Show 402, December 5, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Time for a generous serving of Holiday Cheer. …We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

“Dubbed “The Stir-Fry Guru” by the New York Times, Grace Young has devoted her career to celebrating wok cookery through her cookbooks and videos. On March 15, 2020, she began Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories, an oral history project with videographer Dan Ahn, in collaboration with Poster House, documenting the stories of how Manhattan’s Chinatown has been impacted by COVID-19. The Smithsonian National Museum of American History featured Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories in their 2020 Youth Summit for middle and high school students as an exemplar of how one person is addressing the challenging question of how we choose to strengthen a community in the middle of a pandemic.” Grace Young, a multiple James Beard Award recipient, joins us.

We’re delighted to welcome back accomplished food editor, recipe creator and food stylist, Tara Bench, discussing Holiday cooking.Tara Bench (aka “Tara Teaspoon”) has spent more than twenty years in the food publishing industry creating recipes and articles, and food styling for various magazines, books, television, and advertising.  Working as a food editor at Martha Stewart Living, and as the food and entertaining director of Ladies’ Home Journal, she knows how to write recipes for beginners as well as real foodies. Her philosophy is that anyone can cook and enjoy their time in the kitchen, and in her first cookbook, Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends, she proves it.” We’re back in the kitchen cooking with Tara Bench.

Connie and Ted’s in West Hollywood is inspired by the real Connie & Ted (the grandparents of Chef & Proprietor Michael Cimarusti,) their love for family, and the good times they spent together fishing off the shores of New England. At Connie and Ted’s you’ll find simply prepared fish and shellfish, inspired by the classic clam shacks, oyster bars, and fish houses, that dot the New England Seaboard and the West Coast. General Manager Matthew DeMarte has been there since the beginning. We’ll reel him in to explain how Connie & Ted’s is now hospitably serving their guests with takeaway.

Rob Lewis is the proprietor of both Lewis Station Winery and Stable Rock Winery & Distillery in Wisconsin. He started as an accomplished  home winemaker. “Lewis Station Winery is one of Wisconsin’s unique premium urban wineries in a re-purposed gas station. They specialize in small-batch, hand crafted premium award-winning wines using a low sulfite, natural approach to wine making.  “Stable Rock Winery & Distillery is a brand new winery & distillery located in a historic stable, on the banks of the Rock River in Jefferson, Wisconsin. Stable Rock has several German influences with it’s wines and food all while guests sit at authentic German Beer Garden tables. Winemaker Rob Lewis joins us to pull the cork on the specifics of home winemaking.

“Those who want to support small businesses and get great, high-quality artisan-made food to take home, will enjoy the continuing Artisan Pop-Up, every Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at OC Baking Company (1960 N. Glassell St., Orange, CA 92865). Guests can pick up with the convenience of one-stop shopping delicious fresh-baked breads from OC Baking Company; heart-warming curries from ADYA; and croissants, pastries and quiche from Crema Artisan Bakery. Other gourmet food items available, too, from local, artisan small purveyors. Artisans and offerings vary every Friday.” Many of the purveyors are cash only. Be prepared.

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 (and growing) concern. New restrictions for restaurants are now in effect for all of Southern California as we approach the all-important Holiday dining season. Our thoughts now turn to festive Holiday entertaining at home. Chef Andrew presented his recipe for Lobster Pot Pie (guaranteed comfort food) on the Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family” show this week. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

Play

Show 402, December 5, 2020: Matthew DeMarte, General Manager, Connie & Ted’s, West Hollywood

Matthew de Marte wearing a mask at Connie and Ted'sConnie and Ted’s in West Hollywood is inspired by the real Connie & Ted (the grandparents of Chef Michael Cimarusti,) their love for family, and the good times they spent together fishing off the shores of New England. At Connie and Ted’s you’ll find simply prepared fish and shellfish, inspired by the classic clam shacks, oyster bars, and fish houses, that dot the New England Seaboard and the West Coast.

General Manager Matthew DeMarte has been there since the beginning eight years ago. We reel him in to explain how Connie & Ted’s is still hospitably serving their guests (Wednesday through Sunday) with seafood specialties available for takeaway. Gift cards for Connie & Ted’s are a great item for the seafood lovers on your Holiday list.

Play

December 5: Grace Young, Tara Teaspoon, Connie & Ted’s, Lewis Station Winery, OC Baking Company

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Grace Young, James Beard Award-winning Author with “Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories” Part One
Segment Three: Grace Young, James Beard Award-winning Author with “Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories” Part Two
Segment Four: Tara Bench – Food Editor, Recipe Developer and Food Stylist with Live Life Deliciously
Segment Five: Matthew DeMarte, General Manager, Connie & Ted’s, West Hollywood
Segment Six: Rob Lewis, Proprietor, Lewis Station Winery and Stable Rock Winery & Distillery, Wisconsin
Segment Seven: Baker Dean Kim of OC Baking Co. and Chef Shachi Mehra of ADYA
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Time for a generous serving of Holiday Cheer. …We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

“Dubbed “The Stir-Fry Guru” by the New York Times, Grace Young has devoted her career to celebrating wok cookery through her cookbooks and videos. On March 15, 2020, she began Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories, an oral history project with videographer Dan Ahn, in collaboration with Poster House, documenting the stories of how Manhattan’s Chinatown has been impacted by COVID-19. The Smithsonian National Museum of American History featured Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories in their 2020 Youth Summit for middle and high school students as an exemplar of how one person is addressing the challenging question of how we choose to strengthen a community in the middle of a pandemic.” Grace Young, a James Beard Award recipient, joins us.

We’re delighted to welcome back food editor and recipe creator, Tara Bench, discussing Holiday cooking. “Tara Bench (aka “Tara Teaspoon”) has spent more than twenty years in the food publishing industry creating recipes and articles, and food styling for various magazines, books, television, and advertising.  Working as a food editor at Martha Stewart Living, and as the food and entertaining director of Ladies’ Home Journal, she knows how to write recipes for beginners as well as real foodies. Her philosophy is that anyone can cook and enjoy their time in the kitchen, and in her first cookbook, Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends, she proves it.” We’re back in the kitchen cooking with Tara Bench.

Connie and Ted’s in West Hollywood is inspired by the real Connie & Ted (the grandparents of Chef Michael Cimarusti,) their love for family, and the good times they spent together fishing off the shores of New England. At Connie and Ted’s you’ll find simply prepared fish and shellfish, inspired by the classic clam shacks, oyster bars, and fish houses, that dot the New England Seaboard and the West Coast. General Manager Matthew DeMarte has been there since the beginning. We’ll reel him in to explain how Connie & Ted’s is still hospitably serving their guests with takeaway.

Rob Lewis is the proprietor of both Lewis Station Winery and Stable Rock Winery & Distillery in Wisconsin. He started as an accomplished home winemaker. “Lewis Station Winery is one of Wisconsin’s unique premium urban wineries in a re-purposed gas station. They specialize in small-batch, hand crafted premium award-winning wines using a low sulfite, natural approach to wine making.  “Stable Rock Winery & Distillery is a brand new winery & distillery located in a historic stable, on the banks of the Rock River in Jefferson, Wisconsin. Stable Rock has several German influences with it’s wines and food all while guests sit at authentic German Beer Garden tables. Winemaker Rob Lewis joins us to pull the cork on the specifics of home winemaking.

“Those who want to support small businesses and get great, high-quality artisan-made food to take home, will enjoy the continuing Artisan Pop-Up, every Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at OC Baking Company (1960 N. Glassell St., Orange, CA 92865). Guests can pick up with the convenience of one-stop shopping delicious fresh-baked breads from OC Baking Company; heart-warming curries from ADYA; and croissants, pastries and quiche from Crema Artisan Bakery. Other gourmet food items available, too, from local, artisan small purveyors. Artisans and offerings vary every Friday.” Cash only.

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 (and growing) concern. Our thoughts now turn to festive Holiday entertaining. What’s better on than a Lobster Pot Pie? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

Stir Fry Queen Grace Young“Dubbed “The Stir-Fry Guru” by the New York Times, Grace Young has devoted her career to celebrating wok cookery through her cookbooks and videos. On March 15, 2020, she began Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories, an oral history project with videographer Dan Ahn, in collaboration with Poster House, documenting the stories of how Manhattan’s Chinatown has been impacted by COVID-19. The Smithsonian National Museum of American History featured Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories in their 2020 Youth Summit for middle and high school students as an exemplar of how one person is addressing the challenging question of how we choose to strengthen a community in the middle of a pandemic.”

Grace Young has partnered with the James Beard Foundation on an Instagram campaign to support Chinese restaurants all across the country. All independent restaurants are in danger of closing, and Chinese Americans have faced additional hardship as racism connected to COVID-19 rhetoric has threatened businesses even further.

“Help spread the word that Chinese restaurants are integral to America’s food culture and need our support now.”

How to participate:

  • Post a photo of your favorite dish from your local Chinese restaurant (takeout or dine-in) on Instagram with the hashtag #SaveChineseRestaurants and nominate your friends and followers to do the same.
  • Tag @beardfoundation and The James Beard Foundation will repost some of their favorites.

“In New York and San Francisco’s Chinatowns, the pandemic wiped out a steady customer base of both tourism and walk-in traffic from office workers. Now facing back rent and mounting bills, and with the onset of cold weather and limited indoor dining, barely surviving establishments are hanging on by sheer grit. We urgently need the #SaveChineseRestaurants campaign, launched together with the James Beard Foundation, which asks each of us—including family and friends—to support these restaurants just by showing up, either for takeout or dining in. This is a crisis and without steady patronage, these businesses will not survive. I truly believe if we all pitch in we can save these eateries and treasured ethnic neighborhoods everywhere.” — Grace Young

Grace is on a mission to spread the word that Chinese restaurants are integral to America’s food culture and need our support right now. She is our guest.

Tara BenchWe’re delighted to welcome back food editor and recipe creator Tara Bench discussing Holiday cooking. “Tara Bench (aka “Tara Teaspoon”) has spent more than twenty years in the food publishing industry creating recipes and articles, and food styling for various magazines, books, television, and advertising.  Working as a food editor at Martha Stewart Living, and as the food and entertaining director of Ladies’ Home Journal, she knows how to write recipes for beginners as well as real foodies. Her philosophy is that anyone can cook and enjoy their time in the kitchen, and in her first cookbook, Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends, she proves it.”

“Whether you’re a casual cook or a die-hard, classically-trained chef, you’ll have complete success on each and every recipe. She sets you up with flavor descriptions and tips and tricks (including an entire section on kitchen equipment, her favorite tools, and why they are so important).”

“Each chapter is from the heart and inspired by Tara’s family heritage and experiences eating at the best restaurants and tastiest dives in New York City. Create wonderful memories through food you can share with the people who love and inspire you.”

Tara will share some of her Holiday favorite recipes that are enjoyed by her own Family. You’ll be tempted with Mandarin and Prosciutto Crostini, and Moroccan Kebabs with Chermoula Sauce.

We’re happily back in the kitchen with Tara Bench.

Matthew de Marte wearing a mask at Connie and Ted'sConnie and Ted’s in West Hollywood is inspired by the real Connie & Ted (the grandparents of Chef Michael Cimarusti,) their love for family, and the good times they spent together fishing off the shores of New England. At Connie and Ted’s you’ll find simply prepared fish and shellfish, inspired by the classic clam shacks, oyster bars, and fish houses, that dot the New England Seaboard and the West Coast.

General Manager Matthew DeMarte has been there since the beginning. We reel him in to explain how Connie & Ted’s is still hospitably serving their guests with takeaway.

Rob Lewis of Lewis Station WineryRob Lewis is the proprietor of both Lewis Station Winery and Stable Rock Winery & Distillery in Wisconsin. He started as an accomplished home winemaker.

“Lewis Station Winery is one of Wisconsin’s unique premium urban wineries in a re-purposed gas station. They specialize in small-batch, hand crafted premium award-winning wines using a low sulfite, natural approach to wine making. Lewis Station also have a large variety of Wisconsin craft beers and an appealing bistro style food menu. They offer “tasting flights” to enjoy the wines of Wisconsin’s First Certified Craft Winery.”

Stable Rock Winery & Distillery is a brand new winery & distillery located in a historic stable, on the banks of the Rock River in Jefferson, Wisconsin. Considering Jefferson’s rich German history, Stable Rock has several German influences with it’s wines and food all while guests sit at authentic German Beer Garden tables and benches obtained directly from Munich, Germany.”

All of Stable Rock’s unique wines and spirits are bottled on site.

Winemaker Rob Lewis joins us to pull the cork on the intriguing specifics of home winemaking.

Dean Kim of the OC Baking Company“Those who want to support small businesses and get great, high-quality artisan-made food to take home, will enjoy the continuing Artisan Pop-Up, every Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at OC Baking Company (1960 N. Glassell St., Orange, CA 92865). Guests can pick up with the convenience of one-stop shopping delicious fresh-baked breads from OC Baking Company; heart-warming curries from ADYA; and croissants, pastries and quiche from Crema Artisan Bakery. Other gourmet food items available, too, from local, artisan small purveyors. Artisans and offerings vary every Friday.” Cash only.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant GroupOur 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 (and growing) concern.

Our thoughts now turn to festive Holiday entertaining at home. Chef Andrew presented his recipe for Lobster Pot Pie (guaranteed comfort food) on the Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family” show this week. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Grace Young, James Beard Award-winning Author with “Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories” Part One
Segment Three: Grace Young, James Beard Award-winning Author with “Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories” Part Two
Segment Four: Tara Bench – Food Editor, Recipe Developer and Food Stylist with Live Life Deliciously
Segment Five: Matthew DeMarte, General Manager, Connie & Ted’s, West Hollywood
Segment Six: Rob Lewis, Proprietor, Lewis Station Winery and Stable Rock Winery & Distillery, Wisconsin
Segment Seven: Baker Dean Kim of OC Baking Co. and Chef Shachi Mehra of ADYA
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 377, June 13, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

It’s worthy of repeating…

Chefs and restaurateurs are honestly the most generous people we know. In times of need they are always the very first in generously giving back and meaningfully supporting their communities. Truly remarkable…Right now as dine-in slowly returns at greatly reduced capacity restaurants urgently need our support to stay afloat. Kindly keep this in mind and please do what you possibly can (as you can afford) to support a community-focused, local restaurant….

As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it every week without the enthusiastic encouragement and support of the foodie community.

Food lovers are now able to eat and explore their way through Downtown Las Vegas like never before with a pair of private, self-guided, e-assisted culinary tours created by Finger Licking Foodie Tours. The brand-new company represents a follow-up, companion business to the successful Lip Smacking Foodie Tours created by Las Vegas entrepreneur and hospitality-industry veteran, Donald Contursi.

The new self-guided Finger Licking Foodie Tours (Downtown Fremont East and Arts District) offers guests a fun and innovative way to support three top restaurants in the Las Vegas community, while enjoying an array of Instagramable dishes in one outing. Don Contursi joins us with the salivating details.

Factory Place Hospitality Group, a restaurant group led by Restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi, was founded in March of 2013. Executive Chef and Business Partner Angelo Auriana, joined Ferdinandi and his wife, Francine Diamond-Ferdinandi, in August 2013 shortly before the opening of The Factory Kitchen in Downtown Los Angeles. The L.A. collection of establishments also includes Brera Ristorante and sixth+mill pizzeria. Las Vegas properties are Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano in The Venetian Resort and sixth+mill ristorante, pizzeria & bar at The Grand Canal Shoppes. The Las Vegas establishments have recently reopened for dine-in service. Matteo Ferdinandi is graciously at our service along with Chef Angelo Auriana.

Since partners Chef Michael Cimarusti, Donato Poto, and Craig Nickoloff opened Connie and Ted’s in West Hollywood in 2013 they have redefined the concept of a casual seafood dinner house serving premium seafood. Poised to reopen for dine-in Connie & Ted’s just celebrated their 7th Anniversary. Opening General Manager Matthew De Marte (a 3rd generation restaurant professional) provides all the tasty details.

Chef & Restaurateur Josiah Citrin is an accomplished culinary expert and veteran of Los Angeles’s gourmet dining scene, with more than 25 years of experience. He is a two-star Michelin chef and owner of Santa Monica’s highly-acclaimed Mélisse & Citrin, Charcoal Venice, Dear John’s (with Hans & Patti Rockenwagner) in Culver City and Openaire at The Line Hotel. His culinary philosophy, “In Pursuit of Excellence” sets the standard for all of his concepts, whether fine-dining or casual.

We entice Chef Josiah Citrin out of his busy kitchens for an update on his area restaurant properties.

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 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. Alternately take-out/delivery when you can surely helps…All levels of government have sincerely pledged to support struggling (but essential) small businesses as we start to slowly recover from the COVID 19 crisis. Chef Andrew has a startling personal example of local bureaucratic fumbling at its best. We’re also starting to see a COVID 19 surcharge on select restaurant checks. There is talk in Congress about advancing the Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed to Survive (RESTAURANTS) Act of 2020. As always Chef Andrew shares his informed thoughts. 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!

Play

Show 377, June 13, 2020: Matthew De Marte, General Manager, Connie & Ted’s, West Hollywood

Matthew de Marte wearing a mask at Connie and Ted'sSince partners Chef Michael Cimarusti, Donato Poto, and Craig Nickoloff opened Connie and Ted’s in West Hollywood in 2013 they have redefined the concept of a casual seafood dinner house serving premium seafood. Poised to reopen for dine-in Connie & Ted’s just celebrated their 7th Anniversary.

“At Connie and Ted’s you’ll find simply prepared fish and shellfish, inspired by the classic clam shacks, oyster bars, and fish houses, that dot the New England Seaboard and the Western Coast.”

During the ban on dine-in Connie & Ted’s has been serving guests with a full menu prepared To-Go & via delivery through TOCK.

Opening General Manager Matthew De Marte (a 3rd generation restaurant professional) provides all the tasty details.

Play

June 13: Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, Factory Place Hospitality Group, Connie and Ted’s, Josiah Citrin

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Las Vegas’ Lip Smacking Foodie Tours and Finger Licking Foodie Tours Part One
Segment Three: Las Vegas’ Lip Smacking Foodie Tours and Finger Licking Foodie Tours Part Two
Segment Four: Matteo Ferdinandi & Chef Angelo Auriana, Factory Place Hospitality Group, Los Angeles & Las Vegas Part One
Segment Five: Matteo Ferdinandi & Chef Angelo Auriana, Factory Place Hospitality Group, Los Angeles & Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Six: Matthew De Marte, General Manager, Connie & Ted’s, West Hollywood
Segment Seven: Chef & Restaurateur Josiah Citrin, Melisse & Citrin, Santa Monica
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host & Slapfish Restaurant Group

Chefs and restaurateurs are honestly the most generous people we know. In times of need they are always the very first in generously giving back and meaningfully supporting their communities. Truly remarkable…Right now as dine-in slowly returns at greatly reduced capacity restaurants urgently need our support to stay afloat. Kindly keep this in mind and please do what you possibly can (as you can afford) to support a community-focused, local restaurant….

As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it every week without the enthusiastic encouragement of the foodie community.

Food lovers are now able to eat and explore their way through Downtown Las Vegas like never before with a pair of private, self-guided, e-assisted culinary tours created by Finger Licking Foodie Tours. The brand-new company represents a follow-up, companion business to the successful Lip Smacking Foodie Tours created by Las Vegas entrepreneur and hospitality-industry veteran, Donald Contursi. The new self-guided Finger Licking Foodie Tours (Downtown and Arts District) offers guests a fun and innovative way to support three top restaurants in the Las Vegas community, while enjoying an array of Instagramable dishes in one outing. Don Contursi joins us with the salivating details.

Factory Place Hospitality Group, a restaurant group led by Restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi, was founded in March of 2013. Executive Chef and Business Partner Angelo Auriana, joined Ferdinandi and his wife, Francine Diamond-Ferdinandi, in August 2013 shortly before the opening of The Factory Kitchen in Downtown Los Angeles. The L.A. collection of establishments also includes Brera Ristorante and sixth+mill pizzeria. Las Vegas properties are Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano in The Venetian Resort and sixth+mill ristorante, pizzeria & bar at The Grand Canal Shoppes. The Las Vegas establishments have recently reopened for dine-in service. Matteo Ferdinandi is graciously at our service.

Since partners Chef Michael Cimarusti, Donato Poto, and Craig Nickoloff opened Connie and Ted’s in West Hollywood in 2013 they have redefined the concept of a casual seafood dinner house serving premium seafood. Poised to reopen for dine-in Connie & Ted’s just celebrated their 7th Anniversary. Opening General Manager Matthew De Marte (a 3rd generation restaurant professional) provides all the tasty details.

Chef & Restaurateur Josiah Citrin is an accomplished culinary expert and veteran of Los Angeles’s gourmet dining scene, with more than 25 years of experience. He is a two-star Michelin chef and owner of Santa Monica’s highly-acclaimed Mélisse & Citrin, Charcoal Venice, Dear John’s (with Hans & Patti Rockenwagner) in Culver City and Openaire at The Line Hotel. His culinary philosophy, “In Pursuit of Excellence” sets the standard for all of his concepts, whether fine-dining or casual.

We entice Chef Josiah Citrin out of his busy kitchens for an update on his area restaurant properties.

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 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. Alternately take-out/delivery when you can surely helps…All levels of government have sincerely pledged to support struggling (but essential) small businesses as we start to slowly recover from the COVID 19 crisis. Chef Andrew has a startling personal example of local bureaucratic fumbling at its best. We’re also starting to see a COVID 19 surcharge on select restaurant checks. Chef Andrew shares his informed thoughts. 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!

Donald Contursi of Lipsmacking Foodie ToursFood lovers are now able to eat and explore their way through Downtown Las Vegas like never before with a pair of private, self-guided, e-assisted culinary tours created by Finger Licking Foodie Tours. The brand-new company represents a follow-up, companion business to the successful Lip Smacking Foodie Tours created by Las Vegas entrepreneur and hospitality-industry veteran, Donald Contursi.

The new self-guided Finger Licking Foodie Tours (Downtown and Arts District) offers guests a fun and innovative way to support three top restaurants in the Las Vegas community, while enjoying an array of Instagramable dishes in one outing. Each tour requires a minimum of just two patrons, so guests can safely dine with their closest family and loved ones.

“With restaurant capacities limited due to public health restrictions and reservations at the hottest restaurants challenging, Finger Licking Foodie Tours provide immediate VIP seating with signature dishes served fresh, shortly after arrival. Tours are “led” by a virtual tour guide who provides a map of the route, interesting tidbits along the way and a guided walk through Downtown Container Park to support local small businesses.”

“This tour provides an intimate and personalized foodie experience,” explains Contursi. “Guests receive an online map, as well as a link to an innovative virtual tour guide who provides commentary for each fascinating stop along the way including a walk- through Downtown Container Park to support small businesses. On this 2.5-hour experience in the city’s exciting, revitalized downtown, guests will visit three acclaimed restaurants, enjoying superb service and three unforgettable dishes at each venue.”

Don Contursi joins us with the delectable details.

Matteo Ferdinandi of the Factory KitchenFactory Place Hospitality Group, a restaurant group led by Restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi, was founded in March of 2013. Executive Chef and Business Partner Angelo Auriana, joined Ferdinandi and his wife, Francine Diamond-Ferdinandi, in August 2013 shortly before the opening of The Factory Kitchen in Downtown Los Angeles.

The L.A. collection of establishments also includes Brera Ristorante and sixth+mill pizzeria. This trio of restaurants has reopened for Pick-Up orders Wednesday through Saturday from 3 to 8 p.m. via Tock.

Las Vegas properties are Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano in The Venetian Resort and sixth+mill ristorante, pizzeria & bar at The Grand Canal Shoppes. The Las Vegas properties have recently reopened for dine-in service.

Matteo Ferdinandi is graciously at our service along with Chef Angelo.

Matthew de Marte wearing a mask at Connie and Ted'sSince partners Chef Michael Cimarusti, Donato Poto, and Craig Nickoloff opened Connie and Ted’s in West Hollywood in 2013 they have redefined the concept of a casual seafood dinner house serving premium seafood. Poised to reopen for dine-in Connie & Ted’s just celebrated their 7th Anniversary.

“At Connie and Ted’s you’ll find simply prepared fish and shellfish, inspired by the classic clam shacks, oyster bars, and fish houses, that dot the New England Seaboard and the Western Coast.”

During the ban on dine-in Connie & Ted’s has been serving guests with a full menu prepared To-Go & via delivery through TOCK.

Opening General Manager Matthew De Marte (a 3rd generation restaurant professional) provides all the tasty details.

Josiah CitrinChef & Restaurateur Josiah Citrin is an accomplished culinary expert and veteran of Los Angeles’s gourmet dining scene, with more than 25 years of experience. He is a two-star Michelin chef and owner of Santa Monica’s highly-acclaimed Mélisse & Citrin, Charcoal Venice, Dear John’s (with Hans & Patti Rockenwagner) in Culver City and Openaire at The Line Hotel. His culinary philosophy, “In Pursuit of Excellence” sets the standard for all of his concepts, whether fine-dining or casual.

The combination of Melisse and Citrin are currently offering a single Takeaway dinner menu for Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Both Charcoal and Dear John’s have reopened for dinner dine-in.

We entice Chef Josiah Citrin out of his busy kitchens for an update on his restaurant properties.

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur 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 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. Take-out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

All levels of government have sincerely pledged to support struggling (but essential) small businesses as we start to slowly recover from the financial impact COVID 19 crisis. Chef Andrew has a startling personal example of local bureaucratic fumbling at its best. We’re also starting to see a COVID 19 surcharge on some restaurant checks. Chef Andrew shares his informed thoughts. We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Las Vegas’ Lip Smacking Foodie Tours and Finger Licking Foodie Tours Part One
Segment Three: Las Vegas’ Lip Smacking Foodie Tours and Finger Licking Foodie Tours Part Two
Segment Four: Matteo Ferdinandi & Chef Angelo Auriana, Factory Place Hospitality Group, Los Angeles & Las Vegas Part One
Segment Five: Matteo Ferdinandi & Chef Angelo Auriana, Factory Place Hospitality Group, Los Angeles & Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Six: Matthew De Marte, General Manager, Connie & Ted’s, West Hollywood
Segment Seven: Chef & Restaurateur Josiah Citrin, Melisse & Citrin, Santa Monica
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host & Slapfish Restaurant Group

Show 157, January 30, 2016: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Next a tempting preview of Saturday’s delectable and always healful show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s absolutely a good thing…

The fondly remembered Naugles fast food restaurant chain was founded by Dick Naugle (one of the founders of Del Taco) in 1970 in Southern California with 225 locations prior to merging with Del Taco in 1988. Sadly, Naugles lasted as an independent entity only 7 years after that. It featured an American and a Mexican kitchen. A new business group formed in the last few years has been patiently working on bringing the chain back. This grass roots revival is an incredible comeback story and we’ll meet the architect of it all, Christian Ziebarth.

Since partners Chef Michael Cimarusti, Donato Poto, and Craig Nickoloff opened Connie and Ted’s in West Hollywood in 2013 they have redefined the concept of a casual seafood dinner house serving premium seafood. New at Connie and Ted’s is a Weekend New England-style Seafood Brunch with freshly baked in-house breakfast breads and pastries. Opening General Manager Matthew De Marte provides the tasty details.

After launching its first two West Coast locations to huge crowds and an almost never-ending line, The Halal Guys are entering new territory with its upcoming grand opening in Koreatown, Los Angeles. The fast-casual New York concept opened its first West Coast location in Costa Mesa last October, its second location in Long Beach this past January and have plans to bring 50 units throughout Southern California.

Halal Guys local franchisee, Thomas Pham, is our guest. He’ll also talk about his new, soon to launch ice cream concept, Churned. Our regular guest Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel joins us for this interview.

Our favorite purveyor of genuinely useful wine knowledge, Kyle Meyer, the Co-Proprietor of The Wine Exchange, joins us for his monthly tutorial. Kyle will provide a preview of coming attractions in wine for the New Year along with comparative discussions about Bordeaux reds and California Cabernet. He’ll also have some practical tips on properly storing wine after you’ve opened the bottle.

Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa has been one of the toughest reservations in town since its opening. It’s a busy spot. The ambitious bar program there also merits a lot of attention. Vaca has created an enticing by-the-glass program for Sherry. Jerez (Sherry) actually pairs very well with food as the Spanish already know. Vaca’s incredibly knowledgeable Bar Manager, Michael Rooney, joins us for a short course on the joy of appreciating Sherry.

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

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Show 157, January 30, 2016: Matthew De Marte, General Manager, Connie and Ted’s, West Hollywood

Matthew de MarteSince partners Chef Michael Cimarusti, Donato Poto, and Craig Nickoloff opened Connie and Ted’s in West Hollywood in 2013 they have redefined the concept of a casual seafood dinner house serving premium seafood. The impressive guest counts this popular restaurant continues to do two and one-half years later are the envy of the industry

New at Connie and Ted’s from Executive Chef Sam Baxter is a Weekend New England-style Seafood Brunch with freshly baked in-house breakfast breads and pastries. It’s served Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Pastry Chef Melissa McFail creates all the breakfast baked goods in-house. Highlights are Biscuit & Butter, Grilled Pullman Bread and Cinnamon Roll with nutmeg, orange zest and cream cheese icing.

A brunch highlight is the Nor’Easter Breakfast Sandwich. It’s Nueske’s bacon, egg, clam strips, Hook’s cheddar, tartar sauce, housemade English muffin and served with home fried potatoes.

Opening General Manager Matthew De Marte (a 3rd generation restaurant professional who hails from Chicago) provides all the tasty details.

Play

January 30: Naugles Tacos, Connie & Ted’s, The Halal Guys, Wine Exchange, Jason Neroni, Vaca

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Christian Ziebarth and Chef John Smittle, the new Naugles
Segment Three: Matthew De Marte, General Manager, Connie and Ted’s, West Hollywood
Segment Four: Thomas Pham, The Halal Guys (for SoCal) and Churned
Segment Five: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, The Wine Exchange, Tustin
Segment Six: Michael Rooney, Bar Manager, Amar Santana’s Vaca, Costa Mesa Part One
Segment Seven: Michael Rooney, Bar Manager, Amar Santana’s Vaca, Costa Mesa Part Two

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, now, Brea, is back as today’s regular Guest Host.

Next a tempting preview of Saturday’s delectable and always healful show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s absolutely a good thing…

The fondly remembered Naugles fast food restaurant chain was founded by Dick Naugle in 1970 in Southern California with 225 locations prior to merging with Del Taco in 1988. Sadly, Naugles lasted only 7 years after that and was absorbed into Del Taco. It featured an American and a Mexican kitchen. A new business group formed in the last few years has been patiently working on bringing the chain back. This grass roots revival is an incredible comeback story and we’ll meet the architect of it all, Christian Ziebarth.

Since partners Chef Michael Cimarusti, Donato Poto, and Craig Nickoloff opened Connie and Ted’s in West Hollywood in 2013 they have redefined the concept of a casual seafood dinner house serving premium seafood. New at Connie and Ted’s is a Weekend New England-style Seafood Brunch with freshly baked in-house breakfast breads and pastries. Opening General Manager Matthew De Marte provides the tasty details.

After launching its first two West Coast locations to huge crowds and an almost never-ending line, The Halal Guys are entering new territory with its upcoming grand opening in Koreatown, Los Angeles. The fast-casual New York concept opened its first West Coast location in Costa Mesa last October, its second location in Long Beach this past January and have plans to bring 50 units throughout Southern California.

Halal Guys local franchisee, Thomas Pham, is our guest. He’ll also talk about his new, soon to launch ice cream concept, Churned.

Our favorite purveyor of genuinely useful wine knowledge, Kyle Meyer, the Co-Proprietor of The Wine Exchange, joins us for his monthly tutorial. Kyle will provide a preview of coming attractions in wine for the New Year along with comparative discussions about Bordeaux reds and California Cabernet. He’ll also have some practical tips on properly storing wine after you’ve uncorked the bottle.

For the first time in its 36- year history the newly renovated Rose Café – Restaurant in Venice is now serving dinner under the direction of Chef Jason Neroni and Sprout LA. Chef Jason Neroni is our guest.

Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa has been one of the toughest reservations in town since its opening. It’s a busy spot. The ambitious bar program there also merits a lot of attention. Vaca has created an enticing by-the-glass program for Sherry. Jerez (Sherry) actually pairs very well with food as the Spanish already know. Vaca’s incredibly knowledgeable Bar Manager, Michael Rooney, joins us for a short course on the pure joy of appreciating Sherry.

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

Hombre Nachos at NuaglesThe fondly remembered Naugles fast food restaurant chain was founded by Dick Naugle in 1970 in Southern California with 225 locations prior to merging with Del Taco in 1988. Sadly, Naugles lasted only 7 years on its own after that. It featured an American and a Mexican kitchen. Popular items included the cheese burrito, the bun taco, the combo cup with tortilla chips, the Naugleburger, the Ortega burger and more.

A new business group formed in the last few years has been patiently working on bringing the chain back. The group recently opened a corporate kitchen with plans to expand to more locations. It’s open for service on Weekends.

This effort is not affiliated with Del Taco nor with any other prior owner of the brand. The mission is reviving the original concept with a new company.

In 2014 Gustavo Arellano, the editor of OC Weekly and the author of a highly regarded book on the history of Mexican food in America, recognized the new Naugles as one of his “5 Favorite Restaurants of 2014.”

“So Naugles isn’t technically a restaurant again yet, but the effort by a Naugles fan to bring back the legendary Mexican fast-food chain from the archives of Del Taco is not only a great story, but a delicious one. Are the meals Taco Maria-worthy ? Absolutely not. But they did teach me why people get so crazy over the popups. Go to the next one. Get a simple bean-and-cheese, and you’ll tell me what’s up.” Gustavo Arellano.

This unusual grass roots revival is an incredible comeback story and we’ll meet the architect of it all, Christian Ziebarth.

Matthew de MarteSince partners Chef Michael Cimarusti, Donato Poto, and Craig Nickoloff opened Connie and Ted’s in West Hollywood in 2013 they have redefined the concept of a casual seafood dinner house serving premium seafood. New at Connie and Ted’s from Executive Chef Sam Baxter is a Weekend New England-style Seafood Brunch with freshly baked in-house breakfast breads and pastries. It’s served Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Pastry Chef Melissa McFail creates all the breakfast baked goods in-house. Highlights are Biscuit & Butter, Grilled Pullman Bread and Cinnamon Roll with nutmeg, orange zest and cream cheese icing.

A brunch highlight is the Nor’Easter Breakfast Sandwich. It’s Nueske’s bacon, egg, clam strips, Hook’s cheddar, tartar sauce on a housemade English muffin and served with home fried potatoes.

Opening General Manager Matthew De Marte (a 3rd generation restaurant professional) provides all the tasty details.

Halal GuysAfter opening its first two West Coast locations to huge crowds and an almost never-ending line, The Halal Guys are entering new territory with its upcoming grand opening in Koreatown, Los Angeles.

The fast-casual New York concept opened its first West Coast location in Costa Mesa last October, its second location in Long Beach this past January and have plans to bring 50 units throughout Southern California.

Known for its famous white sauce, gyro sandwiches and chicken-and-rice platters, The Halal Guys menu offers a mix of different Middle Eastern dishes. The Halal Guys aim to be different and encourage patrons across America to ditch burgers for something unique.

They pride themselves on only using high-quality products like their chicken. It has never been frozen and is marinated and seasoned overnight, then cooked and chopped on the grill and served directly to the plate to ensure a crave -worthy meal that’s piping hot. The Halal Guys’ mission is to ensure that every customer leaves happy, with a smile on their face and a satisfaction that brings them back again.

Halal Guys local franchisee, Thomas Pham, is our guest.

He’ll also talk about his new, soon to launch ice cream concept, Churned.

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeOur favorite purveyor of genuinely useful wine knowledge, Kyle Meyer, the Co-Proprietor of The Wine Exchange, joins us for his eagerly anticipated monthly tutorial. We’re thirsty…

Kyle will provide a preview of coming attractions in wine for the New Year (think 2014 Pinot Noirs from Oregon) along with the chatter involving comparative discussions about Bordeaux reds and California Cabernet. He’ll also have some practical tips on properly storing wine after you’ve opened the bottle.

“For as long as we have been doing this, there have been comparative discussions about Bordeaux reds and California Cabernet.  A lot of that discourse centers on the fact that they are both essentially made from the same group of varietals.  Inevitably the bantering arrives at which is better, and that becomes a much more parochial argument with those in whichever camp arguing their side.  There is no middle ground.  Folks who like big bold Cabernets and other weighty renditions of Bordeaux varietals as they are made in California will point to Bordeaux and say they are thin.  Those in the Bordeaux camp will point to the ageability and complexity that Bordeaux has historically demonstrated, and call the Cali versions plodding and one dimensional.”

Jason NeroniFor the first time in its 36- year history the newly renovated Rose Café – Restaurant in Venice is now serving dinner under the direction of Chef Jason Neroni and Sprout LA. Chef Jason Neroni is our guest.

Rose Cafe – Restaurant, the long-awaited project from Chef Jason Neroni and Sprout LA, finally reopened its Venice doors this past November after a major overhaul and renovation. The Rose now serves breakfast, lunch, brunch, quick service, and most recently, a nighttime HEARTH menu, with a selection of options available at the bar only.

While still looking to keep the roots of the Rose, the expansion of dinner gives the community an opportunity to experience Neroni’s cuisines, in an even bigger way. The beautiful 120 seat main dining room is set off from bustling market and open kitchens.

All the breads are baked in-house.

Bread Plate from Rose Cafe in VeniceChef Jason Neroni’s Rose Café menu focuses on local Southern California cuisine with an international influence from his world travels. The bakery, helmed by Jacob Fraijo and Christina Hanks (Quince/Cotogna, SF) under the mentorship of Alen Ramos and Carolyn Nugent, celebrates American classics, as well as brings back some of the original Rose bakery classics re-conceptualized with their innovative techniques.

The bar program, from Julian Cox and Nick Meyer is an extension of not only Chef Neroni’s menu, but also of the Venice community. Taking the same approach of the kitchen by utilizing the freshest and most compelling ingredients to feature in the drinks, Meyer and team are also playing with curious ingredients like macadamia nuts, acid phosphate, licorice root, artichoke, and rhubarb. Favorites from the lunch and brunch menus will live on through the dinner menu and you’ll even find some fun dessert cocktails popping up.

As carefully as the culinary team has procured and selected produce and meat purveyors, Wine Director Nathaniel Muñoz has chosen a spectrum of wines from classic regions around the world that express their unique terroir and tradition. Whether you are ready for a classic rosé from Provence or venture into a bottle of Turkish Öküzgözü, the wine should be a delicious part of the culinary journey at The Rose.

Michael RooneyChef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa has been one of the toughest reservations in town since its opening. It’s a busy spot.

The ambitious bar program there also merits a lot of serious attention. They even create their own vermouth.

Vaca has developed an enticing by-the-glass program for Sherry. Jerez (Sherry) actually pairs very well with food as the Spanish already know. 17 distinctive Jerezes are available by-the-glass at Vaca. The Bar Manager was previously turned on to Sherry as a result of a transformative, 6-course Sherry paired dinner he enjoyed in Spain.

“The wines of the D.O. Jerez (Sherry) are beautiful, expressive wines ranging from bracingly dry, to complex umami, to fruity sweet.”

“They’re touted by Sommeliers around the World as ideal food-pairing wines for their strong acidity, complex palate, and ability to stand up to bold, flavorful dishes.”

Sherry can only come from a specific DO, a designated area in Southern Spain’s Andalucia region.

Vaca’s incredibly knowledgeable Bar Manager, Michael Rooney, joins us for a short course on the joy of appreciating Sherry.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Christian Ziebarth and Chef John Smittle, the new Naugles
Segment Three: Matthew De Marte, General Manager, Connie and Ted’s, West Hollywood
Segment Four: Thomas Pham, The Halal Guys (for SoCal) and Churned
Segment Five: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, The Wine Exchange, Tustin
Segment Six: Michael Rooney, Bar Manager, Amar Santana’s Vaca, Costa Mesa Part One
Segment Seven: Michael Rooney, Bar Manager, Amar Santana’s Vaca, Costa Mesa Part Two

Show 132, July 25, 2015: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, and now, LAX, is back as today’s special Guest Host. Irvine opens next week.

Next a provocative preview of Saturday’s ample show. With any luck we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

Just as wine is to the French or beer is to the Germans, whiskey – especially bourbon and rye – is an integral part of the history and culture of the United States. The Art of American Whiskey traces the arc of this beloved, renowned spirit – from its earliest days in the Colonial era, through the Civil War, Prohibition, the Great Depression, and up to the current craft-distilling boon. Author and whiskey expert Noah Rothbaum is our guest.

Vina De Liceaga is one of the very limited production, distinguished boutique wineries in the Guadalupe Valley located in Northern Baja California. It was founded in its current location in 1993 by the late Eduardo Liceaga and the tradition continues under the watchful eye of his widow, Myrna. Wine journalist Tom Plant (the founder of WINEormous.com) who has lived in Northern Baja joins us with a profile of Vina De Liceaga.

The casual, seafood centric Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood has been a crowd-pleasing phenonomin since it opened its door two years ago. Co-owner Chef Michael Cimarusti (Providence) is one of the most respected seafood chefs in the country. Partner Donato Poto (Providence) has a long reputation as the L.A. consummate host. Partner Craig Nickoloff is a veteran restaurateur best known for founding the the hugely successful Claim Jumper restaurants. Craig knows how to feed a crowd and give them every reason to return. Connie & Ted’s opening General Manager, Matthew De Marte is our guest to share a few secrets of their incredible success.

The Big Bite Bacon Fest at The Queen Mary is back for its second year on August 1st & 2nd. Showcasing bacon and craft beer it’s the West Coast’s Largest Bacon Fest! Chef Isaiah Rosario (he’s 16) of the Fry Fry Truck, one of the participating Bacon Fest chefs, joins us to preview some of the outrageous bacon dishes that will be available.

The esteemed Price of Produce, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, is back with us to update us on the fresh and juiciest grapes of Summer. New this year are Jelly Drops Grapes. Returning are the coveted Cotton Candy grapes.

Our regular guest hot, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, is a big fan of craveable sandwiches. He’ll give us the profile of the regional favorite, the New Jersey Sloppy Joe and other sandwich intell. Yum…

Chef Andrew Gruel knows a thing or two about fresh fish. One of the goals of the growing sustainability movement in seafood is to encourage fish lovers to try some of the lesser-known selections that are out there for the taking. They are just as tasty and actually typically priced at a better value. Unfortunately they are known as “trash fish.” Don’t let that name fool you. Smelt, sardines, and mackerel can be delicious.

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

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