Show 301, December 8, 2018: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce’s “Prince of Produce”

Melissa's Robert Schueller at the SoCal Restaurant Show 5th Anniversary

What are the “Top 10” Specialty Produce items in 2018? What’s sprouting on the horizon for 2019? We’ll tease that Jackfruit was the tenth most popular specialty produce item for 2018 based on sales.

Robert also shares some fun facts about apples. Did you know Red Delicious and Golden Delicious Apples are only harvested once a year and then kept fresh year-round until needed for sale? Robert explains the secret about how this is all accomplished.

All will be revealed by our enthusiastic resident produce authority, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s.We respectfully refer to him as The Prince of Produce.

This is the first of a two-part, highly informative produce trends segment. Robert is back on December22nd.


Show 301, December 8, 2018: Chef Brian Huskey, Tackle Box, SoCo, Costa Mesa

Brian Huskey

Chef Brian Huskey’s modest Tackle Box (Local Grub Shack,) located on the beach in Corona del Mar, is known for serving fine-dining cuisine out of a beach shack. Chef Brian has recently gone up-market with a more ambitious Tackle Box located at SoCo in Costa Mesa. It’s Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Weekend Brunch.

“Tackle Box is the epicenter of fresh honest food. As a local grub shack, we provide our community with quick, simple, and unique flavors that appeal to the masses. We are inspired by local and sustainable purveyors in delivering the best quality product. Tackle Box is an interpretation of community through food, and we are here to share our everyday catch with you.”

“Huskey is a native of Pasadena, California. After attending and studying Economics at UCLA, where he had his first job as a short order cook at The Grove, Brian moved to San Francisco to get his formal culinary education at California Culinary Academy (CCA).”

“After CCA, Brian went on a culinary journey, traveling to places as far as the Caribbean – but eventually landing back in Los Angeles.” He spent a number of years with Chef Ricardo Zarate (Rosaline.)

“Brian has been able to travel and cultivate his culinary voice by learning how to incorporate Asian, French, Peruvian and Californian influences into his food.”

Brian previously competed on BRAVO’s nationally acclaimed and Emmy-winning TV show, Top Chef Season 11: New Orleans, where he had a national audience of foodies each week to showcase his culinary talent. He cooked his way through the difficult Season to finish as the Number 5 Cheftestant.

We’ll reel Chef Brian in for an update.


Show 301, December 8, 2018: Bob Oswaks, Proprietor / Boulanger, Bob’s Well Bread Bakery, Los Alamos

Bob Oswaks

You would not expect to find an incredible artisan bakery which also serves popular word-of-mouth breakfast and lunch (extraordinary sandwiches) in the small town of Los Alamos in the heart of Santa Ynez wine country located just off the 101 Freeway. Bob’s Well Bread Bakery and Café delightfully defies expectations.

Unusually there are two cottages (“The Cottages”) available for guests on the Bob’s Well Bread property.

“Bob’s Well Bread was started by an entertainment executive-turned-baker who was looking for some balance in his life, and found a passion and a new calling that was both delightful and unexpected.  “When you make something naturally, and with your hands, there’s a magic to it.  If you’re eating a loaf of our bread, or drinking a bottle of our local wine, and you know that someone put in the time to make it by hand, there is just this personal connection.  It may not change the way it tastes, but it changes your experience, and that is what everyone wants—the experience.”

Bob and Jane Oswaks designed Bob’s Well Bread out of an old 1920’s gas station historic Los Alamos, opening their doors on August 1,2014.  They pride themselves on the finest ingredients, sourced locally and seasonally, in all of their products, including Jane’s house made jams, marmalades, marshmallows and gluten-free specialties.”  

“Using natural fermentation for yeast and allowing the dough to rise slowly, Bob’s Well Bread makes artisan breads by hand in small batches, in a custom-built stone deck oven.”

The Café Menu (Breakfast & Lunch changes regularly. The word-of-mouth sandwiches are amply portioned and served on the fresh, house-bakedbreads. Sandwich nirvana…

Bob’s has grown over the last four years to the point that there is now both a dedicated baker and chef in-house overseen by Bob.

We’re on the rise with Proprietor/ Boulanger Bob Oswaks.


Show 301, December 8, 2018: Golden Road Brewing’s Brewmaster Victor Novak and Steven Torres (Anaheim Head Brewer)

Victor Novak and Steven Torres

Yes, The Holidays and Craft Beer do pair together well. At Holiday time there are a number of seasonal Holiday pours available for the quaffing. We’re talking about Barleywines, Spiced Ales and more.

Would you believe there is a trending new style of craft beer that tastes like Sparkling Wine? This festive pour is a Brut IPA. We’ll get the effervescent details.

For the best in holiday cheer we’re joined by our brewing authorities from Golden Road Brewing– Brewmaster Victor Novak and Anaheim Head Brewer Steven Torres.


Show 301, December 8, 2018: Layla Ali-Ahmad, Beach City Food Tours’ East Village Cocktail Tour

Layla Ali Ahmad

A great way to be introduced to the foods of a new area is to partake of the highest rated food walking tour of that neighborhood. Beach City Food Tours has been doing that very successfully in Long Beach for the last couple of years.

They have just added the irresistible East Village Craft Cocktail Tour highlighting five thirst-quenching stops over the three-hour guided expedition.

It’s a carefully selected mélange of farm-to-table libations, Whiskey-centric craft cocktails, cider & mead and tequila and mezcal creations. There are also tasty small bar bites on the menu to be enjoyed along the way.

“Sip your way through Downtown Long Beach’s favorite watering holes, while learning about the City’s growing craft cocktail movement.”

One of the tour highlights is a stop at Great Society Cider & Mead, a one-of-a-kind establishment in Southern California. The entertaining Proprietor or General Manager there engagingly explains the flavor profiles of the four tasters of Cider each guest samples. There is also a food tasting there, too. On our tour they were serving a tasty Sausage & Pepper Penne Pasta creation.

This is a great Holiday Gift for that special someone who appreciates a well-crafted libation.

Proprietress Layla Ali-Ahmad joins us with all the details of what’s on the menu.


Show 301, December 8, 2018: Ryan Wilson, Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc. Part Two


Ryan Wilson

Ryan Wilson, an accomplished chef, is part of the fourth generation of proud Frank / Van de Kamp family ownership of Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc. Most recently he served as Vice President and Corporate Executive Chef but recently transitioned to an expanded position with Lawry’s Restaurants.

With a new Stanford Graduate School of Business Master of Science in Management for Experienced Leaders degree Ryan has transitioned into the new post as Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer for Lawry’s leading into the future.


Show 300, December 1, 2018: Solvang Julefest, Laura Kath, Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau

Laura Kath of Mariah MarketingSolvang, named by as one of the “50 Best Christmas Towns in All 50 States” and “America’s 50 Most Charming Small Towns for the Holidays” as well as Time Magazine’s “Most Christmassy Towns in America” will sparkle again during the 2018 annual Solvang Julefest (pronounced Yule-Fest) from December 1, 2018 through January 4, 2019. This year will feature the return of the popular Free Nisse Adventure Hunt, the Free Candlelight Tours and the addition of new VIP Candlelight Tours.

More 2018 Solvang Julefest highlights include the Free Visits with Santa “Julemanden” in Solvang Park; free Nisse Adventure; Shop, Mingle & Jingle Weekends; Holiday Wine & Beer Walk “Skål Stroll!”; Community Tree-lighting Ceremony, Julefest Parade and free Nativity Pageant.

Especially with free parking throughout the village, the incredible variety of more than 150 one-of-a-kind boutiques and specialty shops makes Solvang a perfect destination to shop for gifts and create holiday memories.

Plus, there will be additional open houses at local retailers, special concerts and more taking place throughout the season—with activities continually being updated at Solvang USA’s website.

Laura Kath, SCVB’s Media Relations Director lights the tree for us.


Show 300, December 1, 2018: Food Journalist Lindsay-Jean Hard, Cooking With Scraps – Turn Your Peels, Cores, Rinds, And Stems Into Delicious Meals

Lindsay-Jean HurdThe statistics are grim: Americans currently produce 133 pounds of food waste every year, and 40 percent of food in this country goes uneaten. For the first time ever, the USDA has set a nationwide goal to reduce food waste by 50 percent by the year 2030. Lindsay-Jean Hard’s Cooking with Scraps – Turn Your Peels, Cores, Rinds, Stems and other Odds and Ends into Delicious Meals (Workman Publishing, $19.95, October 30, 2018) provides 85 creative, delicious, and inspired recipes to help home cooks meet this important goal.

By learning the basics behind transforming food waste into treasure, readers can take advantage of ingredients such as outdated produce, cheese rinds, stale bread, and other oft-discarded foods to create budget-conscious, sustainable, and highly satisfying meals.

Lindsay-Jean explains the rationale behind her choices in the recipes: “What lies unused in one’s fridge or pantry is not a purposeless object destined for the waste bin! For the most part, you’ll find recipes for the often unused parts—I’m assuming that if you buy carrots you already know how to use the carrot’s root, but you might not know how to make use of the greens—but every now and then I’ll touch on how to incorporate the whole item. For an ingredient to make it into the book, it had to be “worth it” to me as a scrap. For example, when buying broccoli, generally enough of the stem is sold along with it that it makes sense to put it to use, but you won’t find a recipe focused around ginger peels, because not only does it not really need to be peeled, but even if you do peel it, you won’t generate enough of it at one time to turn into something else.”

“Lindsay-Jean Hard received her Master’s in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan. Her education and passion for sustainability went on to inform and inspire her work in the garden, home, and community. The seeds of this book were planted in her Food52 column of the same name. Today she works to share her passion for great food and great communities as a marketer at Zingerman’s Bakehouse. She lives, writes, loves, and creates in Ann Arbor, Michigan.”

We’ll meet Lindsay-Jean.


Show 300, December 1, 2018: Founding Winemaker Dieter Cronje, Presqu’ile Winery, Santa Maria

Dieter CronjeLocated in the heart of Santa Barbara County’s Santa Maria Valley, Presqu’ile (pronounced press-KEEL) is a small, family-run winery dedicated to crafting exceptional cool-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Made using grapes from their own sustainably certified Presqu’ile Vineyard, and from a handful of the finest winegrowing sites in the valley, Presqu’ile wines capture the essence of their vineyards and vintage, and have earned acclaim for their elegance and balance.

Situated high atop a hill, with stunning ocean and vineyard views, Presqu’ile offers one of California’s most memorable wine tasting experiences. Join the Murphy Family, and enjoy a taste of southern hospitality on California’s beautiful Central Coast.

“A cool-climate Pinot Noir specialist, and one of the Central Coast’s rising star winemakers, Dieter Cronje brings a unique perspective, gained in two hemispheres, to Presqu’ile. As the winery’s founding winemaker, Dieter had the rare opportunity to contribute his insights to the original planting of Presqu’ile’s 73-acre estate vineyard, an experience that gave him an intimate knowledge of the vineyard’s rich diversity.”

“He also collaborated with Presqu’ile’s founders, the Murphy family, during the design of Presqu’ile’s purpose-built winery. In this gravity-flow winery, Dieter preserves the vineyard’s diversity by working in small lots, and applying a gentle, minimalist approach that accentuates the character of the vineyards. The resulting wines offer the purity, elegance and signature spice that have made Santa Maria Valley famous among connoisseurs of great cool-climate Pinot Noir.”

Founding Winemaker Dieter Cronje pulls the cork for us.


Show 300, December 1, 2018: Chef Matthew Peters, Gold Medalist, Team USA, Bocuse d’Or 2017

Mathew PetersWe last spoke with Chef Mathew Peters early last year after he won the first ever Gold Medal for Team USA at the Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition, a never-before achieved highlight for the American culinary arts! He’s now Austin, Texas based and is in the process of launching his own destination restaurant there.

Chef Peters is part of the Culinary Council of the ment’or BKB Foundation which supports and funds Team USA. On Wednesday, December 12th in Las Vegas ment’or BKB is staging their Young Chef and Commis Competition. The food-loving public can support the non-profit ment’or BKB Foundation (and the culinary arts in the USA) and attend.

“All competitors in the Young Chef and Commis Competitions are paired with mentors from the Foundation’s Culinary Council or previous Bocuse d’Or Team USA representatives, in tandem with the foundation’s goal of inspiring culinary excellence and fostering a supportive community for the next generation of great chefs in America.”

“This year’s 2018 Young Chef & Commis candidates will congregate in Las Vegas from all across the country, with competitors hailing from Washington, D.C, Chicago, IL and Boston, MA all the way to Honolulu, HI.”

Following the competition, ment’or will host a 10th anniversary celebration dinner. Chefs Paul Bartolotta, Justin Cogley, Timothy Hollingsworth, Michelle Karr-Ueoka, Mathew Peters, Rich Rosendale and Philip Tessier will come together to prepare a special menu honoring the late Chef Paul Bocuse, for whom the Bocuse d’Or, the world’s most prestigious culinary competition, is named. The festivities will begin at Bouchon Las Vegas at The Venetian Resort with a 45-minute cocktail reception at 7:15pm with passed canapés, followed by a four-course menu.

Tickets for the competition and celebration dinner are available for purchase here.

Chef Matt, who will also be a competition judge, joins us with all the mouthwatering details.