OC Food Movers And Shakers: Five Loaves, Rooster Republic And The Pizza Press!

The name John Park is one LA diners may recognize. Known for his stellar work at Providence, XIV, Water Grill and Lukshon, he opened Quenelle in Burbank. His sweet shoppe is popular for concoctions such as Mocha Almond Fudge Funnel Cake Sandwiches and Red Bull Tang Popsicles. Nowadays, he’s been popping up in Orange County. We had the pleasure of trying his dessert pies at Tackle Box in December, but our paths decided to cross again last month.

Park wanted to bring awareness to many of the non-profits he works with through the sale of his desserts in flavors like Cherry Almond Crumble, Coconut Horchata, Bourbon Pecan and Jasmine Tea White Chocolate— just to name a few. When asked about his pie end game, here’s what he had to say about his 5 Loaves brand,

“The plan is to open our own place where we can use the profits to give back to the community (job training for homeless/veterans, scholarships for kids, dinners for homeless at the restaurant, etc). But in the meantime, we are blessed to have so many friends opening up their kitchens to us.”

John Park’s current schedule has him in OC for three days out of the week for the next three months. Park’s pop-up pie selection can be found at Irvine’s Burnt Crumbs on Thursday evenings from 6-9 p.m. and Tackle Box on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. All the proceeds during this time will go to Bracken’s Kitchen (previous non-profits that have benefited include Illumination Foundation, Branded by Compassion and Faces of Santa Ana). Time to treat yourself and do something for the greater good at the same time.

Former On the Line subject doing swell Nathaniel Nguyen is known for his Jinny’s Pizzeria brand at Downtown Santa Ana’s 4th Street Market. As he prepares to open at Leonard Chan’s McFadden Public Market nearby, his new endeavor Rooster Republic began rolling out pop-up dinner previews. Rooster’s first stop: Costa Mesa’s Iron Press. We had a chance to pair their fine birds with IP’s waffles, fries and even a bit of Ritual Brewing Co’s Java Deluxe. We’re still trying to decide if we preferred saucing with their hot honey or white (a.k.a cock) sauce with our meal.

Next on the pop-up itinerary: Somewhere unexpected in DTSA. If you are a fried chicken fan, follow Rooster Republic on social media for details on their next comfort meal.

One of Orange County’s early pioneers of the quick service pizza trend, The Pizza Press is closing their original Anaheim spot. Actually, it’s relocating about a block away to the Anaheim Plaza Hotel & Suites (currently being renovated). So the newspaper-themed brand will be in a larger space and have a real parking lot? Finally. Opening is planned for this Spring.

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