Show 344, October 12, 2019: David Hanna, Proprietor, Hanna’s Restaurant & Bar Part One

GOlden Foodie Award Winner David HannaHanna’s Restaurant & Bar is one of South Orange County’s premiere dining establishments. Named one of the U.S. top 100 restaurants by Yelp, Hanna’s offers modern American Steakhouse cuisine prepared with a classic, traditional flair. “Our appetite for an exceptional dining experience is rooted deep in our passion for extraordinary culinary creations and exemplified in our award-wining service and ambiance.”

“Hanna’s is an American Steakhouse, sourcing USDA prime steak, along with American & Japanese Wagyu. We believe in celebrating classic cuisine with a modern twist. Market-driven farm-to-table creations.”

“It has often been said that a true fine dining experience represents a work of art; from the skill of creativity and execution of technique, to the quality of ingredients used and precision of presentation. At Hanna’s, we have made it our philosophy and passion to master the art of perfection in every single dish we create. Every day we seek to find the newest culinary innovations to continue to establish the highest standards in fine dining distinction.”

David Hanna has been the recipient of the Golden Foodie Award for Outstanding Community Service for both 2018 and 2019.

Hands-on proprietor David Hanna, a third-generation restaurateur, is our hospitable guest.

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Show 344, October 12, 2019: David Hanna, Proprietor, Hanna’s Restaurant & Bar Part Two

GOlden Foodie Award Winner David HannaHanna’s Restaurant & Bar was established in 2005 and has quickly become one of Orange County’s premiere dining establishments. Named one of the U.S. top 100 restaurants by Yelp, Hanna’s Restaurant & Bar offers modern American Steakhouse cuisine prepared with classic, traditional flair.”

“Our appetite for an exceptional dining experience is rooted deep in our passion for extraordinary culinary creations and exemplified in our award-wining service and ambiance. From our friendly bartenders, vibrant ambiance, outgoing wait staff, and incredible menu, our guests are always embraced in a comforting fashion. And on any given night you can always find owner David Hanna mingling among guests and ensuring that every detail of their experience at Hanna’s is (hopefully) nothing short of extraordinary.​”

“Dave Hanna’s passion for food and hospitality is deeply rooted in family tradition. The Hanna family’s culinary connection began with owner David Hanna’s grandfather who served as a cook in the US Army during World War I. After his service, David’s Grandfather expanded his love for the culinary arts with the opening of his own restaurant in Western Pennsylvania called The Lone Star – the first of many restaurants opened by the Hanna family.” ​

“Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, David Hanna established the first coffee house in Rancho Santa Margarita called Haute Caffé and opened a second location quickly after. Both shops eventually sold in 1997 and, after taking several years to recharge, David decided to venture back into the hospitality scene in 2005 with the opening of Hanna’s Restaurant and Bar.”

“Hanna’s believes the essence of life is sharing meals and cherishing time with one another. Hanna’s aims to foster a connective experience with service that is based on the art of hospitality. We believe in a commitment to excellence from how we source our food to training our gold standard team.”

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Show 306, January 12, 2019: William Lewis, Founding Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, Newport Beach

Sir William Lewis of the Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar in TustinThe upcoming Newport Beach Restaurant Week is a 14-day dining event that takes place January 14 -27, 2019. The event showcases Newport Beach as one of Orange County’s premier dining destinations offering diners a wide variety of culinary experiences. Participating restaurants offer special prix-fixe menus with lunches available for just $10, $15, $20, or $25, and dinners for $20, $30, $40 or $50.

Founding Partner William Lewis (also the resident wine guru) of The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar (a participating restaurant in Newport Beach Restaurant Week) joins us with a preview.

As William points out there are few restaurants in Newport Beach who can rival their Newport Bay view! Their elaborate, 4-course dinner menu priced at $50 is a great value. The guest has choices within every course. Think Zinfandel Braised Angus Beef Short Rib as the Main…

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Show 284, August 4, 2018: Pamela Waitt, Founder and Producer, 7th Annual Golden Foodie Awards

Golden Foodie AwardsVoting for the 7th Annual Golden Foodie Awards representing the best in dining in Orange County commences on August 3rd and runs in two waves of voting. The 2nd voting period extends from August 10th through 17th. It’s the people’s choice awards as Orange County foodies make the decisions.

“The Golden Foodie Awards has evolved into a celebration of Orange County’s rich culinary scene,” said Pamela Waitt, creator and producer of the Golden Foodie Awards, and president of the OC Restaurant Association. “Now in its 7th year, the Golden Foodie Awards have grown exponentially in reach and media attention. To enable us to continue to grow as an event, we have brought on the accounting firm of Moss Adams to audit votes and continue to attract sponsors who share a vision of highlighting those stand-out chefs and restaurants in Orange County.”

The Golden Foodie Awards is a people’s choice event that recognizes the best chefs, libations and cuisine at chef-driven and independent restaurants. With its focus on involving the Orange County community to serve as judges through their voting, the Golden Foodie Awards serve as a high honor and is an indication of local culinary trends and consumer preferences.

Connoisseurs of cuisine and lovers of libations will have a chance each week to vote for their favorites among 15 categories. The voting for August 3rd to 9thth includes Bartender of the Year, Best Cocktails in Orange County, Best Wine Program, Best Beer Program, Best Bar Program, Best New Restaurant and Best Lunch Spot in Orange County.

The 2nd voting period for August 10th through 17th includes Best Brunch in Orange County, Rising Star Chef of the Year, Favorite Food Influencer in Orange County, Outstanding Community Service, Restaurateur of the Year, Best Dessert Menu in Orange County, Best Entrée in Orange County and Best Service Award.

Pamela Waitt the Creator and Producer of the Golden Foodie Awards joins us with the details of how the voting works and what the categories are.

 

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Show 204, December 31, 2016: Tristen Beamon, Proprietor, Wine Exchange & BW Direct, Santa Ana

Kyle Meyer and Tristen Beamon of Best Wines OnlineWe conclude the year with one of our resident wine experts, Tristen Beamon, of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. Wine Exchange is also in the import and distribution sector with BW Direct – Bordeaux and Beyond. They specialize in finding great values in Bordeaux wines from this legendary grape growing region in Southwestern France considered the pinnacle of global wine areas.

“Like Wine Exchange, BW Direct has the best prices, best selection, and best service. Our fantastic wines will wow your guests and increase your profits.”“Welcome to BW Direct, the wholesale arm of Wine Exchange.”

“Welcome to BW Direct, the wholesale arm of Wine Exchange.”

“We pride ourselves on the strong relationships Tristen, Kyle, Eddie and the entire team have formed over their collective 50+ years in the wine industry. These relationships have helped us secure some of the world’s best wines at the most competitive prices in the business. Our business model differs from other distributors:

  • We have a unique, and often exclusive, selection of wines at some of the lowest prices in the country.
  • We are proud to carry a wide selection of Chateau-direct Bordeaux inventory, as well as cutting edge selections from the Languedoc.
  • We don’t charge any broken case fees when orders are picked up from our Orange County showroom.
  • We encourage buyers to come shop our showroom, at their leisure, for a complete buying experience.
  • We have no “quota” obligations to our suppliers, allowing us to create a stress free and no pressure environment.
  • We love what we do and we’re here to help!”
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Show 192, October 9, 2016: Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamOur Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group, is in the know. He shares a new list of personally researched and hand-selected “Finds” with us. This time it’s primo, family-friendly Orange County breakfast spots that are a bit hidden. These are typically clean, hole-in-the-wall spots with hearty fare priced at a value.

He suggests Bread Crumb Ohana Café (known for incredible Hawaiian-style French Toast) in Huntington Beach, Fiesta Grill (breakfast burritos) in Huntington Beach, XA Sweet & Savory Café (fresh & natural) in Huntington Beach, Country Family Café (Mom & Pop with American & Mexican breakfast specialties) in Anaheim and Westminster’s Ham ‘n Scram known for no frills and outrageous breakfast burritos.

Grab that 2nd cup of Joe and enjoy!

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Show 183, August 6, 2016: Simon Majumdar, Voting for the Golden Foodie Awards

Simon MajumdarThe three waves of voting for The Golden Foodie Awards, the People’s Choice Food Awards in Orange County, is on now through August 21st. Voting for the 1st categories concludes on August 7th.

This first Week includes, Best American Cuisine, Best Mexican, Food, Best Vegetarian Food, Bartender of The Year, Best Pizza, Best Italian Food and Best French Cuisine.The Golden Foodie Award’s celebrates chef driven and/or independent restaurants and allows for food lovers to decide the winners. Voting takes place from August 1 – 21, with each week offering different categories. Nominees are announced at the end of each week. The Golden Foodie Awards are comprised of 24 categories.

The Golden Foodie Awards is a democracy and recognizes the best chefs, libations and cuisine. With its focus on involving the Orange County community to vote, the GFA’s serve as a great honor allowing the people to decide who is best. Winners will be announced on September 25th in Newport Beach at the red carpet gala event at the Fairmont Newport Beach.

Hosting the Awards is Food Network’s Simon Majumdar (permanent judge on “Cutthroat Kitchen.” with Alton Brown.) He’s our guest.

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Show 159, February 13, 2016: Executive Chef Bill Bracken, Bracken’s Kitchen Continues…

Bill Bracken“In addition to expanding our team, we are building what we call our “Trio of Services”: our Food Truck Feeding Program (which we are currently executing), a Rescued Food Program and a Culinary Internship Program that will move us forward as an organization and business. With these two new platforms, we aim to affect change in a person’s life by offering job training and work opportunities in the culinary field which will be of huge support to our restaurant and hospitality partners.”

“2015 marked the end of our first year of feeding and we are incredibly grateful for not only all of the hard work, support and contributions that were made, but also for the learning lessons, challenges and obstacles that we had to overcome to achieve our goals.”

Some of our accomplishments:

  • Moved into our fully equipped prep kitchen to support our Food Truck Feeding Program
  • Over 5,000 hot and nutritious meals were served to those experiencing food insecurity in Orange County, CA in just nine months.
  • The average cost of our high quality, freshly prepared dinner is about $0.50 – almost matching average meal cost provided by food banks across America.
  • The Illumination Foundation and Bracken’s Kitchen secured Tuesday night feedings at the Ross Street House in Santa Ana, catering to children who attend their after school program and their families.
  • Served approximately 3000 meals to our homeless military veterans at Stand Down Orange County in October
  • Launched trial runs for our Chef’s To End Hunger rescued food program

Sign-up for the informative Bracken’s Kitchen’s Newsletter via the Website. It tells the story…

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Show 155, January 16, 2016: Candy Krajangsri, Marketing Officer, Tourism Authority of Thailand

Candy Krajangsri from the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Andy HarrisYour travel dollars go far in Thailand and the gracious hospitality there always impresses. Candy Krajangsri, Marketing Officer, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Los Angeles Office, is our guest for a virtual visit to Thailand.

The TAT Los Angeles office is responsible for promoting travel from the United States and South America to Thailand through travel trade partnerships and consumer marketing.

Thailand’s tourism should generate 2.41 trillion Baht in revenue this year, revised upwards from an earlier projection of 2.3 trillion Baht. Of that total, 1.56 trillion Baht will come from international markets and 0.85 trillion Baht from domestic travel.

In 2015, Thailand tourism generated 2.23 trillion Baht of which 1.44 trillion Baht came from international markets and 0.79 trillion Baht from the domestic sector.

Candy also provides some helpful tips on her favorite Thai restaurants in both Los Angeles and Orange County. The better Thai restaurants are known for creating one or two memorable specialty dishes. If you’re in the know that’s what you order exclusively.

 

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Show 150, December 12, 2015: Anita Lau, Mad Hungry Woman Blogger

Anita Lau of Mad Hungry WomanAnita Lau is better known to regular listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” as the Mad Hungry Woman blogger. She was living in Hong Kong in the 90s before the turnover by the British to China. Anita was just back to Hong Kong for a 3-week visit. We’ll get a insider’s view of the dining scene there during the glory days of the British and now under Chinese authority.

Anita will fill us in on the impact of Michelin Stars in Hong Kong and also the best street food. Michelin in now even rating “Street Food” which seems a bit odd.

Anita notes that the big deal celebrity chefs are opening high-profile restaurants in Hong Kong. Gordon Ramsay is already there and Anita crossed paths with Chris Cosentino of “Top Chef Masters” fame there, too.

We’ll also get the morsel-by-morsel details of her favorite dining experience of the trip. It’s French and elegant…Go to her blog to read her full review of EPURE. Beautiful food photography of the meal, too.

Born in Hong Kong and now living in Orange County, California, Anita Lau is an international author and writer who has lived in Malaysia, Australia, Nebraska, Oregon, San Francisco and also, Hawaii. Her obsession with food began at an early age but it wasn’t until her early 20s when her experimentation with cooking led her to start a small catering business which she would run in her spare time while at college in Australia.

 

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