Sept 2014 – Coast Magazine – “Rise And Shine”
Driving down Jeffrey Road in Irvine, you notice a small patch of farmland. Standing tall amid the crops is a bright red barn that seems out of place amongst the nearby strip malls and housing developments. Upon closer glance, you see that the barn doubles as a farm stand. Colorful signs advertising the wares of the
season, from fresh strawberries to corn, lure drivers in to investigate the
Manassero family’s vine-ripened fruits and vegetables. For the past 92 years, the Manasseros harvested an array of
fresh produce on 80 acres of Orange County farmland. Now run by third generation farmers Dan and Anne
Manassero, the farm continues to grow a wide variety of ingredients – from fresh herbs and garden lettuces to heirloom tomatoes and succulent melons. But, times are changing. While the Manasseros still operate stands in Brea, Tustin and Irvine, the family started attracting diners that want the freshest produce when they eat out by cultivating partnerships with OC chefs like Pascal Olhats and Yves Fournier. Intimate dining events set in the barn allows the family to share an authentic farm-to-table experience. On September 13, Manassero Farms hosts its monthly Breakfast in the Barn. Chef Fournier, who will cook
that day, gave us a preview of one of his dishes: vodka-infused melon gazpacho. The chilled soup spiked with Fournier’s own fair transforms Manassero’s juicy fresh fruit into a refreshing way to start the day.