ESB “TRUST” Dinner: Chef Justin Werner
ESB’s First TRUST Dinner features Orange County based Chef Justin Werner, the Executive Chef at Porch and Swing in Irvine, CA. Originally from New York Justin cut his teeth in some of Manhattan’s top tier restaurants. He spent half a decade working at Craft for Tom Colicchio where he gained a passion for quality produce and forging relationships with farmers. This lead him to spend a few years at Thomas Keller’s Per Se before moving on to Corton, where he maintained two Michelin stars as a Sous Chef for Paul Liebrandt. After winning the hit TV show Chopped, he used his winnings to invest in himself and left for Copenhagen. It was here that he interned at Noma while it held the title of “Best Restaurant In The World”. Upon returning to the US, Justin made a cross country move to Orange County. After serving as chef at Playground DTSA, (the only OC restaurant to make Jonathan Gold’s Top 101 Restaurants in Los Angeles list in 2017!), he eventually moved on to his current position at Porch and Swing. A lover of travel, Justin draws inspiration from his time spent around the world to create a very special dining experience for his guests.
This experience will be a 7-Course, individually plated dinner (outdoor physically distanced) featuring Chef Justin’s regional American cuisine with classic, modern and international influences. Expect to see a variety of fresh locally sourced produce, as well seafood, pasta, and red meat, and inventive textures and generous use of spices, sauces and rich, but balanced flavors. His cuisine is both creative and approachable, and always satisfying.
Charismatic as he is talented, Chef Justin is a witty personality whose sense of humor and insight into the culinary world will make this experience not only delicious, but also very entertaining.
What is a “Trust” Dinner?
A trust dinner is an upscale multi-course meal (5+ Courses), where guests put their trust into the Chef, who will be preparing a one of a kind dinner revealed upon arrival! Why no menu in advance? Because: #1.) we like to surprise our guests, and #2.) we want to remove any pre-conceived notions regarding what the dishes will taste like, or look like. This is part of the experience, and part of the fun.
What we can tell you is that the food will be fantastic. We are featuring only chefs who have inspired us, who have shown great passion and remarkable skill and pedigree; chefs who have a distinctive culinary voice. Their biographies and the event description will provide sufficient details about the dinner; (for example: Mediterranean, Modern, or Vegetable-driven). The team at Epicurean Santa Barbara will know the menu in advance, so we can notify the chef of dietary restrictions, and answer any questions regarding the dinner.
The first Trust dinner is BYOB. You heard us right! In the event reminder, we will offer wine pairing suggestions for the dinner, and you are welcome to bring whatever bottles (or spirits) you see fit!
As these are specialized menus, modifications are politely declined. But please include them upon registration, and the chef will do his/her best to adjust the course to fit the restrictions.