Show 280, July 7, 2018: Adam Levoe, Director of Restaurant Operations, Golden Road Brewing

Adam LevoeChef Adam Levoe started with Golden Road cooking at their original Pub in the flagship Los Angeles (Atwater Village) Brewery in 2011. He’s also notably a serious home brewer.

Adam’s domain has grown right along with Golden Road Brewing and he now serves as the Director of Restaurant Operations. Golden Road Pubs exist at Atwater Village, Grand Central Market in DTLA, Anaheim, LAX and, now, Sacramento.

The appealing Pub menus also offer Vegan options. This was a tradition going back to Golden Road’s Co-Founder, Tony Yanow, an experienced restaurateur who has since returned to growing his hospitality enterprise.

We’re breaking bread with Chef Adam.

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Show 280, July 7, 2018: Jay Henderson, West Coast Prime Meats, representing The Meatheads

Jay HendersonThe Meatheads (Terry and Jay) are our resident, well-informed protein experts from West Coast Prime Meats.

Jay Henderson (half of The Meatheads) joins us to talk about all the hoopla concerning grass-finished and grass-fed beef. How does this differ from grain-fed beef? What’s the flavor profile?

The real confusion is there are no clear-cut standards for what “grass-fed” beef is. The USDA, surprisingly, eliminated having standards a couple of years ago. Read the labels carefully and talk to your trusted butcher.

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Show 280, July 7, 2018: Victor Novak, Brewmaster & Steven Torres, Anaheim Head Brewer, Golden Road Brewing

Victor Novak and Steven TorresWe’re initiating a new monthly segment on the “SoCal Restaurant Show” called “Ask the Brewer.” To embark on this we’re delighted to welcome Golden Road’s highly accomplished Brewmaster, Victor Novak, and Anaheim Head Brewer Steven Torres.

Beer pairs really well with food. Victor and Steven will provide us with a tall stein of refreshing “Beer Pairing 101.”

First we chat a bit about the Anaheim production brewery and some notes from Season 3 of Viceland’s “Beerland” which concluded on June 26th. The Season Finale took place right here at Golden Road Anaheim.

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Show 280, July 7, 2018: Victor Novak, Brewmaster & Steven Torres, Anaheim Head Brewer, Golden Road Brewing Continue…

Victor Novak and Steven TorresWe’re initiating a new monthly segment on the “SoCal Restaurant Show” called “Ask the Brewer.” To embark on this we’re delighted to welcome Golden Road’s highly accomplished Brewmaster, Victor Novak, and Anaheim Head Brewer Steven Torres continue with us.

Beer pairs really well with food. Victor and Steven will provide us with a tall stein of refreshing Beer Pairing 101.”

On tap are suggestions for what pairs with Light Lager; Hefeweizen & Belgian Ales; Pale Ales & Session IPAs; Sours & Fruity Beers; IPAs; Red Amber & Brown Ales; and Stouts & Porters.

Victor & Steven provide their pairing suggestions for a Pub Pretzel, Steamed Mussels, Duck Confit Poutine, the ever popular GRB Burger, Sesame Crusted Salmon & more.

The Brother’s Brood Milk Porter Braggot (winner of Beerland Season 3) pairs well with cheesecake.

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Show 279, June 30, 2018: “A Gringo in Mexico’s” W. Scott Koenig, Seven Days in The Valle: Baja California’s Wine Country Cuisine

W Scott KoenigNewly published is Seven Days in The Valle: Baja California’s Wine Country Cuisine by W. Scott Koenig. Koenig is known for his blog and alter ego, A Gringo in Mexico, where he reports on food and culture in the state of Baja California — just across the US Mexican border. In Seven Days in The Valle, he focuses his camera lens and writing on the cuisine of the Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico’s main wine-producing region.

“Chefs in Baja California have been experimenting with recipes combining Mediterranean, Asian and Mexican influences with local ingredients for nearly two decades, creating a unique cuisine.” Koenig explains. They often grow their own vegetables and herbs, source meat from area ranches and enjoy a supply of fresh seafood from the nearby Pacific.

Koenig conceived Seven Days in The Valle while assisting the Culinary Institute of America on a seven-day trip through Baja California as they filmed a documentary. “I had hundreds of images from that experience and a backlog of past photos and interviews; I felt it was time for a book on the Valle de Guadalupe. My goal was to tell the story of this magical place through the experiences of its chefs – whose restaurants are some of my favorites anywhere.”

A Gringo in Mexico’s Scott Koenig joins us.

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Show 279, June 30, 2018: Chef Curtis Stone, Maude, Gwen and SHARE by Curtis Stone

Curtis StoneRealizing a lifelong dream, Chef Curtis Stone opened his first solo restaurant, Maude (Beverly Hills, CA), in February 2014. Affectionately named after his late paternal grandmother, the restaurant pays homage to Curtis’ first culinary mentor whose sensibilities are resonant throughout the restaurant experience.

The menu at Maude is a set multi-course chef’s tasting menu that is created around one of the world’s great wine regions. Maude’s “menu-less” format and intimate 24-seat dining room and open kitchen chef’s counter, invites guests to put their trust into the hands of the chef.

Chef Curtis is our guest to discuss the next wine region, The Central Coast, on Maude’s menu.

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Show 279, June 30, 2018: Chef Curtis Stone, Maude, Gwen and SHARE by Curtis Stone Continues…

Curtis Stone“Get out your sunscreen and put on your Ray-Bans because summer at Maude is a road trip up the Central Coast of California. After our European journeys through the old world vines of Rioja and Burgundy, Curtis and the Maude Squad have decided to embrace the beauty of their own backyard in a bit of a staycation, visiting local farmers, purveyors, and winemakers.”

“Expect Executive Chef Justin Hilbert to unearth a treasure trove of shellfish for this new menu from simple bites that taste of the ocean to conceptual uses of seafood that will surprise and delight. As always, the wine team has uncovered gems from small producers and will also pair seasonal courses with the big guns – the California icons who put this region on the wine map.”

“The Central Coast is a right of passage for wine lovers. The ingredients inspire endless possibilities.”

Chef Curtis also updates us on Gwen, his butcher shop and restaurant in Hollywood. “The opening of Gwen is a decade-long dream realized for Curtis and his brother, Luke, who were first inspired by Gwen’s namesake: their maternal grandmother who lived on a farm outside of Melbourne. It was on Gwen’s farm where they were first exposed to livestock farming, which instilled in them great respect for the process of raising animals for food.”

“Both started their careers in a butcher shop, before Curtis went on to cook in Michelin-starred restaurants while Luke honed his business acumen as the owner and manager of a corporate floristy business in Australia. Working together, they have brought a world-class butcher shop and dining experience to Los Angeles.”

Chef Curtis also has a fine dining association with Princess Cruises. It’s Chef Curtis at sea with SHARE by Curtis Stone on The Ruby Princess, The Emerald Princess and Sun Princess. It’s a six-course fine-dining experience.

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Show 279, June 30, 2018: The Wine Exchange’s Tristen Beamon, Bordeaux Barrel Tastings for the 2017 Vintage

Tristan BeamonYou don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to appreciate the high-quality of wine from Bordeaux, France. It’s one of the great wine grape growing regions of the world.

Our resident wine authority, Tristen Beamon from The Wine Exchange, was recently in Bordeaux tasting wines in the barrel (two trips) from the 2017 vintage. Tristen suggests that the 2015 and 2016 vintages are great. 2017 is the years of “haves” and “have nots.”

We’ll get his insider’s report on what to expect. Who says Bordeaux needs to be expensive?

“So as we like to say here at Wine Exchange…Let the games begin!”

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Show 279, June 30, 2018: Proprietors David & Sylvia Brents, Succulent Café Wine Charcuterie, Solvang

Succulentm Cafe Wine Charcuterie“Located in the heart of downtown Solvang, we have been open since 2011, Succulent Cafe Wine Charcuterie serves up comfort cuisine with a twist while sourcing local, seasonal ingredients from neighborhood farmers & fisherman to ensure the freshest quality whenever possible.”

“We believe in delicious food served in ample portions that compliment our wonderful local wines and craft beers. Succulent also offers a variety of signature cocktails.”

“Our small cafe is family owned and operated with a focus on the community needs and wants. We strive to go back to the traditions of homemade biscuits & gravy, jams & jellies, hearty meals, and desserts.”

“Our culinary team works hard making all our dishes from scratch, while our service staff strives to make your dining experience a wonderful and memorable one. Serving breakfast, lunch & dinner, you can enjoy your meal in our rustic & cozy dining room or on our beautiful succulent filled patio.”

“Whether it be a glass of wine with a charcuterie plate or enjoying Sunday dinner with the family, all of us at Succulent Café will do our very best to make your experience a most memorable one.”

Breakfast and lunch are served fast casual style and Happy Hour and dinner are full table service. Closed on Tuesday.

Proprietors David and Sylvia Brents are our guests.

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Show 279, June 30, 2018: Steve Sando, Rancho Gordo

Steve SandoIn a few short years, Steve Sando has taken the lowly bean from a healthy but neglected, over-bred member of the vegetable family to a near superstar-status ingredient. Sando’s company Rancho Gordo, grows heirloom and heritage varieties and works with influential chefs like Thomas Keller, Deborah Madison, Paula Wolfert and Annie Sommerville. His new book is The Rancho Gordo Vegetarian Kitchen – Everyday Cooking with Heirloom Beans, Vegetables, Greens, and Grains.

“My first harvested heirloom bean was Rio Zape. They were pretty and easy to grow but I had no idea what to expect when I cooked them. They were similar to the pintos I liked but there was so much more going on. “Hints of chocolate and coffee mixed with an earthy texture made my head spin. I was blown away by Rio Zape and the other heirloom beans I was growing, but also really confused why they were such a big secret. I took the beans to the farmers market, organizing things on my kitchen table. Soon there was a warehouse, followed by more markets and mail order. It seems we had struck a nerve. People agreed that heirloom beans were worth saving, growing and cooking. Currently our warehouse, a retail shop and offices are in Napa, California and a stop here is part of many tours of the wine country. We were asked to open a store at the Ferry Building in San Francisco and as you can imagine, we jumped at the chance.”

“All of my agricultural pursuits have been based on being someone who likes to cook but gets frustrated by the lack of ingredients, especially those that are native to the New World. One of the things that originally drew me to beans was the fact that they are indigenous to the Americas. It seems to me these indigenous ingredients should be familiar, if not common. American cuisine is re-inventing itself and I’d love to include ingredients, traditions and recipes from north and south of the border as part of the equation. I love the concept of The Americas. I feel as if it’s just as important as the European heritage many of us share.”

On Sunday, July 8th, Rancho Gordo will hold is first-ever supper in Southern California at Alta Baja Market in Santa Ana. The event is “Rancho Gordo Goes to Alta Baja with More (Culinary) Stars than in the Heavens!”

The special event will feature three courses prepared by Steve Sando’s favorite SoCal chefs and restaurateurs. Two seatings for the supper at 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Optional Valle de Guadalupe wine pairings available.

All the food is donated by Rancho Gordo. All proceeds go to the arts program at Valley High School in Santa Ana.

Reservations a must. Call Alta Baja Market @ 714.783.2252.

We’re shelling heirloom beans with Steve Sando.

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