Show 372, May 9, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Happy Mother’s Day to all the greatly valued Mom’s out there. We anxiously look forward to the return of properly celebratory Mother’s Day Brunches at your favorite restaurants in 2021!

It’s a time of great concern for all of us and our “SoCal Restaurant Show” mission, until the Covid-19 crisis is fully abated, is to provide reliable and genuinely useful information on how the restaurant business is coping with the rapidly evolving events. With an emphasis on the health, safety and well-being of our listeners we’ll be detailing what the ever-changing range of services restaurants can now provide to their guests. Creativity and adaptability are at the forefront. We’re doing our level best to keep it upbeat and diverting…

Chefs and restaurateurs are honestly the most generous people we know. In times of need they are always the very first in generously giving back and meaningfully supporting their communities. Truly remarkable…Right now restaurants urgently need our support to stay afloat. Kindly keep this in mind and please do what you possibly can (as you can afford) to support a community-focused, local restaurant….

As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it without the enthusiastic encouragement of the foodie community.

“Jean Hagan, Principal of KROST CPAs & Consultants has owned, operated, and consulted in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years. During that time, she worked with a well-known national chain; owned a food and beverage company that operated multiple restaurants, bars, and event spaces in the Squaw Valley area; and became the president, CEO, CFO, and shareholder of one of the highest-grossing restaurants in California. Today Jean is Principal and leads the restaurant operations consulting practice at KROST.” We’ll take an informed look at the future of dining out with Jean.

The Krewe of Red Beans in New Orleans was set to hold their annual “Bean Madness” competition for the fourth straight year when COVID 19 shut down most public gatherings. Restaurants and chefs, used to competing in the tournament for the title of Best Red Beans in the city, were instead facing another challenge: the prospect of shutting down altogether for an indefinite amount of time. Devin De Wulf, organizer of the event and founder of the Krewe of Red Beans, shifted his focus on how to help the struggling restaurants with an assist from his wife, an ER doctor at local University Medical Center. Devin began ordering food for the hospital staff with lingering funds from the cancelled fundraiser. Over the progressive several weeks, based on donations and logistical support from Krewe members, this grew to supporting over 49 restaurants while feeding front line medical workers in all 15 of New Orleans major hospitals. Emphasis has now shifted to their newly organized sister effort, Feed the Second Line, which pairs older, more vulnerable musicians and artists with their younger counterparts to assist them with shopping for their groceries and household needs. New Orleans food writer and cookbook author Mark C. Stevens joins us with the inspirational details of these grass-roots efforts.

Certified Cicerone and raconteur Tom Kelley is the Vice President of Sales and Hospitality for the El Segundo Brewing Co. He misses being in the tasting room and at the ESBC Slice & Pint engaging with guests and discussing the joys of craft beer. Tom has initiated a fun, virtual Happy Hour on Wednesday nights under the banner of Lonely Hearts Pub with guests. Gratuities are politely suggested for Restaurants Care, part of the CRA Foundation. Tom Kelley hospitably taps the keg for us on the details of Lonely Hearts Pub.

Chef Neal Fraser and Amy Knoll Fraser’s flagship restaurant Redbird features Modern American cuisine that is refined yet approachable and highlights the multi-cultural influences of Fraser’s native city – Los Angeles. Wine Director Josh Wibbenmeyer’s wine list is well rounded with great finds from both established and emerging wine regions throughout the world. Currently Redbird is offering contactless curbside pickup with an a la carte menu and Redbird at Home Family Style Dinner. An added option is Wine Director’s Josh’s Hunker Down Wine List (with 40 per cent off Redbird’s list prices.) The Fraser’s also operate the adjacent Vibiana Events Center. Executive Chef Neal Fraser is our guest.

When it comes to restaurant take-out in Orange County don’t forget the numerous appealing and varied restaurant options available at South Coast Plaza. “During these trying times and shelter-at-home, South Coast Plaza restaurants have adapted to take-out and curbside pick-up with success. Thirteen restaurants offer abbreviated and family-style menus ranging from Japanese cuisine (who isn’t craving sushi), prime steaks, contemporary cuisine and more.” South Coast Plaza’s long-time restaurant marketing consultant, Lee Healy, joins us with the specifics.

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 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. Take-out/delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first. Pizza is always a popular snack and now that we’re cooking more at home it’s time to elevate your pizza game. Growing up in New Jersey Chef Andrew has a special affinity for the savory pie with all the variations. It all starts with the dough. 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!

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