New Menus to Feature Bold, Bright Flavors
Huntington Beach native Brittany Valles has been named executive chef at Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge – two unique dining and lounge venues offering SoCal residents and sophisticated world travelers seasonal Southern California food and beverage experiences in relaxed, inviting settings.
At Oak Grill, Valles will oversee the seasonal menus served at breakfast, lunch and dinner, including menus for holidays and special events. At Aqua Lounge, she is responsible for creating the shareable bites menu enjoyed at this chic and vibrant after-work and night-time gathering spot also known for its outstanding crafted cocktails, wines and beers.
When it comes to contemporary cooking, Valles says she likes to use local, seasonal products and, whenever possible, utilize the whole plant or animal for her dishes. Her favorite three ingredients are beets, cabbage and peas, and she looks forward to using these and other California ingredients straight from the farm or ocean to deliver bright, bold flavors to the dishes at Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge.
“We are delighted to welcome this highly focused, talented and energetic chef to our culinary program,” said Fashion Island Hotel General Manager Gerard Widder. “Brittany’s delicious dining and lounge offerings are sure to enrich our guests’ dining experiences in iconic Newport Beach.”
For the last seven years in West Hollywood, Calif., Valles served as chef de cuisine at now-closed ink.well by Michael Voltaggio, the sixth season winner of Bravo’s Top Chef. Voltaggio is Valles cooking and personal mentor, along with her early teacher Chef Cole Dickenson, who recognized her potential when she worked with him at Wolfgang Puck Catering at the beginning of her culinary career. She also was chef de partie for one year at former Lugatti’s Italian Grill in Huntington Beach, Calif.
Valles gained a prestigious nomination for Star Chefs’ Rising Star Chef in 2017 and was the “Sandwich Queen” in an episode on munchies on Chef’s Night Out, along with Chef Michael Voltaggio. She earned an Associate of Arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles, Pasadena campus in 2010.
Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge are located across the street from Fashion Island inside Fashion Island Hotel Newport Beach and are easily accessible through a pedestrian entrance along Newport Center Drive, along with complimentary valet available at the hotel entrance. Reservations for Oak Grill can be made by calling 949-760-4920 or visiting www.oakgrillnb.com and for Aqua Lounge by calling 949-760-4342 or visiting www.aqualoungenb.com.
About Fashion Island Hotel
Located adjacent to Fashion Island, an open-air lifestyle center in Newport Beach, Fashion Island Hotel is a luxury coastal hotel offering breathtaking ocean, harbor and cityscape views. Fashion Island Hotel features 295 guestrooms and suites, more than 23,000 square feet of event space, the largest ballroom in Newport Beach, a spa, fitness center and resort-style pool. Fashion Island Hotel is one of three hotels in the world-class Coastal Collection portfolio of Irvine Company Resort Properties® including The Resort at Pelican Hill and Hotel Irvine. With nearby pristine beaches, world-class golf, water sports and other outdoor activities, Fashion Island Hotel is the social center of Newport Beach, one of California’s most desirable beach cities located about 45 minutes south of Los Angeles. For more information, please visit www.FashionIslandHotel.com.
About the Irvine Company
The Irvine Company® is an internationally renowned real estate development company known for its award-winning master-planned communities, its vast portfolio of high-quality investment properties and its leadership in conservation and natural resource management. The growing real estate portfolio encompasses office, apartment, retail and resort holdings located throughout California’s premier markets, including assets in San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles Counties, and holdings in Northern California. As a steward of some of America’s most beautiful and scientifically important open space and parklands, the company has donated more than half of the historic 93,000-acre Irvine Ranch® in Orange County — 50,000 acres — to permanently preserve these lands. The U.S. Department of Interior and the State of California have designated these parklands as “Natural Landmarks,” one of the most prestigious land preservation designations. The privately held, diversified company traces its roots to the 1860s with the formation of The Irvine Ranch® from Mexican and Spanish land grants.