Show 583, June 22, 2024: Benom Wines, Paso Robles with Co-Proprietor Arnaud Fabre

Arnaud Fabre of Benom Wines

“They are brothers, they are French, and for them making wine at their BENOM in Paso Robles is a heritage.”

Arnaud & Guillaume Fabre moved to California for love. For Guillaume, it was his passion for winemaking and farming without limits that brought him to Paso Robles.

This love led him to one of the most prestigious Paso Robles wineries, L’Aventure, and eventually to start his own winery, Clos Solène.”

“Arnaud’s story is much more like that of a movie scene. His move to California was to follow the love of his life, Chloe. This is how the two brothers -Les Deux Frères Fabre- ended up in Paso Robles.”

“As a tribute to the six-generation family legacy in the Languedoc-Roussillon and Bordeaux regions, BENOM harmoniously combines the freedom of winemaking in Paso Robles with the innate talent of the Fabre bloodline.”

“In September of 2023, the Fabre brothers accomplished their goal of acquiring an estate in York Mountain AVA.

This purchase fulfills Arnaud and Guillaume’s long-term vision of expanding the BENOM brand.”

“Every bottle of BENOM embodies the Fabre brothers’ commitment to their French heritage and passion for Paso Robles. Their approach to winemaking is distinguished by the use of traditional Old World techniques and sustainable practices, incorporating the fruit and creative freedom of Paso Robles.”

“BENOM also sources fruit from the Adelaida and Willow Creek districts on the west side of Paso Robles as well as Edna Valley, Santa Maria, and Santa Barbara. Sourcing fruit allows BENOM a unique opportunity to create wine from a multitude of soil types and sub-climates.”

There is also a Family connection with the Michelin recognized, top-rated restaurant in Paso Robles, Les Petites Canailles.

Arnaud Fabre joins us to uncork all that is BENOM wines.

Show 568, March 9, 2024: Pizza City Fest Los Angeles 2024 with Producer Steve Dolinsky

Steve Dolinsky of PizzaCityFest

Pizza City Fest Los Angeles is back for its 2nd year of gooey and doughy deliciousness. “Scheduled to take place on April 27-28, 2024, at the iconic L.A. LIVE – nestled in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles’ Sports and Entertainment District – this two-day celebration promises an unparalleled experience for pizza aficionados.”

“Attendees will have the exclusive opportunity to savor the delectable offerings from Southern California’s premier pizza artisans, all conveniently located in one central hub. Pizza City Fest Los Angeles will celebrate the Southland’s pizza landscape, showcasing the diverse and exceptional talents of the region’s top pizza makers.”

“Emmy and 13-time James Beard Award-winning food reporter Steve Dolinsky has curated another stellar list of pizza makers spanning Southern California – from Santa Barbara to San Diego – adding 13 new entries to the full lineup this year.”

There are no ticket sales at the door and Saturday sells out early. VIP ticket also available for either day. It’s all the slices you can enjoy plus unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Different, diverse pizza establishments are showcased each day representing all of Southern California..

Steve puts down his ceremonial pizza peel and joins us.

Show 503, December 10, 2022: Robert Schueller of Melissa’s Produce – Best of the Season, Part One

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA Studio

Robert Schueller of Melissa’s Produce is our resident authority on all things fruits and vegetables. His knowledge is incredibly vast and Robert is also a serious home cook. We affectionately refer to Robert as “The Prince of Produce.” It fits…

Robert is our guest to highlight the Winter season’s best in produce for use in inspired Holiday cooking. Think, for starters, Butterscotch Pears, Green Dragon Apples, and Blackeyed Peas

It’s apple season. Along the way Robert will tell us about Organic Crimson Gold Apples. “These apples are grown near a National Forest in Cuyama Valley near Santa Barbara, California. Growing in this remote location provides ideal conditions: warm days and cool nights, producing an optimal sugar / acid balance and a firmness in the apples.” Recipes on the Melissa’s Website.

Show 465, March 12, 2022: Chef & Co-Host Andrew Gruel of Slapfish with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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.

In Japan uni, the roe of a sea urchin, is a delicacy. There are varieties of sea urchins including the devastating purple sea urchin (with a Zombie mode) that is now destroying vital seaweed beds in California. Chef Andrew talks about an innovative experiment in the Santa Barbara area using safe aquaculture practices to turn these little menaces of the sea into a source of premium uni for restaurants. (This discussion was inspired by a feature article in the Sunday Los Angeles Times on March 6th by Aliza Abarbanel.)

Show 426, May 22, 2021: Valerie Rice, Lush Life – Food & Drinks from the Garden Part One

Valerie Rice of Lush Life and Eat Drink Garden

“Guided by the seasons and nurtured by the California sunshine, cook and gardener Valerie Rice has created a book that puts the joy back into cooking. With her signature no-fuss style and cocktail always in hand, Valerie has developed a collection of recipes, organized by season for stunning main dishes, sides, salads, soups, and desserts in her debut book, Lush Life: Food & Drinks from the Garden (Prospect Park Books) that also includes cocktails, garden planning & tips, and wine commentary from award-winning sommelier and winemaker Rajat Parr, a frequent guest at her table.”

“In her Foreword to the book, James Beard Award-Winning Chef Suzanne Goin writes, “…Whoever came up with the title Lush Life has hit the nail directly on the head. But it’s not just the beautiful setting, the glorious garden, or the flavorful and captivating food and drink—the lushness stems from Valerie’s heart and soul. Her passion for gardening, cooking, and entertaining is a triumvirate of riches to be enjoyed by anyone who finds themselves fortunate enough to be welcomed into her home. This passion and love for ingredients…and the art of time around the table are Valerie’s magic, and she has captured that spirit and meticulously passed it on in these pages.””

“Chef Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne (The Lucques Group) welcome their friend Valerie Rice, to a.o.c. to celebrate the publication of her new book, Lush Life: Food & Drinks from the Garden. The Lush Life Dinner will be held at a.o.c. in Los Angeles on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Valerie will be joined by James Beard Foundation award-winning Winemaker and Sommelier Rajat Parr, who curated the wine pairings for the dinner (and her cookbook), and both will be available to meet guests and sign cookbooks.”

“Suzanne, who contributed the foreword to the book, created a menu from the spring and summer chapters of the book, showcasing the best of the season. The four-course dinner begins with Zucchini Feta Fritters with Tahini Yogurt Sauce and Radish Tartine with Dill Butter. Next is a course of Ridgeback Prawn Chopped Salad with Spicy Thousand Island and a California Halibut Ceviche with Guacamole and Tortilla Chips.”

“For the main course, guests may choose from the vegetarian Blistered Asparagus with Pistachios, Green Garlic and Chives, plus Grilled King Trumpet Mushrooms with Sherry Marinade and Green Garden Rice, or Orange-Marinated Tri-Tip with Chimichurri & Padron Peppers and Crispy Ghee-Fried Potatoes with Fresh Bay Aïoli.”

“Finish with an Apricot Amaretto Torte with White Chocolate-Lemon Verbena Ice Cream for dessert.”

Valerie Rice is our guest to turn the pages of Lush Life for us.

Show 426, May 22, 2021: Valerie Rice, Lush Life – Food & Drinks from the Garden Part Two

Valerie Rice of Lush Life and Eat Drink Garden

“Eat and drink what’s in season and you’ll never grow bored, your menus will be less complicated, and everything will taste better. That’s Valerie Rice’s (Santa Barbara-based) motto, and it’s guided her to become an accomplished gardener, cook, and cocktail maker, three talents that—along with her charm and no-fuss style—have made her EatDrinkGarden Instagram and blog a hit. In Lush Life: Food & Drinks from the Garden, Valerie brings together her favorite seasonal recipes for entertaining, family meals, snacks, and so much more, including cocktail recipes and wine advice. Rigorously home tested and gorgeously photographed by Gemma and Andrew Ingalls, Lush Life is a California dream of a cookbook that will inspire readers to grow their own, cook it fresh, and pour a luscious beverage.”

“Chef Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne (The Lucques Group) welcome their friend Valerie Rice, to a.o.c. to celebrate the publication of her new book, Lush Life: Food & Drinks from the Garden. The Lush Life Dinner will be held at a.o.c. in Los Angeles on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Valerie will be joined by James Beard Foundation award-winning Winemaker and Sommelier Rajat Parr, who curated the wine pairings for the dinner (and her cookbook), and both will be available to meet guests and sign cookbooks.”

“For the main course, guests may choose from the vegetarian Blistered Asparagus with Pistachios, Green Garlic and Chives, plus Grilled King Trumpet Mushrooms with Sherry Marinade and Green Garden Rice, or Orange-Marinated Tri-Tip with Chimichurri & Padron Peppers and Crispy Ghee-Fried Potatoes with Fresh Bay Aïoli.”

“Finish with an Apricot Amaretto Torte with White Chocolate-Lemon Verbena Ice Cream for dessert.”

Valerie Rice continues with us turning the pages of Lush Life for us.

Show 414, February 27, 2021: Loquita Santa Barbara with General Manager Stephanie Perkins

Stephanie Perkins of Loquita

Loquita in Santa Barbara showcases authentic Spanish food including hot and cold tapas, wood-fired grilled seafood and meats, and seasonal paella. The Mediterranean climate and terroir of Santa Barbara County mirror that of Spain, making the translation of locally sourced produce, meats and seafood an ideal match. The wine list is comprised almost entirely of Spanish wines with exceptional local wines that pair well with the cuisine. Loquita’s cocktail list showcases Spanish vermouths, farmers’ market Sangria, hand-crafted cocktails and a rotating selection of Spain’s king of cocktails, the Gin Tonic.” 

A favorite Tapa is the Almejas. It’s little neck clams with cantimpalo chorizo, salsa verde, can sumoi with grilled ciabatta.

Loquita has reopened for socially distanced patio and outdoor dining nightly at 5:00 p.m. and for takeaway. 

General Manager Stephanie Perkins is our amiable guide.

Show 395, October 17, 2020: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part One

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. Think Kra Z Kai’s for Laotian Barbecue.

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.

Show 395, October 17, 2020: Doug Margerum of Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara Part One

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.”

Doug recently hosted at his handsome Santa Barbara Tasting Room a comprehensive sampling of both Margerum and Barden wines for a small group of wine journalists from the L.A. Wine Writers. Barden Sta. Rita Hills varietals sampled included Barden Viognier, Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, Sta, Rita Hills (2018); Barden Fonte, White Blend, Sta. Rita Hills (2018); and Barden Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills (2017.)

Doug Margerum pours a glass of Barden Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills and continues with us explaining all that is BARDEN wines.

Show 395, October 17, 2020: Doug Margerum of Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara Part Two

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 pours a glass of Barden Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills and continues with us explaining all that is BARDEN wines.