Tag Archives: Seal Beach

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!
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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.

Compliments of Benjamin Martinek

Compliments of Benjamin Martinek

Hawaiian kampachi, sweet potato, Meyer lemon, brussel sprout and bester caviar

Hawaiian kampachi, sweet potato, Meyer lemon, brussel sprout and bester caviar

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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