Show 429, June 12, 2021: Restaurateur and Hotelier Karina Castaneda, Los Arboles Hotel & El Mirasol Restaurants Part One

Karina Castenda of Los Arboles Hotel

Hotelier and restaurateur Karina Castenda represents the 2nd generation of the founding family who owns Los Arboles Hotel (a Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotel) and the pair of El Mirasol Mexican restaurants. The original (and still operating) El Mirasol (South, located on E. Palm Canyon Dr.) opened in 1985. The 2nd El Mirasol restaurant (North) with a spacious patio and pool-side dining is located adjacent to Los Arboles Hotel.

El Mirasol makes their corn tortillas on-site and is known for their wide variety of potent Margaritas. The signature Guacamole is prepared from chunks of fresh Haas avocado hand-blended with chopped tomatoes, scallions and cilantro. The El Mirasol restaurants are closed on Monday & Tuesday. Mirasol North hosts Breakfast, Lunch and then, Dinner, from 9:00 a.m. on Weekends. (Otherwise opening at 11:00 a.m.) The E. Palm Canyon Dr. location (South) serves from 11:00 a.m. Wednesday thru Sunday.

“A charming, historic boutique Palm Springs resort and home to the iconic El Mirasol Mexican Restaurant and bar, Los Arboles Hotel features 21 well-appointed rooms, heated pool, Jacuzzi, room service and is located walking distance from downtown shopping, dining, and nightlife.”

Karina Castenada joins us with a classic De La Casa Margarita in hand.

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Show 429, June 12, 2021: Restaurateur and Hotelier Karina Castaneda, Los Arboles Hotel & El Mirasol Restaurants Part Two

Karina Castenda of Los Arboles Hotel

Hotelier and restaurateur Karina Castaneda represents the 2nd generation of the founding family who owns Los Arboles Hotel (a Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotel) and the pair of El Mirasol Mexican restaurants. The original (and still operating) El Mirasol (South) opened in 1985. The 2nd El Mirasol restaurant (North) with a spacious patio is located adjacent to Los Arboles Hotel.

El Mirasol makes their corn tortillas on-site and is known for their wide variety of potent Margaritas. The signature Guacamole is prepared from chunks of fresh Haas avocado hand-blended with chopped tomatoes, scallions and cilantro. The El Mirasol restaurants are closed on Monday & Tuesday. Mirasol North hosts Breakfast, Lunch and the, Dinner, from 9:00 a.m. on Weekends. (Otherwise opening at 11:00 a.m.) The E. Palm Canyon Dr. location (South) serves from 11:00 a.m. Wednesday thru Sunday.

“A charming, historic boutique Palm Springs resort and home to the iconic El Mirasol Mexican Restaurant and bar, Los Arboles Hotel features 21 well-appointed rooms, heated pool, Jacuzzi, room service and is located walking distance from downtown shopping, dining, and nightlife.” The look is mission / hacienda style architecture.

Karina Castaneda continues with us piping hot corn tortillas in-hand.

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Show 429, June 12, 2021: Bosscat Kitchen and Libations, Orange, Houston, TX and Newport Beach Part One

John Reed and Leslie Nguyen of Bosscat Kitchen and Libations

Orange County restaurateurs Leslie Nguyen and John Reed (owners of Bosscat Kitchen and Libations) launched their third location this March on the corner of Chapman Avenue and Olive Street in Old Towne Orange at the previous Rod’s Liquor location, a 100-year old building..

“The 5,000 sq. ft. result is a beautifully modern space that is as authentic and nostalgic to Old Towne Orange as it is bold and eye-catching to fit Bosscat Kitchen’s brand. Leslie Nguyen, Chief Designer, has drawn her inspiration from the century old pre-prohibition style building, making certain every detail is on brand for Bosscat’s rustic industrial aesthetic but also throwing back to the auto repair shop and the beloved neighborhood liquor store that had decades of commerce and stories before it.”

“Bosscat Kitchen & Libations creatively meshes upscale and casual dining with an expansive whiskey selection and unique menu of American comfort food. The high energy, open-spaced concept promotes a lively experience at all locations: Newport Beach, CA and Houston, TX (with the third location newly opened in Orange, CA on March 17th). Their brick, metal, dark wood and whiskey barrel decor suits its comfort menu.”

“One of the restaurant’s most coveted attractions is the famous whiskey room that houses hundreds of whiskies from several countries (including: Scotland, Ireland, Japan, Canada and the US). Bosscat Kitchen’s Executive Chef, Peter Petro, cultivates new ideas with seasonal produce, meats and spices.”

Bosscat Kitchens’ Leslie Nguyen (in-studio) and John Reed (on the phone from Houston) join us.

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Show 429, June 12, 2021: Bosscat Kitchen and Libations, Orange, Houston, TX and Newport Beach Part Two

John Reed and Leslie Nguyen of Bosscat Kitchen and Libations

Orange County restaurateurs Leslie Nguyen and John Reed (owners of Bosscat Kitchen and Libations) launched their third location this March on the corner of Chapman Avenue and Olive Street in Old Towne Orange at the previous Rod’s Liquor location, a 100-year old building..

“The 5,000 sq. ft. result is a beautifully modern space that is as authentic and nostalgic to Old Towne Orange as it is bold and eye-catching to fit Bosscat Kitchen’s brand. Leslie Nguyen, Chief Designer, has drawn her inspiration from the century old pre-prohibition style building, making certain every detail is on brand for Bosscat’s rustic industrial aesthetic but also throwing back to the auto repair shop and the beloved neighborhood liquor store that had decades of commerce and stories before it.”

“Bosscat Kitchen & Libations creatively meshes upscale and casual dining with an expansive whiskey selection and unique menu of American comfort food. The high energy, open-spaced concept promotes a lively experience at all locations: Newport Beach, CA and Houston, TX (with the third location newly opened in Orange, CA on March 17th). Their brick, metal, dark wood and whiskey barrel decor suits its comfort menu.”

“One of the restaurant’s most coveted attractions is the famous whiskey room that houses hundreds of whiskies from several countries (including: Scotland, Ireland, Japan, Canada and the US). Bosscat Kitchen’s Executive Chef, Peter Petro, cultivates new ideas with seasonal produce, meats and spices.”

Bosscat Kitchens’ Leslie Nguyen (in-studio) and John Reed (on the phone from Houston) continue with us.

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Show 429, June 12, 2021: Donato Poto, Partner, Providence, Hollywood Part One

Donato Poto of Providence plus Connie and Ted's

For 16 years, Providence in Hollywood has elevated the standard of modern American seafood restaurants with exemplary service. Newly reopened for dine-in guests can again experience Chef Michael Cimarusti’s award-winning cuisine in the heart of Los Angeles, welcomed by one of L.A.’s legendary hosts, co-owner Donato Poto.

“Chef Cimarusti is completely dedicated to procuring the finest sustainable seafood—from regional coasts and international waters—and treats those ingredients with uncompromising respect and sophisticated technique. “First and foremost, what guides us here is sustainability,” Cimarusti says. “We use only wild-caught, sustainable products, mostly from American waters, and look to highlight their finest qualities.””

Providence is newly reopened for Dinner only, serving Tuesday through Saturday. Providence offers a single, extravagant multi-course tasting menu nightly. (Vegetarian and Pescatarian options are available.)

Restaurateur Donato Poto is with us to reminisce, celebrate the 16th Anniversary and look to the future.

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Show 429, June 12, 2021: Donato Poto, Partner, Providence, Hollywood Part Two

Donato Poto of Providence plus Connie and Ted's

For 16 years, Providence in Hollywood has elevated the standard of modern American seafood restaurants with exemplary service. Newly reopened for dine-in guests can again experience Chef Michael Cimarusti’s award-winning cuisine in the heart of Los Angeles, welcomed by one of L.A.’s legendary hosts, co-owner Donato Poto.

“Chef Cimarusti is completely dedicated to procuring the finest sustainable seafood—from regional coasts and international waters—and treats those ingredients with uncompromising respect and sophisticated technique. “First and foremost, what guides us here is sustainability,” Cimarusti says. “We use only wild-caught, sustainable products, mostly from American waters, and look to highlight their finest qualities.””

Providence is newly reopened for Dinner only, serving Tuesday through Saturday. Providence offers a single, extravagant multi-course tasting menu nightly. (Vegetarian and Pescatarian options are available.)

A Father’s Day reminder…On June 20th Providence’s sister restaurant, Connie & Ted’s, is open for Lunch and Dinner serving their ample all-day menu. Lunch is 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Dinner from 5 to 10:00 p.m. Connie & Ted’s is a casual seafood restaurant with buckets of atmosphere and providing full table service. Think fresh Maine Lobster Roll served hot or cold.

Restaurateur Donato Poto continues with us to reminisce, celebrate the 16th Anniversary and look to the future.

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Show 429, June 12, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery.

Now that guests are finally able to return to full-service restaurants in greater numbers maintaining civility between guests and staff is important. There also can be an unfortunate lack of courtesy between guests. How far should it escalate with a problem guest before Management lets a customer know that their over-the-top, bad behavior simply won’t be tolerated? We’ll ask Chef Andrew.

Keep in mind the juicy and delicious Community Burger (more than a mouthful) is available at all Southern California locations of Slapfish. The worthy burger is free with any donation to 86 Restaurant Struggle.” 100 per cent of that money goes to benefit struggling restaurant workers.

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Show 428, June 5, 2021: Executive Sous Chef Patrick Contreras, Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage

Patrick Contreras at 360 Sports inside of Agua Caliente Rancho Mirage

Last week we spoke with Executive Chef Kenneth Williams who oversees the diverse dining options at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage. We’re picking up the conversation with Chef Ken’s Executive Sous Chef, Patrick Contreras.

Now we’re concentrating on the casual, full-service Waters Café serving Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Happy Hour, and The District (fast casual service,) offering an array of regional cuisines from Mexican (La Olla Mexican Cuisine) to a selection of Asian (Jade Asian Cuisine) and delicatessen foods (ACE Deli.) ACE Deli is open 23 hours per day. Waters Café also handles Room Service for the 340-room Resort Hotel.

Executive Sous Chef Patrick Contreras joins us with tongs securely in hand.

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Show 428, June 5, 2021: Stuart Smith, Founder, Smith-Madrone Vineyards & Winery, Spring Mountain, Napa Valley

Stuart Smith of Smith Madrone Winery

Brothers Stuart and Charles Smith are the vineyard managers and winemakers of Smith-Madrone Winery located on Spring Mountain in the Napa Valley. Smith-Madrone celebrated their 50th Anniversary on May 14th. The name for the winery came as a tribute to the Smith brothers who pursued their dream and to the Madrone trees which distinguish the property.”

“In May 1971, with a partnership of family and friends, Stuart Smith bought the ‘terroir’ which today is Smith-Madrone Vineyards & Winery. He was 22 years old and had just received his B.A. in Economics from UC Berkeley and was taking classes towards his Master’s in Viticulture at UC Davis. In trying to find land to plant vineyard in the Napa Valley, through a family friend he explored a forest on the remotest and highest part of Spring Mountain and discovered that the land had been a vineyard in the 1880s and in fact had been part of the wagon trail route between Napa and Santa Rosa.”

Charles Smith (Stuart’s brother) joined the Winery in 1972 as Winemaker. Stuart’s son, Sam, became part of the leadership team in 2010 as Assistant Winemaker.

“Smith-Madrone’s current releases are the 2017 Chardonnay, 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2017 Riesling, 2016 Cook’s Flat Reserve and in very limited availability, magnums of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cook’s Flat Reserve.”

“As part of Smith-Madrone’s anniversary festivities they are inaugurating on Saturday, June 19th a regular series of informative and entertaining Zoom tastings and discussions with the winemakers. Stuart, his brother, Winemaker Charles Smith, and Stuart’s son, Sam, the Assistant Winemaker, will open older vintages and taste and discuss them with the Zoom attendees.” Sign-up via the Smith-Madrone website.

Founder Stuart Smith is our guest to gently pull the cork on Smith-Madrone for us.

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Show 428, June 5, 2021: Liz Ostoich, Owner, Farm, La Plaza, Palm Springs Part One

Liz Ostoich of Farm and Tac/Quila in Palm Springs

FARM (reconceived in 2016 under new ownership) is a traditional Provencial-style restaurant in downtown Palm Springs in the historic Plaza, tucked away from traffic. The culinary team has taken care to create a menu comprised of traditional European dishes, brimming with locally sourced produce and artisanal meats. In true Provencial-style, the weekly changing prix fixe dinner menu (available Friday through Tuesday) is served at a relaxed pace so you may enjoy your evening at Farm.” It’s three courses (with selections in each course) plus an Amuse Bouche and a refreshing Palate Cleanser presented before the Entree. Reservations are needed for Dinner.

Breakfast and Lunch with an a la care menu are offered daily on a walk-in basis. Think an extensive selection of Sweet & Savory Crepes, Omelettes, Brioche French Toast, Greenery and Sandwiches.

“The experience at Farm is like being transported to the South of France. When you come and dine with us, you can expect an extraordinary sensory experience; from our garden-like patio seating, our beautiful bouquet of floral landscaping, to our incredible authentic menu comprised of the freshest ingredients, you will be wowed at every turn.”

“Enjoy a meal on our patio and take in the ambiance of being out of the city. We prepare all our items as you order. No freezers, no microwave, and our kitchen staff works hard to prepare each dish with the utmost care!”

Owner Liz Ostoich typically journeys to France twice a year for menu inspiration.

Owner Liz Ostoich joins us.

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