Artistic director meets Old Ranch chef

Old Ranch Chef Joe Flores, left, and Seal Beach Symphony Artistic Director Chad Berlinghieri. Courtesy photo

I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Joe Flores last week on an expectedly sunny Southern California afternoon for the end of January.

Chef Joseph Flores began his love for cooking in upstate New York while watching his chef father prepare meals. He spent his time at his father’s side learning the techniques required to become a talented chef. His father realized quickly that Joseph had a special eye and was gifted with culinary talent.

Joseph attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh to further develop his keen sense of artistry which is now visible in his creative culinary delights. A few of his noted accomplishments thus far are – participating in a James Beard Foundation Dinner, the annual Balboa Yacht Club Governor’s Cup, the Newport Beach Boat Parade, and notable wine dinners for Silver Oak Winery, Caymus, Sterling, Mondavi, and Clos de Bois just to name a few.

Josephs’ distinguished career has offered him opportunities to be part of the culinary team at the Loews Hotel in Santa Monica as Sous Chef, The Beverly Hills Hotel as Restaurant Chef, Friendly Hills Country Club as Executive Chef, the Balboa Yacht Club as Executive Chef, and the Aliante Hotel & Casino in the MRKT Sea & Land Restaurant. Throughout his career he has nurtured the gift of blending Pacific Rim & California flavors to create his tantalizing menus.

I had the treat of tasting his cuisine while attending an event at the club this past New Years. I must say that I was very impressed with his selections for the buffet that evening. Having spent fifteen years in fine dining myself and being a self-proclaimed foody, it was easy to see how fortunate Old Ranch was to have hired Chef Joe.

On Feb. 15, Cathedral Productions and The Seal Beach Symphony will be bringing the ever-popular “Love Songs” to the club. Chef Joe has promised to dazzle us with his selections of three courses.

First, a Harvest Salad with Strawberry, goat cheese, almonds, and a champagne vinaigrette.

Second, a Tuscan Herb Chicken Breast with Artichokes, Olives, Cherry Tomatoes, Goat Cheese Beurre Blanc Served with Wild Rice Pilaf with dried fruits and pecans and grilled asparagus.

And for dessert, a flourless chocolate cake drizzled with a raspberry sauce.

Valentine’s is always a time to spend with family and your special someone and this event is always the way to bring it all together in one of the finest venues Seal Beach has to offer. As a longtime resident here, I look forward to sharing this time with you, now and in the years to come.

For more information, visit or call 714-883-7987.

Chad Berlinghieri is artistic director of Cathedral Productions/Seal Beach Symphony.