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Event: Riviera Magazine To Live and Dine Chef’s Challenge

Event: Riviera Magazine To Live and Dine Chef’s Challenge

Riviera Magazine To Live and Dine Chef’s Challenge 


Riviera To Live and Dine Chef’s Challenge was an amazing gathering of Orange County’s Top Chefs, each putting their talents on display. The event took place in the courtyard of the SoCo Collection. The Chefs competed to earn the votes of the attendees and at the end of the evening a winner was announced. See who won later in the post.  The event was sponsored by the good folks at Riviera Orange County Magazine at the SoCo Collection.

Below are my highlights from the event:

Riviera Magazine To Live and Dine


The Ranch Restaurant provided the best dishes of the night, with Chef Rossi leading his kitchen team serving up prosciutto wrapped figs and Sea of Cortez Scallops. These guys can make a gourmet dinner in a canoe.

Riviera Magazine To Live and Dine


Taco Maria’s brick and mortar makes it’s debut at the Riviera Magazine To Live and Dine Event. Chef Carlos Salgado served a runny yolk with chorizo and topped with whipped egg whites, all served in an egg shell. This dish was very creative and it was great to see Chef Carlos blossom with a full kitchen at his disposal.

Riviera Magazine To Live and Dine Taco Maria


Chapter One’s Jason Montelibano “Chef Chicken Wang”, not only takes over as Head Chef of Chapter One, but won the Riviera Magazine To Live and Dine Chef’s Challenge.

Riviera Magazine To Live and Dine



Artisan Bread producer  “Bread” made a delicious cheese and sesame seed twist and  The Cheese Shop provide freshly melted, “French-Swiss-Italian Nachos.” The boys from Portola were up to no good, us usual.

Riviera Magazine To Live and Dine

Chef Yvonne Goetz from The Winery Restaurant presented a short rib on Risotto, it rich and delicious. Chef Noah Blom from ARC created a “Land, Sea and Air Dish” that made me coming back for 2nds and 3rds. :) 



A couple restaurants that really impressed were Mastro’s, Pascals, Mare Culinary Lounge and Sandy’s. Although, Mastro’s really knocked it out of the park with their dish. Chef Pascal’s fully dressed oyster made me giddy as a school girl!

Riviera Magazine To Live and Dine



About Tom Holmberg

Tom grew up in a cultural diverse neighborhood and a culturally diverse family, so he has learned to appreciate all types of food. "I am not a Chef, nor do I play one on T.V., but I have learned to appreciate food from years of eating and cooking." Tom also spent 10 years in the restaurant industry in various roles, from Prep Cook to server.


  1. I am in for the winery restaurant ,i am a big short rib fan

  2. So much food…so little time to eat it all!

  3. We cannot wait for Taco Maria to open! Chef Carlos’ creations are magnificent! We’ve enjoyed his food truck at SoCo for a long time! Anais Tangie has a golden touch at bringing such a great following to SoCo!

  4. Savannah-Lin Dofa

    So I saw the Roy’s napkin!.. hahaha I love Roy’s.. They have great food there..

  5. I watch a lot of food shows on tv, but I must admit a lot of it goes over my head! I wish I could taste what it being cooked by those amazing chefs. That being said, I would like the top one. It’s pretty and it looks scrumpsous! Which one do you like?

  6. These events are so much fun to attend. Chefs are very competitive and it’s great to taste the fruits of their labor!

  7. Great pics! I love seeing the behind the scenes of how chefs create wonderful dishes.

    Yvonne Brown

  8. I’m really liking those scallops. They look delicious….so big and meaty!

  9. Very interesting concept…Land, Sea & Air concept! That looks good to me..well they all do!

  10. I cannot pick a favorite, but I can tell that I can’t wait to try some of these places on my next visit to Orange County!

  11. OMG french swiss italian nachos – must have been to die for!

  12. I look forward to your posts!! I’m addicted!!! :)

  13. MMM…everything sounds so good! I can almost smell the sesame and cheese bread twists, and the rib risotto sounds out of this world!

  14. food looks great

  15. Are those scallops really that big!? Everything looks so great, but I do have a weak spot for scallops! Yummy!

  16. My goodness Tom, where do you find all these awesome restaurants ?
    Do tell :)

  17. I would have to go with The Winery Restaurant….. everything looks so good

  18. such delicious looking food. mmmm

  19. Such yummy looking food! Fun times!

  20. You sure have an amazing career and you do a great job writing about it and taking such delicious pictures.

  21. I have to say the scallop dish too. I can’t believe how big it is and we sure don’t find those around here!

  22. I aboslutely LOVED the scallop from the Ranch!! It was cooked perfectly and literally melted on my tongue! I also enjoyed the macaron popcorn ice cream sandwich! YUMMM

  23. You find the coolest things and place to go! I love finding out about new restaurants and stuff from your blog! I probably would have never even considered going to some of these places until I read about your personal experiences… thanks!

  24. I think that fully dressed oyster looked interesting and beautiful!

  25. I am definitely going to the Artisan Bread producer next time I am in the area. I absolutely love cheese breads!

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