About the SoCal Restaurant Show

“The SoCal Restaurant Show,” the ultimate locals’ guide to food, restaurants and beverages with a side of travel with food at its center can be heard on AM 830 KLAA each Saturday morning from 10:00 a.m. to 12 Noon. It’s hosted by seasoned food, libation, and travel journalist, Andy Harris, and Chef Andrew Gruel, the Executive Chef and Concept Creator of American Gravy Restaurant Concepts. This live, fast-moving, 2-hour, interactive show shares the hosts’ vast global food knowledge and is presented with a light and humorous edge. Substantive interviews with top celebrity chefs and entertaining culinary personalities are part of the weekly content.

The program, launched October 6, 2012, showcases as guests the true luminaries of the culinary word and the listener really gets to know the featured personalities. Celebrity Chef Jet Tila (Food Network’s hit series “Cutthroat Kitchen with Alton Brown”) was the original host.  As “Emeritus Host” he still contributes to the show as his busy schedule allows.

The “SoCal Restaurant Show” is proud to have already welcomed celebrated national personalities including Rick Bayless, Scott Conant, Graham Elliot, Carla Hall, Thomas Keller, Jacques Pepin, Marcus Samuelsson, Wolfgang Puck and Andrew Zimmern. Fascinating local personalities of note are also part of the program mix.

AM 830 KLAA is a locally owned and operated 50,000 watt radio station serving Southern California. Since 2006 the station has been owned by Arte Moreno, the owner of the Angels baseball team, and serves as the flagship radio station for Angels Baseball. KLAA’s powerful signal reaches as far North as Ventura County, South to San Diego, and East to Palm Springs, and beyond.

About Producer/Co-Host Andrew Harris

Andy Harris at the KLAA Studios

The show runner for “The SoCal Restaurant Show” is veteran specialty radio show producer Andrew Harris who is also an accredited food, wine & travel journalist. Before joining AM 830 KLAA Harris produced (starting in 1998) popular, and long running, food radio shows previously heard on KFI-AM 640, TalkRadio 790 KABC, and KFWB News 980.

Andrew Harris is a recognized authority on the dining scene in Southern California. For 17 years (concluding in 2008) he wrote the “Dateline” Los Angeles column covering area restaurant and chef happenings in Los Angeles and Orange Counties for “Beard Bites” now published biweekly as an e-newsletter by the prestigious James Beard Foundation (the producers of the annual James Beard Foundation Awards, the recognized Oscars of the food world.)

Harris’ earlier background was as a respected, hands-on food and beverage professional. His career highlight then was orchestrating in 1983 and 1984 the completion of the food service plan for feeding the public at all of the twenty-three ticketed venues hosting competitions for the 1984 Olympics as an employee of The Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee. Food and beverage revenue alone from the spectators totaled over $11 million and 5.8 million guests were served.

About Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel

Andrew Gruel and his son William

Andrew Gruel, a summa cum-laude graduate of Johnson & Wales University, is the Founder and Executive Chef of the recently sold Slapfish Restaurant Group, the award-winning food truck turned international brick and mortar. Chef Gruel took Slapfish (bootstrapped!) from 2 food trucks to 27 + domestic restaurant locations before the sale in 2022.

Chef Gruel’s new firm (a collaboration with his wife, Lauren) is American Gravy Restaurant Group. Freshly launched is Calico Fish House in Huntington Beach, a full-service seafood chophouse focusing on high-quality, well-managed ingredients. Also in Chef Gruel’s growing portfolio is Big Parm (fast casual), his loving tribute to New Jersey-style hand-tossed pizza, sandwiches, and salads with no junk and nothing artificial located in Tustin’s Mess Hall.

Chef Andrew was previously the host of an inspired restaurant makeover show utilizing the impact of Social Media, “Say It To My Face,” airing on the FYI Cable Network. He has appeared on multiple Food Network shows including his role as a Judge on the show, “Food Truck Face Off.” Gruel has also been on “TODAY Show”, PBS, Cooking Channel,  Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family” as well as in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Men’s Health, Food & Wine Magazine, Entrepreneur, Nation’s Restaurant News and Restaurant Business.

After years of working in fine dining restaurants, hotels and diners — ranging from The Ritz- Carlton to the midnight shift at Denny’s — Chef Gruel’s love of the ocean drove him to direct a non-profit project at The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA called “Seafood for the Future”. Here he worked with hundreds of chefs, fisherman and like-minded organizations establishing a national culinary awareness for the sustainable seafood movement.

Andrew is admittedly addicted to the fast pace of the restaurant world and translates that into his business approach to be very hands-on whenever possible.