Show 409, January 23, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

We know Chef James Trees from Esther’s Kitchen in the Arts District of Las Vegas adjacent to Downtown. It’s Chef James’ interpretation of elegant Italian comfort food. “While Chef Trees is descended from Jewish Austrian wine merchants, growing up he spent a lot of time at his best friend Alfio’s house. “I love Italian food because of Alfio and his family,” says Trees. “That’s the food I grew up eating. At Alfio’s they’d be making lasagna or braciola, and pasta – there was always pasta. That’s my comfort food.”” Trees latest creation is the newly opened Al Solito Posto in Summerlin’s Trivoli Village. Al Solito Posto which translates to “At the Usual Place” is an Italian Restaurant with a focus on the classics. The dinner only menu features house-made pasta, fresh ingredients and quality seafood, steaks and chops. Think a chef-driven minestrone, chicken piccata and cioppino.

R6 is a family-owned distillery in the Los Angeles suburb of El Segundo. Founder and Head Distiller Rob Rubens fell in love with the art of distilling after his first (unplanned) trip to New Orleans Rum Distillery. He knew it was time for a change. After spending the better part of a decade in corporate America and realizing that was not his path, Rob visited distilleries and breweries and decided it was time to make waves. Coupling his experience with his desire to bring quality spirits to Los Angeles, Rob opened this speakeasy (Smoky Hollow Tasting & Tap) inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy in 2014.” Distiller Rob Rubens is our spirited guest.

Celebrity Chef, Author and Food TV Personality, Jet Tila, needs no introduction to the listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” With his wife, Ali, he has written the best-selling 101 Asia Dishes You Need To Cook Before You Die and, most recently, 101 Epic Dishes. On Food Network Chef Jet was one of the 3 regular judges for the entire run of “Cutthroat Kitchen with Alton Brown” and the knowledgeable Floor Reporter on the most recent season of refreshed “Iron Chef America.” Chef Jet holds the most Guinness World Records for creating large format food. He’s at it again on Tuesday, January 26th working with True Aussie Beef & Lamb as the online host of the interactive Aussie Dinner Hour” on Australia Day. On the line is an official attempt to best the current Guinness World Record for “Most Users in a Dinner Party Hangout.” Chef Jet is our guest.

In times of uncertainty it’s always best to call on the calming expertise of those truly knowledgeable in their specific areas. Such is the case with our always engaging resident wine authority Kyle Meyer, the Managing Partner of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. On January 12th a new, 25 percent tariff (with little warning) was placed on high-alcohol wines from Europe. In late 2019 a 25 percent tariff was placed on lower-alcohol European wines. We’ll discuss the tariff situation with Kyle and how they ultimately negatively impact wine pricing.

“Women restaurateurs from across Los Angeles have created a new charitable organization called RE:Her. Its debut initiative, a food festival called 10 Days RE:Her, will feature 10 days of unique collaborations, thematic menus, and one-on-one conversations between female industry leaders. 10 Days RE:Her kicked off on January 21, the anniversary of the groundbreaking Women’s March of 2017, and runs through January 30. Over 100 restaurants and collaborators are involved. Observing local dining restrictions, aspects of the festival will take place virtually and remotely.” Chef Sandra Cordero of Gasolina Café in Woodland Hills is one of the organizers of the Festival and as well serves on the active RE:Her board. Sandra takes a break from her busy kitchen to preview the variety of “10 Days RE:Her” events that she is part of.

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 updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, 86 Restaurant Struggle campaign to benefit deserving out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed $300,000 to restaurant workers in dire need. The fried chicken sandwich is becoming an increasingly popular menu item at the major national burger places as well as at other fast casual outlets. Chef Andrew has a lot of hands-on experience with premium fried chicken at Two Birds in Irvine. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

Play

Show 409, January 23, 2021: Rob Rubens, Founder & Head Distiller, R6 Distillery, El Segundo

Rob Rubens of R6 DistilleryR6 is a family-owned distillery in the Los Angeles suburb of El Segundo. Founder and Head Distiller Rob Rubens fell in love with the art of distilling after his first (unplanned) trip to New Orleans Rum Distillery. He knew it was time for a change. After spending the better part of a decade in corporate America and realizing that was not his path, Rob visited distilleries and breweries and decided it was time to make waves. Coupling his experience with his desire to bring quality spirits to Los Angeles, Rob opened this speakeasy (Smoky Hollow Tasting & Tap) inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy in 2014.”

“Our process is quite different than most. We use only the purest form of our distillate when producing spirits. This is where most take short cuts and compromise the quality of the product. But we’re about quality – and our promise to you is just that. Each bottle of spirits will be crafted from the “hearts” of our distillate. We stick to doing what is right and what is authentic.”

New is the California Mule in a can and FDA certified hand sanitizer originally created to help mitigate the initial shortage last March with the onset of the pandemic.

Rob is particularly proud of his R6 Blue Corn Bourbon Whiskey aged in new American charred oak barrels. It has already won numerous awards. It’s probably the first “legal” Bourbon created and distilled in Los Angeles County.

In the interests of safety and complying with all COVID 19 restrictions R6 Distillery is open exclusively (Friday through Sunday) for bottle purchases and cocktails & beer to go. The online store can ship R6 spirits to any California address.

 

Play

January 23: James Trees, R6 Distillery, Jet Tila, Wine Exchange, Gasolina Café

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur James Trees of Al Solito Posto, Las Vegas
Segment Three: Rob Rubens, Founder & Head Distiller, R6 Distillery, El Segundo
Segment Four: Celebrity Chef Jet Tila with a Preview of “Aussie Dinner Hour” Part One
Segment Five: Celebrity Chef Jet Tila with a Preview of “Aussie Dinner Hour” Part Two
Segment Six: Kyle Meyer, Managing Partner, Wine Exchange in Santa Ana
Segment Seven: Restaurateur & Chef Sandra Cordero, Gasolina Café on Woodland Hills
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

We know Chef James Trees from Esther’s Kitchen in the Arts District of Las Vegas adjacent to Downtown. It’s Chef James’ interpretation of elegant Italian comfort food. “While Chef Trees is descended from Jewish Austrian wine merchants, growing up he spent a lot of time at his best friend Alfio’s house. “I love Italian food because of Alfio and his family,” says Trees. “That’s the food I grew up eating. At Alfio’s they’d be making lasagna or braciola, and pasta – there was always pasta. That’s my comfort food.”” Trees latest creation is the newly opened Al Solito Posto in Trivoli Village. Al Solito Posto which translates to “At the Usual Place” is an Italian Restaurant with a focus on the classics. The dinner only menu features house-made pasta, fresh ingredients and quality seafood, steaks and chops. Think a chef-driven minestrone, chicken piccata and cioppino.

R6 is a family-owned distillery in the Los Angeles suburb of El Segundo. Founder and Head Distiller Rob Rubens fell in love with the art of distilling after his first (unplanned) trip to New Orleans Rum Distillery. He knew it was time for a change. After spending the better part of a decade in corporate America and realizing that was not his path, Rob visited distilleries and breweries and decided it was time to make waves. Coupling his experience with his desire to bring quality spirits to Los Angeles, Rob opened this speakeasy (Smoky Hollow Tasting & Taproom) inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy in 2014.” Distiller Rob Rubens is our spirited guest.

Celebrity Chef, Author and Food TV Personality, Jet Tila, needs no introduction to the listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” With his wife, Ali, he has written the best-selling 101 Asia Dishes You Need To Cook Before You Die and, most recently, 101 Epic Dishes. On Food Network Chef Jet was one of the 3 regular judges for the entire run of “Cutthroat Kitchen with Alton Brown” and the knowledgeable Floor Reporter on the most recent season of the refreshed “Iron Chef America.” Chef Jet holds the most Guinness World Records for creating large format food. He’s at it again on Tuesday, January 26th working with True Aussie Beef & Lamb as the online host of the interactive “Aussie Dinner Hour” on Australia Day. On the line is an official attempt to best the current Guinness World Record for “Most Users in a Dinner Party Hangout.” Chef Jet is our guest.

In times of uncertainty it’s always best to call on the calming expertise of those truly knowledgeable in their specific areas. Such is the case with our always engaging resident wine authority Kyle Meyer, the Managing Partner of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. On January 12th a 25 percent tariff was set to be placed on high-alcohol wines from France and Germany. It was then called back at the last hour. In late 2019 a 25 percent tariff was placed on lower-alcohol European wines. We’ll discuss the tariff situation with Kyle and how they ultimately impact wine pricing. Kyle will also discuss his insights on the harvest and crush for 2020 in California.

“Women restaurateurs from across Los Angeles have created a new charitable organization called RE:Her. Its debut initiative, a food festival called 10 Days RE:Her, will feature 10 days of unique collaborations, thematic menus, and one-on-one conversations between female industry leaders. 10 Days RE:Her kicks off on January 21, the anniversary of the groundbreaking Women’s March of 2017, and runs through January 30. Over 100 restaurants and collaborators are involved. Observing local dining restrictions, aspects of the festival will take place virtually and remotely.” Chef Sandra Cordero of Gasolina Café in Woodland Hills is one of the organizers of the Festival and as well serves on the active RE:Her board. Sandra takes a break from her busy kitchen to preview the variety of “10 Days RE:Her” events that she is part of.

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 updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, “86 The Struggle” campaign to benefit deserving out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed $300,000 to restaurant workers in dire need. The fried chicken sandwich is becoming an increasingly popular menu item at the major national burger places as well as at other fast casual outlets. Chef Andrew has a lot of hands-on experience with premium fried chicken at Two Birds in Irvine. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

James Trees of Ada's and Esthers Kitchen in Las VegasWe know Chef James Trees from Esther’s Kitchen in the Arts District of Las Vegas adjacent to Downtown. It’s Chef James’ interpretation of elegant Italian comfort food. “While Chef Trees is descended from Jewish Austrian wine merchants, growing up he spent a lot of time at his best friend Alfio’s house. “I love Italian food because of Alfio and his family,” says Trees. “That’s the food I grew up eating. My mom was always working and didn’t have time to make dinner, so whenever we were hungry we went to Alfio’s house. They’d be making lasagna or braciola, and pasta – there was always pasta. That’s my comfort food.””

Trees’ latest creation is the newly opened Al Solito Posto in Trivoli Village. Al Solito Posto which translates to “At the Usual Place” is an Italian Restaurant with a focus on the classics. The dinner only menu features house-made pasta, fresh ingredients and quality seafood, steaks and chops. Think a chef-driven minestrone, chicken piccata and cioppino.

Rob Rubens of R6 DistilleryR6 is a family-owned distillery in the Los Angeles suburb of El Segundo. Founder and Head Distiller Rob Rubens  fell in love with the art of distilling after his first (unplanned) trip to New Orleans Rum Distillery. He knew it was time for a change. After spending the better part of a decade in corporate America and realizing that was not his path, Rob visited distilleries and breweries and decided it was time to make waves. Coupling his experience with his desire to bring quality spirits to Los Angeles, Rob opened this speakeasy (Smoky Hollow Tasting & Tap) inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy in 2014.”

“Our process is quite different than most. We use only the purest form of our distillate when producing spirits. This is where most take short cuts and compromise the quality of the product. But we’re about quality – and our promise to you is just that. Each bottle of spirits will be crafted from the “hearts” of our distillate. We stick to doing what is right and what is authentic.”

New is the California Mule in a can and certified hand sanitizer originally created to help mitigate the initial shortage last March with the onset of the pandemic.

In the interests of safety and complying with all COVID 19 restrictions R6 Distillery is open exclusively (Friday through Sunday) for bottle purchases and cocktails & beer to go. The online store can ship R6 spirits to any California address.

Jet Tila at Cochon 555Celebrity Chef, Author and Food TV Personality, Jet Tila, needs no introduction to the listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” With his wife, Ali, he has written the best-selling 101 Asia Dishes You Need To Cook Before You Die and, most recently, 101 Epic Dishes. On Food Network Chef Jet was one of the 3 regular judges for the entire run of “Cutthroat Kitchen with Alton Brown” and the knowledgeable Floor Reporter on the most recent season of refreshed “Iron Chef America.” Earlier in his career he crossed knives with Iron Chef Masaharu Moromoto (an original Iron Chef from the predecessor Japanese version) on “Iron Chef America” in “Battle Seaweed.”

Chef Jet holds the most Guinness World Records for creating large format food. He’s at it again on Tuesday, January 26th working with True Aussie Beef & Lamb as the online host of the interactive Aussie Dinner Hour” on Australia Day. On the line is an official attempt to best the current Guinness World Record for “Most Users in a Dinner Party Hangout.”

“Join Host/Celebrity Chef Jet Tila, partner chefs, media members and influencers online for this interactive experience featuring loads of foodie entertainment, fun trivia and “aussome” prizes – including one-on-one virtual cooking classes with featured chef hosts. Anyone who wants to make history or simply loves everything food, art, travel, a free-t-shirt and prizes is invited to attend—and Make a Moment with True Aussie Beef & Lamb.”

Chef Jet joins us with all the details on how listeners can be part of this challenge. We’ll also get updated on Chef Jet’s current Food TV work, his lineup of virtual cooking tutorials and the “in the works” new cookbook.

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeIn times of crisis it’s always best to call on the calming expertise of those truly knowledgeable in their specific areas. Such is the case with our always engaging resident wine authority Kyle Meyer, the Managing Partner of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. 

On January 12th a 25 percent tariff was set to be placed on high-alcohol wines from France and Germany. It was then called back at the last hour. In late 2019 a 25 percent tariff was placed on lower-alcohol European wines. We’ll discuss the tariff situation with Kyle and how they impact wine pricing.

We’ll also ask Kyle about the current state of the wine business in California. How did the harvest and crush shape up for 2020? Will the fires in Northern California last year impact the quality and availability of premium California wines? What is smoke taint on wine?

Sandra Cordero“Women restaurateurs from across Los Angeles have created a new charitable organization called RE:Her. Its debut initiative, a food festival called 10 Days RE:Her, will feature 10 days of unique collaborations, thematic menus, and one-on-one conversations between female industry leaders. 10 Days RE:Her kicks off on January 21, the anniversary of the groundbreaking Women’s March of 2017, and runs through January 30. Over 100 restaurants and collaborators are involved. Observing local dining restrictions, aspects of the festival will take place virtually and remotely.”

Chef Sandra Cordero of Gasolina Café in Woodland Hills is one of the organizers of the Festival as well as serves on the active RE:Her board. Sandra takes a break from her busy kitchen to preview the variety of “10 Days RE:Her” events that she is part of.

A highlight is “The Girls Got Taste,” a 3-course menu available to go (in Santa Monica and Woodland Hills) created by Socalo, Gasolina Café and Valerie Confections. Chef Sandra provides a Salad of Mussels in Escabeche with blood orange, fennel, celeriac, bocarones and olives.

Chef Sandra also has developed a Spanish-themed, bake-at-home pizza kit as part of Around The World with Superfine Pizza.” The 12-inch  pizza creation is LA-ES-PAN-OLA by GASOLINA Café with chorizo soria, manchego cheese, mushroom crema, cherry tomato, caramelized onion and topped with a sunny side up egg. Additionally the ES-CA-ROLE by Superfine Pizza is on the menu at Gasolina Café. Both are available by pre-order from January 21st to 30th.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant GroupOur 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 which is a genuine (and increasingly growing) concern. Extended restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for at least the first 3 weeks of January.

Chef Andrew updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, 86 Restaurant Struggle campaign to benefit out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $300,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The need continues…

The fried chicken sandwich is becoming a popular menu item at the major burger places in addition to other fast casual outlets. Chef Andrew has a lot of hands-on experience with premium fried chicken at Two Birds in Irvine. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur James Trees of Al Solito Posto, Las Vegas
Segment Three: Rob Rubens, Founder & Head Distiller, R6 Distillery, El Segundo
Segment Four: Celebrity Chef Jet Tila with a Preview of “Aussie Dinner Hour” Part One
Segment Five: Celebrity Chef Jet Tila with a Preview of “Aussie Dinner Hour” Part Two
Segment Six: Kyle Meyer, Managing Partner, Wine Exchange in Santa Ana
Segment Seven: Restaurateur & Chef Sandra Cordero, Gasolina Café on Woodland Hills
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 289, September 8, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Program Note for Saturday, Sept. 15th:
Please join us at the special time of 4 to 5:00 p.m. for Saturday afternoon, Sept. 15th only right before the Angels Game.

Now a captivating preview of this Saturday’s mouthwatering 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 careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

San Diego area food fans who are pursuing careers in the culinary arts, enology/viticulture and beverage studies attention, please. The San Diego Chapter of The American Institute of Wine & Food is now accepting applications for Scholarships in full or part-time accredited continuing education programs. The scholarships typically range from $500 to $2,000, and the funds do not need to be repaid. Lisa Lipton, Esq., AIWF San Diego Scholarship Chair joins us with the details.

Chef/Co-Owner Art Gonzalez’s Panxa Cocina, Long Beach’s only dedicated modern Southwestern restaurant, has launched its first-ever month-long Hatch chile celebration throughout the entire month of September, with a portion of the proceeds going to New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute. The Hatch Chile menu is served lunch and dinner, seven-days. Chef Art has the flavor-packed details.

El Segundo’s R6 Distillery & Smoky Hollow Tasting & Taproom was established in 2014 by Head Distiller Rob Rubens. Rob fell in love with the mystery and art of distillation after his first (and unplanned) trip to Old New Orleans Rum Distillery. He realized it was time for a change. After scraping together savings, visiting plenty of distilleries and breweries, it was time to perhaps start another great wave. Coupling his experience with the desire to bring quality spirits to greater Los Angeles, Rob decided to open this speakeasy inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy.

Journalist and Las Vegas insider Al Mancini is a graduate of Seton Hall University and Brooklyn Law School, who began his career in journalism as a music reporter for ABC News Radio in 1996. He moved to Las Vegas to cover Southern Nevada for the network in 2001, and has covered the local dining scene for numerous publications since 2003. Al joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a Staff Writer in 2016. Al got to know the celebrated Robin Leach over all those years. Al joins us to share a side of Robin that you probably don’t know from just seeing him on television.

It’s California Wine Month and we’re celebrating in style with the General Manager, Brian Cousins, and Kenny Spost, Executive Chef of Westwood’s Napa Valley Grille. Combining local, seasonal ingredients, artisan products and an expansive selection of regional wine, Napa Valley Grille recreates the charm, bounty and palates distinctive of West Coast wine country in a sophisticated setting within Westwood Village.

Turtle Rock Vineyards is a small, family-owned winery located in Paso Robles founded by Don & Claudia Burns. “Our winemaking philosophy is simple, you can’t make great wine without great fruit. We source our fruit from some of the finest vineyards in the Templeton Gap area of Paso Robles. Through sustainable farming practices, low yields, and harvesting at optimal ripeness, we are able to make wines with both intensity and balance. We hope these wines reflect the beauty of the wonderful places these grapes are grown as well as the people who nurture them.” Claudia Burns uncorks it for us.

Chef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of “Ask the Chef.” We’re thinking totally wacky food news…

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 289, September 8, 2018: Rob Rubens, Proprietor & Head Distiller, R6 Distillery & Smoky Hollow Tasting & Taproom, El Segundo

Rob RubensEl Segundo’s R6 Distillery & Smoky Hollow Tasting & Taproom was established in 2014 by Head Distiller Rob Rubens. Rob fell in love with the mystery and art of distillation after his first (and unplanned) trip to Old New Orleans Rum Distillery. He realized it was time for a change.

After scraping together savings, visiting plenty of distilleries and breweries, it was time to perhaps start another great wave. Coupling his experience with the desire to bring quality spirits to greater Los Angeles, Rob decided to open this speakeasy inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy.

Product highlights include R6 Vodka, R6 Blue Corn Bourbon, R6 Bourbon, R6 Rye, R6 Single Malt Whiskey, R6 Wheat Whiskey and R6 Rum.

There is a real Mixologist creating the signature cocktails in the Tasting Room. Think Smoked Old Fashioned with R6 Smoked Bourbon, sugar, and Ango Orange.

Play

September 8: AIWF San Diego, Panxa Cocina, R6 Distillery, Al Mancini, Napa Valley Grille, Turtle Rock Vineyards

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Lisa Lipton, Esq., The American Institute of Wine & Food, San Diego Scholarship Chair
Segment Three: Chef/Co-Owner Art Gonzalez, Panxa Cocina, Long Beach
Segment Four: Rob Rubens, Proprietor & Head Distiller, R6 Distillery & Smoky Hollow Tasting &amp Taproom, El Segundo
Segment Five: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas
Segment Six: General Manager Brian Cousins, Executive Chef Kenny Spost, Napa Valley Grille, Westwood
Segment Seven: Claudia Burns, Owner, Turtle Rock Vineyards, Paso Robles
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Now a captivating preview of this Saturday’s mouthwatering 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 careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

San Diego area food fans who are pursuing careers in the culinary arts, enology/viticulture and beverage studies attention, please. The San Diego Chapter of The American Institute of Wine & Food is now accepting applications for Scholarships in full or part-time accredited continuing education programs. The scholarships typically range from $500 to $2,000, and the funds do not need to be repaid. Lisa Lipton, Esq., AIWF San Diego Scholarship Chair joins us with the details.

Chef/Co-Owner Art Gonzalez’s Panxa Cocina, Long Beach’s only dedicated modern Southwestern restaurant, has launched its first-ever month-long Hatch chile celebration throughout the entire month of September, with a portion of the proceeds going to New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute. The Hatch chile menu is served lunch and dinner, seven-days. Chef Art has the flavor-packed details.

El Segundo’s R6 Distillery & Smoky Hollow Tasting & Taproom was established in 2014 by Head Distiller Rob Rubens. Rob fell in love with the mystery and art of distillation after his first (and unplanned) trip to Old New Orleans Rum Distillery.  He realized it was time for a change.  After scraping together savings, visiting plenty of distilleries and breweries, it was time to perhaps start another great wave. Coupling his experience with the desire to bring quality spirits to greater Los Angeles, Rob decided to open this speakeasy inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy.

Journalist and Las Vegas insider Al Mancini is a graduate of Seton Hall University and Brooklyn Law School, who began his career in journalism as a music reporter for ABC News Radio in 1996. He moved to Las Vegas to cover Southern Nevada for the network in 2001, and has covered the local dining scene for numerous publications since 2003. Al joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a Staff Writer in 2016. Al got to know the celebrated Robin Leach over all those years. Al joins us to share a side of Robin that you probably don’t know from just seeing him on television.

It’s California Wine Month and we’re celebrating in style with the General Manager, Brian Cousins, and Kenny Spost, Executive Chef of Westwood’s Napa Valley Grille. Combining local, seasonal ingredients, artisan products and an expansive selection of regional wine, Napa Valley Grille recreates the charm, bounty and palates distinctive of West Coast wine country in a sophisticated setting within Westwood Village.

Turtle Rock Vineyards is a small, family-owned winery located in Paso Robles founded by Don & Claudia Burns. “Our winemaking philosophy is simple, you can’t make great wine without great fruit. We source our fruit from some of the finest vineyards in the Templeton Gap area of Paso Robles. Through sustainable farming practices, low yields, and harvesting at optimal ripeness, we are able to make wines with both intensity and balance. We hope these wines reflect the beauty of the wonderful places these grapes are grown as well as the people who nurture them.” Claudia Burns uncorks it for us.

Chef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of “Ask the Chef.” We’re thinking totally wacky food news…

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Lisa LiptonSan Diego area food fans who are pursuing careers in the culinary arts, enology / viticulture and beverage studies attention, please. The San Diego Chapter of The American Institute of Wine & Food is now accepting applications for Scholarships in full or part-time accredited continuing education programs. The scholarships typically range from $500 to $2,000, and the funds do not need to be repaid.

The American Institute of Wine & Food (AIWF) is a national non-profit educational organization established in 1981 by Robert Mondavi, Julia Child, Richard Graff, and others to promote a forum for the study and enjoyment of gastronomy. The AIWF is dedicated to advancing the understanding, appreciation, and quality of wine and food through fun educational experiences in support of its Days of Taste® and Scholarship programs.

The AIWF, San Diego Chapter awards scholarships for the pursuit of culinary arts, enology/viticulture, and beverage studies in full or part-time accredited continuing education programs. All schools must be accredited and offer continuous relevant hands-on, in-person experience (not online). Since the money for the scholarships is raised by the San Diego Chapter, scholarships are only awarded to people who are connected to San Diego by school, work, or recent involvement in food or wine/beverage in the area. The scholarship money may be used for study within or outside of San Diego County.

Applications will be accepted until October, 1 2018. Select applicants will be notified of an interview sometime in October.

Lisa Lipton, Esq., AIWF San Diego Scholarship Chair joins us with the details.

Arthur GonzalezChef/Co-Owner Art Gonzalezs Panxa Cocina, Long Beach’s only dedicated modern Southwestern restaurant, has launched its first-ever month-long Hatch Chile celebration throughout the entire month of September, with a portion of the proceeds going to New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute. The Hatch Chile menu is served lunch and dinner, seven-days.

The month-long culinary event, led and inspired by Panxa Cocina’s Executive Chef/Co-Owner Arthur Gonzalez in collaboration with the Chile Pepper Institute’s Co-Founder, Director, and world renowned chile pepper breeder Dr. Paul Bosland, will include diverse programming surrounding the distinctly New Mexican Hatch green chile. Dr. Paul Bosland will be consulting with Chef Gonzalez on the tasting menu to provide guests with the most flavorful chiles available within September’s peak harvest season.

Panxa Cocina’s Hatch Chile Month tasting menu will be available for lunch and dinner featuring authentic Southwestern favorites with highlights including Heirloom Blue Corn Quesadilla with roasted Hatch chile jam, squash blossom, and house queso fresco; and Wagyu Country Fried Steak with Hatch chile gravy.

On Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16 from 12-5 p.m., Panxa Cocina will transform a dedicated outdoor space steps from the restaurant to serve as the ultimate “chile roast-out” so guests can have the opportunity to see the roasting firsthand and take home the beloved Southwestern ingredient to enjoy in their own homes. The roasted Hatch chiles freeze well.

Chef Art has the flavor-packed details.

Rob RubensEl Segundo’s R6 Distillery & Smoky Hollow Tasting & Taproom was established in 2014 by Head Distiller Rob Rubens. Rob fell in love with the mystery and art of distillation after his first (and unplanned) trip to Old New Orleans Rum Distillery.  He realized it was time for a change.

After scraping together savings, visiting plenty of distilleries and breweries, it was time to perhaps start another great wave. Coupling his experience with the desire to bring quality spirits to greater Los Angeles, Rob decided to open this speakeasy inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy.

Product highlights include R6 Vodka, R6 Blue Corn Bourbon, R6 Bourbon, R6 Rye, R6 Single Malt Whiskey, R6 Wheat Whiskey and R6 Rum.

Al ManciniJournalist and Las Vegas insider Al Mancini is a graduate of Seton Hall University and Brooklyn Law School, who began his career in journalism as a music reporter for ABC News Radio in 1996. He moved to Las Vegas to cover Southern Nevada for the network in 2001, and has covered the local dining scene for numerous publications since 2003. Al joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a Staff Writer in 2016.

Al got to know the celebrated Robin Leach (“Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous”) over all those years. First it was crossing paths with Robin frequently at the numerous, high-profile Vegas red carpet events they both covered. Robin was already a contributor to the Las-Vegas Review-Journal when Al joined the paper in 2016.

Al joins us to share a side of Robin that you probably don’t know from just seeing him on television. Robin Leach was an unrivaled champion of promoting Las Vegas as a world class destination. Also, very charitable.

Brian CousinsIt’s California Wine Month and we’re popping the cork in style with the General Manager, Brian Cousins, and Kenny Spost, Executive Chef of Westwood’s Napa Valley Grille. Their contribution to California Wine Month is the special menu pairing of “Three Cabs & a Burger.” It’s their Glendon Burger (with Blue Cheese, Rosemary Maple Cured Bacon & Sweet Onion Relish) with 2015 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, 2014 Foley Johnson Cabernet Rutherford and 2013 Vine Cliff Cabernet Oakville.

Combining local, seasonal ingredients, artisan products and an expansive selection of regional wine, Napa Valley Grille recreates the charm, bounty and palates distinctive of West Coast wine country in a sophisticated setting within Westwood Village.

Claudia BurnsTurtle Rock Vineyards is a small, proudly family -owned winery located in Paso Robles founded by Don & Claudia Burns. “Our winemaking philosophy is simple, you can’t make great wine without great fruit. We source our fruit from some of the finest vineyards in the Templeton Gap area of Paso Robles. Through sustainable farming practices, low yields, and harvesting at optimal ripeness, we are able to make wines with both intensity and balance. We hope these wines reflect the beauty of the wonderful places these grapes are grown as well as the people who nurture them.”

“Turtle Rock Vineyards began because of Don’s love for the area where he grew up. He moved to a small property on Willow Creek Road when he was 12. The property was nestled in the Templeton Gap at 1150 feet of elevation and owned by his uncle, Tom Westberg. Realizing the potential of the property Tom planted almost 4 acres of vines, mostly Zinfandel, in the mid-eighties. Don graduated from Mission High School then moved on to Ag Business at Cal Poly. Needing a change, Don knew he wanted leave the small town of Templeton and see what else was out there.”

“In 1999 he began a two -year sailboat trip through Central America that ended in Palm Beach, FL. There, Don began working at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse where his love of wine was sparked again. With access to wine from all over the world, his fondness for the Rhone Valley began to emerge. Don would come back many harvests and work alongside of his longtime friend, Justin Smith of Saxum. He knew it was only a matter of time before he would return home.”

“It took him a little longer than he thought because he met the love of his life Claudia. Soon there was a beautiful beach wedding and the birth of their pride and joy Willow. In June 2008 it was finally time to return home. After a two- week cross country adventure with their six- month old baby girl and 15-year old dog, they arrived in Paso Robles. It was then that Tom and his wife Peggy gave Don an amazing opportunity. He was able to bring the small family vineyard back to life and reintroduce the family label, Westberg Cellars. With guidance from Tom, they opened a tasting room in a small barn on the Westberg property and poured primarily Zinfandel, Sangiovese and Chardonnay.”

“When Don was not working on the Westberg property he was next door interning with Justin Smith. That time solidified his decision on the kind of wine he wanted to make. Because the Rhone varietals were so different from the Westberg label he knew they had to come up with a new brand. Don and Claudia thought about it a lot. One day at the tasting room there was an “Aha” moment when Willow was playing with one of the farm dogs sitting on a “turtle rock”. It was a big calcareous limestone rock pulled from the Westberg vineyard years ago. Over time the rocks wear down and look like the back of a turtle shell. That was it, Turtle Rock was born…”

Claudia Burns uncorks it all for us.

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamChef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of Ask the Chef.” We’re thinking totally wacky food news…You’ll be surprised.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Lisa Lipton, Esq., The American Institute of Wine & Food, San Diego Scholarship Chair
Segment Three: Chef/Co-Owner Art Gonzalez, Panxa Cocina, Long Beach
Segment Four: Rob Rubens, Proprietor & Head Distiller, R6 Distillery & Smoky Hollow Tasting &amp Taproom, El Segundo
Segment Five: Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas
Segment Six: General Manager Brian Cousins, Executive Chef Kenny Spost, Napa Valley Grille, Westwood
Segment Seven: Claudia Burns, Owner, Turtle Rock Vineyards, Paso Robles
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group