Show 409, January 23, 2021: Rob Rubens, Founder & Head Distiller, R6 Distillery, El Segundo

Rob Rubens of R6 DistilleryR6 is a family-owned distillery in the Los Angeles suburb of El Segundo. Founder and Head Distiller Rob Rubens fell in love with the art of distilling after his first (unplanned) trip to New Orleans Rum Distillery. He knew it was time for a change. After spending the better part of a decade in corporate America and realizing that was not his path, Rob visited distilleries and breweries and decided it was time to make waves. Coupling his experience with his desire to bring quality spirits to Los Angeles, Rob opened this speakeasy (Smoky Hollow Tasting & Tap) inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy in 2014.”

“Our process is quite different than most. We use only the purest form of our distillate when producing spirits. This is where most take short cuts and compromise the quality of the product. But we’re about quality – and our promise to you is just that. Each bottle of spirits will be crafted from the “hearts” of our distillate. We stick to doing what is right and what is authentic.”

New is the California Mule in a can and FDA certified hand sanitizer originally created to help mitigate the initial shortage last March with the onset of the pandemic.

Rob is particularly proud of his R6 Blue Corn Bourbon Whiskey aged in new American charred oak barrels. It has already won numerous awards. It’s probably the first “legal” Bourbon created and distilled in Los Angeles County.

In the interests of safety and complying with all COVID 19 restrictions R6 Distillery is open exclusively (Friday through Sunday) for bottle purchases and cocktails & beer to go. The online store can ship R6 spirits to any California address.

 

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Show 409, January 23, 2021: Kyle Meyer, Managing Partner, Wine Exchange in Santa Ana

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeIn times of crisis it’s always best to call on the calming expertise of those truly knowledgeable in their specific areas. Such is the case with our always engaging resident wine authority Kyle Meyer, the Managing Partner of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange.

On January 12th a 25 percent tariff was placed (with little advance notice) on high-alcohol wines from Europe. Wines that were already paid for by importers that were already in transit from Europe will be assessed with this significant tariff that was not known at the time of purchase.

In late 2019 a 25 percent tariff was placed on lower-alcohol European wines. We’ll discuss the unfortunate tariff situation with Kyle and how they negatively impact wine pricing.

 

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Show 409, January 23, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the 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 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 increasingly growing) concern. Extended restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for at least January and seemingly longer.

Chef Andrew updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, 86 Restaurant Struggle campaign to benefit out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $300,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The great need continues…

The fried chicken sandwich is becoming a popular menu item at the major burger places in addition to other fast casual outlets. It’s all about the quality of the chicken patty which can vary.  Chef Andrew has a lot of hands-on experience with premium fried chicken at Two Birds in Irvine. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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Show 408, January 16, 2021: 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 which is a genuine (and increasingly growing) concern. Extended restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for at least the first 3 weeks of January.

Chef Andrew updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, 86 Restaurant Struggle campaign to benefit out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $250,000 in small grants to especially deserving restaurant workers in need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. (An impressive $320,000 has been raised thus far.) The need continues and the fundraising is ongoing…

Chef Andrew also continues to report on his carefully considered, multi-point plan to bolster the fate of struggling restaurants right now. Government assistance, at all levels, is a necessary part of bringing restaurants back. It’s now very late and the promised aid hasn’t been forthcoming…What’s in store for restaurants and dining in 2021? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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Show 407, January 9, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the 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 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 increasingly growing) concern. Extended restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for at least the first 3 weeks of January.

Chef Andrew updates us on the inspiring progress for the on-going, grass-roots, 86 The Struggle campaign to benefit out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $130,000 (of the $280,000 raised thus far) in small, vitally needed grants to deserving restaurant workers in need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels.

Chef Andrew also shares his carefully considered, multi-point plan to bolster the fate of struggling restaurants right now. Government assistance, at all levels, is a necessary part of bringing restaurants back. It’s very late…What’s in store for restaurants and dining in 2021? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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Show 406, January 2, 2021: Executive Chef / Proprietor Michael and General Manager / Proprietor Sarah Cherney of Peasants Feast, Solvang

Sarah and Michael Cherney of peasants FEASTThree years in the making the dynamic husband and wife team of Chef Michael (Executive Chef / Proprietor) and Sarah Cherney (General Manager / Proprietor) debuted the full-service Peasants Feast restaurant in Solvang in April just at the time restaurants were restricted to takeout and delivery only.

Peasants Feast started as a catering company and they have adapted along the way as best they can. Peasants Feast’s cuisine focuses on local, seasonal comfort food with a twist. The couple met at the Nichols Brothers’ Sides Hardware and Shoes (now closed,) a well-received restaurant in Los Olivos. Michael was the Chef de Cuisine and Sarah the General Manager.

In a what’s wrong with this picture moment Peasants Feast was recently cited by California’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for their employees (6) eating inside the closed restaurant for Family Meal. Hard to believe…The Cherney’s join us to share their truly unfortunate experience of navigating a bureaucracy during a pandemic. Staff now enjoy their Family Meals in their cars (including the Cherney’s children) or sitting solo on a curb well away from the restaurant.

Peasants Feast is currently serving their guests with take-out and delivery Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

“Inspired by the earth and rooted in community, we’ve built good relationships with the planet & our table, we present a changing menu of mostly seasonal, locally sourced food.”

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Show 406, January 2, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoOur 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 increasingly growing) concern.

Extended restrictions for restaurants from Governor Gavin Newsom are now in place for Southern California (as of December 29th) for at least the first 3 weeks of January. Chef Andrew updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, “86 The Struggle” campaign to benefit local out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. As of the broadcast Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have raised over $202,000. They are doing this all on their own (as volunteers) and are personally vetting all applications. Contributors can be sure that their donations are going to the most in-need recipients. Over $100,000 has already reached struggling recipients but the need is far greater and, sadly, still growing daily.

Heartfelt thanks to Neil Saavedra of the “Fork Report” heard Saturday afternoons on KFI-AM 640 (also the Assistant Program Director) for so generously embracing this worthy cause and putting his considerable efforts behind it. Neil considers chefs and restaurateurs to be extensions of his own Family and is very sincere about doing all he can to particularly support small & Family-owned restaurants at this dire time of need in the Hospitality business.

What’s in store for restaurants and dining in 2021? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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Show 404, December 19, 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 which is a genuine (and growing) concern. New (controversial) restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for the balance of the year (and possibly longer) as we begin the all-important Holiday dining season.

Chef Andrew reports on the initial push for the grass-roots, “86 Struggle” campaign to benefit local out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. (This is outside of Slapfish employees.) It all starts with the Community Burger.

If you feel so inclined you can donate any amount at the effort’s GoFundMe page. Over $48,000 (of the ambitious original $50,000 goal) has been raised in just over a week.

“All of the funds raised will be distributed to restaurant workers who have either lost their job or are in need of a small leg-up to cover rent payments, medical bills, childcare or any other day-to-day help.”

Additionally of you patronize the original Slapfish location on Beach Blvd. in Huntington Beach you can enjoy a juicy, overstuffed Community Burger. It’s free with a donation of whatever amount you choose to “86 Struggle.” 100 percent of the donation goes to “86 Struggle.” No deductions for food cost or expenses. (These are being underwritten by Slapfish and West Coast Prime Meats.

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Show 403, December 12, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the 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 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 (controversial) restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for the balance of the year (and possibly longer) as we begin the all-important Holiday dining season.

Chef Andrew on Monday, December 14th is launching at the original Slapfish in Huntington Beach a sincere, grass-roots effort (86 Struggle) to assist out-of-work and struggling restaurant employees. Go to this Slapfish location on Beach Blvd. and order a big, fat & juicy “Community Burger.” The premium burger is free with a donation to “86 Struggle.” Every penny of the donation goes to benefit struggling and out-ot-work restaurant workers. All expenses are being underwritten by Slapfish and West Coast Prime Meats.

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Show 402, December 5, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the 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 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 increasingly growing) concern.

New restrictions for restaurants (no dine-in for at least 3 weeks) are now in place for all of Southern California as we approach the all-important Holiday dining season. It’s takeaway only until the end of the year (and possibly longer.)

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.”

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