Show 489, September 3, 2022: Chef Andrew Gruel (Co-Host) with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel of Big Parm and the Calico Fish House

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel the Founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza), Two Birds and the soon to launch, full-service Calico Fish House (in Huntington Beach) provides another timely and informative Ask the Chef segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries.

When we think of sturgeon it’s best known as the source of caviar. Some of us have perhaps enjoyed smoked sturgeon in a Jewish Deli. Fresh sturgeon is a somewhat hidden delicacy. Chef Andrew shares the joys of sturgeon as a center-plate protein, a bit of history and its sustainability in a thoughtfully managed, domestic, farm-raised system.

Show 377, June 13, 2020: Matthew De Marte, General Manager, Connie & Ted’s, West Hollywood

Matthew de Marte wearing a mask at Connie and Ted'sSince partners Chef Michael Cimarusti, Donato Poto, and Craig Nickoloff opened Connie and Ted’s in West Hollywood in 2013 they have redefined the concept of a casual seafood dinner house serving premium seafood. Poised to reopen for dine-in Connie & Ted’s just celebrated their 7th Anniversary.

“At Connie and Ted’s you’ll find simply prepared fish and shellfish, inspired by the classic clam shacks, oyster bars, and fish houses, that dot the New England Seaboard and the Western Coast.”

During the ban on dine-in Connie & Ted’s has been serving guests with a full menu prepared To-Go & via delivery through TOCK.

Opening General Manager Matthew De Marte (a 3rd generation restaurant professional) provides all the tasty details.

Show 277, June 16, 2018: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoChef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of Ask the Chef.”

Swordfish is on a lot of restaurant menus. It’s a big one…When harvested it typically weighs some 200 to 600 pounds but can grow much larger. It’s mild flavor and firm texture makes it a very popular fish. Chef Andrew provides more insight into the possibilities with swordfish.

Show 229, June 24, 2017: Executive Chef / Proprietor Steve Samson, Rossoblu, City Market South Continues…

Steve Samson of Sotto and RossobluRossoblu celebrates Chef / Proprietor Steve Samson’s two home cities, Los Angeles and Bologna, Italy. The menu features house-made salumi, soulful pastas, market produce, and wood grilled fish and meats.

Located in downtown’s City Market South, the site of Los Angeles’s original produce market, Rossoblu’s vaulted dining room and open kitchen create a festive dining environment. The restaurant’s private outdoor piazza allows al fresco diners to feel far removed from the nearby city bustle. An intimate basement wine cellar can be reserved for private parties.


Show 184, August 13, 2016: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish – In Defense of Tilapia

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosTilapia is particularly appreciated in the Asian and Hispanic communities but needs more love in the United States. It’s flavorful, easy-to-prepare and value priced. It’s been called the “aqua-chicken.”

Our resident seafood authority and Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, provides the informed perspective with no fish tales.

It’s key to source your Tilapia from a country with safe seafood practices including The United States, Canada and Ecuador. Also look for BAP (Best Aquaculture Practices) certification.

According to Seafood Health Facts:

“Tilapia has progressively grown in popularity since 2002 when it first entered the top ten list of the most frequently consumed seafood products in the United States. It’s the third most popular aquaculture or farm raised seafood product behind shrimp and salmon. Since 2006, Americans have consumed over 1 pound of tilapia per person each year. Predictions suggest it will remain a popular selection due to its mild flavor and taste, versatility in preparation, and competitive prices.”

“Tilapia is a sustainable farm-raised product. Because tilapia are herbivorous fish that feed on algae, there is no need for feeds produced from wild caught fish. Raising tilapia in some ponds or other small water bodies can actually help improve the quality of waters compromised by excessive algae blooms. Some farming operations are using a technique called aquaponics to cultivate fish and vegetables or herbs together to produce two or more products in the same water based system.”

Show 180, July 16, 2016: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group, Huntington Beach

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamFood waste is inexcusable in restaurants these days. It’s a matter of principle in addition to being part of the green movement. Our own Chef Andrew Gruel will highlight what he does to turn usable food items that were formally tossed in the garbage into practical (and tasty) menu items.

For creative inspiration think of broccoli stalks and even onion skins…

There are also less familiar varieties of fish (often ignored or even discarded by fishermen) that are value-priced, simple to prepare and delicious on the dinner table.


Show 179, July 9, 2016: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group, Huntington Beach

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamWith fresh fish becoming more abundant on restaurant menus you’re seeing menu descriptors like “Fish Collar” and “Fish Cheeks.” Somewhat mysterious parts of the fish head are actually incredibly delicious.

Chef Andrew Gruel will explain what these wonderful cuts of fish are and why you should be aware of them. They are well worth appreciating and ordering…

Show 174, June 4, 2016: Chef Andrew Gruel – Mercury in Fish

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamThere is a legitimate concern about rising mercury levels in certain seafood. No reason to panic. Our resident seafood authority, Chef Andrew Gruel, joins us to separate the honest truth from fanciful (and alarming) fiction. Find out what you really need to be concerned about. Remain calm…

From Chef Andrew’s informed perspective there are only a handful of fish to be potentially concerned about. The FDA has specific dietary guidelines. Keep in mind these cautions are also predicated by where the fish was caught and its age.

  • Tile Fish (Gulf of Mexico)
  • Shark
  • Swordfish (certain types)
  • King Mackerel

This doesn’t mean don’t eat these types of fish. Just don’t overdo it with massive consumption…

Keep in mind seafood should absolutely be part of a balanced & healthy diet.

Show 129, July 4, 2015: Amy Riolo, The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook

Amy RioloThink you’re heard everything you could possibly need to know about the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet? Time to rethink that…

We’re diving into The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook – Harness the Power of the World’s Healthiest Diet to Live Better, Longer written by international cooking expert Amy Riolo. It’s based on the science of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid.

She gets right to the core of the Mediterranean lifestyle explaining what should be eaten, when it should be eaten, and why. Each recipe is complemented by “Mediterranean Tradition” – information on the history, culture, lore, and nutritional value of the dish and its ingredients.

Recent studies show that people who follow a Mediterranean diet were 47 percent less likely to develop heart disease – and the news gets even better. A Mediterranean diet works for all genders, all age groups, and regardless of overall condition.

Combined with the fact that the foods most common to the Mediterranean diet are easily available in the U.S. and Canada – and already number among our most popular dishes – make this diet plan perhaps one of the most effective, easiest to follow, and delicious. Rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables, and even wine, The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet allows you to enjoy both appealing food and good health.


Show 127, June 20, 2015: Chef-Owner David Guas, Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery

Chef David GuasChef David Guas (Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery, Arlington, Virginia) knows how to get your grill going with the publication of Grill Nation – 200 Surefire Recipes, Tips, and Techniques to Grill Like a Pro. You know him as the host of Travel Channel’s “American Grilled.”

Chef Guas knows how to get your grill going, and once that fire is roaring, he expertly demystifies the complexities of outdoor cooking by offering pit-proven tips and techniques and step-by-step instructions for every skill level. After mastering the basics, get the grill fired up and discover in Grill Nation a crowd-pleasing collection of recipes ranging from grilled mains – beef, pork, chicken, fish and game – to fired-up sides, salads, and even desserts.

In a homage to the Brown Derby’s classic Cobb Salad, Chef David has created the “Smoky Chopped Salad with Avocado.” Look for it in the “Salads and Sides” Chapter. How’s that for creatively adapting a Los Angeles classic ?

“Armed with this collection, home cooks everywhere will now have the tools, tips, and recipes to become a grill master in their very own backyard. Written with broad knowledge and a masterful eye, and illustrated throughout with more than 125 luscious color photographs, Grill Nation delivers delectable dishes that are sure to inspire grilling year-round.”

We’re going to master the flame with Chef David Guas.