Show 530, June 17, 2023: Chef & Co-Host Andrew Gruel with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel of Big Parm and the Calico Fish House

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the recently launched, full-service Calico Fish House (in the Sunset Beach area of Huntington Beach) and also the founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries.

When you use your Visa or MasterCard for payment at your favorite restaurant there are actually only a few firms that do the bank processing and the fees to the restaurant keep escalating. Some restaurants are now even adding on a credit card fee if plastic is used for payment. What’s going on? We’ll “Ask the Chef.” Chef Andrew’s tip: If you give your server his/her gratuity in cash they get it immediately and you save the restaurant paying that (3 to 5 percent) credit card processing fee on the tip. Everyone wins.

Show 521, April 15, 2023: Chef Andrew Gruel (Co-Host) of Calico Fish House in Huntington Beach with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style Pizza

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the recently launched, full-service Calico Fish House (in the Sunset Beach area of Huntington Beach) and also the founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative Ask the Chef segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries.

What’s happened to cash in restaurants? The credit card companies are heavily promoting the use of credit cards exclusively over cash. Meanwhile credit card processing fees (controlled by a quasi- monopoly of firms) continues to skyrocket. Yet another added burden for restaurants trying to recover. Also did you know when you leave a 20 per cent tip the restaurant pays the 3 to 5 percent credit card fee on the gratuity? (The server, fortunately, gets the full amount of the tip.) Chef Andrew suggests leaving the tip in cash. Better for the server, too. Chef Andrew explains…

Show 514, February 25, 2023: 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 menu-maker behind the recently launched, full-service Calico Fish House (in the Sunset Beach area of Huntington Beach) and also the founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative Ask the Chef segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries.

We’re picking up the conversation about some tipping oddities. Some full-service restaurants are now adding a “Mandatory Service Charge” to restaurant bills for parties of less than 6 guests. Is this a tip? Does this all go to the server? What about a 4 to 5 per cent surcharge added for “employee health care”? What’s right? We’ll ask the chef.

Chef Andrew and Lauren Gruel have a new fast casual concept, Burger 101, coming soon to the 2-level, Kitchen United complex on the 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica. It’s Chef Andrew’s version of a value-priced, honest burger (and loaded fries) using quality ingredients including a premium burger patty sourced from West Coast Prime Meats. He’ll also launch a casual Mexican concept there, Lolo’s Tacos, specializing in clean and simple tacos, burritos and standout specialty sauces.

Show 510, February 4, 2023: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host, 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, the menu-maker behind the recently launched, full-service Calico Fish House (on E. Pacific Coast Highway in the Sunset Beach area of Huntington Beach) and also the founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza) in the Mess Hall in Tustin provides another timely and informative Ask the Chef segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries.

How do you feel about full-service restaurants not accepting cash? How about a mandatory Service Charge added to your check. Is that considered a tip? Is it appropriate to tip at a fast- food restaurant or your neighborhood donut shop? Should the gratuity be based on the pre-tax total or the amount after sales tax has been added. Confused…? We’ll ask the chef.

Chef Andrew and Lauren Gruel have a new fast casual concept, Burger 101, coming soon to the 2-level, Kitchen United complex on the 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica. It’s Chef Andrew’s version of a value-priced, honest burger (and loaded fries) using quality ingredients including a premium burger patty sourced from West Coast Prime Meats. He’ll also launch a casual Mexican concept there, Lolo’s Tacos, specializing in clean and simple tacos, burritos and standout specialty sauces.

Show 325, May 25, 2019: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host and Founder of Slapfish Restaurant Group – “Ask the Chef”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at the Fifth Anniversary of the SoCal Restaurant ShowOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group joins us with another informative “Ask the Chef” segment. He’s in Albuquerque, NM right now opening the 2nd Slapfish there. With the Summer grilling season on the horizon it’s great to have a real working chef in our corner always providing handy and practical advice!

Chef Andrew responds to a vexing tipping question. The issue is whether it’s appropriate to tip on the pre-tax check or the check with the sales tax added on. With the California sales tax now averaging 10 per cent in most areas this makes a difference on the total of the gratuity.

Show 153, January 2, 2016: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-host & Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosIt’s the New Year so Executive Producer Andy Harris and Chef Andrew Gruel would be remiss in not taking a brief look back at 2015 and then looking ahead to 2016 in the active hospitality sphere. It’s been a big year.

There are some major issues hanging over this universe including the possible elimination of tipping pioneered by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group and a labor shortage in the back-of-the-house.

Also an update on the long-delayed California Dungeness Crab season. The latest is that there are certain fisheries in Southern California where Dungeness Crab can now be harvested. The authorities advise to enjoy the body meat only and avoid the entrails. Until this is all resolved with certainty Chef Andrew is substituting other fresh crab varieties in his restaurants just to be absolutely safe.

Show 143, October 24, 2015: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish

Andrew GruelOur regular Guest Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, has been on the road. We’ll hear about his Pop-Up Dinner series in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and other news of note .

Chef Andrew was just in Williamsburg, Brooklyn doing three-seatings at Loosie’s Kitchen for his “One Night (Fish) Stand, Water–to-Table, five-course prix-fix sustainable seafood menu. Locally sourced seafood was on the menu and used in his signature lobster burger and an “ultimate” fish taco with Montauk tilefish.

Chef Andrew also weighs-in on Union Square Hospitality Group’s innovative plan to eliminate tipping in all of their 13 high-profile New York restaurants. The goal is to create a fair wage system for all employees including the back-of-the-house folks who don’t ever share in the gratuities.