The 2012 Golden Foodie Awards Recap

The Fairmont Hotel in Newport Beach welcomed the who’s who of the culinary industry on Sunday, September 30 for the inaugural Golden Foodie Awards.

Newport Beach, CA, October 11, 2012 --( The Fairmont Hotel in Newport Beach welcomed the who’s who of the culinary industry on Sunday, September 30 for the inaugural Golden Foodie Awards. Celebrity guests, star chefs, and foodie fans walked the red 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 red carpet event kicked off with press photographers camera-ready and waiting to snap photos of the glamorous nominees, presenters and VIP guests. Heads turned as celebrity guests Tamra Barney, Eddie Judge, Slade Smiley, and Heather Dubrow, of the infamous reality television show, “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” joined the affair. Star chefs such as Susan Irby the “The Bikini Chef,” Chef Jamie Gwen, Pascal Olhats and Bruno Serato attracted the attention of all as they walked the red carpet. 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 foodie stations and cocktail bars on the elegant candlelit patio setting. Delicious tacos from Taco Asylum and small short rib plates from Lucca Café were just two of delectable foodie stations available featuring Orange County’s top restaurants. Guests quenched their thirst with signature libations courtesy of Patron tequila, red and white wines by La Crema and Freemark Abbey, and the specially brewed Golden Foodie Ale by Ritual Brewing.

The ballroom doors opened to reveal beautifully adorned round tables for the awards ceremony. Mouth-watering desserts from Casey’s Cupcakes, Sherri’s Berries and more were placed tabletop to enjoy during the show and overflowing gift bags were placed on the seats. The ballroom filled with laughter as renowned comedian 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 30 categories of culinary excellence. The fast paced entertaining show was spliced with heart warming video vignettes featuring local eateries and chefs at work. Art Institute of California Orange County presented a $25,000 tuition scholarship to the winner of the Next Golden Chef Award, Francis Laureano of La Mirada. Nominees and winners alike celebrated their victories.

As the show concluded, guests flooded out of the ballroom and onto the patio that was transformed under the night sky to enjoy cocktails from a self-serve Patron cocktail fountain, the “Muddle You Own Mojito Bar,” and signature Patron cake pops. A DJ spun the night away and guests, nominees and winners danced, mingled and talked of a culinary night to remember.

And the 2012 Golden Foodie Award Winners are…

Best Mixologist: Forrest Taylor of French 75
Best Happy Hour: Brasserie Pascal
Best Cocktails: 320 Main
Best Wine List: The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar
Best Steak: The Ranch
Best Beer Menu: TAPS Fish House and Brewery
Best Burger: Crow Burger Kitchen
Best Pizza: Il Dolce Pizzeria
Best Italian Food: Antonello’s
Best Tacos: SOL Cocina
Best Mexican Food: Javier’s
Best Sushi: Riptide Sushi
Best Asian Cuisine: AnQi
Best American Food: Playground
Best California Cuisine: SeaLegs Wine Bar
Best Vegetarian Cuisine: 118 Degrees
Best Indian Cuisine: Tamarind of London
Best French Food: French 75
Best Mediterranean: Lucca Cafe
Excellent Service in Fine Dining: Anaheim White House
Excellent Service in Casual Dining: Bruxie
Best Seafood: Bluewater Grill
Delicious Dessert: Ralph Brennon’s Jazz Kitchen for their Double Chocolate Bread Pudding
Best Food Truck: The Lime Truck
Best OC Food Blog: Nancy Luna, Fast Food Maven
Best Interior Design: Cucina Enoteca
Best Restaurant Branding: Wahoo’s Fish Taco
The Next Golden Chef: Francis Laureano
The Golden Pastry Chef Award: Chef Rachel Klemek, Blackmarket Bakery
The Golden Chef Award: Chef Yvon Goetz, The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar

The Golden Foodie Awards
The 2012 Golden Foodie Awards is a red carpet culinary awards show celebrating the best in local food, restaurants, and chefs. The Golden Foodie Awards season launched in June. Since then, a calendar of special foodie events at restaurants and venues throughout the county have been leading up to the main Awards night gala on Sunday, September 30, 2012 at The Fairmont Newport Beach.
OC Restaurant Association
Tricia Cook