Show 423, May 1, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

In June of 2012 Copenhagen Pastry first brought the authentic taste of Denmark to Culver City under the direction of Proprietress Karen Hansen. For centuries, the Danes have made delicious pastries, and Copenhagen Pastry is proudly continuing that tradition in Southern California. Copenhagen Pastry differs from other bakeries through their emphasis on using authentic Danish recipes, traditional baking methods and the finest quality ingredients to create pastries that are flaky, light and delicately sweet without being sugary or heavy. Proprietress and Baker Karen Hansen prepares the signature Kringle for us.

Saracina Vineyards Mendocino is a Certified California Sustainable (CSWA) winery and vineyard located in Hopland, in the southern part of Mendocino County about 30 miles north of Healdsburg. This 250-acre ranch, which includes a winery and sustainably farmed vineyards, is also home to 140-year-old olive trees, vegetable gardens, beehives, and all manner of bird and wild animal life. The handcrafted, limited production Saracina wines reflect a conscious sense of this beautiful estate in Mendocino County. Originally founded by the husband and wife team of John Fetzer and Patty Rock in 2001, Saracina has always been defined by a strong sense of family. In 2018, Marc Taub took on stewardship of Saracina, upholding the spirit of family ownership that has defined this iconic Mendocino County winery since its inception.” Long-time winemaker Alex MacGregor joins us to pull the cork on Saracina Mendocino.

The family-owned and operated More Than Waffles located in the Encino Town Center launched in 1975. Since 1998 the welcoming establishment has been owned by the Taft Family. “They specialize in the authentic Belgian Waffle called, “Gaufre.” They are known for their thickness but have a light and airy texture which makes them lower in calories, only 140 calories per waffle. The waffles are made from the finest ingredients and served plain or with a variety of fresh toppings and are accompanied with house-made jam and melted butter. More than Waffles offers some 19 different waffles to choose from, and of course you can create your own. Beyond Breakfast, More Than Waffles offers a full lunch menu including Sandwiches, Salads, Pastas, Chicken Dishes, house-made Soups and juicy Hamburgers (including Vegi Burgers and Turkey Burgers.) More Than Waffles uses a variety of Organic products and offers many healthy and lower-calorie, lighter fare dishes.” Proprietress Ika Taft (who started there as a server in 1989) is our guest.

“Orange County notable Amar Santana, the well-known chef of Vaca and The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza, as well as Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach, has returned to Bravo’s Top Chef Season 18 with a twist. This current Season, Chef Amar traded his cheftestant toque for a seat at the prestigious Judge’s Table. He was selected to be part of an elite rotating judging and dining panel made up of Top Chef All Star winners and finalists.” We entice Chef Amar away from his busy kitchens for a long overdue chat.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. Shifting the conversation back to food we’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the new developments with the stinging 3rd party delivery fees charged to restaurants. DoorDash (the industry leader) has just revamped what percentages they charge to restaurants. It’s now 3 tiers. Chef Andrew has a dazzler of a premium sandwich collaboration going with the flagship Nathan’s Famous stand on Coney Island. It’s a premium rib eye steak sandwich with caramelized onions on artisan bread with one quarter pound of butter poached lobster (The Surf’N Turf.)

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 423, May 1, 2021: Restaurateur & Executive Chef Amar Santana, The Hall, Vaca and Broadway

Amar Santana at the Finale of Top Chef

Orange County notable Amar Santana, the well-known chef of Vaca and The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza, as well as Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach, has returned to Bravo’s Top Chef Season 18 with a twist.

“This current Season, Chef Amar traded his cheftestant toque for a seat at the prestigious Judge’s Table. He was selected to be part of an elite rotating judging and dining panel made up of Top Chef All Star winners and finalists.”

“Santana, in a tight finale, ended Season 13 as the Top Chef runner-up. The ranking was made more impressive as he battled his way back to the win in “Last Chance Kitchen” where eliminated chefs compete for the wild card spot in the finale.”

“Portland, Oregon is the setting for the new season of Top Chef. Production took place last fall under rigid COVID-19 protocols and devastating wildfires. Santana was on hand for the first eight episodes including the popular “Restaurant Wars” competition.” We chat with Chef Amar about his perspective of the behind-the-scenes of the production. There was an ethnic chicken and rice dish sourced from a nearby stationary food truck that was especially popular for delivery.

Top Chef Season 18 currently airs Thursday at 8 p.m. PDT. The long-running culinary reality show has garnered more than 32 Emmy nominations and two wins over 13 years.

“Santana’s long-standing relationship with South Coast Plaza began in 2008 when the graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (and a C-CAP alum and scholarship recipient from High School) was hand-picked by Chef Charlie Palmer to open his eponymous restaurant at Bloomingdale’s. It was there Santana first worked with restaurateur Ahmed Labbate, another veteran of Palmer’s restaurant empire. The two subsequently went on to partner in three thriving restaurants in the competitive Orange County dining scene.” (Locations in South Coast Plaza and Laguna Beach.)

Play

May 1: Copenhagen Pastry, Saracina Vineyards Mendocino, More Than Waffles, Amar Santana and Top Chef Season 18

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Karen Hansen, Proprietress and Baker, Copenhagen Pastry, Culver City Part One
Segment Three: Karen Hansen, Proprietress and Baker, Copenhagen Pastry, Culver City Part Two
Segment Four: Winemaker Alex MacGregor, Saracina Vineyards Mendocino Part One
Segment Five: Winemaker Alex MacGregor, Saracina Vineyards Mendocino Part Two
Segment Six: Ika Taft, Proprietress, More Than Waffles, Encino
Segment Seven: Restaurateur & Executive Chef Amar Santana, The Hall, Vaca and Broadway
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

In June of 2012 Copenhagen Pastry first brought the authentic taste of Denmark to Culver City under the direction of Proprietress Karen Hansen. For centuries, the Danes have made delicious pastries, and Copenhagen Pastry is proudly continuing that tradition in Southern California. Copenhagen Pastry differs from other bakeries through their emphasis on using authentic Danish recipes, traditional baking methods and the finest quality ingredients to create pastries that are flaky, light and delicately sweet without being sugary or heavy. Proprietress and Baker Karen Hansen prepares the signature Kringle for us.

“Saracina Vineyards Mendocino is a Certified California Sustainable (CSWA) winery and vineyard located in Hopland, in the southern part of Mendocino County about 30 miles north of Healdsburg. This 250-acre ranch, which includes a winery and sustainably farmed vineyards, is also home to 140-year-old olive trees, vegetable gardens, beehives, and all manner of bird and wild animal life. The handcrafted, limited production Saracina wines reflect a conscious sense of this beautiful estate in Mendocino County. Originally founded by the husband and wife team of John Fetzer and Patty Rock in 2001, Saracina has always been defined by a strong sense of family. In 2018, Marc Taub took on stewardship of Saracina, upholding the spirit of family ownership that has defined this iconic Mendocino County winery since its inception.” Long-time winemaker Alex MacGregor joins us to pull the cork on Saracina Mendocino.

The family-owned and operated More Than Waffles located in the Encino Town Center launched in 1975. Since 1998 the welcoming establishment has been owned by the Taft Family. “They specialize in the authentic Belgian Waffle called, “Gaufre.” They are known for their thickness but have a light and airy texture which makes them lower in calories, only 140 calories per waffle. The waffles are made from the finest ingredients and served plain or with a variety of fresh toppings and are accompanied with house-made jam and melted butter. More than Waffles offers some 19 different waffles to choose from, and of course you can create your own. Beyond Breakfast, More Than Waffles offers a full lunch menu including Sandwiches, Salads, Pastas, Chicken Dishes, house-made Soups and juicy Hamburgers (including Vegi Burgers and Turkey Burgers.) More Than Waffles uses a variety of Organic products and offers many healthy and lower-calorie, lighter fare dishes.” Proprietress Ika Taft (who started there as a server in 1989) is our guest.

“Orange County notable Amar Santana, the well-known chef of Vaca and The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza, as well as Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach, has returned to Bravo’s Top Chef Season 18 with a twist. This current Season, Chef Amar traded his cheftestant toque for a seat at the prestigious Judge’s Table. He was selected to be part of an elite rotating judging and dining panel made up of Top Chef All Star winners and finalists.” We entice Chef Amar away from his busy kitchens for a long overdue chat.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. Shifting the conversation back to food we’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the new developments with the stinging 3rd party delivery fees charged to restaurants. DoorDash (the industry leader) has just revamped what percentages they charge to restaurants. It’s now 3 tiers.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

“In June of 2012 Copenhagen Pastry brought the authentic taste of Denmark to Culver City under the direction of Proprietress Karen Hansen. For centuries, the Danes have made delicious pastries, and Copenhagen Pastry is proudly continuing that tradition in Southern California.”

“Copenhagen Pastry differs from other bakeries through their emphasis on using authentic Danish recipes, traditional baking methods and premium ingredients to create pastries that are flaky, light and delicately sweet without being sugary or heavy.”

“Copenhagen Pastry’s fillings are primarily almond paste and custard in various ratios along with cinnamon, almond flakes and traditional Danish fruit fillings (apple, raspberry, apricot and blueberry). At Copenhagen Pastry they bake pastries throughout the day as demand dictates. Customers always leave with freshly baked goods.”

“Among their signature offerings is a wholegrain rye bread containing the goodness of whole rye berries, black flax seeds, sunflower and sesame seeds. Their rye bread is a thoroughly healthy bread high in fiber, low in sodium and sugar free.”

“Traditional Danish pastry dough is yeast-leavened dough folded 27 times over with layers of margarine resulting in a so called laminated dough that yields the desired light and flaky pastry so prized around the world.”

“The basic pastry dough is used to make pastries in a variety of styles – round and circular (Spandauer and Chocolate), folded or rolled (Copenhagen or Cinnamon), cut, folded or shaped (Diamond or Crown) or the knotted pretzel shape of a Kringle, the trade sign for Danish bakeries.”

Proprietress & Baker Karen Hansen joins us with whisk in hand.

Saracina Vineyards Mendocino is a Certified California Sustainable (CSWA) winery and vineyard located in Hopland, in the southern part of Mendocino County about 30 miles north of Healdsburg. This 250-acre ranch, which includes a winery and sustainably farmed vineyards, is also home to 140-year-old olive trees, vegetable gardens, beehives, and all manner of bird and wild animal life. The handcrafted, limited production Saracina wines reflect a conscious sense of this beautiful estate in Mendocino County.”

“Originally founded by the husband and wife team of John Fetzer and Patty Rock in 2001, Saracina has always been defined by a strong sense of family. In 2018, Marc Taub took on stewardship of Saracina, upholding the spirit of family ownership that has defined this iconic Mendocino County winery since its inception.”

“Saracina cultivates 40 acres of vineyards on six different parcels. The soils vary greatly from rocky to black clay and gravelly loam, allowing for the cultivation of numerous varieties including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. This area has wet winters and dry summers with very warm days and cool nights providing for ripe, plush fruit to be balanced by firm acidity. Winemaking is led by Alex MacGregor.”

“At Saracina, the modern, eco-friendly tasting room and winery facility blend comfortably into the rural landscape. Saracina’s openness and unspoiled yet well-tended beauty is unique in the Mendocino County, as are the wine caves, the first of their kind in the county dug out of solid rock over a two-year period. By prior appointment throughout the year, the winery also offers Wine Cave Tours, Private Tastings with the Winemaker, and last but not least, Estate Tours in a motorized “Mule.””

Long-time winemaker Alex MacGregor joins us to gently pull the cork on Saracina Mendocino.

The proudly family-owned More Than Waffles located in the Encino Town Center launched in 1975. Since 1998 the established has been owned and operated by the Taft Family. “They specialize in the authentic Belgian Waffle called, “Gaufre.” They are known for their thickness but have a light and airy texture which makes them lower in calories, only 140 calories per waffle. The waffles are made from the finest ingredients and served plain or with a variety of fresh toppings and are accompanied with house-made jam and melted butter. More than Waffles offers some 19 different waffles to choose from, and of course you can create your own.”

“More Than Waffles also offers a full breakfast menu that includes 21 omelets which are served with a Belgian Waffle or home fries, breakfast burritos, crepes, pancakes, various benedicts, hash and much more.”

“Besides breakfast, More Than Waffles offers a full lunch menu including Sandwiches, Salads, Pastas, Chicken Dishes, house-made Soups and juicy Hamburgers (including Vegi Burgers and Turkey Burgers.) More Than Waffles uses a variety of Organic products and offers many healthy and low-calorie dishes for a lighter touch.”

Love is in the air at More Than Waffles. Proprietress Ika Taft (who started there as a server) met her future husband, Greg, at the restaurant. As coincidence would have it Ika’s and Greg’s daughter, Henny, also was introduced to her future husband (Mike) at More Than Waffles. Henny is currently the General Manager of More Than Waffles representing the 2nd generation of caring, hands-on Taft Family stewardship.

Amar Santana at the Finale of Top Chef

Orange County notable Amar Santana, the well-known chef of Vaca and The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza, as well as Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach, has returned to Bravo’s Top Chef Season 18 with a twist.

“This current Season, Chef Amar traded his cheftestant toque for a seat at the prestigious Judge’s Table. He was selected to be part of an elite rotating judging and dining panel made up of Top Chef All Star winners and finalists.”

“Santana, in a tight finale, ended Season 13 as the Top Chef runner-up. The ranking was made more impressive as he battled his way back to the win in “Last Chance Kitchen” where eliminated chefs compete for the wild card spot in the finale.”

“Portland, Oregon is the setting for the new season of Top Chef. Production took place last fall under rigid COVID-19 protocols and devastating wildfires. Santana was on hand for the first eight episodes including the popular “Restaurant Wars” competition.”

Top Chef Season 18 currently airs Thursday at 8 p.m. PDT. The long-running culinary reality show has garnered more than 32 Emmy nominations and two wins over 13 years.

“Santana’s long-standing relationship with South Coast Plaza began in 2008 when the graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (and a C-CAP alum and scholarship recipient from High School) was hand-picked by Chef Charlie Palmer to open his eponymous restaurant at Bloomingdale’s. It was there Santana first worked with restaurateur Ahmed Labbate, another veteran of Palmer’s restaurant empire. The two subsequently went on to partner in three thriving restaurants in the competitive Orange County dining scene.” (Locations in South Coast Plaza and Laguna Beach.)

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style Pizza

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions.

Shifting the conversation back to food we’ll also ask Chef Andrew about the new developments with the stinging 3rd party delivery fees charged to restaurants. DoorDash (the industry leader) has just revamped what percentages they charge to restaurants. It’s now a complicated 3 tiers. The consumer also pays a delivery fee.

Remember the juicy and delicious Community Burger (more than a mouthful) is available at all Southern California locations of Slapfish. The worthy burger is free with any donation to 86 Restaurant Struggle.” 100 per cent of that money goes to benefit struggling restaurant workers.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Karen Hansen, Proprietress and Baker, Copenhagen Pastry, Culver City Part One
Segment Three: Karen Hansen, Proprietress and Baker, Copenhagen Pastry, Culver City Part Two
Segment Four: Winemaker Alex MacGregor, Saracina Vineyards Mendocino Part One
Segment Five: Winemaker Alex MacGregor, Saracina Vineyards Mendocino Part Two
Segment Six: Ika Taft, Proprietress, More Than Waffles, Encino
Segment Seven: Restaurateur & Executive Chef Amar Santana, The Hall, Vaca and Broadway
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 384, August 1, 2020: Restaurateur Ahmed Labbate and Partner / Executive Chef Amar Santana of The Hall Global Eatery

Ahmed Labatte and Amar Santana of Vaca Restaurant GroupExecutive Chef & Restaurateur Amar Santana and Restaurateur Ahmed Labbate have reopened The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza for dine-in on their comfortable, shaded front patio or for curbside pickup. The extensive fast-casual menu is available at the Mediterranean Grill including hand-carved Shawarma, Babaganoush and Hummus. A selection of cocktails from master barman Michael Rooney, beer and wine are available to enjoy on the patio or To-Go. The grab and go Patisserie features a wide variety of baked goods, salads, sandwiches, coffee and juices.

The former full-service Crudo and Charcuterie Bar has been reimagined with the addition of a selection of made-to-order (and customizable) Poke. Guests, to start, have their choice of two proteins including Ahi Tuna, Salmon, Albacore, Octopus, Spicy Tuna, Scallop, King Crab or Tofu. From there a diner has a choice of five toppings from an available selection of 13 options.

Chef Amar’s and Ahmed’s other pair of popular restaurants, Vaca adjacent to South Coast Plaza and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach, are again accommodating guests with full-service patio dining and curbside pickup and delivery.

Chef Amar Santana and Ahmed Labbate are with us providing all the enticing details.

Play

Show 255, January 6, 2018: Ahmed Labatte, Partner, Vaca Restaurant Group

Ahmed LabatteChef Amar Santana and his business partner, Ahmed Labatte (Broadway by Amar Santana and Vaca in Costa Mesa) had an incredible 2017. Among other notable achievements they hosted one of the premier events celebrating the 50th Anniversary of South Coast Plaza at Vaca. It was a lavish, multi-course dinner matched with outstanding wines to benefit The James Beard Foundation.

For late 2018 their ambitious new project will be The Hall Global Eatery in South Coast Plaza. Early advance info is that it will be a Global Marketplace with multiple food counters and an exhibition kitchen.

There will be a grab-and-go market area with freshly prepared salads and sandwiches. Everything else will be prepared to order. Expect Mediterranean kebabs and Shawarma.  The location is the expansive former Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill space.

Ahmed joins us with a tantalizing sneak preview.

Play

Show 253, December 23, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel

Now a joyful preview of Saturday’s festive 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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday morning throughout The Holidays.

Greatly respected restaurateur Donato Poto, in partnership with Chef Michael Cimarusti, is responsible for the L.A. fine dining treasure, Providence, as well as the more casual Connie & Ted’s (with restaurateur Craig Nickoloff) in West Hollywood. It’s been a busy few weeks for them as they have launched il Pesce Cucina in Eataly in Westfield Century City as well as Best Girl, a 3-meal-a-day restaurant in The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. We’ll get the full briefing from Donato.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, joins us from Park City, Utah where he has just debuted the third Slapfish in Utah. Chef Andrew will share (and explain) some important hospitality business trends he sees for 2018.

We know restaurateur Russ Bendel from his successful wine country-themed establishments in Orange County, Vine in San Clemente and Ironwood in Laguna Hills. Now it’s a threesome with the launch of the handsome Olea, already making waves in Newport Beach. Russ Bendel explains what’s on the menu.

Lawry’s Beef Bowl is college football’s most celebrated bowl game tradition. Each year since its inception prior to the 1957 Rose Bowl Game, Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills has honored the players and coaches of each Rose Bowl‐bound team for their gridiron achievements. This is the 62nd year of Lawry’s proud association with The Granddaddy of Them All.® Lawry’s Beef Bowl historian Todd Erickson is our guest. He actually authored the coffee table book on the official history of Lawry’s Beef Bowl.

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

Play

December 23: Donato Poto, Russ Bendel, Lawry’s Beef Bowl

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Restaurateur Donato Poto, il Pesce Cucina and Best Girl Part Two
Segment Three: Restaurateur Donato Poto, il Pesce Cucina and Best Girl Part Two
Segment Four: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Five: Orange County Restaurateur, Russ Bendel, Olea Part One
Segment Six: Orange County Restaurateur, Russ Bendel, Olea Part Two
Segment Seven: Sports Historian Todd Erickson, Lawry’s 62nd Beef Bowl Part One
Segment Eight: Sports Historian Todd Erickson, Lawry’s 62nd Beef Bowl Part Two

Now a joyful preview of this Saturday’s festive 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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday morning throughout The Holidays.

Greatly respected restaurateur Donato Poto, in partnership with Chef Michael Cimarusti, is responsible for the L.A. fine dining treasure, Providence, as well as the more casual Connie & Ted’s (with restaurateur Craig Nickoloff) in West Hollywood. It’s been a busy few weeks for them as they have launched il Pesce Cucina in Eataly in Westfield Century City as well as Best Girl, a 3-meal-a-day restaurant in The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. We’ll get the full briefing from Donato.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, joins us from Park City, Utah where he has just debuted the third Slapfish in Utah. Chef Andrew will share (and explain) some important hospitality business trends he sees for 2018.

We know restaurateur Russ Bendel from his successful wine country-themed establishments in Orange County, Vine in San Clemente and Ironwood in Laguna Hills. Now it’s a threesome with the launch of the handsome Olea, already making waves in Newport Beach. Russ Bendel explains what’s on the menu.

Lawry’s Beef Bowl is college football’s most celebrated bowl game tradition. Each year since its inception prior to the 1957 Rose Bowl Game, Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills has honored the players and coaches of each Rose Bowl‐bound team for their gridiron achievements. This is the 61st year of Lawry’s proud association with The Granddaddy of Them All.® Lawry’s Beef Bowl historian Todd Erickson is our guest. He actually authored the coffee table book on the official history of Lawry’s Beef Bowl.

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

Donato PotoGreatly respected restaurateur Donato Poto, in partnership with Chef Michael Cimarusti, is responsible for the L.A. fine dining treasure, Providence, as well as the more casual Connie & Ted’s (with restaurateur Craig Nickoloff) in West Hollywood. It’s been a busy few weeks for them as they have launched il Pesce Cucina in Eataly in Westfield Century City as well as Best Girl, a 3-meal-a-day restaurant in The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

Headed up by acclaimed L.A. restaurant Providence, Il Pesce Cucina is Eataly’s fish market-inspired restaurant. For more than a decade, the team led by Chef Michael Cimarusti and Donato Poto has worked to elevate the standards of modern American seafood restaurants. At Eataly, Providence highlights the delicious varieties of California’s wild fish in their menus. All of the fresh seafood is responsibly sourced, with a particular focus on wild-caught and raw options that promise to satisfy every taste.

Tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis; il Pesce Cucina does not accept reservations.

“Providence, a restaurant with two Michelin stars, has defined a new standard of seafood cuisine in America. Led by Chef Michael Cimarusti and co-owner Donato Poto, this signature L.A. restaurant found its roots in the search for sustainable fish, wild caught and of the finest quality. Ingredients are treated with the greatest respect and technique, with the goal of bringing the freshest seafood flavors to your table. Eataly partners with Providence at Il Pesce Cucina because we believe in the same emphasis on ingredients and search for quality.”

We’ll get the full, mouthwatering briefing from Donato.

Named after the first film screened at The Theatre (now the Ace Theater adjacent to the Ace Hotel) in 1927, Best Girl is Downtown Los Angeles’ local haunt featuring rotating, seasonal fare and classic favorites. Best Girl is in partnership with the inimitable Chef Michael Cimarusti and business partner Donato Poto, renowned for championing sustainable seafood and elevating impeccable service in a casual atmosphere.

A multi-nominee for a James Beard Award, Cimarusti’s critically acclaimed restaurants Providence and Connie and Ted’s have earned him two Michelin Stars and international recognition as an industry giant. Cape Seafood and Provisions, his seafaring market, offers sustainable, wild caught fish, prime cuts and grab-and-go dishes. Chef Cimarusti’s menu for Best Girl represents his favorite meals made at home for family and friends — inviting and simple, every dish is expertly crafted, wholly delicious and available every day.

We’ll continue the full briefing from Donato.

Andrew and William GruelOur Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, joins us from Park City, Utah where he has just debuted the third Slapfish in Utah. Chef Andrew will share (and explain) some important hospitality business trends he sees for 2018. It’s a challenging time for the restaurant business at all levels from fast casual to fine-dining.

We know restaurateur Russ Bendel from his successful wine country-themed establishments in Orange County, Vine in San Clemente and Ironwood in Laguna Hills. Now it’s a threesome with the launch of the handsome Olea, already making waves in Newport Beach.

Russ BendelNamed for a genus of trees that flourish in warm and tropical regions, Olea gives Bendel’s award-winning Napa and Sonoma wine country concepts at Vine, in San Clemente, and Ironwood, in Laguna Hills, a European accent with extensive wine selections from Italy, France and Spain.

Chef-Partner Jared Cook has created a menu of modern California cuisine that perfectly complements the “global wine country” approach the Bendel team has taken at Olea.

“It’s great to return to the community where my business partners and I began our careers,” said Bendel, a graduate of The Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona who spent nine years at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar at Newport Center / Fashion Island before striking out on his own.

“Olea represents the continued progression we have created with our other two wine country-inspired cuisine restaurants,” Bendel said. The restaurant is Bendel’s largest, seating 130 guests, and like the other two locations is open for dinner nightly.

Cook has created new dishes exclusively for Olea, including blue crab baked oysters with champagne tarragon butter); terrine of duck liver, bacon and bourbon; wild-caught Pacific Blue Nose sea bass; herb-roasted prime beef cheek stroganoff with house-made rosemary pappardelle; Pacific Northwest filet mignon with black truffle and blue crab Béarnaise; and seasonal apple and pear cobbler with oatmeal crumble and cardamom ice cream.

Also on the menu at Olea are Vine / Ironwood crowd-pleasers such as Meyer lemon & honey duck wings and jumbo lump blue crab with roasted heirloom beets.

Olea’s interior is Tuscany wine country meets California Cuisine. An eclectic blend of timeless natural backgrounds includes antique French white oak floors, Black Mountain ledge-stone, black walnut millwork complemented with contemporary decorative lighting, and clean soft lines and a warm taupe color palette.

Dining areas are divided with sculptures instead of walls, made from natural tree branches on steel bases that lend privacy. The completely weatherproofed dining patio has a parkway setting with swagger light fixtures and citrus trees and herbs in large planters. Two olea (olive) trees flank the entrance of the restaurant.

A focal point of Olea, which totals 3,647 square feet, is a custom-made captain’s table in the wine room that can seat 10. The captain’s table is surrounded by working wine storage and wine displays, artwork and beautiful lighting fixtures.

Olea is located at The Walk, 2001 Westcliff Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660, by Kéan Coffee.  Reservations are accepted on OpenTable, or by calling 949-287-6807. There is self-parking in a newly-constructed 300-car parking structure adjacent to the restaurant.

Russ Bendel tempts us what’s on the menu.

Road to the Rose Bowl 50 Years of Lawry's Beef BowlLawry’s Beef Bowl is college football’s most celebrated bowl game tradition. Each year since its inception prior to the 1957 Rose Bowl Game, Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills has honored the players and coaches of each Rose Bowl‐bound team for their gridiron achievements. This is the 61st year of Lawry’s proud association with The Granddaddy of Them All.®

Tradition. College football is steeped in it, and there isn’t any tradition more enduring than “The Granddaddy of All Bowl Games,” the Rose Bowl. For 62 years, Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills has been a vital marketing partner in this tradition with its annual Beef Bowl (staged over 2 nights) serving as the proverbial rite of passage for champion gridiron gladiators in quest of Big Game glory.

This legendary private event (where only Tournament of Roses officials and sports media are granted access) has largely remained a mystery to the public while quietly generating a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes photo ops, stories, anecdotes, and quotes from college football’s most well-known players, coaches and sports commentators.

This year’s unusual Rose Bowl pitting the Oklahoma Sooners against the Georgia Bulldogs is the College Football Playoff Semifinal.

Lawry’s Beef Bowl historian Todd Erickson is our guest. He actually authored the coffee table book on the official history of Lawry’s Beef Bowl, Road to the Rose Bowl: 50 Years of Lawry’s Beef Bowl.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Restaurateur Donato Poto, il Pesce Cucina and Best Girl Part Two
Segment Three: Restaurateur Donato Poto, il Pesce Cucina and Best Girl Part Two
Segment Four: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Five: Orange County Restaurateur, Russ Bendel, Olea Part One
Segment Six: Orange County Restaurateur, Russ Bendel, Olea Part Two
Segment Seven: Sports Historian Todd Erickson, Lawry’s 62nd Beef Bowl Part One
Segment Eight: Sports Historian Todd Erickson, Lawry’s 62nd Beef Bowl Part Two

Show 234, July 29, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Program Note for Saturday, July 29th. We followed the Halos, come-from-behind victory at a special time. Next Saturday, August 5th we are back at our usual time of 10:00 a.m. to 12 Noon. Please join us.

Now an enticing preview of Saturday afternoon’s fully-packed 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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Step off the pristine, white sandy beach and into the open-airHau Tree restaurant & bar on the Big Island of Hawaii at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel for a causal dining menu which includes sandwiches, wraps, hamburgers, salads, ice cream, their famous Ovaltine Froth, or a cooling Fredrico cocktail which originated right there. We pull the newly married Chef Chris Galindo off the beach for an overview.

In her new book The Migraine Relief Plan: An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health, health coach and wellness authority Stephanie Weaver explores the connection between lifestyle, food, and wellness for people with migraines, vertigo, and related conditions like Meniere’s disease. With more than 36 million Americans dealing with migraines, and many more with chronic headaches, this is genuinely useful information.

On Thursday evening, August 10th Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa is hosting a sumptuous, 7-course wine-paired dinner with an abundance of passed hors d’oeuvre as a festive Friends of James Beard Foundation Benefit to celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary. VACA Group Partner & Executive Chef Amar Santana (just back from Ibiza, Spain) provides the salivating preview.

Journalist Al Mancini is well-known in Las Vegas hospitality circles. He’s been reviewing restaurants there for over 15 years. In 2011 he co-created the first edition of the definitive Las Vegas dining guide – Eating Las Vegas – The 50 Essential Restaurants. Late last year he joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a staff writer primarily covering the food, restaurant and libations beat. We’ll chat with Al about the rise of Downtown Las Vegas as a dining destination and also get updated on other local foodie news of note.

DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. More than 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices. Encoring in DINE LBC are Chef Arthur Gonzalez’s Panxa Cocina (modern Latin Cuisine) and Roe Seafood (the home of seafood fanatics). We’ll meet the proprietor, Chef Arthur Gonzalez.

Every year at the OC Fair is the eagerly anticipated Concessionaires Cup Challenge. The Fair’s hugely competitive food concessionaires compete to win the bragging rights in ten food categories. OC Weekly’s “On the Line” correspondent, Anne Marie Panoringan, was one of the 21 esteemed judges. Anne Marie also had the honor of being one of the three judges deciding the “Best Overall Item” honors. That’s the big one…She joins us with the lip-smacking results.

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

Play

Show 234, July 29, 2017: Executive Chef / Proprietor Amar Santana’s Vaca Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner

Amar Santana at the Top Chef FinaleOn Thursday evening, August 10th Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa is hosting a sumptuous, 7-course wine-paired dinner with an abundance of passed hors d’oeuvre as a festive Friends of James Beard Foundation Benefit to celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary.

Chef Amar is also well-known locally for Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach and as the runner-up from lucky Season 13 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” in what the judges noted was the tightest final competition of the series’ long history!

Santana and partner Ahmed Labbate, whose roots together at South Coast Plaza go back to 2008 when they opened Charlie Palmer, will welcome 100 discriminating guests with a love of food and wine to the Beard dinner. Santana is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

The festivities on August 10 will include a small silent auction during an al fresco reception. While enjoying the signature Vaca Tonic and hors d’oeuvres, guests may peruse deluxe offerings, which will include a LVMH Luxury Champagne experience for 16 guests; packages from South Coast Plaza, the Montage Laguna Beach and Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, unique dining experiences, luxury travel destinations, and high-end wines.

Seats are $350 and $300 for members of the James Beard Foundation, all inclusive. For reservations to the Friends of James Beard Dinner at Vaca, please register online her For more information, please contact VACA GM Ghali Benhima at 714.463.6060. A credit card will be requested to secure the reservation.

VACA Group Partner & Executive Chef Amar Santana (well-traveled) provides the tempting preview.

The Orange County Register’s long-time Food Business Staff Writer, Nancy Luna, had a great explanatory piece with Chef Amar on Vaca’s upcoming Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner that ran in the print edition on July 27th.

Play

July 29: Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Stephanie Weaver, Amar Santana, Al Mancini, Arthur Gonzalez, Anne Marie Panoringan

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Chris Galindo, Hau Tree restaurant & bar, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Kauna’oa Bay, The Big Island of Hawaii
Segment Three: Author Stephanie Weaver, MPH, CWHC. The Migraine Relief Plan – An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health
Segment Four: Executive Chef / Proprietor Amar Santana’s Vaca Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner
Segment Five: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal Part One
Segment Six: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal Part Two
Segment Seven: Restaurateur / Executive Chef Arthur Gonzalez, Roe Seafood & Panxa Cocina. DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week
Segment Eight: Concessionaires’ Cup 2017, OC Fair. Judge Anne Marie Panoringan, OC Weekly Contributor

Program Note for Saturday, July 29th. The Halos are playing the Blue Jays in Toronto during our normal broadcast time so we’re graciously stepping aside. All is still well because we simply shift to 2 to 4:00 p.m. the afternoon of July 29th only. Same packed show…Please join us then and don’t keep it a secret!

Now an enticing preview of this Saturday afternoon’s fully-packed 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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Step off the pristine, white sandy beach and into the open-airHau Tree restaurant & bar on the Big Island of Hawaii at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel for a causal dining menu which includes sandwiches, wraps, hamburgers, salads, ice cream, their famous Ovaltine Froth, or a cooling Fredrico cocktail which originated right there. We pull the newly married Chef Chris Galindo off the beach for an overview.

In her new book The Migraine Relief Plan: An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health, health coach and wellness authority Stephanie Weaver explores the connection between lifestyle, food, and wellness for people with migraines, vertigo, and related conditions like Meniere’s disease. With more than 36 million Americans dealing with migraines, and many more with chronic headaches, this is genuinely useful information.

On Thursday evening, August 10th Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa is hosting a sumptuous, 7-course wine-paired dinner with an abundance of passed hors d’oeuvre as a festive Friends of James Beard Foundation Benefit to celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary. VACA Group Partner & Executive Chef Amar Santana (just back from Spain) provides the appetizing preview.

Journalist Al Mancini is well-known in Las Vegas hospitality circles. He’s been reviewing restaurants there for over 15 years. In 2011 he co-created the first edition of the definitive Las Vegas dining guide – Eating Las Vegas – The 50 Essential Restaurants. Late last year he joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a staff writer primarily covering the food, restaurant and libations beat. We’ll chat with Al about the rise of Downtown Las Vegas as a dining destination and also get updated on other local foodie news of note.

DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. More than 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices. Encoring in DINE LBC are Chef Arthur Gonzalez’s Panxa Cocina (modern Latin Cuisine) and Roe Seafood (the home of seafood fanatics). We’ll meet the proprietor, Chef Arthur Gonzalez.

Every year at the OC Fair is the eagerly anticipated Concessionaires Cup Challenge. The Fair’s hugely competitive food concessionaires compete to win the bragging rights in ten food categories. OC Weekly’s “On the Line” correspondent, Anne Marie Panoringan, was one of the 21 esteemed judges. Anne Marie also had the honor of being one of the three judges deciding the “Best Overall Item” honors. That’s the big one…She joins us with the lip-smacking results.

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

Chris GalindoStep off the pristine, white sandy beach and into the open-airHau Tree restaurant & bar on the Big Island of Hawaii at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel for a causal dining menu which includes sandwiches, wraps, hamburgers, salads, ice cream, their famous Ovaltine Froth, or a cooling Fredrico cocktail which originated right there.

This is an unparalleled spot in The Hawaiian Islands to enjoy the nightly Sunset. Truly spectacular…

Hau Tree offers a grab-n-go breakfast, sit-down lunches and relaxed dinners on the Big Island of Hawai’i. It’s complete with a gazebo-style bar perfectly situated for enjoying cocktails while anticipating the sunset’s elusive green flash.

We pull the newly married Chef Chris Galindo off the beach for an ono overview.

Stephanie WeaverIn her new book The Migraine Relief Plan: An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health, health coach and wellness authority Stephanie Weaver explores the connection between lifestyle, food, and wellness for people with migraines, vertigo, and related conditions like Meniere’s disease. With more than 36 million Americans dealing with migraines, and many more with chronic headaches, this is genuinely useful information.

One in four U.S. households includes someone with these symptoms; the traditional approach of prescriptions or injections is ineffective for many.

Stephanie took her own surprising diagnosis-at age 53!- and set out to create a different strategy to help herself and others. No other book for migraines or headaches features a comprehensive, realistic lifestyle approach, providing guidance for a full six months as readers learn how to create their own migraine-friendly lifestyle.

Stephanie brings warmth and humor to a normally clinical topic, and her lively presentation style showcases her approach to being “an incredibly healthy person who happens to get migraines.”

In the book (with 75 recipes) Stephanie explains in depth about the challenge of recipe development using a limited palette of foods, explores the concept of food substitutions, and showcases what a plant-forward migraine-friendly plate looks like.

Amar Santana at the Top Chef FinaleOn Thursday evening, August 10th Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa is hosting a sumptuous, 7-course wine-paired dinner with an abundance of passed hors d’oeuvre as a festive Friends of James Beard Foundation Benefit to celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary.

Chef Amar is also well-known locally for Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach and as the runner-up from lucky Season 13 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” in what the judges noted was the tightest final competition of the series’ long history!

Santana and partner Ahmed Labbate, whose roots together at South Coast Plaza go back to 2008 when they opened Charlie Palmer, will welcome 100 discriminating guests with a love of food and wine to the Beard dinner. Santana is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

The festivities on August 10 will include a small silent auction during an al fresco reception. While enjoying the signature Vaca Tonic and hors d’oeuvres, guests may peruse deluxe offerings, which will include a LVMH Luxury Champagne experience for 16 guests; packages from South Coast Plaza, the Montage Laguna Beach and Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, unique dining experiences, luxury travel destinations, and high-end wines.

Seats are $350 and $300 for members of the James Beard Foundation, all inclusive. For reservations to the Friends of James Beard Dinner at Vaca, please register online her For more information, please contact VACA GM Ghali Benhima at 714.463.6060. A credit card will be requested to secure the reservation.

VACA Group Partner & Executive Chef Amar Santana (well-traveled) provides the tempting preview.

Al ManciniJournalist Al Mancini is well-known in Las Vegas hospitality circles. He’s been reviewing restaurants there for over 15 years. In 2011 he co-created the first edition of the definitive Las Vegas dining guideEating Las Vegas – The 50 Essential Restaurants. Late last year he joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a staff writer primarily covering the food, restaurant and libations beat.

We’ll chat with Al about the rise of Downtown Las Vegas as a dining destination and also get updated on other local foodie news of note.

We’ll then continue our insider’s chat with Al about Vegas foodie news of note. Also we’ll hear about what Al has to say about a 2-unit restaurant group in Las Vegas testing the uncharted waters of going cashless.

Arthur GonzalezDINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. More than 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices.

Encoring in DINE LBC are Chef Arthur Gonzalez’s Panxa Cocina (modern Latin Cuisine) and Roe Seafood (the home of seafood fanatics). We’ll meet the proprietor, Chef Arthur Gonzalez.

Panxa Cocina opened in December 2014 and is located on the corner of Broadway and Termino in the Belmont Heights neighborhood of Long Beach. Since opening, Chef Gonzalez has been serving both quality interpretations of classic dishes and daring new ventures into the uncharted territories of food.

Panxa’s interior reflects the hip sensibilities of the surrounding area while also paying tribute to its Latin and New Mexican roots. This ground-floor restaurant offers the choice to observe passers-by from many tables throughout the restaurant, or enjoy the full menu at the bar.

Roe Seafood is the new home for seafood fanatics in Belmont Shore. Roe offers inspired, handcrafted, mouth- watering seafood dishes that blend both seasonal and local ingredients with bold flavors and exciting tastes.

“All ingredients are fresh and in season. If you’d like to know where we source our fish, shellfish, vegetables, or breads, please ask.

Join us for lunch or dinner 7 days a week for the freshest and most delicious seafood you’ve ever tasted. You can always call us and order take-out, because everything on the menu at Roe is always ready to go.”

Anne Marie PanoringanEvery year at the OC Fair is the eagerly anticipated Concessionaires Cup Challenge. The Fair’s hugely competitive food concessionaires vie to win the bragging rights in ten food categories. OC Weekly’s “On the Line” correspondent, Anne Marie Panoringan, was one of the 21 esteemed judges.

Anne Marie also had the honor of being one of the three senior judges deciding the “Best Overall Item” honors. That’s the big one…She joins us with the lip-smacking results.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Chris Galindo, Hau Tree restaurant & bar, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Kauna’oa Bay, The Big Island of Hawaii
Segment Three: Author Stephanie Weaver, MPH, CWHC. The Migraine Relief Plan – An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health
Segment Four: Executive Chef / Proprietor Amar Santana’s Vaca Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner
Segment Five: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal Part One
Segment Six: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal Part Two
Segment Seven: Restaurateur / Executive Chef Arthur Gonzalez, Roe Seafood & Panxa Cocina. DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week
Segment Eight: Concessionaires’ Cup 2017, OC Fair. Judge Anne Marie Panoringan, OC Weekly Contributor