Show 294, October 20, 2018: Executive Chef Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort Casino, Temecula

Duane Owen of Pechanga Casino and ResortSeasoned Executive Chef Duane Owen oversees all the busy, high-volume kitchens at the Pechanga Resort Casino. He’s coordinating Pechanga’s participation in the “Loaded Fries” competition. Thirteen Pechanga Resort Casino chefs are partnering with third year Career Technical Education (CTE) students at Temecula Valley High School to create their Loaded Fries recipes. The culinary arts students are the executive chefs for the afternoon while the Pechanga chefs function as their sous chefs.

Duane comes from a restaurant family, and was introduced to cooking at a young age through his three uncles, who were all professional chefs at a variety of East Coast restaurants. Duane began his culinary career while working summers in Cape Cod at the famous Chatham Bars Inn. From there, he moved on to some of the top resorts in the country, including the Belleview Biltmore Hotel in Clearwater, FL and The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, CT.

Chef Duane (also serving as a Competition Judge for Battle of the Burgers & Loaded Fries) joins us with the hot and crispy specifics.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Show 293, October 6, 2018: Executive Chef John Brenning, Legends Hospitality for LA Memorial Coliseum

John BrenningThe historic LA Memorial Coliseum (host of 2 previous Olympic Games) is home to USC Trojan Football and LA Rams Football. Executive Chef John Brenning of Legends Hospitality oversees the menu there.

New for this season is Chef John’s LA Hot Chicken Sandwich with both “Hot” and “Extra Hot” versions! Everything is prepared fresh, from-scratch including the guacamole used in the outrageous Carne Asada Loaded Fries and Guacamole & Chips.

Also noteworthy is the Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich. The pork shoulder is actually slow-smoked on-site for 17-hours. Chef John is now working with Melissa’s to add more tasty vegetarian items to the menu.

Chef Brenning began his career in the culinary arts more than 20 years ago. Before joining Legends and spending the past three years in the sports and entertainment side of the business at The Coliseum, Chef John held positions at the Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons Hotels across California.

“It’s all about the food and service. The food and service will only be as good as the passion and heart put into it.” – Chef John Brenning

Show 293, October 6, 2018: 2nd Annual “Battle of the Burgers,” Annette Brown, Director of Public Relations, Visit Temecula Valley

Battle of the BurgersVisit Temecula Valley will hold its 2nd Annual Battle of the Burgers on Saturday, October 20, 2018 in conjunction with Pechanga Resort Casino and Temecula Valley Unified School District. Some 20 restaurants are expected to compete for the championship title at Pechanga Resort Casino. New to the event, is a “Loaded Fries” competition that will include thirteen Pechanga Resort Casino executive chefs partnering with third year Career Technical Education (CTE) students at Temecula Valley High School. The students will team up with the chefs to create their Loaded Fries recipes and will be the executive chefs for the day, while Pechanga chefs will be their sous chefs.

Temecula Valley Unified School District CTE students will volunteer for the event, with the third-year students competing in the cooking challenge. The school is selling tickets to the event for $10 each as a fundraiser. All the proceeds will go directly to purchase food handler cards for their culinary students.

Attendees will be able to try several burgers from participating restaurants, as well as loaded fries from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The winners will be announced after 3:00 p.m. at the event, and posted online right here.

Visit Temecula Valley’s Director of Public Relations, Annette Brown, serves up all the juicy details.