Olive Harvest Celebration and Palos Verdes Pastoral

Olive Harvest Celebration and Palos Verdes Pastoral

Olive Harvest Celebration and Palos Verdes Pastoral

It just doesn’t get more local than this! At the upcoming Palos Verdes Pastoral to be held on October 9th at Terranea Resort, Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra will be serving an enchanting dinner inspired by the dishes of his childhood. “The mountains were my backyard and the sea was my front yard,” reminisces Chef Bernard about growing up in France’s Basque Country.

The menu will awaken diners to the flourishing textures, colors, and aromas of the charmed Basque region. The Chef brings a true garden-to-table concept to the event – not because it is fashionable, but because it is natural, the way cooking should be, he says.

In France, they relied on local products and let the season dictate what is on the table. Menus would follow the rhythm of Mother Nature.  The Palos Verdes Pastoral dinner will be flavored with uber-local ingredients from the Palos Verdes Peninsula including estate-grown olive oil, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, lemonade berries, rosemary, sea salt, and honey.

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Michel Richard’s Asian Bistro Soup

Michel Richard's Asian Bistro Soup with Shrimp

Michel Richard’s Asian Bistro Soup with Shrimp

Last month another world-class chef joined Escoffier in the Grand Kitchen up in Heaven. Legendary Chef Michel Richard was 68 years old. I was introduced to the Chef’s innovative style of cooking over lunch with my old colleagues at his restaurant Citrus in LA back in the late 1980s and have been an ardent fan ever since.

After hearing of his sudden passing last month, I immediately pulled Happy In The Kitchen from my bookshelf and spent a good part of the day re-reading his recipes and perspectives.

Before each recipe the Chef writes a paragraph or two about the dish – from where the inspiration came; what is important for the cook to note; or his keen observations on taste, texture, presentation, what-have-you. Yes, he is a most accomplished chef, but he is also a very effective teacher – employing humor and ingenuity as skillfully as he does the knife.

Thomas Keller wrote, “Michel did something that’s almost unheard of in the pastry world: he crossed over and became a chef, opening one of the best restaurants in the country, Citrus, in 1987. It’s difficult to overemphasize how unusual this is. Pastry chefs and savory chefs rely on a completely different set of skills and use their intellects in different ways. Pastry chefs are mathematicians. Savory chefs, we’re like free-thinkers. Michel, amazingly, has been able to combine the precision of the pastry chef’s mind with the freethinking nature of the savory chef in a way that no other chef in America has done.”

Michel Richard’s Asian Bistro Soup Recipe

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Sustainable Seafood Expo 2016

Braised Cayucos Abalone “Escabeche” Chorizo Pamplona, Our Garden’s Sofrito

Sustainable Seafood Expo 2016

Chefs, Fishermen, Local Experts and Educators will be on hand to explain fisheries, habitats, and species management to promote and sustain wild, diverse, and healthy ocean ecosystems that will last long into the future.

The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Expo 2016 is designed to help consumers choose the right fish for their dish – one that’s healthy and has a positive impact on the marine environment.

Sustainable Seafood Expo 2016

On Sunday, Oct. 2 at the Port of Los Angeles, attendees will enjoy cutting-edge seafood samples, chef demonstrations, educational activities, cash bar, wine wall and much more at the 3rd Annual Sustainable Seafood Expo.

Actor Adrian Grenier, co-founder of the Lonely Whale Foundation, advocating ocean health and the wellbeing of marine wildlife, will be the keynote speaker and VIP Dinner host.

Featured Chefs

  • Bernard Ibarra, Terranea Resort
  • Tyler Gugliotta, Baran’s 2239
  • Dustin Trani, J. Trani’s Ristorante
  • Paul Buchanan, Primal Alchemy
  • Pete Lehmar, Gladstone’s Long Beach
  • Roberto Flores, 22nd St. Landing Seafood Grill & Bar
  • Trevor Cook, California Scuba Chef
  • Jim Tate, Parker’s Lighthouse
  • Jimmy Ng, Harbor College Culinary Arts

Sustainable Seafood Expo 2016

Attendees will learn how fish should be caught or farmed and how to lessen the impact on the marine environment by making savvy seafood choices. General admission tickets are $40, use promo code TASTE during checkout here to get an additional $5 discount.

Sustainable Seafood Expo 2016

The chefs will be serving their unique seafood samples throughout the event including scallops, mussels, abalone, sablefish (black cod), rockfish, shrimp, calamari, oysters and much more.

A special alfresco VIP Dinner, featuring locally sourced seafood and seasonal fare prepared by Chef Dustin Trani will follow the Expo at 5 PM. See the fabulous seafood-centric menu and purchase dinner tickets here.

Sustainable Seafood Expo 2016

Serving California Red Abalone at the Sustainable Seafood Expo, Chef Bernard Ibarra of Terranea Resort will delight the guests with his ever-engaging cooking demonstration. Here he shares his beautiful sous-vide recipe for healthy, sustainable, and ocean-friendly Ocean Rose California Red Abalone from The Abalone Farm in Cayucos, California. The Chef recommends sous-vide as an excellent method for cooking abalone.

Chef Bernard’s Cayucos Abalone Recipe

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Julia Child and Loup de Mer

Julia Child and Loup de Mer

Julia Child and Loup de Mer

As Julia Child tells the story, “Simca, Paul, Patricia, and I… penetrated into this beautiful courtyard and were seated at a little white table beneath a leafy trellis.

It was a splendid lunch, moving from apéritifs to pâté of fresh duck livers and truffles, thick slices of pain brioche, a timbale, tomatoes and a green salad. But the real reason we were there was for the loup de mer, a Mediterranean sea bass.

If you’ve been cooking for a long time, you can usually guess how a dish is made. Simca and I studied every detail of this remarkable loup, and tried to deduce its secrets.

The waiter appeared, and I asked him a few questions, which he was only too happy to answer. It’s delicious, we agreed, as we polished off our lunch. And it really shouldn’t be too difficult to make.”

Excerpted from My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme.

How to Cook Loup de Mer Fillets

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Pretty Petite Potato Salad, Vinagre de Jerez Dressing

Pretty Petite Potato Salad, Vinagre de Jerez Dressing with Grilled Okra, Celery, Peperoncini, Radish, Cucumber, Red Onion, Herbs and Edible Flowers

Pretty Petite Potato Salad, Vinagre de Jerez Dressing
Petite Red Skin Potatoes, Grilled Okra, Celery
Peperoncini, Radish, Cucumber, Red Onion

Herbs and Edible Flowers

Complex and assertive, Vinagre de Jerez turns up the music on ordinary potato salad. Chef José Andrés says, “…you add just a touch of (sherry) vinegar and you have this wonderful flavor that sparkles.” Vinagre de Jerez is one of just three vinegars in the EU from a designated appellation. Spain’s classification system, Denominación de Origen, regulates the quality and geographical origin of the product.

Okra is excellent grilled. (Use a grill pan so it doesn’t fall through the grates). The mucilaginous properties that make people say they “hate” okra are mitigated by quickly cooking over a hot fire. Combine grilled okra and petite red-skinned potatoes with lively peperoncini, peppery radish, crunchy celery and cool cucumber. Toss with a vivacious dressing and an array of complementary flowers and herbs for a show-stopping summer salad.

Vinagre de Jerez Dressing

Recipe for Vinagre de Jerez Dressing. Excellent with Potato Salad. #saladdressing

  • 1/4 c. good quality mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c. yogurt
  • 1 T. vinagre de jerez
  • 1 t. dijon mustard
  • 2 T. fruity olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper. Thin with warm water so the dressing will make a smooth elegant coating for the vegetables (as opposed to a thick, gloppy mayo).

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Fun Little Baked Potato Shooters

Baked Potato Shooters with Bacon, Crema, Cheese, and Chives

Baked Potato Shooters
Bacon, Mexican Crema, Cheese, and Chives
Chive Blossoms Too

I credit Graham Elliot with this idea. A couple weeks ago, we had a wonderful meal at his eponymous bistro in Chicago. On the menu – baked potato soup / traditional accompaniments, untraditional ways.

At a recent party, I served liquid baked potato untraditionally in 2 oz. shot glasses with traditional accompaniments of bacon, sour cream, cheese, and chives. They were a big hit. Thanks, Graham.

And with their savory garlic-oniony flavor and pretty lavender color, chive blossoms from my garden added a charming untraditional finishing touch.

Baked Potato Shooters! Bacon, Mexican Crema, Cheese, and Chives, Chive Blossoms Too

Baked Potato Shooters Recipe

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Blackened Barramundi and Sea Scallop Salad, Blackberry Vinaigrette

Blackened Barramundi and Sea Scallop Salad, Blackberry Vinaigrette

Blackened Barramundi and Sea Scallops with Frizzled Leeks
Red Leaf Lettuce and Radicchio
Asparagus, Purple Potato, Fresh Corn, Red Onion
Fresh Blackberries and Blackberry Vinaigrette

Remember back in the 80s when “Blackened Redfish” was all the rage on restaurant menus everywhere? The late Louisiana Chef Paul Prudhomme’s recipe caught fire around the country.

Moist, succulent barramundi is an excellent stand-in for redfish with its mild buttery flavor and texture that is flaky yet firm, perfect for this blackened preparation.

Australis farmed barramundi from Vietnam received a “Best Choice” recommendation  from Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. Native to the Indo-Pacific, this omega-3 rich fish is a healthy choice as well as an eco-friendly choice. Farmed barramundi is often marketed under the names “Asian seabass” or “giant seabass.”

BLACKened barramundi and BLACKberries contrast each other in this striking salad. It’s vibrant, colorful, savory with a hint of sweetness and a balanced spicy character – I think the Chef would approve.

Blackened Barramundi and Sea Scallop Salad, Blackberry Vinaigrette

The blended vinaigrette is such a pretty shade of purplish-pink, be sure to serve extra on the side in a clear little pitcher.

How to Make Blackened Barramundi and Sea Scallops

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Love & Craft Beer

Love & Craft Beer: Brouwerij West

Love & Craft Beer

The brewing process is an art that can capture the ebb and flow of the seasons; express the whimsy of the brewmaster; communicate the vibrant essence of its natural ingredients. It is, at its core, a love potion.

Whether pale, amber, copper, brown, or even purple haze in color. With wild aromas and flavors ranging from that of bread, to fruit, spice, flowers, citrus, caramel, nuts, and beyond. A well-crafted beer is way more than a simple combination of malt, hops, and yeast – it is a magical elixir.

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Brouwerij West Beer Dinner with Chef Kyle Powers

Beer Dinner @ Brouwerij West with Chef Kyle Powers

Brouwerij West Beer Dinner with Chef Kyle Powers

San Pedrans and Angelenos from near and far have been anxiously awaiting the grand opening of one of Los Angeles’ most important breweries (according to EATER!). Belgian-inspired craft beer production has recently commenced in Warehouse No. 9, a repurposed massive WWII-era building at the Port of Los Angeles. For the last few years, Brewmaster Brian Mercer had been producing his signature beers in other peoples’ facilities, now finally the impressive first-time home for Brouwerij West is set to open on February 27th.

Just prior to opening to the public, the Brouwerij West space has been a hip-trendy-cool venue for some very special private parties (including our fabulous holiday party here). Recently, a lively group of beer aficionados gathered for “Dinner in the Tanks,” a beer tasting/food pairing/birthday party catered by Chef Kyle Powers of Fork in the Road Catering.

It’s no secret that the pairing of food with beer has a synergistic effect. Add the cutting-edge ambience of a long, jauntily dressed wooden picnic table nestled between huge stainless steel tanks under glimmering string lighting, and the dining experience becomes magical. Chef Powers masterfully highlights the interplay between his food and the various beers by either contrasting or mirroring the flavors, bitterness, acidity, richness and sweetness.

Angelenos are in for a real treat. Complex, harmoniously balanced beers, produced and served up in an alluring 1940s warehouse…Brouwerij West has definitely been worth the wait!

Dinner in the Tanks

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Sustainable Seafood Expo & Chef’s Table Dinner at CRAFTED

Last weekend I wrote about our fabulous holiday party held at Brouwerij West in Warehouse No. 9 at the Port of Los Angeles.  Due to the overwhelming local response and interest in the new brewery and Crafted, I decided to share another event that I attended at Crafted a little while back. Crafted is right next door to Brouwerij West, located  in Warehouse No. 10. The event was the 2nd Annual Sustainable Seafood Expo and Chef’s Table Dinner, hosted by the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and Friends.

Mermaid Linden

The Expo was designed to help consumers choose the right fish for their dish – one that’s healthy and good for the environment as well. Choosing the right fish can have a positive impact on the marine environment and the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium leads the way in educating local consumers, chefs, and restaurateurs on this topic.

Chefs, Fishermen, Local Experts, and A Real Mermaid were on hand to explain fisheries, habitats, and species management to promote and sustain wild, diverse, and healthy ocean ecosystems that will last long into the future. Ongoing seafood sampling and educational opportunities were available at booths throughout the Expo. The dinner was a stunning al fresco farm-to-table dining experience, featuring locally sourced seafood and seasonal fare prepared by Chef Paul Buchanan of Primal Alchemy.

BROUWERIJ WEST is a SAN PEDRO BREWERY & TASTING ROOM  – Brewing Belgian-inspired craft beers in a restored massive WWII- era Warehouse No. 9 at the Port of Los Angeles.

CRAFTED AT THE PORT OF LOS ANGELES  is a large-scale permanent handmade artisan marketplace. The classically restored Warehouse No. 10 is home to more than 100 individual artists, crafters and food makers, each presenting their unique handcrafted goods in a vibrant patchwork of shop spaces.

Sustainable Seafood Expo

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