The Fairmont Hotel in Newport Beach welcomed the who’s who of the culinary industry on Sunday, September 29 for the Golden Foodie Awards. Celebrity guests, star chefs, and foodie fans walked the “Gold Carpet,” indulged in top cuisine, sipped on exquisite cocktails and enjoyed an entertaining Awards show that honored the best in Orange County culinary excellence.
The gold carpet event kicked off with press photographers ready and waiting to snap photos of the glamorous nominees, presenters, and VIP guests. Heads turned as celebrity guests Vicki Gunvalson of the infamous reality television show, “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” joined the affair. The gold carpet was full of food celebrities such as Wing Lam from Secret Millionaire and Wahoo’s Fish Taco, Duff Goldman with Charm City Cakes and more. Foodie fans looked fabulous in their elegant attire and were eager to enjoy the star-studded Awards ceremony.
Prior to the Awards show, guests indulged in an overwhelming array of food stations and cocktail bars on the elegant candlelit patio. Delicious Humita Polenta, House Made Membrillo, Goat Cheese, Smoked Pheasant & Micro Greens from Maro Wood Grill and Open faced Strip steak sliders on garlic toast and creamy horseradish sauce and Sweet Potato Casserole with Handmade Whip Cream and Pecan Crumbles from Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Irvine were just two of the delectable food stations featuring Orange County’s top restaurants. In addition imbibing in red and white wines by La Crema and Jackson Estates, guests quenched their thirst with signature libations courtesy of Patron tequila, Chambord Vodka and the specially brewed Golden Foodie Ale by Ritual Brewing.
The Awards Show
The ballroom doors opened to reveal beautifully adorned round tables with an amazing selection of delicious desserts for the awards ceremony. Mouth-watering desserts including the Midas Tarts by Blackmarket Bakery, “Golden Velvet Cupcake” by Casey’s Cupcakes, Bonbon’s of Gold with rich peanut butter and chocolate by Valenza Chocolatier, Patron XO Cake Pops, Strawberries Fields by Celebrity Cruises, and The Golden Monarch created by Pastry Chef of the Fairmont Newport Beach were placed tabletop to enjoy during the show with overflowing gift bags placed on each seats. Guests sipped Kean Coffee then rehydrated with the sweet taste of Hawaiian Springs Water, one of the world’s finest natural waters, while enjoying the entertainment of the lively Awards show. The ballroom filled with laughter as renowned comedian and host, Frances Dilorinzo, warmed the crowd with light comedy and a unique look at Orange County and the culinary community. Celebrity guests, top chefs, and food industry icons presented awards in 26 categories of culinary excellence.
The After Party
As the show concluded, guests flooded out of the ballroom and onto the illuminated patio under the night sky to enjoy cocktails from the Patron margarita fountain and Mojito Muddle Bar and alcohol infused ice cream sandwiches from the Patron Igloo and dance under the stars to the sounds of DJ CRE-8 as they spoke of a culinary night to remember.
And the 2013 Golden Foodie Award Winners are…
Best Mixologist: Dave Castillo, 320 Main
Best Cocktails: Hopscotch Tavern
Best Wine List: The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar
Best Steak: The Ranch Restaurant
Best Beer List: Provisions Market
Best Burger: Mick’s Karma Bar
Best Pizza: Pizzeria Ortica
Best Italian Food: Antonello’s Ristorante
Best Tacos: Sol Cocina
Best Mexican Food: Matador Cantina
Best Sushi: Sushi Noguchi
Best Asian Cuisine: AnQi by Crustacean
Best American Food: The Ranch Restaurant
Best California Cuisine: SeaLegs Wine Bar
Best Vegetarian Cuisine: True Food Kitchen
Best Indian Cuisine: Clay Oven
Best French Food: Pinot Provence
Best Mediterranean: LUCCA
Superior Service: Villa Roma
Best Seafood: Slapfish
Most Delicious Dessert: Maro Wood Grill
Best Food Writer: Cathy Thomas, Cathy Thomas Cooks
Best New Restaurant: Arc Food & Libations
Golden Pastry Chef Award: Chef Rachel Klemek, Blackmarket Bakery
Golden Chef Award: Chef Alan Greeley, Golden Truffle