Palos Verdes Pastoral – An Enchanted Dining Experience

Palos Verdes Pastoral - An Enchanted Dining Experience

Palos Verdes Pastoral
An Enchanted Dining Experience

Al fresco dining with magnificent views of Catalina Island, on a warm Autumn evening at sunset – this is Palos Verdes Pastoral, an enchanted fundraising event that brings people together amidst nature for an exclusive experience at Terranea Resort.

In addition to the camaraderie, gourmet foods, stellar wines, and ambiance that is truly second to none – the evening increases awareness of the important work of the Conservancy in protecting and stewarding our open space and nature. We celebrate the mission of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy to “preserve land and restore habitat for the education and enjoyment of all.”

The Palos Verdes Peninsula is part of one of five regions in the world that enjoys the Mediterranean climate, with all its bounty and biodiversity from our aromatic hillsides to the deep blue ocean.

The cuisine that has been borne out of this land and sea inspired Terranea Resort Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra to create a captivating menu reflecting those flourishing textures, colors, flavors and aromas of our unique region.

Mediterranean life revolves around the table, so it is fitting that this year’s Palos Verdes Pastoral is a dinner where 200 people gather to partake in these regional foods and flavors, where we celebrate and support the land and open spaces we adore so much.

Palos Verdes Pastoral

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Chef Bernard Ibarra’s Moroccan Spiced Free Range Chicken

Chef Bernard Ibarra's Moroccan Spiced Free Range Chicken

Seared Moroccan Spiced Free Range Chicken
House Dried Fruit, Bulgur, Catalina Farm Vegetable Couscous
Salted Lemon Vinaigrette, Fez Spice Mix Paint

The Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy in partnership with Terranea Resort and Whole Foods Market recently hosted their annual Palos Verdes Pastoral Garden-to-Table Dining Experience. This year’s super-successful event highlighted foods and flavors native to Mediterranean Climate Regions.

Terranea Resort Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra showcased the best of California handcrafted, organic, and sustainable food and wine unique to our California climate, 1 of only 5 Mediterranean Climate Regions in the world.

These include the Mediterranean Basin, California, Central Chile, Western South Africa, and South and Western Australia. While comprising only 2% of the earth’s surface, these regions are home to 20% of the earth’s plant species.

Chef Bernard takes advantage of this biodiversity in his menu. The Chicken Course alone featured Mediterranean herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables including chili, cumin, coriander, fennel, paprika, honey, olive oil, lemon, rosemary, thyme, turmeric, bulgur, couscous, parsley, almonds, apricots, mustard, saffron, squash, and, of course wine.

The Chef graciously shares his recipe for Seared Moroccan Spiced Free Range Chicken below.

Chef Bernard Ibarra's Moroccan Spiced Free Range Chicken

See the entire menu and read about the fabulous 2017 Palos Verdes Pastoral Dining Experience and the important work of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy here.

Chef Bernard Ibarra's Moroccan Spiced Free Range Chicken

Moroccan Spiced Free Range Chicken Recipe
by Chef Bernard Ibarra

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Shrimp and Grits with Chorizo

Shrimp and Grits with Chorizo

Low Country Fisherman’s Breakfast

That iconic Shrimp & Grits recipe, the original “fisherman’s breakfast” from the Carolina Low Country, gets a makeover with the addition of Mexican chorizo.

The traditional recipe by Southern Chef Bill Neal that gained well-deserved popularity in the early 80s included bacon and Tabasco hot sauce, 4 shakes to be exact.

The late chef is known for elevating Southern cuisine and credited with putting shrimp and grits “on the map” after his dish was glowingly reviewed by New York Times writer Craig Claiborne.

My version includes chorizo instead of bacon, and smoked paprika for a different spice profile. For a twist on texture, the grits are sautéed in butter in a cast iron pan to get a crispy edge while keeping that soft creamy interior. Not better, just different. Thanks for the inspiration, Chef!

Shrimp and Grits with Chorizo Recipe

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Sole Veronique

Sole Veronique

Sole Véronique

Auguste Escoffier created Sole Véronique in 1898 at the London Carlton Hotel to celebrate the popular comedic opera Véronique. It is a delightful recipe where fresh sole is paired with a creamy sauce balanced with lightly sweet yet tart green grapes and the distinctively French accent of fresh tarragon.

Les Dames d’Escoffier is a philanthropic organization of women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. We will be holding our Annual Conference in Newport Beach, CA the weekend of October 26-29. I am looking forward to attending some of the seminars and volunteering at the event.

I thought it would be fun to adapt an Escoffier recipe in celebration of our conference. I chose Sole Véronique as a way to use some of the grapes I had from the last photoshoot “Grape Still Life.”

Grapes with Wine and Cheese

Sole Véronique Recipe

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Halibut Sinigang (Filipino Tamarind Soup)

Halibut Sinigang (Filipino Tamarind Soup)

Halibut Sinigang (Filipino Tamarind Soup)

Sinigang, a sour and savory Filipino Tamarind Soup can be made with a variety of ingredients from fish to meat, seafood, or poultry. It always includes tamarind for that signature sour flavor, various local vegetables, and often contains chili peppers.

We’re thrilled that Los Angeles Harbor College’s Culinary Arts program is participating in the upcoming Sustainable Seafood Expo again. This year they are serving samples of this lovely Sustainable Halibut Sinigang.

The Sustainable Seafood Expo will be held on Sunday, October 1st. It is the culmination of a year-round promotion of the sustainability movement by the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.

The Expo provides great opportunities to sample new seafood options and see professional chefs turn sustainable seafood into fabulous dishes. Marine experts will be on hand to explain fisheries, habitats, and species management. Cooking demonstrations and panel discussions run throughout the event.

Halibut caught by hook-and-line off the California coast is a sustainable choice, however halibut caught off the U.S. Atlantic coast is to be avoided because the stock is depleted. When it comes to sustainability, the species matters, but it is equally important to know how and where the fish was caught.

Since 2006, Los Angeles Harbor College’s Culinary Arts program has offered highly comprehensive classroom and practical instruction delivered by experienced industry professionals. Their full-production model is unique among other culinary programs because it provides students with the opportunity to develop their skills in a real-time environment. Once completing the program, students are prepared to meet the challenges of their new culinary careers.

Los Angeles Harbor College Halibut Sinigang Recipe

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Ahi Poke and Sustainable Seafood

Ahi Poke and Seared Ahi

Hawaiian Ahi Poke and Seared Ahi

As food photographer for the upcoming 4th Annual Sustainable Seafood Expo, I had the opportunity to meet Shane Yoshimoto of Ali’i Fish Company and photograph (and taste!) his fabulous Hawaiian ahi dishes.

We are so excited for the upcoming grand-opening of Ali’i Fish in downtown Los Angeles where always-fresh Hawaiian seafood is expertly prepared to let the pristine nature of the fish shine through.

Quality, taste, sustainability, and authenticity are all hallmarks of Ali’i seafood. Raw fish has the potential to cause foodborne illness, so the sourcing, handling, and processing are of utmost importance to them.

Recently, the classic Hawaiian raw fish dish “poke” has exploded in popularity here on the mainland. Unfortunately, much of the raw tuna is imported and many foreign fishing fleets are not held to the same standards as U.S. fleets. To make a more healthful choice and to support sustainability, be sure to check the source of the tuna you choose to eat.

Shane says, “Ali’i Fish Company was founded with the idea of serving high quality, authentic poke and seafood dishes. Many of our ingredients are flown directly from Hawaii and our fish is always fresh and never frozen or treated with carbon monoxide gas.  We believe in sourcing from sustainable fisheries such as Hawaii and supporting US product when made available.  With over 40 years of combined seafood experience in Hawaii, not one aspect of our process goes unnoticed.”

Their Sesame Onion Ahi Poke will be served at the Sustainable Seafood Expo on October 1st. I’m very grateful to Shane for sharing his superb recipe here on Taste With The Eyes.

Sustainable Seafood

According to Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch yellowfin tuna caught in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) with handlines is a “Best Choice.” Yellowfin stocks are depleted everywhere except in the WCPO. Handlines have very low bycatch, and no species of concern are caught by this fishery.

Yellowfin and bigeye tuna caught in Hawaii’s Eastern Central Pacific Ocean (ECPO) with deep-set longlines is a “Good Alternative.” Hawaiian fleets have lower bycatch than international longline fisheries because of tougher U.S. regulations.

Ali’i Fish Co. Ahi Poke Recipe

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