Show 507, January 14, 2023: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host, with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel of Big Parm and the Calico Fish House

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel the Founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza), Two Birds and the soon to launch, full-service Calico Fish House (in Huntington Beach) provides another timely and informative Ask the Chef segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Calico Fish House will be officially opening later this month.

In the headlines this week is the sad news that Chef Rene Redzepi’s Noma in Copenhagen, one of the most acclaimed restaurants in the world, will close at the end of 2024 because the business model is unsustainable. In California Chef David Kinch’s Manresa, a 3-Star Michelin restaurant in Los Gatos shuttered after 20-years at the end of 2022. Is high-end, fine-dining perhaps endangered? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Chef Andrew and Lauren Gruel have a new fast casual concept, Burger 101, coming soon to the 2-level, Kitchen United complex on the 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica. It’s Chef Andrew’s version of a value-priced, honest burger (and loaded fries) using quality ingredients including a premium burger patty sourced from West Coast Prime Meats. He’ll also launch a casual Mexican concept there, Lolo’s Tacos, specializing in clean and simple tacos, burritos and standout specialty sauces.

January 14: Extraordinary Banana Pudding, Brianne Grajkowski, Ricardo Zarate, Sweet Carolina’s Macarons

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Toran Grays, Proprietor, Extraordinary Banana Pudding, Participant, Long Beach Black Restaurant Week
Segment Three: Brianne Grajkowski, food & lifestyle blogger with Cooking with Kids
Segment Four: Executive Chef Ricardo Zarate, Colibri Peruvian Cantina, Hollywood Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Ricardo Zarate, Colibri Peruvian Cantina, Hollywood Part Two
Segment Six: Sweet Carolina Macarons with Baker / Proprietress Carolina Larrea Part One
Segment Seven: Sweet Carolina Macarons with Baker / Proprietress Carolina Larrea Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host, with “Ask the Chef”

“The city-wide 2nd annual Long Beach Black Restaurant Week will take place January 22-29, 2023. Long Beach Black Restaurant Week will be an avenue to bring everyone to the table, from all walks of life, to showcase the city’s diverse Black food scene. Organized by Long Beach Food & Beverage, a California registered 501(c)3 non-profit, Long Black Restaurant Week is an eight day, city-wide event devoted to celebrating African, African American, and Caribbean fare in and around Long Beach. The event also seeks to highlight Black-owned food businesses as well as Black chefs and bartenders.” One of the participating gourmet specialty food products firms in Long Beach Black Restaurant Week is Extraordinary Banana Pudding founded by Toran Grays in La Mesa in 2020. In October of 2021 Toran opened his 2nd Extraordinary Banana Pudding shop on Long Beach Blvd. We’ll meet him.

Brianne Grajkowski’s Cooking with Kids – Fun, Easy, Approachable Recipes to help Teach Kids How to Cook is, perhaps, the ultimate kids’ cookbook for parents to get their children involved in the kitchen. This must-have book features 101 fun, approachable, carefully chosen and easy recipes that will teach kids how to cook simple dishes and drinks for every meal of the day. From smoothies and savory Hawaiian waffles to a salami grilled cheese, chicken quesadillas, pumpkin cheesecake bites, sweet potato fries, and so much more, each kid-friendly recipe includes easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, helpful visuals, and engaging photography that will help them grow in the kitchen as they learn to use different kitchen utensils and tools.” Brianne Grajkowski is our guest with kid-safe knife in hand.

L.A.’s favorite Peruvian chef, Chef Ricardo Zarate (Causita) is now in Hollywood (in the former Los Balcones space on Vine Street) with the Colibri Peruvian Cantina Pop-Up. “It’s his sophisticated take on rustic Peruvian cuisine highlighting how it balances the opposites of hot and cold, acid and starch, and bright, colorful spices and flavors with mellower ones. Peru’s culinary heritage is incredibly diverse, melding together ingredients and techniques from Africa, Europe and East Asia, and Chef Ricardo celebrates this mélange of global flavors at Colibri Pop-Up.” There is also a menu of intriguing hand-crafted cocktails including the Chica Sour with pisco, Peruvian purple corn, lime, egg white, simple syrup and Angostura Bitters. It’s Dinner only. Chef Ricardo Zarate takes a break from his busy Colibri Kitchen to join us.

Our always on-the-go Social Media and Website Guru, Adam Bell, gets around town and is on the hunt for good food. He was fortunate enough to be invited to the premier party in Hollywood for HBO MAX’s Season Two of the acclaimed series, “The White Lotus.” Adam enjoyed the festivities (almost as good as a stay in Sicily) but as a foodie in good-standing what made the biggest impression with him was the gift box of French macarons from Sweet Carolina Macarons. Further research was then absolutely in order. The creator of Sweet Carolina Macarons is Carolina Larrea a graphic artist turned artisan baker. After the recovery from COVID she wanted to try something new and had been a serious home baker. Her flavors are Strawberries and Cream, Lemon Granache, Chocolate Granache and Chocolate Ganache with a Dulce de Leche heart. Baker Carolina Larrea continues as our guest.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel the Founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza), Two Birds and the soon to launch, full-service Calico Fish House (in Huntington Beach) provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. In the headlines this week is that Chef Rene Redzepi’s Noma in Copenhagen, one of the most acclaimed restaurants in the world, will close at the end of 2024 because the business model is unsustainable. In California Chef David Kinch’s Manresa, a 3-Star Michelin restaurant in Los Gatos, shuttered at the end of 2022. Is high-end fine-dining perhaps endangered? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

Toran Grays of Extraordinary Banana Pudding

“The city-wide 2nd annual Long Beach Black Restaurant Week will take place January 22-29, 2023. Long Beach Black Restaurant Week will be an avenue to bring everyone to the table, from all walks of life, to showcase the city’s diverse Black food scene. Organized by Long Beach Food & Beverage, a California registered 501(c)3 non-profit, Long Black Restaurant Week is an eight day, city-wide event devoted to celebrating African, African American, and Caribbean fare in and around Long Beach. The event also seeks to highlight Black-owned food businesses as well as Black chefs and bartenders.”

One of the participating gourmet specialty food entities in Long Beach Black Restaurant Week is Extraordinary Banana Pudding founded by Toran Grays in La Mesa In 2020. The original recipe was created by Toran’s great-grandmother and passed down by the women in his Family. In October of 2021 Toran opened his 2nd Extraordinary Banana Pudding retail store on Long Beach Blvd. We’ll meet him. Extraordinary Banana Pudding serves some 30 varieties of Banana Pudding along with Pudding Tacos, Pudding-Filled Cupcakes and even a Pudding Sandwich.

Momprenuer Brianne Grajkowski

Brianne Grajkowski’s Cooking with Kids – Fun, Easy, Approachable Recipes to help Teach Kids How to Cook is, perhaps, the ultimate kids’ cookbook for parents to get their children involved in the kitchen. This must-have book features 101 fun, approachable, carefully chosen and easy recipes that will teach kids how to cook simple dishes and drinks for every meal of the day. From smoothies and savory Hawaiian waffles to a salami grilled cheese, chicken quesadillas, pumpkin cheesecake bites, sweet potato fries, and so much more, each kid-friendly recipe includes easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, helpful visuals, and engaging photography that will help them grow in the kitchen as they learn to use different kitchen utensils and tools.”

“Have a blast as you supervise and bond with your child while they grow their basic cooking skills and make delicious meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and beyond with Cooking with Kids!”

Brianne Grajkowski is our guest with kid-safe knife in hand.

Brianne Grajkowski is a food and lifestyle blogger behind the site BriGeeski.com. A mom of two who is known for creating fun and easy recipes she makes with her kids, Brianne is also an artist, creative entrepreneur, graphic designer, and adventure seeker who shares everyday recipes, travel ideas, things to do in San Diego, and life as a mompreneur.”

To learn more about Brianne, visit her website or follow her on social media.

Chef Ricardo Zarate

L.A.’s favorite Peruvian chef, Chef Ricardo Zarate (Causita) is now in Hollywood (in the former Los Balcones space on Vine Street) with the Colibri Peruvian Cantina Pop-Up. “It’s his sophisticated take on rustic Peruvian cuisine highlighting how it balances the opposites of hot and cold, acid and starch, and bright, colorful spices and flavors with mellower ones. Peru’s culinary heritage is incredibly diverse, melding together ingredients and techniques from Africa, Europe and East Asia, and Chef Ricardo celebrates this mélange of global flavors at Colibri Pop-Up.” There is also a menu of intriguing hand-crafted cocktails including the Chica Sour with pisco, Peruvian purple corn, lime, egg white, simple syrup and Angostura Bitters. It’s Dinner only.

Standout dishes include Ceviche Mixto with crispy calamari, sea bass, shrimp, leche de tigre, sweet potato, choclo and fried corn, and Tallarines Verdes with house made tagliatelle pasta, Peruvian pesto, sauteed king mushrooms and parmesan. For dessert there is Fried Churro Balls with caramel and Berry Sauce. It’s Dinner only.

Chef Ricardo Zarate takes a break from his busy Colibri Kitchen to join us.

Carolina Larrea of Sweet Carolina Macarons

Our always on-the-go Social Media and Website Guru, Adam Bell, gets around town and has his eyes out seeking good food. He was fortunate enough to be invited to the premier party in Hollywood for HBO MAX’s Season Two of the acclaimed series, The White Lotus.” Adam enjoyed the festivities (almost as good as a stay in Sicily) but as a foodie in good-standing what made the biggest impression with him was the gift box of standout French macarons from Sweet Carolina Macarons. Further research was then absolutely in order.

Macarons are a French pastry popularized in the United States by Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery. It’s a decadent meringue-based confection made with egg white, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond meal, and food coloring. The belief is that it first arrived in France from the Italian-born chef of Catherine de Medici.

The creator of Sweet Carolina Macarons is Carolina Larrea a graphic artist turned artisan baker. After COVID she wanted to try something new and had been a serious home baker all along. Her flavors are Strawberries and Cream, Lemon Granache, Chocolate Granache and Chocolate Ganache with a Dulce de Leche heart.

We’ll meet Carolina Larrea with rolling pin firmly in hand.

Chef Andrew Gruel of Big Parm and the Calico Fish House

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel the Founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza), Two Birds and the soon to launch, full-service Calico Fish House (in Huntington Beach) provides another timely and informative Ask the Chef segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries.

In the headlines this week is the sad news that Chef Rene Redzepi’s Noma in Copenhagen, one of the most acclaimed restaurants in the world, will close at the end of 2024 because the business model is unsustainable. In California Chef David Kinch’s Manresa, a 3-Star Michelin restaurant in Los Gatos shuttered after 20-years at the end of 2022. Is high-end, fine-dining perhaps endangered? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Toran Grays, Proprietor, Extraordinary Banana Pudding, Participant, Long Beach Black Restaurant Week
Segment Three: Brianne Grajkowski, food & lifestyle blogger with Cooking with Kids
Segment Four: Executive Chef Ricardo Zarate, Colibri Peruvian Cantina, Hollywood Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Ricardo Zarate, Colibri Peruvian Cantina, Hollywood Part Two
Segment Six: Sweet Carolina Macarons with Baker / Proprietress Carolina Larrea Part One
Segment Seven: Sweet Carolina Macarons with Baker / Proprietress Carolina Larrea Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host, with “Ask the Chef”

Show 506, January 7, 2023: Executive Chef Justin Werner, Trust Kitchen DTSA and Trust Dinner Party, Santa Ana

Justin Werner of Trust Kitchen

“The intimate, 18-seat Trust Kitchen in downtown Santa Ana is where Chef Justin Werner hosts themed tasting events, generally at least 12 food offerings, each paired by sommelier Jason Scarborough. Seating is limited and reservations are required.” It’s a Chef’s Table experience truly like no other. Upcoming Trust Events are listed as a calendar on their website. There are also Trust Lite evenings as well as special guest chefs and ingredient themed evenings. “Just come in, sit down and let us take you on an adventure”

Yelp has named Trust one of its Top 100 US Restaurants for 2023.

“As part of his visiting Guest Chef series Justin has invited long- time friend and former co-chef from Colicchio and Sons, Gabriel Pascuzzi on Saturday, January 14th. Gabriel owns three successful restaurants in Portland Oregon. The two chefs reconnected after Gabriel’s appearance on Top Chef Season 18 to host a dinner together in Portland. It’s a mashup of New York, Portland, and Orange County flavors. $275 per person, food, wine pairings, tax, and gratuity included.” The 6 p.m. seating has a few seats available. 8:30 p.m. is sold out.

“Chef Justin is New York raised and cut his culinary chops in some of Manhattan’s top-tier restaurants. He spent half a decade working at Craft for Tom Colicchio, followed by a couple of years at Thomas Keller’s Per Se before moving on to Corton where he maintained two Michelin stars as a Sous Chef for Paul Liebrandt. After winning an episode of the hit Food Network show Chopped, he used his winnings to travel to Copenhagen to intern at Noma while it was rated as the best restaurant in the world.

Upon moving back to America, he came to Orange County to work alongside Chef Jason Quinn in Playground 2.0. He then launched the critically acclaimed Porch & Swing (Orange Coast’s Restaurant of the Year) in Irvine as executive chef. When Chef Jason decided it was time for him to develop a new project, he asked Justin to come back and take the helm at Playground 2.0, which was renamed the Trust Kitchen.””

Chef Justin takes a break from his preparations in the Trust Dinner Party kitchen to join us.

Show 197, November 12, 2016: Chef Vincenzo Loseto, The Nomad, Ment’or BKB Foundation’s 2016 Young Chef Competition Winner

Vincenso Loseto of Team USA at the BOcuse D'orThe Ment’or BKB Foundation (founded by Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and Jerome Bocuse) supports Team USA at the Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition and mentors up-and-coming culinary talent in the USA. Earlier this year Chef Vincenzo Loseto of The Nomad in New York won the prestigious honors as the 2016 Young Chef. He’s been on quite a ride since then. We’ll meet him.

Vincenzo’s winning presentation was Veal Tenderloin with Oyster Mushroom and Herb Mousseline. The judges included Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, Jerome Bocuse and Team USA 2015 alum, Chef Philip Tessier.

Since then Chef Vincenzo has staged at Noma in Copenhagen, one of the World’s most acclaimed restaurants. He was also just with Team USA in Lyon in advance of the 2017 Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition. Currently he’s assisting Team USA 2017 (Chef Mathew Peters and Commis Harrison Turone) in the intense training for the upcoming competition in the USA replica kitchen suite of the Bocuse d’Or in Yountville.

Chef Vincenzo will also preview the Bocuse d’Or 2017 Team USA VIP Experience. There is the extraordinary opportunity for discriminating food tourists to accompany Team USA to the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon with VIP status at every stop. Talk about the ultimate gift for a very special foodie…

Show 172, May 21, 2016: Chef Daniel Burns, Torst and Luksus, Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Daniel BurnsFood & Beer is a newly published, 60-recipe book from an internationally acclaimed chef/brewer duo dedicated to elevating and pairing beer with high-end dining. The debut book by Danish gypsy brewer Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø of the bar Tørst, and Canadian chef Daniel Burns of the Michelin-starred restaurant Luksus—both in a shared space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn where they elevate beer to the level of wine in fine dining. Chef Burns is with us to tap the keg on this unusual reference book.

With a dialogue running throughout the book, Food & Beer examines the vision and philosophy of this duo at the forefront of a new gastronomic movement. With a stunning, bold aesthetic, the design will highlight the dual visions of the authors and the spaces—Tørst, which is more rustic and relaxed, and Luksus, which is more sleek and refined.

The Foreword is by internationally renowned chef René Redzepi, co-owner of Noma, Copenhagen, the Number 3 ranked restaurant in the world.

“The chance meeting of two remarkable individuals. One of the best brewers in a generation of greats, with a good sense of business and fresh attitude, and the other a creative, driven chef with crazy food work ethics. But it also signified the start of a new style of restaurant, a place in which light, creative cooking, Michelin-star-worthy stuff, was at home with beer. I’m pretty sure that individually both would’ve succeeded in their own right-Jeppe creating great brews, and Daniel with a Michelin star or two doing something else-but together I believe they’ve created something truly special. Something new.” —René Redzepi (from his foreword).

Show 8: December 1, 2012: Jason Kessler of Food Republic and Bon Appetit Part One

Jason spent his Thanksgiving at the inaugural Margaret River Gourmet Escape in Western Australia. Some of the biggest names in international celebrity chefdom were there including Rene Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen consistently rated as the number one restaurant in the World and David Chang of the New York-based Momofuku restaurant empire who now has a restaurant in Sydney.

The VIP Opening Night Party was held on the sand at Smith Beach with a backdrop of rolling waves.

December 1: Five Crowns, Guelaguetza, Food Republic

Podcasts

Segment One: Executive Chef Greg Harrison and General Manager Jim Colombo of the iconic Five Crowns & SideDoor in Corona del Mar.
Segment Two: Executive Chef Greg Harrison and General Manager Jim Colombo Part Two
Segment Three: Bricia Lopez of the Guelaguetza Restaurants in K-Town and Plaza Mexico in Lynwood
Segment Four: Jason Kessler – Los Angeles-based food writer for Food Republic and his column for the online version of Bon Appetit Magazine is the “Nitpicker.”
Segment Five: Jason Kessler Part Two
Segment Six: Jason Kessler Part Three

It’s the first Saturday in December and abundant Holiday Cheer will be with us for the month.

Joining Jet in studio will be Chef Greg Harrison, the accomplished new exec at the iconic, 48-year old  Five Crowns in Corona del Mar. The Holidays are always a special time of celebration at Five Crowns and Chef Greg will be telling us about his new touches added to the traditional festivities.

Five Crowns has always been the establishment of choice to celebrate special occasions and still is. Since Chef Greg’s arrival he’s enhanced the menu to retain the signature classics while offering an updated selection of more contemporary dishes.

Lopez Family of Guelaguetza Restaurants and Plaza MexicoWhen you’re talking about the Mexican regional cuisine of Oaxaca no one does it better than the Lopez Family behind the two very popular Guelaguetza restaurants in Los Angeles and in the Plaza Mexico in Lynwood.

Lopez Family scion, Bricia, will be joining us to provide the basic 411 on Tequila and Mezcal (which originated in Oaxaca.)

Who’s that for Holiday cheer?

Jason Kessler, blogger extraordinaire for Food Republic and also the “Nitpicker” for Bon Appetit Magazine’s blog, is with us to report on his just completed adventure at the Margaret River Gourmet Escape in Western Australia. The remote area started as a surf spot and then developed into a world class wine region.

That weekend he rubbed shoulders with some of the most accomplished chefs in the world including Rene Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen (regarded by many restaurant critics as the Number One restaurant in the world,) and New York-based David Chang of Momofuku fame. Jason also got to chat with Australian star chefs Tetsuya Wakada (Tetsuya’s,) Neil Perry (Rockpool,) and Peter Gilmore (Quay,) all Sydney-based.

Podcasts

Segment One: Executive Chef Greg Harrison and General Manager Jim Colombo of the iconic Five Crowns & SideDoor in Corona del Mar.
Segment Two: Executive Chef Greg Harrison and General Manager Jim Colombo Part Two
Segment Three: Bricia Lopez of the Guelaguetza Restaurants in K-Town and Plaza Mexico in Lynwood
Segment Four: Jason Kessler – Los Angeles-based food writer for Food Republic and his column for the online version of Bon Appetit Magazine is the “Nitpicker.”
Segment Five: Jason Kessler Part Two
Segment Six: Jason Kessler Part Three