What could be a more perfect way to raise money for the Silverlake Conservatory of Music than a night filled with the incredible music of John Legend and the Red Hot Chili Peppers? Adding one of our favorite farm-to-table caterers to the mix! This month, our talented foodie friends over at Heirloom LA catered this fundraiser close to their hearts and showcased yet another spread of gorgeous foods from local farms. Heirloom supports local education initiatives of all shapes and sizes. Read on to hear all about the team’s passion for art education and a recipe that fits this rock’n roll theme to a T..

This is our fifth year cooking for the annual fundraiser for Silverlake Conservatory of Music, a non-profit founded by Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It works to provide music lessons and instruments to the community, and it also offers scholarships to underserved children. The event brings out an array of music industry greats, including this year’s performance by John Legend and the Chili Peppers. 

It seemed apropos, considering the performance, to serve up this practical recipe from this event we’re sharing below: smoky sweet and sour peppers that were paired with wild-caught salmon, curried aioli and smoked tomatoes. Right now our favorite peppers from the Santa Monica Farmers Market are JF Organic’s, based on their punch of sweetness and rich colors. One heirloom variety is so intensely red that they call it a “lipstick” pepper! Make sure to get an array of colors and then use this condiment to accompany anything from the grill, cheeses, sandwiches, tacos, eggs, a garnish for soup… It’s just so versatile!

Spicy Smoky Sweet + Sour Peppers


large saute pan
cutting board
large mixing bowl
rubber spatula


6-8 medium size (baseball) sweet bell peppers, cleaned, deseeded, sliced in 1/4 inch strips to render 6-7 cups
1 cup sugar
1 cup white wine
1 cup white wine vinegar/red wine vinegar/champagne vinegar/apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chipotle pepper, smashed*

Tip: For for less spice, omit chipotle and sub in smoked, smashed tomatoes from farmers like Windrose who smoke their less pretty tomatoes and sell them at Santa Monica Farmers Market.


In a large mixing bowl, combine peppers, salt, pepper and olive oil and toss to combine.

Place saute pan over high heat until it begins to lightly smoke. Add peppers and cook until peppers are tender to the touch. Add sugar and stir. Sugar should release liquid from the peppers and the mixture will become slightly soupy. Cook for 3 minutes and then add wine. (Adding wine can cause the pan to light a small flame. For safety’s sake, turn off flame or pull pan away from heat.) Allow wine to reduce by half and then add vinegar. Allow vinegar to cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove pan from heat, stir in adobo or smoked tomato puree and let cool at room temperature to develop the flavor.

Keep tightly covered in your refrigerator for up to seven days.

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