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Festival of OC Chefs benefits KidWorks, honors Nirvana Grille Chef Lindsay Smith-Rosales

Festival of OC Chefs, benefiting KidWorks, hosted its first culinary event on Sunday, Oct. 3 at Newport Beach Country Club. 

The food festival, which featured 25 chefs, invited 425 guests to mingle and sample their fare. Renowned wineries, such as Duckhorn, JCB, Justin and Crown Point, were also a part of the mix. Guests were later seated on the lawn to sample desserts and be introduced to the chefs by MC DawnMarie Kotsonis. Chef Event Chair Pascal Olhats introduced Honorary Chef, Lindsay Smith-Rosales of Nirvana Grille, Laguna Beach, who has been featured as a celebrity chef on Food Network’s Chopped. She credited Olhats as her mentor.

Festival of OC Chefs benefiting Lindsay trio

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Photos by Tony Lattimore

(L-R) Newport Beach Country Club Host Chef Graeme Blair, Event Chef Chair Pascal Olhats and Honorary Chef Lindsay Smith-Rosales

Festival of OC Chefs benefiting Nirvana

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(L-R) Honorary Chef Lindsay Smith-Rosales shares a culinary sampling with a guest

Kidworks’ board member and event co-chair Cory Alder shared the Kidworks’ story. Involved with the charity for 15 years, he lauded the nonprofit’s academic support, character and leadership development programs that empowers students in Orange County’s underserved neighborhoods from pre-K through their college years. He said the key was involving the entire family to ensure the student’s success. “We are most proud of the fact that 100% of our high school graduates enroll in college or university,” he stated.

Festival of OC Chefs benefiting Johnson

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Laguna Beach residents and sponsors Guy Johnson and his wife Trish Johnson

The Presenting Sponsors Kay Family Foundation, represented by Ethan Kay and the David A. Pyle Family, represented by Annie Pyle, were honored for their ongoing KidWorks support.

The event co-chairs included Lisa and Cory Alder, Tracy and Kevin Murphy and Kyle and David Team, with committee members Joey Booth, Darin and Jeff Garell, Nina and Ethan Kay, Heidi and Ruben Mendoza, Connie and David Oh, Camille and Tim Strader Jr., Eleanor and Tim Tang, and Sue and Nick Willett. Also attending were Board Chair Adrian Montero and KidWork’s CEO/Executive Director David Benevides. KM Productions was thanked for producing the event. 

Festival of OC Chefs benefiting Nesseth

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Laguna Beach residents Mona Lee Nesseth and George Rozsahegyi. Nesseth donated the wines for the $4,000 wine tree raffle.

Following a generous Fund-A-Need portion, which helped boost net proceeds to more than $640,00, the band, Flashback Heart Attack, took the heartfelt evening home.


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