Show 448, October 23, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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.

Last week Chef Andrew started explaining his perspective on the ongoing labor shortage in the restaurant business and what the future holds. It’s not unique to the restaurant business. With a reduced labor force available technology will now play an increasing role. More affordable delivery will be a part of the revised business model. Chef Andrew resumes the conversation.

Play

Show 439, August 21, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

Anne Marie Panoringan is Voice of OC’s well-informed food columnist. She reports industry news, current events and trends. Anne Marie joins us talking about dining, and using the ordering Apps, at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. Sometimes it’s a bit cumbersome when you’re really hungry. As an alternative Anne Marie suggests some tasty options (outside of The Disneyland Resort) that are within walking distance as well as some worthy other dining possibilities a short drive away. We’ll also hear about Chef’s Counters in restaurants as a new attraction for dining theater. We’ll get a tantalizing preview of Anne Marie’s next Voice of OC column which publishes on Thursday, August 26th. She explores the rapidly rising costs across the board restaurants are now experiencing which has necessitated menu price increases.

Spicy Sugar, a neighborhood favorite Thai dining destination located in the Alamitos Beach area of Long Beach, is open Tuesday through Sunday for in-person dining with lunch offered from 11a.m. to 3p.m. and dinner served 4 to 11p.m.  Guests can also order take-out and delivery.” “Located in an unassuming storefront on Broadway Avenue, Chef/Owner Sugar Sungkamee and her staff offer an array of authentic Thai dishes made with fresh ingredients from family recipes that her father, the legendary Chef Suthiporn “Tui” Sungkamee (Jitlada,) brought with him when he immigrated to the United States.” Chef/Owner Sugar Sungkamee is our guest with a bowl of Pineapple Fried Rice at the ready.

“After falling in love with the Santa Ynez Valley, Ron and Nancy Piazza looked for a place to retreat from the city and call home for almost 30 years. They longed to have a ranch to share their love of the land with their family and friends. When they found what is now called Bella Vista Vineyard in Ballard Canyon they immediately knew it was home. Living among the vines and with sweeping views of Ballard Canyon, Ron and Nancy decided to begin Piazza Family Wines in 2018.” “As winemaker at Piazza Family Wines, Gretchen Voelcker is responsible for the entire process, from the vineyard to the barrel to the bottle.  With a focus on organic fruit and ingredients, she spends more time in the vineyard than most winemakers.  Her vision is to produce minimal interference wines from her favorite grapes, showcasing the fruit purely and precisely.”

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery. Genuine concerns remain… The Delta variant of the virus is on guests’ minds. How is that concern now impacting the restaurant business? Is the labor shortage in both the front and back of the house mitigating at all? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 439, August 21, 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 Casino

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery with the new concerns about the Delta variant. Genuine concerns remain…

The Delta variant of the virus is on guests’ minds. How is that new concern now impacting the restaurant business? Think outside dining and more To-Go ordering….Is the labor shortage in both the front and back of the house mitigating at all? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Play

August 21: Anne Marie Panoringan, Spicy Sugar, Gretchen Voelcker

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anne Marie Panoringan “Voice of OC’s” Food Columnist Part One
Segment Three: Anne Marie Panoringan “Voice of OC’s” Food Columnist Part Two
Segment Four: Sugar Sungkamee, Chef / Owner, Spicy Sugar, Alamitos Beach, Long Beach Part One
Segment Five: Sugar Sungkamee, Chef / Owner, Spicy Sugar, Alamitos Beach, Long Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Gretchen Voelcker, Winemaker, Piazza Family Wines and Winemaker / Owner Luna Hart Wines Part One
Segment Seven: Gretchen Voelcker, Winemaker, Piazza Family Wines and Winemaker / Owner Luna Hart Wines Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

Anne Marie Panoringan is Voice of OC’s well-informed food columnist. She reports industry news, current events and trends. Anne Marie joins us talking about dining, and using the ordering Apps, at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. Sometimes it’s a bit cumbersome when you’re really hungry. As an alternative Anne Marie suggests some tasty options (outside of The Disneyland Resort) that are within walking distance as well as some worthy other dining possibilities a short drive away. We’ll also hear about Chef’s Counters in restaurants as a new attraction for dining theater. We’ll get a tantalizing preview of Anne Marie’s next Voice of OC column which publishes on Thursday, August 26th. She explores the rapidly rising costs across the board restaurants are now experiencing.

“Spicy Sugar, a neighborhood favorite Thai dining destination located in the Alamitos Beach area of Long Beach, is open Tuesday through Sunday for in-person dining with lunch offered from 11a.m. to 3p.m. and dinner served 4 to 11p.m. Guests can also order take-out and delivery.” “Located in an unassuming storefront on Broadway Avenue, Chef/Owner Sugar Sungkamee and her staff offer an array of authentic Thai dishes made with fresh ingredients from family recipes that her father, the legendary Chef Suthiporn “Tui” Sungkamee (Jitlada,) brought with him when he immigrated to the United States.” Chef / Owner Sugar Sungkamee is our guest with a bowl of Pineapple Fried Rice at the ready.

“After falling in love with the Santa Ynez Valley, Ron and Nancy Piazza looked for a place to retreat from the city and call home for almost 30 years. They longed to have a ranch to share their love of the land with their family and friends. When they found what is now called Bella Vista Vineyard in Ballard Canyon they immediately knew it was home. Living among the vines and with sweeping views of Ballard Canyon, Ron and Nancy decided to begin Piazza Family Wines in 2018.” “As winemaker at Piazza Family Wines, Gretchen Voelcker is responsible for the entire process, from the vineyard to the barrel to the bottle. With a focus on organic fruit and ingredients, she spends more time in the vineyard than most winemakers. Her vision is to produce minimal interference wines from her favorite grapes, showcasing the fruit purely and precisely.

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery. Genuine concerns remain… The Delta variant of the virus is on guests’ minds. How is that concern now impacting the restaurant business? Is the labor shortage in both the front and back of the house mitigating at all? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Food Journalist Anne Marie Panoringan

Anne Marie Panoringan is Voice of OC’s well-informed food columnist. She reports industry news, current events and trends. Panoringan’s prior efforts 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.

Anne Marie joins us to talk about dining, and using the ordering Apps, at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. Sometimes it’s a bit cumbersome when you’re really hungry. As an alternative Anne Marie suggests some tasty options (outside of The Disneyland Resort) that are within walking distance as well as some worthy other dining possibilities a short drive away. We’ll also hear about Chef’s Counters in restaurants as a new attraction for dining theater.

We’ll get a preview of Anne Marie’s next column which publishes on Thursday, August 26th. She explores the rapidly rising costs across the board restaurants are now experiencing.

Sugar Sungkamee of Spicy Sugar

Spicy Sugar, a neighborhood favorite Thai dining destination located in the Alamitos Beach area of Long Beach, is open Tuesday through Sunday for in-person dining with lunch offered from 11a.m. to 3p.m. and dinner served 4 to 11p.m. Guests can also order take-out and delivery.”

“Located in an unassuming storefront on Broadway Avenue, Chef-owner Sugar Sungkamee and her staff offer an array of authentic Thai dishes made with fresh ingredients from family recipes that her father, the legendary Chef Suthiporn “Tui” Sungkamee (Jitlada,) brought with him when he immigrated to the United States.”

“Like many chefs, my culinary education is not a formal one,” said Sugar. “The skills and techniques I learned in the kitchen are what my dad patiently taught me. From helping me learn to read recipes and measure ingredients to showing me what to look for when selecting fresh seafood and produce – I owe my love and knowledge of food and cooking to him.”

“Among Spicy Sugar’s signature dishes are Tom Kha Soup, galangal coconut soup punctuated with mushrooms and tomatoes; Pineapple Fried Rice prepared with chunks of pineapple, cashews and raisins; and Yellow Curry, featuring roasted curry with coconut cream. Most dishes from the menu can be made vegetarian or vegan. Spicy Sugar also recently started serving Thai Singha Beer and sake.”

Chef / Owner Sugar Sungkamee joins us with a bowl of Pineapple Fried Rice at the ready.

Gretchen Voelcker of Piazza Family Wines

“After falling in love with the Santa Ynez Valley, Ron and Nancy Piazza looked for a place to retreat from the city and call home for almost 30 years. They longed to have a ranch to share their love of the land with their family and friends.”

“When they found what is now called Bella Vista Vineyard in Ballard Canyon they immediately knew it was home. Living among the vines and with sweeping views of Ballard Canyon, Ron and Nancy decided to begin Piazza Family Wines in 2018. With the production facility just a short walk down a well-trodden dirt path they hand crafted the first vintage from their estate.”

Winemaker, Gretchen Voelcker, knows the importance of the vines and spends the entirety of the year working with esteemed Vineyard Manager, Ruben Solerzano to grow grapes that allow for natural wines to be made using minimal intervention.

“The Piazza’s officially launched the brand in November of 2020 with a range of six wines from their Bella Vista estate vineyard in Ballard Canyon and their sister vineyard Mount Carmel in Sta. Rita Hills. They are focused on honest organic farming, natural winemaking and highlighting the land through their wines.”

“The Bella Vista Vineyard is producing Grenache, Syrah, Graciano, Cabernet Sauvignon, Montepulciano and Sangiovese; while the sister vineyard, Mt. Carmel, is producing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These wines are stunning and elegant yet racy with true varietal definition.”

“As winemaker at Piazza Family Wines, Gretchen is responsible for the entire process, from the vineyard to the barrel to the bottle. With a focus on organic fruit and ingredients, she spends more time in the vineyard than most winemakers. Her vision is to produce minimal interference wines from her favorite grapes, showcasing the fruit purely and precisely. Inspired by gifted winemakers and driven by her own independent spirit, Gretchen pays strict attention to every detail and focuses on the craft of making wine the natural way.”

“Gretchen also has her own label, Luna Hart Wines, with grapes sourced from her favorite, hand-picked vineyards. It’s a boutique wine company specializing in small batch, handcrafted wines also in the Santa Ynez Valley. Gretchen crafts select wines in which she explores the techniques and nuances that continue to stoke her passion for wine.”

Winemaker Gretchen Voelcker pulls the cork on Piazza Family Wines for us.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and Casino

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery with the new concerns about the Delta variant. Genuine concerns remain…

The Delta variant of the virus is on guests’ minds. How is that new concern now impacting the restaurant business? Is the labor shortage in both the front and back of the house mitigating at all ? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anne Marie Panoringan “Voice of OC’s” Food Columnist Part One
Segment Three: Anne Marie Panoringan “Voice of OC’s” Food Columnist Part Two
Segment Four: Sugar Sungkamee, Chef / Owner, Spicy Sugar, Alamitos Beach, Long Beach Part One
Segment Five: Sugar Sungkamee, Chef / Owner, Spicy Sugar, Alamitos Beach, Long Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Gretchen Voelcker, Winemaker, Piazza Family Wines and Winemaker / Owner Luna Hart Wines Part One
Segment Seven: Gretchen Voelcker, Winemaker, Piazza Family Wines and Winemaker / Owner Luna Hart Wines Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 435, July 24, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery. Genuine concerns remain…

Chefs typically prefer to cook with clean-burning, natural gas at their restaurants. Besides being highly efficient for temperature control cooking with natural gas is essential for wok-cooking, flame-searing and charing. Some US cities have been making moves to phase out natural gas connections to residences and businesses with the hope of possibly reducing carbon emissions. Oops…Chef Andrew shares his informed thoughts.

Play

Show 434, July 17, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style Pizza

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery. Genuine concerns remain…

Chef Andrew provides more of his insider’s perspective on how the restaurant business is bouncing back from the pandemic. What changes can we expect in full-service dining with a focus on fine dining?

He also reports on the progress of his new ambitious Save the Brave Burger” fundraiser to benefit Veterans with PTS.

Play

Show 433, July 10, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern.

Chef Andrew provides more of his insider’s perspective on how the restaurant business is bouncing back from the pandemic. How are establishments coping with all the new price increases? Can menu prices realistically be adjusted?

He also reports on his upcoming participation with a tasting station in Bracken’s Kitchen’s annual fundraiser, “Hungry Games 4.0,” on the evening of Thursday, September 9th. Early Bird tickets with special pricing available this month.

Play

Show 432, July 3, 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 Casino

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern.

Chef Andrew gives us his insider’s perspective on how the restaurant business is bouncing back from the pandemic. What will change? Right now it’s a matter of trying to hang on to your existing staff.

He also reports on the progress of his new ambitious Save the Brave Burger” fundraiser to benefit Veterans with PTS. Participating SoCal Slapfish locations are Huntington Beach, Laguna, Tustin, Brea and Irvine.

Play

Show 431, June 26, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern.

Americans are now enjoying more & more seafood as part of their diet. Where is the majority of the seafood coming from? What you should know about farm-raised fish and seafood as an informed consumer? Chef Andrew is our always reliable source.

The Save the Brave Burger” at Slapfish Southern California locations is Chef Andrew’s latest effort to support especially worthy community causes. Donate whatever you can at Slapfish and receive a premium, juicy-double-decker burger and show our veterans your support. 100 per cent of that money goes toward helping veterans with PTS. The ambitious goal is to raise $100,000 this Summer.

If you’re a Veteran the burger is on Chef Andrew Gruel.

Play

Show 427, May 29, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Happy Memorial Day Weekend. We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

Executive Chef Kenneth Williams is an American Culinary Federation Certified Executive Chef and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York, Chef Ken brings a wealth of professional expertise to overseeing Agua Caliente Resort Rancho Mirage’s diverse dining options.” “Chef Ken believes in utilizing the best, highest quality products, and he considers it a part of his job to inspire and educate his culinary staff to produce delicious dining experiences on a consistent basis. His arrival at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage (in early 2019) coincided with the opening of 360 Sports, with its full-service dining and bar menu options, and the property’s new dining marketplace, The District, offering an array of regional cuisines from Mexican to a selection of Asian and delicatessen foods. These new eateries joined the existing, casual Waters Café, and the fine-dining flagship, The Steakhouse.” Chef Ken is our guest.

“2021 marks Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery’s 50th year (located on Howell Mountain in Napa Valley) and it is still family owned and operated. Founders Bob and Sue Brakesman’s three children, Heather, Brian, and Danny were all raised at Summit Lake and have worked hard to continue their parent’s legacy. Sue passed away in 2003 but you can still find Bob working hard repairing equipment and tending the vineyards. Brian has taken over the winemaking, Heather is the general manager and Danny caretakes the property. In addition to Zinfandel, Summit Lake Vineyards produces estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel Port, Petite Sirah, a red blend and rosé. All are named for Bob and Sue’s granddaughters; Emily Kestrel, Clair Riley, Sophia Lynn, and Blythe Susan and grandsons Ben and Shane.” Heather Griffin and Brian Brakesman join us to gently pull the cork on Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery.

Gasolina Café launched in 2015 on Ventura Blvd. in Woodland Hills under the direction of Chef/Proprietor Sandra Cordero. It’s Spanish influenced food with a fresh approach. The menu is seasonally driven and foodstuffs are sustainably raised and grown, and locally sourced. Gasolina Cafe always takes pride in honoring Chef Sandra’s Spanish heritage.” Newly opened for Dinner on Thursday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.” Open for Breakfast and Lunch on Wednesday through Sunday. Chef Sandra Cordero joins us paella pan in hand.

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the early, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern. It’s the first big grilling weekend of the unofficial start of Summer. Chef Andrew shares some valuable tips. Chef Andrew is in Texas on his annual Texas BBQ tasting road tour. What distinguishes BBQ in the Lone Star State ? Chef Andrew will point us in the right direction.

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

Play