Show 187, September 3, 2016: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group

Happy Labor Day Weekend. Our soundest advice…? Celebrate with something great to eat along the way…

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Brea, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, most recently, The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for Rams and USC Football, is back as today’s special Guest Host. In May in Chicago during the National Restaurant Association’s annual conclave he received Nation’s Restaurant News’ Trendsetter MenuMaster Award for Slapfish.

Now a provocatively tempting preview of Saturday’s abundant Holiday Weekend show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a pretty good thing…

Local food journalist (with her well-trained ear always to the ground for exclusives) and regular contributor to OC Weekly, Anne Marie Panoringan, was just on a whirlwind dining and libation exploration in the Denver and Boulder Colorado areas. Anne Marie generously shares some of her best discoveries.

Chefs supporting a worthy cause yet again…The 1st Annual “Tastemakers of Orange County” at SOCO on September 8th benefits The Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA.) Featured Chefs Amar Santana, Greg Daniels and OCAPICA’s Executive Director Mary Anne Foo join us with the needed 411.

So you want to be a travel writer…? What are the needed prerequisites and how do you potentially make it happen? Travel Journalist and President of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA), Linda Kissam, joins us to provide the straightforward basics.

Riverside’s Wicks Brewing Company is one of the largest brewpubs in the Inland Empire with 16 taps, a great rotating guest tap and bottle list, crave-worthy food, live entertainment and one of the only Brew-On-Premise (BOP) systems in California! Tapping the keg for us are in-studio guests General Manager Ryan Wicks and Head Brewer Brian Herbertson.

CANstruction Long Beach returns on September 15th in the Landmark Square Building lobby to benefit Food Finders (food rescue / food bank.) The creative folks at Moffatt & Nichol are competing for the 3rd time. Ari Konyalian of Moffatt & Nichol joins us with all the specifics.

Our Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of The Slapfish Restaurant Group will be at the Los Angeles Times The Taste” this Sunday at Paramount Pictures Studios historic lot in Hollywood for “Flavors of L.A.” hosted by Jonathan Gold. He gives us a preview of his food station (an incredible premium surf & turf burger creation that’s quite a mouthful.) Also on the menu is some tasty and nutritious conversation about the appeal of sardines. Bait fish no more…Respect the humble sardine.

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

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Show 187, September 3, 2016: Linda Kissam, President, International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association

Linda KissamSo you want to be a travel writer…? If you can express yourself well then what are the needed prerequisites and how do you potentially make it happen?

Travel Journalist and President of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA), Linda Kissam, joins us to provide the straightforward basics.

The International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) is a global network of professional journalists who cover the hospitality and lifestyle fields, and the people who promote them.

The International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association’s (IFWTWA) Annual Conference is coming up October 30th through November 3rd at The Loews Coronado Bay Resort in Coronado.

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September 3: Anne Marie Panoringan, Tastemakers of OC, Linda Kissam, Wicks Brewing, CANstruction Long Beach

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Food Journalist Anne Marie Panoringan, OC Weekly
Segment Three: Chefs Amar Santana and Greg Daniels – “Tastemakers of Orange County”
Segment Four: Linda Kissam, President, International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association
Segment Five: Wicks Brewing Company, Riverside Part One
Segment Six: Wicks Brewing Company, Riverside Part Two
Segment Seven: CANstruction Long Beach, Team Moffat & Nichol’s Ari Konyalian
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Chief Seafood Officer, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Happy Labor Day Weekend. Our soundest advice…? Celebrate with something great to eat along the way…

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Brea, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, most recently, The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for Rams and USC Football, is back as today’s special Guest Host. In May in Chicago during the National Restaurant Association’s annual conclave he received Nation’s Restaurant News’ Trendsetter MenuMaster Award for Slapfish.

Now a provocatively tempting preview of Saturday’s abundant Holiday Weekend show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a pretty good thing…

Local food journalist (with her well-trained ear always to the ground for exclusives) and regular contributor to OC Weekly, Anne Marie Panoringan, was just on a whirlwind dining and libation exploration in the Denver and Boulder, Colorado areas. Anne Marie generously shares some of her discoveries.

Chefs supporting a worthy cause yet again…The 1st Annual “Tastemakers of Orange County” at SOCO on September 8th benefits The Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA.) Featured Chefs Amar Santana, Greg Daniels and Dean Kim join us with the needed 411.

So you want to be a travel writer…? What are the needed prerequisites and how do you potentially make it happen? Travel Journalist and President of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA), Linda Kissam, joins us to provide the straightforward basics.

Riverside’s Wicks Brewing Company is one of the largest brewpubs in the Inland Empire with 16 taps, a great rotating guest tap and bottle list, crave-worthy food, live entertainment and one of the only Brew-On-Premise (BOP) systems in California! Tapping the keg for us are in-studio guests General Manager Ryan Wicks and Head Brewer Brian Herbertson.

CANstruction Long Beach returns on September 15th in the Landmark Square Building lobby to benefit Food Finders (food rescue / food bank.) The creative folks at Moffatt & Nichol are competing for the 3rd time. Ari Konyalian of Moffatt & Nichol joins us with all the specifics.

Our Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of The Slapfish Restaurant Group will be at the Los Angeles Times “The Taste” this weekend at Paramount Pictures Studios historic lot in Hollywood. He’ll give us a preview of his food station and, with any luck, plenty more.

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

Anne Marie PanoringanLocal food journalist (with her well-trained ear always to the ground for exclusives) and regular contributor to OC Weekly, Anne Marie Panoringan, was just on a whirlwind dining and libation exploration in the Denver and Boulder, Colorado areas. Anne Marie generously shares some of her discoveries.

Her fine-dining experience was at Boulder’s acclaimed Frasca Foods & Wine. This is owned by Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey (ex-French Laundry) and Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson. They are also the creators of the buzz-worthy Pizzeria Locale in Boulder.

Also look for Anne Marie’s informative “On the Line” piece (August 29th,) with Chef Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen.

Amar SantanaChefs supporting a worthy cause yet again…The 1st Annual “Tastemakers of Orange County” at SOCO on September 8th benefits The Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA.)

This culinary event celebrates the Asian and Pacific Islander community, culture, and heritage and gives guests the opportunity to taste and indulge in Asian and Pacific Island-inspired cuisines and beverages from distinguished chefs throughout Orange County.

Greg Daniels of Haven GastropubThe Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA) was established in 1997 with the vision to build healthier, happier, and stronger communities and strives to transform Orange County through innovative programs and strategies that can be a model for other individuals, groups, and organizations to follow in efforts to change.

Featured benefit Chefs Amar Santana (Vaca & Broadway by Amar Santana,) Greg Daniels (Haven Gastropub) and Dean Kim (OC Baking Co.) join us with the needed 411.

Linda KissamSo you want to be a travel writer…? If you can express yourself well then what are the needed prerequisites and how do you potentially make it happen?

Travel Journalist and President of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA), Linda Kissam, joins us to provide the straightforward basics.

The International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) is a global network of professional journalists who cover the hospitality and lifestyle fields, and the people who promote them.

Brian Herbertson and Ryan WicksRiverside’s Wicks Brewing Company is one of the largest brewpubs in the Inland Empire with 16 taps, a great rotating guest tap and bottle list, crave-worthy food, live entertainment and one of the only Brew-On-Premise (BOP) systems in California!

Wicks Brewing Co was founded in 2013 with the sole purpose of bringing great craft beer and food to the Inland Empire in an environment that the whole family could enjoy. The Wicks Brewing Co’s brewpub houses a beautiful 7 bbl copper brew house, which is visible from their open floor taproom and restaurant. You will often see their brewers at work creating their next batch of great craft beer!

The taproom also showcases a 6 station Brew-On-Premise (BOP) system which allows guests the opportunity to brew their own beer under the personal guidance of one of The Wicks’ brewers.

Wicks’ Paladin Hoppy Pale Ale is a liberally hopped pale ale. It brought home bronze at the World Beer Cup in 2016 and back-to-back gold at the 2015 and 2016 Los Angeles International Beer Competitions. Copious amounts of citra and cascade hops impart layers of tropical fruit notes and grapefruit aromatics.

Tapping the keg for us are in-studio guests General Manager Ryan Wicks and Head Brewer Brian Herbertson.

Ryan Wicks is also the Vice President of the Inland Empire Brewers Guild and Brian Herbertson is the Event Chairman. Their inaugural Summer Send Off Beer Festival is Saturday, September 17th at Riverside Municipal Airport.

The Inland Empire Brewers’ Guild is a 501c6 non-profit organization whose mission is to both promote and celebrate beer culture in the Inland Empire.

Canstruction Long BeachCANstruction Long Beach returns on September 15th in the Landmark Square Building lobby to benefit Food Finders (food rescue / food bank.)

What is CANstruction? CANstruction is an international design-build competition. Long Beach is one of over 100 cities that combines the fun of a design-build competition with an ingenious way to help feed hungry people. Local students mentored by these professionals, create phenomena structures built entirely out of canned food. Judging occurs in categories such as Best Use of Labels, Structural Ingenuity, Best Meal, Most Cans, People’s Choice and Jurors’ Favorite, and awards are presented following the exhibition. At the close of the exhibition all of the canned food used in these structures is donated to the Food Finders fresh food rescue / food bank.

“Food Finders is a multi-regional food bank and food rescue program headquartered in Lakewood. We pick up donated food from hundreds of local grocery stores, bakeries, restaurants and produce markets and distribute it directly to missions, shelters and social service agencies to feed the needy and impoverished. Our volunteers and staff­ drivers pick up and deliver on a same-day basis. On average, Food Finders helps provide enough food for 39,000 meals a day, reducing the amount of food insecurity and food waste prevalent throughout Southern California.”

The creative folks at Moffatt & Nichol are competing for the 3rd time. Ari Konyalian of Moffatt & Nichol joins us with all the specifics.

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, will be at the Los Angeles Times “The Taste” this weekend at Paramount Pictures Studios historic lot in Hollywood. He’ll give us a preview of his food station and probably plenty more.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Food Journalist Anne Marie Panoringan, OC Weekly
Segment Three: Chefs Amar Santana and Greg Daniels – “Tastemakers of Orange County”
Segment Four: Linda Kissam, President, International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association
Segment Five: Wicks Brewing Company, Riverside Part One
Segment Six: Wicks Brewing Company, Riverside Part Two
Segment Seven: CANstruction Long Beach, Team Moffat & Nichol’s Ari Konyalian
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Chief Seafood Officer, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Show 110, February 14, 2015: Show Preview with Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Producer and Co-Host Andy Harris is going solo in the host chair this morning. Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish is back in the Guest Host seat on February 21st. Now a preview of today’s abundantly overstuffed show with a dash of romance in celebration of Valentine’s Day.

Twenty Eight Restaurant & Lounge is hosting its first exclusive Chef Dinner prepared by “Top Chef New Orleans’ star contestants Chef Shirley Chung and Chef Nina Compton. (Chef Nina was voted “Fan Favorite” for her season on “Top Chef.”) This fierce, highly competitive female duo is coming together to present an incredible menu for two seatings per night on Wednesday, February 25th and Thursday, February 26th. Twenty percent of ticket sales will benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. Chefs Shirley and Nina join us with a tempting preview of the stellar evenings.

 

American diners began to flock to Chinese restaurants more than a century ago, making Chinese food the first mass-produced cuisine in the United States. By 1980, it had become the country’s most popular ethnic cuisine. Chop Suey, USA – The Story of Chinese Food in America by Yong Chen offers the first comprehensive interpretation of the rise of Chinese food, revealing the forces that made it ubiquitous in the American gastronomic landscape and turned the country into an empire of consumption. Our guest, Yong Chen, raised by his food-loving mother in China, is a professor of history at the University of California, Irvine.

 

With Mardi Gras in full swing and Fat Tuesday coming up it’s time to talk about the wonderful tradition of King Cakes with our New Orleans food authority, Gisele Perez. Food historian and chef, Gisele Perez, is a contributor to SoFab Magazine, the official publication of the Southern Food and Beverage Institute and a New Orleans native who recently returned there after a long stay in Los Angeles. She is also the chef/proprietor of Small Pleasures, a full service boutique catering firm based in New Orleans.

 

Chef Damian Stanley is the always on the move Executive Sous Chef at the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula. Since the hotel tower and casino opened in 2002 at Pechanga they have enjoyed an outstanding reputation for the quality and diversity of their food and beverage offerings. Chef Damian was the project manager for one of their newest interactive fine-dining spots, Umi Sushi and Oyster Bar. Chef Damian will also preview the upcoming 2-day, Chocolate Decadence and Pechanga Wine Festival where fine chocolate and premium wines come together on February 27th and 28th.

 

 

The 10th Annual Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show brings thousands of travel options and international culture and cuisine to the Long Beach Convention Center the Weekend of February 21st and 22nd.

The nation’s largest travel show features an impressive roster of celebrity expert travel speakers including Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown, Rick Steves, Pauline Frommer, Peter Greenberg and Phil Keoghan. Food, wine and travel journalist Linda Kissam is the President of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. IFWTWA is part of the L.A. Travel & Adventure Show and Linda is with us to provide an overview of the event.

It’s the 7th banner year for OC Restaurant Week coming up on March 1st (Sunday) through March 7th (Saturday.) The popular annual promotion provides a wide variety of dining options ranging from casual and family friendly establishments to upscale and fine dining. The values at every price level are especially diner-friendly. During the weeklong event, participating restaurants will offer special three-course menus, many with a cocktail or signature item at no additional cost. Veteran restaurateur Don Myers, the co-owner of Brunos Italian Kitchen and ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen (both in Downtown Brea) is participating in OC Restaurant Week. He’s here to provide all the delicious details.

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

 

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Show 110, February 14, 2015: LA Travel & Adventure Show

Linda KissamThe 10th Annual Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show brings thousands of travel options and international culture and cuisine to the Long Beach Convention Center the Weekend of February 21st and 22nd. The nation’s largest travel show features an impressive roster of celebrity expert travel speakers including Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown, Rick Steves, Pauline Frommer, Peter Greenberg and Phil Keoghan.

The event will feature hundreds of exhibiting companies and countries representing some of the world’s most sought-after destinations, tour offerings and travel experiences. The Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show promises a weekend of discovery and inspiration to help travelers “dream it, plan it and book it.” Event attendees will be able to shop exclusive travel deals, attend travel seminars on three educational stages and meet prominent travel experts.

Food, wine and travel journalist Linda Kissam is the President of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. IFWTWA is part of the L.A. Travel & Adventure Show and Linda is with us to provide an overview of the event.

Linda notes that if you buy your tickets in advance via their website there is a big discount over purchasing tickets at the door (which requires cash.)

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February 14: Shirley Chung, Nina Compton, Chop Suey USA, Gisele Perez, Pechanga Resort Casino, Linda Kissam, OC Restaurant Week

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chefs Shirley Chung & Nina Compton of “Top Chef” Season 11
Segment Three: Chop Suey, USA – The Story of Chinese Food in America
Segment Four: Food Historian & Chef, Gisele Perez on King Cakes
Segment Five: Damian Stanley, Executive Sous Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino Part One
Segment Six: Damian Stanley, Executive Sous Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino Part Two
Segment Seven: LA Travel & Adventure Show
Segment Eight: OC Restaurant Week 2015

Producer and Co-Host Andy Harris is going solo in the host chair this morning. Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish is back in the Guest Host seat on February 21st. Now a preview of today’s abundantly overstuffed show with a dash of romance in celebration of Valentine’s Day.

Twenty Eight Restaurant & Lounge is hosting its first exclusive Chef Dinner prepared by “Top Chef New Orleans’” star contestants Chef Shirley Chung and Chef Nina Compton. (Chef Nina was voted “Fan Favorite” for her season on “Top Chef.”) This fierce, highly competitive female duo is coming together to present an incredible menu for two seatings per night on Wednesday, February 25th and Thursday, February 26th. Twenty percent of ticket sales will benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. Chefs Shirley and Nina join us with a tempting preview of the stellar evenings.

American diners began to flock to Chinese restaurants more than a century ago, making Chinese food the first mass-produced cuisine in the United States. By 1980, it had become the country’s most popular ethnic cuisine. Chop Suey, USA – The Story of Chinese Food in America by Yong Chen offers the first comprehensive interpretation of the rise of Chinese food, revealing the forces that made it ubiquitous in the American gastronomic landscape and turned the country into an empire of consumption. Our guest, Yong Chen, raised by his food-loving mother in China, is a professor of history at the University of California, Irvine.

With Mardi Gras in full swing and Fat Tuesday coming up it’s time to talk about the tradition of King Cakes with our New Orleans food authority, Gisele Perez. Food historian and chef, Gisele Perez, is a contributor to SoFab Magazine, the official publication of the Southern Food and Beverage Institute and a New Orleans native who recently returned there after a long stay in Los Angeles. She is also the chef/proprietor of Small Pleasures, a full service boutique catering firm based in New Orleans.

Chef Damian Stanley is the always on the move Executive Sous Chef at the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula. Since the hotel tower and casino opened in 2002 at Pechanga they have enjoyed an outstanding reputation for the quality and diversity of their food and beverage offerings. Chef Damian was the project manager for one of their newest interactive fine-dining spots, Umi Sushi and Oyster Bar. Chef Damian will also preview the upcoming 2-day, Chocolate Decadence and Pechanga Wine Festival where fine chocolate and premium wines come together on February 27th and 28th.

The 10th Annual Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show brings thousands of travel options and international culture and cuisine to the Long Beach Convention Center the Weekend of February 21st and 22nd. The nation’s largest travel show features an impressive roster of celebrity expert travel speakers including Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown, Rick Steves, Pauline Frommer, Peter Greenberg and Phil Keoghan. Food, wine and travel journalist Linda Kissam is the President of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. IFWTWA is part of the L.A. Travel & Adventure Show and Linda is with us to provide an overview of the event.

It’s the 7th banner year for OC Restaurant Week coming up on March 1st (Sunday) through March 7th (Saturday.) The popular annual promotion provides a wide variety of dining options ranging from casual and family friendly establishments to upscale and fine dining. The values at every price level are especially diner-friendly. During the weeklong event, participating restaurants will offer special three-course menus, many with a cocktail or signature item at no additional cost. Veteran restaurateur Don Myers, the co-owner of Brunos Italian Kitchen and ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen (both in Downtown Brea) is participating in OC Restaurant Week. He’s here to provide all the delicious details.

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

Shirley ChungThe newly launched Twenty Eight Restaurant & Lounge is hosting its first exclusive Chef Dinner prepared by “Top Chef New Orleans’” star contestants Chef Shirley Chung and Chef Nina Compton. (Chef Nina was voted “Fan Favorite” for her season on “Top Chef.”) This fierce, highly competitive female duo is coming together to present an incredible menu for two seatings per night on Wednesday, February 25th and Thursday, February 26th.

Twenty percent of ticket sales will benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. The organization is ending childhood hunger in America by connecting kids in need with nutritious food and teaching families how to cook healthy, affordable meals.

Chef Shirley and Chef Nina will present a seven-course collaborative menu. Each chef will present three courses inspired by their competition dishes on “Top Chef” Season 11.The dinner will feature two seatings from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and again from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. each night on Wednesday, February 25th and Thursday, February 26th. Tickets for the Top Chef Duo Dinner are priced at $168 per guest ($68 for wine and cocktail pairings.)

Chefs Shirley and Nina join us with a tempting preview of the stellar evenings.

 Chop Suey USA The Story of Chinese Food in AmericaAmerican diners began to flock to Chinese restaurants more than a century ago, making Chinese food the first mass-produced cuisine in the United States. By 1980, it had become the country’s most popular ethnic cuisine. Chop Suey, USA – The Story of Chinese Food in America by Yong Chen offers the first comprehensive interpretation of the rise of Chinese food, revealing the forces that made it ubiquitous in the American gastronomic landscape and turned the country into an empire of consumption.

“Engineered by a politically disenfranchised, numerically small, and economically exploited group, Chinese food’s tour de America is an epic story of global cultural encounter. It reflects not only changes in taste but also a growing appetite for a more leisurely lifestyle. Americans fell in love with Chinese food not because of its gastronomic excellence but because of its affordability and convenience. This explains why Americans preferred the quick and simple dishes of China while shunning its haute cuisine. Epitomized by chop suey, American Chinese food was a forerunner of McDonald’s, democratizing the once-exclusive dining-out experience for such groups as marginalized Anglos, African Americans, and Jews.”

Chop Suey, USA just received honorable mention in the 2015 PROSE Awards in the category of American History.

Our guest, Yong Chen, raised by his food-loving mother in China, is a professor of history at the University of California, Irvine.

Gisele PerezWith Mardi Gras in full swing and Fat Tuesday coming up it’s time to talk about the tradition of King Cakes with our New Orleans food authority, Gisele Perez. Food historian and chef, Gisele Perez, is a contributor to SoFab Magazine, the official publication of the Southern Food and Beverage Institute and a New Orleans native who recently returned there after a long stay in Los Angeles. She is also the chef/proprietor of Small Pleasures, a full service boutique catering firm based in New Orleans.

One of the most popular foods during Mardi Gras is the King Cake, consumed by the carload and traditionally sold in bakeries, grocery stores and delis from January 6th to Ash Wednesday. Locals and visitors alike eat King Cakes for breakfast, coffee break, and dessert. In fact, almost any excuse to grab a slice will do.

The tradition of King Cakes dates back to the Middle Ages when a popular devotion during Christmas was placed on the Three Wise Men (or Kings) who followed the North Star to find Christ. The twelfth night after the birth of Christ marks the end of Christmas and the celebration of the Epiphany. Thus, Twelfth Night in some cultures becomes a time for pageants and giving special presents to children. Along with gifts came the celebratory cake, or King Cake.

Danian StanleyChef Damian Stanley is the always on the move Executive Sous Chef at the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula. Since the hotel tower and casino opened in 2002 at Pechanga they have enjoyed an outstanding reputation for the quality and diversity of their food and beverage offerings. Chef Damian was the project manager for one of their newest interactive fine-dining spots, Umi Sushi and Oyster Bar.

Chef Damian will also preview the upcoming 2-day, Chocolate Decadence and Pechanga Wine Festival where fine chocolate and premium wines come together on February 27th and 28th.

Hundreds of wine varieties, sweet and savory chocolate confections, food samples from acclaimed Pechanga Resort & Casino Restaurants, live music, silent auction and helping out a good cause are all on the agenda for the two days of events inside the Pechanga Resort & Casino Grand Ballroom in Temecula, CA.

Chocolate Decadence on Friday, February 27th features more than 30 wine varietals that have been shown to masterfully partner with chocolate and other sweet desserts. The event runs from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and is $50 per guest.

The 7th annual Pechanga Wine Festival goes from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 28th. Tickets for this unforgettable event are $65.00. Combo tickets for entry into both events are available for $100.00. Proceeds from both events benefit Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley.

Attendees on Saturday will get to partake in wine varietals from the Temecula Valley, Central California, Napa/Sonoma, the Pacific Northwest, as well as international winemaking regions. Pechanga Resort & Casino’s chefs will prepare delectable tastes for guests to savor with their favorite wines. Country/pop live music will be performed by singer Alaina Blair and her band.

Umi Sushi and Oyster Bar at Pechanga Resort and CasinoChef Damian was the project manager for one of their newest interactive fine-dining spots, Umi Sushi and Oyster Bar which launched after Thanksgiving in 2013. Umi means “sea” in Japanese. Sushi, sashimi, nigiri, rolls, oysters on the half shell, seafood platters, specialty cocktails and lots more are on the varied menu at Umi Sushi and Oyster Bar.

There is a hint of the South on the menu, too. Look for authentically prepared gumbo and jambalaya. The specialty bouillabaisse has clams, fish, shrimp, scallop, and mussels in the hearty seafood broth.

Linda KissamThe 10th Annual Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show brings thousands of travel options and international culture and cuisine to the Long Beach Convention Center the Weekend of February 21st and 22nd.

The nation’s largest travel show features an impressive roster of celebrity expert travel speakers including Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown, Rick Steves, Pauline Frommer, Peter Greenberg and Phil Keoghan.

The event will feature hundreds of exhibiting companies and countries representing some of the world’s most sought-after destinations, tour offerings and travel experiences. The Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show promises a weekend of discovery and inspiration to help travelers “dream it, plan it and book it.” Event attendees will be able to shop exclusive travel deals, attend travel seminars on three educational stages and meet prominent travel experts.

Food, wine and travel journalist Linda Kissam is the President of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. IFWTWA is part of the L.A. Travel & Adventure Show and Linda is with us to provide an overview of the event.

OC Restaurant WeekIt’s the 7th banner year for OC Restaurant Week coming up on March 1st (Sunday) through March 7th (Saturday.) The popular annual promotion provides a wide variety of dining options at over 100 restaurants ranging from casual and family friendly establishments to upscale and fine dining. The values at every price level are especially diner-friendly. During the weeklong event, participating restaurants will offer special three-course menus, many with a cocktail or signature item at no additional cost. Food lovers simply dine out at as many participating restaurants as they like.

Veteran restaurateur Don Myers, the co-owner of Brunos Italian Kitchen and ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen (both in Downtown Brea,) is participating in OC Restaurant Week. Brunos is offering a $30 dinner menu while ChaCha’s presents a $15 lunch menu and a $20 dinner menu. Myers is here to provide all the delicious details.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chefs Shirley Chung & Nina Compton of “Top Chef” Season 11
Segment Three: Chop Suey, USA – The Story of Chinese Food in America
Segment Four: Food Historian & Chef, Gisele Perez on King Cakes
Segment Five: Damian Stanley, Executive Sous Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino Part One
Segment Six: Damian Stanley, Executive Sous Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino Part Two
Segment Seven: LA Travel & Adventure Show
Segment Eight: OC Restaurant Week 2015

Show 77, June 21, 2014: Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show

How do you conduct a serious educational wine tasting (that’s also fun) with a group? Wine, food and travel writer Linda Kissam is with us to explain.

Quality Italian beef, pasta, and sustainable seafood are on the menu at the new Chianina Steakhouse in the Naples area of Long Beach. This is from the hospitality team known for Michael’s on Naples. Linda Kissam recently experienced a dinner there.

The craft beer movement, surprisingly, is vibrant and thriving in Alabama. Back Forty Beer Co. is the largest, and oldest, packaging brewery in the State.

The 36th Annual Greek Festival brings a “Taste of Greece” to Orange County at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church from June 27th to 29th. More than 11,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival which will feature traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, and authentic Greek dancing with lessons. It’s a family-friendly affair!

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

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Show 77, June 21, 2014: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA

Linda KissamHow do you conduct a serious, educational wine tasting with a group that’s also entertaining and fun? Wine, food and travel writer Linda Kissam is with us to explain. She organizes proper tastings all the time…

She expertly demonstrated this recently for a group of professional food, wine, and travel journalists at the annual conference of the International, Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association in Montgomery, AL.

It was an organized tasting of five Italian Sparking Wines from the Franciacorta region of Lombardy in Northern Italy. A very limited supply of these sparkling wines eventually find their way to the United States.

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Show 77, June 21, 2014: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Continues…

Linda KissamConducting a serious tasting of Italian Sparkling Wines for professional food, wine & travel writers at The International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Conference in Montgomery, AL.

It’s fun but there is a proper way of doing this. A group size of eight is ideal to retain focus.

A good judge of a quality sparkling wine is the appearance of fine, delicate bubbles.

In a typical year Linda will taste and evaluate 1,000 wines.

She also explains what the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association does and what their mission is. Linda serves as their First Vice President.

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Show 77, June 21, 2014: Restaurateur George Kookootsedes, 36th Annual Greek Festival, St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church, Irvine

irvine-greek-festThe 36th Annual Greek Festival brings a “Taste of Greece” to Orange County at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church from June 27th to 29th. More than 11,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival which will features traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, and authentic Greek dancing with lessons. It’s a family-friendly affair!

Legendary OC Restaurateur Mr. K (George Kookootsedes)
(John Dominis) is our guest…As a dedicated volunteer he puts the incredible food program together each year.

As guest host Linda Kissam notes , “It’s the next best thing to flying to Greece.”

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