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Golden Foodie Awards honor O.C.’s best dining

The long-awaited ceremony pays tribute to the region’s culinary finest

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: October 05, 2012 01:30 PM

Hundreds gathered at the Fairmont Hotel in Newport Beach on Sunday to eat, drink and celebrate Orange County’s finest in the dining industry. The first ever Golden Foodie Awards, a long-planned tribute awards ceremony honoring all aspects of the local food and restaurant industry.

The Golden Foodie Awards is an event conceived by the Orange County Restaurant Association to recognize and celebrate the local dining industry. Four weeks of voting by the Orange County community determined the honorees in each category, determining the best restaurants for pizza, steak, Asian cuisine, tacos, vegetarian, Mediterranean, seafood, and more.

The red carpet event brought together the crème de la crème of Orange County’s restaurant and food industry. Attendees included local celebrity chefs Jamie Gwen, Pascal Olhats and Bruno Serato. The evening revolved around refreshments, as attendees enjoyed a plethora of foods and drinks all night long.

Prior to the awards presentation, guests partook of a wide variety of dining stations and cocktail bars hosted by the event’s sponsors, including Patron tequila, Freemark Abbey and La Crema wines, and Ritual Brewing, which provided the evening’s signature Golden Foodie Ale. Food stations included tacos provided by Taco Asylum and short rib plates from Lucca Café.

During the awards ceremony, which was emceed by comedian Frances Dilorinzo, guests snacked on desserts: frilly golden cupcakes from Casey’s Cupcakes and chocolate-dipped strawberries with hints of butter rum, amaretto and champagne from Shari’s Berries.

The Golden Chef Award was presented to Chef Yvon Goetz, of The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar in Tustin, while Rachel Klemek, of Blackmarket Bakery in Irvine, received the Golden Pastry Chef Award. Francis Laureano of La Mirada, a culinary student at the Art Institute of California, was presented with a $25,000 tuition scholarship as the recipient of the Next Golden Chef Award.

Following the awards ceremony, entertainment and refreshments included a DJ, dance floor, a “muddle your own” mojito bar, and a self-serve Patron cocktail fountain.

To view the nominees and selected honorees in all 30 categories, click here.

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