Show 570, March 23, 2024: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

“The story of Copia Vineyards begins with the passion of Anita and Varinder Sahi, their shared love of wine and the beauty of its source. The Sahis each had different paths to this world. He has an engineering and business background, and she is a restaurant and marketing veteran. He globetrotted for work and his love for wine grew. She worked side-by-side with some of the finest restaurateurs and Michelin-starred chefs, cultivating her zeal for fine food and wine. Their shared interests, entrepreneurship and life’s ever-winding path sparked a trip to Paso Robles Wine Country in 2015. Essentially, they never left. In 2017, the Sahis’ search to find a special site to produce world-class Rhône and Bordeaux varietals was successful. They became the proud stewards of 50 acres of paradise-on-earth in the Willow Creek District of Paso Robles. It is now a veritable winemaker’s dream with nearly 40,000 vines planted in 24 distinct blocks. In 2022, their estate grew to include 26 acres of dramatic landscape in the Adelaida District. The vines on the Copia Estate are now producing some of the most opulent, concentrated fruit with densely rich varietal characteristics.” Anita and Varinder Sahi join us to gently pull the cork on all that is Copia Vineyards and Winery.

“In 2017, VOX Kitchen opened in the heart of Little Saigon, bringing the ‘Chifa’ culinary movement —a fusion of Chinese and Peruvian cuisines—to Orange County. The award-winning restaurant entered into 2024 with an expanded kitchen and dining room, new menu offerings, and a second location set to open in late 2024 at South Coast Plaza. The expansion allows Founder and Executive Chef Viet Ngyuen to dig deeper into the culinary ethos of VOX Kitchen and explore Chifa cuisine through the lens of seafood, a staple in Peru. VOX Kitchen is one of nearly a dozen pan-Asian fusion restaurants under the KEI Concepts umbrella, a trailblazing culinary group helmed by Nguyen. As the group’s founder, CEO, and executive chef, Nguyen is passionate about connecting diverse communities through the universal language of food – an ethos evident across all his concepts. Nguyen sees each restaurant as a canvas for this mission, where the culinary creations are not just dishes but cultural ambassadors.” Founder and Executive Chef Viet Nguyen is our guest.

“Indulge in a decadent world of sweetness at the 11th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival (BICF) in Hawaii presented by the Kona Cacao Association, taking place on April 26-27, 2024, at the beautiful beach-front Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa on the Big Island of Hawaii. The BICF promises an unforgettable experience filled with chocolate cooking demonstrations, cacao growing presentations, and the most festive walk-around gala of all galas! This year the theme as ‘Mystical Chocolate Masquerade’ and guests are encouraged to dress up, wear masks and get creative to win tickets to the 2025 event. Picture a venue adorned with rich colors, luxurious velvet, and opulent gold accents, creating the perfect backdrop for an evening of sweet enchantment.” Farsheed Bonakdar, President of the organizing Kona Cacao Association joins us with a ripe cacao pod in hand along with a bar of pure Hawaiian chocolate.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the full-service Calico Fish House (in the Sunset Beach area of Huntington Beach) and also the founder and pizzaiola of the fast-casual Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) located in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where he responds to listeners’ thoughtful inquiries. Restaurants in California are still struggling to fully recover from the pandemic and now there are more storm clouds on the horizon. Insurance underwriters in California are frequently now not renewing restaurants’ policies. Chef Andrew provides the concerning overview.

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

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