Show 578, May 18, 2024: Knoll Vineyards and Tomaselli’s Pastry Mill & Café, Umpqua Valley, Oregon

Leslie Beckley of Tomaselli's Pastry Mill and Cafe

“Nestled in the coastal hills of Oregon, Knoll Vineyards benefits from the maritime-influenced climate of the Umpqua River Valley. Thirty-six miles inland from the Pacific, the cool climate contributes to the ideal terroir for outstanding Pinot Noir and other varietals. Knoll Vineyards is the venture of a fifth-generation Oregon family with a long tradition in ranching and forestry. The 30-acre vineyard uses regenerative and organic practices to nurture a sustainable agriculture environment.”

“Proprietors Leslie (Winemaker) and Steve Beckley began planting grapevines on their Elkton property in 2018. All the wines are made on-site from estate-grown grapes. Their 30-year-old barn houses the winery.”

“The Beckley family has been in the Elkton area since the 1840s. Elkton is a bucolic town on the banks of the Umpqua River with a population of less than 200 people. It has survived and maintained its agricultural profile over the decades. Grapes were introduced to the area in the early 1980s. The local industry has grown to include several vineyards and wineries, bringing young families, jobs, and economic growth. The 74,900-acre Elkton AVA (American Viticultural Area) was established in 2013. It resides within the greater Umpqua Valley AVA.”

Tomaselli’s Pastry Mill & Café has been an institution in Elkton, Oregon since 1981. Known for crafting great food and homemade bakery goods (utilizing local fruits) along with from-scratch pizza from their wood-burning oven. In November of 2023 the Beckley’s assumed ownership of Tomaselli’s to perpetuate their proud tradition of serving the local community. Winemaker dinners are on the horizon.

Winemaker & Restaurateur Leslie Beckley is our guest to pull the cork on all that is Elkton’s Knoll Vineyards and Tomaselli’s Café.

Show 573, April 13, 2024: Pizza City Fest Los Angeles with Steve Dolinsky, Founder

Steve Dolinsky of PizzaCityFest

Pizza City Fest Los Angeles is back for its 2nd year of gooey and doughy deliciousness. “Scheduled to take place on April 27-28, 2024, at the iconic L.A. LIVE – nestled in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles’ Sports and Entertainment District – this two-day celebration promises an unparalleled experience for pizza aficionados.”

“Attendees will have the exclusive opportunity to savor the delectable offerings from Southern California’s premier pizza artisans, all conveniently located in one central hub. Pizza City Fest Los Angeles will celebrate the Southland’s pizza landscape, showcasing the diverse and exceptional talents of the region’s top pizza makers.” Included in the ticket price (both Regular and VIP admissions) are salads, desserts (including ice cream,) and beverages in addition to unlimited tastes of artisan pizza.

“In addition to the formidable list of participating pizzerias, Pizza City Fest Los Angeles has assembled an incredible line-up of chefs, authors and experts who will share both their knowledge and love of pizza in a series of panel discussions and demonstrations throughout the weekend.

The event is also encoring The Collab Lab, featuring one-off collaborations for two hours each day, pairing up chefs, farms or artisan producers with smaller pizza makers.”

“Emmy and 13-time James Beard Award-winning food reporter Steve Dolinsky has curated another stellar list of pizza makers spanning Southern California – from Santa Barbara to San Diego – adding 13 new entries to the full lineup this year.”

“We’re thrilled to be back in L.A. for our 2nd annual Pizza City Fest!” said Founder Steve Dolinsky. “The pizza scene in Southern California continues to heat up, and so while we’ve brought back a number of the most popular pizzerias from last year, we’ve also found 13 new additions with styles ranging from artisan to Detroit to NYC slices. Our speaker series also brings some of the best-in-class dough pros to L.A. LIVE to share their expertise and students from C-CAP will once again be helping out these chefs during the day as they prepare, bake and serve pizzas straight from the oven.”

Steve puts down his ceremonial pizza peel and joins us.

Show 572, April 6, 2024: Hot Tongue Pizza, Silver Lake with Proprietor Alex Koons Part One

Alex Koons of Hot Tongue Pizza

Hot Tongue Pizza in Silver Lake (the creation of pizza whisperer Alex Koons) is a contemporary pizza shop (with a Vegan flair) that takes from the energy and vibrance of the best food city in the world, Los Angeles. The open floor plan of the restaurant allows for a peek inside the magic that goes on day in and day out. The pizza is not only meant to entice your tastebuds, but also to evoke the nostalgia of that slice you remember growing up.” They also have fun with their off the wall (but informative) Social Media posts.

“Hot Tongue’s welcoming counter service and low-key casual ambience makes for an inviting dining experience. Come in a stranger and leave a friend. The alchemy comes in the form of classic pizza combinations, on top of the best organic grains, carefully sourced ingredients with an Angeleno attitude.”

“With a remarkable 17-year journey in the pizza industry, proprietor Alex Koons boasts an impressive résumé that spans every role in the business, from a humble delivery driver to a visionary owner. In February 2022, he set the local pizza world on fire by inaugurating the first Hot Tongue location, which quickly garnered rave reviews and captured the hearts of pizza enthusiasts far and wide.”

“But Alex’s story didn’t start in pizza. He draws intriguing parallels between his background in the music industry and his culinary ventures. To him, running a restaurant is akin to leading a band, where your team plays the role of the band, service becomes the electrifying live show, customers transform into devoted fans, and your food, the heart-pounding music.”

Hot Tongue Pizza will be one of the twenty artisan pizzerias participating in Pizza City Fest L.A. at L.A. Live on Saturday, April 27th. They will be serving their acclaimed Tomato Pizza (that just happens to be Vegan.) (The Festival also takes place for a 2nd day on Sunday, April 28th with a different set of participating pizzerias.)

Pizzaiolo Alex Koons joins us with a square slice of Vegan Tomato pizza in hand.

Show 572, April 6, 2024: Hot Tongue Pizza, Silver Lake with Proprietor Alex Koons Part Two

Alex Koons of Hot Tongue Pizza

Hot Tongue Pizza in Silver Lake (the creation of pizza whisperer Alex Koons) is a contemporary pizza shop (with a Vegan flair) that takes from the energy and vibrance of the best food city in the world, Los Angeles. The open floor plan of the restaurant allows for a peek inside the magic that goes on day in and day out. The pizza is not only meant to entice your tastebuds, but also to evoke the nostalgia of that slice you remember growing up.” They also have fun with their off the wall (but informative) Social Media posts.

“Hot Tongue’s welcoming counter service and low-key casual ambience makes for an inviting dining experience. Come in a stranger and leave a friend. The alchemy comes in the form of classic pizza combinations, on top of the best organic grains, carefully sourced ingredients with an Angeleno attitude.”

“With a remarkable 17-year journey in the pizza industry, proprietor Alex Koons boasts an impressive résumé that spans every role in the business, from a humble delivery driver to a visionary owner. In February 2022, he set the local pizza world on fire by inaugurating the first Hot Tongue location, which quickly garnered rave reviews and captured the hearts of pizza enthusiasts far and wide.”

“But Alex’s story didn’t start in pizza. He draws intriguing parallels between his background in the music industry and his culinary ventures. To him, running a restaurant is akin to leading a band, where your team plays the role of the band, service becomes the electrifying live show, customers transform into devoted fans, and your food, the heart-pounding music.”

Hot Tongue Pizza will be one of the twenty artisan pizzerias participating in Pizza City Fest L.A. at L.A. Live on Saturday, April 27th. They will be serving their acclaimed Tomato Pizza (that just happens to be Vegan.) (The Festival also takes place on Sunday, April 28th with a different set of participating pizzerias.)

Pizzaiolo Alex Koons continues with us with his well-used pizza peel at the ready.

Show 568, March 9, 2024: Pizza City Fest Los Angeles 2024 with Producer Steve Dolinsky

Steve Dolinsky of PizzaCityFest

Pizza City Fest Los Angeles is back for its 2nd year of gooey and doughy deliciousness. “Scheduled to take place on April 27-28, 2024, at the iconic L.A. LIVE – nestled in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles’ Sports and Entertainment District – this two-day celebration promises an unparalleled experience for pizza aficionados.”

“Attendees will have the exclusive opportunity to savor the delectable offerings from Southern California’s premier pizza artisans, all conveniently located in one central hub. Pizza City Fest Los Angeles will celebrate the Southland’s pizza landscape, showcasing the diverse and exceptional talents of the region’s top pizza makers.”

“Emmy and 13-time James Beard Award-winning food reporter Steve Dolinsky has curated another stellar list of pizza makers spanning Southern California – from Santa Barbara to San Diego – adding 13 new entries to the full lineup this year.”

There are no ticket sales at the door and Saturday sells out early. VIP ticket also available for either day. It’s all the slices you can enjoy plus unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Different, diverse pizza establishments are showcased each day representing all of Southern California..

Steve puts down his ceremonial pizza peel and joins us.

Show 552, November 18, 2023: Baker Matt Kosoy, Rosalind Bakery, Pacifica, CA

Matt Kosoy of Rosalind Bakery

What is sourdough and why is San Francisco Sourdough held in such high esteem? A few weeks ago we introduced you to Baker Matt Kosoy of Rosalind Bakery in Pacifica with a newly launched retail bakery store in Downtown San Francisco. Matt is a recognized sourdough specialist and is with us providing the 411 on this ever popular bread variety. “Sourdough” is actually not a flavor.

“Pacifica’s Rosalind Bakery’s delectable sourdough bread, pizzas, and pastries are made with a dash of love, a sprinkle of nostalgia, and a lot of dedication by proprietor and baker Matt Kosoy. They do more than just bake bread; they bring people together, creating moments of joy and connection. Named after the Matt’s maternal grandmother, Rosalind Bakery began in 2017 by building a community around food. They take pride in every step of the baking process, from selecting the finest ingredients to handcrafting each loaf, pizza, and pastry. The result? Unparalleled flavors that ignite your senses.” Matt has recently closed an unusual, oversubscribed, $124,000 bond offering and expanded to a new location in Downtown San Francisco at 4 Embarcadero Center as part of the “Vacant to Vibrant Program.”

Show 535, July 22, 2023: Miller Butler, San Pedro – Pizzaiola Ahmad is a Finalist in the Real California Pizza Contest

Ahmed Jamal Butler of MillerButler

In previewing Long Beach Black Restaurant Week earlier in the year in January we chatted with the founders of Miller Butler, a grassroots mobile wood-fired pizza and catering company based in San Pedro and owned and operated by husband-wife team Ahmad Butler and Chef Jillana Miller.

There is exciting news from Miller Butler. Co-founder and pizzaiolo, Ahmad Butler, has been selected as one of the twelve finalists in the highly anticipated Real California Pizza Contest. This nationwide competition, sponsored by Real California Dairy, aims to find the best pizza that showcases the excellence of Real California Dairy products.

“Out of a pool of hundreds of pizza makers from around the country, Ahmad Butler has emerged as a top contender in the Cal-Mex category. Representing Miller Butler, Ahmad will present his signature creation, “The Angeleno,” in the hopes of securing the grand prize of $10,000.”

Ahmad Butler will next compete as a Finalist in the Cal-Mex category at a bake-off event at the Culinary Institute of America at Copia in Napa, California on August 2nd.

We’re rooting for him! Miller Butler is currently fundraising for a vitally needed van to pull their custom wood-burning pizza oven designed and built by Jillana’s Father. It’s a real Family affair.

Pizzaiolo Ahmad Butler is our guest with pizza peel at the ready.

Show 534, July 15, 2023: Dominic Palmieri – The Midway Gourmet. OC Fair Edibles Part One

Dominic Palmieri of Midway Gourmet

Outrageous Fair Food (also crave-worthy) is always a mouthwatering highlight of a visit to the OC Fair in Costa Mesa. What crazy edible will they next put on a stick? One of the all-star, Fair Food personalities is the well-traveled Midway Gourmet, Chef Dominic Palmieri of Biggy’s and Enzo’s Pizzeria fame on the RCS Carnival Midway. We’ll find out what indulgent deliciousness Chef Dominic is cooking up now for the OC Fair running through Sunday, August 13th. We’re taking Fair Food at its tastiest best with The Midway Gourmet.

Chef Dominic’s Enzo Pizza is always a Fair standout. New on Enzo’s menu for the 2023 season is an outrageous Hot Cheetos Cheese Pickle Pizza. Chef Dominic assures that “this will change how anyone thinks about pizza.” Also coming out of the pizza oven is a Hot Honey Pizza with Pepperoni. Remember it’s his Italian heritage that’s on the line here…

At his Biggy’s stand it’s Hot Cheeto Chicken on a Stick and at Dutchman’s Funnel Cakes a new Marzipan Funnel Cake.

Show 533, July 8, 2023: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

“The area of Leynes, in Beaujolais, France and its historic four-story Château De Lavernette are right at the crossroads of Beaujolais and the Mâconnais. Down across the road from the château, to the east, grows a Chardonnay vineyard in limestone soil for its crémant and Beaujolais Blanc. Up on the broad slope just southwest of the château grows Gamay in granite soil for its two red Beaujolais, plus two small parcels of Chardonnay in more limey soils that are reserved for its Bourgogne Blanc. Across a tiny creek to the north of the château is the southern boundary of the Pouilly-Fuissé appellation. A hill goes steeply up from that creek to the village of Chaintré, and on this flank the château farms four small parcels in limestone to make two Pouilly-Fuissé cuvées. The château has been passed down through the Lavernette family since 1596, when Philibert Bernard de Lavernette bought the property from the monks of Tournus. We’re discussing Chateau De Lavernette’s Beaujolais Blanc 2020 “Les Vignes de la Roche” and Beaujolais Leynes “Le Clos” 2021 with Winemaker Kerrie de Boissieu who joins us from Beaujolais, France.”

Long Beach residents and visitors alike are in for a treat as dozens of local restaurants and pop-ups will offer unique over-the-top Burgers and value-priced Burger Offers when the 3rd annual Long Beach Burger Week returns July 23-20, 2023. Organized by local non-profit Long Beach Food & Beverage, the organization felt that in addition to encouraging local and surrounding “foodies” to enjoy what the expanding Long Beach culinary community has to offer, events like Burger Week support the local economy. It’s summertime and who doesn’t love a good burger? One of the participating restaurants in the 3rd Annual Long Beach Burger Week is Chef Kat’s fast-casual, Hangry Belly (established in 2020) located in SteelCraft in Bixby Knolls. It’s locally owned. “When you’re feeling hangry, Hangry Belly has got you covered.” Proprietress / Chef Kat Vacharabul joins us with spatula in hand.

“Casmalia, California, former cow-town of the Old West, is where California-style barbecuing was brought to perfection by the pioneers. The Hitching Post (having celebrated their 70th Anniversary of Ostini Family ownership last year) has brought this live-oak California-style barbecuing to perfection bringing choice, aged beef to the ultimate of gourmet flavor and tenderness while keeping alive the traditions of the old romantic West. All Dinners at The Hitching Post (under the culinary direction of Proprietor and Chef Bill Ostini) include fresh vegetable tray, bay shrimp cocktail, dinner salad, choice of home cut French fries, baked potato or grilled vegetables, garlic bread, coffee or tea, ice cream or sherbet. All entrees are prepared on their famous (and Instagramable) indoor barbecue pit, using local red oak wood.” Founder Frank Ostini Sr.’s daughter, Terri Strickland, joins us with a shrimp cocktail in hand. Terri is The Hitching Post’s General Manager.

Aquaculture, the practice of raising fish, shellfish and seaweed, shares many qualities with modern agriculture. Although if offers a lower carbon footprint than other farmed proteins and great potential to deliver high quality, nutritious seafood to our growing population, it must be done responsibly. That’s where the non-profit Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) comes in. Since 2010 ASC’s sea green certification label means your seafood was raised according to the world’s strictest standards for responsible aquaculture, including care for people, fish and the environment.” Athena Davis, ASC’s Marketing Director for North America, joins us with the 411 on ASC certification.

Chef Nick Weber of Populaire at South Coast Plaza has created a three-course, prix-fixe gastronomic tribute to the life and music of iconic performer, Tina Turner, available nightly during the July 11-23, two-week run of the Tony Award-winning musical, TINA – The Tina Turner Musical, at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.. Weber, a music fan, has crafted a culinary journey naming dishes for Turner’s hit songs such as Be Tender with Me Baby (heirloom tomato, ricotta maison, jambon de Bayonne crumble), Nutbush City Limits (select either Duroc pork belly or swordfish, Nardello peppers, hazelnuts, charred soubise, black garlic) and Proud Mary Reprise (Paris Brest –  white chocolate crémeux, peaches, pistachio). The menu is served starting at 4 p.m. and is $55 with optional wine pairings $25, exclusive of tax and gratuity.” Reservations advised.” Chef Nick Weber is our guest with all the delectable details.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the full-service Calico Fish House (in Huntington Beach) and also the founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is a fan of all styles of pizza. Pizza is ever popular when dining out and also enjoyed at home. Chef Andrew provides his insider’s insight on the state of pizza in the USA. How has the market changed since the pandemic? Is more pizza being prepared at home? Have home deliveries cooled a bit?

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

Show 533, July 8, 2023: Chef & Co-Host Andrew Gruel with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style Pizza

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the recently launched, full-service Calico Fish House (in the Sunset Beach area of Huntington Beach) and also the founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative Ask the Chef segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries.

Chef Andrew is a fan of all styles of pizza. Pizza is ever popular when dining out and also enjoyed at home. Chef Andrew provides his insider’s insight on the state of pizza in the USA. How has the market changed since the pandemic? Is more pizza being prepared at home? Why is frozen pizza from the supermarket typically just not the same? Have home deliveries from pizzerias cooled a bit?