Show 441, September 4, 2021: Adam Bell of dataTV, Report on Coffee Fest Anaheim

Adam Bell of dataTV

Adam Bell, the founder of dataTV established in 1996, is the “SoCal Restaurant Show’s” accomplished, long-time web designer and all-around social media guru. He relocated to Los Angeles from New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Adam’s wide range of clients includes Chef Jet Tila, Café du Monde and the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association.

Adam is also a certified coffee nut. Last weekend was the big, annual Coffee Fest Anaheim at the Anaheim Convention Center. Adam will report on what’s new in coffee and what a popular, previously well-attended trade show is like coming off the pandemic with the real concerns about the spread of the Delta variant.

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Show 438, August 14, 2021: Chef & Partner Dominique Crisp, Saso, Pasadena Part Two

Dominique Crisp of Saso

Saso in Pasadena, (launched earlier this year) draws inspirations from three coast regions treasured by Chef Dominique Crisp: his home in Los Angeles, his upbringing in the Pacific Northwest, and his travels within Basque Country. Throughout the menu, his dedication to the slow-food movement shines with hyper-local ingredients and French-taught cooking techniques.”

“At Saso, a passion for coastal cuisine is met with Dominique’s deep appreciation and understanding of farming. Born on his family’s vineyard in Wren, Oregon – raising livestock, fishing, and harvesting has always been an essential part of his life. A respect for the land, sea, and supporting those who are sustainably harvesting the bounty is an integral ethos that flows through Saso.”

“Dominique’s goal is to emphasize the relationships he’s built with artisanal purveyors to continually develop Saso’s narrative. Not entirely a “Basque restaurant,” Saso aims to bring the energetic nature of Basque Country dining to Los Angeles with a foundation of sustainable Pacific coastal cuisine.”

“Diners can expect rotating local whole fish options, a variety of niche oysters, dramatic bar creations, flaming Spanish coffees, and an extensive reserve wine list sourced from all over the globe.”

“Saso’s bar program features a wine list highlighting rare txakolinas from the Basque Country alongside natural wines from Lumos Wine Company (the vineyard where Dominique was born). Guests are in for a spectacular happy hour with top notch imported ciders, wine and beers on draught along with a blend of classic and signature cocktails drawing inspiration from Los Angeles to Portland to San Sebastián.”

“Housed in the century-old Pasadena Playhouse, Saso’s dining room and lounge area add a contemporary touch to the building’s historic architecture, including a large-scale, custom 40ft mural from renowned LA-based artist Tim Biskup.”

“On the patio diners can enjoy a breezy, socially distanced meal in a courtyard shared with the Pasadena Playhouse, adorned with string lights and an ornate water fountain.

On August 24th (Tuesday) Saso will be serving Dinner nightly Tuesday through Sunday. (Closed on Monday.) Lunch is Friday, Saturday and Sunday with Happy Hour on the menu those same days.

Chef Dom takes a break from prep in his busy kitchen and continues with us.

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Show 398, November 7, 2020: Ajay Relan, Co-Founder, Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen

Ajay Relan of Hilltop Coffee CompanyAjay Relan and Yonnie Hagos, proprietors of Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen, have just debuted the newest Hilltop location in Eagle Rock on the ground floor of The Perch apartments. “All operational considerations are in place to ensure the safety of neighbors and guests alike. The menu features the same great coffee and menu favorites like the Bangin’ Breakfast Sandwich, Soul Bowl, and Hilltop “Droptops” that have propelled Hilltop’s first two locations, in View Park / Windsor Hills and Inglewood, to popularity.”

“Hagos and Relan opened the original Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen in View Park / Windsor Hills in August 2018 with the intention of bringing to South L.A. a cafe for the neighborhood; an inclusive space meant to foster community, creativity, and connection over quality food and drink. A year later, the duo partnered with South L.A. native Issa Rae, creator and star of the hit HBO series Insecure, and opened its flagship location in Downtown Inglewood.”

“Our food is simple and nourishing: breakfast and lunch offerings, 
along with coffee, juices, and pastries.”

Proprietor Ajay Relan joins us Bangin’ Breakfast Sandwich in hand.

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Mad Mocha Marbled Mousse Pie

Mad Mocha Marbled Mousse Pie by Laura Theodoreby Laura Theodore
Jazzy Vegetarian

This pie is gorgeous to look at, delicious to eat and a delight to serve! Your family and guests will think you slaved for hours creating the “fancy” marbled effect, but it’s actually super easy to do! You will please chocolate and coffee lovers alike with this impressive sweet indulgence!

CRUST

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to coat pan
  • 11 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut

FILLING

  • 1 block (14 to 15 ounces) extra-firm regular tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons vegan cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold, strong brewed coffee
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan dark chocolate chips (55% to 70% cacao)
  • 1/2  cup unsweetened or sweetened nondairy milk

Generously coat a 9-inch round pie pan with olive oil. Put all of the crust ingredients in a high-performance blending appliance and process into a dough, stopping the machine and scraping the bowl several times. The dough will be very sticky. Transfer the dough to the oiled pan and press it into the bottom and up the sides of the pan (see note). Put the pie pan in the freezer for 6 to 8 minutes, and then transfer to the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

To make the filling, put the tofu, sugar and coffee into a blender and process until very smooth. Transfer 1/3 cup of the tofu/coffee mixture to a small bowl and reserve. Add the chocolate chips to the top of the remaining tofu mixture (that is still in the blender container).

Put the nondairy milk into a small saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium-low heat. Immediately pour the simmering nondairy milk over the chocolate chip mixture and process for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until it becomes completely smooth. Pour the chocolate filling into the chilled crust (it will mound up slightly, above the crust). Immediately drop 5 to 6 spoonfuls of the reserved tofu/coffee mixture onto the top of the pie. Then, using a wooden skewer or the tip of a knife, gently swirl the tofu/coffee mixture into the top of the pie in a pleasing, marbleized pattern. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours (or overnight), until completely set. Slice and serve!

Chef’s Notes: If you are cooking gluten free, make certain to purchase certified gluten-free tofu, available in most supermarkets.

If desired, create a decorative edge to the crust. Using the tines of a fork, press gently down around the entire outer edge of the crust to form evenly spaced lines.

Show 249, November 25, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a salivating preview of this Saturday’s ample Thanksgiving Weekend Show. No leftovers…it’s a fresh show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Vina Ardanza, the iconic wine of Spain’s La Rioja Alta, S.A., celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. In September the President of La Rioja Alta, S.A., Guillermo de Aranzabal Agudo, was in the USA for a brief key city tour to celebrate. The United States is an important market for them. He’s on the line this morning from Spain to chat with us.

In it’s 2nd season on KCET is “The Migrant Kitchen,” an Emmy-winning series. The 4-episode series explores how the next generation of chefs is creating cuisine inspired by the immigrant experience. Chef Diep Tran of Highland Park’s Good Girl Dinette is part of the upcoming “Beyond Pho” episode. We’ll meet her.

MaxLove Project is an innovative, grassroots nonprofit organization with a mission to increase the quality of life and reduce health risks for all children surviving cancer, both in treatment and beyond. MLP empowers families fighting childhood cancers and related life-threatening conditions with quality of life care, fierce foods, whole-body wellness resources, education and research. Co-Founder Audra Wilford is our guest.

Upon learning that rice and bread were the culprits for her husband’s Type 2 diabetes, entrepreneur Deepa Thomas deconstructed and reinvented her native Indian cuisine. She slow-carbonized family recipes, used Western cooking techniques, incorporated breaking-news research on gut health and weight loss, and even drew from her grandfather’s Ayurvedic wisdoms. After three months, Deepa lost twenty-five pounds and freed her husband from a ten-year-long routine of insulin shots. The impressive result is documented in the thoughtfully realized Deepa’s Secrets – Slow Carb New Indian Cuisine. Deepa returns to the “SoCal Restaurant Show” for an encore chat.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, is a certified coffee devotee. We’ll talk in-depth about his favorite beverage. He also shares some insider’s coffee trivia that may surprise you.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

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Show 249, November 25, 2017: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-host & Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew and William GruelTime to catch-up with our on-the-go, esteemed Co-host, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, Butterleaf and Two Birds fame. Chef Andrew’s favorite beverage is coffee. He shares some coffee trivia that will probably surprise you. We’ll get brewing with a fresh pot. French Press, of course…

Chef Andrew suggests that brewing coffee at home is really the way to go for a superior coffee experience. Even the casual coffee lover will appreciate the obvious difference.

Getting started is easy. You want to get a small coffee bean grinder and a French Press. You can accomplish this for about $30. Get the beans whole & keep in the refrigerator. Grind the beans & brew as needed. You can heat the water used for the French Press in the microwave.

Simple…

Chef Andrew joins us from Family Thanksgiving celebrations on the East Coast.

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November 25: Andrew Gruel, La Rioja Alta, S.A., Diep Tran, MaxLove Project, Deepa Thomas

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Guillermo de Aranzabal Agudo, President, La Rioja Alta, S.A. (Vina Ardanza)
Segment Three: Chef / Proprietor Diep Tran, Good Girl Dinette, Highland Park, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Audra Wilford, Co-Founder, MaxLove Project
Segment Five: Deepa Thomas, Deepa’s Secrets – Slow Carb / New Indian Cuisine Part One
Segment Six: Deepa Thomas, Deepa’s Secrets – Slow Carb / New Indian Cuisine Part Two
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-host & Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Eight: Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer

Now a salivating preview of this Saturday’s ample Thanksgiving Weekend Show. No leftovers…it’s a fresh show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Vina Ardanza, the iconic wine of Spain’s La Rioja Alta, S.A., celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. In September the President of La Rioja Alta, S.A., Guillermo de Aranzabal Agudo, was in the USA for a brief key city tour to celebrate. The United States uis an important market for them. He’s on the line this morning from Spain to chat with us.

In it’s 2nd season on KCET is “The Migrant Kitchen,” an Emmy-winning series. The 4-episode series explores how the next generation of chefs is creating cuisine inspired by the immigrant experience. Chef Diep Tran of Highland Park’s Good Girl Dinette is part of the upcoming “Beyond Pho” episode. We’ll meet her.

MaxLove Project is an innovative, grassroots nonprofit organization with a mission to increase the quality of life and reduce health risks for all children surviving cancer, both in treatment and beyond. MLP empowers families fighting childhood cancers and related life-threatening conditions with quality of life care, fierce foods, whole-body wellness resources, education and research. Co-Founder Audra Wilford is our guest.

Upon learning that rice and bread were the culprits for her husband’s Type 2 diabetes, entrepreneur Deepa Thomas deconstructed and reinvented her native Indian cuisine. She slow-carbonized family recipes, used Western cooking techniques, incorporated breaking-news research on gut health and weight loss, and even drew from her grandfather’s Ayurvedic wisdoms. After three months, Deepa lost twenty-five pounds and freed her husband from a ten-year-long routine of insulin shots. The impressive result is documented in impressive Deepa’s Secrets – Slow Carb New Indian Cuisine. Deepa returns to the “SoCal Restaurant Show” for an encore chat.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, is a certified coffee devotee. We’ll talk in-depth about his favorite beverage.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

Guillermo de Aranzabal AgudoVina Ardanza, the iconic wine of Spain’s La Rioja Alta, S.A., celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. In September the President of La Rioja Alta, S.A., Guillermo de Aranzabal Agudo, was in the USA for a brief key city tour to celebrate. He’s on the long-distance line this morning from Spain to chat with us.

Although it had already been produced and marketed for a few years before, the brand was officially registered on September 28, 1942 under the chairmanship of Leandro Ardanza. It takes the name from one of the five families who founded La Rioja Alta, S.A. in the Haro Station District of Spain in 1890.

Vina Ardanza is a wine mixing different varieties and plots. To achieve the “burgundy style” with great aging potential, La Rioja Alta, S.A. blends wine with different characteristics. On the one hand, Tempranillos from Rioja Alta, elegant, fine, with great aging potential, medium structure and moderate alcohol content. On the other, Granachas, powerful wines with great structure originating in Rioja Baja.

Vina Ardanza is a typical Rioja blend without a set recipe. The Vina Ardanza style is unique, but the blend of varieties, percentages, terroirs, barrels and even how long it is aged, varies with each vintage, always looking for consistency.

American Oak has always been linked to the personality of Vina Ardanza. With long aging periods, it provides distinctive nuances that connect with the profile of wines historically produced by La Rioja Alta, S.A.

Vina Ardanza, like the other wines of Grupo La Rioja Alta, S.A., is not made every year. They only market vintages in which both Tempranillo and Granacha attain their quality requirements. This happens 5 to 6 times per decade.

Diep TranIn it’s 2nd season on KCET is “The Migrant Kitchen,” an Emmy-winning series. The 4-episode series explores how the next generation of chefs is creating cuisine inspired by the immigrant experience. Chef Diep Tran of Highland Park’s Good Girl Dinette is part of the upcoming “Beyond Pho” episode.

Airing on Wednesday evening, November 29th is the “Beyond Pho” episode of “The Migrant Kitchen.” Banh Mi. Spring rolls. Pho. The war and its subsequent refugees. These are things most commonly associated with the Vietnamese culture and its people. But a group of chefs in Los Angeles (including Cassia’s Bryant Ng and Kim Luu-Ng, Diep Tran of Good Girl Dinette, and Minh Phan of Porridge & Puffs) are hoping to demonstrate that there’s so much more than that. Featured in the episode: Cassia in Santa Monica, Good Girl Dinette in Highland Park, Red Boat Fish Sauce.

The second season of the James Beard Award and Webby-nominated series, continues to spotlight chefs who are combining traditional, ethnic cuisines with new flavors and fresh techniques that have transformed the culinary landscape of the city, making it one of the food capitals of the world.  Season Two examines tradition and innovation in cuisines celebrating the food cultures of Mexico, Vietnam, Japan and India, as well as their various interpretations found in Los Angeles.

We’ll meet Good Girl Dinette’s Chef Diep.

Audra WilfordMaxLove Project is an innovative grassroots nonprofit organization with a mission to increase the quality of life and reduce health risks for all children surviving cancer, both in treatment and beyond. MLP empowers families fighting childhood cancers and related life-threatening conditions with quality of life care, fierce foods, whole-body wellness resources, education and research.

MaxLove Project, an Orange County nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of child cancer patients, survivors and their families, recently raised $240,000 at their annual fundraiser to launch an initiative in partnership with Northern California-based The Charlie Cart Project with the goal of placing a nutritional teaching kitchen in every children’s hospital in the country.

The Charlie Cart is a mobile teaching kitchen equipped with a sink, oven, pantry storage, kitchen supplies and more. Each cart costs $9,500, as opposed to the enormous expense of constructing a kitchen at each children’s hospital nationwide.

“MaxLove Project has grown out of the idea that food can be medicine. When families face serious health conditions like pediatric cancer, they need to be empowered to take their children’s quality of life in their own hands,” MaxLove Project Co-Founder Audra Wilford, whose son Max is a brain cancer survivor, said. “By learning culinary skills and the nutrition science principles we call ‘Fierce Foods,’ parents and kids together can thrive against the odds.”

MaxLove Project is developing a curriculum where representatives and local chefs will educate doctors, nurses and the public on the healing potential of food as medicine. Locally, MaxLove Project has teamed up with Chefs Azmin Ghahreman of Sapphire Laguna, Zov Karamardian of Zov’s Bistro, Greg Daniels of Haven Gastropub, Michael Puglisi of Electric City Butcher and Cathy McKnight of Eilo to spearhead the movement.

Co-Founder of the MaxLove Project, Audra Wilford, is our guest.

Deepa ThomasUpon learning that rice and bread were the culprits for her husband’s Type 2 diabetes, entrepreneur Deepa Thomas deconstructed and reinvented her native Indian cuisine. She slow-carbonized family recipes, used Western cooking techniques, incorporated breaking-news research on gut health and weight loss, and even drew from her grandfather’s Ayurvedic wisdoms.

After three months, Deepa lost twenty-five pounds and freed her husband from a ten-year-long routine of insulin shots. The impressive result is documented in Deepa’s Secrets – Slow Carb New Indian Cuisine.

Equal parts cookbook, health-guide, kitchen companion, and memoir, Deepa’s Secrets introduces breakthrough recipes that are simple to prepare, colorful, and healthy while still keeping the complexity and integrity of their rich South Asian flavors. To demystify an “exotic” cuisine, Deepa provides step-by-step instructions with ingredient substitutions, shortcuts, and secret techniques that will make New Indian easy, everyday fare.

Proceeds of the book sales benefit the non-profit FoodCorps. Their mission is to connect kids with the skills (and meals) they need to thrive.

Deepa returns for an encore chat.

In Deepa’s Secrets Deepa shares more than seventy recipes that are as mouthwatering and seductive as they are healthy and healing. Combining Western cooking techniques, new research on gut health and weight loss, and drawing on Ayurvedic wisdom (“When diet is right, medicine is of no need; and when diet is wrong, medicine is of no use”). The recipes Deepa developed allowed her and her husband to each lose more than twenty pounds and her husband to be free from a ten-year dependence on insulin shots.

A graduate of Delhi University with degrees in journalism and political science, Deepa Thomas moved to the US and, in 1985, founded Deepa Textiles. After 21 years and 23 design awards, the company has been credited with transforming the $10 billion a year contract furniture industry.

Andrew and William GruelTime to catch-up with our on-the-go, esteemed Co-host, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, Butterleaf and Two Birds fame. Chef Andrew’s favorite beverage is coffee. We’ll get brewing with a fresh pot.

Chef Andrew joins us from Family Thanksgiving celebrations on the East Coast.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Guillermo de Aranzabal Agudo, President, La Rioja Alta, S.A. (Vina Ardanza)
Segment Three: Chef / Proprietor Diep Tran, Good Girl Dinette, Highland Park, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Audra Wilford, Co-Founder, MaxLove Project
Segment Five: Deepa Thomas, Deepa’s Secrets – Slow Carb / New Indian Cuisine Part One
Segment Six: Deepa Thomas, Deepa’s Secrets – Slow Carb / New Indian Cuisine Part Two
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-host & Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Eight: Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer

Show 229, June 24, 2017: Jeff & Christa Duggan, Portola Coffee Roasters

Jeff and Christa DugganIn conjunction with its 6-year anniversary, Portola Coffee Roasters has redesigned its flagship location inside The OC Mix at South Coast Collection in Costa Mesa. The new design, intended to improve the customer experience, takes advantage of the latest in brewing technologies to achieve a higher level of service, product quality, and consistency not possible before.

“The original idea behind the oval shaped bar was to create a visual theater for our customers curious about the brewing science we employ – it is both interesting and educational to be able to see firsthand how things are done at Portola,” explained Jeff Duggan, who, with his wife Christa, opened the flagship Portola Coffee Roasters location in Costa Mesa in 2011 to bring a 100% single-cup craft brew coffeehouse to Orange County.

“With the new design, this goal is better achieved. It will be much different than the ‘order here, pick up over there’ model. We will service customers in line so once they order, their drinks will be made while they watch, and they pay at the end when their drink has been served.”

Joining us with all the artfully brewed details are proprietors Jeff & Christa Duggan.

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Show 222, May 6, 2017: 9th Annual Ka’u Coffee Festival, Big Island of Hawaii

Chris ManfrediThe ninth annual Ka‘u Coffee Festival (Big Island of Hawaii) celebrates its award-winning brew with a host of events starting May 19 and continuing through the weekend of May 27-28 with a java-jumpin’ ho‘olaulea‘a on Saturday and the Ka‘u Coffee College educational series on Sunday. Supported by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and a bevy of sponsors and volunteers, the Ka‘u Coffee Festival is designed to celebrate Ka‘u as a premium coffee growing origin and a unique visitor destination.

Many events are free, while others require a nominal fee and reservations.

An unspoiled land, sunny climate and misty afternoons give Ka’u coffee it characteristic deep flavors. One esteemed coffee taster described a special Ka’u coffee as “the taste of chocolate, cherry and coconut accented with floral notes of orchid and citrus flavors.”

“Unique cultivating practices including hand-picking, sun drying, warm sunny mornings and misty afternoon rains and fertile volcanic soils combine with the passion and aloha of Ka’u farmers to produce some of the finest coffees grown anywhere.”

Organizer Chris Manfredi of Ka’u Farm and Ranch (also President of the Hawaii Coffee Association) joins us.

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Show 217, April 1, 2017: Abby Kircher, Founder, Abby’s Better Nut Butter

Abby KircherOne of our discoveries at the recently concluded Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim was Abby’s Better Nut Butter. Nut butters are a fast-growing category within natural products. It’s a great product (only 5 ingredients and no peanuts) but, more unusually, it was started by a 15-year old entrepreneur out of Mooresville, NC.

At the young age of 15, Abby Kircher created a product unlike anything else on the market. Hungry for a healthier alternative to peanut butter but unwilling to forgo flavor and variety, she decided to fill an unmet need on her own. After experimenting with different ingredients, including a variety of nuts, like cashews and pecans, to sweet add-ins, like dates, strawberries and coconuts, she landed on a product that didn’t only taste good—it was good for her, too. This was the beginning of Abby’s Better Nut Butters, and today, two years since its official launch, her product has successfully hit the shelves—and the pantries—of the in-demand health food market.

“My goal from the very beginning was to just make the best product I could find. I wanted to create something that was natural and pure but tasted amazing. When I realized my nut butters were something special, I had my family try it—I was surprised to hear that they actually preferred it over regular peanut butter. At that moment, I knew I had a real chance to share these flavors with even more people,” Abby said.

Abby’s Better Nut Butter boasts six unique blends: Coconut Cashew; Honey Almond; Date Pecan; Bourbon Maple Walnut; Coffee Almond; and Strawberry Cashew. Abby first began selling her product at local farmer’s markets in her hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina in 2015. By late spring in 2016, her nut butters expanded into the retail space, including all Lowes Foods location in the Charlotte area and beyond. Now, the clean eating brand is entering 2017 with an agreement with another major retailer—Whole Foods, for placement in their Southeast stores.

We’ll meet founder Abby Kircher.

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