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Podcast: The Drinking Buddy Show

Chef Stephen worked his way up from culinary school to fine dining, paying his dues along the way. After years of sacrificing holidays, weekends, and dinners at home, he recently opened up a wine, cheese, snack, and accessory shop on Clark in Long Beach.
I wanted to get Greg’s thoughts on some new sake pairings while we ring in the new year. We prepped cheese, salami, senbei, and walnuts, then got down to finding our favorite combinations.
Ken grew up between Japan and the US with a passion for music. He climbed his way up and was producing music for top artists in Japan before the age of 30. Looking for a new challenge, Ken founded Golden Foo, an entertainment company, in Los Angeles with two partners. 
Dr. Paul Dohrenwend decided to head back to school for his MBA after years as a physician in San Diego. During his time at Wharton, he started piecing together a sake brand based on his experiences skiing and drinking in Hokkaido.I chatted with him about his love for premium sake, how he connected with food and beverage broker Reina Watanabe, and their combined efforts to launch Safu Sake in the midst of the unrelenting pandemic. 
Professor Slingerland fell in love with Chinese philosophy and language at an early age. He eventually completed his studies at Stanford and Berkley in Northern California, and is currently a professor of philosophy at the university of British Columbia. His latest book Drunk delves into the world of intoxicants, exploring the origins, detriments, and benefits of our ancient dance with Dionysus. I spoke with Professor Slingerland to learn more about his fascinating research and the surprising results he uncovered.
On today’s show, artist LaJon Miller joins me in Long Beach, California.  LaJon began drawing at an early age, copying his favorite graphic novel artists in notebooks. But what brought LaJon from sketches to the murals and paintings he’s known for today? How did art, something he was told couldn’t be a career, become his full-time passion? I saw down with LaJon to hear about his journey. 
Ambitious Ales started when five friends decided to leave their careers behind and take their homebrewing hobby to the professional level. I sat down with Garrett to learn about their journey from winning a couple of brewing awards to opening their doors on Atlantic Avenue in a local landmark. We chatted about their goal of being a community hub, their plans for the future, and their latest lineup of craft beers.
The Isbell Family has been farming in central Arkansas for generations. They gained international attention when they began growing premium Japanese rice, eventually bringing bus loads of visitors to see their farm. I chatted with two generations of the Isbell Family to learn about their history, sustainability practices, current sake and table rice varieties, and their plans for the future.
Welcome to our the second part of our first Sips and Snacks episode! This is our last episode recorded during the pandemic shut down. We go over a few more sake and dream of visiting an izakaya.

Darren Nicholson joins me from iPourit, headquartered in Santa Ana, CA.

As breweries, restaurants, and now bars reopen in Long Beach and LA County, I wonder what permanent changes we’ll see to the food and beverage scene.

They started off as the garage project of founder Brett Jones in 2012 and were growing steadily through 2019. The pandemic created an opportunity for them to take the self-serve model even further and introduce a touchless tap system.

Welcome to our first Sips and Snacks episode! I’m sitting down with friend of the show Greg Beck to sip on sake and umeshu, snack on some potential pairings, and learn a thing a two.
Emiko Tanabe and James Jin join us from Nova Brewing Co. in Covina, CA. Its hard to believe, but LA only recently got its first sake brewery. New York, Oakland, Seattle, San Diego, even Holbrook, AZ had sake breweries pop up. Nova Brewing Co. owner Emiko Tanabe spotted an opportunity to bring the craft of sake making to the biggest city on the west coast, and partnered up with aspiring brewer James Jin to make it happen. 

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