Newport Beach recently held it’s first annual wine and food festival and it was a total success. Held on the beautiful and lush grounds of the Newport Beach Civic Center, the festival featured a culinary extravaganza with celebrity and local chefs performing live cooking demonstrations while hors d’oeuvres, spirits and beer tastings were served.
Upon entry we were able to take a professional picture against a backdrop and grab a wine glass for tasting. I was so impressed at the decor and the effort that went into the set up. The grounds were dressed with taupe, sea foam green and white rustic colors giving the Festival a California Coastal look. There was even live jazz music which set the mood.
Seating was ample for everyone to sit down and enjoy their beverages and food. And even when there were no chairs or benches, there were plush pillows available for your comfort.
I started off having a look at all of the Sommeliers and Mixologists. It was very impressive. Due to a mild allergy to wine I tend to stick to mixed drinks and beer and there was certainly a terrific selection to choose from. Francesco Lafranconi & Tricia Carr from Duke Spirits was there to give me a quick lesson in a fun mixology course. I also sampled some nice lager style beer from Stella Artois.
Of course we did what any good guest of a food and wine festival would do, we ate backwards. Dessert always trumps and there was certainly plenty of dessert to go around. My favorite were these miniature Rolo cupcakes from B Candy.
gorged I mean delicately chewed our luscious desserts we headed over to the Grand Pavillion to sample the appetizers from the local restaurants. There were 12 executive chefs from leading local
Orange County restaurants showcasing their cuisine, Everyone was so friendly and took time to explain all of the ingredients that go into their food.
My all time favorite was a slider from the Crow Bar and Kitchen. It was a black label slider with bone marrow butter. It was so tender and bursting with flavor.
Photo Credit: Pencil Box Studios
List of Restaurants That Participated
- Oak Grill
- Crow Bar and Kitchen
- True Food Kitchen
- Tommy Bahamas
- Back Bay Bistro
- The Quiet Woman
- Canaletto Ristorante
- Blue C Sushi
- Tortilla Republic
- Honda Center
Gruyere Grilled Cheese
One of the great things about this festival was that 100% of net proceeds from the Festival and donations from the live and silent auction at the VIP launch party benefitted the following OC charities:
- Project Hope Alliance: Orange County organization that strives to end homelessness for over 28,000 children.
- HOAG Hospital Foundation’s Circle 1000: The family cancer institute at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach.
I had a fabulous time and met so many great people. I am looking forward to going back again next year!