Who better to take recommendations from than the chefs who know good food best? Here, a few favored dishes from some of Orange County's top talents. Dig in.
Yvon Goetz, Executive Chef-partner, The Winery Restaurant & Bar
"Driftwood Kitchen is one of my favorite restaurants to relax at. I love chef Rainer Schwarz's whole roasted dover sole with sauce Grenoble and potato onion brandade. In addition to being a great chef, Rainer is a good friend; he's from Austria, so we have a natural French-Austrian bond. That, and we’re both big fans of good bubbles and the Denver Broncos!"
Rainer Schwarz, Executive Chef-partner, Driftwood Kitchen
“I love chef Dee Nguyen’s Hokkaido scallop omelet at Break of Dawn. You don’t find these scallops at many restaurants—they are delicate and lend themselves to a delicious breakfast. I always order the Vietnamese iced coffee too; I’m awake for three days after, but it’s worth it. Dee’s not only a very talented chef but also a great person whose heart comes through in his food.”
Dee Nguyen, Chef-owner, Break of Dawn
“In a male-dominated profession, Shachi Mehra more than holds her own through her beautiful work at ADYA. One of my favorite dishes is her goat cheese naan, a creative expression of her love of cheese blended with her mastery of her native Indian cuisine. It's a simple dish flavored expertly with ginger and cilantro that delivers every time, and I can't get enough.”
Shachi Mehra, Chef/Co-owner, Adya
"Chef Amy Lebrun at Lido Bottle Works brings her love and respect for local fresh ingredients to every plate. She uses what's grown and caught locally, artfully exacting perfection from each ingredient. I especially love the cauliflower with trumpet mushrooms and golden raisins—each bite is a symphony of flavors and textures, and the presentation is gorgeous.”
Amy Lebrun, Executive Chef, Lido Bottle Works
"I'm a big fan of chef Tin Vuong's Shaky Shaky Beef at LSXO in Huntington Beach. This dish is about the perfect combination of expertly cooked beef teamed with watercress, baby tomatoes, burnt butter soy and tomato-garlic fried rice."
Tin Vuong, Executive Chef, lsxo
"All of the food at Vaca is amazing, but I'm particularly fond of the smoked chicken cannelloni with duck liver sauce and sherry reduction. The ambiance and cocktails, like the Vaca Tonic, are also great. Chef Amar Santana is a fantastic talent and a good friend."
Photography by: shachi mehra portrait by anne watson; amy lebrun portrait and lido bottle works cauliflower photo by niyaz Pirani, Knife & Spork PR; lsxo photo by Simon Nicholls; tin vuong portrait by Lanewood Studio; vaca smoked chicken cannelloni photo by Sarah King Photography; yvon goetz portrait by foxes & wolves; rainer schwarz portrait, and driftwood kitchen
and break of dawn food photos by anne watson; dee nguyen portrait by Lisa Hu Chen Photography