April 10: Taste Hungary, Smoke & Fire Social Eatery, California Restaurant Association Foundation, dataTV Web Design for Restaurants

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

“Taste Hungary: Food & Wine Experiences in the New Old World founded by the husband and wife team of Gabor and Carolyn Banfalvi, is a multi-tiered company dedicated to showcasing Hungarian cuisine and wine. Their experiences educate travelers about the region through its cuisine and wine, history, culture, and context in the larger world. The Banfalvis draw on their experience, research, and deep personal connections to craft their tours, and choose the Taste Hungary wines. Taste Hungary is also committed to making Hungarian wine accessible to their followers by offering services such as shipping in the EU, retail, importing to the US, and wine clubs.” Gabor Banfalvi provides us with an overview of the wines and foods of Hungary.

“Isaias Hernandez and Isaias Hernandez (the co-founders of Smoke & Fire Social Eatery with locations in La Habra and Paramount) began their journey as hospitality associates for top dining institutions. Ranging from local eateries to billion-dollar restaurant groups, the partners specialize in all thing’s food and beverage. With almost two decades of experience in operations and senior leadership, Isaias and Josh had the privilege of opening restaurant concepts across the United States before venturing off on their own with Smoke & Fire.”
“Smoke and Fire is a prime example that when a business operates correctly, you don’t create a company, you start a family. We are a family turned restaurant group that provides the ultimate food experience in a quick-service format. The goal is to produce full-service standards in a quick service capacity.”

“It’s estimated that one million restaurant jobs have been lost in California alone as a result of COVID-19. To provide support for independent restaurant owners across the state, the California Restaurant Association Foundation (CRF) has partnered with California’s energy companies to launch the Restaurants Care Resilience Fund. The $1.25 million fund, which includes generous donations from SoCalGas, PG&E and SDG&E, will provide grants up to $3,500 to single-unit restaurants in select counties across the state, with priority given to woman – and person of color-owned restaurants.” Applications for the Resilience Fund will be open from April 11-18 only. The California Restaurant Association Foundation’s Executive Director, Alycia Harshfield, is our guest to explain the Resilience Fund’s purpose and program details.

Adam Bell, the founder of dataTV established in 1996, is the “SoCal Restaurant Show’s” accomplished, long -time web designer, webmaster and all-around social media guru. He relocated to Los Angeles from New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. As restaurants are slowly regrouping and reestablishing their enterprises Adam has some sound (and non-technical) advice to share regarding the importance of having a useful and easy to navigate website with speedy page loading. Social media is vitally important and genuinely useful but it doesn’t replace the need for an inviting website.

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 during the early stages of recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. Shifting the conversation to food we’ll ask Chef Andrew about what’s happening with the crazy pricing of fresh lobster. It’s priced at a premium and in short supply once again.

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

“For Gabor and Carolyn Banfalvi travel has been a part of their lives together from the time they met working on a cruise ship in the Caribbean more than two decades ago. They share a special passion (and an appetite) for the food and wine of Central Europe, as well as the people, places, and stories that make this region so fascinating. The Banfalvi’s founded Taste Hungary—their Budapest-based food and wine tour company—in 2008, and ever since have loved doing this deep dive into the foodways and wine culture of Hungary.”

“After spending years researching and writing Carolyn’s culinary guidebook to Hungary—Food, Wine, Budapest (Little Bookroom, 2008)—the Banfalvi’s started Taste Hungary with the intention of sharing their passion for Hungarian food and wine with like-minded travelers who want to experience the region’s authentic flavors and experiences. At their independent wine shop and tasting cellar in Budapest’s Palace District, The Tasting Table Budapest, their team of sommeliers (in post Covid 19 times) leads daily wine tastings, introducing wine lovers’ to the (often unknown) treasures of Hungary.”

“We believe Hungary and Central Europe are undiscovered culinary gems—a culinary paradise which is slowly being (re)discovered. Hungarian food and winemaking have deep traditions, and a complex (and complicated) history. Decades of Communism caused many of these unique food traditions and industries to suffer terribly. But these days Budapest is a hot restaurant city (it even has four Michelin-starred establishments); local food artisans and growers around the country are reviving old traditions; and Hungarian wines are increasingly available around the world.”

“Our ultimate goal is to show guests that there is plenty of good food and wine here. We want to break down the language and cultural barriers that could make people feel uncomfortable. We want our guests to go home feeling like they discovered things they didn’t even know existed, and that it was well worth their while to dig deeply into new flavors, a new country, and meeting new people.”

Gabor Banfalvi joins us from Budapest to pull the cork on the joys of Hungarian wine and cuisine for us.

Josh Bentrem of Smoke and Fire Social Eatery

Isaias Hernandez and Josh Bentrem (the co-founders of Smoke & Fire Social Eatery with locations in La Habra and Paramount) began their journey as hospitality associates for top dining institutions. Ranging from local eateries to billion-dollar restaurant groups, the partners specialize in all thing’s food and beverage. With almost two decades of experience in operations and senior leadership, Isaias and Josh had the privilege of opening restaurant concepts across the United States before venturing off on their own with Smoke & Fire.”

“Smoke and Fire is a prime example that when a business operates correctly, you don’t create a company, you start a family. We are a family turned restaurant group that provides the ultimate food experience in a quick-service format. The goal is to produce full-service standards in a quick service capacity.”

Menu specialties include a Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich (with the guest’s choice of heat,) a Smash Burger (double patty with cheese,) Brisket Grilled Cheese, Brisket Tacos and a Brisket Quesadilla. The appealing selection of Loaded Fries are generous portions of battered waffle fries with proteins (Nashville Hot Chicken, Smash Burger, and Texas Style Brisket) added in.

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members. Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much. At Smoke and Fire Social Eatery, we understand that it takes a village to raise a child so we honor all of those hardworking mentors, teachers and community servants with discounted meals and sponsorships.”

Proprietors Isaias Hernandez and Josh Bentrem join us with spatula in hand.

Alycia Harshfield of the California Restaaurant Association

“It’s estimated that one million restaurant jobs have been lost in California alone as a result of COVID-19. To provide support for independent restaurant owners across the state, the California Restaurant Association Foundation (CRF) has partnered with California’s energy companies to launch the Restaurants Care Resilience Fund. The $1.25 million fund, which includes generous donations from SoCalGas, PG&E and SDG&E, will provide grants up to $3,500 to single-unit restaurants in select counties across the state, with priority given to woman- and BIPOC-owned restaurants. Applications for the Resilience Fund will be open from April 11-18 only.”

“Grants given by CRF’s Restaurants Care Resilience Fund are intended to be used on payroll and related expenses so the restaurant operator can free up funds for other expenses such as rent, technology upgrades and outdoor dining retrofitting. Additionally, restaurants that receive a Resilience Fund grant will also receive support services and resources to improve their business for the long-term. Over the past year, through the non-profit’s Restaurants Care® program, CRF has helped more than 1,200 restaurant workers, their families and businesses and believes that by investing in the lasting success of these restaurants, we can also preserve jobs and communities throughout California.”

“What’s really unique about our Resilience Fund is that it supports the business as well as individual restaurant workers,” said Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of the California Restaurant Association Foundation. “A portion of the funds raised will provide grants for cooks, servers, dishwashers and more who face unforeseen hardship and have nowhere else to turn and the rest will go to the restaurant. So yes, we’re helping restaurants keep their crew on payroll, while also offering a safety net for when things get tough. While we’re delighted to see restaurants opening up and COVID cases drop, the recovery will take years and we’re doing what we can to help.”

“Resilience Fund applications will be open from April 11-18, 2021 and can be found at www.restaurantscare.org/resilience. Grants will be available to single-unit, California-based restaurants in the following counties: Alameda, Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Joaquin with a staff of 50 or fewer employees. To qualify, the restaurant must currently be open and have experienced a revenue loss of at least 20% from 2019-2020.”

The California Restaurant Association Foundation’s Executive Director, Alycia Harshfield, is our guest to explain the Resilience Fund’s purpose and program details.

Adam Bell of dataTV

Adam Bell, the founder of dataTV established in 1996, is the “SoCal Restaurant Show’s” accomplished, long -time web designer, webmaster and all-around social media guru. He relocated to Los Angeles from New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

As restaurants are slowly regrouping and reestablishing their enterprises Adam has some sound (and easy to follow) advice to share regarding the importance of having a useful and easy to navigate website with speedy page loading. Social media is vitally important and useful but it doesn’t replace the need for a informative website.

There are now also new and affordable means for restaurant patrons to order online without engaging the mega delivery apps.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and Casino

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 concern as recovery slowly starts to happen.

Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to again operate for outside/patio dining and limited inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Shifting the conversation back to food we’ll ask Chef Andrew about the pricing of fresh lobster. It’s, again, a bit pricey and in short supply.

Chef Andrew also 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 $380,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in serious need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The substantial need, and fundraising, continues…

Remember the juicy and delicious Community Burger (more than a mouthful) is available at all Southern California locations of Slapfish. The worthy burger is free with any donation to “86 Restaurant Struggle.” 100 per cent of that money goes to benefit struggling restaurant workers.

April 3: Michael Mina, Brent Bolthouse, Duchman Family Winery, Bill Esparza’s Taqueando

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur and Nightlife Impresario Brent Bolthouse, The Bungalow Kitchen
Segment Three: Chef & Restaurateur Michael Mina, The Bungalow Kitchen
Segment Four: Winemaker Dave Reilly, Duchman Family Winery, Driftwood, Texas Part One
Segment Five: Winemaker Dave Reilly, Duchman Family Winery, Driftwood, Texas Part Two
Segment Six: “The Street Gourmet’s” Bill Esparza Part One
Segment Seven: “The Street Gourmet’s” Bill Esparza Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Happy Passover and a blessed Easter.

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

The Bungalow Kitchen is James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Mina’s and hospitality veteran Brent Bolthouse’s freshly debuted joint partnership in Southern and Northern California. The Bungalow Kitchen is a new social dining experience and community clubhouse with two locations, one in Long Beach, California at Belmont Shore (2nd & PCH) with its second location in Tiburon (5 Main Street), California. The Bungalow Kitchen brings a chic and bohemian atmosphere, and features creative California Cuisine heavily inspired by local, seasonal ingredients with a robust wine list and custom cocktails. Restaurateur Brent Bolthouse and Chef Michael Mina are our guests representing The Bungalow Kitchen.

“The Duchman Family Winery (duke-man) was founded in 2004 by Drs. Lisa and Stan Duchman in a quest to bring world-class winemaking to Central Texas and the Texas Hill Country. Their love of the unique Italian grape varieties as well as similar weather patterns to Texas inspired them to work with viticultural consultants and growers in the Texas High Plains AVA to produce grapes that would allow their winemakers, Dave Reilly (current head winemaker) and Mark Penna (founding winemaker), to experiment with making wines like Vermentino, Sangiovese, and Dolcetto.” Penna mentored Reilly who was passed the wine thief at Duchman in 2008. Winemaker Dave Reilly is our guest wine thief securely in hand.

The Street Gourmet, Bill Esparza, revived the grand taco fest in Los Angeles in June of 2019 with Bill Esparza’s Taqueando, an all-you-could-eat taco lifestyle event, celebrating the best traditional and contemporary taqueros at Skylight ROW DTLA. Bill was previously the curator of LA Weekly’s Tacolandia from 2013-2017. Awaiting the ability to safely bring back Taqueando as an outdoor food festival, Bill has created a series of pop-up food events at the location of the former Church & State in Downtown Los Angeles under the name of “Taqueando & Friends by Bill Esparza.” The residencies benefit struggling independent restaurateurs, chefs and their employees. Bill joins us with all the flavorful details.

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 during the early stages of recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. Shifting the conversation to food we’ll ask Chef Andrew about the changing diet (for the better) of the farmed fish we’re enjoying both at The Family Table and in restaurants.

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

The Bungalow Kitchen is James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Mina’s and hospitality veteran Brent Bolthouse’s freshly debuted joint partnership in Southern and Northern California. The Bungalow Kitchen is a new social dining experience and community clubhouse with two waterfront locations, one in Long Beach, California at Belmont Shore (2nd & PCH) with its second location in Tiburon (5 Main Street), California. The Bungalow Kitchen brings a chic and bohemian atmosphere, and features creative California Cuisine heavily inspired by local, seasonal ingredients with a robust wine list and custom cocktails.”

“The Belmont Shore location is designed by local Venice, CA based design firm Studio Collective. The 10,000 square foot venue has an eclectic, residential vibe rich in custom furnishings and layered with unique artwork. Designed with the intent to create an atmosphere of attending a fabulous dinner party, The Bungalow Kitchen Belmont Shore is unlike anything loyal fans of The Bungalow brand have seen previously.”

“This specific venue gives the nod to the rich architectural history and the punk-rock edge of the Long Beach community. It puts a unique and utterly contemporary spin on the traditional Craftsman bungalow, maintaining certain classic structural elements (wood plank ceilings, large fireplaces, a covered porch) while simultaneously taking a sledgehammer to others and exposing what remains (wood stud and plywood walls, concrete floors, select structural members) and adds the sort of hip, eclectic furnishings one might expect to find in a local musician’s home lend this location an ambiance that is at once comforting and industrial, with a rock-and-roll twist.”

Chef Michael Mina

“Menu highlights at The Bungalow Kitchen include pristine shellfish served either ice-cold or hot charcoal-grilled; garden “punch” bowl, featuring crunchy, ice-cold garden vegetables served with Gazpacho shooters and three dipping sauces: Green Goddess, romesco and lemon-poppyseed; a comforting Short Rib ‘Pop-Tart’ topped with crispy shallots and drizzled with sauce bordelaise; signature house-made pizzas such as the Carbonara Pizza white pie with Crispy Guanciale, Yukon Gold potatoes, Pecorino Romano and drizzled with a poached farm egg; and Chef Michael Mina’s signature decadent Lobster Pot Pie featuring a whole Maine lobster, truffle-lobster bisque and root vegetables.”

It’s Dinner nightly with Weekend Brunch and a Late Night Menu offered after 10:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

“MINA, led by James Beard Award-Winning Chef Michael Mina, is a San Francisco-based restaurant management company specializing in creating and operating innovative full-service and virtual concepts. Operating for nearly two decades, MINA currently manages over 40 virtual brands and brick and mortar outlets.”

Dave Reilly of Duchman Family Winery

“The Duchman Family Winery (duke-man) was founded in 2004 by Drs. Lisa and Stan Duchman in a quest to bring world-class winemaking to Central Texas and the Texas Hill Country. Their love of the unique Italian grape varieties as well as similar weather patterns to Texas inspired them to work with viticultural consultants and growers in the Texas High Plains AVA to produce grapes that would allow their winemakers, Dave Reilly (current head winemaker) and Mark Penna (founding winemaker), to experiment with making wines like Vermentino, Sangiovese, and Dolcetto.” Penna mentored Reilly who was passed the wine thief at Duchman in 2008.

Duchman (under the direction of Dave Reilly) is particularly known for Aglianico, Montepulciano, Trebbiano and Vermentino.

“The winery continues to source the majority of its fruit from the Texas High Plains AVA, where cooler temperatures and a more “continental” climate are ideal for the production of fine wine made from Italian grape varieties. As the winery grows, the Duchmans remain committed to their goal to produce food-friendly fine wine in Central Texas using Texas-grown fruit exclusively. With an eye on the future, Duchman Family Winery continues to develop innovative winemaking and grape growing techniques in order to provide wine that truly reflects a taste of Texas for years to come.”

“Duchman Family Winery remains one of the top wine destinations in Texas. The facility was recognized by HGTV as one of the 20 most picturesque wineries in the country. All of the winery’s current releases can be sampled and purchased at the winery’s Driftwood tasting room and the estate’s beautiful grounds are open to visitors. Visitors are invited to pick a spot at one of the oak shaded picnic tables, or grab a seat in the winery hallway with views of the production facilities and wine barrels.”

“The winery continues to source the majority of its fruit from the Texas High Plains AVA, where cooler temperatures and a more “continental” climate are ideal for the production of fine wine made from Italian grape varieties. As the winery grows, the Duchmans remain committed to their goal to produce food-friendly fine wine in Central Texas using Texas-grown fruit exclusively. With an eye on the future, Duchman Family Winery continues to develop innovative winemaking and grape growing techniques in order to provide wine that truly reflects a taste of Texas for years to come.”

“A native Texan, Dave Reilly’s career in wine started in 2000 when his overwhelming lack of sense lead him to plant a vineyard in the Texas Hill Country. With no formal education in viticulture, Reilly credits his success to hard work, a library of books and the guidance from Texas viticulture experts Jim Kamas and Penny Adams.”

“Completely consumed with the love of growing grapes and an intense desire to make wine, Dave was taken under the wing of veteran Texas winemaker Mark Penna in 2006. Dave worked as Cellar Rat, Lab Tech, Mechanic and Head Janitor to gain the necessary experience required to become a winemaker.”

“In 2008, Dave took the helm of the 20,000 case Duchman Family Winery. His wines have competed and won medals in some of the most prestigious (and not so prestigious) wine competitions in the United States. Reilly’s winemaking philosophy is succinct, “I strive to make wines that are true to their varietal character using the highest quality grapes grown only in Texas””.

Dave Reilly joins us to effortlessly pull the cork on Duchman Family Winery.

Street Gourmet Bill Esparza

The Street Gourmet, Bill Esparza, revived the grand taco fest in Los Angeles in June of 2019 with Bill Esparza’s Taqueando, an all-you-could-eat taco lifestyle event, celebrating the best traditional and contemporary taqueros at Skylight ROW DTLA. Bill was previously the curator of LA Weekly’s Tacolandia from 2013-2017. The inaugural Taqueando was a spirited gathering of the best taquerias in Los Angeles, Mexico, the state of California, and in the USA for a grand tasting of America’s favorite snack; the taco.

Awaiting the ability to safely bring back Taqueando as an outdoor food festival, Bill has created a series of pop-up food events at the location of the former Church & State in Downtown Los Angeles under the name of Taqueando & Friends by Bill Esparza.” The residencies benefit struggling independent restaurateurs, chefs and their employees. The current taco residency (thru April 25th) is Chef Priscilla Curiel of Tuetano Taqueria. Her food is available Wednesday through Sunday from 5 to 10:00 p.m.

Also on the current menu is LA taco king, Ricky Pina of Ricky’s Fish Tacos. (He’s serving Thursday through Saturday only.) No reservations are required and it’s takeout, delivery and patio dining.

Bill is also a valued contributor to Eater LA. Last week he published an update to his Best Oaxacan Food in L.A.” guide. We’ll ask him about the list.

Senor Esparza is our well-traveled guide.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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 concern as recovery slowly starts to happen.

Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to again operate for outside/patio dining and limited inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Shifting the conversation back to food we’ll ask Chef Andrew about the changing diet (for the better) of the farmed fish we’re enjoying both at The Family Table and in restaurants.

Chef Andrew also 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 $380,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in serious need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The substantial need, and fundraising, continues…

Remember the juicy and delicious Community Burger (more than a mouthful) is available at all Southern California locations of Slapfish. The worthy burger is free with any donation to “86 Restaurant Struggle.” 100 per cent of that money goes to benefit struggling restaurant workers.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur and Nightlife Impresario Brent Bolthouse, The Bungalow Kitchen
Segment Three: Chef & Restaurateur Michael Mina, The Bungalow Kitchen
Segment Four: Winemaker Dave Reilly, Duchman Family Winery, Driftwood, Texas Part One
Segment Five: Winemaker Dave Reilly, Duchman Family Winery, Driftwood, Texas Part Two
Segment Six: “The Street Gourmet’s” Bill Esparza Part One
Segment Seven: “The Street Gourmet’s” Bill Esparza Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

March 27: The Ranch Restaurant, Wood & Salt Tavern, Sea Smoke Vineyard, Drago Centro, ArT Wine Preserver

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Michael Rossi, The Ranch Restaurant, Anaheim
Segment Three: Restaurateur Bjoern Risse, Wood & Salt, Long Beach
Segment Four: Victor Gallegos, Vice President & General Manager, Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard Part One
Segment Five: Victor Gallegos, Vice President & General Manager, Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard Part Two
Segment Six: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Los Angeles
Segment Seven: ArT Wine Preserver® Founder Ryan Frederickson
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.

The Ranch Restaurant in Anaheim is, again, available for full service dine-in for lunch and dinner on an open-air patio and with inside dining with proper social distancing between tables. To-Go meals are also on the menu. The Ranch Restaurant, under the culinary direction of Chef Michael Rossi, features true American regional cuisine. It’s cooking from scratch with the finest ingredients possible to capture the rustic style of wine country and the freshest flavors of the farm. The Ranch honors California’s great ranches, farms and dairies, the artisan bread bakers and cheese and wine makers. Their seasonally driven menu showcases the freshest produce in season – as nature intended. The emphasis is on farm to table, fresh organically grown fruits and vegetables from local farms and from The Ranch’s own ranch in the Santa Ana Mountains. Executive Chef Michael Rossi joins us from The Ranch.

We met restaurateur Bjoern Risse previously with his Rasselbock Kitchen and Beer Garden in Mar Vista and Long Beach. His latest venture is Long Beach’s Wood & Salt Tavern. At Wood & Salt Tavern the focus is on pasta, made in house, by hand, everyday and fish, seafood & fine meats from their wood fired grill. Think Charred Corn Croquetas with pickled fresno chile, garlic aioli and ricotta salata, and Tagliatelle with beef, pork and veal ragu sprinkled with parmigiano. It’s a local, neighborhood restaurant with elevated fare located in Bixby Knolls (Long Beach.) At present it’s dinner-only, 7 days. Restaurateur Bjoern Risse is our guest.

“For years, vintners have coveted a stretch of land in the western end of Santa Barbara’s Santa Rita Hills AVA known to have the perfect microclimate, soils, and exposure to grow world-class Pinot Noir. In 1999, fulfilling a long-held dream of owner Bob Davids, this sought-after stretch of land became Sea Smoke Vineyard.” “At Sea Smoke, our objective is to produce the best Pinot Noir possible from our unique vineyard site. Located on south-facing hillside bluffs, our estate vineyard benefits from excellent sun exposure – producing grapes with optimum flavor, color and tannin development.” Victor Gallegos, Sea Smoke’s Vice President and General Manager gently pulls the cork on all things Sea Smoke for us.

“For over forty years, Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio (Valentino and Valentino Restaurant Group) and Restaurateur/Chef Celestino Drago of the famed Drago Brothers have been close friends, colleagues, and competitors in the thriving Los Angeles dining scene. Now, their longstanding relationship has transcended to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles last year as new Managing Partner!” Now that Drago Centro has reopened again for pampered, evening patio dining Piero Selvaggio returns with the timely update.

“Winemakers and restaurateurs agree. There’s an art to preserving wine. While you may have heard it’s important to let wine “breathe,” this causes oxygen to degrade the bottle the longer it’s been opened. Oxidation can spoil opened bottles of wine as quickly as 24 hours after opening.” “Argon gas is the preferred method by winemakers to prevent oxidation that spoils wine. ArT Wine Preserver® is an affordable, recyclable wine saver (packaged in a convenient can) that uses pure argon gas to displace oxygen.” ArT Wine Preserver® Founder Ryan Frederickson joins 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 during the early stages of recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. We’ll “Ask the Chef.” The recently passed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 importantly includes a $28.6 billion dollar relief fund designated to assist independent local restaurants, bars, food trucks and street vendors. What impact will it have ? Chef Andrew thoughtfully weighs in.

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

Michael Rossi of the Ranch Restaurant and Saloon

The Ranch Restaurant in Anaheim is, again, available for full service dine-in for lunch and dinner on an open-air patio and with inside dining (at a reduced capacity) with proper social distancing between tables. To-Go meals are also on the menu.

The Ranch Restaurant features true American regional cuisine. It’s cooking from scratch with the finest ingredients possible to capture the rustic style of wine country and the freshest flavors of the farm. The Ranch honors California’s great ranches, farms and dairies, the artisan bread bakers and cheese and wine makers. Their seasonally driven menu showcases the freshest produce in season – as nature intended. The emphasis is on farm to table, fresh organically grown fruits and vegetables from local farms and from The Ranch’s own ranch in the Santa Ana Mountains.”

“In the kitchen, brothers Michael Rossi (Executive Chef) and Dave Rossi (Pastry Chef) create menus that journey between classic dishes and elevated interpretations of global fare.”

Executive Chef Michael Rossi joins us from The Ranch.

Bjoern Risse of Rasslebock Kitchen and Beer Garden

We met restaurateur Bjoern Risse previously with his Rasselbock Kitchen and Beer Garden in Mar Vista and Long Beach. His latest venture is Long Beach’s Wood & Salt Tavern.

At Wood & Salt Tavern the focus is on pasta, made in house, by hand, everyday and fish, seafood & fine meats from their wood fired grill. Think Charred Corn Croquetas with pickled fresno chile, garlic aioli and ricotta salata, and Tagliatelle with beef, pork and veal ragu sprinkled with parmigiano. It’s a local neighborhood restaurant with elevated cuisine located in Bixby Knolls (Long Beach.) At present it’s dinner-only, 7 days.

Restaurateur Bjoern Risse joins us.

Victor Gallegos of Sea Smoke

“For years, vintners have coveted a stretch of land in the western end of Santa Barbara’s Santa Rita Hills AVA known to have the perfect microclimate, soils, and exposure to grow world-class Pinot Noir. In 1999, fulfilling a long-held dream of owner Bob Davids, this sought-after stretch of land became Sea Smoke Vineyard.”

“At Sea Smoke, our objective is to produce the best Pinot Noir possible from our unique vineyard site. Located on south-facing hillside bluffs, our estate vineyard benefits from excellent sun exposure – producing grapes with optimum flavor, color and tannin development. The heat generated during the day is moderated each evening by a marine fog layer (sea “smoke”), which travels up the Santa Ynez River canyon, cooling the vines and resulting in a longer ripening period. This extended ‘hangtime’ allows the grape tannins to fully ripen prior to harvest, creating wines that are rich and supple.”

“Our pursuit of great Pinot Noir can also be seen in the meticulous management of our estate vineyard. We strive for low crop yields and small grape clusters of intense flavor. To this end, our rich clay soils are planted with ten, top-quality Pinot Noir clones on vigor reducing rootstocks. While we employ the latest technology in the vineyard to help us achieve vine balance and vigor reduction, we also recognize that technology is no replacement for skilled people.”

“Every one of our vines receives personal handling from our vineyard crew seven to eight times each year – every vine. As stewards of this remarkable piece of land, we are also dedicated to its long-term wellbeing. In this spirit, we have been farming Sea Smoke sustainably since 2003, and now farm 80 acres biodynamically, including the blocks destined for our Sea Smoke Chardonnay and Sea Spray Blanc de Noirs.”

“Every growing season, our winemaking team works to determine the optimum timing for the harvest of each block. After hand harvesting, grapes are brought to the winery for destemming and table sorting. During this process each lot is carefully studied, taking into consideration parameters such as fruit integrity, clonal characteristics and soil profile, before proceeding with fermentation. Each block and clone combination is kept separate throughout the winemaking process, enabling us to develop an intimate knowledge of how they respond to specific barrels in our cellar. These individual lots form the basis of a complex flavor palette from which final blending decisions are made by our team.”

“To ensure our loyal customers access to these limited-production wines, we have created The List. Simple and fair, The List is an uncomplicated allocation system offering members the opportunity to purchase our wines. Although production of Sea Smoke is limited and they can be difficult to find, joining The List guarantees your allocation. Unlike wine clubs, there is absolutely no purchase commitment and no cost to join.”

Victor Gallegos, Sea Smoke’s ling-time Vice President and General Manager gently pops the cork on 2015 Sea Smoke “Sea Spray” Blanc de Noirs for us.

Piero Salvaggio of Drago Centro

“For over forty years, Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio (Valentino and Valentino Restaurant Group) and Restaurateur / Chef Celestino Drago of the famed Drago Brothers have been close friends, colleagues, and competitors in the thriving Los Angeles dining scene. Now, their longstanding relationship has transcended to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles last year as new Managing Partner!”

“Originally from Sicily, both Piero and Celestino met over forty years ago in Los Angeles when Celestino first came to the states. Piero opened the renowned Valentino, the flagship restaurant in his Valentino Restaurant Group in Santa Monica in 1972. Valentino was widely regarded as one of the finest Italian restaurants in the U.S. and credited with introducing Angelenos to true Italian food, fresh ingredients and new products. Also, introducing a new wave of Italian Chefs that in time built world-wide reputations on the their own.”

Piero went on to build a multimillion-dollar restaurant empire garnering numerous James Beard Foundation awards for its wine list and service, along with critical acclaim for its food, wine, and service by top national publications. In 2018, after forty-five plus years, he decided to retire and close Valentino to look for new challenges. After launching Louie’s by the Bay (with restaurateur Ron Salisbury) in Newport Beach, Piero met again with Celestino and started considering Drago Centro as the perfect venue for a new chapter.

Now that Drago Centro has again reopened for inviting patio dining nightly (except Sunday) the always gracious Piero Selvaggio returns with the update.

Ryan Fredrickson of ArT Wine Preserver

“Winemakers and restaurateurs agree. There’s an art to preserving wine. While you may have heard it’s important to let wine “breathe,” this causes oxygen to degrade the bottle the longer it’s been opened. Oxidation can spoil opened bottles of wine as quickly as 24 hours after opening.”

“Argon gas is the preferred method by winemakers to prevent oxidation that spoils wine. ArT Wine Preserver® is an affordable, recyclable wine saver (packaged in a convenient can) that uses pure argon gas to displace oxygen.”

“ArT Wine Preserver® is on a mission to reduce waste, starting with wine. According to the National Resources Defense Council, wine waste is part of the 40 percent of food that is wasted in the United States every day. In the United States alone, the company estimates home consumers pour more than $1.27 billion dollars of wine down the drain, and restaurants pour out another 18+ million bottles!”

“ArT Wine Preserver® Founder Ryan Frederickson’s former career as an engineer took a different path after a vacation in California wine country. After learning about how much work goes into producing each bottle, and just how much waste occurs due to oxidation, he decided to put his previous experience working in the argon gas industry to use. Naming the product ArT, short for “Argon Technology, the wine preserving canister contains 100% pure argon gas to keep opened bottles of wine fresh up to three times longer.”

Founder Ryan Frederickson joins us with wine glass in hand.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and Casino

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 concern as recovery slowly starts to happen.

Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to again operate for outside/patio dining and limited inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

The recently passed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 importantly includes a $28.6 billion dollar relief fund designated to assist independent local restaurants, bars, food trucks and street vendors. What impact will it actually have? Chef Andrew thoughtfully weighs in.

Chef Andrew also 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 $380,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in serious need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The substantial need, and fundraising, continues…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Michael Rossi, The Ranch Restaurant, Anaheim
Segment Three: Restaurateur Bjoern Risse, Wood & Salt, Long Beach
Segment Four: Victor Gallegos, Vice President & General Manager, Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard Part One
Segment Five: Victor Gallegos, Vice President & General Manager, Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard Part Two
Segment Six: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Los Angeles
Segment Seven: ArT Wine Preserver® Founder Ryan Frederickson
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

March 20: Casa Vega, Barbara Fairchild, Mayfield Restaurant & Market, Dave Beran

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Christy Vega, Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks Part One
Segment Three: Restaurateur Christy Vega, Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks Part Two
Segment Four: Food & Travel Journalist Barbara Fairchild (former Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appetit Magazine)
Segment Five: Restaurateur George Barker an Executive Chef Jayro Martinez, Mayfield, San Juan Capistrano Part One
Segment Six: Restaurateur George Barker an Executive Chef Jayro Martinez, Mayfield, San Juan Capistrano Part Two
Segment Seven: Restaurateur & Chef Dave Beran, Pasjoli, Santa Monica
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.

Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks under the watchful eye of 2nd generation restaurateur Christy Vega has reopened again for full-service dining. Celebrating its 65th Anniversary in 2021 there will be a year of festivities honoring the late founder, Ray Vega, who passed away earlier in the year. Also new is a changing series of $5.00 Margarita Mondays served from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. every Monday. Christy Vega is our guest with a Los Lucadores Foo in hand.

Barbara Fairchild, a past inductee in the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who in American Food & Beverage,” is the former, long-time Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appetit Magazine. She currently serves at the Chair of the L.A. Council for C-CAP (Careers through Culinary Arts Program) and also is a member of the National Board of Directors for C-CAP. In normal times Barbara dines out frequently at a wide variety of restaurants. For the past pandemic year Barbara has stayed safely at home with restaurant dining on the far back burner. Barbara recently broke the fast with a celebratory birthday meal on the original patio of Spago Beverly Hills (with proper social distancing of the tables.) Barbara shares the memorable experience with us.

Mayfield Restaurant & Market is an ambitious, glowingly reviewed, modern California restaurant and market located in Downtown San Juan Capistrano in an extensively refurbished historic building. It’s on two levels and includes a comfortable covered patio. The menu has a distinctive Mediterranean and Levant flair and there is also an extensive cocktail list along with an ample selection of craft beers and natural wines. The operating days, and hours, have just been extended. Proprietor George Barker and Executive Chef Jayro Martinez join us.

“The international dining scene is a vast, ever-shifting landscape, and Today’s Special – 20 Leading Chefs Choose 100 Emerging Chefs (Phaidon) is perfectly positioned to help readers navigate it. Twenty of the globe’s leading chef-curators — 10 men and 10 women — have each selected five emerging chefs from around the world, showcasing a variety of styles of food, restaurants, and personalities. Each of the 100 selected chefs is profiled, with recipes, photographs, and menus, plus original commissioned essays that shed light on what makes a standout star in today’s culinary realm.” An L.A. area featured “Emerging Chef” in Today’s Special is Dave Beran of Pasjoli in Santa Monica and the now departed, Dialogue (up to a 20-course nightly tasting Menu,) which was highly praised. He was nominated for Today’s Special by New York-based Chef Daniel Boulud (Daniel.) We’ll meet Chef Dave Beran.

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 during the early stages of recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. We’ll “Ask the Chef.” As if restaurants didn’t have enough to contend with right now the insidious “Dine & Dash” scheme to defraud restaurants is, unfortunately, a growing trend with a pair of awful variations. Chef Andrew explains…

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

Christy Vega of Casa Vega

Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks under the watchful eye of 2nd generation restaurateur Christy Vega has reopened again for full-service dining. Celebrating its 65th Anniversary in 2021 there will be a year of festivities honoring the late founder, Ray Vega, who passed away earlier in the year. Also new is a changing series of $5.00 Margarita Mondays served from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. every Monday.

“The Foo Fighters taco has returned to Casa Vega through the end of April. Originally launched in December 2020 as the second installment of the restaurant’s charity band tacos (following the initial launch with Fall Out Boy in October), the special collaboration was cut short when the restaurant temporarily closed that month in response to new COVID restrictions. Now that Casa Vega has reopened for dine-in and take-out, the taco has returned as a special combo plate (Foo Fighters Especial) created by Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl—inspired by his passion for smoking meat—as well as a cocktail.” The libation is the Los Lucadores Foo with a shot of La Gritona resposado, fresh lime juice and Modelo Especial.

“The profits from each taco are donated to No Us Without You, a charity providing food security for undocumented back of house staff and their families created by Va’La Hospitality in the early weeks of the pandemic. As Casa Vega celebrates its 65th anniversary this year, expect more taco collabs and programming to be announced soon.”

Christy Vega is our guest with a Los Lucadores Foo in hand.

Journalist Barbara Fairchild

Barbara Fairchild, a past inductee in the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who in American Food & Beverage,” is the former, long-time Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appetit Magazine. She currently serves at the Chair of the L.A. Council for C-CAP (Careers through Culinary Arts Program) and also is a member of the National Board of Directors for C-CAP.

In normal times Barbara dines out frequently at a wide variety of restaurants. For the past pandemic year Barbara has stayed safely at home with restaurant dining on the far back burner. Barbara recently broke the fast with a celebratory birthday meal on the original patio of Spago Beverly Hills (with proper social distancing of the tables.) Barbara shares the memorable experience with us. She also provides us with an overview of C-CAP and the upcoming virtual culinary fundraising event they are presenting nationally on Thursday evening, April 29th with culinary celebrity Carla Hall as the honoree (and hosted by Marcus Samuelsson.)

George Barker of Mayfield Restaurant and Market

Mayfield Restaurant & Market is an ambitious, glowingly reviewed modern California restaurant and market located in Downtown San Juan Capistrano in an extensively refurbished historic building. It’s on two levels and includes a comfortable covered patio. The menu has a distinctive Mediterranean and Levant flair and there is also an extensive cocktail list along with an ample selection of craft beers and natural wines.

The operating days, and hours, have just been extended.

Friday through Saturday from 5:00 p.m. until late is their Supper Club menu. It’s served family-style. The menu categories (with choices in each area) include Rip and Dip, Small Plates, Large Plates and Desserts. Especially popular is the Za’atar Fried Chicken with hot honey, house ranch and house pickles.

An a la carte Dinner menu is offered Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 5:00 p.m. until late.

The daytime, a la carte menu is served Tuesday (newly added) to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It offers menu categories of Dips, Breakfast Bits and Lunch Dishes. Dishes are designed to be shared.

The newly extended Happy Hour is Tuesdays (all day) and Wednesday & Thursday from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Mayfield Market is stocked with premium food products Chef Jayro makes in-house and items Mayfield uses and loves. They carry anything to do with eating and drinking well, including pantry items, natural wines, homeware, cookbooks and more.

Proprietor George Barker and Executive Chef Jayro Martinez join us.

Chef Dave Beran

“The international dining scene is a vast, ever-shifting landscape, and Today’s Special – 20 Leading Chefs Choose 100 Emerging Chefs (Phaidon) is perfectly positioned to help readers navigate it. Twenty of the globe’s leading chef-curators — 10 men and 10 women — have each selected five emerging chefs from around the world, showcasing a variety of styles of food, restaurants, and personalities. Each of the 100 selected chefs is profiled, with recipes, photographs, and menus, plus original commissioned essays that shed light on what makes a standout star in today’s culinary realm.” An L.A. area featured “Emerging Chef” in Today’s Special is Dave Beran of Pasjoli in Santa Monica and the now departed, Dialogue (up to a 20-course, seasonally changing nightly Tasting Menu) which was highly praised. He was nominated for Today’s Special by New York-based Chef Daniel Boulud (Daniel.)

“Pasjoli is an elevated French bistro from award-winning chef Dave Beran. The restaurant pays homage to French cuisine utilizing the bounty of produce available in Southern California. Rooted in classic French cuisine and inspired by Parisian markets, Pasjoli reflects Beran’s thoughtful cooking style, showcasing his creative touches on bistro fare.”

Prior to moving to California, Beran was the chef de cuisine at Alinea and executive chef at Next in Chicago where he received a James Beard Award for Best Chef Great Lakes and was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs in 2014.

We’ll meet Chef Dave Beran.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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 concern as recovery slowly starts to happen.

Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to again operate for outside/patio dining and limited inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

As if struggling restaurants didn’t have enough to contend with right now the regrettable Dine & Dash” scheme to defraud restaurants is, unfortunately, a growing trend with a pair of awful variations. Chef Andrew explains…

Chef Andrew also 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 $380,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in serious need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The substantial need, and fundraising, continues…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Christy Vega, Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks Part One
Segment Three: Restaurateur Christy Vega, Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks Part Two
Segment Four: Food & Travel Journalist Barbara Fairchild (former Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appetit Magazine)
Segment Five: Restaurateur George Barker an Executive Chef Jayro Martinez, Mayfield, San Juan Capistrano Part One
Segment Six: Restaurateur George Barker an Executive Chef Jayro Martinez, Mayfield, San Juan Capistrano Part Two
Segment Seven: Restaurateur & Chef Dave Beran, Pasjoli, Santa Monica
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

March 13: American Cider, Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Brad Johnson, Wing Lam

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Cider Sommelier Dan Pucci – A Modern Guide to a Historic Beverage
Segment Three: Ojai Pixie Tangerines with Robert Schueller of Melissa’s
Segment Four: Restaurateur Brad Johnson, “Corner Table Talk with Brad Johnson” Part One
Segment Five: Restaurateur Brad Johnson, “Corner Table Talk with Brad Johnson” Part Two
Segment Six: Chef Wing Lam, Co-Founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco and California Love Drop Part One
Segment Seven: Chef Wing Lam, Co-Founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco and California Love Drop 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.

“From pioneering cider sommelier Dan Pucci (called “the hype man cider is lucky to have” by Eater), and food writer and restaurant owner Craig Cavallo comes AMERICAN CIDER: A Modern Guide to a Historic Beverage (Ballantine Trade Paperback Original.) The first of its kind, the book chronicles the history of cidermaking in the United States, offering essential knowledge on what to drink and where the cider market is heading.” “Not simply a guide to drinking, AMERICAN CIDER is at its heart a guide to being part of a community of consumers, farmers, and fermenters taking the nation’s oldest beverage into its bright, booming future as an indispensable American drink.” Cider expert Dan Pucci joins us.

“Melissa’s Ojai Pixies are petite, sweet, seedless, low-acid and easy to peel. The Ojai Pixie (available through May) is a very special tangerine. This fruit comes from the heart of Ojai Valley, located in Ventura County in Southern California, from a collective of just under 50 growers and their small family farms. This late-season citrus came to grocery retailers when communities were looking for fresh immune-boosting options during a global pandemic, and today it provides nourishment and much-needed relief to those in need.” Savor the tasty, delicate treat of tree-ripened fruit bursting with sunshine-sweet flavor and juice. Our resident produce authority, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s (also known as the Prince of Produce,) effortlessly peels the juicy secrets of the Ojai Pixies for us.

“Following a successful career as a hospitality entrepreneur owning and operating well known restaurants, bars and nightclubs in New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, Brad Johnson (founder, most recently, of Post & Beam in Los Angeles) has launched his podcast, Corner Table Talk with Brad Johnson which debuted on February 25th.Through a behind-the-scenes lens intended to inform and entertain, Brad now delves into wide-ranging talks with his prominent corner table guests about food, drink, and culture from the perspective of a person of color.” Brad Johnson joins us from the Corner Table.

“What started as a single delivery of 300 meals from Wahoo’s Fish Taco to Hoag Hospital in Irvine, CA on April 12, 2020, has turned into an astounding collaboration known as the California Love Drop. Wing Lam, Co-Founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco and Eric Morley, Co-Founder of Blue C, have actively partnered with other organizations to personally thank those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The California Love Drop supports and fuels healthcare workers and first responders by providing meals, beverages, treats, and supplies to hospitals, medical centers, fire departments, police stations, grocery distribution centers, and more. “It’s amazing to see the local community come together to make a difference. Many brands are stepping up to lend support, and right now, a simple act of kindness and giving back is more important than ever.” – Wing Lam.” Wing Lam surfs in to join us in-person at the AM 830 KLAA Studios with the specifics.

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. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. Some form of inside dining at a greatly reduced capacity is on the horizon for “Southern California. We’ll “Ask the Chef.” Sunday is National Pi Day so we’ll get Chef Andrew’s informed thoughts on pizza which is an area of expertise for him. As Chef Andrew artfully stretches the dough we’ll find out how Jersey-style pizza differs from New York pizza.

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

Cider Expert Dan Pucci

“From pioneering cider sommelier Dan Pucci (called “the hype man cider is lucky to have” by Eater), and food writer and restaurant owner Craig Cavallo comes AMERICAN CIDER: A Modern Guide to a Historic Beverage (Ballantine Trade Paperback Original.) The first of its kind, the book chronicles the history of cidermaking in the United States, offering essential knowledge on what to drink and where the cider market is heading.”

“Cider today runs the gamut from sweet to dry, smooth to funky, made with just apples or joined by other fruits—and even hopped like beer. Like wine, ciders differ based on the apples they’re made from and where those apples were grown. In AMERICAN CIDER, experts Pucci and Cavallo give a new wave of consumers the means to taste, talk about, and choose their ciders, along with stories of the many local heroes saving heirloom apples and producing innovative, new varieties. By combining the tasting tools of beer and wine, Pucci and Cavallo illuminate the possibilities of this light, flavorful, and naturally gluten-free beverage.”

“Not to mention, cider is more than just its taste. It also has deep roots in American history, as the nation’s first popular alcoholic beverage, originally made from apples brought across the Atlantic. The authors employ a region-by-region approach to further illustrate how ciders and the apples they’re made from came to proliferate the U.S.—including demystifying Johnny Appleseed (spoiler: it’s not what you think) and the surprising effects of industrial development and government policies that benefited white men on apple production.”

“Not simply a guide to drinking, AMERICAN CIDER is at its heart a guide to being part of a community of consumers, farmers, and fermenters taking the nation’s oldest beverage into its bright, booming future as an indispensable American drink.”

Cider expert Dan Pucci joins us.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA Studio

Melissa’s Ojai Pixies are petite, sweet, seedless, low-acid and easy to peel. The Ojai Pixie (available through May) is a very special tangerine. This fruit comes from the heart of Ojai Valley, located in Ventura County in Southern California, from a collective of just under 50 growers and their small family farms. This late-season citrus came to grocery retailers when communities were looking for fresh immune-boosting options during a global pandemic, and today it provides nourishment and much-needed relief to those in need.”

“Savor the tasty, delicate treat of tree-ripened fruit bursting with sunshine-sweet flavor and juice. This seedless variety is the result of open pollination of Kincy, King and Dancy mandarins. Popular backyard trees in Ojai, California, they bear small to medium-sized citrus, having pebbly textured, yellow-orange rinds with loose skins that peel easily. The segments separate neatly for a quick snack, making them a great choice for eating out of hand.”

Our resident produce authority, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s (also known as the Prince of Produce,) effortlessly peels the juicy secrets of the Ojai Pixies for us.

Robert will also share the deliciousness of other seasonal fruits right now including muscato grapes, cotton candy grapes, sapurano mangos and the new launched and distinctive PinkGlow Pineapples.

Govind Armstrong and Brad Johnson

“Following a successful career as a hospitality entrepreneur owning and operating well known restaurants, bars and nightclubs in New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, Brad Johnson (most recently the founder of Post & Beam in Los Angeles) has launched his podcast, Corner Table Talk with Brad Johnson which debuted on February 25th.Through a behind-the-scenes lens intended to inform and entertain, Brad now delves into wide-ranging talks with his corner table guests about food, drink, and culture from the perspective of a person of color.”

“During his career Johnson established a reputation for cultivating a diverse multi-ethnic clientele and staff. “One of the best parts of having spent the better part of my life operating venues is the people I’ve been fortunate to meet,” Brad Johnson says.”

“Johnson grew up in the restaurant business beginning in the mid ’70s. “My first job was working as a dishwasher in my dad’s popular restaurant on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, The Cellar, where I’d glance into the dining room and marvel at the ‘Black is Beautiful’ crowd of the period that packed The Cellar nightly,” said Brad Johnson. “I’ve bussed tables, pulled out chairs for countless guests over the years, shaken many hands, struggled through slow nights, and co-hosted Oscar parties.””

“Corner Table Talk guests share their unique experiences in careers that run the gamut, including restaurants, clubs, fashion, finance, publishing, sports, and entertainment, all highlighting their passion for business, social and cultural commentary.”

Brad Johnson joins us from the Corner Table.

Post & Beam Hospitality (the co-producer of Corner Table Talk) is helmed by Brad Johnson, a 2nd generation restaurateur who has built a reputation owning and operating acclaimed restaurants, bars and clubs in New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. In 2019, Johnson sold his latest restaurant, Post & Beam, in South Los Angeles after having operated it for almost a decade. Post & Beam was awarded the prestigious Los Angeles Times Gold Award in 2020. Post & Beam Hospitality offers a variety of services ranging from hospitality consulting and diversity strategy to media content creation.

Wing and Levi Lam at the KLAA Studios

“What started as a single delivery of 300 meals from Wahoo’s Fish Taco to Hoag Hospital in Irvine, CA on April 12, 2020, has turned into an astounding collaboration known as the California Love Drop.”

Wing Lam, Co-Founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco and Eric Morley, Co-Founder of Blue C, have actively partnered with other organizations to personally thank those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The California Love Drop supports and fuels healthcare workers and first responders by providing meals, beverages, treats, and supplies to hospitals, medical centers, fire departments, police stations, grocery distribution centers, and more. The food deliveries have gone to several individuals and organizations from Los Angeles to San Diego, including CHOC Children’s Hospital, UCI Medical Center, Hoag Hospital, San Bernardino Community Dignity Hospital, the Dream Center, and numerous police stations and firehouses.”

“It’s amazing to see the local community come together to make a difference. Many brands are stepping up to lend support, and right now, a simple act of kindness and giving back is more important than ever.” – Wing Lam.

Wing Lam surfs in to join us in-person at the AM 830 KLAA Studios.

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style Pizza

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. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. Some form of inside dining at a greatly reduced capacity is on the horizon for “Southern California. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Sunday is National Pi Day so we’ll get Chef Andrew’s informed thoughts on pizza which is an area of expertise for him. As Chef Andrew artfully stretches the dough we’ll find out how Jersey-style pizza differs from New York pizza.

Chef Andrew also 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 $380,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in serious need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The substantial need, and fundraising, continues…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Cider Sommelier Dan Pucci – A Modern Guide to a Historic Beverage
Segment Three: Ojai Pixie Tangerines with Robert Schueller of Melissa’s
Segment Four: Restaurateur Brad Johnson, “Corner Table Talk with Brad Johnson” Part One
Segment Five: Restaurateur Brad Johnson, “Corner Table Talk with Brad Johnson” Part Two
Segment Six: Chef Wing Lam, Co-Founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco and California Love Drop Part One
Segment Seven: Chef Wing Lam, Co-Founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco and California Love Drop Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

March 6: Hudson House, Bob’s Well Bread Bakery, Belden Barns, The Gourmandise School, Timothy Hollingsworth

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Kate Failor of Hudson House, Redondo Beach
Segment Three: Bread Baker Bob Oswaks, Bob’s Well Bread, Los Alamos & Ballard
Segment Four: Belden Barns Winery and Farmstead with Nate and Lauren Belden Part One
Segment Five: Belden Barns Winery and Farmstead with Nate and Lauren Belden Part Two
Segment Six: Gourmandise Cooking School with Chef Clemence de Lutz
Segment Seven: Restaurateur and Chef Timothy Hollingsworth, Otium at The Broad and Free Play
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.

Hudson House in Redondo Beach was opened in early 2008 by Chefs Brooke Williamson and Nick Roberts (Playa Provisions,) aptly named after their newborn son, Hudson. For over 11 years, they built a restaurant focused on the neighborhood, good food and well-crafted cocktails which quickly helped grow the business into what it is today, a loved South Bay staple. In 2020, Nick & Brooke sadly stepped away from the business as a result of the stresses of COVID-19. In a happy turn of events, their former Director of Operations, Kate Failor partnered up with the owner of the former A Basq Kitchen in Redondo Beach, Jessica Ibarra, to help keep Hudson House alive. With a few enhancements and a lot of TLC, the new Hudson House was born. Restaurateur Kate Failor is our guest.

“Bob and Jane Oswaks, owners and proprietors of the award-winning Bob’s Well Bread Bakery in Los Alamos, debuted their long-awaited second location at the historic Ballard Store at 2449 Baseline Avenue in Ballard, California late last year. The 1,500 square foot Bob’s Well Bread at the Ballard Store was designed by Jane and Bob Oswaks, located fourteen miles south from their flagship store. The Oswaks rotate regularly between both operations to ensure the quality and standards of hospitality, food and beverage. Chef Gary Clark leads the new kitchen.” “Since its inception in 2014, locals, travelers and journalists alike have embraced Bob’s Well Bread Bakery artisan breads and bakery. The bakery has successfully become a family business and an integral part of the growing Los Alamos community, which has developed into a richly diverse wine country destination. Bob’s Well Bread Bakery and the Oswaks family are committed to products that are hand-made with only the finest ingredients and natural starters.” Artisan Bread Baker & Proprietor Bob Oswaks joins us with Irish Soda Bread in hand. 

“Perched atop Sonoma Mountain, Belden Barns celebrates the totality of farmstead agriculture with a surprising range of exceptional, cool-climate estate bottlings for such a boutique property. In addition to delicious, terroir-driven wines, they rely on resident farmers Vince and Jenny Trotter for their sustainably grown estate fruit and produce.”

“Belden Barns was recently voted one of USA Today’s Top Ten Winery Tours. Proprietors Nate and Lauren Belden are an amiable

couple and their wines (including some highly regarded Pinots, Sparkling Wine, Grenache and what may be the only commercially available Gruner Veltliner in Sonoma County, among other bottlings) are noteworthy.” Nate and Lauren Belden pull the cork for us on Belden Barns.

“Consistently regarded as one of the best cooking schools in Southern California, The Gourmandise School in downtown Santa Monica in Santa Monica Place offers hands-on recreational cooking and baking class for beginners to professionals, now exclusively online … until further notice! You learn classic techniques from their instructors in your very own home. Gourmandise has classes for adults, kids (6 and over), and teens.” “Together with co-founder Chef Clémence de Lutz’s culinary expertise, and partner Sabrina Ironside’s marketing and operations background, The Gourmandise School has a new vision to expand the consumer’s education and experience of how to create amazing meals and treats out oflocally sourced, sustainable ingredients, using the very finest techniques.” Chef Clemence de Lutz joins us, whisk in hand.

In this difficult period for hospitality the non-profit, Ment’or, is aware of the importance of mentorship and remain steadfast in their commitment to that mission. Mentorship and leadership are needed throughout all our communities to invigorate us with hope and motivation. It is critical, especially during these times, that we continue to support and enrich the future for our young chefs. Each month during 2021 Ment’or will be hosting virtual cooking lessons, inclusive of a Q & A, with a featured chef from the rgeir culinary family to share their knowledge and lessons they have learned throughout the journey and on the importance of mentorship. Los Angeles’ own Chef Timothy Hollingsworth (Otium at The Broad, Free Play and C.J. Boyd’s) is set for “Mentors, Our Inspiration. Virtual Cooking Series” at 4:00 p.m. PT on Tuesday, March 16th via Zoom. The experience includes the recipe and ingredient list for each featured dish. Chef Tim’s featured dish is Pistachio Pesto Pasta with Grilled Chicken and Blistered Tomatoes. Also, an exclusive Q&A with Chef Hollingsworth. Chef Tim provides the enticing preview.

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. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. How has it been going? We’ll “Ask the Chef.” The opportunistic fraudsters are at it again with a variation of the “Dine and Dash” scheme to rip off already beleaguered restaurants. Chef Andrew shares his thoughts.

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

Kate Failor of Hudson House

Hudson House in Redondo Beach was opened in early 2008 by Chefs Brooke Williamson and Nick Roberts, aptly named after their newborn son, Hudson. For over 11 years, they built a restaurant focused on the neighborhood, good food and cocktails which quickly helped grow the business into what it is today, a loved South Bay staple. In 2020, Nick & Brooke sadly stepped away from the business as a result of the stresses of COVID-19.”

In a happy turn of events, their former Director of Operations, Kate Failor, partnered up with the owner of the former A Basq Kitchen in Redondo Beach, Jessica Ibarra, to help keep Hudson House alive. With a few enhancements and a lot of love, the new Hudson House was born. 

With a surf shack vibe Hudson House now displays a curation of pieces from local artists and photographers all inspired by the beach and Southern California lifestyle. Blending together good food, amazing cocktails and a welcoming space, Hudson House aspires to be your favorite local bar and restaurant in the South Bay!”

Menu highlights include Brown Sugar Pork Ribs with crispy shallots and cilantro and Sweet Corn Cake with roasted plantain, fermented black garlic, stewed lentils and avocado cotija cream. For fruit pie lovers don’t miss a slice (a la mode of course) from A Little Salty Pie Co.

Proprietress Kate Failor is our guest.

Bob Oswaks of Bob's Well Bread

Bob and Jane Oswaks, owners and proprietors of the award-winning Bob’s Well Bread Bakery in Los Alamos, debuted their long-awaited second location at the historic Ballard Store at 2449 Baseline Avenue in Ballard, California late last year. The 1,500 square foot Bob’s Well Bread at the Ballard Store was designed by Jane and Bob Oswaks, located fourteen miles south from their flagship store. The Oswaks rotate regularly between both operations to ensure the quality and standards of hospitality, food and beverage. Chef Gary Clark leads the new kitchen.

“Since its inception in 2014, locals, travelers and journalists alike have embraced Bob’s Well Bread Bakery artisan breads and bakery. The bakeryhas successfully become a family business and an integral part of the growing Los Alamos community, which has developed into a richly diverse wine country destination. Bob’s Well Bread Bakery and the Oswaks family are committed to products that are hand-made with only the finest ingredients and natural starters. No added preservatives will be found in any of their baked items, and they strive to source ingredients locally using farmers and growers who practice the purest growing initiatives. They allow their loaves to take their time, and practice old world European traditions and techniques to make the very best breads and baked goods possible. Their commitment to being “well bread” means doing good things, supporting the community and donating what they don’t sell to local food banks.”

For St. Patrick’s Day Bob’s Well Bread is baking Roasted Potato Bread with caramelized onions and mustard seed, and Irish Soda Bread. Also available are Pistachio Croissants.

Bob Oswaks (with his hands in the dough) joins us.

Lauren and Nate Belden

“Perched atop Sonoma Mountain, Belden Barns celebrates the totality of farmstead agriculture with a surprising range of exceptional, cool-climate estate bottlings for such a boutique property.  In addition to delicious, terroir-driven wines, they rely on resident farmers Vince and Jenny Trotter for their sustainably grown estate fruit and produce.” 

“Tastings normally take place in a charming old barn — a throwback to an earlier time in Sonoma County farm life. (Currently, all tastings are conducted outside due to COVID 19 restrictions).  Visitors to the (kid-friendly) winery are encouraged to meander around the vines or head downhill to the orchards/produce where they can also hang a wish on the “wishing tree.””

“Belden Barns was recently voted one of USA Today’s Top Ten Winery Tours.  Proprietors Nate and Lauren Belden are an amiable couple and their wines (including some highly regarded Pinots, Sparkling Wine, Grenache and what may be the only commercially available Gruner Veltliner in Sonoma County, among other bottlings) are noteworthy.”

“From day one, Belden Barns has been about much more than just wine. When we set out to build our business, we envisioned a winery that would offer unique, hands-on opportunities to learn about both farming and making wine. We were tired of traditional tasting rooms and determined to bring people closer to the land through experiences that were meaningful, sustainable, and ultimately unforgettable. Enter the Farm at Belden Barns. Wine is best enjoyed with food after all, and we are excited about creating a family business and brand that celebrates the full diversity of agriculture.”

“Consistently regarded as one of the best cooking schools in Southern California, The Gourmandise School in downtown Santa Monica offers hands-on recreational cooking and baking class for beginners to professionals, now exclusively online… until further notice! You learn classic techniques from their instructors in your very own home. Gourmandise has classes for adults, kids (6 and over), and teens.”

Classes are conducted via Zoom. Most sessions are 75 minutes to 2 hours long. The Gourmandise School sends class participants recipes, equipment needs and shopping lists.

“Together with co-founder Chef Clémence de Lutz’s culinary expertise, and partner Sabrina Ironside’s marketing and operations background, The Gourmandise School has a new vision to expand the consumer’s education and experience of how to create amazing meals and treats out of locally sourced, sustainable ingredients, using the very finest techniques.”

Chef Clemence de Lutz joins us whisk in hand.

Chef Timothy Hollingsworth

In this difficult period for hospitality the non-profit, Ment’or, is aware of the importance of mentorship and remain steadfast in their commitment to that mission. Mentorship and leadership are needed throughout all our communities to invigorate us with hope and motivation. It is critical, especially during these times, that we continue to support and enrich the future for our young chefs. 

Each month during 2021 Ment’or will be hosting virtual cooking lessons, inclusive of a Q & A, with a featured chef from their culinary family to share their knowledge and lessons they have learned throughout the journey and on the importance of mentorship.

Los Angeles’ own Chef Timothy Hollingsworth (Otium, Free Play and C.J. Boyd’s) is set for Mentors, Our Inspiration. Virtual Cooking Series” at 4:00 p.m. PT on Tuesday, March 16th via Zoom. The experience includes the recipe and ingredient list for each featured dish. Chef Tim’s featured dish is Pistachio Presto Pasta with Grilled Chicken and Blistered Tomatoes. Also, an exclusive Q&A with Chef Hollingsworth.

“All proceeds from each virtual event will go towards Ment’or’s programs which help support the culinary community, including: providing young chefs fully funded internships at restaurants around the world, Team USA and their competitions, which opens the doors to further the careers of young chefs across the country, and the Giving Fund, which directs necessary funds to restaurant workers in times of crisis.”

Chef Timothy Hollingsworth is our guest to preview his upcoming Ment’or Virtual Cooking Class.

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style Pizza

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. Restaurants in Southern California are now again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining at greatly reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. How is it going? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

The opportunistic fraudsters are at it again with a variation of the “Dine and Dash” scheme to rip off already beleaguered restaurants. Chef Andrew shares his thoughts.

Chef Andrew also 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 $380,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in serious need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The substantial need, and fundraising, continues…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Kate Failor of Hudson House, Redondo Beach
Segment Three: Bread Baker Bob Oswaks, Bob’s Well Bread, Los Alamos & Ballard
Segment Four: Belden Barns Winery and Farmstead with Nate and Lauren Belden Part One
Segment Five: Belden Barns Winery and Farmstead with Nate and Lauren Belden Part Two
Segment Six: Gourmandise Cooking School with Chef Clemence de Lutz
Segment Seven: Restaurateur and Chef Timothy Hollingsworth, Otium at The Broad and Free Play
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

February 27: Loquita, Tesse, Manuela, The WEHO Sausage Co.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Loquita Santa Barbara with General Manager Stephanie Perkins
Segment Three: Jordan Ogron, Principal, Tesse, West Hollywood Part One
Segment Four: Jordan Ogron, Principal, Tesse, West Hollywood Part Two
Segment Five: Executive Chef Kris Tominaga, Manuela, Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Six: The WEHO Sausage and Catering Co with Owner Peter Tulaney
Segment Seven: 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.

“Loquita in Santa Barbara showcases authentic Spanish food including hot and cold tapas, wood-fired grilled seafood and meats, and seasonal paella. The Mediterranean climate and terroir of Santa Barbara County mirror that of Spain, making the translation of locally sourced produce, meats and seafood an ideal match. The wine list is comprised almost entirely of Spanish wines with exceptional local wines that pair well with the cuisine. Loquita’s cocktail list showcases Spanish vermouths, farmers’ market Sangria, hand-crafted cocktails and a rotating selection of Spain’s king of cocktails, the Gin Tonic.” Loquita has reopened for socially distanced patio and outdoor dining nightly at 5:00 p.m. and for takeaway. General Manager Stephanie Perkins is our guide.

“Tesse in West Hollywood is a French restaurant featuring the dynamic, continental-inspired cuisine of Chef Raphael Francois and Pastry Chef Sally Camacho Mueller, served in a chic dining room on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of West Hollywood. An extensive wine program from Jordan Ogron(Principal) is supplemented by Boutellier, an exclusive wine store adjacent to the restaurant. A French-leaning craft cocktail program designed by Nick Meyer and Julian Cox is offered at the bar.” “And while the iconic pâtés, terrines, rillettes and saucisses of his homeland are central to the menu, Chef Raphael also features a broad and finessed take on French classics, with meats and fish prepared on the wood-fired hearth that anchors the kitchen and lighter fare inspired by near-daily trips to L.A.’s outstanding Farmers Markets.” 

“Located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles, Manuela unites chef, farmer and artist to create an authentic and original dining experience. Under the direction of Executive Chef Kris Tominaga, the menu celebrates seasonal ingredients sourced from the best farmers and producers in Southern California.” They recently reopened for spacious patio dining in their inner courtyard. “Serving a wide range of vegetables, grains, fish and game, Manuela also features an exemplary bar program which offers classic cocktails using house-made bitters and tonics. Local beers are on tap, while the carefully selected wine list is designed to pair with the smoke and acid flavors at the heart of the Manuela menu.” We entice Chef Kris out of his busy kitchen for a chat. 

The new WEHO Sausage Co. a The Citizen Public Market in Culver City is already making a name for themselves with gourmet burgers, sausage patty sandwiches and artisan charcuterie. The mission is converting burger purists into sausage patty pioneers. They also prepare appealing charcuterie plates with their house-made salamis, imported cheeses and artisanal accoutrements. WEHO Sausage Co. also features 100 varietals of local, craft, domestic and imported beers and wines. They even have beer and wine pairing suggestions for each of their menu items. Dine-in, take-out. Delivery and catering services are available. The WEHO Sausage Co. started as a full-service caterer.

Lunch and Dinner daily (except Monday) with Weekend Brunch from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Happy Hour with menu specials is daily (except Monday) from 4 to 6:00 p.m. Executive Chef & Proprietor Peter Tulaney joins us to expertly slice the house-made salamis.

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. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. How has it been going? We’ll “Ask the Chef.” We’ll continue our conversation from last week on freezing foods in the home kitchen. What foods freeze well at home and for how long? What are the best tips for defrosting? Chef Andrew has the answers.

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

Stephanie Perkins of Loquita

Loquita in Santa Barbara showcases authentic Spanish food including hot and cold tapas, wood-fired grilled seafood and meats, and seasonal paella. The Mediterranean climate and terroir of Santa Barbara County mirror that of Spain, making the translation of locally sourced produce, meats and seafood an ideal match. The wine list is comprised almost entirely of Spanish wines with exceptional local wines that pair well with the cuisine. Loquita’s cocktail list showcases Spanish vermouths, farmers’ market Sangria, hand-crafted cocktails and a rotating selection of Spain’s king of cocktails, the Gin Tonic.” 

Loquita has reopened for socially distanced patio and outdoor dining nightly at 5:00 p.m. and for takeaway. 

General Manager Stephanie Perkins is our amiable guide.

Jordan Ogron of Tesse

Tesse in West Hollywood is a French restaurant featuring the dynamic, continental-inspired cuisine of Chef Raphael Francois and Pastry Chef Sally Camacho Mueller, served in a chic dining room on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of West Hollywood. An extensive wine program from Jordan Ogron (Principal) is supplemented by Boutellier, an exclusive wine store adjacent to the restaurant. A French-leaning craft cocktail program designed by Nick Meyer and Julian Cox is offered at the bar.”

“The restaurant’s name is a contraction of the French delicatesse, meaning ‘delicacy’ or ‘thoughtfulness’ — it’s also used across France as a colloquial term for charcuterie. And while the iconic pâtés, terrines, rillettes and saucisses of his homeland are central to the menu, Chef Raphael also features a broad and finessed take on French classics, with meats and fish prepared on the wood-fired hearth that anchors the kitchen and lighter fare inspired by near-daily trips to LA’s outstanding Farmers Markets.” 

“Tesse’s menu is designed with wine in mind. The food pairs beautifully with a vast, interactive wine program designed by Jordan Ogron, which features nearly thirty wines by the glass and a list of more than three thousand selections. For those who prefer something a bit stronger, the craft cocktail program was designed by Nick Meyer and Julian Cox, the duo behind many of the most notable bar programs in Los Angeles.”

Kris ominaga of Manuela Restaurant

“Located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles, Manuela unites chef, farmer and artist to create an authentic and original dining experience. Under the direction of Executive Chef Kris Tominaga, the menu celebrates seasonal ingredients sourced from the best farmers and producers in Southern California.” They recently reopened for spacious patio dining in their inner courtyard. Also takeaway and delivery.

“Serving a wide range of vegetables, grains, fish and game, Manuela also features an exemplary bar program which offers classic cocktails using house-made bitters and tonics. Local beers are on tap, while the carefully selected wine list is designed to pair with the smoke and acid flavors at the heart of the Manuela menu.” 

“Designed by Los Angeles native Matt Winter and named for Manuela Wirth, the restaurant is illuminated and animated by specially commissioned works from artists Paul McCarthy, Mark Bradford and Raymond Pettibon.”

“An L.A. native, Chef Kris brings costal California inspired dishes to the Manuela menu. Highlights include his signature cream biscuits with Steen’s butter and Col. Newsom’s aged country ham, barbecued oysters with charred leek butter, breadcrumbs and parmesan, and Peads & Barnetts pork chop with yellow peach, turnips, mustard seed oil and honey vinegar. Inspiration comes from the abundance of California’s vibrant flavors and colors.” Chef Kris utilizes his own kitchen garden at Manuela growing herbs and vegetables in addition to supporting local farmers.

Manuela is part of dine L.A. Their special Lunch menu is available Tuesday, March 2nd through Friday, March 12th while the Dinner menu is available March 2nd through Sunday, March 14th. (Closed on Mondays.)

We entice Chef Kris out of his busy kitchen for a brief chat.

The new WEHO Sausage Co. at The Citizen Public Market in Culver City is already making a name for themselves with gourmet burgers, sausage patty sandwiches and artisan charcuterie. The mission is converting burger purists into sausage patty pioneers. They also prepare appealing charcuterie plates with their house-made salamis, imported cheese and artisanal accoutrements.

“Our fresh ground sausage patty sandwiches will elevate your traditional experience of a burger joint into an algorithm of flavors and aromas.”

WEHO Sausage Co. also features 100 varietals of local, craft, domestic and imported beers and wines. They even have beer and wine pairing suggestions for each of their menu items. Dine-in, take-out, delivery and catering services are available. The WEHO Sausage Co. started as a full-service caterer.

Lunch and Dinner daily (except Monday) with Weekend Brunch from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Happy Hour with menu specials is daily (except Monday) from 4 to 6:00 p.m.

A weekend Brunch special sandwich is The (323.) It’s Applewood Smoked Salmon, Onion, Tomato, with Labneh and served on a Cranberry Walnut Loaf. A popular sandwich is The Marquis. It’s Lamb Merguez Sausage Patty with Roasted Bell Peppers, Arugula and Red Onion Salata with Harissa Aioli.

Executive Chef & Proprietor Peter Tulaney joins us to slice the house-made salamis.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining at greatly reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. How is it going? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

In our culinary hints segment we’ll continue the conversation about what foods freeze well at home and for how long? What are the best tips for freezing and then, later, for defrosting? Also on the menu are the quality myths surrounding packaged frozen vegetables. Chef Andrew has the informed answers.

Chef Andrew also 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 $365,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The substantial need, and fundraising, continues…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Loquita Santa Barbara with General Manager Stephanie Perkins
Segment Three: Jordan Ogron, Principal, Tesse, West Hollywood Part One
Segment Four: Jordan Ogron, Principal, Tesse, West Hollywood Part Two
Segment Five: Executive Chef Kris Tominaga, Manuela, Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Six: The WEHO Sausage and Catering Co with Owner Peter Tulaney
Segment Seven: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chicken with Walnuts and Lemon, from the Dordogne

Chicken with Walnuts and Lemon, from the Dordogne

Recipe excerpt from:
Plat du Jour: French Dinners Made Easy
by Susan Herrmann Loomis

Serves 4 to 6
Equipment: large heavy skillet with a lid, tongs
Preparation Time: 10 minutes if the chicken is in pieces; 20 if not
Cooking Time: 40 minutes max
Difficulty Level: simple

This is a dish from a farm in the Dordogne, where the walnuts are sweet, fat, and buttery tasting, and they make a perfect complement to poultry. This is the kind of dish that you settle down to with comfort and anticipation, because it’s got all the right elements, from cloves of garlic bursting with their sweet flavor to the golden chicken and walnuts and the tang of lemon that lifts the dish out of the ordinary. Serve this with a lovely Chardonnay.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • One 3½- to 4-pound (1.8 to 2 kg) chicken, cut into 8 pieces (2 breast pieces, 2 wings with portion of breast attached, 2 legs, 2 thighs), giblets reserved
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ to 2 cups (375 to 500 ml) white wine, such as a sauvignon blanc
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 1¼ cups (140 g) walnut halves or large pieces
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs for garnish
  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, brown the chicken pieces, seasoning them liberally with salt and pepper, until they are golden, about 5 minutes per side, using tongs to turn the chicken pieces.
  2. Add the lemon juice, ½ cup (125 ml) of the wine, and the garlic cloves to the skillet. Lower the heat to medium, cover, and cook until the chicken is nearly cooked through, about 15 minutes. Then stir the walnuts into the skillet, along with the giblets, cover, and continue to cook for about 8 minutes. Remove the cover from the skillet and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the pan juices have evaporated and the chicken, walnuts, and garlic are golden, 5 to 8 minutes. Be sure to watch the walnuts, for they tend to brown easily. If they are getting too brown at any point in the cooking, remove and return them to the pan just before serving.
  3. Transfer the chicken, garlic, and walnuts to a warmed serving platter and deglaze the skillet with the remaining wine, scraping the bottom to loosen any caramelized bits. Begin by adding the smaller amount of wine; if you need more, top it up with the remaining wine and cook until the sauce is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Then pour the sauce over the chicken, garnish with the parsley sprigs, and serve immediately.

Recipe from Plat Du Jour – French Dinners Made Easy by Susan Herrmann Loomis.  Used with permission.

Curly Endive Salad with Hot Bacon and Goat Cheese

Curly Endive Salad with Hot Bacon and Goat Cheese

Recipe excerpt from:
Plat du Jour: French Dinners Made Easy
by Susan Herrmann Loomis

Serves 6
Equipment: large heatproof salad bowl, baking sheet, large heavy skillet
Preparation Time: 15 minutes max
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Difficulty Level: simple

There is no salad more classic nor more delicious than frisée aux lardons et chêvre, perhaps the most popular in the French retinue of composed salads that are served as plats du jour. This is certainly one of my favorites, because it offers everything—crunchy, fresh, salty, nourishing. Since frisée—curly endive—is a winter green and goat cheese is best in winter, this is a winter dish, to be eaten in a cozy environment, accompanied by a lightly chilled Sancerre Blanc.

For The Greens:
11 ounces (330 g) curly endive (about 12 cups, loosely packed) or escarole, rinsed, patted dry, and torn into small pieces
1 large shallot (2 ounces; 70 g), cut into paper-thin rounds
1 garlic clove, cut into tiny dice

For the Toasts:
12 small slices baguette or other fresh crusty bread
1 garlic clove
3 small goat cheeses (3.5 ounces; 105 g each), such as Crottin de Chavignol, each cut into 2 horizontal rounds, or six 1-inch (2.5 cm) rounds of goat cheese

For Serving:
8 ounces (250 g) slab bacon, rind removed, cut into 1-by-¼-by-¼-inch (2.5 cmby-6 mm-by-6 mm) pieces 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil, if needed
3 tablespoons (45 ml) best quality red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt (optional)

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Prepare the greens: Place the curly endive, shallot, and garlic in a large heatproof salad bowl, and toss to mix.
  3. Prepare the toasts: Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast them on one side about 3 inches (7.5 cm) from the heat element for about 2 minutes. Remove from the broiler and rub on both sides with the whole garlic clove. Place one round of cheese on the untoasted side of six toasted bread slices and place them, along with the remaining pieces of bread, untoasted side up, under the broiler. Broil until the cheese is golden and bubbling and the bread is toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Place the bacon in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, just until it is golden, about 5 minutes. Depending upon how much fat is rendered from the bacon, add up to 3 tablespoons oil because you want 4 tablespoons (60 ml) total of fat. Add the vinegar, standing back as it gives off steam. Stir, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, then pour over the salad. Toss thoroughly, seasoning generously with pepper and salt if necessary, and toss again.
  5. Divide the salad among six warmed salad plates. Place a cheese-topped toast atop each salad, and one piece of plain toast on the side of the plate. Serve immediately.

Astuces:

 • French bacon, and some American brands, are notably lean, so your bacon may need oil for cooking. Have oil at the ready if you need it. If you don’t and wind up with more than 4 tablespoons in the pan, simply drain any excess.

• Note that I ask you to cut the garlic into tiny dice rather than mince it. This is because the “bite” of a piece of garlic is necessary, and if it’s minced, it tends to disappear into the salad.

Recipe from Plat Du Jour – French Dinners Made Easy by Susan Herrmann Loomis.  Used with permission.

February 20: Anne-Marie Panoringan, Rasselbock Kitchen and Beer Garden, Riip Beer Co., Hank’s Bagels

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: Restaurateur Bjoern Risse, Rasselbock Kitchen & Beer Garden, Long Beach & Mar Vista
Segment Five: Brewmaster Ian McCall, Riip Beer Co., Huntington Beach Part One
Segment Six: Brewmaster Ian McCall, Riip Beer Co., Huntington Beach Part Two
Segment Seven: Trevor Faris, Proprietor, Hank’s Bagels – Sherman Oaks & Burbank
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.

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 weekly “On the Line” column. Anne Marie joins us to talk about the new variations of progressive Ramen on the OC scene, and Detroit and Sicilian-style square pizza (which will be part of her next column available on February 22nd.) Also, Anne Marie will update us on Chef Amy Lebrun’s (ex-Lido Bottle Works) new association.

Rasselbock Kitchen and Beer Garden with locations in Long Beach (2018) and the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles is a German restaurant and pub specializing in contemporary German fare with a modern twist. They also are known for freshly tapped German and Belgian beers. Rasselbock features 35 German and Belgian beers, homemade sangrias and a selection of German and California wines. The Rasselbock menu includes multiple versions of schnitzel, sausages, Bavarian pretzels and their signature apple strudel for dessert. The offerings also include multiple vegetarian and vegan options plus kid-friendly dishes. Both Rasselbocks have reopened for outside, patio dining nightly with proper distancing between tables. On weekends the restaurants open at 12 Noon. Takeout is available, too. Is Rasselbock on the menu? Proprietor Bjoern Risse joins us with the explanation.

Riip Beer Co. is located in Sunset Beach, a historic sub-district of Huntington Beach, California directly on Pacific Coast Highway across the street from the beach & the Bolsa Chica Wetlands. “Riip Beer Company started in 2014 as a Home Brew Operation on a 20 Gallon Brew Sculpture by More Beer in a small garage in Downtown Huntington Beach, California.” The winning tradition of Riip has continued under the direction of Brewmaster and Director of Brewing Operations, Ian McCall who is a Huntington Beach resident. Ian joined Riip Beer Co. (a bit over 2 years ago) from Beachwood Brewing where he was lead brewer of their Long Beach facility. At last year’s Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Riip was in the highly exclusive category of most medaled breweries garnering a Gold and two Silvers! We’re tapping the keg with Brewmaster Ian McCall.

We’re bagel obsessed in Southern California so a new, independent bagel shop really needs to stand out to get attention in an already crowded and highly discriminating marketplace. Hank’s Bagels (Hank’s…a deli of sorts) is the creation of Chef Trevor Faris and the original, tiny Burbank location opened without fanfare in late 2019. 

His hand-rolled bagels and spreads, along with a full menu of mouth-watering bagel sandwiches earned early word-of-mouth fame. Many days they sold out of bagels by the early afternoon. Demand has been so great that Chef Travis launched a much larger, commissary location on Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks late last year to keep up. Chefs rave about these bagels and sandwiches. Chef Travis joins us with the bagel briefing.

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. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. How is it going thus far? We’ll “Ask the Chef.” What foods freeze well at home and for how long? What are the best tips for defrosting? Chef Andrew has the answers.

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 Distillery

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 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 new variations of progressive Ramen on the OC scene, and Detroit and Sicilian-style square pizza (which will be part of her next column available on February 22nd.) Also Anne Marie will update us on Chef Amy Lebrun’s (ex-Lido Bottle Works) new association.

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.

Bjoern Risse of Rasslebock Kitchen and Beer Garden

Rasselbock Kitchen and Beer Garden with locations in Long Beach (2018) and the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles is a German restaurant and pub specializing in contemporary German fare with a modern twist. They also specialize in freshly tapped German and Belgian beers. Rasselbock features 35 German and Belgian beers, homemade sangrias and a selection of German and California wines.

The Rasselbock menu includes multiple versions of schnitzel, sausages, Bavarian pretzels and their signature apple strudel for dessert. The offerings also include multiple vegetarian and vegan options plus kid-friendly dishes.

Both Rasselbocks have reopened for outside, patio dining nightly with proper distancing between tables. On weekends the restaurants open at 12 Noon. Takeout is available, too.

Is Rasselbock on the menu? Proprietor Bjoern Risse joins us with the explanation.

Ian McCall of Riip Beer Company

Riip Beer Co. is located in Sunset Beach, a historic sub-district of Huntington Beach, California directly on Pacific Coast Highway across the street from the beach & the Bolsa Chica Wetlands. “Riip Beer Company started in 2014 as a Home Brew Operation on a 20 Gallon Brew Sculpture by More Beer in a small garage in Downtown Huntington Beach, California.” 

The winning tradition of Riip has continued under the direction of Brewmaster and Director of Brewing Operations, Ian McCall who is a Huntington Beach resident. Ian joined Riip Beer Co. (a bit over 2 years ago) from Beachwood Brewing where he was lead brewer of their Long Beach facility. At last year’s Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Riip was in the highly exclusive category of most medaled breweries garnering a Gold and two Silvers! 

For this Weekend Riip has a pair of news brews on tap. Playa Nublada: Hazy IPA dry hopped with Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe. Old School Values: a modern take on a classic IPA. Riip “paired classic American hops, Amarillo, Centennial and Zythos with modern kettle and dry hopping processes and the result is rad!”

“Founded by two Brother-in-Laws in 2014, Riip Beer became one of Southern California’s first Nano Breweries to hit the rapid growing craft beer scene producing some of the best small batch, hand crafted ales in Orange County. Riip Beer was built organically from the ground up, the same way they craft their beers.”

“In 2016 Riip Beer Company for the first time ever entered the prestigious GABF (Great American Beer Festival) competition and received a Silver Medal for it’s Super Cali IPA in the uber competitive American IPA category. Brewed on their 3bbl system Riip Beer became the smallest brewery to ever win a GABF in the American IPA category with over 400 entries from around the globe.”

The winning tradition has continued under the direction of Brewmaster and Director of Brewing Operation, Ian McCall, who is a Huntington Beach resident. Ian joined Riip Beer Co. (a bit over 2 years ago) from Beachwood Brewing where he was lead brewer of their Long Beach facility. 

At last year’s Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Riip was in the highly exclusive category of most medaled breweries. They were awarded Gold for their Belgian-Style Ale – Category 82 (Tangible Passion,) A Silver for Coffee Stout or Porter – Category 10 (The Riizzo,)  and a Silver for American-Style Black Ale or American-Style – Category 69 (Black the Ripper.)

At any given time the Riip Beer Co. Tasting Room in Huntington Beach offers an impressive selection of 19 craft beers on tap.

We’re tapping the keg with Brewmaster Ian McCall.

Trevor Faris of Hanks Bagels

We’re bagel obsessed in Southern California so a new, independent bagel shop really needs to stand out to get attention in an already crowded and highly discriminating marketplace. Hank’s Bagels (Hank’s…a deli of sorts) is the creation of Chef Trevor Faris and the original, tiny Burbank location opened without fanfare in late 2019. 

His hand-rolled bagels and spreads, along with a full menu of mouth-watering bagel sandwiches earned early word-of-mouth fame. Many days they sold out of bagels by the early afternoon. Demand has been so great that Chef Travis opened a much larger, commissary location on Ventura Blvd. late last year to keep up. Chefs rave about these bagels and sandwiches.

The assortment of handmade bagels includes plain, poppy, sesame, salt, cinnamon raisin, onion, rosemary and everything. Spreads range from Scallion to Vegan Cream Cheese plus Lox. A popular Bagel Sandwich is the No. 2 with crispy fried egg, braised greens, gruyere, pickled peppers and aioli.

Chef Travis joins us with the bagel briefing.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and Casino

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. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining at greatly reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. How is it going thus far? We’ll “Ask the Chef.” 

In our culinary hints discussion what foods freeze well at home and for how long? What are the best tips for freezing and then, later, for defrosting? Chef Andrew has the informed answers.

Chef Andrew also 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 $320,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The need, and fundraising, continues…

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: Restaurateur Bjoern Risse, Rasselbock Kitchen & Beer Garden, Long Beach & Mar Vista
Segment Five: Brewmaster Ian McCall, Riip Beer Co., Huntington Beach Part One
Segment Six: Brewmaster Ian McCall, Riip Beer Co., Huntington Beach Part Two
Segment Seven: Trevor Faris, Proprietor, Hank’s Bagels – Sherman Oaks & Burbank
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”