Sunday, August 29, 2010

Raquel's Birthday

Today was my first day in Rancho Santa Fe with the new camera; I stopped everyone who went by with a similar camera to discuss how they use it and which lenses they use. So much to learn, I am humbled; so much money to spend. Yikes!

I will show more pics later; today I loved the way these baby artichokes looked:

and of course I took lots of flower pics at Allison's/Magnolia:

But today was also our market manager's birthday, so we decided to party after the market. Late in the morning, Raquel introduced me to Emelio, our Paella chef. Was the pan "this big" I asked, or "THIS BIG." Yes it was, humongous!
Emelio is originally from Malaga, and he channels the Gypsy thing. He was very engaging and very entertaining! It starts with chicken and onions and garlic and tomatoes:
I came back every 15 minutes to shoot some more; here the calamari were added, and paprika and saffron:
Emelio dealt the shrimp out with a fast hand over the pan; mussels and clams were added; all this was done in the parking lot of the shopping center where we have the market:
meanwhile, the vendors got together and made several salads: Maggie's Stellar Mix (and it IS stellar!), figs, avocados, cheese, herbs, tomatoes from various vendors; dressed in lemon juice and olive oil from other vendors; outstanding!
the figs were perfect, why don't I add them to salads more often?
the paella was finished off as the market ended; it looked amazing....
it was then covered, to keep it hot;
everyone gathered around, and to the chant of "take it off" the cover was removed...
it's handy to have lots of chefs and food-people around; Loic the baker had provided bread for the meal and he was there to help, as was Jean-Michel who does our crepes at the market; no shortage of hands and help serving food!
we also had the most amazing sangrias, made with Pudwell Berries; here the sangria jar is dry but the crowd wants paella!
there is ok paella and then there is great paella; this was GREAT!
thanks to Emelio, a total character, here with our birthday girl~
we had to have her try the first bite, of course!
these are all various vendors from the market, we all stayed for the party; it's a long day for us, but we are a great group~
a very happy birthday to Raquel, and thanks to our super chefs, here Jean-Michel and Emelio! We all agreed, let's do it again soon!


  1. Your pictures are beautiful! Looks like you have been having lots of fun learning how to use your new camera. The after party looks like fun.

  2. I adore the sense of community. It reminds me of a story from my childhood~Stone Soup~ do you know it?

    That camera is amazing~!