Show 365, March 21, 2020: Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” – “Cooking at Home”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group rejoins us with another informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to Listeners’ thoughtful inquiries based on his expansive, insider’s knowledge and practical hospitality experience.

For a short while (we hope) we’re going to be cooking a bit more at home. Chef Andrew has some suggestion for quick and easy (healthy and satisfying) dishes that require a minimum of ingredients. Think about ground meat for versatility and ease of preparation. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

It’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 get 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.

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Show 353, December 28, 2019: Olive Pit Mediterranean Grill with Chef Yianni Koufodontis

Yianni Koufodontis of the Olive Pit Fresh Mediterranean GrillChef Yianni Koufodontis of the Olive Pit Mediterranean Grill (Brea & Huntington Beach) prepares his dishes with a careful eye on healthy, low fat, low cholesterol and always-natural ingredients.

“For Chef Yianni, cooking is more than an art form; it is a way of life. Eating is the focal point of all Greek family gatherings, and Yianni grew up cooking daily with his mother and grandmother. His talents in the kitchen were unmistakable, even as a young man.”

“Yianni obtained his formal culinary training at the prestigious California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. After graduation he worked under his first culinary mentor, Chef Daniel Boulud, a James Beard Award-winning chef, cookbook author and restaurateur at Restaurant Daniel Manhattan.”

“Just two years later, Yianni was asked to join Chef Wolfgang Puck’s team at Spago in Beverly Hills, where he worked closely with world cuisine chef Lee Hefter, and Wolfgang Puck.”

“In 2005, Yianni was brought in to open Petros Greek Cuisine, where he served as Executive Chef. With much press and praise for Petro’s Greek, and his knowledge and passion for Mediterranean foods rekindled, Yianni decided it was time to open a restaurant of his own.”

“In 2008, together with his partner George Makridis, Yianni opened the first Olive Pit Grill in Brea, California. The restaurant’s success was immediate, and in order to keep up with demand, they opened their second location in Huntington Beach, California two years later.” This year the Brea restaurant moved to a new, expanded space in Downtown Brea on S. Brea Blvd.

“For many generations our family has been dedicated to serving the best Mediterranean cuisine. We serve Greek and Italian classic dishes prepared old-world style… but toss in Chef Yanni’s inspired personal touches, and what you end up with is uniquely Olive Pit Fresh Mediterranean Grill.”

We spirit Chef Yianni out of his busy kitchens for a chat.

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Show 191, October 1, 2016: The “Meatheads” from West Coast Prime Meats – Aging Beef

Belcampo 100 Day Dry Aged BurgerWe’re hearing a lot from high-end steakhouses talking about premium, aged beef. There is even a butcher shop/restaurant locally highlighting a burger with a 100-day dry-aged beef patty. What should we know about aging beef?

How does aging improve the flavor or texture of beef? There is wet aging and dry aging. Is a prime streak aged 35-days really better than a cut which was only aged 7-days ? Is long aging really better? Our meat experts will explain all…

The Dry Aging Room at West Coast Prime Meats in Brea is an incredible sight. Most of their accounts prefer 45-days of dry aging. For chefs and restaurateurs a tour of the aging facility is only a phone call away. No strings attached…

Joining us to chat about aging beef are the “Meatheads” from West Coast Prime Meats, Jay Henderson and Terry Hanks. They have over 50-years of combined, hands-on experience in the business!

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Show 158, February 6, 2016: Andrew Aoun, Corporate Wine & Spirits Manager, Taps Fish House & Brewery, The Catch and Lillie’s Q

Andrew AnunTAPS Fish House & Brewery (Brea, Corona & Irvine) has always been known as a pioneer in brewing award-winning craft beer. Recently proprietor Joe Manzanella, not one to stand still, decided it was time to totally overhaul and elevate his bar program system-wide.

Corporate Wine & Spirits Manager, Andrew Aoun has done just that. We’ll chat with him about what it takes to totally revamp a successful bar program. The ambitious relaunch is in place at Taps Fish House & Brewery. The Catch, and Lillie’s Q.

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Show 129, July 4, 2015: Executive Chef Andrew Monterrosa, TAPS Fish House & Brewery, Irvine

Andrew Monterrosa at the KLAA AM830 Studios in AnaheimTAPS Fish House & Brewery (Brea and Corona) has an impressive new location in Irvine at The Market Place. All the TAPS locations differ in design so you never have the feeling you’re dining in an impersonal, corporate restaurant.

The stylish environment offers fine dining and a more casual bar-lounge area. There is a comfortable patio, too. They are famous for their Sunday brunch and serve lunch, dinner and happy hour.

The private dining room at the news TAPS Irvine accommodates 125 guests and features a handsome stone fireplace and large barn doors that slide open across an arched entry. A 1,800-squarte-foot, cigar-friendly patio with a full-service menu and cocktails seats 100.

TAPS is as well known for its quality cuisine served in generous portions as it is for award-winning, handcrafted ales and lagers. There is a critically acclaimed wine list, which includes 150 California-centric selections by the bottle and 20 wines by the glass.

The Irvine location has an impressive 24 taps – 14 of them for TAPS seasonal and signature ales and lagers. There are an additional four guest beers on draft selected by Brewmaster David Huls.

This is the first TAPS to showcase select meats and fish cooked on a J & R “Little Red Smokehouse” smoker. This Rolls Royce of smokers from Mesquite, TX is fueled by apple wood and cherry wood. It’s inspired by the smoker at sister restaurant, Lillie’s Q in Brea. A smoked prime rib is offered nightly. Rotating smoked fish offerings include trout, albacore, salmon, mussels and oysters.

Chef Andrew Monterrosa joins us in-studio with all the 411 on TAPS Irvine.

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Show 101, December 13, 2014: ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen’s Toy Drive

Don MyersChaCha’s Latin Kitchen in Brea is kicking off its Third Annual Toy Drive to benefit local families in need. Guests are encouraged to drop off a new unwrapped toy at Cha Cha’s in exchange for a $15 certificate toward the Flamenco Sunday Brunch to be redeemed in The New Year.

Once all the toys are collected and wrapped, Cha Cha’s hosts a special evening for those grateful recipient families that includes a meal featuring signature dishes. Each year, over fifty guests get to enjoy a very touching evening that concludes with a visit from a very loyal guest of Cha Cha’s (Santa Claus) who spends time passing out gifts to the appreciative children.

Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen features a California – Latin inspired menu that adapts the culinary heritage of Mexico and Latin America to a fresh modern style. The highlight of the open kitchen is the wood-fired oven. The hand-crafted cocktails are prepared with fresh fruit juices, house-made infusions and seasonal fresh fruit.

Co-owner (and veteran restaurateur) Don Myers has all the details.

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Show 75, June 7, 2014: Negroni Week. Chef Peter Serantoni of Brunos in Brea

Peter SerantoniCelebrating authentic Italian cuisine while raising a glass to a good cause has never been easier. From June 2nd to 8th, Brunos Trattoria in Brea will be participating in the nationwide Negroni Week, presented by Campari and Imbibe Magazine. A portion of the proceeds from every Negroni sold at Brunos during this time will benefit The Mobile Closet, a local organization which helps the community by distributing clothing and blankets to people in need.

Let’s root Brunos on…By the end of the week if Brunos comes out as the top fundraiser in the nation, Campari will donate an additional $10,000 to The Mobile Closet.

“The Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail, originating in Florence, Italy. Staying true to the heart and quality of Brunos’ beverage program, the Negroni at Brunos utilizes premium Italian spirits and liqueurs to create an authentic, memorable experience.”

Co-Owner and Chef Peter Serantoni is our guest. Brunos Trattoria is named after his father and mentor, Papa Bruno.

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June 7: Leo Maurelli III, StarChefs, Brock Kleweno, Piero Salvaggio, Jimmy Shaw, Peter Serantoni

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Leo Maurelli III of Central, Montgomery, Alabama
Segment Three: The StarChefs Rising Stars Revue, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Brock Kleweno, Executive Chef and General Manager, Yamashiro Hollywood
Segment Five: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Valentino, Santa Monica, CA
Segment Six: Chef Jimmy Shaw, Loteria Grill! – “600 Years of Mexican Wine.”
Segment Seven: Negroni Week. Chef Peter Serantoni of Brunos in Brea
Segment Eight: Host Jet Tila

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Central located in the heart of Montgomery, Alabama’s vibrant Downtown entertainment district is a true gem of an American find.

The engaging executive chef with an easy-going manner sets the tone for the place.

The StarChefs Rising Stars Revue is coming to Los Angeles on June 12th. It celebrates Los Angeles’ brightest culinary talent.

Brock Kleweno (Kla-ve-no) is both the executive chef and GM of the historic Yamshiro Hollywood. Their ever-popular Thursday Night Farmers Market has returned through September 4th.

Piero Selvaggio’s Valentino in Santa Monica is celebrating its 41st year. Piero and Executive Chef Nico Chessa have introduced a nightly changing special Italian tasting menu there at the Vin Bar.

Loteria Grill! is celebrating 6 centuries of Mexican Wine with the introduction of a broader selection of fine wines from Northern Baja on their list.

The Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail originating in Florence Italy. It’s Negroni week in the United States and charities are the beneficiaries.

Jet has been doing some top-tier dining in Las Vegas at Raku and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. Producer Andy experienced one of the top restaurants in Tijuana.

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

Leo Maurelli IIICentral, located in the heart of Montgomery, Alabama’s Downtown entertainment district, is a true American restaurant highlighting local and seasonal ingredients. The locally owned establishment offers wood-fired dishes in a restored 1890s warehouse space boasting exposed brick, flickering gas lanterns and a bustling open kitchen,

In the main dining room 16-foot ceilings, spectacular overhead lighting, a central bar comprised of reclaimed wood all overlook Montgomery’s downtown Alley.

Chef Leo Maurelli, III is the Executive Chef of Central Restaurant. He is a native of the Republic of Panama and shares his unique multicultural take on traditional Southern dishes and cuisine.

Chef Leo is the recipient of many honors including the 2011 Chef of The Year awarded by the Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Alliance.

Chef Leo is an avid supporter of local farmers, cheese makers, craft beer producers and artisans. He is an advocate for healthy sustainable food consumption and has partnered with EATSouth Farm to not only cook with fresh ingredients, directly from the local farm, but also serve as an ambassador in the community promoting healthy lifestyles through education and sustainable food production.

StarChefs Rising Stars Los AngelesThe StarChefs Rising Stars Revue is coming to Los Angeles on June 12th at Vibiana in Downtown Los Angeles. It celebrates Los Angeles’ brightest culinary talent.

The VIP Host Chef is Neal Fraser of the soon-to-be Redbird at Vibiana.

Antoinette Bruno, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of StarChefs.com joins us to preview the awards. Rising Star Award Winners David Rodriguez of Providence and Chef Atsushi Takatsuki of MB Post are also our guests.

Brock Kleweno of YamashiroBrock Kleweno (Kla-ve-no) is both the executive chef and GM of Yamashiro Hollywood. Their ever-popular Thursday Night Farmers Market has returned through September 4th. It operates from 5 to 9:00 p.m.

Yamashiro’s Pagoda Bar will be open for libations and light fare each week.

The Farmers Market also marks the seasonal return of Chef Brock’s famous tacos! They are the darlings of restaurant critics.

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa MonicaLegendary Los Angeles restaurateur and gracious host Piero Selvaggio has overseen Valentino on Santa Monica for some 41 years. His elegant Vin Bar at Valentino was one of the first wine bars in Los Angeles.

Piero, along with his Executive Chef, Nico Chessa, have developed the Il Quadrifoglio menu. It’s an Italian-style bento box of four seasonal dishes for $25.00. The quartet of dishes changes nightly and is designed for both its visual and flavor balance.

Valentino is renowned for its use of exceptional Italian products which are showcased in the menus: specially selected Colatura di Alici, 24- Months Aged Prosciutto de Parma, Cerignoli Olives and Bottarga, among others.

Selections from Pierro Selvagio’s legendary wine cellar and Valentino’s extraordinary desserts may be ordered separately. Availability for the Vin Bar at Valentino is on a first come basis and does not require reservations. Quadrifoglia at the Vin Bar is available Tuesday through Sundays from 5:00 p.m. to closing.

Selvaggio and Chessa designed the menu for casual dining at a great price. “We wanted to be able to offer a value where our guests can drop in for an informal meal,” states Selvaggio. “It’s wonderful to be able to taste all four of these dishes for under $30.”

Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill and Torta CompanyChef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill! fame (Original Farmers Market, Hollywood, Studio City, Santa Monica, Westlake Village and Fig at 7th) has just presented two nights celebrating “600 Years of Mexican Wine” with an 8-course seated dinner in Hollywood and then a stand-up street food and wine evening in Santa Monica.

His celebrated guest chef was Javier Plascencia of Northern Baja. His flagship restaurant in Tijuana is Mision 19. According to The New York Times, “He brings a flair for dramatic presentation, an appreciation for Tijuana’s street foods deep flavors and a binational approach to farm-to-table cooking.”

Loteria Grill! Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Studio City now feature an expanded selection of Northern Baja’s best wines.

More quality Mexican restaurants should offer a selection of Mexican wines.

Peter SerantoniCelebrating authentic Italian cuisine while raising a glass to a good cause has never been easier. From June 2nd to 8th, Brunos Trattoria in Brea will be participating in the nationwide Negroni Week, presented by Campari and Imbibe Magazine. A portion of the proceeds from every Negroni sold at Brunos during this time will benefit The Mobile Closet , a local organization which helps the community by distributing clothing and blankets to people in need.

Let’s root Brunos on…By the end of the week if Brunos comes out as the top fundraiser in the nation, Compari will donate an additional $10,000 to The Mobile Closet.

“The Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail, originating in Florence, Italy. Staying true to the heart and quality of Brunos’ beverage program, the Negroni at Brunos utilizes premium Italian spirits and liqueurs to create an authentic, memorable experience.”

Co-Owner and Chef Peter Serantoni is our guest. Brunos Trattoria is named after his father and mentor, Papa Bruno.

Jet Tila and Giada De LaurentiisIt’s been an unusually memorable week of dining out for Jet and Producer Andy.

Jet has been in Las Vegas taking in the opening of Giada De LaurentiisGiada restaurant at The Cromwell on The Strip, Raku, and L‘Atelier de Joel Robuchon at the MGM Grand.

Producer Andy dined at the acclaimed Mision 19 in Tijuana.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Leo Maurelli III of Central, Montgomery, Alabama
Segment Three: The StarChefs Rising Stars Revue, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Brock Kleweno, Executive Chef and General Manager, Yamashiro Hollywood
Segment Five: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Valentino, Santa Monica, CA
Segment Six: Chef Jimmy Shaw, Loteria Grill! – “600 Years of Mexican Wine.”
Segment Seven: Negroni Week. Chef Peter Serantoni of Brunos in Brea
Segment Eight: Host Jet Tila

We’ll paint the picture…

Show 48, November 16, 2013: Joe Manzella, proprietor of TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Brea and Corona, and The Catch in Anaheim

Joe Manzella of Taps Fish House and Brewery and the CatchJoe is also a lifelong sandwich fan and a history buff. He’s traveled the country researching regional favorites. Working with his executive chef he’s launched the “Famous 50” sandwich program. Each week a different regional favorite is showcased at both TAPS in Brea and The Catch in Anaheim. Thus far the Famous 50 has included favorites including lobster roll, Mama Manzella’s meatball sub, muffuletta, Chicago Italian Beef, and the Cubano.

According to Manzella to reach true sandwich nirvana five critical points must be met. He shares them with us on the show. One clue…All his bread comes from star baker Dean Kim at the OC Baking Co. in Orange.

Joe’s three personal classic American sandwiches (when pressed) are the Hoagie (Hero Sandwich,) Philadelphia Cheese Steak, and Patty or Tuna Melt.

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April 27: Victor Novak, Dean Simon, Nancy Zaslavsky, Wing Lam

Podcasts

Segment One: Brewmaster Victor Novak of TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Downtown Brea
Segment Two: Dean Simon, Managing Partner of BRUXIE Gourmet Waffle Sandwiches Part One
Segment Three: Dean Simon, Managing Partner of BRUXIE Gourmet Waffle Sandwiches Part Two
Segment Four: Nancy Zaslavsky, “A Cook’s Tour to Mexico”
Segment Five: Wing Lam, co-founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco and Michael Browne, co-founder of Kosta Browne Wines in Sebastopol, CA
Segment Six: Wing Lam, co-founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco and Michael Cho, esq. of Palmieri, Tyler, Weiner, Wilhelm & Waldron LLP

We’re back…It’s a week of fascinating local success stories from  beverages to great food. There will be a slight detour to Mexico along the way to learn a bit about food tourism there. Please join us for the journey.

Victor Novak of Taps Fish House and Brewery in BreaBack in 1999 when veteran Brewmaster Victor Novak opened TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Brea the craft beer movement was in its infancy. Now it’s the fastest growing segment of the beer business and all the mega breweries are eagerly joining in the fray.

Today TAPS brews some 1,700 kegs annually representing an impressive portfolio of some 31 to 35 styles of European and American ales and lagers. Novak’s beers are so popular they are even featured on tap at other restaurants.

On Saturday, April 27th TAPS is hosting its First Annual Craft Beer Festival showcasing the brews of over 25 of Southern California’s finest craft breweries. There will also be international street food stations to pair with the beer. It’s from Noon to 3:00 p.m. on TAPS patio and bar.

Dean Simon and Kelly Mullarney of BruxieBruxie is the fast-growing restaurant empire built on the recipe for a mouth-watering, authentic Belgian waffle. It started with a modest stand in Old Towne Orange in 2010 and the latest, most ambitious, store (the 5th) opened this week in downtown Huntington Beach.

Co-founder Dean Simon is with us to share his secrets for maintaining quality and guest satisfaction when you’re growing fast.

Nancy Zaslavsky is a well-traveled authority on the foods of Mexico, a cookbook author, cooking instructor, and accomplished culinary tour leader.

As Nancy says, “I’m not Mexican. I’m a blond gringa who loves Mexico, its culture, cuisine and people. One of my greatest joys is to share this enthusiasm with those who want to learn more about a fascinating country.”

Wing Lam of Wahoo's Fish TacosWing Lam, the co-founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco, needs no introduction to Southern Californians. Wing and his brothers Ed and Mingo are 2nd generation restaurateurs who parlayed a love for surfing into a successful restaurant empire which started in Costa Mesa. Incredibly the ever youthful Wing is celebrating Wahoo’s 25th Anniversary this year. Over the years Wahoo’s has strived to be a part of the communities they serve which now include California, Colorado, Texas, and Hawaii.

Wing also has an appreciation for quality libations including fine wine. He’ll share his wine adventures in Sonoma County from last weekend hanging with some of the legends of California Pinot Noir.

Wing will also provide his insights on keeping Wahoo’s popular when the large chain fast food restaurants are now also selling fish tacos. There is a difference…

Podcasts

Segment One: Brewmaster Victor Novak of TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Downtown Brea
Segment Two: Dean Simon, Managing Partner of BRUXIE Gourmet Waffle Sandwiches Part One
Segment Three: Dean Simon, Managing Partner of BRUXIE Gourmet Waffle Sandwiches Part Two
Segment Four: Nancy Zaslavsky, “A Cook’s Tour to Mexico”
Segment Five: Wing Lam, co-founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco and Michael Browne, co-founder of Kosta Browne Wines in Sebastopol, CA
Segment Six: Wing Lam, co-founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco and Michael Cho, esq. of Palmieri, Tyler, Weiner, Wilhelm & Waldron LLP