The Winners Of The 2017 Golden Foodie Awards Are . . .

An Incredible Night of Celebration Was Experienced by All Guests 

The 2017 Golden Foodie Awards was a night to remember as it celebrated the outstanding achievement of local culinary talent on Sunday, September 24th at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa. The sold out event played host to Orange County’s culinary elite who sipped on spectacular cocktails and delicious food. The red carpet affair awarded Golden Foodie Statues made out of pewter and plated in 14K Gold to the winners.

The event kicked off on the red carpet. Heads turned as the talented who’s-who joined the affair. The red carpet was full of food celebrities such as Simon Majumdar, known as the Food Network’s ‘toughest critic’ and Master of Ceremonies for the night’s event, Food Network Star Aarti Sequeira, Top Chef All-Star Marcel Vigneron, Master Sommelier Michael Jordan, Wing Lam, co-owner of Wahoo’s, and many more. 

The ballroom bursted with laughter as Simon Majumdar warmed the crowd and guests laughed at the new Golden Foodie Awards Chef videos. Celebrity guests, top chefs and food industry icons presented awards in 18 categories of culinary excellence. All winners took home extravagant prizes including the Golden Foodie Statue and gift bags from Chefs Toys with fun kitchen gadgets. 

The extravagant evening ended in style as guests left the ballroom and into the Garden of Eden Lounge After Party. Sultry lounges by Sweet Salvage Rentals, music by DJ Miss Ninja, cocktails by Patron, Maker’s Mark Lounge, an outdoor Secret Garden lounge with Grilled Cocktails by DCS and Ketel One Vodka, Super Sexy PB&J Bar and Ice Cream Sammiches by Chunk N Chip. Guests, celebrities and winners celebrated a beautiful Autumn evening.


“Each year this event gets better and better, we are so honored to celebrate our talented and hard working restaurant community.” says Pamela Waitt, creator and producer of the Golden Foodie Awards and President of the OC Restaurant Association Inc.


Nominees & Winners of the 2017 Golden Foodies are:


2017 Bartender of the Year:

  • Jose Zepeda - Hopscotch
  • Paul Joseph Piane - Orange Hill Restaurant
  • Tanner Johnson - Watertable

Winner: Jose Zepeda - Hopscotch

2017 Best Cocktails in Orange County:

  • Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens
  • Vine Restaurant & Bar
  • Hopscotch

Winner: Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens

2017 Best Bar Program:

  • The Ranch Restaurant
  • The Blind Rabbit
  • Vine Restaurant & Bar

Winner: The Ranch Restaurant

2017 Best Lunch Spot in Orange County:

  • The Deck
  • Sgt. Pepperonis
  • Farmhouse at Rogers Gardens

Winner: Sgt. Pepperoni’s

2017 Best Brunch in Orange County:

  • Bosscat
  • Old Vine Cafe
  • Taco Rosa

Winner: Old Vine Cafe

2017 Best New Restaurant:

  • Taco Brat
  • Mix Mix
  • Recess Room

Winner: Mix Mix

2017 Rising Star Chef of the Year:

  • Chef Joel Harrington - Lido Bottle Works
  • Chef JT Walker - Pacific Hideaway
  • Chef Manny Velasco - SOL Agave

Winner: Chef Manny Velasco - Sol Agave

2017 Favorite Food Influencer in Orange County:  

  • Connie Bang-Co Aboubakare - OC Comestibles
  • Neil Saavedra - The Fork Report
  • Sondra Barker - Pretty Fit Foodie

Winner: Neil Saavedra - The Fork Report

2017 Best Wine Program:

  • The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar
  • Napa Rose
  • The Ranch Restaurant

Winner: The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

2017 Best Beer Program:

  • TAPS
  • Hopscotch
  • Skyloft

Winner: TAPS Fishhouse and Brewery

2017 Outstanding Community Service:

  • Bruno Serrato - Anaheim White House
  • Dave Hanna - Hanna's Prime Steak
  • Pascal Olhats - Pascal's

Winner: Bruno Serrato - Anaheim White House

2017 Restaurateur of the Year

  • Alicia Whitney - SeaSalt & SeaLegs, Huntington Beach
  • Teresa Razo - Villa Roma, Laguna Hills
  • Blake Mellgren - Craft House, Dana Point

Winner: Alicia Whitney - SeaSalt & SeaLegs, Huntington Beach

2017 Best Dessert Menu in Orange County

  • Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen
  • Mixed Bakery
  • Anqi

Winner: Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen

2017 Best Entree in Orange County

  • Cowboy Ribeye - The Ranch Restaurant
  • Bosscat Burger - Bosscat Kitchen+Libations
  • Korean Fried Chicken - Krave Asian Fusion Restaurant

Winner: Cowboy Ribeye - The Ranch Restaurant

2017 Best Service Award

  • The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar
  • Selanne Steak Tavern
  • Villa Roma

Winner: Selanne Steak Tavern

2017 Pastry Chef of the Year

  • David Rossi
  • Elyssa Fournier
  • Jorge Sotelo

Winner: Elyssa Fournier

2017 Chef of the Year

  • Chef Rich Mead
  • Chef Ross Pangilinan
  • Chef Michael Rossi

Winner: Chef Rich Mead


Lifetime Achievement Awards: Chef Alan Greeley


Golden Foodie Awards incredible partners: 

Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa, Fisher & Paykel, DCS, Orange Coast Magazine, Maker’s Mark, Melissa’s Produce, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Patrón, Sadie Rose Baking Company, Chef’s Toys, Aloha POS, The District at Tustin Legacy, Chunk-n-Chip, Sweet Salvage Rentals, Green Effect Event Foliage and Greer’s OC.

About the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa

Experience the authentic SoCal lifestyle at Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa. The Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa provides easy access to California's most pristine beaches, upscale communities and popular attractions including Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve, Balboa Island and premier shopping and dining at Fashion Island. Slumber in style in the hotel's spacious guest rooms and suites featuring sweeping Pacific Ocean views, chic decor, plush furnishings and expansive marble bathrooms. For the ultimate in pampering, Pure Blu, our full-service spa, offers private cabanas, a saltwater lap pool and a state-of-the-art fitness center. Hook & Spear offers ocean-to-table casual dining, while guests can also indulge in a specialty beverage and fresh pastry from our Starbucks. The property is owned by Bethesda, Maryland-based Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:HST). For additional information, call 949-640-4000 or visit


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