The 2017 Golden Foodie Award Winners

Sunday, September 25th marked the Sixth Annual Golden Foodie Awards for 2017, hosted by well-known author and broadcaster Simon Majumdar. The event, which honors some of Orange County’s best chefs and restaurateurs, was held at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel overlooking a gorgeous sunset and view of the gardens. Prior to the ceremony, guests were greeted with a red carpet entry to the Rose Garden where culinary delights from many of OC’s popular eateries were featured.

The reception included tastings by Urbana Mexican Gastronomy & Mixology, Hook & Spear, Angelina’s Pizzeria Napoletana, Sol Agave, Mix Mix, Taco Rosa, Legado Bar + Kitchen, Filomena’s Italian Kitchen & Market, Baja Shellfish – Chef Pascal, Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar, Red O Restaurant, Pizzeria Ortica, Waterman’s Harbor, Skyloft, Mozambique, House Of Blues and Melissa’s Fresh Produce. Libations were prepared by Patron, Maker’s Mark and Ketel One, each serving signature cocktails.

Among the winners were Mix Mix Kitchen & Bar for Best New Restaurant, Chef Manny Velasco from SOL Agave for Rising Star Chef of the Year and Chef Rich Mead from Farmhouse for Chef of the Year. Chef Alan Greeley was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award, the first that the Golden Foodies has given in this new category. Here is the complete list of winners:


2017 Bartender of the Year:
Jose Zepeda – Hopscotch  *WINNER*
Paul Joseph Piane – Orange Hill Restaurant
Tanner Johnson – Watertable

2017 Best Cocktails in Orange County:
Farmhouse at Rogers Gardens  *WINNER*
Vine Restaurant & Bar

2017 Best Bar Program:
The Ranch Restaurant  *WINNER*
The Blind Rabbit
Vine Restaurant & Bar

2017 Best Lunch Spot in Orange County:
The Deck
Sgt Pepperonis  *WINNER*
Farmhouse at Rogers Gardens

2017 Best Brunch in Orange County:
Old Vine Cafe  *WINNER*
Taco Rosa

2017 Best New Restaurant:
Taco Brat
Mix Mix  *WINNER*
Recess Room

2017 Rising Star Chef of the Year:
Chef Joel Harrington – Lido Bottle Works
Chef JT Walker – Pacific Hideaway
Chef Manny velasco – SOL Agave  *WINNER*

2017 Favorite Food Influencer in Orange County:
Connie Bang-Co Aboubakare – OC Comestibles
Neil Saavedra – The Fork Report  *WINNER*
Sondra Barker – Pretty Fit Foodie

2017 Best Wine Program:
The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar  *WINNER*
Napa Rose
The Ranch Restaurant

2017 Best Beer Program:

2017 Outstanding Community Service:
Bruno Serrato – Anaheim White House  *WINNER*
Dave Hanna – Hanna’s Prime Steak
Pascal Olhats – Pascal’s

2017 Restaurateur of the Year :
Alicia Whitney – SeaSalt & SeaLegs, Huntington Beach  *WINNER*
Teresa Razo – Villa Roma, Laguna Hills
Blake Mellgren – Craft House, Dana Point

2017 Best Dessert Menu in Orange County:
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen  *WINNER*
Mixed Bakery

2017 Best Entree in Orange County:
Cowboy Ribeye – The Ranch Restaurant  *WINNER*
Bosscat Burger – Bosscat Kitchen+Libations
Korean Fried Chicken – Krave Asian Fusion Restaurant

2017 Best Service Award:
The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar
Selanne Steak Tavern  *WINNER*
Villa Roma

2017 Pastry Chef of the Year:
David Rossi
Elyssa Fournier  *WINNER*
Jorge Sotelo

2017 Chef of the Year:
Chef Rich Mead  *WINNER*
Chef Ross Pangilinan
Chef Michael Rossi

Lifetime Achievement Award 
Alan Greeley  *WINNER*

After the awards ceremony concluded, attendees were welcomed to the Garden of Eden After Party where Patron, Maker’s Mark and Ketel One crafted their delicious trademark refreshments. Among the featured drinks were Ketel One’s grilled cocktails and Patron’s Apple Cider Margarita. Chunk N’ Chip offered custom ice cream sliders and Sadie Rose Baking Co. served cute bites from Super Sexy PB&J Bar.

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