Crawford Custom Homes

Dedicated to providing the very best in high-end homes, Crawford Custom Homes has built its name—and sterling reputation for excellence—with uncompromising principles and a total team effort that benefits their clients


Photo courtesy of Tony Florez

Photo courtesy of Tony Florez

How has Crawford Custom Homes earned its reputation as one of the master builders of Orange County for luxury homes? 

Dick Crawford: With a dream, a great team, a lot of hard work and the support of my loving wife, Kim. As a native Californian and a resident of Coastal Orange County most of my life, I dreamed of becoming a master builder and started my company in 1981. Early on, I was blessed to have acquired some of the most talented, creative and passionate people in the industry and most are still with me. Kimberly Smith, our vice president of operations, has worked tirelessly for 28 years to ensure a tightly run organization with meticulous documentation and exceptional customer service. Dean Shears, one of our talented project managers, has been with us for almost 30 years and is a dedicated master craftsman with a tremendous eye for detail. Dave Reischman, affectionately known as our ‘Emerald Bay Ambassador,’ has served as a project manager for over 17 years, accommodating and caring for our Emerald Bay clients, neighbors and HOA with a can-do attitude that has earned our team an exemplary reputation in the EB community. Dan Murray, a master builder himself, is a highly gifted project manager with design detailing skills that have solved many complex constructability issues we have faced over the last 16 years. Our project managers Bob Renaud, Brian Minker, Pat Paternie, Steve Lynch and John Hummer all have a wealth of knowledge, deep experience, are highly gifted with creative talent and have a tremendous work ethic. Our office team is fantastic. Minnie Romero, our accounts receivable specialist, has been on our team for 16 years and is so dedicated; she cheerfully deals with the many ins and outs of our accounting process. Johnette Marmo, Connie Barraclough, and Leilani Cruttenden serve our extended subcontractor team with their collective experience in accounts payable and contract administration with respect and great attitudes. Our company has worked diligently for 36 years creating a tightly run organization to build a reputation that serves our clients, team members, subcontractors, and design professionals efficiently and effectively. 

Kimberly, how have you created a tightly run organization that many other general contracting firms have not been able to accomplish? 

Dick has given me the freedom and creative license to carry out my vision through the years to lay down a strong foundation and structure for our company.  We are solid and run our business like a well-oiled machine. Effective software for accounting, scheduling, project management and communications are imperative. Mutual respect, team building, and service are our cornerstones. I truly enjoy working with Dick. He believes in us and supports us and we all benefit from our collective contributions. Dick is a man of very high integrity and we all feel honored to work with and for him.

Dean, you have worked for Crawford Custom Homes for almost 30 years. That’s a long time in this industry. Why such loyalty? 

Loyalty is easy when it is mutual. Even at times when we project managers are in between projects, Dick finds a way to keep us going, so we keep our team together. He is very involved in every project and he sees our individual commitment and the level of effort that we put into each project as though it were our own. Dick enjoys the process of building and he makes himself available to mentor, coach, and stand beside us in client meetings where he is very involved, although he lets us take full ownership of our project.  

Dick, how does all this benefit the client? 

Simply: We care. We act as a team to serve our clients like no other. Our dedicated work ethic focus assures our clients that we leave no stone unturned. We look for new innovative ideas, the best installation of quality materials, and offer meticulous attention to detail that results in extraordinary homes. We resolve issues effectively and timely with other design professionals and anticipate our clients’ needs to make the process as enjoyable and exciting as possible. Our homes have unsurpassed quality and our clients can actually experience a ‘wow factor’—the ‘Crawford difference’—in living there.

In what ways does Crawford Custom Homes give back to the community?

We feel that it is a responsibility to help our community and those who are less fortunate. We have a huge heart for those in need: the homeless, the hungry, those who need a leg up to turn their lives around. I have served on the board of the Orange County Second Harvest Food Bank and Serving People In Need [SPIN] for many years. We contribute our time and talent and raise funds for both organizations every year. Both my wife and Kimberly have spent numerous hours volunteering, organizing various fundraisers, annual dinners and encouraging people in our community to participate in caring for the less fortunate. 

When we look at our lives, Kim and I are so blessed! Blessed by our Crawford Custom Homes team, blessed by our wonderful clients, blessed to work with creative professionals and talented building partners, and blessed by our community. We are all blessed to live in one of the absolute nicest places in the world! 



245 Fischer Avenue, Suite B1, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 ~ 714.545.0904 |


Creating Stories

Chef Cathy Pavlos comes full circle at Provenance 


As told to Susan Irby


To meet chef Cathy Pavlos is electrifying. Her smile illuminates the room. Her welcoming enthusiasm draws in guests. Her culinary creations abound with depth derived from her training as an art historian and teacher of architectural history, her knowledge of French, Italian and Latin cooking techniques, and morsels of family memories revealing her Italian roots. Here, chef Cathy on food, family, and the journey to “come home.” 

What does the name Provenance mean to you?

With a degree in art history, I taught Architectural History. Provenance is a term used in art history to trace origins of a piece of art back to its source. When you ask what is the provenance of a valuable object, you are asking who owned this object over time, who created it, and why. In this day and age, guests care about the source of their food; here at Provenance, we can trace the origin of all of our ingredients back to their source. We know our purveyors and our purveyors’ purveyors. 

Your business card reads: “Locally Sourced, Napa Valley Inspired, Chef & Ingredient Driven.” Why Napa Valley?

When I was a kid, Orange County was rural. I could ride my horse to school; I raised sheep, goats, and rabbits, and my grandfather was a commercial farmer in Huntington Beach. The phrase “locally sourced and ingredient driven” may sound trendy today, but that was the way many of us lived in the ‘50s and ‘60s. We weren’t being stylish; we were living off of what the land could provide.  

Napa Valley today reminds me of northern Italy where my family lives and, also of Orange County where I grew up. It is no exaggeration to say that Napa Valley is home to some of the best restaurants in the USA. 

What makes a successful licensed architect quit her job to work at a health emporium washing dishes? 

For the most part of my life, I worked white-collar jobs: architect, project manager, college professor, academic administration. I have four college degrees, including a PhD in Environmental Design and Analysis. By 2001, I wanted to get back to my roots—I was my Italian immigrant grandma’s sous chef at the age of 4, and she was the best cook around. Everyone would come to her house to eat Sunday Suppers. We’d cook for 50 and she’d never break a sweat—all of it locally sourced and ingredient-driven. 

In our conversation, you mentioned that American palates have gotten brighter. Why do you think this is? 

As a population, especially in California, we have been able to taste very ethnically diverse foods; moreover, the last couple of generations have traveled abroad and experienced the rich cultures of the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. At Provenance, we have created many sauces and condiments, based on authentic recipes from Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, but we’ve tweaked them for a more contemporary California taste. And, we’re not pulling any punches on the heat; if the sauce is supposed to be hot, it is, and our guests have loved it. 

You’ve said, “I am still an Academic at heart.” How does that translate into your life now and the foods you create at Provenance? 

I spent a lot of years doing research—in art history, in architecture and in the social sciences—and this process gave me an appreciation for history, context, time, and place. I spend a lot of time these days researching recipes and cooking techniques. I love a good backstory; all of our menu items have a great backstory. I also research our suppliers and get their backstory out there too. There are so many small farmers and ranchers doing everything right and they don’t get the credit that they deserve.

As it is now, you make the dish. If a dish were to make you, what would it make?

Interestingly enough, my dishes have made me, I guess. In another life, I used to paint and draw; I was an active architect who created models and built from them. When I first began in culinary, I was pretty conservative, learning as I was doing. I knew that plating was important to me and so was taste. My grandma taught me that you first eat with your eyes. My training as an architect taught me to use the elements of line, form, color, and texture, and put them together using the principles of rhythm, balance, proportion and scale. I was also taught about time and place. In the early years of culinary I struggled because I separated my earlier design training from my culinary training. It was only in the last couple of years here at Provenance that I realized that it has all come together and I could still be an artist, and as a result, my plates have come alive. 

What’s next for Cathy Pavlos?  

I will be spending more time up in Napa Valley in the coming years, and commute back and forth. The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) has opened their new Graduate School of Business in Copia in downtown Napa. I am going back to teaching—this time in Culinary Arts and Business. Each time that I come back to Orange County from Napa and Sonoma Counties, I bring something back that we integrate into the operations or menu at Provenance. It’s a win-win. I’ve met so many chefs, purveyors, farmers, foragers, and ranchers—and all of them have inspired me. In a way, I have come full circle, and I have come home.

Photo courtesy of Anne Watson

Photo courtesy of Anne Watson

Photo courtesy of Anne Watson

Photo courtesy of Anne Watson


2531 Eastbluff Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660 ~ 949 718 0477 |

Cue the Plaza!

Segerstrom Center for the Arts sets an opening celebration for a new public plaza


Written by Beth Fhaner

The dazzling, new fountain—with shimmering arches of water—marks the entrance to the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza. Photo courtesy of Michael Maltzan

The dazzling, new fountain—with shimmering arches of water—marks the entrance to the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza. Photo courtesy of Michael Maltzan

Arts enthusiasts who have visited Segerstrom Center for the Arts in the last several months have most likely noticed a major transformation on its 14-acre cultural campus underway. The Center’s much-anticipated plaza, which has been in the planning stages for five years and under construction since January, now has an official opening date of Saturday, October 28. The Grand Opening Celebration of the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza is set to launch with a ribbon-cutting at 11 a.m., followed by free performances, concerts, events and tours of the theaters. 

The renovated 54,750-square-foot space offers much for patrons to explore, including an outdoor cafe, two green zones, a stage for complimentary year-round performances, a circular grand staircase leading from the plaza to the mezzanine level of Segerstrom Hall, and a new entrance to the Judy Morr Theater. Additionally, the space will include shaded seating and picnic areas with Wi-Fi, plus an observation deck atop the full-service cafe. A 24-foot-high-fountain will occupy the center of the traffic circle in front of Segerstrom Hall and will serve as a welcoming centerpiece to visitors. Designed by Los Angeles architect Michael Maltzan, the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza is a stunning addition to the dynamic arts campus, which also includes the Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory and a site dedicated to the future home of the Orange County Museum of Art.


A rendering of the new public plaza at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Photo courtesy of Michael Maltzan

A rendering of the new public plaza at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Photo courtesy of Michael Maltzan

Posh Pages

A bibliophile's lit picks for your library

Curated by Jenn Thornton

Photo courtesy of Europa Editions

Photo courtesy of Europa Editions

A Catalog of Birds by Laura Harrington

With its latest title, a tender, empathetic and soul-haunting sweep of American life, Europa Editions continues its reign as the darling of the publishing world. Charting the recovery of a family, specifically a brother and sister whose plans are upended by the Vietnam War, this new release reckons with forgiveness. Propelled by penetrating wisdom and prose that flows as easy as a stream, author Laura Harrington’s beautifully told tale is urgent and explorative, offering rich, nuanced sympathy for the frailties of the human soul. $16.00,