Show 381, July 11, 2020: Dana Slatkin, Proprietress, Violet Bistro, School & Shop, Westwood Village

Dana Slatkin of Violet BistroViolet Los Angeles, newly opened, is a vibrant Cali-French bistro, full bar, cooking school and shop in the heart of Westwood Village. In the spirit of European cafés and cookery schools, Violet aims to bring together the community over memorable meals and culinary adventures.”

Featuring a romantic courtyard in a historic 1930’s brick building, Violet Bistro is a charming eatery currently serving Dinner and cocktails Tuesday through Sunday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Seating is within the picturesque courtyard and reservations are needed to properly adhere to all the current outdoor dining and safety regulations.

“Violet Los Angeles founder Dana Slatkin always dreamed of opening a delightful neighborhood gathering place, like the ones where she spent so much time while studying and working in Italy and France. Born in Los Angeles, Dana is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and The Culinary Institute of America. She trained with chefs Georges Blanc and Michel Guèrard at their eponymous Michelin three-star restaurants in France, patissier Pierre Hermé at Fauchon in Paris, and David Bouley in New York City.”

“Dana moved back to Los Angeles to become General Manager at L’Orangerie. In 1994, she helped launch the Beverly Hills Farmers Market, later using the name and inspiration for her own line of snacks and baked goods, which she sold to airlines and supermarkets for a decade. Dana’s first cookbook, Summertime Anytime: Recipes From Shutters On The Beach, was published in 2008 by Clarkson Potter. As the Beverly Hills Farmgirl, she ran a cooking school and shop for twelve years. She is a mother of three, a board member of the Berkeley Food Institute, a classical pianist, and an avid crosswordist.”

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Show 381, July 11, 2020: Restaurateur Michael Cardenas, Co-Founder of Innovative Dining Group

Miichael Cardenas of Innovative Dining GroupVeteran Restaurateur Michael Cardenas is one of the Founding Partners of Innovative Dining Group. Among their many successful concepts are the BOA Steakhouses and Katana on the Sunset Strip.

Separately Michael just launched TacosWays in Tokyo, serving authentic down-home Mexican fare with Modelo Micheladas leading the beverage side. Next up is his Mexican sushi concept in Oxnard, SUSHIWAY, set to debut next month.

We’ll talk shop and the state of the global restaurant business with Michael Cardenas.

“Innovative Dining Group operates some of the most successful and legendary restaurants in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Scottsdale. All of IDG’s venues reflect bold, modern interpretations of traditional concepts, reflective of the company’s dynamic partners. Our chefs create menus with signature items that always land on the must list in each market. IDG artfully combines exceptional cuisine with beautifully designed surroundings, resulting in restaurants just as popular today as when they first opened.”

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Show 381, July 11, 2020: Chef & Proprietor John Park, Toast Kitchen + Bakery, Costa Mesa

John Park of Toast Kitchen and BakeryChef John Park’s Toast Kitchen + Bakery, now celebrating its 2nd Anniversary, is a welcome addition to the moderately priced dining scene in Costa Mesa. The actual anniversary date is July 24th but Toast will be celebrating with changing weekly specials for the entire month. From Tuesday, July 14th through Sunday, July 19th all the signature house-baked cookies are $2 each.

They serve Breakfast & Brunch daily (closed on Monday.) Early Dinner is Tuesday through Friday with Happy Hour (with food & libation specials) on Weekdays from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Some salivating new menu items have just been introduced including creative libations and both savory & sweet creations. Think Mapo Tofu Noodles with mapo tofu, noodles, zucchini, roasted sesame seeds and cilantro.

Chef John Park, the Chef of the Year at the 2019 Golden Foodie Awards, joins us.

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Show 381, July 11, 2020: Founder & Winemaker Ben Papapietro, Papapietro Perry Winery Part One

Ben Papapietro of Papapietro Perry WineryPapapietro Perry Winery is a boutique, family-owned winery located in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley, which has specialized in making remarkable, classic Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, as well as a small selection of other varietals from Sonoma such as Zinfandel, Chardonnay and Rosé. Committed to quality for more than twenty years, Ben and Yolanda Papapietro and Bruce and Renae Perry, two couples who began making wine as a hobby in a San Francisco basement in 1980, have consistently produced small lots of award-winning and critically-acclaimed wines, handmade from harvest to punch down.”

Papapietro Perry produces annually 8,000 cases of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Rose. The Appellations are Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley.

Winemaker and Founder Ben Papapietro pulls the cork on Papapietro Perry for us.

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Show 381, July 11, 2020: Founder & Winemaker Ben Papapietro, Papapietro Perry Winery Part Two

Ben Papapietro of Papapietro Perry WineryPapapietro Perry Winery is a boutique, family-owned winery located in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley, which has specialized in making remarkable, classic Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, as well as a small selection of other varietals from Sonoma such as Zinfandel, Chardonnay and Rosé. Committed to quality for more than twenty years, Ben and Yolanda Papapietro and Bruce and Renae Perry, two couples who began making wine as a hobby in a San Francisco basement in 1980, have consistently produced small lots of award-winning and critically-acclaimed wines, handmade from harvest to punch down.

Papapietro Perry produces annually 8,000 cases of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Rose. The Appellations are Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley.

“Papapietrio Perry Wine is in good company with many exceptional Sonoma County winetasting experiences in Dry Creek Valley. The winery is housed in an antique and authentic, renovated fruit processing barn at the historic Timber Crest Farms Collective near Healdsburg. A rare “Past & Present” seated wine tasting focused on past and current releases of Pinot Noir, as well as carefully-curated cheese and wine pairings, are both available by appointment while enjoying views of Dry Creek Valley from the winery’s elegant and covered outdoor hospitality and entertaining space. When the weather is inclement, tastings are also available in the winery barrel room.”

Winemaker and Founder Ben Papapietro pours a 2nd glass of Papapietro Perry Pinot Noir for us.

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Show 381, July 11, 2020: Preview of “Burger Week” with Chef Lene & Mark Houck of Open Face Food Shop

Lene and Mark Houck of Open Face Food Shop“Coming together for the very first time to celebrate restaurants all throughout Southern California, Los Angeles and Orange County unite to introduce Burger Week, which will be held from Sunday, July 12th, 2020 through Sunday, July 18th, 2020. Burger Week, produced by the Orange County Restaurant Association, will be a first-time event in Los Angeles and second annual event in Orange County. Burger Week was created to encourage diners all throughout the Southland (Orange County, Los Angeles County, Long Beach, and Pasadena) to celebrate and support SoCal restaurants while enjoying America’s favorite food – the almighty Burger!”

“Burger Week will feature burger creations from participating restaurants all across Southern California and during this week-long event running from Sunday, July 12th through Sunday, July 18th, 2020, diners will be able to explore a variety of Burgers, ranging from classic to creative, featuring proteins including beef, chicken, turkey, mushroom, and plant-based options, on menus priced at $10, $15, $20, and luxe menus at $25. Many restaurants will also be featuring special outdoor Dine-in, Takeout and Delivery packages, along with specialty featured Cocktails made with Maker’s Mark or Knob Creek Bourbon Whiskey. The restaurants participating in Burger Week, their Menus, and their featured Cocktails are all highlighted at BurgerWeek.com.”

Chef Executive Chef Lene Houck of Open Face Food Shop in Los Angeles (on West Adams Blvd.) is one of the participating chefs and restaurants in Burger Week. Open Face Food Shop is offering four special burger creations (with a choice of side) including the Classic Danish Style Open Face Burger with caramelized sweet onion, shaved brussels sprouts and quick pickled cucumber served on a 3-day (proofed) sourdough cheesy bread. A Burger Week Exira is “The Great Dane” Danish Hot Dog with an 8- inch handmade veal frank, remoulade, crispy onion and house-made pickles.

“Simply put, Chef Lene Houck creates amazing open face sandwiches using fresh, seasonal ingredients in modern, inventive pairings. Lene and her husband Mark hope that their neighbors and friends will enjoy both the food she’s lovingly created and the welcoming atmosphere surrounding it.”

Executive Chef / Proprietor Lene Houck and Proprietor Mark Houck temp us with all the juicy burger deliciousness.

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Show 381, July 11, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoOur 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. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

It’s another week in California of fast-changing rules including the new ban on dining inside. We’ll hear from Chef Andrew with his assessment of the rapidly evolving situation. Will the current 3-week ban on indoor dine-in be extended? The goal remains to keep both guests and employees safe while still accommodating diners with food.

We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

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Show 380, July 4, 2020: Chef Pierre A. Lamielle with The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids Part One

Pierre A Lamielle“From a young age, kids can have strong opinions about which foods they enjoy and which foods they definitely do not want to see on their plate! The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids by “Chopped Canada” winner Chef Pierre Lamielle takes knowledge from a practiced chef, and adds the quirky characters of the Munchy Munchy Gang into the mix!”

“The Munchy Munchy Gang teach budding foodies and chefs about skills and flavor profiles through 28 different recipes and a myriad of fun illustrations. Readers will learn how to make favorites including ketchup, pancakes, and more, with simple instructions and illustrations (drawn by Chef Lamielle) for every step.”

“Pierre’s characters make complex cooking theories, like balancing the five tastes, accessible to kids of all ages!”

We entice Chef Pierre Lamielle out of the kitchen for a chat.

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Show 380, July 4, 2020: Chef Pierre A. Lamielle with The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids Part Two

Pierre A Lamielle“Fun illustrations and delightfully quirky characters bring the kitchen to life in The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids. Join Chef Pierre A. Lamielle on a kitchen adventure as he introduces you to the Munchy Munchy Gang, a team of characters here to educate kids on the art of cooking and the range of flavors they’ll encounter. Learn how to make over 28 different recipes, including ketchup, pancakes and other kid favorites with simple, easy-to-follow instructions and illustrations for every step. Pierre’s characters make complex cooking theories, like balancing the five tastes, accessible to kids of all ages. The perfect manual for a budding chef”

“Chef Pierre A. Lamielle is the award- winning cookbook author of Alice Eats: A Wonderland Cookbook and Kitchen Scraps: A Humorous Illustrated Cookbook. Both won “Best Illustrated Cookbook in the World” at the Gourmand Cookbook Awards. He loves to teach cooking to all ages. He prefers cooking with friends but is not afraid of a little friendly culinary competition. He even competed on “Top Chef Canada” and “Chopped Canada”, which he won.”

Chef Pierre is very excited for you to meet the amazing cast of characters in The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids and to learn all about cooking and eating tasty food.”

Chef Lamielle continues the conversation with us previewing The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids.

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Show 380, July 4, 2020: Celebrity Chef Susan Feniger, Socalo Santa Monica and Border Grill DTLA & Las Vegas Part One

Susan Feniger wearing a mask at Socalo in Santa MonicaCelebrity chef and restaurateur Susan Feniger is best known for creating Border Grill (Los Angeles & Las Vegas) with her business partner Mary Sue Milliken. She was also one of the first stars on Food Network. The partners have made their return to Santa Monica with the launch of Socalo in the Gateway Hotel which has just reopened for expanded patio dining for lunch, dinner & Happy Hour on Tuesday through Saturday.

Curbside pickup is available, too. A range of Family Meals are available by Tock. Also Margarita Kits, Wines by the Bottle, and Craft Beers.

Complimentary on-site parking is available.

We corral Chef Susan for a chat on what’s currently available at Socalo Santa Monica.

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