Anne Marie Panoringan is Voice of OC’s well-informed food columnist. She reports industry news, current events and trends. Panoringan’s prior efforts includes writing about food for 8 years at the OC Weekly in which she interviewed more than 330 chefs, restauranteurs and industry professionals for her weekly “On the Line” column. Anne Marie’s work has been recognized by the Orange County Press Club. Since outside or patio dine-in is now back in Orange County she has been making the rounds to observe the “new normal” in fresh-air dining. She joins us to share how OC restaurants are adapting while creatively surmounting numerous obstacles. Along the way Anne Marie also highlights some standout Brunch spots.
Rich Mead, Owner and Executive Chef of Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar offers guests patio seating on a lush, garden setting for lunch and early dinner with an all-day menu. With over 4,000 square feet of al fresco dining, guests can relax outdoors while responsibly enjoying an award-winning cocktail or a seasonal, sustainably sourced meal. Also available is a diverse menu of takeout offerings in place including a Curbside Market with local ingredients and pantry staples, nourishing Family Meals and weekly Farmers Market Produce Boxes. Classic and signature cocktails are available for dine-in or curbside pickup courtesy of Chef de Swigs, Anthony Laborin and his team. We divert Rich Mead from his rounds at the Santa Monica Farmers Market for a chat.
“Awen Winecraft officially started commercially in 2016 by winemakers Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood. They had been producing small lots of hand-crafted hobby wine for over a decade, starting in California focusing primarily on red wines. After many years of honing their winemaking skills producing 4 to 16 barrels per year, Sean and Tom decided it was time to try to make a business of their passion. Sean moved to Southern Oregon in the summer of 2011 and began experimenting with the Rogue and Applegate AVA grapes, again, exclusively focused on red wines in the region, which offers an abundance of red wine grapes that they previously hadn’t used. They moved on to white wines in 2013, and worked on creating both 100% varietals as well as blends. Finally, after commuting up from the Bay Area roughly 30 times for winemaking duties, Tom packed up his family and made Southern Oregon his home in the summer of 2016 to help start Awen Winecraft.” Proprietors and Winemakers Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood gently pull the cork on all that is Awen Winecraft for us.
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 impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately take-out/delivery when you can surely helps… The short season for fresh Hatch peppers from New Mexico’s Mesilla Valley is upon us. Hatch chiles are thick, meaty and rich in flavor. They are often called the world’s tastiest peppers and with good reason. Chef Andrew is a fan and offers some great tips for inspired cooking with Hatch chiles.
All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show