She’s a Michael Voltaggio-trained star on the rise, and now she’s manning the kitchens at Fashion Island Hotel’s Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge with bold, seasonally inspired flavors. Meet newly appointed executive chef Brittany Valles.
Give us a taste of your approach on these beloved menus.
I’ve updated the lunch and dinner menus with bold, cleaner and elevated flavors. I also recently presented a Chef’s Dinner Series menu on Sundays and Monday, which will return after the holidays.
What ingredients are you most excited about for the fall months?
I am excited about squash because there is so much you can create with all the varieties, and although beets are available year-round, they are very much a fall ingredient.
Who inspires your cooking?
My family and loved ones. The dishes I create are reminiscent of memories and dishes we have made together in the past.
Which trends do you think will emerge in the new year, and which will expire?
I think people are starting to get excited again about beautiful, unique and delicious food by seeking it out and making that dining experience the destination and the event. I think the trend of cauliflower steak will be replaced by beet steak.
Where would we find you dining in O.C.?
I enjoy Cucina Enoteca; the chef there is doing amazing things. Taco Maria is another place I love when wanting a tasting menu, and Nick’s in San Clemente is another great spot.