Show 406, January 2, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Happy New Year and wishing all our listeners brighter horizons in 2021.  We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

Three years in the making the dynamic husband and wife team of Chef Michael (Executive Chef / Proprietor) and Sarah Cherney (General Manager / Proprietor) debuted the full-service Peasants Feast restaurant in Solvang in April just at the time restaurants were restricted to takeout and delivery only. In a what’s wrong with this picture moment Peasants Feast was recently cited by California’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for their employees (6) eating inside the restaurant (properly distanced) for Family Meal. Hard to believe…The Cherney’s join us to share their truly unfortunate experience of navigating a weighty bureaucracy during a pandemic.

Our resident produce authority, Robert Schueller, (also known as the Prince of Produce) is the long-time Director of Public Relations for Melissa’s (World Variety) Produce. This will be the 14th year he’s presented his Produce Trends Forecast for 2021. Robert is our guest to continue his in-depth report which he started on last week’s show. The concluding installment focuses on Top Seasonal Trends and Trends in New Items. Have you heard about the just introduced Pink Pineapple from Costa Rica?

Alina Tompert the “Baker-in-Chief” at her Zimt Bakery in Long Beach (premium German-style cookies adapted from old world family recipes) is an excellent example of a successful licensed Cottage Food Operation that allows the creation and sale of specific low-risk food products from a private home kitchen. All Platzchen and Guadsle treats from Zimt are crafted from sustainably and ethically sourced ingredients. We’re rolling out the Guadsle dough with Baker-in-Chief, Alina.

Niyaz Pirani is a former OC Register and OC Weekly journalist who made the switch to Public Relations in 2015. He established Knife & Spork Public Relations to become one of Orange County’s respected social media marketing firms for restaurants. He focuses on photo and video content creation, targeted marketing, ad support and customer engagement. He believes “Every Restaurant Has a Story to Tell.”

With restaurants’ budgets being especially tight right now (and every dollar of expense needing to be justified) Niyaz joins us with an expert’s advice offering grass roots avenues for restaurants to promote themselves and get more relevant eyeballs focused on what the restaurants are offering.

Opening rather quietly without fanfare in September was the Cara Los Feliz (Hotel,) a boutique luxury property with 60 well-appointed rooms located on the western edge of Thai Town adjacent to the Los Feliz neighborhood. It’s the result of a tasteful and ambitious (and expensive) makeover of a former dowdy motel. For foodies the major attraction is the Cara Restaurant which offers relaxed patio dining (when again permissible) around a tranquil interior pool. The lush landscaping includes 100 year-old olive trees. It’s a touch of class with no pretentiousness whatsoever. The menu maker is Executive Chef Michael Patria, most recently with the Four Seasons Biltmore Resort in Santa Barbara. The cuisine is California-Mediterranean inspired based around ingredients sourced from local farmers using biodynamic and organic methods. Executive Chef Michael Patria and Assistant General Manager Lana Nguyen join us to enticingly explain what’s on the Cara Restaurant menu.

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 regularly updating us on the unfortunate impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and increasingly growing) concern. Extended restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for at least the first 3 weeks of January. Chef Andrew updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, “86 The Struggle” campaign to benefit local out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. What’s in store for restaurants and dining in 2021?  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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