As impressive as Orange County is in many regards, few people would consider this part of the state a cultural hotspot. However, these streets have seen the rise of many of the most important trends in music, food, and fashion for several decades. The young adults that came here in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s helped shape the tastes of an entire country. Even if they were originally drawn by the promise of world-class surfing or opportunities for year-round skateboard practice, their legacy actually lives on in the entrepreneurial spirit of Orange County.
The Sound of Southern California
Entertainment is big business in the OC. We have loads of clubs and concert venues; plenty of up and coming musical artists played house concerts here long before they got their big break. Innovators in many musical genres have come from Orange County and surrounding areas. Rap, hip hop, surf music, ska, pop, punk – countless innovators began their commercial success right here.
New California Cuisine
California’s unique climate makes it ideal for growing a fresh abundance of food throughout the year. This has provided chefs with an astonishing array of ingredients to experiment with. Furthermore, the many cultural influences that have shaped the population of this state have also provided an unending wealth of global flavors and culinary traditions. The result of this blending has been called California cuisine. In fact, any time you see these food innovations you are enjoying something that had its roots in California cooking:
- Asian fusion
- Asian street food
- Local foods and the farm-to-table model
California cuisine and new California cuisine are distinguished by exceptionally fresh ingredients, often sourced as close to the restaurant kitchen as possible. Regional specialties such as avocado are likely to feature prominently in traditional California cooking; today many traditional Asian flavors such as spicy kimchee are being integrated into old favorites. Surprising and novel flavor combinations are a hallmark of California cuisine.
Culture Everywhere You Look
As a surfer, I know that taking calculated risks is a necessary part of success. This is a philosophy shared by many regional entrepreneurs. I think we are all the richer for their willingness to try new sounds, flavors, and styles.