In 2007, after decades of holding executive culinary positions at five-star resorts around the globe, Chef Azmin Ghahreman opened his restaurant, Sapphire Laguna, and the adjacent gourmet specialty shop, Sapphire Pantry, to share foods and ingredients inspired by cultures from around the world. Since the beginning, the restaurant and shop were embraced by the Orange County community and visitors alike. The seasonally evolving menu, featuring globally-inspired cuisine, incorporates the freshest ingredients available, many of which are found at local farms, specialty markets and artisan suppliers.
Born in Iran and educated in Switzerland, Chef Azmin has lived and worked all over the world. His international-oriented cooking styles and avid interest in the best ingredients available have solidly placed him on the culinary map. Chef Azmin’s talent and worldly experiences have given him the prestigious opportunity to cook for more than 30 kings, presidents and heads of state, among them: President George W. Bush, President Bill Clinton and past prime ministers of Singapore, Thailand and Pakistan. A true Renaissance Man, his culinary interests have no bounds: he is a chef, sommelier, master mixologist and expert in global spices and cooking techniques. Chef Azmin’s motto: “When you travel through the world’s markets with your palate, you don’t need a passport.”
In addition to providing world-class cuisine, he is just as committed to bettering childhood nutrition, and in 2008 founded Sapphire at School. The nutrition-focused lunch program currently partners with nine schools in Orange County and prepares fresh and wholesome meals to more than 4,000+ students daily.
Chef Azmin and his award-winning cuisine have received countless accolades and notable mentions in media including: Sunset, Relish, Orange Coast, Westways, Riviera Magazine, Los Angeles Times, and the Orange County Register, among others. Recently, he was featured in Laguna Beach Magazine as one of the top 10 most influential people of Laguna Beach for supporting the culture, collective well-being and future of the community.
He is an avid supporter of cause-related organizations including The March of Dimes, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Miracles for Kids and Father Serra’s Food Pantry. Chef Azmin resides in San Juan Capistrano and shares his life and culinary passions with his wife, Laura, and four children.