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Restaurants

Chef Marc Johnson, Oak Grill at Island Hotel, Shares Composed Salad with Burrata Cheese and Prosciutto

Part of the allure of Oak Grill is the outdoor garden patio, a dining option shaded by beguiling old trees whose limbs host charming cylindrical lanterns. The restaurant opened in late spring last year at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach. Although the successful redesign may be what first gets diners’ attention, it’s my guess that the food is what…

Six-Course Vegetable Tasting Menu – Stonehill Tavern’s Raj Dixit Produce Wizardry

It makes me sad when someone tells me that they don’t like vegetables! Really sad. I’m not a vegetarian. But I know how delicious fruits and vegetables can be. Take a look at what Executive Chef Raj Dixit is turning out at Stonehill Tavern at the St. Regis Resort & Spa, Dana Point. A luscious multi-course “Vegetable Discovery Tasting Menu.”…

Top Chef Celebrity Shirley Chung, Steams Fish in Banana Leaves, Luscious and Simple

TOP CHEF CELEB: SHIRLEY CHUNG Shirley Chung is gregarious and quick to laugh, but behind the cheery smile is a chef-restauranteur who is highly focused on her craft. Now her high-energy personality is at work in a new restaurant in Irvine, Twenty Eight, where she is executive chef and co-owner. She dubs the restaurant’s cuisine “modern Chinese,” cooking that she…

Eight-Leg Treasure From the Deep – Chef Rainer Schwarz Turns Octopus Tender and Delicious

Executive chef-partner at Driftwood Kitchen, Laguna Beach, and The Deck on Laguna Beach, Rainer Schwarz, knows how to deliciously nuance seafood, incorporating vibrant flavors and contrasting textures into everything from whole crisp-skinned branzino to hamachi crudo, buttermilk-fried soft shell crabs to seared sea scallops adrift in truffle-spiked risotto. That polished skill-set also applies to his Grilled Spanish Octopus, an alluring…

Holiday Cookie Contest Names $1000 Winner!

Lucca and Provenance Restaurants hosted a holiday cookie contest!  $1000 bucks to the winner! Irvine resident Natalie Hartanov won $1000 for her delicious Florentine Triangle Jewels! The contest took place at Provenance in Newport Beach. Chef-Owner Cathy Pavlos was on hand to join in the cookie tasting fun and, of course, to write the check! (Provenance – The Garden at…

Fig & Olive’s Zucchini Carpaccio – who knew raw zukes could be so délicieux!

Sometimes it’s very simple combinations of ingredients that wow the palate; a bowl of perfectly seasoned olives teamed with sliced salami, or wedges of crisp sweet-tart apple paired with aged white cheddar. Or, in the case of Fig & Olive in Newport Beach, a stunning “carpaccio” made with raw paper-thin zucchini slices, buttery extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, shaved…

Holiday Cookie Search – LUCCA Cafe and Provenance Restaurants Pay $1,000 to Winner!

ATTENTION BAKERS! LUCCA & Provenance Host $1,000 Holiday Cookie Contest  Chef Cathy Pavlos Conducts County-Wide Search for the Best Holiday Cookie What fun! I want one of YOU to win.  The public is invited to submit their most prized cookie recipe through Sunday, November 30th. Chef Cathy Pavlos, owner of both sponsoring restaurants, will select five finalists to go head-to-head…

Roasted Cauliflower – Stonefire Grill’s Salad Secrets

What happens when a strict vegetarian takes his place in his family’s popular meat-and-potatoes restaurants? Some luscious plant-based retooling evolves, with cauliflower, kale and wild arugula taking center stage along with the well-established rib, chicken and tri-tip favorites. Justin Lopez is the son of Mary Harrigan, the co-founder of Stonefire Grills. Lopez leads the menu development team for the large…