Vote for Your Favorite Chef in Newport Beach, Presented By Wells Fargo

Written By: Alana Aronson

Chef, Owner and Sommelier, Lynne Anthony Campbell, The Quiet Woman

The Quiet Woman has a pure vintage vibe punctuated with contemporary quality. Lynne creates dishes that demand you take another bite, searches for wines that make you close your eyes to savor the second sip, books a late night music scene that tricks you into staying out too late and admits that her goal at The Quiet Woman is deceptively simple: to make lifelong memories.

Executive Chef Eduardo Albarran, Mastro’s Ocean Club Newport Beach

Eduardo Albarran “Chef Eddie” is the Executive Chef for Mastro’s Ocean Club in Newport Beach.  Chef Eddie is an Orange County native who has worked in such OC hot-spots as Crow Bar and Kitchen, as well as Tommy Bahama’s Island Grille in Newport Beach. He has been with Mastro’s Ocean Club since 2010 and was recently promoted to Executive Chef. His hard work, dedication and passion for food have been the driving forces in his career.


Executive Chef Santiago Nunez, The Alley Restaurant & Bar

Santiago originally started out his restaurant career as a dishwasher for The Alley back in 1986.   

As a dishwasher, Chef Nunez carefully self studied traditional French cooking as well as continental American cuisine. Over the years he rose up in the ranks, and eventually secured his station as a line cook for the restaurant.  He then continued on to being a chef for 333 restaurant as well as executive sous chef for the Newport Beach Yacht club. In 2007, he returned to the Alley Restaurant over 20 years later to claim his position as Executive Chef.  

Since then he continues the legacy of The Alley with a menu carefully selected and everything made in house and fresh to order as it was two decades ago. He is currently the Executive Kitchen Manager at Tabu Shabu Restaurant and The Wayfarer in Costa Mesa.


George Neyra, Executive Chef, The Ritz Prime Seafood

Chef George Neyra oversees the menu creation and culinary operations at The Ritz Prime Seafood located along Newport Beach’s scenic Mariner’s Mile. He brings his culinary prowess and enthusiasm to this globally influenced restaurant featuring sustainable fish, dry-aged steaks, chops and Jidori chicken after working with noted chefs Joachim Splichal at Patina Restaurant Group’s Ray’s and Stark Bar at LACMA; and Michael Mina at Stonehill Tavern at the St. Regis Monarch Beach.


Executive Chef Austin Harrell, Red O Restaurant

After graduating from high school, Austin went straight to culinary school at California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, where he graduated with honors. From school he went back home to New Orleans to work at the Palace Café in the French Quarter, but that was short lived due to Hurricane Katrina. After New Orleans, Austin had a great opportunity to work under Chef Andrea Curto-Randazzo at Talula in Miami. After leaving Miami, Austin became the Executive Chef at Mansurs on the Boulevard in Baton Rouge. After Mansurs, he decided it was time for a change and ended up at Wild Fish in Newport as the Sous Chef working under Keith Stich. After being promoted to Executive Chef at Wild Fish, Austin had another great opportunity arise— to become the Executive Chef at Red O in Newport Beach.


Executive Chef, Partner, Yvon Goetz, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

As Executive Chef and Partner in The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, Goetz develops and oversees a cutting-edge menu featuring contemporary California regional cuisine with a focus on specialties and ingredients found in California’s vast Wine Country. He is responsible for hiring, training and directing a culinary team that delivers consistent, quality fare that has set new standards for restaurants in Orange County and beyond. Goetz was awarded “Chef of the Year” by the Orange County Business Journal and “Alsace’s gift to Southern California” by the Los Angeles Times.


Executive Chef Bruno Massuger, Back Bay Bistro

Bruno Massuger is executive chef of the critically acclaimed Back Bay Bistro, a 199-seat bayside restaurant on the grounds of Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina. The establishment is known for its vast menu of American fare with each dish bearing the dedicated chef’s personal stamp. Massuger was trained at the Ecole Hoteliere in Rouen, France and later at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). He is a member of Masters of French Gastronomy, Les Toques Blanches, ACF member of Escoffier Society, and a touring chef for the prestigious James Beard House. He also mentors rising chefs from the national headquarters of the CIA. His vast global experience, sterling reputation and enthusiasm for his work make him an outstanding member of the Dunes’ family.


Executive Chef Rachel Haggstrom, A&O Kitchen+Bar

Growing up on her family’s citrus grove in Temecula, California, Balboa Bay Resort’s executive chef Rachel Haggstrom is very much influenced by fresh produce and a farm-to-table cooking style. Prior to leading the team at the four-diamond resort and two on-property full service restaurants, Waterline Newport Beach and A&O Kitchen+Bar, chef Rachel perfected her culinary talents at elite culinary destinations in renowned California destinations. “I enjoy using my training and expertise to create fresh and memorable dining experiences for resort guests and the local community, ” says Rachel.

Executive Chef Steve Kling, Five Crowns and SideDoor

Steve Kling, Executive Chef of Five Crowns and SideDoor in Corona del Mar, epitomizes hard work and dedication. Chef Kling grew up eating southern American and Filipino cuisine and fondly recalls watching his grandmothers transform raw ingredients into beloved family dishes. Drawn to the institution of Five Crowns and the concept of SideDoor, Chef Kling joined the Lawry’s family group in 2010. Once again he applied his strong work ethic and creativity to his food, which earned him the title of Executive Chef in late 2014. Chef Kling continues to rejuvenate the Five Crowns menu with new flavors that appeal to all ages and takes pride in the intimate atmosphere and unique cuisine of both restaurants.


Executive Chef Jonathan Blackford, “A” Restaurant

Work hard, play hard, love hard… do it only if you’re going to do it right. This is the mantra of Executive Chef, Jonathan Blackford. He strives to create a unique experience for people each time they step in the doors of “A” Restaurant. He takes pride in preparing dishes that include the highest-quality local produce to enhance the moments that diners spend under his roof. Growing up in Pittsburgh, Chef Blackford was fueled to become a chef the first time he experienced the heat in the kitchen. In March 2012, Orange Coast Magazine recognized Chef Blackford as one of the 10 best executive chefs in Orange County.


Chef Shinya Toyoda, Sushi Roku Fashion Island

After 19 years with Sushi Roku, chef Shinya Toyoda continues to satisfy customers with his savvy and flavorful fare. He has been drawn to cooking ever since he can remember—from watching his parents and elders prepare food in a way that has been passed down through generations and traditions. His passion is drawn by the emotional connection one encounters when presented with a beautiful dish—the smell, that first bite, the textures… he appreciates those emotions and doing something that allows him to share and showcase them with customers, friends and family; it is truly a wonderful feeling. His training in Japan gave him discipline and respect, which he practices every day.

Chef in Newport Beach

Executive Chef Daniel Hyatt, Juliette Kitchen + Bar

Executive Chef Daniel Hyatt started cooking at the age of 15, eventually entering the College of Culinary Arts in San Francisco. After graduating in 2001 he cooked in Key West until returning to Orange County, where he worked with Tim Goodell to open the Red Pearl Kitchen. A few restaurants later, Chef Daniel met Juliette and opened Juliette Kitchen + Bar.


Chef Zach Layton, Babette’s

Chef Zach Layton has spent time in the kitchens of restaurants for as long as he can remember; his father was a classically trained chef via the CIA in New York, while his mother, a Montessori school teacher by trade, worked as the general manager of many restaurants. When his parents opened their own Babette’s, in East Hampton, New York in 1995, Zach went to work in the kitchen. Not classically trained, Zach has spent the better part of his life in the kitchen at Babette’s growing his knowledge from his father and other chefs. Today, he serves as Executive Chef of Babette’s Newport Beach, located in Crystal Cove. Chef Zach’s culinary philosophy is one of serving clean food. While Babette’s offers many exciting and delicious vegan and vegetarian options, Chef Zach also serves grass-fed beef, organic poultry, and sustainable wild seafood.

Chef in Newport Beach

Chef Cathy Pavlos, Provenance

Chef Cathy Pavlos is the driving force behind one of Orange County’s most unique and dynamic restaurants, Provenance, a dining concept that deliver elements of California’s wine country, in Newport Beach’s Eastbluff Village Center. The restaurant feature a menu of fresh, flavorful ingredients that change by season, and many of which are grown in the restaurant’s own 1, 300-square-foot organic raised-bed garden, which customers can observe from their patio seating. Chef Pavlos’ culinary team makes all sauces, dressings and other items in-house with a focus on canning, preserving and smoking. The menu also features only humanely raised meats, such as certified Angus beef, free-range turkey, hormone-free chicken and wild seafoods.

Chef in Newport Beach

Executive Chef, Partner, Max Schlutz, Sessions West Coast Deli

The art of dining, the love of sharing a great meal, the perfect restaurant design and the rhythmic high of a packed room have always influenced and moved Chef Max Schlutz. As the Executive Chef & Partner of Sessions West Coast Deli in Newport Beach and Huntington Beach, Chef Max presents a menu of gourmet, culinary-focused sandwiches in a relaxed environment. Unlike most sandwich shops in the region, Sessions proudly boasts a scratch kitchen with housemade sauces, sides, salads, and soups prepared daily. All sandwiches are made to order with fresh, locally grown produce; humanely and naturally raised meats; and locally baked bread delivered daily from local artisan, OC Baking Company.

Executive Chef, Partner, Deborah Schneider, SOL Cocina

Dubbed by Bon Appetit Magazine as “the reigning queen of San Diego chefs” and nominated for a coveted James Beard Foundation Award for her second (of six) cookbooks, Chef Deborah Schneider brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her role as Executive Chef and Partner of Mexican restaurants SOL Cocina and solita Tacos & Margaritas. Schneider draws upon her rich culinary background and more than 25 years of professional cooking experience to bring the wonderful tastes and relaxing beach vibe of the Baja Peninsula to guests. Schneider’s passion for Baja was stoked by countless surf trips down the Peninsula. There, at small street stands and on pristine beaches, she discovered a flavorful, healthy cuisine, rich with fresh seafood and inventive preparations, that is at the heart of her restaurants.

Chef in Newport Beach

Chef Oscar Fonseca, Coliseum Pool & Grill, The Resort at Pelican Hill®

Los Angeles native Oscar Fonseca did not choose to become a chef; the career chose him. As a college student working the line, he thrived under pressure in a fast-paced kitchen. His drive, confidence and versatility took him to kitchens from Los Angeles to New York, where he acquired the culinary knowledge, cooking techniques and management skills that advanced his career. At The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, Chef Oscar continues to source locally grown Southern California ingredients for his seasonally inspired menus.

Chef in Newport Beach

Head Chef Jonah Amodt, Andrea Ristorante, The Resort at Pelican Hill®

Chef Jonah Amodt feels at home in the kitchen, as it was always his family’s central gathering point in his childhood home. Growing up in the rainy Pacific Northwest, he cherished the summer season outdoor festivals, especially when he helped prepare food for a family friend’s local catering company. In 2014, he flew south to sunny Newport Beach to join The Resort at Pelican Hill as sous chef for Andrea Ristorante. Now at the helm of Andrea, Chef Jonah leads a dedicated team of culinary professionals in presenting classic Italian favorites featuring the finest local, seasonal ingredients. Outside the kitchen, he treasures every opportunity to soak up Southern California’s idyllic climate while visiting parks and playing sports with his young family.

Chef in Newport Beach

Head Chef Luke Turpin, Pelican Grill, The Resort at Pelican Hill®

Early on, Chef Luke Turpin felt drawn to the Pacific Ocean and its scenic California coastline, as well as the dreamy seaside lifestyle and fresh seafood best enjoyed in beach towns along the coast. In early 2014, Chef Luke joined The Resort at Pelican Hill along the coast of Newport Beach. He quickly advanced from sous chef of the Resort’s poolside Coliseum Pool & Grill restaurant to head chef of Pelican Hill Golf Club’s signature restaurant. Now, Chef Luke brings the freshest, locally sourced seafood to Pelican Grill, while upholding the team-oriented, inspirational leadership style he passionately cultivated in exceptional kitchens across Los Angeles.

Chef in Newport Beach

Executive Chef David Man, Island Hotel Newport Beach

Chef David Man features simply prepared, classic dishes with a distinctive California-coastal twist. His food and menus highlight the region’s local purveyors, and his approach is farm-to-fire, allowing the main ingredients to speak for themselves. He has served as executive chef at Island Hotel since 2012, overseeing all culinary operations for the hotel and its Coastal Catering that provides both on- and off-premise catering services.


Executive Chef Nick Weber, Cannery

The Cannery is proud to have Executive Chef Nick Weber. Growing up in Southern California, his introduction to cooking was through the wine industry. At a young age he became quickly enthralled with the kitchens and started working as a prep cook. Weber mastered his craft through a variety of acclaimed restaurants, mostly under the Patina Group’s umbrella. Chef is extremely ingredient-driven, something instilled in him since the first time Chef Becerra set him up on the line at Pinot Bistro. Always aiming to excel and develop his craft, he thrives on the rush of the restaurant business; every night remains exciting to Chef Weber.

Vote HERE for Your Favorite Chef in Newport Beach!

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