Show 332, July 13, 2019: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoOur Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, the Founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us from the road where he is in the process of opening new Slapfish restaurants. We’re continuing the popular “Ask the Chef” segments responding to your questions about all things culinary. To our benefit Chef Andrew is a real, working chef.

Always doing his part to generously serve and give back to the community Chef Andrew was just in Venice, Italy volunteering for the US Army as part of their Healthy Army Communities. We’ll chat about it.

GMO salmon engineered to grow twice as fast as it’s natural cousin is back in the news. Is it safe to eat? We’ll get Chef Andrew’s informed thoughts.

Show 276, June 2, 2018: Yuta Tsunoda, Chaya Modern Izakaya, Venice

Yudo Tsunoda of Chaya BrasserieAfter four centuries in Japan and almost four decades in the United States, CHAYA continues to transcend convention between Japanese and American dining, inviting guests to discover innovative Japanese-Californian cuisine along with an unprecedented new beverage program as the CHAYA Restaurant Group has now officially transitioned the 28-year-old Chaya Venice into CHAYA Modern Izakaya.

Comparable to the Western gastropub, a Japanese izakaya is traditionally a drinking establishment which serves small tapas-style plates intended to be shared amongst friends. CHAYA Modern Izakaya elevates the izakaya experience by introducing a present-day dining and drinking destination that invites guests to come discover a new Japanese-Californian cuisine with a modern izakaya approach, including handcrafted cocktails, premium spirits, Japanese Whisky selection, eclectic sake and wine collection, Japanese and local craft beers.

With roots deeply planted in over 400 years of Japanese history, CHAYA originally evolved from a beloved teahouse in Japan in the 17th century, then to an imperial summer villa in Japan in the 19th century. In the early 20th century CHAYA Japan became a landmark dining destination known for providing exquisite service and catering to the royal court and Japanese government officials, to then landing in Los Angeles in the 1980s, ultimately becoming a pioneer of fusion cuisine by introducing the revolutionary combination of French and Japanese ingredients and culinary techniques, while catering to many loyal guests for almost 40 years, including artists, actors, titans of industry, and foodists alike.

“CHAYA has existed in some incarnation or another for the last four-hundred plus years, as long as the earliest izakaya. Part of the essential CHAYA DNA is adaptability and fusion, and CHAYA Modern Izakaya bridges the past with the present, while allowing CHAYA to move forward into the future pioneering a marriage between Japanese and Western traditions, fresh ingredients, and contemporary culinary techniques,” says Owner and President Yuta Tsunoda.

Owner & President Yuta Tsunoda has all the intriguing details.

Show 261, February 17, 2018: Chef Andrew Gruel with “Ask the Chef”

Andrew and William GruelOur always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his Ask the Chef series. The New York Times had a thought-provoking piece by food journalist Karen Stabiner on the Front Page of their Food Section this week on February 14th.

The provocative issue discussed in What to do When Laptops & Silence Take Over Your Café” is how does a café that wants to maintain a lively atmosphere handle customers who hang out there all day on their laptops (while buying little food & beverages) and use the establishment as their office. Chef Andrew weighs in on the hospitality debate.

Interestingly enough L.A. restaurants, including Venice’s Rose Café, are featured in the piece.

Show 154, January 9, 2016: Executive Chef Josiah Citrin, Charcoal Venice, Venice, CA

Josiah CitrinCharcoal Venice, the new inviting, neighborhood restaurant from Michelin-starred Chef and Proprietor Josiah Citrin (our guest), opened early last month on W. Washington Blvd., a burgeoning culinary destination in Venice, CA bordering Marina del Rey. A more casual concept than Citrin’s Melisse, Charcoal Venice upholds the chef’s philosophy “In Pursuit of Excellence,” with a simpler, more approachable menu.

As the name suggests, the daily menu features craveable comfort foods cooked over a live fire via a wood oven, over charcoal, in the coals, or in a Big Green Egg – imparting a smoky, backyard barbeque flavor with the use of premium oak and hickory lump coals. Adding to the communal atmosphere of the restaurant, these dishes are all large, family-style portions meant to be shared.

Citrin also offers starters, including a unique tartare selection, such as beef heart and lamb, alongside a selection of farmers’ market vegetables including a whole head of cabbage baked in the coals until it’s completely black on the outside and smoky on the inside. The Cabbage Baked in Embers (a nice variation on the standard grilled artichoke) is becoming a signature of the restaurant.

“This is the type of casual concept I’ve always wanted to open. It’s the food that I prepare for my friends and family in my backyard on the weekend. Not too fancy, just delicious food that you crave,” says Citrin. “Mélisse is your special occasion restaurant, while Charcoal Venice is an every night place for a refreshing beer and a perfectly grilled entrée.”

Show 135, August 22, 2015: Executive Chef Jesse Barber, The Dudley Market, Venice

Jesse Barber of Dudley MarketAs Executive Chef at Venice’s Barnyard, Jesse Barber was known for his simple, honest food and ingredient-driven menu. In his newest venture, Dudley Market, Barber looks to continue his practice of utilizing local, seasonally fresh ingredients, maintaining the strong relationships with the farmers and purveyors he has worked closely with over the past few years.

Barber is inspired by the unique and vibrant Venice community, “Food is one of the most important connections between people and I hope to create lasting relationships with neighbors, friends, farms and local vendors.”

“The idea is simple, bring the community we know and love the everyday luxury it deserves. Our motivation is rooted in our obsession for outstanding quality and ethics in everything we procure. Using the tastiest ingredients and through detailed preparation we strive to turn what could be a daily routine into an unforgettable experience. We’ve pulled-back the curtain by introducing our community to our growers, artisans, and wine makers, inviting everyone to participate in the conversation and enjoy the results of what we find to be a very gratifying process.”

Local is part of the intriguing wine program, too. The emphasis is on small, relatively unknown California producers of limited production organic wines.

Dudley Market is open for Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Dinner.


Show 124, May 30, 2015: Anne Marie Panoringan, OC Weekly Continues…

Anne Marie PanoringanWe’re continuing with OC Weekly’s Anne Marie Panoringan who just returned from Portland, a new foodie paradise.

On the national doughnut scene Portland’s Blue Star Donuts is a revered cult favorite. We’ll hear about “Doughnuts for grown-ups.”

Anne Marie’s timing is impeccable. Blue Star Donuts is coming to Venice’s Abbott Kinney Avenue later this summer. It’s their first U.S. expansion outside of Portland! Looking for that Hard Apple Cider Fritter…

PSU Farmers Market and the upscale bars at both The Ace Hotel and The Heathman Restaurant and Bar are also on the menu. It’s seems the luxe Heathman Hotel is a location in both the book and movie versions of 50 Shades of GrayCertainly a good excuse to create a signature cocktail around.

It’s definitely time for a food holiday escape in Portland.

Show 120, May 2, 2015: MOTAC’s Philip Dobard and Scopa’s Steve Livigni

Steve LivigniThe Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC) announces its next Los Angeles seminar, “Vive l’Aperitif! An Invitation to Preprandial Drinking,” Monday, May 11th, 2015 at one of L.A.’s hottest restaurants, Scopa Italian Roots in Venice. Sampling of classic aperitifs is on the menu. It’s all in celebration of National Aperitif Day.

Ever wonder what distinguishes an aperitif from a digestif? And what their culinary function is? Well, celebrate National Aperitif Day with The Museum of the American Cocktail and wonder no more. Celebrated mixologists and restaurateurs Steve Livigni & Pablo Moix lead participants on a tasting tour of aperitifs both common and rare, neat and cocktailed. Guests will learn what they need to know to select and appreciate a fine before-dinner drink and enjoy innovative takes on Italian classics from “Top Chef” star Chef Antonia Lofaso who is also one of three regular judges on Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” with Alton Brown.

For the record National Aperitif Day is actually May 18th. MOTAC is getting an early start on the festivities!

Scopa’s Steve Livigni and MOTAC’s Philip Dobard join us to explain what an aperitif is and how it fits into a contemporary cocktail program.

Show 99, November 29, 2014: Chef & Baker Hans Rockenwagner

Hans RockenwagnerIn Hans Rockenwagner’s (Rockenwagner Bakery) L.A. kitchen, German cooking takes on a whole new meaning. He starts with comforting, homey flavors of his childhood in Germany, looks to the bounty of the California farmers’ markets for ingredients and inspiration, and adds his creativity and droll wit. The resulting dishes have captivated Angelenos for many years.

Now his most beloved and accessible recipes are gathered in Das Cook Book – German Cooking…California Style, thoroughly adapted and tested for the home kitchen.

Rockenwagner was born and raised in Germany, trained as a chef in Germany and Switzerland, and at the mere age of twenty-two moved to the U.S. to run the kitchen at Chicago’s famed Le Perroquet. Three years later, he opened Rockenwagner in Venice, quickly winning national acclaim for his fresh, inventive California take on the German classics of his youth.

Today he is the proprietor of multiple L.A. area restaurants including Café Rockenwagner in Brentwood and 3 Square Café in Venice, as well as a large artisan commercial bakery serving the discriminating area restaurant and luxury hotel community.

Show 93, October 18, 2014: Chef Nick Liberato & Venice Whaler Part One

Nick LiberatoThe classic Venice Whaler (dating from 1944) located across from the beach in Venice has a new look and attitude. Specialty handcrafted cocktails are on the menu as well as “upscale dive-bar” cuisine created by Executive Chef Nick Liberato (Spike TV’s Bar Rescue.”)

“We source from local farms, bakeries, and our in-house Chef’s Garden.”

There is live music in the Crab Shell Bar.

“Absorbing culture and passing it on through food is part of Chef Nick Liberato’s heritage. Raised believing that every day is a holiday which should be celebrated with food, wine, great conversation, and loved ones, Chef Nick has been cooking professionally for 18 years and now calls the Southern California coast his home.”

Show 93, October 18, 2014: Chef Nick Liberato & Venice Whaler Part Two

Nick LiberatoExecutive Chef Nick Liberato of the Venice Whaler continues.

Chef Nick is also an accomplished mixologist. Part of the repositioning of the Venice Whaler is a new emphasis on specialty handcrafted cocktails made with fresh ingredients

The Bar Director is Anthony Settacase.

The signature “Crab Shell” Bloody Mary comes with a real crab claw instead of a celery stalk…

Weekend Brunch is now on the menu at the Venice Whaler. It’s 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. How about Short Rib Hash with roasted potatoes and a sunny side up egg ?