Show 371, May 2, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

It’s a time of great concern for all of us and our “SoCal Restaurant Show” mission, until the Covid-19 crisis is fully abated, is to provide reliable and genuinely useful information on how the restaurant business is coping with the rapidly evolving events. With an emphasis on the health, safety and well-being of our listeners we’ll be detailing what the range of services restaurants can now provide to their guests. Creativity and adaptability are at the forefront. We’re doing our level best to keep it upbeat…

Chefs and restaurateurs are honestly the most generous people we know. In times of need they are always the very first in generously giving back and meaningfully supporting their communities. Truly remarkable…Right now restaurants urgently need our support to stay afloat. Kindly keep this in mind and please do what you possibly can (as you can afford) to support a community-focused, local restaurant….

As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it without the supportive encouragement of the foodie community.

Porto’s Bakery & Café started modestly in the greater L.A. area in the 1960s and has grown steadily since then becoming a popular, local and revered institution. Founder Rosa Porto’s life took an unexpected turn back at the beginning when she and her family made the difficult decision to leave their beloved Cuba and emigrate to the United States. Out of a job, Rosa relied on her love of baking and began selling cakes out of her house for her neighbors and friends to support her family. Porto’s has gradually grown into five high volume locations in Glendale, Burbank, Downey, Buena Park, and the newly opened West Covina. Porto’s is now open for contactless ordering, payment and curbside pick-up. Porto’s Bake-At-Home, too. Betty Porto, Vice President of Community and Guest Relations for Porto’s, is our guest.

Food journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s “Hungry Hound” in Chicago, is the recipient of an impressive 13 James Beard Foundation Awards for journalistic excellence. He’s also accomplished in reporting on food and travel in print, radio and podcasting. The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala was scheduled for Chicago at the Lyric Opera on Monday evening, May 4th. It’s now been rescheduled for a to-be-announced date for later in the year. Usually Steve would be sharing his insightful Beard Awards preview with us. Instead he talks about his informed thoughts on the dining scene in Chicagoland during the health crisis.

“Like all restaurants in LA County, Zapien’s Salsa Grill in Pico Rivera is limited to takeout and curbside pick-up options to share its regional Mexican Cuisine with the community. With dine-in service unavailable, Chef Marco Zapien and team are keeping it fun and giving back to the community, while offering some of their classic favorites available for takeout, curbside pick-up and delivery. For over 25 years, The Salsa Grill has been a favorite spot in the Pico Rivera community and beyond and wants to give back. “We want to give back to the community that’s been supporting us for almost 26 years,” said co-owner and Executive Chef, Zapien. We gently pull Chef Marco out of his busy kitchen to talk about all his specials for Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day.”

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 updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Take-out/delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first. What about “Code Dates” on fresh & packaged food products? What do they really mean? You certainly don’t want to potentially waste anything or take an unwise chance either. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

The Blinking Owl Distillery in Santa Ana is the very first craft distillery in Orange County. They also are one of the first distilleries in the state of California to hold the Type 74 Craft Distillers License allowing them to operate their tasting room and sell a few bottles of spirits. Blinking Owl crafts Vodka, Gin, several types of Whiskey, and the Scandinavian spirit, Aquavit. “Stay Safely at Home” provisions have necessitated the temporary closing of The Tasting Room. Wanting to continue serving the community and keep their employees on the job Blinking Owl has thoughtfully shifted production to hand sanitizer under the label of Blinking Owl Dirty Bird Hand Sanitizer. So far a generous $50,000 in hand sanitizer has been donated to hospitals, First Responders and restaurants! Joining us from the packaging line for Dirty Bird Hand Sanitizer is Blinking Owl’s Co-founder and Chief Financial Owl, Robin Christenson.

Chef Michael Hung began his culinary career in New York City, where he dropped out of culinary school to do extended stages at acclaimed restaurants Daniel and Aquavit. Michael then followed his heart to San Francisco in 2005 and joined Traci Des Jardins’s James Beard Award-winning team at Jardiniere.  His career continued for nearly a decade in San Francisco, culminating with his appointment as Chef de Cuisine at Roland Passot’s Michelin-starred La Folie. In late-2013, Michael left San Francisco for Los Angeles to open Faith & Flower where he has returned as Executive Chef. Community service in times of need is part of Chef Michael’s makeup. His current ambitious feeding program for those in need is under the banner of Donate to Feed L.A.’s Homeless and Underserved. Chef Michael takes a break from preparing meals and joins us with the details.

This is the Weekend we were scheduled to again be broadcasting live from the 9th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort on Hawaii Island’s Kohala Coast. With the ongoing health crisis the Festival hopes to be rescheduled for August 14th & 15th if it’s safe to do so. Tom Cross is the welcoming Hotel Manager at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort and joins us with the good news that the property will again welcome guests at a “To Be Determined” date as the Hawaii Governor allows with all guest safety precautions in place.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 371, May 2, 2020: Betty Porto, Vice President of Community and Guest Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Café

Betty Porto in front of the Porto's Bakery Bread RackPorto’s Bakery & Café started modestly in the greater L.A. area in the 1960s and has grown steadily since then becoming a popular, local and revered institution. Founder Rosa Porto’s life took an unexpected turn back at the beginning when she and her family made the difficult decision to leave their beloved Cuba and emigrate to the United States. Out of a job, Rosa relied on her love of baking and began selling cakes out of her house for her neighbors and friends to support her family. Porto’s has gradually grown into five high-volume locations in Glendale, Burbank, Downey, Buena Park, and the newly opened West Covina.

Porto’s is now open for contactless ordering, payment and curbside pick-up. This can be done online or by phone. Also available is the convenient Porto’s Bake-At-Home.

Betty Porto, Vice President of Community and Guest Relations for Porto’s, is our guest.

Play

May 2: Porto’s Bakery & Cafe, Steve Dolinsky, Zapien’s Salsa Grill, Blinking Owl Distillery, Faith & Flower, Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Betty Porto, Vice President of Community and Guest Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Café
Segment Three: Food Journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “Hungry Hound”
Segment Four: Executive Chef & Co-Proprietor Marco Zapien, Zapien’s Salsa Grill
Segment Five: Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”
Segment Six: Robin Christenson, Co-Founder, Blinking Owl Distillery, Santa Ana
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Michael Hung, Faith & Flower, Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Eight: Tom Cross, Hotel Manager, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

It’s a time of great concern for all of us and our “SoCal Restaurant Show” mission, until the Covid-19 crisis is fully abated, is to provide reliable and genuinely useful information on how the restaurant business is coping with the rapidly evolving events. With an emphasis on the health, safety and well-being of our listeners we’ll be detailing what the range of services restaurants can now provide to their guests. Creativity and adaptability are at the forefront. We’re doing our level best to keep it upbeat…

Chefs and restaurateurs are honestly the most generous people we know. In times of need they are always the very first in generously giving back and meaningfully supporting their communities. Truly remarkable…Right now restaurants urgently need our support to stay afloat. Kindly keep this in mind and please do what you possibly can (as you can afford) to support a community-focused, local restaurant….

As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it without the enthusiastic encouragement of the foodie community.

Porto’s Bakery & Café started modestly in the greater L.A. area in the 1960s and has grown steadily since then becoming a popular, local and revered institution. Founder Rosa Porto’s life took an unexpected turn back at the beginning when she and her family made the difficult decision to leave their beloved Cuba and emigrate to the United States. Out of a job, Rosa relied on her love of baking and began selling cakes out of her house for her neighbors and friends to support her family. Porto’s has gradually grown into five high volume locations in Glendale, Burbank, Downey, Buena Park, and the newly opened West Covina. Porto’s is now open for contactless ordering, payment and curbside pick-up. Betty Porto, Vice President of Community and Guest Relations for Porto’s, is our guest.

Food journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s “Hungry Hound” in Chicago, is the recipient of an impressive 13 James Beard Foundation Awards for journalistic excellence. He’s also accomplished in reporting on food and travel in print, radio and podcasting. The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala was scheduled for Chicago at the Lyric Opera on Monday evening, May 4th. It’s now been rescheduled for a to-be-announced date for later in the year. Usually Steve would be sharing his insightful Beard Awards preview with us. Instead he will talk about his informed thoughts on the dining scene in Chicagoland during the health crisis.

Like all restaurants in LA County, Zapien’s Salsa Grill in Pico Rivera is limited to takeout and curbside pick-up options to share its regional Mexican Cuisine with the community. With dine-in service unavailable, Chef Marco Zapien and team are keeping it fun and giving back to the community, while offering some of their classic favorites available for takeout, curbside pick-up and delivery. For over 25 years, The Salsa Grill has been a favorite spot in the Pico Rivera community and beyond and wants to give back. “We want to give back to the community that’s been supporting us for almost 26 years,” said co-owner and Executive Chef, Zapien. We gently pull Chef Marco out of his busy kitchen to talk about all his specials for Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day.

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 updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Take-out/delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first. What about “Code Dates” on fresh & packaged food products? What do they really mean. You certainly don’t want to potentially waste anything or take an unwise chance. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

The Blinking Owl Distillery in Santa Anna is the very first craft distillery in Orange County. They also are one of the first distilleries in the state of California to hold the Type 74 Craft Distillers License allowing them to operate their tasting room and sell a few bottles of spirits. Blinking Owl crafts Vodka, Gin, several types of Whiskey, and the Scandinavian spirit, Aquavit. “Stay Safely at Home” provisions have necessitated the temporary closing of The Tasting Room. Wanting to continue serving the community and keep their employees on the job Blinking Owl has thoughtfully shifted production to hand sanitizer under the label of Blinking Owl Dirty Bird Hand Sanitizer. So far $25,000 in hand sanitizer has been donated! Joining us from the packaging line for Dirty Bird Hand Sanitizer is Blinking Owl’s Co-founder and Chief Financial Owl, Robin Christenson.

Chef Michael Hung began his culinary career in New York City, where he dropped out of culinary school to do extended stages at acclaimed restaurants Daniel and Aquavit. Michael then followed his heart to San Francisco in 2005 and joined Traci Des Jardins’s James Beard Award-winning team at Jardiniere.  His career continued for nearly a decade in San Francisco, culminating with his appointment as Chef de Cuisine at Roland Passot’s Michelin-starred La Folie. In late-2013, Michael left San Francisco for Los Angeles to open Faith & Flower where he has returned as Executive Chef. Community service in times of need is part of Chef Michael’s makeup. His current ambitious feeding program for those in need is under the banner of Donate to Feed L.A.’s Homeless and Underserved. Chef Michael takes a break from the kitchen and joins us with the details.

This is the Weekend we were scheduled to again be broadcasting live from the 9th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort on Hawaii Island’s Kohala Coast. With the ongoing health crisis the Festival hopes to be rescheduled for August 14th & 15th if it’s safe to do so. Tom Cross is the welcoming Hotel Manager at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort and joins us with the good news that the property will again welcome guests on June 1st

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Betty Porto in front of the Porto's Bakery Bread RackPorto’s Bakery & Café started modestly in the greater L.A. area in the 1960s and has grown steadily since then becoming a popular, local and revered institution. Founder Rosa Porto’s life took an unexpected turn back at the beginning when she and her family made the difficult decision to leave their beloved Cuba and emigrate to the United States. Out of a job, Rosa relied on her love of baking and began selling cakes out of her house for her neighbors and friends to support her family. Porto’s has gradually grown into five high-volume locations in Glendale, Burbank, Downey, Buena Park, and the newly opened West Covina. Porto’s is now open for contactless ordering, payment and curbside pick-up. Betty Porto, Vice President of Community and Guest Relations for Porto’s, is our guest.

Steve Dolinsky and Andreew GruelAccomplished food journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s “Hungry Hound” in Chicago, is the recipient of an impressive 13 James Beard Foundation Awards for journalistic excellence. He’s also accomplished in reporting on food and travel in print, radio and podcasting. The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala was scheduled for Chicago at the Lyric Opera on Monday evening, May 4th. It’s now been rescheduled for an unannounced (as yet) date later in the year.

Usually Steve would be sharing his engaging Beard Awards preview with us. Instead he will talk about his informed thoughts on the dining scene in Chicagoland during the health crisis and what the future may hold.

Marco Zapien of Zapiens Salsa Grill and TaqueriaLike all restaurants in LA County, Zapien’s Salsa Grill in Pico Rivera is limited to takeout and curbside pick-up options to share its regional Mexican Cuisine with the community. With dine-in service unavailable, Chef Marco Zapien and team are keeping it fun and giving back to the community, while offering some of their classic favorites available for takeout, curbside pick-up and delivery.

The most popular special so far is a family meal pack that feeds 4-6 and includes a salad, choice of entrée (Chile Verde, Chile Colorado, Chicharron, Carnitas or Chicken Fajitas), rice, beans, chips, salsa, Tortillas and soft drinks. Plus, anyone who orders this takeout/pick-up special will get 2 pounds of uncooked rice and beans and two rolls of toilet paper, all for only $39.99.

Chef Zapien’s creative giving doesn’t stop there. He’s helping out families with kids with $3 individual kids’ pizzas with the purchase of any entrée. Even more, all entrees come with a free soft drink or coffee.

Recently, Chef Zapien introduced the Corona Survival Kit, including two frozen packs of menudo or pozole, a six pack of beer of choice, two mini (Agave Tequila) shot bottles, one 2-pound bag of uncooked beans, one 2-pound bag of uncooked rice and two rolls of toilet paper.

For over 25 years, The Salsa Grill has been a favorite spot in the Pico Rivera community and beyond and wants to give back. “We want to give back to the community that’s been supporting us for almost 26 years,” said co-owner and Executive Chef, Zapien.

We gently pull Chef Marco out of his busy kitchen to talk about all his specials for Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoOur 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 updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Take-out/delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first.

What about those confusing “Code Dates” or “Use By Dates” on fresh & packaged food products. What do they really mean? You certainly don’t want to potentially waste anything right now that’s safely edible. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Robin Christenson of Blinking Owl Distillery with her Hand SanitzerThe Blinking Owl Distillery in Santa Ana is the very first craft distillery in Orange County. They also are one of the first distilleries in the state of California to hold the Type 74 Craft Distillers License allowing them to operate their tasting room and sell a few bottles of spirits. Blinking Owl crafts Vodka, Gin, several types of Whiskey, and the Scandinavian spirit, Aquavit.

“Stay Safely at Home” provisions have necessitated the temporary closing of The Tasting Room. Wanting to continue serving the community and keep their employees on the job Blinking Owl has thoughtfully shifted production to hand sanitizer (licensed) under the label of Blinking Owl Dirty Bird Hand Sanitizer. So far $25,000 in hand sanitizer has been generously donated!

Spirits are still available by ordering online.

Joining us from the packaging line for Dirty Bird Hand Sanitizer is Blinking Owl’s Co-founder and Chief Financial Owl, Robin Christenson.

Michael Hung of Faith and FlowerChef Michael Hung began his culinary career in New York City, where he dropped out of culinary school to do extended stages at acclaimed restaurants Daniel and Aquavit. Michael then followed his heart to San Francisco in 2005 and joined Traci Des Jardins’s James Beard Award-winning team at Jardiniere.  His career continued for nearly a decade in San Francisco, culminating with his appointment as Chef de Cuisine at Roland Passot’s Michelin-starred La Folie. In late-2013, Michael left San Francisco for Los Angeles to open Faith & Flower where he has returned as Executive Chef.

Community service in times of need is part of Chef Michael’s makeup. His current ambitious feeding program for those in need is under the banner of Donate to Feed L.A.’s Homeless and Underserved. Chef Michael takes a break from the kitchen and joins us with the critical details.

Tom Cross of the Westin Hapuna Beach ResortThis is the Weekend we were scheduled to again be broadcasting live from the 9th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort on Hawaii Island’s Kohala Coast. With the current health crisis still ongoing the Festival hopes to be rescheduled for August 14th & 15th if it’s safe to do so. Tom Cross is the welcoming Hotel Manager at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort and joins us with the good news that the property will again be welcoming guests on June 1st.

The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort completed an ambitious $50 million renovation last year. It’s part of the renown Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Betty Porto, Vice President of Community and Guest Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Café
Segment Three: Food Journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “Hungry Hound”
Segment Four: Executive Chef & Co-Proprietor Marco Zapien, Zapien’s Salsa Grill
Segment Five: Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”
Segment Six: Robin Christenson, Co-Founder, Blinking Owl Distillery, Santa Ana
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Michael Hung, Faith & Flower, Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Eight: Tom Cross, Hotel Manager, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

Show 230, July 1, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Happy 4th of July Weekend. Have fun but be safe, too…

Now a sparkling preview of this Saturday’s celebratory show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

The ownership and culinary team behind Newport Beach’s Juliette Kitchen + Bar present a philosophy based on the exploration of diverse flavors and the commitment to employing only the best ingredients. This all adds up to a continually evolving experience. Weekend brunch has just been added. Proprietor Juliette Chung and Executive Chef Daniel Hyatt are our guests.

The team of Executive Chef Daniel Mattern and Pastry Chef & Baker Roxana Jullapat are fondly remembered as the culinary heart of Cook’s County (now closed.) Happily they have now opened a 4,000 square foot, fast casual breakfast and lunch (for now) place of their own, Friends & Family. It’s a great addition to Los Angeles’ rediscovered Thai Town. Chefs Roxana and Daniel join us.

Vegan: The Cookbook is newly published by the well-traveled, Chef Jean-Christian Jury, a leader in the international vegan community. In the weighty volume the reader will discover a wide range of accessible and appealing plant-based dishes (designed for the home kitchen) that will excite and satisfy vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike. We’ll meet Chef Jean-Christian.

The crowd-pleasing, proudly family-owned Porto’s Bakery & Café (think potato balls) opened its biggest, long-anticipated branch in Buena Park (25,000 sq.ft.) up the street from Knott’s Berry Farm in early March. It’s been a resounding success. It even offers complimentary valet parking to negate potential parking hassles. 2nd generation Family member, Betty Porto, joins us with all the delectable details of this incredible and inspiring success story.

Chef Andrew Gruel is on the road but we have him for a few moments by phone. No doubt he’ll have some helpful 4th of July cooking tips for us along the way as well as an insider’s report from the Slapfish booth at last Weekend’s inaugural Arroyo Seco Weekend festival in Pasadena adjacent to, and in, The Rose Bowl. Some 25,000 hungry attendees each day. There was some great food and beverages available out there!

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show! Don’t forget the potato salad…

Play

Show 230, July 1, 2017: Betty Porto, Vice President, Community & Guest Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Cafe

Betty PortoThe crowd-pleasing, proudly family-owned Porto’s Bakery & Café (think potato balls & cheese rolls) opened its biggest, long-anticipated branch in Buena Park (25,000 sq.ft.) up the street from Knott’s Berry Farm in early March. They own the large parcel of land.

Actor Andy Garcia officiated at the ribbon-cutting. It’s been a resounding success. It even offers complimentary valet parking to negate potential parking hassles.

Don’t let the lines scare you. It all moves fast. The three service areas under one roof include the bakery section, the food station which also offers the pastries and an express premium coffee counter with select, best-selling pastries. There is also a convenient station to pick-up pre-orders. Smart idea for securing celebratory cakes with ease.

On the new Summer Specials menu are a Guava BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, Rustic Tomato Soup with San Marzano Tomatoes and outrageous Lemon Bars.

More stores are on the horizon…

2nd generation Co-proprietor Betty Porto joins us with all the delectable details of this incredible and inspiring success story which started with the Family’s escape from Cuba in 1960.

 

Play

Show 230, July 1, 2017: Betty Porto, Vice President, Community & Guest Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Cafe Continues…

Betty Porto in front of the Porto's Bakery Bread RackThe crowd-pleasing, proudly family-owned Porto’s Bakery & Café (think potato balls & cheese rolls) opened its biggest, long-anticipated branch in Buena Park (25,000 sq.ft.) up the street from Knott’s Berry Farm in early March. The Porto’s own the property. Actor Andy Garcia officiated at the ribbon-cutting. It’s been a resounding success. It even offers complimentary valet parking to negate potential parking hassles.

Porto’s traces its origins to the year 1960, when the Porto family made the tough decision to leave their home in Manzanillo, Cuba. After living through the drastic changes that were taking place around them, they requested permission to leave the country. Immediately Raul Sr. was terminated from his job and sent away to manual labor for the duration of the wait period. Wife, Rosa Porto was also let go. Knowing that it may take years to be able to leave the country, Rosa found herself alone and having to find a means to support her three children Betty, Raul Jr., and Margarita.

Rosa, always a talented cake maker, with a passion for baking, entrenched herself in perfecting her recipes and began selling her delicious cakes to friends and neighbors not realizing that she was also building herself a loyal customer base.

When the family finally emigrated from Cuba to California, they had not much more than the clothes on their backs, Raul Sr.’s strong work ethic, Rosa’s exceptional baking skills, and a dream for a better life. Soon after the plane landed, Rosa realized that her reputation had preceded her, and met her first customer just as she got off the plane. Raul Sr. took a job as a mechanic and after work delivered Rosa’s cakes. These were hard times, but the family was now in a country filled with limitless opportunities and their dream for a better future became more real as the years passed

Rosa continued on with her cake business and when their home could no longer accommodate the increased demand, opened a little 300-square foot bakery on Sunset Blvd, in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles. From day one, the place was busy, serving close to 50 customers a day. After tirelessly working two jobs, Raul Sr. left his latter job at Van De Kamp’s and joined Rosa full time. Meanwhile, their children Betty, Raul Jr., and Margarita managed to maintain their studies and learn the different parts of the business; baking, decorating, food preparation, customer service, and finances.

Rosa’s Cuban cakes were soon joined by French mousses, Italian sweets, and international savories. As customers flocked to the bakery demanding countless quantities of Cheese Rolls™, Refugiados™-guava and cheese strudels, and the infamous Potato Ball™, space became critical. A move was made to a 2,000-square foot facility in Glendale and six years later to one double in size. The bakery continued to grow and more employees where hired to handle the demand for its increasingly broad line of cakes, desserts, and savories.

Porto’s Bakery & Café now serves thousands of customers and employs hundreds of team members in Southern California, with stores in Glendale, Burbank, Downey and now, Buena Park. In 2018 West Covina is on the horizon. Rumors are out there supporting a future Northridge store thereafter.

Play

July 1: Juliette Kitchen + Bar, Friends & Family, Jean-Christian Jury, Porto’s Bakery & Cafe

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Proprietress Juliette Chung & Executive Chef Daniel Hyatt, Juliette Kitchen & Bar, Newport Beach
Segment Three: Executive Chef Daniel Mattern & Pastry Chef/Baker Roxana Jullapat, Friends & Family, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Chef Jean-Christian Jury, Vegan: The Cookbook
Segment Five: Betty Porto, Vice President, Community & Guest Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Cafe Part One
Segment Six: Betty Porto, Vice President, Community & Guest Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Cafe Part Two
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel

Happy 4th of July Weekend. Have fun but be safe, too…

Now a sparkling preview of this Saturday’s celebratory show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

The ownership and culinary team behind Newport Beach’s Juliette Kitchen + Bar present a philosophy based on the exploration of diverse flavors and the commitment to employing only the best ingredients. This all adds up to a continually evolving experience. Weekend brunch has just been added. Proprietor Juliette Chung and Executive Chef Daniel Hyatt are our guests.

The team of Executive Chef Daniel Mattern and Pastry Chef & Baker Roxana Jullapat are fondly remembered as the culinary heart of Cook’s County (now closed.) Happily they have now opened a 4,000 square foot, fast casual breakfast and lunch place of their own, Friends & Family. It’s a great addition to Los Angeles’ rediscovered Thai Town. Chefs Roxana and Daniel join us.

Vegan: The Cookbook is newly published by the well-traveled, Chef Jean-Christian Jury, a leader in the international vegan community. In the weighty volume the reader will discover a wide range of accessible and appealing plant-based dishes (designed for the home kitchen) that will excite and satisfy vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike. We’ll meet Chef Jean-Christian.

The crowd-pleasing, proudly family-owned Porto’s Bakery & Café (think potato balls) opened its biggest, long-anticipated branch in Buena Park (25,000 sq.ft.) up the street from Knott’s Berry Farm in early March. It’s been a resounding success. It even offers complimentary valet parking to negate potential parking hassles. Betty Porto joins us with all the delectable details of this incredible and inspiring success story.

Chef Andrew Gruel is on the road but we have him for a few moments by phone. No doubt he’ll have helpful some 4th of July cooking tips for us as well as an insider’s report from the Slapfish booth at last Weekend’s inaugural Arroyo Seco Weekend festival in Pasadena adjacent to The Rose Bowl. There was some great food and beverages available out there!

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

Juliette Chung and Chef Daniel HyattThe ownership and culinary team behind Newport Beach’s Juliette Kitchen + Bar present a philosophy based on the exploration of diverse flavors and the commitment to employing only the best ingredients. This all adds up to a continually evolving experience.

“Juliette Kitchen & Bar is where seasonal and local ingredients come together in vibrant, modern and balanced dishes. Always, rustic, warm and inviting, Juliette Owners Juliette Chung and John Hughes, along with Executive Chef Daniel Hyatt, welcome the community to indulge in good conversation and great food.”

Juliette Kitchen & Bar is now serving Weekend Brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Executive Daniel Hyatt’s menu draws inspiration from locally sourced ingredients, so guests can look forward to enjoying seasonal brunch dishes with a modern American twist. Lending her own touch to the menu, restaurant co-owner Juliette Chung has added her own house-made granola and fresh biscuits to the menu, which also features housemade juices and brunchtime cocktails, such as the Mimosa Lisa and Top of the Morning Irish Coffee.

Proprietor Juliette Chung and Executive Chef Daniel Hyatt are our guests.

Daniel MatternThe team of Executive Chef Daniel Mattern and Pastry Chef & Baker Roxana Jullapat are fondly remembered as the culinary heart of Cook’s County (now closed.) Happily they have now opened a 4,000 square foot, fast casual breakfast and lunch place of their own, Friends & Family. All breads & pastries are prepared and baked in-house. It’s a great addition to Los Angeles’ rediscovered Thai Town.

It’s a vibrant bakery, coffee bar and café where you can enjoy every menu item there or have it packaged to go. The ice cream counter features eye-catching rotating seasonal flavors presented in housemade waffle cones. They also prepare appealing gift baskets, picnics and have a monthly bread club (Friends & Family Sourdough Club.)

Pies for the 4th of July can be ordered through July 2nd. On the menu are Key Lime Pie, Banana Cream Pie and Blackberry & Nectarine Pie.

Chefs Roxana and Daniel join us.

Jean Christian JuryVegan: The Cookbook is newly published by the well-traveled, Chef Jean-Christian Jury, a leader in the international vegan community. In the weighty volume the reader will discover a wide range of accessible and appealing plant-based dishes (designed for the home kitchen) that will excite and satisfy vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike. It features an impressive 450 recipes from more than 150 countries around the world.

The book presents dishes from countries ranging from Albania to Zambia. It showcases the culinary diversity of vegan cuisine, highlighting regional fruits and vegetables, traditional cooking techniques, and universally delectable flavors.

Home cooks will discover sweet and savory starters, soups, salads, mains, and desserts for all to enjoy, accompanied by straightforward instructions and gorgeous color photography. Chef Jury’s recipes have been meticulously tested for accuracy and ease of use.

Jean-Christian Jury is a vegan and raw-food chef from Toulouse, France. In 2008, he opened La Mano Verde in Berlin, Germany, his first vegan restaurant, and received praise from Saveur and Rodale’s Organic Life, and many international publications

We’ll meet Chef Jean-Christian.

Betty PortoThe crowd-pleasing, proudly family-owned Porto’s Bakery & Café (think potato balls & cheese rolls) opened its biggest, long-anticipated branch in Buena Park (25,000 sq.ft.) up the street from Knott’s Berry Farm in early March. Actor Andy Garcia officiated at the ribbon-cutting. It’s been a resounding success. It even offers complimentary valet parking to negate potential parking hassles.

Don’t let the lines scare you. It all moves fast. The three service areas under one roof include the bakery section, the food station which also offers the pastries and an express premium coffee counter with select, best-selling pastries. There is also a convenient station to pick-up pre-orders.

On the new Summer Specials menu are a Guava BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, Rustic Tomato Soup with San Marzano Tomatoes and outrageous Lemon Bars.

2nd generation Co-proprietor Betty Porto joins us with all the delectable details of this incredible and inspiring success story which started with the Family’s escape from Cuba in 1960.

Betty Porto in front of the Porto's Bakery Bread RackPorto’s traces its origins to the year 1960, when the Porto family made the tough decision to leave their home in Manzanillo, Cuba. After living through the drastic changes that were taking place around them, they requested permission to leave the country. Immediately Raul Sr. was terminated from his job and sent away to manual labor for the duration of the wait period. Wife, Rosa Porto was also let go. Knowing that it may take years to be able to leave the country, Rosa found herself alone and having to find a means to support her three children Betty, Raul Jr., and Margarita.

Rosa, always a talented cake maker, with a passion for baking, entrenched herself in perfecting her recipes and began selling her delicious cakes to friends and neighbors not realizing that she was also building herself a loyal customer base.

When the family finally emigrated from Cuba to California, they had not much more than the clothes on their backs, Raul Sr.’s strong work ethic, Rosa’s exceptional baking skills, and a dream for a better life. Soon after the plane landed, Rosa realized that her reputation had preceded her, and met her first customer just as she got off the plane. Raul Sr. took a job as a mechanic and after work delivered Rosa’s cakes. These were hard times, but the family was now in a country filled with limitless opportunities and their dream for a better future became more real as the years passed.

Rosa continued on with her cake business and when their home could no longer accommodate the increased demand, opened a little 300-square foot bakery on Sunset Blvd, in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles. From day one, the place was busy, serving close to 50 customers a day. After tirelessly working two jobs, Raul Sr. left his latter job at Van De Kamp’s and joined Rosa full time. Meanwhile, their children Betty, Raul Jr., and Margarita managed to maintain their studies and learn the different parts of the business; baking, decorating, food preparation, customer service, and finances.

Rosa’s Cuban cakes were soon joined by French mousses, Italian sweets, and international savories. As customers flocked to the bakery demanding countless quantities of Cheese Rolls™, Refugiados™-guava and cheese strudels, and the infamous Potato Ball™, space became critical. A move was made to a 2,000-square foot facility in Glendale and six years later to one double in size. The bakery continued to grow and more employees where hired to handle the demand for its increasingly broad line of cakes, desserts, and savories.

Porto’s Bakery & Café now serves thousands of customers and employs hundreds of team members in Southern California, with stores in Glendale, Burbank, Downey and now, Buena Park. In 2018 West Covina is on the horizon.

Andrew and William GruelOur own Chef Andrew Gruel is on the road again but in the holiday spirit we have him for a few moments by phone. No doubt he’ll have helpful some 4th of July cooking tips for us as well as an insider’s report from the Slapfish booth at last Weekend’s inaugural Arroyo Seco Weekend festival in Pasadena adjacent to the Rose Bowl. There was some great food and beverages available out there!

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Proprietress Juliette Chung & Executive Chef Daniel Hyatt, Juliette Kitchen & Bar, Newport Beach
Segment Three: Executive Chef Daniel Mattern & Pastry Chef/Baker Roxana Jullapat, Friends & Family, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Chef Jean-Christian Jury, Vegan: The Cookbook
Segment Five: Betty Porto, Vice President, Community & Guest Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Cafe Part One
Segment Six: Betty Porto, Vice President, Community & Guest Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Cafe Part Two
Segment Seven: Chef Andrew Gruel