Our Laguna: City awash in glorious food and beverages

March 17, 2011|By Barbara Diamond
  • The spread at K'ya during Friday night's Laguna Beach A La Carte event.
The spread at K'ya during Friday night's Laguna… (Photo courtesy…)

More than 800 folks wined and dined at the five major events of the inaugural Laguna Beach a la Carte, not to mention all the people who partook in prix-fixe menus and other specials at 28 local eateries.

Laguna Beach Visitors and Conference Bureau hosted the event, billed as a wine and food experience. It featured Laguna featured wine and food tastings at Laguna Culinary Arts, the Rooftop at Casa Del Camino and Splashes at the Surf & Sand; a lavish buffet luncheon served with champagne and jazz at Tivoli Too!; and a dinner at Montage's swank Studio restaurant

"We are thrilled at the success of this first event," said Karyn Philippsen, bureau president. "It lays the foundation for what we can look forward to in 2012 and beyond."

California wines were showcased at Culinary Arts on March 11, the opening night of the four-day affair. The wines included the bureau's privately labeled chardonnay, produced and bottled by Tres Sabores.


Executive chef Laurent Brazier cooked up tasty tidbits for guests to nibble while sipping and enjoying the music of Emilio.

The cost was $50 per person.

Sixty guests imbibed cocktails and wines and savored hors d'oeuvres on the Rooftop on Saturday night. The cost was $75 per person, but guests went home with the distinctive baby blue blankets provided by Chris Keller to ward off the evening chill, and warmed by the knowledge that $2,600 of the proceeds was donated to the American Red Cross.

Among the guests: Bonnie Hall, founder of OC Arts Foundation, online newsman Stu Saffer and Friends of the Laguna Beach Library and Laguna Beach Taxpayers Assn. President Martha Lydick.

The 200 guests at the Surf & Sand soiree were treated to mixologist/pastry chef Ryan Velilla's signature cocktails and hors d'oeuvres prepared by Chef Jeff Armstrong, served on the renovated pool deck.

Admission was free, but reservations were required.

The Laguna Board of Realtors hosted 120 food lovers for a brunch that included scrambled eggs, ham, fruit and cheese trays, a vegetarian frittata, Waldorf and green salads, strawberry crepes, hash browns and shrimp Newburg, all washed down with flutes of bubbly. For dessert: cookies, berry tort and brownies.

"I just wanted to do something special," said Bobby Fader, general manager of Tivoli Too! and bureau secretary.

Betty DeGeneres was the honorary hostess. She is a philanthropist, Laguna Beach Pet Parade judge and, oh yes, you might have heard of her daughter, Ellen.

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