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.

Play

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.

Play

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.

Play

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.

 

Play

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.)

Play

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…”

Play

Show 159, February 13, 2016: Executive Chef Bill Bracken, Bracken’s Kitchen

Bill BrackenBill Bracken is a well-known executive chef who traded in luxury hotels (The Peninsula Beverly Hills and Island Hotel, Newport Beach) for Betsy, a well-worn food truck with a lot of miles. He’s now feeding people in need in Orange County. Chef Bill shares his new mission with us. It’s quite a career change.

“I can already tell that 2016 will be a great one. More than ever, Bracken’s Kitchen is charging full speed ahead to combat food insecurity and taking the strides to be one of the most effective hunger-focused organizations in Orange County.”

“With their help and yours, we can continue to extend our reach to help more individuals and families in need and to not be just a hand out but truly be a hand up.”

There are many ways for the listener to support the good work of Bracken’s Kitchen. Cash donations are always appreciated. Also there are meaningful volunteer opportunities available.

Sign-up for the informative Bracken’s Kitchen’s Newsletter via the Website. It tells the story…

 

Play

Show 159, February 13, 2016: Executive Chef Bill Bracken, Bracken’s Kitchen Continues…

Bill Bracken“In addition to expanding our team, we are building what we call our “Trio of Services”: our Food Truck Feeding Program (which we are currently executing), a Rescued Food Program and a Culinary Internship Program that will move us forward as an organization and business. With these two new platforms, we aim to affect change in a person’s life by offering job training and work opportunities in the culinary field which will be of huge support to our restaurant and hospitality partners.”

“2015 marked the end of our first year of feeding and we are incredibly grateful for not only all of the hard work, support and contributions that were made, but also for the learning lessons, challenges and obstacles that we had to overcome to achieve our goals.”

Some of our accomplishments:

  • Moved into our fully equipped prep kitchen to support our Food Truck Feeding Program
  • Over 5,000 hot and nutritious meals were served to those experiencing food insecurity in Orange County, CA in just nine months.
  • The average cost of our high quality, freshly prepared dinner is about $0.50 – almost matching average meal cost provided by food banks across America.
  • The Illumination Foundation and Bracken’s Kitchen secured Tuesday night feedings at the Ross Street House in Santa Ana, catering to children who attend their after school program and their families.
  • Served approximately 3000 meals to our homeless military veterans at Stand Down Orange County in October
  • Launched trial runs for our Chef’s To End Hunger rescued food program

Sign-up for the informative Bracken’s Kitchen’s Newsletter via the Website. It tells the story…

Play

Show 158, February 6, 2016: Kevin Nguyen, Co-Founder/Partner, GD Bro

Kevin Bobby NguyenGD Bro (Globally Delicious Stuffed Burgers) began as a culinary passion project for co-founders, Mark Cruz and Kevin Nguyen, who had ambitious and creative ideas for a “new” way to eat burgers. Within a year’s time, as word spread via an organic social media frenzy and growing lines of hungry guests, GD Bro teamed up with Hue Nguyen, current CFO and foodie enthusiast, to expand on GD Bro’s cutting edge brand and style. Co-founder Kevin Nguyen joins us with the juicy details.

Their vision is to create a colorful menu full of savory burgers and indulging appetizers using innovative and tantalizing toppings. GD Bro’s signature burgers feature handcrafted premium Angus beef patties with warm and toasty brioche buns that are customized from a local artisan baker. Their progressive approach continues to evolve by developing seasonal menus and monthly burger specials with addictive and bold flavors.

The original truck is still used for catering. Location #2 opened in Signal Hill on February 6th.

Play

Show 158, February 6, 2016: Kevin Nguyen, Co-Founder/Partner, GD Bro Continues…

Kevin Bobby NguyenSince opening in early 2013, GD Bro has been favorably mentioned among the best of the best in local, regional, national media outlets and online Food Bloggers.

GD Bro also premiered on Season 6 of the FOOD NETWORK’s Great Food Truck Race taking a nail biting third place spot.

Now known for their inventive and light-hearted approach to cooking, GD Bro is consistently challenging the traditional concept of a “burger” by selecting new and uniquely blended ingredients that surprise and delight the foodie traditionalists and culinary thrill-seekers alike. GD Bro not only takes pride in delivering a consistent signature product but more importantly, they believe both great service and above and beyond hospitality from their caring, gracious, hip and outgoing staff distinguishes them from their competitors.

Hence, the reason the GD Bro followers have an “emotional” attachment to the brand and feel like they are part of a family backyard BBQ atmosphere.

The original brick- and- mortar location is in Santa Ana and newly opened in Signal Hill.
For each new location there will be a special menu item only available at that unit.

Play