updated 9/14/2010 1:46:06 PM ET 2010-09-14T17:46:06

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Sept. 14, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Award-winning restaurateur Zov Karamardian, of Zov's Bistro, will hold a cooking demonstration at a book-signing for "Orange County Fare: A Culinary Journey Through the California Riviera," the first cookbook created by the Junior League of Orange County, Calif., (JLOCC), in more than 20 years.  The event  to be held 10 a.m. - noon, Sat., October 2, will be held at the Borders bookstore at South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bear St., Costa Mesa. 

As one of the cookbook's professional chef contributors, Zov will prepare several of her signature Mediterranean dishes, including Olive Tapenade, Braised Green Beans with Beef and Tomatoes, and Jasmine Rice Pilaf with Toasted Almonds and Currants.   An opportunity for sampling and book-signing will follow the demonstration. 

Zov's unique and exotic spice combinations have led to praise in OC Metro Magazine describing her as "The First Lady of Food." Gourmet Magazine named Zov's Bakery Cafe among the Best Bakeries in Southern California.  In 2007, she was presented the "Women in Business" award by the Orange County Business Journal.  The Food Service Industry for the City of Hope honored Zov's cuisine in 2001, lauding her "thorough knowledge of the culinary world, commitment to quality, unwavering attention to detail, and adventurous spirit."  That same year, the Zagat Restaurant Survey named Zov's Bistro & Bakery Cafe among the few listed for "Top Food."  Zov was named California Chef of the Year in 1999 by then Governor Gray Davis, and Restaurateur of the Year by the Southern California Restaurant Writers. She has restaurants in Tustin, Irvine, and Newport Coast. 

"Orange County Fare" has also received much acclaim: It won a 2010 Benjamin Franklin Silver Award from the Independent Book Publishers Assn.  and a Silver Medal from the Mom's Choice Awards.  It was also a Finalist in the Cookbook Category of the National Best Books 2009 Awards sponsored by USA Book News.   The book focuses on fresh, California-style cuisine – colorful dishes easily mastered by the home cook – making it great for personal use or as a gift.  The book is priced at $29.95, plus tax, and also can be purchased through the website www.OrangeCountyFare.com . Proceeds from the sale of the cookbook support the JLOCC mission and community projects.

"Orange County Fare" features more than 175 recipes provided by JLOCC members, chefs, restaurants, and organizations that are unique to the area.  A tour of Orange County is woven through the book in photography by Marc Weisberg and additional insights in the accompanying text. More than 400 recipes provided by JLOCC members were evaluated for the project. 

Celebrity contributions add a little spice to the mix.  Orange County native and 'ER' television series star John Stamos shared his favorite marinated grilled seafood recipe.  The John Wayne family also supplied a recipe.  Richard Nixon's Snowball Salad was contributed by the Nixon Library Foundation.  Recipes from Disneyland 's Blue Bayou Restaurant are also included.  Laguna Beach-based author Lisi Harrison; registered dietitian Cheryl Forberg (a James Beard award-winning chef and nutritionist for NBC's "The Biggest Loser"); and Vanna White ("The Wheel of Fortune") are also contributors to the collection ranging from drinks and appetizers to desserts. 

Restaurants providing entries include A Restaurant, Amelia's Seafood & Italian Restaurant, Ambrosia Restaurant and Bar, Antonello Ristorante, Claes Restaurant, Five Crowns, The Golden Truffle, K'ya Restaurant, Opah Restaurant and Bar, The Palm Terrace at the Island Hotel, The Ramos House Cafe, Ruby's, and Zov's Bistro.  Recipes were also provided by culinary experts including The Orange County Register Food Editor Cathy Thomas, KFWB Radio personality Jamie Gwen, and "Chicken Soup for the Soul" author Diana Von Welanetz Wentworth.  Jeff Lavia of Dinner Mojo Personal Chef Services also participated.

The cookbook is considered "green," as 10 percent of the paper is made from recycled sources, and it is printed with agri-based inks.  Sponsors for the project include Maralou Harrington, The Jacqueline M. Glass and Richard and Joanna James families, Jaynine and Dave Warner, and Earth Friendly Products, among others. 

About the Junior League of Orange County, California, Inc.

The Junior League of Orange County, California, Inc., is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.  JLOCC has contributed to Orange County by helping found organizations such as Orangewood Children's Home and the Volunteer Center of Orange County.  As a solely educational and charitable organization, the JLOCC's trained volunteers actively support the community through collaboration with organizations that promote and support the health, safety and education of all individuals. A 501(c)(3) organization, the JLOCC reaches out to women of all races, religions, and national origins.  Originally founded in 1956 as the Newport Harbor Service League, the JLOCC is a member organization of the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc.  To learn more about the JLOCC, call (949) 261-0823 or visit www.jlocc.org .

Funds raised annually by the JLOCC directly impact the community through collaborative projects with partner organizations and support JLOCC's mission of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community.  This year's projects include the Second Harvest Food Bank Backpack Program, Crittenton Services Connect Program, Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) Reading Program, Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Emancipated Youth Program, Kinship Support Services Program, Bear Hugs and Bear Necessities Program, and Impact Orange County, which conducts done-in-a-day volunteer opportunities.

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