Show 467, March 26, 2022: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

“Come celebrate and be part of the 5th Anniversary Masters of Taste, L.A.’s premier outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival that will take place on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022, from 3:00pm to 7:00pm on the field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl! Masters of Taste 2022 will bring over 3,000 food and beverage enthusiasts together for one afternoon to celebrate this exhilarating festival, which will include the finest fare from over 100 Culinary Masters and restaurants, delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s top Sweet Masters, top Beverage Masters who will be featuring signature handcrafted cocktail tastings from over 25 spirit brands and bars, along with select wineries, local craft breweries, cold-pressed juices, cold brew coffee, live entertainment and much, much more. Masters of Taste is introducing Chef Vanda Asapahu as it’s first-ever female Host Chef of Masters of Taste 2022, which also happens to mark the 5th Anniversary of this celebrated event.” Joining us to preview all the delights of Masters of Taste are Host Chef Vanda Asapahu and C-CAP L.A.’s Program Coordinator Gail Carney.

Piedra Creek Winery was conceived atop a small knoll in the heart of the MacGregor Vineyard overlooking the beautiful Edna Valley of San Luis Obispo, California.” It was founded in 1983 by the late Romeo Zuench and his wife, Margaret. They are pioneers with the Lagrein grape from Italy and also known for premium Estate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Margaret continues as Owner with her grandson, T.J. de Jony as Winemaker / Proprietor. Before establishing Piedra Creek Winery as a retirement project Romeo was (for 30 years) an accomplished Aerospace Engineer for Rocketdyne International in Canoga Park. “It has been said that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make great wine…but it certainly doesn’t hurt.” Piedra Creek Winery’s Margaret Zuench and T.J. de Jony are our guests to uncork all that is Piedra Creek Winery.

A discovery at the recent Natural Products Expo West at the Anaheim Convention Center is Mongibello 100 percent Blood Orange Juice fresh squeezed and packed in Italy. The Blood Oranges used are from the Tarocco, Moro and Sanguinello varieties grown at the foot of the Mt. Etna volcano in the rich volcanic soil of Sicily. It’s rich in antioxidants with only 80 calories per 8oz. Mark Taylor, the US Import Agent for Mongibello, joins us with all the squeeze on Mongibello 100 per cent Blood Orange Juice from Sicily.

In 2003, Covenant winery founders Jeff Morgan and the late Leslie Rudd tasted an Israeli wine that inspired them to bring a new California perspective to a 3,500-year-old winemaking tradition. What started as a 500-case Napa Cabernet project has now grown more than ten-fold. Today, Covenant’s 7,000-square-foot urban winery is situated in Berkeley, California, also home to other urban wineries. Covenant’s sister winery, Covenant Israel, was founded in 2013. Since 2013, Covenant Israel wines have been made in the northern Galilee. Vintner Jeff Morgan joins us to uncork all that is Covenant urban winery.

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. Is dry-aged fish perhaps a new trend in area restaurants? The Orange County Register’s James Beard award-winning food critic, Brad A. Johnson, considers this (with examples) in a March piece. Chef Andrew, a known seafood authority, provides his insight. Last year Chef Andrew was set as the lead chef of the prominent culinary team for Outstanding in the Field’s Sustainable Seafood Dinner on the Huntington Beach Pier. A couple of days before the event (as part the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl 2021) the dinner was abruptly cancelled due to the unfortunate aftereffects of the Huntington Beach oil pipeline rupture. The better news is that it’s now rescheduled for Thursday, May 12th. Updates from Chef Andrew…

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 467, March 26, 2022: Masters of Taste Preview with Host Chef Vanda Asapahu and C-CAP’s Gail Carney Part One

Vanda Asapahu of Ayara Thai Cuisine

“Come celebrate and be part of the 5th Anniversary Masters of Taste, L.A.’s premier outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival that will take place on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl!”

“Masters of Taste is introducing Chef Vanda Asapahu as it’s first-ever female Host Chef of Masters of Taste 2022, which also happens to mark the 5th Anniversary of this celebrated event. Culinary Master and 2022 Host Chef Vanda Asapahu is the chef and owner of Ayara Thai and she has participated in Masters of Taste since the event’s inception in April 2016. While her mother, Anna Asapahu, still helms the family kitchen, Asapahu is the vanguard, taking up the torch of her family’s culinary tradition at Ayara Thai, and under her leadership in May of 2019 Ayara Thai was named one of Michelin Guide California’s 2019 Bib Gourmands.”

“I have had the pleasure of participating in Masters of Taste since its inaugural year,” states Asapahu. “The most amazing thing about Masters of Taste is that 100% of the proceeds go directly to benefit Union Station Homeless Services and not many food festivals can say that. Union Station Homeless Services is committed to ending homelessness in Los Angeles.”

“Masters of Taste 2022 will bring over 3,000 food and beverage enthusiasts together for one afternoon to celebrate this exhilarating festival, which will include the finest fare from over 100 Culinary Masters and restaurants, delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s top Sweet Masters, top Beverage Masters who will be featuring signature handcrafted cocktail tastings from over 25 spirit brands and bars, along with select wineries, local craft breweries, cold-pressed juices, cold brew coffee, live entertainment and much, much more.”

“This year Masters of Taste 2022 will partner with Careers through Culinary Arts Program, Los Angeles (C-CAP LA), anational 501(c)(3) non-profit founded by culinary educator Richard Grausman in 1990 and Co-Chaired by Chef Marcus Samuelsson. Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) provides culinary, job, and life skills to over 20,000 middle-and-high school students in seven regions across the United States. Due to the restaurant industry labor shortage, the Los Angeles Region, C-CAP LA will be partnering with Masters of Taste by bringing high school student volunteers to assist this year’s Masters of Taste 2022 Culinary and Sweet Masters throughout the event to gain real-time event training while helping support these incredible chefs and restaurants that are participating in this year’s event.”

Joining us to preview all the delights of Masters of Taste are Host Chef Vanda Asapahu and C-CAP L.A.’s Gail Carney.

General Admission tickets (limited supply remaining) are still available @ $135.

Play

Show 467, March 26, 2022: Masters of Taste Preview with Host Chef Vanda Asapahu and C-CAP’s Gail Carney Part Two

Vanda Asapahu of Ayara Thai Cuisine

“Come celebrate and be part of the 5th Anniversary Masters of Taste, L.A.’s premier outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival that will take place on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl!”

“Masters of Taste is introducing Chef Vanda Asapahu as it’s first-ever female Host Chef of Masters of Taste 2022, which also happens to mark the 5th Anniversary of this celebrated event. Culinary Master and 2022 Host Chef Vanda Asapahu is the chef and owner of Ayara Thai and she has participated in Masters of Taste since the event’s inception in April 2016. While her mother, Anna Asapahu, still helms the family kitchen, Asapahu is the vanguard, taking up the torch of her family’s culinary tradition at Ayara Thai, and under her leadership in May of 2019 Ayara Thai was named one of Michelin Guide California’s 2019 Bib Gourmands.”

“I have had the pleasure of participating in Masters of Taste since its inaugural year,” states Asapahu. “The most amazing thing about Masters of Taste is that 100% of the proceeds go directly to benefit Union Station Homeless Services and not many food festivals can say that. Union Station Homeless Services is committed to ending homelessness in Los Angeles.”

“Masters of Taste 2022 will bring over 3,000 food and beverage enthusiasts together for one afternoon to celebrate this exhilarating festival, which will include the finest fare from over 100 Culinary Masters and restaurants, delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s top Sweet Masters, top Beverage Masters who will be featuring signature handcrafted cocktail tastings from over 25 spirit brands and bars, along with select wineries, local craft breweries, cold-pressed juices, cold brew coffee, live entertainment and much, much more.”

“This year Masters of Taste 2022 will partner with Careers through Culinary Arts Program, Los Angeles (C-CAP LA), anational 501(c)(3) non-profit founded by culinary educator Richard Grausman in 1990 and Co-Chaired by Chef Marcus Samuelsson. Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) provides culinary, job, and life skills to over 20,000 middle-and-high school students in seven regions across the United States. Due to the restaurant industry labor shortage, the Los Angeles Region, C-CAP LA will be partnering with Masters of Taste by bringing high school student volunteers to assist this year’s Masters of Taste 2022 Culinary and Sweet Masters throughout the event to gain real-time event training while helping support these incredible chefs and restaurants that are participating in this year’s event.”

Continuing with us to preview all the delights of Masters of Taste are Host Chef Vanda Asapahu and C-CAP L.A.’s Gail Carney.

General Admission tickets (limited supply remaining) are still available @ $135.

Play

March 26: Masters of Taste with Ayara Thai, Piedra Creek Winery, Mongibello 100% Blood Orange Juice, Covenant Wines

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Masters of Taste Preview with Host Chef Vanda Asapahu and C-CAP’s Gail Carney Part One
Segment Three: Masters of Taste Preview with Host Chef Vanda Asapahu and C-CAP’s Gail Carney Part Two
Segment Four: Piedra Creek Winery, San Luis Obispo Part One
Segment Five: Piedra Creek Winery, San Luis Obispo Part Two
Segment Six: Mongibello Blood Orange Juice from Sicily
Segment Seven: Covenant Winery, Berkeley with Founding Winemaker & Co-Owner Jeff Morgan
Segment Eight: Chef & Co-Host Andrew Gruel of Slapfish with “Ask the Chef”

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

“Come celebrate and be part of the 5th Anniversary Masters of Taste, L.A.’s premier outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival that will take place on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl! Masters of Taste 2022 will bring over 3,000 food and beverage enthusiasts together for one afternoon to celebrate this exhilarating festival, which will include the finest fare from over 100 Culinary Masters and restaurants, delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s top Sweet Masters, top Beverage Masters who will be featuring signature handcrafted cocktail tastings from over 25 spirit brands and bars, along with select wineries, local craft breweries, cold-pressed juices, cold brew coffee, live entertainment and much, much more. Masters of Taste is introducing Chef Vanda Asapahu as it’s first-ever female Host Chef of Masters of Taste 2022, which also happens to mark the 5th Anniversary of this celebrated event.”Joining us to preview all the delights of Masters of Taste are Host Chef Vanda Asapahu and C-CAP L.A.’s Program Coordinator Gail Carney.

Piedra Creek Winery was conceived atop a small knoll in the heart of the MacGregor Vineyard overlooking the beautiful Edna Valley of San Luis Obispo, California. It was founded in 1983 by the late Romeo Zuench and his wife, Margaret. They are pioneers with the Lagrein grape from Italy and also known for premium Estate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Margaret continues as Owner with her grandson, T.J. de Jony as Winemaker / Proprietor. Before establishing Piedra Creek Winery as a retirement project Romeo was (for 30 years) an accomplished Aerospace Engineer for Rocketdyne International in Canoga Park. “It has been said that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make great wine…but it certainly doesn’t hurt.” Piedra Creek Winery’s Margaret Zuench and T J. de Jony are our guests to uncork all that is Piedra Creek Winery.

A discovery at the recent Natural Products Expo West at the Anaheim Convention Center is Mongibello 100 percent Blood Orange Juice fresh squeezed and packed in Italy. The Blood Oranges are from the Tarocco, Moro and Sanguinello varieties grown at the foot of the Mt. Etna volcano in the rich volcanic soil of Sicily. It’s rich in antioxidants with only 80 calories per 8oz. Mark Taylor, the US Import Agent for Mongibello, joins us with all the squeeze on Mongibello 100 percent Blood Orange Juice from Sicily.

In 2003, Covenant winery founders Jeff Morgan and the late Leslie Rudd tasted an Israeli wine that inspired them to bring a new California perspective to a 3,500-year-old winemaking tradition. What started as a 500-case Napa Cabernet project has now grown more than ten-fold. Today, Covenant’s 7,000-square-foot urban winery is situated in Berkeley, California, also home to other urban wineries. Covenant’s sister winery, Covenant Israel, was founded in 2013. Since 2013, Covenant Israel wines have been made in the northern Galilee. Vintner Jeff Morgan joins us to uncork all that is Covenant urban winery.

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. Is dry-aged fish perhaps a new trend in area restaurants? The Orange County Register’s James Beard award-winning food critic, Brad A. Johnson, considers this (with examples) in a March piece. Chef Andrew, a known seafood authority, provides his insight. Last year Chef Andrew was set as the lead chef of the prominent culinary team for Outstanding in the Field’s Sustainable Seafood Dinner on the Huntington Beach Pier. A couple of days before the event (as part the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl 2021) the dinner was abruptly cancelled due to the unfortunate aftereffects of the Huntington Beach oil pipeline rupture. The better news is that it’s now rescheduled for Thursday, May 12th. Updates from Chef Andrew…

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Vanda Asapahu of Ayara Thai Cuisine

“Come celebrate and be part of the 5th Anniversary Masters of Taste, L.A.’s premier outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival that will take place on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022, from 3:00pm to 7:00pm on the field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl!”

“Masters of Taste is introducing Chef Vanda Asapahu as it’s first-ever female Host Chef of Masters of Taste 2022, which also happens to mark the 5th Anniversary of this celebrated event. Culinary Master and 2022 Host Chef Vanda Asapahu is the chef and owner of Ayara Thai and she has participated in Masters of Taste since the event’s inception in April 2016. While her mother, Anna Asapahu, still helms the family kitchen, Asapahu is the vanguard, taking up the torch of her family’s culinary tradition at Ayara Thai, and under her leadership in May of 2019 Ayara Thai was named one of Michelin Guide California’s 2019 Bib Gourmands.”

“I have had the pleasure of participating in Masters of Taste since its inaugural year,” states Asapahu. “The most amazing thing about Masters of Taste is that 100% of the proceeds go directly to benefit Union Station Homeless Services and not many food festivals can say that. Union Station Homeless Services is committed to ending homelessness in Los Angeles.”

“Masters of Taste 2022 will bring over 3,000 food and beverage enthusiasts together for one afternoon to celebrate this exhilarating festival, which will include the finest fare from over 100 Culinary Masters and restaurants, delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s top Sweet Masters, top Beverage Masters who will be featuring signature handcrafted cocktail tastings from over 25 spirit brands and bars, along with select wineries, local craft breweries, cold-pressed juices, cold brew coffee, live entertainment and much, much more.”

“This year Masters of Taste 2022 will partner with Careers through Culinary Arts Program, Los Angeles (C-CAP LA), anational 501(c)(3) non-profit founded by culinary educator Richard Grausman in 1990 and Co-Chaired by Chef Marcus Samuelsson. Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) provides culinary, job, and life skills to over 20,000 middle-and-high school students in seven regions across the United States. Due to the restaurant industry labor shortage, the Los Angeles Region, C-CAP LA will be partnering with Masters of Taste by bringing high school student volunteers to assist this year’s Masters of Taste 2022 Culinary and Sweet Masters throughout the event to gain real-time event training while helping support these incredible chefs and restaurants that are participating in this year’s event.”

Joining us to preview all the delights of Masters of Taste are Host Chef Vanda Asapahu and C-CAP L.A.’s Gail Carney.

Margaret C Zuench and TJ de Jony of Piedra Creek Winery

Piedra Creek Winery was conceived atop a small knoll in the heart of the MacGregor Vineyard overlooking the beautiful Edna Valley of San Luis Obispo, California.” It was founded in 1983 by the late Romeo Zuench and his wife, Margaret. Margaret continues as Owner with her grandson, T.J. de Jony as Winemaker / Proprietor. Before establishing Piedra Creek Winery as a retirement project Romeo was (for 30 years) an accomplished Aerospace Engineer for Rocketdyne International in Canoga Park.

“In 1984 Piedra Creek Winery became the smallest bonded winery in the Edna Valley, if not the state of California, originally producing only a couple hundred cases of estate sourced Chardonnay.”

“The ultra -small batch wines quickly gained notoriety. The grapes used would not come from a selected vineyard, nor from blocks within vineyards, but rather from only the best sections of the 55 -acre Chardonnay vineyard. The result: only the best fruit would be used to make the finest wines possible.”

“In 1999, San Floriano vineyard was planted and Piedra Creek Winery moved. Three clones of Pinot Noir, two clones of Chardonnay and two clones of Lagrein comprise the San Florian vineyard. The unique and meticulous practice of hand selecting only the highest quality fruit played a fundamental role in the formation of San Floriano vineyard.” Romeo was a pioneer in bringing Lagrein grapes (from Italy’s Trentino-Alto Adige region) to the USA.

“It has been said that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make great wine…but it certainly doesn’t hurt.”

Piedra Creek Winery’s Margaret Zuench and T J. de Jony are our guests to uncork all that is Piedra Creek Winery.

Mark Taylor of Mongibello 100 percent Blood Orange Juice

A discovery at the recent Natural Products Expo West at the Anaheim Convention Center is Mongibello 100 percent Blood Orange Juice fresh squeezed and packed in Italy. The Blood Oranges are from the Tarocco, Moro and Sanguinello varieties grown at the foot of the Mt. Etna volcano in the rich volcanic soil of Sicily.

It’s rich in antioxidants with only 80 calories per 8oz.

Mark Taylor, the US Import Agent for Mongibello, joins us with all the squeeze on Mongibello 100 percent Blood Orange Juice from Sicily.

Jeff Morgan of Covenant Winery

“In 2003, Covenant founders Jeff Morgan and the late Leslie Rudd tasted an Israeli wine that inspired them to bring a new California perspective to a 3,500-year-old winemaking tradition. What started as a 500-case Napa Cabernet project has now grown more than ten-fold. Today, Covenant’s 7,000-square-foot urban winery is situated in Berkeley, California, also home to other urban wineries. Covenant’s sister winery, Covenant Israel, was founded in 2013. Since 2013, Covenant Israel wines have been made in the northern Galilee.”

“Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from several exceptional vineyards in Napa Valley. Pinot Noir is sourced from Francis Mahoney’s hilltop Carneros vineyard. They also have long-standing relationships with growers in Sonoma’s Bennett Valley, Sonoma Mountain, Dry Creek Valley and Sonoma Valley and Lake County. In Lodi, Covenant works with the Mettler family’s vineyards. In Israel, their best Syrah is grown on Israel’s only biodynamic vineyard—Tzivon—in the Upper Galilee.”

Vintner & Co-Owner Jeff Morgan is the featured guest at the upcoming Covenant Wine Dinner at The Milky Way (The Spielberg Family’s Kosher Dairy restaurant) in Los Angeles on Thursday evening, March 31st at 7:00 p.m. Executive Chef Phil Kastel will serve a four-course repast with a Covenant wine matched with each dish. It starts with a Crispy Salmon Cake with a shaved fennel and arugula salad matched with 2020 Covenant Blanc De Blanc sparking wine.

Jeff Morgan joins us to uncork all that is Covenant urban winery.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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.

Is dry-aged fish perhaps a new trend in area restaurants? The Orange County Register’s James Beard award-winning food critic, Brad A. Johnson, considers this (with examples) in a March piece. Chef Andrew, a known seafood authority, provides his insight.

Last year Chef Andrew was set as the lead chef of the prominent culinary team for Outstanding in the Field’s Sustainable Seafood Dinner on the Huntington Beach Pier. A couple of days before the event (as part the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl 2021) the dinner was abruptly cancelled due to the unfortunate aftereffects of the oil pipeline rupture. The better news is that it’s now rescheduled for Thursday, May 12th. Updates from Chef Andrew…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Masters of Taste Preview with Host Chef Vanda Asapahu and C-CAP’s Gail Carney Part One
Segment Three: Masters of Taste Preview with Host Chef Vanda Asapahu and C-CAP’s Gail Carney Part Two
Segment Four: Piedra Creek Winery, San Luis Obispo Part One
Segment Five: Piedra Creek Winery, San Luis Obispo Part Two
Segment Six: Mongibello Blood Orange Juice from Sicily
Segment Seven: Covenant Winery, Berkeley with Founding Winemaker & Co-Owner Jeff Morgan
Segment Eight: Chef & Co-Host Andrew Gruel of Slapfish with “Ask the Chef”

Show 444, September 25, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

“Be a part of the fifth annual Masters of Taste, as L.A.’s premier outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival returns and will be taking place on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl with 100% of the proceeds going directly to benefit Union Station Homeless Services!

Masters of Taste introduces Chef Vanda Asapahu as Host Chef of Masters of Taste 2022 which also happens to mark the 5th Anniversary of this celebrated event which had to be canceled in 2020 due to the Pandemic. Masters of Taste 2022 Culinary Master and Host Chef Vanda Asapahu is the chef and owner of Ayara Thai Cuisine and she has participated since its inception in April 2016.”

Chef Vanda joins us with all the tasty details.

BBQ Mexicana, a quick service concept from celebrity Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, is located across from their Border Grill restaurant and adjacent to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas in Las Vegas and inside the new Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders (with two locations.)” Chef Susan Feniger is our guest with tongs at the ready.

“Winemaking at Matthiasson Wines (Steve and Jill) is a natural extension of farming. The Matthiasson’s have both worked for many years in the sustainable agriculture and the local food movement, and in 2003 they started Matthiasson Wines based on those values. The wines are classical expressions of different grape varieties, some well-known like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, and some rare like Ribolla Gialla and Refosco. The wines are refreshing, complement food, and are moderate in alcohol.” Matthiasson Wines is a 6-time James Beard Award nominee. Winemaker Steve Matthiasson is with us to gently pull the cork on all that is Matthiasson Winery.

Made In California – The California-Born Burger Joints, Diners, Fast Food & Restaurants That Changed America chronicles the history and influence of some of America’s best-known California-born restaurants. A&W Root Beer. Foster’s Freeze. IHOP. Der Wienerschnitzel. See’s Candies. Jack in the Box. You name the American food icon, and chances are its roots are in California. Food historian and Chef George Geary tells the remarkable stories of the early 20th-century food startups that captured America’s hearts and stomachs, from Bob’s Big Boy to McDonald’s, Winchell’s Donuts to In-N-Out, Peet’s Coffee to Taco Bell. With more than 200 historic and contemporary photos.” Author George Geary joins us.

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 the Host Chef for the very special Outstanding in the Field Dinner on the Huntington Beach Pier on October 12th. Sustainably caught seafood fresh from the ocean is on the menu. We’ll get a preview of this unusual dining spectacular.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 444, September 25, 2021: Chef & Restaurateur Vanda Asapahu, Ayara Thai Cuisine. Preview of Masters of Taste 2022 at The Rose Bowl

Vanda Asapahu of Ayara Thai Cuisine

“Be a part of the fifth annual Masters of Taste, as L.A.’s premier outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival returns and will be taking place on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the Iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl with 100% of the proceeds going directly to benefit Union Station Homeless Services!”

“Masters of Taste is introducing Chef Vanda Asapahu as Host Chef of Masters of Taste 2022 which also happens to mark the 5th Anniversary of this celebrated event which had to be canceled in 2020 due to the Pandemic. Masters of Taste 2022 Culinary Master and Host Chef Vanda Asapahu is the chef and owner of Ayara Thai Cuisine and she has participated since its inception in April 2016.”

“Asapahu went to college at UCLA and to graduate school at Yale, then she spent four years living, traveling, and working her way through Thailand before returning home to Los Angeles. During Asapahu’s stay in her native country, she took extensive notes, which included absorbing Bangkok’s street food scene and reviving old family recipes. After cooking with relatives and eating her way through the streets and countryside, Asapahu brought back these treasured old recipes and new flavors to share at Ayara Thai. While her mother Anna Asapahu still helms the family kitchen, Asapahu is the vanguard, taking up the torch of her family’s culinary tradition at Ayara Thai Cuisine.”

“I have had the pleasure of participating in Masters of Taste since its inaugural year,” states Asapahu. “As a proud UCLA alum (Go Bruins!), I’d give anything for the opportunity to cook, eat and dance on the field of the Rose Bowl. The most amazing thing about Masters of Taste is that 100% of the proceeds go directly to benefit Union Station Homeless Services and not many food festivals can say that. Union Station Homeless Services is committed to ending homelessness in Los Angeles.”

“The fifth annual Masters of Taste 2022 is expected to bring over 3,000 food and beverage enthusiasts together for one afternoon to celebrate this exhilarating festival, which will include the finest fare from over 100 Culinary Masters and restaurants, delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s top Sweet Masters, top Beverage Masters who will be featuring signature handcrafted cocktail tastings from over 25 spirit brands and bars, a premier 50-Yard-Line Cocktail Bar featuring top Mixologists from four of L.A.’s most distinguished drinking destinations, select wineries, local craft breweries, cold-pressed juices, cold brew coffee, live entertainment and much, much more.”

Chef Vanda joins us with all the enticing details.

Ayara Thai Cuisine in Westchester is currently open for Take-Out orders and their Thai Thursday Night Street Food Series.

Play

September 23: Masters of Taste with Ayara Thai, Susan Feniger, Matthiasson Wines, George Geary

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur Vanda Asapahu, Ayara Thai Cuisine. Preview of Masters of Taste 2022 at The Rose Bowl
Segment Three: Chef Susan Feniger, BBQ Mexicana at Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders
Segment Four: Winemaker Steve Matthiasson, Matthiasson Wines, Napa Part One
Segment Five: Winemaker Steve Matthiasson, Matthiasson Wines, Napa Part Two
Segment Six: George Geary with Made in California – The California-Born Burger Joints, Diners, Fast Food & Restaurants That Changed America Part One
Segment Seven: George Geary with Made in California – The California-Born Burger Joints, Diners, Fast Food & Restaurants That Changed America Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

“Be a part of the fifth annual Masters of Taste, as L.A.’s premier outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival returns and will be taking place on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the Iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl with 100% of the proceeds going directly to benefit Union Station Homeless Services!

Masters of Taste introduces Chef Vanda Asapahu as Host Chef of Masters of Taste 2022 which also happens to mark the 5th Anniversary of this celebrated event which had to be canceled in 2020 due to the Pandemic. Masters of Taste 2022 Culinary Master and Host Chef Vanda Asapahu is the chef and owner of Ayara Thai Cuisine and she has participated since its inception in April 2016.”

Chef Vanda joins us with all the details.

“BBQ Mexicana, a quick service concept from celebrity Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, is located across from Border Grill restaurant and adjacent to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas and inside the new Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders (with two locations.)” Chef Susan Feniger is our guest with tongs at the ready.

“Winemaking at Matthiasson Wines (Steve and Jill) is a natural extension of farming. The Matthiasson’s have both worked for many years in the sustainable agriculture and local food movement, and in 2003 they started Matthiasson Wines based on those values. The wines are classical expressions of different grape varieties, some well-known like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, and some rare like Ribolla Gialla and Refosco. The wines are refreshing, complement food, and are moderate in alcohol.” Matthiasson Wines is a 6- time James Beard Award nominee. Winemaker Steve Matthiasson is with us to gently pull the cork on all that is Matthiasson Winery.

“Made In California – The California-Born Burger Joints, Diners, Fast Food & Restaurants That Changed America chronicles the history and influence of some of America’s best-known California-born restaurants. stomachs, A&W Root Beer. Foster’s Freeze. IHOP. Der Wienerschnitzel. See’s Candy. Jack in the Box. You name the American food icon, and chances are its roots are in California. Food historian and chef George Geary tells the remarkable stories of the early 20th-century food startups that captured America’s hearts and stomachs, from Bob’s Big Boy to McDonald’s, Winchell’s Donuts to In-N-Out, Peet’s Coffee to Taco Bell. With more than 200 historic and contemporary photos.” Author George Geary joins us.

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 the Host Chef for the Outstanding in the Field Dinner on the Huntington Beach Pier on October 12th. Sustainably caught seafood fresh from the ocean is on the menu. We’ll get a preview of this unusual dining spectacular.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Vanda Asapahu of Ayara Thai Cuisine

“Be a part of the fifth annual Masters of Taste, as L.A.’s premier outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival returns and will be taking place on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the Iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl with 100% of the proceeds going directly to benefit Union Station Homeless Services!”

“Masters of Taste is introducing Chef Vanda Asapahu as Host Chef of Masters of Taste 2022 which also happens to mark the 5th Anniversary of this celebrated event which had to be canceled in 2020 due to the Pandemic. Masters of Taste 2022 Culinary Master and Host Chef Vanda Asapahu is the chef and owner of Ayara Thai Cuisine and she has participated since its inception in April 2016.”

“Asapahu went to college at UCLA and to graduate school at Yale, then she spent four years living, traveling, and working her way through Thailand before returning home to Los Angeles. During Asapahu’s stay in her native country, she took extensive notes, which included absorbing Bangkok’s street food scene and reviving old family recipes. After cooking with relatives and eating her way through the streets and countryside, Asapahu brought back these treasured old recipes and new flavors to share at Ayara Thai. While her mother Anna Asapahu still helms the family kitchen, Asapahu is the vanguard, taking up the torch of her family’s culinary tradition at Ayara Thai Cuisine.”

“I have had the pleasure of participating in Masters of Taste since its inaugural year,” states Asapahu. “As a proud UCLA alum (Go Bruins!), I’d give anything for the opportunity to cook, eat and dance on the field of the Rose Bowl. The most amazing thing about Masters of Taste is that 100% of the proceeds go directly to benefit Union Station Homeless Services and not many food festivals can say that. Union Station Homeless Services is committed to ending homelessness in Los Angeles.”

“The fifth annual Masters of Taste 2022 is expected to bring over 3,000 food and beverage enthusiasts together for one afternoon to celebrate this exhilarating festival, which will include the finest fare from over 100 Culinary Masters and restaurants, delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s top Sweet Masters, top Beverage Masters who will be featuring signature handcrafted cocktail tastings from over 25 spirit brands and bars, a premier 50-Yard-Line Cocktail Bar featuring top Mixologists from four of L.A.’s most distinguished drinking destinations, select wineries, local craft breweries, cold-pressed juices, cold brew coffee, live entertainment and much, much more.”

Chef Vanda joins us with all the enticing details.

Susan Feniger of Socalo and Border Grill

BBQ Mexicana, a quick service concept from celebrity Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, is located across from Border Grill restaurant and adjacent to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas and inside the new Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders (with two locations.)”

“Inspired by Mary Sue and Susan’s travels to Mexico, where they fell in love with delicious barbacoa and smoked meats, the menu offers a variety of bowls, salads, and burritos filled with mesquite smoked chicken, pulled pork, slow smoked brisket and tofu in addition to aguas frescas, beers and margaritas to go. BBQ Mexicana utilizes seasonal, locally grown ingredients, organic rice and beans, and meats and poultry raised without antibiotics or hormones.”

Chef Susan Feniger is our guest with tongs at the ready.

Steve Matthiasson of Matthiasson WInes

“Winemaking at Matthiasson Wines (Steve and Jill) is a natural extension of farming. The Matthiasson’s have both worked for many years in the sustainable agriculture and local food movement, and in 2003 they started Matthiasson Wines based on those values. The wines are classical expressions of different grape varieties, some well-known like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, and some rare like Ribolla Gialla and Refosco. The wines are refreshing, complement food, and are moderate in alcohol.” Matthiasson Wines is a 6-time James Beard Award nominee.

“Matthiasson fervently believe the old maxim that “wine is made in the vineyard,” and consider themselves farmers first. They carefully tailor organic viticultural practices to each vineyard — this is how Matthiasson harvests healthy and fully ripe fruit with balanced levels of alcohol and acidity. They do their best to protect and enhance the natural environment in the process.”

“Matthiasson Winery in Napa is open for in-person tastings at the winery and vineyard! They host a limited number of outdoor tastings by appointment 7 days a week. The tastings are approximately 60-75 minutes in length and include a comprehensive lineup of 5 to 6 wines.”

Winemaker Steve Matthiasson is with us to pull the cork on all that is Matthiasson Winery.

Cookbook Author George Geary

Made In California – The California-Born Burger Joints, Diners, Fast Food & Restaurants That Changed America chronicles the history and influence of some of America’s best-known California-born restaurants.”

A&W Root Beer. Foster’s Freeze. IHOP. Der Wienerschnitzel. See’s Candies. Jack in the Box. You name the American food icon, and chances are its roots are in California. Food historian and chef George Geary tells the remarkable stories of the early 20th-century food startups that captured America’s hearts and stomachs, from Bob’s Big Boy to McDonald’s, Winchell’s Donuts to In-N-Out, Peet’s Coffee to Taco Bell. With more than 200 historic and contemporary photos.”

“George Geary is the author of many hit books, including L.A.’s Legendary Restaurants and The Cheesecake Bible. He is a cooking teacher, pastry chef, culinary travel guide, and in-demand public speaker. A California native, he lives in the Los Angeles area.”

George Geary is our guest with a cup of Peet’s Coffee in hand.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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 the Host Chef for the high-profile Outstanding in the Field Dinner on the Huntington Beach Pier on October 12th. Sustainably caught seafood fresh from the ocean is on the menu. Chef Andrew is joined by Chef Craig Brady of Haven Craft Kitchen + Bar and Chef Brian Bornemann of Crudo e Nudo. We’ll get a preview of this unusual and very special dining spectacular.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur Vanda Asapahu, Ayara Thai Cuisine. Preview of Masters of Taste 2022 at The Rose Bowl
Segment Three: Chef Susan Feniger, BBQ Mexicana at Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders
Segment Four: Winemaker Steve Matthiasson, Matthiasson Wines, Napa Part One
Segment Five: Winemaker Steve Matthiasson, Matthiasson Wines, Napa Part Two
Segment Six: George Geary with Made in California – The California-Born Burger Joints, Diners, Fast Food & Restaurants That Changed America Part One
Segment Seven: George Geary with Made in California – The California-Born Burger Joints, Diners, Fast Food & Restaurants That Changed America Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 410, January 30, 2021: Restaurateur Sylvie Gabriele, Love & Salt, Manhattan Beach

Sylvie Gabriele of Love and Salt

“Women restaurateurs from across Los Angeles have created a new charitable organization called RE:Her. Its debut initiative, a food festival called 10 Days RE:Her, featuring 10 days of unique collaborations, thematic menus, and one-on-one conversations between female industry leaders. 10 Days RE:Her kicked off on January 21, the anniversary of the groundbreaking Women’s March of 2017, and runs through Saturday, January 30. Over 100 restaurants and collaborators are involved. Observing local dining restrictions, aspects of the festival will take place virtually and remotely.”

Restaurateur Sylvie Gabriele (a 2nd generation Restaurateur) of Manhattan Beach’s Love & Salt is one of the organizers of the Festival as well as serves on the active RE:Her board. Sylvie takes a break from her restaurant to recap the variety of “10 Days RE:Her” events that she and her team were part of. 

A highlight if the ten days for Sylvie was her participation in the virtual conversation, “The Next Generation and Rewriting our Family Legacy.” “The prominent panelists were female restaurateurs who are now running their family restaurants and more. It featured Christy Vega (Casa Vega), Vanda Asapahu (Ayara Thai), Sylvie Gabriele (Love & Salt), Sara Gabriele (Gabi James) and was hosted by Bricia Lopez (Guelaguetza).”

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Show 365, March 21, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

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

Chefs and restaurateurs are the most generous people I know. In times of need they are always first in generously and unselfishly giving back and meaningfully supporting their communities. Truly remarkable…Right now restaurants urgently need our support to stay afloat. Please keep this in mind as you make meal decisions….

As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. With everyone’s support we’ll get through this. Truly couldn’t do it without you.

Chef / Proprietress Vanda Asapahu of Ayara Thai in Westchester is the Host Chef for the 5th Anniversary Masters of Taste benefit at the Rose Bowl. Originally scheduled for Sunday, April 5th it has been necessarily postponed. When that new date is established Chef Vanda will be back with us with all the delectable details. In the meantime Ayara Thai is open for Take-Out and Delivery and would love to serve you. Chef Vanda is our guest with all the tempting menu details.

“At the original location of The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar in Tustin Executive Chef / Partner Yvon Goetz is offering a menu of his California contemporary regional cuisine for curbside pick-up (priced 15% off regular pricing) at his flagship Tustin location. Chef Yvon Goetz is also offering guests select cuts of meats to grill at home, based on availability.” Chef Yvon joins us.

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. Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

In September of 1986, Harold Legaux Sr. along with his wife Mary Belle opened Harold and Belle’s in the Jefferson Park area of Los Angeles. It had been a dream of Harold’s to have a place where friends and family from back home (New Orleans) would gather, talk about old times, shoot pool and just socialize. The short menu consisted of Po-Boy Sandwiches, Red Beans & Rice and File-Gumbo (served only on Fridays.) The restaurant has come a long way in 50 years and is now owned and operated by 3rd generation Legaux’s, the husband and wife team Ryan & Jessica Legaux. Together Ryan and Jessica have enhanced and expanded the brand of Harold & Belle’s through various avenues including refurbishing the restaurant. They also have added a new, state of the art private banquet room. We’re stirring the roux with Chef Ryan Legaux.

Back in January we introduced you to Executive Chef Vincent Terusa of Selanne Steak Tavern in Laguna Beach. During the unfortunate embargo on dining-in Selanne is providing discounted curbside take-out. They also are offering the menu from their fast casual spot, the Penalty Box. Chef Terusa joins us with all the details.

Amy and Craig Nickoloff of West Coast Prime MeatsIt’s an especially difficult time to navigate the supermarkets right now (particularly with “Social Distancing”) and you want fresh proteins of the highest quality to cook at home in addition to restaurant delivery/takeout. West Coast Prime Meats supplies the top restaurants and hotels in Southern California. Responding to the crisis they are now selling to the public for the very first time with next day pickup in Brea between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. You can conveniently obtain a wide range of proteins at fair prices with their usual wonderful customer service. Available are Beef, Grinds & Patties, Poultry, Pork and even Seafood. Their exemplary sanitary practices are above Industry requirements. Call them to get an Inventory List emailed to you. 714.255.8560.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

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Show 365, March 21, 2020: Chef / Proprietress Vanda Asapahu of Ayara Thai, Westchester Part One

Vanda Asapahu of Ayara Thai CuisineChef / Proprietress Vanda Asapahu of Ayara Thai in Westchester is the Host Chef for the upcoming 5th Anniversary Masters of Taste benefit at the Rose Bowl. Originally scheduled for Sunday, April 5th it has been necessarily postponed. When that new date is established Chef Vanda will be back with us with all the delectable details. In the meantime Ayara Thai is open for Take-Out and Delivery and would love to serve you.

“Growing up in a Thai-Chinese community in the Samsen District along the banks of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River, chef and restaurateur Andy Asapahu received his cooking and business prowess by helping his mother cook. Not only did Grandma’s (Andy’s mother) large batches of food feed her family of eight, but also those in the neighborhood, who would stop by to purchase her well-known curries.”

Anna, wife of Andy and self-taught chef, hails from the city of Lampang in the heart of northern Thailand and grew up in a family that primarily cooked with home and locally-grown fruits and vegetables. Since Ayara Thai’s opening day, head chef Anna remains a leader in the kitchen and continues her family tradition bWestchestery using home-grown herbs in the restaurant’s dishes. Reflecting both the dishes she ate in the past, as well as her family’s values in sustainable dining, she ensures dishes inspired and prepared with only the freshest ingredients that the season has to offer.”

“Today, the family traditions of Andy and Anna are continued and developed into the third generation, through their daughter Vanda. Living and working in Thailand for four years has given Vanda the experience to revive old family recipes, while traveling through the nation’s different regions has allowed her to discover new tastes and inspirations. After cooking with relatives and eating her way through the streets and countryside, it is these old recipes and new flavors that Vanda brought back to share at Ayara Thai.”

Chef Vanda is our guest with all the tempting menu details.

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