Show 274, May 19, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a provocative 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 that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Creative potluck makes for inspired dinner parties. Ali Rosen (founder & host of Potluck with Ali Rosen, a television show and active website) brings it all together in her debut cookbook, BRING IT! – Tried and True Recipes for Potlucks and Casual Entertaining. We’re in the kitchen with Ali.

The Lobster (revived in 1999) is the long-running, fine-dining restaurant located on the land side of the landmark Santa Monica Pier. Recently installed there as executive chef is culinary celebrity Govind Armstrong. Chef Govind joins us along with the new General Manager, hospitality veteran Will Holt.

Long Beach’s Proper’s Pickles is an unlikely local gourmet specialty food product success story. The Noori Brothers (Bijan & Pejmon) are insurance brokers. Growing up their Family pickled all the extra veggies in their home kitchen. Four years ago the Brothers perfected their recipes and starting selling at one Long Beach Farmers Markets. Today they are available at retail in Gelson’s and select Bristol Farms, and produce some 1,500 to 2,000 jars a month. We’re talking about the art of pickling with Pejmon Noori.

Chefs’ Toys is no stranger to the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” Starting with a passion for food, Chefs’ Toys began in 1988 (founded by Chef Steve Dickler) with a genuine desire to help other Chefs. In 2003 foodservice equipment veteran Mike Krepistman folded his restaurant equipment supply firm into Chefs’ Toys and became a partner. From humble beginnings to an award-winning foodservice enterprise, Chefs’ Toys business philosophy has never wavered. Earlier this year TriMark acquired Chefs’ Toys. We’ll get the update directly from principals Steve Dickler and Mike Krepistman.

Memorial Day weekend, Smorgasburg LA has teamed up with world renowned burger expert George Motz for its 2nd annual Burger Day on Sunday, May 27. Motz’s first burger popup at Smorgasburg LA this past December was such a success that he is headed back to the market for a second time, and this time with some of his most talented friends. The Host of Travel Channel‘s Burger Land and author of Hamburger America ( revised and updated 3rd Edition just out) has curated the best burgers from LA and beyond to popup at Smorgasburg LA for one day only from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. It’s a two napkin affair!

Several years ago Chef Ricardo Zarate created quite a local foodie sensation with his Mo-chica restaurant located within walking distance of USC in the Mercado la Paloma. The menu was modern interpretations of traditional Peruvian comfort food. Currently Chef Ricardo operates Rosaline in Los Angeles and the recently debuted Once in the Palazzo Resort in Las Vegas. Chef Ricardo is our guest.

Chef Andrew Gruel is back with his “Ask the Chef” commentary. Chef Andrew was a judge at C-CAP’s (Careers through Culinary Arts Program) annual scholarship competition for area High School seniors this week. On Monday the culinary scholarships will be awarded to the fortunate student winners at the annual Scholarship Breakfast at Downtown L.A.’s Jonathan Club. This is the first time Chef Andrew has participated in judging this spirited competition. We’ll get his observations.

Program Note:
Our distinguished emeritus Co-host, culinary celebrity Chef Jet Tila, debuts as Alton Brown’s Floor Reporter on the reboot of Food Network’s long-running original Iron Chef America. The launch of the 10-episode new season is Sunday night, May 20th on Food Network. Take a look at the preview trailer.

All of this and much more absolute deliciousness on today’s overflowing show!


Show 272, May 5, 2018: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish & Raw Bar by Slapfish

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and Casino“Ask the Chef” with our own Chef Andrew Gruel is back.

Barramundi is appearing on high-end restaurant menus and available at better seafood retailers.

For the uninitiated it’s both delicious, eco-friendly and well-managed. It’s a member of the sea bass family.

Chef Andrew will give us all the needed 411.

Program Note: Be sure to catch our own Chef Andrew Gruel as a guest judge with soon to be Princess Meghan (Markle) on Food Network’s “Chopped Junior” on Saturday May 19th. Chef Andrew is certainly culinary royalty in our book!



Show 269, April 14, 2018: Alejandra Padilla, Executive Chef, Five Crowns and SideDoor, Corona del Mar

Alejandra PadillaLawry’s Restaurants Inc. announced the appointment of Alejandra Padilla as Executive Chef of Five Crowns and SideDoor in Corona del Mar back in January. Chef Padilla recently introduced her new Spring menu. Chef Padilla joins us.

Featuring the season’s freshest flavors to compliment the restaurant’s classic dishes, the colorful Spring menu welcomes several new small plates such as the Smoked Octopus with meyer lemon yogurt, spring peas and pickled red onions, main dishes like the Coffee Rubbed Short Rib with broccolini, tomato petals, grilled leeks, horseradish gremolata and bordelaise and desserts including the Cheesecake with carrot cake crumbles, walnut ice cream and carrot chips.

Chef Padilla comes to Five Crowns and SideDoor from Hillstone Restaurant Group, where she served as Culinary Manager since 2015. Prior to joining Hillstone, Padilla moved up the ranks at Patina Restaurant Group where she started in 2010 as Sous Chef at La Fonda Del Sol in New York before moving to Los Angeles to take a position as Sous Chef at Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse. She was quickly promoted to Executive Chef, a position she served at two different Market Café locations in Los Angeles.

Chef Alejandra appeared on Cooking Channel’s Unique Eats in 2010 and was also the winner of the Season 6 premier episode of Food Network’s, Chopped in 2011.


Show 268, April 7, 2018: Co-host, Andy Harris, “Your Questions & Our Answers”

Andy Harris at the KLAA StudiosWe’re encouraged to receive many thoughtful questions via Social Media and e-mail. While Chef Andrew Gruel is hanging out at Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival, Executive Producer Andy Harris will answer a few recent inquiries of the most general interest along with a major announcement of emeritus host Chef Jet’s Tila’s new Food TV adventure.


Show 237, August 19, 2017: Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder & CEO, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew and William GruelOur always on-the-go show Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, has been on the road extensively since he was last in-studio. The ambitious itinerary was production for Food Network, New Jersey, New York, London, Orlando, Washington, D.C. and now a new Slapfish opening in Sandy, Utah.

We’ll reel him in from the Slapfish kitchen in Sandy, Utah for a visit. (This is actually the 2nd Slapfish in Utah.)

Among other items of interest Chef Andrew revisits the very much in the news, Bluefin Tuna. His best advice is to let the beleaguered fish replenish itself in peace. Fortunately it’s an easy fish to substitute something more sustainable in place of it.


Show 231, July 8, 2017: Chef Jet Tila, 101 Asian Dishes You Need To Cook Before You Die

Jet Tila at Cochon 555Chef Jet Tila really needs no introduction to the audience of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” He was the engaging Co-host of the show for its first two years and you know him from his many appearances all over Food Network including being one of only three permanent judges on Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen with Alton Brown” now airing its 15th season.

Now celebrity chef and Asian cooking expert Jet Tila brings his years of experience and hard-earned knowledge together in his breakthrough first cookbook, 101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die. We’ll chat with Chef Jet about his signature Drunken Noodles and mastering the building-blocks of Asian cuisine for the home kitchen.

Jet has not only compiled the classic 101 Asian recipes that every home cook needs to try, he has also demystified Asian cooking and made it approachable—with simplified techniques, weeknight-friendly cook times and ingredients commonly found in most grocery stores today. Starting with the philosophy of “yum” in Asian kitchens, Jet expertly teaches everything from stocking the pantry and mastering the wok to perfecting the building-blocks of Asian cuisine.

With his guiding hand and pro tips, readers can easily recreate authentic and delicious dishes like The Last Pad Thai Recipe You’ll Ever Need, Quicker Beef Pho, crispy Vegetable and Shrimp Tempura and the life-changing Bomb-Ass Homemade Sriracha

Your chance to meet Chef Jet, enjoy the best dishes from the book, get a signed copy and support the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP)

On Tuesday evening, July 18th James Beard Award-winning chef & restaurateur Sherry Yard is hosting a “Cocktail Party & Book-Signing” with Chef Jet Tila at Westwood’s Tuck Room Tavern to benefit Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.) It’s a celebration of the publication of Jet’s first cookbook, 101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die.

Guests on July 18th are invited to savor Chef and Cutthroat Kitchen Judge Jet Tila’s delectable dishes, while sipping Champagne, Chang Beer or enjoying a signature cocktail created by Chef Sherry Yard all throughout the evening. Each guest will also go home with a signed copy of Chef Jet Tila’s inspiring new cookbook, 101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die, signed by the author himself

Ticket Information: COCKTAIL PARTY + BOOK SIGNING to celebrate Chef Jet Tila and benefit C-CAP will take place on Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 at The Tuck Room Tavern from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Tickets are $95.00 per person and $75.00 from each ticket sold will directly benefit Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) Los Angeles and is tax deductible. For more information or to purchase tickets directly, please visit COCKTAIL PARTY + BOOK SIGNING to celebrate Chef Jet Tila.


Show 214, March 11, 2017: Robert Schueller, Prince of Produce, Melissa’s World Variety Produce Part One

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioOur resident Produce Guru, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, joins us with his first, of two, segments today. He’s now telling us about the recently concluded International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) annual conference in Louisville and then providing an overview of the 2017 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival which is on now through April 16th in Anaheim.

Robert and Melissa’s Executive Chef Ida Rodriguez will be conducting two Cooking Lessons as part of Disney’s California Adventure’s Food & Wine Festival. On Friday afternoon, March 24th at 2:00 p.m., Robert & Chef Ida are cooking up “Amazing Potatoes with Melissa’s Produce.” Then on Saturday, March 25th at 4:00 p.m. they are encoring the “Amazing Potatoes with Melissa’s” presentation.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel is also performing three Culinary Demonstrations at the Food & Wine Festival. The first, representing Slapfish is Friday, March 17th @ 2:00 p.m. Next Chef Andrew is hosting a Butterleaf (Trade in Irvine) demo at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 31st. Lastly, it’s a demo spotlighting Two Birds (Trade in Irvine) at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday April 15th.

Our good friend Chef Jet Tila (Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen with Alton Brown) conducts an entertaining Celebrity Chef Cooking Demo on Saturday, April 15th from 6 to 7:00 p.m. in the Festival Showplace, Stage 17 in Hollywood Land (with an added $99 per person admission fee.)


Show 199, November 26, 2016: Celebrity Chef Sara Moulton of “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” and Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101

Sara MoultonSara Moulton was one of the first breakout stars of the then embryonic Food Network and is currently the host of Public Television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals.” She is also the author of the Associated Press column “Kitchen Wise.”

Her newest cookbook is the ambitious, Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101: How to Make Everything Taste Better.

Not just a collection of wonderful recipes, HOME COOKING 101 is a teaching manual aimed at the home cook. The recipes will indeed make it easier to put dinner on the table on a weeknight, but, as Sara notes in her introduction, “more important is that each recipe specifically demonstrates a tip or method that can make you a better and more confident cook while also teaching you to make your dishes taste better.”

Accordingly, the book’s first chapter is a compact and handy rulebook entitled “The Ten Basics of Good Home Cooking.” It advises the home cook as follows:

  • Shake hands with your stove
  • Buy a good knife
  • Get organized
  • Follow the recipe exactly the first time you make it
  • Dispense with mise en place
  • Reach for the salt
  • Balance flavors
  • Build umami
  • Use all your senses
  • Don’t waste food

As for the recipes, there are 150 of them—all new and accompanied by photographs that illustrate, step-by-step, the book’s key techniques. The book also boasts guest recipes from a stellar cast of some of Sara’s favorite chefs and cookbook authors, including Rick Bayless, Amanda Cohen, Hiroko Shimbo, Jacques Torres, Marc Vetri, and Grace Young.

In sum, Sara writes, “The goal of this book is two-fold: to sharpen your sense of taste and to provide you with a raft of time-tested techniques that I hope will become second nature to you.”

We’re in the kitchen with Chef Sara.


Show 183, August 6, 2016: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Brea, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, most recently, The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the Rams and USC Football, is back as today’s special Guest Host. In May in Chicago during the National Restaurant Association’s annual conclave he received Nation’s Restaurant News’ Trendsetter MenuMaster Award for Slapfish.

Now a provocatively tempting preview of Saturday’s abundant show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a pretty good thing…

The OC Fair in Costa Mesa continues through August 14th. What’s new in Fair Food? We’ll chat with the well-known “Chicken Charlie” Boghosian, a pioneer in fair food favorites. You just might call him the “King” of fried fair food and other treats!

Huntington Beach restaurateur Alicia Whitney is seemingly taking over the City one block at a time. Her newest full-service restaurant is SeaSalt Woodfire Grill featuring Santa Maria-style barbecue. She is also now on the sand at Bolsa Chica State Beach with two open beach food stands and a third set to open soon. We’ll detour Alica for a quick respite and get all the tasty details.

Brouwerij West is a unique Belgian-inspired craft brewery and venue located in the San Pedro neighborhood of Los Angeles. The company was founded in 2010 by talented brewer Brian Mercer and is now led by Mercer and his partner Dave Holop. Brouwerij West’s new home opened in February 2016 in a former Port Warehouse originally built by the U.S. Navy during World War II. Proprietor Brian Mercer taps the keg on Brouwerij West for us.

One of the pioneering food trucks in Orange County is the innovative Dos Chinos taco truck (Chef Hop Phan) which is a tasty fusion of Latin-Vietnamese fare. It’s also now a permanent food stall at the 4th Street Market in Santa Ana. Hop Phan’s newest concept is Sit Low Pho (Vietnamese) at the 4th Street Market. We’ll meet him.

Introducing non-native fish to United States waters can disturb the existing delicate ecological balance. Such is the case of Asian carp in the Great Lakes. To the rescue may be the prehistoric-looking, and fast growing, alligator gar. It was previously native to these same waters. Chef Andrew Gruel will explain this fish tale.

The three waves of voting for The Golden Foodie Awards, the People’s Choice Food Awards in Orange County, is on now through August 21st. Voting for the 1st categories concludes on August 7th. Hosting the Awards is Food Network’s Simon Majumdar(“Cutthroat Kitchen.”) He’s our guest.

Gold Medals won by wines at our area County Fairs used to have a tremendous impact on wine sales. Now, this is much less the case. Our resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange, has his informed perspective.

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


Show 183, August 6, 2016: Chef Hop Phan, Dos Chinos & Sit Low Pho, 4th Street Market Santa Ana

Hop PhanOne of the pioneering food trucks in Orange County is the innovative Dos Chinos taco truck (Chef Hop Phan) which is a tasty fusion of Latin-Vietnamese fare. It’s also a permanent food stall at the 4th Street Market in Santa Ana.

Hop Phan’s newest concept is Sit Low Pho (Vietnamese) at the 4th Street Market. He’s planning something fresh for the upcoming Trade market hall in Irvine arriving before year’s end. It will have a captivating Hawaiian flair with a few twists.

Chef Hop is already a veteran of Food TV. Most recently he competed on FYI’s Man versus Child: Chef Showdown. You’ve also seen him on NBC’s “Food Fighters,” Cooking Channel’s “Eat Street”, Food Network‘s “Cutthroat Kitchen” and “Chopped.”

We’ll meet him.

“Southern California raised us on Asian and Latin food. It’s what were made of – every sinew is built on years of carne asada and Vietnamese pho…”