Show 276, June 2, 2018: Shawn O’Shaughnessy, GM, Ola Brew, Kailu-Kona, HI

Shawn O'ShaugnessyThe newest craft brewery on the Big Island of Hawaii is the community focused, Ola Brew. Unusually it was partially crowd-funded to launch and also just completed its 2nd round of crowd-funding to expand brewing capacity and build an on-site kitchen. Ola Brew’s world class beers and ciders are made from island-sourced ingredients.

Think Watermelon IPA and local favorite, White Pineapple Cider.

“Did you know that a) More than half of the tropical fruit grown in Hawai’i falls to the ground and never makes it to market; b) U.S. demand for craft alcohols has doubled in the last 5 years, and c) Most beer and cider consumed in Hawai’i is imported? Our conclusion: it’s time Hawai’i County had its own brewery designed to turn the state’s abundance of produce into revenue for local farmers. And as the experienced beverage entrepreneurs who started Hawaiian Ola, we are the best team to do it.”

Brett Jacobson
CEO, OLA BREW CO.

General Manager Shawn O’Shaughnessy taps the keg for us.

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Show 175, June 11, 2016: Mason Jar Brewing Company, Menifee

Mason Jar Brewing CompanyOne of the smallest craft breweries participating in the Pechanga Microbrew Festival is Mason Jar Brewing in Menifee founded in 2014. It’s the creation of the determined husband and wife team of Robert Carter and Grace Santiago. They transitioned into becoming a production brewery from their hobby as passionate and award-winning home-brewers.

Husband and wife team, Robert Carter and Grace Santiago, are active and participating residents of Menifee, California. Robert, a home inspector/youth football coach and Grace a local Real Estate agent, have both found their true creative calling in brewing beer.

Their tagline : “Life and beer have one thing in common…Chill for Best Results!”

Now, they have launched their next dream. . . Menifee’s first Craft Brewery! Locally known for their homebrew, Robert and Grace have won 22 medals out of 24 competitions entered over their last two years as home brewers for their delicious traditional and dessert inspired beers.

The most recent medal won as home brewers (2014) was in the fruit beer category at the National Homebrew Competition (NHC). At NHC, they took home a GOLD medal for their dark chocolate, raspberry, coconut stout besting hundreds of competitors.

Robert’s favorite style is Swamp Water. It’s a very unusual black rye Kolsch.

Last year at the Microbrew Fest their Coco Loco attracted long lines until it was gone. It’s a refreshing coconut-lime pale ale.

Currently on tap is their signature IPA. It’s characterized by nice citrus notes, a slightly dry finish and is incredibly tasty! 7.2% ABV and 58 IBU.

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Show 118, April 18, 2015: Left Coast Brewing Co.

Shawn HadjisShawn Hadjis of Left Coast Brewing Co. (Director of Sales and Marketing) continues.

Left Coast Brewing Co. primarily distributes beer to bars and restaurants in kegs and bottles. The brewery also produces 8 full-time beers for the Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing Co. restaurants. They project to produce 15,000 barrels of beer in 2015.

They also operate a Taproom at The Brewery in San Clemente that is open at night on Weekdays and extended hours on Weekends. All of the year-round styles and the current seasonal beers are available to sample in 5 oz., 10 oz. and 16 oz. pours. All beers are available in half-gallon growlers to go.

Left Coast produces six beers year-round with the flagship beer being Hop Juice Double IPA. The other year-round beers are the Asylum Belgian Style Tripel Ale, Trestles IPA, Voo Doo American Stout, Del Mar St. Dortmunder Style Export Lager and Una Mas Amber Lager. The seasonal beer for Spring is Red Tide Belgian-Style Red Ale.

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Show 90, September 27, 2014: Kristofor Barnes’ Beer Lover’s Southern California

Kip Barnes of Los Angeles Ale WorksKristofor “Kip” Barnes, the author of Beer Lover’s Southern California – Best Breweries, Brewpubs & Beer Bars, is an accomplished gold-medal-winning home brewer and the founder of the brew blog Bierkast.com. He also is the co-founder of Los Angeles Ale Works and is a founding member of the L.A. Beer Bloggers.

“With quality beer producers popping up all over the nation, you don’t have to travel very far to taste great beer ; some of the best stuff is brewing right in your home state. Beer Lover’s Southern California (the complete regional guide to craft beer) features breweries, brewpubs, and beer bars geared toward brew enthusiasts looking to seek out the best beers SoCal has to offer, from bitter seasonal IPAs to rich, dark stouts.”

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Show 55, January 4, 2013: Brian Thorson, Brewmaster, Haven Gastropub + Brewery

Brian Thorson of Haven Gastropub and BreweryHaven Gastropub + Brewery in Old Pasadena has a new brewmaster, Brian Thorson, who has been with them for a year now gaining significant acclaim from area craft beer enthusiasts. Previously in Northern California Brian created quite a following at Drake’s and Trumer Pils.

Brian brews for both Havens (Old Pasadena & Old Towne Orange,) Provisions Market, Taco Asylum, as well as a few select wholesale accounts. There are typically some 12 Haven styles at any given moment but that varies by season.

A current standout is El Barista Rojo brewed with Portola Coffee Lab coffee (added during conditioning.) Also of particular note is the Hops, Inc. This IPA showcases hop flavor and aroma without bitterness.

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January 4: Bill Esparza, Brian Thorson, Sean E. Brown, Ivan Orkin, Jesus Sanchez, Robert Schueller

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Bill Esparza, The Mexican Food Maestro and Street Gourmet LA Blog
Segment Three: Brian Thorson, Brewmaster, Haven Gastropub + Brewery
Segment Four: Sean E. Brown, Executive Chef, ESPN Zone of Anaheim
Segment Five: Chef Ivan Orkin, The Ramen Authority Part One
Segment Six: Chef Ivan Orkin, The Ramen Authority Part Two
Segment Seven: Chef Jesus Sanchez CEC, Culinary Arts Institute, Los Angeles Mission College
Segment Eight: Robert Schueller, The Produce Guru, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce

We’re starting off 2014 with a bang. Tune-in…

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

We have the fascinating story of a middle-aged chef from New York who ventured to Japan to find himself, opened a modest ramen shop in a Tokyo suburb, and became a huge culinary celebrity in Japan! Bill Esparza is also with us, the Mexican Food Maestro and the unofficial Ambassador to the foods of Baja. Also a look at the truly affordable culinary arts program at Los Angeles Mission College, part of the Community College system.

Bill EsparzaThe 16th Annual Los Angeles Times Travel Show returns to the West Hall of the L.A. Convention Center on January 18 & 19. Our favorite Mexican Food Maestro, Bill Esparza, of the Street Gourmet LA blog is with us to preview his activities at the show.

Bill has cooking demos on the Flavors of the World Stage on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. The Sunday demo he is doing with Mariana Oviedo who represents the 2nd generation of the acclaimed Guerrerense food cart in Ensenada, Mexico started by her mother, Sabina Bandera in 1962.

Brian Thorson of Haven Gastropub and BreweryHaven Gastropub + Brewery in Old Pasadena has a new brewmaster, Brian Thorson, who has been with them for a year now gaining significant acclaim from area craft beer enthusiasts. Previously in Northern California Brian created quite a following at Drake’s and Trumer Pils.

Brian brews for both Havens as well as a few select wholesale accounts. There are typically some 12 Haven styles at any given moment but that varies by season.

A current standout is El Barista Rojo brewed with Portola Coffee Lab coffee (added during conditioning.) Also of particular note is the Hops, Inc. This IPA showcases hop flavor and aroma without bitterness.

Sean Brown of the ESPN Zone in AnaheimThe ESPN Zone in Anaheim in Downtown Disney is the last of the ESPN Zones so it’s a special place. ESPN television and radio is owned by Disney and its an enormous profit center for the parent corporation.

Besides being the primo sports viewing complex of choice in the area there is a welcome new direction in the food. The new executive chef, Sean E. Brown, is committed to serving the best in homestyle American comfort food. Let’s talk about the brined pork chop special for instance.

Chef Sean spent ten years cooking in Hawaii before returning to the mainland so fresh and local is part of his repertoire! He wants to be part of the community and especially welcomes Orange County locals to stop-by and say hello.

Look for a new lunch menu in the near future. Currently they offer an all-day menu.

Ivan Orkin of Ivan RamenIn 2007, Chef Ivan Orkin, a middle-aged Jewish guy from Long Island, did something crazy. In the food-zealous, insular megalopolis of Tokyo, Ivan opened a ramen shop. He had never launched a restaurant previously.

He was a foreigner trying to make a name for himself in a place that is fiercely opinionated about ramen. At first customers came because they were simply curious. Word then spread quickly about Ivan’s handmade noodles, clean and complex broth, and thoughtfully prepared toppings.

Soon enough Chef Ivan became a culinary celebrity in Japan. Fame in Japan begat his own best-selling brand of premium instant ramen.

Ivan Ramen in New York City and TokyoToday there are two busy Ivan Ramen locations in Tokyo and the new Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop in Manhattan. Ivan Ramen New York, a full-service Japanese restaurant, will open in the next couple of months.

International food authority Anthony Bourdain (CNN’s “Parts Unknown”) had this to say about Ivan Orkin :
“What Ivan Orkin does not know about noodles is not worth knowing.”

Ivan Orkin has told his story in the newly published Ivan Ramen – Love, Obsession, and Recipes from Tokyo’s Most Unlikely Noodle Joint. It’s both a memoir and a cookbook. Chef Ivan shares more than forty recipes including the complete, detailed recipe for his signature Shio Ramen.

Celebrity Chef David Chang of the Momofuku restaurant empire in New York wrote the hilarious forward.

Where can you go to culinary school locally, get a solid foundation, and not be in debt for the rest of your life?

Jesus Sanchez of the Culinary Arts Institute at Los Angeles Mission CollegeCertified Executive Chef Jesus Sanchez, a Culinary Instructor at the Culinary Arts Institute at Los Angeles Mission College in Sylmar for 11 years, is with us with all the key 411.

Their Culinary Arts Institute is housed in a new 85,000 sq. ft. building with 6 classrooms, a demonstration lab/classroom and 7 impressive kitchen lab classrooms.

They offer both an Associate in Arts Degree in Culinary Arts and an Associate in Arts Degree in Restaurant Management. In addition there are Certificate Programs for Achievement in Culinary Arts, Baking & Patisserie, and Restaurant Management.

With the new year what’s in season with local fruits and vegetables?

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceOur resident produce guru, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce, is back with us to highlight what’s best of the season right now.

We’ll talk Korean Pears, Cocktail Grapefruit, Meyer Lemons, Key Limes, Dutch Yellow Potatoes, Padron Peppers, Baby Brussels Sprouts and Kale Sprouts.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Bill Esparza, The Mexican Food Maestro and Street Gourmet LA Blog
Segment Three: Brian Thorson, Brewmaster, Haven Gastropub + Brewery
Segment Four: Sean E. Brown, Executive Chef, ESPN Zone of Anaheim
Segment Five: Chef Ivan Orkin, The Ramen Authority Part One
Segment Six: Chef Ivan Orkin, The Ramen Authority Part Two
Segment Seven: Chef Jesus Sanchez CEC, Culinary Arts Institute, Los Angeles Mission College
Segment Eight: Robert Schueller, The Produce Guru, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce