October 24: Manuela, Georgia’s Restaurant, Kessler-Hawk Vineyard, Josh Kopel of Full Comp Media

“Located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles, Manuela unites chef, farmer and artist to create an authentic and original dining experience. Under the direction of Executive Chef Kris Tominaga, the menu celebrates seasonal ingredients sourced from the best farmers and producers in Southern California.” They reopened in July for spacious patio dining in their inner courtyard. “Serving a wide range of vegetables, grains, fish and game, Manuela also features an exemplary bar program which offers classic cocktails using house-made bitters and tonics. Local beers are on tap, while the carefully selected wine list is designed to pair with the smoke and acid flavors at the heart of the Manuela menu.” We entice Chef Kris out of his busy kitchen for a chat.

Georgia’s Restaurant (family-owned) at the Long Beach Exchange and Anaheim Packing House will be offering a special new Breast Bucket & Sides combo all throughout the month of October 2020 in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to help increase awareness and support! The Georgia’s Restaurant new Breast Bucket & Sides combo features a 6-Piece Bucket of Boneless Chicken Breasts (all white meat) and Choice of Two Sides including selections such as their signature Collard Greens, Garlic Rice, and French Fries for just $20 all month long. The special is available at both locations for outdoor patio dining, takeout, delivery and curbside pickup. In other Georgia’s news Nana Gretchen Shoemaker’s “soul-delicious” signature Gumbo is back on the menu in both locations. 2nd generation proprietress Nika-Shoemaker-Machado is our guest.

“The Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines vineyard is located on Hwy 246, 11 miles west of Buellton in the cooler northwestern section of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Fog graces the vineyard most mornings; followed by cool Pacific ocean breezes and bright sunny afternoons. These conditions nurture gentle ripening of Kessler-Haak’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at lower sugars with crisp acidity and the higher levels of spice commonly seen in cool climate viticulture. At Kessler-Haak the approach is that “great wine is produced in the vineyard.” Consequently, they feel the best winemaking approach is a minimalistic one, relying on traditional methods and techniques.”

Grower and Winemaker Dan Kessler artfully pulls the cork on Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines for us.

“Restaurateur, Tech Entrepreneur and Host Josh Kopel has just launched Season 2 of the FULL COMP podcast. The restaurant industry is staring down the barrel of a 60% permanent closure rate due to COVID-19 and Kopel, himself being a casualty, decided it was time to help fix what’s broken. FULL COMP is a weekly show exploring the past and future of the hospitality industry. Provocative and actionable, the show aims to ask the tough questions, supplying listeners with the tools and resources needed to thrive post-pandemic. As Host of FULL COMP, Josh Kopel challenges conventional wisdom by hosting both hospitality professionals and thought leaders from outside of the industry while tackling today’s toughest topics.” Restaurateur Josh Kopel 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 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. Salt is a requirement to sustain human life. It’s also a key ingredient in preserving, cooking and preparing food. Food can actually taste bland without a bit of added salt. The right amount enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there are the variety of finishing salts. We’ll continue the seasoned tutorial started with Chef Andrew last Saturday. It’s again time to “Ask the Chef.”

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

Kris ominaga of Manuela Restaurant“Located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles, Manuela unites chef, farmer and artist to create an authentic and original dining experience. Under the direction of Executive Chef Kris Tominaga, the menu celebrates seasonal ingredients sourced from the best farmers and producers in Southern California.” They reopened in July for spacious patio dining in their inner courtyard.

“Serving a wide range of vegetables, grains, fish and game, Manuela also features an exemplary bar program which offers classic cocktails using house-made bitters and tonics. Local beers are on tap, while the carefully selected wine list is designed to pair with the smoke and acid flavors at the heart of the Manuela menu.”

“Designed by Los Angeles native Matt Winter and named for Manuela Wirth, the restaurant is illuminated and animated by specially commissioned works from artists Paul McCarthy, Mark Bradford and Raymond Pettibon.”

“An L.A. native, Chef Kris brings costal California inspired dishes to the Manuela menu. Highlights include his signature cream biscuits with Steen’s butter and Col. Newsom’s aged country ham, barbecued oysters with charred leek butter, breadcrumbs and parmesan, and Peads & Barnetts pork chop with yellow peach, turnips, mustard seed oil and honey vinegar. Inspiration comes from the abundance of California’s vibrant flavors and colors.” Chef Kris utilizes his own kitchen garden at Manuela growing herbs and vegetables.

We entice Chef Kris out of his busy kitchen for a brief chat

Nika Shoemaker-Machado of Georgias RestaurantsGeorgia’s Restaurant (family-owned) at the Long Beach Exchange and Anaheim Packing House will be offering a special new Breast Bucket & Sides combo all throughout the month of October 2020 in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to help increase awareness and support! The Georgia’s Restaurant new Breast Bucket & Sides combo features a 6-Piece Bucket of Boneless Chicken Breasts (all white meat) and Choice of Two Sides including selections such as their signature Collard Greens, Garlic Rice, and French Fries for just $20 all month long. The special is available at both locations for outdoor patio dining, takeout, delivery and curbside pickup.

In other Georgia’s news Nana Gretchen Shoemaker’s “soul-delicious” signature Gumbo is back on the menu in both locations. “The house Gumbo has been a guest favorite ever since it was first introduced and now guests can again savor Nana’s secret Southern-style Roux featuring Chicken, Andouille Sausage, Shrimp, Crab, and Okra, served over Rice at both locations. To complement this super satisfying meal, guests can add some Soulful Sides such as Collard Greens, Baked Beans, Mac & Cheese, or Nana Gretchen’s Famous Cornbread served with house-made honey butter and enjoy her fresh Peach Cobbler for a sweet finish.”

2nd generation proprietress Nika-Shoemaker-Machado is our guest.

Dan Kessler of Kessler-Hawk Vineyard and WinesThe Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines vineyard is located on Hwy 246, 11 miles west of Buellton in the cooler northwestern section of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Fog graces the vineyard most mornings; followed by cool Pacific ocean breezes and bright sunny afternoons. These conditions nurture gentle ripening of Kessler-Haak’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at lower sugars with crisp acidity and the higher levels of spice commonly seen in cool climate viticulture.

At Kessler-Haak the approach is that “great wine is produced in the vineyard.” Consequently, they feel “the best winemaking approach is a minimalistic one, relying on traditional methods and techniques.”

“The quality of the fruit directly impacts the quality of the wine produced from it.  At Kessler-Haak, they believe winemaking begins in the vineyard and that they are wine growers first and foremost and winemakers second.  Winegrower & Winemaker Dan and Owner/Partner Ellen Haak-Kessler live on and work in the vineyard. Coaxing the best fruit from each vine requires an integral involvement with the grape growing process; being there each day, touching the vines and soil and being hands-on in all aspects of the farming.”

“As winemakers, the goal at Kessler-Haak is to craft great food friendly wines that speak of place and time. The single most important factor influencing this goal is the decision of when to harvest.  They base this decision on a combination of factors including: sugar levels, pH, flavors, visual appearance of the fruit and vines, seed ripeness and the style of wine we are striving to create.  Ripeness in a given year, which ultimately reflects time and place, is the optimal confluence of these factors.”

Grower and Winemaker Dan Kessler pulls the cork on Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines for us.

“Restaurateur, Tech Entrepreneur and Host Josh Kopel has just launched Season 2 of the FULL COMP podcast. The restaurant industry is staring down the barrel of a 60% permanent closure rate due to COVID-19 and Kopel, himself being a casualty, decided it was time to help fix what’s broken. FULL COMP is a weekly show exploring the past and future of the hospitality industry. Provocative and actionable, the show aims to ask the tough questions, supplying listeners with the tools and resources needed to thrive post-pandemic.”

“As Host of FULL COMPJosh Kopel challenges conventional wisdom by hosting both hospitality professionals and thought leaders from outside of the industry while tackling today’s toughest topics. Andrew Zimmern (Surviving the Pandemic), Nina Compton (The Benefits of Community Building), Jet Tila (Becoming a Brand), Joe Sasto (Charting a New Path Forward), Alex Day of Death & Co. (Redefining Cocktail Culture), David Meltzer (Set Yourself Up for Success), Dean Alex Susskind of Cornell University (The Future of Restaurants), and Nyesha Arrington (Breaking the Rules for a Better Life) are just some of the most notable guests from FULL COMP SEASON 1, offering a new perspective on an old business.”

“FULL COMP was a selfish endeavor. I was lost and needed guidance. I’ve used the show as a platform to reach out to the folks I’ve looked up to my entire career, hoping their wisdom could help us chart a new path forward,” says Kopel.

“Kopel, now serving up SEASON 2 of FULL COMP, hits harder and goes deeper. Together with some of the brightest minds from within and outside of hospitality, Kopel works to highlight the issues we need to tackle and work towards long-term solutions. FULL COMP SEASON 2 has a power-packed lineup including Jon Taffer (Bar Rescue), Sam Nazarian (SBE), Seth Godin (Marketing Genius), Jim Collins (Good to Great), Jeremiah Tower (Chez Panisse, Stars), Kat Cole (COO, Focus Brands), Will Guidara (IRC), Johnny Ray Zone (Howlin’ Rays), and many more! States Kopel, “I think Che Guevara said it best ‘A revolution is not an apple that falls when it’s ripe. You have to make it fall.’ The restaurant industry needs a revolution and now is the time.””

“The provocative ideas presented on the show have morphed into action with the release of the FULL COMP Industry Guide to Restructuring. This guide, which is available for free on Kopel’s website, is the culmination of the efforts of some of the brightest minds in the restaurant industry. Strategic partners included Oyster Sunday, Cornell University, Death & Co., Yelp and Jon Taffer, as well as countless insights provided by guests of the show, the result being an informative and actionable resource guide.”

“ When asked about the inspiration for the guide, Kopel responded, “As an independent restaurant owner, I had no interest in reinventing the wheel. I wanted to know what the smartest folks in our industry were going to do, and I’d follow suit. That’s why I started the podcast, but after months of doing the show, I still lacked a cohesive plan to reopen. So, I reached out to the innovators, frontrunners and the folks that were already open, to determine what was working and what wasn’t. This guide is the result of those efforts. One hundred percent of the credit for this project goes to the amazing people and companies that provided this information. This is my path forward. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best I’ve seen out there.””

Restaurateur Josh Kopel joins us.

William, Andrew and Lauren GruelOur 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.

Salt is a requirement to sustain human life. It’s also a key ingredient in preserving, cooking and preparing food. It has a rich history. Food can actually taste bland without a bit of added salt. The right amount enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there are the variety of finishing salts. We’ll continue the seasoned tutorial started with Chef Andrew last Saturday. It’s again time to “Ask the Chef.”

Show 395, October 17, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Anne Marie Panoringan is Voice of OC’s well-informed food columnist. She reports industry news, current events and trends. Panoringan’s prior efforts includes writing about food for 8 years at the OC Weekly in which she interviewed more than 330 chefs, restauranteurs and industry professionals for her weekly “On the Line” column. Anne Marie’s work has been recognized by the Orange County Press Club. Anne Marie joins us to talk about some recent Santa Barbara dining and libation adventures. Coverage of writings (past and future previews) in Voice of OC will include the launch of Rodeo 39 marketplace (it’s a food hall with extras) in Stanton.

Tara Bench (aka “Tara Teaspoon”) has spent more than twenty years in the food publishing industry creating recipes and articles, and food styling for various magazines, books, television, and advertising.  Working as a food editor at Martha Stewart Living, and as the food and entertaining director of Ladies’ Home Journal, she knows how to write recipes for beginners as well as real foodies. Her philosophy is that anyone can cook and enjoy their time in the kitchen, and in her first cookbook, Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends, she proves it.” We’re in the kitchen with Tara Bench.

Doug Margerum (Margerum Wine Company) has been involved in the Santa Barbara food and wine scene for over 35 years. Upon graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1981, his family purchased WINE CASK. In 1994 the WINE CASK became one of 74 restaurants in the world to earn the Wine Spectator Grand Award. Doug sold the WINE CASK in 2007.” “In 2014, Margerum released BARDEN wines – an exploration of cold climate grapes grown in and around the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. BARDEN is Doug’s middle name and its English meaning is “Lives near the boar’s den”… thusly they have adorned the label with an image of the wild boar that is pervasive in the area’s vineyards.” Doug pulls the cork for us on all that is BARDEN wines.

Porto’s Bakery & Café’s famous Tres Leches Milk’N Berries™ cake is now available for cake lovers all over the US to order through Porto’s Bake at Home. A Porto’s all-time favorite, this light & delicate sponge cake is soaked with Tres Leches (signature house blend of condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream and a touch of brandy) filled & finished with whipped cream and fresh berries. Porto’s Bake at Home will next work on rolling out additional cakes in the coming months like their Parisian Chocolate Cake, Red Velvet Cake, Carrot Cake and more. Porto’s Vice President of Community Relations, Betty Porto, joins us to serve the Tres Leches Milk’N BerriesTM  cake.

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. Salt is a key ingredient in cooking and preparing food. It’s also essential for life. The right amount enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there is finishing salt. For the needed advice 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 395, October 17, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur 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…

Salt is a key ingredient in cooking and preparing food. It’s also essential for life. The right amount truly enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there is also finishing salt. For the needed advice (and some intriguing history) we’ll “Ask the Chef.”

We had some unfortunate cell phone reception problems with this popular segment and will resume the informative salt conversation with Chef Andrew on Saturday morning, Oct. 24th.

Play

October 17: Anne Marie Panoringan, Tara Teaspoon, Margerum Wine Company, Porto’s Bakery

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part One
Segment Three: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part Two
Segment Four: Tara Bench with Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends
Segment Five: Doug Margerum of Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara Part One
Segment Six: Doug Margerum of Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara Part Two
Segment Seven: Betty Porto, Vice President of Community Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Cafe
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part Two

Anne Marie Panoringan is Voice of OC’s well-informed food columnist. She reports industry news, current events and trends. Panoringan’s prior efforts includes writing about food for 8 years at the OC Weekly in which she interviewed more than 330 chefs, restauranteurs and industry professionals for her weekly “On the Line” column. Anne Marie’s work has been recognized by the Orange County Press Club. Anne Marie joins us to talk about some recent Santa Barbara dining adventures. Coverage of writings (past and future previews) in Voice of OC will include the Rodeo 39 marketplace (it’s a food hall with extras) in Stanton and the continued popularity of hot chicken.

Tara Bench (aka “Tara Teaspoon”) has spent more than twenty years in the food publishing industry creating recipes and articles, and food styling for various magazines, books, television, and advertising.  Working as a food editor at Martha Stewart Living, and as the food and entertaining director of Ladies’ Home Journal, she knows how to write recipes for beginners as well as real foodies. Her philosophy is that anyone can cook and enjoy their time in the kitchen, and in her first cookbook, Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends, she proves it.” We’re in the kitchen with Tara Bench.

Doug Margerum (Margerum Wine Company) has been involved in the Santa Barbara food and wine scene for over 35 years. Upon graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1981, his family purchased WINE CASK. In 1994 the WINE CASK became one of 74 restaurants in the world to earn the Wine Spectator Grand Award. Doug sold the WINE CASK in 2007.” “In 2014, Margerum released BARDEN wines – an exploration of cold climate grapes grown in and around the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. BARDEN is Doug’s middle name and its English meaning is “Lives near the boar’s den”… thusly they have adorned the label with an image of the wild boar that is pervasive in the area’s vineyards.” Doug pulls the cork for us on all that is BARDEN wines.

Porto’s Bakery & Café’s famous Tres Leches Milk’N Berries™ cake is now available for cake lovers all over the US to order through Porto’s Bake at Home. A Porto’s all-time favorite, this light & delicate sponge cake is soaked with Tres Leches (signature house blend of condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream and a touch of brandy) filled & finished with whipped cream and fresh berries. Porto’s Bake at Home will next work on rolling out additional cakes in the coming months like their Parisian Chocolate Cake, Red Velvet Cake, Carrot Cake and more. Porto’s Vice President of Community Relations, Betty Porto, joins us to serve the Tres Leches Milk’N Berries™  cake.

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. Salt is a key ingredient in cooking and preparing food. The right amount enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there is finishing salt. For the needed advice 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!

Anne Marie Panoringan of Voice of OC at KLAA Studios holding a bottle of Hand Sanitizer from Blinking Owl DistilleryAnne Marie Panoringan is Voice of OC’s well-informed food columnist. She reports industry news, current events and trends. Panoringan’s prior efforts includes writing about food for 8 years at the OC Weekly in which she interviewed more than 330 chefs, restauranteurs and industry professionals for her weekly “On the Line” column. Anne Marie’s work has been recognized by the Orange County Press Club.

Anne Marie joins us to chat about some recent Santa Barbara dining and libation adventures. Coverage of writings (past and future previews) in Voice of OC will include the Rodeo 39 Public Market marketplace (it’s a diverse food hall with extras) in Stanton and the continued (and expanding) popularity of quality hot chicken.

Rodeo 39 is also the home of the Bearded Tang craft brewery (with an already loyal following) where you can view the brewing process. Bearded Tang produces the craft beer styles for Capistrano Brewing Co. located at Heritage Barbecue in San Juan Capistrano.

Anne Marie’s columns can be found on the Voice of OC’s Website. Click on the “Arts & Culture” tab on the top of the Home Page.

Tara BenchTara Bench (aka “Tara Teaspoon”) has spent more than twenty years in the food publishing industry creating recipes and articles, and food styling for various magazines, books, television, and advertising.  Working as a food editor at Martha Stewart Living, and as the food and entertaining director of Ladies’ Home Journal, she knows how to write recipes for beginners as well as real foodies. Her philosophy is that anyone can cook and enjoy their time in the kitchen, and in her first cookbook, Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends, she proves it.”

“Whether you’re a casual cook or a die-hard, classically-trained chef, you’ll have complete success on each and every recipe. She sets you up with flavor descriptions and tips and tricks (including an entire section on kitchen equipment, her favorite tools, and why they are so important).”

“Each chapter is from the heart and inspired by Tara’s family heritage and experiences eating at the best restaurants and tastiest dives in New York City. Create wonderful memories through food you can share with the people who love and inspire you.”

We’re in the kitchen with Tara Bench.

Douglas Barden MargerumDoug Margerum (Margerum Wine Company) has been involved in the Santa Barbara food and wine scene for over 35 years. Upon graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1981, his family purchased WINE CASK. In 1994 the WINE CASK became one of 74 restaurants in the world to earn the Wine Spectator Grand Award. Doug sold the WINE CASK in 2007.”

“In 2014, Margerum released BARDEN wines – an exploration of cold climate grapes grown in and around the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. BARDEN is Doug’s middle name and its English meaning is “Lives near the boar’s den”… thusly they have adorned the label with an image of the wild boar that is pervasive in the area’s vineyards.”

BARDEN Wines Mission Statement: BARDEN is the dream to make the ultimate expression of grapes grown in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA.  Our access to the top vineyards along with the philosophy and knowledge gained over thirty years in the wine business allows us to make world-class wines.  BARDEN’s English meaning is “Lives near the boar’s den” … thusly we have adorned the label with an image of the wild boar that is pervasive in the Sta. Rita Hills.”

“Barden white wines (Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Gris) are barrel fermented in our 55 degree winery and battonaged for an average of 3 months. We allow malolactic fermentation to occur naturally in each individual barrel. The wines are aged in mostly new Ermitage and Françoise Frères 225 liter barrels and 600 liter demi-muids for ten months prior to bottling.”

“Our Pinot Noir (BARDEN) is hand sorted and a percentage (depending on the vintage) is whole cluster fermented. We do a 6-10 day cold soak, with natural (wild) fermentation, and use only free-run wine. We use minimal sulfur during maturation on full lees in mostly new Ermitage and François Frères French oak 225 liter barriques and 300 liter barrels. We bottle a very precise selection of the wine un-fined and unfiltered.”

Doug Margerum joins us to pull the cork on all that is BARDEN wines.

Betty Porto in front of the Porto's Bakery Bread RackPorto’s Bakery & Café’s famous Tres Leches Milk’N Berries™ cake is now available for cake lovers all over the US to order through Porto’s Bake at Home. A Porto’s all-time favorite, this light & delicate sponge cake is soaked with Tres Leches (signature house blend of condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream and a touch of brandy) filled & finished with whipped cream and fresh berries. Porto’s Bake at Home will next work on rolling out additional cakes in the coming months like their Parisian Chocolate Cake, Red Velvet Cake, Carrot Cake and more.

“The Milk’N Berries™ cake debuted in the bakery 10 years ago, becoming their best-selling with over a million sold.  Originally inspired by the popular Latin American Tres Leches dessert, Porto’s Executive Chef and VP Tony Salazar wanted to create an updated version that would appeal to a wider audience by toning down the overtly sweet note that the classic Tres Leches recipe is known for.  The bakery team came up with a unique chiffon process for the sponge to bring a light and airy texture to the cake, adding high quality Mexican vanilla bean and fresh berries to create a balanced more naturally sweet flavor.”

“For the launch of their Porto’s Bake at Home cake line, Porto’s Bakery chose their most popular yet most challenging cake to translate into the new service. The Milk’N Berries™ Bake at Home cake features a twist to the bakery’s original cake showcasing an abundance of fresh whipped cream & berries in between the layers of their signature Tres Leches Cake. The top decoration was adapted to create a more contemporary look made with Porto’s signature whipped cream recipe. To ensure the cake will arrive in perfect condition, the Milk’N’Berries™ is “wrapped” with a customized shipping collar which protects the cake while on its way to the customer.  The cake is packaged with care and shipped frozen. Once defrosted the cake is ready to enjoy with family & friends.”

“Bringing cakes to the Porto’s Bake at Home lineup represents a full circle story for the Porto family and Porto’s Bakery. Rosa Porto, the founder, started her baking career in the 60s by selling cakes out of her home in Cuba to friends and family for special occasions before immigrating to Los Angeles and starting the bakeries.  Now with Bake at Home, Porto’s Bakery is able to ship the cakes directly to people’s homes across the US to celebrate and carry on the inspiring tradition that Rosa Porto started.”

Porto’s Vice President of Community Relations, Betty Porto, joins us to serve the Tres Leches Milk’N Berries™ cake. Betty represents the 2nd generation of proud Porto’s Family ownership.

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur 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.

Salt is a key ingredient in cooking and preparing food. The right amount truly enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there is also finishing salt. For the needed advice we’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part One
Segment Three: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part Two
Segment Four: Tara Bench with Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends
Segment Five: Doug Margerum of Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara Part One
Segment Six: Doug Margerum of Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara Part Two
Segment Seven: Betty Porto, Vice President of Community Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Cafe
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part Two

Show 181, July 23, 2016: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group, Huntington Beach

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamSpecialty salts are appearing everywhere. There are a whole variety of salts to cook and prepare foods with. There are also now pricey finishing salts available. Let’s not forget salt substitutes. It’s all a bit confusing. Our resident chef, Andrew Gruel, is here with some clarity…

In ancient times salt was actually used as currency. Wars were fought over salt.

Chef Andrew points out that salt used for cooking and preserving is processed to remove the minerals. Finishing salts (not used for cooking) are more delicate and unprocessed. They retain the complex flavors of their source such as the pricey fleur de sel French sea salt.

Play

Custardy Apple Squares

I think of this as a “back-pocket recipe,” one I can pull out when I need something quick and wonderful, something I can make on the spur of the moment without trekking to the market. The cake is primarily apples (or pears or mangoes) and the batter, which resembles one you’d use for crepes, has more flavor than you’d imagine the short list of ingredients could deliver and it turns thick and custard-like in the oven. Through some magic of chemistry, the apples, which go into the pan in a mishmash, seem to line themselves up and they come out baked through but retaining just enough structure to give you something to bite into. That it can be served minutes out of the oven makes this the perfect last-minute sweet.

I’ve made this with several kinds of apples and the cake has always been good. In general, I go for juicy apples that are not too soft (Gala and Fujis work well), and if I’ve got a few different kinds on hand, I use them all. I slice the apples on a mandoline or Benriner, tools that make fast work of the job, give you thin slices and allow you to use almost all of the fruit. When you’re finished slicing an apple on one of these, all you’ve got left is a neat rectangle of core.

3 medium juicy,sweet apples, such as Gala orFuji,peeled
1⁄2 cup (68grams)all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1⁄3 cup (67grams) sugar
Pinch of fine sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 tablespoons whole milk at room temperature
2 tablespoons(1ounce; 28 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan.

Slice the apples from top to bottom using a mandoline, Benriner or a sharp knife, turning the fruit as you reach the core. The slices should be about 1/16th inch thick—elegantly thin, but not so thin that they’re transparent and fragile. Discard the cores.

Whisk the flour and baking powder together in a small bowl.

Working in a large bowl with a whisk, beat the eggs, sugar and salt together for about 2 minutes, until the sugar just about dissolves and, more important, the eggs are pale. Whisk in the vanilla, followed by the milk and melted butter. Turn the flour into the bowl and stir with the whisk until the batter is smooth. Add the apples to the bowl, switch to a flexible spatula gently fold the apples into the batter, turning everything around until each thin slice is coated in batter. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top as evenly as you can—it will be bumpy; that’s its nature.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until golden brown, uniformly puffed — make sure the middle of the cake has risen—and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes.

Using a long chefs knife, cut the cake into 8 squares in the pan (being careful not to damage the pan), or unmold the cake onto a rack, flip it onto a plate and cut into squares. Either way, give the squares a dusting of confectioners’ sugar before serving, if you’d like.

Bonne Idées

You can add a couple of tablespoons of dark rum, Calvados, applejack or Armagnac or a drop (really just a drop) of pure almond extract to the batter. If you have an orange or a lemon handy, you can grate the zest over the sugar and rub the ingredients together until they’re fragrant. You can also change the fruit. Pears are perfect and a combination of apples and pears even better. Or make the cake with 2 firm mangoes—the texture will be different, but still good—or very thinly sliced quinces. Finally, if you want to make this look  a little dressier, you can warm some apple jelly in a microwave and spread a thin layer of it over the top with a pastry brush.

Text: Excerpted from BAKING CHEZ MOI, (c) 2014 by Dorie Greenspan. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Photos: (c) Alan Richardson

Show 57, January 18, 2013: Chef Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris of “SoCal Restaurant Show”

Chef Jet Tila host of the SoCal Restaurant ShowWe receive intriguing food related questions via social media…

Today Chef Jet is answering a sampling of those inquiries on the air. He’ll weigh-in on salt in food, the new regulation in California that food handlers touching raw food products must wear gloves, and the Letter Grade rating system for restaurants in effect in many California counties.

This will definitely get interesting…

Play

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake by Chef Elizabeth Whittby Chef Elizabeth Whitt

Makes one 9 or 10 inch cheesecake or 1  9×13 dish

For Filling:
3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups brown sugar
2 lbs cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups pureed pumpkin (canned or homemade see below)
1/4 sour cream
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
5 eggs

For crust:
10 whole graham crackers, crumbled
1/4 cup pecans
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp. melted butter

For Topping:
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup candied or regular pecans, chopped

Crust: Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare crust in a food processor. Pulse graham crackers until crumbled evenly, then add nuts, sugar and salt and pulse a few times. Pour in melted butter slowly while pulsing. Transfer to a 9-inch spring form pan and evenly smooth crumb mixture, leaving about a one-inch space between the crumb mixture and top of pan.  Bake for 10 minutes in center of oven on a rimmed baking tray. Remove from oven.

Filling: Cream the room temperature cream cheese together with the sugar in an electric mixer using the paddle attachment on high speed for about 1-3 minutes until smooth scraping down the sides frequently. Next add pumpkin and mix until combined. Add sour cream, spices and vanilla and mix until combined. Add in eggs one at a time and do not over mix, just until combined. Pour into crust.

Bake for 10 minutes on a rimmed baking tray at 350 and then reduce oven temperature to 325 F and bake for another 1 hour. Turn off the oven and open the oven door.  At this point the center should jiggle but not be soupy. Let the cheesecake sit in the oven with the door open or ajar for 15 minutes, remove and let cool at room temperature until cool.  Refrigerate 4 hours before serving. Pour sweetened sour cream and pecans over the top just before serving.

Homemade pumpkin puree: Use a 3-4 pound sugar pie or baking pumpkin. Cut off stem and cut in half carefully using a rocking motion. Remove seeds and keep to toast or discard.  Sprinkle with some salt and place cut side down on a parchment covered baking tray. Bake in oven at 350 F for 1 hour. Turn off oven and let sit for an hour or two.  When cool, scrape flesh from the skin and mash with a fork until smooth or place in a food processor.

Pumpkin Risotto

by Chef Elizabeth Whitt

Serves 8

1 onion, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil, divided
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cups Arborio rice
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup white wine
5-6 cups chicken broth
1 small baking pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1-2 inch pieces
1/2 cup grated parmesan or pecorino
1/4 cup cream (optional)

Heat broth in a sauce pan.  Bring to a boil, add pumpkin or butternut squash and a few pinches of salt, turn off heat and let sit until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Remove squash with a slotted spoon and set aside until rice is done. Heat a 4-to-5-quart saucepan over medium heat and add onion and 1 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. vegetable oil, salt and pepper. Cook until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.  When onion is tender, add the rice and cook stirring frequently for about 1 minute, to coat the grains of rice. Add the wine and begin adding broth 1-2 cups at a time and continue to stir often. Your liquid should be at a constant simmer so adjust your stirring or your heat to achieve tiny bubbles. Once the rice has absorbed most of the liquid add more.  Begin tasting the risotto after you have added half of the broth. When it is cooked it should be tender but not mushy. Continue adding broth until it has reached correct consistency, about 20 minutes.  Add cheese, cream and 1 tbsp. butter and stir until combined.  Fold in squash, check for seasoning and serve.

Oven Baked Method: Heat a large oven safe skillet or Dutch oven over high heat. Add oil, onion, salt and pepper and sauté until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add rice, more salt, white wine, cubed but uncooked butternut squash and 4 cups chicken broth and stir until combined. Bring broth to a boil, cover and bake in oven at 400 until rice is done, about 15-25 minutes. Check cooking after 15 minutes and add more broth if needed. When rice is just or almost done, add in cheese, butter and cream if desired and let rest 10 minutes and serve.

Thai-Style Carrot Soup with Chrysanthemum Leaves

Melissa's World Variety Produce Yields 8 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped unpeeled fresh ginger
3½ cups fat-free, low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup light coconut milk
1/3 cup fat-free evaporated milk
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar or maple syrup
2 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon Asian (roasted) sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon dried red chile flakes
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh chrysanthemum leaves

In a large pan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onions, celery, garlic, and ginger; cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Add the broth, coconut milk, evaporated milk, lime juice, peanut butter, syrup, vinegar, fish sauce, sesame oil, coriander, turmeric, and chile flakes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the carrots are very tender. Remove from the heat.

Using a ladle, remove 1 cup of the broth and set aside. Process the remaining soup in batches in a food processor or blender until smooth; hold the lid down with a potholder if using a blender. Taste and season with salt and pepper. If the soup is too thick, stir in all or some of the reserved broth.

If making it ahead, refrigerate, covered, for up to 24 hours. Gently simmer on low heat until reheated. Ladle into soup bowls. Garnish each serving with chopped chrysanthemum leaves.

Meatless Alternative: Omit the fish sauce and substitute soy sauce.