July 24: Azucar, Long Beach Burger Week with Remix Kitchen Bar and the Crooked Duck, Palm Springs Summer Eats Pass, the Midway Gourmet

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

Azucar, located in La Serena Villas in Palm Springs, is a hidden gem of a boutique dining experience. They serve modern contemporary cuisine (American, Mediterranean and Spanish flavors) to a sophisticated, adults-only crowd, focusing on flavor utilizing high quality and local ingredients. Azucar offers outdoor seating by the beautiful La Serena Villas pool and on their designed rooftop deck with a view. Reservations are politely recommended. “Sugar High Rooftop Lounge at La Serena Villas is a great mix of Boho chic meets cool Palm Springs. The little desert oasis sits atop the fresh and vibrant restaurant Azucar. It is the perfect slice of heaven to sip on amazing cocktails and nosh on appetizers. You can have all this while surrounded by the breathtaking San Jacinto mountains.” General Manager Laura Slipak is our guest providing the overview of the property.

“Long Beach residents and visitors alike are in for a treat as dozens of local restaurants and food retailers will offer unique, over-the-top Burgers and value-priced Burger Offers when the inaugural Long Beach Burger Week launches August 1-8, 2021.” Chef Ross Pangilinan of Remix Kitchen Bar in the Long Beach Exchange is one of the participating restaurants in the inaugural Long Beach Burger Week. ReMix is a modern version of the acclaimed Mix Mix Kitchen Bar by esteemed Chef Ross Pangilinan. For Long Beach Burger Week Chef Ross is featuring French Burger Sliders with shallot marmalade, bacon, melted brie, truffle aioli and served with fries. Chef Ross Pangilinan joins us spatula securely in hand.

The Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau launched the digital Summer Eats Pass in early June to help support local restaurants, while also providing deals and offerings to the community and visitors. Each time diners use the pass to check in to a local eatery, they become eligible for a weekly drawing to win a $50 gift card to a local restaurant. To unlock the savings, guests can download a free mobile pass to access exclusive offers from Greater Palm Springs restaurants. Offers range from special prix fixe menus to free items with purchases.” Boozehounds (“Where dogs bring their humans”,) an ambitious newly opened, dog-friendly dining establishment with a serious bar program in Palm Springs is part of the Summer Eats Pass. Co-owner Bryan Rogers joins in the conversation along with Davis Meyer of the Greater Palm Springs CVB.

The 2021 OC Fair opened the gates on Friday, July 16th. Opening Weekend was sold out. Outrageous Fair Food is always a mouthwatering highlight. What crazy edible will they next put on a stick? One of the all-star Fair Food personalities is the well-traveled Midway Gourmet, Chef Dominic Palmieri of Biggy’s fame on the RCS Carnival Midway. We’ll find out what indulgent deliciousness Chef Dominic is cooking up now through August 15th.

“Long Beach residents and visitors alike are in for a treat as dozens of local restaurants and food retailers will offer unique, over-the-top Burgers and value-priced Burger Offers when the inaugural Long Beach Burger Week launches August 1-8, 2021.” Proprietor & Chef Joey Rooney of The Cooked Duck on Pacific Coast Highway is a participating restaurant in Long Beach Burger Week. It’s an easygoing and popular neighborhood restaurant for Breakfast and Lunch serving generous portions of properly prepared comfort foods. For Long Beach Burger Week Chef Joey is featuring his Fritos Chili Cheddar Burger with Texas chili, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese and topped with Fritos Corn Chips for the perfect crunch. Restaurateur Joey Rooney joins us with a Fritos Chili Cheddar Burger in hand.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery. Chefs typically prefer to cook with natural gas at their restaurants. Some USA cities have been making moves to phase out natural gas connections to residences and businesses with the hope of reducing carbon emissions. Chef Andrew shares his thoughts.

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

Azucar, located in La Serena Villas in Palm Springs, is a hidden gem of a boutique dining experience. They serve modern contemporary cuisine (American, Mediterranean and Spanish flavors) to a sophisticated, adults-only crowd, focusing on flavor utilizing high quality and local ingredients. Azucar offers outdoor seating by the beautiful La Serena Villas pool and on their designed rooftop deck with a view. Reservations are politely recommended.

Sugar High Rooftop Lounge at La Serena Villas is a great mix of Boho chic meets cool Palm Springs. The little desert oasis sits atop the fresh and vibrant restaurant Azucar. It is the perfect slice of heaven to sip on amazing cocktails and nosh on appetizers. You can have all this while surrounded by the breathtaking San Jacinto mountains.”

“Originally built in 1933, La Serena Villas sits on over an acre of beautiful landscaped grounds in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, walking distance to the famous Palm Canyon Drive, where you will find the best restaurants, boutiques and galleries.”

“Redeveloped as a luxury hotel with 18 guest rooms in 2016 by award -winning architect, May Sung, with all the modern amenities of a 5-star hotel. Each piece of furniture, all materials and finishes have been carefully hand- picked by interior design group, Avenue Interior Design.”

“The stunning San Jacinto Mountains are the backdrop for this luxury boutique hotel. The secluded private villas each have a private patio, complete with a romantic claw foot tub, fire-pit, and built-in benches.”

Laura Slipak, the General Manager of both La Serena Villas and Azucar restaurant is our guest.

Ross Pangilinan of Mix Mix Kitchen Bar

“Long Beach residents and visitors alike are in for a treat as dozens of local restaurants and food retailers will offer unique, over-the-top Burgers and value-priced Burger Offers when the inaugural Long Beach Burger Week launches August 1-8, 2021.”

“Organized by local non-profit, Long Beach Food & Beverage and thanks to a generous grant from the City of Long Beach, executive director Terri Henry, who brought the original restaurant week to Long Beach with partners in 2014, felt that in addition to encouraging local and surrounding “foodies” to enjoy what the expanding Long Beach culinary community has to offer, events like Burger Week support the local economy and put “butts in seats” of our valued restaurants. “Now that we are a registered 501c3 non-profit and have support, we decided to mix things up a little this year and put our efforts into a city-wide Long Beach Burger Week, because, hey, it’s summertime who doesn’t love a good burger?’,” Henry explained.”

“There are no tickets or passes to purchase. Burger lovers are invited to dine-in, take-out or have featured delivered from their favorite restaurants, or order from the websites of various pop-ups or home cottage businesses for pick-up. Participating restaurants, food businesses and offers can be found on the Long Beach Burger Week website”

Chef Ross Pangilinan of Remix Kitchen Bar in the Long Beach Exchange is one of the participating restaurants in the inaugural Long Beach Burger Week. ReMix is a modern version of the acclaimed Mix Mix Kitchen Bar by esteemed Chef Ross Pangilinan. His third Southern California concept has combined Mix Mix signature dishes with a complete new assortment of food offerings.

Chef Ross is featuring French Burger Sliders with shallot marmalade, bacon, melted brie, truffle aioli and served with fries.

The Sliders are served with the guest’s choice of a beer or soft drink. Chef Ross Pangilinan joins us spatula securely in hand.

Davis Meyer of the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bujreau

The Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau launched the digital Summer Eats Pass in early June to help support local restaurants, while also providing deals and offerings to the community and visitors. Each time diners use the pass to check in to a local eatery, they become eligible for a weekly drawing to win a $50 gift card to a local restaurant. To unlock the savings, guests can download a free mobile pass to access exclusive offers from Greater Palm Springs restaurants. Offers range from special prix fixe menus to free items with purchases.”

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer the Summer Eats Pass to encourage the community and visitors to help support our local restaurant scene and even encourage exploration of new favorites,” said Davis Meyer, Director of Partnership. “Despite a challenging year for the restaurant industry, Greater Palm Springs offers a rich and diverse culinary scene with a variety of new offerings available for people to experience this summer.”

Boozehounds (“Where dogs bring their humans”,) an ambitious newly opened, dog-friendly dining establishment with a serious bar program in Palm Springs is part of the Summer Eats Pass. Co-owner Bryan Rogers joins in the conversation along with Davis Meyers of the Greater Palm Springs CVB.

The 2021 OC Fair opened the gates on Friday, July 16th. The first Weekend was a complete sellout. Outrageous Fair Food is always a mouthwatering highlight. What crazy edible will they next put on a stick? One of the all-star, Fair Food personalities is the well-traveled Midway Gourmet, Chef Dominic Palmieri of Biggy’s fame on the RCS Carnival Midway.

Dominic Palmieri of Midway Gourmet

Chef Dominic has noticed a taste trend in addition to the continuing appeal of spicy flavors. That’s sour. The creative minds at The Midway Gourmet have found spicy & sour inspiration and now perfected the all-new Hot Cheeto-n-Cheese Pickles which debuts at the OC Fair. It’s premium dill pickle chips smothered in cheese sauce and then topped with crunchy Hot Cheetos.

Also a juicy, Hot Cheeto-n-Cheese Burger with premium Angus beef. It’s a flame-grilled charbroiled burger sandwiched between a toasted buttery bun dipped in melted cheddar cheese then rolled in ground-up hot Cheetos. The burger is then topped with melted cheese and whole crunchy hot Cheetos.

For those hot Summer days consider the Watermelon Taco topped with refreshing Dole Whip and Tajin.

We’ll find out what other indulgent deliciousness Chef Dominic is cooking up now through August 15th with Chef Dominic.

Joey Rooney of the Crooked Duck

“Long Beach residents and visitors alike are in for a treat as dozens of local restaurants and food retailers will offer unique, over-the-top Burgers and value-priced Burger Offers when the inaugural Long Beach Burger Week launches August 1-8, 2021.”

“Organized by local non-profit, Long Beach Food & Beverage and thanks to a generous grant from the City of Long Beach, executive director Terri Henry, who brought the original restaurant week to Long Beach with partners in 2014, felt that in addition to encouraging local and surrounding “foodies” to enjoy what the expanding Long Beach culinary community has to offer, events like Burger Week support the local economy and put “butts in seats” of our valued restaurants. “Now that we are a registered 501c3 non-profit and have support, we decided to mix things up a little this year and put our efforts into a city-wide Long Beach Burger Week, because, hey, it’s summertime who doesn’t love a good burger?’,” Henry explained.”

“There are no tickets or passes to purchase. Burger lovers are invited to dine-in, take-out or have featured delivered from their favorite restaurants, or order from the websites of various pop-ups or home cottage businesses for pick-up. Participating restaurants and other types of food businesses and offers are on LB Burger Week’s site.

Proprietor & Chef Joey Rooney of The Cooked Duck on Pacific Coast Highway is a participating restaurant in Long Beach Burger Week. It’s an easygoing and popular neighborhood restaurant for Breakfast and Lunch serving generous portions of properly prepared comfort foods. They are known for coffee, breakfast specialties, sandwiches and, of course, burgers. Beer and wine are on the menu, too, along with wine-based cocktails.

For Long Beach Burger Week Chef Joey is featuring his Fritos Chili Cheddar Burger with Texas chili, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese and topped with Fritos Corn Chips for the perfect crunch.

Restaurateur Joey Rooney joins us with a Fritos Chili Cheddar Burger in hand.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery. Genuine concerns remain…

Chefs typically prefer to cook with clean-burning, natural gas at their restaurants. Some USA cities have been making moves to phase out natural gas connections to residences and businesses with the hope of possibly reducing carbon emissions. Chef Andrew shares his informed thoughts.

Chef Andrew also reports on the progress of his new ambitious Save the Brave Burger” fundraiser for Summer to benefit Veterans with PTS.

July 17: OC Fair featuring Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Sixmilebridge Vineyards and Winery, FINCA Paso Robles

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Evy Young, Agriculture Education Supervisor, OC Fair
Segment Three: Jim Moroney, Proprietor, Sixmilebridge Vineyards and Winery, Paso Robles Part One
Segment Four: Jim Moroney, Proprietor, Sixmilebridge Vineyards and Winery, Paso Robles Part Two
Segment Five: Robert Schueller, “The Prince of Produce,” Melissa’s Part One
Segment Six: Robert Schueller, “The Prince of Produce,” Melissa’s Part Two
Segment Seven: Diego Aguirre, Co-Proprietor, FINCA restaurant, Paso Robles
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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

The beloved OC Fair is back in Costa Mesa from July 16th through August 15th. If you love to cook or love to eat, this is the place to meet! “Culinary Arts is again taking center stage at the 2021 OC Fair in the OC Promenade. The Main Stage there is booked every day throughout the fair and will be host to chefs, bakers, farmers, floral artists, food bloggers, mixologists, brewers, butchers and more. (Every evening there’s a great band to provide music.)” The OC Fair’s long-time Culinary Arts Supervisor, Evy Young, is our guide to all the delights.

Proprietors of Sixmilebridge Vineyards and Winery, Jim and Barbara Moroney, “came to Paso Robles with the singular dream of producing wines that had they found them elsewhere, would become favorites of theirs. The Moroneys want to express the singular character of their Westside Paso soil in wines they look forward to drinking every day.” “Sixmilebridge is best known for it’s estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux-style blends. Their commitment to showcasing world-class wines begins with organically farmed, limestone-rich Paso Robles vineyards.” Jim Moroney joins us to pull the cork on Sixmilebridge Vineyards and Winery.

Robert Schueller of Melissa’s (our resident Prince of Produce) is presenting two talks on the Culinary Stage in the OC Pavilion on Opening Day at the 2021 OC Fair. On the menu are California Specialty Fruit Crops and California Specialty Vegetable Crops. Also a preview of the always eagerly anticipated upcoming Hatch Chile season. Robert will share a condensed version of his presentations with us. Melissa’s Produce will be featured in many cooking demonstrations on the Main Stage in the OC Pavilion, the site of the major culinary happenings. For the run of The Fair they will be showcased in the Rare Fruit Growers exhibit located in the Centennial Farms area.

“FINCA Paso Robles is a casual restaurant which highlights Baja and Sonora style Mexican food with an emphasis on wood-grilled seafood and carne asada. Located in the historic farmhouse of the Old Hometown Nursery of Paso Robles comes the latest project from the owners of La Taquiza – a casual Napa based Mexican restaurant that has been in the Michelin Guide over the years.” Co-proprietor Diego Aguirre, a second generation restaurateur, joins us.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery. Chef Andrew provides more of his insider’s perspective on how the restaurant business is bouncing back from the pandemic. What changes can we expect in fine dining? He also reports on the progress of his new, ambitious “Save the Brave Burger” fundraiser to benefit Veterans with PTS.

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

Evy Young of the OC Fair

The beloved OC Fair is back in Costa Mesa from July 16th through August 15th. “If you love to cook or love to eat, this is the place to meet!”

“Culinary Arts is taking center stage at the 2021 OC Fair in the OC Promenade. The Main Stage there is booked every day throughout the fair and will be host to chefs, bakers, farmers, floral artists, food bloggers, mixologists, brewers, butchers and more. (And every evening there’s a great band to provide music.)”

“Learn from the best during demos and tasting sessions stocked with kitchen secrets, war stories and more – straight from the experts.”

The OC Fair’s long-time Culinary Arts Supervisor, Evy Young, is our guide to all the delights.

Jim Moroney of Sixmilebridge Vineyards and Winery

“Proprietors of Sixmilebridge Vineyards and Winery, Jim and Barbara Moroney, came to Paso Robles with the singular dream of producing wines that had they found them elsewhere, would become favorites of theirs. The Moroneys want to express the singular character of their Westside Paso soil in wines they look forward to drinking every day.”

“Sixmilebridge is best known for it’s estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux-style blends. Their commitment to showcasing world-class wines begins with organically farmed, limestone-rich Paso Robles vineyards.”

Sixmilebridge offers relaxed tasting room appointments daily from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm. “The Moroney’s believe that wine is best experienced when hosts are able to dedicate their time exclusively to one group. Consequently, guests can expect one of Sixmilebridge’s welcoming staff to remain available exclusively to your party for the duration of the visit.”

“Winemaker Anthony Yount said it best: our terroir at Sixmilebridge is nothing if not extreme. Were we crazy to plant Bordeaux varietal grapes into the face of an impossibly steep, untamed hillside overlooking the westside of Paso Robles—best known as premier Rhone growing country? Maybe a little. But we’ve never run from hard work, and we knew the growing conditions rivaled the best in the world.”

“Here, exceptional quality fruit is born from a thick layer of limestone dominate terrain that stretches out in every direction down steep hillsides. With staggering temperature swings of up to 50 degrees that soar and drop daily, and a consistent and daily breeze from the Pacific Ocean, our low-yield fruit is stressed, tried, and tested.”

Jim Moroney pulls the cork on all things Sixmilebridge Vineyards and Winery for us.

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

Robert Schueller of Melissa’s (our resident Prince of Produce) is presenting two talks on the Culinary Stage in the OC Pavilion on Opening Day at the 2021 OC Fair. On the menu are California Specialty Fruit Crops and California Specialty Vegetable Crops. Also a preview of the always eagerly anticipated upcoming Hatch Chile season. Robert will share a highlighted version of his engaging presentation with us.

Melissa’s Produce will be featured in many cooking demonstrations on the Main Stage in the OC Pavilion, the site of the major culinary happenings. For the run of The Fair they will be showcased in the Rare Fruit Growers exhibit located in the Centennial Farms area.

Melissa’s Robert Schueller joins us White Dragon Fruit in hand.

Diego Aguirre of Finca Paso Robles

FINCA Paso Robles is a casual restaurant which highlights Baja and Sonora style Mexican food with an emphasis on wood-grilled seafood and carne asada. Located in the historic farmhouse of the Old Hometown Nursery of Paso Robles comes the latest project from the owners of La Taquiza – a casual Napa based Mexican restaurant that has been in the Michelin Guide over the years.”

“With over 20 years experience in the service industry, co-owner Patrick Aguirre has worked under the likes of Thomas Keller at Bouchon Bakery and Suzanne Goin of A.O.C. His business partner and wife Stephanie, has managed multiple businesses, from aiding in her family’s seafood distribution company to running restaurants in both Napa and Los Angeles. Accompanying them in opening FINCA is son, Diego, and daughter-in-law, Cecilia, who both graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and have been in the area since 2013. With a combined 15 years experience in the wine and service industry between them, they are excited to bring their passion and love for their community to this home-grown venture.”

Diego Aguirre, a 2nd generation restaurateur, is our guest.

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style Pizza

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery. Genuine concerns remain…

Chef Andrew provides more of his insider’s perspective on how the restaurant business is bouncing back from the pandemic. What changes can we expect in fine dining?

He also reports on the progress of his new ambitious Save the Brave Burger” fundraiser to benefit Veterans with PTS.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Evy Young, Agriculture Education Supervisor, OC Fair
Segment Three: Jim Moroney, Proprietor, Sixmilebridge Vineyards and Winery, Paso Robles Part One
Segment Four: Jim Moroney, Proprietor, Sixmilebridge Vineyards and Winery, Paso Robles Part Two
Segment Five: Robert Schueller, “The Prince of Produce,” Melissa’s Part One
Segment Six: Robert Schueller, “The Prince of Produce,” Melissa’s Part Two
Segment Seven: Diego Aguirre, Co-Proprietor, FINCA restaurant, Paso Robles
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

July 10: Chicken Ranch, Hubba Wines, Bracken’s Kitchen Hungry Games 4.0

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Mike Smith, Chicken Ranch, Palm Springs
Segment Three: Riley Roddick, Winemaker & Proprietress, Hubba Wines, Tin City, Paso Robles Part One
Segment Four: Riley Roddick, Winemaker & Proprietress, Hubba Wines, Tin City, Paso Robles Part Two
Segment Five: Chef Bill Bracken, Bracken’s Kitchen, The Hungry Games 4.0 Preview Part One
Segment Six: Chef Bill Bracken, Bracken’s Kitchen, The Hungry Games 4.0 Preview Part Two
Segment Seven: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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

For proprietor Mike Smith at Palm Springs’ Chicken Ranch (a locals’ favorite) preparing good food is simple. “It starts with great ingredients sourced from local farms who apply sustainable, eco-friendly standards to their craft. Chicken Ranch’s rotisserie chicken, crisp, delicious salads and savory, succulent sides are prepared carefully and artistically, with respect to seasonal ingredients, flavors and seasonings. Chicken Ranch is committed to keeping it fresh; bringing farm-fresh produce and free-range poultry from local farms to every guest’s plate.” Chicken Ranch has shaded patio seating with misters. Also a full bar with beer, wine, cocktails and spirits. The ruler of Chicken Ranch’s roost, Mike Smith, joins us.

“Proprietress Riley Hubbard’s (Hubba Wines in Tin City, Paso Robles) journey as a winemaker spans all corners of the world and her wines are a reflection of a myriad of influences, education, and experience. Born and raised in San Diego, Riley received a degree in Ag Business with a minor in Viticulture from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.” “Her love of the Central Coast of California eventually called her back to the Paso Robles region (after wine explorations in Australia, France and Italy) where she worked as assistant winemaker at Law Estate wines moving later to assistant winemaker under Vailia From at Desparada Wines. She continues to consult for Monochrome Wines.” Hubba wines are a reflection of Riley’s international influences, inspiration from friends and family, and her never-ending wanderlust. Share these wines with friends, family, food, and whatever the day brings.” Riley Roddick uncorks all that is Hubba Wines for us.

For the fourth year, Bracken’s Kitchen is hosting its signature culinary event benefiting the less fortunate and food insecure in Southern California. This year’s edition, THE HUNGRY GAMES 4.0 will feature talented, local chefs creating their trademark dishes and competing in the organization’s very own 9,000 square foot kitchen in Garden Grove on Thursday, September 9, 2021, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“All who attend are encouraged to come HUNGRY as guests will enjoy selections of small bites, appetizers, snacks, sweets, beer, and wine, while experiencing the entire Bracken’s Kitchen facility including three commercial kitchens and a newly renovated outdoor space. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the culinary competition, participate in silent and live auctions, and learn more about the great work to which Bracken’s Kitchen is devoted.” Founding Chef Bill Bracken is our guest.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Chef Andrew provides more of his insider’s perspective on how the restaurant business is bouncing back from the pandemic. How are establishments coping with all the new price increases? He also reports on the progress of his new, ambitious “Save the Brave Burger” fundraiser to benefit Veterans with PTS.

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

Mike Smith of Chicken Ranch

For proprietor Mike Smith at Palm Springs’ Chicken Ranch (a locals’ favorite) preparing good food is simple. “It starts with great ingredients sourced from local farms who apply sustainable, eco-friendly standards to their craft. Chicken Ranch’s rotisserie chicken, crisp, delicious salads and savory, succulent sides are prepared carefully and artistically, with respect to seasonal ingredients, flavors and seasonings. Chicken Ranch is committed to keeping it fresh; bringing farm-fresh produce and free-range poultry from local farms to every guest’s plate.”

Chicken Ranch has shaded patio seating with misters. Also a full bar with beer, wine, cocktails and spirits.

The ruler of Chicken Ranch’s roost, Mike Smith, joins us.

Riley Roddick of Hubba Wines

“Proprietress Riley Hubbard’s (Hubba Wines in Tin City, Paso Robles) journey as a winemaker spans all corners of the world and her wines are a reflection of a myriad of influences, education, and experience. Born and raised in San Diego, Riley received a degree in Ag Business with a minor in Viticulture from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.”

“During her time at Cal Poly, she began her career in wine in Paso Robles at L’Aventure Winery under the tutelage of rogue winemaker Stephan Asseo. From working the tasting room, harvest production, to vineyard work, Hubbard immersed herself in the boutique winery’s lifestyle and lived on the property for a few years.”

“Building on her experience from L’Aventure, Riley moved to the Barossa Valley of Australia and worked a harvest at Torbreck Winery. Committed to learning more, she then moved to Montpellier, France and began working on her Master’s Degree with the Vinafera Euromaster program. She studied in France, worked at Domaine d’Aupilhac in Montpeyroux, France and finished her degree in Udine, Italy in the heart of the Friuli region.”

“Her love of the Central Coast of California called her back to the Paso Robles region where she worked as assistant winemaker at Law Estate Wines moving later to assistant winemaker under Vailia From at Desparada Wines. She continues to consult for Monochrome Wines.”

“Hubba wines are a reflection of Riley’s international influences, inspiration from friends and family, and her never-ending wanderlust. Share these wines with friends, family, food, and whatever the day brings.”

Riley Roddick uncorks all that is Hubba Wines for us.

Bill Bracken of Brackens Kitchen

“For the fourth year, Bracken’s Kitchen is hosting its signature culinary event benefiting the less fortunate and food insecure in Southern California. This year’s edition, THE HUNGRY GAMES 4.0 will feature talented, local chefs creating their trademark dishes and competing in the organization’s very own 9,000 square foot kitchen in Garden Grove on Thursday, September 9, 2021, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.”

“All who attend are encouraged to come HUNGRY as guests will enjoy selections of small bites, appetizers, snacks, sweets, beer, and wine, while experiencing the entire Bracken’s Kitchen facility including three commercial kitchens and a newly renovated outdoor space. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the culinary competition, participate in silent and live auctions, and learn more about the great work to which Bracken’s Kitchen is devoted.”

“Bracken’s Kitchen welcomes a variety of Southern California’s top chefs including our own Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, Chef Rich Mead at Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens, Chef Peter Petro of Bosscat Kitchen + Libations, Chef Greg Daniels of Harley Laguna Beach, and Master Baker Dean Kim of OC Baking Co., to name just a few.”

“This past year has seen an exponential increase in food insecurity and need here and in Southern California and across the nation. Over the past several months we’ve seen the attention on food insecurity wane and move to other hot topics,” said Bill Bracken, founder Bracken’s Kitchen. “Unfortunately, the need is still there and we are committed to help meet it. The Hungry Games 4.0 is a fun and exciting way that you can help us to meet that need. We hope you will join us for an evening of food, fun, and purpose for our friends and neighbors in need.”

“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.”

Chef Bill Bracken takes a break from his busy kitchens and joins us.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern.

Chef Andrew provides more of his insider’s perspective on how the restaurant business is bouncing back from the pandemic. How are establishments coping with all the new price increases?

He also reports on the progress of his new ambitious Save the Brave Burger” fundraiser to benefit Veterans with PTS.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Mike Smith, Chicken Ranch, Palm Springs
Segment Three: Riley Roddick, Winemaker & Proprietress, Hubba Wines, Tin City, Paso Robles Part One
Segment Four: Riley Roddick, Winemaker & Proprietress, Hubba Wines, Tin City, Paso Robles Part Two
Segment Five: Chef Bill Bracken, Bracken’s Kitchen, The Hungry Games 4.0 Preview Part One
Segment Six: Chef Bill Bracken, Bracken’s Kitchen, The Hungry Games 4.0 Preview Part Two
Segment Seven: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

July 3: Ericka Sanchez, The Stables Inn, Caroline Styne, Suzanne Goin, Al Mancini

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Ericka Sanchez with Aguas Frescas & Paletas
Segment Three: Lindsey Sparkman, Hotel Manager, Stables Inn, Paso Robles, CA
Segment Four: Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group, A.O.C. Brentwood
Segment Five: Chef Suzanne Goin, The Lucques Group, Hollywood Bowl 2021 Part One
Segment Six: Chef Suzanne Goin, The Lucques Group, Hollywood Bowl 2021 Part Two
Segment Seven: Al Mancini, Food & Entertainment Journalist, “Food and Loathing” Podcast, Las Vegas
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Happy 4th of July Weekend to all!

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

“Creator of the award-winning website Nibbles and Feasts, Ericka Sanchez delivers a refreshing take on Mexican drinks and popsicles, just in time for Summer in the cookbook, Aguas Frescas & Paletas – Refreshing Mexican Beverages and Frozen Treats, Traditional and Reimagined. Aguas Frescas and Paletas highlights 40 amazing treats that use less sugar than the traditional recipes, and adds unique flavor twists into the mix alongside nostalgia-inducing classics.” “Ranging from familiar flavors like horchata and lime to more unique combinations like Hibiscus & Spiced Orange, Mint Blackberry, and Avocado Coconut the recipes in Aguas Frescas & Paletas use simple and refreshing ingredients that can be found at your local supermarket.” Ericka Sanchez joins us Mango & Chamoy Pop in hand.

“Inspired by the timeless charm of horses, riders, and traditional whitewashed stables, Paso Robles’ The Stables Inn, a celebration of the great outdoors, is a totally renovated 19-room hotel located three short blocks from Paso Robles historic Downtown City Park and town center where shops, restaurants and tasting rooms abound.” “Featuring modern, stylish and unpretentious accommodations with touches of Western chic, The Stables Inn is the perfect spot to call home as you enjoy and explore all that the Paso Robles AVA has to offer.” Hotel Manager Lindsey Sparkman is graciously at our service.

“Chef Suzanne Goin and business partner Caroline Styne, owners and operators of The Lucques Group, debuted the long-in-the-works A.O.C. Brentwood early last month. Located at 11648 San Vicente Boulevard in Brentwood, the restaurant features the small plates format that A.O.C. originated with Suzanne’s regularly changing menu inspired by California’s seasons and regional farmers’ markets which helped her win the coveted Outstanding Chef Award from the James Beard Foundation in 2016.” “Caroline, who similarly won Outstanding Restaurateur in 2018, curates the wine program for which A.O.C. is known. Designed for discovery and exploration, the A.O.C. wine list highlights small-production wines from grapes that are either sustainably, organically or biodynamically grown and features a large selection available by the glass and carafe. Caroline Styne uncorks the new Brentwood A.O.C. for us.

The Hollywood Bowl’s signature culinary program is again brought to life by James Beard Award-Winning Chef Suzanne Goin and James Beard Award-Winning Restauranteur Caroline Styne (of celebrated local restaurants A.O.C., The Larder Baking Co. and Lucques Catering.) All of The Hollywood Bowl’s dining options have been updated to ensure the safety of all guests and employees. The employees are health screened before starting work, personal protective equipment is worn, sanitation measures have been amplified, and social distancing is required. Chef Suzanne Goin takes a break from her busy kitchens to join us with an overview of all things culinary at The Hollywood Bowl for the 2021 season.

One of our most reliable sources of accurate restaurant news in fabulous Las Vegas is Al Mancini, who is the former staff writer for The Las Vegas Review-Journal covering food, restaurants and other aspects of entertainment. After four and one-half years with the Review-Journal Al has now embarked on more personal entrepreneurial ventures covering the dynamic Vegas dining and beverage scene without filters. He has just launched the weekly podcast, “Food and Loathing” with Jason Harris. We’ll hear about the first two episodes (including the opening of the massive Resorts World on The Strip) and how the Vegas dining scene is recovering from the pandemic.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Chef Andrew gives us his insider’s perspective on how the restaurant business is bouncing back from the pandemic. He also reports on the progress of his new, ambitious “Save the Brave Burger” fundraiser to benefit Veterans with PTS.

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

Ericka Sanchez of Nibbles and Feasts

“Creator of the award-winning website Nibbles and Feasts, Ericka Sanchez delivers a refreshing take on Mexican drinks and popsicles, just in time for Summer in her new cookbook, Aguas Frescas & Paletas – Refreshing Mexican Beverages and Frozen Treats, Traditional and Reimagined. Aguas Frescas and Paletas highlights 40 amazing treats that use less sugar than the traditional recipes, and adds unique flavor twists into the mix alongside nostalgia-inducing classics.”

“Ranging from familiar flavors like horchata and lime to more unique combinations like Hibiscus & Spiced Orange, Mint Blackberry, and Avocado Coconut the recipes in Aguas Frescas & Paletas use refreshing, simple ingredients that can be found at your local supermarket.”

“Ericka Sanchez is a recipe developer, food stylist, and the creator of the award-winning culinary website nibblesandfeasts.com. Ericka’s cooking style is inspired by her life as a bicultural Latina living in California and her cherished memories in the kitchen with her grandmother and mother in Mexico. Ericka was born in Torreón Coahuila, Mexico, and immigrated with her family to El Paso, Texas, at eight years old.”

Ericka Sanchez joins us Mango & Chamoy Pop in hand.

Lindsay Starkman of the Stables Inn

“Inspired by the timeless charm of horses, riders, and traditional whitewashed stables, Paso Robles’ The Stables Inn, a celebration of the great outdoors, is a totally renovated 19-room hotel located three short blocks from Paso Robles historic Downtown City Park and town center where shops, restaurants and tasting rooms abound.”

“Featuring modern, stylish and unpretentious accommodations with touches of Western chic, The Stables Inn is the perfect spot to call home as you enjoy and explore all that the Paso Robles AVA has to offer.”

Hotel Manager Lindsey Sparkman is graciously at our service.

Caroline Styne of Lucques Restaurant Group

Chef Suzanne Goin and business partner Caroline Styne, owners and operators of The Lucques Group, debuted the long-in-the-works A.O.C. Brentwood early last month. Located at 11648 San Vicente Boulevard in Brentwood, the restaurant features the small plates format that A.O.C. originated with Suzanne’s regularly changing menu inspired by California’s seasons and regional farmers’ markets which helped her win the coveted Outstanding Chef Award from the James Beard Foundation in 2016.”

“Caroline, who similarly won Outstanding Restaurateur in 2018, curates the wine program for which A.O.C. is known. Designed for discovery and exploration, the A.O.C. wine list highlights small-production wines from grapes that are either sustainably, organically or biodynamically grown and features a large selection available by the glass and carafe. The beverage program features local beer producers and a seasonal selection of market-driven cocktails.

“The decor encompasses three interior dining spaces: the main bar room with cozy velvet booths and banquettes, a long rough-hewn communal table and a spectacular charcoal wood back bar with mirror detail. A second dining room in gorgeous hues of green runs along the Darlington Avenue side of the building. And with an eye to the post-Covid future, there is an intimate private dining room perfect for gatherings of up to 40 guests. The rooms are vibrant and cozy with beautifully textured fabrics, lively yet sophisticated wallpapers and charming Nickey-Kehoe-designed lighting throughout.”

“We are incredibly excited about this as we have seen such positive response to A.O.C. at our Third Street location and feel that there is definitely a need for our small plates dining format on the Westside,” states Caroline Styne. “After the devastation and tragedy of the past year, we are beyond thrilled to reopen this restaurant with a new concept and lively, forward-looking energy. We feel so fortunate to have this moment to build on the positivity of the city and country as it comes back to life. And, more than anything, we can’t wait to get our staff back to work!”

“A.O.C. in Brentwood is now serving dinner Tuesday through Sunday from 5:00 p.m., expanding to lunch, weekend brunch and breakfast in the coming weeks with takeout and delivery options as well.”

Suzanne Goin of the LLucques Group

“The Hollywood Bowl’s signature culinary program is again brought to life by James Beard Award-Winning Chef Suzanne Goin and James Beard Award-Winning Restauranteur Caroline Styne (of celebrated local restaurants A.O.C., The Larder Baking Co. and Lucques Catering.) All of The Hollywood Bowl’s dining options have been updated to ensure the safety of all guests and employees. The employees are health screened before starting work, personal protective equipment is worn, sanitation measures have been amplified, and social distancing is required.”

“Supper in Your Seats” is where Bowl guests order ahead for complete, 3-course meals from Suzanne Goin’s summer supper menus and Caroline Styne’s extensive wine list, served right at the guest’s box seats.

“Let the Hollywood Bowl pack your picnic for you! Pre-order to enjoy Chef Suzanne’s picnic-perfect menus featuring delicious options for anyone’s palette. Pick up pre-ordered Picnic Boxes in the Plaza Marketplace then enjoy at one of the Bowl’s beautiful picnic areas or at your seats.”

The Hollywood Bowl’s on-site marketplaces feature a wide selection of options to build the perfect picnic, including beer and wine. Marketplace entrances are monitored to allow for a safe experience inside.

“Inspired by Chef Suzanne’s and Caroline’s local A.O.C restaurants. Ann’s Wine Bar features a wide selection of Caroline Styne’s favorite new- and old-world wines to be explored by adventurous and less experienced wine drinkers alike, all paired with Suzanne Goin’s signature small-plates menu. Guests are encouraged to make a reservation, as walk-in space is very limited.”

Lucques at the Circle is the exclusive, fine-dining experience for subscribers of the Pool Circle, with a seasonal made-to-order menu and exceptional wine list styled from Suzanne Goin’s and Caroline Styne’s award-winning restaurant, Lucques in West Hollywood (now closed.)”

Chef Suzanne Goin takes a break from her busy kitchens to join us with an overview of all things culinary at The Hollywood Bowl for the 2021 season.

Al Mancini of the Las Vegas Review Journal

One of our most reliable sources of accurate restaurant news in fabulous Las Vegas is Al Mancini, who is the former staff writer for The Las Vegas Review-Journal covering food, restaurants and other aspects of entertainment. After four and one-half years with the Review-Journal Al has now embarked on more personal entrepreneurial ventures covering (without filters) the dynamic Vegas dining and beverage scene. He has just launched the weekly podcast, Food and Loathing with Jason Harris. We’ll hear about the first two episodes (including the opening of the massive Resorts World on The Strip) and how the Vegas dining scene is recovering from the pandemic.

Al has been working the Vegas food scene for 20 years. He was one of the creators of the popular, and widely referenced, Eating Las Vegas restaurant guidebook series. Al joins us with his insider’s Las Vegas update.

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

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern.

Chef Andrew gives us his insider’s perspective on how the restaurant business is bouncing back from the pandemic. What will change?

He also reports on the progress of his new ambitious Save the Brave Burger” fundraiser to benefit Veterans with PTS.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Ericka Sanchez with Aguas Frescas & Paletas
Segment Three: Lindsey Sparkman, Hotel Manager, Stables Inn, Paso Robles, CA
Segment Four: Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group, A.O.C. Brentwood
Segment Five: Chef Suzanne Goin, The Lucques Group, Hollywood Bowl 2021 Part One
Segment Six: Chef Suzanne Goin, The Lucques Group, Hollywood Bowl 2021 Part Two
Segment Seven: Al Mancini, Food & Entertainment Journalist, “Food and Loathing” Podcast, Las Vegas
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

June 26: Anne Marie Panoringan, Dr. Shica’s Bakery, Chef Christopher Christian

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anne Marie Panoringan, Food Columnist, Voice of OC Part One
Segment Three: Anne Marie Panoringan, Food Columnist, Voice of OC Part Two
Segment Four: Dr. Shica Little, Dr. Shica’s Bakery, Westfield Culver City Part One
Segment Five: Dr. Shica Little, Dr. Shica’s Bakery, Westfield Culver City Part Two
Segment Six: Chef Christopher Christian, formerly VP of Culinary Operations, Fox Restaurant Concepts, Phoenix Part One
Segment Seven: Chef Christopher Christian, formerly VP of Culinary Operations, Fox Restaurant Concepts, Phoenix Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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

Anne Marie Panoringan is Voice of OC’s well-informed food columnist. She reports industry news, current events and trends. Panoringan’s prior efforts includes writing about food for 8 years at the OC Weekly in which she interviewed more than 330 chefs, restauranteurs and industry professionals for her weekly “On the Line” column. Anne Marie joins us to talk about her recent visit to Disneyland and Catal Restaurant located at Downtown Disney focusing on the food. Plus a sneak peak at the newly opened Mah Jong’s by Chef Mike (Doctulero) at the Collage Culinary Experience at South Coast Plaza. We’ll also get a preview of Anne Marie’s next column which publishes Monday, June 28th. Among other items of note Anne Marie talks about what the impact is to a restaurant if the highly publicized opening executive chef later moves on.

“Dr. Shica Little, known to many as “Southern Sweet Maker to the Stars” as she channels her love of baking and her Southern upbringing into her signature Southern sweets and custom creations, is now showcasing her Southern hospitality at her first official Dr. Shica’s Bakery retail bakerylocation at Westfield Culver City which opened last month. Her irresistible treats are brownies, cookies, cakes and custom creations.” Dr. Shica joins us whisk securely in hand.

Fox Restaurant Concepts based in Phoenix was founded by noted restaurateur Sam Fox in 1998. Chef Christopher Christian was the first employee of Fox Restaurants Concepts and in his long tenure there (22 years) was involved in developing some 17 successful and high-profile restaurant concepts. Best known to diners in Southern California are North Italia, Flower Child, True Food Kitchen and The Henry. Chef Christian retired from Fox Restaurant Concepts in late 2019 as Vice President of Culinary Operations after the company was acquired by Calabasas Hills headquartered, The Cheesecake Factory. Chef Christopher Christian is our guest to discuss the magic of how you create, maintain and expand unique restaurant concepts that retain local character without feeling impersonally corporate.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Americans are enjoying more & more seafood as part of their diet. Where is the majority of the seafood coming from? What you should know about farm-raised fish and seafood as an informed consumer? Chef Andrew is our always reliable source.

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

Food Journalist Anne Marie Panoringan

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

Anne Marie joins us to talk about her recent visit to Disneyland and Catal Restaurant located at Downtown Disney focusing on the food. Also a look at the upcoming Artisan in Fountain Valley, a collaboration between 7 Leaves Café and Tarit Tanjasari’s Crema Bakery. Plus a sneak peak at the newly opened Mah Jong’s by Chef Mike (Doctulero) at the Collage Culinary Experience at South Coast Plaza.

For the finale we’ll get a preview of Anne Marie’s next column which publishes Monday, June 28th. Among other items of note Anne Marie talks about what the impact is to a restaurant if the highly publicized opening executive chef moves on.

Doctor Shica Little of Dr Shica's Bakery

Dr. Shica Little, known to many as “Southern Sweet Maker to the Stars” as she channels her love of baking and her Southern upbringing into her signature Southern sweets and custom creations, is now showcasing her Southern hospitality at her first official Dr. Shica’s Bakery retail bakery location at Westfield Culver City which opened last month. Her irresistible treats are brownies, cookies, cakes and custom creations.”

“Dr. Shica has always enjoyed her small bakery business as a fun side project in hopes that one day it would grow beyond her home kitchen. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March of 2020, Dr. Shica, a Doctor of Education and college professor in the educational services industry was laid off from her corporate job and she knew right then that it was time to turn her dream into a reality, so she created Dr. Shica’s Bakery online in Los Angeles.”

“Delivering comfort in a Bakery Box became Dr. Shica’s sole mission as everyone was trying their best to adjust to life in lockdown. Dr. Shica also discovered that growing a small business during a pandemic is chock-full of challenges and Dr Shica’s Bakery was faced with operational restrictions, slow supply lines, and a customer base with a much less disposable income, but Dr. Shica and her small team continued to push forward to overcome these challenges and they continued to deliver her delicious Southern sweets all-across the country during a most challenging time.”

“This past year Dr. Shica started selling her Red Velvet Cake (her mom’s special recipe) and her Brownies at a pop-up shop in a soul food restaurant on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. This gained the attention of several Hollywood executives who instantly became huge fans of Dr. Shica’s Desserts, especially her brownies, giving them their name: Almost Famous Brownies. Word started spreading quickly and Dr. Shica began delivering her Bakery Boxes all over the city.”

“She then got a call from Oprah Magazine as they had heard about her desserts and Oprah and Gayle loved her cookies, and Dr. Shica’s Bakery was in the top three on Oprah’s Favorite Things out of 15,000 entries. She was then featured as a Black small business owner on GMA, and her Gourmet Dessert Boxes were featured on Tory Johnson’s ‘Deals and Steals, bringing a tremendous amount of visibility and recognition to Dr. Shica’s Bakery just after its inception.”

“Dr. Shica’s Bakery creates gourmet, Southern-style desserts using only the freshest premium ingredients. Dr. Shica also knew she wanted to expand her baked goods to meet the growing demand for vegan treats, so she developed and is introducing a new line of mouth-watering, plant-based Vegan Desserts that satisfy those sweet cravings and allow her plant-based customers to maintain their vegan lifestyles all while continuing to indulge and enjoy.”

“Reinventing her family’s recipes, Dr. Shica brings old favorites into the modern era featuring desserts with the taste of home and the sophistication of a gourmet bakery, including Signature Sweets such as Dr. Shica’s CookiesSprinkle Delight, Hot Chocolate, Gigi’s Chocolate Chip, Vegan Chocolate Chunk, Lemon Drop, Red Velvet; CakeDebra’s Red Velvet Cake; BrowniesAlmost Famous Brownies; full line of Vegan DessertsVegan Almost Famous Brownies, Vegan Cookies, Vegan Red Velvet Cake, and Signature Boxes including Dr. Shica’s Spring Gift Box, Gourmet Dessert Box, Vegan Gourmet Dessert Boxes, and Traditional and Vegan Birthday Boxes. Also, not to be missed are Dr. Shica’s Custom Creations as Dr. Shica’s Bakery will bring joy to any celebration and if you dream it, they will make it!”

Dr. Shica joins us with whisk in hand.

Fox Restaurant Concepts based in Phoenix was founded by noted restaurateur Sam Fox in 1998. Chef Christopher Christian was the first employee of Fox Restaurants concepts and in his long tenure there was involved in developing some 17 successful and high-profile restaurant concepts. “Each Fox Restaurant Concepts establishment is individually designed to provide guests with a one-of-a-kind dining experience that will leave a lasting impression.” Best known to diners in Southern California are North Italia, Flower Child, True Food Kitchen and The Henry.

Chef Christian retired from Fox Restaurant Concepts in late 2019 as Vice President of Culinary Operations after the company was acquired by Calabasas Hills headquartered The Cheesecake Factory. At the time of the completion of the sale North Italia alone operated 21 locations in nine states and Washington D.C.

Chef Christopher Christian is our guest to discuss the magic of how you create, maintain and expand unique and appealing restaurant concepts that retain local character without feeling impersonally corporate.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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

Americans are now enjoying more & more seafood as part of their diet. Where is the majority of the seafood coming from? What you should know about farm-raised fish and seafood as an informed consumer? Chef Andrew is our always reliable source.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anne Marie Panoringan, Food Columnist, Voice of OC Part One
Segment Three: Anne Marie Panoringan, Food Columnist, Voice of OC Part Two
Segment Four: Dr. Shica Little, Dr. Shica’s Bakery, Westfield Culver City Part One
Segment Five: Dr. Shica Little, Dr. Shica’s Bakery, Westfield Culver City Part Two
Segment Six: Chef Christopher Christian, formerly VP of Culinary Operations, Fox Restaurant Concepts, Phoenix Part One
Segment Seven: Chef Christopher Christian, formerly VP of Culinary Operations, Fox Restaurant Concepts, Phoenix Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

June 19: Lula Cocina Mexicana, Relish Culinary Adventures, Knife Pleat, Angels Baseball Dining

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur and Chef Geraldine Gilliland, Lula Cocina Mexicana, Santa Monica
Segment Three: Donna del Rey, Proprietress, Relish Culinary Adventures, Healdsburg
Segment Four: Chef Tony Esnault and Restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi, Knife Pleat, South Coast Plaza Part One
Segment Five: Chef Tony Esnault and Restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi, Knife Pleat, South Coast Plaza Part Two
Segment Six: Legends Hospitality at Angel Stadium with GM Eric Ursua and Chef Omar Almaraz Part One
Segment Seven: Legends Hospitality at Angel Stadium with GM Eric Ursua and Chef Omar Almaraz Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Happy Father’s Day to all our deserving Dads!

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

Chef Geraldine Gilliland, dog lover, animal activist, Chef, and owner of Lula Cocina Mexicana in Santa Monica is celebrating Lula’s 30th anniversary this year on the evening of Friday, July 2nd. Geraldine’s lifelong love affair with Mexican cuisine culminated in 2019 with the publication of “The Lula Cookbook”, a collection of her favorite recipes in traditional Mexican cuisine and modern interpretations of classics, and of course some original dishes as well. Witty and charming with a commonsense approach to cooking, Geraldine takes the reader through a few of her favorite recipes in each section of the book and, along the way, explains tips, tricks, and short cuts the modern home Cook can employ in their own kitchen to execute some of these dishes as well as improvise and put a personal spin on the dishes. We’ll meet her.

“Healdsburg, CA-based Relish Culinary Adventures (established in 2003) stands out as the only culinary program that brings together talented chefs and fabulous cuisine at a variety of captivating rural locations, including the beautiful Relish Culinary Center, to create one-of-a-kind authentic cooking classes, culinary tours and catering services.” Founder Donna del Rey is out guest.

Knife Pleat in South Coast Plaza’s Penthouse, Level 3, was one of the most eagerly anticipated restaurant launches of 2019. It’s an elegant and approachable French restaurant helmed by Michelin-starred chef Tony Esnault and restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi, who are well-known from the Los Angeles culinary scene with Church & State and Spring. The couple’s chic restaurant showcases modern, seasonal interpretations of classic French techniques by Esnault, one of California’s best French chefs. On Friday evenings Knife Pleat now features Chef Tony’s imaginative, changing Tasting Menus ending with a sweet sensation from Pastry Chef Germain Biotteau. We’ll meet the dynamic couple of both Chef Tony & Restaurateur Yassmin.

Omar Almaraz is the Chef for Legends Hospitality here at Angel Stadium. Chef Omar is with us in-studio along with his General Manager, Eric Ursua, to highlight what’s new in Angel Stadium food and beverage for the 2021 season. We’ll also talk about Halo merchandise highlights. Chef Omar is particularly proud of the Big A Burger which is a luxe burger creation as well as a destination food outlet. A second location was added for this season. Joining Chef Omar is his General Manager, Eric Ursua.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Americans are enjoying more & more seafood as part of their diet. Where is the majority of the seafood coming from? What you should know about farm-raised fish and seafood? Chef Andrew is our informed source.

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

Geraldine Gilliland

Chef Geraldine Gilliland, dog lover, animal activist, Chef, and owner of Lula Cocina Mexicana in Santa Monica is celebrating Lula’s 30th anniversary this year on the evening of July 2nd. Geraldine’s lifelong love affair with Mexican cuisine culminated in 2019 with the publication of “The Lula Cookbook”, a collection of her favorite recipes in traditional Mexican cuisine and modern interpretations of classics, and of course some original dishes as well. Witty and charming with a commonsense approach to cooking, Geraldine takes the reader through a few of her favorite recipes in each section of the book and explains tips, tricks, and short cuts the modern home Cook can employ in their own kitchen to execute some of these dishes as well as improvise and put a personal spin on the dishes.

“Being originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, and from a family of plain home cooking, it’s safe to say Geraldine entered a whole new world with Lula. It’s been a wonderful journey. Her love of Mexican cuisine started when one of the cooks at her original Gilliland’s Café would cook their own meals. That is what first attracted her to the flair and flavors of traditional Mexican cuisine.”

“One day, as Geraldine was casually flipping through the latest edition of Bon Appétit magazine, she stumbled upon an article that profiled the best female Mexican chefs of the time, including Lula Bertran. So, she called up the editor and asked her which of these chefs she would recommend to teach her true Mexican cooking. Without missing a beat, she told her to call Lula. The rest (as they say) is history!”

Geraldine joins us with a house Margarita in hand.

Donna Del Rey of Relish Culinary Adventures

“Healdsburg-based Relish Culinary Adventures stands out as the only culinary program that brings together talented chefs and fabulous cuisine at a variety of captivating rural locations, including the beautiful Relish Culinary Center, to create one-of-a-kind authentic cooking classes, culinary tours and catering services.”

“Based in Healdsburg, California, in the heart of the Sonoma County wine country, Relish offers culinary events on a wide range of topics from wine country cuisine to ethnic specialties, DIY canning to children’s cooking workshops, cheese making to wild mushroom foraging. In addition, Relish hosts activities that bring people together in the kitchen, such as private cooking parties and corporate team-building events. Guests learn about the bounty of this wonderful region and experience a “sense of place”that is all about Sonoma County.”

“Founder Donna del Rey created Relish Culinary Adventures in 2003 to share the flavors and personalities of Sonoma County with others. After more than two decades in various marketing and business development roles for an industry-leading scientific tech company, a move to Sonoma County with its bounty of amazing foods and makers solidified her desire to transition to the culinary world. Donna is not a professional chef; she sees herself as an adventurous learner eager to create and share memorable food experiences.”

“A Relish event is so much more than a cooking class,” says Donna. “We combine amazing Sonoma County ingredients, talented and engaging wine country makers, and unique rural locations to create convivial culinary adventures that, hopefully, inspire guests to create great food in their own kitchens.””

Donna del Rey joins us.

Tony Esnault and Yassmin Sarmadi of Knife Pleat

Knife Pleat in South Coast Plaza’s Penthouse, Level 3, was one of the most eagerly anticipated restaurant launches of 2019. It’s an elegant and approachable French restaurant helmed by Michelin-starred chef Tony Esnault and restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi, who are well-known from the Los Angeles culinary scene with Church & State and Spring. The couple’s chic restaurant showcases modern, seasonal interpretations of classic French techniques by Esnault, one of California’s best French chefs.”

On Friday evenings Knife Pleat features Chef Tony’s imaginative, changing Tasting Menus ending with a sweet sensation from Pastry Chef Germain Biotteau. The current Tasting Menu is Knife Pleat’s appreciation of Spring and its abundance of produce encompassed in a 6-course menu. The elegant current Friday repast starts with Squash Carpaccio and concludes with a Poached Apricot with Honey Semifredo and Rosemary Crumble.

“The cuisine is set in a dramatic 5,000-square-foot space that has 80 seats and two dining areas – an airy dining room wrapped with floor-to-ceiling translucent windows and a plein air patio accented with greenery. A seven-seat bar provides views of the striking exhibition kitchen where Esnault and his team can be observed in action. The refined architecture and interiors by Johnson Fain – in collaboration with Sarmadi and Esnault – is decidedly understated, with a high fashion aesthetic and a soft palette.”

We’ll meet the dynamic couple of both Chef Tony & Restaurateur Yassmin.

Omar Almaraz is the Chef for Legends Hospitality here at Angel Stadium. Chef Omar is with us in-studio along with his General Manager, Eric Ursua, to highlight what’s new in Angel Stadium food and beverage for the 2021 season. We’ll also talk about collectible Halo merchandise highlights. Chef Omar is particularly proud of the Big A Burger which is a luxe burger creation as well as a destination food outlet. A second location was added for this season as a result of its popularity.

Beer on tap is back at Angel Stadium. A great destination is the Saint Archer Brewery. They test limited production craft beers at Angel Stadium for stadium guests. Also known for the Saint Archer Pretzel.

A tempting variety of sweet goodies are a signature at Angel Stadium. The treats are unusually freshly baked in-house.

Joining Chef Omar is his General Manager, Eric Ursua.

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style Pizza

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery.

Americans are enjoying more & more fresh seafood as part of their regular diet. Where is the majority of the seafood actually coming from? Also what you should know about farm-raised fish and seafood. Chef Andrew, as always, is our well-informed source.

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

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur and Chef Geraldine Gilliland, Lula Cocina Mexicana, Santa Monica
Segment Three: Donna del Rey, Proprietress, Relish Culinary Adventures, Healdsburg
Segment Four: Chef Tony Esnault and Restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi, Knife Pleat, South Coast Plaza Part One
Segment Five: Chef Tony Esnault and Restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi, Knife Pleat, South Coast Plaza Part Two
Segment Six: Legends Hospitality at Angel Stadium with GM Eric Ursua and Chef Omar Almaraz Part One
Segment Seven: Legends Hospitality at Angel Stadium with GM Eric Ursua and Chef Omar Almaraz Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

June 12: Los Arboles Hotel, Bosscat Kitchen and Libations, Providence’s 16th Anniversary

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur and Hotelier Karina Castaneda, Los Arboles Hotel & El Mirasol Restaurants Part One
Segment Three: Restaurateur and Hotelier Karina Castaneda, Los Arboles Hotel & El Mirasol Restaurants Part Two
Segment Four: Bosscat Kitchen and Libations, Orange, Houston, TX and Newport Beach Part One
Segment Five: Bosscat Kitchen and Libations, Orange, Houston, TX and Newport Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Donato Poto, Partner, Providence, Hollywood Part One
Segment Seven: Donato Poto, Partner, Providence, Hollywood Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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

Hotelier and restaurateur Karina Castenda represents the 2nd generation of the founding family who owns Los Arboles Hotel (a Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotel) and the pair of El Mirasol Mexican restaurants. The original (and still operating) El Mirasol opened in 1985. The 2nd El Mirasol restaurant (North) is located adjacent to Los Arboles Hotel. El Mirasol makes their hot-off-the-grill corn tortillas on-site and is known for their wide variety of potent Margaritas. The signature Guacamole is prepared from chunks of fresh Haas avocado hand-blended with chopped tomatoes, scallions and cilantro.

Orange County restaurateurs Leslie Nguyen and John Reed (owners of Bosscat Kitchen and Libations) launched their third location this March on the corner of Chapman Avenue and Olive Street in Old Towne Orange at the previous Rod’s Liquor location, a 100- year old building.

“The 5,000 sq. ft. result is a beautifully modern space that is as authentic and nostalgic to Old Towne Orange as it is bold and eye-catching to fit Bosscat Kitchen’s brand. “Bosscat Kitchen & Libations creatively meshes upscale and casual dining with an expansive whiskey selection and unique menu of American comfort food. The high energy, open-spaced concept promotes a lively experience at all three locations. Their brick, metal, dark wood and whiskey barrel decor suits its comfort menu.”

For 16 years, Providence in Hollywood has elevated the standard of modern American seafood restaurants with exemplary service. Newly reopened for dine-in guests can again experience Chef Michael Cimarusti’s award-winning cuisine in the heart of Los Angeles, welcomed by one of L.A.’s legendary hosts, co-owner Donato Poto. Restaurateur Donato Poto is with us to reminisce, celebrate the 16th Anniversary and look to the future.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Now that guests are finally able to return to full-service restaurants in greater numbers maintaining civility is important. How far should it escalate with a problem guest before Management lets a customer know that their bad behavior won’t be tolerated? We’ll ask Chef Andrew.

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

Karina Castenda of Los Arboles Hotel

Hotelier and restaurateur Karina Castenda represents the 2nd generation of the founding family who owns Los Arboles Hotel (a Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotel) and the pair of El Mirasol Mexican restaurants. The original (and still operating) El Mirasol opened in 1985. The 2nd El Mirasol restaurant (North) with a spacious patio is located adjacent to Los Arboles Hotel.

El Mirasol makes their corn tortillas on-site and is known for their wide variety of potent Margaritas. The signature Guacamole is prepared from chunks of fresh Haas avocado hand-blended with chopped tomatoes, scallions and cilantro. The El Mirasol restaurants are closed on Monday & Tuesday.

“A charming, historic boutique Palm Springs resort and home to the iconic El Mirasol Mexican Restaurant and bar, Los Arboles Hotel features 21 well-appointed rooms, heated pool, Jacuzzi, room service and is located walking distance from downtown shopping, dining, and nightlife.”

Karina Castenada joins us with a classic De La Casa Margarita in hand.

John Reed and Leslie Nguyen of Bosscat Kitchen and Libations

Orange County restaurateurs Leslie Nguyen and John Reed (owners of Bosscat Kitchen and Libations) launched their third location this March on the corner of Chapman Avenue and Olive Street in Old Towne Orange at the previous Rod’s Liquor location, a 100-year old building..

“The 5,000 sq. ft. result is a beautifully modern space that is as authentic and nostalgic to Old Towne Orange as it is bold and eye-catching to fit Bosscat Kitchen’s brand. Leslie Nguyen, Chief Designer, has drawn her inspiration from the century old pre-prohibition style building, making certain every detail is on brand for Bosscat’s rustic industrial aesthetic but also throwing back to the auto repair shop and the beloved neighborhood liquor store that had decades of commerce and stories before it.”

“Bosscat Kitchen & Libations creatively meshes upscale and casual dining with an expansive whiskey selection and unique menu of American comfort food. The high energy, open-spaced concept promotes a lively experience at all locations: Newport Beach, CA and Houston, TX (with the third location newly opened in Orange, CA on March 17th). Their brick, metal, dark wood and whiskey barrel decor suits its comfort menu.”

“One of the restaurant’s most coveted attractions is the famous whiskey room that houses hundreds of whiskies from several countries (including: Scotland, Ireland, Japan, Canada and the US). Bosscat Kitchen’s Executive Chef, Peter Petro, cultivates new ideas with seasonal produce, meats and spices.”

Bosscat Kitchens’ Leslie Nguyen and John Reed join us.

Donato Poto of Providence plus Connie and Ted's

For 16 years, Providence in Hollywood has elevated the standard of modern American seafood restaurants with exemplary service. Newly reopened for dine-in guests can again experience Chef Michael Cimarusti’s award-winning cuisine in the heart of Los Angeles, welcomed by one of L.A.’s legendary hosts, co-owner Donato Poto.

“Chef Cimarusti is completely dedicated to procuring the finest sustainable seafood—from regional coasts and international waters—and treats those ingredients with uncompromising respect and sophisticated technique. “First and foremost, what guides us here is sustainability,” Cimarusti says. “We use only wild-caught, sustainable products, mostly from American waters, and look to highlight their finest qualities.””

Providence is newly reopened for Dinner only, serving Tuesday through Saturday. Providence offers a single, extravagant multi-course tasting menu nightly. (Vegetarian and Pescatarian options are available.)

Restaurateur Donato Poto is with us to reminisce, celebrate the 16th Anniversary and look to the future.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery.

Now that guests are finally able to return to full-service restaurants in greater numbers maintaining civility between guests and staff is important. How far should it escalate with a problem guest before Management lets a customer know that their over-the-top, bad behavior simply won’t be tolerated? We’ll ask Chef Andrew.

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

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur and Hotelier Karina Castaneda, Los Arboles Hotel & El Mirasol Restaurants Part One
Segment Three: Restaurateur and Hotelier Karina Castaneda, Los Arboles Hotel & El Mirasol Restaurants Part Two
Segment Four: Bosscat Kitchen and Libations, Orange, Houston, TX and Newport Beach Part One
Segment Five: Bosscat Kitchen and Libations, Orange, Houston, TX and Newport Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Donato Poto, Partner, Providence, Hollywood Part One
Segment Seven: Donato Poto, Partner, Providence, Hollywood Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

June 5: Aqua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage, Smith-Madrone Winery, Farm Palm Springs, Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Sous Chef Patrick Contreras, Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage
Segment Three: Stuart Smith, Founder, Smith-Madrone Vineyards & Winery, Spring Mountain, Napa Valley
Segment Four: Liz Ostoich, Owner, Farm, La Plaza, Palm Springs Part One
Segment Five: Liz Ostoich, Owner, Farm, La Plaza, Palm Springs Part Two
Segment Six: Alex Adler, Co-Founder, Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar Part One
Segment Seven: Alex Adler, Co-Founder, Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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

Last week we spoke with Executive Chef Kenneth Williams who oversees the diverse dining options at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage. We’re now picking up the appetizing conversation with Chef Ken’s Executive Sous Chef, Patrick Contreras. We’re concentrating on the casual, full-service Waters Café serving Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Happy Hour, and The District (fast casual service,) offering an array of tasty regional cuisines from Mexican (La Olla Mexican Cuisine) to a selection of Asian (Jade Asian Cuisine) and delicatessen foods (ACE Deli.)

Brothers Stuart and Charles Smith are the vineyard managers and winemakers of Smith-Madrone Winery located on Spring Mountain in the Napa Valley. Smith-Madrone celebrated their 50th Anniversary on May 14th. They are known for outstanding Riesling, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. The name for the winery came as a tribute to the Smith brothers who pursued their dream and to the Madrone trees which distinguish the property.” Founder Stuart Smith joins us with a glass of Smith-Madrone 2017 Riesling in hand.

FARM is a traditional Provencial-style restaurant in downtown Palm Springs in the historic Plaza, tucked away from traffic. The culinary team has taken care to create a menu comprised of traditional European dishes, brimming with locally sourced produce and artisanal meats. In true Provencial-style, the weekly changing prix fixe dinner menu (available Friday through Tuesday) is served at a relaxed pace so you may enjoy your evening at Farm. It’s three courses (with selections in each course) plus an Amuse Bouche and a refreshing Palate Cleanser presented before the Entree. Reservations are needed for Dinner. Breakfast and Lunch with an a la carte menu is walk-in. Proprietress Liz Ostoich is our guest.

“Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar launched its third Orange County location in late April at Huntington Beach’s Bella Terra Center. As the largest of the O.C. locations at 7,600 square feet, Puesto Bella Terra reflects the coastal community that it has joined by adopting elements of Huntington Beach culture in its design, with organic forms, raw materials, and earth tones of the Puesto color wheel.”

“Puesto is known for its tacos made from handmade, non-GMO, organic blue corn stone-ground tortillas, organic jidori chicken, sustainable meats, Baja and local line caught seafood, local produce and scratch salsas. Guests are encouraged to mix and match from an array of tacos.”

Co-Founder Alex Adler join us.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Chef Andrew just returned from Texas on his annual Texas BBQ tasting road tour. What distinguishes BBQ in the Lone Star State? Chef Andrew points us in the right direction.

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

Patrick Contreras at 360 Sports inside of Agua Caliente Rancho Mirage

Last week we spoke with Executive Chef Kenneth Williams who oversees the diverse dining options at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage. We’re picking up the conversation with Chef Ken’s Executive Sous Chef, Patrick Contreras. Now we’re concentrating on the casual, full-service Waters Café serving Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Happy Hour, and The District (fast casual service,) offering an array of regional cuisines from Mexican (La Olla Mexican Cuisine) to a selection of Asian (Jade Asian Cuisine) and delicatessen foods (ACE Deli.)

Stuart Smith of Smith Madrone Winery

Brothers Stuart and Charles Smith are the vineyard managers and winemakers of Smith-Madrone Winery located on Spring Mountain in the Napa Valley. Smith-Madrone celebrated their 50th Anniversary on May 14th. The name for the winery came as a tribute to the Smith brothers who pursued their dream and to the Madrone trees which distinguish the property.”

“In May 1971, with a partnership of family and friends, Stuart Smith bought the ‘terroir’ which today is Smith-Madrone Vineyards & Winery. He was 22 years old and had just received his B.A. in Economics from UC Berkeley and was taking classes towards his Master’s in Viticulture at UC Davis. In trying to find land to plant vineyard in the Napa Valley, through a family friend he explored a forest on the remotest and highest part of Spring Mountain and discovered that the land had been a vineyard in the 1880s and in fact had been part of the wagon trail route between Napa and Santa Rosa.”

“Smith-Madrone’s current releases are the 2017 Chardonnay, 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2017 Riesling, 2016 Cook’s Flat Reserve and in very limited availability, magnums of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cook’s Flat Reserve.”

Founder Stuart Smith is our guest to gently pull the cork on Smith-Madrone for us.

Liz Ostoich of Farm and Tac/Quila in Palm Springs

FARM (reconceived in 2016 under new ownership) is a traditional Provencial-style restaurant in downtown Palm Springs in the historic Plaza, tucked away from traffic. The culinary team has taken care to create a menu comprised of traditional European dishes, brimming with locally sourced produce and artisanal meats. In true Provencial-style, the weekly changing prix fixe dinner menu (available Friday through Tuesday) is served at a relaxed pace so you may enjoy your evening at Farm.” It’s three courses (with selections in each course) plus an Amuse Bouche and a refreshing Palate Cleanser presented before the Entree. Reservations are needed for Dinner.

Breakfast and Lunch with an a la care menu are offered daily on a walk-in basis. Think an extensive selection of Sweet & Savory Crepes, Omelettes, Brioche French Toast, Greenery and Sandwiches.

“The experience at Farm is like being transported to the South of France. When you come and dine with us, you can expect an extraordinary sensory experience; from our garden-like patio seating, our beautiful bouquet of floral landscaping, to our incredible authentic menu comprised of the freshest ingredients, you will be wowed at every turn.”

“Enjoy a meal on our patio and take in the ambiance of being out of the city. We prepare all our items as you order. No freezers, no microwave, and our kitchen staff works hard to prepare each dish with the utmost care!”

Owner Liz Ostoich joins us.

Alex Adler of Puesto

Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar launched its third Orange County location in late April at Huntington Beach’s Bella Terra Center. As the largest of the O.C. locations at 7,600 square feet, Puesto Bella Terra reflects the coastal community that it has joined by adopting elements of Huntington Beach culture in its design, with organic forms, raw materials, and earth tones of the Puesto color wheel.”

“Despite being a very challenging year for restaurants, in general, we’ve been overwhelmed by the support that the Orange County community has shown Puesto – so much so, that is has only gotten us more energized and excited to bring the community this beautiful location in the Bella Terra Center,” says Eric Adler, Tacoteur and Co-Founder of Puesto. “This will be our largest location, with extensive indoor and open-air seating and many unique features that provide a one of a kind experience for guests to enjoy.”

“Puesto is known for its tacos made from handmade, non-GMO, organic blue corn stone-ground tortillas, organic jidori chicken, sustainable meats, Baja and local line caught seafood, local produce and scratch salsas. Guests are encouraged to mix and match from an array of tacos, including Filet Mignon (crispy melted cheese, avocado, spicy pistachio serrano salsa), Chicken al Pastor (crispy melted cheese, braised Jidori chicken, hibiscus & chipotle tinga, avocado, piña habanero pico), vegetarian options such as Verduras (crispy melted cheese, rajas, tatume squash, papas, corn& tomato, nopales, avocado, jalapeño, zucchini blossom) and Mushroom (crispy melted cheese, garlic braised seasonal mushrooms, pickled onions, stone fruit serrano salsa, hearts on fire). In addition to tacos, fresh ceviches and enchiladas highlight the menu.”

“Puesto is family-owned and operated by brothers Eric, Alan and Alex Adler, their cousins Isidoro and Moy Lombrozo alongside Executive Chef Luisteen Gonzalez, a Mexico City native who accredits his passion for food to his grandmother and his fisherman father. The owners, first generation Mexican Americans, have been immersed in authentic, Mexican cooking since birth. While traveling around the United States, they became captivated by the local cuisine in each city, and how it reflected its people and culture. The family was inspired to bring their Mexican roots to the SoCal area, thus Puesto is a combination of authentic Mexican flavors and Southern California’s fresh, local ingredients.”

Tacos (blue corn tortilla shells) in hand we’re joined by Puesto’s Alex Adler.

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

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery.

Chef Andrew just returned from Texas on his annual Texas BBQ tasting road tour. What distinguishes BBQ in the Lone Star State? Chef Andrew points us in the right direction. We’re picking this up from last week when we, unfortunately, lost Chef Andrew on his cell phone.

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

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Sous Chef Patrick Contreras, Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage
Segment Three: Stuart Smith, Founder, Smith-Madrone Vineyards & Winery, Spring Mountain, Napa Valley
Segment Four: Liz Ostoich, Owner, Farm, La Plaza, Palm Springs Part One
Segment Five: Liz Ostoich, Owner, Farm, La Plaza, Palm Springs Part Two
Segment Six: Alex Adler, Co-Founder, Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar Part One
Segment Seven: Alex Adler, Co-Founder, Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

May 29: Agua Caliente Resort Rancho Mirage, Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery, Gasolina Cafe

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Kenneth Williams, Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage Part One
Segment Three: Executive Chef Kenneth Williams, Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage Part Two
Segment Four: Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, 50th Anniversary Part One
Segment Five: Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, 50th Anniversary Part Two
Segment Six: Chef /Proprietor Sandra Cordero, Gasolina Café, Woodland Hills Part One
Segment Seven: Chef /Proprietor Sandra Cordero, Gasolina Café, Woodland Hills Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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

“Executive Chef Kenneth Williams is an American Culinary Federation Certified Executive Chef and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York, Chef Ken brings a wealth of professional expertise to overseeing Agua Caliente Resort Rancho Mirage’s diverse dining options.” “Chef Ken believes in utilizing the best, highest quality products, and he considers it a part of his job to inspire and educate his culinary staff to produce delicious dining experiences on a consistent basis. His arrival at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage (in early 2019) coincided with the opening of 360 Sports, with its full-service dining and bar menu options, and the property’s new dining marketplace, The District, offering an array of regional cuisines from Mexican to a selection of Asian and delicatessen foods. These new eateries joined the existing, casual Waters Café, and the fine-dining flagship, The Steakhouse.” Chef Ken is our guest.

“2021 marks Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery’s 50th year (located on Howell Mountain in Napa Valley) and it is still family owned and operated. Founders Bob and Sue Brakesman’s three children, Heather, Brian, and Danny were all raised at Summit Lake and have worked hard to continue their parent’s legacy. Sue passed away in 2003 but you can still find Bob working hard repairing equipment and tending the vineyards. Brian has taken over the winemaking, Heather is the general manager and Danny caretakes the property. In addition to Zinfandel, Summit Lake Vineyards produces estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel Port, Petite Sirah, a red blend and rosé. All are named for Bob and Sue’s granddaughters; Emily Kestrel, Clair Riley, Sophia Lynn, and Blythe Susan and grandsons Ben and Shane.” Heather Griffin and Brian Brakesman join us to gently pull the cork on Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery.

Gasolina Café launched in 2015 on Ventura Blvd. in Woodland Hills under the direction of Chef/Proprietor Sandra Cordero. It’s Spanish influenced food with a fresh approach. The menu is seasonally driven and foodstuffs are sustainably raised and grown, and locally sourced. Gasolina Cafe always takes pride in honoring Chef Sandra’s Spanish heritage.” Newly opened for Dinner on Thursday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.” Open for Breakfast and Lunch on Wednesday through Sunday. Chef Sandra Cordero joins us paella pan in hand.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Chef Andrew is in Texas on his annual Texas BBQ tasting road tour. What distinguishes BBQ in the Lone Star State ? Chef Andrew will point us in the right direction.

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

Kenneth Williams of Aqua Caliente Resort Casino Spa

“Executive Chef Kenneth Williams is an American Culinary Federation Certified Executive Chef and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York, Chef Ken brings a wealth of professional expertise to overseeing Agua Caliente Resort Rancho Mirage’s diverse dining options. Early in his career, Chef Ken worked at the prestigious Four Seasons hotel luxury properties in Newport Beach and Beverly Hills, where he learned the essentials of five-star and five-diamond food service. He then was associated with Wolfgang Puck Catering, assisting in ultra-high-end catering events that included the Academy Awards Governor’s Ball.”

“Chef Ken has served as a progressive professional chef for corporate gaming, food management companies, and tribal gaming from Las Vegas to the mid-south and throughout California. In Las Vegas he worked in culinary operations on a large scale at Mirage Resorts and was involved in the opening of the Bellagio, a Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond property. Prior to joining Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage in February of 2019, Chef Ken was Executive Chef of theme park operations at Universal Studios Hollywood.”

“Chef Ken believes in utilizing the best, highest quality products, and he considers it a part of his job to inspire and educate his culinary staff to produce delicious dining experiences on a consistent basis. His arrival at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage (in early 2019) coincided with the opening of 360 Sports, with its full-service dining and bar menu options, and the property’s new dining marketplace, The District, offering an array of regional cuisines from Mexican to a selection of Asian and delicatessen foods. These new eateries joined the existing, casual Waters Café, and the fine-dining flagship, The Steakhouse.”

Chef Ken joins us tongs securely in hand.

Heather Griffin and Brian Brakesman of Summit Lake Vineyards

“2021 marks Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery’s 50th year (located on Howell Mountain in Napa Valley) and it is still family owned and operated. Founders Bob and Sue Brakesman’s three children, Heather, Brian, and Danny were all raised at Summit Lake and have worked hard to continue their parent’s legacy. Sue passed away in 2003 but you can still find Bob working hard repairing equipment and tending the vineyards. Brian has taken over the winemaking, Heather is the general manager and Danny caretakes the property.”

“In addition to Zinfandel, Summit Lake Vineyards produces estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel Port, Petite Sirah, a red blend and rosé. All are named for Bob and Sue’s granddaughters; Emily Kestrel, Clair Riley, Sophia Lynn, and Blythe Susan and grandsons Ben and Shane.”

“The story of Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery began some 50 years ago when Bob and Sue Brakesman, the original owners and operators, met at Jordan Junior High in Palo Alto, CA. In college Bob began brewing his own beer when a neighbor suggested he try “brewing” wine. After liberating some grapes from the surrounding areas and crushing fruit in open-top fermenters (new plastic garbage cans), their winemaking days had begun.”

“Post college Bob began to question if he wanted to be an engineer or to explore his growing passion for wine and winemaking. On Nov. 12, 1971 Bob put a deed to a property in Sue’s birthday card. It described 28 acres of land, eight planted in pre-Prohibition Zinfandel (their favorite varietal), fruit trees in the orchard, a chicken house, garage, redwood barn, and a house built in the 1880’s. Sue thought she was getting paradise!”

“On Christmas Eve, Bob and Sue packed up their lives and travelled to the new ranch. As they entered the gate and drove down the driveway, her heart sank. The deed had failed to mention the property had been abandoned for over 30 years, was completely overgrown and in disrepair. The next morning, they awoke to a fresh coat of snow which had transformed the place into a beautiful wonderland. They rolled up their sleeves and went to work on top of Howell Mountain in Napa Valley.”

“The gradual transformation and revitalization of Summit Lake couldn’t have taken place without the help of family, friends, and neighbors who rallied to help with planting, harvest, bottling and finally coming together to build a new winery in 1985.”

“In 1978 Summit Lake Vineyard’s first commercial release won the coveted double gold medal at the California State Fair. It sold out in just eight days. Summit Lake has 18 acres planted from which it now produces about 2,000 cases a year.”

Heather Griffin and Brian Brakesman join us to pull the cork on Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery.

Sandra Cordero

Gasolina Café launched in 2015 on Ventura Blvd. in Woodland Hills under the direction of Chef/Proprietor Sandra Cordero. It’s Spanish influenced food with a fresh approach. The menu is seasonally driven and ingredients are sustainably raised and grown, and locally sourced. Gasolina Cafe always takes pride in honoring Chef Sandra’s Spanish heritage.” Newly opened for Dinner on Thursday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.” Open for Breakfast and Lunch on Wednesday through Sunday.

“Gasolina Café is more than a physical space where you can get your belly fed, or your thirst quenched…For us, it’s an extension of a lifestyle as much as anything. In other words, we’re simply looking to be the best at what we do, have a damn good time doing it, and grow our merry band of friends along the way.”

Chef Sandra Cordero joins us paella pan in hand.

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style Pizza

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery.

Chef Andrew is in Texas on his annual Texas BBQ tasting road tour. What distinguishes BBQ in the Lone Star State? Chef Andrew will point us in the right direction.

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

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Kenneth Williams, Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage Part One
Segment Three: Executive Chef Kenneth Williams, Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage Part Two
Segment Four: Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, 50th Anniversary Part One
Segment Five: Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, 50th Anniversary Part Two
Segment Six: Chef /Proprietor Sandra Cordero, Gasolina Café, Woodland Hills Part One
Segment Seven: Chef /Proprietor Sandra Cordero, Gasolina Café, Woodland Hills Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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

Podcasts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kurt Cyr of Plam Springs Mod Squad Tours

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

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

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

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

Mark Cargasacchi of Jalama Wines

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

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

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

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

Valerie Rice of Lush Life and Eat Drink Garden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Monti Carlo of Everyday Food

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

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

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

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

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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

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

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

Podcasts

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