Posts Tagged ‘San Juan Capistrano’

OC With A French Twist

Pascal Olhats

Pascal Olhats

written by Robyn Wyman-dill
It was supposed to be a much shorter stay for Normandy-born, Chef Pascal Olhats, who paid a visit to Orange County over 30 years ago, and never looked back – pioneering an under-developed culinary scene into the realm of excellence with signature dishes like – seabass au thym – while remaining true to French classics like – Normandy tart tatin and salade lyonnaise. Fast-forward to April 23, when The Newport Beach Film Festival presents an insider’s perspective from ‘our man with panache’ with the debut of La Tradition, a documentary biopic, tracing the evolution of Chef Olhats’ influence on the fine dining scene here. His narrative is the kind of stuff the ‘American Dream’ is made of. Read the rest of this entry »

Red Red Wine

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

It began when a small shipment of Criolla vine clippings – imported from Spain – were planted on mission grounds in the 1700s.   Although Father Junipero Serra, who founded nine of the 21 missions of California, had not envisioned his harvest would do that well, (His primary focus was to provide wine for religious ceremonies.) it did.  Birthing California’s wine industry right in the heart of San Juan Capistrano. Read the rest of this entry »

Boo Time in Ghost Towns

blog and photos by Robyn Wyman-Dill

From mid-October to mid-November – the stars, planets, goblins and ghosts come out in full regalia.  Read the rest of this entry »

Trouble in Mother Lode

by Robyn Wyman-Dill

Violence is like a disease. What it finds vulnerable, it likes. What it likes, it strikes.   Then it infects and weakens. Once it is successful, it spreads.

Like a disease, violence is eroding the quality of daily life.  Defeating the collective spirit of nations. While countries around the world are honoring the influence of mothers on Mother’s Day, it might be a good time to assess how mothers actually figure into all this mess.  Read the rest of this entry »

True Grits

by Robyn Wyman-Dill

I spied a spacecraft hovering in the skies over San Clemente.  Only days after William Shatner performed his one-man show in Irvine. The craft sputtered rather than cruised.  And, it made a loud, grinding sound – like an angry jack hammer spitting up concrete. I took out my binoculars and adjusted the lens to a pitch black night in early February.

In the heart of San Clemente,  Iva Lee’s was gearing up for Wino Wednesday. On this eve, wine lovers can order a bottle of wine for half price. Iva Lee’s likes to liven up the mood with jazz and blues bands performing – Wednesday through Saturday nights – while a well-stocked bar, Martini signature drinks and authentic creole and southern cooking whip up everybody’s appetites. Read the rest of this entry »

You Say, I Say Po..tato Chip

blog by Robyn Wyman-Dill

If you’ve ever spent time on a potato farm, you know just how dull the view is outside your window – during its growing season.   Neatly cultivated rows of the finest potatoes stretch over flat fields- as far as the eye can see.  In this continuum of conformity, future potatoes are quietly cultivating into perfect potato chips. Turning humdrum into yum, yum.

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Out of Deep Muddy Waters…

blog and photos by Robyn Wyman-Dill

Because there is so much information to read these days, rather than impress you with our limited knowledge of the Lotus flower’s 1,300 year history and wax poetry about enlightenment and Buddha sitting on a lotus in bloom or announce it is the national flower of both India and Vietnam and strongly recommend you try stir-fried lotus roots or the lotus leaf wrap, we decided to post some calming images of deep muddy waters where the purity of a Lotus springs from – feeling fully quenched on a hot September day.


Bee Havior

Blog by Robyn Wyman-Dill

Ever been out with someone who suddenly goes bee serk when a bee flies by?

 Granted, a bee no more than 26mm (1”) can make a grown man cry.  A woman will jerk her body in unattractive ways – to avoid one  Yet, in actual fact, very few people ever get stung by the bee passerby. 

And, the odds of it being a fatal sting are even less. 

Rest assured, the average bee’s sting does not last forever.  So, why does everyone go into high alert mode when a bee buzzes by? Read the rest of this entry »

Nora Ephron meets Butterfly Mass

blog and photos by Robyn Wyman-Dill

Nora Ephron was raised in L.A., but she lived, loved and breathed Manhattan. In fact, she was its emblem.  Nora Ephron is remembered today by journalist Meredith Blake in “An Honest and Confident Voice” (calendar section of Sunday Los Angeles Times).  A touching story of a girl who was not afraid to write comfortably about what was important to her.

Ephron was open in her thinking, honest in her writing, funny and smart.  Her works strike a cord with a generation of women.  Her stories about resilience hang tight to a wind of fresh air.  I see butterflies in the sky with lucy.  Fluttering over homes and gardens of San Juan Capistrano. A resilience swarm of butterflies on the way to the beach.  I stop to compare the Ephron’s character to that of the butterfly.    Read the rest of this entry »

Food Thoughts on Forster Ranch Ridgeline Trail

Blog and photos by Robyn Wyman-Dill

July rounds the corner this week bringing temperamental weather to the United States.   While sweltering heat stymies the Eastern seaboard, wild winds immobilize the region with no electric power.  The beautiful state of Colorado is engulfed in red hot flames. Habitats and homes are burning.  Too many to count.  Cooler temperatures – ranging from 70s – 80s – chills those southern Californians headed for the beach this weekend. A moody mist hogs its coastal air.  It is perfect hiking weather.

My sights are set on the hillsides of Forster Ranch (the Forster Mansion is a historic landmark in San Juan Capistrano(SJC) used for special events).  This is just the kind of exercise I need to be in shape for the Asian Night Market and Delicacy dinner – on the menu at the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival this August – but, we’ll get to that later. Read the rest of this entry »