Palos Verdes Pastoral
It was my honor and pleasure to participate as official food photographer for this year’s Palos Verdes Pastoral, the premier al fresco garden-to-table dining experience of the peninsula, which took place on October 6th at Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
PV Pastoral is a fundraising event to support the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy’s mission to preserve and restore habitat for the enjoyment and education of all. I also happen to be a beneficiary of the Land Conservancy’s work, as we’ve been hiking the local trails and enjoying our open spaces here along the coast for decades.
Candlelit tables elegantly dressed in white linen with sparkling glassware were arranged under a harvest moon on a hill overlooking the blue Pacific. The vibrant autumn menu was created by Chef Rebecca Merhej – using farm-fresh, seasonal foods from our local vendors and growers expertly paired with hand-picked regional wines. The event was a smashing success.
The evening is designed to bring people together amidst nature for an exclusive dining experience featuring the best of California hand-crafted, organic, and sustainable foods. After a fabulous wine and appetizer reception on the patio, 200 guests took their seats at sunset to enjoy the artisanal creations by the Chef and her talented team.
pork pate, toasted brioche, pickled vegetables, whole grain mustard
crudo of wild caught hamachi, local avocado, fennel, lemon soy
chevre tart, black mission fig preserves
Since its founding in 1988, the Land Conservancy has preserved 1600 acres of open space with nearly 42 miles of public trails.
homemade english muffins
labneh cheese, butter, locally grown organic jams
salad of deardorff farm kale
salami, pickled peppers, ricotta salata, toasted bread crumbs, crushed olives, oregano vinaigrette
pacific halibut cheeks
stewed tomatoes, california eggplant, charred cauliflower, torn croutons
grilled prime ribeye
chimichurri, asparagus, shaved pecorino
Producers from around the state donated all of the food and wine for the evening. 100% of the proceeds benefit the Land Conservancy.
I wish to extend a special thank you to Chef Rebecca Merhej for her graciousness and the opportunity to photograph her adept team in the Mar’Sel kitchen as they executed this incredible meal. Merci Chef!
berry almond tart
marcona almonds, creme fraiche
Proceeds from this fundraiser also support guided nature walks on the preserves, the operation of two nature centers, and an environmental awareness and natural science education to about 3000 students a year.
In addition to the camaraderie, gourmet foods, stellar wines, and ambience that is second to none – the evening increased awareness of the important work of the Conservancy in protecting and stewarding open space and nature.