Show 382, July 18, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Lots of fresh deliciousness going on in the wide world of specialty produce as it’s Summer. Our own resident produce guru, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, joins us to chat about the pick of the season’s best for fruits and vegetables. Think, for starters, variety grapes including Jelly Drops, Champagne Grapes and Muscatos™ Grapes. In early August it’s the start of the always anticipated fresh Hatch Chile season. In addition to the area store roastings new is Hatch Popcorn, Hatch Kettle Corn and a line of fresh Hatch Salsas.

Chef Johnny Church is well-known and respected in fine dining circles in Las Vegas. Among the high-profile kitchens on the Las Vegas Strip he’s cooked in are Aureole and RM Seafood. Most recently he was the corporate executive chef for Golden Entertainment. In April he made the unusual move of going out on his own and taking over a classic 50’s style diner now known as Johnny C’s Diner – “Seven Days Without Makes One Weak.” It’s located in the LMV Resort, a lushly landscaped luxury RV resort. Chef Johnny Church joins us to talk about his new venture.

“Creating baked goods for everyone can be a challenge—from dairy intolerances to gluten-free lifestyles, peanut allergies to vegan diets, there are so many factors to consider when trying to come up with something to bake for a friend’s birthday, bake sale, holiday, or just to give someone a treat. Luckily, Angela Garbacz, the chef and owner of Goldenrod Pastries in Lincoln, Nebraska, felt the same way, and in Perfectly Golden: Adaptable Recipes for Sweet and Simple Treats she provides inclusive recipes that are meant to fit any lifestyle, regardless of dietary restrictions.” Pastry Chef Angela Garbacz is our guest, whisk in hand.

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 restrict guest counts. Alternately take-out/delivery when you can surely helps… It’s Summer which is the prime season for cooking ribs. We’ll hear from Chef Andrew with his best tips for preparing these meaty wonders on a bone. We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

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

Play

Show 382, July 18, 2020: Chef & Proprietor Johnny Church, Johnny C’s Diner, Las Vegas Part One

Johnny Church of Johnny C's DinerChef Johnny Church is well-known in fine dining circles in Las Vegas. Among the high-profile kitchens on the Las Vegas Strip he’s cooked in are Aureole and RM Seafood. Most recently he was the corporate executive chef for Golden Entertainment.

In April he made the unusual move of going out on his own and taking over a classic 50’s style diner now known as Johnny C’s Diner – “Seven Days Without Makes One Weak.” It’s located in the LMV Resort, a lushly landscaped luxury RV resort.

It’s elevated diner fare (with a real chef in the kitchen) with quality ingredients for Breakfast and Lunch seven days a week. Dinner will arrive later in the year.

Think Fat Elvis French Toast with bacon, banana, peanut butter and strawberries. From specialty sandwiches there is the Hero piled high with turkey, ham, salami, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mayo, mustard, olive oil, balsamic redux, oregano and served on a hoagie roll.

Chef Johnny Church, spatula securely in hand, serves it up for us.

 

Play

Show 382, July 18, 2020: Chef & Proprietor Johnny Church, Johnny C’s Diner, Las Vegas Part Two

Johnny Church of Johnny C's DinerChef Johnny Church is well-known and respected in fine dining circles in Las Vegas. Among the high-profile kitchens on the Las Vegas Strip he’s cooked in are Aureole and RM Seafood. Most recently he was the corporate executive chef for Golden Entertainment.

In April he made the unusual move of going out on his own and taking over a classic 50’s style diner now known as Johnny C’s Diner – “Seven Days Without Makes One Weak.” It’s located in the LMV Resort, a lushly landscaped luxury RV resort.

It’s elevated diner fare (with a real chef in the kitchen) with quality ingredients for Breakfast and lunch seven days a week. Dinner is coming later in the year.

Think Fat Elvis French Toast with bacon, banana, peanut butter and strawberries. From the selection of specialty sandwiches there is the Hen House with fried chicken, lettuce, tomato, special sauce and served on a toasted bun. Sweet Treats include Chef Johnny’s Family recipe for Orange Creamsicle Cake.

Johnny Church proudly supports family farms and sources as many high-quality local ingredients as possible.

Chef Johnny Church, spatula in hand, continues with us.

Play

July 18: Melissa’s World Variety Summer Produce, Johnny C’s Diner, Angela Garbacz

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Robert Schueller, Produce Authority, Melissa’s World Variety Produce Part One
Segment Three: Robert Schueller, Produce Authority, Melissa’s World Variety Produce Part Two
Segment Four: Chef & Proprietor Johnny Church, Johnny C’s Diner, Las Vegas Part One
Segment Five: Chef & Proprietor Johnny Church, Johnny C’s Diner, Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Six: Pastry Chef Angela Garbacz, Goldenrod Pastries & Perfectly Golden Cookbook Part One
Segment Seven: Pastry Chef Angela Garbacz, Goldenrod Pastries & Perfectly Golden Cookbook Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Lots of fresh deliciousness going on in the wide world of specialty produce as it’s Summer. Our own resident produce guru, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, joins us to chat about the pick of the season’s best for fruits and vegetables. Think, for starters, variety grapes including Jelly Drops, Champagne Grapes and Muscatos™ Grapes. In early August it’s the start of the always anticipated fresh Hatch Chile season.

Chef Johnny Church is well-known and respected in fine dining circles in Las Vegas. Among the high-profile kitchens on the Las Vegas Strip he’s cooked in are Aureole and RM Seafood. Most recently he was the corporate executive chef for Golden Entertainment. In April he made the unusual move of going out on his own and taking over a classic 50’s style diner now known as Johnny C’s Diner – “Seven Days Without Makes One Weak.” It’s located in the LMV Resort, a lushly landscaped luxury RV resort. Chef Johnny Church joins us to talk about his new venture.

“Creating baked goods for everyone can be a challenge—from dairy intolerances to gluten-free lifestyles, peanut allergies to vegan diets, there are so many factors to consider when trying to come up with something to bake for a friend’s birthday, bake sale, holiday, or just to give someone a treat. Luckily, Angela Garbacz, the chef and owner of Goldenrod Pastries in Lincoln, Nebraska, felt the same way, and in Perfectly Golden: Adaptable Recipes for Sweet and Simple Treats she provides inclusive recipes that are meant to fit any lifestyle, regardless of dietary restrictions.” Pastry Chef Angela Garbacz is our guest, whisk in hand.

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 restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps… It’s Summer which is the prime season for cooking ribs. We’ll hear from Chef Andrew with his best tips for preparing these meaty wonders on a bone. We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

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

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioLots of fresh deliciousness going on in the wide world of specialty produce as it’s now Summer. Our own resident produce guru, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, joins us to chat about the pick of the season’s best for fruits and vegetables. Think, for starters, variety grapes including Jelly Drops, Champagne Grapes and Muscato Grapes.

Jelly Drops® Grapes are a hybrid of the popular Thompson seedless grape and the rich, meaty Concord grape variety. The result is a plump, juicy, dark purple seedless table grape with a thin skin. The aromatic, earthy flavor is similar to Concord but mellowed by the mild sweetness of the Thompson.”

“Grown both in California, Chile and Peru, Red Muscatos™ are a year-round grape to keep all your grape needs satisfied. Packed with sweet floral accents and covered in red, apple-crisp skin, Red Muscatos™ are the perfect grape for any occasion. Not only do these grapes taste great, but they are also seedless for convenience and are the ideal crunchy texture.”

“Red Muscatos™ are great for snacking, for kids and adults alike. Add them into a fresh fruit n’ cheese platter for perfect fruit pairings, or sprinkle over yogurt.”

We’re moving down the produce aisle and on the shopping list are Shishito Peppers, Rhubarb, and the fresh Hatch Chile season (starting in early August.)

For over 100 years family-owned farms have grown Hatch peppers in New Mexico’s Mesilla Valley. These peppers are bound to the land and simply won’t grow the same way anywhere else. Hatch Chiles are thick, meaty and rich, and are often called the world’s tastiest peppers.

Johnny Church of Johnny C's DinerChef Johnny Church is well-known in fine dining circles in Las Vegas. Among the high-profile kitchens on the Las Vegas Strip he’s cooked in are Aureole and RM Seafood. Most recently he was the corporate executive chef for Golden Entertainment.

In April he made the unusual move of going out on his own and taking over a classic 50’s style diner now known as Johnny C’s Diner – “Seven Days Without Makes One Weak.” It’s located in the LMV Resort, a lushly landscaped luxury RV resort.

It’s elevated diner fare (with a real chef in the kitchen) for Breakfast and Lunch seven days a week. Think Fat Elvis French Toast with bacon, banana, peanut butter and strawberries. From specialty sandwiches there is the Hero piled high with turkey, ham, salami, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mayo, mustard, olive oil, balsamic redux, oregano and served on a hoagie roll. There is also the Hen House with fried chicken, lettuce, tomato, special sauce and served on a toasted bun. Sweet Treats include Chef Johnny’s Family recipe for Orange Creamsicle Cake.

Chef Johnny Church, spatula in hand, serves it up for us.

Angela Garbacz of Goldenrod Pastries“Creating baked goods for everyone can be a challenge—from dairy intolerances to gluten-free lifestyles, peanut allergies to vegan diets, there are so many factors to consider when trying to come up with something to bake for a friend’s birthday, bake sale, holiday, or just to give someone a treat. Luckily, Angela Garbacz, the chef and owner of Goldenrod Pastries in Lincoln, Nebraska, felt the same way, and in Perfectly Golden: Adaptable Recipes for Sweet and Simple Treats she provides inclusive recipes that are meant to fit any lifestyle, regardless of dietary restrictions.”

“In Perfectly Golden,” Angela puts all the personality, fun, joy, and enthusiasm she puts into her bakery, and she gives the tips and tricks that she has accrued over 20 years of professional baking experience. Rather than just giving the measurements and baking times, Angela’s goal is to have you learn about the process—such as understanding that cookie dough should feel soft but not sticky, or a yeast dough should feel impossibly fluffy.”

“She gives notes on ingredients like flax eggs and non-dairy milks, helps you understand the varieties of gluten-free flours, and she even provides baking tips for troubleshooting information before you’ve started the recipe. Her tips on yeast doughs include understanding when they’re ready to bake, and how to encourage rising. She shares her trick for how to save a cake batter that’s become too thick, after explaining why that sometimes happens, and she explains why some cakes cool in their pans and why some need to be unmolded quickly.”

“Angela includes all the classic recipes that have made Goldenrod Pastries a household name, as irresistible as they are adaptable. Goldenrod’s Favorite Vegan Bun Dough is one of her signatures—and one sampling will tell you why. You may have never thought that a Babka could be made vegan, but Angela doesn’t just provide one version, she gives three variations to make this classic even more exciting. Of course, she includes standards like Chocolate Chip Cookies, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, and Coconut Berry Thumbprints, but she also gives more unique cookies, such as Buckwheat Chocolate Chunk Cookies and Turtle Cookies. If you’re looking for snack cakes, then look no further than recipes like Lemon & Almond Torte, Blueberry Buckle with Pecan Streusel, and Chocolate “Thunder” Cake.”

“If you’re heading to a party, then you could bring one of her fancier party cakes, which include classics, such as Carrot Cake and Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream, and new flavors, like Champagne Cake with Almond Buttercream, Orange Blossom Cake with Lemon Buttercream, and Cardamom Cake with Pistachio Streusel & Strawberry-Rose Glaze. Angela’s chapter for Pies, Tarts, and Bars includes all the familiar favorites, along with Rice Custard Tart, Pomegranate Tart, and Strawberry Pretzel Pie.”

“Angela is reworking the classics to fit with any diet, while creating new and interesting flavors throughout. Whether you’re a baking novice or an expert, a seasoned vegan or a newly diagnosed dairy intolerant, this book provides treats, cakes, cookies, and more to fit in with your diet. Angela helps you do you and gives you the freedom to enjoy something sweet.”

Pastry Chef Angela Garbacz is our guest, whisk in hand.

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…

It’s Summer which is the prime season for cooking succulent ribs. We’ll hear from Chef Andrew sharing his best tips for preparing these meaty wonders on a bone. We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Robert Schueller, Produce Authority, Melissa’s World Variety Produce Part One
Segment Three: Robert Schueller, Produce Authority, Melissa’s World Variety Produce Part Two
Segment Four: Chef & Proprietor Johnny Church, Johnny C’s Diner, Las Vegas Part One
Segment Five: Chef & Proprietor Johnny Church, Johnny C’s Diner, Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Six: Pastry Chef Angela Garbacz, Goldenrod Pastries & Perfectly Golden Cookbook Part One
Segment Seven: Pastry Chef Angela Garbacz, Goldenrod Pastries & Perfectly Golden Cookbook Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 129, July 4, 2015: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Happy 4th to all and thanks for sharing your Holiday Weekend with us.

We’re here for you…We can’t promise fireworks but we’ll do our level best to entertain you.

Now a mouthwatering preview of Saturday’s red-hot show. Our fireworks are always safe & sane. Bring on the apple pie…With any luck we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case, that’s a good thing…

TAPS Fish House & Brewery (Brea and Corona) has an impressive new location in Irvine at The Market Place. All the TAPS locations differ in design so you never have the feeling you’re dining in an impersonal, corporate restaurant. The environment offers fine dining and a more casual bar-lounge area. There is a comfortable patio, too. They are famous for their Sunday brunch and serve lunch, dinner and happy hour. Chef Andrew Monterrosa joins us with all the 411 on TAPS Irvine.

Downtown Las Vegas is not an easy market for independent restaurants.

You’re competing with all the dining options available in the large Hotels and must appeal to visitors, conventioneers, and the discriminating locals. Not an easy task. Shift Hospitality has overcome the obstacles with their highly successful MTO Café serving breakfast and lunch. They have recently opened a second branch in the Las Vegas suburb of Summerlin. It’s also open for dinner. Chef-Partner Johnny Church is our guest.

Think you’re heard everything you could possibly need to know about the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet? Think again…We’re diving into The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook – Harness the Power of the World’s Healthiest Diet to Live Better, Longer written by international cooking expert Amy Riolo.

When we last chatted with Chef Ben Ford he was just about to open the relocated Ford’s Filling Station at L.A. Live in the JW Marriott Los Angeles. It’s breakfast, lunch and dinner with Sunday Brunch, too. We’ll get caught up with Chef Ben and hear about his newly initiated Whole Hog Dinner. It’s a feast for 6 to 8 people! Chef Ben suggests that you “fill up on all the good things in life.”

Our own resident Guest Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is at it again doing the seemingly impossible. He just opened a new Slapfish at LAX on a super compressed timetable that required a lot of ingenuity (and long hours) to pull-off. Chef Andrew is in Palm Springs on a menu development retreat. We’ll catch-up with him.

Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure produced by Garagiste Events, returns to Los Angeles on July 11th, with 50+ artisan ‘garagiste’ winemakers pouring over 200 wines in a new, and appropriately rock and roll, venue : the stunning art deco landmark, The Wiltern in Koreatown. A new element of the Festival is a first-time alliance with Artisanal LA that will see a mini pop-up of a sampling of their best artisan food producers offering tastes of their healthy, local, sustainable and delicious edibles.

Andrew Gruel and Anthony Dispensa of Slapfish Restaurants and FYI Say It To My FaceDon’t miss Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel’s (he’ll be joining us a bit later in the show) new restaurant makeover series, “Say It To My Face” on FYI. An original episode is aired every Thursday evening with an encore episode thereafter. Check your local listings. On-line food reviewers confront restaurateurs with the shortcomings of their establishments. It’s then up to Chef Andrew and his colleague, Chef Anthony Dispensa, to coach the chef and restaurateur to achieve a much higher level of guest satisfaction when the on-line reviews return for another look! Sometimes it’s tough-love…

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

Play

Show 129, July 4, 2015: Chef Johnny Church, MTO Cafes, Las Vegas

Johnny ChurchDowntown Las Vegas is not an easy market for independent restaurants. You’re competing with all the dining options available in the large Hotels and must appeal to visitors, conventioneers, and the discriminating locals. Not an easy task.

Shift Hospitality has overcome the obstacles with their highly successful MTO Café serving breakfast and lunch. They have recently opened a second branch in the Las Vegas suburb of Summerlin. It’s also open for dinner.

The MTO Cafes serve fresh comfort food in a highly personal, everyday atmosphere. The goal is to position the MTO Cafes as the locals’ neighborhood go-to.

Chef Johnny Church is the culinary talent behind MTO. Named 2014 Culinarian of the Year by the Nevada Restaurant Association, Chef Johnny is an up and coming star on the dynamic Vegas food scene. His career path has taken him through Rick Moonen’s rm Seafood & Rx Boiler Room, Charlie Palmer’s Aureole at Mandalay Bay, Andre’s at the Monte Carlo, Alize at the Top of the Palms, Paris Las Vegas’ Eiffel Tower Restaurant and the former AJ’s Steakhouse at the Hard Rock Hotel. He was part of Bradley Ogden’s opening team at Root 246 in Solvang, CA. Earlier in his career he was chef for Gordon Ramsey’s “Kitchen Nightmares.”

Chef Johnny is a big fan of the Intuitive Forager, Kerry Clasby, who is the cornerstone of the award-winning Las Vegas Farmers Markets.

MTO’s Chef-Partner Johnny Church is our guest.

Play

July 4: Taps Fish House Irvine, Johnny Church, Amy Riolo, Ben Ford, Andrew Gruel, Garagiste Festival

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Andrew Monterrosa, TAPS Fish House & Brewery, Irvine
Segment Three: Chef Johnny Church, MTO Cafes, Las Vegas
Segment Four: Amy Riolo, The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook
Segment Five: Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station at L.A. Live
Segment Six: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Seven: Doug Minnick, Co-Founder & Co-Producer – Garagiste Festival Part One
Segment Eight: Doug Minnick, Co-Founder & Co-Producer – Garagiste Festival Part Two

Happy 4th to all and thanks for sharing your Holiday Weekend with us.

We’re here for you…

Now, a mouthwatering preview of Saturday’s red-hot show. Our fireworks are always safe & sane. Bring on the apple pie…With any luck we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case, that’s a good thing…

TAPS Fish House & Brewery (Brea and Corona) has an impressive new location in Irvine at The Market Place. All the TAPS locations differ in design so you never have the feeling you’re dining in an impersonal, corporate restaurant. The environment offers fine dining and a more casual bar-lounge area. There is a comfortable patio, too. They are famous for their Sunday brunch and serve lunch, dinner and happy hour. Chef Andrew Monterrosa joins us with all the 411 on TAPS Irvine.

Downtown Las Vegas is not an easy market for independent restaurants.

You’re competing with all the dining options available in the large Hotels and must appeal to visitors, conventioneers, and the discriminating locals. Not an easy task. Shift Hospitality has overcome the obstacles with their highly successful MTO Café serving breakfast and lunch. They have recently opened a second branch in the Las Vegas suburb of Summerlin. It’s also open for dinner. Chef-Partner Johnny Church is our guest.

Think you’re heard everything you could possibly need to know about the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet ? Think again…We’re diving into The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook – Harness the Power of the World’s Healthiest Diet to Live Better, Longer written by international cooking expert Amy Riolo.

When we last chatted with Chef Ben Ford he was just about to open the relocated Ford’s Filling Station at L.A. Live in the JW Marriott Los Angeles. It’s breakfast, lunch and dinner restaurant with Sunday Brunch, too. We’ll get caught up with Chef Ben and hear about his newly initiated Whole Hog Dinner. It’s a feast for 6 to 8 people! Chef Ben suggests that you “fill up on all the good things in life.”

Our own resident Guest Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is at it again doing the seemingly impossible. He just opened a new Slapfish at LAX on a super compressed timetable that required a lot of ingenuity (and long hours) to pull-off. Chef Andrew is in Palm Springs on a menu development retreat. We’ll catch-up with him.

Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure produced by Garagiste Events, returns to Los Angeles on July 11th, with 50+ artisan ‘garagiste’ winemakers pouring over 200 wines in a new, and appropriately rock and roll, venue : the stunning art deco landmark, The Wiltern in Koreatown. A new element of the Festival is a first-time alliance with Artisnal LA that will see a mini pop-up of a sampling of their best artisan food producers offering tastes of their healthy, local, sustainable and delicious edibles.

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

Andrew MonterrosaTAPS Fish House & Brewery (Brea and Corona) has an impressive new location in Irvine at The Market Place. All the TAPS locations differ in design so you never have the feeling you’re dining in an impersonal, corporate restaurant.

The stylish environment offers fine dining and a more casual bar-lounge area. There is a comfortable patio, too. They are famous for their Sunday brunch and serve lunch, dinner and happy hour.

The private dining room at the news TAPS Irvine accommodates 125 guests and features a handsome stone fireplace and large barn doors that slide open across an arched entry. A 1,800-square-foot, cigar-friendly patio with a full-service menu and cocktails seats 100.

TAPS is as well known for its quality cuisine served in generous portions as it is for award-winning, handcrafted ales and lagers. There is a critically acclaimed wine list, which includes 150 California-centric selections by the bottle and 20 wines by the glass.

The Irvine location has an impressive 24 taps – 14 of them for TAPS seasonal and signature ales and lagers. There are an additional four guest beers on draft selected by Brewmaster David Huls.

This is the first TAPS to showcase select meats and fish cooked on a J & R “Little Red Smokehouse” smoker. This Rolls Royce of smokers from Mesquite, TX is fueled by apple wood and cherry wood. It’s inspired by the smoker at sister restaurant, Lillie’s Q in Brea. A smoked prime rib is offered nightly. Rotating smoked fish offerings include trout, albacore, salmon, mussels and oysters.

Chef Andrew Monterrosa joins us with all the 411 on TAPS Irvine.

Downtown Las Vegas is not an easy market for independent restaurants.

You’re competing with all the dining options available in the large Hotels and must appeal to visitors, conventioneers, and the discriminating locals. Not an easy task.

Johnny ChurchShift Hospitality has overcome the obstacles with their highly successful MTO Café serving breakfast and lunch. They have recently opened a second branch in the Las Vegas suburb of Summerlin. It’s also open for dinner.

The MTO Cafes serve fresh comfort food in a highly personal, everyday atmosphere. The goal is to position the MTO Cafes as the locals’ neighborhood go-to.

Chef Johnny Church is the culinary talent behind MTO. Named 2014 Culinarian of the Year by the Nevada Restaurant Association, Chef Johnny is an up and coming star on the dynamic Vegas food scene.

His career path has taken him through Rick Moonen’s rm Seafood & Rx Boiler Room, Charlie Palmer’s Aureole at Mandalay Bay, Andre’s at the Monte Carlo, Alize at the Top of the Palms, Paris Las Vegas’ Eiffel Tower Restaurant and the former AJ’s Steakhouse at the Hard Rock Hotel. He was part of Bradley Ogden’s opening team at Root 246 in Solvang, CA. Earlier in his career he was chef for Gordon Ramsey’s “Kitchen Nightmares.”

MTO’s Chef-Partner Johnny Church is our guest.

Amy RioloThink you’re heard everything you could possibly need to know about the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet? Think again…

We’re diving into The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook – Harness the Power of the World’s Healthiest Diet to Live Better, Longer written by international cooking expert Amy Riolo. It’s based on the science of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid.

She gets right to the core of the Mediterranean lifestyle explaining what should be eaten, when it should be eaten, and why. Each recipe is complemented by “Mediterranean Tradition” – information on the history, culture, lore, and nutritional value of the dish and its ingredients.

Recent studies show that people who follow a Mediterranean diet were 47 percent less likely to develop heart disease – and the news gets even better. A Mediterranean diet works for all genders, all age groups, and regardless of overall condition.

Combined with the fact that the foods most common to the Mediterranean diet are easily available in the U.S. and Canada – and already number among our most popular dishes – make this diet plan perhaps one of the most effective, easiest to follow, and delicious. Rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables, and even wine, The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet allows you to enjoy appealing food and good health.

Chef Ben Ford at the KLAA StudiosWhen we last chatted with Chef Ben Ford he was just about to open the relocated Ford’s Filling Station at L.A. Live in the JW Marriott Los Angeles. It’s breakfast, lunch and dinner with Sunday Brunch, too. We’ll get caught up with Chef Ben and hear about his newly initiated Whole Hog Dinner. It’s a feast for 6 to 8 people!

Chef Ben suggests that you “fill up on all the good things in life.”

Situated in the lobby of the JW Marriott Los Angeles, the new Ford’s Filling Station L.A. LIVE is an evolution of chef and restaurateur Ben Ford’s original ‘gastropub’ concept, showcasing sustainable, regional cuisine. Drawing inspiration from the abundance of fresh produce and artisanal meats available through California farms, as well as his travels through the south and southwest, Chef Ford has created a menu that is a unique blend of west coast flavors and southwest influence.

An onsite smoker fired with a blend of apple, pecan and cherry wood lends exceptional tenderness and flavor to meats; while fruits and vegetables culled from regional farms enhance a carefully curated menu.

The cocktail program from innovative mixologist Dushan Zarin of New York’s famed Employees Only bar, is food-friendly and filled with classic libations, craft beers and farm-fresh savory cocktails.

His impressive cookbook, Taming the Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking, focuses not only on bringing people together to eat good, sustainable organic food, but gathering lots, and lots, of people together to enjoy sumptuous feasts.

Andrew GruelOur own resident Guest Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is at it again doing the seemingly impossible. He just opened a new Slapfish at LAX on a super compressed timetable that required a lot of ingenuity (and long hours) to pull-off. The Irvine Slapfish debuts mid-month.

Chef Andrew is in Palm Springs on a menu development retreat. He’s testing recipes with a crew of colleagues. We’ll catch-up with him and, yes, find out what’s cooking…

Garagiste FestivalGaragiste Festival: Urban Exposure produced by Garagiste Events, returns to Los Angeles on July 11th, from 2 to 6:00 p.m. with 50+ artisan ‘garagiste’ winemakers pouring over 200 wines in a new, and appropriately rock and roll, venue: the stunning art deco landmark, The Wiltern in Koreatown. Proceeds from the non-profit festival will benefit Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture program. Tickets are available here.

A new element of the Festival is a first-time alliance with Artisnal LA that will see a mini pop-up of a sampling of their best artisan food producers offering tastes of their healthy, local, sustainable and delicious edibles.

“We have always felt that finding undiscovered winemakers is like discovering a new band in a club before they have a hit record, so The Wiltern’s rock and roll history is a perfect fit for these renegade, under-the-radar wine makers. Plus, it is a stunning place,” said Doug Minnick Co-founder of The Garagiste Festivals. “And, as our fans know, a really cool venue is an integral part of the garagiste experience. As always, we will have one-on-one interaction with the winemakers, an unmatched tasting range of amazing hard-to-find wines, a no-snobs-allowed atmosphere, and just plain fun.”

The Garagiste Wine Festivals, which first exposed the American garagiste movement, are among the most unique and influential wine events in the world. They are the only wine events that exclusively showcase ultra-premium, cutting-edge, micro-production commercial wineries that produce fewer than 1,500 cases (and many under 800) a year.

“Garagistes” is a term originally used in the Bordeaux region of France to denigrate renegade small-lot wine makers, sometimes working in their “garages” (anything considered not a chateau), who refused to follow the “rules,” and is now a full-fledged movement responsible for making some of the best wine in the world. The Garagiste Festivals were the first to shine a light on the American garagiste winemaker in 2011.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Andrew Monterrosa, TAPS Fish House & Brewery, Irvine
Segment Three: Chef Johnny Church, MTO Cafes, Las Vegas
Segment Four: Amy Riolo, The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook
Segment Five: Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station at L.A. Live
Segment Six: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Seven: Doug Minnick, Co-Founder & Co-Producer – Garagiste Festival Part One
Segment Eight: Doug Minnick, Co-Founder & Co-Producer – Garagiste Festival Part Two