Show 523, April 29, 2023: Fairmont Orchid with Executive Sous Chef Daniel Sampson

Daniel Sampson of the Fairmont Orchid

The talented Culinary Team at the Fairmont Orchid is one of the returning participating restaurants in the Saturday Night Gala at the Big Island Chocolate Festival. They are preparing both savory and sweet chocolate items.

“The vistas alone are worth a leisurely evening at Brown’s Beach House, The Fairmont Orchid’s AAA Four Diamond signature restaurant. Perched above Pauoa Bay, the celebrated fine dining venue takes in one of the island’s most spectacular sunset panoramas.”

Representing the Fairmont Orchid is their Executive Sous Chef Daniel Sampson who is also an acclaimed pastry chef. Chef Daniel holds the honor of being Pastry Chef of The Year 2019 by ACF Kona Kohaha Chefs Association.

Show 418, March 27, 2021: Executive Chef Michael Rossi, The Ranch Restaurant, Anaheim

Michael Rossi of the Ranch Restaurant and Saloon

The Ranch Restaurant in Anaheim is, again, available for full service dine-in for lunch and dinner on an open-air patio and with inside dining (at a reduced capacity) with proper social distancing between tables. To-Go meals are also on the menu.

The Ranch Restaurant features true American regional cuisine. It’s cooking from scratch with the finest ingredients possible to capture the rustic style of wine country and the freshest flavors of the farm. The Ranch honors California’s great ranches, farms and dairies, the artisan bread bakers and cheese and wine makers. Their seasonally driven menu showcases the freshest produce in season – as nature intended. The emphasis is on farm to table, fresh organically grown fruits and vegetables from local farms and from The Ranch’s own ranch in the Santa Ana Mountains.”

“In the kitchen, brothers Michael Rossi (Executive Chef) and Dave Rossi (Pastry Chef) create menus that journey between classic dishes and elevated interpretations of global fare.”

Executive Chef Michael Rossi joins us from The Ranch.

Show 404, December 19, 2020: Executive Chef & Proprietor Rob Wilson, Glasspar, Dana Point

Rob Wiilson of GlassparGlasspar in Dana Point celebrated its first year in business last week. “Having navigated a year unlike any other, Chef-Owner Rob Wilson now enters into his second year with renewed optimism as he has launched a reimagined Wednesday and Saturday afternoon seafood market from Noon to 4:00 p.m. while the ban on dine-in remains in effect.”

Pre-batched Holiday cocktails are also on the Glasspar Seafood Market menu. Bottles of wine from Glasspar’s cellar are available with a 30 per cent discount from the list pricing.

Guests have the opportunity to buy the freshest seafood at better-than-supermarket prices. Available seafood includes Alaskan King Crab Legs, Local Swordfish, Ahi Tuna, Oysters, Salmon, Scallops and more.

As an added treat Glasspar’s pastry chef, Jasmine Bishop, bakes special sweet treats for each seafood market day. (The proceeds benefit Chef Jasmine, a wonderful gesture.)

“Glasspar (in normal times) is a classic American seafood hall – redefined. Executive Chef and Owner Rob Wilson presents a menu that is thoughtfully sourced, respectfully prepared, and creatively presented.  Glasspar is the best of both coasts, delivering a true East Coast-style seafood dining hall brought to the West coast and given an elevated fresh California artisanal feel.”

Show 392, September 26, 2020: Pastry Chef & Proprietress Uyen Kirshenbaum, Kirsh Baking Co., Long Beach

Uyen and Jeff Kirshenbaum of Kirsh Baking CompanyThe Kirsh Baking Company of Long Beach launched in May. The mail order bakery concentrates on creating masterfully made cookies. The founders are the husband and wife duo, Pastry Chef Uyen (Nguyen) Kirshenbaum and Jeff Kirshenbaum also a hospitality veteran. Like many who were furloughed during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Kirshenbaums are now pouring their energy into their passion, transforming what were once special-order cookies for those in the know, into a full-fledged business. Chef Uyen’s signature cookies are available for mail order by the dozen.

The line of “Jeff’s Cookies” are a tribute to Chef Uyen’s painstaking efforts to create the perfect gluten and dairy free cookie for her husband. Although she reveled in the reactions of friends, family and other chefs who were shocked to learn her Double Chocolate Chip cookies were dairy and gluten free, the secret is out now! Cookies are carefully packaged by the dozen in beautiful gift boxes.

The Classics line of fresh-baked cookie flavors includes Salted Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodle, PB Chocolate, Vanilla Lavender and Lemon Poppy.

“Chef Uyen Kirshenbaum’s career in pastry began with training at the internationally acclaimed culinary institute, Ecole Lenotre in Paris and includes such celebrated establishments as Patisserie Gaulupeau in Versailles, Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak in Las Vegas, and Guy Savoy‘s first American restaurant at Caesar’s Palace. Chey Uyen became the first female Pastry Chef to lead Savoy’s team, and the restaurant garnered Two Michelin Stars in its first year. In 2015 Chef Uyen joined the team at Chef David LeFevre’s trio of Manhattan Beach restaurants as Executive Pastry Chef of The Arthur J, Manhattan Beach Post and Fishing with Dynamite.”

Chef Uyen takes a pause from mixing cookie dough to join us.

Show 382, July 18, 2020: Pastry Chef Angela Garbacz, Goldenrod Pastries & Perfectly Golden Cookbook Part One

Angela Garbacz of Goldenrod Pastries“Creating baked goods for everyone can be a challenge—from dairy intolerances to gluten-free lifestyles, peanut allergies to vegan diets, there are so many factors to consider when trying to come up with something to bake for a friend’s birthday, bake sale, holiday, or just to give someone a treat. Luckily, Angela Garbacz, the chef and owner of Goldenrod Pastries in Lincoln, Nebraska, felt the same way, and in Perfectly Golden: Adaptable Recipes for Sweet and Simple Treats she provides inclusive recipes that are meant to fit any lifestyle, regardless of dietary restrictions.”

“In Perfectly Golden,” Angela puts all the personality, fun, joy, and enthusiasm she puts into her bakery, and she gives the tips and tricks that she has accrued over 20 years of professional baking experience. Rather than just giving the measurements and baking times, Angela’s goal is to have you learn about the process—such as understanding that cookie dough should feel soft but not sticky, or a yeast dough should feel impossibly fluffy.”

“She gives notes on ingredients like flax eggs and non-dairy milks, helps you understand the varieties of gluten-free flours, and she even provides baking tips for troubleshooting information before you’ve started the recipe. Her tips on yeast doughs include understanding when they’re ready to bake, and how to encourage rising. She shares her trick for how to save a cake batter that’s become too thick, after explaining why that sometimes happens, and she explains why some cakes cool in their pans and why some need to be unmolded quickly.”

Pastry Chef Angela Garbacz is our guest, whisk in hand.

Show 382, July 18, 2020: Pastry Chef Angela Garbacz, Goldenrod Pastries & Perfectly Golden Cookbook Part Two

Angela Garbacz of Goldenrod Pastries“Creating baked goods for everyone can be a challenge—from dairy intolerances to gluten-free lifestyles, peanut allergies to vegan diets, there are so many factors to consider when trying to come up with something to bake for a friend’s birthday, bake sale, holiday, or just to give someone a treat. Luckily, Angela Garbacz, the chef and owner of Goldenrod Pastries in Lincoln, Nebraska, felt the same way, and in Perfectly Golden: Adaptable Recipes for Sweet and Simple Treats she provides inclusive recipes that are meant to fit any lifestyle, regardless of dietary restrictions.”

“Angela includes all the classic recipes that have made Goldenrod Pastries a household name, as irresistible as they are adaptable. Goldenrod’s Favorite Vegan Bun Dough is one of her signatures—and one sampling will tell you why. You may have never thought that a Babka could be made vegan, but Angela doesn’t just provide one version, she gives three variations to make this classic even more exciting. Of course, she includes standards like Chocolate Chip Cookies, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, and Coconut Berry Thumbprints, but she also gives more unique cookies, such as Buckwheat Chocolate Chunk Cookies and Turtle Cookies. If you’re looking for snack cakes, then look no further than recipes like Lemon & Almond Torte, Blueberry Buckle with Pecan Streusel, and Chocolate “Thunder” Cake.”

“If you’re heading to a party, then you could bring one of her fancier party cakes, which include classics, such as Carrot Cake and Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream, and new flavors, like Champagne Cake with Almond Buttercream, Orange Blossom Cake with Lemon Buttercream, and Cardamom Cake with Pistachio Streusel & Strawberry-Rose Glaze. Angela’s chapter for Pies, Tarts, and Bars includes all the familiar favorites, along with Rice Custard Tart, Pomegranate Tart, and Strawberry Pretzel Pie.”

“Angela is reworking the classics to fit with any diet, while creating new and interesting flavors throughout. Whether you’re a baking novice or an expert, a seasoned vegan or a newly diagnosed dairy intolerant, this book provides treats, cakes, cookies, and more to fit in with your diet. Angela helps you do you and gives you the freedom to enjoy something sweet.”

The book is sprinkled with memorable personal stories about the recipes’ heritages. Particularly poignant is the Peach Coffee Cake which was faithfully adapted by Angela over the years from her Baba’s cherished recipe. Yum…!

Pastry Chef Angela Garbacz continues, whisk in hand.

Show 367, April 4, 2020: Executive Chef Michael Rossi of The Ranch Restaurant in Anaheim

Michael Rossi of the Ranch Restaurant and SaloonThe Ranch Restaurant in Anaheim is, of course, not available for dine-in during the present health crisis. Executive Chef Michael Rossi has artfully shifted to a new, a la carte Curbside Pick-Up Menu including some of their signature house specialties that travel reasonably well. There are ample choices of Starters, Salads, Pasta, Sandwiches & Burgers, Steak, Fish & Chicken, and Pastry Chef David Rossi’s incredibly decadent desserts (including the award-winning Buttered Popcorn Ice Cream by the pint.) Think 8 oz. Prime Flat Iron Steak with Baby Dutch Potatoes, House-Made Pancetta, Saint Agur Blue Cheese and Wild Arugula.

Available to Order & Pick-Up daily between 12 Noon and 7:00 p.m. Ordering starts at 9:00 a.m.

“Executive Chef, Michael Rossi and our talented culinary team craft our seasonally driven menu at The Ranch with hand selected produce harvested from our own farm. Our chefs have the unique ability to pick produce at the perfect time just before the peak of maturity to capture maximum flavor and within hours served at your table with old fashioned genuine hospitality and gracious service. To complete your dining experience, sample one of our many desserts created in house by Pastry Chef, David Rossi.”

Executive Chef Michael Rossi joins us from curbside at The Ranch.

Show 364, March 14, 2020: Executive Chef Travis Watson, Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara

Travis Watson of the Hotel CalifornianThe new Executive Chef at Hotel Californian is Travis Watson. Chef Travis has refreshed and revamped Hotel Californian’s signature (dinner only) restaurant, Blackbird Restaurant and Bar. On the menu is Mediterranean-influenced, locally sourced, and hyper-seasonal cuisine.

Travis Watson brings 20 years of award-winning culinary experience to Hotel Californian. “Chef Watson’s career has led him all over the world, including France where he served as an apprentice to Chef Georges Paccard of Michelin-starred La Ciboulette. He most recently served as Executive Chef at Rancho Bernardo Inn & Spa in San Diego and is now thrilled to tap into the distinctive terroir of the Central Coast.”

He’s also the menu-maker for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner at the al-fresco Goat Tree, banquets and in-room dining at Hotel Californian. Unusually Chef Travis has an acclaimed, in-house pastry chef as part of his culinary team creating exceptional baked goods (think croissants) and confections from scratch.

Chef Travis takes a break from his busy kitchens to join us.

Show 364, March 14, 2020: Chef Jim Dodge, Bon Appetit Management Co.

Chef Jim Dodge of Bon Appetit Management Company“Hospitality veteran Jim Dodge (a multiple James Beard Award winner) has had a rich, wide-ranging culinary career. After growing up in the hospitality industry, he trained as a chef, became a celebrated pastry chef, published several cookbooks, opened a pastry shop and restaurant in Hong Kong, then became a culinary educator and joined the food service industry. Since 2004, he has been Bon Appétit Management Company’s director of specialty culinary programs, based in the corporate office in Palo Alto, CA, and donates his time regularly to charities throughout the country.”

“With Bon Appetit Management Jim now oversees training in specific global cuisines and techniques, hosts culinary demonstrations, and manages the company’s Star Chefs program, which invites chefs to Bon Appétit cafés for recipe-tasting and book-signing events to help promote their new cookbooks.”

“For seven generations, Jim’s family has managed a number of hotels and resorts in rural New Hampshire, where Jim received early training in hospitality and grew up cooking with local ingredients from nearby farms and food produced on his family’s land. Once in the kitchen, Jim knew he wanted to specialize in pastry. He trained with Swiss pastry chef Fritz Albicker, melding Swiss influence with his New England heritage to create a unique method of preparation and styling that set him apart as a chef.”

“In his 10 years at the Stanford Court Hotel in San Francisco, Jim became a nationally recognized pastry chef and embarked on a rich, wide-ranging culinary career. His experience and contributions are a testament to his passion for the craft of cooking and educating others.”

Jim is currently the jury chair for the first-ever Julia Child Award, and serves on the Advisory Council of the Julia Child Foundation. We’re in the kitchen with Jim Dodge.

Show 326, June 1, 2019: Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week Preview with Eight4Nine Restaurant

Joyce Kiehl of the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors BureauThe 13th Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week (GPSRW) is a 10-day dining event beginning Friday, May 31st and continuing through Sunday, June 9th. GPSRW is a special opportunity to treat the guest to a new restaurant, a new menu or an old favorite at a special value.

Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in all the unique local cuisine that this foodie oasis has to offer. Unlike many food and wine festivals, no passes or tickets are required to dine out during Restaurant Week, making it accessible to everyone wanting to attend.

The set-up goes like this: there will be over 100 restaurants from all over the oasis (ranging from Palm Springs to Indio) that will be providing special fixed prices for lunch and dinner. There is no set venue, as diners simply select their favorite participating restaurant and dine out for a day (or more).

Reservations can be made online on the Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week website. For every online reservation made, a donation will be made to FIND Food Bank in Indio. The special prices that participating restaurants are offering for Restaurant Week diners are two-plus lunch items for fixed prices of $15, $20, and $25 and gourmet dining options of three-plus items for $29, $39, and $49.

Joining us with all the salivating details is Chef Albert Gonzalez of Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge (a participating restaurant) and Joyce Kiehl the Director of Communications for Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau.