Show 370, April 25, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

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 range of services restaurants can now provide to their guests. Creativity and adaptability are at the forefront. We’re keeping it upbeat…

Chefs and restaurateurs are the most generous people I 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 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 encouragement of the foodie community.

“While the California Restaurant Association Foundation has been around for more than three decades, the inspiration for Restaurants Care came just a few years ago in 2015. Jose, a cook in Sacramento, was struck in a hit and run on his way home after a late-night shift. He suffered a broken back, amongst other life-threatening injuries.

The restaurant community came together and raised money to support Jose while he recovered. At that moment, The CRA Foundation knew that something bigger had to happen. Restaurants Care was created to take care of the most vulnerable in our industry.” Such is the case during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. We’ll get all the details from Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of the CRA Foundation.

Philippe’s (Philippe The Original) in Downtown Los Angeles has reopened for takeout and delivery with French Dips, sides and desserts, as well as beer and wine, available to go. Guests can now call the restaurant or order online via ChowNow to place an order for pickup. Delivery options are available from Postmates. Manager & Partner Andrew Binder provides all the juicy details.

The Pantry at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, located at 1200 South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, reopened Wednesday, April 1 for daily takeout service from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. during the COVID-19 crisis.

Guests may call ahead (949.339.3027) to order breakfast, lunch or dinner and pick-up at The Pantry’s front door entrance where polite social distancing is observed. Food prices range from $7 – $15. Restaurateur Russ Bendel assumed ownership of the landmark property in March from Sapphire’s founder-proprietor, chef, Azmin Ghahreman, CEO of Sapphire Culinary Group. Restaurateur Russ Bendel is our guest.

Back in February, the Clink Different – Experience the Wines of Europe evening was hosted at The NoMad Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. It was a walk-around tasting for wine and lifestyle journalists with four flights of unusual wines from Bordeaux and Wines of Germany followed by a multi-course wine paired dinner. The European wines featured were hand-selected by Ryan Bailey, the accomplished Wine Director for NoMad Los Angeles. Sommelier Ryan artfully pulls the cork on Clink Different for us.

El Cholo is L.A.’s very first surviving Mexican restaurant. Since opening its doors in 1923, El Cholo has operated as a family-owned business and today, the restaurants are run by Ron Salisbury, grandson of the founders. The legacy at El Cholo lies in its commitment to quality ingredients, long family history, loyal employees (some with the restaurants nearly 40 years) and their devoted and loyal clientele. Through prohibition, the L.A. Riots, true Hollywood glamour and into the 2000’s, El Cholo continues to bring back fond memories for their guests and create new ones.” Family patriarch Ron Salisbury (with 66 years of hands-on Hospitality Business experience) is our guest.

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. Also some genuinely useful tips for cooking at home. Herbs add a lot of flavor to home cooking. 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 370, April 25, 2020: Restaurateur Russ Bendel – Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach Part One

Russ Bendel of Ironwood, Olea and VIneThe Pantry at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, located at 1200 South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, reopened Wednesday, April 1 for daily takeout service from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. during the COVID-19 crisis.

Dinner has just been added. Guests may call ahead (949.339.3027) to order breakfast, lunch and dinner and pick-up at The Pantry’s front door entrance where social distancing is observed. Food prices range from $7 – $15.

Two breakfast favorites, with vegetarian options, as well as house-made pastries and coffee beverages are available. Lunch offerings include an entrée garden herb salad, Wagyu beef burger and a Jidori confit chicken sandwich, both come with hand-cut herb fries. Beverage selections are fresh brewed iced tea, bottled water, soft drinks, bottled beer and craft cocktails packaged in Mason jars for $10. Think a variety of options for Mother’s Day Family meals, too.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel assumed ownership of the landmark property in March from Sapphire’s founder-proprietor, chef, Azmin Ghahreman, CEO of Sapphire Culinary Group. Bendel, with chef-partner Jared Cook, operate Vine in San Clemente, Ironwood in Laguna Hills and Olea in Newport Beach.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel is our guest.

Play

Show 370, April 25, 2020: Restaurateur Russ Bendel – Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach Part Two

Russ Bendel of Ironwood, Olea and VIneThe Pantry at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, located at 1200 South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, reopened Wednesday, April 1 for daily takeout service from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. during the COVID-19 crisis.

Guests may call ahead (949.339.3027) to order breakfast, lunch or dinner and pick-up at The Pantry’s front door entrance where social distancing is observed. Food prices range from $7 – $15.

Think Breakfast Sandwich with house-made sausage, applewood bacon, cage-free egg, smoked gouda, cracked pepper aioli on a toasted challah bun or Jidori Chicken Confit Sandwich with house pickles, garlic dill aioli, on a potato roll with hand-cut herb fries.

Keep in mind a variety of creative Family Meal options for Mother’s Day.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel assumed ownership of the landmark property in March from Sapphire’s founder-proprietor, chef, Azmin Ghahreman, CEO of Sapphire Culinary Group. Bendel, with chef-partner Jared Cook, operate Vine in San Clemente, Ironwood in Laguna Hills and Olea in Newport Beach.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel continues.

Play

April 25: Restaurants Care, Philippe The Original, Russ Bendel, Clink Different, Ron Salisbury

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director, The CRA Foundation, for Restaurants Care
Segment Three: Manager & Partner Andrew Binder, Philippe The Original
Segment Four: Restaurateur Russ Bendel – Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach Part One
Segment Five: Restaurateur Russ Bendel – Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Sommelier Ryan Bailey, Wine Director, NoMad Los Angeles on “Clink Different”
Segment Seven: Restaurateur Ron Salisbury – El Cholo Family of Restaurants
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group 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 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 I 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 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 encouragement of the foodie community.

“While the California Restaurant Association Foundation has been around for more than three decades, the inspiration for Restaurants Care came just a few years ago in 2015. Jose, a cook in Sacramento, was struck in a hit and run on his way home after a late-night shift. He suffered a broken back, amongst other life-threatening injuries. The restaurant community came together and raised money to support Jose while he recovered. At that moment, The CRA Foundation knew that something bigger had to happen. Restaurants Care was created to take care of the most vulnerable in our industry. Such is the case during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. We’ll get all the details from Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of the CRA Foundation.

Philippe’s (Philippe The Original) in Downtown Los Angeles has reopened for takeout and delivery with French Dips, sides and desserts, as well as beer and wine, available to go. Guests can now call the restaurant or order online via ChowNow to place an order for pickup. Delivery options are available from Postmates. Manager & Partner Andrew Binder provides all the juicy details.

The Pantry at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, located at 1200 South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, reopened Wednesday, April 1 for daily takeout service from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. during the COVID-19 crisis. Guests may call ahead (949.339.3027) to order breakfast or lunch and pick-up at The Pantry’s front door entrance where polite social distancing is observed. Food prices range from $7 – $15. Restaurateur Russ Bendel assumed ownership of the landmark property in March from Sapphire’s founder-proprietor, chef, Azmin Ghahreman, CEO of Sapphire Culinary Group. Restaurateur Russ Bendel is our guest.

Back in February, the Clink Different – Experience the Wines of Europe evening was hosted at The NoMad Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. It was a walk-around tasting for wine and lifestyle journalists with four flights of unusual wines Bordeaux and Wines of Germany followed by a multi-course wine paired dinner. The European wines featured were hand-selected by Ryan Bailey, the accomplished Wine Director for NoMad Los Angeles. Sommelier Ryan artfully pulls the cork on Clink Different for us.

“El Cholo is L.A.’s very first surviving Mexican restaurant. Since first opening its doors in 1923, El Cholo has operated as a family-owned business and today, the restaurants are run by Ron Salisbury, grandson of the founders. The legacy at El Cholo lies in its commitment to quality ingredients, long family history, loyal employees (some with the restaurants nearly 40 years) and their devoted and loyal clientele. Through prohibition, the L.A. Riots, true Hollywood glamour and into the 2000’s, El Cholo continues to bring back fond memories for their guests and create new ones.” Family patriarch Ron Salisbury (with 66 years of hands-on Hospitality Business experience) is our guest.

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. Also some genuinely useful tips for cooking at home. 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!

Alycia Harshfield of the California Restaaurant Association“While The California Restaurant Association Foundation has been around for more than three decades, the inspiration for Restaurants Care came just a few years ago in 2015. Jose, a cook in Sacramento, was struck in a hit and run on his way home after a late-night shift. He suffered a broken back, amongst other life-threatening injuries. The doctors at UC Davis Medical Center didn’t expect him to live.”

“The restaurant community came together and raised money to support Jose while he recovered. At that moment, The CRA Foundation knew that something bigger had to happen. Restaurants Care was created to take care of the most vulnerable in the hospitality industry in California.”

“At present, due to The Foundation’s current resources, Restaurants Care grants are focused on restaurant workers who are diagnosed with coronavirus or those who have been quarantined with a Doctor’s note.”

We’ll get all the details from Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of the CRA Foundation.

Andrew Binder of Phillipe's the OriginalPhilippe’s (Philippe The Original) in Downtown Los Angeles has reopened for takeout and delivery with French Dips, sides and desserts, as well as beer and wine, available to go. Guests can now call the restaurant or order online via ChowNow to place an order for pickup. Delivery options are available from Postmates.”

“Walk-in takeout orders can also be placed. Patrons can wait for their orders in the parking lot where safe social distancing practices are politely enforced.”

“All six of Philippe’s French Dips are on the takeout and delivery menus available from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. That includes Beef, Pork, Lamb, Turkey, Pastrami or Ham on a freshly baked French Roll single-dipped, double-dipped or wet with au jus. Swiss, American, Jack, Bleu or Cheddar cheese can be added.”

“Available sides on the limited menu include, Potato and Macaroni Salad, Coleslaw, Pickled Eggs, Beets, Stew, Chili, salad and a variety of desserts from brownies to cheesecake.”

“No breakfast will be available until the restaurant resumes dine-in service after the statewide orders due to the COVID-19 outbreak end or are lifted.”

Manager & Partner Andrew Binder provides all the juicy details. Andrew represents the 4th generation of proud Binder Family ownership.

Russ Bendel of Ironwood, Olea and VIneThe Pantry at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, located at 1200 South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, reopened Wednesday, April 1 for daily takeout service from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. during the COVID-19 crisis.

Guests may call ahead (949.339.3027) to order breakfast or lunch and pick-up at The Pantry’s front door entrance where social distancing is observed. Food prices range from $7 – $15.

Two breakfast favorites, with vegetarian options, as well as house-made pastries and coffee beverages are available. Lunch offerings include an entrée garden herb salad, Wagyu beef burger and a Jidori confit chicken sandwich, both come with hand-cut herb fries. Beverage selections are fresh brewed iced tea, bottled water, soft drinks, bottled beer and craft cocktails packaged in Mason jars for $10.

Think Breakfast Sandwich with house-made sausage, applewood bacon, cage-free egg, smoked gouda, cracked pepper aioli on a toasted challah bun or Jidori Chicken Confit Sandwich with house pickles, garlic dill aioli, on a potato roll with hand-cut herb fries.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel assumed ownership of the landmark property in March from Sapphire’s founder-proprietor, chef, Azmin Ghahreman, CEO of Sapphire Culinary Group. Bendel, with chef-partner Jared Cook, operate Vine in San Clemente, Ironwood in Laguna Hills and Olea in Newport Beach.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel is our guest.

Ryan Bailey of the NoMad HotelBack in February, the Clink Different – Experience the Wines of Europe evening was hosted at The NoMad Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. It was a walk-around tasting for wine and lifestyle journalists with four flights of unusual wines Bordeaux and Wines of Germany followed by a multi-course wine paired dinner. The European wines were hand-selected by Ryan Bailey, the accomplished Wine Director for NoMad Los Angeles.

Ryan Bailey, a Sonoma County transplant, started his hospitality career while in high school at one of Sonoma’s best restaurants, The General’s Daughter. In 2013 Ryan joined the team at NoMad in New York City, and quickly advanced to the position of Head Sommelier. Ryan now leads the Los Angeles wine team as Wine Director and curates NoMad’s expansive wine and beer program.

Sommelier Ryan artfully pulls the cork on Clink Different for us.

Ron SalisburyEl Cholo is L.A.’s very first surviving Mexican restaurant. Since first opening its doors in 1923, El Cholo has operated as a family-owned business and today, the restaurants are run by Ron Salisbury, grandson of the founders. The legacy at El Cholo lies in its commitment to quality ingredients, long family history, loyal employees (some with us nearly 40 years) and their devoted and loyal clientele. Through prohibition, the L.A. Riots, true Hollywood glamour and into the 2000’s, El Cholo continues to bring back memories for their guests and create new ones.”

Also part of the El Cholo Family of restaurants is The Cannery Seafood of the Pacific and Louie’s By The Bay both in Newport Beach.

Family patriarch Ron Salisbury (with 66 years of hands-on Hospitality Business experience) is our guest.

Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur 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.

Chef Andrew also provides an extra helping of some timely cooking tips for preparing satisfying meals at home.

We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director, The CRA Foundation, for Restaurants Care
Segment Three: Manager & Partner Andrew Binder, Philippe The Original
Segment Four: Restaurateur Russ Bendel – Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach Part One
Segment Five: Restaurateur Russ Bendel – Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Sommelier Ryan Bailey, Wine Director, NoMad Los Angeles on “Clink Different”
Segment Seven: Restaurateur Ron Salisbury – El Cholo Family of Restaurants
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 350, December 7, 2019: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now an incredibly appetizing preview of this Saturday’s scrumptious show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will hopefully 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. Truly couldn’t do it without you.

Thinking about buying a bottle of French Champagne as a gift or for the festive Holiday Table? Our resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange, joins us with selection tips from an expert that, happily, won’t break the bank. Orange Wine is a new topic of conversation among wine aficionados. Kyle provides the needed overview.

Between the two of them our resident Meatheads from West Coast Prime Meats, Terry Hanks and Jay Henderson, have decades of practical experience with center plate proteins. They are both avid home cooks, too. Terry and Jay join us with some genuinely useful Holiday cooking tips for that special holiday goose and roasted meats.

Cheesecake! The Emmy award winning show The Golden Girls made eating cheesecake a nightly ritual on the hit television series.  The pastry chef who made those luscious and delicious cheesecakes and many other foods for hit sitcoms is George Geary. Now Geary has expanded his cheesecake repertoire even more with the eagerly anticipated 2nd Edition of The Cheesecake Bible: 300 Sweet & Savory Recipes for Cakes and More.  Chef George is our guest with decadent ideas for the best in holiday cheesecakes and pro’s tips for stress-free holiday baking.

In the age of video chats and filtered “selfies”, sometimes real, human connection seems harder to come by, but it remains an important part of living a satisfying life. Eat, Laugh, Talk: The Family Dinner Playbook emerges from the brains behind The Family Dinner Project, a Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Academy-affiliated nonprofit that notes the profound impact that a fun family meal can have on the spirit, brain, and health of all family members. Co-authors (there are five) Brianne DeRosa and Shelly London join us to set the table.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel (and partners) are the respected operators of Ironwood (Laguna Hills), Olea (Newport Beach) and Vine (San Clemente) in Orange County. Russ was awarded Restaurateur of the Year honors at this year’s Golden Foodie Awards. Ironwood has a new lounge. Russ joins us with Chef-Partner Jared Cook to chat about the Holiday menus at Ironwood, Olea & Vine.

Play

Show 350, December 7, 2019: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Chef-Partner Jared Cook – Ironwood, Olea & Vine Part One

Chef Jared CookRestaurateur Russ Bendel (and partners) are the respected operators of Ironwood (Laguna Hills), Olea (Newport Beach) and Vine (San Clemente) in Orange County. Russ was awarded Restaurateur of the Year honors at this year’s Golden Foodie Awards. Ironwood has a new lounge. Russ joins us with Chef-Partner Jared Cook to chat about the Holiday menus at Ironwood, Olea & Vine.

Ironwood features a full bar, open kitchen, and an enclosed outdoor heated patio with views of the Saddleback Mountains. It offers South Orange County residents a fine dining night out with a complete food and wine experience.”

“OLEA, named for a genus of trees that flourish in warm and tropical regions, is a European twist on the Napa/Sonoma-inspired cuisine and spirits at Vine, the restaurant Bendel assumed ownership of seven years ago.” The restaurant is characterized as Wine Country Cuisine at a chef-driven American bistro.

VINE is an all-encompassing Wine Country dining experience, a full bar, featuring craft cocktails, Open Kitchen, and a Semi-Private Dining table in our Wine Room. It offers South Orange County residents a fine dining night out with a complete food and wine experience.

VINE highlights Wine Country Cuisine influenced by the Napa Valley and other notable wine producing regions. In addition, the wine selection includes more than 100 bottles – more than 25 of which are available by the glass.”

Play

Show 350, December 7, 2019: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Chef-Partner Jared Cook – Ironwood, Olea & Vine Part Two

Russ Bendel of Ironwood, Olea and VIneRestaurateur Russ Bendel (and partners) are the respected operators of Ironwood (Laguna Hills), Olea (Newport Beach) and Vine (San Clemente) in Orange County. Russ was awarded Restaurateur of the Year honors at this year’s Golden Foodie Awards. Ironwood has a new lounge.

Russ Bendel was born and raised in Philadelphia and relocated with his mother, father, and sister to California when he was a child. Russ grew up in the restaurant industry and always knew it was in his blood at an early age.

He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from The Collins College at Cal Poly Pomona with an emphasis on Restaurants and Business Management. During that time, Russ worked with Bloomin Brands Restaurant Group for 15 years, six years with Outback Steakhouse and nine years with Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. He was promoted to partner of the flagship Newport Beach location at the age of 25, youngest ever in company history.

Chef-Partner Jared Cook was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. After graduating from Western Culinary Institute in Portland Oregon, he relocated to Southern California. Since then Jared worked in restaurants such as French 75 in Laguna Beach, Chat Noir in Costa Mesa, and was promoted to Executive Chef at the Crow Bar and Kitchen, in addition to working at Vine Restaurant & Bar for the third time as a Cook, Sous Chef, and now Executive Chef.

Russ again joins us with Chef-Partner Jared Cook to continue their chat about the Holiday menus at Ironwood, Olea & Vine.

 

Play

December 7: Wine Exchange, West Coast Prime Meats, George Geary, The Family Dinner Project, Russ Bendel and Jared Cook

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Wine Authority Kyle Meyer, Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange, with Champagne Buying Advice
Segment Three: The Meatheads from West Coast Prime Meats with Holiday Cooking Advice
Segment Four: Chef George Geary on Celebratory Cheesecakes for the Holidays
Segment Five: EAT, LAUGH, TALK! – The Family Dinner Playbook Part One
Segment Six: EAT, LAUGH, TALK! – The Family Dinner Playbook Part Two
Segment Seven: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Chef-Partner Jared Cook – Ironwood, Olea & Vine Part One
Segment Eight: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Chef-Partner Jared Cook – Ironwood, Olea & Vine Part Two

Now an incredibly appetizing preview of this Saturday’s scrumptious show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will hopefully 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. Truly couldn’t do it without you.

Thinking about buying a bottle of French Champagne as a gift or for the festive Holiday Table? Our resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange, joins us with selection tips from an expert that, happily, won’t break the bank. Orange Wine is a new topic of conversation among wine aficionados. Kyle provides the needed overview.

Between the two of them our resident Meatheads from West Coast Prime Meats, Terry Hanks and Jay Henderson, have decades of practical experience with center plate proteins. They are both avid home cooks, too. Terry and Jay join us with some genuinely useful Holiday cooking tips.

Cheesecake! The Emmy award winning show The Golden Girls made eating cheesecake a nightly ritual on the hit television series.  The pastry chef who made those luscious and delicious cheesecakes and many other foods for hit sitcoms is George Geary. Now Geary has expanded his cheesecake repertoire even more with the eagerly anticipated 2nd Edition of The Cheesecake Bible: 300 Sweet & Savory Recipes for Cakes and More.  Chef George is our guest with decadent ideas for the best in holiday cheesecakes and pro’s tips for stress-free holiday baking.

In the age of video chats and filtered “selfies”, sometimes real, human connection seems harder to come by, but it remains an important part of living a satisfying life. Eat, Laugh, Talk: The Family Dinner Playbook emerges from the brains behind The Family Dinner Project, a Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Academy-affiliated nonprofit that notes the profound impact that a fun family meal can have on the spirit, brain, and health of all family members. Co-authors (there are five) Brianne DeRosa and Shelly London join us to set the table.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel (and partners) are the respected operators of Ironwood (Laguna Hills), Olea (Newport Beach) and Vine (San Clemente) in Orange County. Russ was awarded Restaurateur of the Year honors at this year’s Golden Foodie Awards. Ironwood has a new lounge. Russ joins us with Chef-Partner Jared Cook to chat about the Holiday menus at Ironwood, Olea & Vine.

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeThinking about buying a bottle of French Champagne as a gift or for the festive Holiday Table? Our resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange, joins us with selection tips from an expert that, happily, won’t break the bank.

Orange Wine is a new topic of conversation among wine aficionados. Kyle provides the needed overview.

Jay Henderson one of the Meatheads from West Coast Prime MeatsBetween the two of them our resident Meatheads from West Coast Prime Meats, Terry Hanks and Jay Henderson, have decades of practical experience with center plate proteins. They are both avid home cooks, too. Terry and Jay join us with some genuinely useful Holiday cooking tips.

 

Cookbook Author George GearyCheesecake! The Emmy award winning show The Golden Girls made eating cheesecake a nightly ritual on the hit television series.  The pastry chef who made those luscious and delicious cheesecakes and many other foods for hit sitcoms is George Geary. He later became the first award winning pastry chef for the Walt Disney Company at Disneyland.

Geary’s cheesecakes became one of his most popular culinary calling cards so he then published his favorite recipes in his first cookbook, 125 Best Cheesecake Recipes in 2002, and it was such a hit that a follow up book, The Cheesecake Bible was published in 2008 and became a best-seller.

Now Geary has expanded his cheesecake repertoire even more with the highly anticipated 2nd Edition of The Cheesecake Bible: 300 Sweet & Savory Recipes for Cakes and More George provides home cooks with extensive how-to instructions, tips and techniques to make the perfect cheesecake.

Recipes in the book range from holiday favorites, savory and citrus cheesecakes, no-bake cheesecakes, to bars, pies, toppings and sauces, and breakfast items. Some of the delicious recipes in the book include: Artichoke Cheesecake, Maine Lobster Cheesecake, Passover Honey Cheesecake, Blood Orange Spiced Cheesecake, Eggnog Rum Cheesecake, Italian Zabaglione Cheesecake Bars, Blood Orange Cheesecake Crępes, Cheesecake Bonbons and many more unique flavored desserts.

Chef George is our encore guest offering decadent ideas for the best in holiday cheesecakes and pro’s tips for stress-free holiday baking.

Shelly London of the Family Dinner ProjectIn the age of video chats and filtered “selfies”, sometimes real, human connection seems harder to come by, but it remains an important part of living a satisfying life. In fact, over 20 years of research has shown what parents have known for a long time: regular family meals lead to long-term benefits, including higher resilience, self-esteem, and grade-point-averages, and LOWER rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, eating disorders, and depression.

Eat, Laugh, Talk: The Family Dinner Playbook52 Weeks of Easy Recipes, Engaging Conversation, and Hilarious Games emerges from the brains behind The Family Dinner Project, a Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Academy-affiliated nonprofit that notes the profound impact that a fun family meal can have on the spirit, brain, and health of all family members.

The Family Dinner Project’s new book gives readers the tools to kickstart a habit of putting together fun family dinners, including:

  • Conversation starters
  • Quick and easy recipes
  • Fun table games for everyone to play
  • Tips for overcoming obstacles, setting dinnertime goals, managing busy schedules, and engaging everyone in the conversation

With anecdotes from real families who have become a part of The Family Dinner Project’s growing movement, this book will inspire readers of all ages to look forward to dinner (together)!

Co-authors (there are five) Brianne DeRosa and Shelly London join us to set the table.

“What if there was a single activity you could do at home, requiring no special equipment or training of any kind, that could have lifelong benefits for the physical, emotional, academic and social health of every member of your family? That activity exists, and it’s the family dinner.”

Building on decades of research and over ten years of experience working with real families who are overcoming the common challenges that keep people from sharing regular meals, The Family Dinner Project — a nonprofit initiative based at Massachusetts General Hospital — has written a step-by-step playbook to help make family dinners possible.

Eat, Talk, Laugh: The Family Dinner Playbook (Familius Publishing) is packed with practical advice and inspiration to help you overcome common mealtime challenges and get the most out of your family dinners. Organized in sections according to common mealtime obstacles, Eat, Laugh, Talk provides 52 weeks of food, fun and conversation that will appeal to people of all ages.  Laid out in an easy-to-follow, week-by-week format, Eat, Laugh, Talk is a book of real stories, real experiences and real family dinners that will inspire you and your family.

 “The Family Dinner Project, a nonprofit initiative started in 2010, champions family dinner as an opportunity for family members to connect with each other through food, fun and conversation about things that matter.  More than 20 years of scientific research shows “why” family mealtimes are so important.  The Family Dinner Project provides the “how” for today’s busy families. Our team members have come from varied personal and professional backgrounds. We are parents and non-parents, and our ages range from “young professional” to “Medicare-eligible.”  Our collective professional experience includes education, family therapy, research, food, social work, marketing and communication.  With nonprofit partners and local champions, The Family Dinner Project team works online and at community events to help families increase the frequency, meaning and long-term benefits of their shared meals.  We are based in Boston at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Psychiatry Academy.”

Co-authors (there are five) Brianne DeRosa and Shelly London continue their conversation with us at the family dinner table.

Chef Jared CookRestaurateur Russ Bendel (and partners) are the respected operators of Ironwood (Laguna Hills), Olea (Newport Beach) and Vine (San Clemente) in Orange County. Russ was awarded Restaurateur of the Year honors at this year’s Golden Foodie Awards. Ironwood has a new lounge. Russ joins us with Chef-Partner Jared Cook to chat about the Holiday menus at Ironwood, Olea & Vine.

Ironwood features a full bar, open kitchen, and an enclosed outdoor heated patio with views of the Saddleback Mountains. It offers South Orange County residents a fine dining night out with a complete food and wine experience.”

“OLEA, named for a genus of trees that flourish in warm and tropical regions, is a European twist on the Napa/Sonoma-inspired cuisine and spirits at Vine, the restaurant Bendel assumed ownership of seven years ago.” The restaurant is characterized as Wine Country Cuisine at a chef-driven American bistro.

VINE is an all-encompassing Wine Country dining experience, a full bar, featuring craft cocktails, Open Kitchen, and a Semi-Private Dining table in our Wine Room. It offers South Orange County residents a fine dining night out with a complete food and wine experience.

VINE highlights Wine Country Cuisine influenced by the Napa Valley and other notable wine producing regions. In addition, the wine selection includes more than 100 bottles – more than 25 of which are available by the glass.”

Russ Bendel of Ironwood, Olea and VIneRuss Bendel was born and raised in Philadelphia and relocated with his mother, father, and sister to California when he was a child. Russ grew up in the restaurant industry and always knew it was in his blood at an early age.

He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from The Collins College at Cal Poly Pomona with an emphasis on Restaurants and Business Management. During that time, Russ worked with Bloomin Brands Restaurant Group for 15 years, six years with Outback Steakhouse and nine years with Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. He was promoted to partner of the flagship Newport Beach location at the age of 25, youngest ever in company history.

Chef-Partner Jared Cook was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. After graduating from Western Culinary Institute in Portland Oregon, he relocated to Southern California. Since then Jared worked in restaurants such as French 75 in Laguna Beach, Chat Noir in Costa Mesa, and was promoted to Executive Chef at the Crow Bar and Kitchen, in addition to working at Vine Restaurant & Bar for the third time as a Cook, Sous Chef, and now Executive Chef.

Russ joins us with Chef-Partner Jared Cook to continue their chat about the Holiday menus at Ironwood, Olea & Vine.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Wine Authority Kyle Meyer, Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange, with Champagne Buying Advice
Segment Three: The Meatheads from West Coast Prime Meats with Holiday Cooking Advice
Segment Four: Chef George Geary on Celebratory Cheesecakes for the Holidays
Segment Five: EAT, LAUGH, TALK! – The Family Dinner Playbook Part One
Segment Six: EAT, LAUGH, TALK! – The Family Dinner Playbook Part Two
Segment Seven: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Chef-Partner Jared Cook – Ironwood, Olea & Vine Part One
Segment Eight: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Chef-Partner Jared Cook – Ironwood, Olea & Vine Part Two

Show 253, December 23, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel

Now a joyful preview of Saturday’s festive 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 here with you live every Saturday morning throughout The Holidays.

Greatly respected restaurateur Donato Poto, in partnership with Chef Michael Cimarusti, is responsible for the L.A. fine dining treasure, Providence, as well as the more casual Connie & Ted’s (with restaurateur Craig Nickoloff) in West Hollywood. It’s been a busy few weeks for them as they have launched il Pesce Cucina in Eataly in Westfield Century City as well as Best Girl, a 3-meal-a-day restaurant in The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. We’ll get the full briefing from Donato.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, joins us from Park City, Utah where he has just debuted the third Slapfish in Utah. Chef Andrew will share (and explain) some important hospitality business trends he sees for 2018.

We know restaurateur Russ Bendel from his successful wine country-themed establishments in Orange County, Vine in San Clemente and Ironwood in Laguna Hills. Now it’s a threesome with the launch of the handsome Olea, already making waves in Newport Beach. Russ Bendel explains what’s on the menu.

Lawry’s Beef Bowl is college football’s most celebrated bowl game tradition. Each year since its inception prior to the 1957 Rose Bowl Game, Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills has honored the players and coaches of each Rose Bowl‐bound team for their gridiron achievements. This is the 62nd year of Lawry’s proud association with The Granddaddy of Them All.® Lawry’s Beef Bowl historian Todd Erickson is our guest. He actually authored the coffee table book on the official history of Lawry’s Beef Bowl.

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

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Show 253, December 23, 2017: Orange County Restaurateur, Russ Bendel, Olea

Russ BendelWe know restaurateur Russ Bendel from his successful wine country-themed establishments in Orange County, Vine in San Clemente and Ironwood in Laguna Hills. Now it’s a threesome with the launch of the handsome Olea, already making waves in Newport Beach.

Named for a genus of trees that flourish in warm and tropical regions, Olea gives Bendel’s award-winning Napa and Sonoma wine country concepts at Vine, in San Clemente, and Ironwood, in Laguna Hills, a European accent with extensive wine selections from Italy, France and Spain.

Chef-Partner Jared Cook has created a menu of modern California cuisine that perfectly complements the “global wine country” approach the Bendel team has taken at Olea.

“Olea represents the continued progression we have created with our other two wine country-inspired cuisine restaurants,” Bendel said. The restaurant is Bendel’s largest, seating 130 guests, and like the other two locations is open for dinner nightly.

Cook has created new dishes exclusively for Olea, including blue crab baked oysters with champagne tarragon butter); terrine of duck liver, bacon and bourbon; wild-caught Pacific Blue Nose sea bass; herb-roasted prime beef cheek stroganoff with house-made rosemary pappardelle; Pacific Northwest filet mignon with black truffle and blue crab Béarnaise; and seasonal apple and pear cobbler with oatmeal crumble and cardamom ice cream.

Also on the menu at Olea are Vine/Ironwood crowd-pleasers such as Meyer lemon & honey duck wings and jumbo lump blue crab with roasted heirloom beets.

Olea’s interior is Tuscany wine country meets California Cuisine. An eclectic blend of timeless natural backgrounds includes antique French white oak floors, Black Mountain ledge-stone, black walnut millwork complemented with contemporary decorative lighting, and clean soffit lines and a warm taupe color palette.

Dining areas are divided with sculptures instead of walls, made from natural tree branches on steel bases that lend privacy. The completely weatherproofed dining patio has a parkway setting with swagger light fixtures and citrus trees and herbs in large planters. Two olea (olive) trees flank the entrance of the restaurant.

A focal point of Olea, which totals 3,647 square feet, is a custom-made captain’s table in the wine room that can seat 10.  The captain’s table is surrounded by working wine storage and wine displays, artwork and beautiful lighting fixtures.

Olea is located at The Walk, 2001 Westcliff Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660, by Kéan Coffee. Reservations are accepted on OpenTable, or by calling 949-287-6807. There is self-parking in a newly-constructed 300-car parking structure adjacent to the restaurant.

Russ Bendel tempts us what’s on the menu.

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