Wine & Food Festival Chef Spotlight: Luke Turpin

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It’s not a surprise to learn that the head chef of Pelican Grill—known for its California coastal dining—is a California native. Luke Turpin grew up in the inland Central and San Joaquin valleys, but frequented the coast so he could surf Half Moon and San Francisco bays; he spent the next part of his life in coastal Los Angeles in pursuit of a culinary career.

Turpin is participating in the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival’s Grand Tasting Pavilion on behalf of Pelican Grill on Saturday, Oct. 3. Fresh, seasonal seafood will be offered for attendees to sample; all of the dishes will be prepared in his signature style of simple ingredients layered to create complex flavors.

This cooking style is an interesting reflection of his culinary background as a self-taught chef: Starting as a simple restaurant dishwasher, the talented chef spent years honing his skills at esteemed restaurants in California before arriving at Pelican Hill in 2014.

Newport Beach Magazine peeled back a few of this chef’s complex layers for a quick Q-and-A.

 

FIVE QUESTIONS WITH LUKE TURPIN

Courtesy of Pelican Hill
Courtesy of Pelican Hill

What’s the first dish you remember cooking?

I made overnight yeast waffles. I made them almost every day, and the refrigerator constantly smelled of yeast!

 

Biggest culinary guilty pleasure?

I don’t know if it’s all that guilty, but I love doughnuts.

 

Name one famous figure you’d most like to cook for.

I enjoy cooking for our guests most, and I’d welcome any and every celebrity to our tables.

 

If you could only eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Breakfast burritos

 

Three most important cooking tools?

Knives, fire and spoons

 


 

 

PELICAN GRILL

22800 S. Pelican Hill Rd., Newport Coast

855-467-6800

pelicangrillnb.com

 

NEWPORT BEACH WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL

newportbeachwineandfood.com

 

—Written by Allison Hata

 


 

 

Newport Beach Magazine is a sponsor of the 2015 Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival.

 

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