Mark McDonald, Executive Chef, Proprietor
Since 2007 Old Vine has redefined dining in Orange County; first, for more than a decade as the beloved Old Vine Café, and now as the expanded Old Vine Kitchen & Bar. The award-winning restaurant, operated by chef-owner Mark McDonald and sommelier-owner Kate Perry, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, curating the best of food, wine, and cocktails in a non-pretentious, casual atmosphere. Old Vine remains deeply committed to their tested philosophy of featuring regional cuisine, quality products, and fostering authentic connections with customers.
For almost 12 years McDonald led the helm at Old Vine Café, building a loyal customer community around food, wine, and travel through his seasonal menus, hosting guest chef events, and leading clients on twice yearly trips to Italy. With Old Vine Kitchen & Bar he joins forces with longtime Old Vine sommelier Kate Perry, embarking on a new chapter of championing an eclectic offering of food, wine, and cocktails. As a certified sommelier, Perry draws on her training to create guest experiences that feature wine education and that encourage people to try new wines and varietals outside of their comfort zone. Together, McDonald and Perry use their combined culinary and wine expertise to craft the unparalleled food and wine pairings that have become a hallmark of their menu.
With the 2019 expansion, diners now enjoy a newly designed restaurant space featuring custom metalwork by Mark Gerardi. The restaurant also showcases a series of abstract paintings by artist Paul Kole, along with his work on 80 hand-painted menu canvases. Old Vine Kitchen & Bar maintains their signature intimate seating in the dining room, while adding a full bar, cocktail program, lounge seating, and enclosed outdoor patio that can be reserved for private events.
Engagement with customers and the community remains a priority for McDonald and Perry. They are proud to partner with Melissa’s Produce and local farmers, and can often be found participating in local festivals and events. Chef Mark continues booking spaces for the twice-annual Splendors of Italy tours, culinary-driven vacations through Calabria, Sicily, Basilicata and other regions of southern Italy that feature hands-on cooking lessons from master chefs; winery, historical site, and agriturismo visits; and multi-course meals featuring regional cuisine. Additionally, Chef Mark does international consulting and teaches at the Italian Culinary Institute in Italy where he previously trained as a culinary student under Master Italian Chef John Nocita.
Stacy Drakos, Operations Manager
Stacy Drakos has more than 25 years of experience serving and managing at fine dining restaurants in Chicago and Orange County. After moving back to California Stacy graduated from UCLA with a degree in psychology, and worked for restaurants and hotels including The Ritz Restaurant & Garden, the Harborside Restaurant & Grand Ballroom, and Wildfish.
Cesar Orozco, Operations Manager
Cesar Orozco brings close to two decades of food service and management experience to Old Vine Cafe. Cesar’s background reflects his extensive “front of the house” knowledge; throughout the years he has held positions ranging from expediter to manager. Prior to joining the team at Old Vine Cafe, Cesar worked at Pinot Provence, Marche Moderne, and Ten Asian Bistro.
Kate Perry, Wine Director – Proprietor
Kate Perry has more than 20 years of fine dining restaurant experience in Southern California. She earned her start working her way up at the Ritz Carlton at age 18, and then moved on to The Club Grill and Morton’s over the next several years. Kate is a level 2 Sommelier, and WSET Advanced Certified. Longtime Old Vine sommelier Kate Perry has now partnered with Chef Mark McDonald in creating Old Vine Kitchen & Bar, embarking on a new chapter of championing an eclectic offering of food, wine, and cocktails. As a certified sommelier, Perry draws on her training to create guest experiences that feature wine education and that encourage people to try new wines and varietals outside of their comfort zone. Together, McDonald and Perry use their combined culinary and wine expertise to craft the unparalleled food and wine pairings that have become a hallmark of their menu.
Shatha Bajalli, Sous Chef
Chef Shatha’s organizational and training skills are unparalleled. She is seasoned in all kitchen positions, and is known for her ability to shape and mold aspiring cooks. Shatha has been a part of the OVC family for over four years.