Tasting Notes

Traveling to a new destination is always an adventure, and even more so, when all our senses become immersed. Wine tasting unmistakably delivers information about the peculiarities and uniqueness of the area. Wine is produced in every state in the U.S., but California is the state with the most wineries. From northern to southern California, visitors and locals alike can…

A Signature Celebration       

It started in the ballroom of an Anaheim hotel, where a few hundred close friends of what was then Chapman College gathered for the annual Founder’s Day event. The celebration featured a program of choral music, built around a simple theme: American renewal.

October 2018 Around Town

Rock n’ Roll Icon Celebrates The Lido Theater Anniversary Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer Bill Medley was part of a recent two-event celebration of The Lido Theater’s 80th anniversary. “A Simple Evening with Bill Medley” was a benefit concert for Lupus International, in honor of his late Righteous Brothers partner Bobby Hatfield, whose wife Linda … Continued

Katherine McPhee Wows Ocean Loving Audience

Oceana’s 11th SeaChange Summer Party drew a sold-out contingent of 400 guests to a private Laguna Beach villa overlooking the Pacific Ocean, where singer/songwriter/actress Katherine McPhee entertained. A superb dinner and over-the-top silent and live auctions were highlights, and more than $1 million was netted for local ocean conservation efforts. Chair Emeriti and ocean conservation … Continued

Christine Ebersole: In the Spirit of a Song

Not many artists can communicate the emotion of a song quite like Broadway legend Christine Ebersole. With her brilliant three octave vocal range, she reveals all the nuances of a character she inhabits on the stage, reflecting their joy, their sorrow, the anguish of lost love…and of getting a little older—nothing eludes her.  Each musical sketch transforms into a mini…

Food is the Stuff of Life!

Our Food Issue Is always of interest to our readers. This October issue features a wonderful culinary event benefiting the Alzheimer’s Family Center, which spotights 30 top Orange County chefs creating delectable food offerings showcasing their talents on October 28th at Paséa Hotel in Huntington Beach. One of those chefs, Scott Raczek, is featured in our Hot … Continued

“Bring on the Rhythm” Gala Delights

The Philharmonic Society of Orange County’s annual gala showcased students performing from Travis Ranch Middle School’s Advanced Orchestra, who have been helped by PSOC’s “Strike Up the Band” program. Held at Samueli Theater, 100 guests enjoyed a superb dinner, bidding on eight tempting live auction items and dancing to the pulsating rhythms of Project M. … Continued

Miracle of Mobility Gala Nets $1.63 Million!

Funding more than 20,000 free wheelchairs was the result of netting $1.63 million at Free Wheelchair Mission’s 15th Annual Miracle of Mobility Gala held at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Keynote speaker Swati Dlamini Mandela, granddaughter of Nelson Mandela, lauded FWM’s efforts, which has  provided more than 1 million wheelchairs to those with disabilities in … Continued

Smooth Jazz at its Best!

The 20th Annual Eric Marienthal & Friends Concert at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach drew a sold-out crowd of 1,000+ jazz-loving guests to benefit the High Hopes Brain Injury Program. Marienthal entertained along with special guests Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band and Johnny Mathis. Funds raised were designated to helping individual’s recover from traumatic brain … Continued

Gala Proceeds Cap Space Redesign Project

More than 400 physicians, philanthropists and community supporters attended Saddleback Memorial Foundation’s Spring Gala held at Monarch Beach Resort. An impressive $285,000 was netted for I’Magine, the space redesign project for MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center, bringing the three-year total to $8.25 million, surpassing the $7 million goal for the $16 million project. Photography Paul Gero

Scholarship Luncheon a Heartwarming Affair

44 Women for Orangewood’s 14th Annual Scholarship Luncheon attracted 300 guests to the Fashion Island Hotel, where former Orangewood foster youth and scholarship recipient Orlando spoke about his success earning bachelor’s and masters degrees, ultimately also helping his sister Desiree. Youth advocate and best-selling author Steve Pemberton touched hearts telling his journey through the foster care … Continued

Chef Masters Benefit Raises Funds for Dementia Patient Care

The Alzheimer’s Family Center was established in 1970 in a church basement, later moving to an elementary school before finding its current home in 1999, thanks to a partnership with Hoag Hospital that created a 20,000-square-foot dementia-specific center in Huntington Beach. It is the only day care program in Orange County exclusively devoted to treating people with dementia.

90 Pacifica

Situated in the heart of Orange County, just off the 405 and 133, lies 90 Pacifica Restaurant & Bar, a satisfying restaurant nestled right inside the DoubleTree Irvine Spectrum. Owned and operated by Pacific Hospitality Group, the DoubleTree sets the tone for a friendly, hospitable, from scratch restaurant.

Beyond the Perfect Pink Sand Beaches

Best known for it’s incredible beaches, Bermuda is not only an island paradise because of its pure sands and warm tides, but the island is also on the map for having some delectable food options. Bermudians have a unique flavor and style of cooking, one that transcends to the local dishes as well as the translated dishes of the chefs…

Food Styling 101: Cook It Like a Chef

 Article and Photography Jessica Roy  Creating a beautiful dish that will please a crowd or your family and friends is achievable with just a few quick tips and easy-to-follow steps. One of my beliefs is that people eat first with their eyes; therefore, I love to create food that is vibrant, fresh and, of course, delicious. Taste to me is…

Monsters Among Us

 Article Dawn Bonker  Monsters aren’t just the stuff of Halloween, swooping onto the scene in the trappings of their breed–capes, fangs, flying brooms and all the rest–then exiting stage left until next season.  “People can conjure them up like soup, with fear of the unknown a key ingredient,” says John Benitz, chair of Chapman University’s Department of Theatre in the…

2018-19 College Football Playoff Favorites

 Article Rick Gaeth  The 2018-19 college football season is fast approaching. The NCAA playoff committee has made it clear for this season that only Power Five conference teams (SEC, Big 10, ACC, PAC 12, and BIG 12) will be allowed a spot in the College Football Playoff. That leaves only a handful of teams that realistically have a chance to make…

Master Thespian Lets Loose in Irvine

 Article Helena Danovich  With 21 plays under his belt, Lovitz graduated from UC Irvine in 1979.  Inspired by his comic idols, Al Jolson and the Marx Brothers, Jon Lovitz came to UCI in the mid-70s to study acting. In September, he’ll be back in Irvine at the Barclay to offer up his personal brand of stand-up.

The Performing Arts are Flourishing!

I always love this issue, since I have an arts background and am tuned in to what is happening here in our lovely community. I have a degree in music and taught vocal music in Indiana, where I’m from, and in Fountain Valley, California for six years before, sadly, the music program was severely cut … Continued

Pacific Symphony: A 40-Year Journey

 Article Timothy Mangan  Jimmy Carter was president, “All in the Family” won big at the Emmys, disco was still popular and the Yankees beat the Dodgers in the World Series. There was no cable or cell phones or personal computers. People read newspapers, on paper, delivered by kids on bicycles. We’re talking 1978, 40 years ago.  That was also the…

Athens Culture is Intoxicating

 Article Andrea Poe  Athens is a cultured European hub. The city gets a bad rap as a place to fly into before departing as fast as possible. Perhaps that’s because the gorgeous Greek islands beckon like sirens, but, in fact, the city has an undeniably artistic soul. Here, even the shops, cafes and vibrant bustling street life have a poetic…

September 2018 Around Town

Whittier Trust Hosts Reception at Hilbert Museum Following Chapman University’s 40th anniversary of its Economic Forecast on campus at Musco Center for the Arts, Whittier Trust hosted a private reception and tour for their clients at Chapman’s Hilbert Museum, where Chapman President Emeritus Jim Doti (Forecast presenter) and his wife Lynne were presented a certificate of gratitude … Continued

TMS Opens Offices for Treatment of Depression

NewEra TMS celebrated its grand opening with a reception at its new office located at Bella Terra Medical Building in Huntington Beach. In addition, the company is opening another office in Newport Beach/Costa Mesa. The practice offers safe and effective transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for the treatment of depression. The innovative solution represents an alternative … Continued

Sensational Offerings from our Community’s Performing Arts Titans

 Article Donna Bunce | Photography Photos Provided  The Orange County community is fortunate to be blessed with three performing arts venues that offer an amazing array of cultural offerings.  The oldest, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, was launched in 1986, and is today one of the country’s major performing arts centers. Celebrating its 32nd season, audiences will enjoy everything from…

Sixth Annual “Priceless” Luncheon Addresses Human Trafficking

 Article Donna Bunce  Dr. Sandra Morgan, Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women and Justice (GCWF) director, is on a mission. Her passion is to eradicate human trafficking. With a pediatric nursing background, Morgan began her anti-trafficking work in Athens, Greece in 1994 by serving on the board of the Athens International Nurses Association. After returning to the U.S., she volunteered…

WHW Celebrates 25 Iconic Years

WHW, which provides the unemployed and underemployed the skills and resources they need to get and keep a good job, celebrated 25 years at its annual luncheon and fashion show (by WHW’s retail store, Deja New) at Pasea Hotel in Huntington Beach. With an “old Hollywood” theme, many of the 400 guests participated, with $197,000 … Continued

Serious Fun Gala Honors Longtime Supporter

Kate Duchene was presented the Dove Award for her dedication to breaking the cycle of domestic violence by Human Options, a nonprofit dedicated to that mission. Held at the Balboa Bay Resort, 325 supporters enjoyed a Tahitian Nights-themed evening, which featured a performance by the Muana Neui School of Polynesian Dance and helped net $328,000 … Continued

Rivals Cup Inaugural Golf Tournament a Sell-Out

Kure It Cancer Research's inaugural golf tournament drew a full contingent of golfers to Pelican Hill Golf Club for a great day of golfing followed by an awards banquet and auction. Competitive UCLA and USC alums vied for the trophy, which went to USC. The effort netted more than $135,000 for underfunded cancer research. Photography … Continued

Tennis Classic Brings Out Record Crowds

The 57th Annual Roy Emerson Adoption Guild Tennis Classic, held at multiple venues over Memorial Day weekend, drew record crowds and raised monies for Holy Family Services’ foster and adoption services. Australian-born tennis champion Roy Emerson shared a bit of tennis history and of his lifelong love of the sport during the winners’ presentations. Photography … Continued

Community Leaders Excel in Raising Awareness and Money for LLS

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Orange County Inland Empire Chapter held its Grand Finale gala at the Irvine Marriott for 300 guests to announce the winners of the 2018 Man & Woman of the Year. Six exceptional community leaders raised money and awareness for and about blood cancers, helping raise $533,224 for the cause. Photography … Continued

Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast Welcomes Basketball Great

More than 920 guests attended the 15th Annual Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast at Hotel Irvine, raising funds to support initiatives targeting education, health, housing and income challenges facing women and children in Orange County. With Earvin “Magic” Johnson as keynote speaker and students from Paul Revere Elementary dancing, it was an event to cherish. Photography Steven … Continued

Rolling on the Rhine

 Article David Duran  U by Uniworld is the first river cruise dedicated to a new generation of adult travelers, with a hip, stylish look and feel that offers immersive experiences along the world’s most popular rivers. Itineraries focus on longer stays in destinations, allowing guests to connect with local people, experiences and each city’s vibrant nightlife. The U fleet offers…

Bringing the Doggies Out

 Article Jessica Roy | Photography Jessica Roy, Ana Launes  Stepping out into the California sun to enjoy great food is a must. Being able to make it a family outing by bringing your kids and pets could make it even better. Newport Beach houses three particular kid-and-pet-friendly locations we must mention. These restaurants not only offer delectable California fare, they…

Dr. Peter Smrecek, DDS Welcomes Daughter to Practice

 Article Randy Harding | Photography Ana Launes  Dr. Peter Smrecek, DDS, graduated from dental school in 1977. He spent three years in the Navy Dental Corps and has practiced dentistry in the Irvine/Newport Beach area of Orange County for the past 38 years.  Looking to follow in her father’s footsteps, Dr. Smrecek’s daughter Jaclyn, graduated from University of the Pacific,…

Giving Back Through Education

 Article and Photography Ana Launes  There are many ways to give back to the community by contributing to various causes, but one of the most powerful ways is through education. Educating your family, especially your children, with regard to pet care is an integral part of that education. Our pet experts agree that a family who disciplines and cares for…

Footloose on Campus…and in the Streets

 Article Donna Bunce  It was a unique opportunity for Chapman University dance students to blur the lines between performer and viewer as they executed brief high-energy numbers around campus and in a nearby intersection during an afternoon flurry of performances.  The dancers’ stages were a crosswalk, an art museum and an outdoor sculpture. Motorists, pedestrians and onlookers became instant audiences. The…

Icons and Rising Stars

 Article Helena Danovich  The Barclay's 2018-2019 season with artists who have collectively amassed such a great number of high caliber awards and nominations is a fabulous feat.  Procuring award-winning artists is a challenging task for any performing arts venue; curating a single season with artists who have collectively amassed such a great number of high caliber awards and nominations is indeed…

Pets Rule!

 Article Donna Bunce | Photography Ana Launes  We’ve included some community people in our feature on pets and kids to show how important pets are to family life. Whether dogs or cats - canaries or turtles - it is evident that their addition brings joy to the families who take them in.    

‘Living the Life of Riley’

 Article and Photography Deirdre Michalski  I didn’t really plan it this way when I first got our puppy 12 years ago. Like motherhood, I started out with the best of intentions. I cuddled our new bundle of joy and took him to behavior classes and slowly introduced him to other dogs. It all started out so well. I am of Irish…

Welcome to our Pets and Kids Issue!

Can I tell you how much I love our kitties? Doug and I have two adorable cats, both rescues, who are the delight of our lives. Katie, an orange and white long-hair (see her pictured), and Frankie, a beige tomcat with blue, blue eyes (that’s why he’s called Frankie, after Sinatra!). Unfortunately, he wouldn’t sit still … Continued

August 2018 Around Town

Comedy Pet Theater Coming to The Barclay Comedy Pet Theater Coming to The Barclay Popovich Comedy Pet Theater is a blend of the unique comedy of Gregory Popovich, award-winning star of the Moscow Circus and champion juggler, and the extraordinary talents of his performing pets. Popovich and his cast of over 30 gifted animals, all … Continued

Latin-Inspired ‘Life Without Limits’ Gala

United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County held its annual "Life Without Limits" gala with Tarek El Moussa of HGTV's popular Flip or Flop as guest host and with 2018 American Idol finalist Effie Passero entertaining. The 300-guest, Latin-themed benefit honored longtime supporter Scott Pievac as the individual Impact Award recipient and loanDepot as the Corporate Impact recipient. 

“Brighter Futures Luncheon” Brings Awareness

Laura's House held its third annual "Brighter Futures Luncheon," with 220 guests helping net $86,000 to help with domestic violence-related services. The keynote speaker was Cyber Cop, Clayton Cranford, who spoke on cyber safety. The Girl Scouts of Orange County and budding advocate and philanthropist Ali Shimabuku were honored for their support of the Laura's House mission. Photographer … Continued

Prominent Film Industry Women Featured

Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts held its 19th Annual "Women in Focus" luncheon and conference at Dodge with five??? of the film industry's most prominent women leading a panel discussion for 400 luncheon attendees and Chapman students. Featured were Dorothy Fortenberry, Amanda Barclay, Bonnie Pan, Rachel Skidmore, and Winnie Kemp. Photography Tony Lattimore, Olivia Dom

“Women of the Year Awards”

The 24th Annual "Women of the Year Awards" luncheon, hosted by Orange County Business Journal at Hotel Irvine, honored five remarkable women: Patty Avielo, President, New American Funding; Sheng Wang, Chief Technology Officer, AutoGravity; Shelly Hoss, President, Orange County Community Foundation; Nicole Suydam, CEO, Second Harvest Food Bank; Joni Rogers-Kante, Founder/CEO/Chairwoman, SeneGence International, Inc. Photography Laurel … Continued

Special Olympics Orange County Celebrates 50 Years

The "Heart of a Champion" gala celebrated Special Olympics Orange County's 50th anniversary and lauded its late Founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Honorees included NFL Hall of Famer and longtime Special Olympics supporter Vince Ferragamo, who was awarded the nonprofit's inaugural Hall of Fame Award, and Rebecca Nerney, honored as Outstanding Athlete, with the Betty Belden Palmer Award. Photography … Continued

Art Shines at Balboa Island Artwalk

The 24th Annual Balboa Island Artwalk, held on a beautiful sunny day in May, showcased talented artists and marked the start of Balboa Island's summer season. Held along the South Bayfront Promenade, 100 artists were featured exhibiting paintings, sculpture, blown glass, fine and fashion jewelry, and photography, with performing musicians entertaining along the way. 

“Hamilton” Finale for Arts & Business Leadership Awards Dinner

Segerstrom Center for the Arts' Fifth Annual Arts & Business Leadership Awards Dinner served the carrot on the stick as its finale – tickets to the Tony Award-winning "Hamitlon" at Segerstrom Center. The dinner, held at Samueli Theater, honored Samuel Tang with the Rising Star Award and Moti Ferder with the Distinguished Leader Award. Photography Doug Gifford, … Continued

Hot Summer Happenings

 Article Donna Bunce  There are no lack of options for fun summer happenings in our community. Whether enjoying the 2018 Vans US Open of Surfing competition in Huntington Beach, the world-renowned Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach or celebrating our nation's founding on July 4th through planned events at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina or watching…

Mixology Renaissance

 Article Chef Jessica Roy  Cucumber Orange Cooler  A perfect summertime recipe calls for sunglasses, great weather, and, of course, a great cocktail. Here at the Renaissance, we have an amazing beverage program that showcases “hand crafted cocktails made with freshly squeezed juices and house made syrups,” says Kevin Goodchild, our Director of Beverage and Food. Our cocktails are a reflection of…