Restaurateur Debbie Thomas, Thomas Hill Organics, Paso Robles

Debbie Thomas of Thomas Hill Organics

“Deemed one of the best restaurants in Paso Robles since its launch in 2009, Thomas Hill Organics is a farm-to-table restaurant dedicated to serving creative, organic cuisine and highlighting unique wines from the Central Coast.” Serving Lunch, Dinner and Sunday Brunch.

“With a dynamic menu reflecting Paso Robles’ local abundance, Thomas Hill Organics sources a vivid array of fresh ingredients to concoct bold, imaginative dishes. What began as a humble organic CSA showcasing the Central Coast’s bounty quickly evolved into a popular destination for creatively prepared, honest food.”

“Thomas Hill Organics believes in the significance of organic, regionally-produced food, working with California purveyors for their poultry, fish, beef, lamb, and exotic meats. Nearby farmers provide their fruits and vegetables, which are always straight-from-the-earth fresh, and the breads are crafted by local bakers who are celebrated artisans of their trade.”

Proprietress and Founder Debbie Thomas joins us.

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Show 443, September 18, 2021: Beth Lee of “OMG! Yummy” with The Essential Jewish Baking Cookbook

Beth Lee author of the Essential Jewish Cookbook

“Baking is an integral part of Jewish culture and traditions. Whether you’re making challah for Shabbat, macaroons for Passover or babka for family brunch, The Essential Jewish Baking Cookbook (Rockridge Press) by first time cookbook author and food blogger (OMG! Yummy) Beth Lee helps capture the essence of traditional Jewish baking in your kitchen. It’s filled with 50 classic recipes―those you might remember your bubbe (grandma) or mom whipping up―with clear instructions to help make them successfully every time.”

“With appealing photographs from photographer Annie Martin and stories and recipes representing Ashkenazic, Sephardic, and Mizrahi backgrounds, Essential Jewish Baking celebrates the rich history and warmth of traditional Jewish baked goods.”

“Beth A. Lee grew up on the East Coast before moving to Northern California, far away from the traditional Jewish food she was raised on. She attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she received a degree in business and pursued a marketing career in Silicon Valley.”

“In 2010, Beth realized she preferred pita chips over computer chips and launched her food blog, OMG! Yummy. Through her blog, she reconnected with her love of cooking and her passion for documenting her family’s multicultural food traditions.”

Beth shares her recipe from The Essential Jewish Baking Cookbook for Sweet Challah Rolls with Apple Currant Filling.

Beth Lee is our guest with rolling pin in hand.

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Show 443, September 18, 2021: George Barker, Proprietor, Mayfield Restaurant & Market, San Juan Capistrano

George Barker of Mayfield Restaurant and Market

Mayfield Restaurant & Market is an ambitious, glowingly reviewed 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 2nd level patio. The menu has a distinctive Mediterranean and Levant flair and there is also an extensive cocktail list along with an ample selection of craft beers and natural wines. They just celebrated their Year Anniversary as a welcome addition to the burgeoning San Juan Capistrano dining scene.

A new menu item is PEI Mussels with Peach Harissa and served with 61hundred Sourdough.

The Mayfield Market is stocked with premium food products made 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 joins us with an update.

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Show 443, September 18, 2021: Chef Jenni Sklar, El Granjero Cantina, Original Farmers Market Part One

Jenni Sklar of El Granjero Cantina

El Granjero Cantina under the culinary direction of Chef Jenni Sklar, (ex-Lucques and Son of a Gun) celebrates Mexican cuisine at the historic Original Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax. El Granjero’s bright and festive cantina including a spacious outdoor patio is a true neighborhood locale, built for local neighbors and visitors alike.”

“El Granjero offers guests a wide selection of options to choose from, including rice bowls, tacos, tlayuda, tacos dorados for a wide range of meat eaters, vegetarians, and vegans. Their bar program is dedicated to honoring traditional agave based spirits of Mexico with frozen margaritas and cocktails on tap.”

El Granjero serves Lunch (weekdays) and Dinner nightly and a newly introduced Weekend Brunch. Also Happy Hour on Weekdays from 3 to 6:00 p.m. with food and libations priced at $9.00.

Chef Jenni Sklar is our guest with fresh guacamole in hand.

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Show 443, September 18, 2021: Chef Jenni Sklar, El Granjero Cantina, Original Farmers Market Part Two

Jenni Sklar of El Granjero Cantina

El Granjero Cantina under the culinary direction of Chef Jenni Sklar, celebrates Mexican cuisine at the historic Original Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax. El Granjero’s bright and festive cantina including a spacious outdoor patio is a true neighborhood locale, built for local neighbors and visitors alike.”

“El Granjero offers guests a wide selection of options to choose from, including rice bowls, tacos, tlayuda, tacos dorados for a wide range of meat eaters, vegetarians, and vegans. Their bar program is dedicated to honoring traditional agave based spirits of Mexico with frozen margaritas and cocktails on tap.”

El Granjero serves Lunch (weekdays) and Dinner nightly and a newly introduced Weekend Brunch. Also Happy Hour on Weekdays from 3 to 6:00 p.m. with food and libations priced at $9.00.

Chef Jenni Sklar continues with a Chili Braised Beef Dorado in hand.

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Show 443, September 18, 2021: Brewmaster Victor Novak, Golden Road Brewing – collaboration with Kombrewcha Hard Kombucha

Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing

“This summer, Brooklyn-born Kombrewcha Hard Kombucha and Los Angeles-based Golden Road Brewing came together to create a one-of-kind product, Passion Fruit Hard Kombucha.”

“Now on shelves throughout California for a limited-run, Passion Fruit Hard Kombucha reflects the unique personalities of both collaborators – nailing Kombrewcha’s penchant for refreshing fruit flavors and Golden Road’s fan-favorite fruit-forward beers and seltzers. This tangy, refreshing, gluten-free, 100% organic beverage is brewed to 6% ABV through natural fermentation.”

“Passion Fruit Hard Kombucha will not only appeal to hard kombucha lovers, but all consumers, including those who may love hard seltzers, wine, craft beers, or are seeking alternative and refreshing beverage options to cap off the remaining weeks of the summer season.”

“Working with the Kombrewcha team to create this new flavor was a complete collaboration and we couldn’t be prouder of the final result,” said Victor Novak, Brewmaster, Golden Road Brewing. “The Passion Fruit Hard Kombrewcha is a harmonious balance that’s true to both Golden Road and Kombrewcha’s craft, with a hint of classic kombucha acidity on the nose and palate, complemented by the passion fruit. We’re thrilled to have had the opportunity to create something new in the kombucha space and hope folks love it as much as we do.”

“Passion Fruit Hard Kombucha is now available in 12 oz. can six-packs at select retailers throughout California while supplies last as well as in the Golden Road Pubs in Los Angeles, Anaheim and Huntington Beach.”

Golden Road’s acclaimed Brewmaster Victor Novak pops the tab on a can of a properly chilled Passion Fruit Hard Kombucha and joins us.

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Show 443, September 18, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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.

Bracken’s Kitchen presented 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 was one of the participating chefs. We’ll get the wrap-up report.

As his own remembrance of 9/11 Chef Andrew ran in, and completed, the annual Surf City Marathon (25th running) in Huntington Beach on September 11th. Love of Country was the resounding theme. He shares some observations…

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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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