Show 406, January 2, 2021: Niyaz Pirani, Knife & Spork Public Relations – Practical Marketing Tips for Restaurants

Niyaz Pirani of Knife and Spork Public RelationsNiyaz Pirani is a former OC Register and OC Weekly journalist who made the switch to Public Relations in 2015. He established Knife & Spork Public Relations to become one of Orange County’s respected social media marketing firms for restaurants. He focuses on photo and video content creation, targeted marketing, ad support and customer engagement. He believes “Every Restaurant Has a Story to Tell.”

With restaurants’ budgets being especially tight right now (and every dollar of expense needing to be justified) Niyaz joins us with an expert’s advice offering grass roots avenues for restaurants to promote themselves and get more relevant eyeballs focused on what the restaurants are offering. It’s difficult to gain awareness right now as the algorithms continue to take away organic reach.

He sees value in modest expenditures with both Facebook and Instagram organized with care. Niyaz also suggests on concentrating on reaching a restaurant’s local community.


Show 294, October 20, 2018: Annette Brown, Director of Public Relations, Visit Temecula Valley

Annette BrownVisit Temecula Valley originally created and organizes “Battle of the Burgers.” The first year was so successful that they outgrew the original Old Town location and needed to move to the bigger space at Pechanga’s Summit. (More parking, too…)

On our Oct. 6th show we met their Director of Public Relations, Annette Brown, and previewed the “2nd Annual Battle of the Burgers.” Visit Temecula Valley is the region’s official tourism marketing organization and an online resource for visitors at

Temecula Valley Visitors Center is located in Old Town Temecula (Third Street and Mercedes).

Visit Temecula Valley’s Annette Brown encores with more juicy details and a tempting overview of all the attractions for visitors to the area.


Show 251, December 9, 2017: Brenda Hengel, Public Relations and Marketing Brand Manager, The Mob Museum, Las Vegas

Brenda HengelThe Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, is a world-class destination in downtown Las Vegas. It presents an exciting and authentic view of the Mob’s impact on Las Vegas history and its unique imprint on America and the world. With tales so intriguing they need no embellishment, The Mob Museum reveals an insider’s look at the events and people on both sides of this continuing battle between organized crime and law enforcement.

True stories of Mob history are brought to life in a bold and contemporary style via engaging exhibits and multi-sensory experiences. The Mob Museum puts the visitor in the middle of the action through high-tech theater presentations, iconic one-of-a-kind artifacts and interactive, themed environments. The Mob Museum was ranked #20 out of 25 Top U.S. Museums in 2017 by TripAdvisor.

The Mob Museum features a variety of interactive exhibits, films and high-tech audio-visual displays that are periodically updated to reflect new information and acquisitions. Exhibits examine in great depth such topics as how organized crime persists today;  how the Mob is perceived and portrayed in pop culture; how the battle against the Mob was fought with focus on important historic and law enforcement victories; an examination of Mob violence, corruption, conspiracy and murder; notable mobsters and Mob busters; an in-depth look at Las Vegas as the ultimate “open city” that attracted mobsters and how organized crime operated “the skim” inside casinos; and a historic timeline on the birth and evolution of organized crime with a look at its geographic “families” from around the globe.

The centerpiece exhibit of the Museum is the courtroom where the proceedings of the United States Senate Special Committee to Investigate Crime in Interstate Commerce occurred in Las Vegas in 1950. Led by U.S. Senator Estes Kefauver, the hearings sought to expose organized crime.

Coming to The Mob Museum in the 2nd Quarter of 2018 is The Underground. It’s a permanent prohibition history exhibition featuring a working Speakeasy and distillery. Also included is a working craft-brewery. Organized crime syndicates flourished during Prohibition with bootlegging and rum-running.

The Mob Museum’s Brenda Hengel, Public Relations and Marketing Brand Manager, joins us.


Show 175, June 11, 2016: Pechanga Resort’s $285 Million Expansion

Ciara Green of PechangaPechanga Resort & Casino has been one of the most successful Indian gaming properties in the West. A new luxury hotel wing is under construction which will add two restaurants, a 2-level spa, and a Las Vegas-style resort pool deck with all the upscale amenities including cabanas. Ciara Green, Pechanga’s Public Relations Manager, takes off her hard hat to discuss the ambitious expansion efforts with us.

It’s all tentative at this point but the hope is that the new 2,000 space parking garage will be available in late November and the 568-room and suite, AAA Four Diamond hotel addition/expansion will debut in the late Fall of 2017.

“We estimate the expansion will result in an economic output of over $550 million, generating roughly 2,944 jobs up front as a result of construction-related activities,” said Dr. Christopher Thornberg, Founding Partner of Beacon Economics. “We estimate the local economy will benefit from an additional 560 jobs per year going forward as a result of expanded operations at Pechanga Resort & Casino



Show 53, December 21, 2013: Executive Chef Brian Malarkey of Enlightened Hospitality Group, San Diego Continues…

Herringbone in La Jolla and West HollywoodExecutive Chef Brian Mararkey of Enlightened Hospitality Group encores for a second segment. His growing collection of restaurants, with a San Diego base, includes Searsucker, Herringbone (La Jolla and January opening in West Hollywood,) Gabardine, and Green Acre.

Chef Brian has cooked in Los Angeles previously. Very early in his professional career he was in the kitchen at Michel Richard’s Citrus.

Chef Brian very honestly explains how he paid his dues during his 20s and 30s before becoming the executive chef at The Oceanaire Seafood Room in San Diego. That eventually led to his casting on Bravo’s “Top Chef.” After his success on “Top Chef” he stayed at Oceanaire for another 18 months before going out on his own.

He’s surprised that so many young people graduating from culinary schools today think they can just walk into being celebrities on food TV without a proper culinary foundation and a lot of luck.

He also talks about the practical value of public relations as it applies to building a chef’s brand.


Show 51, December 7, 2013: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, educator, food journalist, and cookbook author Continues…

Rotisserie Georgette in New York CityOn to New York…

Barbara has been particularly taken by the new Rotisserie Georgette. Georgette Farkas was Chef Daniel Boulud’s highly regarded ace public relations and marketing person for many years.

Barbara had already been there for lunch and was going back for dinner!

Barbara also graciously shared her find for favorite classic French Bistro on New York which is a bit under the dining radar. It’s Le Bateau Ivre, established in 1999. She suggests them for for mussels, onion soup, and roasted chicken.

In concluding Barbara shared her memories of the very popular Judy Rodgers of San Francisco’s iconic Zuni Café. She passed away last week.