“I’ve been inspired my whole life by the traditions and cultures found throughout California,” shares David Tarrin, chef de cuisine at Terranea Resort’s recently reopened catalina kitchen. “My intention is to showcase the bounty that California has to offer, combined with New American trend and culinary memories along my career.”
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, David began cooking at an early age in his family’s restaurant. After honing his culinary prowess in Paris, his journey led him back to California where he began creating menus with local, seasonal ingredients at catalina kitchen.
A staple at Terranea since the resort’s opening in 2009, the restaurant closed for several weeks in 2016 to make way for a completely redesigned interior and exterior and a brand new food and beverage menu that puts the Golden State front and center.
“I believe California cuisine is made up of simply composed dishes that feature high-quality, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients,” says the chef. “I present signature dishes with a playful and rustic style that allows me to connect with my craft with authentic sincerity.”
With a broadly appealing and adventurous selection, Chef David’s rustic plates showcase a variety of flavors with a special attention to sustainability. “California offers so many different opportunities to sample great products,” he explains of the perks of focusing on a regionally sourced menu. “During the spring and summer seasons, 90% of the produce I use comes from locally centralized farms in California.”
One such farm is Harry’s Berries, a family-run business established in 1967 by Harry Iwamoto and currently operated by his daughter and son-in-law, Molly and Rick Gean. Located in Oxnard, the farm’s strawberries are the “sweetest” summer has to offer, according to Chef David.
Another Oxnard vendor the restaurant looks to for produce is Scarborough Farms, a 20-year-old business that grows a wide variety of greens that make up many of the delicious salads offered on the lunch and dinner menus. Many of the herbs used in the cuisine are sourced right in the resort’s seaside garden, along with sea salt produced in the conservatory.
“One of my personal favorite items we source locally is cheese from Di Stefano,” says Chef David. Known for their burrata, Di Stefano is hand-made in Los Angeles and uses locally sourced milk from cows that are not treated with growth hormones.
Chef David is also fond of the cured meat from Fra’ Mani and serves their charcuterie at the restaurant. Based in Berkeley, the company was created by Chef Paul Bertolli, who was ignited at a young age while savoring prosciutto and soppressata vicentina from his grandfather’s cellars.
This time of year in particular, a standout on the menu is wild chanterelles, hand-picked in Northern California. “I highlight them in my lobster and chanterelle pappardelle,” says Chef David.
Santa Monica Seafood remains one of the most accessible and locally sourced purveyors the resort enjoys on a regular basis. “They provide us with the fresh, wild, farm-raised and sustainable seafood that we’re able to highlight with our raw bar,” explains Chef David. “They focus on quality ingredients, which allow me to uphold my commitment to the craft.”
To complement the delicious offering, catalina kitchen designed a signature cocktail. Named for the 22 miles of ocean between Catalina Island and the Palos Verdes Peninsula where Terranea Resort is located, the 22 Miles drink features an aromatic mix of Sonoma county rye, yellow chartreuse, lime, lemon, angostura and Cherry Heering liqueur.
“It’s become my favorite late-night drink,” says Chef David. “Lately I’m becoming a fan of rye and bourbon.”
Drink up, Chef. You deserve it.
To make a reservation at catalina kitchen while visiting the resort, speak to a member of the Concierge team, call 844-479-2620 or visit terranea.com.
Written by Darren Elms