Show 473, May 7, 2022: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Mother’s Day best wishes to all the stellar Moms out there…Should be more than one celebration annually!

The Matzo Project, a discovery at the recent Natural Products Expo West at the Anaheim Convention Center, introduces carefully made, artfully packaged, legitimately scrumptious matzo to a stale, overlooked corner of the food marketplace. While it currently languishes in the “Ethnic” food isle The Matzo Project’s hope is to help matzo claim its rightful spot in the cracker isle right next to Rosemary Pita Chips and the Gorgonzola Fig Toast.” The Matzo Project’s product line includes Matzo Flats, Matzo Chips, a Matzo Ball Soup Kit and a Matzo Ball Mix.

The Matzo Project Co-founders Ashley Albert and Kevin Rodriguez join us.

“The wines of AOC Ventoux in the Rhone Valley of France are made at the foot of Mont-Ventoux, which culminates at 1912 meters, offering a unique freshness and balance. It has been an AOC since 1973. It is the only appellation with vineyards spreading over two Regional Natural Parks. It is also recognized by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve. Ventoux is first and foremost defined by its cooler climate : the influence of the mountain creates a wide variation of temperatures between days and nights.” Noted wine journalist Jonathan Cristaldi is our well-informed guide to Ventoux AOC.

Sampling the creative variety of foods at Angel Stadium is always part of the game experience. A real Executive Chef oversees all of this. New this year is expanded In-Seat Service in various parts of the Big A. Be reminded it’s again cashless for food, beverage and merchandise.

We’ll find out what’s on the menu for In-Seat Dining, at Diamond Club and in the Suites. Think BBQ Beef Brisket… Also on the menu are a preview of the wide variety of exclusive Halo merchandise items. There are unique (and limited edition) Shohei Ohtani items. Our guides to all this deliciousness are Executive Chef Hugo Miranda and Merchandise Buyer Roman Avila.

Chef Andrew Gruel is on the road so Co-Host Andy Harris covers “Ask the Chef.” Andy shares last-minute ideas for inspired Mother’s Day dining (Mother’s Day Brunch at Smorgasburg LA at ROW DTLA) and previews the very special South Coast Plaza 55th Anniversary Dinner on June 5th to benefit the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.) The headlining chefs for the “O.C. Chefs: The Next Generation” evening are Tony Esnault of the Michelin-starred Knife Pleat and Amar Santana (a C-CAP alum) of Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 473, May 7, 2022: “Ask the Chef” with Producer Andy Covering for Chef Andrew

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

Chef Andrew Gruel is on the road so Co-Host Andy Harris covers “Ask the Chef.” Andy shares last-minute ideas for inspired Mother’s Day dining (Mother’s Day Brunch at Smorgasburg LA at ROW DTLA) and previews the very special South Coast Plaza 55th Anniversary Dinner on June 5th to benefit the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.)

The headlining chefs for the “O.C. Chefs: The Next Generation” evening are Tony Esnault of the Michelin-starred Knife Pleat and Amar Santana (a C-CAP alum) of Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana.

Play

May 7: Matzo Project, Jonathan Cristaldi on Ventoux AOC, Angels Baseball Food

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: The Matzo Project, Brooklyn, NY Part One
Segment Three: The Matzo Project, Brooklyn, NY Part Two
Segment Four: Ventoux AOC, Rhone Valley, France with Jonathan Cristaldi, Wine Journalist Part One
Segment Five: Ventoux AOC, Rhone Valley, France with Jonathan Cristaldi, Wine Journalist Part Two
Segment Six: Executive Chef Hugo Miranda and Roman Avila – Retail Operations Manager for Legends at Angel Stadium Part One
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Hugo Miranda and Roman Avila – Retail Operations Manager for Legends at Angel Stadium Part Two
Segment Eight: “Ask the Chef” with Producer Andy Covering for Chef Andrew

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

“The Matzo Project, a discovery at the recent Natural Products Expo West at the Anaheim Convention Center, introduces carefully made, artfully packaged, legitimately scrumptious matzo to a stale, overlooked corner of the food marketplace. While it currently languishes in the “Ethnic” food isle The Matzo Project’s hope is to help matzo claim its rightful spot in the cracker isle right next to Rosemary Pita Chips and the Gorgonzola Fig Toast. The Matzo Project’s product line includes Matzo Flats, Matzo Chips, a Matzo Ball Soup Kit and a Matzo Ball Mix.

The Matzo Project Co-founders Ashley Albert and Kevin Rodriguez join us.

“The wines of AOC Ventoux in the Rhone Valley of France are made at the foot of Mont-Ventoux, which culminates at 1912 meters, offering a unique freshness and balance. It has been an AOC since 1973. It is the only appellation with vineyards spreading over two Regional Natural Parks. It is also recognized by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve. Ventoux is first and foremost defined by its cooler climate : the influence of the mountain creates a wide variation of temperatures between days and nights.” Noted wine journalist Jonathan Cristaldi is our well-informed guide to Ventoux AOC.

Sampling the creative variety of foods at Angel Stadium is always part of the game experience. A real Executive Chef oversees all of this. New this year is expanded In-Seat Service in various parts of the Big A. Be reminded it’s again cashless for food, beverage and merchandise.

We’ll find out what’s on the menu for In-Seat Dining, at Diamond Club and in the Suites. Think BBQ Beef Brisket… Also on the menu are a preview of the wide variety of exclusive Halo merchandise items. There are unique (and limited edition) Shohei Ohtani items. Our guides to all this deliciousness are Executive Chef Hugo Miranda and Merchandise Buyer Roman Avila.

Chef Andrew Gruel is on the road so Co-Host Andy Harris covers “Ask the Chef.” Andy shares last-minute ideas for inspired Mother’s Day dining and previews the very special South Coast Plaza 55th Anniversary Dinner on June 5th to benefit the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.) The headlining chefs for the “O.C. Chefs: The Next Generation” evening are Tony Esnault of the Michelin-starred Knife Pleat and Amar Santana (a C-CAP alum) of Vacaand Broadway by Amar Santana.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Ashley Albert and Kevin Rodriguez of the Matzo Project

The Matzo Project, a discovery at the recent Natural Products Expo West at the Anaheim Convention Center, introduces carefully made, artfully packaged, legitimately scrumptious matzo to a stale, overlooked corner of the food marketplace.”

“Summer Camp friends Ashley Albert and Kevin Rodriguez set out to bake a new take on the culturally beloved, but traditionally flavorless box of matzo. Instead, they created a super-snappy, extra-sturdy, crazy-versatile cracker that goes with virtually every single thing they’ve tried to put on it.”

“Ashley had been tinkering with the idea of updating matzo for nearly 20 years and casually mentioned it to Kevin when they were charting about him making a change. He began experimenting in his kitchen.”

“The two would taste test Kevin’s recipes while Ashley started sketching out plans for The Matzo Project’s branding and packaging. That work led to their muse – the grandmother on their box – asking “Would it kill you to try something new?”

“After selling out their first trial batch in a single day, the two moved out of their tiny commissary kitchen and into a larger Kosher bakery in Brooklyn to take their unleavened show on the road.”

“While it currently languishes in the “Ethnic” food isle The Matzo Project’s hope is to help matzo claim its rightful spot in the cracker isle right next to Rosemary Pita Chips and the Gorgonzola Fig Toast.”

The Matzo Project’s product line includes Matzo Flats, Matzo Chips, a Matzo Ball Soup Kit and a Matzo Ball Mix.

“The Bubbe” of The Matzo Project has given Ashley and Albert permission to join us. She is thinking we’re looking skinny…

Sommelier and Wine Journalist Jonathan Cristaldi

“The wines of AOC Ventoux in the Rhone Valley of France are made at the foot of Mont-Ventoux, which culminates at 1912 meters, offering a unique freshness and balance. It has been an AOC since 1973. It is the only appellation with vineyards spreading over two Regional Natural Parks. It is also recognized by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve. Ventoux is first and foremost defined by its cooler climate: the influence of the mountain creates a wide variation of temperatures between days and nights.”

It covers some 14,000 acres of vineyards with the resulting wines being 54 per cent Red, 38 per cent Rose and 8 per cent White. There are 150 wineries in the AOC representing private ownership, co-ops and negociants.

“Vines have been grown in the Ventoux area since ancient times; archaeological digs around the village of Mazan uncovered a potter’s workshop dating from the 1st century BC, where the first known wine amphorae in France were produced.”

“The vineyards flourished during the Avignon Papacy, and over the centuries Ventoux wines, alongside other leading French wines, were served to the kings of France at the Royal Court.”

Wine journalist Jonathan Cristaldi is our well-informed guide to Ventoux AOC.

Hugo Miranda

Sampling the creative variety of foods at Angel Stadium is always part of the game experience. A real Executive Chef oversees all of this. New this year is expanded In-Seat Service in various parts of the Big A. Be reminded it’s again cashless for food, beverage and merchandise.

Also new is Brewery X in right field on the Club Level. In addition to the limited- edition craft beers the food menu includes a Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich on a Black Sesame Seed Egg Bun with Roasted Aioli, Asian Citrus Coleslaw, Gochujang Sauce, House Made Kimchi and served with House Fries, and a House-Made Jumbo Pretzel with Jalapeno White Cheddar Cheese Sauce with a Honey-Beer Mustard Sauce.

We’ll find out what’s on the menu for In-Seat Dining, at Diamond Club and in the Suites. Think BBQ Beef Brisket for openers…

Also on the menu is an introduction to the variety of collectable Halo merchandise items. There are unique (and limited edition) Shohei Ohtani items.

Our guides to all this deliciousness are Executive Chef Hugo Miranda and Merchandise Buyer Roman Avila.

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

Chef Andrew Gruel is on the road so Co-Host Andy Harris covers “Ask the Chef.” Andy shares last-minute ideas for inspired Mother’s Day dining and previews the very special South Coast Plaza 55th Anniversary Dinner on June 5th to benefit the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.)

The headlining chefs for the “O.C. Chefs: The Next Generation” evening are Tony Esnault of the Michelin-starred Knife Pleat and Amar Santana (a C-CAP alum) of Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: The Matzo Project, Brooklyn, NY Part One
Segment Three: The Matzo Project, Brooklyn, NY Part Two
Segment Four: Ventoux AOC, Rhone Valley, France with Jonathan Cristaldi, Wine Journalist Part One
Segment Five: Ventoux AOC, Rhone Valley, France with Jonathan Cristaldi, Wine Journalist Part Two
Segment Six: Executive Chef Hugo Miranda and Roman Avila – Retail Operations Manager for Legends at Angel Stadium Part One
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Hugo Miranda and Roman Avila – Retail Operations Manager for Legends at Angel Stadium Part Two
Segment Eight: “Ask the Chef” with Producer Andy Covering for Chef Andrew

Show 472, April 30, 2022: Lisa Fontanesi, L.A. Director, Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP)

Lisa Fontanesi of C-CAP Los Angeles

“Long co-chaired by chef Marcus Samuelsson, Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) is a workforce development nonprofit that provides underserved teens a pathway to success through jobs in the food sector. Annually, C-CAP provides culinary, job and life skills to over 15,000 middle-and-high school students in six cities/regions across the United States: New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC/Maryland and Arizona, including 7 Navajo Reservation schools.”

“Founder & Chairman Emeritus Richard Grausman launched this nonprofit in 1991 to help further food and social justice, as well as equity and inclusion by providing tools for job success. Starting in middle schools, C-CAP provides culinary-and-wellness curriculum, and in high schools also provides an integrated approach to employment in the food sector via internships/apprenticeships, job shadows, mentorship, work opportunities, college and career advising, and higher-education scholarships, along with product and food donations.”

“The success of C-CAP’s alumni—from winery CEOs to chef-owner restaurateurs—is proof of their methodology. To date, C-CAP has worked with 350,000 students and awarded $62 million in scholarships. C-CAP has transformed thousands of lives in a meaningful way. The urgency to help these diverse communities has never been more critical.”

On April 17th at the Annual Awards Breakfast at Jonathan Club, C-CAP Los Angeles awarded $607,711 in Scholarships to 34 outstanding L.A. area High School Seniors.

On the horizon is a fundraiser for C-CAP is on Sunday, June 5th at Knife Pleat and The Penthouse at South Coast Plaza. It’s a celebration of South Coast Plaza’s 55th Anniversary to benefit C-CAP. The lead Chefs for “O.C. Chefs: The Next Generation” are Amar Santana of Vaca (a C-Cap Alum) and Tony Esnault of the Michelin Star Knife Pleat.

C-CAP L.A.’s Program Director Lisa Fontanesi is our guest.

Play

Show 454, December 4, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

The most unusual, and personal, restaurant at the moment in Long Beach is arguably the Dinner, Lunch and Weekend Brunch residency that Chef Melissa Ortiz is orchestrating at the Pine Avenue location of Long Beach’s popular Rose Park Roasters. At present it’s an intriguing seafood and vegetable focused menu available (without reservations) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings with Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Lunch has just been added from Tuesday thru Friday. A monthly guest chef dinner series will start later in December. Chef Melissa is a well-traveled military veteran who served a couple of tours on active duty and then a period thereafter in the reserves. She attended culinary school locally at The Art Institute of California Orange County (which has since closed.) Chef Melissa loves to travel to distant and exotic locations exploring food and most recently was the chef at the United States Embassy in Kabul. Fortunately she returned stateside earlier in the year. Chef Melissa takes a break from Brunch service and joins us.

Orange County’s resident celebrity chef is Amar Santana of Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach, Vaca in Costa Mesa, and The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza. Chef Amar is probably best known nationally as the runner-up in a very close competition in Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 13 and then returning as an elite judge for Season 18 in Portland. In Orange County he was the opening executive chef of the highly praised Charlie Palmer’s at Bloomingdale’s at South Coast Plaza working with GM (and now partner) Ahmed Labbate. His first solo restaurant with business partner and restaurateur Ahmed Labbate was Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach. Just in time for the Holidays Broadway has undergone a refurbishment and kitchen redo. “Inspired by the theaters in New York City, award-winning Chef Amar Santana alongside restauranteur Ahmed Labbate create an atmosphere at Broadway where the food becomes the main show. The restaurant’s menu is inspired by the creativity of Chef Amar Santana and his version of Modern Cuisine of The Americas. It features top quality ingredients, with a focus on local farms who can provide the menu’s seasonal requirements.” Chef Amar Santana joins us.

Ahmed Labbate, Partner and Director of Operations for Broadway by Amar Santana, Vaca, and The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza, has a passion for fine food and hospitality, with a degree in hotel and restaurant management, he worked at some of Morocco’s most well- known hospitality corporations — Hyatt Regency, Sheraton, Safir and Sofitel — covering all the bases: concierge, front desk, dining room manager. “Labbate later joined the Charlie Palmer Group as a captain at Aureole, NY and Aureole, Las Vegas, then as General Manager at Charlie Palmer Steak at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas. Prior to joining Broadway, Ahmed was the General Manager at the well-received Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s in South Coast Plaza with Chef Amar Santana. He dreamt of eventually opening his own restaurant and is excited to now be collaborating with Chef Amar on Broadway by Amar Santana, Vaca and The Hall Global Eatery.”

Ahmed is our guest to provide an overview of Holiday celebration options at Broadway, Vaca and The Hall Global Eatery and the just completed refreshing (which he oversaw) of Broadway by Amar Santana.

Long Beach Living’s inaugural Long Beach International Tamales Festival 2021, is upon us. This all-day holiday inspired fair features a diverse selection of Latin American cuisine, from regional tamales, Latin inspired dishes, drinks, tequila tastings, a best homemade tamales contest, and a full line-up of entertainment, activities, and vendors of all kinds! The event takes place at the Scottish Rite Events Centre on Sunday, December 5th, 2021 from 12:00 p.m.– 8:00 p.m. The Homemade Tamale Contest will be judged by Long Beach City College’s Culinary Arts program’s Executive Chef Haley Nguyen and Hotel Maya’s and Fuego’s executive chef, Victor Juarez. LBCC Culinary Arts Department students will also be selling their special tamale creations including a Peruvian tamale and a Kosher vegetarian tamale (made with oil versus lard) prepared by a Jewish culinary arts student born in Mexico City. Chef Haley takes a break from supervising the tamale making and is our guest.

Adam Bell, the founder of dataTV established in 1996, is the “SoCal Restaurant Show’s” accomplished, long-time web designer, webmaster and all-around social media guru. He relocated to Los Angeles from New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. NOLA icon, Café du Monde, remains a client., remains a client. Adam was just on a cross-country business trip to Miami via airplane. This was a first for him since the start of the pandemic. We’ll get his informed insider’s perspective on the status of air travel, ethnic dining in Miami and staying at a landmark luxury hotel property which, unfortunately, delivered substandard service and accommodations.

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 (joining us from the grand opening of Raw by Slapfish in downtown Indianapolis) reveals the details of how attentive listeners can enter the contest to be awarded an incredible package of prime steaks from West Coast Prime Meats by submitting a worthy Holiday Cooking Question for “Ask the Chef” that is used on-air.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 454, December 4, 2021: Chef and Partner Amar Santana, Broadway by Amar Santana, Vaca and the Hall Global Eatery

Amar Santana

Orange County’s resident celebrity chef is Amar Santana of Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach, Vaca in Costa Mesa, and The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza. Chef Amar is best known nationally as the runner-up in a very close competition in Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 13 and then returning as an elite judge for Season 18 in Portland. In Orange County he was the opening executive chef of the highly praised Charlie Palmer’s at Bloomingdale’s at South Coast Plaza working with GM (and now partner) Ahmed Labbate.

His first solo restaurant with business partner and restaurateur Ahmed Labbate was Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach. Just in time for the Holidays, Broadway has undergone a refurbishment and kitchen redo. “Inspired by the theaters in New York City, award-winning Chef Amar Santana alongside restauranteur Ahmed Labbate create an atmosphere at Broadway where the food becomes the main show. The restaurant’s menu is inspired by the creativity of Chef Amar Santana and his version of Modern Cuisine of The Americas. It features top quality ingredients, with a focus on local farms who can provide the menu’s seasonal requirements.” Think Grilled Smoked Pork Chop with braised collard greens, ham hock, apple butter and sauce charcuterie.

Chef Amar joins us to provide all the details on Broadway’s refurbishment and what’s in store for the Holidays at his restaurants.

Play

December 4: Rose Park Roasters, Amar Santana & Ahmed Labatte, Long Beach International Tamales Festival, dataTV

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Melissa Ortiz, Rose Park Roasters, Pine Ave., Long Beach Part One
Segment Three: Chef Melissa Ortiz, Rose Park Roasters, Pine Ave., Long Beach Part Two
Segment Four: Chef and Partner Amar Santana, Broadway by Amar Santana, Vaca and the Hall Global Eatery
Segment Five: Ahmed Labbate, Partner and Director of Operations, Broadway by Amar Santana, Vaca and The Hall Global Eatery
Segment Six: Executive Chef Haley Nguyen, Culinary Arts Dept., Long Beach City College
Segment Seven: Adam Bell, Founder, dataTV with a Travel Commentary Part One
Segment Eight: Adam Bell, Founder, dataTV with a Travel Commentary Part Two

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

The most unusual, and personal, restaurant at the moment in Long Beach is arguably the Dinner and Brunch pop-up that Chef Melissa Ortiz is orchestrating at the Pine Avenue location of Long Beach’s popular Rose Park Roasters. At present it’s an intriguing seafood and vegetable focused menu available (without reservations) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings with Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. A monthly guest chef dinner series will start later in December. Chef Melissa is a well-traveled military veteran who served a couple of tours on active duty and then a period thereafter in the reserves. She attended culinary school locally at The Art Institute of California Orange County (which has since closed.) Chef Melissa loves to travel to distant and exotic locations exploring food and most recently was the chef at the United States Embassy in Kabul. Fortunately she returned stateside earlier in the year. Chef Melissa takes a break from Brunch service and joins us.

Orange County’s resident celebrity chef is Amar Santana of Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach, Vaca in Costa Mesa, and The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza. Chef Amar is probably best known nationally as the runner-up in a very close competition in Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 13 and then returning as an elite judge for Season 18 in Portland. In Orange County he was the opening executive chef of the highly praised Charlie Palmer’s at Bloomingdale’s at South Coast Plaza working with GM (and now partner) Ahmed Labbate. His first solo restaurant with business partner and restaurateur Ahmed Labbate was Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach. Just in time for the Holidays Broadway has undergone a refurbishment and kitchen redo. “Inspired by the theaters in New York City, award-winning Chef Amar Santana alongside restauranteur Ahmed Labbate create an atmosphere at Broadway where the food becomes the main show. The restaurant’s menu is inspired by the creativity of Chef Amar Santana and his version of Modern Cuisine of The Americas. It features top quality ingredients, with a focus on local farms who can provide the menu’s seasonal requirements.” Chef Amar Santana joins us.

“Ahmed Labbate, Partner and Director of Operations for Broadway by Amar Santana, Vaca, and The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza, has a passion for fine food and hospitality, with a degree in hotel and restaurant management, he worked at some of Morocco’s most well- known hospitality corporations — Hyatt Regency, Sheraton, Safir and Sofitel — covering all the bases: concierge, front desk, dining room manager. “Labbate later joined the Charlie Palmer Group as a captain at Aureole, NY and Aureole, Las Vegas, then as General Manager at Charlie Palmer Steak at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas. Prior to joining Broadway, Ahmed was the General Manager at the well-received Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s in South Coast Plaza with Chef Amar Santana. He dreamt of eventually opening his own restaurant and is excited to now be collaborating with Chef Amar on Broadway by Amar Santana, Vaca and The Hall Global Eatery.”

Ahmed is our guest to provide an overview of Holiday celebration options at Broadway, Vaca and The Hall Global Eatery and the just completed refreshing of Broadway by Amar Santana.

Long Beach Living’s inaugural Long Beach International Tamales Festival 2021, is upon us. This all-day holiday inspired fair features a diverse selection of Latin American cuisine, from regional tamales, Latin inspired dishes, drinks, tequila tastings, a best homemade tamales contest, and a full line-up of entertainment, activities, and vendors of all kinds! The event takes place at the Scottish Rite Events Centre on Sunday, December 5th, 2021 from 12:00 p.m.– 8:00 p.m. The Homemade Tamale Contest will be judged by Long Beach City College’s Culinary Arts program’s Executive Chef Haley Nguyen and Hotel Maya’s and Fuego’s executive chef, Victor Juarez. LBCC Culinary Arts Department students will also be selling their special tamale creations including a Peruvian tamale and a Kosher vegetarian tamale (made with oil versus lard) prepared by a Jewish culinary arts student born in Mexico City. Chef Haley takes a break from supervising the tamale making and is our guest.

Adam Bell, the founder of dataTV established in 1996, is the “SoCal Restaurant Show’s” accomplished, long -time web designer, webmaster and all-around social media guru. He relocated to Los Angeles from New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. NOLA icon, Café du Monde, remains a client. Adam was just on a cross-country business trip to Miami via airplane. This was a first for him since the start of the pandemic. We’ll get his informed insider’s perspective on the status of air travel, ethnic dining in Miami and staying at a landmark luxury hotel property which, unfortunately, delivered substandard service and accommodations.

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. The Holidays are upon us. Chef Andrew has some practical tips for stress-free Holiday cooking. Also, the details of how attentive listeners’ can enter a contest to be awarded an incredible package of prime steaks from West Coast Prime Meats by submitting a question for “Ask the Chef” that is used on-air. Be listening…

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Melissa Ortiz of Rose Park Roasters

The most unusual restaurant at the moment in Long Beach is arguably the Dinner and Brunch pop-up that Chef Melissa Ortiz is orchestrating at the Pine Avenue location of Long Beach’s popular Rose Park Roasters. At present it’s an intriguing seafood and vegetable focused menu available (without reservations) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings with Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

Melissa is a well-traveled military veteran who served a couple of tours on active duty and then a period thereafter in the reserves. She attended culinary school locally at The Art Institute of California Orange County (which has since closed.) Melissa loves to travel to distant and exotic locations exploring food and most recently was the chef at the United States Embassy in Kabul. Fortunately she returned earlier in the year.

Thanks to Anne Marie Panoringan, the inquisitive Food Columnist for Voice of OC, for tipping us off about Chef Melissa Ortiz after experiencing a memorable Brunch there.

The menu is constantly evolving but some standout items for Dinner include House Sea-Cuterie with seasonal fish nduja, shellfish terrine, marinated clams, spicy pickle relish, yuzu cream fraiche and Gusto flatbread (Long Beach –based boutique bakery,) and Shrimp Meatballs with wild shrimp, San Marzano tomatoes, pecorino toscano and Gusto dorado. Accompanying the creative food menu is a hand-selected variety of organic, biodynamic and natural wines available by the glass or bottle.

On Monday evening, Dec. 20th Chef Melissa is launching the monthly Rose Park Family Meal guest chef dinner series. These collaborative dinners with local chefs are designed to highlight Long Beach’s creativity, innovation and hospitality. “Dinners are chef curated, three courses and with no modifications. Per Chef Melissa’s ethos, there are no land proteins on the menu, solely seafood and vegetables.” The first guest chef is Alex Ruperto of Sakura Chocolates.

Chef Melissa takes a break from Brunch service to join us.

Amar Santana

Orange County’s resident celebrity chef is Amar Santana of Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach, Vaca in Costa Mesa, and The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza. Chef Amar is best known nationally as the runner-up in a very close competition in Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 13 and then returning as an elite judge for Season 18 in Portland. In Orange County he was the opening executive chef of the highly praised Charlie Palmer’s at Bloomingdale’s at South Coast Plaza working with GM (and now partner) Ahmed Labbate.

His first solo restaurant with business partner and restaurateur Ahmed Labbate was Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach. Just in time for the Holidays Broadway has undergone a refurbishment and kitchen redo. “Inspired by the theaters in New York City, award-winning Chef Amar Santana alongside restauranteur Ahmed Labbate create an atmosphere at Broadway where the food becomes the main show. The restaurant’s menu is inspired by the creativity of Chef Amar Santana and his version of Modern Cuisine of The Americas. It features top quality ingredients, with a focus on local farms who can provide the menu’s seasonal requirements.”

Chef Amar joins us to provide all the details and what’s in store for the Holidays at his restaurants.

Ahmed Labatte of thev Vaca Group

“Ahmed Labbate, Partner and Director of Operations for Broadway by Amar Santana, Vaca, and The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza, has a passion for fine food and hospitality, with a degree in hotel and restaurant management, he worked at some of Morocco’s most well- known hospitality corporations — Hyatt Regency, Sheraton, Safir and Sofitel — covering all the bases: concierge, front desk, dining room manager. A bit later America (and the mouse) came knocking, and Labbate seized the opportunity to utilize his background and European-style skills in an entirely unexpected way. He journeyed to Orlando, Florida, where he underwent intensive, elaborate training in “Morocco” — or at least in the Moroccan restaurant at Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center.”

“Labbate later joined the Charlie Palmer Group as a captain at Aureole, NY and Aureole, Las Vegas, then as General Manager at Charlie Palmer Steak at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas. Prior to joining Broadway, Ahmed was the General Manager at Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s in South Coast Plaza with Chef Amar Santana. He dreamt of eventually opening his own restaurant and is excited to now be collaborating with Chef Amar on Broadway by Amar Santana, Vaca and The Hall Global Eatery.”

Ahmed is our guest to provide an overview of Holiday celebration options at Broadway, Vaca and The Hall Global Eatery and the just completed refreshing of Broadway by Amar Santana.

Haley Nguyen Instructor at Long Beach City College

Long Beach Living’s inaugural Long Beach International Tamales Festival 2021, is upon us. This all-day holiday inspired fair features a diverse selection of Latin American cuisine, from regional tamales, Latin inspired dishes, drinks, tequila tastings, a best homemade tamales contest, and a full line-up of entertainment, activities, and vendors of all kinds! The event will take place at the Scottish Rite Events Centre on Sunday, December 5th, 2021 from 12:00 p.m.– 8:00 p.m. Join in celebrating this new holiday tradition. Buy tickets for the Tamale Festival here.

The Homemade Tamale Contest will be judged by Long Beach City College’s Culinary Arts program’s Executive Chef Haley Nguyen and Hotel Maya’s and Fuego’s executive chef, Victor Juarez. LBCC Culinary Arts Department students will also be selling their special tamale creations including a Peruvian tamale and a Kosher vegetarian tamale (made with oil versus lard) prepared by a Jewish culinary arts student born in Mexico City.

Chef Haley Nguyen takes a break from supervising the tamale making and is our guest.

Adam Bell of dataTV

Adam Bell, the founder of dataTV established in 1996, is the “SoCal Restaurant Show’s” accomplished, long -time web designer, webmaster and all-around social media guru. He relocated to Los Angeles from New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. NOLA icon, Café du Monde, remains a client.

Adam was just on a cross-country business trip to Miami via airplane. This was a first for him since the start of the pandemic. We’ll garner his informed insider’s perspective on the status of air travel, dining in Miami and staying at a landmark luxury hotel property which, unfortunately, delivered substandard service and accommodations.

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.

The Holidays are upon us. Chef Andrew has some practical tips for stress-free Holiday cooking. Also the details of how attentive listeners’ can enter a contest to be awarded an incredible package of prime steaks from West Coast Prime Meats by submitting a question for “Ask the Chef” that is used on-air. Be listening…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Melissa Ortiz, Rose Park Roasters, Pine Ave., Long Beach Part One
Segment Three: Chef Melissa Ortiz, Rose Park Roasters, Pine Ave., Long Beach Part Two
Segment Four: Chef and Partner Amar Santana, Broadway by Amar Santana, Vaca and the Hall Global Eatery
Segment Five: Ahmed Labbate, Partner and Director of Operations, Broadway by Amar Santana, Vaca and The Hall Global Eatery
Segment Six: Executive Chef Haley Nguyen, Culinary Arts Dept., Long Beach City College
Segment Seven: Adam Bell, Founder, dataTV with a Travel Commentary Part One
Segment Eight: Adam Bell, Founder, dataTV with a Travel Commentary Part Two

Show 423, May 1, 2021: Restaurateur & Executive Chef Amar Santana, The Hall, Vaca and Broadway

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.” We chat with Chef Amar about his perspective of the behind-the-scenes of the production. There was an ethnic chicken and rice dish sourced from a nearby stationary food truck that was especially popular for delivery.

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.)

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Show 384, August 1, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Local chefs Scott Chaconand Tad Weyland (celebrity Chef Jet Tila’s Chef de Cuisine) have joined culinary forces to create a prix fixe, 5-course dinner meal delivery service, Farm Direct LA. Delivery is on Tuesdays. The weekly changing menu is currently priced at $95 and serves two guests. In addition to the fixed price meal there are a la carte “Provisions” on the menu including Smoked Paprika Weiser Potato Chips with Charred Scallion Dip. Delivery is complimentary within 10-miles of DTLA and there is also a pickup option. We’ll meet enterprising Chefs Scott Chacon and Tad Weyland.

At Sea Level Restaurant & Lounge at the Shade Hotel Redondo Beach Executive Chef Craig Hopson offers premium California coastal cuisine that’s appealing for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a weekend brunch. Through it all, guests enjoy spectacular views from Palos Verdes to Malibu on plush outdoor seating, all complete with fire pits and heaters in a comfortable, inviting, and modern space that blends a beach feel with a luxury approach to indoor and outdoor dining. Newly launched is Chef Craig’s Friday and Saturday night Rooftop Izakaya with Sushi, Sashimi and Izakaya specialties along with a menu of Hand-Crafted Cocktails. Think Japanese Curry with a beef short rib, onion, carrots and served over rice with pickles or Sea Level Roll with crab, avocado, aioli, masago and tempura crunchies. We reel in Executive Chef Craig Hopson for a chat.

Laura Theodore’s Vegan for Everyone; 160 Family Friendly Recipes with a Delicious, Modern Twist is the ideal book for anyone looking to add easy-to-prepare and delicious, plant-based food into their weekly menu plan. This innovative cookbook features more than 160 family friendly recipes (135 are gluten-free friendly) and over 200 beautiful, full-color photos, including 100+ new recipes, along with updated versions of 60 fan-favorites – all created by award-winning vegan chef Laura Theodore (Public Television’s Jazzy Vegetarian). Plus, this book includes an entire chapter of up-to-date nutritional information contributed by Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT (The Plant-Based Dietitian), making it a complete and fun way to make family meals kinder, healthier and—most of all—tastier.” “Vegan for Everyone includes delightfully delicious, classic recipes to impress everyone you are cooking for—omnivores and vegans alike!”

“Always up for an adventure and full of entrepreneurial spirit, Joe Moxley and Mike Herrera entered into the wine world with the hopes of blazing a new trail, of merging their two business worlds in a way that hadn’t been done before. Their first partnership focused on the rock & roll world and lifestyle, bringing a signature clothing brand to fans of music. Now they’ve broadened their horizons and brought their love of wine to the forefront. The adventure began when the two went wine tasting together in Southern Oregon where they were introduced to acclaimed winemaker, Matthew Cates. It didn’t take long for the trio to form a bond leading to the creation of a new, limited production, boutique winery they created together named Anchor Valley, based in the Rogue Valley. Partner Ashley Cates pulls the cork on Anchor Valley for us.”

Executive Chef & Restaurateur Amar Santana and Restaurateur Ahmed Labbate have reopened The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza for dine-in on their comfortable, shaded patio or for curbside pickup. The extensive fast-casual menu is available at the Mediterranean Grill including hand-carved Shawarma, Babaganoush and Hummus. Cocktails, beer and wine are available to enjoy on the patio or To-Go. The grab and go Patisserie features a wide variety of baked goods, salads, sandwiches, coffee and juices. The full-service Crudo and Charcuterie Bar has been reimagined with the addition of a customizable selection of Poke. Chef Amar Santana and Ahmed Labbate are with us providing all the enticing details.

“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… Time for celebration. August 5th is National Oyster Day. There are more inspired ways to enjoy & appreciate oysters besides simply being served raw, freshly shucked on the half-shell. Chef Andrew is our resident authority on these bivalve mollusks enjoyed since ancient times. We’ll, of course, “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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Show 384, August 1, 2020: Restaurateur Ahmed Labbate and Partner / Executive Chef Amar Santana of The Hall Global Eatery

Ahmed Labatte and Amar Santana of Vaca Restaurant GroupExecutive Chef & Restaurateur Amar Santana and Restaurateur Ahmed Labbate have reopened The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza for dine-in on their comfortable, shaded front patio or for curbside pickup. The extensive fast-casual menu is available at the Mediterranean Grill including hand-carved Shawarma, Babaganoush and Hummus. A selection of cocktails from master barman Michael Rooney, beer and wine are available to enjoy on the patio or To-Go. The grab and go Patisserie features a wide variety of baked goods, salads, sandwiches, coffee and juices.

The former full-service Crudo and Charcuterie Bar has been reimagined with the addition of a selection of made-to-order (and customizable) Poke. Guests, to start, have their choice of two proteins including Ahi Tuna, Salmon, Albacore, Octopus, Spicy Tuna, Scallop, King Crab or Tofu. From there a diner has a choice of five toppings from an available selection of 13 options.

Chef Amar’s and Ahmed’s other pair of popular restaurants, Vaca adjacent to South Coast Plaza and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach, are again accommodating guests with full-service patio dining and curbside pickup and delivery.

Chef Amar Santana and Ahmed Labbate are with us providing all the enticing details.

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