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Newport to host festival of food, wine and cooking demos

Pastry chef Rene Baez, second from right, and executive chef Rainer Schwarz, right, of Driftwood Kitchen prepare honey dashi hamachi collar, yellow corn and piquillo pepper blini with Santa Barbara salmon caviar at a recent preview event for this weekend’s Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival.

Chefs from more than 30 restaurants will prepare and serve samples, and more than 200 different wines will be poured at the Newport Beach Civic Center during the second annual Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival this weekend.

The three-day festival will kick off with a launch party featuring fine wines, cocktails, live music and a silent auction from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday at the Island Hotel’s Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge.

The festival will continue from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on the Newport Beach Civic Center grounds with live cooking demonstrations with Bravo TV’s “Top Chef Masters,” “Top Chef” winners and alumni, mixology courses, wine panels and tastings from Orange County restaurants.

Saturday’s restaurant lineup includes Talia Zimmer of True Food Kitchen, Casey Overton of The Loft at Montage Laguna Beach and Moises Mendoza of Canaletto Ristorante Veneto.


Hubert Keller will prepare French cuisine with assistance from local chef and friend Pascal Olhats, and Rick Bayless of Red O will demonstrate how to create upscale Mexican cuisine.

Sunday will feature chefs including Steve Kling of Five Crowns and Side Door, John Vega of Roy’s Newport Beach and Mathieu Royer of Boathouse Collective.

A Riedel Wine Glass Seminar and Tasting will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, and “Top Chef Masters” Season 1 alumnus Rick Moonen will team up with Alan Greeley of The Golden Truffle for a cooking demonstration.

Proceeds from the weekend events will benefit Project Hope Alliance, a Costa Mesa-based nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness.


The Island Hotel is at 690 Newport Center Drive. The Newport Beach Civic Center is at 100 Civic Center Drive.

Launch party tickets are $125. Single-day tickets for Saturday or Sunday are $150; a weekend pass is $250; VIP single-day tickets are $225; and an all-inclusive VIP weekend pass including launch party admission is $425.

The Riedel Wine Glass Seminar and Tasting is $75.

For more information, call (888) 511-3378 or visit