11th Annual Taste Of The Nation Adds Two Former “Top Chef” Contenders

Revered California chefs Amar Santana and Joe Sasto will be joining the stellar line-up participating in the 11th Annual Laguna Beach Taste of the Nation.

Amar Santana is a former “Top Chef” contender (Episode 13), and he chefs at two acclaimed Orange County restaurants – Vaca in Costa Mesa, serving authentic Spanish cuisine; and at his flagship, Broadway by Amar Santana, which features a globally influenced menu. Joe Sasto, second runner-up on the most recent season of “Top Chef” serves as executive chef at Michael Mina’s new Cal Mare in Los Angeles, where his food is centered on Italian coastal cuisine.

Santana and Sasto join a stellar roster of California chefs all coming to Montage Laguna Beach to be part of one of the most exciting and delicious culinary events of the year, which benefits Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry incentive. Studio Host Chefs Craig Strong and Julia Browne welcome the two newest chefs along with: Chef Brian Huskey of Tackle Box - local grub shack in Corona Del Mar; Chef Eric Samaniego of Michael’s on Naples Ristorante in Long Beach; Chef Bryant Taylor of Chianina Steakhouse in Long Beach; and entrepreneurial gastronomist and former “Top Chef” contestant Chef Marcel Vigneron, owner of Wolf/Beefsteak in Los Angeles.

Overlooking the Pacific, this yearly culinary experience is where food lovers enjoy scrumptious bite-sized fare prepared by some of California’s top chefs along with fine wines, craft cocktails and delectable desserts. To add to the fun, there will be a live auction conducted by Dan Dotson of A&E’s Storage Wars and a silent auction. Following the main event, guests will enjoy one-of-a-kind wine tastings, a Veuve Clicquot champagne toast, a parting gift and mingling with the celebrity chefs.

Beverages are always a draw at Taste of the Nation. This year cocktails will be provided by Corey Happeny, BarJedi, WhistlePig Whiskey, Kikori Whiskey and Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Participating wineries include ZD Wines, Serrano Wines, and Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners.

Sponsors of this event include: Citi, Sysco, OpenTable, Food Network, Montage, The Duchess On Cambridge, Epstein Becker & Green, Southern California Gas Company, Aqua Panna/S. Pellegrino, Orange Coast Magazine, McMonigle Group, BJ’s Restaurants Foundation, Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners.

The beneficiary, Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry program, was established to end childhood hunger in the U.S. by ensuring kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast, and families learn skills to shop and cook on a budget. To date, No Kid Hungry and its partners have provided more than 500 million meals.

Ticket levels: $250 per person for general admission from 3 to 7:30 p.m.; $275 for VIP admission from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. For additional information, visit https://events.nokidhungry.org/events/laguna-beachs-taste-nation/.

Montage Laguna Beach
30801 Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 715-6000

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