Lark x Merkatö

We love that lark has become a platform for talented people who are passionate about their craft. Hence, we are thrilled to introduce Chef Taylor Elam of Merkatö. We met pre-pandemic and reconnected on (nearly?) the other side as our first opportunity to create + collaborate arrives 12/2/21 in the form of a private pop, with equally passionate guests, at the super hip Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach. 

Here’s a fun Q + A to understand why our chefs always have creative control of the menu!

Where are you from and where do you live now? 

From : San Juan Capistrano, California

Current : Newport Beach, California

What is your earliest memorable culinary experience?

I was probably 4 or 5 years old. It was chopping vegetables with my grandma & mother for Sunday dinners. 

What drives you to create food?

To always be better than your last plate.

We feel there is an expression or feeling you want to share with your craft? Are we onto something?

Absolutely. The satisfaction I get when people tell me that was one of the most unique preparations of an ingredient they’ve ever experienced. Those compliments reassure that all those years of hard work have paid off. 

You’ve worked in a quite a few kitchens, can you drop some names or share some highlights (thinking style, pace, vibe, high/low)?

Fleur de Lys, San Francisco – Modern French, classic & fun.  At the time they had a Michelin star. It’s where I got my start as a prep cook during my externship upon graduating culinary school. It’s also the kitchen thats responsible for me growing up. Hubert Keller is one of the nicest French chefs on the planet. That’s saying a lot haha. 

Spago, Beverly Hills – fast paced, elegant & militant. Hands down the toughest kitchen I’ve worked in. 4-6 hundred covers a night. Celebrities & Hollywood socialites were the norm. Expectations were firing high on all levels daily. The hyper focus I learned on technique, balance, detail &  seasonality helped mold me into the chef I am today. 

What should people know about fine dining?

It’s a whole other planet. It can make or break a young cook in the best possible way. It takes a certain kind of person to dedicate themselves to that world. 

What is behind the name Merkatö?

Merkatö translates to market in the esperanto language aka “International Language”. Esperanto doesnʼt belong to a particular nation it belongs to a community of people.

It’s known as a supranational language. Like many others itʼs used to communicate its culture, literature & magazines. Unlike all other languages, Esperanto does not have its own country, nor its own people. Instead, it belongs to itʼs community. We belong to a community.

Merkatö is a new concept launched during the pandemic, can you elaborate on the concept?

Breaking bread will always bring people together. We endeavor to use that language to tell stories, share space, invite partnerships and raise awareness of the farm-to-table process. 

We approach our work and our community with humility. We believe in sustainability and infuse it in all that we do. We respect ingredients, in recipes and in people.

Everyone is unique and deserves a personalized experience. We foster transparency in our work because we are proud of our ingredients, our partners, our employees and our achievements. Everyone is welcome at our table. No exceptions.

Merkatö (and/or your culinary quests) also has had other twists & turns. We like to see you hanging in there, how do you visualize Merkatö evolving?

Merkatö is evolving every day. Food is still the focal point & always will be, but I envision it to grow to so much more than that. Education, product development & destination dinners are new ideas I’ve been working on this last year. I have a small line of products that were approved by the FDA. I see it becoming more of a lifestyle brand as well haha. That sounds funny to me when I say that, but it feels like it having so many layers & ideas. Exciting stuff for the future!

What is your most marked culinary characteristic? 

I am very lucky to work with & highlight some amazing products here in the golden state. I am not a plant based chef by any means. I do love opening peoples minds with vegetable cookery & treating them as you would your favorite wagyu steak. 

Who is on your food prep playlist? 

Oh man hahah. I love everything. Really depends on the menu. Some of my cooking favorites the Grateful Dead, muddy waters, the Allman brothers, Skinshape, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Wilson Pickett, toots & the Maytals, Iggy Pop, Wu Tang, Bobby Womack, Social D. I could go for ever haha.

What ingredient can you not live without?

Quality olive oil.

Culinary school, yay or nay? 

Yay,  City College of San Francisco.

What not so obvious thing should people know about pursuing a career as a Chef?

It’s not as glamorous as the media portrays it. It has its glamorous moments, but there’s typically many years of sweat & tears before applause.

For those who cook at home, what is one easy must do tip you can give them?

Don’t compromise quality. 

Who are your heroes?

Anthony Bourdain

Jeremy Fox 

Paul Bocuse 

Andy doubrava 

Thomas Keller

David Chang

Alain Ducasse

Charlie Trotter

Huebert Keller 

Chris Consentino 

Brandon Jew

Sean Brock 

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

Although this lark is a private pop, we invite you along through our images & stories.

Q + A with Victoria Kennedy of Kennedy Contemporary in Newport Beach, CA

During the summer had a fun little creative session with Victoria Kennedy who happened to open her first Art Gallery (next to Kean Coffee in Newport Beach in March 2020 and never looked back. Follow our Q + A session below to learn a bit more about this determined and inspiring Gallerist:

Where were you born and raised—and where do you live now? 

I was born in San Marino and raised in Corona del Mar/Newport Beach. It was always my goal to leave the OC bubble (which I did for a period of time!), but I am so glad to be back as an adult. My husband and I live in Westside Costa Mesa and we love the creative community out here. 

Did you dabble or immerse yourself in art growing up? 

Definitely! One of my first art experiences outside of high school was taking a summer drawing course at LCAD. It was an incredibly challenging (and humbling) experience that gave me a lot of respect for artists. Similarly, I took an oil painting course at Stanford University and realized that my skill was not in creating art (ha!). But having experience in working with different artistic mediums gave me an understanding for how the materials work and how difficult it is to create unique and coherent art.

What led you to Stanford University? 

I had always had my heart set on Stanford as my parents met there when they were undergraduates and I had many fond memories of the campus and community. Luckily, I was recruited to play water polo at Stanford, so it was a natural fit! 

What did you “learn to embrace” about Northern California? 

Living in Northern California was really my first time immersed in the beautiful diversity of thought, culture, religion and ethnicity. I really embraced the openness and willingness to learn from others different from myself. 

Victoria Kennedy at Kennedy Contemporary
@kennedycontemporary

We understand you lived abroad for a spell, how does your experience inform your present day approach to life? 

After four years at Stanford, I spent a fifth year studying at Oxford University and using that time to travel and get my fill of academic life. Afterwards, I worked for Backroads, a luxury active travel company, and moved to France to lead tours in Normandy and Brittany.

Life abroad taught me two things: don’t be afraid to ask for help and be open to new experiences. There were times when I couldn’t figure out the best cell phone plan, how to pay road tolls, French dining etiquette, etc. Just asking for advice or assistance shows that you’re willing to put in the effort to integrate with the locals and connect! And ultimately, life is all about human connection. 

What is your greatest culinary pleasure?

I LOVE throwing dinner parties, which was why I love the concept of Lark! My go-to dinner is a roast chicken – most of it is done ahead of time, which gives you ample time to socialize with your guests and relax. And the leftovers can often last the whole week!

Tabletop on a guerrilla lark at Kennedy Contemporary
features @lunareece.ceramics

What is one of your favorite culinary experiences?

When I lived in London, my roommate and I put on an American Thanksgiving for all of our British and international friends. Our oven broke that morning (and luckily got replaced the day-of!), but we managed to make a whole turkey, apple + pecan pie, stuffing, and a salad. We had a blast sharing the traditions of the meal with our friends over many bottles of wine!

What was your first introduction to art?

In high school, I took AP Art History with John Gunnin. I loved learning about history through the lens of art and thoroughly enjoyed the course. It made me want to pursue a minor in Art History at Stanford.

What epiphany about art carries you to where you are today? 

All art is contemporary. Meaning every piece is created of its own time and in relation to that day, month, or year when it was conceived. Understanding this helps to put art in context, and context is everything! It’s why we praise Jackson Pollock even though paint splatters seem so trivial and amateurish.

You can look at a piece of art and think “I love this,” which is the most important step to collecting art. You have to love it. The second step is understanding why it was created and why its creation is significant.

Coppers Tritscheller Sculpture at Kennedy Contemporary
@coppertritscheller

One of your favorite things is helping people find the right pieces of art for their home—any inspiring stories  (or advice) to share? 

When we first opened, we had a client stop by the gallery briefly while at Susie Cakes. Immediately, they grabbed their partner and pulled them into the gallery to see an artwork. They bought it on the spot! 

The best part of my job is developing long term relationships with my artists and clients. Although I have been in the contemporary art world for years, it’s been really encouraging to cultivate relationships with new clients as a gallerist representing my own artists. There’s a beauty to investing long term in our artists’ careers and sharing their stories with our clients.

Texture, color, vibe at Kennedy Contemporary
@_joejustus

You started a community called The Bohemians Women’s Club what was the catalyst for that? 

Yes! I started the Bohemian Women’s Club in partnership with Ali Faulkner from AEF Interiors. We had both recently moved to the area, started businesses, and wanted to expand our professional networks of like-minded women. Since April, we’ve grown our network to about forty local women and host monthly events to connect with and support each other. It’s been awesome to buy from/partner with local women-owned businesses like the Grazing KitchenCabaneArgaux, the Regina Oswald Collection, and (of course) Lark…!

What is the greatest myth about the Art world? 

That you need to have a masters or PhD in Art History to understand and buy art… you don’t! Many of our clients buy art because they love it and want something beautiful and meaningful to enrich their lives. You can certainly educate yourself by going to galleries, fairs, auctions, and maybe taking a course in art history, but ultimately it’s about what you love and want to live with. 

We know you also love furniture…how did that come about?

If I could outfit my entire home with Sean Woolsey‘s furniture… I would! But for now, I’m happy to showcase some of his pieces in our gallery. Sean was super kind to lend us some of his pieces to create a comfortable gallery environment. One of our artists, Heather Zusman, actually used to work for Sean which initially spurred her interest in woodworking!

Woolsey chair at Kennedy Contemporary
@thewoolsey + @_joejustus

If you could be anything other than an Art Curator / Gallerist, what would it be? 

I am very happy being a gallerist and probably wouldn’t want to do anything else full time. I’m a true believer that you make the time for things that are important to you. For me, I’ve continued working out, writing and recording songs, going on long walks/hikes with friends, and traveling all while building and running the gallery. Maybe in the future, that will shift and I will renew my scuba diving certification or take a sommelier course (which are on my list of things to do!).

Kennedy Contemporary | @kennedycontemporary

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

Q+A with Laura of Laura Brophy Interiors in Newport Beach, California

Laura Brophy captured by @missymphotography at her studio in Newport Beach.

We are thrilled to set our 55th communal table at Laura Brophy Interiorsin Newport Beach on Friday 9/10/21 with the talented Chef Kyle Powers. We love her energy, eye for design and enthusiasm–and that she is always up for an adventure. Although our lark communal dinner has sold out, we invite you to come along with this brief dive “below-the-surface” into her beautiful world of design.


Q. Where do you call home? 
I reside in Southern California, but home to me is wherever I have family and right now we have an opportunity to be nomads,o  I feel like that could be anywhere. 


Q. When did you decide to open your own business? What factors came into play?
Oh gawd, that is a loaded question. Come to dinner and I’ll tell you about it. But really, I eventually got “over the fear” and just went for it. It is the best decision I ever made. 


Q. Is your interior style influenced by anyone…any heroes out there?I am constantly inspired by fashion and feel that this influence of design can play anywhere, even in interiors. Kelly Wearstler is a great example of funky and cool, constantly translating her fashion aesthetic into the homes she designs. 


Q. By the local businesses in your area, your studio location straddles both the old and new in creative conquests. How does this influence or inspire your work (or day)?Being connected to TToes on the Noseis a dream situation. Love their vintage fashion vibe and would love to see this play into the California home lifestyle. 


Q. The mood in your studio is so positive, do you a have work style/management philosophy? I like people to thrive at what they are great at. We have a group of people whose individual skills all contribute to a group effort and that makes all the difference. 


Q. We know your taste + love for beauty and style is expansive, has the world of design always been a part of your life?Yes, growing up I went to fashions shows with my parents and they also exposed me to Interior Designers. I got an early view of the creative process and became inspired. 


Q. What is your favorite question to ask a potential client? How creative can we get on this project? 


Q. What three things do you love about being a Interior Designer?

  1. How personal this business is… working on homes, you become intimately involved in a client’s life..
  2. I really enjoy being able to source things and meet really interesting people.
  3. I get to do what I love. I consider it a gift knowing not everyone finds what they are passionate about.

Q. Can you share a bit about The Next Layer? Yes, it’s something we offer our clients and it’s a great way to transform a home quickly and make a space look personal without doing a huge remodel. 


Q. We always ask our chefs about culinary school–– is design school necessary? Yes, just to gain confidence and extra knowledge. Honing in on portion and scale AND the why behind things is an important aspect when designing a home.  Once you have a solid understanding of design, well, that is when you can break the rules. 


Q. Who or what currently inspires you?Instagram, there are so many amazing great amazing people on there. You can connect with people you admire easily. 


Q. What is your favorite culinary pleasure?Chef Kyle’s food! Going on larks! I like interesting experiences — things that are different.

 
Q. How did you hear about lark? I heard about it from Lisa on “the downlow” while we were both working in similar industries…. I followed her on Instagram for year before I made the leap and fell in love.


Q. We have collaborated on many occasions, want to share a quick, fun story about lark?  Well….there was this one occasion when Lisa almost got swept away by the ocean. It was a guerrilla lark in Corona Del Mar and it was absolutely the hardest set up and breakdown…we scaled our tables, chairs and food over craggily rocks to arrive at our perfect location. We dined with our feet in the water. It was so different and so fun!

Super fun times on. guerrilla lark in Corona Del Mar. Image captured by The Delauras.

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

New dates to be announced soon!

Q+A with Maria Isles | All Things Design in Newport Beach, California

Maria & Max Isles + Izzy, Photo captured at Isles Interiors by the talented @lanedittoe

We love Maria’s style, the way she connects so easily with others, and her sense of adventure. We are thrilled to set our communal table at her gorgeous + well-curated atelier in Newport Beach on Saturday 2/29/20. Although our lark communal dinner has sold out, we invite you to come along with this brief dive “below-the-surface” into her beautiful world of design.

Q. Where are you from–and where do you live currently?

A. I grew up in Pasadena and currently live in Laguna Beach. I have also lived in Santa Barbara and abroad in Singapore.

Q. What was your favorite subject in school?

A. Definitely Art!

Q. What was your most favorite occupation?

A. Obviously Interior Design.

Q. When did you realize you had a knack for Interior Design?

A. When I was about 4 or 5 years old. My dad had a construction company and I used to go in his warehouse and make doll houses for my weeble wobbles out of scrapes of wood, metal and glass. I was also obsessed with my moms Architectural Digest from a very young age. 

Q. What is your favorite and/or most ideal project?

A. My ideal project would be a new build in Montecito, a modern version of a Spanish Colonial. That would be my dream house. Clean and timeless with lots of wood, dark metal and Spanish decorative tile, my absolute love. My favorite project is my own ongoing house. We live in an adorable tiny 1936 cottage in Laguna Beach. It is the quintessential beach cottage. 

Q. You go on “buying trips” what are some of your favorite places? 

A. My favorite place to go on buying trips is of course England where my husband Max is from. I love the old country antiques that we find there. They are timeless and the craftsmanship is amazing. 

Q. What was your first trip like?  Did someone take you–or did you venture out on you own? 

  1. We always find time when we go back to England to venture out and source. Its so inspiring over there, whether we are in London at some cool old shop or in the countryside at a car boot sale. I have always just ventured out on my own. I have had tips from locals but its fun to wander and discover. 

Q. Any regrets on an object you might have passed up?

A. I just passed up an antique Oushak runner a few weeks ago, and now its gone, it was the perfect size, color and price! But my worst regret is an antique Gustavian dresser that I found at an estate sale up by Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles. I purchased it but sold it in my shop. I think about it all the time and how I should not have sold it!!!  

Q. We love that you like to host/entertain is this something you’ve always done? 

A. I think I started to entertain about 16 years ago when we bought our little cottage. We have an amazing front yard with 22 fruit and nut trees. Its small but its perfect for having intimate dinner parties or summer lunches in the garden. Its pretty magical. 

Q. What is your most memorable meal?

A. I don’t know if I could say what is my most memorable meal, but I love food and my husband Max and I are vegetarian so when I find amazing vegetarian restaurants or meals I really remember them. 

Recently we went to Double Zero in Venice and I had the most amazing vegan spaghetti bolognaise or as my husband calls it spag bol. It was made with mushrooms and walnuts and so incredibly delicious. I found a similar recipe, its take a long time to make it but soooo worth it! 

Q. We feel food, conversation x design go quite well together, do you have any thoughts on this intersection? 

A. Good food and design are both so creative and appeal to your senses. So of course they both individually and combined make great conservation! It’s the perfect mixture. 

Q.. Do you have a favorite quote?

A. “Gratitude creates abundance’.

Q. Who Inspires you?

Q. Some of my favorite designers are:

Amber InteriorsShe just rocks it

Nickey KehoeThe perfect duo

Lauren LiessLove her timeless sensibility

Kendall ConradHer fashion sense

Q. How do you envision your future of Isles Interiors–what direction do you most want to go? 

A. For Isles Interiors we envision continuing with our full scale interior design studio. Expanding on our new builds and full remodels. We are also in the process of designing a new line of furniture by Max, 5 or 6 signature pieces, that we can’t live without! I would love to open a studio in Santa Barbara and eventually London. 

Create. Collaborate. Elevate. Come on a lark with us!

Thursday, March 26, 2020 at Hello Kestan in Irvine, CA {details TBA soon}!

Q+A with Summer Meek | Doing All Things With Love in Laguna Beach, California

Charlie & Summer Meet at The Soul Project in Laguna Beach

We were fortunate to meet Summer Meek at The Soul Project which is her gorgeous retail + event space in Laguna Beach. It’s warm and inviting and comfortable. We attended her The New Girls Network gathering and were surrounded by supportive female entrepreneurs who had gathered to share their stories. Now, we’d like to share Summer’s story:

Q. Since you are a native, what are your favorite childhood memories of Laguna Beach? 

A. Some of my favorite memories are of course long days spent at the beach, exploring the tide pools, hiking the hills. And my parents were both early Sawdust Festival artists and I have a lot of memories of time spent there. I think that’s where I caught my entrepreneurial spirit. Even then I had enterprising endeavors going on.

Q. We love how you ventured out to create + celebrate spaces that feel like home. Was this something you had always wanted to do?

A.  I have always believed in the energy of space. It’s challenging to explain and sounds woo woo to talk about but it is my super power. I love creating experiences I am passionate about it and add love to everything I do.

Q. You’re cottage-esque space is so warm and inviting, do you know the history behind it? Any interesting stories?

A.  My understanding is in the early days of Laguna Beach artists would come and build their cottage, live in the back, create during the week and then open the doors on the weekend for tourists. Before I moved in, The Knitting Store habituated the space. But during one Art Walk a woman came and shared that she once lived in the back and had her art gallery in the front it–was probably 25 years prior to me opening. She brought me pictures it was so fun.

Q. You began your business through creating graphic Tees for artists (and still do), but you are also constantly growing, evolving and exploring. What is it that drives / pulls you? Any advice for others?

A. When I opened I really wanted to create a community space and have people come have an experience, it’s interesting because that was five years ago and now experience is trending. I just saw it as an organic way to cultivate a community of like minded individuals. I am a curious person and I love to learn and I am always seeking new information and love learning about people and love to incorporate that into what we’re doing at the store whether that’s through product or new experimental offerings. Sometimes I meet these really an amazing people that I really want to work with because were aligned. Like when I met you.

Q. Your latest adventure, The New Girls Network has brought some exciting and energizing opportunities to your community. Where do you want (hope) it to lead?

A. We just celebrated a year since we started meeting, we meet the third Thursday of the month at The Soul Project, it’s a free networking event but it’s really more than that, it’s a place for woman entrepreneurs to gather in a supportive environment. There’s not posturing, you don’t have to be a certain kind of person and wear a certain outfit. You can show up as your authentic self. I don’t know where it will go and I don’t currently have plans to make it anything other than what it is. I have watched woman connect, make business happen, grow into an idea and bring it to life.

Q. It is fitting that The Soul Project is located in the revitalized “Hip District ” of Laguna Beach. Are there any behind the scene changes you are inspired by?

A. We have come together as a neighborhood and are really trying to breathe life into this part of town. We have some really amazing g retailers and new stores opening. I feell we are becoming the new Abbot Kinney.

Q. Thank you for opening your doors to lark! We can’t wait to dine in your “landscapers” garden, under the stars–have you always been a foodie?

A. I have been a foodie most of my life. I remember one day asking to be driven to the store so I could buy all the ingredients to make a chocolate cake from scratch. My mom asked how I knew to make it and I didn’t know, but I was inspired to try.

Q.  What is your most memorable dining experience?

A. There are so many it’s hard to pick just one. But the most recent one that comes to mind is a farm to table dinner put on by my friend and farmer at Blue Bird Canyon Farms in Laguna Beach. He works with a woman named Chef Jen Alvarez. It was the most beautiful setting, and the most delicious sustainable food. I could still describe every morsel I ate that night. There was also a very memorable drive up to a castle in Italy with a view to die for and a dinner that was some of the most delicious food.

Q. If you could dine with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?

A. Julia Child because she loved food, was cooky and zany, loved cocktails and didn’t seem to uptight. I had the pleasure of dining next to her not too long before she passed, that was most definitely one of my favorite star sightings.

Q, It’s an interesting and exciting time for female entrepreneurs – who are your current hero’s?

 A. Oprah Winfrey still impresses me on a regular basis and it’s inspiring how she has stayed true to her message and hasn’t seemed to sell out.  Gorjana Reidel is a local CEO that I have watched evolve her business and it’s really impressive.

Q+A with Julietta Sipprelle + Nicole Sayer | Setting Trends in San Clemente, California

It’s really about the people you meet along the way. Thrilled to share a little insight from our conversation with Julietta Sipprelle + Nicole Sayers, the fun, generous, and enthusiastic owners, of Poetry of Hair in San Clemente, who invited us to set our communal table their swanky bricked walled shop for a super fun lark with friends old & new.

Lark #46 with Julietta Sipprelle + Nicole Sayer of Poetry of Hair in San Clemente! PC to @kaileeinthekitchen

Q. What is your idea of a great day?

J: Living in the moment where ever and whomever I’m with. 

N: 6:00 am Hot Yoga or running, 10:00 am go on a hike with a friend, 12:00pm grab some lunch, 1:00pm hit the beach, 6:00pm dinner and drinks with friends

Q. Is the name Poetry of Hair derived from anything special? 

J: Nic and I wanted to bring Poetry into our salon with inspiring words for ourselves and our clients. We created a poetry wall while personally designing our salon, these poems inspired our name. 

N: Yes…I love literature and Poetry and we wanted to use Poems, quotes, etc…to inspire our clients. We have a black board that we change often with great quotes.

Q. What is your greatest extravagance?

J: Captain Jacks yearly on my birthday, “Best Crab Legs Ever!”

N: Dining out,

Q. What do you most love about San Clemente?

J: My clients who I consider my friends and family. 

N: The laid back atmosphere, the beauty all around me that I soak in everyday, the people, the climate and the style.

Q. Do you cook?  

J: I attempt, oh my poor daughter growing up. I prefer to bake. Love a good bread pudding.

N: Yes all the time. I’m pretty good at it too!

Q. What is your favorite food? 

J: Crab Legs and butter! 

N: Tacos!

Q. What is your most memorable dining experience?

J: Flying first class and dinning on the stunning coast of Cinque Terre Italy. Truly amazing!

N:  I’ve had many amazing ones, but probably Si Señor in Punta De Mita Punta De Mita, I love the food, drinks and the view is insane!

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?

J: To sing like my grandmother, and play guitar! 

N: To be able to fly.

Q. What question do you love to ask people? 

J: What do you do? Do you love it? It’s inspiring to hear so many people love what they do when they really think about it. 

N: How have they conquered the road to success? 

Q. What is your most marked characteristic?

J:  Making people beautiful. Through style, words, or just a smile. 

N: Independent and confident 

Q. Who or what currently inspires you? 

J: My daughter, Cierra, she is truly amazing! 

N:  I am inspired currently by all these people; Tony Robbins, David Goggins, Ed Mylett, Brendon Burchard, Rachel Hollis and I am totally inspired when I am in Sayulita Mexico!

Q. What is your motto?

J: Embrace the simple moments! They are truly beautiful! 

N: Do I live Fully? Do I love wholeheartedly? Do I matter?

Welcome to the prep! Lark #46 at Poetry of Hair in San Clemente! PC @kaileeinthekitchen
Hello San Clemente! So nice to meet you! Lark #46 w/Chef Kyle Powers! PC @kaileeinthekitchen

We are thankful Chef to all the beautiful people who gathered around the communal table to make this an evening to remember!

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

Guerrilla Lark | Traipsing Around the Super Hip Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach, California

A fast + fun way to get our creative juices flowing, uplift each other and thank our collaborators. Oh, and sometimes, taste some wine! Thanks to @winc for introducing us to “Folly of the Beast” Pinot Noir – it is definitely one of our our favs!

Super thankful to @kathryncolbyphotography for not only capturing the vibe, but for bringing all her good energy + ideas to our playful gathering.

We loved meeting Angie Boyd creator of @lupthelabel who shared with us her latest design, LOVE! Don’t be surprised if you find us wearing these gorgeous threads on a future lark!

Create + Collaborate + Elevate

This lark took place at the swanky (+ super accommodating) Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach, California

Someone is ready to go on a lark! Image features Kate Spade Glasses, Anthropologie Beach Bag, a bottle of Folly of the Beast Pinot Noir + this super hip Black Matte Swiss Cross by @lunareececeramics PC @kathryncolbyphotography
Lisa Martinez, Owner & Creative Director, setting the stage on a super fun guerrilla lark in Huntington Beach. Image by @kathryncolbyphotography features antique textiles from @igotrugs
Gorgeous 3 pocket linen jumper-dress handmade and designed by the talented @lupothelabel – PC to @kathryncolbyphotography
This red takes its name from the great Moby Dick quote “For there is no folly of the beast on earth that is no infinitely outdone by the madness of men”. Super thankful @winc suggested this delicious California produced (and vegan) wine for our upcoming lark!
We believe in working shoulder to shoulder with people who are passionate about their craft. We have been inspired by @lupothelabel since day one! Create + Collaborate + Elevate. PC to @kathryncolbyphotography
One thing leads to another. Diggin’ this gorgeous hand-made bohemian leather clutch by @dwleather and captured so well by @kathryncolbyphotography ! Thanks for the intro @lupothelabel !
We are pretty much obsessed with the minimalistic + modern style of @graflantz ! Introduced to us on a super fun lark with the ultra hip @coastmodern in Seal Beach. PC by @kathryncolbyphotography

On a {Holiday} Lark w/ Concept Studio Inc. + Chef Kyle Powers | Sleigh Bells Ring in Newport Beach, California

It was summer, lark was growing and our biggest challenge, TIME, becoming more challenging. We had thought about “the leap” a thousand times, even writing our perfect life scenario: time for all the things that make a life well, a life. The day arrived. Courage, confidence and faith showed up and swept fears aside.

I had worked at Concept Studio Inc. for a little under two years. From day one, I always felt it was informing me with its character, dedication and beauty. My co-workers were more like family with a colorful and inspiring history. A pretty bow on everything. A shiny and evolving showroom gleaming with style and beauty. But, it was time.

My voice cracked when I shared the news, an emotion over took me-completely by surprise. I really felt for the people I worked with and cherished the relationships and I was sad to leave them behind…but then a funny thing happened. A real life best-case-scenario. They were sticking with me after all. They supported and encouraged me. They rang with ideas and excitement. All of which I am so very grateful. It was therefore an honor to create a special lark holiday, just for us.

Popping up in a home brings a certain intimacy and this beautiful space was no exception. We dined outdoors (yes, we are in California) with a view of a gorgeous kitchen on one side-to enjoy prep + plate-and a well manicured garden on the other, twinkle lights all around. Wine poured, candles burned, music played all while enjoying the lost art of conversation.

Menu curated by the talented Chef Kyle Powers of 
Fork In the Road Catering

1/mushroom toast crispy mushrooms + white kimchi

2/pearl couscous, roasted winer squash, spicy pear, fennel + golden peppadew dressing

3/short rib stew w/roasted carrots + melting potato: <vegetarian stew alternate>

4/pear pudding crumble 

5/purple sweet potato pie, salted peach coating candy, root beer custard  

+++++

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

On a super fun holiday lark with Concept Studio!
Super fun times on a holiday lark with Concept Studio!
Super fun times on a holiday lark with Concept Studio! Cheers! Winter 2018.
Super fun times on a holiday lark with Concept Studio!
Super fun times on a holiday lark with Concept Studio!
spicy pear, fennel + golden peppadew dressing compliments of Chef Kyle Powers!
Gorgeous jewel toned florals by French Buckets!
short rib stew w/roasted carrots + melting potato compliments of Chef Kyle Powers!
Super fun times on a holiday lark with Concept Studio!

Imagery captured by our favorite foodie + conversationalist, Mitch Maher of MBMaher.com

On a lark w/Mindy Gayer Design & Hati Hati Home + Chef Kyle Powers | West Side Costa Mesa Baby!

Friday, October 5, 2018

On a lark at Mindy Gayer Design Co. + Hati Hati Home in West Side Costa Mesa

Hard to believe we are on lark #41! We started on “a dollar and a dream”, looking to combine what we loved professionally (producing) with what we love personally (people, food, wine & design). It’s been a fun and fulfilling adventure and our favorite part is being able to share it with you!

We discovered this diamond in the rough and immediately fell in love. Thankful to shortly thereafter, and coincidentally, make the acquaintance of local + clearly talented designer Mindy Gayer who envisioned and created this amazing space with her dreamer + doer business partner Kayla Adams and their joint venture of the gorgeous Balinese furnishings of Hati Hati Home.

Hanging out here with a heart & soul on a super fun lark at Mindy Gayer Design & Hati Hati Home in Costa Mesa

In scouting the space, we had a ton of ideas on how and when to create and collaborate on a lark – and we were quick to adapt when timelines and locations changed.  We were so happy that we landed on the original vision of seeing a communal table through the gorgeous large windows of their cool + modern farmhouse-esque building. With the warm lightening, it was a beautiful and welcoming sight. 

Super fun times on a lark at Mindy Gayer Design + Hati Hati Home

We are thankful for all the beautiful people who gathered in this intimate and inspirational space to enjoy the company of friends and family, enjoy amazing food and partake in the rediscovered art of conversation.

Special thanks to Mindy Gayer and Kayla Adams for opening their doors to us!  Also, much love to Chef Kyle PowersSommelier Tyler RodriguezPhotographer MBMaherCeramicist Andrea Luna Reece, the hip & knowledgeable purveyors of H2O The Urban Spring, Florista French Buckets , dreamers at Christy Coffee and Illustrator My Middle Name Is Starr for making this an evening to remember.

Modern, organic, social dining ~ come on a lark with us! 

Next lark Friday 10/19/18 at painter + photographer Lawrence Fodor’s Artist Loft in the vibrant Arts District of DTLA,

Super fun (& delicious) times on a lark at Mindy Gayer Design Co. + Hati Hati Home