Show 126, June 13, 2015: Show Preview with Chef Andrew Gruel and Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and, now, Newport Beach is back as today’s special Guest Host.

Now a delectable preview of Saturday’s fully-leaded show.

Greenbar Craft Distillery located in Downtown Los Angeles represents the world’s largest portfolio of organic, handcrafted spirits, including BAR KEEP organic bitters, CRUSOE organic rums, FRUITLAB organic liquers, IXA organic tequila, SLOW HAND organic whiskey, TRU organic gin and TRU organic vodkas. It’s the first new distillery located in Los Angeles since the repeal of Prohibition. Co-Founder Litty Mathew joins us with the spirited background.

Catch & Release, newly opened in Marina del Rey in the previous Paiche space, is an ode to New England seafood with California inspiration from Chef/Partner Jason Neroni (exSuperba Snack Bar in Venice.) It’s a partnership with restaurateur Bill Chait’s Sprout L.A. Chef Neroni’s memories of Maine summers and precious time bonding over food with family led to the conception of Catch & Release. He’s our guest.

Beverly Hills is one of the toughest, and most unforgiving, markets for sophisticated dining in Los Angeles County. It’s hard to imagine thinking about quality Italian cuisine in Beverly Hills without mentioning il Pastaio, the celebrated Italian restaurant in the city’s center. For 21 years now, il Pastaio has served as an important gathering spot for locals as well as a place for celebrities to be seen. And for all of these years, one man has run the kitchen with an extraordinary eye for detail : Owner/Chef Giacomino Drago.

The soon-to-be-discovered Lodi Wine Country is one of California’s major winegrowing regions. It’s located 100 miles east of San Francisco near the San Joaquin/Sacramento River Delta, south of Sacramento and west of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Lodi is characterized by rural atmosphere where wineries and farms run by 4th and 5th generation families operate in tandem with a new group of vintners who have brought creative winemaking and cutting–edge technology to the region.

Camron King, the Executive Director of the Lodi Winegrape Commission, joins us with all the exciting 411.

Chef Akasha Richmond is one of the pioneers in destination dining in Culver City with Akasha which she debuted in 2008. Now she has launched her second restaurant in Culver City, Sambar, which is located steps away from Akasha. It’s inspired by her travels throughout India as well as her affinity for the rich culture and traditions of the country. Sambar showcases the diversity of Indian cuisine with an invigorating array of clean, bright flavors and choices – all inflected with familiar ingredients as interpreted through a California lens. Chef Akasha Richmond is our guest.

Don’t miss Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel’s new restaurant makeover series, “Say It To My Face” on FYI. An original episode is aired every Thursday evening with an encore episode thereafter. Check your local listings. On-line food reviewers confront restaurateurs with the shortcomings of their establishments. It’s then up to Chef Andrew and his colleague, Chef Anthony Dispensa, to coach the chef and restaurateur to achieve a much higher level of guest satisfaction when the on-line reviews return for another look! Sometimes it’s tough-love…

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

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