Show 263, March 3, 2018: Chef Kausar Ahmed, The Karachi Kitchen, Karachi Pakistan

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, and food and prop 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 best known Internationally for her work through “Kitchen Craft by Kausar,” an organization she founded in 2009 that offers free nutrition and cooking workshops to women and youth in high-risk communities around Karachi. The goal is to promote healthy eating and hygiene in the most impoverished families. Hands-on workshops teach students about cooking, nutrition, kitchen safety, personal hygiene, gardening and more.

Join the Careers through Culinary Arts Program Los Angeles (C-CAP) for an intimate and exclusive event featuring acclaimed chef, author and culinary humanitarian Kausar Ahmed. The evening at a private home in Santa Monica will kick off with a Champagne and hors d’oeuvres reception, followed by a special cooking demonstration by Kausar.

Guests will enjoy a sumptuous four-course The Karachi Kitchen dinner prepared by Kausar and C-CAP students and alumni that will feature both classic and contemporary flavors of her native Pakistan, paired with premium wine and craft beers to complement the courses. Each guest will receive a signed copy of her new book The Karachi Kitchen to take home as a memento of the special evening.

100 per cent of the $175 ticket price goes to C-CAP to support their programming. Limited to 18 guests.

Chef Kausar is our guest.



Show 263, March 3, 2018: 26th Annual Taste of Solvang, Solvang

Laura Kath of Mariah MarketingThe 26th Annual Taste of Solvang returns from Wednesday through Sunday on March 14th to 18th, 2018. It’s a unique experiential culinary weekend featuring Solvang farmers, chefs, bakers, winemakers, brewers, distillers, and artisans showcasing the bounty of Santa Barbara wine country set amidst California’s quaint Danish town.

The popular Taste of Solvang favorites of Friday evening’s Sip +Savor (March 16 from 7:00-9:00 p.m., $45); Saturday’s Tasting Trail (March 17 from 11:00 a.m-4:00 p.m., $30) and Saturday & Sunday’s Wine & Beer Walk (March 17 & 18; $45) are joined by two, new 2018 Taste of Solvang exclusive events in 2018.

NEW on Wednesday, March 14, 2018

4:00-7:00 p.m. Taste of Solvang: Farmers Market Dinner

Experience this new, family friendly farm-to-table event during the weekly Solvang Farmers Market featuring truly fresh-from-the-market ingredients prepared by Chef David Cecchini of Cecco Ristorante and Mathew Raab of Fresco Valley Café. Savor hearty seasonal stew, small bites, and dine al fresco at communal tables in Solvang Park (Mission Drive & First Street) while enjoying the sounds of the Bryan Titus Trio (bring your own beer / wine). Net proceeds benefit Santa Ynez Valley Veggie Rescue. ($15 adults, $5 children under age 12) Space is limited; reservations are required online.

NEW on Sunday, March 18, 2018

11:00 a.m-2:00 p.m. Taste of Solvang: Danish Sunday Brunch with Bottomless Mimosa OR Bloody Mary Bar OR Bottomless Coffee

Created by Executive Chef Brooke Stockwell at K’Syrah Catering Events Center (478 Fourth Place) this fresh menu includes pork belly bites with real maple syrup, mini yogurt parfaits with sweet balsamic reduction, ‘Aeeggkage’ Danish style mini-egg frittatas with caramelized onions and gruyere; local Danishes and breads with whipped cream cheese & house made jams, organic field greens salad with Solvang Olive Co. citrus vinaigrette, home-style breakfast potatoes with farmers market vegetables, house made Danish sausages, scrambled eggs with sautéed squash, house cured and smoked lox with goat cheese mousse, pickled red onion, fried capers and micro greens on Solvang-everything bagels. Choose from EITHER bottomless Farmers Market mimosas OR bottomless “Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar” featuring American Star Vodka from Ascendant Spirits OR bottomless coffee. ($65 with alcohol—be 21 years of age +; or $50 with coffee). Space is limited; reservations are required online right here.

Laura Kath the Media Relations Director for the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau has the scrumptious preview.


Show 263, March 3, 2018: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef”

Andrew and William GruelOur always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his Ask the Chef series. Oysters, oysters everywhere… Non-seafood restaurants are now starting to feature raw oysters on their appetizer menus as well as visible Oyster Bars are popping up in dinner houses.

What should you know before you order? Are there differences in flavor profiles? What condiments really enhance the flavor? Chef Andrew has the answers and will explain the oyster basics. Interestingly enough there are only 5 specific varieties of oysters.

Leave the shucking to the restaurant & happy slurping!


Show 262, February 24, 2018: Executive Chef Eric Klein, Vice President, Culinary, Wolfgang Puck Catering

Eric Klein of Wolfgang Puck CateringFor the 24th consecutive year the celebrity chef to the stars Wolfgang Puck will set the stage for the Oscars’ Governors Ball menu pairing classic Hollywood glamour with culinary whimsy. It’s for 1,500 VIP guests including Oscar winners and Nominees in the Ray Dolby Ballroom on the top level of the Hollywood & Highland Center. It starts immediately following the Oscar telecast on ABC.

Working alongside Chef Puck is Wolfgang Puck Catering’s Executive Chef and Vice President, Culinary, Eric Klein (formerly Executive Chef & Partner of Spago Las Vegas)

The culinary team creates more than 60 imaginative dishes from one-bite hors d’oeuvres to small-plate entrees that will be passed throughout the evening.

Some 32,000 plates of food will be enjoyed by the guests served by a team of 10 maitre d’ staff, 850 service and support staff and 300 culinary staff.

On the order list for the Governors Ball is 350 pounds of Atlantic Bigeye tuna, 15 kilos of American, farm-raised caviar, 250 Maine lobsters, 300 pounds of Miyazaki Wagyu beef, and 800 stone crab claws.

For the first time Ruby Chocolate, a 100 per cent sustainable varietal of limited production premium chocolate from Callebaut is on the menu.

The guests will toast with 1,400 bottles of Piper-Heidsieck (more than 12,000 glasses) and 2,400 bottles of fine wine from Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s Director’s Cut wine collection.

We’ll have an exclusive kitchen chat with Chef Eric.


Show 262, February 24, 2018: Art Gonzalez, Chef / Proprietor, Panxa Cocina, Long Beach

Arthur GonzalezRecognized as a warm and welcoming neighborhood eatery for creative modern New Mexican cuisine, lively happy hours, and communal gatherings, Long Beach’s Panxa Cocina solidifies its standing as a go-to staple for food and fun with the launch of “Mimosas & Mutts,” which started on February 17, 2018.

This monthly brunch gathering features a special invite to our four-legged friends as Executive Chef and Owner Arthur Gonzalez welcomes brunch-goers to bring their canine companions to the sunny patio at Panxa Cocina located in the buzzing Belmont Heights neighborhood on the third Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The convivial brunch event launched on the first weekend of the Year of the Dog in the Chinese Lunar calendar, with much fanfare and Instagram-worthy local dogs. The monthly gathering provides a dog-friendly menu of Southwestern staples like rice and beans for the slobbery set, as well as a free juice flight to accompany bottles of champagne for thirsty dog moms and dads.

“Panxa Cocina encourages all dog-owners to enjoy favorites from the New Mexican-inspired brunch menu, including Blue Corn Piñon Pancakes, Chilaquilas Roja, Smothered Breakfast Burrito, and Stacked Enchiladas, as well as classic and new-fangled brunch libations from accomplished Bar Manager Greg Goins. Guests are also encouraged to use the hashtag: #pupsatpanxa to share their experiences on social media.”

Chef Proprietor Art Gonzalez puts on the dog just for us. (He has three Boxer charges in his own household.)


Show 262, February 24, 2018: Laurie Porter, Smog City Brewing Co. & President, L.A. County Brewers Guild

Laurie Porter“In October 2011, Smog City Brewing Co. began brewing beer at the Tustin Brewing Co. (TBC) brewpub. By utilizing TBC’s excess fermentation capacity, Smog City was able to brew well-crafted beers, and personally distribute to restaurants and bars throughout Los Angeles County. We worked to create a presence in the craft brewing community and brewed and distributed 240 barrels in the first year.”

“By 2012, we’d grown faster than ever expected. After the purchase of our own full-scale brewing equipment, we formalized plans for our new brewery and taproom in Torrance, CA. In 2013, we received final building and license approvals and began brewing and opened our brewery taproom in May of 2013. Our Taproom in Torrance has become an amazing home for locals and visitors alike.”

“In January of 2017, we had an opportunity to join a unique and progressive project called SteelCraft in Long Beach. SteelCraft is a re-purposed outdoor food hall made entirely out of recycled shipping containers. This gorgeous outdoor beer garden has plenty of flavorful food options to choose from while you drink a delicious Smog City Beer.”

“Stop in and see us for a taste of our proven and experimental beers in Long Beach or a tour of our brewery & taproom in Torrance.”

Co-founder Laurie Porter taps the keg for us. She is also the President of the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild.


Show 262, February 24, 2018: Laurie Porter, Smog City Brewing Co. & President, L.A. County Brewers Guild Continues…

Laurie PorterLaurie Porter is also The President of the L.A. County Brewers Guild with over 75-member breweries in Los Angeles County.

The mission of the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild is to promote and protect local independently-owned craft breweries and advocate for the strengthening of the craft beer industry. The LABG strives to encourage the growth of world-class beer culture within L.A. county through various educational efforts and aims to stimulate growth through community engagement. Formally founded in 2013, the LABG is a federally recognized 501(c)6 non-profit organization.

LABG also produces the upcoming L.A. Beer Week starting on June 16th.


Show 262, February 24, 2018: Brady Lowe, Founder, Cochon555

Brady Lowe of Cochon 555Cochon555, one of the nation’s most talked about premium food, wine and spirit celebration and live-event series, is back on the road in 2018, returning to the Los Angeles area on Sunday, March 11, 2018. Viceroy Santa Monica will play host to a hundred-plus prominent chefs, farmers, sommeliers, distillers, brewers and barkeeps all working in concert to create luxurious moments at this stand-up, all-inclusive bacchanal celebration of tasty heritage breed pork.

Cochon555’s 2018 group of cutting-edge chefs from across the city has each participant cooking one whole heritage breed pig raised by a family farm. The competing chefs include Sammy Monsour of Preux & Proper, Brian Redzikowski of Kettner Exchange, Thomas Bille of Otium, Lord Maynard Llera of Mason and Hugo Bolanos of Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air.

One week before the event, each chef receives a 200-pound heritage breed pig sustainably sourced from Cook Pigs Ranch, Rancho Llano Seco, Winfield Farm, Sowbelly Sustainable Farm, and Peads & Barnetts to create a maximum of 6 dishes for competition. With dozens of bites from iconic local chefs, boutique distillers, and artisan winemakers, the event is akin to an epic tasting menu of heritage breed pork with endless beverage pairings taken standing up.

To win the friendly competition for a cause, a chef’s menu must woo twenty celebrity judges with their “Judge’s Plate” scored on utilization; technique; and overall flavor and be voted “best bite of the day” by guests. The winning “Prince or Princess of Pork” in Los Angeles will advance to the national finale, Grand Cochon, a head-to-tail, winner-takes-all showdown for the crown in Chicago on September 30th.

Founder Brady Lowe is our “hog wild” guest on the line from the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Florida. He gets around…


Show 262, February 24, 2018: Kerstin Kansteiner, Proprietress, Berlin Bistro, Long Beach

Kerstin KansteinerEver think much about the seemingly innocuous plastic straw? Ultimately plastic doesn’t belong in the ocean yet that’s where millions of straws end up poisoning the ocean with a non-biodegradable item and harmful to sea creatures.

Long Beach’s Berlin Bistro’s community-minded proprietress, Kerstin Kansteiner, is now taking the lead on making plastic straws “request only’ in a concerted effort to reduce straw pollution and “auto strawing.”

When a straw is really needed for a takeout beverage with a lid consider using one of the new versions of the improved biodegradable straws. There are also reusable metal straws available.

  • Americans go through 500 million plastic straws a day!
  • The USA can fill up 127 school buses with the straws we use every single day in this country

Kerstin joins us.


Show 262, February 24, 2018: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef”

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamOur always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his Ask the Chef series. Ceviche and Poke are on a lot of restaurant menus these days. There is also a flood of Poke shops opening all over. How do they maintain consistent quality? The fish used needs to be super fresh. It’s the 411 on both Poke and Ceviche.

Chef Andrew weighs in.