Show 574, April 20, 2024: Dustin Trani, Chef and Restaurateur, J. Trani’s Ristorante and Trani’s Dockside Station, San Pedro

Dustin Trani

Chef Dustin Trani represents the 4th generation of the celebrated Trani Family to be an owner / chef cooking in San Pedro. Currently he is best known for J. Trani’s Ristorante which is his Family’s successor restaurant to their original San Pedro establishment, Trani’s Majestic Café opened in 1925 in downtown San Pedro. Chef Dustin is also an alum of the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.)

His latest venture (in the works since 2019) is the ambitious, soon to celebrate it’s first anniversary, Trani’s Dockside Station located in San Pedro’s historic waterfront in a vintage (fully restored and renovated) 1920 building that initially served as an immigration hall. In more recent years it was the local diner, Canetti’s Seafood Grotto, which closed in 2010 after a 70-year run. The exterior has been restored and preserved along with the addition of a striking, art deco neon vertical sign.

The restaurant is open for Lunch and Dinner. Sunday Brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. launches April 21st.

Chef Dustin Trani joins us with all the update details for Trani’s Dockside Station.

Show 558, December 30, 2023: Chef Rich Mead, Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden, Corona del Mar Part One

Rich Mead of Farmhouse at Rogers Gardens

Chef Rich Mead is the proprietor of the ever-popular Farmhouse at Rogers Garden in Corona del Mar. Chef Rich’s seasonal menus feature ingredients sourced from local and sustainably focused farmers and purveyors. Sunday Brunch in the Gardens is a celebratory Orange County tradition.

Chef Rich’s special New Year’s Eve menu at Farmhouse can be enjoyed ala carte or as a Tasting Menu. Think Roast Stuffed Lobster Tail and Spaghetti Squash “Fra Diavolo.” Dessert is an elegant Champagne Citrus Cake.

Rich is a longtime supporter of The Ecology Center (non-profit) in San Juan Capistrano. He was one of the first chefs to gladly volunteer his services to cook an al fresco repast there. When he prepares a meal there as part of their (fundraising) Community Table Dinner Series it’s an evening not to be missed. In 2024 Chef Rich is scheduled to be at The Ecology Center on Friday evening, May 24th for a Community Table Dinner. Make your plans accordingly. These anticipated evenings reach capacity very quickly.

Chef Rich Mead takes a break from his regular Saturday morning sourcing trip at the Santa Monica Farmers Market for his New Year’s Eve menu to join us.

Show 558, December 30, 2023: Chef Rich Mead, Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden, Corona del Mar Part Two

Rich Mead of Farmhouse at Rogers Gardens

Chef Rich Mead is the proprietor of the ever-popular Farmhouse at Rogers Garden in Corona del Mar. Chef Rich’s seasonal menus feature ingredients sourced from local and sustainably focused farmers and purveyors. Sunday Brunch in the Gardens is a celebratory Orange County tradition.

Chef Rich’s special New Year’s Eve menu at Farmhouse can be enjoyed ala carte or as a Tasting Menu. Think Roast Stuffed Lobster Tail and Spaghetti Squash “Fra Diavolo.” Dessert is an elegant Champagne Citrus Cake.

Rich is a longtime supporter of The Ecology Center (non-profit) in San Juan Capistrano. He was one of the first chefs to gladly volunteer his services to cook an al fresco repast there. When he prepares a meal there as part of their (fundraising) Community Table Dinner Series it’s an evening not to be missed. In 2024 Chef Rich is scheduled to be at The Ecology Center on Friday evening, May 24th (with Chef Daniel Mattern of Friends and Family in Los Angeles) for a Community Table Dinner. Make your plans accordingly. These anticipated evenings reach capacity very quickly.

Chef Rich Mead takes a further break from his regular Saturday morning sourcing trip at the Santa Monica Farmers Market for his New Year’s Eve menu to continue with us.

Show 508, January 21, 2023: Chef / Proprietor Rich Mead, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens

Rich Mead of Farmhouse at Rogers Gardens

Chef Rich Mead is the proprietor of Farmhouse at Rogers Gardens in Corona del Mar. Chef Rich’s seasonal menus feature ingredients sourced from local and sustainably focused farmers and purveyors. Sunday Brunch in the Garden is a now a celebratory Orange County tradition. Chef Rich Mead takes a break from his regular Saturday morning sourcing trip at the Santa Monica Farmers Market to join us.

“During his nearly four decades of culinary expertise, Chef Rich Mead has cultivated relationships with the highest regarded local sustainable farms, allowing him to create the freshest menus using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and specially grown vegetables. In 2016, after years of planning, Chef Mead unveiled a unique and sustainable field-to-fork dining experience at Farmhouse, located within Roger’s Gardens. Nestled on over 6 acres in the garden-like setting, Farmhouse features exclusive wines, craft beers, signature cocktails, artisan refreshments and a healthy based seasonal cuisine.”

Farmhouse will also be a participating restaurant in the upcoming Orange County Restaurant Week set for March 5th to 11th.

Farmhouse will serve an Amuse, Starter, Entrée, Dessert and a Seasonal Cocktail for $60 per guest. (Reservations recommended.)

Show 462, February 19, 2022: Executive Chef Wes Whitsell, Hatchet Hall, Los Angeles Part Two

Wes Whitsell of Hatchet Hall

Hatchet Hall, a lively neighborhood restaurant and bar in Mar Vista, specializes in working relationships with local farmers and purveyors to provide the best quality experience for the table. The basis of the restaurant is family — whether it’s your loved ones, farmers, or guests, — we all gather around the same table. The menu changes daily, reflecting the seasons of California. Purchasing produce with limitation and the idea of keeping things exciting for the staff and guests. The food is simple; not heavily plated or overdone, finding beauty in imperfection.”

Hatchet Hall serves dinner nightly and has recently reintroduced Sunday Brunch and is adding Brunch on Friday and Saturday, too.

Wes Whitsell (the opening chef at Manuela in DTLA) is the new Executive Chef at Hatchet Hall, a restaurant that aligns deeply with his values. Wes has a strong belief in the integrity of the food he cooks, while never forgetting those early lessons he learned from his own roots: that small Texas town. At Hatchet Hall, he taps into his Southern roots, the live fire component that makes the restaurant so special, while drawing inspiration from his past culinary experiences, his relationships to farmers, and the amazing produce California has to offer.”

“Raised in a small Texas town, by an avid outdoorsman and farmer, Chef Wes grew up eating what was hunted and gathered in the traditional sense. Before it was a trend, it was Wes’s way of life. This early introduction and intimate connection to the land helped shape Wes’s understanding of food, and his continuing fascination with homegrown food has inspired his career path.”

There is plenty of meat and seafood on Chef Wes’ menu but he’s also proud of showcasing area farmers’ vegetables in his creations. Think fermented & grilled cabbage with salsa verde and sumac. Also roasted Japanese sweet potato with mint coconut yogurt and crispy shallots.

Chef Wes Whitsell continues with us.

Show 462, February 19, 2022: Executive Chef Wes Whitsell, Hatchet Hall, Los Angeles Part One

Wes Whitsell of Hatchet Hall

Hatchet Hall, a lively neighborhood restaurant and bar in Mar Vista, specializes in working relationships with local farmers and purveyors to provide the best quality experience for the table. The basis of the restaurant is family — whether it’s your loved ones, farmers, or guests, — we all gather around the same table. The menu changes daily, reflecting the seasons of California. Purchasing produce with limitation and the idea of keeping things exciting for the staff and guests. The food is simple; not heavily plated or overdone, finding beauty in imperfection.”

Hatchet Hall serves dinner nightly and has recently reintroduced Sunday Brunch and is adding Brunch on Friday and Saturday, too.

Wes Whitsell (the opening chef at Manuela in DTLA) is the new Executive Chef at Hatchet Hall, a restaurant that aligns deeply with his values. Wes has a strong belief in the integrity of the food he cooks, while never forgetting those early lessons he learned from his own roots: that small Texas town. At Hatchet Hall, he taps into his Southern roots, the live fire component that makes the restaurant so special, while drawing inspiration from his past culinary experiences, his relationships to farmers, and the amazing produce California has to offer.”

“Raised in a small Texas town, by an avid outdoorsman and farmer, Chef Wes grew up eating what was hunted and gathered in the traditional sense. Before it was a trend, it was Wes’s way of life. This early introduction and intimate connection to the land helped shape Wes’s understanding of food, and his continuing fascination with homegrown food has inspired his career path.”

There is plenty of meat and seafood on Chef Wes’ menu but he’s also proud of showcasing area farmers’ vegetables in his creations. Think fermented & grilled cabbage with salsa verde and sumac. Also roasted Japanese sweet potato with mint coconut yogurt and crispy shallots.

Chef Wes Whitsell is our guest.

Show 440, August 28, 2021: Chef Ryan McNerney, General Manager, RISÜ, Long Beach Part One

Ryan Lawrence McNerney of RISU

“At RISÜ in Downtown Long Beach on the ground floor of The Crest, their goal is to create, serve and savor fine wines and gourmet food in a fun and enjoyable atmosphere!” Chef Ryan Lawrence McNerney is the new General Manager for Food and Beverage.

“RISÜ means “Smile”, which explains the two dots over the U! It’s their ultimate goal to make you smile at their service, food, drinks and prices! RISÜ is a full bar that is wine focused, with tasty and well-prepared food.”

“The food is American- style tapas and RISÜ also offers appealing sharable plates with changing seasonal items. Come on in and sit on our beautiful outdoor, Covid Compliant patio located on the Rainbow Bridge, enjoy your friends, the atmosphere and, of course, our top shelf wine, beer, spirits and delicious food.”

HHappy Hour is Monday thru Thursday from 4 to 6:00 p.m. plus Wine Wednesday (25 per cent off all bottles) specials. Dinner served nightly with Sunday Brunch starting at 12 Noon a.m. The Sunday Social Brunch features a Bottomless Mimosa option made with genuine French Champagne. RISÜ unusually has their own Wine Club with monthly and bi-monthly options along with a debuting Libation Club.

We entice Chef Ryan McNerney out of his busy kitchen for a chat.

Show 440, August 28, 2021: Chef Ryan McNerney, General Manager, RISÜ, Long Beach Part Two

Ryan Lawrence McNerney of RISU

“At RISÜ in Downtown Long Beach on the ground floor of The Crest, their goal is to create, serve and savor fine wines and gourmet food in a fun and enjoyable atmosphere!” Chef Ryan Lawrence McNerney is the new General Manager for Food and Beverage.

“RISÜ means “Smile”, which explains the two dots over the U! It’s their ultimate goal to make you smile at their service, food, drinks and prices! RISÜ is a full bar that is wine focused, with tasty and well-prepared food.”

“The food is American- style tapas and RISÜ also offers appealing sharable plates with changing seasonal items. Come on in and sit on our beautiful outdoor, Covid Compliant patio located on the Rainbow Bridge, enjoy your friends, the atmosphere and, of course, our top shelf wine, beer, spirits and delicious food.”

Happy Hour is Monday thru Thursday from 4 to 6:00 p.m. plus Wine Wednesday (25 per cent off all bottles) specials. Dinner served nightly with Sunday Brunch starting at 12 Noon a.m. The Sunday Social Brunch features a Bottomless Mimosa option made with genuine French Champagne. RISÜ unusually has their own Wine Club with monthly and bi-monthly options along with a debuting Libation Club.

We entice Chef Ryan McNerney out of his busy kitchen for a chat.

Show 360, February 15, 2020: The Milky Way, Kosher Dairy Restaurant, Los Angeles Part One

Phil Kastel of PK+J Hospitality GroupLeah Spielberg Adler was a fixture of the Pico-Robertson neighborhood (The Borscht Belt) in Los Angeles since 1977 until her passing in early 2017 at 97. She was the proprietress and heart of the kosher dairy restaurant, The Milky Way.

In a loving tribute to her memory The Spielberg Family (Steven, Nancy, Anne and Sue) reimagined and reopened The Milky Way in February of 2019 with a new look and an updated, appealing and streamlined kosher menu.

A Sunday Brunch menu was added right before Mother’s Day last Year. The varied selections range from Huevos Rancheros with Black Beans, Ranch Sauce, Fried Eggs, Feta Cheese, Lima Cream, Olives and Avocado to the Impossible™ Green Chile Breakfast Burger with fries. Also Brunch Cocktails (think Beermosa with IPA and Grapefruit Juice) and creative non-alcoholic Mocktails. Live piano music (played on Leah’s restored piano) is part of the Sunday Brunch experience.

The Milky Way serves Lunch and Dinner Monday thru Thursday. Friday is lunch only. Closed on Saturday. Sundays feature Brunch and Dinner.

Executive Chef & Restaurant Consultant Phil Kastel of PK+J Hospitality Group is the Creative Chef at The Milky Way and is out guest.

Show 355, January 11, 2020: Alchemy Restaurant & Bar, Ashland, Oregon

Drew Gibbs of the Alchemy Restaurant and BarAlchemy Restaurant and Bar, located in an historic former residence in Ashland, Oregon, is as popular with the locals as well as visitors for a memorable dining experience with inventive cocktails and an artfully selected wine list. Proprietor Drew Gibbs is also a Certified Sommelier. It’s housed on the ground floor of The Winchester Inn.

“Alchemy Restaurant and Bar…Cuisine Transformed.” “Come explore the world of Alchemy…Tinctures, Elixirs and Transmutations. We focus on craft cocktails, boutique wines, and innovative cuisine to transform your experience into something truly memorable. Serving dinner, bistro fare and Sunday brunch in a setting that melds classic and contemporary in one breath.”

“The Winchester Inn is an award-winning hotel that has been a landmark in Ashland, Oregon for over 35 years. A family run establishment since it was founded in 1983, the inn and restaurant have provided luxury and comfort with a touch of familiarity and home to thousands of guests.”

“The 21-room inn offers guests supreme levels of quality, luxury and service: rooms, suites, cottages, tiered English gardens, award winning dining at Alchemy Restaurant and Bar, and convenient access to shopping, art galleries, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in downtown Ashland.”

“The inn has received numerous accolades, including Conde Nast “Best in the US”, placing it in the ‘Top 75’ list. The New York Times has described the Winchester Inn as “Ashland’s premier historic inn.””

Drew artfully pulls the cork on Alchemy Restaurant and Bar for us.