Show 485, July 30, 2022: Restaurateur Stephen Le, The Kroft, Long Beach. Preview of Long Beach Burger Week

Stephen Le

“Long Beach residents and visitors alike are in for a treat once again as dozens of local restaurants and burger-centric businesses will offer unique over-the-top Burgers and value-priced Burger Offers when the 2nd annual Long Beach Burger Week returns August 7-14, 2022. Featured Burgers are value-priced at $5, $10, $15 and $20, plus Burger/Cocktail combos at $25.”

“Long Beach Burger Week is even taking “dog friendly” one step further by encouraging restaurants with patios to offer a special Burger Week Menu just for dogs for $5 each.”

“Organized by local 501(c)3 non-profit Long Beach Food & Beverage, executive director Terri Henry, who has been organizing culinary events Long Beach for almost a decade, felt that in addition to encouraging local and surrounding “foodies” to enjoy what the expanding Long Beach culinary community has to offer, events like Burger Week support the local economy and put “butts in seats” of our valued restaurants. “We may be past the pandemic stage of COVID, but restaurants are still struggling and the 2nd annual city-wide Long Beach Burger Week will help increase guest counts and sales in August,” stated Henry. “And hey, it’s summertime and who doesn’t love a good burger?”.”

“There are no tickets or passes required. Burger lovers are invited to dine-in, take-out or have featured delivered from their favorite restaurants, or order from the websites of various pop-ups food truck to visit. Participating restaurants, food businesses and offers can be found at the Long Beach Burger Week site.

The Kroft in The Hangar LBX is a participating restaurant in Long Beach Burger Week. Their special is an ample Chili Cheeseburger for $15. It’s a double Chili Cheeseburger with grilled onions and secret sauce on a brioche bun with fries and a soft drink. Co-Founder Stephen Le joins us with all the juicy details.


Show 293, October 6, 2018: 2nd Annual “Battle of the Burgers,” Annette Brown, Director of Public Relations, Visit Temecula Valley

Battle of the BurgersVisit Temecula Valley will hold its 2nd Annual Battle of the Burgers on Saturday, October 20, 2018 in conjunction with Pechanga Resort Casino and Temecula Valley Unified School District. Some 20 restaurants are expected to compete for the championship title at Pechanga Resort Casino. New to the event, is a “Loaded Fries” competition that will include thirteen Pechanga Resort Casino executive chefs partnering with third year Career Technical Education (CTE) students at Temecula Valley High School. The students will team up with the chefs to create their Loaded Fries recipes and will be the executive chefs for the day, while Pechanga chefs will be their sous chefs.

Temecula Valley Unified School District CTE students will volunteer for the event, with the third-year students competing in the cooking challenge. The school is selling tickets to the event for $10 each as a fundraiser. All the proceeds will go directly to purchase food handler cards for their culinary students.

Attendees will be able to try several burgers from participating restaurants, as well as loaded fries from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The winners will be announced after 3:00 p.m. at the event, and posted online right here.

Visit Temecula Valley’s Director of Public Relations, Annette Brown, serves up all the juicy details.


Show 288, September 1, 2018: Chef Frank Ostini, Hitching Post 2 and Hitching Post Wines, Buellton

Frank OstiniChef Frank Ostini’s Hitching Post 2 restaurant in Buellton is a beloved local institution known for incredible Santa Maria – style BBQ. Chef Frank and Gray Hartley are the creators and winemakers of Hitching Post Wines (Highliner Pinot Noir) made famous around the world in the Academy Award-winning feature motion picture, Sideways, released in 2004.

Surprisingly there has never been a Hitching Post Wines Tasting Room until just recently. Chef Frank Ostini takes us on a tour of the Hitching Post Wines Tasting Room conveniently located next door to the Restaurant on E. Highway 246 in Buellton.

Lunch (11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily) for the Tasting Room (and wine pairings) will initially come (via a custom delivery tricycle) from the kitchen at the adjacent Hitching Post 2 restaurant known for Santa Maria-style BBQ. Look for HP Burgers, Triple-Fried French Fries, Santa Maria BBQ Artichokes and Grilled Corn Quesadillas. In the next phase a restored and converted Airstream kitchen trailer along with HP Santa Maria grills will be onsite and offering a broader menu.

There is quite a fascinating history to the picturesque, expanded property.


Show 283, July 28, 2018: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group, “Ask the Chef”

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.”

What’s the secret of preparing proper Fish and Chips? How important are the Chips? What’s the best fish to use? How do you avoid the wet sock effect with the coating on the fried fish? How crisp should the chips be?


Show 240, September 9, 2017: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef”

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…


Show 219, April 15, 2017: Dave Peters, Founder & CEO, Veggie Fries (Farmwise)

Dave Peters of Veggie Fries“Our story is probably your story; a family searching for healthy and delicious food for our three daughters. We achieved the best of both worlds in some of America’s most iconic foods. Our whole family loves French fries and tater tots, so we made them healthier; blending in our favorite vegetables to make a tasty nutritious treat. We experimented with over 300 recipes to create perfect fries and tots –extra crispy on the outside, fluffy and tender on the inside using a delicious blend of vegetables, legumes, and potatoes. We hope your family loves them as much as we do.” Dave Peters, Founder, Veggie Fries / Farmwise

Veggie Fries are genuinely tasty frozen French fries made from a blend of all-natural, farm grown vegetables, legumes, and potatoes, chopped and blended together with herbs, spices, and just a pinch of sea salt. Veggie Fries are vegan, Non-GMO certified and free of the top 8 allergens including gluten, soy, dairy, and wheat.

Each batch of Veggie Fries provides a crispy texture on the outside, fluffy and tender on the inside. Every variety has at least 27% of non-potato vegetables and legumes, containing 9 vegetable servings and a substantial amount of vegetable nutrition in every14 oz. bag.

We’ll pull Founder & CEO Dave Peters out of the veggie patch for a chat.



February 15: Rick Bayless, Top Round Roast Beef, Cochon 555, OC Restaurant Week, Grill on the Alley


Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jamie Tiampo and Chef Steven Fretz, partners, Top Round Roast Beef
Segment Three: Chef Rick Bayless, Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, and Red O (in West Hollywood & Newport Beach) Part One
Segment Four: Chef Rick Bayless, Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, and Red O (in West Hollywood & Newport Beach) Part Two
Segment Five: Brady Lowe, Founder & Lord of Pork, Cochon 555
Segment Six: Executive Chef Jason Montelibano, Chapter One: The Modern Local, Santa Ana
Segment Seven: Bob Spivak, President, CEO, and Co-Founder, Grill Concepts, Inc.
Segment Eight: Jet Tila on Manhattan Dining. (Part 2)

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Chef jet Tila and Alton BrownFood Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” with host Alton Brown is back on Sunday nights for Season 2. Our own Chef Jet Tila is the most frequently appearing solo judge on this tough competition show that requires strategy as well as cooking chops. Look for Jet’s new episodes starting in February.

Thanks to all of our generous listeners who attended Chef Carla Hall’s Culinary Concert to benefit The James Beard Foundation at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin on Feb. 9th. Carla and guest MC Sherry Yard had the group thoroughly entertained with Carla’s demo of her Swamp Thing recipe which is from her new cookbook. It’s a braised pork shoulder in a smoked pork and corn broth.

America’s own master Mexican cooking authority, Rick Bayless of Topolobampo and Frontera Grill, is with us. He’s the menu-maker for the fashionable new Red O restaurant in Fashion Island in Newport Beach. It’s the 30th Anniversary of the legendary Grill on The Alley in Beverly Hills. We’ll celebrate with the founder. Cochon 555, a pork spectacular, returns to Santa Monica this month. We’ll tell you all about it. How about a fast food stand serving quality roast beef sandwiches using the very best ingredients? It’s run by fine dining chefs! Orange County Restaurant Week launches February 23rd. We’ll have a preview with one of the colorful participating executive chefs.

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

Top Round Roast BeefTop Round Roast Beef opened in the extensively remodeled space of a former donut shop at the busy corner of Olympic Blvd. and La Brea Avenue last June. The theme is top quality roast beef sandwiches where the beef is sliced to order. On the menu is a variety of quality roast beef sandwiches served on a butter-toasted bun with natural au jus. The beef is impressively sliced to order. Also on the small menu are curly French fries cooked in beef fat for maximum flavor, milkshakes and St. Louis frozen custard.

The owners have impressive culinary credentials from places including Red Medicine, 800 Degrees, and Curtis Stone’s restaurants.

Restaurant investor Jamie Tiampo (who is also the owner of See Food Media in New York) joins us along with Chef Steven Fretz (previously executive chef for Curtis Stone’s restaurant group) to explain the concept.

Rick BaylessWhen it comes to possessing a vast knowledge of the regional cooking of the various states in Mexico the recognized “el jefe” in the United States is Chicago’s Rick Bayless. Locally he’s probably best known for the PBS’s series “Mexico – One Plate at a Time” (now starting its 9th award-winning season) and from Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.” In Chicago he’s a local culinary celebrity for his highly popular restaurants including River North’s Topolobampo and Frontera Grill.

Chef Bayless has created the menu for the recently opened, and much talked about, highly designed Red O in Fashion Island, Newport Beach. It’s basically his contemporary take on Oaxacan fare and other culinary regions of Mexico.

Certain dishes are exclusive to Fashion Island and the tequila list includes 100 selections.

Chef Bayless offers tips for preparing the perfect guacamole.

The new season of his hit PBS series takers us to Oaxaca, one of his favorite culinary regions in Mexico. We’ll see the “Day of the Dead” celebration Oaxaca-style.

Brady Lowe of Cochon 555Cochon 555 (a celebration of heritage pork) returns to Los Angeles on its 2014 cross-country tour at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel on Sunday afternoon, February 23rd. Over 11 tons of heritage pork raised by family farms will be served across the country in the nose-to-tail touring culinary competition.

2014’s competing chefs include Host Chef Ray Garcia of Fig Restaurant, Christian Page of Short Order, Jason Neve of B&B Ristorante, Ray England of Craft, and Brian Howard of Comme Ca. Each chef prepares a maximum of six dishes created from one whole heritage pig.

Our own Jet Tila will be preparing an additional late-night sixth pig for the After Party.

orange-county-restaurant-weekThe OC’s most anticipated, and delicious, dining event, Orange County Restaurant Week, returns from February 23rd to March 1st. Diners will have the opportunity to enjoy the wide spectrum of dining options in the County at special prices for prix-fixe menus for both lunch and dinner.

Over 100 restaurants are part of Orange County Restaurant Week.

One of the featured restaurants is Santa Ana’s Chapter One: The Modern Local. Chef Jason Montelibano (aka Chef Chicken Wing) joins us to talk about his menu. Given his Filipino ancestry he’s incorporated a few contemporary Filipino touches into his menu.

Chef Jason won Riveria Magazine’s “To Live and Dine” chefs’ challenge event @ SoCo last year with his Lamb & Gnocchi dish.

The Grill on the Alley30 years ago dining history was made in Beverly Hills (a tough city for restaurant longevity) with the launch of The Grill on the Alley which is better known as The Grill. It soon evolved into a high profile business destination for lunch for the power brokers of Hollywood. Where your table was signified your status in the Entertainment Business. At night it became a destination for affluent locals with a very loyal following. Unusually for the time pretentiousness was never part of the gameplan. It also was the start of a significant restaurant company with three successful concepts.

Grill Concepts, Inc. continues to flourish to this day. Public School is the newest concept (with a sense of humor) with locations in Downtown Los Angeles, Culver City and Thousand Oaks. Northern California is next and more locations on the horizon. It’s a bar & restaurant gathering spot.

Founder Bob Spivak, a second generation restaurateur with a love for the hospitality business, joins us to share the fascinating story.

“We are so fortunate to have been in business for 30 years,” President, CEO, and Co-Founder Bob Spivak said. “In the ever changing restaurant industry, we are proud to say that we were vintage before it was trendy. And we will continue to maintain the tradition of exceptional service and timeless cuisine that guests have come to count on.”

Ippudo Ramen in New York CityChef Jet has been in New York twice over the last two weeks and has enjoyed some standout dining adventures along the way. Jet shares the details of his meal at Chef April Boomfield’s Spotted Pig (no reservations) in the West Village. This was one of the country’s first gastropubs. It’s still a scene over ten years later.

Jet also visited Ippudo, a well-known Japanese ramen shop and a personal favorite.


Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jamie Tiampo and Chef Steven Fretz, partners, Top Round Roast Beef
Segment Three: Chef Rick Bayless, Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, and Red O (in West Hollywood & Newport Beach) Part One
Segment Four: Chef Rick Bayless, Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, and Red O (in West Hollywood & Newport Beach) Part Two
Segment Five: Brady Lowe, Founder & Lord of Pork, Cochon 555
Segment Six: Executive Chef Jason Montelibano, Chapter One: The Modern Local, Santa Ana
Segment Seven: Bob Spivak, President, CEO, and Co-Founder, Grill Concepts, Inc.
Segment Eight: Jet Tila on Manhattan Dining. (Part 2)

Show 42, October 5, 2013: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic for The Orange County Register Continues…

French FriesBrad is a devotee of French Fries and explained why he is so sensitive about restaurants passing off packaged frozen fries as house-made. He also shared his favorite spot for a great burger with fries.

He’s still looking forward to reviewing an Orange County restaurant worthy of Four Stars (World Class)!

His best reviewed restaurants thus far are Marche Moderne in South Coast Plaza and The Ranch in Anaheim.