Show 170, May 7, 2016: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, most recently, Brea, is back as today’s special Guest Host.

Congrats to all the Southern California winners at The James Beard Foundation Awards presented in Chicago on May 2nd. A tip of the toque to Suzanne Goin, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Dahlia Narvaez and food journalists Bill Esparza and Lesley Bargar Suter.

Now a sneak peak of Saturday’s appetizing show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a pretty good thing…

LA Weekly presents Tacolandia 2016 on Saturday afternoon, June 11th from 3 to 7:00 p.m. at El Pueblo de Los Angeles in DTLA. The fourth annual gourmet taco festival will feature more than 100 top taco vendors curated by the World’s First Tacorazzo, Bill Esparza, our guest.

The Hungry Cat in Downtown Santa Barbara is the newest restaurant in Chef David Lentz’s Hungry Cat empire which started in 2005 in a somewhat hidden location in Hollywood and eventually expanded to a highly visible, across the street from the beach location in Santa Monica. Santa Barbara’s General Manager, Bob Van Der Veer, joins us. He started in Hollywood as a relief bartender.

Panxa Cocina in Long Beach recently celebrated its year anniversary. It’s located in the former Christy’s space on E. Broadway. Chef Arthur Gonzalez ( the revived ROE Restaurant) is the Executive Chef and Co-Owner. It’s Santa Fe, New Mexico-style cuisine with rich, bold flavors and a lot of imagination. Chef Art is with us for the distinctive menu highlights.

Executive Chef Marc Johnson at Oak Grill at The Island Hotel in Newport Beach just launched Slow Smoked Sundaze. It’s a relaxed, family-style, smoked BBQ Sunday. Chef Marc is here with all the succulent details.

The 5th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival gala is May 14th at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel on the Kohala Coast. Indulge in both savory and sweet temptations prepared by top chefs and chocolatiers while watching award-winning Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Company, sculpt one of the largest volcanoes ever created in fine chocolate. Chef Donald is our guest.

The Hollywood Farmers Market and the parent non-profit, SEE-LA, is celebrating 25 successful years of providing the Los Angeles community with sustainable and fresh produce with special market events each Sunday in May. The Sunday event series features cookbook signings and demonstrations by a few of Los Angeles’ most celebrated chefs and cookbook authors. Executive Director James Haydu has all the celebratory 411.

Sushi has become mainstream in California. It’s even sold in neighborhood convenience stores. Our own resident seafood expect, Chef Andrew Gruel, has everything you need to know about practical sushi basics. He’ll have tips for ordering as well as proper sushi etiquette.

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

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Show 170, May 7, 2016: The Hungry Cat, Santa Barbara

Bob Van Der VeerThe Hungry Cat in Downtown Santa Barbara is the youngest restaurant in Chef David Lentz’s Hungry Cat empire (2007 launch) which started in a hidden location in Hollywood and eventually expanded to a highly visible, across the street from the beach location in Santa Monica and then North to Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara’s General Manager, Bob Van Der Veer, joins us. He started in Hollywood as a relief bartender.

“Since 2005, The Hungry Cat (Hollywood) has offered the highest quality fish and meats matched with Southern California’s abundant seasonal produce.”

“The result is not simply a seafood house, but a continuously evolving restaurant, following the seasons, but always remaining true to the product.”

“With a focus on the artisan, The Hungry Cat produces its own in-house smoked meats and seafood, curing and pickling, as well as featuring a unique farmers market driven cocktail program, esoteric wine list and rotating local beers.”

“Our rotating raw bar (Santa Barbara) showcases Pacific and Atlantic oysters, clams, Santa Barbara sea urchin, raw and marinated fish dishes, crab and lobster.”

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Show 87, September 6, 2014: LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade

Caroline StyneThe 5th Annual L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade culinary cookout returns this year on Saturday, September 20th. When it comes to having the most impressive roster of nationally-known celebrity chefs cooking locally for charity this Benefit is the clear standout. It’s hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin, her business partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern) along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat.)

The new location is Wilson Plaza at UCLA in Westwood.

The 5th Annual Benefit invites food and wine lovers from all corners of the globe for an afternoon of fantastic fare, cocktails for a cause, children’s activities, silent and live auctions, and a whole lot more. The incredible chef brigade includes big name cooks ranging from Giada De Laurentiis to Tom Colicchio.

“We can only describe what happens each year as magical. To see all of these talented people who happily come together for such a worthy cause is incredibly gratifying. The bonus is to witness everyone having a great time with the best food, wine and spirits and even see kids at play, all in the name of Alex Scott,” said Caroline Styne.

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September 6: Andrew Gruel, Carolyne Styne, McConnell’s Ice Cream, Michelle Winner, Melissa’s Produce, Geeta Bansal, 12 Bottle Bar

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade
Segment Three: McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream
Segment Four: Travel Writer Michelle Winner, President, IFWTWA
Segment Five: Corporate Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s Produce
Segment Six: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Seven: Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven
Segment Eight: The 12 Bottle Bar

Guest Host Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, CEO of Slapfish Restaurant Group and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

The 5th Annual L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade culinary cookout returns this year on Saturday, September 20th. When it comes to having the most impressive roster of nationally-known celebrity chefs cooking locally for charity this Benefit is the clear standout. It’s hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin, her business partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern) along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat.)

McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream is a 70-year old iconic brand of super premium ice cream which is still based where it was founded in Santa Barbara. Michael Palmer (winemaker) and his wife Eva Ein (chef) purchased this heritage brand in 2012. A McConnell’s scoop shop recently opened in the Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.

Food, wine & travel writer Michelle Winner is the President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA.). She will be talking to us from Hawaii. Over Labor Day Weekend she was part of the Kaanapali Fresh – A Culinary Experience on Maui and right now she is in the middle of the 4th Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival on Oahu.

Ida Rodriguez is the long-time Corporate Chef for Melissa’s / World Variety Produce. Until the end of the month it’s Hatch Chile season. Over Labor Day Weekend Chef Ida was in Hatch, New Mexico for the annual Hatch Chile Festival. It gets crazy there. Chef Ida is with us to give us the flavorful report.

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel is CEO of Slapfish Restaurant Group with locations in Huntington Beach, Laguna, Dubai, and soon – Newport Beach. Chef Andrew is a guest judge on Food Network’s upcoming “Food Truck Face-Off” series, was a participant on Sept. 5th at OC Weekly’s 11th Annual Decadence 2014 Tasting Event, and has a new video our explaining the secrets of preparing Slapfish’s Clobster Roll to the Orange County Register’s distinguished food writer, Cathy Thomas.

It’s a singular honor as a chef & restaurateur to be invited to prepare and present a meal at The James Beard Foundation in New York. Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven has that distinct honor on September 27th. On Monday, Sept. 15th Clay Oven will be previewing that same grand five-course, wine-paired menu for a small group of lucky locals. Not one to miss…

David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson have penned a new kind of cocktail book, The 12 Bottle Bar. Just twelve bottles create over 200 distinct and seasonal cocktails, including beer and wine cocktails. When we first interviewed the Solmonsons we ran out of time before we could discuss the clever “Acknowledgements” section of their book. We’ll resume the conversation…

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

Caroline StyneThe 5th Annual L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade culinary cookout returns this year on Saturday, September 20th. When it comes to having the most impressive roster of nationally-known celebrity chefs cooking locally for charity this Benefit is the clear standout. It’s hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin, her business partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern) along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat.)

The new location is Wilson Plaza at UCLA in Westwood.

The 5th Annual Benefit invites food and wine lovers from all corners of the globe for an afternoon of fantastic fare, cocktails for a cause, children’s activities, silent and live auctions, and a whole lot more. The incredible chef brigade includes big name cooks ranging from Giada De Laurentiis to Tom Colicchio.

Michael PalmerMcConnell’s Fine Ice Cream is a 70-year old iconic brand of super premium ice cream which is still based where it was founded in Santa Barbara. Michael Palmer (winemaker) and his wife Eva Ein (chef) purchased this heritage brand in 2012. A McConnell’s scoop shop recently opened in the Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.

The late Jim McCoy owned McConnell’s from 1963 until he needed to sell the business due to ill health in 2012. It was very important to him that this be maintained as a family business based in Santa Barbara.That was his legacy.

75 per cent of McConnell’s ingredients come from within 60 miles of Santa Barbara.

Food, wine & travel writer Michelle Winner is the President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA.). She will be talking to us from Hawaii.

Over Labor Day Weekend Michelle was part of the Kaanapali Fresh – A Culinary Experience on Maui and right now she is in the middle of the 4th Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival on Oahu.

The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival event Michelle attended Thursday evening was the sold out “A Lucky Modern Buddha Belly” at The Modern Honolulu. The event put a spotlight on Hawaii’s unique location as a culinary hub of the Pacific where East Meets West. 14 esteemed chefs (including Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto) showcased dishes inspired by the Lucky Buddha who is known for happiness, plenitude, and wisdom of contentment.

Chef Ida Rodriquez of Melissas World Variety ProduceIda Rodriguez is the long-time Corporate Chef for Melissa’s / World Variety Produce. Until the end of the month it’s still Hatch Chile season.

Over Labor Day Weekend Chef Ida was in Hatch, New Mexico as a participant for the annual Hatch Chile Festival. It gets really crazy there. Chef Ida joins us to give us the flavorful chile report.

Weekend Hatch chile roasting continue through this month at select supermarkets. Check the Melissa’s website for the schedule, times, and locations.

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel is CEO of Slapfish Restaurant Group with locations in Huntington Beach, Laguna, Dubai, and soon – Newport Beach.

Chef Andrew is a guest judge on Food Network’s upcoming “Food Truck Face-Off” series, was a participant on Sept. 5th at OC Weekly’s 11th Annual Decadence 2014 Tasting Event, and has a new video out explaining the secrets of preparing Slapfish’s Clobster Roll to the Orange County Register’s distinguished food writer, Cathy Thomas.

Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven in IrvineIt’s a singular honor as a chef & restaurateur to be invited to prepare and present a meal at The James Beard Foundation in New York. Wolfgang Puck was the very first chef to do so.

Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven has that distinct honor on Saturday evening, September 27th. On Monday, Sept. 15th Clay Oven will be previewing that same grand five-course, wine-paired menu for a small group of lucky locals. Not one to miss…

At Clay Oven, chef/owner Geeta Bansal updates traditional Indian recipes with modern culinary techniques and vibrant California bounty. Incorporating the changing colors, flavors, and aromas of each season into her rotating menus, she honors Ayurvedic principles while bringing haute Indian cuisine to the forefront of Southern California’s dining landscape.

David and Lesley Jacobs SolmonsonDavid Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson have penned a new kind of cocktail book, The 12 Bottle Bar. Just twelve bottles create over 200 distinct and seasonal cocktails, including beer and wine cocktails. When we first interviewed the Solmonsons we ran out of time before we could discuss the clever “Acknowledgements” section of their book. We’ll resume the conversation…

On Saturday, September 13th at 10:30 a.m. the Solmonsons will present “Sin and the Silver Screen: The Age of the Hollywood Nightclub.” It’s a free program in the Mark Taper Auditorium at the Los Angeles Central Library.

To celebrate the release of The 12 Bottle Bar the Solmonsons will lead two Los Angeles-based barhops in September (Sept. 7th ) and October (Oct.5th.,) each one stopping at three bars over one evening. Each event includes one spirit-focused mini-cocktail at each location, appetizers/small plates, a copy of The 12 Bottle Bar book, and more!

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade
Segment Three: McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream
Segment Four: Travel Writer Michelle Winner, President, IFWTWA
Segment Five: Corporate Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s Produce
Segment Six: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Seven: Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven
Segment Eight: The 12 Bottle Bar