Show 128, June 27, 2015: Show Preview with Chef Andrew Gruel and Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and, now, Newport Beach is back as today’s special Guest Host.

Now a tempting preview of Saturday’s over-stuffed show. With any luck we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case, that’s a good thing…

The war on drugs in America may not be won on its streets – but in its kitchens. The weapon? A groundbreaking new cookbook that uses food to naturally heal brain chemistry in addicts and alcoholics. It’s called Malibu Beach Recovery Diet Cookbook and was authored by Joan Borsten. “Neuroscience has identified a link between the inability to stop using and low levels of dopamine (the feel good brain chemical that addicts crave),” says Dr. Kenneth Blum, well-known addiction scientist and father of the reward gene. “This cookbook reflects an understanding of the power of food and its potential role in enhancing neurotransmitter function.”

Restaurants in tree-lined Claremont, CA are preparing for the third annual “Claremont Restaurant Week” set for July 10 – 19, 2015. The annual Midsummer Night’s Dine will run for 10 days, including two weekends, to encourage Southern California foodies to stay overnight at one of Claremont’s five distinctive hotel properties. Jason Cerswell, Lounge 425 Manager at Hotel Casa 425 in Claremont, will provide us with the second installment of our tempting overview.

The 4th Annual I Love Poke Festival tasting event and competition returns to Orange County on Sunday June 28th at The Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach. The foodie festival and chef competition invites poke connoisseurs and newcomers to celebrate the Hawaiian delicacy, lifestyle and culture as chefs compete for the title of “Best Poke.” Producer Nino “Neens” Camilo joins us with all the 411.

The newly launched Bistro Papillote at The OC Mix at SOCO is the first authentic French restaurant concept from Chef Laurent Brazier, Executive Chef Instructor of La Cuisine Culinary Arts located inside Macy’s Home Store in South Coast Plaza. On the menu is simple French Bistro cuisine. Chef Laurent is our guest.

The bounty of the very best in California summer produce is available. Who better to give us all the juicy details than the incomparable Robert Schueller, the Prince of Produce at Melissa’s World Variety Produce. Just try and stump him on a fruit or vegetable question! Not easy…

Andrew Gruel and Anthony Dispensa of Slapfish Restaurants and FYI Say It To My FaceDon’t miss Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel’s new restaurant makeover series, “Say It To My Face” on FYI. An original episode is aired every Thursday evening with an encore episode thereafter. Check your local listings. On-line food reviewers confront restaurateurs with the shortcomings of their establishments. It’s then up to Chef Andrew and his colleague, Chef Anthony Dispensa, to coach the chef and restaurateur to achieve a much higher level of guest satisfaction when the on-line reviews return for another look! Sometimes it’s tough-love…

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

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Show 127, June 20, 2015: Show Preview with Chef Andrew Gruel and Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and, now, Newport Beach is back as today’s special Guest Host.

Now a tantalizing preview of Saturday’s high octane show. With any luck we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case, that’s a good thing…

Chef David Guas (Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery, Arlington, Virginia, Arlington, Virginia & Washington DC) knows how to get your grill going with the publication of Grill Nation – 200 Surefire Recipes, Tips, and Techniques to Grill Like a Pro. You know him as the host of Travel Channel’s “American Grilled.” We’re going to master the flame with Chef David Guas.

L.A Beer Week, produced by the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild, is set for L.A. and environs from June 20th to 28th, 2015. For one thirst-quenching week local breweries, bars, restaurants and other hospitable venues host a wide variety of events celebrating the culture of craft beer in the L.A. area. The festival kickoff is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, June 20th in Exposition Park. Beer journalist Tomm Carroll of Celebrator Beer News and Beer Paper L.A. along with Thomas Kelley of El Segundo Brewing Co. join us with an effervescent preview.

Restaurants in tree-lined Claremont, CA are preparing for the third annual “Claremont Restaurant Week” set for July 10 – 19, 2015. The annual Midsummer Night’s Dine will run for 10 days, including two weekends, to encourage Southern California foodies to stay overnight at one of Claremont’s five distinctive hotel properties. Sal Medina of Packing House Wine Merchants in the restored College Heights Lemon Packing House in Claremont will provide us with the tempting overview.

Italian-American character actor Steve Schirripa is best known for his role as Bobby Baccalieri on HBO’s “The Soprano’s.” He’s also a serious home cook. Taking his mother’s recipe for pasta sauce he created a line of popular sauces including Marinara, Tomato Basil and Arrabiata in the Steve Schirripa’s Uncle Steve’s Italian Specialties line. The premium pasta sauces are each hand-crafted with organic whole, imported Italian peeled tomatoes, fresh onions, extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, sea salt and spices.

Orange County’s 37th annual “A Taste of Greece” festival will be held on June 26-28 at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church in Irvine. More than 12,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival, which will feature traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, authentic Greek dancing with lessons and boutique booths reminiscent of the Plaka, a well-known picturesque historical neighborhood of Athens. The long-time volunteer pastry chef, Kathy Gabriel, who oversees the time-consuming preparation of thousands of incredible Greek pastries for the Festival is our guest.

Andrew Gruel and Anthony Dispensa of Slapfish Restaurants and FYI Say It To My FaceDon’t miss Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel’s new restaurant makeover series, “Say It To My Face” on FYI. An original episode is aired every Thursday evening with an encore episode thereafter. Check your local listings. On-line food reviewers confront restaurateurs with the shortcomings of their establishments. It’s then up to Chef Andrew and his colleague, Chef Anthony Dispensa, to coach the chef and restaurateur to achieve a much higher level of guest satisfaction when the on-line reviews return for another look! Sometimes it’s tough-love…

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Show 125, June 6, 2015: Show Preview with Chef Andrew Gruel and Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and, now, Newport Beach is back as today’s special Guest Host.

Now a crave-worthy preview of Saturday’s high octane, overloaded show.

Acclaimed pastry chef Emily Luchetti is Chief Pastry Officer at Big Night Restaurant Group in San Francisco (Cavalier, Marlowe and Park Tavern), the Chairman of the James Beard Foundation, and a James Beard Award recipient. Her new mission is “#dessertworthy”, a social media movement to empower individuals to be mindful of their dessert and sugar indulgences.

Kyle Meyer, co-proprietor of the Wine Exchange in Santa Ana is one of our on-point, resident wine authorities. He’s back with us to discuss old vine wines. You see this designation on a lot of wine labels. What should the casual wine aficionado know about buying old vine wines?

Larner Vineyard & Winery is a small, family-run estate located at the heart of the best Rhone grape-growing region in Santa Barbara: the new Ballard Canyon AVA inside the Santa Ynez Valley. Founded by Stevan and Christine Larner as solely a vineyard in 1999, the property today is both a vineyard and winery, established in 2009. It’s now run by the second generation of Larners. Winemaker Michael Larner is our guest.

“The restaurant world is a blend of business and poetry” states renowned restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, who, after over 43 years in the business, has mastered the perfect balance of both. He is one of the true pioneers in bringing the foods of Italy, with style and authenticity, to Los Angeles. Piero just returned from Expo Milano (every four years) in Italy and will share his experience there.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel is an authority on the impact of Social Media and on-line reviews on restaurants. That’s actually one of the key reasons he was cast as the co-host of his new FYI series, “Say It To My Face.” Chef Andrew will discuss Social Media, the impact it has on restaurants and the obligations the restaurant-goer has in this realm.

Don’t miss Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel’s new restaurant makeover series, “Say It To My Face” on FYI. An original episode is aired every Thursday evening with an encore episode thereafter. Check your local listings. On-line food reviewers confront restaurateurs with the shortcomings of their establishments. It’s then up to Chef Andrew and his colleague, Chef Anthony Dispensa, to coach the chef and restaurateur to achieve a much higher level of guest satisfaction when the on-line reviews return for another look! Sometimes it’s tough-love…

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

Play

June 6: Andrew Gruel, Emily Luchetti, Wine Exchange, Larner Vineyard & Winery, Piero Selvaggio

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Chef Andrew Gruel and Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Emily Luchetti, Chief Pastry Officer, Big Night Restaurant Group Part One
Segment Three: Emily Luchetti, Chief Pastry Officer, Big Night Restaurant Group Part Two
Segment Four: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, The Wine Exchange
Segment Five: Winemaker Michael Larner of Larner Vineyard & Winery
Segment Six: Winemaker Michael Larner of Larner Vineyard & Winery Part Two
Segment Seven: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Valentino, Santa Monica
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and, now, Newport Beach is back as today’s special Guest Host.

Now a tempting preview of Saturday’s high octane, overloaded show.

Acclaimed pastry chef Emily Luchetti is Chief Pastry Officer at Big Night Restaurant Group in San Francisco (Cavalier, Marlowe and Park Tavern), the Chairman of the James Beard Foundation, and a James Beard Award recipient. Her new mission is “#dessertworthy”, a social media movement to empower individuals to be mindful of their dessert and sugar indulgences.

Kyle Meyer, co-proprietor of the Wine Exchange in Santa Ana is one of our on-point, resident wine authorities. He’s back with us to discuss old vine wines. You see this designation on a lot of wine labels. What should the casual wine aficionado know about buying old vine wines?

Larner Vineyard & Winery is a small, family-run estate located at the heart of the best Rhone grape-growing region in Santa Barbara : the new Ballard Canyon AVA inside the Santa Ynez Valley. Founded by Stevan and Christine Larner as solely a vineyard in 1999, the property today is both a vineyard and winery, established in 2009. It’s now run by the second generation of Larners. Winemaker Michael Larner is our guest.

“The restaurant world is a blend of business and poetry” states renowned restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, who, after over 40 years in the business, has mastered the perfect balance of both. He is one of the true pioneers in bringing the foods of Italy, with style and authenticity, to Los Angeles. Piero just returned from Expo Milano in Italy and will share his experience there.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel is an authority on the impact of Social Media on restaurants. That’s actually one of the key reasons he was cast of as the co-host of his new FYI series, “Say It To My Face.” Chef Andrew will discuss Social Media, the impact it has on restaurants and the obligations the restaurant-goer has in this realm.

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

Emily LuchettiAcclaimed pastry chef Emily Luchetti is Chief Pastry Officer at Big Night Restaurant Group in San Francisco (Cavalier, Marlowe and Park Tavern), the Chairman of the James Beard Foundation, and a James Beard Award recipient. Her new mission is “#dessertworthy”, a social media movement to empower individuals to be mindful of their dessert and sugar indulgences.

“Dessert is being consumed by adults and children at an alarming rate, resulting in troubling health issues, including Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Compelled to take action, award-winning pastry chef Emily Luchetti launched #dessertworthy in July 2014 to raise awareness about sugar-laden processed foods and to encourage saving desserts for a treat, not a daily occurrence.”

#dessertworthy Manifesto

  • To return dessert to its origin, which is to be consumed as an occasional treat and not an everyday indulgence.
  • To build and consistently engage a community of digital supporters that are making active attempts to enjoy dessert in moderation.
  • To raise awareness that consumers should be picky about their dessert intake. Enjoy dessert in moderation and/or earn sweet treats by combining them with healthy eating and fitness.
  • To increase consumer knowledge of processed foods and hidden sugars.
  • To be a resource for maintaining a #dessertworthy lifestyle through tips and reinforcements on digital communities.

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeKyle Meyer, co-proprietor of the Wine Exchange in Santa Ana, is one of our on-point, resident wine authorities. He’s back with us to discuss old vine wines. You see this designation on a lot of wine labels. There is, unfortunately, no legal definition for “old.” What should the casual wine aficionado know about buying and enjoying old vine wines ?

Some grape vines in California can still produce modest clusters of fruit after 125 years. The yields are very small.

On Saturday afternoon, June 13th Wine Exchange is hosting their Grand Re-Opening Tasting Alley Party and Project Hope Alliance Community Fundraiser in Santa Ana. The festivities include the outside Tasting Alley Party as well as the in-store, door –busting deals.

For $40, guests will experience upwards of 30 wine tastings as well as a sandwich or burger from local TK Burgers. Proceeds from the Tasting Alley are donated to Share Our Wine Foundation and their direct beneficiary, Project Hope Alliance.

Michael LarnerLarner Vineyard & Winery is a small, family-run estate located at the heart of the best Rhone grape-growing region in Santa Barbara: the new Ballard Canyon AVA inside the Santa Ynez Valley. Founded by Stevan and Christine Larner as solely a vineyard in 1999, the property today is both a vineyard and winery, established in 2009. It’s now run by the second generation of Larners.

Michael Larner is an accomplished winemaker, enology professor and viticulturist. His wife, Christina Larner, is the tasting room manager (located in Los Olivos as part of the Los Olivos General Store) as well as a favorite local artist. Monica Larner, a renowned wine critic, returns regularly from her adopted home, Italy, to oversee public relations.

Winemaker Michael Larner is our guest.

The 134-acre ranch is planted to 34 acres of vine, focused on the Rhone varieties ; Syrah, Grenache, Mouvedre and Viognier. As a small tribute to Italy, the Larners also have a little block of Malvasia Bianca.

Most of the premium grapes grown on the ranch are sold to other boutique wineries including Sine Qua Non.

In early 2012, Michael and Christina opened the Los Olivos General Store in the bucolic town of Los Olivos within the historic old gas station on the corner of the flagpole. The store now houses the Larner tasting room, the perfect intimate location to try the family’s exclusive and limited estate offerings.

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa Monica“The restaurant world is a blend of business and poetry” states renowned restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, who, after over 40 years in the business, has mastered the perfect balance of both. He is one of the true pioneers in bringing the foods of Italy, with style and authenticity, to Los Angeles. Piero has skillfully stewarded successful restaurants in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Las Vegas, Houston and aboard luxury cruise ships.

Piero just returned from Expo Milano in Italy and will share his experience there. The dazzling USA Pavilion, with its emphasis on food, is a star attraction.

“Our theme for the USA Pavilion is American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet. Expo Milano 2015 will enable the USA Pavilion to showcase the United States as an innovator not only in the food sector, but also in many aspects of culture, science and business. Feeding ourselves engages a massive infrastructure, advanced technologies, and dynamic systems that touch on just about every aspect of the world we live in. Each step from farm to table reflects a set of values and connections that impact our identities and shape our future.”

“The USA Pavilion is a one-of-a-kind building designed by architect James Biber of Biber Architects in New York. It is a 35,000 square foot space within Expo Milano’s 3.6 million square foot sustainable “smart city.” The building is a multi-level experience that flows with activity from top to bottom, side to side. It includes a massive vertical farm that will be harvested daily. “I’ve drawn inspiration from the straightforward, ‘honest’ agricultural buildings that are part of our nation’s history,” said Biber in a recent interview about the process of creating the USA Pavilion. “It is a very simple building, and when people look at it, they’ll instantly understand exactly how it was made.”

Andrew GruelOne of the incendiary topics in the hospitality business right now is the impact of Social Media on restaurants. Social media, both positive and negative, can actually have a greater influence on guest counts than a conventional print review. Social Media can also have a longer shelf life than a print restaurant review.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish is an authority on the impact of Social Media on restaurants and how to best orchestrate this. That’s actually one of the key reasons he was cast as the co-host of his new FYI series, Say It To My Face.” Chef Andrew will discuss Social Media, how it affects restaurants and the obligations the restaurant-goer has in this new realm.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Chef Andrew Gruel and Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Emily Luchetti, Chief Pastry Officer, Big Night Restaurant Group Part One
Segment Three: Emily Luchetti, Chief Pastry Officer, Big Night Restaurant Group Part Two
Segment Four: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, The Wine Exchange
Segment Five: Winemaker Michael Larner of Larner Vineyard & Winery
Segment Six: Winemaker Michael Larner of Larner Vineyard & Winery Part Two
Segment Seven: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Valentino, Santa Monica
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish

Show 123, May 23, 2015: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and, now, Newport Beach is today’s special Guest Host.

We’re always up for a premium juicy burger on the “SoCal Restaurant Show” and May is National Burger Month. We’re celebrating with Chef Christian Page (ex- Short Order) who lovingly revived the iconic (and fondly remembered) Cassell’s Burgers in Koreatown six months ago. To commemorate National Hamburger Day on May 28th Cassell’s is hosting a Total Steer Grind.

Memorial Day Weekend is a perfect time to savor a local craft beer.

We’re tapping the keg to preview the 7th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili Cookoff on Saturday, June 6th from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Temecula. One of the participating craft breweries is the fast-growing Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles and with a new brewery and tap room soon to be located across the street from Angel Stadium in Anaheim. The veteran, award-winning brewmaster for the future Orange County facility, Victor Novak is our guest.

Krystyn Navarro is the Chef de Partie at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills. Last year she won the New Orleans competition for the prestigious Ment’or BKB Foundation’s Young Chef Competition Series. She is currently completing her stagiaire at [One] in Chapel Hill, NC. Applications (due by June 1st) are now open for the 2015 competitions in Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston and New York City. Krystyn Navarro joins us with all the needed 411.

When we last spoke with Celebrity Chef Eric Greenspan he was just about to compete on Food Network’s Chopped – All-Stars Tournament,” Part 1 against Madison Cowan, Brian Malarkey and Art Smith. We’ll get updated on the results of that intense cook-off. Chef Eric was also about to launch a mysterious new seafood concept on what was previously the hidden back patio of The Foundry. That restaurant, now open, is Mare with a focus on fresh seafood priced at a great value. You enter through Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese. Chef Eric is with us to provide all the needed updates.

Before he went out on his own to open the popular Tar & Roses in Santa Monica in 2012, Executive Chef Andrew Kirschner was best known as Executive Chef and partner at Wilshire, also in Santa Monica.

Now Chef Kirschner is expanding the restaurant empire with the launch of the Santa Monica Yacht Club located a short walk away from Tar & Roses. Unlike Tar & Roses with its emphasis on the wood-burning grill the focus at SMYC is on seafood with small plates. Andrew Kirschner is our guest.

Don’t miss Chef Andrew Gruel’s new restaurant makeover series, “Say It To My Face” on FYI. An original episode is aired every Thursday evening with an encore episode thereafter. Check your local listings. On-line food reviewers confront restaurateurs with the shortcomings of their establishments. It’s then up to Chef Andrew and his colleague, Chef Anthony Dispensa, to coach the chef and restaurateur to achieve a much higher level of guest satisfaction when the on-line reviews return for another look! Sometimes it’s tough-love…

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

Play

Show 117, April 11, 2015: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish

Andrew GruelFinally a chance to chat with our patient Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish. He really knows seafood.

Chef Andrew will share some useful tips about selecting and preparing lobster. It’s easier to enjoy than its reputation. Chef Andrew will also advise us on what parts of the lobster are best for use in some familiar dishes. This is the continuation of a conversation Chef Andrew started last week.

Lobster Rolls are appearing on a lot of restaurant menus. Everyone, of course, has the “best.” Chef Andrew will give us some background on this delicacy. He grew up on the East Coast where this craveable sandwich originated.

FYI’s new original series, “Say It To My Face!,” gives chefs and restaurant owners a chance to redeem themselves before their toughest online critics. Chef Andrew Gruel is the mentor chef / co-host along with Anthony Dispensa (Chef Andrew’s West Coast Director of Operations for Slapfish.) Fifteen hour-long episodes are set to premiere on Saturday, May 9th .

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Show 116, April 4, 2015: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish

Andrew GruelFinally a chance to chat with our patient Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish. He really knows seafood.

For months Chef Andrew has been talking about the new Food TV restaurant makeover series he has been shooting without a lot of specifics. Up until now he hasn’t been able to even share the series name or network due to confidentiality agreements. The curtain is now open.

FYI’s new original series, “Say It To My Face!,” gives chefs and restaurant owners a chance to redeem themselves before their toughest online critics. Chef Andrew is the mentor chef / co-host along with Anthony Dispensa (Chef Andrew’s West Coast Director of Operations for Slapfish.) Fifteen hour-long episodes are set to premiere on Saturday, May 9th.

Chef Andrew also shares some useful tips about selecting and preparing lobster. It’s easier to enjoy than its reputation.

 

Play