Friday, August 22, 2014



STEFANIE SALEM - President of NewBe Productions LLC

Stefanie Salem, President of NewBe Productions LLC, and Founder of the Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival, was born and raised in Southern California. She earned her BA in Psychology from UC Santa Barbara in 1992. Her 20 years of business experience includes having lived and worked in foreign countries while collaborating with political leaders and corporate decision makers on projects involving the promotion of their economies. Her international and entrepreneurial business experiences and love of all types of cuisine have helped provide the knowledge to create a world-class epicurean adventure for Newport Beach.

Salem promoted foreign investment in emerging markets by working with Heads of State, Ministers and CEO’s of multinational and local corporations in the countries of Greece, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Nigeria. This was accomplished through editorial advertising in US News and World Report, Sunday Telegraph (UK) and USA Today. Subsequently, she was Founder and President of Hampton Court Publishing, London, which published “In God’s Time, the Building of a Democratic Nation”, focusing on the cultural, historical and political independence of Nigeria. She worked directly with President Obasanjo, Vice President Abubakar, all 36 Governors and Ministers to create the text, original artwork and photography for the volume.

After completing and distributing the book, Salem became the Vice President of International Sales at Advanced Specialty Lighting, a design and manufacturing company of precision optical products for the entertainment, industrial and scientific markets. She conducted new business development throughout the US, China, India, Europe and Mexico.

She’s now combining her entrepreneurial experience with her passion for food in order to create an unforgettable food and wine event that generates the opportunity to help fund charitable causes in the community of Newport Beach.

KELLY JAWOR - Senior Vice President of Business Development of NewBe Productions LLC

Kelly is playing a crucial role in building the festival’s sponsor roster, culinary participants and charity partnerships. With life experiences embedding a need in her to help others combined with years of residing, working and traveling throughout Europe, Australia and Asia, Jawor serves as an important asset to the team. She brings over 20 years of International travel, finance and marketing experience with her.

Jawor grew up in Southern California and attended UCLA where she earned a BA in Economics. Upon graduation in 1991 she worked in finances for FHP International Corporation, a vertically integrated health care provider which operates and markets health maintenance organizations in several different forms. She was instrumental in the implementation of the accounting software adopted by the finance department and educating its employees on its usage. After almost two years of rising through the ranks, she was given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change her career path. For seven years, Jawor traveled and worked in the fashion industry working with such clients as Chanel, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Valentino, simultaneously growing her passion for world travel and foreign cuisine. Her successful career took her to 15 countries, working in runway, print and television.

Upon returning to the states, Jawor married her college sweetheart, a local Newport Beach resident and started a family. It was at this time that Jawor decided she needed to be closer to home and transitioned out of the career that took her abroad.  She has since served as the office manager for an established orthodontics private practice, responsible for all financial, insurance, and daily logistics for the past 12 years.

Happily married and with three young daughters, Jawor has joined NewBe Productions and has immersed herself into all aspects of the production of the First Annual Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival.  She cherishes the opportunity to be able to showcase the city and contribute to the community of Newport Beach. 


Santa Monica Seafood was officially founded in 1939 but the real story began in 1898.  That year a young man chose the life of a fisherman in California. John Deluca had only recently left his home in Naples, Italy when he put his roots down in the port city of San Pedro. Needing a way to support his growing family he looked to the sea.  His hard work and respect for the ocean rubbed off on his family and before long his oldest son Jack was tagging along. Those days on the dock laid the groundwork for a family tradition that has lasted four generations.

Jack Deluca always had a passion for the sea. From the age of nine he was at the docks pulling lines, scaling and gutting fish, and filleting the fish – all the elements of bringing seafood to market. By the age of 16 he was the proud owner of his own fishing vessel and at the tender age of 21 he was the co-owner of his own wholesale company, State Fish Company. Alongside his close friend and future brother-in-law, Gerald Cigliano, Jack built State Fish Company into a formidable presence in the wholesale seafood business in the Los Angeles area.

Jack eventually grew restless at State Fish Company and left to join L.A. Fish & Oyster.  The 10 years he spent at L.A. Fish & Oyster were good to Jack. He made a name for himself at the new company and even started his own family, but he couldn’t shake his entrepreneurial passion. After 10 years as an employee, Jack and his younger brother, Frank, joined together to embark on what would become their life’s work. In 1939, the two brothers set up shop at the end of the Santa Monica Pier selling fresh fish to restaurants and tourists alike under the company banner of Santa Monica Seafood.

For the next 42 years Jack and Frank worked to build Santa Monica Seafood into one of the top distributors of seafood in Southern California. They went from selling the catch of the day to hungry tourists on the Santa Monica Pier to selling fresh and frozen fish to the top restaurants in Los Angeles and Orange County. By 1969 an operation that had been borne on fresh-caught halibut, shark, sea bass, tuna and lobsters had outgrown its original location and had to move twelve blocks east to the corner of 12th Street and Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica. The new location served as the headquarters for an ever-burgeoning wholesale business as well as the seafood market that has come to be known as “the cathedral of seafood” to many residents of L.A. County.

While the Delucas were busy building the framework for Santa Monica Seafood, their cousins, the Ciglianos, were on the docks of San Pedro continuing the business of State Fish Company. Jack Deluca’s brother-in-law, Gerald Cigliano, had passed the business on to his eldest son Anthony who, in turn, was getting help from his own seven children. The precocious youngsters, in between helping their father and going to school, had set up a business of their own on the San Pedro docks. They would get fish from the fishermen to sell to fish peddlers when they weren’t busy unloading boats and sorting fish.

In 1981 the families came together again when Anthony Cigliano and his children purchased the company from Uncles Jack and Frank. Over the next several years each of Anthony’s children joined the daily operations of Santa Monica Seafood as the company continued to expand.

In 1985 a second retail/wholesale facility was opened in Orange County to serve a business that had pushed into Palm Springs, San Diego and Las Vegas. The new location, with its retail space and larger warehouse facilities, served to further extend the reach of Santa Monica Seafood. In 1997 a retail-only store was opened in Costa Mesa to further the company’s exposure to local consumers. More recently, the wholesale operations were streamlined in 2002, when the warehouses in Orange and Santa Monica were combined at the company’s new corporate headquarters in Rancho Dominguez, CA.

After more than 40 years at its location on Colorado Avenue, the first Santa Monica Seafood retail store was relocated to Wilshire Blvd. where it boasts an incredible refrigerated seafood display, grocery products from around the world and a small café featuring the freshest seafood sold in the Southwest. Also, in 2009, the Company opened a new Las Vegas office with docking and storage facilities.

Santa Monica Seafood expanded their reach again in 2011 with the opening of a Phoenix, AZ distribution hub. That same year the company purchased Long Beach Seafood and welcomed both their respected and experienced staff and customers to our family.

In 2012 Santa Monica Seafood acquired Central Coast Seafood, adding yet more purchasing power and access to local fisheries along the central coast of California. Central Coast Seafood continues to operate under their own name, bringing their unique blend of quality, service and experience to customers as far north as San Francisco.

Jack Deluca founded Santa Monica Seafood with the philosophy, “Provide the highest quality product at a fair and reasonable price.” Today his great-nephews are carrying on that tradition with a new purpose. Anthony Cigliano’s second-born son, Anthony, is the President of the company. He directly oversees a purchasing department that is at the cutting edge of seafood sustainability. Recently the company joined with the Monterey Bay Aquarium to promote and develop new and better ways to source seafood that conform to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Initiative. The philosophy of providing the highest quality product now demands ethical and sustainable sourcing of fish and education of both customers and the public at large.

The Cigliano family is at the forefront of preservation and aquaculture efforts to ensure the bounty of our seas for generations to come and their love of the sea remains unabated. Our story is the past, the present, and the future of the seafood industry.

Friday, August 8, 2014


Michael Jordan is Live from 100 WINES Kitchen!

Executive Chef Miguel Valdez

Miguel Valdez was working as a dishwasher at a gourmet grocery store in Pennsylvania when he was first inspired to become a Professional Chef himself.

In 2007, Valdez and his wife moved to San Diego, California where he was hired at Little Italy Pizzeria tossing dough. With hard work and determination, Valdez took on another job at a sushi restaurant across the street gaining experience with different kinds of foods. In 2009, he was hired at the Glass Door in the Porto Vista Hotel. Shortly after, he moved to Anthology where he was taught how to braise, grill, and prepare sauces and stocks.

About a year later, with a desire to become an Executive Chef, Valdez was hired at the Red Door in Mission Hills as a Line Cook. He quickly worked his way up to a Sous Chef and was eventually granted the role of Executive Chef. While working at the Red Door, the owner impressed upon him the importance of sourcing locally grown foods. "It costs more, but it's higher quality and helps hardworking people in our own county. I've loved developing relationships with the guy down the street that grows lemons, the man who harvests mushrooms, the pasta people. These are my most trusted comrades."

Valdez recently joined 100 Wines kitchen as the Executive Chef. He maintains the "source local" philosophy while producing great food for Guests of 100 Wines.

Maurice DiMarino - Wine & Beverage Manager & Certified Sommelier

Maurice DiMarino has seen just about everything in his 26 years in the service industry.  From his early days as a host for a local San Diego Mexican Restaurant to his current position as wine and beverage manager for theCohn Restaurant Group, the journey has been a varied and exciting one.  However, it was not until he moved to San Francisco in early 1994 that he became passionate about the industry.  While in San Francisco he had the opportunity to open several landmark restaurants, including Lou’s Pier 47, Foreign Cinema, Alma and Chez Spencer.  During this time, Maurice was able to work closely with sommeliers and renowned chefs.  It was their mentorship and extensive experience that fostered Maurice’s passion for epicurean pursuits.  Beyond anything else though, it was travel that inspired the love for wine and viticulture that guides Maurice to this day.  More than a home, San Francisco became a hub for Maurice to travel.  His free spirit took him to Europe, Canada, Central and South America, Southeast Asia and Australia.  It was in these travels that Maurice discovered the varied and sometimes sacred place that wine holds in so many cultures around the world.

It was love and family that eventually brought Maurice back to San Diego where he returned to a budding restaurant industry.  When he was offered the chance to act as Wine Director for Chef Deborah Scott’s new restaurant, Island Prime, he jumped.  Maurice saw this position as an opportunity to bring his extensive experience with wine, travel and culture into a wine program unique to the San Diego area.  Maurice is now the beverage and wine manager for the Cohn Restaurant Group and oversees beverages for the 16 restaurants.  By the end of 2013 there will be 5 more restaurants added.  Maurice shares his love of teaching through extensive training and seminars with the managers, employees  and guests of the Cohn Restaurant Group.  His goal is to bring attention to San Diego and show the world that San Diego should be recognized among the top cities for food and wine.

Maurice DiMarino’s “Cru” is the wine club that he started through the Cohn Restaurant Group, “Prime Cru“.  He created this club as an outlet for those not in the industry to come and learn about wine.  He provides seminars for club members ranging from specific grape varietals to exploring the different wine regions of the world.  Prime Cru was also created so that guests can have amazing deals on purchasing wines usually not available outside the restaurant.   He believes wine should be fun and not taken too seriously.  This blog was created to break the pretentious image wine seems to carry and make it accessible and easy to understand.  Be part of the crew, Mauricescru!

Friday, August 1, 2014



Earning the Advanced Sommelier Diploma from the American Chapter of the Court of Master Sommeliers, Troy Smith is a sommelier and beverage manager at Montage Laguna Beach.

Equipped with in-depth knowledge gleaned from more than 10 years in the wine industry, Smith oversees the selection, purchasing and storage of wines for the entire resort. He also facilitates all ongoing staff wine training.

In addition, Smith oversees the ambitious wine program for the resort’s three restaurants, including its signature restaurant Studio’s impressive 2,500 wine selections. To that end, he is instrumental in selecting Studio’s approximately 50 wines by the glass; working in tandem with Studio Executive Chef Craig Strong and the Studio sommelier team to present wine pairings for each item on the private chef’s table and tasting menus.

Previously a sommelier at The Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, AZ, Smith has also served as sommelier at the Ventana Room at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, AZ.


Diana Schweiger grew up in Sonoma County and remembers the days of visiting her grandparents on the Spring Mountain property before there were vineyards, wineries and a lot of traffic on Spring Mountain Rd.

The early years for Diana were about as busy as her life is currently. In addition to being involved as a cheerleader and in student government at Montgomery High School, she was also a competitive figure skater and trained at the Redwood Empire Ice Arena. She graduated from CSU Chico in 1991 with a degree in Journalism/Public Relations. She was also a member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and worked in sales for the school newspaper, the Orion. Other summer jobs included a congressional internship in Washington D.C. and a VIP Guest Relations position at Disneyland in Orange County.

In 1991, two weeks after graduation from Chico State, Diana began her professional career at Heublein working as a chain merchandiser in Northern California. From there she was promoted into other positions and then moved onto working in sales management for Paterno Imports, then  Rosemount Estate and most recently, Southcorp Wines. On September 2, 2003, Diana came to work for the family winery full time.

Diana runs the national sales for her family business and spends much of her time coordinating market visits and shares the travel with her winemaker/little brother.  Take a glance at and keep up with all the events and wine dinners happening around the country.  Diana also has had the opportunity to sit on the judging panel at the L.A. Wine Competition, represent the Napa Valley Vintners during market visits on local TV news stations, and most recently participate in a commercial for a major world wide business set to air on September 2, 2014.  

Diana and Andy purchased the property adjacent to the vineyard and winery that was originally her Grandparents home. Diana and Andy are avid sports participants and especially enjoy spending time on the lake waterskiing and of course enjoying wine!