Show 117, April 11, 2015: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and, now, Newport Beach is today’s special Guest Host.

Now a preview of today’s delightfully fully-leaded and always content-rich show.

In celebration of National Grilled Cheese Month in April Provisions Market (Chef Greg Daniels) and OC Baking Company (Dean Kim) will join forces to once again host The Big Cheese, Orange County’s grilled cheese festival and competition. Event Co-Founder Greg Daniels and his fellow Orange County Chefs will compete for the title of “The Big Cheese” on Monday, April 20th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Provisions Market. All proceeds from this year’s event will be donated to You Are Special, a local nonprofit that operates a food pantry to feed the hungry in the Orange community.

Two-time James Beard Award-winning author Karen Page revolutionized the way both professional chefs and home cooks think about and create new dishes – based on compatible flavors instead of recipes – with her bestseller, The Flavor Bible, which Forbes named as one of the ten best cookbooks of the past century. Now Page brings the same innovative approach to plant-based cooking with The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. Photographs are by Andrew Dornenburg (Karen’s husband.) Karen Page is our guest.

Craving premium chocolate ? Who doesn’t ? The fourth annual Big Island Chocolate Festival (Hawaii) delivers with an array of fun, elegant and taste-tempting activities, seminars and culinary adventures May 7th to 9th. Most of the chocolately goodness will be offered at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, but three new events take place at Kona farms. Hawaii is the only state in the United States that can grow cacao. Farsheed Bonakdar, the President of the Kona Cacao Association and acclaimed chocolatiers and veteran pastry chefs Stanton Ho and Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Company join us with a preview.

“My first cookbook, Aarti Paarti: An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul is a love letter to both the flavors of my youth as an Indian girl growing up in the Middle East…and the flavors that embrace me in my new home here in the States.” “I’ll walk you through 101 recipes, some simplified versions of Indian classics…and some that show you how to use these same Indian spices to create exciting spins on American favorites.” Food Network’s Aarti Sequeira is our guest. She will be doing a cooking demo and book-signing at next weekend’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC.

Finally a chance to chat with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish. He’ll share some useful tips about selecting and preparing lobster. This is a conversation started on last week’s show. Chef Andrew will also advise us on what parts of the lobster are best for use in some familiar dishes. We’ll also talk about what is an authentic lobster roll. They are seemingly appearing on menus everywhere.

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

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Show 117, April 11, 2015: Big Island Chocolate Festival

BIg Island Chocolate FestivalCraving chocolate? Who doesn’t? The fourth annual Big Island Chocolate Festival (Hawaii) delivers with an array of fun, elegant and taste-tempting activities, seminars and culinary adventures May 7th to 9th. Most of the chocolatey goodness will be offered at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, but three new events take place at Kona farms. Hawaii is the only state in the United States that can grow cacao.

On Thursday, May 7th from 5 to 9:00 p.m. is the farm-to-table, chocolate-themed dinner at Kokoleka Lani cacao farm in Holualoa. Dubbed a “Chocolate Soiree,” the scrumptious, seven-course meal will be prepared by celebrity pastry chef Stanton Ho, and others.

On Saturday, May 9th the 3-days of chocolate fun at The Big Island Chocolate Festival culminates from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Fairmont’s Grand Ballroom for the festival gala. Attendees can enjoy both savory and sweet chocolate cuisine created by top Island chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners while voting for their favorite culinary station. Diners can also visit the “all you can enjoy” mole and salad bars. Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Company will be demonstrating the fine art of chocolate sculpting.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds benefit the “Equip the Kitchens” campaign for the future Hawaii Community College-Palamanui and a capital campaign to build a community kitchen at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

Farsheed Bonakdar, the President of the Kona Cacao Association and acclaimed chocolatier and pastry chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Company and Stanton Ho (ex-Chocolates a la carte and the Las Vegas Hilton) join us with a tempting preview.

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Show 64, March 8, 2014: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao Association

BIg Island Chocolate FestivalThe alluring, rich taste of chocolate, in both its sweet and savory forms, is showcased at the 3rd Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival, May 2 to 3 at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii. Headlining the event is “Mr. Chocolate,” Jacques Torres, Food Network celebrity and acclaimed pastry chef from New York. Also appearing is Donald Wressell of Guittard and Derek Poirier of Valrhona USA.

“The Big Island Chocolate Festival is a fantasyland of chocolate.” Says Kona Cacao Association President Farsheed Bonakdar (Bone-ak-dar.) “It inspires our chefs, encourages our island farmers to grow cacao and shows our chocolatiers that chocolate can be a viable business.” Farsheed Bonakdar of KCA is our guest.

Hawaii is the only state in the USA where cacao grows.

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March 8: Brock Radke, Maui Brewing, Big Island Chocolate Festival, 800 Degress Pizzeria, Passmore Ranch, Robert Schueller

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Brock Radke, Food Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Three: Garrett Marrero, founder, Maui Brewing Co.
Segment Four: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao Association
Segment Five: Executive Chef Anthony Carron, co-founder, 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria
Segment Six: Michael Passmore, Fish Farmer, Passmore Ranch Part One
Segment Seven: Michael Passmore, Fish Farmer, Passmore Ranch Part Two
Segment Eight: Robert Schueller, Produce Authority, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce, Inc.

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Let’s talk pure chocolate indulgence. We’ll be previewing the Big Island Chocolate Festival. Then it’s time for a Las Vegas dining update. Brock Radke, our Las Vegas insider, brings us up-to-date. There is a new Neapolitan pizzeria in town that’s generating long lines. The co-founder & executive chef provides the tasty details.

You’ve probably never tasted farm-raised fish like this unless you’ve dined at a Rick Moonen restaurant or at The Meadowood Restaurant. A purveyor to the best restaurants is now serving home chefs with fresh fish on a very limited basis. There is an incredible craft brewery success story in Maui and you’ll hear all about it. They actually package their premium beer in cans! Organic fruits and vegetables are top of the mind. Our resident produce expert, Robert Schueller (The Pastor of Produce) from Melissa’s, is back with an informative update.

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

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyBrock Radke is our “in the know” guy in Las Vegas. He’s the respected Food editor for Las Vegas Weekly.

Brock brings us up-to-date on the Vegas dining scene. We’ll find out about the soon to open Linq on The Strip, the 411 on Giada De Laurentiis’ first restaurant in Las Vegas, and a collection of enticing new restaurants in Las Vegas’ Chinatown.

Garett Marrero of Maui Brewing CompanyMaui Brewing Co., founded by Garrett Marrero, is a craft brewery based in Maui, HI. As the largest authentic Hawaiian brewery, it currently has one brewery in Lahaina, and one brewpub in Kahana that creates more than 40 different styles on a rotating basis. In 2005 Maui Brewing Co. produced 400 barrels from the single brewpub and expanded into an additional brewery location in 2007, producing a little over 20,000 barrels in 2013.

MBC has remained consistent in the vision, “Handcrafted Ales & Lagers Brewed with Aloha.” The beers have been recognized worldwide for quality and innovation winning more than 100 medals in a short history. MBC was one of the first craft brewers to package their products in recyclable aluminum cans.

MBC is currently in construction to move production to a state-of-the-art brewery in Kihei.

It’s the only Hawaiian brewery with product available in the continental United States where the beer is actually brewed, and packaged, in Hawaii.

BIg Island Chocolate FestivalThe alluring, rich taste of chocolate, in both its sweet and savory forms, is showcased at the 3rd Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival, May 2 to 3 at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii. Headlining the event is “Mr. Chocolate,” Jacques Torres, Food Network celebrity and acclaimed pastry chef from New York. Also appearing is Donald Wressell of Guittard and Derek Poirier of Valrhona USA.

“The Big Island Chocolate Festival is a fantasyland of chocolate.” Says Kona Cacao Association President Farsheed Bonakdar (Bone-ak-dar.) “It inspires our chefs, encourages our island farmers to grow cacao and shows our chocolatiers that chocolate can be a viable business.” Farsheed Bonakdar of KCA is our guest.

Anthony Carron of 800 Degrees PizzaChef Anthony Carron is the creative force behind 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria which is growing rapidly with a devoted following. His background is in fine-dining. It started in Westwood in 2011. A “To-Go” branch was added in Westwood. Santa Monica recently opened. Las Vegas, Pasadena, Hollywood, and New York are on the horizon.

It’s thin crust pizza that follows the traditions established in Naples. What’s really different is that once you choose your toppings the pizza is then flash-cooked for about a minute in a wood-burning over at 800 degrees!

“800 Degrees strives to honor the tradition of classic Neapolitan pizza where the integrity of handcrafted ingredients is paramount. We use natural grown California tomatoes, our mozzarella is made for us every day right here in L.A., and our crust is crafted in house from only Italian flour, wild yeast, sea salt and filtered water.”

Michael Passmore of Passmore RanchThe always colorful Michael Passmore is a fish farmer in Northern California.

Passmore Ranch is a premium freshwater, sustainable fish ranch in California. They started modestly by selling live fish at Northern California farmers’ markets, and their quality and service quickly made them a premier purveyor for top restaurants and Michelin-starred chefs throughout the State and country.

They offer the freshest fish, aged, sized and delivered to order, almost as if chefs were pointing and saying, “I’ll take that one.” They continue to build new partnerships with some of the country’s best chefs, including renowned restaurateur Rick Moonen, three-star Michelin chef Christopher Kostow, Napa pioneer Cindy Pawlcyn, and Dallas chef and “Top Chef” Season 10 contestant John Tesar.

Passmore Ranch offers premium freshwater white sturgeon, black bass, striped bass, catfish, silver carp and trout, plus prized caviar. Most are available in any form a chef would like – live, filleted, special cuts and everything in between – coming straight, as the Passmore crew says, “fresh from our ranch to your kitchen.”

Michael Passmore speaks about the launch of Provisions. “Home Chefs, we’re very excited to bring you our fish and produce, fresh from our ranch to your kitchen just like we do with Michelin starred, James Beard awarded, and just plain great chefs in restaurants around the country.”

Rick Moonen of rm seafood in Las VegasMichael is joined by Chef Rick Moonen of rm Seafood and Rx Boiler Room in Las Vegas. Sustainable seafood is his specialty. Chef Moonen was at Passmore Ranch curing a batch of American caviar. He explains the process.

Organic fruits and vegetables are getting a lot of attention these days. With the fresh concern about GMOs in food, certified organic fruits and vegetables are, by definition, free of GMOs.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceOur resident produce expert, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce, is back with us to discuss what’s new in organics. Melissa’s is the largest variety supplier of fresh organic produce in the USA. They have been distributing organic produce for over 16 years.

What’s hot? All varieties of organic Kale are at the top of the sales charts currently.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Brock Radke, Food Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Three: Garrett Marrero, founder, Maui Brewing Co.
Segment Four: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao Association
Segment Five: Executive Chef Anthony Carron, co-founder, 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria
Segment Six: Michael Passmore, Fish Farmer, Passmore Ranch Part One
Segment Seven: Michael Passmore, Fish Farmer, Passmore Ranch Part Two
Segment Eight: Robert Schueller, Produce Authority, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce, Inc.