tortillas, Champagne and Mimosas for a modest $24 per guest. Think Hatch “Macadillo” with macaroni baked in a spiced cheese sauce with Hatch Chile picadillo.

We’ll entice Chef Marco away from the rotating chile roaster for a flavorful chat.


Show 288, September 1, 2018: Executive Chef Ryan Evans, Levy Restaurants at Dodger Stadium

Ryan EvansIt may be “Time for Dodger Baseball” but a big attraction at Dodger Stadium for home games is always the tempting variety of food and beverage items. Executive Chef Ryan Evans of Levy Restaurants is in his 2nd season with The Dodgers.

Chef Ryan’s theme for 2018 is “flavors of the city.” As baseball season is drawing to a close we’ll find out from Chef Ryan what the big hits have been on the Chavez Ravine menu this year.

During the season Chef Ryan periodically posts attention-grabbing, limited time specials on Instagram @dodgerstadiumfood.

Probably the most Instagramable new food item is the Cheeto-Lote. It’s roasted sweet corn rubbed with chipotle lime mayo and dusted with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and cotija cheese.

In the very exclusive Lexus Dugout Club there is more of an emphasis on appealing vegetarian options in addition to the bevy of meat-centric offerings. Look for a great selection of grilled veggies on the daily changing menu. Also lots of exotic fruit options (Dragon Fruit) including Melissa’s Watermelon Lollipops.


Show 288, September 1, 2018: Chef Frank Ostini, Hitching Post 2 and Hitching Post Wines, Buellton

Frank OstiniChef Frank Ostini’s Hitching Post 2 restaurant in Buellton is a beloved local institution known for incredible Santa Maria – style BBQ. Chef Frank and Gray Hartley are the creators and winemakers of Hitching Post Wines (Highliner Pinot Noir) made famous around the world in the Academy Award-winning feature motion picture, Sideways, released in 2004.

Surprisingly there has never been a Hitching Post Wines Tasting Room until just recently. Chef Frank Ostini takes us on a tour of the Hitching Post Wines Tasting Room conveniently located next door to the Restaurant on E. Highway 246 in Buellton.

Lunch (11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily) for the Tasting Room (and wine pairings) will initially come (via a custom delivery tricycle) from the kitchen at the adjacent Hitching Post 2 restaurant known for Santa Maria-style BBQ. Look for HP Burgers, Triple-Fried French Fries, Santa Maria BBQ Artichokes and Grilled Corn Quesadillas. In the next phase a restored and converted Airstream kitchen trailer along with HP Santa Maria grills will be onsite and offering a broader menu.

There is quite a fascinating history to the picturesque, expanded property.