Food is the stuff of life, at least that’s the way I think of it. I look forward every day to being able to have a wonderful food experience. It doesn’t have to be gourmet. It could be a favorite hamburger or chocolate shake or hot dog, and I can tell you exactly where I would go to partake. It could also be a favorite dish at a local eatery or a new restaurant and a choice of foods I’ve never eaten before. That’s always fun too. Then, there are those special meals at friends’ homes, where loving hands have prepared what I know will be delicious fare (my friends are good cooks!).

That’s why this issue excites me. It’s the Food Issue, and we get to feature some standout places, where the cuisine will make you smile. All in Newport Beach, I’m sure you’ve heard of them–Balboa Bay Resort, The Pacific Club, Zov’s at Newport Coast, and Mixed Bakery in Corona del Mar. The chefs and baker, in the case of Mixed Bakery, are committed and passionate about their craft.

Bill Bracken’s Food Truck is about food too–the healthy and nutritious food he is creating to feed families who don’t have enough to eat on a daily basis. With nearly 400,000 people hungry in this county and 45% of them school-age, it is a daunting task, but Bracken is committed to making a difference.

Kristin Martin is inspired to help nonprofits, as she orchestrates one of the coolest food events around. It’s called “Table for 10,” and features 30 of Orange County’s top chefs, each cooking for tables of 10. This year’s proceeds benefit Vocational Visions and The Teen Project.

Suzette Zara adds her two cents in the food category this month by celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with recipes for Mini Spinach Tarts, Artichoke Pepper Hummus and Vodka Spearmint Punch. Do you detect a decidedly green theme? You bet!

And, finally, you’ll enjoy Deirdre Michalski’s history of The Ritz Restaurant and its resurrection as the newly-opened The Ritz Prime Seafood in Newport.

Before I sign off, not related to food, but very exciting, is the opening of the Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University. Thanks to Mark and Janet Hilbert and their generous donation of California Scene art, we are all blessed by being able to view these wonderful works of art. I’m sure you’ll love the paintings with the story as much as I do!

Wherever food leads you this month, do enjoy. It’s the stuff of life!

Until next time,

Donna Bunce, Editor