Renaissance Newport Beach Hosts Table for Ten Culinary Extravaganza Benefitting Pascal Culinary Arts Scholarship

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Table for Ten Founder and Director Kristin Martin, Title Sponsor Mary Murfey. Photo by Tony Lattimore.

Among the many wonderful annual charity events featuring culinary creations from local chefs and restaurants, one stands out from the rest: Table for Ten, this year held at the Renaissance Newport Beach on Sunday, March 3.

The event showcases more than 40 top chefs who each orchestrates and prepares masterful dinners created tableside for 10 guests.

Exquisite wines and other libations were paired with the cuisine, and the tables were masterfully decorated by each restaurant.

Nearly $300,000 was raised for the Pascal Olhats Culinary Arts Program at Saddleback College Culinary Arts School, named after the famed local French chef who has owned and operated several well-known Orange County restaurants, including Tradition by Pascal in Newport Beach.

The event began with a festive cocktail reception featuring small bites and cocktails plus a silent auction featuring everything from fine wines to boutique beauty items.

Once the reception ended, attendees entered the ballroom to find their tables, each adorned with colorful themed flora and unique objects.

Amuse bouche banana and caviar. Photo by Chris Trela

I was fortunate to sit at the Mayor’s Table at Lido House table, where chef Riley Huddleston (one of my favorites in OC) had created a multi-course menu that started with an amuse bouche of banana and caviar (cherry roasted banana butter, banana blini, and caviar).

We polished off the delightful morsal so enthusiastically that Chef Huddelston went around the table doling out extra helping of caviar, which we eagerly ate off of the back of our hands.

Beet tartare. Photo by Chris Trela

Next up was Tamai family farm beet tartare, with yuzo kusu cured yolk, wasabi, goat cheese emulsion and kombu, paired with a white wine from Argentina. The beet tartare masqueraded as beef and was a tasty intro for what was to come.

Our next course was Spring Peas with super seed mole sauce, feta and borage, paired with Kistler chardonnay. This was a delightful dish, with the peas floating atop a thick pea sauce.

Spring Pea. Photo by Chris Trela

Then came beef short rib with Bloomsdale spinach and citrus marmalade. A beautiful dish, hearty yet at the same time somewhat delicate.

The dinner ended with California pavlova: lemon meringue, grilled strawberry reduction, compressed strawberries, tonka cold cream, verbena essence and candied Meyer lemon. Wow—a delicious ending to a sensational dinner.

Mayor’s Table Chef Riley Huddelston and Chef Pascal Olhats. Photo by Chris Trela.

As we enjoyed the dessert course, the live auction was held featuring an array of exclusive items including unique trips, chef experiences, luxury goods and rare wines. One item that caught my attention: a giclee of an original painting by Chef Pascal Olhats that captured his trip to Venice, Italy. Yes, I was the high bidder and now have the artwork framed and on my wall.

The event benefited the Pascal Culinary Arts Scholarship Program at Saddleback College Culinary Arts School, which creates life-changing financial grants for culinary arts students in Orange County. Working with Saddleback College Culinary Arts Program, the program focuses on making an impact for culinary students showing a financial need and that are currently enrolled in classes and meet the GPA criteria. The goal is to provide scholarships to as many deserving students as possible each year.

Venue Host for the event was Chef Paul Bauer, Renaissance Newport Beach. Honorary Chef was Kyung Carroll, The Resort at Pelican Hill Chef. The Scholarship Chair was Pascal Olhats. The title sponsor was Mary Murfey.

For more information, visit www.Tableforten.org.

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