Show 357, January 25, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

Now a tantalizing preview of this Saturday’s scrumptious show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will hopefully leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing… As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it without you.

After 8 years as the popular Executive Chef at the prestigious Jonathan Club (Downtown Los Angeles and on the beach in Santa Monica) Jason McClain has amicably departed to pursue some entrepreneurial culinary adventures on his own. At Jonathan Club Chef McClain took traditional club fare in the elevated direction of fine dining at a highly rated, independent restaurant. On the horizon is McClain Chophouse, an ingredient-focused premium steak house and, just for fun, an authentic Philly Cheesesteak food truck. We’ll get an “a la minute” update from Chef Jason.

In December, Chef Josiah Citrin debuted the reimagined Mélisse and Citrin, two new culinary concepts under one iconic roof. After closing Michelin two-star Mélisse in Santa Monica last year, Chef Josiah rethought the award-winning dining destination as an engaging, luxe tasting menu restaurant alongside Citrin, an inviting, á la carte concept paying homage to the original Mélisse’s culinary legacy. With this double debut of anticipated restaurants, Chef Josiah continues to solidify his status as a central figure of fine dining in Los Angeles. Chef Josiah joins us,

DANCIN Vineyards (Medford, Oregon) is a lush, Italian-esque vineyard estate where tasting is an experience of enjoyment and relaxation, where wines are served alongside harmonious food pairings. The hospitable proprietors are the gracious husband & wife team of Dan and Cindy Marca . Since we last visited the estate in 2015 the hospitality features for visitors have expanded. Dan Marca is our guest with the update.

Located in Long Beach’s Belmont Heights, Panxa Cocina is a purveyor of modern Latin cuisine from the esteemed Chef / Proprietor Arthur Gonzalez. Since opening, Chef Gonzalez has been serving both quality interpretations of classic dishes and daring new ventures into the uncharted territories of food. We’re celebrating Panxa’s 5th Anniversary with Chef Art.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group joins us with another informative “Ask the Chef” segment. MSG (monosodium glutamate) is back in the news as an often-used food additive. What’s in it and should it be avoided? Cutting through the chatter we’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 357, January 25, 2020: Chef Josiah Citrin of Melisse and Citrin, Santa Monica

Josiah CitrinLast December, Chef Josiah Citrin debuted the reimagined Mélisse and Citrin, two new culinary concepts under one iconic roof. After closing Michelin two-star Mélisse in Santa Monica last year, Chef Josiah remade the award-winning dining destination as an engaging, luxe, intimate tasting menu restaurant alongside Citrin, an inviting, á la carte concept paying homage to the original Mélisse’s culinary legacy.

Chef/Partner Ken Takayama, Wine Director Matthew Luczy, and General Manager James Spencer, all formerly of Mélisse, helm both restaurants which were designed by Dex Studios and Redford House. With this double debut of anticipated restaurants, Chef Josiah continues to solidify his status as a central figure of fine dining in Los Angeles.

“Located within the Mélisse space that flourished in Santa Monica for two decades, Chef Josiah and Chef/Partner Ken Takayama revived their Michelin two-star institution with a new service model which brings a more personal, intimate approach to service. Challenging the format of traditional restaurant service, Mélisse brings the intimacy of the kitchen directly to guests with chefs and sommeliers—who also double as servers—leading diners through the experience. The nine-course tasting menu is intended to bring a sense of discovery, shifting in accordance with the seasons while adhering to Chef Josiah’s signature California progressive cooking style.”

“Drawing from Chef Josiah’s classical French training and longtime connection with the Santa Monica Farmers Market, the coursed tasting menu ($295) can be accompanied by a France and California-focused wine pairing ($195) from Wine Director and Certified Sommelier Matthew Luczy. Guests can also opt for a non-alcoholic pairing ($195), featuring housemade kombucha and infusions.”

“An extension of the original Mélisse, Citrin offers an upscale yet comfortable, convivial, and fun dining experience where guests can expect the same meticulous attention to detail and technique for which chefs Josiah Citrin and Ken Takayama are celebrated. Executed in a California progressive style, the á la carte menu inherits some of the signature dishes that made Mélisse a bastion of the Los Angeles fine dining landscape, including Lobster Bolognese and Caviar Egg.”

“Seasonal ingredients shine on Citrin’s menu in dishes like Truffle Pasta with house-made tagliatelle, truffle foam, and white truffles shaved tableside; Wild Japanese Yellowtail “Buri” with radish, grapefruit, and nori; and Santa Barbara Rockfish with chive blossoms, mussels, mussel broth, and quince mustard.”

“Distinct from the 77-seat dining room, the 22-seat bar offers the full menu and cocktails (which take their names from some of Chef Josiah’s favorite songs), as well as a special burger exclusive to the bar. Citrin’s rock n’ roll cocktail list, also available to order at Mélisse, includes libations like the Love Me Two Times made with mezcal, cherry liqueur, cinnamon demerara, yuzu, and angostura; as well as the Wild Horses with white rum, Pimm’s, blueberry-thyme syrup, lime, and angostura.”

Chef Josiah Cirtin surfs in with all the details.

Play

January 25: Jason McLain, Josiah Citrin, Dancin Vineyards, Panxa Cocina 5th Anniversary

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Chef Jason McClain, McClain Chophouse and Philly Jay’s Steaks
Segment Three: Chef Josiah Citrin of Melisse and Citrin, Santa Monica
Segment Four: Dancin Vineyards with Proprietor Dan Marca Part One
Segment Five: Dancin Vineyards with Proprietor Dan Marca Part Two
Segment Six: Chef / Proprietor Arthur Gonzalez – Panxa Cocina, Long Beach – Part One
Segment Seven: Chef / Proprietor Arthur Gonzalez – Panxa Cocina, Long Beach – Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel with “Ask the Chef”

Now a tantalizing preview of this Saturday’s scrumptious show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will hopefully leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing… As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it without you.

After 8 years as the popular Executive Chef at the prestigious Jonathan Club (Downtown Los Angeles and on the beach in Santa Monica) Jason McClain has amicably departed to pursue some culinary adventures on his own. At Jonathan Club Chef McClain took traditional club fare in the elevated direction of fine dining at a highly rated, independent restaurant. On the horizon is McClain Chophouse, an ingredient-focused premium steak house and, just for fun, an authentic Philly Cheesesteak food truck. We’ll get an “a la minute” update from Chef Jason.

In December, Chef Josiah Citrin debuted the reimagined Mélisse and Citrin, two new culinary concepts under one iconic roof. After closing Michelin two-star Mélisse in Santa Monica last year, Chef Josiah rethought the award-winning dining destination as an engaging, luxe tasting menu restaurant alongside Citrin, an inviting, á la carte concept paying homage to the original Mélisse’s culinary legacy. With this double debut of anticipated restaurants, Chef Josiah continues to solidify his status as a central figure of fine dining in Los Angeles. Chef Josiah joins us,

DANCIN Vineyards (Medford, Oregon) is a lush, Italian-esque vineyard estate where tasting is an experience of enjoyment and relaxation, where wines are served alongside harmonious food pairings. The hospitable proprietors are the gracious husband & wife team of Dan and Cindy Marca. Since we last visited the estate in 2015 the hospitality features for visitors have expanded. Dan Marca is our guest with the update.

Located in Long Beach’s Belmont Heights, Panxa Cocina is a purveyor of modern Latin cuisine from the esteemed Chef / Proprietor Arthur Gonzalez. Since opening, Chef Gonzalez has been serving both quality interpretations of classic dishes and daring new ventures into the uncharted territories of food. We’re celebrating Panxa’s 5th Anniversary with Chef Art.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group joins us with another informative “Ask the Chef” segment. MSG is back in the news as an often-used food additive. What’s in it and should it be avoided? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Jason McClain of the Jonathan Club and Philly Jay's SteaksAfter 8 years as the popular Executive Chef at the prestigious Jonathan Club (Downtown Los Angeles and on the beach in Santa Monica) Jason McClain has amicably departed to pursue some culinary adventures on his own. At Jonathan Club Chef McClain took traditional club fare in the elevated direction of fine dining at a highly rated, independent restaurant.

On the horizon is McClain Chophouse, an ingredient-focused premium steak house and, just for fun, an authentic Philly Cheesesteak food truck (Philly Jay’s Steaks.)

“Chef McClain received his formal training at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY and honed his skills under the tutelage of some of the USA’s great culinary talents in Philadelphia and Miami. He has evolved his menus by focusing on one thing : ingredients.”

“At Jonathan Club Chef Jason joined forces with a local urban farming company to plant a 42-bed rooftop garden. Four times each year he used his expertise to contribute to the surrounding neighborhood by inviting underprivileged youth to visit the Club to learn the value of growing fresh ingredients firsthand.”

We’ll get an “a la minute” update from Chef Jason.

Josiah CitrinLast December, Chef Josiah Citrin debuted the reimagined Mélisse and Citrin, two new culinary concepts under one iconic roof. After closing Michelin two-star Mélisse in Santa Monica last year, Chef Josiah remade the award-winning dining destination as an engaging, luxe, intimate tasting menu restaurant alongside Citrin, an inviting, á la carte concept paying homage to the original Mélisse’s culinary legacy.

Chef/Partner Ken Takayama, Wine Director Matthew Luczy, and General Manager James Spencer, all formerly of Mélisse, helm both restaurants which were designed by Dex Studios and Redford House. With this double debut of anticipated restaurants, Chef Josiah continues to solidify his status as a central figure of fine dining in Los Angeles.

“Located within the Mélisse space that flourished in Santa Monica for two decades, Chef Josiah and Chef/Partner Ken Takayama revived their Michelin two-star institution with a new service model which brings a more personal, intimate approach to service. Challenging the format of traditional restaurant service, Mélisse brings the intimacy of the kitchen directly to guests with chefs and sommeliers—who also double as servers—leading diners through the experience. The nine-course tasting menu is intended to bring a sense of discovery, shifting in accordance with the seasons while adhering to Chef Josiah’s signature California progressive cooking style.”

“Drawing from Chef Josiah’s classical French training and longtime connection with the Santa Monica Farmers Market, the coursed tasting menu ($295) can be accompanied by a France and California-focused wine pairing ($195) from Wine Director and Certified Sommelier Matthew Luczy. Guests can also opt for a non-alcoholic pairing ($195), featuring housemade kombucha and infusions.”

“An extension of the original Mélisse, Citrin offers an upscale yet comfortable, convivial, and fun dining experience where guests can expect the same meticulous attention to detail and technique for which chefs Josiah Citrin and Ken Takayama are celebrated. Executed in a California progressive style, the á la carte menu inherits some of the signature dishes that made Mélisse a bastion of the Los Angeles fine dining landscape, including Lobster Bolognese and Caviar Egg.”

“Seasonal ingredients shine on Citrin’s menu in dishes like Truffle Pasta with house-made tagliatelle, truffle foam, and white truffles shaved tableside; Wild Japanese Yellowtail “Buri” with radish, grapefruit, and nori; and Santa Barbara Rockfish with chive blossoms, mussels, mussel broth, and quince mustard.”

“Distinct from the 77-seat dining room, the 22-seat bar offers the full menu and cocktails (which take their names from some of Chef Josiah’s favorite songs), as well as a special burger exclusive to the bar. Citrin’s rock n’ roll cocktail list, also available to order at Mélisse, includes libations like the Love Me Two Times made with mezcal, cherry liqueur, cinnamon demerara, yuzu, and angostura; as well as the Wild Horses with white rum, Pimm’s, blueberry-thyme syrup, lime, and angostura.”

Chef Josiah Cirtin surfs in with all the details.

Dan Marca of Dancin VineyardsDANCIN Vineyards (Medford, Oregon) is a lush, Tuscan Italian-esque vineyard estate known for award-winning Pinot Noir and Chardonnay where tasting is an experience of enjoyment and relaxation, where wines are served alongside harmonious food pairings. The hospitable proprietors are the gracious husband & wife team of Dan and Cindy Marca. We last visited the picturesque hillside estate in 2015 and the facilities for guests have expanded since then. Time for an update.

The Marcas take only one thing more seriously than hospitality – growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes of exceptional quality and making premium wine that expresses the terroir of their special site while spotlighting the grape’s essential character.

“Our winery and tasting room are set magnificently on the forested foothills of Southern Oregon overlooking the Rogue Valley, one of the most unique terroirs in the wine making world. You’ll imagine you’ve been transported to Tuscany or Burgundy, or both!”

“DANCIN is the discipline of cultivating seven separate clones of Pinot Noir along with four distinct clones of Chardonnay to create several exquisite expressions of Oregon Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We blend these clones the way an artist mixes hues on a painter’s palette. We also artfully craft Barbera, Sangiovese, Syrah, Zinfandel and Port-style Pinot Noir. This, our various wines and vintages are named after movements within ballet, a form of dance wherein dedication and discipline are integral to the grace and beauty of the final performance.”

Dan pulls the DANCIN cork for us with an update.

Arthur Gonzalez of Panxa CocinaLocated in Long Beach’s Belmont Heights, Panxa Cocina is a purveyor of modern Latin cuisine from the esteemed Chef / Proprietor Arthur Gonzalez. Panxa Cocina opened in December 2014 and is located on the corner of Broadway and Termino in the Belmont Heights neighborhood of Long Beach. Since opening, Chef Gonzalez has been serving both quality interpretations of classic dishes and daring new ventures into the uncharted territories of food.

Known for their Weekend Brunch featuring Blue Corn Pancakes. Also popular for their Happy Hour.

“Panxa Cocina was born out of a lifetime of love for Latin cuisine and a desire to support locally sourced foods. Growing up in Cerritos, California, Chef Arthur Gonzalez helped his German mother and his Oaxacan grandmother prepare meals growing up.”

“After working in several restaurants in New Mexico, Chef Gonzalez was introduced to James Beard award-winning Chef Eric Distefano of Coyote Café and Geronimo, who became his mentor. While working at Señor Lucky’s in Santa Fé, Chef Gonzalez met Vanessa Auclair, his current business partner here in California.”

“Vanessa and Chef came back to Southern California to work at McKenna’s On The Bay in Long Beach as Manager and Head Chef, respectively, with the goal of creating delicious, clean and simple food. Their success at McKenna’s led to the opening of seafood focused Roe on Second Street in Belmont Shore. Deciding to try something new, Vanessa and Chef opened Panxa, inspired by their Southwestern roots, together creating a menu authentic to New Mexico and influenced by his family’s cooking throughout his childhood.”

“At Panxa, pronounced pan-zah (the Catalan word for belly), Chef Gonzalez has created a place for flavorful unique dishes, craft cocktails, wine, and an extensive tequila menu.”

We’re celebrating Panxa’s 5th Anniversary with Chef Art.

Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group joins us with another informative “Ask the Chef” segment. MSG is back in the news as an often-used food additive. What’s in it and should it be avoided? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Chef Jason McClain, McClain Chophouse and Philly Jay’s Steaks
Segment Three: Chef Josiah Citrin of Melisse and Citrin, Santa Monica
Segment Four: Dancin Vineyards with Proprietor Dan Marca Part One
Segment Five: Dancin Vineyards with Proprietor Dan Marca Part Two
Segment Six: Chef / Proprietor Arthur Gonzalez – Panxa Cocina, Long Beach – Part One
Segment Seven: Chef / Proprietor Arthur Gonzalez – Panxa Cocina, Long Beach – Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel with “Ask the Chef”

Show 326, June 1, 2019: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host and Founder of Slapfish Restaurant Group – “Ask the Chef”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group joins us with another informative “Ask the Chef” segment. He’s in Arlington, VA right now opening a Slapfish there. With the Summer grilling season on the horizon it’s great to have a real working chef in our corner always providing handy and practical advice!

A few years back Chef Andrew “rescued” Culver City’s Dear John’s (a neighborhood steakhouse & watering hole in Culver City with a colorful history) on FYI’s “Say it to My Face” restaurant makeover series that was back then down for the count with it’s subpar food and horrible social media reviews. Think frozen veggies for openers…

Dear John’s has now been energetically revived as a classic 60s steakhouse (Dinner only) serving really good food (some tableside service) and potent libations by chefs & restaurateurs Hans Rockenwagner (Rockenwagner Bakery) and Josiah Citrin (Melisse, Openaire & Venice’s Charcoal). It’s now tough to get a reservation…The corner property on the busy Culver Blvd. is slated for redevelopment so it’s a limited, two-year run.

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Show 302, December 15, 2018: Chef Ian P. Cairns, Winner of ment’or BKB’s Young Chef Competition

Ian CairnsWe’ve been in Las Vegas this week covering ment’or BKB Foundations’ Fifth Annual Young Chef and Third Annual Commis Competition held in the new Hospitality Hall on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The seven Candidates developed a unique recipe based on the selected protein for the competition which was one, whole Bone-In Lamb Saddle provided by Pure Bred. Each Young Chef candidate had a hand-picked assistant helping them during the competition. They had 2 hours and 35 minutes to cook and plate 10 tasting-size portions of the dish for the chef judges.

The celebrated Chef Jury included Paul Bartolotta, Gavin Kaysen, Timothy Hollingsworth, Hawaii’s Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Philip Tessier (Silver medalist for Team USA at 2015 Bocuse d’Or.)

The winners are awarded the extraordinary opportunity to travel to Lyon, France and support Team USA at the 2019 Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition Finale in January. Team USA will be defending their Gold Medal win from 2017 (an extraordinary achievement.)

Our guest, Ian P. Cairns is the talented and poised winner of the Young Chef Competition. He was sponsored by Chef Josiah Citrin of Melisse in Santa Monica. Ian has also cooked at The French Laundry.

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Show 299, November 24, 2018: Restaurateur & Chef Josiah Citrin

Josiah CitrinTwo-star Michelin Chef and native Angeleno, Josiah Citrin (Melisse & Charcoal,) has launched Openaire, a poolside oasis of green at the center of the Koreatown in a glass-curtained greenhouse located on the roof of The Line Hotel on Wilshire Blvd.

The ambitious menu (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) features the best of California’s ingredients from land and sea, embracing the seasons and presented in a shareable format. Highlights at dinner include Tagliatelle Duck Ragout with Pistachio, and Pecorino and Suckling Pig with Ginger Rice & XO sauce. Chef Josiah graciously credits Chef Steve Samson (Rossoblu) with the inspiration for the Duck Ragout Tagliatelle.

The lunch menu offers a fun section of “Hotel Classics” and an unusual Tuna Katsu Sandwich with Napa Cabbage Slaw and Black Garlic Katsu Sauce. A dessert highlight is an impressive Dark Chocolate Cake with Salted Coffee Ice Cream and Dulce De Leche sauce.

Simply, Openaire is a celebration of indoor / outdoor living at the center of the melting-pot that is LA. Josiah’s Executive Chef at Openaire is Richard Archuleta (ex-The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills.)

Chef Josiah (Culinary Council Member for ment’or BKB Foundation) is hosting a special benefit dinner at Melisse on Sunday, December 2nd to support Team USA 2019 on their Road To Lyon” at the Bocuse d’Or international culinary competition. Joining him are guest chefs Tim Hollingsworth, Walter Manzke, Ari Rosenson, Nyesha Arrington and Brooke Williamson.

Chef Josiah joins us.

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November 24: Ori Menashe, Genevieve Gergis, Tim Hollingsworth, Carla Hall, Josiah Citrin, Farmhouse LA, Bracken’s Kitchen, Geraldine Gilliland

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateurs Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis, Bestia – Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A.
Segment Three: Chef / Proprietor Tim Hollingsworth, Free Play Restaurant, Bar & Arcade
Segment Four: Chef Carla Hall – Carla Hall’s Soul Food – Everyday and Celebration
Segment Five: Restaurateur & Chef Josiah Citrin
Segment Six: Restaurateur & Executive Farmer, Nathan Peitso, FARMHOUSE Los Angeles
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel, Bracken’s Kitchen’s Deck the Halls Holiday Open House Benefit
Segment Eight: Chef & Restaurateur Geraldine Gilliland, Lula Cocina Mexicana, Finn McCool’s Irish Pub, Chiquita’s Friends Animal Rescue

Now an enticing and decadent preview of this Saturday’s absolutely scrumptious show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, and upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

The Proprietors of the phenomenally popular Bestia and the newly opened Bavel, Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis, are no strangers to the show. Just in time for the Holidays their debut cookbook, Bestia – Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A., is now available. Ori and Genevieve join us.

“Eat, Drink & Game” at Chef Tim Hollingsworth’s (Otium) new Restaurant, Bar & Arcade, Free Play, located on the 2nd level of The Fields LA Food Hall in Exposition Park adjacent to Banc of California Stadium. (“Come for the Food – Stay for the Game.”) It’s a nostalgic menu representing the different comfort foods of L.A., presented with a touch of whimsey. The buzzy central bar serves craft beer and specialty cocktails.

We’re big fans of beloved TV chef (ABC’s Emmy Award-winning The Chew and fan favorite on Bravo’s Top Chef,) Carla Hall. In her 3rd cookbook, Carla Hall’s Soul Food – Everyday and Celebration, she takes us back to her own Nashville roots to offer a fresh, lip-smackin’ look at America’s favorite comfort cuisine. We’re in the Southern kitchen with Carla.

Two-star Michelin Chef and native Angeleno, Josiah Citrin (Melisse,) has launched Openaire, a poolside oasis of green at the center of Koreatown in a glass-curtained greenhouse located on the roof of The Line Hotel on Wilshire Blvd. The ambitious menu (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) features the best of California’s ingredients from land and sea, embracing the seasons and presented in a shareable format. Simply, Openaire is a celebration of indoor/outdoor living at the center of the melting-pot that is LA.

Nathan Peitso, a second-generation farmer of Kenter Canyon Farms, is at the helm of FARMHOUSE together with Executive Chef Craig Hopson. Located on the ground floor of the refreshed Beverly Center, FARMHOUSE redefines the traditional restaurant model by placing a farmer at the forefront of the business and thus creating a new culinary movement focused on collaboration with the region’s top farmers to grow and harvest ingredients dictating the dining destination’s dishes.

Chef Bill Bracken and high profile chef friends (Bracken’s Kitchen, “Driven to combat food insecurity one tasty meal at a time”) – are gathering together for a Holiday Open House benefit on Thursday, Nov. 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Bracken’s new kitchen in Garden Grove to help raise awareness and funds for Bracken’s Kitchen’s mission to feed those in need. Bill Bracken is grateful to be in a new 9,000 sq. ft. kitchen, yet with the growth comes more need to do more that requires additional resources and funding. Our own Chef Andrew Gruel’s Slapfish, Two Birds and Butterleaf will be part of the festivities. Chef Andrew provides the details of what’s on the Deck The Halls (And The Kitchen!) menu.

When we spoke with celebrated Santa Monica restaurateur & philanthropist Geraldine Gilliland (Lula Cocina Mexicana and Finn McCool’s Irish Pub) last week her respected animal rescue (Chiquita’s Friends) was still displaced from her ranch in Malibu and her new rescue sanctuary, Cornell Sanctuary in Agoura. Gerri was currently encamped with 26 rescue dogs at a generous benefactor’s ranch in Lompoc. We’ll get updated on Gerri’s plight and how you can help.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Executive Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis of BestiaThe Proprietors of the phenomenally popular Bestia and the newly opened Bavel, Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis, are no strangers to the show. Just in time for the Holidays their debut cookbook, Bestia – Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A., is now available.

This debut cookbook from L.A.’s phenomenally popular Bestia restaurant features rustic Italian food that is driven by intense flavors, including house-made charcuterie, pizza and pasta from scratch, and innovative desserts inspired by home-baked classics.

Since opening in downtown Los Angeles in 2012, Bestia has captivated diners with its bold, satisfying, and flavor-forward food served in a festive, communal atmosphere. Now, in this accessible and immersive debut cookbook, all of the incredible dishes that have made Bestia one of the most talked-about restaurants in the country are on full display.

Irresistible desserts such as apple cider donuts and a chocolate budino tart, from Co-owner and pastry chef Genevieve Gergis, end the concert of flavors on a high note.

Bestia – Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A. delivers a distinctively innovative approach to Italian-inspired cooking.

Proprietors Ori and Genevieve join us.

Timothy Hollingsworth“Eat, Drink & Game” at Chef Tim Hollingsworth’s (Otium) new Restaurant, Bar & Arcade, Free Play, located on the 2nd level of The Fields LA Food Hall in Exposition Park adjacent to Banc of California Stadium. (“Come for the Food – Stay for the Game.”)

It’s a nostalgic menu representing the different comfort foods of L.A., presented with a touch of whimsey. Think Frito Pie with chili, cheese, pickled Fresnos and sour cream. The buzzy central bar serves craft beer and specialty cocktails like the Melon Dollar Baby (gin, sake, watermelon, hibiscus and lime.).

The playable restored, vintage pinball and video games are really “Free Play” during the daily Happy Hour of 5 to 7:00 p.m. (Wednesday through Sunday.)

Chef Tim is also a Cheftestant on Netflix’s ambitious “The Final Table” international chef competition series. Chef Tim will provide an overview.

Carla HallWe’re big fans of beloved TV chef (ABC’s Emmy Award-winning The Chew and fan favorite on Bravo’s Top Chef,) Carla Hall. In her 3rd cookbook, Carla Hall’s Soul Food – Everyday and Celebration, she takes us back to her own Nashville roots to offer a fresh, lip-smackin’ look at America’s favorite comfort cuisine.

In Carla Hall’s Soul Food, the big-hearted chef and television celebrity traces soul food’s history from Africa and the Caribbean to the American South. Carla shows us that soul food is more than barbecue and mac and cheese. Traditionally a plant-based cuisine, everyday soul food is full of veggie goodness that’s just as delicious as cornbread and fried chicken.

From Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Hot Sauce Vinaigrette to Tomato Pie with Garlic Bread Crust, the recipes in Carla Hall’s Soul Food deliver her distinctive Southern flavors using farm-fresh ingredients. The results are light, healthy, seasonal dishes with big, satisfying tastes—the mouthwatering soul food everyone will want a taste of.

“Featuring 145 original recipes, 120 color photographs, and a whole lotta love, Carla Hall’s Soul Food is a wonderful blend of the modern and the traditional—honoring soul food’s heritage and personalizing it with Carla’s signature fresh style. The result is an irresistible and open-hearted collection of recipes and stories that share love and joy, identity, and memory.”

We’re in the Southern kitchen with Carla.

Josiah CitrinTwo-star Michelin Chef and native Angeleno, Josiah Citrin (Melisse & Charcoal,) has launched Openaire, a poolside oasis of green at the center of the Koreatown in a glass-curtained greenhouse located on the roof of The Line Hotel on Wilshire Blvd.

The ambitious menu (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) features the best of California’s ingredients from land and sea, embracing the seasons and presented in a shareable format. Highlights at dinner include Tagliatelle Duck Ragout with Pistachio, and Pecorino and Suckling Pig with Ginger Rice & XO sauce. The lunch menu offers a fun section of “Hotel Classics” and an unusual Tuna Katsu Sandwich with Napa Cabbage Slaw and Black Garlic Katsu Sauce. A dessert highlight is an impressive Dark Chocolate Cake with Salted Coffee Ice Cream and Dulce De Leche sauce.

Simply, Openaire is a celebration of indoor/outdoor living at the center of the melting-pot that is LA. Josiah’s Executive Chef at Openaire is Richard Archuleta (ex-The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills.)

Chef Josiah joins us.

Nathan PietsoNathan Peitso, a second-generation farmer of Kenter Canyon Farms is at the helm of FARMHOUSE together with Executive Chef Craig Hopson. Located on the ground floor of the refreshed Beverly Center, FARMHOUSE redefines the traditional restaurant model by placing a farmer at the forefront of the business and thus creating a new culinary movement focused on collaboration with the region’s top farmers to grow and harvest ingredients dictating the dining destination’s dishes.

Introducing a fresh role in the restaurant industry at Beverly Center’s FARMHOUSE restaurant, Executive Farmer Nathan Peitso calls on his extensive California farming experience cultivated since youth to fill the post organically—both literally and figuratively. Peitso brings an unprecedented level of authenticity and expertise to the industry’s heightened dedication to farm-traceable culinary programs.

“The FARMHOUSE concept hinges on getting the best produce, and preparing superior food with superior ingredients,” Peitso says. Reimagining the menu design process, Peitso plans months in advance through thoughtful collaboration with farmers on anticipated produce being planted. Once farming partnerships are in place, Peitso curates the rotating seed to plate menu highlighting peak Southern California ingredients, exclusively harvested for FARMHOUSE.

Last month FARMHOUSE debuted its inaugural Autumn Harvest Chef’s Tasting Dinner Menu from Executive Chef Craig Hopson. For $52 per person (not inclusive of tax and gratuity) guests will have their choice of three-courses inspired by six selective and locally-sourced seasonal ingredients at their peak—such as honeynut squash, Cotton Candy, Concord, and Red Flame grapes, Bermuda onions, mushrooms, pears, and Japanese sweet potato—prepared by Chef Hopson and sourced by Executive Farmer Nathan Peitso (“The Farmer & The Chef” duo).

Bill BrackenChef Bill Bracken and high- profile chef friends (Bracken’s Kitchen, “Driven to combat food insecurity one tasty meal at a time”) – are gathering together for a Holiday Open House benefit on Thursday, Nov. 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Bracken’s new kitchen in Garden Grove to help raise awareness and funds for Bracken’s Kitchen’s mission to feed those in need. Bill Bracken is grateful to be in a new 9,000 sq. ft. kitchen, yet with the growth comes more need to do more that requires additional resources and funding.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoAttendees will be invited to tour the various kitchens to sample signature dishes made from top chefs such as Chef Hugo Bolanos from Wolfgang Puck at the Hotel Bel Air, Avalon Grille & The Catalina Company’s Chef Roberto Hernandez, Chef Andrew Gruel from Slapfish and Two Birds and Butterleaf and Chef John Park of Toast Kitchen + Bakery, not to mention Bracken’s Kitchen’s Executive Chef Jerry and Founder & Culinary Director, Chef Bill Bracken. Master Baker Dean Kim of OC Baking Company, Pastry Chef Michael Owens of the new Left Coast Bakery, and from The Dirty Cookie, Shahira Marel will round out our pastries and dessert tasting.

Tickets for the event start at $95 and will be going directly toward Bracken’s Kitchen food recovery efforts and feeding programs.

“We are excited to be able to make a bigger impact in the communities we serve with the additional space in our new kitchen,” says Chef Bill Bracken. “Thanks to our community donors and food business partners, we are able to host events like Deck The Halls and continue to restore food and lives.”

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel’s Slapfish, Two Birds and Butterleaf will be part of the festivities. Chef Andrew provides the details of what’s on the Deck The Halls (And The Kitchen!) menu.

Geraldine GillilandWhen we spoke with celebrated Santa Monica chef, restaurateur & philanthropist Geraldine Gilliland (Lula Cocina Mexicana and Finn McCool’s Irish Pub) last week her respected animal rescue (Chiquita’s Friends) was still displaced from her ranch in Malibu and her new rescue sanctuary, Cornell Sanctuary in Agoura.

Gerri was currently encamped with 26 rescue dogs at a generous benefactor’s ranch in Lompoc. Many of these rescue canines are special needs due to being seniors or are on prescription medications.

The newly restored guest cottage at Cornell Sanctuary was tragically lost in the Woolsey fire along with all of the caretaker’s personal belongings. Miraculously all the animals (including goats and rabbits) were saved.

We’ll get updated on Gerri’s plight and how you can help. In this time of great need a contribution of any size would be greatly appreciated.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateurs Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis, Bestia – Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A.
Segment Three: Chef / Proprietor Tim Hollingsworth, Free Play Restaurant, Bar & Arcade
Segment Four: Chef Carla Hall – Carla Hall’s Soul Food – Everyday and Celebration
Segment Five: Restaurateur & Chef Josiah Citrin
Segment Six: Restaurateur & Executive Farmer, Nathan Peitso, FARMHOUSE Los Angeles
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel, Bracken’s Kitchen’s Deck the Halls Holiday Open House Benefit
Segment Eight: Chef & Restaurateur Geraldine Gilliland, Lula Cocina Mexicana, Finn McCool’s Irish Pub, Chiquita’s Friends Animal Rescue

Show 163, March 12, 2016: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group

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 special Guest Host.

Next an ear-catching peek at Saturday’s thoughtfully decadent show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a good thing…

COCHON555 Los Angeles is set for Sunday, March 13th at The Viceroy in Santa Monica. It’s 5 Chefs, 5 Winemakers, and 5 Pigs. Experience this must-see, over-the-top, annual pork-centric culinary competition as part of the L.A. stop of the extensive national tour. It’s five high-profile, local chefs cooking over 36 dishes prepared from whole, locally-raised heritage breed pigs.

Dry Creek Vineyard was the first winery established in the Dry Creek Valley area of California after Prohibition. It was founder David Stare’s vision to plant Sauvignon Blanc grapes that firmly cemented the winery’s legacy as one of California’s most important wineries. It’s still proudly Family-owned. Winemaker Tim Bell is our guest

On Sunday, March 13, 2016 (two seatings: 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.) lauded L.A. chef Josiah Citrin of the two-Michelin Star restaurant, Mélisse, presents a seasonally-inspired seven-course prix-fixe dining event ($195) honoring the world-renowned ment’or BKB Foundation. Each course will feature contemporary Parisian fare designed by six internationally recognized guest chefs, including Chef Shaun Hergatt (Juni), Chef Justin Cogley (Aubergine), Chef Trey Foshee (George’s at the Cove), Chef William Bradley (Addison), and Chef Justin Wangler (Kendall-Jackson) with the assistance of Chef Matthew Peters and Harrison Turone of the 2017 Bocuse d’Or Team USA. Chef Josiah and ment’or BKB’s Executive Director, Young Yun, join us with the eye-popping details.

It’s 2016, which means it’s time to put on the wooden barrel pants, held up by suspenders. Firkfest 2016 is being planned for March 19, 2016, in Anaheim at Farmers Park, which is in-between the Packing House and Umami Burger. From Event Producer Greg Nagel @OCBeerBlog: While standing in a 200 person line for a cask of Noble Ale Works Naughty Sauce at a beer festival this past summer, it dawned on me. Orange County needs a proper cask ale festival. Greg will tap the keg for us and provide a full pour on Firkfest 3.0 supporting the OCBrewersGuild.

If you’ve been to Hawaii then you probably have your favorite locals’ spot for authentic, fresh poke. Poke, done properly, is fresh, delicious and affordable. It’s become a popular alternative to sushi and a bit easier on the wallet. Sweetfin Poke debuted in Santa Monica last April. It’s in 1,000 square-feet and is already very, very busy. Founders Seth Cohen and Brett Nestadt join us with their unlikely fish tale.

Cathy Thomas is the award-winning, long-time Food Editor and food columnist for the Orange County Register. On Friday afternoon, March 18th you’ll have a chance to meet her from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at The Chefs’ Toys warehouse store in Fountain Valley located right off the 405 Freeway. Cathy will be selling & signing all her must-have Melissa’s resource and reference books. All are invited and this is a free event.

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

 

Play

Show 163, March 12, 2016: Chef Josiah Citrin, Melisse, and Young Yun, Executive Director, ment’or BKB Foundation

Josiah CitrinOn Sunday, March 13, 2016 (two seatings: 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.) lauded L.A. chef Josiah Citrin of the two-Michelin Star restaurant, Mélisse, presents a seasonally-inspired seven-course prix-fixe dining event ($195) honoring the world-renowned ment’or BKB Foundation. Each course will feature contemporary Parisian fare designed by six internationally recognized guest chefs, including Chef Shaun Hergatt (Juni), Chef Justin Cogley (Aubergine), Chef Trey Foshee (George’s at the Cove), Chef William Bradley (Addison), and Chef Justin Wangler (Kendall-Jackson) with the assistance of Chef Matthew Peters and Harrison Turone of the 2017 Bocuse d’Or Team USA.

There is also a premium wine-pairing option package (6 wines) available (generously donated by the Spire Collection.)

Reservations can be made via OpenTable or by calling 310.395.0881.

Chef Josiah and ment’or BKB’s Executive Director, Young Yun, join us with the eye-popping details.

Play

March 12: Cochon 555, Dry Creek Vineyards, ment’or BKB, Firkfest 2016, Sweetfin Poke, Cathy Thomas

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Brady Lowe, Founder, Cochon555 Tour
Segment Three: Winemaker Tim Bell, Dry Creek Vineyard, Healdsburg Part One
Segment Four: Winemaker Tim Bell, Dry Creek Vineyard, Healdsburg Part Two
Segment Five: Chef Josiah Citrin, Melisse, and Young Yun, Executive Director, ment’or BKB Foundation
Segment Six: Greg Nagel, Producer, FirkFest, OC Cask Beer Festival
Segment Seven: Sweetfin Poke, Santa Monica
Segment Eight: Cathy Thomas, Award-Winning Food Journalist & Author

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 special Guest Host.

Next an ear-catching peek at Saturday’s thoughtfully decadent show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a good thing…

COCHON555 Los Angeles is set for Sunday, March 13th at The Viceroy in Santa Monica. It’s 5 Chefs, 5 Winemakers, and 5 Pigs. Experience this must-see, over-the-top, annual pork-centric culinary competition as part of the L.A. stop of the extensive national tour. It’s five high-profile, local chefs cooking over 36 dishes prepared from whole, locally-raised heritage breed pigs.

Dry Creek Vineyard was the first winery established in the Dry Creek Valley area of California after Prohibition. It was founder David Stare’s vision to plant Sauvignon Blanc grapes that firmly cemented the winery’s legacy as one of California’s most important wineries. It’s still proudly Family-owned. Winemaker Tim Bell is our guest.

On Sunday, March 13, 2016 (two seatings: 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.) lauded L.A. chef Josiah Citrin of the two-Michelin Star restaurant, Mélisse, presents a seasonally-inspired seven-course prix-fixe dining event ($195) honoring the world-renowned ment’or BKB Foundation. Each course will feature contemporary Parisian fare designed by six internationally recognized guest chefs, including Chef Shaun Hergatt (Juni), Chef Justin Cogley (Aubergine), Chef Trey Foshee (George’s at the Cove), Chef William Bradley (Addison), and Chef Justin Wangler (Kendall-Jackson) with the assistance of Chef Matthew Peters and Harrison Turone of the 2017 Bocus d’Or Team USA. Chef Josiah and ment’or BKB’s Executive Director, Young Yun, join us with the eye-popping details.

It’s 2016, which means it’s time to put on the wooden barrel pants, held up by suspenders. Firkfest 2016 is being planned for March 19, 2016, in Anaheim at Farmers Park, which is in-between the Packinghouse and Umami Burger. From Event Producer Greg Nagel @OCBeerBlog: While standing in a 200 person line for a cask of Noble Ale Works Naughty Sauce at a beer festival this past summer, it dawned on me. Orange County needs a proper cask ale festival. Greg will tap the keg for us and provide a full pour on Firkfest 3.0 supporting the OCBrewersGuild.

If you’ve been to Hawaii then you probably have your favorite locals’ spot for authentic, fresh poke. Poke, done properly, is fresh, delicious and affordable. It’s become a popular alternative to sushi and a bit easier on the wallet. Sweetfin Poke debuted in Santa Monica last April. It’s in 1,000 square-feet and is already very, very busy. Founders Seth Cohen and Brett Nestadt join us with their unlikely fish tale.

Cathy Thomas is the award-winning, long-time Food Editor and food columnist for the Orange County Register. On Friday afternoon, March 18th you’ll have a chance to meet her from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at The Chefs’ Toys warehouse store in Fountain Valley located right off the 405 Freeway. Cathy will be selling & signing all her must-have Melissa’s resource and reference books. All are invited and this is a free event.

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

Brady Lowe of Cochon 555COCHON555 Los Angeles is set for Sunday, March 13th at The Viceroy in Santa Monica. It’s 5 Chefs, 5 Winemakers, and 5 Pigs. Experience this must-see, annual pork-centric culinary competition as part of the L.A. stop of the extensive national tour. It’s five high-profile chefs cooking over 36 dishes prepared from whole, locally-raised heritage breed pigs.

This year’s competing chefs include Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria, Bruce Kalman of Union, Jason Neroni of Rose Cafe, Brooke Williamson of The Tripel and returning champion Walter Manzke of Republique.

The five chefs will prepare a maximum of six dishes from one whole hog and their utilization will help them win votes from a crowd of hungry gourmands and celebrated judges. In addition to the 36 dishes prepared from locally-raised pigs, guests will feast on educational experiences featuring boutique wines and culinary cocktails paired with delicious bites.

The winner of the regional event will be announced as the “Prince of Porc” and go on to compete for the national title of “King or Queen of Porc” at Grand Cochon, the tour finale, held at the Viceroy in Snowmass / Aspen on June 18th.

Cochon’s founder, Brady Lowe, joins us with all the porkalicious details.

Tim Bell of Dry Creek Vineyard“The history of Dry Creek Vineyard is a long and colorful one. Founded in 1972 by David S. Stare, Dry Creek Vineyard paved the way for a renaissance of winemaking and viticulture in the Dry Creek Valley. Before his arrival, the Dry Creek Valley was little more than a few family farms and prune orchards. It was Dave’s vision to start a Loire Valley inspired winery, which triggered a viticultural reawakening in northern Sonoma County.

Without a doubt, David Stare is a pioneer. Heading west in the late 1960s, he personified the character and work ethic of early Gold Rush pioneers. Inspired by his trips to the Loire Valley, he headed west to California to start his own family winery.

Upon his arrival, Dave began taking winemaking classes at UC Davis as a graduate student. On the weekends, he spent time looking at vineyard land from Monterey to Mendocino. It was during one of those weekend trips that fate drew Dave to the Dry Creek Valley. When he saw an old prune orchard across the street from the Dry Creek General Store, Dave realized that he had found his dream location.

He purchased the orchard and began planting vines. Captivated by his memories of Loire-style wines, Sauvignon Blanc seemed destined to figure prominently in the Dry Creek Vineyard portfolio. However, several famed vineyard specialists advised him against planting Sauvignon Blanc. Always looking to push the envelope, Dave planted the varietal anyway and the rest is history.

Today, our second-generation family owned winery continues to evolve and grow to meet the demands of a global wine marketplace. The primary mission of our winery is to produce distinctive wines that overdeliver on quality. For more than 40 years, this pursuit of winemaking excellence has led to many international awards and accolades. With a loyal following of wine club members and customers, the future of Dry Creek Vineyard has never been brighter.”

Winemaker Tim Bell is our guest.

Dry Creek Vineyard was the first winery established in the Dry Creek Valley area of California after Prohibition. It was founder David Stare’s vision to plant Sauvignon Blanc grapes that firmly cemented the winery’s legacy as one of California’s most important wineries. It’s still proudly Family-owned.

“Our wines show that Sonoma County and Dry Creek Valley can compete with any wine growing region in the world. Since 1972, our winemaking style has been to produce classic varietals that define their varietal category. From our signature offerings to our single vineyard and limited release wines, each bottling personifies our family’s passion to produce elegant, balanced and food-friendly wines. The wine from Dry Creek Vineyard reflects our desire for excellence.”

“Our Signature wines represent our passion for producing balanced wines that are true to the terroir in which they are grown. Each of our signature wines offers wonderful intensity of fruit, supple texture and a rich mouthfeel which make them easy to enjoy and extremely food friendly. At Dry Creek Vineyard we product a wide array of wines, many under $20, making them affordable for almost any special occasion or celebration.”

Young YunOn Sunday, March 13, 2016 (two seatings: 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.) lauded L.A. chef Josiah Citrin of the two-Michelin Star restaurant, Mélisse, presents a seasonally-inspired seven-course prix-fixe dining event ($195) honoring the world-renowned ment’or BKB Foundation. Each course will feature contemporary Parisian fare designed by six internationally recognized guest chefs, including Chef Shaun Hergatt (Juni), Chef Justin Cogley (Aubergine), Chef Trey Foshee (George’s at the Cove), Chef William Bradley (Addison), and Chef Justin Wangler (Kendall-Jackson) with the assistance of Chef Matthew Peters and Harrison Turone of the 2017 Bocuse d’Or Team USA.

Reservations can be made via OpenTable or by calling 310.395.0881.

Chef Josiah and ment’or BKB’s Executive Director, Young Yun, join us with the eye-popping details.

Greg NagelIt’s 2016, which means it’s time to put on the wooden barrel pants, held up by suspenders. Firkfest 2016 is being planned for March 19, 2016, in Anaheim at Farmers Park, which is in-between the Packing House and Umami Burger.

From Event Producer Greg Nagel @OCBeerBlog:

“While standing in a 200 person line for a cask of Noble Ale Works Naughty Sauce at a beer festival this past summer, it dawned on me. Orange County needs a proper cask ale festival.”

“Expect fifty-ish casks from true craft beer makers. Brewers love the fest, the press loves the fest, and I’ve heard nothing but praise from guests. So buy your tickets early and tell a friend!”

“Why a cask ale festival? A cask is simply a vessel filled with liquid meant to be served within a day or so once tapped. Brewers fill the cask with beer for conditioning and then can treat it like a blank canvas; adding fresh hops, blending beers, adding tea/coffee or other creative ingredients.  It’s a one-time shot to try something new and fun.”

Greg will tap one of the 50 plus casks for us and provide a full pour on all the thirst-quenching ingredients of Firkfest 3.0 supporting the OCBrewersGuild.

Sweetfin PokeIf you’ve been to Hawaii then you probably have your favorite locals’ spot for authentic, fresh poke. It’s an Islands’ specialty. Poke, done properly, is fresh, delicious and affordable.

It’s become a popular alternative to sushi and a bit easier on the wallet. Sweetfin Poke debuted in Santa Monica last April. It’s in a modest 1,000 square-feet and already is very, very busy.

How it works:

Choose a Signature Bowl or Build Your Own Bowl (BYOB) with our selection of fresh ingredients

BUILD YOUR OWN BOWL (BYOB)

At Sweetfin Poké the choice is yours to make our signature bowls your own. Choose from a selection of bases, fish and vegetarian toppings and a wide variety of add-ons for an endless combination of tastes and flavor profiles. Whether you’re Pescatarian, Paleo or prefer your bowls vegan or gluten free there’s a combination that will be just right for your palate.

1. Base It

Our three bases cover all the bases for the foundation of your bowl. Our green BAMBOO RICE is a short-grain rice that has been milled with bamboo juice – not only is it as flavorful and textural as sushi rice – but it is loaded with essential B vitamins. Our KELP NOODLE – CUCUMBER SLAW is extremely low-carb, gluten free and delicious while our CITRUS – KALE salad combines the nutrient superpower of Kale with an orange vinaigrette for a dash of Vitamin C.

2. Top It

We started with Yellowfin TUNA, also known as Ahi, and continued on with SALMON, SNAPPER and ALBACORE. Our fish is sourced from all over the world – and will vary with seasonality. Our fish is caught responsibly and sustainably to ensure maximum quality with a minimum environmental impact.

3. Finish It

Choose from a selection of our chef created sauces: the CLASSIC for a traditional finish, CREAMY TOGARASHI for a little bit of sweet heat, YUZU KOSHO for a citrus spice, ponzu lime for something a little sweet and SRIRACHA PONZU for our twist on your favorite sauce.

Our wide variety of ADD-ONS can add a crunch, a bite, or even some sweetness to your signature bowl. Fresh produce – like avocado, seaweed and jalapeño – is complemented by wasabi-toasted coconut flakes, carrots and pickled shiitake mushrooms. They’re so addicting we wouldn’t blame you for wanting a whole bowl.

Founders Seth Cohen and Brett Nestadt join us with their unlikely fish tale.

Cathy ThomasCathy Thomas is the award-winning, long-time Food Editor and food columnist for the Orange County Register. She also publishes a genuinely useful weekly newsletter on food, Cathy Thomas Cooks! On Friday afternoon, March 18th you’ll have a chance to meet her from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at The Chefs’ Toys warehouse store in Fountain Valley located right off the 405 Freeway. All are invited and this is a free event.

Cathy will be selling & signing all her must-have Melissa’s resource and reference books. Great gifts for that special foodie in your life. At 3 and 4:00 p.m. Cathy will be making “Produce Love” presentations along with demonstrating a few of her favorite Chefs’ Toys kitchen gadgets.

Chef Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen will also be in the house along with the Melissa’s chefs cooking up nibbles from the recipes in the books.

RSVP for Friday’s event at Chefs’ Toys here –>

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group
Segment Two: Brady Lowe, Founder, Cochon555 Tour
Segment Three: Winemaker Tim Bell, Dry Creek Vineyard, Healdsburg Part One
Segment Four: Winemaker Tim Bell, Dry Creek Vineyard, Healdsburg Part Two
Segment Five: Chef Josiah Citrin, Melisse, and Young Yun, Executive Director, ment’or BKB Foundation
Segment Six: Greg Nagel, Producer, FirkFest, OC Cask Beer Festival
Segment Seven: Sweetfin Poke, Santa Monica
Segment Eight: Cathy Thomas, Award-Winning Food Journalist & Author