Show 450, November 6, 2021: California Restaurant Foundation’s “The Grateful Table® Dine Out“

Alycia Harshfield of the California Restaaurant Association

“The California Restaurant Foundation (CRF), a nonprofit that invests in and empowers California’s restaurant workforce, invites all Californians to participate in its second annual ‘The Grateful Table® Dine Out event, happening all November long! Back in its ‘dine out’ format by popular demand, The Grateful Table® Dine Out encourages Californians to “Dine Out to Help Out” at any restaurant throughout the state as a show of support for local restaurant owners and employees who worked tirelessly to keep doors open over the last year and a half.”

“Those wanting to go the extra mile and financially support California’s restaurant workforce can visit select featured restaurants and donate to CRF’s Restaurants Care®, a nonprofit program that provides restaurant workers facing hardships with relief grants for basic living needs like groceries, utilities, diapers, clothing, gas and rent.”

“For 18 months, California’s restaurant workforce has shown remarkable resilience, arriving to work daily – ready to serve guests through the ups and downs of dine-in, to-go and delivery. Sometimes, these dedicated individuals have been the only humans we interact with outside our homes,” said Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of CRF. “Our Dine Out event is intended to show appreciation and gratitude for California’s resilient restaurant workforce simply by showing up, dining out and, if you’re able, offering financial support to the chefs, bussers, servers and more who need our help.”

“As an added incentive, Restaurants Care is hosting social media giveaways on Instagram and Twitter to encourage Californians to dine out. Each week in November, diners can enter to win a $200 gift card to the restaurant of their choice by following Restaurants Care on Instagram and Twitter and tagging a restaurant in the comments along with a friend with whom they want to dine!”

CRF’s Alycia Harshfield is our guest.

Show 383, July 25, 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, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

Please keep in mind common courtesy and politeness when dining out. Your server is uncomfortably wearing a mask and face shield (for their shift) for your protection. Nothing funny about it. It’s hard to hear them talk so be extra patient. It’s never easy being a server but it’s even tougher right now. Great time to be a bit considerate. Remember to thoughtfully tip generously, too…

We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef” for his insight.

Show 364, March 14, 2020: 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 joins us (just back from an opening in Hilton Head, South Carolina) from the road with another informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners’ diverse inquiries.

The Covid-19 crisis is very much on diners’ minds. Is it safe to patronize restaurants? Chef Andrew discusses what he’s doing at Slapfish restaurants across the country to maintain the safety and welfare of guests and employees based on the rapidly and ever-evolving informed info from the CDC and local health agencies.

Please keep in mind in times of need chefs and restaurateurs are always at the forefront of helping and generously giving back. During this crisis they deserve our support. We’re following all the government guidelines and continuing to enjoyably dine out.

We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Show 290, September 15, 2018: Food, Travel, Drink and Lifestyle Journalist Rich Manning Continues…

Rich ManningRich Manning has been writing about food, drink, travel and other lifestyle topics since 2004. As a freelance writer, he’s worked with several different publications and businesses, and has written everything from restaurant reviews and feature articles to ad copy and website content. Current and previous publications include Gayot, Tasting Panel, Somm Journal, Sauté, Clever Root, and Dining Out.

He’s also operated his own website, The Lazy Hunter, since 2017. A Southern California resident and an enthusiastic foodie, he enjoys exploring the diverse nature and multi-cultural influences of his local dining scene and will pretty much try anything at least once. However, he remains a sucker for a really good burger, and thoroughly enjoys eating dinner at home with his wife and two daughters.

Wine country of note in Texas? You bet…For Saute’s blog Rich contributed an in-depth piece on his recent wine wanderings in Texas Hill Country, entitled Texas Hill Country, Texas Hill Country Features Texas-Sized Vintner Delights.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear about the quality of the wines he sampled. Are Texas Roses perhaps better than California’s? Is a full-bodied Rose the perfect BBQ wine? We’ll let Rich explain…

Along the way Rich recounts the fascinating connection between noted California winemaker Dave Phinney (Orin Swift Cellars) and prominent Texas winemaker Kim McPherson of McPherson Cellars.

Show 44, October 19, 2013: Jet and Allison Tila (Mrs. Jet Tila)

Chef Jet Tila host of the SoCal Restaurant ShowWhen Jet’s wife, Allison, is out socially the question she hears the most often is, “What’s it like being married to a prominent chef?” The expectation is that it’s either chef-prepared gourmet meals nightly or dining out at the very best restaurants. Not exactly…

Inspired by award-winning food journalist Al Mancini’s thought-provoking piece for Las Vegas CityLife ( “Late for dinner : Being the spouse of a chef is often lonely”) Jet and Ali paint the real picture. No violins please…It’s far from glamorous but the happy news is that Allison really wouldn’t trade places with anyone !

Show 28, May 11, 2013: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast (monthly) as well as the co-founding editor of the new OC Register Magazine (appearing twice monthly with the Monday edition of the Orange County Register

Kedric of Coast Magazine has been covering Orange County for 17 years. He responded to the question of how dining out differs between Los Angeles and Orange County.

Kedric observed that in L.A. the dining out scene is greatly influenced by the Entertainment Industry. People have unusual work hours and might not be working at all for extended periods of time. They can frequent restaurants late at night on weekdays without a concern about being up very early the next morning. Being seen out regularly at trendy establishment is part of the scene.

In Orange County the diners work regular hours typically with early starts so dining out is more a weekend activity. On weeknights they need to be home early. Orange County also supports the longevity of the classic fine dining restaurants now seen less frequently in Los Angeles.

Kedric noted that few celebrity chefs from L.A. have been able to transfer that success to Orange County. He feels part of the reason is that they have dumb downed their menus for “Orange County tastes” which is a real mistake. The sophistication levels of frequent-diners in both areas is really the same!

Show 27, May 4, 2013: Lorin Adolph, private chef based in Chicago

Private Chef Lorin AdolphChef Lorin has a very unusual scope of work for an experienced chef. For 22 years he has been the personal chef for a very wealthy businessman who lives in Chicago. You’d know the name…The gentleman also has estates in Malibu and Europe.

Chef Lorin travels with the family and prepares dinner for them wherever in the world they happen to be. It requires absolute discretion and a lot of culinary talent!

Of course Chef Lorin enjoys shopping at the Farmers Markets and is well-known in both Chicago and Santa Monica. It’s his inspiration in planning menus. Lorin had just been to the opening morning of Chicago’s Green City Market’s outdoor season. The report was the winter potatoes and onions were looking good.

Not every meal is foie gras and caviar. A family favorite is a fresh seafood salad, stir-fried rice, and freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies.

Chef Lorin shared some of his favorite dining out spots in Chicago as he’s out often to see what the big time chefs are doing. He’s a fan of Chef Paul Kahan’s Blackbird and The Publican. He also recommends Lula and Nightwood and the restaurants of Chef Bill Kim.