Month: May 2016

Modern Luxury Social Circles

by Kristen Schott
Modern Luxury

Perhaps it was a bit of Disney magic, or the cuisine cooked up by 37 culinarians, or the pinot poured by a certain celeb- whatever it was, this year’s O.C.  Chef’s Table more than satisfied: it exceeded expectations by dishing out $632,000-plus for Illumination Foundation, a nonprofit that seeks to end homelessness. Tasty, right? Let’s look deeper. The Grand Californian Hotel set the scene for the night of food and philanthropy, in which top talents created unique meals for their respective tables. Mark McDonald of Old Vine Cafe plated confit duroc pork cheek, while Alexander Dale of SeaLegs served seared scallops with pork belly. There were menus from host chef Andrew Sutton of Napa Rose, Daniel Hyatt of Juliette Kitchen + Bar and plenty of sips to savor- and that brings us to the star-powered GoGi Pinot Noir, donated to the wine pull by A-List oenophile Kurt Russell. “Anytime there’s an opportunity for an evening of great food and wine,” he quipped, “count me in.” We will, Mr. Russell. We Will.

O.C. Seen, OC Chef’s Table

Disney’s OC Chef’s Table culinary event was held at the Disney Grand Californian Resort and featured 31 of Orange County’s top chefs who came together to create delectable tableside meals for their guests. More than $632,000 was raised to benefit the Illumination Foundation, a nonprofit working to end the cycle of homelessness in Orange County.

Photographs courtesy of Stephanie Hill Photography and Disneyland Resorts

Newport Chefs Help Raise $600k For Charity

By Christopher Trela & Catherine Del Casale
Newport Beach Independent
April 8, 2016

There’s something about great chefs and great cuisine that leads to great charity events, so it’s no surprise that the Disney OC Chef ’s Table culinary fundraising event held at the Disney Grand Californian Resort on March 13 was an overwhelming success.

The event featured more than 30 of Orange County’s top chefs (including a handful from Newport Beach and Laguna Beach) who created multi-course dinners prepared tableside at elaborately- decorated tables.

All proceeds from the event went to Illumination Foundation, a nonprofit working to end the cycle of homelessness in Orange County.

The event raised over $632,000, which exceeded expectations.

“We are thrilled to see Disneyland, local corporate partners and our local culinary scene come together to support and help end the cycle of homelessness,” said Paul Leon, President and CEO, Illumination Foundation. “Orange County is perceived as an upscale, high income community, but many people do not realize there is a huge population of unstably housed and homeless families in Orange County.”

We attended the pre-dinner cocktail reception, which featured signature cocktails hosted by Nolet Spirits. We had our photo taken with Mickey and Minnie, who were of course dressed in their finest outfits. We also took a tour of the ballroom so we could chat with the chefs about their menus and snap a few photos of the table décor.

Among the local chefs participating in the event: Takashi Abe of Bluefin, Daniel Hyatt of Juliette Kitchen & Bar, Lindsay Smith-Rosales of Nirvana Grille, Marc Johnson of Oak Grill, Pascal Olhats of Café Jardin and Pascal, Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, Ron Fougeray of Splashes at Surf & Sand Resort, and Craig Strong of Studio at Montage.

OC Chef’s Table 2016: Why Chefs Give Back

OC Weekly
February 16, 2016

On March 13, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel will be the site of OC Chef’s Table, benefiting the Illumination Foundation (IF). Founded in 2007, IF works to effectively lower the barriers for Orange County’s homeless population to access existing services and resources. They offer a low-entry threshold to advance health and housing stability for the most vulnerable members of our community, with a focus on families and those with medical or mental health conditions.

OC Chef’s Table features local chefs preparing multi-course dinners tableside for 10 guests. Wine pairings,opportunities to interact with the chef, and a silent/live auction make for a lively fundraiser. We asked a few of the participating chefs about their decision to participate in this event, as well as what they might have planned. Here is what they had to say.

Pascal Olhats – Pascal (San Juan Capistrano)
Third year participant

Regarding the event: 

I do like the cause of the Illumination Foundation, as we have to take care of the nonsense of having homeless kids in Orange County and anywhere else. We are at the event not only for the foundation, but to also give the donor a return for their generosity. Also, Disney is so helpful and a great host for all the chefs; more than anyone else.

Thoughts on your menu:

My theme this year is French gastronomy and fashion. I will take pictures and send to you!

Justin Monson of Club 33

Justin Monson – Club 33 (Anaheim)
Second year participant

Regarding the event: 
I am proud to be a part of this event, in that it serves our community right here in Orange County. It is a very classy event that does a great job promoting the area chefs and their respective restaurants.

Thoughts on your menu:
This year we are creating a menu that will be inspired by a spring garden party in New Orleans.

Mark McDonald of Old Vine Cafe

Mark McDonald – Old Vine Cafe (Costa Mesa)
Second year participant

Regarding the event:
I am pleased to participate in this event knowing that I will be playing a small role in helping those in need in Orange County by doing what I love most, cooking!

Thoughts on your menu:

I will be showcasing a few signature dishes from Old Vine Cafe, and adding some new creations to the mix. All courses will be paired with world class, eclectic wines.

Alexander Dale of SeaLegs

Alexander Dale – SeaLegs Wine Bar (Huntington Beach)
First year participant

Regarding the event:
I think the Illumination Foundation is an amazing cause. OC Chef’s Table is a great event where all of us in the industry work together to raise money to fight homelessness. It’s great that so many chefs can come to cook together under one roof for the same cause.

Thoughts on your menu:
I will be showcasing what we do best at SeaLegs Wine Bar— fresh California produce, the finest cuts of meat and fresh, local seafood selections from my favorite market, Dory Fleet in Newport Beach. And, of course, guests can look forward to amazing, hand-picked wine pairings that will complement each dish

Chef Takashi Abe of Bluefin Photo Courtesy of Bluefin

Takashi Abe – Bluefin (Newport Beach)
First year participant

Regarding the event:
This event targets the often unseen problem of homeless families and children in Orange County. We look forward to partnering with the Illumination Foundation to help combat this problem.

Thoughts on your menu:

We plan on doing a Kaiseki-style meal, which is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner. I am still working on the exact number of courses and sequence. It should start with a mix of two or three cold appetizers and two or three cooked dishes. Then it will progress to the sushi courses, which should include six or seven seasonal fish served either individually or in pairs. Then a traditional soup or noodle dish will follow before the dessert course. During the meal, a pairing of five different sakes will accompany the courses.

Niki Starr of Mesa

Niki Starr- Mesa (Costa Mesa)

Niki Starr- Mesa (Costa Mesa)
First year participant

Regarding the event:

I think the Illumination Foundation is such an awesome charity that’s really making a difference in our community. This event alone is one of the most prestigious culinary events in our community, and I am proud and honored to be involved.

Thoughts on your menu:

I know that I will be preparing my dinner based around the Disney movie, Inside Out.

See full article on OC Weekly Site

Dining Extravaganzas for Charity

By Christopher Trela & Catherine Del Casale
Newport Beach Independent
February 12, 2016

Orange County is lucky to have numerous talented chefs in the kitchens of noteworthy restaurants. Even luckier—the chefs and restaurants enjoy giving back to the community by participating in charitable culinary events.

The week after the Table for Ten event is Disney’s OC Chef’s Table, presented by Wells Fargo and held March 13 at the Disney Grand Californian Resort & Spa Grand Ballroom.

The event features 30 of Orange County’s top chefs creating a five-course meal prepared tableside, at tables decorated to reflect the personality and brand of each restaurant.

Proceeds from the event go to Illumination Foundation, a nonprofit working to end the cycle of homelessness in Orange County. Last year’s culinary event (at that time it was known as Table for Ten) raised more than $580,000.

The event begins with a lively cocktail party. Guests can have their photo taken with Mickey and Minnie Mouse before sitting down in the ballroom, where the chefs prepare a five-course dinner with paired wines and cocktails.

The evening features a live performance by Matt Rogers, American Idol contestant, followed by an indulgent after party, as well as the opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind live auction packages and a luxury vacation raffle.

Newport Beach chefs participating include Marc Johnson (Oak Grill), Takashi Abe (Bluefin), Pascal Olhats (Café Jardin), Daniel Hyatt (Juliette Kitchen & Bar), Brian Doherty (Bambú at Fairmont Newport), John Vega (Roy’s), and Andrew Gruel (Slapfish).