Show 366, March 28, 2020: Bracken’s Kitchen with Founder, Chef Bill Bracken

Bill Bracken of Brackens KitchenChef Bill Bracken, the Founder of Bracken’s Kitchen, is no stranger to the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” “In response to even more economic and social restrictions due to the coronavirus, Bracken’s Kitchen, a growing non-profit that creatively recovers food and feeds those in need is stepping up its meal production to a goal of at least 25,000 meals a week. That’s nearly four times their average! They cannot do this alone. They are seeking donations to keep moving forward. They’ve changed their meal production at Bracken’s Kitchen to meet the increasing need in our community.”

“My heart and prayers goes out to each and every person whose life is being completely turned upside down by this invisible virus,” said Bill Bracken, Founder of Bracken’s Kitchen.

“But in spite of all of this please remember my friends. THIS TOO WILL PASS and life will go on. Now more than ever we will work to “Delivering Hope, One Tasty Meal At A Time.”

Bracken’s Kitchen is seeking donations to support their Covid-19 Response goals and can be made here.

Chef Bill Bracken is our guest explaining the community need.


Show 212, February 25, 2017: Executive Chef Andrew Sutton, Napa Rose, Preview of OC Chef’s Table 2017

Andrew Sutton of Disney's Grand Californian Resort and SpaIllumination Foundation (IF) will host the 2nd Annual OC Chef’s Table 2017 on Sunday, March 12, 2017, at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, to raise funds for the construction of a second emergency home for homeless families with children.

OC Chef’s Table is one of the county’s most exclusive charitable culinary events where OC’s top chefs come together to create a delectable five-course meal prepared tableside at tables decorated to reflect the personality and brand of each participating restaurant. Every restaurant and chef participating has been personally chosen to host a table at the gala due to their earned accolades for their impressive culinary skills or innovations.

“Nearly 1 in 6 children face homelessness in OC. There are too many families with children that struggle to secure a roof over their heads every night. It shouldn’t be like this. Children should have the right to a happy and stable childhood. We can’t thank these extraordinary chefs enough for accepting to donate their time, talent and culinary knowledge to help us build a second emergency house in Orange County. This event is going to be an amazing experience for our guests, a creative challenge for the chefs and eye-opening for everybody. With every emergency house we build we start rebuilding the lives of 100 suffering families per year. The more money we raise, the more houses and services we offer and that means less people on our county’s streets. I want to thank all the chefs, restaurants, guests and sponsors for joining us in our mission to break the cycle of homelessness,” said Paul Leon, Illumination Foundation CEO and President.

Host Chef Andrew Sutton of Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian is our guest with a preview. Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group will also be personally cooking for ten lucky guests at an OC Chef’s Table.


Show 211, February 18, 2017: Judy Walker, Golden Rule Charity – Benefit for Chef Bruno Serato, Anaheim White House, Anaheim

Bruno SeratoChef Bruno Serato of the Anaheim White House is passionate about his long-time efforts to feed hungry kids in need daily with nutritious food prepared in his own kitchens. His restaurant was recently devastated by a horrific fire and remains closed. It’s going to take time and over $1 million to restore. Insurance will not cover it all.

Orange County chefs & restaurateurs are generously rallying to support Bruno’s charity, Caterina’s Club, and his employees with a benefit on Monday evening, February 20th at Highway 39 Event Center in Anaheim.

VIP is from 5 to 8:00 p.m. with wine and beer included is a $75 donation.

General Admission is from 6 to 8:00 p.m. and is a $50 donation.

“The Anaheim White House restaurant has been severely damaged in a fire and will close indefinitely. The 1909 Colonial-style mansion was converted into a restaurant now owned by Chef Bruno Serato, who feeds pasta each night to 2,000 at-risk, disadvantaged children from the restaurant’s kitchen. He has done so for more than a decade.”

“Bruno is an Italian immigrant who came to the U.S. with $50 in his pocket and through hard work saved the money to open his restaurant 30 years ago. Bruno is known worldwide for feeding the children, finding housing for their families and helping at-risk youth land jobs in the hospitality field. He even mortgaged his own home during the recession to keep his charity work going.”

Organizer Judy Walker of Golden Rule Charity joins us with the specifics.


Show 112, February 28, 2015: Inland Valley Habitat for Humanity

habitat-humanity-inland-valleyInland Valley Habitat for Humanity is the charitable beneficiary of The Pechanga Wine Festival. Their mission is to facilitate the dream of home ownership, as well as improve living conditions for those in the community.

Their commendable vision is “A world where everyone has a decent place to live.”

Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley was founded in 1991, as an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, to provide low income housing for families in the Inland Valley. They are dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally, as well as globally, through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their housing conditions.

Board Member Craig Evans, a retired Fire Captain from the Los Angeles City Fire Department and a 24-year resident of Temecula, is with us talk about the mission.


Show 73, May 24, 2014: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Celebrity Cruises is launching their first-ever land-based wine and food festival on May 31st in the Orange County Great Park. Celebrity’s executive chef is with us with the full details. It’s a benefit for charity.

Chef Daniel Boulud has returned to Las Vegas with the opening of db Brasserie at The Venetian Hotel on Las Vegas fabled Strip. His chef de cuisine there is David Middleton. Chef Boulud joins us to share what’s on the menu.

The Hotel Del Coronado is California’s premier, classic beachfront hotel dating back to 1888. It represents luxury from another age. Last week we met the chef at their casual, seafood-centric, ocean-view restaurant, Sheerwater. This week it’s a conversation with Chef John Shelton, the executive chef overseeing all of Hotel del Coronado.

Restaurant impresario Bill Chait is responsible for some of the most successful and high profile restaurant openings in L.A. His most recent effort is Republique with acclaimed Chef Walter Manzke. Next up is Redbird at the old Vibiana cathedral in Vibiana and the eagerly anticipated restaurant in Eli Broad’s upcoming contemporary art museum.

The Corporate Pastry Chef for the Patina Restaurant Group, Carlos Enriquez, has an incredible story of personal achievement. He’s with us to talk about what it takes to get there.

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

Special Note…

50 Best Plants On The Planet – The most Nutrient-Dense Fruits and Vegetables, in 150 Delicious RecipesA good friend of the show’s, Cathy Thomas, the long-time food writer for the Orange County Register, is hosting a special dinner at Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach on Thursday, May 29th. It’s celebrating her third book, 50 Best Plants On The Planet – The most Nutrient-Dense Fruits and Vegetables, in 150 Delicious Recipes.

Executive Chef Paul Gstrein will prepare a special four-course meal for the occasion. Most of the dishes will be prepared from Cathy’s favorite recipes in the book.

The main course is Pistachio Crusted Free Range Chicken Breast with Farro “Risotto,” Brussels Sprouts “Two Ways,” and Bing Cherry “Agro Dolce.”

Cathy will be there for the entire evening chitchatting with the guests. She will also sign books.

You can make a reservation for anytime between 6 and 9:00 p.m. For reservations please call 949.721.1222. It’s a modest $45 per person. Specify the “Cathy Thomas Dinner” when you call.


February 16: Marcus Samuelsson, Dean McDermott, Chick Marshall, Nyesha Arrington, Greg Daniels, Brian Howard


Segment One: Dean McDermott, Actor, “The Gourmet Dad, and contestant on Season 2 of Food Network’s “Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-off”
Segment Two: Chick Marshall of Mr. Stox Restaurant, Anaheim
Segment Three: Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster and Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem. Author of Yes, Chef, his biography
Segment Four: Nyesha Arrrington the Executive Chef of The Wilshire in Santa Monica
Segment Five: Greg Daniels – Executive Chef & Partner of Haven Gastropub in Orange and Old Pasadena
Segment Six: Brian Howard, Executive Chef of Comme Ca by David Myers in the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

We’re honored to have one of the food world’s most prominent celebrity chefs with us to talk about an upcoming visit to Los Angeles. We’ll also be catching up with the results of a Food Network competition series and talking with an important Orange County chef as well as a Los Angeles celebrity chef with new ventures. Another feature is saying good-bye to an OC fine dining institution.

Dean McDermottWhen we left him six weeks ago, actor, reality TV star, and “Gourmet Dad,” Dean McDermott, was competing for “Team Guy” on Food Network’s “Rachael vs. Guy (Fieri) – Celebrity Cook-Off.”

The finale of “Rachael vs. Guy” on February 10th pitted singer and TV host Carnie Wilson of Team Rachael against Dean McDermott of Team Guy. The winner is to be awarded $50,000 for their charity of choice.

Dean joins us to share the results of the finale and what’s next for him.

Chick Marshall of Mr. Stox in AnaheimChick Marshall is one of the long-time, co-owners of the highly regarded OC fine dining institution, Mr. Stox, located near Angel Stadium. His partners are his brother, Ron, and Ron’s wife, Debbie. One of their trademarks is an extensive wine cellar of some 15,000 bottles, one of the largest in Orange County.

Mr. Stox launched in 1968 and the Marshall’s acquired the restaurant in 1977. Many of their loyal employees have been with them more than 20 years.

The Marshalls have decided to retire and March 15, 2013 will be the last dinner service for Mr. Stox. It’s a bittersweet transition for the regulars. Fortunately the Marshalls own their land which has been sold for residential and commercial development (combined with adjacent parcels.)

Marcus SamuelssonMarcus Samuelsson has cooked around the world but has settled into Harlem, New York as his home base. He owns the hugely successful Red Rooster and Ginny’s Supper Club there. Marcus has prepared State Dinners for President Obama as well as is the recipient of many prestigious culinary awards. Last year his very revealing autobiography, Yes, Chef, was published which should be required reading for every aspiring culinarian.

Marcus proudly serves on the National Board of the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) which provides foodservice training and career opportunities for underserved youth. Every year hundreds of thousands of dollars in culinary scholarships are awarded to deserving high school graduates in key cities across the USA to pursue careers in the culinary arts.

On Tuesday evening, February 26th Marcus Samuelsson will be joining forces with Chef Govind Armstrong to present “A Taste of Harlem” at Govind’s restaurant, Post & Beam, located in Baldwin Hills. The menu is reimagined soul classics. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to C-CAP Los Angeles.

Tickets are $140 per guest and the evening is very close to capacity.

For reservations :

Nyesha Arrington of WilshireIn 2011 Nyesha Arrington (mentored by Melisse’s Josiah Citrin) became the executive chef of the (already established) The Wilshire in Santa Monica. Unusually, she won the coveted position in an intense cook-off on the first season of Food Network’s “Chef Hunter”.

She was also a popular cheftestant on Bravo’sTop Chef: Texas.”

The food has never been better at The Wilshire and Chef Arrington is a big supporter of the nearby Santa Monica Farmers Market.

Greg Daniels of Haven GastropubGreg Daniels is the well respected executive chef for the busy Haven Gastropubs in Orange and Old Pasadena. It’s innovative pub-grub fare that’s elevated. They feature a great beer list and now brew their own proprietary line of seasonal craft beers.

An Orange County craft brewer of note established & operated a well-stocked gourmet specialty food shop directly across the street from the original Haven Gastropub in Orange. They recently decided they just didn’t have the time available to properly maintain (the brewery is expanding) it so it was going to close. Haven Gastropub came to the rescue and their revamped food emporium, Provisions, will now be supervised by Chef Daniels. Happy ending for all…

Comme Ca is well-known, highly successful French bistro in West Hollywood so it was no surprise when owner/chef David Myers opened a branch in the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

What is very surprising is that instead of bringing in a chef de cuisine to simply execute David’s established recipes he recruited a young executive chef with imagination who has expanded the concept with his own creations for Las Vegas. He has an unusual amount of creative freedom in the kitchen.

Brian Howard of Comme Ca in Las VegasExecutive Chef Brian Howard will join us to talk about the freedom he has been given and why this has made the spot the most highly regarded French bistro in Las Vegas.

Great specialty cocktails, too.


Segment One: Dean McDermott, Actor, “The Gourmet Dad, and contestant on Season 2 of Food Network’s “Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-off”
Segment Two: Chick Marshall of Mr. Stox Restaurant, Anaheim
Segment Three: Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster and Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem. Author of Yes, Chef, his biography
Segment Four: Nyesha Arrrington the Executive Chef of The Wilshire in Santa Monica
Segment Five: Greg Daniels – Executive Chef & Partner of Haven Gastropub in Orange and Old Pasadena
Segment Six: Brian Howard, Executive Chef of Comme Ca by David Myers in the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

Show 12, January 5, 2013: Dean McDermott, actor. Dean is a celebrity contestant on Food Network’s “Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-off” for Season 2.

Dean McDermottDean lives in Los Angeles and is known for his acting chops but he’s a real serious home cook. He goes by the name of “The Gourmet Dad” at home. Dean loves to cook for his kids.

“Rachael vs. Guy” airs on Sunday nights starting Jan. 6th. Dean is part of “Team Guy.”

The L.A.-based competition is much tougher this season. All of the challenges are done on location. The bottom two competitors each week then battle it out (culinarily) at the end of that episode with the loser going home.

Dean will be back with us periodically (as far as he goes in the competition) to report on his results and the goings-on of the show. The winner takes home a cool $50,000 which is donated to their charity of choice!