Show 318, April 6, 2019: Patti Larson, Executive Director, Food Finders

Food Finders Long BeachThis month Long Beach-based Food Finders is celebrating 30 years of rescuing food and eliminating food insecurity in Southern California.

With thirteen employees and 300 volunteers, Food Finders rescues perfectly edible, unserved food from restaurants, caterers, grocery stores, bakeries, produce markets and other food vendors and delivers it within hours to nearby agencies such as shelters, senior centers, Boys & Girls Clubs, etc., that service the food insecure throughout Southern California. This rescue effort also reduces the amount of CO2 gasses leaked into the atmosphere by keeping discarded food out of the landfills.

A personal effort and passion that began at founder Arlene Mercer’s Seal Beach kitchen table 30 years ago, Food Finders has grown into an organization that has rescued 150 million pounds of food, equating to 125 million meals, since April, 1989.

“We’re proud of our efforts to reduce hunger and food waste over the last 30 years,” said Patti Larson, who succeeded Mercer as executive director of Food Finders in 2011 when Mercer retired. “But we still have a ways to go, considering 1 in 8 in Californians remain food insecure and yet the average family of four throws out $1,500 worth of perfectly good food each year.”

Food Finders 30th Anniversary fundraising goal is to raise $30,000 in financial donations during the month of April. For more information and how to donate, visit their website.

Executive Director Patti Larson is our guest to better explain the need.

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Show 305, January 5, 2019: Restaurateur Gretchen Shoemaker – Georgia’s Restaurant, Anaheim Packing House

Gretchen ShoemakerWe love to share inspiring Family entrepreneurial success stories along with fulfilling second careers. Georgia’s Restaurant (surprisingly not named after the State) in the Anaheim Packing House is a Southern restaurant that celebrates authentic Soul Food through family recipes that deliver a home-cooked experience. At the heart of Georgia’s is Gretchen Shoemaker, who is our guest.

Gretchen tells the story of her life through the comfort foods she learned to make with her grandma, that she raised her daughters on, that served in her successful catering business, and that she has shared with family and friends throughout the years. When Gretchen’s daughter, Nika, and son-in-law, Marlon, opened Georgia’s at the Anaheim Packing House in 2014, they were intent on spreading her story of survival, community, and tradition through her food.

Today, you can find Gretchen at the restaurant, greeting guests with her warm welcome and keeping a watchful eye on the kitchen, which serves her specialties, including Chicken & Waffles, Blackened Chicken Pasta, Jambalaya, and Louisiana Tilapia & Shrimp. Georgia’s popular Plates include her signature Herb-Seasoned, Cornmeal-Crusted Buttermilk Fried Chicken; Hand-Tossed, Pan-Fried Smothered Pork Chops; Farm-Raised, Creole Seasoned, Cornmeal-Crusted Fried Catfish; Half Rack of Slow-Roasted St. Louis BBQ Ribs; and grilled-to-order 1855 Black Angus Choice Tri-Tip.

This year Georgia’s will add a 2nd location in Long Beach at the Long Beach Exchange.

 

 

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Show 304, December 29, 2018: Proprietor Otto Radke, Great Society Cider & Mead, Long Beach Continues…

Ottto RadtkeWe recently revisited Great Society Cider & Mead, Southern California’s first all-cider pub located on Broadway at the edge of Downtown Long Beach. We initially discovered them as part of DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week in 2017. We now continue our conversation with Proprietor Otto Radke.

“Complementing this incredible list, our food menu fuses seasonal offerings with unexpected spicing to create dishes that don’t just taste great, but pair well with whatever profile you choose. Try our signature burger with an unfiltered whiskey barrel-aged cider from Michigan; or an artisanal cheese plate with a tart, lightly sparkling Sidra from the Basque region of Spain. There’s a variety of pairings to tantalize your taste buds.”

A standout attraction is their surprisingly deep menu for Brunch on Weekends served between 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Think Cidermosas (Champagne, Cider and Orange Juice) and specialties including Salmon Benedict and Tamales (choice of chicken or cheese) & Eggs. For the ambitious appetite there is the Longshoreman’s Breakfast. It’s 2 pancakes, 2 eggs, 2 bacon strips, 2 chicken apple sausages and toast for a modest $13.00.

“With its origins lost in history, cider remains the most noble of beverages, having played a role in Old and New World alike. These ancient elixirs, fermented mainly from apples, have been the drink of kings and presidents, farmers and the working class. Though its fortunes have occasionally wavered, cider’s incredible diversity, and close connection with the land, has led to an amazing renaissance. Cider is a beverage that deserves homage and we are the first restaurant and taphouse in Southern California to feature it!”

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Show 301, December 8, 2018: Layla Ali-Ahmad, Beach City Food Tours’ East Village Cocktail Tour

Layla Ali Ahmad

A great way to be introduced to the foods of a new area is to partake of the highest rated food walking tour of that neighborhood. Beach City Food Tours has been doing that very successfully in Long Beach for the last couple of years.

They have just added the irresistible East Village Craft Cocktail Tour highlighting five thirst-quenching stops over the three-hour guided expedition.

It’s a carefully selected mélange of farm-to-table libations, Whiskey-centric craft cocktails, cider & mead and tequila and mezcal creations. There are also tasty small bar bites on the menu to be enjoyed along the way.

“Sip your way through Downtown Long Beach’s favorite watering holes, while learning about the City’s growing craft cocktail movement.”

One of the tour highlights is a stop at Great Society Cider & Mead, a one-of-a-kind establishment in Southern California. The entertaining Proprietor or General Manager there engagingly explains the flavor profiles of the four tasters of Cider each guest samples. There is also a food tasting there, too. On our tour they were serving a tasty Sausage & Pepper Penne Pasta creation.

This is a great Holiday Gift for that special someone who appreciates a well-crafted libation.

Proprietress Layla Ali-Ahmad joins us with all the details of what’s on the menu.

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Show 292, September 29, 2018: Food Finders’ “Chefs to the Rescue Benefit” featuring “Edible Extras,” Long Beach

Philip PrettyFood Finders, an established food recovery nonprofit, is hosting the 3rd annual Chefs to the Rescue”, a fundraising event on Tuesday, October 9th from 6 – 9pm in Long Beach.

For this unique event, Food Finders is challenging prominent local chefs to create “Edible Extras”; tasting samples and small plates made from perfectly tasty and safe rescued, recovered or repurposed food that otherwise would end up being tossed away.

“We are making inroads on reducing hunger and food waste, but we have a ways to go, so this event is designed to remind people that food and water are precious commodities,” said Patti Larson, executive director of Food Finders. “We’re continuing this theme not only because it remains timely, but aligns perfectly with our mission—and everyone loves the food created but these popular local chefs!”

Participating Chef Philip Pretty of Long Beach’s Restauration and Food Finders’ Patti Larson (Executive Director) join us.

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Show 289, September 8, 2018: Chef/Co-Owner Art Gonzalez, Panxa Cocina, Long Beach

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

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

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

There is even a Hatch chile libation. The Down the Hatch is made with Union Mezcal, lime, agave, raw green Hatch chile and Aperol. Cheers…

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

Chef Art has the flavor-packed details.

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Show 287, August 25, 2018: Chocolatier Romeo Garcia, Romeo Chocolates, Long Beach

Romeo GarciaChef Romeo Garcia of Romeo Chocolates in Downtown Long Beach is a Master Chocolatier with a global reach. He is so highly regarded in Long Beach that the buildout of the retail shop was partially underwritten by a successful Kickstarter Campaign.

In addition to decadent chocolates (artisan bars & truffles) his chocolate boutique serves a variety of appealing chocolate beverages and decadent plated desserts. Think Frozen Hot Chocolate, an incredibly rich ice-blended beverage.

Romeo Chocolates also offers creative chocolate pairings with wine and beer.

“It’s easy to fall in love with chocolate. Romeo became enamored with the artistry of design, flavors, and the richness of the story of chocolate-making from around the world. An avid learner and traveler, Romeo graduated from Ecole Professional School of Chocolate Arts, completed the Master Chocolatier Program in Belgium, and traveled across Europe, South Pacific, and other regions to carefully source chocolates and ingredients. Proudly made in Long Beach, California. Enjoy our artisanal, micro-batch chocolate bars and confections!”

Chef Romeo Garcia is our guest.

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Show 285, August 11, 2018: Chef Tia Baker, The Federal Bar, Long Beach

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

The Federal Bar on Pine Avenue in Downtown Long Beach is one of the participating restaurants in DINE LBC. We’ll meet new Chef Tia Baker (ex-Sol Cocina) and talk about the elevated fare at The Federal Bar. New Happy Hour menu, too.

“Passing through the double doors into the main hall of this 1920’s Beaux-arts style building is just the beginning of the Federal experience. Your gaze will draw up into our three-story restaurant that doubles as an event space that can accommodate up 600 patrons, featuring two full-service bars, hand-painted beamed ceilings, towering columns, high windows that provide grand natural lighting, and an attached outside patio.”

There is a new Happy Hour Menu (every day) in place at The Federal. You can get Bottomless Sangria plus one food item (like Mexican Street Corn Flat Bread) for $20.

The DINE LBC menu for $35 per person is three courses with choices for each course. Selections for the Mains include Pine Street Bouillabaisse, Meatloaf Sundae, Investors Pasta and Chefs Fish of the Day.

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Show 284, August 4, 2018: Rasselbock, Bixby Knolls, Long Beach – Participant in DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week

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

The new contemporary German restaurant in Bixby Knolls, Rasselbock, is one of the participating restaurants in DINE LBC. We’ll meet proprietor Bjoern Risse, talk about his appealing DINE LBC menu and find out what a “Rasselbock” is. It is not on the menu.

“Rasselbock is a German restaurant and pub (launched in late 2016) specializing in German food with a modern twist and pouring freshly tapped German and Belgian beers from small producers. They feature over 35 German and Belgian beers, homemade sangrias and a great selection of German and Californian Wines.”

A must on the DINE LBC menu is Rasselbock’s Mini Potato Pancakes Appetizer. The potato pancakes are topped with house-made apple sauce and Mascarpone cheese. All menu items on the DINE LBC menu include a beer pairing suggestion. A dessert option worthy of major consideration is their house-prepared Apple Strudel. It’s adapted from Bjoern’s Grandmother’s treasured family recipe.

The patio of Rasselbock is dog-friendly. On Thursday “Dogs eat on the Haus.” It’s a special canine plate of all-natural Pork Bratwurst.

 

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

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

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

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

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

We’ll meet General Manager John Montorio.

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