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Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Chef Ugo Allesina incorporates Chef Thomas’ recipes into 5-course wine dinner

Friday, July 16 | 6 p.m.

IRVINE, June 2010
Prego Ristorante’s Chef Ugo Allesina will blend his own traditional Italian cooking with recipes from Cathy Thomas’ acclaimed cookbook, “Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce,” for a special five-course wine dinner on Friday, July 16. Hosted by Prego Owners Tony and Ruth Bedi, each course will be paired with treasured wines from Greg Norman Estates.

A cocktail reception and book-signing session with Cathy Thomas will begin at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. The dinner, priced at $54.95 per guest (excluding tax & gratuity), will end with Cathy Thomas’ Fichi al Porto e Caprino (fig and port wine sauce topped with goat cheese), paired with Greg Norman Zinfandel . For more information or reservations, call 949.553.1333.

6 p.m. Cocktail Reception & Book-Signing Event

Cathy Thomas will hold a book signing of her second book, “Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce,” released last month, and already selected as one of NPR's “Top Ten Books of the Summer” and recipient of a Starred Review by Publishers Weekly. The reception will include a pre-dinner sampling of the season's best organic fruits and vegetables by nationally recognized produce expert Robert Schueller of Melissa’s Worldwide Produce.

7 p.m. Wine Dinner

Canapé Assortiti
Assorted Canapé
Greg Norman, Sparkling

Souffle`di Spinaci
Spinach and Parmigiano soufflé with garlic, and tomatoes velouté
Greg Norman, Sauvignon Blanc `08

Crespelle alla Moda
Homemade crepes filled with fontina cheese, porcini mushrooms, ham,
served with creamy béchamel sauce and Parmigiano
Greg Norman, Pinot Noir `08

Maiale con Ciliege (Cathy Thomas) PHOTO ATTACHED
Grilled pork loin served with cherry relish, whipped potatoes and eggplant timballo
Greg Norman, Cabernet Reserve `03

Fichi al Porto e Caprino (Cathy Thomas) PHOTO ATTACHED
Fig and port wine sauce topped with Goat Cheese
Greg Norman, Zinfandel

For more information or reservations, call 949.553.1333 or visit

About Cathy Thomas, Award-Winning Columnist, Author, On-Air Host
According to Cathy Thomas, part of the fun of cooking and entertaining is creating delectable dishes without spending hours in the kitchen. That’s been the focal point of her cooking classes and award-winning newspaper features for over two decades. Her quick-to-prepare recipes showcase flavorful ingredients, relying on fresh fruits and vegetables to make each dish colorful and delicious. Her first book, “Melissa’s Great Book of Produce” (Wiley, $29.95) demystifies the glorious array of fruits and vegetables that are available in the marketplace. Her second book, launched in May 2010, “Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce” has received rave reviews.

Cathy is the food columnist at the Orange County Register. Her weekly columns and food features are nationally distributed on the McClatchy Tribune News Wire and frequently appear in newspaper food sections across the country. She won the first place award as the best food columnist in the nation from the Association of Food Journalists (in the large newspaper division).

About Prego Ristorante
Prego has all that one could wish for in a fine Italian restaurant; an elegant, yet comfortable atmosphere, attentive service and cuisine that strikes the perfect balance between traditional authenticity and innovative preparations. It's the perfect setting in which to enjoy good conversation and feast on the best cuisine that Italy has to offer.

Adding a splash of Mediterranean color to California, Prego's ambience blends the warmth and rustic charm of old-world Italy with the electricity and vibrance of a cosmopolitan restaurant. Streamlined arches and columns, gleaming copper, polished hardwood floors and an abundance of Cherrywood furnishings produce an elegant and sophisticated, yet comfortable, atmosphere. A lively exhibition kitchen allows diners to view the artful chefs creating their delicious dishes. With a capacity to seat between 150 and 250 guests, Prego features al fresco dining, full bar, banquet rooms and catering services.

Executive Chef & Partner, Ugo Allesina, brings more than 25 years of experience to his position. Born and raised in the region of Piemonte, Italy, his experience at a number of prestigious hotels and restaurants in Italy, Germany and the United States has enabled him to develop his outstanding skills as a premiere Chef of Northern Italian cuisine.

The menu emphasizes regional Italian cuisine, featuring authentic pizza baked in a wood-fired oven, freshly made pastas, grilled fresh fish, spit-roasted meats and fowl, and an extensive list of wines from Italy and California that will please even the most discriminating wine connoisseur. Homemade desserts and pastries make a perfect ending to an unforgettable dining experience. Prego has received fine-dining awards from the Restaurant Writers' Association and the Wine and Food Society of Southern California. It has been a culinary destination for more than two decades.

Prego Ristorante is open for lunch and dinner daily and is located at 18420 Von Karman Ave in Irvine. For more information or reservations, call 949.553.1333 or visit

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