Show 420, April 10, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

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

Taste Hungary: Food & Wine Experiences in the New Old World founded by the husband and wife team of Gabor and Carolyn Banfalvi, is a multi-tiered company dedicated to showcasing Hungarian cuisine and wine. Their experiences educate travelers about the region through its cuisine and wine, history, culture, and context in the larger world. The Banfalvis draw on their experience, research, and deep personal connections to craft their tours, and choose the Taste Hungary Taste Hungary is also committed to making Hungarian wine accessible to their followers by offering services such as shipping in the EU, retail, importing to the US, and wine clubs.” Gabor Banfalvi provides us with an overview of the wines and foods of Hungary.wines.

Isaias Hernandez and Josh Bentrem (the co-founders of Smoke & Fire Social Eatery with locations in La Habra and Paramount) began their journey as hospitality associates for top dining institutions. Ranging from local eateries to billion-dollar restaurant groups, the partners specialize in all things’ food and beverage. With almost two decades of experience in operations and senior leadership, Isaias and Josh had the privilege of opening restaurant concepts across the United States before venturing off on their own with Smoke & Fire.”“Smoke and Fire is a prime example that when a business operates correctly, you don’t create a company, you start a family. We are a family turned restaurant group that provides the ultimate comfort food experience in a quick-service format. The goal is to produce full-service standards in a quick service capacity.”

“It’s estimated that one million restaurant jobs have been lost in California alone as a result of COVID-19. To provide support for independent restaurant owners across the state, the California Restaurant Association Foundation (CRF) has partnered with California’s energy companies to launch the Restaurants Care Resilience Fund. The $1.25 million fund, which includes generous donations from SoCalGas, PG&E and SDG&E, will provide grants up to $3,500 to single-unit restaurants in select counties across the state, with priority given to woman – and person of color-owned restaurants.” Applications for the Resilience Fund will be open from April 11-18 only. The California Restaurant Association Foundation’s Executive Director, Alycia Harshfield, is our guest to explain the Resilience Fund’s purpose and program details.

Adam Bell, the founder of dataTV established in 1996, is the “SoCal Restaurant Show’s” accomplished, long -time web designer, webmaster and all-around social media guru. His clients include Chef Jet Tila and New Orleans’ Café du Monde. Adam relocated to Los Angeles from New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. As restaurants are slowly regrouping and reestablishing their enterprises Adam has some sound (and non-technical) advice to share regarding the importance of having a useful and easy to navigate website with speedy page loading. Social media is vitally important and genuinely useful but it doesn’t replace the need for an inviting website.

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 regularly updating us on the 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 early stages of 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 to food we’ll ask Chef Andrew about what’s happening with the crazy pricing of fresh lobster. It’s priced at a premium and in short supply once again.

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

Play

Show 420, April 10, 2021: Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director, California Restaurant Association Foundation

Alycia Harshfield of the California Restaaurant Association

“It’s estimated that one million restaurant jobs have been lost in California alone as a result of COVID-19. To provide support for independent restaurant owners across the state, the California Restaurant Association Foundation (CRF) has partnered with California’s energy companies to launch the Restaurants Care Resilience Fund. The $1.25 million fund, which includes generous donations from SoCalGas, PG&E and SDG&E, will provide grants up to $3,500 to single-unit restaurants in select counties across the state, with priority given to woman- and BIPOC-owned restaurants. Applications for the Resilience Fund will be open from April 11-18 only.

“Grants given by CRF’s Restaurants Care Resilience Fund are intended to be used on payroll and related expenses so the restaurant operator can free up funds for other expenses such as rent, technology upgrades and outdoor dining retrofitting. Additionally, restaurants that receive a Resilience Fund grant will also receive support services and resources to improve their business for the long-term. Over the past year, through the non-profit’s Restaurants Care® program, CRF has helped more than 1,200 restaurant workers, their families and businesses and believes that by investing in the lasting success of these restaurants, we can also preserve jobs and communities throughout California.”

“What’s really unique about our Resilience Fund is that it supports the business as well as individual restaurant workers,” said Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of the California Restaurant Association Foundation. “A portion of the funds raised will provide grants for cooks, servers, dishwashers and more who face unforeseen hardship and have nowhere else to turn and the rest will go to the restaurant. So yes, we’re helping restaurants keep their crew on payroll, while also offering a safety net for when things get tough. While we’re delighted to see restaurants opening up and COVID cases drop, the recovery will take years and we’re doing what we can to help.”

“Resilience Fund applications will be open from April 11-18, 2021 and can be found at www.restaurantscare.org/resilience. Grants will be available to single-unit, California-based restaurants in the following counties: Alameda, Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Joaquin with a staff of 50 or fewer employees. To qualify, the restaurant must currently be open and have experienced a revenue loss of at least 20% from 2019-2020.”

The California Restaurant Association Foundation’s Executive Director, Alycia Harshfield, is our guest to explain the Resilience Fund’s purpose and program details.

Play

April 10: Taste Hungary, Smoke & Fire Social Eatery, California Restaurant Association Foundation, dataTV Web Design for Restaurants

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Gabor Banfalvi of Taste Hungary & Tasting Table Budapest Part One
Segment Three: Gabor Banfalvi of Taste Hungary & Tasting Table Budapest Part Two
Segment Four: Chef Isaias Hernandez and Josh Bentrem, Smoke & Fire Social Eatery Part One
Segment Five: Chef Isaias Hernandez and Josh Bentrem, Smoke & Fire Social Eatery Part Two
Segment Six: Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director, California Restaurant Association Foundation
Segment Seven: Web Designer and Developer Adam Bell of dataTV
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.

“Taste Hungary: Food & Wine Experiences in the New Old World founded by the husband and wife team of Gabor and Carolyn Banfalvi, is a multi-tiered company dedicated to showcasing Hungarian cuisine and wine. Their experiences educate travelers about the region through its cuisine and wine, history, culture, and context in the larger world. The Banfalvis draw on their experience, research, and deep personal connections to craft their tours, and choose the Taste Hungary wines. Taste Hungary is also committed to making Hungarian wine accessible to their followers by offering services such as shipping in the EU, retail, importing to the US, and wine clubs.” Gabor Banfalvi provides us with an overview of the wines and foods of Hungary.

“Isaias Hernandez and Isaias Hernandez (the co-founders of Smoke & Fire Social Eatery with locations in La Habra and Paramount) began their journey as hospitality associates for top dining institutions. Ranging from local eateries to billion-dollar restaurant groups, the partners specialize in all thing’s food and beverage. With almost two decades of experience in operations and senior leadership, Isaias and Josh had the privilege of opening restaurant concepts across the United States before venturing off on their own with Smoke & Fire.”
“Smoke and Fire is a prime example that when a business operates correctly, you don’t create a company, you start a family. We are a family turned restaurant group that provides the ultimate food experience in a quick-service format. The goal is to produce full-service standards in a quick service capacity.”

“It’s estimated that one million restaurant jobs have been lost in California alone as a result of COVID-19. To provide support for independent restaurant owners across the state, the California Restaurant Association Foundation (CRF) has partnered with California’s energy companies to launch the Restaurants Care Resilience Fund. The $1.25 million fund, which includes generous donations from SoCalGas, PG&E and SDG&E, will provide grants up to $3,500 to single-unit restaurants in select counties across the state, with priority given to woman – and person of color-owned restaurants.” Applications for the Resilience Fund will be open from April 11-18 only. The California Restaurant Association Foundation’s Executive Director, Alycia Harshfield, is our guest to explain the Resilience Fund’s purpose and program details.

Adam Bell, the founder of dataTV established in 1996, is the “SoCal Restaurant Show’s” accomplished, long -time web designer, webmaster and all-around social media guru. He relocated to Los Angeles from New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. As restaurants are slowly regrouping and reestablishing their enterprises Adam has some sound (and non-technical) advice to share regarding the importance of having a useful and easy to navigate website with speedy page loading. Social media is vitally important and genuinely useful but it doesn’t replace the need for an inviting website.

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 regularly updating us on the 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 early stages of 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 to food we’ll ask Chef Andrew about what’s happening with the crazy pricing of fresh lobster. It’s priced at a premium and in short supply once again.

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

“For Gabor and Carolyn Banfalvi travel has been a part of their lives together from the time they met working on a cruise ship in the Caribbean more than two decades ago. They share a special passion (and an appetite) for the food and wine of Central Europe, as well as the people, places, and stories that make this region so fascinating. The Banfalvi’s founded Taste Hungary—their Budapest-based food and wine tour company—in 2008, and ever since have loved doing this deep dive into the foodways and wine culture of Hungary.”

“After spending years researching and writing Carolyn’s culinary guidebook to Hungary—Food, Wine, Budapest (Little Bookroom, 2008)—the Banfalvi’s started Taste Hungary with the intention of sharing their passion for Hungarian food and wine with like-minded travelers who want to experience the region’s authentic flavors and experiences. At their independent wine shop and tasting cellar in Budapest’s Palace District, The Tasting Table Budapest, their team of sommeliers (in post Covid 19 times) leads daily wine tastings, introducing wine lovers’ to the (often unknown) treasures of Hungary.”

“We believe Hungary and Central Europe are undiscovered culinary gems—a culinary paradise which is slowly being (re)discovered. Hungarian food and winemaking have deep traditions, and a complex (and complicated) history. Decades of Communism caused many of these unique food traditions and industries to suffer terribly. But these days Budapest is a hot restaurant city (it even has four Michelin-starred establishments); local food artisans and growers around the country are reviving old traditions; and Hungarian wines are increasingly available around the world.”

“Our ultimate goal is to show guests that there is plenty of good food and wine here. We want to break down the language and cultural barriers that could make people feel uncomfortable. We want our guests to go home feeling like they discovered things they didn’t even know existed, and that it was well worth their while to dig deeply into new flavors, a new country, and meeting new people.”

Gabor Banfalvi joins us from Budapest to pull the cork on the joys of Hungarian wine and cuisine for us.

Josh Bentrem of Smoke and Fire Social Eatery

Isaias Hernandez and Josh Bentrem (the co-founders of Smoke & Fire Social Eatery with locations in La Habra and Paramount) began their journey as hospitality associates for top dining institutions. Ranging from local eateries to billion-dollar restaurant groups, the partners specialize in all thing’s food and beverage. With almost two decades of experience in operations and senior leadership, Isaias and Josh had the privilege of opening restaurant concepts across the United States before venturing off on their own with Smoke & Fire.”

“Smoke and Fire is a prime example that when a business operates correctly, you don’t create a company, you start a family. We are a family turned restaurant group that provides the ultimate food experience in a quick-service format. The goal is to produce full-service standards in a quick service capacity.”

Menu specialties include a Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich (with the guest’s choice of heat,) a Smash Burger (double patty with cheese,) Brisket Grilled Cheese, Brisket Tacos and a Brisket Quesadilla. The appealing selection of Loaded Fries are generous portions of battered waffle fries with proteins (Nashville Hot Chicken, Smash Burger, and Texas Style Brisket) added in.

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members. Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much. At Smoke and Fire Social Eatery, we understand that it takes a village to raise a child so we honor all of those hardworking mentors, teachers and community servants with discounted meals and sponsorships.”

Proprietors Isaias Hernandez and Josh Bentrem join us with spatula in hand.

Alycia Harshfield of the California Restaaurant Association

“It’s estimated that one million restaurant jobs have been lost in California alone as a result of COVID-19. To provide support for independent restaurant owners across the state, the California Restaurant Association Foundation (CRF) has partnered with California’s energy companies to launch the Restaurants Care Resilience Fund. The $1.25 million fund, which includes generous donations from SoCalGas, PG&E and SDG&E, will provide grants up to $3,500 to single-unit restaurants in select counties across the state, with priority given to woman- and BIPOC-owned restaurants. Applications for the Resilience Fund will be open from April 11-18 only.

“Grants given by CRF’s Restaurants Care Resilience Fund are intended to be used on payroll and related expenses so the restaurant operator can free up funds for other expenses such as rent, technology upgrades and outdoor dining retrofitting. Additionally, restaurants that receive a Resilience Fund grant will also receive support services and resources to improve their business for the long-term. Over the past year, through the non-profit’s Restaurants Care® program, CRF has helped more than 1,200 restaurant workers, their families and businesses and believes that by investing in the lasting success of these restaurants, we can also preserve jobs and communities throughout California.”

“What’s really unique about our Resilience Fund is that it supports the business as well as individual restaurant workers,” said Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of the California Restaurant Association Foundation. “A portion of the funds raised will provide grants for cooks, servers, dishwashers and more who face unforeseen hardship and have nowhere else to turn and the rest will go to the restaurant. So yes, we’re helping restaurants keep their crew on payroll, while also offering a safety net for when things get tough. While we’re delighted to see restaurants opening up and COVID cases drop, the recovery will take years and we’re doing what we can to help.”

“Resilience Fund applications will be open from April 11-18, 2021 and can be found at www.restaurantscare.org/resilience. Grants will be available to single-unit, California-based restaurants in the following counties: Alameda, Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Joaquin with a staff of 50 or fewer employees. To qualify, the restaurant must currently be open and have experienced a revenue loss of at least 20% from 2019-2020.”

The California Restaurant Association Foundation’s Executive Director, Alycia Harshfield, is our guest to explain the Resilience Fund’s purpose and program details.

Adam Bell of dataTV

Adam Bell, the founder of dataTV established in 1996, is the “SoCal Restaurant Show’s” accomplished, long -time web designer, webmaster and all-around social media guru. He relocated to Los Angeles from New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

As restaurants are slowly regrouping and reestablishing their enterprises Adam has some sound (and easy to follow) advice to share regarding the importance of having a useful and easy to navigate website with speedy page loading. Social media is vitally important and useful but it doesn’t replace the need for a informative website.

There are now also new and affordable means for restaurant patrons to order online without engaging the mega delivery apps.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and Casino

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 regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine concern as recovery slowly starts to happen.

Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to again operate for outside/patio dining and limited inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Shifting the conversation back to food we’ll ask Chef Andrew about the pricing of fresh lobster. It’s, again, a bit pricey and in short supply.

Chef Andrew also updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, 86 Restaurant Struggle campaign to benefit out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $380,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in serious need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The substantial need, and fundraising, continues…

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.

Show 411, February 6, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

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

Jet Tila and a heritage pig at Cochon 555 in 2013

Our emeritus host, Celebrity Chef Jet Tila, has a Lunar New Year promotion going on courtesy of Melissa’s and Lee Kum Kee. Ten Lucky winners (announced on March 1st) will be awarded a one-hour virtual cooking class with Chef Jet. In addition the First Prize is $1,500. The Lunar New Year Cook Off is a surprise challenge (think a virtual “Chopped”) where the recipes to be made arrive via email. Contestants sign-up for the challenge and then receive an email with the “mystery” ingredient/recipe. The entrant then makes the recipe and posts it in order to be entered to win. Eligible winners are selected at random. All the info on the contest is here.

Chef Aliye Aydin teaches cooking classes and is a culinary coach to a growing network of inspired home cooks. In 2019 she noticed from her students that there was a serious interest in learning more about spice blends and how to use them to creatively perk up meals. Chef Aliye then launched the Spice Club where home cooks could source her proprietary spice blends either individually or as part of a yearly Spice Blend Membership which includes a quarterly delivery of a spice blend, recipes, a meal planning guide and a series of interactive cooking classes. “All spice products are organic and/or sourced from suppliers working to end inequality and exploitation in the spice trade, meaning more dollars going directly to a farmer in the country where the spice is grown.” We’re cooking in the kitchen with Chef Aliye.

For 16 years, Providence in Hollywood has elevated the standard of modern American seafood restaurants along with providing exemplary service. For Valentine’s Day Weekend (Friday, Saturday & Sunday) guests can experience Chef Michael Cimarusti’s award-winning cuisine for curbside takeaway. The extravagant Valentine’s feast (for 2) starts with Morro Bay Gold Oyster and Kaluga Caviar with Crème Fraiche and concludes with a Tarte au Chocolat with Pudwill Farms raspberries. Restaurateur, Co-Proprietor of Providence and graciously welcoming host Donato Poto is with us to talk about Valentine’s Day, the return of patio dining at sister establishment Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood and look to the future when dine-in (inside) can safely return.

Anthony Zaller, Esq. is the principal of the Zaller Law Group, PC based in El Segundo. His boutique firm specializes in representing restaurants in labor and employment issues specifically related to California. His firm is a partnered law firm of the California Restaurant Association. He serves on the Los Angeles Chapter of the Board of Directors of the California Restaurant Association and also is the Chair of the California Restaurant Association Foundation. As the restaurant business in California ever so slowly begins to recover from the impact of COVID 19 Anthony joins us to preview the top employment law issues facing California restaurants in 2021.

Everyone loves a good cinnamon roll, but did you know cinnamon can help your hair grow longer and stronger? In food journalist’s Nancy Lin Chen’s, 101 Amazing Uses for Cinnamon, discover the many ways this simple spice can improve your health, your home, and of course, your food. From improving memory to aiding digestion to supporting a healthy garden, add some spice to your life with cinnamon. Nancy Chen is a wellness blogger, content creator, and fitness instructor with a family background in herbal medicine. She’s known for creating easy-to-follow recipes and giving effective health and lifestyle guidance on her blog, Nourish by Nancy.

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 regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and increasingly growing) concern. Last week restaurants in Southern California were finally allowed to reopen for outside/patio dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. How is it going thus far? We’ll “Ask the Chef.” Sunday afternoon is the annual celebration of the “Big Game.” “Big Game” snacks worthy of the occasion (this year probably celebrated at home) are a must. Chef Andrew shares a few inspired ideas beyond the expected guacamole.

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

Play

Show 411, February 6, 2021: Anthony Zaller, Esq., Zaller Law Group Part One

Anthony Zaller of Zaller Law Group PC

Anthony Zaller, Esq. is the principal of the Zaller Law Group, PC based in El Segundo. His boutique firm specializes in representing restaurants in labor and employment issues specifically related to California. His firm is a partnered law firm of the California Restaurant Association. He serves on the Los Angeles Chapter of the Board of Directors of the California Restaurant Association and also is the Chair of the California Restaurant Association Foundation.

As the restaurant business in California ever so slowly begins to recover Anthony joins us to preview the top employment law issues facing California restaurants in 2021.

Play

Show 411, February 6, 2021: Anthony Zaller, Esq., Zaller Law Group Part Two

Anthony Zaller of Zaller Law Group PC

Anthony Zaller, Esq. is the principal of the Zaller Law Group, PC based in El Segundo. His boutique firm specializes in representing restaurants in labor and employment issues specifically related to California. His firm is a partnered law firm of the California Restaurant Association. He serves on the Los Angeles Chapter of the Board of Directors of the California Restaurant Association and also is the Chair of the California Restaurant Association Foundation.

As the restaurant business in California ever so slowly begins to recover from the impact of COVID 19 Anthony continues with us explaining the top employment law issues facing California restaurants in 2021.

Play

February 6: Spice Club, Providence and Connie & Ted’s, Anthony Zaller Esq., Nancy Chen

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Culinary Coach Aliye Aydin of Spice Club, Long Beach
Segment Three: Restaurateur Donato Poto, Co-Owner of Providence and Connie & Ted’s Part One
Segment Four: Restaurateur Donato Poto, Co-Owner of Providence and Connie & Ted’s Part Two
Segment Five: Anthony Zaller, Esq., Zaller Law Group Part One
Segment Six: Anthony Zaller, Esq., Zaller Law Group Part Two
Segment Seven: Author & Wellness Blogger Nancy Chen, 101 Amazing Uses for Cinnamon
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.

Chef Aliye Aydin teaches cooking classes and is a culinary coach to a growing network of inspired home cooks. In 2019 she noticed from her students that there was a serious interest in learning more about spice blends and how to use them to creatively perk up meals. Chef Aliye then launched the Spice Club where home cooks could source her proprietary spice blends either individually or as part of a yearly Spice Blend Membership which includes a quarterly delivery of a spice blend, recipes, a meal planning guide and a series of interactive cooking classes. “All spice products are organic and/or sourced from suppliers working to end inequality and exploitation in the spice trade, meaning more dollars going directly to a farmer in the country where the spice is grown.” We’re cooking in the kitchen with Chef Aliye.

For 16 years, Providence in Hollywood has elevated the standard of modern American seafood restaurants along with exemplary service. For Valentine’s Day Weekend (Friday, Saturday & Sunday) guests can experience Chef Michael Cimarusti’s award-winning cuisine for curbside takeaway. The extravagant Valentine’s feast (for 2) starts with Kaluga Caviar with Crème Fraiche and concludes with a Tarte au Chocolat with Pudwill Farms raspberries. Restaurateur, Co-Proprietor of Providence and graciously welcoming host Donato Poto is with us to talk about Valentine’s Day, the return of patio dining at sister establishment Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood and look to the future when dine-in (inside) can safely return.

Anthony Zaller, Esq. is the principal of the Zaller Law Group, PC based in El Segundo. His boutique firm specializes in representing restaurants in labor and employment issues specifically related to California. His firm is a partnered law firm of the California Restaurant Association. He serves on the Los Angeles Chapter of the Board of Directors of the California Restaurant Association and also is the Chair of the California Restaurant Association Foundation. As the restaurant business in California ever so slowly begins to recover Anthony joins us to preview the top employment law issues facing California restaurants in 2021.

Everyone loves a good cinnamon roll, but did you know cinnamon can help your hair grow longer and stronger? In food journalist’s Nancy Lin Chen’s, 101 Amazing Uses for Cinnamon, discover the many ways this simple spice can improve your health, your home, and of course, your food. From improving memory to aiding digestion to supporting a healthy garden, add some spice to your life with cinnamon. Nancy Chen is a wellness blogger, content creator, and fitness instructor with a family background in herbal medicine. She’s known for creating easy-to-follow recipes and giving effective health and lifestyle guidance on her blog, Nourish by Nancy.

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 regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and increasingly growing) concern. Last week restaurants in Southern California were finally allowed to reopen for outside/patio dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. How is it going thus far? We’ll “Ask the Chef.” Sunday afternoon is the annual celebration of the “Big Game.” “Big Game” snacks worthy of the occasion (this year probably celebrated at home) are a must. Chef Andrew shares a few inspired ideas beyond the expected guacamole.

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

Chef Aliye Aldin

Chef Aliye Aydin teaches cooking classes and is a culinary coach to a growing network of inspired home cooks. In 2019 she noticed from her students that there was a serious interest in learning more about spice blends and how to use them to creatively perk up meals. Aliye then launched the Spice Club where home cooks could source her proprietary spice blends either individually or as part of a yearly Spice Blend Membership which includes a quarterly delivery of a spice blend, recipes, a meal planning guide and a series of interactive cooking class.

“All spice products are organic and/or sourced from suppliers working to end inequality and exploitation in the spice trade, meaning more dollars going directly to a farmer in the country where the spice is grown.” “Spice Club spices are always freshly ground and filled to order.” “The spice blends are proprietary recipes inspired by Chef Aliye’s Turkish heritage and her 25 plus years working as a professional chef. The Spice Club blends are packed in a home kitchen in Long Beach, CA according to Cottage Food Bill of California, inspected annually by the Long Beach Health Department.

We’re cooking in the kitchen with Chef Aliye.

Donato Poto of Providence plus Connie and Ted's

For 16 years, Providence in Hollywood has elevated the standard of modern American seafood restaurants along with exemplary service. For Valentine’s Day Weekend (Friday, Saturday & Sunday) guests can experience Chef Michael Cimarusti’s award-winning cuisine for curbside takeaway. The extravagant Valentine’s feast (for 2) starts with Kaluga Caviar with Crème Fraiche and concludes with a Tarte au Chocolat with Pudwill Farms raspberries.

“Chef Cimarusti is completely dedicated to procuring the finest sustainable seafood—from regional coasts and international waters—and treats those ingredients with uncompromising respect and sophisticated technique. “First and foremost, what guides us here is sustainability,” Cimarusti says. “We use only wild-caught, sustainable products, mostly from American waters, and look to highlight their finest qualities.””

Also on offer is the Valentine’s Day Edition of The Providence Pantry. If you already have your meal planned tantalizing gourmet enhancements are available. Think local, house-smoked black cod, black truffle brie, black truffle pasta kits, signature cocktails, and a special wine pairing chosen especially for the Valentine’s menu.

Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood Chef Michael’s and Donato’s (along with Craig Nickoloff’s) more casual, full-service Dinner House has reopened for outside patio dining. They are serving Dinner nightly Wednesday through Sunday.

Restaurateur, Co-Proprietor of Providence and graciously welcoming host Donato Poto is with us to talk about Valentine’s Day and look to the future when dine-in (inside) can return.

Anthony Zaller of Zaller Law Group PC

Anthony Zaller, Esq. is the principal of the Zaller Law Group, PC based in El Segundo. His boutique firm specializes in representing restaurants in labor and employment issues specifically related to California. His firm is a partnered law firm of the California Restaurant Association. He serves on the Los Angeles Chapter of the Board of Directors of the California Restaurant Association and also is the Chair of the California Restaurant Association Foundation.

As the restaurant business in California ever so slowly begins to recover Anthony joins us to preview the top employment law issues facing California restaurants in 2021.

Cookbook Author Nancy Chen

Everyone loves a good cinnamon roll, but did you know cinnamon can help your hair grow longer and stronger? In in food journalist’s Nancy Lin Chen’s, 101 Amazing Uses for Cinnamon, discover the many ways this simple spice can improve your health, your home, and of course, your food. From improving memory to aiding digestion to supporting a healthy garden, add some spice to your life with cinnamon.

Nancy Chen is a wellness blogger, content creator, and fitness instructor with a family background in herbal medicine. She’s known for creating easy-to-follow recipes and giving effective health and lifestyle guidance on her blog, Nourish by Nancy.

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 regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and increasingly growing) concern. Last week restaurants in Southern California were finally allowed to reopen for outside/patio dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. How is it going so far? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Sunday afternoon is the annual celebration of the “Big Game” being hosted in Tampa. “Big Game” snacks worthy of the occasion (this year probably celebrated at home) are a must. Chef Andrew shares a few inspired ideas beyond the expected guacamole.

Chef Andrew also updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, “86 Restaurant Struggle” campaign to benefit out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $300,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruel’s. The need continues…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Culinary Coach Aliye Aydin of Spice Club, Long Beach
Segment Three: Restaurateur Donato Poto, Co-Owner of Providence and Connie & Ted’s Part One
Segment Four: Restaurateur Donato Poto, Co-Owner of Providence and Connie & Ted’s Part Two
Segment Five: Anthony Zaller, Esq., Zaller Law Group Part One
Segment Six: Anthony Zaller, Esq., Zaller Law Group Part Two
Segment Seven: Author & Wellness Blogger Nancy Chen, 101 Amazing Uses for Cinnamon
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 399, November 14, 2020: California Restaurant Association Foundation’s The Grateful Table Dine Out! to Benefit Restaurants Care

Alycia Harshfield of the California Restaaurant Association“This November, the California Restaurant Association Foundation (CRAF), a non-profit that invests in and empowers California’s restaurant workforce, invites all Californians to participate in its inaugural ‘The Grateful Table® Dine Out!’ The ask is simple. Throughout November, Californians are encouraged to “dine out to help out” as much as possible in gratitude to their neighborhood restaurants. Want to do more? A guest can directly support California’s struggling foodservice community at featured restaurants by donating to Restaurants Care®, a nonprofit program which provides restaurant workers facing hardships with relief grants for basic living needs like groceries, utilities, diapers, clothing, gas and rent.”

“This very first The Grateful Table® Dine Out is a statewide campaign that’s complementary to our current way of life and has the potential to make a lasting impact on the industry by giving back to the hardworking people who operate our restaurants – chefs, cooks, bussers, bartenders, servers and dishwashers – in their greatest time of need. Since the pandemic hit in March, Restaurants Care has awarded grants to nearly 1,200 of California’s restaurant workers also benefitting their nearly 1,700 dependents, with 79% of grants awarded to people of color.”

“This November, dining out is our superpower! We have the ability to support our favorite restaurants and chip in to help struggling restaurant workers. Whether it’s takeout, dining in or having your meal delivered, we’re encouraging every Californian to help the restaurant community get back on their feet leading into the holiday season,” said Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of CRAF. “Your support directly impacts our neighborhood restaurants, the employees and their families, and together, we can bring them some much-needed hope and stability.”

“As an added incentive to dine out, CRAF is hosting exciting social media giveaways throughout November where diners can enter to win a $500 gift card to their favorite restaurant! Every Thursday in November, two winners will be randomly selected to receive a $500 gift card to any restaurant they tag with the hashtag #GratefulTableSweepstakes. It’s as easy as that!”

The CRA Foundation’s Alycia Harshfield and Farmer Boys’ President & Chief Operating Officer Dave Wetzel (a featured restaurant partner of The Grateful Table Dine Out) join us with all the details.

Play

Show 372, May 9, 2020: Tom Kelley, Certified Cicerone and VP of Sales & Hospitality, El Segundo Brewing Co.

Thomas Kelley of El Segundo Brewing and ESBC Slice and PintCertified Cicerone and raconteur Tom Kelley is the Vice President of Sales and Hospitality for the El Segundo Brewing Co. He misses being in the tasting room and at the nearby ESBC Slice & Pint restaurant engaging with guests and discussing the joys of craft beer. Tom has creatively initiated a fun, virtual Happy Hour on Wednesday nights under the banner of Lonely Hearts Pub with special guests. “Gratuities” are politely suggested for Restaurants Care, part of the CRA Foundation.

Greg Bechtel will be joining Tom for the next iteration of the Lonely Hearts Pub – Cicerone style on Wednesday evening, May 13th from 6 to 8:00 p.m.

“Greg was El Segundo’s first official sales rep that I hired, and for a time we were an all Cicerone Certified sales staff. We had the awesome experience of studying for our Advanced Cicerone exams together, and we hope to bring you some beer knowledge.”

“Greg will be selecting a few beers for me, and I for Greg. We will take turns doing a blind tasting of each trying to call out the style in under 3 minutes. Call out the brand and you get extra credit!”

“After that, who knows where the conversation and the drinks may lead us. Though I know Greg has been known to throw a cocktail or two together…”

“Looking forward to sharing some more beers with you all!” – Tom Kelley

Tom Kelley politely taps the keg for us on the details of Lonely Hearts Pub at El Segundo Brewing Co.

Play

Show 370, April 25, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

It’s a time of great concern for all of us and our “SoCal Restaurant Show” mission, until the Covid-19 crisis is fully abated, is to provide reliable and genuinely useful information on how the restaurant business is coping with the rapidly evolving events. With an emphasis on the health, safety and well-being of our listeners we’ll be detailing what the range of services restaurants can now provide to their guests. Creativity and adaptability are at the forefront. We’re keeping it upbeat…

Chefs and restaurateurs are the most generous people I know. In times of need they are always the very first in generously giving back and meaningfully supporting their communities. Truly remarkable…Right now restaurants urgently need our support to stay afloat. Kindly keep this in mind and please do what you possibly can to support a community-focused, local restaurant….

As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it without the encouragement of the foodie community.

“While the California Restaurant Association Foundation has been around for more than three decades, the inspiration for Restaurants Care came just a few years ago in 2015. Jose, a cook in Sacramento, was struck in a hit and run on his way home after a late-night shift. He suffered a broken back, amongst other life-threatening injuries.

The restaurant community came together and raised money to support Jose while he recovered. At that moment, The CRA Foundation knew that something bigger had to happen. Restaurants Care was created to take care of the most vulnerable in our industry.” Such is the case during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. We’ll get all the details from Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of the CRA Foundation.

Philippe’s (Philippe The Original) in Downtown Los Angeles has reopened for takeout and delivery with French Dips, sides and desserts, as well as beer and wine, available to go. Guests can now call the restaurant or order online via ChowNow to place an order for pickup. Delivery options are available from Postmates. Manager & Partner Andrew Binder provides all the juicy details.

The Pantry at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, located at 1200 South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, reopened Wednesday, April 1 for daily takeout service from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. during the COVID-19 crisis.

Guests may call ahead (949.339.3027) to order breakfast, lunch or dinner and pick-up at The Pantry’s front door entrance where polite social distancing is observed. Food prices range from $7 – $15. Restaurateur Russ Bendel assumed ownership of the landmark property in March from Sapphire’s founder-proprietor, chef, Azmin Ghahreman, CEO of Sapphire Culinary Group. Restaurateur Russ Bendel is our guest.

Back in February, the Clink Different – Experience the Wines of Europe evening was hosted at The NoMad Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. It was a walk-around tasting for wine and lifestyle journalists with four flights of unusual wines from Bordeaux and Wines of Germany followed by a multi-course wine paired dinner. The European wines featured were hand-selected by Ryan Bailey, the accomplished Wine Director for NoMad Los Angeles. Sommelier Ryan artfully pulls the cork on Clink Different for us.

El Cholo is L.A.’s very first surviving Mexican restaurant. Since opening its doors in 1923, El Cholo has operated as a family-owned business and today, the restaurants are run by Ron Salisbury, grandson of the founders. The legacy at El Cholo lies in its commitment to quality ingredients, long family history, loyal employees (some with the restaurants nearly 40 years) and their devoted and loyal clientele. Through prohibition, the L.A. Riots, true Hollywood glamour and into the 2000’s, El Cholo continues to bring back fond memories for their guests and create new ones.” Family patriarch Ron Salisbury (with 66 years of hands-on Hospitality Business experience) is our guest.

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 updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Take-out/delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first. Also some genuinely useful tips for cooking at home. Herbs add a lot of flavor to home cooking. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

Play