Show 479, June 18, 2022: “Ask the Chef” with Co-host Chef Andrew Gruel

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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.

There is a new law in California that mandates all bar and restaurant employees serving alcohol to obtain a new, special certification. It involves a training of three to four hours and then passing an open book test. At present there are very few entities certified to administer the course. In concept this is a worthy requirement but we’ll get Chef Andrew’s thoughts on this and the reality of actually meeting the August 31st deadline.

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Show 474, May 14, 2022: “Ask the Chef” with Co-host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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.

Restaurants are still suffering from the devastating economic impact of the pandemic. Last month the House of Representatives approved more than $40 billion in assistance for restaurant owners who previously applied but were unable to receive financial assistance from the federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Chef Andrew shares where this sits currently.

Arthur Gonzalez of Panxa Cocina

Chef Andrew also remembers his long-time friend and colleague Chef Arthur (Art) Gonzalez (Panxa Cocina and Roe Seafood in Long Beach) who sadly left us way too soon this week. He was only 47. Chef Art was our resident expert on Hatch Chiles from New Mexico and spent time there cooking in fine-dining restaurants. Chef Art was of great assistance to Chef Andrew in the early stages of Slapfish when they were operating with multiple Food Trucks.

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Show 461, February 12, 2022: Entrepreneur Ellen Bennett, Founder, Hedley & Bennett, author of Dream First, Details Later Part One

Ellen Bennett of Hedley and Bennett

Ellen Bennett is the founder and CEO of Hedley & Bennett, an apron and kitchen gear brand that outfits many of the best chefs in the world. Since starting the business in her L.A. home, Ellen has grown H&B into a multi-million dollar business. They have collaborated with Vans, Madewell, Chrissy Teigen, and artist Takashi Murakami, among others and create uniforms for 4,000 restaurants and coffee shops all over the U.S. The biggest part of Hedley & Bennett’s business has now shifted to home cooks.”

Dream First, Details Later shares Ellen’s journey and her forged-in-the-fire personal playbook for starting before you stop yourself. If you’ve ever imagined doing something and immediately thought, “that’s impossible,” or “I wouldn’t even know where to start,” or “I’m not qualified to do that,” in these pages, you’ll learn how to shove aside your inner worrier and launch into action. This honest and bold illustrated book will be like having Ellen—your personal hype woman—there with you, all the while yelling, “Don’t stop! You got this!””

Savvy Entrepreneur Ellen Bennett joins us fashionably attired in a H & B apron.

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Show 461, February 12, 2022: Entrepreneur Ellen Bennett, Founder, Hedley & Bennett, author of Dream First, Details Later Part Two

Ellen Bennett of Hedley and Bennett

Ellen Bennett is the founder and CEO of Hedley & Bennett, an apron and kitchen gear brand that outfits many of the best chefs in the world. Since starting the business in her L.A. home, Ellen has grown H&B into a multi-million dollar business. They have collaborated with Vans, Madewell, Chrissy Teigen, and artist Takashi Murakami, among others and create uniforms for 4,000 restaurants and coffee shops all over the U.S. The biggest part of Hedley & Bennett’s business has now shifted to home cooks.”

Dream First, Details Later shares Ellen’s journey and her forged-in-the-fire personal playbook for starting before you stop yourself. If you’ve ever imagined doing something and immediately thought, “that’s impossible,” or “I wouldn’t even know where to start,” or “I’m not qualified to do that,” in these pages, you’ll learn how to shove aside your inner worrier and launch into action. This honest and bold illustrated book will be like having Ellen—your personal hype woman—there with you, all the while yelling, “Don’t stop! You got this!””

“As a 24-year-old line cook, Ellen Marie Bennett couldn’t stand the kitchen staff’s poorly designed, cheaply made aprons. So when her head chef announced he was ordering a new batch, she blurted out, “Chef, I have an apron company”—even though she had no company, no business plan—just a glimmer of a design idea and a business license. Through hustle and a willingness to leap into the unknown, time and time again, she built that first order into a multi-million-dollar company called Hedley & Bennett, making aprons and kitchen gear worn by many of the world’s best chefs and home cooks everywhere.”

Entrepreneur Ellen Bennett continues stylishly attired in a fashionable H & B apron.

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Show 459, January 22, 2022: Chef & Co-Host Andrew Gruel of Slapfish with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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.

It’s the start of yet another challenging year for chefs and restaurants.

Dealing with uncertainty is a daily obstacle. We’ll get an informed update on the current state of affairs for chefs and restaurants. Managing multiple concerns is the order of the day. Is more desperately needed Federal Aid (replenishment of the quickly exhausted funds from the Restaurant Relief Act) for small, independent restaurants even a possibility?

What Chef Andrew suggests is that small businesses need better access to capital. A Federal program of low interest loans to aid struggling restaurants through the (hoped for) last chapter of the pandemic would be a positive move. Also, a reinstatement of the Employee Relief Credit would be helpful.

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Show 453, November 27, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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.

Earlier in the month Chef Andrew was invited to Washington, DC to participate in a Congressional Small Business Roundtable with seven Members of Congress and a handful of select small business owners from around the USA. The Roundtable focused on small business taxes, regulations and reduced workforces. Chef Andrew details the unusual experience. (Rescheduled from two weeks ago.)

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Show 450, November 6, 2021: California Restaurant Foundation’s “The Grateful Table® Dine Out“

Alycia Harshfield of the California Restaaurant Association

“The California Restaurant Foundation (CRF), a nonprofit that invests in and empowers California’s restaurant workforce, invites all Californians to participate in its second annual ‘The Grateful Table® Dine Out event, happening all November long! Back in its ‘dine out’ format by popular demand, The Grateful Table® Dine Out encourages Californians to “Dine Out to Help Out” at any restaurant throughout the state as a show of support for local restaurant owners and employees who worked tirelessly to keep doors open over the last year and a half.”

“Those wanting to go the extra mile and financially support California’s restaurant workforce can visit select featured restaurants and donate to CRF’s Restaurants Care®, a nonprofit program that provides restaurant workers facing hardships with relief grants for basic living needs like groceries, utilities, diapers, clothing, gas and rent.”

“For 18 months, California’s restaurant workforce has shown remarkable resilience, arriving to work daily – ready to serve guests through the ups and downs of dine-in, to-go and delivery. Sometimes, these dedicated individuals have been the only humans we interact with outside our homes,” said Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of CRF. “Our Dine Out event is intended to show appreciation and gratitude for California’s resilient restaurant workforce simply by showing up, dining out and, if you’re able, offering financial support to the chefs, bussers, servers and more who need our help.”

“As an added incentive, Restaurants Care is hosting social media giveaways on Instagram and Twitter to encourage Californians to dine out. Each week in November, diners can enter to win a $200 gift card to the restaurant of their choice by following Restaurants Care on Instagram and Twitter and tagging a restaurant in the comments along with a friend with whom they want to dine!”

CRF’s Alycia Harshfield is our guest.

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Show 448, October 23, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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.

Last week Chef Andrew started explaining his perspective on the ongoing labor shortage in the restaurant business and what the future holds. It’s not unique to the restaurant business. With a reduced labor force available technology will now play an increasing role. More affordable delivery will be a part of the revised business model. Chef Andrew resumes the conversation.

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Show 447, October 16, 2021: SoCal Gas’ Energy Resource Center with Gina Christian and Carmen Oliver

Gina Christian of SoCal Gas

The Gas Co is again providing a number of genuinely useful services to Chefs and Restaurateurs as the recovery continues. The Energy Resource Center in Downey offers small group demonstrations, equipment testing and tours. The Gas Co features their “Try Before You Buy” program out of the Energy Resource Center. Their Commercial Service Techs provide maintenance tips and repair services to restaurant operators (typically at no charge.) The Gas Co. offers outreach to restaurant and foodservice operators to receive rebates on qualified gas equipment purchases.

Representing SoCal Gas with an informative overview of all of this is Gina Christian, Foodservice Technical Specialist and Vendor Outreach, and Carmen Oliver, Customer Programs Advisor II.

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Show 447, October 16, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Andrew and Lauren Gruel making the Ultimate Lobster Roll on YouTube

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.

First Chef Andrew previews his new Ultimate Lobster Roll how-to video available on You Tube. This is the initial offering in his embryonic “American Gravy” cooking tips YouTube series that Chef Andrew does with his wife, Lauren. Chef Andrew then updates us on the impact to the area fisheries of the pipeline oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach. What’s current the situation with the spiny lobster season? He’ll also provide a status report on the ongoing labor shortage in the restaurant business.

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