May 25: Culinary Clash, Bill Esparza’s Taqueando, Lara Lyn Carter, WSLA Drink + Eat 2019, Ricardo Zarate

Happy Memorial Day Weekend to all and a grateful salute to all Veterans both active and retired. We truly owe you all one…

Now a mouthwatering preview of this Saturday’s abundant show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing… As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience on a Holiday Weekend.

The California Restaurant Association Foundation is organizing The Culinary Clash at the STC Anaheim Garden Walk on Sunday afternoon, June 2nd. It’s a fiery competition that pits top multiple-unit restaurant groups head-to-head. The spirited event is free and open to the community. CRA Foundation’s Executive Director Alycia Harshfield has the details for us.

The grand taco fest is back! On June 15th, Bill Esparza’s Taqueando, an all-you-can-eat taco lifestyle event, will celebrate the best traditional and contemporary taqueros at Skylight ROW DTLA from 1pm–5pm (VIP 12pm–5pm). Bill Esparza was the curator of LA Weekly’s hugely popular Tacolandia from 2013-2017. Taqueando will be a gathering of the best taquerias in Los Angeles, Mexico, the state of California, and in the USA for a grand tasting of America’s favorite snack; the taco. Senor Esparza is our well-traveled guide.

Private chef and Emmy-Award winner, Lara Lyn Carter is considered Georgia’s go-to authority on Southern entertaining. Her impressive, debut cookbook is Skinny Southern : 90 Reinvented Classics Without The Guilt! The recipes in this cookbook don’t just “lighten up” Southern food-they offer gluten-free and paleo options as well. It’s the Southern cuisine you know and love, at it’s very finest. Bring on the Shrimp & Grits.

Wine & Spirits Magazine is hosting the WSLA Drink + Eat 2019 event on the afternoon of June 2nd in DTLA at The Unique Space. Some 75 plus wineries from around the world will be pouring that afternoon, with food provided by a collection of Los Angeles’ most noteworthy restaurants (including Hippo, Maude, Nomad, 71 Above, Faith and Flower and more). Wine & Spirits’ Editor/Publisher, Joshua Greene, uncorks all the quaffable event details for us.

As part of the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl embrace Latin cuisine with Latin Roots: Food & Wine With Passion showcasing a four- course meal created by chef Ricardo Zarate (Rosaline) and featuring wine pairings by Bibiana González Rave of Cattleya Winery. (This is the evening of May 26th at Los Balcones in North Hollywood.) The theme of the meal is Latin Roots, and each course will be a blend of Peruvian and Colombian cuisine, with the spirit of Los Balcones Studio City’s “mestizo style” of cooking (a blend of Spanish and other European influences). All four courses will celebrate the flavors of Colombia, Peru, Europe and California. We gently pull Chef Ricardo away from Brunch service to join us.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, the Founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us from the road where he is in the process of opening 3 new Slapfish restaurants. We’re continuing “Ask the Chef”

responding to your questions about all things culinary. To our benefit Chef Andrew is a real, working chef.

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

Alycia HarshfieldThe California Restaurant Association Foundation is organizing The Culinary Clash at the STC Anaheim Garden Walk on Sunday afternoon, June 2nd. It’s a fiery competition that pits top multiple-unit restaurant groups head-to-head. Restaurant execs are paired with high school sous chefs to compete in this battle royale. Culinary teams have just 30 minutes to create an entrée and appetizer using special ingredients.

Some of the competing Restaurant Teams include BJ’s Restaurants, California Fish Grill, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and Lemonade.

The spirited event from 1 to 5:00 p.m. (cooking from 3 to 5:00 p.m.) is free and open to the community. Starting at 1p.m. there will be live music, bites, and activities for the whole family. Bring out your inner “foodie” at the Culinary Clash!

Funds raised from this event will support culinary arts programs in public high schools throughout the state. Each year, the CRA Foundation empowers 13,500 teens with hands-on learning, job skills, mentors, and scholarships. The CRA Foundation leverages the power of the state’s restaurant industry to change lives.

CRA Foundation’s Executive Director Alycia Harshfield has the details for us.

Bill EsparzaThe grand taco fest is back! On June 15th, Bill Esparza’s Taqueando, an all-you-can-eat taco lifestyle event, will celebrate the best traditional and contemporary taqueros at Skylight ROW DTLA from 1pm–5pm (VIP 12pm–5pm). Bill Esparza was the curator of LA Weekly’s Tacolandia from 2013-2017.

Taqueando will be a gathering of the best taquerias in Los Angeles, Mexico, the state of California, and in the USA for a grand tasting of America’s favorite snack; the taco.

Tickets are available to purchase now and cost $45 per person for General Admission, and $75 for VIP. General Admission ticket cost includes guaranteed entry to event, all-you-can-eat samples, cash bar, and vendor village access. (Limited) VIP ticket cost includes all the same amenities as GA, and also includes early entrance at Noon, a VIP area for exclusive tastings, and a VIP gift bag w/ t-shirt. Each ticket will be $5 more at the door, if available.

Senor Esparza is our well-traveled guide.

Cookbook Author Lara Lyn CarterPrivate chef and Emmy-Award winner, Lara Lyn Carter is considered Georgia’s go-to authority on Southern entertaining. Her impressive, debut cookbook is Skinny Southern: 90 Reinvented Classics Without The Guilt!

The recipes in this cookbook don’t just “lighten up” Southern food-they offer gluten-free and paleo options as well. It’s the Southern cuisine you know and love, at it’s very finest. Bring on the Shrimp & Grits.

“With 90 reinvented Southern Classic entrées such as truffle and rosemary chicken, or grilled lamb with sweet onion sauce; dabble with the citrus vinaigrette; sample the seafood gumbo, the quinoa salad, or the spaghetti squash with pecan truffle oil and herbs. You won’t regret it!”

“Lara Lyn’s converted to healthy, clean cooking and shares her vast experience and array of healthy Southern recipes in this groundbreaking cookbook, an invaluable addition to any health-conscious kitchen. Get a taste of this satisfying lifestyle with Lara Lyn’s Olive Pecan Dip, Shrimp and Grits & Classic Southern Pound Cake.”

“Lara Lyn Carter recently won her first Emmy in the category of On Camera Talent for hosting Thyme for Sharing with Lara Lyn Carter, which she also created and produced. It was part of Georgia Public Broadcasting’s summer cooking lineup and received excellent ratings and praise. The show was nominated for four Emmys in the categories of lighting, photography, directing, and on-camera talent. In addition, Lara Lyn created and hosted Savor the Good Life with Raycom Media’s WALB, the NBC and ABC affiliate in Southwest Georgia, for three years. This show received a Gabby (Georgia Association of Broadcasters) Award in its first year.”

Joshua Greene of Wine and Spirits MagazineWine & Spirits Magazine is hosting the WSLA Drink + Eat 2019 event on the afternoon of June 2nd in DTLA at The Unique Space. Some 75 plus wineries from around the world will be pouring that afternoon, with food provided by a collection of Los Angeles’ most noteworthy restaurants (including Hippo, Maude, NoMad, 71 Above, Faith and Flower, E.R.B. and more).

“All of the participating wineries had a wine that earned a place in the magazine’s 30th Annual Restaurant Poll. Wine Directors from some of the country’s top restaurants responded to the query with their top sellers in the by-the-glass and full bottle categories. Not surprisingly, the results showcase a compelling lineup of wines that might be considered the most popular wines in the country. These wines encompass a broad range of grape varieties, winemaking styles, and places of origin.”

The WSLA Drink + Eat afternoon will celebrate not only the 30th annual publication of this list, but also the elevation of Los Angeles to its present status as a premier food destination city. Some of the area’s hottest restaurants will be serving dishes specially selected to pair with the wines. All of the invited restaurants were included in Patrick Comiskey’s recent Essential LA wine-and-food Experience piece in the magazine.

Wine & Spirits’ Editor/Publisher, Joshua Greene, uncorks all the event details for us.

Chef Ricardo ZarateAs part of the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl embrace Latin cuisine with Latin Roots: Food & Wine With Passion showcasing a four-course meal created by chef Ricardo Zarate and featuring wine pairings by Bibiana González Rave of Cattleya Winery. (This is the evening of May 26th at Los Balcones in Studio City.)

The theme of the meal is Latin Roots, and each course will be a blend of Peruvian and Colombian cuisine, with the spirit of Los Balcones Studio City’s “mestizo style” of cooking (a blend of Spanish and other European influences). All four courses will celebrate the flavors of Colombia, Peru, Europe and California.

Chef Ricardo Zarate escapes his busy kitchens and is our guest.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at the Fifth Anniversary of the SoCal Restaurant ShowOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group joins us with another informative “Ask the Chef” segment. With the Summer grilling season on the horizon it’s great to have a real working chef in our corner always providing handy and practical advice!

Show 306, January 12, 2019: Journalist Farley Elliott, Senior Editor, Eater L.A.

Farley Elliott at the KLAA StudiosFood journalist Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor for Eater L.A. He typically contributes six pieces a day, five days a week to this very widely read on-line magazine and newsletter.

He is also the author of well-received Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks with Foreword by Bill Esparza. Farley’s work appears nationally in the online, print, and digital video space, and you can follow him around the internet at @overoverunder.

We’ll get the latest news on the greater L.A. dining scene with Farley including what’s on the top of his list for significant restaurant openings in the new year.

We’re starting off big with the 40,000 sq. ft. The Manufactory soon to launch in phases at Row DTLA in Downtown Los Angeles.

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Show 295, October 27, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Ruby Princess arriving in Cabo San Lucus, Baja CaliforniaNow an enticing preview of this Saturday’s properly celebratory show. It’s the 6th Anniversary of the launch of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” and we’re celebrating in style with Princess Cruises aboard Ruby Princess. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

This week we’ve been aboard Ruby Princess for a 5-Night sailing to Cabo San Lucas in Baja California. Today’s show will highlight this experience from the luxe accommodations to the diversity of the appealing cuisine and memorable shore excursions in Cabo. Thanks to Princess Cruises and the wonderful team aboard Ruby Princess, especially Food & Beverage Director Andrea Baiardo, for all the gracious hospitality. I was among the 3,000 guests aboard.

The inaugural cruise of Ruby Princess was November 8, 2008. It’s 951 feet in length with 1,200 in crew.
Riccardo Capraro is the Hotel Director aboard Ruby Princess. After the Captain he’s the next highest-ranking officer aboard ship. He’s responsible for just about everything other than safely maneuvering the ship. Huge responsibility. Ricardo has served 22 years with Princess Cruises and speaks English, Italian and Spanish.

What’s a cruise without appealing food and a range of creative libations?  On Ruby Princess this is the responsibility of Andrea Baiardo, the Food & Beverage Director. We’ll meet Andrea, an executive chef by experience and training, and a five-year employee of Princess.

Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone’s first restaurant at sea, SHARE, gives you an exclusive opportunity to enjoy his exquisite cuisine. It’s available aboard select Princess vessels including Ruby Princess. Chef Curtis’ Corporate Chef Christian Dortch works with the staff at each SHARE at sea to guarantee Curtis Stone’s culinary vision is maintained. We’ll meet him.

Distinguised chef Pierre-Marie Leprince is Princess Cruises’ Director of Guest Culinary Experience. We chatted with him earlier this year after visiting his impressive research kitchen in Santa Clarita and he now encores with us to discuss our cruise dining experience aboard Ruby Princess.

Bill Esparza is winner of a James Beard award (with Lesley Bargar Suter) for his coverage of the LA taco scene in Los Angeles Magazine. Considered one of the country’s leading experts on Mexican food, the LA native previously curated the annual Tacolandia festival in Los Angeles (now on hiatus) and writes about Mexican food for Los Angeles Magazine and other notable publications. Bill is a new Princess spokesperson and authoritative Latin America shore excursion consultant.

A relatively new position with the Princess Cruises’ family is the post of Entertainment Director. On Ruby Princess this is Kelly Rose. In the role of Entertainment Director she is responsible for the entire entertainment operation. The Cruise Director (a direct report) hosts the main shows and events.

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

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Show 295, October 27, 2018: Food Journalist Bill Esparza, Spokesperson for Princess Cruises

Bill EsparzaBill Esparza is winner of a James Beard award (with Lesley Bargar Suter) for his coverage of the LA taco scene in Los Angeles Magazine. Considered one of the country’s leading experts on Mexican food, the LA native previously curated the annual Tacolandia festival in Los Angeles (on hiatus) and writes about Mexican food for Los Angeles Magazine and other notable publications. He is also the author of LA Mexicano – Recipes, People & Places.

Bill is a new Princess Cruises spokesperson and their authoritative Latin America shore excursion consultant.

In Cabo at San Jose del Cabo we partook of a tour he created, Le Revolucion / Tortilla Workshop and Taco Experience with Chef Benito Molina. His famous Oyster Kung Fu Tacos were on the menu.

Bill fills us in on his new role for Princess Cruises and the upcoming opportunity to cruise with him on a Princess ship.

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October 27: Our 6th Anniversary Show aboard the Ruby Princess

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Riccardo Capraro, Hotel Director, Ruby Princess, Princess Cruises
Segment Three: Andrea Baiardo, Food & Beverage Director, Ruby Princess
Segment Four: Corporate Chef (for Curtis Stone) Christian Dortch’ SHARE by Curtis Stone
Segment Five: Chef Pierre-Marie Leprince, Director Guest Culinary Experience, Princess Cruises
Segment Six: Food Journalist Bill Esparza, Spokesperson for Princess Cruises
Segment Seven: Kelly Rose, Entertainment Director, Ruby Princess, Princess Cruises

Ruby Princess arriving in Cabo San Lucus, Baja CaliforniaNow an enticing preview of this Saturday’s properly celebratory show. It’s the 6th Anniversary of the launch of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” and we’re celebrating in style with Princess Cruises aboard Ruby Princess. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

This week we’ve been aboard Ruby Princess for a 5-Night sailing to Cabo San Lucas in Baja California. Today’s show will highlight this experience from the luxe accommodations to the diversity of the appealing cuisine and memorable shore excursions in Cabo.

Riccardo Capraro is the Hotel Director aboard Ruby Princess. After the Captain he’s the next highest-ranking officer aboard ship. He’s responsible for just about everything other than safely maneuvering the ship. Huge responsibility. Ricardo has served 22 years with Princess Cruises and speaks English, Italian and Spanish.

What’s a cruise without incredible food and a range of creative libations ?  On Ruby Princess this is the responsibility of Andrea Baiardo, the Food & Beverage Director. We’ll meet Andrea, an executive chef by experience and training, and a five-year employee of Princess.

Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone’s first restaurant at sea, SHARE, gives you an exclusive opportunity to enjoy his exquisite cuisine. It’s available aboard select Princess vessels including Ruby Princess. Chef Curtis’ Corporate Chef Christian Dortch works with the staff at each SHARE at sea to guarantee Curtis Stone’s culinary vision is maintained. We’ll meet him.

Distinguised chef Pierre-Marie Leprince is Princess Cruises’ Director of Guest Culinary Experience. We chatted with him earlier this year after visiting his impressive research kitchen in Santa Clarita and he now encores with us to discuss our cruise dining experience aboard Ruby Princess.

Bill Esparza is winner of a James Beard award (with Lesley Bargar Suter) for his coverage of the LA taco scene in Los Angeles Magazine. Considered one of the country’s leading experts on Mexican food, the LA native previously curated the annual Tacolandia festival in Los Angeles (now on hiatus) and writes about Mexican food for Los Angeles Magazine and other notable publications. Bill is Princess’ authoritative Latin America shore excursion consultant.

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

Riccardo CapraroRiccardo Capraro is the Hotel Director aboard Ruby Princess. After the Captain he’s the next highest- ranking officer aboard ship.

He’s responsible for just about everything other than safely maneuvering the ship. Huge responsibility. Ricardo has served 22 years with Princess Cruises and speaks English, Italian and Spanish.

Andrea BaiardoWhat’s a cruise without incredible food and a range creative libations? On Ruby Princess this is the responsibility of Andrea Baiardo, the Food & Beverage Director.

We’ll meet Andrea, an executive chef by training with five-years of service with Princess.

 

Christian DortchCelebrity Chef Curtis Stone’s first restaurant at sea, SHARE, gives you an exclusive opportunity to enjoy his exquisite cuisine in 6-courses with lots of choice along the way. It’s available aboard select Princess vessels including Ruby Princess. SHARE by Curtis Stone originated on Ruby Princess a bit over 3 years ago.

Chef Curtis’ Corporate Chef Christian Dortch (ex-Maude) works with the staff at each SHARE at sea to guarantee Curtis Stone’s culinary vision is maintained. We’ll meet him.

Pierre-Marie LeprinceDistinguised and honored chef Pierre-Marie Leprince is Princess Cruises’ Director of Guest Culinary Experience.

With Princess Cruises leading the way the glory days of distinctive dining at sea have returned. No matter what a guest might be craving, there is a delicious, freshly-prepared option available aboard each Princess Cruises ship.

We chatted with Chef Leprince earlier this year after visiting his well-equipped research kitchen in Santa Clarita for a tasting and he now encores with us to discuss our cruise dining experience aboard Ruby Princess.

Bill EsparzaBill Esparza is winner of a James Beard award (with Lesley Bargar Suter) for his coverage of the LA taco scene in Los Angeles Magazine. Considered one of the country’s leading experts on Mexican food, the LA native previously curated the annual Tacolandia festival in Los Angeles (on hiatus) and writes about Mexican food for Los Angeles Magazine and other notable publications. Bill is Princess’ authoritative Latin America shore excursion consultant.

In Cabo at San Jose del Cabo we partook of a tour he created, Le Revolucion / Tortilla Workshop and Taco Experience with Chef Benito Molina. His famous Oyster Kung Fu Tacos were on the menu.

Bill fills us in on his new role for Princess Cruises.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Riccardo Capraro, Hotel Director, Ruby Princess, Princess Cruises
Segment Three: Andrea Baiardo, Food & Beverage Director, Ruby Princess
Segment Four: Corporate Chef (for Curtis Stone) Christian Dortch’ SHARE by Curtis Stone
Segment Five: Chef Pierre-Marie Leprince, Director Guest Culinary Experience, Princess Cruises
Segment Six: Food Journalist Bill Esparza, Spokesperson for Princess Cruises
Segment Seven: Kelly Rose, Entertainment Director, Ruby Princess, Princess Cruises

Show 268, April 7, 2018: Farley Elliott, Senior Editor, Eater LA Part One

Farley ElliottFor 3 plus years food journalist Farley Elliott has been the Senior Editor at the highly influential Eater LA, part of the 27 City Eater network.

He is also the author of well-received Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks with Foreword by Senor Bill Esparza. It’s part local history and part useful Street Food guide.

Farley’s work appears nationally in the online, print, and digital video space, and you can follow him around the internet at @overoverunder.

Farley joins us in-studio.

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Show 230, July 1, 2017: Executive Chef Daniel Mattern & Pastry Chef/Baker Roxana Jullapat, Friends & Family, Los Angeles

Daniel MatternThe team of Executive Chef Daniel Mattern and Pastry Chef & Baker Roxana Jullapat are fondly remembered as the culinary heart of Cook’s County (now closed.) Happily they have now opened a 4,000 square foot, fast casual breakfast and lunch place of their own, Friends & Family. Dinner is coming soon…All breads & pastries are prepared and baked in-house. It’s a great addition to Los Angeles’ rediscovered Thai Town.

It’s a vibrant bakery, coffee bar and café where you can enjoy every menu item there or have it packaged to go. The ice cream counter features eye-catching rotating seasonal flavors presented in housemade waffle cones. They also prepare appealing gift baskets, picnics and have a monthly bread club (Friends & Family Sourdough Club.)

Pies for the 4th of July can be ordered through July 2nd. On the menu are Key Lime Pie, Banana Cream Pie and Blackberry & Nectarine Pie.

Remember Senor Bill Esparza (The Street Gourmet Los Angeles) will be there on Saturday July 8th from Noon to 3:00 p.m. signing copies of his new book, L.A. Mexicano – Recipes, People & Places. Books will be available there for purchase. Also, Bill’s Abuela’s recipe for Huevos Rancheros will be on the menu that day.

Chefs Roxana and Daniel join us.

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Show 229, June 24, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now an enthusiastic preview of Saturday’s fully-loaded show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing…

In conjunction with its 6-year anniversary, Portola Coffee Roasters has redesigned its flagship location inside The OC Mix at South Coast Collection in Costa Mesa. The new design, intended to improve the customer experience, takes advantage of the latest in brewing technologies to achieve a higher level of service, product quality, and consistency not possible before. Joining us with all the artfully brewed details are proprietors Jeff & Christa Duggan.

The Street Gourmet, Senor Bill Esparza, is back with us with his first cookbook. Richly photographed and authentically local, L.A. Mexicano showcases L.A.’s sophisticated and diverse Mexican-food culture, from Oaxacan tlayudas to Nayarit ceviches, Alta California gastronomy to Boyle Heights burritos. Part cookbook, part food journalism, and part love song to Los Angeles, it’s a definitive (and hugely practical) resource for home cooks, Mexican food lovers, and hungry Angelenos and visitors.

What’s it like to experience a memorable $310 per guest meal at California’s celebrated The French Laundry in Yountville ? There is also a magnificent new $10 million kitchen where your repast is prepared. OC Weekly’s “On the Line” columnist, Anne Marie Panoringan, was just there and provides the salivating commentary.

Three words — cellar, craft, cook — capture the essence of the year-old  Russ Bendel-conceived restaurant Ironwood in Laguna Hills, which uped the ante on the underserved south Orange County dining scene with worldwide wine selections, craft beers, creative cocktails and wine country cuisine made daily with the freshest and finest seasonal ingredients by Bendel’s partner, chef Jared Cook (Vine.) Russ joins us with the tasty specifics.

Chef Steve Samson is well-known to lovers of regional Italian cuisine in Southern California. His newest project (with his wife, Dina) is the ambitious Rossoblu in the emerging City Market South development in the Fashion District of Downtown Los Angeles. The menu is influenced by Chef Steve’s summers in Bologna and Emilia- Romagna while he was growing up. We pull Chef Steve away from his custom-built, wood-fired grill in the open kitchen for a full briefing.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

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Show 229, June 24, 2017: The Street Gourmet’s Bill Esparza

Bill EsparzaThe Street Gourmet, Senor Bill Esparza, is back with us with his first cookbook. Richly photographed and authentically local, L.A. Mexicano showcases L.A.’s sophisticated and diverse Mexican-food culture, from Oaxacan tlayudas to Nayarit ceviches, Alta California gastronomy to Boyle Heights burritos.

It’s got it all: recipes, insightful and inspirational profiles of chefs, bakers, restaurateurs, and vendors, and neighborhood guides that point readers to the best markets, taco trucks, restaurants, bars, and more. Part cookbook, part food journalism, and part love song to Los Angeles, it’s a definitive resource for home cooks, Mexican food lovers, and hungry Angelenos and visitors.

With a foreword by Taco USA‘s Gustavo Arellano, L.A. Mexicano shines a long-overdue light on the people behind one of the world’s most complex and delicious cuisines, in one of the world’s most exciting food cities.

Bill Esparza is winner of a James Beard award (with Lesley Bargar Suter) for his coverage of the LA taco scene in Los Angeles Magazine. Considered one of the country’s leading experts on Mexican food, the LA native curates the annual Tacolandia festival in Los Angeles and writes about Mexican food for Los Angeles Magazine and other notable publications.

Catch Bill in-person at Friends & Family on Hollywood Blvd. (5150) in Thai Town on Saturday, July 8th from Noon to 3:00 p.m. He’ll be there meeting the guests & signing copies of L.A. Mexicano. There is a strong rumor that Bill’s Grandmother’s recipe for Huevos Rancheros will be on the menu as a special that day!

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June 24: Portola Coffee Roasters, Bill Esparza, Anne Marie Panoringan, Ironwood, Steve Samson

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jeff & Christa Duggan, Portola Coffee Roasters Part One
Segment Three: Jeff & Christa Duggan, Portola Coffee Roasters Part Two
Segment Four: The Street Gourmet’s Bill Esparza
Segment Five: Anne Marie Panoringan, OC Weekly’s “On the Line” Columnist
Segment Six: Restaurateur Russ Bendel, Ironwood, Laguna Hills
Segment Seven: Executive Chef / Proprietor Steve Samson, Rossoblu, City Market South Part One
Segment Eight: Executive Chef / Proprietor Steve Samson, Rossoblu, City Market South Part Two

Our Angel ticket giveaway is on. Be listening to the first half-hour of the show and you’ll know the answer to the question that goes out at 11:30 a.m. If you’re then the first caller to 1-714-2-830-830 with the correct answer you’ll win a Family 4 pack of tickets to see our Halos play the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, July 2nd at 12:37 p.m. Good luck…

Now an enthusiastic preview of this Saturday’s fully-loaded show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing…

In conjunction with its 6-year anniversary, Portola Coffee Roasters has redesigned its flagship location inside The OC Mix at South Coast Collection in Costa Mesa. The new design, intended to improve the customer experience, takes advantage of the latest in brewing technologies to achieve a higher level of service, product quality, and consistency not possible before. Joining us with all the artfully brewed details are proprietors Jeff & Christa Duggan.

The Street Gourmet, Senor Bill Esparza, is back with us with his first cookbook. Richly photographed and authentically localL.A. Mexicano showcases L.A.’s sophisticated and diverse Mexican-food culture, from Oaxacan tlayudas to Nayarit ceviches, Alta California gastronomy to Boyle Heights burritos. Part cookbook, part food journalism, and part love song to Los Angeles, it’s a definitive resource for home cooks, Mexican food lovers, and hungry Angelenos and visitors.

What’s it like to experience a memorable $310 per guest meal at California’s celebrated The French Laundry in Yountville? There is also a magnificent new $10 million kitchen where your repast is prepared. OC Weekly’s “On the Line” columnist, Anne Marie Panoringan, was just there and provides the salivating commentary.

Three words — cellar, craft, cook — capture the essence of the year-old  Russ Bendel-conceived restaurant Ironwood in Laguna Hills, which uped the ante on the south Orange County dining scene with worldwide wine selections, craft beers, creative cocktails and wine country cuisine made daily with the freshest and finest seasonal ingredients by Bendel’s partner, chef Jared Cook (Vine.) Russ joins us with the specifics.

Chef Steve Samson is well-known to lovers of regional Italian cuisine in Southern California. His newest project (with his wife, Dina) is the ambitious Rossoblu in the emerging City Market South development in the Fashion District of Downtown Los Angeles. The menu is influenced by Chef Steve’s summers in Bologna and Emilia- Romagna while he was growing up. We’ll pull Chef Steve away from his wood-fired grill in the open kitchen for a full briefing.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

Jeff and Christa DugganIn conjunction with its 6-year anniversary, Portola Coffee Roasters has redesigned its flagship location inside The OC Mix at South Coast Collection in Costa Mesa. The new design, intended to improve the customer experience, takes advantage of the latest in brewing technologies to achieve a higher level of service, product quality, and consistency not possible before.

“The original idea behind the oval shaped bar was to create a visual theater for our customers curious about the brewing science we employ – it is both interesting and educational to be able to see firsthand how things are done at Portola,” explained Jeff Duggan, who, with his wife Christa, opened the flagship Portola Coffee Roasters location in Costa Mesa in 2011 to bring a 100% single-cup craft brew coffeehouse to Orange County.

“With the new design, this goal is better achieved.  It will be much different than the ‘order here, pick up over there’ model. We will service customers in line so once they order, their drinks will be made while they watch, and they pay at the end when their drink has been served.”

Joining us with all the artfully brewed details are proprietors Jeff & Christa Duggan.

What began as the selfish pursuit for delicious coffee turned into a decade-long fanatic passion for home-roasting coffee for Jeff Duggan, who first opened Portola Handcrafted Coffee Roasters in Irvine in 2009. Using a very small batch roaster, Jeff worked feverishly to keep the pantries and hoppers full in many homes and food establishments throughout Orange County, but roasting meticulously sourced coffee beans and serving them ultra-fresh was not enough. He found that far too many great beans were destroyed at the hands of poor equipment, flawed technique, and coffee service dispensers.

With a focus on quality ingredients, brewing science and freshness – all still relatively uncommon in the industry – Jeff and his wife, Christa, created Portola Coffee Roasters in 2011. The goal was to create a quality-centric coffeehouse that re-focused on the most important ingredient – coffee.

Within a year of bringing a never-before-seen concept and style of coffee to Orange County, Portola Coffee Roasters began creating a distinct brand that revolves around producing an artisanal culinary product, Craft Coffee.

Jeff and Christa Duggan now own and operate six locations within Orange County. Their focus remains on empowering the community with quality, traceable, fresh-roasted and fresh-brewed coffee, presented in an artful context – one cup at a time.

Portola Coffee Roasters locations:

Bill EsparzaThe Street Gourmet, Senor Bill Esparza, is back with us with his first cookbook. Richly photographed and authentically localL.A. Mexicano showcases L.A.’s sophisticated and diverse Mexican-food culture, from Oaxacan tlayudas to Nayarit ceviches, Alta California gastronomy to Boyle Heights burritos.

It’s got it all: recipes, insightful and inspirational profiles of chefs, bakers, restaurateurs, and vendors, and neighborhood guides that point readers to the best markets, taco trucks, restaurants, bars, and more. Part cookbook, part food journalism, and part love song to Los Angeles, it’s a definitive resource for home cooks, Mexican food lovers, and hungry Angelenos and visitors.

With a foreword by Taco USA‘s Gustavo ArellanoL.A. Mexicano shines a long-overdue light on the people behind one of the world’s most complex and delicious cuisines, in one of the world’s most exciting food cities.

Bill Esparza is winner of a James Beard award (with Lesley Bargar Suter) for his coverage of the LA taco scene in Los Angeles Magazine. Considered one of the country’s leading experts on Mexican food, the LA native curates the annual Tacolandia festival in Los Angeles and writes about Mexican food for Los Angeles Magazine and other notable publications.

Anne Marie PanoringanWhat’s it like to experience a very special $310 per guest meal (and it’s a tough pre-paid reservation to even secure) at California’s celebrated The French Laundry in Yountville in the Napa Valley? Chef’s daily nine-course tasting menu and nine-course vegetable tasting menu highlight French technique and the finest quality ingredients available.

There is also a magnificent new $10 million state-of-the-art kitchen where your repast is artfully prepared.

OC Weekly’s “On the Line” columnist, Anne Marie Panoringan was just there and provides the salivating commentary. It’s not her first meal at The French Laundry either…

Russ BendelThree words — cellar, craft, cook — capture the essence of the year-old Russ Bendel-conceived restaurant Ironwood in Laguna Hills , which uped the ante on the south Orange County dining scene with worldwide wine selections, craft beers, creative cocktails and wine country cuisine made daily with the freshest and finest seasonal ingredients by Bendel’s partner, chef Jared Cook (Vine.)

Ironwood’s offerings showcase seasonal ingredients of the highest quality that are prepared daily from scratch. Guests have the choice of selecting from more than 25 global wine selections by the glass, from a cozy indoor bar and dining area or from an outdoor patio featuring spectacular views of Saddleback Mountain. Ironwood is open for dinner only.

Bendel, a longtime fixture on the Orange County dining scene who honed his craft at such fine establishments as Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Newport Beach, assumed ownership of Vine Restaurant & Bar, a Napa Valley-influenced restaurant in San Clemente in 2013. Jared Cook also heads up culinary at the critically-acclaimed, popular eatery. Another Fleming’s veteran and certified sommelier, Kevin Franke, serves as operating partner.

The name of the restaurant was inspired by the evergreen desert tree, the Ironwood, known for its hardiness and used for handles of culinary tools. Two Ironwood trees grace the entrance to the restaurant.

Proprietor Russ Bendel is our guest.

Steve Samson of SottoChef Steve Samson is well-known to lovers of regional Italian cuisine in Southern California.

He first came into local prominence as the Executive Chef at Piero Selvaggio’s classic Valentino in Santa Monica. From there he was the opening chef at Pizzeria Ortica in South Coast Plaza. Next was branching out with his own establishment, Sotto, located near Century City. The distinctive wood-burning pizza oven there was imported from Italy and assembled inside the restaurant by skilled Italian artisans.

His newest project with his wife, Dina, is the ambitious Rossoblu in the emerging City Market South development in the Fashion District of Downtown Los Angeles. The menu is influenced by Chef Steve’s summers in Bologna and Emilia- Romagna while he was growing up.

We’ll pull Chef Steve away from his wood-fired grill in the open kitchen for a full briefing.

Rossoblu celebrates Chef / Proprietor Steve Samson’s two home cities, Los Angeles and Bologna, Italy. The menu features house-made salumi, soulful pastas, market produce, and wood grilled fish and meats.

Located in downtown’s City Market South, the site of Los Angeles’s original produce market, Rossoblu’s vaulted dining room and open kitchen create a festive dining environment. The restaurant’s private outdoor piazza allows al fresco diners to feel far removed from the nearby city bustle. An intimate basement wine cellar can be reserved for private parties.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jeff & Christa Duggan, Portola Coffee Roasters Part One
Segment Three: Jeff & Christa Duggan, Portola Coffee Roasters Part Two
Segment Four: The Street Gourmet’s Bill Esparza
Segment Five: Anne Marie Panoringan, OC Weekly’s “On the Line” Columnist
Segment Six: Restaurateur Russ Bendel, Ironwood, Laguna Hills
Segment Seven: Executive Chef / Proprietor Steve Samson, Rossoblu, City Market South Part One
Segment Eight: Executive Chef / Proprietor Steve Samson, Rossoblu, City Market South Part Two