Show 102, December 20 2014: Show Preview with Executive Chef Andrew Gruel (Guest Host) and Producer Andy Harris

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire is today’s special Guest Host.

Chef Gruel, a notable seafood authority, will first comment on his identified trends in seafood looking ahead to 2015. He’ll also update us on his experience as a judge on Food Network’s Food Truck Face Off for Season One and talk about a new food TV series he’s part of, currently in production.

CUCINA Enoteca, a California-inspired Italian kitchen and wine shop, opened earlier in the year in 8,300 square feet in Fashion Island. It’s a venture of Tracy Borkum’s San Diego-based Urban Kitchen Group. The very popular predecessor sister restaurant is located in the Irvine Spectrum. Leading the day-to-day kitchen operations in Newport Beach as Chef de Cuisine is Orange County native Brent Omeste, a rising culinary talent. Chef Brent is our guest.

Lorenzi Estate Vineyards and Winery in Temecula is one of the newest wineries in the area and already attracting positive-word-of-mouth among wine connoisseurs. It’s the passion project of magazine publisher Don Lorenzi (Inland Empire Magazine) a self-taught winemaker who resides part-time on the estate. His family has a long history in growing wine grapes. They are best known for bold reds and case production is a boutique 2,000 per year. Darnel Damon-Dias, the dynamic Tasting Room Manager, joins us for a verbal tour.

Houweling’s Tomatoes (Mastery Under Glass,) is a family-owned, world-renowned greenhouse tomato grower with facilities in Camarillo, and Delta, BC. A new facility in Mona, Utah is just coming into production. Founded by Cornelius Houweling as a grower of fresh flowers, it’s now led by his son, Casey. Houweling’s is now dedicated to delivering a full complement of scrumptious tomatoes year-round, while constantly innovating to reduce its environmental footprint. They are also pioneers in branding their premium tomatoes and cucumbers. David Bell, the Chief Marketing Officer for Houwelings, joins us with the fascinating story.

Are you in overdrive contemplating just the right wines to match with that festive holiday food celebration ? Fear not…Our new resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer, President and Director of Purchasing for Best Wines in Santa Ana, gives us some inspired suggestions that should provide the proper inspiration.

Cathy Thomas is the award-winning Food Writer for The Orange County Register. Cathy shares with us her favorite dishes of 2014 and looks ahead to some food trends for 2015. Is cauliflower perhaps the new kale for chefs ?

Cathy was just in New York at The James Beard Foundation as the invited guest presenter at a session of the acclaimed Beard on Books author series. The conversation was Melissa’s 50 Best Plants on the Planet. Cathy will share that special experience at the James Beard House as well as talk about some of the restaurants she visited.

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

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