Taste of Orange County Features The Great OC Farm to Table Dinner on Stage at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater


IRVINE, Calif. – May 21, 2012 — The Taste of Orange County is honored to present the Great OC Farm to Table Dinner — a special five-course culinary feast which will feature an array of local, sustainable, and delicious fare in an exclusive setting for only 200 guests.Top Orange County chefs and the Culinary Liberation Front will conduct this “culinary opus” from the Orchestra Section on stage at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. The chefs will use only ingredients from a 200 mile radius of the Great OC Farm to Table Dinner to promote local, organic, sustainable, and consciously sourced items — right down to the salt.

Some of the proceeds from the Great OC Farm to Table Dinner will benefit the Culinary Liberation Front – a growing group of Orange County chefs that come together to share their craft and exchange ideas of a restaurant industry that leaves the smallest environmental footprint possible, while teaching nutritional education to the less fortunate. The Culinary Liberation Front is hosting a dinner on May 20th; click here for more information.

The Taste of Orange County — Southern California’s five star culinary weekend event — is scheduled for June 16-17, 2012 at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater from Noon to 10pm on Saturday (adults only) and from Noon to 8pm on Sunday (families welcome).

The OC Great Farm to Table Dinner will be held on Saturday only (June 16) from 6pm to 8pm.Tickets are $199 per person.

Participating Chefs in the Great OC Farm to Table Dinner are as follows:

Paddy Glennon of Santa Monica Seafood (Costa Mesa) and Founder of the Culinary Liberation Front

Chef Patrick Glennon (see photo) is an award winning chef with more than 26 years of experience in the seafood wholesale and restaurant hospitality business. Currently, he is the head chef at Santa Monica Seafood located in Costa Mesa, Calif. and is co-owner of Quality Plus Trading, which serves the food service community with high quality products.He is also one of the founders of the Culinary Liberation Front, a non-profit organization that promotes environmental initiatives and nutritional education in the restaurant industry. Chef Glennon has trained in the kitchens of some of the top chefs in the world such as Jacques Maximin (Negresco, Nice), Alain Ducass (Hotel Juana, Juan les Pines), Christian Plumaeil (Auberge de l’Esterel), Roger Verger (Moulin de Mougins, Vence), and Bruno Cirino (Le Grand Hotel, Saint Jean del Luz).

Rob Wilson from Montage – Laguna Beach

Executive Chef Rob Wilson joined Montage Laguna Beach in 2010 to oversee culinary operations with an emphasis on special events. As executive chef, he manages the day-to-day operations of the main kitchens and ensures that the best quality products are used throughout the property. Chef Wilson has an extensive culinary background, and is a graduate of Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in New York. He started his culinary career in his teens as a dishwasher at the Dana Point, California Chart House Restaurant. His culinary path has included time at Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach, California, where he worked as a Sous Chef, and, prior to joining Montage Laguna Beach, Chef Wilson served as executive chef at The Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel.

Yves Fournier from Andreis Conscious Cuisine (Irvine)

At the age of 15, Paris born Yves Fournier enrolled at Paris’s prestigious Ecole Gregoire-Ferrandi culinary school and began a rigorous three-year education during which he apprenticed at various restaurants, honing his craft at celebrated Parisian kitchens like Fauchon and Michel Pasquet. After graduation, he began his career at restaurants such as Le Rendez-Vous in a town outside of Paris; Levallois-Perret, at Chez Eugene in touristy Montmartre; and Le Petit Fer i Cheval in Paris’ historic Marais district.Chef Fournier came to America in 1998 and landed jobs at Manhattan’s Ci´te Sud and Pitchoune, before being appointed Executive Sous Chef at the legendary Rainbow Room high atop Rockefeller Center. In 2004, Chef Fournier was appointed Chef de Cuisine for the successful opening of 6ix Park Grill at the Hyatt Regency Irvine and was the Executive Sous Chef at the Hyatt in Newport Beach. Today, he is the executive chef at Andreis Conscious Cuisine in Irvine, Calif.

Greg Daniels from Haven GastroPub (Orange)

A Southern California native, Chef Greg Daniels’ passion for cooking was sparked when he was just 15 and working at a fast food joint, where he fell in love with the camaraderie of a restaurant environment. In his 20s, Chef Daniels paid the bills by working as a bartender at several Orange County restaurants and lounges, but he never lost sight of his dream of becoming a chef. Chef Daniels enrolled in the Le Cordon Bleu program at the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, Calif. During his culinary career, Chef Daniels worked as a line cook at acclaimed dining establishments such as Pascal in Newport Beach, where he further honed his skills. After leaving Pascal, he worked alongside Executive Chef Andrew Sutton at Napa Rose in Anaheim, which gave him the opportunity to work in a kitchen with a more modern flair, as well as learn new cooking techniques.At the newest Haven outpost, he continues to create dishes that push the boundaries of what is commonly known as pub food, and making sure it pairs perfectly with the restaurant’s wide selection of craft beers and cocktails.

Ryan Adams, Chef/Owner, Three Seventy Common Kitchen+Drink, Laguna Beach

Ryan Adams is the chef/owner of Three Seventy Common Kitchen+Drink, a Laguna Beach community hub to gather for good food, fun, and camaraderie. Formerly the executive chef of Sorrento Grille, Chef Adams purchased the venue in 2011 and revamped it to offer a new urban look and farm-to-table fare. He is a longtime supporter of sustainable cuisine and works closely with local farmers and purveyors to create his ever-changing contemporary American menu. A Laguna Niguel native, he is a graduate of California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and honed his skills at various restaurants there, including Stars, One Market, and Vertigo. He moved to Maui, Hawaii, to work as chef de cuisine at Lahaina Grille, and then acquired cooking stints in Chicago and New York before returning to Orange County to open Citrus City Grille in Old Towne Orange. He was also the opening and sous chef for French 75 in Laguna Beach, and the corporate chef for David Wilhelm’s Culinary Adventures where he ran and designed all the restaurant kitchens.

Justin Monson – The Vine/St Roy Chefs Pub (San Clemente)

At the young age of 13, Chef Justin Monson, found his culinary calling when his mother took him to a French cooking class at Bonsoir Charles in San Clemente. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Monson refined his culinary skills in the kitchens of notable chefs Christian Rassinoux and Patrick Glennon at the Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel. He then relocated to Napa Valley and worked as Saucier at Auberge Du Soleil under Chef Andrew Sutton, who is now at Napa Rose. He returned to Southern California to become executive chef at French 75 in Laguna Beach. In 2003, Monson, along with his wife Dorine, opened The Vine in San Clemente.

Craig Connole – K’ya Bistro/House of Big Fish (Laguna Beach)

Voted Chef of the Year in 2010 by Orange County Business Journal, Chef Craig Connole is hailed for his creative approach to cuisine. Born and raised in Newport Beach, Chef Connole started his career at the infamous Gina’s Pizza in Corona del Mar in the 1980s. After making his name around southern California with flavorful stints at the Four Seasons, Le Meriden, Windows on the Bay in Newport Beach, Ritz Carlton Kapalua, and the Mecca Restaurant in Las Vegas, he returned to his roots when the owners of La Casa del Camino lured him back to Laguna with an invitation to reinvent the restaurant at their hotel. Chef Connole shifted the direction of K’ya in January 2009, morphing the Cal Asian menu to old school French Italian Bistro and deconstructed the traditional three-component meal way of thinking by creating a myriad of small plates. The success of K’ya has propelled him into exploring his newest venture of House of BIG FISH and Ice Cold Beer where once again, his creative prowess proved to produce yet another popular location.

Paul Buchanan – Primal Alchemy

After graduating with honors from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Chef Buchanan honed his cooking skills in some of the best kitchens in Southern California, including Water Grill, Patina, Pascal’s, and Campanile.At Patina, he executed large scale events like the Oscars, Emmys, and SAG Awards, gaining valuable experience in logistics as well as cooking. He brought his passion for seasonal, sustainable, local cuisine to the event industry by creating Primal Alchemy, the first catering firm to adhere to these principles.Primal Alchemy offers catering for both corporate and private clientele, serving from 2 to 2,000 guests.

The Taste of Orange County is sponsored by JEEP, Sub Zero, Wolf, Renwes Sales, Pacific Enterprise Bank, Stella Artois, Group ISO Merchant Services, LagunaArt.com, Santa Monica Seafood, VIP Limousines and Coaches, Vectus, Saddleback Golf Cars, Veytia Group, Cox Communications, Coast Magazine, OC Register, OC Metro Magazine, OC Menus, OC Family Magazine, Greersoc.com, Great Taste Magazine, OCSocialScene.com, The Home Magazine and OC Healthcare News.

In addition to the Culinary Liberation Front, some of the proceeds from the Taste of Orange County will benefit the Orange County Food Bank.

Don’t forget to check out www.tasteofoc.com where interested attendees can enter a number of exhibitor sweepstakes, contests, an opportunity to win free event tickets and can sign-up for up-to-date news and information about the Taste of Orange Countyâ’ž¢.