Show 226, June 3, 2017: James Foxall, Pub & Grub’s Curator & Chef Jake McPeck, The Mess Hall Canteen Food Truck

Jake McPeckYou’ve been hearing us talk about the upcoming OC Foodie Fest’s Pub & Grub – A Culinary Crawl happening in Downtown Santa Ana on Saturday, June 10th. Attendees are invited to “crawl” through Downtown Santa Ana deliciously eating and drinking every step of the way.

It’s Orange County’s most mouth-watering edibles including smothered tots, addictive tacos, and piping hot churros. Multiple bars with craft beer, wine, and outrageous cocktails. Our own Chef Andrew Gruel will be represented there with Two Birds’ drool-worthy, Hot Fried Chicken Sandwiches.

The June 10th event will take place in two parts. The Artisan Bazaar, buy-as-you go area for a modest $10, will run from 12 Noon to 11:00 p.m. Tickets for the 2-sessions of the All-Access Area, all you can eat and drink section are $60. Tickets available now right here.

Joining us with all the details are James Foxall the curator of Pub & Grub and Chef Jake McPeck of the crowd-pleasing Mess Hall Canteen Food Truck. Mess Hall is famous at Festivals for their signature Drunken Sailor Tots. Just look for the long, line line…

Here’s an incredible extra discount for our listeners. Until day of the Festival on June 10th, $30-off discount tickets (half-off) are available for either of the two sessions of All-Access Area. Also, half-off the regular $10 ticket price for the Artisan Bazaar area option. Use the code, “foodiefestfamall in lower case. Jump on this…J


Show 225, May 27, 2017: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana

Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchanget’s about that time to again uncork it with our resident wine authority Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. Is bag-in-a-box wine worthy of purchase? Kyle offers his informed opinion.

Rose’ (particularly from France) has improved in quality and is gaining in popularity. It’s the perfect Summer picnic wine. We’ll get Kyle’s thoughts. He also explains how Rose’ is produced.


Show 220, April 22, 2017: Wine Stemware Made Easy, Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, Wine Exchange

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeIf premium wine wasn’t expensive enough as it is there is also the perplexing matter of what stemware to properly serve the wine in. Lot of hype out there…Some of the fine, imported wine glasses are plenty pricey.

Time to separate the practical from the impressive salesmanship. Our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange, joins us with sound advice on what you really should buy when it comes to wine glasses that won’t break the bank.

Thankfully Kyle keeps this simple for us. He suggests even a hard-core wine connoisseurs only needs a Champagne Flute, a White Wine glass, a Bordeaux / Cabernet glass and a wider bowl Burgundy / Pinot Noir glass. Respectable stemware can be had for $10 to $12 per glass. Kyle also suggests a cut glass rim versus a rolled rim.


Show 219, April 15, 2017: FOODBEAST’s Meat Street Festival

Cody StortsFoodbeast is launching, Meat Street, what they ambitiously bill as the ultimate meat festival of Southern California. All of the meat-centric grub you can imagine is coming to the Main Place Mall on April 22, 2017. Meat Street, Presented by Foodbeast and The Makers of The SPAM Brand, this one-day meat fest will feature a wide variety of delicious and crazy exclusive culinary creations, as well as drinks and other fun activities.

“MEAT STREET will showcase the best meat dishes that Southern California has to offer. Grilled, fried, on a stick… however you like your carne you can bet it’ll be there. You can expect exclusive items from eateries such as Slater’s 50/50, Bruxie, Mess Hall Canteen, Elbows Mac n Cheese, and more. With a large number of participating vendors bringing the best of their offerings, and incorporating the Foodbeast elements we all know and love (we’re talking epic eats you won’t find anywhere else), guests are guaranteed to leave full and maybe even considering vegetarianism.”

There is a Marketplace for General Admission guests and two sessions of VIP.

Producer Bobby Navarro of 100eats joins us along with participating Chef Cody Storts of Salt and Ash with the meaty specifics.


Show 216, March 25, 2017: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeThe pleasantly effervescent Prosecco from Italy is on a lot of restaurant by-the-glass menus these days. It’s a common misnomer that it’s Italian sparkling wine. Actually it comes from difference grapes (Glera) than Champagne and is created using a different, less labor intensive process. Also, all Prosecco is not created equal.

To bring clarity to the ongoing discussion our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange in Santa Ana, joins us with the needed 411.

Also, what sparkling wine and Champagne is now served in by the glass in better restaurants is starting to change. It’s not just presented in a Champagne flute anymore. What’s going on…?


Show 212, February 25, 2017: The Basics of Appreciating the Paso Robles AVA, Kyle Meyer, The Wine Exchange

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeIf you’re a wine enthusiast then the Paso Robles AVA is surely on your mind. It’s located in the northern reaches of California’s San Luis Obispo County. Actually different districts there have distinct characteristics.

The super trendy area is the hilly West Side (calcareous soil) with three zones of particular interest. These are Adelaida District, Willow Creek District and Templeton Gap District.

One of our resident wine experts, Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange, joins us with a basic guide to appreciating the much talked about area.

Kyle also shares insider tips for dining and accommodations in Paso.


Show 207, January 21, 2017: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeHow about some premium wine to celebrate the New Year? Our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange in Santa Ana, joins us.

Kyle previews the expectations for the 2015 vintage in California and a peek at the upcoming 2016. We’ll see what else he’ll uncork for us.

Also a look at his “Extract” profile videos of wine personalities. Kyle introduces us to Chris Cherry of Villa Creek Wines located on the much talked-about “West Side” of Paso Robles.

Always highly informative & entertaining.


Show 205, January 7, 2017: Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan, Mix Mix Kitchen Bar, Santa Ana

Ross PangilinanYou know Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan from his time at Leatherby’s Café Rouge in Costa Mesa at The Segerstrom Concert Hall. He’s now launched his own ambitious venture, Mix Mix Kitchen Bar (A Globally Inspired Chef-Driven Concept) in Downtown Santa Ana.

It’s an appealing, somewhat unfamiliar menu (Dinner) of global dishes with influences from traditional French and Italian to modern Filipino cuisines. Sunday Brunch has recently been added to the menu.

“The inspiration for my menu at Mix Mix comes from both the memories I embrace from childhood and techniques I’ve learned throughout my culinary career,” commented Chef Ross Pangilinan, who has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants across France and California. “At an early age, my father instilled in me an appreciation for diversity in food; together, we explored everything from hole-in-the-wall Chinese eateries to high-end French restaurants.”

Dishes like the Filipino Ceviche and Tropical Verrine pay homage to Pangilinan’s Filipino heritage. Among his signature dishes, the Tropical Verrine is a modern interpretation of the restaurant’s namesake dish, Mix Mix, the literal translation from Halo Halo, a traditional Filipino dessert featuring a mixture of sweets.

“The dining adventures I shared with my father sparked my inspiration for cuisine at a young age,” added Pangilinan. “To this day, I draw inspiration from the meals we shared together.”

In addition to its eclectic menu of global cuisine, Mix Mix offers handcrafted libations from its craft cocktail bar. The beverage program focuses on ‘shaken & stirred’ cocktails created with house-made bitters, syrups, and infusions, as well as French wines and craft beer from around the world.

Prominent features of the new restaurant include a succulent garden wall behind the bar and in the dining room, a 6-seat ‘butcher’s block’ Chef’s Table that peers directly into the restaurant’s open kitchen. The reservation-only Chef’s Table will offer a five-course “Oui Chef” menu that evokes a dining experience for all the senses.

Chef Ross briefly escapes from the open kitchen and is our in-studio guest.



Show 204, December 31, 2016: Tristen Beamon, Proprietor, Wine Exchange & BW Direct, Santa Ana

Kyle Meyer and Tristen Beamon of Best Wines OnlineWe conclude the year with one of our resident wine experts, Tristen Beamon, of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. Wine Exchange is also in the import and distribution sector with BW Direct – Bordeaux and Beyond. They specialize in finding great values in Bordeaux wines from this legendary grape growing region in Southwestern France considered the pinnacle of global wine areas.

“Like Wine Exchange, BW Direct has the best prices, best selection, and best service. Our fantastic wines will wow your guests and increase your profits.”“Welcome to BW Direct, the wholesale arm of Wine Exchange.”

“Welcome to BW Direct, the wholesale arm of Wine Exchange.”

“We pride ourselves on the strong relationships Tristen, Kyle, Eddie and the entire team have formed over their collective 50+ years in the wine industry. These relationships have helped us secure some of the world’s best wines at the most competitive prices in the business. Our business model differs from other distributors:

  • We have a unique, and often exclusive, selection of wines at some of the lowest prices in the country.
  • We are proud to carry a wide selection of Chateau-direct Bordeaux inventory, as well as cutting edge selections from the Languedoc.
  • We don’t charge any broken case fees when orders are picked up from our Orange County showroom.
  • We encourage buyers to come shop our showroom, at their leisure, for a complete buying experience.
  • We have no “quota” obligations to our suppliers, allowing us to create a stress free and no pressure environment.
  • We love what we do and we’re here to help!”

Show 202, December 17, 2016: Kyle Meyer, Proprietor, The Wine Exchange, Santa Ana

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeIt’s Holiday time and what’s a festive celebration without sparkling wine and Champagne? It’s always better with bubbles and sparkling wine and Champagne typically pairs well with food, too.

We’ll look at values in Sparkling Wine from France, Spain and California as well as a value-priced Champagne.

Our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange, has some inspired guidance for us.

Marie Hanze Eaux Belle Brut“We love Champagne. Every year we taste way more than we need to (OK somebody has to) in the hopes of finding that perfectly priced, deli- cious bottle of real Champagne. We have been incensed by the prices that the ‘Champagne’ big brands have been charging in recent years, though we understand it takes a lot of money to make ice buckets to give to restaurants and put ads in magazines. Silly us, we’re all about the juice and, as folks who love their bubbles and appreciate high quality at a good price, this is our workhorse for the holiday season and beyond.”

Apparently Nicolas Maillart’s family has been at this for nine generations though we had not heard of the house until Peter Weygandt brought it in this year. The Eaux Belle is composed of 60% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Meunier , and 10% Pinot Noir, 20% from higher altitude parcels west of Reims. Slow and delicate pressing, gravity flow, aged on the lees and then seeing two years in bottle be- fore being hand disgorged, this round, creamy precise Champagne does a great job of hitting all the notes. Fresh apples and toast in the nose, fine bubbles, round and engaging in the mouth with about half the dosage of the ‘mass market’ brands but a long way from ‘brut nature’. The 20% reserve wine adds depth without effecting freshness. In other words, this is a really pleasing, imminently likeable go-to style of Champagne that will make friends. A real find!

Marie Hanze Eaux Belle Brut:  $28.98

Caraccioli Brut“There are a lot of folks making sparkling wine in California these days, and we have witnessed the occasional attempt on someone’s part to be king of the hill. Most of the big ‘foreign owned’ houses make an upper cuvee, and Schramsberg has been doing fine work for a long time. But it is rare to find something really groundbreaking. Caraccioli has only been around since 2006, the name is hard to say, and it isn’t cheap. But these folks are clearly on a quality road less traveled. Great fruit and extraordinary talent combined can yield some pretty special results.”

“As you all know, we are pretty committed Francophiles when it comes to bubbles. So we pick our battles carefully. These folks are doing everything right. They source their fruit from the Santa Lucia Highlands which yields a sparkler with notably more body. The fruit here came mainly from the old vines at Talbott’s Sleepy Hollow Vineyard and this bubbly, by virtue of its origins, shows a bit more body, a bit richer texture and more layers. Add the refined bubbles, and you’ve got some pretty serious fizz. Of course, you can have great fruit, but you still need someone who can bring it together.”

“Now while it is American owned, there is one foreign component. The Caraccioli’s looked at the French houses in California and decided ‘if you can’t beat them, hire them’. America, heck yeah! The guy they got is Dr. Michel Salgues who was at the helm of Roederer’s sparkling wine facility (arguably one of the state’s top houses) from 1985 to 2004. Something truly special here.” PRICE $49.98

Recaredo Brut Nature Gran Reserva Terrers 2009

90+ Points!  I also tasted the 2009 Terrers, disgorged after 71 months in bottle (for which the price is remarkable), cropped from a warm vintage. The blend varies from year to year, and in 2009 it was 52% Xarello, 32% Macabeo and 16% Parellada. It felt very compact and complex with great freshness and persistence. This is a superb Cava. At the end of the day, I could not chose between 2009 and 2010; both are superb, perhaps 2010 was a tad above 2009… 170,000 bottles produced.  Luis Gutierrez, The Wine Advocate #227, October 2016.