Show 438, August 14, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

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

Saso in Pasadena, (launched earlier this year) draws inspirations from three coast regions treasured by Chef/Partner Dominique Crisp: his home in Los Angeles, his upbringing in the Pacific Northwest, and his travels within Basque Country. Throughout the menu, his dedication to the slow-food movement shines with hyper-local ingredients and French-taught cooking techniques.” “At Saso, a passion for coastal cuisine is met with Dominique’s deep appreciation and understanding of farming. Born on his family’s vineyard in Wren, Oregon – raising livestock, fishing, and harvesting has always been an essential part of his life. A respect for the land, sea, and supporting those who are sustainably harvesting the bounty is an integral ethos that flows through Saso.” Chef Dom takes a break from prep in his busy kitchen to join us.

“Professional chef, TV personality and working mom of three, Katie Chin, introduces her newest cookbook, Katie Chin’s Global Family Cookbook – Internationally-Inspired Recipes Your Friends and Family Will Love! With 170 globally-inspired recipes, Katie Chin’s Global Family Cookbook, celebrates diversity and multiculturalism including Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Greek, Korean, Jewish, Thai dishes and more!  The book also includes cultural celebrations featuring Jeannie Mai and her mom The Mama Mai (Lunar New Year), Debbie Matenopoulos (Greek Easter), Nate Berkus, Jeremiah Brent and Faye Levy (Hanukkah) and Chef Jeffrey Saad (Cinco de Mayo).” (Cinco de Mayo). Chef Katie is our guest, tongs in hand.

How does one of the premier wine retailers on the West Coast, Wine Exchange, operate during the pandemic? How do the principals continue to taste and buy wine with all the restrictions? What happens to the in-store experience? Wine Exchange, based in Santa Ana by the 55 Freeway, carries premium imported wines from Europe and abroad (as well as domestic.) Typically the partners travel abroad annually to do barrel tastings that future buying decisions revolve around. How did they navigate the crazy on-again and off-again tariffs? The Wine Exchange’s Chief Operating Officer, Tristen Beamon, joins us with his informed perspective.

Celebrity Chef, Food TV Personality and Author Jet Tila needs no introduction to listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” The same holds true for Ali Tila, Jet’s wife and business partner. She is also an accomplished pastry chef and author. Their latest collaboration is as the judges (along with Chris Rivard, a Ben & Jerry’s flavor expert) on Food Network’s “Ben & Jerry’s: Clash of the Cones.” The four-episode series hosted by Molly Yeh debuts on Monday, August 16th. We’re talking about decadent ice cream, the perfect Summer treat, with Jet & Ali Tila.

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 continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery. Genuine concerns remain… Chicken is ever popular as a practical and versatile menu item for dining at home. There are some cautions in the home kitchen in handling raw chicken. The possibility of cross-contamination without taking proper precautions is a health concern. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

Play

Show 438, August 14, 2021: Tristen Beamon, Chief Operating Officer, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana

Tristan Beamon of the Wine Exchange

“In 2015 Steve and Craig Zanotti (the original founders of Wine Exchange in 1982,) Tristen Beamon and Kyle Meyer came full circle with the Best Wines Group purchase of Wine Exchange and winex.com. The team, back together again, have now created their idea of the perfect wine sales and education platform including their state-of-the-art website, brand new wine showroom, irreverent but timely daily missives, a healthy social media following with over 500,000 views on their YouTube channel, The Extract, a progressive Pre-Arrivals offering system and, of course, those same rock-bottom prices.”

How does one of the premier wine retailers on the West Coast operate (and survive) during the pandemic? How do the principals continue to

How does one of the premier wine retailers on the West Coast operate (and survive) during the pandemic? How do the principals continue to taste and buy with all the restrictions? How does the guest experience in-store evolve? Wine Exchange carries premium wines from Europe and abroad (as well as domestic.) Typically the partners travel abroad annually to do barrel tastings that key buying decisions revolve around. How did they navigate the crazy on-again and off-again tariffs? (Keep in mind when a container of wine departs Europe the ocean voyage is 6 to 8 weeks before arriving on the West Coast.)

Wine Exchange is planning their 39th Anniversary celebration for September with all safety protocols being observed. We’ll provide details on these outside festivities as they are confirmed.

The Wine Exchange’s Chief Operating Officer, Tristen Beamon, joins us with his informed perspective.

Play

August 14: Saso, Katie Chin, Wine Exchange, Jet & Ali Tila

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Partner Dominique Crisp, Saso, Pasadena Part One
Segment Three: Chef & Partner Dominique Crisp, Saso, Pasadena Part Two
Segment Four: Chef Katie Chin, Katie Chin’s Global Family Cookbook Part One
Segment Five: Chef Katie Chin, Katie Chin’s Global Family Cookbook Part Two
Segment Six: Tristen Beamon, Chief Operating Officer, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana
Segment Seven: Chef Jet Tila & Ali Tila, “Ben & Jerry’s : Clash of the Cones”
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

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

Saso in Pasadena, (launched earlier this year) draws inspirations from three coast regions treasured by Chef/Partner Dominique Crisp: his home in Los Angeles, his upbringing in the Pacific Northwest, and his travels within Basque Country. Throughout the menu, his dedication to the slow-food movement shines with hyper-local ingredients and French-taught cooking techniques.” “At Saso, a passion for coastal cuisine is met with Dominique’s deep appreciation and understanding of farming. Born on his family’s vineyard in Wren, Oregon – raising livestock, fishing, and harvesting has always been an essential part of his life. A respect for the land, sea, and supporting those who are sustainably harvesting the bounty is an integral ethos that flows through Saso.” Chef Dom takes a break from prep in his busy kitchen to join us.

Professional chef, TV personality and working mom of three, Katie Chin, introduces her newest cookbook, Katie Chin’s Global Family Cookbook – Internationally-Inspired Recipes Your Friends and Family Will Love! With 170 globally-inspired recipes, Katie Chin’s Global Family Cookbook, celebrates diversity and multiculturalism including Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Greek, Korean, Jewish, Thai dishes and more! The book also includes cultural celebrations featuring Jeannie Mai and her mom The Mama Mai (Lunar New Year), Debbie Matenopoulos (Greek Easter), Nate Berkus, Jeremiah Brent and Faye Levy (Hanukkah) and Chef Jeffrey Saad (Cinco de Mayo). Chef Katie is our guest, tongs in hand.

How does one of the premier wine retailers on the West Coast, Wine Exchange, operate during the pandemic? How do the principals continue to taste and buy wine with all the restrictions? What happens to the in-store experience? Wine Exchange, based in Santa Ana by the 55 Freeway, carries premium imported wines from Europe and abroad. Typically the partners travel abroad annually to do barrel tastings that future buying decisions revolve around. How did they navigate the crazy on-again and off-again tariffs? The Wine Exchange’s Chief Operating Officer, Tristen Beamon, joins us with his informed perspective.

Celebrity Chef, Food TV Personality and Author Jet Tila needs no introduction to listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” The same holds true for Ali Tila, Jet’s wife and business partner. She is also an accomplished pastry chef and author. Their latest collaboration is as the judges (along with Chris Rivard, a Ben & Jerry’s flavor expert) on Food Network’s “Ben & Jerry’s : Clash of the Cones.” The four-episode series hosted by Molly Yeh debuts on Monday, August 16th. We’re talking about decadent ice cream, the perfect Summer treat, with Jet & Ali Tila.

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 continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery. Genuine concerns remain… Chicken is ever popular as a practical and versatile menu item for dining at home. There are some cautions in the home kitchen in handling raw chicken. The possibility of cross-contamination without taking proper precautions is a health concern. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

Dominique Crisp of Saso

Saso in Pasadena, (launched earlier this year) draws inspirations from three coast regions treasured by Chef Dominique Crisp: his home in Los Angeles, his upbringing in the Pacific Northwest, and his travels within Basque Country. Throughout the menu, his dedication to the slow-food movement shines with hyper-local ingredients and French-taught cooking techniques. Previously he helmed the kitchens at the beloved seafood restaurants, L&E Oyster Bar in Silver Lake, CA and Blue Plate Oysterette in Santa Monica, CA.”

“At Saso, a passion for coastal cuisine is met with Dominique’s deep appreciation and understanding of farming. Born on his family’s vineyard in Wren, Oregon – raising livestock, fishing, and harvesting has always been an essential part of his life. A respect for the land, sea, and supporting those who are sustainably harvesting the bounty is an integral ethos that flows through Saso.”

“I want coastal cuisine from Baja to Alaska to shine by showcasing farmers, fishermen and butchers we work with,” says Dominique Crisp. “We need to reconnect with food as much as we need to reconnect with each other.”

“Dominique’s goal is to emphasize the relationships he’s built with artisanal purveyors to continually develop Saso’s narrative. Not entirely a “Basque restaurant,” Saso aims to bring the energetic nature of Basque Country dining to Los Angeles with a foundation of sustainable Pacific coastal cuisine.”

“Diners can expect rotating local whole fish options, a variety of niche oysters, dramatic bar creations, flaming Spanish coffees, and an extensive reserve wine list sourced from all over the globe.”

A charcoal Josper oven imported from Barcelona gives life to dishes such as a Navarra-style Bone-in Wagyu Tomahawk and Alaskan Mussels with fennel, charred leek, and chistorra. The ‘Rolls Royce of charcoal ovens,’ the Josper features a unique enclosed-bbq design, which offers varied levels of heat and char for a distinct wood-fired flavor without sacrificing moisture.

“Saso’s bar program features a wine list highlighting rare txakolinas from the Basque Country alongside natural wines from Lumos Wine Company (the vineyard where Dominique was born). Guests are in for a spectacular happy hour with top notch imported ciders, wine and beers on draught along with a blend of classic and signature cocktails drawing inspiration from Los Angeles to Portland to San Sebastián.”

“Housed in the century-old Pasadena Playhouse, Saso’s dining room and lounge area add a contemporary touch to the building’s historic architecture, including a large-scale, custom 40ft mural from renowned LA-based artist Tim Biskup.”

On the patio diners can enjoy a breezy, socially distanced meal in a courtyard shared with the Pasadena Playhouse, adorned with string lights and an ornate water fountain.

Chef Dom takes a break from prep in his busy kitchen to join us.

Katie Chin

Professional chef, TV personality and working mom of three, Katie Chin, introduces her newest cookbook, Katie Chin’s Global Family Cookbook – Internationally-Inspired Recipes Your Friends and Family Will Love! With 170 globally-inspired recipes, Katie Chin’s Global Family Cookbook,celebrates diversity and multiculturalism including Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Greek, Korean, Jewish, Thai dishes and more! The book also includes cultural celebrations featuring Jeannie Mai and her mom The Mama Mai (Lunar New Year), Debbie Matenopoulos (Greek Easter), Nate Berkus, Jeremiah Brent and Faye Levy (Hanukkah) and Chef Jeffrey Saad (Cinco de Mayo).”

“Everyday family-favorite recipes include: · Thai Curry Meatball Subs · Mexican Chimichurri Burgers · Chinese Sesame Peanut Noodles · Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza · Miso Deviled Eggs, and more.”

“Katie learned to cook alongside her mother (Restaurateur Leeann Chin) and it’s an experience she now loves to share with her daughter. She hopes to inspire other families to have fun in the kitchen together with these recipes.”

“Katie Chin co-hosted the national PBS cooking series “Double Happiness,” has been a guest judge on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and appeared as a contestant on “Cutthroat Kitchen” and “Beat Bobby Flay.” Recently, Katie and her kids teamed up for the online series “Cooped Up Cooking with Katie” — meant to inspire people stuck at home during COVID-19 to get creative in the kitchen. She is the author of Everyday Thai Cooking and Katie Chin’s Everyday Chinese Cookbook and the Culinary Ambassador for The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation.”

Chef Katie Chin joins us.

Tristan Beamon of the Wine Exchange

“In 2015 Steve and Craig Zanotti (the original founders of Wine Exchange in 1982,) Tristen Beamon and Kyle Meyer came full circle with the Best Wines Group purchase of Wine Exchange and winex.com. The team, back together again, have now created their idea of the perfect wine sales and education platform including their state-of-the-art website, brand new wine showroom, irreverent but timely daily missives, a healthy social media following with over 500,000 views on their YouTube channel, The Extract, a progressive Pre-Arrivals offering system and, of course, those same rock-bottom prices.”

How does one of the premier wine retailers on the West Coast operate (and survive) during the pandemic? How do the principals continue to taste and buy with all the restrictions? How does the guest experience in-store evolve? Wine Exchange carries premium wines from Europe and abroad. Typically the partners travel abroad annually to do barrel tastings that key buying decisions revolve around. How did they navigate the crazy on-again and off-again tariffs?

The Wine Exchange’s Chief Operating Officer, Tristen Beamon, joins us with his informed perspective.

Jet Tila at Cochon 555

Celebrity Chef, Food TV Personality and Author Jet Tila needs no introduction to listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” The same holds true for Ali Tila, Jet’s wife and business partner. She is also an accomplished pastry chef and cookbook author.

Their latest collaboration is as the esteemed judges (along with Chris Rivard, a Ben & Jerry’s flavor expert) on Food Network’s “Ben & Jerry’s: Clash of the Cones.” The four-episode limited series hosted by Molly Yeh debuts on Monday, August 16th.

“Six ice cream masters from across the country have been hand-picked for a once in a lifetime opportunity: to create an original Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor of their own.”

“Over four episodes, host Molly Yeh challenges the ice cream makers to capture the essence of a celebrity or pop culture icon in a new and innovative ice cream flavor, inspired by the direction given from the celebrity themselves.”

Chef Jet and Ali will also update us on the status of their new Thai cookbook set to launch in January.

Chef Jet and Ali Tila are our guests.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

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 continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery with the new concerns about the Delta variant. Genuine concerns remain…

Chicken is ever popular as a practical and versatile menu item for dining at home. There are some cautions in the home kitchen in handling raw chicken. Cross-contamination without proper precautions is a genuine health concern. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Partner Dominique Crisp, Saso, Pasadena Part One
Segment Three: Chef & Partner Dominique Crisp, Saso, Pasadena Part Two
Segment Four: Chef Katie Chin, Katie Chin’s Global Family Cookbook Part One
Segment Five: Chef Katie Chin, Katie Chin’s Global Family Cookbook Part Two
Segment Six: Tristen Beamon, Chief Operating Officer, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana
Segment Seven: Chef Jet Tila & Ali Tila, “Ben & Jerry’s : Clash of the Cones”
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 279, June 30, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now an enticing preview of Saturday’s properly decadent 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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday morning with an action-packed show typically overflowing with tasty treats.

Newly published is Seven Days in The Valle: Baja California’s Wine Country Cuisine by W. Scott Koenig. Koenig is known for his blog and alter ego, A Gringo in Mexico, where he reports on food and culture in the state of Baja California — just across the US Mexican border. In Seven Days in The Valle, he focuses his camera lens and writing on the cuisine of the Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico’s main wine-producing region. Scott Koenig joins us.

Realizing a lifelong dream, Chef Curtis Stone opened his first solo restaurant, Maude (Beverly Hills, CA), in February 2014. Affectionately named after his late paternal grandmother, the restaurant pays homage to Curtis’ first culinary mentor whose sensibilities are resonant throughout the restaurant experience. The menu at Maude is a set multi-course chef’s tasting menu that is created around one of the world’s great wine regions. Maude’s “menu-less” format and intimate 24-seat dining room and open kitchen chef’s counter, invites guests to put their trust into the hands of the chef. Chef Curtis is our guest to discuss the next wine region on Maude’s menu.

You don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to appreciate the high-quality of wine from Bordeaux, France. It’s one of the great wine grape growing regions of the world. Our resident wine authority, Tristen Beamon from The Wine Exchange, was recently in Bordeaux tasting wines in the barrel from the 2017 vintage. We’ll get his insider’s report on what to expect.

“Located in the heart of downtown Solvang, we have been open since 2011, Succulent Cafe Wine Charcuterie serves up comfort cuisine with a twist while sourcing local, seasonal ingredients from neighborhood farmers & fisherman to ensure the freshest quality whenever possible.  We believe in delicious food served in ample portions that compliment our wonderful local wines and craft beers.  Succulent also offers a variety of signature cocktails.” Proprietors David and Sylvia Brents are our guests.

In a few short years, Napa’s Steve Sando has taken the lowly bean from a healthy but neglected, over-bred member of the vegetable family to a near superstar-status ingredient. Sando’s company Rancho Gordo, grows heirloom and heritage varieties and works with influential chefs like Thomas Keller, Deborah Madison, Paula Wolfert and Annie Sommerville. His new book is The Rancho Gordo Vegetarian Kitchen. We’re shelling beans with Steve Sando.

Chef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of “Ask the Chef.” Abalone, a tasty delicacy once abundant in California waters, is making a deserved comeback. It still can’t be harvested from our coastal waters but farm-raised abalone is coming into its own. It’s just a slow process. It’s delicious pounded and then sautéed. Chef Andrew provides the informative overview.

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

Program Note: For our July 7th Show celebrating the 4th of July we’ll be live from the new Golden Road Pub OC located across the street from Angel Stadium.

Play

Show 279, June 30, 2018: The Wine Exchange’s Tristen Beamon, Bordeaux Barrel Tastings for the 2017 Vintage

Tristan BeamonYou don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to appreciate the high-quality of wine from Bordeaux, France. It’s one of the great wine grape growing regions of the world.

Our resident wine authority, Tristen Beamon from The Wine Exchange, was recently in Bordeaux tasting wines in the barrel (two trips) from the 2017 vintage. Tristen suggests that the 2015 and 2016 vintages are great. 2017 is the years of “haves” and “have nots.”

We’ll get his insider’s report on what to expect. Who says Bordeaux needs to be expensive?

“So as we like to say here at Wine Exchange…Let the games begin!”

Play

June 30: Curtis Stone, W. Scott Koenig, Wine Exchange, Succulent Cafe, Rancho Gordo

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: “A Gringo in Mexico’s” W. Scott Koenig, Seven Days in The Valle: Baja California’s Wine Country Cuisine
Segment Three: Chef Curtis Stone, Maude, Gwen and SHARE by Curtis Stone Part One
Segment Four: Chef Curtis Stone, Maude, Gwen and SHARE by Curtis Stone Part Two
Segment Five: The Wine Exchange’s Tristen Beamon, Bordeaux Barrel Tastings for the 2017 Vintage
Segment Six: Proprietors David & Sylvia Brents, Succulent Café Wine Charcuterie, Solvang
Segment Seven: Steve Sando, Rancho Gordo
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Now an enticing preview of this Saturday’s properly decadent 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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday morning with an action-packed show typically overflowing with tasty treats.

Newly published is Seven Days in The Valle: Baja California’s Wine Country Cuisine by W. Scott Koenig. Koenig is known for his blog and alter ego, A Gringo in Mexico, where he reports on food and culture in the state of Baja California — just across the US Mexican border. In Seven Days in The Valle, he focuses his camera lens and writing on the cuisine of the Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico’s main wine-producing region. Scott Koenig joins us.

Realizing a lifelong dream, Chef Curtis Stone opened his first solo restaurant, Maude (Beverly Hills, CA), in February 2014. Affectionately named after his late paternal grandmother, the restaurant pays homage to Curtis’ first culinary mentor whose sensibilities are resonant throughout the restaurant experience. The menu at Maude is a set multi-course chef’s tasting menu that is created around one of the world’s great wine regions. Maude’s “menu-less” format and intimate 24-seat dining room and open kitchen chef’s counter, invites guests to put their trust into the hands of the chef. Chef Curtis is our guest to discuss the next wine region on Maude’s menu.

You don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to appreciate the high-quality of wine from Bordeaux, France. It’s one of the great wine grape growing regions of the world. Our resident wine authority, Tristen Beamon from The Wine Exchange, was recently in Bordeaux tasting wines in the barrel from the 2016 harvest. We’ll get his insider’s report on what to expect.

“Located in the heart of downtown Solvang, we have been open since 2011, Succulent Cafe Wine Charcuterie serves up comfort cuisine with a twist while sourcing local, seasonal ingredients from neighborhood farmers & fisherman to ensure the freshest quality whenever possible.  We believe in delicious food served in ample portions that compliment our wonderful local wines and craft beers.  Succulent also offers a variety of signature cocktails.” Proprietors David and Sylvia Brents are our guests.

In a few short years, Napa’s Steve Sando has taken the lowly bean from a healthy but neglected, over-bred member of the vegetable family to a near superstar-status ingredient. Sando’s company Rancho Gordo, grows heirloom and heritage varieties and works with influential chefs like Thomas Keller, Deborah Madison, Paula Wolfert and Annie Sommerville. His new book is The Rancho Gordo Vegetarian Kitchen. We’re shelling beans with Steve Sando.

Chef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of “Ask the Chef.” Abalone, a tasty delicacy once abundant in California waters, is making a deserved comeback. It still can’t be harvested from our coastal waters but farm-raised abalone is coming into it’s own. It’s just a slow process. It’s delicious pounded and then sautéed. Chef Andrew provides the informative overview.

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

Program Note For our July 7th Show celebrating the 4th of July we’ll be live from the new Golden Road Pub OC located across the street from Angel Stadium.

W Scott KoenigNewly published is Seven Days in The Valle: Baja California’s Wine Country Cuisine by W. Scott Koenig. Koenig is known for his blog and alter ego, A Gringo in Mexico, where he reports on food and culture in the state of Baja California — just across the US Mexican border. In Seven Days in The Valle, he focuses his camera lens and writing on the cuisine of the Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico’s main wine-producing region.

“Chefs in Baja California have been experimenting with recipes combining Mediterranean, Asian and Mexican influences with local ingredients for nearly two decades, creating a unique cuisine.” Koenig explains. They often grow their own vegetables and herbs, source meat from area ranches and enjoy a supply of fresh seafood from the nearby Pacific.

Koenig conceived Seven Days in The Valle while assisting the Culinary Institute of America on a seven-day trip through Baja California as they filmed a documentary. “I had hundreds of images from that experience and a backlog of past photos and interviews; I felt it was time for a book on the Valle de Guadalupe. My goal was to tell the story of this magical place through the experiences of its chefs – whose restaurants are some of my favorites anywhere.”

A Gringo in Mexico’s Scott Koenig joins us.

Curtis StoneRealizing a lifelong dream, Chef Curtis Stone opened his first solo restaurant, Maude (Beverly Hills, CA), in February 2014. Affectionately named after his late paternal grandmother, the restaurant pays homage to Curtis’ first culinary mentor whose sensibilities are resonant throughout the restaurant experience.

The menu at Maude is a set multi-course chef’s tasting menu that is created around one of the world’s great wine regions. Maude’s “menu-less” format and intimate 24-seat dining room and open kitchen chef’s counter, invites guests to put their trust into the hands of the chef.

Chef Curtis is our guest to discuss the next wine region, The Central Coast, on Maude’s menu.

“Get out your sunscreen and put on your Ray-Bans because summer at Maude is a road trip up the Central Coast of California.  After our European journeys through the old world vines of Rioja and Burgundy, Curtis and the Maude Squad have decided to embrace the beauty of their own backyard in a bit of a staycation, visiting local farmers, purveyors, and winemakers.”

“Expect Executive Chef Justin Hilbert to unearth a treasure trove of shellfish for this new menu from simple bites that taste of the ocean to conceptual uses of seafood that will surprise and delight.  As always, the wine team has uncovered gems from small producers and will also pair seasonal courses with the big guns – the California icons who put this region on the wine map.”

“The Central Coast is a right of passage for wine lovers.  The ingredients inspire endless possibilities.”

Tristan BeamonYou don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to appreciate the high-quality of wine from Bordeaux, France. It’s one of the great wine grape growing regions of the world.

Our resident wine authority, Tristen Beamon from The Wine Exchange, was recently in Bordeaux tasting wines in the barrel from the 2016 harvest. We’ll get his insider’s report on what to expect.Who says Bordeaux is expensive?

This year Tristen has journeyed to Bordeaux twice tasting some of the greatest potential wine values in the world. “So as we like to say here at Wine Exchange…Let the games begin!”

Succulentm Cafe Wine Charcuterie“Located in the heart of downtown Solvang, we have been open since 2011, Succulent Cafe Wine Charcuterie serves up comfort cuisine with a twist while sourcing local, seasonal ingredients from neighborhood farmers & fisherman to ensure the freshest quality whenever possible.”

“We believe in delicious food served in ample portions that compliment our wonderful local wines and craft beers.  Succulent also offers a variety of signature cocktails.”

“Our small cafe is family owned and operated with a focus on the community needs and wants. We strive to go back to the traditions of homemade biscuits & gravy, jams & jellies, hearty meals, and desserts.”

“Our culinary team works hard making all our dishes from scratch, while our service staff strives to make your dining experience a wonderful and memorable one.  Serving breakfast, lunch & dinner, you can enjoy your meal in our rustic & cozy dining room or on our beautiful succulent filled patio.”

“Whether it be a glass of wine with a charcuterie plate or enjoying Sunday dinner with the family, all of us at Succulent Café will do our very best to make your experience a most memorable one.”

Breakfast and lunch are served fast casual style and dinner is full table service. Closed on Tuesday.

Proprietors David and Sylvia Brents are our guests.

Steve SandoIn a few short years, Steve Sando has taken the lowly bean from a healthy but neglected, over-bred member of the vegetable family to a near superstar-status ingredient. Sando’s company Rancho Gordo, grows heirloom and heritage varieties and works with influential chefs like Thomas Keller, Deborah Madison, Paula Wolfert and Annie Sommerville. His new book is The Rancho Gordo Vegetarian Kitchen – Everyday Cooking with Heirloom Beans, Vegetables, Greens, and Grains.

“My first harvested heirloom bean was Rio Zape. They were pretty and easy to grow but I had no idea what to expect when I cooked them. They were similar to the pintos I liked but there was so much more going on. “Hints of chocolate and coffee mixed with an earthy texture made my head spin. I was blown away by Rio Zape and the other heirloom beans I was growing, but also really confused why they were such a big secret. I took the beans to the farmers market, organizing things on my kitchen table. Soon there was a warehouse, followed by more markets and mail order. It seems we had struck a nerve. People agreed that heirloom beans were worth saving, growing and cooking. Currently our warehouse, a retail shop and offices are in Napa, California and a stop here is part of many tours of the wine country. We were asked to open a store at the Ferry Building in San Francisco and as you can imagine, we jumped at the chance.”

“All of my agricultural pursuits have been based on being someone who likes to cook but gets frustrated by the lack of ingredients, especially those that are native to the New World. One of the things that originally drew me to beans was the fact that they are indigenous to the Americas. It seems to me these indigenous ingredients should be familiar, if not common. American cuisine is re-inventing itself and I’d love to include ingredients, traditions and recipes from north and south of the border as part of the equation. I love the concept of The Americas. I feel as if it’s just as important as the European heritage many of us share.”

We’re shelling heirloom beans with Steve Sando.

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosChef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of Ask the Chef.”

Abalone, a tasty delicacy once abundant in California waters, is making a well-deserved comeback. It still can’t be harvested from our coastal waters but farm-raised abalone is coming into it’s own. It’s just a slow process. It’s delicious pounded and then sautéed. Chef Andrew provides the informative overview.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: “A Gringo in Mexico’s” W. Scott Koenig, Seven Days in The Valle: Baja California’s Wine Country Cuisine
Segment Three: Chef Curtis Stone, Maude, Gwen and SHARE by Curtis Stone Part One
Segment Four: Chef Curtis Stone, Maude, Gwen and SHARE by Curtis Stone Part Two
Segment Five: The Wine Exchange’s Tristen Beamon, Bordeaux Barrel Tastings for the 2017 Vintage
Segment Six: Proprietors David & Sylvia Brents, Succulent Café Wine Charcuterie, Solvang
Segment Seven: Steve Sando, Rancho Gordo
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

June 9: FukuBurger, Golden Road Brewing, Bourbon Steak, Wine Exchange, Journeyman’s Food & Drink, W. Scott Koenig, Pechanga Chili Cookoff Champions

For this Saturday only, June 9th, we’re from 3 to 5:00 p.m. following the Angel Game. Please find us. Go Halos!

Now a salivating preview of this Saturday afternoon’s extra rich 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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday with an action-packed show overflowing with tasty treats.

Our dedicated Producer /Board Operator/Engineer Aaron Fry is on assignment at the 10th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff in Temecula this afternoon. We’ll get an on the spot report from him on the craft beers of note and favorite chilies he’s sampled thus far.

When it comes to award-winning burgers for the true enthusiast the place to go in Las Vegas is FukuBurger. They have their original rolling grill food truck on the road as well as a bricks-and-mortar location in Chinatown. There were just in L.A. at the Sunday Smorgasburg as the invited guest of noted burger authority, George Motz. We’re flipping a Tamago Burger with Co-Founder Colin Fukunaga.

Golden Road Brewing has an expanding Anaheim production Brewery located right across the street from us at Angel Stadium. Joining us is Brewmaster Victor Novak and Anaheim Head Brewer Steven Torres. It’s not always obvious that beer pairs well with food but it, indeed, does. Both Victor and Steven are experts in matching a food item with just the right style of beer. Beer Pairing 101 commences. Cheers…

Located in Glendale, BOURBON STEAK Los Angeles is Chef Michael Mina’s modern American steakhouse offering timeless dining experiences. At once classic and contemporary, the restaurant accomplishes all the traditions expected from an upscale steakhouse with a flair of excitement. Executive Chef Kyle Johnson joins us.

You don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to appreciate the high-quality of wine from Bordeaux, France. It’s one of the great wine grape growing regions of the world. Our resident wine authority, Tristen Beamon from The Wine Exchange, was recently in Bordeaux tasting wines in the barrel from the 2016 harvest. We’ll get his insider’s report on what to expect.

Journeyman’s Food & Drink (right off the 91 Freeway in Fullerton) is the most recent passion project of executive chef Zachary Geerson. It’s a real discovery and a true dining experience. The cuisine which can only be explained as Post-modern and globally-inspired, draws from chef Zach and his team’s diverse cultural background and training. Chef Zach, being of Sicilian descent, uses that and his love for Italian cuisine, as a jumping off point for some dishes and inspiration from his wife, Olivia, who is Thai and Laotian. We’ll meet the enthusiastic & passionate Chef Zach.

Culinary Historians of San Diego will present “Seven Days in the Valle de Guadalupe,” featuring Michael Gardiner and W. Scott Koenig, at 10:30 am June 16, in the Neil Morgan Auditorium of the San Diego Central Library. They will discuss the Valle scene and how it bloomed while they take their audience through a week there … all in an hour! W. Scott Koenig is the author of Seven Days In The Valle and is our guest.

The 10th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff will be concluding as we finish Saturday’s show. The big news annually is the winner, among the competitive Pechanga Chefs, of the chili cookoff. It’s bragging rights for the next year! Last year 2-time defending chili champ Chef Marlene Moore of Temptations Food Walk was unseated by Chef Kiyo Ikeda of Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar with his sake-glazed Kobe beef chili. As the suspense is building Pechanga’s Ciara Green joins us with the just-announced official results.

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

Colin FukunagaWhen it comes to award-winning burgers for the true enthusiast the place to go in Las Vegas is FukuBurger. They have their original rolling grill food truck on the road as well as a bricks-and-mortar location in Chinatown. There were just in L.A. at the Sunday Smorgasburg LA as the invited guest of noted burger authority, George Motz.

Our emeritus Co-Host, Chef Jet Tila, is a big fan of Fukuburger’s Tamago. Chef Jet even profiled it on Food Network’s “Guilty Pleasures.” It’s an all-beef Fukupatty topped with a fried runny egg, furikake, crispy onion strings, and finished with house-prepared teriyaki sauce and wasabi mayo.

We’re flipping a Tamago Burger with Co-Founder Colin Fukunaga.

Victor Novak and Steven TorresGolden Road Brewing has an expanding Anaheim production Brewery located right across the street from us at Angel Stadium. Joining us is Brewmaster Victor Novak and Anaheim Head Brewer Steven Torres.

It’s not always obvious that beer pairs well with food but it surely does. Both Victor and Steven are experts in matching a food item with just the right style of beer. Beer Pairing 101 commences.

For instance what works with Sours and Fruity Beers? The Brewmasters suggest matching with lighter dishes and fruity desserts. Perhaps summer salads containing fruits and mild cheeses.

Kyle JohnsonLocated in Glendale, BOURBON STEAK Los Angeles is Chef Michael Mina’s modern American steakhouse offering timeless dining experiences. At once classic and contemporary, the restaurant accomplishes all the traditions expected from a steakhouse with a flair of excitement.

“Discover the Piano Bar abuzz with newfound libations, and the glamorous dining room boasting tableside services including our signature Japanese Whisky Cart and Michael Mina’s signature Lobster Pot Pie.”

“Kyle Johnson has worked his way through some of Las Vegas’s finest restaurants and has now landed at Chef Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak Los Angeles at The Americana at Brand as their Executive Chef.  With his food philosophy focused on sourcing the highest quality ingredients prepared with a strong technique, he looks forward to cultivating a connection to the community. Through relationships with local farms and purveyors, he surprises guests with a locally influenced menu of modern steakhouse fare that’s sophisticated and approachable all at once.”

Executive Chef Kyle Johnson joins us.

Tristan BeamonYou don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to appreciate the high-quality of wine from Bordeaux, France. It’s one of the great wine grape growing regions of the world.

Our resident wine authority, Tristen Beamon from The Wine Exchange, was recently in Bordeaux tasting wines in the barrel from the 2016 harvest. We’ll get his insider’s report on what to expect.

Who says Bordeaux is expensive?

This year Tristen has journeyed to Bordeaux twice tasting some of the greatest potential wine values in the world. “So as we like to say here at Wine Exchange…Let the games begin!”

Zachary GeersonJourneyman’s Food & Drink (right off the 91 Freeway in Fullerton) is the most recent passion project of executive chef Zachary Geerson. It’s a real gem of a discovery and a true dining experience.

The cuisine which can only be explained as Post-modern and globally-inspired, draws from chef Zach and his team’s diverse cultural background and training. Chef Zach, being of Sicilian descent, uses that and his love for Italian cuisine, as a jumping off point for some dishes and inspiration from his wife, Olivia, who is Thai and Laotian.

“Welcome to Journeyman’s my friend. What you are about to experience, or have experienced, is a culmination of my team and I’s hard work. We’ve been open for a few months now and we are really proud of what we have accomplished thus far.”

“If you don’t already know, we offer our dining menu in a 4-course, prix-fixe format with four options in each course. This hopefully makes you feel more at ease and makes it feel a little like an a la care menu. These are the best dishes we have to offer you. Please, kick back and relax and let our wonderful team guide you through this experience. I am glad you have given us the opportunity to take care of you and your friends, family, or both.”

From Zach Geerson.
As Chef Zach says, “It’s not the destination…It’s the Journey.”

We’ll meet the energized Chef Zach.

W Scott KoenigCulinary Historians of San Diego will present Seven Days in the Valle de Guadalupe,” featuring Michael Gardiner and W. Scott Koenig, at 10:30 am June 16, in the Neil Morgan Auditorium of the San Diego Central Library. They will discuss the Valle scene and how it bloomed while they take their audience through a week there … all in an hour!

Scott Koenig is known for his blog and alter ego, A Gringo in Mexico, where he reports on food and culture in the state of Baja California — just across the US Mexican border. In Seven Days in The Valle, he focuses his camera lens and writing on the cuisine of the Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico’s main wine-producing region.

“Chefs in Baja California have been experimenting with recipes combining Mediterranean, Asian and Mexican influences with local ingredients for nearly two decades, creating a unique cuisine.” Koenig explains. They often grow their own vegetables and herbs, source meat from area ranches and enjoy a supply of fresh seafood from the nearby Pacific.

Koenig conceived Seven Days in The Valle while assisting the Culinary Institute of America on a seven-day trip through Baja California as they filmed a documentary. “I had hundreds of images from that experience and a backlog of past photos and interviews; I felt it was time for a book on the Valle de Guadalupe. My goal was to tell the story of this magical place through the experiences of its chefs – whose restaurants are some of my favorites anywhere.

Scott Koenig is the author of Seven Days In The Valle and is our guest.

10th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili CookoffThe 10th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Fest & Chili Cookoff will be concluding as we finish Saturday’s show. The big news annually is the winner, among the talented and competitive Pechanga Chefs, of the chili cookoff. It’s bragging rights for the next year! Last year 2-time defending chili champ Chef Marlene Moore of Temptations Food Walk was unseated by Chef Kiyo Ikeda of Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar with his sake-glazed Kobe beef chili.

As the suspense is building Pechanga’s Ciara Green joins us with the just-announced official results. Whose chili will reign supreme ?

Show 204, December 31, 2016: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer

Happy Holidays and the happiest of Happy New Year’s to all our loyal listeners. Where did 2016 go? Thanks so much for making us part of your Saturday morning throughout the year. We have an over-stuffed year-end show for you.

Now a tempting preview of Saturday’s busting-out at the seams 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…

Food tours are a great way of discovering the cuisine of a city. It’s even better when you can explore on foot. One of the area’s newest food walking tours is Beach City Food Tours offering a well-planned, highly informative and incredibly tasty Downtown Long Beach food and beverage tasting experience. We’ll meet proprietress Layla Ali-Ahmad.

The Union Square Hospitality Group in New York initiated a policy of “no tipping” (Hospitality Included) earlier last year. The gratuity is included in the menu pricing. The concept is an effort to resolve the inequality in the compensation of the Front of the House Staff versus the hard-working kitchen staff who are not tipped. The DirtytSexyHappiness Hospitality Group tried this in ARC and Restaurant Marin at SoCo in Costa Mesa. We’ll chat with proprietors Chef Noah and Marin Blom to see how this innovation has worked out in their properties.

We know award-winning food journalist Cathy Thomas as the former long-time Food Editor of The Orange County Register. She now has a new monthly, on-line feature in Orange Coast Magazine of a chef profile and accompanying cooking video recipe. We’ll catch up with her.

We conclude the year with one of our resident wine experts, Tristen Beamon, of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. Wine Exchange is also in the import and distribution sector with BW Direct. They specialize in finding great values in Bordeaux wines from this legendary grape growing region in Southwestern France considered the pinnacle of global wine areas.

The Ritz Prime Seafood launched late last year in Newport Beach. It was a bit of a misfire initially as long-time guests of the departed The Ritz in Newport Center (famous for elegant Continental dining) were expecting a reworking of that legendary establishment and this was, instead, an entirely new, contemporary concept. Now let’s meet the totally fresh, The Ritz Prime Seafood “2.0”. Partner Ben Sabourui, a hospitality veteran, joins us with the details of the revitalized restaurant.

Executive Chef Sherry Yard, a multiple James Beard award-winner for culinary excellence, is the culinary goddess for the luxe iPic Theaters. Her latest creation is The Tuck Room Tavern destination restaurants located in new iPic theater complexes in Westwood, New York City at The South Street Seaport, North Miami and Houston. Chef Sherry is our guest.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group is our in-house hospitality industry expert. He’s now looking ahead at possible significant Restaurant Industry Trends for 2017. Breakfast, for instance, is hot. Also, what’s up with no cook menus and beer bars ?

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

Play

Show 204, December 31, 2016: Tristen Beamon, Proprietor, Wine Exchange & BW Direct, Santa Ana

Kyle Meyer and Tristen Beamon of Best Wines OnlineWe conclude the year with one of our resident wine experts, Tristen Beamon, of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. Wine Exchange is also in the import and distribution sector with BW Direct – Bordeaux and Beyond. They specialize in finding great values in Bordeaux wines from this legendary grape growing region in Southwestern France considered the pinnacle of global wine areas.

“Like Wine Exchange, BW Direct has the best prices, best selection, and best service. Our fantastic wines will wow your guests and increase your profits.”“Welcome to BW Direct, the wholesale arm of Wine Exchange.”

“Welcome to BW Direct, the wholesale arm of Wine Exchange.”

“We pride ourselves on the strong relationships Tristen, Kyle, Eddie and the entire team have formed over their collective 50+ years in the wine industry. These relationships have helped us secure some of the world’s best wines at the most competitive prices in the business. Our business model differs from other distributors:

  • We have a unique, and often exclusive, selection of wines at some of the lowest prices in the country.
  • We are proud to carry a wide selection of Chateau-direct Bordeaux inventory, as well as cutting edge selections from the Languedoc.
  • We don’t charge any broken case fees when orders are picked up from our Orange County showroom.
  • We encourage buyers to come shop our showroom, at their leisure, for a complete buying experience.
  • We have no “quota” obligations to our suppliers, allowing us to create a stress free and no pressure environment.
  • We love what we do and we’re here to help!”

Play

December 31: Beach City Food Tours, DirtySexyHappiness. Cathy Thomas, Wine Exchange, Ritz Prime Seafood, Sherry Yard

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer
Segment Two: Layla Ali-Ahmad, Proprietress, Beach City Food Tours, Long Beach
Segment Three: Marin & Executive Chef Noah von Blom, DirtySexyHappiness Hospitality Group, Costa Mesa
Segment Four: Food Journalist and Author, Cathy Thomas
Segment Five: Tristen Beamon, Proprietor, Wine Exchange & BW Direct, Santa Ana
Segment Six: Ben Sabouri, Partner, The Ritz Prime Seafood, Newport Beach
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Sherry Yard, The Tuck Room Tavern
Segment Eight: Executive Chef & Founder Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Happy Holidays and the happiest of Happy New Year’s to all our loyal listeners. Where did 2016 go? Thanks for making us part of your Saturday morning this festive Holiday Weekend and throughout the year. We have an over-stuffed show for you.

Now a tempting preview of Saturday’s busting-out at the seams 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…

Food tours are a great way of discovering the cuisine of a city. It’s even better when you can explore on foot. One of the area’s newest food walking tours is Beach City Food Tours offering a well-planned, highly informative and incredibly tasty Downtown Long Beach food and beverage tasting experience. We’ll meet proprietress Layla Ali-Ahmad.

The Union Square Hospitality Group in New York initiated a policy of “no tipping” (Hospitality Included) earlier last year. The gratuity is included in the menu pricing. The concept is an effort to resolve the inequality in the compensation of the Front of the House Staff versus the hard-working kitchen staff who are not tipped. The DirtytSexyHappiness Hospitality Group tried this in ARC and Restaurant Marin at SoCo in Costa Mesa. We’ll chat with proprietors Chef Noah and Marin Blom to see how this innovation has worked out in their properties.

We know award-winning food journalist Cathy Thomas as the former long-time Food Editor of The Orange County Register. She now has a new monthly, on-line feature in Orange Coast Magazine of a chef profile and accompanying cooking video recipe. We’ll catch up with her.

We conclude the year with one of our resident wine experts, Tristen Beamon, of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. Wine Exchange is also in the import and distribution sector with BW Direct. They specialize in finding great values in Bordeaux wines from this legendary grape growing region in Southwestern France considered the pinnacle of global wine areas.

The Ritz Prime Seafood launched late last year in Newport Beach. It was a bit of a misfire as long-time guests of the departed The Ritz in Newport Center (famous for elegant Continental dining) were expecting a reworking of that legendary establishment and this was, instead, an entirely new, contemporary concept. Now let’s meet the totally fresh, The Ritz Prime Seafood 2.0. Partner Ben Sabourui, a hospitality veteran, joins us with the details.

Chef Sherry Yard, a multiple James Beard award-winner for culinary excellence, is the culinary goddess for the luxe iPic Theaters. Her latest creation is the Tuck Room Tavern destination restaurants located in new iPic theater complexes in Westwood, New York City at The South Street Seaport, North Miami and Houston. Chef Sherry is our guest.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group is our resident hospitality industry expert. He’ll be looking ahead at possible significant Restaurant Industry Trends for 2017. Breakfast, for instance, is hot. Also, what’s up with no cook menus and beer bars?

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

Layla Ali AhmadFood tours are a great way of discovering the cuisine of a city. It’s even better when you can explore on foot. One of the area’s newest food walking tours is Beach City Food Tours offering a well-planned, highly informative and incredibly tasty Downtown Long Beach food and beverage tasting experience.

Beach City Food Tours has launched the first of its kind in Long Beach, a guided walking tour that offers residents and tourists alike the opportunity to taste and sip offerings from some of the city’s most popular eateries and food shops. Attendees experience Long Beach, a growing food lover’s city, through a unique sensory journey while learning about the city’s history, art and culture along the way. The tour is currently available for Downtown Long Beach, but will eventually expand to other parts of the city.

Founded by Long Beach resident Layla Ali-Ahmad, the idea was born from a mutual love of food and travel – and Long Beach, a city she proudly calls home.  “Our goal is to introduce the amazing food culture we have in Long Beach to both locals and travelers alike” says Ali-Ahmad. “Long Beach is becoming known for its great food shops and delicious restaurants, but many people are unsure where to venture first, or they simply want to try new things. Our tour is designed to give the food lover a unique and delicious view of the city, and we look forward to adding more of the unique neighborhoods to the tour options soon.”

We’ll meet proprietress Layla Ali-Ahmad.

Marin Howarth and Executive Chef Noah BlomThe (greatly respected and always trendsetting) Union Square Hospitality Group (Union Square Café, the Modern, North End Grill…) in New York initiated a policy of “no tipping” earlier last year. The gratuity is included in the menu pricing. The concept is an effort to resolve the inequality in the compensation of the Front of the House Staff versus the hard-working kitchen staff who are not tipped.

The DirtytSexyHappiness Hospitality Group tried this in ARC and Restaurant Marin at SoCo in Costa Mesa. We’ll chat with proprietors Chef Noah and Marin Blom to see how this innovation has worked out in their properties.

They are also about to open their 3rd concept at SoCo, The Guild Club. We’ll get a preview.

Cathy ThomasWe know award-winning food journalist Cathy Thomas as the former long-time Food Editor of The Orange County Register and the author of 3 well-received cookbooks. She now has a new monthly, on-line feature in Orange Coast Magazine of a chef profile and accompanying cooking video recipe. The feature with the video for December is “Making Scrumptious Salmon with Herb-Spiked Soffrito with Chef Michael Doctulero” (Waterman’s Harbor in Dana Point.)

She has also recently been a part of the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival in Orlando and journeyed to France.

Look for her helpful e-Newsletter, Cathy Thomas Cooks!

We’ll catch up with her.

Kyle Meyer and Tristen Beamon of Best Wines OnlineWe conclude the year with one of our resident wine experts, Tristen Beamon, of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. Wine Exchange is also in the import and distribution sector with BW Direct – Bordeaux and Beyond. They specialize in finding great values in Bordeaux wines from this legendary grape growing region in Southwestern France considered the pinnacle of global wine areas.

“Like Wine Exchange, BW Direct has the best prices, best selection, and best service. Our fantastic wines will wow your guests and increase your profits.”“Welcome to BW Direct, the wholesale arm of Wine Exchange.”

“We pride ourselves on the strong relationships Tristen, Kyle, Eddie and the entire team have formed over their collective 50+ years in the wine industry. These relationships have helped us secure some of the world’s best wines at the most competitive prices in the business. Our business model differs from other distributors:

  • We have a unique, and often exclusive, selection of wines at some of the lowest prices in the country.
  • We are proud to carry a wide selection of Chateau-direct Bordeaux inventory, as well as cutting edge selections from the Languedoc.
  • We don’t charge any broken case fees when orders are picked up from our Orange County showroom.
  • We encourage buyers to come shop our showroom, at their leisure, for a complete buying experience.
  • We have no “quota” obligations to our suppliers, allowing us to create a stress free and no pressure environment.
  • We love what we do and we’re here to help!”

Ben SabouriThe Ritz Prime Seafood launched late last year in Newport Beach. The $5 million update to the previous Chart House location was lavish.

It was a bit of a misfire as long-time guests of the departed The Ritz in Newport Center (famous for elegant Continental dining) were expecting a refreshening of that legendary and venerable establishment and this was actually an entirely new, contemporary concept. Oops…Now let’s meet the totally fresh The Ritz Prime Seafood 2.0.

“Located along Newport’s scenic Mariner’s Mile, The Ritz Prime Seafood offers a fine dining experience harbor side, with a globally influenced menu featuring sustainable fish and seafood flown in daily, as well as dry-aged steaks, chops and Jidori chicken. It’s a reconceived, all new and different incarnation of the past three-decade-old The Ritz. This chic, upscale restaurant has new culinary offerings and its own look, social buzz and vibe – already becoming a Southern California “modern legend” with its own distinctive personality.”

“Dinner is served nightly and highlighted by entrees, including from the Sea: Branzino with sunchoke, pistachio, couscous and sultana; Sea Scallop with cauliflower, pomegranate and hazelnut brown butter; and Alaskan Halibut with red bell pepper, eggplant puree and confit tomatoes. From the Land are Lamb Rack with zucchini mint puree and Israeli couscous; 16oz Tomahawk Steak with bone marrow butter, broccoli potato au gratin and marsala jus; Jidori Chicken; and other entrees.”

Partner Ben Sabourui, a hospitality veteran, joins us with the details.

Sherry YardChef Sherry Yard, a multiple James Beard award-winner for culinary excellence, is the culinary goddess for the luxe iPic Theaters. Her latest creation is the Tuck Room Tavern destination restaurants located in new iPic theater complexes in Westwood, New York City at The South Street Seaport, North Miami and Houston.

There is a cocktail countdown and DJ in Westwood for New Year’s Eve. Limited availabilities remain for the 2nd seating with a Midnight Champagne Toast.

Weekend Brunch includes the Brunch Box (with multiple entrée choices) and alcoholic beverage for $19.99.

For the last night of Hanukkah enjoy Chef Sherry’s Crispy Latke Fries with apple sauce and sour cream.

Sherry Yard is our guest.

Andrew and William GruelChef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group is our resident hospitality industry expert. He’ll be looking ahead at possible Restaurant Industry Trends for 2017. Breakfast, for instance, is hot. Also, what’s up with no cook menus and beer bars?

Chef Andrew opens the newest Slapfish in the Outlets at San Clemente in San Clemente next week. In later January look for his new concepts, Two Birds and Butterleaf, to debut in Trade in Irvine.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer
Segment Two: Layla Ali-Ahmad, Proprietress, Beach City Food Tours, Long Beach
Segment Three: Marin & Executive Chef Noah von Blom, DirtySexyHappiness Hospitality Group, Costa Mesa
Segment Four: Food Journalist and Author, Cathy Thomas
Segment Five: Tristen Beamon, Proprietor, Wine Exchange & BW Direct, Santa Ana
Segment Six: Ben Sabouri, Partner, The Ritz Prime Seafood, Newport Beach
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Sherry Yard, The Tuck Room Tavern
Segment Eight: Executive Chef & Founder Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group