January 22: Gone Loco Spicy Food Truck, Love & Salt at RE:Her, Larner Vineyard & Winery, Travels with Darley

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

“The city-wide inaugural Long Beach Black Restaurant Week will take place January 23-30, 2022. Long Beach Black Restaurant Week will be a platform to bring everyone to the table, from all walks of life, to showcase the city’s diverse Black food scene. Long Black Restaurant Week will be an eight-day 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.” A participating food truck is Chef Vida Virgillito’s Gone Loco Spicy Food Truck. It’s the first certified rolling grill in Long Beach that features a menu of all spicy foods. You choose your preferred level of spice ranging from “Tame” to “Insane.” All the hot sauces and special seasonings are Chef Vida’s own creations. They are vegan and vegetarian options on the Gone Loco menu. Chef Vida takes a break from the rolling grill and joins us with spatula in hand.

“Women restaurateurs from across Los Angeles have created a new charitable organization called RE:Her. Its debut 2021 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. Over 100 restaurants and collaborators were involved. 10 Days RE:Her 2022 will launch in the coming months.

Restaurateur Sylvie Gabriele (a 2nd generation Restaurateur) of Manhattan Beach’s Love & Salt is one of the organizers of the upcoming Festival as well as serves on the active RE:Her board. Sylvie takes a break from her restaurant to preview the upcoming “10 Days RE:Her 2022” events and report on all the ongoing philanthropic activities of Regarding:Her.

Larner Vineyard & Winery established in Ballard Canyon in 1999 is truly a family affair run by two generations of the Larner Family. It’s a California Certified Organically farmed estate. Tradition and passion guide the meticulous farming of 34 acres of Rhone varieties such as Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Viognier as well as the Italian variety, Malvasia Bianca. Limited annual productions of handcrafted quality wines define this boutique winery. The Tasting Room is in historic Los Olivos adjacent to the Los Olivos General Store. Winemaker & Vineyard Manager Michael Larner is our guest to gently pull the cork on all that is Larner Vineyard & Winery.

“Travel fans can journey across the USA on epic trails and fascinating road trips featuring history, heritage, food and culture with the new, 9th season of “Travels with Darley,” launching on PBS stations January 2022. Six new episodes bring the series to a total of 51 half hours.” “There are so many great places to discover right in our own backyards! With the pandemic, I wanted to highlight destinations within the USA, like our national parks and forests, that are perfect for social distancing, as well as trails and road trip routes that share important history and heritage,” said Darley Newman, the series host and creator. “I’m particularly excited about our Alabama’s Civil Rights Trail episodes in the lead up to Black History Month. I was able to interview activists and artists who lived through the Civil Rights movement, many of whom have never had their stories filmed, making the content truly special.” Roving travel authority Darley Newman joins us.

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. It’s the start of yet another challenging year for chefs and restaurants. We’ll get an informed update on the current state of affairs for chefs and restaurants.

Is more Federal aid for small, independent restaurants even a possibility?

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

Vida Virgillito of the Gone Lock Spicy Food Truck

“The city-wide inaugural Long Beach Black Restaurant Week will take place January 23-30, 2022. Long Beach Black Restaurant Week will be a platform 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, along with Velika Turner, former co-owner of Derricks on Atlantic, Long Black Restaurant Week will be an eight day 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.”

A participating food truck is Chef Vida Virgillito’s Gone Loco Spicy Food Truck. It’s the first certified rolling grill in Long Beach that features a menu of all spicy foods. You choose your preferred level of spice ranging from “Tame” to “Insane.” All the hot sauces and special seasonings are Chef Vida’s creations. They are vegan and vegetarian options on the Gone Loco menu.

Popular menu items include My Chick Bangin’ Sandwich with a spicy chicken breast (grilled or fried,) spicy house aioli, spicy pickles, lettuce and tomato; and Mom’s Grilled PB&PJ Sammie with pepper jelly and peanut butter on grilled artisan bread. The onion rings have a special seasoning that elevates the taste and flavor.

Chef Vida takes a break from the rolling grill and joins us with spatula in hand.

Sylvie Gabriele of Love and Salt

“Women restaurateurs from across Los Angeles have created a new charitable organization called RE:Her. Its debut 2021 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, 2021 the anniversary of the groundbreaking Women’s March of 2017, and ran through Saturday, January 30. Over 100 restaurants and collaborators were involved. 10 Days RE:Her 2022 will launch in the coming months.

Restaurateur Sylvie Gabriele (a 2nd generation Restaurateur) of Manhattan Beach’s Love & Salt is one of the organizers of the upcoming Festival as well as serves on the active RE:Her board. Sylvie takes a break from her restaurant to preview the upcoming “10 Days RE:Her 2022” events and report on all the ongoing philanthropic activities of Regarding:Her.

Micheal Larner of Larner Vineyard and Winery

Larner Vineyard & Winery established in Ballard Canyon in 1999 is truly a family affair operated by two generations of the Larner Family. It’s a California Certified Organically farmed estate. Tradition and passion guide the meticulous farming of 34 acres of Rhone varieties such as Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Viognier as well as the Italian variety, Malvasia Bianca. Limited annual productions of handcrafted quality wines define this boutique winery.

The Larner Vineyard & Winery Tasting Room is located in historic downtown Los Olivos and is open daily. Winemaker and Vineyard Manager Michael Larner’s wife, Christina, is the Retail Manager and also runs the adjacent Los Olivos General Store.

“Driven to find a family property they could all share in winemaking, founders Christine and Stevan Larner came to the Santa Ynez Valley. When they first set eyes on the property in Ballard Canyon in 1995, they knew this was their route to a family legacy. Christine still lives on the property but Stevan passed away in 2005. Stevan Larner was an Oscar-nominated, Emmy winning cinematographer who spent much of his early career in Europe where he first learned to love wine.”

“When the couple found the ranch property in Ballard Canyon, they set about clearing the land to plant vineyards in a place that had never before been cultivated. It was amazing to see the land toiled by machines, and analyze the soil and weather. Son Michael Larner took care of all the soil and geology matters, and the land told the family what to plant: Rhône varietals. And the rest is history.”

“Winemaker & Vineyard Manager Michael Larner earned his Master’s Degree in Viticulture & Enology at the University of California, Davis and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. His formal training in wine continued with cellar apprenticeships at Marchesi Antinori’s Tenuta Guado al Tasso (Bolgheri, Tuscany) and E. Guigal’s Château d’Ampuis (Rhône Valley, France). He previously worked with Santa Ynez-based wineries Babcock Winery and Rusack Vineyards. He has been making wine since 1999.”

“Michael is co-founder of the Ballard Canyon AVA and recently served as president of this newly-founded AVA (American Viticulture Area). Ballard Canyon is one of our nation’s smallest AVAs and is focused on the production of quality Syrah.”

“Michael’s sister, Monica Larner, is a wine writer based in Rome. Following ten years as Italian Editor with Wine Enthusiast, she now reviews Italian wine for Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate. Monica takes a smaller role at the winery, but continues to contribute her knowledge in the final wines: from blends to aging time.”

Michael Larner is our guest to gently pull the cork on all that is Larner Vineyard & Winery.

Darley Newman of Travels with Darley

“Travel fans can journey across the USA on epic trails and fascinating road trips featuring history, heritage, food and culture with the new, 9th season of Travels with Darley,” launching on PBS stations January 2022. Six new episodes bring the series to a total of 51 half hours.”

“There are so many great places to discover right in our own backyards! With the pandemic, I wanted to highlight destinations within the USA, like our national parks and forests, that are perfect for social distancing, as well as trails and road trip routes that share important history and heritage,” said Darley Newman, the series host and creator. “I’m particularly excited about our Alabama’s Civil Rights Trail episodes in the lead up to Black History Month. I was able to interview activists and artists who lived through the Civil Rights movement, many of whom have never had their stories filmed, making the content truly special.”

“Travels with Darley’s” new season takes viewers along Alabama’s Civil Rights Trail and includes never-before-seen interviews with women who were child activists during the movement, including Rosa Parks protégé Doris Crenshaw. Along South Carolina’s new Liberty Trail, Newman visits Revolutionary War sites, many of which are lesser known, to bring the breadth of American history to life. Along New York’s new 750-mile Empire State Trail, Newman enlists locals to explore craft breweries, cycling and culture.”

“Wisconsin’s Northwoods and the vast Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest set the stage for mountain biking, fishing and hikes along the North Country Trail. In Grand County, Colorado, Newman saddles up on horses and mountain bikes at sustainable dude ranches, national forests and parks. Newman joins local experts and guides in each location to help travelers discover insider-tips and hidden gems.”

Wandering Travel Authority Darley Newman is our guest.

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.

It’s the start of yet another challenging year for chefs and restaurants.

Dealing with uncertainty is a daily obstacle. We’ll get an informed update on the current state of affairs for chefs and restaurants. Managing multiple concerns is the order of the day. Is more desperately needed Federal Aid for small, independent restaurants even a possibility?

Show 445, October 2, 2021: Restaurateur Brent Miller , Luchador Brewing Co., Chino Hills Part One

Brent Miller of Luuchador Brewing

Luchador Brewing Co. is the first craft brewery in the city of Chino Hills! “Co-owners Brent Miller & Jaime Benson have put blood, sweat, tears, and LOTS of beers into making Luchador Brewing Company a reality. Brewmaster Paul Marquez heads up their custom brew system, made up of eight five-barrel brew tanks. Eventually Luchador will have 20 of their own brewed cervezas in addition to a few rotating guest tap handles”

The in-house food truck, El Camion, is always cooking to make sure guests enjoy some delicious Mexican street food while beer-tasting. Think Carne Asada Fries with crinkle cut fries, carne asada, queso sauce, pico de gallo and crema ; Gorditas with a handmade masa shell, refried beans, shredded lettuce, queso fresca stuffed with the guest’s choice of Carne Asada, Pollo Asado, Carnitas, Al Pastor or Picadillo; Taco de Pescado with Mahi-Mahi fried or grilled, cabbage, lime-crema and pico de gallo; and Poblano Gordo with a roasted poblano chile, picadillo, rice, queso, tomato-serrano sauce and served with fresh chips.

Growlers & crowlers are available for take-out. Think Los Banditos Hazy DIPA with Amarillo, Cascade and NZH hops and Nutty Samoan Nut Brown Ale with macadamias and toasted coconut.

Brent Miller is in-studio to tap the keg on all things Luchador Brewing Co.

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Show 445, October 2, 2021: Restaurateur Brent Miller , Luchador Brewing Co., Chino Hills Part Two

Brent Miller of Luuchador Brewing

Luchador Brewing Co. is the first craft brewery in the city of Chino Hills! “Co-owners Brent Miller & Jaime Benson have put blood, sweat, tears, and LOTS of beers into making Luchador Brewing Company a reality. Brewmaster Paul Marquez heads up their custom brew system, made up of eight five-barrel brew tanks. Eventually Luchador will have 20 of their own brewed cervezas in addition to a few rotating guest tap handles”

The in-house food truck, El Camion, is always cooking to make sure guests enjoy some delicious Mexican street food while beer-tasting. Think Carne Asada Fries with crinkle cut fries, carne asada, queso sauce, pico de gallo and crema ; Gorditas with a handmade masa shell, refried beans, shredded lettuce, queso fresca stuffed with the guest’s choice of Carne Asada, Pollo Asado, Carnitas, Al Pastor or Picadillo; Taco de Pescado with Mahi-Mahi fried or grilled, cabbage, lime-crema and pico de gallo; and Poblano Gordo with a roasted poblano chile, picadillo, rice, queso, tomato-serrano sauce and served with fresh chips.

Growlers & crowlers are available for take-out. Think Los Banditos Hazy DIPA with Amarillo, Cascade and NZH hops and Nutty Samoan Nut Brown Ale with macadamias and toasted coconut.

Brent Miller continues with us after tapping a fresh keg.

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Show 404, December 19, 2020: Chef Jason McClain, Philly Jay’s Steaks (mobile kitchen)

Jason McClain of the Jonathan Club and Philly Jay's SteaksPhilly Jay’s Steaks (mobile kitchen) is treating Los Angeles to their eponymous City of Brotherly Love classic with the help of the illustrious Chef Jason McClain, previously the long-time executive chef of Jonathan Club. Chef Jason has worked in a litany of seriously impressive, highly rated restaurants across the country. Now, he’s directing his myriad of skills towards perfecting the Philly, elevating the down-home fare to the status of gourmet.”

“The menu sports classic Phillies, of course, and you really can’t go wrong with that perennially popular mashup of cheese, fried onion, and paper-thin slices of steak. However, that’s far from the only enticing concoction gracing the menu. You’ll also find a philly suited up with everything from fried peppers to provolone cheese to garnishes like oregano.” Philly Jay’s Steak caters, too.

Chef Jason sources his sandwich rolls from the family-owned Amoroso’s Baking Co. on Philadelphia. They are the Gold Standard of sandwich rolls for authentic cheesesteaks and Hoagies.

Follow Philly Jay’s Steaks locations on their Instagram but most weekends they are in residence at Magic Touch Car Wash in Monterey Park.

We’re talking authentic Philly Cheese Steaks with Chef Jason McClain.

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Show 366, March 28, 2020: Bracken’s Kitchen with Founder, Chef Bill Bracken

Bill Bracken of Brackens KitchenChef Bill Bracken, the Founder of Bracken’s Kitchen, is no stranger to the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” “In response to even more economic and social restrictions due to the coronavirus, Bracken’s Kitchen, a growing non-profit that creatively recovers food and feeds those in need is stepping up its meal production to a goal of at least 25,000 meals a week. That’s nearly four times their average! They cannot do this alone. They are seeking donations to keep moving forward. They’ve changed their meal production at Bracken’s Kitchen to meet the increasing need in our community.”

“My heart and prayers goes out to each and every person whose life is being completely turned upside down by this invisible virus,” said Bill Bracken, Founder of Bracken’s Kitchen.

“But in spite of all of this please remember my friends. THIS TOO WILL PASS and life will go on. Now more than ever we will work to “Delivering Hope, One Tasty Meal At A Time.”

Bracken’s Kitchen is seeking donations to support their Covid-19 Response goals and can be made here.

Chef Bill Bracken is our guest explaining the community need.

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Show 357, January 25, 2020: Chef Jason McClain, McClain Chophouse and Philly Jay’s Steaks

Jason McClain of the Jonathan Club and Philly Jay's SteaksAfter 8 years as the popular Executive Chef at the prestigious Jonathan Club (Downtown Los Angeles and on the beach in Santa Monica) Jason McClain has amicably departed to pursue some culinary adventures on his own. At Jonathan Club Chef McClain took traditional club fare in the elevated direction of fine dining at a highly rated, independent restaurant.

On the horizon is McClain Chophouse, an ingredient-focused premium steak house and, just for fun, an authentic Philly Cheesesteak food truck (Philly Jay’s Steaks.)

“Chef McClain received his formal training at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY and honed his skills under the tutelage of some of the USA’s great culinary talents in Philadelphia and Miami. He has evolved his menus by focusing on one thing : ingredients.”

“At Jonathan Club Chef Jason joined forces with a local urban farming company to plant a 42-bed rooftop garden. Four times each year he used his expertise to contribute to the surrounding neighborhood by inviting underprivileged youth to visit the Club to learn the value of growing fresh ingredients firsthand.”

We’ll get an “a la minute” update from Chef Jason.

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Show 278, June 23, 2018: Chef Colin Fukunaga, FukuBurger, Las Vegas

Colin FukunagaWhen it comes to award-winning burgers for the true enthusiast the place to go in Las Vegas is FukuBurger. They have their original rolling grill food truck on the road (now mainly used for special events & catering) as well as a bricks-and-mortar location in Chinatown. They were recently in L.A. at the Sunday Smorgasburg LA as the invited guest of noted burger authority, George Motz (Hamburger America – A State-By-State Guide to 200 Great Burger Joints.)

Our emeritus Co-Host, Chef Jet Tila, is a big fan of Fukuburger’s Tamago. Chef Jet even profiled it on Food Network’s “Guilty Pleasures.” It’s an all-beef Fukupatty topped with a fried runny egg, furikake, crispy onion strings, and finished with house-prepared teriyaki sauce and wasabi mayo.

A 2nd brick-and-mortar FukuBurger will soon launch is Vegas.

We’re flipping a Tamago Burger with Co-Founder Colin Fukunaga.

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Show 243, October 7, 2017: Chef Eric Greenspan, 505 Southwestern’s “Clash of the Hatch” Food Truck Challenge

Eric GreenspanFlagship Food Group and 505 Southwestern have launched a unique campaign, the “Clash of the Hatch,” a food truck challenge curated by 505 Southwestern® and Celebrity Chef Eric Greenspan. Celebrating the Hatch Valley green chile harvest season, the “Clash of the Hatch” brings together 10 of LA’s most popular food trucks to compete to make the best dish possible featuring 505 Southwestern® Hatch Valley Flame Roasted Green Chile.

The 10 finalists chosen to compete are Locol, Border Grill, Baby’s Badass Burgers, Grilled Cheese Truck, South Philly Experience, Vchos Pupusas, Chubbee Monkee, India Jones, Dogtown Dogs and Wise Barbecue Co.  Each truck is challenged to develop an innovative menu item that matches the truck’s food genre and style. Trucks are encouraged to drive awareness and sales of their item through social media and creative marketing.

The truck with the winning item will be invited to the Flagship global research and development center in Burbank, California, to develop a version of their menu item as a consumer retail food product. 505 Southwestern® will work to distribute this product into retail channels, and the winner will receive 1% of the net revenue, subject to a minimum of $20,000 and up to a maximum of $100,000.

“Anyone who knows me, my restaurants, or my TV shows, knows that I am passionate about great restaurants and operators. Food trucks represent the epitome of real time innovation and passionate entrepreneurs- exactly the kind of people I, Flagship, and 505 Southwestern® love engaging with,” said chef Eric Greenspan. “I think this is an exciting event, and I can’t wait to see what these food trucks create.”

Chef Eric turns up the heat and fills us in.

 

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Show 239, September 2, 2017: Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder of Slapfish, Two Birds & Butterleaf

Andrew and William GruelWe’re delighted to welcome our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, back to the show (in-studio) after his recent global travels. Chef Andrew is discussing the benefit he’s hosting at the original Huntington Beach Slapfish location on Beach Blvd. for all of September in support of Bracken’s Kitchen.

Two ways to contribute to raising money for Chef Bill Bracken to buy his vitally needed 2nd food truck. For the month of September Slapfish Huntington Beach will donate 50 per cent of the sales of their “Sweet Pow Shrimp & Lobster Bowl” to Bracken’s Kitchen. Second option is to donate $10 to Bracken’s Kitchen and be rewarded with a free lobster roll (a $22 value menu item.)

Also on the menu is a discussion of shrimp. When you’re buying shrimp as “fresh” is that really the case? Is there anything wrong with enjoying shrimp that has been previously frozen and then properly thawed for sale in the fish case? (Typically domestic shrimp is IQF frozen on the fishing boat or dock to preserve freshness.)

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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…”

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