Show 203, December 24, 2016: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer and Chef Andrew Gruel, Chief Seafood Officer, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays and the happiest of Happy New Years to all our loyal listeners. Where did 2016 go? Thanks for making us part of your Saturday morning. We’re here for you live through Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s.

Now a hunger-evoking preview of Saturday’s fully-loaded show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a pretty good thing…

For the last nine years Chef Eric Klein has been the face of Spago Las Vegas for Wolfgang Puck as Partner & Executive Chef. Chef Eric just earned a well-deserved promotion within the Wolfgang Puck organization. He’s now back in Los Angeles as Executive Chef and Vice President, Culinary of Wolfgang Puck Catering based at Hollywood & Highland, the home of the annual Academy Awards Ceremony at The Dolby Theater. We’ll rattle pans with Chef Eric.

There is a great tradition associated with the annual Rose Bowl Game and it’s not held in Pasadena. It’s the iconic Lawry’s Beef Bowl, now in its 61st year, hosted at Lawry’s the Prime Rib in Beverly Hills. The gridiron guests this year (on separate nights) are the USC Trojans and the Penn State Nittany Lions. Sports Historian Todd Erickson actually wrote the book on Lawry’s Beef Bowl (Road To The Rose Bowl: 50 Years of Lawry’s Beef Bowl) and is our guest along with long-time USC Sports Information Director Tim Tessalone.

The Holidays at the historic Hotel del Coronado (built in 1888) are an enchanting tradition. Distinctive food and beverage opportunities abound including the lavish Sunday Brunch in the architecturally amazing Crown Room. We’ll chat with Dieter Hissin, the new Director of Food and Beverage at this magical property. Orange County foodies know him from his long tenure at The Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

For adventurous travelers Cuba is definitely on their minds. The former, long-time Editor of Bon Appetit, Barbara Fairchild, was just there with a small group for 7 days on a self-organized excursion. Barbara will give us a genuine food journalist’s perspective on the food and accommodations in Havana and Trinidad. You’ll be surprised…

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group is our resident seafood expert. He’ll be looking ahead at possible Seafood Trends for 2017. For instance, is Seaweed finally become a mainstream ingredient? It is nutritionally sound.

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

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Show 203, December 24, 2016: Food Journalist Barbara Fairchild (formerly Editor, Bon Appetit Magazine)

Barbara FairchildFor adventurous travelers Cuba is definitely on their minds. The former, long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, Barbara Fairchild, was just there with a small group for 7 days, on a self-organized excursion. Barbara will give us a genuine food journalist’s perspective on the food and accommodations in Havana and Trinidad. You’ll be surprised…

Barbara s observes that she really enjoyed the quality and varieties of food she sampled in Cuba. She only had one disappointing meal in the entire time she was there!

In Havana she stayed at the Hotel Parque Central and toured the landmark Hotel Nacional. They mainly dined at the paladares which are entrepreneurial restaurants and more representative of the local fare.

A visit to the historic Hotel Nacional (as seen in “The Godfather”) for a tour and visit to the Buena Vista Social Club show is highly recommended.

No credit cards accepted in Cuba. Barbara cautions you to be prepared with cash.

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Show 203, December 24, 2016: Food Journalist Barbara Fairchild (formerly Editor, Bon Appetit Magazine) Continues…

Barbara FairchildFor adventurous travelers Cuba is definitely on their minds. The former, long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, Barbara Fairchild, was just there with a small group for 7 days, on a self-organized excursion. Barbara will give us a genuine food journalist’s perspective on the food and accommodations in Havana and Trinidad. You’ll be surprised…

Outside of Havana, Barbara’s group visited Trinidad de Cuba and Cienfuegos. The accommodations there were in well-maintained Casa Particulares. These are Cuba’s version of Bed & Breakfast establishments.

One thing to keep in mind about Cuba is that Wi-Fi and internet access is spotty at best. Service can be intermittent, even in the luxury hotels.

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December 24: Eric Klein, Lawry’s Beef Bowl, Hotel del Coronado, Barbara Fairchild, Andrew Gruel

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer and Chef Andrew Gruel, Chief Seafood Officer, Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Eric Klein, Executive Chef, Vice President Culinary, Wolfgang Puck Catering Part One
Segment Three: Eric Klein, Executive Chef, Vice President Culinary, Wolfgang Puck Catering Part Two
Segment Four: Lawry’s Beef Bowl with College Football Historian Todd Erickson & Tim Tessalone, Sports Information Director, USC
Segment Five: Dieter Hissin, Director of Food & Beverage, Hotel del Coronado
Segment Six: Food Journalist Barbara Fairchild (formerly Editor, Bon Appetit Magazine) Part One
Segment Seven: Food Journalist Barbara Fairchild (formerly Editor, Bon Appetit Magazine) Part Two
Segment Eight: Executive Chef & Founder Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays and the happiest of Happy New Years to all our loyal listeners. Where did 2016 go? Thanks for making us part of your Saturday morning. We’re here for you live through Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s.

Now a hunger-evoking preview of Saturday’s fully-loaded show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a pretty good thing…

For the last nine years Chef Eric Klein has been the face of Spago Las Vegas for Wolfgang Puck as Partner & Executive Chef. Chef Eric just earned a well-deserved promotion within the Wolfgang Puck organization. He’s now back in Los Angeles as Executive Chef of Wolfgang Puck Catering based at Hollywood & Highland, the home of the annual Academy Awards Ceremony at The Dolby Theater. We’ll rattle pans with Chef Eric.

There is a great tradition associated with the annual Rose Bowl Game and it’s not held in Pasadena. It’s the iconic Lawry’s Beef Bowl, now in its 61st year, hosted at Lawry’s the Prime Rib in Beverly Hills. The gridiron guests this year (on separate nights) are the USC Trojans and the Penn State Nittany Lions. Sports Historian Todd Erickson wrote the book on Lawry’s Beef Bowl (Road To The Rose Bowl : 50 Years of Lawry’s Beef Bowl) and is our guest along with long-time USC Sports Information Director Tim Tessalone.

The Holidays at the historic Hotel del Coronado (built in 1888) are an enchanting tradition. Distinctive food and beverage opportunities abound including the lavish Sunday Brunch in the architecturally amazing Crown Room. We’ll chat with Dieter Hissin, the new Director of Food and Beverage at this magical property. Orange County foodies know him from his long tenure at The Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

For adventurous travelers Cuba is definitely on their minds. The former, long-time Editor of Bon Appetit, Barbara Fairchild, was just there with a small group for 7 days on a self-organized excursion. Barbara will give us a genuine food journalist’s perspective on the food and accommodations in Havana and Trinidad. You’ll be surprised…

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group is our resident seafood expert. He’ll be looking ahead at possible Seafood Trends for 2017. For instance, is Seaweed finally become a mainstream ingredient? It is nutritionally sound.

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Eric KleinFor the last nine years Chef Eric Klein has been the face of Spago Las Vegas for Wolfgang Puck as Partner & Executive Chef. When superstars perform at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace they specifically ask to have Chef Eric cook for them.

Chef Eric just earned a well-deserved promotion within the Wolfgang Puck organization. He’s now back in Los Angeles as Executive Chef of Wolfgang Puck Catering based at Hollywood & Highland, the home of the annual Academy Awards Ceremony at The Dolby Theater. Wolfgang Puck Catering provides all the food for The Governor’s Ball which follows the Oscar ceremony every year. You can’t find a more prestigious client than The Oscars! Every winner passes through the Governor’s Ball. Talk about pressure…

We’ll rattle pans with Chef Eric.

Road to the Rose Bowl 50 Years of Lawry's Beef BowlThere is a great tradition associated with the annual Rose Bowl Game and it’s not held in Pasadena. It’s the iconic Lawry’s Beef Bowl, now in its 61st year, hosted at Lawry’s the Prime Rib in Beverly Hills. The gridiron guests this year (on separate nights) are the USC Trojans and the Penn State Nittany Lions.

The Tournament of Roses – Lawry’s partnership was the first of its kind in college football. It claims the distinction of being the longest running sponsor partnership in bowl game history.

Football Historian Todd Erickson wrote the book on Lawry’s Beef Bowl (Road To The Rose Bowl: 50 Years of Lawry’s Beef Bowl) and is our guest along with long-time USC Sports Information Director Tim Tessalone.

Dieter HissinThe Holidays at the historic Hotel del Coronado (built in 1888 and thoughtfully maintained) are an enchanting tradition. Distinctive, celebratory food and beverage opportunities abound including the lavish Sunday Brunch in the architecturally amazing Crown Room.

“Each year, families and friends gather at Hotel del Coronado to celebrate the Holiday season. As America’s beachfront legend, The Del is a sight to behold, bedecked in thousands of white lights and swaths of greenery. The resort transforms into a Winter Wonderland of ice and festive lights, sparkles and snowflakes. Carolers stroll about singing joyful tunes, while skaters glide across the rink at sunset or under a full moon. Trees are trimmed and glisten with pretty packages underneath.”

“This year Hotel del Coronado is celebrating all things shiny and bright with the Holiday theme – a season to sparkle. It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year.”

We’ll chat with Dieter Hissin, the new Director of Food and Beverage at this magical property. Orange County foodies know him from his long tenure at The Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

Barbara FairchildFor adventurous travelers Cuba is definitely on their minds. The former, long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, Barbara Fairchild, was just there with a small group for 7 days, on a self-organized excursion. Barbara will give us a genuine food journalist’s perspective on the food and accommodations in Havana and Trinidad. You’ll be surprised…

In Havana she stayed at the Hotel Parque Central and toured the landmark Hotel Nacional. They mainly dined at the paladares which are entrepreneurial restaurants and more representative of the local fare.

Outside of Havana, Barbara’s group visited Trinidad de Cuba and Cienfuegos. The accommodations there were in well-maintained Casa Particulares. These are Cuba’s version of Bed & Breakfast establishments.

One thing to keep in mind about Cuba is that Wi-Fi and internet access is spotty at best. Service can be intermittent, even in the luxury hotels.

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamChef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group is our resident seafood expert. He’ll be looking ahead at possible Seafood Trends for 2017.

For instance, is Seaweed finally become a mainstream ingredient? It is nutritionally sound.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer and Chef Andrew Gruel, Chief Seafood Officer, Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Eric Klein, Executive Chef, Vice President Culinary, Wolfgang Puck Catering Part One
Segment Three: Eric Klein, Executive Chef, Vice President Culinary, Wolfgang Puck Catering Part Two
Segment Four: Lawry’s Beef Bowl with College Football Historian Todd Erickson & Tim Tessalone, Sports Information Director, USC
Segment Five: Dieter Hissin, Director of Food & Beverage, Hotel del Coronado
Segment Six: Food Journalist Barbara Fairchild (formerly Editor, Bon Appetit Magazine) Part One
Segment Seven: Food Journalist Barbara Fairchild (formerly Editor, Bon Appetit Magazine) Part Two
Segment Eight: Executive Chef & Founder Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Show 149, December 5, 2015: Dining in Cuba, Tori Klein, Director UNLV Foundation Events

Tori KleinWhat’s the dining out scene like in Old Havana and Cuba? Do locals eat in restaurants? Our next guest, Tori Klein, the Director of University of Nevada Las Vegas’s (UNLV) Foundation Events was just there. We’ll get an informed perspective from someone who really knows the restaurant business. It’s, unfortunately, a lot more primitive in Cuba than you know.

Locals (average salary of $10 per month) simply can’t afford to eat in the Government-owned establishments unless they have access to tourists and their American dollars. Privately owned restaurants need to buy their supplies on the black market due to chronic shortages. Beef is not even available to ordinary Cuban citizens.

The government-owned restaurants in Old Havana don’t necessarily showcase Cuban food. Tori mentions that the most memorable of these establishments cooked quite exceptional pizza in a wood-fired oven. Not exactly Cuban fare.

The most interesting restaurants are the under-the-radar, paladars. These are privately-run, entrepreneurial enterprises operated in former residences. Tori looks forward to returning and exploring more of these

 

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Show 149, December 5, 2015: Dining in Cuba, Tori Klein, Director UNLV Foundation Events continues…

Tori KleinThe William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at UNLV is consistently ranked as one of the top college hospitality programs in the country. Their faculty members are internationally known experts. The programs mix the right amount of classroom and work experience. UNLV students are well prepared upon graduation to enter the job market, and the alumni are distinguishing themselves in their careers.

Tori Klein’s Top Tips for visiting Cuba:

  1. Find a Cuban guide before you go. One with connections for the things you want to see and do who has a Cuban cell phone.
  2. Stay in a hotel if the idea of roughing it isn’t appealing.
  3. Remember Casa particulars vary greatly and while there are a few posted on Airbnb most aren’t so there is no way to know what it’s like until you get there…AC is mandatory pretty much year round.
  4. Know that your cell phone and your WiFi won’t work even though your carrier will tell you it will. Know that if you buy internet access at a restaurant, it probably won’t work at all and they won’t refund your money. Hotels are your best bet but if you’re not staying there you probably won’t be given access.
  5. Take cash. There are no ATMs. No American credit cards are accepted yet.  Whatever you think you’ll need – double it. European and Canadian cards are accepted in hotels.  Best exchange rate for Cuban CUCs is with Euros.  Take those.  They have 2 currencies. And even the Cubans are confused. When quoted a price, ask how many pesos…1 cuc=26 pesos. $100=87 cucs.
  6. Toilet paper.  Have some on hand at all times…And do not assume toilet seats are a given…they’re not.  At all.
  7. Don’t be afraid of local restaurants – paladars…there are some real gems but do not expect the same quality in food, service or sanitation standards as in America. Do the homework or let your guide help you.
  8. As in Mexico, drink only bottled water. The rum in Cuba really is that good…
  9. Print any maps you think would be helpful in advance and take them with you. Do not assume you’ll get one there.
  10. When in Cuba…be Cuban – relax, take it easy, slow down, unplug. Everything takes longer. Assume your flight will be delayed from departure to your return.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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