Show 500, November 19, 2022: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

“The mission of California’s Sterling Caviar is to produce the finest sustainable, California farmed white sturgeon and caviar roe in an environmentally responsible manner that respects the species, the environment, their communities, staff, and customers. They want their chefs to have a product that supports the current culture of transparency that consumers demand. Sterling contributes to research to grow the wild population of California’s sturgeon- they are one of only two populations globally, listed as “of least concern”. California-based Sterling Caviar currently offers five grades of white sturgeon caviar. Their caviar is graded by egg size and texture, and – in the case of their Imperial grade only – by color.” Jeff Sedacca, Sterling Caviar’s Chief Executive Officer, takes a break from packing the golden colored Imperial Caviar and joins us.

Tara “Teaspoon” Bench’s newest cookbook (and just in time for the Holidays) is Delicious Gatherings – Recipes to Celebrate Together. “Here is your invitation to step into the kitchen and create a meal worth remembering! Tara Teaspoon helps you impress guests and gather friends around your table with recipes for elevated everyday meals and special holidays, plus helpful tips and how-tos. This cookbook aims to bring joy, flair, and amazing taste to all your get-togethers. Tara brings her comforting-but-elevated approach to recipes that cover “Main Events,” “Serious Sides,” “Breakfast and Brunch,” and “Baking and Sweets.” The book opens with “Gather-Around Dinners,” which takes the stress out of meal planning with full-course menus for memorable gatherings.” Tara “Teaspoon” Bench is our guest with whisk securely in hand.

Hedonistas de la Fe mezcal of Oaxaca, Mexico is made in small batches according to a 500-year-old tradition. The agave is hand harvested and toasted in earthen mounds, mashed with a stone wheel, and fermented in traditional open-air wooden vats. In every step quality and tradition guide Hedonista. Their Maestro Mezcalero, Gerardo “Kim” Santiago Hernandez, brings three generations of experience and love into the making of Hedonistas mezcals. Steeped in tradition he works his magic to bring the consumer the best mezcal in every batch. All four of the Hedonista varietals embody unique flavors reflecting the terroir and craftsmanship of proprietary family recipes from their Master Mezcalero, Gerardo “Kaín” Santiago Hernandez.” Co-founder Bhalin Singh (also a chef) is our guest to uncork all that is Hedonista de la Fe mezcal.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the Founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza), Two Birds and the soon to launch, full-service Calico Fish House (in Huntington Beach) provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. The final countdown to Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 24th continues. As an experienced restaurant chef with serious fine-dining experience Chef Andrew wants all home cooks to have a stress-free and uneventful Thanksgiving. Chef Andrew now shares his concluding morsels of genuinely useful Thanksgiving cooking tips. Creative side dishes truly make the Thanksgiving table and Chef Andrew, of course, has some added tasty thoughts. Is there perhaps a better alternative to the traditional jellied cranberry than what comes out of the can? You bet. We’ll ask the chef…

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

November 19: Sterling Caviar, Tara Teaspoon, Hedonistas de la Fe mezcal

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jeff Sedacca, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Caviar, Elverta, CA Part One
Segment Three: Jeff Sedacca, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Caviar, Elverta, CA Part Two
Segment Four: Tara “Teaspoon” Bench with Delicious Gatherings – Recipes to Celebrate Together Part One
Segment Five: Tara “Teaspoon” Bench with Delicious Gatherings – Recipes to Celebrate Together Part Two
Segment Six: Bhalin Singh, Co-Founder, Hedonistas de la Fe Mezcal from Oaxaca Part One
Bhalin Singh, Co-Founder, Hedonistas de la Fe Mezcal from Oaxaca Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host, with “Ask the Chef”

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

“The mission of California’s Sterling Caviar is to produce the finest sustainable, California farmed white sturgeon and caviar roe in an environmentally responsible manner that respects the species, the environment, their communities, staff, and customers. They want their chefs to have a product that supports the current culture of transparency that consumers demand. Sterling contributes to research to grow the wild population of California’s sturgeon- they are one of only two populations globally, listed as “of least concern”. California-based Sterling Caviar currently offers five grades of white sturgeon caviar. Their caviar is graded by egg size and texture, and – in the case of our Imperial grade only – by color.” Jeff Sedacca, Sterling Caviar’s Chief Executive Officer, takes a break from packing the golden colored Imperial Caviar and joins us.

Tara “Teaspoon” Bench’s newest cookbook (and just in time for the Holidays) is Delicious Gatherings – Recipes to Celebrate Together. “Here is your invitation to step into the kitchen and create a meal worth remembering! Tara Teaspoon helps you impress guests and gather friends around your table with recipes for elevated everyday meals and special holidays, plus helpful tips and how-tos. This cookbook aims to bring joy, flair, and amazing taste to all your get-togethers. Tara brings her comforting-but-elevated approach to recipes that cover “Main Events,” “Serious Sides,” “Breakfast and Brunch,” and “Baking and Sweets.” The book opens with “Gather-Around Dinners,” which takes the stress out of meal planning with full-course menus for memorable gatherings.” Tara “Teaspoon” Bench is our guest with whisk securely in hand.

“Hedonistas de la Fe mezcal is made in small batches according to a 500-year-old tradition. The agave is hand harvested and toasted in earthen mounds, mashed with a stone wheel, and fermented in traditional open-air wooden vats. In every step quality and tradition guide Hedonista. Their Maestro Mezcalero, Gerardo “Kim” Santiago Hernandez, brings three generations of experience and love into the making of Hedonistas mezcals. Steeped in tradition he works his magic to bring the consumer the best mezcal in every batch. All four of the Hedonista varietals embody unique flavors reflecting the terroir and craftsmanship of proprietary family recipes from their Master Mezcalero, Gerardo “Kaín” Santiago Hernandez.” Co-founder Bhalin Singh (also a chef) is our guest to uncork all that is Hedonista de la Fe mezcal.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel the Founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza), Two Birds and the soon to launch, full-service Calico Fish House (in Huntington Beach) provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. The final countdown to Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 24th continues. As an experienced restaurant chef with serious fine-dining experience Chef Andrew wants all home cooks to have a stress-free and uneventful Thanksgiving. Chef Andrew now shares his concluding morsels of genuinely useful Thanksgiving cooking tips. Creative side dishes truly make the Thanksgiving table and Chef Andrew, of course, has some added tasty thoughts. Is there perhaps a better alternative to the traditional jellied cranberry than what comes out of the can? We’ll ask the chef…

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

Jeff Sedecca of Sterling Caviar

Sterling Caviar, now the largest caviar producer in the United States, has an illustrious history going back to 1983 when Stolt Sea Farm started sturgeon production in Wilton, CA. In 1985, Sierra Aquafarms started operations in Elverta, CA (current site of Sterling Caviar), and soon became the pioneer in water recirculating technology. Soon, the two companies formed a joint venture and operated as Stolt Sea Farm California LLC with the goal of developing methods for producing caviar from sturgeon.”

“In 1988, the Elverta and Wilton farms became the first commercial sturgeon farming operation in California using sustainable farming practices and tank reconfigurations. Soon, the farms, stocked with world-famous white sturgeon, began producing caviar. Several years later in 1993, and thanks to the ongoing collaboration with U.C. Davis and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Elverta and Wilton farms became the first in the world to produce commercial quantities of caviar from tank-raised sturgeon!”

“In 2006, Stolt Sea Farm California LLC changed its name to Sterling Caviar and continued to operate four farms in California: Elverta, Wilton, Elk Grove and Ione. In October 2020, Sterling Caviar and its farms were acquired by its new owner, Eugene Fernandez, a New York entrepreneur / businessman intent on growing the aquaculture business while adhering to the work ethics and principles taught by his late father. With a truly dedicated, supportive, and highly-knowledgeable Management team in place, the Company continues to be the leading producer of domestic caviar, serving the most discerning chefs, customers, and caviar connoisseurs both here in the U.S. and abroad.”

Jeff Sedacca, Sterling Caviar’s Chief Executive Officer, takes a break from packing the Imperial Caviar and joins us.

Tara Bench

Tara “Teaspoon” Bench’s newest cookbook (and just in time for the Holidays) is Delicious Gatherings – Recipes to Celebrate Together. “Here is your invitation to step into the kitchen and create a meal worth remembering! Tara Teaspoon helps you impress guests and gather friends around your table with recipes for elevated everyday meals and special holidays, plus helpful tips and how-tos. This cookbook aims to bring joy, flair, and amazing taste to all your get-togethers.”

“From Sunday suppers and weeknight family meals to elaborate buffets for bigger crowds and holiday celebrations, Tara’s recipes include delicious showstoppers and unique takes on comforting classics. You can gather together around savory recipes, including Spicy Maple Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Pepitas or the Ultimate Chili con Queso. Then bring on dessert with Chocolate Peanut Butter Puddle Cookies or Maple Hazelnut Pie.”

“Tara brings her comforting-but-elevated approach to recipes that cover “Main Events,” “Serious Sides,” “Breakfast and Brunch,” and “Baking and Sweets.” The book opens with “Gather-Around Dinners,” which takes the stress out of meal planning with full-course menus for memorable gatherings.”

“I am so passionate about the power of food and cooking, and how it can bring people together, allow us to explore our creativity, and nourish our bodies and souls.”—Tara Bench (aka Tara Teaspoon).

“Tara Bench has been in the food publishing industry for more than twenty years and is also the author of Live Life Deliciously: Recipes for Busy Weekdays and Leisurely Weekends. As a recipe developer and professional food stylist, she creates food content for brands, books, television, and advertising, as well as shares her expertise on her blog.”

Tara “Teaspoon” Bench is our guest with whisk in hand.

Bhalin Singh of Hedonistas de la Fe Mezcal

Hedonistas de la Fe mezcal is made in small batches according to a 500-year-old tradition. The agave is hand harvested and toasted in earthen mounds, mashed with a stone wheel, and fermented in traditional open-air wooden vats. In every step quality and tradition guide Hedonista. Their Maestro Mezcalero, Gerardo “Kain” Santiago Hernandez, brings three generations of experience and love into the making of Hedonistas mezcals. Steeped in tradition he works his magic to bring the consumer the best mezcal in every batch.”

“Hedonistas de la Fe mezcal is grown, harvested and produced in Oaxaca, Mexico. This allows Hedonista to source agave from consistent terroir within Oaxaca under the direct supervision of Mezcalero Kain.”

“All four of the Hedonista varietals embody unique flavors reflecting the terroir and craftsmanship of proprietary family recipes from their Master Mezcalero, Gerardo “Kaín” Santiago Hernandez.”

“The flavor profiles vary from the cultivated ESPADIN, with its full mouth-feel of brine and tropical fruit, to their wild mezcals, which include the sublime and elegant CUISHE, the powerhouse TOBALA, and the regal TEPEZTATE.”

Co-founder Bhalin Singh (also a chef) is our guest to uncork all that is Hedonista de la Fe mezcal.

Chef Andrew Gruel of Big Parm and the Calico Fish House

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the Founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza), Two Birds and the soon to launch, full-service Calico Fish House (in Huntington Beach) provides another timely and informative Ask the Chef segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries.

The final countdown to Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 24th continues. As an experienced restaurant chef with serious fine-dining experience Chef Andrew wants all home cooks to have a stress-free and uneventful Thanksgiving where the home cook can enjoy the evening. Chef Andrew now shares his concluding morsels of genuinely useful Thanksgiving cooking tips. Creative side dishes truly make the Thanksgiving table and Chef Andrew, of course, has some added tasty thoughts. Is there a better alternative to the traditional jellied cranberry than what comes out of the can? We’ll ask the chef…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jeff Sedacca, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Caviar, Elverta, CA Part One
Segment Three: Jeff Sedacca, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Caviar, Elverta, CA Part Two
Segment Four: Tara “Teaspoon” Bench with Delicious Gatherings – Recipes to Celebrate Together Part One
Segment Five: Tara “Teaspoon” Bench with Delicious Gatherings – Recipes to Celebrate Together Part Two
Segment Six: Bhalin Singh, Co-Founder, Hedonistas de la Fe Mezcal from Oaxaca Part One
Bhalin Singh, Co-Founder, Hedonistas de la Fe Mezcal from Oaxaca Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host, with “Ask the Chef”

Show 455, December 11, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel 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 of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. This week’s (Holiday Cooking) question is from Marcella of Santa Monica. She is the lucky winner of the prize package of premium USDA Prime Steaks from West Coast Prime Meats. Be listening in January for another opportunity to be awarded a package of six USDA Prime Streaks from West Coast Prime Meats.

The Winning (multi-part) Holiday Cooking Question:

“I’m going to make a prime rib for Christmas dinner and I’m undecided on how to cook it. Looking into different cooking methods, rubs, etc. I came across this one – Reverse Sear.”

“What is a reverse sear? Don’t know much about it. When is it appropriate to use a reverse sear and would it apply to steaks, roasts, pork, chicken? Or ?”

“Would I want to reverse sear my prime rib? What’s the best way to cook a prime rib roast? We like it rare with lots of au jus and all the sides!”

Show 400, November 21, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. New restrictions placed on Southern California restaurants in the last week…

Thanksgiving is fast approaching on November 26th. In the spirit of the Holidays it’s appropriate for Chef Andrew to now share his best Thanksgiving cooking tips as he has been providing (with encouragement) for the last three weeks. For the pre-Thanksgiving finale it’s all about suggesting some inspired sides. Also stuffing (or dressing) properly prepared outside of the bird gets some attention, too. A few ideas for dessert are also included on Chef Andrew’s Thanksgiving menu. It’s more than just the turkey…More people will be preparing Family Thanksgiving at home this year and probably with smaller groups so Chef Andrew is here to help. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Show 38, August 10, 2013: Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Continues…

The Hatch Chile is from the Anaheim chile family but has thicker walls and an entirely different taste profile unlike any other chile. This is attributed to the soil in Hatch as well as the temperature range (hot) during the short growing season.

Hatch Chiles come in a range of heat levels, from the mild end of the spectrum to extremely hot. Curiously when frozen they actually become hotter over time.

Melissas Hatch Chile CookbookJoining forces with the co-founder and co-owner of Melissa’s, Sharon Hernandez, Chef Ida penned the just-released Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook. It’s the definitive guide to enjoying Hatch Chiles year-round.

Every Labor Day Weekend Chef Ida and Sharon journey to Hatch, New Mexico to partake of the annual Hatch Chile Festival. Would you believe Hatch Chile Ice Cream? (The cravable recipe is included in the book…)

The useful book features 150 unique and classic Hatch Chile recipes with plenty of helpful, full color photos. All the recipes are designed for use by home cooks and have been thoroughly tested. The range of dishes is impressive. You can create Breakfast, Appetizers, Sandwiches & Wraps, Salads, Sides, Entrees, Casseroles & Soups, Condiments, Desserts, and Beverages using Hatch Chiles!

The Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook is available at melissas.com, Amazon, and at select Bristol Farms stores and other fine food merchants.

The “SoCal Restaurant Show” will be broadcasting live from 10:00 a.m. to Noon at the new Bristol Farms store at 3105 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica on Saturday, August 24th. Team Melissa’s will be there in force roasting the new crop of Hatch Chiles. Samples of recipes from the book will be available for the tasting. Bristol Farms will be sampling a variety of their proprietary Bristol Kitchens food products using Hatch Chiles. Chef Ida will be present signing copies of the Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook.

Be there…(“It’s Now Or Next Year!”)

August 10: Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival Preview

Podcasts

Segment One: Dave Bernahl of LA Food & Wine Festival
Segment Two: Chef Fabio Viviani
Segment Three: Chef Edward Lee Part One
Segment Four: Chef Edward Lee Part Two
Segment Five: Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station Part One
Segment Six: Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station Part Two
Segment Seven: Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Part Two

This morning’s show is a preview of the Third Annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival taking place August 22nd to 25th. The primary location is Downtown Los Angeles with boutique events in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.

David BernahlDave Bernahl, the co-founding partner and CEO of Coastal Luxury Management, joins us to preview the Festival. Costal Luxury Management (organizers of the annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival) produces the event.

The new charity beneficiary this year is Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.

Fabio VivianiBravo’s “Top Chef” alum Chef Fabio Viviani is in the house. In the Los Angeles area he is the chef/proprietor of Café Firenze and Firenze Osteria. He also has restaurants in Chicago.

His newly released second cookbook is Fabio’s Italian Kitchen.

Chef Fabio will be part of three events at the Festival. Thursday night he’s cooking for Giada’s Festa Italiana, and on Saturday morning he’s performing a Fabio Viviani Cooking Demo followed by hosting a tasting station at the Lexus Grand Tasting in the afternoon.

Edward LeeYou know Chef Edward Lee from his victory on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and Bravo’s “Top Chef: Texas.” He’s the chef/proprietor of 610 Magnolia in Louisville.

On Friday, August 23rd he cooks for Iron Chef Morimoto’s Asian Night Market. On Saturday afternoon he then hosts “Bacon & Bourbon with Chef Edward Lee.”

Chef Lee’s first cookbook is Smoke & Pickles. It was nominated for a James Beard Award.

He’s also a new father.

Chef Ed shared his thoughts on preparing the perfect fried chicken. One of the tricks is to poach the chicken before frying. It gives the chicken a ton of extra flavor.

Ben Ford of Ford's Filling StationBen Ford, the proprietor of the innovative Ford’s Filling Station in Culver City, joins the show. Ford’s Filling Station was actually the first gastropub in the United States and Chef Ford is properly credited with originating that name.

For LA Food & Wine he’s joining forces with musician Ziggy Marley on Saturday morning for a high octane cooking demo showcasing sustainability. Chef Ben is then part of the culinary lineup for the Saturday afternoon Lexus Grand Tasting.

Ford discusses the evolution of Ford’s Filling Station and the changes over the years. He has a passion for pork and all is parts. Chef Ford is a pioneer in the revival of Downtown Culver City as a restaurant destination.

A Ford’s Filling Station is coming to LAX this year.

Chef Ford’s first cookbook, Taming the Feast, will be published in May of 2014.

Chef Ida Rodriquez of Melissas World Variety ProduceChef Ida Roriguez has an unusual position as the long-time Corporate Chef for Melissa’s / World Variety Produce, the largest specialty produce firm in the United States. She supervises a staff of dedicated chefs striving to educate the public and chefs about the benefits of enjoying all types of fruits and vegetables and creating delicious, satisfying, and nutritious recipes that the average home cook can prepare at home!

Melissa’s has a state-of-the-art research kitchen and culinary classroom at their corporate headquarters in Vernon where recipes are created and tested daily. Consumer education is Chef Ida’s favorite duty.

Chef Ida has taught popular classes for The Southern California Gas Company as well as Sur La Table. Celebrity Chef Martin Yan has been a co-instructor with her.

Chef Ida grew up in El Paso so she was exposed to the short season of availability of New Mexico Hatch Chiles (about six weeks) at a young age. She began cooking with them early on before they achieved the cult status they enjoy today!

The Hatch Chile is from the Anaheim chile family but has thicker walls and an entirely different taste profile unlike any other chile. This is attributed to the soil in Hatch as well as the temperature range (hot) during the short growing season.

Hatch Chiles come in a range of heat levels, from the mild end of the spectrum to extremely hot. Curiously when frozen they actually become hotter over time.

Melissas Hatch Chile CookbookJoining forces with the co-founder and co-owner of Melissa’s, Sharon Hernandez, Chef Ida penned the just-released Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook. It’s the definitive guide to enjoying Hatch Chiles year-round.

Every Labor Day Weekend Chef Ida and Sharon journey to Hatch, New Mexico to partake of the annual Hatch Chile Festival. Would you believe Hatch Chile Ice Cream? (The craveable recipe is included in the book…)

The useful book features 150 unique and classic Hatch Chile recipes with plenty of helpful, full color photos. All the recipes are designed for use by home cooks and have been thoroughly tested. The range of dishes is impressive. You can create Breakfast, Appetizers, Sandwiches & Wraps, Salads, Sides, Entrees, Casseroles & Soups, Condiments, Desserts and Beverages using Hatch Chiles!

The Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook is available at Melissas.com, Amazon and at select Bristol Farms stores and other fine food merchants.

The “SoCal Restaurant Show” will be broadcasting live from 10:00a.m. to Noon at the new Bristol Farms store at 3105 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica on Saturday, August 24th. Team Melissa’s will be there in force roasting the new crop of Hatch Chiles. Samples of recipes from the book will be available for the tasting. Chef Ida will be present signing copies of the Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook.

Podcasts

Segment One: Dave Bernahl of LA Food & Wine Festival
Segment Two: Chef Fabio Viviani
Segment Three: Chef Edward Lee Part One
Segment Four: Chef Edward Lee Part Two
Segment Five: Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station Part One
Segment Six: Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station Part Two
Segment Seven: Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Part Two