NEWPORT BEACH — O.C. foodies paid their money ($75 a head) and took their choice Sunday afternoon at a festive gala hosted by the Orange County Region of the National Kidney Foundation.
The foundation's eighth annual Great Chefs of Orange County benefit, traditionally one of the major food events in these parts, was put up with panache in the ballroom of the Four Seasons Hotel in Fashion Island, and with about 25 guest chefs and more than a dozen wineries participating, the status quo regarding fine foods held firm.
As with most such events, the one-price admission allowed the guests--several hundred hungry, well-dressed noshers--to ride all day, filling plates as often as desired and then filling them up again. Among many notable things were a delicious confit of duck salad with raspberry vinaigrette from Byron Gemmell of Chanteclair in Irvine; the trendy cured salmon called gravlax contributed by new John Dominis (of Newport Beach) executive chef Lasse Sorensen, and the toothsome, mocha-flavored cream puffs from Tim Gluck of Etienne's in San Clemente (one of which shot a projectile of filling directly onto my red and green plaid shirt as I bit into the thing. Lucky for me, I left my Armani shirt and Versace tie at home, unlike most of the fashion plates present).