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Preview of the First Annual Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival

We attended as a guest of the NB Food & Wine Festival


Newport Beach and its surrounding area is home to some of the country’s hottest chefs. To name just a few:

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Chef Imran Ali Tamarind of London.

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Shirley Chung, who made it to the final three on Top Chef and will be opening Twenty Eight.


Chef, Ashley Santo Domingo Top Chef contestant and Executive Chef of 24 Carrots Catering.

Last week we pretty much thought we had died and gone to heaven when we had the great fortune of receiving an invitation to attend the preview for the upcoming First Annual Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival. Master Chef Rick Bayless from Chicago will kick-off the event at his restaurant The Red O in Fashion Island on Friday, September 19th with two full days to follow of live demos by celebrity chefs and mixologists, blind wine tastings led by sommeliers, samples prepared by over 40 participating restaurants and chefs, and live jazz at The Newport Civic Center. Festivities will continue on each day at various area restaurants.

The preview was hosted at The Sherman Library & Gardens in Corona del Mar, home to Chef Pascal’s Café Jardin. Here are some of the amazing dishes we sampled from some of the local chefs who will be participating in the upcoming festival:



Assortment of French tartines, rillettes, and pâté ~ Executive Chef Pascal, Café Jardin 


Compressed watermelon bites with a hibiscus and basil syrup shooter, jalapeño dusted blackberries and micro cilantro ~ Executive Chef Ashley Santo Domingo, 24 Carrots



Tandoori garlic shrimp with organic quinoa salad ~ Executive Chef Imran Ali, Tamarind of London


Slow braised oxtail with maltose glaze and 8 treasure rice ~ Executive Chef Shirley Chung, Twenty Eight (set to open this summer)


House smoked Japanese Hamachi tacos with guacamole, Anaheim chili sauce and cilantro ~ Executive Chef Jeffrey Lunak, Blue C Sushi



Long-cut Hawaiian tuna loin, uni faro salad, and watermelon avocado-cilantro lime dressing ~ Executive Chef Rainer Schwarz, Driftwood Kitchen



Tandoori spiced Ahi tartar, cucumber, curry and papadum crisp ~ Executive Chef Marc Johnson, Oak Griill & Aqua Lounge




Sockeye salmon poke, chili de arbol, preserved meyer lemon, cucumber scallions and bell pepper emulsion ~ Private Chef John Ledbetter


Lobster crostini, mango, onions and green pepper ~ Executive Chef Bruno Massuger, Back Bay Bistro



French pork al pastor, jalapeño potato puree, caramelized pineapple and onions, grilled asparagus and al pastor sauce ~ Executive Chef Chris Tzorin, Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach


Quinoa burger, tzatziki,humus, avocado and feta ~ Executive Chef Talia Zimmer, True Food Kitchen



Yellowtail Hamachi, Fresno chili, ponzu and cilantro ~ Sous Chef Megan Nordtvedt, Wildfish Seafood Grille


Rocky road crunch bar, marshmallow cream, chocolate sauce and smoked almonds ~ John Nye, for Executive Chef Scott Brandon, Fireside Tavern


Also contributing to the evening was Jorn Kleinhans owner of Wine Elite who led blind wine tasting for attendees.

The Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival is a wonderful opportunity to get a glimpse of what our local restaurant scene has to offer. The festival runs from Friday, September 19 through Sunday September 21. Tickets are available here. Proceeds from the event will go to support Project Hope Alliance, Hoag Hospital Foundation, and Circle 1000 Hoag Family Cancer Institute.

Dana Wilde grew up playing “sous chef” for her father as he churned out one amazing meal after the next for family and friends. She inherited her father’s life long passion for cooking and has spent the past two decades studying, reading, practicing, experimenting, and creating in the kitchen. Together, she and her sister, Shan are Simply Wilde, a small boutique catering business focusing on in-home entertaining.
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