‘Recipe for Success’: Community Savoring Local Bites at Taste of Laguna

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A little over a month after the end of the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show and the Pageant of the Masters, the community returned to the Festival site to enjoy the culinary arts.

The Taste of Laguna Beach gave attendees the opportunity to sample light snacks at 22 local restaurants on Thursday evening.

The Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce and KX FM 104.7, the local radio station, teamed up to host the event, which served as a fundraiser for the two nonprofit arts organizations.

A miniature creme brulee cone heated with a culinary torch by Splashes pastry chef Julian Beese was a hit at the Taste of Laguna Food and Music festival on Thursday.

(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Sandy Morales, president and CEO of the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce, said several restaurants have been recognized for their delicious treats. The overall best bite was awarded on Broadway by Chef Amar Santana for sherry-glazed meatballs.

The Short Rib Cigars, prepared by Laguna Hotel Executive Chef Craig Strong, were named the Best Dish. Strong also provided black pepper ash to mimic the act of placing a cigar in an ashtray.

The best vegetarian dish went to Harley (chef Greg Daniels) for his roasted cauliflower offering, and the award for the best dish for a sweet tooth went to Nirvana Grille (chef Lindsay Smith-Rosales) for his cheese ice cream. Goat.

Craig Strong, chef at the Laguna hotel, cooks for guests during the Taste of Laguna food and music festival.

Craig Strong, chef at the Laguna hotel, cooks for guests during the Taste of Laguna food and music festival on Thursday.

(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Harley will be at Laguna Beach for three years in November, Daniels said. The Taste of Laguna is an important event for him as it is a hyper-local gathering, in which he sees familiar faces.

Daniels and his team brought a few menu items to Taste of Laguna, but the roasted cauliflower has been a hit from the start.

“It was one of the most popular dishes on our menu since the restaurant started,” Daniels said.

Greg Daniels cooks roast cauliflower at Harley's Laguna Beach restaurant during the Taste of Laguna.

Greg Daniels makes roasted cauliflower at Harley’s Laguna Beach restaurant during the Taste of Laguna Food and Music festival on Thursday.

(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

NOVA and Tino Productions provided live music as people tune their palates through an explosion of taste buds.

Morales said the event brought together more than 1,200 participants. In addition to helping themselves to delicious food, evening guests were able to bid on weekend getaways, private chef dinners, golf packages, autographed memorabilia and more. Alyssa Hayek, Managing Director of KX FM, said the silent auction raised more than $ 40,000.

“It was amazing to see the community of Laguna Beach and Orange County enjoying a wonderful evening at Taste of Laguna Beach,” Morales said in an email. “The beautiful location and the fabulous food were the recipe for success! We thank our sponsors, the Taste Committee, Chamber Ambassadors and community volunteers for making Taste of Laguna Beach 2021 a success. “

Guests can enjoy small plates from the Wine Gallery during the Taste of Laguna food and music festival on Thursdays.

Guests can enjoy small plates from the Wine Gallery during the Taste of Laguna food and music festival on Thursdays.

(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

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