Show 464, March 5, 2022: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Orange County Restaurant Week, an entire week dedicated to celebrating local restaurants, returns Sunday, March 6 through Saturday, March 12. This year’s event will highlight more than 120 restaurants that have thoughtfully crafted menus and cocktails designed to showcase Orange County’s diverse dining options. Diners will have an opportunity to partake in a variety of Prix-Fixe Menus and Luxe Menus. In addition, the always anticipated Cocktails of Restaurant Week will showcase unique creations.” Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef and Partner Jared Cook will be participating with all their restaurants. The collection includes Vine, San Clemente: Ironwood, Laguna Hills; Olea, Newport Beach: and Sapphire & The Pantry, Laguna Beach. Russ and Chef Jared join us to preview their special OC Restaurant Week menus.

Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena offers a fine dining interpretation of a Modern American Steakhouse with hints of global influences throughout the menu. Featuring classic cuts such as Ribeye, Bone-In New York and Filet Mignon, to sustainable seafood, their signature Hamachi Shot and a large selection of Wagyu. Alexander’s also highlights dry-aged steaks and offers the finest and most luxurious products available including a Chef’s Tasting Menu and an extensive and thoughtfully selected Wine List.” Highly credentialed Executive Chef Richard Archuleta (ex-One Pico at Shutters on the Beach and Openaire at The Line Hotel) with a background in French and Italian cuisine is the culinary maestro overseeing the substantial kitchens at Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena. Chef Richard Archuleta is our guest.

“Twenty-five years after naming his wine brand Vinoce, Proprietor Brian Nuss (Napa Valley based) finds himself in a revitalization mode as he and the rest of the world emerges from the pandemic. Which leads him to proclaim, “I don’t want this winery to go away. It’s been part of my life since 1996. But this reinvention is not for me; it’s for my sons Tim and Tyler.” In 2013, Keith Emerson initially came on as associate winemaker to make the Vinoce wines. Emerson, the winemaker at Vineyard 29, is now Vinoce’s winemaker as well. The wine is made in St. Helena at Emerson’s Vineyard 29 and Ballentine Vineyards. Vinoce produces about 2,000 cases a year. In 2019 Vinoce opened their tasting room at the historic Tannery building in Napa on the Napa River.” Winemaker Keith Emerson joins us to uncork all that is Vinoce Vineyards.

“The iconic Apple Farm Inn & Restaurant is a well-established lodging institution in San Luis Obispo. The guest options among their 106 rooms range from deluxe rooms at Apple Farm Inn to a welcoming motel setting at the Trellis Court surrounded by shade trees, flower gardens, and mountain views.” There are multiple varieties of apple trees growing on the spacious grounds. The Inn is especially popular with the extended Family of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. “The Apple Farm Inn Restaurant is currently serving breakfast and lunch specializing in fresh, local ingredients and good, old-fashioned cooking.” General Manager Sean Nolan is our guest to provide a look at the past of Apple Farm Inn & Restaurant and what’s in store for the future with the ongoing renovation.

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, among many attributes, is a recognized authority on seafood and its sourcing. Chef Andrew’s commentary is on seafood imports and exports. A few surprises along the way.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Show 464, March 5, 2022: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook with a Preview of OC Restaurant Week Part One

Russ Bendel of Ironwood, Olea and VIne

Orange County Restaurant Week, an entire week dedicated to celebrating local restaurants, returns Sunday, March 6 through Saturday, March 12. This year’s event will highlight more than 120 restaurants that have thoughtfully crafted menus and cocktails designed to showcase Orange County’s diverse dining options. Diners will have an opportunity to partake in a variety of Prix-Fixe Menus and Luxe Menus; as well as focused experiences, including Family Night, Date Night, Vegetarian Dining, and a Dessert Spotlight. In addition, the beloved Cocktails of Restaurant Week will showcase unique creations.”

Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef and Partner Jared Cook will be participating with all their restaurants. The collection includes Vine, San Clemente: Ironwood, Laguna Hills; Olea, Newport Beach: and Sapphire & The Pantry, Laguna Beach. Russ and Chef Jared join us to preview their OC Restaurant Week menus.

Their “Featured Cocktail” is Whiskey Peach. It’s Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Aperol, Crème de Peach, Fresh Peaches and Ginger.

In the late Fall Russ and Chef Jared will be debuting Bloom Restaurant & Bar located in a registered historic site building from 1930 in San Juan Capistrano.

Show 464, March 5, 2022: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook with a Preview of OC Restaurant Week Part Two

Chef Jared Cook

Orange County Restaurant Week, an entire week dedicated to celebrating local restaurants, returns Sunday, March 6 through Saturday, March 12. This year’s event will highlight more than 120 restaurants that have thoughtfully crafted menus and cocktails designed to showcase Orange County’s diverse dining options. Diners will have an opportunity to partake in a variety of Prix-Fixe Menus and Luxe Menus; as well as focused experiences, including Family Night, Date Night, Vegetarian Dining, and a Dessert Spotlight. In addition, the beloved Cocktails of Restaurant Week will showcase unique creations.”

Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef and Partner Jared Cook will be participating with all their restaurants. The collection includes Vine, San Clemente: Ironwood, Laguna Hills; Olea, Newport Beach: and Sapphire & The Pantry, Laguna Beach.

In the late Fall Russ and Chef Jared will be debuting Bloom Restaurant & Bar located in a registered historic site building from 1930 in San Juan Capistrano.

Russ and Chef Jared continue with us previewing their OC Restaurant Week menus.

March 5: OC Restaurant Week, Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena, Vinoce, Apple Farm Inn

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook with a Preview of OC Restaurant Week Part One
Segment Three: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook with a Preview of OC Restaurant Week Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Richard Archuleta, Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Richard Archuleta, Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena Part Two
Segment Six: Winemaker Keith Emerson, Vinoce, Napa
Segment Seven: Sean Nolan, General Manager, Apple Farm Inn & Restaurant, San Luis Obispo
Segment Eight: Chef & Co-Host Andrew Gruel of Slapfish with “Ask the Chef”

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

Orange County Restaurant Week, an entire week dedicated to celebrating local restaurants, returns Sunday, March 6 through Saturday, March 12. This year’s event will highlight more than 120 restaurants that have thoughtfully crafted menus and cocktails designed to showcase Orange County’s diverse dining options. Diners will have an opportunity to partake in a variety of Prix-Fixe Menus and Luxe Menus. In addition, the always anticipated Cocktails of Restaurant Week will showcase unique creations.” Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef and Partner Jared Cook will be participating with all their restaurants. The collection includes Vine, San Clemente: Ironwood, Laguna Hills; Olea, Newport Beach: and Sapphire & The Pantry, Laguna Beach. Russ and Chef Jared join us to preview their special OC Restaurant Week menus.

“Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena offers a fine dining interpretation of a Modern American Steakhouse with hints of global influences throughout the menu. Featuring classic cuts such as Ribeye, Bone-In New York and Filet Mignon, to sustainable seafood, their signature Hamachi Shot and a large selection of Wagyu. Alexander’s also highlights dry-aged steaks and offers the finest and most luxurious products available including a Chef’s Tasting Menu and an extensive and thoughtfully selected Wine List.” Highly credentialed Executive Chef Richard Archuleta (ex-One Pico at Shutters on the Beach and Openaire at The Line Hotel) with a background in French and Italian cuisine is the culinary maestro overseeing the substantial kitchens at Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena. Chef Richard Archuleta is our guest.

“Twenty-five years after naming his wine brand Vinoce, Proprietor Brian Nuss (Napa Valley based) finds himself in a revitalization mode as he and the rest of the world emerges from the pandemic. Which leads him to proclaim, “I don’t want this winery to go away. It’s been part of my life since 1996. But this reinvention is not for me; it’s for my sons Tim and Tyler.” In 2013, Keith Emerson initially came on as associate winemaker to make the Vinoce wines. Emerson, the winemaker at Vineyard 29, is now Vinoce’s winemaker as well. The wine is made in St. Helena at Emerson’s Vineyard 29 and Ballentine Vineyards. Vinoce produces about 2,000 cases a year. In 2019 Vinoce opened their tasting room at the historic Tannery building in Napa on the Napa River.” Winemaker Keith Emerson joins us to uncork all that is Vinoce Vineyards.

“The iconic Apple Farm Inn & Restaurant is a well-established lodging institution in San Luis Obispo. The guest options among their 106 rooms range from deluxe rooms at Apple Farm Inn to a welcoming motel setting at the Trellis Court surrounded by shade trees, flower gardens, and mountain views. There are multiple varieties of apple trees growing on the spacious grounds.” The Inn is especially popular with the extended Family of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. “The Apple Farm Inn Restaurant is currently serving breakfast and lunch specializing in fresh, local ingredients and good, old-fashioned cooking.” General Manager Sean Nolan is our guest to provide a look at the past of Apple Farm Inn & Restaurant and what’s in store for the future with the ongoing renovation.

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, among many attributes, is a recognized authority on seafood and its sourcing. Chef Andrew’s commentary is on seafood imports and exports. A few surprises along the way.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Russ Bendel of Ironwood, Olea and VIne

Orange County Restaurant Week, an entire week dedicated to celebrating local restaurants, returns Sunday, March 6 through Saturday, March 12. This year’s event will highlight more than 120 restaurants that have thoughtfully crafted menus and cocktails designed to showcase Orange County’s diverse dining options. Diners will have an opportunity to partake in a variety of Prix-Fixe Menus and Luxe Menus; as well as focused experiences, including Family Night, Date Night, Vegetarian Dining, and a Dessert Spotlight. In addition, the beloved Cocktails of Restaurant Week will showcase unique creations.”

Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef and Partner Jared Cook will be participating with all their restaurants. The collection includes Vine, San Clemente: Ironwood, Laguna Hills; Olea, Newport Beach: and Sapphire & The Pantry, Laguna Beach. Russ and Chef Jared join us to preview their OC Restaurant Week menus.

Chef Jared Cook

Their “Featured Cocktail” is Whiskey Peach. It’s Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Aperol, Crème de Peach, Fresh Peaches and Ginger.

In the late Fall Russ and Chef Jared will be debuting Bloom Restaurant & Bar located in a registered historic site building from 1930 in San Juan Capistrano.

Richard Archuleta of Alexander's Steakhouse Pasadena

Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena offers a fine dining interpretation of a Modern American Steakhouse with hints of global influences throughout the menu. Featuring classic cuts such as Ribeye, Bone-In New York and Filet Mignon, to sustainable seafood, their signature Hamachi Shot and a large selection of Wagyu. Alexander’s also highlights dry-aged steaks and offers the finest and most luxurious products available including a Chef’s Tasting menu and an extensive and thoughtfully selected Wine List. A full bar featuring some of the most unique specialty cocktails and is a great way to begin your evening at Alexander’s Steakhouse.”

Highly credentialed Executive Chef Richard Archuleta (ex-One Pico at Shutters on the Beach and Openaire at The Line Hotel) with a background in French and Italian cuisine is the culinary maestro overseeing the substantial kitchens at Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena and is our guest.

Keith Emerson of Vinoce

Twenty-five years after naming his wine brand Vinoce, Proprietor Brian Nuss (Napa Valley based) finds himself in a revitalization mode as he and the rest of the world emerges from the pandemic. Which leads him to proclaim, “I don’t want this winery to go away. It’s been part of my life since 1996. But this reinvention is not for me; it’s for my sons Tim and Tyler.””

“Nuss called his winery Vinoce (pronounced veen-O-chay), which he translates as “wine nut.” He coined the word in tribute to his German-Italian heritage; “nuss” means nut in German, and “noce” is nut in Italian. Brian’s mom was Italian-Spanish, while his dad was German-English.”

“Over the last three decades, Vinoce has developed an intimate knowledge of growing Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc on the rugged, hillside slopes. Vinoce is devoted to creating wines that reflect the true expressions of Mount Veeder with balance, power, and uniqueness.”

“In 2013, Keith Emerson initially came on as associate winemaker to make the Vinoce wines. Emerson, the winemaker at Vineyard 29, is now Vinoce’s winemaker as well. The wine is made in St. Helena at Emerson’s Vineyard 29 and Ballentine Vineyards. Vinoce’s Mount Veeder fruit comes from an 8-acre estate vineyard near PymRae Nuss purchased and planted in ‘13. Vinoce produces about 2,000 cases a year.”

In 2019 Vinoce opened their tasting room at the historic Tannery building in Napa on the Napa River.

Winemaker Keith Emerson joins us to uncork all that is Vinoce Vineyards.

Sean Nolan of Apple Farm Inn

The historic Apple Farm Inn & Restaurant is a well-established lodging institution in San Luis Obispo. “The guest options in their 106 rooms range from deluxe rooms at Apple Farm Inn to a welcoming motel setting at the Trellis Court surrounded by shade trees, flower gardens, and mountain views.” There are multiple varieties of apple trees growing on the spacious grounds. The Inn is especially popular with the extended Family of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

“With three floors mixing contemporary country design with elegant accommodations, the main Inn boasts rooms with seating areas, gas fireplaces, Wi-Fi, and more to create a perfect setting for relaxing. Adjacent to the Apple Farm Inn, Trellis Court Motel contains all the comforts of the Inn with cozier rooms and the convenience of a motel setting. This includes exterior corridors and drive-up access.”

The Apple Farm Inn Restaurant is currently serving breakfast and lunch specializing in fresh, local ingredients and good, old-fashioned cooking. Whether you come to share a meal with your friends and family, to pick something up to-go, or just to check the place out and shop in the Marketplace, The Apple Farm Inn Restaurant staff hopes you’ll stop in! A favorite spot of locals and visitors alike, the Apple Farm Restaurant has delivered local farm-to-table cuisine, fresh pastries, and acclaimed pies to hungry patrons for decades!”

General Manager Sean Nolan is our guest to provide a look at the past of Apple Farm Inn & Restaurant and what’s in store for the future with the ongoing renovation.

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, among many attributes, is a nationally recognized authority on seafood, sustainability and it’s sourcing. Chef Andrew’s commentary is on seafood imports and exports. A few surprises along the way.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook with a Preview of OC Restaurant Week Part One
Segment Three: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook with a Preview of OC Restaurant Week Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Richard Archuleta, Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Richard Archuleta, Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena Part Two
Segment Six: Winemaker Keith Emerson, Vinoce, Napa
Segment Seven: Sean Nolan, General Manager, Apple Farm Inn & Restaurant, San Luis Obispo
Segment Eight: Chef & Co-Host Andrew Gruel of Slapfish with “Ask the Chef”

Show 391, September 19, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Angelenos know the name of Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini (Italian-born) from his days in Los Angeles with Piero Selvaggio as executive chef of Primi in West Los Angeles and Posto in Sherman Oaks. In 1999 Luciano relocated to Las Vegas to open the well-received Valentino Las Vegas in the Venetian Resort as Executive Chef and Partner with Piero Selvaggio. In 2004 the James Beard Foundation awarded Pellegrini a prestigious James Beard Award as Best Chef Southwest. Very few Las Vegas-based chefs have achieved this high honor. Chef Luciano’s recent venture is the launching of Heavenly Pies with his cousin David Ryan Brister. Chef Luciano joins us with pizza peel securely in hand.

Food journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s “Hungry Hound” in Chicago, is the recipient of an impressive 13 James Beard Foundation Awards for journalistic excellence. The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala is in Chicago on Friday evening, September 25th in an unexpected virtual format to be broadcast live via Twitter. Steve previews the dramatically reformatted (and virtual) 2020 James Beard Foundation Awards Gala. Steve Dolinsky joins us to better explain the unprecedented specifics.

Founded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, the iconic Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution. Serving her unique cuisine that blends contemporary with Eastern Mediterranean influences, in an upscale, chic environment. There are now also Zov’s restaurants in Newport Coast, Irvine and Anaheim (temporarily on hiatus.) The Tustin, Irvine and Newport Coast locations are also serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. Tailgating in Tustin (twice a month) with live music returns for Happy Hour and Dinner on Saturday, September 19th. New from Zov’s Catering are value-priced, individual meals that are table-ready. 2nd generation Karamardian Family member, Armen, joins us with the updates and looks to the future.

Orange County Restaurant Week Uncorked is on now through Saturday, September 26th. Orange County restaurants are participating with value priced menus available for lunch and/or dinner. Some have specialty cocktails as part of their offerings. The restaurants encourage you to savor the full guest experience with the return of limited dine-in with proper social distancing but most menus are also available To-Go.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook join us to tempt with their prix fixe dinner menus at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach, Ironwood in Laguna Hills, Olea in Newport Beach, and Vine Restaurant & Bar in San Clemente.

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. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that greatly restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps… The consensus is that fine dining will look a bit different once the Covid 19 crisis finally subsides and there is a safe & proven vaccine readily available to all Americans. We all anticipate other changes in eating out at all levels of price and service. We’ll get Chef Andrew’s informed and insightful thoughts on the future.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Show 391, September 19, 2020: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook of Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, Laguna Beach

Chef Jared CookOrange County Restaurant Week Uncorked is on now through Saturday, September 26th. Orange County restaurants are participating with value priced menus available for lunch and/or dinner. Some have specialty cocktails as part of their offerings. The restaurants encourage you to get the full guest experience with the return of dine-in with proper social distancing but most menus are also available To-Go.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook join us to tempt with their prix fixe dinner menus at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach, Ironwood in Laguna Hills, Olea in Newport Beach, and Vine Restaurant & Bar in San Clemente.

Their special cocktail for OC Restaurant Week Uncorked is The Woodpecker. It’s Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Aperol, Crème de Peach, Fresh Peaches and Ginger.

The prix fixe dinner menu is three courses with choices in each category and priced at $50.00. Entree possibilities are Zinfandel Braised Napa Lamb Shank, Certified Double R Ranch Bone-In Ribeye Steak and Wild Caught Alaskan Halibut.

September 19: Luciano Pellegrini, Steve Dolinsky, Zov’s BIstro and Bakery, OC Restaurant Week Uncorked with Sapphire

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini of Heavenly Pies and Dolce Vita Gelato, Las Vegas Part One
Segment Three: Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini of Heavenly Pies and Dolce Vita Gelato, Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Four: Food Journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “Hungry Hound” Part One
Segment Five: Food Journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “Hungry Hound” Part Two
Segment Six: Armen Karamardian, Zov’s Bistro, Tustin (and Irvine & Newport Coast)
Segment Seven: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook of Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, Laguna Beach
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Angelenos know the name of Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini (Italian-born) from his days in Los Angeles with Piero Selvaggio as executive chef of Primi in West Los Angeles and Posto in Sherman Oaks. In 1999 Luciano relocated to Las Vegas to open the well-received Valentino Las Vegas in the Venetian Resort as Executive Chef and Partner with Piero Selvaggio. In 2004 the James Beard Foundation awarded Pellegrini a prestigious James Beard Award as Best Chef Southwest. Very few Las Vegas-based chefs have achieved this honor. Chef Luciano’s recent venture is the launching of Heavenly Pies with his cousin David Ryan Brister. Chef Luciano joins us with pizza peel in hand.

Food journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s “Hungry Hound” in Chicago, is the recipient of an impressive 13 James Beard Foundation Awards for journalistic excellence. The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala is in Chicago on Friday evening, September 25th in an unexpected virtual format to be broadcast live via Twitter. Steve previews the dramatically reformatted (and virtual) 2020 James Beard Foundation Awards Gala. Steve Dolinsky joins us to explain the unprecedented specifics.

Founded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, the iconic Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution. Serving her unique cuisine that blends contemporary with Eastern Mediterranean influences, in an upscale, chic environment. There are now also Zov’s restaurants in Newport Coast, Irvine and Anaheim (temporarily on hiatus.) The Tustin, Irvine and Newport Coast locations are now serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. Tailgating in Tustin (twice a month) with live music returns for Happy Hour and Dinner on Saturday, September 19th. New from Zov’s Catering are value-priced, individual meals that are table-ready. 2nd generation Karamardian Family member, Armen, joins us with the updates and looks to the future.

Orange County Restaurant Week Uncorked is on now through Saturday, September 26th. Orange County restaurants are participating with value priced menus available for lunch and/or dinner. Some have specialty cocktails as part of their offerings. The restaurants encourage you to savor the full guest experience with the return of limited dine-in with proper social distancing but most menus are also available To-Go.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook join us to tempt with their prix fixe dinner menus at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach, Ironwood in Laguna Hills, Olea in Newport Beach, and Vine Restaurant & Bar in San Clemente.

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. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that greatly restrict guest counts. Alternately take-out/delivery when you can surely helps… The consensus is that fine dining will look a bit different once the Covid 19 crisis finally subsides and there is a safe & proven vaccine readily available to all Americans. We all anticipate other changes in eating out at all levels. We get Chef Andrew’s informed and insightful thoughts on the future.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Luciano Pellegrini of Heavenly Pies in Las VegasAngelenos know the name of Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini (Italian-born) from his days in Los Angeles with Piero Selvaggio as executive chef of Primi in West Los Angeles (the unofficial commissary of Twentieth Century-Fox Studios at the time) and Posto in Sherman Oaks. In 1999 Luciano relocated to Las Vegas to open the well-received Valentino Las Vegas in the Venetian Resort as Executive Chef and Partner with Piero Selvaggio. In 2004 the James Beard Foundation awarded Pellegrini a prestigious James Beard Award as Best Chef Southwest. Very few Las Vegas-based chefs have achieved this honor.

After Valentino Las Vegas closed Pellegrini remained in Las Vegas and went on to debut Dolce Vita Gelato, an artisan gelato producer (wholesale) serving the hospitality business. He also consults for other restaurants in Las Vegas and California.

Chef Luciano’s latest venture is the launching of Heavenly Pies in the Southern Highlands neighborhood of Las Vegas with his cousin David Ryan Brister. The style of pizza is a mash up of Roman and Neapolitan varieties with premium ingredients. The signature Heavenly Pizza features black truffle tomato, brie cheese, porcini mushrooms, roasted garlic, speck and escarole.

The Trattoria Menu is Chef Luciano’s take on classic Italian dishes with a few surprises. Think Zeppole (fried dumplings) with anchovies, mozzarella and basil served with marinara or Philly cheese steak eggrolls.

Also on the menu are an assortment of six Takeout Meal packages. Each is designed to serve four guests and are packaged ready to eat or reheat.

Chef Luciano joins us with pizza peel in hand.

Steve Dolinsky and Andreew GruelFood journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s “Hungry Hound” in Chicago, is the recipient of an impressive 13 James Beard Foundation Awards for journalistic excellence.

In addition to his considerable journalistic talents Steve in an accomplished podcaster and pizza afficionado. “Every other Friday, Steve talks to some of the world’s greatest pizzaiolos, bakers and artisans about their craft. Hear their backstories, discover their secrets, techniques and inspirations, while listening to their meticulous process as they describe how they make their truly sublime pizzas.”

The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala is in Chicago on Friday evening, September 25th in virtual format to be broadcast via Twitter. Steve previews the dramatically reformatted (and virtual) 2020 James Beard Foundation Awards Gala.

Restaurant and Chef awards in 23 categories have been nominated. None of these awards will be announced. Instead, the previously announced winners will be honored in the categories of America’s Classics, Lifetime Achievement, Humanitarian of the Year, Design Icon and Leadership Awards. All the previously announced Nominees (in twenty-three categories) will also be honored.

Steve Dolinsky joins us to untangle the specifics.

Armen Karamardian of ZovsFounded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, legendary Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution. Serving her unique cuisine that blends contemporary with Eastern Mediterranean influences, in an upscale chic environment. There are now also Zov’s restaurants in Newport Coast, Irvine and Anaheim (temporarily on hiatus.) The Tustin, Irvine and Newport Coast locations are currently serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. Also serving guests again for dine-in at 25 per cent capacity.

Tailgating in Tustin (in the parking lot) with live music on the Café patio returns for Happy Hour and Dinner (twice a month) on Saturday, September 19th. Guests can also dine under the stars on the Café patio. Guests can order ahead from Zov’s take-out menu along with the wine and cocktail list. Because of space limitations and safety requirements reservations are required.

New from Zov’s Catering are value-priced, individual meals that are table-ready. Sealed utensils are included.

“Family support has constantly been Zov’s foundation and inspiration throughout her culinary career. Zov, in addition to her husband, Gary, her son Armen, and her daughter Taleene, have created a rare family business recipe that has taken comforting creations of the family kitchen blended with Chef Zov’s culinary artistry.”

2nd generation Karamardian Family member, Armen, joins us with the updates and looks to the future.

Chef Jared CookOrange County Restaurant Week Uncorked is on now through Saturday, September 26th. Orange County restaurants are participating with value priced menus available for lunch and/or dinner. Some have specialty cocktails as part of their offerings. The restaurants encourage you to get the full guest experience with the return of dine-in with proper social distancing but most menus are also available To-Go.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook join us to tempt with their prix fixe dinner menus at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach, Ironwood in Laguna Hills, Olea in Newport Beach, and Vine Restaurant & Bar in San Clemente.

Their special cocktail for OC Restaurant Week Uncorked is The Woodpecker. It’s Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Aperol, Crème de Peach, Fresh Peaches and Ginger.

The prix fixe dinner menu is three courses with choices in each category and priced at $50.00. Entree possibilities are Zinfandel Braised Napa Lamb Shank, Certified Double R Ranch Bone-In Ribeye Steak and Wild Caught Alaskan Halibut.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant GroupOur 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. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

The consensus is that fine dining will look a bit different once the Covid 19 crisis finally subsides and there is a safe & proven vaccine readily available to all Americans. We all anticipate other significant changes in eating out at all levels. We get Chef Andrew’s informed and insightful thoughts on the future.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini of Heavenly Pies and Dolce Vita Gelato, Las Vegas Part One
Segment Three: Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini of Heavenly Pies and Dolce Vita Gelato, Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Four: Food Journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “Hungry Hound” Part One
Segment Five: Food Journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “Hungry Hound” Part Two
Segment Six: Armen Karamardian, Zov’s Bistro, Tustin (and Irvine & Newport Coast)
Segment Seven: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook of Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, Laguna Beach
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 370, April 25, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

It’s a time of great concern for all of us and our “SoCal Restaurant Show” mission, until the Covid-19 crisis is fully abated, is to provide reliable and genuinely useful information on how the restaurant business is coping with the rapidly evolving events. With an emphasis on the health, safety and well-being of our listeners we’ll be detailing what the range of services restaurants can now provide to their guests. Creativity and adaptability are at the forefront. We’re keeping it upbeat…

Chefs and restaurateurs are the most generous people I know. In times of need they are always the very first in generously giving back and meaningfully supporting their communities. Truly remarkable…Right now restaurants urgently need our support to stay afloat. Kindly keep this in mind and please do what you possibly can to support a community-focused, local restaurant….

As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it without the encouragement of the foodie community.

“While the California Restaurant Association Foundation has been around for more than three decades, the inspiration for Restaurants Care came just a few years ago in 2015. Jose, a cook in Sacramento, was struck in a hit and run on his way home after a late-night shift. He suffered a broken back, amongst other life-threatening injuries.

The restaurant community came together and raised money to support Jose while he recovered. At that moment, The CRA Foundation knew that something bigger had to happen. Restaurants Care was created to take care of the most vulnerable in our industry.” Such is the case during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. We’ll get all the details from Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of the CRA Foundation.

Philippe’s (Philippe The Original) in Downtown Los Angeles has reopened for takeout and delivery with French Dips, sides and desserts, as well as beer and wine, available to go. Guests can now call the restaurant or order online via ChowNow to place an order for pickup. Delivery options are available from Postmates. Manager & Partner Andrew Binder provides all the juicy details.

The Pantry at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, located at 1200 South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, reopened Wednesday, April 1 for daily takeout service from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. during the COVID-19 crisis.

Guests may call ahead (949.339.3027) to order breakfast, lunch or dinner and pick-up at The Pantry’s front door entrance where polite social distancing is observed. Food prices range from $7 – $15. Restaurateur Russ Bendel assumed ownership of the landmark property in March from Sapphire’s founder-proprietor, chef, Azmin Ghahreman, CEO of Sapphire Culinary Group. Restaurateur Russ Bendel is our guest.

Back in February, the Clink Different – Experience the Wines of Europe evening was hosted at The NoMad Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. It was a walk-around tasting for wine and lifestyle journalists with four flights of unusual wines from Bordeaux and Wines of Germany followed by a multi-course wine paired dinner. The European wines featured were hand-selected by Ryan Bailey, the accomplished Wine Director for NoMad Los Angeles. Sommelier Ryan artfully pulls the cork on Clink Different for us.

El Cholo is L.A.’s very first surviving Mexican restaurant. Since opening its doors in 1923, El Cholo has operated as a family-owned business and today, the restaurants are run by Ron Salisbury, grandson of the founders. The legacy at El Cholo lies in its commitment to quality ingredients, long family history, loyal employees (some with the restaurants nearly 40 years) and their devoted and loyal clientele. Through prohibition, the L.A. Riots, true Hollywood glamour and into the 2000’s, El Cholo continues to bring back fond memories for their guests and create new ones.” Family patriarch Ron Salisbury (with 66 years of hands-on Hospitality Business experience) is our guest.

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 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. Take-out/delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first. Also some genuinely useful tips for cooking at home. Herbs add a lot of flavor to home cooking. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Show 370, April 25, 2020: Restaurateur Russ Bendel – Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach Part One

Russ Bendel of Ironwood, Olea and VIneThe Pantry at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, located at 1200 South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, reopened Wednesday, April 1 for daily takeout service from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. during the COVID-19 crisis.

Dinner has just been added. Guests may call ahead (949.339.3027) to order breakfast, lunch and dinner and pick-up at The Pantry’s front door entrance where social distancing is observed. Food prices range from $7 – $15.

Two breakfast favorites, with vegetarian options, as well as house-made pastries and coffee beverages are available. Lunch offerings include an entrée garden herb salad, Wagyu beef burger and a Jidori confit chicken sandwich, both come with hand-cut herb fries. Beverage selections are fresh brewed iced tea, bottled water, soft drinks, bottled beer and craft cocktails packaged in Mason jars for $10. Think a variety of options for Mother’s Day Family meals, too.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel assumed ownership of the landmark property in March from Sapphire’s founder-proprietor, chef, Azmin Ghahreman, CEO of Sapphire Culinary Group. Bendel, with chef-partner Jared Cook, operate Vine in San Clemente, Ironwood in Laguna Hills and Olea in Newport Beach.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel is our guest.

Show 370, April 25, 2020: Restaurateur Russ Bendel – Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach Part Two

Russ Bendel of Ironwood, Olea and VIneThe Pantry at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, located at 1200 South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, reopened Wednesday, April 1 for daily takeout service from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. during the COVID-19 crisis.

Guests may call ahead (949.339.3027) to order breakfast, lunch or dinner and pick-up at The Pantry’s front door entrance where social distancing is observed. Food prices range from $7 – $15.

Think Breakfast Sandwich with house-made sausage, applewood bacon, cage-free egg, smoked gouda, cracked pepper aioli on a toasted challah bun or Jidori Chicken Confit Sandwich with house pickles, garlic dill aioli, on a potato roll with hand-cut herb fries.

Keep in mind a variety of creative Family Meal options for Mother’s Day.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel assumed ownership of the landmark property in March from Sapphire’s founder-proprietor, chef, Azmin Ghahreman, CEO of Sapphire Culinary Group. Bendel, with chef-partner Jared Cook, operate Vine in San Clemente, Ironwood in Laguna Hills and Olea in Newport Beach.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel continues.