Show 479, June 18, 2022: Alex Weiser, Weiser Family Farms, Tehachapi, CA Part Two

Alex Weiser of Weiser Family Farms

Weiser Family Farms began in 1977 when Sid Weiser, a chemistry teacher and counselor at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles decided to pack up the family and follow his dream of working off the land. Sidney and his wife Raquel laid down roots in Tehachapi, California. There, they learned to tend to the fruit trees… apples, peaches, and pears. In the ensuing years, they acquired farmland in other locations where they branched out into a variety of fruits, vegetables, and flowers.”

“In 1982 their son Alex jumped in to assist the family in selling at local Farmers’ Markets. There he encountered chefs, the public and specialty produce buyers who wanted seasonal, high quality and superior tasting produce. Listening to this input, Alex began to focus on creating a bio-diverse farm dedicated to applying sustainable farming techniques. His overriding desire was to supply people with unique fruits and vegetables at their peak, rather than picked for commercial usage. Today, Weiser Family Farms grows in the Greater Bakersfield area, Tehachapi and the Lucerne Valley, cultivating a tapestry of high- quality produce year round.”

“Older brother Dan joined the family business in 2001, after a long stint with The Walt Disney Co. Dan, a graduate of USC’s Marshall School of Business, brought with him a real-world business sensibility to the farm that has helped bring the overall operation to the next level. Not long after Dan came aboard, older sister Esther left her established teaching career to help keep her knuckle-headed brothers in line. Her common sense approach and no nonsense communication style help to keep everything in focus and moving forward.”

Weiser Family Farms is, and has always been, a family farming entity in the true sense of the word. When you buy from Weiser, you are truly buying from The Weiser Family.

Weiser Family Farms specialty potatoes are served at The Hollywood Bowl in the Farmers Market Salad created by Chef Suzanne Goin for Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine.

Alex Weiser continues with us with Shishito Peppers in hand.


Show 341, September 21, 2019: Chef & Journalist Noelle Carter, Noelle Carter Food

Noelle Carter FoodAs the long-time Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director, Noelle Carter oversaw the testing of all recipes that appear in The Times. In addition, she wrote features and contributed to Food’s Daily Dish blog. Noelle also researched and penned the popular Culinary SOS column for Food.

A native Southern Californian, she holds a degree in film from the University of Southern California and, when she’s not cooking, loves watching old movies. She left The Times in January 2019.

We’ll get updated on Noelle’s new activities with Noelle Carter Food.


Show 232, July 15, 2017: Rance’s Chicago Pizza and DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week Continued…

Race Ruiz and Aaron Tofani or Rance's Chicago Pizza at AM830Authentic Chicago-style Pizza in Long Beach (and Costa Mesa) from young proprietors who grew up in Orange County? You bet…and it’s Rance’s Chicago Pizza (Belmont Shore & Costa Mesa) a first-time participant in the upcoming DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week.

They also are earning praise for their new wings with accompanying sauces, and salads with house-prepared dressings. The next Rance’s will be in the ambitious University Village center just North of the existing University of Southern California campus.

DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. More than 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices.

Just as many regions around the country hold city-wide restaurant week events, the participating Long Beach restaurants will be offering multi-course, “value-oriented” meals set at one of six price points: $15, $25, $35, $45, $55 or $65 per guest.

Founder and organizer Terri Henry, who brought restaurant week to Long Beach in 2014, said that besides attracting local “foodies”, Dine LBC allows those who view dining out as a luxury to also enjoy an exceptional experience. The nine-day event that includes two full weekends gives locals the opportunity to visit multiple participating restaurants and also allows those in neighboring cities who find it difficult to travel to Long Beach during the week more options.

“With recent minimum wage increases, overhead and cost of goods increases, an annual restaurant week drives much needed traffic into our valued restaurants”, said Henry, who said the event will span across twelve Long Beach neighborhoods and has a comprehensive marketing, advertising and PR campaign valued at over $500K to support the nine- day event.


Show 203, December 24, 2016: Lawry’s Beef Bowl with College Football Historian Todd Erickson & Tim Tessalone, Sports Information Director, USC

Road to the Rose Bowl 50 Years of Lawry's Beef BowlThere is a great tradition associated with the annual Rose Bowl Game and it’s not held in Pasadena. It’s the iconic Lawry’s Beef Bowl, now in its 61st year, hosted at Lawry’s the Prime Rib in Beverly Hills. The gridiron guests this year (on separate nights) are the USC Trojans and the Penn State Nittany Lions.

USC will be celebrating their 22nd appearance in Lawry’s Beef Bowl on December 29th, a Beef Bowl record for number of appearances!

The Tournament of Roses – Lawry’s partnership was the first of its kind in college football. It claims the distinction of being the longest running sponsor partnership in bowl game history.

Football Historian Todd Erickson wrote the book on Lawry’s Beef Bowl (Road To The Rose Bowl: 50 Years of Lawry’s Beef Bowl) and is our guest along with long-time USC Sports Information Director Tim Tessalone.


Show 189, September 17, 2016: Gretchen Beaumarchais, Regional Executive Chef – West, Legends Hospitality

Gretchen BeaumarchaisChef Gretchen Beaumarchais is the Regional Executive Chef West for Legends Hospitality. This includes supervising the food at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum for USC Football and L.A. Rams Football. With the return of The Rams food expectations are especially high.

A new item already attracting attention is the Giant Pretzel weighing in at almost a pound. It’s baked by Homeboy Industries.

Their better burger is the new Bacon Bacon Bacon Burger with a special bacon beef patty blend topped with pepper pork belly, housemade sweet bacon jam, and garlic aioli. See our Instagram feed for the food porn image.

The ever popular fan favorite is the Brisket Sandwich. Between the brioche bun halves is a pile of beef brisket, BBQ sauce and coleslaw.

Taken to a new level for the 2016 season is Suite and Club Dining. In Club Sections there are rotating chef menus with signature dishes highlighting the visiting teams’ hometown favorites.

Local food scene standouts on the expanded menu are Randy’s Donuts, Seoul Sausage Co., Neal Fraser’s Fritzi Dog and our own Chef Andrew’s Slapfish.

Chef Gretchen joins us for the delicious 411 on what’s new on the menu for the 2016 season.


Show 188, September 10, 2016: Executive Chef Eric Ernest, USC Hospitality Part 2

Eric Ernest“Today’s top-flight University chefs are likely to be as savvy and competitive as their independent restaurant peers. Eric Ernest, the accomplished fine-dining chef who has headed University of Southern California Hospitality since 2012, knows this all too well.” Chef Eric is also USC Hospitality’s Associate Director of Purchasing, Logistics & Special Projects. Chef Eric Ernest continues.

“USC really offers top-notch hospitality. That, paired with the executive team and the leadership team, makes (the department) amazing, top to bottom,” Ernest observes.

“We view roasting a carrot with the same attention as making foie gras. We apply modern technique to everything, across the board, to create the best USC experience,” he continues.

With 44 outlets and 44 different menus to fill daily, it’s essential to plan ahead, Ernest stresses. “Good enough isn’t good enough. Our department answers to every single person who walks on the campus,” he promises.

Chef Eric is also proud of USC Hospitality’s two Teaching Gardens. It’s an unusual collaboration with LA Urban Farms, LA & SF Specialty and Chefs to End Hunger.


Show 183, August 6, 2016: Chef Andrew Gruel, The Alligator Gar Makes a Comeback

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosIntroducing non-native fish to United States waters can disturb the existing delicate ecological balance. Such is the case of the fast multiplying Asian carp moving into the Great Lakes.

To the rescue may be the prehistoric-looking, and fast growing, alligator gar. According to the AP it can grow longer than a horse and heavier than a refrigerator. It’s previously been considered a trash fish. It used to thrive in this habitat before being decimated because the thought (later proven incorrect) was that it threatened sport fish.

Chef Andrew Gruel will explain all.

Also Chef Andrew previews the arrival of the new, limited menu Slapfish on the Concourse at The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for Rams and USC Trojan football season! It’s unusually located in a converted, repurposed ocean-freight shipping container


Show 117, April 11, 2015: Food Network’s Chef Aarti Sequeira

Aarti Sequeira“My first cookbook, Aarti Paarti: An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul is a love letter to both the flavors of my youth as an Indian girl growing up in the Middle East…and the flavors that embrace me in my new home here in the States”

“I’ll walk you through 101 recipes, some simplified versions of Indian classics like Chicken Tikka Masala, Raita and Naan…and some that show you how to use these same Indian spices to create exciting spins on American favorites like Kebab Sliders with Tamarind Chutney, Masala Shrimp and Grits, and Lemon Indian Donuts (Gulab Jamun) with Chamomile-Cardamom Syrup.”

“Each recipe is accompanied by swoon-worthy photos by Matt Armendariz, as well as stories (and photos) from my childhood”

Food Network’s Aarti Sequeira is our guest. She will be doing a cooking demo and book-signing at next weekend’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC on Saturday afternoon, April 18th at 2:00 p.m. She invites all listeners to stop-by and say hello.


Show 117, April 11, 2015: Food Network’s Chef Aarti Sequeira continues…

Aarti SequeiraChef Aarti’s first cookbook is Aarti Paarti – An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul. The foreword is by Food Network’s Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman Cooks fame.

Ree Drummond, from the Foreward:

“Aarti regards food, she will tell you, not simply as nourishment. It is her lifeblood – the source of her lifelong memories, the thing that excites her, the force that propels her forward. Those of us who also love both cooking and eating can certainly relate, but there’s something about Aarti’s appreciation for food’s textures, colors and flavors that flat-out inspires me.”

This collection of Aarti’s memories and over 100 recipes will make cooking with traditional Indian and Middle Eastern flavors easy and fun for any reader. Wonderfully evocative stories at the beginning of each chapter relate how a woman who was an outsider experienced many cultures and cuisines. But it is the food in Aarti’s life that keeps her close to her roots as she explores new culinary and cultural destinations.

AArti will be doing a cooking demo and book-signing at next weekend’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC on Saturday afternoon, April 18th at 2:00 p.m. She invites all listeners to stop-by and say hello.


Show 67, March 29, 2014: Celebrity Chef Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s daytimer, “The Chew.”

Food fans know Chef Carla Hall as the “Hootie Hoo” lady and fan favorite from multiple seasons of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” She is now the co-host of ABC’s daytime lifestyle series, “The Chew.” Recently “The Chew” celebrated their 500th episode and the show continues to gain in popularity. Carla also is the author of Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You, newly available in paperback.

Carla Hall Carla’s newest cookbook is Carla’s Comfort Foods – Favorite Dishes from Around the World (on-sale April 1, 2014.) It’s a brand new collection of 130 recipes that embody the universal appeal of all kinds of comfort food.

Inspired by Carla’s love of family suppers and international flavors, this cookbook offers a mouthwatering variety of foods from around the world together with heartfelt stories of connecting with people through food. Each section of the book offers a brief description of a foundation recipe followed by some international variations.

Hall is a true believer that, “If you’re not in a good mood, the only thing you should make is a restaurant reservation.”

Carla is in Los Angeles on book tour on Sunday, April 13th. She is at Sur La Table @ The Original Farmers Market @ Noon and then @ USC for the LA Times Festival of Books @ 3:30 p.m.

Chef Carla promises our listeners that she will pose for every picture and sign every book at both Los Angeles stops. Hootie Hoo…