Show 293, October 6, 2018: Executive Chef John Brenning, Legends Hospitality for LA Memorial Coliseum

John BrenningThe historic LA Memorial Coliseum (host of 2 previous Olympic Games) is home to USC Trojan Football and LA Rams Football. Executive Chef John Brenning of Legends Hospitality oversees the menu there.

New for this season is Chef John’s LA Hot Chicken Sandwich with both “Hot” and “Extra Hot” versions! Everything is prepared fresh, from-scratch including the guacamole used in the outrageous Carne Asada Loaded Fries and Guacamole & Chips.

Also noteworthy is the Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich. The pork shoulder is actually slow-smoked on-site for 17-hours. Chef John is now working with Melissa’s to add more tasty vegetarian items to the menu.

Chef Brenning began his career in the culinary arts more than 20 years ago. Before joining Legends and spending the past three years in the sports and entertainment side of the business at The Coliseum, Chef John held positions at the Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons Hotels across California.

“It’s all about the food and service. The food and service will only be as good as the passion and heart put into it.” – Chef John Brenning


Show 291, September 22, 2018: Chef/Proprietor Dee Nguyen, Break of Dawn, Laguna Hills

Dee NguyenBack in 2006 rising-star, fine-dining chef Dee Nguyen (ex-Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel) was looking to simplify his life and spend more time with his growing family. He bravely branched out on his own to launch the modest, 50-seat Break of Dawn in Laguna Hills.

Fortunately he quickly developed a loyal following of inspired guests. It’s a very personal statement for Chef Dee who serves breakfast, lunch and brunch Wednesday through Sunday only. It’s creative, fine-dining comfort foods with a Vietnamese twist.

“Guests can select from a variety of dishes, including bison sausage, French toast crème brulee, flax seed and quinoa oatmeal and mac and cheese. All foods are prepared with fresh ingredients and are designed to meld flavors and textures together. A children’s menu and beverage list with cocktails is also available.”

Think the unexpected including Goat Chili with morita, goat cheese, Mexican chocolate and chickpeas.

Chef Dee also stages infrequent dinner pop-ups that have a fanatical following. Check his Facebook regularly to stay informed.

Chef Dee puts down his well-worn spatula and joins us.



Show 202, December 17, 2016: Executive Chef Michael Poompan, Marriott Coronado Island Resort & Spa

Michael PoompanThe Marriott Coronado Island Resort & Spa has been revamped and repositioned as a destination resort with an emphasis on healthy living. The new Executive Chef, Michael Poompan, has added excitement to the menus in Current and Tides Restaurant and Lounge.

There is a heightened emphasis on using fresh, local ingredients. Chef strives for his cuisine to strike a connection with the local community and to establish creativity in all his dishes. There are also, refreshingly, some Northern Baja wines (the low profile neighbor to the South) on their menu.

How about a Spicy Pork Loin Torta? It’s Cook Pigs’ Ranch pork, with creamy avocado and pickled red onion.

First joining the Marriott team as a culinary intern at The Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, Chef Poompan learned the ins and outs of the industry, quickly moving up the ranks at different hotels as his love for working with fresh foods from California’s local farmers, ranchers and food artisans grew.

Chef Poompan has been recognized as Renaissance Hotels Chef of the Year for the Americas and received Marriott’s Award of Culinary Excellence in 2011.

Chef Michael jumps out of the kitchen to chat with us.


Show 76, June 14, 2014: Guest Host Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, The Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Orange County Magazine

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineOur always debonair man about Orange County, Kedric Francis, did a little recent vacation swing down the Central Coast. The main destination was oceanfront The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. Kedric spotlights the notable food and accommodations along the way. The report is family-friendly, too.

Also some breaking OC restaurant news including the tip that Venice’s Superba Snack Bar (Chef Jason Neroni) is on the way to a coastal Orange County City…