Category Archives: Blog

Meet Chef Daniel Perlof

Chef Daniel Perlof A native of Tustin California, learned his way around the kitchen at a young age partaking in the creation of family meals with his Grandmother and Father. Outside of the home, he studied Spanish and found this to be helpful in various kitchens and catering roles – always seeking to help talented crew members overcome this hurdle when expressing their talents with mostly English speaking managers. Chef Daniel recently took a leap of food and faith to expand this concept of elevating others by opening his own catering company Rhyme and Reason Catering. With lark #39  at the gorgeous Cleobella being his official “lark” debut, we can’t wait to see what this eager and passionate chef has to offer.

Q & A

Which living Chef do you most admire?

Argentine Chef Francis Mallmann is absolutely fascinating. He emphasizes learning and a communal approach to the kitchen, which I love and respect. Also, he uses fire for everything, and I’ve always been a bit of a pyro.

What is the quality you most like in a meal?

Balance.

What do you consider your greatest culinary achievement?

Having my father tell others that I had surpassed his culinary talents.

What is your most marked characteristic?

My sense of humor.

What is your motto?

“Fortune favors the bold.”

Can you share a life changing culinary experience?

I had the fortunate opportunity to go on a post-graduation trip to Europe, a guided site-seeing experience over the course of three weeks, that took us to Rome, Florence, Paris, Interlaken, Bruges, and London.

In Rome I experienced veal for the first time in my life, something I didn’t foresee (but as they say, “When in Rome!”). Walking around the Forum and seeing the relics of that ancient world, I wondered to myself how the Romans must have eaten way back when those sites were first being developed– alongside of what would later come to be known as the “Western” world.

In Florence, I enjoyed prosciutto with cantaloupe for the first time, and had pizza for four days in a row.

Paris demonstrated to me the theatricality of cuisine, and I ate escargot in the Spanish Quarter one sweltering hot afternoon, after a long morning of touring the vast and vibrant city. In the same city on the Fourth of July (how American?!), our group ate at a restaurant that was cave-like in setting, and the appetizers and salad consisted of a large basket of cheese, cured meat, lettuce, and vegetables, with a knife so that every guest could take whatever they please, and pass the basket on to their neighbor.

In Interlaken, nestled between two crystal-blue glacial lakes, I learned that I have somewhat of disdain for white pepper, especially on my eggs.

A day later, (and one wicked Swiss hangover later), in Bruges, sitting underneath a centuries-old castle, I ate authentic Belgian waffles, with crisp, sweet strawberries, and the seemingly airiest whipped cream on Earth. Also, I became aware of their hip-as-could-be street vendors who almost exclusively sell potato fries– something oft attributed to the French, but originated in Belgium.

Finally, in England, I had pub food for the first time after crossing the English Channel into Canterbury, and was overwhelmed by the hospitality of the Brits, with an elderly couple inviting us to sit along side them at their table in an otherwise full restaurant. On a day-trip to the Windsor Castle, I ate fish and chips, skin-on and bone-in, with probably the blandest coleslaw in all the land, and washed it down with a delicious blonde ale.

All in all, the experience taught me so much about myself, and about how different foods and cultures can be from place to place. My appreciation for the adventure of food grew exponentially. The gastronomy of a locale is what sticks out the most to someone who loves food. I felt, and still feel, so lucky and grateful to be able to create these memories. My trip to Europe was an incredible adventure that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Chef Daniel Perlof

 

Lark w/Chef Kyle Powers @ AREO

Super fun times were had on Thursday, May 24, 2018, thanks to all the beautiful people who gathered at the locally loved AREO​ in Laguna Beach on Thursday May 24, 2018.

This well curated boutique filled with both swank and humor, encased with high ceilings and floating candle chandeliers, made a most inspirational space for our guest to gather.

It was an evening filled with engaging conversations over delicious food & drinks crafted by the talented Chef Kyle Powers.

Photos captured by the Neighborhood Creative​.

Special thanks to: AREO, Fork in the Road Catering,nThe Urban Spring​, Andrea Luna Reece​ Ceramics, @mymiddlenameisstarr & The Hood Kitchen Space.

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Simple. Refreshing. Inspirational.

Come on a lark with us!

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On a lark with Chef Kyle Powers at Isles Interiors

This winter we were fortunate to dine with friends – old and new – soaking up the hip vibes at the beautifully understated and modern aesthetic of Isles Interiors in Newport Beach while enjoying conversation between spoonfuls of piping hot Mortadella Lobster Chowder crafted by the talented Chef Kyle Powers.

The timely cold weather transported us home to simpler times. Thanks to all who gathered at the communal table to make this an evening to remember including @lunareececeramics + @theurbanspring.  Special thanks to Maria & Max Isles.

Photo credit to MB.Maher.com
+ + + + + 
Four Course Menu crafted by the talented Chef Kyle Powers of Fork In the Road Catering and Wine Pairing by  wine aficionado Tyler Rodriguez

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Because vision is everything…

We have walked through Pirate’s Cove a hundred of times dreaming of a table on the sand, where we could enjoy food and conversation while getting our feet wet — in style; we can’t express how bringing this to reality makes us feel.  Super big thanks to designer Laura Brophy, photographer Kendal Riley of The De Lauras & Wes (and Mike) of @theoclist for being a part of this amazing experience to get our creative on, thank our collaborators and dream of the future.

Special thanks to Chef Kyle Powers of Fork In the Road Catering who created a flight of the most delicious flight of soups for all to enjoy and to @lunareececeramics @theurbanspring @isles.interiors

Create. Collaborate. Elevate.
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Meet Mixologist Brad Fry

We love getting to know Brad Fry whose sense of style harkens back to his days in Chicago. An energetic and fun bar manager for Michaels Restaurant Group, he is an active member in the United States Bartenders Guild and has participated in numerous cocktail competitions —one in which he represented the West Coast at World Class in 2016. Come, pull up a chair, stay awhile…

Q, How you got started behind the bar – and what captivated you?

A. Like most bartenders, I started as a server, and once of age, was offered to move up to a bartender.  I’d say luck, and being in the right place/ right time have been the story of my success. I was very fortunate to be hired to co-run Bernard’s Bar, in what was the Elysian Hotel (now the Waldorf Astoria in downtown Chicago). Above our bar was Ria, a 2 Star Michelin rated restaurant, which we did the cocktails for. It was elevating my passion for food, and play in cocktails, that addicted me to the industry of service.

Q. Traditions…?

A. Keeping my tools and bar clean.

Q. Your philosophy…?

A. Prep, and set myself for success. Play like a child!

Q. Anything that comes to mind?

A. I’m honored to pair my cocktails and wine with these three amazingly talented chefs!

On a lark with Mixologist Brad Fry

On a lark with Mixologist Brad Fry

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Meet Chef Benjamin Martinek

Chef Benjamin Martinek grew up in Colorado and had a family that (fortunately) loved both travel and food.  As a person of both adventure and discipline, he began his professional relationship with food, working in a restaurant, at the age of 11 – moving on to the kitchen at age 16. Fittingly this explorer made his way to California to attend culinary school in San Francisco. Here he grew his talents at fine dining establishments — and proudly became a husband & father. Now, as a family, they continue the tradition of embracing both travel and food. Calling Southern California home for over a decade, Benjamin practices his craft in the challenging and rewarding luxury resort kitchens along the coast.

If we could use three words to describe Benjamin, it would be responsible, thoughtful, and creative.  We can’t wait to see what magic comes from our lark on 1/8/18 in Seal Beach –which, as of today, sold out; however you are welcome to come along though our stories and imagery.

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Meet Chef Karlo Evaristo

You would never know by his subtle demeanor, but three sentences into your conversation you discover that Chef Karlo Evaristo is fully immersed in a culinary adventure where the precise combination of ingredients culminates into a delightful and gratifying tasting experience.

Below is a bit of Q & A, but of course you meet him Monday 1/8/18  in Seal Beach ~ Come on a lark with us!

Q. What is your idea of the perfect meal?
A. I love tasting menus. Little bites of different flavors is more appealing to me than a big portion plate of one dish. The more courses the better.

Q. Which living food-related person do you most admire?
A. I think in the U.S., for a lot of cooks/chefs/foodies/homecooks, Thomas Keller would probably be on top of their list for a “food-related person” that they admire.

Not only has he brought American Cuisine on the world map, but he played a big role in training and inspiring the next generation of Chefs. Think about it, if it wasn’t for him, there would be no Alinea, no Benu –and even Noma’s Rene Redzepi trained with him.

Q. What is your greatest extravagance?
A. I have “slight” addiction on kitchen knives. I spend way too much than I should on them. BUT, I love it. I don’t regret buying any of them. I currently have 20+ something knives and all of them are handmade by super talented blade smiths.

Q. What is your view on the current state of the culinary world?
A. I think it super approachable. A lot of chefs are offering menus that are pretty affordable and would be similar to the type of food that you would get in super high end/super expensive spots.

Also there is a lot of attention on food and the Chefs behind them. Which I guess is good for all of us in the industry.

Q. What is the quality you most like in a chef?
A. Passion. Doing everything with passion, success and everything else will follow.

Q. Which words or phrases do you most overuse in the kitchen?
A. “Heard” & “Behind”.

Q. When are you happiest?
A. When I create a dish and it tastes delicious :).

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?
A. Laser beam organization.

Q. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
A. My son.

Q. Where would you most like to live?
A.  San Francisco/Napa, or Philippines.

Q. What is your most treasured ingredient?
A. Salt.

Q. What is your most marked characteristic?
A. Fair.

Q. Who are your favorite culinary inspirations?

A. Rene Redzepi, Christian Puglisi, Thomas Keller, Andre Chiang

Q. What is your motto?
A. Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.

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Meet Chef Jared Ventura

Through a connection of friends, food and larks –– we meet Chef Jared Ventura. Our first understanding is how much he loves food, but it was not long before we realized he is bursting with ideas and enthusiasm for creating and connecting. We are super stoked to have this opportunity to collaborate with him on lark #34 and we whole heartedly credit Chef Jared’s passion for making it happen. Here’s a bit of Q&A to get to know him better, but of course, he will be front and center on Monday 1/8/18 . Come on a lark with us!

Q. Which living food-related person do you most admire?
A. Thomas Keller will always be a hero of mine.

Q. What is the quality you most like in a chef?
A. Restraint, balance, and creativity.

Q. Where would you most like to live?
A. Anywhere on a farm with great weather.

Q. What early experience(s) lead to you becoming a chef?
A. My grandparents cooking. They were from Sicily and I grew up making and eating fresh pastas, sausages, fresh breads, braised chicken and much more. My dad is also very into food and I grew up with him cooking every night making a lot of French dishes (though he is Sicilian). It was extremely rare for us to go out to eat; going out to eat was going to another family members house.

Q. What is your most treasured ingredient?
A. I love me some good French butter.

Q. Who are your favorite culinary inspirations?
A. Matthew Kirkley formerly of Coi Restaurant where I had one of the best meals of my life.

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Lark #33 w/Chef Kyle Powers @ Maia’s Cottage in Laguna Beach

We had an amazing lark at Maia’s Cottage in Laguna Beach. Unsure of late October weather, we boldly stepped into a misty and windy day and began our prep, which thankfully included a gorgeous and highly functional fire pit designed by our friends at Haskell.  Maia’s Cottage calm French Provincial vibe could not have been more perfect – as we flowed through the house with drinks, appetizers, introductions and greetings. As the weather stilled, we gathered under the stars to enjoy a heartfelt menu crafted by Chef Kyle Powers and Sous Chef Nelson who fortunately had the luxury of a gorgeous and functional kitchen.

Much gratitude to all who came together (Our adventurous, gregarious, gracious guests, Haskell ,The Urban SpringLuna ReeceTypebird Creative , Dot & Armythe Weathered Captain  & Jaxsea) to make this a lark to remember. Many thanks to Bruce, Maia & Tess for welcoming us into their dreamy and beautiful home!

SoCal Communal Dining, California style.

Simple. Refreshing. Inspirational.

Photos by the talented James Huddleston https://happyhuddphoto.com/surf/

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You know that thing you’ve always wanted to do?  You should do it.

We often visualize communal tables in spaces where people can gather, be themselves and connect with others. Our biggest inspiration has always been Mother Nature; hence we decided to feed our creative vibe with a small “guerrilla” lark at the gorgeous Bolsa Chica Ecological Preserve in Huntington Beach, California. This expansive space provided us the most amazing opportunity to think out loud about lark, as is our motto: Do, Reflect, Refine, Do Again. We are excited to continue our journey by deliberately embracing and gravitating towards the things we love….good conversations, gatherings involving amazing food & drinks, chefs with passion, style, design, photography, art, books, inspired spaces, and, of course, one of the things we love is sharing our adventures with you! Come on a lark with us! xo~l

Images by MBMaher.com

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