What’s the latest restaurant dish?
by Susan Belknapp
Three Seventy Common launches Uncommon Mondays
Chef-owner Ryan Adams of six-month-old Three Seventy Common Kitchen+Drink announces Uncommon Mondays. Almost every third Monday, Adams will host a guest-chef series to showcase another’s cuisine and skills.
Each guest chef will design a prix-fixe menu from $50 to $75 per person, with an additional cost for paired beverages. The customary Three Seventy Common menu will not be available on these Mondays.
The next Uncommon will be May 21, when chefs Luis Perez and Alfonso Ramirez from Lola Gaspar in Santa Ana will take center stage. 370common.com
South Coast Plaza hosts Summer Food & Wine Event
The Summer Food & Wine Event, a special evening of fine wine and food, will be May 15 at Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s South Coast Plaza from 6 to 9 p.m. More than 25 renowned wineries will pour their best vintages, accompanied by an impressive selection of tastes from the acclaimed restaurant.
Jason Bentley, KCRW’s music director and host of “Morning Becomes Eclectic,” will provide entertainment.
All proceeds, plus those raised from a silent auction, will benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. Tickets are $75 in advance and $100 at the door. Go to feedoc.org to purchase.
Newport Beach Wine Festival
The Balboa Bay Club and Resort will bring back its annual celebration of fine wines, spirits and epicurean delights at the ninth annual Newport Beach Wine Festival on Memorial Day weekend, May 25-27.
Events will include a French-inspired dinner and wine pairing with local guest chefs and master sommeliers, wine seminars, and wine and cheese pairings, as well as a brunch featuring breakfast cocktails. On Sunday evening will be an Argentinean BBQ with big reds and craft beers. At sunset, you can enjoy cigars, cognacs and desserts on the Terrace. The highlight of the weekend will be the Grand Tasting on Saturday evening in the ballroom, where more than 60 wineries will be represented along with fine cuisine and live music. balboabayclub.com
Cheers to Mom!
Leading into Mother’s Day, Quattro Caffé at South Coast Plaza will hold “Discover the Art of Champagne,” a culinary/champagne tasting Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11, from 5 to 9 p.m. Guests will have the opportunity to sample unique Cuvées from four of the top Champagne houses in the world. Each tasting will be expertly paired with a small plate of recipes offered by each of the house’s personal chefs and prepared by Quattro Caffé’s Miriam Ramirez.
Fleming’s offers Small Plates,
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar wants you to start your evening off right with bar-exclusive specials that they are caling Small Plates, Big Pours. Take your pick of a winning pair: Select from any of the seven of the innovative steakhouse’s Small Plates, each matched with an oversized wine pour from the Fleming’s 100 list. Seven premium wines have been chosen by the Newport Beach restaurant’s director of wine to complement the flavors of the steakhouse small plates.
Selected plates include items such as sliced filet mignon, shrimp scampi skewers, petite lamb chops and seared ahi tuna. Featured wines, both whites and reds, come from the Napa Valley, Cashmere, Calif., Oregon, Australia and Spain. flemingssteakhouse.com
Taste of OC returns!
Television and radio personality chef Jamie Gwen will host special cooking demonstrations when the Taste of Orange County returns after a 16-year hiatus. Southern California’s five-star, culinary-weekend event is at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater June 16-17.
Gwen, a resident of Newport Beach, is not only a chef, food correspondent and sommelier but also a lifestyle expert. This former OC METRO 40 Under 40 list-maker has a live radio show called “Food & Wine with Chef Jamie Gwen” on KFWB News Talk 980, where she discusses restaurant news and wine education and conducts interviews with the country’s leading celebrity chefs, master sommeliers, restaurateurs, cookbook authors and artisan food makers.
We caught up with Gwen to learn a little about her and what we can expect from this year’s Taste of Orange County. tasteofoc.com
OC Menus: Looking back, what was your first sign that you loved food, loved to cook? Is cooking a family tradition?
Chef Jamie Gwen: I grew up sitting on the counter in the kitchen watching my mom (Lana Sills) cook. She is still the best cook I know, and she passed down her love for food and cooking to me. She taught me that “food creates memories,” and we have shared so many wonderful meals together.
OCM: Name your top mentor in the cooking world. Why is this mentor so important to you?
JG: I have had the privilege of working with chef Emeril Lagasse for many years. His culinary talent, dedication to mentoring, commitment to his community and his love of food [are] contagious.
OCM: What is your creative secret behind your original recipes?
JG: I believe that recipes are always morphing and improving. I love comfort food and the fresh approach that Southern California shares through seasonal produce and the ethnic influence here, so by combining the two, I always hope to create original recipes that hit home for food lovers. My recipes combine flavors that are easily associated with culinary favorites and a twist of something new and different.
OCM: We hear you are hosting the upcoming Taste of Orange County in June. Why did you decide to be part of this culinary festival?
JG: I am committed to supporting events and chefs in my community and glad to be a part of a food fest that highlights the best of what Orange County has to offer. At this two-day event [June 16 -17 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater], guests will experience signature restaurants’ tastings, cooking demonstrations from local celebrity chefs, premier wine tastings/seminars and tantalizing dining experiences. This is one O.C. event you don’t want to miss!
OCM: What is next for Chef Jamie Gwen? Next challenge?
JG: There are lots of delicious things on the horizon. Watch for a new cookbook from my mom and me at the end of this year and check out chefjamie.com for ever-evolving developments in our food world!