Show 560, January 13, 2024: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Acclaimed Brewer and Restaurateur Ian McCall (ex-Riip Beer Co.in Huntington Beach) has ventured out on his own with the newly launched ISM Brewing in Downtown Long Beach. In addition to a rotating selection of 15 of his acclaimed craft beers (and prominent guest beers and wine & cider) he has Chef Fonzy De Zuniga (ex-Descanso) in the kitchen crafting elevated pub food including a Salmon Melt with Confit Atlantic Salmon, chipotle mayo, onions, red bell peppers, jalapeno, cilantro, cucumber and smoked cheddar cheese served on a grilled country loaf from the OC’s Crema Artisan Bakery. Weekend Brunch has just started. Ian McCall joins us to tap the keg on all that is ISM Brewing and Tap Room.

Preen is an award-winning, international architecture and Interiors firm with twenty years of experience specializing in hospitality design. Preen offers everything needed to build a project down to the matchbook.” They are based in a historic building in Los Angeles’ Chinatown. Projects in their expansive portfolio include Pine & Crane in the South Park neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles, the Howlin’ Ray’s in Pasadena (in the fondly-remembered Adohr Milk Farm building) and Piccalilli in Culver City. Preen has also designed a few of the distinctive establishments in Chinatown’s Far East Plaza. A current effort in development is acclaimed Chef Chef Tim Hollingsworth’s Otium Las Vegas in the Waldorf Astoria in the Aria Campus (the former Mandarin Oriental hotel.) Preen’s inspirational founder, Alexis Readinger, is our guest to explore the mysterious world of restaurant design.

Our favorite globe-trotting travel journalist and TV personality, Darley Newman, is back with a new season of travel adventures. “Join multi-Emmy nominated Darley Newman for Season 11 of TRAVELS WITH DARLEY and experience an enticing blend of culture, history, and gastronomy across a captivating array of destinations in the USA (including Lafayette, Louisiana and Route 66 in Illinois) and to South Korea. Thirteen half-hour episodes debut on PBS stations starting January 11, 2024, including the launch of TRAVELS WITH DARLEY: “Revolutionary Road Trips” in the lead up to the 2026 commemorations of America’s 250th. TRAVELS WITH DARLEY invites viewers on a journey of discovery as Darley Newman explores the heart and soul of each place she visits.” Darley takes a brief detour from the road to join us.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the full-service Calico Fish House (in the Sunset Beach area of Huntington Beach) and also the founder and pizzaiola of the fast-casual Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) located in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where he responds to listeners’ thoughtful inquiries. We’re continuing the spirited conversation about mandatory Service Charges of 18 to 20 per cent now being added onto restaurant checks (this is not a Tip) along with a possible 3 to 5 per cent contribution to employee health care. Adding a “Tip” above and beyond this is typically not discouraged. To make matters worse the “Service Charge” is taxable. Chef Andrew will weigh in on this highly controversial and befuddling development.
All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Show 560, January 13, 2024: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host and Proprietor of Calico Fish House, with “Ask the Chef”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and Casino

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the full-service Calico Fish House (in the Sunset Beach area of Huntington Beach) and also the founder and pizzaiola of the fast-casual Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) located in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative Ask the Chef segment where he responds to listeners’ thoughtful inquiries.

We’re continuing the spirited conversation about mandatory Service Charges of 18 to 20 per cent now being added onto restaurant checks (this is not a Tip) along with a possible 3 to 5 per cent contribution to employee health care. Adding a “Tip” above and beyond this is typically not discouraged. To make matters worse the “Service Charge” is taxable (and also subject to payroll tax.) Chef Andrew will weigh in on this highly controversial and befuddling development.

Look for Chef Andrew’s new cooking video with Cathy Thomas on Orange Coast Magazine. He prepares One-Pan Seared Salmon with Sweet Potatoes (from Melissa’s), mushrooms, and garbanzo beans.

Check out Chef Andrew’s handy and practical cooking tips on Substack at “American Gravy.” There is an accessible free level as well as a premium option with a modest cost.

January 13: ISM Brewing, Preen, Darley Newman

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: ISM Brewing with Brewer and Restaurateur Ian McCall Part One
Segment Three: ISM Brewing with Brewer and Restaurateur Ian McCall Part Two
Segment Four: Alexis Readinger, Founder, Preen – Architecture and Interiors Firm Part One
Segment Five: Alexis Readinger, Founder, Preen – Architecture and Interiors Firm Part Two
Segment Six: “Travels with Darley” on PBS for Season 11 with Darley Newman Part One
Segment Seven: “Travels with Darley” on PBS for Season 11 with Darley Newman Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host and Proprietor of Calico Fish House, with “Ask the Chef”

Andy Harris, Executive Producer and Co-host previews the show.

Acclaimed Brewer and Restaurateur Ian McCall (ex-Riip Beer Co.) has ventured out on his own with the newly launched ISM Brewing in Downtown Long Beach. In addition to a rotating selection of 13 of his acclaimed craft beers (and prominent guest beers and wine & cider) he has Chef Fonzy De Zuniga (ex-Descanso) in the kitchen crafting elevated pub food including a Salmon Melt with Confit Atlantic Salmon, chipotle mayo, onions, red bell peppers, jalapeno, cilantro, cucumber and smoked cheddar cheese served on a grilled country loaf from the OC’s Crema Artisan Bakery. Weekend Brunch has just started. Ian McCall joins us to tap the keg on all that is ISM Brewing and Tap Room.

Preen is an award-winning, international architecture and Interiors firm with twenty years of experience specializing in hospitality design. Preen offers everything needed to build a project down to the matchbook.” They are based in a historic building in Los Angeles’ Chinatown. Projects in their expansive portfolio include Pine & Crane in the South Park neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles, the Howlin’ Ray’s in Pasadena (in the fondly-remembered Adohr Milk Farm building) and Piccalilli in Culver City. Preen has also designed a few of the distinctive establishments in Chinatown’s Far West Plaza. A current effort in development is acclaimed Chef Tim Hollingsworth’s Otium Las Vegas in the Waldorf Astoria in the Aria Campus (the former Mandarin Oriental hotel.)Preen’s inspirational founder, Alexis Readinger, is our guest to explore the mysterious world of restaurant design.

Our favorite globe-trotting travel journalist and TV personality, Darley Newman, is back with a new season of travel adventures. “Join multi-Emmy nominated Darley Newman for Season 11 of TRAVELS WITH DARLEY and experience an enticing blend of culture, history, and gastronomy across a captivating array of destinations in the USA (including Lafayette, Louisiana and Route 66 in Illinois) and to South Korea. Thirteen half-hour episodes debut on PBS stations starting January 11, 2024, including the launch of TRAVELS WITH DARLEY: “Revolutionary Road Trips” in the lead up to the 2026 commemorations of America’s 250th. TRAVELS WITH DARLEY invites viewers on a journey of discovery as Darley Newman explores the heart and soul of each place she visits.” Darley takes a brief respite from the road to join us.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the full-service Calico Fish House (in the Sunset Beach area of Huntington Beach) and also the founder and pizzaiola of the fast-casual Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) located in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where he responds to listeners’ thoughtful inquiries. We’re continuing the conversation about mandatory Service Charges of 18 to 20 per cent now being added onto restaurant checks (this is not a Tip) along with a possible 3 to 5 per cent contribution to employee health care. Adding a “Tip” above and beyond this is typically not discouraged. To make matters worse the “Service Charge” is taxable. Chef Andrew will weigh in on this highly controversial and befuddling development.

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

Ian McCall of Riip Beer Company at the KLAA Studios

Acclaimed Brewer and Restaurateur Ian McCall (ex-Riip Beer Co., Huntington Beach) has ventured out on his own with the newly launched ISM Brewing in Downtown Long Beach. In addition to a rotating selection of 13 of his acclaimed craft beers (and prominent guest beers and wine & cider) he has Chef Fonzy De Zuniga (ex-Descanso) in the kitchen crafting elevated pub food including a Salmon Melt with Confit Atlantic Salmon, chipotle mayo, onions, red bell peppers, jalapeno, cilantro, cucumber and smoked cheddar cheese served on a grilled country loaf from the OC’s Crema Artisan Bakery. Weekend Brunch has just started.

Trivia Night at ISM Brewing Co. is under the banner of The Epic Pub Quiz on Monday at 7:00 p.m.

“Ian McCall has been deeply passionate about beer for nearly two decades. His journey began in 2004 at Brewbakers in Huntington Beach, where he first discovered the joys of beer making. Initially working behind the bar, Ian quickly learned the brewing process and began creating new recipes and experimenting with different ingredients. This period was not just significant for his career; he also met his future wife, Lisa, during a brewing class.”

“After leaving Brewbakers in 2009 an opportunity arose when Beachwood BBQ announced plans to open a brewery in Long Beach. Ian joined the team, working initially as a bartender. He furthered his brewing education at the Siebel Institute of Technology and started apprenticing under Julian Shrago. By 2013, Ian became Julian’s assistant brewer. During his tenure at Beachwood, the team won numerous awards, including the GABF Mid-size Brewpub and Mid-size Brewpub Brewer of the Year in 2013 and 2014, and at the World Beer Cup in 2016.”

“In 2018, Ian moved to Riip Beer Company in Huntington Beach as Head Brewer. Over five years, he enhanced the brand, assembled a skilled team, and led them to win various prestigious brewing awards, including at GABF, San Diego International, US Beer Open, LA IPA Fest, and the Bistro IPA/DIPA Fest.”

Ian McCall joins us to tap the keg on all that is ISM Brewing and Tap Room.

Alexis Readinger of Preen

Preen is an award-winning, international architecture and Interiors firm founded by Alexis Readinger with twenty years of experience specializing in hospitality design. Preen offers everything needed to build a project down to the matchbook.” They are based in a historic building in Los Angeles’ Chinatown. Projects in their expansive portfolio include Pine & Crane in the South Park neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles, the Howlin’ Ray’s in Pasadena (in the fondly-remembered Adohr Milk Farm building) and Piccalilli in Culver City. Preen has also designed a few of the distinctive establishments in Chinatown’s Far West Plaza. A current, high-profile effort in development is acclaimed Chef Tim Hollingsworth’s Otium Las Vegas in the Waldorf Astoria in the Aria Campus (the former Mandarin Oriental hotel.)

Alexis Readinger, Founder – “I believe in the idea of whole wellness and in creating a life that is deep in abundance for self, for community and for the planet. I’ve spent over two decades in the world of hospitality, this place of great generosity. Coming from this perspective, my commitment is to create conscious spaces that inspire humanity within the human animal experience. My calling is to create space that invites connection to the infinite.”

“A Texas native, Alexis holds a Masters in Architecture from UCLA and a Bachelors from Vanderbilt University. She is a LEED certified Green Building Advisor and a member of the AIA. Alexis serves on the board of the Chinatown Business Improvement District (BID), the Chung King Road Association, and the Travel Experience and Trends Council at the Urban Land Institute (ULI). She stands for just and joyful business.”

Preen’s founder, Alexis Readinger, is our guest to explore the mysterious world of restaurant design.

Darley Newman of Travels with Darley

Our favorite globe-trotting international travel journalist and TV personality, Darley Newman, is back with a new season of traveling. “Join multi-Emmy nominated Darley Newman for Season 11 of TRAVELS WITH DARLEY and experience an enticing blend of culture, history, and gastronomy across a captivating array of destinations in the USA (including Lafayette, Louisiana and Route 66 in Illinois) and to South Korea. Thirteen half-hour episodes debut on PBS stations starting January 11, 2024, including the launch of TRAVELS WITH DARLEY: “Revolutionary Road Trips” in the lead up to the 2026 commemorations of America’s 250th.”

TRAVELS WITH DARLEY invites viewers on a journey of discovery as Darley Newman explores the heart and soul of each place she visits.”

“This season focuses on the passion of individuals, families, and communities who seek to preserve historical assets, traditions, and authentic cuisine to enable lovers of travel to take nostalgic journeys, learn from their discoveries and pass it on to the next generation,” said Darley.

“In “South Korea’s Culinary Traditions” explore with Darley Newman across the rich world of Korean cuisine, from traditional temple food to modern K-desserts, all while delving into the culture and philosophy behind these delectable dishes in Seoul and Busan. Darley films with a three-star Michelin chef and dives into cooking as a spiritual endeavor with Buddhist nun Jeong Kwan of “Chef’s Table” on Netflix fame.”

Darley takes a brief respite from the road to join us.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and Casino

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the full-service Calico Fish House (in the Sunset Beach area of Huntington Beach) and also the founder and pizzaiola of the fast-casual Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) located in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative Ask the Chef segment where he responds to listeners’ thoughtful inquiries.

We’re continuing the conversation about mandatory Service Charges of 18 to 20 per cent now added onto restaurant checks (this is not a Tip) sometimes along with a 3 to 5 per cent contribution to employee health care. Adding a “Tip” above and beyond this is typically not discouraged. To make matters worse the “Service Charge” is taxable. Chef Andrew will weigh in on this highly controversial and befuddling development.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: ISM Brewing with Brewer and Restaurateur Ian McCall Part One
Segment Three: ISM Brewing with Brewer and Restaurateur Ian McCall Part Two
Segment Four: Alexis Readinger, Founder, Preen – Architecture and Interiors Firm Part One
Segment Five: Alexis Readinger, Founder, Preen – Architecture and Interiors Firm Part Two
Segment Six: “Travels with Darley” on PBS for Season 11 with Darley Newman Part One
Segment Seven: “Travels with Darley” on PBS for Season 11 with Darley Newman Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host and Proprietor of Calico Fish House, with “Ask the Chef”

Show 559, January 6, 2024: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Ian McCall of Riip Beer Company at the KLAA Studios

Acclaimed Brewer and Restaurateur Ian McCall (ex-Riip Beer Co.) has ventured out on his own with the newly launched ISM Brewing in Downtown Long Beach. In addition to a rotating selection of 14 of his acclaimed craft beers (and prominent guest beers and wine & cider) he has Chef Fonzy De Zuniga (ex-Descanso) in the kitchen crafting elevated pub food including a Salmon Melt with Confit Atlantic Salmon, chipotle mayo, onions, red bell peppers, jalapeno, cilantro, cucumber and smoked cheddar cheese served on a grilled country loaf from the OC’s Crema Artisan Bakery. Ian McCall joins us to preview their upcoming Grand Opening on January 11th.

One of the new programming elements in the recently concluded LA Chef Conference 2023 was the activation of the LA Chef Con / Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC) Student Mentorship Program. Five outstanding LATTC Culinary Arts Pathway Students were each awarded $1,000 and then paired with a leading industry mentor for one year with the objective of furthering their growth and education on the Culinary Arts. The Mentorship Program was funded by a grant from Lawry’s Restaurants. One of the Mentorship Program’s recipients is LATTC Culinary Arts Pathway student Shelbi Johnson. Shelbi has been paired with Chef / Proprietor Keith Corbin of Alta Adams in Los Angeles. We’ll meet them both.

A new collaboration between the Mauna Kea Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii and the Kohala Food Hub (KFH) is stepping up the use of food grown by Kohala farmers. “The Hāwī-based KFH aggregates and markets food for small and mid-scale farmers who use regenerative and organic management practices. The fresh food is sold to island resorts, restaurants and residents who purchase a weekly Multi-Farm CSA subscription or buy food through KFH’s Online Marketplace. “I think there’s a special bond between Mauna Kea Resort and the Kohala community due to our proximity and that a large number of Kohala residents work at the resort,” says Maya Parish, director of KFH

With the collaboration starting in August, Mauna Kea Resort is currently purchasing around 450 pounds of produce weekly from KFH, initially using what farmers already had growing—grapefruit, dragon fruit, navel oranges, starfruit, bananas, green leaf and romaine lettuces. KFH’s Maya Parish and Mauna Kea Resort’s Todd Oldham (Director of Food & Beverage) join us with all the specifics of the effort.”

“Simplicity, with a touch of refined elegance, reigns at Camphor — A Michelin-starred modern French bistro located in DTLA’s Arts District. The brainchild of owners and operators Sarah Lam and Cyrus Batchan of No.8 Hospitality and helmed by two young, impressively pedigreed Co-Executive, Chefs Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George, Camphor re-imagines the classic bistro experience. The two chefs collaborate to create a unique flavor identity through an unassuming yet nuanced menu with recognizable nods to the duo’s South and Southeast Asian backgrounds and classical French training. Intentionally designed to be a convivial neighborhood restaurant with an urban heartbeat, Camphor takes things back to basics with an unpretentious and enticing menu featuring an array of shareable small plates, heartier mains, scenographic desserts, classic cocktails with a French twist, and an enviable selection of French and European wines to pair.” Our guests are Cyrus Batchan and Co-Chefs Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George.

PBS SoCal and KCET, Southern California’s flagship PBS stations are now airing the 2024 return “of the locally produced, historical documentary series LOST LA, a co-production with the University of Southern California Libraries, part of their longstanding commitment to building public engagement with regional history collections. Public historian and writer Nathan Masters returns as Host for the sixth season of LOST LA with untold histories behind tiki culture, fast food, Historic Filipinotown, hiking, tuberculosis and cemeteries. The half-hour series LOST LA explores the region’s hidden past through documents, photos and other rare artifacts from California libraries and archives. Since its premiere in January of 2016, the series has continued to challenge the assumption that Los Angeles is a city without a history. Instead, LOST LA offers a history of Southern California that is not often told, or has been forgotten, bringing primary sources of Los Angeles history to the screen and connecting them to the Los Angeles of today.” The Director of all the new season’s episodes of LOST LA, Matt Bass, is our well-informed guide to the current 2024 season of LOST LA.

When it comes to great coffee and casual all day dining the locals in Santa Ynez will send you to Alberto Battaglini’s Pony Espresso Café.

Since its creation is 2019 adjacent to the Santa Ynez Post Office it’s become a locals’ favorite. It definitely reflects the character of the Santa Ynez Valley. Alberto is passionate about maintaining the quality of his food and standout coffee. The dishes are designed to suit all tastes and they are inspired from the bounty of the Santa Ynez Valley. Pony Espresso is where “casual service meets elevated food in a unique environment.” Alberto takes a break from his busy kitchen to join us.

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

January 6: ISM Brewing, Alta Adams, Kohola Food Hub, Camphor, KCET’s Lost LA, Pony Espresso Café

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Keith Corbin and Shelbi Johnson, The LA Chef Con / LATTC Student Mentorship Program
Segment Three: Kohala Food Hub and Mauna Kea Resort, Hawaii Island
Segment Four: Camphor DTLA with Cyrus Batchan and Chefs Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George Part One
Segment Five: Camphor DTLA with Cyrus Batchan and Chefs Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George Part Two
Segment Six: “LOST LA” on PBS SoCal
Segment Seven: Pony Espresso Café with Proprietor Alberto Battaglini, Santa Ynez, CA

Andy Harris, Executive Producer and Co-host previews the show.

Ian McCall of Riip Beer Company at the KLAA Studios

Acclaimed Brewer and Restaurateur Ian McCall (ex-Riip Beer Co.) has ventured out on his own with the newly launched ISM Brewing in Downtown Long Beach. In addition to a rotating selection of 14 of his acclaimed craft beers (and prominent guest beers and wine & cider) he has Chef Fonzy De Zuniga (ex-Descanso) in the kitchen crafting elevated pub food including a Salmon Melt with Confit Atlantic Salmon, chipotle mayo, onions, red bell peppers, jalapeno, cilantro, cucumber and smoked cheddar cheese served on a grilled country loaf from the OC’s Crema Artisan Bakery. Ian McCall joins us to preview their upcoming Grand Opening on January 11th.

One of the new programming elements in the recently concluded LA Chef Conference 2023 was the activation of the LA Chef Con / Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC) Student Mentorship Program. Five outstanding LATTC Culinary Arts Pathway Students were each awarded $1,000 and then paired with a leading industry mentor for one year with the objective of furthering their growth and education on the Culinary Arts. The Mentorship Program was funded by a grant from Lawry’s Restaurants. One of the Mentorship Program’s recipients is LATTC Culinary Arts Pathway student Shelbi Johnson. Shelbi has been paired with Chef/Proprietor Keith Corbin of Alta Adams in Los Angeles. We’ll meet them both.

A new collaboration between the Mauna Kea Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii and the Kohala Food Hub (KFH) is stepping up the use of food grown by Kohala farmers. “The Hāwī-based KFH aggregates and markets food for small and mid-scale farmers who use regenerative and organic management practices. The fresh food is sold to island resorts, restaurants and residents who purchase a weekly Multi-Farm CSA subscription or buy food through KFH’s Online Marketplace. “I think there’s a special bond between Mauna Kea Resort and the Kohala community due to our proximity and that a large number of Kohala residents work at the resort,” says Maya Parish, director of KFH.

With the collaboration starting in August, Mauna Kea Resort is currently purchasing around 450 pounds of produce weekly from KFH, initially using what farmers already had growing—grapefruit, dragon fruit, navel oranges, starfruit, bananas, green leaf and romaine lettuces. KFH’s Maya Parish and Mauna Kea Resort’s Todd Oldham join us with all the specifics of the effort.”

“Simplicity, with a touch of refined elegance, reigns at Camphor — A Michelin-starred modern French bistro located in DTLA’s Arts District. The brainchild of owners and operators Sarah Lam and Cyrus Batchan of No.8 Hospitality and helmed by two young, impressively pedigreed Co-Executive Chefs Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George, Camphor re-imagines the classic bistro experience. The two chefs collaborate to create a unique flavor identity through an unassuming yet nuanced menu with recognizable nods to the duo’s South and Southeast Asian backgrounds and classical French training. Intentionally designed to be a convivial neighborhood restaurant with an urban heartbeat, Camphor takes things back to basics with an unpretentious and enticing menu featuring an array of shareable small plates, heartier mains, scenographic desserts, classic cocktails with a French twist, and an enviable selection of French and European wines to pair.” Our guests are Cyrus Batchan and Co-Chefs Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George.

PBS SoCal and KCET, Southern California’s flagship PBS stations are soon airing the 2024 return “of the locally produced, historical documentary series LOST LA, a co-production with the University of Southern California Libraries, part of their longstanding commitment to building public engagement with regional history collections. Public historian and writer Nathan Masters returns as Host for the sixth season of LOST LA with untold histories behind tiki culture, fast food, Historic Filipinotown, hiking, tuberculosis and cemeteries. The half-hour series LOST LA explores the region’s hidden past through documents, photos and other rare artifacts from California libraries and archives. Since its premiere in January of 2016, the series has continued to challenge the assumption that Los Angeles is a city without a history. Instead, LOST LA offers a history of Southern California that is not often told, or has been forgotten, bringing primary sources of Los Angeles history to the screen and connecting them to the Los Angeles of today.” Public Historian and writer Nathan Masters (and the host of LOST LA) is our well-informed guide to the new season of LOST LA.

When it comes to great coffee and casual all day dining the locals in Santa Ynez will send you to Alberto Battaglini’s Pony Espresso Café.

Since its creation is 2019 it’s become a locals’ favorite. It definitely reflects the character of the Santa Ynez Valley. Alberto is passionate about maintaining the quality of his food and standout coffee. The dishes are designed to suit all tastes and they are inspired from the bounty of the Santa Ynez Valley. Pony Espresso is where “casual service meets elevated food in a unique environment.” Alberto takes a break from his busy kitchen to join us.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the full-service Calico Fish House (in the Sunset Beach area of Huntington Beach) and also the founder and pizzaiola of the fast-casual Big Parm(New Jersey-style pizza) located in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where he responds to listeners’ thoughtful inquiries. We’re starting to see more mandatory Service Charges of 18 to 20 per cent added onto restaurant checks (this is not a Tip) along with a 3 to 5 per cent contribution to employee health care. Adding a “Tip” above and beyond this is typically not discouraged. Chef Andrew will revisit this highly controversial and confusing development.

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

Keith Corbin of Alta Adams

One of the new programming elements in the recently concluded LA Chef Conference 2023 was the activation of the LA Chef Con / Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC) Student Mentorship Program. Five outstanding LATTC Culinary Arts Pathway Students were each awarded $1,000 and then paired with a leading industry mentor for one year with the objective of furthering their growth and education on the Culinary Arts. The Mentorship Program was funded by a grant from Lawry’s Restaurants.

One of the Mentorship Program’s recipients is LATTC Culinary Arts Pathway student Shelbi Johnson. Shelbi has been paired with Chef/Proprietor Keith Corbin of Alta Adams in Los Angeles. We’ll meet them both.

Maya Parish of Kohala Food Lab

A new collaboration between the Mauna Kea Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii and the Kohala Food Hub (KFH) is stepping up the use of food grown by Kohala farmers.

“The Hāwī-based KFH aggregates and markets food for small and mid-scale farmers who use regenerative and organic management practices. The fresh food is sold to island resorts, restaurants and residents who purchase a weekly Multi-Farm CSA subscription or buy food through KFH’s Online Marketplace.”

“I think there’s a special bond between Mauna Kea Resort and the Kohala community due to our proximity and that a large number of Kohala residents work at the resort, says Maya Parish, director of KFH.”

“On the food hub’s end, our goals are to create consistent standing resort orders that our farmers can count on and plant out for,” details Parish. “This will stimulate more regional food production, increasing revenue for our farmers and providing consistent quality and volume that the resort can depend on.”

“In addition, another identified goal includes providing an example to other resorts in the Kona and Kohala Districts to also “join more deeply” in supporting locally based farmers with their significant collective purchasing power.”

Todd Oldham of Mauna Kea Resort

“We were always heavy into purchasing local but it seemed after COVID, we had to do everything in our power to strengthen food security and the way we can do that is though our dollars,” notes Todd Oldham, Mauna Kea Resort food and beverage director. “When we buy local products, the money stays here and helps someone keep their land and expand to grow more food.”

“Oldham, a former chef who grew up with an agricultural background in Pennsylvania, shares a resort mission is to increase the use of local food. “It’s not just a verbal think; we do strategy sessions on how to increase local food usage, what steps we need to take and the initiatives needed.”

“With the collaboration starting in August, Mauna Kea Resort is currently purchasing around 450 pounds of produce weekly from KFH, initially using what farmers already had growing—grapefruit, dragon fruit, navel oranges, starfruit, bananas, green leaf and romaine lettuces. Now KFH is asking its farmer network to plant out crops specifically to supply the resort’s stated needs—carrots, eggplant, broccoli, cabbage and green beans— while negotiating price points that work for all.”

KFH’s Maya Parish and Mauna Kea Resort’s Todd Oldham join us with all the specifics of the important effort.

Lijo George of Camphor LA

“Simplicity, with a touch of refined elegance, reigns at Camphor — A Michelin-starred modern French bistro located in DTLA’s Arts District. The brainchild of owners and operators Sarah Lam and Cyrus Batchan of No.8 Hospitality and helmed by two young, impressively pedigreed Co-Executive Chefs Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George, Camphor re-imagines the classic bistro experience. The two chefs collaborate to create a unique flavor identity through an unassuming yet nuanced menu with recognizable nods to the duo’s South and Southeast Asian backgrounds and classical French training.”

“Intentionally designed to be a convivial neighborhood restaurant with an urban heartbeat, Camphor takes things back to basics with an unpretentious and enticing menu featuring an array of shareable small plates, heartier mains, scenographic desserts, classic cocktails with a French twist, and an enviable selection of French and European wines to pair.”

Max Boonthanakit of Camphor

“The two chefs collaborate to create a unique flavor identity through an unassuming yet nuanced menu with recognizable nods to the duo’s South and Southeast Asian backgrounds and classical French training. Their talents were cultivated at the Michelin-starred Blue by Alain Ducasse in Bangkok, where the now co-chefs met and worked together for several years under Ducasse himself. Upon first glance at the minimally worded menu, dishes are described in their simplest form, but the flavor profiles and presentation tell a very different story still within the realm of classic French cuisine. George’s love of spices (lovingly transported from his hometown of Kerala on the southwestern coast of India) interplays with the French-leaning menu to create full-flavored dishes with a kick. Boonthankit’s mastery and passion for dessert artistry are on full display at Camphor.”

Our guests are Cyrus Batchan and Chefs Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George.

Nathan Masters of Lost LA on KCET

PBS SoCal and KCET, Southern California’s flagship PBS stations are soon airing the 2024 “return of the locally produced, historical documentary series LOST LA, a co-production with the University of Southern California Libraries, part of their longstanding commitment to building public engagement with regional history collections. Public historian and writer Nathan Masters returns as Host for the sixth season of LOST LA with untold histories behind tiki culture, fast food, Historic Filipinotown, hiking, tuberculosis and cemeteries.”

“The new season of LOST LA is scheduled on PBS SoCal beginning Tuesday, January 2 at 7:30 p.m. PT. After the broadcast, each episode of LOST LA is available to stream on their companion websites and on the free PBS App. Members of PBS SoCal and KCET will get early access to stream all six episodes on PBS Passport starting Jan. 2.”

“The half-hour series LOST LA explores the region’s hidden past through documents, photos and other rare artifacts from California libraries and archives. Since its premiere in January of 2016, the series has continued to challenge the assumption that Los Angeles is a city without a history. Instead, LOST LA offers a history of Southern California that is not often told, or has been forgotten, bringing primary sources of Los Angeles history to the screen and connecting them to the Los Angeles of today.”

Public Historian and writer Nathan Masters is our well-informed guide to the new season of LOST LA.

Alberto Battaglini of Pony Espresso Cafe

When it comes to great coffee and casual all day dining the locals in Santa Ynez will send you to Alberto Battaglini’s Pony Espresso Café.

Since its creation is 2019 it’s become a true locals’ favorite. It definitely reflects the rich character of the Santa Ynez Valley.

Alberto is passionate about maintaining the quality of his food and coffee. The dishes are designed to suit all tastes and they are inspired from the bounty of the Santa Ynez Valley. Pony Espresso is where “casual service meets elevated food in a unique environment”

“Alberto was born in Verona, Italy where he graduated as chef in 2002. He then pursued a career as a barman that allowed him to travel in different areas of the world. Thanks to those years of experiences he created his own style of recipes incorporating Italian background with Latin influence. Battaglini, followed one purpose only, to heighten the craft of bartending while emphasizing the importance of delivering an exceptional customer experience. After opening different restaurants he is now partnering with Evan Lash, a friend and a Santa Ynez Valley Real Estate Investor, to create a completely different dining experience in the Santa Ynez Valley.”

Alberto takes a break from his busy kitchen to join us.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Keith Corbin and Shelbi Johnson, The LA Chef Con / LATTC Student Mentorship Program
Segment Three: Kohala Food Hub and Mauna Kea Resort, Hawaii Island
Segment Four: Camphor DTLA with Cyrus Batchan and Chefs Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George Part One
Segment Five: Camphor DTLA with Cyrus Batchan and Chefs Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George Part Two
Segment Six: “LOST LA” on PBS SoCal
Segment Seven: Pony Espresso Café with Proprietor Alberto Battaglini, Santa Ynez, CA

Show 513, February 18, 2023: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Conscious Bean is a wellness-based, boutique micro roaster and caffeination design firm, focusing on cafe development, event services, custom tailored coffee subscriptions and corporate coffee programs for elite private and commercial application. Born in Los Angeles, the City of Angels, on November 11, 2011, with headquarters in Orange County, California, Conscious Bean is the brain child of founder and caffeine visionary, Matthew Evilsizor.” Conscious Coffee’s Matt Evilsizor is our guest with the perfectly brewed cup of premium coffee in hand.

“In late January Head Chef Jeffery Hayashi, Commis Franco Fugel and Head Coach Robert Sulatycky (Team USA 2023) represented their country at the world’s most prestigious cooking competition, The Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition in Lyon, France.
Teams of some of the most brilliant culinary minds from 24 countries across the world gathered in Lyon, France, where they competed in the most rigorous and celebrated cooking competition in the world.

Team USA (supported by the Ment’or Foundation) competed on Monday, January 23rd and presented their platter “Postcard From Hawaii,” an homage to Chef Hayashi’s home. Their platter presentation contained the mandatory protein of monkfish, which was roasted and featured monkfish jus, ragout of mussels, hen egg custard and avocado green goddess. To further test each country’s creative abilities, each team developed a “Feed the Kids” menu, featuring a three-course meal highlighting pumpkin and egg as the main ingredients.” Team USA’s Head Chef Jeffery Hayashi and Commis Franco Fugel are our guests.

“Helmed by Chef-Owner Jeoffrey Offer, Butcher’s House Brasserie (Costa Mesa) is an award-winning modern brasserie centered around the antique art of butchery. The menu boasts dry-aged meats and rustic brasserie-style dishes representative of his hometown Toulouse in the south of France. From the kitchen to the bar, craftsmanship is displayed as chefs expertly trim and truss premium cuts of meat while bartenders stir and shake soju-based spirits into French-inspired elixirs. With an atmosphere of warm masculinity, the dining room at Butcher’s House allows guests to escape into a rich bottle of Bordeaux, while its sunny courtyard-facing patio presents the perfect locale for a chilled glass of rose.” Chef Jeoffrey Offer joins us with antique clever in hand.

Chef Andrew Gruel of Big Parm and the Calico Fish House

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the full-service Calico Fish House (in Huntington Beach) and also the founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. We were going to chat with Chef Andrew about some oddities of the current tipping situation in restaurants and added charges that, perhaps, require a bit of explanation but the ghost of cell phone drop got in the way of connecting with Chef Andrew and keeping him on the air. No fear…We’ll pick up the conversation with Chef Andrew next Saturday morning. Apologies…

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

February 18: Conscious Bean, Team USA at Bocuse d’Or, Butcher’s House Brasserie

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Matthew Evilsizor, Founder, Conscious Bean – “The Coffee Whisperer” Part One
Segment Three: Matthew Evilsizor, Founder, Conscious Bean – “The Coffee Whisperer” Part Two
Segment Four: Team USA 2023 with Head Chef Jeffery Hayashi and Commis Franco Fugel, Bocuse d’Or Culinary Competition Part One
Segment Five: Team USA 2023 with Head Chef Jeffery Hayashi and Commis Franco Fugel, Bocuse d’Or Culinary Competition Part Two
Segment Six: Butcher’s House Brasserie (Costa Mesa) with Chef-Owner Jeoffrey Offer Part One
Segment Seven: Butcher’s House Brasserie (Costa Mesa) with Chef-Owner Jeoffrey Offer Part Two

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

“Conscious Bean is a wellness-based, boutique micro roaster and caffeination design firm, focusing on cafe development, event services, custom tailored coffee subscriptions and corporate coffee programs for elite private and commercial application. Born in Los Angeles, the City of Angels, on November 11, 2011, with headquarters in Orange County, California, Conscious Bean is the brainchild of founder and caffeine visionary, Matthew Evilsizor.” Conscious Coffee’s Matt Evilsizor is our guest with the perfectly brewed cup of premium coffee in hand.

In late January Head Chef Jeffery Hayashi, Commis Franco Fugel and Head Coach Robert Sulatycky (Team USA 2023) represented their country at the world’s most prestigious cooking competition, The Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition in Lyon, France.

Teams of some of the most brilliant culinary minds from 24 countries across the world gathered in Lyon, France, where they competed in the most rigorous and celebrated cooking competition in the world.

“Team USA (supported by the Ment’or Foundation) competed on Monday, January 23rd and presented their platter “Postcard From Hawaii,” an homage to Chef Hayashi’s home. Their platter presentation contained the mandatory protein of monkfish, which was roasted and featured monkfish jus, ragout of mussels, hen egg custard and avocado green goddess. To further test each country’s creative abilities, each team developed a “Feed the Kids” menu, featuring a three-course meal highlighting pumpkin and egg as the main ingredients.” Team USA’s Head Chef Jeffery Hayashi and Commis Franco Fugel are our guests.

“Helmed by Chef-Owner Jeoffrey Offer, Butcher’s House Brasserie (Costa Mesa) is an award-winning modern brasserie centered around the antique art of butchery. The menu boasts dry-aged meats and rustic brasserie-style dishes representative of his hometown Toulouse in the south of France. From the kitchen to the bar, craftsmanship is displayed as chefs expertly trim and truss premium cuts of meat while bartenders stir and shake soju-based spirits into French-inspired elixirs. With an atmosphere of warm masculinity, the dining room at Butcher’s House allows guests to escape into a rich bottle of Bordeaux, while its sunny courtyard-facing patio presents the perfect locale for a chilled glass of rose.” Chef Jeoffrey Offer joins us with antique clever in hand.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the full-service Calico Fish House (in Huntington Beach) and also the founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Some full-service restaurants are now adding a “Mandatory Service Charge” to restaurant bills for parties of less than 6 guests. Is this a tip? What about a 4 to 5 per cent surcharge added for “employee health care”? When you use a credit card some of the signature printouts give you suggested tip amounts. Some calculate the suggested tip based on the includes sales tax and others calculate net of tax. What’s right? We’ll ask the chef.

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

Matthew Evilsizor

Conscious Bean is a wellness-based, boutique micro roaster and caffeination design firm, focusing on cafe development, event services, custom tailored coffee subscriptions and corporate coffee programs for elite private and commercial application. Born in Los Angeles, the City of Angels, on November 11, 2011, with headquarters in Orange County, California. Conscious Bean is the brainchild of founder and caffeine visionary, Matthew Evilsizor.”

“Coffee to Conscious Bean, is the manifestation of love. It’s the dedication of many hands, hearts & the recurring gift of mother earth. Conscious Bean works daily to honor this gift, sharing their vision of earth’s exceptional offerings, crafted for your ritual.”

“It is dedication, vigilance, obsessive attention to detail and honest partnership. Conscious Bean’s visionary coffees are the tangible representation of owner Matthew Evilsizor and long- time friend and master roaster, Shawn Anderson of Old Town Roastery fame. Their dedicated partnership, along with a long chain of advocates, farms, importers and a few secret weapons, manifest some of the most rare and exceptional offerings from around the planet. Without the passion, vigilance, and skill of these souls, what Conscious Bean represents would not be possible.”

“Conscious Bean also handcrafts award-winning coffee in small batches for one-of-a-kind coffee subscriptions.”

“20% of Conscious Bean’s wholesale sales go to interest free loans for small coffee farms around the world.”

Conscious Coffee’s Matt Evilsizor is our guest with the perfectly brewed cup of premium coffee in hand.

Jeffrey Hayashi is the head chef for the 2021 Bocuse D'Or

In late January Head Chef Jeffery Hayashi, Commis Franco Fugel and Head Coach Robert Sulatycky (Team USA 2023) represented their country at the world’s most prestigious cooking competition, The Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition in Lyon, France.

“Teams of some of the most brilliant culinary minds from 24 countries across the world gathered in Lyon, France, where they competed in the most rigorous and celebrated cooking competition in the world.”

“Team USA (supported by the Ment’or Foundation) competed on Monday, January 23rd and presented their platter “Postcard From Hawaii,” an homage to Chef Hayashi’s home. Their platter presentation contained the mandatory protein of monkfish, which was roasted and featured monkfish jus, ragout of mussels, hen egg custard and avocado green goddess. The platter presentations were designed by Martin Kastner of Crucial Detail, LLC. To further test each country’s creative abilities, each team developed a “Feed the Kids” menu, featuring a three-course meal highlighting pumpkin and egg as the main ingredients. Team USA artfully presented their menu, drawing inspiration from childhood fairy tales of “Cinderella,” “The Goose That Laid The Golden Eggs,” and “Snow White.””

Commis Franco Fugel

Head Chef Jeffery Hayashi notes, “I am honored to have represented Team USA at this esteemed global culinary competition. I would not be here without the support of all the members of Team USA, but particularly that of my Commis, Franco Fugel and our Head Coach Robert Sulatycky. This was an opportunity of a lifetime for a chef and I will treasure this experience throughout my culinary journey.””

Ment’or is the non-profit organization that is responsible for recruiting, training and supporting Team USA.

Team USA’s Head Chef Jeffery Hayashi and Commis Franco Fugel are our guests.

Jeoffrey Offer of Butcher's House Brasserie

Butcher’s House Brasserie, the award-winning brasserie helmed by Chef-Owner Jeoffrey Offer, celebrated its 1st Anniversary last December. In its first year, Butcher’s House garnered critical acclaim as the ‘2022 Restaurant of the Year’ by Orange Coast Magazine and earned coveted recognition in the Orange County Register’s ‘75 Best Restaurants’ list. The restaurant, now in its second year, has introduced a new menu that artfully juxtaposes the antique craft of butchery with contemporary French dining.”

“Butcher’s House celebrates cuisine du terroir, focusing on wood-fired steaks, dry-aged, and butchered in-house. Classic and contemporary converge on Offer’s new menu as time-honored techniques intersect with his inspirations from the avant-garde dining culture of modern France. The new menu is complemented by a thoughtfully curated wine program offering guests an exploration through the various growing regions of France.”

“If you were to visit France today, you’d find that restaurants shaping the modern dining scene focus on simple, good food served in a warm, inviting atmosphere. That is what we’re creating at Butcher’s House,” adds Offer. “Simply prepared dishes allow the quality and seasonality of ingredients to take center stage. There is beauty in simplicity, and my style of cooking reflects that.”

“New-to-the-menu starters include a woodfire-grilled Rustic Carpaccio with thinly sliced thyme and garlic-marinated filet with Gribiche sauce; and a Burrata with grilled acorn squash topped with basil, olive oil, and saba. Accompaniments like Ratatouille and duck-fat Roasted Potatoes serve as classic complements to Offer’s selection of Butcher’s Choice cuts, while playful options like Butcher’s Fries are topped with pork belly and melted raclette cheese. Dishes like the Merguez Boulette (beef & lamb marinated with traditional spices) and the signature Butcher’s Burger with dry-aged beef, confit onions, and Comté cheese provide a glimpse into France’s contemporary dining scene. Offer’s hometown is celebrated in traditional dishes like the Toulouse Sausage, while his classical French training shines through dishes like Duck Confit, a slow-cooked duck leg marinated in duck fat served with Cassoulet-style beans.”

“To complement his new dinner menu, Offer also launched a new wine program that expertly explores France’s most illustrious growing regions. A curated list features everything from elegant Champagnes and bold grand cru Burgundies to robust blends from the sun-drenched vineyards of the Southern Rhone.  In 2023 guests can look forward to a monthly series of multi-course wine-paired dinners exploring each growing region and its unique cuisine du terroir. Offer has tapped special co-hosts and wine experts to guide guests with tasting notes for each region.”

Butcher’s House is located at SoCo in Costa Mesa (3321 Hyland Ave. Ste. D) and is open for dinner nightly from 5 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. and weekend brunch from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Chef Andrew Gruel of Big Parm and the Calico Fish House

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the recently launched, full-service Calico Fish House (in the Sunset Beach area of Huntington Beach) and also the founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries.

Some full-service restaurants are now adding a “Mandatory Service Charge” to restaurant bills for parties of less than 6 guests. Is this a tip ? What about a 4 to 5 per cent surcharge added for “employee health care”? When you use a credit card some of the signature printouts give you a range of suggested tip amounts. Some calculate the suggested tip based on the included sales tax and others calculate net of tax. What’s right? (In parts of California this can add an additional 1 per cent to the bill.) We’ll ask the chef.

Chef Andrew and Lauren Gruel have a new fast casual concept, Burger 101, coming soon to the 2-level, Kitchen United complex on the 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica. It’s Chef Andrew’s version of a value-priced, honest burger (and loaded fries) using quality ingredients including a premium burger patty sourced from West Coast Prime Meats. He’ll also launch a casual Mexican concept there, Lolo’s Tacos, specializing in clean and simple tacos, burritos and standout specialty sauces.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Matthew Evilsizor, Founder, Conscious Bean – “The Coffee Whisperer” Part One
Segment Three: Matthew Evilsizor, Founder, Conscious Bean – “The Coffee Whisperer” Part Two
Segment Four: Team USA 2023 with Head Chef Jeffery Hayashi and Commis Franco Fugel, Bocuse d’Or Culinary Competition Part One
Segment Five: Team USA 2023 with Head Chef Jeffery Hayashi and Commis Franco Fugel, Bocuse d’Or Culinary Competition Part Two
Segment Six: Butcher’s House Brasserie (Costa Mesa) with Chef-Owner Jeoffrey Offer Part One
Segment Seven: Butcher’s House Brasserie (Costa Mesa) with Chef-Owner Jeoffrey Offer Part Two

Show 510, February 4, 2023: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host, with “Ask the Chef”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and Casino

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the recently launched, full-service Calico Fish House (on E. Pacific Coast Highway in the Sunset Beach area of Huntington Beach) and also the founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative Ask the Chef segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries.

How do you feel about full-service restaurants not accepting cash? How about a mandatory Service Charge added to your check. Is that considered a tip? Is it appropriate to tip at a fast- food restaurant or your neighborhood donut shop? Should the gratuity be based on the pre-tax total or the amount after sales tax has been added. Confused…? We’ll ask the chef.

Chef Andrew and Lauren Gruel have a new fast casual concept, Burger 101, coming soon to the 2-level, Kitchen United complex on the 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica. It’s Chef Andrew’s version of a value-priced, honest burger (and loaded fries) using quality ingredients including a premium burger patty sourced from West Coast Prime Meats. He’ll also launch a casual Mexican concept there, Lolo’s Tacos, specializing in clean and simple tacos, burritos and standout specialty sauces.