Show 289, September 8, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Program Note for Saturday, Sept. 15th:
Please join us at the special time of 4 to 5:00 p.m. for Saturday afternoon, Sept. 15th only right before the Angels Game.

Now a captivating preview of this Saturday’s mouthwatering 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…

San Diego area food fans who are pursuing careers in the culinary arts, enology/viticulture and beverage studies attention, please. The San Diego Chapter of The American Institute of Wine & Food is now accepting applications for Scholarships in full or part-time accredited continuing education programs. The scholarships typically range from $500 to $2,000, and the funds do not need to be repaid. Lisa Lipton, Esq., AIWF San Diego Scholarship Chair joins us with the details.

Chef/Co-Owner Art Gonzalez’s Panxa Cocina, Long Beach’s only dedicated modern Southwestern restaurant, has launched its first-ever month-long Hatch chile celebration throughout the entire month of September, with a portion of the proceeds going to New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute. The Hatch Chile menu is served lunch and dinner, seven-days. Chef Art has the flavor-packed details.

El Segundo’s R6 Distillery & Smoky Hollow Tasting & Taproom was established in 2014 by Head Distiller Rob Rubens. Rob fell in love with the mystery and art of distillation after his first (and unplanned) trip to Old New Orleans Rum Distillery. He realized it was time for a change. After scraping together savings, visiting plenty of distilleries and breweries, it was time to perhaps start another great wave. Coupling his experience with the desire to bring quality spirits to greater Los Angeles, Rob decided to open this speakeasy inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy.

Journalist and Las Vegas insider Al Mancini is a graduate of Seton Hall University and Brooklyn Law School, who began his career in journalism as a music reporter for ABC News Radio in 1996. He moved to Las Vegas to cover Southern Nevada for the network in 2001, and has covered the local dining scene for numerous publications since 2003. Al joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a Staff Writer in 2016. Al got to know the celebrated Robin Leach over all those years. Al joins us to share a side of Robin that you probably don’t know from just seeing him on television.

It’s California Wine Month and we’re celebrating in style with the General Manager, Brian Cousins, and Kenny Spost, Executive Chef of Westwood’s Napa Valley Grille. Combining local, seasonal ingredients, artisan products and an expansive selection of regional wine, Napa Valley Grille recreates the charm, bounty and palates distinctive of West Coast wine country in a sophisticated setting within Westwood Village.

Turtle Rock Vineyards is a small, family-owned winery located in Paso Robles founded by Don & Claudia Burns. “Our winemaking philosophy is simple, you can’t make great wine without great fruit. We source our fruit from some of the finest vineyards in the Templeton Gap area of Paso Robles. Through sustainable farming practices, low yields, and harvesting at optimal ripeness, we are able to make wines with both intensity and balance. We hope these wines reflect the beauty of the wonderful places these grapes are grown as well as the people who nurture them.” Claudia Burns uncorks it for us.

Chef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of “Ask the Chef.” We’re thinking totally wacky food news…

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

Play

Show 289, September 8, 2018: General Manager Brian Cousins, Executive Chef Kenny Spost, Napa Valley Grille, Westwood

Brian CousinsIt’s California Wine Month and we’re popping the cork in style with the General Manager, Brian Cousins, and Kenny Spost, Executive Chef of Westwood’s Napa Valley Grille. Their contribution to California Wine Month is the special menu pairing of “Three Cabs & a Burger.”

It’s Chef Kenny’s Glendon Burger (with Blue Cheese, Rosemary Maple Cured Bacon & Sweet Onion Relish) with 2015 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, 2014 Foley Johnson Cabernet Rutherford and 2013 Vine Cliff Cabernet Oakville.

Combining local, seasonal ingredients, artisan products and an expansive selection of regional wine, Napa Valley Grille recreates the charm, bounty and palates distinctive of West Coast wine country in a sophisticated setting within Westwood Village.

Play

September 8: AIWF San Diego, Panxa Cocina, R6 Distillery, Al Mancini, Napa Valley Grille, Turtle Rock Vineyards

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Lisa Lipton, Esq., The American Institute of Wine & Food, San Diego Scholarship Chair
Segment Three: Chef/Co-Owner Art Gonzalez, Panxa Cocina, Long Beach
Segment Four: Rob Rubens, Proprietor & Head Distiller, R6 Distillery & Smoky Hollow Tasting &amp Taproom, El Segundo
Segment Five: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas
Segment Six: General Manager Brian Cousins, Executive Chef Kenny Spost, Napa Valley Grille, Westwood
Segment Seven: Claudia Burns, Owner, Turtle Rock Vineyards, Paso Robles
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Now a captivating preview of this Saturday’s mouthwatering 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…

San Diego area food fans who are pursuing careers in the culinary arts, enology/viticulture and beverage studies attention, please. The San Diego Chapter of The American Institute of Wine & Food is now accepting applications for Scholarships in full or part-time accredited continuing education programs. The scholarships typically range from $500 to $2,000, and the funds do not need to be repaid. Lisa Lipton, Esq., AIWF San Diego Scholarship Chair joins us with the details.

Chef/Co-Owner Art Gonzalez’s Panxa Cocina, Long Beach’s only dedicated modern Southwestern restaurant, has launched its first-ever month-long Hatch chile celebration throughout the entire month of September, with a portion of the proceeds going to New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute. The Hatch chile menu is served lunch and dinner, seven-days. Chef Art has the flavor-packed details.

El Segundo’s R6 Distillery & Smoky Hollow Tasting & Taproom was established in 2014 by Head Distiller Rob Rubens. Rob fell in love with the mystery and art of distillation after his first (and unplanned) trip to Old New Orleans Rum Distillery.  He realized it was time for a change.  After scraping together savings, visiting plenty of distilleries and breweries, it was time to perhaps start another great wave. Coupling his experience with the desire to bring quality spirits to greater Los Angeles, Rob decided to open this speakeasy inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy.

Journalist and Las Vegas insider Al Mancini is a graduate of Seton Hall University and Brooklyn Law School, who began his career in journalism as a music reporter for ABC News Radio in 1996. He moved to Las Vegas to cover Southern Nevada for the network in 2001, and has covered the local dining scene for numerous publications since 2003. Al joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a Staff Writer in 2016. Al got to know the celebrated Robin Leach over all those years. Al joins us to share a side of Robin that you probably don’t know from just seeing him on television.

It’s California Wine Month and we’re celebrating in style with the General Manager, Brian Cousins, and Kenny Spost, Executive Chef of Westwood’s Napa Valley Grille. Combining local, seasonal ingredients, artisan products and an expansive selection of regional wine, Napa Valley Grille recreates the charm, bounty and palates distinctive of West Coast wine country in a sophisticated setting within Westwood Village.

Turtle Rock Vineyards is a small, family-owned winery located in Paso Robles founded by Don & Claudia Burns. “Our winemaking philosophy is simple, you can’t make great wine without great fruit. We source our fruit from some of the finest vineyards in the Templeton Gap area of Paso Robles. Through sustainable farming practices, low yields, and harvesting at optimal ripeness, we are able to make wines with both intensity and balance. We hope these wines reflect the beauty of the wonderful places these grapes are grown as well as the people who nurture them.” Claudia Burns uncorks it for us.

Chef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of “Ask the Chef.” We’re thinking totally wacky food news…

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

Lisa LiptonSan Diego area food fans who are pursuing careers in the culinary arts, enology / viticulture and beverage studies attention, please. The San Diego Chapter of The American Institute of Wine & Food is now accepting applications for Scholarships in full or part-time accredited continuing education programs. The scholarships typically range from $500 to $2,000, and the funds do not need to be repaid.

The American Institute of Wine & Food (AIWF) is a national non-profit educational organization established in 1981 by Robert Mondavi, Julia Child, Richard Graff, and others to promote a forum for the study and enjoyment of gastronomy. The AIWF is dedicated to advancing the understanding, appreciation, and quality of wine and food through fun educational experiences in support of its Days of Taste® and Scholarship programs.

The AIWF, San Diego Chapter awards scholarships for the pursuit of culinary arts, enology/viticulture, and beverage studies in full or part-time accredited continuing education programs. All schools must be accredited and offer continuous relevant hands-on, in-person experience (not online). Since the money for the scholarships is raised by the San Diego Chapter, scholarships are only awarded to people who are connected to San Diego by school, work, or recent involvement in food or wine/beverage in the area. The scholarship money may be used for study within or outside of San Diego County.

Applications will be accepted until October, 1 2018. Select applicants will be notified of an interview sometime in October.

Lisa Lipton, Esq., AIWF San Diego Scholarship Chair joins us with the details.

Arthur GonzalezChef/Co-Owner Art Gonzalezs Panxa Cocina, Long Beach’s only dedicated modern Southwestern restaurant, has launched its first-ever month-long Hatch Chile celebration throughout the entire month of September, with a portion of the proceeds going to New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute. The Hatch Chile menu is served lunch and dinner, seven-days.

The month-long culinary event, led and inspired by Panxa Cocina’s Executive Chef/Co-Owner Arthur Gonzalez in collaboration with the Chile Pepper Institute’s Co-Founder, Director, and world renowned chile pepper breeder Dr. Paul Bosland, will include diverse programming surrounding the distinctly New Mexican Hatch green chile. Dr. Paul Bosland will be consulting with Chef Gonzalez on the tasting menu to provide guests with the most flavorful chiles available within September’s peak harvest season.

Panxa Cocina’s Hatch Chile Month tasting menu will be available for lunch and dinner featuring authentic Southwestern favorites with highlights including Heirloom Blue Corn Quesadilla with roasted Hatch chile jam, squash blossom, and house queso fresco; and Wagyu Country Fried Steak with Hatch chile gravy.

On Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16 from 12-5 p.m., Panxa Cocina will transform a dedicated outdoor space steps from the restaurant to serve as the ultimate “chile roast-out” so guests can have the opportunity to see the roasting firsthand and take home the beloved Southwestern ingredient to enjoy in their own homes. The roasted Hatch chiles freeze well.

Chef Art has the flavor-packed details.

Rob RubensEl Segundo’s R6 Distillery & Smoky Hollow Tasting & Taproom was established in 2014 by Head Distiller Rob Rubens. Rob fell in love with the mystery and art of distillation after his first (and unplanned) trip to Old New Orleans Rum Distillery.  He realized it was time for a change.

After scraping together savings, visiting plenty of distilleries and breweries, it was time to perhaps start another great wave. Coupling his experience with the desire to bring quality spirits to greater Los Angeles, Rob decided to open this speakeasy inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy.

Product highlights include R6 Vodka, R6 Blue Corn Bourbon, R6 Bourbon, R6 Rye, R6 Single Malt Whiskey, R6 Wheat Whiskey and R6 Rum.

Al ManciniJournalist and Las Vegas insider Al Mancini is a graduate of Seton Hall University and Brooklyn Law School, who began his career in journalism as a music reporter for ABC News Radio in 1996. He moved to Las Vegas to cover Southern Nevada for the network in 2001, and has covered the local dining scene for numerous publications since 2003. Al joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a Staff Writer in 2016.

Al got to know the celebrated Robin Leach (“Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous”) over all those years. First it was crossing paths with Robin frequently at the numerous, high-profile Vegas red carpet events they both covered. Robin was already a contributor to the Las-Vegas Review-Journal when Al joined the paper in 2016.

Al joins us to share a side of Robin that you probably don’t know from just seeing him on television. Robin Leach was an unrivaled champion of promoting Las Vegas as a world class destination. Also, very charitable.

Brian CousinsIt’s California Wine Month and we’re popping the cork in style with the General Manager, Brian Cousins, and Kenny Spost, Executive Chef of Westwood’s Napa Valley Grille. Their contribution to California Wine Month is the special menu pairing of “Three Cabs & a Burger.” It’s their Glendon Burger (with Blue Cheese, Rosemary Maple Cured Bacon & Sweet Onion Relish) with 2015 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, 2014 Foley Johnson Cabernet Rutherford and 2013 Vine Cliff Cabernet Oakville.

Combining local, seasonal ingredients, artisan products and an expansive selection of regional wine, Napa Valley Grille recreates the charm, bounty and palates distinctive of West Coast wine country in a sophisticated setting within Westwood Village.

Claudia BurnsTurtle Rock Vineyards is a small, proudly family -owned winery located in Paso Robles founded by Don & Claudia Burns. “Our winemaking philosophy is simple, you can’t make great wine without great fruit. We source our fruit from some of the finest vineyards in the Templeton Gap area of Paso Robles. Through sustainable farming practices, low yields, and harvesting at optimal ripeness, we are able to make wines with both intensity and balance. We hope these wines reflect the beauty of the wonderful places these grapes are grown as well as the people who nurture them.”

“Turtle Rock Vineyards began because of Don’s love for the area where he grew up. He moved to a small property on Willow Creek Road when he was 12. The property was nestled in the Templeton Gap at 1150 feet of elevation and owned by his uncle, Tom Westberg. Realizing the potential of the property Tom planted almost 4 acres of vines, mostly Zinfandel, in the mid-eighties. Don graduated from Mission High School then moved on to Ag Business at Cal Poly. Needing a change, Don knew he wanted leave the small town of Templeton and see what else was out there.”

“In 1999 he began a two -year sailboat trip through Central America that ended in Palm Beach, FL. There, Don began working at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse where his love of wine was sparked again. With access to wine from all over the world, his fondness for the Rhone Valley began to emerge. Don would come back many harvests and work alongside of his longtime friend, Justin Smith of Saxum. He knew it was only a matter of time before he would return home.”

“It took him a little longer than he thought because he met the love of his life Claudia. Soon there was a beautiful beach wedding and the birth of their pride and joy Willow. In June 2008 it was finally time to return home. After a two- week cross country adventure with their six- month old baby girl and 15-year old dog, they arrived in Paso Robles. It was then that Tom and his wife Peggy gave Don an amazing opportunity. He was able to bring the small family vineyard back to life and reintroduce the family label, Westberg Cellars. With guidance from Tom, they opened a tasting room in a small barn on the Westberg property and poured primarily Zinfandel, Sangiovese and Chardonnay.”

“When Don was not working on the Westberg property he was next door interning with Justin Smith. That time solidified his decision on the kind of wine he wanted to make. Because the Rhone varietals were so different from the Westberg label he knew they had to come up with a new brand. Don and Claudia thought about it a lot. One day at the tasting room there was an “Aha” moment when Willow was playing with one of the farm dogs sitting on a “turtle rock”. It was a big calcareous limestone rock pulled from the Westberg vineyard years ago. Over time the rocks wear down and look like the back of a turtle shell. That was it, Turtle Rock was born…”

Claudia Burns uncorks it all for us.

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamChef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of Ask the Chef.” We’re thinking totally wacky food news…You’ll be surprised.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Lisa Lipton, Esq., The American Institute of Wine & Food, San Diego Scholarship Chair
Segment Three: Chef/Co-Owner Art Gonzalez, Panxa Cocina, Long Beach
Segment Four: Rob Rubens, Proprietor & Head Distiller, R6 Distillery & Smoky Hollow Tasting &amp Taproom, El Segundo
Segment Five: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas
Segment Six: General Manager Brian Cousins, Executive Chef Kenny Spost, Napa Valley Grille, Westwood
Segment Seven: Claudia Burns, Owner, Turtle Rock Vineyards, Paso Robles
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Show 277, June 16, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Andrew and William GruelHappy Father’s Day to all our Dads out there (including our Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel who is expecting another Family member to arrive later in the year.)

Now an attention-grabbing preview of this Saturday’s abundant 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…

The iconic Test Kitchen located at the historic Los Angeles Times building in Downtown Los Angeles is truly a wonder. It was built, state-of-the-art, in 2000 when that floor was extensively remodeled after the paper’s printing presses were moved to a new production facility on Olympic Blvd. It’s an expansive space steeped in local history. With the consolidation in the media over the years very few newspapers or magazines maintain Test Kitchens. They are costly to operate. Fortunately, the Times’ Test Kitchen endures. The Test Kitchen Director, Noelle Carter, is our enthusiastic guide.

Shrub cocktails (both with alcohol and virgin) are now on the menu at better bars everywhere. Enter Solvang’s CT and Jody Williams who have long been in the beverage industry, both working in the wine industry for the last 15 years and owning their own wine bar (Wandering Dog Wine Bar) for the last eleven of those. After enjoying some shrub cocktails at a local restaurant they started thinking about how fun it would be to start making their own for home consumption. It grew dramatically from there and Broken Clock Vinegar Works Founder CT Williams has all the quaffable 411 for us.

At NZ Wine Navigator (virtual store,) you’ll find the finest selection of artisanal New Zealand wines available in the US delivered right to your door.  Personally selected by Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas (the first MS in New Zealand and the official global ambassador of New Zealand wines), these wines prove that New Zealand is much more than Sauvignon Blanc. Westwood’s Napa Valley Grille is hosting a special NZ Wine Navigator Dinner there on Thursday evening, June 28th. Napa Valley Grille’s General Manager, Brian Cousins, and Executive Chef Kenny Spost pull the cork for us with the tempting specifics.

Nicolas-Jay is a pinot noir venture located in the heart of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Celebrated Burgundian winemaker, Jean-Nicolas Meo of Domaine Meo-Camuzet, and music and media entrepreneur, Jay Boberg, lend their individual talents and shared dedication to the winery, where traditional French winemaking meets quintessential Oregon terroir. Jay Boberg is our guest.

Los Olivos’ The Bear and Star under the culinary direction of Executive Chef John Cox, serves “Refined Ranch Cuisine” with flair inspired by the Parker family at the eponymous Fess Parker Wine Country Inn. The restaurant utilizes proteins and vegetables sourced from the nearby Parker Ranch, an incredible resource. The Bear and Star serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and is both a destination and a favorite of the locals. Chef John (The Cowboy Chef) is our guest.

Chef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of “Ask the Chef.” Swordfish is on a lot of restaurant menus. It’s a big one…When harvested it typically weighs some 200 to 600 pounds but can grow much larger. It’s mild flavor and firm texture makes it a very popular fish. Chef Andrew provides more insight.

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

Play

Show 277, June 16, 2018: NZ Wine Navigator Dinner at Napa Valley Grille, Westwood

Brian CousinsAt NZ Wine Navigator (virtual store,) you’ll discover the finest selection of artisanal New Zealand wines available in the US delivered right to your door. Personally selected by Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas (the first MS in New Zealand and the official global ambassador of New Zealand wines), these wines prove that New Zealand is much more than Sauvignon Blanc.

Westwood’s Napa Valley Grille is hosting a special NZ Wine Navigator Dinner there on Thursday evening, June 28th. Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas (direct from New Zealand) will be attending to present the wines and interact with the guests.

Expect, as one of the courses, an exceptional lamb dish matched with both a Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Napa Valley Grille’s General Manager, Brian Cousins, and Executive Chef Kenny Spost pull the cork for us on the specifics.

Play

June 16: Noelle Carter, Broken Clock Vinegar Works, Napa Valley Grille, Nicolas-Jay, The Bear and Star

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Noelle Carter, Test Kitchen Director, Los Angeles Times Part One
Segment Three: Noelle Carter, Test Kitchen Director, Los Angeles Times Part Two
Segment Four: Charles T. Williams, Master Shrubber, Broken Clock Vinegar Works, Solvang, CA
Segment Five: NZ Wine Navigator Dinner at Napa Valley Grille, Westwood
Segment Six: Jay Boberg, Co-Founder, Nicolas-Jay, Dundee, Oregon
Segment Seven: Executive Chef John Cox, The Bear and Star, Los Olivos, CA
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Oops…Sorry to have missed you last Saturday afternoon following the Angels game. The Angels were unusually in rain delay in Minnesota for four hours from 11:00 a.m. on. At 2:20 p.m. MLB finally determined that the game would start at 3:10 p.m. As we were previously set to go from 3 to 5:00 p.m. (if the Game started @ 11:00 a.m. as planned) that meant we were then preempted. The good news is that all those guests will be on the show in the coming weeks.

Now an attention-grabbing preview of this Saturday’s abundant 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…

The iconic Test Kitchen located at the Los Angeles Times building in Downtown Los Angeles is truly a wonder. It was built, state-of-the-art, in 2000 when that floor was extensively remodeled after the paper’s printing presses were moved to a new production facility on Olympic Blvd. It’s an expansive space steeped in local history. With the consolidation in the media over the years very few newspapers or magazines maintain Test Kitchens. They are costly to operate. Fortunately, the Times’ Test Kitchen endures. The Test Kitchen Director, Noelle Carter, is our enthusiastic guide.

Shrub cocktails (both with alcohol and virgin) are now on the menu at better bars everywhere. Enter Solvang’s CT and Jody Williams who have long been in the beverage industry, both working in the wine industry for the last 15 years and owning their own wine bar for the last eleven of those. After enjoying some shrub cocktails at a local restaurant they started thinking about how fun it would be to start making their own for home consumption. It grew dramatically from there and Broken Clock Vinegar Works (Shrubs and Culinary Vinegars) was born. Founder CT Williams has all the quaffable 411 for us.

At NZ Wine Navigator (virtual store,) you’ll find the finest selection of artisanal New Zealand wines available in the US delivered right to your door.  Personally selected by Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas (the first MS in New Zealand and the official global ambassador of New Zealand wines), these wines prove that New Zealand is much more than Sauvignon Blanc. Westwood’s Napa Valley Grille is hosting a special NZ Wine Navigator Dinner there on Thursday evening, June 28th. Napa Valley Grille’s General Manager, Brian Cousins, and Executive Chef Kenny Spost pull the cork for us with the specifics.

Nicolas-Jay is a pinot noir venture located in the heart of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Celebrated Burgundian winemaker, Jean-Nicolas Meo of Domaine Meo-Camuzet, and music and media entrepreneur, Jay Boberg, lend their individual talents and shared dedication to the winery, where traditional French winemaking meets quintessential Oregon terroir. Jay Boberg is our guest.

Los Olivos’ The Bear and Star under the culinary direction of Executive Chef John Cox, serves “Refined Ranch Cuisine” with flair inspired by the Parker family at the eponymous Fess Parker Wine Country Inn. The restaurant utilizes proteins and vegetables sourced from the nearby Parker Ranch, an incredible resource. The Bear and Star serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and is both a destination and a favorite of the locals. Chef John (The Cowboy Chef) is our guest.

Chef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of “Ask the Chef.” Swordfish is on a lot of restaurant menus. It’s a big one…When harvested it typically weighs some 200 to 600 pounds but can grow much larger. It’s mild flavor and firm texture makes it a very popular fish. Chef Andrew provides more insight.

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

Noelle CarterThe iconic Test Kitchen located at the historic Los Angeles Times building in Downtown Los Angeles is truly a wonder. It was built, state-of-the-art, in 2000 when that floor was extensively remodeled after the paper’s printing presses were moved to a new production facility on Olympic Blvd. It’s a space steeped in local history.

With the consolidation in the media over the years very few newspapers or magazines maintain Test Kitchens. They are costly to operate. Fortunately the Times’ Test Kitchen endures.

The Test Kitchen Director, Noelle Carter, is our enthusiastic guide.

Every recipe appearing in The Los Angeles Times is thoroughly tested on home equipment in the Test Kitchen. Famous chefs ranging from Thomas Keller to Nancy Silverton have spent time in there. You’ve also seen the Test Kitchen on the KTLA 5 Morning News during the time Russ Parsons (the previous, long-serving Food Editor) did weekly segments from the facility.

Charles CT WilliamsShrub cocktails (both with alcohol and virgin) are now on the menu at better bars everywhere. Enter Solvang’s CT and Jody Williams who have long been in the beverage industry, both working in the wine industry for the last 15 years and owning their own wine bar for the last eleven of those. In that time, a love of organic gardening has quite literally taken over their backyard and with that a fascination for all things that can be produced from the plethora of fruits, veggies and roots coming out of their soil.

After enjoying some shrub cocktails at a local restaurant they started thinking how fun it would be to start making their own for home consumption. Naturally, that led to the idea to be able to share these fun flavors with other farm-minded people who love the science of infusing and fermentation.

From there Broken Clock Vinegar Works was born, as these drinking vinegars can be enjoyed anytime of day, either with a dash of your favorite spirit or with a glass of sparkling water. The Williams’ daughter, Audrey, enjoys sipping Shrub sodas when she’s feeling fancy! She’s also very helpful at the winery doing punch downs and taste testing new flavors.

The Broken Clock Vinegar Works will debut their Tasting Room on June 23rd. It’s the only certified Winery in Solvang.

Founder CT Williams (and Master Shrubber) has all the quaffable 411 for us.

Brian CousinsAt NZ Wine Navigator (virtual store,) you’ll discover the finest selection of artisanal New Zealand wines available in the US delivered right to your door.  Personally selected by Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas (the first MS in New Zealand and the official global ambassador of New Zealand wines), these wines prove that New Zealand is much more than Sauvignon Blanc.

Westwood’s Napa Valley Grille is hosting a special NZ Wine Navigator Dinner there on Thursday evening, June 28th. Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas (direct from New Zealand) will be attending to present the wines and interact with the guests.

Napa Valley Grille’s General Manager, Brian Cousins, and Executive Chef Kenny Spost pull the cork for us on the specifics.

Jay BobergNicolas-Jay is a pinot noir venture located in the heart of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Celebrated Burgundian winemaker, Jean-Nicolas Meo of Domaine Meo-Camuzet, and music and media entrepreneur, Jay Boberg, lend their individual talents and shared dedication to the winery, where traditional French winemaking meets quintessential Oregon terroir.

Fruit for the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is sourced from almost every AVA in the Willamette Valley, ensuring optimal blending potential and representation of the diversity of pinot noir in the appellation. Unique sites include vineyards located in the high-elevation Eola-Amity Hills, the foothills of the cool coastal range in the McMinnville AVA, the warm red-soiled vineyards of the Dundee Hills and our expressive Bishop Creek Vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. This wine is sourced almost exclusively from biodynamic, organic and LIVE certified vineyards.

“Pinot Noir is my desert island wine,” says Jay Boberg, “and I love the Pinots from Oregon. I’ve been drinking wines from Willamette Valley since 1983. People used to talk about their potential, but now you can taste what that potential has become—earth and elegance.”

In 2012, as Jay was winding down his fulltime role in the music industry, he approached his friend, Jean-Nicolas, with the idea of starting a winery together in Willamette Valley. “Jean-Nicolas and I have been friends since 1988. We share very similar philosophies about life, business, wine and friendship. Nicolas-Jay is about making the very best Pinot Noir we can possibly make.

It is also about building something together that one day we hope our kids will be a part of. When you look at the great domaines of the world, these two ideas go hand in hand.

Jay Boberg is our guest.

John CoxLos Olivos’ The Bear and Star under the spirited culinary direction of Executive Chef John Cox, serves “Refined Ranch Cuisine” with flair inspired by the Parker family at the eponymous Fess Parker Wine Country Inn. The restaurant utilizes proteins (think Wagyu beef and lamb) and vegetables sourced from the nearby Parker Ranch, an incredible resource. The Bear and Star serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and is both a destination and a favorite of the wine-loving locals. Chef John (The Cowboy Chef) is our guest.

“The Bear and Star takes its name from the two states our founder called home – Texas and California – celebrating refined ranch cuisine paired with California’s bounty. The restaurant is intrinsically intertwined with the 714-acre Fess Parker Home Ranch seven miles away where the Wagyu cattle herd are raised and finished with the spent grains and pomace from the family brewery and winery. Also raised on the ranch are chickens, quail, rabbits, pigs and bees along with a number of heirloom fruits and organic vegetables for use at the restaurant.”

The Bear and Star’s Chef/Partner John Cox joins us with the enticing preview.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoChef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of Ask the Chef.”

Swordfish is on a lot of restaurant menus. It’s a big one…When harvested it typically weighs some 200 to 600 pounds but can grow much larger. It’s mild flavor and firm texture makes it a very popular fish. Chef Andrew provides more insight into the possibilities with swordfish.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Noelle Carter, Test Kitchen Director, Los Angeles Times Part One
Segment Three: Noelle Carter, Test Kitchen Director, Los Angeles Times Part Two
Segment Four: Charles T. Williams, Master Shrubber, Broken Clock Vinegar Works, Solvang, CA
Segment Five: NZ Wine Navigator Dinner at Napa Valley Grille, Westwood
Segment Six: Jay Boberg, Co-Founder, Nicolas-Jay, Dundee, Oregon
Segment Seven: Executive Chef John Cox, The Bear and Star, Los Olivos, CA
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group