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!

Play

Show 409, January 23, 2021: Chef & Restaurateur James Trees of Al Solito Posto, Las Vegas

James Trees of Ada's and Esthers Kitchen in Las VegasWe 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. My mom was always working and didn’t have time to make dinner, so whenever we were hungry we went to Alfio’s house. 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 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.

Play

January 23: James Trees, R6 Distillery, Jet Tila, Wine Exchange, Gasolina Café

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur James Trees of Al Solito Posto, Las Vegas
Segment Three: Rob Rubens, Founder & Head Distiller, R6 Distillery, El Segundo
Segment Four: Celebrity Chef Jet Tila with a Preview of “Aussie Dinner Hour” Part One
Segment Five: Celebrity Chef Jet Tila with a Preview of “Aussie Dinner Hour” Part Two
Segment Six: Kyle Meyer, Managing Partner, Wine Exchange in Santa Ana
Segment Seven: Restaurateur & Chef Sandra Cordero, Gasolina Café on Woodland Hills
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.

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 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 & Taproom) 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 the 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 25 percent tariff was set to be placed on high-alcohol wines from France and Germany. It was then called back at the last hour. 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 impact wine pricing. Kyle will also discuss his insights on the harvest and crush for 2020 in California.

“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 kicks 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 The 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!

James Trees of Ada's and Esthers Kitchen in Las VegasWe 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. My mom was always working and didn’t have time to make dinner, so whenever we were hungry we went to Alfio’s house. 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 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.

Rob Rubens of R6 DistilleryR6 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.”

“Our process is quite different than most. We use only the purest form of our distillate when producing spirits. This is where most take short cuts and compromise the quality of the product. But we’re about quality – and our promise to you is just that. Each bottle of spirits will be crafted from the “hearts” of our distillate. We stick to doing what is right and what is authentic.”

New is the California Mule in a can and certified hand sanitizer originally created to help mitigate the initial shortage last March with the onset of the pandemic.

In the interests of safety and complying with all COVID 19 restrictions R6 Distillery is open exclusively (Friday through Sunday) for bottle purchases and cocktails & beer to go. The online store can ship R6 spirits to any California address.

Jet Tila at Cochon 555Celebrity 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.” 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.”

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.”

“Join Host/Celebrity Chef Jet Tila, partner chefs, media members and influencers online for this interactive experience featuring loads of foodie entertainment, fun trivia and “aussome” prizes – including one-on-one virtual cooking classes with featured chef hosts. Anyone who wants to make history or simply loves everything food, art, travel, a free-t-shirt and prizes is invited to attend—and Make a Moment with True Aussie Beef & Lamb.”

Chef Jet joins us with all the details on how listeners can be part of this challenge. We’ll also get updated on Chef Jet’s current Food TV work, his lineup of virtual cooking tutorials and the “in the works” new cookbook.

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeIn times of crisis 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 25 percent tariff was set to be placed on high-alcohol wines from France and Germany. It was then called back at the last hour. 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 impact wine pricing.

We’ll also ask Kyle about the current state of the wine business in California. How did the harvest and crush shape up for 2020? Will the fires in Northern California last year impact the quality and availability of premium California wines? What is smoke taint on wine?

Sandra Cordero“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 kicks 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 as well as 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.

A highlight is “The Girls Got Taste,” a 3-course menu available to go (in Santa Monica and Woodland Hills) created by Socalo, Gasolina Café and Valerie Confections. Chef Sandra provides a Salad of Mussels in Escabeche with blood orange, fennel, celeriac, bocarones and olives.

Chef Sandra also has developed a Spanish-themed, bake-at-home pizza kit as part of Around The World with Superfine Pizza.” The 12-inch  pizza creation is LA-ES-PAN-OLA by GASOLINA Café with chorizo soria, manchego cheese, mushroom crema, cherry tomato, caramelized onion and topped with a sunny side up egg. Additionally the ES-CA-ROLE by Superfine Pizza is on the menu at Gasolina Café. Both are available by pre-order from January 21st to 30th.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant GroupOur 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 increasingly growing) concern. Extended restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for at least the first 3 weeks of January.

Chef Andrew updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, 86 Restaurant Struggle campaign to benefit out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $300,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The need continues…

The fried chicken sandwich is becoming a popular menu item at the major burger places in addition to 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.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur James Trees of Al Solito Posto, Las Vegas
Segment Three: Rob Rubens, Founder & Head Distiller, R6 Distillery, El Segundo
Segment Four: Celebrity Chef Jet Tila with a Preview of “Aussie Dinner Hour” Part One
Segment Five: Celebrity Chef Jet Tila with a Preview of “Aussie Dinner Hour” Part Two
Segment Six: Kyle Meyer, Managing Partner, Wine Exchange in Santa Ana
Segment Seven: Restaurateur & Chef Sandra Cordero, Gasolina Café on Woodland Hills
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”