Show 321, April 27, 2019: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now an appealing preview of Saturday’s Spirit of Aloha 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, and upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience.

BIg Island Chocolate FestivalWe’re live from The 8th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. It’s pure chocolate indulgence. Hawaii is the only State in the USA where premium cacao (the base of chocolate) can be grown commercially. It’s an increasingly important crop in The Islands with almost unlimited potential.
Chef Bryan Fujikawa is the proprietor of the locals’ favorite for fresh grilled, locally caught seafood, Kona Grill House in Kealakekua. It’s a beloved hole-in-the-wall spot. He’s been a part of The Big Island Chocolate Festival’s concluding Chocolate Decadence Gala for years. Chef Bryan is known for his amazing lobster crab cakes. We’ll reel him in.

Farsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 8th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. The Festival benefits Island culinary arts and arts programs. We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.

We first met Chef Christopher Galindo two years ago when he was overseeing Hau Tree on the beach next door at the Resort’s sister property, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Last year he switched beaches and moved over to The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort’s new Meridia as the menu-maker. It’s Mediterranean-inspired cuisine created with locally sourced ingredients and infused with Hawaii’s rich local bounty. Also know for creative, signature https://socalrestaurantshow.com/wp-admin/edit.phpcocktails and a primo view of the Pacific at Sunset. We entice Chef Chris out of his busy kitchen for a chat.

Chef Stéphane Tréand debuted, The Pastry School in 2012, in San Clemente. This year he moved his school to Tustin (“a piece of Paris in Tustin”) along with his new pâtisserie (pastry) shop, ST Pâtisserie Chocolat. He wanted people to come and buy pastries, chocolates, viennoiserie (baked goods such as croissants), and gelato/sorbet at his shop. But he also wanted to show others, “you can learn and create beautiful items such as these, right-next-door with me (Chef Stéphane Tréand) as your teacher!” At The Big Island Chocolate Festival Chef Stephane is performing the culinary demonstration, “Creating an Artistic Chocolate Sculpture.”

Tattoo Tequila CEO, Tequila John” Atanasio (a Maui resident) set out 8 years ago with the goal of crafting a “Super Premium Tequila” that would use the highest grade of organic Blue Weber Agave available in the World and to use the best ingredients available to develop “The Champagne of Tequilas.” Tattoo Tequila today has legitimate brand positioning as a leader in the Craft Spirits sector. We’ll meet Tequila John.=

Tom Bean is acclaimed Chef Peter Merriman’s General Manager at the iconic Merriman’s Restaurant Waimea. This was Chef Merriman’s first solo venture with modest expectations. Last year Merriman’s celebrated their 30th anniversary and is consistently the highest rated restaurant on The Big Island. Chef Merriman is one of the original pioneers of Hawaiian Regional Cuisine. We’ll talk story with Tom.

Tom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our host, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, which recently completed a $50 million dollar renovation. It’s part of the Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii. The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort is also the host property for The Big Island Chocolate Festival.

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

Play

Show 321, April 27, 2019: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao (KCA) and Proprietor of Cocoa Outlet

Farsheed Bonakdar of Cocoa Outlet and Andy HarrisFarsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 8th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. The Festival benefits Island culinary arts and arts programs.

The 2019 Big Island Chocolate Festival proceeds will benefit the culinary programs at Hawaii Community College Palamanui, Kealakehe High School, Hawai‘i Island High Schools and Maui Community College, plus Hawaii Institute of Pacific Agriculture, Waimea Country School, Kona Pacific Public Charter School’s West Hawaii Summer Lunch Program and Kona Dance & Performing Arts.

“If you think you know everything about chocolate—think again! Find out tricks for using chocolate in the kitchen and to better grow cacao—the tree that produces the coveted cocoa bean. All the fun is part of the Big Island Chocolate Festival (BICF) April 26-27. With the exception of a guided cacao plantation tour, all activities are at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort.”

We’re talking all things delectably chocolate with Farsheed.

Play

April 27: Live from the Big Island Chocolate Festival

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Owner / Chef Bryan Fujikawa, Kona Grill House, Kealakekua, Hawaii
Segment Three: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao (KCA) and Proprietor of Cocoa Outlet
Segment Four: Christopher Galindo, Restaurant Chef, Meridia at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort
Segment Five: Stephane Treand, MOF, The Pastry School, Tustin, CA
Segment Six: “Tequila John” Atanasio, Tattoo Tequila – Tequila & Chocolate Tasting
Segment Seven: Tom Bean, General Manager, Merriman’s Waimea – a Pioneer of Hawaii Regional Cuisine
Segment Eight: Tom Cross, Hotel Manager, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

Now an appealing preview of this Saturday’s Spirit of Aloha 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, and upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience.

BIg Island Chocolate FestivalWe’re live from The 8th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. It’s pure chocolate indulgence. Hawaii is the only State in the USA where premium cacao (the base of chocolate) can be grown commercially. It’s an increasingly important crop in The Islands with almost unlimited potential.

Chef Bryan Fujikawa is the proprietor of the locals’ favorite for fresh grilled, locally caught seafood, Kona Grill House in Kealakekua. It’s a beloved hole-in-the-wall spot. He’s been a part of The Big Island Chocolate Festival’s concluding Chocolate Decadence Gala for years. Chef Bryan is known for his amazing lobster crab cakes. We’ll reel him in.

Farsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 8th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. The Festival benefits Island culinary arts and arts programs. We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.

We first met Chef Christopher Galindo two years ago when he was overseeing Hau Tree on the beach next door at the Resort’s sister property, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Last year he switched beaches and moved over to The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort’s new Meridia as the menu-maker. It’s Mediterranean-inspired cuisine created with locally sourced ingredients and infused with Hawaii’s rich local bounty. Also know for creative, signature cocktails and a primo view of the Pacific at Sunset. We entice Chef Chris out of his busy kitchen for a chat.

Chef Stéphane Tréand debuted, The Pastry School in 2012, in San Clemente. This year he moved his school to Tustin (“a piece of Paris in Tustin”) along with his new pâtisserie (pastry) shop, ST Pâtisserie Chocolat. He wanted people to come and buy pastries, chocolates, viennoiserie (baked goods such as croissants), and gelato/sorbet at his shop. But he also wanted to show others, “you can learn and create beautiful items such as these, right-next-door with me (Chef Stéphane Tréand) as your teacher!” At The Big Island Chocolate Festival Chef Stephane is performing the culinary demonstration, “Creating an Artistic Chocolate Sculpture.”

Tattoo Tequila CEO, “Tequila John” Atanasio (a Maui resident) set out 8 years ago with the goal of crafting a “Super Premium Tequila” that would use the highest grade of organic Blue Weber Agave available in the World and to use the best ingredients available to develop “The Champagne of Tequilas.” Tattoo Tequila today has legitimate brand positioning as a leader in the Craft Spirits sector. We’ll meet Tequila John.=

Tom Bean is acclaimed Chef Peter Merriman’s General Manager at the iconic Merriman’s Restaurant Waimea. This was Chef Merriman’s first solo venture with modest expectations. Last year Merriman’s celebrated their 30th anniversary and is consistently the highest rated restaurant on The Big Island. Chef Merriman is one of the original pioneers of Hawaiian Regional Cuisine. We’ll talk story with Tom.

Tom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our host, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, which recently completed a $50 million dollar renovation. It’s part of the Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii. The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort is also the host property for The Big Island Chocolate Festival.

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

Bryan Fujikawa of Kona Grill HouseChef Bryan Fujikawa is the proprietor of the locals’ favorite for fresh grilled, locally caught seafood, Kona Grill House in Kealakekua. It’s a beloved hole-in-the-wall spot. He’s been a popular part of The Big Island Chocolate Festival’s concluding Chocolate Decadence Gala for years. Chef Bryan is known for his amazing lobster crab cakes.

“For Kona Grill House it’s new year, a new name, and a whole new look. What started 19 years ago as a small family operation producing and selling dried fish under the name Sun Dried Specialties, has grown into a culinary destination for local cuisine that has people from not just Hawaii, but all over, returning time and time again.”

“It was a simple beginning back in 2000. The idea for Sun Dried Specialties was born in the early morning hours as Bryan sat on his boat rocking quietly with the gentle motion of the waves as he fished through the night. He realized the dried fish he’d grown up eating was disappearing. He, his wife Rebecca, and their two daughters began drying the fish that Bryan caught. They stayed true to the old way of drying. Using only fresh fish, Hawaiian salt, and beautiful Hawaiian sun. The Sun-Dried Specialties logo of a sunbathing Ahi quickly became recognizable for the best dried Ahi, Aku, and Opelu in the state and on to the Mainland.”

“Fast forward a dozen years to the birth of the Fishbowl. Bryan’s brainchild for his desire to serve great food in an atmosphere that would allow visitors and locals alike to meet and get to know one another. What started as a small poke shop had its first expansion after only three months and has continued to grow ever since. Though the original showcase still carries more than a dozen different kinds of poke made fresh each day, there’s now a second showcase for the desserts. Bryan has continued what his daughter Alexis started, baking desserts fresh every morning.”

“But it’s the food coming off the grill out back that you won’t be able to forget. Chef Bryan’s customers like to say it’s five-star food out of a cardboard box. The best fish burgers on the island and his lobster crab cakes are out of this world. Daily specials range from smoked prime rib to lobster mac and cheese. You never know what might be on the menu but you can count on never walking away hungry and having a food experience you’ll want to keep coming back for.”

We’ll meet Chef Bryan.

Farsheed BonakdarFarsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 8th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. The Festival benefits Island culinary arts and arts programs.

The 2019 Big Island Chocolate Festival proceeds will benefit the culinary programs at Hawaii Community College Palamanui, Kealakehe High School, Hawai‘i Island High Schools and Maui Community College, plus Hawaii Institute of Pacific Agriculture, Waimea Country School, Kona Pacific Public Charter School’s West Hawaii Summer Lunch Program and Kona Dance & Performing Arts.

“If you think you know everything about chocolate—think again! Find out tricks for using chocolate in the kitchen and to better grow cacao—the tree that produces the coveted cocoa bean. All the fun is part of the Big Island Chocolate Festival (BICF) April 26-27. With the exception of a guided cacao plantation tour, all activities are at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort.”

We’re talking all things delectably chocolate with Farsheed.

Chris GalindoWe first met Chef Christopher Galindo two years ago when he was overseeing Hau Tree on the beach next door at the Resort’s sister property, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Last year he switched beaches and moved over to The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort’s new Meridia as the menu-maker.

It’s Mediterranean-inspired cuisine created with locally sourced ingredients and infused with Hawaii’s rich local bounty. Also know for creative, signature cocktails and a primo 180 degree view of the Pacific at Sunset.

“The fresh seasonal menu is complemented by expanded al fresco seating, a private dining room, a charcuterie and crudo bar, and a house- made artisanal bread nook.”

We entice Chef Chris out of his busy kitchen for a chat.

Stephane TreandChef Stéphane Tréand debuted, The Pastry School in 2012, in San Clemente. This year he moved his school to Tustin (“a piece of Paris in Tustin”) along with his new pâtisserie (pastry) shop, ST Pâtisserie Chocolat. He wanted people to come and buy pastries, chocolates, viennoiserie (baked goods such as croissants), and gelato/sorbet at his shop. But he also wanted to show others, “you can learn and create beautiful items such as these, right-next-door with me (Chef Stéphane Tréand) as your teacher!”

At The Big Island Chocolate Festival Chef Stephane is performing the culinary demonstration, “Creating an Artistic Chocolate Sculpture.”

Tequila John AtanasioTattoo Tequila CEO, Tequila John” Atanasio (a Maui resident) set out 8 years ago with the goal of crafting a “Super Premium Tequila” that would use the highest grade of organic Blue Weber Agave available in the World and to use the best ingredients available to develop “The Champagne of Tequilas.” Tattoo Tequila today has legitimate brand positioning as a leader in the Craft Spirits sector.

Tattoo Tequila has a portfolio of 100% organic Blue Agave based tequila with expressions that include Blanco & Reposado.

Tequila John is part of the Festival presenting the unexpected “Chocolate & Organic Tequila Pairings” seminar which he’s encoring from last year. He’ll demonstrate how different, organic tequilas and uniquely flavored chocolates can tastefully complement each other. The accompanying decadent chocolate bonbons are presented by Farsheed Bonakdar of the Cocoa Outlet. We’re all in…

We’ll meet Tequila John.

Tom Bean of Merriman'sTom Bean is acclaimed Chef Peter Merriman’s General Manager at the iconic Merriman’s Restaurant Waimea. This was Chef Merriman’s first solo venture with modest expectations.

Last year Merriman’s celebrated their 30th anniversary and is consistently the highest rated restaurant on The Big Island. Chef Merriman is one of the original pioneers of Hawaii Regional Cuisine.

“Merriman’s Waimea is the flagship establishment from award-winning Chef Peter Merriman who maintains a single vision “Do the right thing”—for local farmers, for the islands and for you—our guest.”

“Thirty years ago, no one dreamed of growing vine ripened tomatoes, fresh sweet corn or crisp baby lettuce in Hawaii. Sugar cane and pineapple plantations dominated the farming landscape, and most food was shipped to Hawaii from thousands of miles away.”

“Chef Peter Merriman had a vision for the growth of local agriculture and the potential of Hawaii’s rich volcanic soils. He along with twelve other prominent chefs encouraged farmers to grow local produce, raise meats locally, and start a healthier more sustainable Hawaii.”

“Peter Merriman has been as a culinary pioneer in Hawaii for over 30 years. Known as the original “locavore,” Peter is a vocal champion of Hawaii’s farmers, ranchers and fishermen. His restaurants showcase island grown and harvested foods through simple preparations that reflect the myriad flavors of Hawaii’s multiculturalism. Dubbed the “Pied Piper of Hawaii Regional Cuisine” by The Los Angeles Times, he is a continuing inspiration to Hawaii’s thriving culinary scene.”

We’ll talk story with Tom.

Tom Cross of the Westin Hapuna Beach ResortTom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our host, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, which recently completed a $50 million dollar renovation. It’s part of the Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii. The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort is also the host property for The Big Island Chocolate Festival.

“The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort stretches along its namesake white-sand beach on the Island of Hawaii. The Kohala Coast is known for its world-class shoreline, as well as for cultural and archaeological gems nestled between centuries-old lava fields. The resort’s contemporary style contrasts with lush, manicured gardens and the endless blues of the sky and the ocean. Four reimagined dining venues are inspired by the island’s bounty.”

“The award-winning 18-hole Hapuna Golf Course was designed by Arnold Palmer. Two swimming pools, a 6,800-square-foot freeform family pool and an adult-exclusive infinity pool, overlook Hapuna Beach. A WestinWorkout Center and Crossfit Studio are complemented by the Hapuna Spa for rejuvenation and relaxation. Choose from 249 oversized guest rooms, including 17 suites.”

Mahalo nui loa to The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort for graciously hosting the “SoCal Restaurant Show” for the third year.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Owner / Chef Bryan Fujikawa, Kona Grill House, Kealakekua, Hawaii
Segment Three: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao (KCA) and Proprietor of Cocoa Outlet
Segment Four: Christopher Galindo, Restaurant Chef, Meridia at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort
Segment Five: Stephane Treand, MOF, The Pastry School, Tustin, CA
Segment Six: “Tequila John” Atanasio, Tattoo Tequila – Tequila & Chocolate Tasting
Segment Seven: Tom Bean, General Manager, Merriman’s Waimea – a Pioneer of Hawaii Regional Cuisine
Segment Eight: Tom Cross, Hotel Manager, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

Show 317, March 30, 2019: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now an intriguing preview of this Saturday’s properly enticing 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, and upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience.

The Urban Forager by Elisa Callow showcases one of California’s richest and most rapidly expanding culinary cultures : the Eastside of Los Angeles. Author, passionate cook and food explorer, Elisa Callow is our guide.

Ian Blackburn’s LearnAboutWine is doing it again. His first Chinese Food & Wine Challenge – Which Pairs Best? event sold out way ahead of the date so he’s encoring it on Sunday, April 14th at Alhambra’s Chengdu Impression. Wine Professional and Sommelier Ian Blackburn pulls the cork for us. (What wine pairs with a fortune cookie, anyway?)

Leah Spielberg Adler was a fixture of the Pico-Robertson neighborhood (The Borscht Belt) in Los Angeles since 1977 until her passing in early 2017 at 97. She was the proprietress and heart of the kosher dairy restaurant, The Milky Way. In a loving tribute to her memory The Spielberg Family (Steven, Nancy, Anne and Sue) has reimagined and reopened The Milky Way with a new look and an updated, appealing and streamlined kosher menu. Executive Chef & Restaurant Consultant Phil Kastel of PK&J Hospitality Group is the Creative Chef at The Milky Way and is out guest.

Celebrity Chef Susan Feniger (Border Grill & the upcoming Socalo) is also the co-chair of the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Simply diVine annual benefit on Saturday, April 27th at Hollywood Forever. It’s also the 50th Anniversary of The Center. Chef Susan has the rundown for us for this celebration of delicious food, wine, spirits, craft beers, and lots more !

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association, the 2019 Big Island Chocolate Festival (8th Annual) is an annual fundraiser that benefits five local non-profits and Hawaii cacao farmers. This fun, participatory and engaging two-day festival is set for April 26th & 27th at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort on Hawaii Island’s Kohala Coast. Tom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our accommodating host, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, which last year completed an ambitious $50 million renovation. It’s part of the renown Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii. Tom previews The Festival indulgences for us.

Our own Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group, is again back with his always informative “Ask the Chef” commentary. He’s a real, working chef with great insight and experience. Chef Andrew is on the road this morning from parts unknown. We’ll find out…

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

Program Note: Next Saturday, April 6th, is part of Home Opening Weekend for our Halos. We’ll be broadcasting live from Golden Road Pub OC right across the street from Angel Stadium from 10:00 a.m. to 12 Noon. If you’re going to the game come by and say hello before the 1:05 p.m. start of Angels Baseball versus Texas

Play

March 30: Elisa Callow, Ian Blackburn, The Milky Way, Susan Feniger, Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Author Elisa Callow, The Urban Forager
Segment Three: Sommelier Ian Blackburn – Chinese Food & Wine Challenge – Which Pairs Best?
Segment Four: Executive Chef and Restaurant Consultant Phil Kastel, The Milky Way, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef and Restaurant Consultant Phil Kastel, The Milky Way, Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Six: Border Grill’s and Socalo’s Executive Chef / Co-Founder Susan Feniger
Segment Seven: Tom Cross, Hotel Manager, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, Hawaii
Segment Eight: Co-Host and Slapfish Restaurant Group Founder, Chef Andrew Gruel

Now an intriguing preview of this Saturday’s properly enticing 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, and upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience.

The Urban Forager by Elisa Callow showcases one of California’s richest and most rapidly expanding culinary cultures : the Eastside of Los Angeles. Author, passionate cook and food explorer, Elisa Callow is our guide.

Ian Blackburn’s LearnAboutWine is doing it again. His first Chinese Food & Wine Challenge – Which Pairs Best? event sold out way ahead of the date so he’s encoring it on Sunday April 14th at Alhambra’s Chengdu Impression. Wine Professional and Sommelier Ian Blackburn pulls the cork for us. (What wine pairs with a fortune cookie, anyway?)

Leah Spielberg Adler was a fixture of the Pico-Robertson neighborhood (The Borscht Belt) in Los Angeles since 1977 until her passing in early 2017 at 97. She was the proprietress and heart of the kosher dairy restaurant, The Milky Way. In a loving tribute to her memory The Spielberg Family (Steven, Nancy, Anne and Sue) has reimagined and reopened The Milky Way with a new look and an updated, appealing and streamlined kosher menu. Executive Chef & Restaurant Consultant Phil Kastel of PK&J Hospitality Group is the Creative Chef at The Milky Way and is out guest.

Celebrity Chef Susan Feniger (Border Grill & the upcoming Socalo) is also the co-chair of the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Simply diVine annual benefit on Saturday, April 27th at Hollywood Forever. It’s also the 50th Anniversary of The Center. Chef Susan has the rundown for us for this celebration of delicious food, wine, spirits, craft beers, and lots more !

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association, the 2019 Big Island Chocolate Festival (8th Annual) is an annual fundraiser that benefits five local non-profits and Hawaii cacao farmers. This fun, participatory and engaging two-day festival is set for April 26th & 27th at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort on Hawaii Island’s Kohala Coast. Tom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our accommodating host, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, which last year completed an ambitious $50 million renovation. It’s part of the renown Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii. Tom previews The Festival indulgences for us.

Our own Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group, is again back with his always informative “Ask the Chef” commentary. He’s a real, working chef with great insight and experience. Chef Andrew is on the road this morning from parts unknown. We’ll find out…

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

Program Note: Next Saturday, April 6th, is part of Home Opening Weekend for our Halos. We’ll be broadcasting live from Golden Road Pub OC right across the street from Angel Stadium from 10:00 a.m. to 12 Noon. If you’re going to the game come by and say hello before the 1:05 p.m. start of Angels Baseball versus Texas

Elise CallowThe Urban Forager by Elisa Callow showcases one of California’s richest and most rapidly expanding culinary cultures : the Eastside of Los Angeles.

“When visitors to Los Angeles think of food in the city, they think Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Hollywood, and Malibu…the Westside of town. But author and arts educator Elisa Callow spent years exploring the communities in her neighborhood on the Eastside of Los Angeles and learning about the chefs and stores in little-known areas that no one was talking about. She put all that love and research together in her new cookbook, The Urban Forager:  Culinary Exploring & Cooking on L.A.’s Eastside (Prospect Park Books/Hardcover)”

“Los Angeles has an unending number of flavors, culture, and food possibilities—many of which are tucked within the checkerboard of neighborhoods on the city’s Eastside,” explains Elisa Callow. “I realized that to even begin to appreciate the various cuisines emerging and flourishing in Los Angeles requires time, respect, and attention. My urban foraging adventure yielded a deeper connection with the communities I explored—one of the most gratifying outcomes of my obsession. The chefs, cooks, and stores owners I met and include in this book offer a hint of the variety of delicious and unique food representing the diverse communities of L.A.’s Eastside.”

“Part cookbook, part guide to foraging the best L.A. has to offer, The Urban Forager is a compelling bridge to the unfamiliar, inspiring readers to enrich their culinary repertoire by foraging in own their communities.”

Author, passionate cook and food explorer, Elisa Callow is our guide.

Ian BlackburnIan Blackburn’s LearnAboutWine is doing it again. His first Chinese Food & Wine Challenge – Which Pairs Best? event sold out way ahead of the date so he’s encoring it on Sunday April 14th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Arcadia’s Chengdu Impression. Capacity is limited to 24 inquisitive guests.

Wine and Chinese food pairing. A multi-course Chinese meal prepared by vetted Chinese experts in the San Gabriel Valley.

“Wine will be the focus. Which wines work best? The audience, the energy will be amazing. Come and fight for your favorite wines. This is a competitive flight tasting of approximately 20 different wines.” Everything from Chateau Miraval Cotes de Provence Rose, France 2017 to Bodega de Edgar Tempranillo, Paso Robles, USA 2014.

Chengdu Impression was established in September of 2004. The founder and chairman of the company, Mr. Bing Du, is the Vice President of Sichuan Gourmet Association and Deputy Director of China Zhigong Party Sichuan Overseas Communication Association. The company insists on following Chengdu’s deep-rooted gastronomic culture and the long-lasting culinary tradition to produce, provide and promote the tradition and high-quality Szechuan cuisine worldwide.

Wine Professional and Sommelier Ian Blackburn pulls the cork for us. (What wine pairs with a fortune cookie, anyway?)

The Speilberg Family with the late Leah Spielberg Adler Leah Spielberg Adler was a fixture of the Pico-Robertson neighborhood (The Borscht Belt) in Los Angeles since 1977 until her passing in early 2017 at 97. She was the larger-than-life proprietress and heart of the kosher dairy restaurant, The Milky Way. In a loving tribute to her memory The Spielberg Family (Steven, Nancy, Anne and Sue) has reimagined and reopened The Milky Way (after an extensive renovation) with a fresh new look and an updated, appealing and streamlined menu of tasty kosher fare.

“Ms. Adler, whom friends and family alike referred to as “LeeLee,” was a concert pianist and an artist, and also a proud mom of four talented children – Steven, Nancy, Anne and Sue Spielberg, a fact that was celebrated throughout the restaurant in the form of a memorabilia-filled room that became as much a salon as the perfect place to drop by for a plate of blintzes.”

“Our mom had a gypsy spirit that was larger than life itself, with an unstoppable energy and a fiery confidence that was reflected in the halls of The Milky Way,” said the Spielberg family in a joint statement. “LeeLee opened the restaurant with the vision of offering fine kosher food to the Jewish community in Los Angeles at a time when such a thing didn’t exist. Though her passing left a deep void in our hearts, we hope the new Milky Way will not only honor her memory, but also give back to the community she loved so deeply.”

“The Milky Way may be a kosher dairy restaurant, but it is also a New American Kosher restaurant,” said Chef Phil Kastel. “We wanted to create an inclusive and welcoming place for everyone, regardless of their faith or adherence to a specific dietary restriction. What will resonate with diners most is just how comforting the food here is – all the dishes on the new menu honor LeeLee and her unique tastes and are updated but true to her legacy at the same time.”

Executive & Restaurant Consultant Phil Kastel of PK&J Hospitality Group is the Creative Chef at The Milky Way and is out guest.

Phil Kastel“Chef Kastel has put a modern spin on the kosher dairy menu, peppering the menu with entirely new items and updating many of Ms. Adler’s original family recipes with a new twist to create a menu that has a global appeal, both for the international Jewish community and the general public alike. All dishes are made using the freshest, locally sourced ingredients, and diners can expect the menu to shift quarterly for seasonality, including a selection of seasonal fish. The new menu will now feature The Impossible CheeseburgerTM with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, American cheese and thousand island on a sesame seed bun, served with fries; the Famous Fish Chowder with halibut, Yukon potatoes, onions, celery and leeks, available daily; as well as the Cajun Pacific Snapper, with blackening spices and pineapple salsa, served alongside assorted seasonal vegetables.”

“Some of Ms. Adler’s original recipes have also been elevated with a modern spin. Signature dishes include Leah’s Cheese Blintzes served with strawberry preserves and sour cream; Salmon Puffs – a long-time, much loved signature dish, featuring crispy pocket, cream cheese, scallions and herbs – and the Potato Latkes with house-made apple compote and sour cream. Additional dishes not to be missed include the Eggplant Parmesan with marinara sauce, mozzarella, parmesan and basil; the Ahi Tuna Burger with red bell peppers, ginger, scallions, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and sriracha aioli, served on a sesame seed bun; and the Trout Amandine, with a panko crust, toasted almonds and tartar sauce paired with seasonal vegetables.”

“Dessert features Leah’s Classic Cheesecake – another original – as well as the new Apple Dream Pie, with a filling featuring crushed floral pink peppercorn and inspired in part by a dream Nancy Spielberg had of her mother.  The restaurant also serves kosher wine by the glass or by the bottle, as well as a selection of bottled beer.”

“While there is much to celebrate with the new Milky Way, what hasn’t changed is the attitude of the restaurant. Leah Adler is still in the room – her life and spirit preserved in the photos, posters and tchotchkes that carefully speak to her legacy – supported by food and wine that is still kosher, delicious and accessible. This is, after all, a neighborhood kosher restaurant servicing the community with class and style.”

Visit their website or follow along on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Susan Feniger of Socalo and Border GrillCelebrity Chef Susan Feniger (Border Grill & the upcoming Socalo) is the co-chair of the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Simply diVine annual benefit on Saturday, April 27th at Hollywood Forever. It’s also the 50th Anniversary of The Center.

“We couldn’t be more excited to showcase the best food, wine, beers, and spirits Los Angeles has to offer, especially when the Center is celebrating its 50th anniversary,” said event co-chair and celebrity chef Susan Feniger. “This year, we will be opening a new culinary arts training program at the Center’s new Anita May Rosenstein Campus, where LGBTQ youth can learn a truly marketable skill to help propel them to success in the professional world. In addition, the new kitchen will produce fresh meals for youth and senior residents as well as drop-in clients impacted by homelessness. Cheers to the Center—and to you—for building a world where LGBT people thrive! I want everyone to come out and support Simply diVine!”

FOODIE tickets may be purchased now for $150 which includes general admission entry to the main event from 6 to 9 p.m.

Chef Susan has the rundown for us for this celebration of delicious food, wine, spirits, craft beers, and more!

Tom Cross of the Westin Hapuna Beach ResortPresented by the Kona Cacao Association, the 2019 Big Island Chocolate Festival (8th Annual) is an annual fundraiser that benefits five local non-profits and Hawaii cacao farmers. This fun, participatory and engaging two-day festival is set for April 26th & 27th at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort on Hawaii Island’s Kohala Coast.

Tom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our accommodating host, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, which last year completed an ambitious $50 million renovation. It’s part of the renown Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii.

Tom previews The Festival’s sweet indulgences for us.

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur own Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group, is again back with his always informative “Ask the Chef” commentary. He’s a real, working chef with great insight and experience. Chef Andrew is on the road this morning from parts unknown. We’ll find out…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Author Elisa Callow, The Urban Forager
Segment Three: Sommelier Ian Blackburn – Chinese Food & Wine Challenge – Which Pairs Best?
Segment Four: Executive Chef and Restaurant Consultant Phil Kastel, The Milky Way, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef and Restaurant Consultant Phil Kastel, The Milky Way, Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Six: Border Grill’s and Socalo’s Executive Chef / Co-Founder Susan Feniger
Segment Seven: Tom Cross, Hotel Manager, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, Hawaii
Segment Eight: Co-Host and Slapfish Restaurant Group Founder, Chef Andrew Gruel

Show 271, April 28, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

BIg Island Chocolate FestivalIt’s a very special day of pure indulgence on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” We’re coming to you from the 7th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Hapuna Beach ResortThis is our 2nd year of participating.

Hawaii is the only state in the USA where cacao, the primary base of chocolate, can be successfully grown commercially.

Now a properly decadent preview of Saturday’s appropriately sinful show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. Can you ever get enough of premium chocolate? If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing…

We fortunate enough to again have a local celebrity as our Remote Engineer. That’s hard-working, on-air radio personality G. Cruz (“Lunchtime Kalabash”) who is also the Program Director for KWXX-FM, “Feel Good Island Music” on The Big Island. We’ll meet him.

Farsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 7th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.
Tom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our host, the Hapuna Beach Resort, which is just completing a $50 million dollar renovation. By late June it will officially emerge as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. It’s part of the Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii.

Alicia Boada is an acclaimed pastry chef and instructor with 20 plus years of experience in the culinary industry. She is the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate (The Barry Callebaut Group) whose brands include Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa, among more. As a Corporate Pastry Chef & Chocolatier,
Chef Alicia’s role often calls on her to perform demonstrations and training worldwide keeping her on the edge of what’s happening in the contemporary pastry and chocolate world. Chef Alicia will be performing two chocolate culinary demonstration as part of the Festival in addition to judging the Gala’s delicious offerings.

Tattoo Tequila CEO, “Tequila John” Atanasio (a Maui resident) set out 7 years ago with the goal of crafting a “Super Premium Tequila” that would use the highest grade of organic Blue Weber Agave available in the World and to use the best ingredients available to develop “The Champagne of Tequilas.” Tattoo Tequila today has legitimate brand positioning as a leader in the Craft Spirits sector. We’ll meet Tequila John.

Wendle Lesher is the Director of Food and Beverage for Mauna Kea Resort, encompassing all restaurant and banquet staff and food and beverage operations at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection and Hapuna Beach Resort, (emerging in late June as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort). In his role as Mauna Kea Resort Director of Food and Beverage, Lesher is responsible operationally and fiscally for nearly a dozen food and beverage outlets. We’ll chat with Wendle about the intriguing new restaurants at Hapuna including Meridia, Naupaka Beach Grill and Ikena Landing.
Chef Stéphane Tréand debuted, The Pastry School in 2012, in San Clemente. In 2015, he moved his school to Costa Mesa along with his new pâtisserie (pastry) shop, ST Pâtisserie Chocolat, to the oCo Collection!  He wanted people to come and buy pastries, chocolates, viennoiserie (baked goods such as croissants), and gelato/sorbet at his shop. But he also wanted to show others, “you can learn and create beautiful items such as these, right-next-door with me (Chef Stéphane Tréand) as your teacher!” At The Big Island Chocolate Festival Chef Stephane is performing two chocolate culinary demonstrations.
Chef Dayne Tanabe oversees the KPC Restaurant at the Hilton Waikola Village on The Big Island. Chef Dayne was instrumental in repositioning the menu direction for KPC – Kamuela Provision Company, the signature restaurant at Hilton Waikoloa Village. KPC features local Hawaii Island produce, prime steaks and fresh island fish and seafood. As Chef of Restaurants, Dayne now has the added responsibility for overseeing the many dining restaurants at Hilton Waikoloa Village, creating and implementing concept driven menus at Big Island Breakfast, Imari Japanese Izakaya, Lagoon Grill, Orchid Marketplace, Malolo, Boat Landing Cantina and Dona & Toni’s Pizzeria.. Chef Dayne joins us with his award-winning pastry chef, Eddie Enojardo.

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Show 271, April 28, 2018: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao Association

Farsheed BonakdarFarsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 7th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts.

Beyond creating, implementing and promoting the Big Island Chocolate Festival, the Kona Cacao Association works with cacao growers, producers, chocolate enthusiasts and chefs to help create a recognizable brand for Hawaii Island Chocolate. KCA members work together towards creating a structure to maintain the quality of cacao grown, marketed and shipped from Hawaii for the future growth of this fledging industry.

Beyond creating, implementing and promoting the Big Island Chocolate Festival, the Kona Cacao Association works with cacao growers, producers, chocolate enthusiasts and chefs to help create a recognizable brand for Hawaii Island Chocolate. KCA members work together towards creating a structure to maintain the quality of cacao grown, marketed and shipped from Hawaii for the future growth of this fledging industry.

Farsheed is also the principal of Cocoa Outlet.

We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.

Next year’s dates for The Big Island Chocolate Festival are Friday, April 26th and Saturday, April 27th.

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April 28: Live from the 2018 Big Island Chocolate Festival

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao Association
Segment Three: Tom Cross, Hotel Manager, Hapuna Beach Resort
Segment Four: Chef Alicia Boada, West Coast Technical Advisor, Barry Callebaut Chocolate
Segment Five: “Tequila John” Atanasio, Tattoo Tequila
Segment Six: Wendle Lesher, Director of Food and Beverage, Mauna Kea Resort
Segment Seven: Robert Durant, Owner & Brewer, Inland Wharf Brewing Co.
Segment Eight: Dayne Tanabe, Chef of Restaurants & Pastry Chef Eddie Enojardo, Hilton Waikola Village

BIg Island Chocolate FestivalIt’s a very special day of pure indulgence on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” We’re coming to you from the 7th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Hapuna Beach Resort. We’re broadcasting from the “The Island Breeze” lounge.

Hawaii is the only state in the USA where cacao, the primary base of chocolate, can be successfully grown commercially.

Now a properly decadent preview of this Saturday’s appropriately sinful 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…

Farsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 7th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.

Tom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our host, the Hapuna Beach Resort, which just completed a $50 million dollar renovation. Within a few weeks it will officially emerge as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. It’s part of the Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii.

Alicia Boada is an acclaimed pastry chef and instructor with 20 plus years of experience in the culinary industry. She is the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate (The Barry Callebaut Group) whose brands include Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa, among more. As a Corporate Pastry Chef & Chocolatier, Chef Alicia’s role often calls on her to perform demonstrations and training worldwide keeping her on the edge of what’s happening in the contemporary pastry and chocolate world. Chef Alicia will be performing two chocolate culinary demonstration as part of the Festival in addition to judging the Gala’s delicious offerings.

Tattoo Tequila CEO, “Tequila John” Atanasio (a Maui resident) set out 7 years ago with the goal of crafting a “Super Premium Tequila” that would use the highest grade of organic Blue Weber Agave available in the World and to use the best ingredients available to develop “The Champagne of Tequilas.” Tattoo Tequila today has legitimate brand positioning as a leader in the Craft Spirits sector. We’ll meet Tequila John.

Wendle Lesher is the Director of Food and Beverage for Mauna Kea Resort, encompassing all restaurant and banquet staff and food and beverage operations at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection and Hapuna Beach Resort, (emerging very soon as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort). In his role as Mauna Kea Resort Director of Food and Beverage, Lesher is responsible operationally and fiscally for nearly a dozen food and beverage outlets. We’ll chat with Wendle about the intriguing new restaurants at Hapuna including Meridia, Naupaka Beach Grill and Ikena Landing.

Chef Stéphane Tréand debuted, The Pastry School in 2012, in San Clemente. In 2015, he moved his school to Costa Mesa along with his new pâtisserie (pastry) shop, ST Pâtisserie Chocolat, to the Soco Collection!  He wanted people to come and buy pastries, chocolates, viennoiserie (baked goods such as croissants), and gelato/sorbet at his shop. But he also wanted to show others, “you can learn and create beautiful items such as these, right-next-door with me (Chef Stéphane Tréand) as your teacher!” At The Big Island Chocolate Festival Chef Stephane is performing two chocolate culinary demonstrations.

Chef Dayne Tanabe oversees the KPC Restaurant at the Hilton Waikola Village on The Big Island. Chef Dayne was instrumental in repositioning the menu direction for KPC – Kamuela Provision Company, the signature restaurant at Hilton Waikoloa Village. KPC features local Hawaii Island produce, prime steaks and fresh island fish and seafood. As Chef of Restaurants, Dayne now has the added responsibility for overseeing the many dining restaurants at Hilton Waikoloa Village, creating and implementing concept driven menus at Big Island Breakfast, Imari Japanese Izakaya, Lagoon Grill, Orchid Marketplace, Malolo, Boat Landing Cantina and Dona & Toni’s Pizzeria. Chef Dayne joins us with his award-winning pastry chef, Eddie Enojardo.

Farsheed BonakdarFarsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 7th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts.

Beyond creating, implementing and promoting the Big Island Chocolate Festival, the Kona Cacao Association works with cacao growers, producers, chocolate enthusiasts and chefs to help create a recognizable brand for Hawaii Island Chocolate. KCA members work together towards creating a structure to maintain the quality of cacao grown, marketed and shipped from Hawaii for the future growth of this fledging industry.

We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.

Tom CrossTom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our host, the Hapuna Beach Resort, which just completed a $50 million dollar renovation. Within a few weeks it will emerge as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. It’s part of the magnificent Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii.

The renovation’s highlights include new dining concepts/restaurants Meridia, Naupaka Beach Grill, ‘Ikena Landing and Piko Coffee+Bar; an adults-only pool; and wellness-inspired guest experiences, including a CrossFit studio, Westin Workout, Westin Kids’ Club and Hapuna Spa.

The resort’s indoor/outdoor lobby features a Living Wall vertical garden and interactive guest check-in pods, and its 232 guestrooms and 17 suites will be refurbished with Westin-brand signature room furnishings and fixtures.

Tom Cross joined Hapuna in 2013 and in his role as Hotel Manager, he is responsible for all operating departments within the hotel including rooms, and food and beverage and their overall financial performance.

Prior to his position at Hapuna, Cross served as Resort Manager at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore where he began as Director of Conference Services and Food and Beverage. He was promoted to Director of Operations in 2006 with expanded responsibilities and was named Resort Manager in 2009. Cross has also held management positions at Kona Village Resort, Hawaii Regent Hotel and the Hawaiian Waikiki Beach Hotel.

Alicia BoadaAlicia Boada is an acclaimed pastry chef and instructor with 20 plus years of experience in the culinary industry. She is the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate (The Barry Callebaut Group) whose brands include Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa, among more.

As a Corporate Pastry Chef & Chocolatier, Chef Alicia’s role often calls on her to perform demonstrations and training worldwide keeping her on the edge of what’s happening in the contemporary pastry and chocolate world.

Chef Alicia will be performing two chocolate culinary demonstration as part of the Festival in addition to judging the Gala’s delicious offerings.

Tequila John AtanasioTattoo Tequila CEO, “Tequila John” Atanasio (now a Maui resident) set out 7 years ago with the goal of crafting a “Super Premium Tequila” that would use the highest grade of organic Blue Weber Agave available in the World and to use the best ingredients available to develop “The Champagne of Tequilas.” Tattoo Tequila today has legitimate brand positioning as a leader in the Craft Spirits sector.

Tattoo Tequila has a portfolio of 100% organic Blue Agave based tequila with expressions that include Blanco, Reposado, Añejo and Extra Añejo.

Tequila John is part of the Festival presenting the unexpected “Chocolate & Organic Tequila Pairings” seminar. He’ll demonstrate how different, organic tequilas and uniquely flavored chocolates can tastefully complement each other. We’re all in…

We’ll meet Tequila John.

Wendle LesherWendle Lesher is the Director of Food and Beverage for Mauna Kea Resort, encompassing all restaurant and banquet staff and food and beverage operations at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection and Hapuna Beach Resort, (emerging very soon as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort).

In his role as Mauna Kea Resort Director of Food and Beverage, Lesher is responsible operationally and fiscally for nearly a dozen food and beverage outlets. We’ll chat with Wendle about the intriguing new restaurants at Hapuna including Meridia, Naupaka Beach Grill and Ikena Landing.

Lesher joined Mauna Kea Resort in 2017 having worked since 2013 at The Fairmont Orchid, first as Director of Outlets, then Director of Food and Beverage and later as Director of Operations. Lesher also worked as Restaurant General Manager at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

Stephane TreandChef Stéphane Tréand debuted, The Pastry School in 2012, in San Clemente. In 2015, he moved his school to Costa Mesa along with his new pâtisserie (pastry) shop, ST Pâtisserie Chocolat, to the SoCo Collection!  He wanted people to come and buy pastries, chocolates, viennoiserie (baked goods such as croissants), and gelato/sorbet at his shop. But he also wanted to show others, “you can learn and create beautiful items such as these, right-next-door with me (Chef Stéphane Tréand) as your teacher!”

“Come and learn from M.O.F. Chef Stéphane Tréand, students of all levels can choose from a wide array of subjects and class styles that meet their specific needs. Anyone can take the classes and learn from the master of The Pastry School.”

“Established in 2014, ST Pâtisserie Chocolat is Chef Stéphane Tréand’s premiere pastry shop! Bringing you the highest fashion in modern, Parisian pastry and confections to the wide and eclectic array of shops and wonders in the South Coast Collection (SoCo) and OC Mix shopping center.  ST Pâtisserie Chocolat is filled with delicious delights from pastries to a wide variety in chocolates, even homemade gelato and sorbets you will be sure to take a piece of France home with you.”

At The Big Island Chocolate Festival Chef Stephane is performing two chocolate culinary demonstrations.

Dayne TanabeChef Dayne Tanabe oversees the KPC Restaurant at the Hilton Waikola Village on The Big Island. Chef Dayne was instrumental in repositioning the menu direction for KPC – Kamuela Provision Company, the signature restaurant at Hilton Waikoloa Village. KPC features local Hawaii Island produce, prime steaks and fresh island fish and seafood.

As Chef of Restaurants, Dayne now also has the responsibility for overseeing the many dining restaurants at Hilton Waikoloa Village, creating and implementing concept driven menus at Big Island Breakfast, Imari Japanese Izakaya, Lagoon Grill, Orchid Marketplace, Malolo, Boat Landing Cantina and Dona & Toni’s Pizzeria.

Eddie EnojardoThis talented young chef has had extensive culinary experience previously on Oahu as a sushi chef at Moa Mua Tei, a Sous Chef at Baja Betty’s Southwest Bar & Grill, and Sous Chef at Keoni’s, located in the Outrigger Ohana Waikiki Hotel.

Chef Dayne and his Pastry Chef, Eddie Enojardo, have a long, impressive history of winning awards at the BICF Gala. Last year Chef Dayne took the honors for “Best Savory” item and Pastry Chef Eddie earned the award for “Best Bonbon.” What will this year bring?

Chef Dayne joins us with his award-winning pastry chef, Eddie Enojardo.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao Association
Segment Three: Tom Cross, Hotel Manager, Hapuna Beach Resort
Segment Four: Chef Alicia Boada, West Coast Technical Advisor, Barry Callebaut Chocolate
Segment Five: “Tequila John” Atanasio, Tattoo Tequila
Segment Six: Wendle Lesher, Director of Food and Beverage, Mauna Kea Resort
Segment Seven: Robert Durant, Owner & Brewer, Inland Wharf Brewing Co.
Segment Eight: Dayne Tanabe, Chef of Restaurants & Pastry Chef Eddie Enojardo, Hilton Waikola Village

Show 221, April 29, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Big Island Chocolate FestivalIt’s a very special day of indulgence and celebration on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” We’re live from the 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. We’re broadcasting from the Reef Lounge with an incredible ocean view.

Hawaii is the only state in the USA where cacao, the primary base of chocolate, can be successfully grown commercially.

Now a properly decadent preview of this Saturday’s full 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…

When it comes to insider’s knowledge of the vibrant Chicago food scene one of the best sources is Chicago ABC 7 Eyewitness News Food Reporter, Steve Dolinsky, “The Hungry Hound.” Steve was recently nominated for his potential 14th James Beard Foundation Award for journalistic excellence in reporting. The James Beard Awards Gala is May 1st at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. As a veteran of The James Beard Awards in both New York and Chicago, Steve joins us with a preview of what’s in store and a report on the Media Awards.

Farsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.

Hawaii Island native Peter Abarcar, Jr. was promoted in 2015 from executive chef of Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel to director of culinary and beverage operations. Chef Abarcar now oversees all culinary, food and beverage operations at the 350-room oceanfront resort including the resort’s signature restaurant, Coast Grille. He also supervises operations for extensive catering and banquets, the Ocean Terrace Restaurant and The Beach Bar. We pull him out of the busy kitchens and “Talk Story.”

Alicia Boada is an acclaimed pastry chef and instructor with 20 plus years of experience in the culinary industry. She is the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate (The Barry Callebaut Group) whose brands include Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa, among more. As a Corporate Pastry Chef & Chocolatier, Chef Alicia’s role often calls on her to perform demonstrations and training worldwide keeping her on the edge of what’s happening in the contemporary pastry and chocolate world. Chef Alicia will be performing a chocolate demonstration as part of the Festival in addition to judging the Gala’s delicious offerings.

Maui Chef Elizabeth (Betty) McDonald of B3 A Beach Bunny Bakery is a judge for the Gala as well as the College Competition. She is a veteran of The Big Island Chocolate Festival. Chef Betty has been in the culinary field since 2003, developing a love for baking at a young age from her mother and grandmothers. She has been fortunate enough to travel with her husband living and working in the four corners of the country.

Guittard’s Chocolate Company’s Executive Chef and Chocolatier, Donald Wressell, really needs no long introduction to listeners. Prior to his joining Guittard Chocolate as the in-house pastry chef, Donald Wressell spent 19 years at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills where he was named the 2005 Pastry Chef of the Year, won Silver and Gold medals in the Grand Salon Culinaire and placed second at the Les Masters du Chocolat competition. Chef Donald also represented the USA four times in Le Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie and captained the winning team at the 2011 National Pastry Team Championship.

Chef instructor Teresa “Cheech” Shurilla of University of Hawaii – Maui College oversees the college competition at The Big Island Chocolate Festival and has done it for several years. The Festival has had student participants from UH-Maui College, UH-Hilo and UH-Palamanui in Kona. It is Friday, April 28th and winners are announced at the Festival Gala. Chef Shurilla has been working and teaching in the culinary field for over thirty-four years. Prepare to be judged…

Andrew and William GruelChef Andrew Gruel is at Trade in Irvine this Saturday (busily training & cooking) in the soft opening phase of Two Birds and Butterleaf. He’ll happily fly the coop and be back with us next week.

Mahalo nui loa to The Big Island Chocolate Festival, Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel and Prince Resorts Hawaii, our gracious hosts in Hawaii.

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

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Show 221, April 29, 2017: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao Association (KCA)

Farsheed BonakdarFarsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts.

Beyond creating, implementing and promoting the Big Island Chocolate Festival, the Kona Cacao Association works with cacao growers, producers, chocolate enthusiasts and chefs to help create a recognizable brand for Hawaii Island Chocolate. KCA members work together towards creating a structure to maintain the quality of cacao grown, marketed and shipped from Hawaii for the future growth of this fledging industry.

Working with the American Culinary Federation, Kona Kohala Chefs Association, KCA encourages the advancement of culinary students at both the High School and College levels.

The 6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival Gala sold out with a capacity 600 guests.

We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.

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