Jennie Cook creates a menu honoring a fusion of Japanese and Californian cultures
Dining al fresco is one of the great delights of summertime in Southern California but rarely can we experience the joy of a delicious dinner with friends in the setting of a Japanese garden. On Saturday, July 21, the Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden will host its first-ever Summer Dinner Party in the Garden, in collaboration with renowned local chef and caterer, Jennie Cook.
Cook will craft a special seasonal menu with a slight Asian accent to fit the garden setting. Dinner will be served family-style under the trees with the teahouse as a backdrop. To honor the garden’s fusion of Japanese and Californian cultures, the summer feast will include exquisite miso salmon served with local seasonal vegetables and sticky rice.
Starting at 5:30 p.m., guests will be welcomed into the landmark stroll garden and invited to enjoy cocktails, explore the garden’s pathways and delightful vistas, and meet the artist Sumi Foley, whose exhibition, “Mirage: Kimono Fabric as Pigment,” is currently on view in the garden’s En Gallery.
A raffle and a silent auction featuring a wonderful array of art works; Asian antiques that include porcelains, dolls and folding screens; Japanese textiles; and gift certificates will offer guests the chance to treat themselves to something special while also supporting the garden.
Cook, former owner of the Culver City restaurant and catering company Cooks Double Dutch, is an advocate of healthy dining using sustainable ingredients. Her meals are both innovative and delectable and have enjoyed countless rave reviews–the LA Weekly gave her the title, “The Best Caterer for These Troubled Times.” (See jenniecooks.com.)
The unique dinner event is a fundraiser to support the garden’s cultural and educational programming. Tickets are $100 each, including valet parking. Reservations can be made at japanesegardenpasadena.com. The event will start at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner will begin at 6:30.