Show 391, September 19, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Angelenos know the name of Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini (Italian-born) from his days in Los Angeles with Piero Selvaggio as executive chef of Primi in West Los Angeles and Posto in Sherman Oaks. In 1999 Luciano relocated to Las Vegas to open the well-received Valentino Las Vegas in the Venetian Resort as Executive Chef and Partner with Piero Selvaggio. In 2004 the James Beard Foundation awarded Pellegrini a prestigious James Beard Award as Best Chef Southwest. Very few Las Vegas-based chefs have achieved this high honor. Chef Luciano’s recent venture is the launching of Heavenly Pies with his cousin David Ryan Brister. Chef Luciano joins us with pizza peel securely in hand.

Food journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s “Hungry Hound” in Chicago, is the recipient of an impressive 13 James Beard Foundation Awards for journalistic excellence. The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala is in Chicago on Friday evening, September 25th in an unexpected virtual format to be broadcast live via Twitter. Steve previews the dramatically reformatted (and virtual) 2020 James Beard Foundation Awards Gala. Steve Dolinsky joins us to better explain the unprecedented specifics.

Founded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, the iconic Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution. Serving her unique cuisine that blends contemporary with Eastern Mediterranean influences, in an upscale, chic environment. There are now also Zov’s restaurants in Newport Coast, Irvine and Anaheim (temporarily on hiatus.) The Tustin, Irvine and Newport Coast locations are also serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. Tailgating in Tustin (twice a month) with live music returns for Happy Hour and Dinner on Saturday, September 19th. New from Zov’s Catering are value-priced, individual meals that are table-ready. 2nd generation Karamardian Family member, Armen, joins us with the updates and looks to the future.

Orange County Restaurant Week Uncorked is on now through Saturday, September 26th. Orange County restaurants are participating with value priced menus available for lunch and/or dinner. Some have specialty cocktails as part of their offerings. The restaurants encourage you to savor the full guest experience with the return of limited dine-in with proper social distancing but most menus are also available To-Go.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook join us to tempt with their prix fixe dinner menus at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach, Ironwood in Laguna Hills, Olea in Newport Beach, and Vine Restaurant & Bar in San Clemente.

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 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. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that greatly restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps… The consensus is that fine dining will look a bit different once the Covid 19 crisis finally subsides and there is a safe & proven vaccine readily available to all Americans. We all anticipate other changes in eating out at all levels of price and service. We’ll get Chef Andrew’s informed and insightful thoughts on the future.

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

Play

Show 391, September 19, 2020: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook of Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, Laguna Beach

Chef Jared CookOrange County Restaurant Week Uncorked is on now through Saturday, September 26th. Orange County restaurants are participating with value priced menus available for lunch and/or dinner. Some have specialty cocktails as part of their offerings. The restaurants encourage you to get the full guest experience with the return of dine-in with proper social distancing but most menus are also available To-Go.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook join us to tempt with their prix fixe dinner menus at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach, Ironwood in Laguna Hills, Olea in Newport Beach, and Vine Restaurant & Bar in San Clemente.

Their special cocktail for OC Restaurant Week Uncorked is The Woodpecker. It’s Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Aperol, Crème de Peach, Fresh Peaches and Ginger.

The prix fixe dinner menu is three courses with choices in each category and priced at $50.00. Entree possibilities are Zinfandel Braised Napa Lamb Shank, Certified Double R Ranch Bone-In Ribeye Steak and Wild Caught Alaskan Halibut.

Play

September 19: Luciano Pellegrini, Steve Dolinsky, Zov’s BIstro and Bakery, OC Restaurant Week Uncorked with Sapphire

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini of Heavenly Pies and Dolce Vita Gelato, Las Vegas Part One
Segment Three: Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini of Heavenly Pies and Dolce Vita Gelato, Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Four: Food Journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “Hungry Hound” Part One
Segment Five: Food Journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “Hungry Hound” Part Two
Segment Six: Armen Karamardian, Zov’s Bistro, Tustin (and Irvine & Newport Coast)
Segment Seven: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook of Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, Laguna Beach
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Angelenos know the name of Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini (Italian-born) from his days in Los Angeles with Piero Selvaggio as executive chef of Primi in West Los Angeles and Posto in Sherman Oaks. In 1999 Luciano relocated to Las Vegas to open the well-received Valentino Las Vegas in the Venetian Resort as Executive Chef and Partner with Piero Selvaggio. In 2004 the James Beard Foundation awarded Pellegrini a prestigious James Beard Award as Best Chef Southwest. Very few Las Vegas-based chefs have achieved this honor. Chef Luciano’s recent venture is the launching of Heavenly Pies with his cousin David Ryan Brister. Chef Luciano joins us with pizza peel in hand.

Food journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s “Hungry Hound” in Chicago, is the recipient of an impressive 13 James Beard Foundation Awards for journalistic excellence. The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala is in Chicago on Friday evening, September 25th in an unexpected virtual format to be broadcast live via Twitter. Steve previews the dramatically reformatted (and virtual) 2020 James Beard Foundation Awards Gala. Steve Dolinsky joins us to explain the unprecedented specifics.

Founded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, the iconic Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution. Serving her unique cuisine that blends contemporary with Eastern Mediterranean influences, in an upscale, chic environment. There are now also Zov’s restaurants in Newport Coast, Irvine and Anaheim (temporarily on hiatus.) The Tustin, Irvine and Newport Coast locations are now serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. Tailgating in Tustin (twice a month) with live music returns for Happy Hour and Dinner on Saturday, September 19th. New from Zov’s Catering are value-priced, individual meals that are table-ready. 2nd generation Karamardian Family member, Armen, joins us with the updates and looks to the future.

Orange County Restaurant Week Uncorked is on now through Saturday, September 26th. Orange County restaurants are participating with value priced menus available for lunch and/or dinner. Some have specialty cocktails as part of their offerings. The restaurants encourage you to savor the full guest experience with the return of limited dine-in with proper social distancing but most menus are also available To-Go.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook join us to tempt with their prix fixe dinner menus at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach, Ironwood in Laguna Hills, Olea in Newport Beach, and Vine Restaurant & Bar in San Clemente.

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 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. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that greatly restrict guest counts. Alternately take-out/delivery when you can surely helps… The consensus is that fine dining will look a bit different once the Covid 19 crisis finally subsides and there is a safe & proven vaccine readily available to all Americans. We all anticipate other changes in eating out at all levels. We get Chef Andrew’s informed and insightful thoughts on the future.

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

Luciano Pellegrini of Heavenly Pies in Las VegasAngelenos know the name of Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini (Italian-born) from his days in Los Angeles with Piero Selvaggio as executive chef of Primi in West Los Angeles (the unofficial commissary of Twentieth Century-Fox Studios at the time) and Posto in Sherman Oaks. In 1999 Luciano relocated to Las Vegas to open the well-received Valentino Las Vegas in the Venetian Resort as Executive Chef and Partner with Piero Selvaggio. In 2004 the James Beard Foundation awarded Pellegrini a prestigious James Beard Award as Best Chef Southwest. Very few Las Vegas-based chefs have achieved this honor.

After Valentino Las Vegas closed Pellegrini remained in Las Vegas and went on to debut Dolce Vita Gelato, an artisan gelato producer (wholesale) serving the hospitality business. He also consults for other restaurants in Las Vegas and California.

Chef Luciano’s latest venture is the launching of Heavenly Pies in the Southern Highlands neighborhood of Las Vegas with his cousin David Ryan Brister. The style of pizza is a mash up of Roman and Neapolitan varieties with premium ingredients. The signature Heavenly Pizza features black truffle tomato, brie cheese, porcini mushrooms, roasted garlic, speck and escarole.

The Trattoria Menu is Chef Luciano’s take on classic Italian dishes with a few surprises. Think Zeppole (fried dumplings) with anchovies, mozzarella and basil served with marinara or Philly cheese steak eggrolls.

Also on the menu are an assortment of six Takeout Meal packages. Each is designed to serve four guests and are packaged ready to eat or reheat.

Chef Luciano joins us with pizza peel in hand.

Steve Dolinsky and Andreew GruelFood journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s “Hungry Hound” in Chicago, is the recipient of an impressive 13 James Beard Foundation Awards for journalistic excellence.

In addition to his considerable journalistic talents Steve in an accomplished podcaster and pizza afficionado. “Every other Friday, Steve talks to some of the world’s greatest pizzaiolos, bakers and artisans about their craft. Hear their backstories, discover their secrets, techniques and inspirations, while listening to their meticulous process as they describe how they make their truly sublime pizzas.”

The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala is in Chicago on Friday evening, September 25th in virtual format to be broadcast via Twitter. Steve previews the dramatically reformatted (and virtual) 2020 James Beard Foundation Awards Gala.

Restaurant and Chef awards in 23 categories have been nominated. None of these awards will be announced. Instead, the previously announced winners will be honored in the categories of America’s Classics, Lifetime Achievement, Humanitarian of the Year, Design Icon and Leadership Awards. All the previously announced Nominees (in twenty-three categories) will also be honored.

Steve Dolinsky joins us to untangle the specifics.

Armen Karamardian of ZovsFounded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, legendary Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution. Serving her unique cuisine that blends contemporary with Eastern Mediterranean influences, in an upscale chic environment. There are now also Zov’s restaurants in Newport Coast, Irvine and Anaheim (temporarily on hiatus.) The Tustin, Irvine and Newport Coast locations are currently serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. Also serving guests again for dine-in at 25 per cent capacity.

Tailgating in Tustin (in the parking lot) with live music on the Café patio returns for Happy Hour and Dinner (twice a month) on Saturday, September 19th. Guests can also dine under the stars on the Café patio. Guests can order ahead from Zov’s take-out menu along with the wine and cocktail list. Because of space limitations and safety requirements reservations are required.

New from Zov’s Catering are value-priced, individual meals that are table-ready. Sealed utensils are included.

“Family support has constantly been Zov’s foundation and inspiration throughout her culinary career. Zov, in addition to her husband, Gary, her son Armen, and her daughter Taleene, have created a rare family business recipe that has taken comforting creations of the family kitchen blended with Chef Zov’s culinary artistry.”

2nd generation Karamardian Family member, Armen, joins us with the updates and looks to the future.

Chef Jared CookOrange County Restaurant Week Uncorked is on now through Saturday, September 26th. Orange County restaurants are participating with value priced menus available for lunch and/or dinner. Some have specialty cocktails as part of their offerings. The restaurants encourage you to get the full guest experience with the return of dine-in with proper social distancing but most menus are also available To-Go.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook join us to tempt with their prix fixe dinner menus at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach, Ironwood in Laguna Hills, Olea in Newport Beach, and Vine Restaurant & Bar in San Clemente.

Their special cocktail for OC Restaurant Week Uncorked is The Woodpecker. It’s Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Aperol, Crème de Peach, Fresh Peaches and Ginger.

The prix fixe dinner menu is three courses with choices in each category and priced at $50.00. Entree possibilities are Zinfandel Braised Napa Lamb Shank, Certified Double R Ranch Bone-In Ribeye Steak and Wild Caught Alaskan Halibut.

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. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

The consensus is that fine dining will look a bit different once the Covid 19 crisis finally subsides and there is a safe & proven vaccine readily available to all Americans. We all anticipate other significant changes in eating out at all levels. We get Chef Andrew’s informed and insightful thoughts on the future.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini of Heavenly Pies and Dolce Vita Gelato, Las Vegas Part One
Segment Three: Chef & Restaurateur Luciano Pellegrini of Heavenly Pies and Dolce Vita Gelato, Las Vegas Part Two
Segment Four: Food Journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “Hungry Hound” Part One
Segment Five: Food Journalist Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 TV’s (Chicago) “Hungry Hound” Part Two
Segment Six: Armen Karamardian, Zov’s Bistro, Tustin (and Irvine & Newport Coast)
Segment Seven: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook of Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, Laguna Beach
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 370, April 25, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

It’s a time of great concern for all of us and our “SoCal Restaurant Show” mission, until the Covid-19 crisis is fully abated, is to provide reliable and genuinely useful information on how the restaurant business is coping with the rapidly evolving events. With an emphasis on the health, safety and well-being of our listeners we’ll be detailing what the range of services restaurants can now provide to their guests. Creativity and adaptability are at the forefront. We’re keeping it upbeat…

Chefs and restaurateurs are the most generous people I know. In times of need they are always the very first in generously giving back and meaningfully supporting their communities. Truly remarkable…Right now restaurants urgently need our support to stay afloat. Kindly keep this in mind and please do what you possibly can to support a community-focused, local restaurant….

As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it without the encouragement of the foodie community.

“While the California Restaurant Association Foundation has been around for more than three decades, the inspiration for Restaurants Care came just a few years ago in 2015. Jose, a cook in Sacramento, was struck in a hit and run on his way home after a late-night shift. He suffered a broken back, amongst other life-threatening injuries.

The restaurant community came together and raised money to support Jose while he recovered. At that moment, The CRA Foundation knew that something bigger had to happen. Restaurants Care was created to take care of the most vulnerable in our industry.” Such is the case during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. We’ll get all the details from Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of the CRA Foundation.

Philippe’s (Philippe The Original) in Downtown Los Angeles has reopened for takeout and delivery with French Dips, sides and desserts, as well as beer and wine, available to go. Guests can now call the restaurant or order online via ChowNow to place an order for pickup. Delivery options are available from Postmates. Manager & Partner Andrew Binder provides all the juicy details.

The Pantry at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, located at 1200 South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, reopened Wednesday, April 1 for daily takeout service from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. during the COVID-19 crisis.

Guests may call ahead (949.339.3027) to order breakfast, lunch or dinner and pick-up at The Pantry’s front door entrance where polite social distancing is observed. Food prices range from $7 – $15. Restaurateur Russ Bendel assumed ownership of the landmark property in March from Sapphire’s founder-proprietor, chef, Azmin Ghahreman, CEO of Sapphire Culinary Group. Restaurateur Russ Bendel is our guest.

Back in February, the Clink Different – Experience the Wines of Europe evening was hosted at The NoMad Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. It was a walk-around tasting for wine and lifestyle journalists with four flights of unusual wines from Bordeaux and Wines of Germany followed by a multi-course wine paired dinner. The European wines featured were hand-selected by Ryan Bailey, the accomplished Wine Director for NoMad Los Angeles. Sommelier Ryan artfully pulls the cork on Clink Different for us.

El Cholo is L.A.’s very first surviving Mexican restaurant. Since opening its doors in 1923, El Cholo has operated as a family-owned business and today, the restaurants are run by Ron Salisbury, grandson of the founders. The legacy at El Cholo lies in its commitment to quality ingredients, long family history, loyal employees (some with the restaurants nearly 40 years) and their devoted and loyal clientele. Through prohibition, the L.A. Riots, true Hollywood glamour and into the 2000’s, El Cholo continues to bring back fond memories for their guests and create new ones.” Family patriarch Ron Salisbury (with 66 years of hands-on Hospitality Business experience) is our guest.

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 is 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. Take-out/delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first. Also some genuinely useful tips for cooking at home. Herbs add a lot of flavor to home cooking. 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 370, April 25, 2020: Restaurateur Russ Bendel – Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach Part One

Russ Bendel of Ironwood, Olea and VIneThe Pantry at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, located at 1200 South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, reopened Wednesday, April 1 for daily takeout service from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. during the COVID-19 crisis.

Dinner has just been added. Guests may call ahead (949.339.3027) to order breakfast, lunch and dinner and pick-up at The Pantry’s front door entrance where social distancing is observed. Food prices range from $7 – $15.

Two breakfast favorites, with vegetarian options, as well as house-made pastries and coffee beverages are available. Lunch offerings include an entrée garden herb salad, Wagyu beef burger and a Jidori confit chicken sandwich, both come with hand-cut herb fries. Beverage selections are fresh brewed iced tea, bottled water, soft drinks, bottled beer and craft cocktails packaged in Mason jars for $10. Think a variety of options for Mother’s Day Family meals, too.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel assumed ownership of the landmark property in March from Sapphire’s founder-proprietor, chef, Azmin Ghahreman, CEO of Sapphire Culinary Group. Bendel, with chef-partner Jared Cook, operate Vine in San Clemente, Ironwood in Laguna Hills and Olea in Newport Beach.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel is our guest.

Play

Show 370, April 25, 2020: Restaurateur Russ Bendel – Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach Part Two

Russ Bendel of Ironwood, Olea and VIneThe Pantry at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, located at 1200 South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, reopened Wednesday, April 1 for daily takeout service from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. during the COVID-19 crisis.

Guests may call ahead (949.339.3027) to order breakfast, lunch or dinner and pick-up at The Pantry’s front door entrance where social distancing is observed. Food prices range from $7 – $15.

Think Breakfast Sandwich with house-made sausage, applewood bacon, cage-free egg, smoked gouda, cracked pepper aioli on a toasted challah bun or Jidori Chicken Confit Sandwich with house pickles, garlic dill aioli, on a potato roll with hand-cut herb fries.

Keep in mind a variety of creative Family Meal options for Mother’s Day.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel assumed ownership of the landmark property in March from Sapphire’s founder-proprietor, chef, Azmin Ghahreman, CEO of Sapphire Culinary Group. Bendel, with chef-partner Jared Cook, operate Vine in San Clemente, Ironwood in Laguna Hills and Olea in Newport Beach.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel continues.

Play

April 25: Restaurants Care, Philippe The Original, Russ Bendel, Clink Different, Ron Salisbury

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director, The CRA Foundation, for Restaurants Care
Segment Three: Manager & Partner Andrew Binder, Philippe The Original
Segment Four: Restaurateur Russ Bendel – Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach Part One
Segment Five: Restaurateur Russ Bendel – Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Sommelier Ryan Bailey, Wine Director, NoMad Los Angeles on “Clink Different”
Segment Seven: Restaurateur Ron Salisbury – El Cholo Family of Restaurants
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

It’s a time of great concern for all of us and our “SoCal Restaurant Show” mission, until the Covid-19 crisis is fully abated, is to provide reliable and genuinely useful information on how the restaurant business is coping with the rapidly evolving events. With an emphasis on the health, safety and well-being of our listeners we’ll be detailing what the range of services restaurants can now provide to their guests. Creativity and adaptability are at the forefront. We’re doing our level best to keep it upbeat…

Chefs and restaurateurs are honestly the most generous people I know. In times of need they are always the very first in generously giving back and meaningfully supporting their communities. Truly remarkable…Right now restaurants urgently need our support to stay afloat. Kindly keep this in mind and please do what you possibly can to support a community-focused, local restaurant….

As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it without the encouragement of the foodie community.

“While the California Restaurant Association Foundation has been around for more than three decades, the inspiration for Restaurants Care came just a few years ago in 2015. Jose, a cook in Sacramento, was struck in a hit and run on his way home after a late-night shift. He suffered a broken back, amongst other life-threatening injuries. The restaurant community came together and raised money to support Jose while he recovered. At that moment, The CRA Foundation knew that something bigger had to happen. Restaurants Care was created to take care of the most vulnerable in our industry. Such is the case during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. We’ll get all the details from Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of the CRA Foundation.

Philippe’s (Philippe The Original) in Downtown Los Angeles has reopened for takeout and delivery with French Dips, sides and desserts, as well as beer and wine, available to go. Guests can now call the restaurant or order online via ChowNow to place an order for pickup. Delivery options are available from Postmates. Manager & Partner Andrew Binder provides all the juicy details.

The Pantry at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, located at 1200 South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, reopened Wednesday, April 1 for daily takeout service from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. during the COVID-19 crisis. Guests may call ahead (949.339.3027) to order breakfast or lunch and pick-up at The Pantry’s front door entrance where polite social distancing is observed. Food prices range from $7 – $15. Restaurateur Russ Bendel assumed ownership of the landmark property in March from Sapphire’s founder-proprietor, chef, Azmin Ghahreman, CEO of Sapphire Culinary Group. Restaurateur Russ Bendel is our guest.

Back in February, the Clink Different – Experience the Wines of Europe evening was hosted at The NoMad Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. It was a walk-around tasting for wine and lifestyle journalists with four flights of unusual wines Bordeaux and Wines of Germany followed by a multi-course wine paired dinner. The European wines featured were hand-selected by Ryan Bailey, the accomplished Wine Director for NoMad Los Angeles. Sommelier Ryan artfully pulls the cork on Clink Different for us.

“El Cholo is L.A.’s very first surviving Mexican restaurant. Since first opening its doors in 1923, El Cholo has operated as a family-owned business and today, the restaurants are run by Ron Salisbury, grandson of the founders. The legacy at El Cholo lies in its commitment to quality ingredients, long family history, loyal employees (some with the restaurants nearly 40 years) and their devoted and loyal clientele. Through prohibition, the L.A. Riots, true Hollywood glamour and into the 2000’s, El Cholo continues to bring back fond memories for their guests and create new ones.” Family patriarch Ron Salisbury (with 66 years of hands-on Hospitality Business experience) is our guest.

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 is 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. Take-out/delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first. Also some genuinely useful tips for cooking at home. 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!

Alycia Harshfield of the California Restaaurant Association“While The California Restaurant Association Foundation has been around for more than three decades, the inspiration for Restaurants Care came just a few years ago in 2015. Jose, a cook in Sacramento, was struck in a hit and run on his way home after a late-night shift. He suffered a broken back, amongst other life-threatening injuries. The doctors at UC Davis Medical Center didn’t expect him to live.”

“The restaurant community came together and raised money to support Jose while he recovered. At that moment, The CRA Foundation knew that something bigger had to happen. Restaurants Care was created to take care of the most vulnerable in the hospitality industry in California.”

“At present, due to The Foundation’s current resources, Restaurants Care grants are focused on restaurant workers who are diagnosed with coronavirus or those who have been quarantined with a Doctor’s note.”

We’ll get all the details from Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of the CRA Foundation.

Andrew Binder of Phillipe's the OriginalPhilippe’s (Philippe The Original) in Downtown Los Angeles has reopened for takeout and delivery with French Dips, sides and desserts, as well as beer and wine, available to go. Guests can now call the restaurant or order online via ChowNow to place an order for pickup. Delivery options are available from Postmates.”

“Walk-in takeout orders can also be placed. Patrons can wait for their orders in the parking lot where safe social distancing practices are politely enforced.”

“All six of Philippe’s French Dips are on the takeout and delivery menus available from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. That includes Beef, Pork, Lamb, Turkey, Pastrami or Ham on a freshly baked French Roll single-dipped, double-dipped or wet with au jus. Swiss, American, Jack, Bleu or Cheddar cheese can be added.”

“Available sides on the limited menu include, Potato and Macaroni Salad, Coleslaw, Pickled Eggs, Beets, Stew, Chili, salad and a variety of desserts from brownies to cheesecake.”

“No breakfast will be available until the restaurant resumes dine-in service after the statewide orders due to the COVID-19 outbreak end or are lifted.”

Manager & Partner Andrew Binder provides all the juicy details. Andrew represents the 4th generation of proud Binder Family ownership.

Russ Bendel of Ironwood, Olea and VIneThe Pantry at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, located at 1200 South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, reopened Wednesday, April 1 for daily takeout service from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. during the COVID-19 crisis.

Guests may call ahead (949.339.3027) to order breakfast or lunch and pick-up at The Pantry’s front door entrance where social distancing is observed. Food prices range from $7 – $15.

Two breakfast favorites, with vegetarian options, as well as house-made pastries and coffee beverages are available. Lunch offerings include an entrée garden herb salad, Wagyu beef burger and a Jidori confit chicken sandwich, both come with hand-cut herb fries. Beverage selections are fresh brewed iced tea, bottled water, soft drinks, bottled beer and craft cocktails packaged in Mason jars for $10.

Think Breakfast Sandwich with house-made sausage, applewood bacon, cage-free egg, smoked gouda, cracked pepper aioli on a toasted challah bun or Jidori Chicken Confit Sandwich with house pickles, garlic dill aioli, on a potato roll with hand-cut herb fries.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel assumed ownership of the landmark property in March from Sapphire’s founder-proprietor, chef, Azmin Ghahreman, CEO of Sapphire Culinary Group. Bendel, with chef-partner Jared Cook, operate Vine in San Clemente, Ironwood in Laguna Hills and Olea in Newport Beach.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel is our guest.

Ryan Bailey of the NoMad HotelBack in February, the Clink Different – Experience the Wines of Europe evening was hosted at The NoMad Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. It was a walk-around tasting for wine and lifestyle journalists with four flights of unusual wines Bordeaux and Wines of Germany followed by a multi-course wine paired dinner. The European wines were hand-selected by Ryan Bailey, the accomplished Wine Director for NoMad Los Angeles.

Ryan Bailey, a Sonoma County transplant, started his hospitality career while in high school at one of Sonoma’s best restaurants, The General’s Daughter. In 2013 Ryan joined the team at NoMad in New York City, and quickly advanced to the position of Head Sommelier. Ryan now leads the Los Angeles wine team as Wine Director and curates NoMad’s expansive wine and beer program.

Sommelier Ryan artfully pulls the cork on Clink Different for us.

Ron SalisburyEl Cholo is L.A.’s very first surviving Mexican restaurant. Since first opening its doors in 1923, El Cholo has operated as a family-owned business and today, the restaurants are run by Ron Salisbury, grandson of the founders. The legacy at El Cholo lies in its commitment to quality ingredients, long family history, loyal employees (some with us nearly 40 years) and their devoted and loyal clientele. Through prohibition, the L.A. Riots, true Hollywood glamour and into the 2000’s, El Cholo continues to bring back memories for their guests and create new ones.”

Also part of the El Cholo Family of restaurants is The Cannery Seafood of the Pacific and Louie’s By The Bay both in Newport Beach.

Family patriarch Ron Salisbury (with 66 years of hands-on Hospitality Business experience) is our guest.

Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur 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 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. Take-out/delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first.

Chef Andrew also provides an extra helping of some timely cooking tips for preparing satisfying meals at home.

We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director, The CRA Foundation, for Restaurants Care
Segment Three: Manager & Partner Andrew Binder, Philippe The Original
Segment Four: Restaurateur Russ Bendel – Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach Part One
Segment Five: Restaurateur Russ Bendel – Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Sommelier Ryan Bailey, Wine Director, NoMad Los Angeles on “Clink Different”
Segment Seven: Restaurateur Ron Salisbury – El Cholo Family of Restaurants
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 350, December 7, 2019: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now an incredibly appetizing preview of this Saturday’s scrumptious show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will hopefully leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing… As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it without you.

Thinking about buying a bottle of French Champagne as a gift or for the festive Holiday Table? Our resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange, joins us with selection tips from an expert that, happily, won’t break the bank. Orange Wine is a new topic of conversation among wine aficionados. Kyle provides the needed overview.

Between the two of them our resident Meatheads from West Coast Prime Meats, Terry Hanks and Jay Henderson, have decades of practical experience with center plate proteins. They are both avid home cooks, too. Terry and Jay join us with some genuinely useful Holiday cooking tips for that special holiday goose and roasted meats.

Cheesecake! The Emmy award winning show The Golden Girls made eating cheesecake a nightly ritual on the hit television series.  The pastry chef who made those luscious and delicious cheesecakes and many other foods for hit sitcoms is George Geary. Now Geary has expanded his cheesecake repertoire even more with the eagerly anticipated 2nd Edition of The Cheesecake Bible: 300 Sweet & Savory Recipes for Cakes and More.  Chef George is our guest with decadent ideas for the best in holiday cheesecakes and pro’s tips for stress-free holiday baking.

In the age of video chats and filtered “selfies”, sometimes real, human connection seems harder to come by, but it remains an important part of living a satisfying life. Eat, Laugh, Talk: The Family Dinner Playbook emerges from the brains behind The Family Dinner Project, a Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Academy-affiliated nonprofit that notes the profound impact that a fun family meal can have on the spirit, brain, and health of all family members. Co-authors (there are five) Brianne DeRosa and Shelly London join us to set the table.

Restaurateur 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.

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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.”

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

Russ Bendel of Ironwood, Olea and VIneRestaurateur 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 Bendel was born and raised in Philadelphia and relocated with his mother, father, and sister to California when he was a child. Russ grew up in the restaurant industry and always knew it was in his blood at an early age.

He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from The Collins College at Cal Poly Pomona with an emphasis on Restaurants and Business Management. During that time, Russ worked with Bloomin Brands Restaurant Group for 15 years, six years with Outback Steakhouse and nine years with Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. He was promoted to partner of the flagship Newport Beach location at the age of 25, youngest ever in company history.

Chef-Partner Jared Cook was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. After graduating from Western Culinary Institute in Portland Oregon, he relocated to Southern California. Since then Jared worked in restaurants such as French 75 in Laguna Beach, Chat Noir in Costa Mesa, and was promoted to Executive Chef at the Crow Bar and Kitchen, in addition to working at Vine Restaurant & Bar for the third time as a Cook, Sous Chef, and now Executive Chef.

Russ again joins us with Chef-Partner Jared Cook to continue their chat about the Holiday menus at Ironwood, Olea & Vine.

 

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