Much like the Clippers game, it was quite a spread at the end of Sunday’s head-to-head competition between the Veterans and Rookies. 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 below.
Attendees arrived as early as 10:20 a.m. to watch teams work on their doughy creations. The Rookies chose a simple, yet satisfying sausage pizza. The protein was a blend suggested by Hotel Irvine’s Jeff Moore from West Coast Prime Meats, consisting of ground pork, prosciutto and mortadella. Per Omeste, “We took the meat and seasoned it with toasted fennel seed, chili flakes, dried oregano, salt and pepper.”
On the flip side, Team Veterans took a ‘divide and conquer’ approach to their pizza, sectioning off and assigning different areas to each chef. For example, Break of Dawn’s Dee Nguyen finished his pizza with Portuguese-Hawaiian sausage, pineapple, kimchee and, “BoD secret tomato sauce”. Crema Cafe’s Tarit Tanjasiri incorporated chanterelles, caramelized onions, sweet sausage and truffles. Co-captain Sandro Nardone had our favorite: tuna, mayo and mortadella.
While there was much smack talk and social media going down, participants were there to support a local cause that’s out there nourishing those that are underserved in the community. Chef Bill Bracken educated the crowd, explaining that Orange County has a higher percentage of homeless kids than anywhere in America. Thanks to the generosity of diners, participating chefs and many vendors, event sales peaked at $5,250 (before additional monies collected from merchandise and raffle tickets). Bracken gave a shout out to Dean Kim for hosting the event at his new OC Baking Company facility in Orange. He also reminded us that, “To open a restaurant in America anywhere today is just tough. So get out there when Centro Collective opens and give them some business.”
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.