If you haven’t been to the OC Fair yet, you’ve still got time—it runs through Sunday, Aug. 11. Consider tomorrow, though, even if you’ve already strolled the midway this year—celebrity chef Michael Chiarello is appearing in the Hangar at 4 p.m., where he’ll demonstrate a dish and, I assume, chat about his many restaurants and projects, including the new “Supermarket Superstar” TV show. I hope to hear about his sustainably-farmed vineyard.
"There are few things in life more enjoyable than meeting new people and sharing my cooking with others, and county fairs allow you to do just that,” Chiarello says. “The energy and people of Orange County are not only inviting but also inspiring, and I'm looking forward to this year's festivities."
Do you have a favorite Chiarello recipe? I’ve got a couple, gleaned from occasional “Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello” viewing. One, angry shrimp, is so good I made it three times in one week after the initial try. Another, prosciutto-wrapped crostini with melon salsa crudo, is a brilliant canapé—the classic prosciutto-melon flavor profile in a neat, great-looking, two-bite package.
Download the fair’s own free smartphone app—it’s got a map of the fair, a food finder that will make it easy to head straight for whatever deep-fried treat you fancy, and can even remember where you parked.