Show 317, March 30, 2019: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now an intriguing preview of this Saturday’s properly enticing show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, and upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience.

The Urban Forager by Elisa Callow showcases one of California’s richest and most rapidly expanding culinary cultures : the Eastside of Los Angeles. Author, passionate cook and food explorer, Elisa Callow is our guide.

Ian Blackburn’s LearnAboutWine is doing it again. His first Chinese Food & Wine Challenge – Which Pairs Best? event sold out way ahead of the date so he’s encoring it on Sunday, April 14th at Alhambra’s Chengdu Impression. Wine Professional and Sommelier Ian Blackburn pulls the cork for us. (What wine pairs with a fortune cookie, anyway?)

Leah 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) has reimagined and reopened The Milky Way with a new look and an updated, appealing and streamlined kosher menu. Executive Chef & Restaurant Consultant Phil Kastel of PK&J Hospitality Group is the Creative Chef at The Milky Way and is out guest.

Celebrity Chef Susan Feniger (Border Grill & the upcoming Socalo) is also the co-chair of the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Simply diVine annual benefit on Saturday, April 27th at Hollywood Forever. It’s also the 50th Anniversary of The Center. Chef Susan has the rundown for us for this celebration of delicious food, wine, spirits, craft beers, and lots more !

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association, the 2019 Big Island Chocolate Festival (8th Annual) is an annual fundraiser that benefits five local non-profits and Hawaii cacao farmers. This fun, participatory and engaging two-day festival is set for April 26th & 27th at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort on Hawaii Island’s Kohala Coast. Tom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our accommodating host, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, which last year completed an ambitious $50 million renovation. It’s part of the renown Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii. Tom previews The Festival indulgences for us.

Our own Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group, is again back with his always informative “Ask the Chef” commentary. He’s a real, working chef with great insight and experience. Chef Andrew is on the road this morning from parts unknown. We’ll find out…

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Program Note: Next Saturday, April 6th, is part of Home Opening Weekend for our Halos. We’ll be broadcasting live from Golden Road Pub OC right across the street from Angel Stadium from 10:00 a.m. to 12 Noon. If you’re going to the game come by and say hello before the 1:05 p.m. start of Angels Baseball versus Texas

Play

Show 317, March 30, 2019: Tom Cross, Hotel Manager, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, Hawaii

Tom Cross of the Westin Hapuna Beach ResortPresented by the Kona Cacao Association, the 2019 Big Island Chocolate Festival (8th Annual) is an annual fundraiser that benefits five local non-profits and Hawaii cacao farmers. This fun, participatory and engaging two-day festival is set for April 26th & 27th at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort on Hawaii Island’s Kohala Coast.

Tom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our accommodating host, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, which last year completed an ambitious $50 million renovation. It’s part of the renown Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii.

Their signature fine-dining restaurant housed in its own building on the lush property is Meridia. The views of the picture postcard white sandy beach and ocean at Sunset are spectacular. The chef of Meridia, Chris Galindo, will be a guest on the show on Saturday morning, April 27th when we’re live from The Big Island Chocolate Festival.

Tom previews The Festival’s sweet indulgences for us.

Play

March 30: Elisa Callow, Ian Blackburn, The Milky Way, Susan Feniger, Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Author Elisa Callow, The Urban Forager
Segment Three: Sommelier Ian Blackburn – Chinese Food & Wine Challenge – Which Pairs Best?
Segment Four: Executive Chef and Restaurant Consultant Phil Kastel, The Milky Way, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef and Restaurant Consultant Phil Kastel, The Milky Way, Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Six: Border Grill’s and Socalo’s Executive Chef / Co-Founder Susan Feniger
Segment Seven: Tom Cross, Hotel Manager, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, Hawaii
Segment Eight: Co-Host and Slapfish Restaurant Group Founder, Chef Andrew Gruel

Now an intriguing preview of this Saturday’s properly enticing show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, and upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience.

The Urban Forager by Elisa Callow showcases one of California’s richest and most rapidly expanding culinary cultures : the Eastside of Los Angeles. Author, passionate cook and food explorer, Elisa Callow is our guide.

Ian Blackburn’s LearnAboutWine is doing it again. His first Chinese Food & Wine Challenge – Which Pairs Best? event sold out way ahead of the date so he’s encoring it on Sunday April 14th at Alhambra’s Chengdu Impression. Wine Professional and Sommelier Ian Blackburn pulls the cork for us. (What wine pairs with a fortune cookie, anyway?)

Leah 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) has reimagined and reopened The Milky Way with a new look and an updated, appealing and streamlined kosher menu. Executive Chef & Restaurant Consultant Phil Kastel of PK&J Hospitality Group is the Creative Chef at The Milky Way and is out guest.

Celebrity Chef Susan Feniger (Border Grill & the upcoming Socalo) is also the co-chair of the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Simply diVine annual benefit on Saturday, April 27th at Hollywood Forever. It’s also the 50th Anniversary of The Center. Chef Susan has the rundown for us for this celebration of delicious food, wine, spirits, craft beers, and lots more !

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association, the 2019 Big Island Chocolate Festival (8th Annual) is an annual fundraiser that benefits five local non-profits and Hawaii cacao farmers. This fun, participatory and engaging two-day festival is set for April 26th & 27th at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort on Hawaii Island’s Kohala Coast. Tom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our accommodating host, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, which last year completed an ambitious $50 million renovation. It’s part of the renown Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii. Tom previews The Festival indulgences for us.

Our own Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group, is again back with his always informative “Ask the Chef” commentary. He’s a real, working chef with great insight and experience. Chef Andrew is on the road this morning from parts unknown. We’ll find out…

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Program Note: Next Saturday, April 6th, is part of Home Opening Weekend for our Halos. We’ll be broadcasting live from Golden Road Pub OC right across the street from Angel Stadium from 10:00 a.m. to 12 Noon. If you’re going to the game come by and say hello before the 1:05 p.m. start of Angels Baseball versus Texas

Elise CallowThe Urban Forager by Elisa Callow showcases one of California’s richest and most rapidly expanding culinary cultures : the Eastside of Los Angeles.

“When visitors to Los Angeles think of food in the city, they think Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Hollywood, and Malibu…the Westside of town. But author and arts educator Elisa Callow spent years exploring the communities in her neighborhood on the Eastside of Los Angeles and learning about the chefs and stores in little-known areas that no one was talking about. She put all that love and research together in her new cookbook, The Urban Forager:  Culinary Exploring & Cooking on L.A.’s Eastside (Prospect Park Books/Hardcover)”

“Los Angeles has an unending number of flavors, culture, and food possibilities—many of which are tucked within the checkerboard of neighborhoods on the city’s Eastside,” explains Elisa Callow. “I realized that to even begin to appreciate the various cuisines emerging and flourishing in Los Angeles requires time, respect, and attention. My urban foraging adventure yielded a deeper connection with the communities I explored—one of the most gratifying outcomes of my obsession. The chefs, cooks, and stores owners I met and include in this book offer a hint of the variety of delicious and unique food representing the diverse communities of L.A.’s Eastside.”

“Part cookbook, part guide to foraging the best L.A. has to offer, The Urban Forager is a compelling bridge to the unfamiliar, inspiring readers to enrich their culinary repertoire by foraging in own their communities.”

Author, passionate cook and food explorer, Elisa Callow is our guide.

Ian BlackburnIan Blackburn’s LearnAboutWine is doing it again. His first Chinese Food & Wine Challenge – Which Pairs Best? event sold out way ahead of the date so he’s encoring it on Sunday April 14th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Arcadia’s Chengdu Impression. Capacity is limited to 24 inquisitive guests.

Wine and Chinese food pairing. A multi-course Chinese meal prepared by vetted Chinese experts in the San Gabriel Valley.

“Wine will be the focus. Which wines work best? The audience, the energy will be amazing. Come and fight for your favorite wines. This is a competitive flight tasting of approximately 20 different wines.” Everything from Chateau Miraval Cotes de Provence Rose, France 2017 to Bodega de Edgar Tempranillo, Paso Robles, USA 2014.

Chengdu Impression was established in September of 2004. The founder and chairman of the company, Mr. Bing Du, is the Vice President of Sichuan Gourmet Association and Deputy Director of China Zhigong Party Sichuan Overseas Communication Association. The company insists on following Chengdu’s deep-rooted gastronomic culture and the long-lasting culinary tradition to produce, provide and promote the tradition and high-quality Szechuan cuisine worldwide.

Wine Professional and Sommelier Ian Blackburn pulls the cork for us. (What wine pairs with a fortune cookie, anyway?)

The Speilberg Family with the late Leah Spielberg Adler Leah 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 larger-than-life 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) has reimagined and reopened The Milky Way (after an extensive renovation) with a fresh new look and an updated, appealing and streamlined menu of tasty kosher fare.

“Ms. Adler, whom friends and family alike referred to as “LeeLee,” was a concert pianist and an artist, and also a proud mom of four talented children – Steven, Nancy, Anne and Sue Spielberg, a fact that was celebrated throughout the restaurant in the form of a memorabilia-filled room that became as much a salon as the perfect place to drop by for a plate of blintzes.”

“Our mom had a gypsy spirit that was larger than life itself, with an unstoppable energy and a fiery confidence that was reflected in the halls of The Milky Way,” said the Spielberg family in a joint statement. “LeeLee opened the restaurant with the vision of offering fine kosher food to the Jewish community in Los Angeles at a time when such a thing didn’t exist. Though her passing left a deep void in our hearts, we hope the new Milky Way will not only honor her memory, but also give back to the community she loved so deeply.”

“The Milky Way may be a kosher dairy restaurant, but it is also a New American Kosher restaurant,” said Chef Phil Kastel. “We wanted to create an inclusive and welcoming place for everyone, regardless of their faith or adherence to a specific dietary restriction. What will resonate with diners most is just how comforting the food here is – all the dishes on the new menu honor LeeLee and her unique tastes and are updated but true to her legacy at the same time.”

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

Phil Kastel“Chef Kastel has put a modern spin on the kosher dairy menu, peppering the menu with entirely new items and updating many of Ms. Adler’s original family recipes with a new twist to create a menu that has a global appeal, both for the international Jewish community and the general public alike. All dishes are made using the freshest, locally sourced ingredients, and diners can expect the menu to shift quarterly for seasonality, including a selection of seasonal fish. The new menu will now feature The Impossible CheeseburgerTM with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, American cheese and thousand island on a sesame seed bun, served with fries; the Famous Fish Chowder with halibut, Yukon potatoes, onions, celery and leeks, available daily; as well as the Cajun Pacific Snapper, with blackening spices and pineapple salsa, served alongside assorted seasonal vegetables.”

“Some of Ms. Adler’s original recipes have also been elevated with a modern spin. Signature dishes include Leah’s Cheese Blintzes served with strawberry preserves and sour cream; Salmon Puffs – a long-time, much loved signature dish, featuring crispy pocket, cream cheese, scallions and herbs – and the Potato Latkes with house-made apple compote and sour cream. Additional dishes not to be missed include the Eggplant Parmesan with marinara sauce, mozzarella, parmesan and basil; the Ahi Tuna Burger with red bell peppers, ginger, scallions, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and sriracha aioli, served on a sesame seed bun; and the Trout Amandine, with a panko crust, toasted almonds and tartar sauce paired with seasonal vegetables.”

“Dessert features Leah’s Classic Cheesecake – another original – as well as the new Apple Dream Pie, with a filling featuring crushed floral pink peppercorn and inspired in part by a dream Nancy Spielberg had of her mother.  The restaurant also serves kosher wine by the glass or by the bottle, as well as a selection of bottled beer.”

“While there is much to celebrate with the new Milky Way, what hasn’t changed is the attitude of the restaurant. Leah Adler is still in the room – her life and spirit preserved in the photos, posters and tchotchkes that carefully speak to her legacy – supported by food and wine that is still kosher, delicious and accessible. This is, after all, a neighborhood kosher restaurant servicing the community with class and style.”

Visit their website or follow along on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Susan Feniger of Socalo and Border GrillCelebrity Chef Susan Feniger (Border Grill & the upcoming Socalo) is the co-chair of the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Simply diVine annual benefit on Saturday, April 27th at Hollywood Forever. It’s also the 50th Anniversary of The Center.

“We couldn’t be more excited to showcase the best food, wine, beers, and spirits Los Angeles has to offer, especially when the Center is celebrating its 50th anniversary,” said event co-chair and celebrity chef Susan Feniger. “This year, we will be opening a new culinary arts training program at the Center’s new Anita May Rosenstein Campus, where LGBTQ youth can learn a truly marketable skill to help propel them to success in the professional world. In addition, the new kitchen will produce fresh meals for youth and senior residents as well as drop-in clients impacted by homelessness. Cheers to the Center—and to you—for building a world where LGBT people thrive! I want everyone to come out and support Simply diVine!”

FOODIE tickets may be purchased now for $150 which includes general admission entry to the main event from 6 to 9 p.m.

Chef Susan has the rundown for us for this celebration of delicious food, wine, spirits, craft beers, and more!

Tom Cross of the Westin Hapuna Beach ResortPresented by the Kona Cacao Association, the 2019 Big Island Chocolate Festival (8th Annual) is an annual fundraiser that benefits five local non-profits and Hawaii cacao farmers. This fun, participatory and engaging two-day festival is set for April 26th & 27th at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort on Hawaii Island’s Kohala Coast.

Tom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our accommodating host, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, which last year completed an ambitious $50 million renovation. It’s part of the renown Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii.

Tom previews The Festival’s sweet indulgences for us.

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur own Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group, is again back with his always informative “Ask the Chef” commentary. He’s a real, working chef with great insight and experience. Chef Andrew is on the road this morning from parts unknown. We’ll find out…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Author Elisa Callow, The Urban Forager
Segment Three: Sommelier Ian Blackburn – Chinese Food & Wine Challenge – Which Pairs Best?
Segment Four: Executive Chef and Restaurant Consultant Phil Kastel, The Milky Way, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef and Restaurant Consultant Phil Kastel, The Milky Way, Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Six: Border Grill’s and Socalo’s Executive Chef / Co-Founder Susan Feniger
Segment Seven: Tom Cross, Hotel Manager, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, Hawaii
Segment Eight: Co-Host and Slapfish Restaurant Group Founder, Chef Andrew Gruel

Show 271, April 28, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

BIg Island Chocolate FestivalIt’s a very special day of pure indulgence on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” We’re coming to you from the 7th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Hapuna Beach ResortThis is our 2nd year of participating.

Hawaii is the only state in the USA where cacao, the primary base of chocolate, can be successfully grown commercially.

Now a properly decadent preview of Saturday’s appropriately sinful show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. Can you ever get enough of premium chocolate? If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing…

We fortunate enough to again have a local celebrity as our Remote Engineer. That’s hard-working, on-air radio personality G. Cruz (“Lunchtime Kalabash”) who is also the Program Director for KWXX-FM, “Feel Good Island Music” on The Big Island. We’ll meet him.

Farsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 7th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.
Tom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our host, the Hapuna Beach Resort, which is just completing a $50 million dollar renovation. By late June it will officially emerge as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. It’s part of the Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii.

Alicia Boada is an acclaimed pastry chef and instructor with 20 plus years of experience in the culinary industry. She is the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate (The Barry Callebaut Group) whose brands include Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa, among more. As a Corporate Pastry Chef & Chocolatier,
Chef Alicia’s role often calls on her to perform demonstrations and training worldwide keeping her on the edge of what’s happening in the contemporary pastry and chocolate world. Chef Alicia will be performing two chocolate culinary demonstration as part of the Festival in addition to judging the Gala’s delicious offerings.

Tattoo Tequila CEO, “Tequila John” Atanasio (a Maui resident) set out 7 years ago with the goal of crafting a “Super Premium Tequila” that would use the highest grade of organic Blue Weber Agave available in the World and to use the best ingredients available to develop “The Champagne of Tequilas.” Tattoo Tequila today has legitimate brand positioning as a leader in the Craft Spirits sector. We’ll meet Tequila John.

Wendle Lesher is the Director of Food and Beverage for Mauna Kea Resort, encompassing all restaurant and banquet staff and food and beverage operations at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection and Hapuna Beach Resort, (emerging in late June as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort). In his role as Mauna Kea Resort Director of Food and Beverage, Lesher is responsible operationally and fiscally for nearly a dozen food and beverage outlets. We’ll chat with Wendle about the intriguing new restaurants at Hapuna including Meridia, Naupaka Beach Grill and Ikena Landing.
Chef Stéphane Tréand debuted, The Pastry School in 2012, in San Clemente. In 2015, he moved his school to Costa Mesa along with his new pâtisserie (pastry) shop, ST Pâtisserie Chocolat, to the oCo Collection!  He wanted people to come and buy pastries, chocolates, viennoiserie (baked goods such as croissants), and gelato/sorbet at his shop. But he also wanted to show others, “you can learn and create beautiful items such as these, right-next-door with me (Chef Stéphane Tréand) as your teacher!” At The Big Island Chocolate Festival Chef Stephane is performing two chocolate culinary demonstrations.
Chef Dayne Tanabe oversees the KPC Restaurant at the Hilton Waikola Village on The Big Island. Chef Dayne was instrumental in repositioning the menu direction for KPC – Kamuela Provision Company, the signature restaurant at Hilton Waikoloa Village. KPC features local Hawaii Island produce, prime steaks and fresh island fish and seafood. As Chef of Restaurants, Dayne now has the added responsibility for overseeing the many dining restaurants at Hilton Waikoloa Village, creating and implementing concept driven menus at Big Island Breakfast, Imari Japanese Izakaya, Lagoon Grill, Orchid Marketplace, Malolo, Boat Landing Cantina and Dona & Toni’s Pizzeria.. Chef Dayne joins us with his award-winning pastry chef, Eddie Enojardo.

Play

Show 271, April 28, 2018: Tom Cross, Hotel Manager, Hapuna Beach Resort

Tom CrossTom Cross is the Hotel Manager (since 2013) for our host, the Hapuna Beach Resort, which just completed a $50 million dollar renovation. By late June it will emerge as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. It’s part of the magnificent Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii.

The renovation’s highlights include new dining concepts/restaurants Meridia, Naupaka Beach Grill, ‘Ikena Landing and Piko Coffee+Bar; an adults-only pool; and wellness-inspired guest experiences, including a CrossFit studio, Westin Workout, Westin Kids’ Club and Hapuna Spa.

The resort’s indoor/outdoor lobby features a Living Wall vertical garden and interactive guest check-in pods, and its 232 guestrooms and 17 suites will be refurbished with Westin-brand signature room furnishings and fixtures.

Tom Cross joined Hapuna in 2013 and in his role as Hotel Manager, he is responsible for all operating departments within the hotel including rooms, and food and beverage and their overall financial performance.

Prior to his position at Hapuna, Cross served as Resort Manager at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore where he began as Director of Conference Services and Food and Beverage. He was promoted to Director of Operations in 2006 with expanded responsibilities and was named Resort Manager in 2009. Cross has also held management positions at Kona Village Resort, Hawaii Regent Hotel and the Hawaiian Waikiki Beach Hotel.

Play

April 28: Live from the 2018 Big Island Chocolate Festival

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao Association
Segment Three: Tom Cross, Hotel Manager, Hapuna Beach Resort
Segment Four: Chef Alicia Boada, West Coast Technical Advisor, Barry Callebaut Chocolate
Segment Five: “Tequila John” Atanasio, Tattoo Tequila
Segment Six: Wendle Lesher, Director of Food and Beverage, Mauna Kea Resort
Segment Seven: Robert Durant, Owner & Brewer, Inland Wharf Brewing Co.
Segment Eight: Dayne Tanabe, Chef of Restaurants & Pastry Chef Eddie Enojardo, Hilton Waikola Village

BIg Island Chocolate FestivalIt’s a very special day of pure indulgence on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” We’re coming to you from the 7th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Hapuna Beach Resort. We’re broadcasting from the “The Island Breeze” lounge.

Hawaii is the only state in the USA where cacao, the primary base of chocolate, can be successfully grown commercially.

Now a properly decadent preview of this Saturday’s appropriately sinful show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing…

Farsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 7th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.

Tom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our host, the Hapuna Beach Resort, which just completed a $50 million dollar renovation. Within a few weeks it will officially emerge as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. It’s part of the Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii.

Alicia Boada is an acclaimed pastry chef and instructor with 20 plus years of experience in the culinary industry. She is the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate (The Barry Callebaut Group) whose brands include Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa, among more. As a Corporate Pastry Chef & Chocolatier, Chef Alicia’s role often calls on her to perform demonstrations and training worldwide keeping her on the edge of what’s happening in the contemporary pastry and chocolate world. Chef Alicia will be performing two chocolate culinary demonstration as part of the Festival in addition to judging the Gala’s delicious offerings.

Tattoo Tequila CEO, “Tequila John” Atanasio (a Maui resident) set out 7 years ago with the goal of crafting a “Super Premium Tequila” that would use the highest grade of organic Blue Weber Agave available in the World and to use the best ingredients available to develop “The Champagne of Tequilas.” Tattoo Tequila today has legitimate brand positioning as a leader in the Craft Spirits sector. We’ll meet Tequila John.

Wendle Lesher is the Director of Food and Beverage for Mauna Kea Resort, encompassing all restaurant and banquet staff and food and beverage operations at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection and Hapuna Beach Resort, (emerging very soon as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort). In his role as Mauna Kea Resort Director of Food and Beverage, Lesher is responsible operationally and fiscally for nearly a dozen food and beverage outlets. We’ll chat with Wendle about the intriguing new restaurants at Hapuna including Meridia, Naupaka Beach Grill and Ikena Landing.

Chef Stéphane Tréand debuted, The Pastry School in 2012, in San Clemente. In 2015, he moved his school to Costa Mesa along with his new pâtisserie (pastry) shop, ST Pâtisserie Chocolat, to the Soco Collection!  He wanted people to come and buy pastries, chocolates, viennoiserie (baked goods such as croissants), and gelato/sorbet at his shop. But he also wanted to show others, “you can learn and create beautiful items such as these, right-next-door with me (Chef Stéphane Tréand) as your teacher!” At The Big Island Chocolate Festival Chef Stephane is performing two chocolate culinary demonstrations.

Chef Dayne Tanabe oversees the KPC Restaurant at the Hilton Waikola Village on The Big Island. Chef Dayne was instrumental in repositioning the menu direction for KPC – Kamuela Provision Company, the signature restaurant at Hilton Waikoloa Village. KPC features local Hawaii Island produce, prime steaks and fresh island fish and seafood. As Chef of Restaurants, Dayne now has the added responsibility for overseeing the many dining restaurants at Hilton Waikoloa Village, creating and implementing concept driven menus at Big Island Breakfast, Imari Japanese Izakaya, Lagoon Grill, Orchid Marketplace, Malolo, Boat Landing Cantina and Dona & Toni’s Pizzeria. Chef Dayne joins us with his award-winning pastry chef, Eddie Enojardo.

Farsheed BonakdarFarsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 7th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts.

Beyond creating, implementing and promoting the Big Island Chocolate Festival, the Kona Cacao Association works with cacao growers, producers, chocolate enthusiasts and chefs to help create a recognizable brand for Hawaii Island Chocolate. KCA members work together towards creating a structure to maintain the quality of cacao grown, marketed and shipped from Hawaii for the future growth of this fledging industry.

We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.

Tom CrossTom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our host, the Hapuna Beach Resort, which just completed a $50 million dollar renovation. Within a few weeks it will emerge as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. It’s part of the magnificent Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii.

The renovation’s highlights include new dining concepts/restaurants Meridia, Naupaka Beach Grill, ‘Ikena Landing and Piko Coffee+Bar; an adults-only pool; and wellness-inspired guest experiences, including a CrossFit studio, Westin Workout, Westin Kids’ Club and Hapuna Spa.

The resort’s indoor/outdoor lobby features a Living Wall vertical garden and interactive guest check-in pods, and its 232 guestrooms and 17 suites will be refurbished with Westin-brand signature room furnishings and fixtures.

Tom Cross joined Hapuna in 2013 and in his role as Hotel Manager, he is responsible for all operating departments within the hotel including rooms, and food and beverage and their overall financial performance.

Prior to his position at Hapuna, Cross served as Resort Manager at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore where he began as Director of Conference Services and Food and Beverage. He was promoted to Director of Operations in 2006 with expanded responsibilities and was named Resort Manager in 2009. Cross has also held management positions at Kona Village Resort, Hawaii Regent Hotel and the Hawaiian Waikiki Beach Hotel.

Alicia BoadaAlicia Boada is an acclaimed pastry chef and instructor with 20 plus years of experience in the culinary industry. She is the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate (The Barry Callebaut Group) whose brands include Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa, among more.

As a Corporate Pastry Chef & Chocolatier, Chef Alicia’s role often calls on her to perform demonstrations and training worldwide keeping her on the edge of what’s happening in the contemporary pastry and chocolate world.

Chef Alicia will be performing two chocolate culinary demonstration as part of the Festival in addition to judging the Gala’s delicious offerings.

Tequila John AtanasioTattoo Tequila CEO, “Tequila John” Atanasio (now a Maui resident) set out 7 years ago with the goal of crafting a “Super Premium Tequila” that would use the highest grade of organic Blue Weber Agave available in the World and to use the best ingredients available to develop “The Champagne of Tequilas.” Tattoo Tequila today has legitimate brand positioning as a leader in the Craft Spirits sector.

Tattoo Tequila has a portfolio of 100% organic Blue Agave based tequila with expressions that include Blanco, Reposado, Añejo and Extra Añejo.

Tequila John is part of the Festival presenting the unexpected “Chocolate & Organic Tequila Pairings” seminar. He’ll demonstrate how different, organic tequilas and uniquely flavored chocolates can tastefully complement each other. We’re all in…

We’ll meet Tequila John.

Wendle LesherWendle Lesher is the Director of Food and Beverage for Mauna Kea Resort, encompassing all restaurant and banquet staff and food and beverage operations at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection and Hapuna Beach Resort, (emerging very soon as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort).

In his role as Mauna Kea Resort Director of Food and Beverage, Lesher is responsible operationally and fiscally for nearly a dozen food and beverage outlets. We’ll chat with Wendle about the intriguing new restaurants at Hapuna including Meridia, Naupaka Beach Grill and Ikena Landing.

Lesher joined Mauna Kea Resort in 2017 having worked since 2013 at The Fairmont Orchid, first as Director of Outlets, then Director of Food and Beverage and later as Director of Operations. Lesher also worked as Restaurant General Manager at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

Stephane TreandChef Stéphane Tréand debuted, The Pastry School in 2012, in San Clemente. In 2015, he moved his school to Costa Mesa along with his new pâtisserie (pastry) shop, ST Pâtisserie Chocolat, to the SoCo Collection!  He wanted people to come and buy pastries, chocolates, viennoiserie (baked goods such as croissants), and gelato/sorbet at his shop. But he also wanted to show others, “you can learn and create beautiful items such as these, right-next-door with me (Chef Stéphane Tréand) as your teacher!”

“Come and learn from M.O.F. Chef Stéphane Tréand, students of all levels can choose from a wide array of subjects and class styles that meet their specific needs. Anyone can take the classes and learn from the master of The Pastry School.”

“Established in 2014, ST Pâtisserie Chocolat is Chef Stéphane Tréand’s premiere pastry shop! Bringing you the highest fashion in modern, Parisian pastry and confections to the wide and eclectic array of shops and wonders in the South Coast Collection (SoCo) and OC Mix shopping center.  ST Pâtisserie Chocolat is filled with delicious delights from pastries to a wide variety in chocolates, even homemade gelato and sorbets you will be sure to take a piece of France home with you.”

At The Big Island Chocolate Festival Chef Stephane is performing two chocolate culinary demonstrations.

Dayne TanabeChef Dayne Tanabe oversees the KPC Restaurant at the Hilton Waikola Village on The Big Island. Chef Dayne was instrumental in repositioning the menu direction for KPC – Kamuela Provision Company, the signature restaurant at Hilton Waikoloa Village. KPC features local Hawaii Island produce, prime steaks and fresh island fish and seafood.

As Chef of Restaurants, Dayne now also has the responsibility for overseeing the many dining restaurants at Hilton Waikoloa Village, creating and implementing concept driven menus at Big Island Breakfast, Imari Japanese Izakaya, Lagoon Grill, Orchid Marketplace, Malolo, Boat Landing Cantina and Dona & Toni’s Pizzeria.

Eddie EnojardoThis talented young chef has had extensive culinary experience previously on Oahu as a sushi chef at Moa Mua Tei, a Sous Chef at Baja Betty’s Southwest Bar & Grill, and Sous Chef at Keoni’s, located in the Outrigger Ohana Waikiki Hotel.

Chef Dayne and his Pastry Chef, Eddie Enojardo, have a long, impressive history of winning awards at the BICF Gala. Last year Chef Dayne took the honors for “Best Savory” item and Pastry Chef Eddie earned the award for “Best Bonbon.” What will this year bring?

Chef Dayne joins us with his award-winning pastry chef, Eddie Enojardo.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao Association
Segment Three: Tom Cross, Hotel Manager, Hapuna Beach Resort
Segment Four: Chef Alicia Boada, West Coast Technical Advisor, Barry Callebaut Chocolate
Segment Five: “Tequila John” Atanasio, Tattoo Tequila
Segment Six: Wendle Lesher, Director of Food and Beverage, Mauna Kea Resort
Segment Seven: Robert Durant, Owner & Brewer, Inland Wharf Brewing Co.
Segment Eight: Dayne Tanabe, Chef of Restaurants & Pastry Chef Eddie Enojardo, Hilton Waikola Village