|Pig Out for Nonprofits
To purchase pre-sale PigOut tickets
at a discount (VIP $100; regular
ticket $75), buy by August 3.
There are many worthy chef-driven
charitable events every year.
A favorite nonprofit among OC
chefs is Share Our Selves in Costa
Mesa, with annual culinary events
including the Wild and Crazy Taco
Night and Celebrity Chef Dinners.
Perhaps the most prestigious culinary
charity event in OC is the Taste of the
Nation dinner at Montage Laguna
Beach, each spring benefitting Share
Foodies who like to give back while enjoying a culinary evening out have many choices in Orange County. Chefs are asked to give back to the community more than most professions by contributing their time and creativity – and often a rare night off – to nonprofits. The prospect of great food and a chance to mingle with culinary stars draws diners and donors to support numerous great causes around the area.
Most of these events are totally legit and do much good for great causes, while also giving local chefs some publicity and face time with an adoring public. A select few historically have been less charitable, with for-profit promoters peddling an event to multiple charities over the years, taking advantage of chefs. So that’s why we’re excited about a new event created by a favorite OC chef and a fast-rising foodie star in the media; plus, it’s dedicated to one of our favorite foods: pork.
Devised and developed by Amar Santana, chef of Broadway in Laguna Beach, and Bobby Navarro, blogger at 100eats100days.com, PigOut 1.0 will be held August 5 at Newport Dunes Resort. The event will focus solely on pork, featuring pieces of pig from some of Orange County’s coolest chefs, including Dee Nguyen (Break of Dawn), Ryan Adams (370 Common), Franco Barone (Il Barone), Aron Habiger (The Crosby), Alessandro Pirozzi (Cucina Alessa and Mare Culinary Lounge), Mark McDonald (Old Vine Café), Casey Overton (The Loft at Montage), Deborah Schneider (Sol Cocina), Yvon Goetz (The Winery), Greg Daniels (Haven), and Seakyong Kim, Amar Santana’s successor at Charlie Palmer.
For those who wonder how many ways there are to cook a pig, here are a few proposed dishes, though of course, being chefs, they’re not ready to commit to a menu yet: chile verde pork made with slow cooked Vande Rose Farms pork shoulder and tomatillo salsa; bacon chowder made with Vande Rose Farms smoked bacon and stewed pork shoulder, pork sausage, fried potato and bacon garnish; pork fat cupcakes; pig creme brulée; and whole roasted bacon, bone in, cut to order.
Proceeds from the event will stay in the culinary and creative community through Inspire Artistic Minds (IAM), a foundation founded by Navarro, who made his name by dining at 100 restaurants in 100 days. The mission of IAM is to bridge an educational gap in the community by “providing those in the hospitality and culinary industry the ability to attend seminars, classes, to take certifications, to visit mentors in other great establishments, and bring their newly found inspiration to a still growing community,” Navarro says.
“I have worked with a few different charities and have often felt that chefs, restaurants and their staffs have been asked to give so much to so many different causes,” he says. “But rarely do they actually see the effect in their own community, let alone in their own industry.” Navarro hopes to use a portion of funds raised to endow the fund in perpetuity. “We are going to change the world... and it’s gonna start here,” he says.
The goal is to raise $120,000 for the foundation, and a portion of proceeds will also go to Careers through Culinary Arts Program, a national nonprofit dedicated to making the culinary dreams of youth come true.