Mark McDonald, Chef, Proprietor
Mark McDonald is an internationally recognized chef, restaurant owner, and restaurant consultant.
Chef Mark’s passion for introducing unique foods and wines to customers and clients is built on collaborations with winemakers, sommeliers, and culinary professionals from around the world. He is the California Director for Aregala & Cooks Without Borders, and is frequently invited to international culinary competitions as both a judge and a participant. In recent years he has taught master courses and given presentations at gastronomy events and festivals throughout Europe, the Middle East, and North America.
In 2007 Chef Mark opened his award-winning restaurant, Old Vine Cafe, in Costa Mesa, CA. His menu offerings reflect a commitment to regionalism and the use of local seasonal ingredients, a hallmark of Chef Mark’s culinary training under Master Chef John Nocita at the Italian Culinary Institute in Calabria, Italy (ICI). Chef Mark now partners with the Italian Culinary Institute to lead the annual Splendors of South Italy tour, a culinary-driven trip through Calabria and Sicily that treats travelers to hands-on cooking lessons from master chefs, winery and agriturismo visits, and multi-course meals of regional cuisine. The first Splendors of Northern Italy tour launches in 2016.
Chef Mark also supports his local community. He can be found judging culinary finals at his alma mater, Laguna Culinary Arts, as well as teaching cooking classes to both young “aspiring chefs” at local elementary schools, and adult students pursing professional culinary education.
Stacy Drakos, General Manager
Stacy Drakos has more than 25 years of experience serving and managing at fine dining restaurants in Chicago and Orange County. After moving back to California Stacy graduated from UCLA with a degree in psychology, and worked for restaurants and hotels including The Ritz Restaurant & Garden, the Harborside Restaurant & Grand Ballroom, and Wildfish.
Cesar Orozco, Manager
Cesar Orozco brings more than a decade of food service and management experience to Old Vine Cafe. Cesar’s background reflects his extensive “front of the house” knowledge; throughout the years he has held positions ranging from expediter to manager. Prior to joining the team at Old Vine Cafe, Cesar worked at Pinot Provence, Marche Moderne, and Ten Asian Bistro.
Kate Perry, Sommelier-Wine Director
Kate Perry has more than 15 years of fine dining restaurant experience in Southern California. She earned her start working her way up at the Ritz Carlton at age 18, and then moved on to The Club Grill and Morton’s over the next several years. Kate is a level 2 Sommelier, and WSET Advanced Certified. Kate’s passion for wine and customer service is unparalleled, and her energy on the floor is contagious.