Show 409, January 23, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

We know Chef James Trees from Esther’s Kitchen in the Arts District of Las Vegas adjacent to Downtown. It’s Chef James’ interpretation of elegant Italian comfort food. “While Chef Trees is descended from Jewish Austrian wine merchants, growing up he spent a lot of time at his best friend Alfio’s house. “I love Italian food because of Alfio and his family,” says Trees. “That’s the food I grew up eating. At Alfio’s they’d be making lasagna or braciola, and pasta – there was always pasta. That’s my comfort food.”” Trees latest creation is the newly opened Al Solito Posto in Summerlin’s Trivoli Village. Al Solito Posto which translates to “At the Usual Place” is an Italian Restaurant with a focus on the classics. The dinner only menu features house-made pasta, fresh ingredients and quality seafood, steaks and chops. Think a chef-driven minestrone, chicken piccata and cioppino.

R6 is a family-owned distillery in the Los Angeles suburb of El Segundo. Founder and Head Distiller Rob Rubens fell in love with the art of distilling after his first (unplanned) trip to New Orleans Rum Distillery. He knew it was time for a change. After spending the better part of a decade in corporate America and realizing that was not his path, Rob visited distilleries and breweries and decided it was time to make waves. Coupling his experience with his desire to bring quality spirits to Los Angeles, Rob opened this speakeasy (Smoky Hollow Tasting & Tap) inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy in 2014.” Distiller Rob Rubens is our spirited guest.

Celebrity Chef, Author and Food TV Personality, Jet Tila, needs no introduction to the listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” With his wife, Ali, he has written the best-selling 101 Asia Dishes You Need To Cook Before You Die and, most recently, 101 Epic Dishes. On Food Network Chef Jet was one of the 3 regular judges for the entire run of “Cutthroat Kitchen with Alton Brown” and the knowledgeable Floor Reporter on the most recent season of refreshed “Iron Chef America.” Chef Jet holds the most Guinness World Records for creating large format food. He’s at it again on Tuesday, January 26th working with True Aussie Beef & Lamb as the online host of the interactive Aussie Dinner Hour” on Australia Day. On the line is an official attempt to best the current Guinness World Record for “Most Users in a Dinner Party Hangout.” Chef Jet is our guest.

In times of uncertainty it’s always best to call on the calming expertise of those truly knowledgeable in their specific areas. Such is the case with our always engaging resident wine authority Kyle Meyer, the Managing Partner of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. On January 12th a new, 25 percent tariff (with little warning) was placed on high-alcohol wines from Europe. In late 2019 a 25 percent tariff was placed on lower-alcohol European wines. We’ll discuss the tariff situation with Kyle and how they ultimately negatively impact wine pricing.

“Women restaurateurs from across Los Angeles have created a new charitable organization called RE:Her. Its debut initiative, a food festival called 10 Days RE:Her, will feature 10 days of unique collaborations, thematic menus, and one-on-one conversations between female industry leaders. 10 Days RE:Her kicked off on January 21, the anniversary of the groundbreaking Women’s March of 2017, and runs through January 30. Over 100 restaurants and collaborators are involved. Observing local dining restrictions, aspects of the festival will take place virtually and remotely.” Chef Sandra Cordero of Gasolina Café in Woodland Hills is one of the organizers of the Festival and as well serves on the active RE:Her board. Sandra takes a break from her busy kitchen to preview the variety of “10 Days RE:Her” events that she is part of.

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 updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, 86 Restaurant Struggle campaign to benefit deserving out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed $300,000 to restaurant workers in dire need. The fried chicken sandwich is becoming an increasingly popular menu item at the major national burger places as well as at other fast casual outlets. Chef Andrew has a lot of hands-on experience with premium fried chicken at Two Birds in Irvine. 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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