Show 405, December 26, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

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

Chef Deborah Madison’s new memoir, An Onion in My Pocket – My Life With Vegetables is from the celebrated author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and 13 other cookbooks. (Described as “The Queen of Greens” by The Washington Post.) It’s a warm, bracingly honest memoir that also gives us an insider’s look at the vegetarian movement.” “Thanks to her beloved cookbooks and groundbreaking work as the opening chef at Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, Deborah Madison, though not a vegetarian herself, has long been revered as this country’s leading authority on vegetables.” We’re walking the local Farmers Market with Chef Deborah Madison.

When we last spoke with Chef Lincoln Carson he had just launched (as Chef & Partner) the ambitious Bon Temps Los Angeles restaurant located next to the Firehouse Hotel in the Arts District adjacent to Downtown Los Angeles. Unfortunately the critically acclaimed Bon Temps was an early victim of COVID 19’s devastating impact on the dining scene in Los Angeles. Fortunately it’s been a busy year for Chef Lincoln nonetheless. In November, Lincoln launched the Merite Bake Shop in Boise, Idaho. It’s a virtual kitchen-bakery located at Crave Collective under the umbrella of Crave Delivery. Chef Lincoln, a resident of the picturesque Santa Ynez Valley, is now back in California to launch the Coast Range Restaurant in Solvang. It’s contemplated as a premier seafood and steakhouse with a spacious patio and the Vaquero Bar (with a separate menu.) At Coast Range Restaurant Chef Lincoln will focus on the menu for the Lunch Café and daytime pastry program. Chef Lincoln joins us with rolling pin in hand.

One of our most reliable sources of accurate restaurant news in fabulous Las Vegas is Al Mancini, who is a staff writer for The Las Vegas Review- Journal covering food, restaurants and other aspects of entertainment. Al has been working the Vegas food scene for 19 years. He was one of the creators of the popular, and widely referenced, Eating Las Vegas restaurant guidebook series. Al joins us with Part 2 of his quarterly update on the Las Vegas dining scene. He’ll provide an insider’s overview of what’s new including the diverse food offerings at local food personality Jolene Mannina’s Vegas Test Kitchen on Fremont Street in Downtown. Al also remembers visionary entrepreneur Tony Hsieh (co-founder of Zappos) who is credited with reviving the (now vibrant) dining scene in Downtown Las Vegas. It was ultimately a $350 million dollar investment.

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 provided the list of “Top Ten Specialty Produce Items” as determined by real sales figures.  Robert joins us to share the always eagerly anticipated list. It’s no surprise that the ultimate comfort food, Melissa’s Dutch Yellow Potatoes, ranks in 1st place. This is actually the 10th year for this distinction. Next Saturday Robert returns to present more of his insightful “Produce Trends Forecast for 2021.”

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 which is a genuine (and growing) concern. New (controversial) restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for the balance of the year (and possibly longer) as we continue the all-important Holiday dining season. Chef Andrew updates us on the early progress for the grass-roots, “86 Struggle” campaign to benefit local out-of-work and struggling restaurant wooers. Our thoughts turn to festive Holiday entertaining at home for New Year’s Eve. Chef Andrew to the rescue as he continues his series of genuinely useful Holiday cooking tips. How do you prepare and cook the ultimate Standing Rib Roast? Chef Andrew suggests the reverse sear. 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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