Welcome to the Show

Tune in to this first-ever Cooking Like a Pro podcast featuring Chef Cal and Christa DeMercurio as radio show guests with host Carl Bott on the Free Fire Radio Morning Show!

✅ Ever wondered how choosing the right spoon could make or break your event

✅ Discover how attention to detail can transform your culinary experiences 

✅ What strategies do Cal and Christa suggest for ensuring all dishes for multiple guests are ready to serve simultaneously in a restaurant setting? 

Training staff, attention to detail, and stellar service from first contact are emphasized. 

Chef Cal paints the challenge of prepping multiple meals at once, stressing timing and coordination.

Ever wondered why your BBQ isn’t hitting the mark? Chef Cal shares pro-tips on tri tip techniques and the art of letting meat rest. 

From ice water for crisp lettuce to the magic behind Santa Maria BBQ, tune in to this episode on Cooking Like a Pro.


Christa [00:00:04]:
Hey, food fans, welcome to cooking like a pro with Chef Cal and me Mrs Chef, his wife, Christa DeMercurio. We’re dishing out culinary intuition, insights, and imagination to spice up your meals and make cooking more fun. On today’s episode, my chef husband and I were featured guests on the free fire radio morning talk show with host Carl Bott. And we’re announcing the kickoff of our live radio show, let’s dig in. Today’s episode was broadcast and recorded live on AM FM radio.

Carl [00:00:40]:
And I am here with Chef Cal DeMercurio and his beautiful wife Christa. Good morning.

Cal [00:00:49]:
Good morning.

Carl [00:00:50]:
So I have known or known of your name and been at your places since I moved here 17 years ago.

Cal [00:01:00]:
Well, we have been around.

Carl [00:01:03]:
Well, let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about Chef. Who’s Chef Cal?

Cal [00:01:07]:
Well, you know, in my family, you either killed things or you cooked them. And I always say I was the worst shot. So I got tossed in the kitchen at a pretty young age, and that’s where I started cooking when I was nine and then moved up. Actually started right over here. Red line over on Hilltop was my first cooking paying job, starting off washing dishes. Even prior to that, I remember Bruce Brown had Maxwell’s restaurant down across the way from the theater, Cascade theater. I remember going up and in that dark, scary alley when I was just 15 years old and sticking my head in the back door and saying, hey, she’s in there slinging pans. And I said, hey, Chef, can I wash your dishes for free if you let me watch you cook? And that started our relationship, and I just kind of went on from there.

Cal [00:02:06]:
And first restaurant, a few years later than that, it was opened in 89. We opened d Mercurio’s. We opened for 17 years.

Carl [00:02:15]:
It was in 89.

Cal [00:02:16]:
In 89, you have French, Italian? Well, we started off calling it continental, and then people didn’t seem to understand what continental was.

Carl [00:02:26]:
A continental. Get some pastries. Yeah.

Cal [00:02:30]:
So we changed it to DeMercurio’s, french, Italian, and arrest an american. I’m italian by heritage, trained french. And of course, we’re in America, so kind of just figured it would cover all those. So, yeah, so, you know, been doing that for quite some time. Opened up a number of restaurants, had a lot of fun and experiences working with a lot of just amazing chefs. They’re really some of the best chefs in the world. And because of where I was and being in the right place at the right time, a lot of my life really got a chance to experience some really cool things. And the community has always been a huge supporter.

Cal [00:03:11]:
We’ve always been very much involved in the community with a variety of different things that we’ve done. And that’s, you know, that’s kind of reading is where I’ve started and readings where I’ll end up.

Carl [00:03:22]:
Well, that’s good. And. Okay, now let’s go to the brains of the operation.

Cal [00:03:28]:
Yeah. The better half is my wife, Christa DeMercurio.

Carl [00:03:32]:
How’d you get into this? Have you been? I mean, you’re obviously with Chef Cal, but tell us a little bit about you.

Christa [00:03:40]:
Born and raised, Redding, California, Shasta General Hospital.

Carl [00:03:44]:

Christa [00:03:44]:
Yes, I’m a lifelong member. Short stint away in Sacramento for college, I think. You’re from the Sacramento area?

Carl [00:03:53]:
No, Linda is.

Christa [00:03:55]:
Linda is. Okay.

Carl [00:03:55]:
That’s right.

Christa [00:03:56]:
Yeah. So. But, yeah, born and raised here, I grew up on the stage at the civic auditorium, singing and dancing for years and years and years, and did the college thing, came back and met him, and we got into food.

Carl [00:04:10]:
And got into food. So now. So everybody’s going, okay, everybody knows Chef Cal. So you’re on here to talk about the debut of your new show.

Cal [00:04:20]:
Yeah. Very excited. Radio is something I was, had the opportunity to do a few decades ago, and I think it’s just a great, great avenue and a way of getting information out there. One of the things that, you know, when I watch the food network, a lot of people are just excited and interested about food. But when I watch the food network, I usually only watch it when I want to raise my blood pressure, because I look at these things, and I’ve been. I’ve taught for a long time. I’ve taught for decades as well, almost always teaching at the same time. I had restaurants about 17 years just at Shasta college doing adjunct stuff, and I just really enjoyed it.

Cal [00:05:04]:
And we’ve been given this gift. It’s like, okay, well, what do we want to do with this? So we’ve got the website, which started out as a blog, and we’ve got the Instagram and the Facebook and the YouTube videos and stuff you can actually google or stick it in the face. Yeah, YouTube. The cream of seven onion soup. That one’s in there. One of my favorites. So we’ve done that.

Carl [00:05:30]:
Cream of seven onion soup.

Cal [00:05:33]:

Carl [00:05:33]:
Obviously not all the same kind of onion.

Cal [00:05:36]:
No, no, seven different onions. And it was just one of those things.

Carl [00:05:41]:
There’s seven different kinds of onions?

Cal [00:05:43]:
Oh, yeah, yeah. You got really go by color. You can go red, green onion, yellow, white, garlic, shallots and leeks. So, yeah, so I was just, you know, the way most of my things kind of got evolved is I learned how to cook from scratch so I can walk in the kitchen. And one day I was walking in the kitchen and looks, okay, we got to make soup every day. DeMercurios is probably the last restaurant that you got soup and salad at. This is before they had a la carte pricing, and we just looked around, see what was laying on the counters, what was in the fridge, and said, well, I got all these onions, and it’s actually a really sweet, creamy soup.

Carl [00:06:27]:
Oh, it sounds good.

Cal [00:06:28]:
It sounds beautiful soup. But that’s one of the things that we want to do with the show, is to show people how not only how easier it could be working in the kitchen at home, but also there’s very few things other than perhaps sleep. You’re really going to do a whole lot more in your life than being in the kitchen. Being in the kitchen, something. You’re just spending time.

Carl [00:06:53]:
Bedroom, kitchen.

Christa [00:06:54]:

Cal [00:06:55]:
There you go.

Carl [00:06:57]:
Now. So the concept of the show is.

Cal [00:07:00]:
The concept is going to be to teach people and show people different things. It’s actually going to be a call in show so people can call and ask cooking questions, but we want to talk with local restaurant owners about the concerns that are there. We’ll talk about being able to eat healthier. One of the things I found out working with my wife, it was in 2018, she had asked me to teach her how to cook professionally. So I taught her one thing a week for the 52 weeks of 2018, and then she blogged it. And I tell you, it really helped change our relationship, even for the better, helped us grow, because you can’t be in a kitchen without talking. If you’re not talking, someone’s going to get cut, someone’s going to get burned. You know, it’s got to be corner.

Cal [00:07:52]:
I’m behind you coming to the left, opening up the oven. So you have to have that communication, and that’s where everything kind of starts. And we want to be able to teach that. And it should be fun if, I mean, you have to do it anyway. Why not have some fun while you’re in the kitchen?

Carl [00:08:06]:
We’ll be right back.

Cal [00:08:08]:
So happy together.

Carl [00:08:13]:
I can’t see me, but you’re on my way, and I’m here with chef Cal. And Christa is long suffering. No, I’m just kidding. It’s better half. Christa DeMercurio. They’re starting a new cooking show on our radio station, and people are thinking they have a cooking show on a radio station. Well, they’ve been explaining it.

Carl [00:08:44]:
The restaurant business is tough. Everything I’ve ever read. I once took a small business class in San Diego, and they were given hints and they said, what business are you starting? And in this class, about 20, I would say at least half were coffee businesses gonna have a coffee business. And the guy standing up there, you know, in the. And got, you know, after, like the 6th or 7th one, they’re all kind of looking around, and so almost half the class is going to start a coffee business. He says, this is really important for y’all to hear this. What’s going to make your business different than theirs? Everybody’s serving coffee. And I thought, oh, that’s an eye opener.

Carl [00:09:33]:
And the, you know, the fact that automatically they’ve got ten other people in there that want to start a business and be successful, and it’s all the same business. But restaurants, for as long as I’ve read, and I’m going to give it to you now, don’t last. In the first three years, they have a. They just. It’s really tough on restaurants.

Cal [00:09:54]:
It’s a pretty big failure rate. It can be up 60% to 70% in those first few years. And there’s a variety of reasons why. And that’s one of the things that we certainly want to talk about on the. On the show. But here’s Carl, a good explanation. So I come to your house, and you invite me over, and me and Christa come over with this beautiful lasagna. All three of us.

Cal [00:10:20]:
I’m sorry, all four of us, including your wife, sit down and enjoy this wonderful lasagna. And then I go to someone else’s house and we bring our favorite lasagna. And you guys say, whoa, that was so good, man. You should open a restaurant. And someone else, we take it there, and they say the same thing, and you go somewhere else. Well, so I’m all excited. Me and Christopher, I’m going to open up a restaurant and sell lasagna. Well, first off, all I know how to do when it comes to this business is make lasagna.

Cal [00:10:49]:
And the food is only about a third. Now, I think it’s certainly one of the most important. Some might say the most important, but I’d say it’s one of the most important things. But it’s really only a third of the overall pie. You have one third of your business as the food. Again, that’s what it is in your cost. One third of it is labor, and then one third of it is your overhead which is both either fixed or non fixed. Well, so there’s not too many percentages or slices of that pie that are left to be able to make a profit.

Cal [00:11:21]:
And now all of a sudden, you got food prices going up and you’ve got labor prices just ridiculously going up. And then you got the regulations with. We talked off here about the pork thing with what’s happened, and.

Carl [00:11:35]:
Yeah, yeah, you can’t bring pork in that hasn’t gotten so many square feet of steerage. And the same thing with chickens, that drives the prices up on that. And I think they’re still fighting the pork thing, but I don’t know if they’re going to win or not. They lost on the chickens, but all of that drives up and then the cost of fuel to get it there. I mean, there are so many things that when you’re running a business that you think that’s not going to impact. Oh, yes, it does.

Cal [00:12:03]:
Well, in labor, I mean, just. Just actually trying to find people that will show up. See, I didn’t used to have this problem when I started doing this four decades ago. And back in the mid eighties, I had no problem finding people that wanted to work. Now you have people.

Carl [00:12:22]:
I hear that all the time.

Cal [00:12:24]:
You can get 20 applications and set up interviews, and maybe two people show up out of the two, maybe higher one. It’s just this strange kind of thing. Of course, Covid had a big deal. A lot of people want to, I guess, live on their couch and they don’t need it. But there’s a lot of things that have changed, and it certainly makes it rough. I don’t know. What are your thoughts, honey, on running a restaurant? You’ve helped me do it for quite a while now. She was involved at DeMercurios, of course.

Cal [00:12:53]:
Rivers restaurant. What we did. Deja vu. It’s. Know what’s it called now? Vue 202 v. 202. Yeah. So we opened that back in zero seven and had two beautiful years before the housing crisis crushed us.

Cal [00:13:09]:
But she’s been involved in all my restaurants.

Christa [00:13:12]:
It’s a brutal business. It really is. There’s so many factors and so many things you got to take care of and so many things you got to think about and so many people you got to think about on the customer end. So many people got to take care of on your end. And then there’s taxes. I didn’t know about the taxes.

Carl [00:13:27]:
Oh, oh, yeah. You want to talk about that?

Christa [00:13:29]:
Yeah. You get taxed on the.

Cal [00:13:31]:
Let’s not talk about taxes.

Christa [00:13:33]:
Yeah, but this is stuff that I didn’t know going into it. You know, I’ve. I grew up on the food network, and I look at the. The romantic side of food and being a chef, but there’s a dark side to it, too. That’s just.

Carl [00:13:46]:
Well, you know, you see, these are. And I agree with you. It’s. The restaurant business is a business, and you can sit there and you, as the chef, you prepare wonderful meals, which you do, by the way.

Cal [00:14:02]:
Thank you.

Carl [00:14:03]:
Wonderful meals. But then you have a server that slams it down on the table, does something, and it sets the ambiance, it sets the mindset of your customers. And so. Oh, my gosh, this food is wonderful. But I don’t have any water.

Cal [00:14:21]:

Carl [00:14:22]:
All right. You know, I haven’t seen my server since they, you know, dumped it off here at the table.

Christa [00:14:26]:
Well, it takes seven interactions, seven positive interactions to stick in somebody’s mind. It only takes one negative to stick.

Carl [00:14:33]:
Yeah. So from the time you come in, the time you’re seated, the time the server comes up for water and, you know, whatever else they’re bringing right then, and then the order, then coming back and checking all of this gives you a very much of a, you know, of a good feeling. And so then when the food comes, that’s kind of like the cherry.

Cal [00:14:56]:

Carl [00:14:57]:
And then come back while you’re eating and fill your water glasses or your iced tea, whatever it is, to come back. And then, so when you walk out of there, you go, oh, yeah, we’re coming back here again.

Cal [00:15:09]:

Carl [00:15:10]:
And it just takes two things not to happen. That, okay, the food was good, but.

Cal [00:15:16]:
Yeah, you know, a good meal can save a bad experience, I’ve always said. So if you have, because I can go back to a restaurant, just say, I don’t want that server. Okay. Because the meal was great, but I can’t go back to a restaurant. And I don’t care how good the service was. If the food was terrible, I can’t go back and say, I won’t. Who’s cooking tonight? Or I want another. I want a different chef, or I want a different cook.

Cal [00:15:39]:
That’s one of the. Actually, you know, a restaurant is really hurting, and it’s the death blow when people. When a customer walks in and says, who’s cooking tonight? Oh, you know. Yeah. So it is an important factor. But you’re right, Carl. It all comes in one big package. And it’s from the time, it starts from the time you in these day and age go online and maybe make a reservation or the time that you call that restaurant, and did they, you know, how did they answer the phone? I remember at Rivers restaurant, I taught everyone.

Cal [00:16:14]:
They always answered the phone. Thank you for calling Rivers restaurant. I can help you. You know, it just started out on a positive. On a positive. And we carried. We were real blessed to have a crew. We had 110 workers there, but we had two weeks to train them.

Cal [00:16:29]:
And it’s one of the most important things of opening a restaurant is that period of time of training. And most time, most people open restaurants are operating on a budget, and they want to get open as soon as possible, and they skip a lot of those steps. All those steps are in training. That’s one of the things that Christa has always been able to do for us, is be able to put together really good training manuals. And, I mean, how close to the table do you stand? You know, are you. Do you know the specials when you come up? What is the soup for today? You know, what can we do to accommodate gluten free or allergies or dietary or nutritional concerns? Everyone needs to. To know these things. And really, it comes down to the three words, which is attention to detail.

Cal [00:17:14]:
That’s all I got to do. And I came out to a restaurant here, a restaurant downtown. I won’t say the name, but we were out and had a french fry. I don’t know how the potato got that big, but it was like a six inch french fry sitting on the floor. Well, throughout our meal, either server, owner, waiter came by our table 13 times during the course of our meal until we were done, and that french fry was still sitting there. It was a dark floor with a big white french fry sitting there. And it’s like, does nobody see this? You know, so big part of it is just paying attention.

Carl [00:17:49]:
I’m here with chef Cal Demercurrio and his wife Christa. They’re starting a new show next Wednesday. It starts at 05:00 p.m. and we were talking during the break on. I used to watch the food channel now and then. These reality shows aren’t really real. You know, they hype up the confrontations between people and blah, blah, blah. But we did talk about that movie Jules and Julia, where this woman, kind of in homage to Julia Childs, cooked a different meal every day from Julia Childs cookbook.

Carl [00:18:25]:
Now, some of them were disaster. Some of them were really good. You know what it takes to put together a meal like that? Well, it’s one thing for me to cook for Linda or Linda to cook for me. But when Chef Cal and Christa are cooking for 200 people and I’m not, you know, I mean, the course of a night, coming through there, 100 people, I mean, that’s 100 meals. How do you do that?

Cal [00:18:52]:
And everybody getting something different? Yeah.

Carl [00:18:55]:
How do you do that? What’s prepared beforehand? I always wonder about that. Is that thing already made when they come out like the veggies?

Cal [00:19:03]:
Well, there’s always preparation, and you have to get things to a certain point, but you don’t want to get them beyond that. And you had mentioned off there also about following a recipe. The recipe is only part of it. And I’ve done this numerous times when I’ve been teaching. And I’ll give ten people the same recipe for chocolate chip cookies, and maybe two of them out of the ten will come out the same. These are people that cook well. It’s because they melted the butter and these people just softened it. And for this one, it was too hard.

Cal [00:19:40]:
And then something simple, like they keep opening the oven door. Well, if an oven is 350 degrees and you open the door, by the time you shut it, it’s back down to 290 or 300. So whatever you’re cooking is now going to take more time. Maybe it’s not going to brown as well. So again, it gets back to that attention to detail. Being recipe orientated is great to start with, but you do have to understand, you know, the item, how it’s affected by sitting, by resting. One of the things that I remember Christa talking about a while back was one of the things that people asked probably. Probably the most Washington.

Cal [00:20:20]:
How do I get all the items that come up at the same time? Oh, okay. So I got my.

Carl [00:20:27]:
Get them to come out at the same time. And then if you have people over, they want to chit chat. They’re out there chit chatting, you know, having their drinks and all this. And your meal is ready then.

Cal [00:20:39]:
Yep, yep.

Christa [00:20:40]:
And that was one of the first questions I ever had for him was, you’ve got 15 minutes from the time that order comes in till it should be on the table. How do you do 15 minutes when I’m in the kitchen for 2 hours cooking dinner?

Carl [00:20:50]:
Okay, so what’s the secret?

Cal [00:20:51]:
Yeah. So you have to have the things prepared and you have to be aware of what’s going on. A lot of people consider, in the restaurant business, we’ll call it kind of an expediter position, which oversees everything that makes sure. Okay. Yeah. That Lamb is cooking in there. It’s going to take the longest. So it goes in first.

Cal [00:21:07]:
Then you wait five minutes before you start the salmon. Okay. And at the same time, you’re going to start that Ribeye steak, and you just have to be aware of everything and also aware of how long things are in the oven, and you get really good at it when that’s. That’s all you do. I mean, when you’re focusing on those things, but that way, you know, and there’s just tons of little tricks and hacks and things that we do. And Christa, spending all these years with me in the kitchen, will say that quite often when I’ll do something that is just normal to me, and I’m not really thinking about it because it’s just normal. And she’ll say, why’d you do that? Oh, that was a good idea. Well, it’s just normal in the kitchen because everything has to come up at the same time.

Carl [00:21:48]:
Yeah. You know, you’ve got four people sitting at a table, four different things. Like you said, salmon, steak. Oh, I’m gonna have the. I’ll have the rack of lamb, and I’ll have a. Some kind of chicken.

Cal [00:22:01]:

Carl [00:22:01]:
And so there you are in the back. You’ve already got certain preparation, but you have to cook it. I mean, some of it may be started, but others you have to cook.

Christa [00:22:10]:
Well, you start developing a battle plan. So this all started. I was taking over the lunch program for my son’s school, and this is actually how all of our stuff started together with him teaching me was because I needed to know how to run this program. In the beginning, I was just watching him, and by the end, he was gone, and I was running the program. But you have to know ahead of time how many orders you might have, how much food you need to have on hand. What can you prep ahead of time? Can you have your salad dressings ready to go? Can you have your salads ready to go? Can you have your soup ready to go? And so when the firing comes up, it’s ready to go, and you can just dish it up. Then other things you have to wait, and you hold it. You can’t cook your chicken 20 minutes ahead of time.

Christa [00:22:52]:
You have to wait until it’s ready to go out before you can cook it, just a few minutes before it’s.

Cal [00:22:56]:
All timing and a good example of that. And again, this has nothing to do with the food per se, but I remember doing an event a long time ago where it was a large buffet of men. It was for church or something, and somebody put the wrong spoon in the potato salad without thinking, well, why would that make a difference?

Carl [00:23:21]:
Well, little spoons.

Cal [00:23:22]:
Yeah. Well, they’re men. And it was a big spoon. Oh, big spoon. And they were men. And a man, when they go through a buffet line, is going to take a spoonful. I don’t care if the spoon holds, you know, four pounds or if it holds 4oz, they’re going to take a spoonful. So this event was like 800 people.

Cal [00:23:40]:
We run out of potato salad, 400 people in.

Carl [00:23:43]:

Cal [00:23:43]:
So it’s, it’s those little things that you need to know and you need to understand. And so there’s a trip down to the store. Yeah. For that one, definitely. There was. But again, it’s, it’s more complicated and not complicated in the being difficult, but it is. You have to be well rounded. You have to be thinking about all the different components, serving utensils and such.

Carl [00:24:06]:
And that’s the other thing. Okay. How do you keep lettuce? Okay, so you want to make your salad beforehand?

Christa [00:24:13]:

Carl [00:24:14]:
How do you keep it crisp?

Cal [00:24:16]:
Again, perfect idea. I mean, or perfect question, rather. And I did that. I was corporate chef for black bear diner for a couple of years and we were having that complaint. And when you’re running 60 restaurants, every complaint comes to you that is food related because I’m the corporate chef and so I did a video on it. I ended up doing a YouTube video on it. And it’s not difficult, but you have to go through the process, which is you wash the lettuce in ice water. Don’t bruise it, don’t beat it up.

Cal [00:24:48]:
It’s gentle to be careful. Wash it in ice water, let it drain. Shake the water out, cut it up. Use a lettuce spinner if you have one. Get that excess water out and then cover with a damp towel till you’re ready to serve. And every bite’s just going to be as crisp as a person could come out of a garden. Like when we do asparagus, we cut the bottom off and we set it in warm water with our herbs and set it right back into the refrigerator because the asparagus doesn’t have a brain and it’s going to just when you put it in warm water, right after you cut it, it starts soaking the water back up as if it’s alive. And asparagus that could last two days will now last well over a week just simply because of the way that you’re treating it.

Cal [00:25:34]:
So again, those are just tricks. Those are little things that we do to make sure that the food stays good.

Carl [00:25:40]:
Right there, my friends, is the reason you need to listen to this show. Like, I’m going to be listening to it. And I’m trying not to keep calling the show, but it’s just this. I mean, if you entertain, I mean, these are things like, it just, it’s, it’s an easy fix that you can do. So everybody gets their lettuce and it’s all nice and crispy.

Cal [00:26:00]:

Carl [00:26:01]:
Yeah. I really like when you get lettuce sometimes at restaurants, it’s kind of like, yeah, yeah, this has been out of.

Cal [00:26:06]:
Looks a little dead.

Carl [00:26:09]:
Okay, we have to take a break.

Christa [00:26:12]:
Hey, food fans, let’s talk about making food so good, you’ll want to stick a fork in it. Whether you’re looking to impress your family or simply enjoy your time in the kitchen, we’ve got you covered with tips, tricks, and tempting morsels of culinary wisdom. You can even contact us with your cooking questions and get expert answers. You don’t want to miss out on the delicious details. Right here on cooking like a pro podcast.

Carl [00:26:40]:
Studio is chef Cal and Christa DeMercurio, a well known chef in our area. And Christa is homegrown. She’s from reading, left for a little while, came home, came back. Now, what’s the first show going to be about?

Cal [00:26:59]:
Well, glad you asked that. All right, Carl. It’s because one of the things that is really a dear way for me to cook, and I don’t care what time of the year it is. I don’t care if it’s raining outside. I don’t care if it’s, you know, triple digits like it gets up here. Just have to get used to it and get acclimated. But the way I like to cook is I like to cook, and I like to barbecue. One thing, you get fewer dishes when you barbecue.

Cal [00:27:23]:
But I’ve written for barbecue magazines in the past, and I remember, I don’t know how long ago it was, but we had the national barbecue championship here in town. It was over at the reading Civic Auditorium. I’m not sure what it’s called now, but they had the national barbecue competition there. And it’s just, it’s really interesting when you dig into barbecue and all the different flavors and the different meats, because one of the things that you utilize a lot when you barbecue is what we call secondary meats. You know, you’re not using like the filet mignon or the, you know, the strip loin where you get your New York or the top sirloin. You’re using secondary cuts of meats ribs and roasts like your shoulder, which would be your chuck roast.

Carl [00:28:11]:
What’s the tri tip? Because everybody serves tri tip all the time. And some of it is really melting your mouth. Tri tip.

Christa [00:28:19]:
Others, it’s the prime rib of Shasta county.

Cal [00:28:22]:
Yeah, well, you don’t want to go outside of California and ask for tritip because you really won’t see it. It is something that’s really native to the California. And then the seasoning on that would be the Santa Maria, which comes down from the Santa Maria area. And that’s just where it started. But there’s two. It’s the way you cook it is certainly important. But I can cook a perfect tri tip, perfect medium rare, 128 degrees, and not let it sit. And I can cut into it.

Cal [00:28:55]:
And when I cut into it, it just bleeds out. Because if you think about the cooking, there’s all that motion going on. Right? All that friction, all that activity. That’s what’s cooking the protein. Well, that, you know, all that activity that’s going on needs to calm down. And if you don’t let it calm down and you slice your meat, well, good luck. Unless you’re eating your cutting board, because that’s where all the flavor’s going. Yeah, you should.

Cal [00:29:25]:
There should never be any juice on your cutting board. You know, the food needs to rest. Juice is flavor, and you want the flavor in the food. So just simply cutting it wrong. And how many times have you had tri tip? And it’s just chewy. And I chew that all the time. And even though it’s mostly a singular muscle, you have to be careful that the muscle, the fiber. Muscle fiber doesn’t change as you’re going through.

Cal [00:29:51]:
And all of a sudden, you start off cutting across the grain. So you got short little bites of muscle fibers, and now all of a sudden it changes. And now you got these long piece. So now you’ve got beef flavored bubble gum. Well, yeah, I know Dell’s. I had to learn how to cut tritip, and it took a long time to get it right. But, yeah, you have to change, like, halfway through the whole angle. Yeah, you have to just pay attention.

Cal [00:30:15]:
Pay attention and know that it needs to be cutting across, but also let it rest.

Carl [00:30:19]:
Okay, so you’re going to be given a. Your first show is going to be dedicated to barbecue.

Cal [00:30:25]:
Oh, yes.

Carl [00:30:25]:
Because the next day, of course, is July 4.

Cal [00:30:29]:
July 4. So we’re going to give you some, some, you know, hints and clues, and we’ll, we’ll go over some recipes and we’re actually putting together what we call a lead magnet that will be available for people to, to go ahead and, you know, get online through our website that will have a lot of these ideas. And, you know, what’s your website again?

Christa [00:30:50]:
Tell people what that is to it is culinarilyyours.net. but if thats too much of a mouthful for you, you can also get to us through chefcal.net and mrschef.net.

Carl [00:31:03]:
There you go. culinary… Culinarily Yours.

Cal [00:31:06]:
Yeah, thats cute. Well, excuse me. The challenge with the culinarily is that when we used to sign menus and we used to have to sign hundreds of menus when we were on the team and we were competing and doing fundraising. And so you’re always as a chef, signing your name to menus just tens of thousands of times through the career. So you just learn to be able to do it fairly quick. And I always sign one in culinarily yours. Well, culinarily isn’t actually a word. There’s an extra I in there, and the computer wants to keep kicking it back on spell check.

Cal [00:31:44]:
I think that it actually finally became a word. Now, it just recently became a word.

Carl [00:31:49]:
Well, there’s a lot of words. It just became recently words.

Cal [00:31:51]:
Yeah. But the barbecuing again, a lot of it is the technique. A lot of it is in the roasting. Are you going to baste it? Are you going to add the flavor? When are you going to add your sauce to it? Are you going to do a marinade? That’s a need of marinade. Some things, you know, marinades are built to break barbecue.

Carl [00:32:10]:
Spare ribs. Grew up on them. Yep. Okay. And then when I read about it, they say, oh, you’re supposed to cut off the, there’s this hard line, not lining, but a skin.

Cal [00:32:21]:
Yeah. Well, there’s some, some shin bones that you want to trim. Make sure those are off. But the lining, that’s just what we call silver skin.

Carl [00:32:29]:

Cal [00:32:29]:
Yeah. And you can pull it off the either side of the back of the. But it’s on the inside bone and you just pull it off. It comes right off. But if you don’t know to do that, that’s going to contract when it’s cooked and it’s going, it can start rounding your ribs. If you ever cook ribs and have them kind of round up. Well, that’s because, yeah, like that cartilage is there. And that cartilage.

Cal [00:32:50]:
So you just get rid of it.

Carl [00:32:52]:

Cal [00:32:52]:
But those, again, are simple things you.

Carl [00:32:53]:
Need to look for now, when do you? You know, I know people that have soaked their ribs in the barbecue sauce before they start cooking, and I’m like, I don’t think you’re supposed to do that. Am I wrong?

Cal [00:33:04]:
Well, I think the challenge you would have if you did that would be now you’ve got all this sugar.

Carl [00:33:08]:

Cal [00:33:08]:
Barbecue sauces are real high in the sugar and fructose and things like that, and it’s got a much better chance of burning if you’re going to do that. I would say make it more of a marinade, make it a little bit thinner, and then put the sauce on towards the end of the cooking process. Maybe on the last turn. But I’m going to be telling a story I’ll tell next week also about my grandpa and a marinade that he used to make. That really had a big impact on me when I was. When I was younger, so I’m going to share that with people.

Carl [00:33:41]:
Well, it’s a good thing that we. It’s a good thing that we stream every one of our shows. Oh. And archive them so I can go back and listen to that if I don’t hear that. Thank you so much. One, first, for being with me today, and two, for having a show on our station. We so much appreciate that. And I would tell you, my friends, is Chef Cal is really well known for being a great chef in Christa.

Carl [00:34:08]:
His wife is right in there with them, toiling in the kitchens. So this show is going to be a great one to learn about cooking and picking up these tips from two experts.

Cal [00:34:23]:
Yeah. That’s really what it’s all about, you know, sharing these things that we’ve been able to pick up in the past.

Carl [00:34:29]:
And you get to ask questions like I do.

Cal [00:34:31]:
Yeah. And see, and then I have the professional understanding and direction, and then my wife will correct me and say, well, from the wife standpoint in the kitchen, as the significant other, I would do it this way.

Carl [00:34:43]:
So, okay, here’s the big question. If I cook, she cleans. Is that fair? Or if she cooks, I clean.

Cal [00:34:53]:
I think you both cook and you both clean.

Christa [00:34:55]:

Carl [00:34:56]:
There you go. Okay.

Cal [00:34:58]:
All right.

Carl [00:34:58]:
I love it.

Christa [00:34:59]:
I hate doing the dishes at midnight.

Carl [00:35:01]:
Oh, and then you have a dinner.

Cal [00:35:02]:
You clean as you go. That’s one of the things that you want to do, is the kitchen.

Carl [00:35:06]:
One time our dishwasher went out and we had ten people over. It was some kind of thing that we had sold there for Turtle Bay, and the dishwasher had broken. That afternoon, I started cleaning as we were going through and I was finished by 10:00 clean all the dishes and otherwise waiting for the dishwasher. It would have been midnight, and I learned a valuable lesson there. Okay, go to culinarily yours.net. that’s their website. Chef Cal and Christa. The show starts next Wednesday.

Cal [00:35:37]:
Very excited.

Christa [00:35:38]:
So are we up on the drive home?

Carl [00:35:40]:
There you go. Five to seven.

Cal [00:35:41]:
Drive time. There you go.

Christa [00:35:44]:
Thank you so much for spending time with us. Until next time, we hope you’ll be cooking up a storm in the kitchen. So we’ll be with you again next week with food, flavor and fun right here on cooking like a pro podcast.