Show 429, June 12, 2021: Bosscat Kitchen and Libations, Orange, Houston, TX and Newport Beach Part One

John Reed and Leslie Nguyen of Bosscat Kitchen and Libations

Orange County restaurateurs Leslie Nguyen and John Reed (owners of Bosscat Kitchen and Libations) launched their third location this March on the corner of Chapman Avenue and Olive Street in Old Towne Orange at the previous Rod’s Liquor location, a 100-year old building..

“The 5,000 sq. ft. result is a beautifully modern space that is as authentic and nostalgic to Old Towne Orange as it is bold and eye-catching to fit Bosscat Kitchen’s brand. Leslie Nguyen, Chief Designer, has drawn her inspiration from the century old pre-prohibition style building, making certain every detail is on brand for Bosscat’s rustic industrial aesthetic but also throwing back to the auto repair shop and the beloved neighborhood liquor store that had decades of commerce and stories before it.”

“Bosscat Kitchen & Libations creatively meshes upscale and casual dining with an expansive whiskey selection and unique menu of American comfort food. The high energy, open-spaced concept promotes a lively experience at all locations: Newport Beach, CA and Houston, TX (with the third location newly opened in Orange, CA on March 17th). Their brick, metal, dark wood and whiskey barrel decor suits its comfort menu.”

“One of the restaurant’s most coveted attractions is the famous whiskey room that houses hundreds of whiskies from several countries (including: Scotland, Ireland, Japan, Canada and the US). Bosscat Kitchen’s Executive Chef, Peter Petro, cultivates new ideas with seasonal produce, meats and spices.”

Bosscat Kitchens’ Leslie Nguyen (in-studio) and John Reed (on the phone from Houston) join us.

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Show 429, June 12, 2021: Bosscat Kitchen and Libations, Orange, Houston, TX and Newport Beach Part Two

John Reed and Leslie Nguyen of Bosscat Kitchen and Libations

Orange County restaurateurs Leslie Nguyen and John Reed (owners of Bosscat Kitchen and Libations) launched their third location this March on the corner of Chapman Avenue and Olive Street in Old Towne Orange at the previous Rod’s Liquor location, a 100-year old building..

“The 5,000 sq. ft. result is a beautifully modern space that is as authentic and nostalgic to Old Towne Orange as it is bold and eye-catching to fit Bosscat Kitchen’s brand. Leslie Nguyen, Chief Designer, has drawn her inspiration from the century old pre-prohibition style building, making certain every detail is on brand for Bosscat’s rustic industrial aesthetic but also throwing back to the auto repair shop and the beloved neighborhood liquor store that had decades of commerce and stories before it.”

“Bosscat Kitchen & Libations creatively meshes upscale and casual dining with an expansive whiskey selection and unique menu of American comfort food. The high energy, open-spaced concept promotes a lively experience at all locations: Newport Beach, CA and Houston, TX (with the third location newly opened in Orange, CA on March 17th). Their brick, metal, dark wood and whiskey barrel decor suits its comfort menu.”

“One of the restaurant’s most coveted attractions is the famous whiskey room that houses hundreds of whiskies from several countries (including: Scotland, Ireland, Japan, Canada and the US). Bosscat Kitchen’s Executive Chef, Peter Petro, cultivates new ideas with seasonal produce, meats and spices.”

Bosscat Kitchens’ Leslie Nguyen (in-studio) and John Reed (on the phone from Houston) continue with us.

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Five Spice Old Fashioned

Five Spice Old Fashioned Cocktail by Nancy Chen

Recipe excerpt from:
101 Amazing Uses for Cinnamon
by Nancy Chen

Ingredients

  • 1-2 tsp of honey (or add more to taste, can use simple syrup or maple syrup as well)
  • ⅛ tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 2.5 oz whiskey (I like Japanese whiskey)
  • 3 segments of mandarin orange
  • 1-2 dashes of orange bitters
  • 2 dried star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick, for garnish
  • Ice

Directions

  1. Combine orange, whiskey, five spice powder, and sweetner and muddle together.
  2. Top with ice and star anise, then use a cinnamon stick to stir and garnish. Enjoy!

Show 409, January 23, 2021: Rob Rubens, Founder & Head Distiller, R6 Distillery, El Segundo

Rob Rubens of R6 DistilleryR6 is a family-owned distillery in the Los Angeles suburb of El Segundo. Founder and Head Distiller Rob Rubens fell in love with the art of distilling after his first (unplanned) trip to New Orleans Rum Distillery. He knew it was time for a change. After spending the better part of a decade in corporate America and realizing that was not his path, Rob visited distilleries and breweries and decided it was time to make waves. Coupling his experience with his desire to bring quality spirits to Los Angeles, Rob opened this speakeasy (Smoky Hollow Tasting & Tap) inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy in 2014.”

“Our process is quite different than most. We use only the purest form of our distillate when producing spirits. This is where most take short cuts and compromise the quality of the product. But we’re about quality – and our promise to you is just that. Each bottle of spirits will be crafted from the “hearts” of our distillate. We stick to doing what is right and what is authentic.”

New is the California Mule in a can and FDA certified hand sanitizer originally created to help mitigate the initial shortage last March with the onset of the pandemic.

Rob is particularly proud of his R6 Blue Corn Bourbon Whiskey aged in new American charred oak barrels. It has already won numerous awards. It’s probably the first “legal” Bourbon created and distilled in Los Angeles County.

In the interests of safety and complying with all COVID 19 restrictions R6 Distillery is open exclusively (Friday through Sunday) for bottle purchases and cocktails & beer to go. The online store can ship R6 spirits to any California address.

 

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Show 371, May 2, 2020: Robin Christenson, Co-Founder, Blinking Owl Distillery, Santa Ana

Robin Christenson of Blinking Owl Distillery with her Hand SanitzerThe Blinking Owl Distillery in Santa Ana is the very first craft distillery in Orange County. They also are one of the first distilleries in the state of California to hold the Type 74 Craft Distillers License allowing them to operate their tasting room and sell a few bottles of spirits. Blinking Owl crafts Vodka, Gin, several types of Whiskey, and the Scandinavian spirit, Aquavit.

“Stay Safely at Home” provisions have necessitated the temporary closing of The Tasting Room. Wanting to continue serving the community and keep their employees on the job Blinking Owl has thoughtfully shifted production to hand sanitizer (licensed) under the label of Blinking Owl Dirty Bird Hand Sanitizer. So far $50,000 in hand sanitizer has been generously donated to hospitals, First Responders and restaurants in addition to bulk sales to commercial accounts!

Spirits are still available by ordering online.

Joining us from the packaging line for Dirty Bird Hand Sanitizer is Blinking Owl’s Co-founder and Chief Financial Owl, Robin Christenson.

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Show 237, August 19, 2017: Robin & Brian Christenson, Founders, Blinking Owl Distillery, Santa Ana

Brian and Robin ChristensonSanta Ana’s The Blinking Owl Distillery is the very first craft distillery in Orange County. The Blinking Owl is one of the first distilleries in the state of California to hold the Type 74 Craft Distillers License allowing them to operate their own tasting room and sell a few bottles there. The Distillery makes Vodka, Gin, several types of Whiskey, and the Scandinavian spirit, Aquavit.

“We are locavores, grain nerds, and control freaks so we decided to actually make our booze the long way: from grain rather than pre-made spirit. We mill it, mash it, ferment it, distill it, and, in the case of whiskey, barrel age it (which means we will not have a 9-year old Bourbon to sell until 9 years from now).”

“The Founder, Brian Christenson, had a bootlegging great-grandfather, Fred P. Armbrust. Fred had a still on his dairy farm hidden in the basement behind secret passageways. He would covertly provide his local farmers with his “good spirits”. Brian’s dream is to carry on Fred’s passion by providing “good spirits” to our very own neighborhood, legally, of course!”

Brian and Robin Christenson, longtime Santa Ana residents, had heard stories of the midcentury “Blinking Owl Bar” on the corner of Birch and Third Streets, known for an iconic owl sign that would “blink”. Inspired by the craft cocktail movement, the farm-to-table food movement, and current thriving craft distilleries, the husband and wife team saw an opportunity to bring a local distillery to the neighborhood, paying homage to the history of Santa Ana.”

Brian & Robin step out from behind the long bar in their Tasting Room to join us.

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Show 214, March 11, 2017: Grant Tondro, Co-Founder, Urge Gastropub & Whiskey Bar, Oceanside

Grant TondroThe “SoCal Restaurant Show” was recently in Oceanside, CA on a focused 24-hour marathon food & libation discovery tour coordinated by Visit Oceanside. Our overall observation is that a lot of energetic young chefs are now on the scene there doing very creative things. Access to local farms is an incredible resource and inspiration. In the coming weeks we’ll be highlighting some of our best discoveries.

Urge Gastropub and Whiskey Bank (including a production microbrewery and hidden Prohibition-era Speakeasy) is new on the scene in Oceanside.

Founded in 2015 Urge Gastropub and Whiskey Bank is one of Oceanside’s creative takes on the Modern American locals’ hangout. Satisfying comfort foods, wines and an extensive beer list (including house-brewed styles) are accompanied with an enormous and eclectic selection of the world’s finest Whisk(e)ys. Urge Oceanside is also the home of Mason Ale Works, a production craft brewery.

We’ll savor one of the 250 whiskey options available with Co-Owner Grant Tondro of 3LocalBrothers.

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Show 206, January 14, 2017: Food & Libation journalist, Anne Marie Panoringan, Contributor to OC Weekly

Anne Marie PanoringanThe always “in-the-know” Anne Marie Panoringan is a contributing writer for OC Weekly. She is also a widely-followed, authority on cocktails from the consumer point-of-view. Anne Marie joins us with a recap of her recent OC Weekly piece, Top 5 Orange County Cocktails of 2016, Anne Marie Edition!”

“Another year, another round of drinks. It’s a great time to love me some cocktails, because more places than ever have been pouring some of the best I’ve seen and tasted. We turn back the clock 300-ish days to recap on some of my favorites for the year. Any hey – they don’t all contain whiskey.”

One hint: “Pineapple Under the Sea at TAPS Fish House & Brewery ranks Number 5.

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Show 191, October 1, 2016: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

In August the James Beard Foundation announced the ten inaugural recipients of the JBF National Scholars Program. We’ll meet the West recipient of the National Scholars Program, Holland Dougherty, who is at University of California, Davis.

We’re hearing a lot from high-end steakhouses talking about premium aged beef. There is even a butcher shop/restaurant locally highlighting a burger with a 100-day dry-aged beef patty. What should we know about aging beef ? Joining us to chat about aging beef are the “Meatheads” from West Coast Prime Meats, Jay Henderson and Terry Hanks. They have over 50-years of combined, hands-on experience in the business! 

The Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, joins us with a gem of a San Diego County dining discovery in Del Mar. Earlier in his career the chef there was part of the opening team at Marche Moderne in South Coast Plaza as well as Charlie Palmer’s at Bloomingdales in South Coast Plaza.

Our friend and colleague, Anne Marie Panoringan (OC Weekly’s blog), was the first journalist to break the story (August 30th) that Executive Chef Jason Montelibano was departing EATS Kitchen at Hotel Irvine to return to Chapter One: The Modern Local in Santa Ana. Time to catch-up with Chef Jason (a.k.a. Chef Chicken Wing.)

Our colleagues at Pacific Food & Beverage Museum are at it again. There’s a lot of interest in fine whiskey here IN California, but do you know about the fine whiskeys FROM California? And you probably haven’t had the chance to experience the range for yourself, but with the latest edition of “The Thoughtful Feast: A California Whiskey Dinner,” all that’s changed. PacFAB’s Richard Foss and Master Distiller Steve Gertman of Ascendant Spirits uncork the flask for us on this one.

Organizers of Dine LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week just announced the upcoming sale of the Dine LBC Long Beach Kitchen Ink 2017 Calendar featuring stunning photos of 13 Long Beach chefs and one local urban farm owner for each of twelve months plus front and back covers. Calendar sales benefit Dine LBC Originals Marketing Fund that provides marketing and public relations support to participating independently owned restaurants year-round. Dine LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week founder, Terri Henry, is our guest.

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

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October 1: Holland Dougherty, West Coast Prime Meats, Mad Hungry Woman, Jason Montelibano, Richard Foss, Terri Henry

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: James Beard Foundation National Scholars Program recipient, Holland Dougherty
Segment Three: The “Meatheads” from West Coast Prime Meats – Aging Beef
Segment Four: Anita Lau, Mad Hungry Woman blogger
Segment Five: Executive Chef Jason Montelibano, Chapter One – The Modern Local
Segment Six: Pacific Food & Beverage Museum’s “The Thoughtful Feast: A California Whiskey Dinner”
Segment Seven: Terri Henry, Founder, Dine LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week

Please join us at the special time of 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. only for this Saturday, October 1st. We’re back to our usual broadcast time of 10:00 a.m. to 12 Noon on October 8th.

In August the James Beard Foundation announced the ten inaugural recipients of the JBF National Scholars Program. We’ll meet the West recipient of the National Scholars Program, Holland Dougherty, who is at University of California, Davis.

We’re hearing a lot from high-end steakhouses talking about premium aged beef. There is even a butcher shop/restaurant locally highlighting a burger with a 100-day dry-aged beef patty. What should we know about aging beef ? Joining us to chat about aging beef are the “Meatheads” from West Coast Prime Meats, Jay Henderson and Terry Hanks. They have over 50-years of combined, hands-on experience in the business! 

The Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, joins us with a gem of a San Diego County dining discovery in Del Mar. Earlier in his career the chef was part of the opening team at Marche Moderne in South Coast Plaza as well as Charlie Palmer’s at Bloomingdales in South Coast Plaza.

Our friend and colleague, Anne Marie Panoringan (OC Weekly’s blog), was the first journalist to break the story (August 30th) that Executive Chef Jason Montelibano was departing EATS Kitchen at Hotel Irvine to return to Chapter One: The Modern Local in Santa Ana. Time to catch-up with Chef Jason (a.k.a. Chef Chicken Wing.)

Our colleagues at Pacific Food & Beverage Museum and The Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC) are at it again. There’s a lot of interest in fine whiskey here IN California, but do you know about the fine whiskeys FROM California? And you probably haven’t had the chance to experience the range for yourself, but with the latest edition of “The Thoughtful Feast : A California Whiskey Dinner,” all that’s changed. PacFAB’s Philip Dobard uncorks the flask for us on this one.

Organizers of Dine LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week recently announced the upcoming sale of the Dine LBC “Long Beach Kitchen Ink” 2017 Calendar featuring stunning photos of 13 Long Beach chefs and one local urban farm owner for each of twelve months plus front and back covers. Calendar sales benefit Dine LBC Originals Marketing Fund that provides marketing and public relations support to participating independently owned restaurants year-round. Dine LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week founder, Terri Henry, is our guest.

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

Holland DoughertyIn August the James Beard Foundation announced the ten inaugural recipients of the JBF National Scholars Program. We’ll meet the West recipient of the National Scholars Program, Holland Dougherty, who is at University of California, Davis. She is a PhD Candidate in the Sustainable Agricultural Modeling Lab.

“We are proud that our Foundation’s newest scholarship program is committed to awarding $20,000 in financial aid to ten extraordinary scholars each year. A desire to pursue a career in the culinary arts is no longer limited to cooking in the kitchen,” said Kris Moon, vice president of the James Beard Foundation. “Just as the types of careers available in the culinary arts have evolved, so too is the Foundation’s scholarship program. The National Scholars Program supports a diverse group of students exploring virtually every educational discipline, whether that be history, anthropology, economics, management, or the sciences—as viewed through the lens of food.”

This year, and in each subsequent year, up to ten annual scholarships in the amount of $20,000 each will be granted. To ensure regional diversity, one awardee is selected from each of the ten geographic regions defined by the James Beard Foundation Awards.

The JBF National Scholars Program is a part of the larger James Beard Foundation Scholarship Program, which is awarding more than $750,000 in financial aid available in 2016, the largest annual total in the Foundation’s history.

Established in 1991, the scholarship program assists aspiring and established culinary professionals who plan to further their education at a licensed or accredited culinary school or hospitality institution, college, or university. In the past 25 years, the program has not only grown in visibility and financial scope, but in the breadth of subjects its recipients have embraced. As of 2016, the Foundation will have awarded over $6.5 million in financial aid to more than 1,800 recipients.

Belcampo 100 Day Dry Aged BurgerWe’re hearing a lot from high-end steakhouses talking about premium, aged beef. There is even a butcher shop/restaurant locally highlighting a burger with a 100-day dry-aged beef patty. What should we know about aging beef?

How does aging improve the flavor or texture of beef? There is wet aging and dry aging. Is a prime streak aged 35-days really better than a cut which was only aged 7-days ? Is long aging really better? Our meat experts will explain all…

Joining us to chat about aging beef are the Meatheads from West Coast Prime Meats, Jay Henderson and Terry Hanks. They have over 50-years of combined, hands-on experience in the business!

Anita Lau of Mad Hungry WomanThe Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, joins us with a gem of a San Diego County dining discovery in Del Mar. Earlier in his career the chef there was part of the opening team at both Marche Moderne in South Coast Plaza as well as Charlie Palmer’s at Bloomingdales in South Coast Plaza.

Anita will also share her first impressions of the long-in-the-works El Mercado Modern Cuisine in Santa Ana. This is a new concept from the chef/proprietor of the highly regarded Anepalco.

Jason MontelibanoOur friend and colleague, Anne Marie Panoringan (OC Weekly’s blog), was the first journalist to break the story (August 30th) that Executive Chef Jason Montelibano was departing EATS Kitchen at Hotel Irvine to return to Chapter One: The Modern Local in Santa Ana. Time to catch-up with Chef Jason (a.k.a. Chef Chicken Wing.)

From Anne Marie’s OC Weekly “Stick a Fork in It” blog post:

“I have had such a positive experience with EATS, Hotel Irvine and the Irvine Company over the last two years. And while I’ve learned so much and grown in this time, I’m very excited to return to Chapter One: the modern local, in Santa Ana to continue my career in an environment of creativity and collaboration. As always, I’m eternally grateful to those who’ve supported me every step of the way, and I look forward to what the future brings.” – Chef Jason Montelibano

Richard FossOur colleagues at The Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC) are at it again. There’s a lot of interest in fine whiskey here IN California, but do you know about the fine whiskeys FROM California? Though the state’s been producing whiskey since at least the 1860s, there’s never been such a selection of styles at such high quality as there is now. And you probably haven’t had the chance to experience the range for yourself, but with the latest edition of “The Thoughtful Feast: A California Whiskey Dinner,” all that’s changed.

On October 11, the Pacific Food & Beverage Museum (PacFAB), in collaboration with Women Who Whiskey – Los Angeles, will host a dinner featuring five highly distinctive styles of California whiskey, each paired with a sumptuous dish from the kitchen of 1212 Santa Monica, the newest culinary star on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade. Diners will enjoy the five whiskeys listed below, both neat and cocktailed, and a diverse five-course menu featuring lamb, pork belly, roasted root vegetables, and much more.

A portion of all proceeds support the National Food & Beverage Foundation (NatFAB), home of PacFAB, The Museum of the American Cocktail, and the Southern Food & Beverage Museum.

Dinner is $85 for all NatFAB, Women Who Whiskey, and Culinary Historians of Southern California members, or $95 for non-members, and includes tax and gratuity. NatFAB membership is available to all right here. Space is limited to 50 diners and reservations are required. Visit their website for more information and to purchase tickets now.

1212 Santa Monica is located at 1212 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401.

Featured Whiskeys

Long Beach Kitchen Ink CalendarOrganizers of Dine LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week recently announced the upcoming sale of the Dine LBC Long Beach Kitchen Ink 2017 Calendar featuring stunning photos of 13 Long Beach chefs and one local urban farm owner for each of twelve months plus front and back covers. Calendar sales benefit Dine LBC Originals Marketing Fund that provides marketing and public relations support to participating independently owned restaurants year-round.

Dine LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week founder Terri Henry conceived the idea after seeing “Kitchen Ink” editorial feature in an Orange County publication several years ago. She was looking to bring the concept to Long Beach but wanted to put a unique spin on it, hence the calendar idea was born.

“We wanted to produce a unique promotional piece that showcases the individual personalities of the culinary talent here, which in so many cases include body ink,” said Henry. “The calendar is our way of paying homage to those behind the scenes of our delicious dining experiences in Long Beach.”

More than just a one-time editorial feature, the calendar is a high quality promotional piece and expected to warrant a keepsake status beyond its 12 months. Based on the enthusiasm from the featured chefs, Henry expects it become an annual project.

Dine LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week founder, Terri Henry, is our guest.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: James Beard Foundation National Scholars Program recipient, Holland Dougherty
Segment Three: The “Meatheads” from West Coast Prime Meats – Aging Beef
Segment Four: Anita Lau, Mad Hungry Woman blogger
Segment Five: Executive Chef Jason Montelibano, Chapter One – The Modern Local
Segment Six: Pacific Food & Beverage Museum’s “The Thoughtful Feast: A California Whiskey Dinner”
Segment Seven: Terri Henry, Founder, Dine LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week