Show 214, March 11, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosCongrats to our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel. In today’s (March 11th) Los Angeles Times’ Saturday Section (Page F4) Chef Andrew’s signature Chowder Fries (with bacon) from Slapfish is one of the highlighted “Mash-ups worth munching” items chronicled by Staff Writer Jenn Harris. Color photo of Slapfish’s Crowder Fries there, too!

Now a tempting preview of this Saturday’s lush and abundant 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 that’s actually a pretty good thing…

Our irregular ace field correspondent, Anne Marie Panoringan, (a regular contributor to OC Weekly), has previewed the 50th Anniversary Dining Specials (March only) at South Coast Plaza in a marathon eating tour. We’ll hear about a sampling of the delicious morsels being showcased.

Our resident Produce Guru, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, joins us with his first, of two, segments today. He’s telling us about the recently concluded International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) annual conference in Louisville and then providing an overview of the 2017 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival which is on now through April 16th in Anaheim.

Evans Brewing Co. was formed in 2014 when it absorbed the assets of Bayhawk Ales, Inc., Orange County’s oldest operating microbrewery established in 1994 and now publicly traded. Last December Evans Brewing Co. launched The Public House in Fullerton, a full-service restaurant and Tasting Room. The COO and Founder of Evans Brewing Co., Evan Rapport, joins us with a cold one.

What’s the pick of the season in fresh produce right now? We’re talking the very best in fruits and veggies with Robert Schueller, the uncontested Prince of Produce from Melissa’s World Variety Produce and our resident produce authority for a juicy update. We can say for sure that the incredible, tree-ripened Ojai Pixie Tangerines have arrived early and, with any luck, will be with us through June. It’s a bumper crop…

Urge Gastropub and Whiskey Bank (including a production microbrewery and hidden Prohibition-era Speakeasy) is new in Oceanside. We’ll savor one of the 250 whiskey options with Co-Owner Grant Tondro of 3LocalBrothers.

Fans of Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen will recall the memorable Chef Bev Lazo from Season 12. Chef Bev’s catering company, Fiesta Adobo, cooks up delicious, traditional foods from the Philippines. Another specialty is serving traditional Mexican style street tacos. We’ll meet her.

It’s the 50th Anniversary of Costa Mesa’s celebrated South Coast Plaza. Most of the restaurants there are doing something special to celebrate during the month of March. Bravo’s “Top Chef” alum, Chef Brian Huskey of Tackle Box (on the sand in Costa Mesa), has created the Camarena Tequila chipotle-braised carnitas taco entrée for Wahoo’s Fish Taco in South Coast Plaza. It’s available exclusively at Wahoo’s SCP (2nd level of the Crate and Barrel / Macy’s Home Store Wing) for the month of March. We’ve reeled in Chef Brian to provide the details.

All of this and heaping cups of much more incredible food talk on today’s show!

Chef Andrew Gruel is opening a new Slapfish in Silicon Flats, Utah and will be back with us very soon.

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Show 214, March 11, 2017: Anne Marie Panoringan, Food & Libation Journalist

Anne Marie PanoringanOur irregular ace field correspondent, Anne Marie Panoringan, (a regular contributor to OC Weekly) has previewed the 50th Anniversary Dining Specials (March only) at South Coast Plaza in a marathon eating tour. We’ll hear about all the delicious morsels being showcased.

Anne Marie managed six courses in one evening’s ample dining excursion. Course Four was an intriguing Lima Bean Soup from zCafe. It’s a tribute to the farmland that was the past of the land South Coast Plaza now occupies. The “farm” was planted in lima beans. They still grow a few lima beans on Segerstrom property, and the Lima Beans used in the anniversary soup are actually sourced from this property!

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Show 207, January 21, 2017: Restaurateur Sam King, CEO, King’s Seafood Company Part One

Sam KingThe original Water Grill, one of the area’s best fine-dining seafood restaurants, opened in Downtown Los Angeles in 1989. There are now busy locations in Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Diego, South Coast Plaza – Costa Mesa, and, just launched this month, Dallas. The new South Coast Plaza location is nearly 18,000 square feet.

Focusing on first-of-season seafood, Water Grill prides itself in offering the broadest selection of fin fish, oysters, crustaceans and shellfish to its guests.

“It’s been a dream of ours to bring Water Grill to Orange County,” says Sam King, CEO of the Orange County based King’s Seafood Company. “We hold this project near and dear to our hearts, and we’re so excited to open Water Grill right here in our own backyard. We look forward to sharing our passion for outstanding quality seafood and attentive service with our longtime friends and neighbors.”

The largest Water Grill to date, the nearly 18,000 square-foot restaurant and adjacent patio were designed in partnership with Hatch Design Group. Taking inspiration from a refurbished ship, the restaurant features reclaimed locally-sourced woods and authentic nautical components paired with rustic and iron finishes. A central, copper-top bar anchors the space, while an additional bar is located in the outdoor patio area, offering a multitude of seating options.

The 500-seat restaurant boasts several private dining options and multiple event spaces, ideal for intimate celebrations, business gatherings, large parties and charity events.

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Show 188, September 10, 2016: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Brea, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, most recently, The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for Rams and USC Football, is back as today’s special Guest Host. In May in Chicago during the National Restaurant Association’s annual conclave he received Nation’s Restaurant News’ Trendsetter MenuMaster Award for Slapfish.

Now a pleasantly tempting preview of Saturday’s ample show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a pretty good thing…

“Today’s top-flight University chefs are likely to be as savvy and competitive as their independent restaurant peers. Eric Ernest, the accomplished fine-dining chef who has headed University of Southern California Hospitality since 2012, knows this all too well.” Chef Eric is also USC Hospitality’s Associate Director of Purchasing, Logistics & Special Projects. He’s our guest.

Carlito Jocson is the long-time Executive Chef, Vice President and Managing Partner of Yard House. With lightening speed he revamped the entire menu of the original Yard House in Long Beach right before they opened in 1996. It’s been a wild ride ever since for the last 20 years. They now have 65 busy locations across the country in 13 states. Chef Carlito joins us with this absolutely incredible success story.

Pizzeria Ortica, the well-respected Italian restaurant (launched in 2009) located across from South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, has added an artfully crafted Sunday brunch to its already well-received lunch and dinner service. Executive Chef Justin Miller (who has been in the kitchen since the beginning) joins us in-studio to share the inviting details.

The 4thannual James Beard Foundation’s Taste America®, is The Foundation’s celebrated national culinary tour. Taste America is bringing together world-class chefs in ten U.S. cities, including the launch in Los Angeles on September 23rd at Vibiana, where Taste America All-Star Chef and James Beard Award-winner Scott Conant (ImperoCaffè, New York) will collaborate with Local Star Curtis Stone (Gwen and Maude) and Pastry Chef Hedy Goldsmith (Sweet Hedy) to create a one-of-a-kind, four-course dining experience. This special partnering of culinary greats will also feature a tasting reception. Bruce Kalman (Union & Knead & Co.) is one of the high-profile chefs preparing the food for the dazzling tasting reception. He’s our guest.

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

Please note…We graciously moved to the sidelines for Fighting Irish Football today at 11:30 a.m.

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Show 188, September 10, 2016: Justin Miller, Executive Chef, Pizzeria Ortica, Costa Mesa

Justin MillerPizzeria Ortica, the well-respected Italian restaurant (launched in 2009) located across from South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, has added an artfully crafted Sunday Brunch to its already well-received lunch and dinner service. Steve Samson (Sotto) was the opening chef there along with pizzaiolo Zach Pollack (Alimento.)

The simple, but inspired a la carte menu is available Sundays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Pizzeria Ortica experimented with serving brunch on Father’s Day which proved popular and resulted in guests requesting that it be available weekly. Chef Justin Miller’s new menu features small plates, “eggs and such,” and pizzas, with prices ranging from $6-$16.

Innovative cocktails, crafted by award-winning beverage director Joel Caruso, include The Vegetarian—a bloody Mary with housemade mix and pickled vegetables; The Pescatarian, a tequila or gin version with house shrimp stock, and a POG (Hawaiian juice blend of passionfruit, orange and guava) spritzer.

Guests are greeted at the table with a basket of complimentary morning buns, flaky and stuffed with tomato conserva and Parmigiano, the creation of talented sous chef Colleen Flynn. Squash-blossoms filled with lemon ricotta; heirloom tomato-rubbed toast with prosciutto di Parma; and pork belly, braised and sliced with agrodolce, are among the starters.

“With brunch becoming so popular, the abundance of residential complexes within walking distance and Sunday matinees at Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Rep, it makes total sense to introduce brunch here,” said Jason Scarborough, Pizzeria Ortica’s general manager.

Be sure to take a look at our Instagram postings of select brunch items.

Executive Chef Justin Miller (who has been in the kitchen since the beginning) joins us in-studio to share the inviting details.

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September 10: USC Hospitality, Yard House, Pizzeria Ortica, Bruce Kalman

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Executive Chef Eric Ernest, USC Hospitality Part 1
Segment Three: Executive Chef Eric Ernest, USC Hospitality Part 2
Segment Four: Carlito Jocson, Corporate Executive Chef & Managing Partner, Yard House Restaurants
Segment Five: Justin Miller, Executive Chef, Pizzeria Ortica, Costa Mesa
Segment Six: Executive Chef Bruce Kalman, Union & James Beard Foundation’s Taste America, Los Angeles

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Brea, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, most recently, The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for Rams and USC Football, is back as today’s special Guest Host. In May in Chicago during the National Restaurant Association’s annual conclave he received Nation’s Restaurant News’ Trendsetter MenuMaster Award for Slapfish.

Now a pleasantly tempting preview of Saturday’s ample show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a pretty good thing…

“Today’s top-flight University chefs are likely to be as savvy and competitive as their independent restaurant peers. Eric Ernest, the accomplished fine-dining chef who has headed University of Southern California Hospitality since 2012, knows this all too well.” Chef Eric is also USC Hospitality’s Associate Director of Purchasing, Logistics & Special Projects. He’s our guest.

Carlito Jocson is the long-time Executive Chef and Managing Partner of Yard House. He revamped the entire menu of the original Yard House in Long Beach right before they opened in 1996. It’s been a wild ride ever since for the last 20 years. They now have 65 busy locations across the country in 13 states. Chef Carlito joins us with this absolutely incredible success story.

Pizzeria Ortica, the well-respected Italian restaurant (launched in 2009) located across from South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, has added an artfully crafted Sunday brunch to its already well-received lunch and dinner service. Executive Chef Justin Miller (who has been in the kitchen since the beginning) joins us in-studio to share the inviting details.

The 4thannual James Beard Foundation’s Taste America®, is The Foundation’s celebrated national culinary tour. Taste America is bringing together world-class chefs in ten U.S. cities, including the launch in Los Angeles on September 23rd at Vibiana, where Taste America All-Star Chef and James Beard Award-winner Scott Conant (ImperoCaffè, New York) will collaborate with Local Star Curtis Stone (Gwen and Maude) and Pastry Chef Hedy Goldsmith (Sweet Hedy) to create a one-of-a-kind, four-course dining experience. This special partnering of culinary greats will also feature a tasting reception. Bruce Kalman (Union & Knead & Co.) is one of the high-profile chefs preparing the food for the dazzling tasting reception. He’s our guest.

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

Please note…We graciously move to the sidelines for Fighting Irish Football on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

Eric Ernest“Today’s top-flight University chefs are likely to be as savvy and competitive as their independent restaurant peers. Eric Ernest, the accomplished fine-dining chef who has headed University of Southern California Hospitality since 2012, knows this all too well.”

USC Hospitality operated 44 food and beverage venues on the University Park Campus, Health Sciences Center Campus, as well as two off-campus venues. It also provides creative full-service catering.

“Ernest and his team of up to 40 chefs turn out about 10,000 meals daily between students, faculty, the hospital, the hotel, the Coliseum and special events. So the pressure is on to produce and produce well.” “The question is not how do we fit their needs?” “Instead of what do they want, it’s what do they not know exists that they can’t live without?” Ernest insists.

Chef Eric is also USC Hospitality’s Associate Director of Purchasing, Logistics & Special Projects. He’s our guest.

“USC really offers top-notch hospitality. That, paired with the executive team and the leadership team, makes (the department) amazing, top to bottom,” Ernest observes.

“We view roasting a carrot with the same attention as making foie gras. We apply modern technique to everything, across the board, to create the best USC experience,” he continues.

With 44 outlets and 44 different menus to fill daily, it’s essential to plan ahead, Ernest stresses. “Good enough isn’t good enough. Our department answers to every single person who walks on the campus,” he promises.

Chef Eric is also proud of USC Hospitality’s Teaching Garden. It’s an unusual collaboration with LA Urban Farms, LA & SF Specialty and Chefs to End Hunger.

Carlito JocsonCarlito Jocson is the long-time Executive Chef and Managing Partner of Yard House. He revamped the entire menu of the original Yard House in Long Beach right before they opened in 1996. It’s been a wild ride for the last 20 years. They now have 65 busy locations across the country in 13 states.

What do Fried Gnocchi with Spicy Sausage, Crab Scampi Pasta and an All-Day Breakfast Sandwich have in common? They’re just a few of the new items that Chef Carlito and Yard House will introduce to its menu on September 12. The restaurant, known for its menu of American favorites and 100-plus taps of beer, will introduce a half-dozen new entrees to its menu, which will be available through January 15, 2017.

“As summer starts to wind down, and we head into the cooler months, it’s natural for the palate to gravitate towards heartier fare,” notes Chef Carlito Jocson. “Our Lobster Mac N Cheese, which has appeared on some of our special menus over the years, like Valentine’s Day or the holidays, is one we’re bringing back because it’s so popular. And, for the first time in our nearly 20-year history, we’re adding a breakfast sandwich.”

Jocson added that as a chef he studies food culture behaviors rather than trends, which helps drive his decision on what he feels needs to be added to the menu.

“I’m out a lot, and I observe what types of food people are seeking out,” added Jocson. “When I’m in Downtown L.A. late at night and there is a line halfway around the block at a chef-driven kiosk for a simple egg sandwich, I immediately start experimenting in the kitchen to create an egg sandwich for Yard House to answer that call for our guests.”

Chef Jocson also noted that, while Italian and Mexican fare have always been dining staples they’re both experiencing a resurgence among diners.

Chef Carlito joins us with this absolutely incredible success story.

Justin MillerPizzeria Ortica, the well-respected Italian restaurant (launched in 2009) located across from South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, has added an artfully crafted Sunday Brunch to its already well-received lunch and dinner service.

The simple, but inspired a la carte menu is available Sundays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Pizzeria Ortica experimented with serving brunch on Father’s Day which proved popular and resulted in guests requesting that it be available weekly. Chef Justin Miller’s new menu features small plates, “eggs and such,” and pizzas, with prices ranging from $6-$16.

Innovative cocktails, crafted by award-winning beverage director Joel Caruso, include The Vegetarian—a bloody Mary with housemade mix and pickled vegetables; The Pescatarian, a tequila or gin version with house shrimp stock, and a POG (Hawaiian juice blend of passionfruit, orange and guava) spritzer.

Guests are greeted at the table with a basket of complimentary morning buns, flaky and stuffed with tomato conserva and Parmigiano, the creation of talented sous chef Colleen Flynn. Squash-blossoms filled with lemon ricotta; heirloom tomato-rubbed toast with prosciutto di Parma; and pork belly, braised and sliced with agrodolce, are among the starters.

“With brunch becoming so popular, the abundance of residential complexes within walking distance and Sunday matinees at Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Rep, it makes total sense to introduce brunch here,” said Jason Scarborough, Pizzeria Ortica’s general manager.

Executive Chef Justin Miller (who has been in the kitchen since the beginning) joins us in-studio to share the inviting details.

Bruce Kalman on Union PasadenaThe 4thannual James Beard Foundation’s Taste America®, is The Foundation’s national culinary tour. Taste America is bringing together world-class chefs in ten U.S. cities, including the launch in Los Angeles on September 23rd at Vibiana, where Taste America All-Star Chef and James Beard Award-winner Scott Conant (ImperoCaffè, New York) will collaborate with Local Star Curtis Stone (Gwen)and Pastry Chef Hedy Goldsmith (Sweet Hedy) to create a one-of-a-kind, four-course dining experience.

This special partnering of culinary greats will also feature a tasting reception, where Host Chef Neal Fraser (Redbird), Nyesha Arrington (Leona), Josef Centeno (Orsa & Winston), Jeremy Fox (Rustic Canyon), and Bruce Kalman (Union) will dazzle guests with their individual culinary styles.

On Saturday, September 24th is a day of free culinary events from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Sur la Table in Westwood. Highlights are a cooking demo and book signing with James Beard Foundation Award Winner Scott Conant (Impero Caffe) and a Noon cooking demo and book signing with James Beard Foundation Award Winner Suzanne Goin (Lucques, AOC, and The Tavern.)

Bruce Kalman (Union & Knead & Co.) is one of the chefs preparing the food for the dazzling tasting reception. He’s our guest.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Executive Chef Eric Ernest, USC Hospitality Part 1
Segment Three: Executive Chef Eric Ernest, USC Hospitality Part 2
Segment Four: Carlito Jocson, Corporate Executive Chef & Managing Partner, Yard House Restaurants
Segment Five: Justin Miller, Executive Chef, Pizzeria Ortica, Costa Mesa
Segment Six: Executive Chef Bruce Kalman, Union & James Beard Foundation’s Taste America, Los Angeles

Show 137, September 5, 2015: Chef / Proprietor Florent Marneau, Marche Moderne

Florent and Amelia Marneau of Marche Moderne at South Coast PlazaIf you’re a fan of bouillabaisse, the celebrated fresh seafood stew from Provence, then you need to head over to Marche Moderne in South Coast Plaza. Nightly from September 10th through Sunday, September 20th is their annual Bouillabaisse 2015 festival! It’s an occasion worthy of celebration.

Chef/Proprietor Florent Marneau flies in his fish from the South of France. In the bouillabaisse you’ll see Saint-Pierre, Daurade Royale or Seabream and Rouget or Rascasse. There is also a carefully selected group of Rose wines (available by the glass or bottle) to pair with the bouillabaisse.

The keys to a great bouillabaisse are the broth (made with fish bones) and the quality of the fish.

These nights at Marche Moderne are very popular. Reservations are needed.

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Show 133, August 1, 2015: Bobby Navarro, 100EATS.com

Bobby NavarroBobby Navarro left a decade of work in the hospitality industry to fully commit to his own event planning and culinary promotions company, 100eats.com. He cooked with Amar Santana at both Charlie Palmer’s in South Coast Plaza (now closed) and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach.

Bobby’s passion for branding and business keeps him visiting hundreds of restaurants across the country, stemming from his original feat of dining at 100 restaurants in 100 consecutive days.

Bobby’s affection for the hospitality community and similar industries led him to create inspireartisticminds.org, an organization that gives thousands of dollars annually to connecting passionately driven individuals to the things that inspire them.

He also contributes to Foodbeast and Locale.

Bobby provides us with a preview of Chef Amar’s eagerly anticipated new restaurant in Costa Mesa, Vaca, a Spanish Restaurant.

We’ll meet Bobby…

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Show 128, June 27, 2015: Chef Laurent Brazier, Bistro Papillote, SOCO

Laurent BrazierThe newly launched Bistro Papillote at The OC Mix at SOCO is the first authentic French restaurant concept from Chef Laurent Brazier, Executive Chef Instructor of La Cuisine Culinary Arts located inside Macy’s Home Store in South Coast Plaza. On the menu is simple French Bistro cuisine.

Bistro Papillote provides full service breakfast and lunch, including Chef Laurent’s interpretation of quiches, crepes, Croque-Monsieur, and grab-and-go sandwiches and salads. There is even a formidable New Orleans-style Muffaletta Baguette (sandwich) with salami, mortadella, ham, swiss and tapenade. At the open-air crepe bar, guests are able to watch as delicious, fresh crepes are prepared right in front of them.

Bistro Papillote by La Cuisine is available for private events catered by Chef Laurent’s catering company, La Cuisine. The French wines served there are hand-selected by Chef Laurent who holds his Advanced Certificate of Wine & Spirit from the London WSET, as well as the Level One Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Somehow Chef Laurent also makes the time to teach a popular beginning wine appreciation class at LCA Wine at SOCO. He keeps it fun…

Chef Laurent is our guest.

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Show 116, April 4, 2015: Celebrity Chef Mary Sue Milliken, Border Grill

Mary Sue MillikenJames 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 (along with her long-time business partner, Susan Feniger) of the hugely successful Border Grill restaurants (and truck) in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Santa Monica. She also is the co-author of five popular cookbooks.

Additionally, Mary Sue is also an active volunteer for The James Beard Foundation in her prominent position on the Board of Trustees as a Board Member. Mary Sue joins us to talk about The James Beard Foundation’s 2015 Culinary Scholarship opportunities. A record $700,000 (plus) in Educational Scholarships and Professional Grants are available.

James Beard is fondly remembered by friends and colleagues as a man who offered unstinting help and encouragement to people embarking on a culinary career. Upholding Beard’s legacy of culinary education and support through their scholarship program is an essential component of the James Beard Foundation’s mission. The Friends of James Beard Foundation Scholarships and the James Beard Foundation School Scholarships have been established to assist aspiring culinary professionals who plan to further their education at a licensed or accredited culinary school. Professional grants are also available for independent work, study and travel.

Scholarship funds have been raised locally over the years at numerous Friends of James Beard Dinners. Host restaurants include AnQi in South Coast Plaza, Marche Moderne, Morgan’s in the Desert at La Quinta and Zov’s Bistro.

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