Show 442, September 11, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Today we also honor the memory of all Americans who perished in the tragedy of 9/11. Particularly meaningful for us are the 79 staff members of Windows on the World restaurant located on the 106th and 107th Floors of the North Tower at the World Trade Center. The staff was truly international representing dozens of countries. Also the 91 guests who were there for breakfast functions at the time.

All Porto’s Bakery and Café locations have reopened for dine-in at 50 per cent capacity. The locations are Burbank, Buena Park, Downey, Glendale and West Covina. Northridge launches soon. The expanding Porto’s Bake at Home ships their best-selling pastries nationwide. They are unbaked, frozen and come direct to you so you can bake them fresh in your own oven. “It’s like having a Porto’s Bakery in your home.” Popular items available include Cheese Rolls, Guava Cheese Strudel, Chicken Empanadas and Potato Balls. 2nd generation baker & Family member, Betty Porto (Porto’s Vice President of Community Relations,) is our guest with rolling pin in hand.

The American Institute of Wine & Food (AIWF) is a national non-profit educational organization established in 1981 by Robert Mondavi, Julia Child, Richard Graff and others to promote a forum for the study and enjoyment of gastronomy.” “The San Diego Chapter of AIWF awards scholarships for the pursuit of culinary arts, enology/viticulture, and beverage studies in full or part-time accredited continuing education programs. The scholarships typically range from $350 to $3,000, and the funds do not need to be repaid. Since the money for the scholarships is raised by the San Diego Chapter, scholarships are only awarded to people who are connected to San Diego by school, work, or recent involvement in food or wine in the area. The scholarship money may be used for study within or outside of San Diego County.” Representing the San Diego Chapter to explain the Scholarship Program is AIWF San Diego Board member Heidi Pigeon of Posh Pantry.

The newly opened Esperanza Cocina de la Playa in Manhattan Beach is under the culinary direction of Corporate Chef Raymond Alvarez and Head Mixologists John Fox(GM) and Kevin Williams (Beverage Manager.) Chef Ray is the busy Corporate Executive Chef for the Baja Sharkeez Restaurant Group (Baja Sharkeez, Panama Joe’s, Killarney’s, Sandbar, Palmilla and Tower 12.) “Esperanza beckons guests with modern interpretations of traditional Sonoran cuisine and an expertly crafted bar program.” Chef Raymond takes a break from his busy kitchens to join us.

“What started with Rodney Strong’s (now evolved into Rodney Strong Wine Estates) vision over 60 years ago segued to an almost four-decade long career of Winemaker Emeritus Rick Sayre at Rodney Strong. Rick passed the baton in 2018 to current Director of Winemaking Justin Seidenfeld, who today leads the passionate winemaking team that creates critically acclaimed wines vintage after vintage with an eye towards the future. That future is led by innovative new products like ROWEN Wine Company, the 15-year passion project on Rodney Strong Wine Estate’s remote and rugged Cooley Ranch Vineyard.” Winemaker Justin Seidenfeld joins us to pull the cork on all that is Rodney Strong Wine Estates.

Bob and Jane Oswaks, owners and proprietors of the award-winning Bob’s Well Bread Bakery in Los Alamos, debuted their long-awaited second location at the historic Ballard Store at 2449 Baseline Avenue in Ballard, California late last year. The 1,500 square foot Bob’s Well Bread at the Ballard Store was designed by The Oswaks, located fourteen miles south from their flagship store. The Oswaks rotate regularly between both operations to ensure the quality and standards of hospitality, food and beverage. Chef Gary Clark leads the new kitchen.” “Since its inception in 2014, locals, travelers and journalists alike have embraced Bob’s Well Bread Bakery artisan breads and bakery. The bakery has successfully become a family business and an integral part of the growing Los Alamos community, which has developed into a richly diverse wine country destination. Bob’s Well Bread Bakery and the Oswaks family are committed to products that are hand-made with only the finest ingredients and natural starters.” Artisan Bread Baker & Proprietor Bob Oswaks joins us with a Pain au Chocolat in hand.

Andrew Gruel at the Surf City Marathon

Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group rejoins us next week. He ran this morning in the 25th annual Surf City Marathon. He completed the full 26 miles.

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

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Show 442, September 11, 2021: Betty Porto, Vice President of Community Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Café

Betty Porto in front of the Porto's Bakery Bread Rack

All Porto’s Bakery and Café locations have reopened for dine-in at 50 per cent capacity. The locations are Burbank, Buena Park, Downey, Glendale and West Covina.

Be watching for the pending Northridge opening. In the meantime Porto’s has a bakery stand at the Northridge Farmers Market at Northridge Fashion Center every Wednesday night.

Porto’s Bake at Home ships their best-selling pastries nationwide. They are unbaked, frozen and come direct to you so you can bake them fresh in your own oven. “It’s like having a Porto’s Bakery in your home.” Popular items available include Cheese Rolls, Guava Cheese Strudel, Chicken Empanadas and Potato Balls.

2nd generation baker & Family member, Betty Porto (Porto’s Vice President of Community Relations,) is our guest with rolling pin in hand.

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Show 442, September 11, 2021: AIWF San Diego Chapter Scholarship Program

The American Institute of Wine & Food (AIWF) is a national non-profit educational organization established in 1981 by Robert Mondavi, Julia Child, Richard Graff and others to promote a forum for the study and enjoyment of gastronomy. The AIWF is dedicated to advancing the understanding, appreciation, and quality of wine and food through fun educational experiences in support of its Days of Taste® and Scholarship programs.”

“The San Diego Chapter of AIWF awards scholarships for the pursuit of culinary arts, enology/viticulture, and beverage studies in full or part-time accredited continuing education programs. The scholarships typically range from $350 to $3,000, and the funds do not need to be repaid. All schools must be accredited. Since the money for the scholarships is raised by the San Diego Chapter, scholarships are only awarded to people who are connected to San Diego by school, work, or recent involvement in food or wine in the area. The scholarship money may be used for study within or outside of San Diego County. Applications are accepted until October 1, 2021.”

Representing the San Diego Chapter to explain the Scholarship Program is Heidi Pigeon of Posh Pantry. Heidi is a Board Member of the San Diego Chapter of the AIWF as well as serves on the Scholarship Committee.

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Show 442, September 11, 2021: Chef Raymond Alvarez, Esperanza Cocina de la Playa and Baja Sharkeez Restaurant Group

Raymond Alvarez of the Baja Sharkeez Restaurant Group

The newly opened Esperanza Cocina de la Playa in Manhattan Beach is under the culinary direction of Corporate Chef Raymond Alvarez and Head Mixologists John Fox (GM) and Kevin Williams (Beverage Manager.) Chef Ray is the busy Corporate Executive Chef for the Baja Sharkeez Restaurant Group (Baja Sharkeez, Panama Joe’s, Killarney’s, Sandbar, Palmilla and Tower 12.)

“Esperanza beckons guests with modern interpretations of traditional Sonoran cuisine and an expertly crafted bar program. The team tapped award-winning architect and designer Gulla Jónsdóttir to create Esperanza’s sophisticated, coastal design, which incorporates handcrafted materials, furniture, and décor from around the world. With its prime location just blocks from the Pacific, Esperanza’s sophisticated vibe and design blends beach town elegance with modern cool.”

Specialties include Ceviche Pineapple Camarones with prawns and a tajin mango chamoy broth, Playa Shrimp Taquitos with fresno aioli, jalapeno crema and queso fresco, and Achiote Beso Salmon with a crispy sweet corn cake, tomatillo chipotle salsa and jalapeno crema.

Chef Raymond takes a break from his busy kitchens to join us.

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Show 442, September 11, 2021: Justin Seidenfeld, Director of Winemaking, Rodney Strong Vineyard Estates Part One

Justin Seidenfeld of Roden Wine Company

“What started with Rodney Strong’s (and evolved into Rodney Strong Wine Estates) vision over 60 years ago segued to an almost four-decade long career of Winemaker Emeritus Rick Sayre at Rodney Strong. Rick passed the baton in 2018 to current Director of Winemaking Justin Seidenfeld, who today leads the passionate winemaking team that creates critically acclaimed wines vintage after vintage with an eye towards the future. That future is led by innovative new products like ROWEN Wine Company, the 15-year passion project on Rodney Strong Wine Estate’s remote and rugged Cooley Ranch Vineyard.”

“Rod Strong was an acknowledged visionary who understood the potential that Sonoma County’s soil and climate held for producing world-class wines. Rodney Strong Vineyards established Sonoma County’s 13th bonded winery in 1959.”

RSWE sources grapes from 11 prime Sonoma County appellations including Alexander Valley, Chalk Hill, Knights Valley, Russian River Valley and Northern Sonoma.

“For over 30 years, RSWE has flourished under the leadership of the Klein Family, 4th generation California farmers. The Klein family is committed to protecting and preserving the environment in both the vineyards and at the winery through sustainable farming and winemaking.”

“The Rodney Strong Tasting Room in the Russian River Valley (Healdsburg) is open Thursdays through Mondays by appointment only for indoor tastings in their remodeled Tasting Room and outdoor tastings on the Rodney Strong Terrace and expansive Concert Green.”

Winemaker Justin Seidenfeld joins us to pull the cork on all that is Rodney Strong Wine Estates.

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Show 442, September 11, 2021: Justin Seidenfeld, Director of Winemaking, Rodney Strong Vineyard Estates Part Two

Justin Seidenfeld of Roden Wine Company

“What started with Rodney Strong’s (and evolved into Rodney Strong Wine Estates) vision over 60 years ago segued to an almost four-decade long career of Winemaker Emeritus Rick Sayre at Rodney Strong. Rick passed the baton in 2018 to current Director of Winemaking Justin Seidenfeld, who today leads the passionate winemaking team that creates critically acclaimed wines vintage after vintage with an eye towards the future. That future is led by innovative new products like ROWEN Wine Company, the 15-year passion project on Rodney Strong Wine Estate’s remote and rugged Cooley Ranch Vineyard.”

“Rod Strong was an acknowledged visionary who understood the potential that Sonoma County’s soil and climate held for producing world-class wines. Rodney Strong Vineyards established Sonoma County’s 13th bonded winery in 1959.”

RSWE sources grapes from 11 prime Sonoma County appellations including Alexander Valley, Chalk Hill, Knights Valley, Russian River Valley and Northern Sonoma.

“For over 30 years, RSWE has flourished under the leadership of the Klein Family, 4th generation California farmers. The Klein family is committed to protecting and preserving the environment in both the vineyards and at the winery through sustainable farming and winemaking.”

“The Rodney Strong Tasting Room in the Russian River Valley (Healdsburg) is open Thursdays through Mondays by appointment only for indoor tastings in their remodeled Tasting Room and outdoor tastings on the Rodney Strong Terrace and expansive Concert Green.”

Winemaker Justin Seidenfeld uncorks a bottle of the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Vineyards Alexander Valley, Sonoma County and continues with us.

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Show 442, September 11, 2021: Baker Bob Oswaks, Bob’s Well Bread, Ballard and Los Alamos Part One

Bob Oswaks of Bob's Well Bread

“Bob and Jane Oswaks, owners and proprietors of the award-winning Bob’s Well Bread Bakery in Los Alamos, debuted their long-awaited second location at the historic Ballard Store at 2449 Baseline Avenue in Ballard, California late last year. The 1,500 square foot Bob’s Well Bread at the Ballard Store was designed by The Oswaks, located fourteen miles south from their flagship store. The Oswaks rotate regularly between both operations to ensure the quality and standards of hospitality, food and beverage.” Chef Gary Clark leads the new kitchen and the Head Baker is Scott Smith.

“Since its inception in 2014, locals, travelers and journalists alike have embraced Bob’s Well Bread Bakery artisan breads and bakery. The bakery has successfully become a family business and an integral part of the growing Los Alamos community, which has developed into a richly diverse wine country destination.”

“Bob’s Well Bread Bakery and the Oswaks family are committed to products that are hand-made with only the finest ingredients and natural starters. No added preservatives will be found in any of their baked items, and they strive to source ingredients locally using farmers and growers who practice the purest growing initiatives. They allow their loaves to take their time, and practice old world European traditions and techniques to make the very best breads and baked goods possible. Their commitment to being “well bread” means doing good things, supporting the community and donating what they don’t sell to local food banks.”

For Breakfast or Brunch ponder the Raisin Challah French Toast with bacon lardons. For Lunch it’s the Meat Loaf Sandwich with a proprietary blend of ground beef and pork, caramelized onions, sharp cheddar cheese and spicy aioli served on Pain de Mie. Bob shares the entertaining story of how the signature Meat Loaf Sandwich (initially a rotating sandwich special) became a regular part of the menu.

Bob Oawaks (with his hands in the English Muffin dough) joins us.

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Show 442, September 11, 2021: Baker Bob Oswaks, Bob’s Well Bread, Ballard and Los Alamos Part Two

Bob Oswaks of Bob's Well Bread

“Bob and Jane Oswaks, owners and proprietors of the award-winning Bob’s Well Bread Bakery in Los Alamos, debuted their long-awaited second location at the historic Ballard Store at 2449 Baseline Avenue in Ballard, California late last year. The 1,500 square foot Bob’s Well Bread at the Ballard Store was designed by The Oswaks, located fourteen miles south from their flagship store. The Oswaks rotate regularly between both operations to ensure the quality and standards of hospitality, food and beverage.” Chef Gary Clark leads the new kitchen and the Head Baker is Scott Smith.

“Since its inception in 2014, locals, travelers and journalists alike have embraced Bob’s Well Bread Bakery artisan breads and bakery. The bakery has successfully become a family business and an integral part of the growing Los Alamos community, which has developed into a richly diverse wine country destination.”

“Bob’s Well Bread Bakery and the Oswaks family are committed to products that are hand-made with only the finest ingredients and natural starters. No added preservatives will be found in any of their baked items, and they strive to source ingredients locally using farmers and growers who practice the purest growing initiatives. They allow their loaves to take their time, and practice old world European traditions and techniques to make the very best breads and baked goods possible. Their commitment to being “well bread” means doing good things, supporting the community and donating what they don’t sell to local food banks.”

For Breakfast or Brunch ponder the Raisin Challah French Toast with bacon lardons. For Lunch it’s the Meat Loaf Sandwich with a proprietary blend of ground beef and pork, caramelized onions, sharp cheddar cheese and spicy aioli served on Pain de Mie. Bob shares the entertaining story of how the signature Meat Loaf Sandwich (initially a rotating sandwich special) became a regular part of the menu.

Bob Oawaks (with a Saturday special Olive Fougasse loaf in hand) continues with us.

Play

Show 441, September 4, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Happy Labor Day Weekend

Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar turned five on September 1, 2021. “To celebrate the occasion, Owner & Executive Chef Rich Mead is highlighting a menu of $5 food and drink specials offered Wednesday, September 1 through Sunday, September 5. Chef Rich Mead’s special menu of five $5 bites highlights the unique local and sustainable ingredients he sources during weekly trips to the Santa Monica Farmers Market.” Chef Rich takes a respite from his busy kitchen to join us.

Winemaker Pietro Buttitta of Prima Materia makes American-Italian wines from his 12-acre vineyard in Lake County, CA. “His is a quest to not just get it right, but simply to get to making good, balanced wines. In his effort, he knows he’s up against perceptions borne 20 years ago about Italian varietals made in California. His is, fortunately, not those wines.” “Prima Materia doesn’t use herbicides or pesticides, and they naturally craft unfined and unfiltered wines using traditional methods that produce ageable bottles that respect classical styles interpreted through their vineyard.” Pietro is our guest to uncork all that is Prima Materia.

Adam Bell, the founder of dataTV established in 1996, is the “SoCal Restaurant Show’s” accomplished, long-time web designer, webmaster and all-around social media guru. He relocated to Los Angeles from New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Adam’s wide range of clients includes Chef Jet Tila, Café du Monde and the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association. Adam is also a certified coffee nut. Last weekend was the big, annual Coffee Fest Anaheim at the Anaheim Convention Center. Adam will report on what’s new in coffee and what it’s like experiencing a popular, previously well-attended trade show known for generous sampling coming off the pandemic with the real concerns of the spread of the Delta variant.

“Every September, in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizza Store (3 OC locations) fundraises for Julian’s LEGO® Corner, an Orange County-based charity that donates new LEGO® kits for seriously ill hospitalized children to play with while they undergo medical care at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). Last year, Sgt. Pepperoni’s raised $16,000, and the team has an even bigger goal in 2021.” Our guests, representing the owners of Sgt. Pepperoni’s, are Stan Frazier and Jeff Roberts.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery. Genuine concerns remain… Bracken’s Kitchen is presenting their annual benefit, The Hungry Games 4.0 on Thursday evening, September 9th to benefit the less fortunate and food insecure in Southern California. Chef Andrew is one of the participating chefs. Bottled hot sauce is everywhere these days and there seems to be more brands entering the marketplace all the time. What goes into creating a quality, shelf-stable hot sauce? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

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Show 441, September 4, 2021: Chef / Proprietor Rich Mead, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens Part One

Rich Mead of Farmhouse at Rogers Gardens

Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar turned five on September 1, 2021. To celebrate the occasion, Owner & Executive Chef Rich Mead is highlighting a menu of $5 food and drink specials offered Wednesday, September 1 through Sunday, September 5.

“Chef Rich Mead’s special menu of five $5 bites highlights the unique local and sustainable ingredients he sources during weekly trips to the Santa Monica Farmers Market. A tradition he’s kept for nearly 20 years, the relationships Chef Rich has cultivated with local farmers and purveyors is what has made Farmhouse the go-to destination to discover the freshest flavors of the season since day one.”

“Guests can select from Farmhouse Kimchi Fried “Rice” made with Tehachapi Heritage Grain Project rye grain, Autonomy Farms Chicken Meatballs and Tomatillo Broth, Vegetable Spring Roll, Cauliflower “Ceviche” and a Pastrami Cured Salmon Bite.”

“During his nearly four decades of culinary expertise, Chef Rich Mead has cultivated relationships with the highest regarded local sustainable farms, allowing him to create the freshest menus using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and specially grown vegetables. In 2016, after years of planning, Chef Mead unveiled a unique and sustainable field-to-fork dining experience at Farmhouse, located within Roger’s Gardens. Nestled on over 6 acres in the garden-like setting, Farmhouse features exclusive wines, craft beers, signature cocktails, artisan refreshments and a healthy-based seasonal cuisine.”

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

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