Show 371, May 2, 2020: Executive Chef & Co-Proprietor Marco Zapien, Zapien’s Salsa Grill

Marco Zapien of Zapiens Salsa Grill and Taqueria“Like all restaurants in LA County, Zapien’s Salsa Grill in Pico Rivera is limited to takeout and curbside pick-up options to share its regional Mexican Cuisine with the community. With dine-in service unavailable, Chef Marco Zapien and team are keeping it fun and giving back to the community, while offering some of their classic favorites available for takeout, curbside pick-up and delivery.”

“The most popular special so far is a family meal pack that feeds 4-6 and includes a salad, choice of entrée (Chile Verde, Chile Colorado, Chicharron, Carnitas or Chicken Fajitas), rice, beans, chips, salsa, Tortillas and soft drinks. Plus, anyone who orders this takeout/pick-up special will get 2 pounds of uncooked rice and beans and two rolls of toilet paper, all for only $39.99.”

“Chef Zapien’s creative giving doesn’t stop there. He’s helping out families with kids with $3 individual kids’ pizzas with the purchase of any entrée. Even more, all entrees come with a free soft drink or coffee.”

“Recently, Chef Zapien introduced the Corona Survival Kit, including two frozen packs of menudo or pozole, a six pack of beer of choice, two mini (Agave Tequila) shot bottles, one 2-pound bag of uncooked beans, one 2-pound bag of uncooked rice and two rolls of toilet paper.”

For over 25 years, The Salsa Grill has been a favorite spot in the Pico Rivera community and beyond and wants to give back. “We want to give back to the community that’s been supporting us for almost 26 years,” said co-owner and Executive Chef, Zapien.

We gently pull Chef Marco out of his busy kitchen to talk about all his specials for Cinco de Mayo (Family Meal Packs) and Mother’s Day (including a Mother’s Day Brunch feast for 4 to 6 people).


Show 346, October 26, 2019: Chef / Proprietor AC Boral, Bebot Filipino Soul Food, Long Beach Part One

AC Boral of BebotRegular listeners to the show know Long Beach’s Chef AC Boral from his popular pop-up series of “Rice & Shine” brunches. His long-in-the works brick-and-mortar restaurant, Bebot (named after his late Father) is now serving Filipino Soul Food.

“I remember from a very young age, my dad dreamed of opening a restaurant. He spoke so earnestly as he’d share this Dream with me, show me the menus he’d drafted up, and even go as far as fantasizing about spaces with “FOR LEASE” signs on them.”

“He put that aspiration on the back burner for a different, more selfless Dream: for his children to graduate college. I’m so glad he was able to see my sister and I walk across that stage. And right now, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to help achieve his other Dream of opening a restaurant.”

“I wish he could be here to see this. But I’m confident Bebot – Filipino Soul Food is something that he’d be proud of that will continue his legacy.”

Chef AC joins us with the tasty details.



Show 338, August 24, 2019: Chef Marco Zapien of Zapien’s Salsa Grill

Marco Zapien of Zapiens Salsa Grill and TaqueriaOnce a year Chef Marco Zapien of Zapien’s Salsa Grill in Pico Rivera hosts a series of Hatch Chile-themed events to celebrate the famous New Mexican spicy and savory pepper. First up is Chef Marco’s Hatch pepper Cooking Demonstration on Tuesday evening, August 27th from 6 to 8:00 p.m. Guests will receive copies of all the Hatch-themed recipes including Drink of the Day, Appetizers, Salad, Entrees and Dessert. The seated Dinner features all the items demonstrated by Chef Marco. Guests also receive a gift certificate for a complimentary meal at Zapien’s Salsa Grill on a future visit.

Zapien’s will then host a daytime Hatch Chile Roast on September 7th were supplies of the roasted Hatch Chiles can be picked up by the case. The guest selects the level of spicy desired ranging from mild to hot. Also on Saturday, September 7th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. join Chef Marco and Zapien’s Salsa Grill for their special Hatch Chile Brunch featuring over ten incredible Hatch Chile inspired dishes.

We’ll entice Chef Marco away from the chile roaster for a chat.


Show 337, August 17, 2019: Chef Scooter Kanfer, The Tropicale Restaurant & Coral Seas Lounge, Palm Springs

Scooter Kanfer of the TropicaleChef Scooter Kanfer is the menu maker (with proprietor Tony Di Lembo) at Palm Springs’ The Tropicale Restaurant & Coral Seas Lounge (Comfort Food for a Modern World.) “Every night at Tropicale is a party.”

Newly published is The Tropicale Restaurant Cookbook.

“A chic and sophisticated décor provides the setting for our distinctive “world cuisine”, a provocative mix of zesty influences that creates a delightful dining experience in Palm Springs, California. Plush high-backed semicircular banquettes surround our dining room and offer comfortable and private seating. The cuisine has a light, exotic feel with an emphasis on Pacific Rim specialties, from Chilean Sea Bass baked in Banana Leaves or Kahlua-Barbecued Pork Chops to all sorts of tasty tapas, salads, wood-fired pizzas, and desserts.”

“The Coral Seas Lounge, a hip mid-century style bar is lined with sexy black leather bar-stools and is reminiscent of the upbeat lounges of old Palm Springs. It wraps around the dining room and leads outside to a lush, tropical, 2000 square foot dining patio where a variety of specialty cocktails and old-school favorites are mixed – an ideal place where friends gather and martinis are sipped under the starlit desert sky.”

We spirit Chef Scooter away from her busy kitchen at Brunch for a chat.


Show 333, July 20, 2019: Proprietor Rob Arellano, Descanso – A Modern Taqueria, Costa Mesa Part One

Rob Arellano of Descanso RestaurantDescanso is a modern taqueria in that it celebrates authentic Mexican flavors and recipes executed on a traditional plancha and prepared a la minute in front of you, in a full-service setting. Concept creator and proprietor Rob Arellano pulled from his own Mexican heritage to create a never-before-seen restaurant experience rooted in nostalgia and comfort, that speaks to how we live and eat today, You, our guest, will come face to face with the chef as Mexican classics are made to order in a lively setting that brings in the smells, sounds and energy of a busy Mexican town.” Descanso was recognized as one of Orange Coast Magazine’s 2019 Best New Restaurants.

“With Chef Sergio Ortega at the helm in the Kitchen, Descanso presents Classic Central Mexico street-inspired cuisine, rife with bold flavors and the freshest, seasonal ingredients in dishes that are complex and layered with history and flavor.”

Open Daily @ 11:00 a.m. for Lunch and Dinner. Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 3 to 5:00 p.m. Brunch (featuring Bottomless Mimosas and Brunch Cocktails) is Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Rob Arellano is our guest.


Show 288, September 1, 2018: Chef Marco Zapien, Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria

Marco Zapien of Zapiens Salsa Grill and TaqueriaOnce a year Chef Marco Zapien of Zapien’s Salsa Grill in Pico Rivera hosts a series of Hatch Chile-themed events to celebrate the famous New Mexican spicy and savory pepper. Zapien’s will orchestrate a daytime Hatch Chile Roast on September 8th where supplies of the roasted Hatch Chiles can be picked up by the case. The guest selects the level of spicy desired ranging from mild to hot. A good tip is to reserve your case in advance.

Also on Saturday, September 8th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. join Chef Marco and Zapien’s Salsa Grill for their special Hatch Chile Brunch featuring over ten Hatch Chile inspired dishes. Enjoy all-you-can-eat, and hand-made Tortillas, Champagne and Mimosas for a modest $24 per guest. Think Hatch “Macadillo” with macaroni baked in a spiced cheese sauce with Hatch Chile picadillo.

We’ll entice Chef Marco away from the rotating chile roaster for a flavorful chat.


Show 274, May 19, 2018: Chef Ricardo Zarate, Once at The Palazzo Resort, Las Vegas

Ricardo Zarate of Mo-Chica and PiccaSeveral years ago Chef Ricardo Zarate created quite a foodie sensation with his original Mo-Chica restaurant located within walking distance of USC in the Mercado la Paloma. The menu was modern interpretations of traditional Peruvian comfort food.

Currently Chef Ricardo operates Rosaline in Los Angeles and the recently debuted Once in the Palazzo Resort in Las Vegas.

Once is a one-of-a-kind Peruvian Nikkei dining experience from Chef Ricardo Zarate. Once (on-seh), which means ’11’ in Spanish and symbolizes Ricardo Zarate’s spot in his line of 13 siblings, is inspired by the food of his native Peru.

Drawing distinct flavors from both Peru and Japan, along with the comforting dishes of Chef Ricardo Zarate’s childhood, the menu includes dishes such as Big Eye Tuna Sashimi Ceviche, with black truffle and kizami tigers milk; Arroz Chaufa, Peruvian fried rice, snow crab, yuzu aioli and crispy calamari; and Ox Tail Bibimbap, with black mint stew, tacu tacu rice, fried egg and plantains. To compliment the menu, there are 11 signature cocktails, including a Rum & Cola “slushee” machine for an irreverent, Vegas-style twist on a boozy classic.

Dinner nightly with the recently introduced Brunch on Weekends.

One of the distinct design elements is the chefs’ counter. Guests have front row, center views of the goings-on in the open kitchen and can interact with the engaging culinary team. Live theater of the culinary variety…

We relished the “Avocado Toast” on the Brunch menu. It’s not what you expect…It’s spicy tuna, crispy quinoa bread, avocado mousse with a Yuzu aioli.

Chef Ricardo is our guest.



Show 266, March 24, 2018: Executive Chef & Proprietor, Steve Samson, Rossoblu

Steve Samson of Sotto and RossobluDowntown Los Angeles’ Rossoblu (almost 1-year old) tells the story of two places Executive Chef & Proprietor Steve Samson considers home: Los Angeles and Bologna. The restaurant is a homage to Samson’s heritage, inspired by childhood memories of summers spent in Bologna and its surrounding region, Emilia Romagna.

The menu features handmade pastas, market fresh produce, and an in-house butchery and salumi program. The wine list focuses on unique Italian and California varietals, with a sharp focus on Emilia Romagna’s famed Lambrusco. A true family owned and operated restaurant, Rossoblu is managed by Steve’s wife, Dina, and their management team whom they have worked with for the last ten plus years.

Located in Downtown’s City Market South, the site of Los Angeles’ original wholesale produce market, Rossoblu’s open kitchen with wood-fired rotisserie, marbled serpentine bar, and starry-lit vaulted dining room create a convivial dining environment.

Newly added is Saturday and Sunday Brunch. Think Nutella Stuffed French Toast and Frittata Bolognese.

Rossoblu will also host the premier event for the 2nd Annual Los Angeles Times Food Bowl on Monday evening, April 30th. Jonathan Gold (Los Angeles Times Food Critic) will be in the house.

We’ll check-in with Chef Steve Samson for an update.


Show 241, September 16, 2017: Special Olympics Southern California’s Pier del Sol Benefit

Peter GarlandPier del Sol on Sunday, Oct. 8th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. is an exciting and unique day of fun on the historic Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park. At the only culinary festival fused with a backyard private Amusement Park experience, attendees can enjoy an exclusive VIP brunch featuring mouthwatering tastings from over 35 of L.A.’s top Chefs and restaurants, entertainment, music, arts & crafts, games, and unlimited rides at Pacific Park. All proceeds from this annual event benefit the athletes of Special Olympic Southern California.

This year’s theme is “Oktoberfest,” where a beach top VIP Beer & Wine Garden will enhance your culinary palette!

Love the food at Pier del Sol? To celebrate 20 years of food, fun, and sun on the pier, SOSC published Cuisine del Sol in 2016, a souvenir cookbook featuring 28 chefs with recipes and stories who have supported the event. Think Michael Cimarusti, Neal Fraser and David LeFevre for starters…This is your chance to create the recipes of these culinary masterminds!

Special Olympics Southern California’s Maureen Barclift and participating restaurateur Peter Garland of Beverly Hills’ Porta Via are our guests. Peter is also included in the Cuisine del Sol Cookbook with Porta Via’s signature recipe for Organic Kale and Quinoa Salad.


Show 239, September 2, 2017: Chef AC Boral, RICE & SHINE Brunch Series

AC BoralPresented by Long Beach Chef AC Boral, RICE & SHINE (an eight- course, family-style brunch experience) prides itself in being a completely unique brunch. Guests even leave with an edible care package. Sit at Chef AC’s long table for a great time blending food, family, culture, and, of course, mimosas. It’s Filipino family favorites with a contemporary twist.

Filipino hospitality means that guests eat well, always leaving the table busog (full) and with even MORE food to take home. Everyone is treated like family and becomes family.

“RICE & SHINE takes traditional Filipino dishes and blends them with American brunch. We want to share the culture and history of Filipino cuisine with those who are unfamiliar while offering something fresh for those who grew up eating it. “If ya don’t know, now ya know.”

At its core, Filipino cuisine is food for the soul. The spirit behind RICE & SHINE is to pay tribute to Filipino food tradition.

The next RICE & SHINE is set for Sunday, September 10th at 11:30 a.m. in a secret location in Downtown Long Beach.

We’ll meet Chef AC.