Do Us Proud, Other Taste of Orange County!

I guess I’d be a little intrigued by a food festival with such a great name. But Taste of Orange County—yes—this Saturday and Sunday, June 15 and 16, at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, has other things to offer, too

Nearly 30 local restaurants and beverage companies will be on hand with samples of their best, and live music will play throughout. Visitors use tickets to purchase food and drink; some entrance packages include food tickets—click here for info. For free entrance (food tickets are additional) use this link, and code TOOC-FOOD.

On Saturday, from noon to 10 p.m., the festival is a 21-and-over trip. On Sunday, families are welcome—everywhere but the designated alcohol-consumption zones—from noon to 8 p.m. On both days, a wine-and-tequila Ultra Lounge (at additional cost) features seminars with O.C. wine superstar and The Ranch food and beverage director Michael Jordan. Look for local chefs demoing, too.

Saturday evening, the “Great OC Farm-to-Table Dinner” ($149 per person) benefits the Culinary Liberation Front, a group of Orange County chefs organized around the lofty goals of minimizing environmental impact from their restaurants, and promoting nutritional awareness among O.C.’s less fortunate.

Starting with a 6 p.m. appetizer reception, the seven-course meal will be prepared by nine O.C. chefs using ingredients from no further than 200 miles away—enough land and sea to provide seared yellowtail, braised leeks, shellfish butter, and crispy shallots from Three Seventy Common’s Ryan Adams, and glazed Santa Barbara County Berkshire pork shoulder with creamed sweet corn and baked beans from chef Greg Daniels of Haven Gastropub and Taco Asylum.

To keep up with last-minute additions and changes, follow the festival’s Facebook page.

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