Show 428, June 5, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and Casino

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 continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery.

Chef Andrew is on his way back from Texas from his annual Texas BBQ tasting road tour. What distinguishes BBQ in the Lone Star State? Dry rubs are definitely a part of the equation. Chef Andrew points us in the right direction. Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que (Home of The Big Chop) with multiple Texas locations including the Texas Hill Country is a personal favorite. We’re picking this up from last week when we, unfortunately, lost Chef Andrew on his cell phone.

Keep in mind the juicy and delicious Community Burger (more than a mouthful) is available at all Southern California locations of Slapfish. The worthy burger is free with any donation to 86 Restaurant Struggle.” 100 per cent of that money goes to benefit struggling restaurant workers.

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Show 419, April 3, 2021: Winemaker Dave Reilly, Duchman Family Winery, Driftwood, Texas Part One

Dave Reilly of Duchman Family Winery

“The Duchman Family Winery (duke-man) was founded in 2004 by Drs. Lisa and Stan Duchman in a quest to bring world-class winemaking to Central Texas and the Texas Hill Country. Their love of the unique Italian grape varieties as well as similar weather patterns to Texas inspired them to work with viticultural consultants and growers in the Texas High Plains AVA to produce grapes that would allow their winemakers, Dave Reilly (current head winemaker) and Mark Penna (founding winemaker), to experiment with making wines like Vermentino, Sangiovese, and Dolcetto.” Penna mentored Reilly who was passed the wine thief at Duchman in 2008.

Duchman (under the direction of Dave Reilly) is particularly known for Aglianico, Montepulciano, Trebbiano and Vermentino.

“The winery continues to source the majority of its fruit from the Texas High Plains AVA, where cooler temperatures and a more “continental” climate are ideal for the production of fine wine made from Italian grape varieties. As the winery grows, the Duchmans remain committed to their goal to produce food-friendly fine wine in Central Texas using Texas-grown fruit exclusively. With an eye on the future, Duchman Family Winery continues to develop innovative winemaking and grape growing techniques in order to provide wine that truly reflects a taste of Texas for years to come.”

“Duchman Family Winery remains one of the top wine destinations in Texas. The facility was recognized by HGTV as one of the 20 most picturesque wineries in the country. All of the winery’s current releases can be sampled and purchased at the winery’s Driftwood tasting room and the estate’s beautiful grounds are open to visitors. Visitors are invited to pick a spot at one of the oak shaded picnic tables, or grab a seat in the winery hallway with views of the production facilities and wine barrels.”

Dave Reilly joins us to effortlessly pull the cork on Duchman Family Winery.

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Show 419, April 3, 2021: Winemaker Dave Reilly, Duchman Family Winery, Driftwood, Texas Part Two

Dave Reilly of Duchman Family Winery

“The Duchman Family Winery (duke-man) was founded in 2004 by Drs. Lisa and Stan Duchman in a quest to bring world-class winemaking to Central Texas and the Texas Hill Country. Their love of the unique Italian grape varieties as well as similar weather patterns to Texas inspired them to work with viticultural consultants and growers in the Texas High Plains AVA to produce grapes that would allow their winemakers, Dave Reilly (current head winemaker) and Mark Penna (founding winemaker), to experiment with making wines like Vermentino, Sangiovese, and Dolcetto.” Penna mentored Reilly who was passed the wine thief at Duchman in 2008.

“The winery continues to source the majority of its fruit from the Texas High Plains AVA, where cooler temperatures and a more “continental” climate are ideal for the production of fine wine made from Italian grape varieties. As the winery grows, the Duchmans remain committed to their goal to produce food-friendly fine wine in Central Texas using Texas-grown fruit exclusively. With an eye on the future, Duchman Family Winery continues to develop innovative winemaking and grape growing techniques in order to provide wine that truly reflects a taste of Texas for years to come.”

“A native Texan, Dave Reilly’s career in wine started in 2000 when his overwhelming lack of sense lead him to plant a vineyard in the Texas Hill Country. With no formal education in viticulture, Reilly credits his success to hard work, a library of books and the guidance from Texas viticulture experts Jim Kamas and Penny Adams.”

“Completely consumed with the love of growing grapes and an intense desire to make wine, Dave was taken under the wing of veteran Texas winemaker Mark Penna in 2006. Dave worked as Cellar Rat, Lab Tech, Mechanic and Head Janitor to gain the necessary experience required to become a winemaker.”

“In 2008, Dave took the helm of the 15,000 cases a year Duchman Family Winery. His wines have competed and won medals in some of the most prestigious (and not so prestigious) wine competitions in the United States. The 2019 Trebbiano was awarded Double Gold at the 2020 San Francisco International Wine Competition. Reilly’s winemaking philosophy is succinct, “I strive to make wines that are true to their varietal character using the highest quality grapes grown only in Texas””.

Dave Reilly joins us to effortlessly pull the cork on Duchman Family Winery.

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Show 290, September 15, 2018: Food, Travel, Drink and Lifestyle Journalist Rich Manning Continues…

Rich ManningRich Manning has been writing about food, drink, travel and other lifestyle topics since 2004. As a freelance writer, he’s worked with several different publications and businesses, and has written everything from restaurant reviews and feature articles to ad copy and website content. Current and previous publications include Gayot, Tasting Panel, Somm Journal, Sauté, Clever Root, and Dining Out.

He’s also operated his own website, The Lazy Hunter, since 2017. A Southern California resident and an enthusiastic foodie, he enjoys exploring the diverse nature and multi-cultural influences of his local dining scene and will pretty much try anything at least once. However, he remains a sucker for a really good burger, and thoroughly enjoys eating dinner at home with his wife and two daughters.

Wine country of note in Texas? You bet…For Saute’s blog Rich contributed an in-depth piece on his recent wine wanderings in Texas Hill Country, entitled Texas Hill Country, Texas Hill Country Features Texas-Sized Vintner Delights.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear about the quality of the wines he sampled. Are Texas Roses perhaps better than California’s? Is a full-bodied Rose the perfect BBQ wine? We’ll let Rich explain…

Along the way Rich recounts the fascinating connection between noted California winemaker Dave Phinney (Orin Swift Cellars) and prominent Texas winemaker Kim McPherson of McPherson Cellars.

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