The trade alliance OCeanfront, comprised of the four Orange County coastal communities of Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and Dana Point, wants to make sure you know that Orange County is the ultimate ocean getaway with 42 miles of pristine coast and just a gas-friendly hour’s drive from Santa Monica.
And in case you didn’t know, the area is also a culinary hot spot, and the association is determined to prove it to you on June 23 when nine of their top chefs will present bite-size versions of their signature dishes at the Taste of the OC Coast event at The Broad Stage.
Here’s the line-up:
• Raya is Chef Richard Sandoval’s restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel and a sister restaurant to Zengo and La Sandia restaurants at Santa Monica Place. It’s Chef de Cuisine Greg Howe will showcase a taco trio of Korean fried chicken, smoked swordfish and duck carnitas.
• Executive Chef Josef Lageder of Balboa Bay Club’s First Cabin Restaurant will bring his chilled white asparagus and Jerusalem artichokes bisque with essence of white truffles, Alto Adige speck and saffron oil, and lemongrass coriander cured wild salmon with caviar chantilly, and ciabatta crisp.
• Shades Restaurant & Bar’s Executive Chef Jeff Littlefield is thinking stuffed paquillo peppers with preserved tuna, cannellini beans and aged sherry vinaigrette, Shades cookie selection, lavender shortbread, rum raisin cookies, chocolate macaroons and lemon basil cookies.
• Chef de Cuisine Casey Overton of The Loft at Montage Laguna Beach restaurant will be showing off his Catalina yellowtail crudo with Chino Farms baby radishes and smoked pepperoncino, and fennel pollen.
• Chef Erasmo Rodriguez of Overvue Restaurant at Laguna Cliffs Resort & Spa will be handing out his Mayan butterfish with avocado shake and pickle onion oil, sopes al fresco made with duck confit and caramelized onions, and langostine ceviche with yuca chips.
• Chef Chris Savage of The Californian and Pete Mallory’s Surf City Sunset Grille at Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa will cook up pan seared scallop, quinoa, pineapple, jicama and cucumber salad, and absinthe gastrique.
• Splashes Executive Chef Jeff Armstrong has planned smoked albacore with Asian pear, daikon radish, and togarashi.
• Chef Miriam of The Quattro Caffe in the South Coast Plaza will dish out chicken and ricotta stuffed ravioli in marinara topped with grana padano cheese.
• Antonello Ristorante will offer cannoli Siciliano — crispy sweet pastry filled with fresh ricotta, chocolate chips, diced candied fruit and roasted pistachio.
You can wash it all down with wines from more than a dozen boutique family-owned California wineries. Several dubbed “ones to watch” include Sonoma Coast’s Hirsch Family Vineyards which produces small lots of pinot noir and chardonnay; Grassini Family Vineyards which specializes in Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, and Casey Flat Ranch.
A silent auction will let you cross your fingers to win one of the several travel, wine, dining and other prizes.
Twitter and Facebook users who share the event live from their mobile devices using #OCSTARS will get additional chances to win a travel prize.
The event is limited to 200 guests. For more information and tickets, visit www.StarsofCalifornia.com.