Show 299, November 24, 2018: Chef Andrew Gruel, Bracken’s Kitchen’s Deck the Halls Holiday Open House Benefit

Bill BrackenChef Bill Bracken and high- profile chef friends (Bracken’s Kitchen, “Driven to combat food insecurity one tasty meal at a time”) – are gathering together for a Holiday Open House benefit on Thursday, Nov. 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Bracken’s new kitchen in Garden Grove to help raise awareness and funds for Bracken’s Kitchen’s mission to feed those in need. Bill Bracken is grateful to be in a new 9,000 sq. ft. kitchen, yet with the growth comes more need to do more that requires additional resources and funding.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoAttendees will be invited to tour the various kitchens to sample signature dishes made from top chefs such as Chef Hugo Bolanos from Wolfgang Puck at the Hotel Bel Air, Avalon Grille & The Catalina Company’s Chef Roberto Hernandez, Chef Andrew Gruel from Slapfish and Two Birds and Butterleaf and Chef John Park of Toast Kitchen + Bakery, not to mention Bracken’s Kitchen’s Executive Chef Jerry and Founder & Culinary Director, Chef Bill Bracken. Master Baker Dean Kim of OC Baking Company, Pastry Chef Michael Owens of the new Left Coast Bakery, and from The Dirty Cookie, Shahira Marel will round out our pastries and dessert tasting.

Tickets for the event start at $95 and will be going directly toward Bracken’s Kitchen food recovery efforts and feeding programs.

“We are excited to be able to make a bigger impact in the communities we serve with the additional space in our new kitchen,” says Chef Bill Bracken. “Thanks to our community donors and food business partners, we are able to host events like Deck The Halls and continue to restore food and lives.”

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel’s Slapfish, Two Birds and Butterleaf will be part of the festivities. Chef Andrew provides the details of what’s on the Deck The Halls (And The Kitchen!) menu.

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Show 241, September 16, 2017: Special Olympics Southern California’s Pier del Sol Benefit

Peter GarlandPier del Sol on Sunday, Oct. 8th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. is an exciting and unique day of fun on the historic Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park. At the only culinary festival fused with a backyard private Amusement Park experience, attendees can enjoy an exclusive VIP brunch featuring mouthwatering tastings from over 35 of L.A.’s top Chefs and restaurants, entertainment, music, arts & crafts, games, and unlimited rides at Pacific Park. All proceeds from this annual event benefit the athletes of Special Olympic Southern California.

This year’s theme is “Oktoberfest,” where a beach top VIP Beer & Wine Garden will enhance your culinary palette!

Love the food at Pier del Sol? To celebrate 20 years of food, fun, and sun on the pier, SOSC published Cuisine del Sol in 2016, a souvenir cookbook featuring 28 chefs with recipes and stories who have supported the event. Think Michael Cimarusti, Neal Fraser and David LeFevre for starters…This is your chance to create the recipes of these culinary masterminds!

Special Olympics Southern California’s Maureen Barclift and participating restaurateur Peter Garland of Beverly Hills’ Porta Via are our guests. Peter is also included in the Cuisine del Sol Cookbook with Porta Via’s signature recipe for Organic Kale and Quinoa Salad.

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Show 239, September 2, 2017: Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder of Slapfish, Two Birds & Butterleaf

Andrew and William GruelWe’re delighted to welcome our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, back to the show (in-studio) after his recent global travels. Chef Andrew is discussing the benefit he’s hosting at the original Huntington Beach Slapfish location on Beach Blvd. for all of September in support of Bracken’s Kitchen.

Two ways to contribute to raising money for Chef Bill Bracken to buy his vitally needed 2nd food truck. For the month of September Slapfish Huntington Beach will donate 50 per cent of the sales of their “Sweet Pow Shrimp & Lobster Bowl” to Bracken’s Kitchen. Second option is to donate $10 to Bracken’s Kitchen and be rewarded with a free lobster roll (a $22 value menu item.)

Also on the menu is a discussion of shrimp. When you’re buying shrimp as “fresh” is that really the case? Is there anything wrong with enjoying shrimp that has been previously frozen and then properly thawed for sale in the fish case? (Typically domestic shrimp is IQF frozen on the fishing boat or dock to preserve freshness.)

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Show 232, July 15, 2017: “Stu and the Kids” 2017 Fundraiser, Founder Stuart Skversky Continues…

Stuart SkverskyThe annual Stu and the Kids Fundraiser returns to Vibiana on Sunday afternoon, July 30th. Stuart Skversky is the Executive Director/Founder of Stu and the Kids and the Host Chefs at Vibiana are Neal and Amy Fraser the principals of Redbird.

Proceeds will fund scholarships for at-risk Hill Tribe kids in Chaing Mai. Thailand. Last year’s Benefit raised an impressive $110,000!

In 2009, Stuart Skversky, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a rising- star chef, made a dramatic life change by giving up a promising chef career in Los Angeles to move to Chiang Mai, becoming a full-time volunteer at the Wat Dan Chan (a local Buddhist temple), teaching local children English, cooking and baking.

Recognizing a need to help prepare these high-risk Hill Tribe kids following their graduation, he founded Stu and the Kids to better prepare them for adulthood, helping them get into a university or technical college and giving them the tools for an independent future. Proceeds from this event go directly to the children’s education, school uniforms, supplies, housing, food and tuition for higher education.

Now in their ninth year of fundraising throughout the world, Stu and the Kids has raised over $300,000 for the charity, including last year’s astounding record of $110,000 accumulated from the LA festival, fundraising on the east coast and online donations during 2016. Stu and the Kids supervise seventeen kids, including fifteen who have earned four-year scholarships to university and a seven and fourteen-year-old that is supported with rent and food due to family hardship. The charity hopes to increase the awards to twelve four-year university scholarships in the coming year.

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Show 212, February 25, 2017: Executive Chef Andrew Sutton, Napa Rose, Preview of OC Chef’s Table 2017

Andrew Sutton of Disney's Grand Californian Resort and SpaIllumination Foundation (IF) will host the 2nd Annual OC Chef’s Table 2017 on Sunday, March 12, 2017, at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, to raise funds for the construction of a second emergency home for homeless families with children.

OC Chef’s Table is one of the county’s most exclusive charitable culinary events where OC’s top chefs come together to create a delectable five-course meal prepared tableside at tables decorated to reflect the personality and brand of each participating restaurant. Every restaurant and chef participating has been personally chosen to host a table at the gala due to their earned accolades for their impressive culinary skills or innovations.

“Nearly 1 in 6 children face homelessness in OC. There are too many families with children that struggle to secure a roof over their heads every night. It shouldn’t be like this. Children should have the right to a happy and stable childhood. We can’t thank these extraordinary chefs enough for accepting to donate their time, talent and culinary knowledge to help us build a second emergency house in Orange County. This event is going to be an amazing experience for our guests, a creative challenge for the chefs and eye-opening for everybody. With every emergency house we build we start rebuilding the lives of 100 suffering families per year. The more money we raise, the more houses and services we offer and that means less people on our county’s streets. I want to thank all the chefs, restaurants, guests and sponsors for joining us in our mission to break the cycle of homelessness,” said Paul Leon, Illumination Foundation CEO and President.

Host Chef Andrew Sutton of Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian is our guest with a preview. Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group will also be personally cooking for ten lucky guests at an OC Chef’s Table.

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Show 211, February 18, 2017: Judy Walker, Golden Rule Charity – Benefit for Chef Bruno Serato, Anaheim White House, Anaheim

Bruno SeratoChef Bruno Serato of the Anaheim White House is passionate about his long-time efforts to feed hungry kids in need daily with nutritious food prepared in his own kitchens. His restaurant was recently devastated by a horrific fire and remains closed. It’s going to take time and over $1 million to restore. Insurance will not cover it all.

Orange County chefs & restaurateurs are generously rallying to support Bruno’s charity, Caterina’s Club, and his employees with a benefit on Monday evening, February 20th at Highway 39 Event Center in Anaheim.

VIP is from 5 to 8:00 p.m. with wine and beer included is a $75 donation.

General Admission is from 6 to 8:00 p.m. and is a $50 donation.

“The Anaheim White House restaurant has been severely damaged in a fire and will close indefinitely. The 1909 Colonial-style mansion was converted into a restaurant now owned by Chef Bruno Serato, who feeds pasta each night to 2,000 at-risk, disadvantaged children from the restaurant’s kitchen. He has done so for more than a decade.”

“Bruno is an Italian immigrant who came to the U.S. with $50 in his pocket and through hard work saved the money to open his restaurant 30 years ago. Bruno is known worldwide for feeding the children, finding housing for their families and helping at-risk youth land jobs in the hospitality field. He even mortgaged his own home during the recession to keep his charity work going.”

Organizer Judy Walker of Golden Rule Charity joins us with the specifics.

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Show 162, March 5, 2016: Steven Fretz, Executive Chef and Partner, Church Key, West Hollywood

Steven FretzOn Saturday, March 12, as part of Cochon 555 L.A., Chef Steven Fretz (our guest) will be hosting, along with six other celebrity chefs, a refined three-hour culinary experience, the Chef’s Course Dinner Series, at Church Key in West Hollywood. It begins with a reception featuring a selection of passed hors d’oeuvres followed by a seated dinner and premium wine pairings. The benefit dinner is limited to 44 seats. Tickets are available online at $125 per person and 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit Piggy Bank.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel is preparing a course with a Spring theme. Also on the distinguished chefs’ team is Ray Garcia (Broken Spanish) and Eric Greenspan (Mare, The Roof on Wilshire, Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese.)

Piggy Bank seeks to build a future for family farming with the goal of changing the future of food and promoting long-term farming sustainability. Piggy Bank will raise heritage breed pigs to be gifted to new farmers and culinary schools, assist new family farms with herd development and help existing farms challenged by disaster.

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Show 93, October 18, 2014: C-CAP’s “Sweet & Savory Spectacular” Benefit

The Careers through Culinary Art Program’s (C-CAP) Sweet & Savory Spectacular benefit is this Sunday afternoon, Oct. 19th at the Art Institute of California Los Angeles campus in Santa Monica.

C-CAP Advisory Board member Eric Boardman previews the event. Eric is an accomplished Food Television personality and producer (Food Network’s “Calling All Cooks”) and will be MCing the Sweet & Savory Chef’s Challenge at the Benefit.

The Challenge is a “Chopped”– style cooking competition where C-CAP graduates will compete for cash prizes to showcase their talents and test their skills, speed and creativity. It’s serious…

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Show 51, December 7, 2013: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Lechon Porchetta by Susan ParkYou can aid the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and enjoy some great Filipino food. There is a huge Filipino community right here in Los Angeles County.

In addition to the high profile benefit for typhoon relief at The Church Key on the Sunset Strip on Sunday (which we’ll be talking about later in the show) there is a more populist fundraiser at Bamboo Bistro in Panorama City on Sunday, Dec. 15th from 4 to 8:00 p.m.

Pinoy food will be there in abundance expertly prepared by L.A. chefs including Chef Mayet Cristobal, the Executive Chef of the Getty Museum. She will be serving Beef Short Rib Adobo. The minimum donation is a modest $20 per adult and there will be live music.

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

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December 7: Carla Hall, Barbara Fairchild, Cookies for a Koz, Devon Espinosa, Donald Wressell, Brad A. Johnson, Dean Thomas

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, educator, food journalist, and cookbook author Part One
Segment Three: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, educator, food journalist, and cookbook author Part Two
Segment Four: Carla Hall of ABC’s “The Chew” and Zov Karamardian of Zov’s Bistro in Tustin
Segment Five: Devon Espinosa, Bar Director at The Church Key
Segment Six: Pastry Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Co.
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, restaurant critic for The Orange County Register
Segment Eight: Chef Dean Thomas of Europa Village Winery and The Inn at Europa Village in Temecula

Lechon Porchetta by Susan ParkYou can aid the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and enjoy some great Filipino food. There is a huge Filipino community right here in Los Angeles County.

In addition to the high profile benefit for typhoon relief at The Church Key on the Sunset Strip on Sunday (which we’ll be talking about later in the show) there is a more populist fundraiser at Bamboo Bistro in Panorama City on Sunday, Dec. 15th from 4 to 8:00 p.m.

Pinoy food will be there in abundance expertly prepared by L.A. chefs including Chef Mayet Cristobal, the Executive Chef of the Getty Museum. She will be serving Beef Short Rib Adobo. The minimum donation is a modest $20 per adult and there will be live music.

Barbara FairchildThe long-time former editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, Barbara Fairchild, is back with us reporting from New York. Barbara is also an educator, best-selling cookbook author, food and travel journalist and much-in-demand speaker.

Barbara has recently had a couple of culinary excursions to the San Francisco Bay Area and will report on dining spots she enjoyed that merit your attention. She will also speak about an unusual evening she was part of honoring San Francisco’s STARS, a long-departed celebrity chef driven restaurant that, in it’s day, was the Spago of San Francisco. The proprietor/executive chef Jeremiah Tower (now a resident of Mexico) was in attendance.

Roberta Koz WilsonIt’s Holiday Time and our thoughts turn to incredible, fresh-baked, small batch, high-quality cookies as special gifts. That can only mean a chat with Roberta Wilson (jazz saxophonist great Dave Koz’s sister) the force behind Cookies for a Koz. Ten per cent of the proceeds are donated to the Starlight Children’s Foundation. Dave Koz is a Global Goodwill Ambassador for them.

Roberta’s and Dave’s late mother, Audrey, perfected the recipe for a great chocolate chip cookie and that’s the legacy of the company. The much-appreciated cookies were a door-opener all over town for the youthful Dave as his career was just beginning.

Carla HallFood fans know Chef Carla Hall as the “Hootie Hoo” lady and fan favorite from multiple seasons of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” She is now the co-host of ABC’s daytime lifetime series, “The Chew.” Last week “The Chew” celebrated their 500th episode and the show continues to gain in popularity. Carla also is the author of Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You, newly available in paperback.

Carla is being honored by Zov Karamardian of Zov’s Bistro in Tustin at her Culinary Concert to benefit the James Beard Foundation on Sunday, February 9th. It’s a great holiday gift for that special foodie in your life.

That Sunday Carla and Zov will conduct a highly entertaining cooking class for the guests followed by a lavish lunch. Carla will be available to sign copies of her book and interact with the guests. It all starts at Noon.

For more info and to make reservations please call 714.838.8855 ext. 21

Devon EspinosaDevon Espinosa (a C-CAP graduate) is one of the rising young stars among the master bartenders in the West. He created the cocktail program at ink. and Pour Vous and he’s the bar chef for the new The Church Key on the Sunset Strip. Some of his cocktails are canned for freshness.

Devon is also one of the organizers of a high-profile benefit at The Church Key on Sunday, December 8 from 5 to 9:00 p.m. for Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts. An impressive line-up of chefs and bartenders are coming together to raise the vitally needed funds. Look for celebrity chefs Eric Greenspan, Kris Morningstar, Ray Garcia and Steve Samson among many others.

Donald WressellThere really is no finer pastry chef in America than the pleasantly low-key Donald Wressell. He was the opening executive pastry chef at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. This is the luxury property where the majority of the out-of-town Academy Award nominees stay. Every year Chef Donald would create incredible individual chocolate show-pieces celebrating each of the “Best Picture” nominees. These elaborate pieces where then featured, via photography, in the Oscar coverage beamed across the globe.

Donald has competed in the most prestigious international pastry competitions and, most recently, has coached, too. He’s judged pastry chefs for competition shows on Food Network.

He’s currently the pastry chef for the proudly American chocolate company, Guittard Chocolate Co. Guittard is based in Burlingame but Chef Donald has a test kitchen and research facility here in Los Angeles. He also teaches classes for professional pastry chefs and candy makers.

In January he’ll create the sure to be dazzling Birthday Cake for The City of Beverly Hills’ 100th Anniversary. He created another cake spectacular for Beverly Hills’ Diamond Jubilee 25 years ago while he was at The Four Seasons.

Blossom Restaurant at the Aria in Las VegasA few weeks ago Brad A. Johnson, the James Beard Award-winning restaurant critic for the Orange County Register, was with us to talk about his first 4-Star review. It’s Blossom restaurant at Aria Resort in Las Vegas.

Brad is back with us to explain his criteria for a 4-Star restaurant review and also talk about the new crop of ultra-luxe Chinese restaurants on The Strip. It’s some of the most elegant Chinese fine-dining outside of China and designed for highly discriminating (and wealthy) Chinese guests!

Dean ThomasChef Dean Thomas is the Executive Chef de Cuisine for the Europa Village Winery in Temecula and also serves as the Innkeeper for the Inn at Europa Village (along with his wife, Nicole.) His multi-course breakfasts, reserved exclusively for guests at The Inn, are unrivaled in the Valley. Many of the ingredients actually come from the vineyard property and change with the season. Chef Dean has extensive credentials as an executive chef for luxury hotel properties.

Chef Dean is the unofficial executive concierge for Wine Country Temecula. When it comes to directing guests to the wineries and restaurants best suited to the visitors’ wishes Dean’s advice is the gold standard.

Chef Dean shares with us the specifics on an independent restaurant in Temecula as well as a winery restaurant that are both on his highly recommended list. He also talks about a Slow Food event he is hosting on December 12th featuring local artisan food products and cooking demonstrations.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, educator, food journalist, and cookbook author Part One
Segment Three: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, educator, food journalist, and cookbook author Part Two
Segment Four: Carla Hall of ABC’s “The Chew” and Zov Karamardian of Zov’s Bistro in Tustin
Segment Five: Devon Espinosa, Bar Director at The Church Key
Segment Six: Pastry Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Co.
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, restaurant critic for The Orange County Register
Segment Eight: Chef Dean Thomas of Europa Village Winery and The Inn at Europa Village in Temecula