Wednesday, March 14, 2012


This past Saturday, March 10th, SoCo Farmers' Market in Costa Mesa played host to a first-of-its-kind gourmet five-course prix fixe brunch with two of OC's top Gourmet Food Truck chefs - Chef Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria and Chef Joe Youkhan of Chef Joe Youkhan's Tasting Spoon - who worked their magic using local Farmers' Market ingredients & created a brunch menu that was nothing short of a masterpiece.

Chef Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria (left) and Chef Joe Youkhan of Chef Joe Youkhan's Tasting Spoon (right)

I was lucky enough to land the gig as the official photographer for the event, and loved every minute of it. It never ceases to amaze me just how incredible the dishes are that these Gourmet Food Truck chefs can create out of such a seemingly tiny space, especially given the technical restrictions they have to face with a mobile kitchen-on-wheels (have YOU ever tried poaching an egg on a stove that shakes every time someone takes a step in your kitchen?! Me neither).  This is Michelin Star-quality stuff - and if ya' ask me, these guys are culinary geniuses.

The brunch consisted of five courses (3 by Taco Maria and 2 by Chef Joe Youkhan's Tasting Spoon), served to guests at their reserved seats by service staff in the manner of a fine dining restaurant. Guests savored their food, and all-natural drinks provided by Rob's Really Good, under shaded canopies in the middle of the Farmers' Market in an environment that was a perfect blend of elegance & fun.

Below, feast your eyes on the detectible dishes created by Chef Carlos and Chef Joe (WARNING: Prepare to salivate!). And, be sure to stop by SoCo Farmers' Market every Saturday between 9am - 2pm in the parking lot of the SoCo Collection / OC Mart MIX for some fabulous Gourmet Food Truck action and plenty of amazing farm-fresh, locally-sourced produce.

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Course #1 by Taco Maria: SoCo Farm Egg - a warm Da-Le Ranch egg yolk, rosemary spring onion & cotija cream
Course #2 by Chef Joe Youkhan's Tasting Spoon: Ragu of Wild Mushrooms - white truffle, fava beans, and Anson Mills marscapone polenta
Course #3 by Taco Maria: California Dungeness Crab - preserved lime, shellfish broth infused with dried hibiscus flowers
An amazing table-side service team!
Course #4 by Chef Joe Youkhan's Tasting Spoon: Duck 3 Ways – duck bacon, duck egg, foie gras hollandaise, and saba reduction atop a toasted brioche
Step 1: Duck Egg atop brioche - The Beginning of a Culinary Process...
The Process Continues... add: foie gras hollandaise
The Process Continues... add: duck bacon
The Process Continues... add: farm-fresh Farmers' Market Baby Arugula
Top with Saba Balsamic Reduction. Duck 3-Ways Perfection!
Chef Joe Youkhan & his team
Course #5 by Taco Maria: Here, Chef Carlos' Classically-trained Pastry Chef background truly shines! Strawberries Roasted in Mesquite Embers – dulce de leche, burnt vanilla, and mezcal
Refreshing All-Natural Beverages Provided by Rob's Really Good

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