Show 358, February 2, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Now an enticing preview of this Saturday’s tempting 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.

Lots going on in the wide world of specialty produce. Our own produce guru, Robert Schueller of Mellissa’s, joins us to chat about captivating tends in fruits and veggies for the new decade. Just in time for serious Big Game Sunday snacking is the Tropical Avocado as the base for that special guacamole.

Why is Bordeaux region of Southwest France considered one of the most prestigious wine regions in the world ? Our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange, artfully pulls the cork for us on this. Last week in Los Angeles was the annual tasting of the soon-to-be-released 2017 vintage organized by the Union Des Grands Crus de Bordeaux.

For the 26th year Wolfgang Puck Catering will design and prepare the exquisite cuisine for The Oscars Governors Ball at Hollywood & Highland which is held after the conclusion of the Oscar broadcast in the Dolby Theater. For this year the menu will be 70 per cent plant-based with the remaining 30 per cent of the menu vegetarian, meat and fish selections. The menu was developed by Wolfgang Puck and Eric Klein, Senior Vice President of Culinary, Wolfgang Puck Catering. Chef Eric takes a break from his busy kitchens to join us.

One of the best ways to come to know a city is through its food. When we go to a new city we’ve found our best insiders introduction is by partaking of a highly regarded, local food walking tour. One of the premier food walking tour operators locally is the long-established Melting Pot Food Tours. The principals are Lisa and Diane Scalia (sisters.) The Scalias hospitably lead their tour overview for us.

The Santa Barbara Culinary Experience (SBCE), in partnership with The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, is organizing an expansive citywide calendar of events for the three-day weekend on March 13-15, 2020. The SBCE will be an epicurean celebration of both Julia Child and Santa Barbara’s culinary scene involving chefs, mixologists, restaurateurs and the local community, with guest appearances from nationally renowned food and beverage talents. Eric Spivey, Chair of the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts is our guest with the enticing preview.

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

Play

Show 358, February 2, 2020: Preview of Santa Barbara Culinary Experience Part One

Eric Spivey of the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary ArtsThe Santa Barbara Culinary Experience (SBCE), in partnership with The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, is organizing an expansive citywide calendar of events for the three-day weekend on March 13-15, 2020. The SBCE will be an epicurean celebration of both Julia Child and Santa Barbara’s culinary scene involving chefs, mixologists, restaurateurs and the local community, with guest appearances from nationally renowned food and beverage talents.

The late cookbook author, chef and TV personality Julia Child was passionate about teaching others about the culinary arts—and was an aficionado of Santa Barbara, as a longtime resident herself. The Santa Barbara Culinary Experience aims to gather the community and visitors to celebrate the bounty of Santa Barbara’s abundant resources found in its local farms, ranches, vineyards and ocean, inspired by the spirit of Julia and her legacy of culinary education.

Eric Spivey, Chair of the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts is our guest with the enticing preview.

Play

Show 358, February 2, 2020: Preview of Santa Barbara Culinary Experience Part Two

Eric Spivey of the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary ArtsThe Santa Barbara Culinary Experience (SBCE) is a world-class three-day event celebrated throughout greater Santa Barbara from March 13-15, 2020. Immersed in the American Riviera and showcasing a taste of Santa Barbara by bringing together local and national talent in the spirit of Julia Child, the public will enjoy Santa Barbara—Julia’s final home—with its dynamic food and wine scene.”

“In partnership with The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, participating restaurants, bars and hotels across the city and waterfront will offer their inspired spin on classic Julia Child dishes, signature Julia and Paul Child cocktails, educational programming, memorable stays, tours, talks and other creative programming, all to benefit The Julia Child Foundation.”

“The net proceeds of the Santa Barbara Culinary Experience will flow to The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts. The majority of those funds will be used to support a range of nonprofits in Santa Barbara County. Click here for more information on the foundation.”

“The mission of The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts is to honor and further Julia’s legacy, which centers on the importance of understanding where food comes from, what makes for good food, and the value of cooking. Headquartered in Santa Barbara, California, the Foundation is a nonprofit organization, which makes grants to support research in culinary history, scholarships for professional culinary training, food writing and media, as well as professional development and food literacy programs.”

“Over the last decade, the Foundation has made more than $2 million in grants to other non-profits. In 2015, the Foundation created the Julia Child Award, presented at an annual Food History Gala hosted by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. This annual award honors an individual who has made a profound and significant difference in the way America cooks, eats and drinks and is accompanied by a $50,000 grant from the Foundation to a food-related non-profit selected by the recipient.”

Learn more about the Julia Child Foundation.

Eric Spivey, Chair of the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, is our guest and continues with the enticing preview.

Play

February 1: Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Wine Exchange, Wolfgang Puck Catering, Melting Pot Food Tours, Santa Barbara Culinary Experience

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Robert Schueller of Melissa’s – 2020 Produce Trends
Segment Three: Kyle Meyer, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana – Bordeaux, Tasting the 2017 Vintage
Segment Four: Executive Chef Eric Klein, Senior Vice President, Culinary, Wolfgang Puck Catering – Previewing the Oscars Governors Ball
Segment Five: Melting Pot Food Tours Part One
Segment Six: Melting Pot Food Tours Part Two
Segment Seven: Preview of Santa Barbara Culinary Experience Part One
Segment Eight: Preview of Santa Barbara Culinary Experience Part Two

Now an enticing preview of this Saturday’s tempting 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.

Lots going on in the wide world of specialty produce. Our own produce guru, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s, joins us to chat about captivating tends in fruits and veggies for the new decade. Just in time for serious Big Game Sunday snacking is the Tropical Avocado as the base for that special guacamole.

Why is Bordeaux region of Southwest France considered one of the most prestigious wine regions in the world ? Our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange, artfully pulls the cork for us on this. Last week in Los Angeles was the annual tasting of the soon-to-be-released 2017 vintage organized by the Union Des Grands Crus de Bordeaux.

For the 26th year Wolfgang Puck Catering will design and prepare the exquisite cuisine for The Oscars Governors Ball at Hollywood & Highland which is held after the conclusion of the Oscar broadcast in the Dolby Theater. For this year the menu will be 70 per cent plant-based with the remaining 30 per cent of the menu vegetarian, meat and fish selections. The menu was developed by Wolfgang Puck and Eric Klein, Senior Vice President of Culinary, Wolfgang Puck Catering. Chef Eric takes a break from his busy kitchens to join us.

One of the best ways to come to know a city is through its food. When we go to a new city we’ve found our best insiders introduction is by partaking of a highly regarded, local food walking tour. One of the premier food walking tour operators locally is the long-established Melting Pot Food Tours. The principals are Lisa and Diane Scalia (sisters.) The Scalias hospitably lead their tour overview for us.

The Santa Barbara Culinary Experience (SBCE), in partnership with The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, is organizing an expansive citywide calendar of events for the three-day weekend on March 13-15, 2020. The SBCE will be an epicurean celebration of both Julia Child and Santa Barbara’s culinary scene involving chefs, mixologists, restaurateurs and the local community, with guest appearances from nationally renowned food and beverage talents. Eric Spivey, Chair of the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts is our guest with the enticing preview.

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

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioLots going on in the wide world of specialty produce. Our own produce guru, Robert Schueller of Mellissa’s, joins us to chat about captivating trends in produce for the new decade.

Just in time for serious Big Game Sunday snacking is the Tropical Avocado as the base for that special guacamole. Also on the menu are Sapurana Mangoes, Jackfruit Pods, Organic EZ Open Young Coconuts (available year-round,) Charentais Melons and lots more…

“Melissa’s Tropical Avocados are a large green-skinned, water-based variety that is available year-round out of the Dominican Republic. The pale green flesh of the fruit features that classic creamy avocado flavor you know and love but has a slightly firmer texture when compared to Hass. The firm flesh of Melissa’s Tropical Avocados makes them great for slicing and adding to sandwiches or salads, or dice and mix into your favorite ceviche recipes. The large size makes this an excellent variety for families – you can spend less time prepping multiple avocados when you can use one Tropical Avocado. You’ll appreciate the slow oxidation. Use part of the avocado, and then store the rest without it turning brown too quickly.”

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeWhy is Bordeaux region of Southwest France considered one of the most prestigious wine regions in the world? Our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange, artfully pulls the cork for us on this. Last week in Los Angeles was the eagerly anticipated annual tasting of the soon-to-be-released 2017 vintage organized by the Union Des Grands Crus de Bordeaux.

The Union is an affiliation of the best Bordeaux producers from all of the major Bordeaux winegrowing regions including Margaux, St Julien, Pauillac, St Estèphe, Listrac, Moulis, Haut-Médoc, Graves, Pessac-Léognan, Saint-Emilion, Pomerol, Sauternes and Barsac! More than 60 châteaux attended and winemakers and owners poured over 100 wines from the exciting, soon-to-be-released 2017 vintage.

Eric Klein of Wolfgang Puck CateringFor the 26th year Wolfgang Puck Catering will create the exquisite cuisine for the 92nd Oscars Governors Ball at Hollywood & Highland which is held after the conclusion of the Oscar broadcast in the Dolby Theater. For this year the menu will be 70 per cent plant-based with the remaining 30 per cent of the menu vegetarian, meat and fish selections. The standout menu was developed by Wolfgang Puck and Eric Klein, Senior Vice President of Culinary & Partner, Wolfgang Puck Catering.

The incredible menu includes Amuse Bouche, Tray-Passed Hors d’Oeuvre, Passed Small Plates (Hot & Cold,) Chef Action Station, Sweets, Boozy Milkshakes, Housemade Valrhona Chocolate Bars, and a Dessert Chef Action Station featuring scooped to order Sorbets on Chinese Donuts.

Since 2013, the Governors Ball has been dedicated to sustainable farming, with more than 50 per cent plant-based and vegetarian dishes offered. The extensive menus have taken into account a number of food allergies and lifestyle eating choices.

Chef Eric Klein takes a brief break from his incredibly busy kitchens to join us.

Scalia Sisters of Melting Pot Food ToursOne of the best ways to come to know a city is through its food. When we go to a new city we’ve found our best insiders introduction is by partaking of a highly regarded, local food walking tour. One of the premier food walking tour operators locally is the long-established Melting Pot Food Tours. The principals are Lisa and Diane Scalia (sisters.) The Scalias hospitably lead the background tour for us.

“Melting Pot Food Tours offers delicious food tasting tours throughout the LA area that will indulge your taste buds and delight your senses! Whether you’re looking to explore the Original Farmers Market and the eclectic Third Street area of mid-city Los Angeles, discover the vibrant past of Old Pasadena, or enjoy a fabulous guided tour through the flavors of East Los Angeles, Melting Pot Food Tours will be your guide.”

One of Melting Pot’s proprietary tours is the La Espanola Meats VIP Tour and Paella Lunch. This tour, dining and shopping experience is produced by Melting Pot Food Tours in cooperation with the Dona Juana family of La Espanola Meats in Harbor City, CA. “Our two-generation family of hosts are the premier purveyors of fine, authentic Spanish charcuterie, cheeses, wines, and a myriad of imported specialties.”

“The experience begins with an exclusive tour of La Espanola’s manufacturing facilities, where premium sausages and cured meats are crafted with recipes procured from Spain’s finest master artisans. Following the tour, a specially-prepared patio lunch of tapas and paella is served with wine, plus homemade churros with dark chocolate dipping sauce.”

Eric Spivey of the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary ArtsThe Santa Barbara Culinary Experience (SBCE), in partnership with The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts,  is organizing an expansive citywide calendar of events for the three-day weekend on March 13-15, 2020. The SBCE will be an epicurean celebration of both Julia Child and Santa Barbara’s culinary scene involving chefs, mixologists, restaurateurs and the local community, with guest appearances from nationally renowned food and beverage talents.

The late cookbook author, chef and TV personality Julia Child was passionate about teaching others about the culinary arts—and was an aficionado of Santa Barbara, as a longtime resident herself. The Santa Barbara Culinary Experience aims to gather the community and visitors to celebrate the bounty of Santa Barbara’s abundant resources found in its local farms, ranches, vineyards and ocean, inspired by the spirit of Julia and her legacy of culinary education.

The Santa Barbara Culinary Experience (SBCE) is a world-class three-day event celebrated throughout greater Santa Barbara from March 13-15, 2020. Immersed in the American Riviera and showcasing a taste of Santa Barbara by bringing together local and national talent in the spirit of Julia Child, the public will enjoy Santa Barbara—Julia’s final home—with its dynamic food and wine scene.”

“In partnership with The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, participating restaurants, bars and hotels across the city and waterfront will offer their inspired spin on classic Julia Child dishes, signature Julia and Paul Child cocktails, educational programming, memorable stays, tours, talks and other creative programming, all to benefit The Julia Child Foundation.”

“The net proceeds of the Santa Barbara Culinary Experience will flow to The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts.  The majority of those funds will be used to support a range of nonprofits in Santa Barbara County. Click here for more information on the foundation.”

“The mission of The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts is to honor and further Julia’s legacy, which centers on the importance of understanding where food comes from, what makes for good food, and the value of cooking. Headquartered in Santa Barbara, California, the Foundation is a nonprofit organization, which makes grants to support research in culinary history, scholarships for professional culinary training, food writing and media, as well as professional development and food literacy programs.”

“Over the last decade, the Foundation has made more than $2 million in grants to other non-profits. In 2015, the Foundation created the Julia Child Award, presented at an annual Food History Gala hosted by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. This annual award honors an individual who has made a profound and significant difference in the way America cooks, eats and drinks and is accompanied by a $50,000 grant from the Foundation to a food-related non-profit selected by the recipient.” Learn more about the Julia Child Foundation.

Eric Spivey, Chair of the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts is our guest with the enticing preview.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Robert Schueller of Melissa’s – 2020 Produce Trends
Segment Three: Kyle Meyer, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana – Bordeaux, Tasting the 2017 Vintage
Segment Four: Executive Chef Eric Klein, Senior Vice President, Culinary, Wolfgang Puck Catering – Previewing the Oscars Governors Ball
Segment Five: Melting Pot Food Tours Part One
Segment Six: Melting Pot Food Tours Part Two
Segment Seven: Preview of Santa Barbara Culinary Experience Part One
Segment Eight: Preview of Santa Barbara Culinary Experience Part Two

Show 261, February 17, 2018: Laura Kath, Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau

Laura Kath of Mariah MarketingNew 2018 Take Amtrak to Solvang” offer nets savings and specials at Hotels, Restaurants, Wine-Tasting, Museums and activities. Known as California’s Denmark, Solvang is 125 miles north of Los Angeles and 300 miles south of San Francisco and served via Amtrak Thruway Bus service connecting to trains from Los Angeles and Santa Barbara as well as San Luis Obispo six times daily (3 northbound, 3 southbound).

The Amtrak bus stop is located in the heart of the village at Solvang Park, 1630 Mission Drive—within easy strolling distance to 16 hotels, 35 restaurants, 22 wine-tasting rooms, 150 boutique shops, 5 authentic Danish bakeries, 6 museums and many more activities.

Solvang’s long-time Media Relations Director Laura Kath is our guest.

Play

Show 261, February 17, 2018: Laura Kath, Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau Continues…

Laura Kath of Mariah MarketingNew 2018 Take Amtrak to Solvang” offer nets savings and specials at Hotels, Restaurants, Wine Tasting, Museums and activities. Known as California’s Denmark, Solvang is 125 miles north of Los Angeles and 300 miles south of San Francisco and served via Amtrak Thruway Bus service connecting to trains from Los Angeles and Santa Barbara as well as San Luis Obispo six times daily (3 northbound, 3 southbound).

Solvang’s long-time Media Relations Director Laura Kath continues…

Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Tracy Farhad reveals, “Just show your current Amtrak train/bus ticket to Solvang at participating businesses and you’ll enjoy rewards for taking a vacation from your car. It’s so easy to be car free in Solvang year-round and enjoy our warm, Scandinavian hospitality with no passport required!”

Here are the current participating Solvang businesses in the 2018 “Take Amtrak to Solvang & Show Your Ticket for Specials” offer, valid now through December 31, 2018.

First, be sure to visit the Solvang Visitor Center, 1639 Copenhagen Drive, open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily (behind the Solvang Park bus stop) for FREE 2018 Destination Guide, maps, savings coupons and gift of audio ear buds—perfect for enjoying by downloading the new Solvang Heritage Walking Tour App.

Be sure to check back often since more are being added frequently to this list: Atterdag Inn; Grapeline Wine Tours; Hamlet Inn; Holiday Inn Express; Home Connection; Ingeborg’s Danish Chocolates; King Frederik Inn; Segway Tours of Solvang; Solvang Antiques; Solvang Restaurant; The Good Life Cellar; Wandering Dog Wine Bar; Wheel Fun Rentals and Wildling Museum of Art & Nature.

Play

Show 184, August 13, 2016: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Brea, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, most recently, The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for Rams and USC Football, is back as today’s Co-Host. In May in Chicago during the National Restaurant Association’s annual conclave he received Nation’s Restaurant News’ Trendsetter MenuMaster Award for Slapfish.

Now a (hopefully) tantalizing preview of Saturday’s overloaded show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a pretty good thing…

Rachel Klemek’s Blackmarket Bakery is a home-grown institution in The Camp in Costa Mesa and now in Santa Ana, too, in the Santora Building. Rachel also has a pop-up at The OC Fair in the OC Promenade. It’s time for our annual visit with baker, Rachel Klemek.

The Bellwether is the debut restaurant (launched in early August of 2015) and bar from Executive Chef/Owner Ted Hopson and Beverage Director/Owner Ann-Marie Verdi. The market-inspired menu aims to capitalize on the abundance of California produce in order to showcase one-of-a-kind food and drink menus that feature family style shareable dishes, unique infusion based cocktails, and a hand-selected list of beer and wine. Chef Ted and Ann-Marie are our guests.

Newly launched in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone is Acme Hospitality’s Helena Avenue Bakery. It’s primarily a small-production, wholesale bakery operation but the proudly, from-scratch operation features a small retail counter open to the public daily from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Acme Hospitality’s Sherry Villanueva joins us.

Ascension Cellars is a premium, boutique winery specializing in barrel-select, handcrafted Rhône and Bordeaux-style wines from the central coast of California. Ascension Cellars began when friends were enjoying a glass of wine together one summer day.  “You know, this is good,” they said, “but there is something missing.”  And so, the quest for something better began.  Winemaker & Proprietor Erick Allen is our guest.

It’s that most wonderful time of the year – Hatch Chile season! Grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico they are only available fresh for a few shorts weeks annually, now through mid-September. Joining us for an informative update with all the provocative Hatch Chile 411, including where to find sure-to-please recipes, is our resident Produce authority, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce. Let the roasting begin.

Tilapia is particularly appreciated in the Asian and Hispanic communities but needs more love in the United States. It’s flavorful, easy-to-prepare and value priced. It’s been called the “aqua-chicken.” Our resident seafood authority and Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, provides the informed perspective with no fish tales.

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Play

Show 184, August 13, 2016: Sherry Villanueva, Acme Hospitality, Helena Avenue Bakery, Santa Barbara

Sherry VillanuevaNewly launched in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone is Acme Hospitality’s (The Lark, Lucky Penny, Les Marchands and Santa Barbara Wine Collective) Helena Avenue Bakery. It’s primarily a small-production, wholesale bakery operation but the proudly, from-scratch operation features a small retail counter open to the public daily from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

“It’s exciting to see the growth in high quality businesses opening up in the Funk Zone. The need for a wholesome bakery that appeals to people of all ages became quite clear to us as the neighborhood continues to unfold,” states Sherry Villanueva. “Having a bakery was a logical progression for us. The key ingredient was putting together the right talent, and we have a passionate and talented team. We’ve been serving the donuts, bagels, scones, muffins and cookies at Lucky Penny for several months now and they’ve been a huge hit.”

The bakery allows visitors to observe the chefs at work as they hand-shape baguettes, breads and pastries behind over-sized glass walls. The bakers’ ovens and state-of-the art equipment are exposed to the public, integrating modern machinery into the original architecture of the notable warehouse.

The entrance to the bakery is accessed through a shared door of the Santa Barbara Wine Collective. As guests enter, they are greeted by the inviting Picnic Counter which serves as the local shop for artfully displayed breads, pastries, sandwiches and salads prepared fresh daily.

Acme Hospitality’s Sherry Villanueva joins us.

Play

August 13: Blackmarket Bakery, The Bellwether, Helena Avenue Bakery, Ascension Cellars, Melissa’s Hatch Chile Season

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Rachel Klemek, Blackmarket Bakery, Costa Mesa and Santa Ana
Segment Three: Chef Ted Hopson & Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi, The Bellwether, Studio City
Segment Four: Sherry Villanueva, Acme Hospitality, Helena Avenue Bakery, Santa Barbara
Segment Five: Erick Allen, Winemaker and Proprietor, Ascension Cellars, Paso Robles
Segment Six: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Hatch Chile Season Part One
Segment Seven: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Hatch Chile Season Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish – In Defense of Tilapia

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Brea, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, most recently, The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for Rams and USC Football, is back as today’s Co-Host. In May in Chicago during the National Restaurant Association’s annual conclave he received Nation’s Restaurant News’ Trendsetter MenuMaster Award for Slapfish.

Now a (hopefully) tantalizing preview of Saturday’s overloaded show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a pretty good thing…

Rachel Klemek’s Blackmarket Bakery is a home-grown institution in The Camp in Costa Mesa and now in Santa Ana, too, in the Santora Building. Rachel also has a pop-up at The OC Fair in the OC Promenade. It’s time for our annual visit with baker, Rachel Klemek.

The Bellwether is the debut restaurant (launched in early August of 2015) and bar from Executive Chef/Owner Ted Hopson and Beverage Director/Owner Ann-Marie Verdi. The market-inspired menu aims to capitalize on the abundance of California produce in order to showcase one-of-a-kind food and drink menus that feature family style shareable dishes, unique infusion based cocktails, and a hand-selected list of beer and wine. Chef Ted and Ann-Marie are our guests.

Newly launched in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone is Acme Hospitality’s Helena Avenue Bakery. It’s primarily a small-production, wholesale bakery operation but the proudly, from-scratch operation features a small retail counter open to the public daily from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Acme Hospitality’s Sherry Villanueva joins us.

Ascension Cellars is a premium, boutique winery specializing in barrel-select, handcrafted Rhône and Bordeaux-style wines from the central coast of California. Ascension Cellars began when friends were enjoying a glass of wine together one summer day.  “You know, this is good,” they said, “but there is something missing.”  And so, the quest for something better began.  Winemaker & Proprietor Erick Allen is our guest.

It’s that most wonderful time of the year – Hatch Chile season! Grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico they are only available fresh for a few shorts weeks annually, now through mid-September. Joining us for an informative update with all the Hatch Chile 411, including where to find sure-to-please recipes, is our resident Produce authority, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce. Let the roasting begin.

Tilapia is particularly appreciated in the Asian and Hispanic communities but needs more love in the United States. It’s flavorful, easy-to-prepare and value priced. It’s been called the “aqua-chicken.” Our resident seafood authority and Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, provides the informed perspective with no fish tales.

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Rachel Klemek of Blackmarket Bakery and the CampRachel Klemek’s Blackmarket Bakery is a home-grown institution in The Camp in Costa Mesa and now in Santa Ana, too, in the Santora Building. Rachel also has a pop-up at The OC Fair in the OC Promenade through August 14th. It’s time for our annual visit with baker, Rachel Klemek.

Chef Rachel, grew up in the South, influenced by her two sugar-loving Grandmas. Baking and eating cookies, Bojangles (biscuits), breads and other delicacies were forms of communication, a way of showing — and sharing — family love.  After experimentation and hands on experience in the industry, she attended the Culinary Institute of America, Napa Valley, in Baking & Pastry, graduating at the top of her class.

In 2004, she struck out on her own, founding Blackmarket Bakery in an inauspicious industrial space in Irvine, CA. Since then, her product line, legend and lore have grown. Her incredible cakes, cookies, brownies made from wine flour and fresh breads are just a few items that showcase Chef Rachel’s culinary playfulness.

Furthering her goal of empowering the community with quality, Blackmarket Bakery offers a selection of fresh, whole-food based items that are pleasing to the body and the mind. By using fundamentals – butter, flour, sugar, eggs (all black market goods during WWII) – Chef Rachel focuses on delivering what the community is missing.

Ann Marie Verdi and Ted Hopson of the BellwetherThe Bellwether is the debut restaurant (launched in early August of 2015) and bar from Executive Chef/Owner Ted Hopson and Beverage Director/Owner Ann-Marie Verdi. The market-inspired menu aims to capitalize on the abundance of California produce in order to showcase one-of-a-kind food and drink menus that feature family style shareable dishes, unique infusion based cocktails, and a hand-selected list of beer and wine.

Equal attention is warranted for the thoughtful beverage program created by Ann-Marie Verdi (also formerly of Father’s Office) who has worked closely with Chef Hopson to create complementary cocktails infused with much of the same seasonal produce found in the menu.

“Our years of combined industry experience have impacted every decision we have made throughout this process and seeing our ideas turn into reality has been incredibly rewarding,” says Hopson. “We focused on creating the type of experience we would want as guests, and we couldn’t be more excited to be able to share that with everyone !”

Chef Ted and Ann-Marie are our guests.

Sherry VillanuevaNewly launched in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone is Acme Hospitality’s Helena Avenue Bakery. It’s primarily a small-production, wholesale bakery operation but the proudly, from-scratch operation features a small retail counter open to the public daily from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

“It’s exciting to see the growth in high quality businesses opening up in the Funk Zone.  The need for a wholesome bakery that appeals to people of all ages became quite clear to us as the neighborhood continues to unfold,” states Sherry Villanueva. “Having a bakery was a logical

progression for us. The key ingredient was putting together the right talent, and we have a passionate and talented team. We’ve been serving the donuts, bagels, scones, muffins and cookies at Lucky Penny for several months now and they’ve been a huge hit.”

The bakery allows visitors to observe the chefs at work as they hand-shape baguettes, breads and pastries behind over-sized glass walls. The bakers’ ovens and state-of-the art equipment are exposed to the public, integrating modern machinery into the original architecture of the notable warehouse.

The entrance to the bakery is accessed through a shared door of the Santa Barbara Wine Collective. As guests enter, they are greeted by the inviting Picnic Counter which serves as the local shop for artfully displayed breads, pastries, sandwiches and salads prepared fresh daily.

Acme Hospitality’s Sherry Villanueva joins us.

Erick AllenAscension Cellars is a premium, boutique winery specializing in barrel-select, handcrafted Rhône and Bordeaux-style wines from the central coast of California.

Ascension Cellars began when friends were enjoying a glass of wine together one summer day.  “You know, this is good,” they said, “but there is something missing.”  And so, the quest for something better began.  They wanted wines with elegance, body, and grace that stimulated the senses.  They wanted wines that they would be proud to offer to their family and friends.

What followed was good fortune by the barrel. Vast support and inspiration came not only from knowledgeable mentors in Lake Arrowhead, who have been making wine together for decades, but also from Paso Robles winemakers who gave so generously of their time and expertise.

“We source our grapes and make our wine at Cass Vineyard. We are inspired by their focus on low yield, premium quality fruit as well as the impeccable care of their vineyards. Together, we share a love of the environment and promote sustainability of nature’s resources.”

“Our love of French Rhône and Bordeaux wines influence every wine we craft. We believe in a limited, light-handed approach to winemaking, allowing the true typicity of each varietal and the terroir of the vineyard to shine through as the star of each vintage, preserving the wine’s link to its place of origin. This allows us to create wines that are distinctive and hypnotic with personality, charm, balance and grace.”

“We embrace the use of stainless steel, cold core fermentation for our white wines, showcasing the floral tropical notes, fruit flavors, bright minerality and acidity of each varietal. Once our white wines are blended, we preserve these qualities by aging the wines in neutral, French oak barrels with limited contact to oxygen prior to bottling.”

“We barrel age our red wines for two years in French and American Appalachian Oak barrels where the use of new oak is done sparingly. We blend our Rhône and Bordeaux varietals to produce wines that are more complex, better balanced, and richer than single, varietal wines.”

Winemaker & Proprietor Erick Allen is our guest.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioIt’s that most wonderful time of the year – Hatch Chile season! Grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico they are only available fresh for a few shorts weeks annually, now through mid-September.

Joining us for an informative update with all the Hatch Chile 411, including where to find sure-to-please recipes, is our resident Produce authority, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce. Let the roasting begin.

Harvested from fertile soil along the Rio Grande, Hatch Chiles thrive in the river valley’s combination of nutrient-rich soil, intense sunlight, and cool desert nights. The peppers develop thick walls and meaty, flavorful flesh unlike any other chile.

Because their growing season is short, Hatch Chiles are typically bought in bulk, roasted immediately, and frozen for use throughout the year. Nutritionally speaking, a single fresh medium-size green chile has as much Vitamin C as six oranges. Hot chile peppers are believed to burn calories by triggering a thermodynamic response in the body that speeds metabolism.

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

Connoisseurs and chefs from all over the globe have adopted Hatch Chiles as a condiment of choice. Many a home cook and celebrity chef have gone further, incorporating Hatch Chiles into all kinds of superb dishes from burgers, pizzas, quiches, pancakes, milkshakes, pastries and even spiced ice cubes.

Mouth-watering Hatch Chile recipes are available on the Melissa’s Website. Perfected recipes for Hatch Chile Guacamole, Hatch Chile Chili and Hatch Chile Salsa are all right there at the ready.

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosTilapia is particularly appreciated in the Asian and Hispanic communities but needs more love in the United States. It’s flavorful, easy-to-prepare and value priced. It’s been called the “aqua-chicken.”

Our resident seafood authority and Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, provides the informed perspective with no fish tales.

According to Seafood Health Facts:

“Tilapia has progressively grown in popularity since 2002 when it first entered the top ten list of the most frequently consumed seafood products in the United States. It’s the third most popular aquaculture or farm raised seafood product behind shrimp and salmon. Since 2006, Americans have consumed over 1 pound of tilapia per person each year. Predictions suggest it will remain a popular selection due to its mild flavor and taste, versatility in preparation, and competitive prices.”

“Tilapia is a sustainable farm-raised product. Because tilapia are herbivorous fish that feed on algae, there is no need for feeds produced from wild caught fish. Raising tilapia in some ponds or other small water bodies can actually help improve the quality of waters compromised by excessive algae blooms. Some farming operations are using a technique called aquaponics to cultivate fish and vegetables or herbs together to produce two or more products in the same water based system.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Rachel Klemek, Blackmarket Bakery, Costa Mesa and Santa Ana
Segment Three: Chef Ted Hopson & Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi, The Bellwether, Studio City
Segment Four: Sherry Villanueva, Acme Hospitality, Helena Avenue Bakery, Santa Barbara
Segment Five: Erick Allen, Winemaker and Proprietor, Ascension Cellars, Paso Robles
Segment Six: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Hatch Chile Season Part One
Segment Seven: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Hatch Chile Season Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish – In Defense of Tilapia

Show 173, May 28, 2016: The Lark, Santa Barbara, California

Treg FinneyThe Funk Zone in Santa Barbara is the new night life spot in America’s Riviera. Among the other attractions there are wine tasting rooms (part of Santa Barbara’s Urban Wine Trail) and a variety of destination restaurants for both locals and visitors alike. One of the biggest success stories in this vibrant district is The Lark owned by the fast-growing Acme Hospitality group. Director of Operations Treg Finney joins us with all the needed 411.

“A shared dining experience featuring artisanal and seasonal ingredients celebrating the bounty of the Central Coast.”

The Lark, named for the sleek overnight Pullman train of the Southern Pacific Railroad that serviced Santa Barbara from 1910 -1968, is a 130 seat full-service restaurant located in the historic Santa Barbara Fish Market building. Situated in the heart of the Funk Zone, a vibrant arts district and home to local surf shops, galleries and the popular Urban Wine Trail, The Lark brings the entire Santa Barbara community together to celebrate their unique place.

Menus for The Lark, under the direction of Executive Chef Jason Paluska, are locally sourced and responsibly grown, using seasonal ingredients based on the abundant bounty available on the Central Coast. Food is served family style intended for sharing. The Lark’s full bar features classic as well as craft cocktails using the finest in artisan spirits, mixers and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Their comprehensive wine list highlights small Santa Barbara County producers and artisan winemakers from afar.

“Our vision was to create an environment that captivates a wide audience and brings them together in an exceptional space. Doug Washington, owner of the acclaimed Town Hall and Salt House restaurants in San Francisco, was able to do just that by designing the interior and exterior space with an urban style that integrates vintage and repurposed materials for a sophisticated yet casual sensibility. Original lighting, handmade furniture and a 24-seat live-edge communal table stacked on vintage radiators create a space that is warm yet exciting. Doug collaborated with Dan Bush Design/Build of Portland, OR along with AB Design Studio and Young Construction of Santa Barbara, CA.”

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