Show 304, December 29, 2018: James Mullins, Proprietor, Fill Bakehouse & Creamery, Costa Mesa

Fill Bakeshop and CreameryHow sweet it is with an authentic “Taste of Hawaii” now located next door to Toast Kitchen + Bakery in Costa Mesa. Fill, a bakehouse and creamery serving made-to-order malasadas and small-batch ice cream, launched in late July. With Fill, founder & Hawaii-native James Mullis, serves up a sweet side of the Islands with true “aloha spirit.”

“Malasadas were popularized in Hawaii during the 19th century when Portuguese immigrants arrived in Hawaii to support the islands’ growing sugar cane business. Today, these delicate, sugar-dusted confections are an island icon; and to Mullis, they’re reminiscent of the welcoming, diverse culture of Hawaii.” Making the dough for a malasada is actually an intensive, two-day process.

“After years of research, Mullis put together a duo of illustrious chefs to bring his vision to life: Lincoln Carson (ex-Michael Mina Restaurant Group) and John Park. Today, Mullis proudly presents Fill, his ode to Hawaii and the embracing culture that shaped his childhood.”

“The islands are melting pot of culture, pulling culinary influence from the Philippines, Japan, and Portugal,” comments Mullis, who grew up in the small town of Kaneohe, Hawaii. “We represent the best of Hawaii’s embracing culinary culture at Fill with made-to-order malasadas, artisan fillings, and house-made, small-batch ice cream.”

Organic and GMO-free, Fill’s malasadas are a delicate-yet-doughy Portuguese pastry with a crisp, sugar-dusted exterior (choose from cane, cinnamon, or coconut sugar) which can be served with a variety of fillings including haupia (coconut custard), strawberry jam, Mandarin orange pastry cream, or malted chocolate.

In addition to Fill’s fresh-baked malasadas is a selection of small-batch ice creams with unique flavors that evoke a taste of the islands including a vegan Brown Butter Roasted Pineapple, Royal Kona Coffee, Roasted Black Sesame, and POG (passion fruit, orange, guava). The ice creams are made right there in-house in a dedicated, state-of-the-art health department certified frozen dessert production space.

Closed on Monday.

James joins us from Hawaii where he is celebrating the Holidays.


Show 302, December 15, 2018: Restaurateur Ed Lee and Chef / Partner John Park, Toast Kitchen + Bakery, Costa Mesa

John ParkThe new Toast Kitchen + Bakery in Costa Mesa (on the site of the revered Golden Truffle) is the creation of Chef / Partner John Park and restaurateur Ed Lee (Wahoo’s Fish Taco.) There is some incredible food, baked goods & desserts coming out of this kitchen. Closed on Monday and Sunday is Brunch service only.

Think Hot Chicken and Hawaiian Malasadas for Brunch.

Two other attractions are Happy Hour (specialty cocktails, beer and wine) with menu attractions including Thai Chili Chilaquiles and Taco Tuesday (Pumpkin Chorizo Taco & Street Tacos.)

Chef John modestly doesn’t make a big deal about it but a per cent of the restaurant’s profits go to local charities.

Next door to Toast Kitchen is Fill Bakery & Creamery, home of authentic Hawaiian malasadas and tantalizing craft ice cream flavors. Everything is made fresh, in-house. We’ll be talking about Fill on Saturday morning, December 29th. with Co-Proprietor James Mullis.

We’ll meet the creative team from Toast.


Show 298, November 17, 2018: Chef / Proprietor Ross Pangilinan, TERRACE by Mix Mix (South Coast Plaza) and Mix Mix Kitchen Bar

Ross PangilinanChef / Proprietor Ross Pangilinan (Mix Mix Kitchen Bar, Santa Ana) launched Terrace by Mix Mix in South Coast Plaza in late September. Located on level 3 of the Crate and Barrel / Macy’s Home Store Wing, TERRACE by Mix Mix concentrates on well-priced, market-driven small plates.

The cuisine showcases Pangilinan’s eclectic style, which is influenced by French, Italian, and modern Filipino flavors, as well as his refined technique. An approachable wine list offers varietals by the glass and bottle as well as rotating craft beers.

True to its name, the restaurant features full-service evening dining (and Weekend Brunch) in a beautifully designed covered terrace off the west end of Bridge of Gardens. A small wine bar, additional seating, an open kitchen and a counter offering a weekday lunch quick-service menu is inside.

Pangilinan opened his first restaurant, Mix Mix Kitchen Bar, in downtown Santa Ana in 2016. The name “Mix Mix” is inspired by the English translation of the Filipino dessert Halo-Halo and is also a play on Pangilinan’s culinary style and Filipino-American identity. The restaurant has been an unqualified success since opening, garnering accolades as best new restaurant from Orange Coast Magazine and earning the chef critical praise. Chef Ross was honored as “Rising Star Chef of The Year” at the 2018 Golden Foodie Awards.

Pangilinan’s culinary journey began upon graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena. He traveled to France to work in the Michelin-starred Les Trois Marches in Versailles. Back in the U.S., he was hired as sous chef to open the critically acclaimed, fine dining Sinatra restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas. Returning to Southern California, Pangilinan worked as sous chef at the Patina flagship and became a protégé of founder chef Joachim Splichal. The Patina Group recognized his talent and named him executive chef at Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge, which is part of South Coast Plaza’s fine dining collection.

Chef Ross pops out of the kitchen for a chat.


Show 287, August 25, 2018: “Tastemakers of Orange County” Benefiting OCAPICA

Tarit Tanjasiri of Crema CafeOn the heels of its 20th anniversary, the Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA) will host the 3rd Annual “Tastemakers of Orange County” culinary event on Wednesday, September 5th in the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. This culinary event celebrates the Asian and Pacific Islander community, culture, and heritage by giving guests the opportunity to taste and indulge in Asian and Pacific Island-inspired cuisines and beverages from distinguished chefs throughout Orange County.

Proceeds from tickets sold for this event benefit OCAPICA to support mental health, health, workforce, youth in education, and civic engagement opportunities for low income families throughout Orange County.

The celebration at Argyros Plaza will include food tastings, fun entertainment, and silent and live auctions for guests to enjoy. Tickets are available to the public for $125 for VIP, which allows early entry at 6 p.m., and $85 for General Admission, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. More information and tickets can be found here.

Participants Tarit and Dr. Sora Park Tanjasiri of The Crema Café and Crema Artisan Bakers provide all the tempting details. (Dr. Sora is a Board Chair of OCAPICA)


Show 282, July 21, 2018: Chef Dominic Palmieri, The Midway Gourmet, OC Fair

Dominic Palmieri of Midway GourmetThe OC Fair (Free Your Inner Farmer) is in full swing now through August 12th (Wednesday through Sunday) in Costa Mesa. It’s a once-a-year thing, something that can only happen at the Fair – a food frenzy beyond compare.

Time to talk about what’s new in Fair Food with The Midway Gourmet himself, Chef Dominic Palmieri.

Think Caramel Crack Fries and on the savory side, Cholula Spicy Turkey Leg.…

New from The Midway Gourmet’s friendly competitor, Chicken Charlie, is Deep-Fried Filet Mignon on a Stick.

“You know you want it if it’s fried, wrapped in bacon or sprinkled with sugar !”

Last year 51 per cent of attendees surveyed said the only-at-the-Fair food was their favorite part of their visit. You just know the chefs have been laboring to move the needle even higher for 2018.

$3.00 Taste of Fair Food. It’s a grazer’s paradise! Get a sampling of food and treats for only $3.00 each Thursday from Noon to 4:00 p.m. Fun-sized samples include funnel cake, tri-tip. Lemonade, cinnamon rolls, tacos, gelato, cotton candy and more.

Is the OC Fair food crazier and more inventive this year? You be the judge.



Show 271, April 28, 2018: Chef Stéphane Tréand, The Pastry School, ST Patisserie Chocolat, SoCo, Costa Mesa

Stephane TreandChef Stéphane Tréand debuted, The Pastry School in 2012, in San Clemente. In 2015, he moved his school to Costa Mesa along with his new pâtisserie (pastry) shop, ST Pâtisserie Chocolat, to the SoCo Collection! He wanted people to come and buy pastries, chocolates, viennoiserie (baked goods such as croissants), and gelato/sorbet at his shop. But he also wanted to show others, “you can learn and create beautiful items such as these, right-next-door with me (Chef Stéphane Tréand) as your teacher!”

“Come and learn from M.O.F. Chef Stéphane Tréand, students of all levels can choose from a wide array of subjects and class styles that meet their specific needs. Anyone can take the classes and learn from the master of The Pastry School.”

“Established in 2014, ST Pâtisserie Chocolat is Chef Stéphane Tréand’s premiere pastry shop! Bringing you the highest fashion in modern, Parisian pastry and confections to the wide and eclectic array of shops and wonders in the South Coast Collection (SoCo) and OC Mix shopping center. ST Pâtisserie Chocolat is filled with delicious delights from pastries to a wide variety in chocolates, even homemade gelato and sorbets you will be sure to take a piece of France home with you.”

At The Big Island Chocolate Festival Chef Stephane is performing two chocolate culinary demonstrations and building a chocolate showpiece.


Show 254, December 30, 2017: Chef Noah & Marin von Blöm, ARC Pizza House, South Coast Collection

Marin Howarth and Executive Chef Noah BlomHusband-and-wife team, Chef Noah and Marín von Blöm, have introduced ARC PIZZA HOUSE, featuring a menu of unique wood-fired pizzas, at Costa Mesa’s South Coast Collection (3321 Hyland Avenue, Suite G).

This new concept is an extension of acclaimed restaurant, ARC, and is located in the space formerly occupied by Restaurant Marin, which will be relocating to a new home on the Newport Beach Peninsula in early 2018, when the von Blöms’ DirtySexyHappiness Hospitality Group will debut a new culinary concept including a bakery and butcher shop.

Chef Noah Blöm brings his signature style to create 8 unique pizzas. Offerings range from The House Pizza Pie with housemade sausage, pepper and mushroom, and The Cheeeeseee Pizza with queso fresco, mozzarella, parmesan and goat cheeses, to the more adventurous Roasted Duck Pizza with romesco, olives and goat cheese, and the Shortrib Pizza with bleu cheese, fresno chiles, basil and parmesan.

The menu, offered from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, also features three salad offerings with a Chopped Salad with roasted chicken, Chef’s Salad with smoked salmon, and refreshing Strawberry Salad. Diners also have access to ARC’s lunch and dinner dishes.

Chef Noah and Marin are our guests.


Show 250, December 2, 2017: Richard Lombardi, The Cancer-Fighting Chef

Richard LombardiChef Richard Lombardi (a.ka. “The Cancer – Fighting Chef”) has a joyful & inspirational story to share with us. He was diagnosed with Stage III Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2009, underwent the difficult regimen of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, and now is in remission.

In all his research before (and during) treatment he came to realize that we all can make our cells potentially strong enough to resist the attack of abnormal cancer cells by preparing nutrient-rich recipes using cancer fighting ingredients. The valuable result is Chef Richard’s new cookbook, The Cancer Fighting Cook – Cancer Fighter Packed Recipes for Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery.

Orange County Food Fans will remember Chef Richard’s restaurant, Mama Rose, which had a solid ten-year run in Costa Mesa located across from the entrance to The Fairgrounds (and closed in 2005.)

Chef Richard Lombardi joins us in-studio.



Show 250, December 2, 2017: Richard Lombardi, The Cancer-Fighting Chef Continues…

Richard LombardiWritten by Chef Richard LombardiThe Cancer Fighting Chef and a cancer survivor himself—and packed with nutrient-rich recipes, The Cancer Fighting Cook is a cancer fighter and cancer caregiver’s best friend for combating the symptoms caused by treatment and for enhancing the recovery process.

Each of its delicious recipes—some from Richard’s own award-winning restaurant, Mama Rose in Costa Mesa, and conveniently organized by tabs for Treatment, Recovery, and Prevention—is powered with cancer-fighting ingredients, all of which are called out on the side of each page.

And because cooking can be tough when you’re recovering from treatment, the enclosed spiral bound, lay-flat book is packed with helpful shortcuts, kitchen basics, a removable quick-reference list, and a 75-page pad of printed cancer-fighter grocery lists.

Even better, The Cancer Fighting Cook includes 10 kid-friendly recipes that the whole family can enjoy plus recipes from professional chefs and celebrities that have joined the fight against cancer including Jay Leno and Mark DeCarlo.


Show 243, October 7, 2017: Joshua Turner, Chef & General Manager, Wolfgang Puck Kitchen, South Coast Plaza

Joshua TurnerLocated in Macy’s South Coast Plaza shopping center in Costa Mesa, California, the new Wolfgang Puck Kitchen specializes in Wolfgang’s interpretation of global comfort fare. The menu features a variety of signature recipes made with the best available, locally-sourced ingredients.

Highlights include the signature Chinois Chicken Salad, Crab Cakes with marinated tomatoes and basil aioli, and Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf with Yukon gold potato puree, crispy onion strings and with a port wine sauce. Wolfgang Puck was one of the pioneers of California-style pizza at the original Spago located high above the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. The Smoked Salmon Pizza with dill cream, capers and chives is now an off-menu item at Spago but part of the regular menu at Wolfgang Puck Kitchen.

As one of the newest casual concepts in the Wolfgang Puck dining collection, Wolfgang Puck Kitchen promises a welcoming and relaxed dining environment, appropriate for a business meeting, leisurely lunch, family dinner or meal on the go. A peaceful, shaded patio (where you can have a real conversation) is part of the design.

General Manager and Executive Chef Joshua Turner joins us.