Show 559, January 6, 2024: Kohala Food Hub and Mauna Kea Resort, Hawaii Island

Maya Parish of Kohala Food Lab

A new collaboration between the Mauna Kea Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii and the Kohala Food Hub (KFH) is stepping up the use of food grown by Kohala farmers.

“The Hāwī-based KFH aggregates and markets food for small and mid-scale farmers who use regenerative and organic management practices. The fresh food is sold to island resorts, restaurants and residents who purchase a weekly Multi-Farm CSA subscription or buy food through KFH’s Online Marketplace.”

“I think there’s a special bond between Mauna Kea Resort and the Kohala community due to our proximity and that a large number of Kohala residents work at the resort, says Maya Parish, director of KFH.”

“On the food hub’s end, our goals are to create consistent standing resort orders that our farmers can count on and plant out for,” details Parish. “This will stimulate more regional food production, increasing revenue for our farmers and providing consistent quality and volume that the resort can depend on.”

“In addition, another identified goal includes providing an example to other resorts in the Kona and Kohala Districts to also “join more deeply” in supporting locally based farmers with their significant collective purchasing power.”

Todd Oldham of Mauna Kea Resort

“We were always heavy into purchasing local but it seemed after COVID, we had to do everything in our power to strengthen food security and the way we can do that is though our dollars,” notes Todd Oldham, Mauna Kea Resort food and beverage director. “When we buy local products, the money stays here and helps someone keep their land and expand to grow more food.”

“Oldham, a former chef who grew up with an agricultural background in Pennsylvania, shares a resort mission is to increase the use of local food. “It’s not just a verbal think; we do strategy sessions on how to increase local food usage, what steps we need to take and the initiatives needed.”

“With the collaboration starting in August, Mauna Kea Resort is currently purchasing around 450 pounds of produce weekly from KFH, initially using what farmers already had growing—grapefruit, dragon fruit, navel oranges, starfruit, bananas, green leaf and romaine lettuces. Now KFH is asking its farmer network to plant out crops specifically to supply the resort’s stated needs—carrots, eggplant, broccoli, cabbage and green beans— while negotiating price points that work for all.”

KFH’s Maya Parish and Mauna Kea Resort’s Todd Oldham join us with all the specifics of the important effort.

Show 491, September 17, 2022: Jim Harwood, General Manager, Gamble Creek Farms

Jim Harwood of Gamble Creek Farms

Chiles Hospitality’s Gamble Creek Farms is a 26-acre, organic, sustainable, working farm in Parrish, Florida committed to quality produce. Produce is delivered daily to Chiles Hospitality waterfront restaurants: Sandbar, Beach House, and Mar Vista. There is also a year-round indoor Farm Stand featuring local products including a variety of baked goods from the Anna Maria Bake House.

“The crops that are currently being grown at Gamble Creek Farms are arugula, Kina Savoy, basil, green beans, bok choy, green cabbage, cilantro, collard greens, Kirby cucumbers, green kale, red and green bib lettuces, romaine, Italian parsley, squash blossoms, zucchini, yellow squash, and Pattypan squash.”

Gamble Creek Farms’ General Manager, Jim Harwood, takes a break from The Farm to join us.

Show 488, August 27, 2022: The Concord Taco Trail, Concord, CA with Tortilleria El Molino represented by Estevan Morales

Estavan Morales of Tortilleria El Molino

A worthy discovery on our June visit to Concord, CA was The Original Concord Taco Trail. “Concord has long been home to deliciously authentic, family-owned taquerias and restaurants. Visit Concord has gathered up a list of the best for taco lovers to explore. Each of the Trail’s nearly 40 locations offer specialty and signature tacos from al pastor, carnitas and carne asada to grilled tilapia, shrimp, vegitariano, and even filet mignon.”

Monument Blvd., a predominately Hispanic District of Concord, has the largest concentration of establishments on the Concord Taco Trail. A highlight there is Tortilleria El Molino. They even make their own flour and corn tortillas in-house. They have an adject Hispanic ethnic market with a full bakery, expansive meat department and a fully stocked fresh produce aisle.

Representing Tortilleria El Molino is Estevan Morales, Operations Manager, and the son of founder Santiago Morales.

Show 483, July 16, 2022: Romeo Coleman, Coleman Family Farm, Carpinteria, CA Part One

Romeo Coleman of Coleman Family Farm

Coleman Family Farms in Carpinteria is under the management of 2nd generation family farmer Romeo Coleman. Their produce is available at both the Wednesday and Saturday mornings Farmers Markets in Santa Monica. Founded in 1963 by the late Bill Coleman.

Many of the finer restaurants in the area utilize their seasonal produce and flowers including acclaimed Chef Rich Mead of Farmhouse in Corona del Mar. Right now they have cherry tomatoes and an assortment of basil. Well known for exceptional heirloom tomatoes in season.

Romeo joins us with a full report on the season’s best.

Show 483, July 16, 2022: Romeo Coleman, Coleman Family Farm, Carpinteria, CA Part Two

Romeo Coleman of Coleman Family Farm

Coleman Family Farms in Carpinteria (and Ventura) is under the management of 2nd generation family farmer Romeo Coleman. Their produce is available at both the Wednesday and Saturday mornings Farmers Markets in Santa Monica. Founded in 1963 by the late Bill Coleman.

Many of the finer restaurants in the area utilize their seasonal produce and flowers including Chef Rich Mead of Farmhouse in Corona del Mar. Right now they have cherry tomatoes and an assortment of basil. Well known for exceptional heirloom tomatoes in season. They only grow what’s in season for the area.

Romeo continues with us with a full report on the season’s best.

Show 456, December 18, 2021: Chef John Park and Restaurateur Ed Lee, Tableau Kitchen and Bar at South Coast Plaza Part One

John Park of Toast Kitchen and Bakery

“From the accomplished culinary minds of Chef John Park and Restaurateur Ed Lee of foodie favorite Toast Kitchen + Bakery in Costa Mesa comes Tableau Kitchen and Bar at South Coast Plaza. At Tableau, Chef Park elevates New American cuisine showcasing the inventive global influences and unexpected twists on classic dishes for which he is known. Tableau’s seafood-forward menu takes full advantage of the restaurant’s coastal location and features the freshest produce from local farms.”

“Breakfast, lunch and dinner menus offer something for every palate, from sweet to savory, salads to sandwiches, scallops to steak. A full bar with craft cocktails, draft beers and a curated wine list and Chef Park’s famous pastries complement the exciting menu selections. At Tableau Kitchen and Bar, every meal makes a difference, with a percentage of proceeds donated to local charities.”

Chef John and Ed take a break from their busy soft opening to join us.

Show 433, July 10, 2021: Restaurateur Mike Smith, Chicken Ranch, Palm Springs

Mike Smith of Chicken Ranch

For proprietor Mike Smith at Palm Springs’ Chicken Ranch (a locals’ favorite) preparing good food is simple. “It starts with great ingredients sourced from local farms who apply sustainable, eco-friendly standards to their craft. Chicken Ranch’s rotisserie chicken, crisp, delicious salads and savory, succulent sides are prepared carefully and artistically, with respect to seasonal ingredients, flavors and seasonings. Chicken Ranch is committed to keeping it fresh; bringing farm-fresh produce and free-range poultry from local farms to every guest’s plate.”

Chicken Ranch offers full-service with shaded patio seating with misters. Also a full bar with beer, wine, cocktails and spirits. It’s dog friendly.

The ruler of Chicken Ranch’s roost, Mike Smith, joins us.

Show 405, December 26, 2020: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s “Prince of Produce,” with the Produce Trends Forecast for 2021

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioOur distinguished, resident produce authority, Robert Schueller, (also known as the Prince of Produce) is the long-time Director of Public Relations for Melissa’s (World Variety) Produce. This will be the 14th year he’s provided the list of “Top Ten Specialty Produce Items” as determined by real sales figures. Robert joins us to share the always anticipated list.

It’s no surprise that the ultimate comfort food, Melissa’s Dutch Yellow Potatoes, ranks in 1st place. Grown in Idaho, of course. This is actually the 10th year for this distinction.

Next Saturday Robert returns to present more of his informative and revealing “Produce Trends Forecast for 2021.”

Show 386, August 15, 2020: Executive Chef Rich Mead, Proprietor, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens Part One

Rich Mead of Farmhouse at Rogers GardensRich Mead, Owner and Executive Chef of Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens, offers guests patio seating on a lush, garden setting for lunch and early dinner with an all-day menu. With over 4,000 square feet of al fresco dining, guests can relax outdoors while responsibly enjoying an award-winning cocktail or a seasonal, sustainably sourced meal.”

“Also available is a robust menu of takeout offerings including a Curbside Market with local ingredients and pantry staples, nourishing Family Meals and weekly Farmers Market Produce Boxes. Classic and signature cocktails are available for dine-in or curbside pickup courtesy of Chef de Swigs, Anthony Laborin and his team.”

Please note hours for Dine-in are currently 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily and for Takeout 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Dinner Dine-in service to resume in the near future. Phone is 949.640.1415 for Reservations and Takeout.

Chef/Proprietor Rich Mead is our guest.

 

Show 386, August 15, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at the Fifth Anniversary of the SoCal Restaurant Show at Melissas World Variety ProduceOur 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 regularly 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. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

The short season for sourcing fresh Hatch peppers from New Mexico’s Mesilla Valley is upon us. Hatch Chiles are thick, meaty and rich in flavor. They are often called the world’s tastiest peppers and with good reason. Unusually the fresh peppers are available in a variety of heat levels from mild to hot. In food stores now fresh or freshly roasted by the case. (They freeze well when roasted.) Chef Andrew is a genuine fan and offers some great tips for inspired cooking with Hatch chiles.

We’ll, of course “Ask the Chef.”