Hella Fraiche Dinner Party

I was fortunate enough to be invited to a dinner from private chef Christian Navarro of Hella Fraiche. Hosted by my business partner and good friend, he and his wonderful wife provided a perfect locale for this al fresco meal.

I’ve eaten the food of Chef Navarro multiple times in the past, and this is my first experience with his more casual approach (read: not a tasting menu). The food was spectacular, and highlighted the ambiance with its wafting fragrances, aesthetic appeal and flavorful soul.

Chef Navarro is essentially my main influence for at-home cooking, as his approachability, fun attitude (and love of real, underground hip hop) enabled us to develop a bond. I’d be lying if I said he was my mentor – I’m so far below even novice level that it wouldn’t be fair to the Chef, but I can say that I learn a tremendous amount each time I watch him prepare a meal.

The dishes on the night included:

  • croissant leek parmesan bread pudding
  • peach beet watercress salad
  • ahi tuna kale toasted barley salad
  • italian sausage stuffed turkey
  • brussels sprouts and pork belly two ways, bacon and 36hr
  • polenta and broiled honey miso sea bass
  • lamb chop with sauteed pistachios
  • warm potato and rye salad

Without further adieu, some photos:

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the chef hard at work

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tuna kale barley

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bread pudding – the crowd favorite

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the chef relaxing with some karate chops

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awesome cheese spread from the hosts (Armenian string cheese!)

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Screen shot 2013-08-23 at 3.31.10 PM

Chef Navarro putting the final touches on the menu

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the host and hostess

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just before service

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enjoying the beautiful Valley night

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pork chop prep

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stuffed turkey

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very happy guests

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pork chop & pistachios – yum

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gorgeous beet salad

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pork belly crisping toward heavenly deliciousness

Screen shot 2013-08-23 at 3.33.35 PM

pork belly composed

More about Hella Fraiche:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hellafraiche

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hellafraiche

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