Show 442, September 11, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Today we also honor the memory of all Americans who perished in the tragedy of 9/11. Particularly meaningful for us are the 79 staff members of Windows on the World restaurant located on the 106th and 107th Floors of the North Tower at the World Trade Center. The staff was truly international representing dozens of countries. Also the 91 guests who were there for breakfast functions at the time.

All Porto’s Bakery and Café locations have reopened for dine-in at 50 per cent capacity. The locations are Burbank, Buena Park, Downey, Glendale and West Covina. Northridge launches soon. The expanding Porto’s Bake at Home ships their best-selling pastries nationwide. They are unbaked, frozen and come direct to you so you can bake them fresh in your own oven. “It’s like having a Porto’s Bakery in your home.” Popular items available include Cheese Rolls, Guava Cheese Strudel, Chicken Empanadas and Potato Balls. 2nd generation baker & Family member, Betty Porto (Porto’s Vice President of Community Relations,) is our guest with rolling pin in hand.

The American Institute of Wine & Food (AIWF) is a national non-profit educational organization established in 1981 by Robert Mondavi, Julia Child, Richard Graff and others to promote a forum for the study and enjoyment of gastronomy.” “The San Diego Chapter of AIWF awards scholarships for the pursuit of culinary arts, enology/viticulture, and beverage studies in full or part-time accredited continuing education programs. The scholarships typically range from $350 to $3,000, and the funds do not need to be repaid. Since the money for the scholarships is raised by the San Diego Chapter, scholarships are only awarded to people who are connected to San Diego by school, work, or recent involvement in food or wine in the area. The scholarship money may be used for study within or outside of San Diego County.” Representing the San Diego Chapter to explain the Scholarship Program is AIWF San Diego Board member Heidi Pigeon of Posh Pantry.

The newly opened Esperanza Cocina de la Playa in Manhattan Beach is under the culinary direction of Corporate Chef Raymond Alvarez and Head Mixologists John Fox(GM) and Kevin Williams (Beverage Manager.) Chef Ray is the busy Corporate Executive Chef for the Baja Sharkeez Restaurant Group (Baja Sharkeez, Panama Joe’s, Killarney’s, Sandbar, Palmilla and Tower 12.) “Esperanza beckons guests with modern interpretations of traditional Sonoran cuisine and an expertly crafted bar program.” Chef Raymond takes a break from his busy kitchens to join us.

“What started with Rodney Strong’s (now evolved into Rodney Strong Wine Estates) vision over 60 years ago segued to an almost four-decade long career of Winemaker Emeritus Rick Sayre at Rodney Strong. Rick passed the baton in 2018 to current Director of Winemaking Justin Seidenfeld, who today leads the passionate winemaking team that creates critically acclaimed wines vintage after vintage with an eye towards the future. That future is led by innovative new products like ROWEN Wine Company, the 15-year passion project on Rodney Strong Wine Estate’s remote and rugged Cooley Ranch Vineyard.” Winemaker Justin Seidenfeld joins us to pull the cork on all that is Rodney Strong Wine Estates.

Bob and Jane Oswaks, owners and proprietors of the award-winning Bob’s Well Bread Bakery in Los Alamos, debuted their long-awaited second location at the historic Ballard Store at 2449 Baseline Avenue in Ballard, California late last year. The 1,500 square foot Bob’s Well Bread at the Ballard Store was designed by The Oswaks, located fourteen miles south from their flagship store. The Oswaks rotate regularly between both operations to ensure the quality and standards of hospitality, food and beverage. Chef Gary Clark leads the new kitchen.” “Since its inception in 2014, locals, travelers and journalists alike have embraced Bob’s Well Bread Bakery artisan breads and bakery. The bakery has successfully become a family business and an integral part of the growing Los Alamos community, which has developed into a richly diverse wine country destination. Bob’s Well Bread Bakery and the Oswaks family are committed to products that are hand-made with only the finest ingredients and natural starters.” Artisan Bread Baker & Proprietor Bob Oswaks joins us with a Pain au Chocolat in hand.

Andrew Gruel at the Surf City Marathon

Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group rejoins us next week. He ran this morning in the 25th annual Surf City Marathon. He completed the full 26 miles.

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

Play

September 11: Porto’s Bakery and Café, American Institute of Wine & Food, Esperanza Cocina de la Playa, Rodney Strong Wine Estates, Bob’s Well Bread Bakery

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Betty Porto, Vice President of Community Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Café
Segment Three: AIWF San Diego Chapter Scholarship Program
Segment Four: Chef Raymond Alvarez, Esperanza Cocina de la Playa and Baja Sharkeez Restaurant Group
Segment Five: Justin Seidenfeld, Director of Winemaking, Rodney Strong Vineyard Estates Part One
Segment Six: Justin Seidenfeld, Director of Winemaking, Rodney Strong Vineyard Estates Part Two
Segment Seven: Baker Bob Oswaks, Bob’s Well Bread, Ballard and Los Alamos Part One
Segment Eight: Baker Bob Oswaks, Bob’s Well Bread, Ballard and Los Alamos Part Two

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

All Porto’s Bakery and Café locations have reopened for dine-in at 50 per cent capacity. The locations are Burbank, Buena Park, Downey, Glendale and West Covina. The expanding Porto’s Bake at Home ships their best-selling pastries nationwide. They are unbaked, frozen and come direct to you so you can bake them fresh in your own oven. “It’s like having a Porto’s Bakery in your home.” Popular items available include Cheese Rolls, Guava Cheese Strudel, Chicken Empanadas and Potato Balls. 2nd generation baker & Family member, Betty Porto (Porto’s Vice President of Community Relations,) is our guest with rolling pin in hand.

“The American Institute of Wine & Food (AIWF) is a national non-profit educational organization established in 1981 by Robert Mondavi, Julia Child, Richard Graff and others to promote a forum for the study and enjoyment of gastronomy.” “The San Diego Chapter of AIWF awards scholarships for the pursuit of culinary arts, enology/viticulture, and beverage studies in full or part-time accredited continuing education programs. The scholarships typically range from $350 to $3,000, and the funds do not need to be repaid. Since the money for the scholarships is raised by the San Diego Chapter, scholarships are only awarded to people who are connected to San Diego by school, work, or recent involvement in food or wine in the area. The scholarship money may be used for study within or outside of San Diego County. Representing the San Diego Chapter to explain the Scholarship Program is AIWF San Diego Board member Heidi Pigeon of Posh Pantry.

The newly opened Esperanza Cocina de la Playa in Manhattan Beach is under the culinary direction of Corporate Chef Raymond Alvarez and Head Mixologists John Fox and Kevin Williams. Chef Ray is the busy Corporate Executive Chef for the Baja Sharkeez Restaurant Group (Baja Sharkeez, Panama Joe’s, Killarney’s, Sandbar, Palmilla and Tower 12.)

“Esperanza beckons guests with modern interpretations of traditional Sonoran cuisine and an expertly crafted bar program.” Chef Raymond takes a break from his busy kitchens to join us.

“What started with Rodney Strong’s (now evolved into Rodney Strong Wine Estates) vision over 60 years ago segued to an almost four-decade long career of Winemaker Emeritus Rick Sayre at Rodney Strong. Rick passed the baton in 2018 to current Director of Winemaking Justin Seidenfeld, who today leads the passionate winemaking team that creates critically acclaimed wines vintage after vintage with an eye towards the future. That future is led by innovative new products like ROWEN Wine Company, the 15-year passion project on Rodney Strong Wine Estate’s remote and rugged Cooley Ranch Vineyard.” Winemaker Justin Seidenfeld joins us to pull the cork on all that is Rodney Strong Wine Estates.

“Bob and Jane Oswaks, owners and proprietors of the award-winning Bob’s Well Bread Bakery in Los Alamos, debuted their long-awaited second location at the historic Ballard Store at 2449 Baseline Avenue in Ballard, California late last year. The 1,500 square foot Bob’s Well Bread at the Ballard Store was designed by The Oswaks, located fourteen miles south from their flagship store. The Oswaks rotate regularly between both operations to ensure the quality and standards of hospitality, food and beverage. Chef Gary Clark leads the new kitchen.” “Since its inception in 2014, locals, travelers and journalists alike have embraced Bob’s Well Bread Bakery artisan breads and bakery. The bakeryhas successfully become a family business and an integral part of the growing Los Alamos community, which has developed into a richly diverse wine country destination. Bob’s Well Bread Bakery and the Oswaks family are committed to products that are hand-made with only the finest ingredients and natural starters.” Artisan Bread Baker & Proprietor Bob Oswaks joins us with a Pain au Chocolat in hand.

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

Betty Porto in front of the Porto's Bakery Bread Rack

All Porto’s Bakery and Café locations have reopened for dine-in at 50 per cent capacity. The locations are Burbank, Buena Park, Downey, Glendale and West Covina.

Porto’s Bake at Home ships their best-selling pastries nationwide. They are unbaked, frozen and come direct to you so you can bake them fresh in your own oven. “It’s like having a Porto’s Bakery in your home.” Popular items available include Cheese Rolls, Guava Cheese Strudel, Chicken Empanadas and Potato Balls.

2nd generation baker & Family member, Betty Porto (Porto’s Vice President of Community Relations,) is our guest with rolling pin in hand.

The American Institute of Wine & Food (AIWF) is a national non-profit educational organization established in 1981 by Robert Mondavi, Julia Child, Richard Graff and others to promote a forum for the study and enjoyment of gastronomy. The AIWF is dedicated to advancing the understanding, appreciation, and quality of wine and food through fun educational experiences in support of its Days of Taste® and Scholarship programs.”

“The San Diego Chapter of AIWF awards scholarships for the pursuit of culinary arts, enology/viticulture, and beverage studies in full or part-time accredited continuing education programs. The scholarships typically range from $350 to $3,000, and the funds do not need to be repaid. All schools must be accredited. Since the money for the scholarships is raised by the San Diego Chapter, scholarships are only awarded to people who are connected to San Diego by school, work, or recent involvement in food or wine in the area. The scholarship money may be used for study within or outside of San Diego County. Applications are accepted until October 1, 2021.”

Representing the San Diego Chapter to explain the Scholarship Program is Heidi Pigeon of Posh Pantry. Heidi is a Board Member of the San Diego Chapter of the AIWF as well as serves on the Scholarship Committee.

Raymond Alvarez of the Baja Sharkeez Restaurant Group

The newly opened Esperanza Cocina de la Playa in Manhattan Beach is under the culinary direction of Corporate Chef Raymond Alvarez and Head Mixologists John Fox and Kevin Williams. Chef Ray is the busy Corporate Executive Chef for the Baja Sharkeez Restaurant Group (Baja Sharkeez, Panama Joe’s, Killarney’s, Sandbar, Palmilla and Tower 12.)

“Esperanza beckons guests with modern interpretations of traditional Sonoran cuisine and an expertly crafted bar program. The team tapped award-winning architect and designer Gulla Jónsdóttir to create Esperanza’s sophisticated, coastal design, which incorporates handcrafted materials, furniture, and décor from around the world. With its prime location just blocks from the Pacific, Esperanza’s sophisticated vibe and design blends beach town elegance with modern cool.”

Chef Raymond takes a break from his busy kitchens to join us.

Justin Seidenfeld of Roden Wine Company

“What started with Rodney Strong’s (and evolved into Rodney Strong Wine Estates) vision over 60 years ago segued to an almost four-decade long career of Winemaker Emeritus Rick Sayre at Rodney Strong. Rick passed the baton in 2018 to current Director of Winemaking Justin Seidenfeld, who today leads the passionate winemaking team that creates critically acclaimed wines vintage after vintage with an eye towards the future. That future is led by innovative new products like ROWEN Wine Company, the 15-year passion project on Rodney Strong Wine Estate’s remote and rugged Cooley Ranch Vineyard.”

“Rod Strong was an acknowledged visionary who understood the potential that Sonoma County’s soil and climate held for producing world-class wines. Rodney Strong Vineyards established Sonoma County’s 13th bonded winery in 1959.”

RSWE sources grapes from 11 prime Sonoma County appellations including Alexander Valley, Chalk Hill, Knights Valley, Russian River Valley and Northern Sonoma.

“For over 30 years, RSWE has flourished under the leadership of the Klein Family, 4th generation California farmers. The Klein family is committed to protecting and preserving the environment in both the vineyards and at the winery through sustainable farming and winemaking.”

Winemaker Justin Seidenfeld joins us to pull the cork on all that is Rodney Strong Wine Estates.

Bob Oswaks of Bob's Well Bread

“Bob and Jane Oswaks, owners and proprietors of the award-winning Bob’s Well Bread Bakery in Los Alamos, debuted their long-awaited second location at the historic Ballard Store at 2449 Baseline Avenue in Ballard, California late last year. The 1,500 square foot Bob’s Well Bread at the Ballard Store was designed by The Oswaks, located fourteen miles south from their flagship store. The Oswaks rotate regularly between both operations to ensure the quality and standards of hospitality, food and beverage.” Chef Gary Clark leads the new kitchen and the Head Baker is Scott Smith.

“Since its inception in 2014, locals, travelers and journalists alike have embraced Bob’s Well Bread Bakery artisan breads and bakery. The bakery has successfully become a family business and an integral part of the growing Los Alamos community, which has developed into a richly diverse wine country destination.”

“Bob’s Well Bread Bakery and the Oswaks family are committed to products that are hand-made with only the finest ingredients and natural starters. No added preservatives will be found in any of their baked items, and they strive to source ingredients locally using farmers and growers who practice the purest growing initiatives. They allow their loaves to take their time, and practice old world European traditions and techniques to make the very best breads and baked goods possible. Their commitment to being “well bread” means doing good things, supporting the community and donating what they don’t sell to local food banks.”

For Breakfast or Brunch ponder the Raisin Challah French Toast with bacon lardons. For Lunch it’s the Meat Loaf Sandwich with ground beef and pork, caramelized onions, sharp cheddar cheese and spicy aioli served on Pain de Mie.

“They allow their loaves to take their time, and practice old world European traditions and techniques to make the very best breads and baked goods possible. Their commitment to being “well bread” means doing good things, supporting the community and donating what they don’t sell to local food banks.”

Bob Oawaks (with his hands in the English Muffin dough) joins us.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Betty Porto, Vice President of Community Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Café
Segment Three: AIWF San Diego Chapter Scholarship Program
Segment Four: Chef Raymond Alvarez, Esperanza Cocina de la Playa and Baja Sharkeez Restaurant Group
Segment Five: Justin Seidenfeld, Director of Winemaking, Rodney Strong Vineyard Estates Part One
Segment Six: Justin Seidenfeld, Director of Winemaking, Rodney Strong Vineyard Estates Part Two
Segment Seven: Baker Bob Oswaks, Bob’s Well Bread, Ballard and Los Alamos Part One
Segment Eight: Baker Bob Oswaks, Bob’s Well Bread, Ballard and Los Alamos Part Two

Show 289, September 8, 2018: Lisa Lipton, Esq., The American Institute of Wine & Food, San Diego Scholarship Chair

Lisa LiptonSan Diego area food fans who are pursuing careers in the culinary arts, enology / viticulture and beverage studies attention, please. The San Diego Chapter of The American Institute of Wine & Food is now accepting applications for Scholarships in full or part-time accredited continuing education programs. The scholarships typically range from $500 to $2,000, and the funds do not need to be repaid.

The American Institute of Wine & Food (AIWF) is a national non-profit educational organization established in 1981 by Robert Mondavi, Julia Child, Richard Graff, and others to promote a forum for the study and enjoyment of gastronomy. The AIWF is dedicated to advancing the understanding, appreciation, and quality of wine and food through fun educational experiences in support of its Days of Taste® and Scholarship programs.

The AIWF, San Diego Chapter awards scholarships for the pursuit of culinary arts, enology/viticulture, and beverage studies in full or part-time accredited continuing education programs. All schools must be accredited and offer continuous relevant hands-on, in-person experience (not online). Since the money for the scholarships is raised by the San Diego Chapter, scholarships are only awarded to people who are connected to San Diego by school, work, or recent involvement in food or wine/beverage in the area. The scholarship money may be used for study within or outside of San Diego County.

Applications will be accepted until October, 1 2018. Select applicants will be notified of an interview sometime in October.

Lisa Lipton, Esq., AIWF San Diego Scholarship Chair joins us with the details.

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Show 196, November 5, 2016: J.M. Woody Van Horn, General Manager, Javier Plascencia’s Bracero Cocina de Raiz, San Diego

JM Woody Von HornFor James Beard Foundation Award semifinalist Javier Plascencia, the U.S. – Mexico Border is not a barrier between two countries, but rather the inspiration for his signature Baja Peninsula cuisine.

On September 30th Chef Javier presented his Bracero Cocina de Raiz dinner at the James Beard Foundation in Manhattan. On Tuesday night, Nov. 1st. Chef Javier recreated that special 5-course menu at Bracero in San Diego as a benefit for the San Diego Chapter of the American Institute of Wine & Food. Chef Javier was actually there in the kitchen working the line. Each course was paired with a Palloni wine from Baja.

Bracero’s GM J.M. Woody Van Horn (a previous AIWF scholarship recipient) shares that incredible evening with us.

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Show 141, October 10, 2015: Bracero Cocina de Raiz and General Manager JM Woody van Horn

JM Woody Von HornThe “Wolfgang Puck” of Northern Baja is acclaimed Chef Javier Plascencia. Savvy Southern Californians have enjoyed dining at both Romesco in Bonita and Mision 19 in Tijuana. His newest restaurant, Bracero Cocina de Raiz is located in San Diego’s Little Italy.

He’s been all over Food TV in recent years including visits with Anthony Bourdain and Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern. He’s also been profiled in The New York Times.

Chef Javier will be preparing a special 9 course wine-paired tasting menu on Monday evening, Oct. 19th at Bracero for American Institute of Wine & Food – San Diego Chapter’s members and guests. Distinguished Winemakers from Northern Baja will be there, too.

Javier Plasencia’s General Manager and Sommelier at Bracero, JM Woody van Horn is our guest.

Woody is a past recipient (twice) of an AIWF-San Diego culinary education scholarship. The San Diego Chapter of the AIWF is one of the most active chapters in the United States. They host a creative series of ongoing culinary events and activities for their members including visits to wineries and artisan food purveyors in Northern Baja. They were very early in recognizing the promise of Chef Javier Plascencia.

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Show 13, January 12, 2013: Chef Javier Plascencia of Mision 19, Tijuana’s superstar celebrity chef and culinary goodwill ambassador for the food and wines of Northern Baja.

Javier PlascenciaOn Monday evening at Romesco in Bonita, CA  Chef Javier and, his colleagues, the brightest culinary stars of N. Baja are presenting a multi-course meal to benefit the San Diego Chapter of The American Institute of Wine and Food.

Two of Baja’s most acclaimed winemakers will also be there to present their wines with the meal. This includes Hugo D’Acosta who is known as the Robert Mondavi of Mexico as well as Philip Gregory (a former Angeleno) of Vena Cava in Valle de Guadalupe.

Play

January 12: Robert Wemischner, Josef Centeno, Deborah Schneider, Javier Plascencia

Podcasts

Segment One: Robert Wemischner, cookbook author, pastry chef, and culinary instructor Part One
Segment Two: Robert Wemischner, cookbook author, pastry chef, and culinary instructor Part Two
Segment Three: Josef Centeno, owner/executive chef of baco mercat and Bar Ama in Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Four: Deborah Schneider, executive chef and partner, SOL Mexican Cocina, Newport Beach
Segment Five: Chef Javier Plascencia of Mision 19, Tijuana’s superstar celebrity chef and culinary goodwill ambassador for the food and wines of Northern Baja
Segment Six: Chef Javier Plascencia of Mision 19, Tijuana’s superstar celebrity chef and culinary goodwill ambassador for the food and wines of Northern Baja (Continued…)

We’re cooking and baking with tea and then talking about a promising new Tex-Mex establishment in Downtown LA, with some flair from a young chef who does it his way. We’re then on to Newport Beach Restaurant Week and finally a taste of Northern Baja!

Robert WemischnerAcclaimed pastry chef and culinary educator Robert Wemischner has always been intrigued by the flavor potential of ingredients, from turmeric to tea and from cumin to coffee.

He is the author of four well-received cookbooks, including his most recent effort, The Dessert Architect. For the last 18 years he has headed the respected baking and pastry program for Los Angeles Trade-Tech College in Downtown Los Angeles.

Chef Bob joins us to present Tea 101 and guidance on cooking and baking with tea.

He also shares his delectable recipe for Chocolate Assam Tea Torte which he served at the “Getting Our Just Desserts” Benefit for C-CAP last November.

Josef Centeno

Josef Centeno is part of a group of risk-taking, young chefs who are going out on their own and making names for themselves. He created quite a splash when he designed the original menu and concept for Lazy Ox Canteen in Little Tokyo in Downtown LA.

After that was up and running he ventured out on his own in a more urban area of Downtown and launched baco Mercat at the corner of 4th & Main. He even makes his own soft drinks there from quality ingredients.

In December he debuted his 2nd Downtown spot, Bar Ama, which is a tribute to his Grandmother’s style of Tex-Mex food.

Newport Beach Restaurant Week is January 18th to 27th. Participating restaurants have special pricing for lunch and/or dinner. It’s a chance to experience the best in Newport Beach dining at very affordable prices.

Deborah SchneiderDeborah Schneider, the executive chef & partner of SOL Mexican Cucina joins us to tell us about what SOL is doing for Restaurant Week.

One of the most prominent and distinguished chefs cooking in Mexico today is Javier Plascencia who makes his home in Tijuana. He’s cooked for Mexico’s president, Felipe Calderon. His family also has a fine restaurant on the US side of the Border in Bonita.

Javier PlascenciaChef Javier is also an unabashed cheerleader for the foods and premium wines of Baja. The finest wines in Mexico come from the region and are just now finding their way into US distribution channels.

Last year when Anthony Bourdain of Travel Channel’s “No Reservations” visited Northern Baja, Javier was a prominent part of this at his latest venture, Mision 19.

On Monday evening, January 14th Chef Javier has recruited the best chefs and winemakers in Northern Baja to join him in preparing a 7-course, wine-paired meal at Romesco as a benefit for the San Diego Chapter of The American Institute of Wine and Food.

It’s sold out with a waiting list but this is a chef you should really know.

Podcasts

Segment One: Robert Wemischner, cookbook author, pastry chef, and culinary instructor Part One
Segment Two: Robert Wemischner, cookbook author, pastry chef, and culinary instructor Part Two
Segment Three: Josef Centeno, owner/executive chef of baco mercat and Bar Ama in Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Four: Deborah Schneider, executive chef and partner, SOL Mexican Cocina, Newport Beach
Segment Five: Chef Javier Plascencia of Mision 19, Tijuana’s superstar celebrity chef and culinary goodwill ambassador for the food and wines of Northern Baja
Segment Six: Chef Javier Plascencia of Mision 19, Tijuana’s superstar celebrity chef and culinary goodwill ambassador for the food and wines of Northern Baja (Continued…)