Show 367, April 4, 2020: Executive Chef Michael Rossi of The Ranch Restaurant in Anaheim

Michael Rossi of the Ranch Restaurant and SaloonThe Ranch Restaurant in Anaheim is, of course, not available for dine-in during the present health crisis. Executive Chef Michael Rossi has artfully shifted to a new, a la carte Curbside Pick-Up Menu including some of their signature house specialties that travel reasonably well. There are ample choices of Starters, Salads, Pasta, Sandwiches & Burgers, Steak, Fish & Chicken, and Pastry Chef David Rossi’s incredibly decadent desserts (including the award-winning Buttered Popcorn Ice Cream by the pint.) Think 8 oz. Prime Flat Iron Steak with Baby Dutch Potatoes, House-Made Pancetta, Saint Agur Blue Cheese and Wild Arugula.

Available to Order & Pick-Up daily between 12 Noon and 7:00 p.m. Ordering starts at 9:00 a.m.

“Executive Chef, Michael Rossi and our talented culinary team craft our seasonally driven menu at The Ranch with hand selected produce harvested from our own farm. Our chefs have the unique ability to pick produce at the perfect time just before the peak of maturity to capture maximum flavor and within hours served at your table with old fashioned genuine hospitality and gracious service. To complete your dining experience, sample one of our many desserts created in house by Pastry Chef, David Rossi.”

Executive Chef Michael Rossi joins us from curbside at The Ranch.


Show 304, December 29, 2018: James Mullins, Proprietor, Fill Bakehouse & Creamery, Costa Mesa

Fill Bakeshop and CreameryHow sweet it is with an authentic “Taste of Hawaii” now located next door to Toast Kitchen + Bakery in Costa Mesa. Fill, a bakehouse and creamery serving made-to-order malasadas and small-batch ice cream, launched in late July. With Fill, founder & Hawaii-native James Mullis, serves up a sweet side of the Islands with true “aloha spirit.”

“Malasadas were popularized in Hawaii during the 19th century when Portuguese immigrants arrived in Hawaii to support the islands’ growing sugar cane business. Today, these delicate, sugar-dusted confections are an island icon; and to Mullis, they’re reminiscent of the welcoming, diverse culture of Hawaii.” Making the dough for a malasada is actually an intensive, two-day process.

“After years of research, Mullis put together a duo of illustrious chefs to bring his vision to life: Lincoln Carson (ex-Michael Mina Restaurant Group) and John Park. Today, Mullis proudly presents Fill, his ode to Hawaii and the embracing culture that shaped his childhood.”

“The islands are melting pot of culture, pulling culinary influence from the Philippines, Japan, and Portugal,” comments Mullis, who grew up in the small town of Kaneohe, Hawaii. “We represent the best of Hawaii’s embracing culinary culture at Fill with made-to-order malasadas, artisan fillings, and house-made, small-batch ice cream.”

Organic and GMO-free, Fill’s malasadas are a delicate-yet-doughy Portuguese pastry with a crisp, sugar-dusted exterior (choose from cane, cinnamon, or coconut sugar) which can be served with a variety of fillings including haupia (coconut custard), strawberry jam, Mandarin orange pastry cream, or malted chocolate.

In addition to Fill’s fresh-baked malasadas is a selection of small-batch ice creams with unique flavors that evoke a taste of the islands including a vegan Brown Butter Roasted Pineapple, Royal Kona Coffee, Roasted Black Sesame, and POG (passion fruit, orange, guava). The ice creams are made right there in-house in a dedicated, state-of-the-art health department certified frozen dessert production space.

Closed on Monday.

James joins us from Hawaii where he is celebrating the Holidays.


Show 297, November 10, 2018: Kim Malek, Co-Founder, Salt & Straw Ice Cream

Kim MalekLast month Portland-based boutique ice cream maker Salt & Straw opened their first location in Downtown Disney in Anaheim. It replaced a familiar, franchised premium ice cream scoop shop whose worldwide brand is owned by a giant, multinational food corporation.

In May 2001 Kim Malek and her cousin and head ice cream maker Tyler Malek started their own small business, Salt & Straw Ice Cream serving eight flavors from a humble cart in NE Portland. Today the company is the largest small batch ice cream company in the world numbering scoop shops in Portland, greater Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and San Diego. Also unusually available in pints in New York City at Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group’s Daily Provisions.

“Our story is part luck, part strategy and part love (for ice cream, family, local foods, and other stuff we can’t mention here). I (Kim) have been wanting to open an ice cream scoop shop since 1996. I thought it would be nice to have a local spot where you could run into your neighbors, celebrate with your family, reward yourself…whatever! And I love exploring fun, interesting new flavors. After toiling away in safe mode working for several amazing Fortune 500 businesses, I moved back to Portland for love and found the window of opportunity and support that I’d been lacking to jump start my idea.”

“In the meantime, my cousin Tyler had been studying in China and traveling in Asia. He completed his business degree and had just announced to the family that he was going to enroll in Culinary School. I actually saw a posting on Facebook that he was considering moving to Portland and phoned him up…not even knowing about his plans! We traded stories and updated each other – coming to realize we are on similar paths by coincidence. Next thing I knew, I was getting reports from Tyler regarding ice cream tests he was running with his friends and family as tasters. He had a million ideas and wanted to join me in this crazy idea. How could I resist? He literally dropped what he was doing, loaded up his car and drove to Portland from Seattle to start work as our head ice cream maker the very next day. I would probably be somewhere rocking back and forth in a corner without him. He’s amazingly talented, super smart, hard-working, and quite possibly the nicest person ever.”

“We’re hoping to create the kind of company that’s fun to support, work for, and partner with. We’re about building strong local community – both in the neighborhoods where we do business and by purchasing as many local products as possible (to keep our money in Oregon and help create stronger local economies).”

Co-Founder Kim Malek is our guest.


Show 289, September 8, 2018: Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamChef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of Ask the Chef.”

We’re thinking totally wacky food news…You’ll be surprised. Have you heard about Hellmann’s Mayonnaise Ice Cream created by an artisanal scoop shop in Scotland? Would you be willing to even try it ?


Show 246, November 4, 2017: Tyler Malek, Co-Founder & Head Ice Cream Maker, Salt & Straw Ice Cream

Tyler MalekSalt & Straw Ice Cream is a family-run, chef-driven ice cream company with kitchens and scoop shops in Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles (5 locations in the L.A. area) that partners with local artisans, producers and farmers to serve unusually creative and absolutely delicious ice cream. Co-Founder and Head Ice Cream Maker Tyler Malek is our guest.

Each ice cream is handmade in small batches using only all-natural cream from local farms in each city. Flavors showcase the best local, organic and sustainable ingredients from Oregon and Southern California farmers and artisans as well as imported flavors from small hand-picked farms from around the world.

There is a whole menu of inspiring Thanksgiving flavors. Think Buttered Mashed Potatoes & Gravy and Salted Caramel Thanksgiving Turkey.

The company started in Portland, OR serving eight flavors from an ice cream cart in May of 2011. Scoops of handmade, small batch ice creams, sundaes, milkshakes and floats as well as pints to go are available at each shop with an ice cream sommelier of sorts who will gladly take you through a tasting of all the flavors.



Show 185, August 20, 2016: Chef Warren Schwartz, Magpies Softserve, Silver Lake

Warren ScwartzWarren Schwartz is a prominent fine-dining chef. Foodies probably know him best for his long tenure as the Executive Chef of the landmark Saddle Peak Lodge in Malibu Canyon. He was also at The Viceroy in Santa Monica. His new venture is Magpies Softserve in Silverlake in partnership with his wife, Rose, an accomplished pastry chef.

“Magpies Softserve is a scratch recipe soft serve dessert shop. We make our soft serve mix and all toppings in house. We wanted to expand the flavors of typical soft serve ice cream from the traditional vanilla and chocolate by creating flavors of soft serve that bring us back to our childhood, flavors that inspired us to become chefs.”

“We love ice cream. Opening a dessert shop has always been a dream of ours. This idea came to us while we were on a family vacation in Palm Desert, when for nostalgia sake, we decided to go into a Dairy Queen. As we were licking our cone, we came up with the idea at the same time. “Let’s do a chef-y Dairy Queen” and the idea was born. We would have all-scratch soft serve recipes with life inspired flavors and we would make all toppings in-house. We would create flavors that we grew up with and represent us.”

Rose is Korean American, born and raised in South Florida, and Warren is a true Valley Californian. Between the two of us, we came up with flavors that can really tell a story. From a Horchata (non dairy), to a Cortadito, a sweetened Cuban espresso to Yuzu Honey, a traditional Korean tea that is unique to the American palate. We had a lot of fun creating flavors that are authentic to us.”


Show 174, June 4, 2016: Kevin McCafferty of Soda Jerk’s, Looff Hippodrome, Santa Monica Pier

Soda JerksIt’s the 100th anniversary on Sunday, June 12th of the opening of the Looff Hippodrome on the classic Santa Monica Pier. Since 2010 the familiar Carousel Building has been the home to Soda Jerk’s, an authentic, period soda fountain.

Proprietor Kevin McCafferty has created a limited-edition sweet-salty potato-chip sundae to commemorate the occasion. He’s full-scooping as our guest.

For foodies seeking a special dessert conceived from the opening era, this is a rare opportunity to indulge in a limited-edition sweet-salty potato-chip sundae inspired by Pier history and created by Kevin McCafferty, dessert historian and owner of Soda Jerk’s soda fountain. The Brass Ring Sundae is one scoop of salted caramel topped with caramel sauce, one scoop of vanilla ice cream with chocolate, all covered in crushed potato chips with a single chip (the brass ring) on top.

The Looff Hippodrome is on the National Register of Historic Places since 1987 and was declared a Santa Monica Landmark in 1976. “When it first opened, the sound of the band organ from the Carousel could be heard all the way to downtown Santa Monica,” explains Jim Harris, historian for the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corp. and author of the acclaimed book, Santa Monica Pier – A Century on the Last Great Pleasure Pier. “In many ways, it was and remains the heart of the city and we are excited to celebrate Looff’s dream 100 years later. It is a testament to his great vision that the Hippodrome has withstood the test of time.”

100 years later, the Looff Hippodrome remains an example of timeless design and continues to stand as a testament to Looff’s vision. The 100-year celebration will take place on Sunday, June 12, 2016 from 11am – 7:00pm.


Show 157, January 30, 2016: Thomas Pham, The Halal Guys (for SoCal) and Churned

Halal GuysAfter opening its first two West Coast locations to huge crowds and an almost never-ending line, The Halal Guys are entering new territory with its upcoming grand opening in Koreatown, Los Angeles.

The fast-casual New York famed concept opened its first West Coast location in Costa Mesa last October, its second location in Long Beach this past January and have plans to bring 50 units throughout Southern California.

Known for its famous white sauce, gyro sandwiches and chicken-and-rice platters, The Halal Guys menu offers a mix of different Middle Eastern dishes. The Halal Guys aim to be different and encourage patrons across America to ditch burgers for something unique.

They pride themselves on only using high-quality products like their chicken. It has never been frozen and is marinated and seasoned overnight, then cooked and chopped on the grill and served directly to the plate to ensure a crave-worthy meal that’s piping hot. The Halal Guys’ mission is to ensure that every customer leaves happy, with a smile on their face and a satisfaction that brings them back again.

Halal Guys local franchisee, Thomas Pham, is our guest.

He’ll also talk about his new, soon to launch ice cream concept, Churned. The decadent ice cream is made in front of the guests in small batches and served in a fresh croissant. The churning equipment is imported from Italy. (The Italians certainly know a few things about premium ice cream.) The first location (opening later this month) will be in the Union Market at The District, Tustin.


Show 156, January 23, 2016: Edmond Cartojano, Daily Food Feed

Edmond CartojanoOur Co-host, Chef Andrew Gruel is always talking about the impact of positive Social Media in driving guests to a restaurant. It’s a powerful tool…

A key Social Media influencer in Orange County is superstar foodie Edmond Cartojano of the Daily Food Feed blog. He’s food obsessed just like the rest of us. The influential Daily Food Feed on Instragram is less than a year old but Edmond has a four and one-half year background in restaurant public relations and marketing.

Edmond has an incredible 150,000 followers (and still growing) on Instagram and he’s not done yet. His passionate followers were all developed organically which adds more credibility to his efforts.

Edmond notes that food is emotional. The visuals on Instagram best showcase this.

We’ll get the scoop on how all of this came about and what’s in store for the future. We know Edmond loves ice cream, too, so there is a lot to chat about…



Show 142, October 17, 2015: John Fosselman, Fosselman’s Ice Cream, Alhambra

John FosselmanFosselman’s Ice Cream Co. “Using the finest ingredients available to make the most delicious ice cream” has been a local favorite since 1919. The ice cream is still handmade in small batches in Alhambra. It relocated there in 1941.

Fosselman’s has just introduced a flavor line of soft serve ice cream for restaurants. The line extension was done in association with Dog Haus, based in Pasadena. Fosselman’s soft serve and milkshakes will now be available in all Dog Haus locations.

“As a Pasadena-based restaurant, we’ve always had a deep respect for local businesses in our community like Fosselman’s that are as committed to quality as we are at Dog Haus,” observes Dog Haus partner Hagop Giragossian.

Co-owner John Fosselman (representing the 3rd generation of Family ownership) joins us with all the sinfully rich details.

The soft serve was just introduced to the greater restaurant community at the Western Foodservice Expo at the L.A. Convention Center. Next will be at the upcoming Fancy Food Show.