Fine art and fine food is a recipe for fun.
Gourmets and art lovers can rejoice that the Festival of Arts once again is hosting its "Art of Cooking" series, a weekly demonstration by Laguna Beach master chefs from 1 to 2 p.m Sundays. The demonstrations include tips and advice for novice and experienced cooks, but the best part is that lucky guests get to sample the results.
Watermarc's Kiel Andersen will be the chef du jour this Sunday, the third in the program.
Sundried Tomato Executive Chef Robert Opelle kicked off the series July 8 followed by 230 Forest Executive Chef and owner Marc Cohen, who dished up escabeche July 15.
"The festival wanted a summer dish that was light and could be replicated by the guests," Cohen said.
"Escabeche is a Spanish seafood dish. We used local halibut, shrimp and scallops, flavored with a reduction of vinegar, tomato and fish stock, sweet chilies and onion," he added.
No wonder the crowds are getting bigger every year for these presentations.
Still to come: executive chefs from some of the town's best eateries.
July 29: Jarvis Yuan from Starfish in the Albertsons' center
August 5: Nirvana Grille's owner Lindsay Smith-Rosales
August 12: Andres Jimenez from the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
August 19: Tabu Grill's duo, Rayne Frey and Moriah Robison
August 26: Jeff Armstrong from Splashes at the Surf & Sand Resort
Attendance is included in admission to the grounds, which is free to Laguna Beach residents with proof of residency, military personnel and members of arts organizations with identification, Pageant of the Masters ticket-holders and children 12 and younger.
Admission for students and seniors is $4 on weekdays, $6 on weekends. Everybody else pays $7 on weekdays and $10 on weekends.
Grounds are open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m, except for Aug. 25 when the gates will close at 3:30 p.m.
For more information, call (949) 494-1145.
The chef's presentations are a feast for foodies, but the three festivals have cooked up menus of comestibles to tempt folks' palates whenever they attend.
Tivoli Terrace on the Festival's grounds is open for lunch and dinner, featuring its summer Pageant menu of salads, sandwiches and fresh seafood for lunch and traditional American cuisine for dinner.
The two-tiered restaurant is nestled in the hillside above the Festival. Upstairs, diners are surrounded by flowering plants and greenery. Downstairs, diners may eat outdoors sheltered by a spreading Sycamore tree or inside the lavishly draped interior, which can be tented in inclement weather, such as the rainstorm that hit Laguna last week.