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Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA, is the home of another great, Andy Harris, who runs his own successful radio show called SoCal Restaurant Show on 830 am KLAA radio.
A group of IFWTWA members (International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association) traveled to Andy’s studio because he had been nominated for the Golden Foodies Award, the equivalent of the culinary Academy Awards and the most distinguished foodie award in Orange County. The Angel team owns 830 am radio and the Angel’s Program Director is also the director for 830 am radio.
As we climbed the steps to the second floor where the broadcast was to take place, we were dazzled with brightly covered walls of memorabilia from the Angels team.
Once we saw Andy on the radio, we knew why he had been nominated for this prestigious award. He exudes a passion for food and for the variety of food-related guests he invites on air. His positive and enthusiastic demeanor affords listeners the ability to relate and enjoy all that his guests have to offer.
On this particular day, Andy Harris interviewed a variety of food industry guests. The co-host of the show during our visit was Executive Chef Andrew Gruel from Slapfish Restaurant with locations in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX and at the University of California-Irvine.
Andrew grew his empire by starting with a food truck in 2011. The name, Slapfish, comes from the saying that the fish is so fresh it will slap you, something that actually happened to him when a friend tossed him a fish.
Slapfish tries to have fresh fish from the U.S. but they do bring in some from Canada. They purchase directly from the fisherman when possible, eliminating any delay in arrival to their restaurants. Many times they buy fish on Futures from the fisherman and order the amount they believe can be used at all his restaurants.
Andrew says flash frozen fish are the freshest because from the pole the fish goes directly into an ice slurry of 32 degrees. He also encouraged us to look for the BAP label on shrimp bags, a certification started by the World Wildlife Foundation to promote responsible practices across the aquaculture industry.
As guests of Andrew and Slapfish, we were served a creamy clam chowder with corn and bacon and one of my food favorites, a delicious crab and lobster roll spiced with Slapfish’s own tasty hot sauce.
The next guest on the air was M.J. Hong. She left the corporate world in 2009 after 15 years as the director of human resources to pursue a career doing what she loves—hosting events involving entertainment and wine at The Wine Artist located in Irvine, CA.
M.J.’s emphasis is often teambuilding. I was fortunate enough to participate in a teambuilding event at The Wine Artist and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Another fun activity involves bottling, sealing and labeling the musk (grape juice) that M.J. purchases. Many times groups do this for a bachelorette or wedding party.
Carla Hall from ABC’s “The Chew” was interviewed that day on air while she was in D.C. promoting American cooking and regional styles for the James Beard Foundation. Carla’s emphasis is on ingredients and techniques for seasonal food and vegetables that are not as rich as gourmet foods of the past. She also participated in Expo Milano as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s delegation where the group discussed feeding the enormous number of people in the world in the future.
A wonderful cold brewed coffee awaited us prepared by Martin Dietrick of Kean Coffee with locations in Newport Beach and Tustin. This cold brewed coffee isn’t made by simply putting ice cubes in coffee but by a 24-hour brewing and steeping process whereby he arrives at a rich, deep, creamy flavor
Kean Coffee is a local family business. He explained on the air to Andy that the craft of roasting is like the craft of the vintner. Martin is fourth generation in the coffee industry. His family became involved when his grandmother inherited a coffee farm in Costa Rica. His passion and love of his craft shows when he explains the process he uses to craft the best coffee possible. We all agreed it was the most flavorful iced coffee we had ever tasted.
Orange County’s Bobbie Navarro of 100 Eats was the next guest on SoCal Restaurant Week. Bobby left a decade of work in the hospitality industry to fully commit to his own event planning and culinary promotions company, 100eats.com. The name comes from the concept in 2010 when he traveled to 100 restaurants in 100 days.
In addition to event planning, Bobby is very involved in non-profit work, especially the organization called Inspire Artistic Minds, a national organization that provides scholarships in the culinary industry for schooling.
Finally, Simon Majumber of Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” spoke about his newest book entitled Fed, White and Blue--Finding America with my Fork. This book their food experiences. He has been
We finished our day sitting in the Angel’s conference room eating the delectable lobster roll and sharing several bottles of wine while the Angel’s Program Director, Bob Agnew, shared stories of the Angel’s baseball team. What an experience to witness SoCal Restaurant Week being broadcast and then to have the opportunity to sit in the Angel’s conference room and enjoy viewing all the trophies and memorabilia of the team.
Websites for all the guests are listed below so that you can find out specific information and locations:
For more broadcasts of SoCal Restaurant Week, tune in every Saturday to 830 am KLAA radio from 10 am until noon or listen to the podcasts.