New Spring Menu at Pinot Provence in Costa Mesa, CA

Pinot Provence opened in 1998 and is located inside the Westin South Coast Plaza Hotel. The outer entrance was a little hard to find. The driveway is located between the hotel and Scott’s Seafood. Look for the Pinot Provence Valet Parking sign. The exterior is reminiscent of a French chateau with its staircase leading you to an oak door entrance. The beautiful outdoor patio has lots of ambient lighting, just the right setting for a spring luncheon.

Newly appointed Executive Chef, Alfonso Ramirez, shared some highlights of the new spring menu. There is a delightful emphasis on the light and subtle side of rustic French cuisine for the new season. Let’s take a look:

Crab and Melon Salad is Cavaillon melon, Dungeness crab, coriander yogurt, and port wine. It was light and colorful. The crab and melon flavors paired well together. The artful use of thinly sliced watermelon as a background made a beautiful presentation. Thumbs up!


OC Food Diva

Pinot Provence on Urbanspoon

Press Release: City of San Diego Approves First Weekly Food Truck Gatherings in Downtown San Diego

San Diego, CA – April 10th, 2013 – Downtown San Diego is now welcoming gourmet food trucks each week on Wednesdays for lunch and Thursdays for dinner. A rotation of six to seven different food trucks will be serving on Wednesdays from 11am to 2pm on West B St between India St & Columbia St and on Thursdays from 5:30pm to 9pm on J St between 3rd Ave & 4th Ave.  

Both events are approved by the City of San Diego’s Special Events Department and are scheduled to run on a weekly basis through the end of the year. Although there have some complaints from nearby businesses, over 500 residents from the community have showed their support and signed a petition to keep these weekly food truck gatherings going. 

To show your support and keep gourmet trucks in downtown San Diego, you can sign the petition at

The events are organized by Curbside Bites, a food truck booking service. Curbside Bites currently manages over 14 other weekly gourmet food truck gatherings in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties. The weekly truck schedule for these two events, and all of Curbside Bites’ other food truck gatherings, can be found at

Christian Murcia
P: (714) 718-1330

PRESS RELEASE: San Onofre State Beach to Host Gourmet Food Trucks Now Through Labor Day

San Clemente, CA – April 5th, 2013 – San Onofre State Beach welcomes gourmet food trucks today to provide breakfast and lunch service now through Labor Day (Monday, September 2nd, 2013). One gourmet food truck will be parked at Surf Beach every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 8am to 2pm through the end of May. Beginning Memorial Day (Monday, May 27th, 2013) one gourmet food truck will be on site daily from 8am to 2pm.

The State of California Department of Parks & Recreation has contracted with Curbside Bites ( to schedule and manage the daily gathering. Curbside Bites currently manages over 14 other weekly gourmet food truck gatherings in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties.

The weekly truck schedule can be found at Local favorites like Calbi Asian Fusion Tacos & Burritos ( and Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race” veteran Crepes Bonaparte ( are scheduled to make regular stops at the beach.

Location: Basilone Rd & Old Highway 101, San Clemente, CA 92672

Christian Murcia
P: (714) 718-1330

“The American Lighthouse Cookbook” takes you on a food tour of U.S. lighthouses

Authors Becky Sue Epstein and Chef Ed Jackson put together a historic journey of our nation’s lighthouses with recipes local to the area. Lighthouse keepers worked 24/7, so everything they ate was local, either from a garden and small stock of farm animals like chickens, goats, and the occasional cow on the property, fresh seafood from the sea, or nearby farms and forests – forefathers of local, sustainable cooking. The keeper would make monthly trips into town for grain, flour, butter, cheese, meat, and other provisions that they could afford.

In this cookbook, they have identified eight regions of America: Northeastern Atlantic, Mid-Atlantic, Southeastern Atlantic, Puerto Rico & U.S. Virgin Island, the Gulf Coast, California and Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest, and the Great Lakes. They have chosen 47 lighthouses (as there are many) with interesting backgrounds and stories and paired them with nearly 300 modern-day lighthouse recipes for each, developed by Chef Ed Jackson and some contributions from lighthouse bed-and-breakfasts.

To read more and see slideshow, please visit:


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The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® celebrates their 50th anniversary

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® has been brewing in Southern California since 1963. This family-run coffee and tea retailer launched its golden anniversary celebration in January 2013. It’s the oldest and largest family-owned specialty coffee and tea retailer in the United States.

“As we celebrate this milestone for our company, we want to take this opportunity to truly celebrate and thank our dedicated customers and fans who have been so loyal in their support throughout our 50 year history,” says President Mel Elias. “The 50th anniversary of The Coffee Bean® celebrates the spirit of our heritage, sharing our passion with fans—old and new—as we look ahead to continued growth for the brand and future innovations. Over the next 50 years, we are dedicated to furthering our one-on-one relationships with growers around the world and are constantly challenging ourselves to come up with innovative new beverages at the forefront of coffee and tea culture, as seen by our CBTL® single serve beverage systems.”

Since its first location in Brentwood, CA, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has grown to become an international icon with close to 900 company-owned and franchised stores across 11 states and spanning 25 countries. The company remains rooted to its heritage by focusing on the quality of its craft and delivering the world’s most vibrant flavors to its customers by selecting only the top one percent of Arabica beans and the finest hand-plucked whole leaf teas. All coffee beans are hand-roasted under the supervision of Senior Director of Coffee, Roasting, and Manufacturing, Jay Isais, and Master Roaster, Jesse Martinez, at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Roasting and Distribution (RAD) facility in Camarillo, CA. The company’s Director of Tea, David DeCandia, regularly travels to tea regions such as Sri Lanka, China, Japan, India, and Thailand to meet with tea estate owners to select and hand-craft only the finest whole leaf tea available to ensure the finest quality tea. After 50 years of brewing, blending, and roasting, the company remains committed to its original vision of product quality and customer care.

Dedicated to serving the community, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf will commemorate its 50th anniversary with a series of events throughout the year.

In March, CBTL introduced Tea Cappuccinos Sweet Teas. The Tea Cappuccinos are a combination of freshly brewed tea (Chai, Scottish Breakfast, or the 50th Anniversary Blend), whole milk foam, and vanilla bean sauce. It is a lighter option with a bolder flavor compared to tea lattes. It’s an interesting concept and hope you’ll try one. Not exactly “my cup of tea”, no pun intended. 


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The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on Urbanspoon

Melissa’s Deluxe Pantry Box Recipe Series: Quinoa Cranberry Pudding Parfait

Melissa’s Deluxe Pantry Box in this post was provided by Melissa’s Produce but the opinions expressed here are my own.