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Fullerton Arboretum’s summer bounty enlivens alfresco dining

July 16, 2017

By late summer, it’s hard to ignore the urge to pack up a cooler of food to enjoy at the beach, park or stadium. But with our Southern California bounty of fresh foods, there’s no need to stick with hot dogs and chips.

Local chefs Jonathan Dye and Jonathan Duffy Davis presented a packable meal of gourmet treats at the July 13 class “Tailgating and Picnicking in Style” at the Fullerton Arboretum on the Cal State Fullerton campus.

Known as “The Jonathans,” the pair showed members of the community how to prepare buttermilk biscuits with shaved parma ham, whipped butter and pepper jelly; caponata with crostini; and grilled andouille sausage with patatas bravas.

The duo regularly present demonstrations of seasonal and locally sourced food in the arboretum’s industrial kitchen, often using ingredients grown on-site. Davis assumed responsibility for the care and cultivation of the farm and nearby orchard in 2008 after completing his master’s degree in biological science at CSUF. In a previously unused section of 16,000 feet, Davis planted more than 300 varieties of vegetables, fruits, grains and herbs.

Proceeds from the classes’ ticket sales benefit the botanical garden’s education programs and student scholarships. For a schedule of classes, visit

– Wendy Fawthrop

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