*Seating will be first-come, first-serve this year, but VIPs will be able to select their seats sooner with early access.
June 16, 2017
Niki Starr is a true Southern Californian, born and raised in Orange County. Her love of food began early. Growing up, she visited the Bay Area often as a child, eating oysters at the ferry building, going to the cheese board in Berkley, and watching fresh pasta being made in Little Italy.
After attending the San Diego Culinary Institute, Chef Niki began an externship at French 75 in Laguna Beach, California. After a year, she took a position at Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s in South Coast Plaza, meeting her mentor chef Amar Santana. Niki continued to work with Amar as he opened his successful restaurant in Laguna Beach, Broadway, when she got her break and was commissioned as the executive chef of Mesa Lounge in Costa Mesa. Today, she is reinventing modern California cuisine. She prefers simple dishes, evoking strong feelings with attention to detail and utilizing seasonal ingredients.
Alex Moreno is a chef with many talents and has a lot of accolades to prove it. He’s worked with both celebrities and celebrity chefs perfecting dishes at Melisse, Jiraffe, Spago and Bastide; paved the culinary road executing meals for Van Halen, Destiny’s Child and Nelly, and eventually settled down to a brick and mortar in San Francisco at Tres Agaves. His newest endeavor is taking over the kitchen at Habana’s new location in Irvine, a lush restaurant serving delicious, credible Cuban flair.
Alex began his journey at LA Trade Technical College where he earned his associate’s degree in their culinary program. There he worked his way through line cooking, rotated through the kitchen stations in Wolfgang Puck’s main restaurant, Spago, climbed the ladder becoming a Sous Chef in prestigious restaurants where he was able to use his creative talent handling recipe and menu development. And, to top off his accolades, Alex went on to complete in the Food Network’s hit show Chopped, out-cooking three other executive chefs using mystery baskets full of Spanish Ingredients. To say he’s achieved a lot is an understatement.
Fork in the Road Catering’s self-taught chef, Kyle Powers, started as an actor before he decided on his own “fork in the road” and started a catering business with his wife. Kyle has been seen on Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” and will be seen on FYI’s “Man vs. Master” in 2017. Fork in the Road Catering specializes in seasonal, customized menus and has been catering for Orange County’s favorite wedding venues and corporate events since 2008.
Dani Leyva has been cooking for as long as she can remember. Growing up in an Italian family, everything was made from scratch, the freshest ingredients, and a lot of love. Her memories are either of standing on her “special” stool at her very own “special” pull out cutting board in the kitchen or gathered around her grandparent’s dining room table, surrounded by family. Her greatest influences in the kitchen were the women in her family, a generation of taught, strong, Italians. From there, she has spent 25 years of her life combining her experience and love for all things culinary.
Kitchen in the Canyon is the vision of Chef Patrick DiGiacomo. After thirty years as a financial advisor, Patrick decided it was time to cash in on his passion for cooking. He enrolled in the Professional Chef program at Laguna Culinary Arts in Laguna Beach and graduated, with merit, in 2008. In May of 2009, with a deep commitment to serving his community, Chef Patrick started his second career, or as what he likes to call “the beginning of the second part of his life.”
As fate would have it, Laguna Culinary Arts was formerly located in the same space that Kitchen in the Canyon now occupies, giving Patrick a chance to come full cycle in his culinary career. Now a Laguna Beach resident himself, Patrick looks forward to bringing his passion for food and the community to the heart of the civic art district of Laguna Beach.
Kitchen in the Canyon offers a Café, on and off-site catering services, and a Home Chef School featuring traditional small group, technique, and private and corporate events. Chef Patrick invites you to come in and enjoy our relaxed atmosphere, warm friendly staff, and some of the best cuisine that Southern California has to offer.