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

Podcasts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Thanksgiving is fast approaching on November 26th. In the spirit of the Holidays it’s appropriate for Chef Andrew to now share his best Thanksgiving cooking tips. It seems more people will be doing Family Thanksgiving at home this year and probably with smaller groups. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Podcasts

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

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

Podcasts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. We’re continuing our discussion about salt. Chef Andrew will be introducing us to Bamboo Salt (also known as Jukyeom.) It’s again time to “Ask the Chef.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Podcasts

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

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

Podcasts

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

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

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

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

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

“Restaurateur, Tech Entrepreneur and Host Josh Kopel has just launched Season 2 of the FULL COMP podcast. The restaurant industry is staring down the barrel of a 60% permanent closure rate due to COVID-19 and Kopel, himself being a casualty, decided it was time to help fix what’s broken. FULL COMP is a weekly show exploring the past and future of the hospitality industry. Provocative and actionable, the show aims to ask the tough questions, supplying listeners with the tools and resources needed to thrive post-pandemic. As Host of FULL COMP, Josh Kopel challenges conventional wisdom by hosting both hospitality professionals and thought leaders from outside of the industry while tackling today’s toughest topics.” Restaurateur Josh Kopel is our guest.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Salt is a requirement to sustain human life. It’s also a key ingredient in preserving, cooking and preparing food. Food can actually taste bland without a bit of added salt. The right amount enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there are the variety of finishing salts. We’ll continue the seasoned tutorial started with Chef Andrew last Saturday. It’s again time to “Ask the Chef.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Restaurateur Josh Kopel joins us.

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

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

Podcasts

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

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

Podcasts

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

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

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

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

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

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Salt is a key ingredient in cooking and preparing food. The right amount enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there is finishing salt. For the needed advice we’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’re in the kitchen with Tara Bench.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Podcasts

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

October 10: Caroline Styne, Halleck Vineyard, Descanso Restaurant

Podcasts

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

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

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

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

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. We hear the term “sustainable” used quite often. It’s a lofty goal. What does it actually entail for a restaurant to be sustainable? Takeout and delivery are burgeoning right now. Disposable containers and packaging are in high use. What can a restaurant do so their food arrives intact and at the right temperature but uses packaging that is more environmentally friendly, too. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’ll meet Owner & Vintner Ross Halleck.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Podcasts

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

October 3: Heritage Barbecue, A Chef’s Voyage, Mayfield Restaurant & Market

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Nick Echaore, Executive Chef, Heritage Barbecue, San Juan Capistrano
Segment Three: “A Chef’s Voyage” with Director Rémi Anfosso
Segment Four: Mayfield Restaurant and Market, San Juan Capistrano Part One
Segment Five: Mayfield Restaurant and Market, San Juan Capistrano Part Two
Segment Six: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part One
Segment Seven: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part Two

Barbecue afficionados are overjoyed with the launch in August of the eagerly anticipated Heritage Barbecue from proprietors Daniel and Brenda Castillo in San Juan Capistrano. They have developed a fanatical following for their Central Texas-style barbecue (that’s cooked low and slow) previously served in Orange County at popular pop-ups at area craft breweries. Daniel has trained extensively with prominent Texas pitmasters at their respective establishments. Initially the all outdoor establishment is open Wednesday through Sunday and has the capacity to serve several hundred guests per day (with proper social distancing) until the ‘cue runs out. Pitmaster Danny’s accomplished Executive Chef is Nick Echaore. We’ll pull him away from the intensive pre-opening prep for an update.

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

Mayfield Restaurant & Market is an ambitious, modern California restaurant and market located in Downtown San Juan Capistrano in an extensively refurbished historic building. It’s on two levels and includes a comfortable covered patio. The menu has a Mediterranean and Levant flair and there is also an extensive cocktail list along with an ample selection of craft beers and natural wines. Proprietor George Barker and Executive Chef Jayro Martinez 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 regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that greatly restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps… Ghost Kitchens in their various forms are seemingly on the fast growth track. It also includes chain restaurants with extra kitchen space that are preparing unaffiliated, branded food items To-Go and for delivery. Where is this all going? We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

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

Nick Echaore of Heritage BarbecueBarbecue afficionados are overjoyed with the launch in August of Daniel and Brenda Castillo’s Heritage Barbecue in San Juan Capistrano. They have developed a fanatical following for their Central Texas-style barbecue (that’s cooked low and slow) served in Orange County at popular pop-ups at area craft breweries. Daniel has trained extensively with prominent Texas pitmasters at their respective establishments. Initially the all outdoor establishment is open Wednesday through Sunday and has the capacity to serve several hundred guests per day until the ‘cue runs out.

Pitmaster Danny’s accomplished Executive Chef is Nick Echaore. We’ll pull him away from the intensive pre-opening prep for an update.

Chef Nick has experience across all segments of front and back of house. He comes to Heritage Barbecue from a corporate career at Whole Foods (where he met Pitmaster Danny.) He also spent time at Marche Bacchus in Las Vegas.

Nick is responsible for working with Danny and Lennon (the in-house butcher) to set the menu, sourcing ingredients, recipe development for sides, coordinating schedules with the kitchen team and lots more.

He even works the busy order window (just in back) where you’ll see him expertly cutting and packaging the barbecue orders.

Heritage is well-known for their brisket, tri-tip, chicken, ribs and sausages. All the proteins are cooked using California White Oak in twin, 1,000 gallon offset smokers crafted by Harper Barbecue in Costa Mesa.

Film Director Remi EnfasssoNewly released on Virtual Cinema is “A Chef’s Voyage.” The film follows Emmy (Mind of a Chef) and James Beard award-winning Chef David Kinch and his team from their 3 Star Michelin restaurant, Manresa, in Los Gatos, California for a one of a kind “four hands” collaboration in France with three legendary chefs at their iconic restaurants in Paris, Provence, and Marseille. The ambitious trip was a celebration of Manresa’s 15 Anniversary. The feature documentary was Directed (and Produced) by Rémi Anfosso. He joins us from France.

“Rémi Anfosso is a bi-lingual French director working in France and Los Angeles. A Chef’s Voyage (2020) is his feature film directorial debut. Other recent credits include directing/producing Love at First Heist (short/2016) with Attic Light Films, 1st assistant directing with producer Richard Linklater on I Dream Too Much (2015), starring Danielle Brooks and Diane Ladd, and producing with showrunner Nneka Onuorah on the Viceland documentary Queer & Fier(ce) (2019).”

“I believe that gastronomy, like any art, captures the real data on what it’s like to exist. In A Chef’s Voyage, it happens like a family affair: a quiet artist lives by a duty to exist and preserve his legacy within his “reassembled” family that is, his kitchen team. This is a tale of the land, the city and the sea, in which infinite labor meets loving creativity, thereby giving us faithful accounts on being alive.” – Rémi Anfosso

George Barker of Mayfield Restaurant and MarketMayfield Restaurant & Market is an ambitious, modern California restaurant and market located in Downtown San Juan Capistrano in an extensively refurbished historic building. It’s on two levels and includes a comfortable covered patio. The menu has a Mediterranean and Levant flair and there is also an extensive cocktail list along with an ample selection of craft beers and natural wines. All of the ingredients are organic.

Friday through Saturday (and Sunday afternoon) is their Supper Club menu. It’s served family-style. The menu categories (with choices in each area) include Rip and Dip, Small Plates, Large Plates and Desserts. Already attracting a following is the Za’atar Fried Chicken with hot honey, house ranch and house pickles. (Wednesday and Thursday evenings it’s an a la carte menu with dishes designed to be shared.)

The daytime, a la carte menu (served Wednesday through Sunday,) offers menu categories of Dips, Breakfast Bits and Lunch Dishes.

The Mayfield Market is stocked with premium food products Chef Jayro makes in-house and items Mayfield uses and loves. They carry anything to do with eating and drinking well, including pantry items, natural wines, homeware, cookbooks and more.

Proprietor George Barker and Executive Chef Jayro Martinez join us with all the tempting details.

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

Ghost Kitchens in their various forms are seemingly on the fast growth track. It also includes national chain restaurants with extra kitchen space that are preparing unaffiliated, branded food items To-Go and for delivery. Where is this all going? Is it a fad or here for the long-run? We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Nick Echaore, Executive Chef, Heritage Barbecue, San Juan Capistrano
Segment Three: “A Chef’s Voyage” with Director Rémi Anfosso
Segment Four: Mayfield Restaurant and Market, San Juan Capistrano Part One
Segment Five: Mayfield Restaurant and Market, San Juan Capistrano Part Two
Segment Six: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part One
Segment Seven: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part Two

September 26: Tra Di Noi, Kirsh Baking Company, Billy Harris, Jason Neroni, Melissa’s Freaky Fruits, SoCal Gas

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Enrico Glaudo of Tra di Noi in Malibu
Segment Three: Pastry Chef & Proprietress Uyen Kirshenbaum, Kirsh Baking Co., Long Beach
Segment Four: Celebrity Emcee Billy Harris and Executive Chef & Partner Jason Neroni of The Rose Venice Part One
Segment Five: Celebrity Emcee Billy Harris and Executive Chef & Partner Jason Neroni of The Rose Venice Part Two
Segment Six: Produce Expert Robert Schueller of Melissa’s on Halloween Entertaining
Segment Seven: SoCal Gas Co’s services to Restaurants & Foodservice Operators
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Angelenos who dine out frequently may remember the name of Chef Enrico Glaudo (Italian-born) from his days in Los Angeles with Piero Selvaggio as executive chef of the fondly remembered Primi in West Los Angeles. He trained at two, 3-Star Michelin restaurants in Italy. Chef Enrico recently joined Malibu’s long-running Tra di Noi Ristorante Italiano as executive chef for proprietor Tarcisio Hess. Chef Enrico joins us to discuss his plans for refreshing the menu and keeping the loyal regulars coming back while attracting new guests.

The Kirsh Baking Company of Long Beach launched in May. The mail order bakery concentrates on crafting masterfully made cookies. The founders are the husband and wife duo, Pastry Chef Uyen (Nguyen) Kirshenbaum and Jeff Kirshenbaum also a hospitality veteran. Like many who were furloughed during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Kirshenbaums are now pouring their energy into their passion, transforming what were once special-order cookies for those in the know, into a full-fledged business. Chef Uyen’s signature cookies are available for mail order by the dozen. Chef Uyen takes a pause from mixing cookie dough to join us.

The Billy Harris Dinner Series presents Dinner At Home to benefit the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program, Los Angeles (C-CAP LA) featuring a Multi-Course Dinner in your very own home from Chef Jason Neroni of The Rose Venice, dessert from food television personality and Pastry Chef Duff Goldman, special appearance from celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson, and Musical Performance by the Award-Winning Vonda Shepard on Saturday, October 10th, 2020 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm!” Celebrity Master of Ceremonies Billy Harris and The Rose Venice’s Partner & Executive Chef Jason Neroni join us with all the delectable details. 

Our friends at Melissa’s World Variety Produce are again hauntingly clever in putting together a complete package of inspired party ideas and fun, healthy recipes to make your socially distanced Halloween celebration the ultimate ghostly gathering. It all starts with Melissa’s exclusive selection of Freaky Fruits. These delicious items (exotic and tropical fruits) include Kiwano Melon, Dragon Fruit, Jackfruit, Blood Oranges, Passion Fruit, Strawberry Papaya, Pomegranates, Rambutans, Cherimoya, and Finger lines. Our resident produce authority, Robert Schueller, (also known as the Prince of Produce) provides the fun & squishy facts on Freaky Fruits for inspired Halloween entertaining and where to find the accompanying recipes created by the inspired Melissa’s Chefs.

As restaurants are slowly reopening as allowed in the various Counties of Southern California, SoCal Gas has a host of valuable services available to restaurants and foodservice operators. This assistance includes the Food Service Equipment Center located within the Energy Resource Center in Downey. Also available are Energy Savings Programs and a variety of helpful Reopening Services. Our knowledgeable guides are SoCalGas’ Carmen Oliver (Title Customer Programs) and Gina Christian (Food Service Technical Specialist & Customer Programs.) We’re cooking with gas…

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that greatly restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps… The consensus is that fine dining will look a bit different once the Covid 19 crisis finally subsides and there is a safe & proven vaccine readily available to all Americans. We all anticipate other changes in eating out at all levels. Will fine dining fully recover? We continue this informative discussion started with Chef Andrew last week.

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

Enrico Glaudo of Tra Di NoiAngelenos who dine out frequently may remember the name of Chef Enrico Glaudo (Italian-born) from his long tenure with Piero Selvaggio as executive chef of the fondly remembered Primi in West Los Angeles. He trained at two, 3-Star Michelin restaurants in Italy. Chef Enrico recently joined Malibu’s long-running Tra di Noi Ristorante Italiano as executive chef for proprietor Tarcisio Hess.

Tra di Noi literally means “between us”.

“We have chosen this name because we feel and believe in a casual, friendly and homey atmosphere. The decor is warm and romantic. Our cooking style is just as you would find in the Italian countryside.”

“Tra di Noi’s extensive menu features an appealing variety of classic Italian dishes prepared from the finest, freshest ingredients available. All of the pastas are handmade daily. Known for their own special flair in the creation of traditional “cucina autentica,” including a sumptuous selection of pastas, superb crudo, unique salads and delicious seasonal specialties.”

A percentage of Tra di Noi’s produce is from Thorn Family Farm which is a local farm in Malibu. The restaurant also supports the Malibu Farmers Market and Malibu Olive Oil Company.

Chef Enrico joins us to discuss his plans for refreshing the menu and keeping the loyal regulars coming back while attracting new guests.

Uyen and Jeff Kirshenbaum of Kirsh Baking CompanyThe Kirsh Baking Company of Long Beach launched in May. The mail order bakery concentrates on creating masterfully made cookies. The founders are the husband and wife duo, Pastry Chef Uyen (Nguyen) Kirshenbaum and Jeff Kirshenbaum also a hospitality veteran. Like many who were furloughed during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Kirshenbaums are now pouring their energy into their passion, transforming what were once special-order cookies for those in the know, into a full-fledged business. Chef Uyen’s signature cookies are available for mail order by the dozen.

The line of “Jeff’s Cookies” are a tribute to Chef Uyen’s painstaking efforts to create the perfect gluten and dairy free cookie for her husband. Although she reveled in the reactions of friends, family and other chefs who were shocked to learn her Double Chocolate Chip cookies were dairy and gluten free, the secret is out now! Cookies are carefully packaged by the dozen in beautiful gift boxes.

The Classics line of fresh-baked cookie flavors includes Salted Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodle, PB Chocolate, Vanilla Lavender and Lemon Poppy.

“Chef Uyen Kirshenbaum’s career in pastry began with training at the internationally acclaimed culinary institute, Ecole Lenotre in Paris and includes such celebrated establishments as Patisserie Gaulupeau in Versailles, Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak in Las Vegas, and Guy Savoy‘s first American restaurant at Caesar’s Palace. Chey Uyen became the first female Pastry Chef to lead Savoy’s team, and the restaurant garnered Two Michelin Stars in its first year. In 2015 Chef Uyen joined the team at Chef David LeFevre’s trio of Manhattan Beach restaurants as Executive Pastry Chef of The Arthur J, Manhattan Beach Post and Fishing with Dynamite.”

Chef Uyen takes a pause from mixing cookie dough to join us.

The Billy Harris“The Billy Harris Dinner Series presents Dinner At Home to benefit the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program, Los Angeles (C-CAP LA) featuring a Multi-Course Dinner in your very own home from Chef Jason Neroni of The Rose Venice, dessert from food television personality and Pastry Chef Duff Goldman, special appearance from celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson, and Musical Performance by the Award-Winning Vonda Shepard on Saturday, October 10th, 2020 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm!”

“This exclusive evening will be Hosted by Billy Harris (Hanging with Harris, Billy Harris Dinner Series) and will commence with Master Mixologist, Charlotte Voisey as she demonstrates how to mix-shake-stir The Unusual Neroni Negroni cocktail as guests enjoy some savory snacks. This virtual Dinner At Home will continue with a special select bottle of wine, interactive cooking demo with Chef Jason Neroni, special appearance by C-CAP Co-Chair Chef Marcus Samuelsson and his Mentee Tiana Gee, previously Sous Chef at Red Rooster in Harlem and C-CAP LA Alumna from Glendale High School 2014, dessert from Duff Goldman, and Live Musical Performance from Vonda Shepard, creating a beautiful night of laughs, libations, and a delectable dinner all to benefit C-CAP LA!”

Jason NeroniTickets to Dinner At Home to benefit the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program, Los Angeles (C-CAP LA) (Two Ticket order minimum) are available now at Dinner At Home to Benefit C-CAP LA. Each pair of Tickets will include a Multi-Course Dinner from Chef Jason Neroni and The Rose VeniceDessert from Duff Goldman, a Curated Cocktail Kit for Two, Bottle of WineBottle of S.Pellegrino, and a 20-gram Tin of Black River Caviar. The Dinner At Home Dinner Pick-up will be available between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm on Saturday, October 10th, 2020 at The Rose Venice or Dinner Delivery is available for $30 within twenty miles of the restaurant when selected with Ticket purchase.

Celebrity Master of Ceremonies Billy Harris and The Rose’s Partner & Chef Jason Neroni join us providing all the delectable details.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioOur friends at Melissa’s World Variety Produce are again hauntingly clever in putting together a complete package of inspired party ideas and fun, healthy recipes to make your socially distanced Halloween celebration the ultimate ghostly gathering.

It all starts with Melissa’s exclusive selection of Freaky Fruits. These delicious items (exotic and tropical fruits) include Kiwano Melon, Dragon Fruit, Jackfruit, Blood Oranges, Passion Fruit, Strawberry Papaya, Pomegranates, Rambutans, Cherimoya, and Finger Limes.

The Melissa’s chefs have created a fiendishly clever collection of hauntingly delicious recipes for your Halloween entertaining. Don’t miss the Freaky Fruit Salad and the Dragon Egg Stew punch with cactus pears, apple cider, and rambutans.

All the easy-to-follow recipes and tips are @ melissas.com.

Our resident produce authority Robert Schueller (also known as the Prince of Produce) provides the fun & squishy facts on Freaky Fruits for inspired Halloween entertaining.

Gina Christian of SoCal GasAs restaurants are slowly reopening as allowed in the various Counties of Southern California, SoCal Gas has a host of valuable services available to restaurants and foodservice operators. This assistance includes the Food Service Equipment Center located within the Energy Resource Center in Downey. Also available are Energy Savings Programs and a variety of helpful Reopening Services.

“The Food Service Equipment Center, located at the Energy Resource Center in Downey, is a state-of-the-art kitchen and a great resource for any commercial foodservice customer. SoCalGas’ FSEC is the largest test kitchen for natural gas fired equipment in the country. You can attend webinars, learn about energy-efficient equipment and which equipment qualifies for a rebate.”

Our knowledgeable guides are SoCalGas’ Carmen Oliver (Title Customer Programs) and Gina Christian (Food Service Technical Specialist & Customer Programs.)

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

The consensus is that fine dining will look a bit different once the Covid 19 crisis finally subsides and there is a safe & proven vaccine readily available to all Americans. We all anticipate other significant changes in eating out at all levels. Will fine dining fully recover? We continue this informative discussion started with Chef Andrew last week.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Enrico Glaudo of Tra di Noi in Malibu
Segment Three: Pastry Chef & Proprietress Uyen Kirshenbaum, Kirsh Baking Co., Long Beach
Segment Four: Celebrity Emcee Billy Harris and Executive Chef & Partner Jason Neroni of The Rose Venice Part One
Segment Five: Celebrity Emcee Billy Harris and Executive Chef & Partner Jason Neroni of The Rose Venice Part Two
Segment Six: Produce Expert Robert Schueller of Melissa’s on Halloween Entertaining
Segment Seven: SoCal Gas Co’s services to Restaurants & Foodservice Operators
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini of Heavenly Pies and Dolce Vita Gelato, Las Vegas Part One
Segment Three: Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini of Heavenly Pies and Dolce Vita Gelato, Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Four: Food Journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “Hungry Hound” Part One
Segment Five: Food Journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “Hungry Hound” Part Two
Segment Six: Armen Karamardian, Zov’s Bistro, Tustin (and Irvine & Newport Coast)
Segment Seven: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook of Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, Laguna Beach
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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

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

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

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

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

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that greatly restrict guest counts. Alternately take-out/delivery when you can surely helps… The consensus is that fine dining will look a bit different once the Covid 19 crisis finally subsides and there is a safe & proven vaccine readily available to all Americans. We all anticipate other changes in eating out at all levels. We get Chef Andrew’s informed and insightful thoughts on the future.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chef Luciano joins us with pizza peel in hand.

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

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

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

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

Steve Dolinsky joins us to untangle the specifics.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini of Heavenly Pies and Dolce Vita Gelato, Las Vegas Part One
Segment Three: Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini of Heavenly Pies and Dolce Vita Gelato, Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Four: Food Journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “Hungry Hound” Part One
Segment Five: Food Journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “Hungry Hound” Part Two
Segment Six: Armen Karamardian, Zov’s Bistro, Tustin (and Irvine & Newport Coast)
Segment Seven: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook of Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, Laguna Beach
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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

Podcasts

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

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

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

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

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

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately take-out/delivery when you can surely helps… What’s an appropriate topping for pizza that compliments the pie versus clashes with it? Chef Andrew opened the can on the subject of the Hawaiian Pizza (didn’t actually originate in Hawaii) and pineapple on it last week. We’ll continue that spirited conversation along with discussing what savory toppings really belong on a pizza from a culinary POV. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chef David Kinch sabors the celebratory Champagne and joins us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Podcasts

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

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

Podcasts

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

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

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

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

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

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately take-out/delivery when you can surely helps… When the spread of COVID 19 has greatly slowed fine dining, as it can more fully resume, will be a bit of a different experience. What will fine dining possibly look like in the future ? We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

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

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

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

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

Christina McCarter joins us.

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

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

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

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

Chef Jason is our guest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Podcasts

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