Chelsea Madren aka OC Food Diva: Johnsonville's The Sausage Dome Champion, World Food Championships E.A.T. Certified Food Judge, KCBS Certified BBQ Judge, Brand Ambassador, Culinary Researcher, Food & Travel Critic, Food Competitor, and Recipe Developer
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The inaugural Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival indulged the senses
As we walked up to the brand new Newport Beach Civic
Center, the architecture is very aquatic and nautical – wavy lines and floor to
ceiling glass for natural light. The event space in the courtyard was laid out
perfectly for ample spacing between food & wine vendors so foot track moved
pretty freely throughout. The color scheme was coastal with white, sandy gray,
and sea foam green accented in the tents, pillows (yes, pillows on benches),
and tablecloths. The morning cloud coverage stayed for a while to keep it cool.
My first mission was to get a great seat to see the
first cooking demonstration of the day. The Outdoor Kitchen was set and
sponsored by Whole Foods. Chef Joe Youkhan, owner of The Tasting Spoon Food
Truck and Catering and winner of Chopped!, demonstrated how to make Peruvian
Pork Belly Sliders. Inspired by his sous chef, Miguel, the recipe came from Miguel’s
mother and then Chef Joe added his classic flair as he prepped the ingredients
and fielded questions from the audience about the recipe and cooking
techniques. And as expected, the Peruvian Pork Belly Sliders were onolicious!
The brioche bun was branded on top with “TS” for Tasting Spoon and was butter
glazed on the outside for a beautiful sheen and soft and chewy on the inside.
The pork belly was melt-in-your-mouth tender and packed with flavor. This needs
to go on the truck menu!