Show 524, May 6, 2023: Co-Host and Chef Andrew Gruel with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel of Big Parm and the Calico Fish House

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the recently launched, full-service Calico Fish House (in the Sunset Beach area of Huntington Beach) and also the founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative Ask the Chef segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries.

Chefs still prefer to cook with natural gas given the state (and high cost) of the current induction range technology. Berkeley’s ban on gas lines going into new construction has been overturned in a recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Federal court ruling. On the other hand New York State has become the first state to prohibit the use of fossil fuels for heating and cooking in new construction (starting in 2026 for buildings under 7-stories.) Chef Andrew explains the significance and provides added background. Keep in mind “clean” electricity is currently being majority generated by fossil fuels.

Show 467, March 26, 2022: Covenant Winery, Berkeley with Founding Winemaker & Co-Owner Jeff Morgan

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.

The March 31st evening is at capacity but the better news is that the special Covenant Wine Dinner menu and the wine pairings will be available for the additional 5 nights of Sunday, April 3rd through Thursday, April 7th. Reservations are needed with the guests requesting the Covenant Wines Menu.

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

Show 121, May 9, 2015: Francis Garcia and Sal Basille, “Pizza Masters”

Francis Garcia and Sal Basille“Pizza Masters” Francis Garcia and Sal Basille (also cousins) opened Artichoke Basille’s on 14th Street in Manhattan in 2008 and immediately scored glowing reviews in the New York Times, New York Post and New York Magazine. They represent the 5th generation of their families in the restaurant business.

Chef David Chang, Keith Richards, Leonardo DiCaprio, Drew Barrymore and Martin Scorsese are all fans. They’ve expanded Artichoke to six locations (in New York and Berkeley, CA), launched a frozen pizza line, and are hosts of Cooking Channel’s Pizza Masters.”

Their new cookbook is Staten Italy: Nothin’ but the Best Italian – American Classics, from Our Block to Yours. “The delicious Italian-American comfort food we all remember, love and crave, from the owners of the Legendary Artichoke Pizza.”

Fran and Sal are our guests.

Show 95, November 1, 2014: Chef Ben Ford

Chef Ben Ford at the KLAA StudiosChef Ben Ford officially earned his cooking credentials working at some of the country’s most established restaurants including the iconic Chez Panisse in Berkeley. He now oversees a growing collection of Ford’s Filling Station restaurants. The original Culver City restaurant will soon relocate to the JW Marriott at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles and there is a branch at LAX.

In 2012 he won the prestigious Cochon 555 – L.A. top award for snout-to-tail cooking with dishes like pork belly Benedict with soft poached egg, Fresno chili and bacon hollandaise.

His impressive cookbook, Taming the Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking, focuses not only on bringing people together to eat good, sustainable organic food, but gathering lots, and lots, of people together to enjoy sumptuous feasts. Tapping into his childhood outdoor feasting memories, the book features step-by-step illustrated instructions for nine original menus with meals like a box-roasted spring lamb for 40, and a Cedar-planked Wild Sturgeon for 40 to 50 hungry guests.

Show 38, August 10, 2013: Chef Edward Lee Continued…

Smoke and Pickles cookbook by Edward LeeChef Lee’s first cookbook is Smoke & Pickles. It was nominated for a James Beard Award. It’s a very honest portrayal of Chef Ed’s career to date.

He shares a particularly humbling moment of terror from his past in New York. Chef Jeremiah Tower from San Francisco (an imposing man) happened into his little restaurant in New York for a meal. Tower cooked for Alice Waters early in the history of the iconic Chez Panisse in Berkeley and had a very successful restaurant of his own in San Francisco, Stars, in the 90s. It was the Spago of it’s day in the Bay Area. It was obvious to Ed that Chef Tower was totally underwhelmed with the experience. That moment of abject terror created the path and motivation for Ed to become a better cook.

He’s also a new father.

Chef Ed shared his thoughts on preparing the perfect fried chicken. One of the tricks is to poach the chicken before frying. It gives the chicken a ton of extra flavor.