Show 575, April 27, 2024: Amar Santana, Executive Chef and Proprietor, Vaca at Soth Coast Plaza and Broadway by Amar Santana, Laguna Beach

Amar Santana at the Finale of Top Chef

Amar Santana, a Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) alum, serves as the Executive Chef and owner at Broadway By Amar Santana in Laguna Beach, and Vaca in Costa Mesa, California adjacent to South Coast Plaza. Born in the Dominican Republic, he immigrated to the US at 13 and began his culinary career at 16. He has been mentored by some of the world’s most renowned chefs, including Charlie Palmer, who helped him develop his skills of expressing his passion through food. By combining flavors and culinary traditions from all over the world, Amar provides a truly unforgettable gastronomical experience.”

“Chef Amar was the runner-up on Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 13 in California and has also competed internationally for the Korean culinary series “Korean Food Battle,” finishing as a finalist.” Amar has also appeared as a judge on more recent seasons of “Top Chef.” For “Top Chef” Season 21 in Wisconsin Amar cameos in a pair of episodes and also in “Top Chef: The Dish with Kish” a new weekly Bravo commentary series recapping each episode with host Kristen Kish.

Next Wednesday’s “Top Chef” Season 21, Episode 7 features Chef Amar and Chef Michael Voltaggio as guest celebrity judges. Amar hints it’s something about a concession food favorite at the Milwaukee Brewers home stadium. Do tune-in…

Chef Amar is our guest.

Show 531, June 24, 2023: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

El Cholo, perhaps Los Angeles’ most iconic, honored and beloved Mexican Restaurant is celebrating its 100th Anniversary during 2023 under the watchful eye of Ron Salisbury, 3rd generation proprietor of The El Cholo Family of Restaurants. Ron Salisbury also celebrates his 90th Birthday during 2023.” “In conjunction with the 100th Anniversary of El Cholo, the Salisbury Family has launched their ambitious Charitable Gift Campaign Benefitting Pediatric Cancer Research with the goal of raising a cool $1 Million dollars. Monies raised through the campaign will be donated equally to L.A. Children’s Hospital and to Orange County’s Children’s Hospital / CHOC Foundation. To participate in this charitable campaign, every El Cholo customer who makes a $100- donation while visiting any one of the six Southern California El Cholos will receive a VIP NACHOS CARD by which they can enjoy Carmen’s Nacho’s free throughout the rest of 2023.” Ron also has a unique booth naming campaign in progress at the original El Cholo with the proceeds going to the charitable fundraising campaign. 3rd generation proprietor, Ron Salisbury, is our guest with a plate of Carmen’s Original Nachos in hand.

Proprietor and Chef Alfonso Curti has assembled an outstanding menu of fine Italian dishes, an extensive wine list, specialty cocktails, and original desserts, which he is offering in the cozy elegance of the Trattoria Uliveto Italian Restaurant, located in the quaint town of Old Orcutt near Santa Maria, California. Join him in the celebration of authentic Italian cuisine paired with some of the finest wines available. Trattoria Uliveto also offers catering services for wedding receptions and banquets and daily Family Meals to go.” Trattoria Uliveto is open for lunch as well as dinner. Closed on Sunday and Monday. Chef Alfonso Curti takes a break from his busy kitchen to join us.

Executive Chef Juan Morales oversees all the distinctive dining options at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Rancho Mirage. This is the only Agua Caliente Casino in Greater Palm Springs with a Forbes 4- Star luxury hotel on the property. Chef Juan and his team are the menu makers for The Steakhouse, Waters Café, 360 Sports and the casual, quick-service Java Caliente. Chef Juan Morales takes a brief pause from his busy kitchens to join us.

Bravo’s Top Chef just concluded 20th season was “World All-Stars” set in London. The current season of the Emmy-winning series featured 16 of its greatest competitors, representing 11 different “Top Chef” versions around the world. The chefs battled it out throughout scenic London, before the grand finale in Paris. Orange County’s own Chef Amar Santana (Vaca adjacent to South Coast Plaza and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach) was one of the esteemed returning Cheftestants. Chef Amar did California proud. He almost went the distance but did get to Paris for the Finale. “Top Chef” regular, Gail Simmons, has graciously anointed Chef Amar as one of the “Top Chef Final Five.” Not bad company to be in. Chef Amar was also in the running for “Top Chef” Fan Favorite which goes along with a $10,000 cash prize. We’ll hear the official results from Chef Amar.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the full-service Calico Fish House (in Huntington Beach) and also the founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew has shared with us previously that the business model for 3rd party delivery services does not seem sustainable. Grubhub just laid off staff. We’ll “Ask the Chef.” Chef Andrew will also tell us about California Black Gill Rock Cod. It’s delicious and local…(Postponed from last week.)

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

Show 531, June 24, 2023: Restaurateur & Executive Chef Amar Santana, Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana Part One

Amar Santana at the Finale of Top Chef

Bravo’s Top Chef just concluded 20th season was “World All-Stars” set in London. The new season of the Emmy-winning series featured 16 of its greatest competitors, representing 11 different “Top Chef” versions around the world. The chefs battled it out throughout scenic London, before the grand finale in Paris. Orange County’s own Chef Amar Santana (Vaca adjacent to South Coast Plaza and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach) was one of the esteemed returning Cheftestants.

Chef Amar did California proud. He almost went the distance but did get to Paris. “Top Chef” regular, Gail Simmons has anointed Chef Amar as one of the “Top Chef Final Five.” Not bad company to be in. Chef Amar was also in the running for “Top Chef” Fan Favorite which goes along with a $10,000 cash prize. We’ll hear the results directly from Chef Amar.

Also there is a new Vaca in the works for early 2024 but it’s not in Orange County.

Chef Amar takes a break from his busy kitchens for his insider’s report on “Top Chef” Season 20 – London.

Show 531, June 24, 2023: Restaurateur & Executive Chef Amar Santana, Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana Part Two

Amar Santana at the Finale of Top Chef

Bravo’s Top Chef just concluded 20th season was “World All-Stars” set in London. The new season of the Emmy-winning series featured 16 of its greatest competitors, representing 11 different “Top Chef” versions around the world. The chefs battled it out throughout scenic London, before the grand finale in Paris. Orange County’s own Chef Amar Santana (Vaca adjacent to South Coast Plaza and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach) was one of the esteemed returning Cheftestants.

Chef Amar did California proud. He almost went the distance but did get to Paris. “Top Chef” regular, Gail Simmons has anointed Chef Amar as one of the “Top Chef Final Five.” Not bad company to be in. Chef Amar was also in the running for “Top Chef” Fan Favorite which goes along with a $10,000 cash prize. We’ll hear the official results directly from Chef Amar.

Also there is a new Vaca in the works for early 2024 but, surprisingly, it’s not in Orange County.

Chef Amar takes a further break from his busy kitchens to continue his insider’s report on “Top Chef” Season 20 – London.

June 24: El Cholo, Trattoria Uliveto Italian Restaurant, Aqua Caliente Casino Resort Rancho Mirage, Amar Santana on Top Chef World All-Stars

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Ron Salisbury, El Cholo and The Restaurant Business – Raising Money for Charity while Celebrating 100 Years of El Cholo
Segment Three: Executive Chef Alfonso Curti of Trattoria Uliveto, Orcutt, CA
Segment Four: Executive Chef Juan Morales, Agua Caliente Casino Resort, Rancho Mirage Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Juan Morales, Agua Caliente Casino Resort, Rancho Mirage Part Two
Segment Six: Restaurateur & Executive Chef Amar Santana, Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana Part One
Segment Seven: Restaurateur & Executive Chef Amar Santana, Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef & Co-Host Andrew Gruel with “Ask the Chef”

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

“El Cholo, perhaps Los Angeles’ most iconic, honored and beloved Mexican Restaurant is celebrating its 100th Anniversary during 2023 under the watchful eye of Ron Salisbury, 3rd generation proprietor of The El Cholo Family of Restaurants. Ron Salisbury also celebrates his 90th Birthday during 2023.” “In conjunction with the 100th Anniversary of El Cholo, the Salisbury Family has launched their ambitious Charitable Gift Campaign benefitting Pediatric Cancer Research with the goal of raising a cool $1Million dollars. Monies raised through the campaign will be donated to L.A. Children’s Hospital and to Orange County’s Children’s Hospital / CHOC Foundation. To participate in this charitable campaign, every El Cholo customer who makes a $100 donation while visiting any one of the six Southern California El Cholos will receive a VIP NACHOS CARD by which they can enjoy Carmen’s Nacho’s free throughout the rest of 2023.” Ron also has a unique booth naming campaign in progress at the original El Cholo with the proceeds going to the charitable fundraising campaign. 3rd generation proprietor, Ron Salisbury, is our guest with a plate of Carmen’s Original Nachos in hand.

“Proprietor and Chef Alfonso Curti has assembled an outstanding menu of fine Italian dishes, an extensive wine list, specialty cocktails, and original desserts, which he is offering in the cozy elegance of the Trattoria Uliveto Italian Restaurant, located in the quaint town of Old Orcutt near Santa Maria, California. Join him in the celebration of authentic Italian cuisine paired with some of the finest wines available. Trattoria Uliveto also offers catering services for wedding receptions and banquets and daily Family Meals to go.” Trattoria Uliveto is open for lunch as well as dinner. Closed on Sunday and Monday. Chef Alfonso Curti takes a break from his busy kitchen to join us.

Executive Chef Juan Morales oversees all the distinctive dining options at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Rancho Mirage. This is the only Agua Caliente Casino in Greater Palm Springs with a Forbes 4- Star luxury hotel on the property. Chef Juan and his team are the menu makers for The Steakhouse, Waters Café, 360 Sports and the casual, quick-service Java Caliente. Chef Juan Morales takes a brief pause from his busy kitchens to join us.

Bravo’s “Top Chef”just concluded 20th season was “World All-Stars” set in London. The current season of the Emmy-winning series featured 16 of its greatest competitors, representing 11 different “Top Chef” versions around the world. The chefs battled it out throughout scenic London, before the grand finale in Paris. Orange County’s own Chef Amar Santana (Vaca adjacent to South Coast Plaza and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach) was one of the esteemed returning Cheftestants. Chef Amar did California proud. He almost went the distance but did get to Paris. “Top Chef” regular, Gail Simmons, has graciously anointed Chef Amar as one of the “Top Chef Final Five.” Not bad company to be in. Chef Amar was also in the running for “Top Chef” Fan Favorite which goes along with a $10,000 cash prize. We’ll hear the official results from Chef Amar.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the< full-service Calico Fish House (in Huntington Beach) and also the founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew has shared with us previously that the business model for 3rd party delivery services does not seem sustainable. Grubhub just laid off staff. We’ll “Ask the Chef.” Chef Andrew will also tell us about California Black Gill Rock Cod. It’s delicious and local…(Postponed from last week.)

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

Ron Salisbury of El Cholo

El Cholo, perhaps Los Angeles’ most iconic, honored and beloved Mexican Restaurant is celebrating its 100th Anniversary during 2023 under the watchful eye of Ron Salisbury, 3rd generation proprietor of The El Cholo Family of Restaurants. Ron Salisbury also celebrates his 90th Birthday during 2023. Mr. Salisbury has been working with the El Cholo restaurant chain for 68 years! Several of his descendants also currently work within his family’s business, including fourth, fifth and even sixth generation family members!”

In conjunction with the 100th Anniversary of El Cholo, the Salisbury Family has launched their ambitious Charitable Gift Campaign benefiting Pediatric Cancer Research with the goal of raising as cool $1 Million dollars. Monies raised through the campaign will be donated to L.A. Children’s Hospital and to Orange County’s Children’s Hospital / CHOC Foundation. To participate in this charitable campaign, every El Cholo customer who makes a $100 donation while visiting any one of the six Southern California El Cholos will receive a VIP NACHOS CARD by which they can enjoy Carmen’s Nacho’s free throughout the rest of 2023.

Ron also has a very special booth naming campaign in progress at the original El Cholo with the proceeds going to the charitable fundraising campaign.

“Says Mr. Salisbury, “Many other restaurants, when they approach 100, start slowing down or taking their eye off the ball. But we still stand firmly at the top of our game. We continue to be aggressive in providing the best Mexican restaurant experience possible – one that only El Cholo can offer. Myself, my kids, my grandkids and even my great-grandkids are proudly committed to continuing the El Cholo tradition – one that my grandparents began way back in 1923 – well into the future!””

3rd generation proprietor, Ron Salisbury, is our guest with a plate of Carmen’s Original Nachos in hand.

Alfonso Curti of Trattoria Uliveto

“Proprietor and Chef Alfonso Curti has assembled an outstanding menu of fine Italian dishes, an extensive wine list, specialty cocktails, and original desserts, which he is offering in the cozy elegance of the Trattoria Uliveto Italian Restaurant, located in the quaint town of Old Orcutt near Santa Maria, California. Join him in the celebration of authentic Italian cuisine paired with some of the finest wines available. Trattoria Uliveto also offers catering services for wedding receptions and banquets and daily Family Meals to go.” Trattoria Uliveto is open for lunch as well as dinner. Closed on Sunday and Monday.

“Business owner and restaurant afficionado Jim Spallino together with Alfonso Curti, former executive chef of Grappolo” in Santa Ynez, have a winning combination for Orcutt’s next big thing: a local Italian trattoria. Both Spallino and Curti have dreamed of having a restaurant of their own and when the opportunity to take on the Wine Cottage Bistro presented itself….they jumped!”

“Curti, a native Calabrian, moved to California from Italy a little over ten years ago and made a name for himself working at his family’s restaurant in Santa Ynez during that time. His culinary career began as a young teenager where he worked in a family bakery and later he served in the Italian Army as a Chef for troops. Perhaps his greatest teachers were his Nonna and Mamma where he learned the heart of Italian cooking.”

Chef Alfonso Curti takes a break from his busy kitchen to join us.

Juan Morales of Agua Caliente Casinos

Executive Chef Juan Morales oversees all the distinctive dining options at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Rancho Mirage. This is the only Agua Caliente Casino in Greater Palm Springs with a Forbes 4 -Star rated luxury hotel on the property. Chef Juan and his team are the menu makers for The Steakhouse, Waters Café, 360 Sports and the casual, quick-service Java Caliente.

“The Steakhouse, at Rancho Mirage is a dining experience second to none. The stunning Rancho Mirage steakhouse is the recipient of a prestigious Travel Guide award and has been the winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence consecutively since 2007. The renowned restaurant has also earned additional accolades such as the AAA Four Diamond Award, the Palm Springs Life Best of the Best, and the OpenTable Diners’ Choice Award. At The Steakhouse, guests enjoy the finest prime steaks and fresh seafood in a sophisticated, comfortable setting, along with the first-class service.”

“A native of Los Angeles, Executive Chef Juan Morales’ fondest childhood memories are of family dinners and cooking with his mother, watching the passion and attention she gave to each item she prepared. She instilled that passion and drive into Chef Juan, which drove him to work with some talented chefs throughout his 20-year career. He was fortunate to begin his culinary journey as a chef with the Patina Group, where he learned from well-known chefs Joachim Splichal and Octavio Becerra.”

“Following Patina, he ventured to Las Vegas and Green Valley Ranch where he utilized his knowledge of the culinary industry to work with amazing teams. He brought new and exciting flavors and food concepts such as Kobe beef and Japanese A5 to various restaurants, one of which was rated a top 10 steakhouse in Las Vegas. As he learned that a good chef seeks out the guest’s initial response to a dish, he quickly became accustomed to adjusting and improving flavor profiles based on these reactions. Chef Juan enjoys introducing new flavors and textures to entrees using only the freshest produce and proteins, and there’s no better place to do that than right here in California.”

Chef Juan Morales takes a break from his busy kitchens to join us.

Amar Santana at the Finale of Top Chef

Bravo’s Top Chef just concluded 20th season was “World All-Stars” set in London. The new season of the Emmy-winning series featured 16 of its greatest competitors, representing 11 different “Top Chef” versions around the world. The chefs battled it out throughout scenic London, before the grand finale in Paris. Orange County’s own Chef Amar Santana (Vaca adjacent to South Coast Plaza and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach) was one of the esteemed returning Cheftestants.

Chef Amar did California proud. He almost went the distance but did get to Paris. “Top Chef” regular, Gail Simmons has anointed Chef Amar as one of the “Top Chef Final Five.” Not bad company to be in. Chef Amar was also in the running for “Top Chef” Fan Favorite which goes along with a $10,000 cash prize. We’ll hear the results directly from Chef Amar.

Also there is a new Vaca in the works for early 2024 but it’s not in Orange County.

Chef Amar takes a break from his busy kitchens for his insider’s report on “Top Chef” Season 20 – London.

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style Pizza

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

Chef Andrew has shared with us previously that the business model for 3rd party delivery services for restaurants does not seem sustainable in the long term. Grubhub just laid off staff. We’ll “Ask the Chef.” Chef Andrew will also tell us about California Black Gill Rock Cod. It’s incredibly delicious and local… (Postponed from last week.)

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Ron Salisbury, El Cholo and The Restaurant Business – Raising Money for Charity while Celebrating 100 Years of El Cholo
Segment Three: Executive Chef Alfonso Curti of Trattoria Uliveto, Orcutt, CA
Segment Four: Executive Chef Juan Morales, Agua Caliente Casino Resort, Rancho Mirage Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Juan Morales, Agua Caliente Casino Resort, Rancho Mirage Part Two
Segment Six: Restaurateur & Executive Chef Amar Santana, Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana Part One
Segment Seven: Restaurateur & Executive Chef Amar Santana, Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef & Co-Host Andrew Gruel with “Ask the Chef”

Show 515, March 4, 2023: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

We first introduced Chef Eric Klein to the listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” when he was the high- profile Executive Chef and Partner of Spago Las Vegas in the Forum Shops. Later Chef Eric transitioned (with a major promotion) to Senior Vice President Culinary – Partner at Wolfgang Puck Catering based at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. Every year for over two-decades Wolfgang Puck Catering has had the honor and great responsibility of providing all celebratory food and beverage for the prestigious Governors Ball following the Academy Awards ceremony. 2023 is the 29th year celebration of Wolfgang Puck’s culinary responsibilities for the Governors Ball. As for the past several years this luxe menu was created by Wolfgang Puck and Eric Klein. The pastry design is by Kamel Guechida and Gary Larduinat. This year the Oscars return to the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on Sunday, March 12th. Chef Eric Klein takes a break from his active kitchens to join us for this exclusive preview.

“Come celebrate and be part of the sixth annual Masters of Taste, as L.A.’s premier outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival returns and will be taking place on Sunday, April 2nd, 2023, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl. 100% of the proceeds will directly benefit Union Station Homeless Services, a non-profit organization celebrating 50 years of providing homeless services and housing for thousands of neighbors. Masters of Taste is introducing Chef Michael Reed and Kwini Reed as Hosts of Masters of Taste 2023 which also marks the 6th Anniversary of this celebrated event. Masters of Taste 2023 Culinary Master and Host Chef Michael Reed is a classically trained chef and restaurateur, who has spent 19 years as a chef for restaurants across New York and Los Angeles. Today, Chef Reed is the co-owner and Executive Chef behind two Los Angeles restaurants, Poppy + Rose of Downtown Los Angeles, and Anaheim’s Poppy & Seed. In addition to the two concepts, Chef Reed and his wife and co-owner, Kwini Reed also run an upscale catering company, Root of All Food.” Chef Michael and Kwini Reed are our guests.

Bravo’s Top Chef” debuts its 20th season with “World All-Stars” in London, on Thursday evening, March 9th. The new season of the Emmy-winning series feature 16 of its greatest competitors, representing 11 different “Top Chef” versions around the world. The chefs will battle it out throughout scenic London, before the grand finale in Paris. Orange County’s own Chef Amar Santana (Vaca adjacent to South Coast Plaza and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach) will be one of the esteemed returning Cheftestants. Chef Amar takes a break from his busy kitchens for a preview of “Top Chef” Season 20 – London.

“The inaugural, first of its kind Pizza City Fest Los Angeles will take place April 29-30, 2023 at L.A. LIVE – Downtown Los Angeles’ Sports and Entertainment District – offering fans the unique opportunity to sample pizzas from Southern California’s best pizza makers all in one location over two days. Steve Dolinsky – a 13-time James Beard Award-winning food reporter and “The Food Guy” at NBC 5 Chicago – has turned his love of pizza into an all-encompassing endeavor. Now he hopes to bring that same experience to Los Angeles (as he did last year in Chicago) and showcase the diversity – in both geography and styles – that the region exemplifies.” We are previewing Pizza City Fest Los Angeles in multiple segments leading up to the event. Today we’ll meet Founder, Steve Dolinsky.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the full-service Calico Fish House (in Huntington Beach) and also the founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Bring on the sweet and succulent shrimp, always a popular menu item. Chef Andrew tells us about the appeal of Fair Trade, 100 percent traceable wild blue Mexican shrimp.

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

Show 515, March 4, 2023: Chef Amar Santana of Vaca and Broadway. Cheftestant for Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 20 London Part One

Amar Santana at the Finale of Top Chef

Bravo’s Top Chef” debuts its 20th season with “World All-Stars” in London, on Thursday evening, March 9th. The new season of the Emmy-winning series feature 16 of its greatest competitors, representing 11 different “Top Chef” versions around the world. The chefs will battle it out throughout scenic London, before the grand finale in Paris. Orange County’s own Chef Amar Santana (Vaca adjacent to South Coast Plaza and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach) will be one of the esteemed returning Cheftestants.

Chef Amar is a “Top Chef” veteran and characterized as a fierce competitor. In a spectacular and memorable finale he was judged the 1st runner up for “Top Chef” Season 13 – California narrowly missing the coveted top spot. He was then invited back for “Top Chef” Season 18 – Portland as a member of the elite judging panel.

Chef Amar takes a break from his busy kitchens to join us with a preview of “Top Chef” Season 20 – London.

Sail in style with Chef Amar on a premium Douro River Valley (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) cruise for 7 nights (starting November 5th.) around Porto, Portugal (the City of Bridges) on a Uniworld boutique river cruise. Also a visit to Spain’s glorious city of Salamanca. On-board cooking classes with Chef Amar will feature fresh, regional produce. Also learn the art of Spanish winemaking and Ports from Porto with visits to some of Chef Amar’s favorite wineries in the region featured on the Wine Lists at Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana.

Show 515, March 4, 2023: Chef Amar Santana of Vaca and Broadway. Cheftestant for Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 20 London Part Two

Amar Santana at the Finale of Top Chef

Bravo’s Top Chef” debuts its 20th season with “World All-Stars” in London, on Thursday evening, March 9th. The new season of the Emmy-winning series feature 16 of its greatest competitors, representing 11 different “Top Chef” versions around the world. The chefs will battle it out throughout scenic London, before the grand finale in Paris. Orange County’s own Chef Amar Santana (Vaca adjacent to South Coast Plaza and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach) will be one of the esteemed returning Cheftestants.

Chef Amar is a “Top Chef” veteran and characterized as a fierce competitor. In a spectacular and memorable finale he was judged the 1st runner up for “Top Chef” Season 13 – California narrowly missing the coveted top spot. He was then invited back for “Top Chef” Season 18 – Portland as a member of the elite judging panel.

Chef Amar takes another break from his busy kitchens to join us with a preview of “Top Chef” Season 20 – London.

Sail in style with Chef Amar on a premium Douro River Valley (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) cruise for 7 nights (starting November 5th.) around Porto, Portugal (the City of Bridges) on a Uniworld boutique river cruise. Also a visit to Spain’s glorious city of Salamanca. On-board cooking classes with Chef Amar will feature fresh, regional produce. Also learn the art of Spanish winemaking and Ports from Porto with visits to some of Chef Amar’s favorite wineries in the region featured on the Wine Lists at Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana.

March 4: Wolfgang Puck Catering, Poppy + Rose, Amar Santana, Pizza City Fest Los Angeles

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Eric Klein, Senior Vice President Culinary & Partner, Wolfgang Puck Catering. The Oscars’ Governors Ball Cuisine
Segment Three: Masters of Taste Preview with Hosts and Culinary Masters Chef Michael Reed and Kwini Reed Part One
Segment Four: Masters of Taste Preview with Hosts and Culinary Masters Chef Michael Reed and Kwini Reed Part Two
Segment Five: Chef Amar Santana of Vaca and Broadway. Cheftestant for Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 20 London Part One
Segment Six: Chef Amar Santana of Vaca and Broadway. Cheftestant for Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 20 London Part Two
Segment Seven: Pizza City Fest Los Angeles Preview with Founder Steve Dolinsky
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host, with “Ask the Chef”

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

We first introduced Chef Eric Klein to the listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” when he was the high- profile Executive Chef and Partner of Spago Las Vegas in the Forum Shops. Later Chef Eric transitioned (with a major promotion) to Senior Vice President Culinary – Partner at Wolfgang Puck Catering based at The Dolby Theater in Hollywood. Every year for over two-decades Wolfgang Puck Catering has had the honor and great responsibility of providing all celebratory food and beverage for the prestigious Governors Ball following the Academy Awards ceremony. 2023 is the 29th year celebration of the Governors Ball. As for the past several years this luxe menu was created by Wolfgang Puck and Eric Klein. The pastry design is by Kamel Guechida and Gary Larduinat. This year the Oscars return to the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on Sunday, March 12th. Chef Eric Klein takes a break from his active kitchens to join us for this exclusive preview.

“Come celebrate and be part of the sixth annual Masters of Taste, as L.A.’s premier outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival returns and will be taking place on Sunday, April 2nd, 2023, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl. 100% of the proceeds will directly benefit Union Station Homeless Services, a non-profit organization celebrating 50 years of providing homeless services and housing for thousands of neighbors. Masters of Taste is introducing Chef Michael Reed and Kwini Reed as Hosts of Masters of Taste 2023 which also marks the 6th Anniversary of this celebrated event. Masters of Taste 2023 Culinary Master and Host Chef Michael Reed is a classically trained chef and restaurateur, who has spent 19 years as a chef for restaurants across New York and Los Angeles. Today, Chef Reed is the co-owner and Executive Chef behind two Los Angeles restaurants, Poppy + Rose of Downtown Los Angeles, and Anaheim’s Poppy & Seed. In addition to the two concepts, Chef Reed and his wife and co-owner, Kwini Reed also run an upscale catering company, Root of All Food.” Chef Michael and Kwini Reed are our guests.

Bravo’s “Top Chef”debuts its 20th season with “World All-Stars” in London, on Thursday evening, March 9th. The new season of the Emmy-winning series feature 16 of its greatest competitors, representing 11 different “Top Chef” versions around the world. The chefs will battle it out throughout scenic London, before the grand finale in Paris. Orange County’s own Chef Amar Santana (Vaca adjacent to South Coast Plaza and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach) will be one of the esteemed returning Cheftestants. Chef Amar takes a break from his busy kitchens for a preview of “Top Chef” Season 20 – London.

“The inaugural, first of its kind Pizza City Fest Los Angeles will take place April 29-30, 2023 at L.A. LIVE – Downtown Los Angeles’ Sports and Entertainment District – offering fans the unique opportunity to sample pizzas from Southern California’s best pizza makers all in one location over two days. Steve Dolinsky – a 13-time James Beard Award-winning food reporter and “The Food Guy” at NBC 5 Chicago – has turned his love of pizza into an all-encompassing endeavor. Now he hopes to bring that same experience to Los Angeles (as he did last year in Chicago) and showcase the diversity – in both geography and styles – that the region exemplifies.” We are previewing Pizza City Fest Los Angeles in multiple segments leading up to the event. Today we’ll meet Founder, Steve Dolinsky.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the full-service Calico Fish House (in Huntington Beach) and also the founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Bring on the sweet and succulent shrimp, always a popular menu item. Chef Andrew tells us about the appeal of Fair Trade, 100 percent traceable wild blue Mexican shrimp.

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

Eric Klein of Wolfgang Puck Catering

We first introduced Chef Eric Klein to the listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” when he was the high- profile Executive Chef and Partner of Spago Las Vegas in the Forum Shops. Later Chef Eric transitioned (with a major promotion) to Senior Vice President Culinary – Partner at Wolfgang Puck Catering based at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.

Every year for over two-decades Wolfgang Puck Catering has had the honor and great responsibility of providing all celebratory food and beverage for the prestigious Governors Ball following the Academy Awards ceremony. 2023 is the 29th year celebration of the Governors Ball. As for the past several years this luxe menu was created by Wolfgang Puck and Eric Klein. The pastry design is by Kamel Guechida and Gary Larduinat. This year the Oscars return to the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on Sunday, March 12th.

Wolfgang Puck is flying in his Executive Chef at CUT London, Elliott Grover, to prepare Fish and Chips and oversee the Beef Wellington Carving Station. New creations for this year are the Ma Maison Chicken Salad and Wolfgang’s spin on Chicken & Waffles.

Chef Eric takes a break from his active kitchens to join us.

Michael and Kwini Reed of Poppy and Seed

“Come celebrate and be part of the sixth annual Masters of Taste, as L.A.’s premier outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival returns and will be taking place on Sunday, April 2nd, 2023, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl. 100% of the proceeds will directly benefit Union Station Homeless Services, a non-profit organization celebrating 50 years of providing homeless services and housing for thousands of neighbors.”

“Masters of Taste is introducing Chef Michael Reed and Kwini Reed as Hosts of Masters of Taste 2023 which also marks the 6th Anniversary of this celebrated event. Masters of Taste 2023 Culinary Master and Host Chef Michael Reed is a classically trained chef and restaurateur, who has spent 19 years as a chef for restaurants across New York and Los Angeles. Today, Chef Reed is the co-owner and Executive Chef behind two Los Angeles restaurants, Poppy + Rose of Downtown Los Angeles, and Anaheim’s Poppy & Seed. In addition to the two concepts, Chef Reed and his wife and co-owner, Kwini Reed also run an upscale catering company, Root of All Food.”

“In 2011, Chef Reed and Kwini Reed jointly created the high-end catering company, Root of All Food which specializes in high-end boutique catering, in-home cooking and events, and catering to Southern California. During the summer of 2014, Reed opened DTLA brunch darling, Poppy + Rose, a restaurant that specializes in classic American diner-fare made from scratch with a seasonal menu. He owns the restaurant alongside his wife, Kwini Reed. In 2021, Poppy & Seed opened, branching more upscale service and cuisine in a modern greenhouse setting. Located in the Anaheim Packing District, Poppy & Seed features a menu of refined American fare.”

“The sixth annual Masters of Taste 2023 is expected to bring over 3,000 food and beverage enthusiasts together for one afternoon to celebrate this exhilarating festival, which will include the finest fare from over 100 Culinary Masters and restaurants, delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s top Sweet Masters, top Beverage Masters who will be featuring signature handcrafted cocktail tastings from over 25 spirit brands and top cocktail bars, a premier 50-Yard-Line Cocktail Bar, select wineries, local craft breweries, cold-pressed juices, cold brew coffee, live entertainment and much, much more.”

Ticket Information: Masters of Taste 2023 will take place on Sunday, April 2nd, 2023, and this is a 21+ event. A VIP Power Hour will be held from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm and General Admission will be from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Chef Michael Reed and Kwini Reed are our guests.

Amar Santana at the Finale of Top Chef

Bravo’s Top Chef” debuts its 20th season with “World All-Stars” in London, on Thursday evening, March 9th. The new season of the Emmy-winning series feature 16 of its greatest competitors, representing 11 different “Top Chef” versions around the world. The chefs will battle it out throughout scenic London, before the grand finale in Paris. Orange County’s own Chef Amar Santana (Vaca adjacent to South Coast Plaza and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach) will be one of the esteemed returning Cheftestants.

Chef Amar is a “Top Chef” veteran and characterized as a fierce competitor. In a spectacular and memorable finale he was judged the 1st runner up for “Top Chef” Season 13 – California narrowly missing the coveted top spot. He was then invited back for “Top Chef” Season 18 – Portland as a member of the elite judging panel.

Chef Amar takes a break from his busy kitchens to join us with a preview of “Top Chef” Season 20 – London.

Sail in style with Chef Amar on a premium Douro River Valley (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) cruise for 7 nights (starting November 5th.) around Porto, Portugal (the City of Bridges) on a Uniworld boutique river cruise. Also a visit to Spain’s glorious city of Salamanca. On-board cooking classes with Chef Amar will feature fresh, regional produce. Also learn the art of Spanish winemaking and Ports from Porto with visits to some of Chef Amar’s favorite wineries in the region featured on the Wine Lists at Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana.

Steve Dolinsky and Andreew Gruel

“The inaugural, first of its kind Pizza City Fest Los Angeles will take place April 29-30, 2023 at L.A. LIVE – Downtown Los Angeles’ Sports and Entertainment District – offering fans the unique opportunity to sample pizzas from Southern California’s best pizza makers all in one location over two days. Steve Dolinsky – a 13-time James Beard Award-winning food reporter and “The Food Guy” at NBC 5 Chicago – has turned his love of pizza into an all-encompassing endeavor. Now he hopes to bring that same experience to Los Angeles (as he did last year in Chicago) and showcase the diversity – in both geography and styles – that the region exemplifies.”

“I’ve seen the L.A. pizza scene explode recently, having visited about 60 places while researching over the past year,” said Dolinsky. “But with so much great pizza spread out from Santa Barbara to San Diego, there needed to be a way to highlight these artisans all in one place. Not only will we do that, but we’ll also bring together some of the most talented local pizza pros to share their knowledge and expertise with home cooks.”

We are previewing Pizza City Fest Los Angeles in multiple segments leading up to the event. Today we’ll meet the Founder of Pizza City Fest Los Angeles, Steve Dolinsky.

Tickets for Pizza City Fest Los Angeles start at $95. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit Pizza City’s Ticketing page or call 1-877-234-8425.

Chef Andrew Gruel of Big Parm and the Calico Fish House

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

Bring on the sweet and succulent shrimp, always a popular menu item. Chef Andrew tells us about the appeal of Fair Trade, 100 percent traceable wild blue Mexican shrimp.

Chef Andrew and Lauren Gruel have a new fast casual concept, Burger 101, coming soon to the 2-level, Kitchen United complex on the 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica. It’s Chef Andrew’s version of a value-priced, honest burger (and loaded fries) using quality ingredients including a premium burger patty sourced from West Coast Prime Meats. He’ll also launch a casual Mexican concept there, Lolo’s Tacos, specializing in clean and simple tacos, burritos and standout specialty sauces.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Eric Klein, Senior Vice President Culinary & Partner, Wolfgang Puck Catering. The Oscars’ Governors Ball Cuisine
Segment Three: Masters of Taste Preview with Hosts and Culinary Masters Chef Michael Reed and Kwini Reed Part One
Segment Four: Masters of Taste Preview with Hosts and Culinary Masters Chef Michael Reed and Kwini Reed Part Two
Segment Five: Chef Amar Santana of Vaca and Broadway. Cheftestant for Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 20 London Part One
Segment Six: Chef Amar Santana of Vaca and Broadway. Cheftestant for Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 20 London Part Two
Segment Seven: Pizza City Fest Los Angeles Preview with Founder Steve Dolinsky
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host, with “Ask the Chef”

Show 475, May 21, 2022: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

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

Gather for Good and RE:Her present Cake Walk 2022

First a Preview of next Saturday’s (May 28th) 2nd Annual Cake Walk supporting women’s reproductive rights at Redbird in DTLA from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. presented by Gather for Good and RE:Her. It’s a gathering of LA’s top pastry chefs and bakers showcasing an incredible collection of over 30 delicious and beautiful cakes. Slices of cakes will be available for sale as well as craft cocktails, artisan coffee, and a live DJ. A purchased admission ticket is required to attend the event.

In the Village of Arroyo Grande in San Luis Obispo County the place for the best coffee (locally roasted) and full breakfast (since 1996) is the locals’ favorite, Cafe Andreini. This was Arroyo Grande’s first coffee house. Proprietress Denise Andreini was born and raised in Arroyo Grande and graduated from Cal Poly San Louis Obispo. She returned to Arroyo Grande after a time in the Bay Area to raise her Family. Café Andreini is known for their abundant breakfast burritos, open-faced sandwiches, avocado toast, acai bowls, pastries and lots more. Open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. with extended hours to 4:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Founder Denise Andreini joins us with a freshly brewed Americano in hand.

“The annual CANstruction Long Beach is always one of the most visually stunning demonstrations of talent and creativity that architect and engineering firms participate in annually to help eliminate human hunger in the Long Beach community, and CANstruction is now excited to add a “Pet Edition” this year. The inaugural CANstruction Long Beach: Pet Edition benefiting Sparky & the Gang animal rescue organization will be held at Trademark Brewing June 17 to 26, 2022. June 17th being “build day” starting at 7a.m., a team from P2S Inc. Engineering will have twelve hours to design and build their unique structure made entirely out of canned dog food. The structure may be built up to 10’ x 10’ x 10’ and will be comprised of 4,000 to 4,500 cans. The theme is “CANines Rule!”, and the team may depict one of our canine friends in any way they want.” Organizer Terri Henry of Terri Henry Marketing and Steve Peterson of P2S Inc. join us with all the details of CANstruction Long Beach: Pet Edition.

Come celebrate the 55th anniversary of South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa in style with an extraordinary evening of dining bliss supporting Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) – Los Angeles. The celebratory evening begins in South Coast Plaza’s Penthouse with a reception of anniversary cocktails crafted by Vaca Group beverage director Michael Rooney and Knife Pleat’s sommelier Victor Moreno, and a wine bar hosted by Whispering Angel. Taste passed appetizers by four of SCP’s outstanding chefs: Ross Pangilinan (TERRACE by Mix Mix), James Hamamori (Hamamori Restaurant & Sushi Bar), John Park (Tableau), and Nick Weber (Populaire). Guests then enjoy a curated, four-course dinner paired with premium wines, created by C-CAP alum chef Amar Santana (Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana) and Michelin-starred chef Tony Esnault (Knife Pleat.)” Chef Amar Santana joins us with all the tasty details.

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. On Thursday, May 21st Chef Andrew was the co-headlining chef for Outstanding in the Field’s 5-course, sustainable seafood, wine-paired dinner on the Huntington Beach Pier as part of the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl. The distinguished culinary team cooked for a sold-out crowd of 225 discriminating guests all seated on one long table. Chef Andrew shares the details of the unusual experience.

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