Show 315, March 16, 2019: Chef / Proprietor Pascal Olhats, Café Jardin @ The Sherman Gardens and Library, Corona del Mar

Pascal OlhatsThe “coastal garden” cuisine at Chef Pascal OlhatsCafé Jardin at Corona del Mar’s Sherman Gardens & Library marries vibrantly fresh California produce with a French pedigree. The restaurant is located in full view of the central flower gardens. Dining takes place outdoors for the most part, moving indoors in case of inclement weather – a rarity in Orange County.

Sunday Brunch at Café Jardin has just resumed. Think housemade Pate’ and Indian-Spiced Braised Lamb Osso Bucco.

Chef Pascal also is the resident chef at Manassero Farms in Irvine and hosts The French Chef and The Farmer’s Wife series there.

We entice Chef Pascal out of harvesting in his herb garden for an update.


Show 315, March 16, 2019: Diane Harris Brown. (Former) Director of Scholarships, The James Beard Foundation

Diane Harris BrownAfter 30 remarkable years in management with the New York-based James Beard Foundation, Diane Harris Brown retired at the end of 2017. Her final position was as Director of Scholarships and for many years. Before that she served as Director of Community and Educational Programming. What was it like interacting with culinary luminaries including the late Julia Child and Jacques Pepin and Paula Wolfert?

Next month Spoons Across America (The Recipe for Healthier Children) will honor Diane in New York with their Julia V. Jordan Award for Volunteerism. The other honoree that night is Chef Jose Andres (Award for Excellence recipient.) Diane was one of the original Founders of Spoons Across America.

Diane shares some thoughtful reminiscences.


Show 315, March 16, 2019: “Ask the Brewers” – Golden Road Brewing’s Brewmaster Victor Novak and Anaheim Head Brewer Steven Torres

Victor Novak and Steven TorresMajor League Baseball season is on the horizon (The Angels open on-the-road in Oakland on March 28th) and we’re thirsty. What’s better than a grilled hot dog and a craft beer at the ballpark (particularly if it’s at Angel Stadium.) Time for a chat with the brewers from Golden Road Brewing Co. We’re joined by Brewmaster Victor Novak and Anaheim Head Brewer Steven Torres.

First Steven updates us on the small batch of Rose’ Beer he was finishing and about to release from the last segment.

We’re talking about alcohol levels in beer. What’s the range and what is allowable? How does the alcohol level impact the flavor profile? Alcohol levels by State and California is in a league of its own. We’ll find out…


Show 315, March 16, 2019: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoOur own Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group, is again back with his always informative “Ask the Chef” Commentary. He’s a real, working chef with great insight and experience.

Chef Andrew joins us on the road from Oklahoma City. Can another Slapfish opening possibly be on the horizon?

How does the cost, and ease, of operating a restaurant in California compare with doing business in Utah, New Mexico, Virginia and Florida? Is California a more difficult/challenging labor environment? Chef Andrew has that experience and we’ll discuss.


Show 314, March 9, 2019: Restaurant 917 at Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles (Carson)

Matt LeeWith stunning views of the track at Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles, Restaurant 917’s sleek and modern setting echoes Porsche’s world class design aesthetic. The name and décor were inspired by the legendary 917 race car. The food and beverage is champion caliber, too. It’s located on the second floor to enhance the vistas.

Restaurant 917’s refined yet approachable seasonal menu is composed of ingredient-driven dishes that merge diverse flavors, inventive techniques and playful compositions.

A special fine-dining experience worthy of a special trip or serving as the perfect finish to an adrenaline-packed day, it is also an unforgettable venue for special celebrations and meetings.

Formerly the Executive Chef for the Restaurant at the Getty, Matt Lee has a quiet passion for culinary integrity and innovation. His exquisite eye for detail is evident in everything from his careful flavor composition to the stunning and playful visual presentation of each element on the plate. At 917, his facility with fresh, locally caught fish and other seafood complements his mastery of more traditional steak, chicken, and pork offerings, which he tends to balance with a bright vegetable accompaniment.

Oliver AlexandreOriginally from Nîmes, France, General Manager Oliver Alexandre holds dual MBA degrees in hospitality and tourism management as well as international hotel management, giving him a deep understanding of fine dining operations. Oliver brings a wealth of diverse experience to Restaurant 917 including an innate skill for hospitality and a passion for creating unique and memorable guest experiences.

Restaurant 917 offers Lunch on Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5 to 8:00 p.m.

Restaurant 917’s Executive Chef Matt Lee and General Manager Oliver Alexandre join us.


Show 314, March 9, 2019: “LA FOODWAYS Exploring Los Angeles’ Storied Agricultural Past” with Executive Producer Raphael Sbarge

Raphael SbargeKCET‘s (Public Television) regional historical documentary, LA FOODWAYS Exploring Los Angeles’ Storied Agricultural Past, is a new multi-platform series (and a KCET Original) presenting some surprising answers to challenges we now face as a city.

LA FOODWAYS examines the history of food in Los Angeles. This documentary from filmmaker Raphael Sbarge (A Concrete River; Reviving the Waters of Los Angeles) and KCET looks at the storied agricultural history of Los Angeles to understand present food waste challenges.

From the importance of orange crops in the 19th century to the massive scale of food waste in the U.S., the film is a deep dive into how local organizations are coming together to ensure the future of agriculture in the region.

““Foodways” was first coined in 1942 by anthropologists, folklorists and food scholars to describe the study of why we eat what we eat, and what it means: “Food at the intersection of culture, tradition and history.” Our attitudes, practices and rituals around food are a window onto our most basic beliefs about the world and ourselves.”

Executive Producer, Raphael Sbarge (Suh-barge), is our guest.



Show 314, March 9, 2019: Enrique Valero, General Manager, Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine, Winery & Boutique Luxury Hotel, Spain

Enrique ValeroThe internationally recognized wines of Spain’s Abadía Retuerta have enjoyed three consecutive years in the top 100 wines of the world, according to the preeminent authority, Wine Spectator. While wines were produced on the estate centuries ago, the current winery is only two-and-a-half decades old and is known for its award-winning single terroir wines.

“There are 54 vine plots each with very distinct characteristics, each analysed, controlled, worked, vinified and tasted separately. Each terroir is planted with a single varietal or grape variety. The planting is 70% Tempranillo grapes, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah, with the remaining 10% divided between Merlot and Petit Verdot (an innovation used to make a single-varietal wine).”

“The winery’s gold-standard wine is the Selección Especial, which reflects the essence of the estate – 75% Tempranillo, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot. Proof of its superb quality, the 2001 Selección Especial was awarded “Best Red Wine in the World – Red Wine Trophy” in 2005 by London’s prestigious International Wine Challenge competition. In addition, Selección Especial is the first Spanish wine to be included for three consecutive years on the list of the 100 Best Wines in the World, which has been published annually since 1988 by Wine Spectator magazine.”

The estate also includes Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine, possibly Spain’s most extraordinary luxury hotel located in a restored historic abbey on the magnificent 1,730-acre estate.

Under a vaulted ceiling of pure Gothic style at LeDomaine, framed by thick stone walls and anchored by a 17th-century fresco of The Last Supper, the Refectorio is a sanctuary of haute cuisine with one Michelin Star, maintained since 2014. Executive Chef Marc Segarra prepares innovative and seasonal gastronomic fare in the contemporary kitchen, using the freshest local ingredients procured from specialty local suppliers as well as LeDomaine’s own fields.

In addition to the Refectorio, located in the abbey’s former refectory, guests dine on specialty dishes, tapas and small plates in the Vinoteca restaurant with a wine-cellar atmosphere, and al fresco on seasonal dishes in spring and summer in the Jardin del Cloustro and at the Pool Bar. Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine uses the resources from the estate to produce specially Crafted Spanish Foods: wine salt, pine nuts and honey.

Enrique Valero, both the winery’s and hotel’s accomplished General Manager joins us on the long-distance line from Spain.



Show 314, March 9, 2019: Chef John Cox and The Bear and Star’s (Los Olivos) Pop-Up at Jar

John CoxOn Sunday, March 10, 2019, JAR (Los Angeles) is hosting Chef John Cox with THE BEAR AND STAR POP-UP showcasing specialty selections from this Central Coast gem. Chef John and Katie Parker McDonald, the granddaughter of the late Fess Parker, will be on hand with their 30′ custom-built reverse-flow Texas smoker to smoke and grill meats and produce sourced from the Fess Parker Ranch and farm for this one-night-only dinner.

Chef Suzanne Tracht and her team will complement the menu with Jar’s favorite salads and desserts.

In 2017, Chef Cox teamed with siblings Eli and Ashley Parker of the famed Fess Parker family in Santa Barbara County to open The Bear and Star restaurant, located in the heart of Los Olivos, California, a concept of “refined ranch cuisine” inspired by Texan family recipes with a California sensibility. Cox and the Parkers combined resources to realize their dream of creating a true ecosystem on the 710-acre family ranch designed to supply the restaurant. Shepherded by John’s passion and vision, the ranch and its ecosystem exceed expectations of sustaining the restaurant with responsibly raised Wagyu beef, pork, rabbits, quail, chicken, bees and organically grown vegetables, herbs and fruits.

Suzanne TrachtJAR, a modern chophouse in the heart of Los Angeles, impresses Angelenos with the allure of Chef Suzanne Tracht’s familiar retro dishes from the American culinary repertoire, including her signature Pot Roast, Kansas City Steak, wild and sustainable fish, Lemon Grass Chicken, Black Mussels with Lobster Béarnaise and Fennel Salt, award-winning French Fries, market-fresh sides and perfectly mixed martinis.

Chefs John & Suzanne briefly escape their busy kitchens to provide the enticing menu details.


Show 314, March 9, 2019: Author & Cooking Teacher Nancie McDermott, Fruit – a Savor The South Cookbook

Nancie McDdermottTo write Fruit: A Savor the South Cookbook, best-selling author Nancie McDermott got to switch back and forth among the four careers she considered pursuing as a day-dreaming North Carolina eight-year-old. “I had a little merry-go-round of ideas on what to be when I grew up: Missionary? Detective? Actor? Or Spy?”

“Researching Fruit, I sorted and sifted, choosing 12 iconic fruits which matter in Southern cuisine. Persimmons and pawpaws, blackberries and melons, mayhaws and damsons — it’s clues and culture, traditions and creativity, flames and bowls, skillets, spoons, and celebrations. Fruit is seasons, symbols and stories. These fruit stories and recipes illuminate the world of Southern cooking.”

Fruit collects a dozen of the South’s bountiful locally sourced fruits in a cook’s basket of fifty-four luscious dishes, savory and sweet. Demand for these edible jewels is growing among those keen to feast on the South’s natural pleasures, whether gathered in the wild or cultivated with care. Indigenous fruits here include blackberries, mayhaws, muscadine and scuppernong grapes, pawpaws, persimmons, and strawberries.

From old-school Grape Hull Pie to Mayhaw Jelly–Glazed Shrimp, McDermott’s recipes for these less common fruits are of remarkable interest–and incredibly tasty. The non-native fruits in the volume were eagerly adopted long ago by southern cooks, and they include damson plums, figs, peaches, cantaloupes, quince, and watermelons. McDermott gives them a delicious twist in recipes such as Fresh Fig Pie and Thai-Inspired Watermelon-Pineapple Salad.

McDermott also illuminates how the South–from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Lowcountry, from the Mississippi Delta to the Gulf Coast–encompasses diverse subregional culinary traditions when it comes to fruit. Her recipes, including a favorite piecrust, provide a treasury of ways to relish southern fruits at their ephemeral peak and to preserve them for enjoyment throughout the year.

McDermott is a North Carolina native, cooking teacher, and author of 14 cookbooks, including Southern Cakes: Sweet and Irresistible Recipes for Everyday Celebrations In 2018 she was nominated for a prestigious James Beard Award in Journalism.

Nancie is our perfectly ripe guest.


Show 314, March 9, 2019: Pic Picot, Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter, New Zealand

Pic PicotEver consider the delights of top-quality peanut butter? The style (with no sugar) that is dense with spreadable crunch and oozing with the rich taste and aroma of freshly roasted peanuts? Kiwi Pic Picot certainly has. Since founding Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter Co. in his garage in Nelson, NZ back in 2008 he is now the best-selling (and best loved) peanut butter in New Zealand. Pic’s is now conquering California with availability in Pavilions, Gelson’s and Bristol Farms.

“In 2008 I sold 48 jars to our local supermarket and took to the road. Within a year you could buy Pic’s in 50 outlets around the country. Then we were picked up by both of NZ’s supermarket chains and suddenly Pic’s was available pretty much anywhere in New Zealand.” – Pic Picot

Just launched in Nelson is Pic’s Peanut Butter World, a new 25,000 square foot production facility designed to also accommodate comprehensive factory tours as a tourist attraction. It doubles Pic’s previous production capabilities. At capacity Pic’s can now produce up to 50,000 jars of smooth or crunchy peanut butter per day!

Opening Day an overflow crowd of 6,000 mostly locals toured Pic’s Peanut Butter World. Among the excited guests was the principal Australian farmer who supplies raw, hi-oleic peanuts to Pic’s.

The inspirational NZ peanut butter baron, Pic Picot, is our return guest live from Nelson, NZ.