Sapphire Food Fare—sensory overload, in a good way

Well, Saturday’s Sapphire Food Fare at St. Anne School in Laguna Niguel was quite the scene. (You can read my original post about the event here.) 

It was an invigorating mash-up of fruit and vegetable vendors usually found only at Los Angeles County farmers markets, a small army of adorable tae kwon do children demonstrating their skills on a giant-size mat, and what looked like the full brigade of Sapphire Laguna cooks hustling to prepare breakfast burritos and tacos—all-organic right down to the tortillas—for a line of hungry people. Add in one of our preternaturally beautiful Southern California days, and sensory overload became a definite possibility.

In short, it was a real treat. I happily managed to score some legendary Harry’s Berries, widely asserted to be the very best strawberries available, along with some Pudwill Berry Farms blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries, golden and red. (Pudwill is actually within reach of any Orange County farmers market-goer—they sell at Saturday’s in Irvine near UCI.) I also came home with beautiful red oak-leaf lettuce, great frisée, and heirloom potatoes from famous Weiser Family Farms that look like purple-and-yellow pinto ponies.

At midday, Sapphire Laguna chef-owner Azmin Ghahreman, whose school-lunch program Sapphire at School sponsored the event, noted that more than a thousand people had already attended. Two of his four children were bustin’ some moves on the big tae kwon do mat, and he had another on his shoulders. The plan is for more such Food Fares and I hope this comes to pass. The enthusiasm was obvious and infectious—we can all use that kind of sensory overload.

For a complete list of Orange County farmers markets, visit

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