Chef Martin Venegas, of Great Oak Steak House at Pechanga Resort & Casino, took home two of the 10th Annual SoCal Chef Open awards for his seared tenderloin with shallot marmalade, foie gras butter and a pinot noir reduction atop a braised leek base. The tenderloin was topped with crispy potatoes to enhance the texture. The judging panel consisted of 13 other chefs, food writers and other experts not competing in the event. To determine the winner, they conducted a blind taste test of all entrants’ dishes. The panel raved about Chef Martin’s seared tenderloin and immediately knew he had a chance of winning once they had a taste. The dish was praised for its impeccable flavor profile and presentation. The crowd was ‘wowed’ and commended the chef, saying his combination was one-of-a-kind.