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Breakfast in the Barn at Manassero Farms

I attended as a guest


I love weekends and this one is special because it started so well. This morning I had breakfast in the barn at Manassero Farms at their Irvine Market location. This is no ordinary breakfast. This is a breakfast full of laughter and delicious fresh foods, right in the middle of the fields in a beautiful tent.


Once a month, resident master chef Pascal Olhats selects a respected local chef to cook breakfast together on the farm. The chefs show their tips and tricks, share their passion and explain how they incorporate the farm fresh produce. This month, farmer’s wife Anne Manassero joins Pascal at the chopping block.

The setting is beautiful. The tent is open and rustic, with guests sitting on wooden benches at long tables. You find yourself enjoying breakfast with people you may not know and this adds to the welcoming feeling. The location is right in the fields, in full view of the herb planters and the produce stand. It is at these planters that I spot Pascal Olhats with scissors in hand, cutting the herbs he needs for breakfast.


Anne Manassero meanwhile, is busy at the chef table, preparing healthy smoothies with fresh strawberries that were picked that morning. There is a large breadbasket with Manassero Farm jams and fresh butter and of course no breakfast would be complete without coffee. I ignore the coffee and find myself returning time and time again to the drinks station where I serve myself sparkling wine and fruit juices. Delicious scents fill the tent and when I investigate, I see farmer Dan Manassero tending the breakfast sausages on the barbeque.


The Farmer’s Wife and French Chef clearly know each other well. While their love of cooking is apparent for everyone to see, they also joke and guests are laughing out loud. The feeling is casual and for this morning, we are part of the Manassero family. Pascal has prepared homemade peanut butter and strawberry jelly baguette that is crisp and delicious, a French touch for an American staple.


Anne shows us how to make easy barn house pancakes using a blender, which Pascal tops with dill dressing and smoked salmon. A light and savory perfect first course. This is followed by Anne’s salad with cranberries and roasted beet, complemented by Pascal’s grilled pork belly. The chefs work as well together as the delicious combination of flavors on my plate.


For the main course, Anne and Pascal have something very special in mind. They grill French toast using walnut bread, fry small cubes of fois gras and diced butternut squash. Then layer the toppings onto the bread and serve it with sausage to create a surprising flavor explosion.


The feast ends with strawberry shortcake in small individual glass jars. It is the perfect ending to a wonderful morning in the barn and a relaxing start to the weekend.


Want to attend the Breakfast in the Barn?
Breakfasts take place once a month and Pascal selects a different local chef each time. Next month, chef Zov of Zov’s Bistro is cooking at a sold out event. Check the website to reserve your place for the following month:

Other events at Manassero Farms:
The calendar is filled with fun activities, such as an Organic and Vegan Wine Tasting and Appetizer Pairing coming up in February.

Anne gives fun and informative cooking classes in the produce stand, details on the website.
The farm can be reserved for private parties and meetings.

The Farmer’s Wife and the French Chef -something to look forward to in the near future is a series of demonstrations and hands-on events when Anne will team up again with Pascal Olhats.


Belle Regeer is a stay at home mom to a precious six-year-old. Belle is Dutch and was raised in southern Spain. She has lived in the UK, Holland, Switzerland, NYC, New Jersey, Santa Barbara and is now happy to call SoCal her home. With foreign roots and friends in far away places, Belle has traveled the globe, giving some truth to the old adage that the Dutch are born explorers. While always in search of the local experience, she and her husband want to show their daughter that this world is indeed a small place, one that we should embrace and care for. When back home in SoCal, Belle is passionate about healthy living, tending her vegetable garden and volunteering at school.
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One Comment

  1. Dates for breakfast in the barn for January and February

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