Show 372, May 9, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Happy Mother’s Day to all the greatly valued Mom’s out there. We anxiously look forward to the return of properly celebratory Mother’s Day Brunches at your favorite restaurants in 2021!

It’s a time of great concern for all of us and our “SoCal Restaurant Show” mission, until the Covid-19 crisis is fully abated, is to provide reliable and genuinely useful information on how the restaurant business is coping with the rapidly evolving events. With an emphasis on the health, safety and well-being of our listeners we’ll be detailing what the ever-changing range of services restaurants can now provide to their guests. Creativity and adaptability are at the forefront. We’re doing our level best to keep it upbeat and diverting…

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

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

“Jean Hagan, Principal of KROST CPAs & Consultants has owned, operated, and consulted in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years. During that time, she worked with a well-known national chain; owned a food and beverage company that operated multiple restaurants, bars, and event spaces in the Squaw Valley area; and became the president, CEO, CFO, and shareholder of one of the highest-grossing restaurants in California. Today Jean is Principal and leads the restaurant operations consulting practice at KROST.” We’ll take an informed look at the future of dining out with Jean.

The Krewe of Red Beans in New Orleans was set to hold their annual “Bean Madness” competition for the fourth straight year when COVID 19 shut down most public gatherings. Restaurants and chefs, used to competing in the tournament for the title of Best Red Beans in the city, were instead facing another challenge: the prospect of shutting down altogether for an indefinite amount of time. Devin De Wulf, organizer of the event and founder of the Krewe of Red Beans, shifted his focus on how to help the struggling restaurants with an assist from his wife, an ER doctor at local University Medical Center. Devin began ordering food for the hospital staff with lingering funds from the cancelled fundraiser. Over the progressive several weeks, based on donations and logistical support from Krewe members, this grew to supporting over 49 restaurants while feeding front line medical workers in all 15 of New Orleans major hospitals. Emphasis has now shifted to their newly organized sister effort, Feed the Second Line, which pairs older, more vulnerable musicians and artists with their younger counterparts to assist them with shopping for their groceries and household needs. New Orleans food writer and cookbook author Mark C. Stevens joins us with the inspirational details of these grass-roots efforts.

Certified Cicerone and raconteur Tom Kelley is the Vice President of Sales and Hospitality for the El Segundo Brewing Co. He misses being in the tasting room and at the ESBC Slice & Pint engaging with guests and discussing the joys of craft beer. Tom has initiated a fun, virtual Happy Hour on Wednesday nights under the banner of Lonely Hearts Pub with guests. Gratuities are politely suggested for Restaurants Care, part of the CRA Foundation. Tom Kelley hospitably taps the keg for us on the details of Lonely Hearts Pub.

Chef Neal Fraser and Amy Knoll Fraser’s flagship restaurant Redbird features Modern American cuisine that is refined yet approachable and highlights the multi-cultural influences of Fraser’s native city – Los Angeles. Wine Director Josh Wibbenmeyer’s wine list is well rounded with great finds from both established and emerging wine regions throughout the world. Currently Redbird is offering contactless curbside pickup with an a la carte menu and Redbird at Home Family Style Dinner. An added option is Wine Director’s Josh’s Hunker Down Wine List (with 40 per cent off Redbird’s list prices.) The Fraser’s also operate the adjacent Vibiana Events Center. Executive Chef Neal Fraser is our guest.

When it comes to restaurant take-out in Orange County don’t forget the numerous appealing and varied restaurant options available at South Coast Plaza. “During these trying times and shelter-at-home, South Coast Plaza restaurants have adapted to take-out and curbside pick-up with success. Thirteen restaurants offer abbreviated and family-style menus ranging from Japanese cuisine (who isn’t craving sushi), prime steaks, contemporary cuisine and more.” South Coast Plaza’s long-time restaurant marketing consultant, Lee Healy, joins us with the specifics.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Take-out/delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first. Pizza is always a popular snack and now that we’re cooking more at home it’s time to elevate your pizza game. Growing up in New Jersey Chef Andrew has a special affinity for the savory pie with all the variations. It all starts with the dough. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

Play

Show 372, May 9, 2020: Executive Chef & Proprietor Neal Fraser, Redbird & Vibiana, Los Angeles

Neal and Amy Knoll FraserChef Neal Fraser and Amy Knoll Fraser’s flagship restaurant Redbird in Downtown Los Angeles features Modern American cuisine that is refined yet approachable and highlights the multi-cultural influences of Fraser’s native city – Los Angeles. Wine Director Josh Wibbenmeyer’s wine list is well rounded with great finds from both established and emerging wine regions throughout the world.

Currently Redbird is offering contactless curbside pickup with an a la carte menu and Redbird at Home Family Style Dinner for Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. An added option is Wine Director’s Josh’s Hunker Down Wine List (with 40 per cent off Redbird’s list prices.)

Redbird also has been preparing meals for LA Family Housing and raising money for displaced staff.

Executive Chef Neal Fraser is our guest.

Play

May 9: Krost CPAs, Mark C. Stevens, El Segundo Brewing Co., Neal Fraser, South Coast Plaza

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jean Hagan, Principal, Restaurants Operations Consulting for KROST CPA’s & Consultants Part One
Segment Three: Jean Hagan, Principal, Restaurants Operations Consulting for KROST CPA’s & Consultants Part Two
Segment Four: Mark C. Stevens – Spokesperson for Krewe of Red Bean’s Feed the Second Line
Segment Five: Tom Kelley, Certified Cicerone and VP of Sales & Hospitality, El Segundo Brewing Co.
Segment Six: Executive Chef & Proprietor Neal Fraser, Redbird & Vibiana, Los Angeles
Segment Seven: South Coast Plaza’s Dining Options with Lee Healy
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish with “Ask the Chef”

It’s a time of great concern for all of us and our “SoCal Restaurant Show” mission, until the Covid-19 crisis is fully abated, is to provide reliable and genuinely useful information on how the restaurant business is coping with the rapidly evolving events. With an emphasis on the health, safety and well-being of our listeners we’ll be detailing what the ever-changing range of services restaurants can now provide to their guests. Creativity and adaptability are at the forefront. We’re doing our level best to keep it upbeat…

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

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

“Jean Hagan, Principal of KROST CPAs & Consultants has owned, operated, and consulted in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years. During that time, she worked with a well-known national chain; owned a food and beverage company that operated multiple restaurants, bars, and event spaces in the Squaw Valley area; and became the president, CEO, CFO, and shareholder of one of the highest-grossing restaurants in California. Today Jean is Principal and leads the restaurant operations consulting practice at KROST.” We’ll take an informed look at the future of dining out with Jean.

The Krewe of Redbeans in New Orleans was set to hold their annual “Bean Madness” competition for the fourth straight year when COVID 19 shut down most public gatherings. Restaurants and chefs, used to competing in the tournament for the title of Best Red Beans in the city, were instead facing another challenge: the prospect of shutting down altogether for an indefinite amount of time. Devin De Wulf, organizer of the event and founder of the Krewe of Red Beans, shifted his focus on how to help the struggling restaurants with an assist from his wife, an ER doctor at local University Medical Center. Devin began ordering food for the hospital staff with lingering funds from the cancelled fundraiser. Over the progressive several weeks, based on donations and logistical support from Krewe members, this grew to supporting over 34 restaurants while feeding front line medical workers in all 15 of New Orleans major hospitals. New Orleans food writer and cookbook author Mark C. Stevens joins us with the inspirational details of this grass-roots effort.

Certified Cicerone and raconteur Tom Kelley is the Vice President of Sales and Hospitality for the El Segundo Brewing Co. He misses being in the tasting room and at the ESBC Slice & Pint engaging with guests and discussing the joys of craft beer. Tom has initiated a fun, virtual Happy Hour on Wednesday nights under the banner of Lonely Hearts Pub with guests. Gratuities are politely suggested for Restaurants Care, part of the CRA Foundation. Tom Kelley politely taps the keg for us on the details of Lonely Hearts Pub.

Chef Neal Fraser and Amy Knoll Fraser’s flagship restaurant Redbird features Modern American cuisine that is refined yet approachable and highlights the multi-cultural influences of Fraser’s native city – Los Angeles. Wine Director Josh Wibbenmeyer’s wine list is well rounded with great finds from both established and emerging wine regions throughout the world. Currently Redbird is offering contactless curbside pickup with an a la carte menu and Redbird at Home Family Style Dinner. An added option is Wine Director’s Josh’s Hunker Down Wine List (with 40 per cent off Redbird’s list prices.) Executive Chef Neal Fraser is our guest.

When it comes to restaurant take-out in Orange County don’t forget the numerous appealing and varied restaurant options available at South Coast Plaza. “During these trying times and shelter-at-home, South Coast Plaza restaurants have adapted to take-out and curbside pick-up with success. Thirteen restaurants offer abbreviated and family-style menus ranging from Japanese cuisine (who isn’t craving sushi), prime steaks, contemporary cuisine and more.” South Coast Plaza’s long-time restaurant marketing consultant, Lee Healy, joins us with the specifics.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Take-out/delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first. Pizza is always a popular snack and now that we’re cooking more at home it’s time to elevate your pizza game. Growing up in New Jersey Chef Andrew has a special affinity for the savory pie with all the variations. It all starts with the dough. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

Jean Hagan of Krost CPAs and ConsultantsJean Hagan, Principal of KROST CPAs & Consultants has owned, operated, and consulted in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years. During that time, she worked with a well-known national chain; owned a food and beverage company that operated multiple restaurants, bars, and event spaces in the Squaw Valley area; and became the president, CEO, CFO, and shareholder of one of the highest-grossing restaurants in California. Today Jean is Principal and leads the restaurant operations consulting practice at KROST. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Restaurant Operations and Management Strategies at the Culinary Institute of America.

“As discussions about the success of flattening the curve of the pandemic are encouraging everyone that we will get through this eventually, now the page turns to how do we get reopened and get our businesses back up and operating. The first thing everyone has to do is recognize that the restaurant industry after this pandemic is not going to be anywhere close to what we left off in March. Everything is going to be different for a very long time, possibly forever. The restaurant industry is a perfect filter to see all other businesses through. We are a true indicator of the overall economy, consumer confidence, and disposable income figures.”

“The general assumption is that the restaurant industry will not get back to full capacity until a year from now. Assuming that travel will be back to normal by December 2020, we could assume that restaurants will be about 80% of their previous years’ sales by that time. Travel transportation has to get back to normal and travel reservations have to catch up as well; late December 2020 seems like a realistic goal to be at 80% of 2019 sales. We also do not know what the restrictions of the various city and county health departments will be for relaunching, but it is not a stretch to assume that they will want the six feet of separation, meaning that your capacity will be reduced.” – Jean Hagan

We’ll take an informed look at the future of dining out with Jean and receive sound advice on how restaurants should prepare for the return of table service.

Author Mark C. StevensThe Krewe of Redbeans in New Orleans was set to hold their annual “Bean Madness” competition for the fourth straight year when COVID 19 shut down most public gatherings. Restaurants and chefs, used to competing in the tournament for the title of Best Red Beans in the city, were instead facing another challenge: the prospect of shutting down altogether for an indefinite amount of time.

Devin De Wulf, organizer of the event and founder of the Krewe of Red Beans, shifted his focus on how to help the struggling restaurants with an assist from his wife, an ER doctor at local University Medical Center. Using as inspiration the story of how a batch of cookies boosted the morale of her entire department, Devin began ordering food for the hospital staff with lingering funds from the cancelled fundraiser.

Over the progressive several weeks, based on donations and logistical support from Krewe members, this grew to supporting over 34 restaurants while feeding front line medical workers in all 15 of New Orleans major hospitals.

New Orleans food writer and cookbook author Mark C. Stevens joins us with the inspirational details of this grass-roots effort.

Thomas Kelley of El Segundo Brewing and ESBC Slice and PintCertified Cicerone and raconteur Tom Kelley is the Vice President of Sales and Hospitality for the El Segundo Brewing Co. He misses being in the tasting room and at the nearby ESBC Slice & Pint restaurant engaging with guests and discussing the joys of craft beer. Tom has creatively initiated a fun, virtual Happy Hour on Wednesday nights under the banner of Lonely Hearts Pub with special guests. “Gratuities” are politely suggested for Restaurants Care, part of the CRA Foundation.

Greg Bechtel will be joining Tom for the next iteration of the Lonely Hearts Pub – Cicerone style on Wednesday evening, May 13th from 6 to 8:00 p.m..

“Greg was El Segundo’s first official sales rep that I hired, and for a time we were an all Cicerone Certified sales staff. We had the awesome experience of studying for our Advanced Cicerone exams together, and we hope to bring you some beer knowledge.”

“Greg will be selecting a few beers for me, and I for Greg. We will take turns doing a blind tasting of each trying to call out the style in under 3 minutes. Call out the brand and you get extra credit!”

“After that, who knows where the conversation and the drinks may lead us. Though I know Greg has been known to throw a cocktail or two together…”

“Looking forward to sharing some more beers with you all!” – Tom Kelley

Tom Kelley politely taps the keg for us on the details of Lonely Hearts Pub at El Segundo Brewing Co.

Neal and Amy Knoll FraserChef Neal Fraser and Amy Knoll Fraser’s flagship restaurant Redbird in Downtown Los Angeles features Modern American cuisine that is refined yet approachable and highlights the multi-cultural influences of Fraser’s native city – Los Angeles. Wine Director Josh Wibbenmeyer’s wine list is well rounded with great finds from both established and emerging wine regions throughout the world. Currently Redbird is offering contactless curbside pickup with an a la carte menu and Redbird at Home Family Style Dinner. An added option is Wine Director’s Josh’s Hunker Down Wine List (with 40 per cent off Redbird’s list prices.)

Redbird also has been preparing meals for LA Family Housing and raising money for displaced staff.

Executive Chef Neal Fraser is our guest.

Lee Healy representing South Coast PlazaWhen it comes to fashionable restaurant take-out in Orange County don’t forget the numerous appealing and varied restaurant options available at South Coast Plaza. “During these trying times and shelter-at-home, South Coast Plaza restaurants have adapted to take-out and curbside pick-up with success. Thirteen restaurants offer abbreviated and family-style menus ranging from Japanese cuisine (who isn’t craving sushi), prime steaks, contemporary cuisine and more.”

Chef Amar Santana‘s take-out at VACA has been lauded by restaurant critics Bill Addison with the Los Angeles Times and Brad Johnson of the Orange County Register. Their recommendations: Paella Valenciana family-menu with Vaca Tonics to go!  Water Grill has a dazzling pop-up market three days a week (premium seafood and live lobster to prepare at home).  Din Tai Fung has been busy and check out Royal Khyber‘s special three-course curbside menu for two for $30.  Award-winning chef Ross Pangilinan has just begun take-out at TERRACE by Mix Mix.”

South Coast Plaza’s long-time restaurant marketing consultant, Lee Healy, joins us with the specifics.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant GroupOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is 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. Take-out / delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first.

Pizza is always a popular snack and now that we’re cooking more at home it’s time to elevate your pizza game. Growing up in New Jersey Chef Andrew has a special affinity for the pie with all the variations. It all starts with the dough. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Slapfish is hosting Doctors, Nurses, Medical Personnel, Police, Firefighters & EMT’s to a complimentary meal To-Go. Need to be in uniform or have appropriate ID to qualify. The participating Slapfish locations are Huntington Beach, Brea, Irvine and Laguna Beach.

Kids eat free at Slapfish, too, when their parents order Takeout.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jean Hagan, Principal, Restaurants Operations Consulting for KROST CPA’s & Consultants Part One
Segment Three: Jean Hagan, Principal, Restaurants Operations Consulting for KROST CPA’s & Consultants Part Two
Segment Four: Mark C. Stevens – Spokesperson for Krewe of Red Bean’s Feed the Second Line
Segment Five: Tom Kelley, Certified Cicerone and VP of Sales & Hospitality, El Segundo Brewing Co.
Segment Six: Executive Chef & Proprietor Neal Fraser, Redbird & Vibiana, Los Angeles
Segment Seven: South Coast Plaza’s Dining Options with Lee Healy
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish with “Ask the Chef”

Show 333, July 20, 2019: Show Preview with Co Host Andy Harris

Now an intriguing preview of Saturday’s mouthwatering 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 that’s probably a pretty good thing… As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Couldn’t do it without you.

The 6th annual Stu and the Kids Flavors of Asia Food Fest Fundraiser, an exceptional Thai-flavored Food & Wine Festival hosted by Chef Stuart Skversky with the help of his friends, returns to Vibiana in Downtown Los Angeles on Sunday, August 4, 2019. The event is a rare chance to experience original dishes created by Los Angeles’ Asian-food-loving chefs expressed through Far East influences and personal styles that have impressed guests since the inception of the event in 2014. All of the proceeds from this benefit are used towards scholarships for university education to help underserved and orphaned Hill Tribe kids in Chiang Mai, Thailand. <strong>Chef Stu and Host Chef Neal Fraser of Redbird & Vibiana crack the coconut for us.

Love and Salt is a restaurant story that begins with Cafe Pierre, a local classic restaurant birthed by Guy Gabriele in 1977 to bring a taste of France to Los Angeles’ South Bay. While Cafe Pierre was a beloved part of the community for nearly 37 years, in 2014, Guy and his daughter Sylvie Gabriele, now the owner of Love & Salt, closed the restaurant to bring new life to the iconic space with a new look and Italian flair. As of last year a creative new chef (Chris Feldmeier ex- Moruno) is behind the stoves. We now chat with Chef Chris Feldmeier about the enhancements in the menu.

Descanso is a modern taqueria in that it celebrates authentic Mexican flavors and recipes executed on a traditional plancha and prepared a la minute in front of you, in a full-service setting. Concept creator and proprietor Rob Arellano pulled from his own Mexican heritage to create a never-before-seen restaurant experience rooted in nostalgia and comfort, that speaks to how we live and eat today. You, our guest, will come face to face with the chef as Mexican classics are made to order in a lively setting that brings in the smells, sounds and energy of a busy Mexican town.” Descanso was one of Orange Coast Magazine’s 2019 Best New Restaurants. Rob Arellano is our guest.

Time for another refreshing & effervescent installment of “Ask the Brewers” where we answer listeners’ questions about craft beer. Joining us is Golden Road’s uber-accomplished Brewmaster, Victor Novak and Anaheim Head Brewer Steven Torres.

Porto’s Bakery & Café started modestly in the greater L.A. area in the 1960s and has grown steadily since then becoming a popular, local and revered institution. Founder Rosa Porto’s life took an unexpected turn back at the beginning when she and her family made the difficult decision to leave their beloved Cuba and emigrate to the United States. Out of a job, Rosa relied on her love of baking and began selling cakes out of her house for her neighbors and friends to support her family. Porto’s has gradually grown into five existing locations in Glendale, Burbank, Downey, Buena Park, and the newly opened West Covina. Betty Porto, Vice President of Community and Guest Relations for Porto’s is our guest.

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

Play

Show 333, July 20, 2019: Stu and The Kids Flavors of Asia Food Fest Fundraiser

Stuart Skversky of Stu and the KidsThe 6th annual Stu and The Kids Flavors of Asia Food Fest Fundraiser, an exceptional Thai-flavored Food & Wine Festival hosted by Chef Stuart Skversky with the help of his friends, returns to Vibiana in Downtown Los Angeles on Sunday, August 4, 2019. The event is a rare chance to experience original dishes created by Los Angeles’ Asian-food-loving chefs expressed through Far East influences and personal styles that have impressed guests since the inception of the event in 2014. All of the proceeds from this event are used towards scholarships for university education to help underserved and orphaned Hill Tribe kids in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

“In 2009, Stuart Skversky, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and rising-star chef, made a dramatic life change by giving up a promising culinary career in Los Angeles to move to Chiang Mai, becoming a full-time volunteer at the Wat Don Chan (a local Buddhist temple), teaching local children English, cooking and baking. Recognizing a need to help prepare these at-risk Hill Tribe kids following their graduation, he founded Stu and The Kids to better prepare them for adulthood, help them get into a university or technical college and give them the tools for an independent future. Funds raised go directly to the children’s education, school uniforms, supplies, housing, food and tuition for higher education.”

Neal Fraser of Redbird“Now in their ninth year of fundraising throughout the world, Stu and The Kids has raised over $658,000 for the charity, including last year’s astounding record of $164,000 accumulated from the Los Angeles festival, in addition to fundraising on the east coast and online donations during 2018. Stu and The Kids supervises thirty-six kids, including sixteen that received 4-year scholarships in 2018 to support education and jobs in accounting, business management, in-home elder care, cooking and fashion and textiles and two with continuing 2-year master degree programs. The charity hopes to increase the awards to twenty more four-year university scholarships in the coming year.”

VIP ticket purchasers will have early entrance at 2:30 p.m. to meet and chat with the chefs and receive a Stu and The Kids tote bag filled with special gifts including a signed copy of Jet Tila‘s new cookbook, 101 Epic Dishes, a collectible Stu and the Kids baseball hat and much more.

Chef Stu and Host Chef Neal Fraser of Redbird and Vibiana crack the coconut for us.

Play

July 20: Stu & the Kids, Love & Salt, Descanso, Golden Road Brewing, Porto’s Bakery

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Stu and The Kids Flavors of Asia Food Fest Fundraiser
Segment Three: Executive Chef Chris Feldmeier, Love & Salt, Manhattan Beach
Segment Four: Proprietor Rob Arellano, Descanso – A Modern Taqueria, Costa Mesa Part One
Segment Five: Proprietor Rob Arellano, Descanso – A Modern Taqueria, Costa Mesa Part Two
Segment Six: Golden Road Brewing Co’s Brewmaster Victor Novak and Anaheim Head Brewer Steven Torres Part One
Segment Seven: Golden Road Brewing Co’s Brewmaster Victor Novak and Anaheim Head Brewer Steven Torres Part Two
Segment Eight: Betty Porto, Vice President, Community Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Cafe

Now intriguing preview of this Saturday’s mouthwatering 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 that’s probably a pretty good thing… As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Couldn’t do it without you.

The 6th annual Stu and The Kids Flavors of Asia Food Fest Fundraiser, an exceptional Thai-flavored Food & Wine Festival hosted by Chef Stuart Skversky with the help of his friends, returns to Vibiana in Downtown Los Angeles on Sunday, August 4, 2019. The event is a rare chance to experience original dishes created by Los Angeles’ Asian-food-loving chefs expressed through Far East influences and personal styles that have impressed guests since the inception of the event in 2014. All of the proceeds from this event are used towards scholarships for university education to help underserved and orphaned Hill Tribe kids in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Chef Stu and Host Chef Neal Fraser crack the coconut for us.

Love and Salt is a restaurant story that begins with Cafe Pierre, a local classic restaurant birthed by Guy Gabriele in 1977 to bring a taste of France to Los Angeles’ South Bay. While Cafe Pierre was a beloved part of the community for nearly 37 years, in 2014, Guy and his daughter Sylvie Gabriele, now the owner of Love & Salt, closed the restaurant to bring new life to the iconic space with a new look and Italian flair. As of last year a creative new chef (Chris Feldmeier ex- Moruno) is behind the stoves. We now chat with Chef Chris Feldmeier about the enhancements in the menu.

“Descanso is a modern taqueria in that it celebrates authentic Mexican flavors and recipes executed on a traditional plancha and prepared a la minute in front of you, in a full -service setting. Concept creator and proprietor Rob Arellano pulled from his own Mexican heritage to create a never-before-seen restaurant experience rooted in nostalgia and comfort, that speaks to how we live and eat today, You, our guest, will come face to face with the chef as Mexican classics are made to order in a lively setting that brings in the smells, sounds and energy of a busy Mexican town.” Descanso was one of Orange Coast Magazine’s 2019 Best New Restaurants. Rob Arellano is our guest.

Time for another effervescent installment of “Ask the Brewers” where we answer listeners’ questions about craft beer. Joining us is Golden Road’s uber-accomplished Brewmaster, Victor Novak and Anaheim Head Brewer Steven Torres.

Porto’s Bakery & Café started modestly in the greater L.A. area in the 1960s and has grown steadily since then becoming a popular, local and revered institution. Founder Rosa Porto’s life took an unexpected turn back at the beginning when she and her family made the difficult decision to leave their beloved Cuba and emigrate to the United States. Out of a job, Rosa relied on her love of baking and began selling cakes out of her house for her neighbors and friends to support her family. Porto’s has gradually grown into five existing locations in Glendale, Burbank, Downey, Buena Park, and the newly opened West Covina. Betty Porto, Vice President of Community and Guest Relations for Porto’s is our guest.

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

Stuart Skversky of Stu and the KidsThe 6th annual Stu and The Kids Flavors of Asia Food Fest Fundraiser, an exceptional Thai-flavored Food & Wine Festival hosted by Chef Stuart Skversky with the help of his friends, returns to Vibiana in Downtown Los Angeles on Sunday, August 4, 2019. The event is a rare chance to experience original dishes created by Los Angeles’ Asian-food-loving chefs expressed through Far East influences and personal styles that have impressed guests since the inception of the event in 2014. All of the proceeds from this event are used towards scholarships for university education to help underserved and orphaned Hill Tribe kids in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

“In 2009, Stuart Skversky, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and rising-star chef, made a dramatic life change by giving up a promising culinary career in Los Angeles to move to Chiang Mai, becoming a full-time volunteer at the Wat Don Chan (a local Buddhist temple), teaching local children English, cooking and baking. Recognizing a need to help prepare these at-risk Hill Tribe kids following their graduation, he founded Stu and The Kids to better prepare them for adulthood, help them get into a university or technical college and give them the tools for an independent future. Funds raised go directly to the children’s education, school uniforms, supplies, housing, food and tuition for higher education.”

Neal Fraser of RedbirdNow in their ninth year of fundraising throughout the world, Stu and The Kids has raised over $658,000 for the charity, including last year’s astounding record of $164,000 accumulated from the Los Angeles festival, in addition to fundraising on the east coast and online donations during 2018. Stu and The Kids supervises thirty-six kids, including sixteen that received 4-year scholarships in 2018 to support education and jobs in accounting, business management, in-home elder care, cooking and fashion and textiles and two with continuing 2-year master degree programs. The charity hopes to increase the awards to twenty more four-year university scholarships in the coming year.

VIP ticket purchasers will have early entrance at 2:30 p.m. to meet and chat with the chefs and receive a Stu and The Kids tote bag filled with special gifts including a signed copy of Jet Tila‘s new cookbook, 101 Epic Dishes, a collectible Stu and the Kids baseball hat and much more.

Chef Stu and Host Chef Neal Fraser crack the coconut for us.

Chris Feldmeier of Love and SaltLove and Salt is a restaurant story that begins with Cafe Pierre, a local classic restaurant birthed by Guy Gabriele in 1977 to bring a taste of France to Los Angeles’ South Bay. While Cafe Pierre was a beloved part of the community for nearly 37 years, in 2014, Guy and his daughter Sylvie Gabriele, now the owner of Love & Salt, closed the restaurant to bring new life to the iconic space with a new look and Italian flair. As of last year a creative new chef (Chris Feldmeier ex-Moruno) is behind the stoves.

Christopher Feldmeier began cooking as a child when he simply asked his mother to make breakfast. She replied by saying, “I will buy you anything you want to cook, but you are going to make it yourself.” That first breakfast sparked a passion and adoration for cooking, which grew into an undeniable desire to learn more.

Searching for a more dynamic culinary landscape after culinary school and time in the San Diego fine-dining scene, Feldmeier relocated to Los Angeles and began working at the former Campanile restaurant. He quickly moved into a Sous Chef position, spending four years working collaboratively with seminal Los Angeles chefs Nancy Silverton and Mark Peel at the legendary establishment. During his tenure at Campanile, Feldmeier met his wife, James Beard award-winning pastry chef Dahlia Narvaez, as well as his future business partner David Rosoff.

In 2007, Feldmeier left Campanile to join Silverton, Narvaez and Rosoff in opening the Michelin-starred Osteria Mozza. Feldmeier served as the Chef de Cuisine of this award-winning institution and consultant to Eataly until his departure in 2013 to pursue his own concept with Rosoff. After becoming immersed in Spanish culture and its gastronomic implications, in January of 2016, Feldmeier and Rosoff opened Moruno at The Original Farmers Market. Early on, the highly accoladed spot received a 3-star review from LA Weekly food critic Besha Rodell while former New York Times Food Critic and Gourmet Magazine editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl praised Feldmeier’s food as “spectacular”. In October of 2016, Moruno unfortunately closed.

With his passion for culinary innovation, Feldmeier subsequently partnered with the Gabriele Family to begin conceptualizing the next iteration of Guy’s beloved Redondo Beach restaurant, Zazou which re-opened as Gabi James in April 2018 boasting a menu featuring Spanish and Coastal French cuisine infused with California soul.

In September 2018, Feldmeier assumed the role of executive chef at Love & Salt in Manhattan Beach while continuing his involvement with Gabi James. In this role, Feldmeier works closely with Love & Salt owner Sylvie Gabriele to bring their shared vision for the Italian-inspired menu to life.

We now chat with Chef Chris Feldmeier about the enhancements in the menu.

Rob Arellano of Descanso RestaurantDescanso is a modern taqueria in that it celebrates authentic Mexican flavors and recipes executed on a traditional plancha and prepared a la minute in front of you, in a full-service setting. Concept creator and proprietor Rob Arellano pulled from his own Mexican heritage to create a never-before-seen restaurant experience rooted in nostalgia and comfort, that speaks to how we live and eat today, You, our guest, will come face to face with the chef as Mexican classics are made to order in a lively setting that brings in the smells, sounds and energy of a busy Mexican town.” Descanso was recognized as one of Orange Coast Magazine’s 2019 Best New Restaurants.

“With Chef Sergio Ortega at the helm in the Kitchen, Descanso presents Classic Central Mexico street-inspired cuisine, rife with bold flavors and the freshest, seasonal ingredients in dishes that are complex and layered with history and flavor.”

“The menu at Descanso features artful dishes that successfully marry tradition with modernity. The cuisine is inspired by the Taquerias of Chef Ortega’s childhood. As someone who grew up from humble origins with access to limited ingredients, Chef Ortega is dedicated to cooking with seasonal ingredients, sustainable seafood and humanely raised meats. Salsas are made fresh daily. Meats and vegetables are cooked in front of guests on a traditional plancha. Guests can enjoy tacos, quesadillas, and alambres; made with options ranging from Angus steak, carnitas, pollo and al pastor, to mahi mahi, shrimp and relleno chile.”

Rob Arellano is our guest.

Steven Torres and Victor Novak at the KLAA StudiosTime for another effervescent installment of Ask the Brewers” where we answer listeners’ questions about craft beer. Joining us is Golden Road’s uber-accomplished Brewmaster, Victor Novak and Anaheim Head Brewer Steven Torres.

What are the best picks for the satisfying beers of Summer? We’ll find out from the brewers. We’ll also talk about aging craft beer in former, and repurposed, bourbon, whiskey and tequila barrels.

Betty Porto in front of the Porto's Bakery Bread RackPorto’s Bakery & Café started modestly in the greater L.A. area in the 1960s and has grown steadily since then becoming a popular, local institution. Founder Rosa Porto’s life took an unexpected turn back then when she and her family made the difficult decision to leave their beloved Cuba and emigrate to the United States. Out of a job, Rosa relied on her love of baking and began selling cakes out of her house for her neighbors and friends to support her family.

Porto’s has gradually grown into five existing locations in Glendale, Burbank, Downey, Buena Park, and the newly opened West Covina.

“Rosa’s recipes and high standards continue to be carried on by her family, reflective of her motto “quality is the number one ingredient in everything we do”.”

Betty Porto, Vice President of Community and Guest Relations for Porto’s is our guest.

Newly launched from Porto’s is “We Make It, You Bake It.”

“We now ship nationwide our best-selling pastries unbaked, frozen, and direct to you so you can bake them fresh in your own oven! It’s like having a Porto’s Bakery in your home! Congrats, you are now a Porto’s Pastry Chef. Feel free to take all the credit.”

The initial menu is Potato Balls, Guava Strudel, Chicken Empanadas, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cheese Rolls, Guava & Cheese Strudel, Meat Pies, Sprinkledoodle Cookies and Dulce de Leche Bestio Cookies.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Stu and The Kids Flavors of Asia Food Fest Fundraiser
Segment Three: Executive Chef Chris Feldmeier, Love & Salt, Manhattan Beach
Segment Four: Proprietor Rob Arellano, Descanso – A Modern Taqueria, Costa Mesa Part One
Segment Five: Proprietor Rob Arellano, Descanso – A Modern Taqueria, Costa Mesa Part Two
Segment Six: Golden Road Brewing Co’s Brewmaster Victor Novak and Anaheim Head Brewer Steven Torres Part One
Segment Seven: Golden Road Brewing Co’s Brewmaster Victor Novak and Anaheim Head Brewer Steven Torres Part Two
Segment Eight: Betty Porto, Vice President, Community Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Cafe

Show 320, April 20, 2019: Preview of C-CAP’s 2nd Annual Full Circle Benefit at Redbird with Barbara Fairchild

Barbara FairchildThe Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) is presenting their 2nd Annual Full Circle Benefit dinner at Neal Fraser’s Redbird in Downtown Los Angeles on Thursday evening, April 25th featuring a culinary brigade of celebrity guest chefs.

“Celebrating our C-CAP students and the wonderful chefs who mentor and inspire them, giving them the tools and experience they need to succeed and come Full Circle.”

The evening is hosted and coordinated by Chef Neal Fraser and featuring celebrated chefs Monti Carlo (Food Network personality,) Josiah Citrin (Openaire and Charcoal Venice,) Sandra Cordero (Gasolina,) Duff Goldman (Charm City Cakes,) C-CAP alumnus Anthony Greco (Lukshon & Father’s Office,) Kyle Johnson (Bourbon Steak), Antonia Lofaso (Scopa, Black Market and Dama), Nicole Rucker (Fiona,) C-CAP alumnus Dustin Trani (J. Trani’s Ristorante,) and more.

C-CAP Council L.A.’s Chairperson, Barbara Fairchild (former Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appetit Magazine,) joins us with all the salivating details of the Cocktail Reception in the calming lower gardens at Redbird and seated Dinner & Live Auction upstairs at Redbird and seated Dinner & Live Auction upstairs at Redbird.

A limited number of “Reception Only” tickets have just been released. At $100 per guest it’s a real bargain. The 90-minute Reception features a delectable selection of hors d’oeuves, free-flowing No 1 Cuvee Methode Traditionelle sparkling wine from New Zealand, Pinks Rose from Hitching Post Wines, premium craft beers from El Segundo Brewing Co., and signature handcrafted cocktails by Anthony Greco, C-CAP Alumnus (Lukshon) highlighting Greenbar Tequila and Ford’s Gin

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Show 319, April 13, 2019: Redbird’s Chef / Proprietor Neal Fraser and C-CAP L.A’s Director, Lisa Fontanesi

Neal Fraser of RedbirdThe Careers through Culinary Arts Program’s (C-CAP) 2nd Annual Full Circle Dinner Benefit at Downtown Los Angeles’ Redbird with guest celebrity chefs preparing the meal is set for Thursday evening, April 25th with the Cocktail Reception in the spacious lower gardens at 6:00 p.m. and the multi-course, premium wine-paired, seated Dinner and Live Auction at 7:30 p.m. Chef Neal Fraser of Redbird is the Host Chef.

“Celebrating our C-CAP students and the wonderful chefs who mentor and inspire them, giving them the tools and experience they need to succeed and come Full Circle.”

The evening is hosted and coordinated by Chef Neal Fraser and featuring celebrated chefs Monti Carlo (Food Network personality,) Josiah Citrin (Openaire and Charcoal Venice,) Sandra Cordero (Gasolina,) Duff Goldman (Charm City Cakes,) C-CAP alumnus Anthony Greco (Lukshon & Father’s Office,) Kyle Johnson (Bourbon Steak), Antonia Lofaso (Scopa, Black Market and Dama), Nicole Rucker (Fiona,) C-CAP alumnus Dustin Trani (J. Trani’s Ristorante,) and more.

C-CAP L.A’s Director Lisa Fontanesi and Chef Neal join us for the salivating preview.

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April 13: Kodiak Cakes, Neal Fraser, Malama Mushrooms, Wine Exchange

Podcasts

Segment One: Cameron Smith, President, Kodiak Cakes, Park City, Utah
Segment Two: Benjamin Lillibridge, Founder & “Funguy,” Malama Mushrooms, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Segment Three: Redbird’s Chef / Proprietor Neal Fraser and C-CAP L.A’s Director, Lisa Fontanesi
Segment Four: Kyle Meyer, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana with a Preview of the WINYL Podcast Part One
Segment Five: Kyle Meyer, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana with a Preview of the WINYL Podcast Part Two

Now a tempting preview of this Saturday’s pre-dinner show with heavy hors d’oeuvres. 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… As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience.

Park City, Utah-based Kodiak Cakes unofficially started in 1982 with a family recipe for pancakes featuring 100 percent whole grains. Back then the flapjack mix was sold door-to-door. Kodiak Cakes is still refreshingly Family-owned but new products have been added and their appealing line of healthy, nutritious and tasty foods has expanded into national distribution. They attracted a lot of attention at the recent Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim. We’ll meet Cameron Smith, the President of Kodiak Cakes.

The Careers through Culinary Arts Program’s (C-CAP) 2nd Annual Full Circle Dinner Benefit at Downtown Los Angeles’ Redbird with guest celebrity chefs preparing the meal is set for Thursday evening, April 25th with the Cocktail Reception in the spacious lower gardens at 6:00 p.m. and the multi-course, premium wine-paired, seated Dinner and Live Auction at 7:30 p.m. Chef Neal Fraser of Redbird is the Host Chef. C-CAP L.A’s Director Lisa Fontanesi and Chef Neal join us for the salivating preview.

We discovered Malama Mushrooms from The Big Island of Hawaii exhibiting at the recent Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim and met Founder and “Funguy” Benjamin Lillibridge. Their goal is to unearth the enormous potential of edible mushrooms in our society. We’ll find out about the power of mushrooms with Ben.

Our resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange, has some intriguing thoughts about the relationships between, music, musicians and wine. Kyle is also part of a new weekly podcast featuring food & wine talk hosted by a former Rolling Stone writer and New York Times bestselling author.

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

Cameron Smith of Kodiak CakesPark City, Utah-based Kodiak Cakes unofficially started in 1982 with a family recipe for pancakes featuring 100 percent whole grains. Back then the flapjack mix was sold door-to-door.

Kodiak Cakes is still refreshingly Family-owned but new products have been added and their appealing line of healthy, nutritious and tasty foods has expanded into national distribution. The line includes Flapjack & Waffle Mix, Kodiak Cups, Toaster Waffles and Flapjacks, Baking Mixes and Fruit Syrups. They attracted a lot of buyers’ attention at the recent Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim.

“Apart from being the essential ingredient of the original frontier flapjacks, we use whole grains because they just taste better. They’re also packed with fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals essential to fueling an active life. So, instead of processing our wheat and “enriching” it with some of its original nutritional value, we left it as it is – free of GMOs, preservatives or artificial additives.”

We’ll meet Cameron Smith, the President of Kodiak Cakes.

Benjamin LIllibridgeWe discovered Malama Mushrooms from The Big Island of Hawaii exhibiting at the recent Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim and met Founder and “Funguy” Benjamin Lillibridge. Their goal is to unearth the enormous potential of edible mushrooms in our society.

“Whether its medicinal mushrooms for targeting specific ailments, or nutritionally rich gourmet mushrooms for a healthy diet, our goal is to create healthy fungi-based produce and value-added products you can get behind as a loyal fan, customer and family member.”

““Malama” is the Hawaiian word for preserve, protect and nurture. This serves as the standard for all the work we do.”

We’ll find out about the hidden power of mushrooms with Ben.

Neal Fraser of RedbirdThe Careers through Culinary Arts Program’s (C-CAP) 2nd Annual Full Circle Dinner Benefit at Downtown Los Angeles’ Redbird with guest celebrity chefs preparing the meal is set for Thursday evening, April 25th with the Cocktail Reception in the spacious lower gardens at 6:00 p.m. and the multi-course, premium wine-paired, seated Dinner and Live Auction at 7:30 p.m. Chef Neal Fraser of Redbird is the Host Chef.

“Celebrating our C-CAP students and the wonderful chefs who mentor and inspire them, giving them the tools and experience they need to succeed and come Full Circle.”

The evening is hosted and coordinated by Chef Neal Fraser and featuring celebrated chefs Monti Carlo (Food Network personality,) Josiah Citrin (Openaire and Charcoal Venice,) Sandra Cordero (Gasolina,) Duff Goldman (Charm City Cakes,) C-CAP alumnus Anthony Greco (Lukshon & Father’s Office,) Kyle Johnson (Bourbon Steak), Antonia Lofaso (Scopa, Black Market and Dama), Nicole Rucker (Fiona,) C-CAP alumnus Dustin Trani (J. Trani’s Ristorante,) and more.

C-CAP L.A’s Director Lisa Fontanesi and Chef Neal join us for the salivating preview.

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeOur resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange, has some intriguing thoughts about the relationships between, music, musicians and wine.

Kyle is also part of a new weekly podcast featuring food & wine talk hosted by a former Rolling Stone writer and New York Times bestselling author

WINYL, the podcast, is hosted by journalist Anthony Bozza. It’s music & wine redefined.

Podcasts

Segment One: Cameron Smith, President, Kodiak Cakes, Park City, Utah
Segment Two: Benjamin Lillibridge, Founder & “Funguy,” Malama Mushrooms, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Segment Three: Redbird’s Chef / Proprietor Neal Fraser and C-CAP L.A’s Director, Lisa Fontanesi
Segment Four: Kyle Meyer, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana with a Preview of the WINYL Podcast Part One
Segment Five: Kyle Meyer, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana with a Preview of the WINYL Podcast Part Two

Show 261, February 17, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now an appetizing preview of this Saturday’s sinfully tempting 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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re always here with you live every Saturday with a fresh show.

Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food is a culinary tour of the original Disneyland park’s six lands packaged in an impressive coffee table-volume. Every attraction has a story, and so do many of the menu items. Disneyland’s food transports us as much as it satiates us, or as Walt declared, “The food is as fabulous as the fun, too.” We’ll meet author Marcy Carriker Smothers.

Los Olivos’ The Bear and Star, serving “Refined Ranch Cuisine” inspired by the Parker family at the eponymous Fess Parker Inn, continues their collaborative Chef’s Table Dinners with Chef Neal Fraser of Los Angeles’ Redbird on Sunday, February 25, 2018. The five-course tasting dinner championing Southern California restaurant talent, staged in the state-of-the-art Chef’s Room, blends products raised on the Parker ranch with inspiration from Los Angeles County. The Bear and Star’s Chef/Partner John Cox joins us with the enticing preview.

Chef/Proprietor Neal Fraser of Redbird then joins us to discuss the intimate Chef’s Table Dinner at Los Olivos’ The Bear and Star on Sunday, February 25th. Chef/Owner Neal Fraser and Owner/Operator Amy Knoll Fraser’s flagship restaurant Redbird features Modern American cuisine that is refined yet approachable and highlights the multi-cultural influences of Fraser’s native city – Los Angeles.

Our always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his “Ask the Chef” series. The New York Times had a thought-provoking piece by food journalist Karen Stabiner on the front page of their dedicated Food Section this week on February 14th. The issue contained in What to do When Laptops & Silence Take Over Your Café” is how does a café that wants to maintain a lively atmosphere handle customers who hang out there all day on their laptops (while buying little food & beverages) and use the establishment as their office. Chef Andrew weighs in on the debate.

New 2018 “Take Amtrak to Solvang” offer nets savings and specials at Hotels, Restaurants, Wine-Tasting, Museums and activities. Known as California’s Denmark, Solvang is 125 miles north of Los Angeles and 300 miles south of San Francisco and served via Amtrak Thruway Bus service connecting to trains from Los Angeles and Santa Barbara as well as San Luis Obispo six times daily (3 northbound, 3 southbound). The Amtrak bus stop is located in the heart of the village at Solvang Park, 1630 Mission Drive—within easy strolling distance to 16 hotels, 35 restaurants, 22 wine-tasting rooms, 150 boutique shops, 5 authentic Danish bakeries, 6 museums and many more activities. Solvang’s Media Relations Director Laura Kath is our guest.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

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