Show 481, July 2, 2022: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Happy (and safe) 4th of July Weekend!

Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards is hosting its second annual fundraiser to support mental health: Peace of Mind: 10,000 Steps in the Right Direction on Saturday, July 23, 2022.  To support community services as well as mental health research, the 2022 Peace of Mind event will be a walk of approximately 10,000 steps or 4.5 miles across the Alma Rosa estate in Buellton benefiting two organizations: the Mental Wellness Center and One Mind.” Alma Rosa’s Winemaker, Samra Morris, joins us with all the details.

“Since 2008 it has been a key mission for the Ment’or BKB Foundation to enable the best young talent in America to effectively train for the privilege and honor of representing the United States at the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon.  The result of that patience and determination was realized for the first time in 2015 when Team USA stood on the podium with the Silver Bocuse, garnering the recognition and respect of the international culinary community. In January of 2017 Team USA returned from Lyon with the Bocuse d’Or, having realized Monsieur Paul Bocuse’s dream of USA winning Gold.” Team USA 2023 includes Head Chef Jeffrey Hayashi and Commis Franco Fugel. The Head Coach is Bocuse d’Or veteran, Chef Robert Sulatycky. The next stop for Team USA on the long road to Lyon in January is the Bocuse d’Or Americas competition in Santiago, Chile on July 14th, representing all the countries of the American continent. Eight teams will be vying for the five places to advance to the Grand Finale in Lyon. Taking a short break to join us from the intensive practice sessions at the Ment’or Training Kitchen at the Copia Campus in Napa of the Culinary Institute of America are Team USA’s Head Coach Robert Sulatycky and Head Chef Jeffrey Hayashi.

Under the direction of Guittard Chocolate Company’s acclaimed Executive Pastry Chef Donald Wressell, the Guittard Chocolate Studio in Culver City offers hands-on workshops with prominent chefs, chocolatiers and bakers for a unique opportunity for cooking professionals and serious home cooks to learn new skills, finesse techniques and expand on their chocolate knowledge.

Next on this year’s class schedule is Market Driven Desserts with Della Gossett (Executive Pastry Chef for Wolfgang Puck’s Spago) and Roxana Jullapat (Co-Proprietor and Pastry Chef for Friends & Family in Hollywood.) It’s a 2-day course on July 13 & 14th from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Chefs Donald Wressell, Della Gossett and Roxana Jullapat join us rolling pin firmly in hand.

“Exciting culinary events are now underway at the Palms Casino Resort in the wake of the Las Vegas property’s recent grand reopening. Palms and Vegas Test Kitchen have unleashed an unparalleled pop-up, Greene Street Test Kitchen, to the Las Vegas valley. Guests are now enjoying a taste test of a wide variety of cuisine from three local chefs every Friday and Saturday night, continuing through July 30. From Polynesian Chinese inspired dining to American Italian cuisine, chefs Josh Bianchi, Crystina Nguyen, Bryan Tejada and Gary FX LaMorte will be trying out new concepts at the Greene Street Test Kitchen. Two rotating concepts remain on the debut schedule.” Producer Jolene Mannina joins us from Vegas Test Kitchen.

Chef Andrew Gruel has some exciting personal business news in his “Ask the Chef” segment. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have amicably sold their interest in Slapfish (founded ten years ago) to their former Houston-based partners. Next up is the creation of a new restaurant management enterprise. First is a launch of a fresh seafood restaurant and full bar with table service in the former Fish Camp location on Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach. Look for a September opening. Also, the Big Parm NJ-style, fast-casual pizza concept will be expanding and Chef Andrew’s popular Two Birds chicken restaurant will reopen in a new location.

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

Play

Show 481, July 2, 2022: Guittard Chocolate Co’s Guittard Chocolate Studio Workshops Part One

Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Company

Under the direction of Guittard Chocolate Company’s acclaimed Executive Pastry Chef Donald Wressell, the “Guittard Chocolate Studio in Culver City offers hands-on workshops with prominent chefs, chocolatiers and bakers for a unique opportunity for cooking professionals and serious home cooks to learn new skills, finesse techniques and expand on their chocolate knowledge.”

Next on this year’s class schedule is Market Driven Desserts with Della Gossett (Executive Pastry Chef for Wolfgang Puck’s Spago) and Roxana Jullapat (Co-Proprietor and Pastry Chef for Friends & Family in Hollywood.) It’s a 2-day course on July 13 & 14th from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“Begin this lesson by joining Della & Roxana to a visit at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, meeting the farmers & vendors who bring in the best produce of the season. Shop for a selection to work with and come back to the Chocolate Studio kitchen to create desserts and baked goods using the market produce. Find ways to inspire your current seasonal menu and explore the skill of making preserves using seasonal produce for use in the future.”

Chefs Donald Wressell, Della Gossett and Roxana Jullapat join us rolling pin firmly in hand.

Play

Show 481, July 2, 2022: Guittard Chocolate Co’s Guittard Chocolate Studio Workshops Part Two

Roxanne Jullapat of Friends and Family

Under the direction of Guittard Chocolate Company’s acclaimed Executive Pastry Chef Donald Wressell, the “Guittard Chocolate Studio in Culver City offers hands-on workshops with prominent chefs, chocolatiers and bakers for a unique opportunity for cooking professionals and serious home cooks to learn new skills, finesse techniques and expand on their chocolate knowledge.”

Next on this year’s class schedule is Market Driven Desserts with Della Gossett (Executive Pastry Chef for Wolfgang Puck’s Spago) and Roxana Jullapat (Co-Proprietor and Pastry Chef for Friends & Family in Hollywood.) It’s a 2-day course on July 13 & 14th from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“Begin this lesson by joining Della & Roxana to a visit at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, meeting the farmers & vendors who bring in the best produce of the season. Shop for a selection to work with and come back to the Chocolate Studio kitchen to create desserts and baked goods using the market produce. Find ways to inspire your current seasonal menu and explore the skill of making preserves using seasonal produce for use in the future.”

Chefs Donald Wressell, Della Gossett and Roxana Jullapat continue with us.

Play

July 2: Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards, Bocuse d’Or Team USA, Guittard Chocolate Company, Vegas Test Kitchen

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards’ Winemaker Samra Morris – Preview of “Peace of Mind: 10,000 Steps in the Right Direction”
Segment Three: Team USA 2023 with Head Coach Chef Robert Sulatycky and Head Chef Jeffrey Hayashi
Segment Four: Guittard Chocolate Co’s Guittard Chocolate Studio Workshops Part One
Segment Five: Guittard Chocolate Co’s Guittard Chocolate Studio Workshops Part Two
Segment Six: Culinary Empresario Jolene Mannina of Vegas Test Kitchen and Greene Street Test Kitchen at Palms Casino Resort Part One
Segment Seven: Culinary Empresario Jolene Mannina of Vegas Test Kitchen and Greene Street Test Kitchen at Palms Casino Resort Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel with “Ask the Chef”

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

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards is hosting its second annual fundraiser to support mental health: Peace of Mind: 10,000 Steps in the Right Direction on Saturday, July 23, 2022. To support community services as well as mental health research, the 2022 Peace of Mind event will be a walk of approximately 10,000 steps or 4.5 miles across the Alma Rosa estate in Buellton benefiting two organizations: the Mental Wellness Center and One Mind. Alma Rosa’s Winemaker, Samra Morris, joins us with all the details.

“Since 2008 it has been a key mission for the Ment’or BKB Foundation to enable the best young talent in America to effectively train for the privilege and honor of representing the United States at the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon. The result of that patience and determination was realized for the first time in 2015 when Team USA stood on the podium with the Silver Bocuse, garnering the recognition and respect of the international culinary community. In January of 2017 Team USA returned from Lyon with the Bocuse d’Or, having realized Monsieur Paul Bocuse’s dream of USA winning Gold.” Team USA 2023 includes Head Chef Jeffrey Hayashi and Commis Franco Fugel. The Head Coach is Bocuse d’Or veteran, Chef Robert Sulatycky. The next stop for Team USA on the long road to Lyon in January is the Bocuse d’Or Americas competition in Santiago, Chile on July 14th, representing all the countries of the American continent. Eight teams will be vying for the five places to advance to the Grand Finale in Lyon. Taking a short break to join us from the intensive practice sessions at the Team USA Kitchen at the Copia Campus in Napa of the Culinary Institute of America are Team USA’s Head Coach Robert Sulatycky and Head Chef Jeffrey Hayashi.

Under the direction of Guittard Chocolate Company’s acclaimed Executive Pastry Chef Donald Wressell, the Guittard Chocolate Studio in Culver City offers hands-on workshops with prominent chefs, chocolatiers and bakers for a unique opportunity for cooking professionals and serious home cooks to learn new skills, finesse techniques and expand on their chocolate knowledge.

Next on this year’s class schedule is Market Driven Desserts with Della Gossett (Executive Pastry Chef for Wolfgang Puck’s Spago) and Roxana Jullapat (Co-Proprietor and Pastry Chef for Friends & Family in Hollywood.) It’s a 2-day course on July 13 & 14th from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Chefs Donald Wressell, Della Gossett and Roxana Jullapat join us rolling pin firmly in hand.

“Exciting culinary events are now underway at the Palms Casino Resort in the wake of the Las Vegas property’s recent grand reopening. Palms and Vegas Test Kitchen have unleashed an unparalleled pop-up, Greene Street Test Kitchen, to the Las Vegas valley. Guests are now enjoying a taste test of a wide variety of cuisine from three local chefs every Friday and Saturday night, continuing through July 30. From Polynesian Chinese inspired dining to American Italian cuisine, chefs Josh Bianchi, Crystina Nguyen, Bryan Tejada and Gary FX LaMorte will be trying out new concepts at the Greene Street Test Kitchen. Two rotating concepts remain on the debut schedule.” Producer Jolene Mannina joins us from Vegas Test Kitchen.

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. There is a new program happening in the Gulf Coast of Florida (and elsewhere) restoring high-density clam sites and sea grass beds while creating avenues for the commercial fishing community to become more involved with environment restoration. Chef Andrew explains the importance and significant benefits.

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

Samra Morris of Alma Rosa Winery

Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards is hosting its second annual fundraiser to support mental health: Peace of Mind: 10,000 Steps in the Right Direction on Saturday, July 23, 2022. To support community services as well as mental health research, the 2022 Peace of Mind event will be a walk of approximately 10,000 steps or 4.5 miles across the Alma Rosa estate in Buellton benefiting two organizations: the Mental Wellness Center and One Mind.”

“100 per cent of the $55 registration fee will support the two benefiting organizations: One Mind, which funds research into the causes, treatments and cures of mental illness, and Mental Wellness Center, which provides servicers and housing for individuals with a mental health diagnosis in Santa Barbara County.”

Alma Rosa proprietors Bob & Barb Zorich are doubling all donations made through Peace of Mind dollar-for-dollar up to $35,000 for each charity, for a total of $70,000.

Alma Rosa’s Winemaker, Samra Morris, joins us with all the details.

Robert Sulatycky, Head Coach of Team USA

“Since 2008 it has been a key mission for the Ment’or BKB Foundation based in New York to enable the best young talent in America to effectively train for the privilege and honor of representing the United States at the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon. The result of that patience and determination was realized for the first time in 2015 when Team USA stood on the podium with the Silver Bocuse, garnering the recognition and respect of the international culinary community. In January of 2017 Team USA returned from Lyon with the Bocuse d’Or, having realized Monsieur Paul Bocuse’s dream of USA winning Gold.”

“Team USA is chosen through a national selection process that mimics the format and atmosphere of the competition that is held in Lyon biennially. Chefs from around the country apply to compete in the Team USA National Selection Event.”

Team USA 2023 includes Head Chef Jeffrey Hayashi and Commis Franco Fugel. The Head Coach is Bocuse d’Or veteran, Chef Robert Sulatycky.

Jeffrey Hayashi is the head chef for the 2021 Bocuse D'Or

The next stop for Team USA on the long road to Lyon in January is the Bocuse d’Or Americas competition in Santiago, Chile on July 14th, representing all the countries of the American continent. Eight teams will be vying for the five places to advance to the Grand Finale in Lyon.

If Team USA advances from Santiago (nothing is for-sure) then in January 2023, Team USA travels to Lyon, France to compete in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or competition, fighting for a spot on the podium and the world’s culinary stage.

Taking a short break to join us from the intensive on-going practice sessions at the Team USA Kitchen at the Copia Campus in Napa of the Culinary Institute of America are Team USA’s Head Coach Robert Sulatycky and Head Chef Jeffrey Hayashi.

Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Company

Under the direction of Guittard Chocolate Company’s acclaimed Executive Pastry Chef Donald Wressell, the “Guittard Chocolate Studio in Culver City offers hands-on workshops with prominent chefs, chocolatiers and bakers for a unique opportunity for cooking professionals and serious home cooks to learn new skills, finesse techniques and expand on their chocolate knowledge.”

Next on this year’s class schedule is Market Driven Desserts with Della Gossett (Executive Pastry Chef for Wolfgang Puck’s Spago) and Roxana Jullapat (Co-Proprietor and Pastry Chef for Friends & Family in Hollywood.) It’s a 2-day course on July 13 & 14th from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Roxanne Jullapat of Friends and Family

“Begin this lesson by joining Della & Roxana to a visit at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, meeting the farmers & vendors who bring in the best produce of the season. Shop for a selection to work with and come back to the Chocolate Studio kitchen to create desserts and baked goods using the market produce. Find ways to inspire your current seasonal menu and explore the skill of making preserves using seasonal produce for use in the future.”

Chefs Donald Wressell, Della Gossett and Roxana Jullapat join us rolling pin firmly in hand.

Food Entrepreneur Jolene Mannina

“Exciting culinary events are now underway at the Palms Casino Resort in the wake of the Las Vegas property’s recent grand reopening. Palms and Vegas Test Kitchen have unleashed an unparalleled pop-up, Greene Street Test Kitchen to the Las Vegas valley.”

“Guests are now enjoying a taste test of a wide variety of cuisine from three local chefs every Friday and Saturday night, continuing through July 30. From Polynesian Chinese inspired dining to American Italian cuisine, chefs Josh Bianchi, Crystina Nguyen, Bryan Tejada and Gary FX LaMorte will be trying out new concepts at the Greene Street Test Kitchen. Two rotating concepts remain on the debut schedule:”

  • July 1-2: Makatas by Chefs Bryan Tejada and Gary FX LaMorte – Healthy, Social and Succulent Pinoy inspired dining
  • July 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 29-30: Mamasan by Crystina Nguyen – Fresh and Saucy American Polynesian Chinese Cuisine

“Vegas Test Kitchen owner Jolene Mannina says, “In addition to the stellar line-up of chefs and the variety of cuisine, the pop-up experience will feature a high-energy setting with live music and nightly entertainment. With its edgy design, artwork and vibrancy, the Greene Street Kitchen is the perfect setting to showcase these culinary talents. We are looking forward to seeing the Vegas community through July 30th and to present three wonderful chefs that each bring a unique flair to their style of cooking.”

“Pre-fixe dinners with welcome cocktail are $59 per person and reservations are currently available.

“Vegas Test Kitchen (VTK) was designed by Vegas food insider and culinary event planner Jolene Mannina during the pandemic to build a home and be a creative outlet for the talented chefs in Las Vegas community.”

“VTK is a brick & mortar location in downtown Las Vegas, located next to Fergusons Downtown. The establishment offer a variety of cuisines weekly from celebrated chefs testing new concepts. The Vegas Test Kitchen is a casual dining experience with a full bar. Don’t be surprised if a chef is serving you food, this is the way.”

Jolene Mannina joins us from Vegas Test Kitchen.

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.

There is an important new program happening in the Gulf Coast of Florida (and elsewhere) restoring high-density clam sites and sea grass beds while creating avenues for the commercial fishing community to become more involved with environment restoration. Restoring clam populations (filter feeders) and seagrass meadows will result in improved water quality and healthier habitats for commercial and recreational fisheries – and people, too! Chef Andrew explains the importance and benefits.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards’ Winemaker Samra Morris – Preview of “Peace of Mind: 10,000 Steps in the Right Direction”
Segment Three: Team USA 2023 with Head Coach Chef Robert Sulatycky and Head Chef Jeffrey Hayashi
Segment Four: Guittard Chocolate Co’s Guittard Chocolate Studio Workshops Part One
Segment Five: Guittard Chocolate Co’s Guittard Chocolate Studio Workshops Part Two
Segment Six: Culinary Empresario Jolene Mannina of Vegas Test Kitchen and Greene Street Test Kitchen at Palms Casino Resort Part One
Segment Seven: Culinary Empresario Jolene Mannina of Vegas Test Kitchen and Greene Street Test Kitchen at Palms Casino Resort Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel with “Ask the Chef”

Show 446, October 9, 2021: Executive Chef Andreas Roller, Jonathan Club, Los Angeles

Andreas Roller of the Jonathan Club

Jonathan Club is a private social club with a rich history. Founded in 1895, the Club’s diverse member base enjoys fine dining, athletics and wellness facilities, spa services, social events and award shows. For over a century, Jonathan Club has long reflected the warm and inviting character of southern California, making it an exceptional place its members could truly call a home away from home. With two locations — one in downtown Los Angeles and one on the Santa Monica beach — Jonathan Club offers its members the very best of Southern California, and so much more.”

As part of Jonathan Club’s commitment to generously giving back to the community they are hosting the Michelin Stars Under the Stars fundraiser benefiting The Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) on Friday evening, October 22nd at the Town Club facility in Downtown Los Angeles. The headlining Chef is Dominique Crenn of the 3 Michelin Star Altier Crenn in San Francisco. The coordinating chef is Jonathan Club’s Executive Chef Andreas Roller. Also in the esteemed chefs’ brigade that evening are Josiah Citrin (Melisse,) Gary Menes (Le Comptoir) and Pastry Chef Donald Wressell (Guittrard Chocolate Co.) Chef Roller joins us with an enticing preview.

Play

Show 221, April 29, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Big Island Chocolate FestivalIt’s a very special day of indulgence and celebration on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” We’re live from the 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. We’re broadcasting from the Reef Lounge with an incredible ocean view.

Hawaii is the only state in the USA where cacao, the primary base of chocolate, can be successfully grown commercially.

Now a properly decadent preview of this Saturday’s full show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing…

When it comes to insider’s knowledge of the vibrant Chicago food scene one of the best sources is Chicago ABC 7 Eyewitness News Food Reporter, Steve Dolinsky, “The Hungry Hound.” Steve was recently nominated for his potential 14th James Beard Foundation Award for journalistic excellence in reporting. The James Beard Awards Gala is May 1st at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. As a veteran of The James Beard Awards in both New York and Chicago, Steve joins us with a preview of what’s in store and a report on the Media Awards.

Farsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.

Hawaii Island native Peter Abarcar, Jr. was promoted in 2015 from executive chef of Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel to director of culinary and beverage operations. Chef Abarcar now oversees all culinary, food and beverage operations at the 350-room oceanfront resort including the resort’s signature restaurant, Coast Grille. He also supervises operations for extensive catering and banquets, the Ocean Terrace Restaurant and The Beach Bar. We pull him out of the busy kitchens and “Talk Story.”

Alicia Boada is an acclaimed pastry chef and instructor with 20 plus years of experience in the culinary industry. She is the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate (The Barry Callebaut Group) whose brands include Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa, among more. As a Corporate Pastry Chef & Chocolatier, Chef Alicia’s role often calls on her to perform demonstrations and training worldwide keeping her on the edge of what’s happening in the contemporary pastry and chocolate world. Chef Alicia will be performing a chocolate demonstration as part of the Festival in addition to judging the Gala’s delicious offerings.

Maui Chef Elizabeth (Betty) McDonald of B3 A Beach Bunny Bakery is a judge for the Gala as well as the College Competition. She is a veteran of The Big Island Chocolate Festival. Chef Betty has been in the culinary field since 2003, developing a love for baking at a young age from her mother and grandmothers. She has been fortunate enough to travel with her husband living and working in the four corners of the country.

Guittard’s Chocolate Company’s Executive Chef and Chocolatier, Donald Wressell, really needs no long introduction to listeners. Prior to his joining Guittard Chocolate as the in-house pastry chef, Donald Wressell spent 19 years at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills where he was named the 2005 Pastry Chef of the Year, won Silver and Gold medals in the Grand Salon Culinaire and placed second at the Les Masters du Chocolat competition. Chef Donald also represented the USA four times in Le Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie and captained the winning team at the 2011 National Pastry Team Championship.

Chef instructor Teresa “Cheech” Shurilla of University of Hawaii – Maui College oversees the college competition at The Big Island Chocolate Festival and has done it for several years. The Festival has had student participants from UH-Maui College, UH-Hilo and UH-Palamanui in Kona. It is Friday, April 28th and winners are announced at the Festival Gala. Chef Shurilla has been working and teaching in the culinary field for over thirty-four years. Prepare to be judged…

Andrew and William GruelChef Andrew Gruel is at Trade in Irvine this Saturday (busily training & cooking) in the soft opening phase of Two Birds and Butterleaf. He’ll happily fly the coop and be back with us next week.

Mahalo nui loa to The Big Island Chocolate Festival, Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel and Prince Resorts Hawaii, our gracious hosts in Hawaii.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

Play

Show 221, April 29, 2017: Donald Wressell, Executive Chef, Guittard Chocolate Company

Donald WressellGuittard’s Chocolate Company’s Executive Chef and Chocolatier, Donald Wressell, really needs no long introduction to listeners. Prior to his joining Guittard Chocolate as the in-house pastry chef, Donald Wressell spent 19 years at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills where he was named the 2005 Pastry Chef of the Year, won Silver and Gold medals in the Grand Salon Culinaire and placed second at the Les Masters du Chocolat competition.

Chef Donald also represented the USA four times in Le Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie and captained the winning team at the 2011 National Pastry Team Championship.

In his spare time Chef Donald created the spectacular “Official” Birthday Cakes for the City of Beverly Hills’ Diamond Jubilee (1988) & Centennial (2014) Anniversary celebrations. The Centennial creation yielded 15,000 ample servings and not a crumb was left!

After the radio broadcast at the Big Island Chocolate Festival Gala, Chef Donald came away with both the Judges’ choice for “Best Plated Dessert” as well as People’s Choice recognition for favorite “Sweet” treat.

Congrats to Chef Donald and Team Guittard.

Play

April 29: Live from the Big Island Chocolate Festival

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 Eyewitness News’ (Chicago) – “The Hungry Hound”
Segment Three: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao Association (KCA)
Segment Four: Chef Peter Abarcar Jr., Director of Culinary & Beverage Operations, Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel
Segment Five: Executive Pastry Chef Alicia Boada, West Coast Technical Advisor, Barry Callebaut Chocolate North America
Segment Six: Chef Elizabeth (Betty) McDonald, B3 “A Beach Bunny Bakery”, Maui
Segment Seven: Donald Wressell, Executive Chef, Guittard Chocolate Company
Segment Eight: Chef Instructor Teresa “Cheech” Shurilla, University of Hawaii-Maui College

It’s a very special day of indulgence on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

Big Island Chocolate FestivalWe’re coming to you from the 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. We’re broadcasting from the Reef Lounge with an incredible ocean view.

Hawaii is the only state in the USA where cacao, the primary base of chocolate, can be successfully grown commercially.

Now a properly decadent preview of this Saturday’s full show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing…

When it comes to insider’s knowledge of the vibrant Chicago food scene one of the best sources is Chicago ABC 7 Eyewitness News’ Food Reporter, Steve Dolinsky, “The Hungry Hound.” Steve was recently nominated for his potential 14th James Beard Foundation Award for journalistic excellence in reporting. The James Beard Awards Gala is May 1st at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. As a veteran of The James Beard Awards in both New York and Chicago, Steve joins us with a preview of what’s in store and a report on the Media Awards.

Farsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.

Hawaii Island native Peter Abarcar, Jr. was promoted in 2015 from executive chef of Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel to director of culinary and beverage operations. Chef Abarcar now oversees all culinary, food and beverage operations at the 350-room oceanfront resort including the resort’s signature restaurant, Coast Grille. He also supervises operations for extensive catering and banquets, the Ocean Terrace Restaurant and The Beach Bar. We’ll pull him out of the busy kitchens and “Talk Story.”

Alicia Boada is an acclaimed pastry chef and instructor with 20 plus years of experience in the culinary industry. She is the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate (The Barry Callebaut Group) whose brands include Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa, among more. As a Corporate Pastry Chef & Chocolatier, Chef Alicia’s role often calls on her to perform demonstrations and training worldwide keeping her on the edge of what’s happening in the contemporary pastry and chocolate world. Chef Alicia will be performing a chocolate demonstration as part of the Festival in addition to judging the Gala’s delicious offerings.

Maui Chef Elizabeth (Betty) McDonald of B3 A Beach Bunny Bakery is a judge for the Gala as well as the College Competition. She is a veteran of The Big Island Chocolate Festival. Chef Betty has been in the culinary field since 2003, developing a love for baking at a young age from her mother and grandmothers. She has been fortunate enough to travel with her husband living and working in the four corners of the country.

Guittard’s Chocolate Company’s Executive Chef and Chocolatier, Donald Wressell, really needs no long introduction to listeners. Prior to his joining Guittard Chocolate as the in-house pastry chef, Donald Wressell spent 19 years at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills where he was named the 2005 Pastry Chef of the Year, won Silver and Gold medals in the Grand Salon Culinaire and placed second at the Les Masters du Chocolat competition. Chef Donald also represented the USA four times in Le Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie and captained the winning team at the 2011 National Pastry Team Championship.

Chef instructor Teresa “Cheech” Shurilla of University of Hawaii – Maui College oversees the college competition at The Big Island Chocolate Festival and has done if for several years. The Festival has had student participants from UH-Maui College, UH-Hilo and UH-Palamanui in Kona. It is Friday, April 28th and winners are announced at the Festival Gala. Chef Shurilla has been working and teaching in the culinary field for over thirty-four years. Prepare to be judged…

Andrew and William GruelChef Andrew Gruel is at Trade in Irvine this Saturday (busily training & cooking) in the soft opening phase of Two Birds and Butterleaf. He’ll happily fly the coop and be back with us next week.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

Steve Dolinsky and Andreew GruelWhen it comes to insider’s knowledge of the vibrant Chicago food scene one of the best and most reliable sources is Chicago ABC 7 Eyewitness News Food Reporter, Steve Dolinsky, “The Hungry Hound.”

Steve was recently nominated for his potential 14th James Beard Foundation Award for journalistic excellence in reporting. The James Beard Awards Gala is May 1st at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

As a veteran of The James Beard Awards in both New York and Chicago, Steve joins us with a preview of what’s in store and a report on the Media Awards, held on Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers, New York City.

Farsheed BonakdarFarsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts.

Beyond creating, implementing and promoting the Big Island Chocolate Festival, the Kona Cacao Association works with cacao growers, producers, chocolate enthusiasts and chefs to help create a recognizable brand for Hawaii Island Chocolate. KCA members work together towards creating a structure to maintain the quality of cacao grown, marketed and shipped from Hawaii for the future growth of this fledging industry.

We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.

Peter Abarcar JuniorHawaii Island native Peter Abarcar, Jr. was promoted in 2015 from executive chef of Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel to director of culinary and beverage operations. Chef Abarcar now oversees all culinary, food and beverage operations at the 350-room oceanfront resort including the resort’s signature restaurant, Coast Grille. He also supervises operations for extensive catering and banquets, the Ocean Terrace Restaurant and The Beach Bar.

Abarcar first began his Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel career as lead cook in 1997. In 2000 he left the Hapuna family to become Executive Chef at the Club at Hokuli’a. Eight years later, Abarcar returned to Mauna Kea Resort to help reopen Mauna Kea Beach Hotel as sous chef, following the hotel’s closure and extensive renovation. In 2010, he was promoted to chef de cuisine at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel’s signature restaurant, Coast Grille. The following year, he was promoted to the position of Executive Chef.

Chef Abarcar enjoys pairing varieties of ethnic flavors from his Hawaii Island upbringing. His keen sense of local produce and seafood paired with his culinary talent and passion for creative food results in exciting tastes on each of the menus at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.

We’ll pull him out of the busy kitchens and “Talk Story.”

Alicia BoadaAlicia Boada is an acclaimed pastry chef and instructor with 20 plus years of experience in the culinary industry. She is the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate, North America (The Barry Callebaut Group) whose brands include Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa, among more.

As a Corporate Pastry Chef & Chocolatier, Chef Alicia’s role often calls on her to perform demonstrations and training worldwide keeping her on the edge of what’s happening in the contemporary pastry and chocolate world.

Chef Alicia will be performing a chocolate demonstration as part of the Festival in addition to judging the Gala’s delicious offerings.

Alicia also serves as President of the Women Chefs & Restaurateurs.

Betty McDonaldMaui Chef Elizabeth (Betty) McDonald of B3 A Beach Bunny Bakery is a judge for the Gala as well as the College Competition. She is a veteran of The Big Island Chocolate Festival. Chef Betty has been in the culinary field since 2003, developing a love for baking at a young age from her mother and grandmothers.

She has been fortunate enough to travel with her husband living and working in the four corners of the country. Growing up in Rhode Island and attending culinary school in Massachusetts cemented her base knowledge and passion for traditional pastries.

Traveling the country and landing in the tropical destination of Maui has blended beautifully with Betty’s pastry skills. The tropical fruits and flavors have really made for an exciting flavor profiles in classic desserts.

Upon moving to Maui, chef Betty became the executive pastry chef for restaurateur Mark Ellman. Betty made her mark on the culinary scene at Mala an Ocean Tavern and Honu Seafood and Pizza, becoming an award-winning pastry chef. As the executive pastry chef for these restaurants Betty was awarded the Star Chef’s Rising Star Award for her desserts with vibrant and bright tropical flavors with gluten free and vegan options.

Chef Betty has continued her rise in the Maui culinary scene. In the summer of 2014 Chef Betty opened B3 “A Beach Bunny Bakery”. Specializing in cakes and cupcakes for all occasions. B3 also bakes fresh and delivers scrumptious desserts to several restaurants and coffee shops on the west side of Maui, most notably Paris Nabavi’s Sangrita Grill and Cantina.

Donald WressellGuittard’s Chocolate Company’s Executive Chef and Chocolatier, Donald Wressell, really needs no long introduction to listeners. Prior to his joining Guittard Chocolate as the in-house pastry chef, Donald Wressell spent 19 years at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills where he was named the 2005 Pastry Chef of the Year, won Silver and Gold medals in the Grand Salon Culinaire and placed second at the Les Masters du Chocolat competition.

Chef Donald also represented the USA four times in Le Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie and captained the winning team at the 2011 National Pastry Team Championship.

In his spare time Chef Donald created the spectacular “Official” Birthday Cakes for the City of Beverly Hills’ Diamond Jubilee (1988) & Centennial (2014) Anniversary celebrations. The Centennial creation yielded 15,000 ample servings and not a crumb was left!

Teresa Cheech ShurillaChef instructor Teresa “Cheech” Shurilla of University of Hawaii – Maui College oversees the college competition at The Big Island Chocolate Festival and has done if for several years. The Festival has had student participants from UH-Maui College, UH-Hilo and UH-Palamanui in Kona.

The college competition is set for Friday, April 28th at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel and winners are announced at the concluding Saturday night Festival Gala. Chef Shurilla has been working and teaching in the culinary field for over thirty-four years. Prepare to be judged…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 Eyewitness News’ (Chicago) – “The Hungry Hound”
Segment Three: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao Association (KCA)
Segment Four: Chef Peter Abarcar Jr., Director of Culinary & Beverage Operations, Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel
Segment Five: Executive Pastry Chef Alicia Boada, West Coast Technical Advisor, Barry Callebaut Chocolate North America
Segment Six: Chef Elizabeth (Betty) McDonald, B3 “A Beach Bunny Bakery”, Maui
Segment Seven: Donald Wressell, Executive Chef, Guittard Chocolate Company
Segment Eight: Chef Instructor Teresa “Cheech” Shurilla, University of Hawaii-Maui College

Show 216, March 25, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a tempting preview of this Saturday’s over-stuffed and richly decadent show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Long Beach has its own officially designated Little Cambodia Town. It’s known as the Cambodian capital of the United States. Where do you find “real deal” Cambodian food there? Little Cambodia Town’s Honorary Mayor, Rithy Hahn, and Chef “T” Visoth Ouk are our knowledgeable guides.
Brad Johnson’s & Chef Govind Armstrong’s Post & Beam officially opened in early 2012 on the West side of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza (across the parking lot from the Debbie Allen Dance Academy) in an extensively remodeled, free-standing building with patio which had previously been a Golden Bird Fried Chicken stand. It’s 5 successful years later and we’ll get updates from the principals themselves, Brad & Chef Govind.

One of the most distinctive and personal restaurants in the new wave of Oceanside’s chef-driven establishments is Chef Staci Miller’s The Miller’s Table. It’s very hands-on and intimate with all of 24 seats. Most of the seats are at one, large, square Community Table. We’ll meet the engaging Chef Staci.

A standout product noted by the “SoCal Restaurant Show” at the recently concluded Natural Products Expo West at the Anaheim Convention Center was Regrained – Eat Beer. Regrained crafts supergrain snacks featuring upcycled brewer’s grain “harvested” from urban craft breweries. CEO & Co-Founder Daniel Kurzrock explains all.

Prosecco is on a lot of restaurant by-the-glass menus these days. It’s a common misnomer that it’s Italian sparkling wine. Actually it comes from difference grapes than Champagne and is created using a different process. Also, all Prosecco is not created equal. To bring clarity to the ongoing discussion our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange in Santa Ana, joins us with the needed 411.

The 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival is set for April 28th & 29th at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. “Indulge in the alluring, rich taste of chocolate – in both its sweet and savory forms – while participating in delicious, fun and informative chocolate-themed activities.” Farsheed Bonakdar the President of the Kona Cacao Association (the event’s producer) and Executive Chef Donald Wressell (also an acclaimed chocolatier) of the Guittard Chocolate Company (Burlingame, CA) are with us to preview this weekend of rich chocolate indulgence.

After a decadent afternoon of feasting on March 12th on over 1,500 pounds of heritage breed pork raised on family farms, almost 500 guests gathered with glasses full of festive libations at Viceroy Santa Monica, Official Host Venue. From cooks and guests to winemakers and distillers, all were waiting for Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe to crown Los Angeles’ “Prince of Pork,” bestowing not just the title, but a place in the national finale, Grand Cochon, in October in Chicago. L.A.’s newly crowned “Prince of Pork” chef is our guest.

Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel is flying back from Utah on this Saturday morning. He rejoins us on April 1st, and that’s no April Fools’ joke…

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

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Show 216, March 25, 2017: 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival

Donald WressellThe 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival is set for April 28th & 29th at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. “Indulge in the alluring, rich taste of chocolate – in both its sweet and savory forms – while participating in delicious, fun and informative chocolate-themed activities.”

Farsheed Bonakdar the President of the Kona Cacao Association (the event’s producer) and Executive Chef Donald Wressell (also an acclaimed chocolatier) of the Guittard Chocolate Company are with us to preview this weekend of rich chocolate indulgence with a side of education.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds annually benefit a variety of worthy local non-profits.

“Chocolate has an amazing history and it will be fun to share it at this year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival,” says KCA President Farsheed Bonakdar.

The two-day chocolate extravaganza includes a cacao plantation tour at Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, a college culinary competition and several public foodie and agriculture-themed seminars. Activities culminate 5-9 p.m. Saturday, April 29 with the indoor-outdoor festival gala—enjoy a host of sweet and savory culinary stations presented by top isle chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners. Fun chocolate activities include a live chocolate sculpture and chocolate body painting. Culinary participants will depict this year’s historical theme at their booths and be judged on originality.

Chocolate hails from Meso-America where cacao beans were brewed to make a drink or fermented into an alcoholic beverage. Highly valued, the bean was used as currency. The Mayans and Aztecs believed cacao was divine, including it in rituals. Once fashioned into a bar, chocolate became valued in America. During wartime it was included in soldiers’ rations and went to the moon with the Apollo astronauts.

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