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: 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.

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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 175, June 11, 2016: Visit Temecula Valley

Visit Temecula Valley Wine CountryTemecula Valley has evolved into a diverse and appealing visitors’ destination. In addition to the attractions of the Pechanga Resort & Casino, there is historic Old Town and dozens of praise-worthy wineries. Visit Temecula Valley is the umbrella organization for promoting Temecula Valley as a destination. Marketing & PR Manager Annette Brown and 1st Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors Ken Westmyer (GM of Temecula’s Quality Inn) join us.

“Come play with us in Temecula Valley, Southern California Wine Country. Nestled quietly among rolling hills and vineyards, under clear azure skies, Temecula Valley Wine Country is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. “

“Have a glass of wine during lunch at one of our many award-winning wineries. Gaze upon our lush vineyards, beautiful estates and awe-inspiring scenery from high above in a hot-air balloon. Stroll upon our verdant golf courses as you putt your worries away. Test lady luck and play the night away at Pechanga Resort and Casino. Explore Old Town with the kids where the Wild West still lives.”

Don’t miss the opportunity to partake of one of the early morning departure hot air balloon experiences floating over the Temecula Valley Wine Country. The views are simply spectacular. The calming sensation of floating in air with the birds is unrivaled. You might end your journey at one of Temecula’s premium wineries for a glass of sparkling wine and breakfast. That’s a really soft landing !

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Show 145, November 7, 2015: David Barnes, Co-Founder, Crows Pass Farm, Temecula Continues…

David Barnes of Crows Pass Farms in the AM830 StudioCrows Pass Farm is owned and operated by David and Tina Barnes. It’s located in the heart of Southern California’s Wine Country in Temecula, CA. Named for the crows that pass over each autumn evening as they travel between vineyards to roost, the farm began in 1991 with a fistful of strawberry plants, a few carrots, peas and a dependable truck.

They learned the ropes participating in Southland farmer’s markets where they came to specialize in chef-direct relationships.

Crows Pass Farm produces year round crops with seasonal specialties on their 40-acres. Highly seasonal items prized during their short season are strawberries, asparagus and mulberries. They have been growing organically since the beginning, with flavor as their top priority.

The drought has had a major negative impact on their operation. Labor is also hard to come by. Of their 40 acres they are only farming on about 10 acres at present.

The temperate climate of Southern California affords Crows Pass the opportunity to produce crops year-round and the Temecula Valley is fortunate to benefit from its proximity to both the desert and the ocean which create long, sunny days with cooling ocean breezes.

They are able to utilize this ideal climate in accordance with each season’s distinctive opportunities. Neighboring horse ranches deliver The Farm’s building block of compost they carefully develop to create a living soil to nourish the plants and combat pests.

Farmer David is now also working with Mountain Meadow Mushrooms in Escondido, an organic mushroom farm.

 

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Show 102, December 20, 2014: Lorenzi Estate Vineyards and Winery

Darnel Damon DiazLorenzi Estate Vineyards and Winery in Temecula is one of the newest wineries in the area. It’s the passion project of magazine publisher Don Lorenzi (Inland Empire Magazine) a self-taught winemaker. He resides on the estate part-time. His family has a long history in growing wine grapes.

They are best known for bold reds and case production is a boutique 2,000 per year. They even produce a very limited production (now sold out) of sparkling wine. Even though Lorenzi has been making wines from Temecula grapes since 2002, Lorenzi Estates Wines only recently opened Temecula’s newest tasting room.

In 1968, local winemaking legend Philo Biane planted the first of his 400 acres in Temecula. Because Biane lived next door to a family member of winemaker and winery owner Don Lorenzi, it is no small irony that decades later, Lorenzi Estate Vineyards would be part of the original site Biane planted in the 60’s.

Biane knew that the vineyards are located 22 miles away from the Pacific Ocean and 1,500 feet above sea level. Cool, foggy mornings give way to nurturing sunshine that ripen grapes under ideal growing conditions.

Darnel Damon-Dias, the dynamic Tasting Room Manager, joins us for a verbal tasting tour.

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Show 99, November 29, 2014: Executive Chef & Innkeeper Dean Thomas

Dean ThomasYou can’t go to his restaurant (it doesn’t exist) but one of the most exciting chefs cooking in Wine Country Temecula is Chef Dean Thomas the Innkeeper and Executive Chef at The Inn at Europa Village. If you’re a guest at The Inn (10 comfortable rooms) you be treated to his acclaimed “Breakfast Experience.”

It’s a one-of-a-kind, two-course breakfast of unsurpassed quality with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients served with a 180 degree panoramic view of the Temecula Valley.

Each afternoon brings the house-recipe “Welcome Sangia” to guests using Europa Village wine and locally sourced fruits.

Chef Dean is also the unofficial concierge of Wine Country Temecula. When it comes to honest insights on what wineries are worth your time as well as the best in local edibles Chef Dean is the go-to guy!

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Show 68, April 5, 2014: Show 68, April 5, 2014: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

The Inaugural Grilled Cheese Festival & Competition featuring the best of the OC’s chefs is coming. We’ll have the details on how you can attend.

Would you believe a stone flour mill in Pasadena? It’s a passion project for the two partners who are selling flour from grain sourced from local growers. That’s a great example of the locavore movement!

We last visited with Chef Duskie Estes of Zazu Kitchen + Farm & Black Pig Meat Co. right before they opened their spacious new restaurant at The Barlow in Sebastopol (Sonoma County) last year. We have an update…

You can’t have a classic bar without gin. We have a fascinating tutorial from the local expert affiliated with the Museum of the American Cocktail.

The gateway to the Sonoma County Wine Country for foodies is Relish Culinary Tours located right off the town square in Healdsburg. They offer cooking classes, private parties, culinary tours and creative catering. We’ll hear about what’s on their menu for Spring & Summer.

A Los Angeles fine dining chef who has cooked at Tom Colicchio’s Craft in Century City is a deliman at heart. He’s about to open a Jewish deli in Downtown Los Angeles featuring his premium, house cured meats.

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

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Show 68, April 5, 2014: Donna del Rey, Relish Culinary Adventurers, Healdsburg, CA

Donna del Rey of Relish Culinary AdventuresWhen it comes to providing the welcoming gateway for discriminating foodies to Sonoma County Wine Country no one does it better than the hard-working Donna del Rey of Relish Culinary Adventures in Healdsburg. For the last decade Relish has offered cooking classes, private parties, distinctive culinary tours, and creative catering.

Recently Donna and her crew provided support for the Artisan Cheese Festival.

For the ultimate experience they offer “Relish Sonoma County,” a 3-Day Culinary Adventure of Sonoma County.

Coming up on June 21st is a hands-on Culinary Birds cooking class with Chef John Ash. This is recipes from his most recent cookbook.

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