By Jim Shilander
Hometown San Clemente chef Erika Tucker was the crowd’s favorite at Saturday’s Green Feast fundraising event held at The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano, winning the right to set and prepare the menu at next year’s event.
Tucker, who works as head chef at The Cellar in San Clemente, won the “Eco App Off,” competition, in which chefs from restaurants from across Southern California prepared their best appetizers for attendees at the Green Feast, who got to vote for their favorite two dishes from the dozen chefs who competed. Tucker’s dish consisted of two parts, a small cup of corn soup with a whipped ghost cheese and mango honey crustini. Chefs also were restricted to ingredients found in a 200-mile area.
This was the fourth annual farm dinner held at the property. Ecology Center founder Evan Marks called the facility, “One of the great resources in South Orange County.
“The Ecology Center is inspiring the community, serving as an opportunity for learning and for volunteer work,” Marks said, along with the South Coast Farm, which provided organic, local produce. “This is a great way to bring people together to talk to people about the importance of eating locally.”
Tucker hopes to work with the Ecology Center to educate children on locally sourced food.