Summer foodie event, Pacific Wine & Food Classic, will be star-studded with chefs, wineries, and more

Pacific Wine & Food Classic has announced the first chefs, restaurants and wineries set to participate in the foodie event of the summer. Celebrate the season with summer inspired culinary bites, wine pairings and refreshing hand crafted cocktails beachside at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort on Saturday, August 19 and Sunday, August 20, 2017.

Pacific Wine & Food Classic’s menu is completely inspired by the summer season. Participating chefs will create dishes reminiscent of their favorite summer memories. Patron Tequila will offer “Patron Pops” as a fun summer treat as well as the ultimate Patron experience complete with Summer Margaritas. Bacardi, Effen Vodka and Makers Mark will also be serving refreshing cocktails to quench every thirst. Guests can enjoy incredible culinary entertainment on the Fisher & Paykel / DCS Culinary Stage, hosted by Simon Majumdar.

Chef Pascal Olhats (above, left – Pascal Restaurant), and Adrian Garcia (right - Skyloft) are among the participating chefs at the Pacific Wine & Food Classic

Food Network’s celebrity chef and judge Simon Majumdar, host of the inaugural classic commented, “I am thrilled to be invited to host the Pacific Wine & Food Classic in the idyllic setting of the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort. I cannot think of a better location to highlight the chefs, winemakers and mixologists from one of the most exciting and fastest growing food scenes in the United States.”

Pacific Wine & Food Classic chefs include: 

Adrian Garcia - Executive Chef, Red O

Andrew Monterossa - Executive Chef, TAPS

Arthur Ortiz - Chef, Skyloft

Brian Huskey - Executive Chef, Tackle Box

Cathy Pavlos - Owner & Chef, Provenance Restaurant

David Man - Executive Chef, Island Hotel Newport Beach & Coastal Catering

Deborah Schneider - Executive Chef, SOL Cocina

Elyssa Fournier - Pastry Chef, Mixed Bakery

Eric Mickle - Executive Chef, Orange Hill Restaurant

Ernie Alvarado - Chef, Urbana

Evandro Caregnato - Culinary Director, Texas de Brazil

Greg Daniels - Executive Chef, Haven Gastropub & Provisions Market

Jason Mazur - Executive Chef, Bluewater Grill

Joel Guiterrez - Chef, SeaLegs Wine Bar

Karla Vasquez - Chef, Chelas Mexican Restaurant

Katy Smith - Executive Creative Chef, Puesto

Linda Johnsen - Executive Chef, Filomena’s Italian Kitchen & Market

Mark MacDonald – Owner & Executive Chef, Old Vine Café

Pascal Olhats - Executive Chef, Pascal Restaurant

Peter Lai - Executive Chef, Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge

Reymundo Pinedo - Chef, Sundried Tomato

Shachi Mehra – Owner & Executive Chef, Adya

Tia Baker - Chef, Solita Tacos

Tim Maher - Executive Chef, SeaSalt Woodfire Grill

Pacific Wine & Food Classic wineries include: Belleruche Rose, Bouchaine, Brassfield Estates, Cherry Pie, Conundrum, Deutsch Family Wines & Spirits, Federalist Cabernet, Ferrari Brut, Ferrari-Carano Vinyards and Winery, Franciscan Estate, I See Kay, JLC Rose, John Anthony Family of Wines, Layer Cake, Markham Sauvignon Blanc, Mionetto, Rutherford Hill Merlot, Sanford Chardonnay, Wilson Creek Winery

The Pacific Wine & Food Classic takes you to the days of summer when days are long, your toes are sandy and the air is salty. Simple days filled with friends, laughter, and sunshine. Enjoy the most accomplished Winemakers, Chefs, and Culinary Talent in a breathtaking setting.

Tickets are $150 for single day and $250 for two-day general admission. VIP tickets are $200 for single day and $350 for two-day admission. Purchase of VIP ticket grants 30-minute early admission, access to the Champagne Bubble Lounge and the Grassy VIP lounge overlooking the bay that will serve special bites and cocktails. VIP tickets are very limited.

For more information on the Pacific Wine & Food Classic and to purchase tickets, please visit

The hills are alive with golden flowers

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Hillside flowers brighten a cloudy sky

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Photo by Jean Brotherton

Mustard flowers at Crystal Cove State Park

Laguna Beach Republicans next meeting April 27

The Laguna Beach Republicans (LBGOP) will hold their monthly meeting on Thursday, April 27, at Mozambique 1740 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach.  Social hour at 5 p.m. Meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

Emil Monda, President of the LBGOP invites all Republicans, Independents and Libertarians to attend the meeting. 

“We will be discussing the recently passed unpopular gas tax hike, candidates for City Council, and Larry Nokes, from ‘Let Laguna Live,’ will present on the Heritage Issue,” he said. “The City is trying to remove property rights from homeowners and we do not agree with the methods they are using.”

We ask those interested to be at Mozambique on Thursday April 27th, to please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  as space is limited.

Dennis’ Tidbits


April 18, 2017

My head in the clouds, I’m looking at extreme weather

“Let me tell you how it will be. There’s one for you, nineteen for me. ‘Cause I’m the taxman.” - John Lennon, 1966.

That’s my thought today, but I’d better get my head back in the clouds.

All in all it was a pretty decent weekend here buat it’s a whole different ball game up in the Bay area and surrounding communities as another strong soaker continued to pile up those already swollen seasonal rain totals – and in the Sierras an additional foot of snow fell on Sunday. What drought?

My third documented extreme weather event came on October 8-10, in 1958, when a strong, very hot Santana wind event sent temps all the way up to 101 degrees at water’s edge here in Laguna. Humidity at water’s edge plunged to 8% as northeast winds up to 45 mph blew relentlessly for three whole days. Nighttime temps were an unbelievable 80 degrees. 

Amazingly enough, there were no serious wildfires throughout Southern California at that time, except for a few small brush fires that were quickly extinguished. There was a lot of fuel for fires that fall as the previous winter had been a wet one, with over 24 inches of rain falling in Laguna, allowing for natural wilderness chaparral to grow to very large heights. In the winter that followed, only 5.58 inches fell, which, at the time, was the driest year on record. So a lot of Santana wind events occurred throughout the fall and winter of 1958-59.

My next documented extreme weather event occurred on December 3, 1958 when a new high temp record for December was set as the mercury shot up to 88 degrees (a record that stood until December 12, 1979). A strong Santana wind event hit Laguna that day, with gusts up to 40 mph here in town. December of 1958 was very dry with only a tenth of an inch falling that month compared to a normal of 2.5 inches.

Gotta quit here as my computer is getting ready to do a possibly long update. 

See you on Friday, ALOHA!

Boys & Girl’s Club Community Partner’s Breakfast honored individuals and programs that give their all

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach proudly hosted their 9th annual Community Partner’s Breakfast on Thursday, April 6th, at seven-degrees. Board of Directors President, Phyllis Phillips, expressed the importance of partnership and collaborations and their vital role in helping the Club accomplish the organization’s mission to enable all young people to realize their full potential as healthy, caring and responsible adults. 

Pamela Estes, Chief Executive Officer, delivered a poignant state of the Club where she addressed several Club initiatives the organization will be focusing on in the upcoming year; also, a recount of the Club’s accomplishments over the past year. Community partners heard a first-hand Club experience success story from the Club’s Teen Youth of the Year, Savanah Johnson, who credits the Club for putting her on the right path with a promising future.

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Submitted photos

Kristine Evans received the Community Partner Award for her years of 

service to the Club. 

Kristine Evans was an AP English teacher at Dana Point High School and has recently retired. She has been volunteering by working with our grant writer. She is an expert in English grammar and sentence structure, offers an objective eye with a fresh perspective.  Since she has volunteered at the Club, our funders have commented on the difference they see in our grants, which are responsible for a significant portion of our $2.6M annual budget.

Give a Beat received the Program Partner Award. This awardee perfectly complements the work we do. The Club have the kids and they have the expertise, mindset, and passion – and when you put them both together, it’s magic. Give a Beat have been totally supportive of the Club’s mission and always have our teens best interest at heart. They teach our members about the industry technology, but more importantly, their overriding goal is to bring people together through music. The Boys & Girls Club staff and teens think the world of Lauren, Missy, and Trevor.

St. Joseph Health Mission Hospital received the Agency Partner Award. One of the things Pam Estes is most proud of is the relationship the Club has with this awardee. Over the years that the Club have partnered with Mission Hospital, they have been able to hone the focus on making the most positive difference possible in the community, first by aligning the Club around the Search Institutes Developmental assets framework, and then with understanding the power of developmental communities, and building networks of connections of kinship, friendship, ideology, and culture. They share a vision, share goals, and share accountability for youth success. 

DPR Construction Inc. took home the Corporate Partner Award. This awardee has a lot in common with Boys & Girls Club; they both build “Build Brighter Futures” and they’re “Building Great Things.” Over the last six months or so, the Club have developed a close relationship with their team members who have been the catalyst for making a truly (and literally) transformational gift to our Club. Their core values of integrity, enjoyment, uniqueness and ever forward, shine through their team members at every level, in the work they do, the partners they have, and the difference they are making in communities across the country. 

Among recognizing the community’s big supporters, Donnie Crevier approached the podium to present Leif Hanson and Steve Blue this year’s Crevier Legacy Award for their long-term impact on the Club as an outstanding role model for all the Club members – and truly embodies the community spirit the Club hopes all their members will someday achieve.

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Steve Blue and Leif Hanson received this year’s Crevier Legacy Award 

Steve Blue and Leif Hanson started coming to the Boys Club of Laguna Beach when they were around seven years old. Leif remembers coming for the fun! He loved the games room and the sports. He started playing basketball and Ron Lutz was his coach on the All-Star team, which traveled to other Boys Clubs for tournaments. Leif credits the Club for giving him a strong foundation in sports, which helped him reach his goals in volleyball later in life. 

Steve played “Bitty basketball” at the Club and remembers the games room and the candy the most. He attended the Club throughout his elementary school years until he started playing volleyball with the Laguna Beach Volleyball Club. He has fond memories of playing with his friends at the Club. 

These two incredible Club Alumni are giving back to the Club by spearheading an annual “Night at The Ranch” concert event. Their goal is to raise funds for the Club so that all kids can have a positive safe place to go when they are not in school. They also wanted to create a legacy that would sustain itself and continue for generations to come.  

Leif said, “I wanted to give back to the Club that was there for me as a kid and I also wanted to help the community I grew up in.” 

Steve said, “I want today’s kids to have the same Club experience that I had when I was growing up.” 

The Night at The Ranch event has become one of the best events in Laguna Beach today. Leif and Steve are living proof that the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach makes a positive impact on children’s future. The Club wants all their members to learn the joy of giving back to others and Leif and Steve exemplify that very philanthropic spirit. They are making sure all children have an opportunity to benefit from a Club experience. 

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach’s Community Partners Breakfast started nine years ago by Emeritus BOD President Bob Whalen to recognize the partnerships built between the Club and the Community Leaders that help benefit the 2,000 youths the Club serves on an annual basis. 

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach allows their members to learn and play in a variety of activities year-round. Please help the Club continue make these everyday opportunities for their members consistent by donating today

7,000 OC students entertained by Laguna Playhouse’s

TheatreReach: Bringing Books to Life! performances

According to Donna Inglima, Director of Youth Education Programs at The Laguna Playhouse, funding from corporations, foundations, and individuals, enabled Laguna Playhouse’s TheatreReach: Bringing Books to Life! program to tour 41 Orange County elementary schools during the March/ April tour of Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White and the April/May tour of By the Great Horn Spoon. At the end of the tours, 7,000 OC students will have viewed the performances.

TheatreReach: Bringing Books to Life! is Orange County’s longest running, most successful literature and curriculum-based, professional theatre touring program. It provides literacy support for thousands of elementary school children, in their schools, through tours of plays adapted from required books in the California State curriculum. TheatreReach is a unique and valuable resource for teaching California State content standards in history, literature and language. Since its inception in 1999, more than 100,000 students in Southern California have benefited from this award-winning performing arts program.

As the only live performance touring program that presents works of required 4th grade literature, TheatreReach is a unique and valuable resource for teaching California State content standards in history, literature and language. It consistently receives praise from area educators. 

Ms. Inglima explains, “The goal of TheatreReach is to bring core curriculum books to life, enriching student literature comprehension and reading skills as well as provide early exposure to live theatre for children who might not otherwise have access to this enriching experience.” Ms. Inglima, a director, writer, teacher, producer and actress, explains that TheatreReach tours an hour-long one-act play of core-curriculum required literature. 

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Charlotte’s Web brought to life on stage

It uses professional actors, sets, costumes, props and sound equipment. An extensive “Study and Activities Guide” is sent to teachers prior to each performance. It includes lesson plans, activities for students both before and after reading the book, facts about the author, vocabulary support activities, as well as book report ideas and research activities. A supplement focuses on drama and acting activities that may be incorporated into classroom lessons. The performances are often scheduled to tie into completion of the literature units, thereby deepening comprehension and critical thinking skills.

TheatreReach was developed to address a need posed by ongoing federal and state cuts to educational budgets in public schools. Whenever possible, it targets Title I schools to reach low-income children who lack access to the arts. The Laguna Playhouse is one of the only Southern California theatre offering a program that links literature and history in curriculum-centered plays for schools. Live theatre helps a young person develop visualization skills, strengthens language, and stimulates creativity – all essential in the process of learning to read. These skills are especially critical for students with learning disabilities and English learners.

 Philanthropic support is critical to funding these performances and has been provided by: Angels Baseball Foundation, The Allergan Foundation, Lloyd & Lauretta Dyer Family Foundation, O.L. Halsell Foundation, Ueberroth Family Foundation, US Bank, William Gillespie Foundation, Southern California Edison, Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation, Ebell Club of Laguna Beach, Rotary Club of Laguna Niguel,  Monarch Beach Sunrise Rotary Club, Assistance League of Laguna Beach, Pacific Life Foundation, Jamie Walters El-Erian and Mohammed El-Erian, and Bobbi Cox.

Ray Benedicktus, president of Rotary Club of Irvine, says, “We are delighted to provide funding for an Arts Access for Youth community grant in support of these performances. Community service and improving the quality of life within our community is ‘the heartbeat of Rotary.” Approximately 20 fourth grade classes from Vista Verde, Culverdale, Turtle Rock and Oak Creek Elementary Schools, many who would otherwise not have the opportunity to experience live theatre, will attend these performances.

“By promoting literacy and interest in the arts, TheatreReach advances the creative and learning capacity of children in our community, which – as studies show – lead to greater personal and academic success,” says Inglima. 

To find out what’s going on at LPH, go to


Shaena Stabler and Stu Saffer are the co-owners. Shaena is the Publisher and Stu is the Editor-in-Chief.

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