Show 274, May 19, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a provocative preview of this Saturday’s tantalizing show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Creative potluck makes for inspired dinner parties. Ali Rosen (founder & host of Potluck with Ali Rosen, a television show and active website) brings it all together in her debut cookbook, BRING IT! – Tried and True Recipes for Potlucks and Casual Entertaining. We’re in the kitchen with Ali.

The Lobster (revived in 1999) is the long-running, fine-dining restaurant located on the land side of the landmark Santa Monica Pier. Recently installed there as executive chef is culinary celebrity Govind Armstrong. Chef Govind joins us along with the new General Manager, hospitality veteran Will Holt.

Long Beach’s Proper’s Pickles is an unlikely local gourmet specialty food product success story. The Noori Brothers (Bijan & Pejmon) are insurance brokers. Growing up their Family pickled all the extra veggies in their home kitchen. Four years ago the Brothers perfected their recipes and starting selling at one Long Beach Farmers Markets. Today they are available at retail in Gelson’s and select Bristol Farms, and produce some 1,500 to 2,000 jars a month. We’re talking about the art of pickling with Pejmon Noori.

Chefs’ Toys is no stranger to the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” Starting with a passion for food, Chefs’ Toys began in 1988 (founded by Chef Steve Dickler) with a genuine desire to help other Chefs. In 2003 foodservice equipment veteran Mike Krepistman folded his restaurant equipment supply firm into Chefs’ Toys and became a partner. From humble beginnings to an award-winning foodservice enterprise, Chefs’ Toys business philosophy has never wavered. Earlier this year TriMark acquired Chefs’ Toys. We’ll get the update directly from principals Steve Dickler and Mike Krepistman.

Memorial Day weekend, Smorgasburg LA has teamed up with world renowned burger expert George Motz for its 2nd annual Burger Day on Sunday, May 27. Motz’s first burger popup at Smorgasburg LA this past December was such a success that he is headed back to the market for a second time, and this time with some of his most talented friends. The Host of Travel Channel‘s Burger Land and author of Hamburger America ( revised and updated 3rd Edition just out) has curated the best burgers from LA and beyond to popup at Smorgasburg LA for one day only from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. It’s a two napkin affair!

Several years ago Chef Ricardo Zarate created quite a local foodie sensation with his Mo-chica restaurant located within walking distance of USC in the Mercado la Paloma. The menu was modern interpretations of traditional Peruvian comfort food. Currently Chef Ricardo operates Rosaline in Los Angeles and the recently debuted Once in the Palazzo Resort in Las Vegas. Chef Ricardo is our guest.

Chef Andrew Gruel is back with his “Ask the Chef” commentary. Chef Andrew was a judge at C-CAP’s (Careers through Culinary Arts Program) annual scholarship competition for area High School seniors this week. On Monday the culinary scholarships will be awarded to the fortunate student winners at the annual Scholarship Breakfast at Downtown L.A.’s Jonathan Club. This is the first time Chef Andrew has participated in judging this spirited competition. We’ll get his observations.

Program Note:
Our distinguished emeritus Co-host, culinary celebrity Chef Jet Tila, debuts as Alton Brown’s Floor Reporter on the reboot of Food Network’s long-running original Iron Chef America. The launch of the 10-episode new season is Sunday night, May 20th on Food Network. Take a look at the preview trailer.

All of this and much more absolute deliciousness on today’s overflowing show!

Play

Show 274, May 19, 2018: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamChef Andrew Gruel is back with his Ask the Chef commentary. Chef Andrew was a judge this week (along with other high-profile area chefs) at C-CAP’s (Careers through Culinary Arts Program) annual scholarship competition for at-risk area High School seniors. The judging took place at the state-of-the-art teaching kitchens at Mission College.

On Monday 36 culinary scholarships for graduating High School Seniors (plus 4 Alumni and 2 Junior) will be awarded to the fortunate and talented student winners at the annual Scholarship Awards Breakfast at Downtown L.A.’s Jonathan Club. This is the first time Chef Andrew has participated in judging this spirited competition. We’ll get his observations.

Play

May 19: Ali Rosen, Govind Armstrong, Proper’s Pickles, Chefs’ Toys, George Motz, Ricardo Zarate

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Ali Rosen, author of bring it!
Segment Three: Executive Chef Govind Armstrong and General Manager Will Holt, The Lobster, Santa Monica
Segment Four: Pejmon Noori, Proper’s Pickles, Long Beach
Segment Five: Steve Dickler & Mike Krepistman, TriMark Chefs’ Toys
Segment Six: Hamburger America’s George Motz on George Motz’s Burger Day at Smorgasburg LA
Segment Seven: Chef Ricardo Zarate, Once at The Palazzo Resort, Las Vegas
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Now a provocative preview of this Saturday’s tantalizing show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Creative potluck makes for inspired dinner parties. Ali Rosen (founder & host of Potluck with Ali Rosen, a television show and active website) brings it all together in her debut cookbook, BRING IT! – Tried and True Recipes for Potlucks and Casual Entertaining. We’re in the kitchen with Ali.

The Lobster (revived in 1999) is the long-running, fine-dining restaurant located on the land side of the landmark Santa Monica Pier. Recently installed there as executive chef is culinary celebrity Govind Armstrong. Chef Govind joins us along with the new General Manager, hospitality veteran Will Holt.

Long Beach’s Proper’s Pickles is an unlikely local gourmet specialty food product success story. The Noori Brothers (Bijan & Pejmon) are insurance brokers. Growing up their Family pickled all the extra veggies in their home kitchen. Four years ago the Brothers perfected their recipes and starting selling at one Long Beach Farmers Markets. Today they are available at retail in Gelson’s and select Bristol Farms, and produce some 1,500 to 2,000 jars a month. We’re talking about the art of pickling with Pejmon Noori.

Chefs’ Toys is no stranger to the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” Starting with a passion for food, Chefs’ Toys began in 1988 (founded by Chef Steve Dickler) with a genuine desire to help other Chefs. In 2003 foodservice equipment veteran Mike Krepistman folded his restaurant equipment supply firm into Chefs’ Toys and became a partner. From humble beginnings to a foodservice enterprise, Chefs’ Toys business philosophy has never wavered. Last year TriMark acquired Chefs’ Toys. We’ll get the update directly from principals Steve Dickler and Mike Krepistman.

Memorial Day weekend, Smorgasburg LA has teamed up with world renowned burger expert George Motz for its 2nd annual Burger Day on Sunday, May 27. Motz’s first burger popup at Smorgasburg LA this past December was such a success that he is headed back to the market for a second time, and this time with some of his most talented friends. The Host of Travel Channel’s Burger Land and author of Hamburger America has curated the best burgers from LA and beyond to popup at Smorgasburg LA for one day only from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. It’s a two napkin affair!

Several years ago Chef Ricardo Zarate created quite a foodie sensation with his Mo-chica restaurant located within walking distance of USC in the Mercado la Paloma. The menu was modern interpretations of traditional Peruvian comfort food. Currently Chef Ricardo operates Rosaline in Los Angeles and the recently debuted Once in the Palazzo Resort in Las Vegas. Chef Ricardo is our guest.

Chef Andrew Gruel is back with his “Ask the Chef” commentary. Chef Andrew was a judge at C-CAP’s (Careers through Culinary Arts Program) annual scholarship competition for area High School seniors this week. On Monday the culinary scholarships will be awarded to the fortunate student winners at the annual Scholarship Breakfast at Downtown L.A.’s Jonathan Club. This is the first time Chef Andrew has participated in judging this spirited competition. We’ll get his observations.

Creative potluck makes for inspired dinner parties. Ali Rosen (founder & host of Potluck with Ali Rosen, a television show and active website) brings it all together in her debut cookbook, BRING IT! – Tried and True Recipes for Potlucks and Casual Entertaining.

Bring It! is the ultimate source for potluck, picnic, or dinner party-worthy dishes that combine simple prep with big taste!

The word “potluck” may inspire memories of church dinners and mystery covered dishes. But today’s potlucks are essentially outsourced dinner partieswhich make gathering around a shared table a cinch. Inside Bring It!,  the reader will find dozens of impressive-looking recipes that come together easily, and are perfect for carrying to any occasion.

Author Ali Rosen has put a long career in the food world to use, drawing on chef and restaurant secrets for easy dishes that will have friends begging for the recipe. Must-have dishes include:

  • Pimento Cheese and Crab Dip
  • Snap Pea Salad with Parmesan and Bacon
  • Pistachio and Anchovy Pasta
  • Short Ribs with Quick Pickled Shallots
  • S’mores Bars

Each recipe includes a note called “How to Bring It,” for make-ahead, reheating, and transport instructions. Flavors are designed for maximum impact, but won’t take hours to cook, or require special ingredients. They come together easily, hold well, and travel beautifully. They’ll have you rethinking the potluck.

Ali is the founder and host of Potluck with Ali Rosen, a television show and website dedicated to sharing the best and brightest in food. Potluck airs on NYC Life and its videos have appeared on HuffPost, Edible, and People.  Potluck was nominated for an Emmy as well as two IACP awards. She is from Charleston but currently lives in New York City with her young son & husband.

We’re potlucking in the kitchen with Ali.

Chef Govind Armstrong of Post and BeamThe Lobster is the long-running, fine-dining restaurant located on the land side of the landmark Santa Monica Pier. Recently installed there as executive chef is culinary celebrity Govind Armstrong.

Situated at the corner of Ocean Boulevard and the Santa Monica Pier, The Lobster seafood restaurant is an internationally recognized dining destination that is as much a part of Santa Monica’s history as the pier itself. Originally opened in 1923, it wasn’t until dishwasher-turned-owner, Mateo Castillo took the helm in 1950 that The Lobster became the quintessential “seafood shack,” so beloved by LA residents and tourists alike throughout the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s.

The Lobster shut its doors for several years in the 1980’s and 90’s, before again being reinvented, expanded and reopened by a family of new investors in 1999. While the original structure was incorporated into the new building’s main entrance, The Lobster as it stands today is a modernly appointed, two-story cantilevered building with glass walls and seating for hundreds.

Chef Govind Armstrong comes to The Lobster with a background that includes training in some of the most famous restaurants in the world. California-born, raised in Costa Rica, and educated in Los Angeles and Europe under culinary legends including Wolfgang Puck, Mark Peel and Susan Feniger, Chef Govind is a master of California Cuisine. As an advocate for food sustainability, Chef Govind is committed to serving dishes that are crafted with only the freshest, locally sourced, and responsibly farmed ingredients.

Chef Govind’s menu takes the seafood dishes at The Lobster in a culinary direction that is sophisticated, yet approachable. With the focus on flavor and a perfect balance of taste and texture, his dishes are updated daily to account for ingredient availability, quality and creative license.

Chef Govind joins us along with the new General Manager, hospitality veteran Will Holt.

Bijan and Pejmon NooriLong Beach’s Proper’s Pickles is an unlikely local gourmet specialty food product success story. The Noori Brothers (Bijan & Pejmon) are insurance brokers. Growing up their Family pickled all the extra veggies in their home kitchen. In early 2014 the Brothers perfected their recipes and starting selling at one Long Beach Farmers Markets. Today they are available at retail in Gelson’s and select Bristol Farms, and produce some 1,500 to 2,000 jars a month. We’re talking about the art of pickling with Pejmon Noori.

The two brothers had already been making pickles for a long time under the guidance of their father, who was known for pickling anything and everything. Bijan and Pejmon also have been known to venture into unknown pickling territory for a few of their best customers, including products like Pickled Sweet Maui Onion with Habanero. Even their Famous Mixed Jar uses Persian Cucumber as opposed to your traditional Pickling Cucumber.

“You will never see dry dill seed or pepper-flakes floating at the bottom of your jar, but you will see pieces of fresh dill and large cloves of fresh garlic. While most pickling companies think it is okay for their products to be kept on dry shelves for months at a time, Proper’s Pickle believes in cold storage only. Proper’s Pickle is also a very strong believer in using only natural ingredients so they can deliver the vegetables and peppers they use in their best form.”

“There is only one drawback to developing the crispiest, freshest-tasting pickles on the planet: Anyone who tries them will never again enjoy just any ole’ pickle. Anyone who has tasted a Proper’s Pickle will always crave something better. Because “We Make a Proper Pickle.””

Steve Dickler of Chefs ToysChefs’ Toys is no stranger to the listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” Starting with a passion for food, Chefs’ Toys began in 1988 (founded by Chef Steve Dickler) with a genuine desire to help other Chefs.

In 2003 foodservice equipment veteran Mike Krepistman folded his restaurant equipment supply firm into Chefs’ Toys and became a partner. From humble beginnings to a foodservice enterprise, Chefs’ Toys business philosophy has never wavered. Last year TriMark acquired Chefs’ Toys.

“Chefs’ Toys is proud to offer time-tested and commercial kitchen approved products from the best manufacturers in the foodservice industry. We are constantly testing and searching for new products to serve our customers’ needs. You can feel confident that when you buy a product from Chefs’ Toys it has been vetted, tested, and will meet your expectations. Although our roots are firmly planted in Southern California, our customer base continues to expand nationally.”

“With the acquisition of a major restaurant design firm in 2015, Chefs’ Toys beefed up its talent pool for consulting and design. As a result, we offer complete design services for restaurants, commercial kitchens and bars. From front of house to the most complex kitchen design requirements, equipment installation, and foodservice supplies fulfillment, our staff provides turnkey solutions for the foodservice industry.”

We’ll get the update directly from principals Steve Dickler and Mike Krepistman.

George MotzMemorial Day weekend, Smorgasburg LA has teamed up with world renowned burger expert George Motz for its 2nd annual Burger Day on Sunday, May 27. Motz’s first burger popup at Smorgasburg LA this past December was such a success that he is headed back to the market for a second time, and this time with some of his most talented friends.

The Host of Travel Channel‘s Burger Land and author of Hamburger America has curated the best burgers from LA and beyond to popup at Smorgasburg LA for one day only from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Guests should expect burgers in the form of classic takes to mouthwatering modern renditions from six popup vendors, plus burger specials from Smorgasburg LA’s weekly vendors and more.

To add to the festivities Motz will be serving his famous Oklahoma Fried Onion Burger (a smashed patty with thin sliced sweet onion).

It’s definitely a two napkin affair!

Ricardo Zarate of Mo-Chica and PiccaSeveral years ago Chef Ricardo Zarate created quite a foodie sensation with his original Mo-Chica restaurant located within walking distance of USC in the Mercado la Paloma. The menu was modern interpretations of traditional Peruvian comfort food.

Currently Chef Ricardo operates Rosaline in Los Angeles and the recently debuted Once in the Palazzo Resort in Las Vegas.

Once is a one-of-a-kind Peruvian Nikkei dining experience from Chef Ricardo Zarate. Once (on-seh), which means ’11’ in Spanish and symbolizes Ricardo Zarate’s spot in his line of 13 siblings, is inspired by the food of his native Peru.

Drawing distinct flavors from both Peru and Japan, along with the comforting dishes of Chef Ricardo Zarate’s childhood, the menu includes dishes such as Big Eye Tuna Sashimi Ceviche, with black truffle and kizami tigers milk; Arroz Chaufa, Peruvian fried rice, snow crab, yuzu aioli and crispy calamari; and Ox Tail Bibimbap, with black mint stew, tacu tacu rice, fried egg and plantains. To compliment the menu, there are 11 signature cocktails, including a Rum & Cola “slushee” machine for an irreverent, Vegas-style twist on a boozy classic.

Dinner nightly with the recently introduced Brunch on Weekends.

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamChef Andrew Gruel is back with his Ask the Chef commentary. Chef Andrew was a judge this week at C-CAP’s (Careers through Culinary Arts Program) annual scholarship competition for at-risk area High School seniors.

On Monday the culinary scholarships will be awarded to the fortunate student winners at the annual Scholarship Awards Breakfast at Downtown L.A.’s Jonathan Club. This is the first time Chef Andrew has participated in judging this spirited competition. We’ll get his observations.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Ali Rosen, author of bring it!
Segment Three: Executive Chef Govind Armstrong and General Manager Will Holt, The Lobster, Santa Monica
Segment Four: Pejmon Noori, Proper’s Pickles, Long Beach
Segment Five: Steve Dickler & Mike Krepistman, TriMark Chefs’ Toys
Segment Six: Hamburger America’s George Motz on George Motz’s Burger Day at Smorgasburg LA
Segment Seven: Chef Ricardo Zarate, Once at The Palazzo Resort, Las Vegas
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Show 142, October 17, 2015: Jonathan Club’s Executive Chef Jason McClain and C-CAP’s Lisa Fontanesi

Mitzie CutlerThe Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) provides culinary training and scholarship opportunities for at-risk high school students interested in pursuing careers in the culinary arts. For some 20 years Mitzie Cutler has directed the Southern California program. She has recently transitioned to volunteer status working on special projects.

C-CAP has organized a celebratory dinner in her honor to benefit the new Mitzie Cutler Scholarship Fund to provide high school students in the Los Angeles area the opportunity to attend culinary college and/or postsecondary school. The multi-course, wine-paired sumptuous repast will be presented at The Jonathan Club’s Rooftop Garden and Members’ Dining Room on Tuesday evening, Oct. 20th under the direction of their acclaimed Executive Chef, Jason McClain. It’s rare for non-members to have the opportunity to experience the culinary excellence of The Jonathan Club.

C-CAP’s Lisa Fontanesi and Executive Chef Jason McClain join us with the mouthwatering specifics.

Play

Show 142, October 17, 2015: Jonathan Club’s Executive Chef Jason McClain and C-CAP’s Lisa Fontanesi Continues…

Mitzie CutlerJoin in C-CAP’s dinner benefit celebration of the founding of the Mitzie Cutler Scholarship fund to provide high school students in the L.A. area with the opportunity to attend culinary college and/or postsecondary school.

The toast to Mitzie’s 20 plus years of service to C-CAP features hors d’oeuvres and dinner from the Jonathan Club’s own distinguished Executive Chef Jason McClain and star C-CAP L.A. Alumni, along with premium wine, beer and spirits.

The C-CAP alum culinary team includes Chef Raymond Alvarez of Toca Madera and Chef Dustin Trani of Doma in Beverly Hills. Celebrity mixologist Devon Espinosa of The Church Key in West Hollywood will be serving his signature creation for the evening, “THE MITZIE.”

Extra special thanks to Chef McClain and the management of The Jonathan Club for their continued generosity to C-CAP. There are a lot of worthy causes out there. The SoCal Restaurant Show salutes you for going the extra-mile, year-round to support the important programs of C-CAP L.A. and their mission for encouraging careers in the culinary arts.

Play

Show 109, February 7, 2015: Show Preview with Chef Andrew Gruel (Guest Host) and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and now, Newport Beach is today’s special Guest Host.

Now a preview of today’s delightfully overflowing show

Chinese New Year is February 19th to March 5th, 2015. It’s the Year of the Sheep (often called the Year of the Goat or the Ram.) During China’s most colorful and important holiday, foods take on special symbolic meanings. Fruits and vegetables are also healthy and delicious. Our resident produce expert, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, joins us with a tasty overview of fruits and vegetables which are part of Chinese New Year. He’ll also tell us where to find some inspired Martin Yan recipes to prepare at home to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Eric Samaniego (ex- Comme Ca in West Hollywood) is the acclaimed Executive Chef of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana. The Orange County Register’s Restaurant Critic, Brad A. Johnson, awarded Little Sparrow recognition as “Best New Restaurant” in 2013. Samaniego’s Pastry Chef, Nasera Munshi, was Johnson’s choice as “Pastry Chef of the Year” in 2014. If all of that wasn’t enough recognition Little Sparrow was selected by the producers (including Tom Colicchio) of Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant” competition series as one of 16 USA restaurants from four cities to vie for the title of Best New Restaurant and a cool $100,000 cash prize. With eager anticipation we’ll see how Little Sparrow does in their initial episode airing on Wednesday evening. Feb. 25th.

When we last chatted with Team USA (Chefs Philip Tessier and Commis Skylar Stover of The French Laundry) early last month they were on their way to Lyon to compete in the bi-annual Bocuse d’Or World Culinary Competition, the Olympics of the culinary world. This was after a year of intensive preparation and dedicated training. 24 teams of the most gifted culinary minds from across the world competed and Team USA (guided by the ment’or BKB Foundation) was awarded the Silver Medal (second place) for their artful and spectacular meat platter and fish plate. Team Norway was the first-place winner. This is a giant first for Team USA. Their previous top finish was sixth. Congratulations to Team USA on a stunning achievement. Chef Tessier is our guest.

Chef Jason McClain is the executive chef of the storied Jonathan Club, a very exclusive private club in Los Angeles established in 1894 with a rich history. Their main building is located in Downtown Los Angeles with a second facility, the Jonathan Beach Club (established in 1927) located on the sands in Santa Monica. A social club at this level needs to have outstanding food and beverage as an amenity for their discerning members. Chef McClain will take us behind the scenes on what resources and imagination he uses to fulfill this promise. He likes to say he’s responsible for “the best restaurant in Downtown that no one knows about.” One small example of his commitment to quality is his urban rooftop garden located on a former handball court where seasonally they grow heirloom tomatoes, broccolini, baby carrots, blueberries, figs, snap peas and yuzu.

Julie Margolin is the Honda Center’s busy Director of Food & Beverage Services. Over 500 employees are part of the food and beverage operations there. Honda Center is one of the few facilities in the country who runs their own food and beverage operations. It’s a massive undertaking and costly. This was done strictly to improve the quality of the food and beverage program there. She works alongside Honda Center’s Executive Chef, Jo-Jo Doyle. Julie joins us to talk about what’s new for the current season including the menu in Standing “O”.

We now have a chance to catch-up with Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, today’s Guest Host. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering a set of rules for organic farmed fish. Several consumer groups, though, say the recommended rules don’t go far enough to meet the strict standards of other organic foods. Chef Andrew will weigh-in on this and also speak about sustainability.

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

Play

February 7: Andrew Gruel, Bocuse D’or USA, Melissa’s Produce, Little Sparrow, Jonathan Club, Honda Center

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Chef Andrew Gruel (Guest Host) and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s, Chinese New Year Fruits & Vegetables
Segment Three: Executive Chef Eric Samaniego, Little Sparrow Café
Segment Four: Chef Philip Tessier, Team USA & The French Laundry Part One
Segment Five: Chef Philip Tessier, Team USA & The French Laundry Part Two
Segment Six: Executive Chef Jason McClain, Jonathan Club
Segment Seven: Julie Margolin, Director of Food & Beverage Services, Honda Center
Segment Eight: Slapfish Chef/Owner Andrew Gruel

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and now, Newport Beach is today’s special Guest Host.

Now a preview of today’s delightfully overflowing show

Chinese New Year is February 19th to March 5th, 2015. It’s the Year of the Sheep (often called the Year of the Goat or the Ram.) During China’s most colorful and important holiday, foods take on special symbolic meanings. Fruits and vegetables are also healthy and delicious. Our resident produce expert, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, joins us with a tasty overview of the fruits and vegetables which are part of Chinese New Year. He’ll also tell us where to find some great Martin Yan recipes to prepare at home to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Eric Samaniego (ex- Comme Ca in West Hollywood) is the acclaimed Executive Chef of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana. The Orange County Register’s Restaurant Critic, Brad A. Johnson, awarded Little Sparrow the recognition as “Best New Restaurant” in 2013. Samaniego’s Pastry Chef, Nasera Munshi, was Johnson’s choice as “Pastry Chef of the Year” in 2014. If all of that wasn’t enough recognition Little Sparrow was selected by the producers (including Tom Colicchio) of Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant” competition series as one of 16 USA restaurants from four cities to vie for the title of Best New Restaurant and a cool $100,000 cash prize. With eager anticipation we’ll see how Little Sparrow does in their initial episode airing on Wednesday evening. Feb. 25th.

When we last chatted with Team USA (Chefs Philip Tessier and Commis Skylar Stover of The French Laundry) early last month they were on their way to Lyon to compete in the bi-annual Bocuse d’Or World Culinary Competition, the Olympics of the culinary world. This was after a year of intensive preparation and dedicated training. 24 teams of the most gifted culinary minds from across the world competed and Team USA (guided by the ment’or BKB Foundation) was awarded the Silver Medal (second place) for their artful and spectacular meat platter and fish plate. Team Norway was the first-place winner. This is a giant first for Team USA. Their previous top finish was sixth. Congratulations to Team USA on a stunning achievement. Chef Philip Tessier is our guest.

Chef Jason McClain is the executive chef of the storied Jonathan Club, a very exclusive private club in Los Angeles established in 1894 with a rich history. Their main building is located in Downtown Los Angeles with a second facility, the Jonathan Beach Club (established in 1927) located on the sand in Santa Monica. A social club at this level needs to have outstanding food and beverage as an amenity for their discerning members. Chef McClain will take us behind the scenes on what resources and imagination he uses to fulfill this promise. He likes to say he’s responsible for “the best restaurant in Downtown that no one knows about.” One small example of his commitment to quality is his urban rooftop garden located on a former handball court where seasonally they grow heirloom tomatoes, broccolini, baby carrots, blueberries, figs, snap peas and yuzu.

Julie Margolin is the Honda Center’s busy Director of Food & Beverage Services. Over 500 employees are part of the food and beverage operations there. Honda Center is one of the few facilities in the country who runs their own food and beverage operations. It’s a massive undertaking and costly. This was done strictly to improve the quality of the food and beverage program there. She works alongside Honda Center’s Executive Chef, Jo-Jo Doyle. Julie joins us to talk about what’s new for the current season including the menu in Standing “O”.

We now have a chance to catch-up with Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, today’s Guest Host. Andrew will announce the name and description of the winning dish created for the opening in Newport Beach. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering a set of rules for organic farmed fish. Several consumer groups, though, say the recommended rules don’t go far enough to meet the strict standards of other organic foods. Chef Andrew will weigh-in on this debate.

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

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceChinese New Year is February 19th to March 5th, 2015. It’s the Year of the Sheep (often called the Year of the Goat or the Ram.) During China’s most colorful and important holiday, foods take on special symbolic meanings. Fruits and vegetables are also healthy and delicious.

Our resident produce expert, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s / World Variety Produce, joins us with a tasty overview of fruits and vegetables which are part of Chinese New Year. For example symbolic citrus includes Buddha’s Hand (happiness, longevity, good fortune,) Kumquats (gold, good fortune,) Mandarins (wealth,) Oranges (wealth, good fortune, gold,) Pummelos (abundance, prosperity,) and Tangerines (luck.)

He’ll also tell us where to find some easy-to-prepare Martin Yan recipes to enjoy at home to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Eric SamaniegoEric Samaniego (ex- Comme Ca in West Hollywood) is the acclaimed Executive Chef of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana. The fare is original versions of regional and seasonal French and California cuisine. The menu changes often. Dinner nightly (except Sunday and Monday) from 5:00 p.m. and Sunday Brunch.

The Orange County Register’s Restaurant Critic, Brad A. Johnson, awarded Little Sparrow recognition as “Best New Restaurant” in 2013. Samaniego’s Pastry Chef, Nasera Munshi, was Johnson’s choice as “Pastry Chef of the Year” in 2014.

If all of that wasn’t enough recognition Little Sparrow was selected by the producers (including “Top Chef’s” Tom Colicchio) of Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant” competition series as one of 16 USA restaurants from four cities to vie for the title of Best New Restaurant and a cool $100,000 cash prize. With eager anticipation we’ll see how Little Sparrow does in their initial episode airing on Wednesday evening. Feb. 25th.

Bocuse D'Or Team USA wins SilverWhen we last chatted with Team USA (Chefs Philip Tessier and Commis Skylar Stover of The French Laundry) early last month they were on their way to Lyon to compete in the bi-annual Bocuse d’Or World Culinary Competition, the Olympics of the culinary world. This was after a year of intensive preparation and dedicated training.

24 teams of the most gifted culinary minds from across the world competed and Team USA (guided by the ment’or BKB Foundation) was awarded the Silver Medal (second place) for their artful and spectacular meat platter and fish plate. Team Norway was the first-place winner. Team USA competed on January 27th. This is a giant first for Team USA. Their previous top finish was sixth.

Congratulations to Team USA on a stunning achievement. Chef Philip Tessier, just back from Lyon, Paris and New York is our very special guest.

24 teams of the most gifted culinary minds from across the world competed in the Bocuse d’Or Culinary Competition (the culinary Olympics) in Lyon last week and Team USA (guided by the ment’or BKB Foundation) was awarded the Silver Medal (second place) for their artful and spectacular meat platter and fish plate. Team Norway was the first-place winner. Team USA competed on January 27th. This is a giant first for Team USA. Their previous top finish was sixth.

Barrel-Oak Roasted Guinea Hen from Team USA at the Bocuse D'orTheir stunning meat platter was Barrel-Oak Roasted Guinea Hen. Some of the garnishes were French Laundry garden blossoms and herbs. The gorgeous fish plate showcased Brioche-Crusted Brown Trout Pave with American caviar, tartelette of crisped skin, garden dill, celery branch “Farci,” celery root puree, compressed apples, brown butter emulsion, and smoked mushroom consomme. Both the meat platter and the fish plate were designed by the lauded Martin Kastner.

“Chef Tessier is an outstanding representation of the talent we have in the United States, and we’re incredibly proud that, for the first time in our history of competing in the Bocuse d’Or, we placed on the podium,” says Thomas Keller, president of ment’or. “From the start, we were confident that he would successfully lead Team USA, and have thoroughly enjoyed mentoring him through this incredibly rigorous training process. American cuisine has significantly progressed in recent history, and Chef Tessier’s talent is an example of the strides we are making in our field. Out hope is that America continues to support our endeavors to showcase what great chefs and cuisine we have in the United States.”

Jason McClain of the Jonathan ClubChef Jason McClain is the executive chef of the storied Jonathan Club, a very exclusive private club in Los Angeles established in 1894 with a rich history. He’s been an executive chef with The Four Seasons, the exec at Pechanga Resort & Casino, and has owned his own restaurants.

The Jonathan Club’s main building is located in Downtown Los Angeles with a second facility, the Jonathan Beach Club (established in 1927) located on the sand in Santa Monica. A prestigious social club at this level needs to have outstanding food and beverage as an amenity for their discerning members.

Chef McClain will take us behind the scenes on what resources and imagination he uses to fulfill this promise. He likes to say (with a dash of humor) he’s responsible for “the best restaurant in Downtown that no one knows about.”

One small example of his commitment to quality is his urban rooftop garden positioned on a former handball court where seasonally they grow heirloom tomatoes, broccolini, baby carrots, blueberries, figs, snap peas and yuzu. All the fruits and vegetables find their way onto the Club’s menu. This represents over $100,000 in produce annually. It helps that Chef Jason’s father is a retired landscape architect and could creatively bring the rooftop garden project in on a modest budget.

Standing O at Honda CenterJulie Margolin is the Honda Center’s busy Director of Food & Beverage Services. Before joining Honda Center Margolin was with Levy Restaurants as part of the opening team at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Over 500 employees are part of the food and beverage operations there. Honda Center is one of the few facilities in the country who runs their own food and beverage operations. It’s a massive undertaking and costly. This was done strictly to improve the quality of the food and beverage program there.

She works alongside Honda Center’s Executive Chef, Jo-Jo Doyle. Julie joins us to talk about what’s new for the current season including the menu in Standing “O”. Also there is a newly opened Wahoo’s Fish Taco at Honda Center. They are a new franchisee of Wahoo’s.

Slapfish Fish and ChipsWe now have a chance to catch-up with Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, today’s Guest Host. Andrew will announce the name and description of the winning dish created for the opening in Newport Beach. It’s soon on the menu there.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering a set of rules for organic farmed fish. Several consumer groups, though, say the recommended rules don’t go far enough to meet the strict standards of other organic foods. Chef Andrew will weigh-in on this.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Chef Andrew Gruel (Guest Host) and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s, Chinese New Year Fruits & Vegetables
Segment Three: Executive Chef Eric Samaniego, Little Sparrow Café
Segment Four: Chef Philip Tessier, Team USA & The French Laundry Part One
Segment Five: Chef Philip Tessier, Team USA & The French Laundry Part Two
Segment Six: Executive Chef Jason McClain, Jonathan Club
Segment Seven: Julie Margolin, Director of Food & Beverage Services, Honda Center
Segment Eight: Slapfish Chef/Owner Andrew Gruel