Show 442, September 11, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Today we also honor the memory of all Americans who perished in the tragedy of 9/11. Particularly meaningful for us are the 79 staff members of Windows on the World restaurant located on the 106th and 107th Floors of the North Tower at the World Trade Center. The staff was truly international representing dozens of countries. Also the 91 guests who were there for breakfast functions at the time.

All Porto’s Bakery and Café locations have reopened for dine-in at 50 per cent capacity. The locations are Burbank, Buena Park, Downey, Glendale and West Covina. Northridge launches soon. The expanding Porto’s Bake at Home ships their best-selling pastries nationwide. They are unbaked, frozen and come direct to you so you can bake them fresh in your own oven. “It’s like having a Porto’s Bakery in your home.” Popular items available include Cheese Rolls, Guava Cheese Strudel, Chicken Empanadas and Potato Balls. 2nd generation baker & Family member, Betty Porto (Porto’s Vice President of Community Relations,) is our guest with rolling pin in hand.

The American Institute of Wine & Food (AIWF) is a national non-profit educational organization established in 1981 by Robert Mondavi, Julia Child, Richard Graff and others to promote a forum for the study and enjoyment of gastronomy.” “The San Diego Chapter of AIWF awards scholarships for the pursuit of culinary arts, enology/viticulture, and beverage studies in full or part-time accredited continuing education programs. The scholarships typically range from $350 to $3,000, and the funds do not need to be repaid. Since the money for the scholarships is raised by the San Diego Chapter, scholarships are only awarded to people who are connected to San Diego by school, work, or recent involvement in food or wine in the area. The scholarship money may be used for study within or outside of San Diego County.” Representing the San Diego Chapter to explain the Scholarship Program is AIWF San Diego Board member Heidi Pigeon of Posh Pantry.

The newly opened Esperanza Cocina de la Playa in Manhattan Beach is under the culinary direction of Corporate Chef Raymond Alvarez and Head Mixologists John Fox(GM) and Kevin Williams (Beverage Manager.) Chef Ray is the busy Corporate Executive Chef for the Baja Sharkeez Restaurant Group (Baja Sharkeez, Panama Joe’s, Killarney’s, Sandbar, Palmilla and Tower 12.) “Esperanza beckons guests with modern interpretations of traditional Sonoran cuisine and an expertly crafted bar program.” Chef Raymond takes a break from his busy kitchens to join us.

“What started with Rodney Strong’s (now evolved into Rodney Strong Wine Estates) vision over 60 years ago segued to an almost four-decade long career of Winemaker Emeritus Rick Sayre at Rodney Strong. Rick passed the baton in 2018 to current Director of Winemaking Justin Seidenfeld, who today leads the passionate winemaking team that creates critically acclaimed wines vintage after vintage with an eye towards the future. That future is led by innovative new products like ROWEN Wine Company, the 15-year passion project on Rodney Strong Wine Estate’s remote and rugged Cooley Ranch Vineyard.” Winemaker Justin Seidenfeld joins us to pull the cork on all that is Rodney Strong Wine Estates.

Bob and Jane Oswaks, owners and proprietors of the award-winning Bob’s Well Bread Bakery in Los Alamos, debuted their long-awaited second location at the historic Ballard Store at 2449 Baseline Avenue in Ballard, California late last year. The 1,500 square foot Bob’s Well Bread at the Ballard Store was designed by The Oswaks, located fourteen miles south from their flagship store. The Oswaks rotate regularly between both operations to ensure the quality and standards of hospitality, food and beverage. Chef Gary Clark leads the new kitchen.” “Since its inception in 2014, locals, travelers and journalists alike have embraced Bob’s Well Bread Bakery artisan breads and bakery. The bakery has successfully become a family business and an integral part of the growing Los Alamos community, which has developed into a richly diverse wine country destination. Bob’s Well Bread Bakery and the Oswaks family are committed to products that are hand-made with only the finest ingredients and natural starters.” Artisan Bread Baker & Proprietor Bob Oswaks joins us with a Pain au Chocolat in hand.

Andrew Gruel at the Surf City Marathon

Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group rejoins us next week. He ran this morning in the 25th annual Surf City Marathon. He completed the full 26 miles.

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


Show 166, April 2, 2016: Executive Chef/Partner Michael Lomonaco, Porter House Bar and Grill, New York

Michael LomonacoFor the last ten years Chef Michael Lomonaco has been at the culinary helm of Porter House New York at 10 Columbus Circle in Time Warner Center. After a carefully orchestrated month’s renovation the establishment has reopened as Porter House Bar & Grill. With a deep appreciation for a decade spent showcasing the breadth of the American table, the revamping of Porter House Bar and Grill sets the stage for the long-term future of the establishment.

Michael Lomonaco, Chef and Managing Partner of Porter House Bar and Grill, has dedicated his life to the American kitchen, celebrating the generosity and abundance of the American spirit with food that is equally bountiful, bold and filled with flavor.

A native New Yorker and veteran of the New York restaurant scene, Chef Lomonaco has brought his cuisine and leadership to some of New York’s most iconic restaurants. Along with returning glory to the storied ‘21 Club’, reviving the reputation to the magnificent Windows on the World and the memorable Wild Blue, Chef Lomonaco has been a well-respected, long-term participant in New York’s food world.

Chef Lomonaco serves on the Board of Trustees of The James Beard Foundation.

In 2006 Chef Lomonaco teamed up with Kenneth Himmel, an esteemed developer and restaurant operator, to bring Porter House New York and the neighboring Center Bar to the Time Warner Center.

Chef Lomonaco is hands-on and spends most of his time at the restaurant. Be sure to say hello the next time you’re in New York. Mention that you heard him on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

We’ll hear what’s new from Chef Lomonaco himself.