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The Crowd: An olive leaf for the New Year

January 17, 2013|By B.W. Cook
  • Executive Chef Pierre Albaladejo, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort; Executive Chef Frederic Castan, St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa; Banquet Chef Michael Doyle, Balboa Bay Club & Resort; Executive Chef Rob Wilson, Montage Laguna Beach; Executive Sous Chef Chris Johnson, Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel; and Executive Chef Erasmo Rodriguez, Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa will all support the Ocean Institute’s Jazz Festival on Feb. 22, 23 and 24.
Executive Chef Pierre Albaladejo, Park Hyatt Aviara… (Daily Pilot )

In the Eastern Hemisphere, the Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese New Year, Spring Festival, is the most important holiday occasion on the annual calendar. In Orange County, the Lunar New Year celebration, which begins Feb. 10, is being observed throughout the region with considerable excitement and hope for a healthy and prosperous 2013. For those unaware, the holiday is an occasion when red envelopes signifying good luck are often filled with money and presented to loved ones and friends in a symbolic gesture of good faith. Lunar New Year has also become an important occasion for our retail friends in the community, inasmuch as gift-giving is a significant aspect of marking the occasion.

Luxury retailer Tiffany & Co. has long been in the forefront of celebrating the Lunar New Year. This season, two of Tiffany & Co.'s most esteemed designers are presenting unique merchandise for the occasion. Elsa Peretti introduces a brilliant snake necklace to commemorate the Year of the Snake. The necklace has been called "provocative, a natural form in the Peretti style that reflects her unique take on modern design." The snake necklace in 18-karat gold will be on display at Tiffany & Co. South Coast Plaza as the frontispiece for the Lunar New Year collection 2013. Tiffany & Co.'s Paloma Picasso will also unveil her exquisite Olive Leaf design collection in-store at South Coast Plaza for an exclusive showing Feb. 11 through 15 under the supervision of store director Michael Botsko. The spectacular new collection has been "inspired by the cherished symbol of peace and abundance," which, of course, is the olive branch. The public is invited to stop in and take a peek.

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Last month, organizers behind the Ocean Institute's annual fundraiser invited VIPs to a menu tasting at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort and Spa. The crowd was invited to sample delicacies at a culinary preview that began with passed canapés prepared by Chef Erasmo Rodriguez, representing the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa, along with fabulous hors d'oeuvres created by Chef Josef Lageder of the Balboa Bay Club & Resort. Dinner began with a cream of wild mushroom soup from Chef Frederic Castan of the St. Regis, followed by seared scallops prepared by Montage Laguna Beach Chef Rob Wilson and finally slow braised beef short ribs courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel and Chef Andres Jimenez.

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