May 15: Boozehounds, Lulu California Bistro, Wahoo’s Fish Taco

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

“Boozehounds, is a newly debuted pet-friendly dining, cafe and bar concept in Palm Springs. The 3,812-square-foot restaurant with an additional 1,168-square-foot glass atrium and 2,020-square-foot outdoor lounge is located on bustling N Palm Canyon Drive. Boozehounds features a vibrant design and a welcoming atmosphere with a unique food and beverage menu, including options for dogs. It is poised to quickly become part of Palm Springs’ burgeoning culinary scene.

“Palm Springs has the best of both worlds when it comes to patrons. There’s a large close-knit local community as well as a massive seasonal and weekend visitor population. We intend to make Boozehounds comfortable for both groups, with a focus on conviviality for all to mingle over a coffee, meal or cocktail,” says co-owner Jimmy McGill.”” Partners Jimmy McGill and Bryan Rogers join us.

“Lulu California Bistro (founded in 2011) offers daily dining in the heavily foot-trafficed area of downtown Palm Springs (on S. Palm Canyon Dr.) with a savory all day “favorites” menu, 3-course feast, Weekend Brunch and expanded patio seating.” “There is always a party at Lulu, and the party has returned with the official re-opening of restaurants in Palm Springs. Lulu offering daily dining from a delicious all day “favorites” menu on its expanded patio, in the bar area and in main dining rooms with socially-distanced tables.” Proprietor & Founder Jerry Keller joins us with the details of what’s on the Lulu menu.

Chef Wing Lam of Wahoo’s Fish Taco is collaborating with Three Sticks Wines on two, back- to -back tasting events in Long Beach and Newport Beach under the name of Rose on the Road. Three Sticks will be pouring a celebratory selection of their latest wines (including the newly released 2020 Castenada Sonoma Coast Rose) at the Wahoo’s Fish Taco locations in Long Beach (May 20th from 5 to 7:00 p.m.) and Newport Beach (May 21st from 3 to 5:00 p.m.) as founder and chef, Wing Lam, cooks up his famous grilled fish tacos with spicy oven-roasted salsa on the patio. Tickets are limited. Wing Lam is our guest spatula in hand.

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. Moving on to the current crisis in the hospitality industry we’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the difficulty restaurants are currently experiencing in restaffing – both in the front and back of the house.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Bryan Rogers and Jerry McGill of Boozehounds in Palm Springs

Boozehounds, is a newly debuted pet-friendly dining, cafe and bar concept in Palm Springs. The 3,812-square-foot restaurant with an additional 1,168-square-foot glass atrium and 2,020-square-foot outdoor lounge is located on bustling N Palm Canyon Drive. Boozehounds features a vibrant design and a welcoming atmosphere with a unique food and beverage menu, including options for dogs. It is poised to quickly become part of Palm Springs’ burgeoning culinary scene.”

“Palm Springs has the best of both worlds when it comes to patrons. There’s a large close-knit local community as well as a massive seasonal and weekend visitor population. We intend to make Boozehounds comfortable for both groups, with a focus on conviviality for all to mingle over a coffee, meal or cocktail,” says co-owner Jimmy McGill.”

“This is a deeply personal project for him and co-owners Bryan Rogers and Steve Piacenza. The concept pays homage to their past and present pets with the logo design inspired by Jimmy and Steve’s beloved dog, Striker. Striker was rescued from the Pasadena Humane Society in 1999 and for 18 years he was more than a four-legged best friend — he was a brother. His memory lives on in Boozehounds.”

“Boozehounds serves globally-inspired, locally influenced dishes including classics with a twist and daily fresh fish selections, with gluten-free and vegan options. Signature dishes include Miso Chilean Fish and Chips, 48 hour miso-marinated Chilean sea bass, beer batter fried, served with root vegetable chips; Sweet “Spot Prawn” Shrimp Ceviche, red Aguachile, Fresno chili, red onions, avocado, and cilantro served with fried shrimp heads; Adobo Chicken, simmered chicken thighs, steamed rice, topped with adobo broth, and side of spiced coconut vinegar; and Slow Roasted Baby Carrots with Almond Milk Sauce, Crispy Farro and Furikake.”

“The city of Palm Springs has a large dog owner community and we want to contribute to that beloved community and create a space for them. Boozehounds is a coffee, co-working, and lunch spot by day and the place to be for happy hour; and when happy hour turns into happy hours you can grab snacks or dinner as well. Coffee Service starts at 8am – 3pm, Happy Hour 3pm-5pm, Dinner 5pm – 10pm (Sun-Thurs) 11pm (Fri & Sat). We are currently not serving lunch or brunch, but will be in the near future.”

Proprietors Jimmy McGill and Bryan Rogers are with us, premium dog treats in hand.

Jerry Keller of Lulu California Bistro

Lulu California Bistro (founded in 2011) offers daily dining in the heavily foot-trafficed downtown Palm Springs area (on S. Palm Canyon Dr.) with a savory all day “favorites” menu, 3-course feast, Weekend Brunch and expanded patio seating.”

“There’s always a party at Lulu, and the party has returned with the official re-opening of restaurants in Palm Springs. Lulu offering daily dining from a delicious all day “favorites” menu on its expanded patio, in the bar area and in main dining rooms with socially-distanced tables.”

“Lulu California Bistro combines talent, expertise and a passion for great food to produce a captivating California Bistro dining experience. The menu options are many, varied and value-priced, and the quality is always high. The generous portions are prepared with the freshest ingredients available and a dash of innovation from their award-winning chefs.

“Lulu California Bistro first opened its doors on August 22, 2011 and has served their delicious California cuisine to over two and one-half million guests since the opening. Owner Jerry Keller (in concert with his wife, Barbara) have made very careful choices in creating “Palm Springs hippest restaurant”. From the design of the decor to the meticulous choice of incredible dishes on the menu, everything is designed to give Lulu’s guests the experience of gracious dining in the “hot spot” in the Coachella Valley.”

Proprietor/Founder Jerry Keller joins us with the details of what’s on the ample Lulu menu.

Wing Lam preparing Oven Roasted Salsa from his blender

Chef Wing Lam of Wahoo’s Fish Taco is collaborating with Three Sticks Wines on two, back-to-back tasting events in Long Beach and Newport Beach under the name of Rose on the Road.

Three Sticks will be pouring a celebratory selection of their latest wines (including the newly released 2020 Castenada Sonoma Coast Rose) at the Wahoo’s Fish Taco locations in Long Beach (May 20th from 5 to 7:00 p.m.) and Newport Beach (May 21stfrom 3 to 5:00 p.m.) as founder and chef, Wing Lam, cooks up his famous grilled fish tacos with spicy oven-roasted salsa on the patio. Tickets are limited.

Chef Wing Lam co-founded Wahoo’s Fish Taco in 1988 (with his two brothers) and the enterprise has grown to over 60 locations throughout California. A fresh and tasty fusion of Brazilian, Asian, and Mexican fare, Wahoo’s is best known for their signature fish tacos that pair perfectly with the newly released 2020 Castenada Rose.

Wing Lam is our guest spatula in hand.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions.

Moving on to the current crisis in the hospitality industry we’ll ask Chef Andrew about the difficulty restaurants are currently experiencing in restaffing – both in the front and back of the house. It’s tough to even get applicants…What does the future hold if this unfortunate trend continues? Is more automation (and less service) possibly on the horizon?

Remember the juicy and delicious Community Burger (more than a mouthful) is available at all Southern California locations of Slapfish. The worthy burger is free with any donation to 86 Restaurant Struggle.” 100 per cent of that money goes to benefit struggling restaurant workers.

Show 424, May 8, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

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

Chargers Cooking on a Mission

The Los Angeles Chargers Impact Fund (Charity arm of Los Angeles Chargers football team) has joined forces with Melissa’s Produce to host a virtual cooking fundraiser (“Cooking for a Mission”) on May 27th from 5 to 6:30 p.m. PT to benefit the Midnight Mission’s HomeLight facility in Inglewood. Details are available here. Registration Deadline is May 13th.

Proprietor & Chef Isaac Gamboa of Beverly Hills’ side-by-side Prospect Gourmand and Gourmando has extensive fine dining experience working with big name chefs and at luxury hotel properties. In 2014 Chef Isaac and his wife, Chancey, (the welcoming General Manager) opened the modest (and self-funded) Prospect Gourmand on La Cienega Blvd. in Beverly Hills. Favorable word-of-mouth spread about their honest, from-the-heart elevated cuisine and they soon developed a regular and loyal following. Two years ago The Gamboas were able to relocate to a larger space (with a better equipped kitchen) on N. Robertson Blvd. located just North of Wilshire Blvd. on the West side of the street. It’s Lunch and Dinner daily with Weekend Brunch service. Chef Isaac & Chancey Gamboa are our guest tongs in hand.

“In 2006, a young toffee-maker (based in the greater Palm Springs area,) Brandon Weimer, and a family friend were presented an opportunity to go on a class trip to Italy during their sophomore year of high school. Challenged by their parents to earn half the cost of their trip, they accepted, and Brandini Toffee was born. With unwavering optimism, they sold their toffee to family, friends and the community. Within a few months the two surpassed their funding goals and enjoyed a well-earned trip to Europe. Since then, the company has grown into a business committed to quality and community. Founded in the Palm Springs area, Brandini Toffee is enjoyed by chocolate-lovers and toffee aficionados around the world, and is the first toffee company to receive the coveted gold sofi Award from the Specialty Food Association.” Founder Brandon Weimer joins us with whisk in hand.

“Located just off the 91 Freeway in Riverside, Wicks Brewing Company has been bringing award-winning craft beer and food to the Inland Empire since serving their first pint back in April of 2013.

One of the largest brewpubs in the Inland Empire, Wicks Brewing features 25 draft selections, seltzers, a great rotating cider list and even wine!” Always community focused Wicks Brewing is participating in the first national StacheStong benefit (featuring 200 craft breweries in some 30 states.) This month of May campaign is raising vitally needed funds and much needed awareness for brain cancer research during national Brain Tumor Awareness Month. Participating #BrewStacheStrong breweries are raising money through sales of their limited-edition S.M.A.S.H. for STACHE. This SMaSH (single malt and single hop) beer has been uniquely crafted by each participating brewery. Ryan Wicks taps the keg of their Secret Stache, SMASH Pilsner creation 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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. Shifting the conversation back to food we’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the increasing practice of full-service restaurants adding a partial or full gratuity to the guest’s check in advance of the payment regardless of the number of guests dining.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 424, May 8, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and Casino

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions.

Shifting the conversation back to food and the hospitality business we also ask Chef Andrew about the increasing practice of full-service restaurants adding a partial or full gratuity to the guest’s check in advance of the payment regardless of the number of guests dining. We’ve observed an extra 4 per cent being added on as a contribution to staff health premiums as well as a full 16 per cent gratuity (pre-tax.)

Next week we’ll talk about the current labor shortage as restaurants are reopening for service. Staff is needed for both front and back of the house.

Remember the juicy and delicious Community Burger (more than a mouthful) is available at all Southern California locations of Slapfish. The worthy burger is free with any donation to 86 Restaurant Struggle.” 100 per cent of that money goes to benefit struggling restaurant workers.

Play

May 8: Prospect Gourmand, Brandini Toffee, Wicks Brewing Company

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Isaac and Chancey Gamboa, Gourmando & Prospect Gourmand, Beverly Hills Part One
Segment Three: Chef Isaac and Chancey Gamboa, Gourmando & Prospect Gourmand, Beverly Hills Part Two
Segment Four: Brandon Weimer, Founder, Brandini Toffee, Palm Springs Part One
Segment Five: Brandon Weimer, Founder, Brandini Toffee, Palm Springs Part Two
Segment Six: Ryan Wicks, Wicks Brewing Co., Riverside Part One
Segment Seven: Ryan Wicks, Wicks Brewing Co., Riverside Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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

Proprietor & Chef Isaac Gamboa of Beverly Hills’ side-by-side Prospect Gourmand and Gourmando has extensive fine dining experience working with big name chefs and at luxury hotel properties. In 2014 Chef Isaac and his wife, Chancey, (the welcoming General Manager) opened the modest (and self-funded) Prospect Gourmand on La Cienega Blvd. in Beverly Hills. Favorable word-of-mouth spread about their honest, from-the-heart elevated cuisine and they soon developed a regular and loyal following. Two years ago The Gamboas were able to relocate to a larger space (with a better equipped kitchen) on N. Robertson Blvd. located just North of Wilshire Blvd. on the West side of the street. It’s Lunch and Dinner daily with Weekend Brunch service. Chef Isaac Gamboa is our guest tongs in hand.

“In 2006, a young toffee-maker (based in the greater Palm Springs area,) Brandon Weimer, and a family friend were presented an opportunity to go on a class trip to Italy during their sophomore year of high school. Challenged by their parents to earn half the cost of their trip, they accepted, and Brandini Toffee was born. With unwavering optimism, they sold their toffee to family, friends and the community. Within a few months the two surpassed their funding goals and enjoyed a well-earned trip to Europe. Since then, the company has grown into a business committed to quality and community. Founded in the Palm Springs area, Brandini Toffee is enjoyed by chocolate-lovers and toffee aficionados around the world, and is the first toffee company to receive the coveted gold sofi Award from the Specialty Food Association.” Founder Brandon Weimer joins us with whisk in hand.

“Located just off the 91 Freeway in Riverside, Wicks Brewing Company has been bringing award-winning craft beer and food to the Inland Empire since serving their first pint back in April of 2013.

One of the largest brewpubs in the Inland Empire, Wicks Brewing features 25 draft selections, seltzers, a great rotating cider list and even wine!” Always community focused Wicks Brewing is participating in the first national StacheStong benefit (featuring 200 craft breweries in some 30 states.) This month of May campaign is raising vitally needed funds and much needed awareness for brain cancer research during national Brain Tumor Awareness Month. Participating #BrewStacheStrong breweries are raising money through sales of their limited-edition S.M.A.S.H. for STACHE. This SMaSH (single malt and single hop) beer has been uniquely crafted by each participating brewery. Ryan Wicks taps the keg of their SMASH Pilsner creation 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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. Shifting the conversation back to food we’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the increasing practice of full-service restaurants adding a partial or full gratuity to the guest’s check in advance of the payment regardless of the number of guests dining.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Isaac Gamboa of Prospect Gourmand and Gourmando

Proprietor & Chef Isaac Gamboa of Beverly Hills’ side-by-side Prospect Gourmand and Gourmando has extensive fine dining experience working with big name chefs and at luxury hotel properties. In 2014 Chef Isaac and his wife, Chancey (the welcoming General Manager) opened the modest (and self-funded) Prospect Gourmand on La Cienega Blvd. in Beverly Hills. Favorable word-of-mouth spread about their honest, from-the-heart elevated cuisine and they soon developed a regular and loyal following. Two years ago The Gamboas were able to relocate to a larger space (with a better equipped kitchen including a pizza oven) on N. Robertson Blvd. located just North of Wilshire Blvd. on the West side of the street. It’s Lunch and Dinner daily with Weekend Brunch service.

Eventually (post pandemic) there will be two concepts under the same roof. One side will be a nightly changing prix fixe menu based on what ingredients Isaac sees as the season’s best along with an a la care menu that features South of the Border specialties like Wild Pacific Shrimp a la Plancha with farmers market vegetables.

“Isaac Gamboa trained under the aegis of Michelin-starred Chef/Restaurateur Michael Mina in Las Vegas at his restaurants including American Fish, Nob Hill and Strip Steak; was part of the group’s opening teams, and honed valuable skills in fine dining and hospitality. Isaac then went on to be the Executive Chef of the luxury boutique hotel Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, California overseeing two of the most idyllic ocean front dining destinations: One Pico and Coast Beach Cafe and Bar.”

“He received his culinary arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu in Las Vegas and originally launched his career at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, as a Junior Sous Chef for the Five Diamond resort. Chef Isaac also specialized there in creating French pastries.”

Chef Isaac Gamboa is our guest tongs in hand.

Brandon Weimer of Brandini Toffee
Bran

“In 2006, a young toffee-maker (based in the greater Palm Springs area,) Brandon Weimer, and family friend were presented an opportunity to go on a class trip to Italy during their sophomore year of high school. Challenged by their parents to earn half the cost of their trip, they accepted, and Brandini Toffee was born.”

“With unwavering optimism, they sold their toffee to family, friends and the community. Within a few months the two surpassed their funding goals and enjoyed a well-earned trip to Europe. Since then, the company has grown into a business committed to quality and community.”

“Founded in the Palm Springs area, Brandini Toffee is enjoyed by chocolate-lovers and toffee aficionados around the world, and is the first toffee company to receive the coveted gold sofi Award from the Specialty Food Association. The family owned business has become a featured favorite on Oprah Winfrey’s O List, The Martha Stewart Show, The Food Network and Brandini Toffee has even been served to a President of the United States.”

“The company is dedicated to handcrafted toffee created with premium, preservatives-free and GMO-free ingredients. Brandini Toffee also crafts Toffee Popcorn and Cashew Almond Toffee Popcorn. This is the recipe that has led to four Brandini store locations, a fast-growing wholesale segment, and shipments world-wide.” The newest store location (and the first outside of the greater Palm Springs area) is in Westfield Century City.

Founder Brandon Weimer joins us.

Brian Herbertson and Ryan Wicks of Wicks Brewing Company

“Located just off the 91 Freeway in Riverside, Wicks Brewing Company has been bringing award-winning craft beer and food to the Inland Empire since serving their first pint back in April of 2013.”

“Wicks’ brewpub houses a beautiful 7 bbl copper brew house, which is visible from the open floor taproom and restaurant. Visitors will often see their brewers at work creating the next batch of great craft beer.

One of the largest brewpubs in the Inland Empire, Wicks Brewing features 25 draft selections, seltzers, a great rotating cider list and even wine!”

Always community focused Wicks Brewing is participating in the first national StacheStong benefit (featuring 200 craft breweries in some 30 states.) This month of May campaign is raising vitally needed funds and much needed awareness for brain cancer research during national Brain Tumor Awareness Month. Participating #BrewStacheStrong breweries are raising money through sales of their limited-edition S.M.A.S.H. for STACHE. This SMaSH (single malt and single hop) beer has been uniquely crafted by each participating brewery.

For #BrewStacheStrong Wicks has brewed the S.M.A.S.H. Pilsner with Loral Hops and Pilsner Malt. It’s available on tap through the month of May at the Wicks BrewPub.

StacheStrong is a 501(c)3 non-profit devoted to raising funds and awareness for brain cancer research. Defeating brain cancer and improving the quality of patients’ lives is our daily focus. Our organization has become a beacon of hope for countless individuals and families afflicted by this disease and we serve as an ardent advocate for all those impacted by brain cancer.”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and Casino

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions.

Shifting the conversation back to food and the hospitality business we’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the increasing practice of full-service restaurants adding a partial or full gratuity to the guest’s check in advance of the payment regardless of the number of guests dining. We’ve observed an extra 4 per cent being added on as a contribution to staff health premiums as well as a full 16 per cent gratuity (pre-tax.)

Remember the juicy and delicious Community Burger (more than a mouthful) is available at all Southern California locations of Slapfish. The worthy burger is free with any donation to 86 Restaurant Struggle.” 100 per cent of that money goes to benefit struggling restaurant workers.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Isaac and Chancey Gamboa, Gourmando & Prospect Gourmand, Beverly Hills Part One
Segment Three: Chef Isaac and Chancey Gamboa, Gourmando & Prospect Gourmand, Beverly Hills Part Two
Segment Four: Brandon Weimer, Founder, Brandini Toffee, Palm Springs Part One
Segment Five: Brandon Weimer, Founder, Brandini Toffee, Palm Springs Part Two
Segment Six: Ryan Wicks, Wicks Brewing Co., Riverside Part One
Segment Seven: Ryan Wicks, Wicks Brewing Co., Riverside Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 423, May 1, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

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

In June of 2012 Copenhagen Pastry first brought the authentic taste of Denmark to Culver City under the direction of Proprietress Karen Hansen. For centuries, the Danes have made delicious pastries, and Copenhagen Pastry is proudly continuing that tradition in Southern California. Copenhagen Pastry differs from other bakeries through their emphasis on using authentic Danish recipes, traditional baking methods and the finest quality ingredients to create pastries that are flaky, light and delicately sweet without being sugary or heavy. Proprietress and Baker Karen Hansen prepares the signature Kringle for us.

Saracina Vineyards Mendocino is a Certified California Sustainable (CSWA) winery and vineyard located in Hopland, in the southern part of Mendocino County about 30 miles north of Healdsburg. This 250-acre ranch, which includes a winery and sustainably farmed vineyards, is also home to 140-year-old olive trees, vegetable gardens, beehives, and all manner of bird and wild animal life. The handcrafted, limited production Saracina wines reflect a conscious sense of this beautiful estate in Mendocino County. Originally founded by the husband and wife team of John Fetzer and Patty Rock in 2001, Saracina has always been defined by a strong sense of family. In 2018, Marc Taub took on stewardship of Saracina, upholding the spirit of family ownership that has defined this iconic Mendocino County winery since its inception.” Long-time winemaker Alex MacGregor joins us to pull the cork on Saracina Mendocino.

The family-owned and operated More Than Waffles located in the Encino Town Center launched in 1975. Since 1998 the welcoming establishment has been owned by the Taft Family. “They specialize in the authentic Belgian Waffle called, “Gaufre.” They are known for their thickness but have a light and airy texture which makes them lower in calories, only 140 calories per waffle. The waffles are made from the finest ingredients and served plain or with a variety of fresh toppings and are accompanied with house-made jam and melted butter. More than Waffles offers some 19 different waffles to choose from, and of course you can create your own. Beyond Breakfast, More Than Waffles offers a full lunch menu including Sandwiches, Salads, Pastas, Chicken Dishes, house-made Soups and juicy Hamburgers (including Vegi Burgers and Turkey Burgers.) More Than Waffles uses a variety of Organic products and offers many healthy and lower-calorie, lighter fare dishes.” Proprietress Ika Taft (who started there as a server in 1989) is our guest.

“Orange County notable Amar Santana, the well-known chef of Vaca and The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza, as well as Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach, has returned to Bravo’s Top Chef Season 18 with a twist. This current Season, Chef Amar traded his cheftestant toque for a seat at the prestigious Judge’s Table. He was selected to be part of an elite rotating judging and dining panel made up of Top Chef All Star winners and finalists.” We entice Chef Amar away from his busy kitchens for a long overdue chat.

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. Shifting the conversation back to food we’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the new developments with the stinging 3rd party delivery fees charged to restaurants. DoorDash (the industry leader) has just revamped what percentages they charge to restaurants. It’s now 3 tiers. Chef Andrew has a dazzler of a premium sandwich collaboration going with the flagship Nathan’s Famous stand on Coney Island. It’s a premium rib eye steak sandwich with caramelized onions on artisan bread with one quarter pound of butter poached lobster (The Surf’N Turf.)

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 423, May 1, 2021: Ika Taft, Proprietress, More Than Waffles, Encino

The proudly family-owned More Than Waffles located in the Encino Town Center launched in 1975. Since 1998 the established has been owned and operated by the Taft Family. “They specialize in the authentic Belgian Waffle called, “Gaufre.” They are known for their thickness but have a light and airy texture which makes them lower in calories, only 140 calories per waffle. The waffles are made from the finest ingredients and served plain or with a variety of fresh toppings and are accompanied with house-made jam and melted butter. More than Waffles offers some 19 different waffles to choose from, and of course you can create your own.”

“More Than Waffles also offers a full breakfast menu that includes 21 omelets which are served with a Belgian Waffle or home fries, breakfast burritos, crepes, pancakes, various benedicts, hash and much more.”

“Besides breakfast, More Than Waffles offers a full lunch menu including Sandwiches, Salads, Pastas, Chicken Dishes, house-made Soups and juicy Hamburgers (including Vegi Burgers and Turkey Burgers.) More Than Waffles uses a variety of Organic products and offers many healthy and low-calorie dishes for a lighter touch.”

Love is in the air at More Than Waffles. Proprietress Ika Taft (who started there as a server) met her future husband, Greg, at the restaurant. As coincidence would have it Ika’s and Greg’s daughter, Henny, also was introduced to her future husband (Mike) at More Than Waffles. Henny is currently the General Manager of More Than Waffles representing the 2nd generation of caring, hands-on Taft Family stewardship.

Since they only have 17 tables available in their comfortable patio on the lower level of the Encino Town Center Ika suggests getting on their Yelp Waitlist during normal operating hours. If your party is on the list by the 2 p.m. daily close you’re guaranteed attentive & relaxed service even if you’re seated after 2:00 p.m. That’s real hospitality….

More Than Waffles was a beneficiary of Chef Andrew & Lauren Gruel’s “86 Restaurant Struggle” relief fund with support to both the Front and Back of The House Staff there.

Play

Show 423, May 1, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style Pizza

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions.

Shifting the conversation back to food we’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the new developments with the stinging 3rd party delivery fees charged to restaurants. DoorDash (the industry leader) has just revamped what percentages they charge to restaurants. It’s now a complicated 3 tiers. The consumer also pays a delivery fee.

Chef Andrew has a dazzler of a sandwich collaboration going with the flagship Nathan’s Famous stand on Coney Island. It’s a premium rib eye steak sandwich creation with caramelized onions on artisan bread with one quarter pound of butter poached lobster (The Surf’N Turf.)

Remember the juicy and delicious Community Burger (more than a mouthful) is available at all Southern California locations of Slapfish. The worthy burger is free with any donation to 86 Restaurant Struggle.” 100 per cent of that money goes to benefit struggling restaurant workers.

Play

May 1: Copenhagen Pastry, Saracina Vineyards Mendocino, More Than Waffles, Amar Santana and Top Chef Season 18

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Karen Hansen, Proprietress and Baker, Copenhagen Pastry, Culver City Part One
Segment Three: Karen Hansen, Proprietress and Baker, Copenhagen Pastry, Culver City Part Two
Segment Four: Winemaker Alex MacGregor, Saracina Vineyards Mendocino Part One
Segment Five: Winemaker Alex MacGregor, Saracina Vineyards Mendocino Part Two
Segment Six: Ika Taft, Proprietress, More Than Waffles, Encino
Segment Seven: Restaurateur & Executive Chef Amar Santana, The Hall, Vaca and Broadway
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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

In June of 2012 Copenhagen Pastry first brought the authentic taste of Denmark to Culver City under the direction of Proprietress Karen Hansen. For centuries, the Danes have made delicious pastries, and Copenhagen Pastry is proudly continuing that tradition in Southern California. Copenhagen Pastry differs from other bakeries through their emphasis on using authentic Danish recipes, traditional baking methods and the finest quality ingredients to create pastries that are flaky, light and delicately sweet without being sugary or heavy. Proprietress and Baker Karen Hansen prepares the signature Kringle for us.

“Saracina Vineyards Mendocino is a Certified California Sustainable (CSWA) winery and vineyard located in Hopland, in the southern part of Mendocino County about 30 miles north of Healdsburg. This 250-acre ranch, which includes a winery and sustainably farmed vineyards, is also home to 140-year-old olive trees, vegetable gardens, beehives, and all manner of bird and wild animal life. The handcrafted, limited production Saracina wines reflect a conscious sense of this beautiful estate in Mendocino County. Originally founded by the husband and wife team of John Fetzer and Patty Rock in 2001, Saracina has always been defined by a strong sense of family. In 2018, Marc Taub took on stewardship of Saracina, upholding the spirit of family ownership that has defined this iconic Mendocino County winery since its inception.” Long-time winemaker Alex MacGregor joins us to pull the cork on Saracina Mendocino.

The family-owned and operated More Than Waffles located in the Encino Town Center launched in 1975. Since 1998 the welcoming establishment has been owned by the Taft Family. “They specialize in the authentic Belgian Waffle called, “Gaufre.” They are known for their thickness but have a light and airy texture which makes them lower in calories, only 140 calories per waffle. The waffles are made from the finest ingredients and served plain or with a variety of fresh toppings and are accompanied with house-made jam and melted butter. More than Waffles offers some 19 different waffles to choose from, and of course you can create your own. Beyond Breakfast, More Than Waffles offers a full lunch menu including Sandwiches, Salads, Pastas, Chicken Dishes, house-made Soups and juicy Hamburgers (including Vegi Burgers and Turkey Burgers.) More Than Waffles uses a variety of Organic products and offers many healthy and lower-calorie, lighter fare dishes.” Proprietress Ika Taft (who started there as a server in 1989) is our guest.

“Orange County notable Amar Santana, the well-known chef of Vaca and The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza, as well as Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach, has returned to Bravo’s Top Chef Season 18 with a twist. This current Season, Chef Amar traded his cheftestant toque for a seat at the prestigious Judge’s Table. He was selected to be part of an elite rotating judging and dining panel made up of Top Chef All Star winners and finalists.” We entice Chef Amar away from his busy kitchens for a long overdue chat.

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. Shifting the conversation back to food we’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the new developments with the stinging 3rd party delivery fees charged to restaurants. DoorDash (the industry leader) has just revamped what percentages they charge to restaurants. It’s now 3 tiers.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

“In June of 2012 Copenhagen Pastry brought the authentic taste of Denmark to Culver City under the direction of Proprietress Karen Hansen. For centuries, the Danes have made delicious pastries, and Copenhagen Pastry is proudly continuing that tradition in Southern California.”

“Copenhagen Pastry differs from other bakeries through their emphasis on using authentic Danish recipes, traditional baking methods and premium ingredients to create pastries that are flaky, light and delicately sweet without being sugary or heavy.”

“Copenhagen Pastry’s fillings are primarily almond paste and custard in various ratios along with cinnamon, almond flakes and traditional Danish fruit fillings (apple, raspberry, apricot and blueberry). At Copenhagen Pastry they bake pastries throughout the day as demand dictates. Customers always leave with freshly baked goods.”

“Among their signature offerings is a wholegrain rye bread containing the goodness of whole rye berries, black flax seeds, sunflower and sesame seeds. Their rye bread is a thoroughly healthy bread high in fiber, low in sodium and sugar free.”

“Traditional Danish pastry dough is yeast-leavened dough folded 27 times over with layers of margarine resulting in a so called laminated dough that yields the desired light and flaky pastry so prized around the world.”

“The basic pastry dough is used to make pastries in a variety of styles – round and circular (Spandauer and Chocolate), folded or rolled (Copenhagen or Cinnamon), cut, folded or shaped (Diamond or Crown) or the knotted pretzel shape of a Kringle, the trade sign for Danish bakeries.”

Proprietress & Baker Karen Hansen joins us with whisk in hand.

Saracina Vineyards Mendocino is a Certified California Sustainable (CSWA) winery and vineyard located in Hopland, in the southern part of Mendocino County about 30 miles north of Healdsburg. This 250-acre ranch, which includes a winery and sustainably farmed vineyards, is also home to 140-year-old olive trees, vegetable gardens, beehives, and all manner of bird and wild animal life. The handcrafted, limited production Saracina wines reflect a conscious sense of this beautiful estate in Mendocino County.”

“Originally founded by the husband and wife team of John Fetzer and Patty Rock in 2001, Saracina has always been defined by a strong sense of family. In 2018, Marc Taub took on stewardship of Saracina, upholding the spirit of family ownership that has defined this iconic Mendocino County winery since its inception.”

“Saracina cultivates 40 acres of vineyards on six different parcels. The soils vary greatly from rocky to black clay and gravelly loam, allowing for the cultivation of numerous varieties including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. This area has wet winters and dry summers with very warm days and cool nights providing for ripe, plush fruit to be balanced by firm acidity. Winemaking is led by Alex MacGregor.”

“At Saracina, the modern, eco-friendly tasting room and winery facility blend comfortably into the rural landscape. Saracina’s openness and unspoiled yet well-tended beauty is unique in the Mendocino County, as are the wine caves, the first of their kind in the county dug out of solid rock over a two-year period. By prior appointment throughout the year, the winery also offers Wine Cave Tours, Private Tastings with the Winemaker, and last but not least, Estate Tours in a motorized “Mule.””

Long-time winemaker Alex MacGregor joins us to gently pull the cork on Saracina Mendocino.

The proudly family-owned More Than Waffles located in the Encino Town Center launched in 1975. Since 1998 the established has been owned and operated by the Taft Family. “They specialize in the authentic Belgian Waffle called, “Gaufre.” They are known for their thickness but have a light and airy texture which makes them lower in calories, only 140 calories per waffle. The waffles are made from the finest ingredients and served plain or with a variety of fresh toppings and are accompanied with house-made jam and melted butter. More than Waffles offers some 19 different waffles to choose from, and of course you can create your own.”

“More Than Waffles also offers a full breakfast menu that includes 21 omelets which are served with a Belgian Waffle or home fries, breakfast burritos, crepes, pancakes, various benedicts, hash and much more.”

“Besides breakfast, More Than Waffles offers a full lunch menu including Sandwiches, Salads, Pastas, Chicken Dishes, house-made Soups and juicy Hamburgers (including Vegi Burgers and Turkey Burgers.) More Than Waffles uses a variety of Organic products and offers many healthy and low-calorie dishes for a lighter touch.”

Love is in the air at More Than Waffles. Proprietress Ika Taft (who started there as a server) met her future husband, Greg, at the restaurant. As coincidence would have it Ika’s and Greg’s daughter, Henny, also was introduced to her future husband (Mike) at More Than Waffles. Henny is currently the General Manager of More Than Waffles representing the 2nd generation of caring, hands-on Taft Family stewardship.

Amar Santana at the Finale of Top Chef

Orange County notable Amar Santana, the well-known chef of Vaca and The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza, as well as Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach, has returned to Bravo’s Top Chef Season 18 with a twist.

“This current Season, Chef Amar traded his cheftestant toque for a seat at the prestigious Judge’s Table. He was selected to be part of an elite rotating judging and dining panel made up of Top Chef All Star winners and finalists.”

“Santana, in a tight finale, ended Season 13 as the Top Chef runner-up. The ranking was made more impressive as he battled his way back to the win in “Last Chance Kitchen” where eliminated chefs compete for the wild card spot in the finale.”

“Portland, Oregon is the setting for the new season of Top Chef. Production took place last fall under rigid COVID-19 protocols and devastating wildfires. Santana was on hand for the first eight episodes including the popular “Restaurant Wars” competition.”

Top Chef Season 18 currently airs Thursday at 8 p.m. PDT. The long-running culinary reality show has garnered more than 32 Emmy nominations and two wins over 13 years.

“Santana’s long-standing relationship with South Coast Plaza began in 2008 when the graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (and a C-CAP alum and scholarship recipient from High School) was hand-picked by Chef Charlie Palmer to open his eponymous restaurant at Bloomingdale’s. It was there Santana first worked with restaurateur Ahmed Labbate, another veteran of Palmer’s restaurant empire. The two subsequently went on to partner in three thriving restaurants in the competitive Orange County dining scene.” (Locations in South Coast Plaza and Laguna Beach.)

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style Pizza

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions.

Shifting the conversation back to food we’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the new developments with the stinging 3rd party delivery fees charged to restaurants. DoorDash (the industry leader) has just revamped what percentages they charge to restaurants. It’s now a complicated 3 tiers. The consumer also pays a delivery fee.

Remember the juicy and delicious Community Burger (more than a mouthful) is available at all Southern California locations of Slapfish. The worthy burger is free with any donation to 86 Restaurant Struggle.” 100 per cent of that money goes to benefit struggling restaurant workers.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Karen Hansen, Proprietress and Baker, Copenhagen Pastry, Culver City Part One
Segment Three: Karen Hansen, Proprietress and Baker, Copenhagen Pastry, Culver City Part Two
Segment Four: Winemaker Alex MacGregor, Saracina Vineyards Mendocino Part One
Segment Five: Winemaker Alex MacGregor, Saracina Vineyards Mendocino Part Two
Segment Six: Ika Taft, Proprietress, More Than Waffles, Encino
Segment Seven: Restaurateur & Executive Chef Amar Santana, The Hall, Vaca and Broadway
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 422, April 24, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

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

“For the first time since opening nearly 14 years ago, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar has introduced a new Weekend Brunch at its original Tustin location. Created by Executive Chef & Partner Yvon Goetz, the Brunch menu features both breakfast and lunch offerings that are available Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Guests now enjoy Weekend Brunch on The Winery’s recently expanded patio, situated in the heart of The District in Tustin.” The Winery Restaurant’s Newport Beach location is also participating in Newport Beach Restaurant Week (ends May 2nd) with a 3-course, prix fixe Dinner menu. We entice Chef Yvon out of his busy kitchen for a chat.

“Top Chef” Season 11 – New Orleans Alum Brian Huskey brings his talents to Big Corona Beach in Corona del Mar serving up the freshest seafood grub beachside at Tackle Box. Established in 2016 he likes to refer to it as a “Local Grub Shack.” Beachgoers and diners can enjoy a variety of classic seafood dishes at this casual oceanfront eatery. Only open Thursday to Sunday. For Newport Beach Restaurant Week (concluding May 2nd) Chef Brian is offering a $15 prix fixe Lunch menu available from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It includes a choice of fully dressed sandwich with house potato chips, a side and a Tackle Box cookie for dessert plus beverage. Chef Brian Huskey joins us with tongs in hand.

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 Asian 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 the refreshed “Iron Chef America.” Earlier in his career he crossed knives with Iron Chef Masaharu Moromoto (an original Iron Chef from the predecessor Japanese version) on “Iron Chef America” in “Battle Seaweed.” In addition to other worthy accomplishments Chef Jet holds the most Guinness World Records for creating large format food. We’ll catch up with Chef Jet and get updated on his progress in Food Network’s just-concluded “Tournament of Champions”, his new menu items for Pei Wei, and the launch of the fast casual, Dragon Tiger Noodle Company in Las Vegas.

Three Weavers Brewing Company is an independent craft brewery based in Inglewood with a mission to build a positive sense of community through the collective passion for craft beer. Founded by Lynne Weaver in 2013, Three Weavers is one of the largest independent craft breweries in Los Angeles County and currently expanding production and distribution on the West Coast.” “Led by award-winning Founding Brewmaster, Alexandra Nowell, Three Weavers Brewing Company’s craft beers have received critical International acclaim, winning a World Beer Cup Gold Medal in 2016, a GABF Silver Medal in 2017, a European Beer Star Bronze in 2017, and the Australian International Beer Awards Best IPA and Champion International Beer in 2018. Three Weavers is proudly brewed in Inglewood, California.” Alexandra shares the distinction of being the first female brewmaster in Los Angeles County. Brewmaster Alexandra taps the keg on Three Weavers Brewing Company 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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. Shifting the conversation back to food we’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the preparing and cooking the perfect fish and chips. What fish is best to use? We’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the increasing practice of full-service restaurants adding a partial or full gratuity to the guest’s check in advance of the payment.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 422, April 24, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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 continually updating us on the real 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 concern as the hoped-for recovery ever so slowly moves forward.

Shifting the conversation back to food we also ask Chef Andrew about preparing and cooking the perfect fish and chips. It’s appearing on a lot of restaurant menus now (at all levels) including ones that aren’t really seafood oriented. What fish is best to use? What about the breading? How does malt vinegar fit it?

Remember the juicy and delicious Community Burger (more than a mouthful) is available at all Southern California locations of Slapfish. The worthy burger is free with any donation to 86 Restaurant Struggle.” 100 per cent of that money goes to benefit struggling restaurant workers.

Play