Show 412, February 13, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and increasingly growing) concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining at greatly reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. How is it going thus far? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Sous Vide cooking is a very popular technique used in fine dining kitchens. It’s available as a useful tool for serious home cooks, too. Chef Andrew provides the basics.

Chef Andrew also updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, “86 Restaurant Struggle” campaign to benefit out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $320,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The need, and fundraising, continues…

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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.

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Show 117, April 11, 2015: Karen Page – The Vegetarian Flavor Bible

Karen Page and Andrew DornenburgTwo-time James Beard Award-winning author Karen Page revolutionized the way both professional chefs and home cooks think about and create new dishes – based on compatible flavors instead of recipes – with her bestseller, The Flavor Bible, which Forbes named as one of the ten best cookbooks of the past century. Now Page brings the same innovative approach to plant-based cooking with The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. Photographs are by Andrew Dornenburg (Karen’s husband.)

For the first time in history, per-capita consumption of meat in America has fallen for five consecutive years, with predictions of continuing declines. Vegetarianism and veganism are emerging from the margins and into the mainstream, as 54 percent of Americans now wish to decrease or eliminate meat from their diets. While people have chosen to adopt meatless diets throughout history for a variety of reasons – from ethics to economy to personal and planetary well-being – this book suggests a new reason for doing so: maximizing flavor, which is too often masked by meat-based stocks or butter and cream.

Karen Page is our guest.

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Show 83, August 9, 2014: The 12 Bottle Bar

David and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson“A new kind of cocktail book, The 12 Bottle Bar, distills the craft cocktail movement for the home bar. Irresistibly uncomplicated, just 12 bottles create over 200 distinct and seasonal cocktails, including beer and wine cocktails.”

David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, the husband-and-wife authors (and noted cocktail enthusiasts) are with us.

“We’re living in the midst of a cocktail renaissance – artisanal cocktails. Celebrity mixologists, drink menus that outshine wine lists and feature ingredients as fresh and complex as the most sought after meals. Just as home cooks have looked to popular restaurants and chefs for new recipes, imbibers want to bring the magic of a local speakeasy straight to the living room.”

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Show 78, July 5, 2014: Celebrity Chef Tiffany Derry of Dallas, Texas Part One

Tiffany DerryFood TV fans know Dallas-based Chef Tiffany Derry from Season 7 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef: All–Stars.” She is back as co-host of FYI’s (formerly Bio) new series, “World Food Championships” which launches on July 10th.

Chef Tiffany is a graduate of The Art Institute of Houston and now serves as a national spokesperson for the Art Institute’s Culinary Arts Program.

World Food Championships on FYI“Hosted in Las Vegas, The World Food Championships is one of the most ambitious and authentic food competitions held annually. The series (6 one-hour episodes) follows talented home cooks and professional chefs from across America as they compete to create dishes mouth-wateringly creative enough to win their food category. From BBQ, to bacon to family recipes – there is a winner for each competition, culminating in a grand finale with a shot at winning a $50,000 prize. Co-hosted by Jeffrey Saad, chef, author and LA-based restaurant owner; and Dallas-based chef, Tiffany Derry. Produced by Sharp Entertainment.”

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Show 76, June 14, 2014: Executive Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Culver City, CA

Ben Ford of Ford's Filling StationYou’ve seen Chef Ben Ford on Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods America” on Travel Channel and are probably familiar with his landmark Culver City Gastropub, Ford’s Filling Station. His new book is Taming The Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide To Adventurous Cooking.

The mantra of the book is: “Cook Big. Play with Fire. Get your Hands Dirty.”

“Chef Ben Ford is known for wowing crowds with his handcrafted feasts of enormous proportions – a whole pig roast, paella for eighty, burgers for the block. Now, in Taming The Feast (Atria Books), Ford divulges his secrets for nine jaw-dropping feasts for the adventurous home cook and DIY enthusiasts in this complete guide to outdoor grilling, smoking, and roasting. It even includes creative recipes to make use of the leftovers you’re sure to have.”

“From mouthwatering Texas-style barbecue to Wood-Fired Paella, these entertaining blueprints can be used to throw a party for the whole neighborhood or an intimate dinner for four. A culinary MacGyver, Ford also provides unique complete do-it-yourself primers for making simple custom outdoor cookers that coax the ultimate flavor out of salmon, pig, rabbit, burgers, bratwurst, turkey, and lamb. Taming The Feast includes easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions, drawings, and timelines for constructing a baking barrel, cinder-block oven, smoking shed, and roasting box in your own backyard.”

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June 14: Ben Ford, Kuniko Yagi, Barbara Fairchild, Providence 9th anniversary, Belle Chevre

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer Andy preview the show
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, Restaurant & Travel Editor, grapecollective.com
Segment Three: Donato Poto, co-owner, Providence, Hollywood, CA
Segment Four: Tasia Malakasis, Proprietress & Cheesemaker – Belle Chevre, Goat Cheese from Alabama
Segment Five: Executive Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Culver City, CA Part One
Segment Six: Executive Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Culver City, CA Part Two
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Kuniko Yagi, Hinoki & The Bird, Century City
Segment Eight: Guest Host Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, The Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Orange County Magazine

Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer Andy preview the show.

Barbara Fairchild, the well-traveled Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com, is back with us to share some inspired and practical travel tips. Also a profile of a big deal celebrity chef restaurant in London.

It’s the 9th Anniversary of Chef Michael Cimarusti’s and Donato Poto’s Providence in Hollywood. The Los Angeles Times’ restaurant critic, Jonathan Gold, recently named them the Number 1 establishment in his annual listing of the “101 Best Restaurants – 2014.”

One of the foremost goat cheeses available in the United States, Belle Chevre, is made in a tiny town located in northern Alabama. It’s quite a success story!

You’ve seen Chef Ben Ford on Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods America” on Travel Channel and are probably familiar with his landmark Culver City Gastropub, Ford’s Filling Station. His new book is Taming The Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide To Adventurous Cooking.

Hinoki & The Bird, hidden in a luxury high rise condo tower in Century City, features pan-Asian cooking. We’ll meet executive chef Kuniko Yagi.

Guest Host Kedric Francis has been doing some traveling up the Central Coast. Some inspired dining and lodging tips are on the way.

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

Barbara FairchildBarbara Fairchild, the well-traveled Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com, is back with us to share some inspired and practical travel tips. Also a mini-profile of dining at Gordon Ramsay in London.

Food journalist Barbara Fairchild is an editor, writer, speaker and sought-after consultant. She was the long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine before the publication relocated to New York.

Providence RestaurantCelebrate nine years of Providence

“June marks our ninth anniversary at Providence and we are on…well…Cloud 9! We would like to take this opportunity to thank you, our loyal guests, for your enduring support. “We feel so fortunate to be part of the ever-evolving Los Angeles food scene. At times, I look back and can’t believe it’s been nearly a decade. It feels like we just opened yesterday!”, says consummate host and co-owner of Providence, Donato Poto. In honor of this auspicious occasion, Providence is providing some incentive for you to celebrate along with us. Beginning on our May 28th reopening, we are offering our four-course tasting menu for $80 a person, during the entire month of June. We look forward to celebrating with you!”

The Los Angeles Times‘ restaurant critic, Jonathan Gold, recently ranked Providence as the Number One Restaurant in the annual Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants 2014.

Providence was closed last month for about two weeks for a freshening of the dining rooms. The patio located off the main dining room was enclosed.

Tasia MalakasisAmerica’ most-awarded goat cheese, Belle Chevre, is lovingly made in small batches in the tiny hamlet of Elkmont, Alabama. It’s all hand-work.

Meet cheesemaker and proprietress, Tasia Malakasis

There is even an award-winning Belle Chevre cheesecake !

Goats’ milk is the most consumed milk on the planet.

Ben Ford of Ford's Filling StationYou’ve seen Chef Ben Ford on Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods America” on Travel Channel and are probably familiar with his landmark Culver City Gastropub, Ford’s Filling Station. His new book is Taming The Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide To Adventurous Cooking.

The mantra of the book is: “Cook Big. Play with Fire. Get your Hands Dirty.”
“Chef Ben Ford is known for wowing crowds with his handcrafted feasts of enormous proportions – a whole pig roast, paella for eighty, burgers for the block. Now, in Taming The Feast (Atria Books), Ford divulges his secrets for nine jaw-dropping feasts for the adventurous home cook and DIY enthusiasts in this complete guide to outdoor grilling, smoking, and roasting. It even includes creative recipes to make use of the leftovers you’re sure to have.”

“From mouthwatering Texas-style barbecue to Wood-Fired Paella, these entertaining blueprints can be used to throw a party for the whole neighborhood or an intimate dinner for four. A culinary MacGyver, Ford also provides unique complete do-it-yourself primers for making simple custom outdoor cookers that coax the ultimate flavor out of salmon, pig, rabbit, burgers, bratwurst, turkey, and lamb. Taming The Feast includes easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions, drawings, and timelines for constructing a baking barrel, cinder-block oven, smoking shed, and roasting box in your own backyard.”

Kuniko Yagi of Hinoki and the BirdHinoki & the Bird is an imaginative dining concept that pushes modern California cooking to vibrant new bounds. Taking cues from travels through the Silk Road, the restaurant serves as a colorful kaleidoscope where bright flavors, a healthy sensibility, and technique harmoniously collide. The Milo Garcia-designed indoor/outdoor space is housed on the ground floor of Related Companies’ luxury condominium tower, The Century.”

The Executive Chef of Hinoki & the Bird is Kuniko Yagi. Previously she was the sous chef at Sona and Executive Chef of Comme Ca in West Hollywood. She had no formal culinary training but the artistic drive was always with her.

In preparation for the opening of Hinoki & the Bird she traveled and conducted research in many of Japan’s top-rated Michelin–starred restaurants.

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineOur always debonair man about Orange County, Kedric Francis, did a little recent vacation swing down the Central Coast. Kedric spotlights the notable food and accommodations. Also some breaking OC restaurant news…

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer Andy preview the show
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, Restaurant & Travel Editor, grapecollective.com
Segment Three: Donato Poto, co-owner, Providence, Hollywood, CA
Segment Four: Tasia Malakasis, Proprietress & Cheesemaker – Belle Chevre, Goat Cheese from Alabama
Segment Five: Executive Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Culver City, CA Part One
Segment Six: Executive Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Culver City, CA Part Two
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Kuniko Yagi, Hinoki & The Bird, Century City
Segment Eight: Guest Host Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, The Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Orange County Magazine

Show 70, April 26, 2014: Robert Schueller, The Prince of Produce, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce, Inc.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceOur friends at Melissa’s have done it again. Newly published is Melissa’s “The Great Pepper Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Cooking with Peppers.”

Fresh and dried peppers are a key ingredient in many cuisines around the world and they have gained popularity here in the U.S. recently thanks to the culinary world’s embracement of the vast variety of peppers. Beyond jalapenos, home cooks are now looking to learn more about these flavorful fruits, not just for their heat level, but to cook beyond their comfort zone.

This highly visual and engaging book shows readers how simple it is to use 37 different varieties of peppers.

In the “Fun Facts” area peppers are actually a fruit because they have seeds. The hottest part of the pepper is the veins followed by the seeds.

Part of the Melissa’s team responsible for creating Melissa’s “The Great Pepper Cookbook” will be hosting a lunch and presentation at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 7th. Executive Chef Ida Rodriguez, Test Kitchen Director Chef Tom Fraker and Robert Schueller (The Prince of Produce) will provide commentary and recipe tutorials.

The three-course lunch will feature recipes from the book. It’s a modest $25 per guest and reservations are essential.

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Show 50, November 30, 2013: Chef & Restaurateur Suzanne Goin of Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern Continues…

A.O.C. CookbookSuzanne talks about cooking with seasonal vegetables and how that passion of hers found its way into the A.O.C. Cookbook.

She feels it’s very important to balance flavors which you only learn by tasting. Suzanne has a great philosophy that if you truly don’t enjoy eating then you can’t be a really good cook.

All the recipes in the cookbook were tested in a home kitchen by an enthusiastic home cook.

Suzanne’s long-time business partner, Caroline Styne, has wonderfully informative wine notes that go with each recipe in the book.

A.O.C. (the restaurant) has recently moved (it’s been a year) a mile West to the old Orso location (with an incredible patio) on W. Third Street across from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Suzanne shares how the move came about. It’s been an especially fortuitous transition as they now can serve lunch in the new location and it’s very busy.

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