Temecula: The 10th Annual SOCAL Chef Open at Pechanga was a Delicious Success for the Oak Grove Center


Chef Martin Venegas from Pechanga’s Great Oak Steakhouse Sweeps Both the Peoples Choice and the Pinnacle Top Chef Awards

Chef Martin Venegas (R) accepted the Pinnacle Top Chef Award from last years winner Chef Ronnel Capacia (L)

Chef Martin Venegas from Pechanga’s Great Oak Steakhouse accepted the Pinnacle Top Chef Award from last years winner Chef Ronnel Capacia, as a Pechanga Chef has won the award for the second consecutive year. Capacia won the award last year representing Kelsey’s.

The Pinnacle Top Chef Award winner is selected by a panel of Chefs and food experts who judge for taste, creativity and presentation.

The Judges

Chef Venegas made it a clean sweep for the Casino, capturing the prestigious Peoples Choice Award as well. Venegas dish really “wowed” all of the judges and large crowd as well.The flavor profile of his Filet Mignon dish was amazing as the steak almost melted in your mouth. The judges all knew that Chef Venegas’ dish was the winner once they tasted it.

This year, Robert Renzoni Vineyards’ Mama Rosa Trattoria’s Chef Felix Aguilar, Chef Anthony Castillo from 1909 Temecula, Chef Curtis White of Vineyard Ranch at Temecula Assisted Living and Memory Care and Jennifer Sevilla from Crab Boil Catering werel also cooking up wonderful delicacies.

Also featured were Chef Jeff Willett of The Bridge on 3rd, Chef Mandy Ramos from The Shamrock Irish Pub, and Chef Leone D’Arcangelo of Fresco Grill and Wine Bar.

The SOCAL Chef Open at the Pechanga Casino and Resort is held annually to help raise money for the Oak Grove Center in Murrieta. The event benefits the athletic programs at the Center which is a non-profit public school and treatment facility for at-risk and special needs youth.The local Chefs and Restaurant owners all helped in making this years event a scrumptious, and the most financially successful Chef Open for Oak Grove Center.

Photos by Charles McKee

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