Show 324, May 18, 2019: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a tempting preview of this Saturday’s salivating show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing… As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, the Founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, rejoins us from the road where he is in the process of opening 3 new Slapfish restaurants. We’re resuming “Ask the Chef.” Chef Andrew discusses what it’s like to take an American restaurant concept overseas. Does everything translate well?

The James Beard America’s Classics Award is given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are cherished for quality food reflecting the character of their community. The Tran Family’s Pho 79 (Garden Grove) is a 2019 Honoree as an America’s Classics. This prestigious honor represents the first James Beard Foundation Award ever presented to an Orange County Restaurant or Chef! We’ll meet Tran Family member, John Nguyen..

One of the attractions at Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden in Corona del Mar is the Farmhouse Bar under the direction of Anthony Laborin, head of Cocktail R & D. He shops weekly for seasonal ingredients at the Wednesday morning Farmers Market in Santa Monica with Owner/Executive Chef Rich Mead. He has 13 new cocktails on the Spring Menu. Also just introduced is Laborin’s Counterfeit Cocktail menu with a tempting selection of four non-alcoholic specialty beverages.

As part of the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl embrace Latin cuisine with Latin Roots: Food & Wine With Passion showcasing a four-course meal created by chef Ricardo Zarate and featuring wine pairings by Bibiana González Rave of Cattleya Winery. (This is the evening of May 26th at Los Balcones in Studio City.) The theme of the meal is Latin Roots, and each course will be a blend of Peruvian and Colombian cuisine, with the spirit of Los Balcones Studio City’s “mestizo style” of cooking (a blend of Spanish and other European influences). All four courses will celebrate the flavors of Colombia, Peru, Europe and California.

The April issue of Orange Coast Magazine is Orange County’s Best New Restaurants of 2019. Restaurant of the Year is Chef Zachary Geerson’s Journeyman’s Food & Drink in Fullerton. Orange Coast’s long-time Restaurant Critic and Contributing Editor, Gretchen Kurz, is our guide.

La Maison Palm Springs Hotel is an award-winning boutique hotel property in Palm Springs. They are a member of the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels. This carefully-maintained boutique hotel is a Mediterranean-inspired property, complete with clay tile roofs, terracotta floors, and a walled garden, offering a tranquil place for guests to unwind. The unique ambiance combines the relaxing colors and warmth of Provence with the vibrant energy of Palm Springs. Our host is Proprietor Richard Slosky (who operates the property with his wife, Cornelia Schuster.)

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group joins us with another informative “Ask the Chef” segment. With the Summer grilling season on the horizon it’s great to have a real working chef in our corner always providing handy and practical advice! Raw oysters have been in the news of late. Chef Andrew serves up what we need to know about continuing to enjoy them free of worry.

We’re live with an overstuffed show on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. Please do join us…

Play

Show 324, May 18, 2019: Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden’s Anthony Laborin, Head of Cocktail R & D

Anthony Laborin of Farmhouse at Rogers GardenOne of the special attractions at Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden in Corona del Mar is the Farmhouse Bar under the direction of Anthony Laborin, head of Cocktail R & D. He shops weekly for seasonal ingredients at the Wednesday morning Farmers Market in Santa Monica with Owner/Executive Chef Rich Mead.

He has 13 new cocktails on the Spring Menu. Among Anthony’s latest creations is Scandalous Scandinavian Panamanian Daiquiri with lime, Swedish Punsch and Panama Pacific Rum.

Also just introduced is Laborin’s Counterfeit Cocktail menu with a tempting selection of four non-alcoholic specialty beverages. Think The Green with cucumber water, pineapple, citrus, wild honey and seedlip.

“The kitchen table is where problems are solved. This is something that Anthony Laborin, head of Cocktail R&D at Farmhouse learned at an early age as he helped his mother and aunts in the kitchen. Since those early days, Anthony has loved the social aspect of the culinary experience. Inherently friendly and genuinely interested in people, he values the interaction with guests that tending bar gives him. Special moments come from listening to guests, learning what kind of drinks and flavor profiles they enjoy and then using that information to introduce them to a specially made, handcrafted cocktail that they never would have thought to order. “When I can convince a guest to try something new and they like it, it brightens my day,” shares Laborin.”

Play

May 18: Pho 79, Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden, Cattleya Winery, Orange Coast Magazine and Chef Andrew Gruel returns!

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host and Founder of Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Three: John Nguyen, Garden Grove’s Pho 79, 2019 Recipient of James Beard Foundation’s America’s Classics Award
Segment Four: Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden’s Anthony Laborin, Head of Cocktail R & D
Segment Five: Winemaker Bibiana Gonzalez Rave of Cattleya Winery with a Preview of a Latin Roots Collaboration Dinner with Ricardo Zarate
Segment Six: Orange Coast Magazine’s Dining Critic Gretchen Kurz on 2019’s Best New Restaurants Issue
Segment Seven: Innkeeper Richard Slosky, La Maison Palm Springs Hotel
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host and Founder of Slapfish Restaurant Group – “Ask the Chef”

Now a tempting preview of this Saturday’s salivating show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing… As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, the Founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, rejoins us from the road where he is in the process of opening 3 new Slapfish restaurants. We’re resuming “Ask the Chef.” Chef Andrew discusses what it’s like to take an American restaurant concept overseas. Does everything translate well?

The James Beard America’s Classics Award is given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are cherished for quality food reflecting the character of their community. The Tran Family’s Pho 79 (Garden Grove) is a 2019 Honoree as an America’s Classics. This prestigious honor represents the first James Beard Foundation Award ever presented to an Orange County Restaurant or Chef! We’ll meet Tran Family member, John Nguyen.

One of the attractions at Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden in Corona del Mar is the Farmhouse Bar under the direction of Anthony Laborin, head of Cocktail R & D. He shops weekly for seasonal ingredients at the Wednesday morning Farmers Market in Santa Monica with Owner/Executive Chef Rich Mead. He has 13 new cocktails on the Spring Menu. Also just introduced is Laborin’s Counterfeit Cocktail menu with a tempting selection of four non-alcoholic specialty beverages.

As part of the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl embrace Latin cuisine with Latin Roots : Food & Wine With Passion showcasing a four-course meal created by chef Ricardo Zarate and featuring wine pairings by Bibiana González Rave of Cattleya Winery. (This is the evening of May 26th at Los Balcones in North Hollywood.) The theme of the meal is Latin Roots, and each course will be a blend of Peruvian and Colombian cuisine, with the spirit of Los Balcones Studio City’s “mestizo style” of cooking (a blend of Spanish and other European influences). All four courses will celebrate the flavors of Colombia, Peru, Europe and California.

The April issue of Orange Coast Magazine is Orange County’s Best New Restaurants of 2019. Restaurant of the Year is Chef Zachary Geerson’s Journeyman’s Food & Drink in Fullerton. Orange Coast’s long-time Restaurant Critic and Contributing Editor, Gretchen Kurz, is our guide.

La Maison Palm Springs Hotel is an award-winning boutique hotel property in Palm Springs. They are a member of the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels. This boutique hotel is a Mediterranean-inspired property, complete with clay tile roofs, terracotta floors, and a walled garden, offering a tranquil place for guests to unwind. The unique ambiance combines the relaxing colors and warmth of Provence with the vibrant energy of Palm Springs. Our host is Proprietor Richard Schuster (who operates the property with his wife, Cornelia.)

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group joins us with another informative “Ask the Chef” segment. With the Summer grilling season on the horizon it’s great to have a real working chef in our corner always providing handy and practical advice! Raw oysters have been in the news of late. Chef Andrew serves up what we need to know about continuing to enjoy them free of worry.

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

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoOur Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, the Founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, rejoins us from the road where he is in the process of opening 3 new Slapfish restaurants. We’re resuming Ask the Chef.”

Chef Andrew discusses what it’s like to take an established & successful American restaurant concept overseas. Does everything typically translate well?

John Nguyen of Pho79The James Beard America’s Classics Award is given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are cherished for quality food reflecting the character of their community. The five 2019 honorees join the ranks of over 100 restaurants from across the country that have received the award since the category was introduced in 1998.

The Tran Family’s Pho 79 is a 2019 Honoree as an America’s Classics. This honor represents the first James Beard Foundation Award ever presented to an Orange County Restaurant or Chef!

“Orange County, California, claims one of the most vibrant Vietnamese-American communities in the country. Pho 79 was founded by Thọ Trần and Liễu Trần who opened in 1982, when it was among the area’s very first restaurants of its kind, introducing Americans to bowls of slippery rice noodles in beefy broth, topped with eye of round steak, brisket, tripe, meatballs, or the restaurant’s justifiably legendary oxtails. With chef Lieu Trần in the kitchen, Pho 79 helped pave the way for southern California’s Little Saigon to become the dynamic hub of Vietnamese cuisine it is today. The next generation of the Trần family continues to operate the restaurant, as well as others in the area including Pho 101. The family’s story is as much about intrepid entrepreneurship and excellent cooking as it is about a community that rose from war and displacement to forever change American cuisine.”

We’ll meet Tran Family member, John Nguyen.

Anthony Laborin of Farmhouse at Rogers GardenOne of the special attractions at Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden in Corona del Mar is the Farmhouse Bar under the direction of Anthony Laborin, head of Cocktail R & D. He shops weekly for seasonal ingredients at the Wednesday morning Farmers Market in Santa Monica with Owner/Executive Chef Rich Mead.

He has 13 new cocktails on the Spring Menu. Among Anthony’s latest creations is Scandalous Scandinavian Panamanian Daiquiri with lime, Swedish Punsch and Panama Pacific Rum.

Also just introduced is Laborin’s Counterfeit Cocktail menu with a tempting selection of four non-alcoholic specialty beverages. Think The Green with cucumber water, pineapple, citrus, wild honey and seedlip.

“The kitchen table is where problems are solved. This is something that Anthony Laborin, head of Cocktail R&D at Farmhouse learned at an early age as he helped his mother and aunts in the kitchen. Since those early days, Anthony has loved the social aspect of the culinary experience. Inherently friendly and genuinely interested in people, he values the interaction with guests that tending bar gives him. Special moments come from listening to guests, learning what kind of drinks and flavor profiles they enjoy and then using that information to introduce them to a specially made, handcrafted cocktail that they never would have thought to order. “When I can convince a guest to try something new and they like it, it brightens my day,” shares Laborin.”

Winemaker Bibiana Gonzalez RaveAs part of the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl embrace Latin cuisine with Latin Roots: Food & Wine With Passion showcasing a four-course meal created by chef Ricardo Zarate and featuring wine pairings by Bibiana González Rave of Cattleya Winery. (This is the evening of May 26th at Los Balcones in Studio City.)

The theme of the meal is Latin Roots, and each course will be a blend of Peruvian and Colombian cuisine, with the spirit of Los Balcones Studio City’s “mestizo style” of cooking (a blend of Spanish and other European influences). All four courses will celebrate the flavors of Colombia, Peru, Europe and California.

Bibiana joins us to share her incredible journey and preview Latin Roots: Food & Wine with Passion.” In 2015 she was named “Winemaker of the Year” by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Orange Coast Best RestaurantsThe April issue of Orange Coast Magazine is Orange County’s Best New Restaurants of 2019. Restaurant of the Year is Chef Zachary Geerson’s Journeyman’s Food & Drink in Fullerton.

‘Eat, write, repeat’ summarizes the notable career of Gretchen Kurz, who is Contributing Editor at Orange Coast Magazine and its Dining Critic since 2004. She was also the Zagat Local Editor for Orange County for 13 years. A native of southern California, she first fell under the spell of restaurant writing as a journalism student and freelancer for San Jose Magazine. Her very first writing gig: sewing names on mouse ear hats at Disneyland.

Orange Coast’s long-time Restaurant Critic and Contributing Editor, Gretchen Kurz, is our appropriately opinionated guide.

Richard SchusterLa Maison Palm Springs Hotel is an award-winning boutique hotel property in Palm Springs. They are a member of the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels. This boutique hotel is a Mediterranean-inspired property, complete with clay tile roofs, terracotta floors, and a walled garden, offering a tranquil place for guests to unwind. The unique ambiance combines the relaxing colors and warmth of Provence with the vibrant energy of Palm Springs.

“Indulge in lavender scones and handcrafted lattes each morning. Spend the day lounging by the pool in our charming inner courtyard. At night, enjoy the most peaceful sleep on your feather bed dressed in imported luxury linens.”

“Here at La Maison Palm Springs Hotel, we know that every detail is important. All 13 guest rooms surround the pool and lush gardens. Each room is individually decorated and includes either a queen or king feather bed with luxury linens, seasonal down comforters and a small guest fridge. Our bathrooms have marble or granite accents, L’Occitane bath amenities, plush bathrobes and rain showerheads. The pièce de résistance? A complimentary lavender sachet on your pillow at night.”

Our gracious host is Proprietor Richard Slosky (who operates the property with his wife, Cornelia Schuster.)

Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group joins us with another informative “Ask the Chef” segment. With the Summer grilling season on the horizon it’s great to have a real working chef in our corner always providing handy and practical advice!

Raw oysters have been in the news of late. Chef Andrew serves up what we need to know about continuing to enjoy them free of worry.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host and Founder of Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Three: John Nguyen, Garden Grove’s Pho 79, 2019 Recipient of James Beard Foundation’s America’s Classics Award
Segment Four: Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden’s Anthony Laborin, Head of Cocktail R & D
Segment Five: Winemaker Bibiana Gonzalez Rave of Cattleya Winery with a Preview of a Latin Roots Collaboration Dinner with Ricardo Zarate
Segment Six: Orange Coast Magazine’s Dining Critic Gretchen Kurz on 2019’s Best New Restaurants Issue
Segment Seven: Innkeeper Richard Slosky, La Maison Palm Springs Hotel
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host and Founder of Slapfish Restaurant Group – “Ask the Chef”

Show 240, September 9, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel

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

We always look forward to sharing with you the new, creative taste sensations at the 95th LA County Fair on now through September 24th in Pomona. Already creating excitement is Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on virtually everything edible including pizza. The master of midway food himself, Chef Dominic Palmieri, The Midway Gourmet, joins us for the tempting high calorie update.

Taco Rosa, Chef Ivan Calderon’s upscale Mexican restaurant in Newport Beach, will host Battle of the Tequileros on Mexican Independence Day, Saturday, September 16th from 1-5 p.m. Bringing together 26 different tequila and mezcal brands, the celebratory event will benefit Save our Youth (SOY), a local non-profit serving the at-risk youth of the Newport-Mesa area through arts, fitness, education, and scholarship programs. Chef Ivan is our guest.

During his 35 years of professional cooking, Chef Rich Mead has cultivated relationships with the highest regarded local sustainable farms, allowing him to create the freshest menus using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and specially grown vegetables. In 2016, after years of planning, Chef Mead unveiled a unique and sustainable field-to-fork dining experience at Farmhouse, located within Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar. Nestled on over 6 acres in the garden-like setting, Farmhouse features exclusive wines, craft beers, signature cocktails, artisan refreshments and a healthy based seasonal cuisine. We pull Chef Rich out of the local farmers market for a chat.

Farhana Sahibzada is a Chef and Cooking Instructor full of incredible passion for the food she cooks. Her dishes ooze with the scrumptious authenticity of her homeland, Pakistan. Blessed with a rich cultural heritage of Indian and Arabic influences, the region offers a vibrant tapestry of exquisite tastes. Her cookbook is Flavorful Shortcuts to Indian / Pakistani Cooking. We’ll meet her.

Chef Andrew Gruel is poised to take Slapfish’s signature fish and chips to London. Since this is a traditional British dish that’s a bit unusual. Chef Andrew will present us with an informative Fish and Chips 101 as part of our continuing “Ask the Chef” series.

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

Play

Show 240, September 9, 2017: Proprietor Chef Rich Mead, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens

Rich MeadDuring his 35 years of professional cooking, Chef Rich Mead has cultivated relationships with the highest regarded local sustainable farms, allowing him to create the freshest menus using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and specially grown vegetables. For years he has made the long trek to the Wednesday morning Santa Monica Farmers Market way before it became the trendy place for young chefs to be seen as it is today.

In 2016, after years of planning, Chef Mead unveiled a unique and sustainable field-to-fork dining experience at Farmhouse, located within Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar. Nestled on over 6 acres in the garden-like setting, Farmhouse features exclusive wines, craft beers, signature cocktails, artisan refreshments and a healthy based seasonal cuisine.

Think Grilled Corn and Summer Squash “Succotash” with fried shishito pepper or Roasted Weiser Farms Pee Wee Potatoes with pancetta bread crumbs.

The full Summer menu at Farmhouse is also offered in the Farmhouse bar. It features four refreshing new Summer cocktails, hand-crafted by Anthony Laborin, head of Cocktail R&D.

We pull Chef Rich out of the crowded aisles of the local farmers market for a chat.

 

Play

September 9: Midway Gourmet, Battle of the Tequileros, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens, Farhana Sahibzada, Ask the Chef

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Chef Dominic Palmieri, The Midway Gourmet, L.A. County Fair
Segment Three: Chef Ivan Calderon, Taco Rosa’s “Battle of the Taquileros” Part One
Segment Four: Chef Ivan Calderon, Taco Rosa’s “Battle of the Taquileros” Part Two
Segment Five: Proprietor Chef Rich Mead, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens
Segment Six: Chef & Cooking Instructor Farhana Sahibzada, author of Flavorful Shortcuts to Indian / Pakistani Cooking
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef” Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef” Part Two

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

We always look forward to sharing with you the new, creative taste sensations at the LA County Fair on now through September 24th in Pomona. Already creating excitement is Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on virtually everything edible including pizza. The master of midway food himself, Chef Dominic Palmieri, the Midway Gourmet, joins us for the tempting high calorie update.

Taco Rosa, Chef Ivan Calderon’s upscale Mexican restaurant in Newport Beach, will host “Battle of the Tequileros” on Mexican Independence Day, Saturday, September 16th from 1-5 p.m. Bringing together 26 different tequila and mezcal brands, the celebratory event will benefit Save our Youth (SOY), a local non-profit serving the at-risk youth of the Newport-Mesa area through arts, fitness, education, and scholarship programs. Chef Ivan is our guest.

During his 35 years of professional cooking, Chef Rich Mead has cultivated relationships with the highest regarded local sustainable farms, allowing him to create the freshest menus using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and specially grown vegetables. In 2016, after years of planning, Chef Mead unveiled a unique and sustainable field-to-fork dining experience at Farmhouse, located within Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar. Nestled on over 6 acres in the garden-like setting, Farmhouse features exclusive wines, craft beers, signature cocktails, artisan refreshments and a healthy based seasonal cuisine. We pull Chef Rich out of the local farmers market for a chat.

Farhana Sahibzada is a Chef and Cooking Instructor full of incredible passion for the food she cooks. Her dishes ooze with the scrumptious authenticity of her homeland, Pakistan. Blessed with a rich cultural heritage of Indian and Arabic influences, the region offers a vibrant tapestry of exquisite tastes. We’ll meet her.

Chef Andrew Gruel is poised to take Slapfish’s signature fish and chips to London. Since this is a traditional British dish that’s a bit unusual. Chef Andrew will present us with Fish and Chips 101.

We get e-mail…In today’s “Ask the Chef” segment Chef Andrew will respond to recent listeners’ questions. We’re starting off with why we should be concerned about the inadvertent, mistaken release of tens of thousands of farm-raised Atlantic salmon into clean Washington State waters.

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

Dominic Palmieri of Midway GourmetWe always look forward to sharing with you the new, creative taste sensations at the LA County Fair on now through September 24th in Pomona. Already creating excitement is Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on virtually everything edible including pizza. The master of midway food himself, Chef Dominic Palmieri, the Midway Gourmet, joins us for the tempting high calorie update.

This year’s theme is “Dare to Fair.”

“It’s a 1950s experience with 21st century sensibility. You can’t experience the Fair on your phone.”

“This wouldn’t be a Fair without food! Dare to indulge! Deep-fried, on-a-stick, ooey, gooey, barbequed, dipped in chocolate and just plain delicious. That’s the best way to describe the array of food at the LA County Fair. Fair food offers a unique culinary experience, and the LA County Fair has so many choices, you can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner here every day of the Fair and never eat the same thing twice! From Asian to Greek to Classic American to Mexican – the Fair’s got it.”

The Midway Gourmet is cookin’ up a batch of unbelievable treats. Among the must-tries:

  • Nutella funnel cake
  • Flamin’ Hot Cheetos roasted corn on the cob. It’s life changing!
  • Flamin’ Hot Cheetos cheese fries
    Flamin’ Hot Cheetos pizza
  • Nitro Pop, candy pop kettle corn dipped in liquid nitrogen. It’s like eating frozen popcorn ice cream
  • The Pickle Cheese, a giant dill pickle stuffed with jalapeño cheese, dipped in corn dog batter and deep fried. For the expecting, and un-expecting, set. This was featured on Season 4 of The Food Network’s “Carnival Eats” early this spring. Did you catch it?

Ivan CalderonTaco Rosa, Chef Ivan Calderon’s upscale Mexican restaurant in Newport Beach, will host Battle of the Tequileros on Mexican Independence Day, Saturday, September 16th from 1-5 p.m. Bringing together 26 different tequila and mezcal brands, the celebratory event will benefit Save our Youth (SOY), a local non-profit serving the at-risk youth of the Newport-Mesa area through arts, fitness, education, and scholarship programs. Chef Ivan is our guest.

Offering perhaps the most diverse tasting selection in all of Southern California, the event will give guests an unparalleled opportunity to experience the unique nuances between a variety of tequilas and mezcales. Guests can also enjoy tasty tray-passed tapas-style bites from the Taco Rosa kitchen, exciting giveaways, and live mariachi music. A panel of esteemed judges, as well as the participants, will vote on the winners of the following categories:

  • Best Cocktail
  • Best Blanco
  • Best Reposado
  • Best Añejo
  • Best Booth Presentation

“Now in our fifth year, Battle of the Tequileros has become more than a tequila festival. It has become a cultural experience that shines light on a hallmark of Mexican culture, while benefitting a cause that helps uplift our community’s youth,” commented Ivan Calderon, who has been an active supporter and board member of Save our Youth for the past 24 years.

Tickets for the 21-and-over event are priced at $75 and offer guests all-inclusive access to tequila and mezcal tastings. Tickets can be purchased by calling 949.720.0980 or online here:.

Taco Rosa is located at 2632 San Miguel Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660.

With locations in Newport Beach and Irvine, California, Taco Rosa is the upscale, full-service sister restaurant to Taco Mesa. Chef Ivan Calderon’s award-winning menu utilizes sustainable ingredients and artisanal spices brought to life through authentic and contemporary cooking techniques.

Presenting the very best dishes and beverages from a variety of regions throughout Mexico, Taco Rosa takes their commitment to authenticity and sustainability one step further by using GMO-free masa for their corn products and tortillas. For more information, visit the Taco Rosa website.

Ivan Rogelio Calderon is the founder of Taco Mesa, Taco Rosa, and Taco Mesa Tortillería Orgánica & Café. As a third-generation restaurateur, Calderon began his career in the restaurant industry at El Torito Grill as a bus boy and as he worked his way through college began to move upward within the company, eventually earning himself a role in management. As a manager, he made it his mission to elevate El Torito’s operating standards. He helped lead the chain in opening several locations across the United States, eventually earning a position as regional manager.

In 1992, he opened the original Taco Mesa in Costa Mesa which garnered him recognition for bringing healthy and authentic, quick-service Mexican cuisine to Orange County. The Taco Mesa brand has expanded to include four locations in Costa Mesa, Mission Viejo, Orange (which he re-opened as his new tortilleria), and Foothill Ranch.

Calderon’s newest concept, Taco Mesa Tortillería Orgánica & Café, produces GMO-free corn masa for all his locations and will soon offer GMO-free tortillas to retailers and other restaurants.

Rich MeadDuring his 35 years of professional cooking, Chef Rich Mead has cultivated relationships with the highest regarded local sustainable farms, allowing him to create the freshest menus using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and specially grown vegetables

In 2016, after years of planning, Chef Mead unveiled a unique and sustainable field-to-fork dining experience at Farmhouse, located within Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar. Nestled on over 6 acres in the garden-like setting, Farmhouse features exclusive wines, craft beers, signature cocktails, artisan refreshments and a healthy based seasonal cuisine

Think Grilled Corn and Summer Squash “Succotash” with fried shishito pepper or Roasted Weiser Farms Pee Wee Potatoes with pancetta bread crumbs.

The full Summer menu at Farmhouse is also offered in the Farmhouse bar. It features four refreshing new Summer cocktails, hand-crafted by Anthony Laborin, head of Cocktail R&D.

We pull Chef Rich out of the crowded aisles of the local farmers market for a chat.

Farhana SahibzadaFarhana Sahibzada is a Chef and Cooking Instructor full of incredible passion for the food she cooks. Her dishes ooze with the scrumptious authenticity of her homeland, Pakistan. Blessed with a rich cultural heritage of Indian and Arabic influences, the region offers a vibrant tapestry of exquisite tastes.

Born in Karachi and raised in Lahore, Pakistan, Chef Farhana has lived in Los Angeles for the past thirty years. She teaches classes at some of L.A.’s most prestigious cooking schools, turning age-old South Asian cuisine into quick, healthy and satisfying meals for every modern American household.

There is an educational component to Farhana’s work. Not only do her recipes demystify a cuisine from the Indian subcontinent, her natural charm and easy-going nature make her the perfect conduit to teach traditions from a part of the world Westerners often know little about.

Farhana’s goal is to remove the intimidation and encourage people to cook South Asian food at home. She takes regular culinary trips back to Pakistan to work with food industry professionals in Punjab, fine tuning treasured recipes so home cooks can master tastes that have driven South Asian culture for thousands of years.

Her book ‘Flavorful Shortcuts to Indian and Pakistani Cooking’ (Trafford Publishing) won the 2014 ‘Beverly Hills Book Award’ as the Best International cookbook.

We’ll meet her.

Andrew and William GruelChef Andrew Gruel is poised to take Slapfish’s signature fish and chips to London before year’s end. Since this is a traditional British dish that’s a bit unusual. Classic fish and chips are deep-fried fish fillets and French fries typically served with malt vinegar. Chef Andrew will present us with the Fish and Chips 101 tutorial.

Crispy and delicious, of course, when properly prepared…

We get e-mail…In today’s “Ask the Chef” segment Chef Andrew will respond to recent listeners’ questions. We’re starting with why we should be concerned about the inadvertent, mistaken release of tens of thousands of farm-raised Atlantic salmon into clean Washington State waters. This is the home waters of wild Pacific salmon.

Last Sunday Chef Andrew spent the full day cooking at The Los Angeles Times The Taste. He was part of both the afternoon Sunday Block Party and the concluding, evening Flavors of L.A. We’ll hear about it.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Chef Dominic Palmieri, The Midway Gourmet, L.A. County Fair
Segment Three: Chef Ivan Calderon, Taco Rosa’s “Battle of the Taquileros” Part One
Segment Four: Chef Ivan Calderon, Taco Rosa’s “Battle of the Taquileros” Part Two
Segment Five: Proprietor Chef Rich Mead, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens
Segment Six: Chef & Cooking Instructor Farhana Sahibzada, author of Flavorful Shortcuts to Indian / Pakistani Cooking
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef” Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef” Part Two