Show 180, July 16, 2016: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, most recently, Brea, is back as today’s special Guest Host. Last month in Chicago he received Nation’s Restaurant News’ Trendsetter MenuMaster Award for Slapfish.

Now a (hopefully) tantalizing preview of Saturday’s overloaded show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a pretty good thing…

The Ranch Restaurant in Anaheim has a tremendous commitment to using fresh fruit and vegetables in all their preparations. They incredibly have their own farm in Orange where they grow many of the fruits and vegetables used at the bar and on the dinner menu. Executive Chef Michael Rossi actually checks the farm daily to see what can be used fresh from the field on that day’s menu. Restaurant Manager & Mixologist Dan Minjares has recently introduced their new Summer Cocktails. Included is a selection of “Farm Inspired Summer Cocktails.” Dan is with us to explain all the refreshing specifics.

George Motz is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, founder of the Food Film Festival, and author of the well-received Hamburger America. He’s a well-traveled “accidental” burger authority with impeccable credentials. Motz’s newest offering is The Great American Burger Book – How to Make Authentic Regional Hamburgers at Home. George puts his well-used spatula down briefly to join us with the hot & juicy details.

The classic Casa Vega is a family-owned Mexican restaurant that has been a Sherman Oaks landmark for 60 years. They are celebrating their 60th Anniversary in style with cocktails and a special seven-course menu this Saturday night, July 16th. It’s a benefit for the L.A. Regional Food Bank. The celebrity guest chef is Baja’s Javier Plascencia. 2nd generation proprietress Christy Vega is our guest.

Chef Eric Samaniego (Bravo TV’s “Best New Restaurant“), formerly of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana, has joined Michael’s On Naples in Long Beach as the award-winning restaurant’s chef de cuisine. In addition to changes in the kitchen, Michael’s on Naples is experiencing an aesthetic transformation as well. The restaurant’s rooftop terrace has been under construction as it undergoes a major expansion and renovation. Chef Eric joins us.

Food waste is inexcusable in restaurants these days. It’s a matter of principle in addition to being part of the green movement. Our own Chef Andrew Gruel will highlight what he does to turn usable items that were formally tossed in the garbage into practical (and tasty) menu items.

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

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Show 180, July 16, 2016: Dan Minjares, Restaurant Manager and Mixologist, The Ranch Restaurant

Dan MinjaresThe Ranch Restaurant in Anaheim has a tremendous commitment to using fresh fruit and vegetables in all their preparations. They incredibly have their own farm (The Farm) in Orange on over two acres of land where they grow many of the fruits and vegetables used at the bar and on the dinner menu. Executive Chef Michael Rossi actually checks the farm daily to see what can be used fresh from the field on that day’s menu.

Restaurant Manager & Mixologist Dan Minjares has recently introduced their new Summer Cocktails. Included is a selection of appealing “Farm Inspired Summer Cocktails” that use citrus, watermelon and strawberries from the farm.

Their Watermelon Mint Mule is watermelon infused Purity Vodka, fresh lime juice, mint leaves and Fever Tree Ginger Beer. It’s served in a properly chilled copper mug.

Dan is with us to explain all the refreshing specifics. Cheers.

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Show 180, July 16, 2016: Dan Minjares, Restaurant Manager and Mixologist, The Ranch Restaurant Continues…

Dan MinjaresThe Ranch Restaurant in Anaheim has a tremendous commitment to using fresh fruit and vegetables in all their preparations. They incredibly have their own farm (The Farm) in Orange on over two acres of land where they grow many of the fruits and vegetables used at the bar and on the dinner menu.

Restaurant Manager & Mixologist Dan Minjares has recently introduced their new Summer Cocktails. Included is a selection of appealing “Farm Inspired Summer Cocktails” that use citrus, watermelon and strawberries from the farm.

Heirloom tomatoes are in abundance at The Farm right now. Dan uses them to create their own proprietary Bloody Mary mix. Chef Rossi’s pepper sauce (from peppers and chiles grown on The Farm) is part of the recipe.

The “Best of Award Excellence” (Wine Spectator Magazine) wine program at The Ranch includes a 500 plus bottle list with rare and reserve wines featuring over 30 wines-by-the-glass selections. They feature hand-crafted cocktails, barrel aged cocktails and, when in season, farm-to-glass cocktails from their own heirloom vegetable farm on Edwards Ranch Estates. Draft and bottle beer selections are available as well as specialty martinis, select whiskey, rye, tequila and after dinner drink libations.

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July 17: The Ranch, George Motz, Casa Vega, Eric Samaniego, Andrew Gruel

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Dan Minjares, Restaurant Manager and Mixologist, The Ranch Restaurant Part One
Segment Three: Dan Minjares, Restaurant Manager and Mixologist, The Ranch Restaurant Part Two
Segment Four: Burger Authority and filmmaker George Motz, The Great American Burger Book Part One
Segment Five: Burger Authority and filmmaker George Motz, The Great American Burger Book Part Two
Segment Six: Christy Vega, Proprietress Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks, CA
Segment Seven: Chef Eric Samaniego, Chef de Cuisine, Michael’s On Naples, Long Beach
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group, Huntington Beach

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, most recently, Brea, is back as today’s special Guest Host. Last month in Chicago he received Nation’s Restaurant News’ Trendsetter MenuMaster Award for Slapfish.

Now a (hopefully) tantalizing preview of Saturday’s overloaded show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a pretty good thing…

The Ranch Restaurant in Anaheim has a tremendous commitment to using fresh fruit and vegetables in all their preparations. They incredibly have their own farm in Orange where they grow many of the fruits and vegetables used at the bar and on the dinner menu. Executive Chef Michael Rossi actually checks the farm daily to see what can be used fresh from the field on that day’s menu. Restaurant Manager & Mixologist Dan Minjares has recently introduced their new Summer Cocktails. Included is a selection of “Farm Inspired Summer Cocktails.” Dan is with us to explain all the refreshing specifics.

George Motz is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, founder of the Food Film Festival, and author of the well-received Hamburger America. He’s a well-traveled “accidental” burger authority with impeccable credentials. Motz’s newest offering is The Great American Burger Book – How to Make Authentic Regional Hamburgers at Home. George puts his well-used spatula down briefly to join us with the hot & juicy details.

The classic Casa Vega is a family-owned Mexican restaurant that has been a Sherman Oaks landmark for 60 years. They are celebrating their 60th Anniversary in style with cocktails and a special seven-course menu this Saturday night, July 16th. It’s a benefit for the L.A. Regional Food Bank. The celebrity guest chef is Baja’s Javier Plascencia. 2nd generation proprietress Christy Vega is our guest.

Chef Eric Samaniego (Bravo TV’s “Best New Restaurant), formerly of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana, has joined Michael’s On Naples in Long Beach as the award-winning restaurant’s chef de cuisine. In addition to changes in the kitchen, Michael’s on Naples is experiencing an aesthetic transformation as well. The restaurant’s rooftop terrace has been under construction as it undergoes a major expansion and renovation. Chef Eric joins us.

Food waste is inexcusable in restaurants these days. It’s a matter of principle in addition to being part of the green movement. Our own Chef Andrew Gruel will highlight what he does to turn usable items that were formally tossed in the garbage into practical (and tasty) menu items.

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

Dan MinjaresThe Ranch Restaurant in Anaheim has a tremendous commitment to using fresh fruit and vegetables in all their preparations. They incredibly have their own farm (The Farm) in Orange on over two acres of land where they grow many of the fruits and vegetables used at the bar and on the dinner menu. Executive Chef Michael Rossi actually checks the farm daily to see what can be used fresh from the field on that day’s menu.

Restaurant Manager & Mixologist Dan Minjares has recently introduced their new Summer Cocktails. Included is a selection of appealing “Farm Inspired Summer Cocktails” that use citrus, watermelon and strawberries from the farm.

Their Watermelon Mint Mule is watermelon infused Purity Vodka, fresh lime juice, mint leaves and Fever Tree Ginger Beer. It’s served in a properly chilled copper mug.

Dan is with us to explain all the refreshing specifics. Cheers.

The “Best of Award Excellence” (Wine Spectator Magazine) wine program at The Ranch includes a 500 plus bottle list with rare and reserve wines featuring over 30 wines-by-the-glass selections. They feature hand-crafted cocktails, barrel aged cocktails and, when in season, farm-to-glass cocktails from their own heirloom vegetable farm on Edwards Ranch Estates. Draft and bottle beer selections are available as well as specialty martinis, select whiskey, rye, tequila and after dinner drink libations.

George MotzGeorge Motz is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, founder of the Food Film Festival, and author of the well-received Hamburger America. He’s a well-traveled “accidental” burger authority with impeccable credentials. Motz’s newest offering is The Great American Burger Book – How to Make Authentic Regional Hamburgers at Home. The Foreward is by Travel Channel’s Chef Andrew Zimmern.

The Great American Burger Book is the first book to showcase a wide range of regional hamburger styles and cooking methods. Author and burger expert George Motz covers traditional grilling techniques as well as how to smoke, steam, poach, and deep-fry burgers based on signature recipes from around the country.

Each colorful chapter is dedicated to a specific regional burger, from the tortilla burger of New Mexico to the classic New York–style pub burger, and from the fried onion burger of Oklahoma to Hawaii’s Loco Moco. Motz provides expert instruction, tantalizing recipes, and vibrant color photography to help you create unique variations on America’s favorite dish in your own home.

George puts his well-used spatula down briefly to join us with the juicy details.

Before George embarks on his cross-country regional burger tour in The Great American Burger Book he shares the recipes for “The Basics.” These include The Griddle-Smashed Classic Cheeseburger, The Flame-Grilled Burger, The Thick Pub Classic Burger and The Patty Melt.

Did you know The Pastrami Burger started right here in Southern California? It’s now a Regional Favorite in Utah. It’s the Greek Connection…Perhaps George will explain.

George Motz, Emmy Award–winning filmmaker and founder of the Food Film Festival, is also the author of Hamburger America and was hailed by the New York Times as a leading authority on hamburgers. His media credits include hosting Burger Land and Made in America (Travel Channel), and he has been a guest on Inside Edition, CBS, CNN, Fox News, and PBS, among others. He lives in Brooklyn.

Christy VegaThe classic Casa Vega is a family-owned Mexican restaurant that has been a Sherman Oaks landmark for 60 years. They are celebrating their 60th Anniversary in style with cocktails and a special seven- course menu this Saturday night, July 16th. It’s a benefit for the L.A. Regional Food Bank.

The celebrity guest chef is Baja’s Javier Plascencia (Bracero.) He will alternate courses with the Casa Vega culinary team. Think Evo Poached Baja Hiramassa with guacachile, yuzu, crunchy eggplant, and yellow tomato tartar.

Casa Vega is a family-owned Mexican restaurant that has been a Los Angeles landmark for 60 years. Opened in 1956 by Rafael “Ray” Vega, Casa Vega serves authentic Mexican food and drinks in a warm, festive atmosphere. Today Ray’s daughter, Christina “Christy” Vega (as seen on Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games,” NBC’s “TODAY” Show, CBS’s “This Morning,” ABC’s “The View,” and more) is at the helm of the time-honored restaurant. From crowd-pleasing dishes such as traditional chicken mole, burritos, enchiladas, and tostadas, to tasty house-made margaritas and mojitos, Casa Vega features an extensive and time-tested menu.

2nd generation proprietress Christy Vega is our guest.

Eric SamaniegoChef Eric Samaniego (Bravo TV’s “Best New Restaurant“), formerly of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana, has joined Michael’s On Naples in Long Beach as the award-winning restaurant’s chef de cuisine.

In addition to changes in the kitchen, Michael’s on Naples is experiencing an aesthetic transformation as well. The restaurant’s rooftop terrace has been under construction as it undergoes a major expansion and renovation. The Rooftop will now have its own kitchen along with a separate menu featuring more casual fare and shareable plates.

Chef Samaniego, who began his career working for the late Charlie Trotter in Chicago, joined Michael’s On Naples in April working under the tutelage of former Corporate Executive Chef David Coleman. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Samaniego is a native of Southern California with his formative years spent in the Central Valley. His culinary credits include a seven-year stint with David Myers working at the high profile Sona and Comme Ca (both now closed) in Los Angeles.

Chef Eric Samaniego joins us.

Andrew Gruel and his son WilliamFood waste is inexcusable in restaurants these days. It’s a matter of principle in addition to being part of the green movement. Our own Chef Andrew Gruel will highlight what he does to turn usable food items that were formally tossed in the garbage into practical (and tasty) menu items.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Dan Minjares, Restaurant Manager and Mixologist, The Ranch Restaurant Part One
Segment Three: Dan Minjares, Restaurant Manager and Mixologist, The Ranch Restaurant Part Two
Segment Four: Burger Authority and filmmaker George Motz, The Great American Burger Book Part One
Segment Five: Burger Authority and filmmaker George Motz, The Great American Burger Book Part Two
Segment Six: Christy Vega, Proprietress Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks, CA
Segment Seven: Chef Eric Samaniego, Chef de Cuisine, Michael’s On Naples, Long Beach
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group, Huntington Beach

Show 120, May 2, 2015: Mixologist Dan Minjares, The Ranch Restaurant, Anaheim Part One

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

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

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

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

Expect The Ranch’s incredible heirloom tomato garden to be the base for The Ranch’s house-prepared Bloody Mary Mix. You can’t get any fresher than that.

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Show 120, May 2, 2015: Mixologist Dan Minjares, The Ranch Restaurant, Anaheim Part Two

Dan MinjaresMixologist Dan Minjares of The Ranch in Anaheim continues…

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

The special featured cocktail of the week is the Orange County Mint Julep in honor of the running of the Kentucky Derby.

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Show 85, August 23, 2014: Michael Rossi, Executive Chef, The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon

Michael Rossi of the Ranch Restaurant and SaloonExecutive Chef Michael Rossi (ex-Napa Rose) has been at the helm of The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon since it’s opening day in early 2012. He was actually on the ambitious project for over a year testing recipes before the first guests were greeted.

The Ranch (unusually) has its own 2-acre farm located on the Edwards Ranch Estates in Orange which provides a lot of the fresh produce used at the highly regarded restaurant. Think of over 600 heirloom tomato vines featuring 90 different varieties. Original (and fully mature) orange and fig trees are also part of the property.

Future expansion plans for the Edwards Ranch Estates include avocado trees, olive trees, and grape vines.

It’s a chef’s fondest dream to have these incredible resources…

One of Chef Michael’s signature menu items is the much talked-about 58 oz. bone-in Cowboy Ribeye chop.

Congrats to Chef Michael and The Ranch Restaurant for their 2014 nominations for the Golden Foodie Awards including (the peer-nominated) The Golden Chef and The Golden Pastry Chef. They also have been nominated for “Best Steak” in the public voting.

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Show 42, October 5, 2013: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic for The Orange County Register Continues…

French FriesBrad is a devotee of French Fries and explained why he is so sensitive about restaurants passing off packaged frozen fries as house-made. He also shared his favorite spot for a great burger with fries.

He’s still looking forward to reviewing an Orange County restaurant worthy of Four Stars (World Class)!

His best reviewed restaurants thus far are Marche Moderne in South Coast Plaza and The Ranch in Anaheim.

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Show 36, July 20, 2013: Michael Rossi, Executive Chef of The Ranch Restaurant and Saloon

Michael Rossi of the Ranch Restaurant and SaloonThe story of The Ranch is one of the most incredible restaurant opening stories in recent OC restaurant history. This elegant, handsomely-appointed, fine-dining restaurant is oddly located on the ground floor of the Extron Electronics office building a bit off the beaten path on E. Ball Road in Anaheim. The building is the newly-constructed corporate headquarters for Andrew Edwards, who is the sole backer of multi-million dollar The Ranch Restaurant and Saloon.

Master Sommelier Michael Jordan (ex-Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian) recruited Chef Michael to the project. Jordan, as Vice-President of Beverage, orchestrates the beverage program and front-of-the-house operations for Mr. Edwards. He’s one of the OC’s most gracious, and experienced, hosts. Chef Rossi oversees the entire culinary program.

Much of the seasonal produce used at The Ranch comes from Edward’s 2-acre farm in Orange County. You just can’t get fruit and vegetables any fresher.

Chef Michael stands by every item on his thoughtfully developed menu but if he had to choose one entrée for this evening it would be the Colorado Grass-Fed Lamp Chops.

The Ranch has already been nominated for two Golden Foodies this year. Chef Michael is up for the Golden Chef Award. His brother, David, is contending for the Golden Pastry Chef Award.

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