Olive Harvest Celebration and Palos Verdes Pastoral
It just doesn’t get more local than this! At the upcoming Palos Verdes Pastoral to be held on October 9th at Terranea Resort, Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra will be serving an enchanting dinner inspired by the dishes of his childhood. “The mountains were my backyard and the sea was my front yard,” reminisces Chef Bernard about growing up in France’s Basque Country.
The menu will awaken diners to the flourishing textures, colors, and aromas of the charmed Basque region. The Chef brings a true garden-to-table concept to the event – not because it is fashionable, but because it is natural, the way cooking should be, he says.
In France, they relied on local products and let the season dictate what is on the table. Menus would follow the rhythm of Mother Nature. The Palos Verdes Pastoral dinner will be flavored with uber-local ingredients from the Palos Verdes Peninsula including estate-grown olive oil, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, lemonade berries, rosemary, sea salt, and honey.
The annual Palos Verdes 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.
The Conservancy preserves undeveloped land as open space for historical, educational, ecological, recreational and scenic purposes. Since its founding in 1988, the Conservancy has successfully preserved 1,600 acres of open space on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Three weeks prior to Palos Verdes Pastoral we had the pleasure of joining Chef Bernard and a team of chefs at the Olive Harvest Celebration of gracious hosts Dimitri and Leah Bizoumis.
Dimitri and Leah generously donate their exceptional wines and olive oil to the Pastoral event in support of the Land Conservancy.
An elegant Chardonnay and an attractive Pinot Noir plus extra virgin olive oil are made from grapes and olives grown exclusively on their spectacular estate in the hills above the resort. Dimitri and Leah, the Proprietors of Villa Oneiro, were both born in Greece, where winemaking and olive oil production are deeply embedded in the culture.
Dimitri grew up in Athens, and would visit relatives in the south frequently. “It was a treat to go back to my dad’s village, we would arrive unannounced and they would dig things up from the vegetable garden, run to the market for a lamb, and dinner would be done with everything fresh.”
Those flavors would forever stay with him, and when the time came for him and Leah to plan their property, they would blossom anew.
Villa Oneiro Vineyards are located on a hillside at the top of Palos Verdes Peninsula and surrounded by an organic farm of figs, apricots, citrus, nectarines & an olive orchard.
The vineyards have a north to south exposure and are nurtured by a microclimate of warm days and cold evenings that is ideal for producing world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
In Greek, Villa Oneiro means “House of Dreams” and Dimitri and Leah will kindly be sharing their dream with the guests of Palos Verdes Pastoral…
Villa Oneiro Olive Oil
At the Bizoumis home, no dish would be complete without olive oil. Having 70 trees of mixed varieties of Mediterranean olives on the property, a fresh supply can usually be found.
The climate, the care and the hand tending all come together during harvest time. And when that time comes, the olives are cold pressed within six hours of harvest.
The fresh cold pressed olive oil is perfect for vegetarian dishes and salads. With full body, elegant spiciness and bitterness, and light hints of grass and sweet perfume.
Villa Oneiro Chardonnay
The Villa Oneiro Chardonnay has heady aromas of white peach, golden apple, and tangerine blossom. Luscious flavors are reminiscent of toasted almonds, tropical fruits and pear with a good balance of acidity. It is an elegant example of Burgundian Style Chardonnay in California.
Villa Oneiro Pinot Noir
The Villa Oneiro Pinot Noir is simultaneously bright and intense with cherry, plum, and an herbally aromatic nose. The flavors are a wonderful balance of savory herb and jammy ripe red fruits. It is a wine that captures and holds your attention…
Olive Harvest Celebration
Olive oil that is processed on-site is higher quality due to shortened time between harvest and milling. As olives are harvested, Olive 2 Bottle mobile mill sets up their truck on the Villa Oneiro property.
Olives are picked by the chefs and helpers. They are dumped into a large bin where a machine removes stems and leaves. The olives are then forced down a conveyor line where they are continually crushed. The pulverized olives are ultimately processed through a centrifuge where the beautiful fresh oil is extracted.
Finally, guests have the opportunity to taste the freshest, most delicious olive oil and enjoy a bountiful buffet that includes many fruits and vegetables grown right there on the estate, paired with Villa Oneiro Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, of course.
Extending a special note of heartfelt gratitude to the Bizoumis for including us in their extraordinarily fabulous Olive Harvest Celebration.
Please be sure to stop by Taste With The Eyes later this month to read all about this year’s Palos Verdes Pastoral event and Chef Bernard’s Basque-centric menu. Links to prior year dinners here: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.
*All photos were shot at Villa Oneiro in Palos Verdes, California.
*Palos Verdes Pastoral 2016 is sold-out. To buy tickets and attend next year’s premier event, check the PVPLC website in early summer.
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