Show 279, June 30, 2018: Steve Sando, Rancho Gordo

Steve SandoIn a few short years, Steve Sando has taken the lowly bean from a healthy but neglected, over-bred member of the vegetable family to a near superstar-status ingredient. Sando’s company Rancho Gordo, grows heirloom and heritage varieties and works with influential chefs like Thomas Keller, Deborah Madison, Paula Wolfert and Annie Sommerville. His new book is The Rancho Gordo Vegetarian Kitchen – Everyday Cooking with Heirloom Beans, Vegetables, Greens, and Grains.

“My first harvested heirloom bean was Rio Zape. They were pretty and easy to grow but I had no idea what to expect when I cooked them. They were similar to the pintos I liked but there was so much more going on. “Hints of chocolate and coffee mixed with an earthy texture made my head spin. I was blown away by Rio Zape and the other heirloom beans I was growing, but also really confused why they were such a big secret. I took the beans to the farmers market, organizing things on my kitchen table. Soon there was a warehouse, followed by more markets and mail order. It seems we had struck a nerve. People agreed that heirloom beans were worth saving, growing and cooking. Currently our warehouse, a retail shop and offices are in Napa, California and a stop here is part of many tours of the wine country. We were asked to open a store at the Ferry Building in San Francisco and as you can imagine, we jumped at the chance.”

“All of my agricultural pursuits have been based on being someone who likes to cook but gets frustrated by the lack of ingredients, especially those that are native to the New World. One of the things that originally drew me to beans was the fact that they are indigenous to the Americas. It seems to me these indigenous ingredients should be familiar, if not common. American cuisine is re-inventing itself and I’d love to include ingredients, traditions and recipes from north and south of the border as part of the equation. I love the concept of The Americas. I feel as if it’s just as important as the European heritage many of us share.”

On Sunday, July 8th, Rancho Gordo will hold is first-ever supper in Southern California at Alta Baja Market in Santa Ana. The event is “Rancho Gordo Goes to Alta Baja with More (Culinary) Stars than in the Heavens!”

The special event will feature three courses prepared by Steve Sando’s favorite SoCal chefs and restaurateurs. Two seatings for the supper at 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Optional Valle de Guadalupe wine pairings available.

All the food is donated by Rancho Gordo. All proceeds go to the arts program at Valley High School in Santa Ana.

Reservations a must. Call Alta Baja Market @ 714.783.2252.

We’re shelling heirloom beans with Steve Sando.

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Show 275, May 26, 2018: Chef / Proprietor Vincent Nattress, Orchard Kitchen, Bayview, Whidbey Island, WA

Vincent NattressChef Vincent Nattress actually grew up on Whidbey Island, WA and departed. In 2015 Vincent realized his dream of returning to Whidbey with his wife, Tyla, and creating a culinary destination there, Orchard Kitchen. It’s a teaching kitchen, destination restaurant and a five-acre organic farm in Langley, WA.

“An Omnivore’s dining destination with a farm-to-table ethos, our restaurant is located in the very heart of our organic farm. Collaborating with local farmers, vintners, cheesemakers, chefs and oystermen, we bring you an ever-changing, four-course menu showcasing the season’s best ingredients. We offer one seating for thirty-two guests at our community tables. We look forward to feeding you soon!”

Chef Vincent is also a proponent of “Whidbey Island Grown – Find the Freshest Our Island Has to Offer.”

In 2005, Vincent joined Meadowood Napa Valley as the Executive Chef with the express mandate of restoring the property to culinary glory. Vincent was a part of an amazing team, including Patrick Davila, Joseph Humphrey and Christopher Kostow, that set the stage for Meadowood to become a culinary Mecca.

We pull Chef Vincent away from a cooking class for a brief chat.

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Show 260, February 10, 2018: Young Yun, Executive Director, ment’or BKB Foundation

Young YunThe late Chef Paul Bocuse (Lyon, France) had a profound impact on creating and inspiring the ment’or BKB Foundation. Always a friend of the USA, he fortunately lived long enough to see his dream of Team USA winning the Gold at the 2017 Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition. He even flies the American Flag at his flagship restaurant in Lyon. Young remembers the celebrated “Chef Paul.”

The ment’or BKB Foundation oversees, and funds, the USA’s participation in the biannual Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition. Inspired by Team USA’s unprecedented Gold Statue at the Bocuse last year ment’or is now funding, and building, a dedicated training kitchen for Bocuse d’Or Team USA located at the Culinary Institute of America at Copia’s campus in Napa. Scheduled to open in Spring 2018 ment’or’s hope is that this kitchen will become a permanent home for the Team.

The targeted fundraising goal is to raise $250,000.

The new space will replicate the kitchen at the Bocuse d’Or, so that Team USA can practice to compete as they would on the actual competition day. Most importantly, the kitchen will be outfitted with the necessary equipment to ensure that Team USA can continue to succeed on this international culinary stage. In addition, guests will be able to visit the training space to see the physical platters, tools. Photos, and memorabilia encompassing Team USA’s storied history and growing legacy.

Ment’or BKB’s Executive Director Young Yun provides the details.

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Show 254, December 30, 2017: Kyle Meyer, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeWhat’s new or on the horizon of significance in the world of wine for the New Year? What impact will the tragic fires in the Northern California wine regions of Napa and Sonoma have on the California Wine Industry?

Oddly the USA has a much lower per capita consumption of wine than the European Countries. Where is that trend going? Where is pricing moving on domestic wines as well as imports?

What are the emerging countries to watch where the quality wines now represent a great value for the money?

Our resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange, joins us with the needed insight.

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Show 252, December 16, 2017: Chef Mimi Chen, Commis, Team USA 2019, Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition

Mimi ChenIn our continuing coverage of the biannual Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition and Team USA 2019’s pursuit of defending the Gold for America we’ll meet Team USA 2019’s newly selected Commis, Chef Mimi Chen formerly a Line Cook at Daniel Patterson’s highly regarded COI in San Francisco.

On November 9th in The Palazzo Ballroom at The Venetian / Palazzo Resorts in Fabulous Las Vegas the spirited competition for the Team to proudly represent Team USA 2019 (under the aegis of the sponsoring Ment’or BKB Foundation) was held. Each finalist team had 5 hours and 35 minutes to prepare an exquisite meat recipe (Snake River Farms American Wagyu Whole Bone-In Rib Roast) presented on a platter as well as a Norwegian Seafood Steelhead Trout creation individually plated. Mimi was the Commis for the victorious team headed by Executive Chef Matthew Kirkley, ex-COI.

Both Chefs Matthew and Mimi will now train intensively in Napa, CA for the next year in preparation for the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon.

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Show 224, May 20, 2017: Russ Weis, President & General Manager, Silverado Vineyards

Russ WeisIn 1981, Ron and Diane Miller established Silverado Vineyards to make wine from the six historic vineyards of their estate. Napa pioneers first planted these ranches to vines between 1865 and 1895.

Each vineyard played an important role in establishing the reputation of their growing area: Carneros, Coombsville, Yountville, Soda Creek Canyon and Stags Leap District. The beautiful fruit from these six vineyards is the exclusive source of Silverado Vineyards’ Estate and Single Vineyard wines – the Miller family’s highest expression of the Napa Valley they love and admire.

“The beginning of vine planting is like the beginning of mining for precious metals: the winegrower also ‘prospects’.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson,
The Silverado Squatters, 1880

A century later, the Miller family began the journey Stevenson described, establishing Silverado Vineyards in 1981. “It was beautiful land, and it was land that was working,” observed the late Diane Miller of their first vineyards, purchased in the 1970s. Diane and Ron sold their grapes to some of Napa’s best vintners, who made award winning wines from them year after year. Encouraged, they struck out on their own with the goal of making the best wines the estate could produce at a fair price. This has remained the guiding philosophy over the years.

The winery’s name, Silverado, comes from the abandoned mining town at the top of the Napa Valley, where Stevenson stayed so many years ago. It is an appropriate symbol: three generations of the Miller family are still “prospecting” for wine, staying true to the idea of coaxing something precious from the soils we are privileged to care for.

Silverado Vineyards long-time President and General Manager, Russ Weis, is our guest.

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Show 179, July 9, 2016: Amelia Ceja, Ceja Vineyards and Executive Chef Danny Godinez, Anepalco and El Mercado Modern Cuisine, Santa Ana

Danny Godinez of AnepalcoOC Meets Napa and Baja on July 16th at Mission San Juan Capistrano will feature wines from premier wineries in Baja and from Napa’s own Mexican American Vintner Association (MAVA). The event will also include imaginative food from top Latin OC restaurants, live music, an exclusive wine auction and a few entertaining surprises!

All proceeds from the wine tasting benefit AltaMed OC Pediatrics and Breast Cancer Screenings.

Owner/Executive Chef Danny Godinez of Anapalco (and the just-opened El Mercado Modern Cuisine in Santa Ana) and Amelia Ceja of Ceja Vineyards join us with the preview. They are returning participants to The Benefit.

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Show 71, May 3, 2014: Chef Yvon Goetz, Chef & Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, Tustin and Newport Beach

Yvon Goetz of the Winery Restaurant and BarThe Winery Restaurant & Bar at the District in Tustin has created quite a splash over the last six years. All that was missing was an ocean view.

Newly arrived on the Bay in Newport Beach is the 2nd location for The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar. Partner/ Executive Chef Yvon Goetz is overseeing the kitchen here, too. It’s dinner only at present. Lunch will be coming on the weekends. Chef Yvon is our guest.

The new Winery brings the same distinctive experience as its flagship location in The District in Tustin. This one strives to make the guest feel like they have been transported to a relaxing getaway in Napa or Sonoma. This escape features ocean views from the second-story dining room and breathtaking bar.

The menu here is a bit more seafood centric. Some of the fish (Opah, Ono, and Mahi Mahi) is flown in from Hawaii daily. There is a special emphasis on fresh oysters and other shellfish.

“The major difference with this location will be the stunning views of the waterfront and boat access. We anticipate endless possibilities, with something to suit every palate,” said JC Clow, Managing Partner of The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar. Three private docks are available for guests to arrive via the Marina.

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May 3: Sherry Yard, Jesse Barber, Nan Kohler, Barbara Fairchild, Yvon Goetz

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Sherry Yard of iPic Theaters and Helms Bakery Part One
Segment Three: Sherry Yard of iPic Theaters and Helms Bakery Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Jesse Barber of Barnyard Venice
Segment Five: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, Pasadena Part One
Segment Six: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, Pasadena Part Two
Segment Seven: Barbara Fairchild, Restaurant & Travel Editor, grapecollective.com, editor, writer, speaker and consultant
Segment Eight: Chef Yvon Goetz, Chef & Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, Tustin and Newport Beach

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Multiple James Beard Award-winning Pastry Chef Sherry Yard is familiar to the listening audience of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” Her work-in-progress is the ambitious revival of the Helms Bakery in Los Angeles on the border with Culver City.

She will tell us all about her exciting new position as Corporate Vice President of the Culinary Division of iPic Theaters. Watching a movie on the big screen should be a deluxe experience with food to match !

There is a relatively new hidden gem of a very personal farm-to-table restaurant in Venice. That’s Barnyard Venice. Come hungry and prepare to be pleasantly surprised and also well-taken care of.

Nan Kohler, the Managing Partner of Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, is back for an encore. This time she’ll also be speaking about gluten-free.

Barbara Fairchild, the well-traveled Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com is back with us to share some inspired restaurant finds from her recent travels both in Europe and in The States.

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar in Tustin has a new location on the Bay in Newport Beach. It’s a “wow” of a spot!

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

Sherry YardRenowned pastry chef and best-selling cookbook author Sherry Yard spent close to 20 years with Wolfgang Puck. She also has been awarded two prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards! On May 5th in New York City Sherry is being inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America. It’s an elite group…

In late 2012 she left Spago to realize a dream project with Sang Yoon. That’s the reopening (and revamping) of the fondly remembered Helms Bakery in Los Angeles on the border of Culver City.

She has just stepped into the newly created position of Corporate Vice President of Culinary Direction for iPic Theaters.

Their new state-of-the-art Westwood complex has just opened. Locally-sourced gourmet food is now on the menu for the luxury movie viewing experience.

She also somehow finds the time to actively serve on both the National and L.A. Boards of the Careers through Culinary Arts Program. (C-CAP.)

The iPic Theaters menu for Westwood even includes Helms Treats. There are premium signature cookies and even frozen novelties!

On the ground floor there is an Italian restaurant (Tanzy) open to the public for lunch and dinner.

Sherry Yard was on hand Sunday, April 25th on Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills to observe the cutting of Chef Donald Wressell’s breathtaking birthday cake for the 100th Anniversary of the City of Beverly Hills. Chef Donald is the corporate chef for Guittard Chocolate Co. Sherry has created incredible desserts for the Oscars and was truly impressed with the incredible results. 15,000 slices of deliciousness were served!

Adding a needed basement to the Helms Bakery (where there was none before) has delayed the project. Sherry is now looking at a 2015 launch.

Jesse Barber of Barnyard VeniceBarnyard Venice (opened in 2012) is a bit of a find housed in an old cottage on Pacific Avenue. It’s rustic and comfortable.

Chef Jesse Barber, an alum of the kitchen at Tasting Kitchen, is the menu-maker. Earlier in his career he worked with Thomas Keller at both The French Laundry and Bouchon. He’s put together an ever changing menu with an emphasis on local ingredients. He’s a regular at the Santa Monica Farmers Markets and that’s the basis for his menu which changes almost daily.

His grilled octopus is a standout.

Ramen Tuesday is at the bar.

Nan KohlerNan Kohler is the Managing Partner of Grist & Toll – An urban Flour Mill in Pasadena. She has extensive background in baking.

Nan discusses her take on celiac disease and the growing need for gluten-free products.

On Sunday, May 4th Chef Bruce Kalman of Pasadena’s Union is cooking a dinner in conjunction with Grist & Toll. Union uses many of their products including their polenta which is a favorite of Chef Jet’s.

Chef Kalman will incorporate Grist & Toll’s whole-grain milled fresh flours into five courses. The price is $85 per guest.

Nan explains how the flours produced by Grist & Toll differ from the commercial enriched flour that goes into plain white bread. A lot of the nutritional value is surprisingly lost with the processing of conventional enriched flour.

Nan is also starting to offer baking classes.

Barbara FairchildIt’s a pleasure to welcome food journalist Barbara Fairchild back to the show. She is an editor, writer, speaker and consultant. She was the long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine before the publication relocated to New York.

Her newest position is Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com.

Based on her recent travels Barbara has restaurant finds for us from both London and Paris.

Yvon Goetz of the Winery Restaurant and BarThe Winery Restaurant & Bar at the District in Tustin has created quite a splash over the last six years. All that was missing was an ocean view.

Newly arrived on the Bay in Newport Beach is the 2nd location for The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar. Partner/ Executive Chef Yvon Goetz is overseeing the kitchen here, too. It’s dinner only at present. Lunch will be coming on the weekends. Chef Yvon is our guest.

The new Winery brings the same distinctive experience as its flagship location in The District in Tustin. This one strives to make the guest feel like they have been transported to a relaxing getaway in Napa or Sonoma. This escape features ocean views from the second-story dining room and breathtaking bar.

The menu here is a bit more seafood centric. Some of the fish (Opah, Ono, and Mahi Mahi) +is flown in from Hawaii daily.

“The major difference with this location will be the stunning views of the waterfront and boat access. We anticipate endless possibilities, with something to suit every palate,” said JC Clow, Managing Partner of The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar. Three private docks are available for guests to arrive via the Marina.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Sherry Yard of iPic Theaters and Helms Bakery Part One
Segment Three: Sherry Yard of iPic Theaters and Helms Bakery Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Jesse Barber of Barnyard Venice
Segment Five: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, Pasadena Part One
Segment Six: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, Pasadena Part Two
Segment Seven: Barbara Fairchild, Restaurant & Travel Editor, grapecollective.com, editor, writer, speaker and consultant
Segment Eight: Chef Yvon Goetz, Chef & Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, Tustin and Newport Beach

Show 64, March 8, 2014: Michael Passmore, Fish Farmer, Passmore Ranch

Michael Passmore of Passmore RanchThe always colorful Michael Passmore is a fish farmer in Northern California.

Passmore Ranch is a premium freshwater, sustainable fish ranch in California. They started modestly by selling live fish at Northern California farmers’ markets, and their quality and service quickly made them a premier purveyor for top restaurants and Michelin-starred chefs throughout the State and country.

They offer the freshest fish, aged, sized and delivered to order, almost as if chefs were pointing and saying, “I’ll take that one.” They continue to build new partnerships with some of the country’s best chefs, including renowned restaurateur Rick Moonen, three-star Michelin chef Christopher Kostow, Napa pioneer Cindy Pawlcyn, and Dallas chef and “Top Chef” Season 10 contestant John Tesar.

Passmore Ranch offers premium freshwater white sturgeon, black bass, striped bass, catfish, silver carp and trout, plus prized caviar. Most are available in any form a chef would like – live, filleted, special cuts and everything in between – coming straight, as the Passmore crew says, “fresh from our ranch to your kitchen.”

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