Who's Involved

Chef Pascal Olhats


Pascal Olhats is extraordinary French born, and trained Executive Chef, and restaurateur. He has won numerous awards, owning and collaborating on a number of restaurants in Newport Beach over the past 27 years. 

He currently owns four businesses, including: Café Jardin Restaurant & Pascal’s Tea Garden Creperie (on the lush grounds of Sherman Gardens & Library in Corona del Mar), Pascal’s Café in San Juan Capistrano (a café/ bakery/ fine dining establishment) , and Pascal’s Catering (offering full-service catering for 20 years throughout Southern California). 

Pascal also partners with Manassero Farms, and orchestrates breakfasts, dinners, and incredible special events, often showcasing guest chefs.

Lek Chailert


Sangduen “Lek” Chailert's love for elephants began when her grandfather, a traditional healer, received a baby elephant as payment for saving a man’s life. Lek would spend many hours with her newfound friend, named Tongkum (Golden One), resulting in a passion that would shape the rest of her life, as well as the lives of others.

With a love and respect for her country’s national symbol, and the knowledge that they were becoming endangered, Lek began advocating for the rights and welfare of the Asian elephants in Thailand. In an industry steeped in tradition, advocating for positive change in the ways domestic and wild Asian elephants are treated has not been an easy battle. However, with hard work and determination her voice is now internationally recognized. In addition to several documentaries produced by National Geographic, Discovery, Animal Planet and the BBC, Lek has also won many honorary awards.

Cathy Thomas


As the Food Columnist for The Orange County Register for 26 years, Cathy chronicled culinary trends and the people that make them – everything from avocados to zucchini, haute cuisine to down-home favorites, soup to nuts. Beer Can Chicken with Steven Raichlin, raspberry tarts with Jacques Pepin, tuna sandwiches with Julia Child, and weight-loss recipes with Pam Anderson, and salt-baked sea bass with Thomas Keller! Now Cathy is an online columnist for Orange Coast Magazine.

Because she studied with chefs across America, Europe and Asia, Cathy has a passion for ethnic cuisines. She loves to embrace new flavors, new aromas and new techniques. When it comes to cooking and eating, there is always something new to experience.

Cathy has published three cookbooks:  “Melissa’s Great Book of Produce,” “Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce,” and   “50 Best Plants on the Planet."

Save Elephant Foundation


Save Elephant Foundation is a Thai Non-Profit Organization dedicated to providing care and assistance to Thailand’s captive elephant population through a multifaceted approach involving local community outreach, rescue, and rehabilitation programs, as well as educational ecotourism operations. 

Founded by Sangdeaun Lek Chailert, the organization works toward expanding ecotourism operations that benefit local communities and ecosystems, creating practical, positive reinforcement based elephant training and rehabilitation programs, and establishing an international volunteer community that raises awareness to issues facing the Asian elephant. 

To learn more about the Save Elephant Foundation, please visit www.saveelephant.org.

Sherman Library & Gardens


Sherman Library is a historical research library specializing in the history of the Pacific Southwest – including southern California, Arizona, northern Mexico and adjoining areas. The Library’s collections document the development of the region through books, archival collections, photographs, maps, aerial photographs and newspapers. 

The botanical collections of the Gardens, in their geographical origins, span the globe, ranging from plant life of the desert regions to exotic vegetation of tropical climes.

The Gardens provide a museum of living plants, displayed amidst a setting of fountains and sculptures and an abundance of seasonal flowers. The Gardens provide a tranquil environment simply to be enjoyed for the beauty or, if desired, a place to observe and study firsthand plant life from various parts of the world.

Thai District Restaurant


Thai District Chef/Owner Ty Theara met co-owner Andre Anglès back in 2008. Both share the same passion for food and the restaurant business and became friends. Both Ty & Andre bring a combined 50 years of experience to this unique Thai Restaurant like no other. 

Ty is a native of Chiang Mai, Thailand, and brings a rich & broad culinary package to Thai District in downtown Long Beach. André is a French native who owned and operated Frenchy's Bistro in Long Beach for 15 years. 

Thai District sources produce from Organic Harvest Gardens. Savor the flavors of aromatic herbs, edible flowers and varieties of vegetables in Long Beach’s only modern Thai kitchen. 

Thai District has been named one of the top 10 restaurants in Long Beach. Visit ThaiDistrictRestaurant.com.

gray event committee

Tony Reverditto / Emcee

Tony Reverditto has been a food and entertainment writer for the past decade and has reviewed hundreds of diverse restaurants throughout Southern California. His contributions as a journalist include exclusive interviews with many renowned chefs and restaurateurs. In Entertainment, his interviews include Kathleen Turner, Brooke Shields, Engelbert Humperdink, Debbie Harry and many more. Tony has shared his experiences with millions of readers, and now, Tony On The Town is a direct link for adventurous foodies, live-theatre fans and adrenaline junkies, near and far.

Tony's background in theatre dates back to his early years as an actor in film and television. To support his career aspirations, Tony moonlighted as a food server at fine dining restaurants. Not knowing his destiny, this chapter would give him the front and back of the house experience and insight to eventually become a food writer. 

Tony also loves to host and emcee food events and charity fundraisers, and is a champion for giving back to those facing challenges.

Patty Patterson / Multitasker

Patty Patterson has worked with Pascal Olhats for 30 years. 

Patty is in charge of the business office for Olhats Food Corporation, which includes Pascal Restaurant, Cafe Jardin, and Pascal Catering,  

There is not enough room or time to list all of Patty's accomplishments-suffice to say that Patty has been instrumental in keeping Chef Pascal's business affairs on track so Pascal can focus on his restaurants and philanthropic pursuits.

Deirdre Michalski / Coordinator

Deirdre brings her passion for travel, cooking & writing, along with her marketing and public relations skills, to her website TastesAndTravel.com. 

With 30 years of experience in hospitality, resort marketing and publicity, she enjoys researching and writing on topics related to a lifestyle that includes: Restaurants, Cooking & Chef Interviews, Travel near and far, Resorts, Spas, Gardens, New Local Spots & Activities, Wineries, and Lifestyle.

She is always on the hunt for the next exciting writing assignment. She is a Contributing Blog Writer for Visit Newport Beach, Visit Huntington Beach & Destination Irvine; a Contributing Writer for Newport Beach Lifestyle Magazine; and an active member of International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWWA).

Deirdre resides in Southern California with her husband and their dog Mr. Riley. 


Christopher Trela / PR

Christopher Trela is the Owner and President of ArtsPR, a boutique PR agency that specializes in public relations services for arts organizations. Current and past clients include Pacific Symphony, The Laguna Playhouse, Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, Festival Ballet Theatre, Irvine Barclay, Chance Theater, Classical Mystery Tour, and many more. 

Christopher has been the Editor of the Newport Beach Independent newspaper since 2012. He writes the dining column called Off the Menu for the Newport Beach Independent, and the Executive Dining Column for the OC Business Journal. He has contributed arts, food & wine, health & fitness, business, and travel articles to OC Register, OC Metro, Metro Menus, OC Family, Coast Magazine, Performing Arts Magazine, Westways Magazine, Dining Out Magazine, and many others. He has had more than 3,000 articles published over the past 30 years.

As a photographer, his work has appeared in the L.A. Times, The Orange County Register, OC Weekly, OC Metro, OC Wine/OC Menus, Coast Magazine, Newport Beach Independent, and many other publications throughout Southern California. 

Christopher is a member of the Orange County Press Club, Southern California Restaurant Writers Association, and the Public Relations Society of America. He has received PROTOS Awards from PRSA, Platinum and Gold MARCOM Awards, and numerous awards for news and feature writing from the OC Press Club. He also bakes award-winning chocolate chip cookies! 

Committee Interns

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Special Thanks

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