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Richard Blais Adds Sizzle To Baker Ranch Unveiling

We attended as a guest of the venue

Saturday Baker Ranch, Lake Forest’s resort style master-planned community went all out with a Grand Unveiling event featuring appetizers by Suzanne’s Catering, smoothies, tours of model homes by Toll Brothers and Shea Homes, plans for the community’s Promenade Park, live music, massages by Spa Gregorie, synchronized swimming demos, and my personal favorite part of the day, a cooking demo with Top Chef Winner and 2014 James Beard Award nominee, Richard Blais.

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Blais packed the beautifully equipped party room of Baker Ranch’s luxurious Grove Clubhouse charming his audience with humor and stories, providing tips on upping your cooking game should “Tony Bourdain show up” for dinner, all while walking us through how to make his gluten free pasta dish, Buckwheat Spaccatelli with Broccoli Pesto.

This pesto was made with finely chopped broccoli tops, onion, garlic, basil, rosemary, red Thai chili and anchovy all sautéed in olive oil. After cooking the pesto down he processed it, added it to the pasta and sprinkled in parmesan and a squeeze of fresh lemon.


So what was in his bag of tricks for this dish? Balancing flavors adding cheese and anchovy for umami, Thai chili for some spice and a little lemon for an acidic element; Adding texture with crispy breadcrumbs; Garnishing with the wild growing brassica, a yellow broccoli flower that ties into the dish.


…And infusing a smoky flavor with the help of Kate and a Smoking Gun, a cool cold smoker that I now must have in my own kitchen. The result? A gorgeous, delicious and healthy dish I can’t wait to try at home.


As an added bonus we had some fun watching him and Luli create lemon ice cream pearls out of liquid nitrogen, perfect on freshly shucked oysters with some mignonette, cilantro and chili. I really hope they serve these oysters at his San Diego restaurant, Juniper and Ivy.


Blais followed his demo with a signing for his cookbook, “Try This At Home”. His book is packed with creatively reimagined dishes, enticing photographs and plenty of commentary. And guess what? We have one signed copy to give away to a lucky winner. See below for details on how to enter and be sure to watch our entertaining video below as he explains how a centerfold wound up in his cookbook!


A kid’s dream at The Grove Clubhouse


The Grove Clubhouse


Dream indoor/outdoor master bedroom


Indoor/outdoor space flows seamlessly


Your own backyard resort

Would you like to see more? Baker Ranch located in Lake Forest off of Bake Parkway is currently showing homes in six unique developments. Why not plan a visit this weekend to see all they have to offer?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dana Wilde grew up playing “sous chef” for her father as he churned out one amazing meal after the next for family and friends. She inherited her father’s life long passion for cooking and has spent the past two decades studying, reading, practicing, experimenting, and creating in the kitchen.
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  1. Great piece Dana, thank you so much for coming out to Baker Ranch, it’s a beautiful community!

  2. Thank you for mentioning Suzanne’s Catering on your blog! Hope you enjoyed your day at Baker Ranch! And yes, Chef Richard Blais was amazing!

  3. my favorite thing to eat are fresh vegetables straight from the garden

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