Show 379, June 27, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy  (documentary feature film) is an intimate, candid perspective into the curious world of cookbook author and British ex-pat Diana Kennedy – widely regarded as the world’s expert on Mexican cuisine. At five feet tall and 97 years old, Diana is larger than life: a foul-mouthed fireball far more feisty and energetic than her age and petite frame let on. Author of nine Mexican cookbooks, she has spent over 60 years researching and documenting the regional cuisines of Mexico.” Filmmaker Elizabeth Carroll is our guide to the career of Diana Kennedy.

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar matches contemporary California regional cuisine, with a hip, vibrant, sophisticated setting, to create a cutting-edge dining experience. Located at The District in Tustin, overlooking the Marina in Newport Beach, and at Westfield UTC in La Jolla, The Winery culinary team is led by Executive Chef & Partner Yvon Goetz. The other Founding Partners are JC Clow and Wine Director William Lewis. William Lewis uncorks it all for us.

Legendary Los Angeles Restaurateur and ever-gracious host Piero Selvaggio attentively presided over the iconic Valentino in Santa Monica for over 46 years. Valentino was a landmark establishment in the West defining regional Italian fine dining with polished service combined with a deep and well-maintained wine cellar. Piero’s most recent undertaking was the debut of Louie’s by the Bay (modern Italian steakhouse) in Newport Beach with Restaurateur Ron Salisbury. His current effort is with Chef Celestino Drago and is the pending relaunching of the elegant Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles in the City National Bank Tower. We’ll hear all about it with Piero Selvaggio.

Leading the Margerum Wine Company team (with a handsome new tasting room at Hotel Californian in the State Building) is creator and namesake, Douglas Barden Margerum, a long-term Santa Barbara resident who has been a fixture in the Santa Barbara food and wine scene for over 35 years. Doug is also is a member of the (rescheduled for 2021) Santa Barbara Culinary Experience (SBCE) Advisory Committee. Doug is our guest to pull the cork for us on the reopening of the Margerum Wine Company Tasting Room which now also includes the Barden Wines Tasting Room.

“Under the supervision of prominent executive chef Avi Kapoor, the latest incarnation of the Akbar restaurant family, Kapoor’s Akbar, offers diners an innovative Indian food experience on the edge of Downtown LA. Relying on traditional recipes passed down through the family but updated with non-traditional techniques and ingredients, Kapoor’s Akbar serves freshly prepared dishes that are rich in taste, temptingly presented and always memorable.” We gently pull Chef Avi away from the tandoor oven for a long overdue visit.

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. Dine-in is slowly starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps… Covid 19 has impacted the food system across the United States. Oddly there are spot shortages of foodstuffs in some areas and surpluses in others. 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!

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Show 379, June 27, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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 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. Dine-in is slowly starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

Covid 19 has impacted the food system across the United States. Oddly there are spot shortages of foodstuffs in some areas and surpluses in others. We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

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June 27: Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, Piero Selvaggio, Margerum Wine Company, Kapoor’s Akbar

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: “Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy” with Producer & Director Elizabeth Carroll
Segment Three: The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar with Founding Partner & Wine Director William Lewis
Segment Four: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Drago Centro and Louie’s by the Bay Part One
Segment Five: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Drago Centro and Louie’s by the Bay Part Two
Segment Six: Doug Margerum, Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara
Segment Seven: Chef Avinash Kapoor, Kapoor’s Akbar, Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

“Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy (documentary feature film) is an intimate, candid perspective into the curious world of cookbook author and British ex-pat Diana Kennedy – widely regarded as the world’s expert on Mexican cuisine. At five feet tall and 97 years old, Diana is larger than life: a foul-mouthed fireball far more feisty and energetic than her age and petite frame let on. Author of nine Mexican cookbooks, she has spent over 60 years researching and documenting the regional cuisines of Mexico.” Filmmaker Elizabeth Carroll is our guide to the career of Diana Kennedy.

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar matches contemporary California regional cuisine, with a hip, vibrant, sophisticated setting, to create a cutting-edge dining experience. Located at The District in Tustin, overlooking the Marina in Newport Beach, and at Westfield UTC in La Jolla, The Winery culinary team is led by Executive Chef & Partner Yvon Goetz. The other Founding Partners are JC Clow and Wine Director William Lewis. William Lewis uncorks it all for us.

Legendary Los Angeles Restaurateur and ever-gracious host Piero Selvaggio attentively presided over the iconic Valentino in Santa Monica for over 46 years. Valentino was a landmark establishment defining regional Italian fine dining with polished service in the West combined with a deep and well-maintained wine cellar. Piero’s most recent undertaking was the debut of Louie’s by the Bay (modern Italian steakhouse) in Newport Beach with Restaurateur Ron Salisbury. His current effort is with Chef Celestino Drago is the just relaunched, elegant Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles. We’ll hear all about it with Piero Selvaggio.

Leading the Margerum Wine Company team (with a handsome new tasting room at Hotel Californian in the State Building) is creator and namesake, Douglas Barden Margerum, a long-term Santa Barbara resident who has been a fixture in the Santa Barbara food and wine scene for over 35 years. Doug is also is a member of the (rescheduled for 2021) Santa Barbara Culinary Experience (SBCE) Advisory Committee. Doug is our guest to pull the cork for us on the reopening of Margerum Wine Company.

“Under the supervision of prominent executive chef Avi Kapoor, the latest incarnation of the Akbar restaurant family, Kapoor’s Akbar, offers diners an innovative Indian food experience on the edge of Downtown LA. Relying on traditional recipes passed down through the family but updated with non-traditional techniques and ingredients, Kapoor’s Akbar serves freshly prepared dishes that are rich in taste, temptingly presented and always memorable.” We gently pull Chef Avi away from the tandoor oven for a long overdue visit.

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. Dine-in is slowly starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps… Covid 19 has impacted the food system across the United States. Oddly there are spot shortages of foodstuffs in some areas and surpluses in others. 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!

Filmmaker Elizabeth CarrollDiana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy (documentary feature film) is an intimate, candid perspective into the curious world of cookbook author and British ex-pat Diana Kennedy – widely regarded as the world’s expert on Mexican cuisine. At five feet tall and 97 years old, Diana is larger than life: a foul-mouthed fireball far more feisty and energetic than her age and petite frame let on. Author of nine Mexican cookbooks, she has spent over 60 years researching and documenting the regional cuisines of Mexico.

“Kennedy has lived ‘off-the-grid’ on an eight-acre ranch outside Zitácuaro, Michoacán since the 1970’s: composting, growing her own crops, and using solar power to run her home. Aware of her own mortality, she is working tirelessly to solidify the legacy of her life’s efforts, with the hope of turning her home into a foundation for culinary education in Mexico.”

“A two-time James Beard Award winner, Diana was decorated with an Order of the Aztec Eagle from the Mexican government and became a Member of the Order of the British Empire from the UK in 2002. Despite her notable achievements, Diana is difficult to categorize. Often referred to as the “Julia Child of Mexico,” but Diana prefers a different title: “The Mick Jagger of Mexican Cuisine.”

“Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy explores Diana’s vibrant,  unconventional life, blending vérité with archival footage, photographs and interviews. Viewers accompany her in intimate settings at home – cooking, gardening, and traveling to accept awards and speak to audiences. The film features interviews with notable chefs and friends including Alice Waters, José Andrés, Rick Bayless, and Gabriela Cámara, along with footage from Diana’s TLC cooking show, “The Art of Mexican Cooking.” Whether she is instructing chefs at her infamous “Boot Camp” cooking school, blazing her truck over the cobblestone roads of Zitácuaro or sunbathing with a scotch on her balcony, Diana is captivatingly bold, spirited, and unapologetically herself.”

Sir William Lewis of the Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar in TustinThe Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar matches contemporary California regional cuisine, with a hip, vibrant, sophisticated setting, to create a cutting-edge dining experience. Located at The District in Tustin, overlooking the Marina in Newport Beach, and at Westfield UTC in La Jolla, The Winery culinary team is led by Executive Chef & Partner Yvon Goetz.” The other Founding Partners are JC Clow and Wine Director William Lewis.

All of The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar restaurants have reopened for dine-in. The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar locations offer a warm and passionate menu complemented by the perfect wines – almost endless possibilities and something to suit every palate. Wine Director & Founding Partner William Lewis will update us on what is available currently and what they were able to offer their guests during the ban on dine-in.

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa MonicaLegendary Los Angeles Restaurateur and ever-gracious host Piero Selvaggio attentively presided over the iconic Valentino in Santa Monica for over 46 years. Valentino was truly a landmark establishment defining regional Italian fine dining in the West combined with a deep and well-maintained wine cellar and polished service. Piero’s most recent venture was the debut of Louie’s by the Bay (modern Italian steakhouse) in Newport Beach with Restaurateur Ron Salisbury.

His new project is with acclaimed Chef Celestino Drago with the just relaunched Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles. “At Drago Centro, located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, Chef Celestino Drago is giving his classic Italian techniques a contemporary flair. The lunch and dinner menus at Drago Centro feature a wide range of options, from hand-cranked pastas, savory steaks and elegant desserts sure to end the meal on a sweet note.”

We’ll hear all about it with Piero Selvaggio.

Douglas Barden MargerumLeading the Margerum Wine Company team (with a new tasting room at Hotel Californian in the State Building) is creator and namesake, Douglas Barden Margerum, a long- term Santa Barbara resident who has been a fixture in the Santa Barbara food and wine scene for over 35 years. Doug is also is a member of the (rescheduled for 2021) Santa Barbara Culinary Experience Advisory Committee.

“Margerum Wine Company produces limited quantities of wines made from grapes grown both on their estate vineyard and grapes purchased from other top vineyards from in and around Santa Barbara County. The 18-acre estate vineyard is planted exclusively to Rhône grape varietals. The acreage is divided between limestone hillsides and gravelly alluvial flatlands along Alamo Pintado Creek. The wines are made at their state-of-the-art winery located on Industrial Way in Buellton.”

“Owner and Director of Winemaking, Douglas Barden Margerum, works with the top vineyards from the cool, eastern end of the valley in Happy Canyon to the western end’s cold vineyards of Sta. Rita Hills. Doug carefully selects the vineyards with meticulous attention to detail in all factors influencing the ultimate quality of the wines, including pruning, soil, climate, and farming methods.”

“Margerum Wine Company is committed to creating hand-crafted wines using only the highest quality grapes in order to make wines that are indicative of the place where they are grown. They strive to make wines naturally, to make wines that have individual characteristics and to make wines with personality. The scale of production is kept at a level where they can touch and know the wine as it is raised to the bottle – the antithesis of mass production. The standards of quality are measured by their own rigid criteria – not by external sources. They make wines they personally enjoy – some to drink young, others for long aging in cool cellars for future generations to enjoy, but mostly to share at the table with family and friends.”

“Doug’s multi-faceted background as the Sommelier/Owner of The Wine Cask, a Wine Spectator Grand Award restaurant recipient, and as a highly respected winemaker made him sought out by a variety of wineries to assist in the formation of their brands. Doug has consulted for Chêne Bleu super Rhône wines in France, and continues to consult for La Encantada Vineyards, Rancho Boa Vista and Happy Canyon Vineyards, all in Santa Barbara County, as well as the Santa Barbara wines of Paradise Springs Winery based in Virginia.”

Avi Kapoor of Kapoor's Akbar“Under the supervision of prominent executive chef Avi Kapoor, the latest incarnation of the Akbar restaurant family, Kapoor’s Akbar, offers diners an innovative Indian food experience on the edge of Downtown L.A. Relying on traditional recipes passed down through the family but updated with non-traditional techniques and ingredients, Kapoor’s Akbar serves freshly prepared dishes that are rich in taste, temptingly presented and always memorable.”

“Omnivores, vegetarians and vegans will find a wide range of selections to satisfy their hunger, joining the thousands of diners who have feasted over the years with generations of Kapoor Family restauranteurs.”

We gently pull Chef Avi away from the tandoor oven for a visit.

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 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. Dine-in is slowly starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

Covid 19 has impacted the food system across the United States. Oddly there are spot shortages of foodstuffs in some areas and surpluses in others. We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: “Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy” with Producer & Director Elizabeth Carroll
Segment Three: The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar with Founding Partner & Wine Director William Lewis
Segment Four: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Drago Centro and Louie’s by the Bay Part One
Segment Five: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Drago Centro and Louie’s by the Bay Part Two
Segment Six: Doug Margerum, Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara
Segment Seven: Chef Avinash Kapoor, Kapoor’s Akbar, Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 378, June 20, 2020: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part Two

Food Journalist Anne Marie PanoringanAnne Marie Panoringan is Voice of OC’s well-informed food columnist She adroitly reports industry news, current events and trends. Panoringan’s prior work includes writing about food for 8 years at the OC Weekly in which she interviewed more than 330 chefs, restauranteurs and industry professionals for her weekly “On the Line column.” She has been recognized by the Orange County Press Club.”

Since dine-in is back in Orange County Anne Marie has been making the rounds to observe the “new normal” in eating out. She continues with us to share how OC restaurants are adapting including Bosscat Kitchen & Libations in Newport Beach and Stubrik’s Steakhouse in Fullerton.

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Show 378, June 20, 2020: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host & Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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 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…

It’s Father’s Day so as a proud Dad, Chef Andrew has some thoughts on taking care of Dad on his special day. Bet there are some inspiring Father’s Day cooking tips along the way, too. Chef Andrew will also revisit the temporary dip in the wholesale pricing of fresh lobster. We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

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

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly starting to come back but with a lot of new rules. Patio or outside seating is highly desirable. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

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

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Show 376, June 6, 2020: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host & Slapfish Restaurant Group

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 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 starting to come back but with a lot of new rules. Take-out / Delivery when you can surely helps… Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first in all planning.

Fishermen who supply seafood to restaurants have been severely negatively impacted by the COVID 19 crisis. How are they coping? What’s been the impact on the price of all seafood? How is the cost of lobster faring? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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Show 375, May 30, 2020: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host & Slapfish Restaurant Group

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants as dine-in now slowly returns. Take-out / delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first.

Takeout packaging is now of concern because its everywhere and used in much greater volume. Is it finally becoming more green and recyclable? How about affordability?

Slapfish is a fast- casual restaurant concept. Is the future installing take-out windows or drive-thrus?

Slapfish is hosting Doctors, Nurses, Medical Personnel, Police, Firefighters & EMT’s to a complimentary meal To-Go. Need to be in uniform or have appropriate ID to qualify. The participating Slapfish locations are Huntington Beach, Brea, Irvine and Laguna Beach.

Kids eat free at Slapfish, too, when their parents order Takeout.

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Show 374, May 23, 2020: Journalist Al Mancini, Staff Writer, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Al Mancini of the Las Vegas Review JournalOne of our most reliable sources of accurate restaurant news in fabulous Las Vegas is Al Mancini, who is a staff writer for The Las Vegas Review Journal covering food, restaurants and other aspects of entertainment. Al has been working the Vegas food scene for 19 years. He was one of the creators of the popular, and widely referenced, Eating Las Vegas restaurant guidebook series.

Al joins us with a report on dining in the restaurants that have been allowed to reopen for full-service in Las Vegas. Restaurants located off The Strip have permission to reopen for dine-in with precautions. Establishments located in The Strip hotel casinos (and other hotel casinos) can only reopen if they have outside access to the restaurants that doesn’t necessitate walking through a closed casino floor.

Al shares the welcome news that complimentary self-parking (with a few exceptions for large special events) will return at all the Strip Hotel Casinos when they reopen.

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Show 373, May 16, 2020: Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish with “Ask the Chef”

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. Take-out / Delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first.

On the surface 3rd party delivery services (Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash and Postmates) seem really convenient but they are costly to both consumers and restaurants. A lot more here to explain and better understand. Chef Andrew suggests tipping the delivery driver in cash upon receipt of the food so you’re sure that person gets the full gratuity. We’ll again, “Ask the Chef.”

Slapfish is hosting Doctors, Nurses, Medical Personnel, Police, Firefighters & EMT’s to a complimentary meal To-Go. Need to be in uniform or have appropriate ID to qualify. The participating Slapfish locations are Huntington Beach, Brea, Irvine and Laguna Beach.

Kids eat free at Slapfish, too, when their parents order Takeout.

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