Los Angeles, New York and Las Vegas might boast the highest density of celebrity chefs, but that doesn’t mean that Orange County doesn’t have its fair share of heavy hitters in the culinary department. These restaurants, owned or operated by celebrity chefs should be at the top of your radar when you are choosing a dining location; if you are lucky, you’ll even spot them working in or visiting their restaurant on occasion.
800 West Coast Highway
Newport Beach, CA 92663
Mario Batali, Nancy Silverton, and Joe Bastianich are at the backbone of Pizzeria Mozza, located in Newport Beach. The trio serves up pizzas, salads, and antipasti to happy guests on a daily basis utilizing the best attributes and passions of each founding member. Mario Batali, regular host of ABC’s “The Chew,” is one of the most recognized chefs worldwide with restaurants around the globe. Silverton, the culinary brains behind the restaurant’s pizzas, expresses her quality and artisanship in simple yet fantastic pies with a variety of unique ingredients and spices.
Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdales
Bloomingdale’s South Coast Plaza
3333 Bristol Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Executive Chef Seakyeong Kim, the Culinary Institute of American graduate known world-wide for his ever-rotating style of cuisine and unique meditation practices that lead to his artistic dishes, commands the helm at Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s, located in South Coast Plaza. The warm natural environment echoes Chef Kim’s sensibilities where he serves up sophisticated dishes including an expansive raw bar, Thai snapper, Filets, and Truffled Mac and Cheese.
2981 Bristol St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
118 Degrees, the kitchen that specializes in a plant-based food diet, is operated by Chef Jenny Ross, the author of the successful “The Art of Raw Living Food.” Her meals and recipe ideas are not only delicious, they are all uniquely prepared at 188 degrees or lower to maintain maximum nutrient density and digestive enzymes that are normally “cooked out” of foods. Their plant-based ingredients, all free from dairy, gluten, soy, and preservatives will help diners feel healthy and well.
AnQi Gourmet Bistro
3333 Bristol St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
The highly successful culinary family, Chef Helene An and the An family, owns and operates AnQi Gourmet Bistro in Costa Mesa, a gourmet bistro and noodle bar serving up a mashup of California and Vietnamese cuisine. With many items made in their Secret Kitchen, open only to members of the family and select employees with long tenure in the family, recipes made by the An family utilize the “Yin and Yang of Cooking,” a philosophy that combines the healthiest of foods with an unwavering attention to exceptional taste. Guests love the filet mingon dumplings, garlic noodles and Molecular Miso Soup.
True Food Kitchen
451 Newport Center Dr.
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Dr. Andrew Weil, although not exactly a celebrity chef, has brought his concept and understanding of healthy, anti-oxidant foods his Oprah-endorsed restaurant concept, True Food Kitchen. Located in Newport’s Fashion Island, Weil’s stamp of approval coupled with Executive Chef Michael Stebner’s attention to flavorful, health-inspired foods, makes True Food Kitchen a must-try Orange County lunch or dinner destination. The restaurant features a wide variety of delicious, healthy meal options including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options.
Andrea Ristorante at Pelican Hill
22701 Pelican Hill Rd S
Newport Coast, CA 92657
Chef Marco Criscuolo of Andrea Ristorante at Pelican Hill began his career helping his mother and grandmother prepare their favorite dishes at their home in Puglia, Italy. His career has taken him through Italy’s Istituto Alberghiero Cesare Braico, with professional experience in Sweden, Holland, Egypt, Australia, and the United Kingdom. His well-rounded training and connection with Italian cooking roots add depth to the Northern Italian menu at Andrea Ristorante where he even creates hand-made pastas in the Cucina della Pasta, the pasta room. From pan-seared scallops to salads made with 100-year-old balsamic, Wagyu beef, Lobster bisque, varities of ravioli, Acquerello Risotto, and more, the entree selections at Andrea are consistent with Crisculolo’s quality, creative spirit, and craftsmanship.