If you have yet to make a visit to Santa Monica Place, we have yet another reason for you to make your way down to the fairly new shopping and restaurant locale. The Follow That Chef series organized by Santa Monica’s Farmers Market, Santa Monica Place and The Gourmandise School of Sweets & Savories. Local chefs parade a group of eager participants through the Farmers Market picking out bundles of fresh ingredients that will comprise the morning’s meal. Following the Farmers Market tour, a cooking demonstration will round out the day’s events, allowing everyone to eat together at the cooking school in Santa Monica Place.
Unfortunately, Amir was unable to attend last Wednesday’s morning series with Chef Annie Miler of Century City’s Clementine, so I went along. I met the morning’s group at the corner of Arizona Avenue and 3rd Street, and once Chef Miler arrived, we walked through the crowd to visit her favorite vendors–Windrose Farms, Coleman Family Farms, Polito Family Farms, Redwood Hill Farm and Rockenwagner Bakery. Back in the cooking school, we circled around the table to watch Chef Miler created a menu around a DIY grilled cheese bar. We were able to create our own sandwiches using a number of ingredients–brioche, olive bread, raisin and walnut bread, oversized pretzels, bacon, sliced scallions, roasted asparagus, a variety of cheese including white cheddar and aged goat cheese, sweet and spicy mustards, tomato jam, Southern chow-chow relish and cornichons. The final menu included an arugula salad with roasted beets, avocado, blood oranges and grapefruit, tomato soup and Meyer lemon granita for dessert.
The Follow That Chef series occurs on select Wednesday and Saturdays of the month. The event is completely free to the public, and you can register online for the class that interests you most. The chefs leading each workshop will offer their own unique take on food and the cooking experience, as well as a personal look into their relationships with local food producers in Southern California. Anyone with a desire to spend a few hours exploring food is encouraged and welcome to attend. There are so many more photos of this event, and they will be posted on our Facebook page this week.
And if you hadn’t heard, April marks the start of Clementine’s Grilled Cheese Month celebration. There are fifteen grilled cheese sandwiches on the menu, and each one can be paired with a cup of the restaurant’s signature tomato soup. Be sure to grab your sandwich soon before April comes to an end!