Show 373, May 16, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

It’s a time of great concern for all of us and our “SoCal Restaurant Show” mission, until the Covid-19 crisis is fully abated, is to provide reliable and genuinely useful information on how the restaurant business is coping with the rapidly evolving events. With an emphasis on the health, safety and well-being of our listeners we’ll be detailing what the ever-changing range of services restaurants can now provide to their guests. Creativity and adaptability are at the forefront. We’re doing our level best to keep it upbeat…

Chefs and restaurateurs are honestly the most generous people we know. In times of need they are always the very first in generously giving back and meaningfully supporting their communities. Truly remarkable…Right now restaurants urgently need our support to stay afloat. Kindly keep this in mind and please do what you possibly can (as you can afford) to support a community-focused, local restaurant….

As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it without the enthusiastic encouragement of the foodie community.

Founded 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 also Zov’s restaurants in Newport Coast, Irvine and Anaheim. The Tustin and Newport Coast locations are now serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. 2nd generation Karamardian Family member, Armen, joins us with the details and looks to the future.

The enduring Casa Vega is a landmark Mexican restaurant that has been operating in the San Fernando Valley for almost 64 years. It’s located on the familiar Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks and is one of the longest running, continuously family-owned restaurants in greater Los Angeles. Rafael “Ray” Vega opened Casa Vega in 1956 after being inspired by the success of his parents’ earlier restaurant, Café Caliente, which was on Olvera St. and operated throughout the 1930’s. Casa Vega has recently reopened for take-out via advance order online or by telephone.

Proprietress Christy Vega (a 3rd generation restaurateur) pours the Classic Margaritas for us.

Led by chef, author and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson as national board co-chair, Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP,) celebrating its 30th Anniversary, transforms the lives of underserved high school students and young people locally by helping them pursue their culinary dreams. C-CAP prepares these talented young adults for college, and for careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry. This year Los Angeles awarded $430,131 in scholarships to 34 deserving high school students. Joining us are Food TV’s Chef Monti Carlo (a “Friend of C-CAP”,) college scholarship recipient Emerson Majano, a member of the Senior Class at Santee Education Complex and college scholarship recipient Morena Hernandez, a Senior at Los Angeles High School.

Newport Beach’s highly praised, Fable & Spirit, has reopened in the Via Lido Plaza for takeout service. The public, once again, is able to partake in Chef Executive Chef David Shofner’s imaginative, globally inspired dishes. In addition, Sommelier Ali Coyle presents a curated list of wines offered at exceptional prices, and Director of Spirits Drew Coyle offers a selection of signature cocktails to go. Sommelier & Coyle Family member, Ali, gently pulls the cork for us.

After honing his skills at some of the most influential restaurants in Southern California –including The Eveleigh, Father’s Office, and Umami Restaurant Group—Chef & Proprietor Ted Hopson now brings his diverse experience and curious palate to The Bellwether in Studio City, incorporating Italian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern flavors for a culinary spread that proudly crashes borders and challenges convention. His Partner at The Bellwether is Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi. At The Bellwether (in normal times,) Verdi creates a beverage program that pleases all palates through both contemporary and classic selections. Chef Ted is our guest to discuss how The Bellwether is coping with the ban on dine-in.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative <strong>“Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is 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. Take-out/delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first. 3rd party delivery services seem convenient but they are costly to both consumers and restaurants. A lot more here to explain and better understand. We’ll again “Ask the Chef.”

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

Play

Show 373, May 16, 2020: Restaurateur Armen Karamardian, Zov’s Bistro & Bakery

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. Irvine, currently, is undergoing a needed major refreshening.

The Tustin and Newport Coast locations are serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. Zov’s General Store at the Tustin location offers a selection of gourmet groceries for curbside pickup.

“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.”

“Over the years, the Bistro in Tustin has greatly expanded into 14,000 sq. ft., encompassing an award-winning bakery, acclaimed Bistro, a luxurious private dining room, specialty foods gourmet market, cooking classes and a busy catering division that brings Zov’s culinary style to homes and special events throughout Southern California.”

2nd Generation Karamardian Family member & restaurateur, Armen, joins us with the details and looks to the future.

Play

May 16: Zov’s Bistro and Bakery, Casa Vega, C-CAP with Monti Carlo, Fable & Spirit, Ted Hopson

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Armen Karamardian, Zov’s Bistro & Bakery
Segment Three: Restaurateur Christy Vega, Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks
Segment Four: Chef Monti Carlo with C-CAP Scholarship Recipient Emerson Majano
Segment Five: Chef Monti Carlo with C-CAP Scholarship Recipient Morena Hernandez
Segment Six: Sommelier Ali Coyle, Fable & Spirit, Newport Beach
Segment Seven: Chef & Partner Ted Hopson, The Bellwether, Studio City
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish with “Ask the Chef”

It’s a time of great concern for all of us and our “SoCal Restaurant Show” mission, until the Covid-19 crisis is fully abated, is to provide reliable and genuinely useful information on how the restaurant business is coping with the rapidly evolving events. With an emphasis on the health, safety and well-being of our listeners we’ll be detailing what the ever-changing range of services restaurants can now provide to their guests. Creativity and adaptability are at the forefront. We’re doing our level best to keep it upbeat…

Chefs and restaurateurs are honestly the most generous people we know. In times of need they are always the very first in generously giving back and meaningfully supporting their communities. Truly remarkable…Right now restaurants urgently need our support to stay afloat. Kindly keep this in mind and please do what you possibly can (as you can afford) to support a community-focused, local restaurant….

As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it without the enthusiastic encouragement of the foodie community.

Founded 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. The Tustin and Newport Coast locations are now serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. 2nd generation Karamardian Family member, Armen, joins us with the details and looks to the future.

The enduring Casa Vega is a landmark Mexican restaurant that has been operating in the San Fernando Valley for almost 64 years. It’s located on the familiar Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks and is one of the longest running, continuously family-owned restaurants in greater Los Angeles. Rafael “Ray” Vega opened Casa Vega in 1956 after being inspired by the success of his parents’ earlier restaurant, Café Caliente, which was on Olvera St. and operated throughout the 1930’s. Casa Vega has recently reopened for take-out via advance order online or by telephone.

Proprietress Christy Vega pours the Classic Margaritas for us.

Led by chef, author and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson as national board co-chair, Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP,) celebrating its 30th Anniversary, transforms the lives of underserved high school students and young people locally by helping them pursue their culinary dreams. C-CAP prepares these talented young adults for college, and for careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry. This year Los Angeles awarded $430,131 in scholarships to 34 deserving high school students. Joining us are Food TV’s Chef Monti Carlo (a “Friend of C-CAP”,) college scholarship recipient Emerson Majano, a member of the Senior Class at Santee Education Complex and college scholarship recipient Morena Hernandez, a Senior at Los Angeles High School.

Newport Beach’s highly praised, Fable & Spirit, has reopened in the Via Lido Plaza for takeout service. The public, once again, is able to partake in Chef Executive Chef David Shofner’s imaginative, globally inspired dishes. In addition, Sommelier Ali Coyle presents a curated list of wines offered at exceptional prices, and Director of Spirits Drew Coyle offers a selection of signature cocktails to go. Sommelier & Coyle Family member, Ali, gently pulls the cork for us.

After honing his skills at some of the most influential restaurants in Southern California –including The Eveleigh, Father’s Office, and Umami Restaurant Group—Chef & Proprietor Ted Hopson now brings his diverse experience and curious palate to The Bellwether in Studio City, incorporating Italian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern flavors for a culinary spread that proudly crashes borders and challenges convention. His Partner at The Bellwether is Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi. At The Bellwether (in normal times,) Verdi creates a beverage program that pleases all palates through both contemporary and classic selections. Chef Ted is our guest to discuss how The Bellwether is coping with the ban on dine-in.

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 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. Take-out/delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first. 3rd party delivery services seem convenient but they are costly to both consumers and restaurants. A lot more here to explain and better understand. We’ll again “Ask the Chef.”

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

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.

The Tustin and Newport Coast locations are serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. Zov’s General Store at the Tustin location offers a selection of gourmet groceries for curbside pickup.

“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.”

“Over the years, the Bistro in Tustin has greatly expanded into 14,000 sq. ft., encompassing an award-winning bakery, acclaimed Bistro, a luxurious private dining room, specialty foods gourmet market, cooking classes and a busy catering division that brings Zov’s culinary style to homes and special events throughout Southern California.”

2nd Generation Karamardian Family member & restaurateur, Armen, joins us with the details and looks to the future.

Christy Vega of Casa VegaThe enduring Casa Vega is a landmark Mexican restaurant that has been operating in the San Fernando Valley for almost 64 years. It’s located on the familiar Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks and is one of the longest running, continuously family-owned restaurants in greater Los Angeles. Rafael “Ray” Vega opened Casa Vega in 1956 after being inspired by the success of his parents’ earlier restaurant, Café Caliente, which was on Olvera St. and operated throughout the 1930’s. Casa Vega has recently reopened for take-out via advance order online or by telephone.

Casa Vega is now open from 12 Noon – 8 p.m. daily. Initially, guests can order directly by phone (818-788-4868) or online via the Casa Vega website. Guests can pick up from their cars – Casa Vega staff will place orders in the trunk or backseat as they wait in the restaurant’s driveway off Ventura Blvd.

Favorites on the take-out menu include Combination Plates and Street Tacos, both served with rice and beans, Taquitos de Juan (chicken flautas), Burritos, four different Family Trays, Chips, Guacamole, Salsa, Kids Meals, and more. In addition to beer and wine, Casa Vega offers its Classic Margarita in a single serving mason jar with ice, ready to drink for $7. Other margarita variations are available for $7-9. The Classic Margarita is also available in a half gallon size for $30.

“Over the years, Casa Vega has remained, at its core, much the same as my father’s original vision,” says Christy Vega. “The menu continues to reflect the offerings originally presented some 64 years ago with slight alterations that speak to today’s culinary tastes. From the menu, to the dim ambiance of the dining room, to the staff—many of which have been with our team for decades—Casa Vega is a testament to my father and the wonderful history he has created. I look forward to continuing to uphold his legacy of service, authentic traditions, and most of all, the love and adoration that emanates throughout every corner of the restaurant and inspires our clients to return time and time again.

Proprietress Christy Vega pours the Classic Margaritas for us.

The Monti Carlo of Everyday FoodLed by chef, author and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson as national board co-chair, Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP,) celebrating its 30th Anniversary, transforms the lives of underserved high school students and young people locally by helping them pursue their culinary dreams. C-CAP prepares these talented young adults for college, and for careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

This year Los Angeles awarded $430,131 in scholarships to 34 deserving high school students. Joining us is Food TV’s Chef Monti Carlo (a “Friend of C-CAP”) and college scholarship recipients Emerson Majano, a member of the Senior Class at Santee Education Complex and Morena Hernandez, a distinguished Senior at Los Angeles High School.

Founded in 1990 by culinary educator and cookbook author Richard Grausman, C-CAP impacts over 17,500 students a year nationally. Countless C-CAP alumni work throughout the country and are guiding the future leaders of the culinary and hospitality industry.

Sommelier Ali CoyleNewport Beach’s highly praised, Fable & Spirit, has reopened in the Via Lido Plaza for takeout service. The public, once again, is able to partake in Chef Executive Chef David Shofner’s imaginative, globally inspired dishes. In addition, Sommelier Ali Coyle presents a curated list of wines offered at exceptional prices, and Director of Spirits Drew Coyle offers a selection of signature cocktails to go.

Guests will be able to order by phone or online Tuesday through Sunday. Menu, hours and online ordering will be updated on Fable & Spirit’s website. Orders may be placed between Noon and 6 p.m., for pick-up between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The restaurant will be closed Monday. Contactless curbside pick-up can be requested when placing orders.

“Ours are neighborhood restaurants that have achieved success because of the communities that support them, and we are grateful to reopen to see the reassuring smiles of our friends during this time of uncertainty,” comments Darren Coyle, who owns Fable & Spirit, Dublin 4 Gastropub, and Wineworks for Everyone with his wife, Jean. “We look forward to when we can welcome guests into our dining room again for food, drink and good times, but for now, we will limit service to takeout and strive to share some of the spirit and magic of our family with yours.”

Sommelier & Coyle Family member, Ali, gently pulls the cork for us.

Ann Marie Verdi and Ted Hopson of the Bellwether“After honing his skills at some of the most influential restaurants in Southern California –including The Eveleigh, Father’s Office, and Umami Restaurant Group—Chef & Proprietor Ted Hopson now brings his diverse experience and curious palate to The Bellwether in Studio City, incorporating Italian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern flavors for a culinary spread that proudly crashes borders and challenges convention.”

His Partner at The Bellwether is Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi. At The Bellwether (in normal times,) Verdi creates a beverage program that pleases all palates through both contemporary and classic selections.

The Bellwether reopened briefly for nighttime curbside pick-up but found it impractical to sustain. Their focus has shifted to preparing wholesome meals for frontline workers and charity groups.

Chef Ted brings us up-to-date.

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 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. Take-out / Delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first.

On the surface 3rd party delivery services (Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash and Postmates) seem really convenient but they are costly to both consumers and restaurants. A lot more here to explain and better understand. We’ll again, “Ask the Chef.”

Slapfish is hosting Doctors, Nurses, Medical Personnel, Police, Firefighters & EMT’s to a complimentary meal To-Go. Need to be in uniform or have appropriate ID to qualify. The participating Slapfish locations are Huntington Beach, Brea, Irvine and Laguna Beach.

Kids eat free at Slapfish, too, when their parents order Takeout.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Armen Karamardian, Zov’s Bistro & Bakery
Segment Three: Restaurateur Christy Vega, Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks
Segment Four: Chef Monti Carlo with C-CAP Scholarship Recipient Emerson Majano
Segment Five: Chef Monti Carlo with C-CAP Scholarship Recipient Morena Hernandez
Segment Six: Sommelier Ali Coyle, Fable & Spirit, Newport Beach
Segment Seven: Chef & Partner Ted Hopson, The Bellwether, Studio City
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish with “Ask the Chef”

Show 94, October 25, 2014: Show Preview with Producer Andy Harris

Producer and occasional Co-Host Andy Harris is going solo in the host chair this morning. Now a preview of today’s show…

Often dubbed the “Culinary Olympics,” the international Bocuse d’Or World Cooking Contest faces chefs from 24 countries against one another in an exhausting and intensive 5 and one-half hour cooking challenge in front of thousands of cheering fans. Teams consist of one chef and one commis assistant, with Team USA trained and financially supported by the ment’or BKB Foundation (previously known as the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation.) Executive Director Young Yun (of ment’or BKB Foundation) is our guest.

AKASHA, in the historic Hull Building, is one of the pioneering restaurants in the revival of Downtown Culver City. The restaurant debuted in early 2008. It’s a contemporary restaurant, bar and café with patio seating, too, featuring New American cooking representing the creative vision of Executive Chef, Caterer, & Proprietress Akasha Richmond. We’ll hear about Chef Akasha’s newest venture.

It’s time to catch-up with the iconic Five Crowns and Side Door in Corona del Mar. The restaurant is a charming replica of one of England’s oldest country inns. The adjscent side door is a gastropub with its own identity. The Holidays are always a special time there and General Manager Jim Colombo will give us a preview of all the special Holiday happenings.

The “SoCal Restaurant Show” recently was aboard Holland America Line’s ms Zaandam on the Vancouver, BC to San Diego sailing of a longer 22-day Inca Discovery Tour ending in Valparaiso, Chile. This morning we continue our exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the key people who oversee this 716 room floating luxury hotel with some 1,400 guests aboard. With us is the ms Zaandam’s Executive Chef, Orly Obierna. He’s responsible for a kitchen staff of 90 who work in shifts around-the-clock.

A year ago on the show you met Cris Peterson and Tom Gordon of The Pepper Project. The Pepper Project is a not-for-profit enterprise devoted to introducing the unique products of Cambodia to the United States. Pepper from the Kampot region of southwestern Cambodia is their primary offering. A fully stocked Pepper Project retail store with one-of-a-kind items opens this Weekend in Orange.

Zov’s which started in Tustin in 1987 is growing again. This week they launched the prototype of Zov’s Kitchen & Bar located at 1801 E. Katella Ave within walking distance of both Honda Center and Angel Stadium. Veteran OC General Manager Kevin Hall is at the door. Many new items are on this menu including “Who Gives a Shitake Pitza” with rotisserie chicken, shitake mushrooms, basil puree, goat cheese, and olives and cooked in a deck oven. Chief Executive Office Armen Karamardian (representing the 2nd generation of proud Family Ownership) is with us to walk us through.

Did you know there are truly wonderful Italian sparkling wines that you don’t see much of in the United States ? These sparkling wines should not be confused with Prosecco which is actually a grape variety. Our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Best Wines in Santa Ana, gives us the needed 411.

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

Play

Show 94, October 25, 2014: Zov’s Kitchen & Bar, Anaheim

Armen KaramardianZov’s which started in Tustin in 1987 is growing again. This week they launched the prototype of Zov’s Kitchen & Bar located at 1801 E. Katella Ave within walking distance of both Honda Center and Angel Stadium. Veteran OC General Manager Kevin Hall is at the door.

Many new items are on this menu including “Who Gives a Shitake Pitza” with rotisserie chicken, shitake mushrooms, basil puree, goat cheese, and olives and cooked in a deck oven. From the sea is Sumac Roasted Seabass with shaved Brussels sprouts, baby spinach, tomato, rice pilaf, and caper citrus butter sauce.

The new Corporate Executive Chef for Zov’s is rising star chef Louie Jocson who previously created the highly-regarded Red Table in Huntington Beach..

Chief Executive Officer Armen Karamardian (representing the 2nd generation of proud Family Ownership) is with us to walk us through.

“We are delighted to be a part of the ever-evolving and dynamic community of Anaheim,” said Armen Karamardian, who has overseen the expansion of the family operations from the original restaurant in Tustin to include the Irvine and Newport Coast locations as well as 2 at Orange County Airport. “We look forward bringing Zov’s to Anaheim, the epicenter of Orange County, and being a part of the community.”

Play

October 25: ment’or BKB Foundation, Akasha Richmond, Five Crowns, Side Door, ms Zaandam, Pepper Project, Zov’s Anaheim, Best Wines

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: ment’or BKB Foundation
Segment Three: Akasha Restaurant, Culver City
Segment Four: Jim Colombo, General Manager, Five Crowns and Side Door
Segment Five: Executive Chef Orly Obierna of the ms Zaandam
Segment Six: The Pepper Project
Segment Seven: Zov´s Kitchen & Bar, Anaheim
Segment Eight: Kyle Meyer, Best Wines

Producer and occasional Co-Host Andy Harris is going solo in the host chair this morning. Now a preview of today’s show…

Often dubbed the “Culinary Olympics,” the international Bocuse d’Or World Cooking Contest faces chefs from 24 countries against one another in an exhausting and intensive 5 and one-half hour cooking challenge in front of thousands of cheering fans. Teams consist of one chef and one commis assistant, with Team USA trained and financially supported by the ment’or BKB Foundation (previously known as the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation.) Executive Director Young Yun (of ment’or BKB Foundation) is our guest.

AKASKA, in the historic Hull Building, is one of the pioneering restaurants in the revival of Downtown Culver City. The restaurant debuted in early 2008. It’s a contemporary restaurant, bar and café with patio seating, too, featuring New American cooking representing the creative vision of Executive Chef, Caterer, & Proprietress Akasha Richmond. We’ll hear about Chef Akasha’s newest venture.

It’s time to catch-up with the iconic Five Crowns and Side Door in Corona del Mar. The restaurant is a charming replica of one of England’s oldest country inns. The adjscent side door is a gastropub with its own identity. The Holidays are always a special time there and General Manager Jim Colombo will give us a preview of all the special Holiday happenings.

The “SoCal Restaurant Show” recently was aboard Holland America Line’s ms Zaandam on the Vancouver, BC to San Diego sailing of a longer 22-day Inca Discovery Tour ending in Valparaiso, Chile. This morning we continue our exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the key people who oversee this 716 room floating luxury hotel with some 1,400 guests aboard. With us is the ms Zaandam’s Executive Chef, Orly Obierna. He’s responsible for a kitchen staff of 90 who work in shifts around-the-clock.

A year ago on the show you met Cris Peterson and Tom Gordon of The Pepper Project. The Pepper Project is a not-for-profit enterprise devoted to introducing the unique products of Cambodia to the United States. Pepper from the Kampot region of southwestern Cambodia is their primary offering. A fully stocked Pepper Project retail store with one-of-a-kind items opens this Weekend in Orange.

Zov’s which started in Tustin in 1987 is growing again. This week they launched the prototype of Zov’s Kitchen & Bar located at 1801 E. Katella Ave within walking distance of both Honda Center and Angel Stadium. Veteran OC General Manager Kevin Hall is at the door. Many new items are on this menu including “Who Gives a Shitake Pitza” with rotisserie chicken, shitake mushrooms, basil puree, goat cheese, and olives and cooked in a deck oven. Chief Executive Office Armen Karamardian (representing the 2nd generation of proud Family Ownership) is with us to walk us through.

Did you know there are truly wonderful Italian sparkling wines that you don’t see much of in the United States ? These sparkling wines should not be confused with Prosecco which is actually a grape variety. Our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Best Wines in Santa Ana, gives us the needed 411.

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

Young YunOften dubbed the “Culinary Olympics,” the international Bocuse d’Or World Cooking Contest pits chefs from 24 culinary-centric countries against one another in an exhausting and intensive 5 and one-half hour cooking challenge in front of thousands of cheering fans. Teams consist of one chef and one commis assistant, with Team USA trained and financially supported by the ment’or BKB Foundation (previously known as the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation.) The Foundation was created in 2008 by Chefs Jerome Bocuse, Daniel Boulud, and Thomas Keller.

Executive Director Young Yun (of ment’or BKB Foundation) is our guest.

“The goal of the Foundation is to give back and to acknowledge, inspire, and mentor the next generation of chefs,” notes Executive Director Yun. “For now, we are primarily focused on those in the kitchen, but the long-term goal is to facilitate successful careers in all aspects of the culinary world, from the front of the house to operations.”

Chef Philip Tessier and his Commis Skylar Stover of The French Laundry in Yountville, CA are going for the gold in Lyon in January 2015 as the Bocuse d’Or USA Team.

Akasha RichmondAKASHA, in the historic Hull Building, is one of the pioneering restaurants in the revival of Downtown Culver City. The restaurant debuted in early 2008. It’s a contemporary restaurant, bar and café with patio seating, too, featuring New American cooking representing the creative vision of Executive Chef, Caterer, & Proprietress Akasha Richmond.

Akasha knows her reputation is hard-earned, and she takes that trust very seriously. “I am very selective about the suppliers I work with for AKASHA – they must share my values to keep their ingredients on our menu.” Akaska says.

Akasha has just leased the coveted former Ford’s Filling Station location in Downtown Culver City for a new concept.

Jim ColomboIt’s time to catch-up with the iconic Five Crowns and Side Door in Corona del Mar. The restaurant is a charming replica of one of England’s oldest country inns.

The adjacent Side Door is a popular gastropub with its own identity and a youthful vibe. The Holidays are always a special time there and General Manager Jim Colombo (also a trained chef) will give us a preview of all the special Holiday happenings.

Orly ObiernaThe “SoCal Restaurant Show” recently was aboard Holland America Line’s ms Zaandam on the Vancouver, BC to San Diego sailing of a longer 22-day Inca Discovery Tour ending in Valparaiso, Chile. Today the ship is at sea with a Port of Call tomorrow at Coquimbo (La Serena.)

This morning we continue our exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the key people who oversee this 716 room floating luxury hotel with some 1,400 guests aboard. With us is the ms Zaandam’s veteran Executive Chef, Orly Obierna. He’s responsible for a kitchen staff of 90 who work in shifts around-the-clock.

The Pepper ProjectA year ago on the show you met Cris Peterson and Tom Gordon of The Pepper Project. The Pepper Project is a not-for-profit enterprise devoted to introducing the unique products of Cambodia to the United States. Pepper from the Kampot region of southwestern Cambodia is their flagship offering. The pepper has long been used in the finest restaurants of Europe and one goal of The Pepper Project is to make it available in the U.S. at an affordable price.

A fully stocked Pepper Project retail store with unusual and one-of-a-kind items opens this Weekend in Orange at 940 W. Chapman, Suite 106.

Armen KaramardianZov’s which started in Tustin in 1987 is growing again. This week they launched the prototype of Zov’s Kitchen & Bar located at 1801 E. Katella Ave within walking distance of both Honda Center and Angel Stadium. Veteran OC General Manager Kevin Hall is at the door.

Many new items are on this menu including “Who Gives a Shitake Pitza” with rotisserie chicken, shitake mushrooms, basil puree, goat cheese, and olives and cooked in a deck oven. From the sea is Sumac Roasted Seabass with shaved Brussels sprouts, baby spinach, tomato, rice pilaf, and caper citrus butter sauce.

The new Corporate Executive Chef for Zov’s is rising star chef Louie Jocson who previously created the highly-regarded Red Table in Huntington Beach..

Chief Executive Officer Armen Karamardian (representing the 2nd generation of proud Family Ownership) is with us to walk us through.

“We are delighted to be a part of the ever-evolving and dynamic community of Anaheim,” said Armen Karamardian, who has overseen the expansion of the family operations from the original restaurant in Tustin to include the Irvine and Newport Coast locations as well as 2 at Orange County Airport.  “We look forward bringing Zov’s to Anaheim, the epicenter of Orange County, and being a part of the community.”

Kyle Meyer of Best WiinesDid you know there are truly wonderful Italian sparkling wines that you don’t see much of in the United States ? These sparkling wines should not be confused with Prosecco which is actually an Italian grape variety.

Our new resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer, President and Director of Purchasing for Best Wines in Santa Ana, gives us the authoritative 411.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: ment’or BKB Foundation
Segment Three: Akasha Restaurant, Culver City
Segment Four: Jim Colombo, General Manager, Five Crowns and Side Door
Segment Five: Executive Chef Orly Obierna of the ms Zaandam
Segment Six: The Pepper Project
Segment Seven: Zov´s Kitchen & Bar, Anaheim
Segment Eight: Kyle Meyer, Best Wines