Zov Karamardian will present recipes at Festival of Arts. (Coastline Pilot / August 12, 2010)

Donate art supplies for free entry

The Laguna Beach Passport to the Arts team, including Art-A-Fair, Festival of the Arts, Sawdust Art Festival and the Laguna Beach Visitors Bureau, will hold its first Art Supplies Donation Days on Wednesday and Aug. 25, thanks to a grant from Bank of America.

Festival-goers who bring a new or unused art supply valued at $5 or more on either day will receive free admission that day to all three art festivals.

Suggested art supplies to bring in are markers, colored pencils, small journals, sketchpads, sketching pencils, watercolor sets and watercolor pads.

Upon turning in their donated art supply, visitors will receive an embossed wristband that will admit them free of charge on that day to the three festivals. Donations may be turned in at the front entrance at each festival.

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Conversations with Pageant artists

Get inside the minds of the Pageant of the Masters' artistic team from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday, when Pageant Director Diane Challis Davy is joined by participating artists David Cooke, Mark Jacobucci, Scott Methvin, Scott Moore and David Rymar for a round-table discussion.

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Karamardian at Art of Cooking

The Festival of Arts weekly Art of Cooking series will feature Chef Zov Karamardian from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday, where the owner of Zov's Bistro in Tustin will dazzle crowds with her unusual cooking techniques and send you home with her favorite recipes to try in your own kitchens.

Karamardian is also the author of the cookbook, "Zov Recipes & Memories from the Heart," which leads the reader on a journey from her childhood in the Middle East to her world travels and shares more than 100 recipes, which blends contemporary Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines and cultures. She will sign copies of her book at the event.

Having spent the first 14 years of her life in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, where she was constantly in the kitchen helping her mother, grandmother and aunts cook the family specialties of Armenian dishes, Karamardian said she later became inspired by Julia Child when she moved to the States in the late 1950s.

She began her career with a home catering business before opening the Bistro, which is one of the most recognized restaurants in Orange County, with an award-winning bakery, banquet facility, catering and cooking classes.

She also recently opened two more restaurants, Zov's Café Bakery & Bar in Newport Coast and Irvine.

Her recipes have also been printed in Bon Appetite, Food and Wine, Sunset, Orange County Register and the LA Times. She has appeared on "Extra," CNN and the TV Food Network.

Free with admission.

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Art-to-Go auction set

Art collectors will gather at Festival of Arts for the Art-To-Go auction from noon to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, where 70 original pieces of art will start with bids opening at 75% below retail prices.