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Dana Point IlluminOcean

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in News

Dana Point IlluminOcean

Dana Point IlluminOcean
This stunning holiday festival of lights makes its debut in Dana Point Wednesday night, November 26, 2014 and runs through January 4, 2015. Great news… it’s FREE to the public. Dana Point IlluminOcean Holiday imagination shines bright with larger-than-life sea sculptures and moving light tunnels dotting the Southern California coastline.

Dana Point IlluminOcean will electrify the Southern California shoreline with 40 nights of holiday lights. This wonderland by the sand — created and funded by The Resorts of Dana Point to become an annual winter tradition — features a brilliant spectacle of 18 oversized lighting sculptures with over 225,000 LED lights, and is free to the public for viewing nightly at sundown through January 4, 2015.
Dana Point IlluminOcean lights

As thousands gather to celebrate the season at New York’s Rockefeller Center or Chicago’s Millennium Park, Dana Point Harbor enchants and excites visitors of all ages with a vibrant exhibition for the whole family to enjoy.

As the whale watching capital of the world, and proud stewards of the coastal ecosystems which drives most of the destination’s tourism traffic, the sea-themed holiday lighting sculptures showcase the city’s devotion to ocean preservation.

From octopus and sharks, to starfish and surfers, the dazzling displays are highlighted by a towering glow-motion tree, light tunnels stretching longer than a football field and over a dozen gigantic lighting sculptures — so big visitors can walk through and inside the belly of a glowing 40-foot Blue whale!

As visitors stroll through the colorful collection of immersive attractions, every step is filled with vibrant sights and sounds while roaming street performers entertain crowds, glow merchandise shines and “Whale Eyes” 3D glasses give a must-see holographic look at this holiday spectacle.

See the lights. Explore the sights. This year and every year, only at Dana Point IlluminOcean. For additional information, visit myDanaPoint.com.

ABOUT DANA POINT, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Conveniently located in Orange County — halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles — Dana Point showcases a breathtaking collection of resort properties with an approachable elegance unique to the Southern California shoreline. Dana Point’s dramatic beauty is complemented by a distinct variety of year-round signature events, as well as boundless ocean experiences along its golden coast. Renowned as the whale watching capital of the world, Dana Point features an abundant marine life and legendary OC Dana Point Harbor that opens to an ocean of possibilities.

ABOUT DANA POINT ILLUMINOCEAN:
From November 26, 2014 through January 4, 2015, the lights come to life every night at Dana Point IlluminOcean and it is free to the public. This large-scale family holiday lighting attraction, backed by The Resorts of Dana Point with support from multiple community stakeholders, features 18 ocean-themed lighting attractions with over 225,000 LED bulbs situated along the one-mile harbor of the quintessential Southern California town of Dana Point. The oceanic holiday walking tour experience will be lit nightly at sundown, creating a festive tradition for all to enjoy for years to come.

ABOUT THE RESORTS OF DANA POINT
A collection of four luxury coastal properties—including the St. Regis Monarch Beach; The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel; Doubletree Suites by Hilton Doheny Beach – Dana Point; and Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa—joined together in 2010 to form a Tourism Business Improvement District. Collectively, their objectives include the development and execution of promotional activity to increase leisure and meetings travel to the destination.


Hollywood Christmas Parade and Hollywood Hotel

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

 

Hollywood Christmas Parade

Walk the world’s longest Red Carpet on Sunday, November 30, 2014 with The Hollywood Hotel.  For the first time in the hotel’s history, the team at Hollywood Hotel is inviting guests to walk with them on the world’s longest red carpet.  The 3.5 mile long red carpet takes you along the historic LA streets of Hollywood Blvd, Sunset Blvd, and Vine in the 86th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade.

Hollywood Hotel

In this exclusive package, this year the Hollywood Hotel team will be “wrangling” a giant The Elf on the Shelf balloon character accompanied by the beloved books’ co-creator Carole Aebersold.

Benefitting Toys for Tots, this year’s Grand Marshal is Stevie Wonder and guest co-hosts include Erik Estrada, Dean Cain, travel expert Laura McKenzie, and Montel Williams. Check out more details here http://thehollywoodchristmasparade.org/

The exclusive Hollywood Hotel’s Hollywood Christmas Parade Package: Reserve your room at the Hollywood Hotel over November 30, 2014 and guests can walk the parade route, help “wrangle” The Elf balloon, all while representing Hollywood Hotel. Room rates start at $154 per night/double occupancy (2 night minimum) and includes overnight stay, hot buffet breakfast, Wifi, Hollywood Hotel t-shirt and holiday hat to wear in the parade and, of course, walking in the parade.  PROMO CODE: XMAS.
Hollywood Hotel - Hollywood Christmas Parade - Official Photo

Hotel guests do not have to walk in the parade.  If you prefer to view the parade, the hotel is offering a 30% discount on Grand Stand seats for guests staying at the hotel.

For more information or reservations, call 1-800-800-9733 or local, (323) 315-1800. Or, visit hollywoodhotel.net or the Hollywood Hotel Facebook page.

About Hollywood Hotel
The original Hollywood Hotel was established in 1903 on Hollywood Boulevard, owned by H.J. Whitley, the tycoon credited with establishing Hollywood. It was known as “the” Hollywood hotel as the city began to grow with the advent of the silent film era. Rudolph Valentino, who lived in room 264; met and married his first wife, Jean Acker, there, and spent their honeymoon in his room. In 1967 Hollywood Hotel, was reestablished on Vermont Avenue and since then has become an icon in its own right. International athletes and dignitaries have stayed, to American celebrities such as Kristen Wiig, Drew Barrymore, Aidan Quinn, Jessica Biel, to John Krasinski and BJ Novak and Jason Rittter, all of whom have attended or performed at the hotel’s comedy club open mic nights.

The 130-room Hollywood Hotel is “where all the action begins in Hollywood.” Located in the center of the entertainment capital, the vibe of this intimate hotel is a comfortable, cosmopolitan meets vintage Hollywood glamour and steps away from shopping, world-class dining and cutting edge culture.

Hollywood Hotel is one of the most reasonably priced hotels in the city and offers incredible value in a central location. Guests start their day with a complimentary hot breakfast buffet, can later bask by the pool surrounded by gardens and sip a cocktail in the stylish outdoor bar and lounge after a day of sightseeing or shopping.

Hollywood Hotel
1160 Vermont Ave
Hollywood, CA 90029
(800) 800-9733
(323) 315-1800


Sofitel and Trimbach Wines – The Perfect Pairing

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

Trimbach Winemaker dinner

Sofitel and Trimbach Wines : The Perfect Pairing

Sofitel Wine Days

As Sofitel closed out another successful celebration of wine and food during Sofitel Wine Days, I had the pleasure of meeting one of the premiere featured winemakers at the Trimbach Winemaker dinner. Trimbach wines are harvested and bottled in the Alsace region of France, which is located along the fartherest eastern border of France. Situated along the Wine Route, the Ribeauville village is sheltered between the Vosges Mountains and the vineyards and has been home to the Trimbach family wines and neighboring vineyards since 1626.
Trimbach wines

Now, that’s what you call vintage wines! Twelve generations of winemakers have put their passion into producing these highly acclaimed wines just as their family founder, Frederic Emile Trimbach, received the highest distinction at the International Wine Fair in Brussels in 1898.  And on this night in 2014, these highly acclaimed wines were to be selectively paired with the cuisine of Chef Marius Blini of Softel.

Champagne beginnings

I was invited to dine by Nilou Rahmani, the Esterel Restaurant Manager and a woman very engaged in working with the culinary and wine team to bring the freshest foods prepared in the highest quality and pairing with fine wines. To my delight and in true French fashion, I began my evening with a social chat with friends over a glass of champagne in the Sofitel lounge preparing my tastebuds for the delectable dinner ahead. With Executive Chef Marius Blin and Trimbach wines at the helm for the evening, I knew I was in good hands.
Chef Marius Blin

Upon entering the elegant Esterel restaurant, I was greeted by another Frederic ~ Frederic Zemmour, the Sofitel Los Angeles’ Food and Beverage Manager who seated me and my guest in a luxurious booth with a Chef’s table-like view of the kitchen. Perfectly poised to see the Chef at work. Frederic shared that the Trimbach wine Ambassador, Anne Trimbach, would be arriving shortly and I gleened in anticipation. And thus, dinner began.

Chanterelle Mushrooms stuffed bone marrow
The first course was a Roasted Marrow Bone “stuffed” with chanterelle mushrooms and garlic puree served with persillade toast and paired with Trimbach Pinot Noir. Persillade is a seasoned mixture of fresh parsley, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and customarily some seasonings all finely chopped together to create a delicious paste of sorts which, in this case, has been paired with chanterelle mushrooms. YUM! The Trimbach Pinot Noir features red fruit and blackberry aromas and comes from the best terroirs and is only produced “in the very best years”.

Anne Trimbach and Chef Marius Blin

About this time, I had the pleasure of meeting Anne Trimbach. As mentioned above, Anne is the Trimbach family wine ambassador and the grand niece to family founder, Frederic. “Does the Trimbach family use steel casks to age the wines?” I ask. “Never, never,” replies Anne. “We use nearly ancient oak barrels – some dating back to 1717 – that are so old they have neutral flavors.” Anne went on to explain that she grew up at the winery, what fun that must have been, and that they keep a close track on the measure of sugar in the grapes to determine when to harvest. Curious, I inquire, “When harvesting, do you use machines to pick the grapes or hand harvest?” Anne proudly exclaims, “Trimbach grapes are hand-picked, hand-harvested lending to the quality of the harvesting process.” Oooooh, I’m intrigued. Next course, please.

Chef Blin preparing the branzino

Chef Marius Blin chose Seared Branzino for the entree. Branzino, if you are not aware, is a white fish that is usually grilled or pan seared whole or fileted with the skin on. Chef Marius opted for pan seared white fish filets served with braised leek and fennel, California sunchoke puree, and yet Chef took the dish to a whole new dimension by adding a poached oyster and local caviar polished with his classic beurre blanc sauce.
Plating the branzino and Esterel

Wow, talk about a dance party in your mouth. The piece de resistance? A wine pairing of Trimbach Riesling. Well balanced subtle flavors and fruit, this elegant wine was perfectly paired with Chef Marius’ Branzino and Anne also recommends pairing with other fish such as smoked, grilled, or fried fish and white meats such as pork.

Branzino with oysters, caviar and tomatoes

The Cheese course arrived with a delicious pairing of Trimbach Pinot Gris. Let’s start with the wine first… one of the most remarkable Alsace grape varieties, the pinot gris combines full-bodied, dry fruitiness with a hint of smokiness that appropriately pairs with foods that possess depth of flavor. You can’t get anymore depth of flavor than an array of flavor-forward cheeses. When it came to cheese, Chef chose the Schloss Marin Farm cow’s milk cheese, Bay Blue Pointe Reyes Farmstead (cow), San Andreas Bellwether Farm sheep’s milk cheese accompanied by roasted red grapes, chocolate macadamia tuiles, and fresh honeycomb. Ummmmm, we could stop here and my tastebuds would be thriving in happiness. But, there was one more course to come. Dessert.

The Cheese plate

Strawberry Basil Sorbet highlighted the end of a savory evening and was accentuated by almond meringue, hibiscus flower, micro mint, a macaron shell and one of the most revered Trimbach wines – the Trimbach Gewurztraminer “Reserve”. Pair with spicy dishes, Asian-inspired cuisines, strong cheeses and featured here, fruit-based desserts.
Sorbet

If “the accidity of a reisling keeps you alive”, as Anne Trimbach states. Then, we shall all be alive indeed. Cheers!

For reservations at Esterel restaurant at Sofitel LA, visit SofitelLA

For more information about Trimbach wines, visit Trimbach.com


The 3rd Annual Golden Foodie Awards 2014

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Hollywood

Golden Foodie Awards
The 3rd Annual Golden Foodie Awards 2014
winner Cathy Thomas
On September 28, 2014, Orange County’s culinary elite don their red carpet attire – or in this case, golden carpet attire – for the 3rd Annual Golden Foodie Awards to be held at the Fairmont Hotel in Newport Beach. Produced by Pamela Waitt, the Golden Foodie Awards celebrates the best in local food, restaurants, chefs, and culinary writers. Each year, attendees enjoy a pre-awards reception filled with signature dishes and cocktails from restaurant nominees and sponsors followed by the awards gala event and post-awards reception.
taste at the Golden Foodie Awards
The Golden Foodie Awards features over 28 categories including Best Mexican Restaurant, Best Burger, Best Happy Hour, Best Bartender, Best OC Food Writer among others which are awarded by public voting which took place during the month of August. Other top categories are the Golden Chef award, Golden Pastry Chef, and Best New Restaurant which are voted on exclusively by the Golden Foodie Awards guild.
with Vicki Gunvalson at the Golden Foodie Awards with Vicki Gunvalson at the Golden Foodie Awards
This years celebrity presenters include OC Housewives’ Heather Dubrow, Vicki Gunvalson, and Shannon Beador, Los Angeles’ Charm City Cakes owner, Duff Goldman, Mercedis “MJ” Javid of “Shahs of Sunset”, and comedienne Frances Dilorinzo will host the gala awards event for the 3rd year in a row. Guests will enjoy sweet “golden” treats from Valenza Chocolatier “Bonbons of Gold”, Casey’s Cupcakes “Golden Velvet Cupcakes”, and gold kissed spheres of Golden Chocolate Rochers by Fairmont Hotel pastry chef, Jeffrey Kahle all designed specifically for this red carpet evening.
with Duff Goldman at the Golden Foodie Awards with Duff Goldman at the Golden Foodie Awards
Sponsors of the Golden Foodie Awards: Fairmont Newport Beach, Sub-Zero and Wolf, Kanantik Belize, Celebrity Cruises, Orange Coast Magazine, 95.5 KLOS and 790 KABC, KOHLER, Melissa’s Produce, Travelzoo, Ketel One, Orange County Register, Kean Coffee, Code Four, La Crema, Patrón, Sadie Rose Baking Company, The ACE Agency, The District at Tustin Legacy, Aloha POS, Surfas Culinary District, Greer’s OC and Piper-Heidsieck Champagne.
Chefs Yvon Goetz and Pascal Olhats Chefs Yvon Goetz and Pascal Olhats
The public is welcome to attend but seating is limited so purchase tickets as soon as possible for a taste of and inside look at the OC culinary scene. For tickets and more information, visit goldenfoodies.com
presenter Wing Lam presenter Wing Lam


ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen… Where It’s National Tequila Day Everyday

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen… Where It’s National Tequila Day Everyday
Don Myers
National Tequila Day is July 24 but you don’t have to wait until then to celebrate… just head to Brea, California where ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen is tops in tequila and cuisine. Created by culinary mastermind, Don Myers, ChaCha’s takes “Mexican food” to a whole ‘nother level. You see, Don has been in the culinary world for decades. Not to make him seem old, Don is far from old, but he’s been honing his culinary chops since 1972! As Don says, “that’s BC!” and I am sure that he means that is bc – before I moved to California. With one successful restaurant after another, Don knows his way around a kitchen and a restaurant. And, a bar.

ChaChasMiracleMargarita ChaChasMiracleMargarita

Speaking of bar, let’s start there. ChaCha’s features nearly 50 different tequilas ranked by drinkability which translates to “your favorite”. Signature seasonal cocktails: Watermelon Margarita, Miracle Margarita, and the ChaCha’s award-winning Sangria Tradicional. Naturally, ChaCha’s has beer, wine, and can make virtually any cocktail you can dream of but these signature classics are a great place to start.

Sangria Tradicional Sangria Tradicional

With Happy Hour everyday and happenings every week such as Monday Night Date Night, Tacos and Tequila Tuesdays, Enchilada and Wine Wednesday, Locals Night Thursdays, and Sunday Brunch, there’s a tasty reason to go to ChaCha’s every day of the week.

Aguachile Aguachile

With foods like Shrimp cured in cucumber, lemon and orange juice, red onion, Serrano chilies, cilantro and mint – otherwise referred to on the menu as “Aguachile” – you will WANT to dine here every day. Other menu highlights: Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad, Camarones Adobados which is Large Grilled Shrimp marinated in lime and cilantro and served with summer squash, roasted corn, jicama, and adobo sauce, Open-Faced Short Rib Enchiladas consisting of corn tortillas with Guajillo braised short ribs, pasilla chile, achiote onions, and Guajillo sauce.

Open Faced Enchiladas Open Faced Enchiladas

And, make sure to share the fresh Guacamole, a delicious combination of Haas avocado, Serrano chile, fresh lime juice, and tomatillo salsa – the final ingredient for guac perfection. To finish, Homemade Churros – chile spiced chocolate sauce, fresh seasonal berries and cream top the cinnamon sugar crusted fried sensation. ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen is worth the drive any day, even National Tequila Day next July.

Homemade Churros Homemade Churros

ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen in Brea, California
110 West Birch Street
Brea, CA 92821
714.255.1040
for more information, visit: ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen


Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

Fourth Annual LA Food & Wine

4th Annual Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival

LAFW 2014 downtown
Over a balmy August weekend, celebrity chefs from all around the world converged in Los Angeles for the fourth annual Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival. Produced by Coastal Luxury Management, LLC which also produces the star-studded Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival now in its 8th year, this year’s festival highlights included the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Celebrity Chef Challenge, Asian Night Market with Iron Chef Morimoto, tribute dinner to culinary icon, Nancy Silverton, and Grand Tasting events both Saturday and Sunday with participation from over 100 restaurants and 150 wineries representing some of the top culinary talent in the Nation.

Iron Chef Morimoto Iron Chef Morimoto

This unforgettable gastronomic culinary immersion took place over 4 days in the heart of downtown Los Angeles with smaller culinary events transpiring in nearly every part of the city. Festivities kicked off on Thursday night with the Ultimate Bites of LA presented by Chase Sapphire Preferred®.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Chef Challenge winners board

The red carpet event was attended by celebrities and culinary stars such as Ben Ford, Lorena Garcia, Michael Chiarello, and festival CEO and co-founder, David Bernahl. Amid the fanfare, the first-ever chef challenge presented by Chase Sapphire Preferred® revealed the winning champion chef team of Fabio Viviani and Ray Garcia.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Chef Challenge winners 2014
Viviani and Garcia won the best street taco and cocktail challenge by impressing judges, including Food & Wine magazine’s Justin Chapple, with their Mango Chicharron Chile Relleno Taco. The grand prize of $20,000 was presented by Chase Sapphire Preferred® and benefitted the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
Chefs Viviani and Garcia preparing their tacos
Friday’s Power Lunch series stretched from Santa Monica’s One Pico with Elizabeth Falkner to Sven Mede, to Downtown LA’s Faith & Flower where Ferguson Crest wines, owned by Fergie Duhamel of the Black Eyed Peas, paired wines with Dominique Crenn and Executive Chef Michael Hung’s inspiring menu.
Elizabeth Falkner
Food and wine never tasted more inviting into the night than at the Asian Night Market where hundreds of food lovers enjoyed sashimi, 5-spice pork belly taco from Jet Tila, Chris Oh’s “Flaming Ball” from Seoul Sausage, and Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s Chicken Dumpling who gracefully pleased legions of fans by participating in selfies and fan photos. Other highlights included a Lamb Ramen from EggSlut’s Alvin Cailan.
Asian Night Market
Saturday and Sunday’s afternoon Grand Tasting events certainly held up to their name with seminars, cooking demonstrations, book signings and the Lexus Grand Tastings held at LA Center Studios where chefs dished out signature fare and top wines poured all day and into the night.

Chef John Cox sharing sea urchin Chef John Cox sharing sea urchin

Kicking off the Saturday evening grand event was a live performance by Common for the Lexus LIVE on Grand event hosted by Michael Chiarello. Then, sounds Afro-Caribbean style music from the children’s ensemble amaWolseley Marimbas flowed through the air while guests enjoyed a putting green and patio lounge and cocktails in the Airstream 2Go from The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Hitching Post wines
Just a few steps away at the beautiful Cathedral of St. Vibiana in downtown, Dinner with the Michelin Stars served up culinary decadence with chefs such as Michael Cimarusti, Dominique Crenn, David Kinch, and Pierre Gagnaire whom I had the pleasure to meet at a private Mandarin Oriental event in West Hollywood.

with Chef Pierre Gagnaire of Mandarin Oriental with Chef Pierre Gagnaire of Mandarin Oriental

As mentioned above, the Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival is now in its fourth year. Generously supported by Food & Wine magazine, Lexus, The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, JENN-AIR, Delta Airlines and Chase Sapphire Preferred®, the four-day epicurean event showcases the finest in food and drink throughout Los Angeles.
Graham Elliott Graham Elliott
The star-studded lineup has included celebrated chefs such as Giada DeLaurentiis, Graham Elliott, Curtis Stone, Michael Chiarello, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Thomas Keller along with LA favorites Michael Voltaggio, Rory Herrmann, and Matsuhisa Nobu.

Chef Luigi Fineo at LAFW 2014 Chef Luigi Fineo at LAFW 2014

A Coastal Luxury Management, LLC (CLM) production, co-founder and manager David Alan Bernahl II creates unique experiential opportunities in the hospitality, entertainment, restaurant, and event sectors. Named 2012 and 2013 by Inc Magazine as one of the “Top Food & Beverage Companies”, CLM has also been included int he annual Inc 500/5000 ranking of the fastest-growing privately owned companies in the United States.

Challengers, Chefs Elliott and Ford Challengers, Chefs Elliott and Ford

For more information about Coastal Luxury Management, contact media@clm-ca.com
Susan with Iron Chef Morimoto
Goose Island Pale Ale
Miraval Provence
Chefs Viviani and Garcia before the win