Moroccan Kebabs with Chermoula Sauce

Moroccan Kebabs with Chermoula Sauce by Tara Teaspoonby Tara Bench
Tara Teaspoon

This is your new party-table centerpiece. Colorful and tasty skewers arranged around a dipping sauce is easy to make happen and creates a stunning platter. And the chermoula sauce (pronounced like the singer “Cher” then “moola,” like money) is expressive and lemony. The sauce is based on a Moroccan and Tunisian relish with a strong herb and spice situation. I keep the skewers of meat and veggies small so they can be bite-sized for a gathering, but you can make them more robust if you’d like to serve this recipe as a meal.

Kebabs

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1⁄4 cup warm water
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 1⁄2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into strips that are
  • 2 inches long and 1⁄2 inch thick
  • 2 yellow or orange bell peppers, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 2 small zucchini, thinly sliced into strips with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 (14.4-ounce) bag frozen pearl onions, thawed
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 45 (6-inch) bamboo skewers, soaked in water 20 minutes
  • 1 recipe Chermoula Sauce (see below), prepared
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together turmeric and pepper with 1⁄4 cup warm water. Let sit 3 minutes. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the lemon juice, tomato paste, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, paprika, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon.
  2. Season chicken strips with 1 teaspoon salt and add to the marinade. Cover and refrigerate to marinate 30 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, toss peppers, zucchini, onions, and tomatoes with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Thread chicken on half of the skewers and vegetables on the other half, adding several slices of zucchini to each skewer. Discard chicken marinade.
  4. Heat grill to medium-high. Grill skewers, turning occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes total. Remove the vegetables from the grill as soon as they are done; they will cook faster than the chicken.
  5. Serve on a platter with the chermoula sauce for drizzling and dipping.

Chermoula Sauce

this spiced herb sauce is used on fish, meat, chicken, and vegetables and has a heady and unique flavor.

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup packed cilantro
  • 1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley
  • 1⁄2 cup packed mint leaves
  1. In a small skillet over medium-high heat, toast coriander and cumin seeds until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and crush in a mortar and pestle or with the bottom of a pan.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine crushed seeds, garlic, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, paprika, salt, and red pepper flakes. Pulse to finely chop garlic. Add cilantro, parsley, and mint and blend until herbs are well combined. Store sauce in refrigerator until ready to use, up to 3 days.

Mandarin and Prosciutto Crostini

Mandarin and Prosciutto Crostini by Tara Teaspoonby Tata Bench
Tara Teaspoon

This is my essential appetizer. Toasted Crostini topped with a little slice of salty Prosciutto and some tangy Mandarin and Shallot Chutney. I’ve been known to make a full meal of these little bites. Double the caramelized shallot and mandarin portion of this recipe and keep the extra in the fridge. It works beautifully on top of chicken or a roast ham sandwich—or even for your next batch of crostini bites.

Chutney

  • 2 cups sliced shallots, sliced root to tip
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1⁄2 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1⁄2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
  • 1 cup fresh mandarin or clementine segments, roughly chopped
  • 1 recipe Crostini (below), prepared
  • 14 slices prosciutto
  • Toasted hazelnuts, crushed Fresh thyme
  1. In a medium, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, sauté the shallots and salt in olive oil, stirring often, until soft and translucent, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the vinegar, brown sugar, bay leaf, and coriander seeds and let simmer until vinegar is reduced and almost gone, 10 to 12 minutes more. Stir in the mandarin seg- ments. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  2. Top crostini with a half piece of prosciutto and a spoonful of the mandarin chutney. Sprinkle with hazelnuts and thyme leaves.

Crostini

  • 1 baguette, sliced 1⁄4-inch thick
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  1. Heat oven to 375oF. Brush slices of bread lightly with olive oil on both sides. Lay slices flat on rimmed baking sheets and sprinkle with some salt.
  2. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until lightly golden and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Store crostinis in a zip-top bag for up to 3 days.

Looks Delicious. Whenever I caramelize onions or shallots, I slice them from their root to the tip. Slicing them crosswise into rings or half-moons causes them to cook into long, stringy worms. The root-to-tip method allows the shallot or onion to hold its shape, looks better, and is easier to eat.

November 28: Barry’s Downtown Prime, Joseph Jewell Wines, Harold McGee, El Segundo Brewing Company

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef & Partner Barry Dakake, Barry’s Downtown Prime, Circa Resort, Las Vegas Part One
Segment Three: Executive Chef & Partner Barry Dakake, Barry’s Downtown Prime, Circa Resort, Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Four: Winemaker & Proprietor Adrian Manspeaker, Joseph Jewell Wines, Forestville Part One
Segment Five: Winemaker & Proprietor Adrian Manspeaker, Joseph Jewell Wines, Forestville Part One
Segment Six: Harold McGee, food scientist & author with Nose Dive: A Field Guide to the World’s Smells
Segment Seven: Rob Croxall, Brewmaster & Proprietor, El Segundo Brewing Co., El Segundo
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend to all of our listeners. A bit of a different Thanksgiving celebration for sure…We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

“Vintage glamour and hospitality meet modern innovation and design at Barry’s Downtown Prime at Circa Resort in Downtown Las Vegas. The new steakhouse concept is from Chef Barry Dakake and his seasoned hospitality partners at Make It Happen Hospitality, LLC. Barry’s Downtown Prime delivers the city’s finest premium steaks and seafood, fresh tableside preparations, creative cocktails and outstanding service.” Chef Barry takes a respite from his busy kitchen to join us.

From a small garagiste operation Joseph Jewell Wines, under the direction of Winemaker & Proprietor Adrian Manspeaker, has morphed into one of Humboldt & Sonoma County’s leading Pinot Noir producers. Joseph Jewell began in 2006 with two barrels of wine. Today, they make roughly 15% of the total wine production from Humboldt County’s 150 acres of vineyards. The wines produced three 90-plus scores and their history is just starting to be written. Winemaker Adrian Manspeaker artfully pulls the cork on Joseph Jewell Wines for us.

Harold McGee is a leading expert on the science of food and cooking and the author of the beloved, bestselling culinary guides, On Food and Cooking and Keys to Good Cooking. Now, McGee is turning to the science of a long-overlooked dimension of our world—smell—in his thoughtful new book, NOSE DIVE: A Field Guide to the
World’s Smells. NOSE DIVE is the product of over a decade of intensive research and is informed by the latest revelations in sensory biology and flavor chemistry. A work of astounding scholarship and originality, it is, perhaps, the ultimate guide to the smells of the world, from the ambrosial to the malodorous and everything in between.” Harold McGee joins us.

El Segundo Brewing Company’s The Slice & Pint is the restaurant spinoff of the successful El Segundo Brewing Company, one of the first craft brewers in the South Bay. Earlier in the year before the initial “Stay at Home” they celebrated their Year Anniversary. Under the new L.A. County guidelines they are closed (again) for dine-in (outside) but are open with vigorous sanitary protections for takeout and packaged beer sales. On the menu are a variety of quality pizzas created from a dough that ferments and proofs for multiple days, and salads and sandwiches. Proprietor Rob Croxall joins us to update beer to-go available at the El Segundo Brewing Co. and food specials to-go at The Slice & Pint.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and growing) concern. It’s been an especially tough week for California restaurants (especially L.A. County) as more restrictions have been placed on how restaurants can serve their guests. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

Barry Dakake of Barrys Downtown Prime“Vintage glamour and hospitality meet modern innovation and design at Barry’s Downtown Prime at Circa Resort in Downtown Las Vegas. The new steakhouse concept is from Chef Barry Dakake and his seasoned hospitality partners at Make It Happen Hospitality, LLC. Barry’s Downtown Prime delivers the city’s finest premium steaks and seafood, fresh tableside preparations, creative cocktails and outstanding service.”

“Evoking a throwback vibe worthy of Downtown Las Vegas’ legacy, Barry’s brings back guests to the classic cool of the 50s and 60s where great music and sounds of clinking martini glasses filled the air, the chef greeted you at the table, the polished bartender knew your favorite cocktail and everyone felt like a VIP.”

“Barry’s Downtown Prime has brought back the classic Vegas Steakhouse to Fremont Street. The restaurant design is inspired by old school Vegas Steakhouses which had a sense of place and timeless appeal. The striking design brings together classic cool ambiance of the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s in combination with the modern and hip vibe of Circa.”

“After leaving New York in 1999, Chef Dakake was commissioned by Chef Charlie Palmer (Aureole) to open Aureole at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, followed by Charlie Palmer Steak, the first independently owned restaurant ever to be located in a Four Seasons Hotel. Chef Barry then brought his talents to be part of the opening team of N9NE Steakhouse at the highly anticipated Palms Resort Casino in 2001.”

“In 2017, N9NE Steakhouse closed it’s doors after 16 years to make way for a new concept, which Chef Dakake facilitated. As Executive Chef for Scotch 80 Prime he played an instrumental role in putting the restaurant on the Vegas dining map. Since then Chef Barry has joined with Yassine Lyoubi, Marco Cicione and Donnie Rihn to bring the ambitious Barry’s Downtown Prime to life at Circa Las Vegas.”

Chef Barry Dakake takes a respite from his busy kitchen to join us.

Adrain Jewell Manspeaker of Joseph Jewell Wines“From a small garagiste operation Joseph Jewell Wines, under the direction of Winemaker & Proprietor Adrian Manspeaker, has morphed into one of Humboldt & Sonoma County’s leading Pinot Noir producers. Joseph Jewell began in 2006 with two barrels of wine. Today, they make roughly 15% of the total wine production from Humboldt County’s 150 acres of vineyards. The wines produced three 90-plus scores and their history is just starting to be written.”

Joseph Jewell Wines sources exceptional fruit from independently owned vineyard properties in Sonoma and Humboldt counties, selecting sites with unique soil profiles and weather conditions. As part of their commitment to the future, they seek out growers who implement sustainable farming practices. Working closely with the property owners throughout the year allows Joseph Jewell to monitor the grapes’ progress and cultivate fruit that delivers the distinctive character of the site. Their goal is a finished wine that celebrates the singularity of the vineyard from which it came—the optimal expression of place captured vintage after vintage.”

Winemaker & Proprietor Adrian Manspeaker artfully pulls the cork on Joseph Jewell 2018 Pinot Noir, Alderpoint Vineyard.

Author Harodl McGeeHarold McGee is a leading expert on the science of food and cooking and the author of the beloved, bestselling culinary guides, On Food and Cooking and Keys to Good Cooking. Now, McGee is turning to the science of a long-overlooked dimension of our world—smell—in his thoughtful new book, NOSE DIVE: A Field Guide to the World’s Smells. NOSE DIVE is the product of over a decade of intensive research and is informed by the latest revelations in sensory biology and flavor chemistry. A work of astounding scholarship and originality, it is, perhaps, the ultimate guide to the smells of the world, from the ambrosial to the malodorous and everything in between.”

“Like McGee’s previous books, NOSE DIVE distills the science behind the smells and translates it, as only McGee can, into an accessible and entertaining guide. Incorporating the latest insights of biology and chemistry, and interwoven with personal observations, McGee reveals how our sense of smell has the power to expose invisible, intangible details of our material world and life, and trigger in us feelings that are the very essence of being alive.”

Rob Croxall of El Segundo Brewing CompanyEl Segundo Brewing Company’s The Slice & Pint is the restaurant spinoff of the successful El Segundo Brewing Company, one of the first craft brewers in the South Bay. Earlier in the year before the initial “Stay at Home” they celebrated their Year Anniversary.

Under the new L.A. County guidelines they are closed (again) for dine-in but are open with vigorous sanitary protections for takeout and packaged beer sales. On the menu are a variety of original pizzas created from a dough that ferments and proofs for multiple days, and salads and sandwiches.

Proprietor Rob Croxall joins us to update beer to-go at the El Segundo Brewing Co. and food specials to-go at The Slice & Pint. He’ll also preview the pending release of On The Horizon (A West Coast IPA.)

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

It’s been an especially tough week for California restaurants as more restrictions have been placed on how restaurants can serve their guests. As of Wednesday evening (the night before Thanksgiving) L.A. County placed a prohibition on the previously allowable outdoor dining for a minimum of three weeks. It could, possibly, be for a lot longer…This now means outside, properly socially distanced Holiday dinners at L.A. County restaurants can’t happen. A huge blow (with little notice) to the already struggling L.A. County restaurants. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef & Partner Barry Dakake, Barry’s Downtown Prime, Circa Resort, Las Vegas Part One
Segment Three: Executive Chef & Partner Barry Dakake, Barry’s Downtown Prime, Circa Resort, Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Four: Winemaker & Proprietor Adrian Manspeaker, Joseph Jewell Wines, Forestville Part One
Segment Five: Winemaker & Proprietor Adrian Manspeaker, Joseph Jewell Wines, Forestville Part One
Segment Six: Harold McGee, food scientist & author with Nose Dive: A Field Guide to the World’s Smells
Segment Seven: Rob Croxall, Brewmaster & Proprietor, El Segundo Brewing Co., El Segundo
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

November 21: Brooklyn Avenue Pizza Co., Dina Samson, Bracken’s Kitchen, Clay Oven Irvine

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Mario Christerna, Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co. and The Paramount, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Three: Chef Mario Christerna, Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co. and The Paramount, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Four: Dina Samson of Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza Co. 2020 Fellow of Women’s Entrepreneurship Leadership Program
Segment Five: Chef Founder Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen Part One
Segment Six: Chef Founder Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen Part Two
Segment Seven: Chef & Proprietress Geeta Bansal, Clay Oven, Irvine
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

It’s about last call on Thanksgiving so reduce your stress level and please plan ahead…We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

“Next week a new edible attraction takes center stage at The Paramount (the legendary eastside Los Angeles cultural institution & history-making music venue) as Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co. opens its doors along Cesar E Chavez Avenue (historically known as Brooklyn Avenue in the early 1900s). Melding past, present, and future––both through the décor and menu––Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co. aims to be a neighborhood spot for locals serving pizza, wings, loaded fries, beer, wine, and cocktails at the casual and colorful all-day restaurant. The concept is the brainchild of Chef–Owner Mario Christerna—a proud Boyle Heights native, community leader, and former “MasterChef Latino” judge—alongside the team behind The Paramount.” Chef Mario Christerna joins us pizza peel in hand.

Now in its fourth year, The James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program (WEL) is part of the Foundation’s broader Women’s Leadership Programs presented by Audi and aims to support woman-identifying hospitality industry entrepreneurs, restaurant owners, and chefs in order to grow their careers and scale their businesses. The only California Fellow selected for 2020 is Dina Samson of Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza Co. in Downtown Los Angeles. We’ll meet her and also learn what services Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza are currently providing to their guests with the new restrictions.

“For the second straight year, Chef Founder Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen is hosting its signature holiday event benefiting the less fortunate and food insecure in Southern California. This year’s edition, “DECK THE HALLS,” will be its first virtual party featuring special guests, community partners, and Bracken’s own chefs cooking up a surprise along with pumpkin carvings as you’ve never seen before. Christmas tree decorating, silent auction items, opportunity drawings, and a gourmet meal delivered to attendees’ doors are also in store for those who join Bracken’s Kitchen virtually in Garden Grove on Thursday, December 3, 2020, at 6 p.m.” We’re in the busy Holiday kitchen at Bracken’s Kitchen with Chef Bill Bracken.

“For over 36 years Clay Oven’s (Irvine) cuisine directed by Executive Chef & Proprietress Geeta Bansal has been about transforming tradition and old techniques of Indian cuisine while retaining the flavor profile to make them relevant to the present times and lifestyle. Food progresses and changes, and Clay Oven consistently strives to move Indian cuisine forward into the present and attempts to modernize their dishes while keeping the Ayurvedic principles intact. The menus are tied to the seasons and what is growing locally.” Clay Oven is currently operating for takeout, curbside, and delivery only with a change in address on the way as of December 1st. Chef Geeta Bansal 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 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. Thanksgiving is fast approaching on November 26th. In the spirit of the Holidays it’s appropriate for Chef Andrew to now share his best Thanksgiving cooking tips as he has been doing with great enthusiasm for the last three weeks. For the pre-Thanksgiving finale it’s all about suggesting some inspired sides. It seems more people will be doing Family Thanksgiving at home this year and probably with smaller groups. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

Mario Christerna of Brooklyn Avenue Pizza Company“Next week a new edible attraction takes center stage at The Paramount (the legendary eastside Los Angeles cultural institution & history-making music venue) as Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co. opens its doors along Cesar E Chavez Avenue (historically known as Brooklyn Avenue in the early 1900s). Melding past, present, and future––both through the décor and menu––Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co. aims to be a neighborhood spot for locals serving pizza, wings, loaded fries, beer, wine, and cocktails at the casual and colorful all-day restaurant. The concept is the brainchild of Chef–Owner Mario Christerna, a proud Boyle Heights native, community leader, and former “MasterChef Latino” judge, alongside the team behind The Paramount.”

Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co. serves up to 30 seats al fresco, and 75 seats indoors (once again permitted) with all Covid 19 protocols in place including physically distanced tables, heightened sanitation protocols, single-use items, contactless ordering and payments, and an enforced mask policy.”

“It’s been my life’s journey to get to this moment of opening my very own restaurant in Boyle Heights –– the place that birthed and raised me,” says Christerna. “Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co.’s vision is to provide a slice of home for neighbors and visitors. The flavors, sounds, sights that guests will enjoy at the pizzeria are meant to stir up emotions of both happiness and nostalgia; from authentic Mexican inspirations to our favorite corner store snacks (Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, anyone?), all the ingredients speak to familiarity and character. During a time when we are experiencing so much distance, we hope people can come together here and continue to uplift each other –– as they always have in Boyle Heights.”

“At Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co., Christerna, one of the city’s rising chefs, with recognition for the ‘Best Dish’ at L.A.’s Latin Food Fest and the #3 taco on Bill Esparza’s ‘Best L.A. Tacos’ list, is focusing on pizza & wings with his signature Boyle Heights twist. Inspired by his beloved Chicano heritage and love for melding cultures (Christerna opened and helmed the kitchen at The Briks in South Park, a concept that reflected his early culinary influences––from North African and Spanish to French and Mexican), the menu marries familiar and vibrant sabores (flavors), while remaining approachable for all to enjoy.”

“Built within the space originally established as the Jewish Bakers Union of Los Angeles Local 453 Headquarters during the early twentieth century, the restaurant’s name (Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co.) is inspired by its location in Boyle Heights along Cesar E Chavez Avenue –formerly known as Brooklyn Avenue as a way to attract East Coasters moving out West. The Jewish Bakers Union was deeply ingrained in their community, helping to feed people in need through the early twentieth century and into the Great Depression. Christerna and his team of locals are inspired by this history and are dedicated to continuing the space’s legacy as a community meeting point and culinary oasis.”

Chef Mario Christerna joins us pizza peel in hand.

Dina Samson of Rossoblu and Superfine PizzaNow in its fourth year, The James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership program (WEL) is part of the Foundation’s broader Women’s Leadership Programs presented by Audi and aims to support woman-identifying hospitality industry entrepreneurs, restaurant owners, and chefs in order to grow their careers and scale their businesses.

“We are thrilled to be able to continue this program this year, with the opportunity to bring together an extraordinary group of industry professionals from across the country,” said Clare Reichenbach, CEO of the James Beard Foundation. “As the devastation caused by this pandemic continues, it is more important now than ever to support our community and do all that we can to help entrepreneurs continue to succeed and thrive. We are honored to provide them with resources and to help expand their networks.”

The only California fellow selected for 2020 is Dina Samson of Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza Co. in Downtown Los Angeles. We’ll meet her and also learn what meal services Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza are currently providing to their guests with the new restrictions.

Bill Bracken of Brackens Kitchen“For the second straight year, Chef Founder Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen is hosting its signature holiday event benefiting the less fortunate and food insecure in Southern California. This year’s edition, “DECK THE HALLS,” will be its first virtual party featuring special guests, community partners, and Bracken’s own chefs cooking up a surprise along with pumpkin carvings as you’ve never seen before. Christmas tree decorating, silent auction items, opportunity drawings, and a gourmet meal delivered to attendees’ doors are also in store for those who join Bracken’s Kitchen virtually in Garden Grove on Thursday, December 3, 2020, at 6 p.m.”

“Attendees will have the opportunity to experience the kitchen, virtually, where they’ve already prepared and made over 1.3 million meals for those suffering from food insecurity in Southern California. This year’s event is even more meaningful and important due to the pandemic that has caused unexpected job loss, and even more people to suffer from food insecurity.  Everyone will have the opportunity to help Bracken’s Kitchen meet this unprecedented demand for food caused by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in a fun and festive way.”

“With all the negative things happening all around us we are excited to welcome you “our friends” into our kitchen virtually for an evening of food, fun, and caring for those in need,” says Bill Bracken.

“All are invited to “Deck The Halls” and help Bracken’s Kitchen maintain its dramatically increased meal production at a time when so many people need help. Participants can help to keep recently laid off restaurant workers employed and production at more than 30,000 meals a week. 100% of the proceeds from the event will support the work and programs of Bracken’s Kitchen.”

Bracken’s Kitchen is a 501(c)(3) organization based in Orange County California.  Founded in 2013 our mission is simple: Through food recovery, culinary training, and our community feeding program we are committed to recovering, re-purposing, and restoring both food and lives. At the core of our mission is a deep commitment to our nonprofit charity partners, business and professional supporters, volunteers, donors, and employees.  Our relationship with each and every one of these groups is as important to us as those we feed.”

Tickets are now available online

We’re in the busy Holiday kitchen at Bracken’s Kitchen with Chef Bill Bracken.

Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven in Irvine“For over 36 years Clay Oven’s cuisine directed by Executive Chef & Proprietress Geeta Bansal has been about transforming tradition and old techniques of Indian cuisine while retaining the flavor profile to make them relevant to the present times and lifestyle. Food progresses and changes, and Clay Oven consistently strives to move Indian cuisine forward into the present and attempts to modernize their dishes while keeping the Ayurvedic principles intact. The menus are tied to the seasons and what is growing locally.”

“Clay Oven serves a large selection of game including venison, wild boar, rabbit, duck, antelope, quail, and elk. Fruits and vegetables in season appear alongside organic herbs grown in their own garden. There is no fusion of cuisines, just a fun and creative Indian experience created for their guests.”

Clay Oven is currently operating for takeout, curbside, and delivery only. A yearly (limited-time) special Thanksgiving tradition at Clay Oven, Tandoori Turkey, is still available to order.

Chef Geeta Bansal is our guest.

Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur 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. New restrictions placed on California restaurants in the last week…

Thanksgiving is fast approaching on November 26th. In the spirit of the Holidays it’s appropriate for Chef Andrew to now share his best Thanksgiving cooking tips as he has been providing for the last three weeks. For the pre-Thanksgiving finale it’s all about suggesting some inspired sides. It’s more than just the turkey…More people will be preparing Family Thanksgiving at home this year and probably with smaller groups. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Mario Christerna, Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co. and The Paramount, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Three: Chef Mario Christerna, Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co. and The Paramount, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Four: Dina Samson of Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza Co. 2020 Fellow of Women’s Entrepreneurship Leadership Program
Segment Five: Chef Founder Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen Part One
Segment Six: Chef Founder Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen Part Two
Segment Seven: Chef & Proprietress Geeta Bansal, Clay Oven, Irvine
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

November 14: The Grateful Table Dine Out, Fable & Spirit, Lara Lyn Carter, Huntington Meats, Harper Barbecue

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: California Restaurant Association Foundation’s The Grateful Table Dine Out! to Benefit Restaurants Care
Segment Three: Darren Coyle, Proprietor, Fable & Spirit, Newport Beach
Segment Four: Chef Lara Lyn Carter with Skinny Southern Baking Part One
Segment Five: Chef Lara Lyn Carter with Skinny Southern Baking Part Two
Segment Six: Huntington Meats & Farmers Market Poultry’s Holiday Kids Pajama Drive
Segment Seven: Drew Brahs of Harper Barbecue in Costa Mesa
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

It’s closing in on Thanksgiving so reduce your stress level and please plan ahead…We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

“This November, the California Restaurant Association Foundation (CRAF), a non-profit that invests in and empowers California’s restaurant workforce, invites all Californians to participate in its inaugural ‘The Grateful Table® Dine Out!’ The ask is simple. Throughout November, Californians are encouraged to “dine out to help out” as much as possible in gratitude to their neighborhood restaurants. Want to do more? A guest can directly support California’s struggling foodservice community at featured restaurants by donating to Restaurants Care®, a nonprofit program which provides restaurant workers facing hardships with relief grants for basic living needs like groceries, utilities, diapers, clothing, gas and rent.” The CRA Foundation’s Alycia Harshfield and Farmer Boys’ President & Chief Operating Officer Dave Wetzel (a featured restaurant partner of The Grateful Table Dine Out) join us with all the details.

“The award-winning Fable & Spirit in Newport Beach has been helping to bring the Lido Marina community together by putting a unique spin on “Dinner and a Movie” with dinners under the iconic Grand Marquee of neighboring Lido Theater. Presented every Tuesday and Wednesday, the outdoor dinners feature themed menus created by Executive Chef David Shofner to change weekly. Priced between $40 and $50 per guest, the reservation-only menus will continue through November, allowing Chef Shofner to present imaginative, globally inspired dishes featuring the exciting ingredients that the season has to offer.” Proprietor Darren Coyle is our guest.

“From the creator of Skinny Southern, Emmy Award–winning chef Lara Lyn Carter, comes another collection of delicious, nutritious versions of your favorite Southern foods in Skinny Southern Baking.  Satisfy your cravings (or your hungry party guests) with completely gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free baked goods that don’t skimp on flavor. The recipes include lightened-up Southern staples like lemon squares, gingersnaps, and herb biscuits alongside incredible and surprising combinations of Southern flavors like Pumpkin Cranberry Pecan Bread, Sweet Potato Meringues, and Lemon Blueberry Cream Pie.” We’re baking with Chef Lara Lyn Carter.

“There’s just something about a new pair of jammies that says ‘cozy and safe’ to kids, and Huntington Meats and Farmers Market Poultry located at The Original Farmers Market at 3rd & Fairfax in Los Angeles are doing their part to make sure nightly bedtime rituals like fresh pajamas will provide a reassuring and peaceful good night to in-need children this holiday season. The two shops offering the best quality meats and poultry (along with genuine customer service) are coming together to host their first Holiday Kids Pajama Drive to take place the entire month of November. The goal is to collect 300 pairs of pajamas for distribution to local agencies servicing homeless and low income families.” Proprietor Jim Cascone joins us with the meaty details.

Drew Brahs of Harper Barbecue (Costa Mesa based) is well-known in the West as the go-to builder (via word-if-mouth) of hand-crafted, custom smokers for skilled pitmasters and home backyard barbecue fans alike. He crafts everything from small backyard pits to large versions on trailers. Drew is responsible for creating the massive twin, 1,000 gallon offset smokers used to the max at Danny Castillo’s Heritage Barbecue in San Juan Capistrano. Drew is a fan of the Central Texas style of barbecue. In the early stages of development and construction is his own restaurant, Harper Barbecue, in Costa Mesa which will be a Family affair. While the restaurant is being built Drew will shift the smoker enterprise to selling stock items. We’ll meet barbecue entrepreneur Drew Brahs.

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. Thanksgiving is fast approaching on November 26th. In the spirit of the Holidays it’s appropriate for Chef Andrew to now share his best Thanksgiving cooking tips. This week we’re talking about cooking the seasoned bird. It seems more people will be doing Family Thanksgiving at home this year and probably with smaller groups. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

Alycia Harshfield of the California Restaaurant Association“This November, the California Restaurant Association Foundation (CRAF), a non-profit that invests in and empowers California’s restaurant workforce, invites all Californians to participate in its inaugural ‘The Grateful Table® Dine Out!’ The ask is simple. Throughout November, Californians are encouraged to “dine out to help out” as much as possible in gratitude to their neighborhood restaurants. Want to do more? A guest can directly support California’s struggling foodservice community at featured restaurants by donating to Restaurants Care®, a nonprofit program which provides restaurant workers facing hardships with relief grants for basic living needs like groceries, utilities, diapers, clothing, gas and rent.”

“This very first The Grateful Table® Dine Out is a statewide campaign that’s complementary to our current way of life and has the potential to make a lasting impact on the industry by giving back to the hardworking people who operate our restaurants – chefs, cooks, bussers, bartenders, servers and dishwashers – in their greatest time of need. Since the pandemic hit in March, Restaurants Care has awarded grants to nearly 1,200 of California’s restaurant workers also benefitting their nearly 1,700 dependents, with 79% of grants awarded to people of color.”

“This November, dining out is our superpower! We have the ability to support our favorite restaurants and chip in to help struggling restaurant workers. Whether it’s takeout, dining in or having your meal delivered, we’re encouraging every Californian to help the restaurant community get back on their feet leading into the holiday season,” said Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of CRAF. “Your support directly impacts our neighborhood restaurants, the employees and their families, and together, we can bring them some much-needed hope and stability.”

“As an added incentive to dine out, CRAF is hosting exciting social media giveaways throughout November where diners can enter to win a $500 gift card to their favorite restaurant! Every Thursday in November, two winners will be randomly selected to receive a $500 gift card to any restaurant they tag with the hashtag #GratefulTableSweepstakes. It’s as easy as that!”

The CRA Foundation’s Alycia Harshfield and Farmer Boys’ President & Chief Operating Officer Dave Wetzel (a featured restaurant partner of The Grateful Table Dine Out) join us with all the details.

Darren and Jean Coyle of Fable and Spirit“The award-winning Fable & Spirit in Newport Beach has been helping to bring the Lido Marina community together by putting a unique spin on “Dinner and a Movie” with dinners under the iconic Grand Marquee of neighboring Lido Theater. Presented every Tuesday and Wednesday, the outdoor dinners feature themed menus created by Executive Chef David Shofner to change weekly.”

“Priced between $40 and $50 per guest, the reservation-only menus continue through November, allowing Chef Shofner to present imaginative, globally inspired dishes featuring the exciting ingredients that the season has to offer. Each week’s menu is expertly paired with optional wines by Sommelier Ali Coyle, allowing guests to create their own culinary adventure. Director of Spirits Drew Coyle was inspired to create a popcorn-infused signature cocktail, the Pink Flamingo, to pay homage to The Lido Theater’s nickname when it first opened in 1939.”

“By partnering with The Lido Theater to expand our outdoor dining, we were able to keep the rich history of the Lido Marina area alive,” commented Darren Coyle, who owns Fable & Spirit, Dublin 4 Gastropub, and Wineworks for Everyone with his wife, Jean. “The response has been overwhelming as the community comes together to enjoy themselves at a time when we need it the most – and in a way that’s safe and responsible.”

Proprietor Darren Coyle is our guest.

Cookbook Author Lara Lyn Carter“From the creator of Skinny Southern, Emmy Award–winning chef Lara Lyn Carter, comes another collection of delicious, nutritious versions of your favorite Southern foods in Skinny Southern Baking. Satisfy your cravings (or your hungry party guests) with completely gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free baked goods that don’t skimp on flavor.”

“The recipes include lightened-up Southern staples like lemon squares, gingersnaps, and herb biscuits alongside incredible and surprising combinations of Southern flavors like Pumpkin Cranberry Pecan Bread, Sweet Potato Meringues, and Lemon Blueberry Cream Pie. With a foreword from Marc Summers and sections about making your own nut butters and refined sugar–free jams and fruit butters, Skinny Southern Baking reimagines Southern baking with style and simplicity.”

“Lara Lyn Carter is considered Georgia’s go-to authority on Southern entertaining. She converted to healthy, clean cooking and shares her vast experience and array of healthy Southern recipes in this groundbreaking cookbook, an invaluable addition to any health-conscious kitchen.”

We’re in the kitchen whisking with Lara Lyn Carter.

Jim Cascone of Huntington Meats and Farmers Market Poultry“There’s just something about a new pair of jammies that says ‘cozy and safe’ to kids, and Huntington Meats and Farmers Market Poultry located at The Original Farmers Market at 3rd & Fairfax in Los Angeles are doing their part to make sure nightly bedtime rituals like fresh pajamas will provide a reassuring and peaceful good night to in-need children this holiday season.”

“The two shops offering the best quality meats and poultry are coming together to host their first Holiday Kids Pajama Drive to take place the entire month of November. The goal is to collect 300 pairs of pajamas for distribution to local agencies servicing homeless and low income families.”

“Customers who visit either of the shops and donate a pair of new, unwrapped pajamas valued at $10 or more will receive a complimentary pound of premium bacon or homemade sausages from Huntington Meats, or a dozen fresh eggs from Farmers Market Poultry. In addition to PJs for children aged infant to age 18, the shops will be collecting children’s slippers, robes, security blankets, story books and toothbrush/toothpaste sets through November 30th. At the conclusion of the Pajama Drive, collected items will be distributed to Los Angeles area agencies for gift giving to their youngest clientele over the holiday season.”

“We thought this was a unique idea for a great cause,” said Jim Cascone, proprietor of both Huntington Meats and Farmers Market Poultry. “Toy drives are great during the holiday, but we forget that some kids may never have received a brand new pair of PJs, which was something many of us took for granted growing up.”

“Our goal is to try make nights a little comfier for those kids that may be experiencing homelessness or are members of families that just don’t have the means to purchase their little one’s new pajamas,” Head butcher Jon Escobedo added. “We want to do our part to make sure that kids in need across Los Angeles have new pajamas to snuggle in this holiday season.”

Drew Brahs of Harper BarbecueDrew Brahs of Harper Barbecue (Costa Mesa based) is well-known in the West as the go-to builder (via word-if-mouth) of hand-crafted, custom smokers for skilled pitmasters and backyard barbecue fans alike. He crafts everything from small backyard pits to large versions on trailers. Drew is responsible for creating the twin, 1,000 gallon smokers offset smokers used at Danny Castillo’s Heritage Barbecue in San Juan Capistrano.

Drew is a fan of the Central Texas style of barbecue. In the early stages of development and construction is his long-in-the works restaurant, Harper Barbecue, in Costa Mesa which will be a Family affair. While the restaurant is being built Drew will shift the smoker enterprise to selling stock items.

We’ll meet barbecue entrepreneur Drew Brahs.

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

Thanksgiving is fast approaching on November 26th. In the spirit of the Holiday Season it’s appropriate for Chef Andrew to now continue sharing his best and most useful Thanksgiving cooking tips. Last week it was seasoning the bird with dry rub. The conversation continues now with actually cooking the bird. Now do you keep the meat moist while getting that rich, golden brown color on the skin ? It seems more people will be doing Family Thanksgiving at home this year and probably with smaller groups. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: California Restaurant Association Foundation’s The Grateful Table Dine Out! to Benefit Restaurants Care
Segment Three: Darren Coyle, Proprietor, Fable & Spirit, Newport Beach
Segment Four: Chef Lara Lyn Carter with Skinny Southern Baking Part One
Segment Five: Chef Lara Lyn Carter with Skinny Southern Baking Part Two
Segment Six: Huntington Meats & Farmers Market Poultry’s Holiday Kids Pajama Drive
Segment Seven: Drew Brahs of Harper Barbecue in Costa Mesa
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

November 7, 2020: Josh Lozano, Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen, Joseph Mahon, Riip Beer Co.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Josh Lozano of Uprising OC, the creator of Rebel Cheesecake
Segment Three: Ajay Relan, Co-Founder, Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen
Segment Four: Chef & Proprietor Joseph Mahon of Jaxon’s Scratch-Made Chix Tenders in Orange and Fullerton Part One
Segment Five: Chef & Proprietor Joseph Mahon of Jaxon’s Scratch-Made Chix Tenders in Orange and Fullerton Part Two
Segment Six: Ian McCall, Brewmaster for Riip Beer Co. Part One
Segment Seven: Ian McCall, Brewmaster for Riip Beer Co. Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

It’s Thanksgiving month so reduce your stress level and please plan ahead…We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

When enterprising Chef Josh Lozano (ex-The Mayor’s Table and Toast Kitchen & Bakery) found himself furloughed last March he spent time perfecting his baking craft and formed Uprising OC. Along the way he developed his popular, word of mouth cheesecake favorite, Rebel Cheesecake, that has been featured at Heritage BBQ in San Juan Capistrano. Chef Josh now does a regular Weekend Pop-Up (daytime) at The Royal Hen on Balboa Island featuring his array of baked goods and gourmet coffee. Josh has also collaborated with award-winning Brewmaster Ian McCall of Riip Beer Co. on Say Cheese & Die Cheesecake Ale which is currently available on nitro at Riip Beer Co’s taproom in Huntington Beach. Lozano is additionally the coordinating chef for a fundraising dinner on November 19th with prominent guest chefs at Vacation Bar in Santa Ana benefiting the upcoming 9th Annual Turkey Drive by the Chicano Mentoring Association.

Ajay Relan and Yonnie Hagos, proprietors of Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen, have just debuted the newest Hilltop location in Eagle Rock on the ground floor of The Perch apartments. All operational considerations are in place to ensure the safety of neighbors and guests alike. “The menu features the same great coffee and menu favorites like the Bangin’ Breakfast Sandwich, Soul Bowl, and Hilltop “Droptops” that have propelled Hilltop’s first two locations, in View Park/Windsor Hills and Inglewood, to popularity.” Proprietor Ajay Relan joins us Bangin’ Breakfast Sandwich in hand.

Reformed fine-dining chef Joseph Mahon (ex-Bastide in West Hollywood) has made a name for himself in the last few years with a menu of highly regarded premium burgers at Burger Parlor in Orange and Fullerton. Adapting to weathering the lingering Covid 19 crisis Chef Joseph has morphed his two popular Burger Parlor locations to Jaxon’s Scratch-Made Chix Tenders with the same commitment to premium quality using all-natural, antibiotic free chicken. On the compact menu are 2, 3 and 4 piece chicken tender meals (served with crinkle fries,) a chicken sandwich and a teriyaki bowl with teriyaki basted chicken tenders, steamed veggies and white rice. House prepared sides include a side salad, pickles, sweet potato fries, crinkle fries, coleslaw and mac & cheese. A wide selection of rotating craft beers on tap is also part of the menu. Chef Joseph Mahon flies the coop to join us.

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

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. Thanksgiving is fast approaching on November 26th. In the spirit of the Holidays it’s appropriate for Chef Andrew to now share his best Thanksgiving cooking tips. It seems more people will be doing Family Thanksgiving at home this year and probably with smaller groups. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

Josh Lozano of Uprising OCWhen enterprising Chef Josh Lozano (ex-The Mayor’s Table and Toast Kitchen & Bakery) found himself furloughed last March he spent time perfecting his baking craft and formed Uprising OC. Along the way he developed his popular, word of mouth cheesecake, Rebel Cheesecake, that has been on the menu at Heritage BBQ in San Juan Capistrano.

Chef Josh now conducts a regular Weekend Pop-Up (daytime) at The Royal Hen on Balboa Island featuring his array of baked goods and Zonzo gourmet coffee. Josh has also collaborated with award-winning Brewmaster Ian McCall of Riip Beer Co. on Say Cheese & Die Cheesecake Ale which is available for a limited time on nitro at Riip Beer Co’s taproom in Huntington Beach.

Lozano is additionally the coordinating chef for an upcoming fundraising dinner on November 19th with prominent guest chefs at Vacation Bar in Santa Ana benefiting the upcoming 9th Annual Turkey Drive by the Chicano Mentoring Association.

Ajay Relan of Hilltop Coffee CompanyAjay Relan and Yonnie Hagos, proprietors of Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen, have just debuted the newest Hilltop location in Eagle Rock on the ground floor of The Perch apartments. “All operational considerations are in place to ensure the safety of neighbors and guests alike. The menu features the same great coffee and menu favorites like the Bangin’ Breakfast Sandwich, Soul Bowl, and Hilltop “Droptops” that have propelled Hilltop’s first two locations, in View Park / Windsor Hills and Inglewood, to popularity.”

“Hagos and Relan opened the original Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen in View Park / Windsor Hills in August 2018 with the intention of bringing to South L.A. a cafe for the neighborhood; an inclusive space meant to foster community, creativity, and connection over quality food and drink. A year later, the duo partnered with South L.A. native Issa Rae, creator and star of the hit HBO series Insecure, and opened its flagship location in Downtown Inglewood.”

“Our food is simple and nourishing: breakfast and lunch offerings, 
along with coffee, juices, and pastries.”

Proprietor Ajay Relan joins us Bangin’ Breakfast Sandwich in hand.

Chef Joseph MahonReformed fine-dining chef Joseph Mahon (ex-Bastide in West Hollywood) has made a name for himself in the last few years with a menu of highly regarded premium burgers at Burger Parlor in Orange and Fullerton. Everything there is from scratch including the ketchup.

Adapting to weathering the lingering Covid 19 crisis Chef Joseph has morphed his two Burger Parlor locations to Jaxon’s Scratch-Made Chix Tenders with the same commitment to premium quality using all-natural, antibiotic free chicken. On the compact menu are 2, 3 and 4 piece chicken tender meals (served with crinkle fries,) a chicken sandwich and a teriyaki bowl with teriyaki basted chicken tenders, steamed veggies and white rice. House prepared sides include a side salad, pickles, sweet potato fries, crinkle fries, coleslaw and mac & cheese. A wide selection of rotating craft beers on tap is also part of the menu.

To complement the chicken tenders are a variety of dipping sauces. The house specialty is Jaxon’s Cajun Sauce. Premium Sauce selections are Polynesian, Scorpion Vinegar, Garlic Herb Parmesan, Reaper BBQ, Lemon-Lime Pepper and Blue Cheese.

Chef Joseph Mahon takes a brief respite from the kitchen and is our guest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’re tapping the newly released keg of Tangible Passion with Brewmaster Ian McCall.

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

Thanksgiving is fast approaching on November 26th. In the spirit of the Holiday Season it’s appropriate for Chef Andrew to now share his best Thanksgiving cooking tips. It seems more people will be doing Family Thanksgiving at home this year and probably with smaller groups. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Josh Lozano of Uprising OC, the creator of Rebel Cheesecake
Segment Three: Ajay Relan, Co-Founder, Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen
Segment Four: Chef & Proprietor Joseph Mahon of Jaxon’s Scratch-Made Chix Tenders in Orange and Fullerton Part One
Segment Five: Chef & Proprietor Joseph Mahon of Jaxon’s Scratch-Made Chix Tenders in Orange and Fullerton Part Two
Segment Six: Ian McCall, Brewmaster for Riip Beer Co. Part One
Segment Seven: Ian McCall, Brewmaster for Riip Beer Co. Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

October 31: Halloween with Carla Hall, Paul Feig, Fork & Knife Costa Mesa & the Craft Wine Association

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Filmmaker Paul Feig introducing Artingstall’s Brilliant London Dry Gin
Segment Three: Chef & Proprietor Jonathan Blackford of Fork & Knife in Costa Mesa Part One
Segment Four: Chef & Proprietor Jonathan Blackford of Fork & Knife in Costa Mesa Part Two
Segment Five: Celebrity Chef Carla Hall introducing “Say, Yes! With Carla Hall” Part One
Segment Six: Celebrity Chef Carla Hall introducing “Say, Yes! With Carla Hall” Part Two
Segment Seven: Carole Lawson – Founder & CEO of the Craft Wine Association
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Please join us for our big (and properly candy-infused) Halloween show. All treats and no tricks whatsoever…We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

“Designed by Hollywood luminary Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids,”) ARTINGSTALL’S Brilliant London Dry Gin is a perfectly-balanced gin for aficionados and casual consumers alike. Its eleven carefully chosen botanicals all synchronize to make ARTINGSTALL’S  Brilliant London Dry Gin as unique, refined and entertaining as its creator.” The always dapper Paul Feig joins us with a proper Gin martini in hand.

Led by Chef Jonathan Blackford (ex-A Restaurant and CdM Restaurant,) the newly launched Fork & Knife in Costa Mesa aims to present a menu of progressive, modern dishes that are meant to be enjoyed at home. Serving as an extension of the home kitchen, the concept presents globally inspired dishes that focus on fresh ingredients and bold flavors while presenting an innovative experience. Fork & Knife’s honest approach to cooking comes through in seasonal, from-scratch fully prepared meals and inspired grab-and-go items that change daily, ranging from sandwiches and prepared pastas, to easy-to-eat-on-the-go dishes and desserts. The kitchen also oversees the production of house-made retail-focused items such as fresh-made pastas, jams, sauces, dressings and more. Chef Jonathan has the update for us.

“Two-time Top Chef finalist, former host of the Emmy Award Winning daytime talk show, The Chew, best-selling author and Food Network personality, Carla Hall has added podcast host to her resume with her first-ever original show from Wondery, “Say Yes! With Carla Hall.” Hall takes listeners through her career trajectory and shares how she turned repetitive nos into yeses. Each week Hall is joined by a special guest and together they will take a deep dive into how they found success through overcoming challenges. Guests include Kristen Bell, Wolfgang Puck, Paul Scheer, Loni Love, Marcus Samuelsson, Gail Simmons, Gretchen Rubin, Duff Goldman and Yeardly Smith.” We’re making biscuits with warmth and humor with Carla Hall.

“Established in 2016, CraftWine.org is a membership organization that helps the owners, vintners, and winemakers of small production wineries to increase the market for Craft Wine. The association certifies Craft Wineries and sponsors an online marketplace called NxtCrush that directly supports wineries who can sell their certified and distinctly American wine directly to consumers.” CraftWine.org is on a mission to make craft wine as available in the marketplace as craft beer and spirits. We’ll meet Carole Lawson who is the Founder and CEO of CraftWine.org.

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. We’re continuing our discussion about salt. Chef Andrew will be introducing us to Bamboo Salt (also known as Jukyeom.) It’s again time to “Ask the Chef.”

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

Paul Feig of Artingsall's Brilliant Dry Gin“Designed by Hollywood luminary Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids,”) ARTINGSTALL’S Brilliant London Dry Gin is a perfectly-balanced gin for aficionados and casual consumers alike. Its eleven carefully chosen botanicals all synchronize to make ARTINGSTALL’S  Brilliant London Dry Gin as unique, refined and entertaining as its creator.”

“I’ve never met a gin I didn’t like – but I never met one that I truly loved … Until I made my own.” – Paul Feig

Paul is a dedicated cocktail aficionado and the comradery it generates. A proper martini (in Paul’s bartender lexicon) is only made with gin and should be stirred and not shaken.

Paul gently pulls the designed stopper on the Artingstall’s Gin for us.

Jonathan Blackford of A Restaurant and CDM Restaurant“Led by Chef Jonathan Blackford (ex-A Restaurant and CdM Restaurant,) the newly launched Fork & Knife in Costa Mesa aims to present a menu of progressive, modern dishes that are meant to be enjoyed at home. Serving as an extension of the home kitchen, the concept presents globally inspired dishes that focus on fresh ingredients and bold flavors while presenting an innovative experience.

“Fork & Knife’s honest approach to cooking comes through in seasonal, from-scratch fully prepared meals and inspired grab-and-go items that change daily, ranging from sandwiches and prepared pastas, to easy-to-eat-on-the-go dishes and desserts. The kitchen also oversees the production of house-made retail-focused items such as fresh-made pastas, jams, sauces, dressings and more.”

“The market is unique, featuring many of Chef Blackford’s favorite artisan products, from heirloom grains from Anson Mills and heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo, to hard-to-find authentic Spanish products from La Espanola Meats. The concept does not include a dining room or seating for dine-in business, but rather focuses on enhancing the home dining experience by providing the freshest and most flavorful seasonal dishes and meals. Overseeing all design and retail merchandising for the concept is Chef Blackford’s wife, Kristi, who also assists in-house regularly.”

“Last Friday Chef Blackford introduced his signature Paella, which is offered every Friday for pick-up between 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Every week, Chef Blackford presents a different Paella, beginning initially with Seafood & Chorizo, cooked in a large traditional steel pan. The Paella is not available for pre-order, and is sold first come, first serve for $28 per order.”

Carla HallTwo-time Top Chef finalist, former host of the Emmy Award Winning daytime talk show, The Chew, best-selling author and Food Network personality, Carla Hall has added podcast host to her resume with her first-ever original show from Wondery, “Say Yes! With Carla Hall.” Hall takes listeners through her career trajectory and shares how she turned repetitive nos into yeses. Each week Hall is joined by a special guest and together they will take a deep dive into how they found success through overcoming challenges. Guests include Kristen Bell, Wolfgang Puck, Paul Scheer, Loni Love, Marcus Samuelsson, Gail Simmons, Gretchen Rubin, Duff Goldman and Yeardley Smith.”

“Whether it’s through food or conversation, I love nothing more than connecting with people,” said Hall. “Honestly, I have to thank every door that was ever slammed in my face. If it weren’t for those teachable moments, I don’t think I would be where I am today. I’m beyond blessed to host my first-ever podcast.”

“Carla believes food connects us all, and she strives to communicate this through her work, her cooking, and in her daily interactions with others.”

Carla Hall has a mantra: “Say yes. Adventure follows, then growth.” Taking risks is how she became a celebrated chef (two-time Top Chef Finalist) and high-profile television personality (Netflix’s Crazy Delicious, Good Morning America and Food Network). All along the way, she’s had to deal with people saying “No” to her—a lot. And she’s not the only one.

On “Say Yes!” Carla connects with people who’ve found success through adversity. In each conversation, her guests talk about how they overcame their own challenges, and how they keep going…even when it seems impossible. Because nobody’s life path is a straight line, and we can all learn from one another’s experiences.

Carla joins us to chat about “Say Yes!,” her timely get out the vote drive and her volunteer work on the Leadership Committee for the James Beard Foundation’s Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans.

Carole Lawson of the Craft Wine Association“Established in 2016, CraftWine.org is a membership organization that helps the owners, vintners, and winemakers of small production wineries to increase the market for Craft Wine. The association certifies Craft Wineries and sponsors an online marketplace called NxtCrush that directly supports wineries who can sell their certified and distinctly American wine directly to consumers.”

CraftWine.org is on a mission to make craft wine as available in the marketplace as craft beer and spirits. Carole Lawson is the Founder and CEO of CraftWine.org.

“After leaving behind her work in the emerging technology sector, working with the likes of Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter on behalf of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and a second successful career as the Chief Information Officer for high-profile organizations across multiple states, Carole founded the Craft Wine Association. Using her background in emerging markets, she is working to make Craft Wine, distinctly American wine, as available in the marketplace as craft beer and spirits. Carole is also a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers.”

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

We’re continuing our intriguing discussion about salt. Chef Andrew will be introducing us to Bamboo Salt (also known as Jukyeom.) It was originally developed by a Korean physician and monks some 1,000 years ago as a folk medicinal remedy for a variety of maladies. It’s again time to “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Filmmaker Paul Feig introducing Artingstall’s Brilliant London Dry Gin
Segment Three: Chef & Proprietor Jonathan Blackford of Fork & Knife in Costa Mesa Part One
Segment Four: Chef & Proprietor Jonathan Blackford of Fork & Knife in Costa Mesa Part Two
Segment Five: Celebrity Chef Carla Hall introducing “Say, Yes! With Carla Hall” Part One
Segment Six: Celebrity Chef Carla Hall introducing “Say, Yes! With Carla Hall” Part Two
Segment Seven: Carole Lawson – Founder & CEO of the Craft Wine Association
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

October 24: Manuela, Georgia’s Restaurant, Kessler-Hawk Vineyard, Josh Kopel of Full Comp Media

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Kris Tominaga, Manuela, Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Three: Nika Shoemaker-Machado of Georgia’s Restaurant Long Beach & Anaheimo
Segment Four: Dan Kessler, Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines, Lompoc Part One
Segment Five: Dan Kessler, Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines, Lompoc Part Two
Segment Six: Restaurateur and FULL COMP Podcast Host Josh Kopel Part One
Segment Seven: Restaurateur and FULL COMP Podcast Host Josh Kopel Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part Two

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

Georgia’s Restaurant (family-owned) at the Long Beach Exchange and Anaheim Packing House will be offering a special new Breast Bucket & Sides combo all throughout the month of October 2020 in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to help increase awareness and support! The Georgia’s Restaurant new Breast Bucket & Sides combo features a 6-Piece Bucket of Boneless Chicken Breasts (all white meat) and Choice of Two Sides including selections such as their signature Collard Greens, Garlic Rice, and French Fries for just $20 all month long. The special is available at both locations for outdoor patio dining, takeout, delivery and curbside pickup. In other Georgia’s news Nana Gretchen Shoemaker’s “soul-delicious” signature Gumbo is back on the menu in both locations. 2nd generation proprietress Nika-Shoemaker-Machado is our guest.

“The Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines vineyard is located on Hwy 246, 11 miles west of Buellton in the cooler northwestern section of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Fog graces the vineyard most mornings; followed by cool Pacific ocean breezes and bright sunny afternoons. These conditions nurture gentle ripening of Kessler-Haak’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at lower sugars with crisp acidity and the higher levels of spice commonly seen in cool climate viticulture. At Kessler-Haak the approach is that “great wine is produced in the vineyard.” Consequently, they feel the best winemaking approach is a minimalistic one, relying on traditional methods and techniques.”

Grower and Winemaker Dan Kessler artfully pulls the cork on Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines for us.

“Restaurateur, Tech Entrepreneur and Host Josh Kopel has just launched Season 2 of the FULL COMP podcast. The restaurant industry is staring down the barrel of a 60% permanent closure rate due to COVID-19 and Kopel, himself being a casualty, decided it was time to help fix what’s broken. FULL COMP is a weekly show exploring the past and future of the hospitality industry. Provocative and actionable, the show aims to ask the tough questions, supplying listeners with the tools and resources needed to thrive post-pandemic. As Host of FULL COMP, Josh Kopel challenges conventional wisdom by hosting both hospitality professionals and thought leaders from outside of the industry while tackling today’s toughest topics.” Restaurateur Josh Kopel 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 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. Salt is a requirement to sustain human life. It’s also a key ingredient in preserving, cooking and preparing food. Food can actually taste bland without a bit of added salt. The right amount enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there are the variety of finishing salts. We’ll continue the seasoned tutorial started with Chef Andrew last Saturday. It’s again time to “Ask the Chef.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nika Shoemaker-Machado of Georgias RestaurantsGeorgia’s Restaurant (family-owned) at the Long Beach Exchange and Anaheim Packing House will be offering a special new Breast Bucket & Sides combo all throughout the month of October 2020 in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to help increase awareness and support! The Georgia’s Restaurant new Breast Bucket & Sides combo features a 6-Piece Bucket of Boneless Chicken Breasts (all white meat) and Choice of Two Sides including selections such as their signature Collard Greens, Garlic Rice, and French Fries for just $20 all month long. The special is available at both locations for outdoor patio dining, takeout, delivery and curbside pickup.

In other Georgia’s news Nana Gretchen Shoemaker’s “soul-delicious” signature Gumbo is back on the menu in both locations. “The house Gumbo has been a guest favorite ever since it was first introduced and now guests can again savor Nana’s secret Southern-style Roux featuring Chicken, Andouille Sausage, Shrimp, Crab, and Okra, served over Rice at both locations. To complement this super satisfying meal, guests can add some Soulful Sides such as Collard Greens, Baked Beans, Mac & Cheese, or Nana Gretchen’s Famous Cornbread served with house-made honey butter and enjoy her fresh Peach Cobbler for a sweet finish.”

2nd generation proprietress Nika-Shoemaker-Machado is our guest.

Dan Kessler of Kessler-Hawk Vineyard and WinesThe Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines vineyard is located on Hwy 246, 11 miles west of Buellton in the cooler northwestern section of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Fog graces the vineyard most mornings; followed by cool Pacific ocean breezes and bright sunny afternoons. These conditions nurture gentle ripening of Kessler-Haak’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at lower sugars with crisp acidity and the higher levels of spice commonly seen in cool climate viticulture.

At Kessler-Haak the approach is that “great wine is produced in the vineyard.” Consequently, they feel “the best winemaking approach is a minimalistic one, relying on traditional methods and techniques.”

“The quality of the fruit directly impacts the quality of the wine produced from it.  At Kessler-Haak, they believe winemaking begins in the vineyard and that they are wine growers first and foremost and winemakers second.  Winegrower & Winemaker Dan and Owner/Partner Ellen Haak-Kessler live on and work in the vineyard. Coaxing the best fruit from each vine requires an integral involvement with the grape growing process; being there each day, touching the vines and soil and being hands-on in all aspects of the farming.”

“As winemakers, the goal at Kessler-Haak is to craft great food friendly wines that speak of place and time. The single most important factor influencing this goal is the decision of when to harvest.  They base this decision on a combination of factors including: sugar levels, pH, flavors, visual appearance of the fruit and vines, seed ripeness and the style of wine we are striving to create.  Ripeness in a given year, which ultimately reflects time and place, is the optimal confluence of these factors.”

Grower and Winemaker Dan Kessler pulls the cork on Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines for us.

Josh Kopel of Full Comp Media“Restaurateur, Tech Entrepreneur and Host Josh Kopel has just launched Season 2 of the FULL COMP podcast. The restaurant industry is staring down the barrel of a 60% permanent closure rate due to COVID-19 and Kopel, himself being a casualty, decided it was time to help fix what’s broken. FULL COMP is a weekly show exploring the past and future of the hospitality industry. Provocative and actionable, the show aims to ask the tough questions, supplying listeners with the tools and resources needed to thrive post-pandemic.”

“As Host of FULL COMPJosh Kopel challenges conventional wisdom by hosting both hospitality professionals and thought leaders from outside of the industry while tackling today’s toughest topics. Andrew Zimmern (Surviving the Pandemic), Nina Compton (The Benefits of Community Building), Jet Tila (Becoming a Brand), Joe Sasto (Charting a New Path Forward), Alex Day of Death & Co. (Redefining Cocktail Culture), David Meltzer (Set Yourself Up for Success), Dean Alex Susskind of Cornell University (The Future of Restaurants), and Nyesha Arrington (Breaking the Rules for a Better Life) are just some of the most notable guests from FULL COMP SEASON 1, offering a new perspective on an old business.”

“FULL COMP was a selfish endeavor. I was lost and needed guidance. I’ve used the show as a platform to reach out to the folks I’ve looked up to my entire career, hoping their wisdom could help us chart a new path forward,” says Kopel.

“Kopel, now serving up SEASON 2 of FULL COMP, hits harder and goes deeper. Together with some of the brightest minds from within and outside of hospitality, Kopel works to highlight the issues we need to tackle and work towards long-term solutions. FULL COMP SEASON 2 has a power-packed lineup including Jon Taffer (Bar Rescue), Sam Nazarian (SBE), Seth Godin (Marketing Genius), Jim Collins (Good to Great), Jeremiah Tower (Chez Panisse, Stars), Kat Cole (COO, Focus Brands), Will Guidara (IRC), Johnny Ray Zone (Howlin’ Rays), and many more! States Kopel, “I think Che Guevara said it best ‘A revolution is not an apple that falls when it’s ripe. You have to make it fall.’ The restaurant industry needs a revolution and now is the time.””

“The provocative ideas presented on the show have morphed into action with the release of the FULL COMP Industry Guide to Restructuring. This guide, which is available for free on Kopel’s website, is the culmination of the efforts of some of the brightest minds in the restaurant industry. Strategic partners included Oyster Sunday, Cornell University, Death & Co., Yelp and Jon Taffer, as well as countless insights provided by guests of the show, the result being an informative and actionable resource guide.”

“ When asked about the inspiration for the guide, Kopel responded, “As an independent restaurant owner, I had no interest in reinventing the wheel. I wanted to know what the smartest folks in our industry were going to do, and I’d follow suit. That’s why I started the podcast, but after months of doing the show, I still lacked a cohesive plan to reopen. So, I reached out to the innovators, frontrunners and the folks that were already open, to determine what was working and what wasn’t. This guide is the result of those efforts. One hundred percent of the credit for this project goes to the amazing people and companies that provided this information. This is my path forward. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best I’ve seen out there.””

Restaurateur Josh Kopel joins us.

William, Andrew and Lauren GruelOur 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.

Salt is a requirement to sustain human life. It’s also a key ingredient in preserving, cooking and preparing food. It has a rich history. Food can actually taste bland without a bit of added salt. The right amount enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there are the variety of finishing salts. We’ll continue the seasoned tutorial started with Chef Andrew last Saturday. It’s again time to “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Kris Tominaga, Manuela, Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Three: Nika Shoemaker-Machado of Georgia’s Restaurant Long Beach & Anaheimo
Segment Four: Dan Kessler, Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines, Lompoc Part One
Segment Five: Dan Kessler, Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines, Lompoc Part Two
Segment Six: Restaurateur and FULL COMP Podcast Host Josh Kopel Part One
Segment Seven: Restaurateur and FULL COMP Podcast Host Josh Kopel Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part Two

October 17: Anne Marie Panoringan, Tara Teaspoon, Margerum Wine Company, Porto’s Bakery

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part One
Segment Three: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part Two
Segment Four: Tara Bench with Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends
Segment Five: Doug Margerum of Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara Part One
Segment Six: Doug Margerum of Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara Part Two
Segment Seven: Betty Porto, Vice President of Community Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Cafe
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part Two

Anne Marie Panoringan is Voice of OC’s well-informed food columnist. She reports industry news, current events and trends. Panoringan’s prior efforts includes writing about food for 8 years at the OC Weekly in which she interviewed more than 330 chefs, restauranteurs and industry professionals for her weekly “On the Line” column. Anne Marie’s work has been recognized by the Orange County Press Club. Anne Marie joins us to talk about some recent Santa Barbara dining adventures. Coverage of writings (past and future previews) in Voice of OC will include the Rodeo 39 marketplace (it’s a food hall with extras) in Stanton and the continued popularity of hot chicken.

Tara Bench (aka “Tara Teaspoon”) has spent more than twenty years in the food publishing industry creating recipes and articles, and food styling for various magazines, books, television, and advertising.  Working as a food editor at Martha Stewart Living, and as the food and entertaining director of Ladies’ Home Journal, she knows how to write recipes for beginners as well as real foodies. Her philosophy is that anyone can cook and enjoy their time in the kitchen, and in her first cookbook, Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends, she proves it.” We’re in the kitchen with Tara Bench.

Doug Margerum (Margerum Wine Company) has been involved in the Santa Barbara food and wine scene for over 35 years. Upon graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1981, his family purchased WINE CASK. In 1994 the WINE CASK became one of 74 restaurants in the world to earn the Wine Spectator Grand Award. Doug sold the WINE CASK in 2007.” “In 2014, Margerum released BARDEN wines – an exploration of cold climate grapes grown in and around the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. BARDEN is Doug’s middle name and its English meaning is “Lives near the boar’s den”… thusly they have adorned the label with an image of the wild boar that is pervasive in the area’s vineyards.” Doug pulls the cork for us on all that is BARDEN wines.

Porto’s Bakery & Café’s famous Tres Leches Milk’N Berries™ cake is now available for cake lovers all over the US to order through Porto’s Bake at Home. A Porto’s all-time favorite, this light & delicate sponge cake is soaked with Tres Leches (signature house blend of condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream and a touch of brandy) filled & finished with whipped cream and fresh berries. Porto’s Bake at Home will next work on rolling out additional cakes in the coming months like their Parisian Chocolate Cake, Red Velvet Cake, Carrot Cake and more. Porto’s Vice President of Community Relations, Betty Porto, joins us to serve the Tres Leches Milk’N Berries™  cake.

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. Salt is a key ingredient in cooking and preparing food. The right amount enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there is finishing salt. For the needed advice we’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

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

Anne Marie joins us to chat about some recent Santa Barbara dining and libation adventures. Coverage of writings (past and future previews) in Voice of OC will include the Rodeo 39 Public Market marketplace (it’s a diverse food hall with extras) in Stanton and the continued (and expanding) popularity of quality hot chicken.

Rodeo 39 is also the home of the Bearded Tang craft brewery (with an already loyal following) where you can view the brewing process. Bearded Tang produces the craft beer styles for Capistrano Brewing Co. located at Heritage Barbecue in San Juan Capistrano.

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

Tara BenchTara Bench (aka “Tara Teaspoon”) has spent more than twenty years in the food publishing industry creating recipes and articles, and food styling for various magazines, books, television, and advertising.  Working as a food editor at Martha Stewart Living, and as the food and entertaining director of Ladies’ Home Journal, she knows how to write recipes for beginners as well as real foodies. Her philosophy is that anyone can cook and enjoy their time in the kitchen, and in her first cookbook, Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends, she proves it.”

“Whether you’re a casual cook or a die-hard, classically-trained chef, you’ll have complete success on each and every recipe. She sets you up with flavor descriptions and tips and tricks (including an entire section on kitchen equipment, her favorite tools, and why they are so important).”

“Each chapter is from the heart and inspired by Tara’s family heritage and experiences eating at the best restaurants and tastiest dives in New York City. Create wonderful memories through food you can share with the people who love and inspire you.”

We’re in the kitchen with Tara Bench.

Douglas Barden MargerumDoug Margerum (Margerum Wine Company) has been involved in the Santa Barbara food and wine scene for over 35 years. Upon graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1981, his family purchased WINE CASK. In 1994 the WINE CASK became one of 74 restaurants in the world to earn the Wine Spectator Grand Award. Doug sold the WINE CASK in 2007.”

“In 2014, Margerum released BARDEN wines – an exploration of cold climate grapes grown in and around the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. BARDEN is Doug’s middle name and its English meaning is “Lives near the boar’s den”… thusly they have adorned the label with an image of the wild boar that is pervasive in the area’s vineyards.”

BARDEN Wines Mission Statement: BARDEN is the dream to make the ultimate expression of grapes grown in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA.  Our access to the top vineyards along with the philosophy and knowledge gained over thirty years in the wine business allows us to make world-class wines.  BARDEN’s English meaning is “Lives near the boar’s den” … thusly we have adorned the label with an image of the wild boar that is pervasive in the Sta. Rita Hills.”

“Barden white wines (Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Gris) are barrel fermented in our 55 degree winery and battonaged for an average of 3 months. We allow malolactic fermentation to occur naturally in each individual barrel. The wines are aged in mostly new Ermitage and Françoise Frères 225 liter barrels and 600 liter demi-muids for ten months prior to bottling.”

“Our Pinot Noir (BARDEN) is hand sorted and a percentage (depending on the vintage) is whole cluster fermented. We do a 6-10 day cold soak, with natural (wild) fermentation, and use only free-run wine. We use minimal sulfur during maturation on full lees in mostly new Ermitage and François Frères French oak 225 liter barriques and 300 liter barrels. We bottle a very precise selection of the wine un-fined and unfiltered.”

Doug Margerum joins us to pull the cork on all that is BARDEN wines.

Betty Porto in front of the Porto's Bakery Bread RackPorto’s Bakery & Café’s famous Tres Leches Milk’N Berries™ cake is now available for cake lovers all over the US to order through Porto’s Bake at Home. A Porto’s all-time favorite, this light & delicate sponge cake is soaked with Tres Leches (signature house blend of condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream and a touch of brandy) filled & finished with whipped cream and fresh berries. Porto’s Bake at Home will next work on rolling out additional cakes in the coming months like their Parisian Chocolate Cake, Red Velvet Cake, Carrot Cake and more.

“The Milk’N Berries™ cake debuted in the bakery 10 years ago, becoming their best-selling with over a million sold.  Originally inspired by the popular Latin American Tres Leches dessert, Porto’s Executive Chef and VP Tony Salazar wanted to create an updated version that would appeal to a wider audience by toning down the overtly sweet note that the classic Tres Leches recipe is known for.  The bakery team came up with a unique chiffon process for the sponge to bring a light and airy texture to the cake, adding high quality Mexican vanilla bean and fresh berries to create a balanced more naturally sweet flavor.”

“For the launch of their Porto’s Bake at Home cake line, Porto’s Bakery chose their most popular yet most challenging cake to translate into the new service. The Milk’N Berries™ Bake at Home cake features a twist to the bakery’s original cake showcasing an abundance of fresh whipped cream & berries in between the layers of their signature Tres Leches Cake. The top decoration was adapted to create a more contemporary look made with Porto’s signature whipped cream recipe. To ensure the cake will arrive in perfect condition, the Milk’N’Berries™ is “wrapped” with a customized shipping collar which protects the cake while on its way to the customer.  The cake is packaged with care and shipped frozen. Once defrosted the cake is ready to enjoy with family & friends.”

“Bringing cakes to the Porto’s Bake at Home lineup represents a full circle story for the Porto family and Porto’s Bakery. Rosa Porto, the founder, started her baking career in the 60s by selling cakes out of her home in Cuba to friends and family for special occasions before immigrating to Los Angeles and starting the bakeries.  Now with Bake at Home, Porto’s Bakery is able to ship the cakes directly to people’s homes across the US to celebrate and carry on the inspiring tradition that Rosa Porto started.”

Porto’s Vice President of Community Relations, Betty Porto, joins us to serve the Tres Leches Milk’N Berries™ cake. Betty represents the 2nd generation of proud Porto’s Family ownership.

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants.

Salt is a key ingredient in cooking and preparing food. The right amount truly enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there is also finishing salt. For the needed advice we’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part One
Segment Three: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part Two
Segment Four: Tara Bench with Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends
Segment Five: Doug Margerum of Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara Part One
Segment Six: Doug Margerum of Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara Part Two
Segment Seven: Betty Porto, Vice President of Community Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Cafe
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part Two

October 10: Caroline Styne, Halleck Vineyard, Descanso Restaurant

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group Part One
Segment Three: Restaurateur Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group Part Two
Segment Four: Halleck Vineyard with Proprietor Ross Halleck Part One
Segment Five: Halleck Vineyard with Proprietor Ross Halleck Part Two
Segment Six: Rob Arellano, Managing Partner, Descanso Restaurant, Costa Mesa
Segment Seven: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part One
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part Two

James Beard Award-winning restaurateur Caroline Styne is the Co-Proprietor (with Chef Suzanne Goin) of The Lucques Group. Caroline is an active member of the nationwide Independent Restaurant Coalition. Their main objective is to get the Federal Restaurants Act passed. a.o.c in Los Angeles is back with dine-in. The wholesale Larder Baking Co. now has a variety of bread and pastry packages available To-Go at retail. Cassoulet Night by Lucques Catering returns on Saturday evening, October 24th for socially distanced sit-down dining in The Courtyard at Maple Drive in Beverly Hills and for takeout / delivery orders via TOCK. Caroline joins us to talk about the efforts of the Independent Restaurant Coalition and what is available for guests from the Lucques Group establishments at present.

Halleck Vineyard, known for their award-winning Pinot Noirs, is a family journey of business partners Jennifer and Ross Halleck. They planted the Halleck Vineyard in 1993, the very first in the hills of Sebastopol, in western Sonoma County. Intended as a college fund for their infant son, two more sons and six years later until their first harvest, this seemed a flight of fancy. “A one- acre site, Halleck Vineyard is perched above the Russian River watershed and flanked on the west by the slopes to the Pacific Ocean. It commands an expansive view of the rolling Sonoma County hills to the northeast.  A passion for Pinot leads the charge of the Halleck wines.” Proprietor & Vintner Ross Halleck pulls the cork on Halleck Vineyard for us.

“Descanso Restaurant in Costa Mesa delivers a unique Mexican dining experience as a modern taqueria that celebrates authentic Mexican flavors and recipes executed on a traditional Plancha and prepared a la minute in front of the guest. With new Executive Chef Fonzy de Zuniga at the helm, the full-service restaurant is committed to providing only fresh, high-quality ingredients sourced from local farms and does not believe in cooking with lard or using can openers. Drawing guests into the cooking experience as classic Central Mexican street-inspired cuisine is made to order, the restaurant’s lively setting celebrates tradition while bringing in the music, smells, and energy of a busy Mexican town.” Managing Partner & Concept Creator Rob Arellano joins us with all the enticing details of what Descanso has available for the dining public right now.

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. We hear the term “sustainable” used quite often. It’s a lofty goal. What does it actually entail for a restaurant to be sustainable? Takeout and delivery are burgeoning right now. Disposable containers and packaging are in high use. What can a restaurant do so their food arrives intact and at the right temperature but uses packaging that is more environmentally friendly, too. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

Caroline Styne of Lucques Restaurant GroupJames Beard Award-winning restaurateur Caroline Styne is the Co-Proprietor (with Chef Suzanne Goin) of The Lucques Group. Caroline is an active member of the nationwide Independent Restaurant Coalition. Their primary objective is to get the Federal Restaurants Act passed. The Independent Restaurant Coalition is fighting to save local restaurants affected by COVID-19.

a.o.c. in Los Angeles is back with dine-in as well as takeaway. The wholesale Larder Baking Co. has a variety of bread and pastry packages available To-Go at retail. Cassoulet Night by Lucques Catering returns on Saturday evening, October 24th for socially distanced sit-down dining in The Courtyard at Maple Drive in Beverly Hills and for takeout / delivery orders via TOCK.

Caroline joins us to talk about the efforts of the Independent Restaurant Coalition and what is currently available for hungry guests from the Lucques Group establishments.

Ross Halleck of Halleck VineyardHalleck Vineyard, known for their award-winning Pinot Noir’s, is a family journey of business partners Jennifer and Ross Halleck.

“They planted the Halleck Vineyard in 1993, the very first in the hills of Sebastopol, in western Sonoma County. Intended as a college fund for their infant son, two more sons and six years later until their first harvest, this seemed a flight of fancy.”

“A one- acre site, Halleck Vineyard is perched above the Russian River watershed and flanked on the west by the slopes to the Pacific Ocean. It commands an expansive view of the rolling Sonoma County hills to the northeast. A passion for Pinot leads the charge of the Halleck wines.”

“In 2019, Halleck Vineyard was again judged “BEST OF CLASS” in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest competition in North America. Sunset Magazine anointed the Halleck Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc “BEST OF CLASS” in the United States, and the California State Fair judged the Halleck Dry Gewurztraminer #1 White Wine in California.”

“The Halleck Vineyard logo represents an H for Halleck. More importantly, it expresses “one-to-one”, depicted as Roman numerals.  We hope to foster a personal connection with everyone who enjoys our wine. Hence we invite people to our home, travel to meet them, share meals, and invite them on trips around the world.”

“Viewing the dot as a grape, it has served as a plant of power for over 8,000 years, 1,000 years before Mesopotamia and the birth of civilization. It was most certainly in the realm of the spiritual practitioner, healer, or shaman. Wine is viewed as sacred in almost all the major religions. And for good reason. It has the unique ability to connect us, elevating a conversation and enhancing intimacy, building community.”

“The circle represents our community. Our mission is “Building Community Through Wine.””

We’ll meet Owner & Vintner Ross Halleck.

Rob Arellano of Descanso RestaurantDescanso Restaurant in Costa Mesa delivers a unique Mexican dining experience as a modern taqueria that celebrates authentic Mexican flavors and recipes executed on a traditional Plancha and prepared a la minute in front of the guest. With new Executive Chef Fonzy de Zuniga at the helm, the full-service restaurant is committed to providing only fresh, high-quality ingredients sourced from local farms and does not believe in cooking with lard or using can openers. Drawing guests into the cooking experience as classic Central Mexican street-inspired cuisine is made to order, the restaurant’s lively setting celebrates tradition while bringing in the music, smells, and energy of a busy Mexican town.”

Descanso Restaurant has just resumed midweek lunch service. Featuring all-new items, the menu of Central Mexican street-inspired cuisine is available inside, to-go and al fresco on the restaurant’s 1,500 square-foot patio.

“The modern taqueria’s fresh and vibrant menu introduces the Mexibol, a new offering filled with bold flavors and nourishing ingredients including refried pinto beans, Mexican fried rice, pico de gallo, avocado toreado salsa, salsa frita, tortilla chips and a choice of protein or vegetables.”

Managing Partner and Concept Creator Rob Arellano joins us with all the details of what Descanso has available for the hungry dining public right now.

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

We hear the term “sustainable” used quite often. It’s a goal. What does it entail for a restaurant to be sustainable? Takeout and delivery are burgeoning right now. Disposable containers and packaging are in high use. What can a restaurant do so their food arrives intact and at the right temperature but uses packaging that is environmentally friendly, too. We’ll “Ask the Chef”.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group Part One
Segment Three: Restaurateur Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group Part Two
Segment Four: Halleck Vineyard with Proprietor Ross Halleck Part One
Segment Five: Halleck Vineyard with Proprietor Ross Halleck Part Two
Segment Six: Rob Arellano, Managing Partner, Descanso Restaurant, Costa Mesa
Segment Seven: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part One
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part Two