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edible LA

Issue No. 2

Sharing the Story of Local Food & Culture

simple summer desserts Member of Edible Communities


get the recipe on p. 31

What’sinSeason Now SUMMER & EARLY FALL





© Marija Mandic / Stocksy United









12,000 mile/year limit. Excludes official fees, taxes and dealer charges. No security deposit required.

THE HYDROGEN-FUELED TOYOTA MIRAI. ITS ONLY EMISSION IS WATER. AVAILABLE NOW ON TOYOTA.COM/MIRAI 1. Actual mileage will vary. Range measurement pursuant to SAE J2601 standards (ambient temperature: 20°C; hydrogen tank pressure when fueled: 70 MPa). 2. Complimentary fuel for three years or $15,000 maximum, whichever comes first. 3. Available only on approved credit to qualified applicants through participating Toyota dealers and Toyota Financial Services on new 2017 Mirai. Mirai offer based on MSRP of $58,385 including handling and 12,000 miles/year limit. Monthly payment may vary depending on final negotiated price of vehicle and other amounts you qualify to finance, and your credit qualifications. See dealer for vehicle and lease program details. Offer only available in CA, while supplies last, for customers residing in CA within close proximity of an operating hydrogen station. Must take delivery by 8/31/17. Terms are subject to change or termination at any time. Toyota Financial Services is a service mark of Toyota Motor Credit Corporation (TMCC). ©2017 Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.


30 28 EDITOR’S LETTER p. 6

features 27





Simple summer desserts, all utilizing gorgeous seasonal fruits.









LA'S ESSENTIAL JAPANESE DISHES Some of our favorite, classic Japanese dishes (plus our favorite matcha treats) around LA. BY SHAUNA BURKE


We visited Larry Thorne, a local tomato wizard, at his gorgeous farm, tucked away in Malibu. BY KRISTINE BOCCHINO

FEAR IN THE FIELDS Increased immigration uncertainty deepens problems for California farms and farmworkers


WHERE TO FROM HERE? The local food movement 15 years after the first Edible magazine was published. BY MARION NESTLE

LOCAL HERO Meet the Los Angeles Community Garden Council and learn how to start your own community garden!






SIP ON THIS Pitcher cocktails are perfect for summer entertaining - throw everything into a pitcher, add ice, stir, and serve! BY RYAN CAVEYWOOLPERT



THE FOOD HISTORIAN Learn about the history of wine in Los Angeles. BY MAITE GOMEZ-REJÓN



BEHIND THE LINE In this season's industry spotlight, meet Brandon Kida, executive chef at Hinoki and the Bird in Century City BY RYAN CAVEYWOOLPERT

Regenerative organic agriculture is an approach to food and farming that regenerates topsoil and enhances biodiversity now and long into the future.

Our non-GMO Mango + Almond Bar is an example of how we use regenerative organic agricultural practices in Nicaragua to grow and harvest mangoes.

Join our revolution at www.patagoniaprovisions.com

editor's note

edible LA NO. 2




It seems like summer is the season many of us wait all year for juicy tomatoes, grilled corn, endless sweet summer fruits. What I love about summer produce is the ease of it all. I can pick tomatoes and serve them so simply, just sliced with a sprinkle of sea salt. A handful of juicy peaches just need to be pitted, quartered, and tossed with burrata or feta cheese and soft herbs - or, my personal favorite, a sliced peach topped with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream! This is the season to get outdoors, go to the farmers' market as often as possible, and truly enjoy all that summer has to offer. From pitcher cocktails to simple summer desserts, we've compiled some fantastic recipes which make it easy enough to enjoy the best of summer from your own backyard - no need to sit in beach traffic this weekend! Hope to hear from you soon. With much love,


Shauna Burke, Editor in Chief edit@ediblela.com

Winner of James Beard Foundation Award 2011 Publication of the Year

EDITOR IN CHIEF Shauna Burke CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kristine Bocchino Shauna Burke Ryan Caveywoolpert Maite Gomez-Rajón Ruksana Hussain Elizabeth Limbach Marion Nestle CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Michelle Magdalena CONTRIBUTING ILLUSTRATOR Jeremy Dellarosa

To Subscribe, visit ediblela.com or call (310) 579-9715 ADVERTISING INQUIRIES


EDITORIAL INQUIRIES edit@ediblela.com CUSTOMER SERVICE & SUBSCRIPTIONS hello@ediblela.com MAILING ADDRESS 27407 Pacific Coast Hwy Malibu, CA 90265 CONNECT WITH US ediblela.com facebook.com/ediblelamag instagram.com/ediblelamag twitter.com/ediblelamag

No part of this publication may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. ©2017 Pulp & Branch LLC. All rights reserved.

15 recipe index food 9 Lobster Roll 12 Strawberry Rose Geranium Jam 15 Celery Salad with Dates, Almonds, & Parmigiano 15 Rigatoni with Broccoli and Sausage 16 Matcha, Pink Peppercorn, & Wild Strawberry Madeleines 28 Blueberry Nectarine Crisp

Find the recipe online at



28 Crème Fraiche Panna Cotta with Berry Compote 30 Redbird's Pavlova with Lemon Curd Mousse & Macerated Berries 31 Cheater's Pavlova with Figs, Blueberries, & Cherries

drink 13 Moon Juice's Petal & Berry Beauty Tonic 23 Porch Pounder 23 Fireflower on the Mountain 24 Sonoran Sun 24 Day 25 Sparkling Blackberry Gin Lemonade


edible NEWS

news & nibbles CONNECT WITH US


Enter for a chance to win two tickets to the California Vegetarian Food Festival (cavegfoodfest.com), taking place September 16-17, 2017 at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood. To enter: 1. Follow @EdibleLAMag on Instagram 2. Post an original photo of one of your favorite vegetarian dishes in LA, tag @EdibleLAMag, and include #edibleLAcontest. Winner will be chosen September 5.

JOIN "SHARED PLATES" TO FIGHT HUNGER & SUPPORT L.A. KITCHEN Shared Plates is a city-wide weekend of dinner parties, taking place October 6-8, 2017, to rally Angelenos in the fight against hunger, food waste, and unemployment. Anyone can host a Shared Plates dinner and every dollar raised supports L.A. Kitchen (lakitchen. org). Getting involved is easy: 1) SIGN UP. You'll get to choose your own ticket price, number of guests, and time/date. 2) INVITE GUESTS. We'll email you a unique RSVP link that your guests can use to purchase tickets to your Shared Plates dinner. 3) GET INSPIRED. You'll get an official #SharedPlatesLA Host Kit with fun swag, decor, recipes, and a suggested program! Visit sharedplates.org for more info or to sign up.

FIND YOUR TRUE FORK Wanderlust Hollywood will be hosting a series of dinners celebrating mindful eating, no matter what your diet. Culinary forces like Anya Fernald, CEO and Co-Founder of Belcampo, James Beard finalist Seamus Mullen, and Food & Wine Best New Chef Matthew Kenney will be presenting thoughtfully crafted meals, each focused on making healthy, ethical food choices. Visit wanderlusthollywood. com to buy tickets or for more info.


If there's a local event that should make our calendar, let us know! hello@ediblela.com

@EdibleLAMag #FeastOnLA


When: AUG 12 Where: MBS Media Campus manhattanbeachchamber.com Over 20 restaurants from the South Bay will work side-by-side with local and Southern California craft breweries to give attendees delectable pairing experiences. Head over to New York Street for this extraordinary afternoon filled with entertainment, delicious bites, craft beer, and wine.

L.A. LOVES ALEX'S LEMONADE When: SEP 9 Where: UCLA Campus - Royce Quad mastersoftastela.com

Decadent and delicious, L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade brings superstar chefs and mixologists from all over the country to Los Angeles to lend their support to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) and the fight against childhood cancer.


When: SEPTEMBER 16-17 Where: Raleigh Studios Hollywood cavegfoodfest.com

A celebration of plant-based, green, and wellness products! Vegetarian food companies, restaurants, health and wellness vendors, green-minded companies, and animal welfare organizations attend to meet families, consumers, retailers, and members of the media.


THE ALBRIGHT'S LOBSTER ROLL serves 2 INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 lb cooked lobster meat 1/4 cup celery, finely diced 1 tsp celery salt 1/4 cup butter, melted 1/4 cup mayonnaise zest of 1 lemon juice of 1/2 lemon 1 tbsp chives, thinly sliced INSTRUCTIONS 1 Add all ingredients to a bowl and toss gently to combine. 2 Serve on a lightly buttered and toasted New England style hot dog bun. Note: Lobster mixture can be made up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated.

Greg and Yunnie Morena, owners of The Albright, are currently at the helm of one of the Santa Monica Pier's most notable attractions. Yunnie’s parents opened SM Pier Seafood in 1977, after emigrating to the United States from Korea, which they successfuly operated for 35 years. In 2013, Yunnie and Greg took over and renamed the restaurant The Albright in honor of the nautical Albright knot which signifies tying together two paths, just as this family restaurant has now tied together two generations. They modernized and streamlined the look while preserving the restaurant’s original character, creating a menu with a commitment to sustainably caught seafood and locally sourced ingredients. Their latest venture, Pappy's Seafood, is slated to open mid-July in San Pedro. •

This recipe is fast and versatile. We love it served on a bun, but it can be served over a bed of greens or even served with crackers as an appetizer.



"Santa Monica Brew Works recently released a sublimely refreshing summer brew called cucumber kölsch," says contributing illustrator JEREMY DELLAROSA (Essential Japanese Dishes to Eat Now, page 32). It's a great place to hang out after work, but it's also really easy to run in and grab a growler of beer on my way home."

"I love popsicles," exclaims contributing writer MAITE GOMEZ-REJÓN (The Food Historian, page 48). "Lime, tamarind, coconut, mango, you name it. I love them all. Mateo's Ice Cream & Fruit Bars is my favorite place for popsicles in LA. They're locally owned and have a few locations around the city. Their flavors immediately transport me to lazy summers growing up on the Texas and Mexico border."

"I love sitting by the pool at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire while sipping on a spiked affogato," says contributing writer KRISTINE BOCCHINO (Rooted in History: Thorne Family Farm, page 17). Order an affogato with their housemade vanilla bean gelato or ice cream, topped with a shot of espresso and a splash of chilled Bailey's Irish Cream. It's a decadent treat without that guilty feeling of eating dessert while in my bathing suit!"

We asked our contributors to dish on their


"The ice cream at Mashti Malone's in Hollywood is unbeatable," says contributing writer RUKSANA HUSSAIN (Local Heroes, page 21). "Their flavors - especially the rosewater sorbet and the pistachio saffron - are flavors I have not had anywhere else. It brings back memories of my childhood in India and Oman."


"There's just something about a good fruit pie that screams 'summer'," says contributing writer RYAN CAVEYWOOLPERT (Pitcher Cocktails, page 23; Behind the Line, page 50). "The strawberry lavender hand pie at The Pie Hole in Hollywood (with other locations across the county) is not only delicious but also portable and perfect for a road trip or a beach picnic."

"Grab a bottle of rosé from Malibu Rocky Oaks Estate Vineyards and head to the beach or a summer barbecue," recommends editor in chief and contributing writer SHAUNA BURKE (Easy Summer Desserts, page 27; Essential Japanese Dishes to Eat Now, page 32). "Another great idea is to head over to the local-centric Vintage Grocers in Malibu to stock up on local snacks, wine, or even an iced coffee from the in-store Groundworks Coffee."

© Sonja Lekovic / Stocksy United

Where are your favorites? We want to know! Share on social media and tag @EdibleLAMag

reading corner







James McWilliams (Counterpoint Press)

John T. Edge (Penguin Press)

Seventy-five percent of the world's food derives from just five animals and twelve plants and author James McWilliams searches for a more diversified, expansive palate with the assumption that doing so could save the planet. He introduces readers to insect manufacturers, road kill foragers, plant biologists, and others who seek to change the future of food. A truly fascinating read. -eLA

James Beard Award winning author John T. Edge has thoughtfully told the story of Southern history through one of life's most unifying topics: food. From race relations to the shaping of America's entire culinary landscape, you definitely do not have to be Southern to appreciate this education. -eLA


Seamus Mullen's Grilled Lambchops with AnchovyWalnut Chimmicurri

Jeff Krasno (Rodale Books) Wanderlust Hollywood's (wanderlusthollywood.com) Jeff Krasno has put together this beautiful new book, featuring recipes from renowned chefs like Matthew Kenney, Seamus Mullen, Anya Fernald, and more, all exploring the ideas of ethical food choices whether your diet is paleo or vegan or somewhere in between. Head to ediblela.com for Seamus Mullen and Matthew Kenney's recipes, pictured on the right. -eLA

Matthew Kenney's Milk Chocolate Pudding 11

THE MOON JUICE COOKBOOK COSMIC ALCHEMY FOR A THRIVING BODY, BEAUTY, AND CONSCIOUSNESS Amanda Chantal Bacon (Pam Krauss/Avery) The founder of LA's trendy wellness brand shares her thoughtful and unique recipes and ideas in the new Moon Juice cookbook. Two of our favorites, the strawberry rose geranium jam (perfect for the season) and the petal and berry beauty tonic are shared here. -eLA


Makes 10 ounces INGREDIENTS 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries 10 Medjool dates, pitted and soaked in water for 30 min 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice ¼ tsp raw vanilla bean powder 2 drops of geranium essential oil INSTRUCTIONS 1 Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until completely smooth. 2 Transfer to a wide-mouth jar and dehydrate at 118°F or the closest setting on your dehydrator for 1 hour. 3 Store jam in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Excerpted from The Moon Juice Cookbook (Pam Krauss Books/Avery) Copyright © 2016 Amanda Bacon

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Petal & Berry Beauty Tonic Makes 32 ounces INGREDIENTS 4 cups water ½ cup goji berries ¼ cup dried hibiscus flowers 2 tsp rose water 1 tsp ground schisandra berries Raw honey or stevia (optional) INSTRUCTIONS 1 Bring the water to a boil. Place the goji berries, hibiscus, and schisandra in a 1-quart glass jar. 2 Add enough boiling water to cover and set aside to steep for 1 hour. 3 Strain, reserving the solids for a second batch if you like (I also like to snack on the plumped goji berries, or you can blend them into a smoothie, coconut yoghurt, or nut milk for a vibrant sunset color). 4 Stir in the rose water and sweetener (if using). Enjoy immediately or cover and store in the fridge for up to a week to enjoy hot, chilled, or combined with sparkling water. Excerpted from The Moon Juice Cookbook (Pam Krauss Books/Avery) Copyright © 2016 Amanda Bacon


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SIX SEASONS A NEW WAY WITH VEGETABLES Joshua McFadden (Artisan) In a gorgeous cookbook that may inspire readers to hit the farmers' market more often, McFadden shares simple recipes that seem classic and modern at the same time. Covering - literally - every season, this is a book worthy of a spot on the kitchen shelf. Two of our favorite season-appropriate recipes from the book are on the opposite page. -eLA


Excerpted from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2017. Photographs by Laura Dart and A.J. Meeker.

RIGATONI WITH BROCCOLI & SAUSAGE There are two cooking tricks in this recipe. First, tossing the florets into the pasta pot for the last couple of minutes of cooking: It’s efficient, but it also integrates the broccoli into the pasta sauce, as all the florets break up when you drain and toss the pasta. The second trick is shaping the sausage into patties instead of crumbling the sausage into the pan and browning it. You get a deep, browned crust on both sides of the sausage patty, but the interior stays moist. When I finish the dish, I break up the patty, producing crunchy bits, soft bits, tender bits—you get a lot of texture and flavor without overcooking the sausage. The hot pasta water added to the dish finishes off any of the undercooked bits of sausage.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese 1/2 tsp kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed 1 Put the ricotta, salt, and 20 twists of pepper in a food processor and start to process. 2 With the motor running, add the olive oil in a thin stream. Pause and scrape down the sides if needed. The mixture should get lovely and creamy. Taste it and adjust with more salt, pepper, or even a bit more olive oil—you should be able to taste the oil as well as the ricotta. 3 Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

serves 4 INGREDIENTS 3 to 4 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced Extra-virgin olive oil 1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage, bulk or casings removed Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 8 oz rigatoni 1 lb broccoli, stems trimmed and peeled, stems sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch coins, and tops cut into florets 1/4 tsp dried chile flakes 1/2 cup Whipped Ricotta (see below) About 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs (optional) INSTRUCTIONS 1 Put the garlic in a small bowl and pour over enough olive oil to cover. Shape the sausage into 4 balls, then flatten them like a hamburger patty. 2 Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt until it tastes like the sea. Add the pasta and cook to just shy of al dente according to the package directions. 3 Meanwhile, heat a small glug of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage patties and cook until nicely browned on one side, about 4 minutes. 4 Add the broccoli coins and the sliced garlic, including the oil, to the skillet. Flip the sausage patties and keep cooking until the sausage is just about fully cooked (it’s okay if it’s a touch pink in the center, because it will continue to cook a bit), another 4 minutes or so. Break up the sausage with a spoon into bite-size chunks. Add the chile flakes and cook for 30 seconds or so. 5 With a ladle or a measuring cup, scoop out about 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, add it to the pan to stop the cooking of everything, and slide the pan from the heat. 6 About 3 minutes before the pasta should be al dente (according to the package directions), add the broccoli florets and cook all together until the pasta is ready. Scoop out another cup of pasta cooking water, drain the pasta and broccoli, and add to the skillet. 7 Return the skillet to the heat. Add 1/4 cup or so of the pasta water, the whipped ricotta, and half the Parmigiano. Season generously with salt and black pepper. Shake the pan to combine the ingredients, put back over medium heat, and cook for a couple of minutes to warm everything through and make a nice saucy consistency. 8 Serve with more Parmigiano and top with the breadcrumbs (if using).


CELERY SALAD WITH DATES, ALMONDS, AND PARMIGIANO serves 4 This is one of my favorite dishes. It’s so simple, but the combination of ingredients creates a wonderful, intriguing aroma. Try to use really good olive oil for this salad. INGREDIENTS 8 celery stalks (leaves separated and reserved), tough fibers peeled off, sliced on an angle into ¼-inch-thick pieces 4 Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped ½ cup roughly chopped toasted almonds (see below) 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice ¼ teaspoon dried chile flakes Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved into shards with a vegetable peeler Extra-virgin olive oil INSTRUCTIONS 1 Put the celery in a bowl of ice water and soak for about 20 minutes to heighten the crispness. Drain and pat dry, then pile into a medium bowl. 2 Add the celery leaves, dates, almonds, lemon juice, and chile flakes and toss together. Season generously with salt and black pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add the Parmigiano and ¼ cup olive oil and toss gently. Taste again and adjust the seasoning so you have a lovely salty, tart, sweet balance. Serve cool. 15

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Matcha, Pink Peppercorn, & Wild Strawberry Madeleines Excerpted from Japanese Patisserie by James Campbell (Ryland Peters & Small, $24.95) These buttery scalloped French sponges are best baked just before serving. The addition of matcha powder turns them a brilliant shade of green and superbly complements the sweetness. If wild strawberries are not available, they can be substituted with small berries of your choice such as blueberries or raspberries. makes 12 madeleines

INSTRUCTIONS 1 First, make a beurre noisette (browned butter). Put the diced butter in a saucepan and set over mediumhigh heat for around 5–7 minutes until melted and boiling. The fat at the bottom of the pan should start to go a nutty-brown colour, but be careful this does not darken too much and burn. Transfer the browned butter immediately to a heatproof dish and set aside to cool until just warm. 2 In a separate bowl, sift together the ground almonds, matcha powder and flour. In another separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites with the sugar until frothy. Carefully fold the dry ingredients, warm beurre noisette and ground pink peppercorns into the sugar and egg mixture until fully incorporated and no lumps remain. Transfer the mixture to the fridge to chill for a minimum of 1 hour. 3 Preheat the oven to 350°F 4 Put the chilled madeleine mixture into the piping/ pastry bag and pipe in enough to fi ll the greased moulds. Alternatively, you can spoon the mixture in. Press two wild strawberries into the centre of each madeleine and bake in the preheated oven for 10–12 minutes until risen and golden-green. Remove the madeleine pan or mould from the oven and allow to stand for a minute. Remove the cakes from their moulds and serve warm with strawberry jam/jelly or curd on the side, if desired.

Photo: © Mowie Kay

INGREDIENTS 1 1⁄4 sticks butter, diced 1⁄2 cup ground almonds 3⁄4 tablespoon matcha powder 1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour 5 1⁄4 oz egg whites 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar 1⁄2 tablespoon pink peppercorns, ground 24 wild strawberries, hulled and rinsed


THORNE FAMILY FARM Rooted in History

© Ina Peters / Stocksy United



he first thing visitors might feel after stepping onto the idyllic 25-acre Thorne Family Farm in Malibu is that generations of memories are forever rooted in the soil here. The array of antique gardening tools, children’s toys, and free-roaming Australian shepherds are all proof that this is no industrial, mass-producing agriculture operation, but rather a small, sleepy, family-run farm tucked away on Bonsall Drive, just beyond some of the world’s most famous beaches and sprawling mansions. Larry Thorne is the current owner and farmer, along with his wife, Laurel, and their children. Thorne’s parents purchased the Malibu property in 1938 - nearly 80 years ago - and his father farmed the land until the early 1960s. Thorne took over operating the small family farm with the goal of instilling in his children the values and rewards of hard work. In the 1970s, Thorne attempted to expand the farm and sell his produce, but the timing just wasn’t right and the business never took off. Over the next three decades, he never shook the feeling that he desperately wanted to spend his years doing something he truly loved. In 2011, after much contemplation, he decided on one last attempt to make his life's passion his profession. Thorne started out by setting up a little picnic table on the street, where his children would look forward to selling fresh fruit to their neighbors on weekends - their own version of a lemonade stand. This time around, the local community couldn’t resist Thorne's amazingly delicious strawberries, blueberries, and olallieberries, which put Thorne Family Farm on the map! Thorne jokes that his competitors initially despised him because his “tomatoes didn’t taste like tomatoes” and his “strawberries didn’t taste like strawberries.” His tomatoes were rich, concentrated, and bursting with flavor, while many of his competitors' fruit lacked any character or flavor whatsoever. Unfortunately for all consumers, finding flavorful tomatoes - especially in mainstream markets - can really be such a rarity these days. According to Thorne, it’s simple, “big farming grows for tonnage and I grow for flavor," he says. Every decision Thorne makes is with that goal in mind - from the varieties of tomatoes he's chosen and the type fertilizer he uses to the time of harvest and the watering patterns. “Fruit produced on big farms is bred for shipping,” he says. Big companies must be certain that by the time their produce travels hundreds or even thousands of miles and spends days or weeks on trucks that the fruit will still be in sellable condition upon arrival, which may not be exactly what nature intended.

UNIQUE WAYS TO USE HOMEGROWN TOMATOES 1. Spiced yellow tomato chutney 2. Tomato basil sorbet 3. Tomato bacon jam 4. Homemade ketchup 5. Dehydrate to make tomato chips 6. Slow roast and preserve in olive oil 7. Bread and fry thickly-sliced tomatoes with chickpea flour as a gluten-free bed for Eggs Benedict 8. Pickle heirloom tomatoes to use in sandwiches 9. Make-ahead savory tomato tarte tatine to serve with a simple green salad - an easy, light meal for brunch, lunch, or dinner 10. Homemade Bloody Mary mix

Now with over thirty products coming from the farm, Thorne's business has grown steadily year after year, with many local restaurants seeking out Thorne Family Farm's berries, vegetables, stone fruit, citrus fruit, fresh herbs, and his top-notch tomatoes. Thorne meets with chefs twice per year to discuss their needs for the upcoming seasons and he plants accordingly. Restaurants such as Rose Café in Venice, Farmshop in Brentwood, The Cannibal in Culver City, and Soho House's Little Beach House in Malibu all swear by Thorne's produce. Reyes Medina, who purchases for Rose Café, says, “over the past 5 years I have loyally sourced from Larry Thorne because his care and passion for what he does comes through in his produce season after season.” Thorne Family Farm is not only recognized locally here in Los Angeles, but was also chosen as a host farm for a recent Outstanding in the Field event, co-hosted by chef Jason Neroni of Rose Café. Tickets for this event sold out at lightning speed and diners traveled from all over the region to attend, tour the farm, and enjoy a delicous meal using much of what Thorne grows.

GROWING TOMATOES AT HOME' Thorne begins planting tomatoes in mid-April, continuing to plant through July, and they pick through November. Although they grow eight varieties of tomatoes on the farm, he suggests Big Beef tomatoes as the go-to option for the at-home, backyard grower. “Big Beef tomatoes produce some of the biggest, best-flavored tomatoes and perform really well in our [Southern California] climate,” he says. His insider tips for producing a delicious crop are to “plant in full sun, don’t over fertilize, and don’t overwater”. These are the three mistakes that many first-time home gardeners often make. Tomatoes need to struggle a bit to gain complexity and overwatering will cause a loss of that flavor concentration that makes homegrown tomatoes so special. During years when there just isn't enough rainfall, Thorne will dry-farm his tomatoes (similar to how many wineries grow their grapes), meaning he will not manually water the tomato plants at all. Using only what Mother Nature provides, the tomatoes harvested in these years are exceptionally exquisite. As he strolls down the rows and rows of towering tomato plants, Thorne can’t help but lean down to pull a few weeds that have popped up since his last walkthrough. The way he gently touches the plants as he walks by, it's almost as if he's letting them know that he's there, just saying hello. •

Š Darren Muir / Stocksy United

Head to ediblela.com to get this simple, rustic tomato tart recipe!


Illustration: iStock.com/ Elena Medvedeva; Photo: iStock.com/ monkeybusinessimages


COMMUNITY GARDENS MATTER Meet the Los Angeles Community Garden Council BY RUKSANA HUSSAIN

t’s no revelation that community gardens in urban areas have witnessed an increase over the past few years. According to one report by the National Gardening Association, food gardening in the U.S. is at its highest levels in more than a decade. One local organization that has slowly and steadily been making a difference is the Los Angeles Community Garden Council (lagardencouncil.org), which partners with 40 community gardens in Los Angeles County to take care of the business side of gardening, offering gardening advice and workshops to more than 125 community gardens in the area. This includes traditional community gardens, where people rent a plot to grow their own fresh produce, educational gardens where gardening, landscaping, nutrition and cooking are taught, and urban farms where volunteers grow vegetables for local markets and people in need. Executive Director Julie Beals says, “LACGC is in the unique position of having more people approach us, with nearly all of our community gardens having waitlists for plots. The Crenshaw Community Garden, for example, has 36 plots and a waitlist of over 200 people!" Since 1998, the organization has strengthened

communities by building new community gardens and supporting existing gardens such that every person in the county can grow healthy food in their own neighborhood. The long-term vision is a garden network for Los Angeles where people of all ages live healthy, active lives in a clean environment by growing fresh food. “The largest project we are working on is the East Hollywood Community Garden on Madison Ave.” shares Beals. “The 24,000 sq. ft. site will include a public park and 35-50 plots to lease to local residents as well as a 700 sq. ft. educational building with a deck for indoor/outdoor gardening instruction, landscaping, water conservation, nutrition, and cooking.” LACGC is in the final stages of obtaining the necessary city permits to turn this into a reality. Locals are realizing the benefits of community gardening, too. Growing one's own food is a way to get people outdoors, to be more active, meet new neighbors, and also just makes healthy eating more approachable. People come together to share their love of gardening, regardless of their ethnic or socio-economic background. Community gardens transcend social barriers and can help reduce neighborhood crime as well. Take, for instance, Glassell Park Community Garden, 21

which is a huge success story of transforming an unattractive vacant lot into a community garden where former gang members now volunteer. Stanford-Avalon Community Garden is another success story with many of the gardeners here being first generation immigrants from Central America who do not have access to the regular workforce, so their families rely on the produce from their garden plot for their survival. Starting a community garden is not as easy as simply getting the community together and planting a few saplings. Beals shares, “The hardest part is the community organizing. Once we have negotiated the lease for a new garden site, we need at least three months to canvass the neighborhood, organize 3-4 community meetings to design the garden, hold elections for the volunteer leadership team positions, and organize a volunteer day to build the garden.” The South Pasadena Community Garden with 36 raised beds, was built in three hours with 65 volunteers, a good instructor, lumber that was pre-cut and pre-drilled, and bags of soil. “Gardens tend to fall apart when one individual tries to do everything on their own and/or when someone builds the garden without listening to what the local community wants to have in that space.” LACGC also helps with articles of incorporation, bylaws, agreements, and other rules and guidelines. They provide detailed resources on everything from garden rules to plot applications, budgets and responsibilities to tools and planting guides, and best urban farming practices. In its almost 20 years of operation, the team here has gained invaluable knowledge on community gardening and is constantly sharing information not just through the website but also through their social media channels, hosted workshops, fundraising and awareness events, and other community partnerships to truly make a difference in the local food scene that will be beneficial to community members well into the future. •


Paso Robles Wine Country

The Community Garden start up guide, available on the LACGC website, is a useful resource addressing some of the topics integral to starting a community garden: Identifying land, if it is available for lease, and performing a soil test

Determining the type of community garden to begin in the space

Mobilizing community support for building the garden

Forming a volunteer leadership group to organize the community

Planning on how to manage the garden’s finances

Organizing funds to cover setup expenses, garden maintenance, and water bills


sip on this

PITCHER COCKTAILS The pitcher cocktail is the absolute epitome of easy and carefree summer entertaining. Simply pour ingredients into a pitcher, add ice, stir, and serve! Local bartenders offer some great recipes, all utilizing summer's best produce. BY RYAN CAVEYWOOLPERT



9 oz Don Julio Blanco tequila 4 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice 1 1/2 oz Giffard Abricot du Roussillon liqueur 3 oz simple syrup 3 oz Aperol 6 oz East Imperial grapefruit tonic water cucumber slices, for garnish lemon wheels, for garnish grapefruit slices, for garnish

9 oz bourbon 6 oz fresh tangerine juice 4 1/2 oz Amaro Angeleno 3 oz fresh lemon juice 2 oz honey syrup 1 bunch food-grade lavender 1 tall can (24 oz) Miller High Life beer



2 parts Tajín seasoning 1 part cayenne pepper 1 part granulated sugar

8 oz filtered water, warm or at room temperature 3 cups honey

Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix thoroughly.

Whisk honey and water until honey is completely dissolved. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

PREPARATION Illustration: iStock.com/ helterskelter_n


PREPARATION 1 Combine all ingredients, except garnishes and tonic water, in a pitcher, add ice, and stir well. 2 Top with tonic water, sprinkle with Tajín mixture, and garnish with cucumber slices, lemon wheels, and grapefruit slices.

Add all ingredients to pitcher and stir to combine.






INGREDIENTS 6 oz Pisco 3 oz Lime Juice 2 oz Grapefruit Juice 3 oz Prickly Pear & Raspberry Syrup 4 dashes pink grapefruit and agave bitters soda water cucumber slices, for garnish fresh mint, for garnish fresh seasonal berries, for garnish


Cmbine all ingredients in a pitcher filled with ice Stir well to combine all ingredients Top with soda water Garnish with cucumber slices, berries, and a sprig of fresh mint


1 Muddle rasberries and mint and place in pitcher. 2 Add vermouth and stir. 3 Add plenty of ice, then the cider, lemon juice, and peach bitters. Stir lightly and serve in short glasses. 4 Garnish with mint leaf and raspberry. •


amaroangeleno.com A bittersweet California amaro, perfect for enjoying over ice on a hot summer day.


INGREDIENTS 24 oz Golden State Mighty Dry Cider 12 oz Berto white vermouth juice from 1/2 lemon 12 raspberries 8 leaves fresh mint 8 dashes Fee Brothers Peach Bitters.

Discover Olivella — the all new signature restaurant at the authentically reimagined Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. It’s a true culinary achievement where valley-to-table cuisine comes alive with an adventurous California take on Italian gourmet. And, it has recently been honored as the only 4 star restaurant between LA and Northern California. Reserve your favorite table today.

855.830.0343 OjaiResort.com

Leopold's summer Gin


falconspirits.com California's Falcon Spirits Distillery just released this herbal amaro, made with Castroville artichokes as well as locally sourced herbs, roots, fruits, and flowers. Enjoy it in cocktails or on its own after a meal.

leopoldbros.com Gin lovers might already be familiar with Leopold's phenomenal smallbatch gins, but their new Summer variety - with its delicate floral notes and bright citrus - is not to be missed during its limited release!

sip on this

Sparkling Blackberry Gin Lemonade INGREDIENTS 1 750ml bottle Prosecco or dry sparkling wine 4 oz Leopold's Summer Gin 3 oz fresh lemon juice 2 oz honey 1 pint blackberries 1 bunch fresh mint 1 lemon, seeded and thinly sliced

PREPARATION 1 Add honey and lemon juice to a pitcher and whisk until honey is completely dissolved. 2 Add all remaining ingredients, stir well, and fill pitcher with ice.•


Steep a cup of Yogi tea and you have something more than delicious. Every intriguing blend of herbs and botanicals is on a mission, supporting energy, stamina, clarity, immunity, tranquility, cleansing or unwinding.

®,©2015-2016 East West Tea Company, LLC

Every cup is a gift to mind, body and spirit.


Simple Summer Desserts It's definitely not the season to shy away from desserts. The produce available during these hot summer months - berries, nectarines, peaches, cherries, figs, and on and on - hardly even need to be touched to turn into something decadent and sinful. These desserts are not only simple, but truly allow this season's beautiful bounty to shine.

Photo ŠNatasa Kukic/Stocksy United




serves 6

Valerie Gordon of Valerie Confections in Rampart Village shares her super simple recipe for panna cotta, a make-ahead classic. Head to the farmers' market to pick up the summer's best berries! INGREDIENTS 2 tsp powdered gelatin 3 tbsp cold water 2 cups heavy cream 2 cups crème fraiche 1cup sugar 1 lb mixed berries ½ cup sugar INSTRUCTIONS 1 Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a small bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes, until the gelatin softens. 2 Pourthe heavy cream, crème fraiche, sugar and gelatin into a medium saucepan and heat, stirring, over medium-low heat until the gelatin is melted; do not let the mixture come to a boil. 3 Pour the cream mixture into a pitcher and divide among six 6-ounce vessels, filling each about 1 inch from the top. Chill at least 3 hours, until set. 4 While the panna cotta is chilling, pour one pound of mixed berries and ½ cup of sugar into a medium saucepan and cook over a medium heat. Stir the fruit gently with a heatproof spatula until the fruit starts to release it’s juices. Immediately remove from heat and transfer into a cool vessel to stop the cooking process. Chill the compote. 5 When ready to serve, top each panna cotta with about 2 heaping tablespoons of compote and accompaniments of your choice. optional accompaniments: whipped cream, nuts, fruity olive oil, fresh soft herbs, fleur de sel, candied citrus

Zoe Nathan, owner and baker of Huckleberry Cafe in Santa Monica, says to "only make this at the peak of summer, when the nectarines are ripe and soft and the blueberries are full of flavor." Crisps and crumbles are so satisfying and they are really an ideal way to showcase seasonal fruits. INGREDIENTS TOPPING: 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature 1 cup almond flour 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar 1 tsp kosher salt FILLING: 11 ripe nectarines, sliced into eighths 3 cups fresh blueberries 2 tsp cornstarch 3 tbsp granulated sugar 3 tbsp brown sugar 1/4 tsp kosher salt INSTRUCTIONS 1 Preheat oven to 350°F. 2 To make the topping, combine all topping ingredients in a bowl and blend with your fingers until homogenous. Refrigerate until needed. 3 To make the filling, toss the fruit with the cornstarch, sugars, and salt. 4 Pour the filling into a 9 1/2 x 13 1/2 baking dish and sprinkle with the topping, allowing bits of fruit to peak through. 5 Bake until the filling bubbles and the topping is deeply browned, abot 1 hour. Serve warm ot at room temperature, with ice cream or whipped cream.


PAVLOVA with Lemon Mousse and Macerated Berries

Photo © Redbird Los Angeles

Redbird's pastry chef, Kasra Ajdari, has shared this classic Pavlova recipe that will stun dinner guests all summer long.

PAVLOVA SHELL 4 large egg whites pinch of salt 250 g granulated sugar 10 g corn starch 10 g Champagne vinegar 5 g flavoring extract (vanilla, almond, etc.), optional 1 Preheat oven to 300° F 2 Combine sugar and corn starch in a bowl and set aside 3 Begin whipping egg whites and salt in a mixer at medium speed. When whites are foamy and no liquid remains, begin slowly adding sugar/starch mixture to the whites, then increase speed to high until stiff peaks form. 4 Once stiff peaks have been reached, add vinegar and extract (if using), continue whipping until the texture of the whites tightens and they gather around the whisk. 5 Mound the meringue on a parchment lined baking sheet, and spread with a spatula or spoon into a rough round shape about 8-9 inches in diameter and 1-1 ½ inches high. 6 Bake for 1 hour. Turn oven off, leaving Pavlova shell in the oven, and prop oven door open with a wooden spoon wrapped in aluminum foil until shell is completely cool.

LEMON CURD MOUSSE 155 g lemon juice 200 g granulated sugar 3 large eggs 3 large egg yolks 5 grams salt zest of 1 lemon

30 g unsalted butter 500 g heavy cream 1 Combine all ingredients, except butter and cream, in a small mixing bowl. Place over a double boiler and whisk until thick. 2 Remove from heat, add butter, and blend into curd with a hand blender or whisk. Strain the curd through a fine mesh sieve. 3 Cover curd with plastic wrap on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold. 4 To finish the mousse, whip heavy cream to medium peaks. Loosen the Lemon Curd by stirring or whisking it first, then fold the whipped cream into the lemon curd.

MACERATED BERRIES 2 cups mixed berries 65 g granulated sugar pinch of salt Grenache vinegar (or Champagne vinegar) Combine the berries, sugar, and salt in a small bowl and toss to combine. Add a splash of vinegar and allow the mixture to sit for at least 30 minutes.

ASSEMBLY 1 Carefully remove the delicate Pavlova shell from the parchment and place on a serving platter. 2 With the back of a spoon, gently break the top of the shell to create a nest for the mousse and berries. 3 Top the shell with a layer of mousse, then spoon the berries (including some juice) over top. Optionally, garnish with fresh herbs like basil or mint.

Cheater's Pavlova

Photo Š Nadine Greeff/Stocksy United

(we used store-bought meringue cookies!)

INGREDIENTS 14-16 large vanilla meringue cookies 2 cups whipped cream 3/4 cup lemon curd 4 fresh figs, quartered 1/2 cup fresh blueberries 1/2 cup fresh cherries, pitted and halved edible flowers, for decoration, optional

continue to fold in. The goal is to maintain a light, airy consistency. 3 Using a spoon, gently spoon the whipped cream mixture over the meringue cookies, making sure that some of the cookies are still visible on the outer rim. 4 Arrange the fruit on top of the whipped cream mixture and, optionally, garnish with some pretty edible flowers.

INSTRUCTIONS 1 Arrange meringue cookies in a circular shape on a flat, round platter.

Serve immediately. •

2 In a medium bowl, stir the lemon curd with a rubber spatula to loosen it up a bit. Gently fold in about half of the whipped cream, then add the remaining half and 31



© Ina Peters / Stocksy United



ABURIYA RAKU West Hollywood

The word tofu in and of itself can elicit fear among many, but this delicate, fresh, housemade tofu at Aburiya Raku is a delight unlike any other. This must be the true nature of tofu - velvety, flavorful, and truly worth the trip. Don't miss it.



Santa Monica & Torrance


There are so many wonderful ramen spots around the city now, but the classic miso ramen at Santouka, located in the popular Mitsuwa Marketplaces in Santa Monica and Torrance, still holds up to all its competitors.

Beverly Hills

Not only is Nozawa Bar (the secluded sushi bar inside Sugarfish Beverly Hills) one of the most authentically Japanese sushi experiences in LA, their tamago - made with local Apricot Lane Farms eggs - is the perfect end to the meal.

Uni Tempura TEMPURA ENDO Beverly Hills



The best thing about yakitori (typically, yakitori is skewered chicken which is cooked over a charcoal fire) is being able to order a handful of different items to share. Favorites are chicken livers, quail egg wrapped with bacon, beef flap meat, shiitake mushroom, and ginko nut.

Hot Dragon Udon

Anyone who has had an authentic tempura experience can never go back to the soggy, greasy tempura available at some local sushi joints. Tempura Endo offers tempura that is perfectly crisp and light, and while you could just go for the classics like shrimp or mushroom, give the buttery uni tempura a try!



While noodles are hand-stretched and cut right at the counter, enjoy a big bowl of tender udon - a favorite is the hot dragon with ground pork - and a glass of oolong tea. The creamy uni udon is also unique, but who's to say you have to order just one.

Ramen Hood, in Downtown's Grand Central Market, serves up impressive vegan ramen, with all the appropriate accoutrements!

Little Tokyo


SMITH & TAIT'S SECRET MENU Alexandra Morton and Lauren Hogarth opened Smith & Tait Coffee Bar in West Hollywood after being inspired by the "simplicity and communal functionality" of Japan's coffee shops and coffee culture. Their small shop, tucked just far enough away from the bustle of Santa Monica Boulevard that it manages to remain quiet and quaint, feels like stumbling upon a hidden gem. "We knew we wanted to open a take-away shop - which is not the norm around LA - so we took cues from the creative, clean designs and attention to detail that made the small Japanese shops so special and integrated those ideas with our own LA vibe," Morton says. Morton and Hogarth make their passion for coffee and community very clear. It's their secret menu, with Japanese-inspired drinks like the decadent black sesame latte and the refreshing ("perfect for summer" is an understatement) yuzu cold brew, that allows them to get creative and offer more than the basics.

black sesame latte

ew old br yuzu c

Smith & Tait Coffee Bar 866 Huntley Drive, West Hollywood smithandtait.com

DRINK UP Bar Jackalope, the intimate backroom whiskey bar located inside Downtown's Seven Grand, was modeled after the whiskey lounges of Japan and offers comparative whiskey flights, whiskey education, and an extensive whiskey list. Expect candlelight, Coltrane records, and a quieter vibe as imbibers sip and savor the whiskies of the world. Don't expect a long menu of craft cocktails - it's strictly highballs and flights here, for the most part. The bar only seats twelve, plus twelve more on their cigar patio, so this is definitely the place to be for an after-work unwind. Bar Jackalope 515 W 7th Street, Los Angeles 213hospitality.com

Photos: Left, Bar Jackalope; Right: iStock.com/ Jayshiao




Hamada Ya Bread Bar & Coffee Santa Monica


Baltaire Restaurant Brentwood

Matcha Box Beverly Grove

MATCHA MATCHA MATCHA Some of our favorite matcha treats in LA

MATCHA CROISSANT Mr. Holmes Bakehouse Highland Park


MATCHA MOCHI MatchaBar Silver Lake

Café Dulcé Little Tokyo


FEAR IN THE FIELDS Increased immigration uncertainty deepens problems for California farms and farmworkers BY ELIZABETH LIMBACH PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHELLE MAGDALENA


or third-generation farmer Maria Inés Catalán, agriculture is her culture. The 55-year-old owner of Catalán Family Farm in Hollister is carrying on a tradition passed down from her grandfather, who was a farmer in Mexico, to her father, who came to the United States as a contract laborer in the 1960s, and mother, who worked in American fields for 30 years. Catalán was the last in her family to immigrate to the United States from their home state of Guerrero, Mexico. Then 25 years old, she worked for large ag companies picking vegetables like lettuce, spinach, and peppers. Several years later, she and her siblings tagged along with their mother to a talk about organic agriculture,and Catalán was hooked: She embarked on a threeyear training program at the Rural Development Center (the predecessor to the Salinas-based Agriculture and LandBased Training Association, or ALBA), learning everything from operating heavy machinery to pest management. When Catalán started her farm in

the late ’90s, she says it was unheard of for a Latina woman to go from agricultural worker to organic farm owner. The two decades since haven’t been easy—farming rarely is, and aside from surmounting the challenges of being a non-Englishspeaking female farmer, she faces the problems that plague all local farms, large or small, such as reliance on an immigrant workforce at a time when immigration reform is desperately needed, the resulting field labor shortage, extreme weather, and thin margins. But today she farms 14 acres (down from 80 after a catastrophic well accident in 2014), reaching consumers through farmers’ markets and a CSA program, and selling directly to local restaurants. It’s a family business, with her children and grandchildren now learning the ropes of sustainable agriculture. Catalán believes that farming is a way to honor her heritage while providing healthy food to her community. But following the election of President Donald Trump last November, who had run on an anti-immigrant agenda, and the actions he has taken since then to pursue it, she has new worries not only for her own business, but also for the local community and food system. “When he became president, I spent the whole night crying,” Catalán says, through an interpreter. And she’s seen her distress reflected in the farmworker community in the months since the president took office. “I see more people in fear, and I know farmworkers who have left [the country] willingly,” she says.


It’s no secret that California’s multibillion-dollar agriculture industry relies on a largely undocumented workforce— U.C. Davis estimates the total to be as high as 70%. But the last few decades have been a time when government and employers tended to “look the other way,” says Doug Keegan, an attorney and the program director of Santa Cruz County Immigration Project (SCCIP) in Watsonville. “It was some kind of tacit understanding that immigration would not come to our region and conduct large37

scale indiscriminate raids,” Keegan says. “I think everyone is of the opinion now that that deal is off—that at any time now, there could be the return of large-scale raids.” Immediately after his inauguration, Trump followed through on campaign promises with a burst of executive orders aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration. Among the directives were pushes for an increase in border security—including construction of a wall and additional border agents; cutting federal funding to sanctuary cities; an expanded definition of which undocumented residents are deportable; growing the ranks of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents; a freeze on refugee entry; and the so-called “travel ban.” The already heated political climate became even more highly charged, and alarm spread through immigrant communities across the country—including in California fields. “There is a lot of fear and panic in the farmworker community,” Keegan says. “There is concern about raids in the fields.” And these fears may be causing this already vulnerable population to be too frightened to access basic services like health care and food assistance, or report crimes, putting it at even greater risk. While there are an estimated 800,000 undocumented residents in Los Angeles County, according to the Public Policy Institute of California (and one million when Orange County is accounted for, reports the Pew Research Center), the county’s farmworker population is relatively low. “There is very little [agriculture], actually,” Dr. Gaspar Rivera-Salgado, a project director at the UCLA Labor Center specializing in farmworker issues. “Farming here is diminishing year by year.” Rivera-Salgado says there are no more than an average of 5,000 workers employed in agriculture in Los Angeles County—and, true to statewide figures, he says around 65 percent are likely undocumented. Go to a local farmers’ market—Rivera-Salgado frequents Santa Monica’s—and you’re likely to see produce from the Oxnard area or elsewhere. Like a lot of places, much of LA’s fresh fruits and vegetables come from the Central Valley and Central Coast, meaning the state’s broader farmworker picture affect’s LA’s dinner plates, too. In the months following Trump taking office, SCCIP was flooded with hundreds of requests for guidance, legal advice, and resources. Many of the families seeking assistance have been here for years, and often have mixed status, meaning, for example, parents are unauthorized but

the children are legal residents. “There is a lot of concern about what happens to their children if [the parents] are deported,” Keegan says. Families are making sure their kids have passports and even liquidating their local assets, says Brett Melone, director of lending for California FarmLink. The organization, which connects independent farmers— including immigrants who began as farmworkers—with land, loans, and business resources, is also waiting to see if it will be affected. “There’s the issue of employing people who are undocumented, and then there’s the issue of lending to people who are undocumented,” Melone says. “The risk is slightly different, but it’s definitely something we have a heightened awareness about.” Given the fact that immigration from Mexico has declined in recent years, and farms are already struggling to fill out their crews, the current administration’s approach to immigration could further handicap an already impaired ag industry—sending food prices soaring as a result. The good news is that this spring, the administration offered some promising comments about not targeting farmworkers with its enforcement actions. But thus far, the new cabinet’s aggressive anti-immigration policies and the absence of concrete new protections for farmworkers have at best confused the matter and at worst contributed to a continuing decline in the farmworker population. Farms are holding a collective breath as they wait to see how they will be affected. “Now is the time that a lot of the workers would normally return from Mexico to get started for the new season,” says Keegan, speaking in March. “Whether they’re able to return or not is a big question, given the increased security at the border.”

Like a lot of places, much of LA’s fresh fruits and vegetables come from the Central Valley and Central Coast, meaning the state’s broader farmworker picture affects LA’s dinner plates, too.


“It’s not just a Trump thing,” Jeff Larkey says on a bright March afternoon. “It’s something that’s been developing over some time.” The farmer was seated under a shade structure in the center of the smaller of two properties that comprise Route 1 Farms, in Santa Cruz. It was the warmest day of the year so far—the last in a string of sunny days sandwiched between rainstorms—and the fields had finally dried enough to allow for planting. Larkey and his crew were racing to finish before the rain started again. Larkey has been farming this land since 1981, when

he and four friends each had an acre and a half. He’s the last farmer standing, and has seen his operation swell to 155 acres, in total, and then shrink down to its current 55. Sustainable farming is his calling—he says he can’t imagine doing anything else. But it’s becoming harder every year. “It used to be that one out of every five or six years would be a bad year, depending on supply and demand, but now it seems like every other year is a battle just to break even,” he says. A labor deficiency is the main culprit: “Over the last five years, it’s been an increasingly difficult job to find enough farmworkers to do what needs to get done—what I mean by that is capable, professional farmworkers.” California farms have been struggling with an increasingly dire worker shortage for several years. At the root is the lack of comprehensive immigration reform that would allow capable workers to come to the United States to work in the ag industry. There’s the H-2A guest worker visa program, which has echoes of the beleaguered Bracero Program of yesteryear and is largely opposed by farmworker advocates and often spurned as too expensive and problematic by farmers. But an increase in border security, slowing of immigration from Mexico and spiking prices for border crossing—plus this area’s high cost of living and lack of affordable housing—have led to a drought of workers. “We’re not getting an influx of new labor,” says Keegan. “People are really discouraged and prevented from entering.” A February piece about the California shortage in The New York Times reported that “the once-steady stream of people coming from rural towns in southern Mexico has nearly stopped entirely.” Additionally, the fieldworkers who are here are aging, and it seems many of their children are not taking jobs in the fields. “I think most farmers will say in private, ‘Yeah, we’ve got a problem here,’” Larkey says. “But they aren’t necessarily willing to say it in public. They’re unwilling to speak out for fear of becoming a target or losing part of their workforce.” Immigration issues may threaten larger farms and those with unauthorized workers most, but this puts a squeeze on the already shrinking workforce—meaning farms must compete for fewer workers, and often come up short. The result includes unharvested fields, financial losses and shrinking production. Last year, when it came time for Route 1 Farms to augment its year-round workforce with seasonal help, the labor was nonexistent. The farm wound up losing money. “There were all these crops that just got swallowed up by the weeds,” Larkey says. “We couldn’t take care of and harvest them.” This year, to cope with the new labor landscape, Larkey planned to cut back on production, concentrating on crops that he knows he’ll be able to handle. “Our farm is in jeopardy because of it, no doubt,” he says.

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To gauge the need for farmworkers in California, one needs only to look to the number of guestworker visas being requested


by growers, says Rivera-Salgado, with the UCLA Labor Center. Ten years ago, he says there were around 3,000 farmworkers in California through the H2-A visa program; last year, there were more than 11,000. “That’s an indicator of how much of a need the growers have,” he says. “Growers in California have been lobbying very hard to increase the number of visas available to these programs, and they are at odds with the Trump administration because the main policy and the main discourse emerging from the administration [suggests] that they don’t want to increase these visas.” Meanwhile, the labor shortage has forced farmers to be more creative in their efforts to attract and retain workers. “Growers are now convinced that the labor supply is shrinking, and there’s high competition to retain the current workers,” he says. Methods include raising wages, providing new or improved farmworker housing, and shifting positions from seasonal to year-round to offer workers more stable employment. Scarcity increases value, and workers are reaping some benefits from being in high demand. “It has resulted in a resurgence of organizing among farmworkers,” RiveraSalgado says. “In Salinas, for example, workers are organizing and demanding higher wages, taking advantage of the fact that there is a shortage of labor.” He cites another recent example in which strawberry workers in Washington landed a wage hike from $12 to $15 an hour. “[Workers] are in a position of more power,” he adds. Farmworker wages in California have gone up 28% since 2010, according to the Employment Development Department. (And there’s a minimum wage increase and overtime bill in the works.) But raising pay alone won’t solve the problem, says Jim Bogart, president of the Salinasbased Grower-Shipper Association, which represents more than 300 member farms and other agricultural businesses, providing them with legal services, advocacy, labor relations and human resources support, education and other assistance. “There’s just a smaller pool of workers to provide the labor,” Bogart says. Tanimura & Antle, a large Salinas-based grower known for its lettuces and brassicas, fell short on harvest staff in 2015 despite paying workers an average of $16–18 per hour plus productivity bonuses. After failing to harvest 200 acres because of it, “we needed to make sure that didn’t happen again,” says COO Tim Escamilla. For a solution, the farm considered turning to the H-2A temporary worker program, which it utilizes at its Yuma, Ariz., location. Employers are required to provide housing for H-2A workers, so, in preparation, T&A built

a new housing development on its Spreckels farm called Spreckels Crossing. Much to its surprise, the complex turned out to be a draw for workers who were already in the United States: “What we found was that once many of our domestic harvest employees who work with us in Yuma heard about Spreckels Crossing—and that it was new, comfortable, well-outfitted, safe and affordable—we started getting approached by people who wanted to come and work the Salinas season with us,” Escamilla says. As a result, T&A was able to meet its 2016 needs without using the H-2A program after all. As of this writing, T&A expected to fill out its crews again this year with farmworkers already in the country. Broz made further shortage-driven changes this year, such as choosing to scale back on raspberries, which are handpicked and laborious. Also new this year, Live Earth began hiring seasonal workers in March—several months before it normally would—to guarantee it would have the help when it needs it. As in past years, the farm will hold U-picks aimed at bringing in customers to help with the picking of its tomatoes. Golden State farms are still reeling from the recent five-year drought, and many of their adaptations are geared toward addressing lower water availability, as well as lower labor availability. “You see a transformation to less water-intensive and less labor-intensive farms, so the rise of almonds or the rise of avocados, for example,” says Rivera-Salgado, citing two crops that can utilize sophisticated irrigation systems, thereby cutting down on the number of workers needed. If the Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology, in Salinas, has its way, automation will help solve the labor supply issue, which it frames on its website as a “man vs. robot” matter: “Will immigration reform be the answer to this problem or will robotic harvesting technologies be the future?” Hank Giclas, senior vice president of strategic planning, science and technology at Western Growers, points out that mechanization has been successfully adopted in bagged greens and salads, and he believes that berries are next. “I see automated harvesting of berries in the not-too-distant future,” he says. But winning farmers over to automation, he says, could require them to adapt in ways they haven’t seemed willing to historically, such as changing what and how they grow. To help make the machines more accessible, he believes the industry may need to devise renting and sharing programs so that individual farmers will not have to buy the costly machinery.

When it comes to fixing the labor crisis, much of the ag industry sees immigration reform as the most crucial solution.

Some California farmers are already finding relief in machines—take, for example, a fig, persimmon, and almond farmer profiled earlier this year in the Los Angeles Times who bought $600,000 of equipment when Trump was elected. But automation still seems like a pipe dream to many other growers—especially smaller ones. The options that currently exist are not as cost efficient or quick as human labor, and many farmers, including Larkey, are skeptical that automation could ever be the answer. “It’s not going to solve the problem,” says Larkey. “If it does, you’re going to cut out many small- and medium-sized farms—run them out of business. They wouldn’t be able to mechanize. And that’s not a good thing because you want those farms that grow lots of different crops.” This is exactly why there must be more research and development in this area, says Rep. Jimmy Panetta, who began representing the Central Coast in Congress in January. We’re lagging behind countries in Europe on the mechanization front because we’ve been able, historically, to rely on a workforce coming over our Southern border, he explains, adding that the United States may be forced to catch up given the changing political and socioeconomic atmosphere. “The immigration rate from Mexico has dropped, as you know, so who is going to fill that void?” he asks. “I do believe machinery can do that, but it’ll take investment.”


When it comes to fixing the labor crisis, much of the ag industry sees immigration reform as the most crucial

solution. “We’ve been in favor of comprehensive immigration reform since day one,” says Bogart, of the Grower-Shipper Association, “and as part of that reform, specifically with regard to agriculture, we need access to a legal and stable workforce.” For farmers and the advocacy groups and legislators who support them, this means a few key reforms: legalizing the existing workforce and expanding, improving or replacing the temporary guest worker visa program, which Bogart describes as broken beyond repair. “That really needs to be fixed so that we have access to workers that would supplement our regular workforce at the time we need them and in the numbers we need them, without a bunch of bureaucratic red tape hoops to jump through,” Bogart says. Bogart feels “hopefully optimistic” thanks to some assuaging comments out of Washington over the course of the spring. On April 25, President Trump issued an executive order aimed at improving agricultural and rural wellbeing that pledged to “ensure access to a reliable workforce and increase employment opportunities in agriculture-related and rural-focused businesses.” A few days later, the newly appointed Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, told a town hall in Kansas City that the ag industry shouldn’t be worried about the administration’s anti-immigration efforts. "He understands there are long-term immigrants, [including] undocumented immigrant laborers, [and] many of them are doing a great job contributing to the economy of the United States," Perdue said, referring to Trump in his remarks at a town hall meeting sponsored by the Agricultural 41

Business Council of Kansas City on April 28, according to a report by Southwest Farm Press. Collectively, Bogart says these statements “give us encouragement that immigration reform—or at least something to address the farm labor shortage—is forthcoming.” A partial solution may come in the form of immigration legislation introduced on May 3 by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and a handful of other democratic senators. Known as the Agricultural Worker Program Act of 2017, it would protect farmworkers from deportation efforts and provide a pathway to legal status and eventual citizenship. But while it does offer a way to safeguard the existing workforce, the bill does not address the need for guestworker program reform—and, in Bogart’s words, “We need both to fix the problem.” The bill had yet to be voted on as of press time. Santa Cruz County Immigration Project’s Keegan is not so encouraged by the administration’s recent comments. “The increased security at the border means fewer workers will be able to travel to fill the jobs required by the ag industry,” he says. “Farmworkers will continue to fear deportation until there is concrete policy or immigration reform that protects them.” And as for Feinstein’s proposed legislation, his hope is measured. “The Agricultural Worker Program Act, if it passed and became law, would go a long way to easing the labor shortage in agriculture. But without bipartisan support, its chances of passage, like all immigration reform efforts in the past 30 years, are slim,” Keegan said in early May. Meanwhile, the administration’s messages are mixed. ICE’s arrests of noncriminal immigrants have doubled under President Trump, as reported by The New York Times. On March 30, Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Fox News that noncriminal immigrants like farmworkers “is not where ICE is focusing its effort at all.” But soon after, on April 11, Sessions gave a tough-on-immigration talk at the border, stating, among other things, that individuals who re-enter the country will now be charged with a felony, rather than a misdemeanor—effectively making returning undocumented farmworkers and other immigrants into criminals, and therefore subject to deportation. “Employers want more than empty or sometimes contradictory promises,” Keegan says. “Those employers need a stable and experienced labor force that will not be targeted by an administration whose focus is deportations.” Even if the administration doesn’t directly target farmworkers—no raids in the fields, for example—policies like increased border security and targeting sanctuary cities could still put a strain on the farmworker population, thus weakening the already shrinking workforce. (Sessions himself has said that border entry is already down 60%, thanks to Trump.) As for whether California growers will have their 42

demands for more guestworker visas met, Rivera-Salgado isn’t holding his breath. “At this point it’s clear that growers in California, and even workers, are demanding an increase in these visas,” he says. “I’m not sure the Trump administration is at a point where they could move on something like this. I haven’t seen any sign in terms of changes of their rhetoric on immigration, and increasing visas might be seen as a weakening of that position.” The silver lining of the roiling immigration debate is that it’s finally being discussed, says Broz, owner of Live Earth Farm in Watsonville and president of the Santa Cruz Farm Bureau. `“Maybe it takes an administration like the one we have right now to [make people] realize what’s at stake,” he says. “[Maybe] enough people will put pressure on elected officials to implement comprehensive immigration reform. Things might come to a head where things have to get done.” The trick in getting the new administration’s ear, says Panetta, will be to drive home the economic argument. “First thing is you’ve got to get Donald Trump … out to the fields,” Panetta says. “This is a guy who grew up in Queens, who lived in a golden tower. The last person he picked in his cabinet was the secretary of agriculture. In the budget he put forward, he wants to cut 21% from the USDA. We need to speak to him on economic terms and let him know that the food he eats doesn’t just come from the store, but it comes from the fields. And in order to get from the field into your mouth, it takes people.” Reckoning with immigration in agriculture requires everyone to care about where his or her food comes from and how it got to them, says Broz. After all, everyone—no matter their politics—needs to eat. “There is a disconnect that I feel we have between consumers and food producers [where] many people don’t trust or don’t even understand what it takes to bring food to your plate,” he says. “It’s a long-term effort to close this gap and we all need to pitch in, because down the road we will face more and more issues—whether it’s climate change, labor, all of those things. Ultimately we are all connected to agriculture because we all eat three times a day. We all have a stake in it." For Catalán, the owner of Catalán Family Farms, the motivation for consumers—and for that matter, the president—to understand where their food comes from and in particular, the effect immigration policy has on food, is clear. When asked what she would say to the president if she had the opportunity, she says, “Without Hispanics, there is no food for low-income people. Food prices will rise, and only the wealthy people will be able to afford it.” • Elizabeth Limbach is a freelance journalist living in Santa Cruz, where she writes about culture, the food system, and the environment. This article was first published in Edible Monterey Bay.

Where to From Here? The Local Food Movement 15 Years Later

Edible Communities began in 2002 with the launch of Edible Ojai (CA), a magazine that chronicled the rising interest in farm-to-table/local, organic, and natural foods. Since that time, the organization started by Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian has grown into a revolutionary, award-winning media network that encompasses over 90 independently-owned and operated magazines and websites across the United States and Canada. In 2011, Edible Communities was recognized by the prestigious James Beard Foundation as “the voice of the local food movement.” As the organization celebrates its 15th anniversary, Marion Nestle looks back at how the local food movement has changed the way we eat and how the world (especially the U.S. and Canada) can best ensure—via political action and other means—a healthy and sustainable food supply in the years to come.




an it really be 15 years since Edible Ojai kick-started the Edible Communities contribution to the local food movement? Edible Communities has played such a vital role in the stunning changes that have taken place in the North American food world since the mid 1990s. At a time when global politics seems ever more intimidating and irrational, local food movements shine as beacons of empowerment and hope. By making food choices that support regional farmers and producers, we vote with our forks for healthier and more sustainable lives for ourselves, our children, our communities, and our planet. I use the word “vote” advisedly. Choosing local food is an outright act of politics. I am a college professor and I hear all the time from students about how much they want to find work that will give meaning to their lives and help change the world, but how pessimistic they feel about whether this is possible in today’s political environment. They see what needs to be done, but don’t know how or where to begin. Begin with food, I tell them. They are too young to realize how much the food movement already has accomplished: a lot. The food system has changed so much for the better since Edible Communities began its journey. Here is my personal measure of its progress. In 1996, my New York University colleagues and I created undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs in Food Studies. Everyone thought we were out of our minds: Why would anyone want to study about food? But we got lucky. The New York Times wrote about our programs the week after they were approved. That very afternoon, we had students in our offices waving the clipping and telling us that they had waited all their lives for these programs. Now, just about every college I visit offers some version of a Food Studies program or food courses in fields as diverse as English, history, art and biology. Students see how food is an entry point into the most pressing problems in today’s society: health, climate change, immigration, the –isms (sex, gender, race, age), and inequities in education, income, and power. Some gains of local food movements are easier to measure than others.

edible NATION One of my favorites: The New Oxford American Dictionary added “locavore” as its word of the year in 2007. The easiest to measure are those counted by the USDA, starting with farmers’ markets. In 1994, there were 1,755; by 2016, there were 8,669. The USDA is mainly devoted to promoting industrial agriculture but has had to pay attention (if a bit grudgingly) to the growth of local and regional food systems. It reports that about 8 percent of U.S. farms market foods on the local level, mostly directly to consumers through farmers’ markets and harvest subscription (CSA) arrangements. It estimates local food sales at more than $6 billion a year. This is a tiny fraction of U.S. food sales, but growing all the time. More signs of progress: Since 2007, regional food hubs, which the USDA defines as collaborative enterprises for moving local foods into larger mainstream markets, have tripled in number. The USDA finds four times as many school districts with farm-to-school programs as it did a decade ago. It even notes the number of farms selling directly to retail stores or restaurants. As for what seems obvious to me—the increasing value of local food to local economies—the USDA remains hesitant (hence: grudging). It admits that “local economic benefits may accrue from greater local retention of the spent food dollar” but is withholding judgment pending further research. The USDA partners with other federal agencies in a Local Foods, Local Places program aimed at revitalizing communities through the development of local food systems. These not only involve farmers’ markets, but also cooperative groceries, central kitchens, business incubators, bike paths and sidewalks, and school and community gardens. This program may be minuscule in federal terms, but that it exists at all is testimony to how effectively local food movements have encouraged the development of home, school, community and urban gardens. The Edible Communities publications have both chronicled and championed all these changes. One more measurable change: the increasing sales of organics. Organic production, of course, is not necessarily local but it is very much part of the food movement. Its growth is remarkable—from about $15 billion in sales in 2006 to nearly $40 billion in 2015. As the Organic Trade Association puts it, “Consumer demand for organic has grown by double-digits nearly every year since the 1990s.” This has happened so quickly that the demand now exceeds the supply. My last example: In the summer, even New York City supermarket chains proudly display locally grown foods, usually defined as coming from within New York, New Jersey or Connecticut, but still a lot closer than California or Latin America, where much of the city’s food usually comes from. But the USDA has no idea how to measure the other critical accomplishments of the food movement. It is hard to put a number on the personal and societal values associated with knowing where food comes from and how it is produced. Some months ago in the New York Times

Magazine, Michael Pollan complained that the food movement is barely a political force in Washington, DC, despite its having created “purchase by purchase, a $50 billion alternative food economy, comprising organic food, local food and artisanal food.” “Call it Little Food,” he said, pointing out that “while it is still tiny in comparison with Big Food, it is nevertheless the fastest-growing sector of the food economy.” His concern was the need to consolidate these gains, join forces and exert power at the national level. Even in today’s political climate, this can—and must—be done. I’ve seen local food movements in the United States evolve over the years to increasingly converge with movements for organics, and also with those for better access to food and for health, food justice, environmental justice, food sovereignty, living wages and gender, racial and economic equity. We need to keep doing this, now more than ever. The congressional Freedom Caucus is doing all it can to revoke a long list of federal regulations, many of which deal with food. Its members want to do away with healthier school meals, the National Organic Program, food labels, menu labels and a host of food safety regulations. We need to do more than vote with forks to protect the gains of the last few years. We need to “vote with votes.” This means doing basic politics. The most important strategy by far is to write, call and meet with our own congressional representatives or their staff. If one person does this, they might not notice. But if several do, they pay attention. If many do, they pay more attention. Get friends to help. We often hear it said that “all politics is local.” Local food movements prove that point. So much can be done at the local level to strengthen food systems and encourage community action. Real social change starts locally, and builds from there. That’s why Edible Communities matters so much. They are a force for strengthening local food movements, supporting community development and taking political action for a healthier and more sustainable future. May they flourish!

Marion Nestle is the Paulette Goddard professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University, and author of several books about the politics of food. For information, see www.foodpolitics.com and follow her @marionnestle.


15 Years of Edible Communities With a credo of “If you want to eat local, it helps to read local,” Edible Communities has become the largest media company exclusively devoted to the local good food movement. Here are some memorable milestones:

2002: Edible Ojai launches! The one-color, 16-page quarterly newsletter about food and its makers debuts with a print run of 10,000 copies. After one year, Edible Ojai has subscribers in 43 states.

2002 2003

2003: The Food and Drug Administration rules that trans fatty acids need to be noted on nutrition labels, effective 2006.

2004: Saveur magazine features Edible Ojai in its “Top 100” January/February issue. As a result of this mention, Edible Ojai founders Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian launch Edible Communities, a network of licensed magazines and websites devoted to celebrating local, seasonal food. Six “pilot” territories are identified; by year’s end, Edible Cape Cod debuts and is quickly followed by five other titles.

2009: First Lady Michelle Obama starts a vegetable garden on the South Lawn of the White House to encourage healthy eating and sustainability. It is a precursor to her “Let’s Move” program dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation. 2009: Chef Dan Barber is one of the 100 most influential people in the world, according to Time magazine. He would go on to publish the seminal book The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food in 2014.

2011: Edible Communities is honored by the James Beard Foundation with its first-ever Publication of the Year Award. In announcing the award, the Foundation recognizes Edible publications “as a valuable resource for exploring the impact of regional food and agriculture from a grassroots perspective…. [The organization’s] body of work reflects excellence in the ever-changing world of food journalism.” 2014: Edible Communities founders Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian (at left) are named to Fortune and Food & Wine’s list of the 25 “Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink.” 2014: Stating that family farms “should be at the heart of all agriculture, food security and nutrition agendas,” the United Nations declares 2014 the “International Year of Family Farming.” 2014–2015: “The Victory Garden’s Edible Feast” television show begins airing on PBS nationwide. 2016: Edible Communities reaches 100 licensed publications in communities across the United States and Canada. The company now prints over 6 million magazines each year. 2016: The new and improved EdibleCommunities.com launches, featuring content from the organization’s local communities.


2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

2004–2008: Edible Communities grows from seven to 30 magazines, all locally owned and operated by licensed publishers in their respective communities.

2006: With the directive to “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants,” Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma is named one of the 10 best books of the year by the New York Times.

2008: Edible Radio debuts. The series of podcasts features interviews with thought leaders in the food world, including Dan Barber, Gary Nabhan, Fred Kirschenmann, Paul Willis, Marion Nestle and Ruth Reichl. 2008: Edible Toronto becomes the first Edible title to launch in Canada. It will eventually be joined by Edible Vancouver, Edible Ottawa and Edible Montreal. 2008: In August, Edible Communities is featured on the front page of the New York Times food section. During the following 12 months, the company grows from 30 to 60+ magazines.

2010: The company’s first book, Edible: A Celebration of Local Foods, is published by John Wiley and Sons. 2010: The first annual Edible Institute, a two-day thought forum about the present and future state of local food, is held in Santa Fe, New 2011-2013:

Four community-based cookbooks—Edible Brooklyn, Edible Seattle, Edible Dallas & Fort Worth and Edible Twin Cities—are published by Sterling Epicure.


2015: The USDA Farm to School Census shows that school districts purchased nearly $800 million in local food from farmers, ranchers, fishermen and food processors/ manufacturers during school year 2013–14, a 105% increase over the $386 million of local food purchased in the 2011–12 school year.

2015 2016 2017

2017: Edible Ojai & Ventura County celebrates its 15th Anniversary! 2017: Edible Communities launches Good Spirits, a national event series to showcase artisanal wine and spirits. Photo by Fran Collin




© Miquel Llonch / Stocksy United

The History of Wine in Los Angeles

the food historian

Illustration: iStock.com/ CharactersForYour


hinking of California wines, my mind goes straight to the lush, sun-drenched vineyards of Napa and Sonoma, and sometimes to the Guadalupe Valley in Baja. It never stays in Los Angeles, much less in Boyle Heights or the concrete channel that is the LA River. It’s hard to imagine those areas as the once beautiful acres of vineyards in the early 19th century. What happened? The first grapes made their way to California by Franciscan missionaries in dire need of wines for religious services. (And for casual drinking too, who are we kidding.) Barrels of wine were part of the annual mission supplies from the Mexican mainland, but in letters and personal diaries, Father Junipero Serra constantly complained of a lack of wine for mass and about having to purchase wine at government stores with no priestly discount. Legend has it that it was Father Serra himself who planted the first Spanish grapes – later know as Mission grapes – at the San Juan Capistrano mission where wild, native grapevines were already growing. The first grape harvest dates to around 1782 and cuttings from those vines were soon planted in every Catholic mission in Alta and Baja California, marking the beginning of viticulture. Although grapevines grew on the lands of all Spanish missions, those vineyards paled in comparison to the vineyard at the San Gabriel Mission in Los Angeles’s very own backyard. By the late 18th century, San Gabriel was known as the “Mother Vineyard” with more than 150,000 vines in addition to wheat, olives, oranges, cattle, and sheep. The mission’s vast agricultural empire stretched over the San Gabriel Valley into the Pomona Valley and San Bernardino. Large wineskins from mission cowhides were made to carry wines, sealed with tar taken from the La Brea Tar Pits. Then Mexico (which included the two Californias) gained independence from Spain in 1821. The Mexican government encouraged migration to the California coast and secularized the missions. Vineyards and winemaking transitioned from church to civilian hands. This is not to say that civilians had not owned vineyards before. In

fact, Jose Maria Verdugo, a soldier of the guard at the San Gabriel mission with easy access to grape cuttings, is thought to have been the first civilian in the Los Angeles area who founded a vineyard. His ranch – Rancho San Rafael – bordered the LA River and the Arroyo Seco, which included modern day Glendale, Burbank, and parts of Pasadena and Los Angeles within its boundaries. Among the many immigrants to settle in Los Angeles post Mexican independence was Jean Louis Vignes, often referred to as the “father of winemaking in California.” Born to a family of vintners in the Bordeaux wine region of France, he arrived in California in 1831 after a stint making rum in Hawaii. In 1833 he planted the first European grapes from his native Bordeaux in what is now Downtown LA. By 1837 he owned 100 acres of land along the LA River and was operating a vineyard with flat roofed adobe buildings and a cellar built in the shade of an ancient sycamore tree called El Aliso. (Aliso Street near Plaza Olvera is where those first French vines were planted.) At its peak around the time of the 1849 Gold Rush, El Aliso Winery was the largest winery in Los Angeles, producing 1,000 barrels of French-style wines each year. During the 1850s, with California now in American hands, Vignes continued to expand his vineyards, buying land across the river near a new Irish neighbor, Andrew Boyle, the successful vintner for whom Boyle Heights is named. In 1855, Vignes' nephews Pierre and Jean Louis Sainsevain purchased the winery and two years later produced the first California sparkling wine, much of which was shipped to San Francisco. The Gold Rush changed the marketplace. As settlers moved North to San Francisco, and “new money” followed, they became the new consumers of the wine producers of Los Angeles. By 1888, there were too many grapevines in LA and too much devastation from the infestation of pests. With the Depression of 1893, wine prices fell and Southern California vintners could not cover their expenses. When Prohibition (1920-1933) attacked the demand for wine, many Los Angeles vintners went out of business, though – in an odd nod to their mission past – a handful were able to stay afloat making wines for religious purposes. The Northern California wine market began to flourish and Los Angeles never fully recovered. Today, the LA River is paved over and those old romantic wineries have been replaced by modern businesses, but next time you’re sipping a Bordeaux somewhere in Downtown LA, make sure to raise a glass to Don Luis, the name Jean Louis Vignes was affectionately called. ¡Salud! •






ELA: Which ingredient are you really into right now and how are you using it? BK: I'm back into smoke. I was sick of it for a bit, but find myself using it as an ingredient more and more these days. Smoke has the ability to balance fats really well. This recipe below I use at home and in the restaurant. It can be used anywhere you would use mayonnaise: deviled eggs, beef tartare, on a sandwich, with fries - it's a good base ingredient with a smoky element.


Smoked Egg Aïoli serves 4

INGREDIENTS 2 egg yolks 1 cup wood chips 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar 1 pint grapeseed oil 1 clove garlic salt and pepper, to taste METHOD 1 Place egg yolks into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. 2 Follow instrutions on smoking device and smoke for 10 min. 3 Place all ingredients into high speed blender except the grapeseed oil 4 Start the blender slowly and increase speed till on high 5 Slowly drizzle the oil until fully emulsified 6 Taste for seasoning







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Profile for Edible LA

Edible LA | Issue No. 2  

Summer 2017

Edible LA | Issue No. 2  

Summer 2017

Profile for ediblela