Show 337, August 17, 2019: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoOur always on the go Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of The Slapfish Restaurant Group,” joins us with another installment of “Ask the Chef.” Chef Andrew responds to your questions.

Chef Andrew discusses his fondness for fresh Hatch peppers from the Mesilla Valley in New Mexico. The short season is on right now.

These peppers are bound to the land and simply won’t grow correctly anywhere else. Hatch are thick, meaty and rich. They are often noted as the world’s tastiest peppers.

Play

Show 325, May 25, 2019: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host and Founder of Slapfish Restaurant Group – “Ask the Chef”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at the Fifth Anniversary of the SoCal Restaurant ShowOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group joins us with another informative “Ask the Chef” segment. He’s in Albuquerque, NM right now opening the 2nd Slapfish there. With the Summer grilling season on the horizon it’s great to have a real working chef in our corner always providing handy and practical advice!

Chef Andrew responds to a vexing tipping question. The issue is whether it’s appropriate to tip on the pre-tax check or the check with the sales tax added on. With the California sales tax now averaging 10 per cent in most areas this makes a difference on the total of the gratuity.

Play

Show 324, May 18, 2019: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host and Founder of Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoOur Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, the Founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, rejoins us from the road where he is in the process of opening 3 new Slapfish restaurants. We’re resuming Ask the Chef.”

Chef Andrew discusses what it’s like to take an established & successful American restaurant concept overseas. Does everything typically translate well?

How does the Slapfish concept adapt to local regions across the USA? Do tastes in seafood differ on the East Coast and in Utah and New Mexico? Is it important to adapt to the local area when branching a successful concept?

Play

Show 285, August 11, 2018: Robert Schueller, Mellissa’s “Prince of Produce”, Hatch Chile Season

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioHatch Chiles, grown only in the Hatch Valley and near the Rio Grande river of New Mexico, are considered by chile aficionados to be the best peppers in the world. Hatch is the premium growing area for New Mexico chiles. Hatch, New Mexico is not only the chile capital of the US but also of the World. Hatch Chiles have been growing in this region for over 135 years, developed by New Mexico State University.

The ultimate chile, these chiles are only available from New Mexico in a short, six- week window every year (between August and September.) Unusually Hatch Chiles are available in mild, medium, hot and extra hot varieties.

Aficionados generally buy the chiles in bulk by the case (typical case is 25 lbs.) and store the chiles in their freezers, assuring use of these chiles year-round. The chiles can be frozen, roasted up to 2 years. Freeze with or without roasted skin and seeds. The chiles tend to get warmer in heat when you freeze with veins and seeds before storage.

Hatch Chiles have a meaty flesh and mild-medium heat making them ideal for use in Chile Con Queso, Chile Rellenos, and Chile Verde. But it doesn’t just stop there. You can also try roasting and using them in salads, soups, stews, dips, and sandwiches. For even more great ideas on how to use this incredible chile, purchase a copy of the genuinely useful Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook.

Our resident produce authority, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, joins us with all the spicy details.

Play

Show 245, October 21, 2017: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish and Trade’s Two Birds & Butterleaf

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at the Fifth Anniversary of the SoCal Restaurant ShowCo-host, Chef Andrew Gruel, joins us from the road with an informative “Ask the Chef” segment.

Last week Anthony Bourdain of CNN’s “Parts Unknown” gave an exclusive interview to Business Insider with Chef Danny Bowien. Along the way Bourdain provided an epic rant on his dislike of Yelp! We’ll get Chef Andrew’s informed perspective from his own experience. He diligently responds to every Yelp! review.

Chef Andrew Gruel connects with us by phone this week after launching the first Slapfish in New Mexico in Albuquerque.

Play

Show 235, August 5, 2017: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Hatch Chile Season is on!

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioFor some seven short weeks the incredible Hatch Chiles from New Mexico are available fresh. Unusually they can be purchased in a range of heats from mild to hot.

It’s no secret why everyone is obsessed with Hatch Chiles. Named after the original growing area in Hatch, New Mexico, authentic Hatch Chiles are truly a Southwestern favorite. No other chile is prized more than this variety which grows in the Hatch Valley, just north of Las Cruces. The valley, which stretches along the Rio Grande’s southern-most bend before crossing into Texas and Mexico, is covered with row after row of these green leafy chile plants for most of the summer. Chefs say that the intense sunlight and cool nights in this valley result in a uniquely flavored chile that’s unrivaled by any other.

Hatch Chiles have a meaty flesh and mild-medium heat making them ideal for use in Chile Con Queso, Chile Rellenos, and Chile Verde. But it doesn’t just stop there. You can also try roasting and using them in salads, soups, stews, dips, and sandwiches. For even more great ideas on how to use this incredible chile, purchase a copy of Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook with over 150 unique, home-kitchen tested and classic Hatch Chile recipes.

Hatch chiles are so popular savvy folks load up each summer and freeze (in portioned freezer bags) enough roasted chiles to enjoy year-round.

Our resident produce guru, Robert Schuller of Melissa’s, steps away from the roaster to give us the piquant specifics.

Play

Show 224, May 20, 2017: Deborah Madison, Icon of Vegetarian Cuisine Part One

Deborah MadisonFrom perhaps the foremost authority on vegetarian cooking and one of the most trusted voices in food comes a carefully curated and updated collection of 100 favorite and most inspired recipes, reflecting how Deborah Madison loves to cook now. Her new book is In My Kitchen – A Collection of New and Favorite Vegetarian Recipes.

Deborah Madison’s newest book shares 100 beloved and innovative recipes from her vast repertoire, all pared down to the key ingredients needed to achieve delicious, nuanced flavor, with simplified preparations.

In My Kitchen is a vegetable-forward cookbook organized alphabetically and featuring recipes like Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Sunflower Sprouts; Fennel Shaved with Tarragon and Walnuts; and Olive Oil, Almond, and Blood Orange Cake. With dozens of tips for building onto, scaling back, and creating menus around, Deborah’s recipes have a modular quality that makes them particularly easy to use.

Deborah Madison, the founding chef of San Francisco’s popular Greens restaurant, is the author of nine highly regarded cookbooks. Deborah Madison’s The Savory Way, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and Local Flavors have all received James Beard Foundation Awards.

A cooking teacher for two decades, a contributor to many magazines, and long involved in the local food and farming movement, Madison is the recipient of many other awards, including the MFK Fisher Mid-Career Award.

We grab Deborah from her New Mexico garden for a chat.

Play

Show 184, August 13, 2016: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Hatch Chile Season

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioIt’s that most wonderful time of the year – Hatch Chile season! Grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico they are only available fresh for a few shorts weeks annually, now through mid-September.

Joining us for an informative update with all the Hatch Chile 411, including where to find sure-to-please recipes, is our resident Produce authority, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce. Let the roasting begin.

Harvested from fertile soil along the Rio Grande, Hatch Chiles thrive in the river valley’s combination of nutrient-rich soil, intense sunlight, and cool desert nights. The peppers develop thick walls and meaty, flavorful flesh unlike any other chile.

Because their growing season is short, Hatch Chiles are typically bought in bulk, roasted immediately, and frozen for use throughout the year. Nutritionally speaking, a single fresh medium-size green chile has as much Vitamin C as six oranges. Hot chile peppers are believed to burn calories by triggering a thermodynamic response in the body that speeds metabolism.

 

Play

Show 170, May 7, 2016: Proprietor / Executive Chef Arthur Gonzalez, Panxa Cocina, Long Beach

Arthur GonzalezPanxa Cocina in Long Beach recently celebrated its year anniversary. It’s located in the former Christy’s space on E. Broadway. Chef Arthur Gonzalez (ex-ROE Restaurant) is the Executive Chef and Co-Owner. It’s Santa Fe, New Mexico-style cuisine with rich, bold flavors and a lot of imagination. Chef Art is with us for the menu highlights.

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

Chef Gonzalez wanted to be a firefighter and started as a paid call firefighter at age 26, but due to a back injury, he discovered his passion for cooking in the firehouse kitchen. He then went on to Seal Beach restaurant, Spaghettini, as a dishwasher. This humble beginning for Chef gave him the opportunity to train in the kitchen. Two years after starting at Spaghettini, Chef Gonzalez was the pastry/sous chef at local legend Mahé before moving to New Mexico.

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

Vanessa and Chef came back to Southern California to work at McKenna’s On The Bay in Long Beach as Manager and Head Chef, respectively, with the goal of creating delicious, clean and simple food. Their success at McKenna’s led to the opening of seafood focused Roe on Second Street in Belmont Shore.

Deciding to try something new, Vanessa and Chef opened Panxa, inspired by their Southwestern roots, together creating a menu authentic to New Mexico and influenced by his family’s cooking throughout his childhood.

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

Play

Show 134, August 8, 2015: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

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

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

What’s new in ice cream ? (Sorry we just missed National Ice Cream Month…) Consider Manila Sky Ice Cream. This line of gourmet, sweet indulgences is a fusion of authentic Filipino inspired tropical ingredients combined with creamery fresh California milk. The flavors are bold. What started as a hobby for founder Anthony Reyes and his wife has grown (since 2012) into a viable business. What’s not to love about creamy ice cream? We’ll chill with Co-founder Anthony Reyes.

The raw oyster bar seems to be popping up as an attraction at a lot of restaurants these days including ones that offer very little seafood. It’s a trend…Satarist Jonathan Swift once wrote, “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.” There are three primary species of oysters that are commercially harvested domestically. Our own resident seafood expert, Chef Andrew Gruel, will provide some needed 411 on what every listener should know about these plump bivalves that now are seemingly on restaurant menus everywhere.

Hatch Chile season is upon us! Fresh Hatch Chiles, grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico, are available for just a few short weeks each year in August and September. Many connoisseurs consider them the world’s tastiest chiles.Melissa’s World Variety Produce has led the charge in popularizing the coveted Hatch Chiles and developing many great, easy-to-prepare recipes using them. Their Corporate Chef, Ida Rodriguez, joins us to discuss the joys of Hatch Chile season.

At the age of 15, Chef Brendan Collins quit secondary school to follow his dream and enroll in culinary school, where is was classically trained in French technique. By 17, the talented Nottingham native had his first job at London’s La Gavroche, a Michelin two-star restaurant. Today Collins is the Executive Chef and Proprietor of both Birch in Hollywood as well as the Executive Chef of The Corner Door in Culver City.

Sadly the 125 Anniversary run of the Orange County Fair (“One Big Party” concludes on Sunday, August 16th. The Concessionaire’s Cup Awards for OC Fair’s Finest Foods have been presented. We’ll talk with one of the Trophy Winners, Lori Southerland of Grant’s Tasti Burgers and Tasti Chips.

Our spirited friends at The Museum of The American Cocktail (MOTAC) are at it again. Their next Los Angeles presentation isSin and the Silver Screen: The Birth of Spirited Hollywood.” The date is Monday evening, August 17th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Hollywood’s preeminent English pub, The Pikey Café & Bar. Lesley Jacobs Solmonson & David Solmonson, the authors of The 12 Bottle Bar and publishers of 12bottlebar.com are the always entertaining presenters.

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

Play