Show 489, September 3, 2022: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Happy Labor Day Weekend. Enjoy something absolutely delicious!

The venerable and architecturally significant Tam O’Shanter in Atwater Village is celebrating it’s 100th birthday this year. Always a favorite of Walt Disney it’s currently overseen by the fourth-generation of the founding Frank and Van de Kamp families. Their CEO (Ryan O’Melveny Wilson) is an accomplished chef. A culmination of the anniversary festivities was a six-course centennial repast held in mid-July. The elaborate Sunday dinner highlighted significant dishes from various eras of the Tam’s historic past. Of course the signature Lawry’s Prime Rib with Yorkshire Pudding was on the evening’s menu.

LA Weekly’s well-respected Food Editor, Michele Stueven, was the co-host. Michele joins us to discuss the evening and the historical significance of the Tam O’Shanter on the ever-changing Los Angeles restaurant scene. We’ll also ask what restaurant openings on the horizon she is most anticipating for the balance of the year.

Every year Chef Marco Zapien of Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria in Pico Rivera goes all out to celebrate the short Hatch Pepper season. His concluding Hatch Chile event is Zapien’s Hatch Pepper Roast set for Saturday, September 10th from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It also includes a Hatch Brunch menu in the restaurant showcasing brunch favorites prepared with Hatch Peppers. This year’s Hatch Chile Roast allows patrons to pick-up on the spot roasted Melissa’s Hatch Chiles by the case and by the preferred level of spice from mild to hot. Pre-ordering is advised. Chef Marco takes a break from his busy kitchen to provide all the savory and flavorful Hatch roasting details.

Populaire, the much-anticipated restaurant from veteran chefs Ross Pangilinan and Nicholas Weber, opened its doors at South Coast Plaza on June 1. The two Patina Restaurant Group alums – both protégés of renowned restaurateur and Master Chef Joachim Splichal — have since forged their own respective culinary paths.” “Guests can anticipate savoring classic bistro staples with modern California flavors and twists, from Escargot Ebelskivers with Sauerkraut, Buttermilk and Parsley to Fried Chicken & Royal Osetra Caviar with Labneh and Chives, along with Ratatouille with Egg Yolk, Aged White Cheddar, Gochugaru Chili, Olive Oil & Crostini, and Dungeness Crab Chawanmushi with Sea Urchin, Red Yuzu Kosho and Saffron Dashi. Entrée-wise, there’s Spanish Octopus with Koji Crème Fraiche, Cured Green Tomato & Hemp Seed Crumble – as well as Prime Bavette Steak with Sauce Au Poivre and Whipped Potatoes.” Chef / Proprietor Nick Weber joins us.

When we last spoke with Las Vegas-based food and entertainment journalist Al Mancini he had just launched the ambitious Neon Feast dining app. “Available now on app stores for both Apple and Android, Neon Feast solves the “where to eat” dilemma for both visitors and locals with listings curated by dozens of local and nationally prominent food & beverage experts, searchable through a unique combination of filters and capabilities.” Al Mancini is our guest to discuss Labor Day dining (spotlighting the very best in regional hot dogs) in Las Vegas and provide an update on the progress of Neon Feast.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel the Founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza), Two Birds and the soon to launch, full-service Calico Fish House (in Huntington Beach) provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. When we think of sturgeon it’s probably best known as the source of caviar. Some of us have perhaps enjoyed smoked sturgeon in a Jewish Deli. Fresh sturgeon is a somewhat hidden delicacy. Chef Andrew shares the joys of sturgeon as a center-plate protein and its sustainability in a farm-raised system.

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

Show 486, August 6, 2022: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Anne Marie Panoringan is Voice of OC’s well-informed food columnist. She reports industry news, current events and trends. The column publishes every other Friday. Anne Marie joins us in-studio to talk about her recent evening at possibly the ultimate Orange County dining experience at 21 Royal at The Disneyland Resort with 11 other foodie guests. Additionally we’ll highlight some of her recent columns and preview Anne Marie’s upcoming August 12th column.

Every year Chef Marco Zapien of Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria in Pico Rivera goes all out to celebrate the short Hatch Pepper season. First up for the festivities is Chef Marco’s Hatch Pepper Tailgate Celebration on the evening of Wednesday, August 17th. It’s an entertaining cooking demo and Dinner featuring the dishes prepared in the cooking demonstration. The recipes are from the new Melissa’s Hatch Pepper Cookbook which Chef Marco contributed to. Chef Marco is our guest stirring up all the spicy specifics.

We’ve followed the career of acclaimed Executive Chef Michael Rossi since his days as Chef de Cuisine with Chef Andrew Sutton (Culinary Director of the Disneyland Resort) at Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian. Most recently Chef Rossi was the founding Executive Chef of The Ranch in Anaheim and demonstrated that a handsomely appointed premium steakhouse could also be a distinguished, destination fine-dining restaurant. Last year Chef Michael and his brother, David (an accomplished pastry chef), formed a partnership (Gateway) with Ed and Gabbi Patrick (Gabbi’s and Chaak) to develop and manage restaurants. The first venture is a reworking of Zeytoon in Laguna Beach. Added is rooftop dining and a wine bar. Chef Rossi takes a break from his busy kitchen to join us.

The Steven Kent Winery was started in 1996 with one mission: to make Cabernet in the Livermore Valley that rivals in quality the greatest red wines made anywhere in the world. By the turn of the last century, Livermore Valley was already far ahead of its Napa Valley neighbor in specializing in the Bordeaux varieties. The goal at Steven Kent is to carry on that tradition. Steven Kent Mirassou (6th generation winemaker) joins us to pull the cork on all that is The Steven Kent Winery.”

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel the Founder of Big Parm (New Jersey-style pizza), Two Birds and the soon to launch, full-service Calico Fish House (in Huntington Beach) provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chicken seems to be the current “it” protein and continuing to grow in popularity. Crispy chicken sandwiches have maintained their appeal especially at fast casual establishments. New variations are still being introduced with eager anticipation and great fanfare. Chef Andrew talks about the enduring appeal of cluck and the secrets of success for Chick-fil-A.

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

Show 412, February 13, 2021: Chef & Proprietor Marco Zapien, Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria, Pico Rivera Part One

Marco Zapien of Zapiens Salsa Grill and Taqueria

Chef Marco Zapien’s Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria in Pico Rivera has reopened for sidewalk dining Tuesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Family meals are still available To-Go. For Sunday (Valentine’s Day) from 4 to 8:00 p.m. Chef Marco has created a 3- course menu with options for each course either for al fresco dining or curbside pickup. Think Rosemary Roasted Prime Rib of Beef.

Chef Marco also has a special Lent menu with traditional Lenten dishes as well as his own original, Lent creations. It’s available starting on Ash Wednesday, February 17th. Think Mojarra Frita with pan-fried whole tilapia topped with roasted garlic butter and served with rice and frijoles de la olla.

After chefing in the sports and entertainment industry for years, Chef Marco Zapien decided in 2003 that it was time to build a reputation in the private sector by partnering with his Father, Jess, in a family operated restaurant. Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria has been the culinary heart of the Pico Rivera community for 18 years now and has developed into a community favorite for preparing authentic regional Mexican fare. They even make the effort to prepare their own tortillas fresh daily.

Marco has developed a signature style of cooking that incorporates two generations of his Mother’s and Father’s family recipes with a dash of his own passionate creativity.

We entice Chef Marco out of his busy kitchen for a chat.