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!

Play

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.

 

Play

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.

 

Play

Show 210, February 11, 2017: Chef Marlene Moore, Temptations Food Walk, Pechanga Resort & Casino

Marlene Moore at the Pechanga Wine FestivalChef Marlene Moore is Pechanga’s two-time chili champ. She oversees the always busy Temptations Food Walk.

Her realm includes Caffee Cocoa – Fine Coffees and Coffee (24 hours), Pronto Italian, Agave Mexican Delights, American Classics (24 hours), Little Wok Asian Specialties, Pechanga Fried Chicken and Banh Mi (made to order) and hot dog carts.

In addition to Temptations Food Walk, Chef Marlene oversees all the food in the long-running Bingo Parlor and bustling Poker Room. In the well-appointed Poker Room the food comes to the Poker Table in custom tray tables. There is even a carving station.

We’ll chat with Chef Marlene about what’s new on her menus.

Play

Show 210, February 11, 2017: Melba and Steve Artea, Crown City Toffee

Melba ArteaWe love inspirational entrepreneurial food success stories. For Melba Artea 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. Husband, Steve, provides added guidance on the business side.

“Our English toffee is made with the freshest ingredients available. It is crispy with a wonderful buttery crunch and topped with a coat of creamy chocolate (milk or dark) with fresh-roasted almonds sprinkled on top.”

“Our Peanut Butter Drizzle is a huge favorite of many of our customers. It’s roasted peanuts topped over melted Peanut Butter Morsels and drizzled with milk chocolate.”

Crown City Toffee is part of the Pechanga Wine Festival. We’ll get the full story from Melba on her popular toffee line that started in her home kitchen. Based on demand they have graduated to producing in a commercial kitchen.

Update: About an hour and one-half into the 9th Annual Pechanga Wine Festival, Crown City Toffee was about sold out.

Play

Show 210, February 11, 2017: Food, Wine & Travel Journalists, Susan & Todd Montgomery

Susan and Todd MontgomeryTemecula Valley has become a popular destination for both day visitors and longer stays, too. In addition to the Pechanga Resort & Casino there are championship golf courses, the magnificent Temecula wine country and the attractions of Old Town Temecula. There is also a blooming arts community locally.

Temecula-based food, wine & travel journalists, Susan & Todd Montgomery, join us to provide the local perspective. Sue is on the Board of Directors (also the Treasurer) of the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association. Todd is the duo’s official photographer.

Play

February 11: Live from the Pechanga Chocolate Decadence and Wine Festival

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jean-Jacques Granet, Executive Pastry Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Three: Gus Vizgirda, Winemaker, Wilson Creek Winery
Segment Four: Alex Pena, Manager, Great Oak Steakhouse, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula
Segment Five: Sean Macready, Social Media / Digital Manager, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Six: Chef Marlene Moore, Temptations Food Walk, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Seven: Melba and Steve Artea, Crown City Toffee
Segment Eight: Food, Wine & Travel Journalists, Susan & Todd Montgomerys

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 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!

Jean Jacques GranetFriday, February 10th is the always incredible Chocolate Decadence at Pechanga. An eye-popping array of truly decadent chocolates and pastries are featured from the bakeshops of Pechanga’s Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-Jacques Granet.

Jean-Jacques Granet, an acclaimed pastry chef who has worked on three continents, is the Executive Pastry Chef at Pechanga Resort & Casino. After spending nearly 15 years as pastry chef at two of the most prestigious luxury resorts in Las Vegas, Granet is now happy to call Southern California home.

Chef Jean-Jacques arrived at Pechanga in March 2015 and has implemented positive changes to the 20-person in-house bakery and pastry shop. He has changed the lineup of desserts offered at Journey’s End golf course restaurant, The Great Oak Steakhouse, Paisano’s Italian restaurant and Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar.

He’s always working on improvements to the desserts and pastries offered at Blends Coffee & Wine Bar. Ongoing is efforts with each of the 11 dining outlets and banquets departments to fulfill and exceed guests’ expectations in the sweets’ department.

Chef Jean-Jacques puts down his whisk briefly to join us.

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.

Alex PenaThe 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.

Sean MacReadyPechanga 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.

The 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.

“We estimate the expansion will result in an economic output of over $550 million, generating roughly 2,944 jobs up front as a result of construction-related activities,” said Dr. Christopher Thornberg, Founding Partner of Beacon Economics. “We estimate the local economy will benefit from an additional 560 jobs per year going forward as a result of expanded operations at Pechanga Resort & Casino.”

Pechanga’s Digital Marketing Manager, Sean MacReady fills us in.

Marlene Moore at the Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili CookoffChef Marlene Moore is Pechanga’s two-time chili champ. She oversees the always busy Temptations Food Walk.

Her realm includes Caffee Cocoa – Fine Coffees and Coffee (24 hours), Pronto Italian, Agave Mexican Delights, American Classics (24 hours), Little Wok Asian Specialties, Pechanga Fried Chicken and Banh Mi (made to order) and hot dog carts.

In addition to Temptations Food Walk, Chef Marlene oversees all the food in the long-running Bingo Parlor and bustling Poker Room.

We’ll chat with Chef Marlene about what’s new on her menus.

Melba ArteaWe love inspirational entrepreneurial food success stories. For Melba Artea 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.

“Our English toffee is made with the freshest ingredients available. It is crispy with a wonderful buttery crunch and topped with a coat of creamy chocolate (milk or dark) with fresh-roasted almonds sprinkled on top.”

“Our Peanut Butter Drizzle is a huge favorite of many of our customers. It’s roasted peanuts topped over melted Peanut Butter Morsels and drizzled with milk chocolate.”

Crown City Toffee is part of the Pechanga Wine Festival. We’ll get the full story from Melba on her popular toffee line that started in her home kitchen. Based on demand they have graduated to producing in a commercial kitchen.

Susan and Todd MontgomeryTemecula Valley has become a popular destination for both day visitors and longer stays, too. In addition to the Pechanga Resort & Casino there are championship golf courses, the magnificent Temecula wine country and the attractions of Old Town Temecula.

Temecula-based food, wine & travel journalists, Susan & Todd Montgomery, join us to provide the local perspective. Sue is on the Board of Directors (also the Treasurer) of the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association. Todd is the duo’s official photographer.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jean-Jacques Granet, Executive Pastry Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Three: Gus Vizgirda, Winemaker, Wilson Creek Winery
Segment Four: Alex Pena, Manager, Great Oak Steakhouse, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula
Segment Five: Sean Macready, Social Media / Digital Manager, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Six: Chef Marlene Moore, Temptations Food Walk, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Seven: Melba and Steve Artea, Crown City Toffee
Segment Eight: Food, Wine & Travel Journalists, Susan & Todd Montgomerys

Show 208, January 28, 2017: Duane Owen, Executive Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula

Duane Owen of Pechanga Casino and ResortThe Pechanga Resort + Casino’s executive chef, Duane Owen, is no stranger to the show. Chef Duane joins us to preview Pechanga’s upcoming Chocolate Decadence Event (February 10th) and the 9th Annual Pechanga Wine Festival on February 11th.

CHOCOLATE DECADENCE EVENT

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2017 • 7-10PM
VIP* Ticket $75 • General Admission $55 • Designated Driver $30

Enjoy an array of chocolates and pastries while sampling a variety of wines, domestic sparkling wines, champagnes, spirits and dessert wines along with live music.

*VIP ticket includes early entry beginning at 5:30PM, upgraded souvenir wine glass, sliced seasonal fruit, international and domestic cheese and tray-passed hors d’oeuvres.

9TH ANNUAL WINE FESTIVAL

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2017 • 1-5PM
VIP* Ticket $85 • General Admission $65 • Designated Driver $40

LIVE MUSIC

The most notable wineries from Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Temecula, France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and beyond will offer a few hundred of their finest vintages along with live music. Sip and savor as you sample a variety of distinguished dishes from the award-winning chefs of Pechanga Resort & Casino.

Combo VIP Ticket $140 • Combo General Admission Ticket $100

Play

Show 200, December 3, 2016: Jean-Jacques Granet, Executive Pastry Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula

Jean Jacques GranetThe Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula has a long Holiday tradition of baking and decorating eye-catching gingerbread houses for sale at a very reasonable price until Christmas to their appreciative guests.

“This holiday season, housing starts inside of one southern California casino/resort will more than double after last year’s sales numbers topped expectations. Pechanga Resort & Casino’s in-house bakery team is preparing, constructing and decorating hand-crafted gingerbread houses and offering them to prospective buyers at a nominal cost for home ownership. These units, which may be purchased individually or several at a time to create neighborhood continuity, come fully loaded and turnkey for gift giving, or for hanging onto for one’s own sweet tooth satisfying gratification.”

“Those looking for a brand new gingerbread home can find them in easily accessed locations at the 24-hour Caffe Cocoa inside the popular Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga or at Blends Coffee & Wine Bar just inside the Pechanga Hotel Lobby. Each home features distinct décor and amenities such as hand-drawn insulation (icing) and real curb appeal with colorful holiday sweet treats lining the outside. If buyers are careful transporting the homes, no insurance is required, property tax is waived and goodwill equity can be earned by giving one of the Pechanga gingerbread homes to someone else. These handmade gingerbread houses come in 10-inch by six-inch floor plan for $35. They will be on the market until Christmas, or until all units have been snapped up by buyers.”

The annual Chocolate Decadence Festival is coming up of Friday evening, February 10, 2016.

Pechanga’s acclaimed Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-Jacques Granet (he has worked on three continents) joins us with all the sweet details.

Play

Show 199, November 26, 2016: Chef Marlene Moore, Temptations Food Walk, Pechanga Resort & Casino

Marlene Moore at the Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili CookoffChef Marlene Moore is the high-energy chef at the popular Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula. She is famous for the signature Pechanga Fried Chicken.

Earlier this year she successfully defended her title as Pechanga’s Chili Champ by, again, besting eight other talented Pechanga chefs in the 8th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Fest & Chili Cook-off which was a benefit for Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley.

Her winning chili creation is “Temptation” Hearty Southern Style Chili.

Chef Moore, originally from Trinidad and Tobago, retained her title despite stiff competition from Chef Ronnel Capacia of Kelsey’s, who serves southwestern chili in his appetizer selections for lunch and dinner every day. Now in its eighth year, 1,459 people came to enjoy craft and microbrews, chili and music at the 2016 Pechanga Microbrew Festival.

We’ll catch-up with the always on-the-move Chef Marlene.

Keep in mind the “Temptation” Hearty Southern Style Chili is an inspired side dish for Holiday entertaining and the upcoming college football bowl game viewing parties in late December. The recipe is posted on our Website courtesy of Chef Marlene :

Also, by popular demand, Chef Marlene’s championship “Temptation” Hearty Southern Style Chili (with a side of Chef Marlene’s signature corn bread) will be available at American Classics in the Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga for December, January & February.

Pechanga is your Personal Chef for the Holidays. Complete Christmas dinners (Turkey or Bone-in Prime Rib) are available to go with all the trimmings. Convenient pickup on December 25th between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at the Hotel Valet adjacent to Blends Coffee & Wine Bar. Call (951) 770-2307. Please order by December 23rd.

We’ll catch-up with the always on-the-move Chef Marlene.

Play