Show 471, April 23, 2022: Chef & Co-Host Andrew Gruel of Slapfish with “Ask the Chef”

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.

There is a ban on the importation of Russian seafood into the U.S. There is a well-deserved ban on the importation of Russian seafood into the U.S. for obvious reasons. Surprisingly many Russian seafood entities use China to process their catch and that seafood then finds its way into the United States as a “product of China.” Ouch! Chef Andrew explains the unfortunate dilemma. Your best bet (although there are quality Chinese seafood purveyors) is to simply avoid “Product of China” seafood.

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Show 465, March 12, 2022: Chef & Co-Host Andrew Gruel of Slapfish with “Ask the Chef”

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.

In Japan uni, the roe of a sea urchin, is a delicacy. There are varieties of sea urchins including the devastating purple sea urchin (with a Zombie mode) that is now destroying vital seaweed beds in California. Chef Andrew talks about an innovative experiment in the Santa Barbara area using safe aquaculture practices to turn these little menaces of the sea into a source of premium uni for restaurants. (This discussion was inspired by a feature article in the Sunday Los Angeles Times on March 6th by Aliza Abarbanel.)

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August 2: Rich Perelman, SYNEK, Slapfish Seafood, James Republic, Fiestas del la Vendimina, OC Fair, Olympic Cuisine

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Richard (Rich) B. Perelman and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Steve Young, Founder, SYNEK
Segment Three: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish, Huntington Beach and Laguna
Segment Four: Restaurant Chef David MacLennan, James Republic, Long Beach
Segment Five: Javier Plascencia’s “From Farm and Vineyard to Your Table” Dinner
Segment Six: Rich Perelman on The Los Angeles Olympics, 1984
Segment Seven: Bakelogy and The OC Promenade at The OC Fair
Segment Eight: Food Service for the Spectators at The Games of the Twenty-Third Olympiad, Los Angeles

Guest Host Richard (Rich) B. Perelman and Producer Andy preview the show.

It’s our salute to the 30th Anniversary of the Games of the Twenty-Third Olympiad, Los Angeles, 1984. Guest Host Rich Perelman was the youngest Vice President of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee responsible for Press Operations and the Editor-in-Chief of the Official Report after the Games. Rich explains the continuing financial legacy to youth sports in Southern California as a direct result of the incredible success of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

SYNEK (a recent Kickstarter success story) is a nifty countertop draft system that serves any beer, fresh from the tap, anywhere you want it. Steve Young, based in St. Louis, MO is the Founder. His modest objective is to do for quality beer what Keurig did for single-brewed cups of coffee. With the phenomenal success of his cleverly orchestrated Kickstarter campaign he’s now well on his way…

Chef Andrew Gruel’s (of Slapfish) mission is to make quality seafood popular with everyday folks. He started with one modest food truck in 2010. It quickly expanded into four food trucks. The first Slapfish brick and mortar restaurant opened in Huntington Beach a year later. Laguna Beach recently launched and more restaurants are in the works.

James Republic in Long Beach orchestrates one of the very best, honest Farm-to-Fork dinner series around. It happens monthly on a Sunday under the name of the Dinner Bell Supper Series. The restaurant’s chef, David MacLennan, joins us with the specifics.

Every year in Northern Baja is the Fiestas del la Vendimina celebrating the bounty of wine and food in the region over a two-week period. One of the best single events is Chef Javier Plascencia’s (Tijuana’s Mision 16) “From Farm and Vineyard to Your Table” dinner at his ranch, Finca Altozano, in Valle de Guadalupe. It’s a 6-course, wine paired feast.

Time to hit the OC Fair in its final week. We’ll hear about Bakeology and all the tasty culinary events in the OC Promenade Building. Also the winning Fair Food item!

As part of our tribute to the Los Angeles Olympics we’ll also be looking back at the food served to the spectators. Surprisingly there was lots more variety to the offerings than plain boiled hot dogs and bagged chips. Innovations in food for 1984 are now part of guest expectations in 2014!

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

Synek SystemSYNEK (a recent Kickstarter success story) is a nifty countertop draft system that serves any beer, fresh from the tap, anywhere you want it. Steve Young, based in St. Louis, MO is the Founder. His modest objective is to do for quality beer what Keurig did for single-brewed cups of coffee. As a result of the inspired, oversubscribed Kickstarter campaign he’s well on his way…

“In 2013, Steve Young started to take notice of the craft beer industry as a stock market analyst. He wanted to know how the craft beer industry was making these great strides and what risk factors could cause it to become a “bubble” like the industry saw in the 1990s.”

He knew the industry was growing with thousands of amazing brands created every week. However, to his surprise, every brewer he spoke with complained about the exact same issue : “We make amazing beer, but we can’t get it into our customers’ homes and make money at the same time. If there was a way to create a growler that maintained our beer’s quality longer than two days, it would change everything.”

“Steve was so moved by the brewers’ intense frustration that he quit his job to assemble the best beer engineering team in the world and implement a solution to this beer packaging epidemic.”

Andrew GruelFood trucks have proven to be a worthwhile testing ground for innovative food concepts. A great example is the fast growing Slapfish with a limited service, fast-casual restaurant in Huntington Beach located in a strip center. A new Laguna Beach location (across Pacific Coast Highway from the beach) launched earlier in the Summer.

The partners started with one modest food truck serving the OC in 2009. By 2011 they had four trucks serving both Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Executive Chef (and co-founder) Andrew Gruel is with us to fill us in on the Slapfish tale. New locations both in the United States (airports, too) and the Middle East are on the way.

They like to characterize Slapfish as a modern seafood shack. It’s a real American seafood experience that revolves around fresh, sustainable fish, prepared simply, but delivering big flavors.

Dave MaclennanJames Republic, located in Downtown Long Beach, organizes one of the very best Farm-to-Fork dinner series around. It happens monthly on a Sunday under the name of the Dinner Bell Supper Series. The proprietor of James Republic, Chef Dean James Max, developed the original concept. The restaurant’s chef, David MacLennan, joins us with the specifics.

On the Sunday morning of The Dinner Bell Supper the culinary team gathers at the Long Beach Farmers Market to search for the ideal ingredients to serve as the basis for that evenings’ family-style supper. For the guests the evening begins with market inspired cocktails and passed canapes at 4:30 p.m. At 5:00 p.m., the dinner bell rings and the guests gather at a long, communal table to enjoy California wines and a bountiful three-course menu prepared by Chefs James Dean Max, Chef David MacLennan and their team. Area guest farmers take part in the engaging dinner conversation. The idea is for former strangers to become friends over a superb meal (with a side of good conversation) without this being forced.

The August 24th dinner is sold out. Future dates are September 14th, October 26th, and November 23rd.

Every year in Northern Baja is the Fiestas de la Vendimina (The Harvest Festival) celebrating the bounty of wine and food in the region over a two-week period. The Festival gives thanks and celebrates the beginning of a (hoped for) bountiful grape harvest.

Javier PlascenciaOne of the best single events is Chef Javier Plascencia’s (Tijuana’s Mision 19) “From Farm and Vineyard to Your Table” dinner at his ranch, Finca Altozano, in Valle de Guadalupe. It’s a 6-course, wine paired feast.

Prominent guest chefs from Southern California and Mexico are part of the culinary team. This year Ori Menashe from Bestia and Timothy Hollingsworth (The Restaurant at The Broad & ex-French Laundry chef de cuisine ) will be part of Chef Javier’s high-profile guest chefs’ team.

Chef Plascencia has been featured on Food TV with both Anthony Bourdain and “Bizarre Foods’” Andrew Zimmern.

For info please contact Chef Javier’s assistant, Diana Jimenez.

Rich PerelmanIt’s our salute to the 30th Anniversary of the Games of the Twenty-Third Olympiad, Los Angeles,1984. Our Guest Host, Rich Perelman, was the youngest Vice President of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee responsible for Press Operations and the Editor-in-Chief of the Official Report after the Games. Rich explains the continuing financial legacy to youth sports in Southern California as a direct result of the incredible success of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Every Olympic Organizing Committee is mandated by the International Olympic Committee to document their Games in the Official report. It’s two volumes. One volume is a comprehensive recipe on how the Games were produced with some analysis. The other volume is the complete results and photos.

Rich Perelman was the Editor-in-Chief of the Official Report for the Los Angeles Games. The finished, two-volume report is 1,552 pages and weighs in at 38 lbs ! A full-time staff of 25 was responsible for the effort on a budget of some $4.33 million.

Rachel Klemek of Blackmarket Bakery and the CampTime to hit the OC Fair in Costa Mesa in its final week. Food is always front row center!

We’ll hear about Bakeology and all the other tasty culinary events in the OC Promenade Building.

Rachel Klemek of the award-winning Blackmarket Bakery in Costa Mesa is programming Bakeology at the Fair. Rachel and her staff are mixing, kneading, whipping and blending at the Bakeology exhibit in the Culinary Arts Building (The OC Promenade) at the Fair.

Also with us is the Fair’s Communications Director ,Robin Wachner. Robin will fill us in on all the Culinary activities in the OC Promenade Building.

We’ll also talk about the top vendor food item at this year’s Fair. 70 entrants competed and there was one big winner! Unbelievably it’s not even deep-fried!

Vegetarian PitaWe’re back to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and now talking about the food for the spectators.

Peter Ueberroth, the architect of The Games, wanted there to be more variety and freshness in the food available for purchase by the spectators at the Los Angeles Olympics than typically found in sports facilities of the day.

While common today 30 years ago it was unusual to see some of these items. Fresh fruit cups were on the menu as well as yogurt. Among the fresh sandwiches on the menu was the choice of a Vegetarian Pita. In addition to the usual ice cream novelties there was a place for natural Frozen Fruit Bars.

Food and beverage sales for the 16 days totaled over $11 million dollars. 5.8 million guests were served!

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Richard (Rich) B. Perelman and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Steve Young, Founder, SYNEK
Segment Three: Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish, Huntington Beach and Laguna
Segment Four: Restaurant Chef David MacLennan, James Republic, Long Beach
Segment Five: Javier Plascencia’s “From Farm and Vineyard to Your Table” Dinner
Segment Six: Rich Perelman on The Los Angeles Olympics, 1984
Segment Seven: Bakelogy and The OC Promenade at The OC Fair
Segment Eight: Food Service for the Spectators at The Games of the Twenty-Third Olympiad, Los Angeles

Show 76, June 14, 2014: Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer Andy preview the show

Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer Andy preview the show.

Barbara Fairchild, the well-traveled Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com, is back with us to share some inspired and practical travel tips. Also a profile of a big deal celebrity chef flagship restaurant in London.

It’s the 9th Anniversary of Chef Michael Cimarusti’s and Donato Poto’s Providence in Hollywood. The Los Angeles Times’ restaurant critic, Jonathan Gold, recently named them the Number 1 establishment in his annual listing of the “101 Best Restaurants – 2014.”

One of the foremost goat cheeses available in the United States, Belle Chevre, is made in a tiny town located in northern Alabama. It’s quite a success story!

You’ve seen Chef Ben Ford on Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods America” on Travel Channel and are probably familiar with his landmark Culver City Gastropub, Ford’s Filling Station. His new book is Taming The Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide To Adventurous Cooking.

Hinoki & The Bird, hidden in a luxury high rise condo tower in Century City, features Pan-Asian cooking. We’ll meet executive chef Kuniko Yagi.

Guest Host Kedric Francis has been doing some traveling up the Central Coast. Some inspired dining and lodging tips are on the way.

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

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Show 75, June 7, 2014: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Central located in the heart of Montgomery, Alabama’s vibrant Downtown entertainment district is a true gem of an American find.

The engaging executive chef with an easy-going manner sets the tone for the place.

The StarChefs Rising Stars Revue is coming to Los Angeles on June 12th. It celebrates Los Angeles’ brightest culinary talent.

Brock Kleweno (Kla-ve-no) is both the executive chef and GM of the historic Yamshiro Hollywood. Their ever-popular Thursday Night Farmers Market has returned through September 4th.

Piero Selvaggio’s Valentino in Santa Monica is celebrating its 41st year. Piero and Executive Chef Nico Chessa have introduced a nightly changing special Italian tasting menu there at the Vin Bar.

Loteria Grill! is celebrating 6 centuries of Mexican Wine with the introduction of a broader selection of fine wines from Northern Baja on their list.

The Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail originating in Florence Italy. It’s Negroni week in the United States and charities are the beneficiaries.

Jet has been doing some top-tier dining in Las Vegas at Raku and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. He also caught a pre-opening party at Giada at The Cromwell boutique luxury hotel.

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

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Show 70, April 26, 2014: Chef Jet Tila

Jet Tila and a heritage pig at Cochon 555 in 2013Anthony Bourdain has called upon Chef Jet’s expertise in Thai cuisine in the past with Travel Channel’s “No Reservations.” Mr. Bourdain’s new series is “Parts Unknown” for CNN just starting its 3rd Season on Sunday evenings. The second episode of the new season of “Parts Unknown” (April 20th air date) was Las Vegas.

Jet was tabbed by Anthony Bourdain to give him the insider’s tour of the menu at Lotus of Siam. This is one of the most critically-acclaimed Thai restaurants in the United States. Jet points out to have the best experience there you really need to know what to order from a very large menu.

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Show 61, February 15, 2013: Chef Rick Bayless, Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, and Red O (in West Hollywood & Newport Beach)

Rick BaylessWhen it comes to possessing a vast knowledge of the regional cooking of the various states in Mexico the recognized “el jefe” in the United States is Chicago’s Rick Bayless. Locally he’s probably best known for the PBS’s series “Mexico – One Plate at a Time” (now starting its 9th award-winning season) and from Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.” In Chicago he’s a local culinary celebrity for his highly popular restaurants including River North’s Topolobampo and Frontera Grill.

Chef Bayless has created the menu for the recently opened, and much talked about, highly designed Red O in Fashion Island, Newport Beach. It’s basically his contemporary take on Oaxacan fare and other culinary regions of Mexico.

Certain dishes are exclusive to Fashion Island (including the well-received guacamole sampler) and the tequila list includes 100 selections.

Chef Bayless offers tips for preparing the perfect guacamole. He gives a lot of credit to his executive chef in Newport Beach Keith Stich. He spent two months in Chicago learning Rick’s style of Mexican cooking.

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Show 60, February 8, 2013: Allan Stark, San Antonio Winery, Los Angeles

LA Cetto WinesDid you know there is a burgeoning wine industry in Mexico? Finally some of these affordable wines are finding their way into the United States. Shouldn’t a fine Mexican restaurant also offer premium Mexican wines?

One of the premier grape growing areas of Mexico is in the Guadalupe Valley (and adjacent valleys) located in Northern Baja California. It has the rural feel of the flat areas of Sonoma County from 40 years ago.

The predecessor wine interests of L.A. Cetto were established in Baja by Italians in the late 1920s. In 1960 L.A. Cetto acquired their first vineyards in the Guadalupe Valley. Today they have some 2,500 acres in the Valley under the stewardship of the 3rd generation of the Baja-based Cetto Family. They are the largest producer of table wines in Mexico.

L.A’s own San Antonio Winery (dating to 1917) is the distributor of L.A. Cetto wines in Southern California. Allan Stark, a 25-year veteran of San Antonio Winery joins us to tell the L.A. Cetto story and discuss some of their premium reserve wines including Nebbiolo, Chardonnay, and a Brut Sparkling wine.

L.A. Cetto wines are on the wine list at Loteria! Grill in Hollywood, Mariasol Cocina, and Camacho’s Cantina at Universal CityWalk.

They are available at the San Antonio Winery retail store as well as at better beverage shops.

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Show 43, October 12, 2013: Ken Love, President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

Sharwil AvacadoThe State of Hawaii has some of the most fertile agricultural land in the United States yet, in recent years, this dirt hasn’t been used for agriculture. Sadly they need to import most of their fruits and vegetables from the Mainland. Change is in the tropical Hawaiian breezes…

On the Big Island of Hawaii, for example, over 200 varieties of avocados grow. The pearl of the group is the Sharwil. It’s creamy with a rich buttery flavor, and prized by local chefs.

Surprisingly until very recently the USDA wouldn’t allow the Sharwil to be imported into the continental 48 states. This is a real shame because the seasons of the Sharwil match the seasons of availability for imported avocados from Mexico. Wouldn’t you want to enjoy a made in the USA fruit which also supports our economy?

Ken Love, the President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, joined us from The Big Island to explain what has changed…It’s a baby step but marks significant progress.

Fingers crossed…

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September 28: Patchwork Show Edible Edition, Coffee Bean, Savor the Central Coast, Mad Hungry Woman

Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Patchwork Show Edible EditionOn Saturday October 5th “The SoCal Restaurant Show” will be broadcasting live from the Patchwork Show – Edible Edition at SoCo in Costa Mesa from 10 to Noon.

Patchwork Edible is an annual creative food summit bringing visionary chefs, authors, bloggers, handmade craft vendors and food artisans together with attendees for a comprehensive weekend of eating, learning, tasting and shopping.

Chef Jet Tila host of the SoCal Restaurant ShowHost Jet Tila talks about some of his recent (and upcoming) dining adventures of note.

Listeners’ have often asked what it is like to be married to a chef. Is it as glamorous as depicted on Food Television?

Inspired by noted Las Vegas food journalist Al Mancini’s piece on the subject (“Late for dinner: Being the spouse of a chef is often lonely.”) Chef Jet and his wife, Allison, discuss the reality of being married to a chef.

As Food Network’s Guy Fieri says, “This is the real deal.”

Delilah SnellPatchwork Show: Edible Edition producers Delilah Snell and Nicole Stevenson join us to preview the first-ever Patchwork Show: Edible Edition at SoCo in Costa Mesa the Weekend of Oct. 5th and 6th.

This free, Weekend festival will showcase the flourishing artisan food movement in SoCal through an interactive experience filled with baking programs, food trucks, restaurant pop-ups, book signings, beer and wine gardens, samples and more!

The whole family – not just foodies – will enjoy the hands-on activities from DIY workshops to educational panels hosted by award-winning chefs to handmade products for sale from more than 90 food artisans and modern handmade businesses.

Born and brewed in SoCal in 1963, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is the oldest and largest privately-held specialty coffee and tea retailer in the United States.

CBTL Trade Up Your CupOn Sunday, Sept. 29th coffee drinkers are invited to Angel Stadium of Anaheim to celebrate National Coffee Day at Trade Up Your Cup, the 2nd annual event hosted by CBTL, the Single Serve Beverage System by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

Guests can exchange any electric coffeemaker with a cord, for a brand new CBTL Americano Machine. The event runs from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

In celebration of National Coffee Day, bottomless coffee will be served for guests in line from 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 a.m.

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineKedric Francis, our ace travel correspondent, is the Executive Editor of both Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine.

This weekend Kedric is at the ever-popular Sunset Magazine Savor The Central Coast Festival in San Luis Obispo County. The main event site is the Santa Margarita Ranch.

It’s tasting, sipping, and, of course, indulging.

Michael Voltaggio, the chef/owner of ink. and ink.sack is the featured celebrity chef.

Kedric provides an on-the-scene report.

Maui HawaiiAloha…

Two of the most popular areas of Maui for visitors are Lahaina and Kapalua.

One of our valued AM 830 KLAA correspondents just returned from his honeymoon in Maui.

We’ll chat with him about his best meals in Maui in a variety of price-ranges.

Anita Lau of Diary of a Mad Hungry WomanAnita Lau, “Diary of The Mad Hungry Woman” of blogosphere fame, joins us.

This morning Anita shares with us a tasty San Diego restaurant find that offers a menu of mixed nationalities.