From the Bay area to the Mexican border, feed your mind at 10 AM Saturday mornings on AM 830.
Co-hosted by Andrew Harris and Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, the SoCal Restaurant Show is a two hour broadcast on clear radio, its menu chock-full of zesty food, libation and travel.
Local and internationally renowned guest personalities feed the listener with all things culinary. Executive producer/ journalist Andrew Harris, on the airwaves since 1998, has produced and hosted this show on Angels radio for three years, injecting over three decades of rich culinary experience into the offerings.
Andrew Gruel, whose Slapfish restaurants in southern California, Dubai, BWI and LAX boast “fish so fresh it will slap you” co-hosts. “I could talk fish all day.” From the beta test prototype food truck in 2011, to a growing presence with focus on sustainability, Slapfish purchases fish direct from the fisherman for maximum quality and moderate pricing. His recommendation: “from pole to cold in a 32 degree ice slurry arrests potential microbes and histamines, avoiding hazardous scenarios.”
A group of IFWTWA (International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association) journalists had a rare opportunity to observe the show live on August 1 through the glass studio window in the Angel Office Building adjacent to the Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. We‘re in awe of rooms and hallways emblazoned with Angels history and memorabilia. AM 830 is owned by the Angels. Leslie Koontz, senior account executive, is here to greet us, as is program director Bob Agnew, formerly of KNBR fame in the Bay Area.
First up, Susan Montgomery, a food, wine, travel, arts and lifestyle writer and IFWTWA treasurer, transports the audience to a boutique hotel, Casa Mayoral in Baja’s Guadalupe Valley, known for its vineyards. There, she was delighted with the warmth of the B&B’s hosts, a rustic yet contemporary cottage overlooking an ostrich farm, and a spectacular breakfast.
As I reflexively licked my lips, an Angel (employee) entered, smiling, with trays, bottles of water and wine. We gobbled prosciutto di Parma and San Daniele, Marcona almonds, fig jam, Brie, white cheddar and champagne grapes, grateful for the studio’s generosity and also the glass barricade between us and the live show. Later, Slapfish creamy clam chowder with corn and bacon and a Clobster (crab and lobster) roll with Slapfish hot sauce satisfied.
Andrew Harris soon introduced MJ Hong, former corporate executive and now the proprietress of The Wine Artist in Lake Forest, CA. With an H.R. background and flair for entertainment, she found her niche here. The Mediterranean-inspired space is an event venue, where you can throw a party or wedding, schedule a private wine tasting and send your guests home with a bottle of wine and custom label. Currently, cooking classes scheduled include Thai, Dim Sum, Creole-Cajun, and Spanish themes. Also offered are unique team-building exercises for up to 100.
“You can quickly get to know someone though food,” confirmed Andrew Gruel.
Chef Carla Hall, that iconic figure on The Chew and a return guest on the SoCal Restaurant Show, needed little introduction. She engaged the audience with some recent culinary-based travels- with a good dose of humanitarianism.
In April, she hosted the James Beard Book, Broadcast and Journalism Awards in New York.
Last week in the Hamptons, at the James Beard Foundations Chefs and Champagne fundraiser, Chef Hall oohed and ahhed over the Taittinger and the forty best chefs in the stunning Wölffer Estate Vineyard. Favorites, she enthused, included roasted beets with homemade goat cheese and honeycomb on a honey cracker, pork belly with pickled cabbage, and smoked oysters with barbecue sauce.
Andrew Harris deftly transitioned the radio segments, course by course, as if sharing a meal, while co-host Andrew Gruel infused energy and spice.
Last month, she was among President Obama’s delegation in the USA Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 in Milan, Italy, “United to Feed the Planet.” The challenge of “how will we feed the world population of nine billion by 2050?” spotlights science, technology, trade, nutrition and climate. Chef Hall was moved by the huge, innovative vertical gardens and admittedly grabbed and ate.
Next, a glass was raised to Kean Coffee’s Martin Diedrich, who had already treated us to a flavorful cold roast this morning. Though listeners could not witness his intensity in the studio, headphones in place, they likely felt the passion in his on-air presence. As Chef Gruel touts farm to table, the owner of Kean Coffee pledges roaster to cup, with coffeehouses in Newport Beach and Tustin. “We deliver ultimately in the cup.”
From roots on the family farm in Guatemala, coffee is in this master roaster’s blood. Some of today’s relationships link to those of his father. I observe within that he seems very “grounded.”
Bobby Navarro grew up in the restaurant industry in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Since his 100 Eats blog in 2010, he continues on a life journey, building upon culinary studies at the Art Institute, affiliations with famed chefs and restaurateurs to create an organization which connects and promotes. Knowing firsthand the cost of culinary and other specialty arts training, he has demonstrated commitment via inspirearts.org, which provides scholarships so others can pursue their chosen path. Exuberant, yet humble Bobby Navarro and his 100eats.com warrant our attention.
British-American Simon Majumdar is well-known as a judge on Cutthroat Kitchen. The entertaining author and critic’s latest book “Fed, White and Blue” chronicles his journey of becoming an American and his travels “with my wife and my knives” in a quest to meet and break bread with fellow Americans.
This enigmatic personality will MC the 2015 Golden Foodies Awards, which he calls the Oscars of the Food World in Orange County.
Voting is underway now for Category 1: Best Cocktails* Bartender of the Year *Best Food Talk Radio Show*Best Food Writer *Best Sushi *Best Dessert *Best Service Award.
Anyone may vote.
The SoCal Restaurant Show and co-hosts Andrew Harris and Chef Gruel are nominees for the 2015 Golden Foodie Awards for the category: Best Food Talk Radio Show.
Express yourself! Voting is August 1-7 only @ http://www.goldenfoodieawards.com/