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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Adopt-A-Goat and Charred Goat Cheese Salad

Adopt-A-Goat and Charred Goat Cheese Salad

Charred Goat Cheese Salad
Fennel, Cantaloupe, Cucumber
Smoky Chile Walnuts, Charred Parsley Vinaigrette
Mustard Flowers, Watercress, Mint, Cilantro

I adopted a goat. I named her Miss Chèvre Chaud. She’s a gentle soul who devours mustard plant with wild abandon and is deliriously happy to munch on wild fennel.

For the past several years, hundreds of goats like her have been employed to graze on non-native weeds as part of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy restoration project.

The Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy’s Adopt-A-Goat program supports their effort to turn the weedy hillsides into native coastal sage scrub and grassland habitats – supporting threatened and endangered plants and wildlife, such as the California gnatcatcher and cactus wren.

Goats are an ecologically sound, cost-effective, and efficient means of habitat restoration. As a bonus, their droppings provide a natural top-soil fertilizer. The goats make very little noise, leave no trash, and are a charming addition to the community for the time they spend with us.

Invasive Plants: Mustard and Fennel

Invasive non-native plants while pretty to look at, and pretty tasty to eat…cause damage to the ecosystem by crowding out and reducing native plant species ultimately reducing shelter and food for native animal species.

These non-native plants tend to have shallow root systems which do little to help with soil stabilization on the hilly slopes. And both mustard and fennel grow quite tall, unfortunately blocking out necessary sunlight for native species.

Native of Europe, black mustard Brassica nigra, is an annual plant that covers the Peninsula after the winter rains. It sprouts easy and densely, so as to crowd out the native plants that are home to native birds. It is short-lived, so when the plant dies the dried stalks remain standing and present a significant fire hazard.

Native of Southern Europe, fennel Foeniculum vulgare is another invasive species that grows in dense thickets and crowds out native species. When the fennel plants die in late summer, the dried stems remain standing and can be fuel for wildfires.

Savory Fruit Salad with Goat Cheese

This delicious savory fruit salad was created to showcase Miss Chèvre Chaud’s affection for reducing our local mustard and fennel (aka goat-candy) population while promoting fresh cheese made from goat’s milk.

To highlight the good work Miss CC and her team do to clear the hillsides and reduce wildfire danger…the salad has three charred elements; charred parsley vinaigrette, charred/caramelized goat cheese, and smoky walnuts. Simultaneously the mustard flowers do indeed taste like yellow mustard and add a punchy savory note to the salad.

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Abalone Cove Grand Re-Opening

Abalone Cove Grand Re-Opening
Sacred Cove and Inspiration Point, Rancho Palos Verdes, California

The Palos Verdes Nature Preserve (PVNP) has over 30 miles of trails through rolling hills, steep canyons and rock outcrops, with significant habitat and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. Elevations range from approximately sea level along the coastal edges of Vicente Bluffs, Abalone Cove, and Ocean Trails to approximately 1,300 feet above mean sea level.

The Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve (64 acres located within the PVNP) features two beaches  – Abalone Cove and Sacred Cove, tide pools, beautiful bluff-top viewing areas, and dramatic crisscrossing trails. Two promontories, Portuguese and Inspiration points, frame Sacred Cove with its sea caves, black sand, and rare plants. (from www.pvplc.org)

I was thrilled to have been invited by Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy to the Volunteer Recognition and Abalone Cove Grand Re-opening and to join in celebration of the volunteers’ dedication and commitment to PVPLC’s programs. It is my honor to provide photographic documentation of fund-raising events such as the PV Pastoral Garden-to-Table Dining Experience and to participate in the popular White Point Home Tour.

After over two decades without any major improvements, Abalone Cove Shoreline Park was in need of renovation. A state grant helped fund the improvements including paths and trails, signage and interpretive panels, landscaping, picnic areas, benches, and binocular stations. The Grand Re-Opening festivities held on October 25th included nature walks, food trucks, a beer garden, kite exhibit, native plant workshop, en plain air demonstrations, Art To Grow On, a pop-up library, and more!

Abalone Cove Grand Re-Opening
HIKE

Come take a hike around our newly restored Abalone Cove with me!

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Palos Verdes Pastoral @ Terranea Resort

Palos Verdes Pastoral @ Terranea Resort

Palos Verdes Pastoral

A Garden-to-Table Dining Experience on the Peninsula

Candlelit tables elegantly dressed in white linen with sparkling glassware were arranged on a hill overlooking the moonlit Pacific. The vibrant autumn menu was created by Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra – showcasing the best of California-grown food expertly paired with hand-picked wines. For the third year in a row, the event was a smashing success.

Palos Verdes Pastoral @ Terranea Resort
The evening is designed to bring people together amidst nature for an exclusive dining experience featuring the best of California hand-crafted, organic, and sustainable foods. After a fabulous wine and appetizer reception on the patio, 200 guests took their seats at sunset to enjoy the artisanal creations by the Chef and his talented team.

Palos Verdes Pastoral @ Terranea Resort

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Palos Verdes Pastoral – A Garden-to-Table Dining Experience

Palos Verdes Pastoral

Palos Verdes Pastoral

It was my honor and pleasure to participate as official food photographer for this year’s Palos Verdes Pastoral, the premier al fresco garden-to-table dining experience of the peninsula, which took place on October 6th at Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

PV Pastoral is a fundraising event to support the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy’s mission to preserve and restore habitat for the enjoyment and education of all. I also happen to be a beneficiary of the Land Conservancy’s work, as we’ve been hiking the local trails and enjoying our open spaces here along the coast for decades.

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