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 a chef instructor at the Italian Culinary Institute, Italy, 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 teaching cooking classes to both young “aspiring chefs” at local elementary schools, and adult students pursuing professional culinary education at the Culinary Lab Contemporary Cooking School.