Tag Archives: Dinner Parties

Meet Chef Andrew Miley

of Fork, Knife + Spoon Catering  who will be crafting the menu for our upcoming lark at Molly Wood Garden Design on 8/18/17.  Super thrilled to collaborate and create with this passionate and talented chef!

Chef Andrew Miley on a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design Summer 2017

Chef Andrew Miley on a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design Summer 2017

Where did you grow up?
My father was a Marine and we moved around a lot when I was younger, mainly between California, North Carolina + Connecticut. Once he retired we settle in South Eastern Connecticut where I finished middle school, high school and college.

Where do you live now?
On the balboa peninsula in Newport Beach, California

Was food a big part of your childhood?
Absolutely!  Everything revolved around cooking + eating. Holiday’s, birthdays, you name it. There was always a reason to get the family together and celebrate.

How did you discover your love for cooking-any defining moments?
I don’t think I have any defining moments. Food was always a big part of everyday life. I remember aa kid every Christmas decorating cut out sugar cookies + candy canes with my grandmother, that might have been one of my earliest memories. I started washing dishes + being a prep cook at 15 and have always had my foot in the door of a restaurant in some capacity since.

What do love about the culinary world?
I think my favorite part is feeding people. I feel it to be so nurturing and rewarding and a great way to connect to people.

Did you go to culinary school? 
I did not. School of the hard knocks baby!

Any advice for aspiring chefs? 
A’int nothing to it but to do it.  You need to put the work and time in.  Find out what works, what doesn’t work and build from there.

What ingredient do you use most?
Good olive oil, salt, pepper + fresh herbs.

What is your favorite food/drink pairing?
Grilled hanger steak, chimichurri + an ice cold peroni.

Who do you idolize in the food world?
I don’t think I idolize anybody but am very fond of the mentors + teachers I have learned from along the way. They knew who they are. Oh, and David Chang.

+ + + + + 

(Relatively) Simple. (Definitely) Refreshing. (Very) Inspirational.

IMG_2795

Meet Chef Jim Sullivan, Q & A

Chef Jim Sullivan on a lark at The Hood Kitchen Space

Chef Jim Sullivan on a lark at The Hood Kitchen Space

We are thrilled to introduce Chef Jim Sullivan of Medium Raw Arts who we met on a lark at The Hood Kitchen Space last summer. Chef Jim is also a talented culinary photographer who captures food and pretty much anything associated with food. The best thing about Jim is his boundless enthusiasm for his craft. He will be cooking up the good vibes at our 1/30/16 DTLA lark at the Lawrence Fodor Loft.

What is your idea of the perfect meal?

I always think about this and ask my friends. What would my last meal be if I could pick anything? For me that’s easy, a hot spicy bowl of ramen w pork belly, poached egg and fresh herbs.

What living chef do you most admire?

I wouldn’t necessarily say a chef, more like person, my grandmother! This is a woman who was in WWII as a prisoner in a camp, left everything with just the clothes on her back and came to the US. Worked her ass off to raise 5 children (all are very successful) and has 16 grandchildren. That’s what inspires me!

What is you best, most simple, culinary advice?

Have FUN!

What is your motto?

Work hard, be humble…repeat!

What came first, food or photography?

Food/chef. I was doing pop up events after culinary school and people were taking images of my food with their iPhones, which were terrible. So I finally decided to get a DLSR and delve into food photography. This was about 3 years ago and since then my focus has been food/cocktail photography but still cook as much as I can.

How does your food and food photography influence each other?

For me they go hand in hand. My love for food drives my photography.

What foods/ingredients do you consider over or under rated?

I think a lot of “foodies” get caught up with the fancy ingredients i.e., foie gras or truffles. I like to keep it simple and just focus on fresh ingredients. I’m more of the adage less is more, which I feel you can see in my food and photography.

What was your most favorite dining experience?

Well Per Se in NYC definitely was the best restaurant dining experience. The way the FOH/BOH work in symmetry was amazing. BUT I will have to say the absolute best “food” experience was when I spent time in Paris. I stayed in a flat just a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower and was able to walk across street to all the available purveyors on a daily basis. I would walk to the fishmonger, pick out some fresh seafood and then walk over to vegetable stand and then go back and cook! The ability to have such amazing fresh and various purveyors right there was awesome! I wish I could have that every day! Being able talk to the purveyors and get what was fresh was so inspiring. Definitely want to have that experience again, soon! (on a side note: I do have this secret love for street food. The best thing I’ve eaten in awhile has to be in Tijuana. The food at Carwash del Torta is badass!)

Who is your favorite person to cook for?

My wife! Hands down. She is a foodie at heart, a great baker and my toughest critic.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Being able to provide for my family. My family is everything to me.

###

We love how this Chef/Photographer captures the heart of the culinary community. See Chef Jim’s delicious Baja inspired menu and come on a lark with us!

 

 

 

Lark + Chef Kyle + J o l i e

7/30/15 Pop-up Dinner Party at  J o l i e  in Newport Beach, CA

J o l i e {beautiful in French} truly lives up to it’s name. Owner Cherie D’Sa and her crew Nicole and Norma operate with style and grace. We love their light and airy seaside location showcasing amazing collection of curated high-end clothing, shoes, handbags, and home goods.

J o l I e embraced lark and then showed us what the word “hustle” actually looks like. One of the few shops open while Lido Marina Village is under construction, they have managed to build a strong local following and create their own piece of fashion paradise in a short period of time.

To add style upon style, lark was fortunate to collaborate with talented artists Andrea Luna Reece and Stacy & Selavi at Ready Set Make. They added some beautiful handmade ceramic tapas plates and stunning Himmeli sculptures to sit alongside the gorgeous menus created by LetterSparrow.

Everything about J o l I e is perfect, so we decided to set the vibe just outside the doors by creating a hip and fun vignette with fabulous furnishings from 503found (check out those yellow chairs from Paris!).

As you may surmise, our communal dinner table was already bursting with good vibes when Chef Kyle shared all the delicious details of his eponymous menu:

welcome beverage

honeydew basil spritzer: gin, honeydew puree & basil simple syrup, finished w/champagne

appetizer

grilled octopus w/spicy champagne vinaigrette, preserved lemon & thinly sliced purple potatoes

on the table + paired with wine

pickled watermelon salad

tossed in a burnt tortilla vinaigrette, w/grilled kale, burrata cheese & toasted almonds

shrimp & crab cake

served w/white bean tahini puree, fried soft shell crab + a charred corn & fresno chili salad

*vegetarian option: summer squash cake served / white bean tahini puree, and a charred corn & fresno chili salad  

dessert 

shortbread biscuit served w/frozen greek yogurt & blueberry sage compote

Bringing this lark to fruition, we discovered this fashionista’s paradise is rooted to the ground with genuine people on every side of the counter.

We are grateful for all who gathered, making this a beautiful summer lark! A gazillion thanks to our guests, @Shop_Jolie, @LetterSparrow, @ReadySetMake, @MySaltySoul, @LunaBirdie, @503found & @ForkInTheRoadCatering. Until we meet again! Xo~l

IMG_2911

Lark + Jolie = Summer 2015

IMG_3254

Lark + Jolie + Ready Set Make = Summer 2015

IMG_3229

Lark + Jolie + Andrea Luna Reece + Letter Sparrow = Summer 2015

IMG_3114

Lark + Jolie + Letter Sparrow = Summer 2015

IMG_3236

Lark + Jolie + Summer 2015

IMG_3234

Lark + Jolie = Summer 2015

Lark + Chef Kyle + The Hood Kitchen

3/28/15 Pop-Up Dinner Party at The Hood Kitchen in Costa Mesa, CA 

We were honored to set our communal table at this amazing haven for Culinary Professionals, Food Artisans & Entrepreneurs. Our early inspiration was to reflect the fun and coolness of this amazing space that houses commercial kitchens and an extraordinary amount of support to the culinary community at large.  We brought in some colorful paintings by artist Catherine Rex, along with some sharp looking cactus (pun intended).  We grounded the vibe with tribal painted rocks and synced all of it up with a groovy soundtrack.  Then, as always, Chef Kyle worked his magic and actually plated Hip & Edge – we enjoyed:

STARTERS

RHUBARB MARGARITA served on the rocks w/a sweet and salty rim,
garnished with kumquats & limes!

CURED SEAFOOD PLATTER beet cured salmon + citrus cured shrimp
served on a platter w/multi colored vegetable chips,
spiced fried hominy, roasted shisito peppers & cucumber salsa!

VEGETARIAN SOPES corn sopes topped w/a purple potato mash + quickly pickled onions, greens, smoked salt & a lime zest crema!

ON THE TABLE
& paired w/South American & Spanish wines:

BOWLS OF LOTUS CHIPS served w/a dried chile tapenade

COURSE ONE
CHARRED GREENS SALAD charred romaine and crispy kale tossed in a burnt tortilla vinaigrette w/pepitas, roasted red peppers & cotija cheese

COURSE TWO
BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIB TAMALES served w/a spicy lobster sauce, topped with fried black-eyed peas, roasted vegetables & chunks of lobster meat

****Vegetarian Alternative****
BRAISED JACKFRUIT TAMALES served with a spicy hatch chile sauce, topped w/fried black eyed peas, roasted vegetables & frisee lettuce

COURSE THREE
CHURROS TWO WAYS homemade churros, served w/a spicy chocolate ganache & deep fried churro ice cream

Many thanks to all the beautiful people who came on a lark with us! They brought their gorgeous smiles and good vibes! Special thanks to Shelby Coffman, LetterSparrow, Catherine Rex Art, Medium Raw Arts, Monique Schulfer, Seaworth Coffee Co., Jeri Vann Creations, Jaxsea Swimwear, Tom Goad, Marisa Powers, Jane Vo, and Dawn Martinez.

On a lark at The Hood Kitchen Space Costa Mesa, CA

Charred romaine and crispy kale tossed in a burnt tortilla vinaigrette w/pepitas, roasted red peppers & cotija cheese. On a lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

On a lark at The Hood Kitchen Space 3-28-15

Catherine, Monique, Shelby, Kyle, Marisa & Lisa. On a lark Lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

Cured Seafood Platter

beet cured salmon + citrus cured shrimp served on a platter w/multi colored vegetable chips, spiced fried hominy, roasted shisito peppers & cucumber salsa! On a lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

Hip & Edge!  @The Hood Kitchen Space

Hip & Edge! On a lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIB TAMALES served w/a spicy lobster sauce, topped with fried black-eyed peas, roasted vegetables & chunks of lobster meat. On a lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIB TAMALES served w/a spicy lobster sauce, topped with fried black-eyed peas, roasted vegetables & chunks of lobster meat. On a lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

On a lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

On a lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

On a lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

On a lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

Beautiful work by @LetterSparrow.  On a lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

Beautiful work by @LetterSparrow. On a lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

 

On a lark with Main & PCH

We recently met up with local Huntington Beach blogger Lauren of “Main & PCH”, who lives and loves all things local, to share a bit of our story!  Read about it here: Let’s go on a lark

Sharing our story...

Sharing our story…

Meet “Fork In The Road” Chef, Kyle Powers

Constantly looking for collaboration and inspiration, on a lark, I met Chef Kyle Powers and was immediately drawn to his kind and calm demeanor.  He is one of those people that you just feel good standing next to.   He developed his culinary skills in the kitchens of restaurants as opposed to the traditional cooking schools (the sign of a true rebel!).  After seeing him in action and tasting several of his creations, I realized the culinary world chose him and we all are better for it.  We are thrilled to have Kyle create our menu, select the wine, and mingle with guests at our next lark on 9.19.14 in Sunset Beach.  So you can get to know him better, below is a short Q&A to get the conversation started!:

What is your earliest culinary memory?

My earliest culinary memory is waking up on Saturday mornings at 5 years old, turning on cartoons, and then deciding to make breakfast for my parents.  I would always get in trouble because I wasn’t allowed to touch the stove.

What is your view on the (slow) food movement?

I feel like the world of food has changed a lot but mainly for those interested in that change.  We need this change to happen with more people and communities, especially for our health.

Which cooking words or phrases do you most overuse? 

I use them without thinking! Then, when I feel like I’m overusing, I stop and figure another way to get my point across—which leads me back and then to over usage! Lol. But a popular word/term I can’t really stand is “foodie”.

What is your most treasured culinary possession?

Right now I love using my pressure cooker.

What is your motto?

My motto for when I cook is to “Be Different”.  My motto for others is “Anyone Can Cook”.  When I do my Cooking Demos I try and teach confidence in the kitchen versus just recipes.

What is your greatest culinary extravagance? 

It is probably almost making it on Food Network Star a few years back.  But currently it’s watching our business grow.  See

What is your is your idea of the perfect meal?

My idea of a perfect meal is when I taste something that I’ve had before, but it makes me think I haven’t had it before.  Add wine to that and I’m happy.

What do you most value in your friends?

I value my friends immensely. My favorite thing is that we can go days or even weeks without having seen each other and maybe have only chatted a couple times, but the effort we all make to stay connected is absolutely amazing. They support me more than I can ever ask or imagine.

Which living person do you most admire?

The living person I most admire is my wife Marisa. She is the biggest reason we have a successful business and she has endured a lot this past year.  With our first pregnancy and first born I learned how to never give up and get through some really tough situations.  I relate that to working in the kitchen everyday.  She deserves multiple medals for being an amazing wife, a great businesswoman, a supportive sibling, caring daughter, and most of all a mother.  She can do all of those things and still find time to make our own sunscreen, baby food and detergents for our home.  She just recently made deodorant.  What can I say? How can I not admire her?!  I’m simply blessed beyond belief! And she makes my mom proud!

What is your favorite spice?

My favorite spice always changes. Other than salt I really like Juniper and Cumin too.  But whatever spice I use I want to use it in the most unique way possible.

What simple advice do you give others regarding food? 

Take time to cook! #bebravecreate

What is your most marked characteristic?

I am calm in the kitchen – and in general.  The calmness brings out creativity for me.

Where would you most like to travel?

Our next big trip will be to Italy!!! But best food trips were to New York and Portland!

Who do you follow / admire in the food world? 

My favorite chefs are Jamie Oliver and Rick Bayless. I feel Jamie Oliver is really trying to change the world with food and how kids are seeing food.  I also really admire my friend at Red O in Los Angeles Chef Justin Haefler.  His story is unbelievable and I think he is going to do huge things in the food world.  His focus is on healthy eating without being a specific type, vegan, vegetarian, etc.  FYI – Red O is a Rick Bayless restaurant out of Chicago that is now in L.A. and Newport Beach.

What made you realize that you were a good cook?

When my wife said, “let’s start a catering business”, I thought maybe I CAN cook!  [editor note: Fork In The Road Catering ]

What is your favorite wine / food combo? 

There are way too many great ones to choose from!

What arbitrary kitchen rule would you like to break or establish? 

Being that I didn’t go to culinary school I think I break a lot of rules without even knowing it, but it works 95 percent of the time so I don’t really pay attention to the “rules”.  If something doesn’t work I figure out how to make it work.

Chef Kyle Powers w/wife & business partner Marisa

Chef Kyle Powers w/wife & business partner Marisa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

# # #

See Chef Kyle’s mouth watering menu and learn more about our upcoming lark here:

Pop-Up Dates, Etc!

We hope to see you there!

xo~L

5/16/14 “For The Dreamers” lark at 31 Bits in Costa Mesa

Our lark on Friday, May 16th was an amazing experience. Thanks to all the beautiful people who attended. We gathered around the communal table at the 31 Bits bungalow in Costa Mesa to enjoy food, wine, and great conversation. We appreciate Jessie, Courtney, and all of 31 Bits for sharing their space and story with us! We are truly inspired!

www.31Bits.com Using Fashion and Design to Empower Women to Rise Above Poverty.

5D3_0122 5D3_0084 5D3_0083 5D3_0014 5D3_9954 5D3_9916 5D3_9876 5D3_9866 5D3_9832 5D3_9824 5D3_9809

8/30/13 “Discovering Beauty and Inspiration” at Cleobella’s in Sunset Beach, CA

Friday’s lark was held at Cleobella’s 1920’s seaside cottage in Sunset Beach.  We had a balmy, beautiful evening under the stars as we enjoyed wine, conversation and an Ecuadorian inspired menu.   We are thankful for Jim and Angela for opening the doors, sharing their good vibes and joining us at the common table.

Their quaint little boutique offers timeless bohemian pieces from handbags to home décor.  All of Cleobella’s handmade products create sustainable income for artisans in Bali Indonesia and a portion of all profits are donated to Care.org, specifically helping women in South East Asia.  So inspiring!  

Cleobella’s 16792 14th St. Huntington Beach, CA 92649

www.cleobella.com

 

 

1185145_10201269049440370_347838371_n1175539_10151852175085390_485532308_n


1229798_10201269049000359_818412641_n1233452_10151852184640390_7728906_n


1236106_10201269065960783_1116590010_n 1236442_10151854942285390_1317453989_n 1240557_10201269047280316_1085511015_n DSCN2008_zpsb432784a DSCN2017_zps80fe42d8 DSCN2026_zps43412bda DSCN2047_zpsf2af84d1 DSCN2062_zps618f8fc0

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

DSCN2097_zpsfd147810

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

photo (30)

 

 

 

 

 

6/27/13 “Let’s Have A Great Summer” Pop-Up at The AOSA Project

We were happy to set the communal table inside The AOSA Project, an amazing socially responsible retail shop in Huntington Harbor. What a great way to start off summer!  We did our best to create a special, but eclectic setting – something that would fit the location well.   Many great topics were brought up at the dinner table, such as “The Edible Schoolyard Project” and how do you know when “You have it all”?  These great images were taken by Vivid Images-Don Baker.  Many thanks to Jennifer Orona for opening the doors for us.  We cannot wait to do it again!1040740_327480017383652_1200979264_o

1040789_327479524050368_425630784_o1039993_327479294050391_602898721_o

1064816_327479004050420_620759957_o1064108_327479847383669_1048028054_o

1052230_327479240717063_13892399_o1052648_327479784050342_1550939062_o1052750_327479110717076_617543089_o1052922_327479634050357_108188204_o1008552_327479160717071_454398116_o1063799_327479897383664_2010985427_o1052309_327478987383755_1691497026_o

Why Pop?

Popping up a restaurant and marketplace in different locations is a cool and fun way to bring people together to share what we are passionate about in life.  For me, this is the perfect combination of friends, food, wine, and design (an abridged list as you may surmise).   It is also a way for “Lark” to figure out where it fits in this world, a sort of living business plan.  Our motto is “do, reflect, refine, and do again”.   We often tell people it’s about “doing” instead of “dreaming of doing”.   We hope this leads to becoming experts at pop-ups and, later on, having our own brick and mortar.  However, we are grateful to have discovered the opportunity to bring people together for a wonderful and unique experience doing what we love.  The beauty of popping up is that each event is fresh and different.  The combination of locations, people, food, design are constantly changing and evolving.  This makes it easy to call it an adventure, ahem, Lark.

-Lisa Gutierrez-Martinez, Owner/Creative Director

Ready to greet out guests!  at our AoSA Underground Dinner Party in Huntington Harbor.

Ready to greet out guests! at our AoSA Underground Dinner Party in Huntington Harbor.