Show 157, January 30, 2016: Matthew De Marte, General Manager, Connie and Ted’s, West Hollywood

Matthew de MarteSince partners Chef Michael Cimarusti, Donato Poto, and Craig Nickoloff opened Connie and Ted’s in West Hollywood in 2013 they have redefined the concept of a casual seafood dinner house serving premium seafood. The impressive guest counts this popular restaurant continues to do two and one-half years later are the envy of the industry

New at Connie and Ted’s from Executive Chef Sam Baxter is a Weekend New England-style Seafood Brunch with freshly baked in-house breakfast breads and pastries. It’s served Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Pastry Chef Melissa McFail creates all the breakfast baked goods in-house. Highlights are Biscuit & Butter, Grilled Pullman Bread and Cinnamon Roll with nutmeg, orange zest and cream cheese icing.

A brunch highlight is the Nor’Easter Breakfast Sandwich. It’s Nueske’s bacon, egg, clam strips, Hook’s cheddar, tartar sauce, housemade English muffin and served with home fried potatoes.

Opening General Manager Matthew De Marte (a 3rd generation restaurant professional who hails from Chicago) provides all the tasty details.

Play

Show 132, July 25, 2015: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, and now, LAX, is back as today’s special Guest Host. Irvine opens next week.

Next a provocative preview of Saturday’s ample show. With any luck we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

Just as wine is to the French or beer is to the Germans, whiskey – especially bourbon and rye – is an integral part of the history and culture of the United States. The Art of American Whiskey traces the arc of this beloved, renowned spirit – from its earliest days in the Colonial era, through the Civil War, Prohibition, the Great Depression, and up to the current craft-distilling boon. Author and whiskey expert Noah Rothbaum is our guest.

Vina De Liceaga is one of the very limited production, distinguished boutique wineries in the Guadalupe Valley located in Northern Baja California. It was founded in its current location in 1993 by the late Eduardo Liceaga and the tradition continues under the watchful eye of his widow, Myrna. Wine journalist Tom Plant (the founder of WINEormous.com) who has lived in Northern Baja joins us with a profile of Vina De Liceaga.

The casual, seafood centric Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood has been a crowd-pleasing phenonomin since it opened its door two years ago. Co-owner Chef Michael Cimarusti (Providence) is one of the most respected seafood chefs in the country. Partner Donato Poto (Providence) has a long reputation as the L.A. consummate host. Partner Craig Nickoloff is a veteran restaurateur best known for founding the the hugely successful Claim Jumper restaurants. Craig knows how to feed a crowd and give them every reason to return. Connie & Ted’s opening General Manager, Matthew De Marte is our guest to share a few secrets of their incredible success.

The Big Bite Bacon Fest at The Queen Mary is back for its second year on August 1st & 2nd. Showcasing bacon and craft beer it’s the West Coast’s Largest Bacon Fest! Chef Isaiah Rosario (he’s 16) of the Fry Fry Truck, one of the participating Bacon Fest chefs, joins us to preview some of the outrageous bacon dishes that will be available.

The esteemed Price of Produce, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, is back with us to update us on the fresh and juiciest grapes of Summer. New this year are Jelly Drops Grapes. Returning are the coveted Cotton Candy grapes.

Our regular guest hot, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, is a big fan of craveable sandwiches. He’ll give us the profile of the regional favorite, the New Jersey Sloppy Joe and other sandwich intell. Yum…

Chef Andrew Gruel knows a thing or two about fresh fish. One of the goals of the growing sustainability movement in seafood is to encourage fish lovers to try some of the lesser-known selections that are out there for the taking. They are just as tasty and actually typically priced at a better value. Unfortunately they are known as “trash fish.” Don’t let that name fool you. Smelt, sardines, and mackerel can be delicious.

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

Play

Show 132, July 25, 2015: Matthew De Marte, General Manager, Connie and Ted’s

Matthew de MarteThe casual, seafood centric Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood has been a crowd-pleasing phenomenon since it opened its door two years ago.

Co-owner Chef Michael Cimarusti (Providence) is one of the most respected seafood chefs in the country. Partner Donato Poto (Providence) has a long reputation as one of L.A.’s consummate hosts. He speaks three languages.

Partner Craig Nickoloff is a veteran restaurateur best known for founding the hugely successful Claim Jumper restaurants (which he sold at their peak of popularity.) Craig knows how to feed a crowd and give them every reason to return.

Executive Chef Sam Baxter began his career with Chef Michael Cimarusti at Water Grill. Chef Baxter looks to demonstrate that the freshest seafood needs only a light touch and the simplest of preparations to make outstanding food.

At any given time the busy oyster bar showcases some 16 to 24 varieties of fresh oysters.

Connie & Ted’s opening General Manager, Matthew De Marte is our guest to share a few secrets of their incredible success. He’s a veteran of Providence.

Play

July 25: Andrew Gruel, Noah Rothbaum, Vina De Liceaga, Connie & Ted’s, Fry Fry Truck, Melissa’s Produce

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: The Art of American Whiskey by Noah Rothbaum
Segment Three: Wine Journalist Tom Plant and Vina De Liceaga
Segment Four: Matthew De Marte, General Manager, Connie and Ted’s
Segment Five: Big Bite Bacon Fest Preview with Chef Isaiah Rosario
Segment Six: Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel on Sandwiches
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel on “Trash Fish”

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, and now, LAX, is back as today’s special Guest Host. Irvine opens next week.

Next a provocative preview of Saturday’s ample show. With any luck we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

Just as wine is to the French or beer is to the Germans, whiskey – especially bourbon and rye – is an integral part of the history and culture of the United States. The Art of American Whiskey traces the arc of this beloved, renowned spirit – from its earliest days in the Colonial era, through the Civil War, Prohibition, the Great Depression, and up to the current craft-distilling boon. Author and whiskey expert Noah Rothbaum is our guest.

Vina De Liceaga is one of the very limited production, distinguished boutique wineries in the Guadalupe Valley located in Northern Baja California. It was founded in its current location in 1993 by the late Eduardo Liceaga and the tradition continues under the watchful eye of his widow, Myrna. Wine journalist Tom Plant (the founder of WINEormous.com) who has lived in Northern Baja joins us with a profile of visiting Vina De Liceaga.

The casual, seafood centric Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood has been a crowd-pleasing phenomenon since it opened its doors two years ago. Co-owner Chef Michael Cimarusti (Providence) is one of the most respected seafood chefs in the country. Partner Donato Poto (Providence) has a long reputation as one of the L.A.’s consummate hosts. Partner Craig Nickoloff is an accomplished and veteran restaurateur best known for founding (since sold) the mega successful Claim Jumper restaurants. Craig knows how to feed a crowd and give them every reason to return. Connie & Ted’s opening General Manager, Matthew De Marte is our guest to share a few secrets of their incredible success.

The Big Bite Bacon Fest at The Queen Mary is back for its second year on August 1st & 2nd. Showcasing bacon and craft beer it’s the West Coast’s Largest Bacon Fest! Chef Isaiah Rosario (he’s 16) of the Fry Fry Truck, one of the participating Bacon Fest chefs, joins us to preview some of the outrageous bacon dishes that will be available.

The esteemed Prince of Produce, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, is back to update us on the fresh and juiciest grapes of Summer. New this year are Jelly Drops Grapes. Returning, and still buzz-worthy, are the coveted Cotton Candy grapes.

Our regular guest host, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish fame, is a big fan of cravable sandwiches. He’ll give us the profile of the regional favorite, the New Jersey Sloppy Joe and other sandwich intell. Yum…

Chef Andrew Gruel knows a thing or two about fresh fish. One of the goals of the growing sustainability movement in seafood is to encourage fish lovers to try some of the lesser-known selections that are out there for the taking. They are just as tasty and actually typically priced at a better value. Unfortunately they are known as “trash fish.” Don’t let that name fool you. Smelt, sardines, and mackerel can be delicious.

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

Noah RothbaumJust as wine is to the French or beer is to the Germans, whiskey – especially bourbon and rye – is an integral part of the history and culture of the United States. The Art of American Whiskey (A visual history of American whiskey, as told through hundreds of whiskey bottle labels, from early, pre-Prohibition-era days to the present) traces the arc of this beloved, renowned spirit – from its earliest days in the Colonial era, through the Civil War, Prohibition, the Great Depression, and up to the current craft-distilling boon.

Illustrated with 100 full-color modern and historic labels from the most iconic bottles ever made, The Art of American Whiskey is an instant collectible and a worthy gift for any whiskey enthusiast or design lover. Captions, sidebars, profiles and short histories tell the story of the pioneers and places behind the labels. Each chapter features era-appropriate recipes from all-star bartenders and cocktail experts that will tickle any tippler’s fancy.

Author and whiskey expert Noah Rothbaum is our guest. He is the CEO and chief analyst of trend forecasting and spirits consultancy, Liquor Intelligence.

Tom PlantVina De Liceaga is one of the very limited production, distinguished boutique wineries in the Guadalupe Valley located in Northern Baja California. It was founded in its current location in 1993 by the late Eduardo Liceaga and the tradition continues under the watchful eye of his widow, Myrna.

Case production is under 1,000 cases a year. Their premium reserve wine is Etiqueta L which is 80 per cent Syrah and 20 per cent Merlot. It honors the memory of founder Eduardo Liceaga. It’s elegant and structured and pairs well with red meats such as wild boar, rabbit, sirloin, rib eye and venison.

Liceaga also produces award-winning Aqua de Vid (known as Grappa in Italy.)

Wine journalist and photographer Tom Plant (the founder of WINEormous.com) who has lived in Northern Baja joins us with a profile of visiting Vina De Liceaga.

Matthew de MarteThe casual, seafood centric Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood has been a crowd-pleasing phenomenon since it opened its door two years ago.

Co-owner Chef Michael Cimarusti (Providence) is one of the most respected seafood chefs in the country. Partner Donato Poto (Providence) has a long reputation as one of L.A.’s consummate hosts. He speaks three languages. Partner Craig Nickoloff is a veteran restaurateur best known for founding the hugely successful Claim Jumper restaurants (which he sold at their peak of popularity.) Craig knows how to feed a crowd and give them every reason to return.

Executive Chef Sam Baxter began his career with Chef Michael Cimarusti at Water Grill. Chef Baxter looks to demonstrate that the freshest seafood needs only a light touch and the simplest of preparations to make outstanding food.

Connie & Ted’s opening General Manager, Matthew De Marte is our guest to share a few secrets of their incredible success. He’s also a veteran of Providence.

Big Bite Bacon FestThe Big Bite Bacon Fest at The Queen Mary is back for its second year on August 1st & 2nd. Showcasing bacon and craft beer it’s the West Coast’s Largest Bacon Fest!

Dozens of local restaurants and chefs will offer culinary samples of their own unique spin on the star ingredient – bacon. More than 15 local breweries will be sampling a variety of craft beers to help wash down all the salty bacon-goodness for two pork-filled days of fun.

Guests can indulge in bacon heaven with dishes almost beyond your wildest dreams….bacon filled Twinkies, candied bacon cotton candy, bacon ice pops, bacon waffles, bacon churros, bacon hog pockets and bacon burgers.

The charitable beneficiary of Big Bite is Team Red, White and Blue. Their mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by reintegrating them back into their communities.

Chef Isaiah Rosario (he’s all of 16) of the Fry Fry Truck, one of the participating Bacon Fest chefs, joins us to preview some of the outrageous bacon dishes that will be available.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceThe esteemed Price of Produce, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, is back to update us on the fresh and juiciest grapes of Summer. New this year are Jelly Drops Grapes. Returning are the coveted Cotton Candy grapes.

Jelly Drops Grapes are a hybrid of the popular Thompson Seedless grape and the rich, meaty Concord grape. The result is a plump, juicy, dark purple seedless table grape with a thin skin. Their aromatic, earthy flavor is similar to that of a Concord, but mellowed by the mild sweetness of the Thompson. This variety is a perfect out of hand summer snack fruit or delicious when used as a sweet sauce ingredient for almost any kind of meat or poultry dish.

Cotton Candy Grapes™ are an unusual new hybrid variety developed over eight years by breeding wild grape species in California. As its name implies this grape has a distinctive flavor that does, remarkably, taste very much like the spun sugar confection. This is not a genetically engineered product; but rather a tedious hand-pollination process was employed that resulted over many seasons.

The fruit has an initial burst of Cotton Candy flavor that recedes into a mild, juicy sweetness. Actually, these green to light yellow seedless grapes are low in acid and pleasantly sweet without being overly sugary. A great new healthy snack food for kids or the child in all of us!

Andrew GruelOur regular guest host, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish fame, is a big fan of truly cravable sandwiches. He’s also a self-described sandwich junkie…Chef Andrew is personally responsible for creating some of his own winners. Think smoked salmon bagel for openers…

Chef Andrew will give us the profile of the regional favorite, the New Jersey Sloppy Joe and other tantalizing sandwich intell.

Yum…

Chef Andrew Gruel knows a thing or two about fresh fish. One of the goals of the growing sustainability movement in seafood is to encourage fish lovers to try some of the lesser-known selections that are out there for the taking.

Earlier in his West Coast career Chef Gruel’s love of the ocean drove him to direct a non-profit project at The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA called Seafood for the Future”. Here he worked with hundreds of chefs, fisherman and like-minded organizations establishing a national culinary awareness for the sustainable seafood movement.

Lesser-known fish species are just as tasty as the seafood stars and typically priced at a better value. Unfortunately they are known as “trash fish.” Don’t let that regrettable name fool you. Smelt, sardines, and mackerel can be delicious.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: The Art of American Whiskey by Noah Rothbaum
Segment Three: Wine Journalist Tom Plant and Vina De Liceaga
Segment Four: Matthew De Marte, General Manager, Connie and Ted’s
Segment Five: Big Bite Bacon Fest Preview with Chef Isaiah Rosario
Segment Six: Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel on Sandwiches
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel on “Trash Fish”

Show 114, March 14, 2015: Show Preview with Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Kedric Francis and Andy HarrisKedric Francis, the always debonair Editor of Coast Magazine (an Orange County Register property) is the Guest Host today.

Now a preview of today’s abundant show…

It’s not well known outside of the local restaurant industry that the late Henry Segerstrom (the patriarch of developing South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa) was a champion of chefs and restaurateurs. He truly enjoyed dining out. There are some memorable stories over the years about rising star chefs and restaurateurs being the beneficiaries of Mr. Segerstrom’s largesse. This morning we’ll hear a few of these inspiring, and revealing, stories shared by the people who actually lived them.

In the words of Chef Gavin Kaysen: “In the past year, I’ve left New York City where I had the pleasure of cooking alongside Daniel Boulud running his Café Boulud brand; opened Spoon and Stable in my hometown of Minneapolis; served as the head coach for Team USA as we won a record-breaking Second Place in the Bocuse d’Or; and led my restaurant to become a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant from the James Beard Foundation Awards. I’m looking forward to sharing the next steps of my journey with you.” Chef Gavin Kaysen joins us.

EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week returns for its big 2nd year from March 22nd to March 28th. One of the participating restaurants is Callalloo Caribbean Kitchen which made a big impression at the inaugural event’s kick-off party last year with their cravable Jerk Chicken. Proprietor Hamid Latiff Jr. is from Trinidad and is out guest.

He likes to describe his cuisine “beach food.”

In 1977 veteran restaurateur Antonio Cagnolo (Antonello Ristorante) met Henry Segerstrom for the first time. He was the new assistant manager at the fine-dining Alfredo’s which was part of what is now the Westin South Coast Plaza. Mr. Segerstrom greatly appreciated Antonio’s gracious Italian hospitality and his innovative table-side service. A friendship blossomed. Antonio Cagnolo joins us to share the story of how Antonello Ristorante came to be at the South Coast Plaza Village in 1979 and other ventures thereafter.

The acclaimed French chef, Florent Marneau, was the opening Executive Chef for Joachim Splichal’s first restaurant in Orange County, Pinot Provence at the Westin South Coast Plaza. He attracted deserved raves from the critics. In the mid-2000’s Chef Florent and his wife, Amelia (a talented pastry chef in her own right) were contemplating a restaurant of their own. Henry and his son, Anton, were fans of Chef Florent from Pinot Provence and doing some private functions for the Segerstrom Family. Chef Florent is with us to share the story of how Marche Moderne at South Coast Plaza in the Penthouse was born in 2007. It’s unusual for an entrepreneurial husband-and-wife team to be given such an incredible opportunity. Their 8th Anniversary is in April.

In March, ADYA Executive Chef/Owner, Shachi Mehra, will introduce four weeks of special curries in an effort to highlight India’s regional culinary styles and provide guests with a delicious, in-depth look at India’s culinary diversity. The curries will feature ingredients and styles of cooking unique to each region, from coconut and curry leaves, to poppy seeds and mustard. Chef Shachi is with us to explain it all.

You never know who you may be talking to (or the future impact that casual conversation might have) as Craig Nickoloff (the Founder of Claim Jumper) found out on a breezy Fall Sunday afternoon in the late 90s at South Coast Plaza Village at the finish of a multi-day antiques’ show. The person that Craig Nickoloff inadvertently befriended was the late Henry Segerstrom’s elderly (but spry) Mother. This ultimately led to the establishment of a Claim Jumper, their flagship, at South Coast Plaza in 2003.

Blue Ribbon Cupcake ChallengeThe 3rd Annual Blue Ribbon Culinary Cupcake Challenge 2015 is March 22nd from 1 to 4:00 p.m. at the Grand Ballroom of the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula. Professional and amateur bakers will compete for cash prizes, category awards and Temecula’s “People’s Choice Award.” Admission, including tastings, is a modest $25.00 per guest. The charitable beneficiary is Rancho Damacitas Children & Family Services.

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

Play

Show 114, March 14, 2015: Craig Nickoloff, Founder of Claim Jumper

Craig Nickoloff of Connie and Ted's as well as West Coast Prime MeatsYou never know who you may be talking to (or the future impact that casual conversation might have) as Craig Nickoloff (the Founder of Claim Jumper) found out on a breezy Fall Sunday afternoon in the late 90s at South Coast Plaza Village at the finish of a multi-day antiques’ show.

The person that Craig Nickoloff inadvertently befriended was the late Henry Segerstrom’s elderly (but spry) Mother. This ultimately led to the establishment of a Claim Jumper, their flagship (store Number 33,) at South Coast Plaza in 2003.

Nickoloff sold Claim Jumper in 2005. He didn’t stay “retired” for very long. Today he’s the Co-Founder and Co-Owner of the wildly successful Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood along with partners Chef Michael Cimarusti and Donato Poto.) He’s also the Managing Partner of West Coast Prime Meats which supplies proteins to quality restaurants in California, Nevada, and Hawaii. He’s also associated with his son, Nick, in the growing Nick’s Restaurant Group (Nick’s and South of Nick’s.)

Play

March 14: Kedric Francis, Henry Segerstrom tribute, Gavin Kaysen, Callalloo Caribbean Kitchen, Antonio Cagnolo, Florent Marneau, Shachi Mehra, Craig Nickoloff

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Gavin Kaysen, Spoon & Stable, Minneapolis Part One
Segment Three: Chef Gavin Kaysen, Spoon & Stable, Minneapolis Part One
Segment Four: Hamid Latiff Jr., Callalloo Caribbean Kitchen, Long Beach.
Segment Five: Antonio Cagnolo, Antonello Ristorante, South Coast Plaza Village
Segment Six: Florent Marneau, Executive Chef & Co-Owner, Marche Moderne, South Coast Plaza
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Shachi Mehra, ADYA, Anaheim Packing House
Segment Eight: Craig Nickoloff, Founder of Claim Jumper

Kedric Francis and Andy HarrisKedric Francis, the always debonair Editor of Coast is back with us as Guest Host this morning. Now a preview of today’s abundant show…

It’s not well known outside of the local restaurant industry that the late Henry Segerstrom (the patriarch of developing South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa) was a champion of chefs and restaurateurs. He truly enjoyed dining out. There are some great stories over the years about rising star chefs and restaurateurs being the beneficiaries of Mr. Segerstrom’s largesse. This morning we’ll hear a few of these inspiring, and revealing, stories shared by the people who actually lived them.

In the words of Chef Gavin Kaysen : “In the past year, I’ve left New York City where I had the pleasure of cooking alongside Daniel Boulud running his Café Boulud brand; opened Spoon and Stable in my hometown of Minneapolis; served as the head coach for Team USA as we won a record-breaking Second Place in the Bocuse d’Or; and led my restaurant to become a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant from the James Beard Foundation Awards. I’m looking forward to sharing the next steps of my journey with you.” Chef Gavin Kaysen joins us.

EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week returns for its big 2nd year from March 22nd to March 28th. One of the participating restaurants is Callalloo Caribbean Kitchen which made a big impression at the inaugural event’s kick-off party last year with their cravable Jerk Kitchen. Proprietor Hamid Latiff Jr. is from Trinidad and is out guest.

He likes to describe his cuisine “beach food.”

In 1977 veteran restaurateur Antonio Cagnolo (Antonello Ristorante) met Henry Segerstrom for the first time. He was the new assistant manager at the fine-dining Alfredo’s which was part of what is now the Westin South Coast Plaza. Mr. Segerstrom greatly appreciated Antonio’s gracious Italian hospitality and his innovative table-side service. A friendship blossomed. Antonio Cagnolo joins us to share the story of how Antonello Ristorante came to be at the South Coast Plaza Village in 1979 and other ventures thereafter.

The acclaimed French chef, Florent Marneau, was the opening Executive Chef for Joachim Splichal’s first restaurant in Orange County, Pinot Provence at the Westin South Coast Plaza. He attracted well-deserved raves from the critics. In the mid-2000’s Chef Florent and his wife, Amelia (a talented pastry chef in her own right) were contemplating a restaurant of their own. Henry and his son, Anton, were fans of Chef Florent from Pinot Provence and doing some private functions for the Segerstrom Family. Chef Florent is with us to share the story of how Marche Moderne at South Coast Plaza in the Penthouse was born in 2007. It’s unusual for an entrepreneurial husband-and-wife team to be given such an incredible opportunity. Their 8th Anniversary is in April.

In March, ADYA Executive Chef/Owner, Shachi Mehra, introduces four weeks of special curries in an effort to highlight India’s regional culinary styles and provide guests with a delicious, in-depth look at India’s culinary diversity. The curries feature ingredients and styles of cooking unique to each region, from coconut and curry leaves, to poppy seeds and mustard. Chef Shachi is with us to explain it all.

You never know who you may be talking to (or the future impact that casual conversation might have) as Craig Nickoloff (the Founder of Claim Jumper) found out on a breezy Fall Sunday afternoon in the late 90s at South Coast Plaza Village at the finish of a multi-day antiques’ show. The person that Craig Nickoloff inadvertently befriended was the late Henry Segerstrom’s elderly (but spry) Mother. This ultimately led to the establishment of a Claim Jumper, their flagship, at South Coast Plaza in 2003.

Blue Ribbon Cupcake ChallengeThe 3rd Annual Blue Ribbon Culinary Cupcake Challenge 2015 is March 22nd from 1 to 4:00 p.m. at the Grand Ballroom of the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula. Professional and amateur bakers will compete for cash prizes, category awards and Temecula’s “People’s Choice Award.” Admission, including tastings, is a modest $25.00 per guest. The charitable beneficiary is Rancho Damacitas Children & Family Services.

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

Gavin kaysenIn the words of Chef Gavin Kaysen : “In the past year, I’ve left New York City where I had the pleasure of cooking alongside Daniel Boulud running his Café Boulud brand; opened Spoon and Stable in my hometown of Minneapolis; served as the head coach for Team USA as we won a record-breaking Second Place in the Bocuse d’Or; and led my restaurant to become a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant from the James Beard Foundation Awards. I’m looking forward to sharing the next steps of my journey with you.”

First we’ll chat with Gavin about his work with Team USA and Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation which is now known as men’tor BKB Foundation. Chef Gavin represented the United States at the 2007 Bocuse d’Or, a prestigious, international culinary competition hosted biennially in Lyon, France.

He was personally selected by Chefs Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller, both men’tor BKB Foundation Directors & Founders, to serve as the Head Coach of the Bocuse d’Or USA Team in both 2013 and 2015.

In the words of Chef Gavin Kaysen: “This is the only industry where you can go out and have a great glass of Champagne and eat a great meal, and you’re learning.”

While working as Executive Chef at El Bizcocho in San Diego, he received a considerable amount of local acclaim, as well as being recognized nationally by being named one of Food + Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs in 2007. While working as Chef de Cuisine at Café Boulud in New York City, Gavin was 2008 recipient of the James Beard Foundation’s coveted Rising Star Award.

In 2014 Gavin returned to his hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota to open the highly anticipated restaurant Spoon & Stable. The restaurant has earned rave reviews from local media and patrons alike. It is described as a culinary destination for food lovers in search of casual elegant dining. Last month Spoon and Stable was announced as a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant by the James Beard Foundation Awards.

Chef Gavin Kaysen joins us.

Hamid Latiff JrEAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week returns for its big 2nd year from March 22nd to March 28th.

One of the participating restaurants is Callalloo Caribbean Kitchen which made a big impression at the inaugural event’s kick-off party last year with their cravable Jerk Kitchen. Proprietor Hamid Latiff Jr. is from Trinidad and is out guest.

He likes to describe his cuisine “beach food.”

Callaloo Caribbean Kitchen specializes in Southern Caribbean delicacies including Jerk Chicken, Stewed Oxtails, Curry Goat, and Roti. They even bake in-house their own Coconut and Banana Breads. Lunch specials daily and they also offer a good-sized function room.

On Facebook you can find then at Callaloo Caribbean Kitchen.

Antonio CagnoloIn 1977 veteran restaurateur Antonio Cagnolo (Antonello Ristorante) met Henry Segerstrom for the first time. He was the new assistant manager at the fine-dining Alfredo’s (managed by a German) which was part of what is now the Westin South Coast Plaza. Mr. Segerstrom greatly appreciated Antonio’s gracious Italian hospitality and his innovative table-side service. A friendship blossomed.

A native of Northwestern Italy, Antonio Cagnolo has emerged as a dynamic force in the field of dining having received honor after honor for his many contributions both in and out of culinary circles. Most recently Antonello has debuted its version of an enoteca room (wine library) called the Enoteca Lounge.

Cagnolo also owns several nearby South Coast Plaza establishments that have proven to be favorites of the critics and public, alike. Nello Cucina is located at the entrance of South Coast Plaza north of Bear Street. The Italian restaurant specializes in steaks, pasta and pizza from an authentic brick oven. Across the street, at the center of the bustling South Coast Plaza, sits Quattro Café, a 104-seat dining establishment featuring specialty pasta dishes and entree selections. The casual coffee destination, Antonello Expresso Bar, offers a wide variety of gourmet coffee drinks as well as baked goods and sandwiches.

Antonio Cagnolo joins us to share the story of how Antonello Ristorante came to be at the South Coast Plaza Village in 1979 and other ventures thereafter.

Florent and Amelia Marneau of Marche Moderne at South Coast PlazaThe acclaimed French chef, Florent Marneau, was the opening Executive Chef for Joachim Splichal’s first restaurant in Orange County, Pinot Provence at the Westin South Coast Plaza. He attracted well-deserved raves from the critics. In the mid-2000’s Chef Florent and his wife, Amelia (a talented pastry chef in her own right) were contemplating a restaurant of their own.

Henry and his son, Anton, were fans of Chef Florent from Pinot Provence and doing some memorable private functions for the Segerstrom Family.

Chef Florent is with us to share the story of how Marche Moderne at South Coast Plaza in the Penthouse was born in 2007. It’s unusual for an entrepreneurial husband-and-wife team with modest resources to be given such an incredible opportunity. Their 8th Anniversary is in April.

Marche Moderne, which opened in 2007, has been described as “probably the best bistro in Southern California” in the Los Angeles Times by S. Irene Virbila; was crowned best restaurant in the OC by Orange County Register restaurant Critic Brad A. Johnson; and named in the Los Angeles Times 2014 “101 Best Restaurants” by Pulitzer Prize-winning restaurant journalist Jonathan Gold. The Marneaus combine a passion for market-inspired ingredients and classic French cooking techniques with modern touches at their enduringly popular restaurant.

Shachi MehraIn March, ADYA Executive Chef/Owner, Shachi Mehra, introduces four weeks of special curries in an effort to highlight India’s regional culinary styles and provide guests with a delicious, in-depth look at India’s culinary diversity. The curries will feature ingredients and styles of cooking unique to each region, from coconut and curry leaves, to poppy seeds and mustard.

“Curry, in simplest terms, is a mix of spices – the composition of these spices varies greatly among the regional cuisines native to India,” commented Chef Shachi, whose diverse menu of fresh Indian flavors features a variety of traditional curries. “As curries become increasingly popular, diners are beginning to realize that curry isn’t just Chicken Tikka Masala. My goal is to provide my guests with a better understanding of the defining factors of the different types of curries one can find in Indian regional cooking.”

Chef Shachi is with us to explain it all.

Craig Nickoloff of Connie and Ted's as well as West Coast Prime MeatsYou never know who you may be talking to (or the future impact that casual conversation might have) as Craig Nickoloff (the Founder of Claim Jumper) found out on a breezy Fall Sunday afternoon in the late 90s at South Coast Plaza Village at the finish of a multi-day antiques’ show.

The person that Craig Nickoloff inadvertently befriended was the late Henry Segerstrom’s elderly (but spry) Mother. This ultimately led to the establishment of a Claim Jumper, their flagship (store Number 33,) at South Coast Plaza in 2003.

Nickoloff sold Claim Jumper in 2005. He didn’t stay “retired” for very long. Today he’s the Co-Founder and Co-Owner of the wildly successful Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood along with partners Chef Michael Cimarusti and Donato Poto.) He’s also the Managing Partner of West Coast Prime Meats which supplies proteins to quality restaurants in California, Nevada, and Hawaii. He’s also associated with his son, Nick, in the growing Nick’s Restaurant Group (Nick’s and South of Nick’s.)

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Gavin Kaysen, Spoon & Stable, Minneapolis Part One
Segment Three: Chef Gavin Kaysen, Spoon & Stable, Minneapolis Part One
Segment Four: Hamid Latiff Jr., Callalloo Caribbean Kitchen, Long Beach.
Segment Five: Antonio Cagnolo, Antonello Ristorante, South Coast Plaza Village
Segment Six: Florent Marneau, Executive Chef & Co-Owner, Marche Moderne, South Coast Plaza
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Shachi Mehra, ADYA, Anaheim Packing House
Segment Eight: Craig Nickoloff, Founder of Claim Jumper

Show 107, January 24, 2015: Show Preview with Chef Andrew Gruel (Guest Host) and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and, soon-to-be, Newport Beach is today’s special Guest Host.

Now a preview of today’s delightfully overflowing show

Chef Rory Herrmann (the opening chef at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills) is the corporate chef for the Sprout L.A. restaurant group. Along with Santa Anita Park they have inaugurated an exclusive Saturday Guest Chef Series in the Chandelier Room there. The next date is today, January 24th, from 12 Noon to 5:00 p.m. Chef Herrmann (with a surprise guest) is live from Santa Anita with the mouth-watering details.

The OC Fair Celebrates their 125th Anniversary this Summer from July 17th to August 16th. The theme is “OC Fair – One Big Party.” To get things going the Blackmarket Bakery in Costa Mesa (celebrating their 2nd Anniversary) is hosting an OC Fair Pop-Up Party at their location at The Camp on Sunday, January 25th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. They are providing free sweet treats for the first 125 guests.

Chef Gary Arabia, the caterer to the stars, has operated the food and beverage operation on The Lot (previously known as Warner Brothers Hollywood) in Hollywood for 15 years. It’s also the base for his busy catering and event production firm, Global Cuisine by Gary Arabia.

Late last year Arabia launched a new venture, GC Marketplace by Gary Arabia, on Cahuenga Blvd. W. near Universal Studios. It’s a dazzling culinary destination for eating-in or grab-and-go. There are artisan food stations where the customers can interact with knowledgeable pros. There is an impressive cheese case, a charcuterie counter, smoked meats display, a pizza oven, rotisserie meats, prepared salad station, an ample dessert counter, a coffee bar, a wine bar (with an in-house sommelier) and a visually striking retail wine wall. Virtually everything is made there from scratch. That includes the croissants, breakfast pastries breads, and all the desserts. Gary Arabia joins us with an appetizing overview of GC Marketplace.

Louie’s of Mar Vista is a gem of a discovery in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles. It’s American Bar Food A.S.A.P. (as Southern as possible.) Chef John Atkinson is the owner along with his wife Laura Develle Atkinson (who is from New Orleans.) “Louie’s of Mar Vista is an enthusiastic celebration of Southern California food and lifestyle, living in the present with an eye on the past.” They also own North End Caffe in Manhattan Beach.

We now have a chance to catch-up with Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, today’s Guest Host. Gruel is giving one lucky person the opportunity to contribute their culinary genius to his restaurant menu with a dish named in their honor. In conjunction with the opening of Slapfish’s third Orange County location in Newport Beach on February 2nd, guests are invited to submit their own recipes for a seafood dish to be featured on the new menu. Also Chef Andrew provides us some very helpful pointers on what to look for when buying farm-raised fish.

dineL.A.’s Winter Restaurant Week is underway and continuing until February 1, 2015. Fixed price lunch and dinner menus created by acclaimed L.A. chefs (at a great value) are available from over 300 participating restaurants. Diners can enjoy lunch menus for $15, $20, or $25 or plan a night out on the town with dinner options priced at $30, $40, or $50 per person. The restaurants are in this to “Wow.” dineL.A.’s Director, Stacey Sun joins us with all the details along with Donato Poto, co-owner of Connie & Ted’s (who is participating for the first time.)

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

Play

Show 107, January 24, 2015: Dine L.A.

Donato PotodineL.A.’s Winter Restaurant Week is underway and continuing until February 1, 2015. Fixed price lunch and dinner menus created by acclaimed L.A. chefs (at a great value) are available from over 300 participating restaurants.

Diners can enjoy lunch menus for $15, $20, or $25 or plan a night out on the town with dinner options priced at $30, $40, or $50 per person. The restaurants are in this to “Wow”. dineL.A.’s Director, Stacey Sun joins us with all the details.

Also with us is restaurateur Donato Poto, co-owner of Connie & Ted’s (who is participating for the first time.) The always gracious Poto is known among his colleagues as one of the most personable front-of-the-house personalities working in California. He’s overseen an impressive list of establishments along the way including the original Water Grill, Primi and Bastide.

Among the entrée possibilities on Connie and Ted’s dineL.A. dinner menu is Ed’s Portugese Fish Stew with hake, manila clams, mussels and linguica sausage.

Play

January 24: Andrew Gruel, Rory Herrmann, Blackmarket Bakery, Gary Arabia, Louie’s of Mar Vista, Donato Poto

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chefs Rory Herrmann and Timothy Hollingsworth of Sprout L.A.
Segment Three: Blackmarket Bakery’s Rachel Klemek
Segment Four: Chef Gary Arabia of the GC Marketplace Part One
Segment Five: Chef Gary Arabia of the GC Marketplace Part Two
Segment Six: Louie’s of Mar Vista
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish
Segment Eight: Dine L.A.

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and, soon-to-be, Newport Beach is today’s special Guest Host.

Now a preview of today’s delightfully overflowing show

Chef Rory Herrmann (the opening chef at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills) is the corporate chef for the Sprout L.A. restaurant group. Along with Santa Anita Park they have inaugurated an exclusive Saturday Guest Chef Series in the Chandelier Room there.

The next date is today from 12 Noon to 5:00 p.m. Chef Herrmann is live from Santa Anita with the mouth-watering details.

The OC Fair celebrates their 125th Anniversary this Summer from July 17th to August 16th. The theme is “OC Fair – One Big Party.” To get things going the Blackmarket Bakery in Costa Mesa (celebrating their 2nd Anniversary) is hosting an OC Fair Pop-Up Party at their location at The Camp on Sunday, January 25th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. They are providing free sweet treats for the first 125 guests.

Chef Gary Arabia, the caterer to the stars, has operated the food and beverage operation on The Lot (previously known as Warner Brothers Hollywood) in Hollywood for 15 years. It’s also the base for his busy catering and event production firm, Global Cuisine by Gary Arabia.

Late last year Arabia launched a new venture, GC Marketplace by Gary Arabia, on Cahuenga Blvd. W. near Universal Studios. It’s a dazzling culinary destination for eating-in or grab-and-go. There are artisan food stations where the customers can interact with knowledgeable pros. There is an impressive cheese case, a charcuterie counter, smoked meats display, a pizza oven, rotisserie meats, prepared salad station, an ample dessert counter, a coffee bar, a wine bar (with an in-house sommelier) and a visually striking retail wine wall. Virtually everything is made there from scratch. That includes the croissants, breakfast pastries, breads, and all the desserts. Gary Arabia joins us with an appetizing overview of GC Marketplace.

Louie’s of Mar Vista is a gem of a discovery in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles. It’s American Bar Food A.S.A.P. (as Southern as possible.) Chef John Atkinson is the owner along with his wife Laura Develle Atkinson (who is from New Orleans.) “Louie’s of Mar Vista is an enthusiastic celebration of Southern California food and lifestyle, living in the present with an eye on the past.” They also own North End Caffe in Manhattan Beach.

We now have a chance to catch-up with Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, today’s Guest Host. Gruel is giving one lucky person the opportunity to contribute their culinary genius to his restaurant menu with a dish named in their honor. In conjunction with the opening of Slapfish’s third Orange County location in Newport Beach on February 2nd, guests are invited to submit their own recipes for a seafood dish to be featured on the new menu.

dineL.A.’s Winter Restaurant Week is underway and continuing until February 1, 2015. Fixed price lunch and dinner menus created by acclaimed L.A. chefs (representing a great value) are available from over 300 participating restaurants. Diners can enjoy lunch menus for $15, $20, or $25 or plan a night out on the town with dinner options priced at $30, $40, or $50 per person. The restaurants are in this to “Wow” regulars and new guests alike. dineL.A.’s Director, Stacey Sun joins us with all the details along with Donato Poto, co-owner of Connie & Ted’s (who is participating for the first time.)

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

Rory HerrmannChef Rory Herrmann (the opening chef at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills) is the corporate chef for the Sprout L.A. restaurant group. Along with Santa Anita Park they have inaugurated an exclusive Saturday Guest Chef Series in the Chandelier Room there. This is a ticketed event.

The next date is Saturday, Jan. 24th from 12 Noon to 5:00 p.m. The guest chefs for this Saturday are Rory Herrmann and Timothy Hollingworth, the former chef de cuisine at The French Laundry. The craft cocktails for the afternoon are by noted mixologist Julian Cox.

The next Guest Chef Series afternoon is Saturday, February 7th from Noon to 5:00 p.m.

Chef Herrmann is live from Santa Anita with the scrumptious details.

Rachel Klemek of Blackmarket Bakery and the CampThe OC Fair Celebrates their 125th Anniversary this Summer from July 17th to August 16th. The theme is “OC Fair – One Big Party.” To get things going the Blackmarket Bakery in Costa Mesa (celebrating their 2nd Anniversary) is hosting an OC Fair Pop-Up Party at their location at The Camp in Costa Mesa on Sunday, January 25th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. They are providing free sweet treats for the first 125 guests.

Proprietress & Baker Rachel Klemek has all the decadent details.

Gary ArabiaChef Gary Arabia, the long-established caterer to the stars, has operated the food and beverage operation on The Lot (previously known as Warner Brothers Hollywood) in Hollywood for 15 years. It’s also the base for his busy catering and event production firm, Global Cuisine by Gary Arabia.

Late last year Arabia launched a new venture, GC Marketplace by Gary Arabia, on Cahuenga Blvd. W. near Universal Studios. It’s a dazzling culinary destination for eating-in or grab-and-go. There are artisan food stations where the customers can interact with knowledgeable pros.

There is an impressive domestic and imported cheese case, a charcuterie counter with premium Jamon Iberico from Spain, smoked meats display, a pizza oven, rotisserie meats, prepared salad station, an ample dessert counter, an upscale coffee bar, a wine bar (with an in-house sommelier and 12 wines on “tap” dispensed from a Cruvinet) and a visually striking retail wine wall.

Virtually everything is made there from scratch. That includes the buttery croissants, breakfast pastries, breads, and all the decadent desserts.

Gary Arabia joins us with an appetizing overview of GC Marketplace.

Global Cuisine is the only restaurant on a working studio lot where the public can dine for breakfast or lunch. An advance reservation is needed.

Arabia’s latest venture is the impressive and ambitious GC Marketplace. It’s a gourmet specialty food store and restaurant all under one roof. One of the attractions is a 12-seat marble Chef’s Table located in the intimate kitchen.

“GC Marketplace is 30 years in the making,” observes Arabia. “The concept is a culmination of everything I love and the vision was to create a luxury shop, with the finest products and ingredients available. A place where people can come together to dine, grab something quick to go, or gather all the items they may need to create the perfect occasion at home.”

John AtkinsonLouie’s of Mar Vista is a true gem of a discovery in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles located in a former butcher shop. (The renovation was an exhausting 5 years.) It’s American Bar Food A.S.A.P. (as Southern as possible.) Think Kalua Pig Monte Cristo Egg Roll with 12-hour roast pork shoulder, ham, swiss, cabbage and bang bang sauce. Chef John Atkinson is the owner along with his wife Laura Develle Atkinson (who is from New Orleans.)

Laura designed the interior of Louie’s of Mar Vista. A long bar dominates the North end of the space. Visualize teak, Carrara marble, and brass fixtures.

“Louie’s of Mar Vista is an enthusiastic celebration of Southern California food and lifestyle, living in the present with an eye on the past.” The Mar Vista Sunday Farmers’ Market takes place just outside their door. For Louie’s it’s a great source for fresh, local ingredients. They serve brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m.

They also own the very busy North End Caffe in Manhattan Beach which was featured in a frequently repeated episode of Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” on Food Network.

We now have a chance to catch-up with Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, today’s Guest Host. You can also see him as a regular judge on the first season of Food Network’s “Food Truck Face Off.”

Gruel is giving one lucky person the opportunity to contribute their culinary genius to his restaurant menu with a dish named in their honor.

Chef Gruel will select three finalists and the public will vote for their favorite dish via social media to select a winner prior to the opening.

In conjunction with the opening of Slapfish’s third Orange County location in Newport Beach on February 2nd, guests are invited to submit their own recipes for a seafood dish to be featured on the new menu. One winner will have their dish on the menu for two months at the Newport Beach location and will be able to eat it for free each time they go to the restaurant.

Donato PotodineL.A.’s Winter Restaurant Week is underway and continuing until February 1, 2015. Fixed price lunch and dinner menus created by acclaimed L.A. chefs (at a great value) are available from over 300 participating restaurants. Diners can enjoy lunch menus for $15, $20, or $25 or plan a night out on the town with dinner options priced at $30, $40, or $50 per person. The restaurants are in this to “Wow” potential new guests and existing regulars. dineL.A.’s Director, Stacey Sun joins us with all the details.

Also with us is restaurateur Donato Poto, co-owner of Connie & Ted’s (who is participating for the first time.) The always gracious Poto is known among his colleagues as one of the most personable front-of-the-house personalities working in California. Among the entrée possibilities on Connie and Ted’s dineL.A. dinner menu is Ed’s Portugese Fish Stew with hake, manila clams, mussels and linguica sausage.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chefs Rory Herrmann and Timothy Hollingsworth of Sprout L.A.
Segment Three: Blackmarket Bakery’s Rachel Klemek
Segment Four: Chef Gary Arabia of the GC Marketplace Part One
Segment Five: Chef Gary Arabia of the GC Marketplace Part Two
Segment Six: Louie’s of Mar Vista
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish
Segment Eight: Dine L.A.