Show 340, September 7, 2019: Chef Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen and Brian Huskey of Tackle Box

Bill Bracken of Brackens KitchenBracken’s Kitchen, a nonprofit dedicated to combating food insecurity in Southern California is committed to recovery, repurposing and restoring both food and lives through food rescue, culinary training, and community feeding program, will host its 2nd annual fundraiser to support healthy meals served to the impoverished in Orange County.

The Hungry Games 2.0” culinary competition will bring top local chefs together for an evening of food and wine in a live kitchen setting.” Guests will be able to taste small bites and cast their votes, with the Hungry Games winner announced over dessert. There will be a small silent auction.

Brian Huskey of Tackle BoxFounder Chef Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen joined by first time participant Chef Brian Huskey of Tackle Box – Local Grub Shack in Costa Mesa and Corona del Mar stirs the pot for us with all the enticing details.


Show 324, May 18, 2019: Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden’s Anthony Laborin, Head of Cocktail R & D

Anthony Laborin of Farmhouse at Rogers GardenOne of the special attractions at Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden in Corona del Mar is the Farmhouse Bar under the direction of Anthony Laborin, head of Cocktail R & D. He shops weekly for seasonal ingredients at the Wednesday morning Farmers Market in Santa Monica with Owner/Executive Chef Rich Mead.

He has 13 new cocktails on the Spring Menu. Among Anthony’s latest creations is Scandalous Scandinavian Panamanian Daiquiri with lime, Swedish Punsch and Panama Pacific Rum.

Also just introduced is Laborin’s Counterfeit Cocktail menu with a tempting selection of four non-alcoholic specialty beverages. Think The Green with cucumber water, pineapple, citrus, wild honey and seedlip.

“The kitchen table is where problems are solved. This is something that Anthony Laborin, head of Cocktail R&D at Farmhouse learned at an early age as he helped his mother and aunts in the kitchen. Since those early days, Anthony has loved the social aspect of the culinary experience. Inherently friendly and genuinely interested in people, he values the interaction with guests that tending bar gives him. Special moments come from listening to guests, learning what kind of drinks and flavor profiles they enjoy and then using that information to introduce them to a specially made, handcrafted cocktail that they never would have thought to order. “When I can convince a guest to try something new and they like it, it brightens my day,” shares Laborin.”


Show 315, March 16, 2019: Chef / Proprietor Pascal Olhats, Café Jardin @ The Sherman Gardens and Library, Corona del Mar

Pascal OlhatsThe “coastal garden” cuisine at Chef Pascal OlhatsCafé Jardin at Corona del Mar’s Sherman Gardens & Library marries vibrantly fresh California produce with a French pedigree. The restaurant is located in full view of the central flower gardens. Dining takes place outdoors for the most part, moving indoors in case of inclement weather – a rarity in Orange County.

Sunday Brunch at Café Jardin has just resumed. Think housemade Pate’ and Indian-Spiced Braised Lamb Osso Bucco.

Chef Pascal also is the resident chef at Manassero Farms in Irvine and hosts The French Chef and The Farmer’s Wife series there.

We entice Chef Pascal out of harvesting in his herb garden for an update.


Show 301, December 8, 2018: Ryan Wilson, Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc. Part One

Ryan Wilson

Ryan Wilson, an accomplished chef, is part of the fourth generation of proud Frank / Van de Kamp family ownership of Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc. Most recently he served a s Vice President and Corporate Executive Chef but recently transitioned to an expanded position with Lawry’s Restaurants.

Ten years ago when he started with Lawry’s his first project was developing (with his colleagues) the uber successful SideDoor in Corona del Mar adjacent to Five Crowns.

We’ll talk to Ryan about the 80th Anniversary of Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills this year as well as his new, expanded responsibilities.


Show 294, October 20, 2018: Restaurateur Ron Salisbury, El Cholo Restaurants, Celebrating 95 Years

Ron SalisburyEl Cholo Restaurants are celebrating its 95th year in Los Angeles by offering its all-time bestselling dish, a Number 1 combination plate (cheese enchilada, rolled beef taco, Spanish rice and refried beans), for 95 cents all day on Tuesday, October 23rd at its six restaurant locations, including three locations in Orange County: Corona del Mar, Anaheim Hills and La Habra. The original El Cholo (greatly expanded over the years) is located on S. Western Avenue in Los Angeles.

Since first opening its doors in 1923, El Cholo has operated as a family-owned business and today, the restaurants are run by Ron Salisbury, grandson of the founders, together with fourth, fifth and sixth generation family members. El Cholo’s legacy lies in its steadfast commitment to quality ingredients, long family history, loyal employees and devoted clientele.

Growing up it was always interesting to see the diversity of Angelenos that came into the restaurant. Our food is what set us apart and everyone wanted a bite of it,” said owner Ron Salisbury. “By staying true to our original recipes, we have not only made it to 95 years, but we have also grown from one restaurant to six.”

Among the many fun facts from the rich history of El Cholo is the popularization of “Nachos” in the West. This popular snack actually originated in Arizona and not Mexico as commonly thought. We’ll hear the story…

3rd generation Family Patriarch, Senor Ron Salisbury (“Grandson of The Founder”,) is our guest with all the celebratory details.



Show 283, July 28, 2018: Tommy Martin, Guest Ambassador, Five Crowns, 50 Years of Service

Tommy MartinBrit Tommy Martin started as a Bartender at Corona del Mar’s Five Crowns back in 1968. 50 years later Tommy is the longest serving, active co-worker at Five Crowns. Earlier this Summer he was recognized with a very special honor.

“In 1968, our favorite Brit, Tommy Martin, moved to Orange County from the East Coast. Seeing Five Crowns’ Tudor architecture and red English phone booth, he quickly applied for a job, sensing he and the restaurant would be a perfect fit. Lucky for us he was right. Little did we know that half a century later, after working as bartender, wine captain and now as our Guest Ambassador, Tommy would be Lawry’s longest serving active co-worker.”

“His energetic, positive attitude and genuine desire to make every moment memorable have endeared him to two generations of guests. For many, a night at Five Crowns without a visit tableside from him doesn’t quite seem the same. For first-timers, meeting such a colorful and charming character, English accent and all, has been a wonderful introduction to the restaurant, its hospitality and its history.”

When you see Tommy at Five Crowns ask him about the night Elizabeth Taylor came in and had a special request…

Five Crown’s Guest Ambassador, Tommy Martin is our guest.


Show 269, April 14, 2018: Alejandra Padilla, Executive Chef, Five Crowns and SideDoor, Corona del Mar

Alejandra PadillaLawry’s Restaurants Inc. announced the appointment of Alejandra Padilla as Executive Chef of Five Crowns and SideDoor in Corona del Mar back in January. Chef Padilla recently introduced her new Spring menu. Chef Padilla joins us.

Featuring the season’s freshest flavors to compliment the restaurant’s classic dishes, the colorful Spring menu welcomes several new small plates such as the Smoked Octopus with meyer lemon yogurt, spring peas and pickled red onions, main dishes like the Coffee Rubbed Short Rib with broccolini, tomato petals, grilled leeks, horseradish gremolata and bordelaise and desserts including the Cheesecake with carrot cake crumbles, walnut ice cream and carrot chips.

Chef Padilla comes to Five Crowns and SideDoor from Hillstone Restaurant Group, where she served as Culinary Manager since 2015. Prior to joining Hillstone, Padilla moved up the ranks at Patina Restaurant Group where she started in 2010 as Sous Chef at La Fonda Del Sol in New York before moving to Los Angeles to take a position as Sous Chef at Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse. She was quickly promoted to Executive Chef, a position she served at two different Market Café locations in Los Angeles.

Chef Alejandra appeared on Cooking Channel’s Unique Eats in 2010 and was also the winner of the Season 6 premier episode of Food Network’s, Chopped in 2011.


Show 263, March 3, 2018: Pascal Olhats, Pascal San Juan Capistrano & Café Jardin

Pascal OlhatsChef Pascal Olhats, the Dean of French chefs in Orange County, turns 30 this month. That’s 30 years of having a namesake restaurant (as the proprietor) in Orange County. It’s a month of festivities at Pascal San Juan Capistrano and the ultimate 5-course celebration dinner (with a Champagne toast) including a Chef Pascal cooking demonstration on March 21st at his Café Jardin in Corona Del Mar’s Sherman Gardens and Library.

“It will be 30 years in March that I signed my first restaurant lease for Pascal Restaurant in Newport Beach. I am not sure if I will still own a restaurant for another decade so it’s time to celebrate” – Chef Pascal Olhats.

At Pascal San Juan Capistrano in March for every Thursday, Friday and Saturday dinner service they are offering a special “Pascal’s Patrons’ Favorite” menu for a 30 per cent discount. It’s 3 courses for $50 including a Champagne cocktail toast. The celebration menu features Salade Lyonaise, choice of Thyme crusted seabass or Duck a l’orange and a lemon tart.

We entice Chef Pascal out of the kitchen with a glass of proper French Chablis to preview the celebrations.


Show 256, January 13, 2018: Tracy Nelsen, Cheese Monger, SideDoor, Corona del Mar

Tracy NelsenIt’s the culmination of SideDoor’s current cheese series. On January 17th it’s the Ultimate Cheese & Charcuterie Backyard Party at Corona del Mar’s SideDoor.

SideDoor is known for its award-winning cheese and charcuterie offerings, and in 2017 began presenting a new series dedicating one evening a month to boutique creameries and specialty cheeses. A different creamery is featured at each event, and twice a year the series culminates in the ultimate celebration of fromage with the Cheese & Charcuterie Backyard Party – the next taking place on Wednesday, January 17, 2018.

The evening will showcase the previous four creameries of the series including Jasper Hill (September 2017), Rogue (October 2017), French Theme (November 2017), and Andante (December 2017), and offer cheese, charcuterie, passed appetizers and beverage pairings. SideDoor’s own certified expert and cheese monger, Tracy Nelsen, will be on hand to educate guests on the various cheeses presented and to recommend the perfect pairings.

SideDoor is Corona del Mar’s first and only English gastropub. A red key hangs over the entryway on Poppy Street as an unspoken invitation to indulge in world-class spirits, craft beer and wine flights.

SideDoor’s resident certified expert cheese monger, Tracy Nelsen is our guest.


Show 242, September 30, 2017: Kenyon Paar, General Manager – Five Crowns & SideDoor, Corona del Mar

Kenyon PaarKenyon Paar is the seasoned General Manager of the historic Five Crowns in Corona del Mar as well as the adjacent SideDoor. Both are still refreshingly Family-owned. Upcoming is Porktoberfest and the festive Holiday season activities at both establishments. A great seasonal tradition…

The ever-popular SideDoor Cheese Takeovers continue the third Wednesday of each month through January.

On October 18th the 6th annual Porktoberfest returns to the Five Crowns Greenhouse and Garden. A 6-course meal from Executive Chef Anthony Endy will be paired with Firestone Walker beers and hosted by Co-Founder David Walker, himself.

Congrats to Kenyon, our guest, on her year anniversary at Five Crowns and SideDoor.