A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the second annual Newport Beach wine and food festival at the Newport Beach Civic Center. This year it was even bigger and better that last year’s festival, which you can read here. The weather was perfect and the festival was a huge success. The best thing about this festival is proceeds from the weekend of events will benefit charity partner, Project Hope Alliance.
The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the gorgeous furniture they had out for guests to sit on. It was provided by Z Gallerie which is my favorite home decorating store.
Wine and Cocktails
As we were walking the grounds we came across this awesome cocktail demo where they were pouring rum into watermelons. And while I do love a good glass of wine, I really am a cocktail kind of girl so this really got me excited!
We also tried a variety of various handcrafted cocktails made with: Absolut Elyx Vodka, Duke Spirits Whiskey, Laphroaig, and Roca Patrón Tequila.
Celebrity Cruises was kind enough to give us these awesome wine bjorn’s for our glasses so we could walk around without having to hold it. Thanks, Celebrity!
With so many amazing flavors to choose from, it was hard to decide where to start. I ended up starting with dessert at B Candy by trying these awesome rainbow cakes and rolo flavored cupcakes! Then I moved to Roy’s to try some amazing poke. So fresh and flavorful.
Here was the line-up for Sunday, the day I attended.
- Marc Johnson – Aqua Lounge-Jalapeno mint and strawberry basil margaritas
- Raj Dixit – Stonehill Tavern at St. Regis Monarch Beach- Ahi tuna tartare on a salted seaweed chip
- Andrew Gruel – Slapfish-Clobster” roll
- Jo-Jo” Doyle – Honda Center- Espresso beef cheek, vanilla, bourbon, sweet potato pudding
- Fredric Guerin – Fig & Olive-Sear scallops with roasted cauliflower puree, cauliflower semolina, lime juice, slivered almond, parsley, cilantro, roasted almond oil and citrus dressing
- Joshua Severson – Selanne Steak Tavern-Brandt Beef Prime Short Ribs braised in Cabernet topped with Crater Lake Blue Foam, Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Burgundy Truffle, Macaroons, Waldorf salad
- Lee Smith – Montage Laguna Beach-Meyer Lemon and Tangerine Meringue Lemon, olive oil and vanilla macaroons
- Juan Carlos Murillo – Del Frisco’s Grille Pork taco with jicama slaw, Pulled pork with chips, Butterscotch pudding
- Mathieu Royer – Boathouse Collective-Hiramasa and yakimo on top of rice with butter miso Japanese potato puree
- Helene An, Ron Lee, Tony Nguyen – AnQi Gourmet Bistro & Noodle Bar-Lemongrass Maryland with crab and tomato quinoa
- Steve Kling – Five Crowns & Side Door-Minced duck on crispy wonton with Brussel sprout slaw
- Marco Criscuolo – Andrea at Pelican Hill-Homemade ricotta cavatelli wild boar ragout and porcini mushrooms
- John Vega – Roy’s Newport Beach-Ahi poke on top of yucca chips
- Craig Strong – Studio at the Montage Laguna Beach-Octopus with Cauliflower Cacciatore and Eggplant
- Rachel Haggstrom – A & O Bar + Kitchen at Balboa Bay Resort-Bona marrow with tomato confit and microgreens, Foie gras ice cream in a cone with Washingtonhuckleberry
- Jill Berger – B Candy-Micro rainbow cakes, sugar cookies and frosted flakes, ice cream Cookie monster ice cream cookie
Festival Cooking Demos
Brian Huskey, Brooke Williamson and Louis Maldonado. Local chef, TV personality and syndicated radio host, Chef Jamie Gwen, was the M.C. for thedemo. Four guests from the audience were chosen to be coached by each celebrity chefs and then competed on stage – Brooke Williamson’s contestant was crowned as the Festival’s very first “Home Cook Top Chef” and also won over to $1,000 in prizes including a Wustof chef’s knife, Vitamix, a Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival Hedley & Bennett apron and a gift card to Shirley. Chung’s local Orange County restaurant, Twenty Eight. The Festival’s Culinary Director Tiffany Lewis introduced each of the demos