Show 350, December 7, 2019: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Chef-Partner Jared Cook – Ironwood, Olea & Vine Part One

Chef Jared CookRestaurateur Russ Bendel (and partners) are the respected operators of Ironwood (Laguna Hills), Olea (Newport Beach) and Vine (San Clemente) in Orange County. Russ was awarded Restaurateur of the Year honors at this year’s Golden Foodie Awards. Ironwood has a new lounge. Russ joins us with Chef-Partner Jared Cook to chat about the Holiday menus at Ironwood, Olea & Vine.

Ironwood features a full bar, open kitchen, and an enclosed outdoor heated patio with views of the Saddleback Mountains. It offers South Orange County residents a fine dining night out with a complete food and wine experience.”

“OLEA, named for a genus of trees that flourish in warm and tropical regions, is a European twist on the Napa/Sonoma-inspired cuisine and spirits at Vine, the restaurant Bendel assumed ownership of seven years ago.” The restaurant is characterized as Wine Country Cuisine at a chef-driven American bistro.

VINE is an all-encompassing Wine Country dining experience, a full bar, featuring craft cocktails, Open Kitchen, and a Semi-Private Dining table in our Wine Room. It offers South Orange County residents a fine dining night out with a complete food and wine experience.

VINE highlights Wine Country Cuisine influenced by the Napa Valley and other notable wine producing regions. In addition, the wine selection includes more than 100 bottles – more than 25 of which are available by the glass.”


Show 284, August 4, 2018: Pamela Waitt, Founder and Producer, 7th Annual Golden Foodie Awards

Golden Foodie AwardsVoting for the 7th Annual Golden Foodie Awards representing the best in dining in Orange County commences on August 3rd and runs in two waves of voting. The 2nd voting period extends from August 10th through 17th. It’s the people’s choice awards as Orange County foodies make the decisions.

“The Golden Foodie Awards has evolved into a celebration of Orange County’s rich culinary scene,” said Pamela Waitt, creator and producer of the Golden Foodie Awards, and president of the OC Restaurant Association. “Now in its 7th year, the Golden Foodie Awards have grown exponentially in reach and media attention. To enable us to continue to grow as an event, we have brought on the accounting firm of Moss Adams to audit votes and continue to attract sponsors who share a vision of highlighting those stand-out chefs and restaurants in Orange County.”

The Golden Foodie Awards is a people’s choice event that recognizes the best chefs, libations and cuisine at chef-driven and independent restaurants. With its focus on involving the Orange County community to serve as judges through their voting, the Golden Foodie Awards serve as a high honor and is an indication of local culinary trends and consumer preferences.

Connoisseurs of cuisine and lovers of libations will have a chance each week to vote for their favorites among 15 categories. The voting for August 3rd to 9thth includes Bartender of the Year, Best Cocktails in Orange County, Best Wine Program, Best Beer Program, Best Bar Program, Best New Restaurant and Best Lunch Spot in Orange County.

The 2nd voting period for August 10th through 17th includes Best Brunch in Orange County, Rising Star Chef of the Year, Favorite Food Influencer in Orange County, Outstanding Community Service, Restaurateur of the Year, Best Dessert Menu in Orange County, Best Entrée in Orange County and Best Service Award.

Pamela Waitt the Creator and Producer of the Golden Foodie Awards joins us with the details of how the voting works and what the categories are.



Show 276, June 2, 2018: Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group, Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine

Caroline StyneAt the Hollywood Bowl, their California-inspired offerings, which include over 17 concepts, are created by four-time James Beard Foundation award-winner Suzanne Goin in tandem with the exceptional wine and beer programs curated by Caroline Styne, recent recipient of the Foundation’s 2018 Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year award.

Overseeing the broad range of dining options serving Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine’s thousands of nightly guests is Sodexo Executive Chef Jeff Rogers.

“This year concert-goers can skip the line before the concert and use the Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine mobile app and choose pizzas, barbecue, bánh mi, hot dogs, and popcorn, and easily pick up their picnic on the way to their seats. For the highly praised Supper in Your Seats, Suzanne adds her Susanita’s Carnitas Feast for Two as well as a new picnic box, the Maple Drive, slow-roasted prime beef tenderloin served with Early Girl tomato salad, roasted potatoes, wild mushrooms and a caramel chocolate brownie. For a grab-and-go option, Alex’s Veggie Sandwich – a tribute to Suzanne’s daughter Alex – will be found at all Marketplace venues.”

“Returning for the 2018 season is the well-received Winemaker Wednesdays series, an eight-week program of complimentary wine tastings at the Plaza Marketplace from guest winemakers hand selected by Caroline Styne.”

“Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine’s many dining choices include two sit-down restaurants, street-food kiosks, pre-ordered picnic boxes, and full-service dinner delivered to your box seat. For private events, Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine will also provide catering at several locations for groups both large and small.”

Caroline Styne is our guest with a delicious preview.

Please visit the Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine site for more information about the food and wine experiences available at the Hollywood Bowl.


Show 235, August 5, 2017: Pam Waitt, Founder, Orange County’s Golden Foodie Awards

Golden Foodie AwardsThe annual 6th Annual Golden Foodie Awards will be presented in a black-tie gala evening on September 24th in Newport Beach celebrating the very best in dining in Orange County in 15 categories. Voting by the dining public happens in 2, one-week waves starting on Saturday, August 5th.

The Golden Foodies are a People’s Choice Food Awards. The event was created to honor extraordinary culinary talent in Orange County. Food lovers vote during the first 2 weeks of August with the winners being announced at The Golden Foodie Awards Gala at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel. The event exclusively recognizes chef-driven and independent restaurants.

Week One voting (8 Categories including Rising Star Chef of The Year) is August 5th through August 11th and Week Two (7 Categories including Restaurateur of the Year) is August 12th through 18th. A new award for ”Lifetime Achievement” is determined by The Guild, the advisory board for The Golden Foodie Awards.

Food Network’s Simon Majumdar is the Celebrity Host of the festive affair.

Founder Pam Waitt joins us with the details of this year’s voting.

One of the categories being voted on this week is “Favorite Food Influencer in Orange County.” This includes prominent social media opinion makers, journalists and even radio food & restaurant show hosts. Imagine that…? If you enjoy listening to the “SoCal Restaurant Show” every week Chef Andrew & Andy would humbly appreciate your vote by this Friday, August 11th. We have some very formidable competition in this category who are pretty aggressive about campaigning J…Voting is super easy. Thanks.