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Art Auction 2015: California Cool

The annual fundraiser, held Feb. 7 at Laguna Art Museum, brought crowds together to view offerings from more than 100 California artists. Works ran the gamut from midcentury modern design to abstract pieces, including a glow box by Peter Alexander valued at $25,000. Exhibiting artists walked the floor as nearly 400 attendees placed their bids on silent auction items hanging on gallery walls. The live auction in the Steele Gallery had collectors placing bids on 20 works ranging from mixed media to acrylic on canvas. Meanwhile, the California Gallery hosted a culinary setup with sweet and savory small plates from local restaurants, including Tortilla Republic, Slapfish, Wine Gallery and the soon-to-open Urth Caffé. Costa Mesa’s Simply Sweet Cakery offered a selection of colorful cake pops, and Tito’s Handmade Vodka created signature basil- and rosemary-infused cocktails. Approximately $300,000—a record amount—was raised to support the nonprofit museum’s education and exhibition programs. ( —Allison Hata


Live auction with Andrea Fiuczynski
Live auction with Andrea Fiuczynski
Nelson Coates, Ruben Flores, Monica Francis, Matt Susson - photo by Eric Minh Swenson
Nelson Coates, Ruben Flores, Monica Francis, Matt Susson
Karen Morally, Richard Varner, Sara Heeschen, Genny Boccardo-Dubey - photos by Eric Stoner
Karen Morally, Richard Varner, Sara Heeschen, Genny Boccardo-Dubey



Lumberyard Chef Challenge

The sixth annual Chef Challenge on Jan. 26 pitted four Laguna Beach school principals against one another in a culinary competition in support of SchoolPower. Chris Herzfeld (Laguna Beach High School) and Jenny Salberg (Thurston Middle School) teamed up against Michael Conlon (Top of the World Elementary School) and Chris Duddy (El Morro Elementary School) at Lumberyard restaurant on Forest Avenue. Each team put together a meal to be prepared by chef Armando Ortega, choosing an appetizer, entree and dessert from a predetermined list of dishes. Supporters tasted them all and voted for their favorite combination. The leaders from the elementary schools received the most votes for their picks: prosciutto-wrapped shrimp, polenta with lamb and warm butter cake with mixed-berry compote. The event raised more than $10,000 for SchoolPower, a nonprofit that funds local public school programs such as performing/visual arts, kindergarten through eighth grade music and foreign language. ( —Katherine Duncan

2462-chef challenge
Chris Herzfeld, Laguna Beach High School; Jenny Salberg, Thurston Middle School; Michael Conlon, Top of the World Elementary School; Chris Duddy, El Morro Elementary School
2501-chef challenge
Elaine Brashier, Samantha Washer, Kelly Smith, Kendall Clark, Terri Benson, Nancy Jackson, Erin Decker
2587-chef challenge
Armando Ortega, Robin Rounaghi, Cary and Suzanne Redfearn, Tom Motherway


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