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.