Show 453, November 27, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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.

Earlier in the month Chef Andrew was invited to Washington, DC to participate in a Congressional Small Business Roundtable with seven Members of Congress and a handful of select small business owners from around the USA. The Roundtable focused on small business taxes, regulations and reduced workforces. Chef Andrew details the unusual experience. (Rescheduled from two weeks ago.)

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Show 451, November 13, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

“One of the most visually stunning demonstrations of talent and creativity within the architectural and engineering communities has returned for year seven through November 14, 2021. The annual CANstruction Long Beach event provides a much-needed source of non-perishable food for Food Finders to help eliminate hunger in the Long Beach community. The 7th annual CANstruction Long Beach competition benefiting Food Finders is being held at Trademark Brewing (at 233 E. Anaheim St.) with the completed installations available for viewing through Sunday, November 14, 2021. November 4th was “build day” starting at 8 a.m. CANstruction participants had twelve hours to design and build unique structures made entirely out of canned goods. The structures may be built up to 10’ x 10’ x 10’ and are comprised of 3,000-4,000 cans each. This year’s theme is “Don’t Let Hunger DRAG-ON!”, and participating teams depicted mythical creatures in any way they chose.” Organizer Terri Henry of Terri Henry Marketing, LLC joins us with all the event details.

Descanso Restaurant, a modern taqueria located in Costa Mesa, will celebrate its third anniversary on Thursday, November 18 with a day of specials and live music from 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. To commemorate the anniversary, Executive Chef Fonzy de Zuniga has cooked up new menu items influenced by Central Mexican street-inspired cuisine that combines a love for flavor with quality ingredients. Descanso Restaurant is known for the Plancha and Taco Bars, where friends and family can gather to watch the food be prepared in front of them. The restaurant also hosts weekly happenings including Sunday Brunch with bottomless mimosas, weekday Happy Hour, a midweek Lunch Special, and Wine Wednesdays featuring live music on the patio.” Owner Rob Arellano and Executive Chef Fonzy de Zuniga take a break from the anniversary festivities preparations and are our guests.

Horses is a recently launched California restaurant and drinkery in West Hollywood with a nod to the European bistro. The inspiration for Horses comes from the original Ye Coach & Horses, a long -time bar and hideout for celebrities. Famous for being the perfect no-maintenance hang, people were devastated when its doors shuttered. Keeping true to the space, Horses pays homage to the Hollywood of yesterday. Upon entrance, you pass through the original 1934 moldings, tiled cafe flooring, and the eponymous horse in the famed bar room. You will walk past the original red booths and tables where Quentin Tarentino and Tim Roth first met. In its new incarnation, the spirit and magic is still alive. Horses is your classic bistro with a menu that is timeless and inspired by the bounty and seasonality of California. Small bites, classic libations, and a jovial spirit, Managing Partners and Chefs Will Aghajanian and Liz Johnson cook for the pleasure of the guest and the classic fare that inspired them as young cooks.”

Alma Sol is a family-owned and operated, micro-boutique winery, sourcing premium fruit from both Estate and other top vineyard sites in the beautiful Paso Robles appellation. From the very beginning, the mission of Proprietors John and Lisa Cuevas Shaw has been to craft exceptional Bordeaux wines, both single varietals and special blends – though they will occasionally be inspired to produce limited releases of non-Bordeaux varietals as well.  Alma Sol hand-picks their grapes in small lots, respects the fruit, guide its natural potential, and simply focus on hands-on, artisan winemaking.” Proprietors John and Lisa Cuevas Shaw are our guests to uncork all that is Alma Sol Winery.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

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November 13: CANstruction Long Beach, Descanso Restaurant, Horses, Alma Sol

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: CANstruction Long Beach 2021 with Producer Terri Henry
Segment Three: Descanso – A Modern Taqueria’s 3rd Anniversary
Segment Four: Chef Liz Johnson, Managing Partner, Horses Restaurant, West Hollywood Part One
Segment Five: Chef Liz Johnson, Managing Partner, Horses Restaurant, West Hollywood Part Two
Segment Six: John Shaw and Lisa Cuevas Shaw, Alma Sol Winery, Paso Robles Part One
Segment Seven: John Shaw and Lisa Cuevas Shaw, Alma Sol Winery, Paso Robles Part Two

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

“One of the most visually stunning demonstrations of talent and creativity within the architectural and engineering communities has returned for year seven through November 14, 2021. The annual CANstruction Long Beach event provides a much-needed source of non-perishable food for Food Finders to help eliminate hunger in the Long Beach community. The 7th annual CANstruction Long Beach competition benefiting Food Finders is being held at Trademark Brewing ( at 233 E. Anaheim St.) with the completed installations available for viewing through Sunday, November 14, 2021. November 4th was “build day” starting at 8 a.m. CANstruction participants had twelve hours to design and build unique structures made entirely out of canned goods. The structures may be built up to 10’ x 10’ x 10’ and are comprised of 3,000-4,000 cans each. This year’s theme is “Don’t Let Hunger DRAG-ON!”, and participating teams depicted mythical creatures in any way they chose.” Organizer Terri Henry of Terri Henry Marketing, LLC joins us with all the event details.

“Descanso Restaurant, a modern taqueria located in Costa Mesa, will celebrate its third anniversary on Thursday, November 18 with a day of specials and live music from 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. To commemorate the anniversary, Executive Chef Fonzy de Zuniga has cooked up new menu items influenced by Central Mexican street-inspired cuisine that combines a love for flavor with quality ingredients. Descanso Restaurant is known for the Plancha and Taco Bars, where friends and family can gather to watch the food be prepared in front of them. The restaurant also hosts weekly happenings including Sunday Brunch with bottomless mimosas, weekday Happy Hour, a midweek Lunch Special, and Wine Wednesdays featuring live music on the patio.” Owner Rob Arellano and Executive Chef Fonzy de Zuniga take a break from the anniversary festivities preparations and are our guests.

“Horses is a recently launched California restaurant and drinkery with a nod to the European bistro. The inspiration for Horses comes from the original Ye Coach & Horses, a long-time bar and hideout for celebrities. Famous for being the perfect no-maintenance hang, people were devastated when its doors shuttered. Keeping true to the space, Horses pays homage to the Hollywood of yesterday. Upon entrance, you pass through the original 1934 moldings, tiled cafe flooring, and the eponymous horse in the famed bar room. You will walk past the original red booths and tables where Quentin Tarentino and Tim Roth first met. In its new incarnation, the spirit and magic is still alive. Horses is your classic bistro with a menu that is timeless and inspired by the bounty and seasonality of California. Small bites, classic libations, and a jovial spirit, Managing Partners and Chefs Will Aghajanian and Liz Johnson cook for the pleasure of the guest and the classic fare that inspired them as young cooks.”

Alma Sol is a family-owned and operated, micro-boutique winery, sourcing premium fruit from both Estate and other top vineyard sites in the beautiful Paso Robles appellation. From the very beginning, the mission of Proprietors John and Lisa Shaw has been to craft exceptional Bordeaux wines, both single varietals and special blends – though they will occasionally be inspired to produce limited releases of non-Bordeaux varietals as well. Alma Sol hand-picks their grapes in small lots, respects the fruit, guide its natural potential, and simply focus on hands-on, artisan winemaking.” Proprietors John and Lisa Shaw are our guests to uncork all that is Alma Sol Winery.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Terri Henry of Dine LBC and Terri Henry Marketing

“One of the most visually stunning demonstrations of talent and creativity within the architectural and engineering communities returned for year through November 14, 2021. The annual CANstruction Long Beach event provides a much-needed source of unperishable food for Food Finders to help eliminate hunger in the Long Beach community.”

“The 7th annual CANstruction Long Beach competition benefiting Food Finders is being held at Trademark Brewing ( at 233 E. Anaheim St.) with the completed installations available for viewing through Sunday, November 14, 2021.”

“November 4th was “build day” starting at 8 a.m., CANstruction participants had twelve hours to design and build unique structures made entirely out of canned goods. The structures may be built up to 10’ x 10’ x 10’ and are comprised of 3,000-4,000 cans each. This year’s theme is “Don’t Let Hunger DRAG-ON!”, and participating teams depicted mythical creatures in any way they chose.”

“Three skilled teams made up from local architectural and engineering firms transformed thousands of cans of food into larger-than-life artistic masterpieces. The 2021 participants are WSP Engineering, Tuchscher Engineering Group and Precision Property Measurements.”

“Food Finders is excited to again be the beneficiary of the 7th annual Long Beach CANstruction”, said Diana Lara, Executive Director of Food Finders. “Postponed in 2020 due to COVID, the 2019 event generated a 10,000 pound plus donation of canned goods, and this unique event will continue to heighten awareness of food insecurity in our community and will play an important role in helping to feed those in need in our own backyard.”

“Our three talented teams have spent months designing their structures and are allowed only 12 hours to meticulously stack and color-coordinate their cans into ingenious feats of design”, added Terri Henry of terri henry marketing LLC, who organizes the event. “The ultimate donation of thousands of cans of food to feed the food insecure in our community makes it all worthwhile to the teams.”

Terri Henry of Terri Henry Marketing, LLC joins us with all the event details.

Fonzy de Zuniga of Descanso Restaurant

Descanso Restaurant, a modern taqueria located in Costa Mesa, will celebrate its third anniversary on Thursday, November 18 with a day of specials and live music from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. To commemorate the anniversary, Executive Chef Fonzy de Zuniga has cooked up new menu items influenced by Central Mexican street-inspired cuisine that combines a love for flavor with quality ingredients.”

“We continue to receive so much support from our community and are very excited to celebrate three years of business,” said Descanso Owner Rob Arellano. “We aim to create flavorful dishes for our guests, inspired by our passion for authentic Mexican recipes and look forward to continuing to share the memorable Descanso experience in the years to come.”

“Descanso Restaurant is known for the Plancha and Taco Bars, where friends and family can gather to watch the food be prepared in front of them. The restaurant also hosts weekly happenings including Sunday Brunch with bottomless mimosas, weekday Happy Hour, a midweek Lunch Special, and Wine Wednesdays featuring live music on the patio.”

“The new dinner and brunch dishes created by Descanso’s Executive Chef, Fonzy de Zuniga, are available now and put a spin on traditional recipes by incorporating fresh seafood, like shrimp, red snapper and salmon. The new brunch entrée, Eggs Benito, is Zuniga’s take on a “Mexican-style” eggs benedict with achiote marinated chicken, two poached eggs, agave morita glaze, hollandaise, avocado, bell peppers, grilled corn and onions on two tostadas. Along with new menu items, Descanso has crafted new cocktails, such as the Desperado and Mango Margarita that incorporate tropical flavors to pair with the new savory and spicy entrées.”

Owner Rob Arellano and Executive Chef Fonzy de Zuniga take a break from the anniversary festivities preparations and are our guests.

Liz Johnson of Horses Restaurant

Horses is a recently launched California restaurant and drinkery with a nod to the European bistro. The inspiration for Horses comes from the original Ye Coach & Horses, a long-time bar and hideout for celebrities. Famous for being the perfect no-maintenance hang, people were devastated when its doors shuttered.”

“Keeping true to the space, Horses pays homage to the Hollywood of yesterday. Upon entrance, you pass through the original 1934 moldings, tiled cafe flooring, and the eponymous horse in the famed bar room. You will walk past the original red booths and tables where Quentin Tarentino and Tim Roth first met. In its new incarnation, the spirit and magic is still alive.”

“Horses is your classic bistro with a menu that is timeless and inspired by the bounty and seasonality of California. Small bites, classic libations, and a jovial spirit, Managing Partners and Chefs Will Aghajanian and Liz Johnson cook for the pleasure of the guest and the classic fare that inspired them as young cooks.”

“Horses is the first solo venture, and the most important work to date, for Chefs Will Aghajanian and Liz Johnson. As the visionaries behind the project, the duo is responsible for concept creation, interior design, menu development, as well as the day-to-day operations of the restaurant.”

“Running the kitchen, Aghajanian and Johnson have tapped Brittany Ha and Lee Pallerino as Co-Executive Chefs of Horses. Ha began her culinary career at Roberta’s in New York City. During those three years at an ambitious, creative and wild restaurant, she serendipitously met Lee Pallerino, who was the sous chef at the Michelin star Brooklyn eatery. Their journey continued together through restaurant openings, busy services, cross country moves, and now as co-chefs.”

Chef and Managing Partner Liz Johnson takes a break from her busy kitchen and joins us.

John Shaw of Alma Sol Winery

Alma Sol is a family-owned and operated, micro-boutique winery, sourcing premium fruit from both Estate and other top vineyard sites in the beautiful Paso Robles appellation. From the very beginning, the mission has been to craft exceptional Bordeaux wines, both single varietals and special blends – though they will occasionally be inspired to produce limited releases of non-Bordeaux varietals as well. Alma Sol hand-picks their grapes in small lots, respects the fruit, guide its natural potential, and simply focus on hands-on, artisan winemaking.”

“It all began in 2002, during weekend trips to the family’s vineyard in Paso Robles and spending more time with the family business. In Paso Robles, they found the winemakers and winery owners highly accessible and approachable – so much so, that they came to know the area and the industry extremely well in little time. It started with learning about vineyard practices, the kinds of varietals that grow well in the area, and then gradually extended into learning about the entire winemaking operation.”

“John and Lisa became officially licensed in 2009 under the name of Alma Sol, which brings together two critical elements needed to craft exceptional wines – “soul” and “sun”. While Paso is well-known for its Zinfandel – and more recently, award-winning Rhone varietals and blends – John and Lisa decided that they wanted to make the best Cabernet Sauvignon they could by using Paso Robles fruit, to prove that a great Bordeaux could be realized in the Central Coast. Their first commercial vintage was in 2009. The inaugural releases received numerous accolades, including 90 Pts from Wine Enthusiast.”

“John and Lisa run the entire operation on their own. On the operations side, this includes overseeing the Alma Sol estate vineyard, scouting and selecting fruit sources beyond the estate vineyard, harvesting and processing the fruit, selecting and managing the barrel program to draw out distinctive flavor profiles, designing and creating the wine label and packaging, bottling, warehousing, and marketing and selling. All of this is done with a primary goal of sharing and distributing these hand-crafted wines among local communities in Southern California and beyond.”

Proprietors John and Lisa Shaw are our guests to uncork all that is Alma Sol Winery.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: CANstruction Long Beach 2021 with Producer Terri Henry
Segment Three: Descanso – A Modern Taqueria’s 3rd Anniversary
Segment Four: Chef Liz Johnson, Managing Partner, Horses Restaurant, West Hollywood Part One
Segment Five: Chef Liz Johnson, Managing Partner, Horses Restaurant, West Hollywood Part Two
Segment Six: John Shaw and Lisa Cuevas Shaw, Alma Sol Winery, Paso Robles Part One
Segment Seven: John Shaw and Lisa Cuevas Shaw, Alma Sol Winery, Paso Robles Part Two

Show 426, May 22, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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 continually updating us on the real 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 initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for 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.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund of $28.6 billion is part of The American Rescue Plan. It’s already oversubscribed by twice the amount approved by Congress. Can it be replenished? Chef Andrew has his thoughts on this development.

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.

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Show 377, June 13, 2020: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host & Slapfish Restaurant Group

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur 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. Dine-in is slowly starting to come back but with a lot of new rules. Patio or outside seating is highly desirable. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

All levels of government have sincerely pledged to support struggling (but essential) small businesses as we start to gradually recover from the COVID 19 crisis. Chef Andrew has a startling personal example of local bureaucratic fumbling at its best. We’re also starting to see a COVID 19 surcharge on select restaurant checks to make a contribution to increased operating costs. There is now talk in Congress about advancing the Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed to Survive (RESTAURANTS) Act of 2020. As always Chef Andrew shares his informed thoughts. We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

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