The Summer Series (Vol 2. California)


The first Main Course: Eclectic Acres Greens, Superba Ricotta, Blossoms in a Pickled Jalapeño dressing.


The ‘long table’ set up by Outstanding in the Field in Los Angeles. They’ve set up previously on mountain tops, in sea caves, on islands, just to name a few.  

 The guest Chef for the evening: Jason Neroni


Smoked Heritage Porchetta with a Sugar Cane Fish Sauce Glaze served on top of Grilled Lettuces, Padrons, Braised Beets, Turnips and Sweet & Spicy Salsa Verde


(Above); the table. (Below); the Desert: Chocolate Budino, Smoked Marshmallow and Graham Cracker Crumble.



THE SUMMER SERIES.
What some of my favorite people saw, ate, and photographed, this past Summer…

The Second Volume
“CALIFORNIA”
From YOUNG AND HUNGRY

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Anais Wade and Dax Henry, the photo-duo who are Young and Hungry photographed the Los Angeles dinner for Outstanding in the Field this past early Summer and I got to ask them some questions...

FIrstly though, what is Outstanding in the Field…? Outstanding in the Field is this super-cool roving culinary adventure, of sorts, (literally a restaurant without walls!) who’s mission is to re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it. Outstanding in the Fieldhave set up their long table at farms or gardens, on mountain tops or in sea caves, on islands or at ranches. Occasionally the table is set indoors: a beautiful refurbished barn, a cool greenhouse or a stately museum. Wherever the location, the consistent theme of each dinner is to honor the people whose good work brings nourishment to the table. Ingredients for the meal are almost all local (sometimes sourced within inches from your seat at the table!) and generally prepared by a celebrated chef of the region.

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When did you shoot this dinner…
May 19th, at Wattles Farm community garden, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, and the guest chef for the evening was Jason Neroni.

The food looks delicious, what was the Menu? 
Appetizer 1: Marinated Spring Veggies, Pistachios, Preserved Garlic in Radicchio Cups
Appetizer 2: Chicken Liver Mousse, Rye Toast, Balsamic Cherries
First Main: Eclectic Acres Greens, Superba Ricotta, Blossoms in a Pickled Jalapeño dressing.
Second Main: Whole Wheat Carbonara, Araucuna Chicken Egg, Pancetta, Parmesan and Tellicherry Black Pepper
Third Main: Smoked Heritage Porchetta, Sugar Cane Fish Sauce glaze with Grilled Lettuces, Padrons, Braised Beets, Turnips and Sweet & Spicy Salsa Verde
Desert: Chocolate Budino, Smoked Marshmallow and Graham Cracker Crumble.

How did you two get involved in shooting this? 
We contacted Outstanding in The Field ourselves, because we love what they do. They travel from state to state, from farm to garden to beach to fields to hold 100 people or more dinners in collaboration with local chefs. When we saw that they were coming to Los Angeles, we jumped on the opportunity to get in touch with the crew. Jim Denevan, the creator of OTF was open to us photographing his event, and gave us a warm welcome!
 
Did you get to eat the food, or just shoot? …and then, what did the food taste like… Please describe!
When we arrived at the location, we had an opportunity to see the chef Jason Neroni at work with his team, prepping all the components of his menu. When we photograph food, the implied rule is that we don’t get to eat it because by the time we’re done photographing it, it’s already cold! And we wouldn’t like to look like we came to photograph the food as an excuse to eat what’s on the plates, even though that would definitely be a compliment to the chef! But once the dishes started going out one after the other to the numerous guests, the smell of food just kept teasing our senses. Some guests saw our hungry expressions, and generously shared some of their dishes with us…. and we gotta say… the pork was decadent, and the pasta so satisfyingly creamy and salty.

What was the highlight of the night?  
It was a beautiful evening overall. A unique location, a great variety of people, food as a social binder, and of course the perfect Los Angeles weather. By the time dinner was over, the sun was setting over the Hollywood Hills, just magical. The highlight was definitely seeing the transformation of the space, and all of a sudden seeing this long table sitting 150 people, quite a show stopper! We met so many inspiring and nice people. Jim Denevan, the conductor of this jolly crowd, has a very interesting path, and really cares about his art and freedom. Jason Neroni was impressive to see cooking dishes for so many guests, and had a really nice team including Maeve McAuliffe who used to work at GTA (Gejlina Take Away) in Venice and Paul Hibler who is the owner of Pitfire Pizza and the newly opened Superba Snack Bar in Venice. It was funny being in Hollywood, and yet hanging out with people that are Venice-based, like us.

Oh, I’d love to be at one of these dinners, how often do they do them? 
Several times a month!! See this link for the past and upcoming dinners: http://outstandinginthefield.com/events/north-american-tour/.

What really moved you about the evening? 
Seeing so many people being together for the love of food and a community inspired lifestyle.

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY YOUNG AND HUNGRY
Click here to check out their work.

To learn more about “Outstanding in the Field”, click here.

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Stay tuned for more installments from the Summer Series…
(To see Vol. 1 Colorado, click here)
 

Pickled Figs In Balsamic Vinegar

I was at Food and Wine magazine this month, and this was the story I designed and put together for the August Issue. The Illustrations were by Sasha Prood. The photo’s were shot by “Young and Hungry” (Hands down best name ever for an emerging food photography team.)

It was a story on actor Bill Pullman and his orchard, (you remember Bill from such things as Independence Day and The Last Seduction.) He has an orchard in Los Angeles where he grows his own lemons, oranges, figs, plums, and a variety of other fruit. Pick up the August Issue of Food and Wine to see the whole story. (With great preserving recipes).

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To get the recipe for this gorgeous Pork Chops with Pickled Figs in Balsamic Vinegar, which was also recommended by the staff at Food and Wine, click here.

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Photographs by ‘YOUNG AND HUNGRY’
(Who are ‘Young and Hungry’? Young and Hungry are Dax Henry and Anais Wade.
Check out their work, here. And their blog here.
The Recipe was by ERNEST MILLER
Styling: VIVIAN LUI
Illustration by SASHA PROOD
(Design: Dimity Jones)

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To subscribe to Food and Wine magazine, click here.