Show 508, January 21, 2023: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Chef Rich Mead is the proprietor of Farmhouse at Rogers Gardens in Corona del Mar. Chef Rich’s seasonal menus feature ingredients sourced from local and sustainably focused farmers and purveyors. Sunday Brunch in the Gardens is a celebratory Orange County tradition. Farmhouse will also be a participating restaurant in the upcoming Orange County Restaurant Week set for March 5th to 11th. Chef Rich Mead takes a break from his regular Saturday morning sourcing trip at the Santa Monica Farmers Market to join us.

“The Santa Ynez Valley’s creative culinary culture has long been at the heart of its wine country experience, but its wide range of flavors are never more accessible than during Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks. Restaurant Weeks has returned for the 13th consecutive year, January 16 to 31, once again showcasing the region’s culinary bounty — and the perfect Santa Ynez Valley wines to pair with it — with a variety of special three-course prix fixe price menus.” Shelby Sim (President and CEO of Visit Santa Ynez Valley) is our guest highlighting Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks.

“The city-wide 2nd annual Long Beach Black Restaurant Week will take place January 22-29, 2023. Long Beach Black Restaurant Week will be an avenue to bring everyone to the table, from all walks of life, to showcase the city’s diverse Black food scene. Organized by Long Beach Food & Beverage, a California registered 501(c)3 non-profit, Long Black Restaurant Week is an eight day, city-wide event devoted to celebrating African, African American, and Caribbean fare in and around Long Beach. The event also seeks to highlight Black-owned food businesses as well as Black chefs and bartenders.” One of the participating restaurant pop-ups is Miller Butler known for their fresh pasta and wood-fire oven cooked pizzas. We’ll meet Co-Founder and pizzaiolo Ahmed Jamal Butler.

We’re delighted to welcome prominent food journalist Farley Elliott back to the show. Farley is the Senior Editor of the widely read Eater LA, covering the daily restaurant news beat in Los Angeles, Orange County and environs. He’s also the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks, a book about the long, winding saga of street food in Los Angeles. Find him all over the internet. We’ll discuss, among other delectable topics, the Michelin California Guide and its importance to recognized restaurants.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel the Founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza), Two Birds and the just soft-opened, full-service Calico Fish House (on Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach) provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Locally caught California Halibut is now in season. Chef Andrew provides an over view. What’s a Ghost and/or a Virtual Kitchen? Chef Andrew explains the differences between Food Halls, Virtual Kitchens / Ghost Kitchens and the multiple hybrid variations utilizing components of each. They are here to stay in one form or another.

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

Show 441, September 4, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Happy Labor Day Weekend

Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar turned five on September 1, 2021. “To celebrate the occasion, Owner & Executive Chef Rich Mead is highlighting a menu of $5 food and drink specials offered Wednesday, September 1 through Sunday, September 5. Chef Rich Mead’s special menu of five $5 bites highlights the unique local and sustainable ingredients he sources during weekly trips to the Santa Monica Farmers Market.” Chef Rich takes a respite from his busy kitchen to join us.

Winemaker Pietro Buttitta of Prima Materia makes American-Italian wines from his 12-acre vineyard in Lake County, CA. “His is a quest to not just get it right, but simply to get to making good, balanced wines. In his effort, he knows he’s up against perceptions borne 20 years ago about Italian varietals made in California. His is, fortunately, not those wines.” “Prima Materia doesn’t use herbicides or pesticides, and they naturally craft unfined and unfiltered wines using traditional methods that produce ageable bottles that respect classical styles interpreted through their vineyard.” Pietro is our guest to uncork all that is Prima Materia.

Adam Bell, the founder of dataTV established in 1996, is the “SoCal Restaurant Show’s” accomplished, long-time web designer, webmaster and all-around social media guru. He relocated to Los Angeles from New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Adam’s wide range of clients includes Chef Jet Tila, Café du Monde and the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association. Adam is also a certified coffee nut. Last weekend was the big, annual Coffee Fest Anaheim at the Anaheim Convention Center. Adam will report on what’s new in coffee and what it’s like experiencing a popular, previously well-attended trade show known for generous sampling coming off the pandemic with the real concerns of the spread of the Delta variant.

“Every September, in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizza Store (3 OC locations) fundraises for Julian’s LEGO® Corner, an Orange County-based charity that donates new LEGO® kits for seriously ill hospitalized children to play with while they undergo medical care at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). Last year, Sgt. Pepperoni’s raised $16,000, and the team has an even bigger goal in 2021.” Our guests, representing the owners of Sgt. Pepperoni’s, are Stan Frazier and Jeff Roberts.

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery. Genuine concerns remain… Bracken’s Kitchen is presenting their annual benefit, The Hungry Games 4.0 on Thursday evening, September 9th to benefit the less fortunate and food insecure in Southern California. Chef Andrew is one of the participating chefs. Bottled hot sauce is everywhere these days and there seems to be more brands entering the marketplace all the time. What goes into creating a quality, shelf-stable hot sauce? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

Show 433, July 10, 2021: Chef Bill Bracken, Bracken’s Kitchen, The Hungry Games 4.0 Preview Part One

Bill Bracken of Brackens Kitchen

“For the fourth year, Bracken’s Kitchen is hosting its signature culinary event benefiting the less fortunate and food insecure in Southern California. This year’s edition, THE HUNGRY GAMES 4.0 will feature talented, local chefs creating their trademark dishes and competing in the organization’s very own 9,000 square foot kitchen in Garden Grove on Thursday, September 9, 2021, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.”

“All who attend are encouraged to come HUNGRY as guests will enjoy selections of small bites, appetizers, snacks, sweets, beer, and wine, while experiencing the entire Bracken’s Kitchen facility including three commercial kitchens and a newly renovated outdoor space. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the culinary competition, participate in silent and live auctions, and learn more about the great work to which Bracken’s Kitchen is devoted.”

“Bracken’s Kitchen welcomes a variety of Southern California’s top chefs including our own Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, Chef Rich Mead at Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens, Chef Peter Petro of Bosscat Kitchen + Libations, Chef Greg Daniels of Harley Laguna Beach, Chefs Michael & David Rossi (ex-The Ranch Restaurant,) Chef Tarit Tanjasiri of Crema Café and and Master Baker Dean Kim of OC Baking Co., to name just a few.”

“This past year has seen an exponential increase in food insecurity and need here and in Southern California and across the nation. Over the past several months we’ve seen the attention on food insecurity wane and move to other hot topics,” said Bill Bracken, founder Bracken’s Kitchen. “Unfortunately, the need is still there and we are committed to help meet it. The Hungry Games 4.0 is a fun and exciting way that you can help us to meet that need. We hope you will join us for an evening of food, fun, and purpose for our friends and neighbors in need.”

Chef Bill Bracken takes a break from his busy kitchens and joins us.

Show 410, January 30, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris. It’s been an especially eventful week as restaurants in Southern California can again serve guests with full-service outdoor or patio dining with various requirements defined by each County. LA County remains the most restrictive.

“The restaurant world is changing faster than ever before and some of the best chefs are all looking for ways to test out new concepts without a huge financial investment.”  Food entrepreneur Jolene Mannina, President of, has brought Las Vegas its first Test Kitchen (Vegas Test Kitchen.) It’s a brick & mortar location in downtown Las Vegas on E. Fremont St. offering a variety of cuisines five days a week (Wednesday through Sunday) from celebrated chefs testing new concepts. “This is a win-win for these amazing chefs and the food loving community we all know Vegas has.” Jolene Mannina is our enterprising guest.

“Washington State is one of today’s most exciting viticulture regions and L’Ecole No 41 is one of its leading benchmark wineries. More than three decades of winemaking experience, ongoing investments in their Walla Walla Estate Ferguson and Seven Hills Vineyards, and partnerships with some of Washington’s oldest vineyard sites are central to L’Ecole’s well-deserved reputation for excellence across their portfolio of wines.” We’ll meet General Manager Constance Savage and Winemaker (and wine educator) Marcus Rafanelli to uncork all that is L’Ecole.

Rich Mead, Owner and Executive Chef of Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar is once again offering guests patio seating in a lush, garden setting for lunch and early dinner with an all-day menu. With over 4,000 square feet of al fresco dining, guests can relax outdoors while responsibly enjoying an award-winning cocktail or a seasonal, sustainably sourced meal. Also available is a robust menu of takeout offerings in place including a Curbside Market with local ingredients and pantry staples, nourishing Family Meals and weekly Farmers Market Produce Boxes. Classic and signature cocktails are available for dine-in or curbside pickup courtesy of Chef de Swigs, Anthony Laborin and his team. We divert Rich Mead from the Saturday morning Santa Monica Farmers Market for a chat.

“Women restaurateurs from across Los Angeles have created a new charitable organization called RE:Her. Its debut initiative, a food festival called 10 Days RE:Her,  featured 10 days of unique collaborations, thematic menus, and one-on-one conversations between female industry leaders. 10 Days RE:Her kicked off on January 21, the anniversary of the groundbreaking Women’s March of 2017, and ran through Saturday, January 30. Over 100 restaurants and collaborators are involved. Observing local dining restrictions, aspects of the festival took place virtually and remotely. “Restaurateur Sylvie Gabriele (a 2nd generation Restaurateur) of Manhattan Beach’s Love & Salt is one of the organizers of the Festival as well as serves on the active RE:Her board. Sylvie takes a break from her restaurant to recap the variety of “10 Days RE:Her” events that she and her team were part of.

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 which is a genuine (and increasingly growing) concern. This week restaurants in Southern California were finally allowed to reopen for outside/patio dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. Los Angeles County has the most restrictions on what is allowable. It’s a welcome start back. 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!