Show 489, September 3, 2022: Zapien’s Hatch Pepper Roast with Chef Marco Zapien of Zapien’s Salsa Grill, Pico Rivera

Marco Zapien of Zapiens Salsa Grill and Taqueria

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. An Action Station includes Omelettes and Eggs to Order, Hatch-Brown Sugar Glazed Bone-In Ham, and Belgian Waffles and Fresh Berries. Many of the dishes featured are from the new Melissa’s Hatch Pepper Cookbook.

This year’s Hatch Chile Roast allows patrons to pick-up on the spot freshly-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 Hatch roasting details.

September 3: Michele Stueven on the Tam O’Shanter, Marco Zapien, Populaire Modern Bistro, Al Mancini

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: LA Weekly’s Food Editor, Michele Stueven on The Tam O’Shanter at 100 Part One
Segment Three: LA Weekly’s Food Editor, Michele Stueven on The Tam O’Shanter at 100 Part Two
Segment Four: Zapien’s Hatch Pepper Roast with Chef Marco Zapien of Zapien’s Salsa Grill, Pico Rivera
Segment Five: Populaire Modern Bistro at South Coast Plaza with Executive Chef Nicholas Weber Part One
Segment Six: Populaire Modern Bistro at South Coast Plaza with Executive Chef Nicholas Weber Part Two
Segment Seven: Al Mancini, Food & Entertainment Journalist, Las Vegas, and Creator of Neon Feast Dining App
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel (Co-Host) with “Ask the Chef”

We’re previewing the show 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 a “Croque Madame” Air Waffle with Comte Crème, Parisian Ham and Quail Egg, 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 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 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!

Michele Stueven of LA Weekly

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 recap the memorable evening and the historical significance of the Tam O’Shanter on the Los Angeles restaurant scene. We’ll also ask what restaurant openings on the horizon she is most anticipating for the balance of the year.

Marco Zapien of Zapiens Salsa Grill and Taqueria

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 freshly-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 Hatch roasting details.

Nick Weber of Populaire Modern Bistro

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.”

“Pangilinan currently owns and operates several successful restaurants, including Terrace by Mix Mix at South Coast Plaza, Mix Mix Kitchen & Bar in Santa Ana (which earned a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2019) and ReMix Kitchen & Bar in Long Beach. Weber most recently served as executive chef of 24 Carrots, one of OC’s most sought-after catering companies, along with previous executive chef roles at Catal Restaurant at Downtown Disney, Pinot Provence in Costa Mesa and The Cannery in Newport Beach.”

“Guests can anticipate savoring classic bistro staples with modern California flavors and twists, from Escargot Ebelskivers with Sauerkraut, Buttermilk and Parsley to a “Croque Madame” Air Waffle with Comte Crème, Parisian Ham and Quail Egg, 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.”

Populaire is located at South Coast Plaza on Level 2, Saks Fifth Avenue wing.

Chef Nick Weber joins us.

Al Mancini of Neon Feast

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.”

“In contrast to other crowdsourced restaurant review apps, the list of venues on Neon Feast is limited to only those that the experts recommend, currently approaching 500 eateries. The diverse all-star panel includes prominent local and national food writers, local chefs and foodies who were invited to share the restaurants they would recommend to friends and family (without compensation). Restaurants cannot “buy-in” to be included on the app, although premium features allow them to add reservation buttons, one-touch Uber calls and other elements. Some of the searchable filters and lists include cuisine types, neighborhoods, date night spots, late-night dining, breathtaking views, etc.”

Al Mancini is our guest to discuss Labor Day dining in Las Vegas and provide an update on the progress of Neon Feast.

Chef Andrew Gruel of Big Parm and the Calico Fish House

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 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.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: LA Weekly’s Food Editor, Michele Stueven on The Tam O’Shanter at 100 Part One
Segment Three: LA Weekly’s Food Editor, Michele Stueven on The Tam O’Shanter at 100 Part Two
Segment Four: Zapien’s Hatch Pepper Roast with Chef Marco Zapien of Zapien’s Salsa Grill, Pico Rivera
Segment Five: Populaire Modern Bistro at South Coast Plaza with Executive Chef Nicholas Weber Part One
Segment Six: Populaire Modern Bistro at South Coast Plaza with Executive Chef Nicholas Weber Part Two
Segment Seven: Al Mancini, Food & Entertainment Journalist, Las Vegas, and Creator of Neon Feast Dining App
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel (Co-Host) with “Ask the Chef”

Show 486, August 6, 2022: Chef Marco Zapien, Hatch Pepper Tailgate Celebration at Zapien’s Salsa Grill

Marco Zapien of Zapiens Salsa Grill and Taqueria

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 and interactive cooking demo and Dinner featuring the dishes prepared in the cooking demonstration. The recipes are from the new Melissa’s Hatch Pepper Cookbook. Chef Marco is our guest serving all the spicy specifics.

The Drink of the Day is a Hatch Pepper and Pink Pineapple Agua FrescaRITA. The Dinner Menu includes Hatch Barbecue Pulled Pork Sliders, Hatch Pozole Tostada, Hatch Tacos de Papas, Hatch Pepper Big Game Chili, Hatch Coctel de Camaron, Melissa’s Costa Azul Glazed Chicken Wings and, for Dessert, Hatch Pepper and Cream Cheese Crepes with Rum Caramel Sauce.

The evening is $80 per guest and reservations are needed.

August 6: Anne Marie Panoringan, Michael Rossi, Marco Zapien, Steven Kent Winery

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anne Marie Panoringan, The Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part One
Segment Three: Anne Marie Panoringan, The Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part Two
Segment Four: Chef Marco Zapien, Hatch Pepper Tailgate Celebration at Zapien’s Salsa Grill
Segment Five: Chef Michael Rossi, Partner, Zeytoon, Laguna Beach
Segment Six: Steven Kent Mirassou, Steven Kent Winery, Livermore Part One
Segment Seven: Steven Kent Mirassou, Steven Kent Winery, Livermore Part Two
Segment Eight: “Ask the Chef” with Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of Calico Fish House

We’re previewing the show 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.

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.

Every year Chef Marco Zapien of Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria in Pico Rivera goes all out to celebrate 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. Chef Marco is our guest stirring up all the spicy specifics.

“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 cluck and also offers some practical tips for safely handling raw chicken at home.

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

Food Journalist Anne Marie Panoringan

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 her upcoming August 12th column.

“Imagine hosting an extraordinary dinner party for 12 guests in the heart of Disneyland Park, in a private residence once envisioned by Walt and Lillian Disney as a secluded family retreat and a luxurious oasis in which to host celebrities and dignitaries. Some five decades later, the Disneys’ vision has been realized in this one-of-a-kind and truly unforgettable epicurean experience at 21 Royal.”

Anne Marie will then update us on the expansion plans of master mixologist Gaby Dion of Mixing Glass in Costa Mesa and preview her next column including the expansion of the Culinary Lab. Anne Marie is also talking something new in burgers with the launch of Ojai Burger in Orange.

Marco Zapien of Zapiens Salsa Grill and Taqueria

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 and interactive cooking demo and Dinner featuring the dishes prepared in the cooking demonstration. The recipes are from the new Melissa’s Hatch Pepper Cookbook. Chef Marco is our guest serving all the spicy specifics.

The Drink of the Day is a Hatch Pepper and Pink Pineapple Agua FrescaRITA. The Dinner Menu includes Hatch Barbecue Pulled Pork Sliders, Hatch Pozole Tostada, Hatch Tacos de Papas, Hatch Pepper Big Game Chili, Hatch Coctel de Camaron, Melissa’s Costa Azul Glazed Chicken Wings and, for Dessert, Hatch Pepper and Cream Cheese Crepes with Rum Caramel Sauce.

The evening is $80 per guest and reservations are needed.

Michael Rossi of the Ranch Restaurant and Saloon

We’ve followed the career of acclaimed Executive Chef Michael Rossi since his days as Chef de Cuisine with Chef Andrew Sutton (Culinary Director for 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 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.

Steven Kent Mirassou of the Lineage Collection

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 joins us to pull the cork on all that is The Steven Kent Winery.

“Steven Kent Mirassou is the 6th-generation winemaker for The Lineage Collection located in the Livermore Valley. Steven has been making wine for his four separate brands since 1996 and regards his growing area as one of the finest in the world for Bordeaux varieties. Though Steven started out making Cabernet Sauvignon, he fell in love with the Loire Valley version of Cabernet Franc in the early 2000s. He regards this grape to be the sexiest, most alluring, most complex in the world.”

“The fact that the Livermore Valley is one of the finest areas in California to grow this grape makes the marriage between variety and obsession much more likely to succeed at a world-class quality level. L’Autre Côte is a Cabernet Franc brand whose mission is to make single-vineyard wines from great sites that create emotional connections between the winemaker and the wine drinker and that highlight the unequaled elegance and complexity of this grape.”

The best wines are balanced wines that reveal the site, the variety, and the winemaking vision in a way that makes our wines memorable. We create wines that celebrate the lushness of California while maintaining a more acid-driven, tannic style that speaks of the Old World.”

“Steven Kent Winery wines are aged in 100% French oak barrels. The percentage of new oak to once or second-used barrel is dependent upon how much organoleptic contribution they think the wines need from wood. Generally, they use only 50-60% new barrel, believing that the aromas and flavors of fruit are much more delicious than those derived from wood.”

“Steven Kent Winery blends are often elaborate, and they are made as early in the aging process as possible. They have found that the best, most complex and delicious blends are those that have ample time for each individual variety to marry harmoniously with its mates.”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and Casino

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 on PCH) 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 is continuing to grow in popularity. Crispy chicken sandwiches have maintained their appeal, too, especially at popular fast casual establishments. New variations are still being introduced with eager anticipation and great fanfare. Chef Andrew talks cluck and also offers some practical tips for safely handling raw chicken at home.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anne Marie Panoringan, The Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part One
Segment Three: Anne Marie Panoringan, The Voice of OC’s Food Columnist Part Two
Segment Four: Chef Marco Zapien, Hatch Pepper Tailgate Celebration at Zapien’s Salsa Grill
Segment Five: Chef Michael Rossi, Partner, Zeytoon, Laguna Beach
Segment Six: Steven Kent Mirassou, Steven Kent Winery, Livermore Part One
Segment Seven: Steven Kent Mirassou, Steven Kent Winery, Livermore Part Two
Segment Eight: “Ask the Chef” with Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of Calico Fish House

Show 412, February 13, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Happy Valentine’s Day Weekend! A word to the wise…Do plan ahead…

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

General Manager Sara O’Shea was part of the opening team for the Golden Road Pub – Anaheim (also a production brewery.) A highlight of the operation is their large outdoor Biergarden which is again welcoming guests. The food is creatively elevated from the typical brew pub fare (there is a real chef (Henry) in the kitchen) and there is always an intriguing variety of craft beers to sample. Also on the beer menu are limited production craft styles brewed right there that are exclusive to the Anaheim location. Well-behaved canine friends are again welcome outside at the Biergarden.

Mezcal has come a long way since the days of the worm in the bottle and can be savored (and appreciated) as it’s cousin, a fine premium tequila, can be enjoyed. It’s a clear liquor and originally came from Oaxaca. Mezcal can be produced from several species of the agave plant. Mezcaliera and Mezcal Sommelier Noah Arenstein is our informed guide. Noah relocated to Las Vegas from Brooklyn last year to be part of the opening team of Chef Enrique Olvera’s (Pujol in Mexico City) highly anticipated Encore at Wynn Las Vegas.

Factory Place Hospitality Group, a restaurant group led by Restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi, was founded in March of 2013. Executive Chef and Business Partner Angelo Auriana, joined Ferdinandi and his wife, Francine Diamond-Ferdinandi, in August 2013 shortly before the opening of The Factory Kitchen in Downtown Los Angeles. The L.A. collection of establishments also includes Brera Ristorante and sixth+mill pizzeria. The Factory Kitchen (serving dinner nightly from Tuesday through Saturday) and Brera Ristorante (serving Dinner nightly from Tuesday through Saturday) have reopened for patio dining. Both Factory Kitchen and Brera reopen for lunch on February 16th. To-Go availability at both establishments continues. Matteo Ferdinandi is graciously at our service along with Chef Angelo Auriana.

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 fine-dining, 3- course menu with options for each course either for al fresco dining or curbside pickup. Think Rosemary Roasted Prime Rib of Beef.

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. We pull Chef Marco out of his busy kitchen to chat about chiles rellenos and other Zapien’s specialties.

As Philip Brandes, the founder of Bravus Brewing Co. will gladly explain, “Not all non-alcoholic beer is created equal” and he has earned the meaningful accolades to back that statement up. When beverage enthusiasts want to pass on an alcoholic beer they certainly do not want to give up the taste of a high quality craft beer and they don’t have to! Bravus’ proprietary brewing process allows them to produce craft beer styles that taste exactly like their alcohol counterparts. Founded in 2015, Bravus Brewery is the first North American brewery dedicated to non-alcoholic craft beer with their carefully guarded, proprietary brewing process that has the industry wondering how they produce such award -winning beer! Founder Philip Brandes joins us to tap the keg on Bravus Brewing Co.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and increasingly growing) concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. How is it going thus far? We’ll “Ask the Chef.” Sous Vide cooking is a very popular technique used in fine dining kitchens. It’s available as a useful tool for serious home cooks, too. Chef Andrew provides the basics.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) 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 Two

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 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 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.

Now that we have Chef Marco taking a break from his busy kitchen he stays with us for more inspired food conversation.

Show 387, August 22, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Chef Gino Choi’s OmG Omakase by Gino in Santa Ana is (pre-Covid 19) a multi-course, prix fixe menu dining experience. It’s all of 10 seats and Chef Gino sources a lot of his premium fish direct from Japan. He’s the solo star of the nightly show. When he can accommodate diners again it’s up to 18 courses and reservations are needed a couple of weeks in advance. His guests have been asking so Chef Gino has just launched a limited program of Omakase Chirashi Dinner Boxes for 2 guests for takeout. The pre-orders are taken on the Wednesday before the available nights of Saturday and Sunday. Chef Gino is limiting this to 20 orders for each night to maintain his high standards. We’ll meet the resourceful and ever adaptable Chef Gino Choi.

“Hatch Chile season is here, and Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria in Pico Rivera is ready with a pair of events where guests can safely enjoy the annual availability of the unique, flavorful and bright green pepper. Adapting to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Chef Marco Zapien and team created a way for the tenth straight year of Hatch Chile Festivities to take place. This year’s Hatch Chile cooking demonstration (August 26th from 6 to 7:00 p.m. via Zoom) will be in a virtual setting, and the Hatch Chile roast (Saturday, August 29th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) will allow guests to enter a drive-thru line for pick-up. Outdoor patio dining is permitted at The Salsa Grill and Chef Marco Zapien will be featuring Hatch Chile specials on the menu on the day of the roast.” Chef Marco joins us to turn up the heat on all the goodness of cooking with Hatch Chiles.

Originally from Tomball, Texas, Jason Paluska, the Executive Chef of The Lark in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, began his cooking career in San Francisco under chefs Mitch and Steve Rosenthal of Town Hall, Salt House and Anchor & Hope in 2006. Jason went on to became a sous chef at Michael Mina’s RN74 in San Francisco. In 2013 he left the Bay area and moved to Santa Barbara as the opening executive chef of The Lark restaurant part of the Acme Hospitality restaurant group. Most recently Jason and his team at The Lark received the Michelin Plate award in June of 2019.

Accomplished Brewmaster Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing with production breweries in Los Angeles and Anaheim really needs no introduction to our listeners. He’s generously mentored many of the rising young stars of craft brewing in Orange County over the years.

His latest project is the crafting of a recently released line of hard seltzers based on Golden Road’s fruit cart flavors. The new Golden Road Fruit Cart Hard Seltzers include Cucumber Lime, Mango, Strawberry Pineapple and Watermelon. The hard seltzers are made with real fruit juice. Brewmaster Victor is with us to pull the tab on all things Hard Seltzer.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately take-out/delivery when you can surely helps… Chef Andrew has been on the road and his travels have taken him to Texas. Central Texas BBQ is very popular locally right now and Chef Andrew will have some meaty observations. We’re talking smoked brisket and sausages along the way with minimal sauce.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Show 387, August 22, 2020: Chef Marco Zapien of Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria, Pico Rivera

Marco Zapien of Zapiens Salsa Grill and Taqueria“Hatch Chile season is here, and Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria in Pico Rivera is ready with a pair of events where guests can safely enjoy the annual availability of this unique bright green and incredibly flavorful pepper.”

“Adapting to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Chef Marco Zapien and team created a way for the tenth straight year of Hatch Chile Festivities to take place. This year’s Hatch Chile cooking demonstration will be in a virtual setting, and the Hatch Chile roast will allow guests to enter a drive-thru line for pick-up.”

“The cooking demo will take place Wednesday, August 26 from 6 -7 p.m. via Zoom. Participants will be taken through a three-course Hatch Chile inspired menu and the format will still allow for the same interaction as in-restaurant demos in the past. Pre-registration is required and anyone who signs up for the premium package with all ingredients prepped and boxed, or the virtual log in access, will also receive a $25 Salsa Grill gift card.”

“This year’s Hatch Chile Roast is set for Saturday, August 29 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Patrons must pre-order their 25-pound cases of Melissa’s Hatch Chiles, and can select their preferred level of spice from mild to very hot. Patrons can arrive anytime between 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and enter the drive thru.”

“Every summer, New Mexico Hatch Chiles are ripe enough to enjoy for their short season and Chef Marco makes a late summer celebration of it. In the past, The Salsa Grill has served more Hatch Chile dishes than any other restaurant outside the Southwest region this time of year.”

“Outdoor patio dining is permitted at The Salsa Grill and Chef Marco will be featuring Hatch Chile specials on the menu on the day of the roast.”

August 22: OmG Omakase by Gino, Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria. The Lark, Golden Road Hard Seltzer

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Gino Choi, OmG Omakase by Gino, Santa Ana
Segment Three: Chef Marco Zapien of Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria, Pico Rivera
Segment Four: Executive Chef Jason Paluska, The Lark, Santa Barbara Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Jason Paluska, The Lark, Santa Barbara Part Two
Segment Six: Brewmaster Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing on Hard Seltzers Part One
Segment Seven: Brewmaster Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing on Hard Seltzers Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Gino Choi’s OmG Omakase by Gino in Santa Ana is (pre-Covid 19) a multi-course, prix fixe menu dining experience. It’s all of 10 seats and Chef Gino sources a lot of his premium fish direct from Japan. He’s the solo star of the nightly show. When he can accommodate diners again it’s up to 18 courses and reservations are needed way in advance. His guests have been asking so Chef Gino has just launched a limited program of Omakase Chirashi Dinner Boxes for 2 guests for takeout. The pre-orders are taken on the Wednesday before the available nights of Saturday and Sunday. Chef Gino is limiting this to 20 orders for each night to maintain his high standards. We’ll meet the resourceful and ever adaptable Chef Gino Choi.

“Hatch Chile season is here, and Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria in Pico Rivera is ready with a pair of events where guests can safely enjoy the annual availability of the unique, flavorful and bright green pepper. Adapting to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Chef Marco Zapien and team created a way for the tenth straight year of Hatch Chile Festivities to take place. This year’s Hatch Chile cooking demonstration (August 26th from 6 to 7:00 p.m. via Zoom) will be in a virtual setting, and the Hatch Chile roast (Saturday, August 29th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) will allow guests to enter a drive-thru line for pick-up. Outdoor patio dining is permitted at The Salsa Grill and Chef Marco Zapien will be featuring Hatch Chile specials on the menu on the day of the roast.” Chef Marco joins us to turn up the heat on all the goodness of cooking with Hatch Chiles.

Originally from Tomball, Texas, Jason Paluska, the Executive Chef of The Lark in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, began his cooking career in San Francisco under chefs Mitch and Steve Rosenthal of Town Hall, Salt House and Anchor & Hope in 2006. Jason went on to became a sous chef at Michael Mina’s RN74 in San Francisco. In 2013 he left the Bay area and moved to Santa Barbara as the opening executive chef of The Lark restaurant part of the Acme Hospitality restaurant group. Most recently Jason and his team at The Lark received the Michelin Plate award in June of 2019.

Accomplished Brewmaster Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing with production breweries in Los Angeles and Anaheim really needs no introduction to our listeners. He’s generously mentored many of the rising young stars of craft brewing in Orange County over the years.

His latest project is the crafting of a recently released line of hard seltzers based on Golden Road’s fruit cart flavors. The new Golden Road Fruit Cart Hard Seltzers include Cucumber Lime, Mango, Strawberry Pineapple and Watermelon. The hard seltzers are made with real fruit juice. Brewmaster Victor is with us to pull the tab on all things Hard Seltzer.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately take-out/delivery when you can surely helps… Chef Andrew has been on the road and his travels have taken him to Texas. Central Texas BBQ is very popular locally right now and Chef Andrew will have some meaty observations. We’re talking smoked brisket and sausages along the way.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Gino Choi of OmG Omakase by GinoChef Gino Choi’s OmG Omakase by Gino in Santa Ana is a multi-course, prix fixe menu dining experience. It’s all of 10 seats and Chef Gino sources a lot of his premium fish from Japan. He’s the star of the solo nightly show. When he can accommodate diners again it’s up to 18 courses and reservations are needed way in advance.

His guests have been asking so Chef Gino has just launched a limited program of Omakase Chirashi Dinner Boxes for 2 guests for takeout. The pre-orders are taken on the Wednesday (starting at Noon) before the available nights of Saturday and Sunday. Chef Gino is limiting this to 20 orders for each night to maintain his high standards. The boxes are $120 each (plus tax.)

We’ll meet the resourceful and ever adaptable Chef Gino Choi.

Marco Zapien of Zapiens Salsa Grill and Taqueria“Hatch Chile season is here, and Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria in Pico Rivera is ready with a pair of events where guests can safely enjoy the annual availability of this unique bright green and incredibly flavorful pepper.”

“Adapting to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Chef Marco Zapien and team created a way for the tenth straight year of Hatch Chile Festivities to take place. This year’s Hatch Chile cooking demonstration will be in a virtual setting, and the Hatch Chile roast will allow guests to enter a drive-thru line for pick-up.”

“The cooking demo will take place Wednesday, August 26 from 6 -7 p.m. via Zoom. Participants will be taken through a three-course Hatch Chile inspired menu and the format will still allow for the same interaction as in-restaurant demos in the past. Pre-registration is required and anyone who signs up for the premium package with all ingredients prepped and boxed, or the virtual log in access, will also receive a $25 Salsa Grill gift card.”

“This year’s Hatch Chile Roast is set for Saturday, August 29 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Patrons must pre-order their 25-pound cases of Melissa’s Hatch Chiles, and can select their preferred level of spice from mild to very hot. Patrons can arrive anytime between 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and enter the drive thru.”

“Every summer, New Mexico Hatch Chiles are ripe enough to enjoy for their short season and Chef Marco makes a late summer celebration of it. In the past, The Salsa Grill has served more Hatch Chile dishes than any other restaurant outside the Southwest region this time of year.”

“Outdoor patio dining is permitted at The Salsa Grill and Chef Marco will be featuring Hatch Chile specials on the menu on the day of the roast.”

Jason Paluska of the Lark“Originally from Tomball, Texas, Jason Paluska, the Executive Chef of The Lark in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, began his cooking career in San Francisco under chefs Mitch and Steve Rosenthal of Town Hall, Salt House and Anchor & Hope in 2006. Jason went on to became a sous chef at Michael Mina’s RN74 in San Francisco. For four years he worked under renowned chef Jason Berthold, formerly of the French Laundry & Per Se.”

“In 2013 he left the Bay area and moved to Santa Barbara as the opening executive chef of The Lark restaurant for Acme Hospitality. Most recently Jason and his team at The Lark received the Michelin Plate award in June of 2019.”

“The Lark, named for the sleek overnight Pullman train of the Southern Pacific Railroad that serviced Santa Barbara from 1910 -1968, is situated in the heart of the Funk Zone, a vibrant arts and entertainment district near the Waterfront in downtown Santa Barbara. Our menus are locally sourced and responsibly grown, using the highest quality seasonal ingredients based on the abundant bounty of the Central Coast.  Our food is served family style intended for sharing. Our space was designed with an urban style that integrates vintage and repurposed materials for a sophisticated yet casual sensibility with a nod to our neighborhood’s industrial past.”

“The Lark’s full bar features classic and modern craft cocktails using the finest in artisan spirits, mixers and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Our wine list highlights small Santa Barbara County producers as well as artisan winemakers from afar.”

The menu changes often. Seasonal specialties include Southern Fried Quail with Calabrian chili aioli, bread & butter pickles, smoked date caramel and scallions. Patio dining is available nightly from 5:00 p.m. as well as Takeaway orders. Closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Executive Chef Jason Paluska is our guest.

Victor Novak of Golden Road BrewingAccomplished Brewmaster Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing with production breweries in Los Angeles and Anaheim really needs no introduction to our listeners. He’s generously mentored many of the rising young stars of craft brewing in Orange County over the years.

His latest project is the crafting of a recently released line of hard seltzers based on Golden Road’s fruit cart flavors. The new Golden Road Fruit Cart Hard Seltzers include Cucumber Lime, Mango, Strawberry Pineapple and Watermelon. The hard seltzers are made with real fruit juice.

“There are different ways of creating the seltzer base,” said Victor Novak, Brewmaster at Golden Road Brewing. “For us, we start off by actually brewing a light beer, then running it through a sophisticated cross flow filtration process to ensure that it’s a very neutral and clean tasting. We then blend in just the right amount of fruit juices and natural flavorings to create our light and refreshing seltzers that are bursting with flavor but not cloying. Getting that right is crucial”

Victor joins us to pull the tab on all that is hard seltzer.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant GroupOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

Chef Andrew has been on the road and his travels have taken him to Texas. Central Texas BBQ is very popular locally right now and Chef Andrew will have some meaty observations. We’re talking smoked brisket and sausages along the way.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Gino Choi, OmG Omakase by Gino, Santa Ana
Segment Three: Chef Marco Zapien of Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria, Pico Rivera
Segment Four: Executive Chef Jason Paluska, The Lark, Santa Barbara Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Jason Paluska, The Lark, Santa Barbara Part Two
Segment Six: Brewmaster Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing on Hard Seltzers Part One
Segment Seven: Brewmaster Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing on Hard Seltzers Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 184, August 13, 2016: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Hatch Chile Season Continues…

Melissa's Hatch ChilesIt’s that most wonderful time of the year – Hatch Chile season! Grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico they are only available fresh for a few shorts weeks annually, now through mid-September.

Once roasted, Hatch Chiles are easy to peel and seed. Roasting heightens the robust earthy flavor of chiles and the texture of thick walls of the chile pod becomes lusciously rich. These unique qualities, and the peppers’ variable heat (unlike other chile peppers. Hatch Chiles come in varieties that cover the full spectrum of heat levels) have earned Hatch Chiles great popularity far beyond the local community of Hatch New Mexico.

Connoisseurs and chefs from all over the globe have adopted Hatch Chiles as a condiment of choice. Many a home cook and celebrity chef have gone further, incorporating Hatch Chiles into all kinds of superb dishes from burgers, pizzas, quiches, pancakes, milkshakes, pastries and even spiced ice cubes.

Chef Marco’s Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria in Pico Rivera really makes a celebration out of Hatch Chile season. For the 6th straight year Chef Marco Zapien is hosting an evening Hatch Chile interactive cooking demonstration, Hatch Chile Saturday parking lot roast and Hatch Chile Saturday brunch. The cooking demo is Wednesday, September 7th from 6 to 8:00 p.m. The roasting and Saturday Hatch Chile Brunch is set for September 17th. Think Hatch Chile Picadillo, and Tacos de papa con Hatch Chile.

Mouth-watering Hatch Chile recipes are available on the Melissa’s Website. Perfected recipes for Hatch Chile Guacamole, Hatch Chile Chili and Hatch Chile Salsa are all right there at the ready. The informative Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook is also an excellent reference.