Show 428, June 5, 2021: Alex Adler, Co-Founder, Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar Part One

Alex Adler of Puesto

Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar launched its third Orange County location in late April at Huntington Beach’s Bella Terra Center. As the largest of the O.C. locations at 7,600 square feet, Puesto Bella Terra reflects the coastal community that it has joined by adopting elements of Huntington Beach culture in its design, with organic forms, raw materials, and earth tones of the Puesto color wheel.”

“Despite being a very challenging year for restaurants, in general, we’ve been overwhelmed by the support that the Orange County community has shown Puesto – so much so, that is has only gotten us more energized and excited to bring the community this beautiful location in the Bella Terra Center,” says Eric Adler, Tacoteur and Co-Founder of Puesto. “This will be our largest location, with extensive indoor and open-air seating and many unique features that provide a one of a kind experience for guests to enjoy.”

“Puesto is known for its tacos made from handmade, non-GMO, organic blue corn stone-ground tortillas, organic jidori chicken, sustainable meats, Baja and local line caught seafood, local produce and scratch salsas. Guests are encouraged to mix and match from an array of tacos, including Filet Mignon (crispy melted cheese, avocado, spicy pistachio serrano salsa), Chicken al Pastor (crispy melted cheese, braised Jidori chicken, hibiscus & chipotle tinga, avocado, piña habanero pico), vegetarian options such as Verduras (crispy melted cheese, rajas, tatume squash, papas, corn& tomato, nopales, avocado, jalapeño, zucchini blossom) and Mushroom (crispy melted cheese, garlic braised seasonal mushrooms, pickled onions, stone fruit serrano salsa, hearts on fire). In addition to tacos, fresh ceviches and enchiladas highlight the menu.”

“Puesto is family-owned and operated by brothers Eric, Alan and Alex Adler, their cousins Isidoro and Moy Lombrozo alongside Executive Chef Luisteen Gonzalez, a Mexico City native who accredits his passion for food to his grandmother and his fisherman father. The owners, first generation Mexican Americans, have been immersed in authentic, Mexican cooking since birth. While traveling around the United States, they became captivated by the local cuisine in each city, and how it reflected its people and culture. The family was inspired to bring their Mexican roots to the SoCal area, thus Puesto is a combination of authentic Mexican flavors and Southern California’s fresh, local ingredients.”

Puesto is also known for their extensive beverage program. A deep selection of Tequilas and Mezcals are available and they even brew their own Cervezas in their Mission Valley Cerveceria. All of their wines are unusually hand-selected from Mexico’s celebrated Baja California wine region. Nine variations of signature Margaritas are on the Puesto menu including the Cucumber Margarita.

Filet Mignon Taco (blue corn tortilla shell) in hand we’re joined by Puesto’s Alex Adler.

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Show 428, June 5, 2021: Alex Adler, Co-Founder, Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar Part Two

Alex Adler of Puesto

Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar launched its third Orange County location in late April at Huntington Beach’s Bella Terra Center. As the largest of the O.C. locations at 7,600 square feet, Puesto Bella Terra reflects the coastal community that it has joined by adopting elements of Huntington Beach culture in its design, with organic forms, raw materials, and earth tones of the Puesto color wheel.”

“Despite being a very challenging year for restaurants, in general, we’ve been overwhelmed by the support that the Orange County community has shown Puesto – so much so, that is has only gotten us more energized and excited to bring the community this beautiful location in the Bella Terra Center,” says Eric Adler, Tacoteur and Co-Founder of Puesto. “This will be our largest location, with extensive indoor and open-air seating and many unique features that provide a one of a kind experience for guests to enjoy.”

“Puesto is known for its tacos made from handmade, non-GMO, organic blue corn stone-ground tortillas, organic jidori chicken, sustainable meats, Baja and local line caught seafood, local produce and scratch salsas. Guests are encouraged to mix and match from an array of tacos, including Filet Mignon (crispy melted cheese, avocado, spicy pistachio serrano salsa), Chicken al Pastor (crispy melted cheese, braised Jidori chicken, hibiscus & chipotle tinga, avocado, piña habanero pico), vegetarian options such as Verduras (crispy melted cheese, rajas, tatume squash, papas, corn& tomato, nopales, avocado, jalapeño, zucchini blossom) and Mushroom (crispy melted cheese, garlic braised seasonal mushrooms, pickled onions, stone fruit serrano salsa, hearts on fire). In addition to tacos, fresh ceviches and enchiladas highlight the menu.”

“Puesto is family-owned and operated by brothers Eric, Alan and Alex Adler, their cousins Isidoro and Moy Lombrozo alongside Executive Chef Luisteen Gonzalez, a Mexico City native who accredits his passion for food to his grandmother and his fisherman father. The owners, first generation Mexican Americans, have been immersed in authentic, Mexican cooking since birth. While traveling around the United States, they became captivated by the local cuisine in each city, and how it reflected its people and culture. The family was inspired to bring their Mexican roots to the SoCal area, thus Puesto is a combination of authentic Mexican flavors and Southern California’s fresh, local ingredients.”

Puesto is also known for their extensive beverage program. A deep selection of Tequilas and Mezcals are available and they even brew their own Cervezas in their Mission Valley Cerveceria. All of their wines are unusually hand-selected from Mexico’s celebrated Baja California wine region. Nine variations of signature Margaritas are on the Puesto menu including the Cucumber Margarita.

With tacos (blue corn tortilla shells) in hand Puesto’s Alex Adler continues with us.

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Show 412, February 13, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Happy Valentine’s Day Weekend! A word to the wise…Do plan ahead…

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

General Manager Sara O’Shea was part of the opening team for the Golden Road Pub – Anaheim (also a production brewery.) A highlight of the operation is their large outdoor Biergarden which is again welcoming guests. The food is creatively elevated from the typical brew pub fare (there is a real chef (Henry) in the kitchen) and there is always an intriguing variety of craft beers to sample. Also on the beer menu are limited production craft styles brewed right there that are exclusive to the Anaheim location. Well-behaved canine friends are again welcome outside at the Biergarden.

Mezcal has come a long way since the days of the worm in the bottle and can be savored (and appreciated) as it’s cousin, a fine premium tequila, can be enjoyed. It’s a clear liquor and originally came from Oaxaca. Mezcal can be produced from several species of the agave plant. Mezcaliera and Mezcal Sommelier Noah Arenstein is our informed guide. Noah relocated to Las Vegas from Brooklyn last year to be part of the opening team of Chef Enrique Olvera’s (Pujol in Mexico City) highly anticipated Encore at Wynn Las Vegas.

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. The Factory Kitchen (serving dinner nightly from Tuesday through Saturday) and Brera Ristorante (serving Dinner nightly from Tuesday through Saturday) have reopened for patio dining. Both Factory Kitchen and Brera reopen for lunch on February 16th. To-Go availability at both establishments continues. Matteo Ferdinandi is graciously at our service along with Chef Angelo Auriana.

Chef Marco Zapien’s Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria in Pico Rivera has reopened for sidewalk dining Tuesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Family meals are still available To-Go. For Sunday (Valentine’s Day) from 4 to 8:00 p.m. Chef Marco has created a fine-dining, 3- course menu with options for each course either for al fresco dining or curbside pickup. Think Rosemary Roasted Prime Rib of Beef.

After chefing in the sports and entertainment industry for years, Chef Marco Zapien decided in 2003 that it was time to build a reputation in the private sector by partnering with his Father, Jess, in a family operated restaurant. Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria has been the culinary heart of the Pico Rivera community for 18 years now and has developed into a community favorite for preparing authentic regional Mexican fare. We pull Chef Marco out of his busy kitchen to chat about chiles rellenos and other Zapien’s specialties.

As Philip Brandes, the founder of Bravus Brewing Co. will gladly explain, “Not all non-alcoholic beer is created equal” and he has earned the meaningful accolades to back that statement up. When beverage enthusiasts want to pass on an alcoholic beer they certainly do not want to give up the taste of a high quality craft beer and they don’t have to! Bravus’ proprietary brewing process allows them to produce craft beer styles that taste exactly like their alcohol counterparts. Founded in 2015, Bravus Brewery is the first North American brewery dedicated to non-alcoholic craft beer with their carefully guarded, proprietary brewing process that has the industry wondering how they produce such award -winning beer! Founder Philip Brandes joins us to tap the keg on Bravus Brewing Co.

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 increasingly growing) concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. How is it going thus far? We’ll “Ask the Chef.” Sous Vide cooking is a very popular technique used in fine dining kitchens. It’s available as a useful tool for serious home cooks, too. Chef Andrew provides the basics.

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

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Show 412, February 13, 2021: Mezcal & Agave Spirits Sommelier Noah Arenstein, Las Vegas

Noah Arenstein

Mezcal has come a long way since the days of the harsh spirit with the worm in the bottle and can be savored (and truly appreciated) as it’s cousin, a fine premium tequila, can be enjoyed. It’s a clear liquor and originally came from Oaxaca. Mezcal can be produced from several species of the agave plant. It’s also referenced at the “Mother of Tequila.”

Mezcaliera and Mezcal Sommelier Noah Arenstein is our guide. Noah relocated to Las Vegas from Brooklyn last year to be part of the opening team of Chef Enrique Olvera’s (Pujol in Mexico City) highly anticipated Elio at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. Noah hand-picked limited flights of premium Mezcals for his guests along with providing commentary. Unfortunately Elio’s only had a short run before being permanently closed as a result of the pandemic. Currently Noah is an agave spirits consultant who also conducts VIP private tastings. A new restaurant post for Noah in Las Vegas is in the works.

Noah explains that Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal pioneered the premium Mezcal market in the United States. It was founded in 1995 by entrepreneur Ron Cooper. Look for the familiar green bottle.

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February 13: Golden Road Pub Anaheim, Mezcal Sommelier Noah Arenstein, Factory Place Hospitality Group, Zapien’s Salsa Grill, Bravus Brewing Co.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Sara O’Shea, General Manager at Golden Road Pub – Anaheim
Segment Three: Mezcal & Agave Spirits Sommelier Noah Arenstein, Las Vegas
Segment Four: Factory Place Hospitality Group with Matteo Ferdinandi and Chef Angelo Auriana, Los Angeles
Segment Five: Chef & Proprietor Marco Zapien, Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria, Pico Rivera Part One
Segment Six: Chef & Proprietor Marco Zapien, Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria, Pico Rivera Part Two
Segment Seven: Philip Brandes, Founder, Bravus Brewing Co., Anaheim
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Happy Valentine’s Day Weekend! Do plan ahead…

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

General Manager Sara O’Shea was part of the opening team for the Golden Road Pub – Anaheim (also a production brewery.) A highlight of the operation is their large outdoor Biergarden which is again welcoming guests. The food is creatively elevated from the typical brew pub fare (there is a real chef in the kitchen) and there is always an intriguing variety of craft beers to sample. Also on the beer menu are limited production craft styles brewed right there that are exclusive to the Anaheim location.

Mezcal has come a long way since the days of the worm in the bottle and can be savored (and appreciated) as it’s cousin, a fine premium tequila, can be enjoyed. It’s a clear liquor and originally came from Oaxaca. Mezcal can be produced from several species of the agave plant. Mezcaliera and Mezcal Sommelier Noah Arenstein is our informed guide. Noah relocated to Las Vegas from Brooklyn last year to be part of the opening team of Chef Enrique Olvera’s (Pujol in Mexico City) highly anticipated Elio at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas.

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. The Factory Kitchen (serving dinner nightly from Tuesday through Saturday) and Brera Ristorante (serving Dinner nightly from Tuesday through Saturday) have reopened for patio dining. Brera reopens for lunch on February 16th. To-Go availability at both establishments continues. Matteo Ferdinandi is graciously at our service along with Chef Angelo Auriana.

Chef Marco Zapien’s Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria in Pico Rivera has reopened for sidewalk dining Tuesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Family meals are still available To-Go. For Sunday (Valentine’s Day) from 4 to 8:00 p.m. Chef Marco has created a 3- course menu with options for each course either for al fresco dining or curbside pickup. Think Rosemary Roasted Prime Rib of Beef.

After chefing in the sports and entertainment industry for years, Chef Marco Zapien decided in 2003 that it was time to build a reputation in the private sector by partnering with his Father, Jess, in a family operated restaurant. Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria has been the culinary heart of the Pico Rivera community for 18 years now and has developed into a community favorite for preparing authentic regional Mexican fare. We pull Chef Marco out of his busy kitchen to chat about chiles rellenos and other Zapien’s specialties.

As Philip Brandes, the founder of Bravus Brewing Co. will gladly explain, “Not all non-alcoholic beer is created equal” and he has earned the meaningful accolades to back that statement up. When beverage enthusiasts want to pass on an alcoholic beer they certainly do not want to give up the taste of a high quality craft beer and they don’t have to! Bravus’ proprietary brewing process allows them to produce craft beer styles that taste exactly like their alcohol counterparts. Founded in 2015, Bravus Brewery is the first North American brewery dedicated to non-alcoholic craft beer with their carefully guarded, proprietary brewing process that has the industry wondering how they produce such award -winning beer! Founder Philip Brandes joins us to tap the keg on Bravus Brewing Co.

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 increasingly growing) concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. How is it going thus far? We’ll “Ask the Chef.” Sous vide cooking is a very popular technique used in fine dining kitchens. It’s available as a useful tool for serious home cooks, too. Chef Andrew provides the basics.

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

Sara O'Shea of Golden Road Pub OC in Anaheim

General Manager Sara O’Shea was part of the opening team for the Golden Road Pub Anaheim (also a production brewery) located across the street from the southern entrance to Angel Stadium. A highlight of the operation is their large outdoor Biergarden (with shade) which is again welcoming guests. The food is creatively elevated from the typical brew pub fare (there is a real chef cooking in the kitchen) and there is always an intriguing variety of craft beers to sample. Think Korean Chicken Salad for openers. Also on the beer menu are limited production craft styles brewed right there that are exclusive to the Anaheim location.

We’ll explore the menu with Sara and also find out how their “Big Game” viewing celebration went last Sunday afternoon.

Noah Arenstein

Mezcal has come a long way since the days of the worm in the bottle and can be savored (and truly appreciated) as it’s cousin, a fine premium tequila, can be enjoyed. It’s a clear liquor and originally came from Oaxaca. Mezcal can be produced from several species of the agave plant. Mezcaliera and Mezcal Sommelier Noah Arenstein is our guide. Noah relocated to Las Vegas from Brooklyn last year to be part of the opening team of Chef Enrique Olvera’s (Pujol in Mexico City) highly anticipated Elio at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. Unfortunately Elio’s only had a short run before being permanently closed as a result of the pandemic. Currently Noah is an agave spirits consultant who also conducts VIP private tastings.

Matteo Ferdinandi and Angelo Auriana of the Factory Kitchen

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. The Factory Kitchen (serving dinner nightly from Tuesday through Saturday) and Brera Ristorante (serving Dinner nightly from Tuesday through Saturday) have reopened for patio dining. Brera reopens for lunch on February 16th. To-Go availability at both establishments continues.

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

Marco Zapien of Zapiens Salsa Grill and Taqueria

Chef Marco Zapien’s Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria in Pico Rivera has reopened for sidewalk dining Tuesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Family meals are still available To-Go. For Sunday (Valentine’s Day) from 4 to 8:00 p.m. Chef Marco has created a 3- course menu with options for each course either for al fresco dining or curbside pickup. Think Rosemary Roasted Prime Rib of Beef.

After chefing in the sports and entertainment industry for years, Chef Marco Zapien decided in 2003 that it was time to build a reputation in the private sector by partnering with his Father, Jess, in a family operated restaurant. Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria has been the culinary heart of the Pico Rivera community for 18 years now and has developed into a community favorite for preparing authentic regional Mexican fare. Marco has developed a signature style of cooking that incorporates two generations of his Mother’s and Father’s family recipes with a dash of his own passionate creativity.

We entice Chef Marco out of his busy kitchen for a chat.

Philip Brandes of Bravus Brewing Company

As Philip Brandes the founder of Bravus Brewing Co. will gladly explain, “Not all non-alcoholic beer is created equal” and he has earned the meaningful accolades to back that statement up.

When beverage enthusiasts want to pass on an alcoholic beer they certainly do not want to give up the taste of a high quality craft beer and they don’t have to. Bravus’ proprietary brewing process allows them to produce craft beer styles that taste exactly like their alcohol counterparts. Founded in 2015, Bravus Brewery is the first North American brewery dedicated to non-alcoholic craft beer with their carefully guarded, proprietary brewing process that has the industry wondering how they produce such award -winning beer! (The alcohol is not filtered out as is the standard from other brewers.) Crafted in Anaheim, Bravus was founded as a healthier alternative offering a wide variety of flavors and bold tastes to satisfy just about every beer lover. 

Bravus is currently available in Amber Ale, India Pale Ale (“IPA”), Award Winning Oatmeal Stout, Raspberry Gose, and Blonde Ale. The seasonal style is Peanut Butter Stout.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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 increasingly growing) concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining at greatly reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. How is it going thus far? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Sous Vide cooking is a very popular technique used in fine dining kitchens. It’s available as a useful tool for serious home cooks, too. Chef Andrew provides the basics.

Chef Andrew also updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, “86 Restaurant Struggle” campaign to benefit out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $320,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The need, and fundraising, continues…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Sara O’Shea, General Manager at Golden Road Pub – Anaheim
Segment Three: Mezcal & Agave Spirits Sommelier Noah Arenstein, Las Vegas
Segment Four: Factory Place Hospitality Group with Matteo Ferdinandi and Chef Angelo Auriana, Los Angeles
Segment Five: Chef & Proprietor Marco Zapien, Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria, Pico Rivera Part One
Segment Six: Chef & Proprietor Marco Zapien, Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria, Pico Rivera Part Two
Segment Seven: Philip Brandes, Founder, Bravus Brewing Co., Anaheim
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 351, December 14, 2019: Bricia Lopez, L.A.’s Guelaguetza and Oaxaca – Home Cooking From The Heart Of Mexico. Part Two

Bricia Lopez of GuelaguetzaBricia Lopez is the 2nd generation, Co-owner (with her Family) of the James Beard Award-winning Guelaguetza, Oaxacan restaurant in Los Angeles’ Koreatown. Oaxaca is the culinary heart of Mexico, and since opening its doors in 1994, Guelaguetza has been the center of life for the Oaxacan community in Los Angeles. Founded by the Lopez family, Guelaguetza has been offering traditional Oaxacan food for 25 years. Bricia’s first cookbook is Oaxaca – Home Cooking From The Heart Of Mexico (written with Javier Cabral.)

Bricia Lopez comes from a long lineage of Oaxaca Mezcal craftsmen and grew up in her grandmother’s kitchen. Lopez is the Co-Proprietor of Guelaguetza. Javier Cabral created the critically acclaimed food blog Teenage Gluster when he was only 16. A former West Coast staff writer for Munchies, he has written for numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Saveur, and Lucky Peach. They both live in Los Angeles.”

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Show 340, September 7, 2019: Taco Rosa’s Ivan Calderon Previewing the 7th Annual “Battle of the Tequileros”

Ivan Calderon of Taco RosaTaco Rosa, Chef Ivan Calderon’s upscale Mexican restaurant in Newport Beach, will host its 7th Annual Battle of the Tequileros on Sunday, September 22nd from 4-8 p.m. Bringing together 34 different tequila and mezcal brands, the celebratory event will benefit Operation of Hope Worldwide, a local non-profit providing free, life-changing surgeries and health care for children and adults in under-served areas of the world, while creating a self-sustaining program of hope through education.”

“As the most diverse tequila tasting in Southern California, the event gives guests an unparalleled opportunity to experience the unique nuances between a variety of tequilas and mezcals. Guests can also enjoy tray-passed tapas-style bites from the Taco Rosa kitchen, exciting giveaways, and live music performed by The Agave Bros. of Laguna Beach. Guests will embark on a tasting journey through which they will determine winners in four categories: Best Tequila, Best Mezcal, Best Cocktail, and Best Booth Presentation.”

“Over the past seven years, we have seen tremendous growth of Battle of the Tequileros, with more attendees and tequila houses. We’re thrilled to provide tequila enthusiasts with an exciting and educational event which also allow us to support local organizations with a global impact,” comments Chef Ivan Calderon of Taco Rosa. “We are proud to once again partner with Operation of Hope Worldwide, an organization whose global reach has impacted, and even saved the lives of thousands of people throughout the developing world.”

Tickets for the 21-and-over event are priced at $100 and offer guests all-inclusive access to tequila and mezcal cocktails and samples, live music, and tapas. Tickets can be purchased by calling 949.720.0980.

Chef Ivan graciously uncorks the premium tequila for us.

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

Layla Ali Ahmad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Show 290, September 15, 2018: Chef Ivan Calderon, Taco Rosa, 6th Annual Battle of the Tequileros

Ivan CalderonTaco Rosa, Chef Ivan Calderon’s upscale Mexican restaurant in Newport Beach, will host its 6th Annual “Battle of the Tequileros” on Sunday, September 23rd from 4-8 p.m. Bringing together 26+ different tequila and mezcal brands, the celebratory event will benefit Operation of Hope Worldwide, a local non-profit providing free, life-changing surgeries and health care for children and adults in under-served areas of the world, while creating a self-sustaining program of hope through education.

As the most diverse tequila tasting in Southern California, the event gives guests an unparalleled opportunity to experience the unique nuances between a variety of tequilas and mezcals. Guests can also enjoy tray-passed tapas-style bites from the Taco Rosa kitchen, exciting giveaways, and a silent auction. A panel of esteemed judges will determine winners in three categories: Best Añejo and Best Reposado; while guests will have the opportunity to cast votes for Best Margarita and Best Booth Presentation.

“Over the past six years, we have seen tremendous growth with Battle of the Tequileros and this year, we are proud to partner with Operation of Hope Worldwide an organization whose global reach has impacted, and even saved the lives of thousands of people throughout the developing world,” comments Chef Ivan Calderon of Taco Rosa.

Tickets for the 21-and-over event are priced at $75 and offer guests all-inclusive access to tequila and mezcal cocktails and samples. Tickets can be purchased by calling 949.720.0980 or online here.

Please imbibe responsibly.

Chef Ivan pulls the cork on the designer Tequila bottle with all the tempting details for us.

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Show 282, July 21, 2018: Javier Cuadra, Owner & Founder, Urbana Mexican Gastronomy, Anaheim Packing House

Javier CuadraHidden in plain sight on the lower level of the Anaheim Packing House is the full-service Urbana Mexican Gastronomy. Its ‘Dia de los Muertos’ every day at URBANA, the Anaheim Packing House’s most colorful restaurant.

Farm Fresh Mexican inspired plates are created by Chef Ernie Alvarado. Complementing the menu, URBANA’S sexy departure on craft cocktails featuring Tequila and Mezcal favorites as well as top shelf agave spirits.

“Restaurateur Javier Cuadra was raised between Orange County and Michoacan, “the belly” of Mexico. Michoacan boasts an abundance of culture and delectable street foods which influenced Javier into opening a restaurant shacking the region’s finest offerings.”

“I always had a passion for food, while going to college for international business I worked in the restaurant industry and this inspired me to have my own one day. Experiencing the unique cuisine that Mexico has to offer and seeing how there was nothing like that in Orange County inspired me to bring a small piece of Mexican culture here.”

Javier’s love of “street food” has heavily influenced URBANA’s eclectic menu, which features natural and fresh ingredients including handmade tortillas, gourmet tacos and Red Snapper ceviche, creatively prepared by Chef Ernie Alvarado. “My personal favorite are the Mole enchiladas, made with house made Mole sauce that reminds me of home.” says Javier.

Located in the Anaheim Packing House, the candle-lit ambience has earned Golden Foodie Award honors among other recognitions, “The fact that together with Chef Ernie Alvarado we were able to change how people see Mexican cuisine is a huge accomplishment.”

Proprietor Javier Cuadra is our in-studio guest.

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