Show 72, May 17, 2014: Owner / Chef Mark McDonald, Old Vine Café, The Camp in Costa Mesa

Mark McDonald of the Old Vine CafeSome six years ago owner/chef Mark McDonald opened the Old Vine Café hidden in The Camp in Costa Mesa. Unusually for a fine-dining establishment he serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Chef Mark also has a serious wine program.

It’s top quality cuisine and wine in a non-pretentious, casual atmosphere. Mark did a lot of cooking in Southern Italy and that’s reflected on the seasonally changing menu.

Chef Mark really wants his guests to enjoy, and sample, new wines. His “6 for $60” wine program encourages this.

He also leads annual escorted tours to Italy in association with The Italian Culinary Institute.

Show 8: December 1, 2012: Executive Chef Greg Harrison and General Manager Jim Colombo of the iconic Five Crowns & SideDoor in Corona del Mar Part One

How do you reposition a 47 year-old landmark known for special occasions and incredible prime rib? Chef Greg and Jim share the process of how they have reinvigorated The Five Crowns so it’s not just your Grandparents restaurant anymore.

As part of the process the former bar area has been remodeled into a popular British-style gastropub with an inspired small plates menu which changes all the time based on what’s fresh in the marketplace. It’s a casual atmosphere and no reservations are required.