Wine & Food Festival Chef Spotlight: Andrew Gruel

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By Katherine Duncan

Andrew Gruel, chef-owner of Slapfish, has nearly two decades of restaurant experience under his belt, in addition to previously directing a national sustainable seafood program. With that background, it isn’t surprising that his restaurant is committed to sourcing only eco-friendly and well-managed seafood for its dishes. Partnerships with Aquarium of the Pacific and its Seafood for the Future program allow him to use healthy, quality fish and crustaceans without harming the marine ecosystem.

Gruel describes his unique cooking style as “lunchbox-driven, sexy and simple,” offering a menu of fan favorites like the chowder fries and “clobster” grilled cheese (half crab, half lobster), served with a variety house-made sauces and sides. It’s right at home in Slapfish’s casual setting—no white tablecloths here. Gruel aims to combine the cuisine quality of fine-dining with the cost and convenience of fast food.

Gruel is bringing his “cultivated shack-inspired seafood” to the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival’s Sunday Grand Tasting Pavilion on Oct. 4.

 

FIVE QUESTIONS WITH ANDREW GRUEL

Andrew Gruel-web

Favorite restaurant in Newport? (Other than your own!)

Sessions Sandwiches

 

Name one famous figure you’d most like to cook for.

Chef Boyardee

 

Most embarrassing cooking moment?

Burning all my hair off as an apprentice

 

If you could only eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Smoked salmon bagel with vegetable cream cheese and all the fixins’

 

Biggest kitchen pet peeve?

Adding pepper to a dish before you cook it

 


 

SLAPFISH

2727 Newport Blvd., Ste. 302

949-723-0034

 

NEWPORT BEACH WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL

newportbeachwineandfood.com

 


 

Newport Beach Magazine is a sponsor of the 2015 Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival.

 

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