Festival of OC Chefs Benefiting KidWorks Sells Out at Newport Beach Country Club

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Dessert from The Winery Newport

Pair a noted charity (Kidworks) with some of the top restaurants and chefs in Orange County, and you can raise a lot of money for a good cause.

That’s the result of the Second Annual Festival of OC Chefs, benefiting KidWorks, held Sunday, July 17 at Newport Beach Country Club.

The popular food festival, which featured 34 chefs, drew 400 guests that enjoyed bites of signature cuisine and tastes from renowned wineries such as Duckhorn, Schramsberg, Three Sticks, and Chateau Montelena.

During the first half of the event, guests mingled while munching on cuisine from Balboa Bay Resort & Club, Cannery Seafood of the Pacific, Nobu Newport Beach, Pelican Hill Resort, and many others.

Guests were eventually seated for dessert and the live auction.

Chef Pascal Olhats with his oysters

Kidworks’ incoming Board Chair and event co-chair Cory Alder shared the Kidworks’ story. Involved with the charity for 16 years, he lauded the nonprofit’s academic support, character and leadership development programs that empowers students in Orange County’s underserved neighborhoods from pre-K through their college years.

Despite the pandemic challenges, he said the nonprofit is addressing mental health challenges, making plans to expand into additional satellite campuses and adding programs to include Friday nights and Saturdays.

“Despite all the challenges,” Alder said, “this is the eighth year in a row, we have 100 percent high school graduations and 100 percent college graduations.”

Suenos Laguna Beach Chef Yen Wu with Sous Chef Jose Arrieta

The event co-chairs included Lisa and Cory Alder, Tracy and Kevin Murphy and Kyle and David Team, with committee members Joey Booth, Karin and Jeff Garell, Linda Maggard, Leticia & Pat Merrell, Camille and Tim Strader, Jr., Chase Watson, and Sue & Nick Willett.

Lewis Buther of Henry’s in Huntington Beach

Also attending were outgoing Board Chair Adrian Montero and KidWork’s CEO David Benevides. KM Productions was thanked for producing the event.

Following a generous Fund-A-Need portion, which helped boost proceeds to $820,000, the band Flashback Heart Attack took the heartfelt evening home.

The KidWorks’ mission is to restore at-risk neighborhoods one life at a time. Since 1993, KidWorks has grown into a vibrant community development non-profit that serves central Santa Ana students and families through a fully licensed preschool, after-school programs, tutoring, mentoring, and adult services in the areas of health, parenting classes, and support. Visit www.KidWorksoc.org.


Pelican Hill Resort chef Chef Kyung Carroll with Pascal Olhats of Pascal Catering and Baja Shellfish
Balboa Bay Club Chef Jacob Davis and Sous Chef Chris Castillo
OC Chefs tables
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