Happy New Year! We trust that you had a wonderful holiday season and rang in 2015 with enthusiasm. After reading Chris Sarten’s message this month, we can all remember that 2014 was an awesome year at Center Club Orange County. Now that we are in our 30th Anniversary year, there is much in store for 2015 and everyone at Center Club is very excited! While December is a festive month here at the Club with Member holiday parties and celebrations, January kicks off wedding planning season. Kaitlin and Chris would say THIS is the most wonderful time of the year! If you got engaged over the holidays - Congrats! Make sure you read their article this month. It’s detailed and informative, an essential read for the newly engaged. Feel welcome to forward to a friend, too.

With the 30th Anniversary comes some very exciting news in Membership. We’ve made it easier than ever to sponsor a new member and have created offerings which are hard-to-resist for anyone who wants to improve business, mix and mingle with Orange County’s finest and enjoy exclusive social events. Kristin and Gina have all the new details regarding our 30th Anniversary Special.

Chef Lewis and our culinary team are eager to test out new items in the kitchen and will select special items to help celebrate our 30th Anniversary. These may be Member favorites, exquisite desserts, and even items which have remained a staple of our menus. 

Don’t forget, we are always sharing news, updates and exclusive information online. Make sure you are connected with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can always use the hashtag #WeAreOC which will help us find the photos and posts you share.

We wish you nothing but success and happiness in 2015 and look forward to seeing you at the Club very, very soon!

Shahin Vosough, Club Manager

Happy New Year! 2015 is primed to be an exciting year for Center Club. It’s the year of our 30th Anniversary! To celebrate this milestone, we felt it would only be fitting to extend a special Membership offer. When you sponsor a Member in 2015, you will receive our 30th Anniversary Membership. This Membership includes all traveling benefits and valet parking. Just give us the name and contact information of your candidate and we’ll provide all the details. We wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year and look forward to seeing you at the Club!

Gina Oddo and Kristin Kuchyt

So that’s it then.  2014 has come and gone and 2015 is here.  And as ready as I am to go after 2015, I think a look back and some of 2014’s greatest hits is appropriate.

I should mention that these are all just my opinion….for what it’s worth!

Center Club’s top 10:

10) Hosted Member Breakfast begins

9) Center Club is chosen to host ClubCorp Club 100 event

8) First annual Farmer’s Market & Beer and Wine Expo is held

7) Weekly Changing Encore menu begins

6) One and Done draft beer program is rolled out

5)  Kosta Browne Winery visits Center Club for an Evening with Kosta Browne

4) San Diego Beer Trip

3) First annual Beer vs. Wine Dinner

2) 30th Anniversary Membership promotion is introduced

1) Center Club Costa Mesa officially becomes Center Club Orange County

My personal top 5 for 2014:

5) Trip to Napa to visit and thank wineries for participation in Uncork for Hope

4) First visit to the Firestone Walker Beer Invitational

3) The LA Kings win the Stanley Cup

2) Uncork for Hope raises over $40,000 for Boys Town California

1) Trip to Paso Robles with my Mom for her 60th birthday

So that is what happened to me in 2014. Obviously both lists affect me on a daily basis and I am sure I will think of something else I should have put on here and I am sure someone will give me a hard time about the order I selected. What happened in your life that was important and exciting? I would love to hear! Here’s to an amazing 2015!

Happy New Year everyone.

A new year is upon us already. My how the years fly by now. 

What comes across my mind at the beginning of a new year is healthy eating and hot new food trends. It’s always hard to predict. Who could foresee Cronuts making a big splash 2 years ago? New products and methods are discovered all the time. I like to keep my ear to the ground and keep an eye on what other eating establishments are serving. Also see what the food writers and bloggers are predicting too.

Here is a list of 10 things that are a buzz on the internet.

Look closely you might see a lot of these on the menu this coming year!

-Vegetables in Yogurt

-Special Secret Menu items

-Flavored salts

-Fermented food

-Savory ice creams and yogurts

-Bitter everything: bitter greens, bitter chocolate, bitter coffee

-Craft Bourbon  

-Paleo Carbs

-Cauliflower replacing Kale 

-Ramen noodles

               

What trends have you spotted? Which ones are you excited for? 

Happy New Year!

Many couples got engaged over the holidays…congratulations! That means, wedding planning season has arrived! 

In the new wedding world of Pinterest and DIY (Do It Yourself), we often have brides ask us if hiring a wedding coordinator is truly necessary.  The answer undoubtedly is…YES!  

A wedding day should be enjoyed, not survived by the bride.  Choosing to hire the right professional creative partners (vendors) can absolutely make or break the wedding day, and at the pinnacle of creative partners is in fact, the wedding coordinator.  While friends and family will certainly be happy to assist a bride on the big day, as a host it’s important to allow your guests (especially close loved ones) to enjoy the experience of the wedding day, too.  If loved ones are busy executing the details of a dream wedding, they will sacrifice being able to relax and truly be a guest at the event. 

Which brings us to the next question we are frequently asked, “What exactly do wedding coordinators do, anyway?”  The answer is...A LOT!  With that being said, here’s a start of a list of Center Club’s expectations of limited service wedding coordinators at the club: 

-Maintain regular communication with the Private Event Director as provided in the Professional Wedding Coordinator’s package.

-Assist with family matters, ceremonies & toasts.

-Provide typed wedding day timeline ten days prior to wedding.

-Provide Creative Partner list complete with contact information ten days prior to wedding.

-Coordinate and confirm call times and delivery/load in instructions with Creative Partners.

-Handle the coordination of personal items in and out of Center Club, excluding gifts. Host assumes responsibility for all wedding gifts, and must assign the tasks of collection and transferring gifts to ensure their safekeeping.

-Coordinate and direct wedding rehearsal.

-Coordinate and direct wedding ceremony.

-Coordinate bride’s arrival, organizing bridal party & family for the processional.

-Assist the bride with preparations as required.

-Transport & ensure proper set up of any necessary items (alphabetized escort cards/seating chart, programs, guestbook, pens, gift table, family photos, etc.).

-Confirm dinner set up before guests are invited to the room (proper table count, seat count, table numbers, menus, favors, etc).

-Facilitate superior communication with the Banquet Captain and all Creative Partners (photographer, videographer, DJ/Band, etc.) during the wedding day to ensure smooth execution of the wedding timeline.

-Coordinate Grand Entrance, First Dance, Cake Cutting, etc.

-Supervise Creative Partner strike and ensure that all personal and rental items are removed from Center Club immediately following the event. 

Full service wedding coordination packages can cover much more, including assistance with fittings, design, placing rental orders, securing a venue and other creative partners (DJ, Bakery, Floral, Photo Booth, Lighting, Linens, Candy Bar, Invitations, Hotels, etc. etc.), contract negotiation with other creative partners, etiquette advice, menu tasting consultations…the list is truly endless. 

When hiring a wedding coordinator, keep in mind the scope of what your needs are.  Avoid using the words “Day of Coordinator”, and be wary of a wedding planner that promises to show up on your wedding day with little to no prior interaction with the planning process and be able to streamline the wedding day perfectly.  It simply isn’t possible.  If a bride chooses not to opt for a full service wedding coordination package, we suggest shopping using the words “Limited Coordination”.  Typically, limited coordination packages will involve the wedding coordinator about thirty days prior to the wedding day. 

It’s a good idea to seek referrals when hiring a wedding coordinator.  Ask your venue which wedding coordinators they work with often and recommend according to your needs.  Keep in mind the venue executes weddings every weekend and will be able to provide solid feedback from actual experience with creative partners.  In addition, it’s best to hire creative partners who are already familiar with the venue and are on the venue’s Preferred Creative Partner list.  Securing a spot on a venue’s Preferred Creative Partner list typically takes years of consistent superior service to clients, and any creative partners on a venue’s list are trusted with proven reason.  

We can’t emphasize enough the importance of not only hiring a wedding coordinator, but also being sure to hire a true professional.  Center Club is happy to provide personalized recommendations for all of your event needs.

Happy Planning,

Kaitlin Kuykendall and Chris Hartley, Private Event Directors

Aaaah, December. It is finally here. Chris mentioned that it seems we talk about December all year long, and that feels partly true. It’s such a festive month and we always have so much going on at the Club. We are so excited to host all your private events and meet and greet your extended family, as you bring them by the club for lunch while you’re shopping at South Coast Plaza. Membership is eager to welcome your family as new members of the club through the My Family program. It’s a great offer which ends in 2014. 

I want to personally thank you for helping to make 2014 an excellent year. You are the reason I love my job so much. I can’t tell you how much it pleases me to see our members enjoy the club, take advantage of member benefits and connect with other members. My team and I are here to serve you and to help you make the most of your membership. Thank you so much for helping to enrich our member culture and spark new friendships and business relations among members. I truly appreciate you and wish you a very festive and fabulous month of December.

-Shahin Vosough, Club Manager

Happy December! We want to wish you and yours a fantastic month of December and Happy Holidays.  

As you may remember, we welcomed a new Membership Director to the team. Shortly before our own Ms. Kristin Catanzaro became Mrs. Kristin Kuchyt, she joined Gina Oddo as the new Membership Director. We know that all of Kristin’s Member Relations skills and success will translate well into her new role and we are so very excited that she will serve the Members and the Club in this new capacity. Congrats Kristin! It’s been an exciting few months for her and we are all so happy for her! 

Since it is the holiday season, we’d like to remind you that the gift of Membership makes for an extraordinary gift! The holidays are the perfect time to extend invitations to your family to come enjoy the private club lifestyle! As a Member, they will enjoy the benefits of social membership at any of our participating clubs across the nation in the ClubCorp Network. My Family Memberships are only $75 per month for your parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings and in-laws. Make sure you contact Gina or Kristin for all the details and specifics. Again, Happy Holidays!

-Gina Oddo & Kristin Kuchyt, Membership Directors 

December 1st……everyone thinks they have plenty of time until Christmas to get their shopping done, and then BAM….it Christmas Eve and you wonder how you just missed an entire three weeks!  In the food and beverage business it is exactly the same.  It is the busiest three weeks of the year.  We prepare for it, we talk about it, we stress about it and then you blink and it’s over.  How do you find time with all the Holiday madness to get things done? 

My Holiday advice: get started early!  You know how every year it seems like Wal-Mart and Target have Christmas stuff out earlier and earlier?  That’s a clue to get started!  My mom does the same thing.  Every year she asks us earlier and earlier to send her a Christmas list.  And she must have me trained because this year I called her first and said I need to know what everyone wants so I can get started!  I usually have all my shopping done before December with just a small trinket or gift card to pick up here and there.  Start thinking early about gifts and the best places to buy them.  Is online the best deal?  Will I save money if I bundle on Amazon and get free shipping?  Why didn’t I make a list of gift ideas before I left the house?  Why is there no parking?  Why is everyone at the mall on the same day I am?  Next year everyone is getting gift cards!   

However you decide to shop for the Holidays, make sure you have fun!  And if you are shopping in the South Coast area, make sure and take a pit stop at the Club for lunch or happy hour.  Remember, we have valet so no fighting for parking and no 30 minute waits for a table.  We hope to see you here!

-Chris Sarten, Food & Beverage Director

Happy Festive Season

It is hard to beat the holiday season, yes it is a busy time I think for everyone. But there seems to be a spirt in the air at this time of year that is not present at any other time. Especially now that I have kids it makes it that much more fun.  This is a great time for gathering with family and friends. Making someone’s day or week.

 This is the first recollections I have of cooking. Helping my Mom decorate the Christmas fruit cake and make some of the holiday treats. Well at least stick the decorations on the cake and cookies and lick the spoons. A tradition I plan to pass down to my two daughters. I like that theses times mean different things to many different people and cultures. I like to her what people and their families did and cooked.

Over the years I have worked with staff from almost every corner of the earth and it’s great to see and hear what they would eat.  Growing up with parents from London England the European flavors like, marzipan, Plum Pudding, cloves and dried fruit were a lot of things we ate. Once I smell these things I am transported back to my home in Ottawa as a boy.

A other thing I remember when I was young growing up in Canada watching shows like CHIPS and some of the other TV programs from the 70s that were in California. During the holidays there was never any snow. I though it must be terrible to have to celebrate without some snow around, how do you get into the spirt?  And after 15 years in Southern California boy was I wrong. I have not missed it at all.  I love the first snow fall and it would be great to have snow on the ground for Christmas, but I much prefer 70 and 80 degree sunny weather.

I have a lot of good recipes for the holidays but I think one that I make every year is the Swedish drink Glogg. I made it for our cooking class back in October. Once again the flavors of the oranges and spices bring me back home.

I have enclosed the recipe.

I would like to wish all of you, Happy Holidays, safe travels if you are traveling and hope you get to spend time with friends and family.

Cheers! Chef Lewis

Glogg 

½ bottle of Vodka

4 Bottles of Red Wine

4 Cups of Sugar

8 Cinnamon Sticks

10 Star Anise

2 Orange Rinds

12 Cloves

½ Vanilla Bean 

  • Mix everything in a saucepan
  • Cook on a low heat.
  • Cover with plastic wrap
  • Do not boil 
  • Heat for 1 hour
  • Strain and Serve
  • Serve with currant raisins and toasted sliced almonds
  • You can cool the glugg and then re-heat when needed

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! 

And a great big “Thank You” to all our Members who supported Private Events in 2014! We appreciate your meetings, wine dinners, pre-theater receptions, anniversary parties and weddings. We wish for you, your families and employees the very best for 2015. 

Remember to refer the Club to your friends and business associates as well. Your sponsoring others is a great way for them to experience the Club. Private Events can be reached at (714) 438-3860. 

See you in 2015! 

Happy Planning, 

Kaitlin Kuykendall & Chris Hartley, Private Event Directors

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