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Golden Foodie Awards date announced

The event pays tribute to Orange County’s restaurants and “foodie” culture

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: April 27, 2012 11:05 AM

The Orange County Restaurant Association has released a detailed schedule and list of recognitions for its much-anticipated Golden Foodie Awards. The awards are intended to celebrate the best local restaurants, chefs and cuisine, and salute Orange County’s community of food enthusiasts.

“Food unites us all,” said Pamela Waitt, creator of the Golden Foodie Awards and president of the OC Restaurant Association. “So we wanted to honor that unity with a season-long grand celebration of everything culinary.”

Voting for begins July 1. The Golden Foodie Awards (GFA) recognize the crème de la crème of Orange County’s restaurant and dining community in 30 categories. Diners can vote on their favorite eateries until Sept. 1.

The “best restaurant” awards are divided into 10 subcategories, including Mexican, Seafood and Californian; eight awards honor establishments for the best single specialty menu item, such as steak, pizza, dessert and wine list, among others. Additional categories recognize roles and aspects of restaurant dining, including top food truck, best restaurant design and best happy hour.

Beginning in August, voting will take place under the auspices of The Golden Dine Out. Each week, the top three nominee restaurants in a select number of categories will be announced; diners may then visit these restaurants for special affordable menus and vote on the experience.

The restaurant awards season is set to begin in June with a series of “pre-event events” open to members of the goldenfoodieawards.com website. These exclusive gatherings will offer a behind-the-scenes taste of Orange County’s top restaurants. Members will receive invites to various food- and dining-related venues for mixology lessons, cooking demonstrations, “secret dinners” and other private get-togethers.

The GFA coordinators are also developing a Golden Foodie Awards smartphone app, which will allow diners to get the latest dining news, read up on the awards and submit their impressions of the dining experience right from the table.

Dining enthusiasts can participate by signing up at the Golden Foodie Awards website or by joining the voting, beginning in July. The awards presentation gala is set for Sunday, Sept. 30, at The Fairmont Newport Beach.

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