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Eating Hibernia: An Irish Cooking Demo & Book Signing with Chef Geraldine Gilliland

  • Pacific Food and Beverage Museum 731 S. Pacific Ave. San Pedro, CA 90731 United States (map)

Pacific Taste is an ongoing series of culinary demos, talks, and workshops hosted by the Pacific Food & Beverage Museum in Los Angeles. A wide range of culinary professionals, cookbook authors, PacFAB curators, and others deliver lively lectures and lead tastings and hands-on workshops demonstrating the rich culinary traditions and distinctive cuisines of the American West, Pacific Rim, and beyond.


Irish food—it's not all green and fortified with Guinness. The Emerald Isle, in fact, is home to a rich, robust, and centuries-old culinary tradition. On Saturday, March 16, the eve of St. Patrick's Day, join Chef Geraldine Gilliland, a native of Northern Ireland, for a lesson in the history and how-to of Hibernian cooking featuring fresh fare from Melissa's Produce. After the demo, Chef Gilliland will sign copies of her new book, The Lula Cocina Cookbook: My Favorite Recipes, from Mexico to Malibu.



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Renowned chef, author, restaurateur, and philanthropist Geraldine Gilliland arrived in Los Angeles from Northern Ireland in 1975, beginning her extraordinary career in the culinary industry. Geraldine has studied and worked with distinguished chefs from around the world. Her culinary expertise encompasses an international diversity, including Mexican, Indian, Chinese, French, and, of course, Contemporary Californian and Irish.

Geraldine has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Fine Cooking Magazine, Bon Appétit, New York Times, Food Network, Travel Channel, Gourmet Magazine, LA Weekly, and more. Her first book, Grills & Greens, was nominated for a James Beard Foundation award. Geraldine has been a guest chef at the famous James Beard House, Cunard's Sea Goddess cruise ship, and the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park, as well as several wineries in Paso Robles.

Today she owns two distinctively different restaurants on Main Street in Santa Monica, California: Lula Cocina Mexicana, a bold, bright and colorful cantina famous for its eclectic menu and signature Lula Margaritas, and Finn McCool's Irish Pub, brought over from Ireland through the Panama Canal in 2001.

In 1995, Geraldine and her late husband, Theodore Lonsway, built their dream home, Rancho Chiquita, nestled high in the Malibu Mountains. Rancho Chiquita has a spectacular panoramic ocean view and 250 acres of rolling hills and is host to many charity fundraising events, weddings, private cooking classes, and film and television shoots.

Now committed to the protection and rehabilitation of animals, Geraldine shares her home with a multitude of rescue dogs for whom she has expanded her culinary skills even further and created a special “raw food” recipe. She serves on the advisory board of several nonprofit organizations, including Cinemagic, a Belfast charity, and Meade Canine Rescue on the Central Coast, and has received numerous awards for her philanthropic and volunteer endeavors.

Geraldine was nominated by former President of Ireland Mary McAleese and elected “Irishwoman of the Year” in 2015, a great honor indeed for an émigré from Northern Ireland.

Outside of the restaurant business, she is just as passionate about the protection and rehabilitation of abused and abandoned animals, a cause for which she frequently hosts and produces charitable activities and events. In 2011, she launched Chiquita’s Friends (, a nonprofit dedicated to this cause. In its honor, all proceeds from The Lula Mexicana Cookbook, her newest book, will go towards the mission of helping abused and neglected dogs in the Los Angeles area.

Geraldine opened her newest animal Sanctuary, Chiquita’s Friends Cornell, in September 2018. And this special new rescue center will house more than just dogs! Geraldine has pledged to spend the rest of her life taking care of the “Forgotten, Neglected, and Rejected.”