Show 402, December 5, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Time for a generous serving of Holiday Cheer. …We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

“Dubbed “The Stir-Fry Guru” by the New York Times, Grace Young has devoted her career to celebrating wok cookery through her cookbooks and videos. On March 15, 2020, she began Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories, an oral history project with videographer Dan Ahn, in collaboration with Poster House, documenting the stories of how Manhattan’s Chinatown has been impacted by COVID-19. The Smithsonian National Museum of American History featured Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories in their 2020 Youth Summit for middle and high school students as an exemplar of how one person is addressing the challenging question of how we choose to strengthen a community in the middle of a pandemic.” Grace Young, a multiple James Beard Award recipient, joins us.

We’re delighted to welcome back accomplished food editor, recipe creator and food stylist, Tara Bench, discussing Holiday cooking.Tara Bench (aka “Tara Teaspoon”) has spent more than twenty years in the food publishing industry creating recipes and articles, and food styling for various magazines, books, television, and advertising.  Working as a food editor at Martha Stewart Living, and as the food and entertaining director of Ladies’ Home Journal, she knows how to write recipes for beginners as well as real foodies. Her philosophy is that anyone can cook and enjoy their time in the kitchen, and in her first cookbook, Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends, she proves it.” We’re back in the kitchen cooking with Tara Bench.

Connie and Ted’s in West Hollywood is inspired by the real Connie & Ted (the grandparents of Chef & Proprietor Michael Cimarusti,) their love for family, and the good times they spent together fishing off the shores of New England. At Connie and Ted’s you’ll find simply prepared fish and shellfish, inspired by the classic clam shacks, oyster bars, and fish houses, that dot the New England Seaboard and the West Coast. General Manager Matthew DeMarte has been there since the beginning. We’ll reel him in to explain how Connie & Ted’s is now hospitably serving their guests with takeaway.

Rob Lewis is the proprietor of both Lewis Station Winery and Stable Rock Winery & Distillery in Wisconsin. He started as an accomplished  home winemaker. “Lewis Station Winery is one of Wisconsin’s unique premium urban wineries in a re-purposed gas station. They specialize in small-batch, hand crafted premium award-winning wines using a low sulfite, natural approach to wine making.  “Stable Rock Winery & Distillery is a brand new winery & distillery located in a historic stable, on the banks of the Rock River in Jefferson, Wisconsin. Stable Rock has several German influences with it’s wines and food all while guests sit at authentic German Beer Garden tables. Winemaker Rob Lewis joins us to pull the cork on the specifics of home winemaking.

“Those who want to support small businesses and get great, high-quality artisan-made food to take home, will enjoy the continuing Artisan Pop-Up, every Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at OC Baking Company (1960 N. Glassell St., Orange, CA 92865). Guests can pick up with the convenience of one-stop shopping delicious fresh-baked breads from OC Baking Company; heart-warming curries from ADYA; and croissants, pastries and quiche from Crema Artisan Bakery. Other gourmet food items available, too, from local, artisan small purveyors. Artisans and offerings vary every Friday.” Many of the purveyors are cash only. Be prepared.

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 regularly 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 which is a genuine (and growing) concern. New restrictions for restaurants are now in effect for all of Southern California as we approach the all-important Holiday dining season. Our thoughts now turn to festive Holiday entertaining at home. Chef Andrew presented his recipe for Lobster Pot Pie (guaranteed comfort food) on the Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family” show this week. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 402, December 5, 2020: Matthew DeMarte, General Manager, Connie & Ted’s, West Hollywood

Matthew de Marte wearing a mask at Connie and Ted'sConnie and Ted’s in West Hollywood is inspired by the real Connie & Ted (the grandparents of Chef Michael Cimarusti,) their love for family, and the good times they spent together fishing off the shores of New England. At Connie and Ted’s you’ll find simply prepared fish and shellfish, inspired by the classic clam shacks, oyster bars, and fish houses, that dot the New England Seaboard and the West Coast.

General Manager Matthew DeMarte has been there since the beginning eight years ago. We reel him in to explain how Connie & Ted’s is still hospitably serving their guests (Wednesday through Sunday) with seafood specialties available for takeaway. Gift cards for Connie & Ted’s are a great item for the seafood lovers on your Holiday list.

Play

December 5: Grace Young, Tara Teaspoon, Connie & Ted’s, Lewis Station Winery, OC Baking Company

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Grace Young, James Beard Award-winning Author with “Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories” Part One
Segment Three: Grace Young, James Beard Award-winning Author with “Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories” Part Two
Segment Four: Tara Bench – Food Editor, Recipe Developer and Food Stylist with Live Life Deliciously
Segment Five: Matthew DeMarte, General Manager, Connie & Ted’s, West Hollywood
Segment Six: Rob Lewis, Proprietor, Lewis Station Winery and Stable Rock Winery & Distillery, Wisconsin
Segment Seven: Baker Dean Kim of OC Baking Co. and Chef Shachi Mehra of ADYA
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Time for a generous serving of Holiday Cheer. …We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

“Dubbed “The Stir-Fry Guru” by the New York Times, Grace Young has devoted her career to celebrating wok cookery through her cookbooks and videos. On March 15, 2020, she began Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories, an oral history project with videographer Dan Ahn, in collaboration with Poster House, documenting the stories of how Manhattan’s Chinatown has been impacted by COVID-19. The Smithsonian National Museum of American History featured Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories in their 2020 Youth Summit for middle and high school students as an exemplar of how one person is addressing the challenging question of how we choose to strengthen a community in the middle of a pandemic.” Grace Young, a James Beard Award recipient, joins us.

We’re delighted to welcome back food editor and recipe creator, Tara Bench, discussing Holiday cooking. “Tara Bench (aka “Tara Teaspoon”) has spent more than twenty years in the food publishing industry creating recipes and articles, and food styling for various magazines, books, television, and advertising.  Working as a food editor at Martha Stewart Living, and as the food and entertaining director of Ladies’ Home Journal, she knows how to write recipes for beginners as well as real foodies. Her philosophy is that anyone can cook and enjoy their time in the kitchen, and in her first cookbook, Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends, she proves it.” We’re back in the kitchen cooking with Tara Bench.

Connie and Ted’s in West Hollywood is inspired by the real Connie & Ted (the grandparents of Chef Michael Cimarusti,) their love for family, and the good times they spent together fishing off the shores of New England. At Connie and Ted’s you’ll find simply prepared fish and shellfish, inspired by the classic clam shacks, oyster bars, and fish houses, that dot the New England Seaboard and the West Coast. General Manager Matthew DeMarte has been there since the beginning. We’ll reel him in to explain how Connie & Ted’s is still hospitably serving their guests with takeaway.

Rob Lewis is the proprietor of both Lewis Station Winery and Stable Rock Winery & Distillery in Wisconsin. He started as an accomplished home winemaker. “Lewis Station Winery is one of Wisconsin’s unique premium urban wineries in a re-purposed gas station. They specialize in small-batch, hand crafted premium award-winning wines using a low sulfite, natural approach to wine making.  “Stable Rock Winery & Distillery is a brand new winery & distillery located in a historic stable, on the banks of the Rock River in Jefferson, Wisconsin. Stable Rock has several German influences with it’s wines and food all while guests sit at authentic German Beer Garden tables. Winemaker Rob Lewis joins us to pull the cork on the specifics of home winemaking.

“Those who want to support small businesses and get great, high-quality artisan-made food to take home, will enjoy the continuing Artisan Pop-Up, every Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at OC Baking Company (1960 N. Glassell St., Orange, CA 92865). Guests can pick up with the convenience of one-stop shopping delicious fresh-baked breads from OC Baking Company; heart-warming curries from ADYA; and croissants, pastries and quiche from Crema Artisan Bakery. Other gourmet food items available, too, from local, artisan small purveyors. Artisans and offerings vary every Friday.” Cash only.

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 regularly 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 which is a genuine (and growing) concern. Our thoughts now turn to festive Holiday entertaining. What’s better on than a Lobster Pot Pie? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Stir Fry Queen Grace Young“Dubbed “The Stir-Fry Guru” by the New York Times, Grace Young has devoted her career to celebrating wok cookery through her cookbooks and videos. On March 15, 2020, she began Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories, an oral history project with videographer Dan Ahn, in collaboration with Poster House, documenting the stories of how Manhattan’s Chinatown has been impacted by COVID-19. The Smithsonian National Museum of American History featured Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories in their 2020 Youth Summit for middle and high school students as an exemplar of how one person is addressing the challenging question of how we choose to strengthen a community in the middle of a pandemic.”

Grace Young has partnered with the James Beard Foundation on an Instagram campaign to support Chinese restaurants all across the country. All independent restaurants are in danger of closing, and Chinese Americans have faced additional hardship as racism connected to COVID-19 rhetoric has threatened businesses even further.

“Help spread the word that Chinese restaurants are integral to America’s food culture and need our support now.”

How to participate:

  • Post a photo of your favorite dish from your local Chinese restaurant (takeout or dine-in) on Instagram with the hashtag #SaveChineseRestaurants and nominate your friends and followers to do the same.
  • Tag @beardfoundation and The James Beard Foundation will repost some of their favorites.

“In New York and San Francisco’s Chinatowns, the pandemic wiped out a steady customer base of both tourism and walk-in traffic from office workers. Now facing back rent and mounting bills, and with the onset of cold weather and limited indoor dining, barely surviving establishments are hanging on by sheer grit. We urgently need the #SaveChineseRestaurants campaign, launched together with the James Beard Foundation, which asks each of us—including family and friends—to support these restaurants just by showing up, either for takeout or dining in. This is a crisis and without steady patronage, these businesses will not survive. I truly believe if we all pitch in we can save these eateries and treasured ethnic neighborhoods everywhere.” — Grace Young

Grace is on a mission to spread the word that Chinese restaurants are integral to America’s food culture and need our support right now. She is our guest.

Tara BenchWe’re delighted to welcome back food editor and recipe creator Tara Bench discussing Holiday cooking. “Tara Bench (aka “Tara Teaspoon”) has spent more than twenty years in the food publishing industry creating recipes and articles, and food styling for various magazines, books, television, and advertising.  Working as a food editor at Martha Stewart Living, and as the food and entertaining director of Ladies’ Home Journal, she knows how to write recipes for beginners as well as real foodies. Her philosophy is that anyone can cook and enjoy their time in the kitchen, and in her first cookbook, Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends, she proves it.”

“Whether you’re a casual cook or a die-hard, classically-trained chef, you’ll have complete success on each and every recipe. She sets you up with flavor descriptions and tips and tricks (including an entire section on kitchen equipment, her favorite tools, and why they are so important).”

“Each chapter is from the heart and inspired by Tara’s family heritage and experiences eating at the best restaurants and tastiest dives in New York City. Create wonderful memories through food you can share with the people who love and inspire you.”

Tara will share some of her Holiday favorite recipes that are enjoyed by her own Family. You’ll be tempted with Mandarin and Prosciutto Crostini, and Moroccan Kebabs with Chermoula Sauce.

We’re happily back in the kitchen with Tara Bench.

Matthew de Marte wearing a mask at Connie and Ted'sConnie and Ted’s in West Hollywood is inspired by the real Connie & Ted (the grandparents of Chef Michael Cimarusti,) their love for family, and the good times they spent together fishing off the shores of New England. At Connie and Ted’s you’ll find simply prepared fish and shellfish, inspired by the classic clam shacks, oyster bars, and fish houses, that dot the New England Seaboard and the West Coast.

General Manager Matthew DeMarte has been there since the beginning. We reel him in to explain how Connie & Ted’s is still hospitably serving their guests with takeaway.

Rob Lewis of Lewis Station WineryRob Lewis is the proprietor of both Lewis Station Winery and Stable Rock Winery & Distillery in Wisconsin. He started as an accomplished home winemaker.

“Lewis Station Winery is one of Wisconsin’s unique premium urban wineries in a re-purposed gas station. They specialize in small-batch, hand crafted premium award-winning wines using a low sulfite, natural approach to wine making. Lewis Station also have a large variety of Wisconsin craft beers and an appealing bistro style food menu. They offer “tasting flights” to enjoy the wines of Wisconsin’s First Certified Craft Winery.”

Stable Rock Winery & Distillery is a brand new winery & distillery located in a historic stable, on the banks of the Rock River in Jefferson, Wisconsin. Considering Jefferson’s rich German history, Stable Rock has several German influences with it’s wines and food all while guests sit at authentic German Beer Garden tables and benches obtained directly from Munich, Germany.”

All of Stable Rock’s unique wines and spirits are bottled on site.

Winemaker Rob Lewis joins us to pull the cork on the intriguing specifics of home winemaking.

Dean Kim of the OC Baking Company“Those who want to support small businesses and get great, high-quality artisan-made food to take home, will enjoy the continuing Artisan Pop-Up, every Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at OC Baking Company (1960 N. Glassell St., Orange, CA 92865). Guests can pick up with the convenience of one-stop shopping delicious fresh-baked breads from OC Baking Company; heart-warming curries from ADYA; and croissants, pastries and quiche from Crema Artisan Bakery. Other gourmet food items available, too, from local, artisan small purveyors. Artisans and offerings vary every Friday.” Cash only.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant GroupOur 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 regularly 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 which is a genuine (and growing) concern.

Our thoughts now turn to festive Holiday entertaining at home. Chef Andrew presented his recipe for Lobster Pot Pie (guaranteed comfort food) on the Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family” show this week. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Grace Young, James Beard Award-winning Author with “Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories” Part One
Segment Three: Grace Young, James Beard Award-winning Author with “Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories” Part Two
Segment Four: Tara Bench – Food Editor, Recipe Developer and Food Stylist with Live Life Deliciously
Segment Five: Matthew DeMarte, General Manager, Connie & Ted’s, West Hollywood
Segment Six: Rob Lewis, Proprietor, Lewis Station Winery and Stable Rock Winery & Distillery, Wisconsin
Segment Seven: Baker Dean Kim of OC Baking Co. and Chef Shachi Mehra of ADYA
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 377, June 13, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

It’s worthy of repeating…

Chefs and restaurateurs are honestly the most generous people we know. In times of need they are always the very first in generously giving back and meaningfully supporting their communities. Truly remarkable…Right now as dine-in slowly returns at greatly reduced capacity restaurants urgently need our support to stay afloat. Kindly keep this in mind and please do what you possibly can (as you can afford) to support a community-focused, local restaurant….

As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it every week without the enthusiastic encouragement and support of the foodie community.

Food lovers are now able to eat and explore their way through Downtown Las Vegas like never before with a pair of private, self-guided, e-assisted culinary tours created by Finger Licking Foodie Tours. The brand-new company represents a follow-up, companion business to the successful Lip Smacking Foodie Tours created by Las Vegas entrepreneur and hospitality-industry veteran, Donald Contursi.

The new self-guided Finger Licking Foodie Tours (Downtown Fremont East and Arts District) offers guests a fun and innovative way to support three top restaurants in the Las Vegas community, while enjoying an array of Instagramable dishes in one outing. Don Contursi joins us with the salivating details.

Factory Place Hospitality Group, a restaurant group led by Restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi, was founded in March of 2013. Executive Chef and Business Partner Angelo Auriana, joined Ferdinandi and his wife, Francine Diamond-Ferdinandi, in August 2013 shortly before the opening of The Factory Kitchen in Downtown Los Angeles. The L.A. collection of establishments also includes Brera Ristorante and sixth+mill pizzeria. Las Vegas properties are Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano in The Venetian Resort and sixth+mill ristorante, pizzeria & bar at The Grand Canal Shoppes. The Las Vegas establishments have recently reopened for dine-in service. Matteo Ferdinandi is graciously at our service along with Chef Angelo Auriana.

Since 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. Poised to reopen for dine-in Connie & Ted’s just celebrated their 7th Anniversary. Opening General Manager Matthew De Marte (a 3rd generation restaurant professional) provides all the tasty details.

Chef & Restaurateur Josiah Citrin is an accomplished culinary expert and veteran of Los Angeles’s gourmet dining scene, with more than 25 years of experience. He is a two-star Michelin chef and owner of Santa Monica’s highly-acclaimed Mélisse & Citrin, Charcoal Venice, Dear John’s (with Hans & Patti Rockenwagner) in Culver City and Openaire at The Line Hotel. His culinary philosophy, “In Pursuit of Excellence” sets the standard for all of his concepts, whether fine-dining or casual.

We entice Chef Josiah Citrin out of his busy kitchens for an update on his area restaurant properties.

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 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. 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 slowly 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. There is 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.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 377, June 13, 2020: Matthew De Marte, General Manager, Connie & Ted’s, West Hollywood

Matthew de Marte wearing a mask at Connie and Ted'sSince 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. Poised to reopen for dine-in Connie & Ted’s just celebrated their 7th Anniversary.

“At Connie and Ted’s you’ll find simply prepared fish and shellfish, inspired by the classic clam shacks, oyster bars, and fish houses, that dot the New England Seaboard and the Western Coast.”

During the ban on dine-in Connie & Ted’s has been serving guests with a full menu prepared To-Go & via delivery through TOCK.

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

Play

June 13: Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, Factory Place Hospitality Group, Connie and Ted’s, Josiah Citrin

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Las Vegas’ Lip Smacking Foodie Tours and Finger Licking Foodie Tours Part One
Segment Three: Las Vegas’ Lip Smacking Foodie Tours and Finger Licking Foodie Tours Part Two
Segment Four: Matteo Ferdinandi & Chef Angelo Auriana, Factory Place Hospitality Group, Los Angeles & Las Vegas Part One
Segment Five: Matteo Ferdinandi & Chef Angelo Auriana, Factory Place Hospitality Group, Los Angeles & Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Six: Matthew De Marte, General Manager, Connie & Ted’s, West Hollywood
Segment Seven: Chef & Restaurateur Josiah Citrin, Melisse & Citrin, Santa Monica
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host & Slapfish Restaurant Group

Chefs and restaurateurs are honestly the most generous people we know. In times of need they are always the very first in generously giving back and meaningfully supporting their communities. Truly remarkable…Right now as dine-in slowly returns at greatly reduced capacity restaurants urgently need our support to stay afloat. Kindly keep this in mind and please do what you possibly can (as you can afford) to support a community-focused, local restaurant….

As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it every week without the enthusiastic encouragement of the foodie community.

Food lovers are now able to eat and explore their way through Downtown Las Vegas like never before with a pair of private, self-guided, e-assisted culinary tours created by Finger Licking Foodie Tours. The brand-new company represents a follow-up, companion business to the successful Lip Smacking Foodie Tours created by Las Vegas entrepreneur and hospitality-industry veteran, Donald Contursi. The new self-guided Finger Licking Foodie Tours (Downtown and Arts District) offers guests a fun and innovative way to support three top restaurants in the Las Vegas community, while enjoying an array of Instagramable dishes in one outing. Don Contursi joins us with the salivating details.

Factory Place Hospitality Group, a restaurant group led by Restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi, was founded in March of 2013. Executive Chef and Business Partner Angelo Auriana, joined Ferdinandi and his wife, Francine Diamond-Ferdinandi, in August 2013 shortly before the opening of The Factory Kitchen in Downtown Los Angeles. The L.A. collection of establishments also includes Brera Ristorante and sixth+mill pizzeria. Las Vegas properties are Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano in The Venetian Resort and sixth+mill ristorante, pizzeria & bar at The Grand Canal Shoppes. The Las Vegas establishments have recently reopened for dine-in service. Matteo Ferdinandi is graciously at our service.

Since 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. Poised to reopen for dine-in Connie & Ted’s just celebrated their 7th Anniversary. Opening General Manager Matthew De Marte (a 3rd generation restaurant professional) provides all the tasty details.

Chef & Restaurateur Josiah Citrin is an accomplished culinary expert and veteran of Los Angeles’s gourmet dining scene, with more than 25 years of experience. He is a two-star Michelin chef and owner of Santa Monica’s highly-acclaimed Mélisse & Citrin, Charcoal Venice, Dear John’s (with Hans & Patti Rockenwagner) in Culver City and Openaire at The Line Hotel. His culinary philosophy, “In Pursuit of Excellence” sets the standard for all of his concepts, whether fine-dining or casual.

We entice Chef Josiah Citrin out of his busy kitchens for an update on his area restaurant properties.

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 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. 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 slowly 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. Chef Andrew shares his informed thoughts. We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Donald Contursi of Lipsmacking Foodie ToursFood lovers are now able to eat and explore their way through Downtown Las Vegas like never before with a pair of private, self-guided, e-assisted culinary tours created by Finger Licking Foodie Tours. The brand-new company represents a follow-up, companion business to the successful Lip Smacking Foodie Tours created by Las Vegas entrepreneur and hospitality-industry veteran, Donald Contursi.

The new self-guided Finger Licking Foodie Tours (Downtown and Arts District) offers guests a fun and innovative way to support three top restaurants in the Las Vegas community, while enjoying an array of Instagramable dishes in one outing. Each tour requires a minimum of just two patrons, so guests can safely dine with their closest family and loved ones.

“With restaurant capacities limited due to public health restrictions and reservations at the hottest restaurants challenging, Finger Licking Foodie Tours provide immediate VIP seating with signature dishes served fresh, shortly after arrival. Tours are “led” by a virtual tour guide who provides a map of the route, interesting tidbits along the way and a guided walk through Downtown Container Park to support local small businesses.”

“This tour provides an intimate and personalized foodie experience,” explains Contursi. “Guests receive an online map, as well as a link to an innovative virtual tour guide who provides commentary for each fascinating stop along the way including a walk- through Downtown Container Park to support small businesses. On this 2.5-hour experience in the city’s exciting, revitalized downtown, guests will visit three acclaimed restaurants, enjoying superb service and three unforgettable dishes at each venue.”

Don Contursi joins us with the delectable details.

Matteo Ferdinandi of the Factory KitchenFactory Place Hospitality Group, a restaurant group led by Restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi, was founded in March of 2013. Executive Chef and Business Partner Angelo Auriana, joined Ferdinandi and his wife, Francine Diamond-Ferdinandi, in August 2013 shortly before the opening of The Factory Kitchen in Downtown Los Angeles.

The L.A. collection of establishments also includes Brera Ristorante and sixth+mill pizzeria. This trio of restaurants has reopened for Pick-Up orders Wednesday through Saturday from 3 to 8 p.m. via Tock.

Las Vegas properties are Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano in The Venetian Resort and sixth+mill ristorante, pizzeria & bar at The Grand Canal Shoppes. The Las Vegas properties have recently reopened for dine-in service.

Matteo Ferdinandi is graciously at our service along with Chef Angelo.

Matthew de Marte wearing a mask at Connie and Ted'sSince 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. Poised to reopen for dine-in Connie & Ted’s just celebrated their 7th Anniversary.

“At Connie and Ted’s you’ll find simply prepared fish and shellfish, inspired by the classic clam shacks, oyster bars, and fish houses, that dot the New England Seaboard and the Western Coast.”

During the ban on dine-in Connie & Ted’s has been serving guests with a full menu prepared To-Go & via delivery through TOCK.

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

Josiah CitrinChef & Restaurateur Josiah Citrin is an accomplished culinary expert and veteran of Los Angeles’s gourmet dining scene, with more than 25 years of experience. He is a two-star Michelin chef and owner of Santa Monica’s highly-acclaimed Mélisse & Citrin, Charcoal Venice, Dear John’s (with Hans & Patti Rockenwagner) in Culver City and Openaire at The Line Hotel. His culinary philosophy, “In Pursuit of Excellence” sets the standard for all of his concepts, whether fine-dining or casual.

The combination of Melisse and Citrin are currently offering a single Takeaway dinner menu for Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Both Charcoal and Dear John’s have reopened for dinner dine-in.

We entice Chef Josiah Citrin out of his busy kitchens for an update on his restaurant properties.

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. 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 slowly recover from the financial impact 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 some restaurant checks. Chef Andrew shares his informed thoughts. We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Las Vegas’ Lip Smacking Foodie Tours and Finger Licking Foodie Tours Part One
Segment Three: Las Vegas’ Lip Smacking Foodie Tours and Finger Licking Foodie Tours Part Two
Segment Four: Matteo Ferdinandi & Chef Angelo Auriana, Factory Place Hospitality Group, Los Angeles & Las Vegas Part One
Segment Five: Matteo Ferdinandi & Chef Angelo Auriana, Factory Place Hospitality Group, Los Angeles & Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Six: Matthew De Marte, General Manager, Connie & Ted’s, West Hollywood
Segment Seven: Chef & Restaurateur Josiah Citrin, Melisse & Citrin, Santa Monica
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host & Slapfish Restaurant Group

Show 253, December 23, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel

Now a joyful preview of Saturday’s festive 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… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday morning throughout The Holidays.

Greatly respected restaurateur Donato Poto, in partnership with Chef Michael Cimarusti, is responsible for the L.A. fine dining treasure, Providence, as well as the more casual Connie & Ted’s (with restaurateur Craig Nickoloff) in West Hollywood. It’s been a busy few weeks for them as they have launched il Pesce Cucina in Eataly in Westfield Century City as well as Best Girl, a 3-meal-a-day restaurant in The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. We’ll get the full briefing from Donato.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, joins us from Park City, Utah where he has just debuted the third Slapfish in Utah. Chef Andrew will share (and explain) some important hospitality business trends he sees for 2018.

We know restaurateur Russ Bendel from his successful wine country-themed establishments in Orange County, Vine in San Clemente and Ironwood in Laguna Hills. Now it’s a threesome with the launch of the handsome Olea, already making waves in Newport Beach. Russ Bendel explains what’s on the menu.

Lawry’s Beef Bowl is college football’s most celebrated bowl game tradition. Each year since its inception prior to the 1957 Rose Bowl Game, Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills has honored the players and coaches of each Rose Bowl‐bound team for their gridiron achievements. This is the 62nd year of Lawry’s proud association with The Granddaddy of Them All.® Lawry’s Beef Bowl historian Todd Erickson is our guest. He actually authored the coffee table book on the official history of Lawry’s Beef Bowl.

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

Play

Show 253, December 23, 2017: Restaurateur Donato Poto, il Pesce Cucina and Best Girl

Donato PotoGreatly respected restaurateur Donato Poto, in partnership with Chef Michael Cimarusti, is responsible for the L.A. fine dining treasure, Providence, as well as the more casual Connie & Ted’s (with restaurateur Craig Nickoloff) in West Hollywood. It’s been a busy few weeks for them as they have launched il Pesce Cucina in Eataly in Westfield Century City as well as Best Girl, a 3-meal-a-day restaurant in The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

Headed up by acclaimed L.A. restaurant Providence, Il Pesce Cucina is Eataly’s fish market-inspired restaurant. For more than a decade, the team led by Chef Michael Cimarusti and Donato Poto has worked to elevate the standards of modern American seafood restaurants. At Eataly, Providence highlights the delicious varieties of California’s wild fish in their menus. All of the fresh seafood is responsibly sourced, with a particular focus on wild-caught and raw options that promise to satisfy every taste.

For now tables (including patio seating with prime views of the Hollywood Hills and Century City) are available on a first-come, first-served basis; il Pesce Cucina does not accept reservations. If you’re going to be doing some shopping at Eataly a good tip is put your name in at il Pesce first.

“Providence, a restaurant with two Michelin stars, has defined a new standard of seafood cuisine in America. Led by Chef Michael Cimarusti and co-owner Donato Poto, this signature L.A. restaurant found its roots in the search for sustainable fish, wild caught and of the finest quality. Ingredients are treated with the greatest respect and technique, with the goal of bringing the freshest seafood flavors to your table. Eataly partners with Providence at Il Pesce Cucina because we believe in the same emphasis on ingredients and search for quality.”

We’ll get the full, mouthwatering briefing from Donato.

 

Play

Show 253, December 23, 2017: Restaurateur Donato Poto, il Pesce Cucina and Best Girl Continues…

Donato PotoGreatly respected restaurateur Donato Poto, in partnership with Chef Michael Cimarusti, is responsible for the L.A. fine dining treasure, Providence, as well as the more casual Connie & Ted’s (with restaurateur Craig Nickoloff) in West Hollywood. It’s been a busy few weeks for them as they have launched il Pesce Cucina in Eataly in Westfield Century City as well as Best Girl, a 3-meal-a-day restaurant in The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

Named after the first film screened at The Theatre (now the beautifully restored Ace Theater (built as the flagship for United Artists Theaters) adjacent to the Ace Hotel) in 1927, Best Girl is Downtown Los Angeles’ local haunt featuring rotating, seasonal fare and classic favorites. Best Girl is in partnership with the inimitable Chef Michael Cimarusti and business partner Donato Poto, renowned for championing sustainable seafood and elevating impeccable service in a casual atmosphere.

A multi-nominee for a James Beard Award, Cimarusti’s critically acclaimed restaurants Providence and Connie and Ted’s have earned him two Michelin Stars and international recognition as an industry giant. Cape Seafood and Provisions, his seafaring market, offers sustainable, wild caught fish, prime cuts and grab-and-go dishes. Chef Cimarusti’s menu for Best Girl represents his favorite meals made at home for family and friends — inviting and simple, every dish is expertly crafted, wholly delicious and available every day.

The busy Ace Theater generates a lot of pre-theater dinner business for Best Girl. Donato’s tip is that things are calmer for a leisurely dining experience at 8:00 p.m. and thereafter.

We’ll continue the full briefing from Donato.

Play

December 23: Donato Poto, Russ Bendel, Lawry’s Beef Bowl

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Restaurateur Donato Poto, il Pesce Cucina and Best Girl Part Two
Segment Three: Restaurateur Donato Poto, il Pesce Cucina and Best Girl Part Two
Segment Four: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Five: Orange County Restaurateur, Russ Bendel, Olea Part One
Segment Six: Orange County Restaurateur, Russ Bendel, Olea Part Two
Segment Seven: Sports Historian Todd Erickson, Lawry’s 62nd Beef Bowl Part One
Segment Eight: Sports Historian Todd Erickson, Lawry’s 62nd Beef Bowl Part Two

Now a joyful preview of this Saturday’s festive 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… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday morning throughout The Holidays.

Greatly respected restaurateur Donato Poto, in partnership with Chef Michael Cimarusti, is responsible for the L.A. fine dining treasure, Providence, as well as the more casual Connie & Ted’s (with restaurateur Craig Nickoloff) in West Hollywood. It’s been a busy few weeks for them as they have launched il Pesce Cucina in Eataly in Westfield Century City as well as Best Girl, a 3-meal-a-day restaurant in The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. We’ll get the full briefing from Donato.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, joins us from Park City, Utah where he has just debuted the third Slapfish in Utah. Chef Andrew will share (and explain) some important hospitality business trends he sees for 2018.

We know restaurateur Russ Bendel from his successful wine country-themed establishments in Orange County, Vine in San Clemente and Ironwood in Laguna Hills. Now it’s a threesome with the launch of the handsome Olea, already making waves in Newport Beach. Russ Bendel explains what’s on the menu.

Lawry’s Beef Bowl is college football’s most celebrated bowl game tradition. Each year since its inception prior to the 1957 Rose Bowl Game, Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills has honored the players and coaches of each Rose Bowl‐bound team for their gridiron achievements. This is the 61st year of Lawry’s proud association with The Granddaddy of Them All.® Lawry’s Beef Bowl historian Todd Erickson is our guest. He actually authored the coffee table book on the official history of Lawry’s Beef Bowl.

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

Donato PotoGreatly respected restaurateur Donato Poto, in partnership with Chef Michael Cimarusti, is responsible for the L.A. fine dining treasure, Providence, as well as the more casual Connie & Ted’s (with restaurateur Craig Nickoloff) in West Hollywood. It’s been a busy few weeks for them as they have launched il Pesce Cucina in Eataly in Westfield Century City as well as Best Girl, a 3-meal-a-day restaurant in The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

Headed up by acclaimed L.A. restaurant Providence, Il Pesce Cucina is Eataly’s fish market-inspired restaurant. For more than a decade, the team led by Chef Michael Cimarusti and Donato Poto has worked to elevate the standards of modern American seafood restaurants. At Eataly, Providence highlights the delicious varieties of California’s wild fish in their menus. All of the fresh seafood is responsibly sourced, with a particular focus on wild-caught and raw options that promise to satisfy every taste.

Tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis; il Pesce Cucina does not accept reservations.

“Providence, a restaurant with two Michelin stars, has defined a new standard of seafood cuisine in America. Led by Chef Michael Cimarusti and co-owner Donato Poto, this signature L.A. restaurant found its roots in the search for sustainable fish, wild caught and of the finest quality. Ingredients are treated with the greatest respect and technique, with the goal of bringing the freshest seafood flavors to your table. Eataly partners with Providence at Il Pesce Cucina because we believe in the same emphasis on ingredients and search for quality.”

We’ll get the full, mouthwatering briefing from Donato.

Named after the first film screened at The Theatre (now the Ace Theater adjacent to the Ace Hotel) in 1927, Best Girl is Downtown Los Angeles’ local haunt featuring rotating, seasonal fare and classic favorites. Best Girl is in partnership with the inimitable Chef Michael Cimarusti and business partner Donato Poto, renowned for championing sustainable seafood and elevating impeccable service in a casual atmosphere.

A multi-nominee for a James Beard Award, Cimarusti’s critically acclaimed restaurants Providence and Connie and Ted’s have earned him two Michelin Stars and international recognition as an industry giant. Cape Seafood and Provisions, his seafaring market, offers sustainable, wild caught fish, prime cuts and grab-and-go dishes. Chef Cimarusti’s menu for Best Girl represents his favorite meals made at home for family and friends — inviting and simple, every dish is expertly crafted, wholly delicious and available every day.

We’ll continue the full briefing from Donato.

Andrew and William GruelOur Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, joins us from Park City, Utah where he has just debuted the third Slapfish in Utah. Chef Andrew will share (and explain) some important hospitality business trends he sees for 2018. It’s a challenging time for the restaurant business at all levels from fast casual to fine-dining.

We know restaurateur Russ Bendel from his successful wine country-themed establishments in Orange County, Vine in San Clemente and Ironwood in Laguna Hills. Now it’s a threesome with the launch of the handsome Olea, already making waves in Newport Beach.

Russ BendelNamed for a genus of trees that flourish in warm and tropical regions, Olea gives Bendel’s award-winning Napa and Sonoma wine country concepts at Vine, in San Clemente, and Ironwood, in Laguna Hills, a European accent with extensive wine selections from Italy, France and Spain.

Chef-Partner Jared Cook has created a menu of modern California cuisine that perfectly complements the “global wine country” approach the Bendel team has taken at Olea.

“It’s great to return to the community where my business partners and I began our careers,” said Bendel, a graduate of The Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona who spent nine years at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar at Newport Center / Fashion Island before striking out on his own.

“Olea represents the continued progression we have created with our other two wine country-inspired cuisine restaurants,” Bendel said. The restaurant is Bendel’s largest, seating 130 guests, and like the other two locations is open for dinner nightly.

Cook has created new dishes exclusively for Olea, including blue crab baked oysters with champagne tarragon butter); terrine of duck liver, bacon and bourbon; wild-caught Pacific Blue Nose sea bass; herb-roasted prime beef cheek stroganoff with house-made rosemary pappardelle; Pacific Northwest filet mignon with black truffle and blue crab Béarnaise; and seasonal apple and pear cobbler with oatmeal crumble and cardamom ice cream.

Also on the menu at Olea are Vine / Ironwood crowd-pleasers such as Meyer lemon & honey duck wings and jumbo lump blue crab with roasted heirloom beets.

Olea’s interior is Tuscany wine country meets California Cuisine. An eclectic blend of timeless natural backgrounds includes antique French white oak floors, Black Mountain ledge-stone, black walnut millwork complemented with contemporary decorative lighting, and clean soft lines and a warm taupe color palette.

Dining areas are divided with sculptures instead of walls, made from natural tree branches on steel bases that lend privacy. The completely weatherproofed dining patio has a parkway setting with swagger light fixtures and citrus trees and herbs in large planters. Two olea (olive) trees flank the entrance of the restaurant.

A focal point of Olea, which totals 3,647 square feet, is a custom-made captain’s table in the wine room that can seat 10. The captain’s table is surrounded by working wine storage and wine displays, artwork and beautiful lighting fixtures.

Olea is located at The Walk, 2001 Westcliff Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660, by Kéan Coffee.  Reservations are accepted on OpenTable, or by calling 949-287-6807. There is self-parking in a newly-constructed 300-car parking structure adjacent to the restaurant.

Russ Bendel tempts us what’s on the menu.

Road to the Rose Bowl 50 Years of Lawry's Beef BowlLawry’s Beef Bowl is college football’s most celebrated bowl game tradition. Each year since its inception prior to the 1957 Rose Bowl Game, Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills has honored the players and coaches of each Rose Bowl‐bound team for their gridiron achievements. This is the 61st year of Lawry’s proud association with The Granddaddy of Them All.®

Tradition. College football is steeped in it, and there isn’t any tradition more enduring than “The Granddaddy of All Bowl Games,” the Rose Bowl. For 62 years, Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills has been a vital marketing partner in this tradition with its annual Beef Bowl (staged over 2 nights) serving as the proverbial rite of passage for champion gridiron gladiators in quest of Big Game glory.

This legendary private event (where only Tournament of Roses officials and sports media are granted access) has largely remained a mystery to the public while quietly generating a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes photo ops, stories, anecdotes, and quotes from college football’s most well-known players, coaches and sports commentators.

This year’s unusual Rose Bowl pitting the Oklahoma Sooners against the Georgia Bulldogs is the College Football Playoff Semifinal.

Lawry’s Beef Bowl historian Todd Erickson is our guest. He actually authored the coffee table book on the official history of Lawry’s Beef Bowl, Road to the Rose Bowl: 50 Years of Lawry’s Beef Bowl.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Restaurateur Donato Poto, il Pesce Cucina and Best Girl Part Two
Segment Three: Restaurateur Donato Poto, il Pesce Cucina and Best Girl Part Two
Segment Four: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Five: Orange County Restaurateur, Russ Bendel, Olea Part One
Segment Six: Orange County Restaurateur, Russ Bendel, Olea Part Two
Segment Seven: Sports Historian Todd Erickson, Lawry’s 62nd Beef Bowl Part One
Segment Eight: Sports Historian Todd Erickson, Lawry’s 62nd Beef Bowl Part Two