Cheers to "U"
Newport Beach, California (Jan. 11, 2013)
Jimmy “Jim U” Ulcickas, co-owner and founder of the popular Bluewater Grill family of seafood restaurants in Southern California and Phoenix, Arizona has been named to the advisory committee for the OC Restaurant Association (OCRA) for 2013. This is the first time that the prolific restaurateur has served on the prestigious OCRA committee.
Under Ulcickas’ leadership, Bluewater Grill restaurants in Newport Beach, Tustin and Redondo Beach, California, and in Phoenix, have become models of seafood sustainability and local business excellence. The seafood expert joins 19 other local industry leaders to promote Orange County’s increasingly flourishing culinary scene. For a list of all 2013 OCRA Advisory Committee members, go to www.ocrestaurantassociation.org/Board_of_Directors.
“We’ve learned a lot about what Orange County diners want since opening the first Bluewater Grill in Newport’s Cannery Village in 1996 – and we’re delighted to share these experiences so others can benefit,” said Ulcickas. “This is an especially exciting time to be working with the OCRA as OC continues to assume its rightful place as a national and even international restaurant destination.”
The appointment caps a whirlwind year for both Ulcickas and Bluewater Grill. In July, the Tustin, Calif., resident was profiled on the cover of SeaFood Business as one of the nation’s most prolific sustainability experts just months after being featured as a keynote speaker at the International Boston Seafood Show. In both instances, Ulcickas was cited as a mainstream independent restaurateur who is leading the industry by featuring sustainable menu choices and serving only products from certified fisheries or farms within the context of a moderately priced seafood restaurant operation.
Also this year, Bluewater Grill received “Best Seafood Restaurant” honors in two prestigious local culinary competitions: the OC Register “Best of Orange County” Awards and the OCRA’s inaugural Golden Foodie Awards.
As one of just 30 Orange County restaurants or chefs to take home a Golden Foodie Award, Bluewater Grill received the most online votes in the seafood category, which included Scott’s Seafood and House of Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer. In their first year, the Golden Foodie Awards recognize local excellence in the restaurant industry, encourage culinary tourism, support local chefs and restaurants, and bring innovative culinary trends to local foodies while inspiring innovative cooking at home.