October 31: Halloween with Carla Hall, Paul Feig, Fork & Knife Costa Mesa & the Craft Wine Association

Please join us for our big (and properly candy-infused) Halloween show. All treats and no tricks whatsoever…We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

“Designed by Hollywood luminary Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids,”) ARTINGSTALL’S Brilliant London Dry Gin is a perfectly-balanced gin for aficionados and casual consumers alike. Its eleven carefully chosen botanicals all synchronize to make ARTINGSTALL’S  Brilliant London Dry Gin as unique, refined and entertaining as its creator.” The always dapper Paul Feig joins us with a proper Gin martini in hand.

Led by Chef Jonathan Blackford (ex-A Restaurant and CdM Restaurant,) the newly launched Fork & Knife in Costa Mesa aims to present a menu of progressive, modern dishes that are meant to be enjoyed at home. Serving as an extension of the home kitchen, the concept presents globally inspired dishes that focus on fresh ingredients and bold flavors while presenting an innovative experience. Fork & Knife’s honest approach to cooking comes through in seasonal, from-scratch fully prepared meals and inspired grab-and-go items that change daily, ranging from sandwiches and prepared pastas, to easy-to-eat-on-the-go dishes and desserts. The kitchen also oversees the production of house-made retail-focused items such as fresh-made pastas, jams, sauces, dressings and more. Chef Jonathan has the update for us.

“Two-time Top Chef finalist, former host of the Emmy Award Winning daytime talk show, The Chew, best-selling author and Food Network personality, Carla Hall has added podcast host to her resume with her first-ever original show from Wondery, “Say Yes! With Carla Hall.” Hall takes listeners through her career trajectory and shares how she turned repetitive nos into yeses. Each week Hall is joined by a special guest and together they will take a deep dive into how they found success through overcoming challenges. Guests include Kristen Bell, Wolfgang Puck, Paul Scheer, Loni Love, Marcus Samuelsson, Gail Simmons, Gretchen Rubin, Duff Goldman and Yeardly Smith.” We’re making biscuits with warmth and humor with Carla Hall.

“Established in 2016, CraftWine.org is a membership organization that helps the owners, vintners, and winemakers of small production wineries to increase the market for Craft Wine. The association certifies Craft Wineries and sponsors an online marketplace called NxtCrush that directly supports wineries who can sell their certified and distinctly American wine directly to consumers.” CraftWine.org is on a mission to make craft wine as available in the marketplace as craft beer and spirits. We’ll meet Carole Lawson who is the Founder and CEO of CraftWine.org.

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. We’re continuing our discussion about salt. Chef Andrew will be introducing us to Bamboo Salt (also known as Jukyeom.) It’s again time to “Ask the Chef.”

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

Paul Feig of Artingsall's Brilliant Dry Gin“Designed by Hollywood luminary Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids,”) ARTINGSTALL’S Brilliant London Dry Gin is a perfectly-balanced gin for aficionados and casual consumers alike. Its eleven carefully chosen botanicals all synchronize to make ARTINGSTALL’S  Brilliant London Dry Gin as unique, refined and entertaining as its creator.”

“I’ve never met a gin I didn’t like – but I never met one that I truly loved … Until I made my own.” – Paul Feig

Paul is a dedicated cocktail aficionado and the comradery it generates. A proper martini (in Paul’s bartender lexicon) is only made with gin and should be stirred and not shaken.

Paul gently pulls the designed stopper on the Artingstall’s Gin for us.

Jonathan Blackford of A Restaurant and CDM Restaurant“Led by Chef Jonathan Blackford (ex-A Restaurant and CdM Restaurant,) the newly launched Fork & Knife in Costa Mesa aims to present a menu of progressive, modern dishes that are meant to be enjoyed at home. Serving as an extension of the home kitchen, the concept presents globally inspired dishes that focus on fresh ingredients and bold flavors while presenting an innovative experience.

“Fork & Knife’s honest approach to cooking comes through in seasonal, from-scratch fully prepared meals and inspired grab-and-go items that change daily, ranging from sandwiches and prepared pastas, to easy-to-eat-on-the-go dishes and desserts. The kitchen also oversees the production of house-made retail-focused items such as fresh-made pastas, jams, sauces, dressings and more.”

“The market is unique, featuring many of Chef Blackford’s favorite artisan products, from heirloom grains from Anson Mills and heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo, to hard-to-find authentic Spanish products from La Espanola Meats. The concept does not include a dining room or seating for dine-in business, but rather focuses on enhancing the home dining experience by providing the freshest and most flavorful seasonal dishes and meals. Overseeing all design and retail merchandising for the concept is Chef Blackford’s wife, Kristi, who also assists in-house regularly.”

“Last Friday Chef Blackford introduced his signature Paella, which is offered every Friday for pick-up between 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Every week, Chef Blackford presents a different Paella, beginning initially with Seafood & Chorizo, cooked in a large traditional steel pan. The Paella is not available for pre-order, and is sold first come, first serve for $28 per order.”

Carla HallTwo-time Top Chef finalist, former host of the Emmy Award Winning daytime talk show, The Chew, best-selling author and Food Network personality, Carla Hall has added podcast host to her resume with her first-ever original show from Wondery, “Say Yes! With Carla Hall.” Hall takes listeners through her career trajectory and shares how she turned repetitive nos into yeses. Each week Hall is joined by a special guest and together they will take a deep dive into how they found success through overcoming challenges. Guests include Kristen Bell, Wolfgang Puck, Paul Scheer, Loni Love, Marcus Samuelsson, Gail Simmons, Gretchen Rubin, Duff Goldman and Yeardley Smith.”

“Whether it’s through food or conversation, I love nothing more than connecting with people,” said Hall. “Honestly, I have to thank every door that was ever slammed in my face. If it weren’t for those teachable moments, I don’t think I would be where I am today. I’m beyond blessed to host my first-ever podcast.”

“Carla believes food connects us all, and she strives to communicate this through her work, her cooking, and in her daily interactions with others.”

Carla Hall has a mantra: “Say yes. Adventure follows, then growth.” Taking risks is how she became a celebrated chef (two-time Top Chef Finalist) and high-profile television personality (Netflix’s Crazy Delicious, Good Morning America and Food Network). All along the way, she’s had to deal with people saying “No” to her—a lot. And she’s not the only one.

On “Say Yes!” Carla connects with people who’ve found success through adversity. In each conversation, her guests talk about how they overcame their own challenges, and how they keep going…even when it seems impossible. Because nobody’s life path is a straight line, and we can all learn from one another’s experiences.

Carla joins us to chat about “Say Yes!,” her timely get out the vote drive and her volunteer work on the Leadership Committee for the James Beard Foundation’s Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans.

Carole Lawson of the Craft Wine Association“Established in 2016, CraftWine.org is a membership organization that helps the owners, vintners, and winemakers of small production wineries to increase the market for Craft Wine. The association certifies Craft Wineries and sponsors an online marketplace called NxtCrush that directly supports wineries who can sell their certified and distinctly American wine directly to consumers.”

CraftWine.org is on a mission to make craft wine as available in the marketplace as craft beer and spirits. Carole Lawson is the Founder and CEO of CraftWine.org.

“After leaving behind her work in the emerging technology sector, working with the likes of Facebook, Google, YouTube and twitter on behalf of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and a second successful career as the Chief Information Officer for high-profile organizations across multiple states, Carole founded the Craft Wine Association. Using her background in emerging markets, she is working to make Craft Wine, distinctly American wine, as available in the marketplace as craft beer and spirits. Carole is also a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers.”

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.

We’re continuing our intriguing discussion about salt. Chef Andrew will be introducing us to Bamboo Salt (also known as Jukyeom.) It was originally developed by a Korean physician and monks some 1,000 years ago as a folk medicinal remedy for a variety of maladies. It’s again time to “Ask the Chef.”

Show 396, October 24, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

“Located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles, Manuela unites chef, farmer and artist to create an authentic and original dining experience. Under the direction of Executive Chef Kris Tominaga, the menu celebrates seasonal ingredients sourced from the best farmers and producers in Southern California.” They reopened in July for spacious patio dining in their designed inner courtyard for Weekday Lunch, Dinner and Weekend Brunch. (Closed on Monday.) “Serving a wide range of vegetables, grains, fish and game, Manuela also features an exemplary bar program which offers classic cocktails using house-made bitters and tonics. Local beers are on tap, while the carefully selected wine list is designed to pair with the smoke and acid flavors at the heart of the Manuela menu.” We entice Chef Kris out of his busy kitchen for a chat.

Georgia’s Restaurant (family-owned) at the Long Beach Exchange and Anaheim Packing House will be offering a special new Breast Bucket & Sides combo all throughout the month of October 2020 in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to help increase awareness and support! The Georgia’s Restaurant new Breast Bucket & Sides combo features a 6-Piece Bucket of Boneless Chicken Breasts (all white meat) and Choice of Two Sides including selections such as their signature Collard Greens, Garlic Rice, and French Fries for just $20 all month long. The special is available at both locations for outdoor patio dining, takeout, delivery and curbside pickup. In other Georgia’s news Nana Gretchen Shoemaker’s “soul-delicious” signature Gumbo is back on the menu in both locations. 2nd generation proprietress Nika Shoemaker-Machado is our guest.

The Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines vineyard is located on Hwy 246, 11 miles west of Buellton in the cooler northwestern section of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Fog graces the vineyard most mornings; followed by cool Pacific ocean breezes and bright sunny afternoons. These conditions nurture gentle ripening of Kessler-Haak’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at lower sugars with crisp acidity and the higher levels of spice commonly seen in cool climate viticulture. At Kessler-Haak the approach is that “great wine is produced in the vineyard.” Consequently, they feel the best winemaking approach is a minimalistic one, relying on traditional methods and techniques.”

Grower and Winemaker Dan Kessler artfully pulls the cork on Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines for us.

“Restaurateur, Tech Entrepreneur and Host Josh Kopel has just launched Season 2 of the FULL COMP podcast. The restaurant industry is staring down the barrel of a 60% permanent closure rate due to COVID-19 and Kopel, himself being a casualty, decided it was time to help fix what’s broken. FULL COMP is a weekly show exploring the past and future of the hospitality industry. Provocative and actionable, the show aims to ask the tough questions, supplying listeners with the tools and resources needed to thrive post-pandemic. As Host of FULL COMP, Josh Kopel challenges conventional wisdom by hosting both hospitality professionals and thought leaders from outside of the industry while tackling today’s toughest topics.” Restaurateur Josh Kopel is our guest.

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. Salt is a requirement to sustain human life. It’s also a key ingredient in preserving, cooking and preparing food. Food can actually taste bland without a bit of added salt. The right amount enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there are the variety of finishing salts. We’ll continue the seasoned tutorial started with Chef Andrew last Saturday. It’s again time to “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 396, October 24, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

William, Andrew and Lauren GruelOur 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…

Salt is a requirement to sustain human life. It’s also a key ingredient in preserving, cooking and preparing food. It has a rich history. Food can actually taste bland without a bit of added salt. The right amount enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there are the variety of finishing salts. We’ll continue the seasoned tutorial started with Chef Andrew last Saturday. It’s again time to “Ask the Chef.”

Congratulation to Chef Andrew (and Lauren) on the arrival of the newest addition to the Gruel Family, James Andrew Gruel.

Play

October 24: Manuela, Georgia’s Restaurant, Kessler-Hawk Vineyard, Josh Kopel of Full Comp Media

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Kris Tominaga, Manuela, Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Three: Nika Shoemaker-Machado of Georgia’s Restaurant Long Beach & Anaheimo
Segment Four: Dan Kessler, Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines, Lompoc Part One
Segment Five: Dan Kessler, Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines, Lompoc Part Two
Segment Six: Restaurateur and FULL COMP Podcast Host Josh Kopel Part One
Segment Seven: Restaurateur and FULL COMP Podcast Host Josh Kopel Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part Two

“Located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles, Manuela unites chef, farmer and artist to create an authentic and original dining experience. Under the direction of Executive Chef Kris Tominaga, the menu celebrates seasonal ingredients sourced from the best farmers and producers in Southern California.” They reopened in July for spacious patio dining in their inner courtyard. “Serving a wide range of vegetables, grains, fish and game, Manuela also features an exemplary bar program which offers classic cocktails using house-made bitters and tonics. Local beers are on tap, while the carefully selected wine list is designed to pair with the smoke and acid flavors at the heart of the Manuela menu.” We entice Chef Kris out of his busy kitchen for a chat.

Georgia’s Restaurant (family-owned) at the Long Beach Exchange and Anaheim Packing House will be offering a special new Breast Bucket & Sides combo all throughout the month of October 2020 in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to help increase awareness and support! The Georgia’s Restaurant new Breast Bucket & Sides combo features a 6-Piece Bucket of Boneless Chicken Breasts (all white meat) and Choice of Two Sides including selections such as their signature Collard Greens, Garlic Rice, and French Fries for just $20 all month long. The special is available at both locations for outdoor patio dining, takeout, delivery and curbside pickup. In other Georgia’s news Nana Gretchen Shoemaker’s “soul-delicious” signature Gumbo is back on the menu in both locations. 2nd generation proprietress Nika-Shoemaker-Machado is our guest.

“The Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines vineyard is located on Hwy 246, 11 miles west of Buellton in the cooler northwestern section of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Fog graces the vineyard most mornings; followed by cool Pacific ocean breezes and bright sunny afternoons. These conditions nurture gentle ripening of Kessler-Haak’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at lower sugars with crisp acidity and the higher levels of spice commonly seen in cool climate viticulture. At Kessler-Haak the approach is that “great wine is produced in the vineyard.” Consequently, they feel the best winemaking approach is a minimalistic one, relying on traditional methods and techniques.”

Grower and Winemaker Dan Kessler artfully pulls the cork on Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines for us.

“Restaurateur, Tech Entrepreneur and Host Josh Kopel has just launched Season 2 of the FULL COMP podcast. The restaurant industry is staring down the barrel of a 60% permanent closure rate due to COVID-19 and Kopel, himself being a casualty, decided it was time to help fix what’s broken. FULL COMP is a weekly show exploring the past and future of the hospitality industry. Provocative and actionable, the show aims to ask the tough questions, supplying listeners with the tools and resources needed to thrive post-pandemic. As Host of FULL COMP, Josh Kopel challenges conventional wisdom by hosting both hospitality professionals and thought leaders from outside of the industry while tackling today’s toughest topics.” Restaurateur Josh Kopel is our guest.

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. Salt is a requirement to sustain human life. It’s also a key ingredient in preserving, cooking and preparing food. Food can actually taste bland without a bit of added salt. The right amount enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there are the variety of finishing salts. We’ll continue the seasoned tutorial started with Chef Andrew last Saturday. It’s again time to “Ask the Chef.”

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

Kris ominaga of Manuela Restaurant“Located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles, Manuela unites chef, farmer and artist to create an authentic and original dining experience. Under the direction of Executive Chef Kris Tominaga, the menu celebrates seasonal ingredients sourced from the best farmers and producers in Southern California.” They reopened in July for spacious patio dining in their inner courtyard.

“Serving a wide range of vegetables, grains, fish and game, Manuela also features an exemplary bar program which offers classic cocktails using house-made bitters and tonics. Local beers are on tap, while the carefully selected wine list is designed to pair with the smoke and acid flavors at the heart of the Manuela menu.”

“Designed by Los Angeles native Matt Winter and named for Manuela Wirth, the restaurant is illuminated and animated by specially commissioned works from artists Paul McCarthy, Mark Bradford and Raymond Pettibon.”

“An L.A. native, Chef Kris brings costal California inspired dishes to the Manuela menu. Highlights include his signature cream biscuits with Steen’s butter and Col. Newsom’s aged country ham, barbecued oysters with charred leek butter, breadcrumbs and parmesan, and Peads & Barnetts pork chop with yellow peach, turnips, mustard seed oil and honey vinegar. Inspiration comes from the abundance of California’s vibrant flavors and colors.” Chef Kris utilizes his own kitchen garden at Manuela growing herbs and vegetables.

We entice Chef Kris out of his busy kitchen for a brief chat.

Nika Shoemaker-Machado of Georgias RestaurantsGeorgia’s Restaurant (family-owned) at the Long Beach Exchange and Anaheim Packing House will be offering a special new Breast Bucket & Sides combo all throughout the month of October 2020 in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to help increase awareness and support! The Georgia’s Restaurant new Breast Bucket & Sides combo features a 6-Piece Bucket of Boneless Chicken Breasts (all white meat) and Choice of Two Sides including selections such as their signature Collard Greens, Garlic Rice, and French Fries for just $20 all month long. The special is available at both locations for outdoor patio dining, takeout, delivery and curbside pickup.

In other Georgia’s news Nana Gretchen Shoemaker’s “soul-delicious” signature Gumbo is back on the menu in both locations. “The house Gumbo has been a guest favorite ever since it was first introduced and now guests can again savor Nana’s secret Southern-style Roux featuring Chicken, Andouille Sausage, Shrimp, Crab, and Okra, served over Rice at both locations. To complement this super satisfying meal, guests can add some Soulful Sides such as Collard Greens, Baked Beans, Mac & Cheese, or Nana Gretchen’s Famous Cornbread served with house-made honey butter and enjoy her fresh Peach Cobbler for a sweet finish.”

2nd generation proprietress Nika-Shoemaker-Machado is our guest.

Dan Kessler of Kessler-Hawk Vineyard and WinesThe Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines vineyard is located on Hwy 246, 11 miles west of Buellton in the cooler northwestern section of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Fog graces the vineyard most mornings; followed by cool Pacific ocean breezes and bright sunny afternoons. These conditions nurture gentle ripening of Kessler-Haak’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at lower sugars with crisp acidity and the higher levels of spice commonly seen in cool climate viticulture.

At Kessler-Haak the approach is that “great wine is produced in the vineyard.” Consequently, they feel “the best winemaking approach is a minimalistic one, relying on traditional methods and techniques.”

“The quality of the fruit directly impacts the quality of the wine produced from it.  At Kessler-Haak, they believe winemaking begins in the vineyard and that they are wine growers first and foremost and winemakers second.  Winegrower & Winemaker Dan and Owner/Partner Ellen Haak-Kessler live on and work in the vineyard. Coaxing the best fruit from each vine requires an integral involvement with the grape growing process; being there each day, touching the vines and soil and being hands-on in all aspects of the farming.”

“As winemakers, the goal at Kessler-Haak is to craft great food friendly wines that speak of place and time. The single most important factor influencing this goal is the decision of when to harvest.  They base this decision on a combination of factors including: sugar levels, pH, flavors, visual appearance of the fruit and vines, seed ripeness and the style of wine we are striving to create.  Ripeness in a given year, which ultimately reflects time and place, is the optimal confluence of these factors.”

Grower and Winemaker Dan Kessler pulls the cork on Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines for us.

Josh Kopel of Full Comp Media“Restaurateur, Tech Entrepreneur and Host Josh Kopel has just launched Season 2 of the FULL COMP podcast. The restaurant industry is staring down the barrel of a 60% permanent closure rate due to COVID-19 and Kopel, himself being a casualty, decided it was time to help fix what’s broken. FULL COMP is a weekly show exploring the past and future of the hospitality industry. Provocative and actionable, the show aims to ask the tough questions, supplying listeners with the tools and resources needed to thrive post-pandemic.”

“As Host of FULL COMPJosh Kopel challenges conventional wisdom by hosting both hospitality professionals and thought leaders from outside of the industry while tackling today’s toughest topics. Andrew Zimmern (Surviving the Pandemic), Nina Compton (The Benefits of Community Building), Jet Tila (Becoming a Brand), Joe Sasto (Charting a New Path Forward), Alex Day of Death & Co. (Redefining Cocktail Culture), David Meltzer (Set Yourself Up for Success), Dean Alex Susskind of Cornell University (The Future of Restaurants), and Nyesha Arrington (Breaking the Rules for a Better Life) are just some of the most notable guests from FULL COMP SEASON 1, offering a new perspective on an old business.”

“FULL COMP was a selfish endeavor. I was lost and needed guidance. I’ve used the show as a platform to reach out to the folks I’ve looked up to my entire career, hoping their wisdom could help us chart a new path forward,” says Kopel.

“Kopel, now serving up SEASON 2 of FULL COMP, hits harder and goes deeper. Together with some of the brightest minds from within and outside of hospitality, Kopel works to highlight the issues we need to tackle and work towards long-term solutions. FULL COMP SEASON 2 has a power-packed lineup including Jon Taffer (Bar Rescue), Sam Nazarian (SBE), Seth Godin (Marketing Genius), Jim Collins (Good to Great), Jeremiah Tower (Chez Panisse, Stars), Kat Cole (COO, Focus Brands), Will Guidara (IRC), Johnny Ray Zone (Howlin’ Rays), and many more! States Kopel, “I think Che Guevara said it best ‘A revolution is not an apple that falls when it’s ripe. You have to make it fall.’ The restaurant industry needs a revolution and now is the time.””

“The provocative ideas presented on the show have morphed into action with the release of the FULL COMP Industry Guide to Restructuring. This guide, which is available for free on Kopel’s website, is the culmination of the efforts of some of the brightest minds in the restaurant industry. Strategic partners included Oyster Sunday, Cornell University, Death & Co., Yelp and Jon Taffer, as well as countless insights provided by guests of the show, the result being an informative and actionable resource guide.”

“ When asked about the inspiration for the guide, Kopel responded, “As an independent restaurant owner, I had no interest in reinventing the wheel. I wanted to know what the smartest folks in our industry were going to do, and I’d follow suit. That’s why I started the podcast, but after months of doing the show, I still lacked a cohesive plan to reopen. So, I reached out to the innovators, frontrunners and the folks that were already open, to determine what was working and what wasn’t. This guide is the result of those efforts. One hundred percent of the credit for this project goes to the amazing people and companies that provided this information. This is my path forward. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best I’ve seen out there.””

Restaurateur Josh Kopel joins us.

William, Andrew and Lauren GruelOur 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.

Salt is a requirement to sustain human life. It’s also a key ingredient in preserving, cooking and preparing food. It has a rich history. Food can actually taste bland without a bit of added salt. The right amount enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there are the variety of finishing salts. We’ll continue the seasoned tutorial started with Chef Andrew last Saturday. It’s again time to “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Kris Tominaga, Manuela, Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Three: Nika Shoemaker-Machado of Georgia’s Restaurant Long Beach & Anaheimo
Segment Four: Dan Kessler, Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines, Lompoc Part One
Segment Five: Dan Kessler, Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines, Lompoc Part Two
Segment Six: Restaurateur and FULL COMP Podcast Host Josh Kopel Part One
Segment Seven: Restaurateur and FULL COMP Podcast Host Josh Kopel Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part Two

Show 395, October 17, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Anne Marie Panoringan is Voice of OC’s well-informed food columnist. She reports industry news, current events and trends. Panoringan’s prior efforts includes writing about food for 8 years at the OC Weekly in which she interviewed more than 330 chefs, restauranteurs and industry professionals for her weekly “On the Line” column. Anne Marie’s work has been recognized by the Orange County Press Club. Anne Marie joins us to talk about some recent Santa Barbara dining and libation adventures. Coverage of writings (past and future previews) in Voice of OC will include the launch of Rodeo 39 marketplace (it’s a food hall with extras) in Stanton.

Tara Bench (aka “Tara Teaspoon”) has spent more than twenty years in the food publishing industry creating recipes and articles, and food styling for various magazines, books, television, and advertising.  Working as a food editor at Martha Stewart Living, and as the food and entertaining director of Ladies’ Home Journal, she knows how to write recipes for beginners as well as real foodies. Her philosophy is that anyone can cook and enjoy their time in the kitchen, and in her first cookbook, Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends, she proves it.” We’re in the kitchen with Tara Bench.

Doug Margerum (Margerum Wine Company) has been involved in the Santa Barbara food and wine scene for over 35 years. Upon graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1981, his family purchased WINE CASK. In 1994 the WINE CASK became one of 74 restaurants in the world to earn the Wine Spectator Grand Award. Doug sold the WINE CASK in 2007.” “In 2014, Margerum released BARDEN wines – an exploration of cold climate grapes grown in and around the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. BARDEN is Doug’s middle name and its English meaning is “Lives near the boar’s den”… thusly they have adorned the label with an image of the wild boar that is pervasive in the area’s vineyards.” Doug pulls the cork for us on all that is BARDEN wines.

Porto’s Bakery & Café’s famous Tres Leches Milk’N Berries™ cake is now available for cake lovers all over the US to order through Porto’s Bake at Home. A Porto’s all-time favorite, this light & delicate sponge cake is soaked with Tres Leches (signature house blend of condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream and a touch of brandy) filled & finished with whipped cream and fresh berries. Porto’s Bake at Home will next work on rolling out additional cakes in the coming months like their Parisian Chocolate Cake, Red Velvet Cake, Carrot Cake and more. Porto’s Vice President of Community Relations, Betty Porto, joins us to serve the Tres Leches Milk’N BerriesTM  cake.

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. Salt is a key ingredient in cooking and preparing food. It’s also essential for life. The right amount enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there is finishing salt. For the needed advice we’ll “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 395, October 17, 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…

Salt is a key ingredient in cooking and preparing food. It’s also essential for life. The right amount truly enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there is also finishing salt. For the needed advice (and some intriguing history) we’ll “Ask the Chef.”

We had some unfortunate cell phone reception problems with this popular segment and will resume the informative salt conversation with Chef Andrew on Saturday morning, Oct. 24th.

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October 17: Anne Marie Panoringan, Tara Teaspoon, Margerum Wine Company, Porto’s Bakery

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part One
Segment Three: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part Two
Segment Four: Tara Bench with Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends
Segment Five: Doug Margerum of Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara Part One
Segment Six: Doug Margerum of Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara Part Two
Segment Seven: Betty Porto, Vice President of Community Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Cafe
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part Two

Anne Marie Panoringan is Voice of OC’s well-informed food columnist. She reports industry news, current events and trends. Panoringan’s prior efforts includes writing about food for 8 years at the OC Weekly in which she interviewed more than 330 chefs, restauranteurs and industry professionals for her weekly “On the Line” column. Anne Marie’s work has been recognized by the Orange County Press Club. Anne Marie joins us to talk about some recent Santa Barbara dining adventures. Coverage of writings (past and future previews) in Voice of OC will include the Rodeo 39 marketplace (it’s a food hall with extras) in Stanton and the continued popularity of hot chicken.

Tara Bench (aka “Tara Teaspoon”) has spent more than twenty years in the food publishing industry creating recipes and articles, and food styling for various magazines, books, television, and advertising.  Working as a food editor at Martha Stewart Living, and as the food and entertaining director of Ladies’ Home Journal, she knows how to write recipes for beginners as well as real foodies. Her philosophy is that anyone can cook and enjoy their time in the kitchen, and in her first cookbook, Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends, she proves it.” We’re in the kitchen with Tara Bench.

Doug Margerum (Margerum Wine Company) has been involved in the Santa Barbara food and wine scene for over 35 years. Upon graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1981, his family purchased WINE CASK. In 1994 the WINE CASK became one of 74 restaurants in the world to earn the Wine Spectator Grand Award. Doug sold the WINE CASK in 2007.” “In 2014, Margerum released BARDEN wines – an exploration of cold climate grapes grown in and around the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. BARDEN is Doug’s middle name and its English meaning is “Lives near the boar’s den”… thusly they have adorned the label with an image of the wild boar that is pervasive in the area’s vineyards.” Doug pulls the cork for us on all that is BARDEN wines.

Porto’s Bakery & Café’s famous Tres Leches Milk’N Berries™ cake is now available for cake lovers all over the US to order through Porto’s Bake at Home. A Porto’s all-time favorite, this light & delicate sponge cake is soaked with Tres Leches (signature house blend of condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream and a touch of brandy) filled & finished with whipped cream and fresh berries. Porto’s Bake at Home will next work on rolling out additional cakes in the coming months like their Parisian Chocolate Cake, Red Velvet Cake, Carrot Cake and more. Porto’s Vice President of Community Relations, Betty Porto, joins us to serve the Tres Leches Milk’N Berries™  cake.

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. Salt is a key ingredient in cooking and preparing food. The right amount enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there is finishing salt. For the needed advice we’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

Anne Marie Panoringan of Voice of OC at KLAA Studios holding a bottle of Hand Sanitizer from Blinking Owl DistilleryAnne Marie Panoringan is Voice of OC’s well-informed food columnist. She reports industry news, current events and trends. Panoringan’s prior efforts includes writing about food for 8 years at the OC Weekly in which she interviewed more than 330 chefs, restauranteurs and industry professionals for her weekly “On the Line” column. Anne Marie’s work has been recognized by the Orange County Press Club.

Anne Marie joins us to chat about some recent Santa Barbara dining and libation adventures. Coverage of writings (past and future previews) in Voice of OC will include the Rodeo 39 Public Market marketplace (it’s a diverse food hall with extras) in Stanton and the continued (and expanding) popularity of quality hot chicken.

Rodeo 39 is also the home of the Bearded Tang craft brewery (with an already loyal following) where you can view the brewing process. Bearded Tang produces the craft beer styles for Capistrano Brewing Co. located at Heritage Barbecue in San Juan Capistrano.

Anne Marie’s columns can be found on the Voice of OC’s Website. Click on the “Arts & Culture” tab on the top of the Home Page.

Tara BenchTara Bench (aka “Tara Teaspoon”) has spent more than twenty years in the food publishing industry creating recipes and articles, and food styling for various magazines, books, television, and advertising.  Working as a food editor at Martha Stewart Living, and as the food and entertaining director of Ladies’ Home Journal, she knows how to write recipes for beginners as well as real foodies. Her philosophy is that anyone can cook and enjoy their time in the kitchen, and in her first cookbook, Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends, she proves it.”

“Whether you’re a casual cook or a die-hard, classically-trained chef, you’ll have complete success on each and every recipe. She sets you up with flavor descriptions and tips and tricks (including an entire section on kitchen equipment, her favorite tools, and why they are so important).”

“Each chapter is from the heart and inspired by Tara’s family heritage and experiences eating at the best restaurants and tastiest dives in New York City. Create wonderful memories through food you can share with the people who love and inspire you.”

We’re in the kitchen with Tara Bench.

Douglas Barden MargerumDoug Margerum (Margerum Wine Company) has been involved in the Santa Barbara food and wine scene for over 35 years. Upon graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1981, his family purchased WINE CASK. In 1994 the WINE CASK became one of 74 restaurants in the world to earn the Wine Spectator Grand Award. Doug sold the WINE CASK in 2007.”

“In 2014, Margerum released BARDEN wines – an exploration of cold climate grapes grown in and around the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. BARDEN is Doug’s middle name and its English meaning is “Lives near the boar’s den”… thusly they have adorned the label with an image of the wild boar that is pervasive in the area’s vineyards.”

BARDEN Wines Mission Statement: BARDEN is the dream to make the ultimate expression of grapes grown in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA.  Our access to the top vineyards along with the philosophy and knowledge gained over thirty years in the wine business allows us to make world-class wines.  BARDEN’s English meaning is “Lives near the boar’s den” … thusly we have adorned the label with an image of the wild boar that is pervasive in the Sta. Rita Hills.”

“Barden white wines (Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Gris) are barrel fermented in our 55 degree winery and battonaged for an average of 3 months. We allow malolactic fermentation to occur naturally in each individual barrel. The wines are aged in mostly new Ermitage and Françoise Frères 225 liter barrels and 600 liter demi-muids for ten months prior to bottling.”

“Our Pinot Noir (BARDEN) is hand sorted and a percentage (depending on the vintage) is whole cluster fermented. We do a 6-10 day cold soak, with natural (wild) fermentation, and use only free-run wine. We use minimal sulfur during maturation on full lees in mostly new Ermitage and François Frères French oak 225 liter barriques and 300 liter barrels. We bottle a very precise selection of the wine un-fined and unfiltered.”

Doug Margerum joins us to pull the cork on all that is BARDEN wines.

Betty Porto in front of the Porto's Bakery Bread RackPorto’s Bakery & Café’s famous Tres Leches Milk’N Berries™ cake is now available for cake lovers all over the US to order through Porto’s Bake at Home. A Porto’s all-time favorite, this light & delicate sponge cake is soaked with Tres Leches (signature house blend of condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream and a touch of brandy) filled & finished with whipped cream and fresh berries. Porto’s Bake at Home will next work on rolling out additional cakes in the coming months like their Parisian Chocolate Cake, Red Velvet Cake, Carrot Cake and more.

“The Milk’N Berries™ cake debuted in the bakery 10 years ago, becoming their best-selling with over a million sold.  Originally inspired by the popular Latin American Tres Leches dessert, Porto’s Executive Chef and VP Tony Salazar wanted to create an updated version that would appeal to a wider audience by toning down the overtly sweet note that the classic Tres Leches recipe is known for.  The bakery team came up with a unique chiffon process for the sponge to bring a light and airy texture to the cake, adding high quality Mexican vanilla bean and fresh berries to create a balanced more naturally sweet flavor.”

“For the launch of their Porto’s Bake at Home cake line, Porto’s Bakery chose their most popular yet most challenging cake to translate into the new service. The Milk’N Berries™ Bake at Home cake features a twist to the bakery’s original cake showcasing an abundance of fresh whipped cream & berries in between the layers of their signature Tres Leches Cake. The top decoration was adapted to create a more contemporary look made with Porto’s signature whipped cream recipe. To ensure the cake will arrive in perfect condition, the Milk’N’Berries™ is “wrapped” with a customized shipping collar which protects the cake while on its way to the customer.  The cake is packaged with care and shipped frozen. Once defrosted the cake is ready to enjoy with family & friends.”

“Bringing cakes to the Porto’s Bake at Home lineup represents a full circle story for the Porto family and Porto’s Bakery. Rosa Porto, the founder, started her baking career in the 60s by selling cakes out of her home in Cuba to friends and family for special occasions before immigrating to Los Angeles and starting the bakeries.  Now with Bake at Home, Porto’s Bakery is able to ship the cakes directly to people’s homes across the US to celebrate and carry on the inspiring tradition that Rosa Porto started.”

Porto’s Vice President of Community Relations, Betty Porto, joins us to serve the Tres Leches Milk’N Berries™ cake. Betty represents the 2nd generation of proud Porto’s Family ownership.

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.

Salt is a key ingredient in cooking and preparing food. The right amount truly enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there is also finishing salt. For the needed advice we’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part One
Segment Three: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part Two
Segment Four: Tara Bench with Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends
Segment Five: Doug Margerum of Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara Part One
Segment Six: Doug Margerum of Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara Part Two
Segment Seven: Betty Porto, Vice President of Community Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Cafe
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part Two

Show 394, October 10, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

James Beard Award-winning restaurateur Caroline Styne is the Co-Proprietor (with Chef Suzanne Goin) of The Lucques Group. Caroline is an active member of the nationwide Independent Restaurant Coalition. Their main objective is to get the Federal Restaurants Act passed. a.o.c. in Los Angeles is back with dine-in. The wholesale Larder Baking Co. now has a variety of bread and pastry packages available To-Go at retail. Cassoulet Night by Lucques Catering returns on Saturday evening, October 24th for socially distanced sit-down dining in The Courtyard at Maple Drive in Beverly Hills and for takeout / delivery orders via TOCK. Caroline joins us to talk about the efforts of the Independent Restaurant Coalition and what is available for guests from the Lucques Group establishments at present.

Halleck Vineyard, known for their award-winning Pinot Noirs, is a family journey of business partners Jennifer and Ross Halleck. They planted the Halleck Vineyard in 1993, the very first in the hills of Sebastopol, in western Sonoma County. Intended as a college fund for their infant son, two more sons and six years later until their first harvest, this seemed a flight of fancy. “A one- acre site, Halleck Vineyard is perched above the Russian River watershed and flanked on the west by the slopes to the Pacific Ocean. It commands an expansive view of the rolling Sonoma County hills to the northeast. A passion for Pinot leads the charge of the Halleck wines.” Proprietor & Vintner Ross Halleck pulls the cork on Halleck Vineyard for us.

Descanso Restaurant in Costa Mesa delivers a unique Mexican dining experience as a modern taqueria that celebrates authentic Mexican flavors and recipes executed on a traditional Plancha and prepared a la minute in front of the guest. With new Executive Chef Fonzy de Zuniga at the helm, the full-service restaurant is committed to providing only fresh, high-quality ingredients sourced from local farms and does not believe in cooking with lard or using can openers. Drawing guests into the cooking experience as classic Central Mexican street-inspired cuisine is made to order, the restaurant’s lively setting celebrates tradition while bringing in the music, smells, and energy of a busy Mexican town.” Managing Partner & Concept Creator Rob Arellano joins us with all the enticing details of what Descanso has available for the dining public right now.

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. We hear the term “sustainable” used quite often. It’s a lofty goal. What does it actually entail for a restaurant to be sustainable? Sustainable equals quality. Takeout and delivery are burgeoning right now. Disposable containers and packaging are in high use. What can a restaurant do so their food arrives intact and at the right temperature but uses packaging that is more environmentally friendly, too. We’ll “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 394, October 10, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part One

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…

We hear the term “sustainable” used quite often. It’s a lofty goal. What does it entail for a restaurant to be sustainable? Sustainability equals quality. Takeout and delivery are burgeoning right now. Disposable containers and packaging are in high use. What can a restaurant do so their food arrives intact and at the right temperature but uses packaging that is environmentally friendly, too. It’s key that the packaging is compostable. We’ll “Ask the Chef”

Play

Show 394, October 10, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part Two

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…

We hear the term “sustainable” used quite often. It’s a lofty goal. What does it entail for a restaurant to be sustainable? Sustainability equals quality. Takeout and delivery are burgeoning right now. Disposable containers and packaging are in high use. What can a restaurant do so their food arrives intact and at the right temperature but uses packaging that is environmentally friendly, too. It’s key that the packaging is compostable.

We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef” and continue our insightful conversation with Chef Andrew Gruel.

Play