Show 350, December 7, 2019: Chef George Geary on Celebratory Cheesecakes for the Holidays

Cookbook Author George GearyCheesecake! The Emmy award winning show The Golden Girls made eating cheesecake a nightly ritual on the hit television series. The pastry chef who made those luscious and delicious cheesecakes and many other foods for hit sitcoms is George Geary. He later became the first award winning pastry chef for the Walt Disney Company at Disneyland.

Geary’s cheesecakes became one of his most popular culinary calling cards so he then published his favorite recipes in his first cookbook, 125 Best Cheesecake Recipes in 2002, and it was such a hit that a follow up book, The Cheesecake Bible was published in 2008 and became a best-seller.

Now Geary has expanded his cheesecake repertoire even more with the highly anticipated 2nd Edition of The Cheesecake Bible: 300 Sweet & Savory Recipes for Cakes and More George provides home cooks with extensive how-to instructions, tips and techniques to make the perfect cheesecake.

Recipes in the book range from holiday favorites, savory and citrus cheesecakes, no-bake cheesecakes, to bars, pies, toppings and sauces, and breakfast items. Some of the delicious recipes in the book include:  Artichoke Cheesecake, Maine Lobster Cheesecake, Passover Honey Cheesecake, Blood Orange Spiced Cheesecake, Eggnog Rum Cheesecake, Italian Zabaglione Cheesecake Bars, Blood Orange Cheesecake Crępes, Cheesecake Bonbons and many more unique flavored desserts.

Chef George is our encore guest offering decadent ideas for the best in holiday cheesecakes (Eggnog Nutmeg Rum Cheesecake, Peppermint Chocolate Cheesecake and New Year’s Champagne Cheesecake) and pro’s tips for stress-free holiday baking.


Show 312, February 23, 2019: Kim Jensen, Ingeborg’s Danish Chocolates, Solvang

Kim JensenLocated in Solvang, California, the Danish capital of America, Ingeborg’s Danish Chocolate Factory was first opened in 1961. The traditional chocolate recipes were first brought to Solvang by Ingeborg Larsen, a chocolate dipper in one of Denmark’s largest chocolate factories. Ingeborg’s is now safely in the hands of caretakers Kim and Carol Jensen (only the 3rd owners) who have preserved the tradition of Danish artisan chocolate making with some contemporary touches.

“A perfect accent for fine wines, champagnes, and coffees, Ingeborg’s chocolates are made with absolutely the finest, fresh ingredients and no preservatives or additives. As the seasons change, the boxes and wrappings may vary, but never their commitment to quality.”

“No matter what the season, or the occasion, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Christmas, or any day, Ingeborg’s specialty Danish chocolates are sure to delight the palate of the most discriminating chocolate lover. Their light and dark chocolate Cornucopias make stunning centerpiece displays, elegant for any time of year, and are filled with their handmade luscious soft centered Truffles and now our new award-winning “Sea Salt and Butterscotch Sea Salt Caramel Chocolates.””

“Ingeborg’s also features a wide variety of unique molded chocolate items as well as our Orange and Peppermint chocolate sticks. All items are individually boxed and beautifully wrapped. Please note that we now also feature an expanded array of sugar-free chocolates, sweets, and assorted candies.”

Kim joins us in sweet conversation.


Show 223, May 13, 2017: Pam Cooper, Co-Founder, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, Hawaii

Pam CooperThe Big Island of Hawaii’s first tree-to-bar chocolate producer is The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory established in 1999. In Kailua-Kona they grow cacao on their own plantation, ferment it, dry and process the beans and then create premium, single origin chocolate of the highest quality in a multi-step process.

“Welcome to Kona on the Island of Hawaii, home of Original Hawaiian Chocolate – the only chocolate of its kind in the world!”

“Beginning in 1997 we have dedicated ourselves to creating the most delicious and unique of chocolates – 100% Hawaiian made and grown. There is something about our volcanic soil, Island showers and tropical Hawaiian sun that blesses the cacao trees with a unique flavor that is world renowned.”

“We are the first producers to grow and process 100% Hawaiian cacao chocolate anywhere on earth. We process only Big Island grown cocoa beans. Our processing factory is completely self-contained, assuring total quality control from the fields to the final chocolate bars.”

“We invite you to experience our exceptionally unique chocolate, grown, harvested, processed and packaged in Hawaii – America’s own. And remember, Chocolate is Aloha!

Plantation tours (highly recommended) are available Wednesday and Friday mornings. The on-site Chocolate Shoppe (with unique specialty items) hours are 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tuesday through Fridays. Most of their artisan, single origin chocolate products (Individual Bars, One Pound Bars, Large & Small Plumerias and Roasted Cacao Nibs) are also available via their Website and shipped FedEx.

Founder Pam Cooper joins us.


Show 210, February 11, 2017: Melba and Steve Artea, Crown City Toffee

Melba ArteaWe love inspirational entrepreneurial food success stories. For Melba Artea of Crown City Toffee it all started with a family recipe for toffee (with chocolate & nuts) and a pressing need to provide more financial resources for her Family. Husband, Steve, provides added guidance on the business side.

“Our English toffee is made with the freshest ingredients available. It is crispy with a wonderful buttery crunch and topped with a coat of creamy chocolate (milk or dark) with fresh-roasted almonds sprinkled on top.”

“Our Peanut Butter Drizzle is a huge favorite of many of our customers. It’s roasted peanuts topped over melted Peanut Butter Morsels and drizzled with milk chocolate.”

Crown City Toffee is part of the Pechanga Wine Festival. We’ll get the full story from Melba on her popular toffee line that started in her home kitchen. Based on demand they have graduated to producing in a commercial kitchen.

Update: About an hour and one-half into the 9th Annual Pechanga Wine Festival, Crown City Toffee was about sold out.


Show 170, May 7, 2016: Guittard Chocolate Company’s Executive Chef, Donald Wressell

Donald WressellThe 5th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival gala is May 14th at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel on the Kohala Coast. Indulge in both savory and sweet temptations prepared by top chefs and chocolatiers while watching award-winning Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Company, sculpt one of the largest volcanoes ever created in fine chocolate. Chef Donald is our guest.

This year’s event theme is “Lavalicious-A Chocolate Salute to the 100th Birthday of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park” and culinary stations will be judged on their depiction of the popular park, plus a host of “best” culinary categories: savory, plated dessert, bon bon, bean-to-bar, Hawaiian cacao and People’s Choice.

More chocolatey fun includes a tasty mole and salad bar, chocolate body painting, live music and dancing, a silent auction, wines, cocktails and handcrafted beer using cacao nibs from Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds benefit the ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Assn./University of Hawai‘i endowment fund for the culinary program at Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and programs at Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.


Show 131, July 18, 2015: Marnie Clarke, Co-Founder, Cheese Cave, Claremont

Marnie ClarkeCheese Cave is a full-service, cut-to-order cheese shop in Claremont, California. It’s probably the finest in the Inland Empire and was founded in 2010. It’s proudly family-owned and operated by two sisters. Their Family has been in the dairy business for generations. You can also find boutique wines, handmade local beers, artisan salumi, chocolates, honey, olives, and crackers. Cheese Cave also creates custom cheese platters for your party!

Sisters Marnie and Lydia Clarke have created many things inside The Cheese Cave; architecture, passion, information, advocates, and a beautifully curated selection of the most treasured cheeses from around the world. Give yourself the opportunity of discovering a cheese that has remained unchanged for generations.

The art of pairing cheese with beer and wine was discussed. The consensus is that craft beer is a bit easier to match with various different cheese types. Wine can be a bit more challenging.

DTLA CHEESE in the Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles is the more recent, sister operation. They also serve food there.

Co-Founder Marnie Clarke is with us.


Show 118, April 18, 2015: ChocXo Bean to Bar Chocolatier

ChocXOCraving chocolate? Who doesn’t?

ChocXO “Bean To Bar Chocolatier” starts with fine flavor cacao beans from Central and South America. ChocXO believes in the quality of the bean above all else. They process them using the latest technology and highest quality raw materials locally in their Irvine factory. From this incredible liquid chocolate ChocXO creates their own chocolate bars, filled chocolates, chocolate bark, and other chocolate specialties. The factory is available for tours Tuesday through Saturday.

ChocXO Partner and General Manager Armon Demarco is our guest.


Show 118, April 18, 2015: ChocXo Bean to Bar Chocolatier Continues…

ChocXO Bean To Bar ChocolatierChocXO “Bean to Bar Chocolatier” continues with General Manager Armon Demarco.

ChocXO is the brainchild of Richard Foley, a third generation chocolate guy. Richard literally bleeds chocolate. For the past 30 years, Richard has immersed himself in the chocolate industry. From distribution to manufacturing, he’s about done it all.

“Come visit our Irvine factory and look through our viewing windows and see our factory for yourself. Take a tour while you’re here or just stop in to buy a chocolate bar. We’re proud of what we’re doing and look forward to sharing it with you.”


Show 108, January 31, 2015: Amy Jo Pedone, Valenza Chocolatier

Amy Jo PedoneWhat’s Valentine’s Day without some premium chocolates? Certified Master Chocolatier Amy Jo (Valenza) Pedone of Valenza Chocolatier is with us to satisfy our chocolate craving. She trained in the Pacific Northwest and Italy.

Valenza Chocolatier is an authentic Italian inspired Artisan Chocolate and Confections online and wholesale business based in Orange County at The Hood Kitchen Space in Costa Mesa. Their award-winning gourmet Bonbons, Bars and Confections are handmade from the finest local and Italian imported ingredients paired with the purest single bean origin, fair trade chocolate and no added preservatives.

“Valenza Chocolatier aspires to create a brief escape from “life” with each savory taste of True Amore infused into every decadent creation.”


Show 108, January 31, 2015: Amy Jo Pedone, Valenza Chocolatier Continues…

Valenza ChocolatierWhat’s Valentine’s Day without some premium chocolates? Certified Master Chocolatier Amy Jo (Valenza) Pedone of Valenza Chocolatier is with us for a second segment to satisfy our chocolate craving.

It’s no surprise that Valenza Chocolatier has created an exclusive Valentine’s Day Collection with many appealing options.

“I love deeply, I cherish all the little things, and I adore many people – these are just a few of the ways I express some of my greatest passions. My Valentine’s Day Collection is an expression of how beloved my passions are, and it’s only fitting that the meaning of my name (Amy) also means beloved,” confides Amy Jo.

Valenza Chocolatier’s The Valentine’s Day Collection (including full descriptions and pricing) is available online through

Two Valenza Chocolatier Valentine’s Day Pop-Up Shops will be available. The first will be at The Hood MRK on Wednesday, February 11th from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and the second at Local Fare (within the OC Mix in Costa Mesa) on Thursday, February 12th from 3 to 6:00 p.m. Guests can meet Amy Jo, indulge in some sampling, purchase the Valentine’s Day Collection in person, plus enter a drawing to win a 5-piece Tartaruga custom gift box.