Top chefs from around the world are recognizing the Temecula Valley’s agriculture industry not only for its vineyards, but also for its ability to grow high quality produce yearlong.
In an effort to increase awareness and appreciation of the farming community in and around the valley, international award-winning Executive Chef Bernard Guillas of the Marine Room and La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club held a food demonstration and book signing over the weekend at E.A.T Marketplace in Temecula.
The signing was part of a series of educational culinary events hosted by Chef Leah Di Bernardo owner of E.A.T and head of Slow Food of Temecula for local residents to promote appreciation for the local bounty.
Di Bernardo said she believes in bringing the chefs to the community where local produce is grown and harvested.
“Our community no longer has to travel to Los Angeles, Napa or San Diego to meet and greet with world known chefs. We can have stellar culinary events right here in Temecula,” said Di Bernardo.
Guillas was inducted into elite Maîtres Cuisiniers de France (Master Chefs of France) in 2011. He is one of just three celebrated French chefs from the U.S. to accept this annual honor, and one of just 12 from around the globe.
Guillas was also a featured U.S. chef to join four of the world’s top toques in the first annual World Gourmet Affair Turks and Caicos Islands. On March 14, 2011 Chef Guillas joined the likes of legendary French Chefs such as Paul Bocuse and Fernand Mischler in accepting the prestigious honor of Maîtres Cuisiniers de France—arguably one of the most envied culinary titles in the world.
“Temecula is the ideal location for agriculture. I always stop by here after I travel,” said Guillas. “This region is not just about wine.”
Guillas drew a packed house at E.A.T where he demonstrated how to create Gazpacho, a summer soup traditionally served cold from his new cookbook, “Flying Pans Two Chefs, One World.”
Temecula residents and foodies Suzette Stier and Suzanne Oesterling were thrilled to have a cooking demonstration and book signed by a chef like Guillas.
“We learned we don’t need much to create a great dish — only five ingredients, back to the basics,” said Oesterling who is also a fan of Temecula Valley Slow Food.
“I love that E.A.T is hosting events like this. We need to break past the big chain restaurants and support local eateries that support our local community and farmers,” said Stier.
According to Guillas his cookbook took two years to create and every recipe was kitchen tested three times for accuracy and consistency.
“I wanted to make sure people can make these dishes at home in an average kitchen,” said Guillas.
Copies of “Flying Pans Two Chefs, One World” are on sale all week at E.A.T Marketplace.
Celebrity Chef Amy Finley, a Food Network star, columnist (“Bon Appétit”) and author of “How to Eat a Small Country” will show off her skills and share a few of her secrets to local residents who attend the event on August 25.
“What a great opportunity to enjoy a taste of something yummy from the best,” said Di Bernardo.
For more information about upcoming culinary events at E.A.T Marketplace or to purchase a ticket, call (951-694-3663 or visit http://www.EATmarketplace.com.
E.A.T is located at 27535 Jefferson Ave, Temecula.
Michelle Mears-Gerst is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.