Show 531, June 24, 2023: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

El Cholo, perhaps Los Angeles’ most iconic, honored and beloved Mexican Restaurant is celebrating its 100th Anniversary during 2023 under the watchful eye of Ron Salisbury, 3rd generation proprietor of The El Cholo Family of Restaurants. Ron Salisbury also celebrates his 90th Birthday during 2023.” “In conjunction with the 100th Anniversary of El Cholo, the Salisbury Family has launched their ambitious Charitable Gift Campaign Benefitting Pediatric Cancer Research with the goal of raising a cool $1 Million dollars. Monies raised through the campaign will be donated equally to L.A. Children’s Hospital and to Orange County’s Children’s Hospital / CHOC Foundation. To participate in this charitable campaign, every El Cholo customer who makes a $100- donation while visiting any one of the six Southern California El Cholos will receive a VIP NACHOS CARD by which they can enjoy Carmen’s Nacho’s free throughout the rest of 2023.” Ron also has a unique booth naming campaign in progress at the original El Cholo with the proceeds going to the charitable fundraising campaign. 3rd generation proprietor, Ron Salisbury, is our guest with a plate of Carmen’s Original Nachos in hand.

Proprietor and Chef Alfonso Curti has assembled an outstanding menu of fine Italian dishes, an extensive wine list, specialty cocktails, and original desserts, which he is offering in the cozy elegance of the Trattoria Uliveto Italian Restaurant, located in the quaint town of Old Orcutt near Santa Maria, California. Join him in the celebration of authentic Italian cuisine paired with some of the finest wines available. Trattoria Uliveto also offers catering services for wedding receptions and banquets and daily Family Meals to go.” Trattoria Uliveto is open for lunch as well as dinner. Closed on Sunday and Monday. Chef Alfonso Curti takes a break from his busy kitchen to join us.

Executive Chef Juan Morales oversees all the distinctive dining options at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Rancho Mirage. This is the only Agua Caliente Casino in Greater Palm Springs with a Forbes 4- Star luxury hotel on the property. Chef Juan and his team are the menu makers for The Steakhouse, Waters Café, 360 Sports and the casual, quick-service Java Caliente. Chef Juan Morales takes a brief pause from his busy kitchens to join us.

Bravo’s Top Chef just concluded 20th season was “World All-Stars” set in London. The current season of the Emmy-winning series featured 16 of its greatest competitors, representing 11 different “Top Chef” versions around the world. The chefs battled it out throughout scenic London, before the grand finale in Paris. Orange County’s own Chef Amar Santana (Vaca adjacent to South Coast Plaza and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach) was one of the esteemed returning Cheftestants. Chef Amar did California proud. He almost went the distance but did get to Paris for the Finale. “Top Chef” regular, Gail Simmons, has graciously anointed Chef Amar as one of the “Top Chef Final Five.” Not bad company to be in. Chef Amar was also in the running for “Top Chef” Fan Favorite which goes along with a $10,000 cash prize. We’ll hear the official results from Chef Amar.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the full-service Calico Fish House (in 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. Chef Andrew has shared with us previously that the business model for 3rd party delivery services does not seem sustainable. Grubhub just laid off staff. We’ll “Ask the Chef.” Chef Andrew will also tell us about California Black Gill Rock Cod. It’s delicious and local…(Postponed from last week.)

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

Show 531, June 24, 2023: Executive Chef Alfonso Curti of Trattoria Uliveto, Orcutt, CA

Alfonso Curti of Trattoria Uliveto

We apologize for being a little late in connecting with Chef Curti. He must have been on Italian time…

“Proprietor and Chef Alfonso Curti has assembled an outstanding menu of fine Italian dishes, an extensive wine list, specialty cocktails, and original desserts, which he is offering in the cozy elegance of the Trattoria Uliveto Italian Restaurant, located in the quaint town of Old Orcutt near Santa Maria, California. Join him in the celebration of authentic Italian cuisine paired with some of the finest wines available. Trattoria Uliveto also offers catering services for wedding receptions and banquets and daily Family Meals to go.” Trattoria Uliveto is open for lunch as well as dinner. Closed on Sunday and Monday.

“Business owner and restaurant afficionado Jim Spallino together with Alfonso Curti, former executive chef of Grappolo” in Santa Ynez, have a winning combination for Orcutt’s next big thing: a local Italian trattoria. Both Spallino and Curti have dreamed of having a restaurant of their own and when the opportunity to take on the Wine Cottage Bistro presented itself….they jumped!”

“Curti, a native Calabrian, moved to California from Italy a little over ten years ago and made a name for himself working at his family’s restaurant in Santa Ynez during that time. His culinary career began as a young teenager where he worked in a family bakery and later he served in the Italian Army as a Chef for troops. Perhaps his greatest teachers were his Nonna and Mamma where he learned the heart of Italian cooking.”

Chef Alfonso Curti takes a break from his busy kitchen to join us.

June 24: El Cholo, Trattoria Uliveto Italian Restaurant, Aqua Caliente Casino Resort Rancho Mirage, Amar Santana on Top Chef World All-Stars

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Ron Salisbury, El Cholo and The Restaurant Business – Raising Money for Charity while Celebrating 100 Years of El Cholo
Segment Three: Executive Chef Alfonso Curti of Trattoria Uliveto, Orcutt, CA
Segment Four: Executive Chef Juan Morales, Agua Caliente Casino Resort, Rancho Mirage Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Juan Morales, Agua Caliente Casino Resort, Rancho Mirage Part Two
Segment Six: Restaurateur & Executive Chef Amar Santana, Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana Part One
Segment Seven: Restaurateur & Executive Chef Amar Santana, Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef & Co-Host Andrew Gruel with “Ask the Chef”

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

“El Cholo, perhaps Los Angeles’ most iconic, honored and beloved Mexican Restaurant is celebrating its 100th Anniversary during 2023 under the watchful eye of Ron Salisbury, 3rd generation proprietor of The El Cholo Family of Restaurants. Ron Salisbury also celebrates his 90th Birthday during 2023.” “In conjunction with the 100th Anniversary of El Cholo, the Salisbury Family has launched their ambitious Charitable Gift Campaign benefitting Pediatric Cancer Research with the goal of raising a cool $1Million dollars. Monies raised through the campaign will be donated to L.A. Children’s Hospital and to Orange County’s Children’s Hospital / CHOC Foundation. To participate in this charitable campaign, every El Cholo customer who makes a $100 donation while visiting any one of the six Southern California El Cholos will receive a VIP NACHOS CARD by which they can enjoy Carmen’s Nacho’s free throughout the rest of 2023.” Ron also has a unique booth naming campaign in progress at the original El Cholo with the proceeds going to the charitable fundraising campaign. 3rd generation proprietor, Ron Salisbury, is our guest with a plate of Carmen’s Original Nachos in hand.

“Proprietor and Chef Alfonso Curti has assembled an outstanding menu of fine Italian dishes, an extensive wine list, specialty cocktails, and original desserts, which he is offering in the cozy elegance of the Trattoria Uliveto Italian Restaurant, located in the quaint town of Old Orcutt near Santa Maria, California. Join him in the celebration of authentic Italian cuisine paired with some of the finest wines available. Trattoria Uliveto also offers catering services for wedding receptions and banquets and daily Family Meals to go.” Trattoria Uliveto is open for lunch as well as dinner. Closed on Sunday and Monday. Chef Alfonso Curti takes a break from his busy kitchen to join us.

Executive Chef Juan Morales oversees all the distinctive dining options at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Rancho Mirage. This is the only Agua Caliente Casino in Greater Palm Springs with a Forbes 4- Star luxury hotel on the property. Chef Juan and his team are the menu makers for The Steakhouse, Waters Café, 360 Sports and the casual, quick-service Java Caliente. Chef Juan Morales takes a brief pause from his busy kitchens to join us.

Bravo’s “Top Chef”just concluded 20th season was “World All-Stars” set in London. The current season of the Emmy-winning series featured 16 of its greatest competitors, representing 11 different “Top Chef” versions around the world. The chefs battled it out throughout scenic London, before the grand finale in Paris. Orange County’s own Chef Amar Santana (Vaca adjacent to South Coast Plaza and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach) was one of the esteemed returning Cheftestants. Chef Amar did California proud. He almost went the distance but did get to Paris. “Top Chef” regular, Gail Simmons, has graciously anointed Chef Amar as one of the “Top Chef Final Five.” Not bad company to be in. Chef Amar was also in the running for “Top Chef” Fan Favorite which goes along with a $10,000 cash prize. We’ll hear the official results from Chef Amar.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel, the menu-maker behind the< full-service Calico Fish House (in 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. Chef Andrew has shared with us previously that the business model for 3rd party delivery services does not seem sustainable. Grubhub just laid off staff. We’ll “Ask the Chef.” Chef Andrew will also tell us about California Black Gill Rock Cod. It’s delicious and local…(Postponed from last week.)

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

Ron Salisbury of El Cholo

El Cholo, perhaps Los Angeles’ most iconic, honored and beloved Mexican Restaurant is celebrating its 100th Anniversary during 2023 under the watchful eye of Ron Salisbury, 3rd generation proprietor of The El Cholo Family of Restaurants. Ron Salisbury also celebrates his 90th Birthday during 2023. Mr. Salisbury has been working with the El Cholo restaurant chain for 68 years! Several of his descendants also currently work within his family’s business, including fourth, fifth and even sixth generation family members!”

In conjunction with the 100th Anniversary of El Cholo, the Salisbury Family has launched their ambitious Charitable Gift Campaign benefiting Pediatric Cancer Research with the goal of raising as cool $1 Million dollars. Monies raised through the campaign will be donated to L.A. Children’s Hospital and to Orange County’s Children’s Hospital / CHOC Foundation. To participate in this charitable campaign, every El Cholo customer who makes a $100 donation while visiting any one of the six Southern California El Cholos will receive a VIP NACHOS CARD by which they can enjoy Carmen’s Nacho’s free throughout the rest of 2023.

Ron also has a very special booth naming campaign in progress at the original El Cholo with the proceeds going to the charitable fundraising campaign.

“Says Mr. Salisbury, “Many other restaurants, when they approach 100, start slowing down or taking their eye off the ball. But we still stand firmly at the top of our game. We continue to be aggressive in providing the best Mexican restaurant experience possible – one that only El Cholo can offer. Myself, my kids, my grandkids and even my great-grandkids are proudly committed to continuing the El Cholo tradition – one that my grandparents began way back in 1923 – well into the future!””

3rd generation proprietor, Ron Salisbury, is our guest with a plate of Carmen’s Original Nachos in hand.

Alfonso Curti of Trattoria Uliveto

“Proprietor and Chef Alfonso Curti has assembled an outstanding menu of fine Italian dishes, an extensive wine list, specialty cocktails, and original desserts, which he is offering in the cozy elegance of the Trattoria Uliveto Italian Restaurant, located in the quaint town of Old Orcutt near Santa Maria, California. Join him in the celebration of authentic Italian cuisine paired with some of the finest wines available. Trattoria Uliveto also offers catering services for wedding receptions and banquets and daily Family Meals to go.” Trattoria Uliveto is open for lunch as well as dinner. Closed on Sunday and Monday.

“Business owner and restaurant afficionado Jim Spallino together with Alfonso Curti, former executive chef of Grappolo” in Santa Ynez, have a winning combination for Orcutt’s next big thing: a local Italian trattoria. Both Spallino and Curti have dreamed of having a restaurant of their own and when the opportunity to take on the Wine Cottage Bistro presented itself….they jumped!”

“Curti, a native Calabrian, moved to California from Italy a little over ten years ago and made a name for himself working at his family’s restaurant in Santa Ynez during that time. His culinary career began as a young teenager where he worked in a family bakery and later he served in the Italian Army as a Chef for troops. Perhaps his greatest teachers were his Nonna and Mamma where he learned the heart of Italian cooking.”

Chef Alfonso Curti takes a break from his busy kitchen to join us.

Juan Morales of Agua Caliente Casinos

Executive Chef Juan Morales oversees all the distinctive dining options at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Rancho Mirage. This is the only Agua Caliente Casino in Greater Palm Springs with a Forbes 4 -Star rated luxury hotel on the property. Chef Juan and his team are the menu makers for The Steakhouse, Waters Café, 360 Sports and the casual, quick-service Java Caliente.

“The Steakhouse, at Rancho Mirage is a dining experience second to none. The stunning Rancho Mirage steakhouse is the recipient of a prestigious Travel Guide award and has been the winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence consecutively since 2007. The renowned restaurant has also earned additional accolades such as the AAA Four Diamond Award, the Palm Springs Life Best of the Best, and the OpenTable Diners’ Choice Award. At The Steakhouse, guests enjoy the finest prime steaks and fresh seafood in a sophisticated, comfortable setting, along with the first-class service.”

“A native of Los Angeles, Executive Chef Juan Morales’ fondest childhood memories are of family dinners and cooking with his mother, watching the passion and attention she gave to each item she prepared. She instilled that passion and drive into Chef Juan, which drove him to work with some talented chefs throughout his 20-year career. He was fortunate to begin his culinary journey as a chef with the Patina Group, where he learned from well-known chefs Joachim Splichal and Octavio Becerra.”

“Following Patina, he ventured to Las Vegas and Green Valley Ranch where he utilized his knowledge of the culinary industry to work with amazing teams. He brought new and exciting flavors and food concepts such as Kobe beef and Japanese A5 to various restaurants, one of which was rated a top 10 steakhouse in Las Vegas. As he learned that a good chef seeks out the guest’s initial response to a dish, he quickly became accustomed to adjusting and improving flavor profiles based on these reactions. Chef Juan enjoys introducing new flavors and textures to entrees using only the freshest produce and proteins, and there’s no better place to do that than right here in California.”

Chef Juan Morales takes a break from his busy kitchens to join us.

Amar Santana at the Finale of Top Chef

Bravo’s Top Chef just concluded 20th season was “World All-Stars” set in London. The new season of the Emmy-winning series featured 16 of its greatest competitors, representing 11 different “Top Chef” versions around the world. The chefs battled it out throughout scenic London, before the grand finale in Paris. Orange County’s own Chef Amar Santana (Vaca adjacent to South Coast Plaza and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach) was one of the esteemed returning Cheftestants.

Chef Amar did California proud. He almost went the distance but did get to Paris. “Top Chef” regular, Gail Simmons has anointed Chef Amar as one of the “Top Chef Final Five.” Not bad company to be in. Chef Amar was also in the running for “Top Chef” Fan Favorite which goes along with a $10,000 cash prize. We’ll hear the results directly from Chef Amar.

Also there is a new Vaca in the works for early 2024 but it’s not in Orange County.

Chef Amar takes a break from his busy kitchens for his insider’s report on “Top Chef” Season 20 – London.

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.

Chef Andrew has shared with us previously that the business model for 3rd party delivery services for restaurants does not seem sustainable in the long term. Grubhub just laid off staff. We’ll “Ask the Chef.” Chef Andrew will also tell us about California Black Gill Rock Cod. It’s incredibly delicious and local… (Postponed from last week.)

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Ron Salisbury, El Cholo and The Restaurant Business – Raising Money for Charity while Celebrating 100 Years of El Cholo
Segment Three: Executive Chef Alfonso Curti of Trattoria Uliveto, Orcutt, CA
Segment Four: Executive Chef Juan Morales, Agua Caliente Casino Resort, Rancho Mirage Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Juan Morales, Agua Caliente Casino Resort, Rancho Mirage Part Two
Segment Six: Restaurateur & Executive Chef Amar Santana, Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana Part One
Segment Seven: Restaurateur & Executive Chef Amar Santana, Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana Part Two
Segment Eight: Chef & Co-Host Andrew Gruel with “Ask the Chef”