Show 292, September 29, 2018: Chef / Proprietor Shachi Mehra, ADYA, Anaheim – “Discover Diwali” Culinary Class

Shachi MehraADYA (Anaheim) hosts interactive Indian culinary demos every 3rd Saturday of the month from 11a.m. to 1p.m. priced at $35 per guest (unless otherwise noted) and include easy-to-follow recipes to take home with you, culinary secrets from Chef Shachi Mehra and of course, lunch served with wine / beer or chai. Discover Diwali” is set for Saturday, Oct. 20th. Reservations (due to limited class size) are a must.

“At ADYA, we showcase the flavorful street food of India. Our inspiration comes from the multitude of bright flavors and textures representing the diversity of India itself. Working with our local farmers, growers and purveyors, we strive to use local, organic, biodynamic ingredients whenever possible. Combining these with modern creative and classic Indian styles of cooking, we present food that balances the bounty of California with the bold flavors and spices of India. The carefully curated wine list and rotating craft beer list complement our vibrant flavors and casual style.”

Chef Shachi steps away from the tandoor oven to join us.

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Show 282, July 21, 2018: Javier Cuadra, Owner & Founder, Urbana Mexican Gastronomy, Anaheim Packing House

Javier CuadraHidden in plain sight on the lower level of the Anaheim Packing House is the full-service Urbana Mexican Gastronomy. Its ‘Dia de los Muertos’ every day at URBANA, the Anaheim Packing House’s most colorful restaurant.

Farm Fresh Mexican inspired plates are created by Chef Ernie Alvarado. Complementing the menu, URBANA’S sexy departure on craft cocktails featuring Tequila and Mezcal favorites as well as top shelf agave spirits.

“Restaurateur Javier Cuadra was raised between Orange County and Michoacan, “the belly” of Mexico. Michoacan boasts an abundance of culture and delectable street foods which influenced Javier into opening a restaurant shacking the region’s finest offerings.”

“I always had a passion for food, while going to college for international business I worked in the restaurant industry and this inspired me to have my own one day. Experiencing the unique cuisine that Mexico has to offer and seeing how there was nothing like that in Orange County inspired me to bring a small piece of Mexican culture here.”

Javier’s love of “street food” has heavily influenced URBANA’s eclectic menu, which features natural and fresh ingredients including handmade tortillas, gourmet tacos and Red Snapper ceviche, creatively prepared by Chef Ernie Alvarado. “My personal favorite are the Mole enchiladas, made with house made Mole sauce that reminds me of home.” says Javier.

Located in the Anaheim Packing House, the candle-lit ambience has earned Golden Foodie Award honors among other recognitions, “The fact that together with Chef Ernie Alvarado we were able to change how people see Mexican cuisine is a huge accomplishment.”

Proprietor Javier Cuadra is our in-studio guest.

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Show 268, April 7, 2018: Farley Elliott, Senior Editor, Eater LA Part One

Farley ElliottFor 3 plus years food journalist Farley Elliott has been the Senior Editor at the highly influential Eater LA, part of the 27 City Eater network.

He is also the author of well-received Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks with Foreword by Senor Bill Esparza. It’s part local history and part useful Street Food guide.

Farley’s work appears nationally in the online, print, and digital video space, and you can follow him around the internet at @overoverunder.

Farley joins us in-studio.

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Show 215, March 18, 2017: Kim Heim, Main Street Oceanside, Sunset Market

Kim HeimThe expansive Thursday evening Sunset Market in Downtown Oceanside is the weekly gathering spot for up to 8,000 locals. Eighty-eight top quality food stands featuring appealing ethnic cuisine from around the globe are one of the primary attractions. (There is little duplication of menu items between food stands.)

Think of an intriguing mix of everything from Chicago Polish pierogis to wild caught salmon that is eye-catchingly fire-roasted in front of you on oak planks. Then, for dessert, there are the incredible Atsuko’s Japanese Cakes, an unusual taste experience with exotic natural flavors.

Southern California has attracted people from all over the world and is renowned for its diversity which is reflected in the distinctive international food offerings of the Sunset Market.

Kim Heim from Main Street Oceanside is our informed tour guide.

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Show 181, July 23, 2016: Chef Alex Chen, Boulevard Kitchen, Vancouver, B.C.

Alex Chen of Boulevard Kitchen and Oyster BarRichmond, British Columbia is an incorporated city of 210,000 residents just South of Vancouver. 65 per cent of the residents are Asian and half of that group is of Chinese ancestry. It’s known for having some of the most authentic regional Chinese cuisine outside of China.

It’s home to Vancouver International Airport and the iconic Richmond Olympic Oval. It’s nestled where the Pacific Ocean and the mighty Fraser River meet. Richmond is a thriving multicultural destination city offering a growing range of cultural, heritage, culinary and leisure experiences.

The “SoCal Restaurant Show” was recently on assignment in Richmond B.C. Joining us to further delve into the vibrant Richmond food scene is Vancouver’s acclaimed Chef Alex Chen (ex-Beverly Hills Hotel.) Chef Chen is an enthusiastic resident of Richmond. He is currently the respected chef at Boulevard Kitchen and Oyster Bar in Vancouver.

Where does Chef Chen eat on his time away from Boulevard Kitchen? He particularly enjoys the Chinese street food in Richmond. Cantonese specialties are at the top of the list but he savors food discoveries from all eight principal culinary regions of China. They are all represented in Richmond.

We talk about some of his favorites including HK BBQ Master. Pass the tea, please…

 

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Show 150, December 12, 2015: Anita Lau, Mad Hungry Woman Blogger

Anita Lau of Mad Hungry WomanAnita Lau is better known to regular listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” as the Mad Hungry Woman blogger. She was living in Hong Kong in the 90s before the turnover by the British to China. Anita was just back to Hong Kong for a 3-week visit. We’ll get a insider’s view of the dining scene there during the glory days of the British and now under Chinese authority.

Anita will fill us in on the impact of Michelin Stars in Hong Kong and also the best street food. Michelin in now even rating “Street Food” which seems a bit odd.

Anita notes that the big deal celebrity chefs are opening high-profile restaurants in Hong Kong. Gordon Ramsay is already there and Anita crossed paths with Chris Cosentino of “Top Chef Masters” fame there, too.

We’ll also get the morsel-by-morsel details of her favorite dining experience of the trip. It’s French and elegant…Go to her blog to read her full review of EPURE. Beautiful food photography of the meal, too.

Born in Hong Kong and now living in Orange County, California, Anita Lau is an international author and writer who has lived in Malaysia, Australia, Nebraska, Oregon, San Francisco and also, Hawaii. Her obsession with food began at an early age but it wasn’t until her early 20s when her experimentation with cooking led her to start a small catering business which she would run in her spare time while at college in Australia.

 

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Show 140, October 3, 2015: ADYA – Fresh Indian Flavors and Executive Chef Shachi Mehra

Shachi MehraExecutive Chef Shachi Mehra is the co-proprietor of ADYA – Fresh Indian Flavors in the Packing House in Anaheim. At the recent Golden Foodie Awards ADYA was one of three distinguished nominees for Best Indian Cuisine. We’ll find out from Chef Shachi herself what restaurant was awarded the coveted honor.

“At ADYA, we showcase the flavorful street food of India. Our inspiration comes from the multitude of bright flavors and textures representing the diversity of India itself. Working with our local farmers, growers and purveyors, we strive to use local, organic, biodynamic ingredients whenever possible. Combining these with modern creative and classic Indian styles of cooking, we present food that balances the bounty of California with the bold flavors and spices of India. The carefully curated wine list and rotating craft beer list complement our vibrant flavors and casual style. Our team’s passion for hospitality comes through with each bite, every sip and with every smiling interaction.”

Shachi grew up surrounded by good food and learned early the importance of eating seasonally during her annual summer trips to her native India. Her mother was an exceptional cook, and as a young girl, Shachi spent many a moment sitting on the counter, as the ‘official taste tester’ of the house. Growing up in New Jersey, Shachi had her share of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as well as traditional Indian foods; this crossing of two cultures from her youth carries in to her work now and allows her the ability to see things from different perspectives and bridge the gap between perception and reality of Indian food.

As a chef, Mehra believes in creating innovative and thoughtful menus that tastefully balance a variety of flavors and makes cuisines appealing to a range of tastes. She is also an ardent supporter of local farmers and sustainable practices.

A second ADYA is in the works. Location and timeframe are under securely wraps at the moment. We’ll keep after Chef Shachi for the future details…

Look for her interactive “Learn To Create” monthly cooking classes at ADYA. It’s the home cooks’ guide to quick, easy Indian dishes. The next class is Saturday, November 7th. It’s Indian Thanksgiving dishes for the American table. Do I hear tandoori turkey?

 

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Show 137, September 5, 2015: The Halal Guys, Thomas Pham, SoCal Franchisee

Halal GuysAfter 25 years in business, The Halal Guys are expanding from New York’s City’s most popular food cart to its first West Coast brick-and-mortar fast casual location in Costa Mesa (opening soon). They expect to launch 5 SoCal locations by the end of the year. That’s ambitious…

In New York the cart is famous for “The Never-Ending Line.” Well-known for its gyro sandwiches, chicken-and-rice platters and mystery white sauce, The Halal Guys menu offers a mix of various Middle Eastern dishes.

The Halal Guys grew from its humble beginnings as a food cart on the streets of New York City to a global icon known as the largest American halal street food concept in the world. This Manhattan-based landmark was created by three like-minded men from Egypt who came to America in search of a lucrative life.

When Mohamed Abouelenein, Ahmed Elsaka and Abdelbaset Elsayed noticed many Muslim cab drivers in New York were looking for a place to buy meals in Manhattan, they created their first food cart and quickly grew into a leading tourist and native New Yorker destination for American Halal fare.

In 2013, The Halal Guys were ranked the most popular food truck reviewed on FourSquare and the third most Yelped restaurant in the United States in 2014.

The area franchisee for SoCal, Thomas Pham, joins us.

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Show 136, August 29, 2015: Sameer Suri, Los Angeles Correspondent, InsideHook

Sameer SuriThe well-traveled Sameer Suri, raised in Los Angeles, is emblematic of the new breed of young writers covering lifestyle. He’s one of the Los Angeles correspondents for InsideHook, a daily, editorial e-mail newsletter to “inspire driven men.” It covers culture, food & drink and travel.

In true Hollywood style Sameer is also a stand-up comedian. He’s performed at a variety of clubs around town, including the Laugh Factory and Flappers Burbank.

As a student in the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, Sameer had the unusual opportunity to spend a semester in London.

We’ll chat about the newly vibrant London food scene. Surprisingly Sameer suggests that the best street food Fish & Chips these days is in Dublin. Now trending on London’s street food scene is Doner Kebabs.

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Show 136, August 29, 2015: Tom Gordon, The Pepper Project

The Pepper ProjectTom Gordon’s and Cris Petersen’s The Pepper Project promotes U.S. importation of fine Kampot pepper as a way to support Cambodians and the country’s economy. It’s a great pepper that was used in the finest French restaurants during the colonial era.

They have partnered with Expedia to organize and host The Pepper Project’s Insider’s Tour of Cambodia in late February of 2016. It is 13 days of high adventure from insiders who really know the relatively unexplored territory.

Highlights include a chef’s dinner at Charcoal restaurant in Siem Reap where the cocktails are mixed tableside as well as many of the specialty dishes prepared & served at the table. Also included is a carefully curated tasting tour of the best of local street food transported in tuk tucks.

We’ll get the inside information from Tom Gordon.

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