Show 383, July 25, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Restaurateur Steve Livigni (Scopa Italian Roots & DAMA) is the Food & Beverage Partner for the newly opened June Hotel in Westchester. This is the more casual sister brand of Proper Hotel group. “The first restaurant to launch there is the breezy, Baja-inspired Caravan Swim Club, a 2-story outdoor poolside gathering place for everything from cabana drinks to fire pit gatherings, creative meetings to laid-back lounging. The menus take you on a culinary road trip from Santa Barbara to Northern Baja, Mexico. Enjoy seasonal snacks like charcuterie, ceviche and a raw bar paired with biodynamic wines, craft beer, and small-batch tequila.” Steve Livigni joins us with all the details.

Chef Neal Fraser and Amy Knoll Fraser’s flagship restaurant Redbird in Downtown Los Angeles features Modern American cuisine that is refined yet approachable and highlights the multi-cultural influences of Fraser’s native city – Los Angeles. Wine Director Josh Wibbenmeyer’s wine list is well rounded with great finds from both established and emerging wine regions throughout the world. Redbird is open for dine-in with three desirable outdoor seating options including the original Redbird Courtyard. Easy to make reservations on Tock. Currently Redbird is also offering contactless curbside pickup with an a la carte menu, Redbird at Home. Chef Neal Fraser is our guest.

Barbecue afficionados have been eagerly anticipating the pending arrival of Daniel and Brenda Castillo’s Heritage Barbecue in San Juan Capistrano. They have developed a fanatical following for their Central Texas-style barbecue (that’s cooked low and slow) served in Orange County at popular pop-ups at area craft breweries. Daniel has trained extensively with prominent Texas pitmasters at their respective establishments. The soon-to-open restaurant with the capacity to serve several hundred guests per day (seven days a week) will be all outdoors.

We pull Chef Daniel away from the custom twin offset smokers for a chat.

“The award-winning Old Vine Kitchen & Bar in THE CAMP in Costa Mesa has returned to the Orange County culinary scene by reopening on-premise dining with an emphasis on staff and guest safety and an expansion of its intimate dining experience. In addition to Old Vine’s popular backyard patio, guests can now spend evenings enjoying two newly-acquired outdoor dining spaces: The Roof and The Stairway Patio.” Chef / Proprietor Mark McDonald joins us with all the specifics.

We’ve previously introduced listeners to Darley Newman of PBS’s “Travels with Darley.” “JOURNY, the free AVOD travel channel from Ovation TV, America’s only arts network, is now presenting the first season (13 episodes) of the Daytime Emmy-Nominated show “Travels with Darley.”  The series follows six-time Emmy Award-nominated host and producer Darley Newman as she travels with local people in beautiful and awe-inspiring locations (including California) to experience history, culture, food, music, art and adventure.” Darley Newman joins us from somewhere on the road to chronicle her new adventures. 

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 restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps… Please keep in mind common courtesy and politeness when dining. Your server is wearing a mask and face shield for your protection. It’s hard to hear them talk so be patient. It’s never easy being a server but it’s even tougher right now. Great time to be considerate. Tip generously… We’ll, of course “Ask the Chef,” for added insight.

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

Play

Show 383, July 25, 2020: Restaurateur Steve Livigni, Food & Beverage Partner, June Hotel & Caravan Swim Club

Steve Livigni of Scenic Route and the Caravan Swim ClubRestaurateur Steve Livigni (Scopa Italian Roots & DAMA) is the Food & Beverage Partner for the newly opened June Hotel in Westchester. This is the inaugural, more casual sister brand of Proper Hotel group.

“The first restaurant to launch there is the breezy Baja-inspired Caravan Swim Club, a 2-story outdoor poolside gathering place for everything from cabana drinks to fire pit gatherings, creative meetings to laid-back lounging. The menus take you on a culinary road trip from Santa Barbara to Northern Baja, Mexico. Enjoy seasonal snacks like charcuterie, ceviche and a raw bar paired with biodynamic wines, craft beer, and small-batch tequilas.”

Think The June Chop Salad with brentwood corn, avocado, cotija cheese, lettuce, cilantro, onion and tomato. Indulge a bit with the Tropical Agave Tart with tequila caramelized pineapple, custard, spices and a dollop of coconut lime whip.

Scenic Route is the future, all-day Lobby restaurant. Opening date in the next few months.

Steve Livigni is our guest with all the enticing details.

Play

July 25: Caravan Swim Club, Neal Fraser, Heritage Barbecue, Old Vine Kitchen & Bar, Darley Newman

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Steve Livigni, Food & Beverage Partner, June Hotel & Caravan Swim Club
Segment Three: Executive Chef & Partner Neal Fraser, Redbird & Vibiana, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Chef / Proprietor Daniel Castillo of Heritage Barbecue, San Juan Capistrano Part One
Segment Five: Chef / Proprietor Daniel Castillo of Heritage Barbecue, San Juan Capistrano Part Two
Segment Six: Executive Chef & Partner, Mark McDonald, Old Vine Kitchen & Bar, Costa Mesa
Segment Seven: Travel Journalist Darley Newman – “Travels with Darley”
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Restaurateur Steve Livigni (Scopa Italian Roots & DAMA) is the Food & Beverage Partner for the newly opened June Hotel in Westchester. This is the more casual sister brand of Proper Hotel group. The first restaurant to launch there is the breezy, Baja-inspired Caravan Swim Club, a 2-story outdoor poolside gathering place for everything from cabana drinks to fire pit gatherings, creative meetings to laid-back lounging. The menus take you on a culinary road trip from Santa Barbara to Northern Baja, Mexico. Enjoy seasonal snacks like charcuterie, ceviche and a raw bar paired with biodynamic wines, craft beer, and small-batch tequila. Steve Livigni joins us with all the details.

Chef Neal Fraser and Amy Knoll Fraser’s flagship restaurant Redbird in Downtown Los Angeles features Modern American cuisine that is refined yet approachable and highlights the multi-cultural influences of Fraser’s native city – Los Angeles. Wine Director Josh Wibbenmeyer’s wine list is well rounded with great finds from both established and emerging wine regions throughout the world. Redbird is open for dine-in with three desirable outdoor seating options including the Redbird Courtyard. Easy to make reservations on Tock. Currently Redbird is offering contactless curbside pickup with an a la carte menu, Redbird at Home. Chef Neal Fraser is our guest.

Barbecue afficionados have been eagerly anticipating the pending arrival of Daniel and Brenda Castillo’s Heritage Barbecue in San Juan Capistrano. They have developed a fanatical following for their Central Texas-style barbecue (that’s cooked low and slow) served in Orange County at popular pop-ups at area craft breweries. Daniel has trained extensively with prominent Texas pitmasters at their respective establishments. The soon-to-open restaurant with the capacity to serve several hundred guests per day (seven days a week) will be all outdoors.

We pull Chef Daniel away from the twin smokers for a chat.

“The award-winning Old Vine Kitchen & Bar in THE CAMP in Costa Mesa has returned to the Orange County culinary scene by reopening on-premise dining with an emphasis on staff and guest safety and an expansion of its intimate dining experience. In addition to Old Vine’s popular backyard patio, guests can now spend evenings enjoying two newly-acquired outdoor dining spaces: The Roof and The Stairway Patio.” Chef / Proprietor Mark McDonald joins us with all the specifics.

We’ve previously introduced listeners to Darley Newman of PBS’s “Travels with Darley.” “JOURNY, the free AVOD travel channel from Ovation TV, America’s only arts network, is now presenting the first season (13 episodes) of the Daytime Emmy-Nominated show “Travels with Darley.”  The series follows six-time Emmy Award-nominated host and producer Darley Newman as she travels with local people in beautiful and awe-inspiring locations (including California) to experience history, culture, food, music, art and adventure.” Darley Newman joins us from somewhere on the road to chronicle her new adventures.

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 restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps… Please keep in mind common courtesy and politeness when dining. Your server is wearing a mask and face shield for your protection. It’s hard to hear them talk so be patient. It’s never easy being a server but it’s even tougher right now. Great time to be considerate. Tip generously… We’ll, of course “Ask the Chef,” for added insight.

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

Steve Livigni of Scenic Route and the Caravan Swim ClubRestaurateur Steve Livigni (Scopa Italian Roots & DAMA) is the Food & Beverage Partner for the newly opened June Hotel in Westchester. This is the inaugural, more casual sister brand of Proper Hotel group.

The first restaurant to launch there is the breezy Baja-inspired Caravan Swim Club, a 2-story outdoor poolside gathering place for everything from cabana drinks to fire pit gatherings, creative meetings to laid-back lounging. The menus take you on a culinary road trip from Santa Barbara to Northern Baja, Mexico. Enjoy seasonal snacks like charcuterie, ceviche and a raw bar paired with biodynamic wines, craft beer, and small-batch tequilas.

Scenic Route is the future, all-day Lobby restaurant. Opening date in the next few months.

Steve Livigni is our guest with all the details.

Neal Fraser of RedbirdChef Neal Fraser and Amy Knoll Fraser’s flagship restaurant Redbird in Downtown Los Angeles features Modern American cuisine that is refined yet approachable and highlights the multi-cultural influences of Fraser’s native city – Los Angeles. Wine Director Josh Wibbenmeyer’s wine list is well rounded with great finds from both established and emerging wine regions throughout the world.

Redbird is open for dine-in with three desirable outdoor seating options including the Redbird Courtyard. Easy to make reservations on Tock.

Currently Redbird is also offering contactless curbside pickup with an a la carte menu, Redbird at Home.

Redbird also has been actively raising funds in creative ways to benefit their Black Student Scholarship fund at C-CAP (Careers through Culinary Arts Program) via sales of their signature The Squeaky Door cocktail (with Artingstall’s Gin) and the Go Go Gyoza dumpling sales effort.

Executive Chef Neal Fraser is our guest.

Daniel Castillo of Heritage BarbecueBarbecue afficionados have been eagerly anticipating the pending arrival of Daniel and Brenda Castillo’s Heritage Barbecue in San Juan Capistrano. They have developed a fanatical following for their Central Texas-Style craft barbecue (that’s cooked low and slow) served in Orange County at popular pop-ups at area craft breweries. Daniel has trained extensively with prominent Texas pitmasters at their respective establishments. The soon-to-open restaurant with the capacity to serve several hundred guests per day (seven days a week) will be all outdoors.

Heritage is well-known for their brisket, tri-tip, chicken, ribs and sausages. There is even a proprietary barbecue cheesecake. All the proteins are cooked using California White Oak in twin, 1,000 gallon offset smokers crafted by Harper Barbecue in Costa Mesa.

Kingsford, the very familiar charcoal briquet firm, has recently launched a cash award program to recognize (and encourage) barbecue chefs nationwide. Chef Daniel was awarded $10,000 in May by Kingsford with no strings attached.

We pull Chef Daniel away from the twin smokers for a chat.

Mark McDonald of Old Vine Kitchen and Bar“The award-winning Old Vine Kitchen & Bar in Costa Mesa at THE CAMP has returned to the Orange County culinary scene by reopening on-premise dining with an emphasis on staff and guest safety and an expansion of its intimate dining experience. In addition to Old Vine’s popular backyard patio, guests can now spend evenings enjoying two newly-acquired outdoor dining spaces: The Roof and The Stairway Patio.”

“We’re excited to extend our signature Old Vine experience to two new beautiful outdoor spaces, The Roof and The Stairway Patio, which give our restaurant the space needed for social distancing and ensuring our guests’ safety,” said Old Vine Kitchen & Bar’s proprietor and Chef Mark McDonald. “We are proud to welcome our customers back, knowing that our restaurant has fully implemented all city, county, and state safety protocols, and trained our excellent staff accordingly. Guest and staff well-being is always our first priority.”

“Returning diners will be delighted to find brand new bar and dinner menus from Chef McDonald, who has helmed Old Vine’s kitchen for more than 13 years. From revamped old favorites, such as Old Vine’s Caprese of Burrata, to soon-to-be classics, such as a new, four course cocktail pairing tasting menu, guests are sure to savor his fresh takes on Old Vine’s signature regional cuisine, always crafted with top quality food products and now a totally scratch kitchen.”

“Our whole team took advantage of this quieter time, and we all found new inspiration, whether in the kitchen, with the wine list, or behind the bar,” co-owner Kate Perry said. “The result is updated bar and dinner menus, a range of new vegan and vegetarian options, and as always, a commitment to serving and building our Old Vine family.”

Chef Mark McDonald joins us.

Darley Newman of Travels with DarleyWe’ve previously introduced you to Darley Newman of PBS’s Travels with Darley.”JOURNY, the free AVOD travel channel from Ovation TV, America’s only arts network, is now presenting the first season (13 episodes) of the Daytime Emmy-Nominated show “Travels with Darley.”  The series follows six-time Emmy Award-nominated host and producer Darley Newman as she travels with local people in beautiful and awe-inspiring locations to experience history, culture, food, music, art and adventure.”

“As JOURNY is known to focus on immersive experiences and unique storytelling, each episode introduces viewers to diverse cultures and traditions and what makes each location truly unique. Darley’s on-camera local counterparts are the true stars of each episode, as they lead Darley through their world. Viewers learn about places and cultures that are less publicized by traditional media, as well as new things about places they thought they knew, bridging global cultures and inspiring viewers to look at the world in a new way.”

“JOURNY’s focus on cultural travel make it the perfect home for our immersive and experiential series,” said Newman. “We film in a style that allows viewers to feel like they are along with me on this global journey. I really got out of my comfort zone for extreme adventures and to share stories that showcase the diversity of our planet.”

“Shot in stunning 4K in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and USA, Darley takes viewers swimming with sharks in Dubai, bungee jumping off the world’s highest commercial tower in Macao, skiing in Tahoe with Olympian Jonny Moseley and free diving with a community of women whose centuries old practices in South Korea are recognized by UNESCO. Authentic cuisine is also a focus with Darley learning about sustainable oyster farming in California’s Morro Bay, trying retro street foods in Seoul and Emirati cuisine in Dubai.”

Darley Newman joins us from the road to chronicle her new adventures.

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…

Please keep in mind common courtesy and politeness when dining out. Your server is wearing a mask and face shield for your protection. Nothing funny about it. It’s hard to hear them talk so be extra patient. It’s never easy being a server but it’s even tougher right now. Great time to be considerate. Remember to tip generously… We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Steve Livigni, Food & Beverage Partner, June Hotel & Caravan Swim Club
Segment Three: Executive Chef & Partner Neal Fraser, Redbird & Vibiana, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Chef / Proprietor Daniel Castillo of Heritage Barbecue, San Juan Capistrano Part One
Segment Five: Chef / Proprietor Daniel Castillo of Heritage Barbecue, San Juan Capistrano Part Two
Segment Six: Executive Chef & Partner, Mark McDonald, Old Vine Kitchen & Bar, Costa Mesa
Segment Seven: Travel Journalist Darley Newman – “Travels with Darley”
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 291, September 22, 2018: Executive Chef Antonia Lofaso, DAMA, City Market South, Downtown Los Angeles

Antonio Lofaso of Black Market Liquor Bar and Scopa Italian RootsDAMA is a Latin-inspired restaurant just launched (9 weeks ago) in the Fashion District of Downtown Los Angeles in City Market South featuring culinary dishes from Executive Chef Antonia Lofaso (Venice’s Scopa Italian Roots) and standout cocktails from Pablo Moix and Steve Livigni.

“Chef Antonia Lofaso’s menu draws from her time spent in Mexico City, Spain, Colombia and the Caribbean. The cocktail menu, from Pablo Moix, features long-forgotten classics and spectacular blended drinks like pina coladas and daiquiris. A sprawling, multi-level outdoor patio establishes Dama as a go-to spot for taking in LA’s flawless weather.”

Think Whole Soft Shell Crab Taco with hot pickled onions, radish, Persian cucumbers and cilantro. Also for a “Large Plate” the standout is the Crispy Pork Shank with lettuce cups, house-made warm tortillas, hot pickled vegetables and avocado crema. On the cocktail side look for Sandia y Mezcal with mezcal, watermelon, citrus and salt and pepper.

Chef Antonia takes a break from her busy kitchens to join us.

 

Play

Show 120, May 2, 2015: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and, now, Newport Beach is today’s special Guest Host. His new restaurant makeover series on FYI, “Say it to My Face,” launches Saturday evening, May 9th at 10:00 p.m. on FYI.

Now a preview of today’s satisfyingly overstuffed show.

The Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC) announces its next Los Angeles seminar, “Vive l’Aperitif! An Invitation to Preprandial Drinking,” Monday, May 11th, 2015 at one of L.A.’s happening restaurants, Scopa Italian Roots in Venice. Sampling of classic aperitifs is on the menu. It’s all in celebration of National Aperitif Day. Scopa’s Steve Livigni and MOTAC’s Philip Dobard join us to explain what an aperitif is and how it fits into a modern cocktail program.

When two highly regarded young chefs get together for a collaborative dinner that’s a recipe for true dining excitement! On Tuesday, May 12th, Chef Eric Samaniego of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana and Chef Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria at SoCo in Costa Mesa will partner up for a special chefs collaboration event, Little Maria. The five-course dinner will be hosted at Little Sparrow, featuring dishes that motivate both chefs to break out of their comfort zones. Little Sparrow’s Chef Eric Samaniego is our guest with all the tantalizing 411.

Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan oversees the high-end Leatherby’s Café Rouge at the striking Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa. It’s part of the prominent Patina Restaurant Group. Unusually it’s only available for dining on performance nights. Fortunately it’s not a stripped-down pre-theater, “get ‘em out fast” approach. It’s leisurely fine-dining that’s part of the evening’s show experience. Chef Pangilinan joins us to explain his novel “meal and a performance” approach to fine-dining.

Daniel Minjares, a senior restaurant manager at The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon in Anaheim, has recently assumed an additional role as mixologist for the restaurant. Minjares, a Southern California native, and a 33 year restaurant veteran was the beverage manager at SkyCity Restaurant at the Seattle Space Needle prior to joining The Ranch team three years ago. Currently, he is combining the unique offerings of the restaurant’s heirloom vegetable farm in creating farm-to-glass cocktails, complimenting the restaurants’ seasonally driven menu.

Pastry Chef Mariah Swan of BLD in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles is no stranger to listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

Her latest, long-in-the-works venture, is ICDC (Ice Cream, Doughnuts and Coffee) located next door to BLD on Beverly Blvd. The sweets menu changes daily. Swan created the popular Doughnut Shoppe Wednesdays at BLD. Look for her signature butterscotch doughnut.

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

 

Play

Show 120, May 2, 2015: MOTAC’s Philip Dobard and Scopa’s Steve Livigni

Steve LivigniThe Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC) announces its next Los Angeles seminar, “Vive l’Aperitif! An Invitation to Preprandial Drinking,” Monday, May 11th, 2015 at one of L.A.’s hottest restaurants, Scopa Italian Roots in Venice. Sampling of classic aperitifs is on the menu. It’s all in celebration of National Aperitif Day.

Ever wonder what distinguishes an aperitif from a digestif? And what their culinary function is? Well, celebrate National Aperitif Day with The Museum of the American Cocktail and wonder no more. Celebrated mixologists and restaurateurs Steve Livigni & Pablo Moix lead participants on a tasting tour of aperitifs both common and rare, neat and cocktailed. Guests will learn what they need to know to select and appreciate a fine before-dinner drink and enjoy innovative takes on Italian classics from “Top Chef” star Chef Antonia Lofaso who is also one of three regular judges on Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” with Alton Brown.

For the record National Aperitif Day is actually May 18th. MOTAC is getting an early start on the festivities!

Scopa’s Steve Livigni and MOTAC’s Philip Dobard join us to explain what an aperitif is and how it fits into a contemporary cocktail program.

Play

May 2: Philip Dobard, Scopa Italian Roots, Eric Samaniego, Ross Pangilinan, The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon, Mariah Swan

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: MOTAC’s Philip Dobard and Scopa’s Steve Livigni
Segment Three: Chef Eric Samaniego and “Little Maria” Evening
Segment Four: Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan, Leatherby’s Café Rouge
Segment Five: Mixologist Dan Minjares, The Ranch Restaurant, Anaheim Part One
Segment Six: Mixologist Dan Minjares, The Ranch Restaurant, Anaheim Part Two
Segment Seven: Pastry Chef Mariah Swan, ICDC, Los Angeles’ Fairfax District Part One
Segment Eight: Pastry Chef Mariah Swan, ICDC, Los Angeles’ Fairfax District Part Two

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

Now a preview of today’s satisfyingly overstuffed show.

The Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC) announces its next Los Angeles seminar, “Vive l’Aperitif! An Invitation to Preprandial Drinking,” Monday, May 11th, 2015 at one of L.A.’s hottest restaurants, Scopa Italian Roots in Venice. Sampling of classic aperitifs is on the menu. It’s all in celebration of National Aperitif Day. Scopa’s Steve Livigni and MOTAC’s Philip Dobard join us to explain what an aperitif is and how it fits into a contemporary cocktail program.

When two highly regarded young chefs get together for a collaborative dinner that’s a recipe for true dining excitement! On Tuesday, May 12th, Chef Eric Samaniego of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana and Chef Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria at SoCo in Costa Mesa will partner up for a special chef collaboration event, Little Maria. The five-course dinner will be hosted at Little Sparrow, featuring dishes that motivate both chefs to break out of their comfort zones. Little Sparrow’s Chef Eric Samaniego is our guest with all the tantalizing 411.

Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan oversees the high-end Leatherby’s Café Rouge at the striking Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa. It’s part of the prominent Patina Restaurant Group. Unusually it’s only available for dining on performance nights. Fortunately it’s not a stripped-down pre-theater, “get ‘em out fast” approach. It’s leisurely fine-dining with flair that’s part of the show experience. Chef Pangilinan joins us to explain his novel “meal and a performance” approach to fine-dining.

Daniel Minjares, a senior restaurant manager at The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon in Anaheim, has recently assumed an additional role as mixologist for the restaurant. Minjares, a Southern California native, and a 33 year restaurant veteran was the beverage manager at SkyCity Restaurant at the Seattle Space Needle in Seattle prior to joining The Ranch team three years ago. Currently, he is combining the unique offerings of the restaurant’s heirloom vegetable farm in creating farm-to-glass cocktails, complimenting the restaurants’ seasonally driven menu.

Pastry Chef Mariah Swan of BLD in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles is no stranger to listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

Her latest, long-in-the-works venture, is ICDC (Ice Cream, Doughnuts and Coffee) located next door to BLD on Beverly Blvd. The menu changes daily. Swan created the popular Doughnut Shoppe Wednesdays at BLD. Look for her signature butterscotch doughnut.

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

Steve LivigniThe Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC) announces its next Los Angeles seminar, “Vive l’Aperitif! An Invitation to Preprandial Drinking,” Monday, May 11th, 2015 at one of L.A.’s hottest restaurants, Scopa Italian Roots in Venice. Sampling of classic aperitifs is on the menu. It’s all in celebration of National Aperitif Day.

Ever wonder what distinguishes an aperitif from a digestif ? And what their culinary function is? Well, celebrate National Aperitif Day with The Museum of the American Cocktail and wonder no more. Celebrated mixologists and restaurateurs Steve Livigni & Pablo Moix lead participants on a tasting tour of aperitifs both common and rare, neat and cocktailed. Guests will learn what they need to know to select and appreciate a fine before-dinner drink and enjoy innovative takes on Italian classics from “Top Chef” star Chef Antonia Lofaso (who is a co-owner.)

Scopa’s Steve Livigni and MOTAC’s Philip Dobard join us to explain what an aperitif is and how it fits into a contemporary cocktail program.

Eric SamaniegoWhen two highly regarded young chefs get together for a collaborative dinner that’s a recipe for true dining excitement! On Tuesday, May 12th, Chef Eric Samaniego of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana and Chef Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria at SoCo in Costa Mesa will partner up for a special chef collaboration event, Little Maria. The five-course dinner will be hosted at Little Sparrow, featuring dishes that motivate both chefs to break out of their comfort zones.

“Guests can expect the unexpected” Samaniego said. “This has been in the works for a long time and Carlos and I are excited it’s finally happening.”

The Little Maria dinner features two seatings, at 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., priced at $85 per person with an optional $30 wine pairing. Tickets must be purchased in advance. To maintain the element of suspense the menu will not be revealed until a few days before the dinner.

Both Chef Samaniego and Salgado have made a huge impact on the Orange County culinary scene in the past year. Little Sparrow recently had their debut on Season One of Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant” series hosted by Chef Tom Colicchio while Chef Salgado was recognized by Food & Wine magazine as one of the “Best New Chefs of 2015.”

Little Sparrow’s Chef Eric Samaniego is our guest with all the tantalizing 411.

Ross PangilinanFor over five years Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan has overseen the high-end Leatherby’s Café Rouge at the striking Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa. It’s part of the prominent Patina Restaurant Group. Unusually it’s only available for dining on performance nights. Fortunately it’s not a stripped-down pre-theater, “get ‘em out fast” approach. It’s leisurely fine-dining that’s part of the full show experience.

Currently the creative pre-theater menus are the continuation of their Broadway-themed menus. They take inspiration from the music and characters of the running shows. Pangilinan and team transport patrons into the world of highly acclaimed theatrical performances through carefully crafted three-course menus that pay tribute to each cherished tale.

June showcases a Broadway jukebox musical, Motown, with dishes such as Motown Sound featuring Smoked and Grilled Pork Porterhouse, Lobster Mac and Cheese, Roasted Vegetables, and Rosemary Jus.

Chef Pangilinan joins us to explain his novel “meal and a performance” approach to creative fine-dining.

Dan MinjaresDaniel Minjares, a senior restaurant manager at The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon in Anaheim, has recently assumed an additional role as mixologist for the restaurant.

Minjares, a Southern Califorenia native, and a 33 year restaurant veteran was the beverage manager at SkyCity Restaurant at the Seattle Space Needle in Seattle prior to joining The Ranch team three years ago. Currently, he is combining the unique offerings of the restaurant’s heirloom vegetable farm in creating farm-to-glass cocktails, complimenting the restaurants’ seasonally driven menu.

The Edwards Ranch Estates heirloom vegetable farm is located on Ranch Owner, Andrew Edwards’s private property and is where a portion of the produce is grown that supplies the restaurant’s menu. The farm supports Executive Chef Michael Rossi’s vision of a seasonally driven menu and provides Rossi the creative freedom and flexibility to design menus and dishes around the seasons. Initially intended for restaurant menu development, the farm will now support a seasonally driven beverage menu.

Rossi and Minjares are currently working together on plans for the upcoming season. “Having the ability to blend the flavors from fruits, herbs, peppers and heirloom vegetables grown on our own farm, creating our own unique flavors for cocktails, it just doesn’t get any better,” said Minjares. Currently Minjares is also barrel aging and crafting his own bitters and aromatics for the new Spring cocktail menu.

This Spring’s beverage menu is divided into three sections, leading with Edwards Ranch Estates farm crafted cocktails featuring the LemonThyme Cocktail with house-made Meyer Limoncello, Nolet Gin, muddled Edward Ranch Estates lemon thyme, simple syrup, fresh lemon and a splash of soda. Listed next are the Signature cocktails and includes the Chipotle Margarita – Riviera Magazine’s 2013 Cocktail Tour Winner and the Old Fashion Cowboy. Signature Martinis & Manhattans complete the new menu and includes The Ranch Cucumber Martini, The Two-Step and the California Manhattan.

Mariah SwanPastry Chef Mariah Swan of BLD in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles is no stranger to listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

Her latest, long-in-the-works venture is ICDC (Ice Cream, Doughnuts and Coffee) located next door to BLD on Beverly Blvd. Everything is created in-house. The menu of ice cream and doughnuts changes daily.

Swan created the popular Doughnut Shoppe Wednesdays at BLD which ICDC now replaces. Now you can get incredible fresh doughnuts every day ICDC is open. (Closed on Monday.) You can get doughnut holes by the half-dozen. Look for her signature butterscotch doughnut.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: MOTAC’s Philip Dobard and Scopa’s Steve Livigni
Segment Three: Chef Eric Samaniego and “Little Maria” Evening
Segment Four: Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan, Leatherby’s Café Rouge
Segment Five: Mixologist Dan Minjares, The Ranch Restaurant, Anaheim Part One
Segment Six: Mixologist Dan Minjares, The Ranch Restaurant, Anaheim Part Two
Segment Seven: Pastry Chef Mariah Swan, ICDC, Los Angeles’ Fairfax District Part One
Segment Eight: Pastry Chef Mariah Swan, ICDC, Los Angeles’ Fairfax District Part Two