About Us

Welcome to Great Taste Magazine, the premiere connection to all the key decision makers in our local Southern California restaurant industry. Each issue our 18 year-old full-color trade publication reaches thousands of the area’s top restaurant owners, general managers, executive chefs and buyers. Take a tour through the magazine. Each issue features a restaurant and local chef, and is packed with the timeliest information, critical operational tips and other industry news important to our readers.

Update! Even in these tough economic times, it’s clear our readers still have Great Taste! We’re happy to announce that our circulation has increased and we’d like to thank each and every one of our readers for helping make Great Taste Magazine the go-to source for Orange County restaurant information. Subscribers: Great Taste Magazine: 8,000 mailed copies are read by over 24,000. E-subscribers: Foodie Newsletter: nearing 11,000 Industry Newsletter: over 6,000. Our website is currently seeing approximately 36,000 unique visitors each month. If you’d like to join in on the fun, let us know! Email us.

Teri WilliamsTeri Williams – Editor in Chief Teri Williams has her finger on the pulse of the local hospitality industry like no one else. Eighteen years as editor and publisher of Orange County’s only hospitality trade magazine combined with her consultancy for the non-profit sector and her public relations expertise give Williams a far-reaching, varied and unique perspective of the industry. Besides her esteemed Great Taste publication, she has extensive experience in the travel industry (retail agent and wholesale), event planning and volunteerism. Williams has contacts around the globe in the restaurant, hotel, media and travel trades. She has also been applauded for her enthusiastic charity work and has chaired numerous chef, food and wine events on behalf of local non-profit organizations, for which she has helped garner more than $1 million in donations through the years. Known for her unflagging enthusiasm, entrepreneurial spirit, “can do” attitude and joie de vivre, Williams is a constant presence and authority on the OC culinary and hospitality scene.

Contributors Great Taste would not exist without our enthusiastic and generous contributors, which is why we want to turn the spotlight on them! We’ve got chefs and students, teachers and experts – so read on to meet the wonderful people that write for your pleasure. They all have Great Taste!

Chef Consultants/Writers

Chef Katie Averill – Baking Rack

Chef Gabriel Caliendo – Spice Rack

Graphic Artist – Print

Lisa Brink


Michael Rutt



Linda Mensinga – Linda Mensinga writes, researches and edits for Great Taste. Researching restaurants and hotels, she interviews the best and brightest chefs, not necessarily the most Lindafamous, to learn their secrets and recipes. Their talent and dedication never cease to inspire her. She focuses now on California locations enjoying the diversity of cultures and cuisines.

One Bible verse she lives by:Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16

You can reach her at [email protected] or [email protected]

Hey! My name is Tiffany Haslacker. I began my love affair with Great Taste as an intern and am currently the Assistant Editor. I get my elbows dirty in writing, editing, and Tiffanyresearching and am willing to try any food once (as long as it’s not spicy, alive, slimy, has eyes, moves when you touch it, looks gross or smells gross).

If my mother had never shoved that Cinderella journal in my hand when I was a little girl or perpetually offered up reading as a solution to boredom, I might not be where I am today. I grew up in no man’s land (also known as Apple Valley, CA), where you could either be creative or get into trouble. I decided to choose the former. Growing up I never fathomed that I could set myself on a career path that constituted my passion. When I hit the real world, I came to understand that it would be difficult but achievable.

I graduated from Cal State Long Beach in Fall 2012 with Bachelor’s Degrees in both English Literature and Creative Writing. All that really means is that I have to work twice as hard to redefine everything I learned in college about what it means to be a writer and apply a new definition to my endeavors. Being a part of the Great Taste team has supplied me with the ideal foundation to do so.

I follow three rules:

  1. Go
  2. Write
  3. Be

(If these sound appealing, feel free to replace number 2 with whatever your passion is.)

Chef Contributor Voices
Chef Katie Averill – Baking RackI’m Chef Katie Averill, and I am a chef instructor. Used to be that you could find me with a young audience at the Art Institute of California – Santa Ana or at more casual classes at Tspoons in Ladera Ranch. In 2012 I took the plunge and opened my very own Culinary School in Anaheim. At Eat Street Culinary in Anaheim we cater to many age and demographic groups at varied classes covering a wide range of topics. I also cater, and I write the Baking Rack column for Great Taste! I am from San Diego, but my cooking career has taken me to San Francisco, Las Vegas and Washington D.C. Currently I live in Laguna Beach. I’ve been writing for Great Taste for about six years now. I owned Mirabeau restaurant for five years, and I am planning to open another restaurant – hopefully sooner rather than later.

Chef Gabe Caliendo – Spice RackHey, I’m Gabe Caliendo, VP of Food and Beverage and Principalof The Lazy Dog Cafe and author of Great Taste’s Spice Rack column. I am a first generation American. My parents and several generations before are from Naples, Italy. I was born in Long Island, NY. I’ve also lived in Tampa Bay, Fl, but I have lived in Southern California almost all of my life – 25 years. I’ve been working with Great Taste for nearly four years. If I wasn’t cooking I would be farming. Grapes, coffee, fruits, nuts or anything else that tastes great, like honey or agave. I could see myself as a cheesemaker, brewer, or distiller as well. I could never choose one thing that I love about the hospitality industry – I enjoy creating, I love eating – I appreciate sharing with others. I have become addicted to the adrenaline of working in kitchens that are very busy….it’s a rush!

Principle Production Voices
Lisa Brink – Graphic Artist – PrintHello, I’m Lisa Brink, and I am a graphic designer, art director and founder of DesignSmorgasbord. I was born in Florence, Italy, spent my teenage years in Vancouver, B.C. and then moved down to Southern California for college. I currently live in Long Beach, CA. The first issue of Great Taste I designed was Summer 2004. Since then, the magazine has evolved and changed into a piece that I am very proud of. Working with Teri and the rest of the crew at Great Taste has always been a pleasure… and they give me total creative freedom! Now that’s hard to find! In 1996 I graduated from Art Center College of Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Advertising. At that time I wanted the high power, high stress, high salary job that a creative career in advertising provides. After a few years in that industry, I ran as far and as fast as I could to the beach, took up surfing and started my own graphic design business. My life is now consists of lots of time in the water to keep my creativity flowing and many fun, exciting projects for inspiring people trying to make their mark in the world. The restaurant industry and I are a perfect fit. I was raised in Tuscany, Italy by a mother from New Orleans. So, as you can imagine, I love to eat! The bonus of having restaurant clients as that you always leave meetings with a full belly.

Michael Rutt – Photography EditorMy name is Michael Rutt and I contribute the majority of the photos featured in Great Taste Magazine. I was born in San Francisco but I was raised in England, Sweden and Malta. My specialty is food photography but I love all types of photography whether it be editorial or commercial. Food photography always presents a challenge; some things just don’t look as good in two dimensions. Overcoming that challenge is what makes this field so rewarding. I have been working with Great Taste for about five years now and I have seen it develop and grow. Orange County’s restaurant industry is constantly changing and contains a vast variety of flavors. Great Taste keeps people informed and in touch with this ever-changing service industry.