Show 152, December 26, 2015: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-host & Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur regular Guest Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, was just quoted in a front page New York Times Food Section piece, “Casting a Wider Net – Lesser-known, more sustainable fish are landing on American menus.” The article was written by Jeff Gordinier.

Chef Andrew has discussed this significant trend on the show previously and we’ll revisit it. Chef Andrew explains the Dock to Dish and Sea to Table programs which are somewhat equivalent to CSAs for fresh fish sourced for chefs.

Other prominent chefs including Tom Colicchio and Michael Cimarusti of Providence and Connie & Ted’s. Good company…

 

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Show 82, August 2, 2014: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish, Huntington Beach and Laguna

Andrew GruelFood trucks have proven to be a worthwhile testing ground for innovative food concepts. A great example is the fast growing Slapfish with a limited service, fast-casual restaurant in Huntington Beach located in a strip center. A new Laguna Beach location (across Pacific Coast Highway from the beach) launched earlier in the Summer.

The partners started with one modest food truck serving the OC in 2009. By 2011 they had four trucks serving both Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Executive Chef (and co-founder) Andrew Gruel is with us to fill us in on the Slapfish tale. New locations both in the United States (airports, too) and the Middle East are on the way.

They like to characterize Slapfish as a modern seafood shack. It’s a real American seafood experience that revolves around fresh, sustainable fish, prepared simply, but delivering big flavors.

They are so fanatical about quality control that they have established their own seafood distribution company to service their restaurants.

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August 2: Rich Perelman, SYNEK, Slapfish Seafood, James Republic, Fiestas del la Vendimina, OC Fair, Olympic Cuisine

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Richard (Rich) B. Perelman and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Steve Young, Founder, SYNEK
Segment Three: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish, Huntington Beach and Laguna
Segment Four: Restaurant Chef David MacLennan, James Republic, Long Beach
Segment Five: Javier Plascencia’s “From Farm and Vineyard to Your Table” Dinner
Segment Six: Rich Perelman on The Los Angeles Olympics, 1984
Segment Seven: Bakelogy and The OC Promenade at The OC Fair
Segment Eight: Food Service for the Spectators at The Games of the Twenty-Third Olympiad, Los Angeles

Guest Host Richard (Rich) B. Perelman and Producer Andy preview the show.

It’s our salute to the 30th Anniversary of the Games of the Twenty-Third Olympiad, Los Angeles, 1984. Guest Host Rich Perelman was the youngest Vice President of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee responsible for Press Operations and the Editor-in-Chief of the Official Report after the Games. Rich explains the continuing financial legacy to youth sports in Southern California as a direct result of the incredible success of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

SYNEK (a recent Kickstarter success story) is a nifty countertop draft system that serves any beer, fresh from the tap, anywhere you want it. Steve Young, based in St. Louis, MO is the Founder. His modest objective is to do for quality beer what Keurig did for single-brewed cups of coffee. With the phenomenal success of his cleverly orchestrated Kickstarter campaign he’s now well on his way…

Chef Andrew Gruel’s (of Slapfish) mission is to make quality seafood popular with everyday folks. He started with one modest food truck in 2010. It quickly expanded into four food trucks. The first Slapfish brick and mortar restaurant opened in Huntington Beach a year later. Laguna Beach recently launched and more restaurants are in the works.

James Republic in Long Beach orchestrates one of the very best, honest Farm-to-Fork dinner series around. It happens monthly on a Sunday under the name of the Dinner Bell Supper Series. The restaurant’s chef, David MacLennan, joins us with the specifics.

Every year in Northern Baja is the Fiestas del la Vendimina celebrating the bounty of wine and food in the region over a two-week period. One of the best single events is Chef Javier Plascencia’s (Tijuana’s Mision 16) “From Farm and Vineyard to Your Table” dinner at his ranch, Finca Altozano, in Valle de Guadalupe. It’s a 6-course, wine paired feast.

Time to hit the OC Fair in its final week. We’ll hear about Bakeology and all the tasty culinary events in the OC Promenade Building. Also the winning Fair Food item!

As part of our tribute to the Los Angeles Olympics we’ll also be looking back at the food served to the spectators. Surprisingly there was lots more variety to the offerings than plain boiled hot dogs and bagged chips. Innovations in food for 1984 are now part of guest expectations in 2014!

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

Synek SystemSYNEK (a recent Kickstarter success story) is a nifty countertop draft system that serves any beer, fresh from the tap, anywhere you want it. Steve Young, based in St. Louis, MO is the Founder. His modest objective is to do for quality beer what Keurig did for single-brewed cups of coffee. As a result of the inspired, oversubscribed Kickstarter campaign he’s well on his way…

“In 2013, Steve Young started to take notice of the craft beer industry as a stock market analyst. He wanted to know how the craft beer industry was making these great strides and what risk factors could cause it to become a “bubble” like the industry saw in the 1990s.”

He knew the industry was growing with thousands of amazing brands created every week. However, to his surprise, every brewer he spoke with complained about the exact same issue : “We make amazing beer, but we can’t get it into our customers’ homes and make money at the same time. If there was a way to create a growler that maintained our beer’s quality longer than two days, it would change everything.”

“Steve was so moved by the brewers’ intense frustration that he quit his job to assemble the best beer engineering team in the world and implement a solution to this beer packaging epidemic.”

Andrew GruelFood trucks have proven to be a worthwhile testing ground for innovative food concepts. A great example is the fast growing Slapfish with a limited service, fast-casual restaurant in Huntington Beach located in a strip center. A new Laguna Beach location (across Pacific Coast Highway from the beach) launched earlier in the Summer.

The partners started with one modest food truck serving the OC in 2009. By 2011 they had four trucks serving both Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Executive Chef (and co-founder) Andrew Gruel is with us to fill us in on the Slapfish tale. New locations both in the United States (airports, too) and the Middle East are on the way.

They like to characterize Slapfish as a modern seafood shack. It’s a real American seafood experience that revolves around fresh, sustainable fish, prepared simply, but delivering big flavors.

Dave MaclennanJames Republic, located in Downtown Long Beach, organizes one of the very best Farm-to-Fork dinner series around. It happens monthly on a Sunday under the name of the Dinner Bell Supper Series. The proprietor of James Republic, Chef Dean James Max, developed the original concept. The restaurant’s chef, David MacLennan, joins us with the specifics.

On the Sunday morning of The Dinner Bell Supper the culinary team gathers at the Long Beach Farmers Market to search for the ideal ingredients to serve as the basis for that evenings’ family-style supper. For the guests the evening begins with market inspired cocktails and passed canapes at 4:30 p.m. At 5:00 p.m., the dinner bell rings and the guests gather at a long, communal table to enjoy California wines and a bountiful three-course menu prepared by Chefs James Dean Max, Chef David MacLennan and their team. Area guest farmers take part in the engaging dinner conversation. The idea is for former strangers to become friends over a superb meal (with a side of good conversation) without this being forced.

The August 24th dinner is sold out. Future dates are September 14th, October 26th, and November 23rd.

Every year in Northern Baja is the Fiestas de la Vendimina (The Harvest Festival) celebrating the bounty of wine and food in the region over a two-week period. The Festival gives thanks and celebrates the beginning of a (hoped for) bountiful grape harvest.

Javier PlascenciaOne of the best single events is Chef Javier Plascencia’s (Tijuana’s Mision 19) “From Farm and Vineyard to Your Table” dinner at his ranch, Finca Altozano, in Valle de Guadalupe. It’s a 6-course, wine paired feast.

Prominent guest chefs from Southern California and Mexico are part of the culinary team. This year Ori Menashe from Bestia and Timothy Hollingsworth (The Restaurant at The Broad & ex-French Laundry chef de cuisine ) will be part of Chef Javier’s high-profile guest chefs’ team.

Chef Plascencia has been featured on Food TV with both Anthony Bourdain and “Bizarre Foods’” Andrew Zimmern.

For info please contact Chef Javier’s assistant, Diana Jimenez.

Rich PerelmanIt’s our salute to the 30th Anniversary of the Games of the Twenty-Third Olympiad, Los Angeles,1984. Our Guest Host, Rich Perelman, was the youngest Vice President of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee responsible for Press Operations and the Editor-in-Chief of the Official Report after the Games. Rich explains the continuing financial legacy to youth sports in Southern California as a direct result of the incredible success of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Every Olympic Organizing Committee is mandated by the International Olympic Committee to document their Games in the Official report. It’s two volumes. One volume is a comprehensive recipe on how the Games were produced with some analysis. The other volume is the complete results and photos.

Rich Perelman was the Editor-in-Chief of the Official Report for the Los Angeles Games. The finished, two-volume report is 1,552 pages and weighs in at 38 lbs ! A full-time staff of 25 was responsible for the effort on a budget of some $4.33 million.

Rachel Klemek of Blackmarket Bakery and the CampTime to hit the OC Fair in Costa Mesa in its final week. Food is always front row center!

We’ll hear about Bakeology and all the other tasty culinary events in the OC Promenade Building.

Rachel Klemek of the award-winning Blackmarket Bakery in Costa Mesa is programming Bakeology at the Fair. Rachel and her staff are mixing, kneading, whipping and blending at the Bakeology exhibit in the Culinary Arts Building (The OC Promenade) at the Fair.

Also with us is the Fair’s Communications Director ,Robin Wachner. Robin will fill us in on all the Culinary activities in the OC Promenade Building.

We’ll also talk about the top vendor food item at this year’s Fair. 70 entrants competed and there was one big winner! Unbelievably it’s not even deep-fried!

Vegetarian PitaWe’re back to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and now talking about the food for the spectators.

Peter Ueberroth, the architect of The Games, wanted there to be more variety and freshness in the food available for purchase by the spectators at the Los Angeles Olympics than typically found in sports facilities of the day.

While common today 30 years ago it was unusual to see some of these items. Fresh fruit cups were on the menu as well as yogurt. Among the fresh sandwiches on the menu was the choice of a Vegetarian Pita. In addition to the usual ice cream novelties there was a place for natural Frozen Fruit Bars.

Food and beverage sales for the 16 days totaled over $11 million dollars. 5.8 million guests were served!

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Richard (Rich) B. Perelman and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Steve Young, Founder, SYNEK
Segment Three: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish, Huntington Beach and Laguna
Segment Four: Restaurant Chef David MacLennan, James Republic, Long Beach
Segment Five: Javier Plascencia’s “From Farm and Vineyard to Your Table” Dinner
Segment Six: Rich Perelman on The Los Angeles Olympics, 1984
Segment Seven: Bakelogy and The OC Promenade at The OC Fair
Segment Eight: Food Service for the Spectators at The Games of the Twenty-Third Olympiad, Los Angeles

Show 64, March 8, 2014: Michael Passmore, Fish Farmer, Passmore Ranch

Michael Passmore of Passmore RanchThe always colorful Michael Passmore is a fish farmer in Northern California.

Passmore Ranch is a premium freshwater, sustainable fish ranch in California. They started modestly by selling live fish at Northern California farmers’ markets, and their quality and service quickly made them a premier purveyor for top restaurants and Michelin-starred chefs throughout the State and country.

They offer the freshest fish, aged, sized and delivered to order, almost as if chefs were pointing and saying, “I’ll take that one.” They continue to build new partnerships with some of the country’s best chefs, including renowned restaurateur Rick Moonen, three-star Michelin chef Christopher Kostow, Napa pioneer Cindy Pawlcyn, and Dallas chef and “Top Chef” Season 10 contestant John Tesar.

Passmore Ranch offers premium freshwater white sturgeon, black bass, striped bass, catfish, silver carp and trout, plus prized caviar. Most are available in any form a chef would like – live, filleted, special cuts and everything in between – coming straight, as the Passmore crew says, “fresh from our ranch to your kitchen.”

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Show 64, March 8, 2014: Michael Passmore, Fish Farmer, Passmore Ranch Continues…

Michael Passmore speaks about the launch of Provisions. “Home Chefs, we’re very excited to bring you our fish and produce, fresh from our ranch to your kitchen just like we do with Michelin starred, James Beard awarded, and just plain great chefs in restaurants around the country.”

Rick Moonen of rm seafood in Las VegasMichael is joined by Chef Rick Moonen of rm Seafood and Rx Boiler Room in Las Vegas. Sustainable seafood is his specialty. Chef Moonen was at Passmore Ranch curing a batch of American caviar. He explains the process.

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March 8: Brock Radke, Maui Brewing, Big Island Chocolate Festival, 800 Degress Pizzeria, Passmore Ranch, Robert Schueller

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Brock Radke, Food Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Three: Garrett Marrero, founder, Maui Brewing Co.
Segment Four: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao Association
Segment Five: Executive Chef Anthony Carron, co-founder, 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria
Segment Six: Michael Passmore, Fish Farmer, Passmore Ranch Part One
Segment Seven: Michael Passmore, Fish Farmer, Passmore Ranch Part Two
Segment Eight: Robert Schueller, Produce Authority, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce, Inc.

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Let’s talk pure chocolate indulgence. We’ll be previewing the Big Island Chocolate Festival. Then it’s time for a Las Vegas dining update. Brock Radke, our Las Vegas insider, brings us up-to-date. There is a new Neapolitan pizzeria in town that’s generating long lines. The co-founder & executive chef provides the tasty details.

You’ve probably never tasted farm-raised fish like this unless you’ve dined at a Rick Moonen restaurant or at The Meadowood Restaurant. A purveyor to the best restaurants is now serving home chefs with fresh fish on a very limited basis. There is an incredible craft brewery success story in Maui and you’ll hear all about it. They actually package their premium beer in cans! Organic fruits and vegetables are top of the mind. Our resident produce expert, Robert Schueller (The Pastor of Produce) from Melissa’s, is back with an informative update.

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

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyBrock Radke is our “in the know” guy in Las Vegas. He’s the respected Food editor for Las Vegas Weekly.

Brock brings us up-to-date on the Vegas dining scene. We’ll find out about the soon to open Linq on The Strip, the 411 on Giada De Laurentiis’ first restaurant in Las Vegas, and a collection of enticing new restaurants in Las Vegas’ Chinatown.

Garett Marrero of Maui Brewing CompanyMaui Brewing Co., founded by Garrett Marrero, is a craft brewery based in Maui, HI. As the largest authentic Hawaiian brewery, it currently has one brewery in Lahaina, and one brewpub in Kahana that creates more than 40 different styles on a rotating basis. In 2005 Maui Brewing Co. produced 400 barrels from the single brewpub and expanded into an additional brewery location in 2007, producing a little over 20,000 barrels in 2013.

MBC has remained consistent in the vision, “Handcrafted Ales & Lagers Brewed with Aloha.” The beers have been recognized worldwide for quality and innovation winning more than 100 medals in a short history. MBC was one of the first craft brewers to package their products in recyclable aluminum cans.

MBC is currently in construction to move production to a state-of-the-art brewery in Kihei.

It’s the only Hawaiian brewery with product available in the continental United States where the beer is actually brewed, and packaged, in Hawaii.

BIg Island Chocolate FestivalThe alluring, rich taste of chocolate, in both its sweet and savory forms, is showcased at the 3rd Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival, May 2 to 3 at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii. Headlining the event is “Mr. Chocolate,” Jacques Torres, Food Network celebrity and acclaimed pastry chef from New York. Also appearing is Donald Wressell of Guittard and Derek Poirier of Valrhona USA.

“The Big Island Chocolate Festival is a fantasyland of chocolate.” Says Kona Cacao Association President Farsheed Bonakdar (Bone-ak-dar.) “It inspires our chefs, encourages our island farmers to grow cacao and shows our chocolatiers that chocolate can be a viable business.” Farsheed Bonakdar of KCA is our guest.

Anthony Carron of 800 Degrees PizzaChef Anthony Carron is the creative force behind 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria which is growing rapidly with a devoted following. His background is in fine-dining. It started in Westwood in 2011. A “To-Go” branch was added in Westwood. Santa Monica recently opened. Las Vegas, Pasadena, Hollywood, and New York are on the horizon.

It’s thin crust pizza that follows the traditions established in Naples. What’s really different is that once you choose your toppings the pizza is then flash-cooked for about a minute in a wood-burning over at 800 degrees!

“800 Degrees strives to honor the tradition of classic Neapolitan pizza where the integrity of handcrafted ingredients is paramount. We use natural grown California tomatoes, our mozzarella is made for us every day right here in L.A., and our crust is crafted in house from only Italian flour, wild yeast, sea salt and filtered water.”

Michael Passmore of Passmore RanchThe always colorful Michael Passmore is a fish farmer in Northern California.

Passmore Ranch is a premium freshwater, sustainable fish ranch in California. They started modestly by selling live fish at Northern California farmers’ markets, and their quality and service quickly made them a premier purveyor for top restaurants and Michelin-starred chefs throughout the State and country.

They offer the freshest fish, aged, sized and delivered to order, almost as if chefs were pointing and saying, “I’ll take that one.” They continue to build new partnerships with some of the country’s best chefs, including renowned restaurateur Rick Moonen, three-star Michelin chef Christopher Kostow, Napa pioneer Cindy Pawlcyn, and Dallas chef and “Top Chef” Season 10 contestant John Tesar.

Passmore Ranch offers premium freshwater white sturgeon, black bass, striped bass, catfish, silver carp and trout, plus prized caviar. Most are available in any form a chef would like – live, filleted, special cuts and everything in between – coming straight, as the Passmore crew says, “fresh from our ranch to your kitchen.”

Michael Passmore speaks about the launch of Provisions. “Home Chefs, we’re very excited to bring you our fish and produce, fresh from our ranch to your kitchen just like we do with Michelin starred, James Beard awarded, and just plain great chefs in restaurants around the country.”

Rick Moonen of rm seafood in Las VegasMichael is joined by Chef Rick Moonen of rm Seafood and Rx Boiler Room in Las Vegas. Sustainable seafood is his specialty. Chef Moonen was at Passmore Ranch curing a batch of American caviar. He explains the process.

Organic fruits and vegetables are getting a lot of attention these days. With the fresh concern about GMOs in food, certified organic fruits and vegetables are, by definition, free of GMOs.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceOur resident produce expert, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce, is back with us to discuss what’s new in organics. Melissa’s is the largest variety supplier of fresh organic produce in the USA. They have been distributing organic produce for over 16 years.

What’s hot? All varieties of organic Kale are at the top of the sales charts currently.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Brock Radke, Food Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Three: Garrett Marrero, founder, Maui Brewing Co.
Segment Four: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao Association
Segment Five: Executive Chef Anthony Carron, co-founder, 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria
Segment Six: Michael Passmore, Fish Farmer, Passmore Ranch Part One
Segment Seven: Michael Passmore, Fish Farmer, Passmore Ranch Part Two
Segment Eight: Robert Schueller, Produce Authority, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce, Inc.

Show 60, February 8, 2013: Andrew Gruel, Executive Chef & Partner, Slapfish

Andrew GruelFood trucks have proven to be a worthwhile testing ground for innovative food concepts. A great example is Slapfish with a limited service, fast-casual restaurant in Huntington Beach located in a strip center. A new Laguna Beach location will launch later this year.

The partners started with one food truck serving the OC in 2009. By 2011 they had three trucks serving both Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel is with us to fill us in on the Slapfish tale. They have recently signed a lucrative franchise agreement to open 75 full service restaurants in the Middle East over the next 5 to 7 years.

Laguna Beach is next in SoCal.

They like to characterize Slapfish as a modern seafood shack. It’s a real American seafood experience that revolves around fresh, sustainable fish, prepared simply, but delivering big flavors.

Play

February 8: Caroline Styne, San Antonio Winery, Andrew Gruel, Brad A. Johnson, Paul Gstrein, Linda Kissam

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Caroline Styne, Wine Director and Partner, Lucques, A.O.C., The Tavern, and The Larder
Segment Three: Allan Stark, San Antonio Winery, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Andrew Gruel, Executive Chef & Partner, Slapfish
Segment Five: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County Register
Segment Six: Paul Gstrein, Executive Chef, Bayside Restaurant
Segment Seven: Linda Kissam, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila on Manhattan Dining

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Valentine’s Day is next week so get moving and don’t panic. It falls on a Friday this year. Friday is an especially tough day for restaurants due to Valentine’s Day anxiety so if you want to be a bit more relaxed make your plans for Saturday or Sunday instead. Still the Valentine’s Day orbit but a bit less crazed for the restaurant. You’ll definitely have better service…

Chef jet Tila and Alton BrownFood Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” with host Alton Brown is back on Sunday nights for Season 2. Our own Chef Jet Tila is the most frequently appearing solo judge on this tough competition show that requires strategy as well as cooking chops. Look for Jet’s new episodes starting in February.

It’s the Winter Olympics in Sochi and a classic Newport Beach restaurant is serving a special Olympics-themed menu for the duration. We’ll go inside the menu with the creative executive chef. Caroline Styne is the partner and Wine Director (with Chef Suzanne Goin) in Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern in West Hollywood and Los Angeles. We’ll talk with her and get insight on how you keep a firmly established and growing restaurant group fresh for the dining public. We’ll also hear the story of Slapfish which started as a modest food truck and now is a growing international empire. Did you know there is an emerging wine region in Northern Baja? You’ll learn about a promising winery in the Guadalupe Valley founded by Italians. Brad A. Johnson, the restaurant critic for The Orange County Register, joins us to talk about letter grades for restaurants. We’ll also have a visit with travel journalist Linda Kissam, who was recently in Spain touring the wineries representing the 50 best Cavas produced there.

All of that and lots more incredible deliciousness on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

Caroline StyneCaroline Styne had an extensive background in specialty food products, catering, and restaurant management before partnering with Chef Suzanne Goin to open Lucques in 1988. In December of 2002, Goin & Styne opened their second restaurant, A.O.C., where the concept of small plates and fifty wines by the glass was born out of their shared passion for going out and sampling a variety of appetizers and intriguing wines. A.O.C. relocated to the face-lifted former Orso space about a mile West on 3rd Street in late 2012. Styne is the Wine Director for all the restaurants.

Tavern, in Brentwood, followed in May of 2009. It offers fine dining all day along with The Larder which has gourmet prepared foods and packaged goods. There is a new Larder at Burton Way in the luxury 8500 Burton Way Apartments on the border of L.A. and Beverly Hills as well as at LAX.

Styne contributed the helpful wine notes to Suzanne’s The A.O.C. Cookbook.

“And because wine and cheese are at the heart of A.O.C. there are two exciting additions. Caroline Styne presents a specific wine pairing for each dish. Styne explains why each varietal works well with the ingredients and which flavors she’s trying to highlight, and she gives you room to experiment as well – showing how to shape the wine to your own palate. Whether you’re just grabbing a glass to go with dinner or planning an entire menu, her expert notes are a real education in wine.”

LA Cetto WinesDid you know there is a burgeoning wine industry in Mexico? Finally some of these affordable wines are finding their way into the United States. Shouldn’t a fine Mexican restaurant also offer premium Mexican wines?

One of the premier grape growing areas of Mexico is in the Guadalupe Valley (and adjacent valleys) located in Northern Baja California. It has the rural feel of the flat areas of Sonoma County from 40 years ago.

The predecessor wine interests of L.A. Cetto were established in Baja by Italians in the late 1920s. In 1960 L.A. Cetto acquired their first vineyards in the Guadalupe Valley. Today they have some 2,500 acres in the Valley under the stewardship of the 3rd generation of the Baja-based Cetto Family. They are the largest producer of table wines in Mexico.

L.A’s own San Antonio Winery (dating to 1917) is the distributor of L.A. Cetto wines in Southern California. Allan Stark, a 25-year veteran of San Antonio Winery joins us to tell the L.A. Cetto story and discuss some of their premium reserve wines including Nebbiolo, Chardonnay, and a Brut Sparkling wine.

Andrew GruelFood trucks have proven to be a worthwhile testing ground for innovative food concepts. A great example is Slapfish with a limited service, fast-casual restaurant in Huntington Beach located in a strip center. A new Laguna Beach location will launch later this year.

The partners started with one food truck serving the OC in 2009. By 2011 they had three trucks serving both Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel is with us to fill us in on the Slapfish tale. They have just signed a franchise agreement to open 75 full service restaurants in the Middle East over the next 5 to 7 years.

They like to characterize Slapfish as a modern seafood shack. It’s a real American seafood experience that revolves around fresh, sustainable fish, prepared simply, but delivering big flavors.

Letter Grades at RestaurantsLast month The Orange County Register’s James Beard Award-winning restaurant critic, Brad A. Johnson, was looking to review a Newport Beach restaurant. Instead all of the members of his dining group came down with severe cases of food poisoning. When Brad checked the Health Department records of this restaurant he was surprised to learn that they had received a serious violation on each of their previous inspections since they opened two years ago.

Brad is with us to discuss his campaign for Orange County restaurants to receive Letter Grades as a result of their Health Department inspections as is practice in Los Angeles County and other areas of California.

The Winter Olympics in Sochi is underway. Russia is on peoples’ minds.

Paul Gstrein of Bayside RestaurantPaul Gstrein, the long-time (Austria-born) executive chef at Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach has been inspired by Russia, too. For the duration of the Games Paul will be featuring Russian dishes as appetizers, entrees, and even desserts. How about Beef Short Rib Borscht and Berkshire Pork Tenderloin Stroganoff?

Please note that not every appetizer or entrée on the special Russian menu will be available each night.

Linda KissamThe very well-traveled Linda Kissam is a respected food, wine, and travel writer who is on the go most of the time. She serves as the 1st Vice President of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. She is also an author and the Global Wine & Travel Editor-at-Large for Luxe Beat Magazine.

Late last year Linda was invited to Spain to tour the Penedes wine region, the heart of cava sparkling wine production. Her mission was to taste and evaluate 50 fine cavas over an intensive five day period. Linda shares the highlights of this very special experience with us.

Le BernardinChef Jet has been in New York twice over the last two weeks and has enjoyed some standout dining adventures along the way. Jet shares the details of his truly exquisite meal at the classic Le Bernardin. It’s expertly prepared French seafood from Chef Eric Ripert at a very high level.

Jet also visited Ippudo, a well-known Japanese ramen shop.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Caroline Styne, Wine Director and Partner, Lucques, A.O.C., The Tavern, and The Larder
Segment Three: Allan Stark, San Antonio Winery, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Andrew Gruel, Executive Chef & Partner, Slapfish
Segment Five: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County Register
Segment Six: Paul Gstrein, Executive Chef, Bayside Restaurant
Segment Seven: Linda Kissam, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila on Manhattan Dining

December 28: Top Food Trends for 2014, Solita Tacos and Margaritas, Yamashiro, Brock Radke, The Winery

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Deborah Schneider, Executive Chef & Partner, solita tacos & margaritas
Segment Three: Brock Kleweno, General Manager & Executive Chef, Yamashiro Hollywood Part One
Segment Four: Brock Kleweno, General Manager & Executive Chef, Yamashiro Hollywood Part Two
Segment Five: Brock Radke, Food Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Six: Food Trends for 2014 Part One
Segment Seven: Food Trends for 2014 Part Two
Segment Eight: JC Clow, Managing Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

Good news…No long lines and absolutely nothing to take back on this Saturday’s show. It’s just incredibly tasty entertainment for the ears with the usual assortment of great guests.

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show. This week we’re taking a look back and also looking forward to 2014. Hollywood, millions of redevelopment dollars later, is again a dining and entertainment hot spot and we’re chatting with the energetic Executive Chef of the historic Yamashiro about what’s new on the menu there. Our ultimate Las Vegas insider, Brock Radke, is with us talking about his favorite new restaurants of the year. What’s trending in food for 2014? Chef Jet and Producer Andy share their revealing thoughts.

Happy New Year to all and wishing our loyal listeners all the very best in dining adventures in 2014! Get out there…

Deborah SchneiderExecutive Chef Deborah Schneider is the acclaimed author of five well-received cookbooks (a sixth is on the way) and a partner in the highly regarded SOL Mexican Cocina on the Bay in Newport Beach (and in Scottsdale.) Over the years she has become the go-to authority on the cuisine and libations of Baja California and, more recently, other culinary regions of Mexico. One of her specialties is the tasty street food of Baja. Do I hear Street Tacos?

Newly opened this week is Chef Deb’s latest venture, solita tacos & margaritas, facing a pocket park and fountain in Huntington Beach’s Bella Terra Center. It’s a neighborhood-casual Mexican spot with an authentic food experience representing the most appreciated culinary aspects from the coast of Baja and other culinary regions of Mexico Chef Deb has visited and researched extensively.

“What makes solita so unique is that we incorporated a wood grill like so many we have enjoyed in Mexico, and created a menu around it that offers fresh, simple preparations made with seasonal ingredients,” explains Chef Deb.

The bar takes an equally fresh approach to traditional Mexican libations. All margaritas are made with 100 per cent blue agave tequilas and the fruit used is all fresh. The only sweetener in the beverages is agave.

A Hollywood landmark, Yamashiro, celebrates their 100th birthday in 2014. If you haven’t been there in awhile it’s time to perhaps take another look.

Brock Kleweno of YamashiroBrock Kleweno, the energetic Executive Chef and General Manager, joins us to talk about the rich history of the spot and the new commitment to fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere. There is lots more than fresh sushi to merit your attention here.

If you think Yamashiro Hollywood is the spot to just take out-of-town guests for a classic cocktail and the view you may just want to change your opinion after listening to Chef Brock.

Chef Brock personally does a lot of sourcing of his menu ingredients at the area Farmers Markets and actually operates a nighttime Farmers Market @ Yamashiro. May will mark their 5th year of hosting a Farmers Market there on Thursday evenings which has become quite a popular destination on its own drawing some 800 to 1,000 guests each Thursday night during the season.

One of Chef Brock’s signatures dishes is a Wagyu beef steak cooked at a very high temperature on a salt rock and presented with flair at the table. It finishes cooking at the table. Other standouts are the ceviche prepared with local sustainable fish and his take on Hawaiian poke.

They are also serious about the bar at Yamashiro. They prepare all the classic cocktails with style plus contemporary libations. They have some fun with the Manhattan as well as a fresh take on the Mai Tai (which was originally created in California.) They also do a standout version of the classic Moscow Mule served in the proper chilled copper mug which actually originated in Hollywood!

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyIf you’re looking for action New Year’s Eve then Las Vegas is always a festive party with real fireworks. Our insider in Las Vegas, Brock Radke, joins us to talk about the newly launched Container Park development in Downtown (with unusual shops and restaurants) along with a couple of suggestions for great New Year’s Eve dining. Brock is the Food Editor for Las Vegas Weekly.

Catch Brock’s special year-end column in Las Vegas Weekly on-line naming his 13 best new restaurants in Las Vegas for 2013. The intriguing selections are both on and off The Strip!

Chef Jet Tila host of the SoCal Restaurant ShowThinking about Food Trends for 2014 ? We have…Just for fun Chef Jet and Producer Andy have put together their lists of Top Trends in Food for the New Year.

Each developed their list without consulting the other. Also the items will not be discussed between Chef Jet and Producer Andy before air. That’s live radio…I’m sure there will be a few surprises.

 

 

 

JC Clow of the Winery Restaurant and BarJC Clow is the standout Managing Partner of The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar in the District in Tustin. 2014 will mark their 7th year of operation.

The Orange County Concierge Association has just awarded them the distinction of “Restaurant of the Year.” The news is actually more significant than that. This is the 3rd time in six years that this prestigious award has been earned by them ! That’s a wow.

If you’re looking for a non-stuffy, sophisticated and elegant New Year’s Eve celebration The Winery has two seatings that are reasonably priced and designed for the comfort of the guests. The Winery’s goal on New Year’s eve is never to pack the house!

The second seating is a four course menu from Chef Yvon, live entertainment and party favors.

JC caps 2013 off by updating us on the new Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar coming to Newport Beach by Valentine’s Day in 2014. It’s right on the Bay.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Deborah Schneider, Executive Chef & Partner, solita tacos & margaritas
Segment Three: Brock Kleweno, General Manager & Executive Chef, Yamashiro Hollywood Part One
Segment Four: Brock Kleweno, General Manager & Executive Chef, Yamashiro Hollywood Part Two
Segment Five: Brock Radke, Food Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Six: Food Trends for 2014 Part One
Segment Seven: Food Trends for 2014 Part Two
Segment Eight: JC Clow, Managing Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

September 14: Azunia Tequila, Vegas Food Trucks, Elizabeth Huettinger, Lena Kwak, Amar Santana, Eric Klein, Michael Passmore

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jim Riley, founder of Azunia Tequila
Segment Three: Brock Radke, Food and Web Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Four: Elizabeth Huettinger, Wine Director, Addison Del Mar
Segment Five: Lena Kwak, Research and Development Chef, Thomas Keller Restaurant Group
Segment Six: Amar Santana, Executive Chef / Owner, Broadway by Amar Santana
Segment Seven: Eric Klein, Executive Chef & Partner, Spago Las Vegas
Segment Eight: Michael Passmore, Passmore Ranch, Sustainable Aqua Farming

Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Thai 2013 Food FestivalMark Sunday afternoon, September 29th on your calendar. Our very own Jet Tila is hosting the Thai 2013 Food Festival at Paramount Pictures Studios in the heart of Hollywood. It starts at 3:00 p.m.

Celebrity chefs from around the country and outstanding local Thai chefs will be there presenting their signature dishes for the guests to sample and enjoy. Entertainment will include music, Thai dancers and fruit carving.

VIP and Regular Tickets are now on sale!

Azunia TequilaJim Riley, the founder of Azunia Tequila joins us. In his spare time Jim is a professional off-road racer of some note.

This is a case study of how a boutique tequila company grows a brand in an environment dominated by cash-rich giants. Riley has built his brand with clever grass-roots marketing and being seen in the right places.

Azunia Tequila is organic and 100 per cent Weber Blue Agave. It is available in the styles of Platinum Blanco (great for cocktails,) Reposado, and Anejo.

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyOur man in Las Vegas, Brock Radke, is back with us. Brock is the respected Web and Food Editor for The Las Vegas Weekly.

Last month Brock had a great piece in The Weekly entitled. “Where are they now? Checking up on the first wave of Vegas food truckers.”

Fukuburger has probably been the most successful and is still on the streets. A brick and mortar location for Las Vegas is in the plans. Sloppi Jo’s was a big success with the food critics but, ultimately, not a viable business model. Proprietress Jolene Mannina has parlayed this into other food projects for herself. In fact she’s the head of Culinary Arts for the upcoming “Life is Beautiful” Festival in Downtown Las Vegas. The originator of Slidin’ Thru has moved on but the truck still does events and catering and there is a bricks and mortar drive-through.

Brock also talked about the just launched Heritage Steak at The Mirage on The Strip. The proprietor is Tom Colicchio of Bravo’s “Top Chef” fame and a James Beard Award recipient.

Elizabeth Huettinger of the Addison in Del MarSommelier Elizabeth Huettinger is the new Wine Director at Addison restaurant and The Grand Del Mar Resort in Del Mar. She was previously part of the wine team at Spago Beverly Hills.

Elizabeth just took the incredibly difficult “Advanced” certification test from the Court of Master Sommeliers. She shares that humbling experience with us.

Earlier in the Summer the Grand hosted a special screening of the documentary, “SOMM”. It’s the first effort by filmmaker Jason Wise.
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“SOMM” tells the fascinating story of four sommeliers attempting to pass the rigorous and prestigious Master Sommelier exam. This test has one of the lowest pass rates imaginable. Elizabeth’s head sommelier at Spago (her previous post) is a Master Sommelier. She talks about hosting the screening (there was wine and abundant food stations) and her reaction to the highly acclaimed documentary.

Lena KwakChef Lena Kwak is the highly acclaimed research development chef for The French Laundry and The Thomas Keller Restaurant Group in Yountville, CA. She created the position.

With the backing of Keller she developed Cup4Cup, a healthy wheat flour-substitute which has gone national over the last two years. It’s carried in Williams-Sonoma stores and also available at the Bouchon Bakeries in Yountville, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, and New York.

Last year Kwak was named as one of Forbes Magazine’s “Top 30 Under 30” for her work with Cup4Cup.

In addition to bread mixes the proprietary line also includes a brownie mix, pizza dough, and pancake/waffle mix.

Amar SantanaChef Amar Santana is very familiar to Orange County foodies. His mentor, Chef Charlie Palmer (Aureole,) brought him out here from Manhattan in 2008 to open Charlie Palmer’s at Bloomingdales at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Talk about a plum assignment for a young chef…

With the backing of one of his very loyal guests he later departed to open a venture of his own, Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach. Since opening in 2011 it’s been a hit with both the food critics and guests. The bar has also created its own loyal following for unusual libations and a welcoming atmosphere. Their superior Moscow Mule (not listed on the bar menu) is a thoughtful homage to the original version created in the late 30s in Hollywood and now using all fresh ingredients and from scratch ginger beer.

Eric KleinIn 2007 Executive Chef Eric Klein (now a partner) was handed the keys to Spago Las Vegas by Wolfgang Puck and charged with freshening up the concept. This was quite a formidable assignment given that Spago is Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant in Las Vegas! They celebrated their 20th Anniversary last year.

The restaurant is a busy café (with exhibition pizza oven) in the front and an elegant fine-dining restaurant in the back. The front patio opens onto the busy main Forum Shops walkway.

As with the Beverly Hills original Spago Las Vegas attracts the celebrity clientele in addition to sophisticated foodies. Chef Eric is the visible personality of the establishment.

Chef Eric’s first assignment in Las Vegas (after relocating from Beverly Hills) was SW Steakhouse at Wynn Las Vegas.

Michael Passmore of Passmore RanchMichael Passmore is an elite class freshwater fish farmer in the Sacramento area. His Passmore Ranch is sustainable aqua farming and his clientele are discriminating celebrity chefs all across the country who he, unusually, supplies directly.

They started modestly by selling live fish at Northern California farmers’ markets, and their quality and service quickly established them as premium purveyors for top restaurants and Michelin-starred chefs around the country.

Passmore Ranch offers premium freshwater white sturgeon, black bass, striped bass, catfish, silver carp and trout, plus prized domestic caviar.

Today Passmore Ranch is 86 acres and they raise fish in 80 million gallons of fresh water pumped up from the pristine Cosumnes aquifer. The ranch has a variety of open lakes and massive tanks used to increase the variety of sustainable fish they grow.

In the works is a plan to begin a thoughtful rollout of limited direct sales to serious home cooks. The info will be posted on their website.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jim Riley, founder of Azunia Tequila
Segment Three: Brock Radke, Food and Web Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Four: Elizabeth Huettinger, Wine Director, Addison Del Mar
Segment Five: Lena Kwak, Research and Development Chef, Thomas Keller Restaurant Group
Segment Six: Amar Santana, Executive Chef / Owner, Broadway by Amar Santana
Segment Seven: Eric Klein, Executive Chef & Partner, Spago Las Vegas
Segment Eight: Michael Passmore, Passmore Ranch, Sustainable Aqua Farming