We admit it. We love The OC Mart Mix. For all the tea, oysters, cocktails and meetings we hold there, you'd think it was our second home. Yet for all the fabulousness within that complex, we discovered something even more engaging. Let us explain.
Before N'ice Cream and Deer Lovely, South Coast Collection was a berm of furniture stores; Stores we rarely stepped foot in. We wandered into Fixtures Living to catch a cooking demo (Love you, Sam Zien!). Besides standing in awe of the pimped-out kitchens, unlimited beverage service and Sanctuary, we learned about an event too good to be true. The description read as follows:
Please join us as we explore the SoCo Farmer's Market! Come sift through farm-fresh foods and look what to look for, feel for, smell for, and taste for. Then, come back to the store and discover irresistible ways to enjoy your bounty–courtesy of our friendly Culinary Team!
So we RSVP to show up one Saturday morning and are greeted by our hosts. For the life of us, we only remember Athan's name (Yes, that's how it is spelled). Our caffeinated dozen meander to the farmers market and are given simple instructions: Select fresh produce to bring back. Cost? They would pay. Preference? No meat. They've got it covered. Questions? That's what the vendors were for, as owners gave us mini presentations of their wares. Kane's Family Farm out of La Habra Heights had gorgeous mushrooms. Pedro's Certified Organic carried Lamb Hass avocados. We were there a good hour.
Back in the kitchen, our chefs already have a simple soup base boiling. We scurry to wash our hands as tasks are doled out like allowances. The guy before us is spinning salad greens. We're on kale chip duty. Others are prepping vegetables. While all the commotion of our wanna be quickfire challenge is going down, a cheese plate and fresh juices materialize–all from the farmers market, of course. Fresh-baked bread and a duo of avocados round out the appetizers we graze on.
As individuals complete their tasks and dishes are completed, we're encouraged to make ourselves a plate. Our mixed greens include blood oranges and a light vinaigrette. Someone manning the stove fries up duck and chicken eggs, while our lady chef shares gorgeous goose eggs. Athan cooks steak from Da-Le Ranch and plates it over sauteed Brussels sprouts and onion, garnished with neon watermelon radish. Our crunchy chips are served whole. There is so much food that the shredded chicken and vegetable soup is packed in to-go containers for everyone to bring home.
What was the point of all this? Well, at absolutely no cost, they wanted to show how easy it is to cook up foods from the farmers market with few ingredients, simple seasonings and no fuss. While there was a Fixtures sales rep in our group, she admitted to wanting to know more about the event (yet was also on hand to explain any appliances). By now it was noon, and we spent our Saturday morning eating fresh and healthy for next to nothing. We may have sacrificed sleeping in, but it was worth it.
Fixtures Living is at 3303 Hyland Ave, Suite D, Costa Mesa, (949) 429-0800; www.fixturesliving.com.
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