Summer foodie event, Pacific Wine & Food Classic, will be star-studded with chefs, wineries, and more

Pacific Wine & Food Classic has announced the first chefs, restaurants and wineries set to participate in the foodie event of the summer. Celebrate the season with summer inspired culinary bites, wine pairings and refreshing hand crafted cocktails beachside at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort on Saturday, August 19 and Sunday, August 20, 2017.

Pacific Wine & Food Classic’s menu is completely inspired by the summer season. Participating chefs will create dishes reminiscent of their favorite summer memories. Patron Tequila will offer “Patron Pops” as a fun summer treat as well as the ultimate Patron experience complete with Summer Margaritas. Bacardi, Effen Vodka and Makers Mark will also be serving refreshing cocktails to quench every thirst. Guests can enjoy incredible culinary entertainment on the Fisher & Paykel / DCS Culinary Stage, hosted by Simon Majumdar.

Chef Pascal Olhats (above, left – Pascal Restaurant), and Adrian Garcia (right - Skyloft) are among the participating chefs at the Pacific Wine & Food Classic

Food Network’s celebrity chef and judge Simon Majumdar, host of the inaugural classic commented, “I am thrilled to be invited to host the Pacific Wine & Food Classic in the idyllic setting of the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort. I cannot think of a better location to highlight the chefs, winemakers and mixologists from one of the most exciting and fastest growing food scenes in the United States.”

Pacific Wine & Food Classic chefs include: 

Adrian Garcia - Executive Chef, Red O

Andrew Monterossa - Executive Chef, TAPS

Arthur Ortiz - Chef, Skyloft

Brian Huskey - Executive Chef, Tackle Box

Cathy Pavlos - Owner & Chef, Provenance Restaurant

David Man - Executive Chef, Island Hotel Newport Beach & Coastal Catering

Deborah Schneider - Executive Chef, SOL Cocina

Elyssa Fournier - Pastry Chef, Mixed Bakery

Eric Mickle - Executive Chef, Orange Hill Restaurant

Ernie Alvarado - Chef, Urbana

Evandro Caregnato - Culinary Director, Texas de Brazil

Greg Daniels - Executive Chef, Haven Gastropub & Provisions Market

Jason Mazur - Executive Chef, Bluewater Grill

Joel Guiterrez - Chef, SeaLegs Wine Bar

Karla Vasquez - Chef, Chelas Mexican Restaurant

Katy Smith - Executive Creative Chef, Puesto

Linda Johnsen - Executive Chef, Filomena’s Italian Kitchen & Market

Mark MacDonald – Owner & Executive Chef, Old Vine Café

Pascal Olhats - Executive Chef, Pascal Restaurant

Peter Lai - Executive Chef, Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge

Reymundo Pinedo - Chef, Sundried Tomato

Shachi Mehra – Owner & Executive Chef, Adya

Tia Baker - Chef, Solita Tacos

Tim Maher - Executive Chef, SeaSalt Woodfire Grill

Pacific Wine & Food Classic wineries include: Belleruche Rose, Bouchaine, Brassfield Estates, Cherry Pie, Conundrum, Deutsch Family Wines & Spirits, Federalist Cabernet, Ferrari Brut, Ferrari-Carano Vinyards and Winery, Franciscan Estate, I See Kay, JLC Rose, John Anthony Family of Wines, Layer Cake, Markham Sauvignon Blanc, Mionetto, Rutherford Hill Merlot, Sanford Chardonnay, Wilson Creek Winery

The Pacific Wine & Food Classic takes you to the days of summer when days are long, your toes are sandy and the air is salty. Simple days filled with friends, laughter, and sunshine. Enjoy the most accomplished Winemakers, Chefs, and Culinary Talent in a breathtaking setting.

Tickets are $150 for single day and $250 for two-day general admission. VIP tickets are $200 for single day and $350 for two-day admission. Purchase of VIP ticket grants 30-minute early admission, access to the Champagne Bubble Lounge and the Grassy VIP lounge overlooking the bay that will serve special bites and cocktails. VIP tickets are very limited.

For more information on the Pacific Wine & Food Classic and to purchase tickets, please visit

The hills are alive with golden flowers

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Hillside flowers brighten a cloudy sky

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Photo by Jean Brotherton

Mustard flowers at Crystal Cove State Park

Laguna Beach Republicans next meeting April 27

The Laguna Beach Republicans (LBGOP) will hold their monthly meeting on Thursday, April 27, at Mozambique 1740 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach.  Social hour at 5 p.m. Meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

Emil Monda, President of the LBGOP invites all Republicans, Independents and Libertarians to attend the meeting. 

“We will be discussing the recently passed unpopular gas tax hike, candidates for City Council, and Larry Nokes, from ‘Let Laguna Live,’ will present on the Heritage Issue,” he said. “The City is trying to remove property rights from homeowners and we do not agree with the methods they are using.”

We ask those interested to be at Mozambique on Thursday April 27th, to please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  as space is limited.

von Hemert Interiors says goodbye to Laguna Beach location


When Anna Martin-von Hemert opened her doors to her small shop in Laguna Beach for the first time in 1953, one can imagine her dreams for Martin & von Hemert weren’t grand, but were a big departure from the company’s humble beginnings in 1920. Ever since that fateful day, von Hemert Interiors has enjoyed the city’s welcoming nature, small town feel, coastline charm, and warmth from the local residents of Laguna Beach. Laguna is a city like no other. The close-knit community bonds and friends we have made over the years will be remembered and treasured always. 

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Von Hemert Interiors closing its doors on April 30

After 64 years of having a retail furniture and interior design business in Laguna Beach, von Hemert Interiors has decided to sell their store and will be closing their doors on April 30th. It’s been an absolute pleasure being an integral part of Laguna Beach’s history and helping our customers find special pieces that make their homes distinctly unique. We’re not saying goodbye, but rather, we hope you visit us just up the road at our store in Costa Mesa. von Hemert Interiors’ location in Laguna Beach has been nothing short of a wonderful experience. Thank you to the community of Laguna Beach for being such wonderful friends to the von Hemert family.

About the author

I had worked at our Laguna Beach store for 15 years (from 1993 to 2007.) My grandfather, Theodore von Hemert (who is deceased) also worked along-side at the store with his mother Anna Martin-von Hemert in the mid 50’s and 60’s. My brother Mickey (who is no longer employed at von Hemert Interiors) also worked at the store in the mid 80’s and early 90’s.

High 5-A-Thon and Music Festival at Dana Hills HS on April 22 promote Mental Health Awareness Month

Participants will walk around the track and give one another high fives while listening to up and coming youth singers at Dana Hills High School on April 22 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to promote May as National Mental Health Awareness Month. There will be a High 5-A-Thon parade on the track supported by DHHS’a A Beautiful MIND Club.  Dana Hills SOCSA singers will also join the music festival. 

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(l-r) Dr. Laurence Shapiro, Mara James, Founder, CEO of Extraordinary Lives and her husband Dr. Kenneth James

For added fun, there will be a Kids Zone, raffle prizes and a silent auction. Booths will be set up for information on mental health support. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. 

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Laguna police support High 5-A-Thon

To purchase tickets, go to Adults, $20, 18 and under, $10, high school student w/ID, $5, 5 and under, free.

Net proceeds will be donated equally to the children and adolescent mental health care facilities at CHOC Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Mission Hospital Laguna Beach, and Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego. For more information, contact Mara James at website listed above. Extraordinary Lives, organizer of the High 5-A-Thon is a non-profit dedicated, as one of its goals, to supporting mental health.

Exciting author events scheduled at Laguna Beach Books on April 23 and April 30

In their ongoing series of April author events, on Sun, April 23, at 4 p.m., Laguna Beach Books welcomes authors Jean Hastings Ardell and Ila Jane Borders. They will be discussing their new book, Making My Pitch: A Woman’s Baseball Odyssey.

Making My Pitch: A Woman’s Baseball Odyssey tells the story of Ila Jane Borders, who despite formidable obstacles became a Little League prodigy, MVP of her otherwise all-male middle school and high school teams, the first woman awarded a baseball scholarship, and the first to pitch and win a complete men’s collegiate game. Making My Pitch shows what it’s like to be the only woman on the team bus, in the clubhouse, and on the field. Borders ultimately relates how she achieved self-acceptance and created a life as a firefighter and paramedic and as a coach and goodwill ambassador for the game of baseball.

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Making My Pitch: A Woman’s Baseball Odyssey 

Ila Jane Borders is the first woman to receive a scholarship to play men’s collegiate baseball. She was also the first female to get a win in men’s collegiate baseball and have a complete game victory. She played four years of men’s professional baseball, mostly in the independent Northern League. She has been honored twice at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and was inducted in 2003 into the Baseball Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals. Ila is an international baseball coach for the IBSAF and is a firefighter/paramedic in the greater Portland area.

Jean Hastings Ardell is the author of Breaking into Baseball: Women and the National Pastime, which appeared on the Los Angeles Times bestsellers list. She is the co-chair of the NINE Spring Training Conference, held each March in Tempe, Arizona, which attracts baseball historians and scholars. Her baseball writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Sporting News, and many other publications. She frequently speaks to university students, book clubs, libraries, and museums on the subject of women and baseball.

Second author event features Dr. Edward Kaufman

On Sun, April 30 at 5 p.m., Laguna Beach Books welcomes local author, Dr. Edward Kaufman. He will be discussing his new book, Tales of a Prison Psychiatrist: 50 Years of Criminalization of the Mentally Ill and Addicted.

Mentally ill and addicted persons currently overwhelm our streets and prisons. The full story of how this issue evolved remains unknown. But Dr. Edward Kaufman has seen the problem develop over the past five decades. He carefully describes the evolution through multiple systems including courts, legislation, state hospitals, community mental health centers, jails, prisons, therapeutics communities, homeless shelters, and elite private centers. His book also provides workable evidence-based prevention and treatment programs, presented as alternatives to incarceration, plus poignant case histories of individuals who have benefited from such programs. 

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Tales of a Prison Psychiatrist: 50 Years of Criminalization of the Mentally Ill and Addicted.

Dr. Kaufman’s psychiatric residency began at Columbia University in 1961. In the years since then, he witnessed all aspects of what led to the mass incarceration of the mentally ill and addicted in the United States. His work in every kind of mental institution followed the shift when mental health care began to lead to imprisonment. He then became an expert evaluator and witness in legal suits to mandate adequate and humane mental health and addiction care. Recently he obtained an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction to better tell the tales of these trapped individuals. Today he works in successful community alternatives to incarceration.

Dr. Kaufman moved to Laguna Beach from New York City to work at UCI Department of Psychiatry, where he eventually became Director of Education and Chief of the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program. Kaufman, who has followed three sons through the Laguna school system, was co-chairperson of Top of the World School’s CLC parents. He was Medical Director of the Genesis Program at South Coast Hospital and on the Board of ACTION, an AID’S support group in Laguna. He is currently on the clinical advisory board of Laguna’s Friendship Shelter.


Shaena Stabler and Stu Saffer are the co-owners. Shaena is the Publisher and Stu is the Editor-in-Chief.

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Allison Rael, Barbara Diamond, Diane Armitage, Dianne Russell, Laura Buckle, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers.

Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle and Suzie Harrison are columnists.

Mary Hurlbut, Scott Brashier, and Aga Stuchlik are the staff photographers.

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