Are you ready for essence of bear claw with forest mushrooms and gold dust? It's the second offering of a seven-course feast at the Orange Empire Chefs & Cooks Assn.'s presidential ball, gala dinner and awards presentation on March 10 at the Queen Mary in Long Beach. The evening will begin with a reception featuring hors d'oeuvres by the "great chefs of Orange County." Awards of distinction for 1990 will include Chef of the Year and Apprentice of the Year.
The group is one of almost 200 chapters of the American Culinary Federation, a national body of professional chefs that is responsible for the certification of its chef members (in graduated steps from working chef to pastry chef, executive chef and master chef, based on experience and a system of points). It also sponsors the National Apprenticeship Training Program for cooks. The evening is open to the public, with $75 tickets available from Robert Jones, 23011 Vesper Road, El Toro, Calif. 92630. Information: (714) 642-2148.
If you're wondering why the Newport bay-front John Dominis has moved its lounge from upstairs to the main level, it's to make room for a steakhouse on the third floor. Scheduled for a spring opening, the new restaurant, which will be run by a different company, will have its own entrance and be completely separate from John Dominis.
Gustaf Anders in South Coast Plaza Village is serving up music (1950s and '60s rock, blues and jazz), along with a hot-and-cold buffet from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The concert will showcase Ron Ellington Shy (formerly of the Drifters and the Coasters) and Don & Dewy, with Don Hendicks playing drums. The buffet, including the restaurant's own breads and desserts, is $20. Reservations: (714) 668-1737.
Barbacoa, David Wilhelm's venture on Newport Harbor, is no longer open for lunch. Sunday brunch is scheduled to begin March 31. The restaurant serves dinner nightly. Information: (714) 646-6090.
Here's further word, as promised last week, on the reopening of Delaney's in Newport Beach, the flagship of the 20-year-old, seven-restaurant Delaney's fleet in Orange and Riverside counties. This is the first phase of a renovation and menu upgrading plan for the entire seafood chain, according to Yasohachi Shiojima, president and chief financial officer of AC Global Investment, the new owner of Delaney's.
The Newport location has segued from nautical decor to a contemporary, light, more elegant ambience, with mirrored walls, new carpeting and upgraded seating in mauve tones.
The menu, dubbed Newport Euro-Pacific Cuisine, accents a blend of California, European and Asian cooking, designed by Shoijima and Wayne Mascotti, Delaney's vice president. Lunch features a fisherman's salad (shrimp, jumbo scallops and new Zealand green-lip mussels), shrimp fettuccine and fresh ahi teriyaki, with prices from $6.95 to $10.95. Dinner varies from chicken en papillote and sizzling steak for two to mahi-mahi, salmon and swordfish. Entrees on the a la carte menu average about $14.95.
A special oyster bar menu is also available for lunch and dinner. Live entertainment (Thursdays through Saturdays) debuts Friday. The restaurant is at 630 Lido Park Drive, Newport Beach. Information: (714) 640-1032.