Orange Coast Magazine - Dining - Chef Profiles

DINING | Chef profiles

Chef Profiles

Stories 1 to 5 of 10

Azmin Ghahreman

As chef-owner of Sapphire Laguna, Azmin Ghahreman applies the same techniques and fresh-food standards in his San Juan Capistrano home kitchen as he does in his restaurant: “I won’t cut corners. I take ingredients seriously at home, too.” It’s a dining philosophy that he and wife Laura instill in their children—from left above, Rori, 7, Roan, 4, and Liam, 8—and one he takes to elementary schools. He teaches cooking and gardening classes at schools such as St. Anne’s in Laguna Niguel. “They prepare students for a lifetime of healthful eating,” Ghahreman says. “We have to teach our kids about the ... Read more

Praveen and Geeta Bansal

For many, outdoor cooking is a summer thing. For Praveen and Geeta Bansal, the chef-owners of Irvine’s Clay Oven, which they opened in 1986, it’s a daily ritual. “We have a complete outdoor kitchen,” Geeta says. “It’s rare that we ever cook inside. It gives us a chance to be as close to nature as possible, and we’ll pick things right off the trees and use them.” The two, along with son Tarun, 23, also love exploring the world outside their back yard. Their kitchen has flourishes of Barcelona, Paris, and the world’s wine countries, along with gadgets from their ... Read more

Ugo Allesina

Irvine's a little hard to call home when your old stamping grounds are the rural hills of Italy's Piedmont region. So when chef Ugo Allesina visits his Alpine hometown, pieces of his childhood often come back with him. "We currently have a very European home kitchen," he says. "I grew up on a farm in a small Italian village of Sovazza, so I try to bring back things that remind me of that."In his 20 years living in the States, he and wife Michelle have amassed a collection of gadgets handed down from his family, including some dating back ... Read more

Deborah Schneider

  Published July 2010It was a classic love story for Deborah Schneider: Boy meets girl, boy takes girl on romantic getaway, girl falls in love with boy—and tacos. Somewhere along the picturesque beaches of Baja California more than 30 years ago, Schneider’s affection for fresh, Baja-style Mexican food began. “My first fish taco in Ensenada was probably the best I’ve had in my life,” says the San Diego resident and chef of Newport Beach’s Sol Cocina. Schneider married the boy, Barry, had two kids, Anne, 19, and Willy, 17, and devoted three decades to the region’s cuisine, writing cookbooks such ... Read more

Michael Jordan

 Published June 2010You don’t expect ginger-and-soy sauce tropical raw fish from the kitchen of someone who describes himself as “undeniably southern Italian.” But it’s typical fare at Michael Jordan’s Costa Mesa home. “I was raised in Hawaii, so at my house, you get a weird mishmash of Italian and Hawaiian,” says the veteran restaurateur, pouring wine, above. Between keeping up with his “What’s Cookin’ on Wine” show on CRN Digital Talk Radio, his gig as president of the Beachcomber Cafés in Crystal Cove and Malibu, and launching his Word Vineyards winery, Jordan regularly cooks for friends and family. “I ... Read more