I've driven by signage for Manassero Farms for years, but was never compelled to pull over and check out their produce until I learned of their "Breakfast In the Barn" series. Go figure. Their relationship with local chefs translates to special events under a tented venue across from Irvine Valley College. Most recently, they did a BBQ with former Lark Creek chef John Ledbetter.
A majority of the fun happens in the morning hours, as I learned when I visited one Saturday. That particular brekkie (brunch, really) was made possible by capable chefs Gregory Moro, Pascal Olhats and Kimmy Wilson. Live cooking demos of our dishes, some witty banter between them and unlimited champagne resulted in one entertaining meal.
They even threw in some cooking advice. One of my favorites had to do with roasting and peeling beets while they're hot by wiping them with a rag. Or that the best way to cook bacon evenly is on parchment in the oven for a dozen minutes at 350-degrees. There were small plates of mimosa compressed watermelon, plus a frisee salad dressed in bacon apple cider vinaigrette– topped with a poached egg and toasted hazelnuts. Pascal also brought some fresh strawberry preserves made from fruit picked on the farm. To say it was tasty would be an understatement; I hovered for seconds.
Present at the barn breakfast was another Pascal: Pascal Gimenez of Cafe Beau Soleil in Fashion Island. He plans to partake in the fun with Pascal O. next Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. For $25, call it a matinee brunch, invite some early risers and charge that phone for chef selfies. They won't disappoint.
Manaserro Farms has multiple locations in Orange County. To learn more about Breakfast In The Barn, visit their website here.