September 19: Luciano Pellegrini, Steve Dolinsky, Zov’s BIstro and Bakery, OC Restaurant Week Uncorked with Sapphire

Angelenos know the name of Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini (Italian-born) from his days in Los Angeles with Piero Selvaggio as executive chef of Primi in West Los Angeles and Posto in Sherman Oaks. In 1999 Luciano relocated to Las Vegas to open the well-received Valentino Las Vegas in the Venetian Resort as Executive Chef and Partner with Piero Selvaggio. In 2004 the James Beard Foundation awarded Pellegrini a prestigious James Beard Award as Best Chef Southwest. Very few Las Vegas-based chefs have achieved this honor. Chef Luciano’s recent venture is the launching of Heavenly Pies with his cousin David Ryan Brister. Chef Luciano joins us with pizza peel in hand.

Food journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s “Hungry Hound” in Chicago, is the recipient of an impressive 13 James Beard Foundation Awards for journalistic excellence. The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala is in Chicago on Friday evening, September 25th in an unexpected virtual format to be broadcast live via Twitter. Steve previews the dramatically reformatted (and virtual) 2020 James Beard Foundation Awards Gala. Steve Dolinsky joins us to explain the unprecedented specifics.

Founded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, the iconic Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution. Serving her unique cuisine that blends contemporary with Eastern Mediterranean influences, in an upscale, chic environment. There are now also Zov’s restaurants in Newport Coast, Irvine and Anaheim (temporarily on hiatus.) The Tustin, Irvine and Newport Coast locations are now serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. Tailgating in Tustin (twice a month) with live music returns for Happy Hour and Dinner on Saturday, September 19th. New from Zov’s Catering are value-priced, individual meals that are table-ready. 2nd generation Karamardian Family member, Armen, joins us with the updates and looks to the future.

Orange County Restaurant Week Uncorked is on now through Saturday, September 26th. Orange County restaurants are participating with value priced menus available for lunch and/or dinner. Some have specialty cocktails as part of their offerings. The restaurants encourage you to savor the full guest experience with the return of limited dine-in with proper social distancing but most menus are also available To-Go.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook join us to tempt with their prix fixe dinner menus at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach, Ironwood in Laguna Hills, Olea in Newport Beach, and Vine Restaurant & Bar in San Clemente.

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. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that greatly restrict guest counts. Alternately take-out/delivery when you can surely helps… The consensus is that fine dining will look a bit different once the Covid 19 crisis finally subsides and there is a safe & proven vaccine readily available to all Americans. We all anticipate other changes in eating out at all levels. We get Chef Andrew’s informed and insightful thoughts on the future.

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

Luciano Pellegrini of Heavenly Pies in Las VegasAngelenos know the name of Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini (Italian-born) from his days in Los Angeles with Piero Selvaggio as executive chef of Primi in West Los Angeles (the unofficial commissary of Twentieth Century-Fox Studios at the time) and Posto in Sherman Oaks. In 1999 Luciano relocated to Las Vegas to open the well-received Valentino Las Vegas in the Venetian Resort as Executive Chef and Partner with Piero Selvaggio. In 2004 the James Beard Foundation awarded Pellegrini a prestigious James Beard Award as Best Chef Southwest. Very few Las Vegas-based chefs have achieved this honor.

After Valentino Las Vegas closed Pellegrini remained in Las Vegas and went on to debut Dolce Vita Gelato, an artisan gelato producer (wholesale) serving the hospitality business. He also consults for other restaurants in Las Vegas and California.

Chef Luciano’s latest venture is the launching of Heavenly Pies in the Southern Highlands neighborhood of Las Vegas with his cousin David Ryan Brister. The style of pizza is a mash up of Roman and Neapolitan varieties with premium ingredients. The signature Heavenly Pizza features black truffle tomato, brie cheese, porcini mushrooms, roasted garlic, speck and escarole.

The Trattoria Menu is Chef Luciano’s take on classic Italian dishes with a few surprises. Think Zeppole (fried dumplings) with anchovies, mozzarella and basil served with marinara or Philly cheese steak eggrolls.

Also on the menu are an assortment of six Takeout Meal packages. Each is designed to serve four guests and are packaged ready to eat or reheat.

Chef Luciano joins us with pizza peel in hand.

Steve Dolinsky and Andreew GruelFood journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s “Hungry Hound” in Chicago, is the recipient of an impressive 13 James Beard Foundation Awards for journalistic excellence.

In addition to his considerable journalistic talents Steve in an accomplished podcaster and pizza afficionado. “Every other Friday, Steve talks to some of the world’s greatest pizzaiolos, bakers and artisans about their craft. Hear their backstories, discover their secrets, techniques and inspirations, while listening to their meticulous process as they describe how they make their truly sublime pizzas.”

The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala is in Chicago on Friday evening, September 25th in virtual format to be broadcast via Twitter. Steve previews the dramatically reformatted (and virtual) 2020 James Beard Foundation Awards Gala.

Restaurant and Chef awards in 23 categories have been nominated. None of these awards will be announced. Instead, the previously announced winners will be honored in the categories of America’s Classics, Lifetime Achievement, Humanitarian of the Year, Design Icon and Leadership Awards. All the previously announced Nominees (in twenty-three categories) will also be honored.

Steve Dolinsky joins us to untangle the specifics.

Armen Karamardian of ZovsFounded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, legendary Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution. Serving her unique cuisine that blends contemporary with Eastern Mediterranean influences, in an upscale chic environment. There are now also Zov’s restaurants in Newport Coast, Irvine and Anaheim (temporarily on hiatus.) The Tustin, Irvine and Newport Coast locations are currently serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. Also serving guests again for dine-in at 25 per cent capacity.

Tailgating in Tustin (in the parking lot) with live music on the Café patio returns for Happy Hour and Dinner (twice a month) on Saturday, September 19th. Guests can also dine under the stars on the Café patio. Guests can order ahead from Zov’s take-out menu along with the wine and cocktail list. Because of space limitations and safety requirements reservations are required.

New from Zov’s Catering are value-priced, individual meals that are table-ready. Sealed utensils are included.

“Family support has constantly been Zov’s foundation and inspiration throughout her culinary career. Zov, in addition to her husband, Gary, her son Armen, and her daughter Taleene, have created a rare family business recipe that has taken comforting creations of the family kitchen blended with Chef Zov’s culinary artistry.”

2nd generation Karamardian Family member, Armen, joins us with the updates and looks to the future.

Chef Jared CookOrange County Restaurant Week Uncorked is on now through Saturday, September 26th. Orange County restaurants are participating with value priced menus available for lunch and/or dinner. Some have specialty cocktails as part of their offerings. The restaurants encourage you to get the full guest experience with the return of dine-in with proper social distancing but most menus are also available To-Go.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook join us to tempt with their prix fixe dinner menus at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach, Ironwood in Laguna Hills, Olea in Newport Beach, and Vine Restaurant & Bar in San Clemente.

Their special cocktail for OC Restaurant Week Uncorked is The Woodpecker. It’s Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Aperol, Crème de Peach, Fresh Peaches and Ginger.

The prix fixe dinner menu is three courses with choices in each category and priced at $50.00. Entree possibilities are Zinfandel Braised Napa Lamb Shank, Certified Double R Ranch Bone-In Ribeye Steak and Wild Caught Alaskan Halibut.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant GroupOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

The consensus is that fine dining will look a bit different once the Covid 19 crisis finally subsides and there is a safe & proven vaccine readily available to all Americans. We all anticipate other significant changes in eating out at all levels. We get Chef Andrew’s informed and insightful thoughts on the future.

 

September 12: Waste Not OC, David Kinch, John Taube, Al Mancini

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Mike Learakos, Executive Director of Waste Not OC
Segment Three: Chef / Proprietor David Kinch of Manresa in Los Gatos
Segment Four: Executive Chef John Taube, The Hoxton DTLA & Sunday Hospitality Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef John Taube, The Hoxton DTLA & Sunday Hospitality Part Two
Segment Six: Food Journalist Al Mancini, Staff Writer, Las Vegas Review-Journal Part One
Segment Seven: Food Journalist Al Mancini, Staff Writer, Las Vegas Review-Journal Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

The world’s first off the grid, fully sustainable, completely green 100% solar powered freezer, “The Beast,” has been placed and activated on the campus of Anaheim High School. The need for emergency cold storage for recovered excess edible food from the food service industry to distribute to non-profit food pantries has been a priority for Mike Learakos, Executive Director of Waste Not OC, and Impact The Change’s Founder, Jonathan Stone. “The Beast” was created from a forty-foot refrigerated cargo container, designed to ship food. During a power outage, its solar technology will generate its own green power, virtually eliminating food waste, and operate completely off of the electrical grid. Waste Not OC’s Mike Learakos joins us with the details.

Newly released on Virtual Cinema is “A Chef’s Voyage.” The film follows Emmy (Mind of a Chef) and James Beard award-winning Chef David Kinch and his team from their 3 Star Michelin restaurant, Manresa, in Los Gatos, California for a one of a kind “four hands” collaboration in France with three legendary chefs at their iconic restaurants in Paris, Provence, and Marseille. The ambitious trip is a celebration of Manresa’s 15 Anniversary. Chef David Kinch sabors the celebratory Champagne and joins us.

Newly arrived last year in Downtown Los Angeles in a tastefully restored Beaux Arts building is The Hoxton hotel with sister properties in Williamsburg, Portland, Chicago and International. Their 174 rooms are spread across four different size categories from Snug to Biggy, meaning there’s something to suit everyone. Destination restaurants located at Hoxton properties are a trademark. The Hoxton DTLA has Sibling Rival, the elevated, all-day restaurant located on the ground floor (temporarily closed,) and Pilot (service from 7:00 a.m.to 10:00 p.m.) on the rooftop (with eye-catching L.A. skyline views) which also includes the Pilot Bar adjacent to the pool. All the rooftop food & beverage spaces (outdoors) have reopened with all the health and safety protocols solidly in place. We’ll get all the updated specifics from Executive Chef John Taube who oversees the ample culinary portfolio.

One of our most reliable sources of accurate restaurant news in fabulous Las Vegas is Al Mancini, who is a staff writer for The Las Vegas Review-Journal covering food, restaurants and other aspects of entertainment. Al has been working the Vegas food scene for 19 years. He was one of the creators of the popular, and widely referenced, Eating Las Vegas restaurant guidebook series. Al joins us with his quarterly update on the Las Vegas dining scene. Labor Day Weekend was huge for them. He’ll preview what’s of particular interest to him in some major restaurant openings on the horizon. We’ll also find out about food & beverage available at the new Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders.

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. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately take-out/delivery when you can surely helps… What’s an appropriate topping for pizza that compliments the pie versus clashes with it? Chef Andrew opened the can on the subject of the Hawaiian Pizza (didn’t actually originate in Hawaii) and pineapple on it last week. We’ll continue that spirited conversation along with discussing what savory toppings really belong on a pizza from a culinary POV. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

Mike Learakos of Katella Grill and Waste Not OCThe world’s first off the grid, fully sustainable, completely green 100% solar powered freezer, “The Beast,” has been placed and activated on the campus of Anaheim High School.

The need for emergency cold storage for recovered excess edible food from the food service industry to distribute to non-profit food pantries has been a priority for Mike Learakos, Executive Director of Waste Not OC, and Impact The Change’s Founder, Jonathan Stone.

After three years of planning and building, ‘The Beast’ was created from a forty-foot refrigerated cargo container, designed to ship food. During a power outage, its solar technology will generate its own green power, virtually eliminating food waste, and operate completely off of the electrical grid.

“Local businesses are on board developing products for the unit to help protect, maintain inventory and manage temperature for thousands of vacuum sealed, frozen ‘Ready To Heat & Eat’ meals used to feed people that can’t get out for a nutritious, hot meal. This new cold storage unit will also help feed those in need during a disaster, regardless of power interruptions, including rolling black outs.”

David Kinch of ManresaNewly released on Virtual Cinema is A Chef’s Voyage.” The film follows Emmy (Mind of a Chef) and James Beard award-winning Chef David Kinch and his team from their 3 Star Michelin restaurant, Manresa, in Los Gatos, California for a one of a kind “four hands” collaboration in France with three legendary chefs at their iconic restaurants in Paris, Provence, and Marseille. The ambitious trip is a celebration of Manresa’s 15th Anniversary.

“As soon as the Manresa team arrives in France, the crew prepares to cook alongside chefs and teams from three of the country’s best starred restaurants, and esteemed Relais & Chateaux members: Le Taillevent, L’Oustau de Baumanière and Le Petit Nice. Even for Kinch’s highly proficient team, it’s difficult to navigate their host kitchens and represent Californian gourmet cuisine on Michelin’s home turf while jetlagged, on a tight schedule, and with a language barrier.”

“Reminiscent of a classic “Rock Doc,” A Chef’s Voyage (directed by Remi Anfosso) goes behind the scenes of their ‘voyage’ as they stage five dinner and four lunch events over the course of just 10 days in the world’s most cinematic venues, observing culinary superstars and their young and diverse supporting cast, and ultimately create something much more than food.”

Chef David Kinch sabors the celebratory Champagne and joins us.

John Taube of Sibling Rival at the Hoxton DTLANewly arrived last year in Downtown Los Angeles in a tastefully restored Beaux Arts building is The Hoxton hotel with sister properties in Williamsburg, Portland, Chicago and International. Their 174 rooms are spread across four different size categories from Snug to Biggy, meaning there’s something to suit everyone. Destination restaurants located at Hoxton properties are a trademark. The Hoxton DTLA has Sibling Rival, the elevated, all-day restaurant located on the ground floor (temporarily closed,) and Pilot (service from 7:00 a.m.to 10:00 p.m.) on the rooftop (with eye-catching L.A. skyline views) which also includes the Pilot Bar adjacent to the pool.

All the rooftop food & beverage spaces (outdoors) at The Hoxton have reopened with all the health and safety protocols securely in place. It’s Breakfast, Brunch, Happy Hour (2 to 6:00 p.m. Weekdays,) Mid-Afternoon and Dinner along with a Late Night menu. Many of the classic daytime menu items from Sibling Rival have temporarily migrated to Pilot until guests can again be served at Sibling Rival.

Pilot is named in tribute to The Hoxton, Downtown LA rooftop’s cameo in the 1921 film “Stranger than Fiction” where it served as the launch pad from which stuntman Frank Clarke and pilot Wally Timm flew their plane.

Weekend Specials include Spanish Paella for Two with Chorizo Sofrito and Fresco, Prawns, Mussels, Pee Wee Potatoes, Market Peppers and swerved with Pan de Tomat and Saffron Aioli.

Chef John’s team at Pilot DTLA also includes Chef de Cuisine Tyler Curtis and Pastry Chef Mallory Canyon.

We’ll get all the updated specifics from Executive Chef John Taube who oversees the ample culinary portfolio.

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

Al joins us with his quarterly update report on the Las Vegas dining scene. Labor Day Weekend was huge for them. There is a development this week on whether Vegas bars that serve food can reopen counter service that has created a lot of confusion for restaurateurs. We’ll also ask Al about the status of the iconic Las Vegas buffets. He’ll also preview what’s of particular interest to him in some major restaurant openings on the horizon. We’ll also find out about food & beverage available at the new Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders.

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

What’s an appropriate topping for quality pizza that compliments the pie versus clashes with it? Chef Andrew opened the can on the subject of the Hawaiian Pizza (didn’t actually originate in Hawaii) and pineapple on it last week. We’ll continue that spirited conversation along with discussing what savory toppings really belong on a pizza from a culinary POV. You may be surprised…We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Mike Learakos, Executive Director of Waste Not OC
Segment Three: Chef / Proprietor David Kinch of Manresa in Los Gatos
Segment Four: Executive Chef John Taube, The Hoxton DTLA & Sunday Hospitality Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef John Taube, The Hoxton DTLA & Sunday Hospitality Part Two
Segment Six: Food Journalist Al Mancini, Staff Writer, Las Vegas Review-Journal Part One
Segment Seven: Food Journalist Al Mancini, Staff Writer, Las Vegas Review-Journal Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

September 5, Memphis City Tasting Tours, Jason Quinn, Post & Beam, Tanya Holland

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Memphis Food Entrepreneur Christina McCarter – City Tasting Tours & City Tasting Boxes Part One
Segment Three: Memphis Food Entrepreneur Christina McCarter – City Tasting Tours & City Tasting Boxes Part Two
Segment Four: Chef / Proprietor Jason Quinn, Playground DTSA, Santa Ana
Segment Five: Chef John & Roni Cleveland, Proprietors, Post & Beam, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Six: Chef John & Roni Cleveland, Proprietors, Post & Beam, Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Seven: Celebrity Chef Tanya Holland, Brown Sugar Kitchen, Oakland
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Resourceful food entrepreneur Christina McCarter operates City Tasting Tours and the newly launched City Tasting Boxes in Memphis, TN. In normal times City Tasting Tour shares the stories of the people, places and food that make Memphis such a wonderful place to visit and live with savvy locals and visitors. The Downtown walking tours sample locally made dishes and interact with chefs, restaurant owners and food artisans. Between bites, guests walk through a historic Memphis neighborhood filled with unexpected landmarks that even locals may overlook. Her latest venture is the launch of City Tasting Boxes which are a collection of the specialty food products of amazing local food artisans in Memphis. 3 options are available ranging from the “Official Memphis Travel Box” to the luxe “Ultimate Support Local Box.”

For the last nine years Playground DTLA in Santa Ana has been the very personal expression of Proprietor and Chef Jason Quinn. Sadly COVID 19 has decimated their business. For the last 6 months they have pulled out all the stops to serve their loyal guests within in the confines of needed public safety for customers as well as employees. It’s not a business model that is viable. Chef Jason has announced that the entire Playground complex will conclude at the end of their lease on December 31st, 2021. For the next 16 months Chef Jason and his team will continue to enthusiastically present the evening, ticketed, fine-dining dinner series, Playground 1.9, as well as operate the daytime, fast-casual Dough Exchange featuring bagels, rotisserie shawarma items, fresh pita, hummus and Kakigori. Chef Jason is our guest with all the specifics.

Establishing itself as a vital South L.A. cultural institution, Brad and Linda Johnson opened up the fine dining restaurant, Post & Beam in 2011 – its location adjacent to the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza Mall. Govind Armstrong served as head chef and partner, mentoring and eventually passing the culinary baton to John Cleveland. Last year, John & Roni Cleveland took over ownership of Post & Beam, keeping it a black-owned business. “With the changing of the guards, John will benefit from business consulting and access to senior leadership as well as mentorship in the kitchen from Govind, while Linda and I will focus on extending the brand through Post & Beam Hospitality LLC,” said Brad Johnson. Restaurateurs Chef John and Roni Cleveland join us.

Known for her inventive take on modern soul food, as well as comfort classics, Tanya Holland is the executive chef/owner of Oakland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen. She is also the author of the Brown Sugar Kitchen Cookbook and New Soul Cooking; was the host and soul food expert on the television series Melting Pot; and competed on the fifteenth season of Top Chef. Holland holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, and a Grande Diplôme from La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine. Her latest venture is the launch of Season 1 of Tanya’s Table, her debut podcast. We’ll meet the always on the go Chef Tanya Holland.

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. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately take-out/delivery when you can surely helps… When the spread of COVID 19 has greatly slowed fine dining, as it can more fully resume, will be a bit of a different experience. What will fine dining possibly look like in the future ? We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

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

Christina McCarter of Memphis City Tasting ToursResourceful food entrepreneur Christina McCarter operates City Tasting Tours and the newly launched City Tasting Boxes in Memphis, TN. In normal times City Tasting Tour shares the stories of the people, places and food that make Memphis such a wonderful place to visit and live with appreciative locals and visitors. The Downtown walking tours sample locally made dishes and interact with chefs, restaurant owners and food artisans. Between bites, guests walk through a historic Memphis neighborhood filled with unexpected landmarks that even locals may overlook.

Her latest venture is the launch of City Tasting Boxes which are a collection of the distinctive food products of amazing local food artisans in Memphis. 3 options are presently available ranging from the “Official Memphis Travel Box” to the luxe “Ultimate Support Local Box.”

Christina is also working to perfect her Virtual Memphis Tasting Tour which has already been beta tested.

Christina McCarter joins us.

Jason QuinnFor the last nine years Playground DTLA has been the very personal expression of Proprietor and Chef Jason Quinn. Sadly COVID 19 has decimated their business. Chef Jason has announced that the entire Playground complex will conclude at the end of their lease on December 31st, 2021.

The better news is that for the next 16 months Chef Jason and team will continue to enthusiastically operate their nighttime Playground 1.9 dining experiences. These are ticketed, fine-dining evenings with patio, al fresco seating. The price is inclusive of food, beverage pairings, tax and gratuity. Perfect for a special celebratory evening. Typically hosted on Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings.

Chef Jason’s favorite foods will continue to be showcased during the day (closed on Monday & Tuesday) at the fast-casual Dough Exchange located in Downtown Santa Ana, right next to Playground and Playground 1.9. The offerings at Dough Exchange are always evolving, but focuses around their freshly made bagels, rotisserie shawarma offerings, and super silky hummus with the freshest pita. “Dough Exchange truly embodies the spirit of Playground: a bunch of talented chefs and bakers making the things that they are excited about.” Also the home of Kakigori, an Instagramable fluffy shaved ice dessert from Japan. “Grab some delicious food and maybe a canned craft cocktail to enjoy on our patio.”

Playground’s Director of Libations, Jarred Dooley, is joining forces with Joe Valdovinos (both former OC Bartenders of the year) for an “Illegal Mezcal Virtual Cocktail Party on September 11th or 12th. On the menu are three original cocktails.

Chef Jason is our guest.

John Cleveland of Post and BeamEstablishing itself as a South L.A. cultural institution, Brad and Linda Johnson opened up the fine dining restaurant, Post & Beam in 2011 — its location adjacent to the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza MallGovind Armstrong served as head chef and partner, mentoring and eventually passing the culinary baton to John Cleveland. Last year, John & Roni Cleveland took over ownership of Post & Beam, keeping it a black-owned business. “With the changing of the guards, John will benefit from business consulting and access to senior leadership as well as mentorship in the kitchen from Govind, while Linda and I will focus on extending the brand through Post & Beam Hospitality LLC,” said Brad Johnson.

This year the team behind Post & Bream received the Los Angeles Times Gold Award, named for the late Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold. “The Los Angeles Times Gold Award is given annually “with the idea of honoring culinary excellence and expanding the notion of what Southern California cooking might be. The award celebrates intelligence and innovation, brilliance and sensitivity to aesthetics, culture and the environment,” described Gold in 2017, prior to his death.”

“I consider myself a ‘working chef,’ and I love creating California comfort food. Comfort food is simple; yet it requires perfect execution, said John Cleveland. “The secret ingredients to good cooking are love and patience. You can taste it in every bite!”

Roni Cleveland of Post and Beam“Post & Beam focuses on “California comfort food.” The restaurant offers a variety of hand-stretched pizzas and traditional southern comfort food, using local ingredients. Born in Oakland, California and raised in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Cleveland draws his influences from southern soul food, Carolina BBQ, coastal seafood as well as Neapolitan cuisine, culminating into what he’s coined as “California comfort food.””

“Favorite menu items include the hand-stretched pizzas with such toppings as pepperoni, turkey meatballs, shrimp and wild mushrooms; smoked BBQ baby back ribs and red cabbage slaw; fried jerked catfish; buttermilk fried chicken; shrimp ‘n’ grits; slow-cooked collard greens with smoked turkey and classic pound cake – just to name a few. In addition, dishes are seasoned with fresh herbs and seasonal fruits, grown from Post & Beam’s garden, such as basil, rosemary, sorrel, and lemon verbena along with panache figs, cara cara oranges and Meyer lemons.””

Post & Beam is again open for limited dining on their garden patio and for To-Go and delivery.

Chef John and Roni Cleveland are our guests. They will chat about becoming the 2nd proprietors of the well-established Post & Beam and the responsibility to the community that entails.

Tanya Holland of Brown Sugar KitchenKnown for her inventive take on modern soul food, as well as comfort classics, Tanya Holland is the executive chef/owner of Oakland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen. She is also the author of the Brown Sugar Kitchen Cookbook and New Soul Cooking; was the host and soul food expert on the television series Melting Pot; and competed on the fifteenth season of Top Chef. Holland holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, and a Grande Diplôme from La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine.

Her latest venture is the launch of Season 1 of Tanya’s Table, her debut podcast. Tanya’s Table spotlights Holland and her guests discussing food, culture, and diverse foodways as podcast listeners peer through the window to experience their candid, and often hilarious, conversations. While food is the center of attention, Holland explores other lifestyle topics such as travel, social awareness, self-help and work / life balance, challenges and triumphs, discovering off-the-radar gems, sustainability, the role of mentors, and more. Every episode further delves into each guest’s individual identity through their sense of taste (with food, design, style, etc.) and discovering foods of their heritage.”

Tanya is also a trustee of the prestigious, Manhattan-based James Beard Foundation. She was recently appointed to the James Beard Awards Committee, the governing body of the James Beard Awards.

We’ll meet the always on the go Chef Tanya Holland.

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

When the spread of COVID 19 has, at long last, greatly slowed, fine dining, as it can more fully resume, will be a bit of a different experience. What will fine dining possibly look like in the future? We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Memphis Food Entrepreneur Christina McCarter – City Tasting Tours & City Tasting Boxes Part One
Segment Three: Memphis Food Entrepreneur Christina McCarter – City Tasting Tours & City Tasting Boxes Part Two
Segment Four: Chef / Proprietor Jason Quinn, Playground DTSA, Santa Ana
Segment Five: Chef John & Roni Cleveland, Proprietors, Post & Beam, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Six: Chef John & Roni Cleveland, Proprietors, Post & Beam, Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Seven: Celebrity Chef Tanya Holland, Brown Sugar Kitchen, Oakland
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

August 29: 20CHEFS, Mutt Lynch’s, Drago Centro, Fork & Knife, Liquid Farm

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Christine Brown, Pacific Standard Prime and Co-Chair – 20CHEFS: A Socially Distanced Fundraiser
Segment Three: Jerilyn Lynch, Co-Proprietor, Mutt Lynch’s, Newport Beach
Segment Four: Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Downtown Los Angeles Part One
Segment Five: Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Downtown Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Six: Executive Chef Jonathan Blackford of Fork & Knife, Costa Mesa
Segment Seven: Jeff Nelson, Founder & CEO, Liquid Farm, Lompoc
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Beacon House Association of San Pedro is an all-male alcohol and drug treatment facility established in 1970 by a South Bay minister and a merchant seaman. The non-profit’s mission is to assist men recover from the diseases of alcoholism and addiction to other drugs. For this year their annual fundraiser will be 20CHEFS : A Social Distanced Fundraiser. Supporters are encouraged to bid (online) for special multi-course meals for a maximum of 10 guests created and prepared by prominent area chefs that are served at the buyer’s residence or at the chef’s restaurant. Celebrity Chef Andrew Zimmern of Food Network fame will be donating one of these dinner experiences. Chef Christine Brown of the newly opened Pacific Standard Prime in Redondo Beach is Co-Chair of the benefit and one of the participating chefs cooking a meal for ten lucky guests. Chef Cristine puts down her tongs and joins us with all the 20 CHEFS details.

Mutt Lynch’s in Newport Beach, celebrating their 45th Anniversary this year, has introduced a limited-time menu inspired by the distinctive and typically over-the-top specialty foods found at the OC Fair.  Available for a limited time, the special menu sees the addition of iconic Fair favorites, including Giant Turkey Legs and Deep-fried Oreos. When the OC Fair was canceled this year for only the second time in its over-130-year history due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Mutt Lynch’s found a way to keep its magic alive with a special menu recreating some of the Fair’s most iconic dishes. The OC Fair favorites will be available through Labor Day. 2nd generation Co-owner, Jerilyn Lynch, is our guest with Giant Turkey Leg in hand.

“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 transcends to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially has welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles as new Managing Partner!” Now that Drago Centro has reopened for pampered, evening patio dining Piero Selvaggio returns with the update.

Since Executive Chef Jonathan Blackford departed A Restaurant (Newport Beach) and CdM Restaurant (Corona del Mar) to develop a food venture of his own he’s given a lot of thought to what the dining community really needs right now. The result of this planning is Fork & Knife scheduled to launch in Costa Mesa in October. “Fork & Knife is actually three concepts in one and I believe that it speaks to current dining habits and what the public wants right now,” commented Chef Blackford. “It has always been my goal to open a restaurant of my own, but the timing isn’t right for a full-service dining experience. What people want right now is a neighborhood place that offers fully prepared dinners, quick meals to carryout and quality products that you would find at a gourmet market – that’s what Fork & Knife aims to deliver.”

Jeff Nelson is the Founder and CEO of Liquid Farm with their distinctive Tasting Room in Los Olivos and the Winery in Lompoc.

“We seek to support local viticulture and honor our palates’ love for old world wines that have naturally high acidity and are not masked by many of the modern-day manipulations.” “To do so, we selfishly decided to make what we most love to drink: Chardonnay that is earth and mineral driven from cool climates with little or no new oak. To achieve these qualities we were drawn to one of the coolest of all California AVA’s, Sta. Rita Hills. Located in Santa Barbara County, it is home to some of the most Chardonnay-suited, unique, ancient soils in North America.” Jeff Nelson artfully pulls the cork for us on all things Liquid Farm.

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. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps… The James Beard Foundation Awards set for a rescheduled virtual presentation in Chicago on September 25th have been cancelled. The balance of the chef and restaurant awards (nominations announced previously) will not be presented this year. The live presentation will instead salute the already announced winners in categories including America’s Classics, Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian of the Year. What does the future hold? We’ll” “Ask the Chef.”

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

Christine Brown of Pacific Standard PrimeBeacon House Association of San Pedro is an all-male alcohol and drug treatment facility established in 1970 by a South Bay minister and a merchant seaman. The non-profit’s mission is to assist men recover from the diseases of alcoholism and addiction to other drugs. For this year their annual fundraiser will be 20CHEFS: A Social Distanced Fundraiser.

Supporters are encouraged to bid (online) for very special meals for a maximum of 10 guests created and prepared by prominent area chefs that are served at the buyer’s residence or at the chef’s restaurant. Celebrity Chef Andrew Zimmern of Food Network fame will be donating one of these dinner experiences. Chef Zimmern’s dinner for ten has already sold for a cool $25,000. Zimmern has now graciously added a second dinner for the bidding. The bidding for each of the other chef dinners for ten starts at $5,000.

Chef Christine Brown of the newly opened Pacific Standard Prime in Redondo Beach is Co-Chair of the benefit and one of the participating chefs cooking a meal for ten lucky guests. Chef Cristine puts down her tongs and joins us with all the 20CHEFS details.

Jerilyn Lynch of Mutt Lynch'sMutt Lynch’s in Newport Beach, celebrating their 45th Anniversary this year, has introduced a limited-time menu inspired by the distinctive and typically over-the-top specialty foods found at the OC Fair.  Available for a limited time, the special menu sees the addition of iconic Fair favorites, including Giant Turkey Legs and Deep-fried Oreos. When the OC Fair was canceled this year for only the second time in its over-130-year history due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Mutt Lynch’s found a way to keep its magic alive with a special menu recreating some of the Fair’s most iconic dishes. The OC Fair favorites will be available through Labor Day.

“We go to OC Fair every year as a family, and one of the biggest draws for us is the outrageously fun food,” comments second-generation owner Jerilyn Lynch. “The Fair signifies the peak of summer; being there creates a sense of care-free nostalgia. We think the world could use a bit of that right now, so we thought ‘If we can’t go to the OC Fair, we’ll bring the OC Fair to us!’”

In addition to its new, limited-time menu of OC Fair-inspired food, Mutt Lynch’s is currently offering its full menu – which contains over 200 items. The iconic beach bar has also expanded to offer outdoor dining, converting five parking spaces into a spacious beach-front dining area with plenty of seating, tiki torches and the hanging Christmas lights, that have become a year-round staple at Mutt Lynch’s. This year, the family-owned eatery celebrates its 45th anniversary.

2nd generation Co-owner, Jerilyn Lynch, is our guest with Giant Turkey Leg in hand.

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa Monica“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 transcends to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially has welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles 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 Ron Salisbury) in Newport Beach, Piero met again with Celestino and started considering Drago Centro as the perfect venue for a new chapter.

“Over the years Piero and Celestino have remained very close and have done many events together. Both men have also dedicated their legacies to promoting modern Italian cooking with fine ingredients, so it is no surprise that these two celebrated restaurateurs would finally come together. Says Celestino, “When Piero decided to retire, we just kept talking. You can never really retire from this business, so the conversation just kept going.” And, the timing could not be more serendipitous as Celestino just reopened Drago Centro while introducing a stunning new outdoor Dining Patio, new Summer MenuTakeoutDeliveryCurbside Pickup, and now the exciting celebratory new partnership between Chef Celestino Drago and the hospitality maestro himself, Piero Selvaggio!”

“As Angelenos are able to take advantage of L.A.’s great summer weather, Piero and Celestino have created a magical al fresco dining experience featuring a new Summer Menu on their new Outdoor Dining Patio. The tables for dining are spaciously and safely placed all throughout this stunning outdoor atrium surrounded by luscious greenery, verdant olive trees, and a resplendently calming water feature, where the pair await to take each guest on an extraordinary journey as they sip and savor under the stars.”

Now that Drago Centro has reopened for inviting patio dining the always gracious Piero Selvaggio returns with the update.

Jonathan Blackford of A Restaurant and CDM RestaurantSince Executive Chef Jonathan Blackford departed A Restaurant (Newport Beach) and CdM Restaurant (Corona del Mar) to develop a food venture of his own he’s given a lot of thought to what the dining community really needs right now. The result is Fork & Knife scheduled to launch in Costa Mesa in October.

“Fork & Knife is actually three concepts in one and I believe that it speaks to current dining habits and what the public wants right now,” commented Chef Blackford, who has received much attention for the globally inspired, progressive menus he created as Executive Chef for River Jetty Restaurant Group over the past decade. “It has always been my goal to open a restaurant of my own, but the timing isn’t right for a full-service dining experience. What people want right now is a neighborhood place that offers fully prepared dinners, quick meals to carryout and quality products that you would find at a gourmet market – that’s what Fork & Knife aims to deliver.”

“Fork & Knife will offer inspired, seasonal, from-scratch fully prepared dishes, as well as retail-focused items such as fresh-made pastas, jams, sauces, dressings and more. The market will also feature many of Chef Blackford’s favorite artisan products, from a selection of olive oils, to vinegars and grains. The kitchen will offer freshly made grab-and-go items daily, ranging from sandwiches, prepared pastas, and easy-to-eat-on-the-go dishes.”

“I want to serve as an extension to the home kitchen by providing the freshest and most flavorful meals and dishes,” explained Chef Blackford. “There is nothing more comforting than a home-cooked meal enjoyed with family and friends, but with time being the biggest challenge in our lives, we’re handling the heavy lifting so those in our community don’t have to sacrifice quality.”

Chef Jonathan Blackford is our guest.

Jeff Nelson of Liquid FarmJeff Nelson is the Founder and CEO of Liquid Farm with their distinctive Tasting Room in Los Olivos and the Winery in Lompoc.

“We seek to support local viticulture and honor our palates’ love for old world wines that have naturally high acidity and are not masked by many of the modern-day manipulations.”

“To do so, we selfishly decided to make what we most love to drink: Chardonnay that is earth and mineral driven from cool climates with little or no new oak. To achieve these qualities we were drawn to one of the coolest of all California AVA’s, Sta. Rita Hills. Located in Santa Barbara County, it is home to some of the most Chardonnay-suited, unique, ancient soils in North America.”

“From the climate and soil, to the people and their wines, the Santa Ynez Valley is certainly one of the most special regions we have ever come across.”

“Often said, but very true, all great wine starts in the vineyard. Our project’s name reflects our strong belief in that philosophy. It is truly all about place in combination with the highest quality fruit and letting the varietal and regional TYPICITY of the wine shine through from vineyard to glass…Liquid from Farming.”

“We allow the wines to develop on their own with little intervention, minimal or no new oak and use no additives or machines to manipulate the wines inherent personality. The project is also committed to blending from the handful of special vineyards we work with in the small AVA of Sta. Rita Hills to produce a collection of Chardonnays that are markedly different expressions, but with the same thread of intense minerality and salinity they started with in the vineyard.”

“Jeff Nelson has been in the wine business for the past 20+ years, working for some of the top Champagne and Burgundy houses. With the name Liquid Farm on Jeff’s mind for many years, it was the catalyst in 2009 for starting the project with the helping guidance of Brandon Sparks-Gillis of Dragonette Cellars.”

Jeff Nelson gently pulls the cork for us on all things Liquid Farm.

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

The James Beard Foundation Awards set for a rescheduled virtual presentation in Chicago on September 25th have been cancelled. The balance of the chef and restaurant awards (nominations announced previously) will not be presented this year. The live presentation will instead salute the already announced winners in categories including America’s Classics, Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian of the Year. What does the future hold? We’ll” Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Christine Brown, Pacific Standard Prime and Co-Chair – 20CHEFS: A Socially Distanced Fundraiser
Segment Three: Jerilyn Lynch, Co-Proprietor, Mutt Lynch’s, Newport Beach
Segment Four: Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Downtown Los Angeles Part One
Segment Five: Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Downtown Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Six: Executive Chef Jonathan Blackford of Fork & Knife, Costa Mesa
Segment Seven: Jeff Nelson, Founder & CEO, Liquid Farm, Lompoc
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

August 22: OmG Omakase by Gino, Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria. The Lark, Golden Road Hard Seltzer

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Gino Choi, OmG Omakase by Gino, Santa Ana
Segment Three: Chef Marco Zapien of Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria, Pico Rivera
Segment Four: Executive Chef Jason Paluska, The Lark, Santa Barbara Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Jason Paluska, The Lark, Santa Barbara Part Two
Segment Six: Brewmaster Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing on Hard Seltzers Part One
Segment Seven: Brewmaster Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing on Hard Seltzers Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Gino Choi’s OmG Omakase by Gino in Santa Ana is (pre-Covid 19) a multi-course, prix fixe menu dining experience. It’s all of 10 seats and Chef Gino sources a lot of his premium fish direct from Japan. He’s the solo star of the nightly show. When he can accommodate diners again it’s up to 18 courses and reservations are needed way in advance. His guests have been asking so Chef Gino has just launched a limited program of Omakase Chirashi Dinner Boxes for 2 guests for takeout. The pre-orders are taken on the Wednesday before the available nights of Saturday and Sunday. Chef Gino is limiting this to 20 orders for each night to maintain his high standards. We’ll meet the resourceful and ever adaptable Chef Gino Choi.

“Hatch Chile season is here, and Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria in Pico Rivera is ready with a pair of events where guests can safely enjoy the annual availability of the unique, flavorful and bright green pepper. Adapting to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Chef Marco Zapien and team created a way for the tenth straight year of Hatch Chile Festivities to take place. This year’s Hatch Chile cooking demonstration (August 26th from 6 to 7:00 p.m. via Zoom) will be in a virtual setting, and the Hatch Chile roast (Saturday, August 29th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) will allow guests to enter a drive-thru line for pick-up. Outdoor patio dining is permitted at The Salsa Grill and Chef Marco Zapien will be featuring Hatch Chile specials on the menu on the day of the roast.” Chef Marco joins us to turn up the heat on all the goodness of cooking with Hatch Chiles.

Originally from Tomball, Texas, Jason Paluska, the Executive Chef of The Lark in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, began his cooking career in San Francisco under chefs Mitch and Steve Rosenthal of Town Hall, Salt House and Anchor & Hope in 2006. Jason went on to became a sous chef at Michael Mina’s RN74 in San Francisco. In 2013 he left the Bay area and moved to Santa Barbara as the opening executive chef of The Lark restaurant part of the Acme Hospitality restaurant group. Most recently Jason and his team at The Lark received the Michelin Plate award in June of 2019.

Accomplished Brewmaster Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing with production breweries in Los Angeles and Anaheim really needs no introduction to our listeners. He’s generously mentored many of the rising young stars of craft brewing in Orange County over the years.

His latest project is the crafting of a recently released line of hard seltzers based on Golden Road’s fruit cart flavors. The new Golden Road Fruit Cart Hard Seltzers include Cucumber Lime, Mango, Strawberry Pineapple and Watermelon. The hard seltzers are made with real fruit juice. Brewmaster Victor is with us to pull the tab on all things Hard Seltzer.

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. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately take-out/delivery when you can surely helps… Chef Andrew has been on the road and his travels have taken him to Texas. Central Texas BBQ is very popular locally right now and Chef Andrew will have some meaty observations. We’re talking smoked brisket and sausages along the way.

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

Gino Choi of OmG Omakase by GinoChef Gino Choi’s OmG Omakase by Gino in Santa Ana is a multi-course, prix fixe menu dining experience. It’s all of 10 seats and Chef Gino sources a lot of his premium fish from Japan. He’s the star of the solo nightly show. When he can accommodate diners again it’s up to 18 courses and reservations are needed way in advance.

His guests have been asking so Chef Gino has just launched a limited program of Omakase Chirashi Dinner Boxes for 2 guests for takeout. The pre-orders are taken on the Wednesday (starting at Noon) before the available nights of Saturday and Sunday. Chef Gino is limiting this to 20 orders for each night to maintain his high standards. The boxes are $120 each (plus tax.)

We’ll meet the resourceful and ever adaptable Chef Gino Choi.

Marco Zapien of Zapiens Salsa Grill and Taqueria“Hatch Chile season is here, and Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria in Pico Rivera is ready with a pair of events where guests can safely enjoy the annual availability of this unique bright green and incredibly flavorful pepper.”

“Adapting to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Chef Marco Zapien and team created a way for the tenth straight year of Hatch Chile Festivities to take place. This year’s Hatch Chile cooking demonstration will be in a virtual setting, and the Hatch Chile roast will allow guests to enter a drive-thru line for pick-up.”

“The cooking demo will take place Wednesday, August 26 from 6 -7 p.m. via Zoom. Participants will be taken through a three-course Hatch Chile inspired menu and the format will still allow for the same interaction as in-restaurant demos in the past. Pre-registration is required and anyone who signs up for the premium package with all ingredients prepped and boxed, or the virtual log in access, will also receive a $25 Salsa Grill gift card.”

“This year’s Hatch Chile Roast is set for Saturday, August 29 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Patrons must pre-order their 25-pound cases of Melissa’s Hatch Chiles, and can select their preferred level of spice from mild to very hot. Patrons can arrive anytime between 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and enter the drive thru.”

“Every summer, New Mexico Hatch Chiles are ripe enough to enjoy for their short season and Chef Marco makes a late summer celebration of it. In the past, The Salsa Grill has served more Hatch Chile dishes than any other restaurant outside the Southwest region this time of year.”

“Outdoor patio dining is permitted at The Salsa Grill and Chef Marco will be featuring Hatch Chile specials on the menu on the day of the roast.”

Jason Paluska of the Lark“Originally from Tomball, Texas, Jason Paluska, the Executive Chef of The Lark in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, began his cooking career in San Francisco under chefs Mitch and Steve Rosenthal of Town Hall, Salt House and Anchor & Hope in 2006. Jason went on to became a sous chef at Michael Mina’s RN74 in San Francisco. For four years he worked under renowned chef Jason Berthold, formerly of the French Laundry & Per Se.”

“In 2013 he left the Bay area and moved to Santa Barbara as the opening executive chef of The Lark restaurant for Acme Hospitality. Most recently Jason and his team at The Lark received the Michelin Plate award in June of 2019.”

“The Lark, named for the sleek overnight Pullman train of the Southern Pacific Railroad that serviced Santa Barbara from 1910 -1968, is situated in the heart of the Funk Zone, a vibrant arts and entertainment district near the Waterfront in downtown Santa Barbara. Our menus are locally sourced and responsibly grown, using the highest quality seasonal ingredients based on the abundant bounty of the Central Coast.  Our food is served family style intended for sharing. Our space was designed with an urban style that integrates vintage and repurposed materials for a sophisticated yet casual sensibility with a nod to our neighborhood’s industrial past.”

“The Lark’s full bar features classic and modern craft cocktails using the finest in artisan spirits, mixers and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Our wine list highlights small Santa Barbara County producers as well as artisan winemakers from afar.”

The menu changes often. Seasonal specialties include Southern Fried Quail with Calabrian chili aioli, bread & butter pickles, smoked date caramel and scallions. Patio dining is available nightly from 5:00 p.m. as well as Takeaway orders. Closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Executive Chef Jason Paluska is our guest.

Victor Novak of Golden Road BrewingAccomplished Brewmaster Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing with production breweries in Los Angeles and Anaheim really needs no introduction to our listeners. He’s generously mentored many of the rising young stars of craft brewing in Orange County over the years.

His latest project is the crafting of a recently released line of hard seltzers based on Golden Road’s fruit cart flavors. The new Golden Road Fruit Cart Hard Seltzers include Cucumber Lime, Mango, Strawberry Pineapple and Watermelon. The hard seltzers are made with real fruit juice.

“There are different ways of creating the seltzer base,” said Victor Novak, Brewmaster at Golden Road Brewing. “For us, we start off by actually brewing a light beer, then running it through a sophisticated cross flow filtration process to ensure that it’s a very neutral and clean tasting. We then blend in just the right amount of fruit juices and natural flavorings to create our light and refreshing seltzers that are bursting with flavor but not cloying. Getting that right is crucial”

Victor joins us to pull the tab on all that is hard seltzer.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant GroupOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

Chef Andrew has been on the road and his travels have taken him to Texas. Central Texas BBQ is very popular locally right now and Chef Andrew will have some meaty observations. We’re talking smoked brisket and sausages along the way.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Gino Choi, OmG Omakase by Gino, Santa Ana
Segment Three: Chef Marco Zapien of Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria, Pico Rivera
Segment Four: Executive Chef Jason Paluska, The Lark, Santa Barbara Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Jason Paluska, The Lark, Santa Barbara Part Two
Segment Six: Brewmaster Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing on Hard Seltzers Part One
Segment Seven: Brewmaster Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing on Hard Seltzers Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

August 15: Anne Marie Panoringan, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens, Awen Winecraft

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: Executive Chef Rich Mead, Proprietor, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Rich Mead, Proprietor, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens Part Two
Segment Six: Awen Winecraft with Winemakers Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood Part One
Segment Seven: Awen Winecraft with Winemakers Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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. Since outside or patio dine-in is now back in Orange County she has been making the rounds to observe the “new normal” in fresh-air dining. She joins us to share how OC restaurants are adapting while creatively surmounting numerous obstacles. Along the way Anne Marie also highlights some standout Brunch spots.

Rich Mead, Owner and Executive Chef of Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar offers guests patio seating on a lush, garden setting for lunch and early dinner with an all-day menu. With over 4,000 square feet of al fresco dining, guests can relax outdoors while responsibly enjoying an award-winning cocktail or a seasonal, sustainably sourced meal. Also available is a robust menu of takeout offerings in place including a Curbside Market with local ingredients and pantry staples, nourishing Family Meals and weekly Farmers Market Produce Boxes. Classic and signature cocktails are available for dine-in or curbside pickup courtesy of Chef de Swigs, Anthony Laborin and his team. We divert Rich Mead from an area farmers market for a chat.

“Awen Winecraft officially started commercially in 2016 by winemakers Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood. They had been producing small lots of hand-crafted hobby wine for over a decade, starting in California focusing primarily on red wines. After many years of honing their winemaking skills producing 4 to 16 barrels per year, Sean and Tom decided it was time to try to make a business of their passion. Sean moved to Southern Oregon in the summer of 2011 and began experimenting with the Rogue and Applegate AVA grapes, again, exclusively focused on red wines in the region, which offers an abundance of red wine grapes that they previously hadn’t used. They moved on to white wines in 2013, and worked on creating both 100% varietals as well as blends. Finally, after commuting up from the Bay Area roughly 30 times for winemaking duties, Tom packed up his family and made Southern Oregon his home in the summer of 2016 to help start Awen Winecraft.” Proprietors and Winemakers Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood gently pull the cork on Awen Winecraft for us.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps… The short season for fresh Hatch Peppers from New Mexico’s Mesilla Valley is upon us. Hatch chiles are thick, meaty and rich in flavor. They are often called the world’s tastiest peppers and with good reason. Chef Andrew is a fan and offers some great tips for inspired cooking with Hatch chiles.

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

Since outside or patio dining is allowable in Orange County, Anne Marie has been making the rounds to observe the “new normal” in fresh-air dining. She joins us to share how OC restaurants are adapting while creatively surmounting numerous obstacles and still serving guests. Along the way Anne Marie also highlights some standout Brunch spots. Anne Marie also introduces us to the Orange County Bartenders Cabinet.

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.

Rich Mead of Farmhouse at Rogers GardensRich Mead, Owner and Executive Chef of Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens, offers guests patio seating on a lush, garden setting for lunch and early dinner with an all-day menu. With over 4,000 square feet of al fresco dining, guests can relax outdoors while responsibly enjoying an award-winning cocktail or a seasonal, sustainably sourced meal.

Also available is a robust menu of takeout offerings including a Curbside Market with local ingredients and pantry staples, nourishing Family Meals and weekly Farmers Market Produce Boxes. Classic and signature cocktails are available for dine-in or curbside pickup courtesy of Chef de Swigs, Anthony Laborin and his team.

Please note hours for Dine-in are currently 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily and for Takeout 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Phone is 949.640.1415 for Reservations and Takeout.

“During his 35 plus years of culinary expertise, Chef Rich Mead has cultivated relationships with the highest regarded, local sustainable farms, allowing him to create the freshest menus using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and specially grown vegetables. In 2016, after years of planning, Chef Mead unveiled a unique and sustainable field-to-fork dining experience at Farmhouse, located within Roger’s Gardens. Nestled on over 6 acres in the garden-like setting, Farmhouse features exclusive wines, craft beers, signature cocktails, artisan refreshments and a healthy inspired seasonal cuisine.”

Chef / Proprietor Rich Mead is our guest.

Tom Homewood and Sean Hopkins of Awen WinecraftAwen Winecraft officially started commercially in 2016 by winemakers Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood. They had been producing small lots of hand-crafted hobby wine for over a decade, starting in California focusing primarily on red wines. After many years of honing their winemaking skills producing 4 to 16 Barrels per year, Sean and Tom decided it was time to try to make a business of their passion. Sean moved to Southern Oregon in the summer of 2011 and began experimenting with the Rogue and Applegate AVA grapes, again, exclusively focused on red wines in the region, which offers an abundance of red wine grapes that they previously hadn’t used. They moved on to white wines in 2013, and worked on creating both 100% varietals as well as blends.”

“Additionally, Sean and Tom were given the opportunity to manage a small boutique vineyard in 2014, which allowed them to really experience home winemaking ‘grape to glass’.

“Finally, after commuting up from the Bay Area roughly 30 times for winemaking duties, Tom packed up his family and made Southern Oregon his home in the summer of 2016 to help start Awen Winecraft.”

“Awen” is a celtic/druidic symbol describing the spark of creativity or divine inspiration or illumination.

“Working with Herb Quady, Brian Gruber, and Nichole Schulte at Barrel 42, we are bridging the gap from Hobbyist to professional, and are appreciative of their mentorship. We also appreciate all of the efforts of both the master growers that we work with, as well as the help and feedback we have received from other winemakers.”

Proprietors and Winemakers Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood gently pull the cork on Awen Winecraft for us.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at the Fifth Anniversary of the SoCal Restaurant Show at Melissas World Variety ProduceOur 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. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

The short season for sourcing fresh Hatch peppers from New Mexico’s Mesilla Valley is upon us. Hatch Chiles are thick, meaty and rich in flavor. They are often called the world’s tastiest peppers and with good reason. Chef Andrew is a fan and offers some useful tips for inspired cooking with Hatch chiles.

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: Executive Chef Rich Mead, Proprietor, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Rich Mead, Proprietor, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens Part Two
Segment Six: Awen Winecraft with Winemakers Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood Part One
Segment Seven: Awen Winecraft with Winemakers Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

August 8: Five Crowns & SideDoor, Angelina’s Pizzeria Napoletana, Ron Salisbury, Camins 2 Dreams, DTLA Pizza

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurant Manager Tracy Nelsen, Five Crowns and SideDoor, Corona del Mar
Segment Three: Filippo Fusco, Managing Partner, Angelina’s Pizzeria Napoletana, Irvine
Segment Four: Restaurateur Ron Salisbury (El Cholo) – What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A. Part One
Segment Five: Restaurateur Ron Salisbury (El Cholo) – What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A. Part Two
Segment Six: Winemakers Tara Gomez and Mireia Taribo, Camins 2 Dreams Winery, Lompoc
Segment Seven: Chef Michael Hung, DTLA Pizza, Los Angeles
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Late last month Corona del Mar’s historic Five Crowns and SideDoor (part of the Lawry’s family of fine-dining restaurants) reopened the spacious backyard of the property for open-air dining in the charming setting reminiscent of an English country garden. Set with thoughtfully spaced tables and accented by fire pits, the backyard of the beloved, dining establishment offers the same gracious hospitality for which the restaurants are known. Guests sip on specialty cocktails under the twinkling lights and experience signature dishes from both Five Crowns and SideDoor offered on a single menu available for backyard dining and to-go. Tracy Nelsen Five Crowns’ and SideDoor’s Restaurant Manager, Cheesemonger, Sommelier and Cicerone joins us with a tempting overview of what’s now on the menu.

Angelina’s Pizzeria Napoletana is a fine-casual Italian restaurant located in Irvine in the Los Olivos Marketplace. At Angelina’s, guests dine on authentic Italian food made with only the finest ingredients imported from Italy and fresh produce from local farms. From one-of-a-kind artwork to hand-picked fixtures, the modern, upscale interior redefines the concept of a pizzeria.

Their specialty is authentic Neapolitan-style pizza (pizza Napoletana). Each pizza is made using traditional techniques and cooked in their twin Ferrara wood-burning pizza ovens, making Angelina’s one of the few restaurants in the United States to hold a VPN Certification (Vera Pizza Napoletana). Angelina’s Managing Partner, Filippo Fusco, is our guest, pizza peel at the ready.

Restaurateur Ron Salisbury has been running successful, high-volume restaurants for sixty-six years, a period of time in which most people are born and retire. He grew up working after school as a dish sorter, busser, and steam table expediter in his parents’ Los Angeles restaurant, El Cholo. Salisbury is not one for utilizing voluminous operating manuals but over the years has acquired a bushel of practical morsels of wisdom for operating a successful restaurant. Starting with “Our Seven Pillars” Ron has collected all these short vignettes of incredibly useful advice into the very easy-to-read volume, What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A. (That’s the Culinary Institute of America.) It’s truly an essential read for all aspiring restaurateurs. Ron Salisbury is with us to generously share a sampling of the practical wisdom from What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A.

Winemakers and life partners Mireia Taribo Tena and Tara Gomez are the creative forces at Camins 2 Deams in Lompoc, their dream boutique winery. The grapes are sourced exclusively from select vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills, a unique appellation in Santa Barbara County. Their philosophy is to make hand-crafted, terroir-driven wines that are fermented with natural yeast and use minimal intervention in the winery. Camins 2 Dreams believes wine is made in the vineyard and desires to showcase the typicity of each site where the grapes originate.

Current releases include Gruner Veltliner, Rose of Syrah, and three vineyard specific Syrahs. Winemakers Mireia and Tara join us to pull the cork on all that is Camins 2 Dreams.

“DTLA Pizza is a new Takeout and Delivery concept from Chef Michael Hung of Faith & Flower. The goal for Chef Michael’s new DTLA Pizza concept is to serve meat lovers and vegans alike, quality and comfort food driven dishes prepared with house-made sourdough crusts, toppings such as Impossible beef, locally grown produce, along with Burgers that are made with American Kobe beef and burst with flavor.” “As the world is today, I find myself craving comfort foods. The menu for DTLA Pizza reflects my time growing up in New Jersey eating at such institutions such as Star Tavern in Orange, NJ. These dishes and flavors remind me of home and the joyful times I spent with my friends and family as a kid.” Chef Michael Hung joins us to artfully toss & stretch the pizza dough.

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. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps… National Oyster Day was August 5th. We started the conversation last week about fully appreciating oysters. Chef Andrew is our resident authority on these bivalve mollusks enjoyed since ancient times. We’ll resume with tips about cooking with oysters. Oyster stew anyone?

Tracy Nelsen of Five CrownsLate last month Corona del Mar’s historic Five Crowns and SideDoor (part of the Lawry’s family of fine-dining restaurants) reopened the spacious backyard for open-air dining in the charming setting reminiscent of an English country garden.

Set with thoughtfully spaced tables and accented by fire pits, the backyard of the beloved, dining establishment offers the same gracious hospitality for which the restaurants are known. Guests sip on specialty cocktails under the twinkling lights and experience signature dishes from both Five Crowns and SideDoor offered on a single menu available for backyard dining and to-go.

In addition to Five Crowns specialties including Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail and Colorado Lamb Chops four cuts of the classic Lawry’s Prime Ribs of Beef are available. SideDoor featured items available range from the Artisanal Cheese Plate to Prime Rib Chili.

Tracy Nelsen Five Crowns’ and SideDoor’s Restaurant Manager certified Cheesemonger, Sommelier and Cicerone joins us with the specifics of what’s on the menu.

Filippo Fusco of Angelina's Pizzeria NapoletanaAngelina’s Pizzeria Napoletana is a fine-casual Italian restaurant located in Irvine in the Los Olivos Marketplace. At Angelina’s, guests dine on authentic Italian food made with only the finest ingredients imported from Italy and fresh produce from local farms. From one-of-a-kind artwork to hand-picked fixtures, the modern, upscale interior redefines the concept of a pizzeria.

Angelina’s Pizzeria specializes in authentic Neapolitan-style pizza (pizza Napoletana). Each pizza is made using traditional techniques and cooked in their twin Ferrara wood-burning pizza ovens, making Angelina’s one of the few restaurants in the United States to hold a VPN Certification (Vera Pizza Napoletana). Overseen by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana in Napoli, the VPN certifies that Angelina’s adheres to the strict requirements that make their pizzas “true Neopolitan Pizza.”

Angelina’s Managing Partner, Filippo Fusco, is our guest, pizza peel at the ready.

Ron Salisbury of El CholoRestaurateur Ron Salisbury has been running successful, high-volume restaurants for sixty-six years, a period of time in which most people are born and retire. He grew up working after school as a dish sorter, busser, and steam table expediter in his parents’ Los Angeles restaurant, El Cholo.

In the decades since Ron has launched restaurants throughout Southern California. In addition to the El Cholo’s newer ventures are The Cannery and Louie’s By the Bay, both located in Newport Beach.

Salisbury is not one for voluminous operating manuals but over the years he acquired a bushel of practical morsels of wisdom for operating a successful restaurant. Starting with “Our Seven Pillars” Ron has collected all these short vignettes of incredibly useful advice into the very easy-to-read volume, What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A. (That’s the Culinary Institute of America.) It’s truly an essential read for all aspiring restaurateurs.

Ron Salisbury is the recipient of the Elizabeth Burns Lifetime Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Chapter of the California Restaurant Association. He has lectured at The Collins College of Hospitality Management at California State Polytechnic University Pomona.

Ron Salisbury is with us to generously share a sampling of the practical wisdom from What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A.

Tara Gomez and Mireia Taribo Tena of Camins 2 Dreams in Lompoc CaliforniaWinemakers and life partners Mireia Taribo Tena and Tara Gomez are the creative forces at Camins 2 Deams in Lompoc, their dream winery. The grapes are sourced exclusively from select vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills, a unique appellation in Santa Barbara County.

Their philosophy is to make hand-crafted, terroir-driven wines that are fermented with natural yeast and use minimal intervention in the winery. Camins 2 Dreams believes wine is made in the vineyard and desires to showcase the typicity of each site where the grapes originate.

“We are lucky both to live and make our wines in the Santa Rita Hills where foggy mornings and cool nights combine with marine soils to make the perfect ingredients for outstanding wines. “

Current releases include Gruner Veltliner, Rose of Syrah, and three vineyard specific Syrahs.

Tara Gomez, a Native American, is also the Winemaker for Kita Wines, a small premium winery in the Santa Ynez Valley owned by the Chumash Tribe (Chumash Casino Resort.)

Mireia and Tara join us to pull the cork on Camins 2 Dreams.

Michael Hung of Faith and FlowerDTLA Pizza is a new Takeout and Delivery concept from Chef Michael Hung of Faith & Flower. The goal for Chef Michael’s new DTLA Pizza establishment is to serve meat lovers and vegans alike, quality and comfort food driven dishes prepared with house-made sourdough crusts, toppings such as Impossible beef, locally grown produce, along with Burgers that are made with American Kobe beef and burst with flavor.”

“Los Angeles meets the Oranges, as in the same area of northern New Jersey as the Sopranos, at DTLA Pizza. This area is also Chef Michael Hung’s inspiration as he drew from his New Jersey roots to create DTLA Pizza’s menu of true pizzeria classics. “As the world is today, I find myself craving comfort foods. The menu for DTLA Pizza reflects my time growing up in New Jersey eating at such institutions such as Star Tavern in Orange, NJ.  These dishes and flavors remind me of home and the joyful times I spent with my friends and family as a kid.””

“DTLA Pizza features two different styles of Pizza – expertly crafted Neapolitan-Style Pies from the wood oven and Sicilian-Style Pan Pizzas with thick focaccia crusts. In addition to the classic 4-Cheese PizzaDTLA Pizza offers two other Signature Pizzas: The Street Meat Magic Pizza loaded with pepperoni, mortadella, Italian sausage, and prosciutto, and It’s Literally Possible Pizza which is a fully plant-based pizza prepared with Impossible sausage, marinated peppers and onions, and vegan mozzarella. In addition to the Signature Pizzas, guests can also Build Your Own Pizza with a selection of over a dozen toppings, and all of the Pizzas at DTLA Pizza can be made either Neapolitan Style or Sicilian Style.”

DTLA Pizza is open for TakeoutDelivery, and Curbside Pickup (only) every Wednesday through Sunday from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm. To order, please call 213.465.9400 and guests can Curbside pickup at 709 West 9th Street in South Park district of downtown Los Angeles by calling DTLA Pizza upon arrival, or choose Delivery through CaviarDoorDashGrubhubTock, or UberEats.

Chef Michael joins us to artfully toss and stretch the dough.

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. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

National Oyster Day was August 5th. We started the conversation last week about appreciating oysters in the raw state. Chef Andrew is our resident authority on these bivalve mollusks enjoyed since ancient times. We’ll resume with tips about cooking with oysters. Oyster stew anyone?

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurant Manager Tracy Nelsen, Five Crowns and SideDoor, Corona del Mar
Segment Three: Filippo Fusco, Managing Partner, Angelina’s Pizzeria Napoletana, Irvine
Segment Four: Restaurateur Ron Salisbury (El Cholo) – What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A. Part One
Segment Five: Restaurateur Ron Salisbury (El Cholo) – What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A. Part Two
Segment Six: Winemakers Tara Gomez and Mireia Taribo, Camins 2 Dreams Winery, Lompoc
Segment Seven: Chef Michael Hung, DTLA Pizza, Los Angeles
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

August 1: Farm Direct LA, Sea Level Restaurant & Lounge, Laura Theodore, Anchor Valley, The Hall Global Eatery

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Farm Direct LA with Chef / Founders Scott Chacon and Tad Weyland
Segment Three: Executive Chef Craig Hopson, Sea Level Restaurant & Lounge, Shade Hotel Redondo Beach
Segment Four: Chef Laura Theodore, “The Jazzy Vegetarian,” with Vegan for Everyone Part One
Segment Five: Chef Laura Theodore, “The Jazzy Vegetarian,” with Vegan for Everyone Part Two
Segment Six: Anchor Valley Wine, Rogue Valley with Partner Ashley Cates
Segment Seven: Restaurateur Ahmed Labbate and Partner / Executive Chef Amar Santana of The Hall Global Eatery
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Local chefs Scott Chacon and Tad Weyland (celebrity Chef Jet Tila’s Chef de Cuisine) have joined culinary forces to create a prix fixe, 5-course dinner meal delivery service, Farm Direct LA. Delivery is on Tuesdays. The weekly changing menu is priced at $95 and serves two guests. In addition to the fixed price meal there are a la carte “Provisions” on the menu including Smoked Paprika Weiser Potato Chips with Charred Scallion Dip. We’ll meet enterprising Chefs Scott Chacon and Tad Weyland.

At Sea Level Restaurant & Lounge at the Shade Hotel Redondo Beach Executive Chef Craig Hopson offers premium California coastal cuisine that’s appealing for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a weekend brunch. Through it all, guests enjoy spectacular views from Palos Verdes to Malibu on plush outdoor seating, all complete with fire pits and heaters in a comfortable, inviting, and modern space that blends a beach feel with a luxury approach to indoor and outdoor dining. Newly launched is Chef Craig’s Friday and Saturday night Rooftop Izakaya with Sushi, Sashimi and Izakaya specialties along with a menu of Hand-Crafted Cocktails. Think Japanese Curry with a beef short rib, onion, carrots and served over rice with pickles. We reel in Executive Chef Craig Hopson for a chat.

“Laura Theodore’s Vegan for Everyone; 160 Family Friendly Recipes with a Delicious, Modern Twist is the ideal book for anyone looking to add easy-to-prepare and delicious, plant-based food into their weekly menu plan. This innovative cookbook features more than 160 family friendly recipes (135 are gluten-free friendly) and over 200 beautiful, full-color photos, including 100+ new recipes, along with updated versions of 60 fan-favorites – all created by award-winning vegan chef Laura Theodore (Public Television’s Jazzy Vegetarian). Plus, this book includes an entire chapter of up-to-date nutritional information contributed by Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT (The Plant-Based Dietitian), making it a complete and fun way to make family meals kinder, healthier and—most of all—tastier.” “Vegan for Everyone includes delightfully delicious, classic recipes to impress everyone you are cooking for—omnivores and vegans alike!”

Always up for an adventure and full of entrepreneurial spirit, Joe Moxley and Mike Herrera entered into the wine world with the hopes of blazing a new trail, of merging their two business worlds in a way that hadn’t been done before. Their first partnership focused on the rock & roll world and lifestyle, bringing a signature clothing brand to fans of music. Now they’ve broadened their horizons and brought their love of wine to the forefront. The adventure began when the two went wine tasting together in Southern Oregon where they were introduced to acclaimed winemaker, Matthew Cates. It didn’t take long for the trio to form a bond leading to the creation of a new, limited production, boutique winery they created together named Anchor Valley, based in the Rogue Valley. Partner Ashley Cates pulls the cork on Anchor Valley for us.

Executive Chef & Restaurateur Amar Santana and Restaurateur Ahmed Labbate have reopened The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza for dine-in on their comfortable, shaded patio or for curbside pickup. The extensive fast-casual menu is available at the Mediterranean Grill including hand-carved Shawarma, Babaganoush and Hummus. Cocktails, beer and wine are available to enjoy on the patio or To-Go. The grab and go Patisserie features a wide variety of baked goods, salads, sandwiches, coffee and juices. The full-service Ceviche and Charcuterie Bar is being reimagined with the addition (coming soon) of a selection of Poke. Chef Amar Santana and Ahmed Labbate are with us providing all the enticing 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. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps… Time for celebration. August 5th is National Oyster Day. There are more inspired ways to enjoy & appreciate oysters besides simply being served raw, freshly shucked on the half-shell. Chef Andrew is our resident authority on these bivalve mollusks enjoyed since ancient times. We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

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

Tad Weyland and Scott Chacon of Farm Direct LALocal chefs Scott Chacon and Tad Weyland (celebrity Chef Jet Tila’s Chef de Cuisine) have joined culinary forces to create a prix fixe, 5-course, fine-dining dinner meal delivery service, Farm Direct LA. Delivery on Tuesdays. The weekly changing menu is priced at $95 and serves two guests.

Last week’s 5-course menu included Wild Line Caught Grilled Halibut with Heirloom Tomato Jam, Patty Pan Squash, and Crispy Weiser Potatoes ; Creamed Sweet Corn with Tarragon, Leek and Shallot Confit ; Market Lettuces and Grilled Artichoke with Garlic Aioli, Mint Pistou and Croutons ; Charred Cabbage with Seasonal Pepper Relish and Sherry-Juniper Gastrique ; and Weiser Melon Sorbet & Early Season Grapes.

In addition to the weekly fixed price meal there are a la carte “Provisions” on the extras menu including Smoked Paprika Weiser Potato Chips with Charred Scallion Dip.

We’ll meet enterprising Chefs Scott Chacon and Tad Wetland.

Craig Hopson of SeaLevel Restaurant and LoungeAt Sea Level Restaurant & Lounge at the Shade Hotel Redondo Beach Executive Chef Craig Hopson offers premium California coastal cuisine that’s perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a weekend brunch. Start with a hand-crafted cocktail and fresh oysters from the raw bar, then move onto one of Chef Craig’s coastal inspired main dishes (Roasted Salmon Fillet with squash, radish, cucumber, quinoa and miso dressing) with a glass of wine or one of the on-tap craft beers from their extensive selection.

“Through it all, you’ll enjoy spectacular views from Palos Verdes to Malibu on plush outdoor seating, all complete with fire pits and heaters in a comfortable, inviting, and modern space that blends a beach feel with a luxury approach to indoor and outdoor dining. Enjoy Chef Craig Hopson’s gourmet culinary talent and experience all that California’s uniquely modern cuisine has to offer: visit for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.”

Newly launched is Chef Craig’s Friday and Saturday night Rooftop Izakaya with Sushi, Sashimi and Izakaya specialties along with a menu of Hand-Crafted Cocktails. Think Japanese Curry with a beef short rib, onion, carrots and served over rice with pickles.

We reel in Executive Chef Craig Hopson for a chat.

Cookbook Author Laura TheodoreLaura Theodore’s Vegan for Everyone is the ideal book for anyone looking to add easy-to-prepare and delicious, plant-based food into their weekly menu plan. This innovative cookbook features more than 160 family friendly recipes (135 are gluten-free friendly) and over 200 beautiful, full-color photos, including 100+ new recipes, along with updated versions of 60 fan-favorites – all created by award-winning vegan chef Laura Theodore (Public Television’s Jazzy Vegetarian).”

“Plus, this book includes an entire chapter of up-to-date nutritional information contributed by Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT (The Plant-Based Dietitian), making it a complete and fun way to make family meals kinder, healthier and—most of all—tastier.” “Vegan for Everyone includes delightfully delicious, classic recipes to impress everyone you are cooking for—omnivores and vegans alike!”

“Laura Theodore is a recognized public television personality, vegan PBS celebrity chef, nationally renowned jazz singer and award-winning cookbook author. She is co-creator of the highly successful “Jazzy Vegetarian” vegan cooking series on national public television. Ms. Theodore is author of five cookbooks, including Jazzy Vegetarian’s Deliciously Vegan, which won silver medals at the 2018 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards, Midwest Book Awards and the 2019 Living Now Book Awards. Her highly- anticipated new cookbook Vegan for Everyone; 160 Family Friendly Recipes with a Delicious Modern Twist is Laura’s newest book, released by Scribe Publishing Company. (All Jazzy Vegetarian recipes are vegan.)”

“Vegan for Everyone includes classic recipes like No-Egg Tofu-Veggie Scramble, Crazy, Easy BBQ Portobello Burgers, “Hungry Guy” Burgers and Cauliflower Steaks with Sweet Pepper Sauce; kid-friendly recipes like Yummy Banana-Oat Pancakes, Rockin’ Peanut Butter-Banana Toast and Date n’ Rice Cereal Treats; and plant-based, gluten-free recipes like Peachy Date-Nut Oat Bars, Zucchini Fettuccine Alfredo and Mad Mocha Marbled Mousse Pie. You’ll be able to satisfy your entire family and all of your guests with easy-to-prepare, four-star meals that are satisfying, nutritious and delicious!”

Vegan for Everyone includes:

  • Over 160 delectable vegan recipes, each with easy-to-follow instructions
  • Full color photo with almost every recipe (over 200 photos in all)
  • Recipe ingredients that can be found at most local supermarkets
  • Handy icons to quickly identify over 135 gluten-free friendly recipes
  • Detailed lists of vegan essentials, including how to stock your plant-powered pantry and organize your spice rack and table of equivalent measures
  • Many quick and easy three-ingredient recipes
  • Festive recipes to serve for holidays, birthdays and any special occasion
  • Comprehensive plant-based nutrition chapter, contributed by Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT

“Vegan for Everyone includes delightfully delicious, classic recipes to impress everyone you are cooking for—omnivores and vegans alike!”

Ashley Cates of Anchor ValleyAlways up for an adventure and full of entrepreneurial spirit, Joe Moxley and Mike Herrera entered into the wine world with the hopes of blazing a new trail, of merging their two business worlds in a way that hadn’t been done before. Their first partnership focused on the rock & roll world and lifestyle, bringing a signature clothing brand to fans of music.

Now, after eleven years partnering together, they’ve broadened their horizons and brought their love of wine to the forefront. The adventure began when the two went wine tasting together in Southern Oregon where they were introduced to acclaimed winemaker, Matthew Cates. It didn’t take long for the trio to form a bond which resulted in the launch of a new limited production, boutique winery they created together named Anchor Valley, based in the Rogue Valley.

Anchor Valley selections include Pinot Rose, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Sirah.

Partner Ashley Cates pulls the cork on Anchor Valley for us.

Ahmed Labatte and Amar Santana of Vaca Restaurant GroupExecutive Chef & Restaurateur Amar Santana and Restaurateur Ahmed Labbate have reopened The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza for dine-in on their comfortable, shaded front patio or for curbside pickup. The extensive fast-casual menu is available at the Mediterranean Grill including hand-carved Shawarma, Babaganoush and Hummus. A selection of cocktails from master barman Michael Rooney, beer and wine are available to enjoy on the patio or To-Go. The grab and go Patisserie features a wide variety of baked goods, salads, sandwiches, coffee and juices. The former full-service Ceviche and Charcuterie Bar is being reimagined with the addition (coming soon) of a selection of made-to-order (and customizable) Poke.

Chef Amar’s and Ahmed’s other pair of popular restaurants, Vaca adjacent to South Coast Plaza and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach, are again accommodating guests with full-service patio dining and curbside pickup and delivery.

Chef Amar Santana and Ahmed Labbate are with us providing all the enticing details.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant GroupOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

Time for celebration. August 5th is National Oyster Day. … There are more ways to enjoy & appreciate oysters besides being served raw, freshly shucked on the half-shell. Chef Andrew is our resident authority on these bivalve mollusks enjoyed since ancient times. We’ll, of course “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Farm Direct LA with Chef / Founders Scott Chacon and Tad Weyland
Segment Three: Executive Chef Craig Hopson, Sea Level Restaurant & Lounge, Shade Hotel Redondo Beach
Segment Four: Chef Laura Theodore, “The Jazzy Vegetarian,” with Vegan for Everyone Part One
Segment Five: Chef Laura Theodore, “The Jazzy Vegetarian,” with Vegan for Everyone Part Two
Segment Six: Anchor Valley Wine, Rogue Valley with Partner Ashley Cates
Segment Seven: Restaurateur Ahmed Labbate and Partner / Executive Chef Amar Santana of The Hall Global Eatery
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Mad Mocha Marbled Mousse Pie

Mad Mocha Marbled Mousse Pie by Laura Theodoreby Laura Theodore
Jazzy Vegetarian

This pie is gorgeous to look at, delicious to eat and a delight to serve! Your family and guests will think you slaved for hours creating the “fancy” marbled effect, but it’s actually super easy to do! You will please chocolate and coffee lovers alike with this impressive sweet indulgence!

CRUST

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to coat pan
  • 11 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut

FILLING

  • 1 block (14 to 15 ounces) extra-firm regular tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons vegan cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold, strong brewed coffee
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan dark chocolate chips (55% to 70% cacao)
  • 1/2  cup unsweetened or sweetened nondairy milk

Generously coat a 9-inch round pie pan with olive oil. Put all of the crust ingredients in a high-performance blending appliance and process into a dough, stopping the machine and scraping the bowl several times. The dough will be very sticky. Transfer the dough to the oiled pan and press it into the bottom and up the sides of the pan (see note). Put the pie pan in the freezer for 6 to 8 minutes, and then transfer to the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

To make the filling, put the tofu, sugar and coffee into a blender and process until very smooth. Transfer 1/3 cup of the tofu/coffee mixture to a small bowl and reserve. Add the chocolate chips to the top of the remaining tofu mixture (that is still in the blender container).

Put the nondairy milk into a small saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium-low heat. Immediately pour the simmering nondairy milk over the chocolate chip mixture and process for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until it becomes completely smooth. Pour the chocolate filling into the chilled crust (it will mound up slightly, above the crust). Immediately drop 5 to 6 spoonfuls of the reserved tofu/coffee mixture onto the top of the pie. Then, using a wooden skewer or the tip of a knife, gently swirl the tofu/coffee mixture into the top of the pie in a pleasing, marbleized pattern. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours (or overnight), until completely set. Slice and serve!

Chef’s Notes: If you are cooking gluten free, make certain to purchase certified gluten-free tofu, available in most supermarkets.

If desired, create a decorative edge to the crust. Using the tines of a fork, press gently down around the entire outer edge of the crust to form evenly spaced lines.

“Hungry Guy” Burgers

Hungry Guy Burgers by Laura Theodoreby Laura Theodore
Jazzy Vegetarian

  • 1 can (15 to 16 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 heaping tablespoons prepared salsa, plus more as needed (see note)
  • 3 slices vegan whole-grain or gluten-free bread, torn into chunks
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2/3 cup gluten-free, old fashioned rolled oats

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large, rimmed baking pan with unbleached parchment paper. Put the black beans and salsa in a medium-sized bowl and mash using a potato masher or large fork until well combined. Put the bread chunks and cumin in a blender and process into coarse crumbs. Add the bread crumbs to the black bean mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the rolled oats and mix to combine. If the mixture seems dry, stir in another heaping tablespoon of salsa and mix to combine.

Scoop up a generous 1/2 cup of the black bean mixture and put it on the prepared pan. Form it into a burger, shaping it with clean hands, and then flatten it slightly. Continue in this manner until you have formed a total of 6 burgers (see note). Bake for 20 minutes. Flip the burgers and bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until golden.

Chef’s Notes:
You may use mild, medium or hot salsa in this recipe.

Once formed, the burgers may be covered and refrigerated for 2 to 6 hours before cooking. Add 5 to 7 minutes to the baking time.