Chef Mario Amaral Honored by Menifee City Council for Winning Coveted Pinnacle Award

The SoCal Chef Open was hosted on August 15th at Peltzer Winery in SoCal Wine Country at the Oak Grove Center. This year's competition was comprised of twelve of the greatest culinary artists in Southern California. The chefs showcased their culinary expertise in order to win the Pinnacle Award and People's Choice Award. The Pinnacle Award is voted on through a blind tasting by culinary experts, one of them being Menifee's own Chef Rosie O'Connor of Provecho Grill, a past Pinnacle and People’s Choice Award Winner. Event patrons determine the People's Choice winner for the evening.

Chef Mario Amaral, who competed for his first time this year, represented Savage Chef Bar and Grill in Menifee. He won over the judges and received the top prize for his delectable Sweet Corn Panna Cotta made of sweet corn, savory tomato espuma, royal sturgeon caviar, olive oil dusting, and micro greens, all sourced from local farms and businesses. In 2021, Chef Dylan Soro of Savage Chef Bar and Grill took home the Pinnacle and People's Choice Award, the 2nd time in the event's 14-year history a Chef has received both awards, who happen to both be from Menifee.

"I am thrilled to have joined my colleague Chef Soro as a Pinnacle Award winner along with a variety of amazing chefs from the region," said Chef Amaral “It is an honor to bring home this prestigious award again on behalf of Savage Chef Bar and Grill and showcase Menifee's vibrant culinary scene, and my unique style on how to make food exciting to the palate."

Menifee's award-winning chefs have been instrumental in shaping the city's growing and diversifying food scene. Each chef blends their prestigious training, diverse flavors, and unique family recipes into a culinary experience for residents and visitors.

“Having award-winning chefs like Chef Amaral and others here in our city has certainly set the table for Menifee’s culinary future,” said Mayor Bill Zimmerman. “We are seeing more and more dynamic and high-end restaurants opening or looking to locate here in Menifee.”

To experience the award-winning flavors, perfectly paired dishes, and craft cocktails at Savage Chef Bar and Grill, visit their location at 30145 Antelope Rd., Suite 106, or visit