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The Westin chef and Rep. Sanchez team up for charity event

July 01, 2009|By Dan Pittman

Executive Chef of The Westin South Coast Plaza Hussain Zouhbi recently teamed up with U.S. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez to create a winning appetizer titled “Trio of Fillet” for Celebrity Chef OC, a new fundraising event for Community SeniorServ (CSS).

This inaugural, signature special event was a huge success, raising $30,000 for their senior nutrition programs, including those serving seniors in Costa Mesa. About 200 guests attended and had a great time watching the Celebrity Chefs compete while enjoying a gourmet dinner prepared by the award-winning Anaheim White House Restaurant.

Loosely based on the Food Network’s show “Iron Chef”, Celebrity Chef OC featured notable Orange County residents in a cooking competition. In addition to Sanchez, the other Celebrity Chefs that participated included: Richard Chambers, CEO, CalOptima; Lou Correa, California State Senator; Janet Nguyen, Orange County Board of Supervisors; and Reid Priddy, member of the gold medal winning Men’s Olympic Volleyball team.

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The Celebrity Chefs were paired with local professional chefs and had one hour to improvise and cook an appetizer and an entrée using the secret ingredient that was revealed at the beginning of the cooking competition. A distinguished panel of judges including Fifi Chao, Food and Restaurant writer for the Orange County Business Journal; Greg Spierkel, CEO at Ingram Micro; and John Haney, Food Services Director at Community SeniorServ determined the winners based on taste, presentation and originality.

Born and raised in Vienna, Austria Chef Zouhbi worked in Vienna, Salzburg, Upper and Lower Austria. Before moving to the United States, Chef Zouhbi was the private chef to the French Ambassador in Vienna. Since joining The Westin, he has assisted sister properties like the Westin Century Plaza, St. Regis Century Plaza, St. Regis Monarch Beach, Westin Pasadena and Westin Boston Waterfront.

Community SeniorServ salutes the following corporations that supported the event: J. Goodman & Associates; Kaiser Permanente; Monarch HealthCare; OneCare, a program of CalOptima; Skilled Healthcare; SYSCO Food Services; Tyson Foods; UPS and U.S. Foodservice.

Community SeniorServ is the largest provider of meals and support services to older adults in Orange County. More than 1,000 homebound clients are delivered three meals a day five days a week. In addition, another 1,300 older adults are served a nutritious lunch at one of 27 senior centers in central and north Orange County.

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