A twilight reception through the OC Fair & Event Center's culinary garden with live music will start the evening's festivities. Housed in the Centennial Barn, the dinner will be served family-style and will feature charcuterie plates, Santa Maria-style barbecue, farm fresh vegetable sides, homemade bread and an assortment of patisserie and desserts. Tickets for the event are available now at www.calrestfoundation.org/gratefultable.
Ryan Adams | 370 Common Kitchen & Drink
An Orange County native, Chef Ryan Adams is at the helm of Three Seventy Common Kitchen + Drink, a chef-driven comfort food concept in the heart of downtown Laguna Beach. The restaurant’s motto is “Globally Influenced, Domestically Sourced” and Chef/Owner Ryan Adams employs a farm-to-fork philosophy with a seasonally changing menu guided by principles of sustainability with an emphasis on responsible, local farms and fisheries. The eatery is known for its old-school cocktails and a domestic only wine list that compliment an array of fresh, shared plates.
Penny Davidi | Food Network Star + Sysco
Penny Davidi is conquering the states with her Middle Eastern recipes on Food Network Star - Season 7. Also on Chopped All Stars Season 2, where she defeats her 3 fellow contestants and lands a spot against the top 3 in a CAS Showdown which aired in May of 2012. Recently on several new shows, Cutthroat Kitchen, Kitchen Inferno and Guys Grocery Games All Stars on The Food Network, Spike, Fyi and several Bravo Shows including RHOBH and Vanderpump Rule’s. Her latest TV appearance was a new series on the Food Network called Comeback Kitchen. Penny is also the co-founder of SpiceLab LLC., a Food and Beverage Incubator in Los Angeles. In 2013 Penny joined US Foods in Los Angeles, California as their Culinary Specialist and as a New Business Manager in Los Angeles. Most recently she joined Sysco Foods in Los Angeles and Sysco Corporate as a Culinary Sales Consultant and Marketing. In May 2014 Penny opened PUMP LOUNGE in West Hollywood with Real Housewives Star Lisa Vanderpump, as Executive Chef and Menu Curator.
Taylor Boudreaux | Real Mex Restaurants
Taylor Boudreaux has worked at award-winning restaurants such as Mastro's Steakhouse, Citizen Smith, Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, and Napa Valley Grille. Earlier this year, Boudreaux joined Real Mex Restaurants as the senior director of operations for the brand’s specialty restaurants. He was hailed this year for the remodel of Las Brisas, a Southern California institution, famous for its panoramic views of Laguna Beach.
Blake Mellgren | Craft House
Craft House is a vibrant gastropub run by Chef Blake Mellgren, who previously cooked at The Modern in New York City. Originally from Laguna Niguel, Mellgren has returned to his roots to dish up “creative yet approachable" food. Dishes include steamed artichokes, bone marrow, gnocchi and an upscale fried chicken sandwich.
Ross Pangilinan | Mix Mix
Upon graduating from Le Cordon Bleu, Chef Ross Pangilinan’s began his impressive career in various Southern California restaurants, which led to a job in France at the two-Michelin-starred Les Trois Marche. Then, at the age of 21, Patina Restaurant Group offered him his first sous chef position at Pinot Provence. His sous chef position at the flagship Patina at the Walt Disney Concert Hall helped earn the restaurant its Michelin star in 2007. Pangilinan spread his wings in 2016 when he opened Mix Mix, a new concept of global dishes with influences from traditional French and modern Filipino cuisines, in Santa Ana. Mix Mix was recently named the 2017 Restaurant of the Year by Orange Coast Magazine.
Jeoffrey Offer I Moulin
Moulin brought Parisian café culture to Orange County in 2014 with its first location in Newport Beach. Laurent Vrignaud, Moulin’s owner, wanted to open a cafe that reflected the food and relaxed atmosphere of his childhood home in Paris. Long lines of people craving a taste of France led to the opening of a second Moulin location in Laguna Beach. Today, half of the café’s employees are French born, including executive chef Jeoffrey Offer, who is from the south of France. Moulin is known for top quality items such as home-made baguettes, macrons, scratch sauces, and house-cured charcuterie.
Founded in 1970 as a bohemian coffeehouse in Fullerton, Rutabegorz helped to popularize espresso in Orange County. The trendsetting restaurant has grown to three locations with an extensive health-conscious menu. They offer an array of farm fresh dishes including two dozen salads, bean chili, chicken-leek soup, avocado sandwiches, smoothies, and famous desserts baked in-house.
California is home to more than 90,000 eating and drinking places that ring up more than $72 billion in sales and employ more than 1.6 million workers, making restaurants an indisputable driving force in the state’s economy. The California Restaurant Association Foundation is a non-profit that empowers and invests in California's current and future restaurant workforce. Founded in 1981, CRAF supports the restaurant community through emergency assistance grants for restaurant workers facing a hardship, job and life skills training for 9,000 high school students each year, and scholarships.
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