2017 Celebrity Chef Dinner

27th Annual Celebrity Chef Dinner

The 27th Annual SOS Celebrity Chef Dinner – A Toast on the Coast! brought over 320 generous community members together for an exciting evening of fun, delicious food and drinks, and philanthropy. The event, held at the beautiful new Paséa Hotel & Spa, highlighted nine phenomenal local chefs committed to helping those in need in Orange County. The event netted approximately $184,000 in support of the SOS Food Pantry and Comprehensive Service Center, which provides food and needed services such as rental and utilities assistance, transportation, and seasonal programs for low-income individuals and families.

Guests were kept on their toes by the changes to this year’s event, which featured a more casual format, a beautiful new venue with an indoor/outdoor feel and incredible ocean view, and more exposure for all of our incredible chefs and restaurants. Our revamped event began with an outdoor reception under twinkling market lights, featuring hors d’oeuvres stations and wine and beer tastings. A wine pull was debuted, where for $30 guests were able to buy a mystery bottle of wine that was valued anywhere from $15 to $120. This popular new feature was such a hit that all of the bottles were sold before the reception ended. The silent auction gave guests another chance to bid on fun items donated by local individuals and businesses. Guests had a wonderful time mingling with the chefs, sitting by the fire pits, and learning more about SOS from the informational signage. Kacey Taormina, star of the hit new Bravo television series Real Estate Wars, was there to show her support of the SOS mission.

Guests then moved to the ballroom for the entrée and dessert during the live auction and program. One-of-a kind dinners prepared by our chefs, Super Bowl tickets, and a bottle of wine signed by Celebrity Chef co-founder Alan Greeley were among the enticing live auction items, and emcee Zack Krone kept the frenzied bidders raising their paddles. Next, SOS CEO Karen McGlinn was honored for her 25 years serving in that role, and she was surprised with a video tribute from the SOS community, a book honoring her years of commitment to the organization, and her family joining her on stage. The evening ended with a lively Fund A Need, in which bidders raised their paddles one last time to make a contribution to SOS. The Fund A Need raised over $43,000 in just over five minutes.

We would like to extend a huge thank you to our amazing chefs, sponsors, Celebrity Chef Dinner Committee & volunteers for making this event a tremendous success:

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian; KBY Law; St. Joseph Health; Frome Family Foundation; PCV/MURCOR; Christopher Blank; Dr. Richard and Mrs. Sandra Haskell; S. Chen; PIMCO Foundation; Rob and Ellen Dodman

Table Sponsors
BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Jay Donoghue, The Harper Family, Larry and Dulcie Kugelman, Roberta Lessor and Dr. David Snow, MacArthur Sims Properties, Dr. and Mrs. Alberto Mendivil, Mary Moyer, Specialty Restaurants Corporation, Taco Bell Corporation, Lynn and Roger Tomalas, Ventas

Gaye Besler, Karen Bianchi, Kara Demostene, Maggie Hayes, Elizabeth Hopkins, Helen Kinsey, Karen McGlinn, Marie Macaulay, Mary Moyer, Julie Neja, Katie Santore, Debbie Springer, Kate Tomalas, Cindy Tuch

Culinary Lineup
  • Michael Beck – Hotel Irvine
  • Chef Mark Gagnon – Newport Beach Plaza
  • Linda Johnson – Filomena’s Italian Kitchen
  • Chef Rachel Klemek – Black Market Bakery
  • David Man – Island Hotel
  • Chef Kevin Meyer – Pasea Hotel & Spa
  • Eric Mickel – Orange Hill Restaurant
  • Rainer Schwarz – Driftwood Kitchen & Hendrix
  • Katy Smith – Puesto
Michael Beck – Hotel Irvine
Cauliflower Soup, Dungeness Crab and Hazelnut-Lemon Picada with Curry Oil

Linda Johnson – Filomena’s Italian Kitchen
Agro Dolce Calamari with Sweet & Spicy Calamari with Pine Nuts, Raisins and Sweet Italian Peppers

David Man – Island Hotel
Octopus a La Pancha

Eric Mickel – Orange Hill Restaurant
Duck Carnitas, Blackberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce and Apple Salsa

Rainer Schwarz – Driftwood Kitchen & Hendrix
Driftwood Kitchen: Braised Veal Cheeks & Oregon Morels, Yukon Gold Potato, Onion Brandade and Red Cabbage
Hendrix: Double R Ranch New York Beefsteak Tartar, Carmelized Onion Brioche Crouton and Quail Egg

Katy Smith – Puesto
Lobster & King Crab Salpicon, Filet Mignon Tartare with Black Garlic Salsa Negra

Chef Kevin Meyer – Pasea Hotel & Spa
Chef Mark Gagnon – Newport Beach Plaza
Wood Fire Grilled Petite Tender, Jumbo Shrimp, Uni Butter with Spiced Pumpkin and Broccolini
Wine Pairing: Substance Cab 2015, Columbia Valley Washington

Chef Rachel Klemek – Black Market Bakery
Coconut Counterpoint: Toffee Zest Crunch & Cinnamon Whip, Coconut Milk Pastry Cream, Blood Orange Reduction and Coconut Buttermilk Cake
Beer Pairing: Natura Morta Blood Orange, Barrel-Aged Brilliance Wild Ale with Blood Orange, 5.5% ABV


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