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San Diego: When You have a Higher Calling and Need Media Attention, Reach to Publicity For Good, CEO Heather Holmes explains

San Diego: When You have a Higher Calling and Need Media Attention, Reach to Publicity For Good, CEO Heather Holmes explains

Publicity for Good is a millennial run communications firm that provides high-level disruptive, publicity and social media services for wide array of purpose driven clients in the food beverage and beauty industry.

In 2016 by Heather Holmes former miss Ohio international celebrated publicist and Forbes 30 under 30 nominee publicity for good has built a reputation as the countries number one PR agency for CPG brands that have social causes built into their DNA.

Publicity For Food CEO Heather Holmes

Publicity For Food CEO Heather Holmes

Today’s conversation with Heather Homes from PublicityForGood.com has been edited for length and clarity.  For the full, un-edited conversation, visit our YouTube channel here.

 

Joe Winger: 

Heather Holmes from PublicityForGood.com.  I’m a big fan because you’ve helped us facilitate a lot of previous conversations about food and drink and nutrition and all the things we like talking about. 

What’s the most important thing that you want to share with the audience today?

Heather Holmes: 

I really want to take away the unknown or worry about getting in the media. I want to make it more accessible to amazing brands and people. 

So I definitely want to share tactical advice that if someone is reading this, they have a good story in business, they have the confidence that their story is good enough and they could absolutely make an impact and grow their business by getting in the media.

Joe Winger: 

Starting with the basics, let’s pretend I have a company, I think I want public attention. I want to reach out to someone like you.

So what should I be thinking about?  What do I present to you as a step one?

Heather Holmes: 

Step one is really the intentionality of why you want to get in the media.  What’s your goal? Are you wanting to reach more people? Are you wanting to get your story out there?

Are you wanting more sales and more people to buy your product? 

You really need to know. Where you’re going first, and if you don’t know where you’re going, or you don’t have a vision, then it’s really hard to help you. 

But if you have clarity there, then we can really pull back and help you identify your story, how you’re different, your why, and why your product and or company, would be really great to be in the media.

The PublicityForGood Team

The PublicityForGood Team

 


FlavRReport.com on YouTube

FlavRReport.com on YouTube


 

Joe Winger: 

Now, looking at the grand scheme of the campaign, what kind of a campaign should we be looking for: expectations, results?

Heather Holmes: 

After we know our outcome that we’re wanting to get more sales, more backlinks, or name in the media, then what I like to do first is work with every entrepreneur, and even if you have a product, to really reflect in “why your story matters”

Why does your product matter? 

If you’ve never been in the media before, I take people for an exercise where I have them draw on a piece of paper, them as a baby, to where they are now.

I have them write the key pivotal moments that have happened in their life that have made them start that company, because those little components are absolutely a part of your story.

I’ve been in the media 700 plus times: Inside Edition, Fox News, The New York Coast, incredible media, but it hasn’t always been about being a publicist, right?

Yes. I’m the founder of Publicity For Good, but a lot of that has been my story or building a seven figure company from an airstream.

Now I have almost two under two with a third on the way. 

So you need to have your key pivotal moments because those are things you can talk about in the media.

Then we need to look at what’s going on in the news and how we bridge the gap between your product. Relevancy.

Joe Winger: 

People may not know you are a former Miss Ohio International. Can you tell us a lesson you learned from being a former Miss Ohio International that you’re using in today’s work?

Heather Holmes: 

It’s really all about your platform and reaching new audiences. 

When I was building my company I decided I wanted to get into pageants. I wanted to meet a community of like minded people that wanted to make a difference in the world. 

It was a way for me to have a platform because at the time I was talking about why you absolutely can build a profitable business. But also make a difference in your community and make a difference amongst your team. And really just build an incredible legacy. 

So that was why I did the pageants. 

I did a bunch of publicity and again, it made me relevant and timely because that was what got me in the media because I was Miss Ohio and I was only Miss Ohio International for a period of time.

So it gave me that relevancy. So you have to be relevant. 

You have to bridge the gap between what’s happening in the news, or we often use Awareness Days, National Nutrition Month, National Social Media Day, and you have to position your product or yourself as the solution. 

[For example], we were talking about an incredible juice brand, but most pitches I see are very promotional, right?  It needs to be how you or your product simplifies people’s lives. How are you adding value? Or you don’t have a product you need to inspire people.

Joe Winger: 

You’re growing a 7- figure business.   What’s it like growing a huge business while you’re taking care of your kids and for a while you were living out of your Airstream

Heather Holmes: 

We lived out of a 23 foot airstream for 3 1/2 years. I went from dating to engaged, to married to [my first child] Rose, who’s almost two, who lived in our airstream with us. 

The year the pandemic [hit] was our first million dollar year.

I think a lot of the reason why it was that year is because when March hit, everyone was so scared that we lost about 40% of our business, number one. 

Number two, we had to hustle and grit to make it. There was no choice of failing. All the distractions were gone. 

When you’re in an Airstream, all you have is your laptop, but we had no external distractions, and then everything else was closed.

So the only focus we could do was our business and we had to scale out of necessity because we didn’t want to lose what we had put so much time in. 

Fast forward, we now have 22 acres where we live and we have two under two, we have one on the way, we’re a full time team of 40, and it’s not easy.

I say transparently, it’s a hot mess. There are so many miracles that happen every day, but life is one, right?  I can’t turn off my founder hat and publicist hat and then “Oh, I’m a mom”. It’s all one. 

So yes, I might have Rose [my daughter] on a call with me from time to time, but I’ve learned that the more you step in and embrace your life, who you are and the realness, sometimes people opt out and that’s okay.

And this is my legacy.

I like these missions that we’re doing good work to us is way more than a business. We want to grow your brand and mission and we take it so seriously. 

So it’s not perfect. It’s not perfectly scheduled. I’m a full time mom, all the time on the weekends when the kids are sleeping, we’re working.

We know where we want to go, and these clients and ambitions that we’re aligned with and supporting are helping people with their health. 

Joe Winger: 

What an incredible story to share.

Heather Holmes: I have so much to share. Like I was adopted when I was a week old to having two under two and another one on the way and building a business and building a homestead.

It’s so crazy. Austin, who’s my husband, the first week we were dating, we’re all about intentionality.  I have the journal and we mapped everything out. 

This year, we were going to get engaged then married. Austin and I,l we will have been together almost five years.

We’ve had a kid every year. Rose will be two in June.

We want to build a business. We want to impact our clients, brands, and scale their business. We want our team to get better and flourish in their personal lives too.

This is our mission and I’ve seen so many miracles happen from getting in the media on a personal level. 

I was talking to [a business owner client] and her business grew by 40% from getting in the media. 

One of my favorite cookie brands, a mom had an incredible heart story. She went on our local news and she brought in $12,000 worth of sales, just the local people wanting to support her.

On the flip side, when people Google my name, it’s like my social currency, there’s all these articles. So I have so much peace in that.  Our kids will see the good work we’re doing. 

Joe Winger: 

You’re talking to an audience of foodies. What is your favorite meal? 

Heather Holmes: 

We just had Indian food last night that my husband made and it was so good. 

We used to live in San Diego and I think San Diego has the best food. It’s all fresh. We’ve traveled a lot. We’ve been to Bali, their food is pretty incredible too. Where we live [now] we’re right outside of Asheville and Charlotte.  So they have some good restaurants, but like I’m not in the phase right now where I’m the foodie like I used to be. 

[At our house] we have chickens and we have fresh eggs. So I’m obsessed with fresh eggs every morning. You’re living a good life when you can go get your eggs and have them at home with some goat cheese.

And honestly, I love Livermuth. Crazy. So I’d say some Livermuth fried in a cast iron with some eggs and goat cheese. It’s the simple things that I really do love.

Joe Winger: 

Heather Holmes with Publicity for Good. As we wrap up, whether it’s a potential client, a potential vendor, someone wanting your help with publicity, what are the best ways to find, follow you, websites, social media, etc?

Heather Holmes: 

You can go to PublicityForGood.com You can find me on social media as well. 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/heatherdesantis

https://www.instagram.com/heatherdesantis

https://www.instagram.com/publicity.for.good

https://www.facebook.com/heatherdesantis

“Exhilarating and Breathtaking” Eve Bushman Covers Riesling in Germany’s Mosel Region

“Exhilarating and Breathtaking” Eve Bushman Covers Riesling in Germany’s Mosel Region

I found myself describing the experience as both exhilarating and breathtaking, and these two words have now taken on a new meaning for me, probably forever. Raimund added to my thoughts when he said that here, we “always sit in the green.” 

Middle Mosel, aka Mittelmosel, wine region of Germany

Middle Mosel, aka Mittelmosel, wine region of Germany / Photo credit: Ed Bushman

Have you been to the Middle Mosel, aka Mittelmosel, wine region of Germany? I had learned about the area, saw photos of the steep vineyards and their ancient stone sundials dating back hundreds of years, during a tasting with Raimund Prum from S.A. Pruem many years ago. Fast forward to this year, and we planned our first trip there, where we stayed at the S.A. Pruem guesthouse and visited with Raimund again! We also toured and tasted with Eifel-Pfieffer, C.A. Immich-Batterieberg, Villa Huesgen and Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler.

A sundial in their vineyards

A sundial in their vineyards / Photo credit: Ed Bushman

Know before you go: Rieslings are not all sweet! They range from bone dry to sweet. And though “Riesling is King” in the Mosel we enjoyed sparkling wines and rose, as well as Pinot Noir during our tastings. Not all wineries are in Bernkastel-Kues, many are in towns all roughly within 30 minutes of each other. 

Wineries to Tour and Taste

S.A. Pruem: We must start with this winery as they are the reason we traveled to the Mosel for wine. I had met Raimund Prum in 2013 when he led a class for Ian Blackburn of Learn About Wine. Fast forward to this past May 2024, when I finally got to see Raimund again – this time at his home and winery. Raimund inherited the 800-year-old family winery in 1971 and has “expanded from 8.6 acres to 27.9 acres.” 

 


FlavRReport.com on YouTube

FlavRReport.com on YouTube


 

His family had used money that they made from their apple farms to fund their wine growing business. Back in those days 100% of the people living in the area worked in the wine industry according to Raimund. Nowadays young people may leave, but they come back.  

Raimund is a busy man, representing the winery almost all over the world. But he doesn’t do this alone. Raimund’s wife Pirjo, a WSET Diploma graduate, represents the brand in U.S. and Finland. Saskia, their oldest daughter, took over as the owner in 2017.

They produce many still and sparkling wines, from dry to sweet Rieslings to Rose of Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir, and sparkling wines. I had the opportunity to try most and had a hard time not finishing every sample that was offered. And though other places in the world make Riesling, Raimund said that the “character of the wine is different here” which began over 2,000 years ago by the Romans. (Many Roman pressing stations have been found along the Mosel.)  

Weingut Eifel-Pfeiffer

Weingut Eifel-Pfeiffer / Photo credit: Ed Bushman

During the days we visited we had many opportunities to talk, but at our appointed time for our interview Raimund took us on a drive to the top of one of his vineyards, and it happened to be the oldest one that also is famous for its sundial. His tallest vineyards are 336 meters high, and the Mosel River is at 136. The ground is a combination of lush earth, wildflowers, and different types of slate rock – the rock in particular adds to the minerality found in the wines.

mother and daughter Tanja Gorgen-Eifel and Mia-Katharina Gorgen. 

Mother and daughter Tanja Gorgen-Eifel and Mia-Katharina Gorgen from award-winning Weingut Eifel-Pfeiffer.  Photo credit: Ed Bushman

Eifel-Pfieffer: Did you know that award-winning Weingut Eifel-Pfeiffer has been in the same family since 1642, and is currently worked by three generations? We had a fabulous tour and tasting with mother and daughter Tanja Gorgen-Eifel and Mia-Katharina Gorgen

We also learned that they only produce Riesling wines, have the coveted 1A rating which means that some of their vineyards are considered the best in the area, motivated Romanians work the steep vineyards, rainfall can’t always be counted on as it changes from year to year, and they have a total of 10 hectares over 30 kilometers in the Middle Mosel. 



Their low-alcohol, not-overly-sweet, fresh, and mildly acidic wines are made from single vineyards – and also a blend of different vineyards that are only from the same area. Riesling “show character of each vineyard that you can really taste in the wine…the structure, minerality and acid” according to mother and daughter. 

There are less winemakers now than there used to be: several of the smaller wineries have been absorbed by the larger ones as it’s been noted over time that it’s too cost prohibitive to run a small one-hectare winery.

2021 Mia from Trittenheimer Altarchen

2021 Mia from Trittenheimer Altarchen / Photo credit: Ed Bushman

These Rieslings pair well with all types of food – German, Indian, Chinese to name a few – and China just might be the largest importer of Eifel-Pfieffer wines. I was super impressed with all of their wines, from dry to sweet, but must give a special nod to a 1990 vintage from Trittenheimer Apotheke and the 2021 Mia (made by Mia while she finishes up winemaking school) from Trittenheimer Altarchen

Immich Batterieberg

Immich Batterieberg wine roster / photo credit: Ed Bushamn

Immich-Batterieberg: This time we had the opportunity to sit down and taste with winemaker Gernot Kollmann while learning all about Immich Batterieberg. Let me just start by saying we liked every wine that Gernot opened for us. Most were very dry, all are organic, and 96% of the wines that they make are Rieslings. 

Immich-Batterieberg where we were able to sit down with winemaker Gernot Kollmann

Immich-Batterieberg where we were able to sit down with winemaker Gernot Kollmann / photo credit: Ed Bushman

What makes them special: they are the largest owner of old and ungrafted vineyards in the Mosel, all rocky and steep, and the winery dates back to 1425.  

Seventy-eight percent of the 80k bottles they produce a year is exported to Japan, Italy, U.S., Switzerland, and the U.K. They receive top scores from Suckling and Parker, and those top-scoring wines sell out quickly.

The wines are a perfect example of the trend toward dry white wines (which means not sweet) and the continual production of lower alcohol wines.

Pic credit: Ed Bushman 

Villa Huesgen: If you are looking for a grand tasting experience, Villa Huesgen is it. Of course, if you have the opportunity to be charmed by Adolph Huesgen VIII himself, then it’s even more special. Adolph’s wine curriculum vitae is almost as interesting as the winery alone! He regaled us in stories of his many collaborations (from Australia to South Africa), work in wineries in California (he started his career at Robert Mondavi as the European sales director with Michael Mondavi) and what he and his family have currently achieved (sparkling, still, rose in the original blue bottles Riesling were first made in) at Villa Huesgen. 

Adolph Huesgen VIII

Adolph Huesgen VIII / Photo credit: Ed Bushman

The Huesgen family established the vineyard nine generations before, in 1735. The art nouveau-styled estate was built in 1904. They grow Riesling and Burgundy grapes, currently have their first block of Chardonnay in barrels and make more dry than sweet wines. They import to 35 countries.

We tasted ten wines, one of which recently was listed as one of the top nine Rieslings in the world by the Robb Report April 2024. We would have a hard time not liking any Villa Huesgen wines.

Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler

Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler / Photo credit: Ed Bushman

Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler: This estate is right in the popular part of Bernkastel-Kues, and just adds to the beautiful Mosel landscape. We were greeted by Stefan Pauly, who led us on a tour of the building and the many tasting areas for their guests. As this was the last tour of our trip, we “drank it up” for the history, and of course, the wines. We tasted many Rieslings, and even a beautifully made Eiswein, and were thrilled to discover that our local Total Wine stores has the exclusive label, Dr. Heidemanns-Bergweiler, and it’s very reasonably priced though it sells out every year. (Made a mental note to go there as soon as we get home!) 

Dr. Heidemanns-Bergweiler

Dr. Heidemanns-Bergweiler // Photo credit: Ed Bushman

We learned that the winery was founded in 1556, they own 22 kilometers of vineyard along the Mosel, and they even offer an alcohol-free wine. One of the tasting areas we saw had a slight walkable ramp and was large enough to “seat a whole boat” of tourists that preferred not to climb up or down ancient steps for a wine tasting.

Stefan Pauly for Dr. Pauly Bergweiler wine estate

Stefan Pauly for Dr. Pauly Bergweiler wine estate / Photo credit: Ed Bushman

When to Visit

We happened to be in Bernkastel-Kues area of the Middle Mosel during Open Wine Cellar Days, which this year began on Germany’s Father’s Day. The holiday and the multi-day event brought many German tourists to the area, which added to the trip for us to “pick up some local color” so to speak. The event shows off many wineries not just during the day for tastings but also for night for tastings, meals, and live music. We chose to stay at the guest house at one winery, S.A. Preum, which made it even more convenient to walk over each night. We have been told that there are always wine festivals, so I highly recommend that you look at the calendar for these before planning your trip.

Raimund Pruem from Weingut S.A. Pruem

Raimund Pruem from Weingut S.A. Pruem / Photo credit: Ed Bushman

We got to Bernkastel-Kues from the Frankfurt airport, we rented a car and enjoyed the easy freeway routes and arrived just under two hours. We went in May, as we tend to pick times of the year when tourist areas are less crowded with summer travelers.

Bernkastel-Kues city

Bernkastel-Kues area / Photo credit: Ed Bushman

Besides wine tasting many tourists rent bicycles and e-bikes, tour on motorcycles, rowboat, parasail, take a boat tour and hike the vineyards. It’s a very walkable area in town with many wine bars, brew pubs, restaurants, and shops along the cobblestone streets. In other parts of the Mosel River, you can find sandy beaches and even water skiing.

Gastehaus at Prum

Gastehaus at Prum / Photo credit: Ed Bushman

There are many hotels along the Mosel River, we chose to stay in a suite at the Gastehaus at Prum and we would definitely return. Beautiful accommodations, locally sourced breakfast, and of course wine! 

 Find on Instagram: @VisitMosel @EifelPfieffer @ImmichBatterieberg @VillaHuesgen1735 @Weingut_PaulyBergweiler @S.A.Pruem

Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in the first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Proof Awards, Cellarmasters, LA Wine Competition, Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.

 

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Stuck in LA Dating App Hell? Dating Expert Andrea McGinty makes it easy with 33000Dates.com

Stuck in LA Dating App Hell?  Dating Expert Andrea McGinty makes it easy with 33000Dates.com

We’re with Andrea McGinty, dating expert from 33000Dates.com

Dating Expert Andrea McGinty makes it easy with 33000Dates.com

Dating Expert Andrea McGinty makes it easy with 33000Dates.com

Today’s conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  For the full, un-edited conversation, visit our YouTube channel here

So often we talk about food and wine and it’s usually for dates, romantic nights out, date night, anniversaries, vacations

Dating Expert Andrea McGinty makes it easy with 33000Dates.com

Dating Expert Andrea McGinty makes it easy with 33000Dates.com

Today we’re going to get to the source of what those date’s are actually about. So with us is a dating expert, Andrea McGinty from 33000dates.com. 

 

Joe Winger: 

So just to start things off, what inspired you to become a dating coach?

Andrea McGinty: 

You mean what inspired an accounting / finance major to become a dating coach? 

I started this when I was in my 20s. So this is the 1990s. 

There’s no Google yet. There’s no online dating.  It’s going to happen in the late 90s, but it hasn’t happened yet. At that point I was living in Chicago and I was getting married and five weeks before the wedding, he called it off and it was like – boom!

What do you do? First I cried, of course…

Anyway my friends started fixing me up on dates, still in your 20s and you know how those dates go, 

They know someone that’s single, so they think you should like them, blah, blah, blah…

After some of those dates I was really thinking about it and I thought, it’d be great if there was a place you could go, like an executive recruiter for your professional life. 

The same thing for your personal life. 

And of course, there was nothing like that at the time.  Even in high school and in college I fixed up two of my suitemates. They’re still with their husbands that I fixed them up with.

I was already good at this and I thought I could start this. 

Anyway, fast forward.

I started a company in Chicago called It’s Just Lunch. Where people meet for lunch. We do all the work.

Fast forward, 15 years later, it’s still the same.

[At my first dating company, It’s Just Lunch] we had 110 locations globally and then I sold.  Timing was perfect because online dating was coming out of its infancy and it was a mess it at first, just the scammers, the crazies, the horrible stories, 

I thought, “Oh, wow, there’s a need. People have no idea what to do online and how to date.” 

 

Dating Expert Andrea McGinty makes it easy with 33000Dates.com

Joe Winger: 

Is there one big lesson to learn how to be more successful with dating in today’s world?

Andrea McGinty: 

I think there’s a couple, there’s probably two lessons to learn. 

#1 is you need to understand how to navigate online dating because there’s over 1400 sites out there. 

#2 you’ve got to be really careful that you don’t give up too quickly. 

Most people give up in the first 2-3 weeks because they go online, see a bunch of people, they probably went on the wrong site by the way too, like not the right site for them at all. Then they see these people who like them and they’re like, “Oh my gosh, this is online dating, forget it, I’m done, gone.” 

And it goes back to they didn’t do it right, they had no idea what they were doing.

Joe Winger: 

Can you bring some clarity to that and help somebody understand what are the first few steps are and how to do them correctly?

Andrea McGinty: 

Absolutely. With online dating you need…

 #1 you need to be really careful that you’re choosing the right site.

When we’re talking about 1,400 sites out there, I tend to work with the top 25 sites. When I’m working with a client I start initially with a zoom call with a client and get to know them what they’re looking for. 

I work primarily with the 40 – something 50- something, through the 60s age group. Second time around, second acts in life type of thing. 

Back to the right site…

When I’m choosing a site for a client after the zoom call, I’m thinking about. “Okay, what sites do I think they belong at?” And it’s very different if you’re in Los Angeles versus Houston versus Washington versus New York City or Orlando, Florida.

[The sites are] so different, how the sites function and the type of people that are even on the site. 

I’m strategic too. I use three different large companies for research. I use Gallup,  Pew and Statista.  I pay to get research on a monthly basis and it really tells me the percentage of men to women on a site. 

Some sites that are 80% men. Some sites are 80% women 

You might be having an awful time on a site because you’re a woman and you’re at a site that’s 80% women. You’re in the wrong place. 

So I do the homework with the research. Geographically where you live, level of education, income. Is that site’s membership increasing, decreasing?

#2 Your pictures. 

Oh my gosh. I’m like a crazy person with photos because you have to have really great photos. I don’t mean LinkedIn photos, I don’t mean glamour shots, and not selfies.

The candids are nice because it’ll show you and your friends. Out playing pickleball, out playing tennis, out having drinks with your girlfriends. The professional shots. Depending on where you live, you’re just gonna get some great shots up against a graffiti wall in Brooklyn or a nice shot by the beach that are just a little more.

You want a couple full body shots. 

You want the photos to be current, within the last year.   Just like you don’t want to be surprised when you show up on the date and there she is.  She has a few more wrinkles and a few more pounds than what I saw online. 

It’s like you’re not being truthful about the whole thing. 

Online dating is a visual medium. You’ve got to be presenting yourself. My LA and Orange County market, Dallas market, they get that.  But there’s other parts of the country. I’m like no, we are not putting that picture of you online. There is absolutely no way.

#3 Your profile

Once they look at your photos online, if they like what they’re seeing, they’re going to read about you.  It can’t be the same old stuff. Like I like to walk on the beach and I look as good in a tux as I do….   it puts me to sleep. 

So a short, sweet, interesting, quirky profile sells. 

A lot of times it’s hard to write about yourself. That’s why it’s nice to have somebody like me, write about you.

[Summarizing]  You’re on the right site.  The right photos. Your profile. Now it’s looking through high potential dates for you….

#4 Looking for High Potential Dates

Putting in algorithms, putting in search filters. That’s something I teach people how to do because otherwise it’s like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack and you want it like a needle in a little Easter basket.

Once we throw those filters and algorithms on, it gets rid of  80% of the people. Now we’re down to some of these people that look like high potential people for you. 

#5 Send messages

We found 10 “someone” ‘s and now we send messages.

We don’t send them a weak heart or any of that kind of junk because men get so irritated.  Because half my clients are men, they get so irritated with this. 

Why are these women sending likes and hearts and no message? 

That’s my constant battle with women.

Hey, you’re in your 40s, you’re not 90 when women had to wait to be pursued. We’re not living in our grandparents era, right? We’re equals. We can reach out to the men too. 

The men totally appreciate when a woman sends a well crafted, interesting, short three sentence message.

The messaging is super important because you don’t want the: “Hi, how are you?” – or this is horrible. “Hi, you’re so good looking.” “Hi, you’re so beautiful.”

It was like, copy paste, they threw that out to the world, they sent that to everybody.

So now you’ve sent a message, hopefully he / she messages back. 

#6 Schedule a date

The next thing is let’s get that date scheduled. This can all be done with just a couple texts on both people’s part:

“Okay, yeah, I’m totally interested. How’s Friday, at 5:30p at Bistro 110. Let’s meet for a glass of wine?

Because chemistry only takes place in real life. 

Joe Winger: 

In reality, do most dates get set up that quickly?  It seems like there’s more delays and game-playing?

Andrea McGinty: 

From the time you first send a message to someone, if the date has not been scheduled within five days of that initial text.  There’s a 90% chance the date will never occur. 

I’ll say to my client, “We’re going to go right for it right now.”

Write a couple of cute lines that are just for that person and then be like:

“You know what? I don’t really need to text you anymore or talk to you anymore because I’m ready to meet you. I’m super interested. How’s Friday night…?”

Sometimes you’ll get back a reply, what’s the rush? 

I think to myself, what isn’t the rush here? 

What do you want to talk about? Can’t you just get dressed? 

We both live in Beverly Hills for goodness sakes. How long would it take us to get together and meet, right? We’re both in New York City.  C’mon. Let’s do this in person. 

If you’re getting those people that are drawing out the process, you either just cut bait. Just block them, goodbye, gone. 

Or you say, you know what, if you don’t reply, you’re going to end up on my waiting list. 

And you do it with a little humor, add an “LOL”  

That can work too, where people crack up and they’re like, yes, I would love to meet you Saturday. Let’s grab lunch.

Joe Winger: 

In today’s world of different levels of politically correct, cancel culture, different levels of sensitivity, regardless of whether you’re in a very conservative culture, progressive culture, etc.

How do we deal with any level of uncomfort when it comes to online dating?

Andrea McGinty: 

First of all, you’re not in the workplace dating right now. Cause that’s where a lot of that happens, right?

This is where I say “Women, you’ve got a big advantage right now because you can feel very comfortable and free reaching out to men and get over that whole thing”.

Women wait to be pursued.  There was this book that came out in the 90s: “The Rules.”

Wait to be pursued by the man and then don’t respond to him for three days. What the heck is that about? 

No. Reach out to men. 

Now for men, you’re not going to send stupid messages like, “Oh, you’re so gorgeous and sexy and blah, blah, blah”

Nobody wants that message. 

You would find that offensive too.

As far as men reaching out to women, just do it in good taste.

Women are there to meet men.  Creepy doesn’t happen very much online anymore. We’re out of that 2000 – 2010 era where more of that stuff happened. 

There’s so many more hoops. Both parties jump through [hoops] on top notch dating sites now and dating apps now that verify that you are who you say you are and verify some information about you.

Joe Winger: 

Most of the people watching this, they’re into food. That means fine dining. They’re into wine and cocktails and collecting wine. 

What kind of a goal can they look for if they come to 33000Dates.com?

When they approach and connect with you, what should they be thinking about and preparing so they know how to best represent themselves in that first conversation with you?

Andrea McGinty: 

Just be real with me and, people that are foodies and wine collectors, there’s a lot of us out there. There’s a lot of people out there that will find that very attractive. 

There’s a lot of people that like to try different wine bars, they like to go up to Napa.  Maybe that’s your third or fourth or eighth date, 

Be real with what your interests are and… talking about food. 

This goes back to when I’m writing your profile, when people just say, “Oh, I like Italian food.” I’m like no.  Give me something here. 

“I like carbonara with peppers and from Trattoria is amazing.”

It doesn’t have to be written in a snobby or snooty way, but it’s just like fun. Like you’re describing what you like to eat or your favorite foods or it could be talking about, you like this vintage of wine.

Be very specific with me because that’s how I can help you the most and be really upfront no, no PC woke stuff with me because this is your personal life.

Joe Winger

What are some realistic goals for your online dating experience?

Andrea McGinty: 

We’ve got to make sure that we’re not listening to all the noise out there. We’re not listening to our negative friends about dating and friends and family can be two really negative forces because you get one of one of two things. 

If it’s family, maybe a lot of them are married and they’re like, Oh, you’re good looking. You’re so awesome. You don’t need to do online dating. That is like for losers. 

That is so not the story anymore. 

You’ve got friends that are like, “Oh, I just tried Bumble. It was horrible”. “I did hinge. It was horrible.”

A lot of dating is going in with a good attitude. I’m not talking about rainbows and unicorns; and everything’s perfect or anything like that.

We spend a lot of our 20s and 30s becoming successful and working on our careers.

By the time we’re 40s, even 50s we’re there career-wise. So now, it’s time to focus on our love life. 

That could be two very different pictures: it could be a second act because you’re divorced. 

Or it could be you’ve been single and just all your efforts have been going into career and friends and travel and all this other stuff, good stuff you’ve got going on.

But you wake up one day and you’re like:

“Hey, I’m 45 and I’m single. What’s up with this?”

Go into online dating, approaching it the way you did your career.  Strategically.  It’s no fun to think about your love life, like strategically, hire somebody, think about how you play golf.

You didn’t just go out on the golf course. You took a bunch of lessons.

Everybody’s playing pickleball now.  But you didn’t just go out on the court, even if you played tennis before. You took a couple clinics, right? 

That very quickly threw you into the intermediate range all of a sudden because you put some effort into it. 

Same with dating.

But if you want to do it effectively and pretty effortlessly, just like you did with golf, hire the pro to do this stuff for you.

My typical male client tells me I take 80% of the workload off him because he doesn’t have to think about it anymore.

I’m coming up and presenting ideas to him, presenting women to him and just getting them through. All of the hoops and the messaging and all that stuff. Getting them to the good dates because they’re out there.

There’s some markets, like Los Angeles and New York, that can be big complainers about dating. I think because they’re trying to do it on their own. 

When I get online and go on the good sites in those two markets, there are so many good people on there.

It’s just a matter of having somebody doing a good portion of the work and pushing you. 

And oh, here’s the other thing, accountability. 

When you’re working with me, you have accountability because you’re going to talk to me next week. And I’m going to say:

 “Okay, Tell me what happened to you last week.”

“How’d that date go?” 

“Did you call back that other one that we talked about?“

I did text her after the date you said you were going to, what happened? 

So that little push along the way and keeping you on track too.

Because we’re in a culture where, we’re educated, we’re taking great trips, we’re dining out.  We’ve got a nice group of friends that we love to hang out with. 

It can be really easy to sweep this all, to the wayside. There’s no reason because there’s a loneliness epidemic in the U.S. and we all know if you’re with somebody, that you really enjoy hanging out with you’re going to live longer and you’re gonna live happier too.

Right.

Joe Winger: 

You’re offering great dating tips.  Thank you. 

Let’s say you’re someone who’s done the work on your protile,  messaged all those people, asked for a date, and they’ve all disappeared.

What’s that person doing wrong?

Andrea McGinty: 

You kinda gotta take responsibility for it. You’re doing something wrong. 

Here’s the deal. You don’t know what you’re doing wrong.  

But that’s stuff I can fix.

That’s another thing. You have to stay away from those free sites or sites that have free people on it because there’s no skin in the game there. They’re just dilly-dallying around, playing around on there and not really serious. 

Part of it is recognizing the statistics that you’re going into up-front that for every 5 texts you send, 1 person is going to respond back.

I give my clients homework on a weekly basis, two sessions. That’s all I ask of them. 

During those two 30 hour sessions they have to send out 8 messages.  So I know by the time I’ve talked to them, they’re going to at least have gotten back 3 responses.

If their photos are really good, they might have 8 responses back. 

If they haven’t already booked the date, craft the email, craft the text, craft the message that’s going to get that date in person. And get us there. Get us there.

Joe Winger: 

Andrea McGinty from 33000Dates.com dating expert. 

Any requests from the audience watching and listening?

Andrea McGinty: 

I would just say, take a look around my site, maybe take the dating quiz that I have on the site. It’s fun. And it’s really fast. It’s 10 questions, and it goes right to me. It doesn’t go to any of my people. And. I can rate you and what you’re doing and tell you whether or not I can help you too.

So if you do take that quiz, give me as much info as you can. I don’t mean personal info, but like where you live, your age, but that’s all going to be on there. But take that quiz because that’s a good way to contact me and see if we might be a good fit and maybe I can help you if you really want to meet somebody.

George Gallagher Gets Lucky with Law in BET+ Perimeter TV Series from Tyler Perry, Armani Ortiz

George Gallagher gets lucky with the law in BET+ Perimeter TV Series from Tyler Perry, Armani Ortiz

We’re with actor George Gallagher. He’s currently on BET+ new show, “Perimeter”.

Today’s conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  For the full, un-edited conversation, visit our YouTube channel here

 

George Gallagher gets lucky with the law in BET+ Perimeter TV Series from Tyler Perry, Armani Ortiz

George Gallagher in BET+ “Perimeter” TV Series from Tyler Perry, Armani Ortiz

Joe Winger:

Talk a little bit from an actor point of view. All the different characters you’ve played, what’s your preparation process like?

George Gallagher: 

It tends to vary from role to role. I utilize a lot of different disciplines.  But for example, on Perimeter I play an attorney who takes on cases that others wouldn’t necessarily.

He knows where his bread and butter comes from, but he likes to challenge and, when dealing with that, I’d watched a lot of different things. 

I watched Better Call Saul. 

I watched different lawyer shows and I consulted with some attorneys and did some research and, I have a relative who’s an upper echelon attorney in the tri state New York area.  I spoke with her in some detail about different things and went through the script actually, and to try to make it make sense for me in a very real, visceral way. 

But also honor the world that Armani Ortiz and Tyler Perry had created. 

So it varies quite a bit. I like to be really spontaneous and instinctive with everything. I like to go off the moment of what I get from the other person and what happens in the moment.  

How I respond to things 12 words or less, unfortunately is not my specialty, but that’s why we have writers to give me dialogue.

Joe Winger: 

Talk about Lance, the character you play in Perimeter.  

George Gallagher: 

Working on the show is one of the gifts of my creative, professional career. 

Armani Ortiz is the young writer-director visionary, who has created the show and put it forth with Tyler Perry as executive producer. And he also directed the Tyler Perry documentary, Maxine’s Baby, about Mr. Perry’s life that’s doing quite well right now. 

He’s really an extremely talented young guy. He really invited me into his world,  to create whatever I wanted within certain parameters. He was very collaborative with the actors. He allowed us to rehearse, work through things, but also give it our own flavor.

I come from the theater and actors that work in that studio tend to have that background because we can work quickly. We’re autonomous. We have some process and technique and I believe that we’re able to collaborate with others in a way that’s immediate, and in theater, you’re out there in the unknown and there’s no one to cut you out.

If you have a bad moment, the audience sees it.

So actors really learn how to hyper focus in real time. That was a bit of the experience. Once the cameras were starting to roll, but we did have an incredible cast. 

Most of the people came from California, some from New York. I’m really drawn from both coasts that came to Atlanta to film and work on the show.

It’s a great story. It’s period. It takes place in the nineties surrounding Freaknik, which was a really popular hip hop festival in Atlanta. The Olympics is in the backdrop, when they had them here in the early 90s.  The whole city, the airport expanded. It really put Atlanta on the map as a major metropolitan city.  So that’s all happening in the backdrop.  They had the first black mayor at the time. 

My character, Lance, is a high end attorney who has a very private clientele that pays him very well. Their cases might be a little more challenging.

He represents people who are, sometimes stepping outside of the law and in the criminal world and which makes it all the more challenging. 

But back to your earlier question, I was researching lawyers that had taken on different civil rights cases that are a little more controversial in terms of dealing with the system and upholding a belief in the system.

Someone like Alan Dershowitz, I watched Reversal of Fortune. 

He took on a lot of civil rights cases and then went and defended someone that everyone thought was a murderer.

But the reason why he did those things and which was an underlying, or rather an overtone of that novel and the film Reversal of Fortune.  It’s really about if you believe in the legal system and making sure that everyone has a fair and just defense, regardless of their socioeconomic background.

My character, Lance, is from a different world than I am. 

Malcolm, who’s one of the main characters on the show, that I defend and I represent.  I don’t want to give too many spoilers away, but it’s a really exciting world.  

People should check out the show and see where it takes everybody.

 

Joe Winger: 

When you talk about the cast there’s a range of different names.

Any specific lessons you learned from any of the cast?

George Gallagher: 

There’s one scene in particular where my client’s brother ends up getting arrested. He’s looking at some serious charges and we have to go visit him and give him some reassurance and get more information about his case.

Both of the actors, Malcolm Xavier, who plays Malcolm on the show and Jalen Gilbert, who plays his brother were extraordinary. 

We shot in a visitation room in a police station and when this actor walked in, I felt like he was really in jail or in prison. 

The guy transformed.

I’d met him [before] and we rehearsed the scene and everyone’s nice and we’re in hair and makeup and shooting the crap and talking.  Then you get on set and it’s not the same human being, which is such a gift as an actor when you have.

It forces you to really respond and you’re just in the moment. The three of us had a really exciting dynamic and I thought it translated really well on film. 

It reminded me of things as an actor, which is if you believe it, if you really believe it, the audience will believe it too.  Everybody around you on that set will believe it. 

If you don’t. then it’s kind of luck of the draw and you’re hoping for the editor [and music score] to help you. 

If an actor is really meant to be an actor, and they’re worth their grain of salt, it comes from them living in this danger zone.  And this guy, he came out, he was dangerous. You felt like anything could happen.

He reminded me of a young Denzel Washington.

And Malcolm was also exceptional. It was impossible to not believe they were brothers. You could feel the affinity, but also the sort of rage that was brewing between the two of them. 

George Gallagher on-set

Joe Winger: 

That vibe helps inform your performance as well. It just makes the whole scene more alive and in the moment for you.

George Gallagher: 

Absolutely.  You just feel like you’re there with another human being having an experience and you forget you’re an actor and that you’re in a story and you just really like suspension of disbelief.

As actors, we get to live many lives, which is what I love the most about acting. 

Armani Ortiz really set the stage for that to happen to us. 

Also making it feel authentic and real. The art direction, the cinematography, every department was really on point. 

Joe Winger: 

You’ve played some really intense roles.  After a day on a set that heavy, as a human being, as an actor, how do you relax?

George Gallagher: 

That’s a really good question. A different film that I did, called “Altered States of Plaine” is about a guy who falls asleep and wakes up in different parts of the world. He doesn’t know why it’s happening to him and he resorts to drug induced insomnia to stay awake.

It’s very bizarre film and it balances a lot of psychological aspects. 

Sometimes in a role you do immerse yourself and you work to within an inch of your life.  [Afterwards] you come out and shake it off and sometimes you’ve got dings in the fender that aren’t going away.

But as an actor generally I just laugh and shake it off.  The camera eats all that stuff up, hopefully we all can shake hands and go out for a drink later on and bury the hatchet. 

Joe Winger: 

It sounds like on your current show Perimeter, it does have a more congenial vibe. 

George Gallagher: 

Absolutely. I’ve worked on two projects there [Tyler Perry Productions] now.  It’s one of the most positive environments you could ever step into as an actor. Tyler Perry Productions hires the very best of the best of people.

I remember in California walking on the Paramount [lot] for an audition and everybody looks so happy.  They had a twinkle in their eye.

[I mentioned it to a friend and they replied]  “They’re all winning the game.”

I was like, you’re right.  There is that gratitude, you get a job for that week.  You’re part of the 1%.  You’re very lucky. It’s a privilege.

Joe Winger: 

You’ve been outspoken about the future of Hollywood, digital storytelling, AI.  You’ve had publicly a very positive outlook on what the future looks like. 

George Gallagher: 

I don’t believe the human soul will ever be duplicated and replicated. 

I think they’re going to get interesting products and effects that are going to look really cool and fascinating, but there’s still going to be a storyteller that’s a human being behind that.

But I still think that writers, storytellers, actors, and people in the visual, there’s still going to need to be human beings manning this. 

There’s always going to be a need and a desire for communal experience. A human being telling stories and artists, but it is probably going to alter a lot.

The audience determines at the end of the day, it’s about what they want.

George Gallagher with actress Nikiva Dionne "A Heart for Christmas"

George Gallagher with actress Nikiva Dionne “A Heart for Christmas”

Joe Winger: 

Our audience is very food based, wine based, cocktail based, I’m not sure if you identify as a foodie.

What’s your favorite dish? What do you love to cook? 

George Gallagher: 

My pronouns are asparagus, broccoli, and spinach. [George laughs]

I love food. I’m big into real food, raw foods organically grown, supporting local farmers, salads greens. 

There was a dish that I used to make, sausage and pepper penne.  

I use turkey sausages because I like it a little healthier.  I would make it with fusilli because it soaks up the sauce better.  Getting the oils and the fats into the sauce, and then the fusilli just grabs it and soaks it all up, and then I would add almonds into that dish.

 

Maybe some spinach. Definitely have to have green peppers and some spicy peppers, bright colored rainbow diet.

If I cook it too much, then it’s a mess.  But I’ve gotten better at it over the years. It’s edible.

Joe Winger: 

You finished shooting “A Heart for Christmas” in Los Angeles. Can you talk about the movie and what you play?

George Gallagher: 

Absolutely. I just wrapped “A Heart for Christmas”. I play Dr. Carl, who’s really driven, sort of type A person who is engaged to the protagonist in the film, breaks it off early on and because he’s got his own sort of, he’s a quasi McDreamy meets McDouchey sort of doctor. A little bit of a God complex, and he’s quite pleased with himself.

It’s a Christmas film and it’s fun and has a lot of humor and charm. 

We shot for a few weeks in LA and all around Pasadena.  We got to experience Christmas in the summertime.

It should be out sometime before this Christmas.

Joe Winger: 

Anything in the future we should be looking for you? 

George Gallagher: 

On Netflix, the new film Six Triple Eight starring Kerry Washington, Oprah Winfrey, Dean Norris, and Sam Waterston.

That was also directed by Tyler Perry. 

I play a character named Levi who’s a business executive and it takes place around the Second World War. 

Part of the film was shot in Atlanta, some in Europe: England, Germany, all around the world.

It’s one of the biggest productions I’ve ever personally been involved in with a lot of great actors and had a terrific script. I think people are going to really like the story.

Joe Winger: 

You’ve made the unorthodox choice as an actor of leaving Los Angeles, having a family life somewhere else. What inspired that move?

George Gallagher: 

It’s been a blessing in so many ways I can’t even tell you. 

We live in a suburb of Atlanta north of the city.  Having my children be born in Los Angeles and being from the New York area, I’ve never not lived in a major metropolitan area.

You really just can provide a better quality of life for your family.  I moved here [from the New York area].  I heard Tyler Perry was quarantining and was going to keep production going.

I thought nothing stops that guy. Those are the kinds of people I want to work with. I said to my wife and family, “Let’s go to Atlanta. We can always come back to New York later.”

It’s just amazing.  It was like everything that I had wanted and planned for.

Very rarely in my life have everything unfolded exactly the way I’d hoped and envisioned it. But this was one of those situations and it’s an hour from New York.

It’s green, it’s beautiful, and people are friendly. You get great organic food and there’s farmers everywhere. We have, of course, Georgia peaches everywhere.

Joe Winger: 

As we wrap up any social media, any websites?  What’s the best way to follow you, find out more about you?

George Gallagher: 

Feel free to follow me on Instagram. It’s GeorgeGallagher7.  Facebook is George Gallagher

East LA ‘ Birrieria Chalio ‘ Serves Big Flavor Birria from Raul Luis Family Secret

East LA ‘ Birrieria Chalio ‘ Serves Big Flavor Birria from Raul Luis Family Secret

One of East LA’s most popular restaurant serves Kings, Queens and Food Royalty.  You can get a taste if it too.

Raul Luis brings Flavor with East LA’s birria

Today’s conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  For the full, un-edited conversation, visit our YouTube channel here

Joe Winger: 

We have a really special treat today. We’re talking with Raul Luis from Birria the restaurant here in East LA. We’re going to talk about family. We’re going to talk about flavor. We’re going to talk about how he creates these amazing dishes. And then we’re going to talk more about how you can have a bite and taste his the food from his restaurants.

Raul Luis, thank you for joining us today.

Raul Luis: 

Thank you for having me here. I’m very honored to be here speaking to you.

Joe Winger: 

What’s the most important message you want the audience to hear today?

Raul Luis: 

I think we can start talking about how Birria came to LA. How do we get it here? What caused that trigger to start selling the food here in LA? 

My dad was given a certain skill set, handed down to him to make birria.

Birria is chivo goat meat. He used that skill set back in Mexico. He came to the U. S. when he came over during the Bracero program. He was talking to his buddies and he told them he’s a Barriario. He doesn’t know how to cook birria. So they would ask him if he would cook that dish from because that dish was only traditionally eaten during those special once in a lifetime events, baptisms, quinceañeras, weddings.

So the common denominator in all those events was the birria. 

You went [to an important life event], you knew you were going to have birria. I tell people the story because I remember being small myself when I was young, that we wouldn’t eat meat too often because we were vegetarians, not by choice, but because of circumstance.

When someone was having a party, we said, “Wow, we’re going to eat birria today.” We knew we look forward to, we’re going to eat meat. It’s time. Let’s get ready to go eat some meat. Get ready, put on your Sunday clothes and go. When my father came to the U S People knew about him. They asked him to cook their dish for him.

When he cooked the meal for someone’s wedding, quinceanera, baptism, for their special occasion, he would cook extra. 

So his friends would come over. When his friends would come over, he would serve whatever portion it was, usually like a whole carcass of lamb, 50 pounds. And then there was some leftover, so he would feed his friends.

And he would tell the stories when he would feed his friends. His friends wouldn’t leave. They would stay there for hours and they would be talking and my dad was, “I gotta go do my Sunday [errands], my day off. We gotta go to our family.  They were there for hours and all their memories, all memories, special occasions.

Remember this? Remember that? And my dad said, “Man, what? Why are you talking? Why are you staying here so long? 

It was the food. 

He didn’t realize the time. It was the food that was triggering those special [memories], triggering their mind. 

They’re time travelers, they’re going back to other special events.

I tell people,  it’s those once in a lifetime events that are much more exponential, much more magnified because it was somebody’s wedding.  It was somebody’s baptism. 

That’s how it began, by cooking.

 

Joe Winger: 

Your father was an amazing person. Back in the early 1960s, back in Mexico, he’s working in a tiny little five chair restaurant in the Mercado before migrating here to the US.

What have you learned from him taking this huge life journey?

Raul Luis: 

I look back, how do the immigrants do this? How do they leave their country, leave everything behind? 

He had a small spot, maybe five people to sit there.  He would sell on the weekends. Business wasn’t that brisk. 

They were opening up a new spot, but they required a down payment to secure it. So he had to come to the U.S. so he could save up some money. 

They asked, does anyone know how to cook? Dad raises his hand. I’m a birriero. 

So he began cooking birria for the farm workers. He was limited because now he was out of his comfort zone.

He was no longer in Mexico. He didn’t have access to all the spices that he used back home. 

In the preparation of the different birrias, before they put the red adobe sauce, it’s white.

All the farm workers ate it up, but the people who were in charge wouldn’t eat it because it wasn’t easy on the eyes. People eat with their eyes. 

[So he changed his process]

Why don’t you add the red before? 

So, we marinated before we cook it, 

[The second change]

There wasn’t all the spices we needed, so the chef that was there helped them get new spices or tweak the recipe a bit.

That’s what happened.

You have aspirations, and dreams, as many immigrants.  They come to the U. S., make some money, go back.

He never went back. 

Once you plant roots, then it’s hard to go back to your country of origin. 

Joe Winger: 

Fast forwarding to the present day.  Your Birria in East LA is very popular.

What’s the most common dish at the restaurant?

Raul Luis: 

We’re known for Birria.   9 out of 10 plates will be the Birria. 

Sometimes we have new customers who want to try it but are hesitant.  I explain our 10-hour cooking process [to get them excited.]  Underground pits, cooking it with the mesquite wood to add that flavor.

The gaminess, the taste, our process, all that fun stuff, secrets.

Raul Luis ‘s East LA Birrieria Chalio most popular dish

Joe Winger: 

Can you walk us through the flavor and process? 

Raul Luis: 

It’s a 2-day process. You get the [goat] carcass, cut it up into pieces. 

The ribs, the neck bone, the French rack. There’s all these different cuts. Every single cut has a different taste profile and texture. So when you walk in, it depends on you. How dirty do you wanna get? 

Do you wanna get down and dirty?  You get the bones. 

I tell people the neck is the best because it’s so tender, so soft, not too much fat on it. 

If you’d like the nerve, then you get the ribs.

The flavor is amazing. In the bones, it’s amazing. 

There’s people who don’t like to deal with the struggling or getting dirty. So they go with the all leg meat. That’s the drier part.  It’s good, but it’s not. Not my first choice.

We cook it, we steam it, we marinate it, let it sit for about 24 hours and we put it into a our pressure cooker.

Part of the science is the way you stack it up, like a pyramid, and then they put firewood under it.  If you don’t stack it correctly, part of it won’t cook. 

You have to put it up a certain way to make sure that all the meat gets cooked properly. 

We take it out.  We’ve got to separate it so we can have all the different parts. Distinguish the leg from the neck bone from the ribs, put that aside. Then we put it in the oven so we can get like a slow roast, nice little crispy.  Tender on the outside, real soft on the inside.

The most important thing is the consommé. 

That’s the broth, we call it the “honey”. You can’t have it without the consomme. The birria isn’t birria without the consommé. That’s what gives it the flavor. That’s what takes it to the next level.

Some people say, “Oh, I had birria.”  No you didn’t.  That was a taco.

No, you’ve got to have it with the consommé.

The new movement with the birria, they dip the sauce. It’s the same concept, but I would like to think that our consommé is a little more intense, more flavorful, because we use the broth from the goat and from the mince that it distills.

So it’s really flavorful. You got to try it. 

East LA Birrieria Chalio from Raul Luis – A Family Secret

Joe Winger: 

You have a deep family history, you have a cultural history. Obviously food is part of that history. Can you talk a little bit about the cultural value and the meaning behind Birria and why it’s important to you?

Raul Luis: 

I tell people it’s made to feed kings and queens.  How? 

Because in our region, Central Mexico, the birria is eaten by most of the population in Mexico.  About 85-90% are Catholic. 

So one of the first steps when a child is born, they take them to the church and that’s where he becomes a king.

They baptize them. They have a festivity. There’s a party going on.

Then the second phase is they feed the Quinceaneras. 

That’s a rite of passage where you go from childhood to adulthood for the girls. So now you feed the princesses. 

The next step is when the lady gets married, she’s the queen.

All three of those things, traditionally, was birria. 

That’s the only thing that was in common.  That helped people look back to those special occasions. When people eat the birria, they go back to that once in a lifetime event. 

It’s time traveling for them. 

It’s the memories. 

Fast forward to when we came to LA, the parents would bring their kids, [and now their kids say] ”I used to come here 20 years ago. My dad used to bring me when I was a kid.”

So that’s what it does. It brings the family together. 

Raul Luis Battles Fast Food Giants …and Wins (kinda)

Joe Winger: 

You mentioned some fast food places now working within the same cuisine.  Rubbing you the wrong way.  

Raul Luis: 

Yeah, it’s fascinating how many people called me [about it].

Del Taco and a few other places that were selling birria, but they’re not selling it the way it’s supposed to be. That’s wrong. At first I was a little worked up explaining that they’re missing the point here.  What it means to the people from back in Mexico. 

But there’s always a silver lining. Now the dish is mainstream. 

I would have never been able to do that. These guys with these big budgets are able to cross over and speak to different generations, different ethnic groups.

Before, when we first opened up our restaurant. [Everyone would ask]  “What’s it called? What is that?  I don’t know what that is.”

Now people know when before they didn’t. 

So I give them credit for being able to make people aware and bringing attention to this dish. 

I see myself as the missing link. I’m the one that’s going to fill in the gaps to tell what the dish really means, what significance it has, what historical cultural value it has.  That’s what I’m doing with our YouTube channel at Birria World.

East LA Birrieria Chalio leads the Birria Movement

Joe Winger: 

Let’s talk about the Birria movement. Everyone says you are the leader.  What does the future of Birria look like in East LA and in the country itself?

Raul Luis: 

In a perfect world, everybody would switch over from beef to goat, which is actually one of the most eaten meats across the world.

If you go to the Middle East or China, they eat that dish.  Here in the U. S., it’s not as popular. 

Introducing them to the dish so they can try out the different textures, different profiles. They can see that there’s another option. 

I source from a vendor in Texas.

The meat we use is paleo certified. It’s halal, all this special stuff. Probably a little more nutritional than beef.

There’s more taste, more flavors in the meat. 

My job is to go out there and have people be aware that [this] exists. 

There’s potential growth across the US to be provided for different ethnic groups and different generations of people.

Joe Winger: 

You’ve had world-famous food stars visit you.

Raul Luis: 

Anthony Bourdain came to our LA location.  I guess he saw something before everybody else did and realized it was a special dish. 

The second person was Jonathan Gold.  He was a writer for the LA times. He wrote beautiful articles on us.  He also saw what the dish meant to our community. 

They gave it a little approval. Come on, try it. Take your turn. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. I’m sure you’ll be back

 

Joe Winger: 

Raul Luis with his Birria restaurant in East LA. Tell us all the ways that our audience can find you and learn more about you.

Raul Luis: 

They did a documentary, “Mexi Papa: Chronicles of Birria” on YouTube.  That’s just the basic history of how Birria got to LA and the US.

Then you can go to Birria World on YouTube.  We do a birria tour, going to different restaurants, we showcase how they cook it, why it tastes different, how it’s served differently in certain regions. 

On Instagram, you can go to Chalios Birria for my Texas location and East LA Chalios Birria Instagram.

Then on Facebook, it’s a Chalios Seminary.

 

 

LA’s best kept Sushi Secret: Yama Sushi Marketplace celebrates 40 years

Yama Sushi Marketplace, LA’s best kept secret, celebrates 40 years

This June 2024, Yama Sushi Marketplace, a rare gem in Los Angeles will celebrate 40 years of the freshest Sashimi and Sushi Angelenos have come to crave and if possible, keep a secret.

“Please don’t tell anyone about this store” whispers one customer while another admits that “It is just not right to gatekeep this any longer!”

https://www.facebook.com/yamaseafoodla

In June 1984, Kenzo Yamada and his wife Nobuko opened Yama Seafood on Las Tunas Drive in San Gabriel.

After many years working as a fish power broker in Los Angeles, Kenzo Yamada or “Yama San” decided to open up his own shop where because of his contacts, was always assured the freshest and best cuts of fish when he visited the fish market every morning.

Today, these same fish companies provide Yama Sushi Marketplace with the freshest fish from all over the world, delivered daily.

https://www.facebook.com/yamaseafoodla

The network of Japanese sushi specialists is quite impressive and Yama san knew them all, from Nobu Matsuhisa (Nobu Restaurants), Katsuya Uechi (Katsuya Sushi) and  Kazunori Nozawa (Sugarfish and Kazunori).

No doubt that Los Angeles was ground zero for Sushi in the USA

There is no doubt that Los Angeles was ground zero for Sushi in the USA, especially with the guidance of Noritoshi Kanai of Mutual Foods (Japanese Food Distributor who introduced Sushi to the American palette).

Although through the years, many larger Japanese Super Markets began to grow in Los Angeles, Yama Seafood stayed true to form, giving customers personal service to choose the freshest cuts of Salmon, Yellowtail, Blue Fin Tuna as Yama San would personally slice each serving of sashimi for the customers.

https://www.facebook.com/yamaseafoodla

Nobuko San, his wife, would run the front and cook the most delicious side dishes for customers, and customers were always given a bag of ice to keep the fish nice and cold.

One of Yama’s first employees, Enrique Moreno (“Kike San”) became Yama’s right hand man, and helped create the now famous Yama California Roll.  “We wanted something special with the correct balance of filling, texture and rice”.

https://www.facebook.com/yamaseafoodla

Last year, in 2023, the Los Angeles Times recognized Yama as having LA’s Best California Roll, and still today, customers line up at Yama for this special sushi.  It is true that customers would literally fight over the last California Rolls in the fridge as two customers famously played a tug of war with the last California Roll Sushi as it went flying into the air and spilled on to the floor.

Yama Seafood was San Gabriel’s “Best Kept Secret”

Although Yama Seafood was San Gabriel’s “Best Kept Secret,” many customers through the years heard about Yama and still to this day travel across state lines to grab the Yama Sashimi and Sushi.

Yama San was a fixture in San Gabriel as many customers had a very close and personal relationship with him as he was always very generous with his support of the community.

In May 2021, Yama San decided it was time to pass the torch, and the Kohno Family of San Marino, stepped in to take over this precious gem.

“The actual interview took 6 months”

Scott Kohno

the CEO of EJL Entertainment

Yama San wanted to make sure that he could trust the next generation to maintain the quality and vision that he firmly established in San Gabriel.

With Scott’s extensive background in retail and food throughout the USA and Asia and his family’s experience in finance, marketing and operations, the store was gradually upgraded, and an expansion plan of the new Yama in West LA (opened 2022) and a brand new Yama in K-town (September 2024) commemorates an exciting time for the Yama Sushi Marketplace brand.

Today, Yama Sushi Marketplace has been named the “Adult Disneyland” by one of Yama’s customers as it transcends just a typical market or restaurant.

From the freshest sushi prepared by sushi chefs on the hour every hour,  to the largest selection of Sake, curated by Scott’s wife, Wendy a Kikisakeshi (Sake Sommelier) Yama has something for everyone.  Unique Shoyu (soy sauce) with Matsutake mushrooms, fresh wasabi, party platters including the new Temaki Time Hand Roll Party Platter and unique gifts and kitchen goods from Japan make the shopping experience second to none.

Whether it is the monthly sushi making or sake tasting classes or the cute Japanese stationery products, Yama is a store that is truly a feast for the eyes (a customer literally walked into to the store with her eyes shielded so she would not be tempted by Yama’s Specialty Gift Table.  “I just want sushi today and cannot get distracted by these tempting Japanese gifts!” she insisted.   A West LA Father holding the hand of his 4 year old daughter commented “thank you so much for bringing this store to West LA.  My daughter and I love Yama and it is now our Friday Night Date Night!”

To commemorate Yama’s 40th milestone, Yama will feature special events during the entire month of June, including retro nostalgic dishes from 40 years ago, mystery grab bags, special 40th anniversary merchandise and the festivities will conclude with the June 29th 40th Anniversary Celebration featuring a Blue Fin Sashimi Cutting Demonstration and Japanese Taiko Drummers.

Yama Seafood LA is a Japanese sushi marketplace

Yama Seafood is a Japanese sushi marketplace with 39 years of history in the San Gabriel Valley. They specialize in offering authentic Japanese meals that customers can enjoy at home, including a variety of party platters.

Both of their stores (San Gabriel and West LA) feature a unique selection of imported Japanese products, snacks, sake and beer, carefully curated and seasonally refreshed by their dedicated team. Additionally, they cater to diverse dietary preferences with grab-and-go items like Chicken Katsu, Somen Salad, and an assortment of Vegan Sushi options under our special brands, Sushi With Attitude and Vegan Sushi With Attitude.

This combination of tradition, quality, and variety makes Yama Seafood (Sushi Marketplace) an ideal destination for anyone seeking an authentic Japanese culinary experience.

For more information, to order online or for grand opening & anniversary celebration activities please visit: https://www.yamaseafoodla.com

Premiere Dining Destination Just an Hour from LA! Conejo Valley’s Selvin Restaurant and Lounge, Grand Opening June 2024

Ventura County ‘s Selvin Restaurant and Lounge, the Conejo Valley premiere dining destination Grand Opening June 2024

Selvin’s Restaurant and Lounge opens in June 2024, becoming Conejo Valley’s premiere dining destination for all occasions.

Selvin Restaurant and Lounge

Selvin’s Restaurant and Lounge

Ventura County’s dining destination

Ventura County’s dining destination provides a lush interior oasis serving a signature California coastal cuisine menu and mixologist-crafted cocktails. It is located next to the Palm Garden Hotel, TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s number-one Choice since 2019, fostering a welcoming neighborhood vibe and inviting you to relax, celebrate, and savor the moment with us.

Chef John Vega’s stellar culinary background

At Selvin’s, guests can expect a culinary journey curated by, Chef John Vega. With a stellar culinary background from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Napa, he’s celebrated for his exquisite palate, creative flair, and extensive experience working at the Three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Chicago. Having honed his skills in prestigious kitchens, Chef Vega brings a wealth of experience and a passion for culinary excellence to Selvin’s.

Special Grand Opening Menu

To celebrate the grand opening and to thank guests for joining, Selvin’s is offering a limited-time tasting menu and complimentary signature cocktails to the first 97 guests.

Conejo Valley’s  Selvin Restaurant and Lounge

Featuring timeless dishes that exemplify the restaurant’s commitment to freshness, innovation, and American cuisine with a Coastal California twist, the restaurant will showcase the breadth of its culinary ambitions.

Sweet Corn Agnolotti

Sweet Corn Agnolotti, Selvin’s Restaurant and Lounge

Featuring tantalizing starters, a variety of shared plates, elegant main courses, and divine desserts, from all of the finest locally sourced ingredients. This is the perfect place for quick meetings, family and friends gatherings, and corporate and social private events.

“Our hospitality team isn’t just a group of individuals;

we’re a family united by a love for creating memorable experiences.

With boundless energy and fresh perspectives,

we infuse each dish and every interaction with our passion for hospitality,

ensuring that every visit is not just a meal but a memorable experience.”

Steven Ortmann

Chief Operating Officer

Selvin’s Restaurant and Lounge is the brainchild of a team that’s passionate about bringing an extraordinary dining experience to Ventura County.

Bruzu, Selvin Restaurant and Lounge

Bruzu, Selvin’s Restaurant and Lounge

Inspired by the rich culinary landscape of coastal California and the contemporary American dining ethos, Selvin’s aims to be an establishment where every visit celebrates the vibrant, diverse flavors that define the community.

Conejo Valley Selvin Restaurant and Lounge Owner Harry Selvin

Harry Selvin, Owner and Founder has been a community icon for decades. Traveling the world for years, Harry’s always had an itch for hospitality. Acquiring the Palm Garden Hotel in 2012, warranted Harry the opportunity to transform hospitality in the Greater Conejo Valley.

Vegas Vesper, Selvin Restaurant and Lounge

Vegas Vesper, Selvin’s Restaurant and Lounge

In the years ahead, Steven Ortmann and his team decided to create something special to celebrate the legacy of Mr. Selvin, introducing Selvin’s Restaurant + Lounge.

“Building a restaurant with a passionate management team

is like crafting a symphony;

each member brings their unique instrument,

but it’s the harmony of our passion

that creates the perfect dining experience.”

Harry Selvin, Owner

Their mission is to create a space that feels like home but inspires a sense of adventure, allowing visitors and locals alike to create memorable moments over exceptional hospitality. Welcome to Selvin’s — where good food, great drinks, and even greater company await.

Selvin’s is the premier restaurant and lounge

Selvin’s is the premier restaurant and lounge found next to the renovated Palm Garden Hotel. Modern yet classic, the food is described as California coastal cuisine. Indoor dining, outdoor patio, champagne room, and banquet event space make Selvin’s the perfect place for any celebratory occasion.

Executive Chef John Vega

John’s culinary journey began as a young prodigy at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Napa, where he quickly distinguished himself as one of the institution’s brightest talents. His exceptional skills earned him a coveted position at Alinea, a world-renowned Three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Chicago, making him one of the youngest chefs to grace its kitchen. Fueled by fond memories of bonding with his father in the kitchen, set against the backdrop of classical music, John understands the intimate nature of food—the power it holds to create lasting memories and forge meaningful connections.

Driven by an unwavering commitment to perfection and a relentless desire to explore culinary boundaries, John embarked on a quest to craft unparalleled dining experiences.

For reservations, contact at reservations@selvins.com

Selvin’s Website

Selvin’s Instagram

Selvin’s TikTok

Selvin’s Facebook

Eve Bushman’s Wine Spectator Grand Tour 2024 Las Vegas

Eve Bushman‘s Wine Spectator Grand Tour 2024 Las Vegas

Last Saturday night, at Resorts World Las Vegas, Eddie and I covered our very first Wine Spectator Grand Tour tasting!

Eyeballing this one for a while, as all the wines scored 90 points or greater – any 90-point and up wine awarded blind by Wine Spectator means a lot in my opinion – and there were 235 wineries represented!

I had some California favorites I wanted to try, and of course dozens from around the world.

But, knowing me, covering the event was going to take most of my time and I would be lucky to hit up just so many tables, with that in mind these were my favorite wines and their numerical scores:

Vina Almaviva Puento Alto 2021, 96.  

Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Benchland Select 2019, 91.

Bodega Catena Zapata Nicolas Catena Zapata Mendoza 2009 (Cab and Malbec), 94.

Cesare Amarone Valpolicella Classico, 2018, 91.

Louis Roederer Brut Champagne Collection 244 NV, 93.

Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Signature 2019, 93.

Charles Heidsieck Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne, NV, 93.

Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain Family Reserve 2019, 94.

Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2021, 94.

Chimney Rock Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District 2021, 94.

Croft Vintage Port 2017, 97.

Cuvaison Pinot Noir Napa Valley Los Carneros Small Lot Spire 2021, 92.

Darioush Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Signature 2018, 92.

Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2021, 92.

Frank Family Chardonnay Carneros 2021, 92.

Hall Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Kathryn Hall 2016, 96.

Laurent-Perrier Brut Rose Champagne Cuvee NV, 92.

Marques de Caceres Rioja Gaudium Reserva 2018, 91.

Mollydooker Shiraz McLaren Vale Velvet Glove 2019, 94.

Pasqua Amarone Della Valpolicella Mai Dire Mai 2013, 91.

Pio Cesare Barbaresco 2019, 93.

Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2019, 91.

Roederer Estate Brut Rose Anderson Valley L’Ermitage 2015, 93.

Sandeman Tawny Port 20 Year Old NV, 92.

Schramsberg Vineyard Brut Rose North Coast 2020, 93.

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District S.L.V. 2018, 94.

Taub Family Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Beckstoffer Vyds Georges III 2019, 93.

Tensley Syrah Santa Barbara County OGT 2021, 94.

Torbreck Grenache Barossa Valley Hillside Vineyard 2021, 93.

Trimbach Riesling Alsace Frederic Emile 2016, 94.

Vina Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Alto Vineyard 2021, 96.

Vina Montes Purple Angel Colchagua Valley 2020, 93.

Yalumba Cabernet-Shiraz South Australia The Caley 2018, 95.

Zenato Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2018, 92.

Event Notes

You can get there 30 minutes or so in advance to check in, get your wrist band and wine glass voucher.

Lots of people lined up to get in, but once the clocked chimed the appointed hour, we were in the large tasting room within minutes.

The dining room had plenty of seating, with different food options – Italian and Mexican – and a dessert table. We went for the pasta, carbo-loading for our stamina, which we enjoyed after the first hour.

Bathrooms were close by, plenty of water stations, pour out buckets and if there was a line at a table you could just go to the next one.

IMHO there is no reason to wait at a particular table at this event as you know everything they are offering is a top-scoring wine. The winery representatives were extremely knowledgeable about their wines.

View the wineries that participated here.

Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in the first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Proof Awards, Cellarmasters, LA Wine Competition, Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards.

You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.

Incredible Flavors in LA

Stuck in LA Dating App Hell? Dating Expert Andrea McGinty makes it easy with 33000Dates.com

Stuck in LA Dating App Hell?  Dating Expert Andrea McGinty makes it easy with 33000Dates.com

We’re with Andrea McGinty, dating expert from 33000Dates.com

Dating Expert Andrea McGinty makes it easy with 33000Dates.com

Dating Expert Andrea McGinty makes it easy with 33000Dates.com

Today’s conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  For the full, un-edited conversation, visit our YouTube channel here

So often we talk about food and wine and it’s usually for dates, romantic nights out, date night, anniversaries, vacations

Dating Expert Andrea McGinty makes it easy with 33000Dates.com

Dating Expert Andrea McGinty makes it easy with 33000Dates.com

Today we’re going to get to the source of what those date’s are actually about. So with us is a dating expert, Andrea McGinty from 33000dates.com. 

 

Joe Winger: 

So just to start things off, what inspired you to become a dating coach?

Andrea McGinty: 

You mean what inspired an accounting / finance major to become a dating coach? 

I started this when I was in my 20s. So this is the 1990s. 

There’s no Google yet. There’s no online dating.  It’s going to happen in the late 90s, but it hasn’t happened yet. At that point I was living in Chicago and I was getting married and five weeks before the wedding, he called it off and it was like – boom!

What do you do? First I cried, of course…

Anyway my friends started fixing me up on dates, still in your 20s and you know how those dates go, 

They know someone that’s single, so they think you should like them, blah, blah, blah…

After some of those dates I was really thinking about it and I thought, it’d be great if there was a place you could go, like an executive recruiter for your professional life. 

The same thing for your personal life. 

And of course, there was nothing like that at the time.  Even in high school and in college I fixed up two of my suitemates. They’re still with their husbands that I fixed them up with.

I was already good at this and I thought I could start this. 

Anyway, fast forward.

I started a company in Chicago called It’s Just Lunch. Where people meet for lunch. We do all the work.

Fast forward, 15 years later, it’s still the same.

[At my first dating company, It’s Just Lunch] we had 110 locations globally and then I sold.  Timing was perfect because online dating was coming out of its infancy and it was a mess it at first, just the scammers, the crazies, the horrible stories, 

I thought, “Oh, wow, there’s a need. People have no idea what to do online and how to date.” 

 

Dating Expert Andrea McGinty makes it easy with 33000Dates.com

Joe Winger: 

Is there one big lesson to learn how to be more successful with dating in today’s world?

Andrea McGinty: 

I think there’s a couple, there’s probably two lessons to learn. 

#1 is you need to understand how to navigate online dating because there’s over 1400 sites out there. 

#2 you’ve got to be really careful that you don’t give up too quickly. 

Most people give up in the first 2-3 weeks because they go online, see a bunch of people, they probably went on the wrong site by the way too, like not the right site for them at all. Then they see these people who like them and they’re like, “Oh my gosh, this is online dating, forget it, I’m done, gone.” 

And it goes back to they didn’t do it right, they had no idea what they were doing.

Joe Winger: 

Can you bring some clarity to that and help somebody understand what are the first few steps are and how to do them correctly?

Andrea McGinty: 

Absolutely. With online dating you need…

 #1 you need to be really careful that you’re choosing the right site.

When we’re talking about 1,400 sites out there, I tend to work with the top 25 sites. When I’m working with a client I start initially with a zoom call with a client and get to know them what they’re looking for. 

I work primarily with the 40 – something 50- something, through the 60s age group. Second time around, second acts in life type of thing. 

Back to the right site…

When I’m choosing a site for a client after the zoom call, I’m thinking about. “Okay, what sites do I think they belong at?” And it’s very different if you’re in Los Angeles versus Houston versus Washington versus New York City or Orlando, Florida.

[The sites are] so different, how the sites function and the type of people that are even on the site. 

I’m strategic too. I use three different large companies for research. I use Gallup,  Pew and Statista.  I pay to get research on a monthly basis and it really tells me the percentage of men to women on a site. 

Some sites that are 80% men. Some sites are 80% women 

You might be having an awful time on a site because you’re a woman and you’re at a site that’s 80% women. You’re in the wrong place. 

So I do the homework with the research. Geographically where you live, level of education, income. Is that site’s membership increasing, decreasing?

#2 Your pictures. 

Oh my gosh. I’m like a crazy person with photos because you have to have really great photos. I don’t mean LinkedIn photos, I don’t mean glamour shots, and not selfies.

The candids are nice because it’ll show you and your friends. Out playing pickleball, out playing tennis, out having drinks with your girlfriends. The professional shots. Depending on where you live, you’re just gonna get some great shots up against a graffiti wall in Brooklyn or a nice shot by the beach that are just a little more.

You want a couple full body shots. 

You want the photos to be current, within the last year.   Just like you don’t want to be surprised when you show up on the date and there she is.  She has a few more wrinkles and a few more pounds than what I saw online. 

It’s like you’re not being truthful about the whole thing. 

Online dating is a visual medium. You’ve got to be presenting yourself. My LA and Orange County market, Dallas market, they get that.  But there’s other parts of the country. I’m like no, we are not putting that picture of you online. There is absolutely no way.

#3 Your profile

Once they look at your photos online, if they like what they’re seeing, they’re going to read about you.  It can’t be the same old stuff. Like I like to walk on the beach and I look as good in a tux as I do….   it puts me to sleep. 

So a short, sweet, interesting, quirky profile sells. 

A lot of times it’s hard to write about yourself. That’s why it’s nice to have somebody like me, write about you.

[Summarizing]  You’re on the right site.  The right photos. Your profile. Now it’s looking through high potential dates for you….

#4 Looking for High Potential Dates

Putting in algorithms, putting in search filters. That’s something I teach people how to do because otherwise it’s like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack and you want it like a needle in a little Easter basket.

Once we throw those filters and algorithms on, it gets rid of  80% of the people. Now we’re down to some of these people that look like high potential people for you. 

#5 Send messages

We found 10 “someone” ‘s and now we send messages.

We don’t send them a weak heart or any of that kind of junk because men get so irritated.  Because half my clients are men, they get so irritated with this. 

Why are these women sending likes and hearts and no message? 

That’s my constant battle with women.

Hey, you’re in your 40s, you’re not 90 when women had to wait to be pursued. We’re not living in our grandparents era, right? We’re equals. We can reach out to the men too. 

The men totally appreciate when a woman sends a well crafted, interesting, short three sentence message.

The messaging is super important because you don’t want the: “Hi, how are you?” – or this is horrible. “Hi, you’re so good looking.” “Hi, you’re so beautiful.”

It was like, copy paste, they threw that out to the world, they sent that to everybody.

So now you’ve sent a message, hopefully he / she messages back. 

#6 Schedule a date

The next thing is let’s get that date scheduled. This can all be done with just a couple texts on both people’s part:

“Okay, yeah, I’m totally interested. How’s Friday, at 5:30p at Bistro 110. Let’s meet for a glass of wine?

Because chemistry only takes place in real life. 

Joe Winger: 

In reality, do most dates get set up that quickly?  It seems like there’s more delays and game-playing?

Andrea McGinty: 

From the time you first send a message to someone, if the date has not been scheduled within five days of that initial text.  There’s a 90% chance the date will never occur. 

I’ll say to my client, “We’re going to go right for it right now.”

Write a couple of cute lines that are just for that person and then be like:

“You know what? I don’t really need to text you anymore or talk to you anymore because I’m ready to meet you. I’m super interested. How’s Friday night…?”

Sometimes you’ll get back a reply, what’s the rush? 

I think to myself, what isn’t the rush here? 

What do you want to talk about? Can’t you just get dressed? 

We both live in Beverly Hills for goodness sakes. How long would it take us to get together and meet, right? We’re both in New York City.  C’mon. Let’s do this in person. 

If you’re getting those people that are drawing out the process, you either just cut bait. Just block them, goodbye, gone. 

Or you say, you know what, if you don’t reply, you’re going to end up on my waiting list. 

And you do it with a little humor, add an “LOL”  

That can work too, where people crack up and they’re like, yes, I would love to meet you Saturday. Let’s grab lunch.

Joe Winger: 

In today’s world of different levels of politically correct, cancel culture, different levels of sensitivity, regardless of whether you’re in a very conservative culture, progressive culture, etc.

How do we deal with any level of uncomfort when it comes to online dating?

Andrea McGinty: 

First of all, you’re not in the workplace dating right now. Cause that’s where a lot of that happens, right?

This is where I say “Women, you’ve got a big advantage right now because you can feel very comfortable and free reaching out to men and get over that whole thing”.

Women wait to be pursued.  There was this book that came out in the 90s: “The Rules.”

Wait to be pursued by the man and then don’t respond to him for three days. What the heck is that about? 

No. Reach out to men. 

Now for men, you’re not going to send stupid messages like, “Oh, you’re so gorgeous and sexy and blah, blah, blah”

Nobody wants that message. 

You would find that offensive too.

As far as men reaching out to women, just do it in good taste.

Women are there to meet men.  Creepy doesn’t happen very much online anymore. We’re out of that 2000 – 2010 era where more of that stuff happened. 

There’s so many more hoops. Both parties jump through [hoops] on top notch dating sites now and dating apps now that verify that you are who you say you are and verify some information about you.

Joe Winger: 

Most of the people watching this, they’re into food. That means fine dining. They’re into wine and cocktails and collecting wine. 

What kind of a goal can they look for if they come to 33000Dates.com?

When they approach and connect with you, what should they be thinking about and preparing so they know how to best represent themselves in that first conversation with you?

Andrea McGinty: 

Just be real with me and, people that are foodies and wine collectors, there’s a lot of us out there. There’s a lot of people out there that will find that very attractive. 

There’s a lot of people that like to try different wine bars, they like to go up to Napa.  Maybe that’s your third or fourth or eighth date, 

Be real with what your interests are and… talking about food. 

This goes back to when I’m writing your profile, when people just say, “Oh, I like Italian food.” I’m like no.  Give me something here. 

“I like carbonara with peppers and from Trattoria is amazing.”

It doesn’t have to be written in a snobby or snooty way, but it’s just like fun. Like you’re describing what you like to eat or your favorite foods or it could be talking about, you like this vintage of wine.

Be very specific with me because that’s how I can help you the most and be really upfront no, no PC woke stuff with me because this is your personal life.

Joe Winger

What are some realistic goals for your online dating experience?

Andrea McGinty: 

We’ve got to make sure that we’re not listening to all the noise out there. We’re not listening to our negative friends about dating and friends and family can be two really negative forces because you get one of one of two things. 

If it’s family, maybe a lot of them are married and they’re like, Oh, you’re good looking. You’re so awesome. You don’t need to do online dating. That is like for losers. 

That is so not the story anymore. 

You’ve got friends that are like, “Oh, I just tried Bumble. It was horrible”. “I did hinge. It was horrible.”

A lot of dating is going in with a good attitude. I’m not talking about rainbows and unicorns; and everything’s perfect or anything like that.

We spend a lot of our 20s and 30s becoming successful and working on our careers.

By the time we’re 40s, even 50s we’re there career-wise. So now, it’s time to focus on our love life. 

That could be two very different pictures: it could be a second act because you’re divorced. 

Or it could be you’ve been single and just all your efforts have been going into career and friends and travel and all this other stuff, good stuff you’ve got going on.

But you wake up one day and you’re like:

“Hey, I’m 45 and I’m single. What’s up with this?”

Go into online dating, approaching it the way you did your career.  Strategically.  It’s no fun to think about your love life, like strategically, hire somebody, think about how you play golf.

You didn’t just go out on the golf course. You took a bunch of lessons.

Everybody’s playing pickleball now.  But you didn’t just go out on the court, even if you played tennis before. You took a couple clinics, right? 

That very quickly threw you into the intermediate range all of a sudden because you put some effort into it. 

Same with dating.

But if you want to do it effectively and pretty effortlessly, just like you did with golf, hire the pro to do this stuff for you.

My typical male client tells me I take 80% of the workload off him because he doesn’t have to think about it anymore.

I’m coming up and presenting ideas to him, presenting women to him and just getting them through. All of the hoops and the messaging and all that stuff. Getting them to the good dates because they’re out there.

There’s some markets, like Los Angeles and New York, that can be big complainers about dating. I think because they’re trying to do it on their own. 

When I get online and go on the good sites in those two markets, there are so many good people on there.

It’s just a matter of having somebody doing a good portion of the work and pushing you. 

And oh, here’s the other thing, accountability. 

When you’re working with me, you have accountability because you’re going to talk to me next week. And I’m going to say:

 “Okay, Tell me what happened to you last week.”

“How’d that date go?” 

“Did you call back that other one that we talked about?“

I did text her after the date you said you were going to, what happened? 

So that little push along the way and keeping you on track too.

Because we’re in a culture where, we’re educated, we’re taking great trips, we’re dining out.  We’ve got a nice group of friends that we love to hang out with. 

It can be really easy to sweep this all, to the wayside. There’s no reason because there’s a loneliness epidemic in the U.S. and we all know if you’re with somebody, that you really enjoy hanging out with you’re going to live longer and you’re gonna live happier too.

Right.

Joe Winger: 

You’re offering great dating tips.  Thank you. 

Let’s say you’re someone who’s done the work on your protile,  messaged all those people, asked for a date, and they’ve all disappeared.

What’s that person doing wrong?

Andrea McGinty: 

You kinda gotta take responsibility for it. You’re doing something wrong. 

Here’s the deal. You don’t know what you’re doing wrong.  

But that’s stuff I can fix.

That’s another thing. You have to stay away from those free sites or sites that have free people on it because there’s no skin in the game there. They’re just dilly-dallying around, playing around on there and not really serious. 

Part of it is recognizing the statistics that you’re going into up-front that for every 5 texts you send, 1 person is going to respond back.

I give my clients homework on a weekly basis, two sessions. That’s all I ask of them. 

During those two 30 hour sessions they have to send out 8 messages.  So I know by the time I’ve talked to them, they’re going to at least have gotten back 3 responses.

If their photos are really good, they might have 8 responses back. 

If they haven’t already booked the date, craft the email, craft the text, craft the message that’s going to get that date in person. And get us there. Get us there.

Joe Winger: 

Andrea McGinty from 33000Dates.com dating expert. 

Any requests from the audience watching and listening?

Andrea McGinty: 

I would just say, take a look around my site, maybe take the dating quiz that I have on the site. It’s fun. And it’s really fast. It’s 10 questions, and it goes right to me. It doesn’t go to any of my people. And. I can rate you and what you’re doing and tell you whether or not I can help you too.

So if you do take that quiz, give me as much info as you can. I don’t mean personal info, but like where you live, your age, but that’s all going to be on there. But take that quiz because that’s a good way to contact me and see if we might be a good fit and maybe I can help you if you really want to meet somebody.

George Gallagher Gets Lucky with Law in BET+ Perimeter TV Series from Tyler Perry, Armani Ortiz

George Gallagher gets lucky with the law in BET+ Perimeter TV Series from Tyler Perry, Armani Ortiz

We’re with actor George Gallagher. He’s currently on BET+ new show, “Perimeter”.

Today’s conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  For the full, un-edited conversation, visit our YouTube channel here

 

George Gallagher gets lucky with the law in BET+ Perimeter TV Series from Tyler Perry, Armani Ortiz

George Gallagher in BET+ “Perimeter” TV Series from Tyler Perry, Armani Ortiz

Joe Winger:

Talk a little bit from an actor point of view. All the different characters you’ve played, what’s your preparation process like?

George Gallagher: 

It tends to vary from role to role. I utilize a lot of different disciplines.  But for example, on Perimeter I play an attorney who takes on cases that others wouldn’t necessarily.

He knows where his bread and butter comes from, but he likes to challenge and, when dealing with that, I’d watched a lot of different things. 

I watched Better Call Saul. 

I watched different lawyer shows and I consulted with some attorneys and did some research and, I have a relative who’s an upper echelon attorney in the tri state New York area.  I spoke with her in some detail about different things and went through the script actually, and to try to make it make sense for me in a very real, visceral way. 

But also honor the world that Armani Ortiz and Tyler Perry had created. 

So it varies quite a bit. I like to be really spontaneous and instinctive with everything. I like to go off the moment of what I get from the other person and what happens in the moment.  

How I respond to things 12 words or less, unfortunately is not my specialty, but that’s why we have writers to give me dialogue.

Joe Winger: 

Talk about Lance, the character you play in Perimeter.  

George Gallagher: 

Working on the show is one of the gifts of my creative, professional career. 

Armani Ortiz is the young writer-director visionary, who has created the show and put it forth with Tyler Perry as executive producer. And he also directed the Tyler Perry documentary, Maxine’s Baby, about Mr. Perry’s life that’s doing quite well right now. 

He’s really an extremely talented young guy. He really invited me into his world,  to create whatever I wanted within certain parameters. He was very collaborative with the actors. He allowed us to rehearse, work through things, but also give it our own flavor.

I come from the theater and actors that work in that studio tend to have that background because we can work quickly. We’re autonomous. We have some process and technique and I believe that we’re able to collaborate with others in a way that’s immediate, and in theater, you’re out there in the unknown and there’s no one to cut you out.

If you have a bad moment, the audience sees it.

So actors really learn how to hyper focus in real time. That was a bit of the experience. Once the cameras were starting to roll, but we did have an incredible cast. 

Most of the people came from California, some from New York. I’m really drawn from both coasts that came to Atlanta to film and work on the show.

It’s a great story. It’s period. It takes place in the nineties surrounding Freaknik, which was a really popular hip hop festival in Atlanta. The Olympics is in the backdrop, when they had them here in the early 90s.  The whole city, the airport expanded. It really put Atlanta on the map as a major metropolitan city.  So that’s all happening in the backdrop.  They had the first black mayor at the time. 

My character, Lance, is a high end attorney who has a very private clientele that pays him very well. Their cases might be a little more challenging.

He represents people who are, sometimes stepping outside of the law and in the criminal world and which makes it all the more challenging. 

But back to your earlier question, I was researching lawyers that had taken on different civil rights cases that are a little more controversial in terms of dealing with the system and upholding a belief in the system.

Someone like Alan Dershowitz, I watched Reversal of Fortune. 

He took on a lot of civil rights cases and then went and defended someone that everyone thought was a murderer.

But the reason why he did those things and which was an underlying, or rather an overtone of that novel and the film Reversal of Fortune.  It’s really about if you believe in the legal system and making sure that everyone has a fair and just defense, regardless of their socioeconomic background.

My character, Lance, is from a different world than I am. 

Malcolm, who’s one of the main characters on the show, that I defend and I represent.  I don’t want to give too many spoilers away, but it’s a really exciting world.  

People should check out the show and see where it takes everybody.

 

Joe Winger: 

When you talk about the cast there’s a range of different names.

Any specific lessons you learned from any of the cast?

George Gallagher: 

There’s one scene in particular where my client’s brother ends up getting arrested. He’s looking at some serious charges and we have to go visit him and give him some reassurance and get more information about his case.

Both of the actors, Malcolm Xavier, who plays Malcolm on the show and Jalen Gilbert, who plays his brother were extraordinary. 

We shot in a visitation room in a police station and when this actor walked in, I felt like he was really in jail or in prison. 

The guy transformed.

I’d met him [before] and we rehearsed the scene and everyone’s nice and we’re in hair and makeup and shooting the crap and talking.  Then you get on set and it’s not the same human being, which is such a gift as an actor when you have.

It forces you to really respond and you’re just in the moment. The three of us had a really exciting dynamic and I thought it translated really well on film. 

It reminded me of things as an actor, which is if you believe it, if you really believe it, the audience will believe it too.  Everybody around you on that set will believe it. 

If you don’t. then it’s kind of luck of the draw and you’re hoping for the editor [and music score] to help you. 

If an actor is really meant to be an actor, and they’re worth their grain of salt, it comes from them living in this danger zone.  And this guy, he came out, he was dangerous. You felt like anything could happen.

He reminded me of a young Denzel Washington.

And Malcolm was also exceptional. It was impossible to not believe they were brothers. You could feel the affinity, but also the sort of rage that was brewing between the two of them. 

George Gallagher on-set

Joe Winger: 

That vibe helps inform your performance as well. It just makes the whole scene more alive and in the moment for you.

George Gallagher: 

Absolutely.  You just feel like you’re there with another human being having an experience and you forget you’re an actor and that you’re in a story and you just really like suspension of disbelief.

As actors, we get to live many lives, which is what I love the most about acting. 

Armani Ortiz really set the stage for that to happen to us. 

Also making it feel authentic and real. The art direction, the cinematography, every department was really on point. 

Joe Winger: 

You’ve played some really intense roles.  After a day on a set that heavy, as a human being, as an actor, how do you relax?

George Gallagher: 

That’s a really good question. A different film that I did, called “Altered States of Plaine” is about a guy who falls asleep and wakes up in different parts of the world. He doesn’t know why it’s happening to him and he resorts to drug induced insomnia to stay awake.

It’s very bizarre film and it balances a lot of psychological aspects. 

Sometimes in a role you do immerse yourself and you work to within an inch of your life.  [Afterwards] you come out and shake it off and sometimes you’ve got dings in the fender that aren’t going away.

But as an actor generally I just laugh and shake it off.  The camera eats all that stuff up, hopefully we all can shake hands and go out for a drink later on and bury the hatchet. 

Joe Winger: 

It sounds like on your current show Perimeter, it does have a more congenial vibe. 

George Gallagher: 

Absolutely. I’ve worked on two projects there [Tyler Perry Productions] now.  It’s one of the most positive environments you could ever step into as an actor. Tyler Perry Productions hires the very best of the best of people.

I remember in California walking on the Paramount [lot] for an audition and everybody looks so happy.  They had a twinkle in their eye.

[I mentioned it to a friend and they replied]  “They’re all winning the game.”

I was like, you’re right.  There is that gratitude, you get a job for that week.  You’re part of the 1%.  You’re very lucky. It’s a privilege.

Joe Winger: 

You’ve been outspoken about the future of Hollywood, digital storytelling, AI.  You’ve had publicly a very positive outlook on what the future looks like. 

George Gallagher: 

I don’t believe the human soul will ever be duplicated and replicated. 

I think they’re going to get interesting products and effects that are going to look really cool and fascinating, but there’s still going to be a storyteller that’s a human being behind that.

But I still think that writers, storytellers, actors, and people in the visual, there’s still going to need to be human beings manning this. 

There’s always going to be a need and a desire for communal experience. A human being telling stories and artists, but it is probably going to alter a lot.

The audience determines at the end of the day, it’s about what they want.

George Gallagher with actress Nikiva Dionne "A Heart for Christmas"

George Gallagher with actress Nikiva Dionne “A Heart for Christmas”

Joe Winger: 

Our audience is very food based, wine based, cocktail based, I’m not sure if you identify as a foodie.

What’s your favorite dish? What do you love to cook? 

George Gallagher: 

My pronouns are asparagus, broccoli, and spinach. [George laughs]

I love food. I’m big into real food, raw foods organically grown, supporting local farmers, salads greens. 

There was a dish that I used to make, sausage and pepper penne.  

I use turkey sausages because I like it a little healthier.  I would make it with fusilli because it soaks up the sauce better.  Getting the oils and the fats into the sauce, and then the fusilli just grabs it and soaks it all up, and then I would add almonds into that dish.

 

Maybe some spinach. Definitely have to have green peppers and some spicy peppers, bright colored rainbow diet.

If I cook it too much, then it’s a mess.  But I’ve gotten better at it over the years. It’s edible.

Joe Winger: 

You finished shooting “A Heart for Christmas” in Los Angeles. Can you talk about the movie and what you play?

George Gallagher: 

Absolutely. I just wrapped “A Heart for Christmas”. I play Dr. Carl, who’s really driven, sort of type A person who is engaged to the protagonist in the film, breaks it off early on and because he’s got his own sort of, he’s a quasi McDreamy meets McDouchey sort of doctor. A little bit of a God complex, and he’s quite pleased with himself.

It’s a Christmas film and it’s fun and has a lot of humor and charm. 

We shot for a few weeks in LA and all around Pasadena.  We got to experience Christmas in the summertime.

It should be out sometime before this Christmas.

Joe Winger: 

Anything in the future we should be looking for you? 

George Gallagher: 

On Netflix, the new film Six Triple Eight starring Kerry Washington, Oprah Winfrey, Dean Norris, and Sam Waterston.

That was also directed by Tyler Perry. 

I play a character named Levi who’s a business executive and it takes place around the Second World War. 

Part of the film was shot in Atlanta, some in Europe: England, Germany, all around the world.

It’s one of the biggest productions I’ve ever personally been involved in with a lot of great actors and had a terrific script. I think people are going to really like the story.

Joe Winger: 

You’ve made the unorthodox choice as an actor of leaving Los Angeles, having a family life somewhere else. What inspired that move?

George Gallagher: 

It’s been a blessing in so many ways I can’t even tell you. 

We live in a suburb of Atlanta north of the city.  Having my children be born in Los Angeles and being from the New York area, I’ve never not lived in a major metropolitan area.

You really just can provide a better quality of life for your family.  I moved here [from the New York area].  I heard Tyler Perry was quarantining and was going to keep production going.

I thought nothing stops that guy. Those are the kinds of people I want to work with. I said to my wife and family, “Let’s go to Atlanta. We can always come back to New York later.”

It’s just amazing.  It was like everything that I had wanted and planned for.

Very rarely in my life have everything unfolded exactly the way I’d hoped and envisioned it. But this was one of those situations and it’s an hour from New York.

It’s green, it’s beautiful, and people are friendly. You get great organic food and there’s farmers everywhere. We have, of course, Georgia peaches everywhere.

Joe Winger: 

As we wrap up any social media, any websites?  What’s the best way to follow you, find out more about you?

George Gallagher: 

Feel free to follow me on Instagram. It’s GeorgeGallagher7.  Facebook is George Gallagher

East LA ‘ Birrieria Chalio ‘ Serves Big Flavor Birria from Raul Luis Family Secret

East LA ‘ Birrieria Chalio ‘ Serves Big Flavor Birria from Raul Luis Family Secret

One of East LA’s most popular restaurant serves Kings, Queens and Food Royalty.  You can get a taste if it too.

Raul Luis brings Flavor with East LA’s birria

Today’s conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  For the full, un-edited conversation, visit our YouTube channel here

Joe Winger: 

We have a really special treat today. We’re talking with Raul Luis from Birria the restaurant here in East LA. We’re going to talk about family. We’re going to talk about flavor. We’re going to talk about how he creates these amazing dishes. And then we’re going to talk more about how you can have a bite and taste his the food from his restaurants.

Raul Luis, thank you for joining us today.

Raul Luis: 

Thank you for having me here. I’m very honored to be here speaking to you.

Joe Winger: 

What’s the most important message you want the audience to hear today?

Raul Luis: 

I think we can start talking about how Birria came to LA. How do we get it here? What caused that trigger to start selling the food here in LA? 

My dad was given a certain skill set, handed down to him to make birria.

Birria is chivo goat meat. He used that skill set back in Mexico. He came to the U. S. when he came over during the Bracero program. He was talking to his buddies and he told them he’s a Barriario. He doesn’t know how to cook birria. So they would ask him if he would cook that dish from because that dish was only traditionally eaten during those special once in a lifetime events, baptisms, quinceañeras, weddings.

So the common denominator in all those events was the birria. 

You went [to an important life event], you knew you were going to have birria. I tell people the story because I remember being small myself when I was young, that we wouldn’t eat meat too often because we were vegetarians, not by choice, but because of circumstance.

When someone was having a party, we said, “Wow, we’re going to eat birria today.” We knew we look forward to, we’re going to eat meat. It’s time. Let’s get ready to go eat some meat. Get ready, put on your Sunday clothes and go. When my father came to the U S People knew about him. They asked him to cook their dish for him.

When he cooked the meal for someone’s wedding, quinceanera, baptism, for their special occasion, he would cook extra. 

So his friends would come over. When his friends would come over, he would serve whatever portion it was, usually like a whole carcass of lamb, 50 pounds. And then there was some leftover, so he would feed his friends.

And he would tell the stories when he would feed his friends. His friends wouldn’t leave. They would stay there for hours and they would be talking and my dad was, “I gotta go do my Sunday [errands], my day off. We gotta go to our family.  They were there for hours and all their memories, all memories, special occasions.

Remember this? Remember that? And my dad said, “Man, what? Why are you talking? Why are you staying here so long? 

It was the food. 

He didn’t realize the time. It was the food that was triggering those special [memories], triggering their mind. 

They’re time travelers, they’re going back to other special events.

I tell people,  it’s those once in a lifetime events that are much more exponential, much more magnified because it was somebody’s wedding.  It was somebody’s baptism. 

That’s how it began, by cooking.

 

Joe Winger: 

Your father was an amazing person. Back in the early 1960s, back in Mexico, he’s working in a tiny little five chair restaurant in the Mercado before migrating here to the US.

What have you learned from him taking this huge life journey?

Raul Luis: 

I look back, how do the immigrants do this? How do they leave their country, leave everything behind? 

He had a small spot, maybe five people to sit there.  He would sell on the weekends. Business wasn’t that brisk. 

They were opening up a new spot, but they required a down payment to secure it. So he had to come to the U.S. so he could save up some money. 

They asked, does anyone know how to cook? Dad raises his hand. I’m a birriero. 

So he began cooking birria for the farm workers. He was limited because now he was out of his comfort zone.

He was no longer in Mexico. He didn’t have access to all the spices that he used back home. 

In the preparation of the different birrias, before they put the red adobe sauce, it’s white.

All the farm workers ate it up, but the people who were in charge wouldn’t eat it because it wasn’t easy on the eyes. People eat with their eyes. 

[So he changed his process]

Why don’t you add the red before? 

So, we marinated before we cook it, 

[The second change]

There wasn’t all the spices we needed, so the chef that was there helped them get new spices or tweak the recipe a bit.

That’s what happened.

You have aspirations, and dreams, as many immigrants.  They come to the U. S., make some money, go back.

He never went back. 

Once you plant roots, then it’s hard to go back to your country of origin. 

Joe Winger: 

Fast forwarding to the present day.  Your Birria in East LA is very popular.

What’s the most common dish at the restaurant?

Raul Luis: 

We’re known for Birria.   9 out of 10 plates will be the Birria. 

Sometimes we have new customers who want to try it but are hesitant.  I explain our 10-hour cooking process [to get them excited.]  Underground pits, cooking it with the mesquite wood to add that flavor.

The gaminess, the taste, our process, all that fun stuff, secrets.

Raul Luis ‘s East LA Birrieria Chalio most popular dish

Joe Winger: 

Can you walk us through the flavor and process? 

Raul Luis: 

It’s a 2-day process. You get the [goat] carcass, cut it up into pieces. 

The ribs, the neck bone, the French rack. There’s all these different cuts. Every single cut has a different taste profile and texture. So when you walk in, it depends on you. How dirty do you wanna get? 

Do you wanna get down and dirty?  You get the bones. 

I tell people the neck is the best because it’s so tender, so soft, not too much fat on it. 

If you’d like the nerve, then you get the ribs.

The flavor is amazing. In the bones, it’s amazing. 

There’s people who don’t like to deal with the struggling or getting dirty. So they go with the all leg meat. That’s the drier part.  It’s good, but it’s not. Not my first choice.

We cook it, we steam it, we marinate it, let it sit for about 24 hours and we put it into a our pressure cooker.

Part of the science is the way you stack it up, like a pyramid, and then they put firewood under it.  If you don’t stack it correctly, part of it won’t cook. 

You have to put it up a certain way to make sure that all the meat gets cooked properly. 

We take it out.  We’ve got to separate it so we can have all the different parts. Distinguish the leg from the neck bone from the ribs, put that aside. Then we put it in the oven so we can get like a slow roast, nice little crispy.  Tender on the outside, real soft on the inside.

The most important thing is the consommé. 

That’s the broth, we call it the “honey”. You can’t have it without the consomme. The birria isn’t birria without the consommé. That’s what gives it the flavor. That’s what takes it to the next level.

Some people say, “Oh, I had birria.”  No you didn’t.  That was a taco.

No, you’ve got to have it with the consommé.

The new movement with the birria, they dip the sauce. It’s the same concept, but I would like to think that our consommé is a little more intense, more flavorful, because we use the broth from the goat and from the mince that it distills.

So it’s really flavorful. You got to try it. 

East LA Birrieria Chalio from Raul Luis – A Family Secret

Joe Winger: 

You have a deep family history, you have a cultural history. Obviously food is part of that history. Can you talk a little bit about the cultural value and the meaning behind Birria and why it’s important to you?

Raul Luis: 

I tell people it’s made to feed kings and queens.  How? 

Because in our region, Central Mexico, the birria is eaten by most of the population in Mexico.  About 85-90% are Catholic. 

So one of the first steps when a child is born, they take them to the church and that’s where he becomes a king.

They baptize them. They have a festivity. There’s a party going on.

Then the second phase is they feed the Quinceaneras. 

That’s a rite of passage where you go from childhood to adulthood for the girls. So now you feed the princesses. 

The next step is when the lady gets married, she’s the queen.

All three of those things, traditionally, was birria. 

That’s the only thing that was in common.  That helped people look back to those special occasions. When people eat the birria, they go back to that once in a lifetime event. 

It’s time traveling for them. 

It’s the memories. 

Fast forward to when we came to LA, the parents would bring their kids, [and now their kids say] ”I used to come here 20 years ago. My dad used to bring me when I was a kid.”

So that’s what it does. It brings the family together. 

Raul Luis Battles Fast Food Giants …and Wins (kinda)

Joe Winger: 

You mentioned some fast food places now working within the same cuisine.  Rubbing you the wrong way.  

Raul Luis: 

Yeah, it’s fascinating how many people called me [about it].

Del Taco and a few other places that were selling birria, but they’re not selling it the way it’s supposed to be. That’s wrong. At first I was a little worked up explaining that they’re missing the point here.  What it means to the people from back in Mexico. 

But there’s always a silver lining. Now the dish is mainstream. 

I would have never been able to do that. These guys with these big budgets are able to cross over and speak to different generations, different ethnic groups.

Before, when we first opened up our restaurant. [Everyone would ask]  “What’s it called? What is that?  I don’t know what that is.”

Now people know when before they didn’t. 

So I give them credit for being able to make people aware and bringing attention to this dish. 

I see myself as the missing link. I’m the one that’s going to fill in the gaps to tell what the dish really means, what significance it has, what historical cultural value it has.  That’s what I’m doing with our YouTube channel at Birria World.

East LA Birrieria Chalio leads the Birria Movement

Joe Winger: 

Let’s talk about the Birria movement. Everyone says you are the leader.  What does the future of Birria look like in East LA and in the country itself?

Raul Luis: 

In a perfect world, everybody would switch over from beef to goat, which is actually one of the most eaten meats across the world.

If you go to the Middle East or China, they eat that dish.  Here in the U. S., it’s not as popular. 

Introducing them to the dish so they can try out the different textures, different profiles. They can see that there’s another option. 

I source from a vendor in Texas.

The meat we use is paleo certified. It’s halal, all this special stuff. Probably a little more nutritional than beef.

There’s more taste, more flavors in the meat. 

My job is to go out there and have people be aware that [this] exists. 

There’s potential growth across the US to be provided for different ethnic groups and different generations of people.

Joe Winger: 

You’ve had world-famous food stars visit you.

Raul Luis: 

Anthony Bourdain came to our LA location.  I guess he saw something before everybody else did and realized it was a special dish. 

The second person was Jonathan Gold.  He was a writer for the LA times. He wrote beautiful articles on us.  He also saw what the dish meant to our community. 

They gave it a little approval. Come on, try it. Take your turn. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. I’m sure you’ll be back

 

Joe Winger: 

Raul Luis with his Birria restaurant in East LA. Tell us all the ways that our audience can find you and learn more about you.

Raul Luis: 

They did a documentary, “Mexi Papa: Chronicles of Birria” on YouTube.  That’s just the basic history of how Birria got to LA and the US.

Then you can go to Birria World on YouTube.  We do a birria tour, going to different restaurants, we showcase how they cook it, why it tastes different, how it’s served differently in certain regions. 

On Instagram, you can go to Chalios Birria for my Texas location and East LA Chalios Birria Instagram.

Then on Facebook, it’s a Chalios Seminary.

 

 

LA’s best kept Sushi Secret: Yama Sushi Marketplace celebrates 40 years

Yama Sushi Marketplace, LA’s best kept secret, celebrates 40 years

This June 2024, Yama Sushi Marketplace, a rare gem in Los Angeles will celebrate 40 years of the freshest Sashimi and Sushi Angelenos have come to crave and if possible, keep a secret.

“Please don’t tell anyone about this store” whispers one customer while another admits that “It is just not right to gatekeep this any longer!”

https://www.facebook.com/yamaseafoodla

In June 1984, Kenzo Yamada and his wife Nobuko opened Yama Seafood on Las Tunas Drive in San Gabriel.

After many years working as a fish power broker in Los Angeles, Kenzo Yamada or “Yama San” decided to open up his own shop where because of his contacts, was always assured the freshest and best cuts of fish when he visited the fish market every morning.

Today, these same fish companies provide Yama Sushi Marketplace with the freshest fish from all over the world, delivered daily.

https://www.facebook.com/yamaseafoodla

The network of Japanese sushi specialists is quite impressive and Yama san knew them all, from Nobu Matsuhisa (Nobu Restaurants), Katsuya Uechi (Katsuya Sushi) and  Kazunori Nozawa (Sugarfish and Kazunori).

No doubt that Los Angeles was ground zero for Sushi in the USA

There is no doubt that Los Angeles was ground zero for Sushi in the USA, especially with the guidance of Noritoshi Kanai of Mutual Foods (Japanese Food Distributor who introduced Sushi to the American palette).

Although through the years, many larger Japanese Super Markets began to grow in Los Angeles, Yama Seafood stayed true to form, giving customers personal service to choose the freshest cuts of Salmon, Yellowtail, Blue Fin Tuna as Yama San would personally slice each serving of sashimi for the customers.

https://www.facebook.com/yamaseafoodla

Nobuko San, his wife, would run the front and cook the most delicious side dishes for customers, and customers were always given a bag of ice to keep the fish nice and cold.

One of Yama’s first employees, Enrique Moreno (“Kike San”) became Yama’s right hand man, and helped create the now famous Yama California Roll.  “We wanted something special with the correct balance of filling, texture and rice”.

https://www.facebook.com/yamaseafoodla

Last year, in 2023, the Los Angeles Times recognized Yama as having LA’s Best California Roll, and still today, customers line up at Yama for this special sushi.  It is true that customers would literally fight over the last California Rolls in the fridge as two customers famously played a tug of war with the last California Roll Sushi as it went flying into the air and spilled on to the floor.

Yama Seafood was San Gabriel’s “Best Kept Secret”

Although Yama Seafood was San Gabriel’s “Best Kept Secret,” many customers through the years heard about Yama and still to this day travel across state lines to grab the Yama Sashimi and Sushi.

Yama San was a fixture in San Gabriel as many customers had a very close and personal relationship with him as he was always very generous with his support of the community.

In May 2021, Yama San decided it was time to pass the torch, and the Kohno Family of San Marino, stepped in to take over this precious gem.

“The actual interview took 6 months”

Scott Kohno

the CEO of EJL Entertainment

Yama San wanted to make sure that he could trust the next generation to maintain the quality and vision that he firmly established in San Gabriel.

With Scott’s extensive background in retail and food throughout the USA and Asia and his family’s experience in finance, marketing and operations, the store was gradually upgraded, and an expansion plan of the new Yama in West LA (opened 2022) and a brand new Yama in K-town (September 2024) commemorates an exciting time for the Yama Sushi Marketplace brand.

Today, Yama Sushi Marketplace has been named the “Adult Disneyland” by one of Yama’s customers as it transcends just a typical market or restaurant.

From the freshest sushi prepared by sushi chefs on the hour every hour,  to the largest selection of Sake, curated by Scott’s wife, Wendy a Kikisakeshi (Sake Sommelier) Yama has something for everyone.  Unique Shoyu (soy sauce) with Matsutake mushrooms, fresh wasabi, party platters including the new Temaki Time Hand Roll Party Platter and unique gifts and kitchen goods from Japan make the shopping experience second to none.

Whether it is the monthly sushi making or sake tasting classes or the cute Japanese stationery products, Yama is a store that is truly a feast for the eyes (a customer literally walked into to the store with her eyes shielded so she would not be tempted by Yama’s Specialty Gift Table.  “I just want sushi today and cannot get distracted by these tempting Japanese gifts!” she insisted.   A West LA Father holding the hand of his 4 year old daughter commented “thank you so much for bringing this store to West LA.  My daughter and I love Yama and it is now our Friday Night Date Night!”

To commemorate Yama’s 40th milestone, Yama will feature special events during the entire month of June, including retro nostalgic dishes from 40 years ago, mystery grab bags, special 40th anniversary merchandise and the festivities will conclude with the June 29th 40th Anniversary Celebration featuring a Blue Fin Sashimi Cutting Demonstration and Japanese Taiko Drummers.

Yama Seafood LA is a Japanese sushi marketplace

Yama Seafood is a Japanese sushi marketplace with 39 years of history in the San Gabriel Valley. They specialize in offering authentic Japanese meals that customers can enjoy at home, including a variety of party platters.

Both of their stores (San Gabriel and West LA) feature a unique selection of imported Japanese products, snacks, sake and beer, carefully curated and seasonally refreshed by their dedicated team. Additionally, they cater to diverse dietary preferences with grab-and-go items like Chicken Katsu, Somen Salad, and an assortment of Vegan Sushi options under our special brands, Sushi With Attitude and Vegan Sushi With Attitude.

This combination of tradition, quality, and variety makes Yama Seafood (Sushi Marketplace) an ideal destination for anyone seeking an authentic Japanese culinary experience.

For more information, to order online or for grand opening & anniversary celebration activities please visit: https://www.yamaseafoodla.com

Premiere Dining Destination Just an Hour from LA! Conejo Valley’s Selvin Restaurant and Lounge, Grand Opening June 2024

Ventura County ‘s Selvin Restaurant and Lounge, the Conejo Valley premiere dining destination Grand Opening June 2024

Selvin’s Restaurant and Lounge opens in June 2024, becoming Conejo Valley’s premiere dining destination for all occasions.

Selvin Restaurant and Lounge

Selvin’s Restaurant and Lounge

Ventura County’s dining destination

Ventura County’s dining destination provides a lush interior oasis serving a signature California coastal cuisine menu and mixologist-crafted cocktails. It is located next to the Palm Garden Hotel, TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s number-one Choice since 2019, fostering a welcoming neighborhood vibe and inviting you to relax, celebrate, and savor the moment with us.

Chef John Vega’s stellar culinary background

At Selvin’s, guests can expect a culinary journey curated by, Chef John Vega. With a stellar culinary background from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Napa, he’s celebrated for his exquisite palate, creative flair, and extensive experience working at the Three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Chicago. Having honed his skills in prestigious kitchens, Chef Vega brings a wealth of experience and a passion for culinary excellence to Selvin’s.

Special Grand Opening Menu

To celebrate the grand opening and to thank guests for joining, Selvin’s is offering a limited-time tasting menu and complimentary signature cocktails to the first 97 guests.

Conejo Valley’s  Selvin Restaurant and Lounge

Featuring timeless dishes that exemplify the restaurant’s commitment to freshness, innovation, and American cuisine with a Coastal California twist, the restaurant will showcase the breadth of its culinary ambitions.

Sweet Corn Agnolotti

Sweet Corn Agnolotti, Selvin’s Restaurant and Lounge

Featuring tantalizing starters, a variety of shared plates, elegant main courses, and divine desserts, from all of the finest locally sourced ingredients. This is the perfect place for quick meetings, family and friends gatherings, and corporate and social private events.

“Our hospitality team isn’t just a group of individuals;

we’re a family united by a love for creating memorable experiences.

With boundless energy and fresh perspectives,

we infuse each dish and every interaction with our passion for hospitality,

ensuring that every visit is not just a meal but a memorable experience.”

Steven Ortmann

Chief Operating Officer

Selvin’s Restaurant and Lounge is the brainchild of a team that’s passionate about bringing an extraordinary dining experience to Ventura County.

Bruzu, Selvin Restaurant and Lounge

Bruzu, Selvin’s Restaurant and Lounge

Inspired by the rich culinary landscape of coastal California and the contemporary American dining ethos, Selvin’s aims to be an establishment where every visit celebrates the vibrant, diverse flavors that define the community.

Conejo Valley Selvin Restaurant and Lounge Owner Harry Selvin

Harry Selvin, Owner and Founder has been a community icon for decades. Traveling the world for years, Harry’s always had an itch for hospitality. Acquiring the Palm Garden Hotel in 2012, warranted Harry the opportunity to transform hospitality in the Greater Conejo Valley.

Vegas Vesper, Selvin Restaurant and Lounge

Vegas Vesper, Selvin’s Restaurant and Lounge

In the years ahead, Steven Ortmann and his team decided to create something special to celebrate the legacy of Mr. Selvin, introducing Selvin’s Restaurant + Lounge.

“Building a restaurant with a passionate management team

is like crafting a symphony;

each member brings their unique instrument,

but it’s the harmony of our passion

that creates the perfect dining experience.”

Harry Selvin, Owner

Their mission is to create a space that feels like home but inspires a sense of adventure, allowing visitors and locals alike to create memorable moments over exceptional hospitality. Welcome to Selvin’s — where good food, great drinks, and even greater company await.

Selvin’s is the premier restaurant and lounge

Selvin’s is the premier restaurant and lounge found next to the renovated Palm Garden Hotel. Modern yet classic, the food is described as California coastal cuisine. Indoor dining, outdoor patio, champagne room, and banquet event space make Selvin’s the perfect place for any celebratory occasion.

Executive Chef John Vega

John’s culinary journey began as a young prodigy at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Napa, where he quickly distinguished himself as one of the institution’s brightest talents. His exceptional skills earned him a coveted position at Alinea, a world-renowned Three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Chicago, making him one of the youngest chefs to grace its kitchen. Fueled by fond memories of bonding with his father in the kitchen, set against the backdrop of classical music, John understands the intimate nature of food—the power it holds to create lasting memories and forge meaningful connections.

Driven by an unwavering commitment to perfection and a relentless desire to explore culinary boundaries, John embarked on a quest to craft unparalleled dining experiences.

For reservations, contact at reservations@selvins.com

Selvin’s Website

Selvin’s Instagram

Selvin’s TikTok

Selvin’s Facebook

Eve Bushman’s Wine Spectator Grand Tour 2024 Las Vegas

Eve Bushman‘s Wine Spectator Grand Tour 2024 Las Vegas

Last Saturday night, at Resorts World Las Vegas, Eddie and I covered our very first Wine Spectator Grand Tour tasting!

Eyeballing this one for a while, as all the wines scored 90 points or greater – any 90-point and up wine awarded blind by Wine Spectator means a lot in my opinion – and there were 235 wineries represented!

I had some California favorites I wanted to try, and of course dozens from around the world.

But, knowing me, covering the event was going to take most of my time and I would be lucky to hit up just so many tables, with that in mind these were my favorite wines and their numerical scores:

Vina Almaviva Puento Alto 2021, 96.  

Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Benchland Select 2019, 91.

Bodega Catena Zapata Nicolas Catena Zapata Mendoza 2009 (Cab and Malbec), 94.

Cesare Amarone Valpolicella Classico, 2018, 91.

Louis Roederer Brut Champagne Collection 244 NV, 93.

Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Signature 2019, 93.

Charles Heidsieck Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne, NV, 93.

Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain Family Reserve 2019, 94.

Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2021, 94.

Chimney Rock Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District 2021, 94.

Croft Vintage Port 2017, 97.

Cuvaison Pinot Noir Napa Valley Los Carneros Small Lot Spire 2021, 92.

Darioush Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Signature 2018, 92.

Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2021, 92.

Frank Family Chardonnay Carneros 2021, 92.

Hall Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Kathryn Hall 2016, 96.

Laurent-Perrier Brut Rose Champagne Cuvee NV, 92.

Marques de Caceres Rioja Gaudium Reserva 2018, 91.

Mollydooker Shiraz McLaren Vale Velvet Glove 2019, 94.

Pasqua Amarone Della Valpolicella Mai Dire Mai 2013, 91.

Pio Cesare Barbaresco 2019, 93.

Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2019, 91.

Roederer Estate Brut Rose Anderson Valley L’Ermitage 2015, 93.

Sandeman Tawny Port 20 Year Old NV, 92.

Schramsberg Vineyard Brut Rose North Coast 2020, 93.

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District S.L.V. 2018, 94.

Taub Family Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Beckstoffer Vyds Georges III 2019, 93.

Tensley Syrah Santa Barbara County OGT 2021, 94.

Torbreck Grenache Barossa Valley Hillside Vineyard 2021, 93.

Trimbach Riesling Alsace Frederic Emile 2016, 94.

Vina Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Alto Vineyard 2021, 96.

Vina Montes Purple Angel Colchagua Valley 2020, 93.

Yalumba Cabernet-Shiraz South Australia The Caley 2018, 95.

Zenato Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2018, 92.

Event Notes

You can get there 30 minutes or so in advance to check in, get your wrist band and wine glass voucher.

Lots of people lined up to get in, but once the clocked chimed the appointed hour, we were in the large tasting room within minutes.

The dining room had plenty of seating, with different food options – Italian and Mexican – and a dessert table. We went for the pasta, carbo-loading for our stamina, which we enjoyed after the first hour.

Bathrooms were close by, plenty of water stations, pour out buckets and if there was a line at a table you could just go to the next one.

IMHO there is no reason to wait at a particular table at this event as you know everything they are offering is a top-scoring wine. The winery representatives were extremely knowledgeable about their wines.

View the wineries that participated here.

Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in the first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Proof Awards, Cellarmasters, LA Wine Competition, Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards.

You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.

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