Show 283, July 28, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a tempting preview of 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…

Harissa in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles is the transformation of the long-running Got Kosher restaurant. It’s Tunisian fare (Kosher) with French accents and, now, a carefully selected beer and wine menu, too. We’ll catch up with Chef / Proprietor Alain Cohen.

Eat your heart out Long Beach! DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week returns August 4 to 12, 2018. Experience cuisine that delights the palate and defines the art of dining in Long Beach. Held annually, Dine LBC features value-oriented two or three course menus from dozens of Long Beach’s best restaurants in twelve unique neighborhoods throughout the city. The original location of King’s Fish House on Pine Avenue is one of the participating restaurants with a special 3-course dinner menu with choices for each course. We’ll meet General Manager John Montorio.

The 5th annual Stu and the Kids Fundraiser, an exceptional Thai-flavored Food & Wine Festival hosted by Chef Stuart Skversky (ex-Spago) with the help of his high-profile chef friends, returns to Vibiana in DTLA on Sunday, August 5, 2018. Proceeds will fund scholarships for Hill Tribe kids in Chaing Mai, Thailand. This is the 4th year we’ve proudly supported this significant Benefit. Executive Director & Founder, Stuart Skversky provides the enticing preview.

It’s a great time to chat about cool and refreshing Summer fruits with our resident produce authority, The Prince of Produce, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce. Variety Summer California Grapes are trending. Also a preview of the upcoming atch Chile season.

Chef Steve Samson of Rossoblu (DTLA) and Sotto (Century City-adjacent) fame is no stranger to preparing premium pizza that generates deserved raves. The superb Neapolitan pizza he cooks at Sotto in a wood burning-oven imported from Italy and assembled on-site by Italian craftsmen is well-known. Steps from Rossoblu he has just launched Superfine Pizza. It’s a thin-crust pizza with both Neapolitan and New York attributes. Chef Steve joins us with a finishing splash of California olive oil.

Brit Tommy Martin started as a Bartender at Corona del Mar’s Five Crowns back in 1968. 50 years later Tommy is the longest serving, active co-worker at Five Crowns. Earlier this Summer he was recognized with a very special honor. Five Crowns’ Guest Ambassador, Tommy Martin is our guest.

Chef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of “Ask the Chef.” What’s the secret of proper Fish and Chips? We’ll find out from Chef Andrew and also discover the remedy for the wet sock conundrum with the crust on the fish.

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

Play

Show 283, July 28, 2018: DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week, King’s Fish House, Pine Ave.

John MontorioEat your heart out Long Beach! DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week returns August 4 to 12, 2018. Experience cuisine that delights the palate and defines the art of dining in Long Beach. Held annually, Dine LBC features value-oriented two or three course menus from dozens of Long Beach’s best restaurants in twelve unique neighborhoods throughout the city.

The original location of King’s Fish House(1988) on Pine Avenue is one of the participating restaurants with a special 3-course dinner menu with choices for each course for Appetizers, Entrees and Desserts. It’s priced at a value-oriented $45 per guest (plus tax and tip.)

“A long time ago, we embarked on a road trip in search of the ultimate seafood experience. We traveled down the highways and byways, pulled up a seat, put on bibs, and soaked up the seafood experience: The no-name dishes with unforgettable flavor, the fresh-caught oysters and clams piled high, the hand-lettered specials on ancient chalkboards, and the savory simmer of every combination of spices imaginable….”

“The pleasure of preparing and sharing seafood was simple and genuine, and it brought out the best in everyone. Often we felt as if we’d been welcomed into somebody’s home. That’s what King’s Fish House is all about- and we’ve tried to bring all of these ideas together into one single, spectacular place, filled with camaraderie and celebration, and the things we love best!”

We’ll meet General Manager John Montorio.

Play

July 28: Harissa Restaurant, King’s Fish House, Stu and the Kids, Melissa’s Produce, Superfine Pizza, Five Crowns

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Alain Cohen, Chef / Proprietor Harissa & Got Kosher Bakery and Deli, Los Angeles
Segment Three: DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week, King’s Fish House, Pine Ave.
Segment Four: 5th Annual Stu and The Kids Benefit at Vibiana, DTLA
Segment Five: Melissa’s Robert Schueller, Variety Summer Grapes
Segment Six: Chef Steve Samson, Superfine Pizza, DTLA
Segment Seven: Tommy Martin, Guest Ambassador, Five Crowns, 50 Years of Service
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group, “Ask the Chef”

Now a tempting 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…

Harissa in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles is the transformation of the long-running Got Kosher restaurant. It’s Tunisian fare (Kosher) with French accents and, now, A carefully selected beer and wine menu, too. We’ll catch up with Chef / Proprietor Alain Cohen.

Eat your heart out Long Beach! DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week returns August 4 to 12, 2018. Experience cuisine that delights the palate and defines the art of dining in Long Beach. Held annually, Dine LBC features value-oriented two or three course menus from dozens of Long Beach’s best restaurants in twelve unique neighborhoods throughout the city. The original location of King’s Fish House on Pine Avenue is one of the participating restaurants with a special 3-course dinner menu with choices for each course. We’ll meet General Manager John Montorio.

The 5th annual Stu and the Kids Fundraiser, an exceptional Thai-flavored Food & Wine Festival hosted by Chef Stuart Skversky (ex-Spago) with the help of his high-profile chef friends, returns to Vibiana in DTLA on Sunday, August 5, 2018. Proceeds will fund scholarships for Hill Tribe kids in Chaing Mai, Thailand. This is the 4th year we’ve proudly supported this significant Benefit. Executive Director & Founder, Stuart Skversky provides the preview.

It’s a great time to chat about cool and refreshing Summer fruits with our resident produce authority, The Prince of Produce, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce. Variety Summer California Grapes are trending. Also a preview of the upcoming Hatch Chile season.

Chef Steve Samson of Rossoblu (DTLA) and Sotto (Century City-adjacent) fame is no stranger to preparing premium pizza that generates deserved raves. The superb Neapolitan pizza he cooks at Sotto in a wood burning-oven imported from Italy and assembled on-site by Italian craftsmen is well-known. Steps from Rossoblu he has just launched Superfine Pizza. It’s a thin-crust pizza with both Neapolitan and New York attributes. Chef Steve joins us with a finishing splash of California olive oil.

Brit Tommy Martin started as a Bartender at Corona del Mar’s Five Crowns back in 1968. 50 years later Tommy is the longest serving, active co-worker at Five Crowns. Earlier this Summer he was recognized with a very special honor. Five Crowns’ Guest Ambassador, Tommy Martin is our guest.

Chef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of “Ask the Chef.” What’s the secret of proper Fish and Chips? How about drool-worthy Crab Cakes? We’ll find out from Chef Andrew with no added filler.

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

Alain Cohen of Harissa RestaurantHarissa in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles is the transformation of the long-running Got Kosher restaurant going back to 2005. It’s Tunisian fare (Kosher) with French accents and, now, a carefully selected beer and wine list, too.

Harissa, the restaurant, pays homage to Chef Alain Cohen’s Tunisian origins, his family’s Paris restaurant, and his American culinary experiences. Harissa, the name, celebrates the beloved spicy sauce that symbolizes Chef Cohen’s vibrant cuisine. In fact, harissa is so valued in Tunisia that an old wives’ tale suggests a husband can judge his wife’s affections by the number of hot peppers she uses when preparing his food

Indeed, Chef Cohen’s harissa sauce stays true to the family recipe, that dates back generations to Tunisia—and while Harissa’s harissa has heat, the emphasis is on balance, not just spicines

“Tunisian cuisine is more savory than its Moroccan neighbor, which leads into the sweet side. Central to Tunisian cuisine is couscous, and you will find the dish well represented in our menu. As well, sample Chef Cohen’s signature Tunisian specialties–including house-made merguez sausage, traditional break pastry, fricassee, and pates a la but argue. Chef Cohen’s sausage making skills are also on display with our house-made charcuterie. And that’s just the beginning…”

“Chef Cohen has created a menu with something for every taste. Start with our diverse appetizer menu–if your taste runs to small plates and a glass of wine or beer. For a simpler lunch, enjoy our salads and sandwiches. And, if you want to immerse your palate in French Tunisian cooking, well, there is a full page devoted to these satisfyingly classic dishes.”

We’ll catch up with Chef / Proprietor Alain Cohen.

John MontorioEat your heart out Long Beach! DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week returns August 4 to 12, 2018. Experience cuisine that delights the palate and defines the art of dining in Long Beach. Held annually, Dine LBC features value-oriented two or three course menus from dozens of Long Beach’s best restaurants in twelve unique neighborhoods throughout the city.

The original location of King’s Fish House on Pine Avenue is one of the participating restaurants with a special 3-course dinner menu with choices for each course.

“A long time ago, we embarked on a road trip in search of the ultimate seafood experience. We traveled down the highways and byways, pulled up a seat, put on bibs, and soaked up the seafood experience: The no-name dishes with unforgettable flavor, the fresh-caught oysters and clams piled high, the hand-lettered specials on ancient chalkboards, and the savory simmer of every combination of spices imaginable….”

“The pleasure of preparing and sharing seafood was simple and genuine, and it brought out the best in everyone. Often we felt as if we’d been welcomed into somebody’s home. That’s what King’s Fish House is all about- and we’ve tried to bring all of these ideas together into one single, spectacular place, filled with camaraderie and celebration, and the things we love best!”

We’ll meet General Manager John Montorio.

Stuart SkverskyThe 5th annual Stu and the Kids Fundraiser, an exceptional Thai-flavored Food & Wine Festival hosted by Chef Stuart Skversky (ex-Spago) with the help of his high-profile chef friends, returns to Vibiana in DTLA on Sunday, August 5, 2018. Proceeds will fund scholarships for Hill Tribe kids in Chaing Mai, Thailand. This is the 4th year we’ve proudly supported this significant Benefit.

In 2009, Stuart Skversky, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a rising-star chef, made a dramatic life change by giving up a promising chef career in Los Angeles to move to Chiang Mai, becoming a full-time volunteer at the Wat Dan Chan (a local Buddhist temple), teaching local children English, cooking and baking. Recognizing a need to help prepare these high-risk Hill Tribe kids following their graduation, he founded Stu and the Kids to better prepare them for adulthood, helping them get into a university or technical college and giving them the tools for an independent future.

Proceeds from this event go directly to the children’s education, school uniforms, supplies, housing, food and tuition for higher education. Now in their ninth year of fundraising throughout the world, Stu and The Kids has raised over $500,000 for the charity, including last year’s astounding record of $158,000 accumulated from the Los Angeles festival, fundraising on the east coast and online donations during 2017.

Stu and The Kids supervises 29 kids, including eleven that received scholarships in 2018 to support education and jobs in accounting, business management, in-home elder care, cooking and fashion and textiles. The charity hopes to increase the awards to twelve, four-year university scholarships in the coming year.

Tickets for advance general admission, VIP admission and kids may be purchased online.

Executive Director & Founder, Stuart Skversky provides the preview.

Melissa's Robert Schueller at the SoCal Restaurant Show 5th AnniversaryIt’s a great time to chat about cool and refreshing Summer fruits with our resident produce authority, The Prince of Produce, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce. Variety Summer California Grapes are trending.

A late-season variety grape with an extremely high sugar content, the Candy Sweets® name describes its great flavor! Though petite in size, this amber-green seedless grape has a big taste that makes it an excellent kids snack or lunchbox favorite. Serve a bunch or two on a party platter; this grape’s firm, crunchy texture and sweetness plays well against any extra sharp cheese. Choose grapes that are firm, with no bruises, decay or shatter (loose grapes that have fallen off the stem). Vine stems should to be green and pliable, never dried out.

Also the incredible Hatch Chile season will launch the first week in August. These flavorful peppers are exclusively grown in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico and are only available annually for a short season in August and part of September. They are considered by discriminating chile aficionados to be the best peppers in the world. We’ll get a fiery preview.

Steve Samson of Sotto and RossobluChef Steve Samson of Rossoblu (DTLA) and Sotto (Century City-adjacent) fame is no stranger to preparing premium pizza that generates deserved raves. The superb Neapolitan pizza he cooks at Sotto in a wood burning-oven imported from Italy and assembled on-site by Italian craftsmen is well-known.

Steps from Rossoblu he has just launched Superfine Pizza. It’s a thin-crust pizza with both Neapolitan and New York attributes. The mission is to use as many local, premium ingredients as possible. It’s by-the-slice or whole pies. Unusually the pizzas are cooked in an electric deck oven from Sweden. It gets up to temperature quickly and Chef Steve has found it to be more energy efficient than gas.

By-the-slice options include Tomato, Mozzarella, and Grana Padano ; Four Cheeses & Spinach; Escarole, Red Onion, Salt Cured Olives, Chilies, Fresh Mozzarella and Smoked Provolone; Pepperoni, Tomato, Mozzarella and Grana Padano; and Tomato, Garlic, Capers, Oregano, Chilies, Mint, Parsley, Basil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Vegan).

Chef Steve joins us with a finishing splash of California olive oil.

Delivery is on the horizon.

Tommy MartinBrit Tommy Martin started as a Bartender at Corona del Mar’s Five Crowns back in 1968. 50 years later Tommy is the longest serving, active co-worker at Five Crowns. Earlier this Summer he was recognized with a very special honor.

“In 1968, our favorite Brit, Tommy Martin, moved to Orange County from the East Coast. Seeing Five Crowns’ Tudor architecture and red English phone booth, he quickly applied for a job, sensing he and the restaurant would be a perfect fit. Lucky for us he was right. Little did we know that half a century later, after working as bartender, wine captain and now as our Guest Ambassador, Tommy would be Lawry’s longest serving active co-worker.”

“His energetic, positive attitude and genuine desire to make every moment memorable have endeared him to two generations of guests. For many, a night at Five Crowns without a visit tableside from him doesn’t quite seem the same. For first-timers, meeting such a colorful and charming character, English accent and all, has been a wonderful introduction to the restaurant, its hospitality and its history.”

Five Crowns’ Guest Ambassador, Tommy Martin is our guest.

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.”

What’s the secret of preparing proper Fish and Chips? How important are the Chips? What’s the best fish to use? How about drool-worthy Crab Cakes? We’ll find out from Chef Andrew with the promise of no added filler.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Alain Cohen, Chef / Proprietor Harissa & Got Kosher Bakery and Deli, Los Angeles
Segment Three: DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week, King’s Fish House, Pine Ave.
Segment Four: 5th Annual Stu and The Kids Benefit at Vibiana, DTLA
Segment Five: Melissa’s Robert Schueller, Variety Summer Grapes
Segment Six: Chef Steve Samson, Superfine Pizza, DTLA
Segment Seven: Tommy Martin, Guest Ambassador, Five Crowns, 50 Years of Service
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group, “Ask the Chef”

Show 266, March 24, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a provocative preview of this Saturday’s tempting 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 always here with you live every Saturday morning with a fresh show.

Downtown Los Angeles’ Rossoblu (going on a year old) tells the story of two places Executive Chef & Proprietor Steve Samson considers home: Los Angeles and Bologna. The restaurant is a homage to Samson’s heritage, inspired by childhood memories of summers spent in Bologna and its surrounding region, Emilia Romagna. Newly added is Saturday and Sunday Brunch. Think Nutella Stuffed French Toast. We’ll check-in with Chef Steve Samson for an update.

The 20-year-old King’s Fish House (part of King’s Seafood Co.,) located at the Laguna Hills Mall, underwent a 7-week, $2 million dollar modernization of the entire space and reopened in early December of last year. The new design is inspired by the look and feel of a contemporary seafood warehouse with nautical touchpoints throughout and custom art. King’s Heath Bumgardner, Vice President of Operations, joins us.

A new cutting-edge cooking academy has launched at OC Fair & Event Center to empower underserved youth through free culinary education and mentorship. A commercial kitchen on the fairgrounds was transformed into Hatch Culinary Lab. The new education program is a partnership between OC Fair & Event Center (OCFEC), CulinaryLab Cooking School, Anaheim’s Innovative Mentorship Experience program (AIME) and Spectra, the Fair’s master concessionaire. The OC Fair’s CEO Kathy Kramer and Chef Ryan Wagner the founder of CulinaryLab are our guests.

Jaffa is the ancient neighborhood in the city of Tel Aviv, Israel. Now this old city vibe and flavors are being imported to Los Angeles’ eclectic 3rd Street neighborhood. Here, Chef Partner Anne Conness’ (Sausal) modern take on Israeli cuisine integrates spices with a deep focus on diverse, locally grown, freshest of fresh seasonal ingredients, as well as meat well-raised, and sustainable selections from the sea. We spirit General Manager & Managing Partner Nancy Vrankovic off the floor at Jaffa for a chat.

We know Chef Tal Ronnen locally as the Executive Chef at the plant-based Crossroads Kitchen in West Hollywood. He is also the co-founder of Kite Hill. “Kite Hill makes the very best tasting alternative dairy products with the simplest ingredients using traditional methods.”

“We began with a vision for a plant-based food that would have all the qualities we relish in the best artisan dairy cheeses.” “We are the first and only company to create plant-based food using time honored techniques. We’ve figured out how to make buttery fresh ricotta, aged nut milk delicacies, creamy almond milk yogurt, fantastic entrées and more — all out of fresh nut milk.” Chef Tal pops out of his busy kitchen to join us.

Our always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, continues with his “Ask the Chef” series. We all appreciate Salmon, and wild caught Chinook Salmon from California is available locally during the commercial fishing season. The season is going to be reduced this year due to a disappointing fall run. There are unfortunate economic consequences for commercial fisherman. The shortfalls even extend to Alaska, too. Last year the Pink Salmon runs there were disastrously off.

Chef Andrew reels the alarming specifics in for us.

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

Play

Show 266, March 24, 2018: Heath Bumgardner, Vice President of Operations, King’s Seafood Co. (King’s Fish House)

Heath BumgardnerThe 20-year-old King’s Fish House (part of King’s Seafood Co.,) located at the Laguna Hills Mall, underwent a 7-week, $2 million dollar modernization of the entire space and reopened in early December of last year. The new design is inspired by the look and feel of a contemporary seafood warehouse with nautical touchpoints throughout and custom art.

The update of the 7,500 square-foot restaurant includes rustic wood flooring, leather banquets, floor-to-ceiling garage doors allowing for an indoor-outdoor dining experience, and a warm color palette of dark browns, creams and deep blues. A wraparound, 30-seat rectangular bar anchors the space, while an additional lounge area was added to the patio, both ideal for enjoying afternoon happy hour and the extensive raw bar offerings.

In addition to the reimagined space, this location of King’s Fish House now offers a more elevated selection of seafood, by way of the company’s own distribution operation based in Santa Ana, such as a whole fish preparation and the Southern California delicacy, local spiny lobster (in-season.)  The cocktail program also received an overhaul, now boasting 16 tap beers, more than 60 wines, and a selection of inspired specialty cocktails.

King’s Heath Bumgardner, Vice President of Operations, joins us.

Play

March 24: Steve Samson, King’s Fish House, Hatch Culinary Lab at OC Fair & Event Center, Jaffa, Tal Ronnen

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef & Proprietor, Steve Samson, Rossoblu
Segment Three: Heath Bumgardner, Vice President of Operations, King’s Seafood Co. (King’s Fish House)
Segment Four: Kathy Kramer, CEO, OC Fair & Event Center
Segment Five: Chef Instructor Ryan Wagner, Tustin’s CulinaryLab & Hatch Culinary Lab
Segment Six: Nancy Vrankovic, General Manager & Managing Partner, Jaffa – Modern Israeli Cuisine
Segment Seven: Chef Tal Ronnen, Crossroads Kitchen and Co-Founder, Kite Hill
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef”

Now a provocative preview of this Saturday’s tempting 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 always here with you live every Saturday morning with a fresh show.

Downtown Los Angeles’ Rossoblu tells the story of two places Executive Chef & Proprietor Steve Samson considers home : Los Angeles and Bologna. The restaurant is a homage to Samson’s heritage, inspired by childhood memories of summers spent in Bologna and its surrounding region, Emilia Romagna. Newly added is Saturday and Sunday Brunch. Think Nutella Stuffed French Toast. We’ll check-in with Chef Steve Samson for an update.

The 20-year-old King’s Fish House (part of King’s Seafood Co.,) located at the Laguna Hills Mall, underwent a 7-week, $2 million dollar modernization of the entire space and reopened in early December of last year. The new design is inspired by the look and feel of a contemporary seafood warehouse with nautical touchpoints throughout and custom art. King’s Heath Bumgardner, Vice President of Operations, joins us.

A new cutting-edge cooking academy has launched at OC Fair & Event Center to empower underserved youth through free culinary education and mentorship. A commercial kitchen on the fairgrounds was transformed into Hatch Culinary Lab. The new education program is a partnership between OC Fair & Event Center (OCFEC), CulinaryLab Cooking School, Anaheim’s Innovative Mentorship Experience program (AIME) and Spectra, the Fair’s master concessionaire. The OC Fair’s CEO Kathy Kramer and Chef Ryan Wagner the founder of CulinaryLab are our guests.

Jaffa is the ancient neighborhood in the city of Tel Aviv, Israel. Now this old city vibe and flavors are being imported to Los Angeles’ eclectic 3rd Street neighborhood. Here, Chef Partner Anne Conness’ (Sausal) modern take on Israeli cuisine integrates spices with a deep focus on diverse, locally grown, freshest of fresh seasonal ingredients, as well as meat well-raised, and sustainable selections from the sea. We spirit General Manager & Managing Partner Nancy Vrankovic off the floor at Jaffa for a chat.

We know Chef Tal Ronen locally as the Executive Chef at the plant-based Crossroads Kitchen in West Hollywood. He is also the co-founder of Kite Hill. “Kite Hill makes the very best tasting alternative dairy products with the simplest ingredients using traditional methods.”

“We began with a vision for a plant-based food that would have all the qualities we relish in the best artisan dairy cheeses.” “We are the first and only company to create plant-based food using time honored techniques. We’ve figured out how to make buttery fresh ricotta, aged nut milk delicacies, creamy almond milk yogurt, fantastic entrées and more — all out of fresh nut milk.” Chef Tal pops out of his busy kitchen to join us.

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

Steve Samson of Sotto and RossobluDowntown Los Angeles’ Rossoblu tells the story of two places Executive Chef & Proprietor Steve Samson considers home: Los Angeles and Bologna. The restaurant is a homage to Samson’s heritage, inspired by childhood memories of summers spent in Bologna and its surrounding region, Emilia Romagna.

The menu features handmade pastas, market fresh produce, and an in-house butchery and salumi program. The wine list focuses on unique Italian and California varietals, with a sharp focus on Emilia Romagna’s famed Lambrusco. A true family owned and operated restaurant, Rossoblu is managed by Steve’s wife, Dina, and their management team whom they have worked with for the last ten plus years.

Located in Downtown’s City Market South, the site of Los Angeles’ original wholesale produce market, Rossoblu’s open kitchen, marbled serpentine bar, and starry-lit vaulted dining room create a convivial dining environment.

Newly added is Saturday and Sunday Brunch. Think Nutella Stuffed French Toast and Frittata Bolognese.

We’ll check-in with Chef Steve Samson for an update.

Heath BumgardnerThe 20-year-old King’s Fish House (part of King’s Seafood Co.,) located at the Laguna Hills Mall, underwent a 7-week, $2 million dollar modernization of the entire space and reopened in early December of last year. The new design is inspired by the look and feel of a contemporary seafood warehouse with nautical touchpoints throughout and custom art.

The update of the 7,500 square-foot restaurant includes rustic wood flooring, leather banquets, floor-to-ceiling garage doors allowing for an indoor-outdoor dining experience, and a warm color palette of dark browns, creams and deep blues. A wraparound, 30-seat rectangular bar anchors the space, while an additional lounge area was added to the patio, both ideal for enjoying afternoon happy hour and the extensive raw bar offerings.

In addition to the reimagined space, this location of King’s Fish House now offers a more elevated selection of seafood, by way of the company’s own distribution operation based in Santa Ana, such as a whole fish preparation and the Southern California delicacy, local spiny lobster.  The cocktail program also received an overhaul, now boasting 16 tap beers, more than 60 wines, and a selection of inspired specialty cocktails.

King’s Heath Bumgardner, Vice President of Operations, joins us.

Kathy KramerA new cutting-edge cooking academy has launched at OC Fair & Event Center to empower underserved youth through free culinary education and mentorship. A commercial kitchen on the fairgrounds was transformed into Hatch Culinary Lab. The new education program is a partnership between OC Fair & Event Center (OCFEC), CulinaryLab Cooking School, Anaheim’s Innovative Mentorship Experience program (AIME) and Spectra, the Fair’s master concessionaire.

“We have an opportunity to change the lives of students through Hatch Culinary Lab and it is important for us to step in to help,” said OCFEC CEO Kathy Kramer. “Here at the OC Fair we love food, so this program is close to our hearts and ties in perfectly with our community give-back mission. I look forward to growing this program to include training for both kitchen staff and front-of-the-house positions.”

The OC Fair’s CEO Kathy Kramer is our guest.

Ryan Wagner of CulinaryLabOCFEC invested an initial $54,000 in equivalent value in this community program that this year will provide up to 50 students with training in everything from knife skills, cookery basics and making healthy meals to safety and sanitation. The spring session started Feb. 28 with the first 20 students from Kennedy, Savanna and Western high schools working for eight weeks. A summer internship program and fall certification series will follow, culminating in an event to feed the local homeless community.

The team from CulinaryLab in Tustin is donating staff and time to the program and has created new curriculum tailored to provide students with the basics on how food works, healthy cooking skills and simple recipes they can practice at home with minimal cost and prep time. The goal is to excite students about cooking and food service and empower them to be confident individuals ready to secure employment.

“At CulinaryLab, we do everything we can to immerse students in the world of cooking with experimentation, tons of repetitive hands-on practice, and by involving local chef partners in the teaching process,” said Chef Ryan Wagner. “The goal of the Hatch program is to bring that same high-level culinary education to high school students who might otherwise not have access to it.”

Chef Ryan Wagner the founder of Tustin’s CulinaryLab now continues the story of Hatch Culinary Lab at OC Fair & Event Center with us.

Nancy VrankovicJaffa is the ancient neighborhood in the city of Tel Aviv, Israel. Now this old city vibe and flavors are being imported to Los Angeles’ eclectic 3rd Street neighborhood.

Jaffa, Chef Partner Anne Conness’ (Sausal) modern take on Israeli cuisine integrates spices with a deep focus on diverse, locally grown, freshest of fresh seasonal ingredients, as well as meat well-raised, and sustainable selections from the sea.

“The social atmosphere in Jaffa, Israel is eclectic and fun; groups of friends toasting “l’chaim” with a clink of their Arak shot glasses, girlfriends catching up over coffee, the hipster tech guy on his computer, his dog lying next to him, families sharing a huge spread and couples having a bite together.”

Chef Anne Conness, Executive Chef Santos Navarro, Pastry Chef Natasha MacAller, and Lead Bartender Aly Iwamoto, along with restaurant partners Nancy Vrankovic and Brad Conroy, all share a deep commitment to creating flavorful, healthful dishes for the many Angelenos who are shifting to a more plant-based diet. Each of them speaks with great excitement describing the delicious farm-to-table dishes Jaffa is creating by blending New with the Old World flavors.

We spirit General Manager & Managing Partner Nancy Vrankovic off the floor at Jaffa for a chat.

Tal Ronnen of Crossroads KitchenWe know Chef Tal Ronnen locally as the Executive Chef at the plant-based Crossroads Kitchen in West Hollywood. He is also the co-founder of Kite Hill.

“Kite Hill makes the very best tasting alternative dairy products with the simplest ingredients using traditional methods.” “We began with a vision for a plant-based food that would have all the qualities we relish in the best artisan dairy cheeses.”

“We are the first and only company to create plant-based food using time honored techniques. We’ve figured out how to make buttery fresh ricotta, aged nut milk delicacies, creamy almond milk yogurt, cream cheese-style spreads, fantastic entrées and more — all out of fresh nut milk.”

“We think carefully about everything we put in our products. Each of our products comes from artisan almond milk cultured using traditional cheese making methods. We source non-GMO almonds from the San Joaquin Valley and do not use any artificial flavors, preservatives or sweeteners in our products.”

Chef Tal pops out of his busy kitchen to join us.

Andrew and William GruelOur always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, continues with his Ask the Chef series. We all appreciate Salmon and wild caught Chinook Salmon from California is available locally during the commercial fishing season. The season is going to be reduced this year due to a disappointing fall run. There are unfortunate economic consequences for commercial fisherman.

The shortfalls even extend to Alaska, too. Last year the Pink Salmon runs there were disastrously off.

Chef Andrew reels the specifics in for us.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef & Proprietor, Steve Samson, Rossoblu
Segment Three: Heath Bumgardner, Vice President of Operations, King’s Seafood Co. (King’s Fish House)
Segment Four: Kathy Kramer, CEO, OC Fair & Event Center
Segment Five: Chef Instructor Ryan Wagner, Tustin’s CulinaryLab & Hatch Culinary Lab
Segment Six: Nancy Vrankovic, General Manager & Managing Partner, Jaffa – Modern Israeli Cuisine
Segment Seven: Chef Tal Ronnen, Crossroads Kitchen and Co-Founder, Kite Hill
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef”