The Golden Foodie Awards Nominees

The Orange County food scene is exploding, here’s why.

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Boom! That’s the sound of the exploding Orange County food scene, which is drawing the attention of local foodies — so much so that tickets for the Sept. 29 Golden Foodie Awards at The Fairmont Newport Beach are already sold out. Sponsored by Orange Coast Magazine, the event brings together an impressive list of chefs, culminating in an awards ceremony that marks their achievements of 2013.

Presenters include Food Network’s Duff Goldman and Neil Saavedra, host of the Fork Report, Real Housewives of Orange County Heather Dubrow and Vicki Gunvalson, Tim Ryan of the Anaheim Ducks, and Dennis Kuhl, chairman of the Los Angeles Angels.

Comedian Frances Dilorinzo (pictured)—with her fast chatter and hilarious comic take—was a key part of the 2012 show, so we’re thrilled she’s returning. “Last year, we broke the ice and let our audience know that the GFA’s was not your typical boring awards show,” she says. “We celebrated amazing food, good friends, and lots of funny.”

Watch this space for the list of winners. Nominations for this year’s event include:

Best Mixologist:
Dave Castillo, 320 Main
Koire Rogers, Arc Food & Libations
Forrest Taylor, Scott’s Restaurant & Bar

Best Happy Hour:
Mozambique Restaurant
Wildfish Seafood Grille
The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

Best Cocktails:
Hopscotch
320 Main
Uva Bar

Best Indian Cuisine:
Clay Oven
Royal Khyber
Tamarind of London

Best Seafood:
House of Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer
Slapfish
Wildfish Seafood Grille

Best Asian Cuisine:
AnQi by Crustacean
Bamboo Bistro
Bluefin Sushi

Best Sushi:
Bluefin Sushi
Riptide Rockin’ Sushi
Sushi Noguchi

Best Burger:
Deemer’s Grill
Mick’s Karma Bar
Slater’s 50/50

Best Beer:
Hopscotch
Provisions Market
Slater’s 50/50

Best Mediterranean:
Kentro Greek Kitchen
LUCCA Cafe
Zov’s Bistro

Best Pizza:
Fuoco PIzzeria
Il Dolce Pizzeria
Pizzeria Ortica

Best Italian Cuisine:
Anaheim White House
Antonello’s Ristorante
Bruno’s Trattoria

Best Food Writer:
Anita Lau
Cathy Thomas
Minerva Thai

Best Vegetarian Cuisine:
118 Degrees
Seabirds
True Food Kitchen

Best Steak:
Maro Wood Grill
The Ranch Restaurant
Steakhouse 55

Best Mexican Cuisine:
Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen
The Matador
Sol Cocina

Best Tacos:
Javier’s
Mi Casa
Sol Cocina

Best French Cuisine:
Brasserie Pascal
Marche Moderne
Pinot Provence

Best Wine List:
The Ranch Restaurant
SeaLegs Wine Bar
The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

Best Californian Cuisine:
SeaLegs Wine Bar
Tabu Grill
Two 40 South

Best American Cuisine:
Bistango
The Ranch Restaurant
Savannah Chop House

Superior Service:
Anaheim White House
Mesa
Villa Roma

Most Delicious Dessert:
Maro Wood Grill – Banana Bread Pudding
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen – Beignets
LUCCA – S’mores in a Jar

Best New Restaurant:
Arc Food & Libations
Bruno’s Trattoria
SeaLegs Wine Bar

Most Golden Pastry Chef:
Chef Amelia Marneau, Marche Moderne
Chef David Rossi, The Ranch Restaurant
Chef Rachel Klemek, Blackmarket Bakery

Golden Chef Award:
Chef Alan Greeley, Golden Truffle
Chef Michael Rossi, The Ranch Restaurant
Chef Yvon Goetz, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

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