Show 48, November 16, 2013: Jon Blackford, Executive Chef of A Restaurant, Newport Beach

Jon Blackford of A RestaurantWhat is now the popular A Restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach is a reborn successor to a classic dining spot dating back to 1926. It’s the oldest operating restaurant in storied Newport Beach.

A few years ago new, enthusiastic, local ownership completely restored the place to its current ageless steakhouse atmosphere. The rumor is that this group of locals spent some three and one-half million dollars on the project! It’s handsome, in the tradition of grand steakhouses, with a very popular bar.

Jon Blackford is the executive chef. His charge is to continue to serve great steaks but also elevate the rest of the menu. Believe it or not he loves market fresh vegetables and amazes with something as “ordinary” as beets.

He impresses with creative charcuterie and cheese plates and house-made grilled sausages. All the sauces and salad dressings are prepared right there.

A colleague described him as “passionate, dedicated, creative, stubborn, tough, great vision, and healthy.”