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FARM DINNERS

Chef in Residence

Tim Byres

Join The Ecology Center for a culinary residency and summer dinner series with James Beard award-winning chef Tim Byres that explores the cultural and ecological cuisine of the San Juan Creek bioregion (Acjachemen land).

Green onions lay on a wooden table next to a plate of roasted onions and a bowl of rice.

Chef In Residence

Experiential Offering

Curated dining experience that invites conscious connection with the land.

The Chef in Residence program will be structured around a series of suppers that offer a new expression of the intersection between food and agriculture. Equal parts celebration and ceremony, this intimate feast will integrate our agroecological ethos with our bioregional legacy. As luxurious as it is elemental, this immersive dining experience will allow our community behind the curtain of the land’s many-layered heritage. Through each meal, we’ll join in bearing witness to the chemical reactions that transform nature into food: the fusion of fire into wood, the influence of art and music on taste and texture, the aromatic smoke that feeds our collective consciousness. Every element of the experience will be intentionally curated to tap into the “voice” of this bioregion.

Carrots and onions roasted in a cast iron skillet.
Strawberry tarte placed on a grill grate in a pan with a red handle.

Chef In Residence

Tim Byres

Each multi course dinner will be cooked over an open flame in front of you on the farm at The Ecology Center. Part fine-dining part performance art, this will be a culinary experience unlike any other. Each detail has been meticulously crafted from the bioregional cuisine to the handmade textiles by Kristin Morrison, to the plateware crafted from locally sourced clay by Rachel Salley.

Chef In Residence

Tim Byres

Each multi course dinner will be cooked over an open flame in front of you on the farm at The Ecology Center. Part fine-dining part performance art, this will be a culinary experience unlike any other. Each detail has been meticulously crafted from the bioregional cuisine to the handmade textiles by Kristin Morrison, to the plateware crafted from locally sourced clay by Rachel Salley.

Woman walks through rows of trees with chickens in the foreground.

Chef In Residence

Plan and Purpose

Exploring the intersection between soil health and cultural wealth.

Along with awakening, our community to a deeper connection with the land, the Chef in Residence program will serve as a vital fundraising function for The Ecology Center. Guided by Chef Tim, staffed by our culinary team, and following the seasonal cycle from summer to the winter solstice, our Friday/Saturday dinner series will expand awareness and raise the resources needed to continue building out a regenerative food culture that sustains both people and planet.

EACH DETAIL OF HEARTH HAS BEEN INTENTIONALLY CRAFTED BY AN ARTIST IN COLLABORATION WITH THE ECOLOGY CENTER

Ellen Sue Olivares

Ellen Sue Olivares belongs to the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, Acjachemen Nation. Ellen was born and raised in San Juan Capistrano. She is a basket weaver of both traditional and contemporary baskets using plant materials native to area. 

Adelia Sandoval

Adelia Sandoval is the Spiritual Overseer (Púul) and Cultural Director for the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians/Acjachemen Nation, the indigenous people of Orange County California. Adelia shares her Acjachemen Culture through art, writing, storytelling, and singing.
She is a Ceremonial Leader, Song Keeper, Wisdom Holder, Tribal teacher healer, and an ordained minister. Adelia created a ministry called Song of the Earth, A Native American healing service held in outdoor sanctuaries. Sandoval has been a Trustee on the Global Council of the United Religions Initiative, a Global
Interfaith organization that “promotes peace, justice, and healing for the Earth and all living beings”.
Adelia is a member of Women of Spirit and Faith and contributed to their book, “Women, Spirituality and Transformative Leadership, Where Grace Meets Power”. She is an advisor to various interfaith and environmental groups.

From right to left Mariah Doyle, Adelia Sandoval, and Ellen Sue Olivares.

Mariah Doyle

Mariah Doyle has been participating with the Acjachemen Nation for over ten years. She is a member of the Tribal Women’s singing group. She was also included By the Tribal Teacher Ka’chi (now deceased) as a student in healing Modalities. She works alongside the Tribal Spiritual Overseer Adelia Sandoval. Mariah is a basket weaving apprentice. She is now Retired from teaching in the public school system for 42 years.

Rachel Wood Salley

Rachel Wood Salley works in her own wild earth art language; rooted in process, instinctual ways of being through realignment of art and nature. She uses ancient, primitive techniques to tell a story of the present; wholly hand shaped and organically finger formed. Her work born of the natural worlds crude and delicate formations while honoring diversity in primal earth shades.

Kristin Morrison

ALL SPECIES is my expression of what it means to be connected to the earth, each other and All Species on the planet. It is a clothing label, art project and incubator for thoughts and experiments on how we can model radical interdependence.

Rachel Ehlin-Smith

Rachel Ehlin-Smith is the owner and fiber artist behind the studio Mr Blue Skye. Her delicate weavings use horse tail, dried flowers, stalks of wheat, and other plants in art pieces that evoke romantic, magical, almost dreamlike qualities.

Merkaba Artistry

Merkaba artistry specializes in artisan crafts made to energize, encourage, and add magic to one’s personal space, meditation altar, yoga studio, home, or place of business. Merkaba artistry candles are hand-poured with love and made with 100% beeswax from local beekeepers in Southern California.

Special Thanks To Our Sponsors

Anonymous Donor

Rosemary Kraemer
Raitt Foundation

Our goal for this feast is to conjure a transformative experience: a personal encounter with our collective ecology that inspires us to be more conscious stewards of the land, and deepens our appreciation for the abundance we share.