Bluebird Canyon Farms is a 15 acre operating bio-dynamic farm, education and design center located within the vibrant coastal community of Laguna Beach, California. Set into the hillside with sweeping ocean views, the farm is a place for people to gather and enjoy nature, a place of innovation, a place to exchange ideas and to develop tools and practices so that we can build a better future together. We host community events and workshops to inspire the community to incorporate sustainable ecological practices into their lives. http://www.bluebirdcanyonfarms.com
South Coast Farms produces certified organic fruits and vegetables on 28 acres in San Juan Capistrano and 4 acres in Tustin. http://southcoastfarms.com
Alegría Farms, located at the Great Park in Irvine, is a solar powered high-performance urban farm that employs hydroponic vertical farming and organic Soxx systems to produce and distribute superior, locally grown salad greens, herbs and vegetables within the urban environment. http://www.alegriafarms.com
A.G. and Matthew Kawamura are third generation growers and shippers of fresh produce who farm along and within the urban boundaries of Orange County, California. Their company, Orange County Produce, LLC, engages in year around production and marketing of fruits and vegetables. http://www.ocproduce.com/about_us.asp
Manassero Farms in Irvine is a 3rd generation family farm producing certified organic fruits and vegetables in Irvine. The farm supplies organic food for their produce stands and offers tours, events and education on site. http://www.manasserofarms.com
Through her intensive research on nutrition and the biochemical effects of food upon the body, McLeish was inspired to learn the art of preparing delicious meals that support the body to heal itself, working with freshly picked ingredients from local farms and eliminating inflammatory ingredients such as dairy, flours, sugars and gluten. With the discovery of the extraordinary healing properties of freshly picked food, she learned to create meals that taste great and appeal to all types of palates. She hopes to inspire others to create their own health by eating more natural raw foods without sacrificing gourmet taste.
McLeish has a 20-year career in public relations and marketing, with 15 years as a public relations agency owner. In her spare time, she got involved with building an urban farm business in Orange County, and enjoyed the fresh vegetables from the farm daily. Each had been carefully and expertly grown to the fullest nutrient density and were freshly harvested. As a foodie, Jessica was always finding ways to concoct gourmet cuisine from whatever veggies were being grown at the farm. Over time, Jessica began to create tasty raw and vegan recipes using what was in season and landed in her kitchen from the farm. She found ways to create great taste while eliminating the ingredients that cause inflammation, and maintaining the nutrient density of the food.
Jessica began moonlighting as a private chef specializing in raw vegan food preparation for an exclusive clientele, some of which were suffering from chronic health conditions and others who just wanted to eat great and feel great. Her pure enjoyment of assisting people in this way led her to launch Sourced Cuisine so that this service could be made available to a broader audience.
“If you tell me that you love cupcakes and pizza (and who doesn’t?), I would bet that we can create a no-sugar cupcake made entirely of fruit and nuts, and a vegan, grain-free pizza that will satisfy your craving,” says Jessica. “The plant kingdom is abundant with flavors. With creativity and freshly picked ingredients, we can develop foods that taste so good, you wont feel deprived.”
Chef Jonathan Pflueger’s experience as a third-world history major at the prestigious Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, helped open his heart and mind to the many different cultures and cuisines that the world has to offer. His resume reads like a roadmap to some of Europe and America’s signature dining destinations. Over two decades of culinary globetrotting has shaped the chef that Jonathan is today.
His first head chef position was at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, California, where he was the creative force in their signature dining room.
From there, Jonathan was recruited to revamp the San Diego seafood icon, The Star of the Sea Room. Under his tutelage, the restaurant and its chef received numerous accolades including the Dirona Top Tables Award, the coveted Mobile Four-Star and Four-Diamond Recognition, as well as Critic’s and People’s choice for the Chef of the Year Honor.
Jonathan left his reign in San Diego to study abroad with Michelin Three-Star Chefs Paul Bocuse and Georges Blanc at their namesake restaurants in France. He returned to the states to help open the legendary Russian Tea Room in New York City as Executive Sous Chef. He left the East Coast to return to his hometown of Laguna Beach, California, where he opened a visionary wine bar, Vertical, which received top honors from the California Restaurant Writers Association, and Best of the Best honors from the Los Angeles Times.
His next endeavor was as the opening executive chef for The Montage Resort in Laguna Beach. The property was recognized by the Robb Report as the Number One Resort in the World after his first year.
Jonathan continued to follow a lifelong dream and opened The Eastside on the island of Kauai with his brother. Together the brothers’ vision of island-style dining with Hawaii’s vast bounty as the star of the show was a resounding success. The restaurant received the honor of Best New Restaurant, twice was awarded Most Outstanding at the Taste of Hawaii, and became the number-one rated restaurant by Trip Adviser for Kauai. All of this led to his newest concoction, Sourced, with Jessica McLeish.
Jonathan’s cuisine is continually evolving. It is a hybrid style as it rests today. It is a blend of European refinement regarding pleasures of the table, American ingenuity and energy in operating a small enterprise, and Japanese minimalism and poetic elegance in affecting a sensibility. These are combined with a love for New World flavors and a modern approach to incorporating health and wellness concerns.
Jonathan creates a cuisine with the utmost regard for good ingredients.
“I believe that the most important thing we do in the kitchen is to select the right products and place the highest priority on using fresh and seasonal ingredients. We insist that no shortcuts be taken in any aspect of food preparation. I want our diners’ palette to experience the sweetness of our sun, the saltiness of our surf, and the richness of our land,” said Chef Pflueger.
He always prioritizes the taste, infusing and building upon the raw product to create the ultimate sensory experience. The result is an imaginative and inspired cuisine that is both comfortably familiar and surprising in its innovation.
Jonathan is a proponent of local, organic and sustainable cultivation. This is not only governed by his taste preference, but is firmly grounded in his sense of responsibility. He supports industries that approach their trade from a global ecological perspective that leave no indelible footprint.
“We use local produce grown by people we know. We have walked the farm, we know the farmer and because of this relationship, we can stand behind our foods as true,” remarked Chef Jonathan.
Through the use of these products, Chef Pflueger’s cuisine acts as a bridge between the producer and a consumer, facilitating culinary activism by bringing socially minded people together through food. Although his cuisine is strongly influenced by the gravity of food politics, his ultimate goal is to connect with his diners on a personal level and create lasting memories. His desire is for a more unifying experience that brings farmers, diners, and chefs closer together through the common thread of fresh food and a shared knowledge of where that food is sourced.