May 22: Palm Springs Mod Squad, Jalama Wines, Valerie Rice, Monti Carlo

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Kurt Cyr, Palm Springs Mod Squad Tours
Segment Three: Winemaker Mark Cargasacchi, Jalama Wines, Lompoc
Segment Four: Valerie Rice, Lush Life – Food & Drinks from the Garden Part One
Segment Five: Valerie Rice, Lush Life – Food & Drinks from the Garden Part Two
Segment Six: Chef Monti Carlo of Island Girl Cooks Part One
Segment Seven: Chef Monti Carlo of Island Girl Cooks Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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

“Palm Springs is the perfect destination for those seeking a hip, architecturally cool city to explore. For over 100 years, artists, designers, architects and Hollywood stars have been drawn to this corner of the Southern California desert making the city a hot bed of creativity.”

The well-informed and personable Kurt Cyr is the official guide for Palm Springs Mod Squad which provides in-person, one-of-a-kind architecture and design tours of Palm Springs. Both of Kurt’s signature Mid-Century Modern architecture tours have been carefully modified to accommodate all COVID 19 safety measures. Kurt Cyr is our guide to Palm Springs Mod Squad.

The Jalama Wines Tasting Room located in the historic La Plaza building in downtown Palm Springs offers a truly authentic tasting opportunity where guests experience the casual and inviting atmosphere of California’s Central Coast wine country. The Jalama Wines vineyards are located in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County. Jalama Wines’ artisan winery produces less than 1,000 cases of wine yearly, including estate Pinot Noir, sourced Syrah, Grenache, and Petite Sirah, and several Rhone blends. The two estate vineyards are Cargasacchi Vineyard – Sta. Rita Hills and Jalama Vineyard – Santa Barbara County. Winemaker Mark Cargasacchi joins us to pull the cork on Jalama Wines.

“Guided by the seasons and nurtured by the California sunshine, cook and gardener Valerie Rice (Santa Barbara-based) has created a book that puts the joy back into cooking. With her signature no-fuss style and cocktail always in hand, Valerie has developed a collection of recipes, organized by season for stunning main dishes, sides, salads, soups, and desserts in her debut book, Lush Life : Food & Drinks from the Garden (Prospect Park Books) that also includes cocktails, garden planning & tips, and wine commentary from award-winning Rajat Parr, a frequent guest at her table.” James Beard Award-Winning Chef Suzanne Goin (a.o.c.) penned the Foreword. Valerie Rice is our guest to turn the pages of Lush Life for us.

“Following a groundbreaking collaborative event featuring women-owned restaurants across Los Angeles in January 2021 called 10 Days RE:Her, newly formed non-profit RE:Her has organized a Covid-19 relief grant program, sponsored by DoorDash. RE:Her will distribute 15 cash grants of $10,000 each to female-identifying food and beverage entrepreneurs in LA County, which recipients can use to bolster their business however they see fit. Grantees will also receive access to consulting and mentorship from specialists in restaurant finance, HR and PR/Marketing.” A committee of distinguished hospitality and business experts will select the grantees, including consultant and media personality, Chef Monti Carlo, who is our guest.

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund of $28.6 billion is part of The American Rescue Plan. It’s already oversubscribed by twice the amount approved by Congress. Can it be replenished? Chef Andrew has his thoughts on this development.

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

Kurt Cyr of Plam Springs Mod Squad Tours

“Palm Springs is the perfect destination for those seeking a hip, architecturally cool city to explore. For over 100 years, artists, designers, architects and Hollywood stars have been drawn to this corner of the Southern California desert making the city a hot bed of creativity.”

The well-informed and personable Kurt Cyr is the official guide for Palm Springs Mod Squad which provides in-person, one-of-a-kind architecture and design tours of Palm Springs. Both of Kurt’s signature tours have been carefully modified to accommodate all COVID 19 safety measures.

The current offerings (by reservation only) are the Socially Distanced Tour and the Interior Socially Distanced Tour. Guests follow the Mod Squad van in their own vehicle while Kurt provides engaging commentary via cell phone.

“The Interior Socially Distanced Tour takes guests into three mid- century Palm Springs houses. Guests learn how Desert Modern design is as appropriate today as it was 60-70 years ago.”

Mark Cargasacchi of Jalama Wines

“The Jalama Wines Tasting Room located in the historic La Plaza building in downtown Palm Springs offers a truly authentic tasting opportunity where guests experience the casual and inviting atmosphere of California’s Central Coast wine country. The Jalama Wines vineyards are located in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County.”

“Jalama Wines’ artisan winery produces less than 1,000 cases of wine yearly, including estate Pinot Noir, sourced Syrah, Grenache, and Petite Sirah, and several Rhone blends.” The two estate vineyards are Cargasacchi Vineyard – Sta. Rita Hills and Jalama Vineyard – Santa Barbara County.

“The Palm Springs Tasting Room is the first and only one of its kind in the area. It’s a welcoming spot for anyone who enjoys exceptional wine. You’re likely to meet winemaker Mark Cargasacchi there and get a chance to learn what makes Jalama Wines so special.” The Tasting Room is open Friday through Sunday from 12 Noon to 5:00 p.m.

Winemaker Mark Cargasacchi joins us to pull the cork on Jalama Wines.

Valerie Rice of Lush Life and Eat Drink Garden

“Guided by the seasons and nurtured by the California sunshine, cook and gardener Valerie Rice has created a book that puts the joy back into cooking. With her signature no-fuss style and cocktail always in hand, Valerie has developed a collection of recipes, organized by season for stunning main dishes, sides, salads, soups, and desserts in her debut book, Lush Life: Food & Drinks from the Garden (Prospect Park Books) that also includes cocktails, garden planning & tips, and wine commentary from award-winning sommelier and winemaker Rajat Parr, a frequent guest at her table.”

“In her Foreword to the book, James Beard Award-Winning Chef Suzanne Goin writes, “…Whoever came up with the title Lush Life has hit the nail directly on the head. But it’s not just the beautiful setting, the glorious garden, or the flavorful and captivating food and drink—the lushness stems from Valerie’s heart and soul. Her passion for gardening, cooking, and entertaining is a triumvirate of riches to be enjoyed by anyone who finds themselves fortunate enough to be welcomed into her home. This passion and love for ingredients…and the art of time around the table are Valerie’s magic, and she has captured that spirit and meticulously passed it on in these pages.””

“Chef Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne (The Lucques Group) welcome their friend Valerie Rice, to a.o.c. to celebrate the publication of her new book, Lush Life: Food & Drinks from the Garden. The Lush Life Dinner will be held at a.o.c. in Los Angeles on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Valerie will be joined by James Beard Foundation award-winning Winemaker and Sommelier Rajat Parr, who curated the wine pairings for the dinner (and her cookbook), and both will be available to meet guests and sign cookbooks.”

“Suzanne, who contributed the foreword to the book, created a menu from the spring and summer chapters of the book, showcasing the best of the season. The four-course dinner begins with Zucchini Feta Fritters with Tahini Yogurt Sauce and Radish Tartine with Dill Butter. Next is a course of Ridgeback Prawn Chopped Salad with Spicy Thousand Island and a California Halibut Ceviche with Guacamole and Tortilla Chips.”

“For the main course, guests may choose from the vegetarian Blistered Asparagus with Pistachios, Green Garlic and Chives, plus Grilled King Trumpet Mushrooms with Sherry Marinade and Green Garden Rice, or Orange-Marinated Tri-Tip with Chimichurri & Padron Peppers and Crispy Ghee-Fried Potatoes with Fresh Bay Aïoli.”

“Finish with an Apricot Amaretto Torte with White Chocolate-Lemon Verbena Ice Cream for dessert.”

“Eat and drink what’s in season and you’ll never grow bored, your menus will be less complicated, and everything will taste better. That’s Valerie Rice’s (Santa Barbara-based) motto, and it’s guided her to become an accomplished gardener, cook, and cocktail maker, three talents that—along with her charm and no-fuss style—have made her EatDrinkGarden Instagram and blog a hit. In Lush Life: Food & Drinks from the Garden, Valerie brings together her favorite seasonal recipes for entertaining, family meals, snacks, and so much more, including cocktail recipes and wine advice. Rigorously home tested and gorgeously photographed by Gemma and Andrew Ingalls, Lush Life is a California dream of a cookbook that will inspire readers to grow their own, cook it fresh, and pour a luscious beverage.”

Valerie Rice is our guest to turn the pages of Lush Life for us.

The Monti Carlo of Everyday Food

“Following a groundbreaking collaborative event featuring women-owned restaurants across Los Angeles in January 2021 called 10 Days RE:Her, newly formed non-profit RE:Her has organized a Covid-19 relief grant program, sponsored by DoorDash. RE:Her will distribute 15 cash grants of $10,000 each to female-identifying food and beverage entrepreneurs in LA County, which recipients can use to bolster their business however they see fit. Grantees will also receive access to consulting and mentorship from specialists in restaurant finance (Elissa Phillips of Mise En Place Restaurant Services), HR (Delmy Franco of HR Specialists Group) and PR/Marketing (Joy Limanon of Peridot Consulting).”

A committee of distinguished hospitality and business experts will select the grantees, including consultant and media personality, Monti Carlo, who is our guest.

“Applications for the grant program will be accepted from May 17-23. Grant recipients will be announced on June 14. Independent, majority women-owned restaurants or culinary businesses in Los Angeles County are encouraged to apply, including catering companies and food trucks. Check out the specifics for eligibility.

“For decades, cooking at the James Beard House in Greenwich Village has been an aspiration for many chefs and considered a career milestone. In May of 2021, The James Beard Foundation launched the Beard House Fellows program presented by Capital One, which re-envisions the potential of this historic space into a hub of training and professional development for talented emerging chefs.” Each Fellow will have a one-month residence at the Beard House where JBF will provide hard skills training in finance, legal, media training, wine knowledge, social media, food policy and advocacy and leadership assessment. The May fellow is Nicole Merino. Chef Monti Carlo serves on the Advisory Committee.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund of $28.6 billion is part of The American Rescue Plan. It’s already oversubscribed by twice the amount approved by Congress. Can it be replenished? Chef Andrew has his thoughts on this development.

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

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Kurt Cyr, Palm Springs Mod Squad Tours
Segment Three: Winemaker Mark Cargasacchi, Jalama Wines, Lompoc
Segment Four: Valerie Rice, Lush Life – Food & Drinks from the Garden Part One
Segment Five: Valerie Rice, Lush Life – Food & Drinks from the Garden Part Two
Segment Six: Chef Monti Carlo of Island Girl Cooks Part One
Segment Seven: Chef Monti Carlo of Island Girl Cooks Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Fish Tacos with Wahoo’s Oven-Roasted Salsa

by Wing Lam
Wahoo’s Fish Taco

Serves 4
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1lb Mahi Mahi, Cut into 2 oz fillets
  • 16 Corn Tortillas
  • 1 Bag Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend
  • 2 Sliced Jalapeno Peppers
  • 2 Sliced Serrano Peppers
  • 4 Sliced Roma Tomatoes
  • 1 Chopped Red Onion
  • 5 Heads Garlic
  • 4 Cups Shredded White Cabbage
  • 5 Radish Heads, Sliced
  • 1 Cup Sliced Persian Cucumber
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Carrots
  • 1 Cup Chopped Cilantro
  • 2 Fresh Limes
  • 1/2 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup of Sliced Green Onions
  1. Make salsa. Preheat oven to 375°. Spray cooking sheet and vegetables (2 sliced Jalapeño peppers, 2 sliced Serrano peppers, 4 sliced Roma tomatoes, 1 chopped red onion, 5 heads garlic) with avocado oil. Remove seeds from peppers to make salsa milder. Spread ingredients evenly on sheet. Using middle shelf, cook for 30-40 minutes until cooked. Let veggies cool down and add to blender, with salt and pepper to taste. Pulse a few times to keep chunky. Salsa can be made day before and kept up to one week in refrigerator.
  2. Make dressing. Squeeze 2 fresh limes and add 1/2 cup of sliced green onions to a mason jar. Shake and let sit for 20 minutes before adding extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Make slaw. Combine slaw ingredients (4 cups shredded red cabbage, 4 cups shredded white cabbage, 5 sliced radish heads, 1 cup sliced Persian cucumber, 1/2 cup shredded carrots, and 1 cup chopped cilantro) and toss with dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste and let sit for 15 minutes before you start making tacos.
  4. Cook fish. Take 1 lb Mahi Mahi and cut into 2 oz fillets (other firm white fishes, like Sea Bass, also work). Coat with avocado oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Grill about 1-2 minutes per side and set all 8 pieces aside.
  5. Warm up tortillas. Spray frying pan with avocado oil and heat up corn tortillas individually. Cover with towel.
  6. Set up your buffet with plate of tortillas, cooked fish, slaw, shredded Mexican cheese blend, salsa, and lime wedges. Use 2 tortillas per taco, with two tacos per person. Add 1 piece of fish per taco, add slaw, add shredded cheese, top with salsa, and garnish with lime wedge.

May 15: Boozehounds, Lulu California Bistro, Wahoo’s Fish Taco

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Boozehounds Palm Springs with Co-Proprietors Jimmy McGill and Bryan Rogers Part One
Segment Three: Boozehounds Palm Springs with Co-Proprietors Jimmy McGill and Bryan Rogers Part Two
Segment Four: Restaurateur Jerry Keller, Lulu California Bistro, Palm Springs Part One
Segment Five: Restaurateur Jerry Keller, Lulu California Bistro, Palm Springs Part Two
Segment Six: Chef Wing Lam of Wahoo’s Fish Taco Part One
Segment Seven: Chef Wing Lam of Wahoo’s Fish Taco Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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

“Boozehounds, is a newly debuted pet-friendly dining, cafe and bar concept in Palm Springs. The 3,812-square-foot restaurant with an additional 1,168-square-foot glass atrium and 2,020-square-foot outdoor lounge is located on bustling N Palm Canyon Drive. Boozehounds features a vibrant design and a welcoming atmosphere with a unique food and beverage menu, including options for dogs. It is poised to quickly become part of Palm Springs’ burgeoning culinary scene.

“Palm Springs has the best of both worlds when it comes to patrons. There’s a large close-knit local community as well as a massive seasonal and weekend visitor population. We intend to make Boozehounds comfortable for both groups, with a focus on conviviality for all to mingle over a coffee, meal or cocktail,” says co-owner Jimmy McGill.”” Partners Jimmy McGill and Bryan Rogers join us.

“Lulu California Bistro (founded in 2011) offers daily dining in the heavily foot-trafficed area of downtown Palm Springs (on S. Palm Canyon Dr.) with a savory all day “favorites” menu, 3-course feast, Weekend Brunch and expanded patio seating.” “There is always a party at Lulu, and the party has returned with the official re-opening of restaurants in Palm Springs. Lulu offering daily dining from a delicious all day “favorites” menu on its expanded patio, in the bar area and in main dining rooms with socially-distanced tables.” Proprietor & Founder Jerry Keller joins us with the details of what’s on the Lulu menu.

Chef Wing Lam of Wahoo’s Fish Taco is collaborating with Three Sticks Wines on two, back- to -back tasting events in Long Beach and Newport Beach under the name of Rose on the Road. Three Sticks will be pouring a celebratory selection of their latest wines (including the newly released 2020 Castenada Sonoma Coast Rose) at the Wahoo’s Fish Taco locations in Long Beach (May 20th from 5 to 7:00 p.m.) and Newport Beach (May 21st from 3 to 5:00 p.m.) as founder and chef, Wing Lam, cooks up his famous grilled fish tacos with spicy oven-roasted salsa on the patio. Tickets are limited. Wing Lam is our guest spatula in hand.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. Moving on to the current crisis in the hospitality industry we’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the difficulty restaurants are currently experiencing in restaffing – both in the front and back of the house.

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

Bryan Rogers and Jerry McGill of Boozehounds in Palm Springs

Boozehounds, is a newly debuted pet-friendly dining, cafe and bar concept in Palm Springs. The 3,812-square-foot restaurant with an additional 1,168-square-foot glass atrium and 2,020-square-foot outdoor lounge is located on bustling N Palm Canyon Drive. Boozehounds features a vibrant design and a welcoming atmosphere with a unique food and beverage menu, including options for dogs. It is poised to quickly become part of Palm Springs’ burgeoning culinary scene.”

“Palm Springs has the best of both worlds when it comes to patrons. There’s a large close-knit local community as well as a massive seasonal and weekend visitor population. We intend to make Boozehounds comfortable for both groups, with a focus on conviviality for all to mingle over a coffee, meal or cocktail,” says co-owner Jimmy McGill.”

“This is a deeply personal project for him and co-owners Bryan Rogers and Steve Piacenza. The concept pays homage to their past and present pets with the logo design inspired by Jimmy and Steve’s beloved dog, Striker. Striker was rescued from the Pasadena Humane Society in 1999 and for 18 years he was more than a four-legged best friend — he was a brother. His memory lives on in Boozehounds.”

“Boozehounds serves globally-inspired, locally influenced dishes including classics with a twist and daily fresh fish selections, with gluten-free and vegan options. Signature dishes include Miso Chilean Fish and Chips, 48 hour miso-marinated Chilean sea bass, beer batter fried, served with root vegetable chips; Sweet “Spot Prawn” Shrimp Ceviche, red Aguachile, Fresno chili, red onions, avocado, and cilantro served with fried shrimp heads; Adobo Chicken, simmered chicken thighs, steamed rice, topped with adobo broth, and side of spiced coconut vinegar; and Slow Roasted Baby Carrots with Almond Milk Sauce, Crispy Farro and Furikake.”

“The city of Palm Springs has a large dog owner community and we want to contribute to that beloved community and create a space for them. Boozehounds is a coffee, co-working, and lunch spot by day and the place to be for happy hour; and when happy hour turns into happy hours you can grab snacks or dinner as well. Coffee Service starts at 8am – 3pm, Happy Hour 3pm-5pm, Dinner 5pm – 10pm (Sun-Thurs) 11pm (Fri & Sat). We are currently not serving lunch or brunch, but will be in the near future.”

Proprietors Jimmy McGill and Bryan Rogers are with us, premium dog treats in hand.

Jerry Keller of Lulu California Bistro

Lulu California Bistro (founded in 2011) offers daily dining in the heavily foot-trafficed downtown Palm Springs area (on S. Palm Canyon Dr.) with a savory all day “favorites” menu, 3-course feast, Weekend Brunch and expanded patio seating.”

“There’s always a party at Lulu, and the party has returned with the official re-opening of restaurants in Palm Springs. Lulu offering daily dining from a delicious all day “favorites” menu on its expanded patio, in the bar area and in main dining rooms with socially-distanced tables.”

“Lulu California Bistro combines talent, expertise and a passion for great food to produce a captivating California Bistro dining experience. The menu options are many, varied and value-priced, and the quality is always high. The generous portions are prepared with the freshest ingredients available and a dash of innovation from their award-winning chefs.

“Lulu California Bistro first opened its doors on August 22, 2011 and has served their delicious California cuisine to over two and one-half million guests since the opening. Owner Jerry Keller (in concert with his wife, Barbara) have made very careful choices in creating “Palm Springs hippest restaurant”. From the design of the decor to the meticulous choice of incredible dishes on the menu, everything is designed to give Lulu’s guests the experience of gracious dining in the “hot spot” in the Coachella Valley.”

Proprietor/Founder Jerry Keller joins us with the details of what’s on the ample Lulu menu.

Wing Lam preparing Oven Roasted Salsa from his blender

Chef Wing Lam of Wahoo’s Fish Taco is collaborating with Three Sticks Wines on two, back-to-back tasting events in Long Beach and Newport Beach under the name of Rose on the Road.

Three Sticks will be pouring a celebratory selection of their latest wines (including the newly released 2020 Castenada Sonoma Coast Rose) at the Wahoo’s Fish Taco locations in Long Beach (May 20th from 5 to 7:00 p.m.) and Newport Beach (May 21stfrom 3 to 5:00 p.m.) as founder and chef, Wing Lam, cooks up his famous grilled fish tacos with spicy oven-roasted salsa on the patio. Tickets are limited.

Chef Wing Lam co-founded Wahoo’s Fish Taco in 1988 (with his two brothers) and the enterprise has grown to over 60 locations throughout California. A fresh and tasty fusion of Brazilian, Asian, and Mexican fare, Wahoo’s is best known for their signature fish tacos that pair perfectly with the newly released 2020 Castenada Rose.

Wing Lam is our guest spatula in hand.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions.

Moving on to the current crisis in the hospitality industry we’ll ask Chef Andrew about the difficulty restaurants are currently experiencing in restaffing – both in the front and back of the house. It’s tough to even get applicants…What does the future hold if this unfortunate trend continues? Is more automation (and less service) possibly on the horizon?

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

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Boozehounds Palm Springs with Co-Proprietors Jimmy McGill and Bryan Rogers Part One
Segment Three: Boozehounds Palm Springs with Co-Proprietors Jimmy McGill and Bryan Rogers Part Two
Segment Four: Restaurateur Jerry Keller, Lulu California Bistro, Palm Springs Part One
Segment Five: Restaurateur Jerry Keller, Lulu California Bistro, Palm Springs Part Two
Segment Six: Chef Wing Lam of Wahoo’s Fish Taco Part One
Segment Seven: Chef Wing Lam of Wahoo’s Fish Taco Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

May 8: Prospect Gourmand, Brandini Toffee, Wicks Brewing Company

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Isaac and Chancey Gamboa, Gourmando & Prospect Gourmand, Beverly Hills Part One
Segment Three: Chef Isaac and Chancey Gamboa, Gourmando & Prospect Gourmand, Beverly Hills Part Two
Segment Four: Brandon Weimer, Founder, Brandini Toffee, Palm Springs Part One
Segment Five: Brandon Weimer, Founder, Brandini Toffee, Palm Springs Part Two
Segment Six: Ryan Wicks, Wicks Brewing Co., Riverside Part One
Segment Seven: Ryan Wicks, Wicks Brewing Co., Riverside Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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

Proprietor & Chef Isaac Gamboa of Beverly Hills’ side-by-side Prospect Gourmand and Gourmando has extensive fine dining experience working with big name chefs and at luxury hotel properties. In 2014 Chef Isaac and his wife, Chancey, (the welcoming General Manager) opened the modest (and self-funded) Prospect Gourmand on La Cienega Blvd. in Beverly Hills. Favorable word-of-mouth spread about their honest, from-the-heart elevated cuisine and they soon developed a regular and loyal following. Two years ago The Gamboas were able to relocate to a larger space (with a better equipped kitchen) on N. Robertson Blvd. located just North of Wilshire Blvd. on the West side of the street. It’s Lunch and Dinner daily with Weekend Brunch service. Chef Isaac Gamboa is our guest tongs in hand.

“In 2006, a young toffee-maker (based in the greater Palm Springs area,) Brandon Weimer, and a family friend were presented an opportunity to go on a class trip to Italy during their sophomore year of high school. Challenged by their parents to earn half the cost of their trip, they accepted, and Brandini Toffee was born. With unwavering optimism, they sold their toffee to family, friends and the community. Within a few months the two surpassed their funding goals and enjoyed a well-earned trip to Europe. Since then, the company has grown into a business committed to quality and community. Founded in the Palm Springs area, Brandini Toffee is enjoyed by chocolate-lovers and toffee aficionados around the world, and is the first toffee company to receive the coveted gold sofi Award from the Specialty Food Association.” Founder Brandon Weimer joins us with whisk in hand.

“Located just off the 91 Freeway in Riverside, Wicks Brewing Company has been bringing award-winning craft beer and food to the Inland Empire since serving their first pint back in April of 2013.

One of the largest brewpubs in the Inland Empire, Wicks Brewing features 25 draft selections, seltzers, a great rotating cider list and even wine!” Always community focused Wicks Brewing is participating in the first national StacheStong benefit (featuring 200 craft breweries in some 30 states.) This month of May campaign is raising vitally needed funds and much needed awareness for brain cancer research during national Brain Tumor Awareness Month. Participating #BrewStacheStrong breweries are raising money through sales of their limited-edition S.M.A.S.H. for STACHE. This SMaSH (single malt and single hop) beer has been uniquely crafted by each participating brewery. Ryan Wicks taps the keg of their SMASH Pilsner creation 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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. Shifting the conversation back to food we’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the increasing practice of full-service restaurants adding a partial or full gratuity to the guest’s check in advance of the payment regardless of the number of guests dining.

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

Isaac Gamboa of Prospect Gourmand and Gourmando

Proprietor & Chef Isaac Gamboa of Beverly Hills’ side-by-side Prospect Gourmand and Gourmando has extensive fine dining experience working with big name chefs and at luxury hotel properties. In 2014 Chef Isaac and his wife, Chancey (the welcoming General Manager) opened the modest (and self-funded) Prospect Gourmand on La Cienega Blvd. in Beverly Hills. Favorable word-of-mouth spread about their honest, from-the-heart elevated cuisine and they soon developed a regular and loyal following. Two years ago The Gamboas were able to relocate to a larger space (with a better equipped kitchen including a pizza oven) on N. Robertson Blvd. located just North of Wilshire Blvd. on the West side of the street. It’s Lunch and Dinner daily with Weekend Brunch service.

Eventually (post pandemic) there will be two concepts under the same roof. One side will be a nightly changing prix fixe menu based on what ingredients Isaac sees as the season’s best along with an a la care menu that features South of the Border specialties like Wild Pacific Shrimp a la Plancha with farmers market vegetables.

“Isaac Gamboa trained under the aegis of Michelin-starred Chef/Restaurateur Michael Mina in Las Vegas at his restaurants including American Fish, Nob Hill and Strip Steak; was part of the group’s opening teams, and honed valuable skills in fine dining and hospitality. Isaac then went on to be the Executive Chef of the luxury boutique hotel Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, California overseeing two of the most idyllic ocean front dining destinations: One Pico and Coast Beach Cafe and Bar.”

“He received his culinary arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu in Las Vegas and originally launched his career at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, as a Junior Sous Chef for the Five Diamond resort. Chef Isaac also specialized there in creating French pastries.”

Chef Isaac Gamboa is our guest tongs in hand.

Brandon Weimer of Brandini Toffee
Bran

“In 2006, a young toffee-maker (based in the greater Palm Springs area,) Brandon Weimer, and family friend were presented an opportunity to go on a class trip to Italy during their sophomore year of high school. Challenged by their parents to earn half the cost of their trip, they accepted, and Brandini Toffee was born.”

“With unwavering optimism, they sold their toffee to family, friends and the community. Within a few months the two surpassed their funding goals and enjoyed a well-earned trip to Europe. Since then, the company has grown into a business committed to quality and community.”

“Founded in the Palm Springs area, Brandini Toffee is enjoyed by chocolate-lovers and toffee aficionados around the world, and is the first toffee company to receive the coveted gold sofi Award from the Specialty Food Association. The family owned business has become a featured favorite on Oprah Winfrey’s O List, The Martha Stewart Show, The Food Network and Brandini Toffee has even been served to a President of the United States.”

“The company is dedicated to handcrafted toffee created with premium, preservatives-free and GMO-free ingredients. Brandini Toffee also crafts Toffee Popcorn and Cashew Almond Toffee Popcorn. This is the recipe that has led to four Brandini store locations, a fast-growing wholesale segment, and shipments world-wide.” The newest store location (and the first outside of the greater Palm Springs area) is in Westfield Century City.

Founder Brandon Weimer joins us.

Brian Herbertson and Ryan Wicks of Wicks Brewing Company

“Located just off the 91 Freeway in Riverside, Wicks Brewing Company has been bringing award-winning craft beer and food to the Inland Empire since serving their first pint back in April of 2013.”

“Wicks’ brewpub houses a beautiful 7 bbl copper brew house, which is visible from the open floor taproom and restaurant. Visitors will often see their brewers at work creating the next batch of great craft beer.

One of the largest brewpubs in the Inland Empire, Wicks Brewing features 25 draft selections, seltzers, a great rotating cider list and even wine!”

Always community focused Wicks Brewing is participating in the first national StacheStong benefit (featuring 200 craft breweries in some 30 states.) This month of May campaign is raising vitally needed funds and much needed awareness for brain cancer research during national Brain Tumor Awareness Month. Participating #BrewStacheStrong breweries are raising money through sales of their limited-edition S.M.A.S.H. for STACHE. This SMaSH (single malt and single hop) beer has been uniquely crafted by each participating brewery.

For #BrewStacheStrong Wicks has brewed the S.M.A.S.H. Pilsner with Loral Hops and Pilsner Malt. It’s available on tap through the month of May at the Wicks BrewPub.

StacheStrong is a 501(c)3 non-profit devoted to raising funds and awareness for brain cancer research. Defeating brain cancer and improving the quality of patients’ lives is our daily focus. Our organization has become a beacon of hope for countless individuals and families afflicted by this disease and we serve as an ardent advocate for all those impacted by brain cancer.”

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

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions.

Shifting the conversation back to food and the hospitality business we’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the increasing practice of full-service restaurants adding a partial or full gratuity to the guest’s check in advance of the payment regardless of the number of guests dining. We’ve observed an extra 4 per cent being added on as a contribution to staff health premiums as well as a full 16 per cent gratuity (pre-tax.)

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

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Isaac and Chancey Gamboa, Gourmando & Prospect Gourmand, Beverly Hills Part One
Segment Three: Chef Isaac and Chancey Gamboa, Gourmando & Prospect Gourmand, Beverly Hills Part Two
Segment Four: Brandon Weimer, Founder, Brandini Toffee, Palm Springs Part One
Segment Five: Brandon Weimer, Founder, Brandini Toffee, Palm Springs Part Two
Segment Six: Ryan Wicks, Wicks Brewing Co., Riverside Part One
Segment Seven: Ryan Wicks, Wicks Brewing Co., Riverside Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

May 1: Copenhagen Pastry, Saracina Vineyards Mendocino, More Than Waffles, Amar Santana and Top Chef Season 18

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Karen Hansen, Proprietress and Baker, Copenhagen Pastry, Culver City Part One
Segment Three: Karen Hansen, Proprietress and Baker, Copenhagen Pastry, Culver City Part Two
Segment Four: Winemaker Alex MacGregor, Saracina Vineyards Mendocino Part One
Segment Five: Winemaker Alex MacGregor, Saracina Vineyards Mendocino Part Two
Segment Six: Ika Taft, Proprietress, More Than Waffles, Encino
Segment Seven: Restaurateur & Executive Chef Amar Santana, The Hall, Vaca and Broadway
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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

In June of 2012 Copenhagen Pastry first brought the authentic taste of Denmark to Culver City under the direction of Proprietress Karen Hansen. For centuries, the Danes have made delicious pastries, and Copenhagen Pastry is proudly continuing that tradition in Southern California. Copenhagen Pastry differs from other bakeries through their emphasis on using authentic Danish recipes, traditional baking methods and the finest quality ingredients to create pastries that are flaky, light and delicately sweet without being sugary or heavy. Proprietress and Baker Karen Hansen prepares the signature Kringle for us.

“Saracina Vineyards Mendocino is a Certified California Sustainable (CSWA) winery and vineyard located in Hopland, in the southern part of Mendocino County about 30 miles north of Healdsburg. This 250-acre ranch, which includes a winery and sustainably farmed vineyards, is also home to 140-year-old olive trees, vegetable gardens, beehives, and all manner of bird and wild animal life. The handcrafted, limited production Saracina wines reflect a conscious sense of this beautiful estate in Mendocino County. Originally founded by the husband and wife team of John Fetzer and Patty Rock in 2001, Saracina has always been defined by a strong sense of family. In 2018, Marc Taub took on stewardship of Saracina, upholding the spirit of family ownership that has defined this iconic Mendocino County winery since its inception.” Long-time winemaker Alex MacGregor joins us to pull the cork on Saracina Mendocino.

The family-owned and operated More Than Waffles located in the Encino Town Center launched in 1975. Since 1998 the welcoming establishment has been owned by the Taft Family. “They specialize in the authentic Belgian Waffle called, “Gaufre.” They are known for their thickness but have a light and airy texture which makes them lower in calories, only 140 calories per waffle. The waffles are made from the finest ingredients and served plain or with a variety of fresh toppings and are accompanied with house-made jam and melted butter. More than Waffles offers some 19 different waffles to choose from, and of course you can create your own. Beyond Breakfast, More Than Waffles offers a full lunch menu including Sandwiches, Salads, Pastas, Chicken Dishes, house-made Soups and juicy Hamburgers (including Vegi Burgers and Turkey Burgers.) More Than Waffles uses a variety of Organic products and offers many healthy and lower-calorie, lighter fare dishes.” Proprietress Ika Taft (who started there as a server in 1989) is our guest.

“Orange County notable Amar Santana, the well-known chef of Vaca and The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza, as well as Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach, has returned to Bravo’s Top Chef Season 18 with a twist. This current Season, Chef Amar traded his cheftestant toque for a seat at the prestigious Judge’s Table. He was selected to be part of an elite rotating judging and dining panel made up of Top Chef All Star winners and finalists.” We entice Chef Amar away from his busy kitchens for a long overdue chat.

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. Shifting the conversation back to food we’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the new developments with the stinging 3rd party delivery fees charged to restaurants. DoorDash (the industry leader) has just revamped what percentages they charge to restaurants. It’s now 3 tiers.

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

“In June of 2012 Copenhagen Pastry brought the authentic taste of Denmark to Culver City under the direction of Proprietress Karen Hansen. For centuries, the Danes have made delicious pastries, and Copenhagen Pastry is proudly continuing that tradition in Southern California.”

“Copenhagen Pastry differs from other bakeries through their emphasis on using authentic Danish recipes, traditional baking methods and premium ingredients to create pastries that are flaky, light and delicately sweet without being sugary or heavy.”

“Copenhagen Pastry’s fillings are primarily almond paste and custard in various ratios along with cinnamon, almond flakes and traditional Danish fruit fillings (apple, raspberry, apricot and blueberry). At Copenhagen Pastry they bake pastries throughout the day as demand dictates. Customers always leave with freshly baked goods.”

“Among their signature offerings is a wholegrain rye bread containing the goodness of whole rye berries, black flax seeds, sunflower and sesame seeds. Their rye bread is a thoroughly healthy bread high in fiber, low in sodium and sugar free.”

“Traditional Danish pastry dough is yeast-leavened dough folded 27 times over with layers of margarine resulting in a so called laminated dough that yields the desired light and flaky pastry so prized around the world.”

“The basic pastry dough is used to make pastries in a variety of styles – round and circular (Spandauer and Chocolate), folded or rolled (Copenhagen or Cinnamon), cut, folded or shaped (Diamond or Crown) or the knotted pretzel shape of a Kringle, the trade sign for Danish bakeries.”

Proprietress & Baker Karen Hansen joins us with whisk in hand.

Saracina Vineyards Mendocino is a Certified California Sustainable (CSWA) winery and vineyard located in Hopland, in the southern part of Mendocino County about 30 miles north of Healdsburg. This 250-acre ranch, which includes a winery and sustainably farmed vineyards, is also home to 140-year-old olive trees, vegetable gardens, beehives, and all manner of bird and wild animal life. The handcrafted, limited production Saracina wines reflect a conscious sense of this beautiful estate in Mendocino County.”

“Originally founded by the husband and wife team of John Fetzer and Patty Rock in 2001, Saracina has always been defined by a strong sense of family. In 2018, Marc Taub took on stewardship of Saracina, upholding the spirit of family ownership that has defined this iconic Mendocino County winery since its inception.”

“Saracina cultivates 40 acres of vineyards on six different parcels. The soils vary greatly from rocky to black clay and gravelly loam, allowing for the cultivation of numerous varieties including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. This area has wet winters and dry summers with very warm days and cool nights providing for ripe, plush fruit to be balanced by firm acidity. Winemaking is led by Alex MacGregor.”

“At Saracina, the modern, eco-friendly tasting room and winery facility blend comfortably into the rural landscape. Saracina’s openness and unspoiled yet well-tended beauty is unique in the Mendocino County, as are the wine caves, the first of their kind in the county dug out of solid rock over a two-year period. By prior appointment throughout the year, the winery also offers Wine Cave Tours, Private Tastings with the Winemaker, and last but not least, Estate Tours in a motorized “Mule.””

Long-time winemaker Alex MacGregor joins us to gently pull the cork on Saracina Mendocino.

The proudly family-owned More Than Waffles located in the Encino Town Center launched in 1975. Since 1998 the established has been owned and operated by the Taft Family. “They specialize in the authentic Belgian Waffle called, “Gaufre.” They are known for their thickness but have a light and airy texture which makes them lower in calories, only 140 calories per waffle. The waffles are made from the finest ingredients and served plain or with a variety of fresh toppings and are accompanied with house-made jam and melted butter. More than Waffles offers some 19 different waffles to choose from, and of course you can create your own.”

“More Than Waffles also offers a full breakfast menu that includes 21 omelets which are served with a Belgian Waffle or home fries, breakfast burritos, crepes, pancakes, various benedicts, hash and much more.”

“Besides breakfast, More Than Waffles offers a full lunch menu including Sandwiches, Salads, Pastas, Chicken Dishes, house-made Soups and juicy Hamburgers (including Vegi Burgers and Turkey Burgers.) More Than Waffles uses a variety of Organic products and offers many healthy and low-calorie dishes for a lighter touch.”

Love is in the air at More Than Waffles. Proprietress Ika Taft (who started there as a server) met her future husband, Greg, at the restaurant. As coincidence would have it Ika’s and Greg’s daughter, Henny, also was introduced to her future husband (Mike) at More Than Waffles. Henny is currently the General Manager of More Than Waffles representing the 2nd generation of caring, hands-on Taft Family stewardship.

Amar Santana at the Finale of Top Chef

Orange County notable Amar Santana, the well-known chef of Vaca and The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza, as well as Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach, has returned to Bravo’s Top Chef Season 18 with a twist.

“This current Season, Chef Amar traded his cheftestant toque for a seat at the prestigious Judge’s Table. He was selected to be part of an elite rotating judging and dining panel made up of Top Chef All Star winners and finalists.”

“Santana, in a tight finale, ended Season 13 as the Top Chef runner-up. The ranking was made more impressive as he battled his way back to the win in “Last Chance Kitchen” where eliminated chefs compete for the wild card spot in the finale.”

“Portland, Oregon is the setting for the new season of Top Chef. Production took place last fall under rigid COVID-19 protocols and devastating wildfires. Santana was on hand for the first eight episodes including the popular “Restaurant Wars” competition.”

Top Chef Season 18 currently airs Thursday at 8 p.m. PDT. The long-running culinary reality show has garnered more than 32 Emmy nominations and two wins over 13 years.

“Santana’s long-standing relationship with South Coast Plaza began in 2008 when the graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (and a C-CAP alum and scholarship recipient from High School) was hand-picked by Chef Charlie Palmer to open his eponymous restaurant at Bloomingdale’s. It was there Santana first worked with restaurateur Ahmed Labbate, another veteran of Palmer’s restaurant empire. The two subsequently went on to partner in three thriving restaurants in the competitive Orange County dining scene.” (Locations in South Coast Plaza and Laguna Beach.)

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions.

Shifting the conversation back to food we’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the new developments with the stinging 3rd party delivery fees charged to restaurants. DoorDash (the industry leader) has just revamped what percentages they charge to restaurants. It’s now a complicated 3 tiers. The consumer also pays a delivery fee.

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

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Karen Hansen, Proprietress and Baker, Copenhagen Pastry, Culver City Part One
Segment Three: Karen Hansen, Proprietress and Baker, Copenhagen Pastry, Culver City Part Two
Segment Four: Winemaker Alex MacGregor, Saracina Vineyards Mendocino Part One
Segment Five: Winemaker Alex MacGregor, Saracina Vineyards Mendocino Part Two
Segment Six: Ika Taft, Proprietress, More Than Waffles, Encino
Segment Seven: Restaurateur & Executive Chef Amar Santana, The Hall, Vaca and Broadway
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

April 24: The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, Tackle Box, Jet Tila, Three Weavers Brewing Company

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Yvon Goetz, Executive Chef & Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar
Segment Three: Chef Brian Huskey, Proprietor, Tackle Box, Corina del Mar
Segment Four: Chef Jet Tila, Cookbook Author, Culinary Educator and Food TV Personality Part One
Segment Five: Chef Jet Tila, Cookbook Author, Culinary Educator and Food TV Personality Part Two
Segment Six: Alexandra Nowell, Brewmaster & Partner, Three Weavers Brewing Company Part One
Segment Seven: Alexandra Nowell, Brewmaster & Partner, Three Weavers Brewing Company Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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

“For the first time since opening nearly 14 years ago, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar has introduced a new Weekend Brunch at its original Tustin location. Created by Executive Chef & Partner Yvon Goetz, the Brunch menu features both breakfast and lunch offerings that are available Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Guests now enjoy Weekend Brunch on The Winery’s recently expanded patio, situated in the heart of The District in Tustin.” The Winery Restaurant’s Newport Beach location is also participating in Newport Beach Restaurant Week (ends May 2nd) with a 3-course, prix fixe Dinner menu. We entice Chef Yvon out of his busy kitchen for a chat.

“Top Chef” Season 11 – New Orleans Alum Brian Huskey brings his talents to Big Corona Beach in Corona del Mar serving up the freshest seafood grub beachside at Tackle Box. Established in 2016 he likes to refer to it as a “Local Grub Shack.” Beachgoers and diners can enjoy a variety of classic seafood dishes at this casual oceanfront eatery. Only open Thursday to Sunday. For Newport Beach Restaurant Week (concluding May 2nd) Chef Brian is offering a $15 prix fixe Lunch menu available from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It includes a choice of sandwich with house potato chips, a side and a Tackle Box cookie for dessert plus beverage. Chef Brian Huskey joins us with tongs in hand.

Celebrity Chef, Author and Food TV Personality,Jet Tila, needs no introduction to the listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” With his wife, Ali, he has written the best-selling 101 Asia Dishes You Need To Cook Before You Die and,most recently, 101 Epic Dishes. On Food Network Chef Jet was one of the 3 regular judges for the entire run of “Cutthroat Kitchen with Alton Brown” and the knowledgeable Floor Reporter on the most recent season of the refreshed “Iron Chef America.” Earlier in his career he crossed knives with Iron Chef Masaharu Moromoto (an original Iron Chef from the predecessor Japanese version) on “Iron Chef America” in “Battle Seaweed.” In addition to other worthy accomplishments Chef Jet holds the most Guinness World Records for creating large format food. We’ll catch up with Chef Jet and get updated on his progress in Food Network’s just-concluded “Tournament of Champions, his new menu items for Pei Wei, and the launch of the fast casual, Dragon Tiger Noodle Companyin Las Vegas.

“Three Weavers Brewing Company is an independent craft brewery based in Inglewood with a mission to build a positive sense of community through the collective passion for craft beer. Founded by Lynne Weaver in 2013, Three Weavers is one of the largest independent craft breweries in Los Angeles County and currently expanding production and distribution on the West Coast.” “Led by award-winning Founding Brewmaster, Alexandra Nowell,Three Weavers Brewing Company’s craft beers have received critical International acclaim, winning a World Beer Cup Gold Medal in 2016, a GABF Silver Medal in 2017, a European Beer Star Bronze in 2017, and the Australian International Beer Awards Best IPA and Champion International Beer in 2018. Three Weavers is proudly brewed in Inglewood, California.” Alexandra shares the distinction of being the first female brewmaster in Los Angeles County. Brewmaster Alexandra taps the keg on Three Weavers Brewing Company 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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. Shifting the conversation back to food we’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the preparing and cooking the perfect fish and chips. What fish is best to use? We’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the increasing practice of full-service restaurants adding a partial or full gratuity to the guest’s check in advance of the payment.

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

Yvon Goetz of the Winery Restaurant and Bar

“For the first time since opening nearly 14 years ago, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar has introduced a new Weekend Brunch at its original Tustin location. Created by Executive Chef & Partner Yvon Goetz, the Brunch menu features both breakfast and lunch offerings that are available Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Guests now enjoy Weekend Brunch on The Winery’s recently expanded patio, situated in the heart of The District in Tustin.”

“Chef Goetz’s Weekend Brunch menu puts a Wine Country twist on brunch favorites with dishes like Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes, Crab & Egg White Frittata, and Steak & Eggs. More significant brunch options include a classic French Benedict and Chef Goetz’s signature short ribs in a Zinfandel Braised Beef Short Rib Omelet. Those looking for lighter options may opt for one of four fresh salads with choice of protein, or lifestyle-focused options like Vegan Mushroom & Lentil Ragout. The menu also highlights Chef Goetz’s love for Pacific Rim flavorings and fresh line-caught fish in dishes such as Icelandic Salmon “a la Plancha” and Jumbo Maine Scallops & White Shrimp.”

The Newport Beach location of The Winery is also participating in Newport Beach Restaurant Week (ending May 2nd) with Chef Yvon’s 3-course, prix fixe Dinner menu available at $65 per guest. Main Course options include Grilled Brandt Flatiron Steak, Jumbo Maine Scallops & Wild White Shrimp and Zinfandel Braised Angus Beef Shortrib.

Brian Huskey of Tackle Box

“Top Chef” Season 11 – New Orleans Alum Brian Huskey brings his talents to Big Corona Beach in Corona del Mar serving up the freshest seafood grub beachside at Tackle Box. Established in 2016 he likes to refer to it as a “Local Grub Shack.” Beachgoers and diners can enjoy a variety of classic seafood dishes at this casual oceanfront eatery. Only open Thursday to Sunday.

For Newport Beach Restaurant Week (concluding May 2nd) Chef Brian is offering a $15 prix fixe Lunch menu available from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It includes a choice of sandwich with house potato chips, a side and a Tackle Box cookie for dessert plus beverage. Sandwich options include BBQ Pork Sandwich, Grilled Chicken Club, Albacore Tuna Melt, Truffle Burger and an Avocado Burger.

Chef Brian joins us with tongs in hand.

Jet Tila and a heritage pig at Cochon 555 in 2013

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

Just concluded on Sunday nights was Chef Jet competing on Food Network’s “Tournament of Champions” bracket competition series hosted by Guy Fieri. After winning his first round (Number 3 seed) Chef Jet was matched against the highly competitive Antonio Lofaso (Number 2 seed.) For the first time in Tournament history the judges ranked them a tie with the same scores in all three categories. They then competed head-to-head again to determine which cheftestant earned the final spot in the West Coast bracket to go up against (Number 1 seed) Brooke Williamson. How did Chef Jet do ? We’ll find out…

Chef Jet has an exclusive partnership with Pei Wei to bring his creative dishes to you exclusively at your local Pei Wei fast casual restaurant. For Spring 2021 Chef Jet’s new seasonal creations are House Special Chicken and Mongolian Green Beans.

House Special Chicken features lightly battered chicken with pineapple, ginger, garlic and mint, tossed in a tangy caramel sauce and served over a bed of rice sticks and topped with an Asian slaw of cucumbers, red bell peppers, carrots, cilantro, and onions in a Vietnamese vinaigrette.”

Chef Jet was in Las Vegas last weekend to launch the first two locations of his new fast casual concept, Dragon Tiger Noodle Co. The current operating locations are Southern Highlands and Henderson. A future location will launch in the Rainbow Commons retail center in Spring Valley (Summerlin.)

“At the Dragon Tiger Noodle Co., the choice is yours! You choose the noodle; ramen to low carb, You choose the broth; Tonkotsu to Chinese Chicken Soup, You choose the protein and vegetables; thinly sliced beef to corn. Served fast with only the freshest ingredients.”

Chef Jet Tila is our guest chopsticks at the ready.

Three Weavers Brewing Company is an independent craft brewery based in Inglewood with a mission to build a positive sense of community through the collective passion for craft beer. Founded by Lynne Weaver in 2013, Three Weavers is one of the largest independent craft breweries in Los Angeles County and currently expanding production and distribution on the West Coast.”

“Led by award-winning Founding Brewmaster, Alexandra Nowell, Three Weavers Brewing Company’s craft beers have received critical International acclaim, winning a World Beer Cup Gold Medal in 2016, a GABF Silver Medal in 2017, a European Beer Star Bronze in 2017, and the Australian International Beer Awards Best IPA and Champion International Beer in 2018. Three Weavers is proudly brewed in Inglewood, California.” Alexandra shares the distinction of being the first female brewmaster in Los Angeles County.

Three Weavers Brewing Co. will be represented in Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium just as soon as fans are allowed in the seats.

“Three Weavers has debuted the seasonal release of It’s Blursday, a 5.5% ABV Rosé Sour designed for whatever day this is. It’s Blursday is now available at Three Weavers’ Inglewood taproom and at select California beer sellers in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans.”

“In a world where blursday is the norm, Three Weavers could think of nothing better than this tart, fizzy, rosé-inspired beer to enjoy all blursday long. The Three Weavers brewing team combined a lacto souring technique with additions of cranberry, tart cherry, raspberry and passion fruit for their color and tart flavor properties.”

Brewmaster Alexandra Nowell explained, “The healthy additions of fruit purees during fermentation give the beer its deep pink color. Raspberry is a common flavor descriptor of rosé wines, and it builds upon the ester content of the beer. Then we dose in passion fruit because in small amounts, it provides thiol compounds that translate into tropical characters found in wines – and in our beer.”

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions.

Shifting the conversation back to food we’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the preparing and cooking the perfect fish and chips. What fish is best to use? How does malt vinegar fit it? We’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the increasing practice of full-service restaurants adding a partial or full gratuity to the guest’s check in advance of the payment.

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

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Yvon Goetz, Executive Chef & Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar
Segment Three: Chef Brian Huskey, Proprietor, Tackle Box, Corina del Mar
Segment Four: Chef Jet Tila, Cookbook Author, Culinary Educator and Food TV Personality Part One
Segment Five: Chef Jet Tila, Cookbook Author, Culinary Educator and Food TV Personality Part Two
Segment Six: Alexandra Nowell, Brewmaster & Partner, Three Weavers Brewing Company Part One
Segment Seven: Alexandra Nowell, Brewmaster & Partner, Three Weavers Brewing Company Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

April 17: Anne Marie Panoringan, Carla Hall, Folded Hills Winery, Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of O.C.’s Food Columnist
Segment Three: Chef Carla Hall – Honoree for “A Taste of C-Cap – 2021 Virtual Annual Gala” Part One
Segment Four: Chef Carla Hall – Honoree for “A Taste of C-Cap – 2021 Virtual Annual Gala” Part Two
Segment Five: Winemaker Michael Brughelli, Folded Hills Winery, Ranch & Farmstead Part One
Segment Six: Winemaker Michael Brughelli, Folded Hills Winery, Ranch & Farmstead Part Two
Segment Seven: Donald Contursi of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours and Finger Licking Foodie Tours, Las Vegas
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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

Anne Marie Panoringan is Voice of OC’s well-informed food columnist. She reports industry news, current events and trends. Panoringan’s prior efforts includes writing about food for 8 years at the OC Weekly in which she interviewed more than 330 chefs, restauranteurs and industry professionals for her weekly “On the Line” column. Anne Marie joins us to talk about her top favorite new restaurants of 2020. Her picks range from “Most Likely to Succeed” to “Best Personality.” We’ll also get a preview of Anne Marie’s next column which publishes Monday, April 19th. Filipino Food Month is here.

On Thursday evening April 29, The Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) is presenting “A Taste of C-CAP– 2021 Virtual Annual Gala.” During the fundraising event, C-CAP will honor a beacon of hope to all of us– chef, author and TV Host, Carla Hall– for her work to mentor and support C-CAP’s students and alumni. Carla first won over audiences when she competed on Bravo’s Top Chef and Top Chef: All Stars (fan favorite) and shared her philosophy to always cook with love. She believes food connects us all and strives to communicate this.
Chef Carla joins us.

“In 2017, Andy and Kim Busch started a business in their 50’s which they knew nothing about. Andy, coming from a long line of St. Louis beer barons, had worked not in the beverage business but rather at Grant’s Farm, the original prototype for the Busch Gardens parks started by his father, Gussie. Their newest property, Folded Hills Winery, Farmstead, Ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley, focuses on top notch wine making rather than beer.” Winemaker Michael Brughelli is our guest and gently pulls the cork on the unusual story of Folded Hills Winery for us.

Food entrepreneur Donald Contursi is the founder of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours and Finger Licking Foodie Tours based in Las Vegas. In a few short years they have earned the reputation as the premier food walking tour operator in Las Vegas. They offer both fully escorted as well as self -guides foodie tours of the most significant dining areas in Las Vegas both on and off The Strip. Downtown and the neighboring Arts District are now a huge dining destination known for a variety of ethnic cuisines. Founder Donald Contursi hospitably leads us on the tour of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours and Finger Licking Foodie Tours.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the early stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. Shifting the conversation back to food we’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the differences between New York pizza by-the-slice and Jersey style pizza-by-the-slice. Does hot sauce come into play?

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

Food Journalist Anne Marie Panoringan

Anne Marie Panoringan is Voice of OC’s well-informed food columnist. She reports industry news, current events and trends. Panoringan’s prior efforts includes writing about food for 8 years at the OC Weekly in which she interviewed more than 330 chefs, restauranteurs and industry professionals for her weekly “On the Line” column.

Anne Marie joins us to talk about her top favorite new restaurants of 2020. Her inspired range of picks include “Most Involved,” “Best Looking,” “Most Likely to Succeed,” “Best Personality,” Most Popular” and “Best Location.” We’ll also get a sneak preview of Anne Marie’s next column which publishes on Voice of OC Monday, April 19th. It’s Filipino Food Month.

Celebrity Chef Carla Hall

On Thursday evening April 29, The Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) is presenting “A Taste of C-CAP– 2021 Virtual Annual Gala.” During the fundraising event, C-CAP will honor a beacon of hope to all of us– chef, author and TV Host, Carla Hall– for her work to mentor and support C-CAP’s students and alumni.

“Carla first won over audiences when she competed on Bravo’s Top Chef and Top Chef: All Stars (fan favorite) and shared her philosophy to always cook with love. She believes food connects us all and strives to communicate this.”

Carla spent 7 years co-hosting ABC’s Emmy award-winning, popular lifestyle series The Chew, and she currently brightens the mornings of millions as a Culinary Contributor to Good Morning America. She hosts a Podcast on the Wondery Platform called Say Yes with Carla Hall. Her latest cookbook, Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration, has landed on annual “Best Cookbook” lists across the country and received an NAACP Image Awards nomination. Carla also serves on the Leadership Committee for the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans.

Just announced is that Chef Carla has her first children’s cookbook (with illustrations) coming out in the Fall. It’s titled Carla and the Christmas Cornbread.

Missing Chef Carla’s Nashville Hot Chicken? You can now get this delicious chicken (ready to enjoy) and also an assortment of Carla’s signature baked goods delivered to your door via Goldbelly.

Chef Carla joins us.

Michael Brughelli of Folded Hills Winery

“In 2017, Andy and Kim Busch started a business in their 50’s which they knew nothing about. Andy, coming from a long line of beer barons, had worked not in the beverage business but rather at Grant’s Farm, the original prototype for the Busch Gardens parks started by his father, Gussie. Folded Hills Winery, Farmstead, Ranch focuses on top notch wine making rather than beer.”

“The Busch’s own Folded Hills, a working ranch, an integrated sustainable farm is located just outside of Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Valley. When they purchased a contiguous piece of farming property they learned that the original farmsteader had planted a pre-prohibition vineyard and made wine in the basement of his farmhouse.”

“The Busches had purchased the property to keep the land agricultural in general and organic in particular and in 2014 decided to start farming organic grapes alongside the 18 acres of organic row crops, stone fruits, and animals.”

“As they were deciding what grape varietals to plant everyone told them to “plant what they love to drink”. Andy loves beer – that was no help- although they do have a small patch of hops growing. Kim loved Pinot Noir but the terroir would not grow a quality Pinot. They settled on the Rhône varietals which they knew absolutely nothing about. Now the hillsides are rolling with grape vines of syrah, grenache, Clairette blanc, grenache blanc and marsanne.”

“This is a heart project for the Busches and they wanted to bring some of their mid-West roots and family heritage to the project. Many of the wines have names that harken back to their iconic St. Louis history.”

“Their award- winning Lilly Rosé is named for six generations of Lilly’s.” From Lilly Anheuser who married Adolphus Busch in 1861, to their 3 -year old grand-daughter, Lilly. The Grant Grenache is named for the family seat in St. Louis, Grant’s Farm, which was named for Ulysses S. Grant, the original farmsteader of the that land. The August Red and August White are named for Andy’s grandfather and father, August Busch Sr. And Jr. His father, August, Jr., or Gussie, was the one who gave his father the first Clydesdale hitch to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition in 1934.

“The Busches still ponder why they decided to launch a business that they knew so little about, so late in life, after their children had left home. But it is working. Folded Hills has won many awards for the wines which are grown organically, following the biodynamic calendar. The wines are hand-crafted in small batches with minimal intervention.”

Winemaker Michael Brughelli oversees all winemaking, working directly with the vineyard and cellar staff in a hands-on fashion. “A California native, Brughelli is perhaps best known as winemaker for Scar of the Sea, a label he co-founded with Mikey Giugni. A darling of critics and sommeliers alike, Scar of the Sea quickly rose in prominence as Brughelli’s wines drew wide notice. In 2019, he sold his portion of Scar of the Sea back to Giugni in order to launch his own consultancy, Vignerons. Previously, Brughelli was at Bien Nacido Vineyard, in the Santa Maria Valley appellation of Santa Barbara County, where over the course of seven seminal years, he rose from Sales Manager to Director of Sales to Director of Supply.”

Tasting Rooms are located at the vineyard estate in Gaviota and on Old Coast Highway in Montecito.

Winemaker Michael Brughelli is our guest and gently pull the cork on the unusual story of Folded Hills Winery for us.

Donald Contursi of Lipsmacking Foodie Tours

Donald Contursi is the founder of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours and Finger Licking Foodie Tours based in Las Vegas. In a few short years they have earned the reputation as the premier food walking tour operator in Las Vegas. They offer both fully escorted as well as self -guides foodie tours of the most significant dining areas in Las Vegas both on and off The Strip. Downtown and the neighboring Arts District are now a huge dining destination known for a variety of ethnic cuisines.

“Lady Luck may be a necessity at the gaming tables in Vegas, but not at the dining ones. Not with Lip Smacking Foodie Tours ensuring you the ultimate payoff with the best bites this exciting city has to offer. Our award-winning culinary walking tour company was founded by veteran restaurant industry professionals with years of experience and exclusive connections, who have made it their mission to introduce visitors and locals alike to the best signature dishes, unique preparations, and exciting tastes in Vegas, complete with superlative VIP service.”

The range of fully escorted VIP Lip Smacking Foodie Tours includes “Savors of The Strip,” “Savory Bites & Neon Lights,” “Downtown Lip Smacking Tour” and “Arts District Lip Smacking Tour.” Finger Licking Foodie Tours self-guided options are “Downtown,” “Arts District,” “Chinatown,” And ARIA Resort & Casino.”

Founder Donald Contursi hospitably leads us on the tour of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours and Finger Licking Foodie Tours.

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style Pizza

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine concern as the hoped-for recovery ever so slowly moves forward.

Shifting the conversation back to food we’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the differences between New York pizza by-the-slice and Jersey style pizza-by-the-slice. Does hot sauce come into play? What is the role of the pepper flakes and accompanying little container of Parmesan cheese?

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

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of O.C.’s Food Columnist
Segment Three: Chef Carla Hall – Honoree for “A Taste of C-Cap – 2021 Virtual Annual Gala” Part One
Segment Four: Chef Carla Hall – Honoree for “A Taste of C-Cap – 2021 Virtual Annual Gala” Part Two
Segment Five: Winemaker Michael Brughelli, Folded Hills Winery, Ranch & Farmstead Part One
Segment Six: Winemaker Michael Brughelli, Folded Hills Winery, Ranch & Farmstead Part Two
Segment Seven: Donald Contursi of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours and Finger Licking Foodie Tours, Las Vegas
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Gabor Banfalvi of Taste Hungary & Tasting Table Budapest Part One
Segment Three: Gabor Banfalvi of Taste Hungary & Tasting Table Budapest Part Two
Segment Four: Chef Isaias Hernandez and Josh Bentrem, Smoke & Fire Social Eatery Part One
Segment Five: Chef Isaias Hernandez and Josh Bentrem, Smoke & Fire Social Eatery Part Two
Segment Six: Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director, California Restaurant Association Foundation
Segment Seven: Web Designer and Developer Adam Bell of dataTV
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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

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

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

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

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

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the early stages of recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. Shifting the conversation to food we’ll ask Chef Andrew about what’s happening with the crazy pricing of fresh lobster. It’s priced at a premium and in short supply once again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Josh Bentrem of Smoke and Fire Social Eatery

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

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

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

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

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

Alycia Harshfield of the California Restaaurant Association

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

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

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

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

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

Adam Bell of dataTV

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

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

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

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

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine concern as recovery slowly starts to happen.

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

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

Chef Andrew also updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, 86 Restaurant Struggle campaign to benefit out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $380,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in serious need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The substantial need, and fundraising, continues…

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

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

Podcasts

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

Happy Passover and a blessed Easter.

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

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

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

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

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the early stages of recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. Shifting the conversation to food we’ll ask Chef Andrew about the changing diet (for the better) of the farmed fish we’re enjoying both at The Family Table and in restaurants.

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

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

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

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

Chef Michael Mina

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

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

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

Dave Reilly of Duchman Family Winery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Street Gourmet Bill Esparza

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

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

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

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

Senor Esparza is our well-traveled guide.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine concern as recovery slowly starts to happen.

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

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

Chef Andrew also updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, 86 Restaurant Struggle campaign to benefit out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $380,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in serious need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The substantial need, and fundraising, continues…

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

Podcasts

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

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

Podcasts

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Winemakers and restaurateurs agree. There’s an art to preserving wine. While you may have heard it’s important to let wine “breathe,” this causes oxygen to degrade the bottle the longer it’s been opened. Oxidation can spoil opened bottles of wine as quickly as 24 hours after opening.” “Argon gas is the preferred method by winemakers to prevent oxidation that spoils wine. ArT Wine Preserver® is an affordable, recyclable wine saver (packaged in a convenient can) that uses pure argon gas to displace oxygen.” ArT Wine Preserver® Founder Ryan Frederickson joins us.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the early stages of recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. We’ll “Ask the Chef.” The recently passed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 importantly includes a $28.6 billion dollar relief fund designated to assist independent local restaurants, bars, food trucks and street vendors. What impact will it have ? Chef Andrew thoughtfully weighs in.

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

Michael Rossi of the Ranch Restaurant and Saloon

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

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

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

Executive Chef Michael Rossi joins us from The Ranch.

Bjoern Risse of Rasslebock Kitchen and Beer Garden

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

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

Restaurateur Bjoern Risse joins us.

Victor Gallegos of Sea Smoke

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Piero Salvaggio of Drago Centro

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

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

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

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

Ryan Fredrickson of ArT Wine Preserver

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

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

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

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

Founder Ryan Frederickson joins us with wine glass in hand.

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

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine concern as recovery slowly starts to happen.

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

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

Chef Andrew also updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, 86 Restaurant Struggle campaign to benefit out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $380,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in serious need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The substantial need, and fundraising, continues…

Podcasts

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