Show 341, September 21, 2019: Carolynn Carreno, Valle Food & Wines Fest, Event Founder and Producer Part One

Author Carolyn Carreno=The 3rd annual Valle Food & Wine Festival, hosted by celebrity chefs Nancy Silverton and Javier Plascencia, returns to Valle de Guadalupe, the hottest new wine-travel destination in the west, on Saturday, October 5, 2019 with a stellar list of over 30 award-winning culinary talents from both sides of the United States-Mexico border.

The festival is unique in drawing a lineup of top chefs from as far as Mexico City and New York City to promote and celebrate the bounty of the region and the cuisine and wines of Baja California, both now being recognized world-wide.

“I fell in love with the Valle de Guadalupe while cooking a dinner there two summers ago,” says Nancy Silverton. “I knew I wanted to come back and to give back to this place. By the end of a marvelous weekend under the stars in this magical place, Javier, Carolynn, and I had decided to start a festival.”

James Beard Award-winning writer Carolyn Carreno, Event Co-Founder and Producer, joins us from the Guadalupe Valley with the alluring preview of Valle Food & Wine Festival.

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Show 341, September 21, 2019: Carolynn Carreno, Valle Food & Wines Fest, Event Founder and Producer Part Two

Author Carolyn CarrenoThe 3rd annual Valle Food & Wine Festival, hosted by celebrity chefs Nancy Silverton and Javier Plascencia, returns to Valle de Guadalupe, the hottest new wine-travel destination in the west, on Saturday, October 5, 2019 with a stellar list of over 30 award-winning culinary talents from both sides of the United States-Mexico border.

The festival is unique in drawing a lineup of top chefs from as far as Mexico City and New York City to promote and celebrate the bounty of the region and the cuisine and wines of Baja California, both now being recognized world-wide.

James Beard Award-winning writer Carolynn Carreno, Event Co-Founder and Producer, continues the preview of Valle Food & Wine Festival from Finca Altozano (the Fest site) in the Guadalupe Valley in northern Baja.

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Show 150, December 12, 2015: Ray Magnussen, Lechuza Winery, Guadalupe Valley, Baja

Ray Magnussen One of the promising, up-and-coming wineries in the Guadalupe Valley in Northern Baja is Lechuza, founded in 2005. It’s owned by Ray Magnussen (with his wife, Patty) who is also the hands-on winemaker. They are Americans.

“Lechuza” is Spanish for “burrowing ground owl.” This bird frequents the Lechuza vineyard property. The modest vineyard estate is adjacent to Laja, one of the most well-reviewed restaurants in Baja, California.

Lechuza currently offers Lechuza Amantes (Blend), Lechuza Cabernet Sauvignon, Lechuza Nebbiolo, Lerchuza Merlot, Lechuza Tempranillo and Lechuza Grenache Rose. The Amantes is also affectionately known at the winery as “The Wedding Blend.” When the Magnussen’s daughter was married she chose the Amanates to serve at the reception.

The winery and tasting room at Lechuza is open to visitors by appointment. The Magnussen’s particularly look forward to welcoming American guests.

Other restaurants in the Valley that the Magnussen’s recommend are Deckman’s En El Mogor, Finca Altozano and Hacienda Guadalupe.

Their wines are conveniently available on-line via their San Diego-based distributor LMAwines.com

We’ll meet Ray.

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Show 133, August 1, 2015: Travel Journalist and IFWTWA Board Member, Susan Montgomery

Susan MontgomeryA group of professional journalists from The International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) is visiting the show. Their Board of Directors Secretary, Susan Montgomery, joins us. IFWTWA is now a global network of journalists who cover the hospitality and lifestyle fields, and the people who promote them.

In addition to explaining the mission of the IFTWTA Sue will highlight her recent visit to Casa Mayoral, a modern and comfortable Bed & Breakfast, in the Guadalupe Valley in Northern Baja California.

Located at the heart of the Baja Wine Country in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, Casa Mayoral is a welcoming Bed and Breakfast boutique hotel. It’s also an event venue offering culinary experiences. The modern rooms offer unmatched views of the Valley and the nighttime skyline. Unusually there is an ostrich farm in the valley right below Casa Mayoral.

It’s a hearty chef prepared-breakfast in the morning. The spread includes fresh juices, fruit, cereal, eggs, chilaquiles, pastries, and premium brewed coffee.

 

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Show 132, July 25, 2015: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, and now, LAX, is back as today’s special Guest Host. Irvine opens next week.

Next a provocative preview of Saturday’s ample show. With any luck we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

Just as wine is to the French or beer is to the Germans, whiskey – especially bourbon and rye – is an integral part of the history and culture of the United States. The Art of American Whiskey traces the arc of this beloved, renowned spirit – from its earliest days in the Colonial era, through the Civil War, Prohibition, the Great Depression, and up to the current craft-distilling boon. Author and whiskey expert Noah Rothbaum is our guest.

Vina De Liceaga is one of the very limited production, distinguished boutique wineries in the Guadalupe Valley located in Northern Baja California. It was founded in its current location in 1993 by the late Eduardo Liceaga and the tradition continues under the watchful eye of his widow, Myrna. Wine journalist Tom Plant (the founder of WINEormous.com) who has lived in Northern Baja joins us with a profile of Vina De Liceaga.

The casual, seafood centric Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood has been a crowd-pleasing phenonomin since it opened its door two years ago. Co-owner Chef Michael Cimarusti (Providence) is one of the most respected seafood chefs in the country. Partner Donato Poto (Providence) has a long reputation as the L.A. consummate host. Partner Craig Nickoloff is a veteran restaurateur best known for founding the the hugely successful Claim Jumper restaurants. Craig knows how to feed a crowd and give them every reason to return. Connie & Ted’s opening General Manager, Matthew De Marte is our guest to share a few secrets of their incredible success.

The Big Bite Bacon Fest at The Queen Mary is back for its second year on August 1st & 2nd. Showcasing bacon and craft beer it’s the West Coast’s Largest Bacon Fest! Chef Isaiah Rosario (he’s 16) of the Fry Fry Truck, one of the participating Bacon Fest chefs, joins us to preview some of the outrageous bacon dishes that will be available.

The esteemed Price of Produce, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, is back with us to update us on the fresh and juiciest grapes of Summer. New this year are Jelly Drops Grapes. Returning are the coveted Cotton Candy grapes.

Our regular guest hot, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, is a big fan of craveable sandwiches. He’ll give us the profile of the regional favorite, the New Jersey Sloppy Joe and other sandwich intell. Yum…

Chef Andrew Gruel knows a thing or two about fresh fish. One of the goals of the growing sustainability movement in seafood is to encourage fish lovers to try some of the lesser-known selections that are out there for the taking. They are just as tasty and actually typically priced at a better value. Unfortunately they are known as “trash fish.” Don’t let that name fool you. Smelt, sardines, and mackerel can be delicious.

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

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Show 132, July 25, 2015: Wine Journalist Tom Plant and Vina De Liceaga

Tom PlantVina De Liceaga is one of the very limited production, distinguished boutique wineries in the Guadalupe Valley located in Northern Baja California. It was founded in its current location in 1993 by the late Eduardo Liceaga and the tradition continues under the watchful eye of his widow, Myrna.

Case production is some 2,500 cases a year. Their premium reserve wine is Etiqueta L which is 80 per cent Syrah and 20 per cent Merlot. It honors the memory of founder Eduardo Liceaga. It’s elegant and structured and pairs well with red meats such as wild boar, rabbit, sirloin, rib eye and venison.

Liceaga also produces award-winning Aqua de Vid (known as Grappa in Italy.)

Wine journalist and photographer Tom Plant (the founder of WINEormous.com) who has lived in Northern Baja joins us with a profile of visiting Vina De Liceaga.

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July 25: Andrew Gruel, Noah Rothbaum, Vina De Liceaga, Connie & Ted’s, Fry Fry Truck, Melissa’s Produce

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: The Art of American Whiskey by Noah Rothbaum
Segment Three: Wine Journalist Tom Plant and Vina De Liceaga
Segment Four: Matthew De Marte, General Manager, Connie and Ted’s
Segment Five: Big Bite Bacon Fest Preview with Chef Isaiah Rosario
Segment Six: Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel on Sandwiches
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel on “Trash Fish”

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, and now, LAX, is back as today’s special Guest Host. Irvine opens next week.

Next a provocative preview of Saturday’s ample show. With any luck we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

Just as wine is to the French or beer is to the Germans, whiskey – especially bourbon and rye – is an integral part of the history and culture of the United States. The Art of American Whiskey traces the arc of this beloved, renowned spirit – from its earliest days in the Colonial era, through the Civil War, Prohibition, the Great Depression, and up to the current craft-distilling boon. Author and whiskey expert Noah Rothbaum is our guest.

Vina De Liceaga is one of the very limited production, distinguished boutique wineries in the Guadalupe Valley located in Northern Baja California. It was founded in its current location in 1993 by the late Eduardo Liceaga and the tradition continues under the watchful eye of his widow, Myrna. Wine journalist Tom Plant (the founder of WINEormous.com) who has lived in Northern Baja joins us with a profile of visiting Vina De Liceaga.

The casual, seafood centric Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood has been a crowd-pleasing phenomenon since it opened its doors two years ago. Co-owner Chef Michael Cimarusti (Providence) is one of the most respected seafood chefs in the country. Partner Donato Poto (Providence) has a long reputation as one of the L.A.’s consummate hosts. Partner Craig Nickoloff is an accomplished and veteran restaurateur best known for founding (since sold) the mega successful Claim Jumper restaurants. Craig knows how to feed a crowd and give them every reason to return. Connie & Ted’s opening General Manager, Matthew De Marte is our guest to share a few secrets of their incredible success.

The Big Bite Bacon Fest at The Queen Mary is back for its second year on August 1st & 2nd. Showcasing bacon and craft beer it’s the West Coast’s Largest Bacon Fest! Chef Isaiah Rosario (he’s 16) of the Fry Fry Truck, one of the participating Bacon Fest chefs, joins us to preview some of the outrageous bacon dishes that will be available.

The esteemed Prince of Produce, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, is back to update us on the fresh and juiciest grapes of Summer. New this year are Jelly Drops Grapes. Returning, and still buzz-worthy, are the coveted Cotton Candy grapes.

Our regular guest host, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish fame, is a big fan of cravable sandwiches. He’ll give us the profile of the regional favorite, the New Jersey Sloppy Joe and other sandwich intell. Yum…

Chef Andrew Gruel knows a thing or two about fresh fish. One of the goals of the growing sustainability movement in seafood is to encourage fish lovers to try some of the lesser-known selections that are out there for the taking. They are just as tasty and actually typically priced at a better value. Unfortunately they are known as “trash fish.” Don’t let that name fool you. Smelt, sardines, and mackerel can be delicious.

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

Noah RothbaumJust as wine is to the French or beer is to the Germans, whiskey – especially bourbon and rye – is an integral part of the history and culture of the United States. The Art of American Whiskey (A visual history of American whiskey, as told through hundreds of whiskey bottle labels, from early, pre-Prohibition-era days to the present) traces the arc of this beloved, renowned spirit – from its earliest days in the Colonial era, through the Civil War, Prohibition, the Great Depression, and up to the current craft-distilling boon.

Illustrated with 100 full-color modern and historic labels from the most iconic bottles ever made, The Art of American Whiskey is an instant collectible and a worthy gift for any whiskey enthusiast or design lover. Captions, sidebars, profiles and short histories tell the story of the pioneers and places behind the labels. Each chapter features era-appropriate recipes from all-star bartenders and cocktail experts that will tickle any tippler’s fancy.

Author and whiskey expert Noah Rothbaum is our guest. He is the CEO and chief analyst of trend forecasting and spirits consultancy, Liquor Intelligence.

Tom PlantVina De Liceaga is one of the very limited production, distinguished boutique wineries in the Guadalupe Valley located in Northern Baja California. It was founded in its current location in 1993 by the late Eduardo Liceaga and the tradition continues under the watchful eye of his widow, Myrna.

Case production is under 1,000 cases a year. Their premium reserve wine is Etiqueta L which is 80 per cent Syrah and 20 per cent Merlot. It honors the memory of founder Eduardo Liceaga. It’s elegant and structured and pairs well with red meats such as wild boar, rabbit, sirloin, rib eye and venison.

Liceaga also produces award-winning Aqua de Vid (known as Grappa in Italy.)

Wine journalist and photographer Tom Plant (the founder of WINEormous.com) who has lived in Northern Baja joins us with a profile of visiting Vina De Liceaga.

Matthew de MarteThe casual, seafood centric Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood has been a crowd-pleasing phenomenon since it opened its door two years ago.

Co-owner Chef Michael Cimarusti (Providence) is one of the most respected seafood chefs in the country. Partner Donato Poto (Providence) has a long reputation as one of L.A.’s consummate hosts. He speaks three languages. Partner Craig Nickoloff is a veteran restaurateur best known for founding the hugely successful Claim Jumper restaurants (which he sold at their peak of popularity.) Craig knows how to feed a crowd and give them every reason to return.

Executive Chef Sam Baxter began his career with Chef Michael Cimarusti at Water Grill. Chef Baxter looks to demonstrate that the freshest seafood needs only a light touch and the simplest of preparations to make outstanding food.

Connie & Ted’s opening General Manager, Matthew De Marte is our guest to share a few secrets of their incredible success. He’s also a veteran of Providence.

Big Bite Bacon FestThe Big Bite Bacon Fest at The Queen Mary is back for its second year on August 1st & 2nd. Showcasing bacon and craft beer it’s the West Coast’s Largest Bacon Fest!

Dozens of local restaurants and chefs will offer culinary samples of their own unique spin on the star ingredient – bacon. More than 15 local breweries will be sampling a variety of craft beers to help wash down all the salty bacon-goodness for two pork-filled days of fun.

Guests can indulge in bacon heaven with dishes almost beyond your wildest dreams….bacon filled Twinkies, candied bacon cotton candy, bacon ice pops, bacon waffles, bacon churros, bacon hog pockets and bacon burgers.

The charitable beneficiary of Big Bite is Team Red, White and Blue. Their mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by reintegrating them back into their communities.

Chef Isaiah Rosario (he’s all of 16) of the Fry Fry Truck, one of the participating Bacon Fest chefs, joins us to preview some of the outrageous bacon dishes that will be available.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceThe esteemed Price of Produce, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, is back to update us on the fresh and juiciest grapes of Summer. New this year are Jelly Drops Grapes. Returning are the coveted Cotton Candy grapes.

Jelly Drops Grapes are a hybrid of the popular Thompson Seedless grape and the rich, meaty Concord grape. The result is a plump, juicy, dark purple seedless table grape with a thin skin. Their aromatic, earthy flavor is similar to that of a Concord, but mellowed by the mild sweetness of the Thompson. This variety is a perfect out of hand summer snack fruit or delicious when used as a sweet sauce ingredient for almost any kind of meat or poultry dish.

Cotton Candy Grapes™ are an unusual new hybrid variety developed over eight years by breeding wild grape species in California. As its name implies this grape has a distinctive flavor that does, remarkably, taste very much like the spun sugar confection. This is not a genetically engineered product; but rather a tedious hand-pollination process was employed that resulted over many seasons.

The fruit has an initial burst of Cotton Candy flavor that recedes into a mild, juicy sweetness. Actually, these green to light yellow seedless grapes are low in acid and pleasantly sweet without being overly sugary. A great new healthy snack food for kids or the child in all of us!

Andrew GruelOur regular guest host, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish fame, is a big fan of truly cravable sandwiches. He’s also a self-described sandwich junkie…Chef Andrew is personally responsible for creating some of his own winners. Think smoked salmon bagel for openers…

Chef Andrew will give us the profile of the regional favorite, the New Jersey Sloppy Joe and other tantalizing sandwich intell.

Yum…

Chef Andrew Gruel knows a thing or two about fresh fish. One of the goals of the growing sustainability movement in seafood is to encourage fish lovers to try some of the lesser-known selections that are out there for the taking.

Earlier in his West Coast career Chef Gruel’s love of the ocean drove him to direct a non-profit project at The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA called Seafood for the Future”. Here he worked with hundreds of chefs, fisherman and like-minded organizations establishing a national culinary awareness for the sustainable seafood movement.

Lesser-known fish species are just as tasty as the seafood stars and typically priced at a better value. Unfortunately they are known as “trash fish.” Don’t let that regrettable name fool you. Smelt, sardines, and mackerel can be delicious.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: The Art of American Whiskey by Noah Rothbaum
Segment Three: Wine Journalist Tom Plant and Vina De Liceaga
Segment Four: Matthew De Marte, General Manager, Connie and Ted’s
Segment Five: Big Bite Bacon Fest Preview with Chef Isaiah Rosario
Segment Six: Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel on Sandwiches
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel on “Trash Fish”

Show 61, February 15, 2013: Chef Rick Bayless, Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, and Red O (in West Hollywood & Newport Beach) Continues…

Mole at TopolobampoMexican cuisine master Chef Rick Bayless of Chicago’s Topolobampo and Frontera Grill continues. He created the menu for the recently opened Red O in Fashion Island, Newport Beach.

Rick details the impressive selection of artisan tequilas and mescals at Red O. He is also proud of his offerings of premium wines from the Guadalupe Valley in Northern Baja. He’s been there…

The new season of his hit PBS series takers us to Oaxaca, one of his favorite culinary regions in Mexico. He’s a fan of the famous “seven moles of Oaxaca.” We’ll visit the “Day of the Dead” celebration Oaxaca-style which is a “must see” from Rick.

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Show 60, February 8, 2013: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Valentine’s Day is next week so get moving and don’t panic. It falls on a Friday this year. Friday is an especially tough day for restaurants due to Valentine’s Day anxiety so if you want to be a bit more relaxed make your plans for Saturday or Sunday instead. Still the Valentine’s Day orbit but a bit less crazed for the restaurant. You’ll definitely have better service…

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.

It’s the Winter Olympics in Sochi and a classic Newport Beach restaurant is serving a special Olympics-themed menu for the duration. We’ll go inside the menu with the creative executive chef. Caroline Styne is the partner and Wine Director (with Chef Suzanne Goin) in Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern in West Hollywood and Los Angeles. We’ll talk with her and get insight on how you keep a firmly established and growing restaurant group fresh for the dining public. We’ll also hear the story of Slapfish which started as a modest food truck and now is a growing international empire. Did you know there is an emerging wine region in Northern Baja? You’ll learn about a promising winery in the Guadalupe Valley founded by Italians. Brad A. Johnson, the restaurant critic for The Orange County Register, joins us to talk about letter grades for restaurants. We’ll also have a visit with travel journalist Linda Kissam, who was recently in Spain touring the wineries representing the 50 best Cavas produced there.

All of that and lots more incredible deliciousness on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

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Show 60, February 8, 2013: Allan Stark, San Antonio Winery, Los Angeles

LA Cetto WinesDid you know there is a burgeoning wine industry in Mexico? Finally some of these affordable wines are finding their way into the United States. Shouldn’t a fine Mexican restaurant also offer premium Mexican wines?

One of the premier grape growing areas of Mexico is in the Guadalupe Valley (and adjacent valleys) located in Northern Baja California. It has the rural feel of the flat areas of Sonoma County from 40 years ago.

The predecessor wine interests of L.A. Cetto were established in Baja by Italians in the late 1920s. In 1960 L.A. Cetto acquired their first vineyards in the Guadalupe Valley. Today they have some 2,500 acres in the Valley under the stewardship of the 3rd generation of the Baja-based Cetto Family. They are the largest producer of table wines in Mexico.

L.A’s own San Antonio Winery (dating to 1917) is the distributor of L.A. Cetto wines in Southern California. Allan Stark, a 25-year veteran of San Antonio Winery joins us to tell the L.A. Cetto story and discuss some of their premium reserve wines including Nebbiolo, Chardonnay, and a Brut Sparkling wine.

L.A. Cetto wines are on the wine list at Loteria! Grill in Hollywood, Mariasol Cocina, and Camacho’s Cantina at Universal CityWalk.

They are available at the San Antonio Winery retail store as well as at better beverage shops.

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