September 26th, 2014 by Ted Wright
Taco María will co-host Indie Chefs Week this October 16th, 17th, and 18th. In this first West Coast edition of Indie Chefs Week, Taco María has the pleasure of welcoming some of OC’s rising star chefs, including Jason Quinn and Zach Scherer from The Playground, Eric Samaniego from Little Sparrow, Aron Habiger from The North Left, and Nate Overstreet and Ashly Amador from Wheat and Sons, along with 20+ other chefs from across California and the US, to showcase their talents in a collection of multi-chef, multi-course dinners over three evenings.
A kind of pop-up dinner series and chefs’ meet-and-greet, Indie Chefs Week was started in Austin, Texas, by Chef Ned Elliott at his restaurant Foreign & Domestic. Ned’s vision was to bring together aspiring and inspiring rising star chefs for a conversation that wasn’t just online, but on the line and in the kitchen—where talented professionals could meet and learn from each other, form connections, and let guests savor the result.
It is exciting to see so much culinary talent coming to Costa Mesa and including so many from Orange County.
More information and tickets are available here.
October 25th, 2013 by Stacey Blaschke
If you looking to buy local pumpkins this year here are some suggestions from a recent OC Weekly story.
1) Westminster High School’s Future Farmers of America program, which sells the harvest of pumpkins and fruit every Wednesday afternoon at the farmer’s market at the Westminster Mall. One day every year, the farm is open to the public during it’s annual Fall Festival. This year, it’s Saturday, Oct. 30 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. They grow six varieties of jack o’ lantern pumpkins, including Fairytales and White Ghosts.
Westminster High School, 14325 Goldenwest St., Westminster. (714) 893-1381.
To get to the farm: enter from Goldenwest Street, turn onto Main Street into campus, and follow it past the football fields until you reach the farm.
2) Tanaka Farms in Irvine welcomes the public daily to pick pumpkins from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with no admission fee. A 6-to-8-pound pumpkin runs $3.25, and there’s a sliding scale from there, up to a 30-pound pumpkin. Tanaka Farms, 5380 3/4 University Dr., Irvine (949) 653-2100; www.tanakafarms.com.
3) South Coast Farms in San Juan Capistrano on the last three weekends in October for a pumpkin “choosing,” and craft activities for the youngsters. They do not grow jack o’ lantern pumpkins, so you can’t take the kids for a pick-from-the-field experience. They truck those in from elsewhere, and you choose from the pumpkins set up in their farm stand parking lot. Pumpkins cost 49 cents per pound. They do grow organic pie pumpkins though which you can use for your holiday baking.
South Coast Farms, 32701 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano (949) 661-9381;www.southcoastfarms.com.
For more info and detail see the original OC Weekly story here.
July 23rd, 2013 by Stacey Blaschke
This summer on June 27th, The Bungalow Restaurant, in Newport Beach, held a Summer Muddled Cocktail Contest. We are proud to share the news that our mixologist, Benjamin Webb, who is teaching our upcoming class on Craft Cocktails on August 4th, won the contest with his amazing concoction called The Mifflin.
Since this was a muddling contest a little more about what muddling means: muddling is combining ingredients in the bottom of a glass or shaker then gently pound them with the handle of a long wooden spoon, or a similar implement known as a muddler. Usually this involves herbs, such as the mint and the muddling releases the aromatic oils in the herb, letting them infuse into the drink as you add the other ingredients.
So with Ben’s permission here is his first place, award winning cocktail recipe. Over the summer you can also enjoy a Mifflin at the Bungalow as it is the featured drink for the summer on their menu.
Recipe by Benjamin Webb, Corona del Mar
Purple basil leaves
1/2 ounce FRUITLAB Orange Liqueur (or other orange liqueur)
1 1/2 ounce IXA Tequila (or another silver, 100 percent agave tequila) 1/2 ounce Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
3/4 ounce lime juice
1 dash BarKeep Fennel Bitters
Club Soda – to taste, generally about an ounce
Garnish: Purple Basil Leaf
Glassware: Either a Collins glass with ice cubes or a coupe glass, drink served neat.
In a shaker, lightly muddle basil with orange liqueur. Add tequila, Yellow Chartreuse, grapefruit and lime juices and bitters. Shake with ice. Double strain into desired glassware, top with club soda. Stir, garnish and serve.
If you would like to learn how to make more excellent cocktails featuring Gin and Whiskey check out the Slow Food Craft Cocktail class Ben is teaching on August 4th in Corona Del Mar.
To purchase a ticket go to http://slowfoodoccraftcocktailclass.eventbrite.com/