Show 385, August 8, 2020: Chef Michael Hung, DTLA Pizza, Los Angeles

Michael Hung of Faith and FlowerDTLA Pizza is a new Takeout and Delivery concept from Chef Michael Hung of Faith & Flower. The goal for Chef Michael’s new DTLA Pizza establishment is to serve meat lovers and vegans alike, quality and comfort food driven dishes prepared with house-made sourdough crusts, toppings such as Impossible beef, locally grown produce, along with Burgers that are made with American Kobe beef and burst with flavor.”

“Los Angeles meets the Oranges, as in the same area of northern New Jersey as the Sopranos, at DTLA Pizza. This area is also Chef Michael Hung’s inspiration as he drew from his New Jersey roots to create DTLA Pizza’s menu of true pizzeria classics. “As the world is today, I find myself craving comfort foods. The menu for DTLA Pizza reflects my time growing up in New Jersey eating at such institutions such as Star Tavern in Orange, NJ. These dishes and flavors remind me of home and the joyful times I spent with my friends and family as a kid.””

“DTLA Pizza features two different styles of Pizza – expertly crafted Neapolitan-Style Pies from the wood oven and Sicilian-Style Pan Pizzas with thick focaccia crusts. In addition to the classic 4-Cheese Pizza, DTLA Pizza offers two other Signature Pizzas: The Street Meat Magic Pizza loaded with pepperoni, mortadella, Italian sausage, and prosciutto, and It’s Literally Possible Pizza which is a fully plant-based pizza prepared with Impossible sausage, marinated peppers and onions, and vegan mozzarella. In addition to the Signature Pizzas, guests can also Build Your Own Pizza with a selection of over a dozen toppings, and all of the Pizzas at DTLA Pizza can be made either Neapolitan Style or Sicilian Style.”

DTLA Pizza is open for TakeoutDelivery, and Curbside Pickup (only) every Wednesday through Sunday from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm. To order, please call 213.465.9400 and guests can Curbside pickup at 709 West 9th Street in South Park district of downtown Los Angeles by calling DTLA Pizza upon arrival, or choose Delivery through CaviarDoorDashGrubhubTock, or UberEats.

Chef Michael joins us to artfully toss and stretch the from-scratch dough.

Play

Show 380, July 4, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Happy 4th of July to all. Please do celebrate safely.

“Fun illustrations and delightfully quirky characters bring the kitchen to life in The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids. Join Chef Pierre A. Lamielle on a kitchen adventure as he introduces you to the Munchy Munchy Gang, a team of characters here to educate kids on the art of cooking and the range of flavors they’ll encounter. Learn how to make over 28 different recipes, including ketchup, pancakes and other kid favorites with simple, easy-to-follow instructions and illustrations for every step. Pierre’s characters make complex cooking theories, like balancing the five tastes, accessible to kids of all ages. The perfect manual for a budding chef.” Chef Pierre Lamielle is our guest.

Celebrity chef and restaurateur Susan Feniger is best known for creating Border Grill (Los Angeles & Las Vegas) with her business partner Mary Sue Milliken. She was also one of the first stars on Food Network. The partners have made their return to Santa Monica with the launch of Socalo in the Gateway Hotel which has just reopened for expanded patio dining and curbside pickup.

“In his best-selling cookbook, Fair Foods: The Most Popular and Offbeat Recipes from America’s State and County Fairs, award-winning chef, best-selling author, and renowned educator George Geary celebrates the fun, delicious, strange and wonderful foods sold at state and county fairs.  Since we can’t go to the fair this year, George brings the fair to us with a volume of the most popular and iconic fair food recipes.” Think Funnel Cake with Berries and Deep-Fried Twinkies. Chef George Geary is with us, Cheesecake on a Stick in hand.

“Coming together for the very first time to celebrate restaurants all throughout Southern California, Los Angeles and Orange County unite to introduce Burger Week, which will be held from Sunday, July 12th, 2020 through Sunday, July 18th, 2020. Burger Week, produced by the Orange County Restaurant Association, will be a first-time event in Los Angeles and second annual event in Orange County. Burger Week was created to encourage diners all throughout the Southland (Orange County, Los Angeles County, Long Beach, and Pasadena) to celebrate and support SoCal restaurants while enjoying America’s favorite food – the almighty Burger!” Chef Michael Hung of Faith & Flower in Downtown Los Angeles is one of the participating chefs and restaurants in Burger Week. He’s offering three special burger creation meals To-Go including a plant-based Cheeseburger option. Chef Michael Hung temps us with all the juicy burger deliciousness.

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… Chef Andrew launched a new Slapfish in downtown Indianapolis this week. What’s it like opening a restaurant away from California during the Covid 19 crisis? 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 380, July 4, 2020: Preview of “Burger Week” with Chef Michael Hung of Faith & Flower DTLA

Michael Hung of Faith and Flower“Coming together for the very first time to celebrate restaurants all throughout Southern California, Los Angeles and Orange County unite to introduce Burger Week, which will be held from Sunday, July 12th, 2020 through Sunday, July 18th, 2020. Burger Week, produced by the Orange County Restaurant Association, will be a first-time event in Los Angeles and second annual event in Orange County. Burger Week was created to encourage diners all throughout the Southland (Orange County, Los Angeles County, Long Beach, and Pasadena) to celebrate and support SoCal restaurants while enjoying America’s favorite food – the almighty Burger!”

“Burger Week will feature burger creations from participating restaurants all across Southern California and during this week-long event running from Sunday, July 12th through Sunday, July 18th, 2020, diners will be able to explore a variety of Burgers, ranging from classic to creative, featuring proteins including beef, chicken, turkey, mushroom, and plant-based options, on menus priced at $10, $15, $20, and luxe menus at $25.

Many restaurants will also be featuring special outdoor Dine-in, Takeout and Delivery packages, along with specialty featured Cocktails made with Maker’s Mark or Knob Creek Bourbon Whiskey. The restaurants participating in Burger Week, their Menus, and their featured Cocktails are all highlighted at BurgerWeek.com.”

Chef Michael Hung of Faith & Flower in Downtown Los Angeles is one of the participating chefs and restaurants in Burger Week. He’s offering three special burger creation meals including a plant-based Cheeseburger option. With the new directives for dine-in Faith & Flower’s “Burger Week” menu will be available To-Go and for delivery Thursday thru Sunday from 5 to 10:00 p.m.

Chef Michael Hung temps us with all the juicy burger deliciousness.

Play

July 4: Pierre A. Lamielle, Susan Feniger, George Geary, Burger Week with Faith & Flower

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Pierre A. Lamielle with The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids Part One
Segment Three: Chef Pierre A. Lamielle with The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids Part Two
Segment Four: Celebrity Chef Susan Feniger, Socalo Santa Monica and Border Grill DTLA & Las Vegas Part One
Segment Five: Celebrity Chef Susan Feniger, Socalo Santa Monica and Border Grill DTLA & Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Six: Chef George Geary with Fair Foods: The Most Popular and Offbeat Recipes from America’s State and County Fairs
Segment Seven: Preview of “Burger Week” with Chef Michael Hung of Faith & Flower DTLA
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Happy 4th of July to all. Please do celebrate safely.

“Fun illustrations and delightfully quirky characters bring the kitchen to life in The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids. Join Chef Pierre A. Lamielle on a kitchen adventure as he introduces you to the Munchy Munchy Gang, a team of characters here to educate kids on the art of cooking and the range of flavors they’ll encounter. Learn how to make over 28 different recipes, including ketchup, pancakes and other kid favorites with simple, easy-to-follow instructions and illustrations for every step. Pierre’s characters make complex cooking theories, like balancing the five tastes, accessible to kids of all ages. The perfect manual for a budding chef.” Chef Pierre Lamielle is our guest.

Celebrity chef and restaurateur Susan Feniger is best known for creating Border Grill (Los Angeles & Las Vegas) with her business partner Mary Sue Milliken. She was also one of the first stars on Food Network. The partners have made their return to Santa Monica with the launch of Socalo in the Gateway Hotel which has just reopened for expanded patio dining and curbside pickup.

“In his best-selling cookbook, Fair Foods: The Most Popular and Offbeat Recipes from America’s State and County Fairs, award-winning chef, best-selling author, and renowned educator George Geary celebrates the fun, delicious, strange and wonderful foods sold at state and county fairs.  Since we can’t go to the fair this year, George brings the fair to us with a volume of the most popular and iconic fair food recipes. Think Funnel Cake with Berries and Deep-Fried Twinkies.” Chef George Geary is with us, Cheesecake on a Stick in hand.

“Coming together for the very first time to celebrate restaurants all throughout Southern California, Los Angeles and Orange County unite to introduce Burger Week, which will be held from Sunday, July 12th, 2020 through Sunday, July 18th, 2020. Burger Week, produced by the Orange County Restaurant Association, will be a first-time event in Los Angeles and second annual event in Orange County. Burger Week was created to encourage diners all throughout the Southland (Orange County, Los Angeles County, Long Beach, and Pasadena) to celebrate and support SoCal restaurants while enjoying America’s favorite food – the almighty Burger!” Chef Michael Hung of Faith & Flower in Downtown Los Angeles is one of the participating chefs and restaurants in Burger Week. He’s offering three special burger creation meals including a plant-based Cheeseburger option. Chef Michael Hung temps us with all the juicy burger deliciousness.

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… Chef Andrew launched a new Slapfish in downtown Indianapolis this week. What’s it like opening a restaurant during the Covid 19 crisis? 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!

Pierre A Lamielle“From a young age, kids can have strong opinions about which foods they enjoy and which foods they definitely do not want to see on their plate! The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids by “Chopped Canada” winner Chef Pierre Lamielle takes knowledge from a practiced chef, and adds the quirky characters of the Munchy Munchy Gang into the mix!”

“The Munchy Munchy Gang teach budding foodies and chefs about skills and flavor profiles through 28 different recipes and a myriad of fun illustrations. Readers will learn how to make favorites including ketchup, pancakes, and more, with simple instructions and illustrations (drawn by Chef Lamielle) for every step.”

“Pierre’s characters make complex cooking theories, like balancing the five tastes, accessible to kids of all ages!”

“Fun illustrations and delightfully quirky characters bring the kitchen to life in The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids. Join Chef Pierre A. Lamielle on a kitchen adventure as he introduces you to the Munchy Munchy Gang, a team of characters here to educate kids on the art of cooking and the range of flavors they’ll encounter. Learn how to make over 28 different recipes, including ketchup, pancakes and other kid favorites with simple, easy-to-follow instructions and illustrations for every step. Pierre’s characters make complex cooking theories, like balancing the five tastes, accessible to kids of all ages. The perfect manual for a budding chef”

Chef Pierre A. Lamielle is the award- winning cookbook author of Alice Eats: A Wonderland Cookbook and Kitchen Scraps: A Humorous Illustrated Cookbook. Both won “Best Illustrated Cookbook in the World” at the Gourmand Cookbook Awards. He loves to teach cooking to all ages. He prefers cooking with friends but is not afraid of a little friendly culinary competition. He even competed on “Top Chef Canada” and “Chopped Canada”, which he won.

Chef Pierre is very excited for you to meet the amazing cast of characters in The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids and to learn all about cooking and eating tasty food.

We entice Chef Pierre Lamielle out of the kitchen for a chat.

Susan Feniger wearing a mask at Socalo in Santa MonicaCelebrity chef and restaurateur Susan Feniger is best known for creating Border Grill (Los Angeles & Las Vegas) with her business partner Mary Sue Milliken. She was also one of the first stars on Food Network. The partners have made their return to Santa Monica with the launch of Socalo in the Gateway Hotel which has just reopened for expanded patio dining.

Curbside pickup is available, too. A range of Family Meals are available by Tock. Also Margarita Kits, Wines by the Bottle, and Craft Beers.

Complimentary on-site parking is available.

Chicken Poblano Enchiladas (a favorite from Border Grill) have been added to the menu. Also returning to dinner dine-in is Baja Seabass and Lamb Birria.

Curbside pickup is available, too. A range of Family Meals are available by Tock. Also Margarita Kits, Wines by the Bottle, and Craft Beers.

Complimentary on-site parking is available.

We corral Chef Susan for a chat on what’s currently available at Socalo Santa Monica.

Cookbook Author George GearyWith fair season unfortunately cancelled this year, accomplished chef and author, George Geary lets you enjoy the food of county fairs without leaving your house.

The summer season is a time for ice cream, summer camp and state and county fairs.  But this summer is different with fairs postponed until 2021 due to COVID 19.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the fun foods we love to eat served up at the fair.

In his best-selling cookbook, Fair Foods: The Most Popular and Offbeat Recipes from America’s State and County Fairs, award-winning chef, best-selling author, and renowned educator George Geary celebrates the fun, delicious, strange and wonderful foods sold at state and county fairs.  Since we can’t go to the fair this year, George brings the fair to us with a volume of the most popular and iconic fair food recipes. Think Funnel Cake with Berries and Deep-Fried Twinkies.

Chef George Geary is with us, Cheesecake on a Stick in hand.

Michael Hung of Faith and Flower“Coming together for the very first time to celebrate restaurants all throughout Southern California, Los Angeles and Orange County unite to introduce Burger Week, which will be held from Sunday, July 12th, 2020 through Sunday, July 18th, 2020. Burger Week, produced by the Orange County Restaurant Association, will be a first-time event in Los Angeles and second annual event in Orange County. Burger Week was created to encourage diners all throughout the Southland (Orange County, Los Angeles County, Long Beach, and Pasadena) to celebrate and support SoCal restaurants while enjoying America’s favorite food – the almighty Burger!”

“Burger Week will feature burger creations from participating restaurants all across Southern California and during this week-long event running from Sunday, July 12th through Sunday, July 18th, 2020, diners will be able to explore a variety of Burgers, ranging from classic to creative, featuring proteins including beef, chicken, turkey, mushroom, and plant-based options, on menus priced at $10, $15, $20, and luxe menus at $25. Many restaurants will also be featuring special outdoor Dine-in, Takeout and Delivery packages, along with specialty featured Cocktails made with Maker’s Mark or Knob Creek Bourbon Whiskey. The restaurants participating in Burger Week, their Menus, and their featured Cocktails are all highlighted at BurgerWeek.com.”

Chef Michael Hung of Faith & Flower in Downtown Los Angeles is one of the participating chefs and restaurants in Burger Week. He’s offering three special burger creation meals including a plant-based Cheeseburger option. Chef Michael Hung temps us with all the juicy burger deliciousness.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant GroupOur 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…

Chef Andrew launched a new Slapfish in downtown Indianapolis this week. What’s it like opening a restaurant during the Covid 19 crisis? We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Pierre A. Lamielle with The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids Part One
Segment Three: Chef Pierre A. Lamielle with The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids Part Two
Segment Four: Celebrity Chef Susan Feniger, Socalo Santa Monica and Border Grill DTLA & Las Vegas Part One
Segment Five: Celebrity Chef Susan Feniger, Socalo Santa Monica and Border Grill DTLA & Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Six: Chef George Geary with Fair Foods: The Most Popular and Offbeat Recipes from America’s State and County Fairs
Segment Seven: Preview of “Burger Week” with Chef Michael Hung of Faith & Flower DTLA
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 371, May 2, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

It’s a time of great concern for all of us and our “SoCal Restaurant Show” mission, until the Covid-19 crisis is fully abated, is to provide reliable and genuinely useful information on how the restaurant business is coping with the rapidly evolving events. With an emphasis on the health, safety and well-being of our listeners we’ll be detailing what the range of services restaurants can now provide to their guests. Creativity and adaptability are at the forefront. We’re doing our level best to keep it upbeat…

Chefs and restaurateurs are honestly the most generous people we know. In times of need they are always the very first in generously giving back and meaningfully supporting their communities. Truly remarkable…Right now restaurants urgently need our support to stay afloat. Kindly keep this in mind and please do what you possibly can (as you can afford) to support a community-focused, local restaurant….

As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it without the supportive encouragement of the foodie community.

Porto’s Bakery & Café started modestly in the greater L.A. area in the 1960s and has grown steadily since then becoming a popular, local and revered institution. Founder Rosa Porto’s life took an unexpected turn back at the beginning when she and her family made the difficult decision to leave their beloved Cuba and emigrate to the United States. Out of a job, Rosa relied on her love of baking and began selling cakes out of her house for her neighbors and friends to support her family. Porto’s has gradually grown into five high volume locations in Glendale, Burbank, Downey, Buena Park, and the newly opened West Covina. Porto’s is now open for contactless ordering, payment and curbside pick-up. Porto’s Bake-At-Home, too. Betty Porto, Vice President of Community and Guest Relations for Porto’s, is our guest.

Food journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s “Hungry Hound” in Chicago, is the recipient of an impressive 13 James Beard Foundation Awards for journalistic excellence. He’s also accomplished in reporting on food and travel in print, radio and podcasting. The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala was scheduled for Chicago at the Lyric Opera on Monday evening, May 4th. It’s now been rescheduled for a to-be-announced date for later in the year. Usually Steve would be sharing his insightful Beard Awards preview with us. Instead he talks about his informed thoughts on the dining scene in Chicagoland during the health crisis.

“Like all restaurants in LA County, Zapien’s Salsa Grill in Pico Rivera is limited to takeout and curbside pick-up options to share its regional Mexican Cuisine with the community. With dine-in service unavailable, Chef Marco Zapien and team are keeping it fun and giving back to the community, while offering some of their classic favorites available for takeout, curbside pick-up and delivery. For over 25 years, The Salsa Grill has been a favorite spot in the Pico Rivera community and beyond and wants to give back. “We want to give back to the community that’s been supporting us for almost 26 years,” said co-owner and Executive Chef, Zapien. We gently pull Chef Marco out of his busy kitchen to talk about all his specials for Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day.”

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 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. Take-out/delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first. What about “Code Dates” on fresh & packaged food products? What do they really mean? You certainly don’t want to potentially waste anything or take an unwise chance either. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

The Blinking Owl Distillery in Santa Ana is the very first craft distillery in Orange County. They also are one of the first distilleries in the state of California to hold the Type 74 Craft Distillers License allowing them to operate their tasting room and sell a few bottles of spirits. Blinking Owl crafts Vodka, Gin, several types of Whiskey, and the Scandinavian spirit, Aquavit. “Stay Safely at Home” provisions have necessitated the temporary closing of The Tasting Room. Wanting to continue serving the community and keep their employees on the job Blinking Owl has thoughtfully shifted production to hand sanitizer under the label of Blinking Owl Dirty Bird Hand Sanitizer. So far a generous $50,000 in hand sanitizer has been donated to hospitals, First Responders and restaurants! Joining us from the packaging line for Dirty Bird Hand Sanitizer is Blinking Owl’s Co-founder and Chief Financial Owl, Robin Christenson.

Chef Michael Hung began his culinary career in New York City, where he dropped out of culinary school to do extended stages at acclaimed restaurants Daniel and Aquavit. Michael then followed his heart to San Francisco in 2005 and joined Traci Des Jardins’s James Beard Award-winning team at Jardiniere.  His career continued for nearly a decade in San Francisco, culminating with his appointment as Chef de Cuisine at Roland Passot’s Michelin-starred La Folie. In late-2013, Michael left San Francisco for Los Angeles to open Faith & Flower where he has returned as Executive Chef. Community service in times of need is part of Chef Michael’s makeup. His current ambitious feeding program for those in need is under the banner of Donate to Feed L.A.’s Homeless and Underserved. Chef Michael takes a break from preparing meals and joins us with the details.

This is the Weekend we were scheduled to again be broadcasting live from the 9th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort on Hawaii Island’s Kohala Coast. With the ongoing health crisis the Festival hopes to be rescheduled for August 14th & 15th if it’s safe to do so. Tom Cross is the welcoming Hotel Manager at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort and joins us with the good news that the property will again welcome guests at a “To Be Determined” date as the Hawaii Governor allows with all guest safety precautions in place.

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

Play

Show 371, May 2, 2020: Executive Chef Michael Hung, Faith & Flower, Downtown Los Angeles

Michael Hung of Faith and FlowerChef Michael Hung began his culinary career in New York City, where he dropped out of culinary school to do extended stages at acclaimed restaurants Daniel and Aquavit. Michael then followed his heart to San Francisco in 2005 and joined Traci Des Jardins’s James Beard Award-winning team at Jardiniere. His career continued for nearly a decade in San Francisco, culminating with his appointment as Chef de Cuisine at Roland Passot’s Michelin-starred La Folie. In late-2013, Michael left San Francisco for Los Angeles to open Faith & Flower where he has returned as Executive Chef.

Community service in times of need is part of Chef Michael’s makeup. His current ambitious feeding program for those in need is under the banner of Donate to Feed L.A.’s Homeless and Underserved. Chef Michael takes a break from the kitchen and joins us with the critical details.

Faith & Flower hopes to reopen in the near future featuring a limited menu of take-out.

Play

May 2: Porto’s Bakery & Cafe, Steve Dolinsky, Zapien’s Salsa Grill, Blinking Owl Distillery, Faith & Flower, Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Betty Porto, Vice President of Community and Guest Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Café
Segment Three: Food Journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “Hungry Hound”
Segment Four: Executive Chef & Co-Proprietor Marco Zapien, Zapien’s Salsa Grill
Segment Five: Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”
Segment Six: Robin Christenson, Co-Founder, Blinking Owl Distillery, Santa Ana
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Michael Hung, Faith & Flower, Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Eight: Tom Cross, Hotel Manager, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

It’s a time of great concern for all of us and our “SoCal Restaurant Show” mission, until the Covid-19 crisis is fully abated, is to provide reliable and genuinely useful information on how the restaurant business is coping with the rapidly evolving events. With an emphasis on the health, safety and well-being of our listeners we’ll be detailing what the range of services restaurants can now provide to their guests. Creativity and adaptability are at the forefront. We’re doing our level best to keep it upbeat…

Chefs and restaurateurs are honestly the most generous people we know. In times of need they are always the very first in generously giving back and meaningfully supporting their communities. Truly remarkable…Right now restaurants urgently need our support to stay afloat. Kindly keep this in mind and please do what you possibly can (as you can afford) to support a community-focused, local restaurant….

As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it without the enthusiastic encouragement of the foodie community.

Porto’s Bakery & Café started modestly in the greater L.A. area in the 1960s and has grown steadily since then becoming a popular, local and revered institution. Founder Rosa Porto’s life took an unexpected turn back at the beginning when she and her family made the difficult decision to leave their beloved Cuba and emigrate to the United States. Out of a job, Rosa relied on her love of baking and began selling cakes out of her house for her neighbors and friends to support her family. Porto’s has gradually grown into five high volume locations in Glendale, Burbank, Downey, Buena Park, and the newly opened West Covina. Porto’s is now open for contactless ordering, payment and curbside pick-up. Betty Porto, Vice President of Community and Guest Relations for Porto’s, is our guest.

Food journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s “Hungry Hound” in Chicago, is the recipient of an impressive 13 James Beard Foundation Awards for journalistic excellence. He’s also accomplished in reporting on food and travel in print, radio and podcasting. The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala was scheduled for Chicago at the Lyric Opera on Monday evening, May 4th. It’s now been rescheduled for a to-be-announced date for later in the year. Usually Steve would be sharing his insightful Beard Awards preview with us. Instead he will talk about his informed thoughts on the dining scene in Chicagoland during the health crisis.

Like all restaurants in LA County, Zapien’s Salsa Grill in Pico Rivera is limited to takeout and curbside pick-up options to share its regional Mexican Cuisine with the community. With dine-in service unavailable, Chef Marco Zapien and team are keeping it fun and giving back to the community, while offering some of their classic favorites available for takeout, curbside pick-up and delivery. For over 25 years, The Salsa Grill has been a favorite spot in the Pico Rivera community and beyond and wants to give back. “We want to give back to the community that’s been supporting us for almost 26 years,” said co-owner and Executive Chef, Zapien. We gently pull Chef Marco out of his busy kitchen to talk about all his specials for Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day.

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 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. Take-out/delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first. What about “Code Dates” on fresh & packaged food products? What do they really mean. You certainly don’t want to potentially waste anything or take an unwise chance. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

The Blinking Owl Distillery in Santa Anna is the very first craft distillery in Orange County. They also are one of the first distilleries in the state of California to hold the Type 74 Craft Distillers License allowing them to operate their tasting room and sell a few bottles of spirits. Blinking Owl crafts Vodka, Gin, several types of Whiskey, and the Scandinavian spirit, Aquavit. “Stay Safely at Home” provisions have necessitated the temporary closing of The Tasting Room. Wanting to continue serving the community and keep their employees on the job Blinking Owl has thoughtfully shifted production to hand sanitizer under the label of Blinking Owl Dirty Bird Hand Sanitizer. So far $25,000 in hand sanitizer has been donated! Joining us from the packaging line for Dirty Bird Hand Sanitizer is Blinking Owl’s Co-founder and Chief Financial Owl, Robin Christenson.

Chef Michael Hung began his culinary career in New York City, where he dropped out of culinary school to do extended stages at acclaimed restaurants Daniel and Aquavit. Michael then followed his heart to San Francisco in 2005 and joined Traci Des Jardins’s James Beard Award-winning team at Jardiniere.  His career continued for nearly a decade in San Francisco, culminating with his appointment as Chef de Cuisine at Roland Passot’s Michelin-starred La Folie. In late-2013, Michael left San Francisco for Los Angeles to open Faith & Flower where he has returned as Executive Chef. Community service in times of need is part of Chef Michael’s makeup. His current ambitious feeding program for those in need is under the banner of Donate to Feed L.A.’s Homeless and Underserved. Chef Michael takes a break from the kitchen and joins us with the details.

This is the Weekend we were scheduled to again be broadcasting live from the 9th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort on Hawaii Island’s Kohala Coast. With the ongoing health crisis the Festival hopes to be rescheduled for August 14th & 15th if it’s safe to do so. Tom Cross is the welcoming Hotel Manager at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort and joins us with the good news that the property will again welcome guests on June 1st

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

Betty Porto in front of the Porto's Bakery Bread RackPorto’s Bakery & Café started modestly in the greater L.A. area in the 1960s and has grown steadily since then becoming a popular, local and revered institution. Founder Rosa Porto’s life took an unexpected turn back at the beginning when she and her family made the difficult decision to leave their beloved Cuba and emigrate to the United States. Out of a job, Rosa relied on her love of baking and began selling cakes out of her house for her neighbors and friends to support her family. Porto’s has gradually grown into five high-volume locations in Glendale, Burbank, Downey, Buena Park, and the newly opened West Covina. Porto’s is now open for contactless ordering, payment and curbside pick-up. Betty Porto, Vice President of Community and Guest Relations for Porto’s, is our guest.

Steve Dolinsky and Andreew GruelAccomplished food journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s “Hungry Hound” in Chicago, is the recipient of an impressive 13 James Beard Foundation Awards for journalistic excellence. He’s also accomplished in reporting on food and travel in print, radio and podcasting. The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala was scheduled for Chicago at the Lyric Opera on Monday evening, May 4th. It’s now been rescheduled for an unannounced (as yet) date later in the year.

Usually Steve would be sharing his engaging Beard Awards preview with us. Instead he will talk about his informed thoughts on the dining scene in Chicagoland during the health crisis and what the future may hold.

Marco Zapien of Zapiens Salsa Grill and TaqueriaLike all restaurants in LA County, Zapien’s Salsa Grill in Pico Rivera is limited to takeout and curbside pick-up options to share its regional Mexican Cuisine with the community. With dine-in service unavailable, Chef Marco Zapien and team are keeping it fun and giving back to the community, while offering some of their classic favorites available for takeout, curbside pick-up and delivery.

The most popular special so far is a family meal pack that feeds 4-6 and includes a salad, choice of entrée (Chile Verde, Chile Colorado, Chicharron, Carnitas or Chicken Fajitas), rice, beans, chips, salsa, Tortillas and soft drinks. Plus, anyone who orders this takeout/pick-up special will get 2 pounds of uncooked rice and beans and two rolls of toilet paper, all for only $39.99.

Chef Zapien’s creative giving doesn’t stop there. He’s helping out families with kids with $3 individual kids’ pizzas with the purchase of any entrée. Even more, all entrees come with a free soft drink or coffee.

Recently, Chef Zapien introduced the Corona Survival Kit, including two frozen packs of menudo or pozole, a six pack of beer of choice, two mini (Agave Tequila) shot bottles, one 2-pound bag of uncooked beans, one 2-pound bag of uncooked rice and two rolls of toilet paper.

For over 25 years, The Salsa Grill has been a favorite spot in the Pico Rivera community and beyond and wants to give back. “We want to give back to the community that’s been supporting us for almost 26 years,” said co-owner and Executive Chef, Zapien.

We gently pull Chef Marco out of his busy kitchen to talk about all his specials for Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is 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. Take-out/delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first.

What about those confusing “Code Dates” or “Use By Dates” on fresh & packaged food products. What do they really mean? You certainly don’t want to potentially waste anything right now that’s safely edible. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Robin Christenson of Blinking Owl Distillery with her Hand SanitzerThe Blinking Owl Distillery in Santa Ana is the very first craft distillery in Orange County. They also are one of the first distilleries in the state of California to hold the Type 74 Craft Distillers License allowing them to operate their tasting room and sell a few bottles of spirits. Blinking Owl crafts Vodka, Gin, several types of Whiskey, and the Scandinavian spirit, Aquavit.

“Stay Safely at Home” provisions have necessitated the temporary closing of The Tasting Room. Wanting to continue serving the community and keep their employees on the job Blinking Owl has thoughtfully shifted production to hand sanitizer (licensed) under the label of Blinking Owl Dirty Bird Hand Sanitizer. So far $25,000 in hand sanitizer has been generously donated!

Spirits are still available by ordering online.

Joining us from the packaging line for Dirty Bird Hand Sanitizer is Blinking Owl’s Co-founder and Chief Financial Owl, Robin Christenson.

Michael Hung of Faith and FlowerChef Michael Hung began his culinary career in New York City, where he dropped out of culinary school to do extended stages at acclaimed restaurants Daniel and Aquavit. Michael then followed his heart to San Francisco in 2005 and joined Traci Des Jardins’s James Beard Award-winning team at Jardiniere.  His career continued for nearly a decade in San Francisco, culminating with his appointment as Chef de Cuisine at Roland Passot’s Michelin-starred La Folie. In late-2013, Michael left San Francisco for Los Angeles to open Faith & Flower where he has returned as Executive Chef.

Community service in times of need is part of Chef Michael’s makeup. His current ambitious feeding program for those in need is under the banner of Donate to Feed L.A.’s Homeless and Underserved. Chef Michael takes a break from the kitchen and joins us with the critical details.

Tom Cross of the Westin Hapuna Beach ResortThis is the Weekend we were scheduled to again be broadcasting live from the 9th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort on Hawaii Island’s Kohala Coast. With the current health crisis still ongoing the Festival hopes to be rescheduled for August 14th & 15th if it’s safe to do so. Tom Cross is the welcoming Hotel Manager at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort and joins us with the good news that the property will again be welcoming guests on June 1st.

The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort completed an ambitious $50 million renovation last year. It’s part of the renown Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Betty Porto, Vice President of Community and Guest Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Café
Segment Three: Food Journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “Hungry Hound”
Segment Four: Executive Chef & Co-Proprietor Marco Zapien, Zapien’s Salsa Grill
Segment Five: Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”
Segment Six: Robin Christenson, Co-Founder, Blinking Owl Distillery, Santa Ana
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Michael Hung, Faith & Flower, Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Eight: Tom Cross, Hotel Manager, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

Show 252, December 16, 2017: Executive Chef Michael Hung, XO on Beverly, Los Angeles & Ardour Hospitality

Michael HungLocated in the heart of Los Angeles on Beverly Boulevard, close to the historic Farmer’s Market and Fairfax District, XO on Beverly delivers casual cuisine featuring a California-Asian menu and international market. Featuring dishes by acclaimed chef Michael Hung / Ardour Hospitality, XO on Beverly aims to be the center of their lively neighborhood, offering fresh seasonal cuisine in a comforting and accessible manner, with top-notch service.

Chef Michael Hung began his culinary career in New York City, where he dropped out of culinary school to do extended stages at acclaimed restaurants Daniel and Aquavit. Michael then followed his heart to San Francisco in 2005 and joined Traci Des Jardins’s James Beard Award-winning team at Jardiniere. His career continued for nearly a decade in San Francisco, culminating with his appointment as Chef de Cuisine at Roland Passot’s Michelin-starred La Folie. In 2014, Michael moved to Los Angeles to open the multi-award-winning Faith & Flower.

Chef Michael Hung is our guest.

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Show 149, December 5, 2015: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

We’re really in the Holiday spirit on the “SoCal Restaurant Show” this week with intriguing libations and equal measures of Holiday cheer. Settle back and join us for two hours of the very best in food conversation.

Now an appetizing preview of Saturday’s high-energy and appropriately loaded show and not, with apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

It was only a matter of time…! Our friends at West Coast Prime Meats have published the perfect cookbook for the Holidays : West Coast Prime Meats Cooks – Professional Recipes for the Home Kitchen. The volume includes enticing kitchen tested recipes for BIG meat, Poultry and Seafood from the best chefs in Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii. In the spirit of the Holidays the proceeds benefit two important Veterans’ charities. Authors Craig and Amy Nickoloff join us.

The Museum of the America Cocktail is shaking it up once again with their provocative December 15th evening at Faith & Flower in Downtown Los Angeles. The program is “Oh, James! Imbibing 007.” From aphrodisiacs to villain concoctions, free-flowing alcohol abounds in the James Bond books and movies. Food historian Linda Civitello (our guest) guides us on the path to getting our Bond on.

They always do it B-I-G in Las Vegas. What’s billed as the culinary event of the year, Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence, hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo, will take culinary extravagance to new levels, December 17th through the 20th. The highlight of the festivities will be the competition to select Team USA representing the United States in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or international cooking competition in Lyon, France in early 2017. This is the Olympics of the culinary arts. Sebastien Silvestri, Vice President of Food & Beverage for The Venetian and The Palazzo is our guest.

The Five Crowns in Corona del Mar (part of the Lawry’s group of restaurants) is celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year. In the grand English tradition fine, classic cocktails have been a hallmark in their rich history. A “Mad Bar Scientist” (Amber Billiard) is now creating the cocktails. Amber joins us to share some spirited Holiday cocktails.

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

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

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Show 149, December 5, 2015: MOTAC’s “Oh James! Imbibing 007”

Linda CivitelloThe Museum of the America Cocktail is shaking it up once again with their provocative December 15th evening at Faith & Flower in Downtown Los Angeles. The program is “Oh, James! Imbibing 007.”

From aphrodisiacs to villain concoctions, alcohol abounds in the James Bond books and movies. Dive into bitter, sweet, rocks, and neat with food historian Linda Civitello, author of Cuisine and Culture: A History of Food and People. Whether you like your martinis shaken, stirred, or dirty, come get your Bond on with The Museum of the American Cocktail and the evening’s Drinkmaster, Edwin Osegueda of Faith & Flower.

Admission includes four Bond-inspired cocktails, gourmet appetizers and dessert.

Ms. Civitello has been on the faculty of culinary schools throughout Southern California, appeared on TV and radio, and cooks professionally. You can hear her audio tour about food and art at The Getty Museum.

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