The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2016

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Page 42 of 100

42  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2016 OUT ON THE TOWN T he Fifth Annual Golden Foodies Awards Gala, held on September 25th at the Fairmont Newport Beach Hotel, welcomed more than 450 people to celebrate the contributions and achievements of the Orange County culinary community. Elegantly black tie–attired guests mingled outdoors and sipped their way through craft cocktails and premium wines paired with gourmet samplings from more than 25 of Orange County's finest restaurants, many of which were nominees. Connoisseurs enjoyed wine from Ste Michelle Wine Estates, Alpha Omega, Villa San-Juliette, Cherry Pie, Layer Cake and Pommery Champagne. The crowd moved into the gorgeously decorated ballroom for the awards portion of the evening, with tables filled with glorious bites, decadent desserts and luxurious wines. Celebrity Simon Majumdar from the Food Network hosted the ceremony with his energetic and cheeky personality. The People's Choice award acknowledges and celebrates chef- driven and independent restaurants. Winners were announced by notable presenters such as Wing Lam (founder of Wahoo's), Stan Frazier (drummer for Sugar Ray and restaurateur), Chef Andrew Sutton (Disney Resort Executive Chef), Aarti Sequiara (Food Network host) and Nigel Lythgoe (TV/film director/producer and creator of Villa San-Juliette wine). Notably, the Bartender of the Year Award went to Gabe Whorely of Ironwood in Laguna Hills, CA, presented by Tim Sample, District Manager, Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits, and Stephen Didsbury, State Manager Southern California, Patrón Spirits. This partnership provides Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits and their dedicated sup- pliers the opportunity to support, honor and recognize the culinary and beverage community. The incredible evening put on by the Orange County Restaurant Association benefits Golden Rule Charity, a nonprofit organization based in Southern California inspired by hardworking restaurant employees who may find themselves in need. Leanne Chau is Marketing Director for Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits True Foodies At the Fifth Annual Golden Foodies Awards Gala, cock- tails were provided by Maker's Mark. PHOTO COURTESY OF SOUTHERN GLAZER'S WINE & SPIRITS SOUTHERN GLAZER'S WINE & SPIRITS SPONSORS FIFTH ANNUAL GOLDEN FOODIES AWARDS by Leanne Chau Stephen Didsbury, Patrón Tequila; Gabe Whorley, Ironwood, Bartender of the Year winner; and Tim Sample, Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits. Master of Ceremonies Simon Majumdar from the Food Network.

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