I love when great minds come together. Especially when those great minds collaborate to create phenomenal food. And that’s exactly what happened last Monday, February 10th at 320 Main in Seal Beach, CA when four of OC’s hottest chefs got together under one roof for the Orange County Chefs’ Dinner – likely the first in a series of collaborative chef dinners that are soon to pop-up around The OC this year. This first collaboration consisted of Chef Jaime Carrano of Seal Beach’s 320 Main, Chef Seakyeong Kim of Costa Mesa’s Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s, Chef Eric Samaniego of Santa Ana’s Little Sparrow Cafe (along with Little Sparrow’s Pastry Chef, Nasera Munshi) and Chef Michael Puglisi of Santa Ana’s soon-to-open Electric City Butcher. And, of course, cocktail pairings by 320 Main’s owner (and insanely-talented mixologist) Jason Schiffer.
Why are these dinners popping up, you ask? The answer is simple. For the love of good food. And to foster the sense of camaraderie amongst OC’s chef community. These dinners are designed to bring together chefs from various backgrounds and showcase each of their specialties in one cohesive menu. And there is something magical that happens when you witness such a diverse cross-section of talent in the same kitchen – it’s like an explosion of creativity and expertise that results in one single, mind-blowing dinner. People who love fine dining and want a sampling of the best that OC has to offer all in one place will love these dinners.
Below, you can feast your eyes on some behind-the-scenes action taken in the kitchen during last Monday’s dinner in Seal Beach. Then, be sure to stay tuned to these restaurants’ Facebook pages for info on upcoming dinners – simply click on the following links to ‘Like’ these Facebook pages and stay up-to-date on upcoming pop-ups: 320 Main, Little Sparrow, Electric City Butcher, & Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s. The next dinner is rumored to be popping-up sometime in late March, likely with an expanded chef line-up – you won’t want to miss it!
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1. Atlantic Orange Clam – grilled leek, merguez, smoked almond milk, kumquat (Chef Michael Puglisi of Electric City Butcher)
2. Sunchoke Bavarois – fennel, baby artichokes, bergamot mousseline (Chef Jaime Carrano of 320 Main)
3. Black Cod – gochujang, crispy pig feet, compressed asian pear, black lentils (Chef Eric Samaniego of Little Sparrow Cafe)
4. Spiced Liberty Farms Duck Breast – peking duck consomme, tiny vegetables, buckwheat noodles (Chef Seakyeong Kim of Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s)
5. Cheese Course – Abbaye de Belloc
6. Dessert – meyer lemon semifreddo, huckleberries (Pastry Chef Nasera Munshi of Little Sparrow Cafe)