Show 454, December 4, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

The most unusual, and personal, restaurant at the moment in Long Beach is arguably the Dinner, Lunch and Weekend Brunch residency that Chef Melissa Ortiz is orchestrating at the Pine Avenue location of Long Beach’s popular Rose Park Roasters. At present it’s an intriguing seafood and vegetable focused menu available (without reservations) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings with Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Lunch has just been added from Tuesday thru Friday. A monthly guest chef dinner series will start later in December. Chef Melissa is a well-traveled military veteran who served a couple of tours on active duty and then a period thereafter in the reserves. She attended culinary school locally at The Art Institute of California Orange County (which has since closed.) Chef Melissa loves to travel to distant and exotic locations exploring food and most recently was the chef at the United States Embassy in Kabul. Fortunately she returned stateside earlier in the year. Chef Melissa takes a break from Brunch service and joins us.

Orange County’s resident celebrity chef is Amar Santana of Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach, Vaca in Costa Mesa, and The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza. Chef Amar is probably best known nationally as the runner-up in a very close competition in Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 13 and then returning as an elite judge for Season 18 in Portland. In Orange County he was the opening executive chef of the highly praised Charlie Palmer’s at Bloomingdale’s at South Coast Plaza working with GM (and now partner) Ahmed Labbate. His first solo restaurant with business partner and restaurateur Ahmed Labbate was Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach. Just in time for the Holidays Broadway has undergone a refurbishment and kitchen redo. “Inspired by the theaters in New York City, award-winning Chef Amar Santana alongside restauranteur Ahmed Labbate create an atmosphere at Broadway where the food becomes the main show. The restaurant’s menu is inspired by the creativity of Chef Amar Santana and his version of Modern Cuisine of The Americas. It features top quality ingredients, with a focus on local farms who can provide the menu’s seasonal requirements.” Chef Amar Santana joins us.

Ahmed Labbate, Partner and Director of Operations for Broadway by Amar Santana, Vaca, and The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza, has a passion for fine food and hospitality, with a degree in hotel and restaurant management, he worked at some of Morocco’s most well- known hospitality corporations — Hyatt Regency, Sheraton, Safir and Sofitel — covering all the bases: concierge, front desk, dining room manager. “Labbate later joined the Charlie Palmer Group as a captain at Aureole, NY and Aureole, Las Vegas, then as General Manager at Charlie Palmer Steak at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas. Prior to joining Broadway, Ahmed was the General Manager at the well-received Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s in South Coast Plaza with Chef Amar Santana. He dreamt of eventually opening his own restaurant and is excited to now be collaborating with Chef Amar on Broadway by Amar Santana, Vaca and The Hall Global Eatery.”

Ahmed is our guest to provide an overview of Holiday celebration options at Broadway, Vaca and The Hall Global Eatery and the just completed refreshing (which he oversaw) of Broadway by Amar Santana.

Long Beach Living’s inaugural Long Beach International Tamales Festival 2021, is upon us. This all-day holiday inspired fair features a diverse selection of Latin American cuisine, from regional tamales, Latin inspired dishes, drinks, tequila tastings, a best homemade tamales contest, and a full line-up of entertainment, activities, and vendors of all kinds! The event takes place at the Scottish Rite Events Centre on Sunday, December 5th, 2021 from 12:00 p.m.– 8:00 p.m. The Homemade Tamale Contest will be judged by Long Beach City College’s Culinary Arts program’s Executive Chef Haley Nguyen and Hotel Maya’s and Fuego’s executive chef, Victor Juarez. LBCC Culinary Arts Department students will also be selling their special tamale creations including a Peruvian tamale and a Kosher vegetarian tamale (made with oil versus lard) prepared by a Jewish culinary arts student born in Mexico City. Chef Haley takes a break from supervising the tamale making and is our guest.

Adam Bell, the founder of dataTV established in 1996, is the “SoCal Restaurant Show’s” accomplished, long-time web designer, webmaster and all-around social media guru. He relocated to Los Angeles from New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. NOLA icon, Café du Monde, remains a client., remains a client. Adam was just on a cross-country business trip to Miami via airplane. This was a first for him since the start of the pandemic. We’ll get his informed insider’s perspective on the status of air travel, ethnic dining in Miami and staying at a landmark luxury hotel property which, unfortunately, delivered substandard service and accommodations.

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 (joining us from the grand opening of Raw by Slapfish in downtown Indianapolis) reveals the details of how attentive listeners can enter the contest to be awarded an incredible package of prime steaks from West Coast Prime Meats by submitting a worthy Holiday Cooking Question for “Ask the Chef” that is used on-air.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

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