Show 415, March 6, 2021: Restaurateur Kate Failor of Hudson House, Redondo Beach

Hudson House in Redondo Beach was opened in early 2008 by Chefs Brooke Williamson and Nick Roberts, aptly named after their newborn son, Hudson. For over 11 years, they built a restaurant focused on the neighborhood, good food and cocktails which quickly helped grow the business into what it is today, a loved South Bay staple. In 2020, Nick & Brooke sadly stepped away from the business as a result of the stresses of COVID-19.”

“In a happy turn of events, their former Director of Operations, Kate Failor, partnered up with the owner of the former A Basq Kitchen in Redondo Beach, Jessica Ibarra, to help keep Hudson House alive. With a few enhancements and a lot of love, the new Hudson House was born.”

“With a surf shack vibe Hudson House now displays a curation of pieces from local artists and photographers all inspired by the beach and Southern California lifestyle. Blending together good food, amazing cocktails and a welcoming space, Hudson House aspires to be your favorite local bar and restaurant in the South Bay!”

Menu highlights include Brown Sugar Pork Ribs with crispy shallots and cilantro and Sweet Corn Cake with roasted plantain, fermented black garlic, stewed lentils and avocado cotija cream. For fruit pie lovers don’t miss a slice (a la mode of course) from Pastry Chef Lindsay Miller’s A Little Salty Pie Co.

Proprietress Kate Failor is our guest.

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Show 415, March 6, 2021: Bread Baker Bob Oswaks, Bob’s Well Bread, Los Alamos & Ballard

Bob Oswaks of Bob's Well Bread

Bob and Jane Oswaks, owners and proprietors of the award-winning Bob’s Well Bread Bakery in Los Alamos, debuted their long-awaited second location at the historic Ballard Store at 2449 Baseline Avenue in Ballard, California late last year. The 1,500 square foot Bob’s Well Bread at the Ballard Store was designed by Jane and Bob Oswaks, located fourteen miles south from their flagship store. The Oswaks rotate regularly between both operations to ensure the quality and standards of hospitality, food and beverage. Chef Gary Clark leads the new kitchen.

“Since its inception in 2014, locals, travelers and journalists alike have embraced Bob’s Well Bread Bakery artisan breads and bakery. The bakeryhas successfully become a family business and an integral part of the growing Los Alamos community, which has developed into a richly diverse wine country destination. Bob’s Well Bread Bakery and the Oswaks family are committed to products that are hand-made with only the finest ingredients and natural starters. No added preservatives will be found in any of their baked items, and they strive to source ingredients locally using farmers and growers who practice the purest growing initiatives. They allow their loaves to take their time, and practice old world European traditions and techniques to make the very best breads and baked goods possible. Their commitment to being “well bread” means doing good things, supporting the community and donating what they don’t sell to local food banks.”

For St. Patrick’s Day Bob’s Well Bread is baking Roasted Potato Bread with caramelized onions and mustard seed, and Irish Soda Bread. Also available are Pistachio Croissants.

Both Bob’s Well Bread locations are closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. Bakery hours for Los Alamos and Ballard vary slightly.

Bob Oswaks (with his hands in the dough) joins us.

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Show 415, March 6, 2021: Belden Barns Winery and Farmstead with Nate and Lauren Belden Part One

Lauren and Nate Belden

“Perched atop Sonoma Mountain, Belden Barns celebrates the totality of farmstead agriculture with a surprising range of exceptional, cool-climate estate bottlings for such a boutique property.  In addition to delicious, terroir-driven wines, they rely on resident farmers Vince and Jenny Trotter for their sustainably grown estate fruit and produce.” 

“Tastings normally take place in a charming old barn — a throwback to an earlier time in Sonoma County farm life. (Currently, all tastings are conducted outside due to COVID 19 restrictions).  Visitors to the (kid-friendly) winery are encouraged to meander around the vines or head downhill to the orchards/produce where they can also hang a wish on the “wishing tree.””

Belden Barns has a program of Spring Virtual Tastings including the launch of their Apple Cider. Nate and Lauren also offer custom virtual tastings for special friends and family celebrations and business gatherings.

“Belden Barns was recently voted one of USA Today’s Top Ten Winery Tours.  Proprietors Nate and Lauren Belden are an amiable couple and their wines (including some highly regarded Pinots, Sparkling Wine, Grenache and what may be the only commercially available Gruner Veltliner in Sonoma County, among other bottlings) are noteworthy.”

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Show 415, March 6, 2021: Belden Barns Winery and Farmstead with Nate and Lauren Belden Part Two

Lauren and Nate Belden

“Perched atop Sonoma Mountain, Belden Barns celebrates the totality of farmstead agriculture with a surprising range of exceptional, cool-climate estate bottlings for such a boutique property.  In addition to delicious, terroir-driven wines, they rely on resident farmers Vince and Jenny Trotter for their sustainably grown estate fruit and produce.” 

“Tastings normally take place in a charming old barn — a throwback to an earlier time in Sonoma County farm life. (Currently, all tastings are conducted outside due to COVID 19 restrictions).  Visitors to the (kid-friendly) winery are encouraged to meander around the vines or head downhill to the orchards/produce where they can also hang a wish on the “wishing tree.””

Belden Barns has a diverse program of Spring Virtual Tastings including the launch of their Apple Cider. Nate and Lauren also offer customizable virtual tastings for special friends and family celebrations and business gatherings.

“Belden Barns was recently voted one of USA Today’s Top Ten Winery Tours.  Proprietors Nate and Lauren Belden are an amiable couple and their wines (including some highly regarded Pinots, Sparkling Wine, Grenache and what may be the only commercially available Gruner Veltliner in Sonoma County, among other bottlings) are noteworthy.”

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Show 415, March 6, 2021: Gourmandise Cooking School with Chef Clemence de Lutz

“Consistently regarded as one of the best cooking schools in Southern California, The Gourmandise School in downtown Santa Monica at Santa Monica Place offers hands-on recreational cooking and baking class for beginners to professionals, now exclusively online… until further notice! You learn classic techniques from their instructors in your very own home. Gourmandise has classes for adults, kids (6 and over), and teens.”

Classes are conducted via Zoom. Most sessions are 75 minutes to 2 hours long. The Gourmandise School sends class participants recipes, equipment needs and shopping lists.

“Together with co-founder Chef Clémence de Lutz’s culinary expertise, and partner Sabrina Ironside’s marketing and operations background, The Gourmandise School has a new vision to expand the consumer’s education and experience of how to create amazing meals and treats out of locally sourced, sustainable ingredients, using the very finest techniques.”

The virtual cooking classes have been so successful (and serve an appreciative audience of cooking enthusiasts outside of Southern California) that once in-person classes are again permissible at Gourmandise the virtual program will continue.

Chef Clemence de Lutz joins us whisk in hand.

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Show 415, March 6, 2021: Restaurateur and Chef Timothy Hollingsworth, Otium at The Broad and Free Play

Chef Timothy Hollingsworth

“In this difficult period for hospitality the non-profit, Ment’or, is aware of the importance of mentorship and remain steadfast in their commitment to that mission. Mentorship and leadership are needed throughout all our communities to invigorate us with hope and motivation. It is critical, especially during these times, that we continue to support and enrich the future for our young chefs ”

“Each month during 2021 Ment’or will be hosting virtual cooking lessons, inclusive of a Q & A, with a featured chef from their culinary family to share their knowledge and lessons they have learned throughout the journey and on the importance of mentorship.”

Los Angeles’ own Chef Timothy Hollingsworth (Otium, Free Play and C.J. Boyd’s) is set for Mentors, Our Inspiration. Virtual Cooking Series” at 4:00 p.m. PT on Tuesday, March 16th via Zoom. The experience includes the recipe and ingredient list for each featured dish. Chef Tim’s featured dish is Pistachio Pesto Pasta with Grilled Chicken and Blistered Tomatoes. This pasta dish is a favorite of Chef Tim’s 5-year old daughter, Hunter, who will be participating in the cooking demo with him. It’s a regular dish on the Family Table at The Hollingsworth household. Also, an exclusive Q&A with Chef Hollingsworth.

“All proceeds from each virtual event will go towards Ment’or’s programs which help support the culinary community, including: providing young chefs fully funded internships at restaurants around the world, Team USA and their competitions, which opens the doors to further the careers of young chefs across the country, and the Giving Fund, which directs necessary funds to restaurant workers in times of crisis.”

Chef Timothy Hollingsworth is our guest to preview his upcoming Ment’or Virtual Cooking Class.

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Show 415, March 6, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style Pizza

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 regularly 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 which is a genuine (and increasingly growing) concern.

For California restaurants to safely reopen as the pandemic is slowly mitigated they need protection from frivolous COVID 19 lawsuits. Chef Andrew shares his informed thoughts.

Chef Andrew also updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, 86 Restaurant Struggle campaign to benefit out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $380,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in serious need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The substantial need, and fundraising, continues…

Chef Andrew shares the heartwarming story of the recent grants to the most in need employees ($1,200 each) at the family-owned, More Than Waffles in Encino in the San Fernando Valley. This was the basis for a moving segment last week on the national “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.”

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Show 414, February 27, 2021: Loquita Santa Barbara with General Manager Stephanie Perkins

Stephanie Perkins of Loquita

Loquita in Santa Barbara showcases authentic Spanish food including hot and cold tapas, wood-fired grilled seafood and meats, and seasonal paella. The Mediterranean climate and terroir of Santa Barbara County mirror that of Spain, making the translation of locally sourced produce, meats and seafood an ideal match. The wine list is comprised almost entirely of Spanish wines with exceptional local wines that pair well with the cuisine. Loquita’s cocktail list showcases Spanish vermouths, farmers’ market Sangria, hand-crafted cocktails and a rotating selection of Spain’s king of cocktails, the Gin Tonic.” 

A favorite Tapa is the Almejas. It’s little neck clams with cantimpalo chorizo, salsa verde, can sumoi with grilled ciabatta.

Loquita has reopened for socially distanced patio and outdoor dining nightly at 5:00 p.m. and for takeaway. 

General Manager Stephanie Perkins is our amiable guide.

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Show 414, February 27, 2021: Jordan Ogron, Principal, Tesse, West Hollywood Part One

Jordan Ogron of Tesse

Tesse in West Hollywood is a French restaurant featuring the dynamic, continental-inspired cuisine of Chef Raphael Francois and Pastry Chef Sally Camacho Mueller (currently on maternity leave,) served in a chic dining room on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of West Hollywood. An extensive wine program from Jordan Ogron (Principal) is supplemented by Boutellier, an exclusive wine store adjacent to the restaurant. A French-leaning craft cocktail program designed by Nick Meyer and Julian Cox is offered at the bar.”

“The restaurant’s name is a contraction of the French delicatesse, meaning ‘delicacy’ or ‘thoughtfulness’ — it’s also used across France as a colloquial term for charcuterie. And while the iconic pâtés, terrines, rillettes and saucisses of his homeland are central to the menu, Chef Raphael also features a broad and finessed take on French classics, with meats and fish prepared on the wood-fired hearth that anchors the kitchen and lighter fare inspired by near-daily trips to LA’s outstanding Farmers Markets.” 

“Tesse’s menu is designed with wine in mind. The food pairs beautifully with a vast, interactive wine program designed by Jordan Ogron, which features nearly thirty wines by the glass and a list of more than three thousand selections. For those who prefer something a bit stronger, the craft cocktail program was designed by Nick Meyer and Julian Cox, the duo behind many of the most notable bar programs in Los Angeles.”

Tesse is open nightly for dinner with brunch on the weekends. Currently there are patio dining options available fronting Sunset Blvd. or on the south side of the building with the magnificent panoramic view of Los Angeles. Jordan’s popular, creative wine dinners will be resuming shortly.

Tesse’s Jordan Ogron provides us the overview.

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Show 414, February 27, 2021: Jordan Ogron, Principal, Tesse, West Hollywood Part Two

Jordan Ogron of Tesse

Tesse in West Hollywood is a French restaurant featuring the dynamic, continental-inspired cuisine of Chef Raphael Francois and Pastry Chef Sally Camacho Mueller (currently on maternity leave,) served in a chic dining room on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of West Hollywood. An extensive wine program from Jordan Ogron (Principal) is supplemented by Boutellier, an exclusive wine store adjacent to the restaurant. A French-leaning craft cocktail program designed by Nick Meyer and Julian Cox is offered at the bar.”

“The restaurant’s name is a contraction of the French delicatesse, meaning ‘delicacy’ or ‘thoughtfulness’ — it’s also used across France as a colloquial term for charcuterie. And while the iconic pâtés, terrines, rillettes and saucisses of his homeland are central to the menu, Chef Raphael also features a broad and finessed take on French classics, with meats and fish prepared on the wood-fired hearth that anchors the kitchen and lighter fare inspired by near-daily trips to LA’s outstanding Farmers Markets.” 

“Tesse’s menu is designed with wine in mind. The food pairs beautifully with a vast, interactive wine program designed by Jordan Ogron, which features nearly thirty wines by the glass and a list of more than three thousand selections. For those who prefer something a bit stronger, the craft cocktail program was designed by Nick Meyer and Julian Cox, the duo behind many of the most notable bar programs in Los Angeles.”

Tesse is open nightly for dinner with brunch on the weekends. Currently there are patio dining options available fronting Sunset Blvd. or on the south side of the building with the magnificent panoramic view of Los Angeles. Jordan’s popular, creative wine dinners will be resuming shortly.

Tesse’s Jordan Ogron continues with us.

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