Show 274, May 19, 2018: Executive Chef Govind Armstrong and General Manager Will Holt, The Lobster, Santa Monica

Chef Govind Armstrong of Post and BeamThe Lobster is the long-running, fine-dining restaurant located on the land side of the landmark Santa Monica Pier. Recently installed there as executive chef is culinary celebrity Govind Armstrong.

Situated at the corner of Ocean Boulevard and the Santa Monica Pier, The Lobster seafood restaurant is an internationally recognized dining destination that is as much a part of Santa Monica’s history as the pier itself. Originally opened in 1923, it wasn’t until dishwasher-turned-owner, Mateo Castillo took the helm in 1950 that The Lobster became the quintessential “seafood shack,” so beloved by LA residents and tourists alike throughout the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s.

The Lobster shut its doors for several years in the 1980’s and 90’s, before again being reinvented, expanded and reopened by a family of new investors in 1999. While the original structure was incorporated into the new building’s main entrance, The Lobster as it stands today is a modernly appointed, two-story cantilevered building with glass walls and seating for hundreds.

Chef Govind Armstrong comes to The Lobster with a background that includes training in some of the most famous restaurants in the world. California-born, raised in Costa Rica, and educated in Los Angeles and Europe under culinary legends including Wolfgang Puck, Mark Peel and Susan Feniger, Chef Govind is a master of California Cuisine. As an advocate for food sustainability, Chef Govind is committed to serving dishes that are crafted with only the freshest, locally sourced, and responsibly farmed ingredients.

Chef Govind’s menu takes the seafood dishes at The Lobster in a culinary direction that is sophisticated, yet approachable. With the focus on flavor and a perfect balance of taste and texture, his dishes are updated daily to account for ingredient availability, quality and creative license.

Of course the grilled and butterflied Maine lobster is a standout!

Chef Govind joins us along with the new General Manager, hospitality veteran Will Holt.

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Show 241, September 16, 2017: Special Olympics Southern California’s Pier del Sol Benefit

Peter GarlandPier del Sol on Sunday, Oct. 8th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. is an exciting and unique day of fun on the historic Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park. At the only culinary festival fused with a backyard private Amusement Park experience, attendees can enjoy an exclusive VIP brunch featuring mouthwatering tastings from over 35 of L.A.’s top Chefs and restaurants, entertainment, music, arts & crafts, games, and unlimited rides at Pacific Park. All proceeds from this annual event benefit the athletes of Special Olympic Southern California.

This year’s theme is “Oktoberfest,” where a beach top VIP Beer & Wine Garden will enhance your culinary palette!

Love the food at Pier del Sol? To celebrate 20 years of food, fun, and sun on the pier, SOSC published Cuisine del Sol in 2016, a souvenir cookbook featuring 28 chefs with recipes and stories who have supported the event. Think Michael Cimarusti, Neal Fraser and David LeFevre for starters…This is your chance to create the recipes of these culinary masterminds!

Special Olympics Southern California’s Maureen Barclift and participating restaurateur Peter Garland of Beverly Hills’ Porta Via are our guests. Peter is also included in the Cuisine del Sol Cookbook with Porta Via’s signature recipe for Organic Kale and Quinoa Salad.

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Show 174, June 4, 2016: Kevin McCafferty of Soda Jerk’s, Looff Hippodrome, Santa Monica Pier

Soda JerksIt’s the 100th anniversary on Sunday, June 12th of the opening of the Looff Hippodrome on the classic Santa Monica Pier. Since 2010 the familiar Carousel Building has been the home to Soda Jerk’s, an authentic, period soda fountain.

Proprietor Kevin McCafferty has created a limited-edition sweet-salty potato-chip sundae to commemorate the occasion. He’s full-scooping as our guest.

For foodies seeking a special dessert conceived from the opening era, this is a rare opportunity to indulge in a limited-edition sweet-salty potato-chip sundae inspired by Pier history and created by Kevin McCafferty, dessert historian and owner of Soda Jerk’s soda fountain. The Brass Ring Sundae is one scoop of salted caramel topped with caramel sauce, one scoop of vanilla ice cream with chocolate, all covered in crushed potato chips with a single chip (the brass ring) on top.

The Looff Hippodrome is on the National Register of Historic Places since 1987 and was declared a Santa Monica Landmark in 1976. “When it first opened, the sound of the band organ from the Carousel could be heard all the way to downtown Santa Monica,” explains Jim Harris, historian for the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corp. and author of the acclaimed book, Santa Monica Pier – A Century on the Last Great Pleasure Pier. “In many ways, it was and remains the heart of the city and we are excited to celebrate Looff’s dream 100 years later. It is a testament to his great vision that the Hippodrome has withstood the test of time.”

100 years later, the Looff Hippodrome remains an example of timeless design and continues to stand as a testament to Looff’s vision. The 100-year celebration will take place on Sunday, June 12, 2016 from 11am – 7:00pm.

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Show 48, November 16, 2013: Collin Crannell, Executive Chef of The Lobster

Executive Chef Colin Crannell of the Lobster in Santa MonicaThe guests still think of Executive Chef Collin Crannell of The Lobster in Santa Monica as the “new” chef even though he’s been there four years. He has serious fine dining background going back to Joachim Splichal’s Patina and luxury hotels.

Of course he’s a lobster specialist. There is even a lobster ravioli on the menu with Santa Monica farmer’s market vegetables. He’s a regular at the network of Santa Monica Farmers Markets. He also does some pretty wonderful thinks with steak.

Chef Crannell impresses with soup, too.

His favorite appetizer is Burrata cheese with local seasonal Heirloom Tomatoes and Basil Pesto.

The Lobster is located at the top of the entrance to the historic Santa Monica Pier. It’s an incredible ocean view. The restaurant proudly defies the notion that if you offer a great view you can probably get away with serving mediocre food.

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November 16: Seoul Sausage, Taps Fish House, Linda Burum, The Lobster, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, A Restaurant, Front Porch Pops

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Chris Oh and Ted Kim of Seoul Sausage Co. in West Los Angeles
Segment Three: Joe Manzella, proprietor of TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Brea and Corona, and The Catch in Anaheim
Segment Four: Linda Burum, food journalist & contributor to Los Angeles Magazine and L.A. Weekly
Segment Five: Collin Crannell, Executive Chef of The Lobster
Segment Six: Jay Isais, Senior Director of Coffee, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Segment Seven: Jon Blackford, Executive Chef of A Restaurant, Newport Beach
Segment Eight: Erin Whitcomb, POPrietor of Front Porch Pops

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

CBTL by the Coffee Bean and Tea LeafIt’s National Espresso Day on Saturday, November 23rd. To celebrate our friends at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf will be featuring a Black Friday promotion.

The CBTL, the single serve beverage system from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, will be part of a special promotion from November 29 through December 1, 2013. Enthusiasts can purchase one CBTL Single Serve Machine and get a second CBTL Single Serve Machine (of equal or lesser value) free!

Seoul SausageA little over a year ago those three wild & crazy, youthful Korean-Americans (Ted and Yong Kim and Chef Chris Oh) opened the Seoul Sausage Co. in Little Osaka, West Los Angeles. They are known for melding distinctive Korean flavors into American sausages. Their other signature item is the “flaming balls.” Korean Fried Chicken (KFC) with corn bread is another specialty.

Seoul Sausage Co. opened right after the three partners won Season 3 of Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race. First prize was a cool $50,000 and the new food truck they took across the country on the series. It’s affectionately known as “Big Mama.” The “Flaming Balls” was a dish created by necessity in an intense competition on “Great Food Truck Race.”

The (always entertaining) Seoul Sausage Co. guys are with us to talk about the sweet ride that has been the last year. The lines are still out the door.

There’s more…Young, Ted, and Chef Chris also have some exciting news to share with the listening audience. It’s an exclusive…

Joe Manzella of Taps Fish House and Brewery and the CatchRestaurateur Joe Manzella is the proprietor of TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Brea and Corona, and The Catch in Anaheim on Katella near Angel Stadium.

Joe is also a lifelong sandwich fan and a history buff. He’s traveled the country researching regional favorites. Working with his executive chef he’s launched the “Famous 50” sandwich program. Each week a different regional favorite is showcased at both TAPS in Brea and The Catch in Anaheim. Thus far the Famous 50 has included favorites including lobster roll, Mama Manzella’s meatball sub, muffuletta, Chicago Italian Beef, and the Cubano.

According to Manzella to reach true sandwich nirvana five critical points must be met. He shares them with us on the show. One clue…All his bread comes from star baker Dean Kim at the OC Baking Co. in Orange.

Linda BurumLinda Burum is a well-known food journalist who currently contributes to Los Angeles Magazine and LA Weekly.

Linda is just back from a trip to Taipei, Taiwan where she did a bit of restaurant research.

Linda reports on her dining adventures there and mentions where you can get some of these same signature dishes locally.

Executive Chef Colin Crannell of the Lobster in Santa MonicaThe guests still think of Executive Chef Collin Crannell of The Lobster in Santa Monica as the “new” chef even though he’s been there four years. He has serious fine dining background going back to Joachim Splichal’s Patina and luxury hotels.

Of course he’s a lobster specialist. There is even a lobster ravioli on the menu with Santa Monica farmer’s market vegetables. He also does some pretty wonderful thinks with steak.

Chef Crannell impresses with soup, too.

The Lobster is located at the top of the entrance to the historic Santa Monica Pier. It’s an incredible ocean view. The restaurant proudly defies the notion that if you offer a great view you can probably get away with serving mediocre food.

It’s National Espresso Day on Saturday, November 23rd.

Jay Isais of the Coffee Bean and Tea LeafJay Isais, Senior Director of Coffee for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf joins us to chat about creating the perfect cup of espresso. There is a lot more to this than you may imagine.

To get you into the Holiday Spirit our friends at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf will be featuring a Black Friday promotion.

The CBTL, the single serve beverage system from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, will be part of a special promotion from November 29 through December 1, 2013. Enthusiasts can purchase one CBTL Single Serve Machine and get a second CBTL Single Serve Machine (of equal or lesser value) free!

Jon Blackford of A RestaurantWhat is now the popular A Restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach is a classic dining spot dating back to 1926. A few years ago new, local ownership completely restored the place to its current ageless steakhouse atmosphere. It’s handsome with a very popular bar.

Jon Blackford is the executive chef. His charge is to continue to serve great steaks but also elevate the rest of the menu. Believe it or not he loves market fresh vegetables and amazes with beets.

He impresses with creative charcuterie and cheese plates and house-made grilled sausages.

Erin Whitcomb of Front Porch PopsErin Whitcomb’s Front Porch Pops were the hit of the Orange International Street Fair in Old Town Orange over Labor Day Weekend. They were being enjoyed everywhere on the Festival site. The pops are handmade in small batches.

Tangy Lemon Cream was the first frozen novelty sold back in 2010.

Erin’s Pop Philosophy:

  • We use real fruit and fresh dairy to make our pops.
  • Our pops are handcrafted by our staff using our own recipes.
  • You’ll never find artificial colors, flavors, or high–fructose corn syrup in our pops. Ever.
  • We use locally grown, organic produce whenever we can. We sell our pops at farmer’s markets and take great pride in saying, “The plums from that farmer over there are in this popsicle right here!”

New to the line (and just in time for the Holidays) are small batch pies. The crust is hand-rolled.

A colleague described him as “passionate, dedicated, creative, stubborn, tough, great vision, and healthy.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Chris Oh and Ted Kim of Seoul Sausage Co. in West Los Angeles
Segment Three: Joe Manzella, proprietor of TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Brea and Corona, and The Catch in Anaheim
Segment Four: Linda Burum, food journalist & contributor to Los Angeles Magazine and L.A. Weekly
Segment Five: Collin Crannell, Executive Chef of The Lobster
Segment Six: Jay Isais, Senior Director of Coffee, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Segment Seven: Jon Blackford, Executive Chef of A Restaurant, Newport Beach
Segment Eight: Erin Whitcomb, POPrietor of Front Porch Pops

Show 8: December 8, 2012: Stan Frazier

Well-known in music circles as the drummer and principal song writer for the band, Sugar Ray. Stan also is a serious amateur chef who was a contestant on BBC America’s new reality cooking series, “Chef Race : U.K. vs. U.S” which was executive produced by Jamie Oliver. Stan also owns a piece of A Restaurant in Newport Beach where he resides.

Back on October 2nd “Chef Race” debuted with 16 chefs, 8 Americans and 8 Brits, starting their cross-country journey on the Santa Monica Pier. They raced to New York City (raising money along the way) where the last chef standing walked away with a cool $100,000 and a lot of personal satisfaction.

Stan was clearly the wild card contestant yet he prevailed ! He competed with dignity which was a quality not shares by all of his fellow contestants. Go USA!

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Show 6: November 17, 2012: Chef Caroline Mi Li Artiss of “Chef Race : U.K. vs. U.S.”

Chef Caroline is a chef sensation on YouTube in the UK. She was selected as one of 8 Brits to compete in BBC America’s new reality chef competition series, “Chef Race: U.K. vs. U.S.” It all started with the first episode on the Santa Monica Pier. London restaurateur (one Michelin Star) & chef Richard Corrigon is the host judge.

The unscripted reality series executive produced by the “Naked Chef” himself, Jamie Oliver, follows 16 chefs (8 Americans and 8 Brits) as they race across America from Los Angeles to New York. There are various difficult challenges (culinary and otherwise) along the way. The last chef standing wins $100,000.

Caroline is back in the U.S. to launch her new association with the Tastemade channel for You Tube.

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Show 6: November 17, 2012: Chef Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes West and Cakemix. Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes”

Duff shared a great story about Aarti Sequeira who co-hosted the show.

Duff was one of the judges on Aarti’s first episode of “Next Food Network Star” which was on the famous Santa Monica Pier. After the judging Duff commented to the Food Network brass that they shouldn’t bother with the remaining episodes because Aarti was his clear choice as the obvious winner. Turns out Duff was right. Aarti went on to be the “Next Food Network Star” !

At “Getting Our Just Desserts” Duff created cupcakes (as featured @ Cakemix) and also painted colorful original graffiti art works on the patio with food themes for the Silent Auction.

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