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Media & Press

Mark Your Calendars: The Sixth Annual OC Chef’s Table

From Dining Out, Thurs, Feb. 28th Notable chefs Rich Mead of Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden, Ernie Alvarado of URBANA, Joseph Tripi of Trevor’s at the Tracks, and many more will gather for an evening of food, fun, and, most importantly, charity. Welcome the return of OC Chef’s Table. Dubbed the “Premier Chef’s Event of Orange … Continue reading Mark Your Calendars: The Sixth Annual OC Chef’s Table

Illumination Foundation’s OC Chef’s Table To Honor Anaheim Emergency Shelter’s Leadership

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – ORANGE, CA. – Feb 19, 2019 – The 6th annual Illumination Foundation OC Chef’s Table returns this year on Sunday, March 3rd, 2019. Presented once again by the Disneyland® Resort, the event will be Illumination Foundation’s largest yet with 41 of the most acclaimed chefs from Orange County and L.A. eateries … Continue reading Illumination Foundation’s OC Chef’s Table To Honor Anaheim Emergency Shelter’s Leadership

Stephen LaFountain: Mastro’s Steakhouse – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Q: This will be your 4th year at OC Chef’s Table. Why do you keep returning? Chef Stephen LaFountain: There are other charities focused on homelessness, but Illumination Foundation has done such a great job focusing on families … children especially. I have three children myself, and the thought of anything happening to my children if I … Continue reading Stephen LaFountain: Mastro’s Steakhouse – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Rocco Carbonaro: Rocco’s – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Q: When did you decide you liked cooking? Chef Rocco Carbonara: It started with my Grandma. My brother and I were in her kitchen all the time. She was an old school cook, like cooking a pile of fava beans in old crates, that sort of thing. Both my brother and I got the bug – he … Continue reading Rocco Carbonaro: Rocco’s – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Popular Restaurateur and Chef Maro Molteni to Operate Royal Hawaiian

Popular Restaurateur and Chef Mariano (“Maro”) Molteni has announced plans to operate the iconic Laguna Beach-based restaurant, Royal Hawaiian at 331 N. Coast Highway. The restaurant closed temporarily on Tuesday, Jan. 22nd, with plans to re-open shortly after Maro and his brother, Martin, participate in March 3rd’s renowned OC Chef’s Table for the Illumination Foundation. … Continue reading Popular Restaurateur and Chef Maro Molteni to Operate Royal Hawaiian

Chef Fabio Ugoletti: N10 – Five Questions, Five Minutes

Q: So how did someone from Tuscany end up in the heart of L. A. at one of its top restaurants? Chef Fabio Ugoletti: After years of being a chef, I began consulting and training chefs all over Italy, and I used to teach at culinary schools, too, as a guest speaker. When I was in Florence, … Continue reading Chef Fabio Ugoletti: N10 – Five Questions, Five Minutes

Chef John Park – Toast – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Q: Last year was your first year with OC Chef’s Table and you didn’t even have a restaurant at the time … Chef John Park: Yeah, that was a little crazy. I was prepping all of the food for the dinner out my little apartment with our two boys running around. It was kind of … Continue reading Chef John Park – Toast – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Chef Ben LeFleche: Waterfront Beach Resort – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Q – This is your second year at OC Chef’s Table, yes? Chef BenLeFleche: Yes. Last year was our first year. We’ve been wanting to participate for awhile, but since we’ve been undergoing heavy construction these last 3 years, last year was the first year we felt we could really pull it off. It was awesome! … Continue reading Chef Ben LeFleche: Waterfront Beach Resort – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Chef Riley Huddleston – Lido House – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Q – When did you first figure out you liked cooking?  Chef Riley Huddleston: When I was about 13 or 14 I figured out that instead of spending MY hard-earned money for gifts for my Mom on various occasions, I could offer to cook for her and use HER hard-earned money to go grocery shopping. I … Continue reading Chef Riley Huddleston – Lido House – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

OC Chef’s Table Returns March 3rd, 2019, Expands Roster to Unprecedented 40 Chefs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – ORANGE, CA. – Jan. 9, 2019 – The 6th annual Illumination Foundation OC Chef’s Table returns this year on Sunday, March 3rd, 2019, with an unprecedented 40+ top chefs of Orange County and L.A. participating. Presented once again by the Disneyland® Resort, the Resort’s acclaimed Culinary Director Andrew Sutton will be hosting the visiting … Continue reading OC Chef’s Table Returns March 3rd, 2019, Expands Roster to Unprecedented 40 Chefs

Chef Jayro Martinez: Social – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

When was the first time you thought you might like to cook? Chef Jayro Martinez: In high school. I remember passing the Home Economics room and smelling all these great smells. I figured any class that smelled like that was one I needed to be in. The teacher was great, and as I learned baking … Continue reading Chef Jayro Martinez: Social – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Chef Brian Okada: Water Grill – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

This is your first year at OC Chef’s Table, yes? Chef Brian Okada: Absolutely! Water Grill was there last year and afterwards, the chefs kept talking about how elaborate and amazing it was. They were totally hooked. So, this year I thought I’d step in and experience firsthand what all the talk is about. We’ve … Continue reading Chef Brian Okada: Water Grill – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

A night of belonging

Editor’s note: Our own Chef John Park of Toast Kitchen Bakery & Bar presided over this special dinner for homeless people. Read what the OC Register has to say! ——— By Theresa Walker thwalker@scng.com @TellTheresa on Twitter  Monday, Dec. 17, 2018 – On a night designed to make her feel like royalty, Donna Sallee compared herself … Continue reading A night of belonging

Chef Ernie Alvarado: Urbana – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

How many years have you participated in OC Chef’s Table? Chef Ernie Alvarado: This one in March 2019 will be our third year. It means a lot to me to be able to help these people, especially the kids. It just wrenches my heart when I hear what they’ve been through. What got you interested … Continue reading Chef Ernie Alvarado: Urbana – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Chef Michael Rossi: The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

When did you discover the glory of cooking? Chef Michael Rossi: When I was a kid, my brother and I would fix taquitos or wontons before baseball practice. At the age of 8, I was Master of the Toaster Oven. It was a heady experience. But the real cookin’ happened at my Grandma’s house.  My … Continue reading Chef Michael Rossi: The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Chef Anthony Berganza: Red O – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

What made you choose a career as a chef? My parents migrated from El Salvador and I was born in East L.A. I grew up in Baldwin Park and really struggled. I didn’t even think I was going to graduate high school. One day, the career counselor called me into his office and I thought … Continue reading Chef Anthony Berganza: Red O – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Chef Randy Gruspe: Duke’s – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

How in the world did a guy who grew up in Hawaii end up at the Duke’s extension in Huntington Beach?! Right! The Duke’s first two restaurants were in Kauai and Waikiki but I had to move to SoCal to cook Hawaiian food! I love it, though. I truly grew up in the culture of … Continue reading Chef Randy Gruspe: Duke’s – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Chef Magellan Moore: Mastro’s OceanClub – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Last year was your first year at OC Chef’s Table. What was your impression? Chef Magellan Moore: It was amazing! Illumination Foundation did such a great job at connecting their chefs to the cause and showing everyone where their support is truly changing up people’s lives. It was mind blowing. For me personally, it was … Continue reading Chef Magellan Moore: Mastro’s OceanClub – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Chef Steven Anderson: California Fresh – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

What made you get into the catering business instead of operating a restaurant? Chef Steven Anderson: I enjoy working in restaurant kitchens, but I love pulling inspiration from a lot of different culinary styles. I oversee both catering and a large-scale university operation, and it’s never a dull moment. You can probably blame my upbringing … Continue reading Chef Steven Anderson: California Fresh – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Chef Joseph Tripi: Trevor’s at the Tracks – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Trevor’s at the Tracks just passed its 1-year birthday and you’ve already won “OC’s Best Brunch” accolades. Not bad for a not-even-toddler! Chef Joseph Tripi: Yeah,  how great is that? It’s really been an awesome first year for us, and the “best brunch” award was a real surprise. I’m just glad I randomly saw the … Continue reading Chef Joseph Tripi: Trevor’s at the Tracks – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Chef Andrew Gruel: Slapfish – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

How old were you when you first started cooking? Chef Andrew Gruel: Both of my parents worked, so the microwave and Sara Lee were my best after-school buddies. I was about 10 when I realized that it could be a lot more interesting cooking with fire. But you never intended to become a chef … … Continue reading Chef Andrew Gruel: Slapfish – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Chef Leo Razo: Villa Roma & Cambalache – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

You could say you learned how to cook the “trial by fire” way, yes? Chef Leo Razo: Before I came to the U.S., I was in the Mexican Army and I got thrown into the kitchen, cooking for 3,000 people every day. I definitely learned how to handle a rush on the kitchen, yes! When … Continue reading Chef Leo Razo: Villa Roma & Cambalache – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Chef Peter Lai: The Blind Rabbit – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Your move from a very popular OC restaurant to the OC’s uber-popular speakeasy was recent! Chef Peter Lai: And I couldn’t even find the place when they asked me for an interview! I’d been coming to the Anaheim Packing House since it opened, but I didn’t even know where the fabled speakeasy was. I talked … Continue reading Chef Peter Lai: The Blind Rabbit – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Chef Alex Moreno: Habana’s – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

How did you first get into cooking? Chef Alex Moreno: It’s in my genes. I grew up in the heart of L.A. – just my Mom and me – and she was always cooking for our relatives. Every weekend, she’d make a big pot of pozole and tamales. My first job was setting the table. … Continue reading Chef Alex Moreno: Habana’s – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Chef Jeff Moore: EATS Kitchen – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

How did you get started in the restaurant biz? Chef Jeff Moore: In a round-about way, really. Generations of my family had owned a grocery store business in Palos Verdes, so I grew up in that environment – you know, bakery, butcher shop, everything done in house. I didn’t start in the restaurant business, though, … Continue reading Chef Jeff Moore: EATS Kitchen – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Chef Linda Johnsen: Filomena’s – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

You’re returning for your 5th year at OC Chef’s Table! Why do you keep coming back? Chef Linda Johnsen: My restaurant is in Costa Mesa and we have homeless people all around. Years ago, I made a commitment that if they came up to my door, I would feed them. It doesn’t matter how well … Continue reading Chef Linda Johnsen: Filomena’s – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Chef Rich Mead: Farmhouse – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Your open-air Farmhouse restaurant  has been so well received since its opening in 2016. How have things settled in since the opening? Chef Rich Mead: We started out as a French farmhouse with this great footprint, but it seems every time you’re building something, you never end up with enough room in the kitchen. After … Continue reading Chef Rich Mead: Farmhouse – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Celebrity Chef Jet Tila: 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

When did you first decide you wanted to cook? Chef Jet Tila: My grandparents had restaurants in China and Thailand, so when my parents started their own Thai restaurant, I was just third generation along for the ride! I didn’t know there was anything else in the world to do. I started washing dishes in … Continue reading Celebrity Chef Jet Tila: 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Chef Jason Neroni: Rose Cafe – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

When did you first decide you wanted to cook? Chef Jason Neroni: I wanted to be a ride operator at Disneyland® and, instead, they steered me to the Blue Bayou where I peeled fruit and made Monte Cristo sandwiches. Once I graduated high school, I started pursuing an art degree. One day, I wandered up … Continue reading Chef Jason Neroni: Rose Cafe – 5 Questions, 5 Minutes

Illumination Foundation Announces Top-Ranked Chef Lineup for OC Chef’s Table 2019

Oct 23, 2018 – Illumination Foundation, the non-profit organization committed to breaking the cycle of homelessness, has announced its 6th Annual roster of top-ranked chefs for its March 3, 2019 event at Disneyland® Resort. New Website – OCChefstable.com Illumination Foundation has also released a new website devoted entirely to OC Chef’s Table at OCChefsTable.com, which … Continue reading Illumination Foundation Announces Top-Ranked Chef Lineup for OC Chef’s Table 2019

Blind Rabbit Takes Golden Foodie Awards

By Phil Metzger  •  Oct 1, 2018  •  Orange Coast Magazine The Blind Rabbit, a speakeasy in Anaheim’s Packing House, was a big winner Sunday at the annual Golden Foodie Awards in Newport Beach, taking home awards for bartender of the year, best cocktails, and best bar program. Blind Rabbit also features prominently in the … Continue reading Blind Rabbit Takes Golden Foodie Awards

Annual OC Chef’s Table Expands Again for 2019

June 18, 2018 – Illumination Foundation’s popular OC Chef’s Table gala will be expanding again – in size and in number of chefs – for its March 3, 2019 event. The Disneyland® Resort will be hosting the expanded event again, proving a committed, extraordinary sponsor for the increasingly popular event. “In past years, we’ve enjoyed … Continue reading Annual OC Chef’s Table Expands Again for 2019

OC Chef’s Table Raises $1 Million to Help Break Cycle of Homelessness

Disneyland – March 30, 2018 – The Disneyland Resort was the presenting sponsor of Orange County’s most prestigious culinary fundraiser, the Illumination Foundation’s OC Chef’s Table 2018, which raised $1 million this year to help break the cycle of homelessness. The upscale event returned to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa on March 18, with … Continue reading OC Chef’s Table Raises $1 Million to Help Break Cycle of Homelessness

OC Chef’s Table Raises $1 Million for Nation’s First Recuperative Care Housing for Homeless Children

3-20-2018 Orange County’s most prestigious culinary fundraiser, the Illumination Foundation’s OC Chef’s Table 2018, raised the bar even higher this year with 32 top chefs and 340 guests working collectively to raise $1 million to break the cycle of homelessness.  The event returned to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa on Sunday, March 18th, combining the engaging fun … Continue reading OC Chef’s Table Raises $1 Million for Nation’s First Recuperative Care Housing for Homeless Children

OC Chef’s Table with Skyloft’s Chef Arthur Ortiz

March 8, 2018 – Chef Arthur Ortiz has been tapped to join 31 other top O.C. chefs for the most prestigious culinary event of the year – the Illumination Foundation’s OC Chef’s Table.  The event includes a cocktail reception, live entertainment, a silent auction and even table décor that jostles for first-place pageantry. Joined by L.A.’s … Continue reading OC Chef’s Table with Skyloft’s Chef Arthur Ortiz

Orange County’s Top Chefs Raising Funds to End Homelessness

March 16, 2018 – Voice of OC Orange County’s most prestigious culinary fundraiser, the Illumination Foundation’s OC Chef’s Table 2018 presented by Disneyland Resort, returns to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa on Sunday, March 18th. The event includes a cocktail reception, live entertainment, silent auction, and even table décor that jostles for first-place pageantry. … Continue reading Orange County’s Top Chefs Raising Funds to End Homelessness

OC Chef’s Table Set by Laguna Kitchen Masters

March 15, 2018 – The Indy Ron Fougeray of Splashes and Andrew Gruel of Slapfish join three other Laguna Beach chefs, Rainer Schwarz of Driftwood Kitchen/The Deck, Azmin Ghahreman of Sapphire and Arthur Ortiz of Skyloft in the Illumination Foundation’s fundraiser at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa on Sunday, March 18. Each chef will … Continue reading OC Chef’s Table Set by Laguna Kitchen Masters

Five Top Chefs in Laguna Beach Tapped for Renowned OC Chef’s Table

Feb 20, 2018 – TheBestofLagunaBeach.com If you’re a foodie (like me), you probably dream that someday you’re going to have a great chef host a custom, never-seen-before and never-seen-again dinner for you and your closest friends. With the Illumination Foundation’s return of its phenomenal OC Chef’s Table event on Sunday, March 18th, your dream just … Continue reading Five Top Chefs in Laguna Beach Tapped for Renowned OC Chef’s Table

Chef Rocco Joins OC Chef’s Table

Click for full video on Chef Rocco’s reasons for joining OC Chef’s Table

Sapphire’s Chef Joins OC Chef’s Table

Dec 27, 2017 – Click this link for full video

Illumination Foundation’s Annual OC Chef’s Table Brought Out Orange County’s Top Chefs

March 21, 2017 – LOCALE Magazine – It was a night filled with food and charity. The Illumination Foundation’s annual OC Chef’s Table charity gala took place on March 12 at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. The event brought out top chefs from around Orange County to raise money to build emergency houses for homeless families … Continue reading Illumination Foundation’s Annual OC Chef’s Table Brought Out Orange County’s Top Chefs

Chef Michael Doctulero: OC Chef’s Table fundraiser for homeless

March 7, 2017 – FOX ll NEWS – By: Michelle Pulfrey , Jeffrey Thomas DeSocio Homelessness is becoming a reality for more and more Orange County families and their children. Since last year’s OC Chef’s Table, Illumination Foundation has constructed the Theriault Emergency House in Stanton, which has already housed over 20 families since Thanksgiving week and is on track … Continue reading Chef Michael Doctulero: OC Chef’s Table fundraiser for homeless

OC Chef’s Table on SoCal Pulse’s “Top Orange County Things to Do in March”

Laura Okey – February 27, 2017 OC Chef’s Table March 12. Delight in an evening of luxury and culinary genius as 30 of Orange County’s top chefs collaborate on a five-course meal prepared table-side. Each chef will also create unique awe-inspiring table designs decorated to reflect the personality and brand of his or her specific … Continue reading OC Chef’s Table on SoCal Pulse’s “Top Orange County Things to Do in March”

San Clemente Chefs to Work OC Chef’s Table

Anne Marie Panoringan – OC Weekly – March 9, 2017 Illumination Foundation will host OC Chef’s Table on Sunday March 12, at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, to raise funds for construction of a second emergency home for families with children. Chefs Omar and Rosendo Gonzalez from Nick’s Restaurants, which include Nick’s San Clemente and … Continue reading San Clemente Chefs to Work OC Chef’s Table

Charity Spotlight: OC Chefs Table is Cooking for Charity

Feb 23, 2017 – Newport Beach Indy – Nearly three dozen of Orange County’s top chefs are participating in the OC Chefs Table fundraising event to be held on Sunday, March 12 at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. Held in the Grand Ballroom, the event features renowned chefs creating a five-course dinner paired with … Continue reading Charity Spotlight: OC Chefs Table is Cooking for Charity

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 … Continue reading Modern Luxury Social Circles

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. … Continue reading O.C. Seen, OC Chef’s Table

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. … Continue reading Newport Chefs Help Raise $600k For Charity

OC Chef’s Table 2016: Why Chefs Give Back

By Anne Marie Panoringan 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 … Continue reading OC Chef’s Table 2016: Why Chefs Give Back

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 … Continue reading Dining Extravaganzas for Charity