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The Thoughtful Feast: The Spirit of Old California

  • Sausal 219 Main Street El Segundo, CA 90245 (map)

In the 19th century, California was first a colony of Spain and then a part of Mexico, and the rancho cooks there developed a distinctive style of cooking and spicing. The style owed more to Spain than areas in the rest of Mexico but incorporated new world ingredients with flair. That genteel style of cooking disappeared with waves of gold-seeking newcomers, but a few cookbooks and other documents preserved its memory.

Chef Anne Conness draws inspiration from this period in her cooking at Sausal, the only restaurant in California that regularly serves items based on this cuisine. And on February 22, she will do something new, or rather, old, when, for the first time, she will serve a complete menu based on the 19th-century cookbook “El Cocinero Espanol,” the oldest detailed description of California cuisine, and the first book written by a woman to be published in California. The menu for this latest edition of The Thoughtful Feast series, hosted by the Pacific Food & Beverage Museum (PacFAB), follows.

  • Pumpkin Empanada with an Apple-Radish Pico de Gallo 
  • Chili Relleno Stuffed with a Potato, Golden Raisin, Olive, and Cheese Picadillo
  • Short Rib Barbacoa, Pinquito Beans, and Quelites (sautéed bitter greens with pickled jalapeno and onions)
  • Encarnacion’s Walnut Custard and Chocolate

The meal will be accompanied by wines made using rare, old California techniques and historically appropriate spirited punches. Culinary historian and PacFAB Curator Richard Foss will join Chef Anne in explaining the lost culinary heritage of old California while you experience it for yourselves.

Dinner is $70 for all NatFAB and Culinary Historians of Southern California members, or $80 for non-members, and includes tax and gratuity. NatFAB membership is available to all at natfab.org/membership. Space is limited, and reservations are required.

If you have any issues with the ticketing software or would prefer to make your reservation on the phone, please call us at 504-267-7490 during the week or 504-569-0405 on weekends. Tickets may be refunded or exchanged up to 48 hours prior to the event. After 48 hours no refunds will be available.

Earlier Event: February 17
Mardi Gras Hours