Dining with Dad in Newport Beach
Father’s Day is coming up June 15, so we decided to ask a few local chefs for their ideal meals to make for dad on Father’s Day. We also wondered if they had a favorite Father’s Day culinary memory.
The answers we got were fun and full of fabulous ideas on what to do for father’s day. Of course, you could always visit one of the restaurants run by these culinary geniuses.
Stan Frazier / Original Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizza
Last year, four friends got together and decided to purchase the iconic Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizza on Bristol Street and return it to its former glory.
One of those friends is Stan Frazier, a graduate of Corona del Mar High School who played drums and was lead songwriter for the band Sugar Ray. He left the band in 2012 and later that year won the BBC America reality show, Chef Race, UK vs US. Billed as “the ultimate cross-country culinary challenge,” Stan won thanks to his experience cooking for Sugar Ray while they were on tour.
Now, Stan has applied his cooking prowess to helping remake the Sgt. Pepperoni’s menu, which features a variety of pizzas.
“Father’s Day usually meant big cookouts in our family,” said Stan. “We still do that, and I absolutely love and cherish that. However, a few years back my wife Jenn surprised me with a full-on fancy, sit-down catered dinner with several courses and wine pairings! I was in heaven—and I didn’t have to clean up!”
“My dad unfortunately passed away when I was in my 20s but this is a meal I know he would LOVE!” added Stan. “I would normally say “make pizza,” but this one is a sure favorite for any hungry dad.”
Kevin Cahalan / The Sliding Door Café & Bakery
After quietly opening last fall, The Sliding Door Café & Bakery in Balboa Village has become a local favorite, and it’s easy to see why. This tiny bistro on Balboa Blvd. is cute and casual, but the food is serious and substantial.
We describe the cuisine as hearty-contemporary. Chef Kevin call it “things that people want to eat that are made from scratch that taste good.”
“Growing up on Long Island, as a child, each year after the long winter season, I always looked forward to a summer of outdoor barbeques,” recalls Kevin. “I associate the kickoff for this stretch of backyard meals to be the barbeque we had each year on Father’s Day. With Father’s Day in early to mid-June, the weather on Long Island during that first barbeque was usually not as hot and muggy as it would soon get in July and August; however, my memories of summer barbeques with my dad can be triggered by a humid day. Something about the smell and feel of a warm sticky day brings me back to my yard on Long Island; I can hear the buzz of the Cicadas in the trees, picture the fireflies as the sun goes down, and smell the chicken being cooked by my father standing next to the barbeque with the spatula in his hand.”
“Since I like to describe my style of cooking as food your mother would make if she had gone to culinary school, in the spirit of Father’s Day, for all of those dads out there I am going to recommend a Father’s Day meal your father would have made if he had gone to culinary school: Five Spice BBQ Duck with warm potato salad and apple honey slaw.
This will give your dad a little culinary adventure while still enjoying the relaxed, lazy day outside with the family.”
Deborah Schneider / Executive Chef of SOL Cocina
Chef Deborah Schneider broke new ground in the South of the Border niche with her SOL Cocina restaurant, which pays homage to Baja street food. Her restaurant can be considered a Dad’s paradise—terrific Mexican food, creative cocktails featuring nearly 100 different tequilas, and a lively lounge with big screen TVs.
“My stepfather is completely responsible for my career in food,” states Deborah. “He is a total gourmand in the true sense of the word, with exquisitely refined tastes. He is (and he would agree) completely obsessive about the quality of everything that passes his lips. He grew up dirt poor, learned to forage for wild foods, and sold bread from a dog cart (yes!) as a child to earn a few cents.”
“For his Father’s Day feast, I would serve him frog legs (from the river), wild morels and puffballs all fried in loads of country butter; local lamb chops and sweet corn (grown by the Mennonites and picked before his eyes), and last, homemade vanilla ice cream and Huron County strawberries. Then, we would drink his expensive single malt scotch and play cribbage. Love you, JHA!”
Stay Tuned for Part 2 of Dining with Dad!