Show 289, September 8, 2018: Rob Rubens, Proprietor & Head Distiller, R6 Distillery & Smoky Hollow Tasting & Taproom, El Segundo

Rob RubensEl Segundo’s R6 Distillery & Smoky Hollow Tasting & Taproom was established in 2014 by Head Distiller Rob Rubens. Rob fell in love with the mystery and art of distillation after his first (and unplanned) trip to Old New Orleans Rum Distillery. He realized it was time for a change.

After scraping together savings, visiting plenty of distilleries and breweries, it was time to perhaps start another great wave. Coupling his experience with the desire to bring quality spirits to greater Los Angeles, Rob decided to open this speakeasy inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy.

Product highlights include R6 Vodka, R6 Blue Corn Bourbon, R6 Bourbon, R6 Rye, R6 Single Malt Whiskey, R6 Wheat Whiskey and R6 Rum.

There is a real Mixologist creating the signature cocktails in the Tasting Room. Think Smoked Old Fashioned with R6 Smoked Bourbon, sugar, and Ango Orange.

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Show 217, April 1, 2017: Abby Kircher, Founder, Abby’s Better Nut Butter

Abby KircherOne of our discoveries at the recently concluded Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim was Abby’s Better Nut Butter. Nut butters are a fast-growing category within natural products. It’s a great product (only 5 ingredients and no peanuts) but, more unusually, it was started by a 15-year old entrepreneur out of Mooresville, NC.

At the young age of 15, Abby Kircher created a product unlike anything else on the market. Hungry for a healthier alternative to peanut butter but unwilling to forgo flavor and variety, she decided to fill an unmet need on her own. After experimenting with different ingredients, including a variety of nuts, like cashews and pecans, to sweet add-ins, like dates, strawberries and coconuts, she landed on a product that didn’t only taste good—it was good for her, too. This was the beginning of Abby’s Better Nut Butters, and today, two years since its official launch, her product has successfully hit the shelves—and the pantries—of the in-demand health food market.

“My goal from the very beginning was to just make the best product I could find. I wanted to create something that was natural and pure but tasted amazing. When I realized my nut butters were something special, I had my family try it—I was surprised to hear that they actually preferred it over regular peanut butter. At that moment, I knew I had a real chance to share these flavors with even more people,” Abby said.

Abby’s Better Nut Butter boasts six unique blends: Coconut Cashew; Honey Almond; Date Pecan; Bourbon Maple Walnut; Coffee Almond; and Strawberry Cashew. Abby first began selling her product at local farmer’s markets in her hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina in 2015. By late spring in 2016, her nut butters expanded into the retail space, including all Lowes Foods location in the Charlotte area and beyond. Now, the clean eating brand is entering 2017 with an agreement with another major retailer—Whole Foods, for placement in their Southeast stores.

We’ll meet founder Abby Kircher.

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Show 84, August 16, 2014: Head Barman Chris Amirault of Harlowe, West Hollywood

Chris AmiraultMeet Mixologist Chris Amirault of Harlowe, a new bar that’s already attracting a lot of attention in West Hollywood. He’s the Head Barman there. This is from the 1933 Group (Oldfield’s Liquor Room and Sassafras.)

Even Chris’ standard cocktails are very special. Chris also creates unusual draft and bottled cocktails. Also of note are the carafe cocktails and the shared punch bowls.

Not easy to order a libation these days with all the tempting options!

“Give me a bottle of bourbon & half a chicken and I’ll take over the world.”

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August 16: Eric Greenspan, CANstruction, Jason Grilli, LA Food and Wine, PigOut, KTown Night Market, Harlowe

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Eric Greenspan and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chef Eric Greenspan of Foundation Hospitality Group
Segment Three: Long Beach CANstruction benefiting Food Finders
Segment Four: Halo Reliever Jason Grilli
Segment Five: Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival
Segment Six: Pigout 3.0
Segment Seven: KTOWN Night Market & OC Block Party
Segment Eight: Head Barman Chris Amirault of Harlowe, West Hollywood

Guest Host Celebrity Chef Eric Greenspan of Foundation Hospitality Group and Producer Andy preview the show.

Besides being all over Food TV (he bested Iron Chef Bobby Flay on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America”) Chef Eric Greenspan has made a name for himself in the rarified world of fine-dining. For almost two years he was the executive chef of Joachim Splichal’s highly-acclaimed flagship restaurant, Patina. More recently he created The Foundry on Melrose Ave. In the Fall he returns to Melrose with the eagerly anticipated fine dining, Enclave.

Although Chef Eric Greenspan has created the more casual, Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese and The Roof on Wilshire, his heart and true passion remains in fine dining. We’ll talk about the future of fine-dining in Los Angeles and get Chef Eric’s perspective. We’ll also preview Chef Eric’s new series for the National Geographic Channel debuting in November.

The first Canstruction Competition is coming to Long Beach on August 21st. The resulting collections of food benefit Food Finders food rescue / food bank. It’s going to be a wild 12 hours benefiting people in need!

The Halos have an ace relief pitcher in Jason Grilli newly arrived in a trade deal with The Pittsburgh Pirates. In Pittsburgh he’s known for The Closer, a 3-decker grilled cheese sandwich using 9 different premium cheeses. Jason is with us live from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas to talk about it.

The 2014 Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival (4th Annual) is once again upon us taking place in Downtown Los Angeles on August 21 -24. This is one of the biggest culinary festivals staged on the West Coast with culinary masters hosting power lunches, cocktail culture merging with some of the finest chefs for spirited dinners, and first –time events such as the “Ultimate Bites of L.A. Challenge” on Opening Night hosted by Graham Elliott and Fabio Viviani.

The 3rd Annual PigOut (benefiting Inspire Artistic Minds) is set for Sunday afternoon, August 24th at the California Scenario in Costa Mesa.

The main attraction will be a 250 pound Templeton Rye Duroc Pig of the Templeton Rye Heritage Pork Project.

The KTown Night Market and Block Party is coming to Angel Stadium on Friday and Saturday, August 22nd and 23rd. It’s 60 plus food trucks and vendors (including the Seoul Sausage Co.) and a large beer garden. Also there will be live music, games and rides. We’ll chat with the co-producer and one of the young founders of the participating Seoul Sausage Co.

Meet Mixologist Chris Amirault of Harlowe, a new bar that’s attracting a lot of attention in West Hollywood. Even his standard cocktails are very special. Chris also creates unusual draft and bottled cocktails.

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Eric GreenspanBesides being all over Food TV (he bested Iron Chef Bobby Flay on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America”) Chef Eric Greenspan has made a name for himself in the rarified world of fine-dining. For almost two years he was the executive chef of Joachim Splichal’s highly-acclaimed flagship restaurant Patina. More recently he created The Foundry on Melrose Ave. In the Fall he returns to Melrose with the eagerly anticipated fine dining, Enclave.

Although Chef Eric Greenspan has created the more casual, Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese and The Roof on Wilshire, his heart and true passion remains in fine dining. We’ll talk about the future of fine-dining in Los Angeles and get Chef Eric’s perspective.

We’ll also preview Chef Eric’s new series for the National Geographic Channel debuting in November. Look for Chef Eric on the next two Tuesday evenings in prime time as a chef competitor on NBC’s “Food Fighters” hosted by Adam Richman. In October Chef Eric will part of the celebrity chef episode of Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen hosted by Alton Brown.

Canstruction Long BeachThe first CANstruction Competition is coming to Long Beach on August 21st. The resulting collections of food benefit Food Finders food rescue / food bank. It’s going to be a wild 12 hours benefiting people in need!

Four teams comprised of five prominent local architectural and engineering firms will transform thousands of cans of food into larger than life artistic masterpieces. The structures may be built up to 10’ x 10’ x 10’ and will be comprised of edible canned goods totaling over 7,000 lbs.

The completed structures will be on display to the public from August 22nd through September 2nd.

CANstruction was founded in 1992 to help promote the design community and raise food donations for hunger relief efforts. CANstruction events have been held in over 140 cities worldwide donating over 15 million pounds of canned foods to alleviate the concern of hunger and malnutrition.

Jason GrilliThe Halos have an ace relief pitcher in Jason Grilli, newly arrived in a trade deal with The Pittsburgh Pirates. In Pittsburgh he’s known for The Closer, a 3-decker grilled cheese sandwich using 9 different premium cheeses. Jason is with us live from Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas to talk about it.

Grilli, and partners, are also the Pittsburgh franchisees for the rapidly growing Tom+Chee. This is a grilled cheese and tomato soup shop for the kid at heart. The restaurants mix classic comfort food with fresh ingredients, healthy alternatives, and a flare for the unexpected. In addition to the regular menu there are lots of daily specials.

David BernahlThe 2014 Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival (4th Annual) is once again upon us taking place in Downtown Los Angeles on August 21 -24. This is one of the biggest culinary festivals staged on the West Coast with culinary masters hosting power lunches, cocktail culture merging with some of the finest chefs for spirited dinners, and first–time events such as the “Ultimate Bites of L.A. Challenge” on Opening Night hosted by Graham Elliott and Fabio Viviani.

The star-studded lineup of chefs at LAFW will also include Food & Wine Magazine Best New Chefs, James Beard Award winners, iconic personalities within the culinary arena, as well as Food TV personalities (Scott Conant, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Michelle Bernstein, Michael Chiarello, Nancy Silverton, David Kinch, Michael Cimarusti, Jonathan Waxman, and more.)

Founder David Bernahl of Coastal Luxury Management is our guest.

3rd annual PigOut in Costa MesaThe 3rd Annual PigOut (benefiting Inspire Artistic Minds) is set for Sunday afternoon, August 24th at the California Scenario (Noguchi Gardens) in Costa Mesa.

The main attraction will be a 250 pound Templeton Rye Duroc Pig of the Templeton Rye Heritage Pork Project. Only 25 of these special pigs are in existence.

Chef Mike Puglisi (ex-Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills) of the soon-to-be Electric City Butcher in Santa Ana will be performing a pig deconstruction demonstration.

Koreatown Night MarketThe KTown Night Market and Block Party is coming to Angel Stadium on Friday and Saturday, August 22nd and 23rd. It’s 60 plus food trucks and vendors (including the Seoul Sausage Co.) and a large beer garden. Also there will be live music, games and rides.

Seoul Sausage Co., the Season 3 winners of Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race,” are curating the all-star mobile culinary experience. The 20 food truck lineup includes fan favorites such as Coolhaus, Slangin Corea, and Fluff Ice.

We’ll chat with the co-producer Danny Park and Yong Kim, one of the young founders of the participating Seoul Sausage Co.

Chris AmiraultMeet Mixologist Chris Amirault of Harlowe, a new bar that’s already attracting a lot of attention in West Hollywood. He’s the Head Barman there. This is from the 1933 Group (Oldfield’s Liquor Room and Sassafras.)

Even Chris’ standard cocktails are very special. Chris also creates unusual draft and bottled cocktails. Also of note are the carafe cocktails and the shared punch bowls.

Not easy to order a libation these days with all the tempting options!

“Give me a bottle of bourbon & half a chicken and I’ll take over the world.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Eric Greenspan and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chef Eric Greenspan of Foundation Hospitality Group
Segment Three: Long Beach CANstruction benefiting Food Finders
Segment Four: Halo Reliever Jason Grilli
Segment Five: Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival
Segment Six: Pigout 3.0
Segment Seven: KTOWN Night Market & OC Block Party
Segment Eight: Head Barman Chris Amirault of Harlowe, West Hollywood

Show 38, August 10, 2013: Chef Edward Lee

Edward LeeYou know Chef Edward Lee from his victory on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and Bravo’s “Top Chef: Texas.” He’s the chef/proprietor of 610 Magnolia in Louisville, KY. He grew up in Brooklyn and found his way, unusually, to Louisville after 9/11.

On Friday, August 23rd he cooks for Iron Chef Morimoto’s Asian Night Market. On Saturday afternoon he then hosts “Bacon & Bourbon with Chef Edward Lee.”

Chef Ed is a true Bourbon connoisseur so Louisville is definitely the right home base for him.

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August 10: Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival Preview

Podcasts

Segment One: Dave Bernahl of LA Food & Wine Festival
Segment Two: Chef Fabio Viviani
Segment Three: Chef Edward Lee Part One
Segment Four: Chef Edward Lee Part Two
Segment Five: Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station Part One
Segment Six: Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station Part Two
Segment Seven: Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Part Two

This morning’s show is a preview of the Third Annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival taking place August 22nd to 25th. The primary location is Downtown Los Angeles with boutique events in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.

David BernahlDave Bernahl, the co-founding partner and CEO of Coastal Luxury Management, joins us to preview the Festival. Costal Luxury Management (organizers of the annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival) produces the event.

The new charity beneficiary this year is Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.

Fabio VivianiBravo’s “Top Chef” alum Chef Fabio Viviani is in the house. In the Los Angeles area he is the chef/proprietor of Café Firenze and Firenze Osteria. He also has restaurants in Chicago.

His newly released second cookbook is Fabio’s Italian Kitchen.

Chef Fabio will be part of three events at the Festival. Thursday night he’s cooking for Giada’s Festa Italiana, and on Saturday morning he’s performing a Fabio Viviani Cooking Demo followed by hosting a tasting station at the Lexus Grand Tasting in the afternoon.

Edward LeeYou know Chef Edward Lee from his victory on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and Bravo’s “Top Chef: Texas.” He’s the chef/proprietor of 610 Magnolia in Louisville.

On Friday, August 23rd he cooks for Iron Chef Morimoto’s Asian Night Market. On Saturday afternoon he then hosts “Bacon & Bourbon with Chef Edward Lee.”

Chef Lee’s first cookbook is Smoke & Pickles. It was nominated for a James Beard Award.

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.

Ben Ford of Ford's Filling StationBen Ford, the proprietor of the innovative Ford’s Filling Station in Culver City, joins the show. Ford’s Filling Station was actually the first gastropub in the United States and Chef Ford is properly credited with originating that name.

For LA Food & Wine he’s joining forces with musician Ziggy Marley on Saturday morning for a high octane cooking demo showcasing sustainability. Chef Ben is then part of the culinary lineup for the Saturday afternoon Lexus Grand Tasting.

Ford discusses the evolution of Ford’s Filling Station and the changes over the years. He has a passion for pork and all is parts. Chef Ford is a pioneer in the revival of Downtown Culver City as a restaurant destination.

A Ford’s Filling Station is coming to LAX this year.

Chef Ford’s first cookbook, Taming the Feast, will be published in May of 2014.

Chef Ida Rodriquez of Melissas World Variety ProduceChef Ida Roriguez has an unusual position as the long-time Corporate Chef for Melissa’s / World Variety Produce, the largest specialty produce firm in the United States. She supervises a staff of dedicated chefs striving to educate the public and chefs about the benefits of enjoying all types of fruits and vegetables and creating delicious, satisfying, and nutritious recipes that the average home cook can prepare at home!

Melissa’s has a state-of-the-art research kitchen and culinary classroom at their corporate headquarters in Vernon where recipes are created and tested daily. Consumer education is Chef Ida’s favorite duty.

Chef Ida has taught popular classes for The Southern California Gas Company as well as Sur La Table. Celebrity Chef Martin Yan has been a co-instructor with her.

Chef Ida grew up in El Paso so she was exposed to the short season of availability of New Mexico Hatch Chiles (about six weeks) at a young age. She began cooking with them early on before they achieved the cult status they enjoy today!

The Hatch Chile is from the Anaheim chile family but has thicker walls and an entirely different taste profile unlike any other chile. This is attributed to the soil in Hatch as well as the temperature range (hot) during the short growing season.

Hatch Chiles come in a range of heat levels, from the mild end of the spectrum to extremely hot. Curiously when frozen they actually become hotter over time.

Melissas Hatch Chile CookbookJoining forces with the co-founder and co-owner of Melissa’s, Sharon Hernandez, Chef Ida penned the just-released Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook. It’s the definitive guide to enjoying Hatch Chiles year-round.

Every Labor Day Weekend Chef Ida and Sharon journey to Hatch, New Mexico to partake of the annual Hatch Chile Festival. Would you believe Hatch Chile Ice Cream? (The craveable recipe is included in the book…)

The useful book features 150 unique and classic Hatch Chile recipes with plenty of helpful, full color photos. All the recipes are designed for use by home cooks and have been thoroughly tested. The range of dishes is impressive. You can create Breakfast, Appetizers, Sandwiches & Wraps, Salads, Sides, Entrees, Casseroles & Soups, Condiments, Desserts and Beverages using Hatch Chiles!

The Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook is available at Melissas.com, Amazon and at select Bristol Farms stores and other fine food merchants.

The “SoCal Restaurant Show” will be broadcasting live from 10:00a.m. to Noon at the new Bristol Farms store at 3105 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica on Saturday, August 24th. Team Melissa’s will be there in force roasting the new crop of Hatch Chiles. Samples of recipes from the book will be available for the tasting. Chef Ida will be present signing copies of the Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook.

Podcasts

Segment One: Dave Bernahl of LA Food & Wine Festival
Segment Two: Chef Fabio Viviani
Segment Three: Chef Edward Lee Part One
Segment Four: Chef Edward Lee Part Two
Segment Five: Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station Part One
Segment Six: Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station Part Two
Segment Seven: Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Part Two