Show 388, August 29, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Beacon House Association of San Pedro is an all-male alcohol and drug treatment facility established in 1970 by a South Bay minister and a merchant seaman. The non-profit’s mission is to assist men recover from the diseases of alcoholism and addiction to other drugs. For this year their annual benefit will be 20CHEFS: A Social Distanced Fundraiser. Supporters are encouraged to bid (online) for special multi-course meals for a maximum of 10 guests created and prepared by prominent area chefs that are served at the buyer’s residence or at the chef’s restaurant. Celebrity Chef Andrew Zimmern of Food Network fame will be donating one of these dinner experiences. Chef Christine Brown of the newly opened Pacific Standard Prime in Redondo Beach is Co-Chair of the benefit and one of the participating chefs cooking a sumptuous meal for ten lucky guests. Chef Cristine puts down her tongs and joins us with all the salivating 20 CHEFS details.

Mutt Lynch’s in Newport Beach, celebrating their 45th Anniversary this year, has introduced a limited-time menu inspired by the distinctive and typically over-the-top specialty foods found at the OC Fair.  Available for a limited time, the special menu sees the addition of iconic Fair favorites, including Giant Turkey Legs and Deep-fried Oreos. When the OC Fair was canceled this year for only the second time in its over-130-year history due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Mutt Lynch’s found a way to keep its magic alive with a special menu recreating some of the Fair’s most iconic dishes. The OC Fair favorites will be available through Labor Day.” 2nd generation Co-owner, Jerilyn Lynch, is our guest with Giant Turkey Leg in hand.

“For over forty years, Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio (Valentino and Valentino Restaurant Group) and Restaurateur/Chef Celestino Drago of the famed Drago Brothers have been close friends, colleagues, and competitors in the thriving Los Angeles dining scene. Now, their longstanding relationship transcends to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially has welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles as new Managing Partner!” Now that Drago Centro has reopened for pampered, evening patio dining Piero Selvaggio returns with the update.

Since Executive Chef Jonathan Blackford departed A Restaurant (Newport Beach) and CdM Restaurant (Corona del Mar) to develop a food venture of his own he’s given a lot of thought to what the dining community really needs right now. The result of this planning is Fork & Knife scheduled to launch in Costa Mesa in early October. “Fork & Knife is actually three concepts in one and I believe that it speaks to current dining habits and what the public wants right now,” commented Chef Blackford. “It has always been my goal to open a restaurant of my own, but the timing isn’t right for a full-service dining experience. What people want right now is a neighborhood place that offers fully prepared dinners, quick meals to carryout and quality products that you would find at a gourmet market – that’s what Fork & Knife aims to deliver.”

Jeff Nelson is the Founder and CEO of Liquid Farm with their distinctive Tasting Room in Los Olivos and the Winery in Lompoc.

“We seek to support local viticulture and honor our palates’ love for old world wines that have naturally high acidity and are not masked by many of the modern-day manipulations.” “To do so, we selfishly decided to make what we most love to drink: Chardonnay that is earth and mineral driven from cool climates with little or no new oak. To achieve these qualities we were drawn to one of the coolest of all California AVA’s, Sta. Rita Hills. Located in Santa Barbara County, it is home to some of the most Chardonnay-suited, unique, ancient soils in North America.” Jeff Nelson artfully pulls the cork for us on all things Liquid Farm.

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 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… The James Beard Foundation Awards set for a rescheduled virtual presentation in Chicago on September 25th have now been cancelled. The balance of the chef and restaurant awards (nominations announced previously) will not be presented this year. The live presentation will instead salute the already announced winners in categories including America’s Classics, Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian of the Year. What does the future hold? We’ll” “Ask the Chef.”

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

Play

Show 388, August 29, 2020: Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Downtown Los Angeles Part One

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa Monica“For over forty years, Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio (Valentino and Valentino Restaurant Group) and Restaurateur/Chef Celestino Drago of the famed Drago Brothers have been close friends, colleagues, and competitors in the thriving Los Angeles dining scene. Now, their longstanding relationship transcends to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially has welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles as new Managing Partner!”

“Originally from Sicily, both Piero and Celestino met over forty years ago in Los Angeles when Celestino first came to the states. Piero opened the renowned Valentino, the flagship restaurant in his Valentino Restaurant Group in Santa Monica in 1972. Valentino was widely regarded as one of the finest Italian restaurants in the U.S. and credited with introducing Angelenos to true Italian food, fresh ingredients and new products. Also, introducing a new wave of Italian Chefs that in time built world-wide reputations on the their own.”

“Piero went on to build a multimillion-dollar restaurant empire garnering numerous James Beard Foundation awards for its wine list and service, along with critical acclaim for its food, wine, and service by top national publications. In 2018, after forty-five plus years, he decided to retire and close Valentino to look for new challenges. After launching Louie’s by the Bay (with Ron Salisbury) in Newport Beach, Piero met again with Celestino and started considering Drago Centro as the perfect venue for a new chapter.”

Now that Drago Centro has reopened for inviting patio dining the always gracious Piero Selvaggio returns with the update.

Play

Show 388, August 29, 2020: Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Downtown Los Angeles Part Two

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa Monica“For over forty years, Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio (Valentino and Valentino Restaurant Group) and Restaurateur/Chef Celestino Drago of the famed Drago Brothers have been close friends, colleagues, and competitors in the thriving Los Angeles dining scene. Now, their longstanding relationship transcends to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially has welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles as new Managing Partner!”

“Over the years Piero and Celestino have remained very close and have done many events together. Both men have also dedicated their legacies to promoting modern Italian cooking with fine ingredients, so it is no surprise that these two celebrated restaurateurs would finally come together. Says Celestino, “When Piero decided to retire, we just kept talking. You can never really retire from this business, so the conversation just kept going.” And, the timing could not be more serendipitous as Celestino just reopened Drago Centro while introducing a stunning new outdoor Dining Patio, new Summer Menu, Takeout, Delivery, Curbside Pickup, and now the exciting celebratory new partnership between Chef Celestino Drago and the hospitality maestro himself, Piero Selvaggio!”

“As Angelenos are able to take advantage of L.A.’s great summer weather, Piero and Celestino have created a magical al fresco dining experience featuring a new Summer Menu on their new Outdoor Dining Patio. The tables for dining are spaciously and safely placed all throughout this stunning outdoor atrium surrounded by luscious greenery, verdant olive trees, and a resplendently calming water feature, where the pair await to take each guest on an extraordinary journey as they sip and savor under the stars.”

Drago Centro has reopened for distinctive patio fine dining and the welcoming Piero Selvaggio now continues with us.

Play

August 29: 20CHEFS, Mutt Lynch’s, Drago Centro, Fork & Knife, Liquid Farm

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Christine Brown, Pacific Standard Prime and Co-Chair – 20CHEFS: A Socially Distanced Fundraiser
Segment Three: Jerilyn Lynch, Co-Proprietor, Mutt Lynch’s, Newport Beach
Segment Four: Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Downtown Los Angeles Part One
Segment Five: Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Downtown Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Six: Executive Chef Jonathan Blackford of Fork & Knife, Costa Mesa
Segment Seven: Jeff Nelson, Founder & CEO, Liquid Farm, Lompoc
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Beacon House Association of San Pedro is an all-male alcohol and drug treatment facility established in 1970 by a South Bay minister and a merchant seaman. The non-profit’s mission is to assist men recover from the diseases of alcoholism and addiction to other drugs. For this year their annual fundraiser will be 20CHEFS : A Social Distanced Fundraiser. Supporters are encouraged to bid (online) for special multi-course meals for a maximum of 10 guests created and prepared by prominent area chefs that are served at the buyer’s residence or at the chef’s restaurant. Celebrity Chef Andrew Zimmern of Food Network fame will be donating one of these dinner experiences. Chef Christine Brown of the newly opened Pacific Standard Prime in Redondo Beach is Co-Chair of the benefit and one of the participating chefs cooking a meal for ten lucky guests. Chef Cristine puts down her tongs and joins us with all the 20 CHEFS details.

Mutt Lynch’s in Newport Beach, celebrating their 45th Anniversary this year, has introduced a limited-time menu inspired by the distinctive and typically over-the-top specialty foods found at the OC Fair.  Available for a limited time, the special menu sees the addition of iconic Fair favorites, including Giant Turkey Legs and Deep-fried Oreos. When the OC Fair was canceled this year for only the second time in its over-130-year history due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Mutt Lynch’s found a way to keep its magic alive with a special menu recreating some of the Fair’s most iconic dishes. The OC Fair favorites will be available through Labor Day. 2nd generation Co-owner, Jerilyn Lynch, is our guest with Giant Turkey Leg in hand.

“For over forty years, Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio (Valentino and Valentino Restaurant Group) and Restaurateur/Chef Celestino Drago of the famed Drago Brothers have been close friends, colleagues, and competitors in the thriving Los Angeles dining scene. Now, their longstanding relationship transcends to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially has welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles as new Managing Partner!” Now that Drago Centro has reopened for pampered, evening patio dining Piero Selvaggio returns with the update.

Since Executive Chef Jonathan Blackford departed A Restaurant (Newport Beach) and CdM Restaurant (Corona del Mar) to develop a food venture of his own he’s given a lot of thought to what the dining community really needs right now. The result of this planning is Fork & Knife scheduled to launch in Costa Mesa in October. “Fork & Knife is actually three concepts in one and I believe that it speaks to current dining habits and what the public wants right now,” commented Chef Blackford. “It has always been my goal to open a restaurant of my own, but the timing isn’t right for a full-service dining experience. What people want right now is a neighborhood place that offers fully prepared dinners, quick meals to carryout and quality products that you would find at a gourmet market – that’s what Fork & Knife aims to deliver.”

Jeff Nelson is the Founder and CEO of Liquid Farm with their distinctive Tasting Room in Los Olivos and the Winery in Lompoc.

“We seek to support local viticulture and honor our palates’ love for old world wines that have naturally high acidity and are not masked by many of the modern-day manipulations.” “To do so, we selfishly decided to make what we most love to drink: Chardonnay that is earth and mineral driven from cool climates with little or no new oak. To achieve these qualities we were drawn to one of the coolest of all California AVA’s, Sta. Rita Hills. Located in Santa Barbara County, it is home to some of the most Chardonnay-suited, unique, ancient soils in North America.” Jeff Nelson artfully pulls the cork for us on all things Liquid Farm.

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 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… The James Beard Foundation Awards set for a rescheduled virtual presentation in Chicago on September 25th have been cancelled. The balance of the chef and restaurant awards (nominations announced previously) will not be presented this year. The live presentation will instead salute the already announced winners in categories including America’s Classics, Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian of the Year. What does the future hold? We’ll” “Ask the Chef.”

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

Christine Brown of Pacific Standard PrimeBeacon House Association of San Pedro is an all-male alcohol and drug treatment facility established in 1970 by a South Bay minister and a merchant seaman. The non-profit’s mission is to assist men recover from the diseases of alcoholism and addiction to other drugs. For this year their annual fundraiser will be 20CHEFS: A Social Distanced Fundraiser.

Supporters are encouraged to bid (online) for very special meals for a maximum of 10 guests created and prepared by prominent area chefs that are served at the buyer’s residence or at the chef’s restaurant. Celebrity Chef Andrew Zimmern of Food Network fame will be donating one of these dinner experiences. Chef Zimmern’s dinner for ten has already sold for a cool $25,000. Zimmern has now graciously added a second dinner for the bidding. The bidding for each of the other chef dinners for ten starts at $5,000.

Chef Christine Brown of the newly opened Pacific Standard Prime in Redondo Beach is Co-Chair of the benefit and one of the participating chefs cooking a meal for ten lucky guests. Chef Cristine puts down her tongs and joins us with all the 20CHEFS details.

Jerilyn Lynch of Mutt Lynch'sMutt Lynch’s in Newport Beach, celebrating their 45th Anniversary this year, has introduced a limited-time menu inspired by the distinctive and typically over-the-top specialty foods found at the OC Fair.  Available for a limited time, the special menu sees the addition of iconic Fair favorites, including Giant Turkey Legs and Deep-fried Oreos. When the OC Fair was canceled this year for only the second time in its over-130-year history due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Mutt Lynch’s found a way to keep its magic alive with a special menu recreating some of the Fair’s most iconic dishes. The OC Fair favorites will be available through Labor Day.

“We go to OC Fair every year as a family, and one of the biggest draws for us is the outrageously fun food,” comments second-generation owner Jerilyn Lynch. “The Fair signifies the peak of summer; being there creates a sense of care-free nostalgia. We think the world could use a bit of that right now, so we thought ‘If we can’t go to the OC Fair, we’ll bring the OC Fair to us!’”

In addition to its new, limited-time menu of OC Fair-inspired food, Mutt Lynch’s is currently offering its full menu – which contains over 200 items. The iconic beach bar has also expanded to offer outdoor dining, converting five parking spaces into a spacious beach-front dining area with plenty of seating, tiki torches and the hanging Christmas lights, that have become a year-round staple at Mutt Lynch’s. This year, the family-owned eatery celebrates its 45th anniversary.

2nd generation Co-owner, Jerilyn Lynch, is our guest with Giant Turkey Leg in hand.

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa Monica“For over forty years, Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio (Valentino and Valentino Restaurant Group) and Restaurateur/Chef Celestino Drago of the famed Drago Brothers have been close friends, colleagues, and competitors in the thriving Los Angeles dining scene. Now, their longstanding relationship transcends to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially has welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles as new Managing Partner!”

“Originally from Sicily, both Piero and Celestino met over forty years ago in Los Angeles when Celestino first came to the states. Piero opened the renowned Valentino, the flagship restaurant in his Valentino Restaurant Group in Santa Monica in 1972. Valentino was widely regarded as one of the finest Italian restaurants in the U.S. and credited with introducing Angelenos to true Italian food, fresh ingredients and new products. Also, introducing a new wave of Italian Chefs that in time built world-wide reputations on the their own.”

Piero went on to build a multimillion-dollar restaurant empire garnering numerous James Beard Foundation awards for its wine list and service, along with critical acclaim for its food, wine, and service by top national publications. In 2018, after forty-five plus years, he decided to retire and close Valentino to look for new challenges. After launching Louie’s by the Bay (with Ron Salisbury) in Newport Beach, Piero met again with Celestino and started considering Drago Centro as the perfect venue for a new chapter.

“Over the years Piero and Celestino have remained very close and have done many events together. Both men have also dedicated their legacies to promoting modern Italian cooking with fine ingredients, so it is no surprise that these two celebrated restaurateurs would finally come together. Says Celestino, “When Piero decided to retire, we just kept talking. You can never really retire from this business, so the conversation just kept going.” And, the timing could not be more serendipitous as Celestino just reopened Drago Centro while introducing a stunning new outdoor Dining Patio, new Summer MenuTakeoutDeliveryCurbside Pickup, and now the exciting celebratory new partnership between Chef Celestino Drago and the hospitality maestro himself, Piero Selvaggio!”

“As Angelenos are able to take advantage of L.A.’s great summer weather, Piero and Celestino have created a magical al fresco dining experience featuring a new Summer Menu on their new Outdoor Dining Patio. The tables for dining are spaciously and safely placed all throughout this stunning outdoor atrium surrounded by luscious greenery, verdant olive trees, and a resplendently calming water feature, where the pair await to take each guest on an extraordinary journey as they sip and savor under the stars.”

Now that Drago Centro has reopened for inviting patio dining the always gracious Piero Selvaggio returns with the update.

Jonathan Blackford of A Restaurant and CDM RestaurantSince Executive Chef Jonathan Blackford departed A Restaurant (Newport Beach) and CdM Restaurant (Corona del Mar) to develop a food venture of his own he’s given a lot of thought to what the dining community really needs right now. The result is Fork & Knife scheduled to launch in Costa Mesa in October.

“Fork & Knife is actually three concepts in one and I believe that it speaks to current dining habits and what the public wants right now,” commented Chef Blackford, who has received much attention for the globally inspired, progressive menus he created as Executive Chef for River Jetty Restaurant Group over the past decade. “It has always been my goal to open a restaurant of my own, but the timing isn’t right for a full-service dining experience. What people want right now is a neighborhood place that offers fully prepared dinners, quick meals to carryout and quality products that you would find at a gourmet market – that’s what Fork & Knife aims to deliver.”

“Fork & Knife will offer inspired, seasonal, from-scratch fully prepared dishes, as well as retail-focused items such as fresh-made pastas, jams, sauces, dressings and more. The market will also feature many of Chef Blackford’s favorite artisan products, from a selection of olive oils, to vinegars and grains. The kitchen will offer freshly made grab-and-go items daily, ranging from sandwiches, prepared pastas, and easy-to-eat-on-the-go dishes.”

“I want to serve as an extension to the home kitchen by providing the freshest and most flavorful meals and dishes,” explained Chef Blackford. “There is nothing more comforting than a home-cooked meal enjoyed with family and friends, but with time being the biggest challenge in our lives, we’re handling the heavy lifting so those in our community don’t have to sacrifice quality.”

Chef Jonathan Blackford is our guest.

Jeff Nelson of Liquid FarmJeff Nelson is the Founder and CEO of Liquid Farm with their distinctive Tasting Room in Los Olivos and the Winery in Lompoc.

“We seek to support local viticulture and honor our palates’ love for old world wines that have naturally high acidity and are not masked by many of the modern-day manipulations.”

“To do so, we selfishly decided to make what we most love to drink: Chardonnay that is earth and mineral driven from cool climates with little or no new oak. To achieve these qualities we were drawn to one of the coolest of all California AVA’s, Sta. Rita Hills. Located in Santa Barbara County, it is home to some of the most Chardonnay-suited, unique, ancient soils in North America.”

“From the climate and soil, to the people and their wines, the Santa Ynez Valley is certainly one of the most special regions we have ever come across.”

“Often said, but very true, all great wine starts in the vineyard. Our project’s name reflects our strong belief in that philosophy. It is truly all about place in combination with the highest quality fruit and letting the varietal and regional TYPICITY of the wine shine through from vineyard to glass…Liquid from Farming.”

“We allow the wines to develop on their own with little intervention, minimal or no new oak and use no additives or machines to manipulate the wines inherent personality. The project is also committed to blending from the handful of special vineyards we work with in the small AVA of Sta. Rita Hills to produce a collection of Chardonnays that are markedly different expressions, but with the same thread of intense minerality and salinity they started with in the vineyard.”

“Jeff Nelson has been in the wine business for the past 20+ years, working for some of the top Champagne and Burgundy houses. With the name Liquid Farm on Jeff’s mind for many years, it was the catalyst in 2009 for starting the project with the helping guidance of Brandon Sparks-Gillis of Dragonette Cellars.”

Jeff Nelson gently pulls the cork for us on all things Liquid Farm.

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…

The James Beard Foundation Awards set for a rescheduled virtual presentation in Chicago on September 25th have been cancelled. The balance of the chef and restaurant awards (nominations announced previously) will not be presented this year. The live presentation will instead salute the already announced winners in categories including America’s Classics, Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian of the Year. What does the future hold? We’ll” Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Christine Brown, Pacific Standard Prime and Co-Chair – 20CHEFS: A Socially Distanced Fundraiser
Segment Three: Jerilyn Lynch, Co-Proprietor, Mutt Lynch’s, Newport Beach
Segment Four: Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Downtown Los Angeles Part One
Segment Five: Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Downtown Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Six: Executive Chef Jonathan Blackford of Fork & Knife, Costa Mesa
Segment Seven: Jeff Nelson, Founder & CEO, Liquid Farm, Lompoc
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 379, June 27, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy  (documentary feature film) is an intimate, candid perspective into the curious world of cookbook author and British ex-pat Diana Kennedy – widely regarded as the world’s expert on Mexican cuisine. At five feet tall and 97 years old, Diana is larger than life: a foul-mouthed fireball far more feisty and energetic than her age and petite frame let on. Author of nine Mexican cookbooks, she has spent over 60 years researching and documenting the regional cuisines of Mexico.” Filmmaker Elizabeth Carroll is our guide to the career of Diana Kennedy.

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar matches contemporary California regional cuisine, with a hip, vibrant, sophisticated setting, to create a cutting-edge dining experience. Located at The District in Tustin, overlooking the Marina in Newport Beach, and at Westfield UTC in La Jolla, The Winery culinary team is led by Executive Chef & Partner Yvon Goetz. The other Founding Partners are JC Clow and Wine Director William Lewis. William Lewis uncorks it all for us.

Legendary Los Angeles Restaurateur and ever-gracious host Piero Selvaggio attentively presided over the iconic Valentino in Santa Monica for over 46 years. Valentino was a landmark establishment in the West defining regional Italian fine dining with polished service combined with a deep and well-maintained wine cellar. Piero’s most recent undertaking was the debut of Louie’s by the Bay (modern Italian steakhouse) in Newport Beach with Restaurateur Ron Salisbury. His current effort is with Chef Celestino Drago and is the pending relaunching of the elegant Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles in the City National Bank Tower. We’ll hear all about it with Piero Selvaggio.

Leading the Margerum Wine Company team (with a handsome new tasting room at Hotel Californian in the State Building) is creator and namesake, Douglas Barden Margerum, a long-term Santa Barbara resident who has been a fixture in the Santa Barbara food and wine scene for over 35 years. Doug is also is a member of the (rescheduled for 2021) Santa Barbara Culinary Experience (SBCE) Advisory Committee. Doug is our guest to pull the cork for us on the reopening of the Margerum Wine Company Tasting Room which now also includes the Barden Wines Tasting Room.

“Under the supervision of prominent executive chef Avi Kapoor, the latest incarnation of the Akbar restaurant family, Kapoor’s Akbar, offers diners an innovative Indian food experience on the edge of Downtown LA. Relying on traditional recipes passed down through the family but updated with non-traditional techniques and ingredients, Kapoor’s Akbar serves freshly prepared dishes that are rich in taste, temptingly presented and always memorable.” We gently pull Chef Avi away from the tandoor oven for a long overdue visit.

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 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 starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps… Covid 19 has impacted the food system across the United States. Oddly there are spot shortages of foodstuffs in some areas and surpluses in others. We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

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

Play

Show 379, June 27, 2020: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Drago Centro and Louie’s by the Bay Part One

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa MonicaLegendary Los Angeles Restaurateur and ever-gracious host Piero Selvaggio attentively presided over the iconic Valentino in Santa Monica for over 46 years. Valentino was truly a landmark establishment defining regional Italian fine dining in the West combined with a deep and well-maintained wine cellar and polished service. Piero’s most recent venture was the debut of Louie’s by the Bay (modern Italian steakhouse) in Newport Beach with Restaurateur Ron Salisbury.

His new project is with acclaimed Chef Celestino Drago with the about to relaunch, handsome and elegant Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles in the City National Bank Tower. “At Drago Centro, located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, Chef Celestino Drago is giving his classic Italian techniques a contemporary flair. The lunch and dinner menus at Drago Centro feature a wide range of options, from hand-cranked pastas, savory steaks and elegant desserts sure to end the meal on a sweet note.”

We’ll hear all about it with Piero Selvaggio.

Play

Show 379, June 27, 2020: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Drago Centro and Louie’s by the Bay Part Two

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa MonicaLegendary Los Angeles Restaurateur and ever-gracious host Piero Selvaggio attentively presided over the iconic Valentino in Santa Monica for over 46 years. Valentino was truly a landmark establishment defining regional Italian fine dining in the West combined with a deep and well-maintained wine cellar. Piero’s most recent venture was the launching of Louie’s by the Bay (modern Italian steakhouse) in Newport Beach with Restaurateur Ron Salisbury.

His new project is with acclaimed Chef Celestino Drago with the about to relaunch Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles in the City National Bank Tower. “At Drago Centro, located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, Chef Celestino Drago is giving his classic Italian techniques a contemporary flair. The lunch and dinner menus at Drago Centro feature a wide range of options, from hand-cranked pastas, savory steaks and elegant desserts sure to end the meal on a sweet note.”

We continue our conversation on hospitality at its best with acclaimed Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio.

Play

June 27: Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, Piero Selvaggio, Margerum Wine Company, Kapoor’s Akbar

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: “Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy” with Producer & Director Elizabeth Carroll
Segment Three: The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar with Founding Partner & Wine Director William Lewis
Segment Four: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Drago Centro and Louie’s by the Bay Part One
Segment Five: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Drago Centro and Louie’s by the Bay Part Two
Segment Six: Doug Margerum, Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara
Segment Seven: Chef Avinash Kapoor, Kapoor’s Akbar, Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

“Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy (documentary feature film) is an intimate, candid perspective into the curious world of cookbook author and British ex-pat Diana Kennedy – widely regarded as the world’s expert on Mexican cuisine. At five feet tall and 97 years old, Diana is larger than life: a foul-mouthed fireball far more feisty and energetic than her age and petite frame let on. Author of nine Mexican cookbooks, she has spent over 60 years researching and documenting the regional cuisines of Mexico.” Filmmaker Elizabeth Carroll is our guide to the career of Diana Kennedy.

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar matches contemporary California regional cuisine, with a hip, vibrant, sophisticated setting, to create a cutting-edge dining experience. Located at The District in Tustin, overlooking the Marina in Newport Beach, and at Westfield UTC in La Jolla, The Winery culinary team is led by Executive Chef & Partner Yvon Goetz. The other Founding Partners are JC Clow and Wine Director William Lewis. William Lewis uncorks it all for us.

Legendary Los Angeles Restaurateur and ever-gracious host Piero Selvaggio attentively presided over the iconic Valentino in Santa Monica for over 46 years. Valentino was a landmark establishment defining regional Italian fine dining with polished service in the West combined with a deep and well-maintained wine cellar. Piero’s most recent undertaking was the debut of Louie’s by the Bay (modern Italian steakhouse) in Newport Beach with Restaurateur Ron Salisbury. His current effort is with Chef Celestino Drago is the just relaunched, elegant Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles. We’ll hear all about it with Piero Selvaggio.

Leading the Margerum Wine Company team (with a handsome new tasting room at Hotel Californian in the State Building) is creator and namesake, Douglas Barden Margerum, a long-term Santa Barbara resident who has been a fixture in the Santa Barbara food and wine scene for over 35 years. Doug is also is a member of the (rescheduled for 2021) Santa Barbara Culinary Experience (SBCE) Advisory Committee. Doug is our guest to pull the cork for us on the reopening of Margerum Wine Company.

“Under the supervision of prominent executive chef Avi Kapoor, the latest incarnation of the Akbar restaurant family, Kapoor’s Akbar, offers diners an innovative Indian food experience on the edge of Downtown LA. Relying on traditional recipes passed down through the family but updated with non-traditional techniques and ingredients, Kapoor’s Akbar serves freshly prepared dishes that are rich in taste, temptingly presented and always memorable.” We gently pull Chef Avi away from the tandoor oven for a long overdue visit.

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 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 starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps… Covid 19 has impacted the food system across the United States. Oddly there are spot shortages of foodstuffs in some areas and surpluses in others. We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

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

Filmmaker Elizabeth CarrollDiana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy (documentary feature film) is an intimate, candid perspective into the curious world of cookbook author and British ex-pat Diana Kennedy – widely regarded as the world’s expert on Mexican cuisine. At five feet tall and 97 years old, Diana is larger than life: a foul-mouthed fireball far more feisty and energetic than her age and petite frame let on. Author of nine Mexican cookbooks, she has spent over 60 years researching and documenting the regional cuisines of Mexico.

“Kennedy has lived ‘off-the-grid’ on an eight-acre ranch outside Zitácuaro, Michoacán since the 1970’s: composting, growing her own crops, and using solar power to run her home. Aware of her own mortality, she is working tirelessly to solidify the legacy of her life’s efforts, with the hope of turning her home into a foundation for culinary education in Mexico.”

“A two-time James Beard Award winner, Diana was decorated with an Order of the Aztec Eagle from the Mexican government and became a Member of the Order of the British Empire from the UK in 2002. Despite her notable achievements, Diana is difficult to categorize. Often referred to as the “Julia Child of Mexico,” but Diana prefers a different title: “The Mick Jagger of Mexican Cuisine.”

“Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy explores Diana’s vibrant,  unconventional life, blending vérité with archival footage, photographs and interviews. Viewers accompany her in intimate settings at home – cooking, gardening, and traveling to accept awards and speak to audiences. The film features interviews with notable chefs and friends including Alice Waters, José Andrés, Rick Bayless, and Gabriela Cámara, along with footage from Diana’s TLC cooking show, “The Art of Mexican Cooking.” Whether she is instructing chefs at her infamous “Boot Camp” cooking school, blazing her truck over the cobblestone roads of Zitácuaro or sunbathing with a scotch on her balcony, Diana is captivatingly bold, spirited, and unapologetically herself.”

Sir William Lewis of the Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar in TustinThe Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar matches contemporary California regional cuisine, with a hip, vibrant, sophisticated setting, to create a cutting-edge dining experience. Located at The District in Tustin, overlooking the Marina in Newport Beach, and at Westfield UTC in La Jolla, The Winery culinary team is led by Executive Chef & Partner Yvon Goetz.” The other Founding Partners are JC Clow and Wine Director William Lewis.

All of The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar restaurants have reopened for dine-in. The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar locations offer a warm and passionate menu complemented by the perfect wines – almost endless possibilities and something to suit every palate. Wine Director & Founding Partner William Lewis will update us on what is available currently and what they were able to offer their guests during the ban on dine-in.

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa MonicaLegendary Los Angeles Restaurateur and ever-gracious host Piero Selvaggio attentively presided over the iconic Valentino in Santa Monica for over 46 years. Valentino was truly a landmark establishment defining regional Italian fine dining in the West combined with a deep and well-maintained wine cellar and polished service. Piero’s most recent venture was the debut of Louie’s by the Bay (modern Italian steakhouse) in Newport Beach with Restaurateur Ron Salisbury.

His new project is with acclaimed Chef Celestino Drago with the just relaunched Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles. “At Drago Centro, located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, Chef Celestino Drago is giving his classic Italian techniques a contemporary flair. The lunch and dinner menus at Drago Centro feature a wide range of options, from hand-cranked pastas, savory steaks and elegant desserts sure to end the meal on a sweet note.”

We’ll hear all about it with Piero Selvaggio.

Douglas Barden MargerumLeading the Margerum Wine Company team (with a new tasting room at Hotel Californian in the State Building) is creator and namesake, Douglas Barden Margerum, a long- term Santa Barbara resident who has been a fixture in the Santa Barbara food and wine scene for over 35 years. Doug is also is a member of the (rescheduled for 2021) Santa Barbara Culinary Experience Advisory Committee.

“Margerum Wine Company produces limited quantities of wines made from grapes grown both on their estate vineyard and grapes purchased from other top vineyards from in and around Santa Barbara County. The 18-acre estate vineyard is planted exclusively to Rhône grape varietals. The acreage is divided between limestone hillsides and gravelly alluvial flatlands along Alamo Pintado Creek. The wines are made at their state-of-the-art winery located on Industrial Way in Buellton.”

“Owner and Director of Winemaking, Douglas Barden Margerum, works with the top vineyards from the cool, eastern end of the valley in Happy Canyon to the western end’s cold vineyards of Sta. Rita Hills. Doug carefully selects the vineyards with meticulous attention to detail in all factors influencing the ultimate quality of the wines, including pruning, soil, climate, and farming methods.”

“Margerum Wine Company is committed to creating hand-crafted wines using only the highest quality grapes in order to make wines that are indicative of the place where they are grown. They strive to make wines naturally, to make wines that have individual characteristics and to make wines with personality. The scale of production is kept at a level where they can touch and know the wine as it is raised to the bottle – the antithesis of mass production. The standards of quality are measured by their own rigid criteria – not by external sources. They make wines they personally enjoy – some to drink young, others for long aging in cool cellars for future generations to enjoy, but mostly to share at the table with family and friends.”

“Doug’s multi-faceted background as the Sommelier/Owner of The Wine Cask, a Wine Spectator Grand Award restaurant recipient, and as a highly respected winemaker made him sought out by a variety of wineries to assist in the formation of their brands. Doug has consulted for Chêne Bleu super Rhône wines in France, and continues to consult for La Encantada Vineyards, Rancho Boa Vista and Happy Canyon Vineyards, all in Santa Barbara County, as well as the Santa Barbara wines of Paradise Springs Winery based in Virginia.”

Avi Kapoor of Kapoor's Akbar“Under the supervision of prominent executive chef Avi Kapoor, the latest incarnation of the Akbar restaurant family, Kapoor’s Akbar, offers diners an innovative Indian food experience on the edge of Downtown L.A. Relying on traditional recipes passed down through the family but updated with non-traditional techniques and ingredients, Kapoor’s Akbar serves freshly prepared dishes that are rich in taste, temptingly presented and always memorable.”

“Omnivores, vegetarians and vegans will find a wide range of selections to satisfy their hunger, joining the thousands of diners who have feasted over the years with generations of Kapoor Family restauranteurs.”

We gently pull Chef Avi away from the tandoor oven for a visit.

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

Covid 19 has impacted the food system across the United States. Oddly there are spot shortages of foodstuffs in some areas and surpluses in others. We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: “Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy” with Producer & Director Elizabeth Carroll
Segment Three: The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar with Founding Partner & Wine Director William Lewis
Segment Four: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Drago Centro and Louie’s by the Bay Part One
Segment Five: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Drago Centro and Louie’s by the Bay Part Two
Segment Six: Doug Margerum, Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara
Segment Seven: Chef Avinash Kapoor, Kapoor’s Akbar, Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”