Huntington Beach native Brittany Valles has been named executive chef at Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge – two unique dining and lounge venues offering SoCal residents and sophisticated world travelers seasonal Southern California food and beverage experiences in relaxed, inviting settings.
At Oak Grill, Valles will oversee the seasonal menus served at breakfast, lunch and dinner, including menus for holidays and special events. At Aqua Lounge, she is responsible for creating the shareable bites menu enjoyed at this chic and vibrant after-work and night-time gathering spot also known for its outstanding crafted cocktails, wines and beers.
When it comes to contemporary cooking, Valles says she likes to use local, seasonal products and, whenever possible, utilize the whole plant or animal for her dishes. Her favorite three ingredients are beets, cabbage and peas, and she looks forward to using these and other California ingredients straight from the farm or ocean to deliver bright, bold flavors to the dishes at Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge.
“We are delighted to welcome this highly focused, talented and energetic chef to our culinary program,” said Fashion Island Hotel General Manager Gerard Widder. “Brittany’s delicious dining and lounge offerings are sure to enrich our guests’ dining experiences in iconic Newport Beach.”
For the last seven years in West Hollywood, Calif., Valles served as chef de cuisine at now-closed ink.well by Michael Voltaggio, the sixth season winner of Bravo’s Top Chef. Voltaggio is Valles cooking and personal mentor, along with her early teacher Chef Cole Dickenson, who recognized her potential when she worked with him at Wolfgang Puck Catering at the beginning of her culinary career. She also was chef de partie for one year at former Lugatti’s Italian Grill in Huntington Beach, Calif.
Valles gained a prestigious nomination for Star Chefs’ Rising Star Chef in 2017 and was the “Sandwich Queen” in an episode on munchies on Chef’s Night Out, along with Chef Michael Voltaggio. She earned an Associate of Arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles, Pasadena campus in 2010.
Valles replaces Chef Peter Lai, now the Executive Chef at The Blind Pig – Rancho Santa Margarita.
Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge are located across the street from Fashion Island inside Fashion Island Hotel Newport Beach and are easily accessible through a pedestrian entrance along Newport Center Drive, along with complimentary valet available at the hotel entrance. Reservations for Oak Grill can be made by calling 949-760-4920 or visiting www.oakgrillnb.com and for Aqua Lounge by calling 949-760-4342 or visiting www.aqualoungenb.com.