Q+A with Interior Designer Paige Elise in Laguna Beach

Taking a little dip below the surface with this fun Q+A with Paige Elise in prep for our upcoming lark on Thursday 8/10/23 at her eponymous atelier set in the breezy + cool canyon of Laguna Beach.

Our introduction to Paige began at her curated retail shop Layered By Paige Elise in Costa Mesa as we love the style and vibe. Soon we learned of the Laguna location and, of course, we traversed the coast and canyon just to see it. We love how light, airy, calm and dreamy the space is, with plenty of ideas to dream–and set our communal table!

Other recent news, she now has a third location in the charming small town of Los Olivos in San Ynez Valley. All three locations are highly recommended destinations for those seeking curated home furnishings and amazing vintage pieces, many inspired and sourced from her world-wide travels.

We can’t wait to share this inspirational space and story with all who gather around the communal table but first a few questions so you can come along!

Q. Where did you grow up?

Newport Beach, CA.

Q. Do you have any childhood memories around design that tie into your grown-up life?

I remember going to flee markets with my mom and her friends. My mom has always been into garden design & aesthetics and my love for interiors grew from watching her as a kid.

Q. We know you travel to find inspired pieces, what is your favorite vintage market experience?

My favorite buying trip was to Morocco where we filled a container with antique doors, pottery and rugs. 

Q. When you set/design a gathering at the dinner table, what are your go-tos?

Fresh floral & yummy cocktails are a must.

Q. You have a well curated retail offering, what is it that catches your eye (or heart) about a product?

I love buying unique pieces that not only have a story to tell, but also create one-of-a-kind spaces. 

Q. Are you the chef in the family? 

I am not a great cook, but I am great at making reservations. 

Q. What is your current state of mind?

Currently I have loved getting to spend extra time with my kids this summer, but I am ready for the school year to start and get back to my routine.

Q. If you could change one thing about how people view design what would it be?

Not every empty space needs to be filled!

Q. What makes you feel the most alive?

Being at the barn and riding my horse with my daughter.


Thrilled to share lark will have Paige & team covered with fresh florals from French Buckets + yummy cocktails by professional bartender Eric Kassel. Grateful for friends, old and new, coming together to create a memorable evening of food, wine, design and the (rediscovered) art of conversation.

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

Layered By Paige Elise
Chef Taylor Elam
Eric Kassel
Christina Peterson
French Buckets
Emily Musgrove Art
Luna Reece Ceramics
The Cheese Block
Hugo Landa Garcia

Lark x Travers Residence x Chef Kyle Powers ~ Newport Beach

Image captured on a super fun (& delicious) lark at Travers Residence by @vacation_media_

We recently brought all our good vibes together for a “private” pop-up communal dinner. We seldom do private events, but we can be convinced through sheer sincerity and determination ☆

Lark @ Travers Residence
Saturday, June 24, 2023
Newport Beach, CA ☆

Image captured on a super fun (& delicious) lark at Travers Residence by @vacation_media_

Menu crafted by the talented Chef Kyle Powers ☆

Image captured on a super fun (& delicious) lark at Travers Residence by @vacation_media_

Chefs whim appetizer accompanied by signature larktails:

Espresso martini

Blood orange + jalapeño spicy margarita 

Strawberry basil margarita 

1/crab + corn chowder, poblano, focaccia toast

Paired w/Penfolds 311 Chardonnay

2/mushroom salad, dandelion greens, pickled fresnos, garlic chips

Paired w/Groth Sauvignon Blanc

3/cioppino (white fish) tomato broth, white beans

Paired w/Etude Grace Benoist Ranch Pinot Noir

4/chocolate, chocolate, chocolate

Paired w/Wilson’s Organic Cold Brew Coffee

Birthday cake by @mcakesweets

Image captured on a super fun (& delicious) lark at Travers Residence by @vacation_media_
Image captured on a super fun (& delicious) lark at Travers Residence by @vacation_media_

Birthday poem by writer Nick Banning ☆

Saturnine sky with long days, long sunsets, long shadows. Summer makes the promise that take off is voluntary, yet landing is required. Is it time to show every sense but common?

The Stars eat from her hand when she lets them. Shall we dance in the sand, hummm our favorite song as the sun greets and the Stars ditch us?  The clouds are like pink Spanish Galleons in the sky waiting to be Plundered…

Blossoms on ice, sunflowers as big as the sun, design and elegance envelopes.  Time to slip on velvet slippers or perhaps barefoot shoes and acknowledge the importance of doing nothing.

Beauty surrounds, friends warm the night, glasses of pleasure in your hands…with Gratitude Optimism is Sustainable and with Grateful Acceptance we give the Nod to the Joy of what is around us.

A big THANK YOU to all who came together to make this an evening to remember! ☆

producer Alissa Travers
photos @vacation_media_
florals @ferncottageflorals
chef @mrforky of @forkintheroadcatering
tapas plates @lunareececeramics
stylist Christina Peterson
cake @mcakesweets 
poet Nick Banning

& friends! ☆

Image captured on a super fun (& delicious) lark at Travers Residence by @vacation_media_


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

Q & A with Zachery Mundt of Costa Mesa’s event “Jewel Box” known as The Shindy

We are excited to introduce Zack Mundt whose talent + love for design to breathe new life into a storied WWII bungalow in West Side Costa Mesa. You cannot walk into the space without feeling a bolt of celebratory energy & happiness. Everything from the textured wallpaper to the colorful floor tiles is a delight. We love what you have done with the place–and we have so many questions for you! 

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Spearfish, South Dakota and spent most of my time outside in the Black Hills. 

Did you have a love of design as a child? As a child I didn’t really know that design was even a thing. Most everything around me was generally based on function rather than fashion. I definitely had a deep love of building things – tree houses, skateboard ramps, random things made of wood, and always loved the old wood structures – barns, root cellars, etc – that were in the fields behind my house and were left by the homesteaders and other early inhabitants of the area. 

You are close with designers in the commercial/hospitality world, what are some of your favorite projects? Oh my – there are so many… My favorite place to go and stay and eat is the Chiltern Firehouse in London. The hotel itself is absolutely gorgeous. They have this amazing balance of true, rich, luxury in their finishes and fixtures, and there are a ton of plants and flowers that really balance it out and make it feel welcoming and calming. The service is absolutely top notch, which is vital for a complete experience.  I’m working on the Magnolia Hotel in Waco TX right now and am so excited!! This one is more about bragging rights with my family 🙂  Everyone loves Chip and Joanna and this one gives me a little street cred since a lot of what we do in my world is unknown to the average person. 

What is it that catches your eye (or heart) about a product/design element? When something is absolutely beautiful, or unique, or completely strange and eye catching, but still functions perfectly for a particular purpose – I love that. I also love multi-colored stripes… I cant wear them, and they don’t usually fit in our home etc, but I just love it visually – definitely brings me joy. 

What led you to create The Shindy? During the pandemic, our wonderful neighbor restaurant, Trenta, expanded into the parking lot in front of our office space. People kept looking in and then some started asking if they could rent it out for a party. At first we said no, but then, Leilah, my wife and partner in The Shindy, pitched the idea that we hire a designer and create a small, beautifully curated, event space. We then sourced as much as we could from manufacturers that I represent so I can use the space for design meetings, presentations, etc as well. 

We know some of your favorite restaurants are Bavel and Bestia? Do you feel they may have informed the look/feel of The Shindy—in what way? The look of Bavel and Bestia are entirely their own and The Shindy is in quite a different direction. Something that is certainly reminiscent of those amazing establishments is the care and detail in how they present their product to the world. When you’re there you can feel that it is absolutely necessary that each bite is just right, and we strive to provide that with the experience we provide at The Shindy. 

Are you the chef at home? We’re actually a home full of home chefs!! Leilah, Willa (our 12 year old) and I all love to cook and create and eat delicious things. That said, I do quite a bit of the cooking. It is a time for me to decompress and unwind at the end of the day, or a great cathartic project to create something larger on a weekend.  I truly love the detail of cutting each ingredient to a specific size or shape so that each cooks to a specific texture or flavor or doneness – and when those pieces come together as a whole – it is truly magical. 

What is your most memorable meal–one you made or one you’ve had? Leilah and I went to Alinea in Chicago for our anniversary one year and it was absolutely incredible. Each dish is generally one bite, sometimes a couple, and truly mind blowing. The flavors and textures they create is unbelievable and the beauty of each is stunning. Each plate, eating utensil, etc is made specifically for that dish. It is like a gorgeous, miniature food circus, with the most amazing service. 

What is your most prized design element? I don’t know that I’ve got one yet….I more value my kitchen tools – my cast iron pans, my knives and kitchen shears, the tortilla press, things I use daily. 

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Perfect happiness for me would be a small farm with enough land to grow most of the food and livestock we eat, a beautiful farm house with two amazing kitchens – one indoor and one outdoor – and enough money to hire great people to help make sure it all runs smoothly. 

What is your greatest extravagance? Food – definitely. We love to go out to a great restaurant and truly enjoy it. 

If you could change one thing about how people enjoy food or design spaces, what would it be? I do think people could respect the places they’re in and the people who are working hard to provide them with a good experience. 

What do you most value about The Shindy and how to see its future? I love that The Shindy is used for people to get together – be it for a dinner, a baby or wedding shower, a graduation, a birthday – I love being around my friends and family and get recharged by doing so. I love it that we are able to provide a place for people to to just that. 

Who/What inspires you? Leilah and Willa inspire me daily. I’m inspired by almost anyone who decides they want something and then goes after it. Life is tough and sometimes it’s a challenge to get up and go but you’ve got to do it and you feel better once you get going. There’s beauty everywhere – I definitely take tiny moments and use them to inspire me, a hummingbird in the back yard in the morning, flowers in yard when we get in the car, laughing with my daughter on the way to school, a smile from another parent as we pull out of the parking lot… I tend to look for little moments of joy and keep them within to help through the day. 

What is your motto? “Keep swimming!”  Once again, it truly is all about the people you meet along the way!

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

Friday, June 16, 2023 6:30pm-9:30pm
$178. per person, all-inclusive
four course meal + wine pairing by
the talented Chef Kyle Powers + Sous Chef Bryan Barnes⚡️.

The Shindy
1663 Superior Avenue, Suite A
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(17th x Superior)

Purchase Tickets:

Let’s Go On A Lark!

Open invite. Limited seats.

Q & A with the talented Sean Woolsey of the California cool + refined Sean Woolsey Studio – Costa Mesa, CA

Image credit: Sean Woolsey Studio

Q & A with the talented Sean Woolsey of the California cool + refined Sean Woolsey Studio – Costa Mesa, CA

The vibe of the showroom and workshop emanates a creative and refined energy. You might think this is what lead us to Sean Woolsey Studio, and you are right, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. It is really about recognizing and respecting the journey of our fellow dreamers. Layers of inspiration to be discovered in the following Q & A session from youthful enthusiasms, to disciplined lifestyle choices, to admired artists + writers:

Q. Where did you grow up? 

I grew up in Orange County (in Yorba Linda to be exact) and grew up skateboarding, surfing, playing baseball and constantly making things. 

Q. Did you ever make anything out of wood/other materials as a child..is there a golden thread here?

I grew up always skateboarding and making skate ramps, always making artwork, and sewing my own clothing. I was a very hands on kid, heavily influenced by skate and surf culture and my dad who made amazing stained glass pieces for a living. 

Q. What motivated you to make furniture + game tables?

At first a desire to make things for myself, the ping pong came first after woodworking for a few years, for us just to have at the shop to play some games while at work. 

Q. When it comes to your current work, what is your most treasured possession?

Probably the Neo Pool Table that we make as a product. It is the most difficult to make, and with that comes great rewards. 

Q. College/Trade School, yay or nay? 

Took several woodworking classes, and did a short apprenticeship for a woodworker. 

Q. From whom did you inherit your aesthetic? 

A mix of my mom, dad, traveling, my wife, and my friends. 

Q. What is your favorite journey?

My wife and I traveled around America for 8 weeks in a Westfalia van one summer. It was a bucket list item and was an amazing experience. 

Q. Who are your favorite artists or writers?

Soooo many. In no particular order: Sam Maloof, Finn Juhl, Wharton Esherick, George Nakashima, Robert Rauschenburg, Jean Michel Basquiat, Joseph Eichler, and writers Chuck Palahniuk and Ayn Rand.

What do you find yourself saying when asked about your work?

I love what I do. I am obsessed with making things and constantly learning. 

What is your motto?

Attention to detail is the religion of success. 

Does your skillset travel to the kitchen? 

Yeah, I love cooking. 

What is your most prized ingredient or go-to meal?

Go to meals would be pizza in our pizza oven at home or spaghetti and meatballs, or handmade pasta. 

When it comes to design + dining, what comes to mind?

For me both cooking and designing/making are similar in that good ingredients (whether it be produce on a farm or wood from a mill) produce beautiful finished products, and I love food and design that tells a full story. Lark is a great example of this as working with local chefs using in season produce to create a culinary experience that is very unique. 

Woodworking @seanwoolseystudio
Image credit: Sean Woolsey Studio

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

Friday, May 5, 2023 w/the talented Chef Taylor Elam

Sean Woolsey Studio
770 W 17th St Unit 1
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(17th & Placentia)

More details, including the menu, here

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

Q & A with Cyndi Turk of Devynn’s Garden – Seal Beach, CA

We love that Cyndi Turk and her husband David Turk created amazing floral shops, including retail + event spaces, known as Devynn’s Garden that support the local community and beyond.

David + Cyndi Turk on a super fun (& delicious) lark w/Chef Kyle Powers. Photo credit: Candace Rock

It’s the best feeling to walk into any one of their three locations and immediately feel relaxed and inspired. Join us on a dive below the surface with this fun Q & A:

Q. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Hacienda Heights and my husband and business partner is David grew up in Whittier, CA. We met when I was 20 and he was 26. 

Q. Do you have any childhood memories around plants/flowers that tie in to your grown up life?

A flower that I remember seeing in my grandmother’s home were gladiolus. She was Mexican and that is a very traditional flower. But, my husband introduced of flowers to me. 

Q. You named you business after your first born daughter, what is her favorite flower?

Our daughter is now 29 and she lives in Venice, CA. and her favorite flower is peony and coincidentally she loves gladiolus too!

Q. We know you are close with flower growers, what is your most memorable flower market experience?

I remember one time I saw rolling hills of pincushion proteas bushes in San Diego and I was fascinated. I tried growing a bush for myself in my home. I had no luck. I will keep trying.

Q. It’s amazing how flowers are almost considered essential at the dinner table, what are your go-to?

I love simple elegance, nothing too bold. My go-to’s are cymbidiums tropical foliage and all proteas.

Q. You have a well curated retail offering, what is it that catches your eye (or heart) about a product?

I spend more time in my stores than I sometimes do in my home. I trust that if I love what I purchase for the retail store that others will share and enjoy my choices.  

Q. What should we be reading? 

Right now I am reading Jay Shetty’s new book 8 Rules of Love: How to Find It, Keep It, and Let It Go: I am diving into a time in my life of trying to be present and be grateful for all the little & big things in my life. He is really speaking to me right now. 

Q. Are you the chef in the family? 

I am the wannabe “chef” in my family. I try and I really do enjoy it. I do know that my husband and kids are very kind and will never tell me they don’t like my cooking. 

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

I made this roasted chicken with my now deceased FAVORITE Aunt Mary. It has rosemary, garlic, cream cheese, red grapes and other herbs. It quickly became my family favorite and now I make it with Turkey instead of chicken on Thanksgiving! It was so delicious. One of my daughters now tells me “if I don’t make the garlic turkey it is not Thanksgiving.”

Q. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I hope to continue to learn and grow closer to my husband, my four amazing children, my parents and my friends.

Q. What is your greatest extravagance? 

My greatest extravagance is food. I love trying new restaurants. I will probably spend my last dollar on good food. 

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

You need to have self motivation and grit. There will be days that you have self doubt but if you love what you do, you can’t see yourself doing anything else. Trust your vision and stay on YOUR path.

Q. What is your current state of mind?

I have always happily put everyone first and now I am consciously trying to adapt and make myself a priority when I get up.

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

One thing people say to me is “I don’t like to buy flowers because they die’’, but enjoying beautiful flowers is like enjoying an incredible meal. It is instant gratification. It is not meant to last, but the memory of a beautiful floral design or meal lasts forever.  

Q. What words or phrases to you overuse? 

There is a reason for everything. I believe it so much that I named my daughter Reezyn.

Q. What is one thing people most often don’t realize about the floral industry?

The labor that goes into a floral shop is massive and you have to rely on so many people to execute their job with care  People always tell me ” it must be great to come to work and play with flowers” Yes, we get to create and play with flowers, but they needs to go through 5 peoples hands before they get to mine.

Q. What makes you feel the most alive?

Right now I am in a place of reflection and gratitude. I did start rowing and I very much enjoying it and I have 3 adorable dogs that have won me over. 

Q. What is your motto?

1-Don’t try to fit a square into a circle.
2-Water your own grass.
3-Treat invitations as gifts from people, not obligation. Say yes as often as you can!  

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:


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 22_8_Lark_Salt_DK000393.jpg
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 Jan McCarthy of the Cannery Artist Colony – Newport Beach, CA

We’re thrilled to create + collaborate with the Cannery Artist Colony of Newport Beach. We met Artist and Creative Life Connoisseur Jan McCarthy through a mutual friend (who we met on a lark!).

We were about to set our communal table at her residence in the gorgeous green Eastern Building in DTLA when the world shut down. Then, when we reconnected, she had relocated to the seaside town of Newport Beach and became a part of the Cannery Artist Colony.

We are thankful for her invitation to set our communal table with the Cannery Artist Colony whose inspiring and delightful ateliers reside among the numbered streets of Newport Beach:

Q. Tell us about the Cannery Artist Colony.

A. The building we are in originally had 3 artists but in the last year 3 more of us have joined the collective space. It is so great that we each have our own private studio space and focus on different types and approaches to creating art, but are able to meet up when we are in residence and share ideas as well as support each other.   

Q. Who are they?

Jan McCarthy @janmccarthy 

Linda Wooters @whatabouther 

Ilona Martin @ilona_artist

Deborah Harold @deborah_harold_studios

Janet Bludau @bludau

Carole Aikins @caroleakins

Q. Where are they from? 

A. We come from all different places, Some of the women have been in the Newport area for a long time and even had children in the same school together, or met at various painting classes. I am a newcomer to the group, coming from Los Angeles and Boulder, Colorado just over a year ago, but I appreciate how welcoming everyone has been.

Q. What would you say about their personalities + style? 

JAN MCCARTHY https://www.janmccarthy.com/ Modern, Sophisticated, Bold and Edgy, each mark or stroke of the brush is a signature gesture as a way to connect and share flashpoints of time or place. Jan’s art gives a nod to independence and freedom, a suggestion to defy the norm, stay curious and seek adventure,  Influences are from a background of travel, interior design, creative pursuits, and a curious and wild imagination. 

LINDA WOOTERS www.lindawooters.com Drawn to the juxtaposition of patterns and loose brush strokes to create modern impressionistic landscapes. She is influenced by living near the ocean and observing it’s ever changing moods.

CAROLE AIKINS www.caroleaikins.com – Carole’s work could be described as bold, whimsical, and vivid! She lets the subject of her paintings present themselves as she paints, much like a drama or fiction, revealing the surprise story once the painting is completed. Her early creative pursuits, such as interior design, travel, and living in France have greatly influenced her work, 

DEBORAH HAROLD www.deborahharold.com An interior designer turned artist, Deborah is passionate about painting and travel. She considers herself an abstract impressionist with a keen sense of color, using quick and spontaneous brushstrokes to create shapes that allow the mind to fill in the blanks.

ILONA MARTIN https://ilona-art.com Ilona’s naive approach to Impressionist painting has given her a risk-taker reputation. Her love for a montage of color and shapes found in nature inspires her to paint and her work has a European influence, stemming from her German heritage and travels around the world.  

JANET BLUDAU www.janetbludau.com Janet’s work offers up a cool color palette, inspired by an impressionistic era combining it with a contemporary approach. She describes her work as abstracted realism, intuitively applying color, and using her background in design to help her insert shapes and graphic lines to create a beautiful piece of art.  

Q. Are any of the artists cooks? 

A. We have monthly dinner parties and everyone makes something extraordinary, so yes, even if we don’t cook on a regular basis, we know how to perfect the art of dining.

Q. What makes the Cannery Artist Colony a perfect pairing for a lark? 

A. It is a cozy space that lends itself to creativity and inspiration. Having the menu, table and area designed around a creative and artistic community, it is the perfect place to appreciate a lark. 

Q. Any history you can share of the building or neighborhood? 

A. In 1921, the area known as Cannery Village was a commercial fish cannery between 30th and Lido Park Drive but after it closed around 1966, it’s natural charm and seaside location attracted creative businesses, artists and tourists as the ideal site to gather.  

Q. Art School, yay or nay? 

A. I started making art just a little over 10 years ago and I’ve never been to art school. It may have been helpful to learn specific techniques, but I’ve really loved learning from others and experimenting on my own, and therefore feel confident in trusting my intuition and making mistakes. Some of my fellow artists did attend art school but we all have our own unique style. 

Q. We feel the culinary world + art world go hand in hand, do you agree? 

A. Absolutely, it is about bringing together imagination, color, design, mood, creativity, and a full experience of the senses. 

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

Thursday, September 15, 2022 w/Chef Taylor Elam.

the Cannery Artist Colony 
420 31st Street
Newport Beach, CA 92663
(Newport Blvd x 31st Street, between Alta Cafe + The Board Room)

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. 

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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

Q+A with Visual Artist Matt Armendariz + Food Stylist Adam Pearson of Long Beach, CA

Thank you Matt & Adam for opening the doors to your amazing studio to lark! We are fascinated with the original Art Deco build dating back to 1924, making it just shy of 100 years old!

We loved how you cared for the building and how you really got into all aspects of interior design (one of our favorite realms).

The studio is a great combination in design, photography and full of good energy…and our chef cannot believe his lucky stars to have a beautiful, convenient, and fully functional kitchen (rare on a lark!).

Below are some fun Q + A’s for everyone to get to know you more: 

Adam & Matt on a super fun (& delicious) lark with Chef Kyle Powers at Urban Americana in Long Beach.
Image captured by the talented Talia Pashey.

How do you know each other?  We met online many many years ago, went on a date and have been together ever since!

How did your professional relationship evolve?  We both fell into our careers serendipitously and while we both perform different jobs within the photography world, it’s nice to have our work paths travel together.

What made you take “the leap” in pursuing your passions full time?  It was a necessity! We both wanted to work and like most things you must give it your all to get it off the ground. So we did. It’s easier said than done I realize.

You have done so much amazing work for magazines, books and just about anything that needs a great photo, what is/could be your dream duo project?  We’ve worked on so many amazing projects all over the world, I think at this point we are the happiest working with amazing people from all creative disciplines. As long as everyone is kind and the vibe is there, we’re happy!

As it is essential to your craft, why FOOD?  Food unites us. We all eat. We are all experts. We know what we like and what we don’t. It’s inherently political, sensual, personal. We have an immediate built-in common element with everyone through food.

What is your most memorable meal (one you made or one you’ve had)?   We’ve eaten in Michelin-starred restaurants all over the world, dive spots from coast to coast, and while they’ve all be once-in-a-lifetime experiences, we both tend to remember the meals that are personal, humble, and focus on the connection between people. I’ll never need another 29 course tasting menu!

What is your most prized ingredient for meals OR for photographing? There’s not one ingredient! All of them make our jobs so interesting and worthwhile!

What is your idea of perfect happiness? When life, work, health and energies are in balance.

What is your greatest extravagance? Adam: Caviar, fragrances, and skincare.  Matt: Champagne, my Oudh collection, and long summer days in the pool! With bubbles, of course.

What do you find yourself saying when people ask what it’s like to be a food photographer / food stylist? It’s quite a mystery to so many people; we’re usually met with “Wait, that’s a job?!”  The conversation then moves to what people THINK we do, as they think we use fake ingredients and slight-of-hand tricks. Alas, we do not.

What is your current state of mind? Clear.

If you could change one thing about how people look at and/or enjoy food, what would it be? We need to remove the shame-based aspect of food. Subsequently, we also need to remove the sanctimony involved with our food choices. Of course we can all make food choices that benefit the growers, the farm workers, the animals, the environment, but we don’t need to use these and things to brag about and make others feel less. But back to my shame-based statement… how many times have we said “Oh I deserve this because xyz” or “I can’t have that because I didn’t work out”?  Food is food. It’s for everyone and we deserve to eat what we like, not because we’ve earned it.

Who in the food world inspires you? José Andres for using his voice and heart for the entire world.

What words or phrases to you over-use? Adam: “Fuck.”  Matt: “Totally.”

What do you most value about food culture? It unites us. We can argue about politics and religion all damn day, but we all eat. 

What do you think the future of dining is?  It changes every few years. What’s new on the horizon next year will be dated in 3 years. It’s ever changing. So the future of dining will be anything and everything.

What is your motto? Be kind to yourself so that you may be kind to others.

Any favorite photos — perhaps one that comes with a fun behind-the-scenes story?   I could never pick any favorite photos!

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We love all the thoughtful answers (definitely food for thought) and can’t wait to step into their inspirational + gorgeous studio for welcome drinks & mingling leading up to a four course chef crafted meal and wine pairing…all while enjoying the (rediscovered) art of conversation.

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

Studio Armendariz + Pearson
428 West 10th Street
Long Beach, CA 90813
(x-streets Pacific + 10th)

Saturday, July 23, 2022, 6:00-9:00pm
$178 per person all inclusive 4-course chef curated meal + wine pairing
by the talented Chef Taylor Elam of Merkato

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