Show 418, March 27, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

The Ranch Restaurant in Anaheim is, again, available for full service dine-in for lunch and dinner on an open-air patio and with inside dining (as allowable) with proper social distancing between tables. To-Go meals are also on the menu. “The Ranch Restaurant, under the culinary direction of Chef Michael Rossi, features true American regional cuisine. It’s cooking from scratch with the finest ingredients possible to capture the rustic style of wine country and the freshest flavors of the farm. The Ranch honors California’s great ranches, farms and dairies, the artisan bread bakers and cheese and wine makers. Their seasonally driven menu showcases the freshest produce in season – as nature intended. The emphasis is on farm to table, fresh organically grown fruits and vegetables from local farms and from The Ranch’s own ranch in the Santa Ana Mountains.” Executive Chef Michael Rossi joins us from The Ranch.

We met restaurateur Bjoern Risse previously with his Rasselbock Kitchen and Beer Garden in Mar Vista and Long Beach. His latest venture is Long Beach’s Wood & Salt Tavern. At Wood & Salt Tavern the focus is on pasta, made in house, by hand, everyday and fish, seafood & fine meats from their wood fired grill. Think Charred Corn Croquetas with pickled fresno chile, garlic aioli and ricotta salata, and Tagliatelle with beef, pork and veal ragu sprinkled with parmigiano. It’s a local, neighborhood restaurant with elevated fare located in Bixby Knolls (Long Beach.) At present it’s dinner-only, 7 days. Restaurateur Bjoern Risse is our guest.

“For years, vintners have coveted a stretch of land in the western end of Santa Barbara’s Santa Rita Hills AVA known to have the perfect microclimate, soils, and exposure to grow world-class Pinot Noir. In 1999, fulfilling a long-held dream of owner Bob Davids, this sought-after stretch of land became Sea Smoke Vineyard.” “At Sea Smoke, our objective is to produce the best Pinot Noir possible from our unique vineyard site. Located on south-facing hillside bluffs, our estate vineyard benefits from excellent sun exposure – producing grapes with optimum flavor, color and tannin development.” Victor Gallegos, Sea Smoke’s Vice President and General Manager gently pulls the cork on all things Sea Smoke for us.

“For over forty years, Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio (Valentino and Valentino Restaurant Group) and Restaurateur/Chef Celestino Drago of the famed Drago Brothers have been close friends, colleagues, and competitors in the thriving Los Angeles dining scene. Now, their longstanding relationship has transcended to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles last year as new Managing Partner!” Now that Drago Centro has reopened again for pampered, evening patio and inside dining Piero Selvaggio returns with the timely update.

“Winemakers and restaurateurs agree. There’s an art to preserving wine. While you may have heard it’s important to let wine “breathe,” this causes oxygen to degrade the bottle the longer it’s been opened. Oxidation can spoil opened bottles of wine as quickly as 24 hours after opening.” “Argon gas is the preferred method by winemakers to prevent oxidation that spoils wine. ArT Wine Preserver® is an affordable, recyclable wine saver (packaged in a convenient can) that uses pure argon gas to displace oxygen.” ArT Wine Preserver® Founder Ryan Frederickson joins us.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the early stages of recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. We’ll “Ask the Chef.” The recently passed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 importantly includes a $28.6 billion dollar relief fund designated to assist independent local restaurants, bars, food trucks and street vendors. What impact will it have? Chef Andrew thoughtfully weighs in.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 418, March 27, 2021: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Los Angeles

Piero Salvaggio of Drago Centro

“For over forty years, Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio (Valentino and Valentino Restaurant Group) and Restaurateur / Chef Celestino Drago of the famed Drago Brothers have been close friends, colleagues, and competitors in the thriving Los Angeles dining scene. Now, their longstanding relationship has transcended to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles last year as new Managing Partner!”

“Originally from Sicily, both Piero and Celestino met over forty years ago in Los Angeles when Celestino first came to the states. Piero opened the renowned Valentino, the flagship restaurant in his Valentino Restaurant Group in Santa Monica in 1972. Valentino was widely regarded as one of the finest Italian restaurants in the U.S. and credited with introducing Angelenos to true Italian food, fresh ingredients and new products. Also, introducing a new wave of Italian Chefs that in time built world-wide reputations on the their own.”

“Piero went on to build a multimillion-dollar restaurant empire garnering numerous James Beard Foundation awards for its wine list and service, along with critical acclaim for its food, wine, and service by top national publications. In 2018, after forty-five plus years, he decided to retire and close Valentino to look for new challenges. After launching Louie’s by the Bay (with restaurateur Ron Salisbury) in Newport Beach, Piero met again with Celestino and started considering Drago Centro as the perfect venue for a new chapter.”

Now that Drago Centro has again reopened for inviting patio dining (along with inside seating at the allowable 25 per cent capacity) nightly (except Sunday) the always gracious Piero Selvaggio returns with the update.

Play

March 27: The Ranch Restaurant, Wood & Salt Tavern, Sea Smoke Vineyard, Drago Centro, ArT Wine Preserver

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Michael Rossi, The Ranch Restaurant, Anaheim
Segment Three: Restaurateur Bjoern Risse, Wood & Salt, Long Beach
Segment Four: Victor Gallegos, Vice President & General Manager, Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard Part One
Segment Five: Victor Gallegos, Vice President & General Manager, Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard Part Two
Segment Six: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Los Angeles
Segment Seven: ArT Wine Preserver® Founder Ryan Frederickson
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

The Ranch Restaurant in Anaheim is, again, available for full service dine-in for lunch and dinner on an open-air patio and with inside dining with proper social distancing between tables. To-Go meals are also on the menu. The Ranch Restaurant, under the culinary direction of Chef Michael Rossi, features true American regional cuisine. It’s cooking from scratch with the finest ingredients possible to capture the rustic style of wine country and the freshest flavors of the farm. The Ranch honors California’s great ranches, farms and dairies, the artisan bread bakers and cheese and wine makers. Their seasonally driven menu showcases the freshest produce in season – as nature intended. The emphasis is on farm to table, fresh organically grown fruits and vegetables from local farms and from The Ranch’s own ranch in the Santa Ana Mountains. Executive Chef Michael Rossi joins us from The Ranch.

We met restaurateur Bjoern Risse previously with his Rasselbock Kitchen and Beer Garden in Mar Vista and Long Beach. His latest venture is Long Beach’s Wood & Salt Tavern. At Wood & Salt Tavern the focus is on pasta, made in house, by hand, everyday and fish, seafood & fine meats from their wood fired grill. Think Charred Corn Croquetas with pickled fresno chile, garlic aioli and ricotta salata, and Tagliatelle with beef, pork and veal ragu sprinkled with parmigiano. It’s a local, neighborhood restaurant with elevated fare located in Bixby Knolls (Long Beach.) At present it’s dinner-only, 7 days. Restaurateur Bjoern Risse is our guest.

“For years, vintners have coveted a stretch of land in the western end of Santa Barbara’s Santa Rita Hills AVA known to have the perfect microclimate, soils, and exposure to grow world-class Pinot Noir. In 1999, fulfilling a long-held dream of owner Bob Davids, this sought-after stretch of land became Sea Smoke Vineyard.” “At Sea Smoke, our objective is to produce the best Pinot Noir possible from our unique vineyard site. Located on south-facing hillside bluffs, our estate vineyard benefits from excellent sun exposure – producing grapes with optimum flavor, color and tannin development.” Victor Gallegos, Sea Smoke’s Vice President and General Manager gently pulls the cork on all things Sea Smoke for us.

“For over forty years, Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio (Valentino and Valentino Restaurant Group) and Restaurateur/Chef Celestino Drago of the famed Drago Brothers have been close friends, colleagues, and competitors in the thriving Los Angeles dining scene. Now, their longstanding relationship has transcended to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles last year as new Managing Partner!” Now that Drago Centro has reopened again for pampered, evening patio dining Piero Selvaggio returns with the timely update.

“Winemakers and restaurateurs agree. There’s an art to preserving wine. While you may have heard it’s important to let wine “breathe,” this causes oxygen to degrade the bottle the longer it’s been opened. Oxidation can spoil opened bottles of wine as quickly as 24 hours after opening.” “Argon gas is the preferred method by winemakers to prevent oxidation that spoils wine. ArT Wine Preserver® is an affordable, recyclable wine saver (packaged in a convenient can) that uses pure argon gas to displace oxygen.” ArT Wine Preserver® Founder Ryan Frederickson joins us.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the early stages of recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. We’ll “Ask the Chef.” The recently passed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 importantly includes a $28.6 billion dollar relief fund designated to assist independent local restaurants, bars, food trucks and street vendors. What impact will it have ? Chef Andrew thoughtfully weighs in.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Michael Rossi of the Ranch Restaurant and Saloon

The Ranch Restaurant in Anaheim is, again, available for full service dine-in for lunch and dinner on an open-air patio and with inside dining (at a reduced capacity) with proper social distancing between tables. To-Go meals are also on the menu.

The Ranch Restaurant features true American regional cuisine. It’s cooking from scratch with the finest ingredients possible to capture the rustic style of wine country and the freshest flavors of the farm. The Ranch honors California’s great ranches, farms and dairies, the artisan bread bakers and cheese and wine makers. Their seasonally driven menu showcases the freshest produce in season – as nature intended. The emphasis is on farm to table, fresh organically grown fruits and vegetables from local farms and from The Ranch’s own ranch in the Santa Ana Mountains.”

“In the kitchen, brothers Michael Rossi (Executive Chef) and Dave Rossi (Pastry Chef) create menus that journey between classic dishes and elevated interpretations of global fare.”

Executive Chef Michael Rossi joins us from The Ranch.

Bjoern Risse of Rasslebock Kitchen and Beer Garden

We met restaurateur Bjoern Risse previously with his Rasselbock Kitchen and Beer Garden in Mar Vista and Long Beach. His latest venture is Long Beach’s Wood & Salt Tavern.

At Wood & Salt Tavern the focus is on pasta, made in house, by hand, everyday and fish, seafood & fine meats from their wood fired grill. Think Charred Corn Croquetas with pickled fresno chile, garlic aioli and ricotta salata, and Tagliatelle with beef, pork and veal ragu sprinkled with parmigiano. It’s a local neighborhood restaurant with elevated cuisine located in Bixby Knolls (Long Beach.) At present it’s dinner-only, 7 days.

Restaurateur Bjoern Risse joins us.

Victor Gallegos of Sea Smoke

“For years, vintners have coveted a stretch of land in the western end of Santa Barbara’s Santa Rita Hills AVA known to have the perfect microclimate, soils, and exposure to grow world-class Pinot Noir. In 1999, fulfilling a long-held dream of owner Bob Davids, this sought-after stretch of land became Sea Smoke Vineyard.”

“At Sea Smoke, our objective is to produce the best Pinot Noir possible from our unique vineyard site. Located on south-facing hillside bluffs, our estate vineyard benefits from excellent sun exposure – producing grapes with optimum flavor, color and tannin development. The heat generated during the day is moderated each evening by a marine fog layer (sea “smoke”), which travels up the Santa Ynez River canyon, cooling the vines and resulting in a longer ripening period. This extended ‘hangtime’ allows the grape tannins to fully ripen prior to harvest, creating wines that are rich and supple.”

“Our pursuit of great Pinot Noir can also be seen in the meticulous management of our estate vineyard. We strive for low crop yields and small grape clusters of intense flavor. To this end, our rich clay soils are planted with ten, top-quality Pinot Noir clones on vigor reducing rootstocks. While we employ the latest technology in the vineyard to help us achieve vine balance and vigor reduction, we also recognize that technology is no replacement for skilled people.”

“Every one of our vines receives personal handling from our vineyard crew seven to eight times each year – every vine. As stewards of this remarkable piece of land, we are also dedicated to its long-term wellbeing. In this spirit, we have been farming Sea Smoke sustainably since 2003, and now farm 80 acres biodynamically, including the blocks destined for our Sea Smoke Chardonnay and Sea Spray Blanc de Noirs.”

“Every growing season, our winemaking team works to determine the optimum timing for the harvest of each block. After hand harvesting, grapes are brought to the winery for destemming and table sorting. During this process each lot is carefully studied, taking into consideration parameters such as fruit integrity, clonal characteristics and soil profile, before proceeding with fermentation. Each block and clone combination is kept separate throughout the winemaking process, enabling us to develop an intimate knowledge of how they respond to specific barrels in our cellar. These individual lots form the basis of a complex flavor palette from which final blending decisions are made by our team.”

“To ensure our loyal customers access to these limited-production wines, we have created The List. Simple and fair, The List is an uncomplicated allocation system offering members the opportunity to purchase our wines. Although production of Sea Smoke is limited and they can be difficult to find, joining The List guarantees your allocation. Unlike wine clubs, there is absolutely no purchase commitment and no cost to join.”

Victor Gallegos, Sea Smoke’s ling-time Vice President and General Manager gently pops the cork on 2015 Sea Smoke “Sea Spray” Blanc de Noirs for us.

Piero Salvaggio of Drago Centro

“For over forty years, Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio (Valentino and Valentino Restaurant Group) and Restaurateur / Chef Celestino Drago of the famed Drago Brothers have been close friends, colleagues, and competitors in the thriving Los Angeles dining scene. Now, their longstanding relationship has transcended to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles last year as new Managing Partner!”

“Originally from Sicily, both Piero and Celestino met over forty years ago in Los Angeles when Celestino first came to the states. Piero opened the renowned Valentino, the flagship restaurant in his Valentino Restaurant Group in Santa Monica in 1972. Valentino was widely regarded as one of the finest Italian restaurants in the U.S. and credited with introducing Angelenos to true Italian food, fresh ingredients and new products. Also, introducing a new wave of Italian Chefs that in time built world-wide reputations on the their own.”

Piero went on to build a multimillion-dollar restaurant empire garnering numerous James Beard Foundation awards for its wine list and service, along with critical acclaim for its food, wine, and service by top national publications. In 2018, after forty-five plus years, he decided to retire and close Valentino to look for new challenges. After launching Louie’s by the Bay (with restaurateur Ron Salisbury) in Newport Beach, Piero met again with Celestino and started considering Drago Centro as the perfect venue for a new chapter.

Now that Drago Centro has again reopened for inviting patio dining nightly (except Sunday) the always gracious Piero Selvaggio returns with the update.

Ryan Fredrickson of ArT Wine Preserver

“Winemakers and restaurateurs agree. There’s an art to preserving wine. While you may have heard it’s important to let wine “breathe,” this causes oxygen to degrade the bottle the longer it’s been opened. Oxidation can spoil opened bottles of wine as quickly as 24 hours after opening.”

“Argon gas is the preferred method by winemakers to prevent oxidation that spoils wine. ArT Wine Preserver® is an affordable, recyclable wine saver (packaged in a convenient can) that uses pure argon gas to displace oxygen.”

“ArT Wine Preserver® is on a mission to reduce waste, starting with wine. According to the National Resources Defense Council, wine waste is part of the 40 percent of food that is wasted in the United States every day. In the United States alone, the company estimates home consumers pour more than $1.27 billion dollars of wine down the drain, and restaurants pour out another 18+ million bottles!”

“ArT Wine Preserver® Founder Ryan Frederickson’s former career as an engineer took a different path after a vacation in California wine country. After learning about how much work goes into producing each bottle, and just how much waste occurs due to oxidation, he decided to put his previous experience working in the argon gas industry to use. Naming the product ArT, short for “Argon Technology, the wine preserving canister contains 100% pure argon gas to keep opened bottles of wine fresh up to three times longer.”

Founder Ryan Frederickson joins us with wine glass in hand.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and Casino

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine concern as recovery slowly starts to happen.

Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to again operate for outside/patio dining and limited inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

The recently passed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 importantly includes a $28.6 billion dollar relief fund designated to assist independent local restaurants, bars, food trucks and street vendors. What impact will it actually have? Chef Andrew thoughtfully weighs in.

Chef Andrew also updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, 86 Restaurant Struggle campaign to benefit out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $380,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in serious need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The substantial need, and fundraising, continues…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Michael Rossi, The Ranch Restaurant, Anaheim
Segment Three: Restaurateur Bjoern Risse, Wood & Salt, Long Beach
Segment Four: Victor Gallegos, Vice President & General Manager, Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard Part One
Segment Five: Victor Gallegos, Vice President & General Manager, Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard Part Two
Segment Six: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Los Angeles
Segment Seven: ArT Wine Preserver® Founder Ryan Frederickson
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 388, August 29, 2020: Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Downtown Los Angeles Part One

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa Monica“For over forty years, Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio (Valentino and Valentino Restaurant Group) and Restaurateur/Chef Celestino Drago of the famed Drago Brothers have been close friends, colleagues, and competitors in the thriving Los Angeles dining scene. Now, their longstanding relationship transcends to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially has welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles as new Managing Partner!”

“Originally from Sicily, both Piero and Celestino met over forty years ago in Los Angeles when Celestino first came to the states. Piero opened the renowned Valentino, the flagship restaurant in his Valentino Restaurant Group in Santa Monica in 1972. Valentino was widely regarded as one of the finest Italian restaurants in the U.S. and credited with introducing Angelenos to true Italian food, fresh ingredients and new products. Also, introducing a new wave of Italian Chefs that in time built world-wide reputations on the their own.”

“Piero went on to build a multimillion-dollar restaurant empire garnering numerous James Beard Foundation awards for its wine list and service, along with critical acclaim for its food, wine, and service by top national publications. In 2018, after forty-five plus years, he decided to retire and close Valentino to look for new challenges. After launching Louie’s by the Bay (with Ron Salisbury) in Newport Beach, Piero met again with Celestino and started considering Drago Centro as the perfect venue for a new chapter.”

Now that Drago Centro has reopened for inviting patio dining the always gracious Piero Selvaggio returns with the update.

Play

Show 385, August 8, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Late last month Corona del Mar’s historic Five Crowns and SideDoor (part of the Lawry’s family of fine-dining restaurants) reopened the spacious backyard of the expansive property for open-air dining in the charming setting reminiscent of an English country garden. Set with thoughtfully spaced tables and accented by fire pits, the backyard of the beloved, dining establishment offers the same gracious hospitality for which the restaurants are known. Guests sip on specialty cocktails under the twinkling lights and experience signature dishes from both Five Crowns and SideDoor offered on a single menu available for backyard dining and to-go. Tracy Nelsen Five Crowns’ and SideDoor’s Restaurant Manager, Cheesemonger, Sommelier and Cicerone joins us with a tempting overview of what’s now on the menu.

Angelina’s Pizzeria Napoletana is a fine-casual Italian restaurant located in Irvine in the Los Olivos Marketplace. At Angelina’s, guests dine on authentic Italian food made with only the finest ingredients imported from Italy and fresh produce from local farms. From one-of-a-kind artwork to hand-picked fixtures, the modern, upscale interior redefines the concept of a pizzeria.

Their specialty is authentic Neapolitan-style pizza (pizza Napoletana). Each pizza is made using traditional techniques and cooked in their twin, high-end Ferrara wood-burning pizza ovens, making Angelina’s one of the few restaurants in the United States to hold a VPN Certification (Vera Pizza Napoletana). Angelina’s Managing Partner, Filippo Fusco, is our guest, pizza peel at the ready.

3rd generation restaurateur Ron Salisbury has been running successful, high-volume restaurants for sixty-six years, a period of time in which most people are born and retire. He grew up working after school as a dish sorter, busser, and steam table expediter in his parents’ Los Angeles restaurant, El Cholo. Salisbury is not one for utilizing voluminous operating manuals but over the years has acquired a bushel of practical morsels of wisdom for operating a successful restaurant. Starting with “Our Seven Pillars” Ron has collected all these short vignettes of incredibly useful advice into the very easy-to-read volume, What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A. (That’s the Culinary Institute of America by-the-way.) It’s truly an essential and valuable read for all aspiring restaurateurs. Ron Salisbury is with us to generously share a sampling of the practical wisdom from What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A.

Winemakers and life partners Mireia Tena and Tara Gomez are the creative forces at Camins 2 Deams in Lompoc, their dream boutique winery. The grapes are sourced exclusively from select vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills, a unique appellation in Santa Barbara County. Their philosophy is to make hand-crafted, terroir-driven wines that are fermented with natural yeast and use minimal intervention in the winery. Camins 2 Dreams believes wine is made in the vineyard and desires to showcase the typicity of each site where the grapes originate.

Current releases include Gruner Veltliner, Rose of Syrah, and three vineyard specific Syrahs. Grenache and Graciano are in their future. Winemakers Tara and Mireia join us to pull the cork on all that is Camins 2 Dreams.

DTLA Pizza is a new Takeout and Delivery concept from Chef Michael Hung of Faith & Flower. The goal for Chef Michael’s new DTLA Pizza concept is to serve meat lovers and vegans alike, quality and comfort food driven dishes prepared with house-made sourdough crusts, toppings such as Impossible beef, locally grown produce, along with Burgers that are made with American Kobe beef and burst with flavor.” “As the world is today, I find myself craving comfort foods. The menu for DTLA Pizza reflects my time growing up in New Jersey eating at such institutions such as Star Tavern in Orange, NJ.  These dishes and flavors remind me of home and the joyful times I spent with my friends and family as a kid.” Chef Michael Hung joins us to artfully toss & stretch the from-scratch pizza dough. 

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately take-out/delivery when you can surely helps… National Oyster Day was August 5th. We started the conversation last week about fully appreciating oysters. Chef Andrew is our resident authority on these bivalve mollusks enjoyed since ancient times. We’ll resume with tips about cooking with oysters. Oyster stew anyone ?

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 385, August 8, 2020: Restaurateur Ron Salisbury (El Cholo) – What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A. Part One

Ron Salisbury of El Cholo3rd generation restaurateur Ron Salisbury has been running successful, high-volume restaurants for sixty-six years, a period of time in which most people are born and retire. He grew up working after school as a dish sorter, busser, and steam table expediter in his parents’ Los Angeles restaurant, El Cholo.

In the decades since Ron has launched restaurants throughout Southern California. In addition to the El Cholo’s newer dining ventures are The Cannery and Louie’s By the Bay, both located in Newport Beach.

Salisbury is not one for voluminous operating manuals but over the years he acquired a bushel of practical morsels of wisdom for operating a successful restaurant. Starting with “Our Seven Pillars” Ron has collected all these short vignettes of incredibly useful advice into the very easy-to-read volume, What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A. (That’s the Culinary Institute of America.) It’s truly an essential read for all aspiring restaurateurs.

Ron Salisbury is with us to generously share a sampling of the practical wisdom from What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A.

Play

Show 385, August 8, 2020: Restaurateur Ron Salisbury (El Cholo) – What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A. Part Two

Ron Salisbury of El Cholo3rd generation restaurateur Ron Salisbury has been running successful, high-volume restaurants for sixty-six years, a period of time in which most people are born and retire. He grew up working after school as a dish sorter, busser, and steam table expediter in his parents’ Los Angeles restaurant, El Cholo.

In the decades since Ron has launched restaurants throughout Southern California. In addition to the El Cholo’s newer ventures are The Cannery and Louie’s By the Bay, both located in Newport Beach.

Salisbury is not one for voluminous operating manuals but over the years he acquired a bushel of practical morsels of wisdom for operating a successful restaurant. Starting with “Our Seven Pillars” Ron has collected all these short vignettes of incredibly useful advice into the very easy-to-read volume, What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A. (That’s the Culinary Institute of America.) It’s truly an essential read for all aspiring restaurateurs.

Ron Salisbury is the recipient of the Elizabeth Burns Lifetime Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Chapter of the California Restaurant Association. He has lectured at The Collins College of Hospitality Management at California State Polytechnic University Pomona.

Ron Salisbury continues with us generously sharing a sampling of the practical wisdom from What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A.

Play

August 8: Five Crowns & SideDoor, Angelina’s Pizzeria Napoletana, Ron Salisbury, Camins 2 Dreams, DTLA Pizza

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurant Manager Tracy Nelsen, Five Crowns and SideDoor, Corona del Mar
Segment Three: Filippo Fusco, Managing Partner, Angelina’s Pizzeria Napoletana, Irvine
Segment Four: Restaurateur Ron Salisbury (El Cholo) – What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A. Part One
Segment Five: Restaurateur Ron Salisbury (El Cholo) – What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A. Part Two
Segment Six: Winemakers Tara Gomez and Mireia Taribo, Camins 2 Dreams Winery, Lompoc
Segment Seven: Chef Michael Hung, DTLA Pizza, Los Angeles
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Late last month Corona del Mar’s historic Five Crowns and SideDoor (part of the Lawry’s family of fine-dining restaurants) reopened the spacious backyard of the property for open-air dining in the charming setting reminiscent of an English country garden. Set with thoughtfully spaced tables and accented by fire pits, the backyard of the beloved, dining establishment offers the same gracious hospitality for which the restaurants are known. Guests sip on specialty cocktails under the twinkling lights and experience signature dishes from both Five Crowns and SideDoor offered on a single menu available for backyard dining and to-go. Tracy Nelsen Five Crowns’ and SideDoor’s Restaurant Manager, Cheesemonger, Sommelier and Cicerone joins us with a tempting overview of what’s now on the menu.

Angelina’s Pizzeria Napoletana is a fine-casual Italian restaurant located in Irvine in the Los Olivos Marketplace. At Angelina’s, guests dine on authentic Italian food made with only the finest ingredients imported from Italy and fresh produce from local farms. From one-of-a-kind artwork to hand-picked fixtures, the modern, upscale interior redefines the concept of a pizzeria.

Their specialty is authentic Neapolitan-style pizza (pizza Napoletana). Each pizza is made using traditional techniques and cooked in their twin Ferrara wood-burning pizza ovens, making Angelina’s one of the few restaurants in the United States to hold a VPN Certification (Vera Pizza Napoletana). Angelina’s Managing Partner, Filippo Fusco, is our guest, pizza peel at the ready.

Restaurateur Ron Salisbury has been running successful, high-volume restaurants for sixty-six years, a period of time in which most people are born and retire. He grew up working after school as a dish sorter, busser, and steam table expediter in his parents’ Los Angeles restaurant, El Cholo. Salisbury is not one for utilizing voluminous operating manuals but over the years has acquired a bushel of practical morsels of wisdom for operating a successful restaurant. Starting with “Our Seven Pillars” Ron has collected all these short vignettes of incredibly useful advice into the very easy-to-read volume, What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A. (That’s the Culinary Institute of America.) It’s truly an essential read for all aspiring restaurateurs. Ron Salisbury is with us to generously share a sampling of the practical wisdom from What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A.

Winemakers and life partners Mireia Taribo Tena and Tara Gomez are the creative forces at Camins 2 Deams in Lompoc, their dream boutique winery. The grapes are sourced exclusively from select vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills, a unique appellation in Santa Barbara County. Their philosophy is to make hand-crafted, terroir-driven wines that are fermented with natural yeast and use minimal intervention in the winery. Camins 2 Dreams believes wine is made in the vineyard and desires to showcase the typicity of each site where the grapes originate.

Current releases include Gruner Veltliner, Rose of Syrah, and three vineyard specific Syrahs. Winemakers Mireia and Tara join us to pull the cork on all that is Camins 2 Dreams.

“DTLA Pizza is a new Takeout and Delivery concept from Chef Michael Hung of Faith & Flower. The goal for Chef Michael’s new DTLA Pizza concept is to serve meat lovers and vegans alike, quality and comfort food driven dishes prepared with house-made sourdough crusts, toppings such as Impossible beef, locally grown produce, along with Burgers that are made with American Kobe beef and burst with flavor.” “As the world is today, I find myself craving comfort foods. The menu for DTLA Pizza reflects my time growing up in New Jersey eating at such institutions such as Star Tavern in Orange, NJ. These dishes and flavors remind me of home and the joyful times I spent with my friends and family as a kid.” Chef Michael Hung joins us to artfully toss & stretch the pizza dough.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps… National Oyster Day was August 5th. We started the conversation last week about fully appreciating oysters. Chef Andrew is our resident authority on these bivalve mollusks enjoyed since ancient times. We’ll resume with tips about cooking with oysters. Oyster stew anyone?

Tracy Nelsen of Five CrownsLate last month Corona del Mar’s historic Five Crowns and SideDoor (part of the Lawry’s family of fine-dining restaurants) reopened the spacious backyard for open-air dining in the charming setting reminiscent of an English country garden.

Set with thoughtfully spaced tables and accented by fire pits, the backyard of the beloved, dining establishment offers the same gracious hospitality for which the restaurants are known. Guests sip on specialty cocktails under the twinkling lights and experience signature dishes from both Five Crowns and SideDoor offered on a single menu available for backyard dining and to-go.

In addition to Five Crowns specialties including Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail and Colorado Lamb Chops four cuts of the classic Lawry’s Prime Ribs of Beef are available. SideDoor featured items available range from the Artisanal Cheese Plate to Prime Rib Chili.

Tracy Nelsen Five Crowns’ and SideDoor’s Restaurant Manager certified Cheesemonger, Sommelier and Cicerone joins us with the specifics of what’s on the menu.

Filippo Fusco of Angelina's Pizzeria NapoletanaAngelina’s Pizzeria Napoletana is a fine-casual Italian restaurant located in Irvine in the Los Olivos Marketplace. At Angelina’s, guests dine on authentic Italian food made with only the finest ingredients imported from Italy and fresh produce from local farms. From one-of-a-kind artwork to hand-picked fixtures, the modern, upscale interior redefines the concept of a pizzeria.

Angelina’s Pizzeria specializes in authentic Neapolitan-style pizza (pizza Napoletana). Each pizza is made using traditional techniques and cooked in their twin Ferrara wood-burning pizza ovens, making Angelina’s one of the few restaurants in the United States to hold a VPN Certification (Vera Pizza Napoletana). Overseen by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana in Napoli, the VPN certifies that Angelina’s adheres to the strict requirements that make their pizzas “true Neopolitan Pizza.”

Angelina’s Managing Partner, Filippo Fusco, is our guest, pizza peel at the ready.

Ron Salisbury of El CholoRestaurateur Ron Salisbury has been running successful, high-volume restaurants for sixty-six years, a period of time in which most people are born and retire. He grew up working after school as a dish sorter, busser, and steam table expediter in his parents’ Los Angeles restaurant, El Cholo.

In the decades since Ron has launched restaurants throughout Southern California. In addition to the El Cholo’s newer ventures are The Cannery and Louie’s By the Bay, both located in Newport Beach.

Salisbury is not one for voluminous operating manuals but over the years he acquired a bushel of practical morsels of wisdom for operating a successful restaurant. Starting with “Our Seven Pillars” Ron has collected all these short vignettes of incredibly useful advice into the very easy-to-read volume, What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A. (That’s the Culinary Institute of America.) It’s truly an essential read for all aspiring restaurateurs.

Ron Salisbury is the recipient of the Elizabeth Burns Lifetime Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Chapter of the California Restaurant Association. He has lectured at The Collins College of Hospitality Management at California State Polytechnic University Pomona.

Ron Salisbury is with us to generously share a sampling of the practical wisdom from What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A.

Tara Gomez and Mireia Taribo Tena of Camins 2 Dreams in Lompoc CaliforniaWinemakers and life partners Mireia Taribo Tena and Tara Gomez are the creative forces at Camins 2 Deams in Lompoc, their dream winery. The grapes are sourced exclusively from select vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills, a unique appellation in Santa Barbara County.

Their philosophy is to make hand-crafted, terroir-driven wines that are fermented with natural yeast and use minimal intervention in the winery. Camins 2 Dreams believes wine is made in the vineyard and desires to showcase the typicity of each site where the grapes originate.

“We are lucky both to live and make our wines in the Santa Rita Hills where foggy mornings and cool nights combine with marine soils to make the perfect ingredients for outstanding wines. “

Current releases include Gruner Veltliner, Rose of Syrah, and three vineyard specific Syrahs.

Tara Gomez, a Native American, is also the Winemaker for Kita Wines, a small premium winery in the Santa Ynez Valley owned by the Chumash Tribe (Chumash Casino Resort.)

Mireia and Tara join us to pull the cork on Camins 2 Dreams.

Michael Hung of Faith and FlowerDTLA Pizza is a new Takeout and Delivery concept from Chef Michael Hung of Faith & Flower. The goal for Chef Michael’s new DTLA Pizza establishment is to serve meat lovers and vegans alike, quality and comfort food driven dishes prepared with house-made sourdough crusts, toppings such as Impossible beef, locally grown produce, along with Burgers that are made with American Kobe beef and burst with flavor.”

“Los Angeles meets the Oranges, as in the same area of northern New Jersey as the Sopranos, at DTLA Pizza. This area is also Chef Michael Hung’s inspiration as he drew from his New Jersey roots to create DTLA Pizza’s menu of true pizzeria classics. “As the world is today, I find myself craving comfort foods. The menu for DTLA Pizza reflects my time growing up in New Jersey eating at such institutions such as Star Tavern in Orange, NJ.  These dishes and flavors remind me of home and the joyful times I spent with my friends and family as a kid.””

“DTLA Pizza features two different styles of Pizza – expertly crafted Neapolitan-Style Pies from the wood oven and Sicilian-Style Pan Pizzas with thick focaccia crusts. In addition to the classic 4-Cheese PizzaDTLA Pizza offers two other Signature Pizzas: The Street Meat Magic Pizza loaded with pepperoni, mortadella, Italian sausage, and prosciutto, and It’s Literally Possible Pizza which is a fully plant-based pizza prepared with Impossible sausage, marinated peppers and onions, and vegan mozzarella. In addition to the Signature Pizzas, guests can also Build Your Own Pizza with a selection of over a dozen toppings, and all of the Pizzas at DTLA Pizza can be made either Neapolitan Style or Sicilian Style.”

DTLA Pizza is open for TakeoutDelivery, and Curbside Pickup (only) every Wednesday through Sunday from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm. To order, please call 213.465.9400 and guests can Curbside pickup at 709 West 9th Street in South Park district of downtown Los Angeles by calling DTLA Pizza upon arrival, or choose Delivery through CaviarDoorDashGrubhubTock, or UberEats.

Chef Michael joins us to artfully toss and stretch the dough.

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style Pizza“Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

National Oyster Day was August 5th. We started the conversation last week about appreciating oysters in the raw state. Chef Andrew is our resident authority on these bivalve mollusks enjoyed since ancient times. We’ll resume with tips about cooking with oysters. Oyster stew anyone?

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurant Manager Tracy Nelsen, Five Crowns and SideDoor, Corona del Mar
Segment Three: Filippo Fusco, Managing Partner, Angelina’s Pizzeria Napoletana, Irvine
Segment Four: Restaurateur Ron Salisbury (El Cholo) – What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A. Part One
Segment Five: Restaurateur Ron Salisbury (El Cholo) – What They Don’t Teach You at the C.I.A. Part Two
Segment Six: Winemakers Tara Gomez and Mireia Taribo, Camins 2 Dreams Winery, Lompoc
Segment Seven: Chef Michael Hung, DTLA Pizza, Los Angeles
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 379, June 27, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy  (documentary feature film) is an intimate, candid perspective into the curious world of cookbook author and British ex-pat Diana Kennedy – widely regarded as the world’s expert on Mexican cuisine. At five feet tall and 97 years old, Diana is larger than life: a foul-mouthed fireball far more feisty and energetic than her age and petite frame let on. Author of nine Mexican cookbooks, she has spent over 60 years researching and documenting the regional cuisines of Mexico.” Filmmaker Elizabeth Carroll is our guide to the career of Diana Kennedy.

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar matches contemporary California regional cuisine, with a hip, vibrant, sophisticated setting, to create a cutting-edge dining experience. Located at The District in Tustin, overlooking the Marina in Newport Beach, and at Westfield UTC in La Jolla, The Winery culinary team is led by Executive Chef & Partner Yvon Goetz. The other Founding Partners are JC Clow and Wine Director William Lewis. William Lewis uncorks it all for us.

Legendary Los Angeles Restaurateur and ever-gracious host Piero Selvaggio attentively presided over the iconic Valentino in Santa Monica for over 46 years. Valentino was a landmark establishment in the West defining regional Italian fine dining with polished service combined with a deep and well-maintained wine cellar. Piero’s most recent undertaking was the debut of Louie’s by the Bay (modern Italian steakhouse) in Newport Beach with Restaurateur Ron Salisbury. His current effort is with Chef Celestino Drago and is the pending relaunching of the elegant Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles in the City National Bank Tower. We’ll hear all about it with Piero Selvaggio.

Leading the Margerum Wine Company team (with a handsome new tasting room at Hotel Californian in the State Building) is creator and namesake, Douglas Barden Margerum, a long-term Santa Barbara resident who has been a fixture in the Santa Barbara food and wine scene for over 35 years. Doug is also is a member of the (rescheduled for 2021) Santa Barbara Culinary Experience (SBCE) Advisory Committee. Doug is our guest to pull the cork for us on the reopening of the Margerum Wine Company Tasting Room which now also includes the Barden Wines Tasting Room.

“Under the supervision of prominent executive chef Avi Kapoor, the latest incarnation of the Akbar restaurant family, Kapoor’s Akbar, offers diners an innovative Indian food experience on the edge of Downtown LA. Relying on traditional recipes passed down through the family but updated with non-traditional techniques and ingredients, Kapoor’s Akbar serves freshly prepared dishes that are rich in taste, temptingly presented and always memorable.” We gently pull Chef Avi away from the tandoor oven for a long overdue visit.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps… Covid 19 has impacted the food system across the United States. Oddly there are spot shortages of foodstuffs in some areas and surpluses in others. We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

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Show 379, June 27, 2020: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Drago Centro and Louie’s by the Bay Part One

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa MonicaLegendary Los Angeles Restaurateur and ever-gracious host Piero Selvaggio attentively presided over the iconic Valentino in Santa Monica for over 46 years. Valentino was truly a landmark establishment defining regional Italian fine dining in the West combined with a deep and well-maintained wine cellar and polished service. Piero’s most recent venture was the debut of Louie’s by the Bay (modern Italian steakhouse) in Newport Beach with Restaurateur Ron Salisbury.

His new project is with acclaimed Chef Celestino Drago with the about to relaunch, handsome and elegant Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles in the City National Bank Tower. “At Drago Centro, located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, Chef Celestino Drago is giving his classic Italian techniques a contemporary flair. The lunch and dinner menus at Drago Centro feature a wide range of options, from hand-cranked pastas, savory steaks and elegant desserts sure to end the meal on a sweet note.”

We’ll hear all about it with Piero Selvaggio.

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