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For many, dining well is what Visalia is all about. Of the more than 300 eating establishments, some have been around for more than 50 years. But the food scene dates back to at least 1857, when the city had just four places to eat.

Dust off your outdoor furniture, hang string lights and prepare to entertain friends and family outdoors. Here are seven tips to better prepare for al fresco dining.




14 Word Play

Steven Raichlen’s 31st book brings grillers up to speed on new equipment, tools and techniques, as well as offering an assortment of innovative recipes from main dishes to desserts.

16 Downtown Scene:

Letter from the Executive Editor

A Taste of Asia in North Visalia 28 Chef Erin: Healthy Recipe Makeover Tips 40 Next Gen: Terra Bella 50 Local Adventure: Fresno Food Expo: Expolicious 54 Kudos


58 Happenings


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When visiting New York City, a trip across the East River could be a highlight. Brooklyn features everything from historic architecture to great food. Two areas of note are DUMBO (down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass) and Brooklyn Heights.

COVER IMAGE: Chef Edgar Rico's Watermelon Salad. Photo by Paige Vaughn

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Published By

DMI Agency 801 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291

Karen Tellalian

Executive Editor

Creative Director Art Director Senior Designer Web Designer/Designer

Greg Bitney Marcie Vagnino Frank Miramontes Kaci Hansen

Contributing Writers

Cheryl Levitan Diane Slocum Kim Rico Lisa McEwen Major Rogers Sue Burns Terry L. Ommen

Business Management Malkasian Accountancy LLP Gary Malkasian CPA Jeffrey Malkasian EA Operations Manager Maria Gaston

Advertising Sales

Sales Office 801 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291 559.739.1747 • Fax 559.738.0909

E-Mail WEBSITE View The Mag Online Instagram: visalialifestyle

RACK LOCATIONS DMI Agency Evolutions Fitness Center, Tulare

Exeter Chamber of Commerce Tazzaria Coffee & Tea The Lifestyle Center

Visalia Chamber of Commerce Visalia Convention Center

COUNTERTOP LOCATIONS 210 Cafe AMCC Ashoori & Co. Jewelers Blend WIne Room Chad Clark Hair Salon Charcuterie Chelsea Street Boutique Citizen's Bank Comfort Suites Downtown CreekSide Day Spa Skin & Laser Center Downtown Visalia Alliance Ed Dena Auto Center, Visalia Exeter Chamber of Commerce Exeter Library Franey's Design Center

Glick's and Co. Holvik Family Health Center ImagineU Children’s Museum Janeen’s Furniture Gallery Kaweah Delta Hospital Keller Williams Reality Max's Cookies Michael's Custom Jewelry Monét’s, Exeter Pacific Treasures Premier Medical Clinic PRO-PT Renaissance Salon Salon 525 Sherman & Associates

Sunmed Health & Weight Management The Aesthetic Center The Smoke House, Visalia Tulare County Library Visalia Ceramic Tile Visalia First Assembly Visalia Marriott Visalia Medical Clinic Watson's Wildflower Café, Exeter Williams, Brodersen & Pritchett, Attorneys at Law Windows Plus, Inc. Wyndham Hotel

Visalia Lifestyle Magazine is published monthly and is distributed via direct mail to nearly 13,600 homes in the upper-middle and high-income neighborhoods in Visalia. An additional 2,000 copies are distributed at various distribution points around Visalia, Tulare, and Exeter. Views expressed in columns are those of the columnist and not necessarily those of DMI Agency or its advertisers.

Photo by Photos By Paige Vaughn 6 L I F E S T Y L E | J U LY 2 0 1 8

Circulation of this issue: 15,600 © 2018 DMI Agency




elcome, summer! We are excited to see the hot weather hit the Central Valley as higher temperatures are responsible, in large part, for the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables we find in our gardens, at our farmer’s markets and on our plates. An abundance of tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, corn and melons are just a few of the local produce that help make dining in or eating out nothing short of a feast.

from Chef David Vartanian’s recent line of dishes from the Orient Express. See his delectable dishes, starting on page 54. (On a side note, after seeing his recipe for German Potato Salad, I just had to try it for myself … it was easy to make and incredibly delicious!) As the Lifestyle staff brings this issue to a close, we are elated to learn that the boy’s soccer team and coach in Thailand have all been rescued from almost certain doom

We are excited to see the hot weather hit the Central Valley as higher temperatures are responsible, in large part, for the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables.... E X E C U T I V E





We hope you are all delighted with this month’s issue of Lifestyle Magazine – our third annual “Foodie Issue.” This special feature has become a reader favorite as it showcases some of the most delicious recipes, artfully prepared by culinary experts. Inside, you’ll find recipes from such acclaimed chefs as Steven Raichlen, with excerpts from his book “Project Fire." If you still need a little nudge, just turn to page 22 to read his Dry-Brined Peppered Filets Mignons With Anchovy Cream or Cutting Board Sauce and Grilled Watermelon Salad. Now that we have your attention, turn to page 32, where Kim Rico sets a simply gorgeous table and takes us through her “7 Steps to Al Fresco Entertaining.” We continue on our culinary journey with dishes

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inside a flooded underground cave. For nearly three weeks, they have been trapped, in the dark, while waiting a complex and extremely risky rescue. Huge kudos to the courageous team of cave divers, Thai Navy SEALs and doctors who put the lives of the stranded ahead of their own; to the coach, a former monk, who kept the boys focused on surviving, and to the boys themselves, who displayed such incredible mental and physical stamina as they fought to stay alive. For. Three. Weeks. An exemplary example of team effort and no doubt the makings of a bond that will last a lifetime. Until next month, Bon Appétit!

Let’s Get Cookin’!

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ood! We love it and we love the places that serve it. Clearly, something magical happens when delicious bites pass by our taste buds. And it’s even more special when these tasty morsels are served by purveyors who know the food trade. So why are we awestruck by those that feed us good food to the point that we jump at the opportunity to go to our favorite restaurants? Our motivation is complicated no doubt, but English historian and writer Virginia Woolf may have summed up our attraction best when she said, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” And to many of us, dining well is what Visalia is all about. We are known for our enticing collection of fancy and not-sofancy eating places, chains and locally owned, with more than 300 establishments sprinkled around town. Mondo Apodaca, the well-known and respected Visalia restaurateur, with 45 years of local restaurant experience, opined, “I have long believed that Visalia

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restaurants have made Visalia a destination. Not just from surrounding communities, but from around the world. Because of the diverse and unique culinary culture, many celebrities and dignitaries have visited our Visalia restaurants.” The same seems to be true historically. Today, of the hundreds of eating establishments, a dozen or so have been serving delicious food for half a century or more. These select few have passed the test of time and include Las Palmas, Taylor’s Hot Dog Stand, the Vintage Press, Hong Kong, Rosa’s, Picnic Sandwich Shop and the oldest of them all, the Visalia Tea Garden, a restaurant that has been pleasing customers since 1922. But Visalia’s food scene dates back long before that. Although early restaurant information is scarce, in 1857, when the town had less than 500 people, there were four places to eat. A year later, the dining room in the Billups Hotel opened, and it began the long tradition of hotels with restaurants. T E X T




By 1870, the town, with a population of about 900, had two hotels with restaurants and three additional eating places. One was a new one built by Dack Lee. He kicked off his grand opening with a sumptuous free dinner. All those who partook, including a “Visalia Weekly Delta” reporter, gave it the equivalent of a five-star rating. In the latter part of the 1800s, the trend of hotel and restaurant combinations continued, and none was more elegant than the dining hall in the Palace Hotel. The Palace, which opened in 1876, served delicious meals with an international flair. For example, in August 1892, potential customers were tempted with a newspaper advertisement for an upcoming Sunday dinner. The soup was chicken à la reine, and entrée options included ham in champagne sauce, calves brains a la vinaigrette and prime rib of beef au jus with mashed potatoes. Dessert choices included vanilla ice cream, and plum and blackberry pie. The Visalia House served meals since it opened its doors in 1859. In the 1890s, An interior view of the Quong Jan Low Restaurant at 403 E. Center St., Visalia. Circa 1920.

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the pioneer hotel boasted good service and delicious food. During the same time, the Cosmopolitan, Enterprise and Post Office restaurants offered tasty meals. Authentic Chinese cuisine was provided by Quong Jan Low Restaurant, Chinese Pagoda, King Far Low and a host of others catering to the growing Chinatown population. As the 20th century arrived, more restaurants sprang up wooing customers. The Palace Hotel dining room continued to be the fanciest culinary spot in the town of about 3,000. In addition, Japanese restaurants such as the Yokohama, Miyama and Higachi’s, and Sumida’s began appearing, taking their place in the restaurant lineup. But by 1917, the glow of the Palace Hotel eatery had faded. J. Sub Johnson’s new hotel and fancy restaurant named after his family had taken over as the most elegant place in town. When the Hotel Johnson opened in 1917, it enticed diners to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with luscious entrees like filet of halibut, prime rib, turkey with all the fixings – all for $1.50 per plate. For the next several decades, the food was a tempting lure,

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Mearle's Drive-In on Mooney Boulevard abo ut 1991. Courtesy Luc inda Lewis

but by 1950, the hotel and kitchen were showing age. Management spent thousands of dollars on a face-lift that included a new walk-in ice box, a quick cooking infra-red broiler and a “pre-rinse garbage disposal,” the first of its kind on the West Coast. The hotel makeover resulted in a new kitchen, a coffee shop and the Mirror Room – a separate space for luncheons and banquets. By 1953, the hotel was known as “the meeting place of Visalia.” Not just for families, it became the gathering spot for luncheon meetings, especially for service clubs. All that ended when the Hotel Johnson caught fire in 1968 and was demolished. Another landmark restaurant left its culinary mark on Visalia. Louise Estrada opened a tamale parlor in about 1914 and it grew into Estrada’s Spanish Kitchen. It was a popular eatery for many years, then closed its doors in 1992, leaving many fans disappointed. One lamenting devotee was Pete Cowper, who recalls their “freshly made fat tamales, stuffed peppers, sizzling tostadas and compuestas.” Needless to say, he misses the legendary eatery and salivates at the mention of its name.

Not all of the restaurants of yore were elegant or had a long history, but that does not mean that they were forgettable. Ofelia’s Drive-In at the Lincoln Oval had no inside seating and wasn’t fancy, but owner Ofelia Mora’s little place became a favorite for many. Our daughter, Lyndsay Ommen McCollum, remembers eating the amazing rice and chicken tacos, freshly made by Ofelia herself. And she also recalls the owner, who “treated her customers like family. When your order was ready, she would ‘arrive’ at a cost which was always less than the posted menu price.” So many other places were simple and short-lived, including Ford’s Nibble Nook, El Sombrero, Seven Seas and the Wunder Stag Café. For more than 150 years, Visalia has had a tradition of interesting and amazing eating places serving sumptuous food. Each holds a special place in our history. Today, we are fortunate to have an impressive array of epicurean delights, so it appears that our long tradition of good food will continue. So with that, let’s eat! L

The menu cover of Tad’s Restaurant, which began Mearle's Drive-In. Circa 1940. Courtesy J. M. Bragg. The menu cover of the Hong Kong Restaurant at 417 E. Center St., Visalia. Courtesy J. M. Bragg. The menu cover of Wunder Cafe at 115 E. Main St., Visalia. Courtesy J. M. Bragg. Table card for Thanksgiving dinner at the Palace Hotel dining room, Thanksgiving 1905.






WO R D PLAY News on writing, books + the world of publishing


his month’s issue celebrates food. So does Mark Hyman, M.D., in his book, “Food: What the Heck Should I Eat?” (Little, Brown and Company, February 2018). But what Hyman means by food is not what food manufacturers consider food. Hyman’s simplified explanation of what is food comes down to did a human make it or did nature make it? An avocado is food. A Twinkie is not. He advocates eating a wide variety of whole, unprocessed food, which he describes as not that hard to do, even with busy schedules. For a different look at food, Debbie Johnson has written a novel called “Sunshine at the Comfort Food Café” (Harper Collins, August 2018). Willow is a waitress at a run-down café in a friendly community on the Dorset coast in England. She cares for her mother, who has Alzheimer’s. When a handsome stranger comes to town, life changes. Also coming out in August is “How to Feed Your Parents" (Stirling Children’s Books) by Ryan Miller, illustrated by Hatem Aly. In little Matilda’s household, she is not the junk food junkie. It’s her parents. Matilda is the food adventurer, relishing jambalaya, sushi and quiche as she learns to cook and expand her parents’ food horizon as well. EMILY BRONTE – 200 YEARS Emily Bronte was born on July 30, 1818. She and her sisters, Charlotte and Anne, were writers when that was not considered something women could or should do, so they chose masculine names with the surname of Bell. Emily was Ellis. Currer and Acton were her sisters’ pen names. Emily is most famous for “Wuthering Heights" and her brooding anti-hero Heathcliff. Charlotte’s primary novel is “Jane Eyre.” Emily was regarded as shy, barely leaving her family home except to walk

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the moors, and as an intellect who was unwilling to deal with the strictures of society. Besides her novel, she published 27 poems. She died at the age of 30, just two years after publishing “Wuthering Heights.”

VALLEY WRITERS Fresno State English professors Dr. Howard V. Hendrix and Dr. Laurel Hendrix, husband and wife, are co-editing “The Encyclopedia of Mars.” Howard Hendrix has published at least six novels through Penguin Putnam and Random House. He has also published more than 50 science fiction short stories. Many of his works are published in “Analog Science Fiction and Fact,” including the novella “The Girls With Kaleidoscope Eyes.” Laurel Hendrix has published articles on medieval and early modern authors such as Chaucer, Spenser and de Navarre in journals such as the “English Literary Renaissance.” FANART CONTEST Christina Enquist, training and development coordinator at Kaweah Delta Medical Center and sometimes College of the

OTHER BIRTHDAYS American humor writer Josh Billings was born on April 21, 1818. He wrote numerous books and was surpassed in popularity in his time only by Mark Twain. Children’s author and illustrator Maurice Sendak would have been 90 years old this year. He was most famous for “Where the Wild Things Are.” Other works include “In the Night Kitchen” and “Little Bear.” Joyce Carol Oates turned 80 this year. She has published more than 40 novels. She has also published plays, novellas and short stories. Her novels include Pulitzer contenders “What I Lived For,” “Blonde” and “Black Water.” FIRST LINES What novel begins: In Norway there is a fjord – a long, narrow arm of the sea between tall mountains – named Berlevaag Fjord. At the foot of the mountains the small town of Berlevaag looks like a child’s toy-town …. (Answer at right)

Sequoias professor, is holding a fanart contest in conjunction with her debut novel, “The Immundus,” which she published through her own start-up company. She is asking contestants to design the Liberators’ tattoo, an identifying mark worn by these characters in the story. She says that when she writes, she intentionally leaves some things to the reader’s imagination and this is one of them. The contest is open until July 27. Details on Christina’s blog: art-contest-liberators-tattoo. THE LAST WORD “I would like to see people more aware of where their food comes from. I would like to see small farmers empowered. I feed my daughter almost exclusively organic food.” (Anthony Bourdain, 1956-2018) First lines from “Babette’s Feast,” by Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen)


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ver had Korean food? Ever heard of pho? Are those culinary opportunities from across the Pacific foreign to you? Many in the United States are in the same club. However, because of a few opportunities in north Visalia, you can now experience Asian-style foods and open your world experiences a little wider, without leaving our backyard. The Korean House is a little yellow, non-assuming building at 1400 W. Houston Ave., a house converted to commercial kitchen standards. Inside, you will find a remarkably clean, airconditioned dining room with four booths and roughly four tables, the kitchen separated by the register counter. It’s a two-person operation, a husband-wife production. Doug Hauschel, a Los Angeles transplant, is retired from two different careers. He was in the U.S. Marine Corps for 26 years, followed by 20 years in the alarm industry. Now Doug, with his wife, Chol Sun, who learned to cook Korean while

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growing up there, run the show. They originally set up shop in a trailer in the parking lot of Young’s Market in 2010 and moved into their present spot in May 2013. How would I describe Korean food? It’s like Chinese, but with spice, and less oil. It’s fresh, it’s light, it’s a welcome change in local restaurant options. The meats (pork, chicken, beef) are tender and flavorful. You can indicate what level of spice you want when ordering something like house favorite Bibimbap, which is marinated beef with carrot, zucchini, spinach, bean sprouts and spicy sauce on a bed of rice. If noodles are your thing, you may go with the Japchae, which is glass noodles (transparent noodles made with starch and water) stir-fried with marinated beef, carrots, cabbage and savory green onion. The forenamed spice comes largely from the fresh Korean peppers used and enhanced by combining the use of jalapeno. If heat isn’t your thing, no problem; just mention that to Doug when you order and your meal will come suited to taste.

Something to keep in mind about the Korean House is that a possible wait is part of the charm, not a nuisance. Each meal is prepared with the utmost quality, and the anticipation should be appreciated for the end result. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and closed Sundays. A military discount is offered. Ever had a bowl of pho (pronounced fuh), a Vietnamese treat-filled bowl of sweet, steaming hot broth of beef? Within the soup – flavored by actual cuts of beef and sometimes bone for upward of seven hours – lie the vast ingredients and additions. A ball of rice noodles becomes the center of attraction. Its accompaniments depend on if you choose the seafood or beef selections. When you order seafood, you generally get whitefish filet, tail on shrimp and some form of calamari. If you go with beef, look for rare slices of steak, which continue to cook in the broth, well-done brisket, some flank and tripe, and meatballs. If at any time an ingredient

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PHD will remain open with a new special menu



turns you off, simply request that it be left out. Most places will accommodate you. Before your bowl is brought out, you will have a greens plate placed on the table. This will consist of bean sprouts, lime slices, a sprig of basil and fresh sliced jalapeno. Close by will be a jar of spicy hot oil, soy sauce, Sriacha (chili sauce) and plum sauce. All of these options are for you to prepare your bowl to taste. Add lime for sweetness, jalapeno for heat or sprouts for a cool crunchy texture. The plucked basil leaves blanch their flavors into the hot broth as well, for a familiar flavor in a foreign dish. Any way you choose to enjoy your pho works without question. There is, however, a “proper” way, as explained by those in the pho know. First, you’ll need both a spoon and chopsticks. You must never use a typical metal soup spoon. It’s too shallow, and the metal will heat up and be uncomfortable in your mouth. Most places will provide the ladle-like traditional Chinese soup spoon. This spoon allows generous amounts of broth, while still capable of being filled with soup substances. If you look around at others, it’s not uncommon to see people adding soy sauce, chili oil or fish sauce directly to 18 L I F E S T Y L E | J U LY 2 0 1 8

their bowl. However, your first taste of broth should have nothing added to it. Perhaps you have a perfectly flavored soup, and you may not want to take anything away from it. Like how the perfect steak needs no sauce, your pho may need nothing more than the provided greens, or maybe even none of them. That is part of the adventure; find your own tastes. A great way to discover your palate preferences is by eating your pho one bite at a time. I know that sounds redundant, but I mean exactly that; create super bites with what you have in front of you. When the soup is delivered, do as you would with any dining experience, or should do, and that is bend down and smell the aroma of your food. See what you can pick up on; search to be intrigued. Then take your spoon and sip or, better yet, slurp the broth; learn its taste. After appreciating the broth, partially fill your spoon with it, then go to work with your chopsticks. Pick out some noodles and drop them in, look for a sweet onion swimming around, then pluck a protein to top the collection. Say you put a shrimp in your spoon; take a drop of plum sauce to accompany it and

bring out the sweetness of the meat. Or let’s say you have a bite of steak situated with noodles and a slice of fresh jalapeno, and you drop a couple of pearls of Sriacha on the meat – what a reward for the senses, what a bite. Visalia has several places where you can experience pho. Each place has its own charms or nuances both in pho and environment. If you want an afternoon blue-collar pho experience, try Pho-NSeafood on the Oval. Davorns sits across the street from the old Wagon Wheel restaurant and has a trendy vibe, or if you want a semiformal evening of pho, Keothip Thai Restaurant, across from the Glicks and Co. meat market, has a semi-formal feel about the meal. Or simply Yelp pho Visalia to start you on your journey. So there you have it, two culinary experiences from across the globe, right here in your hometown. Take a shot; try them out. It’s an experience derived from a destination adventure. At your next dinner party, you can say, “Have any of you eaten at the Korean House here in town?” and sound like the cool one in the group. And why not? We are, after all, members of a cool town. L

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t’s grilling season! Well, if we’re being honest, Californians have always been able to enjoy grilling year-round and, over the years, the trend has caught on across the U.S. Summer still marks the official “beginning” of grilling season each year, so the May release of author Steven Raichlen’s 31st book, “Project Fire: Cutting-Edge Techniques and Sizzling Recipes from the Caveman Porterhouse to Salt Slab Brownie S’mores” was perfect timing. Meeting him at a recent media event at Melissa’s Produce in Southern California was a great opportunity to hear about his culinary life and taste several fantastic recipes from his latest tome. Among his many notable accomplishments, Raichlen counts multiple James Beard Awards, is an international PBS star and the founder of Barbecue University in Colorado Springs, where he still teaches. It was a surprise to learn that he hadn’t planned on a culinary career – he actually holds a degree in French literature. His path took a turn while he was doing research for his thesis and came across a cookbook from the year 1375 that sparked his fascination with live-fire cooking. He received a fellowship from the Watson Foundation 20 L I F E S T Y L E | J U LY 2 0 1 8


to study medieval cooking across Europe and a Fulbright Scholarship to study comparative writing. Raichlen’s foundation in writing is evident throughout his books; although they are filled with delicious recipes, he freely shared that he writes books for the prose, history and headnotes first and foremost. The recipes (mouthwatering as they are) are secondary. That’s a lucky thing for readers and home grillers alike; his stories and instructions are both thorough and entertaining, taking the guesswork – and apprehension about burning one’s food to a crisp – out of cooking with fire. One might wonder why, after writing 30 books on barbecue, Raichlen would want to write another. Wouldn’t the subject have been exhausted? Given that grilling, like cooking in general, is constantly evolving, the answer would have to be a resounding “no!” Since “The Barbecue! Bible” was published in 1998, followed by his many others, grills, methods and products have changed and advanced, and so have the grillers themselves. “Project Fire” brings us up to speed on new equipment, tools and techniques, and supplies a drool-worthy assortment of innovative recipes with





which to use them. Drool-worthy may even be an understatement when it comes to the Cutting Board Sauce. (Olive oil, herbs and spices are combined on a cutting board, upon which perfectly grilled steak is placed and sliced, allowing the juices to run into said oil and herb mixture … then everything is tossed together … it’s one of the simplest, best things I have ever tasted!) Beginning with his fellowship, Raichlen’s travels have taken him to 60 countries on six continents learning about the world’s oldest and most widespread cooking method. In his words, he has “followed the fire around the world to document how people grill … everybody grills differently with different foods, methods and tools, but always with lots of passion.” “Project Fire” reflects this with step-by-step guides for five main and 10 specialized grilling techniques. From grilling over charcoal and gas to caveman grilling directly in the embers, grilling in blazing hay, on or under a salt slab, on a shovel over a campfire or using a blowtorch to char meat tableside, there’s culinary adventure for beginners and pros alike. Raichlen’s favorite recipe is the Caveman Porterhouse, and he shared the


ARTS story of how President Dwight D. Eisenhower brought ember-roasting to the White House in 1953 (as reported by the “Miami Daily News”) as “… he rubs the steak … with oil and garlic … then, as the horrified guests look on, he casually flings the steak into the midst of the red and glowing coals.” I’m sure his guests were both relieved and delighted when they tasted the crispy seasoned crust and strong smoky flavor that are the rewards of having some serious grilling chutzpah. (And if you think that this recipe sounds fantastic, add the Caveman Lobster With Absinthe Butter to your list!) At the luncheon, we savored dishes from several chapters of “Project Fire”: Smoke-Roasted Carrots With SpiceScented Yogurt from Vegetables and Tofu, Grilled Watermelon Salad With Arugula and Queso Fresco from Salad Hits the Grill; Dry-Brined Peppered Filets Mignon from Beef; Lemongrass Pork Bites from Pork, and Cinnamon-Grilled

Peaches With Bourbon Brown Sugar Glaze and Salt Slab Chocolate Brownie S’mores from Desserts and Drinks. (Yes, drinks – recipes for Grilled Sangria and Grilled Peach Bellinis will undoubtedly add a special something to your cocktail repertoire!) Speaking of chapters, there are the requisites on meats, poultry and vegetables. But there are unexpected additions: Breakfast on the Grill (think Bacon and Egg Quesadillas); Starters (Greek Grilled Cheese and Bacon-Grilled Onion Rings); Breads and Pizzas (Goat Cheese, Thyme and Honey Tartines) and Salad Hits the Grill (Ember-Roasted Beet Salad With Sour Cream and Dill) that will take anyone’s grilling game to a whole new level. At first glance, you may wonder if your grill skills are up to some of the recipes – as a novice griller myself, I can understand. Starting with Chapter 1, though, Raichlen schools us on the Seven Steps to Grilling Nirvana and shows how

any grilling enthusiast can achieve success. Follow his instructions to Choose Your Grill, Select Your Fuel, Assemble Your Tools, Flavor Your Food, Choose Your Grilling Method and you’ll be more than ready to Fire It Up. With tips on how to arrange food on the grill to using a garden hoe to move coals around, “Project Fire” is a master class wrapped up in 326 pages, where I learn something new every time I open it. In fact, as I’ve gotten more proficient with my gas grill, I’m seriously thinking that I need a charcoal grill, too! Armed with Raichlen’s vast knowledge, relaxed encouragement – “When you heat the grill, everyone gathers around and it’s an instant party” – and more than 100 beyond-flavorful recipes, my grilling list is sure to last through the summer and beyond. If you’ve got a passion for fired-up foods, add “Project Fire” to your cookbook collection and yours will, too!

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DRY-BRINED PEPPERED FILETS MIGNONS WITH ANCHOVY CREAM OR CUTTING BOARD SAUCE YIELD: Serves 4 METHOD: Direct grilling PREP TIME: 1 hour for dry-brining; plus 10 minutes for the sauce GRILLING TIME: 8 to 10 minutes GRILL/GEAR: Can be grilled over charcoal, wood, or gas. You also need 2 hardwood chunks or 1 cup unsoaked wood chips (optional); a small (6- to 8-inch) skillet; a wire rack set over a sheet pan; a cutting board with a well. SHOP: See notes on buying a steak on page 120.

INSIDER TIP: This recipe uses a technique called dry-brining to give depth of flavor to a steak that’s normally mild. You season the steak generously with salt an hour ahead of time. The salt draws out and mixes with some of the meat juices, creating a brine (saline solution), which, with time, is partially reabsorbed into meat. The result: added flavor and succulence. I’ve always preferred richer, fattier cuts, like rib-eyes or strip steaks. But filet

mignon has its partisans — people who prize its tenderness (you can virtually cut it with the side of a fork) and mild flavor — the mildest of all cuts of beef. Drybrining gives you the best of both worlds: tenderness and flavor. With these filets, I give you two options for sauce: Anchovy Cream or Cutting Board Sauce. You assemble the latter right on the cutting board with the meat juices and aromatic herbs when you carve the steak.

INGREDIENTS 4 filet mignon steaks (each 6 to 8 ounces and at least 2 inches thick) Coarse salt (sea or kosher) Vegetable oil for oiling the grill grate 1/2 cup cracked black peppercorns, spread out in a shallow bowl Anchovy Cream or Cutting Board Sauce (recipes follow) 1. Arrange the filets mignons in a baking dish. Generously salt each on both sides. (Tip: Sprinkle the salt from a height of 6 inches for even distribution.) Dry-brine the steaks in the refrigerator for 1 hour, uncovered, turning them once. 2. Set up your grill for direct grilling and heat to medium-high. Brush or scrape the grill grate clean and oil it well. 3. Dip each filet mignon in cracked black pepper to crust the top and bottom. Arrange the steaks on the grill grate. Grill for 1 1/2 minutes, then give each steak a quarter turn to lay on a crosshatch of grill marks. When the bottom is sizzling and browned (you may see beads of blood start to form on the top), turn the steaks and grill the other side the same way. Grill the steaks on the sides, too, to expose all surfaces to the heat. 4. You’ll need about 3 minutes per side for rare (120° to 125°F); 4 minutes per side for medium-rare (130° to 135°F); 5 minutes per side for medium (140° to 145°F). Use an instant-read thermometer inserted through the side of the steak to check for doneness. Alternatively, use the poke test (page 40). 5. Transfer the filets mignons to a wire rack set over a sheet pan to rest for a minute or so before serving. (The wire rack keeps the bottoms from getting soggy.) 6. Pool the Anchovy Cream on the bottom of a platter or individual plates. Set the filets mignons on top and serve. Or serve the steaks with Cutting Board Sauce as outlined on the facing page. 22 L I F E S T Y L E | J U LY 2 0 1 8



Photograph by Matthew Benson

CUTTING BOARD SAUCE Tip o’ the hat to chef Adam Perry Lang, who had the ingenious idea of combining the sauce ingredients with the hot meat juices right on the cutting board. INGREDIENTS 1 clove garlic, peeled 1/2 cup stemmed flat-leaf parsley or other fresh herbs 2 scallions, trimmed 1 red jalapeño or serrano pepper Coarse salt (sea or kosher) and freshly ground black pepper 1/3 cup best-quality extra virgin olive oil, in a small bowl DIRECTIONS 1. Working on a large cutting board with a well (a juice-catching groove usually around the periphery), finely chop the garlic and parsley. Thinly slice the scallions (both white and green parts) and the pepper crosswise. Season

generously with salt and pepper and pour half the olive oil on top. Mix with the blade of the knife. 2. Remove the hot filets mignons from the grill and lay them directly on top of the ingredients on the cutting board. Cut each steak with downward strokes of the knife into 1/4-inch-thick slices. (There is no need to let the meat rest.) Pour the remaining olive oil over the sliced steaks and toss on the board with a spoon and the blade of the knife: The idea is to coat the steak slices with herbs and oil and mix them with the meat juices. Add salt and pepper to taste. The whole process should take less than a minute. Transfer to a platter or plates and serve at once.

ANCHOVY CREAM YIELD: 3/4 CUP Anchovies and steak have a longestablished affinity. Don’t believe me? You find anchovies in two classic steak sauces: Worcestershire and A.1. Their salty umami flavor goes great with the sanguine meatiness of the beef.

INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 cups heavy (whipping) cream 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained and blotted dry 1 clove garlic, peeled 1 tablespoon unsalted butter Freshly ground black pepper 1. Place the cream, anchovies and garlic in a heavy saucepan and briskly simmer over medium heat until thick.

and reduced by half, 8 to 12 minutes. Stir often. If the mixture starts to scorch or boil over, lower the heat. 2. Puree the mixture in a blender or food processor or use an immersion blender. Return the mixture to the pan and whisk in the butter and lots of black pepper. Keep the finished sauce warm over low heat, but do not let it boil.

GRILLED WATERMELON SALAD WITH ARUGULA AND QUESO FRESCO INGREDIENTS FOR THE GRILL Vegetable oil for oiling the grill grate and basting the cheese 4 slices (each 1 inch thick) fresh red or yellow watermelon (preferably seedless) 1 chunk (8 ounces) queso fresco, blotted dry FOR THE GINGER-LIME DRESSING 2 limes, halved crosswise 2 tablespoons honey 2 tablespoons minced candied ginger 1/4 cup vegetable oil Coarse salt (sea or kosher) and freshly ground black pepper TO FINISH THE SALAD 1 bunch baby arugula, rinsed and spun dry 1/4 cup thinly slivered fresh mint 1/2 cup chopped candied pecans or walnuts DIRECTIONS 1. Set up your grill for direct grilling and heat to high. Ideally, you’ll

be working over a wood or wood-enhanced fire. If using a charcoal grill, add the wood chunks or chips to the fire. If using a gas grill, place wood chunks under the grate directly over one of the burners to generate wood smoke. Brush or scrape the grill grate clean and oil it well. 2. Arrange the watermelon slices on the grill and grill until singed and grill-marked on both sides, but still raw in the center, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Use a large spatula and tongs to turn. Lightly brush the cheese with vegetable oil on both sides and grill until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. While you’re at it, grill the lime halves for the dressing, cut sides down, until darkly browned, 2 to 4 minutes. 3. Make the dressing: Squeeze the juice from the grilled limes into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the honey, candied ginger, vegetable oil, and salt and pepper; the dressing should be highly seasoned. 4. Cut the watermelon into 1-inch squares (discard the rind and any seeds) and add it to the bowl with the salad dressing. Add the arugula and mint. Crumble in the grilled cheese. Gently toss the ingredients to mix. Sprinkle the candied nuts on top and serve at once.


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THAI GRILLED KALE Yield: Serves 3 to 4 Method: Direct grilling Prep time: 10 minutes Grilling Time: 6 to 10 minutes Grill/Gear: Can be grilled over charcoal, wood or gas. You also need a vegetable grid or grill basket (optional) if grilling small kale leaves. Shop: Kale comes in many varieties, including the common curly and red Russian varieties. All are good grilled, but my favorite is dinosaur kale (aka cavolo nero, lacinato kale and black kale), recognizable by its long, slender, dark blue-green crinkly leaves and sweet earthy flavor. This is the easiest kind of kale to clean and grill. Note: Kale becomes sweeter after the first frost, so this is one vegetable that’s great for grilling in autumn or winter. Insider tip: Kale stems are noticeably more fibrous and chewy than the leaves — especially in curly varieties. Remove them following the directions in Step 1. When grilling small kale leaves (like red kale), place them in a grill basket. Arrange larger leaves directly on the grate. How did we live without kale? Once the province of Italian and Portuguese cooks (who boiled it in soups and stews), kale has become the “it” veggie of the millennials. We consume it by the ton in chips, salads, rice bowls and even smoothies. So it was only a matter of time until kale hit the grill. At first glance, this broad leafy vegetable would seem like an odd candidate. You’d think the leaves would wilt or burn. They don’t. Instead, the high dry heat of the grill delivers a smoky char and potato chip crispness. Think barbecue health food loaded with calcium, potassium, B vitamins and fiber. And don’t think of firing up your grill without trying it.



Photograph by Matthew Benson



2 bunches dinosaur kale (12 to 16 ounces in all) 2 tablespoons Asian (dark) sesame oil or vegetable oil 2 tablespoons soy sauce or Asian fish sauce 1 clove garlic or a small shallot, peeled and minced 3 tablespoons sesame seeds or chopped peanuts Hot red pepper flakes, to taste Vegetable oil for oiling the grill grate.

1. Wash the kale and spin it dry in a salad spinner or shake it dry. Lay a leaf on a cutting board and, making an elongated, V-shaped cut, remove the thick part of the stem. (You can leave the tender part of the stem near the top intact.) Repeat with the remaining leaves — you may not need to stem the tender inner leaves. Blot off any excess water with paper towels. 2. Combine the sesame oil, soy sauce and garlic in a small bowl and mix with a fork. Lightly brush each kale leaf on both sides with this mixture using a pastry brush. Sprinkle the kale on both sides with sesame seeds and hot red pepper flakes.

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3. Set up your grill for direct grilling and heat to medium-high. Brush or scrape the grill grate clean and oil it well. 4. Arrange the kale leaves in a single layer on the grate, working in several batches as needed. If the kale leaves are small, you can grill them on a vegetable grid or in a grill basket (page 14). Grill the kale until browned and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes per side, turning with tongs. Transfer to a platter and serve. I like to eat grilled kale with my fingers. It’s messy — it’s supposed to be, so provide napkins. The kale should be sufficiently salty from the soy sauce, but don’t hesitate to add salt if you want to.

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SALT SLAB CHOCOLATE BROWNIE S’MORES Yield: Serves 6 and can be multiplied as desired Method: Salt slab grilling/indirect grilling. Prep time: 10 minutes. Grilling time: 6 to 10 minutes Grill/Gear: Can be grilled over charcoal or gas. You also need a salt slab for grilling and 1 cup unsoaked wood chips. Shop: A dessert this simple lives or dies by the quality of its ingredients. Sure, you could buy supermarket marshmallows (a brand you remember from your youth), but why ingest tetrasodium pyrophosphate if you don’t have to? Instead, splurge on gourmet marshmallows made with natural ingredients, like Plush Puffs (an artisinal company founded by chefs) or bourboninfused Wondermade marshmallows. Both are available from Amazon.

Insider tip: Warning: Do not make this recipe in cold weather. Hot salt slabs have been known to crack or explode when exposed to cold air. INGREDIENTS 6 excellent chocolate brownies (each about 3 by 4 inches) 6 fresh mint leaves, rolled and thinly slivered, or 2 tablespoons crème de menthe liqueur (optional) 6 squares (each about 2 by 3 inches) super premium chocolate bar 6 rectangular marshmallows (each about 2 by 3 inches) or conventional marshmallows, cut in half lengthwise Flaky salt, preferably Maldon, for serving (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS 1. Brush or scrape the grill grate clean; there’s no need to oil it. Set up your grill for indirect grilling and heat slowly to medium-high. Gradually heat the salt slab at the same time. 2. Lay the slivered mint leaves atop the brownies or sprinkle the brownies with crème de menthe, if using. Lay a square of chocolate on top, and top with a marshmallow. 3. Arrange the marshmallow-topped brownies on the hot salt slab. Add the wood chips to the coals or to your grill’s smoker box and lower the lid. Smokeroast the s’more brownies until the marshmallows are sizzling and browned, 6 to 10 minutes. Transfer to plates or bowls or serve them right off the salt slab, sprinkled with flaky salt, if using.

Recipes excerpted from "Project Fire: Cutting-Edge Techniques and Sizzling Recipes from the Caveman Porterhouse to Salt Slab Brownie S'Mores" by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing). Copyright 2018.

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grew up a child of the ’70s and early ’80s. In my family, we had a homecooked dinner every night, with the occasional Friday or Saturday night pizza. My mother was a fabulous cook who would have given any professional chef a run for their money. Back then, most dishes were made with liberal amounts of butter, cream, sugar and, of course, salt. (Oh, the good old days!) Before I started working in healthy cooking, when I heard someone proclaim that they ate healthy, my first thought was “how boring; you must eat wheat grass and seeds.” I imagined them fleeing in panic from my butter, cream, sugar and salty ways. I am a foodie at heart, but as a chef, I wondered and have since focused my energies on how one goes about maintaining their love of food while also eating healthy. Perhaps the sayings “everything in moderation” or “a little goes a long way” hold true, but how to incorporate said moderation for health without sacrificing flavor? As a chef, I have learned what I call tricks of the trade (aka “tweaks”) to help me along the way while working in a kitchen. I started experimenting to see how I could use these tweaks in existing recipes. Can you take a recipe that is high in fat, sugar and/or salt and tweak it? Happily, I’ve discovered that you can, in many delicious healthy ways. Here are a few things that you can do to reduce or eliminate fat from a recipe: • For brownies and cake recipes that call for oil or shortening, substitute with unsweetened applesauce. Using a 1:1 ratio: 1/4 cup of oil equals 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce. With little effort and one common grocery item, 28 L I F E S T Y L E | J U LY 2 0 1 8




you’ve eliminated the fat and many calories from the recipe: 1/4 cup vegetable oil equals 480 calories and 56 grams of fat versus 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce and 25 calories from fat. How easy is that? And they still taste great. (It’s important to note that when using applesauce as an oil substitute in cookie recipes, they will rise higher and be more cake-like, rather than being crispy and flat). I have also substituted unsweetened applesauce in my grandmother's dumpling recipe, and it was perfection, so don't be afraid to be creative with this tweak in your favorite recipes. • Using a roux is another way to thicken a sauce or soup. Add roux to chicken stock for a thicker chicken soup, or add 1 percent (skim) milk with a roux if you truly need a creamy flavor. • Cream substitutes can be a little tricky (and, quite frankly, it’s my hardest habit to break; heavy cream in this girl’s coffee is a must). For cream-based sauce or soup recipes, you can substitute

1 percent milk or low-fat half and half to reduce fat and calories. The sauces and soups won’t be quite as rich, but they will still taste wonderful. • Do you like cream of broccoli soup but not the calories? After cooking the broccoli in stock, reserve some pieces and florets to the side and purée the rest. Add the reserved pieces and florets back into the soup to give it more substance. Add some of the stock back in with a little black pepper and blend using a blender or hand blender to purée. Finish with a drizzle of crème fraîche to up the decadence. You can use this technique with any creamy vegetable soup. • Reducing or substituting sugar in a recipe is much easier than it used to be with choices like Stevia, Agave and Splenda. To be honest, my pallet is not a fan of artificial taste, although I will use Agave nectar and Splenda brown sugar (to me, they have the least aftertaste, but try different products to see which you like best). If you want to add sweetness to a recipe without adding sugar, try adding vanilla, nutmeg or cinnamon, which will enhance the sweetness. Dried fruits such as dates and/or puréed fruits (such as our versatile friend applesauce) are also healthy sweeteners. For savory dishes, honey, dried stone fruits and a great balsamic vinegar or reduction can go a long way to help squelch a sweet tooth. To start, you can even try simply using half the sugar called for in the recipe. • And salt, traditionally so necessary for depth of flavor, how do we not overdo? Believe it or not, it is pretty easy to add lots of taste while reducing or eliminating the salt. Herbs and spices, and citrus fruits such as lemons, limes or



INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, clarified butter or ghee 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 6 ounces each 2 tablespoons citrus herb blend

1/4 cup sherry 1/4 cup chicken stock, low sodium 2 tablespoons citrus herb blend 1 pat or tablespoon butter DIRECTIONS

DIRECTIONS Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until oil is shimmering. Season both sides of chicken with citrus herb blend and place them breast side down in the pan (the side that had the skin). Cook about 5 minutes per side until the chicken doesn’t stick to the pan when you lift it to turn. You also can turn the chicken over when you see the white cooked part has moved half way up the breast. Transfer the chicken to a plate and keep warm. Leave the warm pan on the stove and make the Fine Herb sauce.

While pan is hot, deglaze the pan with sherry. (Deglaze: to remove browned bits of food from the bottom of a pan after sautéing. Liquid is added to hot pan while stirring to remove bits from bottom of pan. This resulting mixture often becomes the base for a sauce.) Add the chicken stock and herb blend to the pan and simmer for 2 minutes. Finish sauce with a pat of butter, also called monter au beurre. (When butter is added as a finishing touch to a sauce, it's called monter au beurre. To do this, chunks of cold butter, usually unsalted, are whisked in until they melt. The added fat gives the sauce better “mouth feel,” making it taste richer and adding a gloss to your sauce.) Slice the chicken on the bias and cover with Fine Herb sauce. Serve immediately.

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oranges, are the key to going salt-free. Will your taste buds dance the way sodium chloride makes them? Perhaps not in exactly the same way, but with the right spices, you may not even notice. I use several herb and spice blends, switching off depending on what I am making. I favor a basic blend with a citrus note in many of my dishes. I grate lemon or orange rind and add it to dried herbs and spices such as basil, oregano, thyme, dried onion flakes or powder, garlic powder, paprika and black pepper. When making your own blend, use these ingredients in the amounts you choose based on your taste preferences, and store in an airtight container for up to six months. Want a spicy blend for poultry, beef, pork, tacos and chili? I combine garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, onion powder or flakes, dried oregano, red pepper flakes and black pepper. For a lighter touch on steamed vegetables or fish, try a blend of these dried herbs: tarragon, dill, oregano, parsley, along with celery seeds or flakes.

These blends can be used fresh or mixed with olive oil/ghee (clarified butter) as a marinade. Ghee has numerous health benefits that include strengthening the immune system and boosting energy levels, and is a healthier fat that can help you feel more sated after meals. Keep in mind that just because a dish is simple doesn't mean that it can't or shouldn't be satisfying! A note about herbs: I prefer fresh chives and parsley, as their flavors diminish when dried. However, many herbs do dry wonderfully; some flavors will even intensify. When substituting dried herbs for fresh, a good rule of thumb is to use one-third as much dried herbs as fresh. If you’re using 3 tablespoons of freshly chopped oregano, use 1 tablespoon of dried. I’ve shared a couple of my favorite recipes to get you started on your journey to healthier, delicious dishes. Remember: You’re limited only by your own imagination and taste buds – don’t be afraid to try new things. Bonne santé! L

CHEF ERIN’S WHITE ROUX Yield: Enough roux to thicken 1 pint of liquid


INGREDIENTS 4 tablespoons of butter and/or pan drippings, or ghee 6 tablespoons flour

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HERB AND SPICE BLENDS Citrus Herb Blend 3 1/2 tablespoons dried basil 4 tablespoons dried oregano 4 tablespoons dried thyme 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1 1/2 tablespoons dried onion flakes


1 1/2 tablespoons celery seed or dried flakes

Heat chosen fat over medium-high heat in a skillet or small pan. Add flour all at once and immediately start whisking. Continue whisking and when mixture starts to smooth out or thin and you see bubbles, reduce heat to low and continue to cook, intermittently whisking the mixture until it starts to give a nutty aroma. Continue to cook 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat. This roux can be used immediately if the liquid you are adding it to is room temperature or below. If your liquid is hot, allow the roux to cool to room temperature, or refrigerate. If you cook with roux frequently, a batch can be refrigerated for up to one month. Make sure to wrap or seal tightly, then simply cut or break off the amount needed.

1/2 tablespoon finely ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon or orange rind Spicy Blend 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon cumin 1/4 cup chili powder 1 tablespoon onion powder 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon black pepper For a spicy-sweet taste, add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon Light Touch Herb Blend 2 tablespoons dried tarragon 1 tablespoon dried dill 1 tablespoon dried oregano 1/4 cup dried parsley 1 tablespoon celery seed or dried flakes

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esigner Kim Rico and her brother, Chef Edgar Rico, are Visalia natives now living in Austin, Texas. Using the seasonal produce available there, which is much the same as what we see in our Central Valley farmer's markets, they've shared recipes for a refreshing summer salad and cooling cocktail, as well as tips to ensure that your summer outdoor gatherings are a delight for you and your guests.

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R I C O ,



ummer is the perfect time to dust off the outdoor furniture, hang string lights to create an inviting setting, and begin entertaining guests outside, hopefully joined by friends and family, as well as a cool breeze. Al fresco dining is typically meant to bring the indoors outside. With proper planning and adherence to the concept that less is more, hosting outside can actually be more enjoyable and less stressful than you might expect. Here are my seven favorite steps to better al fresco gatherings:

1. Consider the guests you are serving It’s important to analyze any special needs they have. For example, if your friends are bringing their young kids, I would consider using plastic plates and glassware to minimize the chance of breakage. You might set up a special table just for them (who among us didn’t love the kids’ table at Thanksgiving?). Also, analyze the area for other hazards. As you assess the needs, consider: What are the ages in the group? What type of menu are you planning? What type of tableware would be best? What seating is required? (Do you need a high chair? Will you need to bring extra seating in?) Evaluate the surroundings and see if you need to bring in items to complete the setting.




2. Choose the tableware according to the setting Hosting al fresco can allow you to entertain outside in several settings. Perhaps you are camping with friends in the mountains, or along the coast enjoying the ocean breeze; perhaps you are in your backyard in the Central Valley. Regardless, hosting al fresco doesn’t limit you to just your dining table. If you are camping or in an area where it’s a bit remote, I would suggest using disposable items that are biodegradable. For example, Amazon sells an incredible line of bamboo disposable plates and has bamboo utensils that are attractive, functional and earth-friendly. If you are gathering with adults in your backyard, why not pull out your fine china and use it outside? Setting up a full table with real china easily elevates the setting, making your guests feel special.


3. Soft furnishings and textiles If you are home, I would encourage you to incorporate a soft-seated sitting area in addition to your dining table. That gives your guests another conversational area to enjoy each other’s company in addition to the dining table. If that’s not an option, bring in softer textiles like seersucker, linen and cotton by incorporating them in your runners, place settings and napkins, which will soften the table décor and make it feel a bit more elegant. Feel free to incorporate outdoor fabric pillows and place them on each guest’s chair for added comfort. Or, if your setting is the beach or mountains, where the evenings may be cooler, I suggest some light blankets that your guests could use to stay warm. L I F E S T Y L E | J U LY 2 0 1 8 35

5. Secondary serving area FOODIE FEATURE

To avoid repeated trips to the kitchen or food prep area, it’s a good idea to set up a secondary serving area next to the dining table. This can house your serving platters, extra napkins, utensils, glassware and beverages (be sure to set up an area with a water dispenser infused with fresh citrus or fruit), and also salt and pepper for those extra dashes of seasoning.

6. Uninvited 'guests' As lovely as dining al fresco may be, it does tend to attract uninvited guests ... and, no, I am not talking about that family member or friend of a friend you didn’t want to invite. I am talking about pesky critters that include mosquitos, ants and flies. A few ideas to prepare for them is to incorporate citronella candles on the table and in the surrounding areas, including in your conversation sitting areas and the food/beverage area. Place cupcake liners that match your decor next to the glassware and cut an X in the middle so that a straw can be inserted, preventing bugs from getting inside your drinks. Lastly, spraying essential oils with lavender or eucalyptus in your gathering space helps keep bugs away.

4. Centerpieces Simplicity is the key here, so depending on where you are hosting, I would choose from these centerpiece suggestions that can work wonderfully in various settings. • Foraging: If your hosting area is surrounded by lots of greenery, cut some local plants or wildflowers and place them in mixed bud glass vases to keep the table design simple and cohesive with the natural setting. • Candles: If you don’t feel like using greenery or wildflowers, place pillar candles in small groupings of odd numbers (think three and five, keeping the groups small enough to place other items on the table). Ensure that the candles are in varying heights. If you can include some citronella candles, that helps keep “uninvited guests” (bugs) away. • Seasonal bounty: There are so many colors that you can bring to a table setting by incorporating in-season fruit or vegetables on small decorative plates or bowls. Some examples include stacking lemons and limes and placing them between flowers or candles for an added pop of color, or placing two small wood cutting boards on the center of the table with fresh fruit, a cheese wedge and olives. They not only double as centerpieces but as tasteful snacks for guests. 36 L I F E S T Y L E | J U LY 2 0 1 8

7. Ambience and lighting Outdoor settings can easily be transformed by simply incorporating these two things: string lighting and candles. String lighting placed above the dining, food and beverage areas provides a lovely ambience and sufficient lighting once the sun goes down – and, if you replace the white bulbs with yellow bulbs or sodium vapor lights, the orange or yellowish glow

may also help to deter some insects. Battery-operated fairy lights in table centerpieces or placed in Mason jars are charming and help guide your guests into/out of your hosting space. The most important tips to remember are to relax and have fun as you entertain your guests around your al fresco table, wherever that might be.

WATERMELON SALAD INGREDIENTS 1 seedless watermelon (optional yellow seedless watermelon, if available for purchase) Queso fresco cheese Pickled red onions Mint Basil Extra virgin olive oil Chili powder Maldon sea salt Lemon juice (fresh) Pistachios (Optional, but highly recommended)

DIRECTIONS Whisk 1 cup of red wine vinegar in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon of FOODIE sugar and salt until dissolved. FEATURE Add one thinly sliced pickled red onion; let the mixture rest overnight in the refrigerator (for best results). Cut the watermelon into bite-size pieces (small enough to fit onto a fork, or you can use a melon baller for a more sophisticated look) Toss watermelon in a bowl with olive oil and Maldon sea salt Spoon the seasoned watermelon into a serving dish; garnish the top with some basil and mint leaves, pickled onions. Crumble the queso fresco and sprinkle some chili powder over the top. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Late-season plums line the driveway, leading to a clear view of the house. L I F E S T Y L E | J U LY 2 0 1 8 37


APEROL SPRITZER INGREDIENTS Aperol Prosecco, chilled Soda water Oranges Ice DIRECTIONS Add lots of ice to a large white wine glass. Pour a shot glass of Aperol over the ice cubes. Fill the glass 3/4 of the way with the chilled Prosecco. Cut half of the orange and squeeze the fresh citrus juice over the Prosecco. Stir once. Finish the drink with a splash of soda water and a slice of orange.


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ix years into their marriage and five years after moving to Nashville, Joseph and Martina Costa are beginning to see the rewards of the long days and late nights that building a business requires. After all, the couple, who are better known to country music fans across the nation as Terra Bella, are making a name for themselves in an industry that they have always wanted to be part of. Doing it together has given them the daunting task of working on both their marriage and music career at the same time. They are coming home this month to show a little love (okay, a lot) to their most loyal fan base, Central Valley residents who have cheered their climb to stardom and recent successes in Music City, USA. Headlining the Boots, Brews & Bacon Fest on July 28 at the Visalia Convention Center, Joseph and Martina agree that playing shows at home are their favorites, even as they travel coast to coast promoting their new album, “There’s a Country Song.” “It’s time for us to put our album out there in the world and get it in the hands of our fans,” Martina said before heading

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into the studio for work on a songwriting session at their Nashville studio. “But being out West, and always in the Central Valley, is home and will always be home because of the values it represents. It’s the people, the hard work, the ag traditions and family.” Joe is a graduate of Golden West High School in Visalia and Martina a graduate of Sanger High School. The band will be playing several shows in California over the next few months (find their schedule at terrabellamusic. com), including the July 28 festival and a free “My Job Depends on Ag” concert July 31 at the Tulare County Fairgrounds, sponsored by KJUG-FM radio. Joseph, who also goes by Joe, said the duo’s biggest fan base is right here. “We’re coming back to show a little extra attention to the people who have stood by us while we’ve been establishing ourselves here,” he said. “We can’t wait to play for the people who have had our back for this whole journey.” And what a journey it has been. After a chance meeting on MySpace, that now-defunct social media site (Martina was searching for guitar lessons and Joe answered her query), the duo




joined forces nearly 10 years ago. A classic country song brought them together: “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” by David Frizzell and Shelly West. According to an article in “Billboard” magazine, the couple started singing together among their friends at backyard barbecues. After a few renditions of that famous anthem, people noticed their talent and chemistry and encouraged them to play more music together. With Joe on guitar and Martina’s warm vocal tones, the musicians formed a band with several other musicians called Chaparral. They performed throughout the area at bars, festivals and concerts. Once they were married, the couple knew that they wanted to make a concerted effort at the country music business. After one visit to Nashville, they knew that they needed to make the jump. Chaparral parted ways amicably (some of the members flew out to play back-up on this latest album) and as often is necessary in the business world, the couple rebranded themselves as Terra Bella. Since then, they’ve immersed themselves in the city’s songwriting


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We are still the same people, but we have grown so much as a married couple as well as a duo....” - Martina Costa community, networked and played hundreds of shows. That effort paid off in 2016 when their debut EP “Road to Forever” came to fruition and the single, “You’ve Got That Somethin’,” scored the duo’s first Billboard Indicator (#51) and Music Row (#42) charting song. While the name has no correlation to the Tulare County town, Joe said the translation to “Beautiful Earth” fits them to a T. Since they were born, Joe and Martina have been tied to the land through farming as well as raising and showing horses and livestock. Martina said proudly during this interview that she and Joe consider themselves “ag-vocates.” Her Lifetime Future Farmers of America membership shines through when she talks about the value of agriculture education in the state and nation. “We are believers in agriculture students because they are the future of this country,” she said. “Being a member of Sanger FFA in high school, it really brought everything to the straight and narrow path of my dreams. Not only did I make great friendships, but what we learn in FFA about taking care of livestock, leadership and time management is so important. I have a lot of respect for the FFA; I can’t say enough great things about it. It is the platform that launches the leaders of tomorrow.”


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Martina points to her attendance at the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky., as a precursor to her career choice: A day trip to Nashville during the convention opened her eyes to the possibilities of the country music business. And the couple enjoyed turning the tables by performing at two previous California FFA conventions, in front of thousands of students wearing those impressive blue corduroy jackets. Being a Californian in Tennessee is sometimes a hard sell, so Joe and Martina work hard to correct stereotypes of the state by their musical statements. “Every chance, every day, with anybody who listens, we come across as authentic,” Joe said. “We’re country. We are not SoCal surfer types or any of those other stereotypes thrown around about Californians. We are country; we grew up on farms and raised horses. This lifestyle does exist in California.” Both Martina and Joe agree that surrounding themselves with other musicians, song writers and industry professionals has been key to their growing success. “We are still the same people, but we have grown so much as a married couple as well as a duo,” Martina said. “We are better versions of ourselves in both of those aspects. Vocally, the talent level has grown, as well as the musical stylings. Everything has been taken to the next level.”

Joe said collaborating with other musicians has been of tremendous influence. “Nashville has taught us both to be more open-minded, and working with people like (songwriter) Johnny Garcia has helped us improve our singing and writing abilities. All those little things add up to make you a better performer and better person. We are a better version of who we have always been.” There are moments when the daily grind feels like too much. Like any business owner, Joe likens the business to a roster on a professional sports team: There are only so many positions to fill, and thousands are vying for those Top 40 country music slots. Martina said, “One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced is not quitting. When things get hard and you want to go home, you really learn to put your heels down, take a deep breath and realize the story isn’t over. That’s the time to push on and just keep going.” At this time next year, both Joe and Martina said they anticipate being in the studio, writing and recording more music. “Our goal from here on out is to get as much content out there as we can,” Joe said. “We have a lot to say, and we have the means to make records ourselves. We will be slamming out as much music as possible. But for now, it’s time to get back out in front of our fans.” L

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f you have a travel bucket list, Brooklyn probably isn’t on it. But when visiting New York City, a day spent across the East River could be the highlight of your trip. The area’s historic architecture, promenades and great food are reason enough to visit, but the process of getting there and back (and those views!) seal the deal. As much as I applaud New York’s subway system as the best way to get from point A to point B, this trip calls for different transportation – walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and cruising the East River back to Manhattan.

A feat of 19th-century engineering, the Brooklyn Bridge, longer by 50 percent than any suspension bridge of its time, is an iconic feature of New York City’s skyline. It even has a place in our national lexicon as a metaphor for gullibility and slick salesmanship after con man George Parker repeatedly “sold” the bridge, promising future wealth from access tolls. Designer John Roebling ingeniously devised webbed trusses and woven steel cables to enhance stability, and air locks to make underwater work possible. He also added an elevated pedestrian

promenade, accurately predicting that it “would be of incalculable value in a crowded commercial city.” Built for horse-drawn carriages when it opened in 1883, now 125,00 motor vehicles, 4,000 pedestrians and 3,100 cyclists cross the bridge daily. The entrance is opposite City Hall Park on Centre Street via the 4, 5 and 6 trains to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall Station. Allow 45 minutes to cross (photo and “gaze time” included). Just steer clear of the bike lane; some of those cyclists whip by at speeds better suited for running time trials!

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THE PHOTO everyone takes of Manhattan Bridge between the warehouses; this is a shot from farther away at Front Street.



Photo credit




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DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights are the two neighborhoods closest to the bridge. They share Belgian block cobblestoned roads (originally 1800s ship ballast) and the 85-acre Brooklyn Bridge Park along their waterfronts. DUMBO: An acronym for down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass, it’s the waterfront area underneath the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. (Jerry Seinfeld once said “overpass” was added so that it wouldn’t just be DUMB). Formerly an overgrown and abandoned industrial area, it’s now one of Brooklyn’s most vibrant neighborhoods. It retains that original vibe, though, as industrial chic design predominates with wood (dark and weathered as well as new and lightly hued), metals and creative interior plantings to merge inside and outside spaces. Take the first bridge exit stairway on the left to Washington Street. Then turn toward the water and prepare to be amazed by the view of the Manhattan Bridge sandwiched between historic warehouses. It’s more like a backdrop from a movie set. Walk north to Front or Water streets for the best photo (joining tourists trading cameras for their iconic picture). Continue to the waterfront, turning left to see: 1. Jane’s Carousel: This 1922 carousel was restored to its original splendor and opened to the public in 2011 with a protective glass surround. It sits like a jewel in a glass box beckoning riders despite the weather. 2. Empire Stores: Across from the carousel, this huge warehouse (first owned by Empire Stores) is one of the few to retain the 1800s brick facade, schist rock structural walls and heavy timber construction once ubiquitous on this waterfront. Reopening in 2016 with shops and restaurants, the Brooklyn Historical Society Annex upstairs (parent museum is in Brooklyn Heights) chronicles the history of DUMBO. 3. St. Anne’s Warehouse: This pre-Civil War tobacco warehouse is home to an experimental theater group. Its facade was preserved by “floating” a 700-seat theater within most of the interior, with open-air garden in the rest. 4. Brooklyn Bridge Park: Begun in 2010 and nearly complete, it spans the east end of DUMBO to the south end of Brooklyn Heights. Go to for the diversity of recreational offerings.



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5 5. Luke's Lobster: A tiny building with the finest lobster rolls outside Maine. 6. River Café: This 40-year-old floating barge restaurant is the only Michelinstarred dining in DUMBO (and has breathtaking views of Manhattan). 7. Fulton Ferry Landing: This pier marks the location of the first ferry service between Brooklyn and Manhattan, the only way to travel to Manhattan until the Brooklyn Bridge. Renovated and re-opened in 1997, it’s surrounded by railings etched with Walt Whitman’s famous “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” poem, and bronze reliefs of local historic drawings are embedded in its deck. 8. Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory: Nestled by the Brooklyn Bridge on Fulton Landing, it serves small batch, all-natural ice cream in a 1920s fireboat house. The River Café’s pastry chef concocts all the toppings, and the deep, dark fudge is worth waiting in line. 9. Grimaldi’s or Juliana’s Pizzeria?: Check out the pizza rivalry two blocks away. Lines at these side-by-side restaurants attest to the quality of the finished product, but the story behind the competition is just as tasty. In 1990, Pasquale “Patsy” Grimaldi opened Grimaldi’s Pizzeria at 19 Front St. with a coal-fired brick oven, which weighs 25 tons and burns 100 pounds of Pennsylvania anthracite daily (a harder

6 7 and purer coal that burns without smoke). He credits the oven’s 1,200-degree heat for creating his signature thin crust. It’s consistently voted best pizza by Zagat year after year. Patsy sold the business (and name) to Frank Ciolli in 1998 in order to travel. Eight years later, Ciolli ran afoul of unpaid state taxes and by 2010, he was in serious sauce over unpaid rent and taxes. After unsuccessfully attempting to evict this troublesome tenant, the landlord did not renew Ciolli’s lease in 2011. Undaunted, Ciolli rented the larger, historic cast-iron building next door (without the coal oven inside, but with the Grimaldi name outside). Not to be bested, the landlord persuaded Patsy to return. No longer able to use his last name (which he had sold to Ciolli) or his first (since “Patsy’s” was commercially owned by his aunt), the pizzeria was named Juliana’s in memory of Grimaldi’s mother. Taken aback that Patsy and oven were a team again, Ciolli fought the city and EPA to acquire a coal-fired oven from an abandoned bakery. The competition appears amicable since there’s more than enough business for both restaurants. If the lines are too long, we have found that the pizza at nearby Ignazio’s is equally as good. 10. #1 Hotel: Wednesday through Saturday, the 10th-floor bar and rooftop are open to the public as the Brooklyn

Social Club, allowing everyone (not just hotel occupants) the unrivaled views of the bridge and Manhattan. Located at the junction of DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights, this 2016 hotel has received awards for beauty and sustainability. After our hotel stay, we felt form took precedence over function, however, when our cool-looking chair proved impossible to get in or out of, and the moss planted on our cabinet (really) continually left green “lint” on our clothes. Guess that plant material brought inside wanted to get back out! 11. Atrium: Located in the clock tower building, its modern French cuisine is Michelin recommended and its framed “art” is actually living plants. 12. Almondine & Jacques Torres Chocolate: With shared ownership, these shops sit on either side of Water Street. For impressive croissants and pastries, visit Almondine. But if chocolate is your aim, the creative and edgy offerings at Jacques Torres will not disappoint. Often called “Mr. Chocolate,” owner Jacques Torres has expanded this original shop into eight throughout New York City. BROOKLYN HEIGHTS is just south of DUMBO. Sparsely populated in 1814, when Robert Fulton’s steam ferry connected it to Manhattan in just 12 minutes, commuting bankers and merchants built

10 11


treK 48

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8 grand homes. By 1860, the Heights was declared “America's First Suburb.” The population boom after the introduction of the Brooklyn Bridge and later elevated rail service made elegant large homes less practical. Many were divided into apartments for more transitory occupants, and some were demolished. The 1950s saw families reclaiming this area and restoring its original splendor. Residents worked diligently toward permanent architectural integrity and, in 1965, it received designation as New York’s first historic district. With quiet, tree-lined streets and wide variation in 19th-century architecture, this is the comfy and cozy not always found in busy DUMBO. Highlights include: 13. Brooklyn Heights Promenade: This is a scenic walkway and quiet place to ponder on one of its many benches. Grand townhouses sit on one side and the Manhattan skyline on the other. It’s hard to believe that you are cantilevered over the six lanes of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (until you look over the railing). 14. New York Transit Museum: Located in a decommissioned subway station, it opened temporarily for 1976’s bicentennial. Resoundingly popular, it became permanent. Exhibitions include the building of New York’s subway, interactive vintage turnstiles, a simulated traffic intersection complete


with bus, and a riveting display of emergency actions during 9/11, Hurricane Sandy flooding and blackouts. Other places of note to visit include: • Henry Public Restaurant: With a historic vibe, this Brooklyn Heights institution is famous for its turkey leg sandwiches. Not your typical Thanksgiving leftover, it’s a giant pile of tasty pulled turkey on grilled multigrain bread. • 177 Montague St.: Built in 1916 to resemble an Italian Renaissance palace, this Chase Bank is considered the grandest in New York. • 102 Pierrepont St.: Built in 1860s, it’s the former home of Arthur Miller (“Death of a Salesman”). • 70 Willow St.: Built in 1839, this is Truman Capote’s home when he was writing “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Choices for river transport home: At $2.75, the sleek blue-and-white NYC Ferry is a mere four-minute trip from Fulton Landing to Lower East Side’s Pier 11 (Wall Street). Tickets are available from pier vending machines or through the NYC Ferry App. Bright yellow-and-black water taxis offer $19 single-use tickets at the Fulton Landing kiosk. Normally a hop-on, hop-off tour, this ticket is a 20-minute trip around the tip of Manhattan to Pier 83 (Midtown at West 42nd). L




Right: This once stately mansion on Jormalemon Street in Brooklyn Heights was built in 1900 and is now split into 15 apartments. Below: The two possible water transports back to Manhattan - the yellow-and-black water taxi or blue-and-white NYC Ferry.

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ost California residents are somewhat aware that the more than 400 commodities grown and produced here make a huge impact the world over, but it still boggles the mind that our state alone has a $71.25 billion food industry. Products grown in the Central Valley feed one-third of the nation – one-third! No question that opportunities for businesses and fervent foodies abound here, but until just a few years ago, there wasn’t a dedicated venue for showcasing and increasing awareness about them. Enter the Fresno Food Expo and Expolicious! For the past seven years, the Fresno Food Expo has offered the opportunity for Central California food growers and retailers to connect with buyers from around the nation and the world, increasing awareness and sales of locally grown and made products. The inaugural event in 2011 was the brainchild of the city of Fresno and then-Mayor Ashley Swearingen. The vision was to create an annual “hub” connecting producers from the eight counties in the Central Valley with regional and international buyers for produce, beverages, dairy, cheese,

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nuts and more. The first half of the two-day event facilitated opportunities for vendors to connect with each other in a trade-show setting, with the second half open for approved regional and international buyers (with purchasing decision power) to interact with the local food companies. The event was originally funded by the city of Fresno, but grew enough over time to become a nonprofit organization run by a board. In 2017, 142 food and beverage companies and 650 regional, national and international foodservice and retail buyers (including 21 buyers from Central America, Mexico and southeast Asia) attended the Food Expo. For passionate foodies or curious consumers, the place to be is Expolicious (officially named in 2017). At this public portion of the event, community members can purchase tickets to walk the show floor and mingle with dozens of food professionals, from “… the produce growers, food manufacturers, craft brewers and winemakers who produce California’s finest foods, to the chefs and restaurateurs who bring our foods to life





in the dishes they create, and the consumers who become brand ambassadors and help us tell the world about California’s rich food culture.” More than 1,100 members of the public attended Expolicious last year, where in addition to the vendors, 16 Central Valley restaurants and celebrity chefs participated in the restaurant competition. Keynote speakers at the Expo are always a highlight for the attendees, and this year’s headliner is Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. She will speak at the welcome breakfast, focusing on the future of food and agriculture, as well as the food industry’s economic impact on the Golden State. This topic is particularly relevant at this year’s Expo as, for the first time, all California-based food companies are invited to display at the show. Food Expo Manager Amy Fuentes said event organizers expect to see some increase in new vendors and exhibitors in 2018 from this development, however, substantial growth is expected over the next three to five years after the Expo rebrands and formally introduces the

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concept at this year’s event. “With a much bigger story to tell, we have many new exhibitors and buyers already registering to attend; feedback from new vendors has been very positive so far about the wider impact, as we look to build the Fresno Food Expo into a world-class trade show,” she said. In addition to the positive impact that the Expo makes on the participants, Fresno and the surrounding communities also receive an economic boost through travel and tourism dollars and a wider influence on businesses in general, as local companies make new connections with customers, allowing them to expand their business reach with more employees and increased export of product. And just as they expect the event to grow in the next few years, organizers also expect to see that growth impact the surrounding community. Fuentes clarified that they hope it is similar to the trajectory of the World Ag Expo, explaining “… 30 years ago, it was the Tulare Farm Expo. Then it was rebranded as the World Ag Expo, with an extended reach and impact that resulted in a huge influx in tourism dollars through increased hotel reservations, air and car travel to the area, and more restaurant business, among other things.” Expolicious attendees receive a swag bag with a wine-tasting glass at check-in, and a plethora of product samples await them – a huge draw for anyone who loves food. In addition to the fun of trying new foods and beverages, many consumers learn that products they already liked or knew of are made locally. This fosters a new appreciation for the chance to more intentionally support home-grown farms and businesses and


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can result in big growth for participating companies. A great example of this is Velvetree LLC, which participated for the first time in 2017. After the Expo, so many consumers visited Total Wine & More looking for its Wicked Harvest Pistachio Bourbon Whiskey that the retailer contacted the company to request the product. As a result, the unique whiskey has since been distributed to 25 Total Wine & More stores in California, and 65 other retail and restaurant locations in California, Oregon and Kentucky. Last year also introduced a restaurant component, challenging participating local eateries to create special dishes with products mostly available at the Expo. Broadcaster, author and Food Network celebrity chef Simon Majumdar was invited to head up this portion of the event, and he is returning this year. As of publication, the restaurants include the Press Box, Quesadilla Gorilla, Riley’s Brew Pub, the Annex Kitchen, the Elbow Room, the Painted Table, Bobby Salazar’s Mexican Foods and Max’s Bistro & Bar. Also new this year are the Consumer Choice Awards, which will be presented to participating exhibitors and restaurants, and judged by an official consumer panel. More than 100 applications from all demographics were submitted, and organizers used California’s state demographics to select the 20-member panel that will determine the winners. The award for exhibitors allows all participating exhibitors an opportunity to enter a product of their choice for a chance to participate in the Expo’s award platform. The first round of voting will be done online through 11 p.m. Sunday, July

22. This is a great way for LOCAL people to engage and see ADVETURE what’s featured at the event even if they’re not able to attend. Products receiving the top 25 percent of online votes will then go on to the panel to judge and select the top three. Participating Expolicious restaurants also have a chance to win their own Consumer Choice Award. Expolicious is the Expo’s evening celebration when restaurants are invited to create and serve a new “Expo” bite made with exhibitor products. The consumer panel will be onsite testing all of these new bites and determining the winning restaurant. The Expo’s evening celebration cannot be found at any other food show around the country, but has proved to be an overwhelming success at this event. There will indeed be more to see than can be seen in the mere three hours that Expolicious affords. Conveniently, foodies can download the free Fresno Food App before the show to strategically plan their time by locating specific foods and businesses they want to see. Expolicious tickets are on sale, with presales continuing while supplies last on a first-come, first-served basis. The event has sold out in years past. Your best bet is to purchase tickets in advance as they’ll only be sold at the door if there is space available. Put on your walking shoes and bring your appetite – Expolicious awaits from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, July 26, at the Fresno Convention Center, 700 M St., Fresno. For more information or to purchase tickets: expolicious-0 L


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Special Recipe


amily Services presented its 10th annual Guest Chef Series on June 9 at the International Agri-Center in Tulare. Returning guest chef David Vartanian of the Vintage Press helped the nonprofit pull off this year’s delicious theme: “An Evening on the Orient Express.“ The food, wine and décor transported the 350 attendees to an elegant vintage train ride, complete with four culinary stops in countries along the original European route. During Vartanian’s live cooking demonstration, guests sampled food and wine tastings inspired by Venice, Italy; Constantinople, Turkey, and Munich, Germany. Dinner was Steak au Poivre, a delicious final stop in Paris. While guests enjoyed the culinary tour across Europe, they also contributed to Family Services’ work at home in Tulare County. The event raised more than $100,000, critical funding that will make it possible for Family Services to help more than 3,000 children and adults heal from violence and thrive in healthy relationships this year. Learn more about Family Services at L

SERVES 4 INGREDIENTS 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes 4 slices bacon, diced 1 small onion, diced 1/4 cup white vinegar 2 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

DIRECTIONS Wash and boil the potatoes. When they are cool enough to handle, cut them into slices and set aside. Place diced bacon in a heavy skillet and cook over medium heat until browned. Add diced onion and continue cooking until soft. Add remaining ingredients to pan until heated through. Serve warm.




cKellar Family Farms sold out its very first “Tree to Table” fundraising dinner at Historic Seven Sycamores Ranch on June 1. More than 125 guests from around Tulare County came out to support the farm's ag education programs while enjoying a beautiful farm-to-table dining experience. Chef David Vartanian of the Vintage Press presented three courses, creatively prepared with locally sourced ingredients, including McKellar Valencia oranges. During dinner, guests were serenaded by soothing sounds of James “Sinatra” Hitchcock. McKellar Family Farms plans to make

this “Tree to Table” event its flagship yearly fundraiser.


McKellar Family Farms is located in the heart of the Central Valley, just 41 miles from Sequoia National Park. As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, it provides visitors with an educational and interactive agricultural experience on its 182-acre citrus farm. Currently, it offers group wagon tours to thousands of tourists, school groups and guests, giving them a behind-the-scenes look at life on a California citrus farm. Future plans include development of a selfguided walking tour geared toward individuals and small groups.

Special Recipe


4 skin-on “free range” Shelton’s chicken breasts (boneless except for the wing bone cut off at the first joint) 1 tablespoon peanut oil 1 shallot, minced 12 cloves roasted garlic 3/4 cup chardonnay 3 cups rich chicken stock reduced down to 1 cup Juice of 1 lemon 1 ounce sweet butter 1 teaspoon fresh-cut chives Salt Fresh ground pepper Candied lemon peel DIRECTIONS


Heat the oil in a heavy sauté pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the chicken skin-side down in the pan and cook until the skin is golden in color and crisp. Turn the chicken over and cook for another minute or two. Remove the chicken from the pan and place in a 350-degree oven to finish cooking for 8 to 10 minutes. Discard the rendered fat in the pan. Add the shallot and roasted garlic. Deglaze the pan with the wine. Reduce the wine by half. Add the stock and again reduce until lightly thickened. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the sweet butter. Remove the chicken from the oven. Place the chicken on warm plates. Pour the rendered chicken juice into the sauce. Add the chives. Serve the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with a liberal amount of candied lemon peel. To candy the lemon peel, remove the yellow zest of 2 lemons with a vegetable peeler. Cut the peel into julienne strips. Place the lemon peel in a pan along with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. Cook over medium heat until the liquid evaporates. Be careful to not let the sugar caramelize. To roast the garlic, place 16 or more cloves in a heavy pan. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil. Cover the pan with a heavy lid or aluminum foil. Place in a 300-degree oven for 45 minutes or until soft. L I F E S T Y L E | J U LY 2 0 1 8










ike Mary Poppins’ bottomless carpetbag filled with magic, seemingly empty designer handbags turned out to be filled with support for children’s literacy at United Way of Tulare County’s Power of the Purse event June 9. Hosted by UWTC’s Women United affinity group, the third annual breakfast event encouraged more than 350 attendees to make a difference in their lives, their workplaces and their communities. Each year, Power of the Purse features a nationally acclaimed speaker and the opportunity for guests to connect, revive and thrive while raising funds in support of the organization’s literacy project. Although it is relatively new in the Central Valley, the Power of the Purse breakfast has been a staple event for more than 25 years within United Way across the nation. In addition to ticket sales to attend the event, purchases of chances to win donated designer purses during the festivities generate big dollars and delighted winners. This year’s cache included 50 bags by Coach, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Artelusa, Roberto Cavalli, Patricia Nash, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Dooney & Bourke, Anuschka, Brighton and Hobo. Final numbers are not yet available, but the money raised will provide literacy grants to local kindergarten through third-grade classrooms, ensuring that

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teachers will have the books they need to promote and encourage reading. According to UWTC Executive Director Rosemary Caso, many of the teachers who apply for the grants have children in their classrooms who have no access to books and do not have books in their homes. “Our Women United group understands the importance of children reading proficiently by third grade and knows providing children access to books is imperative,” she said. This year’s keynote speaker was Stacey Bess. A national advocate for the educational rights of impoverished children, Bess is the recipient of the Jefferson Award, a national honor for public service. Recognized across the U.S. for her unusual success with “hopeless” children, Bess penned her memoir, “Nobody Don’t Love Nobody,” which was adapted into a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. The educator shared her personal story that includes 11 years of teaching homeless children, and offered powerful and inspirational insights and lessons for those yearning to make a difference in their community. Kendra Carson, United Way of Tulare County board member and co-chair (with Kris Bruce) of the Women United infinity group, expressed gratitude for all who helped make this year’s Power of the Purse a resounding success. “We greatly appreciate everyone who participates in Power of the Purse for their

generosity, both in time and resources,” she said. “This event could not be a success without every single sponsor, donor, volunteer, model, attendee, committee member or staff member who chooses to help fight for the education for every child in every Tulare County community by participating in this event year after year. We hope everyone enjoys Power of the Purse and contributes to its continued success by bringing others with them next year.” L

Thursday August 2nd 5-8 p.m. Champagne and o’douvres will be served

A portion of our proceeds will be donated to:

Fashion show Supplied by:

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windows • doors • mirrors • shower • hardware • cabinets

@windowsplusconstruction L I F E S T Y L E | J U LY 2 0 1 8 57


Celebrant Singers From midtown Manhattan to the turbulent streets of Tehran, Monte Carlo to the slums of Calcutta, Miami to war-torn Northern Ireland, more than 8 million people have gathered to hear Celebrant Singers’ message of hope and encouragement. Now in their 41st year of consecutive ministry, Jon Stemkoski’s Celebrant Singers is one of the nation’s premier music and missions organizations. All seats are free; it's an event for the whole family. When: July 21, 5-7 p.m.; July 22, 10 a.m.-noon Where: Holy Family Church, 1908 N. Court St., Visalia Contact:, Holy Family Church, (559) 734-9522

Girl Sports: Trampoline – Tulare County Let's jump! Join your Girl Scout friends for a jumpin' good time. Includes entry and use of trampolines, trampoline socks and patch. When: July 25, 10-11:30 a.m. Where: Quantam Leap, 4335 E. Noble Ave., Visalia Contact: Girl Scouts of Central California South, (559) 291-5078

Big Willy’s Open Mic Established in 2011 by William "Big Willy" Anderson. Willy wanted to start something that would give back to our musical community and provide a positive place for musicians to play in front of an audience, quite possibly for the first time. Free admission, all ages. When: July 21, 7-10 p.m. Where: Howie & Son’s Pizza Parlor, 2430 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia Contact: bigwillyopenmic/

The Fresno Food Expo Fresno Food Expo’s public portion invites members of the community to see and taste food and beverages from dozens of chefs and restaurateurs ready to show you their culinary fineness. Tickets: $40 at consignment location, $50 online. When: July 26, 5-8 p.m. Where: Fresno Convention Center, 848 M St., Fresno Contact: For more ticket information:

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Burgerim Grand Opening New Rock 104.1 will broadcast live at the grand opening of Burgerim, which will include a ribbon-cutting, meet Visalia Mayor Warren Gubler and a firetruck for pictures. Burgerim is a new concept – gourmet burgers by the pack, always more than one. The first 300 guests will receive a free burger. When: July 27, 1 p.m. Where: 2226 S. Mooney Blvd. Suite A5, Visalia Contact: (559) 802-3028 Dave's Not Here (Foo Fighters Tribute) The Central Valley's premier Foo Fighters tribute act makes their triumphant return to Visalia, this time taking over BarrelHouse! Enjoy delicious craft beer and sing along to your all-time favorites and maybe even pick up a new favorite on the way. This is a free event. When: July 27, 6-9 p.m. Where: BarrelHouse Visalia Taproom and Beer Gardens, 521 E. Main St., Visalia Contact: BarrelHouse Visalia Taproom and Beer Gardens, (559) 713-6690 Boots Brews & Bacon Come on down to Boots Brews & Bacon for a whole lot of beer, bacon and country music. Unlimited beer tasting, live music, local restaurants featuring their best bacon bite samples, cash prize for the best bacon bite as voted by attendees, bacon eating contest and pub games. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 day of, groups of 10+ $25 and $75 VIP. This is a 21+ event; proof of age will be required at the door. When: July 28, 6-10 p.m. Where: Visalia Convention Center, 303 E. Acequia Ave., Visalia Contact: Visalia Convention Center, (559) 713-4000

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Taquiza y Toros 2018 Join Los Toros for a week full of live music and entertainment, food trucks, and special taco and beer ticket packages while celebrating Hispanic heritage. When: July 31, 7-10 p.m. Where: Visalia Rawhide, 300 N. Giddings St., Visalia Contact: Ticket info, Annual Kaweah Delta Golf Classic The Kaweah Delta Hospital Foundation is planning its 30th annual Golf Classic. Proceeds will go to the Caring for Our Community campaign. The foundation is focusing its fundraising efforts on state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Giraffe Beds. When: Aug. 3, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: Visalia Country Club, 625 N. Ranch St., Visalia Contact: Celebrant Singers Annual Homecoming Concert One vision, 41 years, 50 states, 101 countries, 3,200 alumni, thousands of services, and more than 8 million lives touched and changed for time and eternity. All of this to God’s glory. Join us to welcome home this summer's team members and worship together. When: Aug. 11, 7-9 p.m. Where: LJ Williams Theatre, 1001 W Main St., Visalia Contact:


Visalia’s Beach Party Pub Crawl It's time to show off your fabulous Hawaiian dresses, don your comfiest Hawaiian shirts and join us for a totally beachin' pub crawl when all things beachy keen take over Main Street Visalia. Come dressed for the beach or come up with your most clever costume! There will be a contest. For crawl locations, visit our website. $10, 21+. When: Aug. 11, 4:30-9 p.m. Check-In starts at 4 p.m. Where: Main Street, Visalia Contact: Weekend of Wellness Everything good for our fans will be accessible this weekend. Booths promoting a healthy lifestyle, from dental to eye care will be around the park for people to interact with. Tickets: $7, $8, $9, $11, $13, $15, $18, $25, $30. When: Aug. 10-12, 7-10 p.m. Where: Visalia Rawhide, HAPPENINGS 300 N. Giddings St., Visalia Contact: Prestige at BarrelHouse Brewing Company Prestige will be returning to the BarrelHouse Brewing Company to bring the classic tunes of the ’60s and ’70s. Last time was a blast and this time is going to be even better. Good people, good times and great beer. Free admission. When: Aug. 17, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Where: BarrelHouse Visalia Taproom and Beer Garden, 521 E. Main St., Visalia Contact: BarrelHouse Brewing Visalia, (559) 713-6690

Hell of a Half Marathon Yes, the course is challenging, the weather is hot, but what else would you expect at the Hell of a Half Marathon? You know what you are made of, so sign up now before you regret not getting in. Tickets: $85 race fee + $4.50 sign-up fee. When: Aug. 18, 7-11 a.m. Where: Exeter Veterans Memorial Park, 324 N. Kaweah Ave., Exeter Contact: A.C. Myles at BarrelHouse Brewing Company With a collection of originals and choice covers in traditional electric blues styling, A.C. Myles very confidently delivers. His amazing vocal range and tone, as well as staggering unyielding guitar work, no doubt is left that he is the mature and genuine article. Free admission. When: Aug. 18, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Where: BarrelHouse Visalia Taproom and Beer Garden, 521 E. Main St., Visalia Contact: BarrelHouse Brewing Visalia, (559) 713-6690 Let’s Luau Come shop with more than 40 local vendors selling items such as home decor, crafts, health and beauty, jewelry, candles, vintage items, and more. There will be a raffle. Free admission. When: Aug. 18, 4-8 p.m. Where: Visalia Veterans Memorial Building, 609 W. Center St., Visalia Contact: Sandra Jones, (559) 623-2475


Wednesday, August 8th at 12:00 p.m. Buckman-Mitchell Building 500 N. Santa Fe St. CHERRY BLOSSOM IN JAPAN & JOURNEY AROUND LAKE MICHIGAN

Tuesday, August 21st, - Japan at 12:00 p.m. - Michigan at 1:00 p.m. Buckman-Mitchell Building 500 N. Santa Fe St. SUNNY PORTUGAL

Wednesday, August 22nd, 12:00 p.m. City Administration Building 220 N. Santa Fe St. ALASKA THE GREAT LAND

Wednesday, September 19th, 12:00 p.m. City Administration Building 220 N. Santa Fe St. Tours include: Roundtrip Airfare from Fresno, Roundtrip Transportation to Fresno Airport, English Speaking Tour Guide, Hotel Accommodations and some meals. FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL US AT:

VISALIA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 222 N. Garden St. Suite 300, Visalia

L I F E S T Y L E | J U LY 2 0 1 8 61

Anniversary Party, Fundraiser Celebrate our second anniversary and help Sent From Heaven raise a little money. Rubio's is donating 20 percent of sales back to us this night. When: Aug. 24, 4-7 p.m. Where: Rubio’s, 4021 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia Contact: Sent From Heaven, Bill Clifton’s Chicken & Whiskey Band BarrelHouse Beer Gardens presents Bill Clifton’s Chicken & Whiskey Band. He’s known for his high-octane guitar work and stage antics, leaving never a dull moment during a performance. Free admission. When: Aug. 31, 7-10 p.m. Where: BarrelHouse Visalia Taproom and Beer Garden, 521 E. Main St., Visalia Contact: BarrelHouse Brewing Visalia, (559) 713-6690

Waiters Race Watch another exciting Waiters Race on Thursday, Sept. 20, on Main Street in Downtown Visalia. Free to the public. Servers from local restaurants compete for $7,000 in prizes and bragging rights. Men and women racers wanted, with registration open until 3:30 p.m. Sept. 20 by clicking on Entries $25 per racer and $35 after Sept. 18. Presented by the Visalia Breakfast Lions Club with support from Budweiser, Buena Beverage, Groppetti Automotive,

Kaweah Delta Health Care District, A&W, the Vintage Press Restaurant, the Southern Pacific Depot, Jack & Charlie's, Le Boulevard, Citizens Business Bank and Momentum Broadcasting. When: Sept. 20, 5:15 p.m. parade of racers starts heading east from Main and Court streets; 5:45 p.m. main event. Where: Main Street (no street parking between 2 and 8 p.m. Sept. 20. Use the parking garage south of the Garden Street Plaza). Contact:


Throwback Films: Stand By Me (1986) “Stand by Me” is an American comingof-age comedy drama that tells the story of four boys in a small town in Oregon who go on a hike to find the dead body of a missing child. Advance tickets: $5 cash or $6 credit card plus a $2 restoration fee per order. Day of show: $6 cash or $7 credit card plus a $2 restoration fee per order. When: Sept. 8, 6 p.m. Where: Hanford Fox Theatre, 326 N. Irwin St., Hanford Contact: Hanford Fox Theatre, (559) 584-7823 Oktoberfest For nearly a decade, Oktoberfest has been one of the largest crowd-drawing events in the Central Valley. We offer samplings from various restaurants, wine tastings, beer tastings from local breweries and incredible live entertainment. Our goal is to share the Central Valley’s best food, wine, beer and entertainment with the community. $40 in advance, $50 day of. When: Sept. 28, 5:30-9:30 p.m. Where: Vossler Farms Pumpkin Patch, 26773 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia Contact: oktoberfest

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Valley Oak SPCA Annual Wine & Wags Gala, Auction You're invited to attend Valley Oak SPCA's ninth annual Wine & Wags Gala and Auction, where you will enjoy a delightful evening of wine and food tasting, live and silent auctions. In addition to the auctions, hors d'oeuvres and wine/beer tasting, a full cash bar is available. Proceeds support Valley Oak SPCA's no-kill animal rescue mission. Must be 21 years of age or older. When: Oct. 5, 6-10 p.m. Where: Visalia Wyndham, 9000 W. Airport Drive, Visalia Contact:

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Profile for Lifestyle Magazine

Lifestyle Magazine - July 2018  

Lifestyle Magazine - July 2018