I’ve spent a lot of time in the past few weeks talking to local chefs. The passion and artistry they bring to their craft is delightful to witness firsthand. So many are particularly interested in sourcing the best ingredients, and often that means growing their own vegetables.
I wandered around the edible garden at Provenance with owner Cathy Pavlos, whose green thumb stems from her grandfather. “He taught us a lot about gardening,” she said. “His farm originally was right behind Huntington Beach High School.” She described the ways the restaurant uses every part of the plants grown there: “I harvest the small leaves of fava beans for pesto. Then we can use the beans later. Our beets are ready to go, and we use the tops to make into soup.” She also offered tips for anyone who wants to start an edible garden. “Borage produces these beautiful blue flowers, and we put that into salads. This is nice to put into beds to discourage insects. The bugs don’t like the texture of the borage, and they assume the whole bed is that.” She dishes out advice generously and easily. You can read more tips, find good hikes, and get ideas for gardens and events this spring in our O.C. in Bloom cover package.
It’s also the time of year when we’re gearing up for our annual Best New Restaurants package. We have a marvelous roster again this year, so keep your eyes out for the April issue and be sure to come taste it all at our Best Restaurants event.
My Favorite Things in this Issue
➜ Perfect Getaway: A visit to Yosemite National Park is always a great idea, but the park is especially vibrant in the spring.
➜ 5 Questions With …: If you haven’t tried cocktails from Ravin Buzzell at CdM, get there for his smoke-infused
➜ My O.C.: I’ve never seen a more engaging telling of the nature right in our backyards than the one James P. Blaylock gives here.
➜ Nellie Gail Moulton was a force in our county in so many ways. It’s intriguing to learn about some of them.