January 23: James Trees, R6 Distillery, Jet Tila, Wine Exchange, Gasolina Café

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur James Trees of Al Solito Posto, Las Vegas
Segment Three: Rob Rubens, Founder & Head Distiller, R6 Distillery, El Segundo
Segment Four: Celebrity Chef Jet Tila with a Preview of “Aussie Dinner Hour” Part One
Segment Five: Celebrity Chef Jet Tila with a Preview of “Aussie Dinner Hour” Part Two
Segment Six: Kyle Meyer, Managing Partner, Wine Exchange in Santa Ana
Segment Seven: Restaurateur & Chef Sandra Cordero, Gasolina Café on Woodland Hills
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

We know Chef James Trees from Esther’s Kitchen in the Arts District of Las Vegas adjacent to Downtown. It’s Chef James’ interpretation of elegant Italian comfort food. “While Chef Trees is descended from Jewish Austrian wine merchants, growing up he spent a lot of time at his best friend Alfio’s house. “I love Italian food because of Alfio and his family,” says Trees. “That’s the food I grew up eating. At Alfio’s they’d be making lasagna or braciola, and pasta – there was always pasta. That’s my comfort food.”” Trees latest creation is the newly opened Al Solito Posto in Trivoli Village. Al Solito Posto which translates to “At the Usual Place” is an Italian Restaurant with a focus on the classics. The dinner only menu features house-made pasta, fresh ingredients and quality seafood, steaks and chops. Think a chef-driven minestrone, chicken piccata and cioppino.

R6 is a family-owned distillery in the Los Angeles suburb of El Segundo. Founder and Head Distiller Rob Rubens fell in love with the art of distilling after his first (unplanned) trip to New Orleans Rum Distillery. He knew it was time for a change. After spending the better part of a decade in corporate America and realizing that was not his path, Rob visited distilleries and breweries and decided it was time to make waves. Coupling his experience with his desire to bring quality spirits to Los Angeles, Rob opened this speakeasy (Smoky Hollow Tasting & Taproom) inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy in 2014.” Distiller Rob Rubens is our spirited guest.

Celebrity Chef, Author and Food TV Personality, Jet Tila, needs no introduction to the listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” With his wife, Ali, he has written the best-selling 101 Asia Dishes You Need To Cook Before You Die and, most recently, 101 Epic Dishes. On Food Network Chef Jet was one of the 3 regular judges for the entire run of “Cutthroat Kitchen with Alton Brown” and the knowledgeable Floor Reporter on the most recent season of the refreshed “Iron Chef America.” Chef Jet holds the most Guinness World Records for creating large format food. He’s at it again on Tuesday, January 26th working with True Aussie Beef & Lamb as the online host of the interactive “Aussie Dinner Hour” on Australia Day. On the line is an official attempt to best the current Guinness World Record for “Most Users in a Dinner Party Hangout.” Chef Jet is our guest.

In times of uncertainty it’s always best to call on the calming expertise of those truly knowledgeable in their specific areas. Such is the case with our always engaging resident wine authority Kyle Meyer, the Managing Partner of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. On January 12th a 25 percent tariff was set to be placed on high-alcohol wines from France and Germany. It was then called back at the last hour. In late 2019 a 25 percent tariff was placed on lower-alcohol European wines. We’ll discuss the tariff situation with Kyle and how they ultimately impact wine pricing. Kyle will also discuss his insights on the harvest and crush for 2020 in California.

“Women restaurateurs from across Los Angeles have created a new charitable organization called RE:Her. Its debut initiative, a food festival called 10 Days RE:Her, will feature 10 days of unique collaborations, thematic menus, and one-on-one conversations between female industry leaders. 10 Days RE:Her kicks off on January 21, the anniversary of the groundbreaking Women’s March of 2017, and runs through January 30. Over 100 restaurants and collaborators are involved. Observing local dining restrictions, aspects of the festival will take place virtually and remotely.” Chef Sandra Cordero of Gasolina Café in Woodland Hills is one of the organizers of the Festival and as well serves on the active RE:Her board. Sandra takes a break from her busy kitchen to preview the variety of “10 Days RE:Her” events that she is part of.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, “86 The Struggle” campaign to benefit deserving out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed $300,000 to restaurant workers in dire need. The fried chicken sandwich is becoming an increasingly popular menu item at the major national burger places as well as at other fast casual outlets. Chef Andrew has a lot of hands-on experience with premium fried chicken at Two Birds in Irvine. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

James Trees of Ada's and Esthers Kitchen in Las VegasWe know Chef James Trees from Esther’s Kitchen in the Arts District of Las Vegas adjacent to Downtown. It’s Chef James’ interpretation of elegant Italian comfort food. “While Chef Trees is descended from Jewish Austrian wine merchants, growing up he spent a lot of time at his best friend Alfio’s house. “I love Italian food because of Alfio and his family,” says Trees. “That’s the food I grew up eating. My mom was always working and didn’t have time to make dinner, so whenever we were hungry we went to Alfio’s house. They’d be making lasagna or braciola, and pasta – there was always pasta. That’s my comfort food.””

Trees’ latest creation is the newly opened Al Solito Posto in Trivoli Village. Al Solito Posto which translates to “At the Usual Place” is an Italian Restaurant with a focus on the classics. The dinner only menu features house-made pasta, fresh ingredients and quality seafood, steaks and chops. Think a chef-driven minestrone, chicken piccata and cioppino.

Rob Rubens of R6 DistilleryR6 is a family-owned distillery in the Los Angeles suburb of El Segundo. Founder and Head Distiller Rob Rubens  fell in love with the art of distilling after his first (unplanned) trip to New Orleans Rum Distillery. He knew it was time for a change. After spending the better part of a decade in corporate America and realizing that was not his path, Rob visited distilleries and breweries and decided it was time to make waves. Coupling his experience with his desire to bring quality spirits to Los Angeles, Rob opened this speakeasy (Smoky Hollow Tasting & Tap) inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy in 2014.”

“Our process is quite different than most. We use only the purest form of our distillate when producing spirits. This is where most take short cuts and compromise the quality of the product. But we’re about quality – and our promise to you is just that. Each bottle of spirits will be crafted from the “hearts” of our distillate. We stick to doing what is right and what is authentic.”

New is the California Mule in a can and certified hand sanitizer originally created to help mitigate the initial shortage last March with the onset of the pandemic.

In the interests of safety and complying with all COVID 19 restrictions R6 Distillery is open exclusively (Friday through Sunday) for bottle purchases and cocktails & beer to go. The online store can ship R6 spirits to any California address.

Jet Tila at Cochon 555Celebrity Chef, Author and Food TV Personality, Jet Tila, needs no introduction to the listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” With his wife, Ali, he has written the best-selling 101 Asia Dishes You Need To Cook Before You Die and, most recently, 101 Epic Dishes. On Food Network Chef Jet was one of the 3 regular judges for the entire run of “Cutthroat Kitchen with Alton Brown” and the knowledgeable Floor Reporter on the most recent season of refreshed “Iron Chef America.” Earlier in his career he crossed knives with Iron Chef Masaharu Moromoto (an original Iron Chef from the predecessor Japanese version) on “Iron Chef America” in “Battle Seaweed.”

Chef Jet holds the most Guinness World Records for creating large format food. He’s at it again on Tuesday, January 26th working with True Aussie Beef & Lamb as the online host of the interactive Aussie Dinner Hour” on Australia Day. On the line is an official attempt to best the current Guinness World Record for “Most Users in a Dinner Party Hangout.”

“Join Host/Celebrity Chef Jet Tila, partner chefs, media members and influencers online for this interactive experience featuring loads of foodie entertainment, fun trivia and “aussome” prizes – including one-on-one virtual cooking classes with featured chef hosts. Anyone who wants to make history or simply loves everything food, art, travel, a free-t-shirt and prizes is invited to attend—and Make a Moment with True Aussie Beef & Lamb.”

Chef Jet joins us with all the details on how listeners can be part of this challenge. We’ll also get updated on Chef Jet’s current Food TV work, his lineup of virtual cooking tutorials and the “in the works” new cookbook.

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeIn times of crisis it’s always best to call on the calming expertise of those truly knowledgeable in their specific areas. Such is the case with our always engaging resident wine authority Kyle Meyer, the Managing Partner of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. 

On January 12th a 25 percent tariff was set to be placed on high-alcohol wines from France and Germany. It was then called back at the last hour. In late 2019 a 25 percent tariff was placed on lower-alcohol European wines. We’ll discuss the tariff situation with Kyle and how they impact wine pricing.

We’ll also ask Kyle about the current state of the wine business in California. How did the harvest and crush shape up for 2020? Will the fires in Northern California last year impact the quality and availability of premium California wines? What is smoke taint on wine?

Sandra Cordero“Women restaurateurs from across Los Angeles have created a new charitable organization called RE:Her. Its debut initiative, a food festival called 10 Days RE:Her, will feature 10 days of unique collaborations, thematic menus, and one-on-one conversations between female industry leaders. 10 Days RE:Her kicks off on January 21, the anniversary of the groundbreaking Women’s March of 2017, and runs through January 30. Over 100 restaurants and collaborators are involved. Observing local dining restrictions, aspects of the festival will take place virtually and remotely.”

Chef Sandra Cordero of Gasolina Café in Woodland Hills is one of the organizers of the Festival as well as serves on the active RE:Her board. Sandra takes a break from her busy kitchen to preview the variety of “10 Days RE:Her” events that she is part of.

A highlight is “The Girls Got Taste,” a 3-course menu available to go (in Santa Monica and Woodland Hills) created by Socalo, Gasolina Café and Valerie Confections. Chef Sandra provides a Salad of Mussels in Escabeche with blood orange, fennel, celeriac, bocarones and olives.

Chef Sandra also has developed a Spanish-themed, bake-at-home pizza kit as part of Around The World with Superfine Pizza.” The 12-inch  pizza creation is LA-ES-PAN-OLA by GASOLINA Café with chorizo soria, manchego cheese, mushroom crema, cherry tomato, caramelized onion and topped with a sunny side up egg. Additionally the ES-CA-ROLE by Superfine Pizza is on the menu at Gasolina Café. Both are available by pre-order from January 21st to 30th.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant GroupOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and increasingly growing) concern. Extended restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for at least the first 3 weeks of January.

Chef Andrew updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, 86 Restaurant Struggle campaign to benefit out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $300,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The need continues…

The fried chicken sandwich is becoming a popular menu item at the major burger places in addition to other fast casual outlets. Chef Andrew has a lot of hands-on experience with premium fried chicken at Two Birds in Irvine. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur James Trees of Al Solito Posto, Las Vegas
Segment Three: Rob Rubens, Founder & Head Distiller, R6 Distillery, El Segundo
Segment Four: Celebrity Chef Jet Tila with a Preview of “Aussie Dinner Hour” Part One
Segment Five: Celebrity Chef Jet Tila with a Preview of “Aussie Dinner Hour” Part Two
Segment Six: Kyle Meyer, Managing Partner, Wine Exchange in Santa Ana
Segment Seven: Restaurateur & Chef Sandra Cordero, Gasolina Café on Woodland Hills
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

January 16: Josiah Citrin, 10 Days RE: Her, Dos Cabezas WineWorks

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur Josiah Citrin of Melisse + Citrin, Openaire, Charcoal Venice and Dear John’s Part One
Segment Three: Chef & Restaurateur Josiah Citrin of Melisse + Citrin, Openaire, Charcoal Venice and Dear John’s Part Two
Segment Four: “10 Days of Regarding:Her” Festival with Dina Samson of Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza
Segment Five: “10 Days of Regarding:Her” Festival with Chef Mary Sue Milliken of Socalo and Border Grill
Segment Six: Winemaker Todd Bostock, Dos Cabezas WineWorks, Sonoita, Arizona Part One
Segment Seven: Winemaker Todd Bostock, Dos Cabezas WineWorks, Sonoita, Arizona Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

Chef Josiah Citrin is the respected proprietor of Melisse & Citrin in Santa Monica, Openaire at the Line Hotel in Koreatown, Charcoal in Marina del Rey and Dear John’s (retro American steakhouse) in Culver City (in partnership with Hans and Patti Rockenwagner) as well as other properties. Chef Josiah joins us to provide the overview of how his establishments are serving guests right now with takeaway and delivery.

“Women restaurateurs from across Los Angeles have created a new charitable organization called RE:Her. Its debut initiative, a food festival called 10 Days RE:Her, will feature 10 days of unique collaborations, thematic menus, and one-on-one conversations between female industry leaders.” 10 Days RE:Her kicks off on January 21, the anniversary of the groundbreaking Women’s March of 2017, and runs through January 30. Over 100 restaurants and collaborators are involved. Observing local dining restrictions, aspects of the festival will take place virtually and remotely. “RE:Her is an affiliate of Let’s Talk, an industry group founded and led by Rohini Dey and supported by the James Beard Foundation. Let’s Talk unites over 250 women restaurateurs across 10 cities; the LA chapter is hosted by Chef Mary Sue Milliken (Border Grill & Socalo and Dina Samson (Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza.)”  Dina Samson and Chef Mary Sue Milliken are our guests with all the intriguing specifics of “10 Days RE;Her.”

Since 1995, Dos Cabezas WineWorks has been growing grapes and producing wines in Southern Arizona. The winery is supplied with distinctive, high-quality fruit from its two estate vineyards: Pronghorn Vineyard in Sonoita, and Cimarron Vineyard in the Kansas Settlement. Kelly & Todd Bostock are co-WineWorkers at Dos Cabezas WineWorks in Sonoita, Arizona – the winery they purchased in 2006 along with Todd’s parents, Paula & Frank Bostock. Dos Cabezas.

WineWorks has been producing great Arizona wines from the vineyards they farm (the Cimarron Vineyard in Willcox & the Pronghorn Vineyard in Sonoita) since pioneer Al Buhl started operations in 1995. Winemaker Todd Bostick joins us to pull the cork on Dos Cabezas WineWorks.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and increasingly growing) concern. Extended restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for at least the first 3 weeks of January. Chef Andrew updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, “86 The Struggle” campaign to benefit deserving out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed $200,000 to restaurant workers in dire need. Chef Andrew also continues to explain his carefully considered, multi-point plan to bolster the fate of struggling restaurants right now. What’s in store for restaurants and dining in 2021?  We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Josiah CitrinChef Josiah Citrin is the respected proprietor of Melisse & Citrin in Santa Monica, Openaire at the Line Hotel in Koreatown, Charcoal in Venice and Dear John’s (retro American steakhouse) in Culver City (in partnership with Hans and Patti Rockenwagner) as well as other properties. Chef Josiah joins us to provide the overview of how his establishments are serving guests right now with takeaway and delivery.

Chef Josiah’s Santa Monica flagship, the combination of Melisse & Citrin, presents each week a new, coursed menu available for pickup Thursday through Sunday from 5 to 7:00 p.m. The menus frequently honor Chef Josiah’s favorite chefs, restaurants or a particular ingredient. Different courses can be added on including the Black Truffle Risotto kit and the Black Truffle Pasta kit. The Dirty Chicken experience is also on the menu.

Openaire at the Line Hotel offers the weekly changing Taste of Openaire dinner menu. This week it’s Dry Aged Bone-In New York Steak, Hibachi grilled with Black Pepper Pineapple Jam. Saturday and Sundays from 9 to 1:00 p.m. it’s the Openaire Bottomless Brunch with the Bottomless Michelada Kit. The brunch affair can be order To Go as individual menu items or as the complete package.

Charcoal Venice at Home is on the menu at Charcoal Venice. You can Order the Charcoal Venice at home tasting menu via Tock for same-day pickup. You can also order the a la carte menu directly from the Charcoal website. This week it’s the Salsa Verde Half-Chicken experience. The Burger Window is also available for To-Go orders.

In Culver City Dear John’s has a few options. The a la care menu is available To-Go via their website. Dear John’s in Culver City has a couple of carry away options plus delivery. The a la carte menu for pickup can be ordered directly from the Dear John’s website. Tock offers the a la carte menu plus the Steakhouse Dinner experience. This week it’s Shrimp Scampi Risotto and “Steak Diane” with Wild Mushrooms and Wagyu Sirloin. Delivery is available via Doordash.

Dina Samson of Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza“Women restaurateurs from across Los Angeles have created a new charitable organization called RE:Her. Its debut initiative, a food festival called 10 Days RE:Her, will feature 10 days of unique collaborations, thematic menus, and one-on-one conversations between female industry leaders. 10 Days RE:Her kicks off on January 21, the anniversary of the groundbreaking Women’s March of 2017, and runs through January 30. Over 100 restaurants and collaborators are involved. Observing local dining restrictions, aspects of the festival will take place virtually and remotely.”

“RE:Her is an affiliate of Let’s Talk, an industry group founded and led by Rohini Dey and supported by the James Beard Foundation. Let’s Talk unites over 250 women restaurateurs across 10 cities; the LA chapter is hosted by Chef Mary Sue Milliken (Border Grill & Socalo and Dina Samson (Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza.)  During monthly Zoom meetings, Let’s Talk members discussed various ways that women-owned restaurants have been banding together to drum up business (and generally survive) in cities across the country. The idea for RE:Her was born of out these discussions and ways to take further action to support the industry in Los Angeles.”

“RE:Her’s board is comprised of Lien Ta (All Day Baby), Sandra Cordero (Gasolina Cafe), Sylvie Gabriele (Love & Salt), Bricia Lopez (Guelaguetza), Mary Sue Milliken (Border Grill, Socalo), Kimberly Prince (Hotville Chicken), Dina Samson (Rossoblu, Superfine Pizza), Heather Sperling (Botanica), and Brittney Valles (Guerrilla Tacos). Lien (’17), Sandra (’18), and Dina (’20) are alumni of JBF’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program.”

Dina Samson (LA Chapter Host) joins us to provide the overview of “10 Days RE:Her.” She’s followed by Chef Mary Sue Milliken  (LA Chapter Host) who joins us to provide the overview of the events she is involved with that will be based out of Socalo. These include “The Girls Got Taste, a 3 course menu by Socalo, Gasolina & Valerie Confections”; “Taco Tuesday featuring Kim Prince’s Hotsville Chicken”; and “Alice’s Southern Gumbo Pop-Up.”

Also on the schedule is a virtual dinner presentation of “Women Winemakers of Baja Dinner and Virtual Conversation” with the dinner To-Go pickup at Socalo.

Todd-Bostock of Dos Cabezas WineWorks“Since 1995, Dos Cabezas WineWorks has been growing grapes and producing wines in Southern Arizona. The winery is supplied with distinctive, high-quality fruit from its two estate vineyards: Pronghorn Vineyard in Sonoita, and Cimarron Vineyard in the Kansas Settlement. Kelly & Todd Bostock are co-WineWorkers at Dos Cabezas WineWorks in Sonoita, Arizona – the winery they purchased in 2006 along with Todd’s parents, Paula & Frank Bostock. Dos Cabezas.

WineWorks has been producing great Arizona wines from the vineyards they farm (the Cimarron Vineyard in Willcox & the Pronghorn Vineyard in Sonoita) since pioneer Al Buhl started operations in 1995.”

The San Francisco Chronicle, citing “their commitment to making wine part of a homegrown Arizona gastronomy,” named Kelly & Todd among its 10 “Winemakers to Watch” in 2015 – at the time, the only non-California/Oregon winemakers to receive the honor in its 16 -year history. International wine critic, Stuart Pigott, has named their Meskeoli white blend among his 5 “Riesling Revelations”. In 2016, the Bostocks helped found the Arizona Vignerons Alliance to promote authentic, quality Arizona wines.”

“Winemakers Kelly & Todd Bostock work every vintage to make wines that tell the unique and delicious story of these vineyards and this place in southern Arizona.”

“Kelly & Todd live in Sonoita, Arizona with their two boys, just down the road from their Pronghorn vineyard.”

Todd Bostock joins us while gently pulling the cork on the 2015, Dos Cabezas WineWorks, El Norte. It’s a blend of 28% Grenache, 28% Syrah, 20% Mourvedre, 9% Counoise, 9% Graciano and 6% Petite Syrah.

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and increasingly growing) concern. Extended restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for at least the first 3 weeks of January.

Chef Andrew updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, 86 The Struggle campaign to benefit out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $200,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The need continues…

Chef Andrew also continues to report on his carefully considered, multi-point plan to bolster the fate of struggling restaurants right now. Government assistance, at all levels, is a necessary part of bringing restaurants back. It’s very late and hasn’t aid been forthcoming…What’s in store for restaurants and dining in 2021?  We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur Josiah Citrin of Melisse + Citrin, Openaire, Charcoal Venice and Dear John’s Part One
Segment Three: Chef & Restaurateur Josiah Citrin of Melisse + Citrin, Openaire, Charcoal Venice and Dear John’s Part Two
Segment Four: “10 Days of Regarding:Her” Festival with Dina Samson of Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza
Segment Five: “10 Days of Regarding:Her” Festival with Chef Mary Sue Milliken of Socalo and Border Grill
Segment Six: Winemaker Todd Bostock, Dos Cabezas WineWorks, Sonoita, Arizona Part One
Segment Seven: Winemaker Todd Bostock, Dos Cabezas WineWorks, Sonoita, Arizona Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

January 9: Cindi Thompson’s Crafted Kitchen, Carly Knowles, Terragena Vineyards

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Cindi Thompson of Crafted Kitchen, Arts District of Los Angeles Part One
Segment Three: Cindi Thompson of Crafted Kitchen, Arts District of Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Four: Carly Knowles, MS, RDN & LD with The Nutritionist’s Kitchen Part One
Segment Five: Carly Knowles, MS, RDN & LD with The Nutritionist’s Kitchen Part Two
Segment Six: Christopher Buchanan, Winemaker & Proprietor at Terragena Vineyard, Humboldt County Part One
Segment Seven: Christopher Buchanan, Winemaker & Proprietor at Terragena Vineyard, Humboldt County Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

Cindi Thompson’s Crafted Kitchen established in 2017 is a collegial, business incubator-style shared use commercial kitchen located in the Arts District of Los Angeles. A state-of-the art facility, housed in a fully restored 100-year-old brick warehouse, Crafted Kitchen is designed to give small food businesses access to the space, resources, and business skills they need in order to make their culinary dreams a reality. With a variety of kitchen formats available, Crafted Kitchen provides Los Angeles-area food entrepreneurs with room to grow.” It’s the dream venture of encouraging culinary entrepreneur Cindi Thompson. We’ll meet her.

The Nutritionist’s Kitchen by Dietitian Nutritionist Carly Knowles MS, RDN, LD is for everyone who aspires to live a healthy, balanced life without depriving themselves of the joy that comes with eating sweet, savory, salty, crunchy, creamy flavorful food. The ultimate guide to healthy meals that utilize healing benefits of whole foods and the latest science-backed nutritional guidelines. After visiting a remote village in Peru, Carly knew she wanted to dedicate herself to learning everything she could about the science of diet and nutrition and share her knowledge with everyone. So, after getting her Master of Science degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University, she worked as a clinical dietitian and taught cooking classes in community kitchens. An avid writer and recipe tester inspired by the concept of cooking nutritious and delicious whole foods, she wrote her book, Nutritionist’s Kitchen, with the idea that “everyone deserves to have a nutritionist in their kitchen.” We’re in the kitchen with Carly Knowles focusing on food as medicine.

Are you fascinated by the margin between art and science? That wild edge where creativity and beauty sprout? That’s what wine is for Winemaker and Proprietor Christopher Buchanan at Terragena Vineyards (Craft Wine certified) in Northern California. He believes both creating and enjoying wine is an intrinsically personal and complex experience. Chris explores and strives to understand the complex components, step by step, while building Terragena, a completely off-grid, sustainable vineyard and winery located in the rugged hills of Humboldt County. Terragena partners with small, family-owned vineyards to produce wine that has been tenderly loved from start to finish.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and increasingly growing) concern. Extended restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for at least the first 3 weeks of January. Chef Andrew updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, “86 The Struggle” campaign to benefit deserving out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $130,000 to restaurant workers in dire need. Chef Andrew also shares his carefully considered, multi-point plan to bolster the fate of struggling restaurants right now. What’s in store for restaurants and dining in 2021? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Cindi Thompson of Crafted KitchenCindi Thompson’s Crafted Kitchen established in 2017 is a collegial business incubator-style, shared use commercial kitchen located in the Arts District of Los Angeles. A state-of-the art facility, housed in a fully restored 100-year-old brick warehouse, Crafted Kitchen is designed to give small food businesses access to the space, resources, and business skills they need in order to make their culinary dreams a reality. With a variety of kitchen formats available, Crafted Kitchen provides Los Angeles-area food entrepreneurs with room to grow.”

Under the roof of Crafted Kitchen are private kitchens, semi private kitchens and a fully equipped test kitchen with soaring 20-foot high bow-truss ceilings (and an adjacent landscaped patio) that can be used for distinctive private dinners, events and cooking classes.

The shared use kitchen space (available by the day or hour) has all the cooking equipment and cookware a budding food entrepreneur needs. All they need to provide are the raw ingredients for their food or beverage creation and packaging supplies.

“The Crafted Kitchen story began with the desire to build more than just a state-of-the-art shared-use kitchen. It started with the belief that, through community, an individual “me” could become part of the greater “we”. With community as our catalyst, Crafted Kitchen defines success as more than just the bottom line. We believe it’s about growing, learning and thriving alongside other culinary creatives and innovators. By leveraging industry resources, regulatory & licensing experience, bulk purchasing power and culinary expertise, we provide tools and resources to help food entrepreneurs accelerate business growth.”

“Cindi Thompson was inspired to create Crafted Kitchen when she hit a roadblock in growing her own small food business – a scarcity of quality, affordable commercial kitchens to support her work.  Determined to provide fellow culinary entrepreneurs access to the quality space and resources she needed in order to grow and thrive, she founded Crafted Kitchen, an incubator-style commercial kitchen.  Prior to pursuing her passion for the culinary arts, Cindi enjoyed a long career in the financial services industry. She is a lifelong resident of California.”

It’s the dream (and carefully planned) venture of encouraging and supportive culinary entrepreneur Cindi Thompson. We’ll meet her.

Dietiican and Nutritionist Carly KnowlesThe Nutritionist’s Kitchen by Dietitian Nutritionist Carly Knowles, MS, RDN, LD is for everyone who aspires to live a healthy, balanced life without depriving themselves of the joy that comes with eating sweet, savory, salty, crunchy, creamy flavorful food. The ultimate guide to healthy meals that utilize healing benefits of whole foods and the latest science-backed nutritional guidelines.”

“After visiting a remote village in Peru, Carly knew she wanted to dedicate herself to learning everything she could about the science of diet and nutrition and share her knowledge with everyone. So, after getting her Master of Science degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University, she worked as a clinical dietitian and taught cooking classes in community kitchens.”

“An avid writer and recipe tester inspired by the concept of cooking nutritious and delicious whole foods, she wrote her book, Nutritionist’s Kitchen, with the idea that “everyone deserves to have a nutritionist in their kitchen.””

Carly graciously shares with us two recipes from the book including Broccoli Salad with Pickled Cranberries and Herb Yogurt Dressing (a personal favorite) and Cultured Key Lime Cashew Yogurt (a probiotic-rich vegan yogurt.) “Broccoli is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables out there.”

The Nutritionist’s Kitchen is both an approachable, science-based guide to support optimal health and wellness through everyday meals and a cookbook filled with mouthwatering recipes. Throughout the book are simple charts like How to Understand Intuitive and Seasonal Changes in Nature and Identify Our Own Personal Climate (page 61-62) to sidebars such as The Difference between Pickled and Fermented Foods (page 47) and The Best Way to Consume Flaxseeds (page 79).”

“With more than 60 seasonal, restorative recipes like Buckwheat Breakfast Porridge with Cranberry Chia Compote (Winter) and Sweet Cornmeal Pancakes with Vanilla Roasted Peaches (Summer) to Spicy Sriracha Mung Bean Bowl with Pickled Daikon and Carrots (Spring) and Mirin and Miso Glazed Cod (Autumn) to Whole Wheat Apple Galettes with Salted Honey and Dark Chocolate Banana Bread with Toasted Almonds (Autumn and Winter). Also included are recipes for all seasons (Ghee, Golden Turmeric Paste, Plain Whole Milk Yogurt …) and primers on nutrient dense foods and how to shop for and prepare ingredients like beans and sea vegetables.”

We’re in the kitchen with Carly Knowles focusing on food as medicine.

Chris Buchanan of Terragena Vineyard“Are you fascinated by the margin between art and science? That wild edge where creativity and beauty sprout? That’s what wine is for Winemaker and Proprietor Christopher Buchanan at Terragena Vineyards (Craft Wine certified) in Northern California. He believes both creating and enjoying wine is an intrinsically personal and complex experience.”

“Chris explores and strives to understand the complex components, step by step, while building Terragena, a completely off-grid, sustainable vineyard and winery located in the rugged hills of Humboldt County. Terragena partners with small, family-owned vineyards to produce wine that has been tenderly loved from start to finish.”

“Terragena is dedicated to building a strong network of small producers committed to eco-friendly methods who will succeed as they have, while also nurturing an experimental Pinot Noir vineyard in a unique, viticulturally unexplored location.” The winery is completely solar powered and the water source for irrigation is rainwater stored in an on-site pond.

Terragena Vineyards produces small lots of Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling, Rose of Pinot Noir, single vineyard Pinot Noirs, Barbera and Nebbiolo.

“The Terragena Vineyard team, headed by winemaker and vineyard proprietor Chris Buchanan, crafts limited production wines with the same spirit of adventure that first led them to build their off-grid vineyard in Humboldt County. Chris was inspired by the ruggedly beautiful hills, forests, and meadows around area to create wine that expresses these characteristics of the land without any added fluff or distraction. Terragena is a latin word meaning “born of the earth.” Terragena is dedicated to sustainably expressing the unique characteristics of their estate vineyard as well as their diverse partner vineyards by nurturing the wine from the earth to the bottle.”

Chris Buchanan pulls the cork on Terragena Vineyard for us.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant GroupOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and increasingly growing) concern. Extended restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for at least the first 3 weeks of January.

Chef Andrew updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, 86 The Struggle campaign to benefit out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $130,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels.

Chef Andrew also shares his carefully considered, multi-point plan to bolster the fate of struggling restaurants right now. Government assistance, at all levels, is a necessary part of bringing restaurants back. It’s very late…What’s in store for restaurants and dining in 2021? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Cindi Thompson of Crafted Kitchen, Arts District of Los Angeles Part One
Segment Three: Cindi Thompson of Crafted Kitchen, Arts District of Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Four: Carly Knowles, MS, RDN & LD with The Nutritionist’s Kitchen Part One
Segment Five: Carly Knowles, MS, RDN & LD with The Nutritionist’s Kitchen Part Two
Segment Six: Christopher Buchanan, Winemaker & Proprietor at Terragena Vineyard, Humboldt County Part One
Segment Seven: Christopher Buchanan, Winemaker & Proprietor at Terragena Vineyard, Humboldt County Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Broccoli Salad with Pickled Cranberries and Herb Yogurt Dressing

Broccoli Salad with Pickled Cranberries by Carly KnowlesRecipe excerpt from: The Nutritionist’s Kitchen
by Carly Knowles

Broccoli is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables out there. It’s loaded with vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, and many other valuable nutrients. It’s part of the cruciferous vegetable family that promotes natural detoxification and has been shown to decrease cancer risk and increase heart health.

Serves 8–10

SALAD

  • ½ cup dried cranberries (I prefer apple juice–sweetened)
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 6 cups broccoli florets (about 2 broccoli heads)
  • 6 cups broccoli stalks, finely chopped or shredded (from 2 broccoli heads)
  • ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion

DRESSING

  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley (plus more for garnish)
  • ⅓ cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Start by quick-pickling the cranberries. Soak them in apple cider vinegar in a small bowl for at least 20 minutes, until they are plump and saturated (the longer the soak time, the better!).

Drain and add to a large mixing bowl. You can forgo quick-pickling the cranberries if you’d like and just add dried cranberries directly to the bowl. Next, add the broccoli florets and stalks, almonds, and red onion. Mix together until combined.

In a medium bowl, mix together all dressing ingredients.

Pour the dressing over the broccoli salad and mix together until the salad is evenly coated. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes or until cool. Give the salad a quick stir and garnish with additional tarragon and parsley before serving.

Cultured Key Lime Cashew Yogurt

Cultured Key Lime Cashew Yogurt Recipe excerpt from: The Nutritionist’s Kitchen
by Carly Knowles

You’ll feel like a magician after making this probiotic-rich vegan yogurt!
For something so easy, the outcome is complex and incredibly healthy, especially for your gut. Probiotics have been shown to support a healthy digestive tract while also boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure, helping to manage anxiety, and so much more!

If you can’t find key limes at your local grocery store or farmer’s market, you can easily substitute conventional (Persian) limes.

Makes four 8 ounce jars.

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour or overnight
  • 1½ cups unsweetened plain cashew milk or other plant based milk
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons key lime or Persian lime zest (about 16 key limes or 3 Persian limes)
  • ½ cup fresh key lime or Persian lime juice (about 16 key limes or 3 Persian limes)
  • 3 tablespoons packed kale or spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • Probiotic capsules or powder (see note)

Drain and rinse the cashews. Place the cashews, milk, and maple syrup in a blender; blend on high until very smooth with no lumps, about 1 to 2 minutes if you’re using a
high-powered blender. If you want plain cashew yogurt, you can omit the lime and move on to the next step. Or you can substitute other fresh seasonal juice/flavors, if you prefer, such as orange or passion fruit.

Zest your limes and set the zest aside. Add the lime juice and kale or spinach (for a subtle green color) to your blender; blend on high until puréed and smooth. Pour into a large mixing bowl and add the lime zest, stirring with a rubber spatula until incorporated.

Finally, add the probiotics to the cashew blend and whisk in thoroughly. Divide the cashew yogurt evenly between four 8-ounce glass jars. Place small squares of cheesecloth or paper towel over the jars; screw on the metal jar rings or use rubber bands to secure the cheesecloth. Do not use the full lid at this point; you want some air flow into the jar.

Once all the jars are assembled, arrange them on a baking sheet and place
in the oven, with the heat off and the oven light on, near the oven light for residual low heat. Let the yogurt incubate in the oven for at least 8 hours or overnight. The longer you leave it, the tangier and thicker it becomes.

Remove the jars and the cheesecloth or paper towel, and seal the jars completely with airtight lids. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or more until chilled and ready to serve. Yogurt will keep in the refrigerator for about 7 days. Stir each yogurt before serving—natural separation may occur after one to two days.

NOTE: There are many types of probiotics, including different bacterial strains, doses or amounts of colony forming units (CFUs), and forms. Here, you’ll want to use a total of 20 to 30 billion CFUs of a lactobacillus blend in either capsule or powder form (read the label). If you use less than this, you won’t get that tangy yogurt flavor, and the texture will be slightly looser or thinner. More, and your yogurt will become really sour and may be unappealing.

January 2: Peasants Feast, Melissa’s Produce Trends Forecast for 2021, Zimt Bakery, Niyaz Pirani, Cara Los Feliz

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef / Proprietor Michael and General Manager / Proprietor Sarah Cherney of Peasants Feast, Solvang
Segment Three: Melissa’s Prince of Produce, Robert Schueller – Produce Trends for 2021
Segment Four: Alina Tompert, Baker-in-Chief, Zimt Bakery, Long Beach Part One
Segment Five: Alina Tompert, Baker-in-Chief, Zimt Bakery, Long Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Niyaz Pirani, Knife & Spork Public Relations – Practical Marketing Tips for Restaurants
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Michael Patria and Assistant General Manager, Lana Nguyen, Cara Restaurant at Cara Los Feliz
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Happy New Year and wishing all our listeners brighter horizons in 2021. We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

Three years in the making the dynamic husband and wife team of Chef Michael (Executive Chef / Proprietor) and Sarah Cherney (General Manager / Proprietor) debuted the full-service Peasants Feast restaurant in Solvang in April just at the time restaurants were restricted to takeout and delivery only. In a what’s wrong with this picture moment Peasants Feast was recently cited by California’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for their employees (6) eating inside the restaurant for Family Meal. Hard to believe…The Cherney’s join us to share their truly unfortunate experience of navigating a weighty bureaucracy during a pandemic.

Our resident produce authority, Robert Schueller, (also known as the Prince of Produce) is the long-time Director of Public Relations for Melissa’s (World Variety) Produce. This will be the 14th year he’s presented his Produce Trends Forecast for 2021. Robert joins us to continue his in-depth report which he started on last week’s show. The concluding installment focuses on Top Seasonal Trends and Trends in New Items. Have you heard about the just introduced Pink Pineapple from Costa Rica?

Alina Tompert the “Baker-in-Chief” at her Zimt Bakery in Long Beach (premium German-style cookies adapted from old world family recipes) is an excellent example of a successful licensed Cottage Food Operation that allows the creation and sale of specific low-risk food products from a private home kitchen. All Platzchen and Guadsle treats from Zimt are crafted from sustainably and ethically sourced ingredients. We’re rolling out the Guadsle dough with Baker-in-Chief, Alina.

Niyaz Pirani is a former OC Register and OC Weekly journalist who made the switch to Public Relations in 2015. He established Knife & Spork Public Relations to become one of Orange County’s respected social media marketing firms for restaurants. He focuses on photo and video content creation, targeted marketing, ad support and customer engagement. He believes “Every Restaurant Has a Story to Tell.” With restaurants’ budgets being especially tight right now (and every dollar of expense needing to be justified) Niyaz joins us with an expert’s advice offering grass roots avenues for restaurants to promote themselves and get more relevant eyeballs focused on what the restaurants are offering.

Opening rather quietly without fanfare in September was the Cara Los Feliz (Hotel,) a boutique luxury property with 60 well-appointed rooms located on the western edge of Thai Town adjacent to the Los Feliz neighborhood. It’s the result of a tasteful and ambitious (and expensive) makeover of a former dowdy motel. For foodies the major attraction is the Cara restaurant which offers relaxed patio dining (when again permissible) around a tranquil interior pool. The lush landscaping includes 100 year-old olive trees. It’s a touch of class with no pretentiousness whatsoever. The menu maker is Executive Chef Michael Patria, most recently with the Four Seasons Biltmore Resort in Santa Barbara. The cuisine is California-Mediterranean inspired based around ingredients sourced from local farmers using biodynamic and organic methods.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and increasingly growing) concern. Extended restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for at least the first 3 weeks of January. Chef Andrew updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, “86 The Struggle” campaign to benefit local out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. What’s in store for restaurants and dining in 2021? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Sarah and Michael Cherney of peasants FEASTThree years in the making the dynamic husband and wife team of Chef Michael (Executive Chef / Proprietor) and Sarah Cherney (General Manager / Proprietor) debuted the full-service Peasants Feast restaurant in Solvang in April just at the time restaurants were restricted to takeout and delivery only.

Peasants Feast started as a catering company and they have adapted along the way as best they can. Peasants Feast’s cuisine focuses on local, seasonal comfort food with a twist. The couple met at the Nichols Brothers’ Sides Hardware and Shoes (now closed,) a well-received restaurant in Los Olivos. Michael was the Chef de Cuisine and Sarah the General Manager.

In a what’s wrong with this picture moment Peasants Feast was recently cited by California’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for their employees (6) eating inside the closed restaurant for Family Meal. Hard to believe…The Cherney’s join us to share their truly unfortunate experience of navigating a bureaucracy during a pandemic.

Peasants Feast is currently serving their guests with take-out and delivery Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

“Inspired by the earth and rooted in community, we’ve built good relationships with the planet & our table, we present a changing menu of mostly seasonal, locally sourced food.”

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioOur resident produce authority, Robert Schueller, (also known as the Prince of Produce) is the long-time Director of Public Relations for Melissa’s (World Variety) Produce. This will be the 14th year he’s presented his Produce Trends Forecast for 2021.

Robert joins us to continue his in-depth report which he started on last week’s show. The concluding installment focuses on Top Seasonal Trends and Trends in New Items.

Have you heard about the just introduced Pinkglow Pink Pineapple from Costa Rica which were in development for over 16 years? It’s less sour and acidic than a traditional pineapple and juicier and sweeter in taste.

Alina Tompert of ZIMT BakeryAlina Tompert the “Baker-in-Chief” at her Zimt Bakery in Long Beach (premium German-style cookies adapted from old world family recipes) is an excellent example of a successful, licensed Cottage Food Operation that allows the creation and sale of specific low-risk food products from a private home kitchen. All Platzchen and Guadsle treats from Zimt are crafted from sustainably and ethically sourced ingredients.

“At Zimt, our mission is to do good for our planet and our community while providing you with delicious, beautiful, and ethical treats based on family recipes passed down through generations.”

“Zimt stands for more than just its baked goods. We know that food brings people together, and want to elevate that experience by lovingly crafting each of our Plätzchen by hand with the best ingredients. We proudly source everything from our ingredients to packaging to kitchen equipment from companies that are dedicated to sustainability and equity.”

“A traditional German holiday treat, with roots in Oma’s recipes, taking a bite of one of our delicate Plätzchen takes you on a trip through time. From our traditional holiday boxes to our modern seasonal hearts, you can taste the love that has been poured into these little delicacies for generations. Our seasonal flavors are a modern take on Plätzchen and an homage to our German-American roots, making them fit for any occasion year-round and incorporating some fun cross-cultural favorite flavors. So what are you waiting for? Let’s spread some love!”

“We are thrilled to share Oma’s Guadsle with you every holiday season with our holiday boxes and personalized Lebkuchen hearts. 
As Schwäbisch as it gets, these are Oma Doris’s traditional holiday morsels. Little Christmas sweets, with nuts, jams, chocolate, and lots of powdered sugar. Her recipes stand the test of time and are still melt-in-your-mouth amazing!”

Alina Tompert joins us cookie cutter in hand.

Niyaz Pirani of Knife and Spork Public RelationsNiyaz Pirani is a former OC Register and OC Weekly journalist who made the switch to Public Relations in 2015. He established Knife & Spork Public Relations to become one of Orange County’s respected social media marketing firms for restaurants. He focuses on photo and video content creation, targeted marketing, ad support and customer engagement. He believes “Every Restaurant Has a Story to Tell.”

With restaurants’ budgets being especially tight right now (and every dollar of expense needing to be justified) Niyaz joins us with an expert’s advice offering grass roots avenues for restaurants to promote themselves and get more relevant eyeballs focused on what the restaurants are offering. It’s difficult to gain awareness right now as the algorithms continue to take away organic reach.

Michael Patria of Cara RestaurantOpening rather quietly without fanfare in September was the Cara Los Feliz (Hotel,) a boutique luxury property with 60 well-appointed rooms located on the western edge of Thai Town adjacent to the Los Feliz neighborhood. It’s the result of a tasteful and ambitious (and expensive) makeover of a former dowdy motel. There is obviously big money behind this project.

For foodies the major attraction is the Cara restaurant which offers relaxed patio dining around a tranquil interior pool. The lush landscaping includes 100-year old olive trees and California Palms. It’s a touch of class with no pretentiousness whatsoever. The menu maker is Executive Chef Michael Patria, most recently with the Four Seasons Biltmore Resort in Santa Barbara. The cuisine is California-Mediterranean inspired based around ingredients sourced from local farmers using biodynamic and organic methods.

The Lemon Fettuccine with lemon and Parmesan is a standout. It’s available on the Cara At Home menu.

Cara debuted with nightly dinner until the ban on patio/outside dining arriving just before Thanksgiving. In the interim Cara is providing their guests with Cara At Home with both a prix fixe menu (for 2) option and a la carte offerings. Room Service is also on the menu for Hotel Guests.

We’ll meet Chef Patria as well as Restaurant Manager Lana Nguyen.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and increasingly growing) concern.

Extended restrictions for restaurants from Governor Gavin Newsom are now in place for Southern California (as of December 29th) for at least the first 3 weeks of January. Chef Andrew updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, “86 The Struggle” campaign to benefit local out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. What’s in store for restaurants and dining in 2021? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef / Proprietor Michael and General Manager / Proprietor Sarah Cherney of Peasants Feast, Solvang
Segment Three: Melissa’s Prince of Produce, Robert Schueller – Produce Trends for 2021
Segment Four: Alina Tompert, Baker-in-Chief, Zimt Bakery, Long Beach Part One
Segment Five: Alina Tompert, Baker-in-Chief, Zimt Bakery, Long Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Niyaz Pirani, Knife & Spork Public Relations – Practical Marketing Tips for Restaurants
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Michael Patria and Assistant General Manager, Lana Nguyen, Cara Restaurant at Cara Los Feliz
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

December 26: Deborah Madison, Lincoln Carson, Al Mancini, Melissa’s Produce Trends Forecast for 2021

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Author Deborah Madison with her Memoir, An Onion In My Pocket Part One
Segment Three: Chef & Author Deborah Madison with her Memoir, An Onion In My Pocket Part Two
Segment Four: Chef Lincoln Carson of Merite Bake Shop and Coast Range Restaurant, Solvang Part One
Segment Five: Chef Lincoln Carson of Merite Bake Shop and Coast Range Restaurant, Solvang Part Two
Segment Six: Al Mancini, Food Staff Writer, Las Vegas Review-Journal
Segment Seven: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s “Prince of Produce,” with the Produce Trends Forecast for 2021
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Happy New Year and brighter horizons in 2021. …We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

Chef Deborah Madison’s new memoir, An Onion in My Pocket – My Life With Vegetables is from the celebrated author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and 13 other cookbooks. (Described as “The Queen of Greens” by The Washington Post.) It’s a warm, bracingly honest memoir that also gives us an insider’s look at the vegetarian movement.” “Thanks to her beloved cookbooks and groundbreaking work as the opening chef at Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, Deborah Madison, though not a vegetarian herself, has long been revered as this country’s leading authority on vegetables.” We’re walking the local Farmers Market with Chef Deborah Madison.

When we last spoke with Chef Lincoln Carson he had just launched (as Chef & Partner) the ambitious Bon Temps Los Angeles restaurant located next to the Firehouse Hotel in the Arts District adjacent to Downtown Los Angeles. Unfortunately the critically acclaimed Bon Temps was an early victim of COVID 19’s devastating impact on the dining scene in Los Angeles. Fortunately it’s been a busy year for Chef Lincoln nonetheless. In November Lincoln launched the Merite Bake Shop in Boise, Idaho. It’s a virtual kitchen- bakery located at Crave Collective under the umbrella of Crave Delivery. Chef Lincoln, a resident of the Santa Ynez Valley, is now back in California to launch the Coast Range Restaurant in Solvang. It’s a premier seafood and steakhouse with a spacious patio and the Vaquero Bar (with a separate menu.) At Coast Range Restaurant Chef Lincoln will focus on the menu for the Lunch Café and daytime pastry program. Chef Lincoln joins us with rolling pin in hand.

One of our most reliable sources of accurate restaurant news in fabulous Las Vegas is Al Mancini, who is a staff writer for The Las Vegas Review-Journal covering food, restaurants and other aspects of entertainment. Al has been working the Vegas food scene for 19 years. He was one of the creators of the popular, and widely referenced, Eating Las Vegas restaurant guidebook series. Al joins us with Part 2 of his quarterly update on the Las Vegas dining scene. He’ll give us an insider’s overview of what’s new including the food and libations at the Circa Resort in Downtown Las Vegas and local food personality Jolene Mannina’s Vegas Test Kitchen on Fremont Street. Al will also remember visionary entrepreneur Tony Hsieh who is credited with reviving the (now vibrant) dining scene in Downtown Las Vegas.

Our resident produce authority, Robert Schueller, (also known as the Prince of Produce) is the long-time Director of Public Relations for Melissa’s (World Variety) Produce. This will be the 14th year he’s provided the list of “Top Ten Specialty Produce Items” as determined by real sales figures. Robert joins us to share the always anticipated list. It’s no surprise that the ultimate comfort food, Melissa’s Dutch Yellow Potatoes, ranks in 1st place. This is actually the 10th year for this distinction. Next Saturday Robert returns to present more of his “Produce Trends Forecast for 2021.”

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and growing) concern. New (controversial) restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for the balance of the year (and possibly longer) as we continue the all-important Holiday dining season. Chef Andrew updates us on the early progress for the grass-roots, “86 Struggle” campaign to benefit local out-of-work and struggling restaurant wooers. Our thoughts turn to festive Holiday entertaining at home. Chef Andrew to the rescue as he continues his series of genuinely useful Holiday cooking tips. How do you prepare and cook the ultimate Standing Rob Roast? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Cookbook Author Deborah MadisonChef Deborah Madison’s new memoir, An Onion in My Pocket – My Life With Vegetables is from the celebrated author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and 13 other cookbooks. (Described as “The Queen of Greens” by The Washington Post.) It’s a warm, bracingly honest memoir that also gives us an insider’s look at the vegetarian movement.”

“Thanks to her beloved cookbooks and groundbreaking work as the opening chef at Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, Deborah Madison, though not a vegetarian herself, has long been revered as this country’s leading authority on vegetables.”

“She profoundly changed the way generations of Americans think about cooking with vegetables, helping to transform “vegetarian” from a dirty word into a mainstream way of eating. But before she became a household name, Madison spent almost twenty years as an ordained Buddhist priest, coming of age in the midst of counterculture San Francisco. In this charmingly intimate and refreshingly frank memoir, she tells her story—and with it the story of the vegetarian movement—for the very first time.”

Madison’s “insightful memoir” (The Wall Street Journal) is “a true delight to read as she uncovers her love for all real foods, peeling off layer by layer like an onion, recounting her own personal, culinary, and gardening experiences” (Lidia Bastianich).

“From her childhood in Big Ag Northern California to working in the kitchen of the then-new Chez Panisse, and from the birth of food TV to the age of green markets everywhere, An Onion in My Pocket is as much the story of the evolution of American foodways as it is the memoir of the woman at the forefront. It is a deeply personal look at the rise of vegetable-forward cooking, and a manifesto for how to eat well.”

“Deborah Madison is the award-winning author of fourteen cookbooks, including The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and Vegetable Literacy. Her books have received four James Beard Foundation awards and five awards from the IACP; in 2016 she was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Cookbook Hall of Fame. She lives just outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico.”

We’re walking the local Farmers Market with Chef Deborah Madison.

Lincoln Carson of Bon TempsWhen we last spoke with Chef Lincoln Carson he had just launched (as Chef & Partner) the ambitious Bon Temps Los Angeles restaurant located next to the Firehouse Hotel in the Arts District adjacent to Downtown Los Angeles. Unfortunately the critically acclaimed Bon Temps was an early victim of COVID 19’s devastating impact on the dining scene in Los Angeles.

Fortunately it’s been a busy year for Chef Lincoln nonetheless. In November Lincoln launched the Merite Bake Shop in Boise, Idaho. It’s a virtual kitchen bakery located at Crave Collective under the umbrella of Crave Delivery. It’s delivery and takeout with premium breakfast pastries and decadent desserts.

Chef Lincoln, a resident of the Santa Ynez Valley, is back in California to launch the Coast Range Restaurant in Solvang. It’s a premier California costal seafood and steakhouse with a spacious patio and the Vaquero Bar (with a separate menu.) Lincoln’s partners are Chef Anthony Carron (800 Degrees and Top Round) and Chef Steven Fretz (Top Round and Church Key.)

At Coast Range Restaurant Chef Lincoln will focus on the menu for the Lunch Café and daytime pastry program.

Chef Lincoln joins us with whisk securely in hand.

Al Mancini of the Las Vegas Review JournalOne of our most reliable sources of accurate restaurant news in fabulous Las Vegas is Al Mancini, who is a staff writer for The Las Vegas Review-Journal covering food, restaurants and other aspects of entertainment. Al has been working the Vegas food scene for 19 years. He was one of the creators of the popular, and widely referenced, Eating Las Vegas restaurant guidebook series.

Al joins us with Part 2 of his quarterly update on the Las Vegas dining scene. He’ll share an insider’s overview of what’s new including the food and libations at the Circa Resort in Downtown Las Vegas and local food personality Jolene Mannina’s Vegas Test Kitchen on Fremont Street. Al will also remember visionary entrepreneur Tony Hsieh who is credited with reviving the (now vibrant) dining scene in Downtown Las Vegas.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioOur distinguished, resident produce authority, Robert Schueller, (also known as the Prince of Produce) is the long-time Director of Public Relations for Melissa’s (World Variety) Produce. This will be the 14th year he’s provided the list of “Top Ten Specialty Produce Items” as determined by real sales figures. Robert joins us to share the always anticipated list.

It’s no surprise that the ultimate comfort food, Melissa’s Dutch Yellow Potatoes, ranks in 1st place. This is actually the 10th year for this distinction.

Next Saturday Robert returns to present more of his “Produce Trends Forecast for 2021.”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and growing) concern. New (controversial) restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for the balance of the year (and possibly longer) as we’re in the all-important Holiday dining season.

Chef Andrew updates us on the early progress for the grass-roots, “86 Struggle” campaign to benefit local out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. It’s gaining attention nationally.

Our thoughts turn to festive Holiday entertaining at home. Chef Andrew to the rescue as he continues his series of genuinely useful Holiday cooking tips. How do you prepare and cook the ultimate Standing Rib Roast? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Author Deborah Madison with her Memoir, An Onion In My Pocket Part One
Segment Three: Chef & Author Deborah Madison with her Memoir, An Onion In My Pocket Part Two
Segment Four: Chef Lincoln Carson of Merite Bake Shop and Coast Range Restaurant, Solvang Part One
Segment Five: Chef Lincoln Carson of Merite Bake Shop and Coast Range Restaurant, Solvang Part Two
Segment Six: Al Mancini, Food Staff Writer, Las Vegas Review-Journal
Segment Seven: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s “Prince of Produce,” with the Produce Trends Forecast for 2021
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

December 19: Glasspar, Jessica Dupuy, Callaghan Vineyards, Philly Jay’s Steaks, Al Mancini, Seoul Sausage, Zac Young

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef & Proprietor Rob Wilson, Glasspar, Dana Point
Segment Three: Jessica Dupuy, Certified Sommelier & Kent Callaghan, Founder and Proprietor of Callaghan Vineyards in Arizona
Segment Four: Chef Jason McClain, Philly Jay’s Steaks (mobile kitchen)
Segment Five: Al Mancini, Food Staff Writer, Las Vegas Review-Journal
Segment Six: Yong and Ted Kim, Founders, Seoul Sausage Co.
Segment Seven: Pastry Chef Zac Young of PieCaken by Chef Zac Young
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Tis the Holiday season. …We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

Glasspar in Dana Point celebrated its first year in business last week. Having navigated a year unlike any other, Chef-Owner Rob Wilson now enters into his second year with renewed optimism as he introduces a reimagined Wednesday and Saturday afternoon seafood market while the ban on dine-in is in effect. Pre-batched cocktails are also on the Glasspar Seafood Market menu.

The wines of Arizona and Arizona Wine Country are worth exploring. There are 3 primary growing areas in the state with diverse characteristics. Our guide is Jessica Dupuy, Writer, Certified Sommelier and Specialist of Wine & Spirits. Her latest book, The Wines of Southwest USA, is part of the Classic Wine Library. It covers the emerging wine regions in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado. Joining her is Arizona winemaking pioneer, Kent Callaghan, Founder & Proprietor of Callaghan Vineyards.

Philly Jay’s Steaks (mobile kitchen) is treating greater Los Angeles to their eponymous City of Brotherly Love classic with the help of the illustrious Chef Jason McClain, previously the long-time executive chef of Jonathan Club. Chef Jason’s culinary credits include a litany of seriously impressive, highly rated restaurants across the country. Now, he’s directing his myriad of skills towards perfecting the Philly, elevating the down-home fare to the status of gourmet. The menu sports classic Phillies, of course, (and more) and you really can’t go wrong with that perennially popular mashup of cheese, fried onion, and paper-thin slices of steak. gracing the menu. Philly Jay’s Steak caters, too.” We’re talking authentic Philly Cheese Steaks with Chef Jason McClain.

One of our most reliable sources of accurate restaurant news in fabulous Las Vegas is Al Mancini, who is a staff writer for The Las Vegas Review- Journal covering food, restaurants and other aspects of entertainment. Al has been working the Vegas food scene for 19 years. He was one of the creators of the popular, and widely referenced, Eating Las Vegas restaurant guidebook series. Al joins us with his quarterly update on the Las Vegas dining scene. He’ll give us an insider’s overview on how Las Vegas restaurants are coping with all the severe COVID 19 restrictions. Al will also remember visionary entrepreneur Tony Hsieh who is credited with reviving the (now vibrant) dining scene in Downtown Las Vegas.

“Back in 2010, brothers Yong and Ted Kim started crafting Korean-inspired sausages in their kitchen and Seoul Sausage Co. was born. Their two signature sausages — the Kalbi and the Sweet & Spicy — quickly began to pick up buzz at the farmers markets, wineries, and parties where they popped up, so the Kims decided to quit their advertising jobs, officially launch Seoul Sausage Company, and audition for Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race,” Season 3 on a lark. And lo and behold, against incredible odds, they won! Since then, Seoul Sausage Co. has really gone full-throttle in their embrace of Korean-American flavors.” COVID 19 required reinventing their business model. A very active and growing catering business was put on hold and their menu is now available nationwide for convenient delivery via Goldbelly, the curated online marketplace for premium regional and artisanal foods crafted by local purveyors throughout the Country. Yong and Ted Kim take a break from grilling the Kalbi sausages to join us.

“Top Ten Pastry Chef in America” Zac Young (Bravo’s “Top Chef: Desserts,” inaugural season) wants it all… especially when it comes to sweets. In 2015, he created the instantly viral PieCaken, an epic 4-in-1 dessert composed of a Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Spice Cake, and Apple Pie all layered together with cinnamon buttercream. Instagram pastry fans of morning show hosts like Kelly Ripa went wild. The dessert wonder was such a hit that the City of New York had a pumpkin puree shortage due to production. Four years later, he struck gold… again! The limited-edition Christmas PieCaken by Chef Zac Young was created. A holiday spectacular brought 4 holiday bestsellers (Pecan Pie, Eggnog Cheesecake, Red Velvet Cake, and Cherry Pie) together, making all our sweet dreams come true. It’s a 6-pound flavor bomb that makes for a show-stopper on literally any holiday table. It can be easily shipped nationwide via Goldbelly. Chef Zac Young joins us with whisk in hand.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and growing) concern. New (controversial) restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for the balance of the year (and possibly longer) as we begin the all-important Holiday dining season. Chef Andrew reports on the initial push for the grass-roots, “86 Struggle” campaign to benefit local out-of-work and struggling restaurant wooers. Our thoughts turn to festive Holiday entertaining at home. Chef Andrew to the rescue as he continues his series of genuinely useful Holiday cooking tips. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Rob Wiilson of GlassparGlasspar in Dana Point celebrated its first year in business last week. Having navigated a year unlike any other, Chef-Owner Rob Wilson now enters into his second year with renewed optimism as he has launched a reimagined Wednesday and Saturday afternoon seafood market from Noon to 4:00 p.m. while the ban on dine-in remains in effect.

Pre-batched Holiday cocktails are also on the Glasspar Seafood Market menu. Bottles of wine from Glasspar’s cellar are available with a 30 per cent discount from the list pricing.

Guests have the opportunity to buy the freshest seafood at better-than-supermarket prices. Available seafood includes Alaskan King Crab Legs, Local Swordfish, Ahi Tuna, Oysters, Salmon, Scallops and more.

As an added treat Glasspar’s pastry chef, Jasmine Bishop, bakes special sweet treats for each seafood market day.

Glasspar (in normal times) is a classic American seafood hall – redefined. Executive Chef and Owner Rob Wilson presents a menu that is thoughtfully sourced, respectfully prepared, and creatively presented. Glasspar is the best of both coasts, delivering a true East Coast-style seafood dining hall brought to the West coast and given an elevated fresh California artisanal feel.

Sommelier Jessica DupuyThe wines of Arizona and Arizona Wine Country are worth exploring. There are 3 primary growing areas in the state with diverse characteristics.

Our able guide is Jessica Dupuy, Writer, Certified Sommelier and Specialist of Wine & Spirits. Her latest book, The Wines of Southwest USA, is part of the Classic Wine Library. It covers the emerging wine regions in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado. Joining her is Arizona winemaking pioneer, Kent Callaghan, Founder & Proprietor of Callaghan Vineyards.

“Based in Austin, Texas, Jessica Dupuy is a wine, spirits, food, and travel writer, as well as a speaker and consultant. She is also a regular contributor for Texas Monthly magazine and Forbes.com. She’s a Certified Sommelier, a Certified Specialist of Wine and Spirits, and a Level 4 Diploma candidate for the Wine and Spirits Educational Trust.”

Kent Callaghan of Callaghan Vineyards“Founder and Owner Kent Callaghan (Callaghan Vineyards) and his parents (Harold and Karen) planted their Buena Suerte Vineyard in May/June of 1990. Their planting happened to coincide with a vicious heat wave, one consequence of which was that Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix was shut down for a few days. Nobody had tested passenger jets at temperatures over 120F. But it was only 105F in Elgin…Needless to say; they lost a few (thousand) vines. This experience set the stage for what would become the Callaghan M.O. – replanting – always with an eye toward grape varieties and rootstocks better suited to their arid, windy, sun-bleached region.”

“Over many years, they have tossed out their original Bordeaux mindset and moved to one rooted in the Mediterranean. Spanish varieties, in particular, seem best suited to their site – Graciano, Mourvèdre, Grenache. They have found that one Bordeaux variety, Petit Verdot, provides a distinctive spicy/peppery/meaty blending component. As for white wine, they have only one estate at the moment – Lisa’s – a blend of Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Malvasia Bianca, Clairette and Petit Manseng. The object is to produce an uncommonly nuanced white wine with great freshness and flavor “chew”. With all of their wines, the primary concerns are depth of flavor and complexity. Textural considerations are secondary and best addressed by appropriate cellaring and/or food pairing. Most of their time is spent working in the vineyard.”

Jason McClain of the Jonathan Club and Philly Jay's SteaksPhilly Jay’s Steaks (mobile kitchen) is treating Los Angeles to their eponymous City of Brotherly Love classic with the help of the illustrious Chef Jason McClain, previously the long-time executive chef of Jonathan Club. Chef Jason has worked in a litany of seriously impressive, highly rated restaurants across the country. Now, he’s directing his myriad of skills towards perfecting the Philly, elevating the down-home fare to the status of gourmet.”

“The menu sports classic Phillies, of course, and you really can’t go wrong with that perennially popular mashup of cheese, fried onion, and paper-thin slices of steak. However, that’s far from the only enticing concoction gracing the menu. You’ll also find a philly suited up with everything from fried peppers to provolone cheese to garnishes like oregano.” Philly Jay’s Steak caters, too.

We’re talking authentic Philly Cheese Steaks with Chef Jason McClain.

Al Mancini of the Las Vegas Review JournalOne of our most reliable sources of accurate restaurant news in fabulous Las Vegas is Al Mancini, who is a staff writer for The Las Vegas Review- Journal covering food, restaurants and other aspects of entertainment. Al has been working the Vegas food scene for 19 years. He was one of the creators of the popular, and widely referenced, Eating Las Vegas restaurant guidebook series.

Al joins us with his quarterly update on the Las Vegas dining scene. He’ll give us an insider’s overview on how Las Vegas restaurants are coping with all the COVID 19 restrictions. Additionally Al remembers visionary entrepreneur Tony Hsieh who is credited with reviving the (now vibrant) dining scene in Downtown Las Vegas.

Yong and Ted Kim of Seoul Sausage Company“Back in 2010, brothers Yong and Ted Kim started crafting Korean-inspired sausages in their kitchen and Seoul Sausage Co. was born. Their two signature sausages — the Kalbi and the Sweet & Spicy — quickly began to pick up buzz at the farmers markets, wineries, and parties where they popped up, so the Kims decided to quit their advertising jobs, officially launch Seoul Sausage Company, and audition for Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race,” Season 3 on a lark. And lo and behold, against incredible odds, they won!”

“Since then, Seoul Sausage Co. has really gone full-throttle in their embrace of Korean-American flavors.” COVID 19 required reinventing their business model. A very active and growing catering business was put on hold and their menu is now available nationwide for convenient delivery via Goldbelly, the curated online marketplace for premium regional and artisanal foods crafted by local purveyors throughout the Country.

“From their signature sausages to kimchi fried rice balls and buckets of twice-fried boneless sweet & spicy Korean fried chicken, these goodies (available now exclusively via Goldbelly) are bursting with big, bold flavors that have taken the City of Angels (and soon nationwide) by storm.”

Pastry Chef Zac Young“New York City. November 2015. Pastry Chef Zac Young (Final Four of Bravo’s “Top Chef: Desserts,” inaugural season) is brainstorming Thanksgiving specials for his restaurant in midtown. The Executive Chef of the restaurant was super stoked about the Turducken special he was serving like it’s all he could talk about. Zac knew he had the last course, and the last word, he set out to make the Turducken of dessert. PieCaken. If for no other reason, to compete with and possibly make fun of the kitchen’s savory side.”

“Zac posted an in-progress shot on his Instagram, and the comments ranged from a lot of “OMG” to “my daughter just tried to lick this picture.” To “can I buy one?”. “Buy one? Buy a whole one?,” Zac thought “that’s silly, it’s just going to be served by the slice, as a Thanksgiving special.” Then his phone started ringing with friends calling in favors to get one, including Kelly Ripa breaking the news on her show the next morning. “Fine. Let’s sell it.””

The new Christmas PieCaken and the original OG PieCaken are available for nationwide shipping via Goldbelly.

“The spectacular Christmas PieCaken features four of the best-selling holiday products all in one – pecan pie, eggnog cheesecake and red velvet cake. It’s topped with sweet and tart cherry pie filling, all layered together with amaretto buttercream.”

Chef Zac joins us with whisk in hand.

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and growing) concern. New (controversial) restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for the balance of the year (and possibly longer) as we begin the all-important Holiday dining season.

Chef Andrew reports on the initial push for the grass-roots, “86 Struggle” campaign to benefit local out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. It all starts with the Community Burger.

Our thoughts turn to festive Holiday entertaining at home. Chef Andrew to the rescue as he continues his series of genuinely useful Holiday cooking tips. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef & Proprietor Rob Wilson, Glasspar, Dana Point
Segment Three: Jessica Dupuy, Certified Sommelier & Kent Callaghan, Founder and Proprietor of Callaghan Vineyards in Arizona
Segment Four: Chef Jason McClain, Philly Jay’s Steaks (mobile kitchen)
Segment Five: Al Mancini, Food Staff Writer, Las Vegas Review-Journal
Segment Six: Yong and Ted Kim, Founders, Seoul Sausage Co.
Segment Seven: Pastry Chef Zac Young of PieCaken by Chef Zac Young
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

December 12: Anne Marie Panoringan, The Raymond 1886, Laura Theodore, Lido Bottle Works

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part One
Segment Three: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part Two
Segment Four: The Raymond 1886 with Chef Jonathan Quintana and General Manager Andrew Bugreyev Part One
Segment Five: The Raymond 1886 with Chef Jonathan Quintana and General Manager Andrew Bugreyev Part Two
Segment Six: Laura Theodore – “The Jazzy Vegetarian” with Vegan-Ease
Segment Seven: Lido Bottle Works in Newport Beach with Managing Partner Brett Karas
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Tis the season. …We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

Anne Marie Panoringan is Voice of OC’s well-informed food columnist. She reports industry news, current events and trends. Panoringan’s prior efforts includes writing about food for 8 years at the OC Weekly in which she interviewed more than 330 chefs, restauranteurs and industry professionals for her popular weekly “On the Line” column. Anne Marie’s work has been recognized by the Orange County Press Club. Anne Marie joins us to talk about the severe impact of the recent dining restrictions placed on Orange County restaurants by the State which is a teaser of her next Voice of OC column out on December 14th. She will also preview some eagerly anticipated restaurant openings for the new year.

The Raymond 1886 (restaurant) is a living example of Pasadena’s colorful past and carries on the city’s great traditions of craftsman architecture and unparalleled hospitality.” Under State of California guidelines The Raymond 1886 is currently open for takeout & delivery.

“The Raymond 1886 offers an innovative and contemporary menu in a historic setting, featuring the finest quality ingredients and a dedication to superior service. The dining menu showcases their curated classic American cuisine featuring global influences. Utilizing a mix of contemporary and classic cooking techniques, Executive Chef Jonathan Quintana combines familiar ingredients with an exotic flair.” General Manager Andrew Bugreyev and Executive Chef Jonathan Quintana join us.

“Choosing a plant-based diet is made deliciously easy with the new softcover edition of Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet, a new approach to cooking vegan. Written by Laura Theodore, the TASTE award-winning host of public television’s Jazzy Vegetarian, this comprehensive guide is suitable for novice cooks and long-time vegans alike, offering more than 130 step-by-step, wholesome, “eco-nomical,” and satisfying recipes that are quick and easy, each complete with nutritional analysis. Enhanced by over 200 gorgeous, full-color photographs, each recipe is ranked with an Ease-Factor to make it easy to choose recipes that fit into any busy schedule, using ingredients already on hand. This cookbook and guide includes all you need to know to embrace a cost-saving, healthier lifestyle for you and your family.” We’re joined by “The Jazzy Vegetarian” herself, Laura Theodore.

At Lido Bottle Works in Newport Beach’s bayside Lido Marina Village they believe people, food, and drink should be ‘Genuinely Good Together.’ Their unique dishes are prepared for guests under the direction of Executive Chef Amy Lebrun using local and sustainable ingredients perfectly paired with specialty craft beer, wine, and cocktails. Lido Bottle Works specializes in sourcing from a variety of local farms to create the constantly updated menu and the kitchen is truly hyper-seasonal. An element on the plate a couple weeks ago may be swapped out for a new one that is only experiencing it’s peak of season for a week or two now. That attention to detail and seasonality is very important to Chef Amy. Brett Karas is the Managing Partner for the restaurant and he joins us to expertly pull the cork on Lido Bottle Works for us.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and growing) concern. New (controversial) restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for the balance of the year (and possibly longer) as we begin the all-important Holiday dining season. Our thoughts now turn to festive Holiday entertaining at home. Chef Andrew to the rescue as he continues his series of genuinely useful Holiday cooking tips. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Anne Marie Panoringan of Voice of OC at KLAA Studios holding a bottle of Hand Sanitizer from Blinking Owl DistilleryAnne Marie Panoringan is Voice of OC’s well-informed food columnist. She reports industry news, current events and trends. Panoringan’s prior efforts includes writing about food for 8 years at the OC Weekly in which she interviewed more than 330 chefs, restauranteurs and industry professionals for her weekly “On the Line” column. Anne Marie’s work has been recognized by the Orange County Press Club.

Anne Marie joins us to talk about the severe impact of the recent dining restrictions placed on Orange County restaurants by the State which is a teaser of her next Voice of OC column out on December 14th. She will also preview some eagerly anticipated restaurant openings for the new year.

Anne Marie continues with us to talk about the severe impact of the recent dining restrictions placed on Orange County restaurants by the State which is a teaser of her next Voice of OC column out on December 14th. She will also preview some eagerly anticipated restaurant openings for the new year. We’ll find out about the pending arrivals of FKN Bread in San Juan Capistrano and Mah Jong’s by Chef Mike (Doctulero) at South Coast Plaza.

Anne Marie’s columns can be found on the Voice of OC’s Website. Click on the “Arts & Culture” tab on the top of the Home Page.

Andrew Bugreyev and Executive Chef Jonathan Quintana of the Raymond 1886The Raymond 1886 (restaurant) is a living example of Pasadena’s colorful past and carries on the city’s great traditions of craftsman architecture and unparalleled hospitality.” Under State of California guidelines The Raymond 1886 is currently open for takeout & delivery.

“The Raymond 1886 offers an innovative and contemporary menu in a historic setting, featuring the finest quality ingredients and a dedication to superior service.”

“The dining menu showcases their curated classic American cuisine featuring global influences. Utilizing a mix of contemporary and classic cooking techniques, Executive Chef Jonathan Quintana combines familiar ingredients with an exotic flair.”

“Hidden and tucked away inside, guests can celebrate, sip and savor at The Raymond’s internationally acclaimed cocktail bar, 1886. Accompanied by 1886’s signature handcrafted cocktails, their award-winning Wine List features a special selection of domestic and international varietals from both premier and boutique wineries.”

“In 1886, Walter Raymond, a Boston native, came to Pasadena and built The Raymond Hotel – a fabulous sunny destination for Easterners looking to escape harsh winter weather. On Easter Sunday in 1895, sparks from a chimney ignited the roof and the entire hotel burned to the ground in only 40 minutes.”

“Undaunted, Mr. Raymond built an even grander hotel with 300 rooms, along with a charming caretaker’s cottage. In the early years, Walter and his wife often stayed in the cottage when it wasn’t occupied by special guests. Gracious hosts, the Raymond’s entertained celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin, Tom Mix, and Buster Keaton, who visited and filmed in Pasadena in the roaring 1920s.”

“Sadly, in 1931, the Raymond Hotel was toppled by the Great Depression and the party was over. The hotel was razed to make room for residential development, and Walter and his wife moved into the cottage, where they lived until 1934.”

The caretaker’s cottage is now The Raymond 1886, and the timeless charm and spirit of this lovely Craftsman can be enjoyed by all.”

General Manager Andrew Bugreyev and Executive Chef Jonathan Quintana join us.

Cookbook Author Laura Theodore“Choosing a plant-based diet is made deliciously easy with the new softcover edition of Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet, a new approach to cooking vegan. Written by Laura Theodore, the TASTE award-winning host of public television’s Jazzy Vegetarian, this comprehensive guide is suitable for novice cooks and long-time vegans alike, offering more than 130 step-by-step, wholesome, “eco-nomical,” and satisfying recipes that are quick and easy, each complete with nutritional analysis. Enhanced by over 200 gorgeous, full-color photographs, each recipe is ranked with an Ease-Factor to make it easy to choose recipes that fit into any busy schedule, using ingredients already on hand. This cookbook and guide includes all you need to know to embrace a cost-saving, healthier lifestyle for you and your family.”

Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease is for those cooks who think that plant-based recipes take too much time to prepare, are too expensive, or require exotic, hard-to-find ingredients. Based on her experiences leaving the food mecca that is New York City for the wilds of rural New Jersey, vegan chef and television host Laura Theodore created the concept of “vegan-ease” to show how anyone in this country can easily – and economically – create delicious plant-based meals that will be embraced by any foodie, whether omnivore, vegetarian, or vegan.”

“Featuring recipes like the “Hungry Guy” Burger with Baked Steak Fries, Not-So-Crabby Cakes, Mac ’n Peas with Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce, Peanut-Butter Chocolate Mousse, Maple-Raisin-Date Truffles, and Lemon “Buttermilk” Cake, Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease offers every home cook an easy, fresh approach to compassionate, mindful – and healthy! – eating.”

For the Holidays, Laura graciously shares with us her recipe for Butternut Squash Stuffed with Apples and Cranberries from the “Stress-Free Holiday Recipes” Chapter.

We’re joined by “The Jazzy Vegetarian” herself, Laura Theodore.

Breet Karas of Lido Bottle WorksAt Lido Bottle Works in Newport Beach’s bayside Lido Marina Village they believe people, food, and drink should be ‘Genuinely Good Together.’ Their unique dishes are prepared for guests under the direction of Executive Chef Amy Lebrun using local and sustainable ingredients expertly paired with specialty craft beer, wine, and cocktails.

Lido Bottle Works specializes in sourcing from a variety of local farms to create the constantly updated menu and the kitchen is truly hyper-seasonal. An element on the plate a couple weeks ago may be swapped out for a new one that is only experiencing it’s peak of season for a week or two now. That attention to detail and seasonality is very important to Chef Amy.

Brett Karas is the Managing Partner for Lido Bottle Works, an upscale American sustainable scratch kitchen with a focus on local craft beer and California wines. As a Southern California native, he prides himself on an active outdoor lifestyle, and a love of craft beer and vibrant ingredients. Being in the restaurant and bar industry for over 19 years has given him a great perspective on operating restaurants and dining in today’s ever-changing and competitive industry. Always up for a challenge, he has helped to create a unique dining experience at Lido Bottle Works since it’s opening in mid-2017.

Brett joins us to artfully pull the cork on Lido Bottle Works.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and growing) concern. New (controversial) restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for the balance of the year (and possibly longer) as we begin the all-important Holiday dining season.

Our thoughts now turn to festive (and stress free) Holiday entertaining at home. Chef Andrew to the rescue as he continues his series of genuinely useful Holiday cooking tips. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part One
Segment Three: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part Two
Segment Four: The Raymond 1886 with Chef Jonathan Quintana and General Manager Andrew Bugreyev Part One
Segment Five: The Raymond 1886 with Chef Jonathan Quintana and General Manager Andrew Bugreyev Part Two
Segment Six: Laura Theodore – “The Jazzy Vegetarian” with Vegan-Ease
Segment Seven: Lido Bottle Works in Newport Beach with Managing Partner Brett Karas
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Butternut Squash Stuffed with Apples and Cranberries

Butternut Squash Stuffed with Apples and Cranberries by Laura TheodoreRecipe excerpt from: Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease
by Laura Theodore
Jazzy Vegetarian

Makes 4 servings

In the northeast, late fall at the farm market brings many enticing kinds of squash. Butternut is one of my favorite varieties of winter squash to cook with because of its nutty sweetness. Stuffed with a savory and sweet blend of rice, spinach, apples, walnuts and cranberries, this cold weather seasonal dish makes a festive, nutritious and appealing entrée for any special meal.

  • 1 very large butternut squash, peeled
  • 2 cups cooked short-grain brown rice
  • 1½ cups lightly packed baby spinach
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning blend or Italian seasoning blend
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large casserole dish with unbleached parchment paper.

Cut 2- to 3-inches off the top of the squash. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and then cut each piece in half lengthwise to make 4 sections of squash, equal in size. Scrape out the seeds from each section.

Put the rice, spinach, apple, cranberries, walnuts, all-purpose seasoning, sea salt and ground cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl and stir to combine. Divide the stuffing mixture evenly, mounding it into the hollowed center in each of the four squash pieces, mounding it as you go (see note).

Put the squash quarters, stuffing side up, in the prepared casserole dish. Tent with foil and bake for 1 to 11⁄2 hours, or until the squash is very soft. For a crisp topping, remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of baking. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes and serve.

Chef’s Note: If you end up with extra stuffing, put it in a small, covered casserole and bake alongside the squash like a holiday stuffing. Makes a great side dish.

Amount per serving, based on 4 servings:  332 Calories; 6g Fat; 1g Saturated fat; 9g Protein; 35mg Sodium; 70g Total Carbohydrate; 17g Sugars; 11g Fiber

Photo Credit: David Kaplan

Recipe from Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet
©Laura Theodore 2015, 2020. Reprinted by permission.