Show 337, August 17, 2019: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoOur always on the go Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of The Slapfish Restaurant Group,” joins us with another installment of “Ask the Chef.” Chef Andrew responds to your questions.

Chef Andrew discusses his fondness for fresh Hatch peppers from the Mesilla Valley in New Mexico. The short season is on right now.

These peppers are bound to the land and simply won’t grow correctly anywhere else. Hatch are thick, meaty and rich. They are often noted as the world’s tastiest peppers.


Show 337, August 17, 2019: Tara Lazar, Founder, Foundation 10 Creative, Palm Springs Part One

Tara Lazar of Founders 10 CreativePalm Springs resident Tara Lazar is the Founder of Foundation 10 Creative, a prominent, and growing, hospitality group in Palm Springs. Over the past decade, Tara has created a small empire of iconic restaurants in the ever-growing travel destination of Palm Springs.

“Under the F10 family is the locals’ favorite breakfast, lunch and brunch hotspot Cheeky’s, the handsomely appointed modern steakhouse Mr. Lyons and their classic cocktail hideaway Seymour’s, a lively and al fresco Italian eatery Birba, the sleek and serene hotel Alcazar, and perhaps their most active yet stealth operation – F10 Catering, the go-to service for top-tier brand and celebrity events in the desert area.”

Tara joins us.


Show 337, August 17, 2019: Tara Lazar, Founder, Foundation 10 Creative, Palm Springs Part Two

Tara Lazar of Founders 10 CreativePalm Springs resident Tara Lazar is the Founder of Foundation 10 Creative, a prominent, and growing, hospitality group in Palm Springs. Tara has created a small empire of iconic restaurants in the ever-growing travel destination of Palm Springs

“Initially started as a personal project to entertain and serve friends, F10 Creative has grown into a tight-knit network of some of the best food and beverage offerings in town, and continues to expand.”

“Tara is a Palm Springs native, and after spending time traveling, sampling flavors around the world, she returned home to build Cheeky’s as the first establishment in the F10 line. Tara has been hands-on in every step of the way for each property, from creating the menu and cooking on the line, to designing the atmosphere and touching tables nightly. She now employs almost 200 residents of Palm Springs, and has been an influential voice across staffing, sourcing and serving in the hospitality industry.”

Tara Lazar continues the conversation with us.


Show 337, August 17, 2019: Greg Rowen, Managing Partner, Foundation 10 Creative, Palm Springs

Greg Rowen of Foundation 10 CreativeSeasoned hospitality veteran Greg Rowen oversees the restaurants for Foundation 10 Creative as Managing Partner. In San Francisco he was previously General Manager of Traci des Jardins’ acclaimed Jardiniere and later the opening General Manager for Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills.

Mr. Lyons is the newest addition to the F10 family, opened in 2015 as a reimagining of Lyons English Grille. We’ve taken steak and created a “New Classic” giving it a conscientious modern update, with a menu that puts local, small farms first.”

“Our grand dining room is pure old Hollywood glamour with a steak-centered menu boasting infinite sides and the kind of table side service that instantly transports you to a by gone era. Our classic cocktail hideaway, Seymour’s, offers something a little more relaxed, where you can savor a true classic cocktail or something seasonal and new. Mr. Lyons is steak done right!”

We’ll chat with Greg about the revitalization and repositioning of Mr. Lyons Steakhouse. There is more on the plate there than just another premium steakhouse.


Show 337, August 17, 2019: Richard B. Perelman, Editor & Publisher, The Sports Examiner. Olympics Authority

Rich PerelmanFor the 3rd time The Olympics is returning to Los Angeles in 2028. Did Los Angeles get a good deal for 2028, or just a deal? The person to ask for an update is our Olympic Games expert, Richard B. Perelman, a Palm Springs resident. Mr. Perelman was the youngest Vice President of The Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee (LAOOC) from 1980 to 1984 overseeing Press Operations. Thereafter he was the Editor of The Final Report, a massive 2-volume tome officially documenting the Games of the 23rd Olympiad (the 1984 Summer Olympics).

Rich is the Editor & Publisher of The Sports Examiner DailyThe goal of The Sports Examiner is to provide comprehensive, independent coverage of the Olympic Games, the events and sports that are featured within it and the greater Olympic Movement, with special focus on United States athletes and teams. In order to serve the widest-possible readership, the site is free to view. Olympic Games enthusiasts can also subscribe to the daily e-newsletter (without cost.)


Show 337, August 17, 2019: Chef Scooter Kanfer, The Tropicale Restaurant & Coral Seas Lounge, Palm Springs

Scooter Kanfer of the TropicaleChef Scooter Kanfer is the menu maker (with proprietor Tony Di Lembo) at Palm Springs’ The Tropicale Restaurant & Coral Seas Lounge (Comfort Food for a Modern World.) “Every night at Tropicale is a party.”

Newly published is The Tropicale Restaurant Cookbook.

“A chic and sophisticated décor provides the setting for our distinctive “world cuisine”, a provocative mix of zesty influences that creates a delightful dining experience in Palm Springs, California. Plush high-backed semicircular banquettes surround our dining room and offer comfortable and private seating. The cuisine has a light, exotic feel with an emphasis on Pacific Rim specialties, from Chilean Sea Bass baked in Banana Leaves or Kahlua-Barbecued Pork Chops to all sorts of tasty tapas, salads, wood-fired pizzas, and desserts.”

“The Coral Seas Lounge, a hip mid-century style bar is lined with sexy black leather bar-stools and is reminiscent of the upbeat lounges of old Palm Springs. It wraps around the dining room and leads outside to a lush, tropical, 2000 square foot dining patio where a variety of specialty cocktails and old-school favorites are mixed – an ideal place where friends gather and martinis are sipped under the starlit desert sky.”

We spirit Chef Scooter away from her busy kitchen at Brunch for a chat.


Show 337, August 17, 2019: Robert Hunt, General Manager, Alcazar Palm Springs

Robert Hunt of Alcazar Palm SpringsAlcazar Palm Springs (established in 2011 and a member of Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels) is a serene and peaceful oasis right in the center of the cultural epicenter known as the uptown design district!”

“This lush and relaxing 34- room boutique hotel is warm, modern & sleek, featuring Imported Italian linens, flat screen TV’s, fireplaces, poolside and private patios, salt water purified pool, cooling misters, Jacuzzi and a beautiful garden courtyard to lounge with your favorite book and glass of wine.”

Mature, well-maintained landscaping with an abundance of shade trees, plants and flowers is an attraction of the property with wings built around the interior courtyard and pool. Some rooms have comfortable patios with mature Meyer lemon trees providing shade. A busy, full-time gardener tends to the botanicals.

The hands-on, welcoming and hospitable General Manager is Robert Hunt. We’ll meet him.


Show 336, August 10, 2019: Mealtop (Korean Shaved Ice) with Proprietor Joon Hyun-Baek

Joon Hyun-Baek of Mealtop CafeSince 1985 Mealtop has been serving traditional Korean shaved ice (Bingsoo) all over South Korea. These popular and traditional Korean desserts have recently arrived in the United States with locations in Buena Park and on L.A.’s Koreatown.

The menu at Mealtop features a multitude of authentic Bingsoo (shaved ice). All of Mealtop’s Bingsoo variations include four classic ingredients: soft shaved ice, braised red beans, chewy rice cakes and sweet condensed milk. The cast-iron braised sweet-but-savory red beans are the most important aspect, while the other three play equal parts in the taste of Korean tradition. All of the flavors come together in harmony and every ingredient is either made in-house using traditional techniques or locally sourced.

In addition to traditional shaved ice, Mealtop also offers other items such as lattes from South Korea (Bibibig Latte, Orange Latte and Babamba Latte), and desserts such as Injelomi Pancake and more.

“Even with an abundance of Korean food in Los Angeles, I felt and still somewhat feel that there is room for growth not only in Korean food but representation of Korean culture; thus I made it one of my life goals to spread Korean culture through food and clothing. Our ultimate goal is to bring a piece of South Korean culture to these communities through traditional Korean shaved ice and desserts.” — CEO Joon Hyun-Baek

We’ll meet proprietor Joon Hyun-Baek.


Show 336, August 10, 2019: 8th Annual Golden Foodie Awards Voting with Founder Pamela Waitt

Pam Waitt of the Golden Foodie AwardsVoting for the 8th Annual Golden Foodie Awards representing the best in dining in Orange County commences on August 11th and runs for one tight week until Saturday, August 17th. It’s the people’s choice awards as Orange County foodies make the decisions.

“The Golden Foodie Awards has evolved into a celebration of Orange County’s rich culinary scene,” said Pamela Waitt, creator and producer of the Golden Foodie Awards, and president of the OC Restaurant Association. “Now in its 8th year, the Golden Foodie Awards have grown exponentially in reach and media attention. To enable us to continue to grow as an event, we have previously brought on the accounting firm of Moss Adams to audit votes and continue to attract sponsors who share a vision of highlighting those stand-out chefs and restaurants in Orange County.”

The Golden Foodie Awards is a people’s choice event that recognizes the best chefs, libations and cuisine at chef-driven and independent restaurants. With its focus on involving the Orange County community to serve as judges through their voting, the Golden Foodie Awards serve as a high honor and is an indication of local culinary trends and consumer preferences.

Connoisseurs of cuisine and lovers of libations will have a chance for one week (starting August 11th) to vote for their favorites among 14 categories (plus two more categories, Pastry Chef of the Year & Chef of the Year, that are peer voted). The voting includes categories ranging from Bartender of the Year to Best Service Award.

The sold-out gala awards ceremony is set for the Marriott Newport Beach on September 29th.


Show 336, August 10, 2019: Chef & Food Journalist Christina Xenos – Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook

Christina Xenos of My Sweet Greek CateringLearn the secrets of easy, healthy Greek cuisine with our guest, Chef Christina Xenos, co-author of Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook. When you don’t have the Greek island breeze behind you, finding local ingredients for complex recipes can seem difficult to integrate Greek food into your lifestyle. With Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook you can spare yourself the odyssey of traveling just to eat fresh and flavorful food. Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook leads you on a culinary journey towards an appetizing and healthy lifestyle through simple recipes.

Discover Greek cooking with:

  • 90 Recipes for popular Greek dishes made with easy-to-find ingredients
  • Greek Kitchen Tips including how to stock your pantry and kitchen with the right ingredients and equipment, plus cooking techniques
  • A Regional Overview explaining Greek food from ancient times to modern day

Recipes in this Greek cookbook include: Avocado Skordalia, Baked Zucchini Patties, Spanakopita, Spinach Rice, Vegetable Moussaka, Shrimp Santorini, Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts, Greek Yogurt Brandy Cake, and much more!

Christina Xenos is a professional chef, cookbook author, and journalist based in Los Angeles, California. Her Greek-themed pop-up dining experiences have been featured in Food & Wine magazine, among other outlets. She loves sharing her recipes and food musings on her instagram and recipe blog.