Show 134, August 8, 2015: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, and now, Irvine at UCI, is back as today’s special Guest Host.

Next a mouthwatering preview of Saturday’s fully overloaded show. With any luck we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

What’s new in ice cream ? (Sorry we just missed National Ice Cream Month…) Consider Manila Sky Ice Cream. This line of gourmet, sweet indulgences is a fusion of authentic Filipino inspired tropical ingredients combined with creamery fresh California milk. The flavors are bold. What started as a hobby for founder Anthony Reyes and his wife has grown (since 2012) into a viable business. What’s not to love about creamy ice cream? We’ll chill with Co-founder Anthony Reyes.

The raw oyster bar seems to be popping up as an attraction at a lot of restaurants these days including ones that offer very little seafood. It’s a trend…Satarist Jonathan Swift once wrote, “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.” There are three primary species of oysters that are commercially harvested domestically. Our own resident seafood expert, Chef Andrew Gruel, will provide some needed 411 on what every listener should know about these plump bivalves that now are seemingly on restaurant menus everywhere.

Hatch Chile season is upon us! Fresh Hatch Chiles, grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico, are available for just a few short weeks each year in August and September. Many connoisseurs consider them the world’s tastiest chiles.Melissa’s World Variety Produce has led the charge in popularizing the coveted Hatch Chiles and developing many great, easy-to-prepare recipes using them. Their Corporate Chef, Ida Rodriguez, joins us to discuss the joys of Hatch Chile season.

At the age of 15, Chef Brendan Collins quit secondary school to follow his dream and enroll in culinary school, where is was classically trained in French technique. By 17, the talented Nottingham native had his first job at London’s La Gavroche, a Michelin two-star restaurant. Today Collins is the Executive Chef and Proprietor of both Birch in Hollywood as well as the Executive Chef of The Corner Door in Culver City.

Sadly the 125 Anniversary run of the Orange County Fair (“One Big Party” concludes on Sunday, August 16th. The Concessionaire’s Cup Awards for OC Fair’s Finest Foods have been presented. We’ll talk with one of the Trophy Winners, Lori Southerland of Grant’s Tasti Burgers and Tasti Chips.

Our spirited friends at The Museum of The American Cocktail (MOTAC) are at it again. Their next Los Angeles presentation isSin and the Silver Screen: The Birth of Spirited Hollywood.” The date is Monday evening, August 17th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Hollywood’s preeminent English pub, The Pikey Café & Bar. Lesley Jacobs Solmonson & David Solmonson, the authors of The 12 Bottle Bar and publishers of 12bottlebar.com are the always entertaining presenters.

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Play

August 8: Andrew Gruel, Manila Sky, Melissa’s Produce, Brendan Collins, Grant’s Tasti Burgers, 12 Bottle Bar

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anthony Reyes, Co-Founder, Manila Sky Ice Cream
Segment Three: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish
Segment Four: Corporate Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s, Hatch Chile Season
Segment Five: Executive Chef Brendan Collins, Birch and The Corner Door Part One
Segment Six: Executive Chef Brendan Collins, Birch and The Corner Door
Segment Seven: Grant’s Tasti Burgers and Tasti Chips, 2015 OC Fair
Segment Eight: The Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC)

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, and now, Irvine at UCI, is back as today’s special Guest Host.

Next a mouthwatering preview of Saturday’s overloaded show. With any luck we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

What’s new in ice cream ? (Sorry we just missed National Ice Cream Month…) Consider Manila Sky Ice Cream. This line of gourmet, sweet indulgences is a fusion of authentic Filipino inspired tropical ingredients combined with creamery fresh California milk. The flavors are bold. What started as a hobby for founder Anthony Reyes and his wife has grown (since 2012) into a prosperous business. What’s not to love about creamy ice cream? We’ll chill with Co-founder Anthony Reyes.

The raw oyster bar seems to be popping up as an attraction at a lot of better restaurants these days including ones that offer very little seafood. It’s a trend…Satarist Jonathan Swift once wrote, “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.” There are three primary species of oysters that are commercially harvested domestically. Our own resident seafood expert, Chef Andrew Gruel, will provide some needed 411 on what every listener should know about enjoying these plump bivalves that now are seemingly on restaurant menus everywhere.

Hatch Chile season is upon us! Fresh Hatch Chiles, grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico, are available for just a few short weeks each year in August and September. Many connoisseurs consider them the world’s tastiest chiles. Melissa’s World Variety Produce has led the charge in popularizing the coveted Hatch Chiles and developing many inspired recipes using them. Melissa’s Corporate Chef, Ida Rodriguez, joins us to highlight the joys of Hatch Chile season.

At the age of 15, Chef Brendan Collins quit secondary school to follow his dream and enroll in culinary school, where is was classically trained in French technique. By 17, the talented Nottingham native had his first job at London’s La Gavroche, a Michelin two-star restaurant. Today Collins is the Executive Chef and Proprietor of both Birch in Hollywood as well as the Executive Chef of The Corner Door in Culver City.

Sadly the 125th Anniversary run of the Orange County Fair (“One Big Party”) concludes on Sunday, August 16th. The Concessionaire’s Cup Awards for OC Fair’s Finest Foods have been presented. We’ll talk with one of the Trophy Winners, Lori Southerland of Grant’s Tasti Burgers and Tasti Chips.

Our spirited friends at The Museum of The American Cocktail (MOTAC) are at it again. Their next Los Angeles presentation is “Sin and the Silver Screen : The Birth of Spirited Hollywood.” The date is Monday evening, August 17th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Hollywood’s preeminent English pub, The Pikey Café & Bar. Lesley Jacobs Solmonson & David Solmonson, the authors of The 12 Bottle Bar and publishers of 12bottlebar.com are the always entertaining presenters.

Thanks to all our special in-studio guests last week from the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA.) We really appreciate the visit.

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Manila Sky Nutty Jack ice CreamWhat’s new in ice cream ? (Sorry we just missed National Ice Cream Month…) Consider Manila Sky Ice Cream. This line of gourmet, sweet indulgences is a fusion of authentic Filipino inspired tropical ingredients combined with creamery fresh California milk. The flavors are bold.

What started as a hobby for founder Anthony Reyes and his wife has grown (since 2012) into a prosperous business. What’s not to love about creamy ice cream?

The captivating flavors are Coco Rico, Mango Dream, Mango Verde, Nutty Jack, Purple Yumm and Viva Avocado.

Nutty Jack Ice Cream is a distinct, tropical jackfruit ice cream with roasted cashews and a hint of sea salt. The star of this flavor is the Filipino jackfruit : a tropical fruit with notes of mango, pineapple and banana. Pairing jackfruit with cashews is a quintessential Filipino flavor combination that marries the depth of roasted cashews with the tropical sweetness of the jackfruit.”

We’ll chill with Co-founder Anthony Reyes.

Andrew GruelThe raw oyster bar seems to be popping up as an attraction at a lot of restaurants these days including ones that offer very little seafood. It’s a legitimate trend…

Satarist Jonathan Swift once wrote, “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.”

There are three primary species of oysters that are commercially harvested domestically. They are the Pacific, Eastern and the Olympia. They can be sold under different names depending on where they are harvested. Live oysters are best enjoyed as fresh as possible.

Oysters are high in calcium and iron. They provide a good source of protein.

Our own resident seafood expert, Chef Andrew Gruel, will provide some needed 411 on what every listener should know about enjoying these plump bivalves that now are seemingly on restaurant menus everywhere.

Chef Ida Rodriquez of Melissas World Variety ProduceHatch Chile season is upon us! Fresh Hatch Chiles, grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico, are available for just a few short weeks each year in August and September. Many connoisseurs consider them the world’s tastiest chiles.

Once roasted, Hatch Chiles are easy to peel and seed. Roasting heightens the robust earthy flavor of the chiles and the texture of the thick walls of the chile pod becomes lusciously rich. These unique qualities, and the pepper’s variable heat (unlike other chile peppers, Hatch Chiles come in varieties that cover the full spectrum of heat levels) have earned Hatch Chiles great popularity far beyond the local community of Hatch, New Mexico.

Melissa’s World Variety Produce has led the charge in popularizing the coveted Hatch Chiles and developing many great recipes using them. From now through mid-September Melissa’s will be sponsoring weekend Hatch Chile Roasting parties at area supermarkets including at select Bristol Farms and Gelson’s. Check the Melissa’s website for locations, dates and times.

Melissa’s Corporate Chef, Ida Rodriguez, joins us to highlight the joys of Hatch Chile season.

Brendan CollinsAt the age of 15, Chef Brendan Collins quit secondary school to follow his dream and enroll in culinary school, where is was classically trained in French technique. By 17, the talented Nottingham native had his first job at London’s La Gavroche, a Michelin two-star restaurant. Today Collins is the Executive Chef and Proprietor of both Birch in Hollywood as well as the Executive Chef of The Corner Door in Culver City.

Drawing on his training in butchery and belief in using the whole animal, Collins is dedicated to using only the best ingredients and cooking food that he likes to eat. He combines impeccable French technique, seasonal California ingredients, and his inimitable “British lad” attitude to create a cuisine that is at once comforting and exciting, while maintaining a relaxed, English pub atmosphere

For the past three years, The Corner Door has been known as one of the best spots for cocktails in all of Southern California, filling both the bar and dining room with guests imbibing on their always seasonal and innovative beverage program. And now, with Executive Chef Brendan Collins at the helm of the kitchen, The Corner Door has introduced a completely new Dinner Menu with eats to match.

Collins, formerly the chef at such notable spots as Melisse, Anisette and Palihouse, opened his own acclaimed restaurant Waterloo & City just next to The Corner Door until he decided to close (and sell) it late last year. Though he was also working on his newly opened Hollywood restaurant, Birch, at the same time, Collins was deeply invested in Culver City. “It is a close-knit community, and all the restaurants are friends with each other,” he says. “I lived and worked in Culver City for seven years, and wanted to keep a connection with the neighborhood.“

As Executive Chef, Collins will be cooking at The Corner Door at least one day a week, but his longtime lieutenant and Chef de Cuisine Ali Haji has taken charge of day-to-day operations. Haji has worked with Collins continually for the last eight years, beginning at Mesa, in Costa Mesa. “I am closer to Ali than anyone, maybe even my own wife,” Collins says. “He knows what I like and the standards I like to keep; he is ready to step up and run his own kitchen.”

Orange County Fair 2015Sadly the 125 Anniversary run of the Orange County Fair (“One Big Party”) concludes on Sunday, August 16th.

The annual Concessionaire’s Cup Awards for OC Fair’s Finest Foods have been presented. We’ll talk with one of the Trophy Winners, Lori Southerland of Grant’s Tasti Burgers and Tasti Chips.

Last year their winning item was the Chile Relleno Pretzel Cheeseburger. It’s a spicy chorizo patty, jalapeno jam, avocado, tomato, cheese and a whole chile relleno in a soft pretzel bun. It’s back on the menu for 2015

For 2015 their new signature item is the Cuban Fusion Burger. It’s a pork sausage burger patty with smoked ham, tomato, sliced pickles, spicy mayo, mustard and Swiss cheese on a ciabatta roll.

David and Lesley Jacobs SolmonsonOur spirited friends at The Museum of The American Cocktail (MOTAC) are at it again. Their next Los Angeles presentation is Sin and the Silver Screen: The Birth of Spirited Hollywood.”

The program tells the story of Hollywood’s transformation from a dry, well-churched town to the epicenter of nightclub culture. The presentation features the rise and Golden Age of the Hollywood nightclub, tales from its most popular establishments, and “house drinks” from several famous clubs, including the Cocoanut Grove, Embassy Club, and Café Montmarte. Admission ($40.00 General Admission) includes farm-to-table food pairings of Chef Ralph Johnson.

The event date is Monday evening, August 17th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Hollywood’s preeminent English pub, The Pikey Café & Bar. Lesley Jacobs Solmonson & David Solmonson, the authors of The 12 Bottle Bar and publishers of 12bottlebar.com are the always entertaining presenters.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anthony Reyes, Co-Founder, Manila Sky Ice Cream
Segment Three: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish
Segment Four: Corporate Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s, Hatch Chile Season
Segment Five: Executive Chef Brendan Collins, Birch and The Corner Door Part One
Segment Six: Executive Chef Brendan Collins, Birch and The Corner Door
Segment Seven: Grant’s Tasti Burgers and Tasti Chips, 2015 OC Fair
Segment Eight: The Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC)

Show 132, July 25, 2015: Chef Andrew Gruel on “Trash Fish”

Andrew GruelEarlier in his West Coast career Chef Gruel’s love of the ocean drove him to direct a non-profit project at The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA called Seafood for the Future”. Here he worked with hundreds of chefs, fisherman and like-minded organizations establishing a national culinary awareness for the sustainable seafood movement.

Lesser-known fish species are just as tasty as the seafood stars and typically priced at a better value. (Nothing wrong with salmon but it can be kind of boring…) Unfortunately they are known as “trash fish.” Don’t let that regrettable name fool you. Smelt, sardines, and mackerel can be delicious. Also in the mix is Arctic char and US trout.

Chef Andrew politely suggests rebranding California sardines as “Petit Bass.” Certainly more attention-getting…

Chef Andrew is a big fan of sable fish and black cod, too.

Play