September 26: Tra Di Noi, Kirsh Baking Company, Billy Harris, Jason Neroni, Melissa’s Freaky Fruits, SoCal Gas

Angelenos who dine out frequently may remember the name of Chef Enrico Glaudo (Italian-born) from his days in Los Angeles with Piero Selvaggio as executive chef of the fondly remembered Primi in West Los Angeles. He trained at two, 3-Star Michelin restaurants in Italy. Chef Enrico recently joined Malibu’s long-running Tra di Noi Ristorante Italiano as executive chef for proprietor Tarcisio Hess. Chef Enrico joins us to discuss his plans for refreshing the menu and keeping the loyal regulars coming back while attracting new guests.

The Kirsh Baking Company of Long Beach launched in May. The mail order bakery concentrates on crafting masterfully made cookies. The founders are the husband and wife duo, Pastry Chef Uyen (Nguyen) Kirshenbaum and Jeff Kirshenbaum also a hospitality veteran. Like many who were furloughed during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Kirshenbaums are now pouring their energy into their passion, transforming what were once special-order cookies for those in the know, into a full-fledged business. Chef Uyen’s signature cookies are available for mail order by the dozen. Chef Uyen takes a pause from mixing cookie dough to join us.

The Billy Harris Dinner Series presents Dinner At Home to benefit the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program, Los Angeles (C-CAP LA) featuring a Multi-Course Dinner in your very own home from Chef Jason Neroni of The Rose Venice, dessert from food television personality and Pastry Chef Duff Goldman, special appearance from celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson, and Musical Performance by the Award-Winning Vonda Shepard on Saturday, October 10th, 2020 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm!” Celebrity Master of Ceremonies Billy Harris and The Rose Venice’s Partner & Executive Chef Jason Neroni join us with all the delectable details. 

Our friends at Melissa’s World Variety Produce are again hauntingly clever in putting together a complete package of inspired party ideas and fun, healthy recipes to make your socially distanced Halloween celebration the ultimate ghostly gathering. It all starts with Melissa’s exclusive selection of Freaky Fruits. These delicious items (exotic and tropical fruits) include Kiwano Melon, Dragon Fruit, Jackfruit, Blood Oranges, Passion Fruit, Strawberry Papaya, Pomegranates, Rambutans, Cherimoya, and Finger lines. Our resident produce authority, Robert Schueller, (also known as the Prince of Produce) provides the fun & squishy facts on Freaky Fruits for inspired Halloween entertaining and where to find the accompanying recipes created by the inspired Melissa’s Chefs.

As restaurants are slowly reopening as allowed in the various Counties of Southern California, SoCal Gas has a host of valuable services available to restaurants and foodservice operators. This assistance includes the Food Service Equipment Center located within the Energy Resource Center in Downey. Also available are Energy Savings Programs and a variety of helpful Reopening Services. Our knowledgeable guides are SoCalGas’ Carmen Oliver (Title Customer Programs) and Gina Christian (Food Service Technical Specialist & Customer Programs.) We’re cooking with gas…

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 greatly restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps… The consensus is that fine dining will look a bit different once the Covid 19 crisis finally subsides and there is a safe & proven vaccine readily available to all Americans. We all anticipate other changes in eating out at all levels. Will fine dining fully recover? We continue this informative discussion started with Chef Andrew last week.

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

Enrico Glaudo of Tra Di NoiAngelenos who dine out frequently may remember the name of Chef Enrico Glaudo (Italian-born) from his long tenure with Piero Selvaggio as executive chef of the fondly remembered Primi in West Los Angeles. He trained at two, 3-Star Michelin restaurants in Italy. Chef Enrico recently joined Malibu’s long-running Tra di Noi Ristorante Italiano as executive chef for proprietor Tarcisio Hess.

Tra di Noi literally means “between us”.

“We have chosen this name because we feel and believe in a casual, friendly and homey atmosphere. The decor is warm and romantic. Our cooking style is just as you would find in the Italian countryside.”

“Tra di Noi’s extensive menu features an appealing variety of classic Italian dishes prepared from the finest, freshest ingredients available. All of the pastas are handmade daily. Known for their own special flair in the creation of traditional “cucina autentica,” including a sumptuous selection of pastas, superb crudo, unique salads and delicious seasonal specialties.”

A percentage of Tra di Noi’s produce is from Thorn Family Farm which is a local farm in Malibu. The restaurant also supports the Malibu Farmers Market and Malibu Olive Oil Company.

Chef Enrico joins us to discuss his plans for refreshing the menu and keeping the loyal regulars coming back while attracting new guests.

Uyen and Jeff Kirshenbaum of Kirsh Baking CompanyThe Kirsh Baking Company of Long Beach launched in May. The mail order bakery concentrates on creating masterfully made cookies. The founders are the husband and wife duo, Pastry Chef Uyen (Nguyen) Kirshenbaum and Jeff Kirshenbaum also a hospitality veteran. Like many who were furloughed during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Kirshenbaums are now pouring their energy into their passion, transforming what were once special-order cookies for those in the know, into a full-fledged business. Chef Uyen’s signature cookies are available for mail order by the dozen.

The line of “Jeff’s Cookies” are a tribute to Chef Uyen’s painstaking efforts to create the perfect gluten and dairy free cookie for her husband. Although she reveled in the reactions of friends, family and other chefs who were shocked to learn her Double Chocolate Chip cookies were dairy and gluten free, the secret is out now! Cookies are carefully packaged by the dozen in beautiful gift boxes.

The Classics line of fresh-baked cookie flavors includes Salted Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodle, PB Chocolate, Vanilla Lavender and Lemon Poppy.

“Chef Uyen Kirshenbaum’s career in pastry began with training at the internationally acclaimed culinary institute, Ecole Lenotre in Paris and includes such celebrated establishments as Patisserie Gaulupeau in Versailles, Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak in Las Vegas, and Guy Savoy‘s first American restaurant at Caesar’s Palace. Chey Uyen became the first female Pastry Chef to lead Savoy’s team, and the restaurant garnered Two Michelin Stars in its first year. In 2015 Chef Uyen joined the team at Chef David LeFevre’s trio of Manhattan Beach restaurants as Executive Pastry Chef of The Arthur J, Manhattan Beach Post and Fishing with Dynamite.”

Chef Uyen takes a pause from mixing cookie dough to join us.

The Billy Harris“The Billy Harris Dinner Series presents Dinner At Home to benefit the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program, Los Angeles (C-CAP LA) featuring a Multi-Course Dinner in your very own home from Chef Jason Neroni of The Rose Venice, dessert from food television personality and Pastry Chef Duff Goldman, special appearance from celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson, and Musical Performance by the Award-Winning Vonda Shepard on Saturday, October 10th, 2020 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm!”

“This exclusive evening will be Hosted by Billy Harris (Hanging with Harris, Billy Harris Dinner Series) and will commence with Master Mixologist, Charlotte Voisey as she demonstrates how to mix-shake-stir The Unusual Neroni Negroni cocktail as guests enjoy some savory snacks. This virtual Dinner At Home will continue with a special select bottle of wine, interactive cooking demo with Chef Jason Neroni, special appearance by C-CAP Co-Chair Chef Marcus Samuelsson and his Mentee Tiana Gee, previously Sous Chef at Red Rooster in Harlem and C-CAP LA Alumna from Glendale High School 2014, dessert from Duff Goldman, and Live Musical Performance from Vonda Shepard, creating a beautiful night of laughs, libations, and a delectable dinner all to benefit C-CAP LA!”

Jason NeroniTickets to Dinner At Home to benefit the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program, Los Angeles (C-CAP LA) (Two Ticket order minimum) are available now at Dinner At Home to Benefit C-CAP LA. Each pair of Tickets will include a Multi-Course Dinner from Chef Jason Neroni and The Rose VeniceDessert from Duff Goldman, a Curated Cocktail Kit for Two, Bottle of WineBottle of S.Pellegrino, and a 20-gram Tin of Black River Caviar. The Dinner At Home Dinner Pick-up will be available between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm on Saturday, October 10th, 2020 at The Rose Venice or Dinner Delivery is available for $30 within twenty miles of the restaurant when selected with Ticket purchase.

Celebrity Master of Ceremonies Billy Harris and The Rose’s Partner & Chef Jason Neroni join us providing all the delectable details.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioOur friends at Melissa’s World Variety Produce are again hauntingly clever in putting together a complete package of inspired party ideas and fun, healthy recipes to make your socially distanced Halloween celebration the ultimate ghostly gathering.

It all starts with Melissa’s exclusive selection of Freaky Fruits. These delicious items (exotic and tropical fruits) include Kiwano Melon, Dragon Fruit, Jackfruit, Blood Oranges, Passion Fruit, Strawberry Papaya, Pomegranates, Rambutans, Cherimoya, and Finger Limes.

The Melissa’s chefs have created a fiendishly clever collection of hauntingly delicious recipes for your Halloween entertaining. Don’t miss the Freaky Fruit Salad and the Dragon Egg Stew punch with cactus pears, apple cider, and rambutans.

All the easy-to-follow recipes and tips are @ melissas.com.

Our resident produce authority Robert Schueller (also known as the Prince of Produce) provides the fun & squishy facts on Freaky Fruits for inspired Halloween entertaining.

Gina Christian of SoCal GasAs restaurants are slowly reopening as allowed in the various Counties of Southern California, SoCal Gas has a host of valuable services available to restaurants and foodservice operators. This assistance includes the Food Service Equipment Center located within the Energy Resource Center in Downey. Also available are Energy Savings Programs and a variety of helpful Reopening Services.

“The Food Service Equipment Center, located at the Energy Resource Center in Downey, is a state-of-the-art kitchen and a great resource for any commercial foodservice customer. SoCalGas’ FSEC is the largest test kitchen for natural gas fired equipment in the country. You can attend webinars, learn about energy-efficient equipment and which equipment qualifies for a rebate.”

Our knowledgeable guides are SoCalGas’ Carmen Oliver (Title Customer Programs) and Gina Christian (Food Service Technical Specialist & Customer Programs.)

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. 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…

The consensus is that fine dining will look a bit different once the Covid 19 crisis finally subsides and there is a safe & proven vaccine readily available to all Americans. We all anticipate other significant changes in eating out at all levels. Will fine dining fully recover? We continue this informative discussion started with Chef Andrew last week.

Show 391, September 19, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Angelenos know the name of Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini (Italian-born) from his days in Los Angeles with Piero Selvaggio as executive chef of Primi in West Los Angeles and Posto in Sherman Oaks. In 1999 Luciano relocated to Las Vegas to open the well-received Valentino Las Vegas in the Venetian Resort as Executive Chef and Partner with Piero Selvaggio. In 2004 the James Beard Foundation awarded Pellegrini a prestigious James Beard Award as Best Chef Southwest. Very few Las Vegas-based chefs have achieved this high honor. Chef Luciano’s recent venture is the launching of Heavenly Pies with his cousin David Ryan Brister. Chef Luciano joins us with pizza peel securely in hand.

Food journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s “Hungry Hound” in Chicago, is the recipient of an impressive 13 James Beard Foundation Awards for journalistic excellence. The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala is in Chicago on Friday evening, September 25th in an unexpected virtual format to be broadcast live via Twitter. Steve previews the dramatically reformatted (and virtual) 2020 James Beard Foundation Awards Gala. Steve Dolinsky joins us to better explain the unprecedented specifics.

Founded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, the iconic Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution. Serving her unique cuisine that blends contemporary with Eastern Mediterranean influences, in an upscale, chic environment. There are now also Zov’s restaurants in Newport Coast, Irvine and Anaheim (temporarily on hiatus.) The Tustin, Irvine and Newport Coast locations are also serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. Tailgating in Tustin (twice a month) with live music returns for Happy Hour and Dinner on Saturday, September 19th. New from Zov’s Catering are value-priced, individual meals that are table-ready. 2nd generation Karamardian Family member, Armen, joins us with the updates and looks to the future.

Orange County Restaurant Week Uncorked is on now through Saturday, September 26th. Orange County restaurants are participating with value priced menus available for lunch and/or dinner. Some have specialty cocktails as part of their offerings. The restaurants encourage you to savor the full guest experience with the return of limited dine-in with proper social distancing but most menus are also available To-Go.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook join us to tempt with their prix fixe dinner menus at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach, Ironwood in Laguna Hills, Olea in Newport Beach, and Vine Restaurant & Bar in San Clemente.

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 greatly restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps… The consensus is that fine dining will look a bit different once the Covid 19 crisis finally subsides and there is a safe & proven vaccine readily available to all Americans. We all anticipate other changes in eating out at all levels of price and service. We’ll get Chef Andrew’s informed and insightful thoughts on the future.

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

Play

Show 391, September 19, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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. 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…

The consensus is that fine dining will look a bit different once the Covid 19 crisis finally subsides and there is a safe & proven vaccine readily available to all Americans. We all anticipate other significant changes in eating out at all levels of price and service. We get Chef Andrew’s informed and insightful thoughts on the future.

Play

September 19: Luciano Pellegrini, Steve Dolinsky, Zov’s BIstro and Bakery, OC Restaurant Week Uncorked with Sapphire

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini of Heavenly Pies and Dolce Vita Gelato, Las Vegas Part One
Segment Three: Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini of Heavenly Pies and Dolce Vita Gelato, Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Four: Food Journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “Hungry Hound” Part One
Segment Five: Food Journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “Hungry Hound” Part Two
Segment Six: Armen Karamardian, Zov’s Bistro, Tustin (and Irvine & Newport Coast)
Segment Seven: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook of Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, Laguna Beach
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Angelenos know the name of Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini (Italian-born) from his days in Los Angeles with Piero Selvaggio as executive chef of Primi in West Los Angeles and Posto in Sherman Oaks. In 1999 Luciano relocated to Las Vegas to open the well-received Valentino Las Vegas in the Venetian Resort as Executive Chef and Partner with Piero Selvaggio. In 2004 the James Beard Foundation awarded Pellegrini a prestigious James Beard Award as Best Chef Southwest. Very few Las Vegas-based chefs have achieved this honor. Chef Luciano’s recent venture is the launching of Heavenly Pies with his cousin David Ryan Brister. Chef Luciano joins us with pizza peel in hand.

Food journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s “Hungry Hound” in Chicago, is the recipient of an impressive 13 James Beard Foundation Awards for journalistic excellence. The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala is in Chicago on Friday evening, September 25th in an unexpected virtual format to be broadcast live via Twitter. Steve previews the dramatically reformatted (and virtual) 2020 James Beard Foundation Awards Gala. Steve Dolinsky joins us to explain the unprecedented specifics.

Founded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, the iconic Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution. Serving her unique cuisine that blends contemporary with Eastern Mediterranean influences, in an upscale, chic environment. There are now also Zov’s restaurants in Newport Coast, Irvine and Anaheim (temporarily on hiatus.) The Tustin, Irvine and Newport Coast locations are now serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. Tailgating in Tustin (twice a month) with live music returns for Happy Hour and Dinner on Saturday, September 19th. New from Zov’s Catering are value-priced, individual meals that are table-ready. 2nd generation Karamardian Family member, Armen, joins us with the updates and looks to the future.

Orange County Restaurant Week Uncorked is on now through Saturday, September 26th. Orange County restaurants are participating with value priced menus available for lunch and/or dinner. Some have specialty cocktails as part of their offerings. The restaurants encourage you to savor the full guest experience with the return of limited dine-in with proper social distancing but most menus are also available To-Go.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook join us to tempt with their prix fixe dinner menus at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach, Ironwood in Laguna Hills, Olea in Newport Beach, and Vine Restaurant & Bar in San Clemente.

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 greatly restrict guest counts. Alternately take-out/delivery when you can surely helps… The consensus is that fine dining will look a bit different once the Covid 19 crisis finally subsides and there is a safe & proven vaccine readily available to all Americans. We all anticipate other changes in eating out at all levels. We get Chef Andrew’s informed and insightful thoughts on the future.

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

Luciano Pellegrini of Heavenly Pies in Las VegasAngelenos know the name of Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini (Italian-born) from his days in Los Angeles with Piero Selvaggio as executive chef of Primi in West Los Angeles (the unofficial commissary of Twentieth Century-Fox Studios at the time) and Posto in Sherman Oaks. In 1999 Luciano relocated to Las Vegas to open the well-received Valentino Las Vegas in the Venetian Resort as Executive Chef and Partner with Piero Selvaggio. In 2004 the James Beard Foundation awarded Pellegrini a prestigious James Beard Award as Best Chef Southwest. Very few Las Vegas-based chefs have achieved this honor.

After Valentino Las Vegas closed Pellegrini remained in Las Vegas and went on to debut Dolce Vita Gelato, an artisan gelato producer (wholesale) serving the hospitality business. He also consults for other restaurants in Las Vegas and California.

Chef Luciano’s latest venture is the launching of Heavenly Pies in the Southern Highlands neighborhood of Las Vegas with his cousin David Ryan Brister. The style of pizza is a mash up of Roman and Neapolitan varieties with premium ingredients. The signature Heavenly Pizza features black truffle tomato, brie cheese, porcini mushrooms, roasted garlic, speck and escarole.

The Trattoria Menu is Chef Luciano’s take on classic Italian dishes with a few surprises. Think Zeppole (fried dumplings) with anchovies, mozzarella and basil served with marinara or Philly cheese steak eggrolls.

Also on the menu are an assortment of six Takeout Meal packages. Each is designed to serve four guests and are packaged ready to eat or reheat.

Chef Luciano joins us with pizza peel in hand.

Steve Dolinsky and Andreew GruelFood journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s “Hungry Hound” in Chicago, is the recipient of an impressive 13 James Beard Foundation Awards for journalistic excellence.

In addition to his considerable journalistic talents Steve in an accomplished podcaster and pizza afficionado. “Every other Friday, Steve talks to some of the world’s greatest pizzaiolos, bakers and artisans about their craft. Hear their backstories, discover their secrets, techniques and inspirations, while listening to their meticulous process as they describe how they make their truly sublime pizzas.”

The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala is in Chicago on Friday evening, September 25th in virtual format to be broadcast via Twitter. Steve previews the dramatically reformatted (and virtual) 2020 James Beard Foundation Awards Gala.

Restaurant and Chef awards in 23 categories have been nominated. None of these awards will be announced. Instead, the previously announced winners will be honored in the categories of America’s Classics, Lifetime Achievement, Humanitarian of the Year, Design Icon and Leadership Awards. All the previously announced Nominees (in twenty-three categories) will also be honored.

Steve Dolinsky joins us to untangle the specifics.

Armen Karamardian of ZovsFounded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, legendary Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution. Serving her unique cuisine that blends contemporary with Eastern Mediterranean influences, in an upscale chic environment. There are now also Zov’s restaurants in Newport Coast, Irvine and Anaheim (temporarily on hiatus.) The Tustin, Irvine and Newport Coast locations are currently serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. Also serving guests again for dine-in at 25 per cent capacity.

Tailgating in Tustin (in the parking lot) with live music on the Café patio returns for Happy Hour and Dinner (twice a month) on Saturday, September 19th. Guests can also dine under the stars on the Café patio. Guests can order ahead from Zov’s take-out menu along with the wine and cocktail list. Because of space limitations and safety requirements reservations are required.

New from Zov’s Catering are value-priced, individual meals that are table-ready. Sealed utensils are included.

“Family support has constantly been Zov’s foundation and inspiration throughout her culinary career. Zov, in addition to her husband, Gary, her son Armen, and her daughter Taleene, have created a rare family business recipe that has taken comforting creations of the family kitchen blended with Chef Zov’s culinary artistry.”

2nd generation Karamardian Family member, Armen, joins us with the updates and looks to the future.

Chef Jared CookOrange County Restaurant Week Uncorked is on now through Saturday, September 26th. Orange County restaurants are participating with value priced menus available for lunch and/or dinner. Some have specialty cocktails as part of their offerings. The restaurants encourage you to get the full guest experience with the return of dine-in with proper social distancing but most menus are also available To-Go.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook join us to tempt with their prix fixe dinner menus at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach, Ironwood in Laguna Hills, Olea in Newport Beach, and Vine Restaurant & Bar in San Clemente.

Their special cocktail for OC Restaurant Week Uncorked is The Woodpecker. It’s Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Aperol, Crème de Peach, Fresh Peaches and Ginger.

The prix fixe dinner menu is three courses with choices in each category and priced at $50.00. Entree possibilities are Zinfandel Braised Napa Lamb Shank, Certified Double R Ranch Bone-In Ribeye Steak and Wild Caught Alaskan Halibut.

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. 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…

The consensus is that fine dining will look a bit different once the Covid 19 crisis finally subsides and there is a safe & proven vaccine readily available to all Americans. We all anticipate other significant changes in eating out at all levels. We get Chef Andrew’s informed and insightful thoughts on the future.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini of Heavenly Pies and Dolce Vita Gelato, Las Vegas Part One
Segment Three: Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini of Heavenly Pies and Dolce Vita Gelato, Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Four: Food Journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “Hungry Hound” Part One
Segment Five: Food Journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “Hungry Hound” Part Two
Segment Six: Armen Karamardian, Zov’s Bistro, Tustin (and Irvine & Newport Coast)
Segment Seven: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook of Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, Laguna Beach
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 390, September 12, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur 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…

What’s an appropriate topping for quality pizza that compliments the pie versus clashes with it? Chef Andrew opened the can on the subject of the Hawaiian Pizza (didn’t actually originate in Hawaii) and pineapple on it last week. We’ll continue that spirited conversation along with discussing what savory toppings really belong on a pizza from a culinary POV. You may be surprised…We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Play

September 5, Memphis City Tasting Tours, Jason Quinn, Post & Beam, Tanya Holland

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Memphis Food Entrepreneur Christina McCarter – City Tasting Tours & City Tasting Boxes Part One
Segment Three: Memphis Food Entrepreneur Christina McCarter – City Tasting Tours & City Tasting Boxes Part Two
Segment Four: Chef / Proprietor Jason Quinn, Playground DTSA, Santa Ana
Segment Five: Chef John & Roni Cleveland, Proprietors, Post & Beam, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Six: Chef John & Roni Cleveland, Proprietors, Post & Beam, Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Seven: Celebrity Chef Tanya Holland, Brown Sugar Kitchen, Oakland
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Resourceful food entrepreneur Christina McCarter operates City Tasting Tours and the newly launched City Tasting Boxes in Memphis, TN. In normal times City Tasting Tour shares the stories of the people, places and food that make Memphis such a wonderful place to visit and live with savvy locals and visitors. The Downtown walking tours sample locally made dishes and interact with chefs, restaurant owners and food artisans. Between bites, guests walk through a historic Memphis neighborhood filled with unexpected landmarks that even locals may overlook. Her latest venture is the launch of City Tasting Boxes which are a collection of the specialty food products of amazing local food artisans in Memphis. 3 options are available ranging from the “Official Memphis Travel Box” to the luxe “Ultimate Support Local Box.”

For the last nine years Playground DTLA in Santa Ana has been the very personal expression of Proprietor and Chef Jason Quinn. Sadly COVID 19 has decimated their business. For the last 6 months they have pulled out all the stops to serve their loyal guests within in the confines of needed public safety for customers as well as employees. It’s not a business model that is viable. Chef Jason has announced that the entire Playground complex will conclude at the end of their lease on December 31st, 2021. For the next 16 months Chef Jason and his team will continue to enthusiastically present the evening, ticketed, fine-dining dinner series, Playground 1.9, as well as operate the daytime, fast-casual Dough Exchange featuring bagels, rotisserie shawarma items, fresh pita, hummus and Kakigori. Chef Jason is our guest with all the specifics.

Establishing itself as a vital South L.A. cultural institution, Brad and Linda Johnson opened up the fine dining restaurant, Post & Beam in 2011 – its location adjacent to the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza Mall. Govind Armstrong served as head chef and partner, mentoring and eventually passing the culinary baton to John Cleveland. Last year, John & Roni Cleveland took over ownership of Post & Beam, keeping it a black-owned business. “With the changing of the guards, John will benefit from business consulting and access to senior leadership as well as mentorship in the kitchen from Govind, while Linda and I will focus on extending the brand through Post & Beam Hospitality LLC,” said Brad Johnson. Restaurateurs Chef John and Roni Cleveland join us.

Known for her inventive take on modern soul food, as well as comfort classics, Tanya Holland is the executive chef/owner of Oakland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen. She is also the author of the Brown Sugar Kitchen Cookbook and New Soul Cooking; was the host and soul food expert on the television series Melting Pot; and competed on the fifteenth season of Top Chef. Holland holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, and a Grande Diplôme from La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine. Her latest venture is the launch of Season 1 of Tanya’s Table, her debut podcast. We’ll meet the always on the go Chef Tanya Holland.

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… When the spread of COVID 19 has greatly slowed fine dining, as it can more fully resume, will be a bit of a different experience. What will fine dining possibly look like in the future ? 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!

Christina McCarter of Memphis City Tasting ToursResourceful food entrepreneur Christina McCarter operates City Tasting Tours and the newly launched City Tasting Boxes in Memphis, TN. In normal times City Tasting Tour shares the stories of the people, places and food that make Memphis such a wonderful place to visit and live with appreciative locals and visitors. The Downtown walking tours sample locally made dishes and interact with chefs, restaurant owners and food artisans. Between bites, guests walk through a historic Memphis neighborhood filled with unexpected landmarks that even locals may overlook.

Her latest venture is the launch of City Tasting Boxes which are a collection of the distinctive food products of amazing local food artisans in Memphis. 3 options are presently available ranging from the “Official Memphis Travel Box” to the luxe “Ultimate Support Local Box.”

Christina is also working to perfect her Virtual Memphis Tasting Tour which has already been beta tested.

Christina McCarter joins us.

Jason QuinnFor the last nine years Playground DTLA has been the very personal expression of Proprietor and Chef Jason Quinn. Sadly COVID 19 has decimated their business. Chef Jason has announced that the entire Playground complex will conclude at the end of their lease on December 31st, 2021.

The better news is that for the next 16 months Chef Jason and team will continue to enthusiastically operate their nighttime Playground 1.9 dining experiences. These are ticketed, fine-dining evenings with patio, al fresco seating. The price is inclusive of food, beverage pairings, tax and gratuity. Perfect for a special celebratory evening. Typically hosted on Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings.

Chef Jason’s favorite foods will continue to be showcased during the day (closed on Monday & Tuesday) at the fast-casual Dough Exchange located in Downtown Santa Ana, right next to Playground and Playground 1.9. The offerings at Dough Exchange are always evolving, but focuses around their freshly made bagels, rotisserie shawarma offerings, and super silky hummus with the freshest pita. “Dough Exchange truly embodies the spirit of Playground: a bunch of talented chefs and bakers making the things that they are excited about.” Also the home of Kakigori, an Instagramable fluffy shaved ice dessert from Japan. “Grab some delicious food and maybe a canned craft cocktail to enjoy on our patio.”

Playground’s Director of Libations, Jarred Dooley, is joining forces with Joe Valdovinos (both former OC Bartenders of the year) for an “Illegal Mezcal Virtual Cocktail Party on September 11th or 12th. On the menu are three original cocktails.

Chef Jason is our guest.

John Cleveland of Post and BeamEstablishing itself as a South L.A. cultural institution, Brad and Linda Johnson opened up the fine dining restaurant, Post & Beam in 2011 — its location adjacent to the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza MallGovind Armstrong served as head chef and partner, mentoring and eventually passing the culinary baton to John Cleveland. Last year, John & Roni Cleveland took over ownership of Post & Beam, keeping it a black-owned business. “With the changing of the guards, John will benefit from business consulting and access to senior leadership as well as mentorship in the kitchen from Govind, while Linda and I will focus on extending the brand through Post & Beam Hospitality LLC,” said Brad Johnson.

This year the team behind Post & Bream received the Los Angeles Times Gold Award, named for the late Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold. “The Los Angeles Times Gold Award is given annually “with the idea of honoring culinary excellence and expanding the notion of what Southern California cooking might be. The award celebrates intelligence and innovation, brilliance and sensitivity to aesthetics, culture and the environment,” described Gold in 2017, prior to his death.”

“I consider myself a ‘working chef,’ and I love creating California comfort food. Comfort food is simple; yet it requires perfect execution, said John Cleveland. “The secret ingredients to good cooking are love and patience. You can taste it in every bite!”

Roni Cleveland of Post and Beam“Post & Beam focuses on “California comfort food.” The restaurant offers a variety of hand-stretched pizzas and traditional southern comfort food, using local ingredients. Born in Oakland, California and raised in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Cleveland draws his influences from southern soul food, Carolina BBQ, coastal seafood as well as Neapolitan cuisine, culminating into what he’s coined as “California comfort food.””

“Favorite menu items include the hand-stretched pizzas with such toppings as pepperoni, turkey meatballs, shrimp and wild mushrooms; smoked BBQ baby back ribs and red cabbage slaw; fried jerked catfish; buttermilk fried chicken; shrimp ‘n’ grits; slow-cooked collard greens with smoked turkey and classic pound cake – just to name a few. In addition, dishes are seasoned with fresh herbs and seasonal fruits, grown from Post & Beam’s garden, such as basil, rosemary, sorrel, and lemon verbena along with panache figs, cara cara oranges and Meyer lemons.””

Post & Beam is again open for limited dining on their garden patio and for To-Go and delivery.

Chef John and Roni Cleveland are our guests. They will chat about becoming the 2nd proprietors of the well-established Post & Beam and the responsibility to the community that entails.

Tanya Holland of Brown Sugar KitchenKnown for her inventive take on modern soul food, as well as comfort classics, Tanya Holland is the executive chef/owner of Oakland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen. She is also the author of the Brown Sugar Kitchen Cookbook and New Soul Cooking; was the host and soul food expert on the television series Melting Pot; and competed on the fifteenth season of Top Chef. Holland holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, and a Grande Diplôme from La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine.

Her latest venture is the launch of Season 1 of Tanya’s Table, her debut podcast. Tanya’s Table spotlights Holland and her guests discussing food, culture, and diverse foodways as podcast listeners peer through the window to experience their candid, and often hilarious, conversations. While food is the center of attention, Holland explores other lifestyle topics such as travel, social awareness, self-help and work / life balance, challenges and triumphs, discovering off-the-radar gems, sustainability, the role of mentors, and more. Every episode further delves into each guest’s individual identity through their sense of taste (with food, design, style, etc.) and discovering foods of their heritage.”

Tanya is also a trustee of the prestigious, Manhattan-based James Beard Foundation. She was recently appointed to the James Beard Awards Committee, the governing body of the James Beard Awards.

We’ll meet the always on the go Chef Tanya Holland.

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur 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…

When the spread of COVID 19 has, at long last, greatly slowed, fine dining, as it can more fully resume, will be a bit of a different experience. What will fine dining possibly look like in the future? We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Memphis Food Entrepreneur Christina McCarter – City Tasting Tours & City Tasting Boxes Part One
Segment Three: Memphis Food Entrepreneur Christina McCarter – City Tasting Tours & City Tasting Boxes Part Two
Segment Four: Chef / Proprietor Jason Quinn, Playground DTSA, Santa Ana
Segment Five: Chef John & Roni Cleveland, Proprietors, Post & Beam, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Six: Chef John & Roni Cleveland, Proprietors, Post & Beam, Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Seven: Celebrity Chef Tanya Holland, Brown Sugar Kitchen, Oakland
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 388, August 29, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur 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…

The James Beard Foundation Awards set for a rescheduled virtual presentation in Chicago on September 25th have been cancelled. The balance of the chef and restaurant awards (nominations announced previously) will not be presented this year. The voting for the Awards had already taken place. The live presentation will instead salute the already announced winners in categories including America’s Classics, Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian of the Year. If you were a Nominee in any of the 23 awards categories how would you feel? What does the future hold? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Play

Show 387, August 22, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Chef Gino Choi’s OmG Omakase by Gino in Santa Ana is (pre-Covid 19) a multi-course, prix fixe menu dining experience. It’s all of 10 seats and Chef Gino sources a lot of his premium fish direct from Japan. He’s the solo star of the nightly show. When he can accommodate diners again it’s up to 18 courses and reservations are needed a couple of weeks in advance. His guests have been asking so Chef Gino has just launched a limited program of Omakase Chirashi Dinner Boxes for 2 guests for takeout. The pre-orders are taken on the Wednesday before the available nights of Saturday and Sunday. Chef Gino is limiting this to 20 orders for each night to maintain his high standards. We’ll meet the resourceful and ever adaptable Chef Gino Choi.

“Hatch Chile season is here, and Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria in Pico Rivera is ready with a pair of events where guests can safely enjoy the annual availability of the unique, flavorful and bright green pepper. Adapting to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Chef Marco Zapien and team created a way for the tenth straight year of Hatch Chile Festivities to take place. This year’s Hatch Chile cooking demonstration (August 26th from 6 to 7:00 p.m. via Zoom) will be in a virtual setting, and the Hatch Chile roast (Saturday, August 29th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) will allow guests to enter a drive-thru line for pick-up. Outdoor patio dining is permitted at The Salsa Grill and Chef Marco Zapien will be featuring Hatch Chile specials on the menu on the day of the roast.” Chef Marco joins us to turn up the heat on all the goodness of cooking with Hatch Chiles.

Originally from Tomball, Texas, Jason Paluska, the Executive Chef of The Lark in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, began his cooking career in San Francisco under chefs Mitch and Steve Rosenthal of Town Hall, Salt House and Anchor & Hope in 2006. Jason went on to became a sous chef at Michael Mina’s RN74 in San Francisco. In 2013 he left the Bay area and moved to Santa Barbara as the opening executive chef of The Lark restaurant part of the Acme Hospitality restaurant group. Most recently Jason and his team at The Lark received the Michelin Plate award in June of 2019.

Accomplished Brewmaster Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing with production breweries in Los Angeles and Anaheim really needs no introduction to our listeners. He’s generously mentored many of the rising young stars of craft brewing in Orange County over the years.

His latest project is the crafting of a recently released line of hard seltzers based on Golden Road’s fruit cart flavors. The new Golden Road Fruit Cart Hard Seltzers include Cucumber Lime, Mango, Strawberry Pineapple and Watermelon. The hard seltzers are made with real fruit juice. Brewmaster Victor is with us to pull the tab on all things Hard Seltzer.

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… Chef Andrew has been on the road and his travels have taken him to Texas. Central Texas BBQ is very popular locally right now and Chef Andrew will have some meaty observations. We’re talking smoked brisket and sausages along the way with minimal sauce.

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

Play

Show 387, August 22, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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. 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…

Chef Andrew has been on the road with his family and his travels have taken him to Texas. Central Texas BBQ is very popular locally right now and Chef Andrew will have some meaty observations. We’re talking smoked brisket and sausages with minimal sauce along the way. Chef Andrew also shares his impressions of Whataburger, a bit of a Texas tradition that’s also popular for Breakfast.

We’ll, of course “Ask the Chef.”

Play

August 22: OmG Omakase by Gino, Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria. The Lark, Golden Road Hard Seltzer

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Gino Choi, OmG Omakase by Gino, Santa Ana
Segment Three: Chef Marco Zapien of Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria, Pico Rivera
Segment Four: Executive Chef Jason Paluska, The Lark, Santa Barbara Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Jason Paluska, The Lark, Santa Barbara Part Two
Segment Six: Brewmaster Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing on Hard Seltzers Part One
Segment Seven: Brewmaster Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing on Hard Seltzers Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Gino Choi’s OmG Omakase by Gino in Santa Ana is (pre-Covid 19) a multi-course, prix fixe menu dining experience. It’s all of 10 seats and Chef Gino sources a lot of his premium fish direct from Japan. He’s the solo star of the nightly show. When he can accommodate diners again it’s up to 18 courses and reservations are needed way in advance. His guests have been asking so Chef Gino has just launched a limited program of Omakase Chirashi Dinner Boxes for 2 guests for takeout. The pre-orders are taken on the Wednesday before the available nights of Saturday and Sunday. Chef Gino is limiting this to 20 orders for each night to maintain his high standards. We’ll meet the resourceful and ever adaptable Chef Gino Choi.

“Hatch Chile season is here, and Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria in Pico Rivera is ready with a pair of events where guests can safely enjoy the annual availability of the unique, flavorful and bright green pepper. Adapting to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Chef Marco Zapien and team created a way for the tenth straight year of Hatch Chile Festivities to take place. This year’s Hatch Chile cooking demonstration (August 26th from 6 to 7:00 p.m. via Zoom) will be in a virtual setting, and the Hatch Chile roast (Saturday, August 29th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) will allow guests to enter a drive-thru line for pick-up. Outdoor patio dining is permitted at The Salsa Grill and Chef Marco Zapien will be featuring Hatch Chile specials on the menu on the day of the roast.” Chef Marco joins us to turn up the heat on all the goodness of cooking with Hatch Chiles.

Originally from Tomball, Texas, Jason Paluska, the Executive Chef of The Lark in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, began his cooking career in San Francisco under chefs Mitch and Steve Rosenthal of Town Hall, Salt House and Anchor & Hope in 2006. Jason went on to became a sous chef at Michael Mina’s RN74 in San Francisco. In 2013 he left the Bay area and moved to Santa Barbara as the opening executive chef of The Lark restaurant part of the Acme Hospitality restaurant group. Most recently Jason and his team at The Lark received the Michelin Plate award in June of 2019.

Accomplished Brewmaster Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing with production breweries in Los Angeles and Anaheim really needs no introduction to our listeners. He’s generously mentored many of the rising young stars of craft brewing in Orange County over the years.

His latest project is the crafting of a recently released line of hard seltzers based on Golden Road’s fruit cart flavors. The new Golden Road Fruit Cart Hard Seltzers include Cucumber Lime, Mango, Strawberry Pineapple and Watermelon. The hard seltzers are made with real fruit juice. Brewmaster Victor is with us to pull the tab on all things Hard Seltzer.

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… Chef Andrew has been on the road and his travels have taken him to Texas. Central Texas BBQ is very popular locally right now and Chef Andrew will have some meaty observations. We’re talking smoked brisket and sausages along the way.

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

Gino Choi of OmG Omakase by GinoChef Gino Choi’s OmG Omakase by Gino in Santa Ana is a multi-course, prix fixe menu dining experience. It’s all of 10 seats and Chef Gino sources a lot of his premium fish from Japan. He’s the star of the solo nightly show. When he can accommodate diners again it’s up to 18 courses and reservations are needed way in advance.

His guests have been asking so Chef Gino has just launched a limited program of Omakase Chirashi Dinner Boxes for 2 guests for takeout. The pre-orders are taken on the Wednesday (starting at Noon) before the available nights of Saturday and Sunday. Chef Gino is limiting this to 20 orders for each night to maintain his high standards. The boxes are $120 each (plus tax.)

We’ll meet the resourceful and ever adaptable Chef Gino Choi.

Marco Zapien of Zapiens Salsa Grill and Taqueria“Hatch Chile season is here, and Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria in Pico Rivera is ready with a pair of events where guests can safely enjoy the annual availability of this unique bright green and incredibly flavorful pepper.”

“Adapting to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Chef Marco Zapien and team created a way for the tenth straight year of Hatch Chile Festivities to take place. This year’s Hatch Chile cooking demonstration will be in a virtual setting, and the Hatch Chile roast will allow guests to enter a drive-thru line for pick-up.”

“The cooking demo will take place Wednesday, August 26 from 6 -7 p.m. via Zoom. Participants will be taken through a three-course Hatch Chile inspired menu and the format will still allow for the same interaction as in-restaurant demos in the past. Pre-registration is required and anyone who signs up for the premium package with all ingredients prepped and boxed, or the virtual log in access, will also receive a $25 Salsa Grill gift card.”

“This year’s Hatch Chile Roast is set for Saturday, August 29 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Patrons must pre-order their 25-pound cases of Melissa’s Hatch Chiles, and can select their preferred level of spice from mild to very hot. Patrons can arrive anytime between 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and enter the drive thru.”

“Every summer, New Mexico Hatch Chiles are ripe enough to enjoy for their short season and Chef Marco makes a late summer celebration of it. In the past, The Salsa Grill has served more Hatch Chile dishes than any other restaurant outside the Southwest region this time of year.”

“Outdoor patio dining is permitted at The Salsa Grill and Chef Marco will be featuring Hatch Chile specials on the menu on the day of the roast.”

Jason Paluska of the Lark“Originally from Tomball, Texas, Jason Paluska, the Executive Chef of The Lark in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, began his cooking career in San Francisco under chefs Mitch and Steve Rosenthal of Town Hall, Salt House and Anchor & Hope in 2006. Jason went on to became a sous chef at Michael Mina’s RN74 in San Francisco. For four years he worked under renowned chef Jason Berthold, formerly of the French Laundry & Per Se.”

“In 2013 he left the Bay area and moved to Santa Barbara as the opening executive chef of The Lark restaurant for Acme Hospitality. Most recently Jason and his team at The Lark received the Michelin Plate award in June of 2019.”

“The Lark, named for the sleek overnight Pullman train of the Southern Pacific Railroad that serviced Santa Barbara from 1910 -1968, is situated in the heart of the Funk Zone, a vibrant arts and entertainment district near the Waterfront in downtown Santa Barbara. Our menus are locally sourced and responsibly grown, using the highest quality seasonal ingredients based on the abundant bounty of the Central Coast.  Our food is served family style intended for sharing. Our space was designed with an urban style that integrates vintage and repurposed materials for a sophisticated yet casual sensibility with a nod to our neighborhood’s industrial past.”

“The Lark’s full bar features classic and modern craft cocktails using the finest in artisan spirits, mixers and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Our wine list highlights small Santa Barbara County producers as well as artisan winemakers from afar.”

The menu changes often. Seasonal specialties include Southern Fried Quail with Calabrian chili aioli, bread & butter pickles, smoked date caramel and scallions. Patio dining is available nightly from 5:00 p.m. as well as Takeaway orders. Closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Executive Chef Jason Paluska is our guest.

Victor Novak of Golden Road BrewingAccomplished Brewmaster Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing with production breweries in Los Angeles and Anaheim really needs no introduction to our listeners. He’s generously mentored many of the rising young stars of craft brewing in Orange County over the years.

His latest project is the crafting of a recently released line of hard seltzers based on Golden Road’s fruit cart flavors. The new Golden Road Fruit Cart Hard Seltzers include Cucumber Lime, Mango, Strawberry Pineapple and Watermelon. The hard seltzers are made with real fruit juice.

“There are different ways of creating the seltzer base,” said Victor Novak, Brewmaster at Golden Road Brewing. “For us, we start off by actually brewing a light beer, then running it through a sophisticated cross flow filtration process to ensure that it’s a very neutral and clean tasting. We then blend in just the right amount of fruit juices and natural flavorings to create our light and refreshing seltzers that are bursting with flavor but not cloying. Getting that right is crucial”

Victor joins us to pull the tab on all that is hard seltzer.

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. 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…

Chef Andrew has been on the road and his travels have taken him to Texas. Central Texas BBQ is very popular locally right now and Chef Andrew will have some meaty observations. We’re talking smoked brisket and sausages along the way.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Gino Choi, OmG Omakase by Gino, Santa Ana
Segment Three: Chef Marco Zapien of Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria, Pico Rivera
Segment Four: Executive Chef Jason Paluska, The Lark, Santa Barbara Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Jason Paluska, The Lark, Santa Barbara Part Two
Segment Six: Brewmaster Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing on Hard Seltzers Part One
Segment Seven: Brewmaster Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing on Hard Seltzers Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”