But what may even get non-South-County-ers to make the trek to this 36,000-square-foot “dining destination” are all the cooking demos happening in the demo kitchen–and an appearance by Fabio (yep, of the hair). Here are a few highlights (psst, all are free!):
Saturday, May 19, 1 p.m.Chef Cathy Pavlos of LUCCAJoin us for our inaugural cooking demo featuring Chef Cathy Pavlos, the driving force behind one of Orange County's most unique and dynamic eateries, LUCCA in Irvine. Chef Cathy will share recipes for three pastas that are reminiscent of growing up in atypical close-knit large Italian family in Orange County. Most of her childhood memories of family have to do with cooking with her grandmother for Sunday family gatherings, and Chef Cathy has been developing a collection of remarkable recipes, inspired by her grandmother's cooking and her favorite restaurants in Italy, France and Greece. These recipes, seen on LUCCA's menu, have been slightly modified to build in the flavors of California with its emphasis on the use of healthy and high quality ingredients, such as certified Angus beef, free-range turkey, hormone-free chicken, wild salmon and locally grown organic produce. RSVP a must at SP.LGN.Marketing@wholefoods.comTuesday, May 22, 6-7:30 p.m.The Bikini Chef Reveals Cooking with QuinoaDiscover the adaptability of the non-grain grain that's got everybody talking… Quinoa! Don't be afraid of quinoa, embrace it! Easy to use and pairs deliciously with all flavors and spices.Menu includes Mushroom Goat Cheese Quinoa Puff Pastry, Quinoa Bread Pudding with Golden Raisins & Bourbon Sauce. 8-time author, Chef Susan The Bikini Chef™ helps people obtain their healthy bikini goals by focusing on lifestyle change rather than a short term diet. Her newest book, The Complete Idiot's Guide Quinoa Cookbook arrives in stores July 3, 2012. RSVP a must at SP.LGN.Marketing@wholefoods.comSaturday, May 26, 2-6 p.m.Meet and Greet with FabioMeet Fabio and taste his delicious Healthy Planet Whey Protein Powder. Pick up a jar of protein, and get yours autographed along with a photo of Fabio. No RSVP necessary.June 20, Time TBADemo by Lindsay Smith of Nirvana Grille in Laguna Beach.June 26, Time TBAA raw cooking class by Jenny Ross of 118 Degrees in Costa Mesa.