Show 297, November 10, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a decadent preview of this Saturday’s tantalizing 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, and upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

It’s time for an encore visit with the husband-and-wife proprietors of Blinking Owl Distillery in Santa Ana, Orange County’s first craft distillery. Blinking Owl Cocktails are now available at LA Rams home games at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.

San Clemente resident Jim Kempton has spent his life traveling and surfing the world. Along the way he learned to cook some of the globe’s best beach-loving dishes. This is all captured in Jim’s first cookbook, First We Surf Then We Eat – Recipes from a Lifetime of Surf Travel. We’ll ride the wave with Jim.

In early October Chef Craig Strong (ex-Studio at Montage Laguna Beach) debuted Ocean at Main, fulfilling a long-time career dream to open his own restaurant. The location is exceptional – 222 Ocean Avenue near Main Beach in Laguna Beach, steps from the oceanfront. The 126-seat, 4,500-square-foot establishment with a spectacular shaded patio, is open daily for lunch and dinner. Chef Craig escapes his busy kitchen for a chat.

Located in the heart of the Willamette Valley, the Carlton Winemakers Studio is a cooperative winery where numerous winemakers (currently 15) craft premium Oregon wines in one shared space. Guests can visit their state-of-the-art tasting room where you can taste (and buy) a representative sampling of the Carlton Winemakers Studio wines and learn about the unique and charming stories behind each label. Winemaker Anthony King (Ratio:Wines) is also the General Manager for Carlton. He pulls the cork for us.

The Holidays are fast approaching and it’s time for the return of our Meatheads (Terry and Jay) from West Coast Prime Meats with more practical advice on stress-free Holiday entertaining. The Meatheads are both serious home cooks so they really know the territory.

Last month Portland-based boutique ice cream maker Salt & Straw opened their first Orange County location in Downtown Disney in Anaheim. In May 2001 Kim Malek and her cousin and head ice cream maker Tyler Malek started their own small business, Salt & Straw Ice Cream serving eight flavors from a humble cart in NE Portland. Today the company is the largest small batch ice cream company in the world numbering scoop shops in Portland, greater Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and San Diego. Co-Founder Kim Malek is our guest.

Aboard a luxury cruise ship dining is a paramount guest experience. The person responsible for overseeing the guest dining experience in the front-of-the house is the Maitre d’Hotel. On Princess Cruises’ Ruby Princess that is the charming Giorgio Pisano, a 42-year veteran of Princess. It’s a tough assignment with 3,000 guests to pamper in all the dining areas for every voyage. There are many very special occasions to oversee. Giorgio takes a break from turnaround on the Ruby Princess at the Port of Los Angeles to join us.

Program Note:
For next Saturday only, November 17th, were graciously moving aside in our usual morning slot for Notre Dame Football. No cause for alarm…We’re still with you that Saturday afternoon with a full show at the special time of 4 to 6:00 p.m. Please join us!

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

Play

Show 297, November 10, 2018: Robin & Brian Christenson, Proprietors, Blinking Owl Distillery, Santa Ana

It’s time for an encore visit with the husband-and-wife proprietors of Blinking Owl Distillery in Santa Ana, Orange County’s first craft distillery. Blinking Owl Craft Cocktails are now available at LA Rams home games served at a dedicated bar at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. Selections include OC Orange Mule, Tailgate Tonics, The Cocktail Kicker and Tropical Touchdown (Blinking Owl Vodka, Lime Juice, Passion Fruit Liqueur and Soda.)

Brian’s Single Barrel, First Batch Birthday Bourbon has just been released in a 290 bottle batch. We’ll find out about it. It’s been aging in barrel for 2 years!

A straight Rye Whiskey is also currently aging. It could be released anytime between now and the end of 2019. We’ll get a progress report.

Also a kitchen is soon on the menu at Blinking Owl. At long last – food and libations. We’ll get the tempting food report from Robin.

Tasting and Distillery Tours are available. The Tasting Room is open Thursday through Sunday. Tours by appointment.

 

Play

November 10: Blinking Owl Distillery, Jim Kempton, Ocean at Main, Anthony King, West Coast Prime Meats, Salt & Straw, Ruby Princess

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Robin & Brian Christenson, Proprietors, Blinking Owl Distillery, Santa Ana
Segment Three: Surfing Authority, Chef & World Traveler Jim Kempton, First We Surf Then We Eat
Segment Four:Chef / Proprietor Craig Strong, Ocean at Main, Laguna Beach
Segment Five: Winemaker Anthony King, General Manager, The Carlton Winemakers Studio, Willamette Valley
Segment Six: The Meatheads from West Coast Prime Meats, Terry Hanks & Jay Henderson
Segment Seven: Kim Malek, Co-Founder, Salt & Straw Ice Cream
Segment Eight: Giorgio Pisano, Maitre d’Hotel, Princess Cruises’ Ruby Princess

Now a decadent preview of this Saturday’s tantalizing 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, and upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing…

It’s time for an encore visit with the husband-and-wife proprietors of Blinking Owl Distillery in Santa Ana, Orange County’s first craft distillery. Blinking Owl Cocktails are now available at LA Rams home games at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.

San Clemente resident Jim Kempton has spent his life traveling and surfing the world. Along the way he learned to cook the globe’s best beach-loving dishes. This is all captured in Jim’s first cookbook, First We Surf Then We Eat – Recipes from a Lifetime of Surf Travel. We’ll ride the wave with Jim.

In early October Chef Craig Strong (ex-Studio at Montage Laguna Beach) debuted Ocean at Main, fulfilling a long-time career dream to open his own restaurant. The location is exceptional – 222 Ocean Avenue near Main Beach in Laguna Beach, steps from the oceanfront. The 126-seat, 4,500-square-foot establishment with a spectacular shaded patio, is open daily for lunch and dinner. Chef Craig escapes his busy kitchen for a chat.

Located in the heart of the Willamette Valley, the Carlton Winemakers Studio is a cooperative winery where numerous winemakers (currently 15) craft premium Oregon wines in one shared space. Guests can visit their state-of-the-art tasting room where you can taste (and buy) a representative sampling of the Carlton Winemakers Studio wines and learn about the unique and charming stories behind each label. Winemaker Anthony King (Ratio:Wines) is also the General Manager for Carlton. He pulls the cork for us.

The Holidays are fast approaching and it’s time for the return of our Meatheads (Terry and Jay) from West Coast Prime Meats with more practical advice on stress-free Holiday entertaining. The Meatheads are

Both serious home cooks so they really know the territory.

Last month Portland-based boutique ice cream maker Salt & Straw opened their first location in Downtown Disney in Anaheim. In May 2001 Kim Malek and her cousin and head ice cream maker Tyler Malek started their own small business, Salt & Straw Ice Cream serving eight flavors from a humble cart in NE Portland. Today the company is the largest small batch ice cream company in the world numbering scoop shops in Portland, greater Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and San Diego. Co-Founder Kim Malek is our guest.

Aboard a luxury cruise ship dining is a paramount guest experience. The person responsible for overseeing the guest dining experience in the front-of-the house is the Maitre d’Hotel. On Princess Cruises’ Ruby Princess that is the charming Giorgio Pisano, a 42-year veteran of Princess. It’s a tough assignment with 3,000 guests to pamper in all the dining areas for every voyage. There are many very special occasions to oversee. Giorgio takes a break from turnaround on the Ruby Princess at the Port of Los Angeles to join us.

Program Note:
For next Saturday only, November 17th, were graciously moving aside in our usual morning slot for Notre Dame Football. No cause for alarm…We’re still with you that Saturday afternoon with a full show at the special time of 4 to 6:00 p.m. Please join us!

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

It’s time for an encore visit with the husband-and-wife proprietors of Blinking Owl Distillery in Santa Ana, Orange County’s first craft distillery. Blinking Owl Craft Cocktails are now available at LA Rams home games served at a dedicated bar at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.

Selections include OC Orange Mule, Tailgate Tonics, The Cocktail Kicker and Tropical Touchdown (Blinking Owl Vodka, Lime Juice, Passion Fruit Liqueur and Soda.)

Brian’s Single Barrel, First Batch Birthday Bourbon has just been released in a 150 bottle batch. We’ll find out about it. It’s been aging in barrel for 2 years!

A straight Rye Whiskey is also currently aging. It could be released anytime between now and the end of 2019. We’ll get a progress report.

Also a kitchen is soon on the menu at Blinking Owl. Art long last – food and libations. We’ll get the tempting food report from Robin.

Jim KemptonSan Clemente resident Jim Kempton has spent his life traveling and surfing the world. Along the way he learned to cook the globe’s best beach-loving dishes. This is all captured in Jim’s first cookbook, First We Surf Then We Eat – Recipes from a Lifetime of Surf Travel.

Now Jim is sharing his vibrantly colorful, flavorful, and healthful collection of recipes, along with stories of the best waves, markets, restaurants, adventures, and misadventures that he’s experienced – from Tahiti to Hawaii, the Basque Country to Indonesia, California to Mexico, Peru to Morocco, and beyond.

Jim Kempton is a lifelong surfer, cook, and writer. He has been the editor and publisher of Surfer magazine; the director of Quiksilver’s Crossing Project, a boat that searched the world for the best surf breaks; the director of media for Billabong; and the owner of the former Margarita’s Village, an award-winning regional Mexican restaurant in San Clemente, California. The San Clemente resident is currently president of the California Surf Museum, as well as a surf-industry consultant.

We’ll ride the wave with Jim.

Craig StrongIn early October Chef Craig Strong (ex-Studio at Montage Laguna Beach) debuted Ocean at Main, fulfilling a long-time career dream to open his own restaurant. The location in a classic 40s Spanish revival building is exceptional – 222 Ocean Avenue near Main Beach in Laguna Beach, steps from the oceanfront. The 126-seat, 4,500-square-foot eatery with a spectacular shaded patio, is open daily for lunch and dinner.

After nearly 25 years of working at luxury hotels and resorts around the globe, Strong has come full circle to his native Southern California roots with the opening of Ocean at Main. From growing up in San Diego and cooking with produce from the family garden, this chef/owner is now sharing his Coastal California cuisine with the Laguna Beach community he has embraced for the last 10 years.

“Everything from its name, Ocean at Main, to the last drop of a favorite California wine is designed to provide guests with the quintessential Southern California dining experience. Here, Chef Craig Strong continues his devotion to sourcing the finest products available from local purveyors and suppliers as he creates approachable contemporary Coastal California cuisine and a convivial ambiance to please the nearby community and beyond.”

“I want to cook for our guests the way I cook for my family and friends at home. At Ocean at Main, I will celebrate the diversity, freshness and healthy lifestyle of Southern California. We will procure our ingredients from the local farmers and meat, seafood and specialty vendors whom I have been working and collaborating with for years. Coaxing the true flavors from exceptional products is always my goal.” Chef Craig Strong

Chef Craig escapes his busy kitchen for a chat.

Anthony KingLocated in the heart of the Willamette Valley in the charming wine-village of Carlton, the Carlton Winemakers Studio is a cooperative winery where numerous winemakers (currently 15) craft premium Oregon wines in one shared space. Guests can visit their state-of-the-art tasting room where you can taste (and buy) a representative sampling of the Carlton Winemakers Studio wines and learn about the unique and charming stories behind each label.

GM Anthony King came to the Carlton Winemakers Studio in 2015, after eight years as winemaker at Lemelson Vineyards, with the express intent to continue to learn his craft. “The Studio offers a rare opportunity to continue to challenge your own assumptions, see fruit from across the Valley and beyond, and work alongside some of the best winemakers in the world.” he explains.

“Ratio is not intended for growth. It is small and will continue to remain so. It is a conduit for King’s ongoing attempt to understand and hone his ability to express the place and make wines that are both individual and worthy of praise within the context of wines from anywhere in the world.”

Winemaker Anthony King (Ratio:Wines) is also the General Manager for Carlton. He pulls the cork for us.

Diestel Turkey Ranch from West Coast Prime MeatsThe Holidays are fast approaching and it’s time for the return of our Meatheads (Terry and Jay) from West Coast Prime Meats with more practical advice on stress-free Holiday entertaining. The Meatheads are both serious home cooks so they really know the territory.

Terry Hanks and Jay Henderson (The Meatheads) join us.

Kim MalekLast month Portland-based boutique ice cream maker Salt & Straw opened their first location in Downtown Disney in Anaheim. In May 2001 Kim Malek and her cousin and head ice cream maker Tyler Malek started their own small business, Salt & Straw Ice Cream serving eight flavors from a humble cart in NE Portland. Today the company is the largest small batch ice cream company in the world numbering scoop shops in Portland, greater Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and San Diego.

“Our story is part luck, part strategy and part love (for ice cream, family, local foods, and other stuff we can’t mention here). I (Kim) have been wanting to open an ice cream scoop shop since 1996. I thought it would be nice to have a local spot where you could run into your neighbors, celebrate with your family, reward yourself…whatever! And I love exploring fun, interesting new flavors. After toiling away in safe mode working for several amazing Fortune 500 businesses, I moved back to Portland for love and found the window of opportunity and support that I’d been lacking to jump start my idea.”

“In the meantime, my cousin Tyler had been studying in China and traveling in Asia. He completed his business degree and had just announced to the family that he was going to enroll in Culinary School. I actually saw a posting on Facebook that he was considering moving to Portland and phoned him up…not even knowing about his plans! We traded stories and updated each other – coming to realize we are on similar paths by coincidence. Next thing I knew, I was getting reports from Tyler regarding ice cream tests he was running with his friends and family as tasters. He had a million ideas and wanted to join me in this crazy idea. How could I resist? He literally dropped what he was doing, loaded up his car and drove to Portland from Seattle to start work as our head ice cream maker the very next day. I would probably be somewhere rocking back and forth in a corner without him. He’s amazingly talented, super smart, hard-working, and quite possibly the nicest person ever.”

“We’re hoping to create the kind of company that’s fun to support, work for, and partner with. We’re about building strong local community – both in the neighborhoods where we do business and by purchasing as many local products as possible (to keep our money in Oregon and help create stronger local economies).”

Co-Founder Kim Malek is our guest.

Giorgio PisanoAboard a luxury cruise ship dining is a paramount part of the guest experience. The person responsible for overseeing the guest dining experience in all the dining rooms aboard ship is the Maitre d’Hotel.

On Princess CruisesRuby Princess that individual is the charming Giorgio Pisano, a 42-year veteran of Princess. It’s a tough assignment with 3,000 guests to pamper in all the dining areas for every voyage.

Giorgio was born in a beautiful, small village in the South of Italy, Pizzo Calabro. His first posting with Princess was on the Island Princess (original) in 1976 as a Buffet Steward. He spent his vacations working in hotels in and around Italy. His eagerness for learning and achievement helped him move very quickly through the ranks until he was appointed to the position of Maitre d’Hotel in 1992.

Giorgio was elected to launch the largest ship in the world in 1995, the Sun Princess, making him the youngest Maitre d’Hotel on the biggest ship in the world at the time.

Giorgio takes a break from turnaround on the Ruby Princess at the Port of Los Angeles to join us.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Robin & Brian Christenson, Proprietors, Blinking Owl Distillery, Santa Ana
Segment Three: Surfing Authority, Chef & World Traveler Jim Kempton, First We Surf Then We Eat
Segment Four:Chef / Proprietor Craig Strong, Ocean at Main, Laguna Beach
Segment Five: Winemaker Anthony King, General Manager, The Carlton Winemakers Studio, Willamette Valley
Segment Six: The Meatheads from West Coast Prime Meats, Terry Hanks & Jay Henderson
Segment Seven: Kim Malek, Co-Founder, Salt & Straw Ice Cream
Segment Eight: Giorgio Pisano, Maitre d’Hotel, Princess Cruises’ Ruby Princess

Show 237, August 19, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a tantalizing preview of this Saturday’s bubbling over 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…

Travel journalists and chefs Phyllis Hinz and Lamont Mackay have taken on a new life chapter as the well-traveled, “The Cooking Ladies.”

The pair of RV-travel companions have decades of culinary wisdom behind them and thousands of miles of blacktop in the rear-view mirror. Their entertaining new cookbook and travel journal is On The Road With The Cooking Ladies – Let’s Get Grilling. We’ll meet them.

Time to pull the cork on another installment of accessible wine wisdom from our resident (and down-to-earth) wine authority Kyle Meyer, the Managing Partner of Wine Exchange. What wines pair best with SoCal’s engagingly eclectic varieties of cuisine including Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and Mexican? Think lightly fruity wines. Also, the new Spanish and Italian whites matched with seafood. A myriad of appealing possibilities…

Hatch Chile season is upon us! Fresh Hatch Chiles, grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico, are available for just a few short weeks each year in August and September. Many connoisseurs consider them the world’s tastiest chiles. Melissa’s World Variety Produce has led the charge in popularizing the coveted Hatch Chiles and developing many great recipes using them. Their Corporate Chef, Ida Rodriguez, joins us to discuss the joys of Hatch Chile season. Chef Ida grew up with Hatch Chiles.

Santa Ana’s The Blinking Owl Distillery is the very first craft distillery in Orange County. The Blinking Owl is one of the first distilleries in the state of California to hold the Type 74 Craft Distillers License allowing them to operate their own tasting room and sell a few bottles there. The Distillery makes Vodka, Gin, several types of Whiskey, and the Scandinavian spirit, Aquavit.

Our always on-the-go show Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, has been on the road extensively since he was last in-studio. The ambitious itinerary was production for Food Network, New Jersey, New York, London, Orlando, Washington, D.C. and now a new Slapfish opening in Sandy, Utah. We’ll reel him in from the kitchen for a visit.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

Play

Show 237, August 19, 2017: Robin & Brian Christenson, Founders, Blinking Owl Distillery, Santa Ana Continue…

Brian and Robin ChristensonSanta Ana’s The Blinking Owl Distillery is the very first craft distillery in Orange County. The Blinking Owl is one of the first distilleries in the state of California to hold the Type 74 Craft Distillers License allowing them to operate their own tasting room and sell a few bottles there. The Distillery makes Vodka, Gin, several types of Whiskey, and the Scandinavian spirit, Aquavit.’

The Products

BLINKING OWL VODKA
42.5% ABV (85 PROOF)
“Blinking Owl Vodka has stunning earthiness, subtle flavor and rich, full-bodied mouth feel. Distilled in house from organic wheat grown in California, and our unique twist from the organic malted barley that was added to the mash bill adding hints of sweet vanilla and caramel. Distilled in our Carl still from Germany (that includes 34 rectification plates alongside a pot still), Blinking Owl Vodka transfers the essence from the grain it was made from to the glass.”

BLINKING OWL
OC ORANGE
Flavored Vodka
42.5% ABV (85 PROOF)
“Beginning with our beautiful Vodka, we add 130 pounds of whole Valencia oranges that come from Heritage Museum of Orange County. We hand-cut the oranges and let the entire orange soak (including flesh, pith, juice and peel) in the Vodka overnight. The vodka is then re-distilled with oranges added to our vapor basket in the still. The combination of natural orange macerations and vapor distillation to an already rich, sweet vodka base creates a true orange essence to this flavored vodka that is full-bodied and delicious. Heritage Museum of Orange County.”

BLINKING OWL AQUAVIT
42.5% ABV (85 PROOF)
“We set out to make an aquavit reminiscent of the great Aquavits of Scandinavia but with a California twist. After crafting our base spirit with organic wheat and malted barley, we macerate 10 gorgeous organic botanicals (with a final steep in Caraway, leaving a natural golden hue). The primary flavors of our Aquavit are caraway, fresh dill, and hibiscus (the flower of Santa Ana), with undertones of fennel and cardamom. The result is a complex aquavit that can served chilled as a digestif or can add incredible flavors to a variety of cocktails.”

OLD TOM Barrel Vacationed GIN
48% ABV (96 PROOF)
“Our super special limited release of Old Tom Barrel Vacationed Gin is coming out soon!

We get a limited number of late harvest semillon wine barrels from a prestigious Napa producer each year. These particular barrels not only allow the Gin to age, but they also impart a hint of sweetness from the late harvest semillon they were previously holding.

This BARREL VACATIONED OLD TOM GIN basically took a vacation in the barrels for approximately 3 months, got a nice tan, and picked up a lucious hint of sweetness (thus we categorized it as an Old Tom). No sugar, flavoring, or coloring was added. The end result is pure, delicious liquid gold!”

Many have been waiting and asking to get on the presale list. The Gin is ready, it will be bottled soon at 48% ABV and released late-August. Each bottle will be numbered for this annual release and will only be sold from our tasting room.

This is owner, Robin Christenson’s, personal favorite and she having a very tough time not buying all of this gin herself. BUT she has decided to find it in her heart to share (at least some of it).”

Play

August 19: The Cooking Ladies, Wine Exchange, Melissa’s Hatch Chiles, Blinking Owl Distillery

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Phyllis Hinz & Lamont Mackay, The Cooking Ladies Part One
Segment Three: Phyllis Hinz & Lamont Mackay, The Cooking Ladies Part Two
Segment Four: Kyle Meyer, Wine Exchange, Wine Pairing Wisdom
Segment Five: Melissa’s Corporate Chef, Ida Rodriguez. Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook
Segment Six: Robin & Brian Christenson, Founders, Blinking Owl Distillery, Santa Ana Part One
Segment Seven: Robin & Brian Christenson, Founders, Blinking Owl Distillery, Santa Ana Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder & CEO, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Now a tantalizing preview of this Saturday’s bubbling over 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…

Travel journalists and chefs Phyllis Hinz and Lamont Mackay have taken on a new life chapter as the well-traveled, “The Cooking Ladies.”

The pair of RV-travel companions have decades of culinary wisdom behind them and thousands of miles of blacktop in the rear-view mirror. Their entertaining new cookbook and travel journal is On The Road With The Cooking Ladies – Let’s Get Grilling. We’ll meet them.

Time to pull the cork on another installment of accessible wine wisdom from our resident (and down-to-earth) wine authority Kyle Meyer, the Managing Partner of Wine Exchange. What wines pair best with SoCal’s engagingly eclectic varieties of cuisine including Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and Mexican? Think lightly fruity wines. Also, the new Spanish and Italian whites matched with seafood. A myriad of appealing possibilities…

Hatch Chile season is upon us! Fresh Hatch Chiles, grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico, are available for just a few short weeks each year in August and September. Many connoisseurs consider them the world’s tastiest chiles. Melissa’s World Variety Produce has led the charge in popularizing the coveted Hatch Chiles and developing many great recipes using them. Their Corporate Chef, Ida Rodriguez, joins us to discuss the joys of Hatch Chile season. Chef Ida grew up with Hatch Chiles.

Santa Ana’s The Blinking Owl Distillery is the very first craft distillery in Orange County. The Blinking Owl is one of the first distilleries in the state of California to hold the Type 74 Craft Distillers License allowing them to operate their own tasting room and sell a few bottles there. The Distillery makes Vodka, Gin, several types of Whiskey, and the Scandinavian spirit, Aquavit.

Our always on-the-go show Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, has been on the road extensively since he was last in-studio. The ambitious itinerary was production for Food Network, New Jersey, New York, London, Orlando, Washington, D.C. and now a new Slapfish opening in Sandy, Utah. We’ll reel him in from the kitchen for a visit.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

Phyllis Hinz and Lamont Mackay are the Cooking LadiesAccomplished travel journalists and chefs, Phyllis Hinz and Lamont Mackay. have taken on a new life chapter as the well-traveled “The Cooking Ladies.”

The pair of RV-travel companions have decades of culinary wisdom behind them and thousands of miles of blacktop in the rear-view mirror. Their entertaining new cookbook and travel journal is On The Road With The Cooking Ladies – Let’s Get Grilling. We’ll meet them.

In Let’s Get Grilling, The Cooking Ladies set their GPS coordinates to North America’s greatest grilling destinations, with over a hundred ready-to-grill recipes inspired by their travels. The Cooking Ladies highlight North American grilling cuisine at its finest. It’s a testament to the people and places that make this food all that it can be.

Interspersed with freewheeling tales of life on the road, Let’s Get Grilling maps out easy-to-follow directions for preparing the best smoked meats, grilled veggies, cookout staples, and much more.

The book chronicles their latest adventure, collecting tales of culinary and cultural encounters from roadhouses to back country smoke pits, with recipes that pay tribute to the do-it-yourself spirit of the classic North American cookout.

Having surveyed a whole continent of grilling ideas, The Cooking Ladies encourage readers to expand their own horizons with regional specialties like Hot Brown and Brined Turkey Breast or Loco Moco, alongside dozens of unbeatable recipes for ribs, roasts, chicken wings, pork loin, grilled veggies, and much, much more.

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeTime to pull the cork on another installment of accessible wine wisdom from our resident (and down-to-earth) wine authority Kyle Meyer, the Managing Partner of Wine Exchange. What wines pair best with SoCal’s engagingly eclectic varieties of cuisine including Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and Mexican? Think lightly fruity wines.

Also, the new Spanish and Italian whites matched with seafood. A myriad of appealing possibilities…

Chef Ida Rodriquez of Melissas World Variety ProduceHatch Chile season is upon us! Fresh Hatch Chiles, grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico, are available for just a few short weeks each year in August and September. Many connoisseurs consider them the world’s tastiest chiles.

Once roasted, Hatch Chiles are easy to peel and seed. Roasting heightens the robust earthy flavor of the chiles and the texture of the thick walls of the chile pod becomes lusciously rich. These unique qualities, and the pepper’s variable heat (unlike other chile peppers, Hatch Chiles come in varieties that cover the full spectrum of heat levels) have earned Hatch Chiles great popularity far beyond the local community of Hatch, New Mexico.

Melissa’s World Variety Produce has led the charge in popularizing the coveted Hatch Chiles and developing many great recipes using them. From now through mid-September Melissa’s will be sponsoring weekend Hatch Chile Roasting parties at area supermarkets including at select Gelson’s and Bristol Farms. Check the Melissa’s website for locations, dates and times.

Melissa’s Corporate Chef, Ida Rodriguez, joins us to discuss the joys of Hatch Chile season.

Brian and Robin ChristensonSanta Ana’s The Blinking Owl Distillery is the very first craft distillery in Orange County. The Blinking Owl is one of the first distilleries in the state of California to hold the Type 74 Craft Distillers License allowing them to operate their own tasting room and sell a few bottles there. The Distillery makes Vodka, Gin, several types of Whiskey, and the Scandinavian spirit, Aquavit.

“We are locavores, grain nerds, and control freaks so we decided to actually make our booze the long way: from grain rather than pre-made spirit. We mill it, mash it, ferment it, distill it, and, in the case of whiskey, barrel age it (which means we will not have a 9-year old Bourbon to sell until 9 years from now).”

“The Founder, Brian Christenson, had a bootlegging great-grandfather, Fred P. Armbrust. Fred had a still on his dairy farm hidden in the basement behind secret passageways. He would covertly provide his local farmers with his “good spirits”. Brian’s dream is to carry on Fred’s passion by providing “good spirits” to our very own neighborhood, legally, of course!”

Brian and Robin Christenson, longtime Santa Ana residents, had heard stories of the midcentury “Blinking Owl Bar” on the corner of Birch and Third Streets, known for an iconic owl sign that would “blink”. Inspired by the craft cocktail movement, the farm-to-table food movement, and current thriving craft distilleries, the husband and wife team saw an opportunity to bring a local distillery to the neighborhood, paying homage to the history of Santa Ana.”

Brian & Robin step out from behind the long bar in their Tasting Room to join us.

BLINKING OWL VODKA
42.5% ABV (85 PROOF)
“Blinking Owl Vodka has stunning earthiness, subtle flavor and rich, full-bodied mouth feel. Distilled in house from organic wheat grown in California, and our unique twist from the organic malted barley that was added to the mash bill adding hints of sweet vanilla and caramel. Distilled in our Carl still from Germany (that includes 34 rectification plates alongside a pot still), Blinking Owl Vodka transfers the essence from the grain it was made from to the glass.”

BLINKING OWL
OC ORANGE
Flavored Vodka
42.5% ABV (85 PROOF)
“Beginning with our beautiful Vodka, we add 130 pounds of whole Valencia oranges that come from Heritage Museum of Orange County. We hand-cut the oranges and let the entire orange soak (including flesh, pith, juice and peel) in the Vodka overnight. The vodka is then re-distilled with oranges added to our vapor basket in the still. The combination of natural orange macerations and vapor distillation to an already rich, sweet vodka base creates a true orange essence to this flavored vodka that is full-bodied and delicious. Heritage Museum of Orange County.”

BLINKING OWL AQUAVIT
42.5% ABV (85 PROOF)
“We set out to make an aquavit reminiscent of the great Aquavits of Scandinavia but with a California twist. After crafting our base spirit with organic wheat and malted barley, we macerate 10 gorgeous organic botanicals (with a final steep in Caraway, leaving a natural golden hue). The primary flavors of our Aquavit are caraway, fresh dill, and hibiscus (the flower of Santa Ana), with undertones of fennel and cardamom. The result is a complex aquavit that can served chilled as a digestif or can add incredible flavors to a variety of cocktails.”

OLD TOM Barrel Vacationed GIN
48% ABV (96 PROOF)
“Our super special limited release of Old Tom Barrel Vacationed Gin is coming out soon!

We get a limited number of late harvest semillon wine barrels from a prestigious Napa producer each year. These particular barrels not only allow the Gin to age, but they also impart a hint of sweetness from the late harvest semillon they were previously holding.

This BARREL VACATIONED OLD TOM GIN basically took a vacation in the barrels for approximately 3 months, got a nice tan, and picked up a lucious hint of sweetness (thus we categorized it as an Old Tom). No sugar, flavoring, or coloring was added. The end result is pure, delicious liquid gold!”

Many have been waiting and asking to get on the presale list. The Gin is ready, it will be bottled soon at 48% ABV and released mid August. Each bottle will be numbered for this annual release and will only be sold from our tasting room.

This is owner, Robin Christenson’s, personal favorite and she having a very tough time not buying all of this gin herself. BUT she has decided to find it in her heart to share (at least some of it).”

Andrew and William GruelOur always on-the-go show Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, has been on the road extensively since he was last in-studio. The ambitious itinerary was production for Food Network, New Jersey, New York, London, Orlando, Washington, D.C. and now a new Slapfish opening in Sandy, Utah.

We’ll reel him in from the Slapfish kitchen in Sandy, Utah for a visit. (This is actually the 2nd Slapfish in Utah.)

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Phyllis Hinz & Lamont Mackay, The Cooking Ladies Part One
Segment Three: Phyllis Hinz & Lamont Mackay, The Cooking Ladies Part Two
Segment Four: Kyle Meyer, Wine Exchange, Wine Pairing Wisdom
Segment Five: Melissa’s Corporate Chef, Ida Rodriguez. Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook
Segment Six: Robin & Brian Christenson, Founders, Blinking Owl Distillery, Santa Ana Part One
Segment Seven: Robin & Brian Christenson, Founders, Blinking Owl Distillery, Santa Ana Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Founder & CEO, Slapfish Restaurant Group