Show 396, October 24, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

“Located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles, Manuela unites chef, farmer and artist to create an authentic and original dining experience. Under the direction of Executive Chef Kris Tominaga, the menu celebrates seasonal ingredients sourced from the best farmers and producers in Southern California.” They reopened in July for spacious patio dining in their designed inner courtyard for Weekday Lunch, Dinner and Weekend Brunch. (Closed on Monday.) “Serving a wide range of vegetables, grains, fish and game, Manuela also features an exemplary bar program which offers classic cocktails using house-made bitters and tonics. Local beers are on tap, while the carefully selected wine list is designed to pair with the smoke and acid flavors at the heart of the Manuela menu.” We entice Chef Kris out of his busy kitchen for a chat.

Georgia’s Restaurant (family-owned) at the Long Beach Exchange and Anaheim Packing House will be offering a special new Breast Bucket & Sides combo all throughout the month of October 2020 in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to help increase awareness and support! The Georgia’s Restaurant new Breast Bucket & Sides combo features a 6-Piece Bucket of Boneless Chicken Breasts (all white meat) and Choice of Two Sides including selections such as their signature Collard Greens, Garlic Rice, and French Fries for just $20 all month long. The special is available at both locations for outdoor patio dining, takeout, delivery and curbside pickup. In other Georgia’s news Nana Gretchen Shoemaker’s “soul-delicious” signature Gumbo is back on the menu in both locations. 2nd generation proprietress Nika Shoemaker-Machado is our guest.

The Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines vineyard is located on Hwy 246, 11 miles west of Buellton in the cooler northwestern section of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Fog graces the vineyard most mornings; followed by cool Pacific ocean breezes and bright sunny afternoons. These conditions nurture gentle ripening of Kessler-Haak’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at lower sugars with crisp acidity and the higher levels of spice commonly seen in cool climate viticulture. At Kessler-Haak the approach is that “great wine is produced in the vineyard.” Consequently, they feel the best winemaking approach is a minimalistic one, relying on traditional methods and techniques.”

Grower and Winemaker Dan Kessler artfully pulls the cork on Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines for us.

“Restaurateur, Tech Entrepreneur and Host Josh Kopel has just launched Season 2 of the FULL COMP podcast. The restaurant industry is staring down the barrel of a 60% permanent closure rate due to COVID-19 and Kopel, himself being a casualty, decided it was time to help fix what’s broken. FULL COMP is a weekly show exploring the past and future of the hospitality industry. Provocative and actionable, the show aims to ask the tough questions, supplying listeners with the tools and resources needed to thrive post-pandemic. As Host of FULL COMP, Josh Kopel challenges conventional wisdom by hosting both hospitality professionals and thought leaders from outside of the industry while tackling today’s toughest topics.” Restaurateur Josh Kopel is our guest.

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. 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. Salt is a requirement to sustain human life. It’s also a key ingredient in preserving, cooking and preparing food. Food can actually taste bland without a bit of added salt. The right amount enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there are the variety of finishing salts. We’ll continue the seasoned tutorial started with Chef Andrew last Saturday. It’s again time to “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 396, October 24, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

William, Andrew and Lauren GruelOur 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. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

Salt is a requirement to sustain human life. It’s also a key ingredient in preserving, cooking and preparing food. It has a rich history. Food can actually taste bland without a bit of added salt. The right amount enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there are the variety of finishing salts. We’ll continue the seasoned tutorial started with Chef Andrew last Saturday. It’s again time to “Ask the Chef.”

Congratulation to Chef Andrew (and Lauren) on the arrival of the newest addition to the Gruel Family, James Andrew Gruel.

Play

October 24: Manuela, Georgia’s Restaurant, Kessler-Hawk Vineyard, Josh Kopel of Full Comp Media

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Kris Tominaga, Manuela, Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Three: Nika Shoemaker-Machado of Georgia’s Restaurant Long Beach & Anaheimo
Segment Four: Dan Kessler, Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines, Lompoc Part One
Segment Five: Dan Kessler, Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines, Lompoc Part Two
Segment Six: Restaurateur and FULL COMP Podcast Host Josh Kopel Part One
Segment Seven: Restaurateur and FULL COMP Podcast Host Josh Kopel Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part Two

“Located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles, Manuela unites chef, farmer and artist to create an authentic and original dining experience. Under the direction of Executive Chef Kris Tominaga, the menu celebrates seasonal ingredients sourced from the best farmers and producers in Southern California.” They reopened in July for spacious patio dining in their inner courtyard. “Serving a wide range of vegetables, grains, fish and game, Manuela also features an exemplary bar program which offers classic cocktails using house-made bitters and tonics. Local beers are on tap, while the carefully selected wine list is designed to pair with the smoke and acid flavors at the heart of the Manuela menu.” We entice Chef Kris out of his busy kitchen for a chat.

Georgia’s Restaurant (family-owned) at the Long Beach Exchange and Anaheim Packing House will be offering a special new Breast Bucket & Sides combo all throughout the month of October 2020 in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to help increase awareness and support! The Georgia’s Restaurant new Breast Bucket & Sides combo features a 6-Piece Bucket of Boneless Chicken Breasts (all white meat) and Choice of Two Sides including selections such as their signature Collard Greens, Garlic Rice, and French Fries for just $20 all month long. The special is available at both locations for outdoor patio dining, takeout, delivery and curbside pickup. In other Georgia’s news Nana Gretchen Shoemaker’s “soul-delicious” signature Gumbo is back on the menu in both locations. 2nd generation proprietress Nika-Shoemaker-Machado is our guest.

“The Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines vineyard is located on Hwy 246, 11 miles west of Buellton in the cooler northwestern section of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Fog graces the vineyard most mornings; followed by cool Pacific ocean breezes and bright sunny afternoons. These conditions nurture gentle ripening of Kessler-Haak’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at lower sugars with crisp acidity and the higher levels of spice commonly seen in cool climate viticulture. At Kessler-Haak the approach is that “great wine is produced in the vineyard.” Consequently, they feel the best winemaking approach is a minimalistic one, relying on traditional methods and techniques.”

Grower and Winemaker Dan Kessler artfully pulls the cork on Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines for us.

“Restaurateur, Tech Entrepreneur and Host Josh Kopel has just launched Season 2 of the FULL COMP podcast. The restaurant industry is staring down the barrel of a 60% permanent closure rate due to COVID-19 and Kopel, himself being a casualty, decided it was time to help fix what’s broken. FULL COMP is a weekly show exploring the past and future of the hospitality industry. Provocative and actionable, the show aims to ask the tough questions, supplying listeners with the tools and resources needed to thrive post-pandemic. As Host of FULL COMP, Josh Kopel challenges conventional wisdom by hosting both hospitality professionals and thought leaders from outside of the industry while tackling today’s toughest topics.” Restaurateur Josh Kopel is our guest.

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. 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. Salt is a requirement to sustain human life. It’s also a key ingredient in preserving, cooking and preparing food. Food can actually taste bland without a bit of added salt. The right amount enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there are the variety of finishing salts. We’ll continue the seasoned tutorial started with Chef Andrew last Saturday. It’s again time to “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Kris ominaga of Manuela Restaurant“Located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles, Manuela unites chef, farmer and artist to create an authentic and original dining experience. Under the direction of Executive Chef Kris Tominaga, the menu celebrates seasonal ingredients sourced from the best farmers and producers in Southern California.” They reopened in July for spacious patio dining in their inner courtyard.

“Serving a wide range of vegetables, grains, fish and game, Manuela also features an exemplary bar program which offers classic cocktails using house-made bitters and tonics. Local beers are on tap, while the carefully selected wine list is designed to pair with the smoke and acid flavors at the heart of the Manuela menu.”

“Designed by Los Angeles native Matt Winter and named for Manuela Wirth, the restaurant is illuminated and animated by specially commissioned works from artists Paul McCarthy, Mark Bradford and Raymond Pettibon.”

“An L.A. native, Chef Kris brings costal California inspired dishes to the Manuela menu. Highlights include his signature cream biscuits with Steen’s butter and Col. Newsom’s aged country ham, barbecued oysters with charred leek butter, breadcrumbs and parmesan, and Peads & Barnetts pork chop with yellow peach, turnips, mustard seed oil and honey vinegar. Inspiration comes from the abundance of California’s vibrant flavors and colors.” Chef Kris utilizes his own kitchen garden at Manuela growing herbs and vegetables.

We entice Chef Kris out of his busy kitchen for a brief chat.

Nika Shoemaker-Machado of Georgias RestaurantsGeorgia’s Restaurant (family-owned) at the Long Beach Exchange and Anaheim Packing House will be offering a special new Breast Bucket & Sides combo all throughout the month of October 2020 in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to help increase awareness and support! The Georgia’s Restaurant new Breast Bucket & Sides combo features a 6-Piece Bucket of Boneless Chicken Breasts (all white meat) and Choice of Two Sides including selections such as their signature Collard Greens, Garlic Rice, and French Fries for just $20 all month long. The special is available at both locations for outdoor patio dining, takeout, delivery and curbside pickup.

In other Georgia’s news Nana Gretchen Shoemaker’s “soul-delicious” signature Gumbo is back on the menu in both locations. “The house Gumbo has been a guest favorite ever since it was first introduced and now guests can again savor Nana’s secret Southern-style Roux featuring Chicken, Andouille Sausage, Shrimp, Crab, and Okra, served over Rice at both locations. To complement this super satisfying meal, guests can add some Soulful Sides such as Collard Greens, Baked Beans, Mac & Cheese, or Nana Gretchen’s Famous Cornbread served with house-made honey butter and enjoy her fresh Peach Cobbler for a sweet finish.”

2nd generation proprietress Nika-Shoemaker-Machado is our guest.

Dan Kessler of Kessler-Hawk Vineyard and WinesThe Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines vineyard is located on Hwy 246, 11 miles west of Buellton in the cooler northwestern section of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Fog graces the vineyard most mornings; followed by cool Pacific ocean breezes and bright sunny afternoons. These conditions nurture gentle ripening of Kessler-Haak’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at lower sugars with crisp acidity and the higher levels of spice commonly seen in cool climate viticulture.

At Kessler-Haak the approach is that “great wine is produced in the vineyard.” Consequently, they feel “the best winemaking approach is a minimalistic one, relying on traditional methods and techniques.”

“The quality of the fruit directly impacts the quality of the wine produced from it.  At Kessler-Haak, they believe winemaking begins in the vineyard and that they are wine growers first and foremost and winemakers second.  Winegrower & Winemaker Dan and Owner/Partner Ellen Haak-Kessler live on and work in the vineyard. Coaxing the best fruit from each vine requires an integral involvement with the grape growing process; being there each day, touching the vines and soil and being hands-on in all aspects of the farming.”

“As winemakers, the goal at Kessler-Haak is to craft great food friendly wines that speak of place and time. The single most important factor influencing this goal is the decision of when to harvest.  They base this decision on a combination of factors including: sugar levels, pH, flavors, visual appearance of the fruit and vines, seed ripeness and the style of wine we are striving to create.  Ripeness in a given year, which ultimately reflects time and place, is the optimal confluence of these factors.”

Grower and Winemaker Dan Kessler pulls the cork on Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines for us.

Josh Kopel of Full Comp Media“Restaurateur, Tech Entrepreneur and Host Josh Kopel has just launched Season 2 of the FULL COMP podcast. The restaurant industry is staring down the barrel of a 60% permanent closure rate due to COVID-19 and Kopel, himself being a casualty, decided it was time to help fix what’s broken. FULL COMP is a weekly show exploring the past and future of the hospitality industry. Provocative and actionable, the show aims to ask the tough questions, supplying listeners with the tools and resources needed to thrive post-pandemic.”

“As Host of FULL COMPJosh Kopel challenges conventional wisdom by hosting both hospitality professionals and thought leaders from outside of the industry while tackling today’s toughest topics. Andrew Zimmern (Surviving the Pandemic), Nina Compton (The Benefits of Community Building), Jet Tila (Becoming a Brand), Joe Sasto (Charting a New Path Forward), Alex Day of Death & Co. (Redefining Cocktail Culture), David Meltzer (Set Yourself Up for Success), Dean Alex Susskind of Cornell University (The Future of Restaurants), and Nyesha Arrington (Breaking the Rules for a Better Life) are just some of the most notable guests from FULL COMP SEASON 1, offering a new perspective on an old business.”

“FULL COMP was a selfish endeavor. I was lost and needed guidance. I’ve used the show as a platform to reach out to the folks I’ve looked up to my entire career, hoping their wisdom could help us chart a new path forward,” says Kopel.

“Kopel, now serving up SEASON 2 of FULL COMP, hits harder and goes deeper. Together with some of the brightest minds from within and outside of hospitality, Kopel works to highlight the issues we need to tackle and work towards long-term solutions. FULL COMP SEASON 2 has a power-packed lineup including Jon Taffer (Bar Rescue), Sam Nazarian (SBE), Seth Godin (Marketing Genius), Jim Collins (Good to Great), Jeremiah Tower (Chez Panisse, Stars), Kat Cole (COO, Focus Brands), Will Guidara (IRC), Johnny Ray Zone (Howlin’ Rays), and many more! States Kopel, “I think Che Guevara said it best ‘A revolution is not an apple that falls when it’s ripe. You have to make it fall.’ The restaurant industry needs a revolution and now is the time.””

“The provocative ideas presented on the show have morphed into action with the release of the FULL COMP Industry Guide to Restructuring. This guide, which is available for free on Kopel’s website, is the culmination of the efforts of some of the brightest minds in the restaurant industry. Strategic partners included Oyster Sunday, Cornell University, Death & Co., Yelp and Jon Taffer, as well as countless insights provided by guests of the show, the result being an informative and actionable resource guide.”

“ When asked about the inspiration for the guide, Kopel responded, “As an independent restaurant owner, I had no interest in reinventing the wheel. I wanted to know what the smartest folks in our industry were going to do, and I’d follow suit. That’s why I started the podcast, but after months of doing the show, I still lacked a cohesive plan to reopen. So, I reached out to the innovators, frontrunners and the folks that were already open, to determine what was working and what wasn’t. This guide is the result of those efforts. One hundred percent of the credit for this project goes to the amazing people and companies that provided this information. This is my path forward. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best I’ve seen out there.””

Restaurateur Josh Kopel joins us.

William, Andrew and Lauren GruelOur 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.

Salt is a requirement to sustain human life. It’s also a key ingredient in preserving, cooking and preparing food. It has a rich history. Food can actually taste bland without a bit of added salt. The right amount enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there are the variety of finishing salts. We’ll continue the seasoned tutorial started with Chef Andrew last Saturday. It’s again time to “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Kris Tominaga, Manuela, Downtown Los Angeles
Segment Three: Nika Shoemaker-Machado of Georgia’s Restaurant Long Beach & Anaheimo
Segment Four: Dan Kessler, Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines, Lompoc Part One
Segment Five: Dan Kessler, Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines, Lompoc Part Two
Segment Six: Restaurateur and FULL COMP Podcast Host Josh Kopel Part One
Segment Seven: Restaurateur and FULL COMP Podcast Host Josh Kopel Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part Two

Show 395, October 17, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Anne Marie Panoringan is Voice of OC’s well-informed food columnist. She reports industry news, current events and trends. Panoringan’s prior efforts includes writing about food for 8 years at the OC Weekly in which she interviewed more than 330 chefs, restauranteurs and industry professionals for her weekly “On the Line” column. Anne Marie’s work has been recognized by the Orange County Press Club. Anne Marie joins us to talk about some recent Santa Barbara dining and libation adventures. Coverage of writings (past and future previews) in Voice of OC will include the launch of Rodeo 39 marketplace (it’s a food hall with extras) in Stanton.

Tara Bench (aka “Tara Teaspoon”) has spent more than twenty years in the food publishing industry creating recipes and articles, and food styling for various magazines, books, television, and advertising.  Working as a food editor at Martha Stewart Living, and as the food and entertaining director of Ladies’ Home Journal, she knows how to write recipes for beginners as well as real foodies. Her philosophy is that anyone can cook and enjoy their time in the kitchen, and in her first cookbook, Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends, she proves it.” We’re in the kitchen with Tara Bench.

Doug Margerum (Margerum Wine Company) has been involved in the Santa Barbara food and wine scene for over 35 years. Upon graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1981, his family purchased WINE CASK. In 1994 the WINE CASK became one of 74 restaurants in the world to earn the Wine Spectator Grand Award. Doug sold the WINE CASK in 2007.” “In 2014, Margerum released BARDEN wines – an exploration of cold climate grapes grown in and around the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. BARDEN is Doug’s middle name and its English meaning is “Lives near the boar’s den”… thusly they have adorned the label with an image of the wild boar that is pervasive in the area’s vineyards.” Doug pulls the cork for us on all that is BARDEN wines.

Porto’s Bakery & Café’s famous Tres Leches Milk’N Berries™ cake is now available for cake lovers all over the US to order through Porto’s Bake at Home. A Porto’s all-time favorite, this light & delicate sponge cake is soaked with Tres Leches (signature house blend of condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream and a touch of brandy) filled & finished with whipped cream and fresh berries. Porto’s Bake at Home will next work on rolling out additional cakes in the coming months like their Parisian Chocolate Cake, Red Velvet Cake, Carrot Cake and more. Porto’s Vice President of Community Relations, Betty Porto, joins us to serve the Tres Leches Milk’N BerriesTM  cake.

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. 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. Salt is a key ingredient in cooking and preparing food. It’s also essential for life. The right amount enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there is finishing salt. For the needed advice we’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 395, October 17, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur 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. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

Salt is a key ingredient in cooking and preparing food. It’s also essential for life. The right amount truly enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there is also finishing salt. For the needed advice (and some intriguing history) we’ll “Ask the Chef.”

We had some unfortunate cell phone reception problems with this popular segment and will resume the informative salt conversation with Chef Andrew on Saturday morning, Oct. 24th.

Play

October 17: Anne Marie Panoringan, Tara Teaspoon, Margerum Wine Company, Porto’s Bakery

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part One
Segment Three: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part Two
Segment Four: Tara Bench with Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends
Segment Five: Doug Margerum of Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara Part One
Segment Six: Doug Margerum of Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara Part Two
Segment Seven: Betty Porto, Vice President of Community Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Cafe
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part Two

Anne Marie Panoringan is Voice of OC’s well-informed food columnist. She reports industry news, current events and trends. Panoringan’s prior efforts includes writing about food for 8 years at the OC Weekly in which she interviewed more than 330 chefs, restauranteurs and industry professionals for her weekly “On the Line” column. Anne Marie’s work has been recognized by the Orange County Press Club. Anne Marie joins us to talk about some recent Santa Barbara dining adventures. Coverage of writings (past and future previews) in Voice of OC will include the Rodeo 39 marketplace (it’s a food hall with extras) in Stanton and the continued popularity of hot chicken.

Tara Bench (aka “Tara Teaspoon”) has spent more than twenty years in the food publishing industry creating recipes and articles, and food styling for various magazines, books, television, and advertising.  Working as a food editor at Martha Stewart Living, and as the food and entertaining director of Ladies’ Home Journal, she knows how to write recipes for beginners as well as real foodies. Her philosophy is that anyone can cook and enjoy their time in the kitchen, and in her first cookbook, Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends, she proves it.” We’re in the kitchen with Tara Bench.

Doug Margerum (Margerum Wine Company) has been involved in the Santa Barbara food and wine scene for over 35 years. Upon graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1981, his family purchased WINE CASK. In 1994 the WINE CASK became one of 74 restaurants in the world to earn the Wine Spectator Grand Award. Doug sold the WINE CASK in 2007.” “In 2014, Margerum released BARDEN wines – an exploration of cold climate grapes grown in and around the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. BARDEN is Doug’s middle name and its English meaning is “Lives near the boar’s den”… thusly they have adorned the label with an image of the wild boar that is pervasive in the area’s vineyards.” Doug pulls the cork for us on all that is BARDEN wines.

Porto’s Bakery & Café’s famous Tres Leches Milk’N Berries™ cake is now available for cake lovers all over the US to order through Porto’s Bake at Home. A Porto’s all-time favorite, this light & delicate sponge cake is soaked with Tres Leches (signature house blend of condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream and a touch of brandy) filled & finished with whipped cream and fresh berries. Porto’s Bake at Home will next work on rolling out additional cakes in the coming months like their Parisian Chocolate Cake, Red Velvet Cake, Carrot Cake and more. Porto’s Vice President of Community Relations, Betty Porto, joins us to serve the Tres Leches Milk’N Berries™  cake.

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. 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. Salt is a key ingredient in cooking and preparing food. The right amount enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there is finishing salt. For the needed advice we’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Anne Marie Panoringan of Voice of OC at KLAA Studios holding a bottle of Hand Sanitizer from Blinking Owl DistilleryAnne Marie Panoringan is Voice of OC’s well-informed food columnist. She reports industry news, current events and trends. Panoringan’s prior efforts includes writing about food for 8 years at the OC Weekly in which she interviewed more than 330 chefs, restauranteurs and industry professionals for her weekly “On the Line” column. Anne Marie’s work has been recognized by the Orange County Press Club.

Anne Marie joins us to chat about some recent Santa Barbara dining and libation adventures. Coverage of writings (past and future previews) in Voice of OC will include the Rodeo 39 Public Market marketplace (it’s a diverse food hall with extras) in Stanton and the continued (and expanding) popularity of quality hot chicken.

Rodeo 39 is also the home of the Bearded Tang craft brewery (with an already loyal following) where you can view the brewing process. Bearded Tang produces the craft beer styles for Capistrano Brewing Co. located at Heritage Barbecue in San Juan Capistrano.

Anne Marie’s columns can be found on the Voice of OC’s Website. Click on the “Arts & Culture” tab on the top of the Home Page.

Tara BenchTara Bench (aka “Tara Teaspoon”) has spent more than twenty years in the food publishing industry creating recipes and articles, and food styling for various magazines, books, television, and advertising.  Working as a food editor at Martha Stewart Living, and as the food and entertaining director of Ladies’ Home Journal, she knows how to write recipes for beginners as well as real foodies. Her philosophy is that anyone can cook and enjoy their time in the kitchen, and in her first cookbook, Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends, she proves it.”

“Whether you’re a casual cook or a die-hard, classically-trained chef, you’ll have complete success on each and every recipe. She sets you up with flavor descriptions and tips and tricks (including an entire section on kitchen equipment, her favorite tools, and why they are so important).”

“Each chapter is from the heart and inspired by Tara’s family heritage and experiences eating at the best restaurants and tastiest dives in New York City. Create wonderful memories through food you can share with the people who love and inspire you.”

We’re in the kitchen with Tara Bench.

Douglas Barden MargerumDoug Margerum (Margerum Wine Company) has been involved in the Santa Barbara food and wine scene for over 35 years. Upon graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1981, his family purchased WINE CASK. In 1994 the WINE CASK became one of 74 restaurants in the world to earn the Wine Spectator Grand Award. Doug sold the WINE CASK in 2007.”

“In 2014, Margerum released BARDEN wines – an exploration of cold climate grapes grown in and around the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. BARDEN is Doug’s middle name and its English meaning is “Lives near the boar’s den”… thusly they have adorned the label with an image of the wild boar that is pervasive in the area’s vineyards.”

BARDEN Wines Mission Statement: BARDEN is the dream to make the ultimate expression of grapes grown in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA.  Our access to the top vineyards along with the philosophy and knowledge gained over thirty years in the wine business allows us to make world-class wines.  BARDEN’s English meaning is “Lives near the boar’s den” … thusly we have adorned the label with an image of the wild boar that is pervasive in the Sta. Rita Hills.”

“Barden white wines (Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Gris) are barrel fermented in our 55 degree winery and battonaged for an average of 3 months. We allow malolactic fermentation to occur naturally in each individual barrel. The wines are aged in mostly new Ermitage and Françoise Frères 225 liter barrels and 600 liter demi-muids for ten months prior to bottling.”

“Our Pinot Noir (BARDEN) is hand sorted and a percentage (depending on the vintage) is whole cluster fermented. We do a 6-10 day cold soak, with natural (wild) fermentation, and use only free-run wine. We use minimal sulfur during maturation on full lees in mostly new Ermitage and François Frères French oak 225 liter barriques and 300 liter barrels. We bottle a very precise selection of the wine un-fined and unfiltered.”

Doug Margerum joins us to pull the cork on all that is BARDEN wines.

Betty Porto in front of the Porto's Bakery Bread RackPorto’s Bakery & Café’s famous Tres Leches Milk’N Berries™ cake is now available for cake lovers all over the US to order through Porto’s Bake at Home. A Porto’s all-time favorite, this light & delicate sponge cake is soaked with Tres Leches (signature house blend of condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream and a touch of brandy) filled & finished with whipped cream and fresh berries. Porto’s Bake at Home will next work on rolling out additional cakes in the coming months like their Parisian Chocolate Cake, Red Velvet Cake, Carrot Cake and more.

“The Milk’N Berries™ cake debuted in the bakery 10 years ago, becoming their best-selling with over a million sold.  Originally inspired by the popular Latin American Tres Leches dessert, Porto’s Executive Chef and VP Tony Salazar wanted to create an updated version that would appeal to a wider audience by toning down the overtly sweet note that the classic Tres Leches recipe is known for.  The bakery team came up with a unique chiffon process for the sponge to bring a light and airy texture to the cake, adding high quality Mexican vanilla bean and fresh berries to create a balanced more naturally sweet flavor.”

“For the launch of their Porto’s Bake at Home cake line, Porto’s Bakery chose their most popular yet most challenging cake to translate into the new service. The Milk’N Berries™ Bake at Home cake features a twist to the bakery’s original cake showcasing an abundance of fresh whipped cream & berries in between the layers of their signature Tres Leches Cake. The top decoration was adapted to create a more contemporary look made with Porto’s signature whipped cream recipe. To ensure the cake will arrive in perfect condition, the Milk’N’Berries™ is “wrapped” with a customized shipping collar which protects the cake while on its way to the customer.  The cake is packaged with care and shipped frozen. Once defrosted the cake is ready to enjoy with family & friends.”

“Bringing cakes to the Porto’s Bake at Home lineup represents a full circle story for the Porto family and Porto’s Bakery. Rosa Porto, the founder, started her baking career in the 60s by selling cakes out of her home in Cuba to friends and family for special occasions before immigrating to Los Angeles and starting the bakeries.  Now with Bake at Home, Porto’s Bakery is able to ship the cakes directly to people’s homes across the US to celebrate and carry on the inspiring tradition that Rosa Porto started.”

Porto’s Vice President of Community Relations, Betty Porto, joins us to serve the Tres Leches Milk’N Berries™ cake. Betty represents the 2nd generation of proud Porto’s Family ownership.

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur 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.

Salt is a key ingredient in cooking and preparing food. The right amount truly enhances flavor. Too much can overpower the dish. Then there is also finishing salt. For the needed advice we’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part One
Segment Three: Anne Marie Panoringan, Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part Two
Segment Four: Tara Bench with Live Life Deliciously – Recipes for Busy Weekdays & Leisurely Weekends
Segment Five: Doug Margerum of Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara Part One
Segment Six: Doug Margerum of Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara Part Two
Segment Seven: Betty Porto, Vice President of Community Relations, Porto’s Bakery & Cafe
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part Two

Show 394, October 10, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

James Beard Award-winning restaurateur Caroline Styne is the Co-Proprietor (with Chef Suzanne Goin) of The Lucques Group. Caroline is an active member of the nationwide Independent Restaurant Coalition. Their main objective is to get the Federal Restaurants Act passed. a.o.c. in Los Angeles is back with dine-in. The wholesale Larder Baking Co. now has a variety of bread and pastry packages available To-Go at retail. Cassoulet Night by Lucques Catering returns on Saturday evening, October 24th for socially distanced sit-down dining in The Courtyard at Maple Drive in Beverly Hills and for takeout / delivery orders via TOCK. Caroline joins us to talk about the efforts of the Independent Restaurant Coalition and what is available for guests from the Lucques Group establishments at present.

Halleck Vineyard, known for their award-winning Pinot Noirs, is a family journey of business partners Jennifer and Ross Halleck. They planted the Halleck Vineyard in 1993, the very first in the hills of Sebastopol, in western Sonoma County. Intended as a college fund for their infant son, two more sons and six years later until their first harvest, this seemed a flight of fancy. “A one- acre site, Halleck Vineyard is perched above the Russian River watershed and flanked on the west by the slopes to the Pacific Ocean. It commands an expansive view of the rolling Sonoma County hills to the northeast. A passion for Pinot leads the charge of the Halleck wines.” Proprietor & Vintner Ross Halleck pulls the cork on Halleck Vineyard for us.

Descanso Restaurant in Costa Mesa delivers a unique Mexican dining experience as a modern taqueria that celebrates authentic Mexican flavors and recipes executed on a traditional Plancha and prepared a la minute in front of the guest. With new Executive Chef Fonzy de Zuniga at the helm, the full-service restaurant is committed to providing only fresh, high-quality ingredients sourced from local farms and does not believe in cooking with lard or using can openers. Drawing guests into the cooking experience as classic Central Mexican street-inspired cuisine is made to order, the restaurant’s lively setting celebrates tradition while bringing in the music, smells, and energy of a busy Mexican town.” Managing Partner & Concept Creator Rob Arellano joins us with all the enticing details of what Descanso has available for the dining public right now.

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. 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. We hear the term “sustainable” used quite often. It’s a lofty goal. What does it actually entail for a restaurant to be sustainable? Sustainable equals quality. Takeout and delivery are burgeoning right now. Disposable containers and packaging are in high use. What can a restaurant do so their food arrives intact and at the right temperature but uses packaging that is more environmentally friendly, too. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

October 10: Caroline Styne, Halleck Vineyard, Descanso Restaurant

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group Part One
Segment Three: Restaurateur Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group Part Two
Segment Four: Halleck Vineyard with Proprietor Ross Halleck Part One
Segment Five: Halleck Vineyard with Proprietor Ross Halleck Part Two
Segment Six: Rob Arellano, Managing Partner, Descanso Restaurant, Costa Mesa
Segment Seven: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part One
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part Two

James Beard Award-winning restaurateur Caroline Styne is the Co-Proprietor (with Chef Suzanne Goin) of The Lucques Group. Caroline is an active member of the nationwide Independent Restaurant Coalition. Their main objective is to get the Federal Restaurants Act passed. a.o.c in Los Angeles is back with dine-in. The wholesale Larder Baking Co. now has a variety of bread and pastry packages available To-Go at retail. Cassoulet Night by Lucques Catering returns on Saturday evening, October 24th for socially distanced sit-down dining in The Courtyard at Maple Drive in Beverly Hills and for takeout / delivery orders via TOCK. Caroline joins us to talk about the efforts of the Independent Restaurant Coalition and what is available for guests from the Lucques Group establishments at present.

Halleck Vineyard, known for their award-winning Pinot Noirs, is a family journey of business partners Jennifer and Ross Halleck. They planted the Halleck Vineyard in 1993, the very first in the hills of Sebastopol, in western Sonoma County. Intended as a college fund for their infant son, two more sons and six years later until their first harvest, this seemed a flight of fancy. “A one- acre site, Halleck Vineyard is perched above the Russian River watershed and flanked on the west by the slopes to the Pacific Ocean. It commands an expansive view of the rolling Sonoma County hills to the northeast.  A passion for Pinot leads the charge of the Halleck wines.” Proprietor & Vintner Ross Halleck pulls the cork on Halleck Vineyard for us.

“Descanso Restaurant in Costa Mesa delivers a unique Mexican dining experience as a modern taqueria that celebrates authentic Mexican flavors and recipes executed on a traditional Plancha and prepared a la minute in front of the guest. With new Executive Chef Fonzy de Zuniga at the helm, the full-service restaurant is committed to providing only fresh, high-quality ingredients sourced from local farms and does not believe in cooking with lard or using can openers. Drawing guests into the cooking experience as classic Central Mexican street-inspired cuisine is made to order, the restaurant’s lively setting celebrates tradition while bringing in the music, smells, and energy of a busy Mexican town.” Managing Partner & Concept Creator Rob Arellano joins us with all the enticing details of what Descanso has available for the dining public right now.

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. 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. We hear the term “sustainable” used quite often. It’s a lofty goal. What does it actually entail for a restaurant to be sustainable? Takeout and delivery are burgeoning right now. Disposable containers and packaging are in high use. What can a restaurant do so their food arrives intact and at the right temperature but uses packaging that is more environmentally friendly, too. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Caroline Styne of Lucques Restaurant GroupJames Beard Award-winning restaurateur Caroline Styne is the Co-Proprietor (with Chef Suzanne Goin) of The Lucques Group. Caroline is an active member of the nationwide Independent Restaurant Coalition. Their primary objective is to get the Federal Restaurants Act passed. The Independent Restaurant Coalition is fighting to save local restaurants affected by COVID-19.

a.o.c. in Los Angeles is back with dine-in as well as takeaway. The wholesale Larder Baking Co. has a variety of bread and pastry packages available To-Go at retail. Cassoulet Night by Lucques Catering returns on Saturday evening, October 24th for socially distanced sit-down dining in The Courtyard at Maple Drive in Beverly Hills and for takeout / delivery orders via TOCK.

Caroline joins us to talk about the efforts of the Independent Restaurant Coalition and what is currently available for hungry guests from the Lucques Group establishments.

Ross Halleck of Halleck VineyardHalleck Vineyard, known for their award-winning Pinot Noir’s, is a family journey of business partners Jennifer and Ross Halleck.

“They planted the Halleck Vineyard in 1993, the very first in the hills of Sebastopol, in western Sonoma County. Intended as a college fund for their infant son, two more sons and six years later until their first harvest, this seemed a flight of fancy.”

“A one- acre site, Halleck Vineyard is perched above the Russian River watershed and flanked on the west by the slopes to the Pacific Ocean. It commands an expansive view of the rolling Sonoma County hills to the northeast. A passion for Pinot leads the charge of the Halleck wines.”

“In 2019, Halleck Vineyard was again judged “BEST OF CLASS” in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest competition in North America. Sunset Magazine anointed the Halleck Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc “BEST OF CLASS” in the United States, and the California State Fair judged the Halleck Dry Gewurztraminer #1 White Wine in California.”

“The Halleck Vineyard logo represents an H for Halleck. More importantly, it expresses “one-to-one”, depicted as Roman numerals.  We hope to foster a personal connection with everyone who enjoys our wine. Hence we invite people to our home, travel to meet them, share meals, and invite them on trips around the world.”

“Viewing the dot as a grape, it has served as a plant of power for over 8,000 years, 1,000 years before Mesopotamia and the birth of civilization. It was most certainly in the realm of the spiritual practitioner, healer, or shaman. Wine is viewed as sacred in almost all the major religions. And for good reason. It has the unique ability to connect us, elevating a conversation and enhancing intimacy, building community.”

“The circle represents our community. Our mission is “Building Community Through Wine.””

We’ll meet Owner & Vintner Ross Halleck.

Rob Arellano of Descanso RestaurantDescanso Restaurant in Costa Mesa delivers a unique Mexican dining experience as a modern taqueria that celebrates authentic Mexican flavors and recipes executed on a traditional Plancha and prepared a la minute in front of the guest. With new Executive Chef Fonzy de Zuniga at the helm, the full-service restaurant is committed to providing only fresh, high-quality ingredients sourced from local farms and does not believe in cooking with lard or using can openers. Drawing guests into the cooking experience as classic Central Mexican street-inspired cuisine is made to order, the restaurant’s lively setting celebrates tradition while bringing in the music, smells, and energy of a busy Mexican town.”

Descanso Restaurant has just resumed midweek lunch service. Featuring all-new items, the menu of Central Mexican street-inspired cuisine is available inside, to-go and al fresco on the restaurant’s 1,500 square-foot patio.

“The modern taqueria’s fresh and vibrant menu introduces the Mexibol, a new offering filled with bold flavors and nourishing ingredients including refried pinto beans, Mexican fried rice, pico de gallo, avocado toreado salsa, salsa frita, tortilla chips and a choice of protein or vegetables.”

Managing Partner and Concept Creator Rob Arellano joins us with all the details of what Descanso has available for the hungry dining public right now.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant GroupOur 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. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

We hear the term “sustainable” used quite often. It’s a goal. What does it entail for a restaurant to be sustainable? Takeout and delivery are burgeoning right now. Disposable containers and packaging are in high use. What can a restaurant do so their food arrives intact and at the right temperature but uses packaging that is environmentally friendly, too. We’ll “Ask the Chef”.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group Part One
Segment Three: Restaurateur Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group Part Two
Segment Four: Halleck Vineyard with Proprietor Ross Halleck Part One
Segment Five: Halleck Vineyard with Proprietor Ross Halleck Part Two
Segment Six: Rob Arellano, Managing Partner, Descanso Restaurant, Costa Mesa
Segment Seven: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part One
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part Two

Show 393, October 3, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Barbecue afficionados are overjoyed with the launch in August of the eagerly anticipated Heritage Barbecue from proprietors Daniel and Brenda Castillo in San Juan Capistrano. They have developed a fanatical following for their Central Texas-style barbecue (that’s cooked low and slow) previously served in Orange County at popular pop-ups at area craft breweries. Daniel has trained extensively with prominent Texas pitmasters at their respective establishments. Initially the all outdoor establishment is open Wednesday through Sunday and has the capacity to serve several hundred guests per day (with proper social distancing) until the ‘cue runs out. Pitmaster Danny’s accomplished Executive Chef is Nick Echaore. We’ll pull him away from the intensive pre-opening prep for an update.

Newly released on Virtual Cinema is A Chef’s Voyage.” The film follows Emmy (Mind of a Chef) and James Beard award-winning Chef David Kinch and his team from their 3 Star Michelin restaurant, Manresa, in Los Gatos, California for a one of a kind “four hands” collaboration in France with three legendary chefs at their iconic restaurants in Paris, Provence, and Marseille. The ambitious trip was a celebration of Manresa’s 15th Anniversary. The feature documentary was Directed (and Produced) by Remi Anfosso. He joins us from France.

Mayfield Restaurant & Market is an ambitious, modern California restaurant and market located in Downtown San Juan Capistrano in an extensively refurbished, historic building. It’s on two levels and includes a comfortable covered patio. The menu has a Mediterranean and Levant flair and there is also an extensive cocktail list along with an ample selection of craft beers and natural wines. Proprietor George Barker and Executive Chef Jayro Martinez join us.

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. 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. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that greatly restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps… Ghost Kitchens in their various forms are seemingly on the fast growth track. It also includes chain restaurants with extra kitchen space that are preparing unaffiliated, branded food items To-Go and for delivery. Where is this all going? We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 393, October 3, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part One

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur 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. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

Ghost Kitchens in their various forms are seemingly on the fast growth track. Domino’s was perhaps the first major player in this space with their smaller footprint, delivery only units. It also includes chain restaurants with extra kitchen space that are preparing unaffiliated, branded food items To-Go and for delivery. Where is this all going? We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

Play