Tag Archives: Pop-Up Dinner Party

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!

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.

Come on a lark with us!

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Lark#19 + Chef Kyle Powers + Heritage Mercantile Co.

We had an amazing time popping up in East Side Costa Mesa at the locally loved (and vice versa) Heritage Mercantile Co., with a gathering of those who are both adventurous and curious.

While casual introductions were made, we mingled indoors and out, eventually settling at the communal table simply adorned with gorgeous hand made ceramic pots and plates by Andrea Luna Reece (@lunabirdie) and a decorative menu by artist Jeri Vann (@jerivanncreations) that detailed the carefully crafted meal.

We are grateful that the talents of Chef Kyle Powers who not only created a makeshift kitchen, but also presented us with four courses of which is best described as “passion on an a plate”, each one better than the next. As each entree was introduced, Mike Otto of Tolosa Winery thoughtfully poured each glass of wine while sharing the nuances of the blends and pairings.

As the sun slowly set and the lights above became more vibrant, friendships were formed, food was savored, wine was enjoyed, art was discovered, music was played and true connections were made.

Thank you to everyone came together to create such a beautiful evening. Special thanks to Host Jennifer Bloch of Heritage Mercantile Co. and all of our guests for coming on a lark with us!

Xo~l

Established in 2013, Heritage Mercantile Co. is a purveyor of unique, handmade goods. They believe in sustainable products, local makers, timeless design, and USA goods.

Photo credits to @missmphotography

On  lark at Heritage Mercantile June 2016.

On lark at Heritage Mercantile June 2016.

On  lark at Heritage Mercantile June 2016.

On lark at Heritage Mercantile June 2016.

On  lark at Heritage Mercantile June 2016.

On lark at Heritage Mercantile June 2016.

On  lark at Heritage Mercantile June 2016.

On lark at Heritage Mercantile June 2016.

On  lark at Heritage Mercantile June 2016.

On lark at Heritage Mercantile June 2016.

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Chef Kyle Powers Creative Crafted Menu
+ Tolosa Wine Pairing Pairing by Mike Otto

Welcome drinks + cheese platter + mingling

Course 1 corn/goat cheese souffle/ toast/ warm olives
Tolosa No Oak Chardonnay

Course 2 treviso/arugula/watercress salad with pine nuts and a blueberry coconut vinaigrette
Tolosa Rose

Course 3 meat trio- skirt steak, pork belly, chicken/cauliflower puree/haricot verts/carrots
Tolosa Pinot Noir

*Veggie Option* falafel /cauliflower puree/haricot verts/carrots
Tolosa Pinot Noir

Course 4 melon ice cream/lavender/kiwi coulis/donut
Spiked coffee

Come on a lark with us! Next lark to be announced soon, follow us on Instagram @letsgoonalark

 

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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.

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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 Powers + Molly Wood Garden Design

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~ Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~ Summer 2015

8/14/15 Pop-up Dinner Party at Molly Wood Garden Design in Costa Mesa, CA

Our lark with Molly Wood Garden Design brought together a beautiful group of people who enjoyed mingling and dining in their charming and inspirational garden.

The stars aligned perfectly and we were grateful to have Mike Otto hand select wines from Tolosa Winery to match our menu. With their wonderful aromas and great taste, we have found a perfect match.

The common tables were styled with lovely elements from Molly’s garden shop. The graceful hand of Letter Sparrow created a gorgeous menu and hand-made ceramic plates made by artist Andrea Luna Reece took the crostini to new heights.

As a garden spider diligently weaved its intricate web for all to admire, we enjoyed this amazing August menu crafted by Chef Kyle Powers:

upon arrival

sugar snap pea cocktail w/lemon thyme syrup


crostini platter of charred leek and green onions with a goat cheese spread; red beet ricotta puree w/minted herb salad + pistachios; roasted tomato & garden pesto

on the table & paired with hand-select Tolosa wines

shaved summer squash + rainbow carrots w/burrata cheese & spiced walnuts

caramelized pork belly on top of a celery root puree, wilted swiss chard, w/salad of celery & cucumbers on top

*veggie option: caramelized tofu

on top of a celery root puree, wilted swiss chard w/salad of shaved celery & cucumber

grilled stone fruit w/vanilla bean ice cream, fresh whipped cream, macerated berries & mint compote

We are grateful for all who gathered, making this an exceptional summer lark! A heartfelt thanks to our guests and @MollyWoodGardenDesign, @LetterSparrow, @MySaltySoul, @LunaBirdie, @ForkInTheRoadCatering and Miss M Photography for capturing the moment!

And just like that, summer slips into fall.  Next lark October 8, 2015, details to be announced soon. Cheers! xo~l

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

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On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

 

 

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

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Lark + Jolie = Summer 2015

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Lark + Jolie + Ready Set Make = Summer 2015

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

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Lark + Jolie + Letter Sparrow = Summer 2015

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Lark + Jolie + Summer 2015

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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.

 

Lark + Chef Kyle + 503found

We will forever revel in our super fun lark at the beautiful 503found. Chef Kyle delivered BIG time on effort and flavor. He crafted his own makeshift kitchen steps away from our communal table and served up a fine menu. Music flowed, wine was poured and friends were made in the midst of the beautiful, eclectic artwork and furnishings.

We had a beautifully styled table thanks to our lark crew, 503found’s offerings, and the hand-lettered menus created by LetterSparrow.

Thank you to all the beautiful people who attended, we are grateful to the good energy and love you brought to this occasion. We hope we inspired you to come on a future lark!

In closing, we are super thankful to Kim J., owner of 503found, for her free spirit, style and inspiration. 503found is housed in a former boathouse sure to be full of good times and stories – and we are proud to have added to them.

Special thanks to Photographer Brian Tropiano, Marisa Powers, & Lark stylists: Ginger Wallace, Monique Schulfer & Catherine Rex.

Lark #12 @503found

Lark #12 @503found

Proofs_Lark@503_0063

Lark #12 @503found

Lark #12 @503found

Proofs_Lark@503_0066

Proofs_Lark@503_0071

Cheers! Lark #12 @503found

Lark #12 @503found

Lark #12 @503found

Proofs_Lark@503_0086

Cheers! Lark #12 @503found

Proofs_Lark@503_0091

Cheers! Lark #12 @503found

Lark #12 @503found

Lark #12 @503found

Lark #12 @503found

Lark #12 @503found

Lark #12 @503found

Lark #12 @503found

Lark + Letter Sparrow

We are excited to announce our collaboration with Letter Sparrow, who will be designing our menu and place cards for our upcoming lark at 503found.  We only see good things coming from this talented artist and are honored to work with her.  xo~l FullSizeRender (8)

Inspiration (Retrospective). Lou-Lou’s House. Circa 1981.

When I was about 10 years old, I was invited to visit my friend Lou-Lou’s house in Bel Marin Keys.  My schoolmate had never mentioned anything about home and I had no expectations other than to play games, eat candy and watch movies.  As it often happens when visiting someone’s home, her life unfolded as I walked through the doors. I encountered calm and serene house, nothing standing out with the exception of several older sisters coming and going.  To my surprise her mom gave me direct attention and was obviously delighted by our child-adult conversation.  When the opportunity arose, we ventured outside and suddenly all my senses came to life.  Her mom had the most beautiful garden sanctuary I had ever seen.  It was child friendly and we able to tromp wherever we wanted without fear of reprimand.  The wild flowers and plants were intentionally unkempt; it was perfect and welcoming.  Their colors made the most delightful bouquets and changed throughout the day. The wrought iron garden furniture with stripped patterned pillows fit in as if they grew there themselves.   The feeling this Mediterranean garden evoked was so strong, I wanted to root myself to the ground and never leave – and in a way, I never did.   xo~L

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6/13/14 “Honey Moon” Lark at AoSA Coffee, Huntington Harbor

We loved setting our communal table AoSA Coffee in Huntington Harbor on Friday June 13th. The positive vibes and family style serving really brought this group together.  It’s such a pleasure seeing people connect and enjoy themselves.  Our recipe is always a stylish but earthly environment, gregarious people, and amazing food & drinks. Thanks to all the people who came together to make this happen!

If your curious like us, here are few things we learned about AoSA!  AoSA = Artists for Sustainable Action.  They offer Stumptown Coffee on tap as well as Kombucha on tap! You can purchase both in growlers, which is convenient, reduces waste and costs (win/win/win). The crew that runs this operation are hardworking, enthusiastic, multi-talented and open minded. Please stop in and say hello, have a cup of their amazing coffee and check out their ever-growing list of community minded events from poetry reading to underground dinner parties!

Many thanks to our talented photographer Brian Tropiano! Please visit his website at: www.briantropiano.com

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