The SOMM Journal

May 2014

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Page 43 of 107

{ event wrap-up } 44 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } JUNE/JULY 2014 A "Field to Vase" Dinner SANTA BARBARA COMMUNITY GROWERS PRESENT A GOURMET GREENHOUSE FEAST by Bonnie Carroll / photos by Linda Blue DURING THE LAST WEEKEND OF MARCH EACH YEAR, farmers host public tours in the California greenhouses where 50% of all domestic flow- ers sold in the U.S. are grown. As a prelude to their public tours in 2014, flower growers in Santa Barbara—including B&G Color Nursery, Maximum Nursery, Myriad Flowers, Westland Orchids, Westland Floral and Westerlay Orchids—presented a "Field to Vase" media dinner at MOBI's Greenhouses in Carpinteria on March 27, where the gerbera daisies of host Winfred Van Wingerden provided a spectacular backdrop for the local feast. Theo Stephan, founder and owner of Global Gardens Olive Oil and Caliterranean Café in Santa Ynez Valley, was the star chef for the unique dinner. Theo began her quest to fulfill a dream to synergize her love for healthy food with her own Greek heritage when, in 1998, she purchased land in Santa Ynez Valley and planted olive trees with the intention of making extra virgin olive oil. This was the debut of the world's first mail-order Olive Oil & Vinegar quarterly food club in Los Olivos, where original seasonal recipes using EVOO, balsamic fruit vinegars and gourmet food selections can be purchased or ordered online. Theo recently published her first cookbook Olive Oil and Vinegar for Life: Delicious Recipes for Healthy Caliterranean Living. The dinner menu incorporated fresh flowers into each course. Appetizers of stuffed nastur- tium flowers with a Cypress Gardens chèvre and lemon olive oil center were a delicious starter, followed by creamy avocado soup with Meyer lemon, balsamic and a pansy smile flower, paired with a Westland Produce mixed salad with Johnny jump-up flowers, Theo's home-cured Kalamata olives, walnuts and blood orange balsamic dressing. The main course was an incredible edible flower plate of Dey's beef meat- ball layered with tomatoes, burrata cheese and marinated veggies, served with blood orange olive oil toasted kale and focaccia strips. Dessert was a delightful duo of Ani's olive oil strawberry ice cream with Caliterranean Café dream dust EVOO cookies, and Greenstar organic coffee. Margerum Wine Company's M5 Rhône-style blend and Sybarite Sauvignon Blanc were poured throughout the evening. Also in attendance were sponsor guests from Southern California Gas Company, Visit Santa Barbara, California CA Grown, Global Gardens, Carpinteria Greenhouse & Nursery Tour and representatives of the California Cut Flower Commission. The CCFC was founded in 1991, and exists to be ambassador and advocate for cut flower and greens farmers. For more information, visit Family Winemakers of California Tasting AUGUST 17, 2014 1-6 Trade; 3:30-6 Public San Mateo Fiesta Hall —From Our Table To Y ours— Meet California's fascinating family-owned wineries, hear their stories, taste their wines, share with your family and friends. To attend: FWMofCA_TastingPanel_fullpg_bleed_final 4/23/14 10:08 AM Page 1 Somm Journal June/July.indd 44 5/9/14 12:09 PM

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