March 23: Copia Vineyards and Winery, VOX Kitchen, Big Island Chocolate Festival

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Copia Vineyards & Winery, Paso Robles, with Anita and Varinder Sahi Part One
Segment Three: Copia Vineyards & Winery, Paso Robles, with Anita and Varinder Sahi Part Two
Segment Four: VOX Kitchen, Fountain Valley, with Founder & Executive Chef Viet Nguyen Part One
Segment Five: VOX Kitchen, Fountain Valley, with Founder & Executive Chef Viet Nguyen Part Two
Segment Six: Big Island Chocolate Festival, Hawaii with Farsheed Bonakdar Part One
Segment Seven: Big Island Chocolate Festival, Hawaii with Farsheed Bonakdar Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host and Proprietor of Calico Fish House, with “Ask the Chef”

Andy Harris, Executive Producer and Co-host previews the show.

“The story of Copia Vineyards begins with the passion of Anita and Varinder Sahi, their shared love of wine and the beauty of its source. The Sahis each had different paths to this world. He has an engineering and business background, and she is a restaurant and marketing veteran. He globetrotted for work and his love for wine grew. She worked side-by-side with some of the finest restaurateurs and Michelin-starred chefs, cultivating her zeal for fine food and wine. Their shared interests, entrepreneurship and life’s ever-winding path sparked a trip to Paso Robles Wine Country in 2015. Essentially, they never left. In 2017, the Sahis’ search to find a special site to produce world-class Rhône and Bordeaux varietals was successful. They became the proud stewards of 50 acres of paradise-on-earth in the Willow Creek District of Paso Robles. It is now a veritable winemaker’s dream with nearly 40,000 vines planted in 24 distinct blocks. In 2022, their estate grew to include 26 acres of dramatic landscape in the Adelaida District. The vines on the Copia Estate are now producing some of the most opulent, concentrated fruit with densely rich varietal characteristics.” Anita and Varinder Sahi join us to gently pull the cork on all that is Copia Vineyards and Winery.

“In 2017, VOX Kitchen opened in the heart of Little Saigon, bringing the ‘Chifa’ culinary movement —a fusion of Chinese and Peruvian cuisines—to Orange County. The award-winning restaurant entered into 2024 with an expanded kitchen and dining room, new menu offerings, and a second location set to open in late 2024 at South Coast Plaza. The expansion allows Founder and Executive Chef Viet Ngyuento dig deeper into the culinary ethos of VOX Kitchen and explore Chifa cuisine through the lens of seafood, a staple in Peru. VOX Kitchen is one of nearly a dozen pan-Asian fusion restaurants under the KEI Concepts umbrella, a trailblazing culinary group helmed by Nguyen. As the group’s founder, CEO, and executive chef, Nguyen is passionate about connecting diverse communities through the universal language of food – an ethos evident across all his concepts. Nguyen sees each restaurant as a canvas for this mission, where the culinary creations are not just dishes but cultural ambassadors.” Founder and Executive Chef Viet Nguyen is our guest.

“Indulge in a decadent world of sweetness at the 11th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival (BICF) in Hawaii presented by the Kona Cacao Association, taking place on April 26-27, 2024, at the beautiful beach-front Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa on the Big Island of Hawaii. The BICF promises an unforgettable experience filled with chocolate cooking demonstrations, cacao growing presentations, and the most festive walk-around gala of all galas! This year the theme as ‘Mystical Chocolate Masquerade’ and guests are encouraged to dress up, wear masks and get creative to win tickets to 2025 event. Picture a venue adorned with rich colors, luxurious velvet, and opulent gold accents, creating the perfect backdrop for an evening of sweet enchantment. Farsheed Bonakdar, President of the organizing Kona Cacao Association joins us with a ripe cacao pod in hand along with a bar of pure Hawaiian chocolate.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the full-service Calico Fish House (in the Sunset Beach area of Huntington Beach) and also the founder and pizzaiola of the fast-casual Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) located in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where he responds to listeners’ thoughtful inquiries. French Fries…! There is nothing better than fresh-cut perfectly crisp fries. Chef Andrew shares his proven technique.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Anita and Varinder Sahi of Copia Vineyards and Winery

“The abridged story of Copia Vineyards and Winery in Paso Robles: Passionate curiosity, tireless effort and a sense of gratitude.”

“The word Copia is a Latin root word that means abundance or plenty. It’s an apt name for a winery that is created by two people who have always chased the glass half full.”

“The story of Copia Vineyards begins with the passion of Anita and Varinder Sahi, their shared love of wine and the beauty of its source. The Sahis each had different paths to this world. He has an engineering and business background, and she is a restaurant and marketing veteran. He globetrotted for work and his love for wine grew. She worked side-by-side with some of the finest restaurateurs and Michelin-starred chefs, cultivating her zeal for fine food and wine. Their shared interests, entrepreneurship and life’s ever-winding path sparked a trip to Paso Robles Wine Country in 2015. Essentially, they never left.”

“In 2017, the Sahis’ search to find a special site to produce world-class Rhône and Bordeaux varietals was successful. They became the proud stewards of 50 acres of paradise-on-earth in the Willow Creek District of Paso Robles. It is now a veritable winemaker’s dream with nearly 40,000 vines planted in 24 distinct blocks. In 2022, their estate grew to include 26 acres of dramatic landscape in the Adelaida District. Both vineyard sites have breathtakingly beautiful slopes, calcareous soils and strong marine influence. Simply put, the Sahis believe that these vineyards are legendary. The vines on the Copia Estate are now producing some of the most opulent, concentrated fruit with densely rich varietal characteristics.”

“Guests are invited to experience Anita and Varinder Sahi’s tireless passion for premium winemaking, cutting edge viticulture and warm hospitality in equal measure. Copia’s Adelaida Vineyard Estate offers a lux oasis for guests to enjoy a signature wine flight of premium wines with a curated culinary pairing. The 60 to 90 minute in-depth experience takes place in their modern Tasting Room and cozy outdoor patio areas (weather permitting).” Appointments are recommended.

Anita and Varinder Sahi join us to gently pull the cork on all that is Copia Vineyards and Winery.

Viet Nugyen of VOX Kitchen

“In 2017, VOX Kitchen opened in the heart of Little Saigon, bringing the ‘Chifa’ culinary movement —a fusion of Chinese and Peruvian cuisines—to Orange County. The award-winning restaurant entered into 2024 with an expanded kitchen and dining room, new menu offerings, and a second location set to open in late 2024 at South Coast Plaza. The expansion allows Founder and Executive Chef Viet Ngyuen to dig deeper into the culinary ethos of VOX Kitchen and explore Chifa cuisine through the lens of seafood, a staple in Peru.”

“VOX Kitchen is one of nearly a dozen pan-Asian fusion restaurants under the KEI Concepts umbrella, a trailblazing culinary group helmed by Nguyen. As the group’s founder, CEO, and executive chef, Nguyen is passionate about connecting diverse communities through the universal language of food – an ethos evident across all his concepts. Nguyen sees each restaurant as a canvas for this mission, where the culinary creations are not just dishes but cultural ambassadors.”

“In January Nguyen unveiled an enhanced VOX Kitchen—a testament to his unwavering commitment to the brand’s innovative ethos. The enlarged dining room, boasting an additional 60 seats, elevates the restaurant’s capacity to 120, creating a more immersive dining experience. This expanded space serves as a canvas for Nguyen to not only diversify his menu offerings but also to introduce an open-concept kitchen.”

“Culinary creativity is a borderless concept,” comments Nguyen. “Culture and cuisine are powerful connectors, giving people a sense of pride and identity. With all our restaurants, our mission is to celebrate culture while bridging diverse communities through the universal language of food.”

“Nguyen opened his first restaurant, Súp Noodle Bar, in 2014 and since has grown the KEI Concepts roster to include, VOX Kitchen, Gem Dining, Nep Café, ROL Hand Roll Bar, Kin Izakaya, and INI Ristorante, all of which offer distinct interpretations of pan-Asian dining experiences pulling global influence from Italian, French, and Japanese cuisines.”

Farsheed Bonakdar of the Kona Cacao Association

“Indulge in a world of tempting sweetness at the 11th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival (BICF) in Hawaii presented by the Kona Cacao Association, taking place on April 26-27, 2024, at the beautiful beach-front Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa on the Big Island of Hawaii.”

“The BICF promises unforgettable experience filled with chocolate cooking demonstrations, cacao growing presentations, and the most festive gala of all galas! This year the theme is ‘Mystical Chocolate Masquerade’ and guests are encouraged to dress up, wear masks and get creative to win tickets to 2025 event. Picture a venue adorned with rich colors, luxurious velvet, and opulent gold accents, creating the perfect backdrop for an evening of sweet enchantment.”

The Festival encores their beloved gala setup with even more tantalizing food booths outside and inside this stunning venue. The 2024 Gala evening event, on Saturday, April 27, 2024, promises unlimited tastings at 15 to 18 chef created food stations featuring delectable sweet and savory offerings, along with unlimited beer and wine pours from the Festival’s generous sponsors. Awards are given to the participating chefs as judged in various categories so this is a friendly, but highly competitive, competition!

“Enjoy the rhythmic beats of a lively DJ or live music, explore a fabulous silent auction, and immerse yourself in all-around extravagant chocolate-themed fun. Don’t miss the chance to make your life even decadently sweeter by joining The 11th Big Island Chocolate Festival at the most savored Hawaii-based event of the year!”

“The mission at the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. (the Presenters of The Big Island Chocolate Festival) is to cultivate the Big Island’s cacao industry, making the festival an educational beacon for cacao farmers, the hospitality sector, and chocolate enthusiasts alike.”

Farsheed Bonakdar, President of the organizing Kona Cacao Association joins us with a ripe cacao pod in hand.

Chef Andrew Gruel of Big Parm and the Calico Fish House

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the full-service Calico Fish House (in the Sunset Beach area of Huntington Beach) and also the founder and pizzaiola of the fast-casual Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) located in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative Ask the Chef segment where he responds to listeners’ thoughtful inquiries.

French Fries…! There is nothing better than fresh-cut, perfectly crisp fries. Something that seems so simple, however, is rarely done right. Chef Andrew shares his perfected technique.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Copia Vineyards & Winery, Paso Robles, with Anita and Varinder Sahi Part One
Segment Three: Copia Vineyards & Winery, Paso Robles, with Anita and Varinder Sahi Part Two
Segment Four: VOX Kitchen, Fountain Valley, with Founder & Executive Chef Viet Nguyen Part One
Segment Five: VOX Kitchen, Fountain Valley, with Founder & Executive Chef Viet Nguyen Part Two
Segment Six: Big Island Chocolate Festival, Hawaii with Farsheed Bonakdar Part One
Segment Seven: Big Island Chocolate Festival, Hawaii with Farsheed Bonakdar Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host and Proprietor of Calico Fish House, with “Ask the Chef”

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