Show 232, July 15, 2017: Froze at SOL Mexican Cocina, Colin Pflugradt, Director of Beverage

Colin PflugradtFroze is all the rage this Summer on better bar menus all over town. SOL Mexican Cocina (Newport Beach & Playa Vista) along with sister restaurants solita Tacos & Margaritas was one of the area pioneers of popularizing this now trendy libation. Their version uses a frozen Margarita as a base which is then infused with frozen sparkling rose and a dash of guava nectar.

For SOL it all started as a creation to support Pink Drink Month benefiting City of Hope last year. The Froze creation proved so popular that it found its way on to the permanent bar menu.

We’ll get the full (and colorful) story from SOL Mexican Cocina’s Director of Beverage, Colin Pflugradt.

Play

Show 122, May 16, 2015: Executive Chef Deborah Schneider, SOL Mexican Cocina and solita Tacos & Margaritas

Deborah SchneiderExecutive Chef Deborah Schneider’s new cookbook is Salsas and Moles – Fresh and Authentic Recipes for Pico de Gallo, Mole Poblano, Chimichurri, Guacamole, and More. Dubbed “the reigning queen of San Diego chefs” by Bon Appetit, Chef Schneider brings three decades of professional cooking experience and deep knowledge of Mexican cuisine to Salsa and Moles.

“It can be argued that salsa has surpassed ketchup as America’s favorite condiment, and my latest book, Salsa and Moles, presents authentic salsa and mole recipes that showcase the unique flavors of Mexico and beyond,” says Chef Schneider, who is a James Beard Award-nominated cookbook author. “We make more than 20 salsas fresh daily in our kitchen.”

Chef Deborah is the executive chef/partner of SOL Cocina in Newport Beach and Scottsdale, Arizona (and soon to be in Playa Vista), and solita in Huntington Beach and Santa Clarita. Chef Deb is our guest talking about America’s new favorite condiment, salsa.

Play

Show 98, November 22, 2014: Show Preview with Producer Andy Harris

Andy Harris at the KLAA StudiosProducer and occasional Co-Host Andy Harris is going solo in the host chair this morning. Now a preview of today’s full show…

The primo attraction in California’s charmingly rural Santa Ynez Valley is the diversity of noteworthy wineries. The wine trail there includes Los Alamos, Buellton, Solvang, Ballard, Los Olivos and Santa Ynez. How do you navigate the Valley? The “SoCal Restaurant Show” recently left that in the expert hands ofStagecoach Co. Wine Tours, based right there. We’ll meet the proprietor, Eric John Reynolds.

When it comes to the flavors and preparations of the authentic foods of Baja California our local expert is Chef Deborah Schneider. To keep current she now orchestrates an annual cooking research trip to different interior States in Mexico. Back in 2006 Chef Deb wrote Baja! Cooking on the Edge which is still in print and greatly admired. Her two restaurant concepts are SOL Mexican Cocina (Newport Beach and Scottsdale) and solita Tacos and Margaritas (Huntington Beach and Valencia.) The Valencia solita opened this week for dinner in the Westfield Valencia Town Center. Chef Deb is out guest.

Fine dining chef, Eric Greenspan, is all over Food Television. He impressively just vanquished the competition in Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen : Superstar Sabotage Tournament.” He came out on top against a group of seven other fiercely competitive celebrity chefs. All his winnings went to charity. Chef Eric’s new series, “Eric Greenspan is Hungry” debuts on the National Geographic Channel on Monday, November 24th

Thanksgiving is on Chef Eric Greenspan’s mind, too. He’s teamed up with Tillamook (think cheese) for a special promotion to honor the season of gratitude. Tillamook has also added ice cream to their product line.

Ten years ago Twentieth Century-Fox released a modestly budgeted film based on a best-selling book with wine appreciation at its center. The movie was Sideways and the Santa Ynez Valley wine country, a central character in the film, was forever changed. Hitching Post II, previously famous with visitors for their tasty Santa Maria-style BBQ earned a double dose of notoriety from the film. A major character in the film, played byVirginia Madsen, is a waitress at The Hitching Post. Hitching Post wines also found their way into the film. Chef, winemaker, and Santa Ynez Valley goodwill ambassador, Frank Ostini of Hitching Post fame joins us to look back.

Stir Market, located in mid-city Los Angeles, has just launched. It’s a boutique California take on the European food hall experience that is both urban market hall and restaurant. Executive Chef Christopher Barnett (ex-The Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills) collaborates with Food Network culinary personality Chef Jet Tila on the menu of sandwiches and salads, small plates, and European-style rotisserie items.

Celebrity Cruises and their executive chef, John Suley, are always innovating when it comes to dining on Celebrity’s modern fleet of 11 cruise ships. Now the coveted white truffle, “the diamond of the kitchen,” will be featured on very special menus on select Caribbean sailings in late November and early December. Celebrity acquired two coveted white truffles (weighing 700 grams) at the recent World White Truffle Auction in Grinzane Cavour, Italy. The rare truffles are only available a few months of the year. Chef Suley returns to the show to talk about the mouthwatering dishes he’ll create which will showcase the extraordinary white truffles.

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

Play

November 22: Stagecoach Co. Wine Tours, Deborah Schneider, Eric Greenspan, Frank Ostini, Stir Market, Celebrity Cruises

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Stagecoach Co. Wine Tours / Wine Tours Santa Ynez Valley
Segment Three: Executive Chef Deborah Schneider, solita Tacos & Margaritas
Segment Four: Chef Eric Greenspan Part One
Segment Five: Chef Eric Greenspan Part Two
Segment Six: Frank Ostini, Hitching Post II
Segment Seven: Stir Market
Segment Eight: Executive Chef John Suley, Celebrity Cruises

Andy Harris at the KLAA StudiosProducer and occasional Co-Host Andy Harris is going solo in the host chair this morning. Now a preview of today’s full show…

The primo attraction in California’s charmingly rural Santa Ynez Valley is the diversity of noteworthy wineries. The wine trail there includes Los Alamos, Buellton, Solvang, Ballard, Los Olivos and Santa Ynez. How do you navigate the Valley? The “SoCal Restaurant Show” recently left that in the expert hands of Stagecoach Co. Wine Tours, based right there. We’ll meet the proprietor, Eric John Reynolds.

When it comes to the flavors and preparations of the authentic foods of Baja California our local expert is Chef Deborah Schneider. To keep current she now orchestrates an annual cooking research trip to different interior States in Mexico. Back in 2006 Chef Deb wrote Baja! Cooking on the Edge which is still in print and greatly admired. Her two restaurant concepts are SOL Mexican Cocina (Newport Beach and Scottsdale) and solita Tacos and Margaritas (Huntington Beach and Valencia.) The Valencia solita opened this week for dinner in the Westfield Valencia Town Center. Chef Deb is out guest.

Fine dining chef, Eric Greenspan, is all over Food Television. He impressively just vanquished the competition in Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen : Superstar Sabotage Tournament.” He came out on top against a group of seven other fiercely competitive celebrity chefs. All his winnings went to charity. Chef Eric’s new series, “Eric Greenspan is Hungry” debuts on the National Geographic Channel on Monday, November 24th.

Thanksgiving is on Chef Eric Greenspan’s mind, too. He’s teamed up with Tillamook (think cheese) for a special promotion to honor the season of gratitude. Tillamook has also added ice cream to their product line.

Ten years ago Twentieth Century-Fox released a modestly budgeted film based on a best-selling book with wine appreciation at its center. The movie was Sideways and the Santa Ynez Valley wine country, a central character in the film, was forever changed. Hitching Post II, previously famous with visitors for their tasty Santa Maria-style BBQ earned a double dose of notoriety from the film. A major character in the film, played by Virginia Madsen, is a waitress at The Hitching Post. Hitching Post wines also found their way into the film. Chef, winemaker, and Santa Ynez Valley goodwill ambassador, Frank Ostini of Hitching Post fame joins us to look back.

Stir Market, located in mid-city Los Angeles, has just launched. It’s a boutique California take on the European food hall experience that is both urban market hall and restaurant. Executive Chef Christopher Barnett (ex-The Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills) collaborates with Food Network culinary personality Chef Jet Tila on the menu of sandwiches and salads, small plates, and European-style rotisserie items.

Celebrity Cruises and their executive chef, John Suley, are always innovating when it comes to dining on Celebrity’s modern fleet of 11 cruise ships. Now the coveted white truffle, “the diamond of the kitchen,” will be featured on very special menus on select Caribbean sailings in late November and early December. Celebrity acquired two coveted white truffles (weighing 700 grams) at the recent World White Truffle Auction in Grinzane Cavour, Italy. The rare truffles are only available a few months of the year. Chef Suley returns to the show to talk about the mouthwatering dishes he’ll create which will showcase the extraordinary white truffles.

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

Eric John ReynoldsThe primo attraction in California’s charmingly rural Santa Ynez Valley is the diversity of noteworthy wineries. The wine trail there includes Los Alamos, Buellton, Solvang, Ballard, Los Olivos and Santa Ynez. How do you navigate the Valley? The “SoCal Restaurant Show” recently left that in the expert hands of Stagecoach Co. Wine Tours, based right there.

All of their accommodating hosts have sommelier training and are treated as VIPs at the carefully selected wineries included on the tour. As a Stagecoach Co. Wine Tours guest you are guaranteed a warm welcome at each winery stop. A picnic lunch is part of excursion and you get picked up at your hotel.

“Just sit back, relax and enjoy the beauty and wonderful boutique wineries that Santa Barbara wine country has to offer.”

We’ll meet the proprietor and founder, Eric John Reynolds.

Deborah SchneiderWhen it comes to the flavors and preparations of the authentic foods of Baja California our local expert is Chef Deborah Schneider. To keep current she now orchestrates an annual cooking research trip to different interior States in Mexico. Back in 2006 Chef Deb wrote Baja! Cooking on the Edge which is still in print and greatly admired.

Her two successful restaurant concepts are SOL Mexican Cocina (Newport Beach and Scottsdale) and solita Tacos and Margaritas (Huntington Beach and Valencia.) The Valencia solita opened this week for dinner in the Westfield Valencia Town Center.

“Solita is a simple, sophisticated neighborhood Mexican restaurant built around a custom oak-fired Santa Maria-style grill, inspired by Chef Deb’s travels through Baja California and Mexico. Solita’s Mexico is fresh and delicious, simple and light. It’s made from scratch, often carrying a whiff of smoky flavor from the wood grill, full of flavor from fresh salsas, corn tortillas, dry and fresh chiles, crushed herbs, fruit and spices, mole sauces and cheeses…”

Chef Deb is our guest.

Eric GreenspanFine dining chef, Eric Greenspan, is all over Food Television. He impressively just vanquished the competition in Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen : Superstar Sabotage Tournament.” He came out on top against a group of seven other fiercely competitive celebrity chefs. All his winnings went to charity. Chef Eric’s new series, “Eric Greenspan is Hungry” debuts on the National Geographic Channel on Monday, November 24th.

“Famed Los Angeles Chef and Restaurateur Eric Greenspan believes there’s no better place to experience food than at the source. So, he’s hitting the road with his best friend and trusted sidekick, Captain Mauzner, to hunt for the best dishes America has to offer. From the field to the fire, they’re hunting, cooking and learning about authentic American food served up by the people who know it best.”

Thanksgiving is on Chef Eric Greenspan’s mind, too. He’s teamed up with Tillamook (think cheese) for a special promotion to honor the season of gratitude. Tillamook has also added premium ice cream to their product line.

“If you’re like us (Tillamook) you give thanks for cheese on a daily basis, so for the season of gratitude we thought it only fitting to take our appreciation up a notch. We’ve partnered with Grilled Cheese Guru and Master of Melt, Chef Eric Greenspan, to bring you Grilled Cheesegiving, featuring special Tillamook Thanksgiving menu items available at Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese in Los Angeles.”

Frank OstiniTen years ago Twentieth Century-Fox released a modestly budgeted film based on a best-selling book with wine appreciation at its center. The movie was Sideways and the Santa Ynez Valley wine country, a central character in the film, was forever changed.

Hitching Post II, previously famous with visitors for their tasty Santa Maria-style BBQ using red oak earned a double dose of notoriety from the film. A major character in the film, played by Virginia Madsen, is a waitress (Maya) at The Hitching Post. Hitching Post wines also found their way into the film.

Chef, winemaker, and Santa Ynez Valley goodwill ambassador, Frank Ostini of Hitching Post fame joins us to look back.

Christopher Barnett and Jet TilaStir Market, located in mid-city Los Angeles, has just launched. It’s a boutique California take on the European food hall experience that is both urban market hall and restaurant. Executive Chef Christopher Barnett (ex- The Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills) collaborates with Food Network culinary personality Chef Jet Tila on the menu of sandwiches and salads, small plates, and European-style rotisserie items.

Stir Market serves all-day (from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.) including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch.

The roots of Stir Market pay homage to the major food hall cities of Europe. “We’re inspired by iconic culinary/retail destinations such as Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid and Harrods in London where dining and shopping blend effortlessly,” explains Stir Market President and Co-Founder Mimi Mok, a self-professed Francophile who has spent over a decade living in southern France.” These great markets – that offer diverse eating experiences, shopping, and a sense of discovery – are as memorable as any Michelin starred restaurant. That’s was our inspiration for Stir Market, an environment where neighbors can come together for morning coffee, a meal on-the-go, sit-down dinner, and even shop for a gourmand gift.”

John Suley of Celebrity CruisesCelebrity Cruises and their executive chef, John Suley, are always innovating when it comes to dining on Celebrity’s modern fleet of 11 cruise ships. Now the coveted white truffle, “the diamond of the kitchen,” will be featured on very special menus on select Caribbean sailings in late November and early December.

Celebrity acquired two coveted white truffles (weighing 700 grams) at the recent World White Truffle Auction in Grinzane Cavour, Italy. The rare truffles are only available a few months of the year. Chef Suley returns to the show to talk about the mouthwatering dishes he’ll create which will showcase the extraordinary white truffles.

“Chef Suley and his culinary team will use the highly coveted truffles acquired at the auction to create an exclusive dining experience onboard Celebrity Equinox during a 10-night Caribbean cruise departing on Friday, Nov. 21st from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Truffle-themed dinners will be available onboard Celebrity ships for select Caribbean sailings in late November and early December. Plus, the winning delicacies will also be featured at the James Beard Foundation’s legendary James Beard House in New York on Monday, Nov. 24th, for a special truffle-and-wine-pairing event.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Stagecoach Co. Wine Tours / Wine Tours Santa Ynez Valley
Segment Three: Executive Chef Deborah Schneider, solita Tacos & Margaritas
Segment Four: Chef Eric Greenspan Part One
Segment Five: Chef Eric Greenspan Part Two
Segment Six: Frank Ostini, Hitching Post II
Segment Seven: Stir Market
Segment Eight: Executive Chef John Suley, Celebrity Cruises

Show 72, May 17, 2014: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

The Old Vine Café, now in its 6th year, is a real crowd-pleaser at The Camp in Costa Mesa. Owner/Chef Mark McDonald gives us the background.

When we last visited Las Vegas Chef Mike Minor (ex-Executive Chef at Border Grill) he was just about to launch his TruckU Barbeque there. Now that his rolling grill is on the road and serving guests we’ll get the saucy update…

After you’ve been the esteemed and high-profile editor of Gourmet Magazine and, prior to that, the powerful & influential restaurant critic of The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times what’s next? In the case of our guest, Ruth Reichl, you pen your first novel.

The Hotel Del Coronado is California’s premier, classic beachfront hotel dating back to 1888. It represents the pinnacle of luxury from another age. One of their casual restaurants, with an incredible ocean view, is Sheerwater. We’ll meet the chef.

Executive Chef Deborah Schneider of SOL Cocina and solita Tacos & Margaritas in Huntington Beach is a well-traveled authority on the foods of Baja. Her first cookbook Baja! Cooking on the Edge is now out in a 2nd edition.

What’s special about District Wine in Downtown Long Beach? Meet the personable proprietors Mark and Angela Dunton and you’ll know.

Our debonair, roving food and travel correspondent based in the OC, Kedric Francis, checks-in. He’s the Executive Editor of both The Orange County Register Magazine and Coast Orange County Magazine. He’s updating us on the new food market halls arriving in the OC.

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

Play

Show 72, May 17, 2014: Executive Chef Deborah Schneider, Partner, SOL Cocina, solita and cookbook author

Deborah SchneiderChef Deborah Schneider brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her role as Executive Chef and Partner of Mexican restaurants SOL Cocina (Newport Beach & Scottsdale, AZ) and solita (Huntington Beach, CA) Schneider draws upon her rich culinary background and more than 25 years of professional cooking experience to bring the superb tastes and relaxing beach vibe of the Baja Peninsula.

Schneider’s passion for Baja was stoked by countless surf trips down the Peninsula. There, at small street stands and on pristine beaches, she discovered flavorful, healthy cuisine, rich with fresh seafood and inventive preparations that are at the heart of her restaurants.

Chef Deb has just released a second edition of her critically acclaimed first cookbook, Baja! Cooking on the Edge. It features a mixture of authentic recipes and Chef Deb’s own Baja-inspired dishes.

Baja! features more than 150 easy-to-follow recipes, peppered with fantastic stories and images that are as vibrant in color as the dishes are in flavor. Chef Deb explores these different cultural influences of Baja street food – everything from the classic Fish Tacos and Seafood Cocktels, to a wide range of inspired meat-based tacos – chicken, pork, chorizo – and fresh salsas. The uniquely Baja recipes featured includes delights like Clams in Tequila Butter, One-Pan Paella, Garlic Cilantro Steak and Chocolate-Jalapeno Truffles.

Chef Deb shares the two essential hints for preparing authentic Baja Fish Tacos.

Sol is soon coming to Playa Vista and solita will launch later this year in Santa Clarita.

Play

Show 54, December 28, 2013: Deborah Schneider, Executive Chef & Partner, solita tacos & margaritas

Deborah SchneiderExecutive Chef Deborah Schneider is the acclaimed author of five well-received cookbooks (a sixth is on the way) and a partner in the highly regarded SOL Mexican Cocina on the Bay in Newport Beach (and in Scottsdale.) Over the years she has become the go-to authority on the cuisine and libations of Baja California and, more recently, other culinary regions of Mexico. One of her specialties is the tasty street food of Baja. Do I hear Street Tacos?

Newly opened this week is Chef Deb’s latest venture, solita tacos & margaritas, facing a pocket park and fountain in Huntington Beach’s Bella Terra Center. It’s a neighborhood-casual Mexican spot with an authentic food experience representing the most appreciated culinary aspects from the coast of Baja and other culinary regions of Mexico Chef Deb has visited and researched extensively.

“What makes solita so unique is that we incorporated a wood grill like so many we have enjoyed in Mexico, and created a menu around it that offers fresh, simple preparations made with seasonal ingredients,” explains Chef Deb.

The bar takes an equally fresh approach to traditional Mexican libations. All margaritas are made with 100 per cent blue agave tequilas and the fruit used is all fresh. The only sweetener in the beverages is agave.

Play