Lark x The Salt Horse x Chef Natasha Reta, Laguna Beach

Samantha Savage Breit founder of The Salt Horse in Laguna Beach, image credit Diana Koenigsberg

🔥Ooh, what a lark!

We are grateful to all the beautiful people who came together to make this an evening to remember including:

✨those who arrived even after learning of our unfortunate circumstance (our chef’s car was stolen with EVERYTHING need to create an amazing four course meal.

✨those who arrived unknowingly and being graceful upon hearing the news (see above) or visit @chef_reta

✨those who stepped in to help cut & chop @thesalthorse array of fresh fruit + vegetables for salads & charcuterie

✨those who picked up the tasty woodfired pizzas, thanks @lbwinegallery

✨those who helped pour refreshing drinks, especially those delicious pineapple margaritas by @cocoscocktailcaravan

And many more behind the scenes such as @state_of_nowhere + @themeatco_losal + The Salt Horse farm-to-table contributors.

It was absolutely amazing + heartwarming to see everyone so engaged ; their contributions displaying the very best of us.

We will look forward to a proper lark at The Salt Horse w/Chef Reta soon!

Amazing Charcuterie created on-the-fly on a lark at The Salt Horse, Laguna Beach, image credit Diana Koenigsberg
Artist Andrea Luna Reece on a lark at The Salt Horse, Laguna Beach, image credit Diana Koenigsberg
Friends old & new enjoying food, wine & the (rediscovered) art of conversation on a lark at The Salt Horse in Laguna Beach, image credit Diana Koenigsberg
Super fun (& delicious) times on a lark at The Salt Horse in Laguna Beach, image credit Diana Koenigsberg

GoFundMe link for Chef Natasha Reta:

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Super fun (& delicious) times on a lark at The Salt Horse in Laguna Beach, image credit Diana Koenigsberg

#lark #popup #communal #dinnerparty #californiastyle#socialdining #adventure #inspiration #perfectlyimperfect#create #connect #chefsmenu #meetthechef#passiononaplate #masterofmakeshift #natashareta ##cocktails #cocoscocktailcaravan #progressive #sustainable #grocer #gourmet #local#provisions #thesalthorse #socal #coastaloc #lagunabeach #summer2022

This memorable evening was captured by the talented + inspiring @dianakoenigsberg

Q+A with Chef Natasha Reta of Long Beach, CA

We are thrilled to have friend + collaborator Chef Natasha Reta curate the menu for our upcoming lark at The Salt Horse in Laguna Beach. You can feel the energy and enthusiasm flowing when she’s creating delicious––and some might say––daring plates for connection and nourishment. She thinks of and appreciates all the hands that brought each element of food, all arriving in perfect unison for our enjoyment. We loved engaging in this fun Q+A to give you a glimpse of this talented Chef:

Compliments of Chef Natasha Reta

Q. You have been on several larks… our early days numbering # 10-15 — any fun insights or memories to share?

A. Besides it being a complete blast every time. There is something magical about having a vision that when impacted by a collaborative effort. It always turns out 10 times better.

Q. How would you describe lark to a someone unfamiliar? 

A. A melding of minds over a delicious meal in a place you would never expect.

Q. How did you first arrive on the culinary scene?

It’s funny, my first restaurant job was when I was 4 years old and my mom took me her to work with her when she couldn’t find a sitter. I was given jobs like wiping tables and filling flowers while my mother the wine buyer met with reps and sales associates. On my “work break” I would watch the pastry chef make Creme Brulee. 

But my first authentic culinary experience was at George’s  San Francisco, which used to be the former Old London Wine Bar across from the Federal Reserve in the FiDi. I was looking for a serving job while I contemplated the thought of student loans for culinary school. Chef Michael Bilger said “don’t waste your time and money, I’ll set you up.” And he sure did, he took me under his wing and introduced me to culinary techniques I’d only read about before.  

Q. Where has this profession taken you? 

A. Everywhere.

Q. Where will you go next? 

A. Anywhere. The goal is to be the female version of Anthony Bourdain, may he RIP. 

Q. What is your most treasured memory when it comes to food?

A. Watching the Creme Brûlée being made for the first time. That’s when I realized the science and beauty behind Food. It’s science, art and fun all wrapped into one. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to juggle all of that at once.

Q. Do you have any favorite books/novels/magazines for inspiration?

A. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain and life. Most of my inspiration comes from experience and conversation.

Q. If not culinary, what other profession could you see yourself doing?

A. Acting or Singing. I think you need to act to get through the chaos— and when the wheels fall off the bus, you may as well sing yourself out of it.

Q. Can you share a favorite dining experience? 

A. So many, I love food and all the moments I’ve had with it. But the most memorable would be my first time in Egypt. And the welcome meal we had with the family.  Being all the way around the world, it somehow felt so familiar and comforting even though the food was so completely new and exotic to me. Food is home to me. 

Q. What advice do you have for people who want to become chefs?

A. Make sure you are ready to be a mother, therapist, friend, artist, math teacher, engineer, and culinary master all in one. You have to be strong in mind and body. 

Q. What is your most treasured ingredient?

A. Salt. I like all of them. 

Q. When it comes to dining, what element do you often see overlooked?

A. Flat ware and cups. Many times operators purchase the prettiest items but forget to test the feel with food and the operations of plating.

Q. Can you describe your culinary style? 

A: A fusion of flavors and organized chaos, just like life. 

Q. Who are your heroes? 

A. My mom, she’s hasn’t been the biggest fan of my life choices, but she’s the biggest fan of my life. She’s never been shy to tell me how proud she is of me.  

Q. What phrase or word do you use too often?

A. Holy Chowder, I’ve been trying not to curse…..and I curse a lot, so now you hear more holy chowders than fucks.

Q. As we are all navigating new seas, any thoughts on the future of dining? 

A. Try to enjoy the moments of pause and be sure to cherish each bite. Many people worked hard to create the meal in front of you. Life is not perfect, but it’s better than nothing. 

Compliments of Chef Natasha Reta

Modern. Organic. Inspirational. Social Dining.  Come on a lark with us!

The Salt Horse
1816 S. Coast Hwy,
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(x-streets PCH x Pearl)

Saturday, September 3, 2022, 6:00-9:00pm
$178. per person all inclusive 4-course chef curated meal + wine pairing 
by the talented Chef Reta + Cocktails by Coco’s Cocktail Caravan 

Purchase Tickets:  Let’s Go On A Lark!
non-refundable/absolutely transferable

Q+A with Samantha Savage Breit of The Salt Horse in Laguna Beach

We love collaborating with people who love their craft! Soon we’ll be soaking up the last days of summer enjoying food, wine & the rediscovered art of conversation at The Salt Horse in Laguna Beach. The good news is that everyone can come along through our images and stories!

Enjoy this fun little Q+A with Samantha Savage Breit, founder of this amazing local + sustainable grocer in Laguna Beach:

Samatha Savage Breit captured on a super fun (& delicious) lark at The Salt Horse in Laguna Beach on-the-fly by the talented photographer Missy Coyle.

Q. Where did you grow up? ​

A. Virginia Beach, Virginia ​​​

Q. We know you are close with farms + markets, what is your most memorable Famers Market experience? ​

A. One day I was in the parking garage on my way to my car when I noticed that the OG of the food buyers world was parked next to me. She is a powerhouse and highly respected at the Market by farmers and chefs, alike. As I approached my car she said Hi to me and from there we had a wonderful little chat. At the end of our chat, she offered me her favorite fresh juice from JJ’s Lone Daughter Ranch. The next week I went to JJ’s Lone Daughter Ranch and asked if I could order their juices for The Salt Horse. Laura replied, “So you are the girl from Laguna Beach that everyone is talking about!” I was blown away by the acknowledgment and with the feeling that I was being welcomed into the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market family, so to say, and I am incredibly grateful for the Market community! And the woman, Karen, who I met in the parking garage, is now a valuable mentor to me. 

Q. Are you a chef?

A. ​I pretend I am. 

Q. Why the name The Salt Horse? 

​A. The Salt Horse is a farm-to-table grocery store concept and brand. ‘Salt’ is the most important ingredient in the kitchen. It is the essential seasoning that can make or break a dish. I also love salt to the earth people, of whom I have the pleasure of working with. The ‘Horse’ represents the farm, the original way food was delivered and hardworking people, which you have to be to be in this industry. Coincidentally when I was looking up ‘Salt Horse’ online to be sure that it wasn’t already being used somewhere, I found out that ‘salt horse’ is an Irish nautical slang for corned beef. When I read this, I had chills up and down, for I was named after my Grandfather, Samual Savage, a deep-sea diver from Ireland. He passed away a month before I was born. It was a confirmation from the Universe.  

Q. What made you take “the leap” in pursuing your passions full time? ​

A. When a door opens, even at the most unexpected time and even when you don’t feel prepared or ready – you go through the door. 

Q. What is it that catches your eye (or heart) about a product? ​

A. The Why! Someone once told me: “People don’t buy what you do but why you do it!” I look for the ‘Why’ stories.

Q. What is your most memorable meal (one you made or one you’ve had)? ​

A. Super cool fact about me: my great aunt is Mimi Sheraton, the most renown and influential food and restaurant critic (first woman to hold that position at the New York Times), James Beard award winning cookbook author, brilliant storyteller, true visionary and living icon. I shared many of meals with her in the comfort of our family home but going out to a restaurant with her was an experience I will never forget. My most memorable meal with Mimi was at Daniel Boulud’s restaurant at the Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. Mimi invited me to dinner with her, her husband and a few of their friends. Chef Boulud ‘rolled out the red carpet’ and it was at that dinner that I fully understood who my aunt was. However, what made it the most memorable was after everyone ordered their dinner, Mimi made her opinion known to the table – I ordered the best and she was very impressed! I ordered my steak ‘Pittsburg style,’ which I always do, charred on the outside and (almost) rare in the middle. I remember every single detail of that meal we shared together.
Q. If no one was looking, what is your most prized ingredient? ​

A. Butter

Q. What is your idea of perfect happiness? ​

A. Newspapers as tablecloths, Blue Crabs in a bushel ready to be steamed, children jumping off the dock, surrounded by my family and friends, sand in my toes and a chilled drink in my hand. 

Q. What is your greatest extravagance? ​

A. A 5 lb lobster at The Station House in Lantana, Florida. But just the other day ​I made my first extravagant purchase – a Nissan Passenger Van. It is huge! I see it representing the growth of my business that I am manifesting and working hard towards every day. 

Q. What do you find yourself saying when people ask what it’s like have your own business? ​

A. I was born with a competitive, hardworking nature. Give me a challenge or high pressure – That’s how diamonds are made. (And dreams do come true.)

Q. What is your current state of mind? 

​A. Grateful for the incredible people and opportunities showing up in my life at the moment! Ready for what’s next! 

Q. If you could change one thing about how people enjoy food, what would it be? ​

A. Where people source their food. Mainstream grocery stores aren’t anywhere close to what they use to be and the food/food system isn’t either. People need to know where their food comes from, how it was grown, and how it got there. And for people to only eat seasonally! 

Q. What chef inspires you? ​

A. My brother Barrett. 

Q. What words or phrases do you overuse? 

​A. I read this as what words or phrases are overused – Curated. Curate is a work that is used too often with little understanding of its true meaning. The key to curation is knowledge and meaning – knowledge of the industry and a keen understanding and appreciation for all aspects of it. Is it curated? Does the person have knowledge? Have they taken the time to collect, research, and present only the best of something in a meaningful, intentional and purposeful way? 

Q. What do you most value about food culture? ​

A. Connection to community, family, friends, history and culture through food memories and storytelling. ​

Q. What do you hope to accomplish in life? ​

A. To make an impactful difference and transform the grocery business through mindful and valuable innovation. And most importantly to have a home where my two boys, family and friends always come to visit, creating memories, and to share that with the love of my life, whom ever that may be. Door is open. 

Q. Who/What inspires you? ​

A. I am easily inspired. Most especially in a garden – where fruit grows out of a flower and bees communicate by dancing. 

Q. What is your motto? 

A. I see you and I love you. I tell myself that every day. 

+ + +

If you ever have a chance to speak with Samantha in person, we highly recommend it. She is radiating positive energy and we know that, at this moment, she is right where she needs to be. We can’t wait to join her at the communal table.

Modern. Organic. Inspirational. Come on a lark with us!

The Salt Horse
1816 S. Coast Hwy,
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(x-streets PCH x Pearl)

Saturday, September 3, 2022, 6:00-9:00pm
$178. per person all inclusive 4-course chef curated meal + wine pairing 
by the talented Chef Reta + Cocktails by Coco’s Cocktail Caravan 

Purchase Tickets:  Let’s Go On A Lark!
non-refundable/absolutely transferable