Show 362, February 29, 2020: Sherry Villaneuva, Acme Hospitality – Preview of Santa Barbara Culinary Experience

Sherry Villanueva of Acme Hospitality“Inspired by the mixture of fun and learning about food and drink for which Julia Child, a longtime resident and fan of Santa Barbara, advocated so passionately, the Santa Barbara Culinary Experience (SBCE) in partnership with the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts welcomes visitors and the local community from March 13th to 16th to celebrate the bounty of what is grown in and around this beautiful region. “Join us to celebrate, learn and invoke Julia’s spirit, while shining a light on Santa Barbara’s culinary, hospitality, tourism and artisan communities.””

“The busy Weekend of activities includes Julia Child-themed events created by local hotels, restaurants and other establishments plus cooking classes, panels, and Q & As with local and nationally recognized chefs, ranchers, fishermen, farmers and winemakers. Also events for children and their families about the science and innovation of food. Finally behind-the-scenes tours of wineries, ranches, gardens, fishing and other culinary attractions and much more!”

SBCE Advisory Committee member Sherry Villaneuva of Acme Hospitality joins us with a preview of the upcoming Weekend festivities in Santa Barbara.


Show 362, February 29, 2020: Chef Restaurateur Dean James Max, James Republic, Long Beach Part Two

Dean James Max of James RepublicChef Restaurateur Dean James Max likes to characterize James Republic in downtown Long Beach as “a body of persons engaged in a savory pursuit to celebrate locality and sustainability, and cultivate community through the dining experience.”

“Our menus are a labor of love – a love of the finest foods. We proudly serve a large array of local artisan products. Organic is important to us, but more importantly we believe in all- natural products without the use of steroids, growth hormones, and animals raised responsibly. As well as our preference for products and practices that are sustainable, we try to embrace the idea of localism to strengthen our community. Most of our items are priced under $20 which is incredible considering the high quality of products we serve. Our passion for the seasons and what it brings to us in food keeps us always searching for great new combinations. Come join us for a journey in cuisine.”

We continue with Chef Dean James Max previewing his upcoming quarterly Dinner Bell Series evening on Sunday, March 15th. It’s a very special Sunday evening family style supper with the freshest ingredients hand-selected by Chef Dean & his culinary team from the Long Beach Farmers Market that same morning.


Show 359, February 8, 2020: Napa Valley Grille in Westwood Village Part One

Brian Cousins of Napa Valley Grille“Combining local, seasonal ingredients, artisan products and an expansive selection of regional wine, Napa Valley Grille recreates the charm, bounty and palates distinctive of West Coast wine country in a sophisticated setting within Westwood Village.” Also available are several private dining rooms of varying sizes and attractive patio seating.

Napa Valley Grille serves lunch and dinner daily with Weekend Brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Also known for their Daily Happy Hour with Bar Bites like Lamb Lollipops and Buttermilk Fried Chicken sliders. Chef Ben Diaz’s revamped menu will be launched in the coming weeks.

Veteran General Manager and Wine Director, Brian Cousins, and newly arrived Executive Chef Ben Diaz are our guests.


Show 351, December 14, 2019: Bonnie Bennett, Proprietress, Kakawa Chocolate House, Santa Fe, NM Part One

Bonnie Bennett of Kawada Chocolate HouseKakawa Chocolate House is an artisan chocolate company located in the beautiful, high elevation town of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Kakawa’s passion is promoting the history of chocolate and crafting a variety of delicious chocolate creations of the finest quality. Proprietress Bonnie Bennett shares the rich decadence with us.

Kakawa’s signature is a collection of historic drinking chocolate elixirs. “These specialties include traditional Pre-Columbian, Mesoamerican, Mayan and Aztec drinking chocolate elixirs; 1600’s European drinking chocolate elixirs, Colonial American and Colonial Mexican drinking chocolate elixirs. Kakawa Chocolate House drinking chocolate elixirs are representative of these historic recipes and span the time period 1000 BC to the mid-1900s AD.”

“Kakawa supports local organic farming, promotes the history and anthropology of chocolate, and, most importantly, produces a huge variety of delicious chocolate creations of the highest quality. Since its founding, Kakawa has earned a reputation as one of the most exciting and original chocolate shops in the world.”

Virtually all of Kakawa Chocolate House’s artisan chocolates and premium drinking chocolate elixirs (dry mix) can be shipped with confidence to anywhere in the USA.



Show 351, December 14, 2019: Bonnie Bennett, Proprietress, Kakawa Chocolate House, Santa Fe, NM Part Two

Bonnie Bennett of Kawada Chocolate HouseKakawa Chocolate House is an artisan chocolate company located in the beautiful, high elevation town of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Kakawa’s passion is promoting the history of chocolate and crafting a variety of delicious chocolate creations of the finest quality. Proprietress Bonnie Bennett continues to share the incredibly rich decadence with us.

“Kakawa’s chocolatiers are dedicated to sharing their passion for chocolate. They balance the traditional with the cutting edge, creating unique and exquisitely bold creations from fresh, seasonal ingredients. Their one-of-a-kind creations include truffles, drinking chocolate elixirs, agave caramels, solid dark chocolates and delicious homemade ice cream. Working exclusively in small batches, our staff ensures that each piece of chocolate looks as exquisite as it tastes.”

“Our mission is to re-introduce you to chocolate. We draw on chocolate’s long history, re-creating original Mesoamerican and Colonial chocolate recipes, and using them to inspire our new and exciting creations. We have a startling variety of contemporary flavors (including dairy-free and Vegan confections), such as Pomegranate, Cherry-Chili and Acai, Hibiscus flower, and Mescal. Kakawa also offers classic European-style truffles, such as Earl Grey, Espresso, Classic French Dark and many other seasonal specialties.”

Virtually all of Kakawa Chocolate House’s artisan chocolates and premium drinking chocolate elixirs (dry mix) can be shipped with confidence to anywhere in the USA.


Show 336, August 10, 2019: Zama Tea & Kombucha, Old Town Tustin Part One

Leanne Herrera of Zama Tea and KombuchaZama Tea & Kombucha is a community-focused, brick and mortar tea and Kombucha bar and wellness café serving many tasty vegan and healthier food options. Zama celebrated its Third Anniversary in Old Town Tustin in June.

“Observing the demands of a healthier beverage, Zama Tea opened one of the first Kombucha On Tap locations in the OC at the Packing House’s lower level. That location has since moved to Old Town Tustin, Ca. Kombucha [Kawm-Boo-Cha ] a non-alcoholic, probiotic tea is gaining popularity among foodies who favor organic beverages with a very low sugar content and lots of health benefits.

All the Kombuchas are house-brewed and at any given time a rotating selection of ten flavors options (from a master recipe library of 70 flavors) are available to enjoy on tap at the 12-foot Kombucha Bar. It’s housed in a carefully restored, historic building in Old Town Tustin (the site of the first Doctor’s Office in Tustin.) It’s also the home of the Three Pug Bakery, a local artisan enterprise.

Zama Tea & Kombucha provides a welcome, holistic respite from the stresses of everyday life. An unexpected feature is a tranquil, shaded back patio.

Proprietress Leanne Herrera pulls the tap for us.


Show 181, July 23, 2016: Delilah Snell, Co-Proprietress, Alta Baja Market, 4th Street Market, Downtown Santa Ana Continues…

Michelada Menu at Alta Baja MarketAlta Baja Market, now open in the 4th Street Market in Downtown Santa Ana, is the creation of Delilah Snell and Natasha Monnereau, who have invested many years into Downtown Santa Ana and the culture of the area.

“Latinos make up a significant percentage of the population in Southern California and Orange County. Mexican food is incredibly popular and now, more than ever, the border is an important topic of conversation,” said Delilah Snell. “We will celebrate culture and bring community together by sharing, discovering and enjoying the foods that connect us.”

The market will also host cooking classes and lectures, hands-on activities, and monthly community dinners using 4th Street Market’s incubator kitchens. Guest chefs from professional and home kitchens will host pop-ups. Co-ops and artisan makers will be highlighted regularly.

“Alta Baja Market is the perfect fit for the area. Delilah is heavily immersed, involved, and most importantly, respected, in the community. The Alta Baja Market team brings a level of expertise, connectivity and programming that will take things to the next level,” said Ryan Chase, 4th Street Market owner. “This market will be an important bridge for our Latino and non-Latino communities, which is an important bridge for Downtown Santa Ana and the community as a whole.”



Show 143, October 24, 2015: 5th Annual Garagiste Wine Festival, Paso Robles, CA

Garagiste FestivalThe 5th Annual Garagiste Wine Festival returns to Paso Robles from November 5th to 8th. The Garagiste Wine Festivals are the first and only wine festivals dedicated to the undiscovered and under-recognized American artisan “garagiste” producers who are making some of the best, most exciting, handcrafted small-lot production wines in the world.

It’s three days of fun and educational wine-centric events in a superb wine region. No wine snobbery here.

“We founded The Garagiste Festivals five years ago to gather and bring attention to, the growing but under-the-radar population of micro-production winemakers who we knew were making some of the most exciting, cutting-edge wines in the world,” said Doug Minnick, Co-founder of The Garagiste Festival. “As our Festivals have grown and expanded, they have helped spur the growth of our participating wineries, as well as of the Garagiste movement itself. It has been a true win-win-win: matching consumers with the hard-to-find artists they enjoy discovering, helping garagiste wineries find a highly targeted and self-selected audience, and all in support of our work with Cal Poly.”

The festivals (3 per year) are produced by Garagiste Events, a non-profit dedicated to furthering the education of future winemakers and those training for employment within the wine industry. Proceeds from the festivals support the Garagiste Festival Scholarship fund of the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo Wine and Viticulture Department.

Co-Founder Doug Minnick joins us with the preview.


Show 75, June 7, 2014: Chef Leo Maurelli III of Central, Montgomery, Alabama

Leo Maurelli IIICentral, located in the heart of Montgomery, Alabama’s Downtown entertainment district, is a true American restaurant highlighting local and seasonal ingredients. The locally owned establishment offers wood-fired dishes in a restored 1890s warehouse space boasting exposed brick, flickering gas lanterns and a bustling open kitchen,

In the main dining room 16-foot ceilings, spectacular overhead lighting, a central bar comprised of reclaimed wood all overlook Montgomery’s downtown Alley.

Chef Leo Maurelli, III is the Executive Chef of Central Restaurant. He is a native of the Republic of Panama and shares his unique multicultural take on traditional Southern dishes and cuisine.

Chef Leo is the recipient of many honors including the 2011 Chef of The Year awarded by the Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Alliance.

Chef Leo is an avid supporter of local farmers, cheese makers, craft beer producers and artisans. He is an advocate for healthy sustainable food consumption and has partnered with EATSouth Farm to not only cook with fresh ingredients, directly from the local farm, but also serve as an ambassador in the community promoting healthy lifestyles through education and sustainable food production.