Show 418, March 27, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

The Ranch Restaurant in Anaheim is, again, available for full service dine-in for lunch and dinner on an open-air patio and with inside dining (as allowable) with proper social distancing between tables. To-Go meals are also on the menu. “The Ranch Restaurant, under the culinary direction of Chef Michael Rossi, features true American regional cuisine. It’s cooking from scratch with the finest ingredients possible to capture the rustic style of wine country and the freshest flavors of the farm. The Ranch honors California’s great ranches, farms and dairies, the artisan bread bakers and cheese and wine makers. Their seasonally driven menu showcases the freshest produce in season – as nature intended. The emphasis is on farm to table, fresh organically grown fruits and vegetables from local farms and from The Ranch’s own ranch in the Santa Ana Mountains.” Executive Chef Michael Rossi joins us from The Ranch.

We met restaurateur Bjoern Risse previously with his Rasselbock Kitchen and Beer Garden in Mar Vista and Long Beach. His latest venture is Long Beach’s Wood & Salt Tavern. At Wood & Salt Tavern the focus is on pasta, made in house, by hand, everyday and fish, seafood & fine meats from their wood fired grill. Think Charred Corn Croquetas with pickled fresno chile, garlic aioli and ricotta salata, and Tagliatelle with beef, pork and veal ragu sprinkled with parmigiano. It’s a local, neighborhood restaurant with elevated fare located in Bixby Knolls (Long Beach.) At present it’s dinner-only, 7 days. Restaurateur Bjoern Risse is our guest.

“For years, vintners have coveted a stretch of land in the western end of Santa Barbara’s Santa Rita Hills AVA known to have the perfect microclimate, soils, and exposure to grow world-class Pinot Noir. In 1999, fulfilling a long-held dream of owner Bob Davids, this sought-after stretch of land became Sea Smoke Vineyard.” “At Sea Smoke, our objective is to produce the best Pinot Noir possible from our unique vineyard site. Located on south-facing hillside bluffs, our estate vineyard benefits from excellent sun exposure – producing grapes with optimum flavor, color and tannin development.” Victor Gallegos, Sea Smoke’s Vice President and General Manager gently pulls the cork on all things Sea Smoke for us.

“For over forty years, Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio (Valentino and Valentino Restaurant Group) and Restaurateur/Chef Celestino Drago of the famed Drago Brothers have been close friends, colleagues, and competitors in the thriving Los Angeles dining scene. Now, their longstanding relationship has transcended to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles last year as new Managing Partner!” Now that Drago Centro has reopened again for pampered, evening patio and inside dining Piero Selvaggio returns with the timely update.

“Winemakers and restaurateurs agree. There’s an art to preserving wine. While you may have heard it’s important to let wine “breathe,” this causes oxygen to degrade the bottle the longer it’s been opened. Oxidation can spoil opened bottles of wine as quickly as 24 hours after opening.” “Argon gas is the preferred method by winemakers to prevent oxidation that spoils wine. ArT Wine Preserver® is an affordable, recyclable wine saver (packaged in a convenient can) that uses pure argon gas to displace oxygen.” ArT Wine Preserver® Founder Ryan Frederickson joins us.

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 during the early stages of recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. We’ll “Ask the Chef.” The recently passed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 importantly includes a $28.6 billion dollar relief fund designated to assist independent local restaurants, bars, food trucks and street vendors. What impact will it have? Chef Andrew thoughtfully weighs in.

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

Play

March 27: The Ranch Restaurant, Wood & Salt Tavern, Sea Smoke Vineyard, Drago Centro, ArT Wine Preserver

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Michael Rossi, The Ranch Restaurant, Anaheim
Segment Three: Restaurateur Bjoern Risse, Wood & Salt, Long Beach
Segment Four: Victor Gallegos, Vice President & General Manager, Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard Part One
Segment Five: Victor Gallegos, Vice President & General Manager, Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard Part Two
Segment Six: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Los Angeles
Segment Seven: ArT Wine Preserver® Founder Ryan Frederickson
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

The Ranch Restaurant in Anaheim is, again, available for full service dine-in for lunch and dinner on an open-air patio and with inside dining with proper social distancing between tables. To-Go meals are also on the menu. The Ranch Restaurant, under the culinary direction of Chef Michael Rossi, features true American regional cuisine. It’s cooking from scratch with the finest ingredients possible to capture the rustic style of wine country and the freshest flavors of the farm. The Ranch honors California’s great ranches, farms and dairies, the artisan bread bakers and cheese and wine makers. Their seasonally driven menu showcases the freshest produce in season – as nature intended. The emphasis is on farm to table, fresh organically grown fruits and vegetables from local farms and from The Ranch’s own ranch in the Santa Ana Mountains. Executive Chef Michael Rossi joins us from The Ranch.

We met restaurateur Bjoern Risse previously with his Rasselbock Kitchen and Beer Garden in Mar Vista and Long Beach. His latest venture is Long Beach’s Wood & Salt Tavern. At Wood & Salt Tavern the focus is on pasta, made in house, by hand, everyday and fish, seafood & fine meats from their wood fired grill. Think Charred Corn Croquetas with pickled fresno chile, garlic aioli and ricotta salata, and Tagliatelle with beef, pork and veal ragu sprinkled with parmigiano. It’s a local, neighborhood restaurant with elevated fare located in Bixby Knolls (Long Beach.) At present it’s dinner-only, 7 days. Restaurateur Bjoern Risse is our guest.

“For years, vintners have coveted a stretch of land in the western end of Santa Barbara’s Santa Rita Hills AVA known to have the perfect microclimate, soils, and exposure to grow world-class Pinot Noir. In 1999, fulfilling a long-held dream of owner Bob Davids, this sought-after stretch of land became Sea Smoke Vineyard.” “At Sea Smoke, our objective is to produce the best Pinot Noir possible from our unique vineyard site. Located on south-facing hillside bluffs, our estate vineyard benefits from excellent sun exposure – producing grapes with optimum flavor, color and tannin development.” Victor Gallegos, Sea Smoke’s Vice President and General Manager gently pulls the cork on all things Sea Smoke for us.

“For over forty years, Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio (Valentino and Valentino Restaurant Group) and Restaurateur/Chef Celestino Drago of the famed Drago Brothers have been close friends, colleagues, and competitors in the thriving Los Angeles dining scene. Now, their longstanding relationship has transcended to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles last year as new Managing Partner!” Now that Drago Centro has reopened again for pampered, evening patio dining Piero Selvaggio returns with the timely update.

“Winemakers and restaurateurs agree. There’s an art to preserving wine. While you may have heard it’s important to let wine “breathe,” this causes oxygen to degrade the bottle the longer it’s been opened. Oxidation can spoil opened bottles of wine as quickly as 24 hours after opening.” “Argon gas is the preferred method by winemakers to prevent oxidation that spoils wine. ArT Wine Preserver® is an affordable, recyclable wine saver (packaged in a convenient can) that uses pure argon gas to displace oxygen.” ArT Wine Preserver® Founder Ryan Frederickson joins us.

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 during the early stages of recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. We’ll “Ask the Chef.” The recently passed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 importantly includes a $28.6 billion dollar relief fund designated to assist independent local restaurants, bars, food trucks and street vendors. What impact will it have ? Chef Andrew thoughtfully weighs in.

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

Michael Rossi of the Ranch Restaurant and Saloon

The Ranch Restaurant in Anaheim is, again, available for full service dine-in for lunch and dinner on an open-air patio and with inside dining (at a reduced capacity) with proper social distancing between tables. To-Go meals are also on the menu.

The Ranch Restaurant features true American regional cuisine. It’s cooking from scratch with the finest ingredients possible to capture the rustic style of wine country and the freshest flavors of the farm. The Ranch honors California’s great ranches, farms and dairies, the artisan bread bakers and cheese and wine makers. Their seasonally driven menu showcases the freshest produce in season – as nature intended. The emphasis is on farm to table, fresh organically grown fruits and vegetables from local farms and from The Ranch’s own ranch in the Santa Ana Mountains.”

“In the kitchen, brothers Michael Rossi (Executive Chef) and Dave Rossi (Pastry Chef) create menus that journey between classic dishes and elevated interpretations of global fare.”

Executive Chef Michael Rossi joins us from The Ranch.

Bjoern Risse of Rasslebock Kitchen and Beer Garden

We met restaurateur Bjoern Risse previously with his Rasselbock Kitchen and Beer Garden in Mar Vista and Long Beach. His latest venture is Long Beach’s Wood & Salt Tavern.

At Wood & Salt Tavern the focus is on pasta, made in house, by hand, everyday and fish, seafood & fine meats from their wood fired grill. Think Charred Corn Croquetas with pickled fresno chile, garlic aioli and ricotta salata, and Tagliatelle with beef, pork and veal ragu sprinkled with parmigiano. It’s a local neighborhood restaurant with elevated cuisine located in Bixby Knolls (Long Beach.) At present it’s dinner-only, 7 days.

Restaurateur Bjoern Risse joins us.

Victor Gallegos of Sea Smoke

“For years, vintners have coveted a stretch of land in the western end of Santa Barbara’s Santa Rita Hills AVA known to have the perfect microclimate, soils, and exposure to grow world-class Pinot Noir. In 1999, fulfilling a long-held dream of owner Bob Davids, this sought-after stretch of land became Sea Smoke Vineyard.”

“At Sea Smoke, our objective is to produce the best Pinot Noir possible from our unique vineyard site. Located on south-facing hillside bluffs, our estate vineyard benefits from excellent sun exposure – producing grapes with optimum flavor, color and tannin development. The heat generated during the day is moderated each evening by a marine fog layer (sea “smoke”), which travels up the Santa Ynez River canyon, cooling the vines and resulting in a longer ripening period. This extended ‘hangtime’ allows the grape tannins to fully ripen prior to harvest, creating wines that are rich and supple.”

“Our pursuit of great Pinot Noir can also be seen in the meticulous management of our estate vineyard. We strive for low crop yields and small grape clusters of intense flavor. To this end, our rich clay soils are planted with ten, top-quality Pinot Noir clones on vigor reducing rootstocks. While we employ the latest technology in the vineyard to help us achieve vine balance and vigor reduction, we also recognize that technology is no replacement for skilled people.”

“Every one of our vines receives personal handling from our vineyard crew seven to eight times each year – every vine. As stewards of this remarkable piece of land, we are also dedicated to its long-term wellbeing. In this spirit, we have been farming Sea Smoke sustainably since 2003, and now farm 80 acres biodynamically, including the blocks destined for our Sea Smoke Chardonnay and Sea Spray Blanc de Noirs.”

“Every growing season, our winemaking team works to determine the optimum timing for the harvest of each block. After hand harvesting, grapes are brought to the winery for destemming and table sorting. During this process each lot is carefully studied, taking into consideration parameters such as fruit integrity, clonal characteristics and soil profile, before proceeding with fermentation. Each block and clone combination is kept separate throughout the winemaking process, enabling us to develop an intimate knowledge of how they respond to specific barrels in our cellar. These individual lots form the basis of a complex flavor palette from which final blending decisions are made by our team.”

“To ensure our loyal customers access to these limited-production wines, we have created The List. Simple and fair, The List is an uncomplicated allocation system offering members the opportunity to purchase our wines. Although production of Sea Smoke is limited and they can be difficult to find, joining The List guarantees your allocation. Unlike wine clubs, there is absolutely no purchase commitment and no cost to join.”

Victor Gallegos, Sea Smoke’s ling-time Vice President and General Manager gently pops the cork on 2015 Sea Smoke “Sea Spray” Blanc de Noirs for us.

Piero Salvaggio of Drago Centro

“For over forty years, Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio (Valentino and Valentino Restaurant Group) and Restaurateur / Chef Celestino Drago of the famed Drago Brothers have been close friends, colleagues, and competitors in the thriving Los Angeles dining scene. Now, their longstanding relationship has transcended to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles last year as new Managing Partner!”

“Originally from Sicily, both Piero and Celestino met over forty years ago in Los Angeles when Celestino first came to the states. Piero opened the renowned Valentino, the flagship restaurant in his Valentino Restaurant Group in Santa Monica in 1972. Valentino was widely regarded as one of the finest Italian restaurants in the U.S. and credited with introducing Angelenos to true Italian food, fresh ingredients and new products. Also, introducing a new wave of Italian Chefs that in time built world-wide reputations on the their own.”

Piero went on to build a multimillion-dollar restaurant empire garnering numerous James Beard Foundation awards for its wine list and service, along with critical acclaim for its food, wine, and service by top national publications. In 2018, after forty-five plus years, he decided to retire and close Valentino to look for new challenges. After launching Louie’s by the Bay (with restaurateur Ron Salisbury) in Newport Beach, Piero met again with Celestino and started considering Drago Centro as the perfect venue for a new chapter.

Now that Drago Centro has again reopened for inviting patio dining nightly (except Sunday) the always gracious Piero Selvaggio returns with the update.

Ryan Fredrickson of ArT Wine Preserver

“Winemakers and restaurateurs agree. There’s an art to preserving wine. While you may have heard it’s important to let wine “breathe,” this causes oxygen to degrade the bottle the longer it’s been opened. Oxidation can spoil opened bottles of wine as quickly as 24 hours after opening.”

“Argon gas is the preferred method by winemakers to prevent oxidation that spoils wine. ArT Wine Preserver® is an affordable, recyclable wine saver (packaged in a convenient can) that uses pure argon gas to displace oxygen.”

“ArT Wine Preserver® is on a mission to reduce waste, starting with wine. According to the National Resources Defense Council, wine waste is part of the 40 percent of food that is wasted in the United States every day. In the United States alone, the company estimates home consumers pour more than $1.27 billion dollars of wine down the drain, and restaurants pour out another 18+ million bottles!”

“ArT Wine Preserver® Founder Ryan Frederickson’s former career as an engineer took a different path after a vacation in California wine country. After learning about how much work goes into producing each bottle, and just how much waste occurs due to oxidation, he decided to put his previous experience working in the argon gas industry to use. Naming the product ArT, short for “Argon Technology, the wine preserving canister contains 100% pure argon gas to keep opened bottles of wine fresh up to three times longer.”

Founder Ryan Frederickson joins us with wine glass in hand.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and Casino

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 which is a genuine concern as recovery slowly starts to happen.

Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to again operate for outside/patio dining and limited inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

The recently passed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 importantly includes a $28.6 billion dollar relief fund designated to assist independent local restaurants, bars, food trucks and street vendors. What impact will it actually have? Chef Andrew thoughtfully weighs in.

Chef Andrew also updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, 86 Restaurant Struggle campaign to benefit out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $380,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in serious need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The substantial need, and fundraising, continues…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Michael Rossi, The Ranch Restaurant, Anaheim
Segment Three: Restaurateur Bjoern Risse, Wood & Salt, Long Beach
Segment Four: Victor Gallegos, Vice President & General Manager, Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard Part One
Segment Five: Victor Gallegos, Vice President & General Manager, Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard Part Two
Segment Six: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Los Angeles
Segment Seven: ArT Wine Preserver® Founder Ryan Frederickson
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”