Show 294, October 20, 2018: Chef Krystle Schenk, Garde Manger, Pechanga Resort & Casino

Krystle SchenkPechanga’s Chef Krystle Schenk was promoted to Garde Manager Chef a year ago. Chef Krystle has been with Pechanga since 2010, starting off as a line cook in the production kitchen and was quickly promoted to other positions at the Pechanga Buffet, Kelsey’s, and Garde Manger before she became its head chef.

For the “Loaded Fries” competition as part of “Battle of the Burgers” Chef Krystle is the Sous Chef for Mattie Dominguez, one of the 3rd year Career Technical Education students in the Culinary Arts program at TVHS.

Prior to Pechanga, Krystle worked in the kitchen at a popular international hotel chain for five years and really honed in her best cooking techniques. She jumped straight into culinary school at The Art Institute of California at Orange County immediately after graduating high school, as she has thoroughly enjoyed the art of cooking since she was a child.

We’ll meet Chef Krystle and find out what goes on in Garde Manager. It’s both an important position, and place, in a restaurant kitchen.

Update: Congrats to Chef Schenk and “Chef” Mattie of TVHS. Mattie’s Loaded Fries was the People’s Choice Winner for the “Loaded Fries” competition. The creation is Waffle Fries with Sriracha Shredded Chicken with Maple Bits and Spiced Caramel Sauce.

Play

Show 270, April 21, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoNow a sinful preview of this Saturday’s properly decadent 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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday morning with a fresh show.

Over the past two years we’ve been reporting on the progress of the ambitious, on-going expansion plans for the Pechanga Resort & Casino in beautiful Temecula Wine Country. $300 million dollars later all phases are now complete (including the luxe 568 room Resort Tower addition) and welcoming the curious guests.

The Waterslide at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoThis morning we’re live from Cabana 14 at The Cove, Pechanga’s just-debuted 4.5 acre pool tropical oasis experience.

Two new restaurants are part of the substantial expansion. Pechanga’s Executive Chef Duane Owen joins us to highlight the tasty new menus. We’ll also get a progress report on Pechanga’s all you can enjoy Thursday evening Lobster & Seafood Extravaganza launched back in January. It’s one-and-one-quarter pound whole Maine lobster!

The most ambitious of the new restaurants is the Lobby Bar & Grill located in the striking Atrium between the Casino Hotel Tower and the Resort Hotel Tower. Overseeing this stylish new California bistro and bar serving breakfast, lunch, Sunday Brunch and dinner is Chef Jose Mendoza. We’ll meet him.

The water’s just fine at Pechanga’s just-opened, 4.5- acre tropical oasis, The Cove, that promises comfort, cool and the ultimate tropical chill to guests. There is even a swim-up bar. Managing all of this hospitable craziness is Jane Kim. We spirit her off the busy pool deck for a chat.

Chef Ronnel Capacia is no stranger to the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” We first met him when he assumed the culinary reins of Kelsey’s. When we last chatted with him he had just been promoted to oversee Journey’s End at Pechanga. Now he’s also taken on the added responsibilities as menu-maker for the Coveside Grill at The Cove. That includes a table service restaurant as well as a fast -casual spot. Think Potato Chip Nachos.

All of the lavish desserts and breakfast pastries are produced in-house at Pechanga. They also create magnificent custom and wedding cakes. The bake shop also crafts artisan chocolates. Pechanga’s assistant pastry chef Nicole Burgess has an artful hand in all of this. She joins us.

One of the newest craft breweries in the Inland Empire is Inland Wharf Brewing Co. in Murrieta. Their specialty is cask conditioned ales. We introduced them to our audience last year at Pechanga’s 9th Annual Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff. It’s been a year of great progress. Now their craft beer is on the beverage menu at The Cove. They are also back at Pechanga’s upcoming 10th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff on Saturday afternoon, June 9th. Owner Commander (Retired) Robert Durant is our guest.

The effervescent Chef Marlene Moore of Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga probably needs no introduction. At Temptations she even fries fresh donuts right there throughout the day & night. When it comes to Pechanga’s Annual Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff Chef Marlene (and her high energy team) are always in it to win it. Last year in a bit of an upset Chef Marlene (Pechanga’s 2-time Chili Champ) was unseated by Chef Ikeda of Umi Sushi & Oyster Ba whose sake-glazed Kobe beef chili reigned supreme.

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

Play

Show 270, April 21, 2018: Chef Ronnel Capacia, The Coveside Grill at The Cove & Journey’s End at Pechanga

Ronnel Capacia at the Chili CookoffChef Ronnel Capacia is no stranger to the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” We first met him when he assumed the culinary reins of Kelsey’s. When we last chatted with him he had just been promoted to oversee Journey’s End at Pechanga.

Now he’s also taken on the added responsibilities as menu-maker for the Coveside Grill at The Cove. That includes a table service restaurant with an eye-catching golf course or Cove view as well as a fast-casual spot.

Think Potato Chip Nachos. Also Kalua Pulled Pork Sliders with pineapple mango slaw, fried onions, BBQ sauce and served with house potato chips. At Kelsey’s Chef Ronnel added popular BBQ specialties to his menu.

Pizzas from a gas-fired oven were also specialties of Chef Ronnel at Kelsey’s. A selection of appealing Flatbread Pizzas (using Naan) are on the menu at Coveside Grill. We enjoyed the Margherita. Rounding out the pizza menu are Meat Lovers, BBQ Chicken and The Hawaiian.

Plus creative Coveside Cocktails including The Coveside (Blended.) It’s Tito’s Vodka, Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum, Island Oasis Watermelon and Ice Cream Blend. Also, Temecula craft beers on tap and local wines by the glass and bottle.

Play

April 21: Live from Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort & Casino

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Executive Chef Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Three: Chef Jose Mendoza, Lobby Bar & Grill, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Four: Jane Kim, Pool Manager, The Cove at Pechanga
Segment Five: Chef Ronnel Capacia, The Coveside Grill at The Cove & Journey’s End at Pechanga
Segment Six: Nicole Burgess, Assistant Pastry Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Seven: Robert Durant, Owner & Brewer, Inland Wharf Brewing Co.
Segment Eight: Chef Marlene Moore, Temptations Food Walk, Pechanga Resort & Casino

Now a sinful preview of this Saturday’s properly decadent 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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday morning with a fresh show.

Over the past two years we’ve been reporting on the progress of the ambitious, on-going expansion plans for the Pechanga Resort & Casino in beautiful Temecula Wine Country. $300 million dollars later all phases are now complete and welcoming the curious guests.

This morning we’re live from Cabana 14 at The Cove, Pechanga’s just-debuted 4.5 acre pool tropical oasis experience.

Two new restaurants are part of the substantial expansion. Pechanga’s Executive Chef Duane Owen joins us to highlight the tasty new menus. We’ll also get a progress report on Pechanga’s all you can enjoy Thursday evening Lobster & Seafood Extravaganza launched back in January. It’s one-and-one-quarter pound whole Maine lobster!

The most ambitious of the new restaurants is the Lobby Bar & Grill located in the striking Atrium between the Casino Hotel Tower and the Resort Hotel Tower. Overseeing this stylish new California bistro and bar serving breakfast, lunch, Sunday Brunch and dinner is Chef Jose Mendoza. We’ll meet him.

The water’s just fine at Pechanga’s just-opened, 4.5- acre tropical oasis, The Cove, that promises comfort, cool and the ultimate tropical chill to guests. There is even a swim-up bar. Managing all of this hospitable craziness is Jane Kim. We spirit her off the busy pool deck for a chat.

Chef Ronnel Capacia is no stranger to the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” We first met him when he assumed the culinary reins of Kelsey’s. When we last chatted with him he had just been promoted to oversee Journey’s End at Pechanga. Now he’s also taken on the added responsibilities as menu-maker for the Coveside Grill at The Cove. That includes a table service restaurant as well as a fast -casual spot. Think Potato Chip Nachos.

All of the lavish desserts and breakfast pastries are produced in-house at Pechanga. They also create magnificent custom and wedding cakes. The bake shop also crafts artisan chocolates. Pechanga’s assistant pastry chef Nicole Burgess has an artful hand in all of this. She joins us.

One of the newest craft breweries in the Inland Empire is Inland Wharf Brewing Co. in Murrieta. Their specialty is cask conditioned ales. We introduced them to our audience last year at Pechanga’s 9th Annual Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff. It’s been a year of great progress. Now their craft beer is on the beverage menu at The Cove. They are also back at Pechanga’s upcoming 10th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff on Saturday afternoon, June 9th. Owner Commander (Retired) Robert Durant is our guest.

The effervescent Chef Marlene Moore of Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga probably needs no introduction. At Temptations she even fries fresh donuts right there throughout the day & night. When it comes to Pechanga’s Annual Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff Chef Marlene (and her high energy team) are always in it to win it. Last year in a bit of an upset Chef Marlene (Pechanga’s 2-time Chili Champ) was unseated by Chef Ikeda of Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar whose sake-glazed Kobe beef chili reigned supreme.

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

Duane Owen of Pechanga Casino and ResortOver the past two years we’ve been reporting on the progress of the ambitious, on-going expansion plans for the Pechanga Resort & Casino in beautiful Temecula wine Country. $300 million dollars later all phases are now complete and welcoming the curious guests.

Two new restaurants, Lobby Bar & Grill and Coveside Grill, are part of the enhancements. Pechanga’s long-time Executive Chef Duane Owen joins us to highlight the tasty new menus.

We’ll also get a progress report on Pechanga’s all you can enjoy Thursday evening Lobster & Seafood Extravaganza launched back in January. The star is one-and-one-quarter pound whole Maine lobster!

The lobster is done in an East Coast lobster bake style with roasted potatoes and corn on the cob. From 4 p.m. to close at 10 p.m. on Thursday, diners receive a piping hot lobster bake bag containing the just-cooked lobster (flown in from Maine the night before) and fixings. Guests can also pile high the enhanced buffet seafood selections from the upgraded sushi station, a whole-salmon carving station, fresh and baked oyster station, snow crab, fish tacos, ceviche, calamari, Dungeness crab, clam chowder, steamed shrimp and much more.

Jose MendozaThe most ambitious of the recently debuted restaurants is the Lobby Bar & Grill located in the striking Atrium between the Casino Hotel Tower and the Resort Hotel Tower.

“Fresh. Sustainable. Locally sourced ingredients. All blended together into a flavorful fusion of American, Mexican and Asian-inspired fare that pleases the palate and stimulates the senses.”

“Chef Jose Mendoza takes the California bistro concept to another level, using items grown in the rich Temecula Valley to create a menu that is both inspiring and inviting. This extends not only to the numerous vegetarian dishes available, but to the hand-crafted cocktails infused with local fruits and herbs. The Lobby Bar’s atrium location and versatile menu that includes dessert specialties from Pechanga’s in-house bakery make for a satisfying dining experience.”

“There are few more satisfying culinary indulgences than the perfect Sunday brunch, and at its newest dining establishment – the Lobby Bar & Grill — Pechanga Resort Casino has fused the Sunday brunch with the California bistro and live musical accompaniment to create the perfect mid-morning/early afternoon dining experience for every palate and taste. Plus, perhaps the perfect complement to Sunday brunch – a bottomless Bloody Mary bar and bottomless Mimosa bar.”

Overseeing this stylish new California bistro and bar serving breakfast, lunch, Sunday Brunch and dinner is Chef Jose Mendoza. We’ll meet him.

Jane KimThe water’s perfectly fine at Pechanga’s just-opened, 4.5- acre tropical oasis, The Cove, that promises comfort, cool and the ultimate tropical chill to guests. There is even a nifty swim-up bar.

“The Cove features three pools, including a zero-edge Main Pool that features a swim-up bar, a Family Pool with two waterslides and a splash pad and five spas. The Cove also features an emerald-green grassy area perfect for gatherings, parties or small weddings under the Southern California sun.”

What about the food? There is table-service dining, fast-casual dining, and a 4-sided, pool-side bar oasis. Included in the extensive libation offerings are representative Temecula craft beers and wines.

Managing all of this hospitable craziness is Jane Kim. We spirit her off the busy pool deck for a chat.

Ronnel Capacia at the Chili CookoffChef Ronnel Capacia is no stranger to the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” We first met him when he assumed the culinary reins of Kelsey’s. When we last chatted with him he had just been promoted to oversee Journey’s End at Pechanga.

Now he’s also taken on the added responsibilities as menu-maker for the Coveside Grill at The Cove. That includes a table service restaurant with a golf course or Cove view as well as a fast-casual spot.

Think Potato Chip Nachos. Also Kalua Pulled Pork Sliders with pineapple mango slaw, fried onions, BBQ sauce and served with house potato chips.

Plus creative Coveside Cocktails including The Coveside (Blended.) It’s Tito’s Vodka, Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum, Island Oasis Watermelon and Ice Cream Blend. Also, Temecula craft beers on tap and local wines by the glass and bottle.

Nicole BurgessAll of the lavish desserts and breakfast pastries are prepared in-house at Pechanga. They also create magnificent custom and wedding cakes. The bake shop also crafts artisan chocolates.

The sweets repertoire ranges from the popular Vanilla Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich with Raspberry Drizzle served at the Coveside Grill to the Crunchy & Buttery Walnut Cake with Oreo Cookie Ice Cream drizzled with caramel sauce and served with Amaretto Sabayon on the dessert menu at the Lobby Bar & Grill.

Pechanga’s assistant pastry chef Nicole Burgess has an artful hand in all of this. She joins us.

Commander Robert Durant of Inland Wharf BrewingOne of the newest craft breweries in the Inland Empire is Inland Wharf Brewing Co. in Murrieta. Their specialty is cask conditioned ales. We introduced them to our audience last year at Pechanga’s 9th Annual Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff. It’s been a year of great progress. Now their craft beer is on the beverage menu at The Cove.

They are also encoring at Pechanga’s upcoming 10th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff on Saturday afternoon, June 9th.

“The calling card for Inland Wharf Brewing Co. is the unique and labor intensive Cask Conditioned Ales served via Beer Engines.  In addition, Inland Wharf serves other beers on regular carbon dioxide and nitrogen regulated draft beer taps. Even though our Cask Conditioned Ales and Draft Beers use the same ingredients and recipes, their processing techniques vary widely.”

“The time-honored brewing and serving methods followed by Inland Wharf Brewing Co. ensures the development of exceptional appearance, aroma, and flavors in both its Cask Conditioned Ales and it’s Draft Beers.”

Owner & Brewer Commander (Retired) Robert Durant is our guest.

Chef Marlene Moore outside Cabana 14 at the CoveThe effervescent Chef Marlene Moore of Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga probably needs no introduction. At Temptations she even fries fresh donuts right there throughout the day & night.

Chef Marlene’s realm includes Caffee Cocoa – Fine Coffees and Coffee (24 hours), Pronto Italian, Agave Mexican Delights, American Classics (24 hours), Little Wok Asian Specialties, Pechanga Fried Chicken and Banh Mi (made to order) and hot dog carts.

In addition to Temptations Food Walk, Chef Marlene oversees all the food in the long-running Bingo Parlor and bustling Poker Room.

When it comes to Pechanga’s Annual Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff Chef Marlene (and her high energy team) are always in it to win it. Last year in a bit of an upset Chef Marlene (Pechanga’s 2-time Chili Champ) was unseated by Chef Ikeda of Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar whose sake-glazed Kobe beef chili reigned supreme.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Executive Chef Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Three: Chef Jose Mendoza, Lobby Bar & Grill, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Four: Jane Kim, Pool Manager, The Cove at Pechanga
Segment Five: Chef Ronnel Capacia, The Coveside Grill at The Cove & Journey’s End at Pechanga
Segment Six: Nicole Burgess, Assistant Pastry Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Seven: Robert Durant, Owner & Brewer, Inland Wharf Brewing Co.
Segment Eight: Chef Marlene Moore, Temptations Food Walk, Pechanga Resort & Casino

Show 227, June 10, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel

Andy Harris, Andrew Gruel and Ronnel Capacia at the 2017 Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili CookoffNow an intriguing preview of Saturday’s properly effervescent 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…

Craft beer enthusiasts rejoice ! We’re live this morning from the 9th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili Cook-off in beautiful Temecula Valley wine country. VIP entry into The Grand Ballroom is at 12 Noon and General Admission is from 1 to 5:00 p.m.

Chef Marlene Moore of the Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga is the 2-time, defending Chili Champ among the highly-talented chefs at Pechanga. For Saturday’s competition she is showcasing two chili creations including a vegetarian option made with tofu. Bragging rights for the next year are on-the-line. We’ll talk about crowd pleasing, award-winning chili (and more) with the always engaging Chef Marlene.

One of the newest craft breweries in the Inland Empire, Inland Wharf Brewing Co., is part of today’s Microbrew Festival for the very first time. Their specialty is cask conditioned ales dispensed from a beer engine. Owners Commander Robert Durant (retired) and Bill Sutton are our guests.

Ericka Luna is Pechanga’s veteran Director of Catering. She joins us for a status report on the in-progress, ambitious, $285 million expansion project. The new Hotel Tower is on track to welcome guests in December. Just in time for the Holidays.

Chef Damian Stanley is the busy Assistant Executive Chef at Pechanga. The highlight of his achievements to date is the revamping of the restaurant space that has evolved into the highly successful Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar. He’s also a two-time Pechanga Chili Champ but has gracefully retired from competition to let the restaurant chefs shine.

Sciabica’s California Olive Oil has been cold pressed in Modesto, California since 1936. The olive oil is used in the kitchens at Pechanga and Sciabica’s, now in its 4th generation of Family ownership, is part of the Microbrew Festival. Jim Livesay is our guest representing Sciabica’s California Olive Oil.

Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley  is the long-time charitable beneficiary of the Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili Cook-off. The mission of Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley, in partnership with God, is to facilitate the dream of homeownership, as well as improve living conditions for those in the community. We’ll meet long-time Executive Director, Tammy Marine.

Regular listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” know Chef Ronnel Capacia as the master of the grill, smoker and pizza oven at Kelsey’s – Great Food & Drinks. He’s just been promoted to Chef at Journey’s End at Pechanga, the stylish restaurant with incredible views located in the handsome clubhouse of the Journey golf course. We’ll get Chef Ronnel off the links for a chat.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

Play

Show 227, June 10, 2017: Chef Ronnel Capacia, Journey’s End at Pechanga

Ronnel Capacia at the Chili CookoffRegular listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” know Chef Ronnel Capacia as the master of the grill, smoker and pizza oven at Kelsey’s – Great Food & Drinks.

He’s just been promoted to Chef at Journey’s End at Pechanga, the stylish restaurant with incredible views located in the handsome clubhouse of the Journey golf course.

Special Father’s Day Brunch there on June 18th at $39 for Adults and $21 for Children. Everything from a Live Egg & Omelet Station to a Seafood Bar and Carved Roasted Prime Rib station. Also. a Louisiana-Style Seafood Boil.

Chef Ronnel is always a serious competitor (and one to watch) in the annual Pechanga Chili Cook-off.

We’ll get Chef Ronnel off the links for a chat.

Save

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Play

June 10: Live from the 9th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Festival & Chili Cookoff

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Chef Marlene Moore, Temptations Food Walk, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Three: Commander Robert Durant (retired) & Bill Sutton, Inland Wharf Brewing, Murrieta
Segment Four: Ericka Luna, Director of Catering, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Five: Chef Damian Stanley, Assistant Executive Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Six: Sciabica’s California Olive Oil, Modesto
Segment Seven: Tammy Marine, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley
Segment Eight: Chef Ronnel Capacia, Journey’s End at Pechanga

Now an intriguing preview of this Saturday’s properly effervescent 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…

Pechanga Microbrew FestivalCraft beer enthusiasts rejoice ! We’re live this morning from the 9th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili Cook-off in beautiful Temecula Valley wine country. VIP entry into The Grand Ballroom is at 12 Noon and General Admission is from 1 to 5:00 p.m.

Chef Marlene Moore of the Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga is the 2-time, defending Chili Champ among the highly-talented chefs at Pechanga. For Saturday’s competition she is showcasing two chili creations. Bragging rights for the next year are on-the-line. We’ll talk about crowd pleasing, award-winning chili (and more) with Chef Marlene.

One of the newest craft breweries in the Inland Empire, Inland Wharf Brewing Co., is part of today’s Microbrew Festival for the very first time. Their specialty is cask conditioned ales. Owners Commander (Retired) Robert Durant and Bill Sutton are our guests.

Ericka Luna is Pechanga’s veteran Director of Catering. She joins us for a status report on the in-progress, ambitious, $285 million expansion project. The new Hotel Tower is on track to welcome guests in December. Just in time for the Holidays.

Chef Damian Stanley is the busy Assistant Executive Chef at Pechanga. The highlight of his achievements to date is the revamping of the restaurant space that has evolved into the highly successful Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar. He’s also a two-time Pechanga Chili Champ but has gracefully retired from competition to let the restaurant chefs shine.

Sciabica’s California Olive Oil has been cold pressed in Modesto, California since 1936. The olive oil is used in the kitchens at Pechanga and Sciabica’s, now in its 4th generation of Family ownership, is part of the Microbrew Festival. Jim Livesay is our guest representing Sciabica’s California Olive Oil.

Regular listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” know Chef Ronnel Capacia as the master of the grill, smoker and pizza oven at Kelsey’s – Great Food & Drinks. He’s just been promoted to Chef at Journey’s End at Pechanga, the stylish restaurant with incredible views located in the handsome clubhouse of the Journey golf course. We’ll get Chef Ronnel off the links for a chat.

Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley is the long-time charitable beneficiary of the Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili Cook-off. The mission of Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley, in partnership with God, is to facilitate the dream of homeownership, as well as improve living conditions for those in the community. We’ll meet long-time Executive Director, Tammy Marine.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

Marlene Moore at the Pechanga Wine FestivalChef Marlene Moore of the Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga is the 2-time, defending Chili Champ among the highly-talented chefs at Pechanga. For Saturday’s competition she is showcasing two chili creations. Bragging rights are on-the-line.

All of the menu items at Temptations ranging from authentic Chinese stir-fry to Pechanga fried chicken are conveniently available to-go, too.

We’ll talk about crowd pleasing, award-winning chili (and more) with Chef Marlene.

Commander Robert Durant of Inland Wharf BrewingOne of the newest craft breweries in the Inland Empire, Murrieta’s Inland Wharf Brewing Co., is part of today’s Microbrew Festival for the very first time. Their specialty is cask conditioned ales.

“The calling card for Inland Wharf Brewing Co. is the unique and labor intensive, Cask Conditioned Ales served via Beer Engines.  In addition, Inland Wharf serves other beers on regular carbon dioxide and nitrogen regulated draft beer taps. Even though our Cask Conditioned Ales and Draft Beers use the same ingredients and recipes, their processing techniques vary widely.”
“The time-honored brewing and serving methods followed by Inland Wharf Brewing Co. ensures the development of exceptional appearance, aroma, and flavors in both its Cask Conditioned Ales and it’s Draft Beers.”

Owners Commander (Retired) Robert Durant and Bill Sutton are our guests.

Ericka LunaEricka Luna is Pechanga’s veteran Director of Catering. She first joined Pechanga in 2004 as Manager of Catering and was promoted to her current post in 2010. Erika joins us for a status report on the in-progress, ambitious, $285 million expansion project.

The ambitious project involves adding a new, AAA Four Diamond, 568-room and suite hotel wing; a stand-alone luxury two-story spa and salon with 17 treatment rooms, a fitness center and hydrotherapy pool terrace; a resort-style pool complex with eight pool areas; two new restaurants; and an additional 67,000 square feet of event space.

The new Hotel Tower is on track to welcome guests in December. Just in time for the Holidays. The fabulous Las Vegas-style pool deck with cabanas and all the requisite luxury VIP amenities will debut in the Spring.

Danian StanleyChef Damian Stanley is the Assistant Executive Chef at Pechanga. The highlight of his numerous achievements to date is the revamping of the restaurant space that has evolved into the highly successful Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar.

Umi means “sea” in Japanese. On the extensive menu are sushi, sashimi, nigiri, rolls, oysters on the half shell, seafood platters, specialty cocktails and so much more.

He’s also a two-time Pechanga Chili Champ (2014 & 2015) but has gracefully retired from competition to let the individual restaurant chefs have a clear field.

Sciabica's California Olive OilSciabica’s California Olive Oil has been cold pressed in California since 1936. The olive oil is used in the kitchens at Pechanga and Sciabica’s, now in its 4th generation of Family ownership, is part of the Microbrew Festival.

“The Sciabica family’s long tradition of olive oil production began in Sicily, in the olive oil mills of Castelvetrano in the province of Trapani – a region famous for olives and olive oil. In 1887 Nicola (Nick) Sciabica was born in Marsala, Sicily and as a young man, he learned the ancient art of producing olive oil in Trapani.”

“In 1911 Nicola immigrated to the United States, settled and started a family in Waterbury Connecticut, but longed for the warm Mediterranean climate. After many years of searching, he eventually found Modesto, California. He fell in love with Modesto. Nicola said, “This is like home.” and in 1925, with his wife and their 3 sons, he purchased a small ranch in Modesto.”

“11 years later, in 1936, with the knowledge that Nicola brought from olive oil making in Sicily, the Sciabicas began cold-pressing Marsala® Brand Olive Oil (named after his birthplace). Marsala is now the undisputed oldest continuously produced California Olive Oil. Today, the Sciabicas still reside, farm and cold-press olive oil on the same property.”

“In the late 80’s the family pioneered “single varietal” olive oils, keeping individual olive types separate (just like wine). For over 30 years we have been offering our single varietal olive oils under the Sciabica’s® label, ranging from Buttery-Sweet to Peppery & Robust, depending on the olive varietal and season of pressing. In the 90’s the family again blazed a new path with ‘Fresh Flavored’ olive oil, uniquely made fresh in the press by sending fresh fruit, herbs or peppers (such as Lemons, Basil and Jalapeños) with the olives through the presses. 2 ingredients, no artificials or heat infusion, resulting in a remarkable fresh flavor and health experience.”

Jim Livesay is our guest representing Sciabica’s California Olive Oil.

habitat-humanity-inland-valleyHabitat for Humanity Inland Valley is the long-time charitable beneficiary of the Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili Cook-off. The mission of Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley, in partnership with God, is to facilitate the dream of homeownership, as well as improve living conditions for those in the community.

Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley was founded on Christian principles in 1991, as an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, to provide low income housing for families in the Inland Valley.

“We serve the cities of Temecula, Murrieta, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Sun City, Menifee, and Perris. Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally, as well as globally, through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their housing conditions.”

“Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, decent place to live and that it should be a matter of conscience and action for all.”

We’ll meet long-time Executive Director, Tammy Marine.

Ronnell Capacia at the Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili CookoffRegular listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” know Chef Ronnel Capacia as the master of the grill, smoker and pizza oven at Kelsey’s – Great Food & Drinks.

He’s just been promoted to Chef at Journey’s End at Pechanga, the stylish restaurant with incredible views located in the handsome clubhouse of the Journey golf course.

Chef Ronnel is always a serious competitor (and one to watch) in the annual Pechanga Chili Cook-off.

We’ll get Chef Ronnel off the links for a chat.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Chef Marlene Moore, Temptations Food Walk, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Three: Commander Robert Durant (retired) & Bill Sutton, Inland Wharf Brewing, Murrieta
Segment Four: Ericka Luna, Director of Catering, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Five: Chef Damian Stanley, Assistant Executive Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino
Segment Six: Sciabica’s California Olive Oil, Modesto
Segment Seven: Tammy Marine, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley
Segment Eight: Chef Ronnel Capacia, Journey’s End at Pechanga

Show 210, February 11, 2017: Alex Pena, Manager, Great Oak Steakhouse, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula

Alex Pena at the Pechanga Wine FestivalThe Great Oak Steakhouse at Pechanga is one of the most highly regarded fine dining restaurants in the Inland Empire. It’s premium seafood, 100 per cent Prime Angus beef, and an exceptional wine cellar to match. It’s a consistent AAA Four-Diamond Award establishment.

“With an outstanding menu created by award-winning head chef Martin Venegas, a visit to Great Oak promises to be memorable on every level. Martin’s philosophy is no secret: find the best product, use the right ingredients, and execute every creation in a way that brings forward the very best of the flavor profile. Taste the art of deep culinary passion at this signature dining destination.”

The Great Oaks’ accomplished Manager, Alex Pena (who started at Pechanga 13 years ago as a server), is our guest. Previously he has had management positions at Pechanga’s Kelsey’s – Great Food & Drinks and Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar.

 

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Show 199, November 26, 2016: Chef Marlene Moore, Temptations Food Walk, Pechanga Resort & Casino

Marlene Moore at the Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili CookoffChef Marlene Moore is the high-energy chef at the popular Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula. She is famous for the signature Pechanga Fried Chicken.

Earlier this year she successfully defended her title as Pechanga’s Chili Champ by, again, besting eight other talented Pechanga chefs in the 8th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Fest & Chili Cook-off which was a benefit for Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley.

Her winning chili creation is “Temptation” Hearty Southern Style Chili.

Chef Moore, originally from Trinidad and Tobago, retained her title despite stiff competition from Chef Ronnel Capacia of Kelsey’s, who serves southwestern chili in his appetizer selections for lunch and dinner every day. Now in its eighth year, 1,459 people came to enjoy craft and microbrews, chili and music at the 2016 Pechanga Microbrew Festival.

We’ll catch-up with the always on-the-move Chef Marlene.

Keep in mind the “Temptation” Hearty Southern Style Chili is an inspired side dish for Holiday entertaining and the upcoming college football bowl game viewing parties in late December. The recipe is posted on our Website courtesy of Chef Marlene :

Also, by popular demand, Chef Marlene’s championship “Temptation” Hearty Southern Style Chili (with a side of Chef Marlene’s signature corn bread) will be available at American Classics in the Temptations Food Walk at Pechanga for December, January & February.

Pechanga is your Personal Chef for the Holidays. Complete Christmas dinners (Turkey or Bone-in Prime Rib) are available to go with all the trimmings. Convenient pickup on December 25th between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at the Hotel Valet adjacent to Blends Coffee & Wine Bar. Call (951) 770-2307. Please order by December 23rd.

We’ll catch-up with the always on-the-move Chef Marlene.

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Show 195, October 29, 2016: Andre Pinto, Restaurant Chef, Paisano’s Italian Restaurant, Pechanga Resort & Casino

Andre Pinto of Paisanos Italian Restaurant at PechangaPechanga Resort & Casino in Wine Country Temecula just off the 15 Freeway has a well-earned reputation for excellence in all levels of dining. Their signature Italian restaurant is Paisano’s Italian Restaurant. Newly arrived there in the open kitchen is Chef Andre Pinto. We’ll meet him.

Promoted from the position of kitchen supervisor for Kelsey’s restaurant, Chef Pinto, 32, showed Pechanga culinary management he possesses both the technical and creative passion for food required to be a head chef at California’s largest resort / casino. Before spending a year and one-half in the kitchen at the newly renovated Kelsey’s restaurant, Pinto spent 10 years working at two of the east coast’s top restaurants. Earlier in his career he was immersed in preparing Italian cuisine at respected establishments in the Boston area.

Originally from Salvador, Bahia in Brazil, Andre Pinto recalls helping his mother in the kitchen at home often when he was a teenager. “The other kids would be out playing soccer, and I love soccer, but I wanted to help my mom make cold feijoada (Brazilian black bean stew) and see how it came together,” says Pinto. He also tried his hand at making cakes.

“I’m so happy and humbled to have been promoted to the head chef for Paisano’s,” said Pinto. “We have a great team here, and already, it’s exciting to see some of the regulars who have come back for my dishes. My approach to food is Brazilian meets East Coast meets West Coast while still remaining true to authentic Italian flavors, though the most important thing, every ingredient must be the freshest it possibly can.”

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