The Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Community Alliance’s (OCAPICA) annual fundraiser, Tastemakers of Orange County, is back for its seventh year on Wednesday, September 13 at Julianne and George Argyros Plaza at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.

Occurring every fall, Tastemakers of Orange County is one of the county’s most beloved culinary events. Featuring over two dozen of the county’s finest chefs, guests dine on one-of-a-kind tapas, desserts, and beverages inspired by Asian and Pacific Islander culture all while enjoying live performances and a silent auction. Proceeds from the event support OCAPICA’s numerous programs and services in health, youth development, policy education, and combating hate and harm across Orange County. 

Photo courtesy Phuc To

At this year’s Tastemakers of Orange County, OCAPICA has gathered another lineup of award-winning restaurants and local favorites. A few stand out chefs on this year’s lineup include Kristin Nguyen of the Michelin-guide restaurant, Garlic and Chives; Mix Mix’s Ross Pangilinan, who worked at the two-Michelin-starred Les Trois Marche in France; and Lisa Dang, whose restaurant, Brodard, is one of the most famous Vietnamese restaurants in Southern California. Additional highlights include luxury restaurants like Paradise Dynasty, whose xiao long bao are world-famous, and Driftwood Kitchen and Hendrix, which Forbes recommended in its article on what to do in Laguna Beach.

Photo courtesy Phuc To

“Tastemakers of Orange County is one of the most delicious events of the year,” Mary Anne Foo, Executive Director of OCAPICA said. “The best part about it is that while enjoying all of these great tapas and drinks, you’re also supporting OCAPICA, whose work helping the AAPI community in Orange County is critical to its well being.”

Annually, OCAPICA helps over 80,000 Orange County residents in over 20 languages. As the largest Asian American and Pacific Islander mental health provider in the county, they have served over 37,000 community members seeking mental health and wellness support. 

Photo courtesy Phuc To

“To me, working with the community, especially OCAPICA, is an honor. It’s a pleasure to work with folks like [them] who do so many good things for all those that have a need,” Ivan Calderon, Taco Mesa founder, said last year. “When we get together, there is so much difference we can make in the world and I think that’s what is so important. I’ve been working with OCAPICA for years and years and love their organization and what they stand for.”

“[Tastemakers of Orange County] resonates with us because we really identify with serving our communities and being the change we wish to see in the world, so OCAPICA, 7 Leaves, and Artisan are right there,” Newton Hoang, director of marketing & IT at 7 Leaves Cafe, said last year. 

Purchase tickets for the event here

Tastemakers of Orange County

Where: Julianne and George Argyros Plaza, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa

When: Wednesday, Sept. 13. VIP 6-9 PM, General Admission 7-9 PM

Tickets: $195 for general admission; VIP tickets are $250 and include early admission at 6 PM


Photo courtesy Phuc To

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting Irvine Weekly and our advertisers.