Show 255, January 6, 2018: Ahmed Labatte, Partner, Vaca Restaurant Group

Ahmed LabatteChef Amar Santana and his business partner, Ahmed Labatte (Broadway by Amar Santana and Vaca in Costa Mesa) had an incredible 2017. Among other notable achievements they hosted one of the premier events celebrating the 50th Anniversary of South Coast Plaza at Vaca. It was a lavish, multi-course dinner matched with outstanding wines to benefit The James Beard Foundation.

For late 2018 their ambitious new project will be The Hall Global Eatery in South Coast Plaza. Early advance info is that it will be a Global Marketplace with multiple food counters and an exhibition kitchen.

There will be a grab-and-go market area with freshly prepared salads and sandwiches. Everything else will be prepared to order. Expect Mediterranean kebabs and Shawarma.  The location is the expansive former Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill space.

Ahmed joins us with a tantalizing sneak preview.

Play

Show 253, December 23, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel

Now a joyful preview of Saturday’s festive 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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday morning throughout The Holidays.

Greatly respected restaurateur Donato Poto, in partnership with Chef Michael Cimarusti, is responsible for the L.A. fine dining treasure, Providence, as well as the more casual Connie & Ted’s (with restaurateur Craig Nickoloff) in West Hollywood. It’s been a busy few weeks for them as they have launched il Pesce Cucina in Eataly in Westfield Century City as well as Best Girl, a 3-meal-a-day restaurant in The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. We’ll get the full briefing from Donato.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, joins us from Park City, Utah where he has just debuted the third Slapfish in Utah. Chef Andrew will share (and explain) some important hospitality business trends he sees for 2018.

We know restaurateur Russ Bendel from his successful wine country-themed establishments in Orange County, Vine in San Clemente and Ironwood in Laguna Hills. Now it’s a threesome with the launch of the handsome Olea, already making waves in Newport Beach. Russ Bendel explains what’s on the menu.

Lawry’s Beef Bowl is college football’s most celebrated bowl game tradition. Each year since its inception prior to the 1957 Rose Bowl Game, Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills has honored the players and coaches of each Rose Bowl‐bound team for their gridiron achievements. This is the 62nd year of Lawry’s proud association with The Granddaddy of Them All.® Lawry’s Beef Bowl historian Todd Erickson is our guest. He actually authored the coffee table book on the official history of Lawry’s Beef Bowl.

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

Play

December 23: Donato Poto, Russ Bendel, Lawry’s Beef Bowl

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Restaurateur Donato Poto, il Pesce Cucina and Best Girl Part Two
Segment Three: Restaurateur Donato Poto, il Pesce Cucina and Best Girl Part Two
Segment Four: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Five: Orange County Restaurateur, Russ Bendel, Olea Part One
Segment Six: Orange County Restaurateur, Russ Bendel, Olea Part Two
Segment Seven: Sports Historian Todd Erickson, Lawry’s 62nd Beef Bowl Part One
Segment Eight: Sports Historian Todd Erickson, Lawry’s 62nd Beef Bowl Part Two

Now a joyful preview of this Saturday’s festive 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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday morning throughout The Holidays.

Greatly respected restaurateur Donato Poto, in partnership with Chef Michael Cimarusti, is responsible for the L.A. fine dining treasure, Providence, as well as the more casual Connie & Ted’s (with restaurateur Craig Nickoloff) in West Hollywood. It’s been a busy few weeks for them as they have launched il Pesce Cucina in Eataly in Westfield Century City as well as Best Girl, a 3-meal-a-day restaurant in The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. We’ll get the full briefing from Donato.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, joins us from Park City, Utah where he has just debuted the third Slapfish in Utah. Chef Andrew will share (and explain) some important hospitality business trends he sees for 2018.

We know restaurateur Russ Bendel from his successful wine country-themed establishments in Orange County, Vine in San Clemente and Ironwood in Laguna Hills. Now it’s a threesome with the launch of the handsome Olea, already making waves in Newport Beach. Russ Bendel explains what’s on the menu.

Lawry’s Beef Bowl is college football’s most celebrated bowl game tradition. Each year since its inception prior to the 1957 Rose Bowl Game, Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills has honored the players and coaches of each Rose Bowl‐bound team for their gridiron achievements. This is the 61st year of Lawry’s proud association with The Granddaddy of Them All.® Lawry’s Beef Bowl historian Todd Erickson is our guest. He actually authored the coffee table book on the official history of Lawry’s Beef Bowl.

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

Donato PotoGreatly respected restaurateur Donato Poto, in partnership with Chef Michael Cimarusti, is responsible for the L.A. fine dining treasure, Providence, as well as the more casual Connie & Ted’s (with restaurateur Craig Nickoloff) in West Hollywood. It’s been a busy few weeks for them as they have launched il Pesce Cucina in Eataly in Westfield Century City as well as Best Girl, a 3-meal-a-day restaurant in The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

Headed up by acclaimed L.A. restaurant Providence, Il Pesce Cucina is Eataly’s fish market-inspired restaurant. For more than a decade, the team led by Chef Michael Cimarusti and Donato Poto has worked to elevate the standards of modern American seafood restaurants. At Eataly, Providence highlights the delicious varieties of California’s wild fish in their menus. All of the fresh seafood is responsibly sourced, with a particular focus on wild-caught and raw options that promise to satisfy every taste.

Tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis; il Pesce Cucina does not accept reservations.

“Providence, a restaurant with two Michelin stars, has defined a new standard of seafood cuisine in America. Led by Chef Michael Cimarusti and co-owner Donato Poto, this signature L.A. restaurant found its roots in the search for sustainable fish, wild caught and of the finest quality. Ingredients are treated with the greatest respect and technique, with the goal of bringing the freshest seafood flavors to your table. Eataly partners with Providence at Il Pesce Cucina because we believe in the same emphasis on ingredients and search for quality.”

We’ll get the full, mouthwatering briefing from Donato.

Named after the first film screened at The Theatre (now the Ace Theater adjacent to the Ace Hotel) in 1927, Best Girl is Downtown Los Angeles’ local haunt featuring rotating, seasonal fare and classic favorites. Best Girl is in partnership with the inimitable Chef Michael Cimarusti and business partner Donato Poto, renowned for championing sustainable seafood and elevating impeccable service in a casual atmosphere.

A multi-nominee for a James Beard Award, Cimarusti’s critically acclaimed restaurants Providence and Connie and Ted’s have earned him two Michelin Stars and international recognition as an industry giant. Cape Seafood and Provisions, his seafaring market, offers sustainable, wild caught fish, prime cuts and grab-and-go dishes. Chef Cimarusti’s menu for Best Girl represents his favorite meals made at home for family and friends — inviting and simple, every dish is expertly crafted, wholly delicious and available every day.

We’ll continue the full briefing from Donato.

Andrew and William GruelOur Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, joins us from Park City, Utah where he has just debuted the third Slapfish in Utah. Chef Andrew will share (and explain) some important hospitality business trends he sees for 2018. It’s a challenging time for the restaurant business at all levels from fast casual to fine-dining.

We know restaurateur Russ Bendel from his successful wine country-themed establishments in Orange County, Vine in San Clemente and Ironwood in Laguna Hills. Now it’s a threesome with the launch of the handsome Olea, already making waves in Newport Beach.

Russ BendelNamed for a genus of trees that flourish in warm and tropical regions, Olea gives Bendel’s award-winning Napa and Sonoma wine country concepts at Vine, in San Clemente, and Ironwood, in Laguna Hills, a European accent with extensive wine selections from Italy, France and Spain.

Chef-Partner Jared Cook has created a menu of modern California cuisine that perfectly complements the “global wine country” approach the Bendel team has taken at Olea.

“It’s great to return to the community where my business partners and I began our careers,” said Bendel, a graduate of The Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona who spent nine years at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar at Newport Center / Fashion Island before striking out on his own.

“Olea represents the continued progression we have created with our other two wine country-inspired cuisine restaurants,” Bendel said. The restaurant is Bendel’s largest, seating 130 guests, and like the other two locations is open for dinner nightly.

Cook has created new dishes exclusively for Olea, including blue crab baked oysters with champagne tarragon butter); terrine of duck liver, bacon and bourbon; wild-caught Pacific Blue Nose sea bass; herb-roasted prime beef cheek stroganoff with house-made rosemary pappardelle; Pacific Northwest filet mignon with black truffle and blue crab Béarnaise; and seasonal apple and pear cobbler with oatmeal crumble and cardamom ice cream.

Also on the menu at Olea are Vine / Ironwood crowd-pleasers such as Meyer lemon & honey duck wings and jumbo lump blue crab with roasted heirloom beets.

Olea’s interior is Tuscany wine country meets California Cuisine. An eclectic blend of timeless natural backgrounds includes antique French white oak floors, Black Mountain ledge-stone, black walnut millwork complemented with contemporary decorative lighting, and clean soft lines and a warm taupe color palette.

Dining areas are divided with sculptures instead of walls, made from natural tree branches on steel bases that lend privacy. The completely weatherproofed dining patio has a parkway setting with swagger light fixtures and citrus trees and herbs in large planters. Two olea (olive) trees flank the entrance of the restaurant.

A focal point of Olea, which totals 3,647 square feet, is a custom-made captain’s table in the wine room that can seat 10. The captain’s table is surrounded by working wine storage and wine displays, artwork and beautiful lighting fixtures.

Olea is located at The Walk, 2001 Westcliff Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660, by Kéan Coffee.  Reservations are accepted on OpenTable, or by calling 949-287-6807. There is self-parking in a newly-constructed 300-car parking structure adjacent to the restaurant.

Russ Bendel tempts us what’s on the menu.

Road to the Rose Bowl 50 Years of Lawry's Beef BowlLawry’s Beef Bowl is college football’s most celebrated bowl game tradition. Each year since its inception prior to the 1957 Rose Bowl Game, Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills has honored the players and coaches of each Rose Bowl‐bound team for their gridiron achievements. This is the 61st year of Lawry’s proud association with The Granddaddy of Them All.®

Tradition. College football is steeped in it, and there isn’t any tradition more enduring than “The Granddaddy of All Bowl Games,” the Rose Bowl. For 62 years, Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills has been a vital marketing partner in this tradition with its annual Beef Bowl (staged over 2 nights) serving as the proverbial rite of passage for champion gridiron gladiators in quest of Big Game glory.

This legendary private event (where only Tournament of Roses officials and sports media are granted access) has largely remained a mystery to the public while quietly generating a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes photo ops, stories, anecdotes, and quotes from college football’s most well-known players, coaches and sports commentators.

This year’s unusual Rose Bowl pitting the Oklahoma Sooners against the Georgia Bulldogs is the College Football Playoff Semifinal.

Lawry’s Beef Bowl historian Todd Erickson is our guest. He actually authored the coffee table book on the official history of Lawry’s Beef Bowl, Road to the Rose Bowl: 50 Years of Lawry’s Beef Bowl.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Restaurateur Donato Poto, il Pesce Cucina and Best Girl Part Two
Segment Three: Restaurateur Donato Poto, il Pesce Cucina and Best Girl Part Two
Segment Four: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Five: Orange County Restaurateur, Russ Bendel, Olea Part One
Segment Six: Orange County Restaurateur, Russ Bendel, Olea Part Two
Segment Seven: Sports Historian Todd Erickson, Lawry’s 62nd Beef Bowl Part One
Segment Eight: Sports Historian Todd Erickson, Lawry’s 62nd Beef Bowl Part Two

Show 234, July 29, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Program Note for Saturday, July 29th. We followed the Halos, come-from-behind victory at a special time. Next Saturday, August 5th we are back at our usual time of 10:00 a.m. to 12 Noon. Please join us.

Now an enticing preview of Saturday afternoon’s fully-packed 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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Step off the pristine, white sandy beach and into the open-airHau Tree restaurant & bar on the Big Island of Hawaii at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel for a causal dining menu which includes sandwiches, wraps, hamburgers, salads, ice cream, their famous Ovaltine Froth, or a cooling Fredrico cocktail which originated right there. We pull the newly married Chef Chris Galindo off the beach for an overview.

In her new book The Migraine Relief Plan: An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health, health coach and wellness authority Stephanie Weaver explores the connection between lifestyle, food, and wellness for people with migraines, vertigo, and related conditions like Meniere’s disease. With more than 36 million Americans dealing with migraines, and many more with chronic headaches, this is genuinely useful information.

On Thursday evening, August 10th Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa is hosting a sumptuous, 7-course wine-paired dinner with an abundance of passed hors d’oeuvre as a festive Friends of James Beard Foundation Benefit to celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary. VACA Group Partner & Executive Chef Amar Santana (just back from Ibiza, Spain) provides the salivating preview.

Journalist Al Mancini is well-known in Las Vegas hospitality circles. He’s been reviewing restaurants there for over 15 years. In 2011 he co-created the first edition of the definitive Las Vegas dining guide – Eating Las Vegas – The 50 Essential Restaurants. Late last year he joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a staff writer primarily covering the food, restaurant and libations beat. We’ll chat with Al about the rise of Downtown Las Vegas as a dining destination and also get updated on other local foodie news of note.

DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. More than 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices. Encoring in DINE LBC are Chef Arthur Gonzalez’s Panxa Cocina (modern Latin Cuisine) and Roe Seafood (the home of seafood fanatics). We’ll meet the proprietor, Chef Arthur Gonzalez.

Every year at the OC Fair is the eagerly anticipated Concessionaires Cup Challenge. The Fair’s hugely competitive food concessionaires compete to win the bragging rights in ten food categories. OC Weekly’s “On the Line” correspondent, Anne Marie Panoringan, was one of the 21 esteemed judges. Anne Marie also had the honor of being one of the three judges deciding the “Best Overall Item” honors. That’s the big one…She joins us with the lip-smacking results.

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

Play

Show 234, July 29, 2017: Executive Chef / Proprietor Amar Santana’s Vaca Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner

Amar Santana at the Top Chef FinaleOn Thursday evening, August 10th Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa is hosting a sumptuous, 7-course wine-paired dinner with an abundance of passed hors d’oeuvre as a festive Friends of James Beard Foundation Benefit to celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary.

Chef Amar is also well-known locally for Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach and as the runner-up from lucky Season 13 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” in what the judges noted was the tightest final competition of the series’ long history!

Santana and partner Ahmed Labbate, whose roots together at South Coast Plaza go back to 2008 when they opened Charlie Palmer, will welcome 100 discriminating guests with a love of food and wine to the Beard dinner. Santana is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

The festivities on August 10 will include a small silent auction during an al fresco reception. While enjoying the signature Vaca Tonic and hors d’oeuvres, guests may peruse deluxe offerings, which will include a LVMH Luxury Champagne experience for 16 guests; packages from South Coast Plaza, the Montage Laguna Beach and Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, unique dining experiences, luxury travel destinations, and high-end wines.

Seats are $350 and $300 for members of the James Beard Foundation, all inclusive. For reservations to the Friends of James Beard Dinner at Vaca, please register online her For more information, please contact VACA GM Ghali Benhima at 714.463.6060. A credit card will be requested to secure the reservation.

VACA Group Partner & Executive Chef Amar Santana (well-traveled) provides the tempting preview.

The Orange County Register’s long-time Food Business Staff Writer, Nancy Luna, had a great explanatory piece with Chef Amar on Vaca’s upcoming Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner that ran in the print edition on July 27th.

Play

July 29: Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Stephanie Weaver, Amar Santana, Al Mancini, Arthur Gonzalez, Anne Marie Panoringan

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Chris Galindo, Hau Tree restaurant & bar, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Kauna’oa Bay, The Big Island of Hawaii
Segment Three: Author Stephanie Weaver, MPH, CWHC. The Migraine Relief Plan – An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health
Segment Four: Executive Chef / Proprietor Amar Santana’s Vaca Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner
Segment Five: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal Part One
Segment Six: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal Part Two
Segment Seven: Restaurateur / Executive Chef Arthur Gonzalez, Roe Seafood & Panxa Cocina. DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week
Segment Eight: Concessionaires’ Cup 2017, OC Fair. Judge Anne Marie Panoringan, OC Weekly Contributor

Program Note for Saturday, July 29th. The Halos are playing the Blue Jays in Toronto during our normal broadcast time so we’re graciously stepping aside. All is still well because we simply shift to 2 to 4:00 p.m. the afternoon of July 29th only. Same packed show…Please join us then and don’t keep it a secret!

Now an enticing preview of this Saturday afternoon’s fully-packed 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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Step off the pristine, white sandy beach and into the open-airHau Tree restaurant & bar on the Big Island of Hawaii at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel for a causal dining menu which includes sandwiches, wraps, hamburgers, salads, ice cream, their famous Ovaltine Froth, or a cooling Fredrico cocktail which originated right there. We pull the newly married Chef Chris Galindo off the beach for an overview.

In her new book The Migraine Relief Plan: An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health, health coach and wellness authority Stephanie Weaver explores the connection between lifestyle, food, and wellness for people with migraines, vertigo, and related conditions like Meniere’s disease. With more than 36 million Americans dealing with migraines, and many more with chronic headaches, this is genuinely useful information.

On Thursday evening, August 10th Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa is hosting a sumptuous, 7-course wine-paired dinner with an abundance of passed hors d’oeuvre as a festive Friends of James Beard Foundation Benefit to celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary. VACA Group Partner & Executive Chef Amar Santana (just back from Spain) provides the appetizing preview.

Journalist Al Mancini is well-known in Las Vegas hospitality circles. He’s been reviewing restaurants there for over 15 years. In 2011 he co-created the first edition of the definitive Las Vegas dining guide – Eating Las Vegas – The 50 Essential Restaurants. Late last year he joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a staff writer primarily covering the food, restaurant and libations beat. We’ll chat with Al about the rise of Downtown Las Vegas as a dining destination and also get updated on other local foodie news of note.

DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. More than 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices. Encoring in DINE LBC are Chef Arthur Gonzalez’s Panxa Cocina (modern Latin Cuisine) and Roe Seafood (the home of seafood fanatics). We’ll meet the proprietor, Chef Arthur Gonzalez.

Every year at the OC Fair is the eagerly anticipated Concessionaires Cup Challenge. The Fair’s hugely competitive food concessionaires compete to win the bragging rights in ten food categories. OC Weekly’s “On the Line” correspondent, Anne Marie Panoringan, was one of the 21 esteemed judges. Anne Marie also had the honor of being one of the three judges deciding the “Best Overall Item” honors. That’s the big one…She joins us with the lip-smacking results.

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

Chris GalindoStep off the pristine, white sandy beach and into the open-airHau Tree restaurant & bar on the Big Island of Hawaii at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel for a causal dining menu which includes sandwiches, wraps, hamburgers, salads, ice cream, their famous Ovaltine Froth, or a cooling Fredrico cocktail which originated right there.

This is an unparalleled spot in The Hawaiian Islands to enjoy the nightly Sunset. Truly spectacular…

Hau Tree offers a grab-n-go breakfast, sit-down lunches and relaxed dinners on the Big Island of Hawai’i. It’s complete with a gazebo-style bar perfectly situated for enjoying cocktails while anticipating the sunset’s elusive green flash.

We pull the newly married Chef Chris Galindo off the beach for an ono overview.

Stephanie WeaverIn her new book The Migraine Relief Plan: An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health, health coach and wellness authority Stephanie Weaver explores the connection between lifestyle, food, and wellness for people with migraines, vertigo, and related conditions like Meniere’s disease. With more than 36 million Americans dealing with migraines, and many more with chronic headaches, this is genuinely useful information.

One in four U.S. households includes someone with these symptoms; the traditional approach of prescriptions or injections is ineffective for many.

Stephanie took her own surprising diagnosis-at age 53!- and set out to create a different strategy to help herself and others. No other book for migraines or headaches features a comprehensive, realistic lifestyle approach, providing guidance for a full six months as readers learn how to create their own migraine-friendly lifestyle.

Stephanie brings warmth and humor to a normally clinical topic, and her lively presentation style showcases her approach to being “an incredibly healthy person who happens to get migraines.”

In the book (with 75 recipes) Stephanie explains in depth about the challenge of recipe development using a limited palette of foods, explores the concept of food substitutions, and showcases what a plant-forward migraine-friendly plate looks like.

Amar Santana at the Top Chef FinaleOn Thursday evening, August 10th Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa is hosting a sumptuous, 7-course wine-paired dinner with an abundance of passed hors d’oeuvre as a festive Friends of James Beard Foundation Benefit to celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary.

Chef Amar is also well-known locally for Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach and as the runner-up from lucky Season 13 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” in what the judges noted was the tightest final competition of the series’ long history!

Santana and partner Ahmed Labbate, whose roots together at South Coast Plaza go back to 2008 when they opened Charlie Palmer, will welcome 100 discriminating guests with a love of food and wine to the Beard dinner. Santana is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

The festivities on August 10 will include a small silent auction during an al fresco reception. While enjoying the signature Vaca Tonic and hors d’oeuvres, guests may peruse deluxe offerings, which will include a LVMH Luxury Champagne experience for 16 guests; packages from South Coast Plaza, the Montage Laguna Beach and Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, unique dining experiences, luxury travel destinations, and high-end wines.

Seats are $350 and $300 for members of the James Beard Foundation, all inclusive. For reservations to the Friends of James Beard Dinner at Vaca, please register online her For more information, please contact VACA GM Ghali Benhima at 714.463.6060. A credit card will be requested to secure the reservation.

VACA Group Partner & Executive Chef Amar Santana (well-traveled) provides the tempting preview.

Al ManciniJournalist Al Mancini is well-known in Las Vegas hospitality circles. He’s been reviewing restaurants there for over 15 years. In 2011 he co-created the first edition of the definitive Las Vegas dining guideEating Las Vegas – The 50 Essential Restaurants. Late last year he joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a staff writer primarily covering the food, restaurant and libations beat.

We’ll chat with Al about the rise of Downtown Las Vegas as a dining destination and also get updated on other local foodie news of note.

We’ll then continue our insider’s chat with Al about Vegas foodie news of note. Also we’ll hear about what Al has to say about a 2-unit restaurant group in Las Vegas testing the uncharted waters of going cashless.

Arthur GonzalezDINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. More than 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices.

Encoring in DINE LBC are Chef Arthur Gonzalez’s Panxa Cocina (modern Latin Cuisine) and Roe Seafood (the home of seafood fanatics). We’ll meet the proprietor, Chef Arthur Gonzalez.

Panxa Cocina opened in December 2014 and is located on the corner of Broadway and Termino in the Belmont Heights neighborhood of Long Beach. Since opening, Chef Gonzalez has been serving both quality interpretations of classic dishes and daring new ventures into the uncharted territories of food.

Panxa’s interior reflects the hip sensibilities of the surrounding area while also paying tribute to its Latin and New Mexican roots. This ground-floor restaurant offers the choice to observe passers-by from many tables throughout the restaurant, or enjoy the full menu at the bar.

Roe Seafood is the new home for seafood fanatics in Belmont Shore. Roe offers inspired, handcrafted, mouth- watering seafood dishes that blend both seasonal and local ingredients with bold flavors and exciting tastes.

“All ingredients are fresh and in season. If you’d like to know where we source our fish, shellfish, vegetables, or breads, please ask.

Join us for lunch or dinner 7 days a week for the freshest and most delicious seafood you’ve ever tasted. You can always call us and order take-out, because everything on the menu at Roe is always ready to go.”

Anne Marie PanoringanEvery year at the OC Fair is the eagerly anticipated Concessionaires Cup Challenge. The Fair’s hugely competitive food concessionaires vie to win the bragging rights in ten food categories. OC Weekly’s “On the Line” correspondent, Anne Marie Panoringan, was one of the 21 esteemed judges.

Anne Marie also had the honor of being one of the three senior judges deciding the “Best Overall Item” honors. That’s the big one…She joins us with the lip-smacking results.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Chris Galindo, Hau Tree restaurant & bar, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Kauna’oa Bay, The Big Island of Hawaii
Segment Three: Author Stephanie Weaver, MPH, CWHC. The Migraine Relief Plan – An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health
Segment Four: Executive Chef / Proprietor Amar Santana’s Vaca Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner
Segment Five: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal Part One
Segment Six: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal Part Two
Segment Seven: Restaurateur / Executive Chef Arthur Gonzalez, Roe Seafood & Panxa Cocina. DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week
Segment Eight: Concessionaires’ Cup 2017, OC Fair. Judge Anne Marie Panoringan, OC Weekly Contributor

Show 233, July 22, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Program Note for Saturday, July 29th. The Halos are playing the Blue Jays in Toronto during our normal broadcast time so we’re graciously stepping aside. All is still well because we simply shift to 2 to 4:00 p.m. the afternoon of July 29th only. Same packed show…Please join us then and don’t keep it a secret

Now a worthy preview of this Saturday’s 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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

We always look forward to sharing with you the new, creative taste sensations at The Orange County Fair on now through August 13th. Already creating excitement is Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on virtually everything edible including pizza. The master of midway food himself, Chef Dominic Palmieri, the Midway Gourmet, joins us for the tempting high calorie update.

DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. More than 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices. New to DINE LBC is Great Society Cider & Mead, Southern California’s first all-cider pub located on Broadway at the edge of Downtown. They serve an unusual selection of draft ciders and meads in addition to the expected craft beers. We’ll meet the proprietor, Otto Radtke.

On Thursday evening, August 10th Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa is hosting a sumptuous, 7-course wine-paired dinner with an abundance of passed hors d’oeuvre as a festive Friends of James Beard Foundation Benefit to celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary. VACA Group Partner & CEO Ahmed Labbate provides the enticing preview.

Brea’s popular Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen has just opened a second location in The Market Place in Irvine. Proprietor Don Myers, a veteran restaurateur, is our guest.

If all the delicate, closed-door negotiations between The The International Olympic Committee (IOC), Paris and Los Angeles go well Los Angeles will host the Olympics for the third time in either 2024 or 2028. What does it all mean? Our Olympics expert, Richard B. Perelman, joins us with a true insider’s perspective. Rich was the youngest Vice President of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee (LAOOC) for the 1984 Games and also was the Editor of the official 1984 Olympic Games Final Report, a massive two-volume book.

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

Play

Show 233, July 22, 2017: Ahmed Labbate, VACA Group, Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner at Vaca

Ahmed LabatteOn Thursday evening, August 10th Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa is hosting a sumptuous, 7-course, premium wine-paired dinner with an abundance of passed hors d’oeuvre as a festive Friends of James Beard Foundation Benefit to celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary. Chef Amar is also well-known locally for Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna beach and as the runner-up from lucky Season 13 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” in what the judges noted was the tightest final competition of the series’ long history!

Santana and partner Ahmed Labbate, whose roots together at South Coast Plaza go back to 2008 when they opened Charlie Palmer, will welcome 100 discriminating guests with a love of food and wine to the Beard dinner. Santana is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

The festivities on August 10 will include a small silent auction during an al fresco reception. While enjoying the signature Vaca Tonic and hors d’oeuvres, guests may peruse deluxe offerings, which will include a LVMH luxury Champagne experience for 16 guests; packages from South Coast Plaza, the Montage Laguna Beach and Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, unique dining experiences, luxury travel destinations, and high-end wines.

Seats are $350 and $300 for members of the James Beard Foundation, all inclusive. If you’re celebrating something very special this is the over-the-top culinary evening experience you’ll want to be a part of!

For reservations to the Friends of James Beard Dinner at Vaca, please register online here. For more information, please contact VACA GM Ghali Benhima at 714.463.6060. A credit card will be requested to secure the reservation.

VACA Group Partner & CEO Ahmed Labbate provides the tempting preview.

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July 23: Midway Gourmet, Great Society Cider & Mead, Vaca, Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen, LA Olympics 2024

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Dominic Palmieri, The Midway Gourmet, OC Fair Part One
Segment Three: Dominic Palmieri, The Midway Gourmet, OC Fair Part Two
Segment Four: Otto Radtke, Great Society Cider & Mead, DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week
Segment Five: Ahmed Labbate, VACA Group, Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner at Vaca
Segment Six: Restaurateur Don Myers, Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen Part One
Segment Seven: Restaurateur Don Myers, Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen Part Two
Segment Eight: Olympic Historian Richard B. Perelman, Editor & Publisher – The Sports Examiner

Program Note for Saturday, July 29th. The Halos are playing the Blue Jays in Toronto during our normal broadcast time so we’re graciously stepping aside. All is still well because we simply shift to 2 to 4:00 p.m. the afternoon of July 29th only. Same packed show…Please join us then and don’t keep it a secret

Now a worthy preview of this Saturday’s 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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

We always look forward to sharing with you the new, creative taste sensations at The Orange County Fair on now through August 13th. Already creating excitement is Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on virtually everything edible including pizza. The master of midway food himself, Chef Dominic Palmieri, the Midway Gourmet, joins us for the tempting high calorie update.

DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. More than 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices. New to DINE LBC is Great Society Cider & Mead, Southern California’s first all-cider pub located on Broadway at the edge of Downtown. They serve an unusual selection of draft ciders and meads in addition to the expected craft beers. We’ll meet the proprietor, Otto Radtke.

On Thursday evening, August 10th Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa is hosting a sumptuous, 7-course wine-paired dinner with an abundance of passed hors d’oeuvre as a festive Friends of James Beard Foundation Benefit to celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary. VACA Group Partner & CEO Ahmed Labbate provides the tempting preview.

Brea’s popular Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen has just opened a second location in The Market Place in Irvine. Proprietor Don Myers, a veteran restaurateur, is our guest.

If all the delicate, closed-door negotiations between The International Olympic Committee (IOC), Paris and Los Angeles go well Los Angeles will host the Olympics for the third time in either 2024 or 2028. What does it all mean? Our Olympics expert, Richard B. Perelman, joins us with a true insider’s perspective. Rich was the youngest Vice President of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee (LAOOC) for the 1984 Games and also was the Editor of the official 1984 Olympic Games Final Report, a massive two-volume book.

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

Dominic Palmieri of Midway GourmetWe always look forward to sharing with you the new, creative taste sensations at The Orange County Fair on now through August 13th. Already creating excitement from The Midway Gourmet is Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on virtually everything edible including pizza and fresh corn.

Last year, 50% of Fairgoers surveyed said their favorite part of the Fair is the food. Fried, sugary or savory – and sometimes all three at once – the delectable edibles are some of the big stars of the OC Fair.

New from RCS Cowboy Kettle Corn is Unicorn Nitro Pop, a cotton candy ring around a colorful cup of kettle corn and whipped cream, submerged in liquid nitrogen (also available: Nitro Whip)

The master of midway food himself, Chef Dominic Palmieri, the Midway Gourmet, joins us for the tempting, high calorie update.

One of Chef Dominic’s returning star items is Fried A Fair’s deep-fried butter balls with maple syrup. Four to an order. The Orange County’s Register food staff writer, Nancy Luna, has already declared it one of her all-time Fair favorites.

Ottto RadtkeDINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. More than 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices. New to DINE LBC is Great Society Cider & Mead, Southern California’s first all-cider pub located on Broadway at the edge of Downtown. They serve an unusual selection of draft ciders and meads in addition to the expected craft beers.

“A social house where fine food, craft cider and mead set the stage for conversations between old and new friends alike, Great Society has the largest selection of craft cider and meads in all of Southern California. Featuring 20 draughts and more in bottles, our extensive cider and mead list showcases craft producers from nearly every corner of the world. You’ll find flavors and profiles ranging from sweet to sour, still to sparkling, barrel-aged to hopped, rare to near-impossible to find.”

“Complementing this incredible list, our food menu fuses seasonal offerings with unexpected spicing to create dishes that don’t just taste great, but pair well with whatever profile you choose. Try our signature burger with an unfiltered whiskey barrel-aged cider from Michigan; or an artisanal cheese plate with a tart, lightly sparkling Sidra from the Basque region of Spain. There’s a variety of pairings to tantalize your taste buds.”

“With its origins lost in history, cider remains the most noble of beverages, having played a role in Old and New World alike. These ancient elixirs, fermented mainly from apples, have been the drink of kings and presidents, farmers and the working class. Though its fortunes have occasionally wavered, cider’s incredible diversity, and close connection with the land, has led to an amazing renaissance. Cider is a beverage that deserves homage and we are the first restaurant and taphouse in Southern California to feature it!”

We’ll meet the proprietor, Otto Radtke.

Ahmed LabatteOn Thursday evening, August 10th Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa is hosting a sumptuous, 7-course, premium wine-paired dinner with an abundance of passed hors d’oeuvre as a festive Friends of James Beard Foundation Benefit to celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary. Chef Amar is also well-known locally for Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna beach and as the runner-up from lucky Season 13 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” in what the judges noted was the tightest final competition of the series’ long history!

Santana and partner Ahmed Labbate, whose roots together at South Coast Plaza go back to 2008 when they opened Charlie Palmer, will welcome 100 discriminating guests with a love of food and wine to the Beard dinner. Santana is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

The festivities on August 10 will include a small silent auction during an al fresco reception. While enjoying the signature Vaca Tonic and hors d’oeuvres, guests may peruse deluxe offerings, which will include a LVMH luxury Champagne experience for 16 guests; packages from South Coast Plaza, the Montage Laguna Beach and Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, unique dining experiences, luxury travel destinations, and high-end wines.

Seats are $350 and $300 for members of the James Beard Foundation, all inclusive. For reservations to the Friends of James Beard Dinner at Vaca, please register online here. For more information, please contact VACA GM Ghali Benhima at 714.463.6060. A credit card will be requested to secure the reservation.

VACA Group Partner & CEO Ahmed Labbate provides the tempting preview.

Don Myers of Cha Cha's Latin Kitchen in Brea and IrvineBrea’s popular Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen has just opened a second location in The Market Place in Irvine.

“Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen was born out of a love and passion for Latin cuisine…”

“The Latin inspired menu adapts the culinary heritage of Mexico and Latin America to a fresh modern style. In the open kitchen guests can watch savory dishes being prepared in the wood-fired oven, while free-range Jidori chickens roast to perfection and tacos are topped with house-made fire-roasted salsa.”

Proprietor Don Myers (also Brunos Italian Kitchen), a veteran restaurateur, is our guest.

“In the Lounge the lively sound of handcrafted cocktails being shaken provides the backdrop. These tequila libations utilize freshly squeezed juices, house-made infusions, and fresh seasonal fruit. A variety of popular and boutique wineries from the Central Coast, Spain and South America also add a great complement to any meal.”

Don Myers started his restaurant career at the young age of fourteen in Tucson, Arizona at the fifty-year-old Casa Molina Mexican Restaurant. He graduated from the University of Arizona and was a four -year varsity athlete and competitive international gymnast.

In 2008, Don created P&D Restaurant Concept that now boasts two award-winning restaurants. He was later featured in OC Metro and named the “Unofficial Mayor of Brea” in 2013 for his leadership role in the revival of Brea Downtown. In 2014, Myers and his business partner Peter Serantoni were named Orange County Business Journal’s Restaurateurs of The Year.

If all the hush-hush, closed-door negotiations between The International Olympic Committee (IOC), Paris and Los Angeles go well Los Angeles will host the Olympics again for the 3rd time in either 2024 or 2028. What does it all mean? Can a modern Olympics even break-even for the host city?

Rich PerelmanOur Olympics expert and historian, Richard B. Perelman, joins us with a true insider’s perspective. Rich was the youngest Vice President of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee (LAOOC) for the 1984 Games and also was the Editor of the 1984 Olympic Games Final Report, a massive two-volume book.

In his daily e-newsletter, The Sports Examiner, Perelman suggested the simultaneous dual city awards for 2024 and 2028 (and the reasoning for this unprecedented approach) weeks before it was reported on in the mainstream media as even a possibility for the IOC to consider.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Dominic Palmieri, The Midway Gourmet, OC Fair Part One
Segment Three: Dominic Palmieri, The Midway Gourmet, OC Fair Part Two
Segment Four: Otto Radtke, Great Society Cider & Mead, DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week
Segment Five: Ahmed Labbate, VACA Group, Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner at Vaca
Segment Six: Restaurateur Don Myers, Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen Part One
Segment Seven: Restaurateur Don Myers, Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen Part Two
Segment Eight: Olympic Historian Richard B. Perelman, Editor & Publisher – The Sports Examiner

Show 207, January 21, 2017: Executive Chef / Restaurateur Dean James Max of DJM Restaurants & Executive Chef David MacLennan of James Republic, Long Beach

Dean James MaxThe Founder and Co-Proprietor of James Republic Restaurant in Long Beach is Chef Dean James Max of DJM Restaurants, a multiple James Beard Award nominee. His opening Executive Chef there is the talented David MacLennan. In a bit over three years they have made this relaxed vibe restaurant one of the best dining destinations in Long Beach. Their Brunch is a standout, too. Think Chorizo & Cheddar Croissant.

On February 8th at James Republic at Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Long Beach they are presenting a multi-course dining spectacular along with Chef Amar Santana (Vaca & Broadway by Amar Santana) to benefit the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.) Chef Amar is a distinguished C-CAP Alum.

The evening includes a cocktail reception with local craft beer, sparkling wine and still wine and passed hors d’oeuvres. Then it’s a sumptuous seated dinner with three waves of ample food platters served Family-style. Each wave of the three incudes separate platters from each chef. That’s three platters of delights for each wave. Dessert and gourmet chocolates conclude the festivities. If you go away hungry it’s your own fault. There is also both a live & silent auction with crave-worthy items with great appeal for any foodie.

Tickets (and there are only 150 reservations available) are $195 per guest with $150 of that being Tax Deductible.

Chefs Dean & David join us to preview C-CAP’s Winter Harvest Benefit Dinner at James Republic on Wednesday, February 8th.

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