Summer Is On The Way, And So Is The Stone Fruit!

Nectarine Coffee Cake

May is almost through and Summer is so close! At the market this past weekend, I was caught by the pleasant aroma of some nectarines… stone fruit and summer, what a combination! I know it’s likely too early for the nectarines to be local, but I had to scoop them up! They proved to be as delicious as they were fragrant, and I became nostalgic for recipes that could put their sweet, delicious character on display. I was reminded of the first class I taught at the Fullerton Arboretum, where Jonathan Davis and I made a lovely coffee cake using plums. Continue reading “Summer Is On The Way, And So Is The Stone Fruit!”

A Jonathan Dye Dispatch: Parisian-Inspired Celebratory Cake

I had the chance to travel to Paris in March, and have gained the weight to prove that in the city… there’s nothing better to do than to EAT! From brasseries to bistros to corner bakeries and cheese mongers, the city is ready to feed you, and feed you well! Here in the States, we are no stranger to crêpes. They are sweet or savory, and always a pleasure. Making crêpes is fun, and I love to make the en masse so that I can do the work at once and reap the benefits for weeks to come (they freeze well). Selfishly, I like to make a double batch of batter, put on a movie in the kitchen, and spend 2 hours watching an old flick and flipping French pancakes.  Continue reading “A Jonathan Dye Dispatch: Parisian-Inspired Celebratory Cake”

New Classes! The Jonathans are Returning to the Arboretum Kitchen!


We are so pleased to announce that Jonathan Duffy Davis and Jonathan Dye will be returning to the Fullerton Arboretum for ongoing demonstration style cooking classes this Spring and Summer!  Beginning this Thursday, April 23rd, the Jonathans will bring you insightful menus, dedicated instruction and lots of fun in a selection of monthly classes. For anyone who has not attended these classes in the past, know that they include both an evening of detailed and entertaining instruction, as well as a full multi-course dinner in the form of the menu being taught. Classes make for a great night out, so tell your friends, sign up now and save the dates!

Each of the upcoming six classes feature a curriculum that both Jonathans selected in order to deliver excellent food and a great time.  Please take time to look at the schedule, descriptions and menus of upcoming classes below… Continue reading “New Classes! The Jonathans are Returning to the Arboretum Kitchen!”

The Jonathans Are Back in the Arboretum Kitchen – February 26th @ 6pm

The Jonathans
Big news folks! To kick-off a new cooking program, the Fullerton Arboretum has asked Jonathan Duffy Davis and Jonathan Dye to host the first cooking class of the 2015 season! We are happy to announce that on Thursday, February 26th at 6pm OurLocaltopia will be back in the Arboretum’s kitchen for a fun and educational demonstration style cooking class… And of course we want you to join us!

Continue reading “The Jonathans Are Back in the Arboretum Kitchen – February 26th @ 6pm”

Seeds & Seedlings: Reconnecting After A Busy Season!

Happy New Year from OurLocaltopia! Now that 2014 has past and the promise of 2015 is on the horizon, we want to RECONNECT! We look forward to updating you with regular postings again, sharing what we’re involved in and excited about. It’s been 6 months since our last post (for good reasons), so here’s an update on what has been keeping the trio at OurLocaltopia busy.

On the Farm with Jonathan Davis…

I’ve gone back to the land! In April my family and I purchased 20 acres of raw land at 3500 feet in  Aguanga, Ca. The price was right Continue reading “Seeds & Seedlings: Reconnecting After A Busy Season!”

Italian Crudo with Fresh Garden Flavor

Crudo may be served family style or laid out on a serving piece

An evening shared with close friends is hard to beat, and this week I had the opportunity to cook and dine with my close friends, the Parkers. I have worked with Jane Parker at Williams-Sonoma for years; her daughter Annie is a very good friend of mine and possesses fearless taste. Jane is an exquisite cook and hostess, and whenever she opens her house to entertain there is an absolute certainty there will be fine food, great style, and a completely relaxed evening. (I’m still taking notes on how to execute a gathering as well as Jane!) Read on for a photo gallery of our fresh-from-the-yard meal, and the recipe for an amazing Italian crudo… Continue reading “Italian Crudo with Fresh Garden Flavor”

Summer Farm Dinner at The Muck – Friday July 26th at 5pm

A few seats left in this excellent evening of farm, food and fun in Fullerton!
A few seats left in this excellent evening of farm, food and fun in Fullerton!

Guess what! There are a FEW seats left in The Muckenthaler Cultural Center’s upcoming Summer Farm Dinner, which will be chefed by Jonathan Dye and will include food harvested from the Fullerton Arboretum’s farm! This amazing venue is one of north Orange County’s most prized historic and culture centers. Check out the amazing menu and please call or email Janette Pyun to RSVP. First come / first serve for these few remaining tickets! Details, menu and Janette’s contact info are below, so read on… Continue reading “Summer Farm Dinner at The Muck – Friday July 26th at 5pm”

Seasonal Tomato Preserves!

Gather some backyard tomatoes...

Tomatoes are in abundance this time of year, and they never fail to come center-stage at our tables as the heat and light of summer presses on.  This week, we featured a recipe in our cooking class at the Fullerton Arboretum that highlighted some additional potential of the summer tomato: tomato preserves.  It’s not that the idea of a preserved tomato is new – far from it.  But the simplicity with which these particular summer tomatoes are preserved, and the great ingredients added to them that make them sparkle even greater, well, is just magic. Read on for the full recipe and browse the photos of the process in this post’s gallery… Continue reading “Seasonal Tomato Preserves!”

Recipes from Fullerton Arboretum’s “Your Summer Entertaining Menu Made Easy” Cooking Class!

Cooking outside on a summer evening is wonderful!
Cooking outside on a summer evening is wonderful!

Tonight’s cooking class at the Fullerton Arboretum featured fun twists on classic summer time favorites. We made three kinds of salsa, a tomato, onion and pickled cucumber salad, steak with chimichurri and some amazing blueberry tequila ice cream! Check out the recipes in the booklet linked here: Your Summer Entertaining Menu Recipe Booklet 6.20.13

And enjoy some photos from class….

Wasn't this refreshing?
Wasn’t this refreshing?
Four types of basil grown right here at the Fullerton Arboretum accompained tonight's menu!
Four types of basil grown right here at the Fullerton Arboretum accompanied tonight’s menu!

Easter Eggs Naturally Dyed – The Video!

Ever since that nettle juice left a beautiful marbled stain on our test egg last month, Our Localtopia has been thrilled by the idea of naturally dying eggs! There are a number of well known natural egg dyes like beets, tea, blueberries and coffee. We tried those, but also decided to test out some lesser known sources of natural pigment, like the featured oxalis flowers. The results were stunning, and captured in the attached film. The directions for dying your own eggs is at the end.


#1. Beet juice and onion skins. Egg was boiled in beet juice after being wrapped in an onion skin.
#2. Boiled with onion skins and soaked over night.
#3. Boiled grass, soaked over night.
#4. Turmeric, soaked over night.
#5. Boiled with onion skins, removed from water right after boiling.
#6. Black Tea, soaked over night.