Show 489, September 3, 2022: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Happy Labor Day Weekend. Enjoy something absolutely delicious!

The venerable and architecturally significant Tam O’Shanter in Atwater Village is celebrating it’s 100th birthday this year. Always a favorite of Walt Disney it’s currently overseen by the fourth-generation of the founding Frank and Van de Kamp families. Their CEO (Ryan O’Melveny Wilson) is an accomplished chef. A culmination of the anniversary festivities was a six-course centennial repast held in mid-July. The elaborate Sunday dinner highlighted significant dishes from various eras of the Tam’s historic past. Of course the signature Lawry’s Prime Rib with Yorkshire Pudding was on the evening’s menu.

LA Weekly’s well-respected Food Editor, Michele Stueven, was the co-host. Michele joins us to discuss the evening and the historical significance of the Tam O’Shanter on the ever-changing Los Angeles restaurant scene. We’ll also ask what restaurant openings on the horizon she is most anticipating for the balance of the year.

Every year Chef Marco Zapien of Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria in Pico Rivera goes all out to celebrate the short Hatch Pepper season. His concluding Hatch Chile event is Zapien’s Hatch Pepper Roast set for Saturday, September 10th from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It also includes a Hatch Brunch menu in the restaurant showcasing brunch favorites prepared with Hatch Peppers. This year’s Hatch Chile Roast allows patrons to pick-up on the spot roasted Melissa’s Hatch Chiles by the case and by the preferred level of spice from mild to hot. Pre-ordering is advised. Chef Marco takes a break from his busy kitchen to provide all the savory and flavorful Hatch roasting details.

Populaire, the much-anticipated restaurant from veteran chefs Ross Pangilinan and Nicholas Weber, opened its doors at South Coast Plaza on June 1. The two Patina Restaurant Group alums – both protégés of renowned restaurateur and Master Chef Joachim Splichal — have since forged their own respective culinary paths.” “Guests can anticipate savoring classic bistro staples with modern California flavors and twists, from Escargot Ebelskivers with Sauerkraut, Buttermilk and Parsley to Fried Chicken & Royal Osetra Caviar with Labneh and Chives, along with Ratatouille with Egg Yolk, Aged White Cheddar, Gochugaru Chili, Olive Oil & Crostini, and Dungeness Crab Chawanmushi with Sea Urchin, Red Yuzu Kosho and Saffron Dashi. Entrée-wise, there’s Spanish Octopus with Koji Crème Fraiche, Cured Green Tomato & Hemp Seed Crumble – as well as Prime Bavette Steak with Sauce Au Poivre and Whipped Potatoes.” Chef / Proprietor Nick Weber joins us.

When we last spoke with Las Vegas-based food and entertainment journalist Al Mancini he had just launched the ambitious Neon Feast dining app. “Available now on app stores for both Apple and Android, Neon Feast solves the “where to eat” dilemma for both visitors and locals with listings curated by dozens of local and nationally prominent food & beverage experts, searchable through a unique combination of filters and capabilities.” Al Mancini is our guest to discuss Labor Day dining (spotlighting the very best in regional hot dogs) in Las Vegas and provide an update on the progress of Neon Feast.

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. When we think of sturgeon it’s probably best known as the source of caviar. Some of us have perhaps enjoyed smoked sturgeon in a Jewish Deli. Fresh sturgeon is a somewhat hidden delicacy. Chef Andrew shares the joys of sturgeon as a center-plate protein and its sustainability in a farm-raised system.

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

Show 489, September 3, 2022: Chef Andrew Gruel (Co-Host) with “Ask the Chef”

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.

When we think of sturgeon it’s best known as the source of caviar. Some of us have perhaps enjoyed smoked sturgeon in a Jewish Deli. Fresh sturgeon is a somewhat hidden delicacy. Chef Andrew shares the joys of sturgeon as a center-plate protein, a bit of history and its sustainability in a thoughtfully managed, domestic, farm-raised system.

September 3: Michele Stueven on the Tam O’Shanter, Marco Zapien, Populaire Modern Bistro, Al Mancini

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: LA Weekly’s Food Editor, Michele Stueven on The Tam O’Shanter at 100 Part One
Segment Three: LA Weekly’s Food Editor, Michele Stueven on The Tam O’Shanter at 100 Part Two
Segment Four: Zapien’s Hatch Pepper Roast with Chef Marco Zapien of Zapien’s Salsa Grill, Pico Rivera
Segment Five: Populaire Modern Bistro at South Coast Plaza with Executive Chef Nicholas Weber Part One
Segment Six: Populaire Modern Bistro at South Coast Plaza with Executive Chef Nicholas Weber Part Two
Segment Seven: Al Mancini, Food & Entertainment Journalist, Las Vegas, and Creator of Neon Feast Dining App
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel (Co-Host) with “Ask the Chef”

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

Happy Labor Day Weekend. Enjoy something absolutely delicious!

The venerable and architecturally significant Tam O’Shanter in Atwater Village is celebrating it’s 100th birthday this year. Always a favorite of Walt Disney it’s currently overseen by the fourth-generation of the founding Frank and Van de Kamp families. Their CEO (Ryan O’Melveny Wilson) is an accomplished chef. A culmination of the anniversary festivities was a six-course centennial repast held in mid-July. The elaborate Sunday dinner highlighted significant dishes from various eras of the Tam’s historic past. Of course the signature Lawry’s Prime Rib with Yorkshire Pudding was on the evening’s menu.

LA Weekly’s well-respected Food Editor, Michele Stueven, was the co-host. Michele joins us to discuss the evening and the historical significance of the Tam O’Shanter on the ever-changing Los Angeles restaurant scene. We’ll also ask what restaurant openings on the horizon she is most anticipating for the balance of the year.

Every year Chef Marco Zapien of Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria in Pico Rivera goes all out to celebrate the short Hatch Pepper season. His concluding Hatch Chile event is Zapien’s Hatch Pepper Roast set for Saturday, September 10th from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It also includes a Hatch Brunch menu in the restaurant showcasing brunch favorites prepared with Hatch Peppers. This year’s Hatch Chile Roast allows patrons to pick-up on the spot roasted Melissa’s Hatch Chiles by the case and by the preferred level of spice from mild to hot. Pre-ordering is advised. Chef Marco takes a break from his busy kitchen to provide all the savory and flavorful Hatch roasting details.

“Populaire, the much-anticipated restaurant from veteran chefs Ross Pangilinan and Nicholas Weber, opened its doors at South Coast Plaza on June 1. The two Patina Restaurant Group alums – both protégés of renowned restaurateur and Master Chef Joachim Splichal — have since forged their own respective culinary paths.” “Guests can anticipate savoring classic bistro staples with modern California flavors and twists, from Escargot Ebelskivers with Sauerkraut, Buttermilk and Parsley to a “Croque Madame” Air Waffle with Comte Crème, Parisian Ham and Quail Egg, along with Ratatouille with Egg Yolk, Aged White Cheddar, Gochugaru Chili, Olive Oil & Crostini, and Dungeness Crab Chawanmushi with Sea Urchin, Red Yuzu Kosho and Saffron Dashi. Entrée-wise, there’s Spanish Octopus with Koji Crème Fraiche, Cured Green Tomato & Hemp Seed Crumble – as well as Prime Bavette Steak with Sauce Au Poivre and Whipped Potatoes.” Chef / Proprietor Nick Weber joins us.

When we last spoke with Las Vegas-based food and entertainment journalist Al Mancini he had just launched the ambitious Neon Feast dining app. “Available now on app stores for both Apple and Android, Neon Feast solves the “where to eat” dilemma for both visitors and locals with listings curated by dozens of local and nationally prominent food & beverage experts, searchable through a unique combination of filters and capabilities.” Al Mancini is our guest to discuss Labor Day dining in Las Vegas and provide an update on the progress of Neon Feast.

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. When we think of sturgeon it’s best known as the source of caviar. Some of us have perhaps enjoyed smoked sturgeon in a Jewish Deli. Fresh sturgeon is a somewhat hidden delicacy. Chef Andrew shares the joys of sturgeon as a center-plate protein and its sustainability in a farm-raised system.

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

Michele Stueven of LA Weekly

The venerable and architecturally significant Tam O’Shanter in Atwater Village is celebrating it’s 100th birthday this year. Always a favorite of Walt Disney it’s currently overseen by the fourth-generation of the founding Frank and Van de Kamp families. Their CEO (Ryan O’Melveny Wilson) is an accomplished chef.

A culmination of the anniversary festivities was a six-course centennial repast held in mid-July. The elaborate Sunday dinner highlighted significant dishes from various eras of the Tam’s historic past. Of course the signature Lawry’s Prime Rib with Yorkshire Pudding was on the evening’s menu.

LA Weekly’s well-respected Food Editor, Michele Stueven, was the co-host. Michele joins us to recap the memorable evening and the historical significance of the Tam O’Shanter on the Los Angeles restaurant scene. We’ll also ask what restaurant openings on the horizon she is most anticipating for the balance of the year.

Marco Zapien of Zapiens Salsa Grill and Taqueria

Every year Chef Marco Zapien of Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria in Pico Rivera goes all out to celebrate the short Hatch Pepper season. His concluding Hatch Chile event is Zapien’s Hatch Pepper Roast set for Saturday, September 10th from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It also includes a Hatch Brunch menu in the restaurant showcasing brunch favorites prepared with Hatch Peppers.

This year’s Hatch Chile Roast allows patrons to pick-up on the spot freshly-roasted Melissa’s Hatch Chiles by the case and by the preferred level of spice from mild to hot. Pre-ordering is advised. Chef Marco takes a break from his busy kitchen to provide all the savory Hatch roasting details.

Nick Weber of Populaire Modern Bistro

Populaire, the much-anticipated restaurant from veteran chefs Ross Pangilinan and Nicholas Weber, opened its doors at South Coast Plaza on June 1. The two Patina Restaurant Group alums – both protégés of renowned restaurateur and Master Chef Joachim Splichal — have since forged their own respective culinary paths.”

“Pangilinan currently owns and operates several successful restaurants, including Terrace by Mix Mix at South Coast Plaza, Mix Mix Kitchen & Bar in Santa Ana (which earned a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2019) and ReMix Kitchen & Bar in Long Beach. Weber most recently served as executive chef of 24 Carrots, one of OC’s most sought-after catering companies, along with previous executive chef roles at Catal Restaurant at Downtown Disney, Pinot Provence in Costa Mesa and The Cannery in Newport Beach.”

“Guests can anticipate savoring classic bistro staples with modern California flavors and twists, from Escargot Ebelskivers with Sauerkraut, Buttermilk and Parsley to a “Croque Madame” Air Waffle with Comte Crème, Parisian Ham and Quail Egg, along with Ratatouille with Egg Yolk, Aged White Cheddar, Gochugaru Chili, Olive Oil & Crostini, and Dungeness Crab Chawanmushi with Sea Urchin, Red Yuzu Kosho and Saffron Dashi. Entrée-wise, there’s Spanish Octopus with Koji Crème Fraiche, Cured Green Tomato & Hemp Seed Crumble – as well as Prime Bavette Steak with Sauce Au Poivre and Whipped Potatoes.”

Populaire is located at South Coast Plaza on Level 2, Saks Fifth Avenue wing.

Chef Nick Weber joins us.

Al Mancini of Neon Feast

When we last spoke with Las Vegas-based food and entertainment journalist Al Mancini he had just launched the ambitious Neon Feast dining app.

“Available now on app stores for both Apple and Android, Neon Feast solves the “where to eat” dilemma for both visitors and locals with listings curated by dozens of local and nationally prominent food & beverage experts, searchable through a unique combination of filters and capabilities.”

“In contrast to other crowdsourced restaurant review apps, the list of venues on Neon Feast is limited to only those that the experts recommend, currently approaching 500 eateries. The diverse all-star panel includes prominent local and national food writers, local chefs and foodies who were invited to share the restaurants they would recommend to friends and family (without compensation). Restaurants cannot “buy-in” to be included on the app, although premium features allow them to add reservation buttons, one-touch Uber calls and other elements. Some of the searchable filters and lists include cuisine types, neighborhoods, date night spots, late-night dining, breathtaking views, etc.”

Al Mancini is our guest to discuss Labor Day dining in Las Vegas and provide an update on the progress of Neon Feast.

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.

When we think of sturgeon it’s best known as the source of caviar. Some of us have perhaps enjoyed smoked sturgeon in a Jewish Deli. Fresh sturgeon is a somewhat hidden delicacy. Chef Andrew shares the joys of sturgeon as a center-plate protein and its sustainability in a farm-raised system.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: LA Weekly’s Food Editor, Michele Stueven on The Tam O’Shanter at 100 Part One
Segment Three: LA Weekly’s Food Editor, Michele Stueven on The Tam O’Shanter at 100 Part Two
Segment Four: Zapien’s Hatch Pepper Roast with Chef Marco Zapien of Zapien’s Salsa Grill, Pico Rivera
Segment Five: Populaire Modern Bistro at South Coast Plaza with Executive Chef Nicholas Weber Part One
Segment Six: Populaire Modern Bistro at South Coast Plaza with Executive Chef Nicholas Weber Part Two
Segment Seven: Al Mancini, Food & Entertainment Journalist, Las Vegas, and Creator of Neon Feast Dining App
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel (Co-Host) with “Ask the Chef”

Show 68, April 5, 2014: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part One

Micah WexlerChef Micah Wexler was born and raised in Los Angeles and always had aspirations to be a chef. At age 15, Wexler’s first job was working with legendary Italian Chef, Gino Angelini, at Vincenti in Brentwood.

In 2011 Wexler opened Mezze Restaurant as Chef/Co-Owner. Mezze was named one of the Top New Restaurants that year by Los Angeles Magazine and was one of Jonathan Gold’s Essential 99 restaurants.

Next month Wexler will open his newest concept, Wexler’s Deli, in Downtown Los Angeles’ iconic Grand Central Market. Wexler’s Deli aims to take the traditional deli back to its roots and provide a place of community, pride, familiarity, and quality.

The menu will feature traditional favorites of corned beef, pastrami, salmon, and sturgeon, all cured and smoked in-house. All condiments will be house-made.

April 5: OC Baking Co., Grist & Toll, Duskie Estes, Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, Relish Culinary Adventures, Micah Wexler

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Master Baker Dean Kim, OC Baking Co
Segment Three: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Owner, Zazu Kitchen + Farm, The Barlow
Segment Five: Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, author of Gin: A Global History
Segment Six: Donna del Rey, Relish Culinary Adventurers, Healdsburg, CA
Segment Seven: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part Two

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

The Inaugural Grilled Cheese Festival & Competition featuring the best of the OC’s chefs is coming. We’ll have the details on how you can attend.

Would you believe a stone flour mill in Pasadena? It’s a passion project for the two partners who are selling flour from grain sourced from local growers. That’s a great example of the locavore movement!

We last visited with Chef Duskie Estes of Zazu Kitchen + Farm & Black Pig Meat Co. right before they opened their spacious new restaurant at The Barlow in Sebastopol (Sonoma County) last year. We have an update…

You can’t have a classic bar without gin. We have a fascinating tutorial from the local expert affiliated with the Museum of the American Cocktail.

The gateway to the Sonoma County Wine Country for foodies is Relish Culinary Tours located right off the town square in Healdsburg. They offer cooking classes, private parties, culinary tours and creative catering. We’ll hear about what’s on their menu for Spring & Summer.

A Los Angeles fine dining chef who has cooked at Tom Colicchio’s Craft in Century City is a deliman at heart. He’s about to open a Jewish deli in Downtown Los Angeles featuring his premium, house cured meats.

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

The Big Cheese Grilled Cheese CompetitionIn celebration of National Grilled Cheese Month in April, OC Baking Co. and Provisions Market in Orange will join forces to host The Big Cheese, Orange County’s first grilled cheese festival and competition. OC Baking Co. Master Baker Dean Kim will supply locally produced freshly baked bread to top OC chefs competing for the title of “The Big Cheese” on Monday, April 14th from 6 to 8:00 p.m. at Provisions Market in Orange.

“The Chef community in Orange County is a tight knit one with many talented individuals I’m proud to call my friends,” commented Chef Greg Daniels, who oversees the kitchens at Haven Gastropub in Orange and Pasadena, as well as taco asylum in Costa Mesa. “Grilled Cheese is something we can all relate to and, thanks to OC Baking Co.’s support, this event is a way for us to get together for a lighthearted competition.”

Nan KohlerSerious home baker Nan Kohler and her business partner (Marti Noxon) have recently opened (December) Grist & Toll, an Urban flour mill in Pasadena. They are selling flour milled on the site from grain sourced from local growers.

The attractive blond wood stone mill from Austria is visible through a window and is the real star of the show.

They sell flour to home bakers as well as select restaurants including Union Restaurant in Pasadena.

Baking classes are on the way.

Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart of Zazu Kitchen and FarmWhen we first met Sonoma County-based Chef Duskie Estes last Spring when she was about to move Zazu Kitchen + Farm from Santa Rosa into an incredible space at The Barlow in Sebastopol. It’s now located on the grounds of a long-closed Gravenstein apple processing facility. Some of the tin clad warehouse buildings remain and have been artfully repurposed. The rest of the complex duplicates that rustic look.

Duskie and her husband, John Stewart, are the King & Queen of Porc from the Grand Cochon competition in 2011. They also operate the Black Pig Meat Co.

Most of the mains change nightly at Zazu. A signature starter is the “I (heart) Pigstrami. John cures the pork for this little sandwich served on artisan rye with sauerkraut and house-made Guinness mustard.

Saturday and Sunday brunch is a major attraction here. At brunch the “can’t miss” item is the “As seen on TV” maple glazed donut with bacon jimmies. Outrageous…

Also popular is the king + queen of pork bacon-in-the-batter waffle with bacon toffee and house-made espresso gelato.

Lesley Jacobs SolmonsonThe Museum of the American Cocktail (based in New Orleans) is kicking off their “Touring the Cocktail Series” in Los Angeles with Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, the author of Gin: A Global History. She also is the food and cocktail columnist at LA Weekly. The provocative program is “A History of Gin in Five Cocktails.”

Gin is the undisputed king of cocktail spirits. Built upon a neutral spirit base, great gin is a symphony of juniper, spices, botanicals, and citrus.

Five signature gin cocktails will be available for sampling that evening. It’s set for Monday, April 7th at Dominick’s Restaurant in West Hollywood.

Donna del Rey of Relish Culinary AdventuresWhen it comes to providing the welcoming gateway for discriminating foodies to the Sonoma County Wine Country no one does it better than the hard-working Donna del Rey of Relish Culinary Adventures in Healdsburg. Relish offers cooking classes, private parties, distinctive culinary tours, and creative catering.

Recently Donna and her crew provided support for the Artisan Cheese Festival.

For the ultimate experience they offer “Relish Sonoma County,” a 3-Day Culinary Adventure of Sonoma County.

Coming up on June 21st is a hands-on Culinary Birds cooking class with Chef John Ash.

Micah WexlerChef Micah Wexler was born and raised in Los Angeles and always had aspirations to be a chef. At age 15, Wexler’s first job was working with legendary Italian Chef, Gino Angelini, at Vincenti in Brentwood.

In 2011 Wexler opened Mezze Restaurant as Chef/Co-owner. Mezze was named one of the Top New Restaurants that year by Los Angeles Magazine and was one of Jonathan Gold’s Essential 99 restaurants.

Next month Wexler will open his newest concept, Wexler’s Deli, in Downtown Los Angeles’ iconic Grand Central Market. Wexler’s Deli aims to take the traditional deli back to its roots and provide a place of community, pride, familiarity, and quality.

The menu will feature traditional favorites of corned beef, pastrami, salmon, and sturgeon, all cured and smoked in-house. All condiments will be house-made.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Master Baker Dean Kim, OC Baking Co
Segment Three: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Owner, Zazu Kitchen + Farm, The Barlow
Segment Five: Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, author of Gin: A Global History
Segment Six: Donna del Rey, Relish Culinary Adventurers, Healdsburg, CA
Segment Seven: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part Two