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    1.29.14

    We’re always thrilled to arrive at a party and find that Heirloom LA has catered. It ensures two things: one, that we’ll be eating the most clean, healthy, fresh from the farm food possible and two, that our tastebuds will be making no sacrifice. These people mean business when it comes to whipping up old-fashioned whole foods into an overwhelm of flavor.

    A few moons back, when the LA air was still filled with warmth, Heirloom joined up with their very stylish neighbors, Individual Medley, to host a camp-inspired party right down to the (vodka-spiked) watermelon and homemade s’mores. We asked both hosts to tell us about what inspired the event and how they brought it all together. Here are Tara of Heirloom and Monica of Individual Medley…

    The Chalkboard Mag: You’re both experienced hosts. What makes for the perfect party?
    Heirloom LA: Laughter… and good food!
    Individual Medley: In my experience, the perfect party has a combination of good food, good company and tasty drinks in a comfortable and beautiful environment. I enjoy gatherings where you feel the hosts put care into creating a lovely evening for their guest from start to finish.

    TCM: What made this event so special?
    HLA: The creative commitment to our theme of camping. It was a blast to plan and execute!
    IM: This dinner was one of the most special nights we’ve ever been a part of! The whole night was perfection. The seamless marring between our shop and creative masterminds Matt and Tara made the night! The camp theme was presented in the most elegant way. The sophisticated menu played with the fun theme of the night and each element of the food was impeccable. We were also so very lucky to pull in some of our talented friends to add the finishing touches – the talented and lovely Joyce Chai helped us with her chalk-art skills, Victoria Vu of Paper & Type lent her skillful penmanship for place cards. Glen Nakasako of Smog created the most awesome menu that resembled a vintage camp map, and our dear friend Yasmine of Yasmine Floral Design helped with all of the floral arrangements – she made the most lovely woodland-themed arrangements that added so much beauty to the tables.

    TCM: Tara, tell us a bit about Individual Medley?
    HLA: Monica and team are expert curators of easy, rustic California living. We were absolutely floored at how they single-handedly transformed our space into a camping environment. It’s one thing to be able to dress your own store, your own space, but it’s a real talent to go somewhere off-site with a limited budget and just turn it completely around so it is virtually unrecognizable. There were no blank spaces as they considered every detail. The wow factor was huge. I hope Individual Medley is open to an interior design firm because I will be calling upon them someday.

    TCM: Monica, tell us a bit about Heirloom LA?
    IM: They are makers, givers and teachers! When we tell people about Heirloom’s food, we always say …it’s the best you’ll ever have. You try their lasagna, it will be the best lasagna you’ve ever had … and it’s safe to say that about any of their dishes! I am always so inspired to see the projects they are involved with like the Challengers Boys & Girls Club, Mayor Eric Garcetti and many more! They are educators on topics such as humane ranching and the importance of farm to table cooking. In other words… they are the best!

    TCM: Tara, can you tell us a little about the menu for the evening and what stood out to you?
    HLA: We had so much fun incorporating the camping theme into our typically formal tasting room. Our chef, Matt, got our grill going where he fired up pizzas and, later, a whole fish. We also used our fire pit for s’more roasting and had our own unique version of “trail mix” out during cocktail hour. Every item served was a play on our theme. We love themes.

    TCM: Monica, can you tell us about the decor and some of your favorite elements?
    IM: For the dinner, we wanted to bring our shop to the Salon. Our hope was that if you had never been to our store you would get a feeling for the style and types of items we carry in the shop. We mixed vintage props from the store in with our merchandise. We brought in a safari tent, plants, lanterns and hung arrows – we really wanted it to feel like you were on your way to camp!

    TCM: Would you share a little tip from the event decor?
    IM: We had a lot of space to work with, so to fill in the gaps we brought in some live plants. Live plants are a great way to fill gaps and soften edges at home. Ferns and ivy filled in spaces and hung off ledges; it really brought the outdoors inside, and after the event guests were able to take some greens to their homes.

    TCM: Tara, would you share one of the recipes with us from the evening?
    HLA: Sure thing! Here you have a pizza dough for grilling, or you can use a cast iron skillet as described below, to make the appetizer we served at this event:

    Cast Iron Pizza
    makes 6 pizzas

    Ingredients

    For the pizza dough:
    4 cups bread or all-purpose flour
    2 tsp salt
    150 grams fresh yeast (or 1 Tbsp dry yeast)
    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    16 oz pale ale or amber beer

    For the toppings:
    1-2 bunches fresh basil, cleaned leaves only, torn (use green and purple basil for more color)
    3 baskets cherry tomatoes, de-stemmed and cleaned
    1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar or reduced balsamic vinegar (reduced balsamic is regular balsamic vinegar reduced by half with 2 – 3 Tbsp of granulated or raw sugar to taste)
    buratta cheese
    sea salt, black pepper and extra-virgin olive oil, to taste

    Directions

    In a stand mixer with dough-hook attachment, or in a large mixing bowl with a fork, combine flour and salt and mix to combine.

    In a separate bowl, whisk yeast and a small amount of the beer (about 2 oz) until completely combined and there are no lumps. Slowly add olive oil while whisking, followed by the remaining beer to combine.

    With the mixer on medium speed, slowly drizzle yeast and beer mixture to combine. Allow to mix 5 – 7 minutes until smooth. (If you are using a mixing bowl and fork, add beer to flour until combined and knead on surface until smooth). You want the dough to be tacky but pull away from the table or mixer without leaving any residues on the surfaces. If the dough is not tacky, add a small amount of ice water, if too sticky add a small amount of flour and work to smooth.

    In order to get your dough into the process of proofing and rising, place the ball of dough in a deep mixing bowl which has been rubbed with olive oil. Dip a clean towel in hot water, ring out and lay over the dough, then cover bowl securely with plastic wrap. Allow to rest in a warm environment, or at room temperature, for a minimum of 30 – 45 minutes.

    Separate dough into 6 pieces, roll to make small balls and let rest covered on floured sheet tray for another 30 minutes, until ready to cook.

    Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium high heat and drizzle lightly to coat with olive oil. Char cherry tomatoes until all sides are blackened, and set aside. Clean pan with towel and maintain on medium-high heat.

    With your hands or a small rolling pin, make a round disk with the pizza dough that is evenly flat and slightly smaller than the cast iron skillet. Drizzle with salt, pepper and olive oil and cook in skillet until golden brown on the bottom of the dough. Flip over dough in the skillet and cook until golden brown on other side. Cut the pizza dough into even pieces, garnish with buratta cheese as the base, one of the cherry tomatoes, torn basil, sea salt and balsamic to serve.

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