Show 228, June 17, 2017: Pechanga’s Assistant Executive Chef, Damian Stanley

The Team from Umi Shushi and Oyster Bar winning the 2017 Peachanga Resort and Casino Chili CookoffLast Saturday was the 9th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Festival & Chili Cook-Off in Temecula wine country. Chef Marlene Moore’s (Temptations Food Walk) back-to-back wins (2015 & 2016) as Pechanga’s resident Chili Champ was again on the line…

Joining us with the outcome of this heated battle for “Best Chili” (and a full-year of bragging rights) is Pechanga’s Assistant Executive Chef Damian Stanley (a two-time Chili Champ himself in 2013 & 2014.)

Only 10 votes separated the top 2 chili creations!

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Show 227, June 10, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel

Andy Harris, Andrew Gruel and Ronnel Capacia at the 2017 Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili CookoffNow an intriguing preview of Saturday’s properly effervescent 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 probably a pretty good thing…

Craft beer enthusiasts rejoice ! We’re live this morning from the 9th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili Cook-off in beautiful Temecula Valley wine country. VIP entry into The Grand Ballroom is at 12 Noon and General Admission is from 1 to 5:00 p.m.

Chef Marlene Moore of the Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga is the 2-time, defending Chili Champ among the highly-talented chefs at Pechanga. For Saturday’s competition she is showcasing two chili creations including a vegetarian option made with tofu. Bragging rights for the next year are on-the-line. We’ll talk about crowd pleasing, award-winning chili (and more) with the always engaging Chef Marlene.

One of the newest craft breweries in the Inland Empire, Inland Wharf Brewing Co., is part of today’s Microbrew Festival for the very first time. Their specialty is cask conditioned ales dispensed from a beer engine. Owners Commander Robert Durant (retired) and Bill Sutton are our guests.

Ericka Luna is Pechanga’s veteran Director of Catering. She joins us for a status report on the in-progress, ambitious, $285 million expansion project. The new Hotel Tower is on track to welcome guests in December. Just in time for the Holidays.

Chef Damian Stanley is the busy Assistant Executive Chef at Pechanga. The highlight of his achievements to date is the revamping of the restaurant space that has evolved into the highly successful Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar. He’s also a two-time Pechanga Chili Champ but has gracefully retired from competition to let the restaurant chefs shine.

Sciabica’s California Olive Oil has been cold pressed in Modesto, California since 1936. The olive oil is used in the kitchens at Pechanga and Sciabica’s, now in its 4th generation of Family ownership, is part of the Microbrew Festival. Jim Livesay is our guest representing Sciabica’s California Olive Oil.

Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley  is the long-time charitable beneficiary of the Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili Cook-off. The mission of Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley, in partnership with God, is to facilitate the dream of homeownership, as well as improve living conditions for those in the community. We’ll meet long-time Executive Director, Tammy Marine.

Regular listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” know Chef Ronnel Capacia as the master of the grill, smoker and pizza oven at Kelsey’s – Great Food & Drinks. He’s just been promoted to Chef at Journey’s End at Pechanga, the stylish restaurant with incredible views located in the handsome clubhouse of the Journey golf course. We’ll get Chef Ronnel off the links for a chat.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

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Show 227, June 10, 2017: Commander Robert Durant (retired) & Bill Sutton, Inland Wharf Brewing, Murrieta

Commander Robert Durant of Inland Wharf BrewingOne of the newest craft breweries in the Inland Empire, Murrieta’s Inland Wharf Brewing Co., is part of today’s Microbrew Festival for the very first time. Their specialty is cask conditioned ales which are served (in the English-style) at a higher temperature of 50 degrees than conventional beers on tap.

“The calling card for Inland Wharf Brewing Co. is the unique and labor intensive, Cask Conditioned Ales served via Beer Engines.  In addition, Inland Wharf serves other beers on regular carbon dioxide and nitrogen regulated draft beer taps. Even though our Cask Conditioned Ales and Draft Beers use the same ingredients and recipes, their processing techniques vary widely.”

“The time-honored brewing and serving methods followed by Inland Wharf Brewing Co. ensures the development of exceptional appearance, aroma, and flavors in both its Cask Conditioned Ales and its Draft Beers.”

Inland Wharf Brewing poured their Murrieta Pride English Pale Ale and their West Pac West Coast IPA at the Pechanga Microbrew Festival.

Owners Commander Robert Durant, Brewer (retired) and Bill Sutton (Director of Operations) are our guests.

 

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Show 227, June 10, 2017: Chef Damian Stanley, Assistant Executive Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino

Danian StanleyChef Damian Stanley is the Assistant Executive Chef at Pechanga. The highlight of his numerous achievements to date is the revamping of the restaurant space that has evolved into the highly successful Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar.

Umi means “sea” in Japanese. On the extensive menu are sushi, sashimi, nigiri, rolls, oysters on the half shell, seafood platters, specialty cocktails and so much more.

He’s also a two-time Pechanga Chili Champ (2014 & 2015) but has gracefully retired from competition to let the individual restaurant chefs have a clear field.

The two new restaurants at Pechanga as part of the ambitious expansion will include an outdoor poolside bar & grill and a Lobby restaurant.

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Show 227, June 10, 2017: Tammy Marine, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley

habitat-humanity-inland-valleyHabitat for Humanity Inland Valley is the long-time charitable beneficiary of the Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili Cook-off. The mission of Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley, in partnership with God, is to facilitate the dream of homeownership, as well as improve living conditions for those in the community.

Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley was founded on Christian principles in 1991, as an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, to provide low income housing for families in the Inland Valley.

“We serve the cities of Temecula, Murrieta, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Sun City, Menifee, and Perris. Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally, as well as globally, through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their housing conditions.”

“Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, decent place to live and that it should be a matter of conscience and action for all.”

We’ll meet long-time Executive Director, Tammy Marine.

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June 10: Live from the 9th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Festival & Chili Cookoff

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Chef Marlene Moore, Temptations Food Walk, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Three: Commander Robert Durant (retired) & Bill Sutton, Inland Wharf Brewing, Murrieta
Segment Four: Ericka Luna, Director of Catering, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Five: Chef Damian Stanley, Assistant Executive Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Six: Sciabica’s California Olive Oil, Modesto
Segment Seven: Tammy Marine, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley
Segment Eight: Chef Ronnel Capacia, Journey’s End at Pechanga

Now an intriguing preview of this Saturday’s properly effervescent 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 probably a pretty good thing…

Pechanga Microbrew FestivalCraft beer enthusiasts rejoice ! We’re live this morning from the 9th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili Cook-off in beautiful Temecula Valley wine country. VIP entry into The Grand Ballroom is at 12 Noon and General Admission is from 1 to 5:00 p.m.

Chef Marlene Moore of the Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga is the 2-time, defending Chili Champ among the highly-talented chefs at Pechanga. For Saturday’s competition she is showcasing two chili creations. Bragging rights for the next year are on-the-line. We’ll talk about crowd pleasing, award-winning chili (and more) with Chef Marlene.

One of the newest craft breweries in the Inland Empire, Inland Wharf Brewing Co., is part of today’s Microbrew Festival for the very first time. Their specialty is cask conditioned ales. Owners Commander (Retired) Robert Durant and Bill Sutton are our guests.

Ericka Luna is Pechanga’s veteran Director of Catering. She joins us for a status report on the in-progress, ambitious, $285 million expansion project. The new Hotel Tower is on track to welcome guests in December. Just in time for the Holidays.

Chef Damian Stanley is the busy Assistant Executive Chef at Pechanga. The highlight of his achievements to date is the revamping of the restaurant space that has evolved into the highly successful Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar. He’s also a two-time Pechanga Chili Champ but has gracefully retired from competition to let the restaurant chefs shine.

Sciabica’s California Olive Oil has been cold pressed in Modesto, California since 1936. The olive oil is used in the kitchens at Pechanga and Sciabica’s, now in its 4th generation of Family ownership, is part of the Microbrew Festival. Jim Livesay is our guest representing Sciabica’s California Olive Oil.

Regular listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” know Chef Ronnel Capacia as the master of the grill, smoker and pizza oven at Kelsey’s – Great Food & Drinks. He’s just been promoted to Chef at Journey’s End at Pechanga, the stylish restaurant with incredible views located in the handsome clubhouse of the Journey golf course. We’ll get Chef Ronnel off the links for a chat.

Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley is the long-time charitable beneficiary of the Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili Cook-off. The mission of Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley, in partnership with God, is to facilitate the dream of homeownership, as well as improve living conditions for those in the community. We’ll meet long-time Executive Director, Tammy Marine.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

Marlene Moore at the Pechanga Wine FestivalChef Marlene Moore of the Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga is the 2-time, defending Chili Champ among the highly-talented chefs at Pechanga. For Saturday’s competition she is showcasing two chili creations. Bragging rights are on-the-line.

All of the menu items at Temptations ranging from authentic Chinese stir-fry to Pechanga fried chicken are conveniently available to-go, too.

We’ll talk about crowd pleasing, award-winning chili (and more) with Chef Marlene.

Commander Robert Durant of Inland Wharf BrewingOne of the newest craft breweries in the Inland Empire, Murrieta’s Inland Wharf Brewing Co., is part of today’s Microbrew Festival for the very first time. Their specialty is cask conditioned ales.

“The calling card for Inland Wharf Brewing Co. is the unique and labor intensive, Cask Conditioned Ales served via Beer Engines.  In addition, Inland Wharf serves other beers on regular carbon dioxide and nitrogen regulated draft beer taps. Even though our Cask Conditioned Ales and Draft Beers use the same ingredients and recipes, their processing techniques vary widely.”
“The time-honored brewing and serving methods followed by Inland Wharf Brewing Co. ensures the development of exceptional appearance, aroma, and flavors in both its Cask Conditioned Ales and it’s Draft Beers.”

Owners Commander (Retired) Robert Durant and Bill Sutton are our guests.

Ericka LunaEricka Luna is Pechanga’s veteran Director of Catering. She first joined Pechanga in 2004 as Manager of Catering and was promoted to her current post in 2010. Erika joins us for a status report on the in-progress, ambitious, $285 million expansion project.

The ambitious project involves adding a new, AAA Four Diamond, 568-room and suite hotel wing; a stand-alone luxury two-story spa and salon with 17 treatment rooms, a fitness center and hydrotherapy pool terrace; a resort-style pool complex with eight pool areas; two new restaurants; and an additional 67,000 square feet of event space.

The new Hotel Tower is on track to welcome guests in December. Just in time for the Holidays. The fabulous Las Vegas-style pool deck with cabanas and all the requisite luxury VIP amenities will debut in the Spring.

Danian StanleyChef Damian Stanley is the Assistant Executive Chef at Pechanga. The highlight of his numerous achievements to date is the revamping of the restaurant space that has evolved into the highly successful Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar.

Umi means “sea” in Japanese. On the extensive menu are sushi, sashimi, nigiri, rolls, oysters on the half shell, seafood platters, specialty cocktails and so much more.

He’s also a two-time Pechanga Chili Champ (2014 & 2015) but has gracefully retired from competition to let the individual restaurant chefs have a clear field.

Sciabica's California Olive OilSciabica’s California Olive Oil has been cold pressed in California since 1936. The olive oil is used in the kitchens at Pechanga and Sciabica’s, now in its 4th generation of Family ownership, is part of the Microbrew Festival.

“The Sciabica family’s long tradition of olive oil production began in Sicily, in the olive oil mills of Castelvetrano in the province of Trapani – a region famous for olives and olive oil. In 1887 Nicola (Nick) Sciabica was born in Marsala, Sicily and as a young man, he learned the ancient art of producing olive oil in Trapani.”

“In 1911 Nicola immigrated to the United States, settled and started a family in Waterbury Connecticut, but longed for the warm Mediterranean climate. After many years of searching, he eventually found Modesto, California. He fell in love with Modesto. Nicola said, “This is like home.” and in 1925, with his wife and their 3 sons, he purchased a small ranch in Modesto.”

“11 years later, in 1936, with the knowledge that Nicola brought from olive oil making in Sicily, the Sciabicas began cold-pressing Marsala® Brand Olive Oil (named after his birthplace). Marsala is now the undisputed oldest continuously produced California Olive Oil. Today, the Sciabicas still reside, farm and cold-press olive oil on the same property.”

“In the late 80’s the family pioneered “single varietal” olive oils, keeping individual olive types separate (just like wine). For over 30 years we have been offering our single varietal olive oils under the Sciabica’s® label, ranging from Buttery-Sweet to Peppery & Robust, depending on the olive varietal and season of pressing. In the 90’s the family again blazed a new path with ‘Fresh Flavored’ olive oil, uniquely made fresh in the press by sending fresh fruit, herbs or peppers (such as Lemons, Basil and Jalapeños) with the olives through the presses. 2 ingredients, no artificials or heat infusion, resulting in a remarkable fresh flavor and health experience.”

Jim Livesay is our guest representing Sciabica’s California Olive Oil.

habitat-humanity-inland-valleyHabitat for Humanity Inland Valley is the long-time charitable beneficiary of the Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili Cook-off. The mission of Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley, in partnership with God, is to facilitate the dream of homeownership, as well as improve living conditions for those in the community.

Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley was founded on Christian principles in 1991, as an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, to provide low income housing for families in the Inland Valley.

“We serve the cities of Temecula, Murrieta, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Sun City, Menifee, and Perris. Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally, as well as globally, through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their housing conditions.”

“Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, decent place to live and that it should be a matter of conscience and action for all.”

We’ll meet long-time Executive Director, Tammy Marine.

Ronnell Capacia at the Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili CookoffRegular listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” know Chef Ronnel Capacia as the master of the grill, smoker and pizza oven at Kelsey’s – Great Food & Drinks.

He’s just been promoted to Chef at Journey’s End at Pechanga, the stylish restaurant with incredible views located in the handsome clubhouse of the Journey golf course.

Chef Ronnel is always a serious competitor (and one to watch) in the annual Pechanga Chili Cook-off.

We’ll get Chef Ronnel off the links for a chat.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Chef Marlene Moore, Temptations Food Walk, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Three: Commander Robert Durant (retired) & Bill Sutton, Inland Wharf Brewing, Murrieta
Segment Four: Ericka Luna, Director of Catering, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Five: Chef Damian Stanley, Assistant Executive Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Six: Sciabica’s California Olive Oil, Modesto
Segment Seven: Tammy Marine, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley
Segment Eight: Chef Ronnel Capacia, Journey’s End at Pechanga

Show 225, May 27, 2017: Executive Chef Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula

Duane Owen of Pechanga Casino and ResortIf you’ve been wanting to try out the burgeoning Southern California craft brew scene, this June in Temecula is your chance. Craft beer makers throughout Southern California and beyond will all come together in Temecula Wine Country for a festival in support of Habitat for Humanity. The 9thAnnual Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili Cook-off is Saturday, June 10, from 1 – 5 p.m. inside the Pechanga Resort & Casino Grand Ballroom.

Beer enthusiasts can taste unlimited samples of craft and small production brews from San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Orange counties, as well as selections from Northern California, the Midwest and even the East Coast. Ticket holders also can enjoy limitless tastes of eight varieties of homemade chili, fired up by the award-winning chefs at Pechanga Resort & Casino. Pechanga chefs go head-to-head each year to determine the AAA Four Diamond property’s best chili maker.

In addition to sampling some of the best craft beers and chili varieties and enjoying live music, the 9th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Festival features a silent auction with prizes including getaway stays, golf outings, sports memorabilia, fine wine and beer gift baskets, and much more. Proceeds from the event support Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley programs including homebuilding, free Healthy Homes and Financial Wellness workshops, neighborhood revitalization, and home improvement on behalf of veterans.

VIP festival tickets are available and are a great choice for guests who seek a more intimate environment to taste and appreciate the more than 100 beers and chili varieties on hand. VIP tickets are $65 and allow pass holders an early entry at 12 p.m. instead of 1 p.m. for general admission.

General admission Pechanga Microbrew Festival tickets are $50. Guests receive a two-ounce souvenir glass to sample unlimited beer tastings. Designated driver tickets are available for $30. Both ticket levels allow guests to indulge in the homemade chili and other gourmet food samples, enjoy live music by San Diego’s Safety Orange and participate in the extensive silent auction.

Guests must be 21 or older to attend. For tickets or for more information, visit Pechanga’s website or call (877) 711-2946.

Pechanga’s executive chef, Duane Owen, joins us with a thirst-quenching preview.

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Show 210, February 11, 2017: Show Preview with Andy Harris

9th annual Pechanga Chocolate Decadence and Wine FestivalWe’re live on Saturday from the 9th Annual Pechanga Wine Festival and Chocolate Decadence. It’s a benefit for Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley. A few hundred of the finest vintages from Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Temecula, France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and beyond are available for the tasting. Also on the menu are a variety of impressive tastes from the award-winning chefs of Pechanga Resort & Casino.

Now an enticing preview of this Saturday’s totally decadent show with Co-Host Andy Harris. 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…

Friday, February 10th is Chocolate Decadence at Pechanga. An incredible array of sinful chocolates and pastries are featured from the bakeshops of Pechanga’s Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-Jacques Granet. Chef Jean-Jacques puts down his whisk briefly to join us.

Wilson Creek Winery is a family-owned winery in the heart of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country known for its quality wines and warm hospitality. The winery features a welcoming tasting room, full-service restaurant with vineyard view dining and expansive patio, creek side picnic area, indoor and outdoor conference and event spaces, romantic wedding venue and exclusive retreat accommodations. We’ll uncork it all with Winemaker Gus Vizgirda.

The Great Oak Steakhouse at Pechanga is one of the most highly regarded fine dining restaurants in the Inland Empire. It’s premium seafood, 100 per cent Prime Angus beef, and an exceptional wine cellar to match. The Great Oaks’ Manager, Alex Pena (who started at Pechanga 13 years ago as a server), is our guest.

Pechanga is well along with an ambitious $285 million expansion of the Hotel and all other guest amenities on the property with the exception of the Casino facilities. A new 2,400 space parking garage has just opened as the first part of the enhancements. Pechanga’s Digital Marketing Manager, Sean Macready fills us in.

Chef Marlene Moore is Pechanga’s two-time defending chili champ. She oversees all the food in the always busy Temptations Food Walk, Bingo Hall and the Poker Room. We’ll chat with Chef Marlene about what’s new on her menus.

We love inspirational entrepreneurial food success stories. For Melba Artea (and her husband Steve) of Crown City Toffee it all started with a family recipe for toffee (with chocolate & nuts) and a pressing need to provide more financial resources for her Family. Crown City Toffee is part of the Pechanga Wine Festival. We’ll get the full story on her popular toffee line that started in her home kitchen.

Temecula Valley has become a popular destination for both day visitors and longer stays, too. Temecula-based food, wine & travel journalists, Susan & Todd Montgomery, provide the local perspective. Sue is on the Board of Directors (also the Treasurer) of the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association.

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

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Show 210, February 11, 2017: Gus Vizgirda, Winemaker, Wilson Creek Winery

Gus VizgirdaWilson Creek Winery is a family-owned winery in the heart of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country known for its quality wines and warm hospitality. The winery features a welcoming tasting room, full-service restaurant with vineyard view dining and expansive patio, creek side picnic area, indoor and outdoor conference and event spaces, romantic wedding venue and exclusive retreat accommodations.

“Delightfully referred to as our “extended family,” the Wilson family is proud to have built a community around the sharing of wine, the celebration of family and the passion to enhance the lives of everyone our brand touches.”

Today, Wilson Creek’s 90 acres of old growth vines grace the Temecula Valley hills and produce over 40,000 cases yearly and include several award-winning varietals. The two large Tuscan-inspired buildings house a unique tasting room, a grand ballroom and elegant restaurant.

Just as founders Gerry and Rosie Wilson wanted a place where family could come together, the winery grounds feature several spaces designed to bring people together including gazebos, a concert stage, outdoor patio dining and, of course, the peaceful sounds of Wilson Creek.

“The dream and vision of Wilson Creek continues to thrive with three generations of Wilsons involved in day-to-day operations, from wine tasting and tours to weddings and corporate events.”

They are known for their celebratory Almond Sparking Wine (which initially put them on the map) and Gus’ White Cabernet Sauvignon.

We’ll uncork it with Winemaker Gus Vizgirda. He graciously conducted an on-air barrel tasting of their 2015 GSM which will be bottled next month. The 2014 GSM is the current release.

 

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Show 210, February 11, 2017: Alex Pena, Manager, Great Oak Steakhouse, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula

Alex Pena at the Pechanga Wine FestivalThe Great Oak Steakhouse at Pechanga is one of the most highly regarded fine dining restaurants in the Inland Empire. It’s premium seafood, 100 per cent Prime Angus beef, and an exceptional wine cellar to match. It’s a consistent AAA Four-Diamond Award establishment.

“With an outstanding menu created by award-winning head chef Martin Venegas, a visit to Great Oak promises to be memorable on every level. Martin’s philosophy is no secret: find the best product, use the right ingredients, and execute every creation in a way that brings forward the very best of the flavor profile. Taste the art of deep culinary passion at this signature dining destination.”

The Great Oaks’ accomplished Manager, Alex Pena (who started at Pechanga 13 years ago as a server), is our guest. Previously he has had management positions at Pechanga’s Kelsey’s – Great Food & Drinks and Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar.

 

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