Show 234, July 29, 2017: Executive Chef / Proprietor Amar Santana’s Vaca Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner

Amar Santana at the Top Chef FinaleOn Thursday evening, August 10th Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa is hosting a sumptuous, 7-course wine-paired dinner with an abundance of passed hors d’oeuvre as a festive Friends of James Beard Foundation Benefit to celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary.

Chef Amar is also well-known locally for Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach and as the runner-up from lucky Season 13 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” in what the judges noted was the tightest final competition of the series’ long history!

Santana and partner Ahmed Labbate, whose roots together at South Coast Plaza go back to 2008 when they opened Charlie Palmer, will welcome 100 discriminating guests with a love of food and wine to the Beard dinner. Santana is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

The festivities on August 10 will include a small silent auction during an al fresco reception. While enjoying the signature Vaca Tonic and hors d’oeuvres, guests may peruse deluxe offerings, which will include a LVMH Luxury Champagne experience for 16 guests; packages from South Coast Plaza, the Montage Laguna Beach and Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, unique dining experiences, luxury travel destinations, and high-end wines.

Seats are $350 and $300 for members of the James Beard Foundation, all inclusive. For reservations to the Friends of James Beard Dinner at Vaca, please register online her For more information, please contact VACA GM Ghali Benhima at 714.463.6060. A credit card will be requested to secure the reservation.

VACA Group Partner & Executive Chef Amar Santana (well-traveled) provides the tempting preview.

The Orange County Register’s long-time Food Business Staff Writer, Nancy Luna, had a great explanatory piece with Chef Amar on Vaca’s upcoming Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner that ran in the print edition on July 27th.


Show 10, December 22, 2012: (Chef) Jeffrey Frederick, VP of Food & Beverage for Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas

Jeffrey Frederick, VP of food and beverage, Caesars Entertainment; Jeff Eichelberger, Wine Sommelier, Gordon Ramsay Steak; JP Teresi, General Manager, Gordon Ramsay Steak; Steve Yi, Pastry Chef, Gordon Ramsay Steak; Kevin Hee, Executive Chef, Gordon Ramsay Steak; Chef Gordon RamsayOn Monday evening in Las Vegas (Dec. 17th) Gordon Ramsay Steak at The Paris in Las Vegas hosted a spectacular Friends of James Beard Foundation Benefit (five courses plus passed hors d’oeuvres to start, and wine pairings for each course) to fund the new Gordon Ramsay Steak scholarship at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Las Vegas.

Mr. Frederick introduced the dinner as well as presented the closing remarks. Chef Ramsay also spoke and greeted all of the guests.

Jeffrey recounted the evening. He also detailed all of the recently opened Chef Gordon Ramsay restaurants in Las Vegas.

Gordon Ramsay Steak opened last May and has already served an astonishing 82,495 guests as of early December! Last Tuesday evening Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill opened at Caesar’s Palace in the former Bradley Ogden space, and today, Dec. 22nd Gordon Ramsay BurGR debuts at Planet Hollywood. To open two, high-profile, celebrity chef restaurants in Las Vegas in the space of a week has to be a record!