The Celebrity Cruises Great Food and Wine Festival was celebrated at the Orange County Great Park located in Irvine, CA.
This annual event, now in its 5th year, was created by the Legal Aid Society of Orange County (LASOC) to increase awareness and raise funds to support LASOC’s legal services and education programs to low-income individuals and families struggling to gain self-sufficiency. LASOC has been serving Orange County and southeast Los Angeles County, as Community Legal Services (CLS), for over 55 years. Each day LASOC/CLS provides free and low cost civil legal services to more than 200 people.
The event included an online silent auction that allowed participants to bid on desirable items prior to and during the event using their own smartphones. The feature allowed the promotion of the event and the businesses that provided silent auction items across the entire county.
The event featured more than 40 award-winning restaurants, premium wineries, and other food-related businesses.
Great Food Festival: Food Highlights
Here are descriptions and photos of the food served during the festival.
The folks from Celebrity Cruises assembled a super chic and spacious lounge (white with blue accents). Attendants had the opportunity to rest on comfy couches while sipping on wines served by representatives of the cruise line.
In addition, Celebrity had several booths offering information about their ships, programs, sales, and special events (a lot of them related to food). There was an opportunity to win a cruise and goody bags full of useful stuff were available to take home.
Everybody was raving about the Wahoo Poke from James Republic
The staff from Clay Oven charmed us with Lamb Kebabs with Spicy Tomato Chutney.
The Lobster Rolls from Slapfish were to die for (the bread was delicious).
Brio was serving excellent pasta alla vodka (lots of us were mesmerized by the garlic aroma).
They also served a delicious salad with berries, grapes, and balsamic vinegar.
Cucina Enoteca served a beet salad with goat cheese and rhubarb.
The short rib from Black Tie & Blue Jeans Catering melted in your mouth. They served it over garlic mashed potatoes.
Vegetarian fare was the specialty of 118 Degrees.
The Cellar served lobster bisque.
The Melting Pot was serving their chocolate goodness over strawberries and brownies.
We also had the opportunity to try the cheese from Londoner USA.
Here is a partial list of the businesses that offered drinks to attendees. Most people I talked to during the festival were interested in this side of the event.
Benzinger Family (Glen Ellen, CA)
Cholame Vineyard (Irvine, CA)
Gallo Signature Series (Modesto, CA)
Grgich Hills Estate (Rutheford, CA)
Jackson Family (Santa Rosa, CA)
King Frosh (Laguna Nigel, CA)
Malibu Rocky Oaks Estate Vineyard (Malibu, CA)
Navarro Vineyards (Philo, CA)
Quigley Fine Wines (San Diego, CA)
Zaca Mesa (Los Olivos, CA)
In my conversation with several people, I perceived satisfaction and happiness. Since the afternoon was enjoyed by the attendees, I can say the festival was a success. People who have traveled all over the world commented about the quality of the food and wines. Therefore, this is a recommended event for foodies and for those who want to spread their culinary wings.
Great Food Festival: Details
- Visit the following website if you are interested in attending the event next year: http://www.greatwinefestival.com/
- For more information about the Orange County Great Park visit this page.
- Learn more about the valuable services LASOC provides to our community by watching this short video.
More of Orange County
Have you attended the Great Food Festival? Would you like to attend a similar event?
Disclosure: I attended the event with a media pass. However, all the opinions expressed here, as always, are my own.