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Ann Marie Panoringan’s write-up in the OC WEEKLY of the “Pizza Throwdown” to benefit for Chef Bill Bracken’s terrific Kitchen on wheels captures the spirit of the event, along with Niyaz Pirani’s photo.
She writes, “The team lead by Dean Kim and Sandro Nardone won their friendly wager with Rookie captains Brent Omeste and Chad Urata with an ending score of Rookies 60, Veterans 175. For those who could not attend the sold out event to benefit Bracken’s Kitchen, we recap…” (see link below)
Teams of veteran and young Orange County chefs will compete in a Pizza Throwdown Sunday, Jan. 29, to benefit Bracken’s Kitchen, a food truck that serves FREE, healthy meals to Orange County families in need. We’ve known the enormously talented, congenial and community-minded, Bill, since his days at the Peninsula Hotel so we’re”pulling” for him.
What: It started as a joke amongst friends but has quickly turned into a battle between several high-profile Orange County chefs for a serious cause. New School vs. Old School in a Pizza Throwdown, to raise money to help local families. Members of the public can purchase tickets to vote in the throwdown, or simply eat pizza in the parking lot. Proceeds benefit Bracken’s Kitchen, an Orange County food truck that feeds local families for FREE.
Date & Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29 at Orange County Baking Company, 1960 N. Glassell Street, Orange, CA 92865
Cost: $50 VIP-$20 General Admission (online); $5 for pizza in the parking lot (cash donation)
VIP grants early entry at 11 a.m. to watch chefs work, tour of bakery and bread to take home; GA enters bakery at noon; ALL WHO PURCHASE ENTRY WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO VOTE FOR THE WINNING TEAM!
The Old-School Team: Dean Kim, Orange County Baking Company; Chef Sandro Nardone of Angelina’s Pizzeria Napoletana; Chef Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen; Chef Dee Nguyen of Break of Dawn; Chef Greg Daniels of Haven Gastropub; Lisa Gilmore of Orange Home Grown Farmer’s and Artisan Market
New-School: Chad Urata and Brent Omeste, Centro Collective; Jeff Moore, Eats Bar & Kitchen at Hotel Irvine; Jeff Boullt, formerly of Social Costa Mesa; Trevor Kotchek of Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizza; Dino Duarte of Vaca; Tiny of Cucina Enoteca; Sam Green, Balboa Bay Club; Negin Joonet of The Acacia House, St. Helena; Kimmie Wilson, Pinkiwi Culinary Production; Nico Pena, Solace pop-up
What’s at Stake: Pride, mostly. And hair, possibly. Rumor has it, the losing chefs will get their heads shaved. The shaving kit is in Dean’s office.
The two teams each have a surprise for pulling off the trick of “largest pizza” at the event. Both pizzas will be between 8 and 10 feet in diameter.
Bill Bracken & Bracken’s Kitchen
Bill Bracken has been working in restaurants for most of his life, and worked in high-profile roles at The Peninsula Beverly Hills and The Island Hotel in Newport Beach. He’s had his hands in a few Orange County openings in recent years, but launched Bracken’s Kitchen to serve families in Orange County. With his food truck, Betsy, the nonprofit feeds families throughout O.C. for FREE. More info: brackenskitchen.com
Brent Omeste, Chad Urata & Centro Collective
Brent & Chad attended Orange Coast College together where their team placed 2nd in the nation in two consecutive years in culinary team competitions. Among the two, they have experience at Charlie Palmer, Cucina Alessa, and Cucina Enoteca. They will open Centro Collective, serving pizza and tacos, in early 2017.
Dean Kim & Orange County Baking Company
Dean Kim has been a baker in Southern and Northern California for more than 25 years. He opened Orange County Baking Company in 2010, and supplies more than 200 restaurants, hotels and caterers with their bread. He sells to the public every Saturday at the Orange farmers market.
About Sandro Nardone
Sandro Nardone is from a town between Rome and Naples in Italy, and came to the United States in 2012 to open Angelina’s Pizzeria Napoletana in Dana Point.
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