By Isabella Ocanas | Special to the NB Indy
The Pacific Wine & Food Classic was a sold-out success after its two-year hiatus due to COVID-19. Held at the Newport Dunes on Saturday, Oct. 1, the event boasted bites from some of Orange County’s finest food spots. From Chef Leo Razo’s signature championship paella to some exciting new eats – plus wine and spirits – this was the event you didn’t want to miss.
“It’s a beautiful sight to see Orange County’s incredible culinary community come together once again,” says Pamela Waitt, President of OC Restaurant Association and founder of Pacific Wine & Food Classic, said in a press statement. “Our restaurant industry was hit hard the last couple of years, so being able to donate proceeds to Golden Rule Charity makes everything come full circle. We pride ourselves with uplifting Southern California’s celebrated chefs and food scene, allowing others to discover its gems.”
While the over 30 vendors that served at the Pacific Wine and Food Classic all wowed in their own right, there were a few that really stole the show.
Lovers Board: It would be remiss not to mention the 40 ft charcuterie board that took center stage at the festival that weekend. Courtesy of Lovers Board, the spread has been deemed the largest charcuterie board in Southern California. Cheeses ranged from mild to even the stinkiest (for the more adventurous crowd) and were paired with a number of meats, jams, nuts, fruits, and crackers.
Hook & Anchor: Hook & Anchor stood out with their seafood
arancini. Made with a mix of shrimp, crab, and lobster and topped with the restaurant’s pureed cioppino base and chimichurri sauce, the arancini, while not a regular menu item, is a beautiful representation of what the fast-casual joint is. Extra points are awarded for it being an easily portable snack.
Mayors Table: One of the more interesting bites came from Mayor’s Table in the form of a savory macaroon. A Newport Beach classic, Mayors Table is known for its deliciously creative use of California’s seasonal ingredients. They continued its legacy with a modern take on this Italian classic dessert. Between the roasted tomato cookies was a tomato jelly surrounded by labneh and toasted bread crumbs.
Farmhouse: An Orange County staple, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens is known for it’s holistic use of locally sourced ingredients. They debuted a delicious blue corn tostada topped with shrimp, roasted cauliflower, and a house-made salsa. The tostada perfectly captured southern California’s incoming fall produce.
Other noteworthy experiences at the event included the return of the Silent Disco hosted by Celebrity Cruises, live music, a DJ, wines from numerous purveyors including Justin, spirits from Maker’s Mark, Grey Goose and Bacardi, and samples from local breweries.
For more information on the 2022 Pacific Wine and Food Classic and advance notice on next year’s event, please visit www.pacificwineandfood.com.