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DANA POINT, CALIF. – September 8, 2015 – The Orange County Visitors Association, Etihad Airways and The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal are hosting a week-long celebration of Southern California culinary traditions from September 20-24, 2015, at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal’s signature Forge Steakhouse.

Bringing Orange County’s freshness and eclectic tastes to Abu Dhabi, Southern Californian native Brian Sundeen, Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, Orange County, has created a five-course degustation menu that provides a culinary salute to Southern California’s multi-cultural heritage, modern outlook, and quality lifestyle.

“With Etihad Airways and The Ritz-Carlton, we are extremely excited to share Southern California’s culinary traditions with the UAE, and hope that in addition to our world-class family attractions and shopping experiences that our celebrated cuisine will whet the appetite for an increasing number of UAE residents to visit and experience the quality lifestyle that Orange County is renowned for,” said Ed Fuller, President and CEO of Orange County Visitors Association (OCVA) of California.

Highlights of the menu include: ahi tuna with caviar and avocado yuzu puree; fresh burrata with pickled peach, cherry tomato and saba; seared scallop, foie gras and Manchego grits; grilled New York strip with crab mashed potato, chipotle hollandaise and truffle chimichurri and carrot cake with cream cheese mousse, maple, pineapple and cream cheese ice cream for dessert.

Held in conjunction with the culinary promotion, the Orange County Visitors Association, Etihad Airways and The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel are offering all guests of the degustation menu the chance to win a complimentary return trip for two people, flying Etihad Airways to Los Angeles International Airport, with a four-night stay at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, Orange County. The prize also includes complimentary VIP personal shopping experiences at Orange County’s leading shopping and lifestyle destinations, shopping discounts, a complimentary day pass for two to Disneyland and more.

“We are excited about hosting the winner to a four-night experience at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel,” said Bruce Brainerd, general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. “Our setting is unmatched, perched atop a seaside bluff with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and miles of sandy beach, their experience will be unforgettable and they will certainly return home with epic memories of their visit to the resort and Southern California,” he added.

The culinary promotion also coincides with the Orange County Visitors Association’s launch of the “OC & ME” campaign, whereby visitors from the Middle East booking exclusive “OC & ME” travel packages to Orange County California receive complimentary VIP shopping experiences and discounts worth over US$2,000.

Reservations for the Southern Californian Cuisine degustation experience can be made by calling The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal at +9712 818-8282 or by emailing restaurant.reservations@ritzcarlton.com.