The culinary festival will take place on Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5 at the OC Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa. The two-day event will showcase the global diversity of cuisine and culture in Orange County.
OC Tastefest will present over 25 restaurants offering guests light bites and samples of new and seasonal items mixed with classic menu favorites. Participating restaurants include Cucina Alessa, Port Restaurant & Bar, Marrakesh, Salt Creek Grille, Ten Asian Bistro, Wahoo’s Fish Taco, Slater’s 50/50 and many more favorite Orange County restaurants. Specialty vendors will be onsite including Cutco Cutlery, Olive Oil & Beyond, and Wine Country Closet offering unique culinary and retail items for sale.
A special celebrity chef challenge will take place on Saturday, May 5 from 2:30 – 5 p.m. Six challenger chefs including Raya Belna, Doug Stratton, Bridget Reilly, Stef Candy and Chris Tzorin will be tasked with creating dishes inspired by health, raw, citrus, and chocolate. Chefs Susan Irby the Bikini Chef with Stuart O’Keeffe and Manouschka Guerrier of Food Network’s Private Chefs of Beverly Hills will join to host the challenge. Top Chefs Scotty of 24 Carrots, Pascal Olhats of Pascal Restaurant and Café Jardin, Jonathan Grahm – chocolatier to the stars, Jenny Rose of 118 Degrees, Rachel Marie of Blackmarket Bakery, and Pamela Waitt of OC Restaurant Association and the Golden Foodie Awards will be just some of the kitchen stars judging the challenge. OC’s favorite Housewives Fernanda Rocha, Lynne Curtin and Peggy Tanous will be indulging in the challengers’ dishes as special guest celebrity judges.
Both days of the festival will present live entertainment for all to enjoy. May 4 welcomes live performances by Steely Dan tribute artist Pretzel Logic and 80’s sensation Flashback Heart Attack. On May 5 the Santana tribute band, Savor will perform along with the Eagles tribute band, Desperado, and L.A. rock favorite The Hollywood Stones will be movin’ like Jagger!
OC Tastefest will be held in conjunction with the 2012 OC Marathon on May 6 at the OC Fairgrounds. The Marathon anticipates over 18,000 registrants in 2012. All marathon runners will receive one complimentary ticket to OC Tastefest. Runners will pick up their bibs during the OC Marathon Expo on May 4-5 and can then enter the OC Tastefest. The OC Tastefest will not be held on Sunday, May 6, as the OC Marathon will be the main event at the OC Fairgrounds.
OC Tastefest advance admission is $12 for a one-day ticket. General admission at the event will be $20 per day. Each paid general admission ticket includes 10 Tastefest coupons ($5 value). Tastefest coupons will be available for purchase on-site at the event. VIP tickets are available in advance for $95 and $125 at the event if available. VIP tickets include preferred parking, VIP entrance, access to the OC Tastefest VIP tent with complimentary cocktails and wine, and VIP seating at the OC Tastefest stage for the live entertainment.
Learn more about the culinary extravaganza that is OC Tastefest at www.OCTastefest.com.
2012 OC Tastefest
Dates and Times:
- Friday, May 4: 5 to 11 p.m.
- Saturday, May 5: 1 to 10 p.m.
- Sunday, May 6: OC Marathon, Half Marathon and Wahoo’s 5k
- OC Fair and Event Center, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, CA