David Wilhelm’s noted restaurant career began when he opened his first two restaurants, Kachina and Bistro 201. He attracted a growing number of devoted customers and eventually became a bona-fide star in the Orange County restaurant scene.
In 1995, Wilhelm sold his restaurants to a group led by his former executive chef, John Sharpe, and bought into a restaurant opportunity offered by his friend John Martin. This deal led to opening of Chimayo Grill in Newport Beach. After taking a break from the restaurant business, Wilhelm again teamed up with Martin – along with two other partners – and formed Pacific Restaurant Adventures.
Wilhelm soon opened his Laguna Beach bistro, French 75, followed by the Savannah Chop House in Laguna Niguel. In 1997, Wilhelm founded Culinary Adventures. Today’s shaky economy eventually took a heavy toll on Wilhelm’s businesses.
– Kaysie Ellingson
OC METRO's 2009 Hot 25 honorees:
Toby Bost | Mike Gillespie | Anil Puri | Sean Collins
Kevin Boylan & T.K. Pillan | Dr. Jason Knight | Hugh Hewitt
Luke Allen | Tina Aldatz | Sukhee Kang | Glenn Gray
Amelia & Florent Marneau | Tim McFerran | Tallia Hart
Bill Sanderson | Henrik Fisker | Janet Hamada | Wayne Gross
Julie Miller-Phipps | Michael Ruane | Carl St.Clair
Pretend City | Phil Willms | Sheryl Bourgeois | Steve Nichols
<<< Back to 2009 honorees
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of OC METRO's Hot 25 awards, here are our original Hot 25 honorees, who were featured in 1990.
Doug Rankin | Erich Vollmer | Dennis Aigner | Greg Patton
Janice Mittermeier | Carol Stogsdill | Carl St.Clair
Anton Segerstrom | Christopher Cox | Christine (Reed) Iger
Dr. Robert Bade | Thomas Mays | Mike Goode
Richard Gadbois | Rudy Castruita | Debbie Miede
Ernest C. Brown | Mossimo Giannulli | Daniel L. Rasmussen
Cynthia Ellner | Kathryn Braun Lewis | David Wilhelm
<<< Back to Web extra main page:
first Hot 25 honorees