Of Quilts and Celts

In our usual mix of diverse entertainment, we are offering quilts and Celts this weekend at Fairplex. So, if you’ve always wanted to learn how to make a lovely quilt, and want to follow it up with a pint of Guinness while watching some cloggers get their groove on, come on out! The Quilt, Craft and Sewing Festival runs through Saturday and the 9th annual Irish Fair and Music Festival is here Saturday and Sunday.

The quilt show offers fabric, patterns and make and take workshops. They also have items for crafts, beading, jewelry and card making. It’s pretty inspiring just wsewing 150x150 Of Quilts and Celtsalking through and looking at the quilts and crafts on display. Admission to the show is free – so no excuses! Plus, you can get a check mark on the learning to sew resolution you made for 2011.

Beginning Saturday, we’ll all be Irish as the Irish Fair turns the fountains at Fairplex green. The show will feature more than 2,000 performers presenting the best in traditional and contemporary Celtic music, song, dance and pageantry.

Headlining 2008 tattoo 150x150 Of Quilts and Celtsmore than 60 shows are Wrath of McGrath, Skelipin, The Mulligans, Anita and the Yanks, Twilight Lords, Black Top Blaggers and The Black Rose Band. Also appearing are Chris Colt, The Green Ashes, Knockabouts, Emerald Society and 42nd Highlanders. Dance groups performing include the McCartan Irish Dancers, Royal Scottish Dancers and fair favorites the Cripple Creek Cloggers, who’s exciting dance numbers have long been crowd favorites. The Celtic warriors march in the parade at noon and the Ancient Irish Village is full of crafters and activities. 

Children’s Leprechaun Kingdom offers such family entertainment as carnival rides, games, freckle contests and story tellers. Nearby are sheep herding and Connamara pony exhibitions.

Food stalls will be serving up corn beef sandwiches, bangers and giant turkey legs, along with hot dogs, fries and burgers along with traditional corn beef and cabbage and Irish beverages. 

The Irish Fair and Music Festival runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $18 for adults, $16 seniors (age 55 & over), $16 students with valid ID and $28 for a  two-day pass.  Children ages 11 and younger are free. For more information visit la-irishfair.com. Parking is at Gate 9 on White Avenue.

A French-trained Chef in an Urban Farm

Took a group of journalists on a tour today of Fairplex’s own urban farm, which culminated in a specially prepared lunch by Chef David Teig at McKinley’s Grille. Let me tell you, I am still savoring the mellifluous strands of our five-course feast, each one made with organically grown fruits, vegetables and herbs picked fresh this mornig from the urban farm. Oro blanco grapefruit with Moroccan mint and halibut with kumquat confit and oil - oh my stars! Why don’t my garden veggies taste like this? Oh, photo 120x150 A French trained Chef in an Urban Farmright. I’m cooking ‘em.

Fairplex’s urban farm is about a year old. If you’ attended the L.A. County Fair, you probably saw it next to FairView Farms. Designed by horticulturist Don DeLano, five plots grow everything from chocolate mint to strawberries to cabbage to olives. Teig prepares his seasonal menus for McKinley’s Grille based on the urban farm’s harvest. Things like radishes involve staggered planting for use throughout a few seasons. Strawberries are grown in a vertical patch – on wooden poles three-containers high. Keeps the pests and rascals like rabbits and raccoons away. Teig salt cures the Mission olives growing from three trees. It’s all really cool.

dessert 150x120 A French trained Chef in an Urban FarmOur menu this afternoon also included greens, mixed radishes, miso vinaigrette; stuffed jidori chicken with sautéed leaks; and pomegranate and berry cheesecake. While this was a special menu, other Teig creations are all part of McKinley’s Grille’s regular menu. If you have an organization or school that is interested in touring our urban farm, contact Mark Drury at McKinley’s at (909) 868-5916.